Oh man, I love this episode...
We start in media res, with the sound of a train, and the damage to Baby, and Dean tied up in the backseat... TITLE CARD.
CAR WASH SCENE! I've always wanted a car wash scene, and whenever I say that, people think I mean like... "car wash scene" where it's like the OTT slow-mo sexy shots in the sunshine. But I honestly just wanted an ACTUAL non-sexualized car wash scene. Because I LOVE the boys doing "domestic" stuff, stuff that EVERYONE has to do.. brushing their teeth, cooking, shopping, washing the car... stuff that makes them human. The mundane stuff that all of us do, no matter how exciting or non-exciting the rest of our lives might be. This episode gives me that in spades and I love it.
Sam: "Dude, what's with the shorts?"
Dean: "It's a free bunker."
- I do feel slightly robbed that they actually put Jensen in short-shorts, and then never used a camera angle that let us see. Thank goodness for the gag reel.
- THOUGH, that being said, in a way, I'm sort of GLAD that they didn't - because it really did give me my non-sexualized car wash scene.
I also love how Sam just immediately joins in the cleaning. Like... this is just something that they do, whenever.
Sam: "Cas is getting better, so there's that. He still wants to fix your uh-"
Dean: "I'm fine. I'm fine. 100%"
Sam: "Alright, we'll he's not. Still needs some time to heal."
- Awww, Again, there's so many little things to love here... Cas still wanting to heal Dean, Dean still refusing to be healed, and Sam respecting that choice.
- Of course, why doesn't Dean already know that Cas is getting better? We find out later that Cas is holed up in Sam's room watching Netflix... why Sam's room? I'm thinking that despite Dean being cool with everything and thinking them even, because they both beat the shit out of each other while "under the influence", Cas is still feeling like crap about it and hiding from Dean a little. Maybe it's just a matter of not wanting to see the bruises on Dean's face... poor Cas.
Dean: "Well, guess we've got nothing to do but get better. I don't know about you, but I've got some series cabin fever. I've washed ever car in here twice."
- I think that a lot of this season was actually about them "having nothing to do but get better" - because for once, the brothers aren't keeping soul-destorying secrets from each other. Yes, Sam's not telling Dean about his visions QUITE yet (he will in this episode, I believe), but that's just because he's trying to figure them out himself first - same goes with Dean not telling Sam about the weird connection to Amara (he's currently in denial about it himself). And Sam didn't tell Dean about getting infected in the hospital, but that's more because he healed himself, so why mention it?... like, these are LITTLE white lies, they aren't "I'm drinking demon blood" or "I brought a vampire back from purgatory with me and we're bffs now" type lies. So, without major lies, the brothers have nothing to do but HEAL their relationship.
- Second, let's talk about the back-half of Dean's line here. Because I think "serious cabin fever" is exactly what happened to Dean when he lived with Lisa post-S5. I know we're a long way from that now - but lines like this just remind me that even though Dean has always longed for domesticity, he's been on the road since he was 4, and that's a hard life to shake... I think in order to be happy, Dean needs frequent "walking" hahahaa.... seriously though, I traveled and moved around a lot between 18-27, which is normal for someone that age, but still to this day I get "cabin fever" from being stuck, financially, in either Vancouver or Eastern Ontario.. and that's just 9 years of never staying anywhere longer than 2 years. And Dean, LIKES the road... I think it's different for someone like Sam, who even though it was all he knew, he hated it for years. I don't think he had the same problem when he was at Stanford for 3 years. Whereas, I think Dean, has two conflicing desires - domesticity (washing cars) and being on the road. I think it's not a coincidence that one of his coping mechanisms for being house-bound is to dive into domestic tasks, even redundantly, in an effort to stave the desire for the road. Just like when he was forced to be on the road, he would devote himself to being there, in order to stave the desire for domesticity. (That's my interpretation, anyway.)
I think Sam, for all the road was all he knew until he was 18, has learned to be happy no matter where you place him - with the caveat that if he's on the road, he's only happy if Dean is with him. Otherwise, he's a homebody. I don't necessarily think that he LONGS for either anymore... though, could be wrong about that, I feel like I need to think about that some more before I make any sweeping statements. Sam is a bit mercurial when it comes to his desire. Dean tends to be more steadfast.
Sam: "Probably nothing, right?"
Dean: "Probably not. Oregon here we come."
- I love those few seconds of silence, when you suddenly realize they aren't going to cut. I actually wish they'd dragged it out a little longer.
Dean: "Where's the beer?"
Sam: ".... Under the smoothies."
Dean: "Where's the rest of the beer?"
- I LOVE SAM'S FACE. Seriously, the guy is what? 32 now? And he still looks like a six year old who doesn't understand why he can't have Lucky Charms.
Sam: "... read a book, watch some Netflix."
Cas: "What's a Netflix?"
Sam: "Go to my room, turn on the TV, you'll figure it out."
- Ah, so Cas isn't ALREADY in Sam's room. So, my babbling earlier was a little off. Still, point stands.
- Also, I love how amused Sam is here. Smiling Sammy is the best, but I love how he looks at Dean, like "Man, our friend is so amusing." And Dean is like "Cas not understanding things is so five years ago, I will continue to be mad about not having copious amounts of beer."
Sam: "You think he's going to be okay?"
Dean: "He just needs some time, okay. We all do."
Sam: "Are you serious? Dean, it's late, I'm exhausted and starving, and this place - I mean, even Swayze wouldn't come to this Roadhouse."
- I do miss how in the early seasons we saw them at more dives like this. It's because we didn't have the Bunker, I suppose, so a few of the episodes would open with them coming across a case while out... or, I guess I'm thinking of the beginning of Bugs, where we get that fantastic shot of Sam lying on top of the Impala outside a Roadhouse, while he waits for Dean... it gave their lives and their world more... gravitas... more of something that you could almost feel. I want to say "grit", but that words been ruined in recent years... it was more about the atmosphere in general. They weren't as separated from other drifters as they are in these later seasons. I guess that's what I miss, the feel that they were drifters with a more interesting story than most.
(It's taking me a half hour to talk about the first five minutes of this episode. I'm glad I started a day early.)
Dean: "Second of all, you don't remember this place? You don't remember Heather? The hunter we worked a Wendigo case with a couple years ago?"
Sam: "She's here tonight?!"
Dean: "I texted her. She's working a Rugaru case in Texas. Actually, she never texted me back - that's not the point. The point is, we have a ton of driving left to do - just to go to a town where there's probably not a case - but in there, good times! Time heals all wounds, Sam. Especially good times."
- Firstly, I do love when they mention cases that we SHOULD have seen, but didn't... like, cases that happened between the cases that we did see. Secondly, who is Heather and why do both Sam and Dean think of her REALLY fondly? Bow chicka wowow. Hahaha, I'm joking, they're probably all friends, and/or just both slightly infatuated with her. Thirdly, why does Dean feel the need to lie? It makes me wonder if that's a holdover from when he was a teenager, and he'd tell Sam wild stories about his night's out that weren't true, so that he'd look like the womanizing swashbuckling hero that Dean always tries to present to the world, and Sam sometimes buys into.... which makes him saying "actually, she never texted me back" all the more important, because it's Dean DROPPING that facade and being honest.
- Finally, I want to talk about how Sam COMPLETELY misses what Dean is trying to tell him. Dean is REALLY on the "nothing to do but get better" train, and he's all about reconnecting with Sam and healing their relationship, which has been strained for 3 FRIGGIN' YEARS! And the way Dean sees them reconnecting is by doing fun things together, as in - not jus working and living together - but activily enjoying each other's company. And this is where we run into the ancient Winchester problem of Sam not liking the same thing Dean likes and vice-versa. The only thing they can agree on is the occasional movie. The thing though, is that I think Sam WOULD enjoy himself in the Roadhouse - he just thinks he wouldn't - but he'd enjoy spending time with Dean, and he's enjoy how much Dean was enjoying himself. But, right now, he's just thinking of it as though "if I were alone, would I go in there?" and the answer is, of course, "no."
Dean: "Mistakes were made. Mmhm."
Woman: "Who are you?"
Sam: "Ah, good morning! That's my brother, Dean."
Dean: "Sorry, Sam, I didn't realize you had company."
Sam: "Yeah, uh, could you give us a minute."
Dean: "Well, I'll just, I- won't be here anymore. So, you kids take your time!"
- I love how Dean continues looking into the windows as he walks away.
- Also, I love how the woman's "who are you?" isn't "who the hell are you!" it's "well, hello pretty, who might you be?"
- And I know the reason they didn't actually have Jared in the car is because they needed to get the shot a certain way, and he was practically non-essential, so might as well give Jared some time off... but it kind of bugs me that they did it that way, because the fact of the matter is that there's no way that Sam AND the girl would fit back there, unless Sam was lying in the footwell, which would be pretty gentlemanly of him. Is Baby front-wheel or rear-wheel drive? It makes a difference. I might be able to see in one of the shots later.
Sam: "Dean, I can explain what was going on-"
- Uh, Sam, I think we all know what was going on.
Sam: "Don't, Night Moves me!"
Dean: "Shh... just let it wash over you. Just take it in."
- Awww... I love them. So brothers.
Dean *mouths along* *points to Sam*: "Little too tall, could of used a few pounds..."
- I love that he turns that line into being a Sam descriptor. Also, I love that he just has this song cued up on a tape.
Dean: "One of the great rock writers of all time, Samuel."
Sam: "It's Sam."
*look at each other*
- I LOVE the look they share after Sam's line there. There are so many things that look is saying that I don't even know how to talk about or put words to... but it's alll about Sam being strong in himself, his identity, and Dean loving and being proud of him, for the person he is, rather than the "conquest" he just had. That's the best I can do, anyway.
Sam *sings along, adding words*: "I was in the backseat of my brother's '67 chevy!"
Sam: "You started this! You started this!"
Dean: "Here we go. Come on now"
Both together: "Working on a night moves..."
- THIS was what Dean wanted the night before, and he gets it now... and he just LOVES SAM SO MUCH. And they're having FUN TOGETHER. Oh my heart.
Sam: "Man, I needed that."
- This line COULD have been sleazy, but Jared says it in such a way where it's not - it's more about how Sam has had a VERY stressful 2 years... I think him being relaxed enough to even FLIRT with a waitress is saying a lot. And it's kind of hilarious, because it really does tie in Sam's stress levels with the state of Dean - because it's not like the world is less f*cked right now, actually it's MORE f*cked then it's been in a long time, but DEAN is okay, so Sam can relax.
Dean: "And hey, look, you're finally not a virgin anymore. But you know what, I think it was time - I respect the fact that you, uh, you know you wanted to stay true and pure and waited-"
Sam: "You know what, you're an idiot."
Dean: "Even put a blanket down. Buddy. Classy and thoughtful as always."
- So, I think Dean's referring to the episode (that was a pretty horrible episode) where Sam and he "re-virginized" themselves for a hunt. Which means, this is the first time Sam's slept with someone since the beginning of S9... but PROBABLY, since Amelia. Which again, is just speaking to how weirdly healthy Sam is now.
- Also, I love how Dean is joking, but by their standards, he actually does mean it - Sam's classy and thoughtful. :)
Sam: "I tried to give her my number. You know what she said?"
Dean: "We got tonight, who needs tomorrow?"
Sam: "Is everything a Bob Seger song to you?"
Sam: "Well, it was nice knowing you, Piper."
Dean: "Piper! That's awesome. Heather - one night wonders, man. Shoot, we're lucky we still get that at all."
- OH MAN, I forgot that Dean basically confirms that HE at least slept with Heather. I take it back, Sam and he totally did the (incestuous) devil's threesome.
- Also, I love the really subtle way that Dean tries to steer Sam away from being maudlin.
Sam: "Really? You don't ever want something more?"
Dean: "I'm sorry, have you met us? We're batting a whopping zero in domestic life, man. Goose-eggs."
Sam: "You don't ever think about... something? Not marriage or whatever - but something? You know with a hunter? Someone who understands the life?"
Dean: "Have you not heard a single word Bob's been singing about? You're tired. I can tell. You're exhausted. Well, I'm still wired, so why don't we pull over, get some gas, you hop in the back and catch some Zs, because buddy, you earned them..."
- Again, I think Dean's just trying to steer Sam away from a road where he might get bummed out. That being said, I also think that Dean HAS stopped thinking about "something" - I think Dean has made peace with the fact that his life is that of bachelorhood, one-night stands, and inevitably bloody death... but he doesn't care, as long as his family is with him. He's found a form of the domesticity that he once longed for in living in the Bunker, and I think he's fairly content with that. If you think of it... and you don't ship Destiel... we've only seen Dean love two people. Cassie and Lisa, and Lisa, I'd argue was more about Dean being in love with her LIFE, with the idea that there might be a space in it for him, one where he could step into a truly domestic existence with a ready-made family. Cassie, meanwhile, Dean just loved - and she didn't necessarily represent anything that he was craving or missing. She was just intelligent and beautiful, and Dean thought he might be able to trust her with his secrets... but I think, ultimately, Cassie didn't love Dean to the same degree, and his intensity, and his life, scared her. Anyway.. what was I talking about?
- I like how Sam keeps everything gender neutral. (Or rather, I guess, I like how Robbie did). I suppose, if you were being really petty, you could call it queerbaiting, as it does leave the door open that it might be a open secret that Dean is bisexual (as I headcanon him to be), but really, I just like it because I think in general, society would benefit more if our language wasn't as gendered as it is... and I think one of the ways we achieve that is by having our media reflect how we wish it were, because it's a reciprocal relationship - we emulate the media and the media emulates us.
- Also, listen, the part of me who is denial that Supernatural is a tragedy, really wants Sam's idea of settling down with a hunter to be foreshadowing.
- Finally, I'm just going to assume that Dean slept during the day while Sam drove - because we see him drive away from the Roadhouse in the morning (after clearly being up all night) and then we see him driving at night again... but, yeah, at some point, Dean would probably need to sleep. No one can stay up for more than 24 hours and keep their sanity, I don't care who you are.
(10 minutes = 1.5 hours of rewatch time. And I'm taking a break for dinner.)
John vision time!
I have to say, before we even get into the scene - that this was the first time I could actually see how young!John became old!John.. like, this is the most JDM that Matt Cohen has ever been, more more than that, it's like the perfect inbetween-state between the two Johns. NOW, that being said, I know that this isn't actually John at all, it's an impersonation by Lucifer - but even as an impersonation, I still standby what I said, because it's an impersonation of multiple facests of John's character, as taken from Sam's mind (since Lucifer would have to base all his John knowledge on the information contained in Sam's mind), so this is still an accurate JOHN.
John: "You okay, pal. Look a little spooked."
- So awesome.
- Just, even the language choices.
John: "It's nice to be back behind the wheel. Seems Dean's taking good care of this old beast. Seems he's taking good care of you too."
- I love that, because as an impersonation of John, you could believe it... but with the knowledge that it's Lucifer, that line can turn leering.
Sam: "What is this? Another vision?"
John: "You having visions, son?"
Sam: "Don't call me that.
John: "What, a father can't call his-"
Sam: "My father is dead."
John: "When has death ever stopped a Winchester."
- Oh man, there's so much going on here. I know that Matt Cohen has said that they wouldn't tell him who he really was when they filmed this scene - or even confirm that he might not be John - but he does wonderful things even without that knowledge. Like here, when you can see that the charade is falling apart WAY sooner than he had planned, and he's mili-second frustrated, before trying to rein it in with the "when has death ever stopped..." line.
John: "What you said about relationships, wanting something more..."
- And here, we can see that Lucifer's control is such that Sam's thoughts are no longer private. Lucifer is still in the cage, and yet, he can not only reach out psychically to Sam and cause visions and speak to him, but he can also EAVESDROP! Now, does that change once he gets out of the cage? Or is the connection to his former vessel so strong, that he can still do that? I think, for plot's sake, we'll have to believe that it isn't, that he can't expend the energy to eavesdrop on Sam 24/7... but yikes, the implications as to the violations to Sam's privacy here are astounding.
John: "I never wanted this life for you boys, not really."
Sam: "We turned out okay."
John: "You did, didn't you. But that was on you boys, not me."
Sam: "You played your part."
John: "I did my best anyway, for what it was worth."
Sam: "This isn't real."
John: "I never could fool you, could I."
- And that was the first time in the season where I started to wonder if Sam was talking to Lucifer, not God... because "I never could fool you" implies that there has been past-times when he has tried, and God never openly has, John maybe, but this also is basically an admission that he's not really John.... so, that basically just leaves Lucifer (if we continue to assume that Gabriel is totes dead.)
- Also, I love this exchange, because the opening line is VERY similar to one of the last conversations Sam ever had with his Dad. John told Sam then that he had never wanted this for them... he told him about the college fund spent on ammo, and he told them about how he wanted Sam to go to school and Dean to have a home... so, this isn't new information, it's information that Sam has been keeping close to his heart for 11-12 years, because... aside from time-travel, it really is one of the last conversations.
- I do think that Sam does indulge for a moment, and does say what he wants to say to his father - that Sam didn't turn out good ONLY despite him, but ALSO because of him, which is really the kind of weird relationship that a lot of people have with their parents, albeit in less extremes than Sam has.
I love the filming in this scene too, the extreme close-ups of John's face - his eye, his mouth, his profile, all deep in shadows whenever we see him from the side that Sam is watching him from. It really adds to the surreal quality of him being there. Also, it really says a lot about the way Sam's viewing him, like he can't see him all at once, and also like he's remembering/memorizing the details of his face - yes, that was the way his eyes crinkled, yes, that was the way the grin pulled at his lips...
John: "Dream, vision, call it what you want - the message is still the same - the Darkness is coming. Only you boys can stop it."
Sam: "Okay, fine. How? We need help, not visions of dead people!"
John: "God helps those who help themselves."
Sam: "Who are you?"
- I love how readily Sam just accepts that "only you boys can stop it" - like "yeah, fine, I'll believe that, wouldn't be the first time. Give me actual useful information now!" I also love how he calls WHOMEVER out on basically tormenting him with visions of his dead father.
- I wonder if Lucifer really meant for Sam to wake up then - probably not, otherwise he might have said something that would lead Sam to investigate the cage sooner - or he really is playing the long game here. He HAS had practice pretending to be God before, since that's what he did to Abel, before Cain intervened.
Dean: "Welcome to the Winchester Motel. We don't have cable, but we do, have room service."
*hands Sam a beer*
- yes, because when I first wake up, what I want is a beer. :P
- Dean either has the brightness turned so far down on that laptop that it's unlit-kindle levels of dull, or he's staring at a computer that's not even turned on.
Dean: "You were singing in your sleep - that song Mom loved, that Dad used to always play for us - I think I've actually still got the tape."
- I'd have loved to hear Sam sing in his sleep. Also, I love how Mary was apart of their lives, even when she wasn't - but like, just the recordable bits of her... her favourite Beatles song, the soup she made when someone was sick, a loved song that John had on tape... stories... and they identified all these things as "mom" though they were statetic and non-living.
Sam: "Hey, Dean? Um... you said when you saw the darkness, you weren't sure whether it was uh...the real thing or a vision, right. I think I've been having visions too, lately. It's just images, more of a - feeling, really. But I just had one, right now, and and... dad was in it. But it wasn't Dad like the Dad that I grew up with, it was Dad like when he was our age and I guess it wasn't really Dad, it was someone pretending to BE Dad, and-"
- I wrote that whole thing out, but really, I just want to talk about how Jared and Jensen act the shit out of this scene. Like, I love how Dean reacts - how his attention is solely on Sam the minute Sam talks about having visions, but it's not like Dean's attention to Sam's visions back in the early seasons, because he is no longer scared of such things and what they mean - they've been through so much, that Dean is just like "okay, visions, let's first figure out if they're real visions or just stress dreams..."
- Also, I love Sam's rambling - it really does sound like when someone is trying to explain the dream they had to you. "I dreamt I was in Germany, but it wasn't really Germany, it was the Nana's house..."
Dean: "Okay, what makes you say that?"
Sam: "For starters, he told me everything I wanted to hear."
Dean: "Yeah, that doesn't sound like Dad."
- Hahaha, so true.
Sam: "I mean... maybe these visions are coming FROM God?"
Dean: "Whoa, pump the breaks."
- Sam's tentativeness - the fact that he doesn't want to say it outloud, because he WANTS to believe it... it's so perfect. Sam was formerly a religious guy and he KNOWS God exists... the comfort he must take from the idea that God might be helping him, might actually be answering prayers for once... but yet, he knows that as soon as he admits to that idea, Dean will be reasonable (which he will be) and he'll temper that belief (as he should), and THAT'S why Sam's reluctant to share... he doesn't want that comfort taken from him. He's clinging to it, whether consciously or subconsciously, because it might mean, as he said all those years ago, that maybe he could be saved.
Sam: "Dean, the first one came after I prayed."
Dean "You prayed, when was this?"
Sam: "Back in the hospital."
Sam: "Because I was infected. I WAS infected. I'm not anymore and I never went full rabid."
Dean: "You got infected and you didn't even tell me."
Dean: "What'd you pray about?"
- Seriously, I know I'm basicaly just writing out this whole episode, but IT'S SO GOOD.
- It's almost a reverse here, of S2, where Dean would freak out about the visions, but treat Sam's faith as fairly innocuous. Here, what really twigs Dean in htis conversation isn't the fact that Sam's having visions, isn't even the fact that Sam's floating the idea they might be from God - what twigs him to something serious going down is that Sam has started praying again. It makes sense, because if Dean knew that Sam STOPPED praying, which he must have, the idea that Sam would start up again would mean that something very dire had happened or IS happening in Sam's life... and since Dean himself doesn't feel that they are in a necessarily dire situation (Darkness notwithstanding), this is what tells him that there's things going on in Sam's life that Sam is keeping from him.
- Until this rewatch, I never put it together that the boys actually consistently refer to the "Darkness zombies" as "Rabids." It's a more subtle name than Jefferson Starship.
- Thirdly, I think Sam didn't tell Dean, because he didn't want to have his sanity questioned. Sam has had a really hard time having atonomy in his life, and being mentally-ill in anyway would destroy that, as it would give Dean a reason to make decisions FOR Sam again - as Dean tends to do (out of love, but he still does it.)
Dean: "Well, I'm sure, whatevers kicking around in your head right now is a side-effect of the infection, which you failed to tell me about."
Sam: "You know, I don't think it's that simple."
- See, and it happens pretty much right away. Because Sam WAS sick, Dean dismisses his visions as a product of the sickness, rather than continue to take them seriously. It's like that time a friend of mine went insane, and we were all like, "that's just because he hasn't slept properly in like 72 hours.", but nope, schizophrenia.
Dean: "...that's not even in the bible - that's an old proverb that dates back to Aesop. I read."
- I swear that one of my favourite things about Supernatural is the fact that BOTH leads are highly intelligent, educated in their field, and also happen to be brawlers... rather than shows that reinforce the fighter=stupid, smart=frail, dichotomy.
Dean: "And as far as Dad goes - I dream about Dad all the time."
Sam: "You do?"
Dean: "Of course I do. It's usually the same one too - we're all in the car, I'm sitting in driver's seat, Dad's sitting shotgun, but there aren't any shotguns. There's monsters, there's no hunting, there's none of that. There's just - he's teaching me how to drive. But I'm not little, like I was when he actually taught me how to drive. I'm sixteen and he's helping me get my learner's permit. 'Course, your in the backseat, just begging to take a turn. Pull up to the house - the family house. I park in the driveway, he looks over and says, 'Perfect landing, son.' I have that dream every couple of months. It's kinda comforting actually."
- There's so much I want to talk about here, that I can't even wrestle a single thought into submission. Again, we have the simple domesticity... the thing Dean's always craved in some fashion or another. We have a HOME that he's pulling up to. He's pulling up to it in the car that IS/WAS his home instead of having a proper one. And Mary's not in this dream, despite Dean's longing for, despite probably knowing that she's just inside that house... he's still with John and Sam, the two people that he grew up with, in the only home he ever knew... he's still surrounded by his life as it is, only he KNOWS there's no weapons in the back, that there's a mom in the house, that he's 16 and not 10, that he's learning to drive when he should have rather than when he had to. He's both in his unconventional life, but also in the life that he craves... he's PULLING UP to the life that he craves... and when he gets there, John, the person he idolizes the most, tells him that it's a perfect landing. Dean finds this dream a comfort, rather than a taunt. In my mind, the reason Dean has this dream is because THAT'S the life that he's working towards, the one where he delivers his family HOME. Dean might have grown up as a soldier following orders, but the fact that he's in the drivers' seat, to me, indicates how that's shifted - how Dean's burdon of responsibility is that he's the driver, he's the one with atonomy (Sam's in the backseat, begging for it) and it's up to Dean to drive them to their salvation.
- There we go, just had to treat it like my standard Dream Interpretation Service that I run for my friends and family. Opinions may vary.
Sam: "I always, uh, I always dream about Mom. Usually the same kind of thing though."
Dean: "Normal life."
Sam: "Yeah, normal life."
- I'd LOVE to hear one of Sam's Mom dreams. I find it SO INTRIGUING that Sam, who never knew his mother, who has only seen her once as a ghost, once in a demonic memory, once in Dean's memory, and once in time-travel, would have recurring dreams of her. It's one of the things I'm most looking forward to exploring in S12. Sam has never had a mother, not really... and yet he dreams of her. He dreams of her and the life that she represented, because I'm sure, even after so many years of knowing that Mary was a hunter - she still represents the normal life that was ripped away from them.
Dean: "I know what you're trying to do here. You're trying to find some greater meaning to it all. Some fate to what went down, but I'm telling you, Sam. The Darkness, it's on us. And no one's going to help us, certainly not God. So we're going to have to figure this thing out, like we always do. But until then, we hunt. This case for starters. Of course, this case is-"
Sam: "It's probably nothing."
Dean: "Yeah, probably nothing."
- Again, SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.
- Firstly, Dean KNOWS Sam... and he knows that Sam likes greater meanings, that Sam believed in God before because he took comfort in the idea that something bigger than them was in charge, was looking out for them. Dean always had Dad, who was Superman... and that was enough for Dean. But Sam, god-bless him, realized that if the monsters could get Mom, there was nothing preventing them from getting Dad... that Dad wasn't BIG enough. But more than that, Dean is saying here that he understands Sam also wants this to be like the apocalyse, where it wasn't REALLY his fault - it was demons and angels working together to USE him to f*ck up the world - and fate actually, in that case, cut the guilt, though he still had plenty of guilt. This time, it's really a random happenstance backfiring of a spell that Sam didn't research enough before setting in motion.
- Secondly, I love that Dean, despite Dad being gone, still puts his faith in human action - again, Supernatural, in its early seasons, was always a humanist perspective. What mattered wasn't what Heaven or Hell was doing, but what humans were doing - it was humans, individually and together, that shaped the world, that had the POWER to shape the world. Dean still puts his faith there, and that's why Dean's still my favourite atheist, who has an angel for a BFF and will eventually actually see God.
- Thirdly, the repetition that the case is "probably nothing" but they're still DRIVING TOWARDS IT. They're still going to go there and investigate - is it just an excuse to get out of the house for a bit? Or is it more than that. They can't dismiss it entirely as nothing until they investigate... that's the thing, it's what keeps them on the road. Yet, here we have Dean trying to dismiss Sam's dream as nothing... but can they really get off that road either? Or, just like this "probably nothing" case, is Sam going to investigate and follow where it leads him? We all know the answer to that, but I love the juxtaposition of these two things. "Your dreams are probably nothing. We'll solve this problem ourselves, just like this case, which is probably nothing."
Sam: "Goodnight, Jerk."
Dean: "'night, bitch."
- Awww... I was talking about this on the FB page of an SPN podcast I listen to (The Plaidcast), but this is actually the first TRUE "bitch-jerk" exchange we get since S2. And the reason for that is that this is actually the first time the brother's relationship has been REPAIRED (or on the road to repaired) since S3, because S4, we got animostity due to hell-damage/demon-blood, then we had animosity due to blame-for-apocalypse, then we had soulless-Sam, then we had ill-Sam, then we had blame-for-purgartory/purgatory-PTSD, then we had secret-angel/blame-for-secret-angel, then we had moc!Dean. And there might have been a few lulls in there, where they were nearly back to normal, but they were too brief, or were at highly stressful times. So, yeah, we get it here because they're finally at a stage where they've forgiven each other their indiscretions and they're both ready to have a relationship with each other again. And, wow, it's been a long time!
- The other interesting thing is that it's Sam who starts it. The only 3 other times that the boys have exchanged the line, it's always been Dean calling Sam a bitch first... but here, it's Sam's way of saying thank-you for the chat, thanks for being here when I woke up, thanks for being my confidant, as I am yours.
And can I just say, we're 19 minutes in and we haven't even GOT to the case yet... I just love this episode so much.
Also, they just totally wore the same clothes for two days straight... and Sam didn't even shower after he had sex, so... yeah (...*quietly realizes that I had sex yesterday and still haven't showered*... I live alone though!)
Alright, 20 minutes in, they put on suits and visit the sheriff/coroner. Then it's back to other things...
Sam: "Dean, people valet park all the time - come on! Live a little."
- So, the one thing that annoys me the most about this episode is that production could have at least filled the parking lot with cars. When they drive in, you can CLEARLY SEE many empty spots and an abundance of parking, there's absolutely no reason for valet. It would be differnet if they drove in to an absolutely packed lot, then valet would have been their only choice, as who the heck knows how far away the overflow lot is.
Dean's back in the same outfit that he wore for 2 days on the road... to go out to dinner at a restaurant fancy enough to have valet parking. So's Sam. Sam's in his sex clothes to go to a fancy restaurant.
Then we get Baby's sojourn out with the valet and her friend. How did she even have the time to do that? Also, does Dean really not check the spedomotor, or at this point, is it broken?
Back on the case...
And through the front window of Baby, where Dean is checking out where they found the body - you can see the back edge of the S1 Impala that they smashed with a truck. I can't believe it's been so long that it's already decayed that much.
I love Castiel ramblign as Dean gets attacked... and the fact that Castiel finally says "werepire" when Dean can't hear it.
Dean: "Ah, turns out I *did* shoot the deputy."
The fight is so good.
Then Sam was also jumped and ends up with an unconcious woman to look after.
I'm pretty sure this whole episode Sam's been wearing a new jacket. I really hope he wears it again in the season, because as marvelous as this episode is, it's not the best when it comes to taking clear screen-caps of clothes.
Cas: "..they used to use pennies, so you'll need one of those."
Sam: "Yeah, but one minted pre-1982. *to Dean* Before 1982, pennies were 95% copper, since then they're only copper-plated zinc."
Dean: "Wow, your nerdiness knows no bounds."
Sam: "You're welcome."
- I love that Sam's the nerdy-one because his knowledge extends to things that might not be applicable to Hunting, whereas Dean's knowledge is Hunting and pop-culture... and he's supposedly NOT a nerd.
- I love how Sam's like "once again, my interest in the world pays off."
- Also, wouldn't copper-plated still be enough copper?
- Also also - we'd be screwed up here in Canada. We've taken pennies out of circulation.
I love how they're just driving around with blood all over the car.
And Mrs. Markham wakes up.
Mrs. Markham: "You're family, you do anything for them, don't you?"
Dean: "Absolutely. Though, not if it costs too much, haha."
- Awww, the whole do-everything-for-your family comes back to bite Dean in the ass.
And Sam doesn't notice that his brother is getting the shit beat out of him in the car, until Mrs. Markham revs the engine. And Sam shoots out the back window.
Dean: "How many have you turned?"
Deputy: "In the first 100 years, three. In the past month, sixteen."
Dean: "What are, you trying to field a baseball team?"
Deputy: "Like I said, I need help, every strong hand I can find - I need an army, to fight the Darkness - oh its coming, for all of us [...] I don't think anyone can stop it. I'm just trying to buy us some time..."
- Part of me thinks it's a shame that we didn't see monsters try to take on Amara, it's their universe too after all. But this is the only indication (that I can remember) of monsters knowing that she's coming and reacting to it... it'd be an interesting avenue to explore and I don't remember them doing so. But, whatever, I like the season we got, no complaints.
And Dean purposefully crashes the Impala - poor Baby.
And that, kids, is why we wear seatbelts.
And we get a three stunt-man fight in the back of the Impala. Oh man, I forgot that Dean decapitated the monster with the car door. So brutal.
Dean: "Oh Baby, I'm so sorry."
- back window, front window, drivers-side windows... front end. You BETTER be sorry, Dean!
That turn Dean does is just amazing, and I love how he casually reaches up and adjusts the mirror aferwards.
Sam: "Dean, even the monsters are scared."
Dean: "Well, let them be. You and I, we're going to end this thing now."
Sam: "You mind starting to tomorrow?"
- Haha, I love Sam, just for a moment, wondering if Dean was serious that they had to do it NOW, when they're both so banged up.
Dean: "We'll get Cas to fix you up."
Sam: "Only if he fixes you up too."
Dean: "Okay Mom, let's go home."
- And this whole episode was really about getting better, all of them. Because we started with the reminder that Dean wasn't letting himself be healed out of a sense of guilt, and then we ended with him agreeing that that it was time to put that guilt behind him and let Cas heal him - that he didn't need to be punished further for the past.
- Also, this is the second time (?) in the last two episodes, that Dean's called Sam "Mom" - again, it makes me excited about the possibilities for S12.
Sam: "You know what, we are home."
*Dean pumps the gas, closes his eyes, mouths 'come on, come on', starts the car*
Dean: "Ah, there's my girl."
- Also, though, I want to talk about the way we pray without praying... because Dean does exactly that here. He prays to BABY when he goes to start her, and she answers his prayers... now, you could argue that's not really an answer to his prayer, because Baby is an inanimate object and can't hear... and what really happened was that both the starter and the fuel-injector were still functional. But then, is God answering prayers when it's arguably just the medication working? I don't know... I guess, in an episode as much about prayer and the existence of God as it is about healing a relationship - I think it's interesting how we see Dean, who took umbridge at Sam praying, close his eyes and mouth a prayer to his car at the end. I think believer or atheist, we all have our "prayers". The Winchesters hope for salvation lies as much in their car as it does in God.
(There, that only took 4 hours)
(Because I slept until noon today, may as well. Who cares that I have work at 9am, eh?)
Commentary is Robbie Thompson (Writer), and Thomas J. Wright (Director)
Tom was excited about the script.
Robbie: "Jensen's wearing short-shorts. I'm assuming that was method for him - he really wanted to wear short-shorts?"
Tom: "He wanted to wear shorts because he knew we weren't going to see outside the car, basically."
- Ha! Oh Jensen.
Robbie: "Absolute most fun I've had writing."
Robbie's favourite scenes to write are the ones between the boys, especially when it comes to Jared and Jensen who are amazing.
They also refer to the "Green Cooler POV" shots. So, POV Baby AND POV Green Cooler in ONE EPISODE!
They talked about having Cas in the episode, but then decided to have him on the phone - and so they treated the phone like Castiel - so every time you heard him, you had to see the phone and/or his name on it.
Night Moves was Robbie's wife's suggestion - it "HAS TO be Night Moves."
Robbie put "Bob Seager is one of the top 10 rock writers of all time, according to Bob Singer Esq." in the script (as description, not dialogue), because that's what Bob said when Robbie pitched that song. And it was Jensen who turned it into a line of dialogue, and it was Jensen who then said "Samuel" at the end of the line, and Jared who improved the line "It's Sam" which was also a call back.
-And I LOVE THAT SEQUENCE EVEN MORE NOW.
Robbie: "That was one of the things we talked about - just let these boys be free."
- Yes, please do!
Tom talks about mounting the cameras and letting Jared and Jensen drive away... and then not being able to see what they'd done until they got back.
Robbie: "In the script it says the song kicks in, and we move through quick shots of the boys, singing along, laughing, and it says 'just being brothers' - because I didn't want to tell them how to be Sam and Dean! I mean, what am I going to say to them?"
Tom talks about the sunlight shot and how everyone flipped out about it.
Robbie: "We are a procedual show and a genre show, and we only get 42 minutes... and also we have two of the best actors ever in these roles and they've been inhabiting them for so long, and it seems like there were scenes that we've never seen before..."
- YES! Oh man, I really do wish they'd step back from the procedual formula more often, but I know it's more special because they don't.
Robbie talks about how great Matt Cohen is, and how when they talked about the episode, they answered the question "who would we want to see in the car?" with the answer: John.
Tom talks about shooting it differently because it's a dream sequence. On Sam's side, it's all normal out his window, but on John's side, everything is larger and flares more. He went tight in the shots because he wanted to see the eyes and the mouth.
Robbie talks about Jared and Matt doing a great job.
Tom wanted to keep it "bizarre."
Baby's POV is always from the back, there's one in each scene.
Robbie talks about the night scene between Sam and Dean - it was the one Robbie most wanted to write. He wanted to see them sleep in the car. He talks about how it was a six minute scene, and every take they did, they hit it perfectly - and every take, they would do the complete scene. Every close-up and every two shot.
The down-shot was hard because they had to fit them in the car, because their feet actually were two feet out of the car if they lay down.
Robbie: "These are the scenes where we can actually live, let the actors be the actors and let them really play."
Robbie: "What's great about them as actors is their delivering the material [...] but their really engaged [listening] on every take, on every angle."
Robbie: "That's what's so great about these guys - they have, you know, uncanny chemistry. They're brothers in real life. There's so much history that they can play with a look - the line is the line, whatever, who cares, but they can play it in a look."
- Oh man, I love Robbie so much, because for a WRITER to say "who cares about the line", that's a writer that really understand writing for TV/Movies.
Tom: "The look and the moment - how much time you give the look, that's important."
- That TOO!
Tom: "If you've got it, you can play it - if you don't have it, you can't find it. What I get from a lot of actors, which they don't do, is I walk over and I say 'you can slow down, you don't have to talk as fast as you can, like you're doing.' I don't shoot those kind of shows - and I'm serious. [...] And they say 'they always tell us to run faster', and I say, 'well, I'm telling you now, don't.' [...] But if I need a good moment there and I don't have it because they're talking too fast...[...] they already know that, these guys, because I told them before. But they play the scenes well, and that's a big note I give, every show, if it's a new actor."
- YES, oh man, this is like my #1 complaint for TV/Movies these days. YOU NEED TO LET SCENES BREATHE! You need to dwell sometimes, linger a little. It's AMAZING what just pausing for a moment can do. Listen... the entirety of my acting experience is doing Shakespeare, and I've never directed anything besides myself, while reading Shakespeare... but just... pick up a book with some dialogue and try it, if you're curious... read the scenes while pausing in different places, letting different words breathe into a second or two of silence... it's amazing the different feelings you can create, the differnet messages you can convey, without even changing the lines. Did you know that Horatio suffers from L'appel du vide? No! Because no one ever f*cking dwells on Horatio's lines.
Robbie: "And here we go, two sardines in a can."
Tom: "But you never know, do you."
- The sleeping shot.
Tom talks about how amazing the actor who played the deputy was. All the guest actors were Vancouver actors (except Matt, obviously.) Tom has been in Vancouver for years and knows all the local actors.
They talk about the two girls - they did all the driving, and were great. Tom wanted to shoot that scene all day. Phil Sgriccia picked the MIA song to go with the scene.
Robbie: "I assume Jensen wasn't there, right?"
- Hahaha, probably not, he'd be going insane.
Jensen hit the dash cam a couple of times by accident, because it was so close to his face.
They talk about the fight scene and how they set it up, and how the actors were brilliant.
Robbie: "They have been shooting so long - and shooting this show so long - they know exactly where the camera is, exactly how to cheat it."
They talk about VFX and Mark Maloche and how wonderful he is too.
Robbie talks about how Jensen adds moments, like being disappointed that he has to take the beer out of the cooler, and that he almost gets bit when picking up the head.
Robbie talks about how this episode opened a lot of doors for the future, now that they've experimented with new cameras because they HAD to. Tom agrees - says that he already used it a second time in the season, because he couldn't not do it.
Robbie talks about how normally, when they pitch talking scenes, they're always like "well, put it in a diner, put it in a gas'n'sip" but this episode that wasn't an option and it was nice.
Robbie talks about the rare occurance of other people driving the car. Robbie jokes that Jensen must have been annoyed, because he's "very protective of his baby." Tom says he was okay with it.
Tom showed the episode to a stunt coordinator in LA and he was super impressed.
Sam in the mirror was a VFX shot.
Tom complains about how he couldn't get the shot exactly how he wanted where you saw the Deputy's bloody neck, because his collars were too high.
Robbie talks about what Kripke used to call the "Myth-Alones" which both were stand-alones and tied in the mythology - Robbie says this doesn't count as one, it's just a stand-alone, with mentions to the myth-arc.
There were two babies for the last fight sequence. Robbie talks about the take where Jensen said "Get out of my car" but it sadly didn't make the final cut.
Tom talks about Jensen learning to do a reverse 180 "by lunch". Two takes.
Tom says that they ran the episode at lunch time for the cast and crew, which SPN had never done before, but NCIS does every week... and the crew flipped.
Robbie really wanted Sam to say the line about Baby being home as well. [acknowledging the line from Swan Song about never beeing homeless]
Still published on Monday, by the time I was done - so counts as Rewatch Monday!