In My Time of Dying - I think it's my favorite SPN episode title ever. I am unsure why, it just sounds so beautiful and heartbreaking.
In My Time of Dying
Depending on how soon Sam was discharged from the hospital, this episode takes place over 4 days. The second to last day of the episode is August 4th, 2006. We see this by looking at Dean's heart monitor when they restabilize him. There is a conflict in the monitors on this show, as John's monitor says that it is July 19th 2006, when they declare him to be dead (at 10:41am); however, if you listen to the DVD commentary, you find out that this episode was filmed the week of July 19th - which means that John's monitor probably reflects the day of filming, rather than Dean's monitor that reflects an unrelated day. (As episodes are usually put together during an 8 day period, it's unlikely that they were still filming this episode on August 4th). So, I'm taking August 4th as the date for the timeline. And since I have this date, and this episode and the last three episodes of S1 take place on consecutive days, if I take August 4th as a set in stone date, I can date the last three episodes of S1 as well. Yay!
Anyway...let's talk about the actual episode!
I like how Sam is the protector in the first shot. It's not his usual role in the family, and yet it's not incongruous to his character, it just adds more of the "don't mess with the Winchesters" act to his character. I mean, Sam grew up just the same as Dean, all that stuff is there below the surface.
When Sam asks the paramedics "Are they even alive?" that rips my heart out.
Dean calls for Sam first when he 'wakes up.'
Dean: "Go find some hoodoo priest to lay some mojo on me!"
Sam (later, talking to his Dad): "I'll find some hoodoo priest to lay some mojo on him" *small forehead wrinkle*
I love the scene with Ghost!Dean calling out his Dad's lie to Sam about not knowing anything about what YED wants. That shot of him just leaning in the corner, the *dun* of the background music. It's classic.
Dean: "I've done everything you've ever asked me. Everything. I've given everything I've ever had. And you're just going to sit there and watch me die?! What the hell kind of a father are you?!"
I think it's the only time we see Dean refer to John as a bad father, or even have the thought cross his mind that he might be. I love that speech. Dean should have known that he didn't need to be that devoted to receive John's love, but then, that's Dean for you.
Dean: "Dude, I full on swayzed that mother-" Ah Dean and his movie references...but seriously, that's a pretty cheesy movie for Dean to be watching!
When Dean says "I said get back!" at the reaper over his body, they make it like Sam can hear him. It's what twigs Sam to Dean's presence...but man, what a confusing thing to hear.
I love the 360 shot with Sam and Dean in the hallway, where Dean is there and then he isn't...they do a similar thing with the Ouiji board, it's very cool.
Dean doesn't believe in fate and that you always have a choice. I'm the same way. I just recognize that sometimes our options really really suck.
Dean's affectionate look to Sam when he says "Thanks for not giving up on me, Sammy" is so lovely. Of course Sam wouldn't give up on you Dean...silly boy.
Sam: "We were just starting to be brothers again" - lovely
Dean: "My brother, he could die without me" - it's what it all comes down to for Dean. His family will die without him, he fully believes that...and he is most likely right. For someone with such low self-worth, he certainly realizes the importance of his presence on the planet.
Doctor: "...the internal contusions are healed. You've got to have some kinda angel watching over you..."
I love, LOVE, the fact that the first thing out of John's mouth is "How you feeling, dude?" - DUDE! Such an SPN staple.
John's speech breaks my heart, of course. I know I have my problems with the man, but he IS a good guy - he did his best, and he recognizes and admits to (most) of his mistakes. I like how he basically admits to the fact that after Mary died, when John started hunting, Dean basically became the Father/Mother of the family, who had to look after Sam AND John...Dean is really the rock that held the family together for as long as it was together and is the rock that eventually brought the family BACK together.
I love the phrasing of John's order to "Watch out for Sammy"...
Some things about Dean's reactions: He has to ask his Dad if it's really him, when his Dad tells him that he's proud of him. His follow up question is "Why are you saying these things, you're scaring me", because obviously there is something wrong if his father is telling him he's proud of him...and that breaks my heart. I love the way he responds to "watch out for Sammy" with that you-don't-need-to-tell-me answer of "yeah, Dad, you know I will"...and I love fear on his face when John whispers in his ear, that's more a compliment to Jensen's performance, but you immediately know that John just made Dean desperately terrified and confused.
I've often given John a hard time for telling Sam to get him a cup of coffee instead of telling him ANYTHING else...but the truth is, I don't think John really knew what to say to Sam... I think Sam's always alluded him, that he was too busy when Sam was a kid to get a feel for his personality then, and there's the whole Sam going to school thing...and "the truth about Sam" that he's learned since probably estranges him even further, I mean, he still loves him, but I don't think I'd know what to say to Sam either if I were him. I think Sam and John are sort of familiar strangers, they should know each other well, but for some reason they don't. Still, JDM does a great job with the facial expressions, and although Sam doesn't know that he's never going to see his father again, you can see John trying to quell the quivering lip...you know that if he could find the words, he would have had a proper goodbye with Sam, but I think one of Sam and John's biggest problems is that John has never been very good at finding the words.
John dies at 10:41 AM.
And of course Dean doesn't remember anything about being a ghost for two days.
Since raloria pointed it out in on of her posts, I can't help but notice how dirty the bottom of Dean's feet are in various scenes in this episode. Jensen really was walking around barefoot all day, because he has the dirtiest feet I have ever seen.
For some reason Jensen also seems shorter in this episode. Maybe it is because he is barefoot and Jared is probably wearing boots, but geez...Jared really does make Jensen look tiny.
There are two deleted scenes. The first, Dean sees a hot chick start to take off her clothes, and debates the ethics of spying, then some bloody guy grabs him, asks for help, and then disappears...the second scene is another take on the bloody guy. The bloody guy is really random, so I can see why they didn't leave it in.
The commentary is done by Jensen, Jared, Kim Manners, and a producer guy. The producer guy doesn't say much, it's mostly the other three.
They talk about the technical aspects a lot, which is interesting because you get a feel for how much setup is involved for things that look simple - like taking 4 hours to film a 4 second scene of Jensen walking down a hallway.
There is less joking around by Jared and Jensen than in S1 commentary, I think because Kim and the producer guy are there. In the beginning of the episode, they seem to mostly watch, but as it goes they remember to talk more.
Jared and Jensen joke about the magic TV healing...that Dean's forehead healed thanks to the Network Healing Cream, that Jared applied every night before kissing him on the forehead and saying goodnight. Then Kim tells them they're going "a bit too deep."
Kim jokes about JDM making a fortune dying on TV.
Jensen, referring to his acting in a scene: "Did you see that skepticism in my eye there?..."
Jared: "Yeah, didn't know if it was the scar itching or..."
During the Ouiji board scene:
Jensen: "took you four takes to spell Reaper"
Jared: "Well I didn't know there weren't three Es"
The scenes with John and the YED were filmed on July 19th, which is also Jared's birthday.
They point out what scenes made them all cry. That Kim cried during Sam's speech to Dean, that the crew cried, that both Jensen and Kim cried at John's goodbye to Dean.
Jared talks about how he originally wanted Sam's final look at his father to be this "Hallmark moment" thing, but that Kim pointed out that Sam didn't know it was the last time he'd ever see him...and Jared agrees that it's actually more heartbreaking (and I agree too) that Sam doesn't have a last moment with his father, that he doesn't get that goodbye.</lj>