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Quick Reaction: 14x15 Peace of Mind

Hello! I managed to get this done before Thursday! Yay! 

I had a really great week visiting my sister, and a really fun weekend at Emerald City Comic-Con. I didn't do anything SPN related there... mostly bought art that I don't have room to hang, and more comics to add to my 9" high stack of unread comics... but in so doing I became a patron of the arts in just a small capacity.

Then, yesterday, when I got back home, I binged Queer Eye, because that had been released while I was away and I always have to devour that show in as close to one go as I can. :P

So, FINALLY, I was able to test out a friends VPN (it worked!) and watch SPN on the CW site, like the sneaky Canadian that I am.

Let's get into it...

We begin with a dude running up to a 50s style diner and pleading with the waitress there to come with him - that he's escaping or some such? He looked like Henry Winchester for a split second, but I think it was just the 50s look, because as soon as he stayed still for two seconds, I could tell he was a stranger to me.

The sign outside the town (that he runs by) is all 50s advertising, saying that the place is called Charming and the whole "everything is perfect" vibe is REALLY sinister... all 50/60s advertising seems sinister to me now.

Then he confuses me completely, because he runs into a modern gas station and steals the cashier's cell phone - and I'm like "what the what? Aren't we in the past?" but nope!

And here I'll just write out my notes: Oh no, I love Griffin and his quiet "Dude, do you need help?" Oh... liked him up until he vomited, I can't stand onscreen vomit.

Anyway, that's all to say that the dude's HEAD EXPLODED QUIET GRAPHICALLY. I was mighty confused, because the noise they used was similar to "angel radio" screeches, so I was like "can he hear angels or something?" but nope... it just seems like head-explody symptom.

Meanwhile, Jack is sad about the hunter deaths - or so Cas has inferred, as Jack has been withdrawn and quiet since Michael killed all the AU hunters (except AU Bobby?).

He still has the snake though! And Cas tries to use it to METAPHORICALLY discuss Jack's feelings, when Jack shuts down any direct conversations... Cas is mainly concerned with determining how much of Jack's soul he has left, an inquiry that Jack resents and/or is defensive about for some reason. Jack says he feels different than before, but he can't put it to words, and he definitely doesn't seem to want to talk about it.

Sandwich time for Dean! Dean and Cas consult on their parenting techniques to their adopted-children/little-brothers. Sam has also apparently been withdrawn since the massacre and is also insisting that he's fine when Dean knows that he's not.

Sure enough, we see Sam come home to the Bunker and immediately have flashbacks to finding everyone dead when he looks around the room.

He comes into the kitchen and announces that he found a case for them in Arkansas. Dean protests, they've just come back from three back to back hunts, and Dean is TIRED. I didn't mention it earlier, but Cas had also remarked that he had expected to find Dean sleeping.

Sam won't be swayed though, and says that he's going. It's decided that it's split up time. Cas will go with Sam. Dean can rest, and also try his hand at talking to Jack and determining the status of his soul, since he has experience with Soulless!Sam. Dean protests that his experience with Soulless!Sam was NOT GOOD. But Cas insists. Cas doesn't think Jack's soul is completely gone, but is worried about how much is left.

Cas leaves, remembering the phrase that Dean had used before and telling Dean that he can sleep until the cows come home. Rather than before, when Cas had used "sleep until the cows dragged you home" - which I actually like better, but I'm a huge fan of messing up sayings on purpose. Like "I'll burn that bridge when I get to is."

Sassy Episode!

Sorry, you all know how much I love me some (platonic) Sassy times! And how rare they are.

Sam is super tired. Cas is concerned.

They interview the gas station cashier, Griffen. Griffen is a Vancouver actor, I think, based purely on the accent reminding me of Manny Jacinto, who is also from here. I could be wrong though. I love him again and forgive him for vomiting on screen.

I just realized that Cas is driving. Sam has just become a full on passenger on cases. I mean, I know it's Cas's car, but it kind of amuses me that Sam didn't take the Impala, or doesn't have his own car...or there's no spare car for Sam to use when he and Dean need to split up.

Griffen's hot tip has led them to the town of Charming. Which is this sinister 50s, Stepford Wives thing. 

They're directed by a guy on the street, who doesn't seem to know what a cellphone is, to a diner where they might be able to find more information. 

There, Sam and Cas are immediately served milkshakes. Sam DRINKS HIS, and my notes say: Don't eat the food, Sam! But it turns out this is a red-herring anyway, still - DON'T EAT THE FOOD IN ANYPLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE ACTING WEIRD.... or any place where you might not want to remain forever!

Cas tries to question the diner-owner/mayor about what happened to the head-explody guy. The guy, Harrington, says that he heard it was an aneurysm. Cas corrects him and says that his head exploded "like a ripe melon on the sun". Nice one, Cas.

They're directed to the B&B where the guy stayed while he was in town.  Here my notes say: There's a black person in this perfect 50s town! Amazing. And SUSPICIOUS :P 

Back with Dean and Jack. Jack is trying to figure out what to feed his new pet snack. Dean suggests bacon.Then he opens a take-out container and discovers it contained live mice. Dean is kind of adorable with Jack, but I can't put my finger on why at this point...I figure out later it's because he's trying to be overly cheery in order to not arouse suspicion for his investigation - and as a result is feeling super awkward and disappointed in himself. So, it's a very convoluted way to get to "adorable" but he gets there.

Back in Charming... the B&B lady says that she doesn't rent out rooms to young women traveling alone, because women shouldn't do that-and she says is't about morals... this place gets creepier, with it's anti-feminism

Sam distracts the host by asking for a coffee while Cas investigates the room that the dead dude stayed in. He finds love-notes. 

When Sam comes back in, he's holding one of those ridiculous tiny tea-cups...or, I should say, a regular sized tea cup that looks ridiculously tiny in Sam's huge hands. 

Cas tells Sam about the love-letters - saying that they were passionate. Sam asks him to clarify and he's like, "she talks about the shape and heft of his-" and Sam is like "right, got it!" And man, there had better be some Sastiel fics created out of this episode! Not that I'll necessarily read then, but I want them to exist.

Sam is being suspicious in his behaviour! (I'd seen the promo pictures, so I knew they do SOMETHING to him). Because he tells Cas that they're going to stay the night, and then seems overly keen on the pot-roast that the B&B host is planning to make.

Meanwhile, "Mr Smith's" memory has been triggered by the word cell phone - now he's remembering his old life. He's got a daughter! Oh man, this is tragic - and now he's dead!! Poor dude!

Dean takes Jack on a road trip, and he brings the snake. Once again, they try to covertly talk about Jack through the metaphor...or... whatever it's called, projection? of Jack onto the snake.  Dean continues to be adorable with his awkward fake cheerfulness.

He has Jack choose between two gas-station snacks - a "Devil's chocolate" and an "Angel food cake" and then is pleased when Jack chooses the "angel food cake" - Really, Dean? That's your test?

Cas wakes goes to find Sam the next morning and he appears to be missing.  The B&B host tells him that Sam went out for a walk to get a milkshake, and she offers to get him breakfast - saying that she has some johnny cakes... listen, I love johnny cakes... I'd be half tempted to break my "don't eat the food in weird places" rule. But not Cas, who doesn't enjoy food when he's not human... he stays strong and goes out to find Sam. Already having large suspicions that something has gone wrong.

There's almost a little montage of Cas asking people if they've seen Sam. "The tall man", "the very tall man", "Hair, he has beautiful hair."... he also learns along the way that Mr. Smith has died. And then I'm like "Oh man! Mrs. Smith has replaced Mr. Smith with Sam!"

And yup! She replaced her husband with Sam... whose name is now Justin. Cas thinks he's acting - but it quickly becomes apparent that Sam is brainwashed. Jared is awesome in this. HILARIOUS. Just, his body movements - perfection.

Meanwhile, back with Dean and Jack - they visit Donatello... Dean is awesome by being honest about why they are there - but I'm thinking maybe he should go with Jack to talk to Donatello.

Dean is still a little afraid of snakes.

Jack asks Donatello what not having a soul is like. Donatello says that it feels like at the centre of him, there is this very large black hole - and he's empty inside. He feels nothing. Not bad. Just an absence of pity, of empathy, of humanity.

Jack doesn't know how he feels - he doesn't feel nothing, but he doesn't feel the same. Jack doesn't want his family to worry. He wants space to figure things out without his family breathing over his shoulder. 

Donatello tells him that when he has to make a decision, he asks himself "what would Mr. Rogers do?" and Jack asks who Mr. Rogers is, and Donatello says that he's the best man that he knows. Jack says that Sam and Dean are the best men he knows (aww), so Donatello suggests that he ask himself "what would the Winchesters do?"  

As much as I think this is good advice, I also think it's bad advice? But maybe that's just because I've spent 14 years with the Winchesters and I know they don't always make the best decisions :P

Afterwards, Dean wants a yes or no answer to the soul question, but Donatello won't give him one.  He says that Jack is the most powerful being in the universe - who knows what's going on inside his head.

Back in Charming...

Cas goes to the diner to interrogate the waitress. He accuses her of being a witch, and he wants the antidote to what has been done to Sam. Cas goes to ripe it out of her mind - and she confesses it's the mayor, not her, who is responsible for the state of the town and Sam. The mayor then shows up with a bunch of thugs! One of which is Sam!

Turns out, he's a baby boomer clinging to an imagined ideal past...only he has superpowers? What the heck is he? Cas doesn't even know. The tricks don't work on Sunny... why? We find out shortly! First, we must have Cas and Sam fight!

Cas doesn't want to hurt Sam. But he has no compunction about breaking the other dude's arms and throwing Sam around the room a little. Eventually though, Sam gets on top of him and has him pinned - going for the angel blade to finish the job. Cas calls out to him, telling Sam that he has to snap out of it - that Cas knows what it's like to lose your army - OUCH - and fail as a leader - DOUBLE OUCH - but that if Sam kills Cas, then he'll fail Jack, and he'll fail Dean. We see Sam stab in Cas's general direction, before we cut away... and then we see that Sam has stabbed the ground next to Cas's right eat - making him the second Winchester to do that trick against mind-control. Sam has successfully snapped out of it.

As Sunny runs off and Harrington goes after her, we discover that Sunny is his daughter. Hence why his mind-control didn't seem to work on her (what ARE they?) - he says he's like a God here, but Sam and Cas argue once they catch up. "God has a beard!" Cas clarifies.

Sunny fights back when Harrington tries to kill Sam - and performs some sort of magic on him, telling him that if he wants to be happy, then fine - he can be happy. Harrington collapses into a vegetative state - Cas checks his noggin and confirms that Sunny has made him happy by locking him into a perfect world inside his own brain. It was a smart move on her part, because that's indeed the only way you can have an ideal world - inside your imagination. That's basically what everyone who talks about "the good old days" is doing, they just don't realize it.

Dean and Jack return to the bunker. Once again, Jack uses the snake to talk about himself, saying that he's "guarded".

Cas and Sam return, and Sam tries to keep the details of the hunt to a minimum, but discovers that Cas has already called and told Dean everything that happened. Sam is embarrassed. Dean brings up the fact that Cas said Sam seemed happy when he was brainwashed - and Sam admits that he hates the Bunker right now. But that it's "my home - our home. Dean, I think I just need some time." And Dean gives him a shoulder pat and says okay, because really all Dean wanted was for Sam to admit that he wasn't alright.

Cas has gone to check on Jack, and watches from the doorway as Jack talks to his snake (uh, that sounds dirtier than I meant it). Jack references the Winchesters' theory that the snake is sad because it misses it's owner. So, Jack kills the snake so that it can be with it's master in heaven (uh, as a monster, I think he actually would have gone to Purgatory). Poor Felix turns to dust. :( Though, if he DID send it to heaven, that's not so bad, since it's eating a bird's egg or whatever up there! But, I'm sad that Jack doesn't have a pet any more to project his feeling onto. 

But, I don't think the decision to kill the snake was any more sinister than Jack's former behaviour... BUT, maybe we're meant to think it is. I'm still really worried that without any big bad present, they're turning Jack into one.  I can't believe I'm going to say this - but I honestly would prefer they bring back Lucifer than make Jack into the big bad... if it was an either or question, that is. IDEALLY, I'd prefer them to do something else entirely from those two choices.

My only remaining question is: What the heck were Harrington and Sunny?!?! Who come we never find out?!?! Is this the first time in the show that we've just been like "*shrug* don't know what the heck that was!" ??? 

Because seriously, that was some messed up, near angelic power - and yet they definitely weren't angels... so were they pagan gods who forgot who they were originally or something? WHAT COULD THEY BE?!

Pretty good MOTW! Some great character moments. Some awesome comedy delivery from Jared...and you all know how much I love me some Sassy!

Let me know, belatedly as it is, what you thought! I'll see you on Thursday for the new ep! This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/574792.html.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Mar. 20th, 2019 06:02 am (UTC)
That's basically what everyone who talks about "the good old days" is doing, they just don't realize it.
So true! I'm just worried a bit about Sonny now having to take care of a vegetable.

so were they pagan gods who forgot who they were originally or something? WHAT COULD THEY BE?!
Interesting theory! I just thought they were really strong psychics - the man anyway - could influence that whole town area I guess and know when a person went off the rails too aye? Sonny wasn't as strong, at least she didn't think she was until she tried to stop him.



Edited at 2019-03-20 06:02 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Mar. 21st, 2019 01:58 am (UTC)
Well, she has magic on her side, I guess!

Interesting take on them being strong psychics - I guess we've seen psychics strong enough to manipulate reality before, but we've never seen them strong enough to override someone's personality/identity, so it could just be a new power instead of a new monster.
borgmama1of5
Mar. 20th, 2019 08:18 am (UTC)
Using WWWD as a guideline for behavior--I thought the same thing:

As much as I think this is good advice, I also think it's bad advice? But maybe that's just because I've spent 14 years with the Winchesters and I know they don't always make the best decisions

I actually didn't spend time wondering what kind of monster the mayor was--guess I just sort of accepted that he was just a freaky-powered human...

Sam-as-Justin was very weird to me...guess I just don't find 50s!Sam to be as compelling as souless!Sam, or Samifer, or demon!Sam...It was the hair, and how dare they make Jared look repellent!

It sure feels (unfortunately!) like we are being led to Jack becoming a problem, even though, with sending the snake to heaven, Jack's motives were good...

NOOO, don't do that to our baby Jack!!!
hells_half_acre
Mar. 21st, 2019 02:00 am (UTC)
I just found 50s!Sam to be hilarious - he didn't have enough screen time to be compelling, or ANYTHING really other than an amusement.

Definitely not a good hair choice.

Ugh, I REALLY don't want Jack to be the bad guy. I WILL accept a S4!Sam type scenario, but that's as far as I'll go.
madebyme_x
Mar. 20th, 2019 11:55 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this epsiode; I liked the balance of humour and drama. And yes, it feels like they're hinting that Jack will be the next big bad, but I'm really hoping that this is just a red herring.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 21st, 2019 02:01 am (UTC)
I'm with you on hoping it's a red herring!!

But yes, great episode!
kazluvsbooks
Mar. 20th, 2019 12:15 pm (UTC)
This ep was so entertaining!!,
hells_half_acre
Mar. 21st, 2019 02:01 am (UTC)
I agree!
kailita
Mar. 24th, 2019 10:33 pm (UTC)
Fist-pumped on your behalf as soon as I realized we were getting a Sassy team-up! Which was probably for the best, because if Dean had been there, his little chameleon self would have adapted to 1950s life before he even drank the milkshakes. ;)

Jensen took some crap lines and spun them into gold. I laughed out loud at "I like bacon," which now I can't remember why, because it looks kind of juvenile on the page, but whatever he did with that line cracked me up.

More interesting to me is Dean's seeming indifference to the deaths of all these (random) hunters. I was intrigued by that. It seemed accurate though. He didn't know them like Sam did, and the emotional weight of grieving for them would be exhausting on top of what he's already just been through. So he opts out. Also interesting to me that he didn't PUSH a little more at Sam's closing monologue. Usually when Sam says "I need some space" it means "I need some space," and Dean has traditionally been pretty terrible at giving Sam space, haha. But this time, the LOOK in Sam's eyes after Dean gives him that shoulder clap and backs off...to me it looked more like an unspoken plea for Dean to stay. I love that after 14 years, Jensen and Jared are still bringing their A-game, infusing these non-verbal moments with complexity and subtext.

In my personal opinion, What Would the Winchesters Do is GODAWFUL advice. Not to mention conflicting, because they don't actually act as a unit. What Would Dean Do in the case of Lucifer's half-human son is get rid of that kid ASAP, so Jack is lucky that Sam had other ideas.

Man, this just confirms what we were talking about in My Bloody Valentine about angel mind-reading! (Castiel threatening to pry the information from Sunny's mind.) They CAN mind-read humans! Looks like it takes some effort, or at least intentionality, but not too much. Then how have we ever managed to trick angels, or surprise them?? This is going to make me grumpy once we get to the season 9 rewatch...
hells_half_acre
Mar. 24th, 2019 11:20 pm (UTC)
Haha! - you're first paragraph. Indeed!

I think Dean always kept himself apart from the other hunters - a)because he didn't know them as long as Sam, b)because of residual guilt from being Michael, and c)because it was SAM who invited all the hunters into the Bunker, so Dean just was like "this is Sam's show, I'll let him run it."

I don't know if I necessarily interpret the end of that episode the same as you - with Sam non-verbally wanting Dean to NOT give him space. I think Dean HAS gotten better over the years of leaving Sam alone, as long as Sam is being HONEST with him about why he wants to be left alone.

And yes, What Would the Winchesters Do would be VERY inconsistent and not always great advice to follow, for all the reasons you mention.

So, what Castiel was proposing on ripping the info from Sunny's mind, was what he did to Donatello to put him into a coma last year. It's a forceful prying - where he lays hands on their head and rips out the secret that he wants. So, it's nothing like what I was proposing with the idea that Cas has some sort of base-level mind-reading that he can choose to engage in or not. It actually goes against that, since it's something he obviously has to put effort in.

So, I'm amending my thoughts from "mind-reading" to "Diana Troi on TNG" - they can read base-level emotions and intent, but not facts or information. Castiel knew that Dean didn't think he deserved to be saved - it's an emotion. So, maybe it's a matter of being careful when you're sneaking up on them not to project excitement about the fact that you're sneaking up on them - and then BAMMO, you've snuck up on them by thinking about how boring dusting the library shelves was last Tuesday.

Or, it could be that my ideas are just wrong - that angels can't read minds unless they're doing the highly invasive kind of mind reading that Cas did in the past two years. OR, it could be that I was RIGHT for S1-<S13, and in the past two years the canon has changed, just like how Reapers weren't angels and now they are, and Cupids were bubbly huggy types until suddenly they were nearly indistinguishable from any other angel... or how Angels used to wear the clothes of their vessel no matter what they're vessel was wearing when they were possessed, and now they all change into smart looking suits immediately. Or or or... :P
khek
Mar. 25th, 2019 12:13 am (UTC)
I really like the theory that they were gods who forgot who they were. it makes sense, and it doesn't contradict anything that was in the episode. I'm not sure even th most powerful human psychic could control a whole town full of people, most of whom would be fighting to remember their old life. Ancient gods is totally believeable, since we know they're still around from several episodes over the years.

The ponytail Sam was sporting didn't make any sense (I would have thought he would have just cut his hair to fit into the 50s era) but maybe that was him fighting back a bit.

I don't understand Donatello. I know they're trying to say that people can function without a soul, but I would think that it wouldn't work...or that soulless people would somehow just end up going off the rails, even with Mr. Rogers as a guidepost. I think it's sort of the same way I don't get zombies.

I did like this epoisde, even though it makes me worry for Jack more and more...
hells_half_acre
Mar. 28th, 2019 01:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was my thinking.

Maybe Sam had a hair cut appointment the next day, and luckily Castiel rescued him just in time!!

I'm really worried about Jack... I really don't want them to turn him into the big bad, but it's looking more and more like they're going to.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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