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Quick Reaction: 14x10 Nihilism

Hello! Today will be a special Quick Reaction, because I'll be reacting as I watch - I'm going out tonight, so don't have time to watch, then type - I must do both at once! (at least if I don't want to be up until 2am)

Oh yeah, we left things pretty desolate. And Michael's spear is broken.

Are we going to pick up where we left off - a bar in a lightening storm? Is this wear Dean is trapped? Bartender Dean? Wait, do we know this woman? She looks like Pam - also, she has nice arms, my goodness. It is PAMELA BARNES! But there's also this new lady... trying to buy Dean's bar. "Never had anything this nice." Weird fantasy, but it works. Pam is hot, geez. Also, who is the drunk guy?

Dean just likes to flirt, that's cute. Dean's dream is to own a bar, apparently. Also, to have trouble? Oh, drunk guy was a vampire - and Dean and Pam get to kick ass. It's a nice fantasy. Also, kind of overthetop cheesy.

In reality, now... poor heroes. YUP! Michael has been spying through Dean, I knew it!

MOLOTOVed again!

And cuffed! But Michael is still in control - and Monsters still turning everyone. "But Garth is in the trunk" "It's a big trunk"

Jessica! But it's Violet actually working the shift right now. Reapers can't intervene. But then she does... but she DIDN'T?!

Confusing - also, my friends came home during all that and I missed some dialogue - but I loved the return to not everyone seeing the reapers. Also, Garth is still in the trunk of the Impala in Missouri or wherever they were.

Sam's plan is to get in touch with Dean somehow, like Dean did when Sam was possessed by Gadreel. And now Michael has called the monsters to the Bunker - but hey, I consider that a win since they're no longer turning people.

Commercials... also, for my notes later, this is still day 1, which is the same night as the previous episode - which was, I believe, Christmas eve. 

Weird equipment that Toni used... was her name Toni? S12 was so long ago.

Dean's dream has Sam working with Cas - cute. "More shots!" Hahaha! I love this, he's ADORABLE! Oh, it's a repeating dream...

And he's beginning to notice...

Jack is keeping an eye on Michael "a little insulting" - Jack is confident in Sam and Dean... Michael puts them down. Jack isn't buying it - "you don't know anything about Dean" - and now he's lying to Jack and saying that Dean didn't care about Jack, because he's a burden. It's LIES, JACKIE! Cas tries to set Jack straight, but does it work? We don't know.

Hunters have a blockade on the road with incoming. 

Now Michael is going to try to pick apart Castiel. "You're confusing loyalty and compassion with weakness" - NOICE.

Michael wants to burn the world down because God didn't come back in his world. Geez, angels are petty. Ah, he sees his world as a failed draft that the writer has moved on from. Interesting world view. And Cas can't refute it. Michael wants to find God and kill him, apparently. So much for God's right-hand-man... which was the story I was told as a kid.

The hunters were just duped by a shapeshifter, I'm sure of it. They're now probably taking it back to the Bunker, which they couldn't otherwise have access to.

Jack wants to burn more of his soul to help. Sam won't let him. It's a slippery slope, Jack!

They connect Dean up. Jack's in charge of making sure no one kills them. Michael is still the boss of the situation - and it's the classic dreamwalker threat. 

Sam and Cas are in blackness. But Cas can listen to Dean's worst memories. Sam puts it together - Trauma keeps Dean alert... so they try the good memories... Sam finds the memory that has never happened. Now they just have to convince Dean he's dreaming.

Still the same night on commercial break 2.

I should think of something witty to say on the commercial breaks - this is probably boring. Oh, commercial break over - I bought movie tickets instead of thinking of something witty.

Bar! IPA from Austen - HA! NICE! "You're just a complex manifestation of Dean's memories designed to distract him" - I always like to see the other characters in their heads as different fasits of their personalities. The loop is extreme and Dean can't sense it. Sam finally triggers Dean on the fact that Pamela is blind... and dead.... oh my god, they were YOUNG! BABIES! I love them.

Poor Dean. Their code word! Sam says the code word and Dean REALLY KNOWS.

That was nicely done. I'd forgotten about that code word that I don't know how to spell... does dreamwidtch spellcheck know? Nope.

You all know what the word is though, so I don't have to embarrass myself. 20 minutes left of the episode though - and now we've got some Dean and Michael in the same scene stuff. I wonder how this is going to shake out in the 10-15 minutes remaining of actual show time.

Michael is trying to undermine his relationships for some reason? Ah, he's stalling... by egging them on in a verbal battle. Ah, so the monster can get in...  and they have! 

Oh, apparently Michael doesn't have powers as a mental projection? But he's a good fighter... geeez...

Oh yeah, and they're the new monsters that are immune to the bullets....I was rght about Tiger though. Also, these Hunters suck... but Jack still had a smite in him! Good job smiter! I hope he is okay.

Can they lock a mental projection in a closet in Dean's brain? Why couldn't they kick him out again? I missed that part...I'm backing it up.. "you'd be nothing but blood and bone?" I guess he's saying he'd destroy them.

Maggie gives a report on the monsters - apparently no longer under control. And spills the beans about Jack using his powers... apparently burning off more of his soul. Cas takes him to task, but he's just worried about Jack's soul...  Jack promises that it won't happen again, but I think he's full of it. 

Dean meanwhile has closet in his brain that has a REALLY angry angel in it. I mean, way to go mental fortitude for blocking an archangel from taking him over. 

Billie! She isn't too confidence in Dean's ability to keep Michael locked away. Blllie is mad about Dean not heeding her previous warnings. And apparently his fate's changed and is now set... and it's the only "only one scenario will save you" situation - and Dean's being granted the ability to read it. But he does not like it, judging by his reaction. Helps to have Death in your corner though. 

INTERESTING! Also, I'm surprised they trusted that Dean had the situation under control that fast - I'd have been like "okay, so, we leave you cuffed for at least 24 hours, and we take rotating shifts."

Anyway, interesting episode, all one night, so that makes my timelining easy. 

Let me know what you thought in comments! Sorry this isn't as witty as my usual half remembered blatherings. 

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/570601.html.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2019 04:59 am (UTC)
My first reaction was that this writer, Steve Yockey, is the one who did ep 300, and this held together pretty logically (except for the newbie hunter part which I will address in a minute) so I am hoping this means that the mechanism they invent to bring back Papa Winchester might be able to stand in cannon...

But about this ep--Dean's interior fantasy worked pretty well. When Sam was possessed by Gadreel Sam thought he was researching a case in the bunker about zombie cheerleaders...when Lucifer had Cas, we saw Cas hiding in the bunker kitchen (seemingly a slight bit more aware he was being possessed but not trying to fight it.) So this made sense. And hi, Pamela!

I do wish when Sam and Cas first landed in Dean's brain the voices of the trauma memories would have been a little clearer, just because the angsty-Dean loving part of me would have liked to hear his tormented memeories just a bit more...

I loved that Sam used 'Poughkeepsie' :D because it tied into a significant bit of canon even if we've never actually been told what that word signifies (though I have read a perfect fanfic for it.)

They had to lock Michael in Dean's head because Michael said he would leave Dean brain dead (think Raphael's first vessel way back in season 4)--the 'you'll be nothing but blood and bones' was directed at Dean. But man, the security of that door is scaring the hell out of me! And yes, Sam and Cas should absolutely not have left Dean alone. Though I am sure that was so the writer could have Dean alone for Billie's visit.

What is in that last book???

Two final thoughts--Cas' warning to Jack about soulless people--are we going to end up with Jack using his soul/grace to save Winchesters/defeat Michael only to then become a soulless big bad that they will have to put down? That would be really awful!

And the one part of the ep that fell totally flat: why on earth was the newbie girl Maggie put in charge of the other hunters?????? Seriously, there wasn't anyone in the group with more experience??? Where were Bobby and Mary???? Bobby fixed up the handcuffs offscreen and then went back to Donna's cabin for more nookie with Mary??? REALLY???

Other than that unbelievable misfire with the hunters, the rest of the episode was solid and nerve-wracking.

And didn't Jensen play Michael as the coldest villain ever on the show? I thought he was truly terrifying!
Jan. 18th, 2019 07:55 am (UTC)
Agreed about Yockey, given what he had to walk back from, he did a great job. And the episode DID hold together (except that Hunter part, which I also agree with you on.)

I had the opposite problem with the memories, I could hear Dean's trauma memories really well, but not his good memories. I wanted to hear the good ones!

See, that was how I was trying to spell Poughkeepsie but spell check doesn't recognize it as a word, and I was super self-conscious!

And yes, makes sense - I remembered after the episode that Michael (our Michael) made a deal with Dean that he would heal him afterwards like it was a special treat - so, obviously AU!Michael has no reason to be as kind.

I REALLY hope your fears about Jack don't come true. I love him and want him to be with them forever now that he's here - and you can't walk back from burning out your soul.
Jan. 18th, 2019 08:48 pm (UTC)
My guess is that Mary and Bobby were leading the other hunter groups. (since there were more hunters than the one in Maggie's group. And they stayed in Kansas City to look after the other monsters, while Maggie's group rushed to save the Winchesters.
Jan. 18th, 2019 01:52 pm (UTC)
LOL hope you had a nice time out!
Great ep!
Jan. 22nd, 2019 02:13 am (UTC)
I did! Thank you! :)
Jan. 20th, 2019 02:08 am (UTC)
I also enjoyed this episode...it went by really quickly! I did wonder why Maggie was in charge of the group, since it seemed like she was the youngest person there...and we also know she doesn't have that much experience. Of course, they did trust a shapeshifter, so maybe she was the smartest one there. I did wish they'd given us an explanation of where Garth was...did they let him hour, or is he still in the trunk?

I am also very worried about Jack going soulless saving Dean. And I wonder if that's the end of Dean's book that is different. I am looking forward to next week!
Jan. 22nd, 2019 02:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't really question the Maggie thing while the episode was airing, because to me it was like "of course she's the leader, she's the only established character" - but honestly, it doesn't make any sense once you take two steps back.

BUT, then again, if she's the least experienced in the field, they may have set her up as an organizer/coordinator - in which case people WOULD look to her for their assignments.

Also, yes, is Garth still in a trunk in St. Louis? Maybe that's why Dean was alone in that last scene - Sam and Cas were like "oh damn, we should go get Garth, he's probably pissed himself by now."

I'm also really concerned about what road they're taking Jack down. I don't want him to end up a big bad.

Jan. 22nd, 2019 02:24 am (UTC)
That was…wow. That was just…A LOT. But upon reflection…I think I liked it!

Didn’t Kevin die giving us a spell that allows us to talk to the vessel without alerting the angel? Or did that spell not work, and that’s why Kevin ended up dying? It’s been almost five years since I’ve rewatched season 9. Or maybe that spell doesn’t work on archangels. I’m willing to roll with it, I just wish we would remember/incorporate Kevin more often. </3 But instead we get Pamela! Man, I can’t say I’m not happy to her. Dammit, Show…using its own past to seduce me…it always does this. And IT ALWAYS WORKS on me. Pamela looks amazing, I love her relationship with Dean – that DOES seem like the way the two of them would run a bar together, if that scenario were to exist. Friendly and flirty and fun. She does NOT bring a sisterly energy the way that Charlie does, her energy is distinctly…well, not sisterly. (And good God, her arms could kill a man.) Dean is so adorable in his dream world, so carefree that it’s almost hard to recognize him. When he did that drunken pantomime with the phone for “More shots!” I DIED. I’m sure they picked this setting mainly to shout out to The Family Business (IPA from Austin, YEAH I BET; though I’m not complaining, I loved that and thought it was wonderful) – BUT, there are still deep resonances here for Dean’s character. The friendliness and homey-ness of a bar; the fact that he’s not out in the field happily hunting, he’s holding down the fort while SAM does the hunting! I don’t know, I think there’s a lot there to be unpacked. I appreciate that richness still embedded in the show, even if it’s unintentional. The lady trying to get him to sign the papers – it’s like Dean has written himself into a Jimmy Stewart movie. I wondered initially if that was some concealed dream-form of obtaining his consent…but that wouldn’t make sense, would it, since Michael is already pretty well established in his mind?

Edited at 2019-01-22 02:26 am (UTC)
Jan. 22nd, 2019 03:24 am (UTC)
Didn’t Kevin die giving us a spell that allows us to talk to the vessel without alerting the angel? Or did that spell not work, and that’s why Kevin ended up dying?

No, you were right. Dean tried it the one time - Gadreel was hip to it and changed the wards after Dean put them up, so that when he said the magic words they didn't work. Sam, obviously, wasn't awake for that, so wouldn't know about it though. So, Kevin and Dean are the two secret keepers on that one - Kevin's dead, and Dean obviously either didn't write it down, or hasn't shared with the class.

She does NOT bring a sisterly energy the way that Charlie does, her energy is distinctly…well, not sisterly.

No, but I didn't read it as sexual either - I mean, she's a sexual being, but I got the "this is a bromance not a romance" vibe from them.

The friendliness and homey-ness of a bar; the fact that he’s not out in the field happily hunting, he’s holding down the fort while SAM does the hunting! I don’t know, I think there’s a lot there to be unpacked. I appreciate that richness still embedded in the show, even if it’s unintentional.

It's true. Dean has, and always will be, the homebody of the two. It's why, IMO, S5 had the most perfectly bittersweet ending (if Sam had stayed dead.)

I wondered initially if that was some concealed dream-form of obtaining his consent…but that wouldn’t make sense, would it, since Michael is already pretty well established in his mind?

I mean, to be Doylish about it, I doubt they put much thought into it - and it was probably more the Jimmy-Stewart-Movie vibe they were aiming for. BUT, to be watsonian - it's definitely a way to get Dean to confirm that he wants to stay in his imaginary bar forever, and in so doing, not fight Michael for control. So, it's a way to keep him passive - make people believe that it's their choice to be oppressed, and they're happy to let you do so.

Jan. 22nd, 2019 02:27 am (UTC)
I was less thrilled with what was going on in the real world. My notes say, “Why is MAGGIE in charge…??? Also…who is Maggie again?” But that point seems to have been covered by you and previous commenters.

Some of the blocking seemed a little strange…like moving two feet to the left so Michael won’t overhear you? Ugh. But I’m glad that we’re giving Michael SOME motivation now, and giving Jensen something to do. I just watched The Song Remains the Same for the podcast, so the different portrayals of Michael have been at the forefront of my mind. Jensen plays him as a preppy supercilious asshole. Matt Cohen plays him as a patient chess player biding his time. I guess those two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive; and I guess it’s technically two different Michaels, because of alternate dimensions and experiences. I’m going to have to think about that some more…

I too had the “YOUNG! BABIES!” response to their season 4 selves – which is funny, because I was rewatching that season not so long ago! That little throwaway line from Sam about how Dean thrives on trauma…agh, heartcrack. And “Poughkeepsie”! Dammit, Show, EVERY TIME.

I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get a short scene with Dean back in his own body, reunited with the others. But they wanted to scoot us along to Billie, I guess. What do you think was the One Way Out in Billie’s book?? My first guess was some kind of suicide…but honestly, I think Dean would be more stoic about that. His expression was definitely horrified. So that makes me think…something dangerous with Sam? (Or Cas, or Jack…) Dean looking distraught in a henley is a thing I will always show up for, so way to reel me back in, I guess!
Jan. 22nd, 2019 03:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, they're technically two different Michaels - TECHNICALLY. BUT, it's also that, as Michael said - we're seeing a Michael who was certain that God would return for the apocalypse and then he didn't - so, that disappointment may very well have changed his behaviour.

I don't tend to like to speculate about where the plot is going. So, really, I have no clue what's in the book and couldn't begin to guess... the SUPER cynical side of me thinks that not even the writers know at this point, which is why they wrote no clues in. BUT, who knows.... the other reason I don't like to speculate is that if I think I know what's going to happen, but I don't know how it's going to turn out (ie: I'm not guaranteed a happy ending), I get super anxious about it and I don't enjoy the show as much. That's how I realized that I couldn't read historical fiction, btw.
Jan. 22nd, 2019 01:29 pm (UTC)
I honestly thought that Dean saw blank pages. That's why he asked her what he is supposed to do with it. I'm not sure now but while watching it was my headcanon )

And tnank you for your review! <3
Jan. 22nd, 2019 05:30 pm (UTC)
Ooo... I like that headcanon!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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