Okay, so this episode poses an interesting problem... I did not like it. BUT, rules are still rules around here, so I gotta focus on what I DID like when I write this sucker up, and same goes for you when commenting!
Also, same old situation - drinking when I watched this and watched it only once. Quotes are DEFINITELY not meant to be accurate, and I'm probably going to get minor details wrong - but unless I ask, don't correct me.
No pretensious song lyrics today because I forgot to charge my iPod and had to do my 20 minute walks LISTENING TO NATURE and the CITY, ugh the horror.
Now, LET'S GET INTO IT...
We start with a really trippy scene where everyone is a happy family having pizza - and Dean is eating a bunch, and Jack and Mary are there - and I'm like "okay, this must be a dream, but WHOSE DREAM?!?!" Turns out it's Sam's! And I love the transition of Mary repeating "Sam" and Sam's beeping alarm clock going off. It reminds me of this time I was trying to have a conversation with someone and someone else walked into the room with a blaring boombox on their shoulder (1980s style) and I was like "OH MY GOD SHUT UP!" and then I woke up and it was my clock-radio.
Anyway, they've assembled the ingrediants for the spell, but Gabriel wants to extract his grace in private, so he uses Dean's room - and this is where the innuendo of grace as jizz begin - careful observers may not that the last time that comparison was made was back in S9 when we found out that Gadreel left some of his grace behind in Sam, and a rape joke or two were made, and I did not like it at all. So, I understand that this is just not my sense of humour - BUT, I also like it because it IS in keeping with the possession as sexual assault motif that the show has always consistently had - and I DO Like consistency and also the exploration of sexual assault as it pertains to male victims thereof.
BUT I DIGRESS....
Gabriel shows up with only a LITTLE bit of grace - being all he could produce after being held captive and drained for so long and then going after Loki. He insists it'll be enough - but it isn't. The portal quickly fails soon after it is established.
More than that, they were already reluctant about the 24 hour time-frame and the inability to get back in time given how huge the US is - and how the portal doesn't let them out anywhere predictably.
Castiel realizes that one possible solution to both problems is Lucifer - who has far more grace (currently) than Gabriel.
Sam is reluctant, and the Winchesters (Cas included) seclude themselves in the kitchen to talk it out. I LOVE this bit, because FINALLY the show is actually acknowledging the extent of Sam's trauma - the fact that Lucifer is a very real threat to him, MENTALLY, as well as physically.
Castiel insists that because "we" let Lucifer out of the cage, he's "our" responsibility - I would like to point out that it was goddamn CAS who let him out of the cage. Though, granted Sam fell for his trick first and got him into a more escapable cage, it was Cas who sprang him completely and therefore I think Cas should leave Sam out of this "our responsibility" crap, because Sam wasn't a complete idiot, he was just duped. Castiel knew perfectly well what he was doing and still did it.
ANYWAY, I don't get my wishes in this universe, so Sam acquiesces.
Meanwhile, Gabriel and Rowena chat in the library, and eventually start eyeing each other up flirtatiously... there's a weird thing the show does where it suddenly shifts to us hearing their thoughts, and I guess it's done for amusement, but I don't like it because it's not a device we have EVER used before - and in my opinion the moment would be much funnier if it was had in silence and you just saw those thoughts conveyed through facial expressions and the camera movements. We didn't need the thoughts.
BUT, it is a funny scene - especially when the Winchesters return and Gabriel and Rowena obviously thought they had more time and are still making out behind a bookshelf, and are all disheveled when they come out to talk, even though they're trying to act like nothing is amiss. And I laughed out loud mostly at Castiel's reaction, which was just to look at the floor and regret his entire life.
Sam has come up with a plan thouh, so now it's time to implement it...
...unfortunately, as stated earlier, the plan involves Lucifer... who you all know that I hate... and so this is where he comes into the episode and I DO MY BEST...
Firstly, I do love the fact that when we join Lucifer in the bar, the song that's playing is Cats In The Cradle - the most depressing song about horrible fathers - and it's even more awesome that it's playing when we find out that this bar is one of Gabriel's illusions.
BEFORE we find out that it's Gab's illusion (listen, my bff is named Gabriel, and I call him either Gabe, Gab, or Gabi, so y'all will have to deal), Lucifer is complaining about how his life sucks and he's estranged from his son - how he can't even FEEL him in the world like he used to be able to. This is because Lucifer does not know that Jack is stuck in ApocaUniverse.
The bartender is like "Jack will come around" and then Lucifer is like "wait... I never told you his NAME" and then it's quite clear that this bar is an illusion that Lucifer can't escape - more than that, he's been magically roofied. Rowena shows up and binds him, and then it's off to the bunker once they knock him out.
Here, they lean him over the bowl that powers the spell and start siphoning off his grace in a steady drip - explaining that he's to keep the door open until he's drained, and then they're going to kill him.
"KILL HIM NOW!" I yell, but no one hears me.
"AT LEAST KNOCK HIM OUT!" my friend yells, but again, the episode was written and filmed many weeks ago, and it is to no avail.
Then Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel, go through the portal and tumble down a hill. Gabriel ends up with his face in Castiel's crotch for an awkward moment, and... I guess is humorous? But would have only been humorous to me if they had either leaned into it MORE or LESS, but instead was just sort of... awkward. BUT I AM NITPICKY ABOUT MY FACE-IN-GENITALIA HUMOUR.
They know that Mary was last seen in Dayton, so Dean gets Cas to give them their coordinates to him and Sam can get their bearings - they are in NE Kentucky (though by those trees, I'd guess they might actually be in a temperate rainforest in the pacific northwest...) which Sam and Dean agree is about a 2 day walk from Dayton. AND OFF THEY SET...
Meanwhile, Lucifer starts talking to Rowena, trying to sow discord so that she'll turn on her duty to guard him and keep the door open. It's not working, so then he just tries to be annoying by singing that "oh da do da day" song off-key and at the top of his lungs.
"Maybe now everyone else will understand how annoying I find him..." I think.
Cas and Gabriel have a chat while they walk through the woods. Castiel asks Gabe his plans for the future - to which he has none. Castiel then tells him about Heaven's plight and how they could use an archangel perhaps. Gabe is SKEPTICAL, because he thinks that Heaven considers him a screw-up and would want nothing to do with him. Castiel disagrees, saying that Heaven has been run into the ground by proper-angels, so maybe a screw-up is what they need. AND YES!
Sadly though, the pessimistic side of me thinks that this means that Gabriel is surely to die, as we all know that problems can never actually be solved in this universe.
Sam and Dean chat too. Dean feels lighter in the AU for some weird reason. Sam feels happy because he feels close to Mary and Jack, and wonders if Dean feels the same... I find this conversation interesting, because I wonder about what it means to be in a universe where you've never existed and you mission is clear? Or whether there IS a supernatural part of Sam (and Dean?) who CAN hone in on his family and find them in the darkness.
This conversation gets interrupted by screaming. Gabriel tries to keep them on course, but Sam and Dean can't just NOT save screaming people, so they run off to see what's up. Turns out that it's two people getting attacked by a vampire, who Sam quickly kills. The vampires are very old-school looking and Sam and Dean are weirded out. The humans they saved explain about how once the human's started going extinct, the vampires had nothing to feast on, and got hungrier and weirder and more animalistic as a result of starvation.
They then explain how they were on their way to Dayton, through a tunnel under a mountain that can get them there faster - but the vampires have invested the tunnel and everyone they were traveling with was killed. They can go around the mountain, but it'll take longer. (Dude, I don't even know the terrain in Ohio and Kentucky, are there mountains? I know there are pretty hills in Tennessee, but...uh, that's probably not even close geographically.)
Gabriel is like "SAFE WAY IS SMART WAY!' but Dean and Sam are like "SHORT IS BEST! WE CAN KILL VAMPS! WE'RE AWESOME!" so off they go to lead the people through the tunnel and get to Dayton faster.
Meanwhile, Lucifer changes tactics again, this time bringing up how he killed Rowena and making her mad. This causes Rowena to attack him verbally back - pointing out how Jack is going to have a nice family reunion with his THREE FATHERS who AREN'T Luciter. And, I'm like super in love with found/adoptive non-traditional families, so I'm like HELL YES!
Sadly, as we remember from earlier this season, anger makes Lucifer stronger - and he's able to bust out of the magical bindings and attack Rowena.
VERY THANKFULLY, Rowena doesn't die - she's able to defend herself (YAY!) but in so doing, she shoves Lucifer into apocalypse world. Now, she's stuck in the bunker without a source of grace to keep the door open for the boys.
Then my friend and I got into a discussion about whether that was actually bad... I mean, if everyone got trapped over there. It's true that heaven was failing with only 11 angels left, but other than that... things are okay? Like, I mean, it'd be sad to lose Sam and Dean, but they'd successfully rid the world of Lucifer and also Rowena would get a huge cool bunker of magic books to herself? Like... not the end of the world.
Rowena packs up to leave... but she can't. She's partially responsible for the bind they're in, she did say she'd help them, and also... you know, she's SORT OF a good person now? So, she stays and cracks open a book, and gets to work trying to figure out how to keep the door open and/or open it without angel grace.
In the vampire tunnel, there are jump scares.
"Oh, jump scares, another thing you hate," my friend says.
"Yup, I'm loving this episode" I deadpan.
"They just need spiders..."
"....and child sex slavery,"
"HAHAHA, yeah, then it'd be like they wrote it JUST to annoy me."
"An Indian Residential School-"
"OH MAN - just in the middle of the tunnel - wait, guys, let's shave these kids' heads, molest them, and then give them TB."
(/end sarcastic commentary)
There are rocks blocking the way, which they send the angels to move.
"Guys?" the human woman calls.
"Literally, because she is the only person without a penis in this scene," my friend points out, as I laugh. This is how my friend keeps me distracted from jump scares, which I really do hate.
BUT, as much as we're undercutting the scene with humour in my friend's living room - it quickly turns tragic, when the vampires overwhelm Sam, taking out his jugular, and dragging him off.
Cas runs after him - but comes back as Dean runs to follow - Sam is gone. There's no time. He's dead.
Dean's face is devastating, so are Cas' tears that soon follow.
As they leave the tunnel, the human woman tries to talk to Dean, about his "friend" to say she is sorry, but he cuts her off with a look and walks ahead. I mean, she lost her friend too... so, maybe a LITTLE commiseration could have been possible? But, you know, I understand that Dean tends to be the type who is like "NO ONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAS FELT PAIN AND SORRY AS I FEEL PAIN AND SORROW" and, you know, FAIR.
Sam is a beautiful corpse... and I mean that. He's gorgeous.
Dean, Cas and Gab, soon come to some warding that Castiel can't pass through, but Gabriel is able to burn away. Humans come out to point guns at them, but luckily Mary comes forward and sees them.
Heartwrenchingly, of course, he first question to Dean after greeting him with a hug is "where's Sam?"
Sam is STILL a really beautiful corpse. And then suddenly he is alive! And unhurt! Whatta?!
Turns out it's Lucifer! He explains how he came through the portal, came upon a contingent of Michael's angels, replenshed his grace by consuming them, and then tracked Sam down and brought him back to life.
At this point in the scene, I must admit that I DO start talking over it a little and not listening close, because A)I hate Lucifer, B)Sam is REALLY PRETTY and I wanted to focus on that, and C)Jared is doing a REALLY GOOD acting job and I just wanted to look at his face and not actually listen to Lucifer's dialogue.
BUT, the gist of it is that Sam is still surrounded by vampires. Dependent on Lucifer to survive, and this whole scene is basically Abuse 101 - isolate your victim, make them dependent on you, make them believe that the world without you is worse than the world WITH you... in exchange for Sam doing what Lucifer wants, Sam gets to live - and what Lucifer wants is for him to put in a good word with Jack, tell him how Lucifer saved him from the darkness, etc. Sam really doesn't have a choice, unless he chooses death.
Back at the camp, I do love how we see Jack in mourning - Jack is NEW and this is, besides his mother at birth, the first time that he has LOST someone so completely - and he is distressed and ANGRY, demanding that Gabriel go and bring him back, but Gabriel doesn't have the juice to do it.
Dean insists that they have to go back and at least get his body.... and then the klaxon warnings go off of an intruder, and in walks Sam... sadly, with Lucifer right behind him. Lucifer greets Jack as "son"
and then the episode ends.
So, I like it a LITTLE better now after writing it up - there was some really good stuff in there, and as I said numerous times, the fact that they're acknowledging Sam's trauma, and also the fact that Jared is just doing an AMAZING job, makes those scenes both compelling and bearable for me, even though they have a character I hate in them.
I am NOT optimistic about next week, as I know the penultimate episode is most often written by RossLeming, and if my favourite writer on staff wrote this episode which I had a hard time enjoying, then I'm not too keep on seeing what the writers I don't like write....BUT, as I won't be at my friend's place next week, she gave me an ENTIRE BOTTLE OF WINE, to drink while I watched it on my own. (I'll be on the island for the next 2 weeks). So, who knows, next week could be VERY entertaining. :P
As usual, let me know what you thought in comments. Like me, you must try to focus on the positive, or at least balance out your negativity with positivity, if you can!
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/557223.html.