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7.18 reaction and review 
31st-Mar-2012 09:04 pm
Becc_j Art


I actually muttered "You've got to be kidding" after the opening recap. Garth was back? I sighed and thought I wouldn't enjoy this ep that much (especially as it took a full 7 minutes before the boys made an appearance).

But. I was pleasantly surprised. By the end I was muttering Sam's words..."...he has grown on me."

This was an easy watching episode. One that had some good (traditional) gore, a solid MoTW story, a few chuckle worthy moments and some good (albeit brief!) brother moments. The angst was put on hold for a bit and I felt it was nice to breathe after the previous episode.

I was pleased there was reference made to where things were left after the last episode, though it would have been nice to get a little more.

My only real quibble is the comment that Cas is "drooling". I know that's probably not meant literally, but really? Castiel, an angel of the Lord, is seemingly suffering as much, if not more, than Sam did? Considering Cas doesn't need to sleep it makes little sense to me at the moment. I mean, it COULD, if they gave us a little more info about how it might be different for Cas. For example, if Cas has taken some of Sam's broken soul (I have seen that suggested) then maybe an angel carrying a damaged soul WOULD leave an angel drooling. I could buy that. I have no issue that Cas is suffering from the crazy but I feel that it needs to be different to the way it effected Sam. I'll just have to be patient and wait until we get further info on this.

Some points:

1. It felt like the boys kept starting conversations and never completing them. Frustrating, but quite clever. The boys communicate in shorthand and in some ways it's left up to us to read between the lines. The first conversation in the car left me DESPERATE for more. We DID get Dean's concern for Sam and Sam's concern for Cas. We know Sam's not completely healed, but he's getting better (not sure how that works exactly, but I'll go with is...) Sam is feeling guilty and Dean trying to talk him out of that and then.... THEY WERE GOING TO SAY MORE...BUT THE PHONE RANG... Damn you phone!!

So the episode was dotted with these half conversations and questions and moments which ended up being a good way to keep me engaged. I kept wanting them to pick up where they left off. I liked the way the boys were connected - I think this was made more evident by having a third party around.

2. I ended up really enjoying Garth. He was a breath of fresh air and I actually enjoyed watching a character (and hunter) who was self sufficient. Everything about him screams ineffectual and yet he ended up being rather effectual. He isn't broody or melancholic. He doesn't doubt his actions. He has methods that work. He also calls it as he see it. Which I think is his most refreshing quality. More than anything I think Garth is there to give us a hunter UNLIKE Sam and Dean. By watching him we also see our boys. He's pretty much everything they aren't. Not saying he's better (at all!!) Just different.

3. I was genuinely creeped out when the Shojo appeared behind the mom. Reminded me of The Ring (my all time scariest movie). Long, black cascading hair has that effect on me. What a thing for a child to have to witness. O_o :(

4. Dean's drinking was revisited. I'm glad that hasn't been forgotten.

Though it seemed weird to me that after Sam's comment about it being like a vitamin to Dean, Dean ended up being quite drunk. Moreso than Sam. (though I'm thinking Dean drank A LOT more than Sam, so that might explain it). It might have been more telling if Dean drank a lot and didn't get drunk. In that Dean would have a higher threshold. I am not sure what their aim is with Dean's drinking. Sometimes it seems to be an issue and other times it's not mentioned at all. I'm wondering if it has been a vehicle to having Bobby's flask present rather than an issue of Dean being an alcoholic. (can't tell yet....another thing I will need to be patient about...)

5. Speaking of the flask. Hee... we at least have the answer to whether Bobby has been around! I'm not sure why I wasn't more surprised by his appearance at the end. It's been kept a fabulous secret (Jim's been quite devious on Twitter!) but when he appeared I was a little underwhelmed. Maybe because it was so obvious they were going there it just seemed right (or something) that he was there.

It was nice to see Bobby again and I rather love that he cares about the boys so much that he chose to hang around. It probably contradicts everything Bobby knows about being a ghost but I see this as no different to when Dean was about to make the choice in ep 2.01 (In My Time of Dying). He still had work to do so felt like he needed to stay. I imagine Bobby felt the same.

I'm rather excited by the conundrum that will face the boys once his presence is known to them. Do they hunt him? Do they welcome him? Will Bobby become malevolent? I rather hope they carry this through to the next season (*fingers crossed* for S8). There's so much to resolve in the next 5 eps I'm hoping that doesn't get lost in the mix.

6. Bobby is attached to Dean because Dean is attached to Bobby's flask. No wonder Sam couldn't contact him. I rather liked that reveal and I liked it EVEN MORE that they could talk about it all civilly rather than end in some yelling match. Though Dean is still suspicious of Sam I think. The trust is back...mostly. Sam keeps things from Dean to protect him but when Dean finds out that Sam did something that he doesn't know about (AND DON'T YOU LOVE THAT DEAN FEELS LIKE HE SHOULD KNOW EVERYTHING SAM DOES! OH BOYS.....co-dependent much?!) Dean is suspicious.

7. The motel room would have been more impressive if we hadn't already seen those walls in 7.14. (I spend way too much of the episode looking at the motel these days. I want to do a little post re that motel. Mostly to help me when I get to season 7 motels).

8. The car! As much as I miss the Impala (whaaaa)...I'm loving the variety of cars they are putting the boys in. In fact, Garth's car was pretty interesting also.

9. Sam was knocked out again. Sam's head is indeed made of tough stuff. (why does Sam look so pretty when he's knocked out...)

10. Drunk!Dean saying..."I missed these talks.." ha! Especially when they weren't exactly getting through an entire conversation. I'm thinking though that it might be nice for Dean to feel connected with Sam after 6 or so months of not being sure how crazy Sam was.

11. LOVE LOVE LOVED them working together at the end to kill the monster. Sam being Dean's eyes!! More than anything I love it when we get to see them like this (well, not counting hugs of course *g*).

Coming off that ep I couldn't helping thinking it much have been nice to the Js to have a bit of time off. They weren't in every scene (which I know can be a pity) but at least they got a bit of a break. Hopefully they are giving them a "break" before the next 5 eps. :)



Damn. I wrote far more than I expected to.

3 weeks until the next ep!! MEEEEEEEPPPPP! :(((
Comments 
31st-Mar-2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
I so enjoyed Garth in this episode, the writers - and the actor - pitched him just right. You started off thinking that he was going to be annoying and nerdy and ineffectual and downright irritating, and then he turned out to be quirky and smart and really, really brave. He grew on me, just like Dean said he would :)
31st-Mar-2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I was worried at first what they were going to do with him (go the way of Becky for example..) but he ended up being pretty cool in his...um...uncoolness. :D

And his puppet did make me laugh out loud I have to confess...
xx
31st-Mar-2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
Yup!
1st-Apr-2012 11:02 am (UTC)
:D
31st-Mar-2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
He grew on me too - mind you, I liked him first time around. The episode was truly a blast of fresh air after all the heavy ansgt of last week - though Sam getting rid of Lucifer is taking me a bit to get used to. Show seemed to blink and get through it awful quick, what with poor Cas left drooling..
1st-Apr-2012 11:05 am (UTC)
I didn't mind him the first time around either. Though I honestly didn't expect to see him again. I was worried at first, but I liked him rather a lot by the end. :)

Yeah... Sam getting rid of Lu should have been a big deal. After all, he's been dealing with him all season. And now he's not. (Though he didn't see 100% so many there's still stuff going on with him).

We'll see I suppose..
31st-Mar-2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
Your ramblings were so much more coherent than mine, but very similar, actually! I liked this episode for the reasons you stated...and even Garth.

The boys working together was my favorite part. Except for that ending....
1st-Apr-2012 11:06 am (UTC)
Ha! I never feel like they are when I post. <3

Oooh.... didn't like the ending? Which bit? Ghost!Bobby?
31st-Mar-2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
I loved the irony that Dean was the only sober one when they actually faced off against the monster :P As for his drunkness earlier, he was drinking much more than Sam. If you watch, you'll notice that Sam drinks more slowly so it made sense to me that Dean got quite drunk. That and for the first time in a long time, he was probably actually enjoying letting himself get drunk for pleasure instead of as an escape.

I didn't think Dean was suspicious of Sam trying to contact Bobby, just more surprised that Sam had gone that far. Plus, c'mon, Dean had to know that, like John, he wasn't exactly giving off any 'let's talk' vibes here. IF he been less focused on Dick and revenge, he would have known, I am sure. And I think that was part of Dean's look as well. I don't think that he realized just how focused he had been on everything else. It was something else about his little brother that he had missed :) That was my take anyways....

Edited at 2012-03-31 03:17 pm (UTC)
1st-Apr-2012 11:14 am (UTC)
Hee... yeah. Dean being the sober one at the end was a nice play on their situation. And I felt that Dean was drinking a lot more in that scene... and enjoying the chance to do so!

And good point re Dean. You know, I think I still have my head in S4 and 5 sometimes. I know they've moved on from there.

And yeah, Dean was in a pretty bad head space as well during that time, and even though sam was, quite literally, in a bad head space he saw the sense to look into the disappearing beer. Because he's awesome like that...

xx
31st-Mar-2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
Bobby is attached to Dean because Dean is attached to Bobby's flask. No wonder Sam couldn't contact him ...

LOVE LOVE LOVED them working together at the end to kill the monster. Sam being Dean's eyes!!


This and this. :) I love that - they have to work together to see the truth. There's no point in Sam doing seances without Dean; Dean can't fight the ghost without Sam's assistance. It fits so nicely with the symbolic work they've done on partnership all season. Just for a minute there, they had it right - they just have to be able to translate that into the way they live their lives.

It was nice to see Bobby again and I rather love that he cares about the boys so much that he chose to hang around. It probably contradicts everything Bobby knows about being a ghost but I see this as no different to when Dean was about to make the choice in ep 2.01 (In My Time of Dying). He still had work to do so felt like he needed to stay. I imagine Bobby felt the same.

I'm rather excited by the conundrum that will face the boys once his presence is known to them. Do they hunt him? Do they welcome him? Will Bobby become malevolent? I rather hope they carry this through to the next season (*fingers crossed* for S8). There's so much to resolve in the next 5 eps I'm hoping that doesn't get lost in the mix.


I'm really interested to see where they go with this. I tend to take what the reapers say with a grain of salt - simply because we've seen quite a few well-intentioned ghosts over the years. You'd expect the evidence to be highly skewed towards malevolent ghosts, simply because hunters are far less likely to notice ghosts who aren't hurting people - and yet the benevolent ones are a noticeable presence. Not that I think the reapers are lying, exactly - but they have a job to do, and they put the spin on the information that's most likely to make people go with them.

I just think it's a complicated situation, and there are a lot of different ways to be a ghost. To be honest, I don't really see how heaven would be less insanity inducing, given what we've seen of it; the cynical part of my brain suggests that nobody much cares what happens to the minds of the humans once they're safely contained as angelic power sources. I keep thinking of Jo - she knew all the tricks, both how to defeat a hunter and from the look of things how to stall a monster until Sam could put him down. Wherever she's been, she kept her wits sharp when she needed them. Ghosts seem to do best when they have a goal to work towards and a chance of achieving it - even the ones who stayed behind for the purposes of hunting down their murderers can be intelligent, methodical and uninterested in harming innocent bystanders. It's when they get stuck that they go mad.

Bobby's walking a fine line - on the one hand, he can't get what he wants: he can't make Sam and Dean see him. On the other hand, he's saved them more than once. He can still fight to keep them alive. At this point, he could go either way.

Er. Sorry. Apparently I had thoughts on the matter. :)
3rd-Apr-2012 09:53 am (UTC)
It fits so nicely with the symbolic work they've done on partnership all season.

Oh yes. They've been slowly building up their trust again and we keep seeing solid examples of this. It's so nice to see them heading in this direction rather than pulling further apart.

The situation with Bobby is very interesting. I rather love that the show has got this ahead of them to explore. My understanding was that a ghost had to be around for a long time (and be stuck) before they became malevolent. Jo had only been gone a couple of years so maybe she still had all her wits (though...I can't remember where she came from. I'm not sure she was "stuck" on earth). It seems that Bobby has decided to stay so may not change. His challenge is to be seen.

Oh man.. I just can't figure out what they plan to do with this. Something interesting I hope (and not too heart breaking. I feel that Dean may want to hold on to Bobby and Sam may not. It may end up in them disagreeing rather strongly about that. But who knows...

And NEVER apologise for sharing your always awesome thoughts. I love your take on things.

<33

31st-Mar-2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
I had the exact same issue with Garth - after the huge ep last week the last thing I wanted to see was his bumbling presence. But as everyone said... yeah he grows on folks. :) He was an actual help in portions of this ep, which went in part to salvaging the character in my eyes.

My hands flew to my mouth when I saw Bobby. I kid you not. I have no idea where on earth they're going to take his character (even a resurrection wouldn't surprise me at this point) but man, I'd missed him.

So in two back-to-back eps we have both of the old supporting team once more standing softly in the pheripherals of our vision. I'm one happy little puppy for as long as Show allows me to be. Which I'm guessing will not be long. :P
3rd-Apr-2012 09:59 am (UTC)
Yes! A bumbling presence. ... I just wasn't ready for it. But it turned out to be rather delightful. (and damn if I'm not planning a Garth vid!)

I really wished I had been surprised more than I was with Bobby's appearance. I'm not sure why I didn't gasp - I had no idea he was going to turn up. But it made sense I suppose. They have been heading in this direction for a bit.

Hee... they spent all season taking away the boys support and now they are slowly bringing it back. Though that probably does mean more heartbreak ahead...

We shall see!
xx
31st-Mar-2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. Spoiler free as I am, I wasn't expecting Garth to show up and I wasn't sure what to make of it, worried it was going to be all about him - but yeah, he did grow on me and unlike some other guests show has concentrated on, Garth was pretty good, surprisingly competent at what he does in his own unique way and actor carried it off with a great deal of charm. Confronted Dean about Bobby - (could you hear me squealing from over there? HEE) - picked up on a lot of things, bloke knows his craft, actually everyone concerned was acting smart and putting out ideas and insights, which I always enjoy - can't stand stupid boys when we all know they're far from it.

I really liked the play back to past episodes, like last week echoed Faith, this week we had the Hookman scratches and the Hollywood Babylon style Sam directing Dean where the ghost was and a couple of other things I did notice but right now have totally slipped my mind...

Loved drunk boys, Sam's ramble and Dean's delight in understanding him was just something only the two of them could do. Loved that they're still keeping up lines of communication and that when Sam's done something without Dean's express permission it's talked about like adults and no one is screaming and walking out - or hitting someone!

Poor Sam's head...

BOOOOOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! I nearly, very nearly cried when Dean said "There you are" and I just KNEW he wasn't talking to Bobby, but the hope was crushing... I'm going to hate what they're going to have to do aren't I?

Editing to add, it was the Winchester's unique take on "spring water" for the sword blessing - reminded me of the altar cloth they needed in Houses of the Holy.

Edited at 2012-03-31 08:38 pm (UTC)
3rd-Apr-2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
(could you hear me squealing from over there? HEE)

I think I could hear most of fandom doing a collective squeal...:)

I figured we'd be in for a lighter episode after the massively heavy one previously, but I had no idea we'd see Garth again. I didn't mind him the first time, only it signaled to me that the boys may end up split up. And even though they were it worked because it gave us a chance to see just how well they do work together.

Loved drunk boys, Sam's ramble and Dean's delight in understanding him was just something only the two of them could do.

Yes. And seeing them clink glasses...*happy sigh*, it's been a while...

Fun ep, with some deeper moments. :)
xx
31st-Mar-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
I haven't even read the rest of your recap yet, and I have to chime in that when the THEN/NOW was over, I turned to a friend and said, "that was the worst opening scene they've ever done."

:( Back to reading! LOL
4th-Apr-2012 05:17 am (UTC)
Yeah... I was thinking the same thing. Nothing about...well...anything. I'm glad I ended up enjoying the ep more than I thought I would.

xx
31st-Mar-2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'm getting more and more intent on not being spoiled, and letting Show play out the way it was intended. The reveal of ghost!Bobby, and the lengths Show went to in order to keep it from fandom....wow. Love that they went to all that trouble :)

Garth is growing on me too, and I agree, it's very effective having another hunter there to contrast with Sam and Dean, and plays up just how in sync Sam and Dean are getting to be again. (Which I have a real *thing* for, just sayin) I adored their constant attempts to have real conversation, as though they both had missed them but didn't know where to start or how to continue -- it seemed realistic, the constant interruptions, the shorthanded messages to each other, all about missing each other, missing "them". *loves*

All in all, happy fangirl right now :)
4th-Apr-2012 05:20 am (UTC)
I much rather be unspoiled - that way I haven't had time to build up expectations and I love being surprised. I'm so glad the Bobby appearance wasn't common knowledge.

The shorthanded messages were AWESOME! So many looks and little moments. I like that Garth grew on them. Of course that means he'll be dead sometime in the near future no doubt... :((

We'll see.
xx
31st-Mar-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
I think a lot about Sam not being able to contact Bobby is he's trying so hard to forge through and say "He's dead we have to pick up the pieces." Like in Death's Door Dean didn't want to really admit that Bobby was dead, but Sam had to be the realist out of the two and start trying to move on. I think that shows a lot about Sam and to a Tee Dean as well. I think if Sam would be more grieving and in denial like Dean I do think he would more than likely crack and break or like he did in Season 3 Mystery Spot, summer of Season 4 he turned into almost an sociopath. So I think that's a lot of self-preservation there. And Dean, he definitely likes to live in denial a lot of the times. Examples being, the beginning of Season 3 when he acted like nothing was wrong.
4th-Apr-2012 05:26 am (UTC)
I think you're right. It really does show how differently they handle death. Sam wants to be sure so he can more on. Dean wants to believe in the possibility that he could be around. Dean is always shown to take deaths harder than Sam. We often see that Sam is upset but it's Dean that seems to wallow in it, or take it the hardest. I'm sure there're good reasons for this but my brain is too tired to think that through at the moment. :)

xx
1st-Apr-2012 01:33 pm (UTC)
BUT THE PHONE RANG... Damn you phone!!

With some effort I could put together a list of episodes in which the phone has interrupted an important conversation. I know it's happened often enough that I was gritting my teeth at one point (during my initial 8 episodes a day consumption) about the overuse of such a lazy plot device! I guess they can't give us Sam and Dean talking for 40 minutes, sadly.

I liked it EVEN MORE that they could talk about it all civilly rather than end in some yelling match.

Yes. One of my favourite moments in the episode (and the season!) was Sam saying to Dean after Garth left, "So, let's talk about it."

I thought the outside of that motel was pretty interesting!
4th-Apr-2012 05:30 am (UTC)
Yeah... a 40 min ep of them talking may not work so well (except for die hard fans maybe!). Completed conversations would be nice though. Something always manages to interupt them.

I seem to always look forward to that last few minutes when they have their "chat". So much is often revealed in a short time...
3rd-Apr-2012 11:20 am (UTC)
I felt so sorry for Garth! Never get involved ith the Winchesters - it's a death sentence!
4th-Apr-2012 05:30 am (UTC)
SO TRUE!!! He is DOOMED! :(((
4th-Apr-2012 11:21 am (UTC)
Sam keeps things from Dean to protect him but when Dean finds out that Sam did something that he doesn't know about
Well, Sam could have, IDK, told Dean in Slice Girls instead of telling him that he just wanted to believe that it was Bobby. If his evidence was so conclusive - which we know it isn't - wouldn't that have settled Dean more? It's not that Dean wants to know everything Sam does. It's about something that is happening to Dean and make him feel like he's going crazy with grief. Tsk, tsk writers. They wanted to keep the ouja board reveal for this episode but it didn't make any sense. :
4th-Apr-2012 01:05 pm (UTC)
I have to admit that when this reveal came up I was all... oh sure. Tell us that now... retcon much.

I don't believe for a second that they'd even thought about Sam checking to see if it was really Bobby otherwise we would have witnessed it. In fact, if we did it might have been quite interesting. Sam checking, finding nothing and deciding not to tell Dean because he didn't trust himself (because of the crazy) or something. Instead they throw this in now.

When I typed this up I wasn't think about that so much but yeah... it makes little sense really.

I do believe that Sam keeps stuff from Dean so as not to put undue stress on him. I also think Dean is still suspicious of Sam. I know it was a long time ago that Sam went "dark side" but I think it's still in Dean's mind. He's letting it go slowly, but I think when Sam reveals something to him that he didn't know he wants to figure out why Sam didn't tell him straight away.

I think I like this slow building of trust rather than an immediate we're back to were we started. I see them both changing. Sam coming clean more readily and Dean questioning but then accepting. I hoping it will continue to build and get stronger the same way it was slowly torn apart and grew weaker.

Ack...oops.. got a little thinky there. I think even when the writers slip up we can find a way to make what the boys do fit with their character arc. Or that might just be me. :)

<3 Thanks for popping by hun. I love getting your perspective on stuff..
xx
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