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9.17 ep reaction/review 
27th-Mar-2014 11:39 pm
Batcave Legs up
This is a little later than usual. I watched the episode and then had to go out (argh...on a show night!). I had lots of thoughts about it and I wanted to make some gifs and use some caps, so I waited until I could gather that altogether.



*claps* that was an impressive directing debut from Mr Collins I have to say.

The thing I love about actor-directors is the way they seem to understand actors. I liked the way Misha allowed the actors to have their still moments. Those little moments that gave the characters more depth and meaning. I think some of that was due to the writing, but I suspect a lot came down to Misha understanding what actors can do - and giving them the chance to actually do it. I think Jensen particularly benefitted from that. Jensen needs good guidance to bring out the more subtle elements in his acting (Jared too). There were some beautifully framed shots that allowed Jensen to not do much at all - which works better than simply pointing the camera at him and saying "emote". I bet he and Misha had some good discussions on how to play the scenes and maybe even the best way to shoot them. I'd like to think so anyway.

This shot is a good example:

9.17-Dean-framed

This frames Dean beautifully. He's just hung up on Sam, he's thinking about the Blade and dials Crowley before hanging up. It's a subtle way of showing how Dean is feeling - things are closing in.


And this one:

9.17-Tri-arms

The way Dean played pool (*guh*) was a powerful way of indicating what was going on inside him. He gathers the balls and tops the hell out of them! But it's the opposite of what he's feeling inside. He's trying to control things (gathering it all in an containing it) but the truth is he's all over the place (hits the balls and they scatter everywhere). Awesome!


This is my absolute favourite shot though:

9.17-picture-in-cafe


Such a great choice because it makes us think that we are somehow looking at this "ideal" town. It looked fake and it takes a couple of beats to realise that it actually is. A nice way of visually telling us that all is not what it seems. I'd like to extend that to think it's a visual reminder that the world the boys inhabit is not real - but that might be taking it too far. ;)

(small gifs because damn there's a lot of frames in those suckers...)


The episode was packed with so much stuff. It revealed a little more about Abaddon's plans, we got to see more of the Mark's affect on Dean, some of Crowley's game plan, the history of how Josie became obsessed, more on Henry Winchester, further canon on souls and we witnessed Sam working like a boss.

The pacing was solid. The story seemed well structured even though I had a few..."er...what?!" moments (more on that later).


This was about watching Dean begin to struggle with the burden of the Mark. I absolutely love the idea of dark Dean (because Jensen does that so well) but wallowing (bordering on self-pitying) Dean is not one of my favourite flavours. I was pleased to see that this was (mostly) avoided and we had a chance to actually see Dean battle with his inner torment.

I think this story line references hell!Dean (the torturer) and purgatory!Dean ("it felt pure"). The Mark is tapping into the thrill of the kill. It's something that Dean has always had and it's one of the major things that has set him apart from Sam - he's always enjoyed hunting, liked the killing. It's pleasing to see them use something that is intrinsic to Dean's characterisation - and something that Dean has struggled with in the past (I am remembering S2 Dean, switching off and killing mercilessly after John's death).

The Blade's calling to him and Dean is doing what he can to fight it (mostly hitting the bottle). He doesn't trust himself - to the point that he couldn't hunt with Sam. He doesn't want to acknowledge how powerful it made him feel - to either Sam or himself. He doesn't trust that he won't kill someone he shouldn't if he's given the chance. There's also guilt tied up how he's feeling - he's a decent person, and killing for the sake of it is nothing something he's want to be. That scene where he stopped the "hunter" from killing Crowley reminded us that Dean cares for other people. The battle going on inside of him is as probably as big as the one between Heaven and Hell at the moment.

He's becoming addicted - just like Crowley and like Sam used to be. Even Cas knows addiction. And John seemed to be addicted to revenge. It's a major theme in the SPN 'verse and this season seems to be exploring that in a big way. I can't wait to see how they resolve it. Will Dean totally succumb or will he need to be rescued? It's a juicy storyline for Dean and as long as we don't get too much gnashing of teeth (and twitching of lip) it may be a good stretch for Jensen.


I loved that it was a strong episode for Sam. There's just something about watching capable, clever, caring Sam that feels - IDK - reminiscent? For so long he hasn't actually been Sam or been allowed to react to what's happened to him (still hasn't!), but at least we see him fighting the good fight and being competent. We get to see what's important to Sam when it comes to hunting - saving people. Making a connection. *happy sigh*

We also got a mention of soulless!Sam. I think my jaw fell to the floor - they actually mentioned something that's happened to Sam in the past. I loved his eye roll when Dean says that of course he remembers that.

It's very curious that for all Sam's "we're not brothers" spiel earlier he is acting very much like a brother. He's showing massive concern for Dean and saying things like "stay safe'. Sam knows Dean well enough not to hound him or press him too hard on the matter. If Dean doesn't want to open up, he won't. Dean's still lying to Sam and Sam knows it. So instead he goes off on the hunt by himself and regularly checks in with Dean (please tell me again how little Sam cares about Dean. And also tell me how horrible Sam is for not pressing Dean on the matter or not calling him a hypocrite for not being clear about what's happening with him. These brothers man. Two peas in a pod!)


Crowley was suitably smarmy (and full of innuendo!). I like this Crowley SO much more than the screaming character we had a couple of seasons ago. It seems that "Crowley is Dean's Ruby" is playing out - but the fact that we know that Crowley is playing Dean I'd be surprised if that scenario actually plays out. We didn't know what Ruby's end game was. We seem to know what Crowley's is. It will be an anti-climax if it works out the way we're expecting it to (or they way they are hinting at). I also wonder if Crowley becoming more and more human will play a part in what's to come. There's no doubt he's fond of Sam and Dean (the main reason why he's never killed them I suspect), so we might see him being Dean's saviour at some point (and I have no idea how I would feel about that! I really want Sam to be Dean's saviour is anyone is going to be).

Good to get a backstory on Josie and her possession. In fact, just getting some more on the Men of Letters was great. Liked that we got to see more of Henry also (and their grandmother is called Millie!)

The other character that really shone in this episode was the ex-nun Julia Wilkinson (named after our very own missyjack. How AWESOME!!). Jenny O'Hara did a lovely job of portraying this character and I think Misha did a great job in capturing her performance.

I did love that Dean stayed close to Sam even though he didn't join him on the hunt. The fact that he was in a bar in Milton (where Sam was) speaks volumes about how he instinctively needs to be near Sam. But Dean knows Sam is capable of looking after himself (though argh! Sam walking into that warehouse was scaring me knowing he didn't have Dean as backup. That said, I'm glad Sam got himself out of trouble rather than Dean magically appearing just when he needed to (thanks Adam!).


Issues I had:

The biggest "what the?!" moment game when Sam recognised these people as soulless. It made absolutely no sense because Sam was nothing like these people when he was soulless. As much as I love that Sam mentioned something that's happened to him in the past he was opposite to how these people were behaving. They were incredibly aggressive. He had total control. In fact, my first thought was that they had the Croatoan virus (which had me all sorts of squeeful because I thought we might have been getting closer the end!verse). I was disappointed that Sam hadn't suggested that first - or ANYTHING other than soullessness.

As interesting as soul harvesting to create an army is, it kind of all went over my head. I'll have to re-watch because I haven't figured out how that actually works. How do they actually take the souls? And how do they make them demonic? It seems to be another change of earlier canon that told us that souls become demonic over a long period of time. If Sam's soul didn't change after 100 years in hell (or Dean's after 40) then we have to figure that it take much, much longer than that to change. Or was it that once the souls had been removed the vessels became "evil" Ack! Too hard. I really must focus more on the details when I'm watching (and not Dean being crazy hot playing pool!).

And what's happened to the "rift"? The boys are supposed to be at odds but are acting like nothing's happened pre 9.15. Sam's no longer pissed, Dean's no longer troubled by anything other than the Mark. In fact, there is another rift. But now it's more about how Dean is responding to the Blade than anything that's gone before. IT'S DOING MY HEAD IN! Why have two reasons to be separated? I suspect it will all play out as the season progresses but wow they are making it complicated for themselves.


Some *phew*, I'm glad that didn't happen moments

There were 2 moments that I thought something was going to happen that I dreaded. One was that Abaddon was somehow going to possess Sam. Just when we got Sam back I was thinking we'd lose him again to possession (where's that tattoo Sam!?!). When he entered that building alone I thought it could only end badly and he'd come out possessed. I was SO relieved that he didn't. As much as Jared revels in playing Sam as "other" I don't want him possessed again - unless it's to MAKE A POINT about him being possessed all the time.

The other moment was when Sam said to Dean "you were right". Fuck me I nearly cried just thinking he was going to say "...saving me, no matter, what was the right thing to do". It felt like that was where it was heading - but it didn't and again I breathed a sigh of relief. I'm not sure if that's because it didn't even cross the writer's mind or that they were playing with us - making it look as if Sam was going to be backing down and completely forgetting what's gone before. I'd like to think latter - it means they know what they are doing.


And now some cinematic appreciation. Misha did good (and maybe Serge helping out?).


Lines:

9.17-bars-horizontal

9.17-bars-Sam

9.17-lines-in-bar


Colour (just something about the red and green...)

9.17-colour



Placement (Crowley on Dean's shoulder)


9.17-Dean-over-crowley



Separation

9.17-end-shot

Last week they were working at the same table. This week they are apart (This relationship is crazy man...)


On a final note. This episode added even more to the storyline. Show has so many balls in the air - I seriously hope that can do what Dean did and bring them all together. SO much potential. But also a huge chance of some of those balls will hit the ground with a resounding thud. Let's hope not.
Comments 
27th-Mar-2014 03:53 pm (UTC)
That picture on the wall of the town, I'm pretty certain that is the place where Metatron and Cas met up for the first time - whether that is supposed to be significant or whether it just happened to be a town they use so had a picture of it or not I have no idea.

You aren't the only one to have a problem with the whole soullessness connection but I confess, that one didn't bother me. Sam when he was soulless was devoid of certain restraints but remember he was brought up in a very military style and would have a lot of disciplines ingrained - and he did still follow certain ingrained patterns of behaviour. Witness his desire to please Dean even though most of the things he had to do to keep Dean happy clearly made no sense to him. Previous canon seemed to imply a soul was like a conscience - rip it out and what would stop someone giving in to anger when provoked? As for the other people who'd been brought into the police custody, we don't know what they'd been doing, only that they'd been acting out of character for a few days and they were all acting differently in their cells.

It could probably have been explained better but I thought that it was ok.
27th-Mar-2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty certain that is the place where Metatron and Cas met up for the first time

Oooh, I'll have to check that. I thought it was the town they were in, but it would be cool if it was somewhere else.

Re the soulless catch by Sam. I actually get how Sam might be different to the others (he and Dean are very different to the "norm" and Sam would have much more control over himself than others might) - what I had trouble with was Sam actually seeing that from his past experience. I mean, it's probably a handwave kind of moment (they needed to bring souls into the storyline and this was a good way to do it), it was just very weird that Sam picked that from his experience.

Previous canon seemed to imply a soul was like a conscience - rip it out and what would stop someone giving in to anger when provoked?

Oh yes. I get that too. I can see how these people were acting without souls (one banging his head bloody on the bars) and I actually really like that idea. It was simply about Sam picking that up - maybe he could sense it? Maybe he could see something in them that he saw in himself when he was soulless.

It's a minor quirk though. I really enjoyed the episode and I figure souls are going to be important in the future (and certainly have been in the past) so they needed Sam to "get" it quickly. :)

27th-Mar-2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
I'm ever more behind on canon, but there has been some interesting back and forth about the soullessness thing here:

http://why-this-kolaveri-machi.tumblr.com/post/80871212173/its-a-noble-calling-isnt-it

and here (I'm the anon -- I can see the day coming when I will cave and get a Tumblr)

http://why-this-kolaveri-machi.tumblr.com/post/80875628474/and-for-sam-being-split-at-a-fundamental-level-is-not

I've also seen it suggested that because of what he saw as the set patterns of What One Does, soulless!Sam channeled his aggression into hunting. And Sam has always had a tendency to interpret his anger into more abstract goals, revenge quests, for instance. I think that kind of functionality/structuring of the self did very much survive in soulless!Sam.
27th-Mar-2014 04:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links. I'll check them about. :)

For me it wasn't that Sam was different to those in this episode (I appreciate that Sam would be different to any normal person), it was that Sam figured out that they were soulless based on his past experience - which was different. But I can hand wave and accept that Sam could see something in them that he saw in himself when he was soulless. It just seemed like a stretch to me...
27th-Mar-2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
Sam has his tattoo when cas healed him when he was taking out the last of gadreel he put sam's tattoo on so no one will be able to get inside sam. I think the last part of the season is going to be about dean and the blade. And hopefully the boys reconciling. Dean may see a suicide mission killing abaddon and maybe then he will tell sam what he wants to hear. I have watched both phone conversations and the first one that sam had with dean was telling with how quick and abrupt dean was and you look at sam's expression been a long time since we seen that look. And then the second one at the bar was telling when sam wanted dean there with him to hunt but I think with the way crowley said how dean and cain got along they were both killers scares dean. and who could blame him i mean he kills things that need to die and its going to be intresting the next time he picks up the blade and misha did a great job directing. bravo.
27th-Mar-2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I heard that the tattoo is actually still there (even though we haven't had physical confirmation). I'd be surprised if he's possessed again (unless it's by gadreel somehow. May once saying "yes" is always yes...). But yeah, I think there's something else afoot. Something I actually hope none of us imagine, but is awesome anyway!

And yes to everything else. Sam is scared for Dean and he sure does want him by his side. Even when he was pissed with him he knew they made a great team (even soulless!Sam knew that).

Can't wait to see how this plays out.
27th-Mar-2014 04:23 pm (UTC)
One was that Abaddon was somehow going to possess Sam. Just when we got Sam back I was thinking we'd lose him again to possession (where's that tattoo Sam!?!).

Oh gosh, YES. That really made me nervous - I was so relieved that didn't actually happen. Great move of his with the exorcism on speaker phone, even though she crushed it. But I'm so glad he was able to beat her anyway.

I'm thinking that the whole image of them working apart at the end is to reflect not just how crazy their relationship still is, but Dean's state as far as the addiction to the blade and all that. He was just so withdrawn from Sam in this one, so mired in the obsession with the blade. It will be interesting to see how Sam will react as he gets further into it.
27th-Mar-2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
*nods*

Curious that we had Sam withdrawn from Dean for a while and now Dean is withdrawn from Sam. These two...just crazy. I think Sam just has to put everything aside for the moment (which will actually bug me monumentally if that remains the case) in order to save Dean. IDK...I'm waiting to see what eventuates. Sam might still be feel the same way he did, but at the moment he has other concerns. It's the story of Sam's life actually. There's just bigger things going on than him. He accepts that and takes it in his stride. It's what makes him such a hero.
27th-Mar-2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
The plot seemed soooo undercooked this episode. None of it made much sense, especially the Abaddon in the past subplot. Leaving the nun alive was truly bizarre, as was leaving Henry alive. Turning souls into demons topside is fine, but it needed to be explained within the basic tenets of canon. Maybe she's taking them on vaycay in hell? Hee.
27th-Mar-2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
Leaving the nun alive was well weird (but demons man...so weird. Crowley has left S&D alive for ages. Also - they can snap necks can't they? Why don't they do that? They just talk their victims to death. Sam should have been dead too).

Henry I can buy because she wanted more info about the MoL (for some reason? to help her become the Queen of Hell maybe? Which ended up working because she followed Henry through the portal to the modern world. I think....)

Does my head in (not nearly as much as Teen Wolf does so I'm grateful for that at least).
27th-Mar-2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
I think that Abaddon being able to turn souls into demons isn't that far out because she's a Knight of Hell. I thought Cain mentioned that he was the one who created the knights (and was a knight himself?) so it seems to be something they're capable of. So the demons must have been collecting the souls to bring directly to Abaddon if she was the only one capable of the transformation. And of course the torture and time in Hell is still creating demons of the souls damned there, but we don't know how long it takes. I assume it's different for different souls--corruption takes varying times depending on their strength. Or so I believe...
27th-Mar-2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ah. Ok. I can actually believe it might be something she can do because she's a Knight of Hell. I suspect there's more to play out in this story line yet so we'll have to wait (agh...so much waiting!).

I wonder how many souls she's collected so far (and why haven't the boys picked up on the problem before now? *handwaves* the idea is kinda cool - even if it hasn't been fully realised yet.
27th-Mar-2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
I enjoy your recaps so much. The visuals tend to go right over my head so it's fun to be able to appreciate them more.

I liked the way Misha allowed the actors to have their still moments. Those little moments that gave the characters more depth and meaning. I think some of that was due to the writing, but I suspect a lot came down to Misha understanding what actors can do - and giving them the chance to actually do it.

I hadn't put my finger on it, but yes, this was a great part of the episode. That knack for spotting and maximizing the strong suits of the cast is the kind of thing that brings an episode or show from good to great.

Such a great choice because it makes us think that we are somehow looking at this "ideal" town. It looked fake and it takes a couple of beats to realise that it actually is. A nice way of visually telling us that all is not what it seems.

I liked it too. I kind of hope it was a picture from the '50s, and a hint to Abaddon's easy deception of the idealistic Henry.

The Blade's calling to him and Dean is doing what he can to fight it (mostly hitting the bottle)

It is another devil-you-know kind of choice, isn't it? He's practiced enough at handling his alcoholism that he thinks he can depend on it to blunt the urgent issue of the Mark.

I thought that line was a strange way to describe RoboSam too, though I think it makes sense, that Sam has internalized the press about how Soulless Sam was BAD BAD BAD, and conflated that with whatever he did recognize in Billy's tone or affect. But they were quite different from Soulless Sam. It's possible that having your soul ripped out has cognitive kickback, but nothing Sam would have noticed when he was fresh out of the Cage.

The boys are supposed to be at odds but are acting like nothing's happened pre 9.15. Sam's no longer pissed, Dean's no longer troubled by anything other than the Mark

I do think things are chilly between them because Sam's imposed some necessary psychological distance. It doesn't mean he wants Dean to die or get swallowed up by Cain's power (and there is the very real possibility that the Mark will make Dean a direct threat to Sam, which gives Sam a stake in Dean's stability). And Dean is obsessing about the Mark in part *because* it's a distraction from how he fucked up his relationship with Sam.

I'm not sure if that's because it didn't even cross the writer's mind or that they were playing with us - making it look as if Sam was going to be backing down and completely forgetting what's gone before

ahahaha, I kind of think Sam was screwing with Dean a little bit there? "You were right...[long pause for Dean to get his hopes up that Sam will unilaterally fix Dean's mistake]...ABOUT ABADDON." Which is kind of extremely passive-aggressive but he's spent weeks being as direct as one could possibly be but to no avail, so it's tough to blame him.
28th-Mar-2014 02:23 am (UTC)
Hi. Thank you! I love it when a director takes time to think about his shots. :)

I kind of hope it was a picture from the '50s, and a hint to Abaddon's easy deception of the idealistic Henry.

That's a nice idea.

It's possible that having your soul ripped out has cognitive kickback, but nothing Sam would have noticed when he was fresh out of the Cage.

Hmmm, possibly. I think we have to fill in the blanks about what made Sam recognise those people as soulless (we're pretty good at doing this by now...;D)

And Dean is obsessing about the Mark in part *because* it's a distraction from how he fucked up his relationship with Sam.

Ooh, I didn't think about that. It looks to me like the show has put those first rift issues aside for the moment. Though I can see that Sam is treating Dean differently than he has done in the past. He's not pressing the point - and that could very much be the "business" way of going about things with Dean. But I also think he just knows Dean that well. Dean's always closed up when Sam has pressed him too hard - but always cracks after a while (like he did when he broke down after John's death and then after Hell), Sam just has to be patient.

ahahaha, I kind of think Sam was screwing with Dean a little bit there?

Oh boy! ha. I'd like to think Sam couldn't be thaaaat cruel. I felt like the boys weren't even thinking about those earlier discussions. Sam asks "what's up with you?" in the beginning and I'm thinking "he's still sore about what you said to him" - but no. It was all about the blade (which is why I think the writer was screwing with us). Or yeah, it could have been about the way Jared played it. Teasing Dean (and some of us) with it.

Interesting episode. Some major plot holes (as is mentioned below - what's the point of crossroads if demons can just rip out souls. Bit like the back door to hell).

27th-Mar-2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
I think the turning souls into an army was introduced and will be explored further in subsequent episodes which is why it wasn't fully explained.

I was worried demonic nun was going to take Sam's soul!! Or at least attempt. A friend and I were discussing that Sam's soul spent 100 years in hell so the soul might be too powerful for demonic nun to do anything with if she tried. There would (or should) be something different about Sam's soul than the other's she took.

As for Sam and Dean... there still seems to be a rift, like a coworker you can't stand but you still have to work with. Sam probably realizes they have to work together on some level to defeat Abadon, or else why not just leave the bunker and perhaps the hunting life all together? They seem strained, just not as openly animositic. (Is that even a word?)

The episode made me really nostalgic for season 4 when Sammy was the junkie and having something that affected him negatively. He may be pissed at his brother (and I have first hand experience with that--last year I reached my limit of how much my brother can screw me over) but I think he will still worry about the effect the power of the Blade has on him... Sammy knows that all too well.

Edited at 2014-03-27 04:44 pm (UTC)
28th-Mar-2014 10:38 am (UTC)
There would (or should) be something different about Sam's soul than the other's she took.

It would be interesting to see wouldn't it. One would think it would be pretty damaged (though it looked pretty bright when Death re-soulled Sam.

Sam probably realizes they have to work together on some level to defeat Abadon, or else why not just leave the bunker and perhaps the hunting life all together?

I think Sam knows how well they work together and even though he said that stuff about not being brothers he knows deep down that they are - nothing will ever change that. I think there's still a frostiness between them - and probably why Sam didn't push Dean too hard. And why it might be have made it easier for Dean to not follow Sam.

but I think he will still worry about the effect the power of the Blade has on him... Sammy knows that all too well.

Oh most definitely. He can be pissed and hurt by what Dean did but it doesn't mean he doesn't care heaps about him. Some things never change. ;)

27th-Mar-2014 05:18 pm (UTC)
I think I'm just tired of the regurgitation of story lines from better written, better paced, and--frankly--better acted, seasons. Crowley was so embarrassingly Ruby that they practically recreated the diner scene from 4.1 in that first shot of him. And, speaking of Crowley, Dean's not scared, he just can't believe that he's already been through this story 17 times and hasn't learned anything from it lol.

And speaking of redundancy, the souls thing is the most ridiculous bit of lolcanon that we've had since Reaper taxi drivers who can get into the BDSM club called Hell via a hole-in-a-tree. What's the point of crossroad demons if demons can just rip the soul out of people? What's the use of the rack if they can turn the souls into demons via a mason jar?

And lets not get me started on the preview for next week, where it becomes obvious that Robbie Thompson has only ever seen Swan Song and is intent in ripping off every frame of it.

p.s. Smart Sam was great, but how telling is it that it only happens when Dean is not around?

p.s.s I love Alaina but Josie doing it ~all for love~ is so cliche.

p.s.s.s Grandpa Winchester's eyebrows are on-point
27th-Mar-2014 05:50 pm (UTC)
I love this comment so much :)
27th-Mar-2014 05:49 pm (UTC)
I don't think the Mark or the rift will be wrapped up at the end of this season. I really believe that season 10 is going to be all about Dean's dark path and what Sam is/isn't willing to do and wrestling with his conscience.

I think we're going to see a bit of a Sam-Dean flip of season 4. Not the same kind of storyline but something representative of it; Dean losing more and more of himself to the darkness of the Mark like Sam did with the demon blood, and Sam trying to pull him out of it/stop him/save him. I think it's going to go either one of two ways: they are flipping perspectives so that the brothers can truly understand each other more and then have the show ending with both boys riding off into the sunset together with everything restored as it should be, or even have them both dying together and ending up in Heaven; or (and this is what I'm really hoping I'm wrong about) it could end with Dean killing Sam to allow him to go to heaven and Dean ends up walking the earth for eternity like Cain and Abel. I have a sinking feeling it might go that way. Over the years the show has gotten much, much darker than it was originally and Carver seems to revel in the really dark side of the mythology of the show. There is very little of the fun and humour of past seasons and even when there is, it has a lot of bitterness beneath the surface.

Of course it's always had a dark side - both Sam and Dean died in early seasons, there was Dean in hell and the loss of their father etc but there was always such a tight bond with the brothers, one that the writers have been pulling on like taffy for several years to the point that it has snapped. I've read several interviews Carver has given and while he's hinted that there will be some kind of resolution to the estrangement, he's also made it clear that he feels that this is a maturation of their relationship, which in a way it is, but I don't think he wants the relationship restored the way it was. It sounds to me like he wants them to make up, still love each other but possibly go their separate ways.

If they end the whole series with one dead and the other alive, I'm going to be so fucking pissed! Please tell me my imagination has gone into overdrive because of my new pain meds, lol!!!

Great recap BTW x
28th-Mar-2014 11:39 am (UTC)
Hey hun!

I don't think the Mark or the rift will be wrapped up at the end of this season

Oh man, I don't think I can wait THAT long for this to be sorted! /o\

I have no clear feeling for how they are going to end this. Actually, I'm not sure they do yet. I suspect they have some ideas but I'm not sure they are even planning to finish this at the end of S10. I think Carver will hand over the reigns if it goes beyond that though.

There is very little of the fun and humour of past seasons and even when there is, it has a lot of bitterness beneath the surface.

So true. Very little joy in their relationship. I mean, I would NEVER have considered that it might be better for Sam and Dean apart but watching what they do to each other makes me think that it probably would be. They seem so miserable together - which is so sad to watch. I don't think there's much joy to be had in the rest of the season either.

If they end the whole series with one dead and the other alive, I'm going to be so fucking pissed! Please tell me my imagination has gone into overdrive because of my new pain meds, lol!!!

I think fandom will hunt them down if one lives and one dies! I mean, I can see how that may well be the "perfect" ending (it's how Kripke's version ended after all) but it would be such a let down I think. I hope they don't go that way.

Personally, I think they will have to work through all these issues they have and come to see each other's points of view and hopefully re-discover some sort of joy in their relationship. I think a world where there's no need for hunters (the "supernatural" has been finally put to rest somehow) and the brothers can retire might be a good way to end -"there'll be peace when you are done".

In the meantime I'll be over here biting my nails for this season finale...

27th-Mar-2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
The "Building an army of souls" thing was very confusing to me. I get that they are trying to give us a sense of Abaddon as a real and present danger, but it didn't really track for me, given how long it takes to turn souls into demons. If she'd been harvesting them to use as an energy source, it might have made more sense? IDK.

I have to admit, I'm not quite feeling the stuff with Dean and the Mark. I *want* to be, I think it's an interesting storyline, but I don't really have a sense of how it makes him feel or what it makes him want to do. He still feels very static to me. And similarly with Crowley's blood addiction - it doesn't make sense to me emotionally.

IA that they have A LOT of balls in the air now, and it's hard to see how they're going to land them all satisfactorily.

Visually I think this episode was really interesting - your gifs and screencaps are great :)
28th-Mar-2014 01:20 pm (UTC)
If she'd been harvesting them to use as an energy source, it might have made more sense?

Oh yes. That would have been interesting - and more plausible.

I have to admit, I'm not quite feeling the stuff with Dean and the Mark. I *want* to be, I think it's an interesting storyline, but I don't really have a sense of how it makes him feel or what it makes him want to do

Yes! It's how I have been feeling too, but I SO want to follow this storyline that I've been trying to just go with it. I think we are meant to believe it makes him feel powerful and virile (as Crowley put it), which is far from what he's been feeling since Kevin's death (and maybe after what he did to Sam..). I think everything that has gone before has been about creating a Dean who is ready to take on the Mark. The problem is it's all been crammed into two episodes. We haven't been given much at all about what Dean actually feels when the Blade is in his hand - just been told by Crowley what Dean's feeling (they so often tell us and not show us this stuff).

And similarly with Crowley's blood addiction - it doesn't make sense to me emotionally.

Hmmmm, I'm more comfortable with this because I actually think we've been given more info (and POV from Crowley) that we have of either Sam or Dean. The issue I have is if Crowley is beginning to become "human" what does that actually mean for him. If he's crying over Little Women and Casablanca what does that mean for him wanting to kill Abaddon and becoming the King of Hell again? Can be a reformed demon but be an evil human? Ack! too hard to think about...

and it's hard to see how they're going to land them all satisfactorily.

Yeah. I'll be amazed if they mange that.

Thanks for your thoughts. I actually have quite a lot of reservations about the story lines (and plots lines!) this season but I'm waiting to see how they play out before I cast my ultimate judgement (which may well end up being quite ranty if they can't pull this off!). But I am more lenient when it comes to this show...for some reason..;)
xx
27th-Mar-2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
i didnt know what to think of it so i am here, i didnt understand more of the new canon souls stealing whatever.... i did like that Sam was by himself on that case.
28th-Mar-2014 11:20 am (UTC)
soul stealing might have been super cool if we didn't have past canon that told us that humans had to sell it - demons couldn't steal it.

eta: I can't spell

Edited at 2014-03-28 03:49 pm (UTC)
27th-Mar-2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
My read on Sam this week was that he knew Dean was distressed and clearly cared, but he was not going to push for more from Dean because Sam is trying to change the relationship dynamic, and by not badgering Dean to reveal his feelings like Sam's always done, he's hoping Dean will be more forthcoming. Sam is thinking that he is acting like a hunting partner, taking Dean at his word, rather than like acting like a little brother.

What I really need from the show is for Sam to finally save Dean from really dire straits. I don't get the feeling you need that scenario like I do, you need Dean to see what he did was wrong.

Wouldn't it be amazing if we got both?

Also--I love your interpretation of Dean's racking of the balls--brilliant!



Edited at 2014-03-27 07:07 pm (UTC)
27th-Mar-2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
What I really need from the show is for Sam to finally save Dean from really dire straits. I don't get the feeling you need that scenario like I do, you need Dean to see what he did was wrong.

I need this like air. I also think Sam didn't push Dean too hard because whenever he does, Dean puts up his walls -- no chick flick moments, or "Hey, should we hold hands and sing Kumbaya?" That kind of thing. And that would get them exactly nowhere. Winchesters: the harder you push them, the harder they push back. They're like cats; they have to think it's their idea to get into the kittycaddy and go to the vet's. ;)
27th-Mar-2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
I liked this ep! It was a little bit more emotionally quiet than we've gotten used to, but it was vital to pushing us towards the big season ender. And I think we got smart!Sam finally because the writers have used up Charlie and Kevin. Dorky, but there you have it. It was a, I dunno, mindset they got stuck in? Anywho, good to have him back. Now, about that hair ...

Boy, am I with you on Point #2 of the "*phew*, I'm glad that didn't happen" moments! Above all, I crave growth from Dean. He NEEEEDS to see how what he did was fundamentally, unequivocally wrong. (Now, that's not to say it felt OOC, because it's actually exactly what Dean would do these days, even though his younger self may have said otherwise.) And of course he did it because hello, Season Ten, but it's high time Dean made this philosophical leap. And Sam, for the sake of himself and the theme of free will, needs to stand his ground -- or Dean will never, ever learn. Anyone who can't see that Sam still loves his brother has got their Dean goggles on so tight, it's squeezing the oxygen out of their brains.
27th-Mar-2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
Anyone who can't see that Sam still loves his brother has got their Dean goggles on so tight, it's squeezing the oxygen out of their brains.

I loved you already, but if I hadn't, I would love you so much for this comment. ♥

I have systematically and mercilessly deleted everyone from my fannish experience who fits this description, and yet, I keep stumbling across more people who think everything bad that happens on this show is all Sam's fault because he doesn't love his saint of a brother enough.
27th-Mar-2014 08:25 pm (UTC)
I did like how Sam kept on calling Dean that was great. Granted I don't think he liked how any of the calls ended but I think even though they were acting business like as sam has expressed they were talking it out. It will be intresting when the time comes for Dean to take the blade if that changes the whole dynamic of the brothers relationship or will it still go over into season 10. I think its easy to say hey we aren't brothers but we will work together. And I understand Sam has a right to be upset but I am thinking when things with him and Dean have gone south they always find a way to talk it out. Dean has always been the one to reach out and its like right now that is not happening. I think when Dean does have to kill abaddon that like in swan song sam will be there. Of course I am the optimistic type thinking good things will come once the season ends and we move into season 10 that all will be good with sam and dean.
28th-Mar-2014 04:31 pm (UTC)
I hope good things will come also!! I hope they don't remain at odds with each other going into S10. Carver seems to like the drama though.
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