This is Nancy Won's first episode - sadly, she was only with us for the one season, which is a shame, because as I recall I like her episodes. Anyway, let's see if I like them just the same on rewatch - starting with this one!
The Then is still going... I'm currently waiting for dinner to cook, btw, so we'll see how much I get done in 45 minutes.
And into the show!! We get the stupid young couple purposefully going to haunted places. This time, Lizzie Bordon's house. We also get a Ghostfacers reference, which is fun (I know some people don't, but I like the Ghostfacers)
And dude can't figure out a deadbolt and gets killed.
To the bunker!
Sam: "Well, I thought I had something earlier - half a tone went nuts and started killing each other - but, turns out, they'd eaten rabid possum meat."
- Is that really something people can do? Also, doesn't rabies in humans mostly manifest in hallucinations (and not necessarily violent ones) and extreme sickness?
Dean: "You do realize tha possum is a giant rat, right?"
Sam: "It's a marsupial."
- I thought there were two types of possums - the marsupial kind and the giant rat kind. God, I'm gonna have to look up possoms now, hold on a sec... okay, they're both marsupials, but American (o)possums and Australian possums are different in all other ways.
Dean: "Wait a minute, I know what this is! This is something to do with your freaky fetish for serial killers!"
Sam: "It's not a fetish."
Dean: "You've always wanted to see that house."
- Man, indulge him once in a while, Dean, it won't kill you (or... uh, not anymore so than the rest of your life will kill you.)
- Also, I do like how they've added this interest in serial killers to Sam's personality, especially since it still jives with the earlier seasons, when Sam happened to be the one that knew facts about serial killers when they came up. I've talked about that before in other rewatches though, so I'll leave it here. But yeah - just reiterating that I like that they've given Sam an interest unique to him.
Dean: "What do you want to do about Cas?"
Sam: "Oh, he's knee deep in binge watching The Wire. He just started S2."
Dean: "Oh yeah, he's not coming out anytime soon."
- Has Sam just been sleeping in another room? Because... Cas is in Sam's bedroom this whole time... not sleeping, just watching Netflix. Personally, I like the idea of Sam sleeping in there anyway, because at this point in his life, Sam can probably sleep through anything. Also, I have a love for people trusting each other enough to be unconscious while the other is awake.
Off to Fall River...
Mason's mother: "Mason! You forgot to cancel the bakery order."
Mason: "Mom, I'm with customers!"
Mason's mother: 200 dollars worth of danish and no guests to eat them!"
Mason: "These guys can put away a few!"
*Sam makes a considering face and nods*
- I just love Sam's "yeah, we could totally eat $200 worth of danishes" face.
Dean: "You'd think the Innkeeper could have mentioned THIS before he ripped us off"
Sam: "Eeh - well, I guess you're going to have to get yourself another room - because this was Lizzie's original room, and I'm not giving it up."
Dean: "What are you, four?"
- Haha, firstly, the innkeeper didn't mention it because you're two men staying at a B&B and you did not say you were brothers at any point.
- Secondly, I love it when Sam acts like an actual annoying younger sibling. I also, love Dean's just, completely exhasperated and annoyed face right when he says that line, because that's what I'm currently paused on while I type this.
Sam: "I think it's this - it's like a *reads* lavender toilet water"
Dean: "Bottled toilet water?! Why do you keep spraying it?"
Sam: "I just wanted to see if the squeezy thing worked. I think it's supposed to be a perfume or something..."
- Haha, like I said, I love when they act like actual brothers.
- Though, I find it hard to believe that they can be educated enough to translate eau de toilette, but not educated enough to know that means perfume and not toilet water. I mean, you reach a certain age, I would think you'd have come into contact with that word before... even when you aren't a woman.
Now the Winchesters walk around the house confused following EMF signals...
(Oh man, you guys, my dinner smells so good - I got 12 minutes left until it's ready, according to the timer. I'm only 9.5 minutes into the show... )
Dean's in the giftshop... and actually investigates the broken lights... and then sees someone taking pictures. And that's when we first meet Len, who I remember liking... but he runs off.
Sam's in le attic and finds the EMF generator.
Dean's discovered the timers for the flickering lights, and the sound system that makes the haunting noises.
Sam: "But we still don't know how the couple got axed. I mean, how did the killer get in and out?"
Dean: "I don't know, why don't we sherlock that over a dinner roll - I gotta get out of this doiley coffin."
- I wonder if Sam would have made a good detective in another life... is he still thinking it's a ghost, because of the mystery of how the killer got in and out? Or is he now wondering what skills the human killer had? It's hard to tell.
- I also like how Dean turns "Sherlock" into a verb.
Second murder time! (6 minutes until my dinner is ready... now 13 minutes into the show.)
This time, it's Mason's mother that gets axed.
Dean: "So far we've got squat that says ghost, or remotely us."
Sam: "So maybe it's not our usual kinda gig - maybe we're dealing with a serial killer."
Dean: "Yeah, you'd love that, wouldn't you."
- I guess he would?! Seriously, maybe Sam should retire and actually be an FBI agent, I bet it's less dangerous than his current job.
Another murder, this time in the next county... which means the boys are splitting up.
It's Mike from Stranger things!!! Awww... cute kid (local Vancouver actor).
Sam interviews the babysitter.
Sam: "Ma'am, I'm agent Collins with the FBI - I understand this is a terrible time, but if you could manage a-"
Mother: "You need to get out of my house is what you need to do!"
Sam: "I understand, we can talk tomorrow-"
Mother: "Get out!"
- Yeah... SHE'S SUSPICIOUS.
Dean's interviewing Len, who is as adorable as I remember him.
(And dinner is ready! WOO!)
(Okay, back - that was delicious)
This episode is mostly the case, so there's not actually a lot for me to talk about.
Officer: "People have freaky-ass reactions to loss."
- Well, this is true.... and we find out later that it is, literally, true.
And Dean finds the Mark of Cain symbol drawing at Len's place.
Flashback to Len meeting Amara...
Amara: "Poor Lizzie - I've been reading up on her, her parents sucked."
- So, here we see that Amara does have empathy.
Dean: "Where did the symbol come in?"
Len: "She had it on her shoulder. I don't know if it was a scar or a birthmark..."
- So, this is a weird thing of MINE I guess, but to me, something has to be above the collarbone to be "on the shoulder" unless it's on the shoulder blades at the back. So, yeah, Amara's mark is totally "high on her chest" in my opinion. NITPICK! :P
Dean finds out that Amara is now 12. Jensen's a good actor, I love his reactions.
Len: "You have to tell me! Please I need to find her!"
- And we find out that Len had his soul eaten... so sad. :(
Len: "I don't know what that girl did to me, but I haven't been right since. I can't eat or sleep. I don't dream. And all the things I used to love - my Lizzie blog, the ghost conventions - they leave me cold. I put this whole collection on eBay last night...."
Dean: "What about superfan, curator, living the bliss?"
Len: "Just playing the part of what I used to be. You know, fake it 'til you make it, or, you know, feel it."
- So, this is the super fascinating thing about Len, in which he aligns partially with Sam - which is why I think fans really loved him. Len loses his soul and he doesn't become a seriel killer, he knows something is wrong, because he can REMEMBER feelings... so he just fakes his life. This is pretty much exactly what Sam did in S6. He remembered that he wanted Dean to retire and be safe, so he left him retired and safe, and he remembered that he used to hunt, so he hunted... and when he met up with Dean, he acted pleased to see him, and happy to have him around, and protective of him - and he remembered that having Dean in his life was important to him... and yeah, that's basically what Len is doing here. He's acting in accordance with his remembered feelings.
- There's an analogy you could make here about depression, which I'm pretty sure the show kinda does at some point more overtly? Maybe I'm remembering wrong. But in anycase, what depression does is basically make you blank, so that you feel relatively nothing and life starts feeling pretty meaningless because you can't derive any joy from it. More than that, symptoms of depression include eating disorders and insomnia (it's no coincidence that when Jared had the breakdown that caused him to miss Jus in Bello the other year, the press release said he was suffering from 'exhaustion' - which is also a chicken&egg scenario, since not getting enough sleep makes you super depressed and being clinically depressed causes you to not get enough sleep.) Anyway... yeah, Amara is basically going around making people either clinically depressed (like Len) or psychopathic (like the deputy in 11x02).
Sam: "Does that mean she's getting more power too?"
- This is a nice bit of exposition, because we get a GUESS from Sam, but since we're not given any word to the contrary, it gets accepted as truth... and thus the writers give us the truth without having Amara step into frame and say "Souls make me more powerful."
- It also reinforced my headcanon that the initial "rabid" disease is an earth immune-response to Amara's presence... of course, I realize that this headcanon will completely breakdown later in the season when we see Amara purposefully unleash the disease in order to try to drag God out of hiding. BUT WHATEVER!
Dean: "... we can't kill him, because he hasn't done anything yet."
Sam: "Dean, we don't want to kill him - we want to save people, remember?"
Dean: "Right, your new rules."
- I love how unimpressed Sam looks - they aren't NEW rules, they're rules that they've both forgotten! Oh poor hardened Dean...
- I do like how despite working outside the law, and for practicality's sake mostly only ever using the death penalty as a punishment - they still won't punish unless the suspect is proven guilty. More so than can be said for some police officers in the states... and just in case you think I'm on a high Canadian horse - I just found out the other day that there's a prisoner in Canada who has been held in solitary confinement for 1500+ days without trail. (for the record, that's 100 times longer than the point that the UN considers it torture.) So, yay, apparently my country is perpetrating crimes against humanity, or whatever the heck the UN calls torturing people. ANYWAY, GOOD ON YOU FOR HAVING SOME MORALS, WINCHESTERS!
Dean: "But you're better with sensitive verbal massage"
Sam: "There's no sensitive way to tell somebody that their souls been sucked out by a pissed off tween!"
- I do remember some speculation after this episode (by me, likely), wondering if perhaps Dean had lost his soul to Amara too, in the opening episode, and he too was just acting the part. It would explain his callousness to Sam's "new" rule about saving people, and also him pushing the emotional labour onto Sam here. Of course, upon rewatch, it's pretty clear that a)Dean's been emoted normally WAY too much to have something THAT wrong with him, and b)Dean always pushes the emotional labour onto Sam, so that's nothing new.
Sam puts it together that the mom from the other murder is probably soulless.
So, now it's time to track Mrs. Pinksy.
Len: "I feel weird, man."
Sam: "Weird how?"
Len: "Like something's hatching inside of me. Something dark. With wings."
- So, I think the Winchesters just kind of dismiss this as someone trying to describe what it's like to not have a soul (or maybe I'll be proven wrong later). But, although we've certainly seen murderous soulless people before (such as when Abbadon was farming them), it does make me wonder if it's not just about soullessness, but also the remnants of being touched by the Darkness. Like, perhaps that's what causes them the soulless to murder more indecriminately... or maybe I'm reaching here. As I said, this is hardly the first time we've seen people become soulless and immediately become murderers.
Len: "No, you looked at Sam like - You guys know what's wrong with me!"
Dean: "You don't have a soul, alright. Amara sucked it out!"
Sam: "Dean! You want to be a little more blunt?!"
- Come on, Sam, it's not like Dean has to worry about Len's feelings. :P (Sam would totally give me a bitchface for that comment. I can picture it now and it's glorious.)
Len's handcuffed to the car, and Sam and Dean investigate the house. And Dean's being watched from under the stairs... and finds TWO dead bodies before he's knocked in the face with a pipe. Ouch.
And Mike from Stranger Things is tied up on the floor. Jordie, is actually his name here.
The babysitter is the killer the whole time!
We find out Sydney knows Amara.
Amara: "Excuse me, drunk girl? You shouldn't be driving, you could put your head through a window."
- At least she's polite?
And Sydney is nice to Amara... aww... punished for being nice.
Amara: "I'm going to help you, Sydney."
- How is sucking out her soul a help? No wait, she doesn't... she does something else.. brings her a lot of joy - or "ecstacy, orgasm, chocolate cake."
Sydney: "Oh, your an angel!"
Amara: "Do I look like a whiny winged sucked-up?!"
- And THAT's when Amara sucks out her soul...
- So, yeah, was Amara going to spare her before that? Probably not? Who knows. We DO know that Amara really doesn't like being associated with angels, which was the only part of her brother's creation that she saw before she was imprisoned... and arguably, her brother created them for the sole purpose of helping him to imprison Amara.
Sam: "So you don't want memories?"
Sydney: "Do you have nice parents, Sam?"
- Always an awkward question with the Winchesters. "It's complicated."
Of course, Sydney then goes on to detail physical abuse, which, arguably, Sam never suffered.
So, Sydney, is the opposite of Len. Len's life before was one of joy and enthusiasm, now, without a soul, the blankless left behind is a LACK of joy and is therefore depression. Sydney, whose life was mostly pain and misery, experiences the lack of those emotions as bliss.
I feel like there's also an analogy in there for the different kinds of drugs that people can be addicted to... but I don't have any experience at all with drugs, so I'll just walk away from that thought before I prove my ignorance on the subject.
Sydney: "Not me, Jordie! Where do I start? Meth dealing Dad. Slut Mom. No, I saved Jordie. And I'm going to take care of him better than they ever did."
- So, the memory that carried over for Sydney was the memory of caring about how children were raised and treated, and that's what she's deemed important enough to continue doing, even though, ostensibly, she can no longer feel love for Jordie the way she once may have.
- Anyway, I'm sure murdering the parents that he probably loved despite their faults, and completely traumatizing him is the MUCH better path to a happy life. *rolls eyes*
And Len saves the day!
And Mike from Stranger Things finally gets lines... OR DOES HE?
Sam: "Jordie, you got any family you can stay with?"
Sam: "When I was six months old, my mom died, and my dad was... was never really around much. I realize that's nowhere close to what you've lost, but - you're going to survive this. People are going to help you."
Jordie: "There's Aunt Kathy. She comes at Christmas."
- He DOES get a line.
- And I know that I made fun of Sam's awkward attempt to connect the first time I watched it. But I actually think it's pretty sweet and a good strategy. Because what Sam is basically saying is that he has also felt alone in the world, but that people helped him (now, that "people" might have been his steadfast brother who never left his side) but more likely Sam's talking about adults, because Sam sees Dean, in this scenario, as an extension of himself (ie: also alone... they're alone together, if that makes sense.) And so, Sam's thinking of "Uncle" Bobby and Pastor Jim, and maybe even Caleb, and the babysitters that stepped up to the plate, etc.. though, probably wise of Sam not to mention the word "babysitter" specifically.
Len: "What kind of person can murder and feel nothing?"
- Len's also an awesome character because he's a "psycho-killer" enthusiast who becomes, essentially, the kind of personalty that could become a "psycho-killer".
Len: "... and I know for sure now, if I'm not stopped, there will be another kill. I can feel it - like a bubble, rising up."
Dean: "So, what do you want to do?"
Len: "You could kill me?"
Dean: "No, I'm not going to do that."
Len: "Then there's only one thing - I'm going to turn myself in. I'll confess to all the murders - that way I can't get out."
Dean: "Well, there's not that many soulless killers who would give themselves up."
Len: "I remember what it was like to do the right thing. So I'm going through the motions, for as long as I can."
- Awww, poor Len... he eventually dies, doesn't he?
- He's pretty awesome though, and it's as good a solution as any - if you know you're going to kill if free to do so, and you know that's considered a bad thing - then simple make yourself un-free to do so.
Sam: "You know, I get this pit in my stomach every time I think of her. I think we only know the tip of what she does to people...[...] what was it like for you? Did you feel like that with Amara?"
Dean: "No. I mean, it was quiet. Until she started hatching killers and rallying monsters to raise armies..."
- If Joy was a gift for Miserable!Sydney, then I could see how "quiet" could be an equal temporary and appealing gift to "chaotic-life"!Dean.
Officer wondering how Len could be a serial killer - Sam handing Jordie over to CPS, then looking broodly at the camera... yeah, pretty pointless scene. Not to mention that if it's before Len DECIDES to turn himself in, it doesn't make any sense whatsover. Though, I guess the Len scene happened before the cops showed up? And this cute scene would have come after. Still, too brief to be anything but jarring, so I can see why they took it out.
And there we go! I'll be back next week, sometime between Sunday-Tuesday, with the next rewatch. In the meantime, see you later Thursday night for the next new episode of S12! :)