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Rewatch S12: The Raid (12x14)

Supernatural Thursday Sunday! Since we still have a week before the show starts back up again, I'm using it for a rewatch... (starting next week, rewatches will probably be Tuesdays and Sundays - I still want to get two done per week.)

The Raid

Sam: "When? When when did you start working with them?"
- Sam continues to break my heart.

Mary [talking about how Wally died on a BMoL case]: "I'm the one that burned his body. I'm the one who told his wife. I watch him die every night."
Dean: "Good."

- Dean is SO COLD when he's mad.

This is the first time we see the BMoL base in America - and I think I talked about it during my quick reaction... but the BMoL base is like everything I wouldn't want Supernatural to be.

Dean: "How do you think this is for us? We're your sons and you've been gone. OUR WHOLE LIVES - you've been gone. You said that you needed time, no you said you needed space - so we gave you your space, but you didn't need just space - no, you needed space from us."
Mary: "That's not true. Dean I'm trying-"
Dean: "How about for once you just try to be a mom!"
Mary: "I am your mother, but I am not just a mom. And you are not a child."
Dean: "I never was. So between us and them."
Mary: "It's not like that."
Dean: "Yeah, Mary it is. And you made your choice - so there's the door."
Mary: "Sam"
Sam: "You should go."

- This argument is brutal and I love it. Let's break it down...
- Dean's right, in that they've let Mary be selfish for the past x months. They've let her be selfish, believing that at some point, there would be an end to it - but now she's making it clear that there won't be.
- Is Dean making an unreasonable demand that she be a mom? While I agree that Mary isn't "just a mom" and that Dean DID start the year with perhaps an unrealistic expectation of who Mary was - I actually don't believe that what he's trying to ask here. Feel free to disagree with me, though. I definitely see and understand Mary's fear that Dean does want her to be JUST a mom and that anything less than perfect motherhood will disappoint him... and I think perhaps in retaliation she's swung full force into the other direction. I think, what Dean is actually asking, is for her to be PRESENT - as she is.
- He's asking her to be in their lives - and he's right that she hasn't been. That she's been gone, first by getting killed (which arguably, you can't blame on her...except that she was the one who made the deal, so maybe you can?) and then by choice. And it's the choice that hurts Dean the most, because as he says, he was never a child. He has been abandoned by selfish parents HIS ENTIRE LIFE. First by Mary's death, the result of a selfish deal, and then by John's (arguably) selfish revenge quest, and now by Mary's selfish choise to take back up hunting with their enemies rather than them. Because they OFFERED her hunting "Family Hunting trip!" Dean declared the first time that she tried to escape without them.
- And it sheds light on the few cases she took after her retirement, because (in Asa Fox) we saw that she did them alone - probably as an escape from the pressures of a domestic life that had no room for her kind of trauma, because it was life with a husband who had NO IDEA how she had been raised and what actually happened the night he proposed, etc. (And who probably had war trauma that Mary no doubt prioritized over her own trauma.)
- I do love how Sam stands with Dean. On the one hand, Dean tells Mary to get out without consulting Sam - whether or not he wants to continue the relationship with Mary - but on the other hand, Dean is 100% on Sam's side and Sam knows it, so Sam is going to be 100% on Dean's side. And I love that and I think it's really important here, because it drives home the point (to Mary) that all Sam and Dean have EVER had is each other.
- I do find it amusing that Mary told Ketch that she didn't have to choose between the BMoL and her family - and if she did it would be her family - and yet, Dean's like "you DO have to choose" and Mary chooses the BMoL. Is it a stubbornness not to admit that she's wrong? Is it the fear of actually building a relationship with her sons and answering for the things she's done? I think we sort of explore this more later in the season, but Mary really is a confused mess at this point and it's interesting.

Okay, now enough of my old school dissections for a bit - I don't have time for this, I only got an hour left before my computer turns on the nightlight.

BMoL still wants Sam and Dean Winchester. Apparently the higher-ups figure that where Sam and Dean Winchester go, the rest of the American Hunters will follow.
- Again, it'd be way more interesting if we actually SAW this research.

Rewrite: Of course, if we're going with my rewrite that research would be about proving that the Winchesters were good - so Mick's demand to recruit the Winchesters would be about getting them on board so that they could be regulated, because as long as they were 'rogue' there was no way to police their behaviour - and perhaps the more research he does, the more he thinks that they just need to be 'brought in line' rather than killed, like Toni wants to. So, the whole recruitment thing would be about SAVING them from Mick's pov, and then there'd be a lot more tension about it, because we'd know - as the audience - that the longer the Winchesters are defiant, the more Toni wins her case, and the more the danger increases that they'll become part of the BMoL's hunted rather than their potential allies in securing America.

And we see Sam quickly hid his phone from Dean - so we know he's already opened back up the line of communication with Mary.

Sam: "You want to talk about it?"
Dean: "Not really. ... what was she thinking, man?"

- Dean and Sam are so goddamn healthy with each other this season - it's beautiful. Even this argument is healthy.

Dean: "And this whole peacemaker schtick you've been running, with Cas, and now with Mom, it's getting old man."
Sam: "What's that supposed to mean?"
Dean: "You're always playing the middle. For once, why don't you just pick a side."

- Man, that's like asking water not to be wet.
- Though I completely understand Dean's frustrations, because you just want someone on your side, and Sam's all he has... and as I said, Sam IS on his side, but he's also on everyone elses, because Sam's middle name is "reasonable" (as long as he's not on the juice).

Mary: "...a world where you and Dean don't have to hunt. Where you can have normal lives."
Sam: "I chose this life."
Mary: "I know. But you were going to school, to college - and I get why you gave it up, but what if you didn't have to? What if there was a different future for you, for us - that's why I'm doing this, that's what I'm fighting for..."

- I actually do like this mirror they're doing with Mary, whereas John didn't honour Sam's choice to live a normal life, now Mary isn't honouring his choice to Hunt. And both of them have their points - John knew more about the danger Sam was in than Sam did, and Mary isn't wrong that Sam only chose hunting after he was forced back into it by circumstance. BUT, in both cases, neither parent is actually talking to Sam, they're presenting their case (or Mary is) from the basis that Sam is already wrong and just DOESN'T KNOW. Rather than from the basis that Sam's choices are valid, even if they aren't what the parent particularly wants for their child. Sam's much more forgiving of Mary, of course, because he's no longer a moody teenager and because, ironically, they don't have the same connection that Sam and John had. They don't have years and years of a relationship to feed the anger and betrayal fires.
- Anyway, the important thing to note here is that neither Mary nor Sam are right or wrong. Sam's choice is to be a hunter, but it's because he wants to save people - and if the BMoL can save people, perhaps ALL THE PEOPLE, more efficiently, then Sam's willing to hear them out - because Sam is a self-sacrificing idiot who will PUT ASIDE that they shot and tortured him for two days in order to see whether they may in fact be helping people.

(FYI: It is now Sunday night - my computer died halfway through Mary's sentence above and wouldn't boot up again... anyway, you can track that story in old posts on LJ. :P But now I'm finishing up...)

I'm not sure that note in the Bunker was actually written by Sam (or, well, Jared.) I've never seen Jared write in smallcaps, whenver he's written anything on the show before, it's always been all capitals with As like pentagrams (which is, ironically, just Jared's handwriting.) BUT... again, it could be that he switched it up and wrote in smallcaps for once. The R in later is stray capital - so it could be that his regular penmanship was struggingly to break free. Or, could be that a props person wrote it, and that's just how they write.

Dean's out of booze back at the Bunker.

I do really wonder about the map they have in the BMoL HQ. Most of the world is grey, but Britain, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are blue, along with what looks like France, Spain (possibly Portugal), possibly Germany, and, oddly, Finland, and some REALLY nothern islands above Russia. Turkmenistan is also Blue, along with Thailand, Ethiopisa, Somalia, Tanzania, and Bolivia. Then you have contries outlined in RED, which are Norway and Sweden, CANADA, China, Japan, most of South-Asia, Argentina, Mexico, and at least 5 African countries. WHAT DOES RED MEAN?! For the record, the US is Grey, so I'm guessing that means that the BMoL have no prescense there? There's a key at the bottom of the map screen, but I can't read it on the DVDs, maybe the BluRay is better? Anyway... it's annoying that I don't know what the colours mean. We know there are hunters in Canada because of Asa Fox, so I'm going to assume that red is places where the BMoL have decided never to take over?

Alpha Vamp! The only vampire I like.

Ketch: "You're a killer, Dean Winchester - and so am I. And if we go too long without something to track or trap or punch or gut, well things get a bit ugly, don't they? The men of letters keep me busy, they point me in a direction and bang, off to the races. It's not a bad life."
- So, I was just talking to someone (LJ user: kailita) about Dean and torture/killing. We were talking about it in the context of S4, where Dean said that he enjoyed torturing people in hell. She say that as antithetical to who Dean was as a person - it didn't jive with the Dean that she interpreted him as. I explained why I saw it as still in character, because to me Dean had misinterpreted relief (amongst other similar feelings) for joy... and that led us into MoC Dean, who became more and more murderous, but again, I didn't see that as enjoyment, but rather a hunger that needed satiating - if it was enjoyment, then Demon!Dean would have been killing WAY more than he was, instead of spending most of his time drinking, playing foozball, and singing karaoke.
- I think the problem is that Dean has had, and does have, low-self esteem and a low opinion of himself, he WANTs to believe the worst of himself, because that reinforces those ideas, it doesn't threaten his worldview at all, and there's comfort in that even when it leads to depression and sadness.
- I also think that the BMoL have NO IDEA what the Winchesters have really been tangled up in all these years. So, Ketch looked at possibly the last few years of the Winchester's activities, or possibly heard from hunters their most recent memories of the Winchesters, and concluded that Dean was like him...only, he was concluding that based on MoC Dean who had a murder hunger that needed satiating. Dean, on his own, ISN'T like that. Yes, he likes to kill things when he's upset, but it's not about killing things, it's about having something simple that he KNOWS how to deal with to do. That's always been his desire when things get rough "can't we just get a nice black and white case..." etc. More often than not, the lesson he learns on those cases is that no, he can't, but that's besides the point.
- The other hook that Ketch might have is the comfort of just being a weapon that gets pointed, rather than the person in charge. Dean is VERY MUCH a reluctant leader, though he has been since S5 at least, if not before that. Dean's life though was the most straightforward when he was his Dad's little soldier... and there's always going to be part of him that would prefer to follow orders than give them (IMO), BUT, having said that, I also think that after 10+ years of NOT being an obediant soldier, no matter how sweet that gig might seem in retrospect, Dean would chafe in it. He's been a leader for too long, and he's also not one to trust authority figures that are not directly related to him or already people that he considers family. This is why SAM works so well as the leader, as we see at the end of this season. SAM can lead, because Sam doesn't have the same relationship to leadership that Dean does. But I'm getting WAY ahead of myself.
- My point is that Ketch is wrong about Dean, but he's wrong in all the ways that Dean is ALSO wrong about Dean - so he's doing a pretty good job approaching Dean from this angle, even though we as fans are like "SHUT-UP! YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT!"

And then we see the difference between Dean and Ketch... Ketch sets in to punch the vampire until she talks, whereas Dean talks to her like a person - he's still going to kill her, but he's honest about that and treats her like a person the whole time. Ketch doesn't.

And that's the difference that I wanted to explore between the BMoL and the Winchesters that I was sad was never explored - the fact that there's a PROBLEM when your world view is that black and white.

BMoL: "That's impossible, our info has him in Morocco, he's been there for at least a decade."
Sam: "You're wrong - I met him 5 years ago in Hoopa, North Dakota."

- AGAIN! I wanted this explored!! The look on Mick's face when Sam says that. The fact that the BMoL have NO IDEA.

And then it's revealed that the BMoL have the colt - and man, Jared does some great faces here. And Mary reveals that she stle it from Ramiel, and Sam has to NOT CRY IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Jeezus. Sam breaks my heart with the way he just shuts all that betrayal right down and moves forward.

Pierces betrayal.. see this could have been used if we were going with the idea that the BMoL think that the American Hunters are corrupt. This would really work well with that storyline.

AlphaVamp: "I've seen your work. In England. I didn't get involved, because, well, it's England."
- Hehehe, the delivery of that line is so well done. Rick Worthy is so excellent in this roll.

AlphaVamp: "That gun can't save all of you."
Sam: "Who said I was here to save all of us...[...] so, let my mom and me go, we'll walk away. Go back to the way things were, the way they're meant to be. Hunters and vampires, cops and robbers, a fair fight!"
AlphaVamp: "And the brit?"
Sam: "You can have him."
Mary: "Sam, what are you doing?"
Sam: "Picking a side."

- The speech is awesome as it is, especially when we know that he's using it as subterfuge. BUT HOW MUCH MORE AMAZING would it be if we know BMoL's mission was to determine whether the Winchesters were good or evil - we'd be sitting there listening to Sam make a deal with the alpha vamp right in front of Mick and being like OH NO....

AlphaVamp: "Clever clever boy."
- Always a good last line. Man, I love his death, but I will miss him.

And then Mick is horribly scarred by the dead bodies...

Dean: "When I thought something might have happened to you, nothing else mattered."
Mary: "Dean, the things I said-"
Dean: "Nah, mom, you were- it's not your job to make my lunch and kiss me goodnight. We're adults. You're going to make your own choices even if I don't like them - even if I really really don't like them - that's just somethign I'm going to have to get used to. Okay, mom?"

- See, this is the thing, Dean is treating Mary like an adult, but Mary isn't treating Sam and Dean like adults. Dean is respecting Mary's choices. But Mary isn't respecting Sam and Dean's choices - to be hunters, to not have anything to do with the BMoL, to not follow other people's orders, etc. Mary is rebelling against Dean treating her like his mom, yet she's there treating him like a child, whether she realizes it or not. "You can't spend all day on the xbox if you don't have an xbox!" becomes "you can't spend your life hunting monsters if there are no monsters!" "You'd like your step dad if you just spent more time with him..." becomes "if you just listen to what the BMoL are offering, see what they can do, you'll change your mind about working with them..." I'm not saying that she can't have a differeing opinion, even Sam decides to work with them when he realizes that they might be saving people more efficiently, BUT how she presents her opinion is important, and I don't think she's been presenting it as she would to fellow adults.

And Sam signs up - based solely on the fact that they're saving people. It's a move that's not a betrayal of what happened to him, but rather right in line with his personality... Sam modus operendi is to be self-sacrificing. So, if joining forces with a group that tortured him for two days will save a huge amount of lives, he'll do that. I mean, to a point, obviously there are morals that they have to work within, and eventually they don't do that.

So, rewrite: We don't need a specific one for this episode. If the rest of the season had been rewritten with a better reason for the BMoL to be in the US and a better reason for them to trying to recruit Sam and Dean, then this episode would pack even more of a punch than it already does. If they were there to determine whether Sam and Dean should be killed, or recruit them in order to observe them, or put them on a leash, then Sam's actions in this episode would be even more thrilling - his bluff to the alphavamp would be more tense, and his JOINING would be more tense, as we don't actually know what a leashed Winchester will look like, how much freedom he'd have, or what it'd mean if, inevitably, Sam disobeys or doesn't agree with one of their orders... and we would know that he was GOING to, because we'd already seen Ketch kill people that Sam showed mercy towards - so when THAT news got out, we'd know that shit would go down.

Cut Scenes
Scene 19
More outlining of potential Raid. And more explanation of the AVD.

Sam realizes that they misread the schematics of the building, because they thought that feet were meters. Then Sam completely redoes their plan so that it works, and Mary gives a proud smirk.

I love clever Sam, but I can completely understand why they cut it. First off, any blue prints would have the fact that it was in feet anotated on it. And since the planned raid never goes off, it's not too important to understanding the show. It just further shows off that Sam's a better hunter than anybody in the room, which we already know.


Let me know your thoughts in comments! :)

Next one will be up on Tuesday, and then we're back to new episodes on Thursday, yay!

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/550529.html.

Comments

hells_half_acre
Jan. 16th, 2018 07:34 am (UTC)
Haha, if only!