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Quick Reaction: 14x06 Optimism

Hello!

Quick note about S13 rewatches: I have now forgotten to do a Rewatch TWO WEEKENDS IN A ROW. And I WOULD promise to do one this weekend, but alas, I am going down to the US to visit my sister. So, I will be away from my DVDs and also trying to visit my sister AND keep up with NaNoWriMo, so yeah, it's not happening. Rewatches will be back either on the 22nd in place of the usual episode or possibly in December once NaNoWriMo is done and I hopefully have my act together.

Now back to S14... usual rules apply. I haven't been drinking that much tonight, but it's late and I'm still going to be ridiculous, so quotes are not meant to be accurate, etc.

Let's do it...

In the THEN portion, my friend was reminded of the soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream, and also a tea commercial that borrows from it as well. Meanwhile, I took Cas' line of "you have the mind of a hunter" and started coming up with punchlines via the formula "and the body of a [fill in this blank]" It's a fun game, try it at home and make your friends think there is something wrong with you as you try not to laugh.

In McCook, NE, where we lay our scene, there is a lovely librarian named Harper, who is coveted by the boys around her. She agrees to go to dinner with a fellow named Winston, who then trots out of the library to the tune of Staying Alive, only to not stay alive at all.

At the Bunker with Jack and Dean, we learn that while Dean was doing "an overnight run" to Mary and Bobby's place, Sam and Charlie went out on a team up. Jack imagines that they're doing something very interesting indeed.

Sam and Charlie are actually sitting in a truck outside of Memphis, being bored.

Jack tells Dean that Sam basically left him behind to look after Dean, because Sam is worried about him. Jack also still has that cough. He insists that the cough is because he is allergic to boredom and he wants to hunt. Dean is not so keen. Either Jack or Dean, I think it's Jack, talks about how smart Sam is....

...and we cut to Sam being overly amused by a fidget spinner. (I liked this gag and I laughed, but once again, a little more Jared than Sam in those facial expressions for my liking....but whatever, I laughed, it was funny. I'll take it.)

Jack has found the hunt in McCook, NE. We learn from the newspaper clipping that it is 9:41AM. Why are these people awake in the morning when there is no reason to be? I don't understand other humans. If I don't need to be up for work, you will see me at 10am at the earliest, and that's ONLY to pee and then go back to bed. I can last until noon before I need to eat.

Jack wants to go on the hunt, and no one is allowed to hunt alone anymore - they're now using the buddy system. We also discover that while Dean has been blaming himself for Michael's shenanigans, so has Jack - because Jack COULD have killed Michael when he first arrived if he hadn't been all distracted by Lucifer. (Nevermind that Lucifer than would have killed them all, I'm guessing.)

Then I get super distracted by the fact that the only thing hanging on the kitchen rack behind them are two ladles. You gotta hang your ladels for some reason? Why just the ladles? How often do they even USE ladles? You know how often I use ladles? Maybe like... twice a year? I'm not big on soups.

I'm also distracted by the fact that Dean is wearing a REALLY nice green plaid shirt. Damn.

We cut to Sam and Charlie, and I come back to myself... Sam has just gotten off the phone, or is just getting off the phone, and tells Charlie about how Dean and Jack are going hunting. Then he expresses doubt as to their current case, because he is tired of sitting in the car most likely - Charlie displays a jaw full of goo that she found near the bus stop that they're watching.

Dean and Jack first go to the restaurant that Winston frequented. Dean has to bribe the waitress to talk to him, but once he does, she helps out a lot. They find out about how Winston was courting Harper. Jack is confused by the word "courting", Dean says it's what you do before dating. Jack then recites the order of "courting - dating - sex", so I'm guessing so far his education in this matter has come from Cas? The waitress helpfully tells him that sometimes sex can come first.

By interviewing the towns folk, Jack and Dean discover that Harper is a bit of a black widow of sorts - in that people connected with her tend to disappear.

Meanwhile, Sam and Charlie chat. Sam's worried about Dean. Charlie tells him to get one of Dean's other friends to check in on him. Sam says that Dean had a great wingman who would be perfect for that - but it was Charlie. Charlie is then annoyed because she wants it to be clear to Sam and Dean that she is NOT their Charlie, she's a completely different person. She then gives a run down of her life, and we discover that she did have slightly different experiences  - in that she was living with her girlfriend when the apocalypse came. Her girlfriend was a woman named Kara who owned a bakery outside of Chicago. 

Charlie then goes on a long monologue about how society broke down and that they were waiting for someone to rescue them, but instead people started killing for food etc. And that's just what people are like when infrastructure breaks down. This is where I go on a long rant about how she's actually wrong - and human history and social experiments actually prove the opposite - that people tend to band together and help each other when shit goes wrong. There's a threshold - things a little broken? Time for rioting and corruption, yay! Things REALLY broken and you could all die at any moment? Holy crap, we better look out for the community! 

Sam backs me up by saying "Not here" and Charlie is like "YET" because AU!Charlie is a super big pessimist apparently. (and also still wrong.)

Back with Jack and Dean, who are not pissing me off with inaccurate pessimism (I mean, really Charlie - do you not know my BLOG RULES?), Jack is still confused about the courting>dating>sex thing. Dean promises that he'll give him the Talk once they're home. Then they eat some pie and Dean comes up with a strategy of how they're going to interview Harper.

What they end up doing is setting her up like she's in a rom-com. Dean goes in as his FBI persona and is a bit of a no-nonsense jerk, and then Jack comes in and tells him to buzz off, thus being the hero.  In the process, there's a cute exchange where Jack has to insult Dean for effect and settles on calling him "old man" possibly in response to Dean calling him "kid" - Dean is not amused by Jack's choice.

Dean walks off in a slightly real huff. Leaving Jack to introduce himself as Jack Smith, new guy in town. Harper decides to lend him a book that's at her apartment.

Dean goes to follow them, but really he should be following Harper's coworker, who goes to take the trash out and gets attacked by whatever monster they're hunting. Thankfully, he at least screams when he dies, so Dean knows that Harper isn't the monster.

Sam and Charlie continue to talk - Charlie hates hunting. Sam points out that for something she hates, she's good at it. Charlie tells him that this is going to be her last case. She's going to retire to some mountain somewhere far away from monsters.

Jack and Harper enter her apartment, where she's definitely a rom-com fan. Harper is worried that she's coming off as weird, but there's nothing weirder than Jack purposefully putting a silver dollar on the floor, then coating his hands in holy water, then coughing the word "cristo".

Charlie figures out that it's a Musca, which is a weird fly-man creature that usually doesn't kill people? Or usually isn't a problem anyway. Sam already knows all about them, because "I have read all the books" - and I do love smart Sam.

Jack tells Harper about how he's from Lebanon, KS. Harper tells him that she's the last of her family in McCook (...suspicious...) and the picture she has in her apartment of her and a dude is her and her high school boyfriend, who left town after graduation. He wanted Harper to come with him, but she didn't want to go, so they broke up. Jack thinks that sucks, but that he commends her for staying optimistic - and talks about how he too has been through some stuff but tries to stay optimistic. 

Harper asks Jack if he believes in love at first sight - and Jack is like "do you.... mind if I use the bathroom?" and flees. He calls Dean, who has been trying to get in touch with him, and says that Harper isn't a monster, but that she might be in love with him, so he needs to know everything about sex now - go!

Dean, meanwhile, is attacked by the monster.

Jack goes back out to Harper, who is worried that she has come on too strong. Jack tells her that she's fine, and he's fine... and then Dean barges into the room and suddenly instead of a romcom Harper is in a horror movie. 

The monster is zombie!Vance, Harper's high school boyfriend. He's an undead, or a risen dead, or whatever. He's also dressed up like he's a member of the cast of Riverdale, Dean even calls him Archie - so that's another tick in the "make fun of other shows that film in Vancouver" box.

Sam and Charlie talk about her becoming a hermit. Sam doesn't think she should - that people are social animals and need other people around them. That she should stick around. Then they see the Musca, who totally kidnaps a dude.

Jack and Harper flee Harper's apartment and go back to the library. Dean continues to fight Vance, but he quickly leaves.

Sam and Charlie track the Musca to his hideout. They apparently need a brass nail dipped in sugar water to kill him? They don't have that, but Sam figures they'll figure something out.

Inside the hideout there are actual flies everywhere, and it's gross... and also there are tones of fly stripes hanging from the ceiling.

Me: "if he's part fly, why does he have fly stripes? Wouldn't he like flies?"
Friend: "a self-loathing fly."

They fight the fly man, and Charlie gets briefly knocked out, but then saves Sam. And, much like Dean's solution last week with the Djinn, they decide that the thing to do when you don't have the specific required killing implement is just to KILL IT A LOT. And it proves to be effective. They get covered in goo in the process, but my friend points out that it could have been a lot worse - because in The Fly, it was accurate to real life flies, who devour food by spraying it in digestive acid. So, at least the good wasn't acid.

Vance has followed Jack and Harper to the library - and Harper reveals that she was in on it the WHOLE TIME, by letting Vance in so that he can kill Jack. Turns out, that Harper is a necromancer, and Vance is her high school boyfriend that she killed and resurrected in order to get him to stay with her forever in McCook when he wanted to leave. Poor Vance. That is a REALLY unhealthy relationship.

Jack runs from Vance for a bit, and then Dean shows up to brainstorm some ideas with him. 

Now, what I would have done here was shoot the necromancer in the head, then deal with the zombie. But, instead what they do is have Jack confuse Harper by continuing to try to woo her - and that distracts her and I guess Vance? Long enough for them to get some silver cuffs on Vance. Harper seeing the ruse, runs away.

Sam and Charlie drive back to the Bunker after dropping the dude form the bus stop off at a hospital, where he will most likely only have a concussion. Sam then uses the Musca as an allegory to try to get Charlie to see that being on your own is bad, and that community is good - in the midst of this, we get a weird scene where the other Musca come and retrieve the dead Musca's body (and TBH I could have done without that weirdness). Sam then goes on to talk about how the guy they saved had a wife and kids, and now he's still alive etc (and here my friend gets annoyed because she hates the implication that people's lives are only valuable if they have a spouse and offspring.) Sam's point, though, is that Charlie should stay. Charlie says that she'll think about it. My friend then says "she should track down Kara and get married!" "Yeah," I say, enthusiastically. "then her life can have value too!"

We cut to Harper, who is writing a letter to Jack, thanking him for pushing her to finally leave town - and how she appreciates it, and still cares for him, but that she's still going to have to kill him for what he did to Vance. My friend then says "how is she going to even address that?" "Jack, Lebanon KS - the post office will figure it out!" I say, only to have the camera show us that that is indeed what she has done - Jack Smith, Lebanon KS, Post Office. We laugh, but part of me wonders if the town is actually that small. I mean, it had that huge retirement home in it, so I'm thinking not, but yeah, who the heck knows. (i know the ACTUAL town IS that small, but in SPN it's continually displayed as being bigger than it is in reality.)

Dean and Jack are back from stabbing Vance into his grave, and seemingly have beat Sam and Charlie home. Jack is still pushing to do more hunting. Dean argues that with hunting, you have to have a lot of experience, because you have to make mistakes and learn from them, and learn to deal with the fact that you make mistakes - and Jack is like "and learn not to beat yourself up over them?" and Dean is like "don't get smart with me kid" or whatever, but then Jack starts coughing, and Dean gets a little concerned... and then Jack coughs A LOT, and Dean is REALLY concerned. And then Jack is bleeding from both his mouth and his nose and passes out, and Dean is JUST A WEE BIT FRANTIC.

And that's where the episode ends. The jig is up for Jack hiding how bad the health situation is. And this is now the second time that one of Dean's family members has hidden the fact that they are coughing up blood regularly. Next time anyone gets a cold, Dean is going to be like "SHOW ME ALL YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS!" 

Next week is a repeat, so I'm probably going to try to do a rewatch to make up for my failure to do so the past two weeks. :)


In the meantime, let me know what you thought of this one!

 

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/567268.html.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Nov. 18th, 2018 03:31 am (UTC)
I loved the Dean and Jack half. I loved how the actor playing Harper really threw herself into the role, and Jack had the best lines, both funny and touching...

I didn't care as much for the Sam and Charlie hunt--why didn't they follow the weirdly dressed figure when it showed up the first time? Why bring up needing a sugar-water-dipped brass nail and then just shoot it? Why didn't they dispose of the body? Wouldn't they have told the authorities where to find the bodies of the other missing persons and therefore wanted to get rid of the mosnter evidence? Why was Jared--I mean Sam--playing with a fidget spinner?

Also, when Charlie mentioned her girlfriend had baked cupcakes, my mind flashed to the girl in the episode with James Marsters and his administrative assistant who made the cupcakes that had real live hearts in them...Wonder if Charlie tried to find her Kara in this universe? Maybe she's married to someone else?
hells_half_acre
Nov. 18th, 2018 06:16 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I had similar thoughts.
supernutjapan
Nov. 18th, 2018 01:29 pm (UTC)
I loved it! What did you think? Not so much? This was not your regular review style. Are you feeling ok? Hoe you enjoy your trip!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 18th, 2018 06:18 pm (UTC)
It wasn't? I liked it fine. I'm feeling good. Thanks for checking in - I didn't realize that it was a departure from normal. I was perhaps a little tired when I wrote it up, but that's all.

And thanks!
supernutjapan
Nov. 20th, 2018 12:11 am (UTC)
You're welcome!
kailita
Nov. 21st, 2018 04:14 am (UTC)
I wonder how this episode went with Alex doing scenes with Jensen (and not Jared). My guess is that they were much more productive. ;) (Have there been any stories from set about Jensen pranking people on his own? Or at least people who are not Misha? It seems like that always goes down under Jared's influence, haha.)

Speaking of, I think you're right, that fidget spinner reaction was 100% Jared Padalecki.

Season 12 started this thing (at least I think it started in S12 - that's when I noticed it) where Dean starts listing things with numbers, but then switches to letters. "1...and B..." I was waiting for that to happen here, when he was listing the reasons for Jack not to hunt, but it didn't happen. Maybe they abandoned that in season 12, but I thought it was cute while it lasted.

I liked the Red Rooster! Classic SPN small town diner. Ditto on Dean's green plaid - whew. Also Jensen's eye crinkles are at 100%, and I am here for it.

The look of true PAIN on Dean's face when Jack called him "old man" made me laugh. I find it VERY interesting that Dean realizes that he is now too "old" to get close to these 20-something girls himself! Pretty sure the only reason why the show wrote that in was to create an opportunity for Jack, but I hope that will continue in the non-Jack episodes. Any time the show pays half a thought to how the brothers' lives are changing as they are aging, I perk up. And it's a thousand times better than Dean checking out underage cheerleaders in season 4.

When's the last time we saw "Cristo"?? Wow.

I thought it was interesting that the show chose to renegotiate the relationship with New Charlie through Sam rather than Dean, since Dean seemed to have a deeper bond with Our Charlie (as is usually, and maybe unfortunately, the case). I liked that choice, but a lot of Sam's dialogue seemed unusual to me. I found it strange that he couldn't understand/accept that she's a separate person from the Charlie they knew - Sam is usually pretty good about respecting people's separateness, their individual choices (that kind of protective possessiveness is usually reserved for Dean). I thought it was NICE to hear some anti-hunting sentiment from her - we were just talking about that with the last episode, and this episode just compounded what I don't like about the "everyone must be hunters!" approach we have now. Why shouldn't Charlie be allowed to take a sabbatical, leave the life? She's experienced some real trauma, she's living in a freaking alternate universe. I'd say she's earned it. Sam of all people should understand and support that. His attempts to get her to stay felt manipulative to me, which is very unusual for Sam.

I also was not a fan of "bugs are people too," or whatever they were trying to say with that fly funeral.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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