Various & Sundry Villains
For the life of me, I actually do ship Sam and Rowena. Which could get me into a ramble about how Jared/Sam is an excellent example of someone playing a character as so confident in his sexuality, that even when he purposefully keeps his mentions of past liaisons gender-neutral and would ordinarily be REALLY great for shipping with anyone, I still really can only ship him with women. It's BIZARRE. I mean, if they ever did put Sam with a dude, or otherwise explicitly make him bi/pan, I'd totally except it - but whereas Dean I headcanon as bi, even though he frequently states that he's not, I can't do do the same with Sam. I really just see him as straight.
I'm typing over it, but I have to say that this dude in the teaser-opener is great. I mean the actor just does such a great job, and they've styled him so well for the part. I'm really sad that they kill him. I just want that dope to continue being a dude-bro out there in the world.
New clothes! Or, for Dean I think.
Dean: ... and we've got 'Jouw-er ett new-it' - weird name.
Sam: Jour et Nuit. It's french means The Book of Day and Night.
- You can't try to tell me that Dean doesn't know how to pronounce basic french... but then again, I am Canadian, maybe I'm assuming a basic knowledge of french that doesn't exist in the rest of the world. I mean, Americans have a greater baser understanding of Spanish than I do, that's for sure.
- BUT, I think Dean's trying to be funny here, and Sam doesn't get it. I used to do that with my friends to make them laugh - pronounce french exactly as it's written (from the perspective of an english-speaker).
Dean: Okay, so we'll just find another way. You said it yourself - we just keep our heads down and we do the work.
Sam: You said that.
Dean: And I was right.
- I have to re-read or re-watch Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead at some point, because I think I'm misremembering this line... but the meaning of it still stands. There's this line that I LOVE, which is that it comes out during the course of the play that not even Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are really sure which one of them is which anymore, and at one point one of them tried to test the other to see what name he responds to, and he responds to both, and then out of frustration the one who was testing the other says "Do you make no distinction?" Anyway, I read that play in Grade 11, I think, and ever since then I've just absolutely loved playing with the idea of two people who are so close that they make mistakes like this one. It's basically the opposite of telling your friend about a movie you saw, only to have them remind you that you saw that movie with THEM. It's like telling your friend about a movie you saw, but they were actually the ones that saw it and you didn't. ANYWAY... it's no wonder that I love Sam and Dean, is all I'm saying, Rosencrantz and Gildenstern PRIMED ME. (Also, I could ramble about a parallel with the amount of times that Sam and Dean are fated to die too... though Sam and Dean's story is a little less theatre-of-the-absurd...arguably.)
Dean: We should probably loop Cas in at some point.
Sam: We'll fill him in when he calls. He checks-in every day.
Dean: Yeah, with a bunch of questions and no leads.
- They really need a secret phrase to let each other know that they're NOT compromised or incarcerated.
I like the blue plaid Sam wears in that opening scene, btw. It's very retro. He original wore it in Stuck in the Middle (with You).
As much as I don't like Lucifer, I do like Cas's little smirks whenever Cas manages to get a good burn in.
And Dean falls prey to the witches' love spell.
Dean: Am I alright? I'm in love.
Sam: Oh, are you?
- I love the way Jared delivers that line.
I also would love to see this whole episode from Sam's POV only - where his research day is suddenly turned on its head when his brother goes out for beer and comes home OBVIOUSLY under a love-spell.
Sam: Okay, do you remember Becky, Vegas, the love-spell?
- I wish I didn't remember either, Dean.
Seriously though, I'm not sure how other people don't understand my love for not knowing that much... I'd be SO MUCH more enteratained if Dean just came in acting like a complete love-struck idiot and we had absolutely no context for why. Though, I did like that opener and that's enough context to know what's going on anyway.
Cas: Did you know he loves movies - fantasy movies - movies with heroes who crush villains.
Lucifer: That's nurture that's not nature.
Cas: And he's thoughtful, he's emotional, remarkably intuitive - you know he resurrected me, just out of instinct - isn't that a beautiful gesture?
Lucifer: Yes, that's beautiful.
Cas: Jack would rather kill you than hug you. It seems relevant. Because you know, he doesn't really look like you, and he reminds me so much of his mother.
- I really hope the show doesn't kill off Jack, or make him the villain, because I do like him...
- I also love this speech from Castiel, because it's pretty rare that we get characters offer information about how they view each other.
- Also, the whole "he doesn't really look like you" - I mean, Lucifer was in a whole other body when Jack was created... so this makes me think that Cas is referring to Lucifer's true form. Which means, in my mind, that whatever traits angels have in common (appearance-wise) to nephilm/humans in their true form - Jack doesn't share those traits with Lucifer. So, I picture his wings being a different colour, and any face(s) Lucifer might have being completely different than Jack's as well.
Sam: We don't need your help - we've handled witches before.
Dean: You're familiar with our work, right?
- Uh, Dean, Sam... I don't know how to tell you this, but your track record with witches is actually abysmal unless you have outside help. You are not helping your case by bringing it up.
Rowena: Oh, you Winchesters, I've changed. Honestly. Having your scull crushed and being burnt alive can do that to a girl.
- I DO actually really love that Rowena isn't lying here. Slowly, but surely, Rowena is coming around to the good side. Mostly as a result of the events of S11, and with a few fits and starts, but I love tracking her conflicted motivations as she changes.
Rowena: Oh, one more thing - where's my son?
- I do like that Sam and Dean's expression changes here are SLIGHT, but noticeably compassionate.
Oh man, I had forgotten about Brenda the cashier. I love Brenda.
Rowena: Fergus is dead.
Dean: Yup, killed himself, for us.
Rowena: That doesn't sound like him.
Sam: Well, Fergus - uh, Crowley - he'd changed, a lot. You'd have been proud of him.
Rowena: Is that so? Fergus was my only child - and I promise you, I'd much rather have a living son, even one that hated me, than a dead hero.
- I think Rowena is sincere here - so we can read this two ways, 1)Rowena's affection for Fergus/Crowley has changed since S10, when she tried to have Sam kill him. 2)Rowena believed that Crowley would kill Sam in S10 and it was a set-up... and actually 3)relationships are really complicated, and Rowena and Crowley vacillate wildly between hating and loving each other.
Sam: Because of him, Lucifer is trapped in another reality. So-
Dean: Yeah, the devil's gone.
Rowena: Don't be stupid! He's never gone!
Sam: Listen, I know what Lucifer is capab-
Rowena: Can we not! It's like reminiscing about an abusive relationship, why do that?
- This is so well played/written... because that's exactly what it is, and Rowena's reactions are all very much from the place of having a lot of fear/trauma around Lucifer that she's purposefully not dealing with - so she's constantly reacting from a really anxious place that she can't control and is ruling her whole life. And her and Sam DO both share a past with the same abusive man in a way, if we want to keep that allegory. It's a different way that they both got there, as Sam was unwilling from the jump, and Rowena was willing and then regretted it, but the outcome is that they are two people who understand each other's trauma (to a degree).
Rowena: Tell me, did they get to fifth base?
Dean: There's no such thing as fifth base.
Rowena: Oh, you poor sheltered boy.
*Dean looks at Sam*
*Sam makes a gesture like 'oh come on'*
*Dean looks confused*
- I LOVE the idea that Sam knows what fifth base is and is like "how can you not get that?" and Dean is like "aren't...aren't I supposed to be the horndog in this dynamic?"
Seriously, I really want Sam and Rowena to get it on. I'm headcanoning that they totally do after the season finale and you can't stop me.
Oh yeah, and then we get the motivation of the sisters. These two do a good job too, I should say that. I like this episode, for all it's dumb premise (I'm not a huge fan of love-spells... though they do make for funny moments - like "destiny and chicken" from Merlin, CLASSIC.)
Cas: Face it, you are useless and impotent and unnecessary, and you will die alone, unmourned.
Demon: You talking to me, pretty boy?
Lucifer: Nah, he's talking to me.
- Firstly, I just... that's one heck of a burn - just wrapping up everything a man is afraid of in one sentence like that.
- Secondly, I like how the demon calls Castiel pretty-boy - as someone who isn't actually that attracted physically to Misha Collins on screen (though I can recognize him as handsome when I see him in real life) I like to imagine that this is another true-form thing, like Castiel IS prettier than other angels, and it's not even so much about his vessel.
Rowena: This is boring, is there, I don't know, music?
Sam: Yeah, yeah, you know, Dean has a tape of Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick with an 8 minute drum solo - pretty sure it's around here somewhere *half heartly pretend to look for it*
- I love sassy, Sam. Also, I love the idea that Sam himself finds that tape torturous, which is why its his go to for annoying other people.
Rowena: Are you very sure I can't just enslave some townsfolk and make them take us to the girls?
Sam: I'm very sure you can, I'm just also very sure you shouldn't.
Rowena: Bless your precious heart, you just described my entire life.
- Seriously, what's not to love here? I'm going to end up typing out this entire conversation.
- I just love how Rowena says that as snark, but there's a measure of sincerity in it - that in reality, Rowena is acknowledging all the mistakes she's made that have led her to where she is.
Sam: Let's say you get the book, it's not going to change anything. You're still going to feel helpless. Look what Lucifer did to you-
Rowena: I told you, I don't- before he crushed my scull, Lucifer showed me his face - his true face. I'm scared, Sam, all the time.
Sam: I've seen it too - what he really looks like behind, behind whatever vessel. It still keeps me up at night.
Rowena: How do you deal with it?
Sam: I guess I don't deal with it, not really - I pushed it down, and the world kept almost ending, so I keep pushing it down. I don't really talk about it. Not even with Dean - I mean, I could, he'd listen - it's just not something I really know how to share.
- MORE OF THIS PLEASE! It's been 7-9 YEARS!
- Seriously though, I know Rowena is playing them, but people like to do the dichotomy thing - where Rowena is either sincere or playing them, but not both at once - but the reality is that it IS both at once. Rowena's goals are one thing, but I don't think she's purposefully playing sympathy here - her game is lying about the girls, and the sincerity wasn't planned, in my opinion. It DOES turn into what gets her what she wants, but I think that's a surprise to her, not a fulfillment of her exact plans.
- But, even if sincerity WAS the plan, it doesn't take away the fact that I believe this genuinely IS a sincere conversation between two people who share a very specific experience and are seeking comfort and understanding in each other.
- And really, I just love that the show is acknowledging that Sam has a HELL of a lot of trauma that he just never deals with - and it doesn't bubble up the same way that Dean's trauma does. Dean has everything rolling just underneath his skin and you can tell. Dean TALKS about pushing everything down and soldering on, but Sam is the one that can actually do it. He preaches to Dean about dealing with his issues all the time because he knows Dean CAN'T do it, meanwhile, Sam's so good at it, it didn't even occur to him until Rowena brings it up here that Sam really doesn't practice what he preaches. And, I think I said it last rewatch - if you're looking for a someone who isn't a hypocrite in some way, you aren't looking for a human. It's inconsistencies between words and actions that make these characters rich and realistic (IMHO).
Seriously, Brenda the cashier IS THE BEST.
Sam: ...you won't ever be able to change what happened. You won't be able to change how helpless you felt, or how helpless you feel. You're still going to get scared and that feeling, that feeling never goes away.
- Rowena is watching for Dean to arrive. I like the way they film this - but I think no matter what conversation they were having in the car, Rowena would have exited at that moment.
Dean: Come on, you're like 8 feet tall, you can't reach that?
Lucifer and Cas - BLAHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I really wish Cas had actually killed him here.
Maybe don't ANNOUNCE that you have witch killing bullets, instead just shoot them.
Rowena: You really thought after all that I was going to try to kill you.
Sam: Yeah, you double-crossed us.
Rowena: Triple-cross, actually. So I ended up on your side, and we defeated the villains, just as I planned.
Sam: Yeah, not buying that.
- Again, Sam's right. Rowena's plan was to have the Winchesters help her track down the girl by doing the leg-work, then get enough of a lead on them to grab the book before they could get to it - thus leaving them to kill the girls in her wake. This whole episode is an example of a plan getting away from Rowena - but the way she comes out on top is by sticking with her new morals - the Winchesters are her allies, she wants to harm as few people as possible, etc.
Rowena: You know what I've seen - what it's like - Lucifer may be locked away but he will be back, he always comes back - and when he does, I can't be helpless again, I need the spell.
- The plea isn't the plan, the plea is the last ditch effort based on realizing that Sam DOES understand her. That she can actually be honest with him about her fear, about the stakes for her. I mean, she WAS honest with them from the jump about why she wanted the book, but she layered that honesty with her usual snark and haughtiness, so there was no room for their compassion or sympathy. Rowena doesn't want to be pitied, she has a past (as we learned in Regarding Dean - and also her origin story as Fergus' mother) of being a pitiable and she hates the sensation. But, there's a difference between sympathy and empathy, between pity and understanding. She didn't want Sam's pity, but she DOES have his understanding and that's a much different things which is also party of the reason she drops her voice to a whisper here, keeps her face hidden from Dean. Dean DOESN'T understand the way Sam does. She'd only see him as pitying her if he was to have compassion enough to agree to help her, but Sam really does understand - and I don't think Rowena quite realized that before she formed this plan (either the first time, with the girls, or the second time to get the book from the girls.)
Dean: Oh yeah, getting beat up by a girl, that's a story I want to tell someone.
Sam: Girls beat us up all the time.
- Go Sam.
Dean: Hey, you know that Rowena is not our friend, right?
Sam: Yeah, I know that.
Dean: Then what's that? You gave her the page. She got in your head, man.
Sam: She didn't get in my head.
- Again, marvelously written and then acted by Jared and Jensen. I love the way Dean chooses to confront Sam about this. I love that Sam uses his lying-voice when he says 'Yeah, I know that' and I love that Sam doesn't rise to Dean's anger, or deny it.
- And I do think that it was about Sam getting in Rowena's head, not the other way around.
Sam: You know, what, honestly-
Dean: Yeah, how about honestly.
Sam: I know what Rowena is dealing with - she's not the only one who feels helpless.
Dean: What do you mean?
Sam: Means, I had a plan - help Jack, bring mom back - it wasn't much but it was something. It kept me from spinning off the rails, but now - Jack is gone, Mom is still in hell, basically, and I just-
- Firstly, I love how Dean immediately cools his anger when he realizes that Sam needs Dean to listen - he's proving Sam right, when Sam said earlier that he knew Dean would listen to him if he talked to him. He immediately switches from "what the hell are you thinking?!" to "I'm here to listen to you and not judge" as soon as it's clear that Sam needs that.
- But what I really want to talk about it how Sam has put Mary 'in hell' in his mind - it's little wonder that his fear for Lucifer is on the forefront of his mind, and that he can so sympathize with Rowena's own fear. Sam only has one context for being someplace horrible - and that's in the case with Lucifer. Sam's soul was there for about 180 hell years (assuming the cage runs on hell-time). Sam turning Apoca-World into 'hell, basically' means that whenever they bring up the fact that Mary is trapped, which is ALL that's on Sam's mind as he researched rifts/portals/dimensions all day, he's thinking about the cage. It's little wonder that their lack of concrete plan, the feeling of not knowing what to do and being helpless because of it, is causing Sam to NOT be able to push down his trauma as easily as usual.
Dean: We'll figure it out.
Sam: Dean, we don't have a plan. We don't know what to do. So how?
Dean: I don't know. But we will - you and me.
Sam: Yup. 'Night.
- And again, Dean recognizes that Sam needs DEAN to be the strong one, so he does just that. Sam was the optimistic one when they actually had a plan, even though Dean couldn't see it because he thought Sam was in denial... and now that they don't have a plan, the fact that Dean now knows for certain that Sam was right, is enough for Dean to be optimistic, because he's in a better place than he was before. But yeah, I already talks about all this last time.
And I love this last scene with Rowena - because we DON'T KNOW which way her character is going to go after this, and that makes for a compelling character.
Castiel walking through a forest, coughing up blood. Did they put this in the next episode?
Yay! Good episode.
I may try to do a second one of these during the week, as I'm realizing it's going to be an AGE before I get them done unless I step it up a little. Or, I may just decide that efficiency doesn't matter.
Anyway, let me know if you have any thoughts in comments!
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/572027.html.