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Rewatch S13: A Most Holy Man (13x15)

Efficiency! Second rewatch in a week! I will get ahead, just to fall behind when I go away in March for two weekends. :P Oh me - remember when I used to burn through a rewatch in a month or two and have the clothes posted by Christmas? It seems ridiculously impossible now.

Anyway, episode!

A Most Holy Man

We begin in Malta. I can't remember much about this episode besides the fact that they're after one of the spell ingredients they need to open the door into the other world.

I'm hoping this rewatch will be abother quick one.

Dean: "Great, so we got Cas in Syria, dodging bullets, trying to find fruit from the tree of life..."
- Okay, so, this is basically what annoys me about the show in the later seasons. They deliberately plucked the angel wings so that they could have plots and no magic angel fixes. Great! Do that. These writers decides that they can't write Superman, so they're not doing that. It's a fair choice. But, you also have to STICK WITH IT. Besides healing ability what does Cas even have now? Certainly nothing that would help him a)travel to Syria, b)move around in an active war zone undetected, c)provide him with the ID necessary to explain his presence there. The only thing he can't do is die, I guess, so I understand that he's the best person for the job... but it really annoys me that for some reason he can still DO this job. It made sense when he had wings, but now? Now the only reason they're sending him is because he doesn't die as easy, but is that really their best option? Why not have a cool plotted episode where they track down important fruit from the tree of life? Why have this thing be ridiculously convenient just because they don't want to deal with it? And if they don't want to deal with it, why have it at all? An excuse to send Cas away? Just send him away to look for the key of Solomon or whatever. Blah, I don't know, ranty rant, I guess.

Oh right, this is another one of those weird high-society-kick episodes. Some writer on Supernatural really has a thing for the uber-rich/socalite scene. I'm in a ranty mood today, because I kinda want to go off about the divergence from the blue collar vibe of the show when it started. Because I don't necessarily think that these episodes are done to contrast, though maybe they are.

Oh right, Sam flirts back in this one... though, begrudgingly.

I'm with Dean during this scene.

Again, this episode - with it's forcing Sam and Dean to work for a snotty British man, is very reminiscent of S12 and the BMoL arc. That was more of a direct comparison, because the BMoL were snooty and hunter-eque, or rather, they were to contrast hunters, by being cold administrators, rather than "on the ground" blue collar workers. It's kind of like the FBI vs. Cops when you're watching a cop show. The cops have it under control and the FBI people come in in suits and mess it all up, and then the cops have to save the day. So, in that respect, since SPN is a procedural, the BMoL storyline was in keeping with the genre.

BUT... I'm not sure what the deal with this ruse is. Plus, it's somewhat similar to The Scorpion and the Frog storyline - where again, they're forced to work with someone that's in a segment of society that they find disdainful.

Dean: "Look at you, you're like a boy scout - always prepared."
Sam: "Yeah, you're like a..."
Dean: "Yeah?"
Sam: "...I don't know what you're like."
Dean: "Thanks."

- Awww.

Anyway, back to my musings... I'm thinking it's less like some of the writers have a thing for high society, etc, it's more that the writers have a thing for ACTUAL police procedural, and so they keep writing episodes that are like...mob intrigue and crime-solving with humans, and a supernatural mcguffin, rather than a supernatural storyline.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before (I have probably mentioned it MANY MANY TIMES), but I REALLY DO NOT LIKE POLITICAL STORYLINES... and that's all these "this guy wants to steal from this guy, but we can double-cross him, and steal it for me instead" storylines are - they're just all mob/thief/whatever politics. I really really just...don't care for it. I don't care about villains and what they want. I don't care for posturing. I don't care for speaking in round-abouts etc. It is NOT FOR ME. I know other people enjoy these things a lot - and that's why crime novels, both true crime and fictional, are really popular, and good for that genre!

That's at least the second time in his life, that Sam has been knocked out with an old-school telephone.

I do like this priest character.

Sidenote: The saints and relic part of Catholicism is pretty interesting. It's like... a cool way to have a sort of polytheism inside a monotheistic system.

Dean: "Well, the world's a screwed-up place, Padre, what are you going to do about that?"
Priest: "Change it."
Dean: "Good luck with that."
Priest: "It's not about luck, son. It's about effort. All the time I hear people saying that the world's not perfect - and they're right, it's not. But do you use that as an excuse - do you use it to excuse your own sins, your failings and your laziness. Do you use it to give a bad man power because of the world's not perfect - or do you work, do you try to improve things in whatever way you can? Guys, the world will never be perfect - if good men do good things, it can be better - every day could be better..."

- Awww... he's right though. You don't get Star Trek overnight - first you gotta invest in science and figure out how to structure society around education, rather than capitalism.

Sam: "If somebody stole the Impala, what would you do?"
Dean: "Murder them. I'd murder them all."

- Hehehe, I love Sam's face.
Sam: "Right, my point being [...]"
Dean: "There'd be torture first, there'd be a lot of torture, and then it'd end up in death - if I can't have it, nobody can."
Sam: "Have you even been listening to what I'm saying?"

- Haha, Sam went too hard on his comparison.
- Also, Dean's all talk there - it depends on WHO is stealing the Impala, as it turns out in S14.

Priest: "God will see us through."
Dean: "Yeah, he really won't."
Priest: "You're not a believer."
Dean: "Oh, I believe. Hell, I know. God, he don't give a damn about you, or me, or anyone else. So if you're expecting a miracle to happen, well - good luck."
Priest: "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that God would reach down and protect us. Of course, that's not going to happen. But I believe that all good things are god things, and what you're brother is doing is a good thing."
Dean: "Or a stupid thing."
Priest: "Or both, many times they can be the same."

- So, firstly, I'm taking issue with Dean saying that he believes... because the whole point is that Dean KNOWS, but doesn't believe - which his words echo here. He knows there is a god, but does not believe in God's "goodness". To Dean, God may exist, but he is still absent from the world and cannot be counted on. God isn't actively evil, but he's like a pacifest in a war, and Dean is a soldier. Dean is there on the front lines calling for reinforcements, and God is just like... chilling in a safe spot and calling back "you got this buddy!" and Dean does NOT feel that that is helpful AT ALL. So, Dean knows that God is there, but Dean does not believe that God will ever leave his house and join Dean in the war - which is what he believes the priest believes.
- BUT, because the Priest has never met God, he can believe in a CONCEPT as a God. To him, God isn't a person/being, but God is GOOD, so when you see good - you are seeing God. Therefore, what he's really saying is that GOODNESS will see them through. So, in essence, the priest simultaneously believes in God and is a humanist, because he does believe in God as he actually is in the SPN universe, he believes in a completely different concept that he has defined personally as God.
- This is to say that the Priest and Dean actually have the same religion in the end... well, if Dean wasn't so pessimistic about people. :P But, basically, both the priest and the Winchesters put their faith in the idea that there is good in the world that is worth fighting for and working to safeguard.

And I do like how the priest ends up being the "Most Holy Man"

Dean: "Come on, I know that look - what's on your mind?"
Sam: "...do you ever get the feeling like we're just playing defense - bouncing from one apocalypse to the next."
Dean: "Well, it's not exactly our call."
Sam: "I know that, and I'm not saying we don't do good - but no matter how many people we save, there's going to be more people who need saving. No matter how many monsters we kill-"
Dean: "There's always going to be another one around the corner."
Sam: "Exactly."
Dean: "Mmhm."
Sam: "Do you think we could ever change things? Really change things? Stop all the monsters, all the bad?"
Dean: "That'd be nice."
Sam: "Yeah, so what are you thinking? Think that'll work?"
Dean: "I have faith."

- It's kind of a weird conversation at the end. Sam's depressed because there's no end to their vocation. There's no, "oh hey, you cured cancer, you can stop trying to cure cancer now." Because their job doesn't HAVE an end, not as long as hell and monsters exist. And they've already decided that they don't like the price of getting rid of hell, and they've already made an attempt at getting rid of monsters, only to discover that that gets into pretty murky moral territory and might also be impossible.
- Though, on the topic of monsters - this seasons seems to be about telling Sam about the SCOPE of them and really driving that point home. Why, I'm not sure.
- The odd thing about this conversation here though is that it's counter to what the Priest was telling them. Sam is basically saying "do you think the world could ever be perfect in our lifetime?" and the priest's whole speech earlier was about how the world isn't perfect, but you can make it a LITTLE better every day... and I don't think that included an ending of "and then you succeeding in making it perfect and get to retire" it's more of a "and then the next generation works to make it a little bit better, and the next and the next...and maybe one day, before the heat death of the universe, it'll be okay, but none of us will be alive to see it."
- This might just be Sam coming to terms with that. As Sam does, sometimes, have to come to terms with the fact that he's a hunter now and said life is inescapable. He's swiveled back and forth between being okay with that in the series, so it's not out of character for him to do so again. Sam and Dean WERE raised with the belief that eventually it would be over - because for John, the only thing that had to happen was that Azazel had to die, and then he believed they'd stop. Dean and Sam believed that too. It was Dean that decided first that he wasn't going to stop... and then when he DID want to stop, it was because he was incapable of doing so... and then when he did actually stop, it was only because Sam forced him to with a deathbed request that he do so. It wasn't because the job was done, and Dean DID have trouble with that.
- Anyway, my point is that... wait, what's my point?
- Dean's "I have faith" at the end is kind of...more on point. They're once again talking about the task at hand, rather than whether it's possible that one day they WON'T have to fight... and Dean has faith, because, as I said earlier - he has faith in THEIR ability to get things done. If you ask Dean if he believes in God, he's going to say no. If you ask him if he believes in his brother, he's going to say yes.

Cut Scene:
Scene 6
Dean and Sam pulling up to Greenstreets house, and Dean still giving Sam a hard time about flirting with Ms. Astor in order to get what they wanted.
- Definitely not needed.

Rewrite: I just have an issue with Castiel going to Syria. Everything else is just a personal grudge I have against these sorts of plots - but I like the priest character, so this episode can stay how it is.

Leave a comment if you so desire! I'll see you again on Thursday, provided that I don't forget again! This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/573922.html.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2019 04:59 am (UTC)
I did like the priest, and his belief that god exists when people do good.

You forgot to point out Dean's comfort level in talking back to the head mobster. Wasn't sure if that was confidence in himself as being bulletproof or ignorance as to how deep in trouble he was...

Sam's doubts at the end felt like they were stuck in randomly by the writer rather than something that Sam had been building toward.

This was definitely one of their 'let's do this episode in another genre style' like they have periodically.
Feb. 25th, 2019 06:04 am (UTC)
I took it more as Dean was as exasperated with finding himself in the mob-genre as I was, personally.

Also, I think Dean was just making sure that he wasn't perceived as a doormat - that he was trying to signal to the mobster that they also weren't people to mess with. Dean is always comfortable when you stick him in different societies - he adapts fast.

Also, I was trying to be swift about the rewatch and that was when I was typing up my whole thesis about the writer's love for different genres and how much I had mobster politics. :P

I think that Breakdown was building towards this one, but that seems kind of far away at this point, so those thoughts didn't really seem to come from anywhere, like you said - certainly not from any events in THIS episode, which is what should have been building towards it - instead of giving Sam a perfect argument against those thoughts that he just ignored.
Feb. 28th, 2019 12:10 am (UTC)
It took me three years to finish season 8 reviews. Those first years man... LOL

I liked this for the priest too. 😊
Feb. 28th, 2019 01:27 am (UTC)
Haha, exactly. :P

I know my living situation was different back then too. Due to recently graduating university and moving across the country, I didn't have much of a social life like I do now.

But still... even if I had the time, I think I'd get pretty bored of doing a rewatch more than twice per week.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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