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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
8.15 reaction 'n stuff 
21st-Feb-2013 08:47 pm
Sam and Dean peering


Oh dear Show. There are times you are just like one of those B-grade (um, maybe D-grade) horror genre matinee movie flicks. You know, the ones where the story doesn't really make a lot of sense but because you have a beautiful girl in it and good looking men you hope no one will really notice.

The problem is... this isn't a one off movie that you can cringe and face palm over and put it in the "so bad it's good" categories. It's a show that the majority of the watchers know intimately and therefore aren't going to hand wave some of the glaring inaccuracies. They are going to cringe and wonder... what the hell?!

I will say I went in really prepared for this one. I read a lot of reactions before I watched and therefore was prepared for it not being great. (In fact, I don't think I've read ANY positive reviews).

I didn't hate it though. In fact, there was enough in there that I enjoyed to make the episode watchable. I wasn't despairing like I did in some of those early episodes. I just think it was badly observed and written. As part of the so called "reset" we had to go through that moment again of Dean telling Sam he trusts him. I'm not even going to moan about that OR moan that Sam would even think that Dean doesn't trust him. It's all just stupid. It's completely ridiculous for Sam to think that Dean only trusts himself. Instead of getting annoyed about that I'm just going ignore that that even happened. Because...hello. Dean knows how capable Sam is. AND Dean trusts Sam with his life - every time they go out on a hunt they put their lives in the hands of the other. And Sam knows that. He does. So making him say those things to Dean was unnecessary. It was there (like much of the first part of the season) just to create tension for the sake of it.

I get that "trust" is an on going issue between them, but I see that issue being more about them lying to each other and not about them trusting how capable the other is. They lie to protect the other. They lie because they don't think the other will understand their motivation for doing something. They lie because they know how the other will react.

What I CAN completely understand is Dean being upset that he's not the one to do the trials. That makes a heap of sense. Doing something like that is exactly what Dean is all about. It would have given him a cause and a purpose and Dean is driven by those things. But instead of addressing that (or the fact that he would be terrified for Sam) they chose to take the direction that Dean doesn't trust that Sam is capable of the job. Utterly crazy and therefore completely ignorable. LALALALALA (and that goes for how stupid they made Dean look in the name of getting a few "laughs" or just to provide a reason to give the audience info. Dean would have known what a familiar is...etc.etc. Not going to harp on. LALALALALA)

It was also very curious that they addressed some history (like the monsters they let go- thank you) and yet didn't make a comment about having to sleep in a motel again (which...YAY motel!). I thought the first comment out of Dean's mouth would have been him missing his room, or the water pressure...or something. Of course the opening banter was awesome. More please!!


TBH I'm not sure what to say or where to put the whole bestiality, master/slave, thing. Seeing the guy chained to the bed I'm thinking...those guys have been reading waaay too much fanfic. I dunno. I have a pretty big master/slave kink so it would be hypocritical for me to be down on this. I just. Nah...I think that could have all been explored in a more positive way. Or something.

The MoTW stories usually parallel Sam and Dean's story so I was totally nodding along with the "soul mate" comparison. I have no idea if all that was there to provide that mirror, but it worked that way for me. (I was all over the idea that they could read each others thoughts. It totally seems like they can sometimes).


I did completely love the flashbacks. I think mostly because it tells me that the writers haven't forgotten what these boys have been through (even though we don't always see it in the writing). I honestly thought Sam's experiences with Lucifer had been forgotten. It's curious that they gave Dean a flashback of Mary dying. He wouldn't have seen that (I don't think) but I think that would more about the point of their painful past. I'm glad they gave us his Hell shot though.

And last but not least. Sam's obviously not ok and as much as I'm yelling (along with everyone else probably) TELL DEAN, I can understand why he isn't. See, that part of their characterisation makes sense to me. Sam has just got through convincing Dean he can do this and that it will be all right. For him to turn and say..."um, I'm coughing up blood man"..would just make Dean worry even more. And we KNOW Sam likes to protect Dean from that worry. This is where they have the trust issues. I would like to think the hypocrisy was deliberate. Sam complaining about Dean not trusting him and then not being trustworthy himself. So, I'm actually ok with that. As long as it doesn't become this major issue of contention between them. Dean would understand why Sam doesn't say anything. He'd do exactly the same thing (so please Show, don't make a big thing out of this). And Sam not being ok? Thank you. Just, you know...hurt!Sam and all...;)

Geek moment - the chairs in the motel were awesome!

I'm still excited. It was great to have them talking to each other (though entirely different conversations would have been better), it was good to get the flashbacks, it was lovely to hear the low rumble of the Impala and it was great to be reminded that Sam and Dean are soul mates.
Perhaps we can just put the rest down to homaging a bad matinee movie.

This ep, in many ways, reflects S8 so far I think. Uneven. Some great moments, some ok moments, some WHAT THE FUCK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! moments and some...awwwwwww, I know why I love my Show moments.


(Also... do we know exactly why Dean hates witches so much? Did we ever get that history? Or is it just something he says every time they come across them? Maybe he has a phobia, like the one Sam has to clowns. Or something).

And for the record -

Dean specifically hates: rats, snakes, cats (?), dogs, witches...+?

Dean specifically loves: Sam, pie, his car, good water pressure, memory foam, burgers, slinkies, beer, whisky, sex, rock 'n roll, his weapons...+?
Comments 
21st-Feb-2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
We don't know if Dean hates cats, just that he is allergic to them. Which means: no cats for the batcave. We know he likes bunnies, so perhaps that would be a good pet.

Something totally unrelated to everything you said, because I seem to be the only person to be totally weirded out by that: Portia was not really a dog. Only part-time. So why was her dog-form docked and cropped? In her human form we should have seen at least something related to the ears (I will not even touch the whole tail-thing in this context considering the subject matter of the episode)
21st-Feb-2013 01:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I wasn't sure that he hated cats. And up until know he's not been allergic to them either (as far as we've seen). No idea why they made him allergic anyway. As soon as the guy said his name "LeChat" we knew he was a cat.

Um...I haven't given much thought to the way the dog looked (only that it was a gorgeous dog). I think my brain is completely glossing over that whole thing. I suspect they hadn't given much thought to the dog being docked and cropped maybe? Or maybe they did.... ;)
21st-Feb-2013 01:19 pm (UTC)
Can I come out now? Oh, good grief that was an embarrassing 40 minutes - putting that shit on the "never watch this crap again".

On top of all the master/slave creepy shit, they even picked a dog with a docked tail and cropped ears!!! For shit's sake what is wrong with this crew when nothing sets off alarm bells? Some days I hang my head in shame over this show....It's almost like they raided the kink meme and thought- oh, so this is what you guys like, we can do that. But, they can't - they so obviously totally missed the point. Hey guys? The frat party is THAT AWAY, we're over here facepalming over your attempts to be one of the cool kids. **shudder** I shouldn't think about it too long, it gets worse.

However, I totally agree with your assessments over more arguments that I just can't get my head around the motive for, other than argument for the sake of argument. The brothers were on top form even if their script writer needed an education.

Points to wonder though, does this mean we're changing canon to say Dean DID see his mother on the nursery ceiling somehow? Ugh. I'm just grumpy this afternoon I think, I just don't like this Dean very much at all.
21st-Feb-2013 01:31 pm (UTC)
HA!! I wondered if you'd survive that one. I didn't have as many issues with it as others, but it was a strange one. I think a lot of the embarrassment factor (aside from the squick value it gave a lot of people) is the way it was filmed. It was pretty clunky and it created awkward moments.

I'd say they'd definitely tapped into some of the kink memes. But you know, if they were going to do that surely they'd realise that most of the writing is m/m. (maybe that's why that other partnership existed...)

If they are suggesting that Dean DID see his mom on the ceiling, that does add another layer to his psyche.

And this Dean isn't our usual Dean. It's a Dean that these writers thought they knew but didn't. It's easy to write a caricature of Dean, much harder to get under his skin. I'm ignoring a lot of this one. (See how much better I'm getting at this!! *g*)
21st-Feb-2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
As long as it doesn't become this major issue of contention between them.

C'mon, this is Carver's season. It's going to be all about that because he loves his contrived angst lol
21st-Feb-2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
NOOEEESSSS!!!

But yes! I agree that Carver totally going to milk this. The worse thing about that is that we've totally been there. If Dean doesn't get why Sam is hiding this then I'll....I'll....

yeah. that.
21st-Feb-2013 01:38 pm (UTC)
It's always harder to get a 'meh' episode after a particularly great one :(
21st-Feb-2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
True. I'd prefer "meh" to the weeping and the wailing I was doing earlier this season. Lets hope the next one picks up where last weeks left off - in a good way.
21st-Feb-2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
Instead of getting annoyed about that I'm just going ignore that that even happened. Because...hello. Dean knows how capable Sam is. AND Dean trusts Sam with his life - every time they go out on a hunt they put their lives in the hands of the other. And Sam knows that. He does.

I think these conversations were very clumsily handled, as much of the episode was very clumsily handled. But I think there's a kernel of a good idea in there, and it's one that has needed addressing since Swan Song.

Go back before that and you have Dean worrying whether Sam is capable of doing the heroic thing - he's primed to fear Sam might turn evil and he'll have to kill him. That's not the issue anymore. Dean knows Sam can save the world. The issue, as of last week, was that Sam will save the world and die.

Dean does have good reason to be worried about that because Sam has a) a long history of making highly moral decisions that lead to very horrible things happening to him and b) a very poor track record of saving himself from those horrible things. Cold Oak? The cage? Soullessness? Insanity? All things somebody else had to save Sam from. The Man Who Knew Too Much is a strong argument to the audience that Sam can save himself, but it's not one Dean was allowed to be privy to.

I think that does tie into the idea that Dean only trusts himself, because purgatory put him in a position where he had to save himself (ultimately he had to carry Benny out) and that saving himself is ultimately futile because there is nothing beyond the fighting. So he may as well throw himself into surviving as many trials as possible because it's what he's for, and because Sam tends to suffer in highly dramatic ways when he does the same.

Sam has to prove, not that he can close the gates of hell, but that he can live. And that leads neatly to him not telling Dean about the blood, because that goes right against what he's trying to prove. He can demonstrate to Dean that he can do anything, but illness is something that happens to you, and you can't fight it the way you would a hellhound. It triggers the one thing about him that Dean still can't trust - that he'll be okay.

So I thought the episode toyed with some interesting issues, but didn't delve into them properly.

TBH I'm not sure what to say or where to put the whole bestiality, master/slave, thing. Seeing the guy chained to the bed I'm thinking...those guys have been reading waaay too much fanfic. I dunno.

I just sort of ... twitched at a lot of this. Because every time they looked like they might actually talk about how the ethics of this work, they tried to distract us with sex or jokes. And ... okay, but could you actually talk about what this all means instead of using 'sexy dog' as a gimmick?

Also... do we know exactly why Dean hates witches so much? Did we ever get that history?

He tends to rave about them being icky. But I actually think this episode gave the best explanation so far: witches choose to be monsters. I think it ties back to Malleus Malleficarum where the whole point was that Dean made the same choice (dealing with demons) that the witches did and will suffer the same fate.

Dean specifically loves: Sam, pie, his car, good water pressure, memory foam, burgers, slinkies, beer, whisky, sex, rock 'n roll, his weapons...+?

Clint Eastwood movies, especially with monkeys in them. :)
21st-Feb-2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
Ooh, you made two good points I missed!

Sam has to prove, not that he can close the gates of hell, but that he can live.

and

</i>But I actually think this episode gave the best explanation so far: witches choose to be monsters.</i>

Well played!
21st-Feb-2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
...do we know exactly why Dean hates witches so much?

I think it has to do with "bodily fluids", and how they're always messing with them: exchanging them, flinging them around. He made comment of this waaaaay back the first time Show featured witches. I forget which ep; too lazy to look it up.

Trust will always be a bone of contention between the boys, though Sam did make the distinction between Dean trusting him and Dean only trusting himself. And this is important. Dean will forever be in the midset that Sam is his baby brother and Dean's job is to protect him. It's the core of his existence; he's said as much in the previous episode. So if he can't trust himself to carry out this ONE BASIC TASK--the cornerstone of his life's mission--who can he trust? Annnnnd ... it's also a control thing. Dean likes things defined, black and white. But his life lately has been anything BUT.

So of course Sam can't tell Dean he might be experiencing alarming side-effects from completing the tasks! Dean would put his foot down in no uncertain terms. And Sam has something to prove to himself: that he won't fuck this up. That he can do it. That he's worthy of Dean's trust.

It all totally makes sense to me.

(Apparently I have thoughts about this!)

Edited for organization, blarg!

ALSO...

Hmm, this kinda leaves me wondering about character development, or lack thereof. We have quite the list of what Dean loves and hates; what about Sam?

Sam specifically hates: um ... ? Dean's dumb jokes?

Sam specifically loves: Dean's hamburgers. His laptop.

Short lists.

Edited at 2013-02-21 02:13 pm (UTC)
21st-Feb-2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
You forgot.
Sam loves frou-frou coffee, emo music, salat, books, making bitchfaces, sex with non-humans

Now he nearly has a personality ;)
21st-Feb-2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
"I didn't hate it though. In fact, there was enough in there that I enjoyed to make the episode watchable. I wasn't despairing like I did in some of those early episodes. I just think it was badly observed and written." <-- I think this just about says it all.

Regarding Dean's hatred of witches, I'm not sure we've ever been explicitly told why Dean hates witches. Other than him consistently bitching about them any time they cross his path. My off the top of head theory is that witches are humans that have CHOSEN to embrace the supernatural; have CHOSEN to become supernatural. Or perhaps using Dean phrasing, have CHOSEN to become monsters. Since to Dean anything that is supernatural = monster (although he has let in a little more grey area over the years.) Perhaps to Dean CHOOSING being supernatural is much, much worse than having it forced on you. In fact, doesn't Dean say something like this somewhere in this episode? About how the witch!cop perhaps doesn't deserve to walk like Benny, that girl from the found-film ep (whatever her name was), and...was there one other? *shrugs*; because the witch!cop CHOOSE to go down the supernatural path.

22nd-Feb-2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that they've chosen to be supernatural is a good reason why Dean hates them. That makes sense to me! :))


xxox
21st-Feb-2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
Onec again, you have totally summed up what I was thinking about this one. I was mildly annoyed that Dean just seemed to be there to say some asinine jokey things, Sam seemed a pale shadow of himself (probably because Jared was actually ill when filming this) and the story was a bit naff. But I saw those motel chairs and thought of you, and had to giggle when they gave Dean an allergy to cats because of all the fanfics about the boys retiring with cats, or dogs or being turned into cats... Damn.

Edited at 2013-02-21 03:16 pm (UTC)
22nd-Feb-2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
Ha! Yes.... there's all those fics and now we have new canon! And poor Jared. He did sound sick :( (now I need me some sick!jared fic and Jensen helping him through the scenes....)
21st-Feb-2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
I wasn't planning to watch this one, but tell me truthfully. Was Sam coughing up blood worth the rest?

I'm deranged, just listen to me! :)
21st-Feb-2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
I vote that you watch the first scene with the boys in it and the car scene at the end. I think you can give the rest a miss if you want.
21st-Feb-2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
I like your LALALALA strategy to just ignore the things that didn't work and might otherwise be aggravating. I can mostly LALALALA too!

I did love the scene when Sam first met the dog and up thru the point where he tried to warn Dean about their guest. LOL! And the car scene at the end was all kinds of gratifying. It's definitely not in the running for my least favorite episode ever.
22nd-Feb-2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was just on the "meh" scale for me. Didn't have me weeping and wailing or even feeling angry (like some fans), but it was pretty messy and crossed some strange lines...

Looking forward to seeing what's happening to Sam though. Might have some hurt!Sam fodder for some potential fics...;)

xx
21st-Feb-2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't actually seen the ep yet (and judging by some of the reactions I am not eager), but I do have some general thoughts floating around on trust issues. It seems to me that it makes sense at this point that Sam would have trust issues about Dean's trust -- that sounds weirdly roundabout or meta or something, but they've never really dealt with that aspect of the Amy thing, that Dean told Sam he trusted him when in fact he didn't, and Southern Comfort is also still in play -- even now that they are doing better, Sam has to be wondering if part of Dean, without Dean even being entirely aware of it, is always going to believe that Sam will let him down.

Of course, that's not exactly about competence, though Sam's competence, and Dean's questioning of it not out of disrespect for Sam's abilities but out of worry about Sam's condition, was in play in the Amy affair, as did Sam not being honest initially about his hallucinations, a situation that's being paralleled here -- the kind of protective lying to each other they do does touch on uncertainty about whether the other can handle things. But I think a lot of it maybe that it's easier for them emotionally to play it as about competence because that's something they can define and dispute and claim more easily than all the murky history that contributes to their trust issues. After all, a lot of the reason Dean invested in the kind of trust he felt in Benny was that it had the simplicity of being based in having each other's backs in the simplest sense without too much baggage. Sam and Dean will trust each other with their lives on the hunt every day, but they're always going to be trusting each other with a lot more than that, with all inevitable let down and complication. If that makes any sense.
21st-Feb-2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
adding:

Wow, you can tell I didn't sleep much last night. I'm not even going to try to go in and correct my syntax there!

21st-Feb-2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
I didn't think it was an awful episode, just really, really . . . dumb. Pretty, but kinda stupid. Not surprising that it was written by the "Route 666" people, though. (I love Cassie, but feel much less love for that episode.) That said, people sure were looking pretty last night, from an unusually hot Sam and Dean, to gorgeous Portia, to that beautiful Doberman. Totally style over substance, baby. ;)

that goes for how stupid they made Dean look in the name of getting a few "laughs" or just to provide a reason to give the audience info. Dean would have known what a familiar is...etc.etc.

SERIOUSLY. Dean is not stupid -- as Sam said, Dean is one of the best hunters and the most knowledgeable about lore, so why on Earth didn't he know about familiars? Dean's no dummy, and neither is SPN's audience. Who of us doesn't know what a "familiar" is? ARGH! Stupid writers are stoopid.

do we know exactly why Dean hates witches so much? Did we ever get that history?

He has major issues with them spewing bodily fluids, that's for sure. Maybe it's just a hygiene thing? ;)
23rd-Feb-2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, it makes sense that these guys wrote Route 666. There's meat behind the idea, it just wasn't executed as well as it could have been. It was an attractive ep. Portia was indeed gorgeous and the doberman was just beautiful.

And I can go style (and kink!) over substance. ;D

Only last week Sam said Dean was a genius and then this week they portrayed him as being a bit of a idiot. After hunting for as long as he has he would definitely know what a familiar was.

Maybe it's just a hygiene thing?

HA! That's it! :DDD
21st-Feb-2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought the actual MOTW was pretty weak and I was not interested in seeing an intimate scene between two guest stars at all! I was bored.

I did like the interaction between the brothers though although I did shake my head at Dean supposedly only trusting himself and his lack of trust about Sam's ability to succeed.

Did Sam not take on the devil himself and jump in the pit to take the big bad down? He should get a heck of a lot more kudos than that. Nothing beats that for dedication to succeed. He didn't even try to fight it. He knew what needed to be done and did it.

If anything, I would think that Dean would be more worried about knowing Sam can make that final sacfrice, again, if it is required. Not about Sam's ability to follow through. That is BS.

I loved Dean telling 'Sammy' that he did trust him, although I was worried that his (Dean's) flashback of hell where he is screaming for his brother and Sam can't save him, would just make Dean even more determined that Sam couldn't do this, so I was pleasantly surprised that, instead, it served to remind him that he DID trust Sam. With his life and with his soul. So I thought that was nicely done.

And I totally agree, Dean's flashback of Mary was inaccurate. Dean never saw his mother burn on the ceiling; that certainly would have come up before. However, the witch could implant things that made them fearful so I will go with it not being a stretch that the witch could use Dean's own imagination to summon that up.

Although I am a bit thrown by all the Dean and Mary closeness we've seen (Dean carrying a picture of him and her in his wallet all this time and now this terribile moment flashback of her death), when in the early years, it was John and Dean who were close and things... Honestly, I would have thought that his father's death would have been more tramuatic. But, whatever, it worked and while I thought the episode itself was rather boring and badly acted, I did like the brother's moments. They add so much more to it :)

I think Dean is allergic to cats... lol!

I find it interesting that we find out so much about what Dean likes and dislikes but it is harder to make a Sam list. There is a lot about him that we are not shown. We know he doesn't like clowns...

I really do hope they don't have Sam hiding this for long. I can totally get why he didn't say anything yet. This has only happened and there is no reason for him to raise the alarm yet. After all they had been thrown around a bit and he might be thinking he must have bite his tongue or something because there wasn't enough blood to really be worried. he looked a bit surprised because, I have no doubt, he was mentally doing a triage to try and figure out what he must have hust. Undoubtably he knows he isn't bleeding internally... so he will probably just discount this as being something weird. At this point, there really is no reason to tell or show Dean. After all neither of them are whinny when it comes to injuries.

The writers will be stupid, IMO, if they have Sam hiding this for long once it happens more than once or twice. It would make no sense. In order for them to have grown as characters, Sam will need to disclose this to Dean. He is just too smart to think that hiding something like that would be a good thing, given how well that has worked out for them in the past. Fingers crossed, that the writers won't have him hiding it for long. Maybe another episode but that is about how long I think he would without saying something.
21st-Feb-2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
I think the major reason why we know so much more about Dean is the fact that we normally see his perspective
21st-Feb-2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh and I love how they brought out Dean's hatred of witches, that goes back a bit to, I suspect, when he got hexed and was throwing up blood. Fun times!
23rd-Feb-2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
He certainly has bad memories of witches. Though I seem to recall (but I'd have to check) he mentioned hating witches before that happened to him.

It makes me wonder if, in his past, he had a run in with them. (and of course my brain immediately goes to them hurting Sam in some way and therefore he hates them....*nods*)

21st-Feb-2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
Can't really add anything to what you said. I did love the brother moments and while Sam saying that Dean didn't trust him didn't really fit, I think it's maybe more like him not trusting himself and transferring his feelings onto Dean. Ah, I don't know. I guess I'm trying to grasp at straws because of the fumbled dialogue and writing. :D
23rd-Feb-2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
The brother moments were lovely. I love any moments they give us. It was great to see the good ole fashioned final 'chat" in the car. Felt like old times...

I think it's maybe more like him not trusting himself and transferring his feelings onto Dean

ooooh, that's interesting. Hmmm..maybe. I think Sam is definitely worried and maybe there is also that fear that he will fail and Dean may be right in not trusting him...

*meep*

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