But I'm back to functioning now, so let's do another rewatch!
War of the Worlds
Ugh, Lucifer... what a thing to have to come back to.
I do like this old church set, with the light slanting in between the boards.
Anyway, if I were rewriting this without Lucifer... just exchange him for Dagon, maybe have it be a little less torturing.
Dean being protective of Cas - but also allowing him to go off and do his own thing. It's growth! But man, if I were Dean I'd be like "dude, you just got back from the dead - I am wrapping you in cotton padding and keeping you inside."
Asmodeus trying to find Jack... creepily. I do love how the demon keeps calling him "the Jack" hahaha, it's kind of hilarious.
I'm worried that I won't have anything to say about this episode...
...but there's KEVIN!!! I love him. I wish he could have lived in this universe. This meth-ed out Kevin. Or maybe speed-Kevin? Ritalin Kevin? I miss Kevin.
So, if I were rewriting this without Lucifer, they'd either have to have a different fuel for the spell, or Michael would have to use his own grace. I think using his own grace would set up S14 nicely, because it would set-up the fact that he was willing to sacrifice it in dribs and drabs. ALSO, it'd be a way to depower him just enough that he'd be a little more manageable for the writers - because they constantly need their super-beings depowered in order to work with them, as evidenced by their consistent insistence that they be constantly depowered by some means. I think Kripke... and maybe Gamble, were the only ones who knew how to write for super-beings. Anyway, I'll stop bashing the writers, sorry...
....AND no I won't, because I totally forgot about Ketch coming back. Oh my god.
So, trufax, if I were rewriting this season, I would NOT have Ketch return. It TOTALLY undercuts his death and Mary's choice to kill him at the end of S12.
Daniella: "...I'm a witch - and I know you don't like witches, but I also know that you help people who are in trouble."
- See, that's actually an interesting conundrum. That's a good set-up for a case. Someone is killing witches - do you hunt that person, or do you pat them on the back and say good job? Why are they investigating this case anyway? If some hunter has found a way to kill witches, shouldn't they just be glad? Oh man, who wrote this episode...*checks* UGH, I should have known! It's BuckLeming. Of all the episode for me to come back to after my inadvertent hiatus.
Okay, so, MASSIVE rewrite on this episode is going to be needed, but for now I'm just going watch.
Fun fact: Lucifer has never met Kevin before in person - BUT, since all angels know all the names of the prophets, both living and dead, he still knows who he is. Also, Lucifer has been in Castiel's brain.
And Lucifer is without his powers in our world after jumping through the portal.
And Asmodeus just killed an innocent hotel manager - that's really sad.
YOU KNOW WHAT A BETTER EPISODE WOULD BE? Asmodeus hunting Jack, while Sam and Dean hunt Asmodeus because he keeps killing innocent people in places they've been.
I DO like the fact that Ketch has really cute curly hair in this resurrection. So, you know, that's a big bonus.
This is going to be the shortest rewatch since I rocketed through S1 without really knowing what the heck I was doing.
Sam's had that blue and black shirt since S1 - it's cool to see it again.
Dean: "Oh, and look at that, you got rid of your tattoo - was it a stick on? It was a stick on."
- Now, THIS is a good line, because it was a stick-on by the make-up department.
Seriously, the reason I don't like BuckLeming is because they like the villains WAY TOO MUCH. They try to turn all the villains into allies - they're the Kylo-apologists of the Supernatural fandom, only they're f*cking writers/producers on the show (depending how you want to read my use of the word f*cking there). BuckLeming and I were doomed from the start in terms of getting along - because I hate villains, and am only interested in the movement and emotions of our heroes, and BuckLeming seem to find heroes boring and only want to write villains.
Anyway, I just wrote all that while Ketch was weaving his story about being his own twin. The guy who plays Ketch IS good, and I do like his curly hair... so, it's not like I'm super mad that he's around, I just hate the reason he's around. Unfortunately, no matter how good actors are, sometimes it serves the story better to SAY GOODBYE TO THEM. I mean, why do we have to have Lucifer and Ketch come back from the dead constantly, but we can't get Gabriel to stick around? Or Bobby to permanently come back and be OUR Bobby (no offense to AU!Bobby) or CHARLIE for that matter. Because the writers recognize (some of the time) that bringing characters back undercuts their story arcs... of course, Charlie didn't even have as good a death as Ketch, but we can't have her. UGH. You know, I think the problem the Dabb years has is his love for bringing people back from the dead - ironically.
There's a shot that Speight (director) does here that I don't like - where Sam is in the foreground and Dean is in the background and they're BOTH in focus. I don't even know why I don't like it. He switches back to racking the focus (I think that's what it's called - basically switching the focus back and forth depending whose talking) a minute later, which is the way it's usually done, and it's MUCH better... but that initial shot with them both in focus is just so jarring. Not a fan.
Sam: "We know Mom shot Arthur, and we know we dumped his corpse into the waste canal..."
- I think this is the other thing that REALLY bugs me about Ketch's resurrection. Sam and Dean wouldn't just DUMP A CORPSE. If they're not fleeing the scene, then they're going to salt and burn every corpse they come across - ESPECIALLY the ones they create. Also, where the heck does the waste canal go? Is there a sewage treatment centre along the way? Does it dump into a local river? THEY WOULDN'T DUMP A CORPSE NEAR THE BUNKER - BECAUSE IT COULD BE TRACED BACK TO THE BUNKER. It doesn't make ANY SENSE.
I think it pisses me off the most because it makes the Winchesters look sloppy, and the Winchesters have been doing this together for 13-16 years (depending how you count) and that's just since Stanford. They've really been doing this for 30+ years each. THEY ARE THE MOST SKILLED HUNTERS IN THE COUNTRY. They wouldn't make those stupid rookie mistakes. If someone gets one over on them, it has to be because that other someone is really clever (like Crowley used to be), but it can't just be because the Winchesters dumped a body without burning it.
Ugh, back to that shot I don't like.
Sam: "The Arthur Ketch we knew was sadistic, amoral, predatory - loyal to no one."
Ketch: "You're wrong there. Not amoral, and actually loyal to a fault."
- I DO like this turn, because Ketch can't help but defend himself. The thing is, I'd be perfectly find with Ketch flipping sides and having a redemptive arc - but it would have had to have happened in S12, before his death, and not in S13 after a resurrection. So, if you want to keep Ketch around, have Mitch's death and Mary's pleas actually make a difference to Ketch so that he flips at the last moment and doesn't die. Have him leave to go take down the BMoL in Britain, if you don't want to send the Winchesters off to do it (which I still think they should have) - and then you can still have him in and out of your future seasons, but it's not because he had some magical resurrection magic sewn into his inner thigh by Rowena and the Winchesters were dumb enough to just dump his corpse in a drainage ditch and hope for the best.
Sam: "Sounds like it'd be easier to be Alexander than it would to be Arthur..."
- Ah Sam, missed his calling as a therapist.
Ketch: "If he were here, he'd...admit regret, to some of the things he did to your family."
- Aww, again, just have this be in S12...,or don't kill him, and you can still have it in this season, when he's still around. If you want to explore Ketch, then don't kill him in the first place.
And then we learn that the angels are going extinct, and they're hoping Jack can create more.
And really, it's no wonder they're going extinct when they're first instinct is always to fight to the death whenever they disagree with each other.
And Lucifer comes back... oh man, okay, so how would I write this... Man, I really wish Castiel would have just killed Lucifer here while he's weak. This is another thing that doesn't make any sense. I mean, yeah, he teases that he has information - but get it, and then stab him in the bar and be done with it. AND YES, before you say anything, I know that they made up the thing where Lucifer can't be killed except by another archangel - BUT, they hadn't established that yet here, and also he's super weak right now so maybe it doesn't apply! I'd at least like to have a quick attempt made.
Lucifer: "This is an emergency, Castiel, and all they'll want to do is put me back in the cage."
- BECAUSE IT'S THE SMART THING TO DO. You should have never gotten OUT. UGH.
Ketch: "And... how is she [Mary] now?"
Dean: "She's good."
- Again, Ketch, just can't resist checking up on your ex-FWB. Giving yourself away.
Cas: "Nothing yet, but interesting things are happening- YES, I would like to see you too, the sooner the better."
*Lucifer hangs up*
Lucifer: "Smooth was never your strong suit."
*at the bunker*
Sam: "What's up?"
Dean: "Something didn't seem right."
- Didn't SEEM right?! Dean, Cas never flirts with you - and suddenly he is? That's a big ol' red flag.
Asmodeus and Lucifer showdown - they're good actors... I just don't have anything to say about it. Maybe that despite the writers' inability to write for super-powered characters long-term, they SURE LIKE INTRODUCING THEM.
Winchester and Demon fight, also entertaining...
Ketch to the rescue.
Ketch: "Did it ever occur to you, Dean, that I may be one of the good guys."
Dean: "No, not even once."
- I'm with you, Dean.
Ketch: "You and I were soldiers in opposing armies that were at war."
Dean: "Well, the thing about war is, one side wins."
- I think this is actually a really great commentary on the different cultural mindsets and what's fundamentally wrong with our society. But first, let's break down this cultural misunderstanding as it relates to our characters.
- In order to have a true war, both sides have to understand that it's a war. Ketch is operating on a very old fashioned kind of war - I think the last war like that may have been WWI. Though, arguably, not even then - it may have actually been the Boer War? ANYWAY... let's define what Ketch means... he's basically talking about a war for land, which was what S12 was to him. It was a colonial war, AS KETCH SEES IT. In this version, the Americans won, they "signed a peace treaty" (ie: the Brits withdrew after being thoroughly defeated) and thus the war is over. At the end of the war, the people conscripted to fight on either side no longer have beef with each other. It's the end of WWI, where they just get out of the trenches and go shake hands and hug, and everyone is happy. That's what Ketch thinks happened. The problem is that Dean wasn't fighting a war, he was making moral decisions and sticking with his principles, and expecting other people to do the same - and when other people proved to be amoral, without principles, and a danger to Dean, his family, and his countrymen, they were the enemy - there's NO END TO THAT. There's no peace treaty and now we can be friends, sorry for the death, good job on defending your homeland, our bad, no worries, water under the bridge. That's not the way "war" works for Dean, because Dean's "wars" NEVER END. You either work for good in this world, or are an innocent non-dangerous bystander, or you are ACTIVELY EVIL AND THEREFORE MUST DIE.
- It's not like Dean's WRONG... because that old fashioned type of war is really idiotic. The fact that you have these guys shooting at their neighbours across a field just because some other guy with a bunch of pins in his jacket told them to? It's STUPID.
- And there DOES have to be repercussions for your personal moral decisions - which Ketch MADE. You can't claim obedience as a defense, which is what Ketch is doing. The "I was just following orders" gets us well into WWII, where we start seeing the nature of war change on many fronts - but it's DEFINITELY where we learn that there's a personal moral responsibility that you can't escape. EVEN if you are just a foot soldier - if you're told to go shoot a bunch of unarmed civilians? If you're told to kill children? Do you do it? Can you live with yourself if you do? Also, when the war is over, that kind of stuff doesn't suddenly get forgotten - you still have to answer for your personal morality if it doesn't match up with the morality of the society in which you live (or the morality of the victors as the case may be). This is how we get war crimes. Dean is very much a person who is CONSTANTLY aware of personal morality. He isn't a soldier in a war; he's actually a judge and an executioner, and he takes that responsibility to heart - which is why the Mark of Cain tore him up so much. But yeah, that's the fundamental difference - Ketch is a soldier in a 19th century war; Dean is vigilante law enforcement... those two things are NOT THE SAME.
- Anyway, the way this is everything that's wrong with our society is the fact that for Ketch, wars end. For Dean, they don't. And never-ending "cultural" wars are definitely what's wrong with our world today. Everything is split into sides - it's not that people have differing political opinions - it's that it's US versus THEM. All of us are trying to make personal moral decisions, but we're turning it into a never-ending war between those who agree with us, and those who don't, and there's not ever going to be a peace treaty to sign that will END the war. Personally, I blame the fact that America started having wars on nouns - you can't sign a peace treaty with a noun - and so, your war never ends, and you never get to climb out of your trench and shake hands with your neighbour across the field.
And Lucifer and Castiel are in prison.
And Ketch has ironed out his curls again... so sad... and is working with Asmodeus, which isn't quite as sad as the curls being gone, but I guess is a little sad.
Kevin rambling cutely.
Michael requests to see Mary Winchester, now that Lucifer is gone.
Okay, how do I save us from the pit of despair that is this episode?
Continuing the Luciferless Rewrite of S12:
You just have Dagon instead. I really liked that actress, so I'd be happy if she was still around. You can keep pretty much everything the same - but you could either change the ingredients needed for the spell, or you could have Michael provide the grace (as mentioned) since that would set-up his willingness to whittle away at his own power in order to achieve his ends (of more power). ALSO, it would set up the fact that you CAN use arch-angel grace to fuel things a little bit at a time (which is a reveal with Asmodeus and Gabriel later) - so it serves that.
Dagon would still jump through the portal and come to earth, and be depowered, and go save Cas or find him or something, and they could still end up in prison after a power-play gone wrong with Asmodeus. Having two princes of war fighting for control of Hell, and control of the Nephilim, would be really interesting. Dagon could still try the angel with Cas that Michael is coming and that she's on their side now - that they need to find Jack in order to keep Michael out of it (the last thing Dagon would want would be more angels) of course, her real end could still be to use the Nephilim to gain her own power and overthrow Asmodeus.
Rewrite in General:
Ignoring the Lucifer plot. The main thing to deal with is the shoddy resurrection of Ketch. It could be as simple as a line from Dean saying "I don't know how he did it, but you and I both know we didn't have time to burn the body before Jack was born - it could be him, Sam!" and then it's not a fault of theirs, but of timing, that they didn't think to salt and burn his corpse.
OR, Option 2, you make up your mind in S12 that you like this character and you don't want to kill him off, and you change the end of S12 instead of S13. Have Ketch be affected by his association with the Winchesters/Mary just as a Mitch was... although his death was REALLY satisfying at the hands of Mary, you'd have to sadly do away with that. Have him turn at the last minute, or have him plead mercy from Mary and have her be the better person and actually show it to him. Either enlist him to take down the BMoL from the inside, or mark him as a deserter from the BMoL so he has to become a mercenary, but maybe banish him from the country - finding him could still be a shock that way, but it could be more of a "we told you to leave" and then Ketch being like "But I can't live in Britain either, as I'm marked as a traitor..." and then have him try to apologize.
Option 3, tie him with Asmodeus COMPLETELY. You know what Asmodeus has at his fingertips? The power of an archangel - do you know what powerful angels can do? Resurrect people. So, instead of learning about the missing motel clerk part way through the episode and having it be a footnote, instead, have that be the case. Asmodeus has obviously sent goons to try to find Jack, and they're killing people - so Sam and Dean decide to try to at least get them to stop killing people, and they follow the trail to try to kill Asmodeus? Who knows... maybe they don't know it's Asmodeus... ACTUALLY YES, okay, so they don't know it's Asmodeus, but someone is killing people in places they've been... so Sam and Dean go investigating. THAT'S when they find Ketch, and they cuff him and bring him to the bunker and are atill like "What the heck are you doing alive?" and he's like "I DON'T KNOW" I came to under a thin layer of ashy soil behind your bunker, and then fled... once I got my barrings, I started hunting again, on my own, because I can't go back to the BMoL, not after what happened... anyway, I heard about this missing person on the police scanner, and was investigating when you two appeared... and then he can tell them that so far, he's gotten a description of the dude, and he can describe Asmodeus, and Sam and Dean can be like "ugh, that dude" and then Dean can get the call from Cas, and he can still follow them and then make his escape, and then we find out he's secretly working for Asmodeus, etc.
Option 4, Don't have Ketch come back at all. Rewrite the episode completely so that Sam and Dean are just on some other case. Does Ketch even have an important role in this season? Does he make any difference at all? Have Sam and Dean do something else, maybe they DO Have to decide if they're help extends to witches or not... maybe there is a conundrum of what people should be helped and who shouldn't. Maybe it's just completely unrelated - or maybe they do get wind that Asmodeus is trying to find Jack, so they start trying to follow that trail, and then get interrupted by the call from Castiel. Anyway, it annoys me, because I don't think Ketch serves any purpose behind "we wanted a morally grey character and we liked this one that we killed last season, so let's bring him back" - so, for that matter, you could still have Sam and Dean encounter another hunter in their travels and then at the end reveal that that hunter is sketchy and working for Asmodeus. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. Just in case I have to resurrect unknown Hunter though, let's call them...River, because that's unisex. So, River the unknown Mercenary/Hunter, who Sam and Dean stumble upon while on a hunt, who follows them and helps them with the demons who attack them - and then takes off afterwards (without needing to escape or get shot at) and Sam and Dean are like "that person was okay!" but really THEY'RE NOT! Dun dun dun! Obviously, this option is only good if Ketch doesn't need to be KETCH (and I argue that he doesn't, but granted, I could be forgetting something... and don't mention the egg, when I rewrite S14, I'm rewriting that thing out of it.)
As usual, let me know what you thought in comments!
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