Show is back and I mean...BAAACK!
That was a damn solid and satisfying season opener. Welcome back show!! \o/ Way to make an entrance!
There was massive mirroring in this episode and even though I can hear some say "but we've been here before" I think that's the point. They used past character issues and have opened themselves up to really begin to explore and examine those issues. The door is wide open with possibilities and I am very excited by those. In the word of Death -"Well played!" (ha! assuming this IS about addressing the stuff they've done before...).
Counting the ways:
1. Ok. So we've been in Sam's head before. It's a pretty intense place and man that guy is messed up. As with The Man Who Knew Too Much
, he's using his subconscious to wrestle a decision. This time it's between the resignation of death and the will to fight. It's highly appropriate that Bobby represents the invitation of death (a fatherly figure that gives good advice) and that Dean represents the fight (the voice that is always the reason to
fight). "Real" Bobby might encourage Sam to fight, but this isn't a Sam who wants to live. This is a very broken Sam and he's ready to leave. (I have to say I am mighty relieved to see this as the way Bobby was brought back).
2. I am going to cut straight to it here and confirm that Sam did not want to die and leave Dean "alone out there" like he fought against in TMWKTM - this is a Sam who wants to die because he feels he has done enough damage already. Enough damage to people (and the world) in general and most importantly - enough damage to Dean. I think it's very important that we remember the state we left Sam in in the finale. He felt he let Dean down. He STILL feels he let Dean down and he, and the rest of the world, would be better off without him. (And NO, he's not a bleeding heart who needs sympathy. He's a man who as given enough - his own subconscious had to remind himself that HE saved Bobby from Hell - not Dean). He's a man who knows the world will fair much better without him screwing up all the time. He asks Death to promise there's no way he can come back - mainly so he can stop hurting the one person that matters the most. It's heartbreaking (but fucking awesome!)
3. In the end Sam agreed to Dean helping him because he still trusts Dean to know what to do. The fact that "his" Dean didn't have a plan was significant because the Dean that came to him in the end did. Sam relies on that. He trusts that. He believes in Dean. And he returns for
4. Dean Dean Dean. Oh Dean. Dean's been here before. A dying brother with a massive decision to make. Once again he chooses Sam's life, but this time he doesn't sacrifice himself (by selling his soul), he sacrifices Sam. It's a little like the decision to re-soul him in S6. He did that against Sam's will and - as with his own soul sacrifice in S2 - it had dire consequences. Will this be the season that Dean comes to realise what bringing Sam back from the dead means? Will this be the opportunity for Dean to examine his complete and utter need
for Sam to be alive? I actually believed Dean when he told Death it wasn't his time. Sam wanted to die for the wrong reasons, so I think Dean made the right decision (much like giving him his soul back). Sure...it's wrong is so many ways - but this is what will create the story and potential to examine this issues in his character this season. I did love how competent Dean was (as a hunter) in this episode.
5. And I totally believe that that was Dean who came to Sam at the end. I know that the angel appeared at the very end but I (well, we
- the lovely peeps I was watching it with) came to the conclusion that Ezekiel was channeling Dean allowing him to persuade Sam. That wasn't the angel "pretending" to be Dean - it came from Dean's heart. Which means Zeke rode Dean into Sam's head and the three of them kinda soul bonded (shuddup! That totally happened!)
6. I found it really interesting the way Castiel and Hael's story mirrored what was going on with Sam, Dean and Ezekiel. Hael's vessel was deteriorating and needed Castiel's much stronger one - Zeke needed a strong vessel to heal and needed permission to possess Sam. I think even though Sam's body is weakened he must still be very strong (he housed Lucifer after all!). I think it will be a very interesting story line. It opens up all sorts of questions - not least, what will happen when he decides he "could like it here" and not want to leave Sam.
7. Ok, so there's a potential rift likely to develop between the boys, but I am much happier with this rift making issue that last season's. Something like this might actually drive them to actually talk
about Dean making decisions for and on behalf of Sam and them keeping secrets from each other (again). Of course Sam might just turn to Dean and say..."Good call man. Thanks. I wasn't in a fit state to make a life and death decision". Yeah...maybe not. But I can't imagine what they will
do. Sam storming off is hardly going to cut it this time. I think (hope) they'll have something more interesting up their sleeves for this resolution.
8. I was happy with how they handled Cas, for the most part. The only silly moment was him trying to knock out the phone guy with his "powers" when he knew he'd lost his grace and wings. Though, he still had angel radio so maybe he though he still had some angel powers. No idea how all that angel power stuff works. The other angels seem to have powers so maybe it's their grace that gives them that. I did love the laundry scene. A great moment of indecision. I think it was no mistake that we saw the sign "Do not overload the washing machines" while he was looking at the vending machine. His dilemma was very human in the end. I also liked that he took charge and stopped listening to Hael has she tried to persuade him to let her use his vessel. We might see a stronger Cas emerge after this.
9. Loved the opening scene in car - mostly because of the way it was filmed. The car seemed to float and there was that wonderful red and blue light we saw in the cage promo. Might not represent heaven and hell as such, but I think it's definitely representing the decision Sam needs to make. There is also A LOT of red and blue throughout the episode.
Other general stuff:
Title card looks AMAZING! Ok - it signals a full on angel season (which, yeah - can't say I'm thrilled about that) - but wow! Looks stunning.
Fantastic "then". (Looked like a cool fanvid). AND THAT SONG!!! "Who Do You Love?" <33
SAM AND DEAN!! SAM AND DEEEAAAANNNN!!! OMG! Their messed up, co-dependent, all consuming love was what that episode was all about! Holy crap - it's great to be back here again.
DEAN IS NOT DEAN WITHOUT SAM! I know that's totally messed up, but THAT'S WHY I WATCH THIS SHOW!
SAM STILL NEEDS DEAN! I know that's totally messed up, but THAT'S WHY I WATCH THIS SHOW!
Ezekiel was great! And now he's IN SAM! He's INSIDE SAM! (we will get some Ezekiel/Sam won't we? Won't we?! It's gotta be Samkeil surely?! Or Ezesam! *smirk* ) SAM HAS AN ANGEL! (and holy crap that's all kind of wrong and messed up and awesome. *guh* I hope they do some amazing stuff with that). ETA: Ha! Apparently there's running joke about this on the set. They clarify this
as an angel looking through
Sam - not inside him.
If Dean is paired with Cas and Sam is paired with Zeke does this mean they'll all live happily ever after with their own angels? Teehee...
Will Zeke be using Sam's soul to repair himself -like Cas had to do when he touched Bobby's soul? That could open up an interesting can of worms.
Grand Canyon! Way to make up for their last gaff. Great little "yeah, we know we messed up" to us.
Death is IMPRESSED by Sam! (awesome scene <3)
We got work to do! \o/
So. Great episode - (which I actually appreciated more on the second viewing). Lots of delicious potential! I am back in my happy SPN place - that was just messed up enough to make me really excited for the future eps. BRING IT!! (now please...)
Note/disclaimer about my review posts: Even though I re-read my posts I am terrible at proof reading so sorry for the mistakes. I love hearing other people's opinions on an episode, even if they are not in sync with mine. So feel free to let me know what you thought if you want to! :)