This year, my disguise is as a woman with blisters on at least 50% of her throat. I've really committed to this costume, let me tell you... though, I have to say that the blister level has blessedly gone down from the 70% it was earlier this week. My point is, I'm SLIGHTLY miserable. It hurts to live.
So, let's rewatch some S10
Heartbreaker was an interesting tune to choose for the Road So Far.
I was thinking, as I popped the disc in, that I think one criticism I have about the direction that they go with Demon!Dean is that they tend to go for comedy rather than the sort of... benign sinster-evil that they could have explored. I mean, the route they took makes for an interesting thought process too - is Demon!Dean really evil or is he just "playing" evil? Is his really gentle evil the MOST evil that Dean is capable of? That's kind of adorable, but doesn't fit with Dean The TORTURER that Kripke gave us, which was the route that Dean actually took the LAST time he was on his way to demonhood. If we really had a new demon on our hands made from Dean's soul, wouldn't we get Alistair's apprentice rather than the karaoke king? Now, maybe we eventually see shades of that, or maybe we don't, I guess I should comment on the actual episode... and maybe that route would just be too dark for even just the 3 episode arc that we get Demon!Dean for... but still, my favourite episode remains On The Head of a Pin, and I would have loved a more sinster route for Demon!Dean.
Demon: "I heard the rumours. I said, 'no, that can't be, a Winchester? One of us?' But it's true isn't it? Whatever soul you had, whatever boyscout code you cuddled up at night, it's all gone. Leaving what? Look at you!"
- "Always be prepared?" Do boyscouts have other codes? "Do no harm" is doctors right? Or is that a fictional one from somewhere.
- Anyway... I kinda love this opening, again, I don't think they commit to it as much as they should, but I love the fact that the demon has heard that a Winchester is a demon and doesn't believe it until Sam starts torturing her... and then she's like, damn, it's true. Only, he's the human one. Delicious comment on evil right there.
- So, yeah, instead of Dean the Torturer, we get Sam the Torturer. It's pretty neat, I gotta admit. I wish they had explored it a little more.
4 weeks later.
- What did I mark this in the timeline as? Gah, I'll check after. I probably did it right. I always do it right, mainly because I second guess myself all the time. (I checked, I'm good at what I do. I don't know why I never remember that.)
Sam looks good with a little bit of stubble. I wish he'd do that more often. Also, I bet it's hard to shave with his left.
"Sammy Let Me Go"
- Yeah, like that was ever going to work, Dean. :P
And poor Cas is on his own in some cabin. I always just assumed they split up to cover more ground - with Castiel traveling around looking for Dean, and Sam primarily staying at the Bunker on research duty (which he tends to excell at - case and point, he just found something.)
But, I do feel bad that Cas is quite clearly dying, and no one is around looking after him. And even now, when Sam phones him all excited about the case and then realizes that Cas sounds like he's dying, Sam's plan is to just tell Cas that it's actually nothing... which, well, I suppose it keeps Cas from expending energy trying to help, which we all know he would, so maybe this really is the best way for Sam to look after Cas - is to keep him in wherever that cabin/motel room is and keep him resting. It's not like Sam can call off the hunt for Dean in order to bring Cas soup, neither one of them would stand for that.
Cas: "Sam, you can't blame what that demon did to your shoulder on me. You were out of-"
Sam: "I'm not. I'm not blaming anything on you. What happened, happened..."
- I like that cut-off sentence from Cas, because "You were out of-" could end a lot of ways... reach, control...
- Also, they totally just turned Osric Chau into a demon.
Sam: "You need to be worrying about yourself, I really shouldn't have bothered you."
Cas: "How are you, Sam?"
Sam: "Good. I'm alright. I'm just tired, you know. Be better when we get him back, after I kick his butt."
Cas: "I miss him."
Cas: "Why would he just disappear?"
Sam: "Who says he had a choice?"
Cas: "Then who wrote the note? Do you think there's any chance, any chance at all that Dean is still..."
Sam: "..even remotely Dean?" *hangs up*
- First off, say goodbye to your angel friend before hanging up, Sam! It's only polite.
- Secondly, I actually really love the Sassy-friendship, and I think this part of the conversation actually displays it. Remember when Sam first met Cas, he was EXCITED. And here, we see that Sam once again called Cas IN EXCITEMENT. He didn't actually think about Cas' health, because he just thought "I have to share this news with the other person on this planet who loves my brother!" and he called Cas. And Cas gets that too, because when Sam is like "I shouldn't have called" Cas GETS why he did and he asks how Sam is, and he tells him he misses Dean... he let's Sam know that Sam is not alone. I mean, that right there is the core of any friendship... and it's the exact same thing that Cas did when Sam excitedly reached out his hand to greet Cas and Cas chose to shake it. He may have been inadvertedly a dick by mentioning the demon-blood thing, but Cas still made that decision back in S4 to accept Sam's attempt at friendship... and yeah, I've got Sassy feelings, okay... even if they're only friendship ones.
I really do love the song I'm Too Sexy. It's really fun to sing along to when you're cleaning your house.
Ann Marie: "Get a room, you two"
Crowley: "Had a room, until you two soiled it."
- Ah, I remember how up in arms the fandom got at Dean calling someone else a bitch. Which, was the point. But still, an example of the comedy route for Demon!Dean, as the sinster route would have been for Dean to call Sam a bitch with a whole entirely different intonation. (sounds way dirtier than I mean it, but you still get my point.)
- Also, I actually do love the open-ended references in this episode that suggest that Dean and Crowley may or may not be sleeping together - whether while sharing girls or not - I know that's probably super controversial, because I'm generally not a shipper and DEFINITELY not a Dean/Crowley shipper... but at the same time, I'm also always had Bisexual!Dean as my headcanon, and if being a demon means that Dean no longer has inhibitions than it makes sense to me that he actually MIGHT do something like that. So, to me, it's not queer-baiting or poking fun at the ship or whatever, it's actually a possibility that they're letting the audience decide on one way or another.
Yeah, I just can't reiterate enough how much more powerful this season opener would be with a more sinster rather than a comedic Demon!Dean.
Then Dean punches the shit out of Ann Marie's ex-boyfriend. And yeah, that's actually not going to endear you to her, as it's kinda scary.
Hannah arrives... so, this whole Rogue Angel storyline doesn't make much sense to me. I mean, why let Cas stay on earth but all other angels can't? Is Cas ALREADY a "not angel"? This is never addressed. If Cas has been excommunicated from Heaven already, why use him as a soldier? Why allow him freedom? Why keep him alive when you kill other rogues who refuse to return to heaven?
Now, this similtaneously fight between Dean in real time and Dean on the surveillance tape that Sam is looking at is pretty damn awesome and I love it.
The thing that gets me emotionally is that when Sam sees the demon-eyes on the tape. He doesn't think "Dean is a demon" he thinks "a demon has stolen my brother's dead body." To him, this both quashes his hopes that Dean is somehow alive and left the note against his will, and it proves that something (Crowley) TOOK Dean's body. Which, yeah, just, super heartbreaking. The truth is much worse in that Sam's brother's soul IS demonized at the moment. It's not like his soul is in heaven and his body is being used.
Oh yeah, COLE! I'd momentarily forgotten about him.
I guess I'm in a minority or something, but I really like him. I mean, I too, think it's ridiculous that they cast a 40 year-old actor for a character that should only be 26, but I like the actor and I can suspend disbelief and assume that, given his military background, he's lived a very rough last thirteen years.
Hannah: "You're dying, Castiel. You need more grace."
Cas: "And another angel should die, so that I can be saved? Is this really so hard to understand?"
- I often wonder what Hannah is proposing here. Again, some clarification would have been nice - because, IS she advocating that Castiel pop another angel? Does Castiel's life outweigh the life of any other angel, and if it does, why doesn't Hannah volunteer? Or is she simply suggesting that he 'take it easy' while she herself has demanded that he help her hunt down rogue angels. It doesn't make sense? Does she already plan to sacrifice a rogue angel for Castiel's continued existence? Who does that work with her supposed morality? Is Castiel's continued existance/freedom from heaven a product of the fact that some angels, like Hannah, still revere him due to his previous resurrections/connections with acts of God?
Ah, the store clerk! I think this dude actually recently won a local Canadian award for this performance. I do love this character.
Crowley: "Moose, took you long enough. Your brother and I were starting to wonder if you'd hit another dog, you know."
Sam: "My brother is dead, Crowley. I know you have some freakin' demon parading around in his meatsuit, and believe me you are going to pay for that."
Crowley: "Moose, moose, I'm afraid you haven't allowed yourself to dream quite big enough yet. Your brother is very much alive, courtesy of the Mark, the only demonized soul inside him is his and his alone. A little more twisted, a little more mangled beyond human recognition, but I assue you, all his."
- Ah, the truth, and I love how Sam just continues talking, because he's doing something here and can't get side-tracked.
Crowley: "...You don't care that he's a demon. Heck, you've been a demon, we've all been demons. No, it's that he's with me and he's having the time of his life. You can't stand that he's mine."
Sam: "He's not your pet."
Crowley: "My pet? He's my best friend. My partner in crime. They'll write song about us, graphic novels, the misadventures of Growley and Squirrel - Dean Winchester completes me and that's what makes you lose your chickens."
- It's interesting, because I don't know how much of Crowley's idea here is his own psychology (Crowley's always kinda been lonely) and how much he's actually right. I think Sam's mostly concerned about what human!Dean would want and Human!Dean would not be Crowley's bestfriend and would not want any version of himself being Crowley's best friend, nor would human!Dean want to end up a demon. So, I think Sam is primarily concerned with keeping human!Dean's wishes and so he has to find Dean and save him. That being said, when you cling as hard to someone as Sam clings to Dean, you ARE going to get jealous/mad when that someone seemingly chooses to spend 100% of their time with another person and they dump you... now, of course, them being temporarily a demon probably explains everything though, so it's more like "damn, I gotta snap them out of that so that they come back to me." Of course, in real world scenarios where people don't become demons, you often can't undo a personality change - so, you just have accept that your husband is no your ex-husband and get a divorce already, because he's shaking up with his new woman whether you like it or not.
Back to Cas and Hannah, tracking the rogues...
Daniel seems like such a nice guy. It sucks.
Daniel: "The trick is to find the special spot, just outside the run, where the big ones, the smart ones, are holding low."
Cas: "Do they, do they put up much of a fight?"
Daniel: "The ones who truly want to be free, they do."
- Aw, metaphors.
Hannah: "...all of us serve at Heaven's command"
Daniel: "But that was before the Fall, wasn't it."
Hannah: "You are an angel, once and forever."
Daniel: "Dropped, unwillingly, unknowingly, into a land that celebrate the free, the individual. For the first time in thousands of years, I have choices, and with each choice, I begin to discover who I really am."
- It's interesting, because in Daniel we see an aspect of what it would be like for some of the angels who were never part of Castiel's Garrison - who were never stationed, as observers or otherwise, on earth. Daniel is having more of an Anna reaction to being exposed to earth - he can see the freedom enjoyed by humans who aren't made to be obediant to an absent god, who don't have to wait for orders, or stick to orders that are thousands of years old and unlikely to ever change thanks to said absent god. And he wants to join them. Anna, a full angel, carved out her grace and fell - but even then, she knew that once she was found, she would be hunted and killed by Heaven for her treachery. So, really, Daniel suffers the same fate. Heaven IS returning to the law it had at the beginning of S4, before the apocalypse - the only hiccup is Castiel and the inconsistent way they treat his existence.
Crowley: "...the Mark needs to be sated, otherwise-"
Dean: "Otherwise I turn into demon, yeah, I got that memo six weeks ago."
Crowley: "Just trying to help."
- So, Crowley says that he's just trying to keep Dean "sharp" for the future... and that's why he's been sending the demons to attack Dean every so often. But, before he says that, he says the above, that the Mark needs to be "sated" - and Dean is like "yeah, or I turn into a demon, which I already am, so what's the deal?" and doesn't get it. But I think Crowley is keeping Dean as demon-lite as he can. The more Dean doesn't kill, perhaps the more evil/uncontrollable the murder-lust becomes. We see that with Cain later in the season where after over a century of not murdering, Cain decides to murder every single person on earth who is remotely related to him. Why had he never done that between Abels death and 2014? Well, because he had never stopped killing here and there until the 1800s when he met Claudette, or whatever her name was. Then, after a hundred years of not killing, Cain was like, you know what... MASS MURDER THE LIKES OF WHICH THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME!
I do love how after Crowley's speech to Sam about how much fun Dean and him are having, he then has this speech to Dean about how he can't stand another moment in the shitty bar.
Crowley: "...I guess he'll be here by morning, at the latest."
Dean: "You sold me out. Well, that's just lovely."
Crowley: "I don't know what's going on with you, I truly don't. Sold you, out? Try doing you a favour..."
- I love how Crowley KNEW that Sam was tracing the call. This is what makes Crowley a good villain when he's a good villain. He's smart. There's nothing worse than the villain LETTING you think you're winning.
- Also, I think that using Sam is probably the only way that Crowley can get Dean to move on from that bar, so it was good thinking on his part. Even if it backfires, it was his best shot.
Cole and Sam meet! Again, car just dies and someone happens to pull over right away... that person should not be trusted.
During the Karaoke sequence, Dean switches shirts inexplicably twice.
Ann Marie: "... and maybe for a second there, I thought you were a good guy playing bad. I don't know, it doesn't matter. Maybe you're just-"
Dean: "The kind of guy who sleeps with every skank in every small-town dive that he passes through. Well, you really do know how to read people, because that sure as hell does sound like me."
- So, what we get with Demon!Dean in this season isn't Dean the Torturer from S4, but rather, Dean the Internalized Self-Hatred. Like, Human!Dean may sleep with waitresses in dive bars in small towns, but in general, he views those girls and lovely human beings who he is lucky to be able to spend that time with. (See the more recent 11x04 for proof)... do you know who sees them as skanks? Society. So, you could say that Demon!Dean is saying this just to be cruel to Ann Marie, but I think there's a method of truth to it - that Dean has internalized the way society views him, and Ann Marie.... he does that with other aspects of his personality when he's human too, after all, most notably his own intelligence, whcih he denies because with his lifestyle and upbringing, society has put a stupid label on him and Dean actually internalizes that 90% of the time and rolls with it. Also, I mean, it goes without saying that Dean has massive self-esteem issues and always has.
Angels at a campfire.
Daniel wants to learn from humans, Hannah is like "Humans are dumb" and Castiel is like "uh... he has a point?" It's kinda awesome, before the other angel shows up and starts beating up people.
And Castiel has to kill Daniel. It's very sad.
Cole and Sam sitting in an abandoned barn or something...
Cole tells us about the first time he broke his arm and this is the one and only time he mentions having an older brother "Davie" ...interesting.
Sam: "Are you a hunter?"
Cole: "Sure, we can go with that. Hunting your brother counts, doesn't it?"
Sam: "I wouldn't do that."
- I love the truth of that.
Cas: "They just wanted to be left alone."
Hannah: "Without rules, there's chaos. Out of chaos rise angels like Naomi, Bartholomew, Metatron..."
Cas: "Well, perhaps I've just been down here with them for too long. There's seemingly nothing but chaos, but not all bad comes from it - art, hope, love, dreams..."
Hannah: "But those are human things."
- I wonder about this, because does it means that Cas can feel human things? I mean, I know angels SEEM to have human emotions, but I spoken aboout this before and how I think it's actually just a guise of emotion, or a weak substitute.
- Or, rather, does it mean that Cas recognizes these things as good, and the need to protect them - and the wonder that they are available to humans but not to angels. That with angels chaos only breeds bad things, whereas humans can be produce good as well - is Cas wondering what it wrong with angels, whether or not it's something they can fix? something they can learn? Cas once believed that angels could learn free will, which to me indicated that CAS had. But there's also an arguement to be made that Cas might be the only angel capable of free will, that he was created to be that way purposefully... now, you could also argue that angels have demonstrated repeatedly that they ARE capable of free will, but not of the morality needed to steer it... hence Balthazar's hedonism, Lucifer's murdering ways, the entire faction war... Gadreel's choice to KILL A PROPHET, something directly against his core orders/programming when he decided to join Metatron. So, what makes the difference? Do angels lack empathy and therefore morality? Or is it something else? Can it be taught or are they doomed? Is Castiel a human-angel or can he just recognize where angels, including himself, are lacking?
Dean: "No, you listen to me. There's no trade. There's meet-up, there's no nothing. Except the guarantee that somewhere down the road I will find you and I will kill you."
Dean: "...He knows me, and he knows damn sure that if I am one thing, I am a man of my word."
- And Cole's plans go out the window.
- But we learn that although Dean is too much of a demon to save Sam. He's not too much of a demon to not seek revenge for Sam's death.
And that's episode one completed! Approx. 2.5 hours, not bad!
As usual, let me know your throughts in comments. And I apologize for any and all spelling errors. I don't have a spell checker and I didn't actually proofread this one.