But, before we get into it: I've had two glasses of wine, but i'm mostly sober now. But, as usual, I've only watched the episode once and my memory might not be exact. Please don't correct me unless it's intrical to the plot or character motivations... or I specifically ask you to correct me. I'm actually only going to talk about the episode in broad terms anyway (similar to last week) so this shouldn't be a problem.
Let's talk about the episode...
So, another disclaimer right off the top: I was accidentally spoiled for Charlie's death by a friend of mine. It was COMPLETELY unintentional on their part and I don't even think they realized that they were giving me enough information for me to figure out what happens in this episode.... but, yeah... the problem is that I know a LOT about the production side of Supernatural, and so I see spoilers in things that most people don't see spoilers in - for instance, and very ironically, I don't think the friend that spoiled me was spoiled.
Anyway, because I was spoiled, I had time to come to terms with what was going to happen, so my reaction to Charlie's death is probably a lot calmer and accepting than 99% of you. I really apologize for this. Just know that DESPITE my calm acceptance, I still understand why you are upset and I agree that all the emotions you are having are genuine and true and reasonable reactions to this event.
But that all happens later....
The teaser death... uh, I didn't watch it. As soon as I knew eyeballs were involved I SHUT MY OWN EYEBALLS and waited until my friend gave me the all clear at the title screen before I looked again. I really can't stand anything happening to eyeballs. I'm sorry.
The other thing about the teaser death - I watch the show with scientists every week, and this week one of my scientists had a bad day, so was a little more ferocious in their scientific criticisms... anyway, they don't do clinical trials on women of child-bearing age. It's a major problem with the pharma-industry, because men and women have different brains and bodies, yet all drugs are only tested on men, because drug companies don't want to fuck up women's reproductive capabilities for fear of being sued or something... so yeah, drugs are only tested on dudes. So, ladies, that's why your anti-depressent meds suck. (I'm assuming they must at least test birth control pills on women, but that's probably it.)
Okay, so once that rant was over, we returned to the show... and I think I'm going to split up these plots a little and talk about them just in general terms and separately. Because this episode really IS just a set-up for the season finale, so it's really more about the themes....
Sam, Cas, Rowena, and Charlie....
Firstly, I really love how one of the strongest peaces of character continuity with Sam is how shitty a liar he is. I also love that Cas is a shitty liar too... I love that Dean is SURROUNDED by shitty liars. It's kind of hilarious, and also let's us watch Dean be fully aware that he's being lied to on all sides and to watch what he does with that.
But, that's Dean...
Sam drawing more and more people into his plan was actually awesome. I LIKE the theme of all of Dean's loved ones working behind his back to save him - helping him, even though he refuses to ask for the help he obviously needs.
That being said, I also agree with Charlie and Cas, that lying to Dean never works out well for anyone.
Since I was spoiled for the end, I actually has a small glimmer of hope when Rowena seemed to be trying to recruit Charlie into witchhood... but nopers. It was neat to see the two characters interact though.
It was also really nice to see Charlie declare her love for Sam and Dean. She really was the sister they never had... which of course makes the ending all the more auspicious, since Sam and Dean never deal well with family dying.
(Also, I know Microsoft is giving SPN/the CW money, and that's great - but I could do without the random inserted Surface commercials... there is no way any hacker worth their spit would be using a microsoft computer. My headcanon is that Charlie made a microsoft 8 shell for her linex/unix/other system in order to fool the authorities, should they ever find her and confiscate her computer.)
So, this whole episode, Dean wears the shirt that he was wearing when he was killed in 9x23. I'm sure that's not auspicious at all. But, hey, good job on getting the blood stains out, Dean!
Again, I just love Dean knowing full well that he's being lied to and watching him work with that... he starts trying to find out the nature of what Sam is up to by seeing what things he lies about. It's great.
What I LOVE though is Dean - The Interrogator. I love the juxtoposition of Dean starting to do his intimidation routine on Elton, and then we see it pretty much immediately repeated when Dean confronts Sam about the book... and Sam is MORE susceptable to it than Elton, even though (or because) Dean is his brother. It's really well done.
So, the Stynes/Steins are the Frankensteins. INnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnteresting. A little unbeliable that Dean wouldn't know who Mary Shelley was, but maybe Dean ONLY reads Vonnegut. Still, she's the mother of sci-fi, come on!
When Elton was building up to telling Dean who he was though, and he was saying something along the lines of "Our real family name is...." I was really waiting for him to say Habsburg, because that's their goddamn family crest, but Frankenstein makes much more sense what with the whole harvesting of organs thing. Also, it makes me wonder about ol' Doc Benton back in S3 (I think that was his name). Was he a failed Stein? Was he someone who independently came up with the same formula? It would have been cool if they had tied him in somehow, but I guess it would have been too hard to explain why he lived and worked alone instead of being backed up by the family.
In truth, I'm not really sure how I feel about having this secret-society family thing... of southerners... from German-speaking Europe. (I can't remember whether Frankenstein was German or Swiss. I know Frankenstein castle is in Germany, so let's just go with that.) Anyway, it's probably my hatred of mob-type stories. I just never really had a taste for the whole mobster-family story plots... and that's basically what the Steins are. So, yeah, personal taste probably.
It would be wicked cool to see Dean single handedly kill them all in revenge though, not going to lie. And if that's how this season ends, I'll be happy. However, if their setting the Steins up to be a major villain in the future, I might be kind of put off by that. I mean, I'll probably still watch the show because at this point I'm in too deep - i've signed the marriage certificate and we have two kids, you know? But I'll be less enthused.
The one thing I DO kind of like about the Steins is that it's yet another exploration of the word "family" and what that word means in different contexts and to different people - and how it can be good, bad, perverted, corrupted, etc.
The Ending: Dean Finds Out and Charlie's Death:
I really loved Dean finding out. I have a thing for guys when they're furious (as long as it's not directed at me... when it's direced at me, I have a thing for 'mildly annoyed'... it makes me horrible to date, so I'm sure everyone is glad that I don't.)
And I LOVED LOVED LOVED that Sam tells Dean everyone loves him by YELLING it at him in the car... oh, Winchesters... it's just... that's the only way they're ever going to say that word - yelled in fury in the car.
Sam's not wrong though - YES, he asked them to help Dean, but everything they did after that was their choice. Now, I'm not saying that Sam's not going to blame himself for what happened - or that Dean's not going to blame him (because when Dean's mad, he tends to blame Sam for everything, really.) But, it is nice that it WAS their choice. Even Charlie leaving the sanctuary of the distillery was her choice.
And it WAS Charlie's choice - everything she did there. I also like that she ran as soon as Cas and Rowena were out of the room - that it's not Cas' fault either. He didn't "allow" her to go. He tried to keep her safe AND fulfil her wish to not be in the same room as Rowena.
Now, did Charlie know the Steins were after her? I don't think so, but then, Sam didn't know they were looking for the book either - Sam thought that they were capturing the Steins in relation to the eyeball death... not that the Steins were actually also following them and looking for the book.
Anyway, Charlie did go out fighting, and she did make the choice in the bathroom to draw the blade and stand her ground, rather than telling the Steins where Cas and Rowena were...even though Cas and Rowena may have been able to hold their own (and Charlie could have perhaps stayed alive by leading them there instead of telling them....) but hey, hindsight is 20/20. Charlie, I think, knew exactly what the outcome was going to be in that bathroom.
So, am I upset about her death: Yeah, of course. I think Supernatural has become far more kill-happy over the years than it needs to be. Am I SURPRISED by her death? No, not really... as soon as she came back from Oz, as soon as she became a resource that they could possibly rely on, she became a prime candidate for death. The only reason Bobby stayed on as long as he did was because once the apocalypse hit, it was beyond his expertise and he was fumbling through just as much as the Winchesters... and even then, he was still killed 3.5 seasons later. Charlie is too skilled, she's ALWAYS a good resource because she's super intelligent... as soon as they started linking her to the myth-arc, I was like "well, she's probably not long for this world."
Now, there's always a chance she could come back... but I doubt it. It won't be this year anyway. And although Supernatural always says that death isn't necessarily the end, more often than not it REALLY IS... and that's just a false-hope.
Man, I'm such a DOWNER.
I will say that I'm glad they didn't show the death. I mean, yes, we see the dead body - but i'm glad it wasn't a gratutious death scene... I think it had more impact like this, and also, less... violence for the sake of violence. (I'm still recovering from watching Daredevil, obviously.)
Anyway.... in conclusion: yeah, I'm pissed that they killed off one of their best female characters, not to mention a fan-favourite... but I'm not surprised. I know what show I'm watching. We've had ten seasons of consistent tragedy-writing here.
So, I guess those are my thoughts. MUCH shorter this week and not at all a funny recap. I'm sorry! Maybe I'll be funnier next week?
As usual, let me know your thoughts or whatever you desperately want to talk about. I know I'm a downer this week, but please don't take that to mean that my positivity-policy isn't still in effect. If you don't have anything nice to day, don't say anything at all. If you want to be negative, you should balance out every negative thing with a positive thing. For example: "I hated the part where Dean burned down the bunker, but I loved the part where he washed the Impala in his underwear."