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I mean, that's the return y'all have been waiting for right? MINE! I'm the best.

I'm in EST this week at my Mum's house without a TV, but never fear! I have still managed to watch the episode before it has finished airing in Vancouver. Yay me!

Disclaimer Reminder: Although this week I have not been drinking, I have only watched the episode once, while taking crappy notes - also, I'm tired. So, quotes are not meant to be accurate, and I may get details wrong here and there, but please only correct me if they are plot/character crucial details, or I ask you directly to help me out.

ALSO, since it's been a while and some of you might be new - HI NEW FRIENDS! - please remember my rules for commenting: I like to keep things fun and positive around here - this doesn't mean that you can't complain about something, it just means that for everything you complain about, you have to say one nice thing too.

Now, let's react to this sucker...

They do a really great transition between the recap music and Sam shutting off the radio in the car... I love it when shows/movies do that - there's a name for it, but I forget what it is. Anyway, instant like from me - also BEADY SAM IS AWESOME AND I LOVE HIM. MakeSamScruffyAllTheTime2018.

Then we get possibly our first Muslim guy on the show (? - you can let me know if you remember another one). I really love his call-to-prayer prayer-reminder. I mean, I bet that's like... a standard thing... but I've never heard it before, and I love the call to prayer cause it sounds really cool and makes me wish that I believed in God. I am way off track already and this is write-up is going to take me forever if I can't get past a ring-tone.

Michael visits said Muslim guy (Jameel?) and asks him what he wants - the guy answers Peace and Love (I mean, yeah, who doesn't?) and then Michael is a DOUCHE. Here my notes say "Shaming Syrian refugees is NOT COOL man - even if they cheat on their wives"). Michael is very Luciferish in how he seems to have so much disdain for humanity. I'm assuming he kills this poor dude, and that's not cool at all. Guy has already been through so much! Can't he just leave peaceably in his shack while he works on reconnecting with his better self? Ugh, arch angels are THE WORST (in SPN... the version of Michael that I played in a Grade 3 play was lovely, if a little sword-focused...though maybe that last part was just me.)

Back at the Bunker, I think I'm seeing Sam make bullets, but it's some OTHER GUY in a plaid shirt with even more extreme hair and facial hair... wow. The real amazing thing is that the Bunker seems to be a thriving hive of hunters. Which, on the one hand, is SUPER COOL, and on the other hand I have to admit that part of me is like "wait no, this is a very quiet abandoned place where the boys live isolated from the rest of humanity as a metaphor - I don't like this.. this... COMMUNITY." But, I've actually been advocating for Sam (and Dean) to take a leadership role in the hunting community for a while and was SUPER JAZZED when they started to push Sam in that direction in S12.

And sure enough, Sam gets home and he is clearly THE LEADER... hipster guy calls him "Chief" everyone looks to him for direction. I find him even more attractive and wish to bed him.... uh...sorry, got distracted there.

We find out that Ketch is in London and Cas is in Detroit.

One negative thing here is the use of the word "gypsy" when describing vampires, which I know is a super common word to use, but it actually derives from a slur against the Rromani peoples of europe who have been discriminated against for centuries... so, yeah, not the best word to use.

Jack meanwhile is taking boxing lessons from Bobby, who is sweet to him, and the whole thing is adorable.

Cas is meeting with a douchebag - who is a demon, as it turns out. He asks where Dean is, and it appears that the fact that they've lost track of a Winchester is news to the demon (but we find out later this is a lie)... Cas tries to pull the whole "just tell me what I need to know and I won't kill you" routine, but the demon stacked the bar with reinforcements and they beat the shit out of Cas instead - not cool.

Sidenote: "I thought you were joined at the...*looks at Cas' crotch*...everything" - okay, on the one hand, I do LIKE this line and innuendo, but on the other hand... and I can't believe I'm saying this... I feel like at this point the show really needs to put up or shut-up when it comes to Destiel. I'll cut this some slack because it's a demon, and we all know that demons don't understand platonic life-partners.... but, after 10 years, 6 of which, I feel, were viable candidates for actually addressing the relationship, it's finally gotten to the point where even I have to admit that this is just queer-baiting.

Meanwhile, Sister Jo is cornering the faith-healing market again. You know she's an angel, because no human would be bold enough to count piles of money while walking alone down an alley.... I mean, did no one ever teach her how to avoid a mugging?

She's met in the alley by Michael, and we get to see cool angel vision. I'm always of a mixed mind when they show stuff like that, on the one hand COOL, on the other hand, I like keeping things mysterious and left to the imagination too.

Michael pulls the whole "what do you want" line.... and I notice that basically, Jensen is differentiating Michael from Dean by a)not being as expressive in the face area, and b)enunciating every single sound in the words he uses.

Jo claims she wants things, but Michael tells her that she wants love and family and that's it's very "human of her" and therefore disappointing. Michael is disappointed that the angels of this world are "sad lost fallen things"... burn... I mean true, but also burn.

Back at the Bunker, Sam visits Jack and tries to give him a pep talk, but is called away because someone "is awake"....and here I'm just going to write out my notes for you (please pardon the swearing):

-Please don't be Lucifer - Fuck.
->It's NICK!?!
-He better not be fucking lying.

-Is everyone in the bunker just staring at the walls?
That last note is because Jack was just sitting in the dark in his room.. and "Nick" is seemingly sitting in a dark room until Sam comes, and then Sam just leaves him there. Does he at least have a book? Is this some sort of metaphor about the believe that when people aren't in our presence their just sitting in a dark room somewhere and nothing is happening to them?

BUT, my hatred of Lucifer aside - Jared plays this scene BRILLIANTLY, because we see the fear that Nick's visage still instills in him. Sam has legitimate PTSD and yet he's still in there, seemingly the only one(?) who is willing to treat Nick's wounds and talk with him. (Or at least Mary won't do it, and maybe everyone else is already out right now.)

Then Sam gets a ransom call from the demon who has Cas. Well, nice that he's not dead!

Jack wants to come along, and Sam agrees. Bobby disagrees. I'm with Sam on this one - useless or not, Jack would have felt like no one had faith in him if Sam had told him to stay behind... and I think Sam knows that from personal experience. Let him come and fail, but show that you believe in him regardless.

Then we see demon guy monologuing to Cas and we find out from his story, though Cas doesn't know this, that Michael has already visited him - because "some guy recently asked me what I want" - and so demon knew full well that Cas had lost track of one of his Winchesters.

Sam and Mary drive to Detroit with Bobby and the kiddos following behind. (It's important to note that the rest of the hunters went after a group of vampires, which was why Sam only had his immediate family and a random teenage girl to help him in Detroit.) In the car, Sam gets frustrated at Mary's attempts to remain optimistic... and Mary argues that she has to, because if she doesn't focus on the good, she'll drown in the bad. And I really love this conversation here, for many reasons - for one, it really drives home the importance of hope to carry us through even the most bleak of circumstances, for two, SPN has always been a pessimistic and an optimist traveling around together, usually Sam is the optimist, but sometimes he and Dean switch... but in the absence of Dean, we see Sam taking on the pessimist role and Mary filling in for Sam. And I think this is an important character trait of Sam's - that Dean being missing sees Sam's optimism faltering as a result.

Bobby also gives Jack a pep talk on the drive - saying that they have his back.

Sam arrives in the bar, going in alone and unarmed... and, my friends, I love that Sam is just like "yeah, I'm going to go in alone and unarmed into a room full of demons, and I'm not even going to look worried about it." Seriously, Sam plays this whole thing SO WELL. The demon praises Sam and calls him "my Beyonce" and Sam just WALKS AROUND HIM to go check on Castiel. The demon introduces himself as Kipling (Kip) and Sam just ignores the handshake with a look of "what do you think is going to happen here, really, don't be an idiot."

It's revealed that the demons have captured Maggie and Jack - but we the audience know that Mary and Bobby are still out there. So, I'm assuming this was part of the plan... or Jack and Maggie actually suck and it wasn't part of the plan, that could also be the case.

Sidenote: Kipling says something along the lines of "what are you going to do, it's late-capitalism" - and is it weird that I find it amusing that we're all just acknowledging that we're in the late-capitalist period on TV now, like it's a known thing? Because I love it. It makes me want to live for another 150 years or so, so that I can read a history book about it.

Kipling wants Hell leadership, in the vacuum created by Crowley and then Asmodeus' death. He wants "the Crowley deal" where he gives the Winchester's information, and they turn a blind eye to his operations and the demon deals. Sam points out that Crowley never had that deal - at least not officially, as you'll see from many of my previous ramblings about episodes, I've been annoyed since S9 about the chances they had to kill Crowley that they didn't take.

Sam tells Kipling no, and that's when Mary and Bobby come charging in shooting and the fight kicks off. I do love everyone fighting and Castiel there stuck in a chair, hoping not to get hit by bullets. Nitpick: I wish they had dressed the blond male demon in something other than a beige jacket - when they were moving around, it was hard to tell him and Jack apart, and for a second I thought it was Jack who did the cool wall parkour. Sadly, it was not.

Jack in fact, gets his ass kicked while trying to help Bobby. Maggie ends up taking out a demon though, so does Mary. Sam manages to kill Kipling after doing the ol'fake-pass-out move (fun fact: I used to do that while wrestling with friends as a child, going limp makes them think they can use a looser grip, the fools.)

Then Sam yells at the remaining demons, telling them that there will be no king of hell, not ever, and anyone who wants the job has to come through Sam. And the demons are like "yeah, sounds good, seeya" and they smoke the heck out of there. Which, you know, I would too.

BUT TELL ME! Does this make Sam the defacto king of hell?! Haha, I mean, he just declared himself the gatekeeper of the position. He's obviously not going to actively rule, so I'm assuming the demons will just keep muddling their way through a complete power vacuum, which should make for some fun episodes... but yeah, I can just imagine someone from the deeper rings taking a vacation from torturing and going to visit some other demons "hey, so, whose king now?" "uh, well, technically Sam Winchester? Only, we got Steve to oversee torture rotations, and Henrietta's been making sure we make our soul quotas, and then we uh, formed a council of 10 that governs in the King's stead for terms no longer than 4 years, and we made sure they all have equal power so that none of them could be said to be more King than the other, because no one wants to fight Sam Winchester, but we also can't have anarchy or else... well, or else we'll probably gain the attention of Sam Winchester... and basically yeah, now we have a democracy and the government's sole mandate is to not piss off Sam Winchester.... so, essentially, he's the best king we've ever had, really."

Back at the Bunker, Sam gets a call from Ketch - who was apparently sent to London to try to find that magic egg macguffin/deus-ex-machina-device used in S12 to get Lucifer out of the president (ugh, *shudder*) but he CAN'T FIND IT. Ah, magical plot device is gone, and I can rejoice! (Don't get me wrong, I want to save Dean, but I also want Dean to help save himself by having a massive brain-fight with Michael.)

Cas apologizes for getting captured, but Sam is like "no, we're cool, I also would have been an idiot and talked to demons" and they come to a mutual understanding of loving Dean and being in a sorry state for doing so.

Mary and Bobby flirt in the kitchen, because they have no sense of MOURNING. Okay, that's not fair.... we just see that they have a nice friendly relationship. And it'd be cool if their newly resurrected Mom got together with an alternate version of their surrogate father who may actually be painful to be around because he has no history with them now... uh... or maybe that wouldn't be cool? AU!Bobby is a weird thing to wrap my head around.

Jack is bummed that he's useless. But Cas tells him that they ALL got punched in the face, not just him. (Aww, Cas, I love you.) And that Jack has his family, and his grace WILL regenerate (if slowly) and they all believe in him and have his back, and that they'll find Michael and save Dean and they'll "do it together, because that's what we do" and PLEASE someone tell me if this is a word for word recital of a Dean speech, because it REALLY SOUNDS LIKE ONE, and I love Cas all the more for it.

Meanwhile, in Sam's room, he gets a call from an unknown number - it's Jo, and she has information for him.

Then we cut to Michael, who is in a basement, and he's finally found someone who answered his question in a way that he liked - because he's decided to team up with this person... because they're want is pure, simple, and clear - EAT. That's right, Michael is going to get himself a vampire army, it seems? He's picked a very androgynous vampire for this speech, and I love them... even though I hate vampires. So, this will be an interesting season, with a blending of angel/monster baddies.

It was interesting to have a whole episode without Sam and Dean being in the same room. Though, I think we also had that at the start of S10. I'm wondering how long it'll continue. We know that the other hunters went after some vampires in this episode - so maybe they're already tied in? I'm also interested in seeing how long the Bunker will remain a hub for others - will it eventually just be the Winchester family in there alone again, or are other's floating in and out there to stay? Perhaps the most important question though... how long will Sam keep the beard?!

Let me know what you thought in comments!!

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/564774.html.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2018 05:25 am (UTC)
My thoughts in total random order:

I loved badass Sam and emo Sam (and your extrapolation of the King of Hell situation after his throwdown, OMG, finally all those demons in suits sucking up to the various kings of Hell would have perfect roles!!!)

Mary and Bobby all cute in the kitchen afterward was weirdly timed...

How is Nick still present in that vessel?!?!?! That makes NO sense. GRRR, writers not only ignore but F-up canon again...

Michael has an even gravelier voice than Dean...

Since we were supposed to figure out Michael talked to the demon, and we saw him talk to Jo, and they were both left alive, I have a small hope that Jameel is still around, just a little worse for wear...

Cas couldn't fight back at all when cornered by the demons? Really? He should have been able to do some damage :/ Also when they got back to the bunker, couldn't someone hand him a rag to wipe the blood off his face???

Uneven, some annoying canon monkeying-around-with, several potentially interesting plot threads put out, and SAM!
Oct. 12th, 2018 03:05 pm (UTC)
Agreed with all points.

I like how I've seen it claimed both that Michael has a more gravely voice, and also that Dean's voice is more gravely... honestly, I didn't notice one way or the other. If I were Jensen though, I would have gone with gravely, just to reinforce what Misha has been trying to do with Castiel for the past 10 years that no other angel actor seems to do (and I wish they would)... and have Michael speak with a voice that suggests the person using it is larger than the body that contains them.

I'm going to go with your idea that Jameel might still be alive, if a little tossed around. I'll headcanon that he went off and got his life together and lived happily ever after.

Can Cas not do that smiting thing anymore? He used to be able to do that with a room full of monsters - just light up and they'd all die.

Despite the ridiculous details, I did enjoy the episode and the set-up for the season - Dabb's seasons so far have left me pretty unimpressed though, so I admit that I don't have very high hopes. I'm mostly just watching for the occasional amazing scene, regardless of how we got there - and I think this episode delivered a few of those, so I'm happy. :)
Oct. 12th, 2018 03:16 pm (UTC)
I'm mostly just watching for the occasional amazing scene...

Right with you on this!!!

PS Getting ready for Vancon? Did you see the announcement that Jensen is performing at the SNS for sure?!
Oct. 12th, 2018 03:24 pm (UTC)
Yup! I'm excited!! :D

Hopefully I can move forward from the general seats when it gets started, but with Jensen confirmed, it might be pretty packed towards the front!
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:20 am (UTC)
Love your commentary as usual :D Enjoyed the ep and pretty Sam and pretty Dean-Michael and adorable Cas and family/love theme!
Oct. 12th, 2018 02:59 pm (UTC)
I too, enjoyed all the pretty men and adorable family.

I'm glad you liked the write-up!
Oct. 13th, 2018 04:20 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed your review. Now I need to go back and re-watch the epsiode, because I totally missed the whole demon-Kip-should-have-known-Dean-was-missing thing!

I miss bad-ass Cas. Maybe he’ll be back one of these days????

I was spoiled for Nick appearing, but am completely flumoxed by that since I thought his body had disintegrated (and therefore Nick died and his soul went to Heaven like Jimmy Novack?) Maybe I missed something again. At any rate, brave Sam having to look Nick in the face (is it just me or did anybody else wonder if Lucifer is still in there? Shiver.) was amazing.

I need to see Dean fighting inside his own head to push Michael out!
Oct. 13th, 2018 07:51 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I miss bad-ass Cas too. I think they could have had him at least beat a couple of demons before he was taken out of commission, rather than just being beat-up from the get-go.

And you're completely right about Nick. He was burned out from the inside throughout S5, and I'm pretty sure Dean (and Cas and Bobby) just left him to-die/rotting on the floor of that Detroit apartment in Swan Song. And then the body was missing for ~7.5 years, before Crowley seemingly resurrected it and revamped it so that it could contain Lucifer indefinitely... but why would he resurrect it with the soul? And wouldn't Nick have to give permission a second time if he were still in there? DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.

If Lucifer is still in there, I'm going to be SO ANGRY!!! Seriously, I'll be legitimately rage-watching at that point.

But yeah, I'm really hoping for some Dean-mind scenes!
Oct. 14th, 2018 03:29 am (UTC)
I detest Lucifer and I'm so disappointed that they brought him back. OTOH, that gives me hope that Gabriel might still show back up again, so...

Lovely review, as always! Looking forward to next week!
Oct. 14th, 2018 04:52 am (UTC)
I still refuse to acknowledge that Gabriel isn't still alive. It was another fake out and this time he's successfully gone into hiding without being captured by a demon. He's cool.

But yeah, 100% agree.

Glad you enjoyed the review! See you next week!
Oct. 14th, 2018 04:23 am (UTC)
I'm with you on the fish or cut bait on Destiel. I, personally, want them to cut it the hell out because I don't ship it and because Supernatural is NOT a show about romance. However, I could see a viable story about how Cas is unrequitedly in love with Dean and have Michael using that against Cas in some way. But really, it's time to just LET IT GO.
Oct. 14th, 2018 04:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, even though I think they could build a case for it either way - I prefer Supernatural without romance (it's a rare thing to find on TV), and Jensen is pretty adamant that Dean is 100% straight, so I don't see him agreeing to go that direction with the character even if they decided to (which I don't think they would.)

So, yeah, I think they should address it and make it clear it's not going to happen - and they could still have people make comments to Dean or Castiel, but it would turn into a commentary on either the villains homophobia or their complete non-understanding of intimate platonic friendships.

Really, it'd actually pretty groundbreaking if they defined the relationship as one with no sexual attraction, yet still a loving intimate friendship. You never see that on TV either really. Have Dean be a heterosexual bi/pan-romantic character. Have Cas be an asexual panromantic, etc - they wouldn't even have to use the labels, just say "Listen man, people keep insinuating things, and I just want to make sure we're clear - I love you, but I'm not sexually attracted to you." "I understand, Dean. I'm not sexually attracted to anyone, but I love you too." There, done.

I wouldn't want an unrequited love storyline, just because I find unrequited love REALLY fucking painful, and I don't want to experience it again even vicariously secondhand through fictional characters.
Oct. 18th, 2018 05:03 am (UTC)
It’s really good to be back here again. :) (Though you were really great about keeping us occupied through the summer. I enjoyed your Character Entrances, and One Scene Per Season.)

SCRUFFY Sam! The scruff of angst! I will never complain about this.

I don’t HATE this little band of hunters? (I reserve the right to change my mind though.) I think mostly what I like is Sam leading them...and how weary and preoccupied Sam is about leading them. He’s going through the motions, but his mind is clearly elsewhere. I keep forgetting that these hunters are refugees - creates an interesting parallel with the opening scene between Michael and the Syrian refugee, but I feel like the show didn’t fully connect the dots. (Which is strange, because in the past they’ve tended towards bashing you over the head with parallels…) Will any of that displacement and alienation ever be addressed, or are they all just going to merrily adjust to a new universe? In any case, I share your internal conflict over the repurposing of the Bunker.

The angel/demon barfight made me nostalgic for S4 “Heaven and Hell,” which is crazy because I thought that episode was ridiculous. But at least there was some sense of...grandeur? Or an attempt at it? What happened to smiting? Can Castiel not smite anymore? Isn’t it established canon that angels can see demons within their vessels? Kind of renders the whole scene implausible. Did we de-power Castiel again after he came back from the Empty to make this make sense? I truly can’t remember.

Speaking of throwing canon into the blender - vessels can now survive angel blades! Or at least ARCHANGEL blades - OH OKAY.

Sam opened that door to Nick’s room, and my notes say: “OH NO ALIX IS GOING TO BE SO PISSED.”

Part of me is like, “Show, why are you keeping Nick alive??” But part of me sees...potential, at least. He’s the only other person in the Bunker that can understand an inkling of what Sam has been through. But geez, that’s some real baggage to explore. Totally agree with you about Jared - he is so aware of all the history there, and all the agony. I kind of hope some of that PTSD will be written in for Nick. You said something about how it’s strange that he’s just sitting there in a dark room until Sam shows up - but after what he’s been through, I can’t imagine that he would want to, I don’t know, read a magazine, or interact with people. The writers could create some interesting dilemmas for him if they actually build that out and don’t just leave him as snarky comic relief (which I’m afraid they might fall back on).

I do love Sam just swallowing the trauma to get the job done - what a Winchester move. Unless you’re Mary Winchester, I guess. “I can’t even look at him...you deal with it, Sam!” WOW, MOM, WOW. You suck. Have you been filled in on Sam’s little history with Lucifer?? I actually kind of love that Mom is the worst...I just wish the show was aware of it? I feel like they’re still trying to pass her off as just a badass hunter. I’m still very confused about her internal life, her motivations. I loved her little speech to Sam in the car, but mostly because Sam was having none of it, as you pointed out. At the end of last season she was all ready to abandon both her sons and jump into an alternate universe, and now she’s worried about Dean? Thanks, but pass. Sam seems all tapped out of his usual determined optimism, and I like that too.

I will skip my thoughts on the second bar fight/Castiel’s rescue, including the weird strobe lighting and demons fighting with guns (WHY?). Also, if we can please forego all variations of the “Because that’s what we do” line, which seems to resurface three or four times a season in the Dabb years, I would be eternally grateful, because it is both lazy and meaningless. But - I LOVE your defense of Sam Winchester, De Facto King of Hell! And I’m pretty sure Jack was wearing a henley in his closing scene. So there are definitely still things to love. :)
Oct. 19th, 2018 06:34 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the summer posts! I gotta start rewatches soon, I suppose!

I will also never complain about Scruffy Sam. :)

Good point about the parallels with refugees, that would have been a good thing to bash us over the head with a little more - my friend was concerned that dumb anti-refugee people would take Michael's shaming lines and use them to support their own shitty arguments, not realizing that you aren't supposed to sound like the villain... and she's probably right. We could have gone with a few more anvils dropped on our heads there (things I never thought I'd say).

They didn't depower Castiel further I don't think - I'm not sure we've seen him smite since the end of S8 though (correct me if I'm wrong) so maybe it's something he can't do anymore? But Gadreel could still do it in S9, so I'm not sure why other fallen angels couldn't... so, it's sadly just shitty writing in my opinion.

Your notes are correct about my reaction to Nick. :P

And yeah, I didn't discount his potential for good plots, despite my annoyance at seeing him - sadly, I doubt they're going to take him in any interesting directions - though I'd love if they proved me wrong.

TOTALLY AGREE about Mary being the worst for leaving Nick's care to Sam. I mean, GEEZ... you're mad because what? He dragged you around an apocalypse world for a bit? He made life a little difficult for you? SAM WAS TORTURED BY HIM FOR YEARS!!! I mean, I'm afraid of spiders, but if MY SON had been trapped in a box with spiders for 1000 years and had PTSD from it, you know I'd become the spider-catcher in the house NO QUESTION. I would weep/scream while I was doing it, but I'd DO IT.

I try to give Mary the benefit of the doubt with her internal life... but it's hard to do so when she's being that selfish. Though, I have to say, it's nice to know where Sam gets HIS opaque internal life from.

But yes, always something here and there to appreciate in an episode. I don't mind the "because that's what we do" line, because humans are constantly telling ourselves platitudes in order to survive the hellscape that is our lives. That sounds bleak, but I actually mean it positively? Somehow?
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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