Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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Quick Reaction: 14x01 Stranger in a Strange Land


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.
Tags: quick reaction, s14

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