Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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Quick Reaction: 15x11 The Gamblers

 Hello! Watching east coast and typing as I go, so hopefully this will be up early!

Let's go!

Let's see where they take the premise I didn't like...

Are they going to have to gamble while they have shitty luck? Wherever the plot takes us, we begin with gamblers... and some sort of magical element to it... so, the guy plays the game and loses, and then gets a coin that he flips, before getting hit by a truck... interesting.

Castiel comes back to an empty Bunker. Sam has left a note that says "Cass, gone to Alaska. Sam" - So informative. Do these people not have phones? Also, why would Sam and Dean drive BACK to Kansas from Wisconsin and then to Alaska. Also, how did they cross the border with shitty luck AND a truck full of weapons...twice.

Sam's texting Eileen about everything, she's skeptical. Dean needs their skills back though. He doesn't think they're capable of fighting god without them. I still think the show messed up by not differentiating skills from good fortune - it's fortunate that Sam and Dean have always had good health, quick recovery, etc... but that's different than learning how to fight, etc. Conflating the two makes for plot-holes, as I'll get into later.

Cas answers the phone in Dean's room (I think?) from a Sheriff asking for Agent Watts - Cas quickly vamps that he's Agent Lizzo, and I absolutely love Castiel's continued use of contemporary female singers as cover names. The call is about Jack. He's a suspect in a murder. 

Last spring - that's a timeline note. I do not have ANY DATES for this season so far and its driving me a little crazy. Last spring doesn't tell me anything either.

Sam and Dean arrive in Alaska and find a diner with the last of their change. They ask about the road nearby, and are told about the magic pool hall, but the waitress also warns them that the last person who went up there, Leonard from the teaser,  is dead.

Dean thinks he still has pool skills and wants to try, though Sam is doubtful.... and this is where the plothole happens, because why would they lose their fighting skills (a learned skill) and not their pool skills (also a learned skill)... this is why they shouldn't have conflated skills with luck.

Back in the continuous US, Jack is killing people and eating their hearts? Je suis confused. So is Cas when he views the footage.

At the pool hall, Sam and Dean learn that people don't bet with money, they play with their luck. After the coin test, Dean is told that he has average luck - there goes my hope that they'd fix the premise. They could have done it REALLY simply here by saying they had surprisingly shitty luck, rather than "average" which just feeds the "Sam and Dean are superhuman by default" narrative, which I don't like. I'm being somewhat hypocritical though, because I've always favoured the Sam and Dean become demi-gods plot, and yet somehow I hate it when it's suggested that they've basically been demi-gods from the beginning. I guess it's just a "you have to earn it" thing, but the show is going more for a "you have to DESERVE it" standpoint, and I suppose that's valid too. It's not about hardwork, but about character - and that's a valid viewpoint to have. I mean, I wouldn't want someone with really shitty character to become a demi-god just because they put in the same work, while also being shitty.

Dean decides that he's the one that will play the games, because he's better than Sam at it. He claims that he's been winning at pool since "before you were born" - which is a phrase Sam immediately calls him on by saying  "When you were 4? [...] Between nap time and snack?"  HAHAHA - possibly the best line of the episode. But, Dean sticks by his claim. He's proud of Sam for being better than him at a lot of things, but apparently Dean's the better pool player... this is where I start thinking this episode is going to be "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester" all over again and Sam's going to have to swoop in and save him.

Jack's going after angels from that particular order of angels with the swords... I forget the details about them except for the fact that they killed Claire's mom and Claire ended up with one of their swords. 

This episode is really hard for me to watch. It feels like all secondhand embarrassment and impending doom. (This was true for the first half, once Sam took the reigns at the pool hall, it turned around for me and I enjoyed it.)

I like Sam's strategy better... also because Dean has to take the luck from someone else, and they're all trying to better their luck for good reasons. I'm not sure Dean's thought out the moral implications of this. If your success is based on the suffering of others - I'm not sure that's a good way to live.

"They should have walked away"  - is there some sort of sticking charm here? (That's legit what my notes say). Basically, the barkeep warns Sam in a vague manner that people might not be able to leave once they start playing. 

Jack's on the hunt for more hearts. I forgot what that order is called. The ONE time they don't give me exposition, hahaha. I always complain about them giving needless exposition and now I'm like "um, could you remind me who these angels are please? It's been 5 years or something like that."

Sam brings his concerns to Dean. But Dean wants to play one more game .. and he's definitely picking the wrong guy to play against. So, this will definitely be a Sam has to save Dean episode because Dean got too cocky - is what I'm thinking at this point. But then, Dean actually makes the shot... ah, so it's the guilt of killing the Pete guy that's going to be the problem. He's been playing to prolong his life from lung cancer. So, maybe it's not the Poker episode - maybe it's the Faith episode?

Ah, Dean actually isn't wracked with guilt - it's Sam who wants to solve the case. Dean is going to test it by using baby, who he knows operates as a health meter, just like fandom does. So, I was wrong about both possible episode similarities after all.

Cas is looking for Jack....

The Impala won't start. Meanwhile, Sam is figuring it out... it's a casino scam... Fortuna the goddess of luck owns the place and is skimming luck off the top of every game. So people can't actually get lucky, they only win enough to incentivize them to stay in the casino. Pax is her son. (Is his name Pax?) Anyway, he's the dude that issues the coins.

Jack is caught by the angel that he's starlking. The guy wants to know why Jack is killing his kind, and threatens him with torture. He's the Gregori order... right... it's slowly coming back to me.. 

Sam and Dean threaten Pax in order to get Fortuna to reveal herself. It's the first woman that Dean played. Dean wants to play again. She calls him a "beach read" He thinks he's Tolstoy.. She wants to play Sam, who doesn't want to play for luck but for the lives. She won't let that happen though, so he concedes to play a game of luck.

Jack is being tortured for information. He tells us why he targeted those angels -  they feed off human souls, and apparently the first one was pretending to be a doctor - feeding on the souls of humans he was supposed to heal. This one eats children's souls. When the angel asks Jack how he knows, Jack tells him that Death told him. 

Cas to save the day. And then reunion HUGS!

Sam is playing well. Fortuna fills us in on the lore. Humans created the gods.... it's American Gods style, which is in line with what they've done before on the show. Only it's a mix - God created them in response to the human's beliefs, so that he could use them as scapegoats and stories. Then he eventually grew tired of them, or they hurt his ego too much and they were left to their own devices.

Dean outlines the plans for them to take God on. She ends up losing, and accuses them of getting her talking on purpose in order to distract her. She offers them a double or nothing offer.  Sam takes the deal, but only for the lives of the people... she has to give back the luck she stole and close the shop. She doesn't understand why it's so important to him, because those people don't matter - but Sam tells her that they matter to him. Dean pipes up and says "they matter to us" - and I"m like "uh, Dean, you were ready to bail after you won against Pete. Mind you, that was when he thought that he could leave and that it was a straight exchange rather than a scam. So, I'll cut him some slack, now that he knows what's going on, he's changed his mind about leaving the people there to suffer.

And they lose. 

As they walk out of the pool hall, they make plans to circle back and try again o save the pool hall people from Fortuna - as long as they don't die first. 

But then they're surprised when Fortuna shurts the place down anyway and releases everyone. According the the barkeep, Fortuna did it because she was impressed with their character. She had thought "Your kind had gone extinct' and that they were "Heroes- like the old days." She also offered them words of advice -  "Don't play his game, let him play yours." So their character wins the game, not their skills (again).

Back to the bunker after no doubt a very long drive, and their luck has returned to normal. Sam is back to eating cheese burgers and the Impala is running well. 

And the luckiest thing of all....



Jack outlines why he had to eat angel hearts - he had to. Dean is like "you could have called us." But Jack says that he couldn't come home. If he uses his powers God will sense him and try to kill him. Billy kept him safe until God went off world (which he did once Sam's wound was healed). Jack needs to follow Billy's plan, and he'll be strong enough to kill God. NOICE! Jack as the next God 2020!

All in all a good episode, I liked the second half better than the first - and I'm eager to se where they go from here. I'm thankful that the premise I hated s now done too. :)


Let me know what you thought in comments!

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/585860.html.
Tags: quick reaction, season 15

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