Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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Rewatch S11: O Brother Where Art Thou (11x09)

Let's see if I can get through a rewatch before I fall asleep... I must admit, I've been procrastinating on this one, so, I guess my subconscious isn't overly fond of this episode.

We shall see though!

O Brother Where Art Thou

THEN - I totally forgot about the angel and the demon chat back in... episode 3 was it? In any case, I still wish that more had come of that then what we get...


I DO like it when Amara freaks out a bunch of the public-preaching religious people. But it's pretty sad when she kills them all. I mean... it really DOES paint her as evil, because that was OTT, you know? Also, gross charred bodies.

Sam having a vision of Lucifer in the cage. And it's a cold day in Vancouver. And Lucifer caps off the fake vision with a burning bush... he knows how his dad communicates.

Sam and Dean fighting - I don't like the fish-eye lens on the beginning of this, but that's personal taste.

Dean: "Yeah, with Lucifer, the biggest Monster ever hatched. Fan-freaking-tastic!"
Sam: "You know what, Lucifer WAS the biggest monster ever hatched, until you and I hatched one that's even worse!"

- I DO like the fact that Sam's not just blaming himself here, as he always did for the apocalypse even though that was 50% Dean's fault too.

Jensen is so pretty in these close ups.

Dean: "You were in the forest. There are bushes there and sometimes they burn!"
- Haha, very specifically burn... sure Dean.

That's a nice glass Dean is drinking out of.

Dean: "Crowley, you know that the Darkness is going to pound on everything and that includes you."
Sam: "Yeah, and you had a shot at taking her out when she was with you, but apparently you thought that sucking up was the way to go."
Dean: "And that didn't work out so well."

- And once again, the Winchesters and Crowley are in a situation where the enemy of their enemy is their friend... this is how they justified Crowley's position in 5, 7, 9 most of 10, and now 11! Only 6 and 8 are actual Crowley as enemy seasons, personally, I kind of perfer those, but I understand that they like the character and want to keep him around. I like Mark Sheppard myself... but, I don't know... it's just one of those things where basically being unofficial friends with the King of Hell makes the Winchesters less... lone cowboy/anti-establishment than they were in the first 5 seasons. I suppose their aging like everyone ages... first you rail against the establishment, then you recognize that it's not as cut and dry as all that, and then you BECOME the establishment. But, I DO miss the anti-establishment days of yore... we all stay that way in our hearts, I think, even if our actions and lifestyles don't support it... because being the establishment is way more comfortable, when it comes down to it.

Crowley: "Because she chose you! And you couldn't control your girlfriend! What happened in that room? Why did she insist on sparing you? What is she to you?"
Dean: "You want to know what she is Crowley? What about God's sister."
Crowley: "God's sister? He has relatives?! I had that kind of leverage in my hand and I let it slip away-"

- I do like how Dean avoids the question of "why did she spare you." I also like Jared's acting here, because you can tell Sam wants to jump all over those questions with his own, but he's biting them all back because it would give Crowley leverage to know the brothers were keeping secrets again.

I'll say it again - I love how they put the cage in chains, like the way Dean was in chains.

Dean: "Is it possible to control the situation? Because if Sam's not safe, it's not happening."
- Awww

Dean: "You're the king of the joint, don't you have a key?!"
Crowley: "It was sealed by God himself, of course I don't 'have a key!'"

- So, I think part of what bothers me about this Lucifer storyline overall (and still bothers me about it) is that it took AN APOCALYPSE to free Lucifer last time...remember the 66 seals and the narrowing down of generations in order to produce the perfect mirror vessels to open said seals! And all that jazz? Well, clearly Dean doesn't here - but that was all done because Azazel (who I always presume was the former King of Hell) wanted to open the cage and get Lucifer out.
- I mean, YES, he also wanted to start the apocalypse... so MAYBE it was about more than that, but it kind of annoys me that all they need now is one really powerful witch and the Book of the Damned.... because they had those before too.
- But, yeah, I guess they can breeze through on the technicality that maybe Azazel went about it the traditional way because he wanted the traditional consequences.

Amara: "Wait, so only dead people get to see him? And this makes sense to billions of you?"
Priest: "It is the nature of faith. It's all here - the mercy of God, his love of he world, of mankind, his perfect plan for us."
Amara: "Manipulation! You only believe what he wants you to believe."
Priest: "Exactly."
Amara: "You don't know what he is like at all!"
Priest: "We certainly do! God is the Light, and it is the Light that vanquishes the Darkness."

- So, excuse me while I pick apart of theme in this episode.... but it's the whole "you believe what he wants you to believe" thing, it comes up again later, but it's also tied in with the notion of faith, which Supernatural (IMHO) has a particular stance on since it has a confirmed-God-universe but is an overall message of humanism and a main character that's an atheist (and I'd argue STILL an atheist even after meeting God.)
- Mainly, I think there's a distinction to be made between those who only believe what they're told to believe and those who believe in God and all things in accordance to their reason. Now, of course, there's a subset of humanity that does not have critical reasoning ability and in that case, being told what to believe is a comfort.
- So, while Amara has a point here - that one shouldn't believe blindly. The priest also has a point, in that when you TRUST in the person/being providing the beliefs, and you trust that their reasoning is better and more sound than yours, then why shouldn't you believe what they tell you? We do it all the time with Non-God people... like, when you're a child, you believe your teachers and parents. We once half convinced my little sister that dinosaurs still existed, which in retrospect was horribly cruel (and she did hate us for it) because we abused the power of knowledge that she had embrued us with as her older siblings.
- So, this is where Supernatural's version of faith comes in. It's not about belief as in "is God real?" it's about belief as in "can you trust God?" Do you trust that he has superior reasoning than you do? If you HAVE the ability to reason critically, does the standard teachings agree or disagree with your reason? What do you do if it doesn't and what does that mean for your faith?
- Amara, of course, believes that you should never trust in God - because, after all, he betrayed her.
- The priest, meanwhile, argues that God's betrayal of Amara proves that the priest SHOULD believe and trust in him, as God betrayed Amara in order to create the priest and protect him from the "evil" that is Amara's promise of destruction/consumption.

(FYI: If any religious people are reading this - I'm not bothering with the capitalization of pronouns, not as a sign of disrespect, but because a lot of the time I'm talking about Chuck, not the Judeo-Christian God... and I don't think Chuck necessarily needs his pronouns capitalized.)

And now we recruit Rowena... I like Rowena's arc in the later half of the season, when she realizes, after 300 years, that selfishness and schadenfreude is actually not a good path after all.

Sam and his damn hands. STOP HAVING AWKWARD HANDS, JARED!

Rowena: "And what happens to me once the dangers passed? How do I know I can trust any of you?"
Crowley: "You don't, none of us do, it's a devil's bargain."

- I do like that line. It's also well played here that Rowena is the last to be requited and the one planning to betray them the whole time.

Angel Minion Meeting!

Daniel: "Take over Heaven? How is that even possible."
Angel2: "Yeah, who made her God?"
Angel1: "Come on, Daniel. You know the stories as well as I do. All powerful. All consuming."

- And there we have the "all consuming" being quite literal in Amara's case... and yet they see it as a possible take-over, rather than a consumption. Probably for because they, like me, have a hard time wrapping my head around what it means to be consumed in that fashion.

I do like the diversity of the angels in terms of ethnicities, but why are they all dudes?

They fill Rowena in, even though she already knows because Lucifer's been speaking to her too... I'm pretty sure that's the plot anyway.

And then Amara is consuming folks and killing them. At least she's cleaning up after herself!

Amara: "Do you see what's happening? All your favourites, all your chosen, they are suffering. SHOW YOURSELF"
- Amara, God doesn't have favourites.... 'cept Dean, Sam, and Cas.

What it DOES accomplish is dividing the Winchesters, so bad things happen. Awww...

Dean: "Are you sure you're okay with this whole deal?"
Sam: "No, not even a little, but what choice do we have, you know?"

- Awww, poor Sam.

Rowena: "Talk about trust."
Sam: "No, I don't."

- TRUST THEME! Hahaha.. I'm reaching, I know. Rowena's just complaining about her chains.

Man, Jared looks good in this scene. I like him in red-tones.

Sam: "...do I look crazy?"
Rowena: "Well, you do have unresolved issues with your domineering older brother and the abandonment of your father."
Sam: "You know, just get back to work, alright."

- Awww... really, though, she should have pointed out that the only reason he's not crazy is because Cas pulled a magical solution out of his ass back when the writers wrote themselves into a corner in S7.
- Also, I think Sam's issues with Dean have actually been mostly resolved by now. And, like usual, his father abandonment issues are pushed aside in this season in order to focus on Dean's... by THESE EXACT WRITERS. Ugh. Okay, I'll put the Sam!girl back in the closet now. My point is: whether through good writing or bad, Sam's like the pinnacle of mental health in S11 and (so far) in S12 too... when it comes to the standards of this show, anyway.

And Dean senses Amara and his compelled to go find her... in the park in Yaletown.

Amara: "You felt my presence, that's why you came here."
- Gross non-con luring!

Crowley: "Can it. Your barbs may amuse your circle of hags, [but] you have no idea what you're tampering with - what Lucifer is capable of."
- Also, Lucifer KNOWS Crowley betrayed him, so there's no way that Crowley can suck up after the fact, that ship has sailed, and Crowley knows it well.
- I do like that these end up being, retrospectively, all ominous warnings for Rowena - that she's treating something serious and disasterous with amusement, and shouldn't, because there comes a point where there's no joy in the misfortune of others, because their misfortune is your own.

AWKWARD HANDS SAM! Why do I always have to notice the awkward hands.

Crowley: "Makes your flesh crawl, doesn't it, Moose. I'm the King of this place. Still not my cup of tea."
Sam: "I don't know, Crowley, I'd say it suits you - dark, empty."

- Yay, a bit of Sam/Crowley dynamic here. Sam's relationships are always so much more subtle than Dean's (that's no slight on either of them... it's just interesting.)

Crowley: "You're certain you can do this without actually opening the cage."
- So, people get confused about this spell a lot in Fandom. But what she's doing is summoning Lucifer FROM the cage into another cage... she's not opening the cage, nor putting Sam in it. Lucifer doesn't necessarily escape the cage, he escapes the secondary cage. Like... a prisoner escaping the family-meeting room, rather than escaping solitary.

Amara: "You misunderstand my purpose on earth."
Dean: "Do I misunderstand the people you butchered in that park, or in that church?"

- Your purpose means nothing if your actions to achieve it are foul.

Amara: "My issue is with my brother, not his creation."
Dean: "Whatever the deal is between you two, whoever through the first punch, whoever was daddy's favourite."
Amara: "There was no daddy."
Dean: "Whatever. That mess is your mess. It's between you two, you're taking people lives - you're taking their souls."
Amara: "I consumed their souls. They aren't gone. They're a part of me. And in that way, they live forever."

- Ah, and here comes my answer to why I was confused at the start of the season... because up until now, Supernatural has been a binary universe with God and Death (God births. Death kills.) And so, as some of you remember, I was trying to figure out how Amara fit in there if it was supposed to now be binary with God and Amara... and how that worked with Death reaping God in the end, as he said he would. (Because we all know he's not actually dead. It's impossible.)
- Anyway, this answers that, as one of you told me it would (I think it was supernut?)... Amara isn't destruction, she's consumption. The souls still exist as part of her... whatever that looks or feels like. This means, that if Amara also consumed Gods other creations, they too are still living inside of her.
- So, it's a weird trenary universe - God creates, Amara consumes, Death kills. Can Death kill what Amara has consumed? Perhaps not, as Amara says that they 'live forever' - is that part of the reason that Death seemed to hate the Darkness when he described her... or is it just that she consumes ALL. Can Amara consume Death? I'd like to think not... that Death is an outside force to religion or any God. That by nature, Death is springs into being along with any act of Creation, regardless of the creator's wishes. And that's why Death can reap God, because he wasn't created BY God, but rather that as soon as God (and Amara) sprang into existed, so did Death.

And I believe this is the first time we get red-glowy-eyed Lucifer. Not particularly sure whether I like it or not... but, maybe I don't need to have an opinion about everything.

Sam's so scared. Poor Sam. Ugh. I'm mad about what happens... but like, in the way I'm supposed to be.

Lucifer: "I'm aware of what she was, but that was eons ago."
- Lucifer knows exactly what's up... he had the Mark too, and now he doesn't. But it's a good act, and Sam buys it.

(Sidenote: I wish Mark Pellegrino wasn't a selfish libertarian... I have a harder time enjoying his acting now that I know he's a douche. It's a catch-22 knowing stuff about actors, really. Sometimes, it makes you like them more, but sometimes it ruins everything...)

Amara: "He was so threatened by me - fearful that I would make a more perfect creation than he. So, he exiled me. Virtually erased me. Passed down stories about me that I was a threat."
Amara: "He encouraged religions as monuments to his ego. Promised the fearful safety, if they'd adore him. His way or the highway."
Dean: "Some people find comfort in that. Golden rule. Brother's keeper. It is his universe - His rules."

- So, Dean makes my point here that some people find comfort in God's prescribed way of being... in having those rules to follow.
- But, the more interesting thing here is Amara's strange retelling of events - because I'm pretty sure this gets changed in the latter half of the season - what creation did Amara want to make? The way God tells it - he creates, and she consumes, and she was not interested in creations that were NOT for her consumption. And wow, now Amara is reminding me of hypermasculine misogynistic white guys.... never saw that coming.
- But, this tells the story of competing creations - which, I admit, is what I wanted at the jump of this storyline... because (along the lines of defeating the patriarchy), I thought it would be extremely interesting if Supernatural was making a statement about the suppression of the feminine, and that the Darkness/Amara could have actually been an ally, not an enemy... but, alas, they didn't go that route, and despite her feminine identification, Amara is instead a metaphor for something else... a consumer of things? Anarchy? Rage? Revenge (do we NEED another revenge metaphor in this show)? Might be anarchy, in which case, this just drives home the fact that Dean and Sam have become the establishment. It's hard to say... maybe she's simply a method to draw out God and explore the humanist message some more.
- I will say though that "religions as monuments to his ego" DOES stack up with some of the old testament stories. Though, it's also sort of... what would happen, if a god tried to intervene in human affairs, regardless of the god's wishes in the matter.
- Also, I like Dean's comment that it's his universe and therefore his rules - really, the fact that God gave humans the ability to NOT worship him is a sign that he DIDN'T encourage religion as a monument to his ego. If he wanted his ego stroked, he would have made it compulsary... much like, ironically, Amara does with Dean's devotion to her. Once again, we have Amara telling us she's the alternative, while actually being the thing that she's warning us against.

Amara: "What if there were no rules? No pain. No prayer. Just bliss. That feeling that you have when you're with me, for everyone, forever."
- I guess THAT's what it feels like to be consumed by Amara? I guess that's her competing solution - God creates things that feel pain, Amara sees the pain and thinks it would be better if that didn't happen, so consumes them and gives them bliss?
- So, maybe Amara is another "which would you prefer, Peace or Freedom?" metaphor. We haven't had one of those in a while. Maybe because it's actually fairly anti-establishment/authoritarian... to wish for freedom over peace. The irony, of course, is that Amara is couching the agrument for peace using words that people would associate with freedom "no rules"... but she's offering a prison of her own body. Meanwhile, she's equating God with rules and a lack-of-freedom, even though he's actually the choice for freedom. ... I mean, if you want to talk about current politics and the rise of neo-nazism/authoritarianism in the western world, we could be here all day.

Crowley: "...surely Sam knows better than to strike some sort of deal."
- Aww, Crowley's worried.

Rowena: "It's not easy being a parent - knowing when to hug your child, knowing when to kill him."
- I just love that line.

Lucifer: "God is a master strategist. That's why you're here."
Sam: "And why's that?"
Lucifer: "Because God needs me to help put the cat back in the bag. Can't do it by himself. Seen that movie."
Sam: "And?"
Lucifer: "And I need a ride out of here. I mean, I look swell in here and everything, but I'd be so much smoke topside."
Sam: "You want a vessel."
Lucifer: "One who's strong enough to hold me. Handy and available now. Catch my drift."

- So, ignoring that last shot of Sam, what I really like is Sam's reaction (or rather, Jared's acting) when he realizes that Lucifer wants him as a vessel... because if you're watching for it, you can SEE that right away his reaction is "If this is what God wants, then I'm about to defy him." And I LOVE that. That there's a line that Sam won't cross, even for God.
- I also love that wink that Lucifer gives Sam on the line "and available now" - I mean, I love it, but it's super dark and creepy.

Dean: "What exactly do you want, when you make the world of bliss and peace - what's in it for you?"
Amara: "What I deserve."
Dean: "Which is."
Amara: "Everything."

- Man, SO reminding me of the type of guy who complained about the Ghostbusters remake.
- Also, again - "God is an egomaniac; follow me instead - and all you have to do is give me EVERYTHING, which is what I DESERVE."

Amara: "I was the beginning, and I will be the end, I will be all that there is."
Dean: "So you're, you're it. That would make you God."
Amara: "No, God was the Light. I am the Dark."
Dean: "Then what?"
Amara: "That's all you need to know for now."
*Dean stabs her*
Amara: "You had to know that was pointless. I know that you're a warrior and your instinct is to resist, but I can't be resisted."
*goes in for soul-suck, seems to decide to kiss instead*

-Gross non-con kiss!
- Okay, so a couple things to talk about here... Firstly, Acts of resistance are never pointless. What's more, Dean proving, even just to himself, even just for a moment, that he CAN resist, is not pointless, it's extremely important. An act of resistence, even if it fails, even if it gets you killed, will still allow you to go out (either in defeat or completely) with your head held high. More than that, though, it drives home the point to Amara that Dean IS resisting, that this IS non-consensual.
- Secondly, Amara basically confirms that she's not going to create a world where everyone is at peace and free, but rather that she's going to consume the world so that everyone is at peace inside her - and she is everything - and you can tell she knows that won't sell, because she completely avoids the question as soon as Dean tries to press for more information about this supposed "creation" of hers. In that I think he knows it's not a creation but a mass consumption of what already is.
- Thirdly, CAN Amara suck out Dean's soul? Does this non-con relationship go both ways? Did she legitemately change her mind, or did she kiss him to cover up the fact that she can't suck out his soul? And if that's the case, why not? These are all things that are never answered, so, presumably, we should just assume that she changed her mind and went in for the kiss on purpose.
- This DID feed into the soulless Dean theory, but I don't think that theory holds much water. I could argue my own theory, of the idea that Sam and Dean's souls are becoming god-like... but that's just as farfetched and ridiculous, so I'd be a huge hypocrite. (Not that that's stopped me before!)

Lucifer: "Sam, your visions were the word of God, you can't say no to that!"
- Man, this is actually an excellent parallel storyline, I just realized. We're really dealing a lot with consent when it comes to God and God-like creatures. Dean (our resident atheist) can't resist Amara, because she's got an ACTUAL hold on him somehow. Is Sam's trust in God any different? Does his belief bind him to participate in an act that he does not want? (Let's not forget that Dean just got non-con kissed, meanwhile the language around vessels has been sexualized since the concept was first introduced.)

Amara: "What you've been feeling since that moment. What we've both felt. We're bonded. You're the one that set me free."
Dean: "No, that was an accident."
Amara: "It was destiny. You bore the Mark. I am the origin Mark. You and I will be together."
Dean: "No, that's not going to happen."
Amara: "It's so simple Dean. We will become one. Why wouldn't you want that?"

- Again, destiny vs. freedom. Dean will always choose Freedom.
- So, one of my theories is that Amara decides not to soul-suck Dean, because she wants to replace God with Dean... as in, she wants there to be only her and Dean, after she consumes God's creation. I'm not sure if that actually jives with the show though, as I'm sure Amara later does talk explicitly about consuming Dean too and making him part of her. But whatever.
- It's also interesting that although it was Sam/Rowena who actually set Amara free, she still picks Dean, the last barer (besides Lucifer) of the Mark, as the one responsible. It could be that while Amara's rage was filtering through the Mark and making Dean go nuts, that Dean was filtering back and that's why Amara sought him out first. But then, she does not have the same feelings towards Lucifer, even though he bore the Mark the longest. (And yes, I KNOW there's an argument to be made that Lucifer lost the Mark when he transferred it to Cain, but I just don't by that, as Cain, at least according to behaviour, retained the Mark after transferring it to Dean.)
- Anyway, again, here, Dean's resistence is important.

Angels: "Amara, you're going to surrender to us and to the judgement of Heaven."
- So, here the angel minion storyline fizzles out. You know what would have been BETTER than having it be useless though?!!? If it hadn't been... it would have made such a better statement if it HAD come down to the "little guy" and seemingly useless resistence. Like... imagine if the minions of Heaven and Hell got together, and actually threw off Sam and Dean's status quo? Disrupted Heaven, disrupted Hell. Crowley wouldn't be King anymore and Cas would have a weird relationship with Heaven, and they'd all be exiled cowboys again, dealing with united forces that were hostile towards them. BUT, I do see the problem with that, in that if the attempt was successful, then...well, it wouldn't be Sam and Dean saving the day, and fundamentally, that's what this show actually is. So, nevermind, my version sucks. STILL THOUGH...
- I shouldn't say they're completely useless. They DO incompacitate Amara for a bit and buy the Winchesters a little more time.

Sam: "No."
- Sam's so awesome.

Crowley: "Why did the warding fail? What's happening?"
Rowena: "Follow me, Fergus."

- The thing is, Rowena KNOWS.... but I wonder if she thinks she's doing Crowley a favour - she DID think the Winchesters were ruining him after all. And she DOES think, much like Crowley always does, that allying herself with powerful evil forces is of a benefit to her and hers. (She, like Crowley, is wrong, of course - that's another thing that runs in the family.)

Lucifer: "That would make so much sense, if it was God that was doing the talking...[...] it wasn't God inside your head, Sam. It was me. So you see. He's not with you. He was never with you. It was always just me. So, I guess I am your only hope."
- So goddamn heartbreaking. Sam's had a long life of feeling like God isn't with him, but trying to trust in him anyway. Honestly, I'm pretty sure that's the story of Job, isn't it? Or am I getting that confused... *looks it up* oh, it's KINDA like that, only instead of Sam being wealthy and having a good life to start off and God testing him, he's always just had a shitty time of it. :P

Sam: "It's never going to happen."
Lucifer: "Well, settle in there, buddy. Hey, roomie - upper bunker, lower bunk, or do you want to share?"
- Always gotta end on a rape reference when it comes to Lucifer, don't ya.


Scene 7, apparently.

Someone is getting a lethal injection? Why? And then the door locks and the curtains are drawn, and Amara shows up. Looking for God in this prisoner who "found God."

So, just Amara getting more confused about what Relgion is. Then she goes to eat his soul, but he dies first.

I agree, pointless to have in. But we DO see that Amara can't eat the souls of the dead/dying, so that's an interesting little tidbit.

So, surprisingly, I was completely wrong about that episode. It was really interesting and there was a TON to talk about.
Tags: rewatch s11

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  • Last Day

    Alright, for all my talk of having moved on mentally, I have to admit that seeing all the last-day things - the set tear downs, the goodbye messages…

  • ...hi

    I realize that basically since the show went on hiatus back in February(?), I have done nothing but post messages that say that I'm alive and that…

  • What do you mean it's already 9:30?

    See, this is what happens every day. I finish work around 2 or 3 if I'm lucky (a couple of times it's been 5 or 6). Then I think, okay, I have a…