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

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Rewatch S11: Don't You Forget About Me (11x12)

First rewatch of 2017! I would have done this yesterday, but the unusual amount of snow Vancouver has gotten in the past 3 weeks caused several blackouts across the city - one of which included my house. :P

I'll be interested to see the SPN episodes that are filmed around this time. Mind you, they stopped filming for Christmas right when the worst of the snow hit... and this COULD all melt before they really get back up filming again, but I'd be surprised!

Anyway, power is back up now, so it's time to finish off disc 3!

Don't You Forget About Me

Ah, yes, the episode where Claire is a little TOO enthusiastic about hunting... but not too far off the mark. And Alex is trying to be normal, but can't escape her past... awww...

I do love the perspective here, once we know who is stalking this young couple - of the hunter being the creepy stalker.

If that was a real blade (and sharp enough to behead someone) it'd be cutting him.

Dean: "Did you catch us a case?"
Sam: "Uh, no, n-, uh, Get this, some- some dude took a picture of a weasel riding a flying woodpecker. Midair. It's kinda nuts."

- I don't think I've ever actually talked about this before - and this is a very mild example - but one thing I love about Jared's acting is that he gives Sam a mildly stuttering speech pattern. It's not always the involuntary stutter of a chronic stutterer... though I'm sure there's been cases where he came close... but it's a great natural 'I haven't decided what I'm going to say next yet' or 'my focus isn't on this conversation' repetition of syllables or words. And it really makes for a natural sounding line delivery.
- Okay, that aside, I love how Dean can recognize Sam's "I have seen or read something alarming" face... and I love how it obviously is a face that applies to curious new cases and also equally to weird animal photos.

The "Elvis" burger Dean presents to Sam is hilarious... mainly, that it's been 14 years, and Dean still doesn't really understand that Sam doesn't like fat/sugar-heavy foods. But, I love the unspoken exchanges here, the gesture Dean makes when Sam tells him to enjoy that clearly communicates to us that Dean has purchased too of these, because he got one specifically for Sam - so that Sam could enjoy this American marvel with him. Of course, that being said - Sam did really enjoy the burger that Dean MADE in the kitchen when they first moved into the Bunker. I think that's the only time we've ever seen Sam openly enjoy a burger. So, maybe if Dean had home-cooked him an "Elvis" :P

Dean: "Hey, long time! Your caddyshack review is way overdue." *pause* "Yeah, you got it. We're there." *hangs up*
*Sam looks over*
Dean: "How do you feel about South Dakota?"

- Man, I love this exchange. 1) I love that non-casual viewers of the show know exactly who is on the phone when caddyshack is brought up. 2)I love that Dean is immediately open and friendly with Claire, and then when she obviously asks him to come help her, he doesn't ask questions or try to suss out if they REALLY need to go - or even ask where Jody is - he just says that they'll be there. It's very much the extremely good parenting tactic of "Call me any time you need me and I'll come, no questions asked."

Also, Dean was totally wearing his Green angled-pocket shirt in that scene, and I recognized it from the CUFFS. Man, I'm good at my job. :P

This school they're filming at is not that far from me. For a brief moment in the scene you can see the actual name of the high school on the side of the building. They have Marshall High School over the door, but on the wall you can see the word Gladstone.

Alex: "What?"
Jody: "Just... you're killing it out there."
Alex: "Shut-up."

- Awww, Jody loves her.

Jody: "Winchesters?"
Alex: "Why would they be here?"
Jody: "I didn't put up the bat signal."

- Hahaha... I wish there was a bat signal. Also, the Winchesters are totally the batman of the hunting world.

Jody's house is SO mid-century modern on the inside... which doesn't really match the outside at all, but *shrug*.

Jody: "Everything okay? I didn't accidentally butt-dial you or anything...?"
- Haha, I kinda want an episode now where one of their friends accidentally butt dials them and they drive halfway across the country and their friend is like "oh, ooops!" I don't know what the heck the plot of that episode would be, but I'd love the premise!

Jody: "I'm going to go put another chicken on. You settle in."
Dean: "Oo...I wanna make it two! I-... I'm starving."

- They're wearing the same clothes as they had on in the bunker, so, I'm guessing they really did drive straight there. Man, really, what I want is an entire episode that explores Sam and Dean's sleeping and eating habits... but that just exposes what a nerd I am for these weird details of their lives... similar to "I wonder how often he wears that shirt..." which lead to the massive clothing project and the reason for these rewatches.

So, while I love the comedy of the boys eating like there's no tomorrow, or like they haven't had a meal in ages... it IS incongruous with their life now. They OWN a kitchen. They were JUST THERE. Also, Sam's always had pretty good table manners for a guy brought up in backwoods cabins and motel rooms. We's also, as I've mentioned already, SEEN Dean cook. So, I think this sort of scene would have been better sometime in S1-S7, before they had regular access to a kitchen. 3.5 years into having a kitchen and fridge and all that good stuff, I'm sure they've managed to figure out how to cook chicken and mashed potatoes themselves by now. Especially since it's not much harder than making burgers (which again, we've seen Dean do at least once.)
- Now, granted, in S12, we get the canon that Mary wasn't a good cook either... and in the opening scene of this episode we get Dean coming back to the bunker with take-out... so, it could be that we're supposed to assume that despite a kitchen, they're still relying on take-out, even 3 years in. And MAYBE they are? But, it's been inconsistent at best.

Alex: "Can we stop talking about monsters and hunting. What about real life?"
- I do feel bad for Alex here. I mean, what if you had PTSD after an entire childhood of being held captive and emotionally manipulated/abused, and then you escaped that, got a foster family, and all the foster family talked about were people like your former abusers? It'd certainly not help you trying to move on and leave it in the past.
- Of course, that's not to say Claire hasn't also had a rough time of it...
- Really, the two girls have two opposite and incompatible ways of dealing with the trauma of their past. Alex wants to run/escape. Claire wants to take control. And it makes sense, personality-wise that they've have that reaction. Alex was made to actively participate in her own trauma, so running away from active participation is understandable. Claire, meanwhile, had no control over her own trauma, it was all caused by the decisions of others - her father, her mother, Castiel, Dean... so, the idea that SHE can make decisions, that SHE can activily defend what's important to her and take control of her life would be very appealing.

Dean: "Oh, here we go."
Sam: "This seems like, uh, family business..."
Jody: "Sit. Stay."

- I love how Dean looks like he's actually settling in for the show, and it's only when Sam goes to awkwardly make his escape that Dean seems to question if he should follow suit.
- I also love how Jody tells them to sit and stay - because if it's family business, that includes them - the two people who keep sending wayward children to Jody's house for fostering. :P

Jody: "Hey, if we can't talk about it, we shouldn't be doing it, right? Right?"
Dean: "...what?"

- I wonder what the sex-talk sounded like with John Winchester....

Jody: "I mean, don't get me wrong, I love those girls - but man, I am hanging on by my fingertips."
- This is why Wayward Daughters would be such an interesting show. Jody is a mother, sure, but she was a mother to a little boy who reached all of 6 year-old (possibly younger) befor dying tragically (because it's always tragic at that age). Then, suddenly, she's got a heavily traumatized teenage daughter... then a year later, she gets ANOTHER traumatized teenage daughter. And yeah... I mean, at that age, they're barely children anymore, yet they ARE - and what's more, depending on the trauma, they're both less vulnerable and more vulnerable than other teenagers in any given situation.
- And, on top of that, Jody isn't exactly untraumatized herself - she's lost her son, lost her son a second time along with her husband during a brief zombie apocalypse... and she keeps having potential lovers either die or try to kill her.

Jody: "... and even there, I feel I should be teaching her about boyfriends and relationships - something a mom would teach her!"
Dean: "Ha, yeah, Sammy and I could have benefited from a little of that."

- Again, did they just not have sex or relationship talks? I guess not. I mean, my mother never did with me... or my siblings, I don't think. I think my mum's version of the talk was to a)notice when/if we had a boyfriend and then b)put us on birth control. And that's only if dating happened while we were living at home - other than that, we were on our own. Mind you, in Canadaland, they at least cover stuff in sex-ed when you're 13/14, so it's probably not as crucial that parents cover this ground at home, like it is in the states where, depending where you live, they might teach you nothing at all in school.

Jody: "Yeah, but I'm not Alex's mom. I'm not Claire's mom. I didn't raise them. I don't have that kind of history with them."
- Again, so interesting to explore these relationship dynamics. Jody is basically just running a boarding house (and not the sexy kind)... and yet, she IS the only responsible adult that these kids have had in their lives since the age of who-knows.

Jody: "She started college but she hasn't been to class in weeks. She doesn't have any friends. She spends her time trolling for cases and reading lore."
Dean: "Sounds kinda creepy when you put it like that."
Jody: "You know, I've got nothing against hunting, but if she's hiding in it, because she doesn't have anything else? I'm just worried about her being so alone."
Dean: "Well, I'll put Sammy on it. He's better with the whole talky thing anyway."

- What kills me about this conversation is that Jody is describing Dean... and Dean KNOWS it. Hence his "it sounds creepy when you put it that way" - what did Dean do while Sam was at school? Besides falling briefly in love with Cassie, it wasn't making more friends than just his brother... which was all he had BEFORE Sam left. Dean never even enrolled in college... he just hunted. And I'm sure the only reason Dean went to High School as long as he did was to avoid CPS getting on their case. He even tells Sam, in S1, that Sam can't have friends and be a hunter. This is double-y heartbreaking, as we know that Dean is actually a really friendly guy, who tends to form bonds quicker than Sam.
- My point is that I think part of the reason that Dean 'puts Sammy on it' is that he never really even considered how unhealthy it was. It was just his life. Sam, though, knew it was unhealthy because he escaped for a bit, and he tried, at least initially, to keep his friends... and Dean knows that Sam was never satisfied with only having Dean in his life when he was younger (things have obviously changed over the years, and now Sam seems quiet okay with his relative solitude.)

Sam: "Looks like you and I have the same decorating philosophy."
- Awww...
- "Looks like you and I both have had traumatic experiences that make it difficult for us to feel a sense of permanence and stability." :P

Sam: "You wouldn't be the first hunter who's trying to escape something."
Claire: "And what am I escaping exactly, aside from mind-numbing boredom."

- I love Sam's tactic here - because he very pointedly makes sure to refer to her as a Hunter. He doesn't try to negate her desire to be one or suggest that she's failed at it. She's a Hunter and the problem is obsessing over hunting to the detriment of everything else - rather than her failures to actually find a real case.
- Though, I will say, that using the word 'escape' here is the wrong word to use - because, as I've already said, I think Claire's problems have to do with control, not escape. If she can find the cases, she can control the supernatural before it affects her. The problem comes from viewing a lack of cases/hunting as a lack of control, rather than a peaceful respite.

Sam: "And I'm not taking sides, I'm just trying to understand what's going on."
Claire: "They're not trying to make me feel bad. I mean, Alex - she hates me, but... sometimes I just feel like I'm a little late to the Jody and Alex show."
Sam: "Yeah, well, they have been through some heavy crap together."

- Take it from Sam, the permanent third wheel to Dean and his relationships with people with whom he has been through heavy crap together. :P I joke... Dean's also been through heavy crap with Sam, which is why all of Dean's friends are also the third wheel to THAT relationship.
- But yeah, it's gotta suck for Claire to feel like she's intruding on the life that Jody and Alex have built together - especially since she wants to hunt and Jody and Alex seem more pleased by the mundane and ordinary.

Claire: "Maybe it's time I just head out on my own and be a full fledged hunter."
Sam: "Claire, I absolutely understand the need to hunt - believe me, I do. But the monsters are always going to be there, on and on, forever - but a chance at a family, a home, school, that won't be."

- Awww...
- Actually, Sam's a VERY good person to talk to Claire, because I realized that HIS response to heavy trauma is to get extremely controlling about hunting. See Mystery Spot, S4... his constant need to clean his guns after he returns from the cage, etc. The only abberation is S8, but I'm still chalking that up to a mild psychotic break.

Then more teacherman gets it.

Dean: "And you know what you were right, there is something unnatural going on here - but you can't just walk up in front of a bunch of officers and demand that the sheriff give you details on a murder investigation."
Claire: "Can we talk about the body now?"
Dean: "Oh, I'm not even near finished. You need to show Jody a little respect. She did you a huge solid by taking you in. She got you set up at school."
Claire: "I don't want to go to school."
Dean: "Nobody wants to go to school, Claire, it's school!"

- I love how this episode pretty much cements Sam as the maternal figure and Dean as the paternal one. Usually fandom does it in the reverse - but this is a 100% Dad lecture, whereas Sam's patient "I'm on your side, help me understand what's going on with you and then I'll offer advice that you can listen to or not, it's up to you" is 100% typical mother lecture. (If you're going in for stereotypical gendered roles, anyway. Apropros of nothing, if I ever had kids, I'd 100% be a Dad.... to the point where I'd actually prefer my kids to call me that, possibly even if I give birth to them.)
- All joking aside though - I love how Dean is taking Claire to task for two things here, firstly, it's disrespecting Jody, both Dean's friend, and someone who Claire should be very grateful for... and secondly, it's not hunting smart. If, as a college age girl, you walk up to the sheriff and demand anwers, you're blowing your cover... especially given that if you waited a few hours, the sheriff would probably tell you everything in private. Of course, Dean doesn't really get to that part before they're interrupted.

Dean: "My point is, she's been busting her ass to get you set up with a LIFE. She's feeding you - hell, you've got a nicer room than I do now - she's kept you out of jail."
Claire: "I never asked her to."
Dean: "And that's what I'm talking about. You need to act like you give a crap. You need to appreciate what that woman's done-"

- Dean also is trying to make a point here that it's those people who do stuff for us without even being asked or forced that we should appreciate the most... whether or not we actually want the things that they provide us.

*Alex and her boyfriend walk up*
Alex: "They cancelled school, so we're going to hang out, I guess."
Dean: "Hang out, huh?"
Alex: "Yeah."
Dean: "Hm."
*Alex and her boyfriend leave*
Claire: "Oh yeah, he got the message."
Dean: "Damn right he did."
Claire: "Yeah, I'm sure."
*walks away*
Dean:"Wh- people walking away from me!"

- Dean is such in full dad mode here, it's brilliant. But, I also love this exchange because it's LEGITEMATELY how people communicate.

Boyfriend is suspiciously TOO understanding.

Jody: "Uh uh. You are going to beg him to let you re-enroll."
Claire: "When there's a killer out there?!"
Dean: "Hey."
*Dean and Sam both give Claire LOOKS*
*Claire huffs and leaves the room.*

- Hahaha, awesome co-parenting, guys!

Jody manages to call Dean while being attacked.
- Worst phonecall ever to get. True story, in the days of landlines and before caller-id. I once called my mum in a panic and then was dragged away from the phone screaming before I could even respond to her "hello?"... never did ask if she could hear me. I always assumed she didn't. But, if could very well be that she did, and then just chose never to talk to me about it - not talking about upsetting things is our default. Anyway, I always think of that day whenever there's a scene like this one in a show... it isn't exactly a good memory. (For those concerned, rest assured that the bad dude in my story eventually became an alcoholic, ruined his family, and if he hasn't died miserable and alone already, he's bound to - so I came out the victor in the scenario. Go me!)

Poor Alex... :(

So, this is one of those scenarios where someone was "a good guy" until something bad happens to him, and that justifies him not being good anymore. Dude, if you're not good in the face of adversity, then you were never good.... or moral, or whatever.

I always think the cruelest people are those who turn their victim's life into a lie.

This episode basically includes both the "I was a good guy this revenge scheme is justisfied and you should have sympathy for me" villain and the "I'm only pretending to care about you for my own gains" boyfriend/villain in the same episode.

Alex: "I'll help you! Let them go and I'll lure for you. You know how good I am! I kept a whole nest alive for 8 years! And you can feed on me when the hunting goes dry, and it goes dry, I know."
- Awww... the worst, but also just shows what a good person Alex is. That she's willing to return to the nightmare of her childhood in order to save Claire.

Sam gets a sledgehammer uppercut - ouch. It's a good thing the Winchesters are made of steel.

I do love how Sam set's up the boyfriend so that Alex can take a parting shot. I think Sam understands the need to face your enemies, or those who manipulated you, yourself, in order to regain a feeling of control.

Jody: "...you two cooked?"
Claire: "Uh, we tried. The pancakes might be a little raw."
Alex: "We wanted to do something for you."
Jody: "Stop looking at me like that, I feel like Tiny Tim."

- Awww... they all know they all love each other now.

Alex: "I'm sorry he hurt you. Both of you."
Jody: "Hey, we're fine, we're in three whole pieces, more or less. It's okay."
Alex: "It's not okay. He almost killed you for what I did."
Claire: "What those vamps did. You were a kid, you had to do whatever they said."
Jody: "Alex - you were ready to give up your life for us. That's goodness. And that's what's scary about family - it gives you so much to lose"

- Awww... family.
- Also, I love the revisting of Alex's residual guilt for her past.
- Also, I love how at the mention of family, you hear the Impala drive up - and as hey all stare meaningfully at each other, you hear Sam and Dean get out of the car outside. It includes them in the conversation about family, without needing them to be physically present in the room.

Sam: "Dude, I got ribs, and two tubs of sauce because you're not touching mine."
- Awww... stealing Jody's tupperware.

Sam: "Alex, other vamps may come for you."
Alex: "I know, and I'lll be ready. And when I get my life together, I may be moving on."
Claire: "Alex, you don't have to leave to protect us."
Alex: "That's not why. I can't be around what you all are doing - things you're fighting."

- I love that she articulates this. That while she is thankful for the support while she finds her feet in the world, she knows that she'll never truly be happy or feel free of her past until she's as far removed from the world of monsters and hunters as she can be... which probably means finding a group of people who don't know about it. Now, whether that's ultimately wise or not - depends on whether she can escape her past enough to be safe. But I think, eventually, she will.
- It also drives home what makes her and Claire incompatable as foster siblings.

Dean: "You gonna be alright now that you're outnumbered again?"
Jody: "As long as everyone wears a condom, we'll be fine."
Dean: "I want that bumper sticker."

- I love that that was the line the episode ended on.

As per usual, please forgive spelling errors, and let me know what you thought in comments! :)
Tags: rewatch s11

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