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Rewatch S13: Good Intentions (13x14)

Okay! Actually remembering to do this tonight, rather than just messing around all evening and then being like "damn it!"

I gotta admit, part of the problem is coming off or going into a BuckLeming episode, it always really kills my desire to rewatch... but this one turned out to be relatively short to do, and not bad to watch! So, hopefully I'll get another one of these out to you on the weekend, and we'll be back on track.

Good Intentions

I forgot about Jack's dream - it's so precious at the start. Like, he's just dreaming that Dean and Sam love him. Then they burn to death, so sad.

Oh right, it's a weird Zach mind game, not a dream. And I forgot Zachariah was in a different vessel. I will say, for as much as the show has f*cked with angel canon since S4/5, I do like that whether intentionally or unintentionally, they've given the AU angels vessels that could be considered in the same bloodlines as their canonical vessels in the "real" world.

Like, I imagine that Zach's AU vessel is the son of his "real" world vessel.

Donatello is going to crazy... fyi: if anyone knows a non-ablest way to express the non-specific/vague "going crazy" phrase, I'd appreciate a substitution. I only know synonyms for crazy, and I'm not sure that really solves the problem. Like... going nuts/bonkers/mad/etc, are just the same thing, ykwim? But I don't know how else to say "this person is losing their mind" - I mean, do I just say that?

Sam: Don't you think you should take it easy on the nitrates?
Dean: Dude, if bacon's what kills me, then I win.

- I have to agree with Dean on that one... but that's ONLY because he's a hunter. I, myself, who sit on a computer all day, will lay off the nitrates.

It's quarter after 9am when they're having this conversation. I really do commend them for keeping a relatively strict schedule despite absolutely no need for it in their lifestyle. It's better for your health of course, to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day... I've never been able to do it though.

Zachariah trying the whole "man is cancer on the planet" argument - I mean, it's true, but that doesn't mean the answer is to kill everyone.

And Jack is too powerful to fall for Zachariah's tricks, so it's time for Michael to give him a beat-down.

I'm still kind of mad that we didn't get the first words between Jack and Mary...

Oh right, Gog and Magog... and this whole ruse.

I do love the sets on this show - this hallway that Michael is dragging Jack down is great.

Mary! So, we kind of get their first words here, I guess.

Mary: "You've seen me before."
Jack: "Your sons, Sam and Dean, they sent me."
Mary: "Are they here?"
Jack: "No."
Mary: "Oh thank god."

- I do love this consistency with Mary, that she, no matter what is happening to her, wants Sam and Dean far away from danger.

Mary: "He's not going to hurt you Jack. He's going to hurt me. Why do you think he brought you here - so that we would meet, so that we would talk - and then when he comes back, if you don't do what he wants, he's going to kill me.
- Mary knows what's up. I mean, I have problems with how hyper-competent they've made Mary... but, another part of me forgives it. I think in this case, we need someone to counter Jack's naivity, and world-weary Mary is a good person to fill that spot.

Dean: How're you holding up, Cas?
Cas: I'm fine.
Dean: No, I mean, with everything you've been through - and I know you really want to find Lucifer.
Cas: No, it's not that - I mean, it is that, but it's also - Dean, I was dead.
Dean: Temporarily.
Cas: And I have to believe that I was brought back for a reason.
Dean: You were, Jack brought you back because we needed you back.
Cas: Right, and how have I repaid him? [...] Maybe I was brought back to help prepare
Dean: Prepare for what?
Cas: War. War is what Michael does.

- I liked this storyline when we got it for ONE EPISODE ONLY. :P Seriously though, I do miss badass Cas.
- The other thing I miss is Cas asking existential questions about what his purpose is and why he's continually resurrected. I think the last time we really explored that was S7, and I LOVED how depressing his S7 conclusion was - that the resurrections were punishments. I mean, that's so much awesome character angst and self-flaggelation that you can eat it with a spoon. Mainly, I like the fact that, who started off as a character who by design was not meant to question fate, has since been the one to contemplate it the most - why is he here? why is he resurrected when others aren't? What is his purpose outside of heaven's command? Can he still call himself an angel or is he something else? Etc etc. Like... I mean, it doesn't really get better than that line Edlund wrote for him where he's like "life is a length of rope to hang yourself with". Again, just... melodramatic existential-crisis Cas is probably my favourite Cas.
- Really though, the other thing I love about this exchange is that Dean is checking in with Cas and how he's doing. He's a good friend and has learned from his mistakes over the years.

I love how Gog and/or Magog is a feminist and that they both think Dean and Cas are equally pretty.

Like, this whole thing is ridiculous, but I kind of love it - and that's basically a summary of the show in general.

Gog/Magog: I hate to do this, you are very beautiful.
- Hahaha, Misha doesn't really do it for me*, but I appreciate the sentiment here. (*mostly the problem is him being in only in two dimensions. Unless someone is Jason Mamoa, odds are I won't be able to recognize that them are handsome unless I see them in person.)

And the jig is up about the non-existent hearts.

Mary wants Jack to let Michael kill her.

And Mary has a warding-sensitive headache that eases up by the window. Convenient! But I'm not even mad... they actually do it pretty well.

Zachariah is a good name... though, I realize that I also like the name Jeremiah, so maybe I'm just a fan of the 'Miahs of this world. (Though, not the 'diahs, only the 'miahs.)

AU!Bobby! - I do like that this Bobby has a relationship with AU!Mary and not John and the boys... but they really don't use that to its full potential at all. And really, AU!Bobby isn't used for anything other than an excuse to have Jim Beaver come visit the set, and have a convenient character that the majority of the audience will care about by default without needing a reason to.

I like the fact that when Dean and Cas return, Sam doesn't need saving - he's already locked Donatello up.

I really like Dean's shirt in this interrogation scene... it looks so cozy.

I forgot how power-hungry Donatello turned. I wonder if that's going to come up now that he's been righted in S14.

Jack making shadow puppets for the kids is adorable.

AU!Bobby: Mary Campbell was a complicated woman - brave, but sad, full of regret.
Mary: Let me guess, she made a bad demon deal.
Au!Bobby: The opposite, she didn't make one. Lost the love of her life and never moved on.
Mary: And Dean and Sam were never born. Bobby, I made that deal.. and it...I brought my boys a lot of pain. But what happened here, in your world, Sam and Dean stopped it from happening in mine.
AU!Bobby: Then I'd say you made the right choice.

- This season IS interesting in that it gives Mary further reprieve from the guilt of her choices. Last season was about Sam and Dean forgiving her - and I'd like to say that this season is about her forgiving herself... but, at the same time, I'm kind of skeptical about how the show seems to imply that maybe she didn't make a mistake at all, that Sam's agency and Dean's happiness were necessary sacrifices for the greater good. This is like, some Harry Potter shit here... do you stick a toddler to be raised in an abusive household for 10 years so that when the time is right, he'll both latch onto the first people that show him kindness AND value his own life so little that he'll willingly sacrifice himself for the world? I think, fundamentally, that's actually an unanswerable question, because it's never an either/or scenario - life isn't like that. There are 100 different ways to go about achieving something and whichever way you choose, you're going to have to live with the consequences, good and bad. There will always be things you regret and things you don't, and all you can do is follow your own personal morality about it.
- Anyway, tangent. I think that it's good for Mary to see that not everything resulting from the decision she made was a BAD thing. Her boys ARE good people, they might be dangerously co-dependent, but at least they've ended up in a type of loving home and they saved the world.

AU!Bobby: "Mary, your world's got your boys - this place - I'm pretty much all it's got."
- Ah, Bobby.

And then we find out that AU!Bobby might have needed Sam and Dean for more than just preventing the apocalypse - because he's EXTREMELY non-welcoming to Jack once he finds out about the Nephilim thing.

Cas: So what's different about Donatello?
Sam: He doesn't have a soul.
Cas: WHAT?!

- I forgot that Castiel didn't know.

Cas: And Donatello's already corrupted. Perhaps the kindest thing to do is to end his suffering.
- I'm actually with Cas on this one - but then I'm an amoral bastard a lot of the time... well, to a given definition of amoral.

I love that when the impact happens, Mary reached over to shield Jack's head. Such a subtle mom-move.

Cas: I'm sorry - but I'm not going to let you or anyone hurt the people I love - not again.
- Go Cas!

And Jack's a badass. I do love how the glow of his eyes lingers.

And Bobby comes around after the demonstration.

Jack: I had to come back - Sam and Dean, they wouldn't run - they'd stay and fight.
- WWS&DD? Haha Seriously though, I love them all.

Sam: Well, I guess you could say Donatello's alive.
Cas: You told me not to kill him.
Dean: Yeah, well he's brain dead - machines keeping him breathing. What's wrong with you?

- He did what you said. Again, I'm not the best audience here. To me there's not much difference between so-changed-(and evil)-you-are-not-yourself-and-never-will-be-again and brain dead. Actually, of the two, I'd prefer death. But, I always have, which greatly concerned all my friends in high school when I was much more vocal about those particular opinions. Anyway, I've since learned my lesson about tact and honesty and whatnot, so we'll just leave it there. But, for the record, if I lived in Sam and Dean's universe, I'd totally pull a S2 Sam and make my loved ones promise to kill me if I turn evil.
- Also, he's not actually brain dead... as we find out in S14... but it's inconsequential, in my opinion.

Cas: ...we would be wasting time! And it's time we don't have, Dean. I told you. War is coming. I did what soldiers do."
- Again, I LOVE this. Because Dean was a "soldier" in as much as he was raised paramility in a unit of 3, where two of the members were children. Cas is a SOLDIER OF HEAVEN. It's a very very different thing, and while Dean and Cas can relate on some levels, there's a point where their training, experience, and attitudes diverge wildly. And I wish they'd poked at that a little more.

Cut Scene:
Scene 17
Cas and Dean after Gog and Magog, wondering if Donatello messed up the spell - and Dean declares that he's calling Sam.
-Definitely not needed for the episode.

Rewrites: This episode is actually pretty solid. It's about them getting the spell in a way that highlights a character mindset (Castiel's) and in a manner that's entertaining (the ruse) rather than just Donatello being like "here's the translation, have a good day." So, good job there.

I'm not overly fond of the AU world stuff, mainly because I just don't overly like that storyline, not so much that there's anything particularly wrong with it. I think in order to make it a little bit more entertaining to me - I'd have dwelt more in the conversation between Mary and Jack, made their escape something that they had to work harder for, and in the process we would be able to SEE their bonding as family, rather than just being told it exists when it's tested by AU!Bobby.

Also, it'd be more of a devastating blow if Mary and Jack had more of an ordeal to escape only to find themselves unwelcome by their only hopes of safety because of who Jack is. You wouldn't even have to add that many scenes, you'd just switch out the contemplation of Mary's choices in life... you can boil that down to one line later of Mary discovering that she didn't make the deal, and then instead of AU!Bobby giving her a ruling on whether she made the right choice or not, we can leave the question unasked and unanswered - it could be something we instead see Mary coming to terms with as the season moves forward - what it means for her, if anything, or whether it's a false dichotomy of choice.

There's a universe somewhere where John never went to Missouri after the fire. There's a universe somewhere where Dean said yes in 5x18. Answering the question only furthers the illusion that our choices and beliefs are either right or wrong with no in between - which is rarely the case, unless you're deciding whether to kick a baby or poison the town's drinking supply.

Anyway, comment away, if you have comments to give! I'll see you Thursday for another rewatch. :)

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/573425.html.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2019 02:27 am (UTC)
...do you stick a toddler to be raised in an abusive household for 10 years so that when the time is right, he'll both latch onto the first people that show him kindness...

I've never thought of phrasing it like that before, but quite a bit of Dumbledore's machinations under the guise of allowing Harry to figure things out on his own have always bothered me about those books. And yes, the non-helpful guiding figure is a fantasy journey trope...but I like to think if I was ever in the position of being the mysterious guide that I'd be a lot more concretely helpful! (I'd bet you would be too!)

This was an okay not-super-memorable episode...but it moved the story along...
Feb. 23rd, 2019 06:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, the Great Dumbledore Debate is a good one. I think I like it because it's a real moral conundrum. A lot of Dumbledore's choices are damned in retrospect, but if you evaluate them from the position of someone who doesn't know what is to come, they do sort of make sense... to a given reasoning, but, with Harry's early years, essentially it comes down to what's more important - one's physical and mental wellbeing or one's safety? Dumbledore always chooses safety, but I think more and more, we're seeing the generations after him side with happiness and mental health.

And then there's a whole other debate about his school years...

But I think a lot of people have come away from the Harry Potter books with the realization that honesty is the best policy. If Dumbledore had been honest with Harry from the jump, would things have been different?

I think, if I were ever in the position to be a mysterious guide, I wouldn't be a very mysterious one... "Listen kid, this is what's up..." and then we'd go from there.

Feb. 23rd, 2019 07:08 am (UTC)
...what's more important - one's physical and mental wellbeing or one's safety?

As I read those words I flashed to John Winchester training Sam and Dean to be hunters...
Feb. 23rd, 2019 08:45 am (UTC)
Yes, I was also thinking of him with the honesty thing - because what had same railing against John's rule was often that he knew John was keeping secrets, or not telling him the full story and just giving him orders that he was expected to follow without knowing WHY.

Sam didn't object to following orders, he objected to following orders without knowing why they were being given.
Feb. 23rd, 2019 05:27 am (UTC)
I really like that scene between Mary and Bobby, and I think that hi snswering the question doesn’t necessarily answer it for her, or for us. He’s seeing it through the POV of a war veteran who’s been told that there might have been a different world, but for one detail. I think it’s still ambiguous enough. I agree with you, on the Mary/Bobby relationship being underdeveloped—I’m putting it down to lack of space in the storyline. Or lack of money, maybe.

Good review!
Feb. 23rd, 2019 06:39 am (UTC)
Good point. Just because one character thinks they have an answer, doesn't mean that the question itself is answered - I guess my problem is more with modern audiences, who tend to, when not given an alternative answer, assume that the only answer given is the answer we're supposed to believe is true - when that's not the case. So, the only fault here is that I think they should not answer it at all, because that doesn't give the option to latch on to one answer. BUT - should we cater writing to make up for audience deficiencies, or should we write what we want and put it down to the audience's problem if they misinterpret? Certainly, treating the audience like idiots creates its own problems and I certainly wouldn't want to go in that direction.

And yes, I think Supernatural has to walk a really fine line - give the boys time off to see their families, but they can't afford that many series regulars, so they have to figure out how to make storylines work with the time the limited time they've contracted actors. They do what they can.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )