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Rewatch S9: The King of the Damned (9x21)

Okay! It's been awhile, I apologize. I'm not going to lie, I've been procrastinating, because the end of S9 is so friggin' depressing...

King of the Damned

I always forget how good looking Tahmoh is, and then I see him, and I'm like "oh yeah..." Misha, meanwhile, continues to do absolutely nothing for me. Sexuality is weird.

Oh yeah! This is the episode with Crowley's son.

It's interesting, because they're canonizing the Scotland origin story, rather than the more "ageless" option that they sometimes allude to. It's a pretty bold thing to decide to go this way, since they could have easily explained the Scotland thing away by saying it was a false story planted by Crowley to prevent people from finding his REAL bones.

And then we get the angels in the bar. I really want the story about this angel hangout bar. I mean, we've got a table of angels, and two angels watching... are the guys in the back angels too? The dude in the wheelchair? He looks so nice. I kinda want him to be an angel. Headcanon - he is totally an angel, and is amazing... so amazing, he knows to stay the hell away from the Winchesters, which is why we never learn of him.

Angel: "If you follow me, the Commander will see you now."
Dean *under his breath*: "Commander?"

- Heheheh... sorry, I just like it.

The thing I love about Cas' HQ is that it's clearly a BCHydro station, because the map on the wall (in lights) is the electrical grid for Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley. You can see the edge of Downtoan outside the door to Cas' office, because it's an "island" that has it's grid on a slant compared to everything else.

HUGS!

I love how Sam just smiles at the hug and doesn't even comment on Cas' awkward slightly lingering disengagement. I've gotta admit, I am jealous of how long Cas' hand stays on Sam's waist just above his hips - that is my absolute favourite part of the human body, and Cas is just there molesting it like it's not the hottest thing ever.

Cas: "Uh, dismissed." *angel walks away* "He can be a little stuffy."
- Hahaha, I love Sam's look of "HE can be stuffy?!"

And Cas is trying to find a diplomatic solution to dealing with Metatron, because he wants an end to the angel on angel violence. You can totally understand that, the angels have basically been having a civil war for five years now (narratively), still trying to deal with the vacuum of power created when Michael was locked away.

Cas: "It brings me to why you're here. We have a prisoner. It's an angel from Metatron's inner circle. I need to know what they're planning, so far he's revealed nothing."
Dean: "So, you're done with the rough stuff and you want us to be your goons."

- Dean does have a point. It's still doing it if you order other people to do it for you.

Cas: "Well, you've had success in these situations before. If you don't want to do it. I understand."
Dean: "Who says I don't want to do it?"

- There's something broken in you, Dean... the love of, or willingness to torture, is always a sign that there's something rotten in the state of Dean.

And now we go to Crowley...

Crowley: "... so, all those with me, say yo"
Abaddon: "yo!"... "I mean, I'm literally with you, not with you with you."

- Heheh, I love how she's just standing there with a martini. That's the kind of entrance I'd constantly make if I were a Bond villain.

Crowley: "You betrayed me! No one in the history of torture's been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with!"
- I love that line. I know Mark Sheppard is slightly annoyed that it ends on a preposition, but that it's just a sign that Crowley came up with it on the spot... but personally, I think the whole 'don't end on a preposition' is a faily outdated rule that will soon be lost to history. But, just for fun - "No one in the history of torture [has] been tortured with the torture like the torture with which you'll be tortured." - there, that would be the grammatically correct way of saying it.

So, Abaddon brings up the point that after she's dead, there will be nothing stopping the boys from going after Crowley - and that Crowley should help her destroy the Winchesters and THEN they can go back to trying to kill each other. But, that's the thing... Abaddon can ONLY be killed by the First Blade, so the deal is stupid to begin with. Taking a gamble on the Winchesters, once again, NOT killing him, is really Crowley's only hope of winning.

And then Abaddon brings out Gavin...

Abaddon: "...see I know all about your little problem. Binging on blood, going right to the edge of being human, all those human feelings-"
Crowley: "I'm clean."
Abaddon: "And I'm willing to be there's still a smidge of humanity in there."

- It IS interesting that these Carver seasons seem to deal primarily with the issues of consequences - what consequences they're willing to accept, which ones they aren't, which ones they foresee, which ones they don't even think about.... Crowley is an interesting case-study, because for years, he's been using the Winchesters as he sees fit. He's their friend when he needs to be their friend, an enemy when he need them to stop whatever they're doing... He's been their ally and their tormentor... and then suddenly, he becomes a victim of theirs too. They change him, but not completely, because it's the Winchesters, so of course they do a weird hatchet job of it. Crowley's not human, but he's no longer 100% demon either... and this season (and perhaps S10?) become about what the hell that means for his future as the King of Hell.

Back to the Winchesters...

Dean: "Well, you just asked me to dance..."
*Dean goes to stab Ezra*
Sam: "Dean! Dean!" *motions him over* "He won't be telling us anything dead."
*Sam looks over at Ezra*
Sam: "Besides, you know, I'm really starting to realize that he probably doesn't know anything...."

- I love Sam. Dean's going in tough, and Sam realizes, in short succession, that a)Dean's going in TOO tough, is TOO willing to kill, and b)that there is a better strategy to use. And he's brilliant, because he immediately just includes Dean in the second strategy - he doesn't tell him he's wrong, or try to convince him to try Sam's way - Sam just GOES for it - and by not making it an issue, he is able to pull Dean into the new strategy without it being something antagonistic or pissing Dean off by pointing out his bloodlust.

And they find out that Metatron has a portal in and out of heaven, that he can put at any location he so desires.

Back to Crowley...

Gavin: "You are not my father! My father was Fergus MacLeod, a simple tailor, a drunk! - a monster."..."He looked nothing like you and I buried him."
Crowley: "A lot can change in 291 years."

- I like that they addressed the fact that Crowley is in a meatsuit (a literary agent from Chicago, right?) anyway... it always sort of annoyed me that Gavin's ghost didn't react to Crowley's appearance when we saw him back in S6, though I could chalk that up to souls recognizing souls (demonic as they may be).

Gavin: "Holy mother of God! We're amongst the stars! Are we in heaven? You must be angels!"
Crowley and Abaddon: "Wow."

- Hehehe... It's a funny line, but I don't think that would be someone's reaction to a modern city. They had storied buildings in the 1700s too. I think a time-traveler from that time would be able to roll with it and recognize that buildings had just gotten taller. Mind you, I'm not a time-traveler from the 1700s, so what do I know.

Back to the Winchesters...

I love this camera angle - the Winchesters from Ezra point of view. Awesome.

I know some people took offense to the lines about how "just because you're hot for Metatron, or Bieber [...] doesn't mean you actually know them!" "or that you even exist" "oh, that's cold, Sam" "I'm just saying, man." Because they felt like the show was making fun of them/fans, but dudes... not to be super offensive, but I totally am going to be... if you think that line was about you and you were offended, you might want to take a long hard look at yourself.... because yeah, they were talking about delusional fans, but not all fans are delusional. I like Jensen and Jared, and, thanks to all the conventions, I know a lot about them... but I do not know them, nor do they know that I exist (other than another face they saw at an autograph session and then promptly forgot)... and I'm perfectly fine with those facts. I don't even WANT to REALLY know them, since that would make it harder for me to enjoy the show, because I'd start seeing Jared and Jensen instead of Sam and Dean. So, when they say those lines, I'm not offended, because I'm like "yup - them's the facts." Jared and Jensen love the fans and they know the fans exist, but they know/love them as a group, not as individuals... and they probably feel the same way I do about it, that it's better that way, because they might not like each and every single one of us like they feel they do now, if they actually knew who we were as people.

Back to Crowley...

Gavin: "I can't be consorting with a demon!"
Crowley: "Not just any demon, I'm the king! The King of Hell!"

- It IS pretty hard to believe that a douchebag from the 1700s who sold his soul for a longer dick became the King of Hell. (Also, really large dicks aren't actually a good thing guys, maybe keep it reasonable... or well, I guess I shouldn't speak for everyone.... maybe men like it? All the straight and bi ladies that I've talked to about the subject all prefer average dicks. Then again, I guess I'm assuming that Crowley had an average dick BEFORE the deal. Maybe he had a micropenis... in which case, yeah, okay, the deal makes more sense. And I can't believe I just put that much thought into Crowley's cock.)

Back to the Winchesters... and Ezra is dead.

Cas: "I was so sure everyone here was loyal, finally united by a common cause."
Dean: "See, that's the problem. You don't think anybody's lying. I think EVERYBODY's lying. It's a gift."

- Oh Dean...

Cas: "Sam, do you have a moment?"
Sam: "Yeah, what?"
Cas: "I wanted to ask you about Gadreel - the time he possessed you."
Sam: "That's not really something I like to-"

- It's interesting, because we've already found out that the vessels retain the memories of what they did while possessed - so, why did Jimmy claim not to remember? Why didn't Sam already know about Metatron and Gadreel's meeting before Meta Fiction? And we get our answer here - and it's something we probably should have guessed - it's because the experience is so traumatic, that the vessels choose not to think of it, not to go digging in those memories. I mean, Sam remembered ONCE and now he has the memory of his own hands killing Kevin, he'd hardly want to dive in for more, even if it would possibly help them understand their enemy.

Cas: "Sam. Please."
Sam: "He didn't possess me completely. It's more like we shared housing. I was still me."
Cas: "Did you ever sense a presence?"
Sam: "I don't really know what I felt. Maybe that I wasn't completely alone?"

- Also, the fact that Sam will explore traumatic experiences just because Cas asks him to does things to my heart.

Cas: "Did you ever feel threatened?"
Sam: "No, more that he - wasn't at rest - that he had unfinished business. Now that we know more about him, I'd say he felt misunderstood."
Cas: "But not a danger, not hostile."
Sam: "No, I was wrong, obviously. He killed Kevin."

- Aww, Sam... and now we understand why Sam feels responsible for Kevin too - because Sam had an inkling that something was wrong, and he had this nagging feeling that he wasn't alone... and he probably thinks that he SHOULD have been able to sense the danger, that he should have been able to tell that he was housing someone malicious... and that he shouldn't have been fooled for so long.
- I also love how Cas goes about this though, how he's got an idea that he KNOWS an angel who is for sure under Metatron's command, and now he just has to find out if that angel might be open to diplomacy... and so, whether he's hostile, whether his presence is threatening...all those things speak to how open he would be to a talk. It's pretty brilliant on Cas' part, to get a sense of who he might be dealing with before he does anything.

Back to Crowley..

Gavin: "Why do I hate you?!?"
Crowley: "I mean, I beat you, starved you, came home drunk, beat you somemore, woke up hungover, and yeah, well, beat you. In all fairness, I never had any role models, my mother was a witch!"

- It's interesting, because Crowley was a horrible person as a human - so, if curing him of his demonhood reverted him to being human, you'd think he's still be unable to show compassion or that he wouldn't care what happened to Gavin, because he obviously didn't care for him when he was human... yet, Crowley DOES seem to care about Gavin in a weird way, he DOES show compassion, and he does recognize that he was a horrible father... so, where does all that come from? It has to come from 291 years of being a demon. It's the only way he could have learned the perspective necessary - so, it's weird to think of a demon learning how he SHOULD have acted as a father, but, what, not caring? Until the Winchesters give him human emotions and then his human emotions can interpret the experience he's gained as a demon? Anyway, interesting to think about...

Gavin: "... you never let me go to school - to this day, I can't read."
Crowley: "It's overrated! Most of Europe couldn't read. You want to read?" *touches forehead* "read!"
Gavin: "[...] I can read!"
Crowley: "King fo Hell - has its perks!"

- So, again, if Crowley didn't care about Gavin, like he didn't care about him when he was a child, why give him the ability to read? Why try to win him over? It shouldn't matter to Crowley what his son thinks of him... it didn't matter when Crowley was human, it probably didn't matter when Crowley was fully demon... but now, it matters for some reason... so sometime in the past 291 years, Crowley gained some experience that has now made him think "I kind of wish I could have done better by my son."

Gavin: "And, if I were to accept you as my father - you could keep me from eternally burning in hell? No matter my sins?"
Crowley: "You're negotiating with me? Hahaha, that's my boy!"

- I like this, because in my mind, Crowley MUST have had some negotiating skill when he was a human, in order to become King of the Crossroads as a demon. So, it makes sense that Gavin would also have the instinct of "how can I spin this deal in my favour"
- That being said, Crowley's in charge of Hell, not Heaven... so the most he could do was make sure Gavin's eternity in Hell wasn't that horrible. He couldn't actually get him into Heaven "no matter his sins."

Gavin: "This might work out! For the first time in my entire life, I could see possibilities, the future! Just as soon as you bring me back to my own time, and I can board that ship to the new world..."
Crowley: "About that ship..."
Gavin: "What about the ship?"
Crowley: "It's not important." *to guard* "You can tell Abaddon I'm ready for that little chat now."

- Also, Crowley wasn't King of Hell back in the 1700s, so Gavin would have still died and gone to Hell if he sinned too greatly and was not pious. (In SPN piety trumps everything - according to Raphael, anyway). So, having Crowley be the King of Hell only benefits Gavin if he DOESN'T go back in time.
- And again, Crowley seems to care enough about Gavin that he DOESN'T want him to die on that ship.

Back to Cas...

Gadreel: "I have seen you through Sam Winchester's eyes and he trusts you. You have a reputation for honour."
- Again, super interesting, because here we have Gadreel trusting Cas because SAM trusted Cas. Gadreel doesn't know Cas except through the Winchesters... and this simple sentence tells us both that Gadreel values honour, and that he feels the Winchesters are good judges of character. He trusts who Sam trusts.

Cas: "...as for reputations, yours precedes you."
Gadreel: "What happened in the garden was not my doing."

- It occurred to me the other day that up until now, I've completely failed to mention how great it is that the writers decided to have the angel who let the snake into the garden be the angel who becomes the snake in the Bunker. Gadreel definitely had a reputation! And both times, he was probably manipulated by a more powerful cunning angel.

Cas: "...I know you truly believe it's for the greater good, but you've placed your faith in the wrong master."
Gadreel: "You don't know him!"
Cas: "I know him too well, Gadreel! I made the same mistake and it led to the fall."
Gadreel: "Which led to my second chance!"
Cas: "This is about more than just you!"

- It's interesting, because this is probably what Metatron has been telling Gadreel - that Heaven needed a second chance to get things right - just like Gadreel. That it's a chance to rebuild, be better than before... and Gadreel could understand that, because that's what he needed too. For Gadreel, the Fall was a gift, a good thing... so I love the fact that Castiel telling him "this is about more than just you" kind of brings him up short a LITTLE, not fully, because the fall was ONLY good for him (and Abner, for a short time).

Gadreel: "Castiel, are you suggesting I change loyalties?"
Cas: "I'm suggesting you reclaim your original loyalty to the Heaven and mission we were made to serve."
Gadreel: "I thought that's exactly what I was doing."
Cas:"You've been deceived. And as bad as you had it, all those centuries locked away - it will be much worse under Metatron!"

- And this is what brings Gadreel up short completely - because Gadreel has been deceived before, when he, no doubt, thought he was serving Heaven and mission he was made to serve. And if he does stop and think about the Fall, and what it means for angel-kind instead of JUST himself, and if he thinks about Heaven and their mission... how do Metatron's plans and actions really stack up? How does all the killing that Gadreel has done serve those things?

Now we go to Dean... who is having First Blade dreams.

Oh hey, Sam and Dean have changed shirts...

And Crowley's hidden the first blade inside a corpse...

Sam: "Dean? You hear that?"
Dean: "I'm guessing Hell Hound."

- So, just to be picky, I'm going to point out that Dean and Sam shouldn't be able to hear Hell Hounds, because they are not closing in on the end of a deal, and only people being HUNTED by Hell Hounds can hear them. That being said, at this point, I'm willing to handwave it, because Dean and Sam have been to the afterlife enough times that I'm sure there are residual side-effects. Also, I think they've been hearing the hell hounds since S5, so whatever.

And Crowley calls off the dog...

Sam: "Hey, you know what, maybe I should do this."
Dean: "Sam, it's fine, I can safetly grab it, without... you know."

- But can you?!

Crowley: "Squirrel, I hope you were nice to YOUR father!"
Dean: "What? We got the Blade."

- Oh man, Dean really was nice to his father though. SUPER NICE. Arguably, undeservingly nice.

Crowley: "...Oh Dean, you have to get a move on, it's a good day's drive from Poughkeepsie."
Dean: "What are you talking about, we're not even near there?"
Crowley: "Like I said, you have to leave Poughkeepsie right away."

- I love the fact that this came back.

Sam: "So we good?"
Dean: "Yeah"

- And here Dean begins is lying spree... not that he hasn't lied already this season, but he really goes on a spree in these final few episodes.

And then Abaddon shoots Crowley for good measure, using the same trick that Henry Winchester used on her...

Abaddon: "...I had a devils trap carved in the bullet. You're not seriously damaged, just powerless."
- So, my question is, why doesn't Abaddon just kill Crowley? He's trapped in the meatsuit, he's powerless - she could easily kill him. She wants to get rid of the Winchester's, sure, but she could do that without Crowley. She could even have killed Crowley BEFORE he told them where the first blade was, she didn't even really need Kevin - she could have walked into the room at the beginning of the episode, shot him with the devil's trap bullet and taken him out then - First Blade still hidden, so then she can just dedicate her time to being Queen and trying to take out the Winchesters.
- The only answer that makes any sense is that Abaddon CAN'T kill Crowley - that perhaps being the King of Hell comes with certain benefits - like he can also only be killed by the First Blade or the Colt? They've never tried to use the knife on him, after all, so we don't know... but Lilith and Alaistar couldn't be killed by the knife, so he'd hardly be the first.

Back to Cas and Gadreel...

Gadreel tells Cas that he didn't know about the assassins, that he wouldn't do that...

Cas: "Why are you telling me this?"
Gadreel: "Even though you and I are on opposite sides in this situation, I believe there must be honour, even in matters of war."
Cas: "But what happened, doesn't it prove my point about Metatron? You met with me in good faith, but he lied, and he used you to get at me."
Gadreel: "Castiel..."
Cas:"Just as poor judgement undid you all those centuries ago, your mistaken trust in Metatron will bring you down again."
Gadreel: "I gave him my word. Do you expect me to come make war on him?"
Cas: "No, not at all, I want you to stay right where you are - just give me reports on what Metatron is planning and when he will strike."
Gadreel: "And the honour, we were speaking of?"
Cas: "Obviously, Metatron has someone inside my camp, it's how he knew we were meeting. Just fighting fire with fire - consider my offer."

- I love this conversation, I do. Because Cas is a crazy person - he uses Gadreel's sense of honour to prove his point abotu Metatron, and then turns around and asks Gadreel to act as a spy... against someone he gave his word to serve. It's ballsy, and doesn't make sense, and I think that's what makes it definitely a Castiel move. :P

Back to Sam and Dean... I think Dean's story for getting Sam to go to the basement is flimsy at best, yet Sam still goes... I'm not sure what that says about Sam's intelligence or his loyalty or his instincts, but someone should probably figure that out. It probably means that Sam gives Dean the benefit of the doubt WAY too much.

And Dean gets pinned to the wall...

And Dean Jedis that Blade right back into his hand and then True-Alpha-walks his way through the demonic mountain ash... and you need to watch Teen Wolf to get that last reference...

And yeah, super bloody post-mortem beating... never a good sign.

I think they could have done more with Abaddon - or Josie - it would have been nice if Josie's backstory would have meant something.

Crowley: "If the lad goes back, his destiny is to board a ship bound for America. That ship went down in a storm. All hands were lost. He had one chance in this world to change his life - and that's all going to end in tragedy?"
Dean:"Well, I don't know what to tell you. Them's the rules. He goes back."
Sam: "The lore all says the same thing - you change any one thing in the past - the ripple effect impacts everything that follows."
Crowley: "Please, no one bends the rules like you two bend the rules. "
Sam: "You don't bend that rule. You don't..."

- Sam and Dean have never bent the time-travel rule. They tried once, but all their time-travel always happens on closed loops. It happens, because it always happened. The only reason they go back in time is because they DID go back in time. Gavin is another kettle of fish altogether.
- And what are the ripples? If Gavin doesn't go down on the ship - Bobby can't use his ring to get Fergus' graves location, which means that Bobby doesn't get out of his deal? Or maybe he just tracks it down some other way and it takes longer and there ARE no consequences? Can Cas still fake kill Crowley in S6? Let's say Bobby DOESN'T get out of his deal... Dick would still kill him... maybe THAT'S why he was in hell for Sam to rescue, and we're already in the altered timeline?
- More likely, we're still working on a closed loop, it's just yet to be closed... we'll have to wait and see if the writers ever bring Gavin back and fix the ripple.

Crowley: "I'll cheer the day that the last trace of humanity leaves me - FEELINGS!"
- I hear you, Crowley..

Gavin: "The ship went down! Well that's a good fit for the rest of my life."
- Awww.

Gavin: "So this is goodbye then."
Crowley: "Yes, forever. Unless of course I catch you smoking - in which case, I'll smack you stupid."

- Haha, cute.

No hugs for Gavin though, just abandoned wearing period costume in the 21st century - no worries. Enjoy your life as a homeless person!

Winchester fight!

Dean: "First time I touched that Blade, I knew - I knew that I wouldn't be stopped. I knew that I would take down Abaddon and anything else if I had to. And it wasn't a hero thing, or... it was just calm, and I knew... and I had to go it alone Sammy."
Sam: "Oh, so it was just another time you had to protect me!"
...
Sam: "Look, I'm glad it worked out, I am. And I'm glad the Blade gives you strength or calm, whatever. But Dean, I gotta say, I'm starting to think the Blade is doing something else too."
Dean: "Yeah, like what?"
Sam: "Like something TO you...." [...] "...why don't we lock it up somewhere safe, 'kay?"
Dean: "No."

- See, this is the thing, I think Sam's completely misinterpreting what Dean is trying to say. Sam hears "calm" and thinks that it's a good thing - like strength, like a lack of anxiety - but I think Dean means it as something else entirely - like he can feel his future laid out before him and he know it is bad, and he knows he cannot escape it, and that's a whole different kind of calm - it's more... lack of uncertainty. Dean KNOWS the Blade is changing him, and I think he asks Sam "like what?" just to see if Sam also knows, really knows... but Sam just has an inkling and doesn't feel the scope of it. Dean refuses to lock up the Blade, because he knows his future is bloodlust and power and right now, the lack of uncertainty about that - the calm - it's intoxicating.
- "It wasn't a hero thing" is an important part of that first sentence, I think... I think Dean knew that somewhere along the line, he had stopped being the hero - and the reason why he's trying to not have Sam follow him into battles anymore is because Sam still IS the hero and Dean wants to keep him that way.

And we're done!

I'll try to be swifter on the next one!

Tags:

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
cappy712
Feb. 16th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
Great review.


Still waiting to see what kind of aftereffect Gavin not going back is going to have for this season.... Come on writers it has to come up maybe it might have something to do with Roweana (sp).

Thank you for sharing.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 16th, 2015 01:48 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure that they plan to use Gavin again in conjunction with Rowena - in some capacity, anyway. We just have to wait and see. I don't think it's any coincidence that they introduced him in the late episode of S9 and then introduced Rowena in the early episodes of S10.
borgmama1of5
Feb. 16th, 2015 01:42 am (UTC)
Dean vs Abbadon fight was riveting!

I like your take on the final conversation and Dean's use of 'calm' meaning different things. Can totally see it like that.

What made me nuts was why the boys let Crowley go...again. Really, couldn't they have at least argued about it?
hells_half_acre
Feb. 16th, 2015 01:50 am (UTC)
Very true, and they had the First Blade and everything - there was literally nothing stopping them except for the fact that they were distracted by Gavin's existence. Still, they wouldn't have had to worry about Gavin if they had killed Crowley where he stood and then just abducted Gavin and bought him back to the bunker to sort out a return-spell.
shadowsong26
Feb. 16th, 2015 03:02 am (UTC)
Yay, home stretch!

Ah, yes, the canonized Scotland backstory...still not sure how I feel about that.

And totally with you on all the stuff about the angel bar and Sam/Dean/Cas interacting.

And Abaddon's entrance was definitely awesome.

Crowley: "You betrayed me! No one in the history of torture's been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with!"
- I love that line. I know Mark Sheppard is slightly annoyed that it ends on a preposition, but that it's just a sign that Crowley came up with it on the spot... but personally, I think the whole 'don't end on a preposition' is a faily outdated rule that will soon be lost to history


And here's where I could go on a loooooong spiel about prescriptivist grammar vs descriptivist grammar, and variation based on context/social stratum/etc., but I won't because I don't think most people are as interested in sociolinguistics as I am...

But, yes, it does come across as totally improvised, which is cool. Especially since Crowley is usually really careful with his words, especially since they're his primary weapon. And, especially with the Scotland canonization, he's got a lot stacked against him in terms of maintaining control of Hell, so the more Cultured Badass he can present himself as, the likelier it is he'll maintain his powerbase. And part of that is controlling how he speaks, even when he's not being directly aggressive with it.

...IDK I just really like words and how people use them.

Love love love Sam carefully taking control of that torture scene.

And I love the early parts of Gavin's scenes, and Crowley and Abaddon reacting to him being all starry-eyed.

The 'how much does the vessel (actively) remember' thing that Crowley brought up and now Cas brings up again here will never stop fascinating me. I really really really hope it becomes relevant again somehow.

And YES that Sam is willing to explore this for Cas.

You bring up a good point about where Crowley's conscience came from, since he didn't really have one as a human, apparently. Maybe the cleansing/curing ritual has something to do with it, too? Like...it doesn't just revert them to their pre-demon humanity, but turns them into a decent human being? IDK how that lines up with the S10 cure we saw. And I'm still a little concerned about what happens to the host's soul, but...maybe? It's a thought, anyway.

The scenes with Gadreel and Cas in this episode are just. I love them. So much. I have nothing coherent to say about them, I just love them.

About them being able to hear the Hellhound...maybe it's different if the Hound is on guard duty rather than playing fetch? IDK, it doesn't make sense and I'm sort of grasping at straws to make things fit...

As for why Abaddon didn't kill Crowley...it might be because he's hard to kill because he's the King, but it also might simply be that Abaddon likes to play with her food...IDK, probably some combination of the two.

- More likely, we're still working on a closed loop, it's just yet to be closed... we'll have to wait and see if the writers ever bring Gavin back and fix the ripple.

That's what I'm banking on, especially considering S6!Gavin knows a hell of a lot more than S9!Gavin...I just want them to actually, y'know, close it already...

Anyway. I like this episode a lot! Especially because Cas and Gadreel.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
And here's where I could go on a loooooong spiel about prescriptivist grammar vs descriptivist grammar, and variation based on context/social stratum/etc., but I won't because I don't think most people are as interested in sociolinguistics as I am...

I AM! I love linguistics, but never got a chance to study it myself.

Especially since Crowley is usually really careful with his words, especially since they're his primary weapon. And, especially with the Scotland canonization, he's got a lot stacked against him in terms of maintaining control of Hell, so the more Cultured Badass he can present himself as, the likelier it is he'll maintain his powerbase. And part of that is controlling how he speaks, even when he's not being directly aggressive with it.

It's very interesting that you bring this up - because Mark Sheppard has talked at a convention I was at about how his family are Irish Londoners (or Irish in Britain anyway) and how in his Dad's age, you had to hide the Irish accent in order to get jobs, social-acceptance, etc... so that's why Mark has the accent that he has.

...IDK I just really like words and how people use them.

Me too!

The 'how much does the vessel (actively) remember' thing that Crowley brought up and now Cas brings up again here will never stop fascinating me. I really really really hope it becomes relevant again somehow.

Same, though I kept on waiting for them to bring up the fact that Claire used to be Cas' vessel and they never did... so maybe I'm just getting my hopes up for nothing.

Like...it doesn't just revert them to their pre-demon humanity, but turns them into a decent human being? IDK how that lines up with the S10 cure we saw. And I'm still a little concerned about what happens to the host's soul, but...maybe? It's a thought, anyway.

Here's a thought - and it might be a horrible one - but maybe what happens is that it MELDS them with the vessel's soul. If we think about Hannah, she chose to leave her vessel because it's feelings were leaking over onto her - she was attracted to Castiel, when she hadn't been before, she loved her vessel's husband and felt bad for what she had led him to believe - even though it did a good job of securing her the vessel... and so she decided it was best she leave the vessel, so she could be in her true form and not ruin her vessels life while contaminating her own emotions further. Perhaps a similar thing happens to demons - they DO talk constantly about how they know how their vessel feels - so maybe the third trial actually blends the two souls into one. It'd be pretty horrific for the human, but might explain where the "humanity" actually comes from.

Mind you, this DOESN'T work in Dean's case, as he was in his own body - so his humanity is purely his own. (As is Cas' since he hasn't had Jimmy in at least six years (narratively).)





Edited at 2015-02-16 06:41 am (UTC)
shadowsong26
Feb. 16th, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
And here's where I could go on a loooooong spiel about prescriptivist grammar vs descriptivist grammar, and variation based on context/social stratum/etc., but I won't because I don't think most people are as interested in sociolinguistics as I am...

I AM! I love linguistics, but never got a chance to study it myself.


WHOOOOO! Okay! ::oppens the floodgates::

So, basically, there's two schools of thought for how to study language usage--prescriptivist, which basically starts from the rules of standard usage and then documents deviations from the standard, and then descriptivist, which starts from language usage and derives the rules from that. Generally, I think prescriptivist grammar/linguistics is useful for academic/formal writing, and that's about it, since it tends to have the implied bias that standard/formal = good and all other usage = bad. But in every dialect, speech follows its own rules, usually very similar/clearly related to/derived from standard usage. And there's a lot of variation in how English is spoken. (To be fair, there's probably just as much variation in other languages, but it's a lot easier to study this kind of thing in one's native language.)

Like...okay. Regional accents are a given, right? On the way-broad level--a North American speaker of English uses the language differently from an Australian, or a Brit, etc. And then there are the dialects within a way-broad region--I'm mostly familiar with NA/American dialect studies, so I'm gonna focus on that.

So, okay. A speaker from South Carolina is different from a speaker from Boston is different from a speaker from Michigan is different from a speaker from Oregon, etc. And these differences come in sort of three categories: accent/pronunciation, lexicon/words, and grammar/usage. So, like, a really strong Boston accent drops hard rs in certain syllables (pahk the cah, etc), and an upper Midwest accent has really...IDK, flat vowels? And a speaker from South Carolina most likely drops the diphthongs in words like 'mine' and 'time' (so they become 'mahn' and 'tahm'). Another example (and I forget the regions involved, it's been a while since I took sociolinguistics and I'm more interested in the lexicon/grammar aspects) is...okay, so, the sentence: "I caught him on my cot." I pronounce 'caught' and 'cot' the exact same way. But my sociolinguistics professor? They're totally different vowels! 'Caught' is a much brighter vowel for her than 'cot.' And there's a whole family of words like that that are homonymns for me but not for her.

And all of that adds up to accent.

BUT HERE'S THE COOL THING. So, like the Boston accent, a RP British accent (like, the stereotypical upper-class British accent) also drops hard rs. But when a person with an RP accent drops the hard r, they do something different to their vowels from what the Bostonian speaker does, and I think that's really super cool. So, like, the same feature is present in multiple dialects, but it's used in different ways.

Anyway. Lexicon. Lexcion is another one that gets thought about a lot--like, the first one that comes to mind, in a lot of cases, is 'coke/soda/pop' for a bubbly caffienated sugary beverage. And there's other examples, too, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. I know there's a post on Tumblr that goes around every so often with a series of maps of different lexical variations like that.
shadowsong26
Feb. 16th, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
But then we get to the grammar, and this part's super cool. So, like, okay. A group of people are waiting at the cashier to pay--in some dialects, they're waiting (or standing) in line. In others, they're waiting/standing on line. One of those sounds super bizarre to my ears, but it's totally one hundred percent correct in another English variant. And then there's one that's crept into my speech, which is dropping 'to be' in the sentence "the dishes need to be cleaned." I've started saying 'the dishes need cleaned' and I don't remember where I picked it up but it feels totally natural for me to say that.

And that's only regional variation. There's so much else that goes into it--ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status, where the speaker grew up, where the speaker's parents grew up, where the speaker lives now, how long the speaker has lived in the region, if the region is urban or rural...basically, the people whose speech changes the least over time are what my professor called NORMs--non-mobile, older, rural, males. (Note that this is also basically only for study of native speakers; second-language usage follows different rules, but children of second-language speakers who are native speakers of that second language are often influenced by the parents' native language(s) as well, so...yeah.)

Anyway, after that super-quick summary of 'SOCIOLINGUISTICS IS SUPER-COOL,' I will attempt to get back on topic...basically, the rule about ending a sentence with a preposition is a prescriptivist rule, not a descriptivist one. Because it's something that happens all the time in (informal) spoken language, at least in my dialect. But when a person or character is trying to project a certain image with their speech, they will (deliberately or otherwise) follow certain rules, based on that image. Like, if you watch speeches given by elected representatives in their home districts, they're a lot more dialecty/accents tend to be more pronounced than in speeches delivered in Washington. And when Roommate's mom comes home from visiting relatives in...I actually forget which Carolina...there's a lot of Southernisms that creep back into her speech. And when someone is trying to move 'up' (or blend in with any other group, for that matter) they will super-carefully watch how they speak, and be probably a little more formal (within the boundaries of the dialect) than people who grew up in that dialect might be. Again, some of this is conscious, some of it isn't, but it's all about shaping how one's speech is heard, and therefore how the speaker is perceived. Language is an awesome and powerful thing!

Also, agree with you on Claire being Cas's vessel hopefully coming up again. And the melding of the host's humanity and the demon's is an interesting idea, if more than a little disturbing. Like, is there personality/memory bleedthrough in the long run? What if the host's soul is a terrible, terrible person, like that serial killer in that one Hallucifer episode? How does that effect things?

...I think I think too much...
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 16th, 2015 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
percysowner
Feb. 16th, 2015 03:49 am (UTC)
I'm certain Gavin is a closed loop and I think Crowley knows as well. Gavin told Bobby that his father sold his soul for extra inches, but Gavin had to ask Crowley what he sold his soul for in this episode. So Gavin couldn't have known back in Weekend At Bobby's what his father sold his soul for. It's a blink and you miss it moment, but I think it proves Gavin will eventually go back. Crowley may put it off for as long as he can. He may even find a way to save Gavin's soul, but Gavin should go back eventually.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:30 am (UTC)
Ooo, good point about Gavin knowing about the three inches thing in S6, and not knowing about it here.

I was going to say that I also thought that Gavin was older looking in S6, but it's been so long since I saw the episode, I thought I might be mistaken, or it was simply due to using a different actor.
supernutjapan
Feb. 16th, 2015 04:53 am (UTC)
I think I may have enjoyed this review more than the ep itself :D

It will be very fun to see what happens because of Gavin! Hope they do something with that.

I just thought of something so obvious...
I just finished reviewing The End, aye? And I had a lively discussion with a few people that can't conceive that angels can know the future or take someone to the future. and I was thinking of how Gavin was brought to the future by Abbadon... It's Sam/Dean's present, but it's still the future for Gavin, so then I'm thinking that if Sam and Dean can go to the past to see their parents, and their grandparent can come and see them in the future... why can't everyone accept the fact that Dean went to a possible future in The End??????? sorry, I'm just a bit bothered by this.
grasshopr_molly
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:11 am (UTC)
Part of the problem with The End is that apparently the writers got into a big wrangle about how time travel works, which they discussed in their commentary on the episode. That is, the writers appeared to think that explaining time-travel-to-the-future to the viewers would be too hard*, so they decided it was actually a construct on Zachariah's part.

*: Personally, I think they don't have enough faith in us, but I read a lot of sci-fi, and working through time loops is old hat for me. :)
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 16th, 2015 06:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - supernutjapan - Feb. 16th, 2015 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 16th, 2015 06:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grasshopr_molly - Feb. 16th, 2015 06:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 16th, 2015 06:59 am (UTC) - Expand
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grasshopr_molly
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:41 am (UTC)
So do you think Sam's changing of the interrogation was him taking over mid-stream, or was it pre-planned? I mean, the angels obviously all know what Dean did in Hell; "On the Head of a Pin" shows that. So it's not entirely implausible that the Winchesters might have planned to use that. The angel would have been all braced to be roughed up, by Dean or otherwise, so tricking him was really the way to go.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:52 am (UTC)
The way they filmed it, it really looked like it was mid-stream.

That being said, being planned from the beginning makes sense too, for the reasons that you point out. If it wasn't for the filming choices, I'd say that was a strong possibility. Personally though, it just looks way too much like a mid-stream idea to me.
grasshopr_molly
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:56 am (UTC)
I remember having the opposite reaction when I watched it; I started the scene being all apprehensive that Dean was going to go too far and then when Sam started being mocking I thought, "Oh! It was a setup! Thank goodness." But I don't recall much about the specific way it was filmed, and clearly you've watched it more recently than I have. :)
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