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Rewatch S9: #THINMAN (9x15)

Okay, let's see if I can do another quick one...

#THINMAN

Ed and Harry! So, the thing about Ed and Harry was that they were always the opposite of Sam and Dean, as in, they were in the same business, but light and happy and, for the most part, angst free. Though, I mean, that's not quite true, because one of my absolute favourite Ghostfacers moment is when Ed talks to Corbett's death echo - and that is definitely not a happy moment. But, yes, one of the main criticisms of this episode is that it "ruined" the ghostfacers - since it left them broken and separated. But hey, they live!

Anyway, let's talk about the actual episode...

For what turns out to be a non-ghost, that human killer is very good at sneaking inside that girl's room.

*Dean walks into the room. Looks around*
Dean: "Alright, I'll be back."
Sam: "Where are you heading?"
Dean: "Washington. Caught a case."
Sam: "You want me to come with?"
Dean: "Do you want to come?"
Sam: "On a hunt? Why wouldn't I?"
Dean: "I don't know, because lately with you up is down and down is sideways. I don't know what you want."

- First question - who is Dean looking for? Only Sam and he live in the bunker now.
- Secondly, it's not that I don't feel for Dean, I do. But... part of me thinks he's just being dramatic now. That he knows that Sam would want to come on a hunt, and he's just pretending like he's gotta go on a hunt all by himself to sort of... I don't know, be a one man pity party. It's basically passive-agressiveness. "Okay, here I go, off to hunt alone, because you don't love me anymore... maybe I'll die... maybe that would make you happy..."
- Thirdly, again, not to be too harsh on Dean, but I still feel like his "up is down and down is sideways" line is still just an excuse for him not to confront his own mistakes. It's not that Dean did something wrong, it's that Sam is reacting wrong.

And then we find out that the Ghostfacers have already been there... hehehe

*cellphone beeps*
Ed: "Oh hey, we got two more followers!"

- I love that transition.

Harry: "The Winchesters, yay."
Ed: "Says nobody."
Harry: "Ever."

- I do love them.

Harry: "Say Hola to my little pistola!"
Dean: "Am I supposed to be impressed with that treasure trail or that lady-gun you've got hiding in your pants there."
Harry: "Uh, both?"

- I also love this exchange - both for it's queer-friendly nature, and also for how unimpressed Dean is by both things. :P

Sam: "Ah, Dean..."
Dean: "What?"
Sam: "Ed and Harry wrote a book."

- I just love Jared's delivery of these lines.

Seriously, this whole rewatch is just going to be me copying out lines that I like.

I also like Dean's thin green tie. It brings out his eyes.

Then we return to Ed and Harry, and we begin to see just how wrong things are in the Ghostfacers world - with Harry obsessed with an ex-girlfriend.

Ed: "This is really serious Harry. I mean, the Winchesters are here and I don't want my knees blown off by Sam and Dean."
- Wise words. But, I also love this scene because Ed's behaviour, the way he immediately starts spooking instead of getting more enthusiastic like Harry, tells us right away that he might know more than he's letting on.

Sam and Dean look really good in this episode. Jeannot Szwarc is the director. I will thank him, as he obviously approved the lighting and camera angles. :)

Deputy: "...Sheriff's on a hunting trip..."
- Has he not been home in a few days?

Then the second death...

*Dean smacks Harry on the ass*
Dean: "I thought I told you to beat it."
Harry: "Huh, well, what are you going to do? You going to out me, 'Agent'?"

- Geez, the slash writes itself.
- Seriously though, I do love that Harry and Ed DO have a little leverage against Sam and Dean, with the fact that they know they impersonate federal officers to get access to crime scenes.

Ed: "...the lore changes blog to blog, it's not a tulpa."
- What's interesting about this exchange, and I just wrote down the last line here - is that at first, I thought that it was a mistake, because Ed and Harry didn't KNOW that they were dealing with a tulpa back in Hell House. BUT, they actually word this in such a way where it's not necessarily indicating that they did, it more just lets us know that they know what a tulpa is in general.

Though, this makes me suddenly wonder why Ed and Harry never came across the Supernatural books by Carver Edlund.

Harry: "Maintain current velocity!"
...
Harry: "Well, the lore says Thinman hangs out near trees, and the woods are where trees hang out."

- I just like these lines.

Ed: "Two people are dead. I mean, really dead, and I just keep thinking, you know, maybe Sam and Dean should just take over."
- Ed is smart.

Harry: "First of all, hell no! And quit raining on my rainbow!"
Ed: "Rainbows can't happen without rain!"

- I do love them. Though, I also like this line because it makes a point about my belief that Supernatural is about an optimist and a pessimist traveling around together in a tragedy, and that maybe you can't have the optimist without the pessimist - rainbows can't happen without rain! :P

Ed: "I'm just saying, maybe we should leave this to the profressions."
Harry: "We are the professionals, Ed!"

- Ed is self-aware, Harry is not. Which is ironic, given how they got into this situation.

Okay, before we get into dialogue, I just have to say that I love how domestic the scene is with the Winchesters having dinner in their hotel room - sitting on the same side of the table and obviously sharing a laptop, even though we know they have two. It's cute!

Dean: "You know what video would have gone viral, if we still had it. When you were five and you got dressed up as Batman because you thought you could fly."
Sam: "After you jumped first."
Dean: "Hey, I was nine and I was dressed up as Superman. Everybody knows that Batman can't fly."
Sam: "Well I didn't know that. I broke my arm!"
Dean: "I know you did! Man, I drove you to the ER on my handlebars. Well, good times."

- Awww...
- Okay, let's actually talk about this - firstly, the amount of love here is ridiculous, and the whole fact that Dean fails to see that speaks to the fact that Dean is just in a super bad place this season. As much as Sam is conflating his own regrets with the mistakes Dean made and blaming both on Dean - Dean, I think, is projecting his own self-loathing onto Sam and coming to the conclusion that Sam hates him when really Sam is just angry at him, but still loves him more than anything in the world.
- Secondly, let's talk about the story - because we learn that Sam jumped off roofs as a kid because Dean did it first. Dean jumps and Sam's going to jump too - which is pretty typical of a sibling relationship.
- Thirdly, We also find out that Dean drove Sam to the ER on his handlebars, which means that at the age of 9, Dean was looking after Sam on his own. In Canada, that's illegal, and John would have been reported for child neglect/endangerment as soon as little Dean and Sammy got to the ER.
- Forthly, also, Dean had a bike! And they had superhero costumes! So, those are at least nice things for kids to have. Also, a videocamera! And this would have been the late 1980s, so that was really something special to own back then!

Ed: "Either you bleed Ghostfacers red or you don't - if Spruce wanted to start a start-up and Maggie's heart was in the roller derby, who am I to stop 'em?"
- Aww, I like the fact that Maggie's in the roller derby.

Ed: "But Harry, I couldn't let him give into his girl - I mean, she called the Ghostfacers stupid. Stupid! Can you believe that? I don't care how much money your daddy's hedge fund has, I just couldn't watch Harry become a corporate stooge."
- So, traditionally, it's always been Harry that's been more enthusiastic than Ed. Unless I'm remembering wrong, and at first glance, this seems like Ed not wanting Harry to leave the ghostfacers - but it could also be about the fact that Harry's girlfriend didn't seem to like Harry for Harry. I mean, think about it, if your friend was super into... roller derby... and then they got a romantic partner that called roller derby stupid, even though roller derby made your friend really happy...Wouldn't you also think it's not a good relationship? If they went through with giving up their passions because their romantic partner didn't approve of them, wouldn't that be a classic case of a really bad relationship?
- Of course, the question is - do you let your friend make their own mistakes? Do you intervene? What if you don't know the full story? Maybe Harry's passions for the Ghostfacers were already waning before he met his girlfriend.

Sam: "Listen, if you don't tell him, he's going to leave anyway. Trust me here. Secret ruin relationships."
- Ouch, but not untrue. Also, Sam's not just talking about Dean here - Sam lied to Jessica for over 2 years and she ended up burning on a ceiling. Also, there was that time that Sam hide the fact that he was addicted to demon blood for a whole year and then Dean told him that he couldn't trust him anymore. And then there was also that time that Castiel lied to both of them about working with Crowley, and then Sam ended up insane, Dean heartbroken, and Castiel "dead" - that ruined their relationships with each other for a little while.

Sam: "This Thinman has killed two people and now Harry's in the woods alone!"
Ed: "Well, it's more like 'wood' because I dropped him off by some trees behind the grocery store. Come on, guys, he's going to be fine. Guys!"

- Firstly, I just love that he dropped him off by some trees behind the grocery store.
- Secondly, I love that despite all the animosity the Winchesters have for the Ghostfacers, they genuinely do not want to see anything bad happen to them - threatening to shoot them in the knee-caps aside.

Harry: "I was going to get married. I left her to run around with you living some lie."
...
Ed: "If I hadn't struck gold with Thinman, you'd be doing a boring job, with boring numbers, answering to Dayna's dad. I saved you, buddy!"
Harry: "Saved me from what? From living a nice life? From not getting stabbed? How selfish can you be?!"

- But again, is this about Ed, or is this about the fact that it was a bad idea for Harry to marry Dayna for other reasons? I mean, I know this is a metaphor for Dean and Sam, and Ed is Dean, selfishly trying to keep Harry for himself and not let him "move on"... But, then, you also have to consider the idea that the life Harry was moving onto sounds like the opposite of what would make Harry happy... so, if Harry is Sam, then we have to ask ourselves whether Sam really should have died or if that would have been just as much a mistake as the methods Dean used to keep him alive.

In S8, I kind of wanted them to close the gates of Hell, because the way Metatron said "pulling one of the big levers" made it sound like perhaps there would be dire consequences to the action beyond just Sam dying - that perhaps closing Hell would throw off some sort of balance of the universe, and actually make things worse. They never explored that direction, but that just means that I'm not necessarily wrong. Mind you, what Sam's really mad at Dean about is the methods Dean used to save him... and that DOES fit into this Ed and Harry story perfectly, because Harry is super mad about is the fact that what was going to be his "f*ck you" to the non-believer ex-girlfriend had turned out to be a huge lie and only proves that Harry is as stupid as she suggested.

Harry: "You made a chump out of me, Ed."
- Exactly.

Sam: "Hey, how'd it go?"
Ed: "It uh, went, uh..."
*Sam goes into the room*
Sam: "Hey, you okay?"
Harry: "I just got punched right in the feels. None of it was real, Sam! Ed was just pretending...."
Sam: "I know what you mean. Look, there are things you can forgive, and there are things you can't."
Harry: "So which one is this?"
Sam: "That's something you've got to figure out for yourself."

- I like the fact that Sam is there to try to help them, again, I like it BECAUSE Sam and Dean are so annoyed by them all the time. I also like what Sam says, because he doesn't say 'Oh man, let me tell you what Dean did!' and he doesn't equate Ed with Dean and hate on him more... he tries to be there for both of them.
- Also, Sam saying that Harry has to figure out whether he can forgive Ed or not for himself, let's us know where Sam's headspace is in these episodes since 9x10. In my opinion, Sam is trying to sort through his own feelings on the subject of forgiveness. He's trying to figure out HIMSELF whether he can forgive Dean or not, how forgiveness fits into love, how not-forgiving fits into brotherhood. Sam's trying to figure out how to carry on in the relationship after this injury... and he's putting a lot of mental work into it. The problem, like usual, is that Sam is doing this work internally. Meanwhile, Dean is having anger management issues thanks to the MoC on top of his usual self-esteem issues - and it's really no wonder that he concludes that Sam has written off the relationship completely and is only suffering Dean's company. Dean probably figures that's what he deserves - No one hates Dean more than Dean does, after all.

Ed: "Before the heartache, before the lies, we set out to help people, right?"
Harry: "Yeah, mostly."
Ed: "So there's no reason not to get out there and do what we mostly set out to do!"

- I love the fact that the show acknowledges, that the GHOSTFACERS acknowledge, the fact that they aren't actually in it for the right reasons, or at least, not completely.

Ed: "Harry, I can make this right for the both of us!"
Harry: "We can make it right."

- Ah, and for a brief moment, they're back together.

It's the deputy and the busboy - the busboy we could suspect, because he had a line earlier - so he was chekov's gun. The deputy was a nice surprise though, because you only suspect him if you follow the clues of the evidence being posted online.

Deputy: "And... action!"
Sam: "No, no, no, DON'T"

- Again, the fundamental relationship between Sam and Dean, the absolute love for each other and the inability to stand the thought of the other dying, that hasn't changed. All that's changed is their internal battles... Sam wrestling with how to forgive someone who isn't even sorry (or at least doesn't appear to be) and Dean wrestling with the beginnings of an addiction and his abandonment issues. The problem is that they're having these internal struggles in complete isolation from each other and when they do communicate, they do it so poorly that they make each other's struggles harder rather than easier.

And the Ghostfacers save Sam and Dean... albeit slightly ineptly.

Ed: "I know you're not Thinman, you're just a me-me"
Harry: "Ed, it's pronounced 'meem'"
Ed: "It's spelt m-e-m-e"
Harry: "The second e is silent!"

- So, to this day, even though I know it's wrong, I still pronounce meme as "maim" means that's how I first started reading it. So, the moral of the story is that english is stupid and no one can decide how it works. Though, yes, I know there's no logical basis or 'maim', but I didn't learn to read until I was nine, so leave me alone.

And then we get Dean slowly killing the busboy... and it's pretty horrible, because they usually don't kill humans if they can help it and Dean seems unconcerned about that fact... but I still find it really hot. So, there you go.

And Ed jumps in front of a gun to save Sam, and Harry kills a human too in order to save Ed.

Ed: "So, are we cool?"
Harry: "I don't think we ever will be."
Ed: "We made it right. We beat the guys. This could be our shot to start the old Ghostfacers again."
Harry: "I came here with you to finish this thing with Thinman. I wasn't just closing a chapter, Ed, it's the whole dang book."
Ed: "You saved my life back there."
Harry: "I killed a guy, Ed!"
Ed: "He was a bad guy, Harry."
Harry: "He was a guy, Ed! Too many people have died for your crap."
Ed: "I've done all this crap for us, I don't know why you don't see that."
Harry: "No, no, you did this for you. And there's a lot of things I can forgive, but this isn't one of them."
Ed: "So what does this mean about us?"
Harry: "It means, it's complicated."

- Again, if this is a metaphor for Sam and Dean, then Harry's answer of "it's complicated" is very apt. Because what looks like a break-up might not necessariliy be one.
- But, earlier in this dialogue, we DO have a hint that Harry HAS been losing his passion for the Ghostfacers and that he may have planned for Thinman to be the last hurrah... they'd publish a book, do one final chapter, and then that would be it. Which, might suggest that him "moving on" was something Harry wanted and that his relationship might NOT have been an unhealthy one. But, we'll never really know... my argument is that the fact that Ed's ruse worked for as long as it did, and that Harry was able to leave his girlfriend, and his girlfriend (seemingly) has been able to move on, suggests that maybe ending the relationship was for the best. But, hey, who knows, I tend to be super cynical about relationships.
- Also, I like the fact that killing someone has affected Harry. It's a nice reminder that Sam and Dean, who we're used to empathizing with and sharing the emotions of, are actually fairly hardened and slightly psychopathic when it comes to certain things. Killing a guy, bad or good, is still killing a guy. Way back in Folsom Prison Blues, Dean pointed out that criminals in prison didn't deserve to die - even though, ostensibly, they are all "bad guys" - the sentence being served by some of them indicates that they were definitely murderers. So, yes, I liked that Harry still has that part of him who recognizes that it would have been better NOT to have killed the psychotic murderers, if given the choice, because they were still humans.


*Harry walks over to Sam and Dean*
Harry: "Can I get a ride from you guys?"
Dean: "Yeah, sure."

- I like the indignaty of having to ask for a ride so that you can dramatically leave your friend. It's very ghostfacers.

Dean: "Harry, you okay?"
Harry: "Yeah, I mean, no. You roll with a guy so many years, you start to think he's always going to be next to you. Like, when you're old, like on the porch, there'll be another rocking chair - and something happens, and you realize, that other chair has gone empty. You know what I mean?"

- Awkward! Also, what you are describing is marriage, not friendship. The chair disappears, because all friends eventually part ways. It's what my favourite Longfellow poem is about:
And all that fills the hearts of friends,
When first they feel, with secret pain,
Their lives thenceforth have separate ends,
And never can be one again

- Seriously though, this is where we get the final anvil in the "Ed and Harry are Dean and Sam" episode... and again, we have Dean interpreting it as though Sam, like Harry, never able to forgive him... and we get Sam possibly realizing that despite his anger, he wants Dean's chair next to his at the end of life.
- Actually, my bringing marriage into this is apt, because Sam and Dean DID get metaphorically married at the end of S8, and I think they have to figure out what that means now... Sam's trying to figure out how to grow old with someone who sometimes is a complete unapologetic bastard, and Dean's preemtively mentally preparing himself for the divorce, because he's fully aware that he can sometimes be an unapologetic bastard and there's no way Sam's actually going to put up with that.

Yay! Actual short one.

As usual, let me know what you thought in comments. :)

I will see you later for the Quick Reaction to the new S10 episode.

There probably won't be another Rewatch post until after Dec 2nd, because I'm going down to the US to visit my sister for American Thanksgiving. I am in charge of bringing the Canadian potato chip flavours.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Nov. 25th, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
Completely agree with your take on Sam and Dean's initial conversation--Dean is using the pre-emptive 'well, you hate me so...' tactic, and it's definitely where his head is at for the whole episode.

And this:
Sam is trying to sort through his own feelings on the subject of forgiveness. He's trying to figure out HIMSELF whether he can forgive Dean or not, how forgiveness fits into love, how not-forgiving fits into brotherhood. The problem, like usual, is that Sam is doing this work internally. Meanwhile, Dean is having anger management issues thanks to the MoC on top of his usual self-esteem issues - and it's really no wonder that he concludes that Sam has written off the relationship completely and is only suffering Dean's company. Dean probably figures that's what he deserves - No one hates Dean more than Dean does, after all.

This is exactly how this episode reads, and makes me scream at them to TALK TO EACH OTHER FOR REAL!!! Aaaargh!!!

Re: the anecdote about Sam's broken arm--my question is, who was videotaping them jump off the roof, why didn't that person intervene, and why didn't that person take Sam to the ER? Also I have trouble picturing John Winchester owning a videocamera...maybe another kid brought their family's camera outside?

I know, not supposed to think about these kinds of details, just go awww at the story...

Upon rewatch, Dean killing the busboy was the first clue of the Mark's influence, but of course we didn't know that then. But I did wonder about that, it seemed wrong.

If I remember right, Dean had a little reaction to Harry's distress over killing someone, I think he pushed the gun down? I saw that as evidence of compassion for someone learning how hard it is to deal with having killed someone, even if they deserve it. Like Dean remembered how sick that felt the first time, even if it doesn't faze him now. (Which is why the cop killing the perp in 'Bloodlines' felt totally off because the boys did not react at all.)

To carry your metaphor of Sam and Dean 'getting married' in the church in 8.23 on step further--Dean did say, in 10.3 after he was un-demonized, that Sam probably wanted a divorce because Dean tried to kill him...
hells_half_acre
Nov. 26th, 2014 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: the anecdote about Sam's broken arm--my question is, who was videotaping them jump off the roof, why didn't that person intervene, and why didn't that person take Sam to the ER? Also I have trouble picturing John Winchester owning a videocamera...maybe another kid brought their family's camera outside?

Oh, that's a good point. It makes more sense that it was another kid's videocamera - possibly a kid in their early teens who maybe wasn't supposed to be playing with the video camera - hence the running and NOT going to the hospital when everything went wrong. That's a possibility.

I had just assumed that they were videotaping each other - taking turns... or, that they had set up the videocamera to film them before they started and it was stationary. I hadn't ever considered there might be a third person, since neither of them mentioned one.

If I remember right, Dean had a little reaction to Harry's distress over killing someone, I think he pushed the gun down? I saw that as evidence of compassion for someone learning how hard it is to deal with having killed someone, even if they deserve it.

True, and I should have mentioned that - because although the Winchesters have become a bit hardened when it comes to killing people - they still REMEMBER what it's like to kill a person for the first time, and that's pretty awesome to see - and proves that they aren't really psychopaths, they're just hardened to their lives.

To carry your metaphor of Sam and Dean 'getting married' in the church in 8.23 on step further--Dean did say, in 10.3 after he was un-demonized, that Sam probably wanted a divorce because Dean tried to kill him...

Yup! I mean, they were married before, they've just made it official now. :P


pushistyj_koshk
Dec. 6th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Though, yes, I know there's no logical basis or 'maim', but I didn't learn to read until I was nine, so leave me alone

By age 9 I was already reading Cyrillic and Latin. And look where it got me - absolutely nowhere :)
hells_half_acre
Dec. 6th, 2014 11:07 pm (UTC)
lol

To be fair, I was writing at age 7/8, my spelling was just atrocious. :P

I also had a huge speech impediment until I was around 9 or 10. So, I couldn't read, and no one could understand what I was saying... and my friends don't understand why, when I'm traveling, I don't freak out if I can't speak the language of whatever country I'm in. Instead I find it oddly calming. :P
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )