Before we even start, I believe the thing I hate most about this episode is Missouri's death - mainly because, as is usually the case with deaths of psychics, it's completely needless. It's also pretty annoying to bring back a S1 character 12 years later just to kill them off. I think this leaves the Ghostfacers as the only S1 characters that are still alive.
Take the knife out of your hand and the table and stab him, lady. He just handed you a weapon.
Dean drinking and listening to music.
They never explain Jack's obsession with feeling walls.
Sam is very gentle with Jack. He corrects himself after he says "it's me" when Jack asks who's at the door. And he shows Jack how to use the USB after just handing it to him and realizing Jack doesn't know what it is. And it's all very "oh yes, there is nothing weird about you not knowing this. Let me help."
And Jack gets to see his mom's videos. It adds tragedy of course, that Kelly starts by telling him that she always wanted to be a mom, and used to play with dolls pretending as a kid...and she never actually GOT to, because she knew birth would kill her with Jack. But, I suppose that's the case with the majority of women who die in childbirth, though most don't see it coming the way Kelly did.
Missouri: "Sam Winchester? It's good to hear your voice."
Sam: "Missouri. Wow, it's been-"
Missouri: "I know, a long time - I'm sorry to be a stranger."
- Missouri implies that it's her fault that they haven't seen her in 12 years (actually 14 years). I wonder if she changed all her numbers and moved? I wonder if they just never called, and she's taking the burden off them (they've been in enough situations where they called everyone they knew though, so I'm thinking it's the former.) Again, the problem with psychics as powerful as Missouri, is that it doesn't make sense when they die. My only guess is that if Missouri was purposefully avoiding them until now, she was doing so to preserve her own life.
Kelly: "Don't anyone tell you who you're supposed to be [...] you are who you choose to be."
- Awww, positive parenting.
- Also, I'm willing to bet that Sam watched those videos ahead of time to make sure they were positive messages for Jack.
Dean: "Wow, how long has it been, like a decade?"
Dean: "How is she?"
Sam: "Not great. She said she got out of the life for a while, but something happened..."
- And here, it's implied that maybe the guys never called her. Though again, I think they would have during their more desperate points in S2-5, so I'm guessing that's when Missouri 'got out of the life' and they couldn't reach her.
'The life' is another thing I'd like to discuss one of these days. I feel like we're always skirting around or exploring what that means... in the early seasons, I think it swings back and forth as being presented as a choice or not. Sometimes it's treated like a vocation - Charlie, or Kristy, or Claire, wanting to be seen as a hunter, actively seeking it out. And then sometimes it's treated like an... I don't know what the word is... like eating the apple in the Garden of Eden. Once your eyes are open, you are cast out of any life you had before, and now you are in 'the life' with all its pain, whether you want to be or not. In the early seasons, I feel like the show was very much about two working-class heroes, keeping the middle-class innocent, shielding them from the truth of the world. In these later seasons, like so many things, it's become muddied, and sometimes it's just as much about forcing people to accept the truth as it is about protecting them from it - and we're shown different scenarios where people seemingly CAN and DO choose whether they enter the life or whether they remain in the 'the Garden' so to speak - even after their eyes have been opened. Anyway, if you have any thoughts on this stuff, let me know.
Sam put Jody on the case.
Sam: "Jody can handle this."
Dean: "Yeah, maybe she can, or maybe she ends up dead, because you wanted to skip out on her to babysit the anti-christ."
- Geez, don't guilt Sam about neglecting one of his only friends, Dean. You're the worst sometimes. Jody is capable.
And Dean goes off to do the case, while Sam stays home. You know,
Missouri: "Oh, honey! I'm sorry for your losses."
Dean: "Missouri reads objects. It's kind of her thing."
- I love how Dean suddenly knows this. Missouri can also read minds without touching people... and obviously from her vision here, see possible futures.
And Sam tries to train Jack using the whole "move the pencil with your mind" trick. It's not super effective.
Then we get Missouri's family drama.
And Missouri willing stays behind, after tasking Dean with saving her family. Claiming that Missouri's presence will only complicate things... BUT, it will also get her out of that town, where she knows full well that there's a wraith who is going to kill her. It would at least get her under the protection of two hunters, even if she doesn't go right up to her son's door.
Jack loses patience not being able to do things on purpose. I resist the urge to try to figure out where that room their in is in the bunker. Especially considering that in S14 they prove my theory that the bunker is magic and changes rooms according to what they need. (I should say they don't explicitly confirm this - but the infirmary is in a different location and also has a completely different layout than the last time we saw it - so, either Sam and Dean have been remodeling in their spare time, or the Bunker just coughs up rooms depending on need once your out of the war room and kitchen, which are always in the same spot.)
Missouri greats the wraith, claiming that this was the only way she could ensure that "her people" would "murder [his] ass".
I do like the fact that her death was her CHOICE and she refused to scream when it happened or meet it with anything other than purpose... BUT, I also think it's kind of dumb. Like, we really couldn't see a scenario where Dean could protect Missouri too? At least TRY? It just doesn't sit well with me, and I'd prefer if they had figured out another way to do it. I know they wanted to get patience in a position to be completely guardian-less, so that she'd end up at Jody's, but.. yarr... they could have figured something else out, I think.
Dean has to learn about Missouri's death in a gas station, and that's just heartbreaking.
James: "No, I... I hung up on her."
- Sucks to be you man. But I love Dean's face there, because you can tell he's judging this guy SO HARD. Not only was Missouri his friend, but he's also JUST lost his own mom.
Patience gets attacked - and I do like that they have her fight back.
You can't, while driving, sneak-up on someone to run them over - unless that van was electric and has SUPER quiet tires.
Patience: "I get deja vu, but that's normal. I'm normal."
- We always think we're normal until we start talking to other people. Just like we always think we're strange until we start talking to other people.
Back at the Bunker, Sam is reading a book whose second chapter is called "Depression and Grandiosity. Two Related Forms of Denial"
- So, this helps explain why Sam is so much more mentally put together than Dean nearly 100% of the time.
Jack is sulking in the corner.
Jack: "It makes sense if I'm evil."
Sam: "No, Jack, why do you think you're evil? Because when I look at you, that's not what I see."
Jack: "Dean sees it. That's why he says - he said he'll kill me."
Sam: "He what?"
- I love the way Jared delivers that line. Like, SO quietly enraged.
Jack: "And maybe he should! Mom said I could be good...but she's dead because of me. I've only been on earth a few days, and I've already hurt people, I've already done bad things..."
- The great irony - bad people don't worry about being bad people.
Jack: "Sam, why are you being so nice to me?"
Sam: "Because I know what it feels like to feel like you don't belong - to feel like there's this darkness inside of you, to be scared of who you are, of what you can do. Dean, Cas, my family helped me through that, so now I want to help you. Because you're not evil, Jack."
- A little explicitly on the nose. But, well said, and I do love this dynamic between Jack and Sam. And I do think that it's in this episode that Jack starts seeing Sam as a guardian figure, and that Sam starts TRULY seeing Jack as someone under his care, someone who is just a kid who needs protection.
Patience's set-up is good. I just wish she was either unconnected to Missouri, or if things with Missouri could have been different in order to achieve the same end.
Of course, why the wraith would kidnap Patience instead of just killing her there, who knows! I think he explains it later.
James: "When I was a boy, and my mother was out on a hunt - I got so scared-"
- This is also I have a problem with... I understand it's due to my own headcanon, but to me, Missouri was never a hunter, she was always just a very powerful psychic.
- Also, James being able to do magic, but excommunicating his mother because she's supposedly not good ENOUGH of a psychic? Super dumb. Because Missouri didn't predict Tess' death? It's a pretty weak defense.
Wraith: "You're probably wondering why I didn't drain you on the spot..."
- Yes, yes we all are.
Wraith: "...your grandmother, by far the best I ever had. That got me to thinking - you, you're made of the same stuff. You're young and healthy, with you I could really stretch this out."
- Alright, fair enough, I guess.
The vision of everyone's death is cool, especially when you know it's a vision.
I also like that Patience can prevent deaths with her warnings, but not injuries. And once things change, we don't actually know how they'll go.
Patience: "Maybe he's right."
Dean: "He is - this life, hunting, monsters, there's no joy in it. There's nothing but pain, horror, and death. So if you get a chance at normal, you take it."
- Ah Dean, ever the optimist (that was sarcasm, in case that's not clear). Really though, the thing I like about Dean's character is that he contradicts himself constantly. He's ruled by his moods and always has been - when he's lost people, when things are going bad, that's when you get the "life is nothing but pain horror and death" Dean.... and when things are good, that's when he remembers that he loves killing monsters, and he loves being on the road with Sam, and he loves helping people. And both those things are TRUE for him at the same time. I don't think trying to protect people from the bad parts of hunting are bad, just like I don't think Dean happily telling people like Donna that she's an official hunter now is bad either. Both things can be true and genuine expressions for Dean.
- The other thing here is that Patience didn't really know her grandmother, her death is a tragedy of opportunity missed, not actually a loss. Dean, however briefly, DID know Missouri, and Dean feels things deeply, as we all know. So, along with being fresh from Castiel's and Mary's (supposed) death, I think Dean is WELL in the grief zone here, where everything is horrible and everything hurts. This isn't a joy in having saved Patience and her father. This is a loss at having not saved Missouri, even though she never gave him a choice to even try to do so.
Jody: "Patience, wait...You don't have to listen to him - to either of them, if it's not what you really want. I had a... daughter, I guess... Claire - and I asked her to stay in line, to fight who she really was, because I thought it would keep her safe. It didn't work. It never does. Your gift... if you try to force it down to make someone else happy, you'll only make yourself miserable."
- Awww, Jody. She's not wrong. Also, I love that she says "a daughter, I guess."
- I also feel like this is an allegory for queerness, but that's probably a whole other meta on supernatural shows in general. Or, it's just an allegory for "other", like the X-men, and we interpret that with whatever resonates closest to home.
Sam: "How was it? Jody told me about Missouri."
- I love that Sam and Jody talk off screen.
Sam: "He's pretty messed up though."
Dean: "You're telling me."
Sam: "No, Dean, he's messed up BECAUSE of you."
- And here we go...
Sam: "Dean, you said you'd kill him."
Dean: "It wasn't exactly like that."
- I honestly do think that Dean offered that information as a mercy to Jack. That he was trying to reassure Jack that Jack didn't have to worry about being evil, because if he was, Dean was going to kill him. It's the promise that Sam tried to make Dean give him in S2, only the difference is that Jack didn't explicity ask for that promise, and he's only 3 days old or something.
Dean: "...see, you think you can use this freak. But I know how this ends, and this ends bad."
Sam: "I didn't."
Sam: "I didn't end bad, when I was the 'freak' - when I was drinking demon blood... Dad told you to put a bullet in me, but you didn't. You saved me. So help me save him!"
Dean: "You deserved to be saved. He doesn't."
Sam: "Yes he does, Dean, of course he does."
- The only difference between Sam and Jack, besides Sam being a LITTLE bit more human, is that Sam was beloved by Dean even before him being tainted with evil happened and LONG before it was discovered.
- Also, I love how Sam puts 'freak' in quotes. I love how he still has a really strong relationship with that word, and hates hearing it used in connection to people he views as similar to himself.
Dean: "...But don't act like you care about him, because you only care about what he can do for you. If you want to pretend, that's fine, but me - I can't even look at the kid, because when I do, all I see are the people we've lost."
Sam: "Mom chose to take that shot at Lucifer."
Dean: "What about Cas?"
Sam: "What ABOUT Cas?"
Dean: "He manipulated him... and Cas bought it, and you know what that got him? It got him dead. And you might be able to forget about that, but I can't!"
- Firstly, this isn't as bad as I remember it being. I do wish that Sam had defended himself a little more against the accusation that he was only pretending to care for Jack in order to use him - but at the same time, it IS quite clear that these are just accusations from Dean that may be entirely baseless. So, I can see why they don't actually undermine the trust Jack has in Sam that much or make him actually feel used.
- Secondly, I also am only now realizing that Jack's storyline follows a lot of storylines we see about women who die in childbirth - where the father than blames the child, even though it's ridiculous to do so. Only, in this case, Castiel is the 'mother' and Dean is the grieving father. Jack could hardly control how he came to be in the world, nor the manner in which the show-down with Lucifer happened, and yet Dean blames him for Castiel's death - just because Castiel was trying to protect Jack.
- Which is also an interesting parallel with Missouri in this episode, because she basically did the same thing to Dean as Castiel did - died, and charged Dean with protecting her family. She even did it more intentionally than Castiel did. Castiel didn't choose to die in the same way that Missouri did. It was, actually, something he was trying hard to prevent. But, the simple fact of Castiel loving Jack, of CHOOSING Jack, put him in danger, so in Dean's eye's that makes it Jack's fault. Which is actually consistent for Dean, who blames himself whenever someone dies because they choose to help him.
- And Cas is called back from the empty. Which, is pretty cool, *cough* if you only do it once *cough*
Scene 13 -
Jody: "Dandy, huh?"
Dean: "Cas is dead, mom's dead."
Jody: "That's not what Sam says."
Dean: "Sam's living in a dream world."
- I like Jody's face when Dean delievers that line, because you can see genuine concern that he might be right... that Sam IS deluding himself, and the realization is going to be hard.
Missouri: "Your father, John, would have been so proud of the man you've become."
- Kind a weird to have to remind Dean what he's father's name was. :P
- But nice sentiment.
- Also, awkward response is awkward and I love it. I think you're actually supposed to say "thanks" in that scenario.
As usual, let me know if there's anything I missed that you desperately want to discuss! Or if you have any thoughts on the stuff that I didn't miss!
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/568020.html.