This one is light on the quote analysis and HEAVY on the rewrites folks, so if you don't like the rewrites and prefer the quote analysis, you'll be very disappointed. Next episode is by Berens, so I'll most likely go back to being heavier on the analysis, so I'd recommend coming back for that one.
There's Something about Mary
Needless to say, the first thing to change is that Eileen doesn't die. And she certainly doesn't die in the most cruel way possible, and she ADDITIONALLY doesn't die by suddenly giving the BMoL access to Crowley's trained Hellhound through some sort of arrangement that never comes up again, has no bearing on the plot beyond this, and is completely antithetical to the BMoL's CODE from which we've just been told they NEVER DEVIATE. But I will yell more about that later.
Rewrite: Eileen doesn't die, but she IS being hunted, we see her at the beginning of the episode, actively paranoid - perhaps dodging an attack, but she is being attacked by a hunter-agent, someone obviously BMoL related, possibly even Mary. We see Eileen escape, we see that she's in the US, possibly near or in Kansas.
Sam's wearing my favourite shirt of his in the beginning of this episode, but my least favourite of his new jackets.
Rewrite: Jody calls, but it's not for Eileen, it's another hunter that they don't know. Dean still has the line about how two deaths isn't a pattern, and Sam still has the line about how Mom is missing so that might be a third. Instead of going to the morgue to have Jared break my heart despite bad writing (thank you Jared, for doing your best), instead we see them go back to the Bunker to research - they come up with the figure that Dean cites out of nowhere in the morgue (the fact that there have actually been 7 hunter deaths, not just 2, somehow learned between Mary's motel room and the morgue with no explanation), and just as that suspicious information is revealed, we have Eileen crashing in through the door, or knocking, or something - she announces that she's being hunted by a fellow hunter... she describes them, and it sounds suspiciously like Mary.
Okay, Crowley scene now... what's the purpose of this scene? It's a recap of the Lucifer's baby plot and Crowley disappointment in the demon's ability to find Kelly Kline...and then he's going to possibly use Lucifer to motivate them by example? But he doesn't say that. So - maybe just take out the last part, we still get the recap, and we get that the demons are failing - but maybe then they're interrupted, by news that Dagon is back in hell - having been forced from her meatsuit by Castiel, and that she's angry.
We can keep the scene of Mary killing this poor dude, and the explanation of her being brainwashed, etc.
Sidenote: Now, what I really wanted of this season was for the BMoL to be hoisted by their own petard - that their lack of mercy would be their undoing. I'm not actually entirely sure how to weave that in at this point though, so, hmmm... something to think about as I rewrite.
Toni: "After you died, your beloved John was a man slowly going mad, searching for revenge. What, your boys didn't tell you? The drunken rages, the weeks of abandonment? Child abuse, really. It's no wonder they're... damaged."
- I also wanted a better reveal on that, something where the boys were actually there. But, this sort of works too - especially since it'd be nice to have a scene where Mary confronts them about it and they're able to temper that description a little (because, John, at his core is COMPLICATED, both a terrible father and a loving one, and it'd be cool to have an actual conversation about that.)
We get the scene with Crowley and Doctor Hess - which INFURIATES ME. We find out that Crowley lent Ketch the hell hound, and we find out that they have an arrangement in which the BMoL don't interfer with the demons if they stick to soul-selling in return for information. And that BMoL is trying to use him to find Kelly, and that she's concerned that he's too cozy with the Winchesters.
Purpose of the scene: Where'd the hell hound come from. The BMoL are evil. Can Crowley help the Winchesters or is he going to turn on them?
Complaint time: This makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. If the BMoL, by CODE that they follow WITHOUT THOUGHT, have a BLACK AND WHITE VIEW OF THE WORLD - then they would not, under any circumstances have "an arrangement" with the King of Hell.
Rewrite: We already know the BMoL are evil, so that's not needed. We don't have the hell hound death, so the explanation isn't needed. So, do we need this scene at all? No, probably not, and that's just as well, because my Eileen arrival scene earlier would be longer than the mogue scene, and I have to save time, so we'll just cut this scene entirely.
Complaints revisited: Another good reason to cut it is that earlier Crowley led a demon out of his thrown room like he was going to show him something, but now suddenly he's talking to Hess? What happened to showing that demon something? (Nothing - we don't know where the heck Crowley was going with that. So, we just cut it, and this.)
Next up, hell scene, where we get sneaky demon releasing Lucifer. Crowley showing up on the phone with Sam and Dean, arguing about whether Crowley is involved in the hunters dying, then Crowley talking to Lucifer... so, same old rewriting process... what's the purpose of this scene? Crowley interrupting a plot against him, while walking into the room on the phone with the Winchesters. That's easy to replicate in the rewrite. Crowley trying to get information, and telling Lucifer that Dagon is dead... etc.
Rewrite: Upon hearing that his mother may have attacked his potential girlfriend, Sam wonders if she might be possessed - they never did show her getting the tattoo, so it's a valid concern for the audience as well, even if we didn't know the truth. He calls Crowley to ask. Crowley, of course, walks into the room on the phone, not realizing that the demons had assembled there to discuss a plot to overthrow him - perhaps Dagon (if sent to hell) has gotten a new vessel, and steps to the back of the crowd while Crowley is distracted on the phone, in the hopes that he won't recognize her. After he gets off the phone, Crowley asks the demons if anyone is possessing Mary, reiterating that being on the Winchester's good side is in their best interest, as the nephilim is currently with Castiel, and Crowley needs the Winchesters in a position where they might give him information about where their pet angel is, etc. We see Dagon overhear this, and we know that her motivation is to get back to the nephilim by any means necessary... so does this mean that her plot to usurp Crowley is put on hold? Or does this mean that she'll dethrone him and make the hunt herself?
We get a scene where Hess implies that Ketch is going to be promoted to Administrator - and that Hess knows Ketch likes Mary - and that Toni might also be in line with the job. Do we need this scene? Does it matter? Not really. (Having finished the episode: We're cutting this scene in the rewrite, it's superfluous and we need the space for another Sam and Dean and Eileen scene.)
The next scene is the one where Sam and Dean get Eileen's letter. We find out that Eileen found a microphone in her room - this leads Sam and Dean to search the bunker.
Rewrite: We have Eileen relay the same information in person - we see the scene where they search the bunker and find the microphone. You know what makes the scene of finding a microphone but not wanting to let on that you've found a microphone even better? HAVING A CHARACTER THAT KNOWS SIGN LANGUAGE. The scene becomes so much better. We have Eileen say something like "Do you really think it could be your mother? Has she been here? I found a microphone in my room..." and immediately, we see Sam and Dean's expressions change, and Sam says outloud "Are you sure?" and then in quick hand-signals, tells Dean to begin searching the room. Eileen understands right away, and plays along, expressing just enough doubt that Sam can follow up with a "It has to either be someone else, or she's possessed - we work with the BMoL, there's no reason for them to bug us...why don't we go back over our research..." and meanwhile, Dean finds the bug - then, using sign language (because Sam has, as we've seen, been LEARNING) they make their plan to stage a conversation, which we then see them do, just like in the actual episode...
Another Lucifer scene... purpose? the device is reversing, so Crowley's days are numbers.
Rewrite: Just have Dagon state her plan - get information from Crowley/find the Nephilim, and then kill Crowley.
Ketch and Toni again - talking about the job. Purpose? I don't even know. Oh, I guess it sets up their divided loyalties next episode. Okay, we keep it.
Ketch: "I'm not sure what you're expecting, that I'll intervene?"
- Man, I wish they hadn't undone Mary's excellent kill in this season by bringing Ketch back in S13. OR, actually have Ketch be affected by Mary, actually have the Winchester trait of affecting people be a trait Mary has as well. So, that's a possible rewrite, I guess. But I haven't settled on anything for sure.
Capture of Toni can stay, it's great.
Crowley & Lucifer scene again: This time the purpose is humilate Crowley as he tries to boast - while Lucifer takes control.
Rewrite: Easy - just have Crowley discover the plot to overthrow him, and the extent of it. Have him EXHAUSTED by the concept of it. Let's not forget, Crowley's character-arc in my rewrite is that of a king tired of rule, regretting taking the job, exasperated by all the unstable politics involved in keeping it.
Scene with the Winchesters, they find out that the BMoL most likely did kill Eileen, that the BMoL will kill them too, and that Mary is brainwashed.
Rewrite: We get most of the same information - Eileen is being hunted, so are the Winchesters, Mary is brainwashed.
Shit, Dean changed his shirt at some point. Okay, it was before they went to capture Toni. (ETA: I write these things stream of consciousness, and I also do the clothing lists while I work...so, yeah... keep this in on editing, just because it's kind of hilarious to me.)
They also find out that Mick is dead, and that all their friends are up for execution too. That obviously has to stay.
Crowley and Lucifer again - Lucifer goes to kill Crowley. Crowley escapes in a rat.
Rewrite: We see Crowley play into the hands of the usurpers - maybe he gives them false information on the Nephilim, pretending that Castiel or the Winchesters have slipped up and told him something. We see Dagon make her move to kill him and take the throne - Crowley escapes in a rat, but makes it look like Dagon was successful in killing him, just like he does with Lucifer here.
Then we get the cool action scene. That can stay too -
Rewrite: I don't want Eileen there because she'll then be trapped in with them and that changes the dynamics of the next episode, so, instead, Sam and Dean have sent Eileen away to warn other hunters - (we'll throw in that scene to replace the Hess/Crowley scene, that serves absolutely no purpose, and/or the scene with Hess and Ketch where she introduces the concept of him and Toni competing for the American job, since that's redundant given that Ketch reiterates the same information to Toni in the Ketch/Toni scene in the armory).
Mary comes in and flips the tables. Things carry on as they are, with Ketch locking them in the Bunker.
Complaint: The most ridiculous part of this scene is that Ketch decides to sufficate them in their own home slowly, rather than shooting them in the head while they're unarmed and completely at his mercy. It makes no sense.
Rewrite: When Ketch starts backing away and tells Toni that she's not coming - he INCLUDES in his speech that, a)he can't kill Toni because then the BMoL would put him on trial and probably find him guilty (ie: same thing that happened to Eileen) then he goes on to say that he's not HEARTLESS and wants to at least spare Mary from murdering her own sons, so he's decided to passively kill them instead, by shutting off their oxygen blah blah blah (this could be the extend of Mary's ability to affect Ketch, but it'd be more than enough, since it gives Sam and Dean a passing chance at escaping)... it's still a ridiculous bond-villain plot, but at least there's weird reasoning behind it. We could then re-inforce it by having Ketch mention that he's not sure Toni's reprogramming has been thorough enough and he doesn't want to test it, or have Toni mutter something about how the reprogramming isn't finished and she might not be able to do it anyway (that would have the benefit of giving the Winchesters a little more hope that she could be saved.)
Ketch: "Easier to hurt people you don't remember loving."
- So, the ONLY thing that could save Ketch's character at this point is if we discover that he's a victim of the brainwashing, like Mary. Just, FYI, S13.
Then we get the Lucifer is loose scene...
Rewrite: Instead, could be Dagon following Crowley's lead and discovering that it's fake. It's not the mounting danger, but we can just throw in a line where she turns away and is like "It doesn't matter. We'll find him. It's only a matter of time - they'll be no hiding him once he exits the mother."
Mary and Toni - Mary asking if Toni is about to begin the torture, and Toni tells her that it's already started and that Mary's had several sessions already. Then Toni gives her brandy. Mary says she doesn't drink it - and Toni tells her that she didn't BEFORE... and it's just an iteration of the fact that they're brainwashing her.
Sam and Dean trying to rewire the Bunker circets etc. Toni tells them that they can't undo the trap from the inside, because the control has been patched through HQ. Toni knew about the potential for the trap, but hadn't planned to be in it.
Alright, that was a lot of work.
Let me know your thoughts in comments!
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/553124.html.