I guess it's good that I'm getting back into the swing of things with an MOTW.
Let's talk about...
We begin, after the THEN, with two cute little boys... one of which is a cute little queer boy. But at least his brother is supportive and planning to run away with him. I'm guessing their parents sucked big time, if the (presumed) non-queer older brother is willing to take custody of his little bro at 18 and move to California.
And then he dies... and Jesse even doesn't get to pee first.
(Also, Matty, Jesse, Jackie... someone really likes shortened names.)
Sam: "Dude, you even moved since last night?"
Dean: "Sleeping is the new smoking."
Sam: "What? No it's not. It's sitting. SITTING is the new smoking."
Dean: "That can't be right."
- I just like this exchange. Mainly because sleeping makes even less sense than sitting, so Dean, at this point, is so overtired he's just saying stuff.
Sam: "Dean, we'll find Cas, alright? He's stronger than he looks."
Dean: "You know, we gambled with Cas, and now Amara has him."
Sam: "For a reason! Which means he's still alive."
Dean: "I've been with Amara - her beef is with the big guys, with God, with Lucifer - the small fries, even an angel like Cas, doesn't even register."
- So, it's a classic optimist/pessimist argument. Obviously, Dean's worry is easily understandable - they basically have a friend who is being dragged into a God-fight that they can't possibly compete in, nor portect themselves from. Moreover, Cas could possibly be killed as collatoral, simply BECAUSE he and Lucifer currently share the same body. I think Sam knows all this too, but is trying (as one does) to not fall into despair by listing the ways in which Cas may survive. A)he IS freakishly able to stay alive/or return from the dead, and b)As long as Lucifer is alive, there's a good chance Cas will also survive.
Sam: "Look, we'll catch a break on Cas, we have to! It's Karma!"
Dean: "You know, Karma's been kicking us in the teeth lately."
-Uh, guys, Karma doesn't work like that. Though, I do understand that culturally, in the west, we've morphed Karma to mean something other than Karma originally meant... but still. What you're looking for is more like a reap-what-you-sow type thing. I guess we don't have a short name for that, so we coopted karma (which is the similar, except only occurs through the process of resurrection.
Sam: "...only now she too, is a green-eyed mutant."
Dean: "Demon swap suits?"
Sam: "Only one way to find out."
- I like the way they acted this scene - we've seen countless 'this is why we have to do a MOTW this week and not the myth-arc' conversations, but usually they're along the lines of "Let's focus on what we CAN do rather than what we can't." This one is more Sam finding the case, and then seducing Dean into doing it by appealing to his curiousity - and you can see it the way Jensen reacts to Sam's 'only one way to find out' - like, he's upset that Sam's right. He doesn't WANT to take the case, but he's now curious as to what the answer is, and there's only one way to get it.
Ooo! Attractive Sheriff! I'd forgotten about her!
The interview between Dean and the girl is really good too - I'm not copying out the dialogue, because I don't have anything dialogue specific to say - but the scene is really well acted between the actress and Jensen. I'm not sure who the actress is, but she does a good job! (Jensen's good job is no surprise, of course.)
Dean: "...weed alone doesn't conjure up that kind of a scenario. Isn't that right, Sam?"
Sam: "Dude, I was 18."
Sam: "It was college. It was probably oregano anyways."
Sam: "You're an idiot."
- This is the same Dean who has alluded to experiencing dropping acid, I should say. So, yes, he's an idiot - and specifically making fun of Sam for things that Dean always encouraged him to do (see S1). Also, I like that Sam has only smoked weed once, and possibly not even enough to get a noticable high, if he's serious about it probably being oregano. (OR, they're talking about edibles, in which case I've had edibles that weren't made right before and as a result couldn't produce a high - which is why I had them, otherwise I wouldn't have eaten them, but the chef was super disappointed in the brownies being "normal" and I was like "woo! normal brownies!") Also, it amuses me that Sam only did weed once in college and that's it... but that's because I live in Vancouver, where 1 our of every 5 people is a recreational pot smoker. THAT being said, I'm not, so... I guess me and Sam have something in common!
- Also, the way Dean says "sinner" should be outlawed. It is FAR too flirty to be saying to your brother.
Dean: "So, we're thinking junkless turned Libby?"
Sam: "Hold up, we're not actually going to go with junkless on this, are we?"
Sam: "That's a new low even for us."
- Dude, Dean used to call angels junkless all the time - even though that was a specific reference to Dogma and probably not true (especially given that some of the angels took full advantage of their meatsuits.)
- I think Sam's concern is from a toxinomy standpoint - if the first people to discover something, name it, you've gotta be careful what you start calling it or you end up with Jefferson Starships (which is another episode I love, just for watching how disappointed Sam looks in himself when he finds himself using the name.)
Woman: "Right before he disappeared, people saw Pete diddling two women, in public, separate occassions."
Dean: "You mean, they actually saw him in the act?"
Woman: "What does diddling mean to you?"
- *snorts* I just love that line - and her face.
I also love this conversation because of the way that the woman increasingly begins to dislike Dean, and flirt with Sam... it's a really simple comedic device that they've used before, but it amuses me nevertheless.
Sam: "Let's pick up a six pack."
Dean: "Just six?"
Sam: "ah, whatever. Let's hit the books."
- I like little 'pointless' dialogue like that. It makes characters seem more human. Also, I love that they use drinking as a euphemism for research, because they do both at once.
Cesar to the rescue! I love the hero moment!!
Dean: "How long have you guys been hunting?"
Jesse: "Together? About seven years."
Cesar: "We heard of the Winchesters, but we also heard you bit it a couple years ago."
Dean: "Oh, that's a long and ugly ugly story."
- I LOVE when they meet hunters who know who they are - mainly, because at this point all hunters SHOULD know who they are. Also, I like hearing the different knowledge levels people have - who knows that they're still alive, who doesn't, who knows they're trouble, who doesn't.
Sam: "You guys are hunters, right? I'm surprised we've never run into you."
Cesar: "Oh, we're usually in Mexico, but sometimes we make a run over the border into Texas."
- Hunters from Mexico, or New Mexico, or Arizona, or southern California, would be the only hunters never to run into Sam and Dean, since that climate (ie: desert) is the only climate that can't be imitated in Vancouver. (I mean, speaking of climates in broad terms, such as forest, farmland, lake, ocean, mountain, etc. I'm not talking about how Vancouver forests look way different than Vermont forests, and details like that - mainly because then Vancouver forests can really only be temperate rainforests and nothing else - so you're always going to have to suspend your disbelief there.)
Sam: "How do you guys know so much about these things?"
Jesse: "One of them took my brother 27 years ago."
Sam: "I'm sorry to hear that."
- This, of course, is an 'honest mistake' version of something Sam did way back in S3 that I loved as a character point - and that was openly ask another hunter how they got into hunting. This is along the same lines, though not as much of an obvious social blunder. I love it because it strikes to the heart of what makes the Winchesters, and Sam in particular, unique among the modern day hunters. Most every hunter we meet (save for the Campbells, before they were killed off) are hunters because of a traumatic life event. Back in S3, Sam was the only one who couldn't REMEMBER his traumatic event, and so hunting was just something he was raised to do, and didn't have trauma associated with it (other than the trauma of hunting itself and Sam's disastrous childhood - which, Sam blamed more on his father at the time, then the monsters.) Dean is SORT of the same way, he remembers the traumatic event, but hunting/arming-himself was a comfort at a young age, rather than an extension of the trauma. Dean LIKES hunting, even while he simultaneously craves family and stability. Anyway... my point is, I like it when Sam and Dean's weird childhood is a character point that differenciates them from other hunters in way that others them from the people who SHOULD be their peer group.
I also like when Jesse asks them to "take a step back from this one" both Sam and Dean respect the request and don't argue - yielding the floor to the person seeking revenge, but also yielding the floor to the person with more knowledge and skill for the hunt.
Cesar: "Well, one of the reasons why we've been holed up in the trees is because Jesse hates the town and everyone in it."
Jesse: "Because they're ignorant and useless..."
- And I also love how that has two different meanings here. They're ignorant to the danger and useless because they won't listen - and they're also ignorant because they're a bunch of bigots (or were, 27 years ago.)
Dean: "You guys fight just like brothers- you're almost as bad as us."
*Jesse looks uncomfortable*
Cesar: "Well, it's more like an old married couple."
Dean: "Ha, yeah...oh! ...what's it like, settling down with a hunter?"
Cesar: "Smelly, dirty, twice the worrying about getting ganked."
- So, I love this reveal because it's done REALLY realistically (in my humble opinion). Jesse, who is in his bigoted hometown full of bad memories, immediately shrinks into himself when he feels pressure to define his relationship with Cesar as something OTHER than hunting partners. Cesar, who has no bad memories tied to the town, and moreover, is probably MORE honest because he is far away from anyone who knows him (it's the equivalent of internet-honesty - we feel safer rvealing ourselves to strangers than we do to people we know, because we have nothing to lose if strangers reject us.) So, Cesar does the revealing, but in a way where it's not a "we're gay" or "we've lovers" which may be a)innaccurate and b)too intimate sounding - instead he just gives Dean the correct alternative option for why they bicker. It's a relatively safe way to do it, and something that you COULD back out of if you needed to (though Cesar leans into it enough that you can tell he doesn't intend to do so.) Also, it doesn't draw attention from anyone else in the bar. Then, Dean gets it, and in true awkward human fashion, quickly wracks his brain for something to say next - something that both shows he's not homophobic but also treats homosexuality as a normal thing that doesn't need attention drawn to it... so, he comes up with "what's it like settling down with another hunter?" which is a pretty great way to do just that, even though his delivery tells us of the quick and awkward thought pattern that went into composing the question. Cesar, in turn, sees what Dean is trying to do and rewards him by answering his question sincerely and with a touch of humour, which will give people something to laugh at that will break any of the tension built up by the whole "are these guys homophobes?/do these guys think I'm a homophobe?" panic that just descended.
- AND now, after dissecting that conversation, I want to talk about the work "gank" which, SPN has corrupted me, but I believe is heavily features in SPN but not many other shows... so, I looked it up, and using "gank" as "to kill" (instead of "to steal") is, according to the internet, something that arose out of video-gaming/MMORPGs, from slurring together the words "gang kill". Anyway, I DO wonder how often it is used in other TV shows, because I swear it shows up in SPN way more often than anywhere else, and with Cesar using it too - coming from a completely different mother-tongue as he is - it almost makes it, instead of Dean-slang, Hunter-slang across the board.
I also like the actor who plays Jesse - in that, when he looks at/talks to Cesar, his face softens into puppy-eyes - but he hardens up when he looks at anyone else.
Also, I just have to say that I love that they cast two large beefy men as the gay couple - rather than having the sort of... gendered gay couple, where you have a more femme guy and a more masc guy, that perserves heternomativity even in a gay relationship. Not to say that those couples are bad at all, or don't exist, they do! I just think they're over represented in media. But, that's just my opinion, and it's true that I don't watch much TV or movies these days, so things may have changed across the board and I wouldn't really know.
Cesar: "...and Jesse will wait another 27 years."
Dean: "Well, there's four of us now - we'll smoke those sons of bitches."
Cesar: "Yeah, it'll eat him alive if we don't."
Dean: "It's hard to watch someone go through that, isn't it."
- Dean grew UP watching someone go through this. It was his life, from 4-26, watching his father get eaten alive by the quest to avenge his mother. Plus two years of watching Sam do the same thing with Jess.
Cesar: "Yeah - I never had a brother, or a sister, but I've seen it over and over - when someone lose someone when they're young, it never heals over."
Dean: "No, it doesn't."
- And now, I think, Dean goes from being able to sympathize watching first his dad, and then Sam, go through the revenge thing - to basically talking about himself. DEAN lost someone when he was young, and it never healed over - partially, I think, because John didn't let it. By focusing their entire lives around finding Mary's killer, it basically made Mary's death a recurring trauma.
- It makes me wonder how early in the season they started planning for Mary's return.
Cesar: "And the insane thing is - how many hunters have you seen over the years get their revenge?"
Dean: "A few."
Cesar: "Yeah, me too. And they are never fixed, are they?"
Dean: "No, I guess not. But you gotta help them get that revenge anyway."
- I just love this trap, because they're both right. Revenge never helps, but if someone is that hell bent on it, the only thing you can do is aid them - even knowing, that eventually, they'll be left with the same (and possibly more) trauma. Sometimes, the only way out is through - if you let revenge consume your life, then get it, because at least after that you'll be free.
Jesse: "...moved as soon as she could. Still thinks I should have done something - saved him. Everybody did."
- Yikes, to not only lose your brother, but have the whole town BLAME you for it... and on top of that you're a queer boy in the 80s. It REALLY sucks to be you, Jesse.
Sam: "They couldn't accept that your brother was taken by a monster, huh?"
Jesse: "They couldn't accept a lot of things, but Matty did. He was a great brother."
- Awwww... poor Jesse.
Cochrene: "Okay, I'll tell you what - give me your card, and if I remember something, I'll give you a call."
Sam: "Mr. Cochrene, you don't own a phone."
- I just love that line, and Sam's face.
Jesse: "You sonovabitch! You knew the whole time! You know where they were when everybody was suffering!"
Cochrene: "I was suffering too!"
Jesse: "You told me I was making it up! We could have told them together! Found those things!"
- I love this exchange because by "everybody" Jesse really means "I" - While his mother, and the whole town, blamed Jesse for his brother's disappearance/death, Cochrene the truth and he could have eased JESSE'S suffering. The only suffering that could have been eased by the truth was Jesse's (everyone else's grief would still be grief). He chose not to say anything, and in doing so left a little isolated queer boy to be even more isolated, now that he had lost the one person who loved him unconditionally. (Though, I'm going to go the optimistic route and hope that his little boyfriend Jackie may have been a support, so Jesse may not have been completely alone. Though, if his mother moved away 'as soon as she could', it could be that Jesse was then ripped away from Jackie as well, moving elsewhere with a mother who blamed him for his brother's death. Ouch.)
- Cochrene, on the other hand, suffered alone as well, but CHOSE to. Because while children can see adults as potential allies, adults can't do the same with kids. So, Cochrene didn't save Jesse from his suffering, not even to keep him company in suffering - most likely, given that Cochrene doesn't seem to even remember Jesse or Matty specifically, Jesse wasn't even a blip on Cochrene's radar.
Sam: "Jesse, jesse stop - what did you do? Did you just erase her from your life, pretend she went away somewhere?"
- I love how Sam pulls Jesse away, and you think he's going to try to take the sympathetic approach with the old Sheriff - to get him to talk more - but instead he's like "how could you treat the memory of your daughter like that?!" Hahaha, oh Sam.
The other thing I like about this episode is that both Sam/Jesse and Dean/Cesar find the same answer using two different strategies. So, the fight between Jesse and Cesar as to what the best move in comes in at a draw - both strategies ended up working.
Body horror is so gross.
And Dean takes off a head with a shovel.
And Jesse finds Matty, and it's sad. I think it's nice though, that they give him a hunters burial. Also, it just occurred to me that hunters must travel around with white sheets in their car, just in case. That's depressing. It's either that or they steal them from whatever motel they're staying in.
Sam: "You know, whenever you and Dad used to leave me to go hunting, and I wouldn't hear from you for a while, I - um - I was always sure that some vamp, or rugaru or take your pick - I always figured one of them finally got ya. I always figured what to do, you know, the next step to take - I was just lost."
- Oh my god, SAM!!! YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT VAMPS OR RUGARUS AS A CHILD! John and Dean NEVER HUNTED VAMPS OR RUGARUS. John may have hunted Rugarus on his own, but never with Dean, and NEITHER of them hunted vampires. You didn't find out Vamps existed until S1 and you didn't find out Rugarus existed until S4. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS THE CANON OF THIS SHOW?! (I'm not as mad as I appear, I'm more just rolling my eyes, because of ALL the monsters to mention, he HAS to mention the two that we know were never hunted pre-series.)
Dean: "We came back though, every time."
- That's not what Sam's trying to say, Dean. He's trying to say that he's super thankful that you did come back and he couldn't imagine the pain of being in Jesse's shoes - or rather, that he CAN imagine it, and it is the thing of his childhood nightmares (and has been a reality at least four times in his adult life as well.)
Dean: "And look at Jesse, I mean, he turned out alright."
Sam: "They're a good team"
Dean: "They are. I was thinking - maybe they could give us a hand with Amara, with Cas."
Sam: "Fresh eyes. Could use the extra muscle too."
- Awww, I also love that Sam and Dean are talking about actively teaming up with hunters. And it WOULD be these hunters, because a)they are distant enough from the Winchesters to know of them, but not have any preconceived ideas about them. and b)they understand love (both familial and romantic), which is the main driving force of the Winchesters as well (with more emphasis on the familial... unless you've got your shipping goggles on.)
Cesar: "Because we had a deal - when we finish this hunt, if we got 'em - we hang up our spurs."
Jesse: "Unless you're hides need saving?"
Dean: "No, no we're all set."
- Again, I love the choices in this conversation, because it includes unspoken cues as well. Dean looks disappointed when Cesar mentions retiring, and Jesse picks up on that - he asks DEAN whether the need saving. And when Dean tells him no, Jesse KNOWS that it's not the truth - or at least - not the full truth, but he accepts it for what it is - "we need help, but not bad enough to ruin your dreams."
Sam: "So, what's freedom look like?"
Jesse: "Nice little spread in New Mexico, been paying on it for years, set foot on it - twice?"
Cesar: "We're going to raise horses, and if that goes bust, Jesse used to be an EMT."
Jesse: "Oh, so now I'm supporting your ass."
- My only complaint is the delivery of that last line from Jesse being a little wooden, but it's such a minor thing. Also, I still love the line - because the way he says it, it actually suggests that Cesar has been supporting Jesse in Mexico. (Simply because he puts the emphasis on YOUR rather than SUPPORTING - don't let anyone ever tell you that English isn't a tonal language.)
- Also, as much as I love the idea of Cesar and Jesse being regulars, I also love the idea of a happy ending for Hunters and them living their days out on a ranch somewhere. Also, where are all my Winchester curtain fics where they visit Jesse and Cesar? Or destiel fics where Dean and Cas, for some reason, have to lay low, and they do so on the ranch - and slowly realize they're in love or whatever. (I don't actually read destiel, but I MIGHT read that... MIGHT.)
Sam: "Couldn't do it, huh?"
Dean: "Nah, didn't feel right."
Sam: "Yeah. I know what you mean, two hunters who make it to the finish line?"
Dean: "Yeah, you leave that alone."
- Awww... I wish the same for them. Also, I kind of like the weird awkward feeling of these ending lines, mainly because...well, Sam has TRIED to make it to the finish line 2? 3 times? And every time, either Dean or monsters, just DRAG HIM BACK IN. I mean, sometimes it's Dean, but inevitably it would have been monsters if Dean hadn't gotten there first.
- Or, you could interpret it as them being uncertain about their own future - they couldn't ask Cesar and Jesse to help, because it may in fact mean certain death.... and unless they're cool with that, which they clearly aren't, given that they've been making retirement plans this whole time, then you can't ask that of them. But it does mean that Sam and Dean WON'T make it to the finish line. (Though, I'd prefer if they did, personally. I really want the sunset drive-off ending to the show, even though I know every inch of it - especially in the first 5 seasons is coded as a tragedy.)
Until next time...