After School Special
Woo! Anyone who knows me (or has read any of my fic) knows that I'm a sucker for the Wee!chesters. It's one thing to be adults and live on the outskirts of society, it's quite another thing to be a kid and live on the outskirts of society.
I like the introduction of Sam in this episode...the fact that we hear him speak before we see him. We just have the girl talking, and then the line "I'm more open-minded than most" - and THEN we see the body that goes with the voice.
Dean: "(So what are we?) FBI? Homeland Security? Swedish exchange students?"
So, we find out that Sam and Dean attended Truman High in Fairfax, Indiana, for the month of November 1997. It was indeed their third school since September, a fact which Sam is not happy about, but Dean is.
I like how Dean says "Thanks, Dad" after he gets out of the car. Their Dad didn't HAVE to drive them to school. I think a lot of kids don't realize that these days. Your parents don't have to do anything for you besides feed, house, and possibly love you...anything beyond that, you should be thankful for.
It's also neat to see Dean getting out of the passenger seat.
I also like how after their Dad drives away, or even AS he's driving away, Dean double-checks that Sam's set up: "You got your lunch? Books? Butterfly knife?" (We used to have butterfly knives when we were kids too, though we weren't allowed to bring them to school...then they were outlawed, and then my brother had his stolen....it's a sad world - butterfly knives were the best for camping.)
Dean's (Brock Kelly's) sigh as Sam walks away in a huff is so spot on Dean. I loved it.
Dean's in 12th grade.
I love how all Sam has to do is stare at Dirk, and Dirk is already a little wary of him. This is one thing I love about the Wee!chesters...they were badasses. Even before Sam knew WHAT he was being trained to fight, he was being trained to fight. The only thing Sam had to worry about from bullies is the fact that kicking their asses made him standout - and from both Sam and Dean's answers to "Is there anything you'd like to tell us about yourself?", you can tell that neither of them cared much for standing out.
Coach Dean! Oh man...I love Jensen's sense of humour - knowing from interviews that it was him who picked out those shorts, and it was him who decided to nail the kid with the dodgeball.
Some dude gets his hand shoved in a blender, and the whole school is treated to a non-violence assembly. Ah high school.
Barry Cook (Sam's little friend) killed himself the year after Sam left, or possibly the spring after Sam left. Sucks...and the first time we see Sam and Dean dig up the grave of someone they knew.
Dean: "yeah, parents: terrifying."
-I love how Amanda cuts right to the quick in this conversation. As soon as she realizes that Dean is really a latch-key kid. Dean's still in the romanticizing it frame of mind - he gets to do what he wants whenever he wants...but Amanda's able to see the downside immediately, and that's pretty astute for teenager...usually teenagers are pretty envious of the latch-key kids and don't see the downsides.
We get OverprotectiveTeen!Dean :)
Dean: "If Dad were here..."
Sam: "He isn't"
Dean: "Well *I* am!"
-In the absence of both parents, it falls to Dean to fill that role for Sam. (It was the same in my house, only in Sam and Dean's case, it was probably Dean that was the more lenient parent...in my case I had to deal with the fact that when our parent WAS home, they would undermine my authority and be far too lenient with my little sister...pissed me off to no end.)
Mr. Wyatt: "Your brother is quite a character and your dad seems...driven."
Mr. Wyatt: "There are 3 or 4 choices that shape someone's life and you need to be the one that makes them."
-But what if you make the wrong ones, Mr. Wyatt? Huh? I guess then you have no one to blame but yourself and there's something to be said for that.
Dean's seen Dead Poet's Society.
Dean: "That ghost is dead! I'm going to rip it's lungs out!"
-Hahaha! I LOVE the mirror between Teen!Dean and Present!Dean...the fact that the threat is the same, despite it not applying. The fact that *some* things never change.
Hey, I just realized Sam and Dean have the conversation about the ghost (after it attacked Sam) while they are parked near that bridge that's in so many episode...you know, the one from Hookman, Umm..the time Bela met up with Gordon Walker.., uh...countless other episodes. You know the one I mean. It's a nice bridge. I should go find it.
I just noticed that the past is always in warmer colours than the present. A simpler time? A happier time? A less apocalyptic time?
Wee!Sam kicks ass! (while wearing a lovely sheepskin jacket).
Dean is creepy to Dirk Sr.
Dirk Sr. "I had Dirk cremated."
Dean: "All of him?"
Present!Dean then tells a busload of high school students that he's a 21 jump street cop - Dean, dude, I don't think anyone on that bus is old enough to get that reference!
Again, kudos to casting for finding an actor as big/bigger than Jared. I think Supernatural should be renamed: "Employer of Big and Tall Actors"
I love Amanda's line about thinking there was something deeper underneath Dean, "I mean...the way you are with your brother." - the fact that Dean is really ONLY devoted to Sam, even before Cassie spit on his heart, he only ever let Sam get close to him, only opened up to Sam (and I don't mean sexually, ugh).
Amanda: "...you're just a sad, lonely, little kid."
Dean: "I save lives. I'm a hero!...a hero!"
-I read this great meta once about how Dean is psychologically trapped as a 4 year-old. It was brilliant and I can't begin to expain it accurately, but it was very much just what Amanda said. The fact that Dean has been a sad, lonely, little kid since he was 4 years old...and he rationalizes it, justifies it, by making it the price that he pays for being a hero - for being like batman. All superheroes have an alter ego, after all.
-I think that's the difference between Sam and Dean as children. Sam sees the loneliness and sadness and he doesn't see the hero - so when he is made the hero "Sam the man!" it comes as a nice surprise, a glimmer of something nice in his otherwise hostile life that he wants so desperately to leave. Dean ignores the sadness and focuses on the hero aspect...tries his best to have the hero aspect be good enough, strong enough, to drive away the loneliness...only, it's not. Furthermore, Dean can't see his way out of the life like Sam can. Dean doesn't have a choice (he told Jo as much in S2). His ONLY choice is to try to make the best of it, and it's hard...especially when you are a teenager.
Of course, this episode was also about the running theme of Emasculation of Dean: We see Dean in a ridiculous gym outfit that makes us laugh at him. We also see Teen!Sam become the popular well liked hero of the school, while Teen!Dean becomes someone to be pitied, a joke.
Then Mr. Wyatt asks Present!Sam if he is happy and the answer....
...can only be no.
Sex and Violence
When Sam comes to wake Dean up, he pats him on the leg and says "Up and at 'em, kiddo"
KIDDO?! Lord god, but I love this...what we have at the VERY beginning of this episode is a clear example of the role-reversal that Sam and Dean have gone through this season. I highly doubt Sam ever called Dean "kiddo" before he went to hell. Dean called Sam "kiddo" and "kid" all the time though, because that's always what Sam was to him - a kid, someone he looked after. Since Dean got back from hell, Sam's been the one obsessively looking after Dean. Think about it, in S1, when Dean was at his most "look after Sammy", Sam was having nightmares and hardly sleeping, he was moody and grieving for Jessica...now in S4, it's Dean that's having nightmares, it's Dean that is suffering from a suprisingly-mild form of PTSD, and it's Sam that is worried.
Sam has switched their roles on them, because he is obsessed with being the big strong Hunter that will protect poor Dean from everything nasty in the world...just as John and Dean had always been the big strong Hunters that protected Sam from everything nasty in the world. The problem with this though is that Dean is not used to being looked after. Hell, I highly doubt even John looked after Dean all that much...I think this is another contributing factor to the gulf that is widening between the brothers - Dean doesn't recognize Sam, because Sam is filling the role that Dean used to fill. Meanwhile, Sam isn't used to having someone around that needs (or so he thinks) to be looked after...but I'll talk more about this later.
The boys pretend to be lawyers! That's new.
Guy: "Her name was Jasmine..."
Sam: "She was a stripper?"
Dean: "Dude, her name was Jasmine!"
-Ouch to anyone named Jasmine! But HAHAHA.
Man, FBI!Sam is super sexy.
And naturally the hot doctor lady goes for Sam - I love Dean's shrug as she completely ignores him.
Dean: "Dude, you totally c-blocked me."
-Ok, I'm actually going to complain here (a rare event), but I kind of wish they hadn't of bothered with this line if they weren't going to say "cock"...it just took me right out of the show, because no one says "c-blocked" unless they are on TV or there are little kids around...and only one of those things was true in that scene. Seriously, I hate censors. One of the main reasons I liked Ghostfacers was because you actually had the guys swearing - sure they did the beeps over it, but it still felt more believable given the style of that episode, then saying a stupid replacement word.
Dean: "Strippers, Sammy! Stippers! We are on an actual case involving strippers. Finally!"
-Haha, I love this because Dean is so happy, but when he gets to the strip club he mostly just looks annoyed by all the loud music and barely even looks at the girls.
Dean: "Like Greek-myth Siren? The Odyssey? Hey, I read!"
-Even Sam underestimates Dean. It's kind of sad a little. I like the fact that the show doesn't make Dean into a stereotype. Dean actually does a lot of the research/reading in this season - perhaps another aspect of the role reversal? Perhaps I'm just noticing it for the first time.
Awesome phones at Bobby's house!
This was a fun episode to re-watch, because you notice things you didn't notice the first time around - one being the fact that Nick focuses solely on Dean from the beginning. In a slight mirror to the doctor giving all her attention to Sam, Nick only ever looks at Dean when he is talking to the boys.
Sam: "Just focus on the naked girls, you'll forget he's even there."
-Haha, 'lie back and think of England'...Oh man, sorry...my mind goes to dirty places sometimes.
I also like the fact that it's Dean that remembers the flowers in the doctors office, when he made fun of Sam in S3 for remembering the kind of wreath at the people's houses.
HotDoctorLady: "Haven't you ever been in a relationship where you really love somebody and still kind of want to bash their head in?"
-I think that describes EVERY relationship known to man.
Mmm..more sexy Sam back...while he once again has crazy aggressive sex. Seriously Sammy...Jessica must have really known how to take it. (Geez, again, my apologies...dirty mind today.)
Dean: "Did you sleep with her?"
Dean: "Holy crap, you did."
Dean: "First it's Madison, then it's Ruby, now Cara...what's with you banging monsters?"
-We all wonder the same thing, Dean...I believe someone actually made a flow-chart out of it.
I think it's perfect that when Dean asked Nick to trust him, and Nick says "ok, sure", Dean says, "Thanks, that's actually nice to hear."
-Sam accuses Dean of not trusting him later this season in When The Levee Break, but I think it goes both ways...Sam isn't trusting Dean to be able to look after himself, and Dean can sense that, even if Sam never says it out loud. I mean, in all fairness, Dean has NEVER trusted Sam to look after himself, but that's business-as-usual for the Winchesters. Sam not trusting Dean to look after himself is brand new.
I love the fact that what Dean really wants is his brother. To me that's both very touching, very sad, and also ironic...because Sam KNOWS Dean needs him, but he thinks Dean needs Sam to look after him. What Dean really needs is to have his old role of looking after Sam back...to have Sam to focus on again, to feel like he is in control. Of course, that's just my opinion.
When Dean yells at Sam under the influence of the Siren, he tells Sam that he's not mad about the demon-blood or the psychic stuff, he's mad because of the secrets and lies....and MAN, I wish Sam had clued in right then, because that's exactly their problem in S5 too.
I think what Sam yells at Dean is an extremely harsh and slightly twisted version of the truth. Way more harsh than what Dean yells at Sam, but there you have it. Sam tells Dean that he is weak and holding im back, and that Sam is a better hunter than him now. It's true, this IS how Sam sees Dean now...but it's not that Dean's weak, it's that he's been damaged to the point where Sam sees him as someone who needs looking after. It's not that Sam wants to cut Dean loose and carry on without him, it's that Sam is not used to feeling like he needs to look after someone. He has NEVER been in a care-giver role in his life and he doesn't know how to manage it. He wants to protect Dean, and he still sees killing Lilith as the quickest way to do that...but he also worries about bringing Dean into a confrontation with Lilith, because what if something happens to Dean - Sam's already been through that hell once already...so I think he's been happily encouraging Dean to stick with the basic hunts, because he knows that Dean can handle that, that he'll be safe...but I think at the same time, Sam wishes he could be in two places at once: looking after Dean AND off on his own killing Lilith.
Dean wins the physical fight in this episode the same way that Sam will win the physical fight in When The Levee Breaks.
Interesting point!: When the boys thank Bobby for coming in at the last minute and saving their lives, Bobby says "You've done the same for me - more than once." - THINGS WE HAVEN'T SEEN!...oh wait, there was Dream a Little Dream Of Me in S3...what else? More than once, anyway, and I can only think of once...besides maybe Sam saving Bobby from those two little girl Witnesses in AYTG?IM,DW.
The role reversal continues with Sam telling Dean that there's no point in saying goodbye to hot-doctor-lady, and Dean responds with "well look at you, love 'em and leave 'em"
-It's exactly Dean's usual philosophy on woman, but Sam had always been the relationship-love type before. This Sam is new to Dean.
Man, I talked so much about Sex and Violence...I should really organize my thoughts and turn it into a proper Meta, but I barely have time to sleep these days...