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Quick Reaction: 14x17 Game Night

Okay folks, get ready to strap into this rollercoaster...

Listen, before I even do the cut, I'm going to be honest - by about twenty minutes into this episode, I was so pissed off that if I hadn't had this tradition of writing it up after and talking with you all about it, I probably would have bailed. I'm glad I stuck through, because the show (almost) turned it around for me in the last five minutes. BUT BUT... at about twenty minutes in, I chugged a glass of wine, because it was my only recourse - and in preparation for writing it up, I have made myself a tall vodka-ginger and sipped HEAVILY...

BUT there are rules, and I'm going to go over them now, for my own benefit - no matter how annoyed I get, I like liking things - so I'm still going to talk about all the stuff I did like - and I except you to do the same, got it? Now, I'm not expecting other people to have actually had the same reaction I did, because it's not like this episode was written badly, it just wasn't written to my specific tastes, and there's nothing wrong with that - I am not the only SPN fan (shock, I know.)

Okay, now that I'm reminded of the rules - let's get into it....

The Then tells us that Sister Jo/Anael will be back. Cool! Then it tells us that Lucifer/Nick will be back. Not cool!

We begin the Now with Donatello, who is listening to that rainbow song... no, rain drops... the rain drops song. Or he's humming it. Yes, that's it, he's humming Rain Drops and making cookies - and is he still a professor? Maybe I should have listened to my mother and gotten a PhD so that I too could make cookies in my fancy house, and have room for an electric mixer.

Then he is attacked. My notes say "Going to die?" "Nick?" and I am right about one of those things!

When we join the Winchesters, we start with Dean - who has set up Mouse Trap in the library! I love Mouse Trap! We had that game when I was a kid, and my sister broke it pretty much straight away, because that was the kind of kid my sister was - but we played it anyway and the mouse trap MOSTLY worked... anyway, nostalgia.

Jack and Mary chat in the kitchen. Jack is REALLY sick of everyone asking him how he feels, and telling him that they're there for him. He's having a difficult time putting on his "everything is fine" face - but honestly, I would be too. It feels like the last three episodes have been an epic "ask Jack if he's fine" arc, and it's not like they're going to get new anwers!

Sam's gone out to get pizza - Jack wants pineapple, which Dean is disgusted by. This is the second of many times in this episode, when I'm like "Jack's right here, folks." because I too like pineapple on pizza - especially if it also has hot peppers, though I'll also take it without the hot peppers.

Before they can get their game night underway, or before Sam can get home, Dean listens to a message he got from Donatello. Donatello calls him for help and then starts speaking in tongues - so that's concerning! 

Dean and Mary take off to investigate, and Dean leaves Jack to wait for Sam and inform him what's up - since apparently cell reception is SUPER spotty in Lebanon (and yet they have it in their magical underground bunker!)

Meanwhile, Cas is meeting up with Anael in a diner someplace. Cas has brought her earrings - "likely cursed" but safe for an angel. In return, he wants to know how to contact God. He believes Anael knows, because she used to work under Joshua, and Joshua was the only angel could talk with God.

Cas wants to talk to God, because God is the only one who can restore a soul - and Cas is worried about Jack. Anael rightly spots that he's going behind the Winchesters' backs to do this. But she says that she can't help him - because God spoke to Joshua, not the other way around. 

Cas goes to take back the earrings, and Anael must really like earrings, because she confesses that she heard a rumour that after The Fall, Joshua was able to get in contact with God. She can take him to someone who may know how he did it.

Sam has gotten back to the Bunker, but Dean has benched him, putting him on research to determine what Donatello was saying - Sam says that it sounds like ancient Hebrew.

In the car, Mary expresses concern about how stressed everyone is - he, Sam, Jack, etc. She apologizes for not being around to help more, and feels guilty about being so aloof. She says that she knows that she's cold and hard to know on the outside. Dean makes a joke that "that's where I get it from!" and uh, Dean, I think you're confused - you are in fact, the warmest and friendliest of all the Winchesters.

Mary makes sure to tell Dean that no matter how it appears - she is grateful for every day that she gets to spend with him and Sam. And this is the first time my notes say, "Mary gonna die?"

Back in the Bunker, Sam actually RECOGNIZES ancient Hebrew seemingly without translating it with a dictionary first - which, I'm sure some people will be like HOW CONVENIENT but personally, I have this headcanon that at this point Sam is a crazy dead-language polyglot, so I'm loving this. He not only recognizes what Donatello is saying, but he knows the exact bible verse that it's quoting - Peter 5:8 which talks about Lucifer being back and walking among us etc. 

Dean and Mary get to Donatellos, only to find that a phone has been left on broadcasting Donatello's pleas. Then Nick steps into the room - reminding us all that he totally escaped from police custody and killed a bunch of people. Dean cuffs him. Nick tells him that he poisoned Donatello, who will die in about a day and a half as a result, and he set up a livestream showing Donatello tied up in some unknown location. 

Despite me yelling "JUST SHOOT HIM! SACRIFICE DONATELLO FOR THE GREATER GOOD!" Dean doesn't listen to me... one could argue, that he is a better person than I am, I suppose... as Dean is against sacrificing people for the greater good. So, sadly (for me), Dean does not just shoot Nick in the head - but man, I really wish he would have.

Cas and Anael arrive at Orlando's Emporiu, which is run by Methuselah (who I had to look up, apparently he's the longest lived guy in the bible, but he IS supposed to be deaders, having lived 969 years.)

He was roommates with Joshua after The Fall. He calls Castiel "kiddo" even though he appears to be a young man... and I love him?

He tells them that the device Joshua used to contact God is somewhere in the vast Emporium of stuff, and it's up to them to find it.

Dean and Mary bring Nick back to the Bunker, which I wrote in my notes as "sure, bring him back tot he bunker" just to illustrate my level of enthusiasm for this plot point. Sam is SUPER MAD and slams Nick into a wall - but is pulled off. Sam knows how to counter the poison Donatello was given, but is not as confident in his ability to track down the source of the livestream before Donatello dies.

Dean won't let Sam be part of the interrogation, because Sam is too angry.

Mary stays back and tells Sam that what Nick did wasn't Sam's fault, because Sam is blaming himself for giving Nick the benefit of the doubt back when he did, and turning him over to the authorities instead of killing him. Mary tells Sam that Nick's choices are Nick's alone, and that Sam is a good man and that she's proud of him. (Here, my notes say "definitely going to die.")

Cas and Anael are looking for the thing. They get to talking about Anael's demotion back in the day - apparently, it's because she believed in Heaven, but then saw how much suffering was on earth, and started questioning why God allowed suffering. Joshua told her that God doesn't meddle, and she disagreed morally with that stance - so now that she's able, she meddles. Cas says that he thought she did it for the money. She suggests that he hasn't been paying close enough attention. Cas tells her that her life sounds lonely. Anael points out that every single being on earth is alone.

Dean is interrogating Nick with his fists. Meanwhile, I'm sitting there chugging wine, wondering why Nick even wanted to talk to them, because this doesn't make any sense, and I'm dissastified with Dean's interrogation methods. Seriously, the Winchesters have gotten really bad about how they handle blackmail/ransom situations. They pretty much always just give in to everything the person wants and then deal with the consequences later.

Nick starts in on this whole schtick about him and Dean being the same, because they've both felt the power of an archangel and crave it and blah blah blah...then finally Nick gets to what he wants, which is to see Jack.

Dean goes and informs the others of this, and of course Jack wants to help, and of course Sam is like "we don't have time not to give in!" and so they send Jack in. Nick baits Jack by telling him that Lucifer loved him etc, and that Jack broke his heart - blah blah blah... then Jack gets really close to him, and Nick headbutts his nose so hard it causes instant violent nosebleed. Jack fixes it. I write in my notes really big KILL HIM JACK! But Jack doesn't, ugh.

Having seemingly gotten what he wanted, Nick agrees to show them where Donatello is being held.

Back at the Emporium, Anael steps "in a rat" and decides that she is giving up and is leaving. She tells Cas that he should just let her leave, so that they don't have to talk about the real reason he needs to contact God - which is that he's afraid. Because the truth is that Jack's soul is gone, and Castiel just doesn't want to admit it. OUCH.

Sam and Dean are driving Nick to where they need to go. Nick says something. I don't know what it is, because my friend and I are talking over it, and I hate the character so much that I can't be bothered to rewind and listen. 


Just as Castiel acquiesces to Anael's demand to leave, he spots THE THING, and the THE THING, is ANOTHER AMULET like Dean's. Methuselah congratulates him and confirms that the amulet was something Joshua made. Cas holds it and tries to pray to God, telling God that he and the Winchesters need him.

Sam, Dean, and Nick, pull up to a building - there is a lot of snow on the ground! I am confused as to when they filmed the episode, because I can't remember the last time it snowed, but it seems a while ago... and also there's so much! They must have driven up a mountain? Oh wait, the end of February! When Seattle got all that snow - we got one day of it too! It was a Monday, I think? Oh man... okay, so that's when this episode was filmed then. 

Castiel and Anael exit the Emporium and there's snow there too! I swear we only had snow for a day, maybe a day and a half. Sam and Dean may have been up a mountain, but Cas and Anael are definitely in the city.

Anyway, my notes say "go home and tell the truth" and I can't remember if that's Anael encouraging Cas to do so, or Castiel saying that's what he intends to do. But, before Anael leaves, Castiel tells her that just because God's not with us, doesn't mean we're alone - and she snarks back that "why? because we have each other?" and Cas is like "yup!" And awww. It's a cheesier version of possibly my favourite line in Supernatural, which is said by Anna in On the Head of a Pin. Uriel says "There is no God" and Anna replies "Maybe, maybe not, but there's still me." And then she STABS HIM. So, this is a very non stabby version.

Mary and Jack are putting things away in the Bunker, and Jack sees the needle that Nick used on Donatello and tells her that it wasn't poison that had been in the needle, it had been angel grace! 

Dean walks into the building, having left Sam in the car to guard Nick (why is he still alive? I guess they want to confirm Donatello is there before they kill him. They probably said this.... I was drinking.) Here, my notes say "It's a trap!"

Mary calls Sam to tell him what Jack told her. Sam gets out of the car too take the call, because Nick is being super annoyingly loud, and Nick starts working on his cuffs. Sam pulls Nick out of the car at gun point, and demands to know why he used angel grace on Donatello... here, again, I start making demands to JUST SHOOT HIM, and my friend is like "AT LEAST DON'T STAND SO CLOSE!" but, you know, fair enough, Sam wants to know what Nick's plans were really, so I guess he needs to be alive for that, just in case there's something they should know about NOW? Though, a point in my favour is that the bad thing Nick planned had to be done BY him AFTER this... and this was the perfect time for Sam to just shoot him. But, I understand that Sam doesn't know that.

Nick tells Sam that he was calling Lucifer, because he wants to resurrect him. Aparently instead of killing a bunch of nuns in a church over the cage, he could instead inject angel grace into a prophet and communicate with Lucifer that way - Lucifer told him that what he needed was Jack's blood, and there was a summoning ritual to get him back from the Empty (I guess.) 

Then there's a huge fight. Dean is fighting demons in the building, and Sam is fighting Nick outside by the car. Eventually Nick finds a large rock and goes to town on Sam's head. Leaving him severely concussed.

Nick then runs off and steals a truck.

Sam's in a really bad way when Dean is able to get back to him.

Nick finds the cabin from The Evil Dead - or at least, one that looks similar. He starts summoning Lucifer.

Jack feels his blood being used for the summoning - I guess it's a conduit for using the Nephilim powers. Jack seeks permission from Mary to use his powers to help, she gives it - as Dean has already called her to tell her that Sam's basically dying and Nick has taken off.

The summoning of Lucifer is really cool, I think..... but you know the COOLEST PART?!!?! 


Jack comes in and is like NOPE! And shoves Lucifer back into the Empty, and then, FINALLY, kills Nick!!! And here my notes say "KILL HIM!" "YES!!!!!!!" and I can tell you that I was yelling outloud "TURN HIM TO DUST! BURN HIM ALIVE!"  Meanwhile, based on Mary's reaction, I realize that this is supposed to be a horrific thing to watch and not something to take Jack out for celebratory reward ice cream afterwards. But, perhaps, I am soulless.

Meanwhile, Sam really is dying. Dean is trying to keep him conscious by counting - but Sam is trying to say goodbye, because he knows he's not going to make it, but he can hardly talk, because he legit is dying of a massive brain injury. 

Mary is upset about what just happened, but sends Jack to Sam. Jack arrives just as Sam passes out completely, and is able to save him. Dean is REALLY RELIEVED.... seriously, i love Jensen's acting choices here, because it's so true to "I was really trying to keep it together there, but now that the danger has passed, I'm going to have a little tiny meltdown about what just happened, please excuse me" only, you know, he says that with his body and his face.

Jack reassures them that Nick has been stopped and that Mary is safe, and then he returned to Mary. He realizes that she's upset about what he did to Nick, that she doesn't think it was the right thing to do - she's not upset about killing him, but about the painful way that Jack killed him. I guess Mary really makes a huge distinction between all those angels that Jack dusted in the AU and the fact that Jack killed Nick in a more prolonged painful manner. Jack wants her to tell him it was okay, but Mary refuses to.

Jack doesn't want her to tell Sam and Dean, but Mary says that they can help him. Jack gets really upset, and starts to get sort of weird sensory-overload/angel-radio-induced pain like he always experiences when he picks up high volumes of angel voices.... he tells Mary to leave him alone, but for some reason (plot reasons) Mary decides that the best way to deal with someone who is cluching at their head, saying to leave them alone, and appears to be in pain, is to continue to call their name, tell them to listen to you, and then finally reach out to physically touch them, even though all their body language is saying to, you know, DO THE OPPOSITE OF THAT.

That is all to say, that Jack does SOMETHING to Mary, but we don't see what it is. My guess is that he accidentally kills her, because she had a little "loving mother," speech to everyone except for Cas in the episode... so, yeah. I'm a LITTLE pissed off that I really don't think Jack is at fault for this, I think it's a legitimate terrible accident... and Jack just can't catch a break. But, yeah... we'll see, I guess.

I REALLY don't want them to turn Jack into the big bad.... but I'm thinking they're going that route, now that Lucifer doesn't actually appear to be coming back. (I thought for sure that he would - I'm happy he's not, don't get me wrong, every moment of Lucifer-esque!Nick in this episode drove me to the drink... but yeah, I thought that if he DID come back, that might save us from a bad!Jack storyline.)

But I guess this is all speculation at this point! We'll just have to see how they close out the season in the next 3 episodes... and also what's planned for S15.

Anyway, like I said, the last five minutes of that episode - basically everything from the start of the fight to the end, was GREAT and the kind of stuff that I love! Epic killing of bad guys! Dean and Sam hurt/comfort! Good times! 

So, hopefully we all survived that write-up and I was able to keep most of my usual tone! 

Let me know you're own thoughts in comments!


This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/576596.html.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 5th, 2019 09:02 am (UTC)
Every time you were "Just kill him!" I was right there with you...

And after each of Mary's warm and fuzzy talk with her boys I was, 'yep, gonna die...' so I expect that's what we will get next week.

Why didn't she go with when she sent Jack off to heal Sam?
And why did she keep badgering Jack when he returned instead of playing it cool, getting back to the bunker, and making a plan with her sons on how to contain Jack? (Why can't one of them just be Jack's Jiminy Cricket and counsel 'good idea, bad idea' in his ear? Having a fully charged Nephilim who still wants to not disappoint you isn't the worst thing in the world)...And why did she care more about Nick dying painfully than the fact that Jack just saved the world from Lucifer coming back???

And of all the times Sam has been beat up, a rock to the head does him in?

This episode was frustrating.

Okay, good points--
Dean playing Mousetrap was adorable.
Jensen's acting was perfect, as usual.
Jared's acting was perfect, as usual.
Alex really sells Jack wanting to still be a good guy and yet slipping up.
Jack shoved Lucifer back into the Empty without even breaking a sweat.
Donatello is still alive.
Apr. 6th, 2019 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm glad I wasn't alone!

I thought the repeated blows to the head were really well done. I'd prefer if they leaned more towards realism, and away from the more "cartoony" blows to the head that Sam's received before. And by cartoony, I mean "not demonstrating the actual repercussions of getting hit in the head"

Agree with all your good points! The boys acting goes without saying, but I have to say that Alex has really made me care about Jack to the point where I will have genuine emotions if he can't be saved.
Apr. 5th, 2019 09:07 am (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed it in the end. I loved the fight too - the whole thing was so nerve-wracking! It is difficult to fault Jack for the way he killed Nick, especially after Sam's "You can burn" and how he probably would have killed him any way he could too. But while watching it, I was also wondering why he couldn't just snap his fingers and turn him to dust LOL Anyway, I thought it was an awesome ep. If Mary dies, as it seems now, I think Jack might bolt. I hope they can get him back and he won't turn bad.
Apr. 6th, 2019 12:58 am (UTC)
I agree with you, that Jack may bolt if Mary can't come back from whatever has happened. Or, he might bolt anyway. I really hope he can be saved!
Apr. 5th, 2019 03:26 pm (UTC)
I struggled with this episode. A LOT. For so, so many reasons. But since this is a "Let's remember the good times" zone, I'm gonna say the boys are still pretty, even when they're dying. Maybe *especially* when they're dying.

That's it. That's what I've got.
Apr. 6th, 2019 01:00 am (UTC)
I'm glad I wasn't the only one struggling! I really did want to just turn it off at one point, but traditions must...

The boys were DEFINITELY still pretty... and maybe, especially, when they are dying. What's that saying... live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse?

Good job on the comment!!! :)
Apr. 6th, 2019 01:38 am (UTC)
What's that saying... live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse?

FROM YOUR FINGERS TO DABB'S ... UM ... subconscious? (Knowing now what we know, I want this for our boys. The characters, that is, heh!)
Apr. 5th, 2019 07:59 pm (UTC)
I also had issues with this episode, and I would bet yours and mine issues will be the same. Everything was very well done, the acting as always, superb.

When it came to Nick though, I was beginning to wonder how long are we going to beat this dead horse. I loved it that Sam had a very negative reaction to seeing Nick again. Rightly so, especially after everything he has done. Dean and Sam should know not to trust him, and they didn't, to an extent, then they just got, well, stupid. I was also yelling "kill him" at the TV when Sam had the gun to Nick's head. I just wanted to be done and done with this storyline. Then they got into the fight and Nick conveniently found a big rock right next to him and beat the living daylights out of our Sammy. Me not likey that.

I enjoyed how they intercut between the two fights. Dean with the demons and Sam with Nick. Just once though, I would like to see Sam come out on top in a fight. It seems they always have him being knocked out or being rescued. Sammy is a big muscular guy, he should be winning these fights right alongside Dean. Jensen does play worried Dean oh so well, though. He's never over the top in his emotions, and I always enjoy watching Dean hover over Sammy like a worried parent.

Now there is Jack. Jack is trying hard to keep things in check, bless his heart. It was good that he can teleport in and out and I was very very very happy when he shows up just when Lucifer is about to take possession of Nick and throws him back into the empty. That was really cool. I was one of the ones yelling at the TV telling Jack to kill Nick. Let's just be done with him, kill him and lets get rid of him already, PULEEZE!!!!!!! The Nick/Lucifer storyline has really run its course and needs to be completely dead. So, I was very happy when Jack killed Nick, and I was satisfied with the way in which he killed him. Being as how brutal Nick was with the innocent people he killed, I thought the torturous ending he received at Jack's hands was just dessert. YAY!!!! He's dead. Let's just hope that he is now truly dead and they don't find yet another way to resurrect him or resurrect this old and tired storyline.

Mary. Dear sweet Mary. Do you not have a brain in your head? You just witnessed what I thought was a cool death for a mean and vile human being, but you were appalled by it, which is your right. BUT, and this is a big BUT, you also witnessed how out of control Jack is and yet you continue talking about how that was not right and more or less lecturing him as to how he should not have done that and how wrong he is. You see him and hear him continue getting more and more out of control, you are stepping away from him out of fear and yet you continue to tell him he is wrong. This is where the brainless Mary comes into play. The second you see that Jack is getting a little out of control you should have stopped talking and started placating him, calming him down and bringing him back to a happy Jack. You should have had him take you back home to the bunker and then get away from him, for your safety. But no, you continue egging him on and you are met with unknown, as of right now, consequences. Mary, Mary, sweet sweet Mary. Why??? You should have stopped talking. I hope you're not dead, but right now, it doesn't look good. As a side note, I seem to think we have seen some tweets or pictures of Mary onset after this episode was filmed, so given that, I am hoping she is not dead. I do think; however, before the show ends, she probably will end up getting killed, especially if they end the series with Dean and Sam going out in a blaze of glory. Who knows. We'll soon find out. Overall, I was very pleased that we are finally done with the Lucifer/Nick storyline, at least we better be Show. Please, in this case, let the dead stay dead. I was also very pleased with how Jack killed Nick. It looked cool, and it was very fitting, IMHO. Mary though, you need to get a little smarter when dealing with a Nephilim that is out of control. :)

Edited at 2019-04-05 08:08 pm (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2019 01:10 am (UTC)
I'm glad I wasn't the only one just wanting Nick to die already. :P

The fight was very well done. And I agree that it'd be nice if Sammy came out on top sometimes - he's just as well trained as Dean is.

Jensen is so good at not going over-the-top with his emotions, and just making them these painfully real heartbreaking moments.

Mary really was the one that screwed up there, I agree. Jack was so OBVIOUSLY compromised in his control, and Mary, more than anyone, should know how powerful Jack is - to not have that in control should be a sign to BACK AWAY. Heck, I back away from small children when they're having obvious distress-episodes (not like "hold me" distress, but more like "the world is too much and I might explode" distress).

I too am SUPER GLAD that it looks like they've gotten rid of the Lucifer/Nick storyline once and for all! And second your "let the dead stay dead" to the Show.

But yes, Mary needs to take a class on how to deal with people having panic attacks, or in obvious mental distress. Hint: Yelling at them does not help. :P

Apr. 6th, 2019 01:49 am (UTC)
On my TV, at the end, it sounded like someone whispered "Mary?" was that my imagination? Or, since I was yelling "just wait a minute!' to my dog who was barking to go out, did I just misinterpret a bark as that "Mary"? At any rate, I was left thinking 'is she in the empty?' 'who was that talking?' "who is in there with her?' I'm hoping that Jack zapped her somewhere, and she's going to find her way back, with the aid of whoever is with her. But every time she gave one of the "I love you because..." speeches, I was also thinking 'oh crap, she's gonna die'. So I hope I did hear a "Mary". Hey, maybe it was Chuck!

When they sent Jack in to talk to Lucifer, I was shouting at the TV, 'put mike or a phone on him, and listen to what Nick is saying!' You can send him in by himself, but he doesn't actually have to be ALONE. But I guess that would have meant that the rest of the story couldn't have happened, so they're not going to listen to me.

Mary would have been smarter than to have kept going after Jack when he was obviously pushing her away...or at the very least, she still would have been pushing the "sweetheart, we love you" kind of talk. They all know he's on the edge...why would she be so silly?

I found this episode frustrating. It felt like they were dumbing everyone down so they could write them ooc. However--good stuff. Dean fights well! Cas also fights well! Aneal is looking beautiful, and I like the idea that she's interfering when she likes. I love that the amulet is back, even if it's not the same one. And I hope Chuck is listening.
Apr. 6th, 2019 01:58 am (UTC)
Agreed agreed.

You did hear a "Mary?" but it was Jack's voice, having seen WHATEVER he did to Mary - which we don't know, because the screen was black.

I'm also glad to see another version of the Amulet. I'll be interested to see if there's something to the change of design - or if it's at all important that there are now two of them. We still HAVE the other one, but it's power was only to glow in the presence of God, not call him - so probably this one looks different because it does something different.

In anycase, I'm interested to see where it goes!
Apr. 6th, 2019 12:29 pm (UTC)
So I’ve recently rewatched the series from the beginning and while I’ve loved both brothers, I’ve always had a slight Dean lean in how I watch it. But this time around I grew a much deeper appreciation of Sam, all he’s been through, how he’s reacted to things, and how Jared plays it all as well. I found your LJ after essentially googling to find out how people have discussed over the years to how Sam reacts to Lucifer and I’ve been mainlining your quick reactions and rewatches since then. I admit I wish the show would have been willing to go a bit darker in fully exploring what Lucifer did to him and how he’s dealt with that and Jared has been amazing in the way he’s responded to it even if it’s not explicitly in the writing. There are so many con vids that I haven’t gone through but I wonder if anyone has asked him about that.

In any case you’re one of the ones I’ve seen discussing all of the allusions to male rape which is something so rarely explored in mass media without it being played as a joke. I agree that Lucifer/Nick has run his course but even so I have enjoyed the material it’s given Jared to work with (minus the way the writers played it in s11 with Cas-Lucifer). I think Jared’s done a great job of reacting in a serious way to Lucifer’s rape/assault taunts and I’m curious as to your thoughts about this last episode in regards to that. Mainly that Nick not only referred to Jack as his son but also seemed fixated on Sam too. Sure he scoffed at Sam in regards to him being Lucifer’s perfect vessel which sounded like jealousy. But it seemed Nick had also absorbed some of Lucifer’s emotional reactions/connections too. The way he talked to Sam in the car while Dean left them alone but esp the way he was banging on the door, calling Sam “baby” and yelling at him to come out while Sam locked himself away in the car just really made me think of Lucifer’s more rapey vibe than anything else. And to me it felt like Sam was having trouble reacting to Nick as Nick and instead almost retreating to that fear he has of Lucifer. I know a fair amount of how he hid from Nick was due to his head injury but if I remember correctly Sam called out in a fairly panicked way for Dean towards the beginning of the fight (I might have the order of events wrong though) and he was already looking at Nick in a way that was more afraid than someone like Sam would normally be against another human. It was just interesting to me the way Jared played it all the way up to him hiding away in the car honking for Deans attention with Nick banging on the window.

Anyway I apologize for the long ramble. I’ve been enjoying your thoughts on the show and I was just curious as to your thoughts on Sam’s reactions to Nick esp towards the end there and Nick’s potential personality bleed from Lucifer. Obviously Nick wasn’t in the cage with Sam when Lucifer would’ve been torturing (and whatever else) Sam but I imagine Lucifer had plenty of thoughts and comments about Sam and what he did to him while he was possessing Nick these later seasons.
Apr. 6th, 2019 06:17 pm (UTC)
Hi! Welcome! I'm so glad that you found my LJ and have been enjoying the quick reactions and rewatches I've done over the years!

I also started the series with a Dean lean, and then have come to really appreciate Sam (as I'm sure you've noticed.)

Good catch on Sam's more panicked reaction in this fight! Now that you mention it, it goes a long way to explain why he lost the fight. Jared DID play Sam very panicked, and also uneasy even before the fight began - and whenever you panick, your training/expertise in things can go out the window a little bit. So, Sam definitely wouldn't be at top fighting-form if he was having a trauma-response to having Nick as his opponent.

Nick may not have been in the cage with Sam, but judging by the fact that when Sam hallucinated Lucifer in S7, he hallucinated him as looking like Nick, I've always interpreted that as Lucifer appearing to Sam in Nick's form in the cage whenever he was under torture (whatever that torture may have been). Which really goes to show just how amazing Sam was at the beginning of this season, when he was the one who tried to rehabilitate Nick and give him a chance at life.

It also certainly didn't help, as you point out, that Nick seemed to have access to knowledge that Lucifer had. Remembered things that Lucifer knew or did - even possibly things Lucifer knew or did when he wasn't in Nick's body, as you say... Nick calling Jack his son would have blurred that line further, calling Sam baby, even his loud singing of "Sammy boy" was very reminiscent of the type of stuff Hallucination!Lucifer did in S7, which means it was reminiscent of the way Lucifer spoke to Sam in the cage.

So, yes, long story short, I agree with you - I think Sam was panicking. I think he was fighting Nick out of a place of trauma, rather than as a rational highly-trained fighter... and I think, unfortunately, that made it easier for Nick to gain the upper hand. And definitely, once you're terrified AND have received a blow to the head, you aren't going to be at your best. I don't know if you've ever had a concussion, but the one time I did, I remember just being USELESS and completely spacey, and I know really bad concussions it can actually heighten emotional response to the point where people just start weeping - so if Sam wasn't completely panicked before, he may well have been uncontrollably so after the Nick got him with the rock to the head.

Apr. 7th, 2019 08:19 pm (UTC)
This is a great character-based interpretation of a plot-necessary choice that seemed a little contrived to me. I like it!
Apr. 7th, 2019 08:56 pm (UTC)
I never hate the Lucifer/Nick episodes as much as you do (who could? haha), but a lot of these events did feel painfully contrived. How do we not have a camera feed in the interrogation room? Seems like something the Men of Letters would have installed...well, maybe not, if they were wiped out in the 50s, but it seems like something Sam would have updated, at least.

I am constantly irritated by Nick's ability to get out of handcuffs. This is not a skill that regular people have. This is not a skill that he would have picked up from Lucifer, because Lucifer doesn't need to pick locks. It's a small thing, but it annoys me every time.

I used to be really uncomfortable when the Winchesters tortured people, or even demons, to get information - but now I feel like they've kind of lost their edge? Inexplicably? And solely for plot-related reasons. I definitely wrote "Why are we not punching Nick in the face sooner?" I'm with you on their weird ineptitude with hostage situations.

Can Death return souls? Or was he just able to do that for Sam because he was retrieving Sam's soul, not re-creating it? It would have been interesting to see Cas and Anael have a conversation with Billie about this. (I'm not a huge fan of Anael as a character, but Danneel's red hair is so beautiful. I love redhaired characters, and SPN is great about putting them on the screen. ^.^)

I think this has already been mentioned above, but I found Jensen's fight choreography IMPRESSIVE. After all these years, he's still bringing it, and the way they filmed this fight was more down and dirty. I feel like the last couple of seasons they've opted for the quick cuts in fight scenes - probably as a way to spare the actors while still implying chaos and speed, but to me it's always noticeable and kind of lame. But this one felt a little more visceral, for some reason.

I agree with you on his choice to downplay his panic...and then after Sam gets healed, he has to actually step away and walk it off! That was so sweet and heartbreaking. He was so relieved that he couldn't even celebrate it, he had to turn his back and walk away for a minute to get it together. Great instincts. Also I liked the writer's choice to have him try to get Sam to count. They've been in perilous life-threatening "just stay with me, okay, stay with me" situations before, but I don't think we've ever seen one ask the other to do a simple task like counting before - it seemed realistic, and kept it fresh, and made a mundane action into a very emotional moment. Nice choice.

I also love the idea from the commenter above, that Sam couldn't beat Nick because of the re-emergence of his trauma. I can totally see it in Jared's portrayal. When he was pounding on the horn in the car, for a minute I thought we were going to kill Nick by running him over with the impala! But I can definitely accept that Sam was fighting both PTSD and a head injury.

I liked Dean's little talk with Mom. I love any time that the Show acknowledges that she's the worst. ;) He really lets her off the hook with a graciousness that I don't think he shows anyone else, including Sam (and Dad!). But maybe they dealt with all of that at the end of S12, and that was enough for him.

Also consistently enjoy Alex Calvert's performance. I'm anxious for what they're setting up for the future, but I hope we get to keep him around.
Apr. 7th, 2019 09:46 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it's hard for me to tell if something is poorly written, or if I just hate it. Hahahaha... I'm glad that other people thought that some events were contrived. I think the frustrating thing for me is that it'd be really easy to make them LESS contrived with just a few alternate writing choices. #1: stop making the Winchesters look like idiots.

And yes, the handcuffs thing also irritated me. The WINCHESTERS can get out of cuffs that fast, because they've been trained since they were 9 to do so. What was Nick's job before he got possessed? Escape artist?

Death can't restore souls, only retrieve them if they get separated from the body. Death can't "repair" souls - hence the need for "the wall" in S6 after he restored Sam's soul.

I actually like Anael now that she's not hanging out with Lucifer. I think she's a really cool character... but then, she IS becoming more and more like Anna (the angel), and I also really liked Anna as a concept... so, our opinions vary there, because I know you found Anna to be really annoyingly written.

I think the edits are down to a director really knowing what they're doing, or perhaps the editing team catching up with the times. I know they switched fight coordinators a couple of seasons ago, and since then the fights have really just ramped up in awesomeness - I've been loving them even with the over-editing. (And it could be that some actors aren't as adept at fighting as Jensen is and need to be edited more despite the awesome choreography.) I know this time it was Jensen vs. Non-speaking-part-Stuntmen and that probably made all the difference. It's a bunch of professionals and Jensen, who is, of course, awesome at everything. :P

Yeah, the counting thing was so realistic! I mean, I've never been in a life or death situation like that - but I have been in situations where I can't catch my breath (which seemed to also be something Sam was having trouble with) and everyone around me always resorts to counting (including myself), to try to get me to focus (this is less of a problem as an adult, and was more a problem when I was a kid and could really work myself into a fit.) So, I guess that's another thing I love about it - to me, counting is what people do when they're basically saying "Okay, we realize everyone is panicking here, but we're just going to go ahead and pretend that no one is panicking until it comes true." Which ties into the Jensen really underplaying Dean's panic and therefore making it more effective.

And yes, I'm loving the idea from the comment above. I'm totally headcanoning that now.

I love how the boys mature in this show. I think Dean also lets dad off the hook now too... I think Mary benefits from Dean's 40+ maturity. Dean's gone from "dad was perfect" to "holy crap, dad really screwed up! How dare he!" to "I've come to realize that everyone is very complicated and trying their best, and sometimes we mess up. I know Dad loved me a lot, and I forgive him for the times he failed us." And Mary just sort of swoops in and because Dean's already gone through this whole process with the memory of Dad, he can experience Mom's shitty parenting and be like "Okay, well, I forgive you too." without Mary having to put in the ~10-15 years of work that John's memory put in to achieve the same results.

Dean's also the type of person to just want to enjoy the time he has with his loved ones while they're alive, and not get into the emotional stuff unless he absolutely has to.

I'm also hoping that we get to keep Jack around, and I'm really glad they cast Alex in the part, because he's done such a good job of making me really care about that character. And MAYBE another actor could have done just as good a job, but it's starting to get to the point where, like Jared and Jensen, it's hard for me to picture anyone else playing Jack with that much success.
Apr. 8th, 2019 02:13 am (UTC)
Much of Mary's conversations with the boys felt so much like Bobby's JUST BEFORE HE DIED! so yes felt that was pretty openly telegraphed. I don't think you are alone in wanting Nick to die a painful slow death - I think most of fandom did! Which somewhat lessens its "horror" as an act by Jack, at least as seen by Mary. I think they either needed to make it more drawn out and tortury, or maybe have Nick beg for his life or something. Or possibly in preceding episodes made Nick more sympathetic? idk. I just see a lot of fans shrugging their shoulders at what Jack did. Plus i am not sure how Jack could ever be redeemed in Sam and Dean's eyes if he (permanently) killed Mary.
Apr. 8th, 2019 03:50 am (UTC)
Really? I wonder what it says about me that if my kid accidentally killed my mother, I'd forgive them if they were sorry. Though, maybe without a soul, Jack can't be sorry... in which case, I can definitely see your point.

In that case then, I hope Mary is only injured, or Jack can quick bring her back to life, because he's a given measure of "sorry"... but those goodbye speeches sounded pretty GOODBYE SPEECHY to me. Which makes me think Mary has kicked it... but I like Jack, and definitely don't want Sam and Dean to turn on him, especially now, when he needs to be kept on the right path.

I mean, Dean's had to rationalize away Sam's soulless behaviour before as "not really him" so I'm sure that would extend to Jack, especially since it was an accident.

Anyway, we'll see what happens!

But anyway, I'm glad to know fandom was with me! I've hated Lucifer/Nick for so long, that I have no way to tell if my reactions are "normal" or if I'm having a unique experience based on my personal level of hatred. :P

I agree, if they wanted to make it truly horrifying, they should have had Nick begging more, or Jack taking pleasure in his pain more, or they should have had Nick be more confused rather than determinedly evil.
Apr. 12th, 2019 07:33 am (UTC)
Late to the party, but I wanted to read this review before I got to your review for tonight's ep.

because I too like pineapple on pizza Yes!!!! I knew we were friends for a reason. *g*

OMG So with you on needed Nick to be dead already! And Sam nearly killed him during the fight! But he pulled back and that's when Nick grabbed the rock and hit him with it. Gah! Like I said in my review, it was Sam's fight with Jake in Season 2 all over again.

But then Jack killed Nick and I was cheering him on! I really don't get why Mary was horrified over the way he killed Nick. IMO it was totally justified. Look how many lives Nick took just to get revenge for his family. He had that death coming in my book.
Apr. 14th, 2019 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yup, we are definitely friends for a reason, because I agree with everything here!! :)
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