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Rewatch S12: Family Feud (12x13)

Hello...

So, part of my goal in January was to cut down on social media... and man, is it being effective so far. I mean, I'm still checking at least 4 times per day... but my god, when you're not constantly on there, you realize how boring it is and how none of it actually matters. Anyway, that's an update on me, let's get to the episode....

Family Feud

My prediction is that I won't be saying much about this one... we'll see though. I've made that prediction before and then found I had a fair bit to say - or othertimes I've thought I'd be all over an episode but then nothing really came up to talk about.

Standard "our main cases are at dead ends. But here's a case..." convo... and then we get a flash of Mary kicking ass with the BMoL, as Dean wonders if she'll want to work with them on a case.

They also "haven't seen her in a while" which means it's been a while since the previous episode. BUT, Mary's excuse is that she's still "resting up" after Ramiel, so not THAT long.

And then ugh, the Crowley&Lucifer storyline... I really don't want to sit through this... so, let's rewrite it!

Rewrite: Okay, so besides the option to just CUT this storyline from the episode and pad out the episode in other places... let's instead change it to a scene about the rise of the remaining Prince's of hell. Dagon and Asmodeus. From last episode we know that Dagon is interested in Kelly Klein, but Asmodeus (which they suddenly introduce in S13) wasn't really mentioned beyond the idea that he "has his hobbies" - but the death of Ramiel would certainly be noticed. So, let's have Asmodeus earlier, or at least whispers of him... have a messenger demon come to see Crowley, start putting the threat of the Princes of Hell to him... that Asmodeus is not pleased to hear of Ramiel, that Crowley should perhaps watch himself. Have Crowley be worried, but as confident as he can manage... try to convey that he might be now over his head, because he chose to help the Winchesters and Castiel against Ramiel. Have the demon question his loyalty in front of his court... have his power be tenuous and the threat out of reach, so therefore more foreboding.

Dean knows there's something up with Mom. Sam's willing to give her the benefit of the doubt... true to characters.

Rewrite: And this IS the episode where Kelly Kline meets Dagon, so it would make sense to have Dagon swoop in on Kelly, while Asmodeus starts circling Crowley. (ALSO...hey, you know what sounds like "Cosmic Consequences"? Having the Princes of Hell return from their retirement. If you wanted to keep Billy's threats in 12x09, you could totally have a line somewhere about how they felt a shift in the universe, and thought to check in with the world, only to hear the rumours of Lucifer's child... and then, not weeks later, Ramiel's demise...)

And we find out that Gavin MacLeod is connected to the ghost. Rewrite: You know what else you could do with this episode, show us more about how Gavin is living. That could replace a chunk of the next Crowley/Lucifer scene.

Rewrite: Oh, but Crowley still has to find out that the Nephilim is still gestating - so, have that another scene with Crowley and whatever demon messenger Asmodeus sent, or maybe there isn't a messenger, and it's Dagon speaking for both of them. She can tell Crowley that the child still lives and she'll be seeing to it's upbringing, so that it can eventually take over Crowley's job. Then Crowley can get pissed at the Winchesters for failing, while Dagon tracks down Kelly. There we go. Solved.

Rewrite: Then when Dean calls and says he "need[s] a favour!" Crowley can be outraged not JUST because they failed to destory the nephilim but also that it's become abundantly clear that Crowley's last favour to them has genuinely jeapardized his reign.

You still get the parallel of Crowley wanting to destory Lucifer's kid while saving his own - you don't need Lucifer for that.

I really like Dagon, btw. Both the actress and the character, I think that's another part of the reason that I really hate the Lucifer storyline - like, not only is it dumb, but it takes away time from a character that's actually INTERESTING.

And they actually got Gavin to come by telling him that his father was sick - Gavin is so naive and cute.

Oh man, I forgot this episode was filmed during the MONTH OF UNENDING SNOW last year. It was beautiful, but hell to get around, because this city doesn't have the infrastructure for snow.

Ketch telling Mary to "disengage" from her sons. Beginning of the end for the BMoL, in my opinion. Also, Ketch is crazy creepy in my opinion, can't believe that Mary sleeps with him... but I mean, we've all made horrible decisions about who to sleep with.

This whole episode is about family, you have Lucifer and his son, Crowley and his son, Rowena and her grandson (and eventually her son too), and Mary's relationship to her sons. What I don't really get is what the episode is trying to SAY about the connection between all these, besides "oh look at all these different parent-son relationships.) And usually the monster-of-the-week gives us the message, but this one is kind of convoluted, because the MOTW is a raped, betrayed, and victim-blamed girl. So, I mean, if you look at teachers as parental-figures, then it COULD be read as bad-parenting creating monsters? I guess that KIND of fits in, given that Dagon's opening message to Kelly was that no one is born good or evil, it's how they're raised.

BUT, that's not really reflected in the other storylines... as Gavin has to make a sacrifice to stop Fiona. But, Gavin's one of the children in the parallels, not one of the parents, so his sacrifice doesn't reflect "good parenting." Or, is parenting done on the part of Rowena or Crowley, to match their own ends.

OR!!! Okay, I think I get it. "No one is born good or evil, it's in the upbringing!" So, this episode is PROOF of that - because Rowena and Crowley are both horrible people, but Gavin is a good guy. So, this is foreshadowing that the Nephilim (Jack) might actually be okay.

Dean: "Hey, it's been a while! A long long long - long long long long while."
Sam: "Yeah, alright. He's dramatic, as you know. What he meant to say was, 'we missed you, glad you're back.'"

- Sam makes the most adorable face here. He's like... doing the "I'm five" thing that usually only Jensen does. Basically, I think it's just because he's purposefully being sweet, which we've never actually seen Sam do. Maybe like, super briefly in the pilot with Jess? That's about it. It's WEIRD. And a little heartbreaking that it's weird.
- Also, there's something about the line "He's dramatic, as you know" that I just love - and I think it's two-fold. 1)Sam is actually calling Dean out on the fact that he's a drama-king (I mean, I love the guy, but he REALLY IS INTO DRAMA) and 2) AS YOU KNOW, so at this point, Sam feels that Mary should know Dean well enough to know that he is always like this. Whether or not that's true, is another story, but I find the turn of phrase fascinating given the newness of their relationship and the relatively little time they've spent together physically.

Mary comes clean about working the BMoL.

And then Sam is BETRAYED - and that's more heartbreaking, because Sam was the one giving Mary the easiest time, and he was ALSO the one that was tortured for two straight days... oh my heart.

And Dean, of course, is going to stand with Sam. Which is why we all love him.

And it's perhaps even more heartbreaking that Sam is eventually the one that comes over to Mary's side... sigh. Sam, YOU BREAK MY HEART.

Oh yeah, and we find out that Rowena encouraged Gavin in order to get revenge for Oscar's death... though, I'd argue that Rowena CHOSE to do that, blaming it on other people now is simply that - blaming other people now.

Rowena: "It allowed me to watch you suffer the loss of a child."
- Rewrite: And that line would have more resonance if we knew that Crowley's life/reign/safety was in question. So, Rowena will most likely be losing another child in the near future and currently only Crowley knows it.

Rewrite: And the last little montage could end on the cliffhanger of Asmodeus's messenger person (or Dagon) reporting back to Asmodeus (who is off frame), but we don't hear the words (because of the song) and we just see her smile... (or the messenger smile, have them both).. and that's enough of a foreboding about the future, I think.

CUT SCENE:

Scene 30: Rowena telling Gavin funny stories about Crowley, and she doesn't know anything about Fergus when he was older. And the truth comes out about Rowena leaving him when he was eight years old. Gavin then tells her that Fergus drank himself to death. Gavin:"I never knew I had family. He barely mentioned you." and "He's not so bad. Crowley. He comes to see me from time to time. He gave me money, to live. Until I got hired at the Gas'n'Sip."
- GOD DAMN IT! Why wasn't this in the episode instead of the shitty Lucifer stuff. CHARACTER DETAILS. CHARACTER EXPLORATIONS. THINGS THAT ACTUALLY REFLECT THE FAMILY THEME OF BOTH THE EPISODE AND THE SHOW! Ugh. BuckLeming, even your cutting decisions are awesome.

On that note... let's listen to them talk...

Commentary

Ross-Leming, Buckner, and Ruth Connell.

You notice how lately whenever one of the actors brings up BuckLeming they make a point of saying what great writers they are? I mean, not to be a conspiracy theorist... but I totally believe they're being PAID to say that... as in, have been put under pressure to say that.

Charitably, I will simultaneous believe that BuckLeming do make good contributions in ways that we can't see - because no production would be stupid enough to keep them on so long, even if half-of them are banging the boss. Okay, okay, maybe that wasn't charitable - but it's been YEARS OF THIS AND I AM TIRED.

I'll basically only mention something about this commentary if they say something interesting.

Right now, they're just watching the episode...

Ruth praised Mark Sheppard a lot.

They all agree that Mark Pellegrino is great as Lucifer.

They talk about how Crowley is insecure and vulnerable, and that's why he makes a good character. I don't know... I mean, that might be why you're interested in the plot, but I always liked the character because he was clever, and that just went away this season.

They do praise the VFX team, who always improve upon their ideas.

Ruth likes it when the boys are in the suits.

Buckner talks about how the suits have become such a symbol that they're pretending to be FBI agents that they don't have to show the badges any more to show it.

They praise Jensen for always slipping little funny things in - like Dean dropping the museum knife - without interfering with the story.

They talk about Ruth's audition. Ruth watched 14 episodes in two days - to which Buckner says "good work" and Ross-Leming says "good lord." And she had a strong feeling she had something to do with Crowley and Gavin, and thought perhaps she might be Gavins mother, not Crowley's.

They did actually shoot the part of the scene where they SHOW them telling Rowena she has a grandson, but they cut it. (Boo hiss)

They talk about how good Theo is as Gavin. And how he's good at the accent because his father is Scottish. Eugenie has never heard him without it, because he used it for the entire audition.

Ross-Leming talks about how they have a lot of female villains in the show. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not for feminism, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

Ross-Leming talks about how Ketch surprised them as a character and had more depth than they originally thought.

They talk about Mary and Ketch in light of Mary being once attracted to John, who may not have been a hunter, but certainly must have had a dangerous aspect to him. I'd've loved to actually SEEN more of that in the episodes of young John... I mean, I know that's not what those episodes were about, and the situation didn't really call for it that much...and it makes SENSE that John didn't go from 0 to 60 with Mary's death, he had to already have been somewhere around 30, to get to 60 that fast. BUT... I don't know if I really take that that's Mary's attraction to Ketch, or even that she IS attracted to Ketch.

They also talk about the myth of Mary and how she's not panning out to be the ideal that Dean remembers and how that's hard on him... and then they talk about how the boys actually inherited some of their emotional avoidence and such from her, and not just their dad... and, I mean, I LIKE the fact that Mary isn't an ideal, but I also think that they're contradicting their nurture over nature message in the commentary. Mary wasn't part of their lives, so therefore shouldn't have been able to pass down any traits UNLESS there IS a nature factor in how kids develop their personalities.

They talk about how their all mortal enemies, yet they work together... and it's just about time spent together.
Ruth: "I think that's a great word for it - that intimacy - that even if they don't like you, that somebody knows you - and you know the playing field, you know what you're working with."
Buckner: "And they're all part of this outlier community..."
Ruth: "And I think, perhaps deep down, there's some kind of grudging respect..."
...
Ruth: "And also I do think that Rowena thinks they're very handsome."


As per usual, let me know what you thought in comments!




This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/550373.html.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
caranfindel
Jan. 10th, 2018 10:16 am (UTC)
Oh wow, that info about Crowley helping Gavin would have made a huge difference. As shown, the episode gave us no reason to believe he actually gave a shit about Gavin. But on the other hand, it would have felt like a big retcon, since Crowley literally dumped him in a field, right? So I still would have been annoyed.

And yes, Ruth, of course Rowena thinks the boys are handsome! LOL! What a sweetie.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 11th, 2018 01:02 am (UTC)
Yes, I wouldn't even consider it a retcon, because what it would show us was that Crowley was far more complicated than he appeared to be - because he could simultaneously abandon Gavin in a field, and then ALSO give him money and help him out until he got a job. I mean, perhaps you had a fully uncomplicated relationship with your parents - but my father is definitely the type of father who abandons me in a field, but then also sends me money when I need it.

But yeah, either way, it would have been far better to have left it in and cut time off one of the dumb Lucifer scenes. Or maid one of the victim death sequences a little shorter in order to squeeze in the time.
borgmama1of5
Jan. 10th, 2018 11:58 am (UTC)
Love your rewrite! I think when you are all done with the rewatch you should make a post with your revised points all in one place so those of us who are annoyed with this season can will have an alternative to live with.

Best part--most wrenching part--of this ep was Sam's face when Mary confesses she's working with the BMoL. It just gutted me, you could see the betrayal on Jared's face so clearly!

PS Listening to these two writers in commentaries is really annoying...
hells_half_acre
Jan. 11th, 2018 12:58 am (UTC)
Thanks! That's the plan - is that once I stream-of-consciousness all my ideas, I'll gather them up at the end and refine until I have a satisfactory counter-season. So far, it looks like relatively minor stuff until we get to the back-half. Still haven't figured out what to about trapping Mary in another world when there's no Lucifer to punch into there... so, that's something that's still percolating.

Agreed about Jared's face!

Also, agree with your PS :P
percysowner
Jan. 13th, 2018 02:22 am (UTC)
I took Mary sleeping with Ketch as being a form of self-medication. She's lost everything, her husband, her babies and her life. She good at hunting, which is something she hates, but what else can she do. She doesn't exactly have current skills and she wants the men who were her babies to be able to get out. So she turns to sex to keep going and to make her feel good, if only in the moment.

I do wish they had kept the scenes they cut out, and cut out the Lucifer scenes.

Since Lucifer looks like he's going to be a big part of this season, it might have worked better if Dagon had been the one to work the spell that kept Lucifer from going back into the Cage. Crowley wouldn't have been made out to be such an idiot, and Lucifer could still do whatever they wanted him to do. Heck Dagon could have been trying to recreate a stable vessel all last year and the final ingredient was the force generated when Jack was born. Lucifer is a disembodied presence until the finale. Mark P's vessel is reconstructed and then Mary can punch Lucifer into the AU to protect her kids. We end up where the season ended up without the interminable Crowley/Lucifer story.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 14th, 2018 01:49 am (UTC)
Ooo... that's an excellent "keep Lucifer" rewrite! I was so focused on just wanting him gone, that I didn't even consider how to keep him around in a logical way, but I really love that idea. I'll probably continue trying to work out my rewrite with him gone - but I'll definitely mention your idea as an option too (when I type up my final ideas for a rewrite), with credit of course.

I agree with your take on Mary too. I think that's sort of what I was getting at, with the fact that we all sleep with people we shouldn't - or whatever the heck I said. I think you're right, in that she's using him to feel something other than lost. And fair enough, she should be allowed that.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )