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Rewatch S10: Fan Fiction 10x05

Don't worry, I didn't forget about you! (Okay, I sorta did...)

I did this one in two parts, watching the episode on Sunday and writing down what I wanted to talk about and then actually talking about those things on Monday - so hopefully this comes off like the other ones and not disjointed.

FAN FICTION

I love the THEN.

So, this episode is awesome.

Marie: "Siobhan, this scene takes place BEFORE Carver Edlund's unpublished masterpiece, Dark Side of the Moon."
Siobhan: "So?"
Marie: "Meaning, where is the Samulet?"
Siobhan: "Oh, I took it off, it kept hitting me in the lips-"

- And already we're into the intimate-fan and production-references. The amulet once chipped one of Jensen's teeth too. I know fandom loved that thing, but there's a reason it's never been back for Dean to wear. Jensen just got really sick of it always hitting him in the face. ;)

And then the teacher gets killed (oh, sorry, not killed! This is the first (only?) episode where no one except the villain dies!)

Teacher: "Theatre is about life, you know, truth - truth! Where is the truth in Supernatural?"
- Ah famous last words. Also, this question gets answered later by Calliope. As a side rant here, I think this is why sci-fi/fantasy is often looked down on as a genre, because it's seen as somehow not being about "real" issues or having anything to say about the human condition like "literary" fiction... which is a load of bullshit and drives me nuts.

Marie: "I mean,, it's close, but it needs a little more aaaah"
- Hehehe, I love the titlecard sequence.

And then we get lovely shots of the Impala... mmm, Impala.

Dean: "We got work to do"
- Man, I love that line. So iconic.

Dean: "Theatre kids, GREAT."
Sam: "I was a theatre kid!"
Dean: "Barely. You did Our Town, which was cool, but then you did that crappy musical."
Sam: "Oklahoma? Hugh Jackman got cast off of Oklahoma."
Dean: "You ran tech, wolverine."
Sam: "Shut-up."

- I love the fact that Sam was a theatre kid - and that he's all jazzed about it. And that he's embarrased that he only ran tech on Oklahoma... and I love the fact that he KNOWS Hugh Jackman was cast off of Oklahoma.
- I also really love the fact that Dean willingly admits that "Our Town" was "cool" - when he mentioned it before, way back when in S1, he called it "cute", which, for guys, is usually a way they can condescend all over everything (and is also why they hate it when girls call THEM cute - even though for girls, cute is a fuckin' compliment and they should be damn happy we think they're cute, otherwise we wouldn't let them touch us! .... Sorry, it really annoys me when guys get all offended when I call them cute. It usually ends with my restraining myself from punching them and then never letting them touch me again.)

Hahaha, oh man, I love the reveal of the musical to the Wincheters. I'm going to have these songs stuck in my head for the rest of the night. (and I did, and I probably will again after I finish typing this up.)

Dean: "What in the holy-"
Sam: "If there is a case, probably has something to do with all this."
Dean: "Ya think?"

- Oh boys.

Sam: "I'm special agent Smith, this is my partner, special agent-"
Dean: "Smith."
Sam: "Smith. No relation. We're here to look into the disappearance-"
Dean: "There is no singing in Supernatural!"
May: "Well, this is Marie's interpretation."

- Firstly, I love that Dean is so thrown that he can't even think to come up with a different name than Smith, and Sam has to cover for him.
- I also love how he immediately basically "outs" himself as a fanboy (since the girls don't know it's real and that him being Dean is even a possibility.)
- But really, I want to talk about how one of our themes in this episode is interpretation. Robbie Thompson basically walks us through the shifting attitudes towards transformative works here. And it's really fitting that he set this in an all girls school, because transformative works in fandom, while not exclusively female, is certainly dominated by females in the fandom world. There was a really good tumblr post about it, actually, how "traditional" fan-activities tended to be curative/collecting, and these are the activities we see most often dominated by males, and also the activities that most male fans are represented as participating in when fans do show up on screen. Think of the fans we've seen in Supernatural? The ones who collect clothes and cosplay and argue canon (The Real Ghost Busters) are male, the ones who obsessively collect information about their subject matter (Len in Thin Lizzie, the HP Lovecraft fan in S6) are also male. Whereas the fans that we see making the source material into something else (transformative) tend to be female - Becky and Marie.

Even in my own experience - people who read my fanfiction (transformative) and comment tend to assume I'm female. People who find me through my clothing catalog (curative) tend to assume I'm male. Likewise, people I meet through my fic tend to be female and people I meet through my clothing catalog tend to be male. It's not 100% of course, because the world isn't black and white like that - but there is definitely a trend there.

Anyway, my important point here is that Robbie Thompson is walking us through the shifting attitudes towards Transformative Works... and it starts with Dean shitting on it, because that's what male fans tend to do to anything in the female-sphere.

Marie: "Well, do sing a cover of Carry On Wayward Son in the second act."
Sam: "Really?"
Dean and Marie: "It's a classic!"

- I really do love how they set Dean and Marie up to especially be matching characters. They're both fangirls, Dean of his own life and the ownership of it, and Marie of Supernatural and her ownership of her interpretation of it.
- What I really love about it though is that it immediately sets up the fact that Dean - a male fan - and Marie - a female fan - are actually EXACTLY THE SAME. Even if they come at the source material from different perspectives and they value different things in it.

Sam: "Any idea where she would be headed that time of night?"
May: "A bar or a liquor store - both."

- I love May. Firstly, ASIAN! Underrepresented majority of the worlds population FTW! Secondly, I mean, what's not to love? She's just so deadpan all the time. Man, I really love deadpan characters. I watched way too much Steven Wright stand-up as a kid.

I love how when Dean insults the production, May just like steps forward to GO FOR HIM. And Sam has to run interference. It really captures the uh... sometimes irrational... high level of passion you find in fandom.

Dean: "I'm going to throw-up"
Sam: "I mean, I gotta say, it's kinda charming, the production value and the a- no? No. No! I'm going to check for EMF, you look for cursed objects."

- I love Sam. I love that he's totally a theatre kid, it doesn't even matter that he only did the one play and then ran tech - poor guy moved around so much, he probably stopped bothering to audition, knowing that he wouldn't be there for the performance anyway and would only cause production problems when they had to replace him.

I think there are a lot of jokes in there, much like French Mistake, that are as much for the crew as the fans. I think Dean/Jensen playing with the guns is one of them. Because I know Jared and Jensen have told amusing stories before about how they piss off the prop/gun person on set by playing with things too much.

Marie: "The two of them, alone, but together, bonded..."
Dean: "Why are they standing so close together?"
Marie: "Uh, reasons."
Dean: "You know they're brothers, right?"
Marie: "Well duh, but subtext."
Dean: "Why don't you take a sub-step back there ladies!"

- So, Dean has had many many years of knowing that a population of the world ships him and his brother, which is why, I think, he was on the look out for it. Otherwise, I'm not sure why he would have noticed that they might be standing a little close. Anyway, although being against incest is completely understandable, Dean's reaction to the Destiel stuff later DOES annoy me on a certain level, but I'll talk about that when it happens.

Sam: "You know, back when I did tech in school, we had two CD decks..."
- I'm a year and a half older than Sam. We had one CD deck. (and yes, I did briefly VERY BRIEFLY work on the tech crew in high school.)

Dean: "There's no space in Supernatural."
Marie: "Well not canonically no, but this is transformative fiction."
Dean: "You mean fanfiction."
Marie: "Call it whatever you like - it's inspired by Carver Edlund's books."

- Again, Robbie is walking through the change over time using Dean. Here, Dean's using "fanfiction" as almost a derogatory term, while Marie prefers the term that gives it legitimacy as an art form - transformative fiction. I mean, don't get me wrong, in my experience, fanfiction is WAY easier to write than original fiction, BUT, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's "lesser" - just because you're starting off with a short-hand and more readily available connection with your audience, doesn't mean that the skill of language/poetry needed isn't just as high as any other work of fiction. (And before you start complaining about all the crappy fanfic out there that obviously doesn't require any language/poetry skills - I'd like to also remind you of all the crappy published books out there that don't either. )

Dean: "You wrote your own ending? With spaceships."
Marie: "And robots, and ninjas, and then Dean becomes a woman. It's just for a few scenes."

- I like that line because it really does show that it's about Marie making the story HERS. And that's mainly what fanfic is all about, or any work in the transformative sphere of fandom - it's about taking the story and making it our own, sometimes by subverting it.

Dean: "Alright, Shakespeare, you know that I can really tell you what happened with Sam and Dean. A friend of mine hooked me up with the unpublished unpublished books. So, Sam came back from Hell, but without his soul and Cas brought in a bunch of leviathans from Purgatory. And they lost Bobby. And then Cas and Dean got stuck in Purgatory, Sam hit a dog, they met a prophet named Kevin, they lost him too. Then Sam underwent a series of trials in an attempt to close the gates of Hell, which nearly cost him his life. And Dean - Dean became a demon, Knight of Hell, actually."
Marie: "Wow, that is some of the worst fanfiction that I have ever heard! I'm not saying that ours is a masterpiece or anything, but geez! I'll have to send you some fic links later."

- Firstly, I love that Marie is just treating Dean like a fellow fan. He's an FBI AGENT and she's a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT and she's talking about sending him FIC LINKS. I just love it. I mean, it's funny, but it's also a good representation of what fandom IS, because I have made friends through fandom who are anywhere from High School to Grandmothers, and we all talk to each other as equals, because we're all equally FANS.
- Secondly, I think this is the first time we've ever heard a Winchester sum-up so many years of their lives, and I'm really interested in the way Dean does it. I mean, it's all pretty matter-of-fact, but you can learn that 1)Dean is still not over the fact that Sam didn't look for him in S8 (which I'm not over either, btw, because it was so OOC that I want to kick Jeremy Carver in the shin for being WAY too subtle about telling us that Sam was basically insane with grief, because that's the only explanation), and 2)Dean is actually sort of proud of the fact that he was/is a Knight of Hell. I mean, just last episode he was crazy embarrased about it, but right here, it certainly sounds like there's part of him that liked being the badassiest of demons.
-Thirdly, I love how Marie calls it fanfiction. In way, it actually IS. Depending on your definition of Canon, you could argue that anything that wasn't directly approved by Kripke could be considered fanfiction - in which case, Supernatural's canon ended at 5x22 and everything else has just been officially commissioned fanfiction.

Dean: "What are they doing?"
Marie: "Uhhmm, kids these days call it hugging."
Dean: "Is that in the show?"
Marie: "No, Siobhan and Kristin are a couple in real life. Although we do explore the nature of Destiel in act 2."
Dean: "What?"
Marie: "Oh, it's just subtext, but then you can't spell subtext without s-e-x"
*Dean looks into the camera like this is the office*

- Okay, so 1)this is hilarious, but 2)It ALSO kind of annoys me, because on the one hand, is Dean's sexuality really that fragile? I'd argue know. Usually, Dean makes a joke out things like that but in a KIND way, like, he'll very politely turn bad guys (or Hendriksen) down when they're posturing/threats come across as innuendo... and that's hilarious and also nice because it doesn't reek of internalized homophobia like this does.
- Secondly, it SORT of makes too much fun of the destiel shippers, who is really who Dean is giving that unimpressed look to when he looks into the camera... and as much as I don't ship Castiel (or at least am completely neutral on it), I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a canonical bisexual character on a show or wanting to see more LGBT representation in general. Now, of course, that being said, I do recognize that that's often just a "cause" that shippers hide behind when they really just want to see two hot white guys make out, but they want to be self-righteous about it and not honest. So, maybe that look was just for THOSE people, and not people like me who are neutral on the ship, but would actually be happy if Dean (or Sam or Cas) were canonically bisexual because there's a dirth of bisexual characters on TV.
- That being said, I'm also a huge proponent of the fact that men should be able to have affectionate/romantic friendships without it having to be sexual in nature, because MAN, are guys ever touched starved, given that they aren't allowed to touch anyone unless it's for sexytimes. You ever wonder why your male friend loves his dog so much? Yeah, that's the only living thing he can touch without it being sexualized. So maybe THAT'S what Dean is mad about - the fact that he can't have a profound bond with another guy without it being made into a sex thing.

Sam: "I don't understand."
Dean: "Me neither!"
Sam: "I mean, shouldn't it be Deastiel?"
Dean: "Really? That's your issue with this?"
Sam: "No, of course that's not my issue. You know, how about Sastiel? Samstiel?"
Dean: "You know what, you're going to do that thing where you just shut-up forever!"
...
Sam: "Casdean?"
Dean: "Shut your face! Get in the car!"

- Again, I'm sort of annoyed at how defensive Dean is here, but...
- Mostly I just LOVE the fact that Sam's only issue with it is that they aren't shipping HIM and Castiel. Haha, okay, I know he's just using Sastiel as a linguistic example and that his actually only issue really IS the fact that he's confused as the the linguistical rules.... and I think I actually love that even more.
- And, speaking of underrepressented bisexual characters - I do like how the writers have consistently written Sam so that he's never been defensive about his sexuality at all, and he's actually used gender-neutral pronouns before while talking about relationships, and man, it really goes to show that getting defensive about things actually just undermines heterosexuality rather than strengthens it. Sam could very well canonically be bi, and yet I think most people would argue that Sam is the straightest straight to ever straight. And yet Dean, who has denied being anything other than straight on multiple occasions is often the one that people headcanon as queer in some regard.

And then Maggie quits and becomes victim number two.

Marie: "But it's all real, ghosts, demons..."
May: "I want to believe."
Sam: "You should believe. Because it is...all real. And so are we. I'm Sam Winchester, that's Dean."
*Marie and May laugh*
Marie: "Okay, now look, I'm willing to accept that monsters are real, but those books are works of fiction!"
May: "And you guys are way too old to be Sam and Dean. More of a Rufus/Bobby combo, maybe."
Dean: "Okay, alright, little Miss Sunshine, we ARE what the books call Hunters."

- I also love how the girls, while fully accepting that monsters are real, refuse to believe that the books are anything but fiction. It's funny. Also, I like how they think that Sam and Dean are so old... high school kids have a really skewed perspective on how old "old" is. I remember when my BFF and I were 20 and we tried to make one of those "if we're both still single at 40 deals" and his response was "ewww 40 year-olds" and now I'm at an age where 40 really doesn't seem that old to me, and also I'm glad we never made that deal, because I do not want to end up in a relationship with my BFF anymore, I know him far too well now.

I love how the scarecrow that Marie is so afraid of isn't actually all that scary.

Then we find out it's Calliope and Marie has her freakout...

Dean: "First of all, the play's not dumb."
May: "I thought you didn't believe in this interpretation."
Dean: "I don't, like at all. But you do. And I need you to believe in it with all you got, so that we can kill Calliope and we can save your friends. Deal?"
Marie: "Right, if Sam and Dean were real, they wouldn't back down from a fight. Especially my sweet, brave, selfless Sam - there's nothing he can't do."

- So, in our history of the acceptance of tranformative works - we come to the point where Dean (TPTB) are like "we don't understand it, we don't necessarily like it, but we recognize that it is important to you."
- Also, I like the fact that Marie is a Sam!girl, maybe it's because most of my friends are Dean!girls, but it always seems to be that Dean gets way more love than Sam in fandom in general. Now, it did occur to me while watching this, however, that although Dean gets a lot of love in fandom, in the show he doesn't actually get that many nice things said about him - I mean, he gets all the friendships, and he gets Cas telling him nice things from time to time, but people do tend to like Sam more in general. I mean, strangers are more willing to talk to Sam, Sam has slightly better people skills than Dean... so, yeah, it's an interesting dichotomy. Or maybe I'm crazy...
- ANYWAY, we find out later that there was a deleted scene right before this where Sam finds out that May is a Dean!girl, so the episode WOULD have balanced out had that scene been included.

Show time!

Marie: "Samulet?"
*Siobhan takes the amulet out of her shirt*
Dean: "The Samulet?"
Marie: "That amulet is a symbol of the Winchesters' brotherly love."

- So, I kind of liked how the show finally put the amulet to bed with this episode. Because, it's been years of "did Sam pick the amulet out of the trash?! Will the amulet ever come back!!??!" and Robbie Thompson gives us our answer here in two parts (well, three parts). He reintroduces the amulet in the beginning of the show, then reiterates the same information AGAIN for Dean, the man who originally through it away... and then in a few minutes, he's going to give us an answer to our questions...

Sam: "Wait a second, where's Chuck?"
Marie: "I love him, I do, but honestly, the whole author inserting themselves into the narrative thing - it's just not my favourite. I kinda hate the meta stories."
Sam and Dean: "Me too."

- So, this is a meta-joke, but it also actually is really clever character-wise, because Sam and Dean DO hate the meta-stories... they hate it whenever they come across something to do with the Supernatural books. Jared and Jensen though, kind of love the meta stories - or at least, that's the sense I get from Cons. They love when they can poke fun at the show and do really weird episodes.

Dean: "This is Marie's Supernatural. So, I want you to put as much sub into that text as you possibly can. There is no other road, no other way, no day, but today."
May: "Did he just quote Rent?"
Marie: "Not enough to get us in trouble."
Dean: "Now you get out there and you kick it in the ass."

- And here we have Dean (TPTB) being supportive of Marie's transformative work, and understanding that it's MARIE's and not THEIR'S... that it might be Dean's story that inspired Marie, but what she has created in response has little to do with Dean himself and everything to do with Marie and her own life and what she wants to see reflected in her media.
- Along a similar line, at the the beginning of the episode we had Dean telling Sam that he had done a "crappy musical", which, you know, he might have just been disapproving of Oklahoma, but here we see that Dean has enough musical-theatre knowledge to be able to QUOTE Rent, which is very much a broadway musical.
- Also, the fact that Dean can quote Rent, once again, supports my headcanon that Dean spent some of his formative years in the New York city area.

Cast: "GHOST-facers!"
*Sam and Dean look each other, Sam is very unimpressed.*

- I love how much Sam and Dean are annoyed by the Ghostfacers.

And Dean is grooving to the music... while the cast sings about his horrible/traumatizing childhood. :P

And Play!Castiel gets a solo... about waiting on the sidelines, haha, which is what Cas is off doing somewhere during this episode.

Calliope: "God, if I have to sit through that second act one more time - there's robots, and tentacles, in space. I can't even."
- I think Robbie put that tentacle line is just for missyjack/Jules. But I know that Robbie has wanted to write a spaceship episode forever, but the showrunner will never let him do it.

And then we get the Dean and Sam's solos...in Single Man Tear. And it's a nice song, and also hilarious.

Sam: "So why this story, huh? Why Supernatural?"
Calliope: "Supernatural has everything. Life, death, resurrection, redemption, but above all - Family. All set to music you can really tap your toe too. It isn't some meandering piece of genre dreck, it's epic."

- And this is the rebuttal to the teacher's remarks at the beginning of the episode - Supernatural is about LIFE and TRUTH, it's just explores them in a different setting.

Calliope: "...And that, that IS my cup of tea."
Maggie: "Bag this!"
*whacks Calliope in the head*
*teacher kicks stake over to Sam*
*Sam stabs Calliope*
Meanwhile on stage - *Marie picks up Dean's stake and stabs the scarecrow*
*audience applauds*
Dean: "Take a bow, Sammy."

- So, that might have been hard to follow, but what I love about this is that all the girls participated in their own "rescue" Robbie Thompson managed to not have any passive female victims AT ALL, and also, by having Sam captured too, the victims weren't ALL female, even while being set at an all girls' school. I think that's really awesome and shows that Robbie must have throught about it carefully.
- I also love how Dean calls Marie Sammy.

May: "Usually, this is where Sam and Dean take off before anybody asks any questions."
Sam: "That's probably a good idea."
May: "Thanks for saving my friends."
Sam: "Sure."
May: "You know, if you cut your hair a little, you'd make a pretty good Dean."
Sam: "Thanks."

- Awww, I love May. Also, this gains even more context when we see the deleted scene and know that May loves Dean the most. She really does mean that as the highest of complements.

Dean: "You know, this has been... educational, seeing the story from your perspective. You keep writing, Shakespeare."
Marie: "Even if it doesn't match how you see it?"
Dean: "I have my version and you have yours."

- Again, this is the evolution of understanding transformative works... not only recognizing that both stories can coexist simultaneously without diminishing each other, but also recognizing that there is VALUE in the transformative work too, that it CAN offer a different perspective.

May: "One minute, folks, one minute."
Dean: "Okay."
Marie: "Dean?"

- I love that Marie, at least, realizes that Dean is actually real. I think this was her little test to see if she was right, calling his name when his back was to her to see if he'd respond instinctually. You really can tell what name people use most often when you do that. People turn to their name before they even realize they're doing it.

Marie: "You never should have thrown this away."
Dean: "It never really worked. I don't need a symbol to remind me how I feel about my brother."

- And here we get our answer to the Samulet questions once and for all - it is no longer needed. Dean and Sam have gotten to a point in their relationship (even with the dog fiasco) where they KNOW each other and they KNOW that love is there for them, that that love is inside them and inside their brother, and that it's not going anywhere. Dean, I think, DID need the amulet in those early seasons, but after everything, I don't think Dean has the same abandonment issues when it comes to Sam as he did back then.

Marie: "Just take it. Jerk."
Dean: "Bitch." *Dean looks horrified with himself*
*Marie laughs*

- I love how horrified Dean looks after accidentally calling Marie a bitch. I think it's a nice touch, because there IS a different context to calling a woman a bitch then there is to calling your little brother a bitch.
- I also think that was another test of Marie's, the nail in the coffin.

Dean: "I guess we can go back to staring at motel room walls."
Sam: "You know what, Dean, you were right. Staying cooped up isn't helping us. We need-"
Play!Sam: "We need to get back on the road, doing what we do best."
Sam: "What is that?"
Dean: "It's the BM scene."
Sam: "The bowel movement scene?"
Dean: "Shh, no! Just, shh!"

- This was mentioned earlier and I didn't write it down, but I believe Robbie either explained in a tweet or an interview or SOMEWHERE, that when he first joined the writing team on Supernatural, they had a bunch of short-forms they used that he didn't know, and one of them was "BM scene" and Robbie was too afraid to ask, but couldn't think of anything that "BM" could stand for other than "bowel movement" and was really confused.

Play!Dean: "You're right Sammy, out on the road, just the two of us."
Play!Sam: "The two of us against the world."
Sam: "What she said."

- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time that Sam (in some capacity) has given the "the two of us against the world" speech. I think up until now it's usually Dean, who has reiterated time and again that where he likes to be best is in the Impala with Sam... whereas Sam, often, when Dean has said this, has been in a state of mind where he's been thinking of escaping hunting. I think this is the first time where Sam has expressed a desire for the same thing as Dean. And he does it later this season too, when he talks to Charlie, but I'll talk about that time then. In anycase, it's a really cool character growth/change, because this is really the first season we see where Sam stops talking as though there's an end-date to hunting.

CARRY ON WAYWARD SON! Oh god, the feelings.

Sam: "Who's that?"
May: "Oh, that's Adam, John Winchester's other kid. He's still trapped in the cage, in Hell, with Lucifer."

- So, there are a lot of theories out there. I've seen one that surmises that Adam died when Castiel molotoved Michael (because a human can't survive significant damage to it's vessel, and we know that Jimmy died when Raphael or Lucifer exploded Castiel in either S4 or S5 (depending on your headcanon/logic)). Personally, my headcanon was that the first thing Michael did when he took Adam's body was to empty it out and put Adam's soul in Heaven. HOWEVER, those two COULD be wrong, because when Dean asked Death to rescue Sam and Adam, Death didn't say "only one of your brother's is in the cage" he said "choose" - so, Death could have just been playing a joke, or Adam COULD be in there. I'm very interested to see what the show confirms, if they ever do.... dun dun DUN.

And then Dean puts the prop Samulet on the mirror. It won't stay up there, of course, only douchebags hang things from their mirrors (my sincerest apologies to any of you who hang stuff from your mirrors. I take it back if you can prove me wrong, by having things on your mirror and being sweet and loving people... but in my experience, only douchebags hang things from their mirror.)

Marie: "Hi, thank you so much for coming! I know the second act is a little wonky and the first act has some issues, but what did you think?"
Chuck: "Not bad."

- I love him. Also, this is the final stage of the evolution of the acceptance of trransformative works by TPTB/the public... because in the beginning, we had everyone saying it was drivel... and then we had the actual performance and Dean saying that it provided a different perspective, and the audience giving it (at one point) a standing ovation (even if that was for the unplanned bit), and then finally we have the original creator giving it his approval. Now, that being said, tranformative works don't need anyone's approval! RAR! WE DO WHAT WE WANT! Hahaha.

DELETED SCENES!
Marie and Dean walking down to the boiler room.

Marie: A friend at camp got me hooked, and then I got involved in Fandom. I just love seeing all the different ways that people related to the story. We'd fight over interpretations, same as my theatre troup. You know, people just really see themselves in the characters. I'm a total Sam!girl. Well, you're a fan, you know - who are you from the books?"
Dean: "Uh, I guess you could call me a Dean!girl."
Marie: "Yeah, I could see that. What I really love about the books though is family... my uh, my parents died when I was three, so I've been bouncing around different foster homes for years. So, I've never really had anyone in my world who would lay down their life for me the way that my sweet Sammy would for Dean."
Dean: "Oh, you know-"
Marie: "The point is, I really admire them. I wish I had a sibling like that in my life."
Dean: "Well, I mean, it sounds like your friends in your theatre group - you know, with all that fighting, sounds an awful lot like family to me. Family don't end with blood, right?"
Marie: "Yeah, I guess"

- Awww, I love this scene, because it gives context to Marie's character. It also shows how Dean comes to understand how the story can be important to different people for different reasons.
- Marie's message is also a very similar one to the one delivered to Dean by Damien and... I forget the other guys name... back in The Real Ghostbusters, who told him that when you had someone who would lay down their lives for you like that, then your life couldn't be all that bad.


Sam and May researching!

May: "So you were a theatre kid, huh?"
Sam: "Yeah, a bit."
May: "How'd you get into it?"
Sam: "I um, my family moved around a lot-"
May: "Military kid?"
Sam: "I guess you could say that, yeah. Didn't have a lot of time to be kids, you know. And then I remember, one of the schools, I saw the theatre kids putting on a show and it felt like... like playing with toys, but in the real world. It seemed fun. A chance to be someone else for a little while."
May: "That's the great thing about theatre, it brings you back to that sense of play. And then you can use that playfulnes to illustrate important social messages. Make a difference with the power of story."
Sam: "Is that why you're so into Supernatural?"
May: "I like hot guys and monsters - mostly hot guys. Mostly Dean."

-AWWW, I love it.
- I love the fact that we find out WHY Sam liked the theatre so much, and in true Sam fashion, it's horribly depressing.
- I also love how May brings up the power of storytelling and then completely subverts it by saying that she only "reads" Supernatural for the hot guys and monsters. She's both the deep and the superficial aspects of fandom in one person, and that's the BEST PORTRAYAL, because that's extremely realistic, in that we are all both the deep and superficial asspects of Supernatural... because I can do a meta-analysis of an episode and then say "Oh god, I just want to climb Jared like a tree" and that doesn't lessen my meta-analysis and my meta-analysis doesn't make the statement about climbing Jared any less true... because I am a complex person with many layers.


SPECIAL FEATURE

SUPERNATURAL THEATRE: Staging the 200th Episode

So, this is a nice little special feature about the work that went into the 200th episode and how they worked out the staging and such.

Robbie: "I thought it was an opportunity, since we were setting it in a high school anyways, to show a little more diversity in our fandom."
- Yay!

Phil Sgricca: "It's a love letter to our fans, and it includes a lot of references to what the fans are doing nowadays with the fanfiction stuff and what *they're* writing."
- Awww.

Jay Guska and Chris Lennertz talk about writing the songs.

Jared: "The fandom has either joking or seriously been asking for a musical episode of Supernatural for many many years now. So this was a nice way to do a musical episode of Supernatural without putting Sam and Dean in situations that they would legitamently not be in."
- Yay! I couldn't agree more. I was always one of those fans who really couldn't see the possibility of a musical episode without it being a true jump-the-shark moment. I'm really glad they did it this way. (Though I'm sure there are fans out there who disagree with me.) And hey, we got a bit of the boys singing in both S3 and S11, so come on, it's not like they NEVER sing.

There's a lot of shots of the rehearsal and how they worked everything out. It's pretty neat.

Praise for the musical cast. Phil took them to brunch and gave them all replica samulets from the prop department. Nice! I'm a little jealous.

Jay Guska recorded temp tracks singing all the parts - and it's cute and hilarious because he's singing in falsetto, poorly. :)

They talk about Carry On and how it's become the unofficial theme song.
Robbie: "Lyrically, it's kinda about our show, but kind of not really. But - what spoke to me in that moment was that we have Mary, who is no longer with us, and John, singing that song to their sons."
- Robbie talks about how it had to be a scene where it was a moment between Sam and Dean/Jensen and Jared and the fans.
- Also, aww, that's how I always interpreted the chorus of that song - was Mary and/or John singing to the boys. The versus are a different story.

Phil: "I gotta say, we got a lot of people posting [...] or in the production office [...] some single man tears or single woman tears in their eyes."
- I like how Phil says "single woman tears", because "single man tear" is one of those fragile-masculinity things where men aren't allowed to cry, so therefore they don't cry tears, they cry "man tears"... but Phil completely, and unknowingly, subverts that, by saying "woman tears", as though our tears aren't a sign of weakness either.
- Really, in a perfect world, it would just be "single tear" which what I always used to say when I was pretending to be sad and drawing a finger down my face as a I tracked a non-existent tear, because I don't actually have the time nor the soul to experience true emotion enough to cry.

They also talk about the show, and how they've lasted so long with the fans support.. and that it was a celebration of the show and the fans.

All in all, a cute little featurette.


And there we have the epicness that is the 200th episode!! As usual, tell me your own thoughts and interpretations in comments - and please forgive me my spelling mistakes. My spellchecker doesn't work and spelling isn't my strong suit.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Nov. 24th, 2015 12:53 pm (UTC)
If I am ever stuck on a desert island with only one thing to watch (along with a dvd player and electricty,) it would be this episode of Supernatural for the sheer joy of it and all the little things I notice more of with each rewatch!

It is perfect...and I appreciate your analysis of why it is perfect because I am too in love with it to analyze why :)



hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
:)

I'm glad you liked my analysis of it. It really is a very loving episode when it comes right down to it.
cappy712
Nov. 24th, 2015 01:44 pm (UTC)
What a great review.

I loved the episode. I kind of wish they had more time with the Demon!Dean story line but they ended it earlier in order to fit in the 200th episode.

Thank you for the insight and review.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, I completely forgive them for wanting to be done with it so that they could get to this episode.

Glad you liked the review!
supernutjapan
Nov. 24th, 2015 02:43 pm (UTC)
Awesome review! I really enjoyed reading <3

I like your point about Sam and Dean's sexuality(and why they are portrayed as they are in fanfic!) That is an excellent point!

Your point about how some people just don't understand that sci-fi is about real life, it's just portrayed in a different way. The same can be said about fantasy (you may have mentioned that too). You'd think educated people would be able to delve into the novel or show and see the hidden meanings wouldn't you?! That frustrates me to no end. But I guess they are just different type of people.

I also loved your pointing out the thought that Robbie must have put into this ep.

I thought it was very meaningful that Sam and Dean (or at least Dean) did not like the Meta, while Jared and Jensen probably do. I have fan friends who don't like the Meta episodes... even this ep... and felt insulted that people said things like "every true fan would love this ep." But I think it's kind of neat that Sam and Dean, at least are on their side.

hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

You'd think educated people would be able to delve into the novel or show and see the hidden meanings wouldn't you?! That frustrates me to no end.

Me too! I'm actually writing a fantasy novel in my spare time and I have friends who are fantasy/sci-fi authors - so, yeah, very frustrating that the genre is dismissed as low-art.

I have fan friends who don't like the Meta episodes... even this ep... and felt insulted that people said things like "every true fan would love this ep." But I think it's kind of neat that Sam and Dean, at least are on their side.

Yeah, general sweeping statements that lump all of fandom together are usually a very bad idea. There are many different kinds of fans. Some people like the campy stuff, some people like the dark stuff, some people like meta, some don't... it doesn't make you any more or less of a fan to have different tastes! :)
borgmama1of5
Nov. 24th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
PS I am one of those people that have things hanging from their review mirror--Sam and Dean dog tags, a mini pewter Impala, and a little pendant that says "Supernatural Addict" that I got a a con...Whenever another family member has to drive my car, all they do is complain about it..
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
Ah, then after all these years, you have finally proven my hypothesis wrong! Because you are certainly not a douchebag!

Or maybe it's just not true for SPN fans... ;)
shadowsong26
Nov. 24th, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
This episode always makes me smile when I watch it!

Totally agreed on sci-fi/fantasy being downgraded…at least until a novel/story stands the test of time and becomes a Classic, anyway, and sometimes even then…but, yes, it drives me nuts, too. Probably in no small part because the bulk of my original fiction is sci-fi/fantasy, so I take it kind of personally...

Don’t have much to add about the interpretation/fandom demographics/etc. commentary because you pretty much said it all.

I never did tech in HS (I was onstage), and it still made me twitch a little when Sam started fiddling with the light board…I think because my closest friend in Shakespeare Troupe was major techie and she browbeat into me ‘do not mess with our settings just don’t.’ But, at the same time, he is super adorable when he does it so I’m torn…

You have a point about how Dean summarizes everything, and what that says about things…there’s also probably something to the fact that he completely leaves out the Gadreel mess, but leaves in the thing Sam did the most wrong in his eyes (and I agree with you that it’s very annoying that Show was too subtle with why the Amelia subplot happened in the year that Sam’s hair ate) but I’m not sure what. Other than, maybe Gadreel was more of a transgression/something he’s more embarrassed about than becoming a demon. Even though the demon thing has basically been his nightmare since S3. I guess he’s more upset/uncomfortable about dragging Sam through Sam’s worst nightmare than he is about dragging himself through his own? Plus, the things you/others have said re: retirement/simplicity of thought/emotion/lack of guilt/etc. involved in the demon arc…or something.

Agreed with everything you said about the Destiel commentary/jab.

Sam is very adorable when trying to figure out how portmanteau couple names work.

I think you’re right, about how Dean is treated in-show (at least by strangers) vs how he’s treated in fandom, because I’ve noticed a similar trend. I think both things might have something to do with the fact that, for the most part, Dean is our primary PoV character? Like…for how Sam is treated in-story, at least, it has to do with pedestalling Sam (and when he fails to live up to that ideal, it’s that much more horrible, but that’s another essay entirely), whereas Dean does pretty much the opposite for himself? So other people’s validation of his choices sticks out to him more/is an anomaly/only comes from people who are already invested in him as a person, but Sam getting along with everyone, for the most part, is just…that’s how the universe works, so it's this constant background noise. Or something…I’m having trouble articulating it today for some reason, sorry. Anyway, I don’t think you’re crazy for noticing that dichotomy, and it is an interesting one.

Agreed that the deleted scene would have balanced that out/made other things make more sense.

Okay, so the Adam reference--I like that it’s in there, because I like when Show acknowledges its previous continuity, b/c it makes the world feel more real. Also I like vessels/hosts being People and Mattering. But if these girls are not aware of canon past Swan Song, Adam being ‘still’ trapped in the Cage shouldn’t really be a thing for them? I know it’s ridiculously nitpicky, and it’s a fandom nod because people keep asking, but.

I sort of disagree that Michael emptied out the body--mostly b/c it’s my headcanon that, other than Anna (b/c she’s not actually using a vessel), Cas because Cas Is Special, and maybe Gabriel because Loki, angels require a consenting (or at least non-dissenting, since other than Sam no one seems to have enough control to revoke consent) soul to remain in a vessel, just like they need consent to enter in the first place. But I do think it’s possible that Michael cut Adam loose at the last second, when he realized they were going into the Cage and Adam didn’t deserve that…I guess we’ll find out? Or maybe not, I can never tell with this show what threads they’re going to follow through on…

I do agree about May being both the shallow and the deep aspects of fandom is awesome!

But, yes. This episode is epic and happy-making for sure.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 25th, 2015 01:15 am (UTC)
Probably in no small part because the bulk of my original fiction is sci-fi/fantasy, so I take it kind of personally...

Same.

made me twitch a little when Sam started fiddling with the light board…I think because my closest friend in Shakespeare Troupe was major techie and she browbeat into me ‘do not mess with our settings just don’t.’

Agreed. It was pretty adorable though and he just touched the sliders, so I think it'd be fairly easy to put things back to rights.

Other than, maybe Gadreel was more of a transgression/something he’s more embarrassed about than becoming a demon. Even though the demon thing has basically been his nightmare since S3. I guess he’s more upset/uncomfortable about dragging Sam through Sam’s worst nightmare than he is about dragging himself through his own? Plus, the things you/others have said re: retirement/simplicity of thought/emotion/lack of guilt/etc. involved in the demon arc…or something.

Yes, that's a good point that I forgot to mention. It is really interesting that he doesn't explain WHY they lost Kevin, only that they did - I think that because Dean both caused Sam's worse nightmare AND it led to the death of a friend on top of that, it's just too raw for him to talk about. The demon thing, yes, it was/is his worse nightmare, but at the same time, he didn't (that we saw) kill anyone who wasn't a demon and/or wasn't Lester who had already sealed his fate with the deal... so, maybe that somehow lessens it? Or, it could be the influence of the Mark, where Dean can't help but remember how GOOD it felt to kill, whereas the Gadreel thing just made him feel like shit 24/7...or it could very well be a hold over from the lack of guilt that the Mark brings with it in demon-form.

I think both things might have something to do with the fact that, for the most part, Dean is our primary PoV character? Like…for how Sam is treated in-story, at least, it has to do with pedestalling Sam (and when he fails to live up to that ideal, it’s that much more horrible, but that’s another essay entirely), whereas Dean does pretty much the opposite for himself?

This is a VERY good point and I think you're hitting the nail on the head there. It's very much a "we're our own worse critics" scenario. I think if we saw things from Sam's POV more, we'd probably see how for Sam, everyone loves Dean and Sam is an awkward mess of a person.

hells_half_acre
Nov. 25th, 2015 01:16 am (UTC)
But if these girls are not aware of canon past Swan Song, Adam being ‘still’ trapped in the Cage shouldn’t really be a thing for them? I know it’s ridiculously nitpicky, and it’s a fandom nod because people keep asking, but.

But the girls' Swan Song INCLUDES the last 30 seconds, where we see Sam standing outside the Braedan's house. So, they know that Sam returned, but there's no evidence that Adam returned. Even if they're "still" is only referring to a few months or a few days or however long it was between Sam falling and Sam returning, Adam would "still" in their assumptions, be in the cage. So, I think it's a fair word choice.

I sort of disagree that Michael emptied out the body--mostly b/c it’s my headcanon that, other than Anna (b/c she’s not actually using a vessel), Cas because Cas Is Special, and maybe Gabriel because Loki, angels require a consenting (or at least non-dissenting, since other than Sam no one seems to have enough control to revoke consent) soul to remain in a vessel, just like they need consent to enter in the first place.

Interesting. I think they just need permission to enter, but after that they don't necessarily need the soul to remain - and in my opinion, in order to get Adam to say yes, Michael probably offered him a deal where Adam would get to return to Heaven and he wouldn't have to suffer through the Winchester-crap anymore. So, Adam agreed, Michael got the vessel, and everyone was happy. But yeah, it comes down to different headcanons for what the rules are, so I totally respect that you see it differently - and I think your way would be a pretty interesting scenario to explore, though, yeah, Anna and Cas both present exceptions to that idea... but every rule is allowed a few exceptions.

…I guess we’ll find out? Or maybe not, I can never tell with this show what threads they’re going to follow through on…

Yeah, it certainly looks like we might find out - but you never know!
metallidean_grl
Feb. 8th, 2016 08:31 pm (UTC)
I loved the scene with showing the badges. They start their normal routine and then Sam sees the girls play acting exactly what they are doing and stops Dean with the rock names and resorts to Smith. They have used the Smith/Smith monikers once before, if memory serves me correctly. I love this callback to Die Hard. Interesting thoughts about transformative fiction. I do appreciate how tuned in Robbie is with the fandom. So many of his episodes touch on issues that fandom deals with, and this is definitely one of them. But, you do still have the fans that like to stick with Canon, as there was one person in the cast that quit because Marie didn't stick with Canon and didn't want to be a part of the production. I guess I am that one lone person as well because I prefer to stick closer to Canon, and I find the fics I like more are those that touch close to Canon.

It is cute that Sam is really into the production and Dean is the opposite. While this whole production is a shock for both of them Sam seems more at ease with it, at the beginning, than Dean is. And then when it comes to the naming of the ships, Sam naming them off and Dean telling him to shut up. Kinda reflective of how Jensen avoids talking about it at Conventions.

I loved the scene between Dean and Marie when she is testing to see if Dean is really Dean. Although in the beginning when Dean and Sam told the girls who they actually are, and they unbelievingly laughed, it was a nice transformation to have Marie realize that these characters are real and that Dean was really the Dean in these stories. I appreciated that she called Dean Dean, they talked about the amulet and then did the jerk/bitch line, which just solidified that Dean really was Dean. Somebody else would not have said bitch so easily and freely, except someone who does it with his brother. That was a nice touch.

I do think this might have been the first time Sam spoke about being content hunting with his brother. If memory serves he also talked about not always hunting in S9 when he was trying to dig in to Dean for what he did. I think really losing Dean and him becoming a demon kinda woke Sam up, made him realize how important Dean is, how important hunting is and turned him around on so many things that he had been so resistant to up until now. It is a nice character change in Sam that I am enjoying seeing & hearing in him. His confessions to Charlie last season and then again more recently have been wonderful to hear. It definitely makes the situation between the brothers easier when one isn't always thinking about leaving at the next turn. I would bet that Dean has sensed Sam's mental transformation as well, which has helped Dean relax and let go of his abandonment issues a little.

I did enjoy the deleted scenes. I wish they could have been in added into the episode, it would have provided that much more context to the episode as a whole. We could deal with less commercials, its too bad the network can't. The scenes were so short, too. Oh well.

Such a great episode. Robbie did us all proud with this one.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 8th, 2016 11:48 pm (UTC)
So many of his episodes touch on issues that fandom deals with, and this is definitely one of them. But, you do still have the fans that like to stick with Canon, as there was one person in the cast that quit because Marie didn't stick with Canon and didn't want to be a part of the production. I guess I am that one lone person as well because I prefer to stick closer to Canon, and I find the fics I like more are those that touch close to Canon.

Same here. At least when it comes to Supernatural. But, I appreciate that everyone is not me, and I like the fact that Robbie included all the varieties here too, like you said.

I do think this might have been the first time Sam spoke about being content hunting with his brother. If memory serves he also talked about not always hunting in S9 when he was trying to dig in to Dean for what he did.

I think that was more in the beginning part of S8, which we won't even get into because I think the writers were idiots when it came to Sam that season. I can't remember Sam alluding to stopping hunting in S9, but yeah, if he did, it was probably not honestly and more just to be petty and get back at Dean for what Dean did. I think the way Sam feels now is probably the way he's felt for quite some time - that, as long as he's got Dean with him, he's happy hunting. Though, for that matter, I could rationalize S8's stupidity with the fact that Dean had a lot of anger when he came back from Purgatory and the brother's were fighting that whole season it seemed - so it may have just been that Sam didn't feel like Dean was actually "with" him... which was why he considered leaving.

So, yeah... anyway, my point is that I agree with you! And I think Dean's noticed the shift as well - that Sam just wants to be with him, and that even hunting is secondary to that, and I'm sure that Dean's abandonment issues are much decreased from what they were back in the early seasons, when Sam hadn't had the chance to make grand-gestures of commitment yet.

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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