Demons waiting for Lucifer... performing a little "stagey" for my liking. And Asmodeus shows up.
Asmodeus was a fun character, and well played by the actor, but, in my opinion, there wasn't much reason for him, and therefore he ended up not having any "teeth" so to speak. There was too much else going on for us to care about him. Though, I do love these first hints that he's got angel-power at his bidding... when he burns the demons' eyes out.
Sam: Listen, losing mom, and cas, it's a lot to process - especially on no sleep. And the kid-
Dean: The kid?
- I think it is important to note that Dean is EXTREMELY sleep deprived. I don't know about you, but when I haven't gotten enough sleep, I also want to murder anyone who is a minor inconvenience to me.
Sam: Dean, the 'problem' might be our only shot at saving mom.
- It's also important to note that Sam's decision to help Jack isn't necessarily made altruistically. BOTH brothers have to come to actually love Jack. Sam's going to get there first, mainly because his plan for Jack involves spending time with him.
- But also, Sam's still the optimist here. Mom's still alive. It'd be nice if Jack was good, etc.
Mary and Lucifer in the AU... I just typed through this scene, and I don't think it'll even matter.
Demon: "We scoured all of hell - even checked the cage..."
- Ugh, I hate that line, because it's such a little thing, easily left out - and then you wouldn't have BROKEN CANON. Because we KNOW that Hell doesn't have access to the cage. Yes, the cage is technically a region of hell, but it's not a region reachable by anyone except for those who are inside of it.
And then we get the backstory of Asmodeus' scars - which DON'T MAKE SENSE BECAUSE HE IS IN A VESSEL. Has he had that vessel since he was created? Why does he speak with a southern accent in that case? Has he just been chilling out in the south for the past 300 years or so, and picked it up?
Okay, CHARITABLY, it could be that the scars are SO BAD that they "bleed through" any vessel he has. That would actually pretty damn cool, and I wish they had made that explicit.
Dean: This is a bad idea, we should have just kept driving.
Sam: Dude, you were hallucinating sheep on the road. We need a few hours.
- Fun fact: My friend once hallucinated a person on the road when he was driving tired. DON'T DRIVE WHEN YOU'RE TIRED, PEOPLE! Listen to Sam and take a few hours to have a nap.
Jack imitating Dean is really cute.
Jack: This book, it mentions my father, not Castiel, but Lucifer.
[...] and you knew him?
Sam: He's not really an easy guy to know, he's kinda rough around the edges.
- I don't want to make this rewatch too complaining, because I do understand what the writer's are trying to do with Sam here... but this line really bugs me, because Sam was tortured by Lucifer (not to mention that it was HEAVILY IMPLIED that that torture included rape) and really, he's going to say he was "rough around the edges"?!
- BUT... like I said, I do see what the writers were going for here - they're trying to show that Sam's trying to walk a line between being honest, and not getting on Jack's bad-side AT ALL. Not knowing how Jack would take badmouthing of his bio-dad, he's playing it extremely safe.
Dean: ...that your father never reached out to you?
*Jack has flashback of his dad*
- So, this flashback, and Jack's reaction to it, don't look GOOD. And I kind of wish that they had explored Jack's decision of fathers, rather than having him get sucked into the AU and explore his relationship to arrogance and leadership, only throwing the damned father conundrum in at the last second.
Donatello shows up.
I do love the ongoing argument between Dean and Sam about whether Jack is good (like a human) or bad (like Lucifer).
I still don't know how they explained the vanishing tattooes to that poor tattoo artist.
Donatello: Ah, the nature versus nurture conundrum...
*puts hands on Dean and Sam's shoulders*
*takes hands off of Dean and Sam's shoulders*
- I love little things like that. Don't touch the Winchesters, buddy, they have a keen sense of stranger danger.
Donatello: ...It's like teaching a lion not to be a lion.
Sam: But this isn't a lion, it's a human!
- YES! Thank you Sam! I hate it when people make those false equivalency arguments.
And we learn that Jack CAN "fly" - I do miss characters having wings.
Jack: Is that why Dean hates me?
Sam: Dean doesn't hate you? Listen, sometimes the wires in Dean's head get crossed and he gets frustrated and then he mixes frustration with anger, and fear, and...
Jack: Why would Dean be afraid?
Sam: Because Dean feels it's his job to protect everyone and right now, we need to protect you, but we also may need to protect people from you.
Jack: Maybe I'm not worth all this?
Sam: Your mom thought you were, so did Cas, so do I.
- I do love how WELL Sam knows Dean... knows that Dean isn't really angry, he's just frustrated, (sad), and scared.
- And I also think this is little one-on-one conversation is the true start of Sam coming to love Jack. Obviously, we don't need to go into the details about the similarities between Sam and Jack, but I think this is where Sam starts to FEEL them... and starts to see Jack as a weird hyper-version of Sam's younger self. Jack has little to no agency in his own life, an unknown power that he can't control, and people think he's destined to be evil... also, you know, he got his mother (and father) killed... and, yeah, I said I wouldn't go into this.
Oversharing waitress SHOULD HAVE BEEN A TIP-OFF, DEAN!
When 'Donatello' knocks on Sam's motel room door, and Sam tells him to come in. I'm sure Sam is supposed to be saying "Come in!" here, but what it sounds like (seriously close your eyes and just listen to it) is "MIB!" at best, but really "MEH!" and it's the most ridiculous noise I have ever heard a grown man make with such earnestness.
Mary and Lucifer... again, just ignoring this really.
S12 Rewrite continued: These scenes would be just as useless, but with Dagon instead of Lucifer. Yay!
Sam tried to get Dean on the same page as him.
Sam: You thinking Mom is gone, Cas is gone, and Jack can't be saved. Dean...[...] we've been down before, I mean rock bottom. And we find a way. [...] Jack's scared to death of who he is, and he's scared of you.
- I love what Jensen does with his face during Sam's speech, because you can tell that Sam IS getting through to Dean.
And then they discover that Jack's been kidnapped.
Fight scene starting with Dean almost CASUALLY stepping out from under a descending knife... I just love that move, it's a half second, but it speaks to SO MUCH experience and skill.
I know some people don't like the new fight choreographer, but I really do.
AND Dean throwing the demon knife through the demon's throat is AWESOME.
Asmodeus's obsession with the weird monster/demon things is also never really explained beyond a set-up for this episode. Like... he's got an archangel's power, and he's still obsessed with these demon monster things? Why? To what end? Also, why does he give up. :P
More Mary and Lucifer stupidity.
- Sorry, you all know how much I dislike Lucifer's storyline.
Michael shows up!
One thing I do like about this AU is the fact that Michael is a black dude, because that lends to my headcanon that it was Jake who served as Lucifer's vessel in the absense of Sam Winchester.
Asmodeus: "Jack, they want to stop you - contain you - I can give you the world."
Jack: "You're hurting my friends!"
- Thank goodness Jack hasn't had better examples of friendship yet.
Then Dean finds Jack stabbing himself.
Jack: ...I will hurt someone.
Dean: You know my brother thinks you can be saved.
Jack: You don't believe that.
Dean: No, I don't.
Jack: So, if you're right...
Dean: If I'm right, and it comes to killing you, I'll be the one to do it.
- Aww, Dean.
- But, at the same time, I actually think this is the point where Dean starts to be more charitable towards Jack... that he starts seeing him as a confused kid rather than a monster.
- And I actually think that his "I'll be the one to do it" isn't meant so much as a threat, but rather a reassurance. In like... a really odd way. I mean, YES, it tells Jack exactly where he stands with Dean... but Dean also says "IF I'm right" meaning that despite how he acts around Sam, Dean doesn't actually have enough proof to justify killing Jack right now, even if he could. Also, if Jack genuinely is worried about hurting people, Dean is promising that he'll stop him. It's the same promise that Sam demanded Dean make to him in S2 in regards to himself.
Rewrite: So, how would I make this episode better... because, in my opinion, it DOES need it.
1. Cut all the Lucifer and Mary stuff, except for their encounter with Michael. It might be weird to just have ONE scene of them, unless you can adequately transfer into it via-dialogue (which IS possible, they do this already in this episode with putting a Mary scene scenes where (usually) Sam talks about her.) So, you could still do that at the end - OR, you could take the Michael scene and stick it into the next episode, where we see what Michael DOES with Lucifer and Mary.
2. Fill that time with more character work - show us why Asmodeus wants those demon things... and don't just have it be a long exposition speech by Asmodeus himself.. SHOW us. Instead of having him burn demon eyes out seemingly from the get go, have him begin ordering them around and have one or two question him - have a fight, have it all come out there. OR, if you're like me, and you hate seeing villain storylines.. .make the episode like a case... Donatello shows up, but he tells them that he can also feel evil stalking them. They're on high alert for demons, they can still have the tattoo scene, but then maybe Jack gets kidnapped sooner, and it's not about using Donatello GPS, but rather finding him by other means, meanwhile, we see Asmodeus try to mold Jack... and not just have him brought out to the field right away. But Jack has time to grow suspicious, get appeased, get confused by what ''donatello' is telling him... meanwhile, Sam and Dean research and figure out that they're more likely in Jasper, due to the hell gate, etc... and they go there.
3. You can also fill that time with more character work... yes, there's already some in here with their reactions to Jack and their argument, but let's twist a few more knives... does Jack have questions about Castiel? How does Dean feel about Jack naming Castiel as his father? Jack could even talk about how he too is in grief, because Castiel had sworn to protect and teach him, and now Jack is scared - I mean, that'd definitely get a reaction from Dean. Not to mention, having a line like that, and then Jack being kidnapped, would REALLY turn on the conflicted feelings in Dean, both seeing Jack as evil and also seeing him as someone who needs to be protected from evil.
4. The rest of the rewrites will come in later episodes, but basically, I'm struggling to remember why Asmodeus was important at all and why/if the Winchesters had any reason to be concerned with him? So that definitely needed to be developed and shown better.
Let me know your own thoughts, if you have any!
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/567350.html.