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

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Rewatch S11: Alpha and Omega (11x23)


Oh man, I always forget about Carry On... like, how can I forget about this every year? But I do!

And we pick up where we left off.

Sam helps Dean first, Dean goes to Cas and directs Sam to check on Chuck. I like the dividing of labour there. Go to the ones you believe in. :)

I love Dean's quick draw when Rowena walks in.

Crowley: "Well, that was a complete and utter dog's breakfast, wasn't it."
Cas: "I didn't know dogs had breakfast."
Dean: "Cas is back."

- This is pretty cute. I know the whole 'naive Cas' gets super old after he's been hanging around on earth with humans for at least 7 years now... but, I still like it when he can't understand metaphor or doesn't know every saying. I mean, case and point, I wouldn't use dog's breakfast in this case - because I think I have a different definition? I'm going to look it up "a confused mess or mixture" - see, I was right. I didn't think they were confused or a mess, I think they just failed. But maybe that's splitting hairs and Crowley thinks differently.

And the sun is dying... WAY ahead of schedule.

So... the thing is... does Cas even interact with God in this episode? I can't remember... you'd think that'd be a big deal and I'd remember it.

Dean: "What? We hit Amara with everything we've got, and she walked it off - so..."
Sam: "So, it's last call?"
Dean: "That's right. Look man, if you've got something for me to punch, shoot, or kill, let me know and I'll do it. I'll do it 'til I die. But how are we supposed to fix the frickin' sun?"

- It's a good point. But I also love this, because it shows where the disconnect is for Dean with what he thinks he's capable of, versus what he actually IS capable of. Dean has and will always see himself as an attack dog, or a blunt weapon to be wielded. He doesn't see himself as an intellectual hero as well, even though he very much is. He's a SMART PRECISION weapon, if he's a weapon at all.

Then we get the introduction of the British Men of Letters, which will come into play in S12.

And we get the "don't panic" news experts lying to the populace. I do wonder sometimes about the SPN world - I think the audience, and the writers, forget that it's different than ours. In S5, they had massive coastal tsunamis that hit places like New York and LA and such... and we heard about them once, and then not really ever again. But, even besides that, they get really weird weather patterns all the time - they have clouds of fog that kill people - they have large black clouds that seemingly DON'T kill people... they have sudden storms that disappear just as soon as they arrive. The people in this world, clinging as they do to the believe that the Supernatural doesn't exist, are actually USED to this kind of thing. It's like if you had a tribe of people who grew up next to a forest that burnt down every two to three years... at some point, you could throw a match in there and burn it down in an off-season, and they'd just be like "oh hey, forest is burning down in the winter this year. That's weird. But it burns down all the time, so *shrug*" I sort of think that's how American's have gotten with mass shootings, but that's a whole other topic.

Dean's FBI poster is from when he was 32 - so, 2011... the Leviathan year, I'm guessing, but the pictures are from S2. Same with Sam. They have Dean's hair as "lgt. brown" (just to add fuel to that long-running fan argument)... which is also the same shade as Sam's. Dean's apparently 175 pounds (heavier than me, but not by much... and he has muscles and I don't) and Sam is 220. They're both listed as "fit" - damn straight.

She's got Henry's picture up there - as well as a bunch of other old photographs of guys... either also family or maybe Henry's elders at MoL? She's got pictures of Cas, both as Jimmy Novak and "Steve" and also the stained glass window Cas made in S7. She also has his name written as Cassiel (but with a German eszett for the Ss)

She's got their Campbell cousins listed as "all deceased"

God and Crowley get a scene - discussing Rowena, just briefly.

Toni's kid never came into play in S12. Kind of weird - I wonder if they had something else in mind when they wrote this?

Is it weird that I like it when Crowley calls Sam Samantha?... probably. I've got a real fetish for feminizing men, but not in the way that feminizing fetishes usually work. It's more that I have a thing for feminine men. Anyway, we'll stop exploring my psyche - I can tell it's making you all uncomfortable.

Sam: "What are we doing?"
Rowena: "Nothing."
Sam: "Exactly! Amara's out there eating the freaking sun and we're doing nothing."
Crowley: "And you have a better idea?'
Sam: "Yes! Anything! That's my better idea, because anything is better than this!"

- I love Sam. You can always tell things are bad when SAM loses all hope... because he so rarely does. He's always like "let's go back and get him, eh?" (that's actually a REALLY obscure reference, mega bonus points for anyone who gets it.)

Chuck: "Sam, I get it. Even if we could lock Amara away, it wouldn't do any good now. I'm dying. And when I'm gone, the cosmic balance between light and dark, it's over."
Sam: "Alright, then if we can't cage her - we have to kill her."
Crowley: "Bingo."

- I like how Crowley frames that like he knows this was the answer the whole time. It brings just a little bit of that 'intelligent Crowley' characteristic back, which made me initially like the character.
- Also, it'd be interesting to me if they HAD killed God, because the way they fame this, either both God and Amara exist, or neither exists, and in both those scenarios, the world lives. I wonder if that theory is right? (ETA: It isn't!) Also, I kind of want them to live in an ACTUAL godless universe (not just an absent-god universe), but *shrug* we can't always get what we want. Also, I get that the theme of this season (which wasn't really reinforced enough) is SAVING people, so it makes more sense to have the ending we get.

Dean and Cas, having a final moment in the car. Also, Dean just drank like a whole case of beer and now he's driving. Not a great example Dean.

Cas: "I was just - so stupid."
Dean: "No, it's not stupid - you were right. You were right to let Lucifer ride shot-gun. Me and Sam wouldn't have done that."
Cas: "Well, it didn't work."
Dean: "No, but it was our best shot - and you stepped up."

- Was it though? WAS IT?! Did you actually need Lucifer there in the end? No! You didn't! Also, you totally started a storyline that I hate! RAR!
- Okay, my own feelings aside, maybe Lucifer helped a little... if nothing else, he was a slight distraction for Amara for a little bit there. And I guess he did the stabby stabby thing at the end and that bought a little more time before Amara killed God or whatevs.
- I still think it's arguable - but I think that's the point - and I think what Dean is trying to do here is to be on Castiel's side, even if he isn't. Because he recognizes that Castiel accepted Lucifer through a bout of low self-esteem... or at the very least, he did it with the best of intentions... and Dean doesn't want to make him feel like shit for it.

Cas: "I was just trying to help."
Dean: "And you do help. Cas - sometimes, me and Sam, we just have so much going on - we forget about everyone else."
Cas: "Well, you do live exciting lives."
Dean: "Yeah, that's one word for it. But you're always there, you know, you're the best friend we've ever had. You're our brother, Cas - I want you to know that."
Cas: "Thank you."

- And this is why I think Dean knows exactly why Castiel said yes to Lucifer... why I think he knows full well that Castiel feels useless. Because Dean isn't the type of person to give out this sort of praise lightly. I mean, he told Sam he was proud of him that one time in S1, when Sam seemingly left him forever... but beyond that, he only does this sort of thing when he's about to die and lately, not even then (at least with Sam). Now, here, technically, he IS about to die (along with everyone else) so he could just be settling accounts. But, it's not like this is his last chance to talk to Cas - this is his FIRST chance to talk to Cas, and this is what he says. So, I think this is more for Castiel's benefit than Dean's.
- Also, I love how it's no-homo if Dean includes his brother in everything he's saying (we also saw this in the 12x19) - as long as it's "you're the best friend WE'VE ever had" and "you're OUR brother", then we're good! Though, I say that, but I think it's really just the writers making sure that this isn't an either/or situation, that Dean's not replacing Sam with Cas, but rather adding Cas TO Sam. (that sounds weird.)

Dean: "You're cool with this? You know, because last time-"
Sam: "Chuck's dying." *everyone looks awkward* "Uh, no offense, God."

- LOL, way to be tactless Sam.

And Cas actually comes up with the soul-bomb solution... or at least, the fact that souls are as powerful as 100 suns.

Riverview! Or, in this case, "Waverley Hills Sanatorium".

Sam: "You know what, why don't you finish up, I'll go piss them off."
- So, in D&D, there's a point where you become so powerful that you can just slaughter a whole field of goblins without breaking a sweat (if you have a great cleave feat, you can sometimes do it in one turn.) One thing I love about SPN is that Sam and Dean DO "level-up" - and that if we compare this to Asylum, it's night and day.

Billie is awesome. I wish she had stayed the head reaper... but we'll talk about S12 when we get there, I guess.

Amara makes a friend with an old lady in the park.

Old lady: "But you know family - even when you hate them, you still love them."
- Uh, depends on the family?

Castiel: "We need someone to get close to her, someone with a personal connection."
*everyone looks at Dean*

- So, in a way, this DOES make sense that it's Dean... 1)Because he's able to use Amara's non-con 'attraction' against her, so that's a victory moment for Dean's agency. And b)Sam was already on board with saving people, so I guess this is Dean's shot at seeing how it can work as well?
- A part of me though, who is a Samgirl, does recent the fact that once again Dean gets the victory moment instead of Sam. Sam's victories are always overshadowed by the terrible consequences of them...whereas Dean's victories tend to just be victories. (Cas's victories are similar to Sam's, which is I think, why Sam and Cas should be BFFs 4eva).

And now Dean's going to be full of souls like Cas was in S6/7 - but without the god-like powers.

Rowena: "You've got an hour, maybe a wee bit more, then you're literally actually a walking ticking timebomb"
- Sam's faces through this whole sequence are great, btw. He unleashed Amara saving Dean, and now Dean's going to die defeating Amara... so, again, Sam's victory (for what it was) is now not only overshadowed by the consequence, it's UNDONE by the consequence.

Sam: "Dean, you don't have to do this."
Dean: "Of course I do. I just have to get close. I can do that, okay. I can do that."
Sam: "You know if this works, that bomb goes off..."
Dean: "I know."

- And that's the goodbye to Sam. I know a lot of people are always disappointed that Dean and Sam don't have teary goodbyes anymore (not since S3, arguably), but I like the fact that they're at a place where they don't NEED teary goodbyes. Where they KNOW how much they are loved by each other.

Sam puts a kiss on Mary's grave. (Which of course, we're foreshadowing the end here... but man, it really makes me wish they had explored the Sam-Mary relationship more in S12. But again, I'm getting way ahead of myself.)

Dean: "You cool with this."
Chuck: "No. Even after everything she's done, Amara's still my sister. She's my family. I don't want to see her dead. But... I understand."

- I like that Dean gets absolution from a God that he doesn't actually believe in. I can't really put words to why.

Cas: "Dean?"
Dean: "Cas?" *Cas hugs him "Okay, okay, alright"
Cas: "I could go with you."
Dean: "No, I gotta do this alone. Listen, if- when. When this works, Sam, he's going to be a mess - so look out for him. Make sure he doesn't do anything stupid."

- Awww, this warms the cookies of my heart. I love that Cas DOES need that hug and reassurance that Dean knows he loves him. I love that Dean gives Cas a job... I think it's less about "watch out for Sam" and more about keeping Cas focused with something to do... I think the fact that Sam gets looked after in the process is just a bonus. Two birds with one stone.

Dean: "Look, I want a big funeral. Epic! Open bar, choir, sabbath coverband and Gary Busey reading the eulogy."
Sam: "Done."
Dean: "And for my ashes, I'd like it here. Yeah, you know, as far as eternal resting places go."

- I like how Sam says "done" like he can actually deliver that.
- And also, Dean wants his ashes in the same place where his mum's empty grave is and his father's dogtags.... yup, that's my heart.

Dean: "Come on, you know the drill. No chick flick moments, come on."
Sam: "Yeah, you love chickflicks."
Dean: "Yeah, you're right, I do. Come here!"

- Yay! I love that this is canon. Because we all knew Dean loved chick flicks, but now he actually admits it. :)

Amara: "You think I can't taste the power coming off you - please. The problem is you've never been able to hurt me - so what makes this time any different?"
- He did stab you that time. Now, granted, Chuck implied it didn't work because he didn't WANT it to work - but I still say that's bs.

Amara: "When God's gone, the universe, everything, will cease to exist - including me."
- Ah, so this means that their theory WASN'T correct. I'd forgotten about this entirely - which means that they CAN'T live in a Godless universe (still, I wish they could... not that I don't like Chuck, of course, I just think it'd be cool from a philosophical standpoint.)
- So, we find out that the way this mythology works is that God and Amara BOTH have to exist in order for the universe to stay functioning. It's not just that Amara is dependant on God's continued existence, it's that God is also dependent on Amara's continued existence. Amara needs the creator in order to have something to consume, just as Death needs life in order to have something to reap. God, meanwhile, needs Amara to balance out his creation. Life needs to happen in opposition to not-life. It's a dualistic belief system for sure (which actually puts it counter to the normal Judeo-Christian (and Islamic) belief structure, which while it has SOME dualism, doesn't have it to this extent.

Castiel: "He looks horrible." *about God*
- They really don't have Castiel talk to God AT ALL?! Geezus.

Dean: "Is this what you wanted?"
Amara: "No, I just wanted to hurt him, I wanted to make him pay."
Dean: "Yeah, that's revenge. It will get you out of bed in the morning, and when you get it, it feels great - for about five minutes. I've been there. Me and Sam, we have had our fair share of fights, more than our fair share - but no matter how bad it got, we always made it right. Because we're family. I need him. He needs me. And when everything goes to crap, that's all you've got. Family. Now, you might be an all powerful being, but I think you're human where it counts - you just want your brother."
Amara: "Stop."
Dean: "You don't want to be alone. Not really. I mean hell, maybe that's why you wanted me - but deep down, you didn't really want me - because I'm not him."

- So, Dean runs really quickly through a bunch of stuff here.. that I think could have been drawn out a little more, thematically. But WHATEVS. Let's talk about them.
- Revenge is wrong (good they're bringing this back.) But, this is interesting, because this is often a theme of mythology for religions with pantheons... pantheons where the Gods are fallible and imperfect (which is very much what SPN has turned their version of Judaeo-Christianity into - a pantheon of imperfect beings.) I think, when fans talk and/or write about the show, it gets lost that this ISN'T Christianity. It uses Christian concepts, names, and history, but it's SPN's version... just as SPN has a version for the Wendigo, and the vampire, and the werewolf, etc. Anyway, yeah, revenge is bad - we learned that in S4.
- Amara is lonely, and her fascination with and desire for Dean is an attempt to end that loneliness. (God has also been lonely, but I've already talked about that.) Dean recognizes this.
- In that respect, it makes SENSE that Amara would be 'attracted' to Dean, because Dean defines himself in relation to his brotherhood. Dean is a BROTHER first and foremost in his life. When he loves someone, they become like a sibling to him... we just saw him confirm this with Cas. We've seen him do it previously with Benny and Charlie as well. Amara, who was betrayed by her brother, would cling to someone who could replace him with a BETTER brother. I mean, you don't really get a better brother than Dean - he has your back even when you've just unleashed Lucifer.

Dean: "...maybe there's a different way. So, I'm going to ask you again - put aside the rage, but aside the hate, and tell me - what do you want?"
- Dean's great, because right now he IS the walking weapon that he always sees himself as, but while he is LITERALLY a weapon, he is SMARTER than that and is using his intelligence (his EMOTIONAL intelligence, I might add) to find a solution that does not require the use of that weapon... and you could argue it's to save himself, but given that Dean is always more than willing to sacrifice himself for humanity, I think this is literally as he says - about helping find a better way for AMARA and GOD, not just for himself.

And Chuck disappears from the bar.

He literally NEVER SAYS ANYTHING TO CASTIEL. What the cheese? Did I notice this before and forget or did I just not notice!?!?11?1 This is like the grosses oversight that ever oversighted. THINK OF THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN! Oh man, Cas-"God gives you a length of rope with which to hang yourself"-tiel NEVER spoke to God when he was STANDING RIGHT THERE. And then on the otherside, you have God, who deliberately rebuilds Castiel EVERY TIME HE DIES and he doesn't say two words to him? Doesn't say, "hey, sorry I made you different than all the other angel - I know life's been kinda hard for you" like... COME ON! Oh my god. Ooooooooooooooh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy godddddddddddddddddddddddd.

Chuck: "What? Why did you bring me here?"
Amara: "Brother, I... in the beginning, it was just you and me, and we were family. I loved you, and I thought - I knew, that you loved me."
Chuck: "I did. I do."
Amara: "But then you went and you made all these other things. I hated them, I hated you for needing something else, something that wasn't me. And then you locked me away - and all I could think about was making you suffer."
Chuck: "You had your reasons."
Amara: "I did. I thought revenge would make me happy. I was wrong. What you've made - it's beautiful. It took me along time to see that. I know we can't go back to the way things were - I don't want to. But I wish that we could just be family again."
Chuck: "I do too."

- And so our climax is actually between two secondary characters, while a Winchester simply looks on. And this is why this is a weaker season finale than others... the Winchesters become the secondary characters in the story, overshadowed by Gods, rather than taking command of them. If you think back to S5, the finale was a showdown between Michael and Lucifer, but quickly the Winchesters TOOK COMMAND - Dean, by showing up and inserting himself into the fight, and Sam by taking literal command of the body that Lucifer inhabited and by doing so, imprisoned him. Here, we can't even say that Dean sways Amara - she was ALREADY SWAYED. She ALREADY regretted that it had come to this. She had ALREADY discovered that God's creation was worth keeping... Dean had nothing to do with it (or, very little, I mean, Amara had a thing for Dean, but did she fall in love with humanity through him? I'd argue no... she did it on her own, off screen for the most part.)
- Okay, let's talk about the actual context of what they're saying, now that I've pointed out the flaws in the writing. Amara was jealous of divided attention. Jealous of not being enough. She was, quite frankly, an abusive partner - not allowing her brother to have interests outside of her (this sounds super incestuous, but when isn't SPN a little incestuous?) In this respect, I don't blame Chuck at all for locking her away.... I mean, what do you do with someone like that?
- I do like the fact that Chuck visibly melts when Amara says that she likes Creation and doesn't want to see it destroyed - you can tell, in that moment, that that's what Chuck always wanted from Amara - for her to ALSO love his "other things."

And the sun is healed. And Sam takes that to mean that Dean is dead, which is pretty goddamn heartbreaking.

Chuck: "I think, we're just going to go away for a while and-"
Dean: "Yeah, family meeting, I get it."

- And we return to our godless universe.

Dean: "What about us? About earth?"
Chuck: "Earth will be fine. It's got you and Sam."

- Man, I just love the way they have figured out how to have a humanist theology on this show WHILE having a confirmed god.

Amara: "Dean, you gave me what I needed most. I want to do the same for you."
- And this is the gift of Mary.... which I agree with. The tragedy of the Winchesters is the lack of mother, the suppression of the feminine and the elevation of toxic masculinity in their lives. And that's been the driving force behind 11 seasons, really (or 10, with this possibly being a switch-over season.) What I wanted from the Darkness/God's sister at the beginning of S11 was to have a counter to this - a diety that raised the feminine. Now, I didn't really get that at all, or, not to the degree I wanted. But she does do it here as her final act, to LITERALLY raise the feminine... to reintroduce it and see what happens.
- I know I've seen some fans argue about whether Dean truly "needs" Mary... but I'm of the opinion that he does, though the show has done a poor job of showing us why.

And Sam gets shot by the Toni.

Toni: "We've been watching you, Sam - what you've done, the damage you've caused. Arch-angels, leviathans, the darkness, and now well - the old men have decided enough's enough. I mean, let's face it, Sam, you're just a jumped up hunter playing with things you don't understand and doing more harm than good...."
- So, it's interesting, because HERE it sounds like the BMoL DO know exactly what Sam and Dean have been facing, but this is a discontinuity with S12, where they seem thrown by having Lucifer be around. ALSO, we see in S12 that they really are ONLY "book smart" with very little practical skills (outside of Ketch) - whereas Dean and Sam have a WEALTH of more practical information than them (as well as a solid foundation of "book smart".)
- This also brings back the theme of "do the Winchesters do more harm than good?" which we touched on LAST season finale and then never talked about again - even though we REALLY SHOULD HAVE. Now, here, it's mentioned and then never referenced again... and it IS mentioned by a non-Winchester this time, so it could be that the Winchesters themselves have put these thoughts to rest. But the fact of the matter is that we don't know that.

Anyway, Sam gets shot.

And Dean finds Mary.

They didn't change clothes once that episode - they just took on and off their jackets, depending whether they were indoors or outdoors. I love episodes like that, super easy. Also, they've been wearing those clothes since 11x21, btw. And Sam's going to be wearing those clothes well into S12 too, so yeah, it's a good thing they don't have vaginas, because ugh, super gross underwear by this point, let alone by the second or third episode into S12.

Now I can finish up the clothing catalogue and start getting it posted this week. Woot!

Next up, I'll do a brief post about the special feature. This entry was originally posted at http://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/537727.html.
Tags: rewatch s11

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