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10.11 Episode reaction 
28th-Jan-2015 10:25 pm
Ain't heavy


I enjoyed watching that one. There were some nice broments and Charlie was fun. I had a tear at the end. I am really feeling for Dean - Jensen is doing a great job portraying a breaking Dean.

The diet was funny (reminds me of me at the moment! *g*) and there were some beautiful shots.

Sam looked nice. Jared's hair is settling down (or up...).

There were some "classic" SPN moments - loved the Genesis reference (Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel) and Dean bringing Sam food (yay boys cooking for each other!) and Sam getting choked. We even for a couple of "sonofabitch"es.

So yeah. It was fun to watch. I liked the break from the angel and demon saga. Unfortunately the anvils weighed the episode down a bit, but show does that a lot so it really doesn't bother me that much any more. I suppose there are viewers who don't get the fact that Dean is torn by his good side and dark side. That his dark side is calling to him but his good side is keeping him in check. That it's a mental process, as well as a physical one. So maybe it really does have to be spelled out.

I did enjoy the mirrors between blood addicted!Sam and mark!Dean. I liked the repeat of "you have one thing that he didn't have" (from Nightmare) - especially when Dean then looked at Sam. I liked that Charlie is brought back into the "family" and looks like she'd going to be helping out in some way. I liked the theme of forgiveness.

But.

It's weird how about an hour after watching it I was left with an emptiness and sadness because, as has been the case for what? 2 seasons now? Sam just isn't there. Sure, he's looking at books and looking at Dean with a worried face. He's asking questions and hugging Charlie. He's running around with his hair looking fab. He's worried about Dean (I know I said that but he's doing a lot of that so it needed to be said twice), but he's…I dunno… just nothing really. And you know what I mean…Sam is never "nothing" to me, but it seems that they just can't write Dean with the myth arc AND Sam with a storyline at the same time (have they really forgotten everything he has been through over the last few seasons? *weeps*). He's on the screen but that's kind of all he is. Just - hanging around waiting for Dean to turn darkside. I wonder if he sees himself in Dean's struggle? I wonder if it reminds him of his years and years of battling with his inner demons? Without getting the chance to see any of that he's become more of a cardboard cutout character rather than a fully fleshed out one. I'm beginning to think the #ripsamwinchester tag on twitter is true. It's interesting how secondary characters - Claire and now Charlie, have been given more voice than Sam has recently (and don't get me wrong. I love the quietly concerned, caring and loving Sam. Very much. Jared is portraying Sam's inner strength very well. It's a quality that's I've always admired in Sam. I know I need to be happy with just that at the moment. Maybe the fact that he doesn't have to talk about his past, just >i>act</i> with the knowledge of it is enough. *nods*).

I was especially sad to hear that a scene between him and Charlie had been cut (the one from the promo). It's such a clear indication that his thoughts really don't matter. Or rather, they are just not strong enough to make it to the screen. *shrugs* Not worth worrying about any more I suppose. I really should be getting used to it by now. He looked pretty though! *g*

And maybe I shouldn't be complaining. At least they're not fighting, or being dishonest with each other, or keeping secrets. At least we are still getting some happier brotherly moments. Maybe having Sam do and say nothing keeps him safe from criticism.

Their chemistry is ALWAYS worth watching for though. :)

So other than having to deal with the little bit of heartache that I constantly carry over forgotten Sam, I enjoyed it (Felicia always looks like she's enjoying herself so much. The three of them have great chemistry).



One a different note:

I miss the urban legend MoTWs and the horror angle that we used to get though (when I see that the show comes under the "horror" genre I do a little chuckle. I can't recall the last time I was truly scared). I'd really love to see some grittiness return to the show. I want SPN to be dangerous again. I want it to shock me and surprise me. Maybe I've just been around too long or something. It did make me choke up, so I know I'm still highly invested (and Jensen and Felicia were really rocking that final scene).

Also. I kind of wish the writers weren't so available on twitter. I'm hypocritical of course because I couldn't help myself but respond to Robbie Thompson when he mentioned the scene being cut, but I often wonder just how much they are taking the "snapshot" of fandom on twitter as a representation of all fandom. I feel uncomfortable when they try to be "fans". It's just weird to me. I want to know that they are writing the show without our influence. I want THEM to have a vision and tell the story that they want to tell (yep, even if we don't like it). I've heard some many people say how much this season is using a lot of fan fic tropes. It makes you wonder just how much spying on fandom that they do. Or maybe it's just a coincidence.



Poll #1997117 10.11 Episode reaction

I thought the episode was:

Awesome! Yay Charlie and SamnDean!
13(22.0%)
Great! I enjoyed most of it.
21(35.6%)
Ok. Some good bits and bad bits (just like Charlie!)
16(27.1%)
*meh* It wasn't rocking my boat.
8(13.6%)
Nope. Ugh.
1(1.7%)
Comments 
28th-Jan-2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
I think I enjoyed it a bit more than you but I guess I've gotten used to the fact our show is different now. I miss Kripke and Sera and the way (especially with Sera) you could get what Sam was feeling. I must say I do enjoy Sam being there for his brother and like you mentioned the honesty and the fact they aren't fighting. I guess I'll take what I can get. :)
28th-Jan-2015 02:43 pm (UTC)
I did really enjoy it. There were some great moments and I was engaged the whole time. It was really only after that I thought, again...but what about Sam? But yeah. I gotta forget that and enjoy what there is. :)
28th-Jan-2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
I clicked "Awesome!" and "Great!", mainly because the Oz backstory didn't do that much for me, but otherwise, I liked the ep a lot. :)

I kinda-sorta get what you mean about Sam, and I haaaate that they cut his scene with Charlie. But I've never seen him as "forgotten."
28th-Jan-2015 02:48 pm (UTC)
I did enjoy the ep. I was engaged the whole time and chuckled and even had a tear! Dean is breaking my wee heart. So is Charlie. She's a damaged girl.

I'll probably only believe Sam hasn't been forgotten when they give him some words to say that give us some insight into, well.... anything. But maybe we've had those from him already (during the trails I seem to remember some mirror gazing), so I know he has to sit back and wait for his next move.

I am loving their closeness as the moment though. There's some nice brotherly stuff going on. :))
28th-Jan-2015 02:47 pm (UTC)
:(. thanks for bringing some info i didnt know to my attention.(a scene being cut) will be back with my grade of this ep when i watch

Edited at 2015-01-28 02:49 pm (UTC)
28th-Jan-2015 02:49 pm (UTC)
Ooh, you spoiled yourself! Don't let what I say sway you! It's a fun ep. Well, not "fun" like LARP, but it has some solid moments. Well, I thought so anyway.
28th-Jan-2015 02:56 pm (UTC)
I loved the Oz stuff, and I am SO BUMMED that from what Felicia said on Twitter, they cut the scene that not only involved Sam talking, but Charlie explaining what was going on with her and Dorothy. I WANT TO KNOW.

I totally agree with you about Sam being forgotten. I'm happy that he's no longer "wrong" somehow, the way he was for the majority of the seasons we've had, but it would be nice if he had more to do than look worried. I miss him. :(

I have to admit, though, that I get worried when I hear people complaining about how much screen time Charlie gets, because as you say, the writers do pay attention to fan reactions. And their response may well be, "See, we tried having more female characters, but the fans complained, so we won't do that again!" (To be fair, people also complain about the screen time that non-Winchester male characters get, but somehow I don't think TPTB see that the same way.)
28th-Jan-2015 03:05 pm (UTC)
I am SO BUMMED that from what Felicia said on Twitter, they cut the scene that not only involved Sam talking, but Charlie explaining what was going on with her and Dorothy. I WANT TO KNOW.

I know! I can't believe of ALL THE SCENES that one was cut. I kept wondering what had happened to Dorothy (hopefully they'll appear on the missing scenes).

I'm happy that he's no longer "wrong" somehow

This is a blessing. He's not doing anything to be "wrong" about (though, rather cynically I think...give it time! We've got plenty of episodes for Sam to do something "wrong").

I hear people complaining about how much screen time Charlie gets,

Oh really? She's not given anymore than say Jody, I don't think. Maybe it's just that she has such a strong presence that it's felt she has heaps of screen time. This is only her...um...6th episode.

To be fair, people also complain about the screen time that non-Winchester male characters get, but somehow I don't think TPTB see that the same way.

*nods* I do wonder how much the factor in all the comments they get. There was a bit of fan servicing in that (Robbie seems to be very "in touch" with the fans). I suspect we'll get Charlie and Cas meeting soon as that seems to be the call now.

28th-Jan-2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
My initial reaction was: No demons, no angels- what's not to like. ;) It was a nice episode to watch.

I miss the urban legend MoTWs and the horror angle that we used to get

Me, too. Seems the only true horror we get these days is Sam's hair... And the "sexy lamp" syndrom prevails, doesn't it?

An emptiness and sadness like you mentioned, I felt, too, but right after watching the ep. I'm not sure what exactly caused it. If the story was to make us feel that way, or if I miss something that used to be there or if it even is one of my own moods today. *shrugs*

xx

28th-Jan-2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
Me, too. Seems the only true horror we get these days is Sam's hair

Bwahaha.. at least it's staaaaarting to improve. :)

And the "sexy lamp" syndrom prevails, doesn't it?

Yep! Seems to be. :(

If the story was to make us feel that way, or if I miss something that used to be there or if it even is one of my own moods today. *shrugs*

Oh you felt it too? It was weird. Like finishing a meal and thinking, "I'm still hungry". Maybe that's why I keep going back for more! :)

xox


28th-Jan-2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
As a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) said to me last night: "Robbie Thompson is subtweeting fandom through the show and he needs to stop."
28th-Jan-2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
Oh man, yes. It's freaky...
28th-Jan-2015 03:53 pm (UTC)
You know what, you're right. With everything you said, the positives and the grumble!

I kinda miss the horror in the show as well - I'd like to get really scared again. :) And although I like the accessibility of the writers on twitter, I have the exact same qualms as you...

I loved how they portrayed Dean's struggles with the Mark (Jensen was simply awesome). At some point though, I found myself thinking: THIS is how you show an ongoing storyline - even though there's no real progress, we see how Dean tries to fight the Mark's influence - and I compared it to Sam's hallucinations in S7, where we didn't really see much of it during the whole season. It didn't really make me sad or anything, I just thought - why? (And those were the Sera years, too!) Jared is perfectly capable of portraying Sam's inner struggles, why don't they show us more of it? I'd love that so much!

On the other hand, that's a side of Sam I love very much. Like you, I love how Jared portrays Sam's inner strength. Sam's quiet and kinda withdrawn, and doesn't really connect with people 'cause he's a bit insecure, and that makes sense when you consider his life and all the trauma he's faced, and I really like that side of him, because it feels real. He's human, not some badly-drawn superhero with no emotions!

I really enjoyed the episode nonetheless. The anvils didn't really bother me, and I liked the idea of the good and bad sides of someone as two different people. I loved the broments. Seeing the brothers close like that feels good. And, when I think of it - if we can't get more of Sam, then I'll just enjoy what we see of him now: a quiet, broken boy who's still strong and supportive and there for his brother. That's the Sam I love!

(p.s. Thanks for the welcome last week! I like commenting here. Sometimes, it's nice to write something without twitter's character limit!)
29th-Jan-2015 01:45 pm (UTC)
Jared is perfectly capable of portraying Sam's inner struggles, why don't they show us more of it? I'd love that so much!

Excellent question. During S1-5 we saw how much Sam struggled with his destiny. The ball was (unfortunately!) dropped on the hallucinations, though the moments we saw were great. And I loved how strung out trails!Sam was. But lately we just don't get to see the inner Sam. S9 devastated me in terms of never seeing what the possession did to him (let alone what Dean's meant to him).

He's human, not some badly-drawn superhero with no emotions!

He is. Jared is portraying that very well. He really is using everything he's been given and I love that. I know I just have to be satisfied that his strength comes from his past experiences. I suppose I just want to know that the Show is conscious of what they are doing. I've lost quite a bit of faith that Sam actually matters in the scheme of things. Sure, he'll be there for Dean - he may even do something "bad" to save him but I long for recognition that he's suffered exactly what Dean is going through and is strong because of that.

And, when I think of it - if we can't get more of Sam, then I'll just enjoy what we see of him now: a quiet, broken boy who's still strong and supportive and there for his brother.

It is for me too. :) It's great we're getting that again! It was always there and I'm glad they've decided to give us this Sam again. And I'm doubly glad that at least they haven't given fans a reason to hate on Sam again (after last season). *g*

Sometimes, it's nice to write something without twitter's character limit!

Yes! Having a show discussion on twitter is so hard! I love that we can all chat a length on LJ. :D
28th-Jan-2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
I've totally been getting that "Sam's not there" feeling this season, and it's weird because Sam has had plenty of screen time. Sam worrying about Dean also seems hollow, somehow, as though he's just going through the motions. But he was fabulous with Charlie, so maybe it's not him. IMO there's just something missing between him and Dean that used to be so tangible in the past. There was a glimmer of that in the last scene: so much affection among the three of them. I wish I could 'feel' at least a fraction of that sort of affection between Sam and Dean right now.

I don't think TPTB can be credited with any positive spin on this, but maybe I can choose to see it as something that is actually off between the two of them. If we choose to take the last season seriously, then Sam's got to be pretty pissed about what Dean did, and it's not going to just go away without being resolved. So yeah, maybe I'll just choose to think that Sam is actually feeling hollowed out and not really in the game, and make up my own head-canon for how things get resolved between them. Because Show isn't going to go there.

tl;dr: I loved seeing Charlie back and interacting so wonderfully with both the boys. :-P
29th-Jan-2015 02:00 pm (UTC)
Hi!

And yes! Wouldn't it be amazing if those kind of layers existed?! If that hollowness is because Sam is still feeling on edge about what happened last season. I really just don't know. On one level I SO want to believe everything that has gone before is being taken into account, but on the other hand…dammit. I'm just not convinced (but will GLADLY swallow my words!).

There was a lot of warmth between Sam and Charlie. Sam really feels so much about the other lives that get affected by the supernatural. And Dean and Charlie were wonderful together also. Very powerful.

xx
28th-Jan-2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
I think you've put your finger on why this episode left me dissatisfied - they seem to be set on bringing other characters in to do Sam's job and then leaving Sam kind of hanging about in the background. Even when he has dialogue and things to do, he's not really INVOLVED, somehow. And, dammit, I WANT this show to be about Sam and Dean, not Dean and a load of characters I don't really care about, or even Dean and characters I do care about but whom I want to have their own stories (like Jody and Donna). And as you know, I'm still a big Dean girl...

I feel like they are giving me lots of sugar at the moment. I get a brief high then a swooping low afterwards. All my carbs and nutrients are coming from fandom!
29th-Jan-2015 12:05 am (UTC)
As long as they aren't coming from the green sludge Dean was drinking. ;-)
28th-Jan-2015 04:41 pm (UTC)
I felt like I had to duck to avoid getting hit with the anvil leftover from 'Hunter Heroici'...OTOH show has never been particularly good with subtle...

So if they are going to hit me over the head with the Charlie/Dean parallels, how about working in a reference or two to the parallels between Sam's demon blood/Lucifer struggles and the Mark?

Oh wait, that happened during the Kripke years...

Sorry, I don't mean to be cynical. The episode was perfectly fine for what Supernatural has become under Carver. I just can't help missing how it used to be...

But I will follow Jensen and Jared as Dean and Sam for as long as the show lasts...
29th-Jan-2015 02:17 pm (UTC)
Show certainly likes to make sure we understand what they're trying to do. Gone are the days when they could string out a whole season without giving what they were doing (I'm thinking S4 here *g*).

how about working in a reference or two to the parallels between Sam's demon blood/Lucifer struggles and the Mark?

Your words to their ears. I know WE can see it and maybe they do know about that parallel, but when they drops these huge anvils it's hard to imagine that they would be subtly drawing parallels between mark!Dean and addicted!Sam. We'll see I suppose. :)

Sorry, I don't mean to be cynical.

Haha! No need to be sorry. I think "cynical" has become my middle name! ;)

But I will follow Jensen and Jared as Dean and Sam for as long as the show lasts…

Me too! Damn them…
xx


28th-Jan-2015 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah I'm missing Sam really hard too, he and Dean had a great rapport last week when it was them verses Metatron, I hope we get more of that when Cain comes onto the scene.
29th-Jan-2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
Let's hope!! :D
28th-Jan-2015 06:56 pm (UTC)
I was especially sad to hear that a scene between him and Charlie had been cut

It's a weird thing, kind of like the deleted S9 scene with Jody? Because I enjoy seeing Sam interact with characters I like - but when a character I like gets the chance to realize what's going on with Sam and Dean, they don't, and then I like them significantly less. Sam doesn't need more of the Winchester mythologizing that Charlie's as fond of as anyone, you know? He needs some real talk. Like, I want the show/a supporting character to really pull out the pin on this, but I think Charlie would be far more likely to give us the kind of scene that seems to usually end in someone else informing Sam how he does/should feel, rather than Sam actually airing his own perspective, and I find those really painful.

But yeah, it's still a loss, even if it's less of a frustration than the alternative, and I think that gets at your point about the level of responsiveness to fandom. It's a part of what makes the show special, but it has some costs, too. A supporting character coming out and articulating what the show has IMO been remarkably consistent in demonstrating would lead to a fantrum of epic proportions. IDK, the episode itself was entertaining enough. I'm withholding judgment on the bigger stuff until we've seen the whole season but so far I think it's on the right track.
29th-Jan-2015 02:25 pm (UTC)
Oh you! Good point. Ok. I can accept that. *nods* and *nods*. From what I've heard the scene was more about Charlie explaining what happened to Dorothy in Oz rather than Sam having a chance to let loose on how he's feeling. And tbh, I'm not sure Robbie would have given us anything extra on Sam anyway *suddenly feels a bit better*.

There are times that you are my anchor in all this. I want YOUR trust that they are going somewhere with it all. *hangs on*.

Thanks. :)
28th-Jan-2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
my grade is C- for Sam's gorgeous hair. i feel like Sam is gone too, so i agree with you there. he's a pretty lamp. Charlie... ive been reading around online people saying that she's a Mary Sue and i finally see that. :( it seems that the guest stars are more important than Sam

Edited at 2015-01-28 07:54 pm (UTC)
29th-Jan-2015 02:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Mary Sue thing is interesting. Not sure where I stand on that one. I think perhaps she could be…but, I still really like her. She quirky enough to engage me.

Guest stars do seem to be taking the lime light lately - but I think it's something the show has often done (Bobby, Meg, Ruby etc). I like OCs on the show. I just don't want them to take away from either of the boys. But maybe that's just inevitable….
28th-Jan-2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
I was especially sad to hear that a scene between him and Charlie had been cut
Seriously?

One a different note:
Yes, to both points!

Poll: I chose 'Great' with a side of 'Yay, Charlie and SamnDean!' :)

Edited at 2015-01-28 08:51 pm (UTC)
29th-Jan-2015 02:43 pm (UTC)
Seriously?

Yep! Robbie tweeted to say he was sorry to see it go. And they used it in the promo! We wouldn't have known if they hadn't actually put it in the promo.

28th-Jan-2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
he's become more of a cardboard cutout character rather than a fully fleshed out one. I'm beginning to think the #ripsamwinchester tag on twitter is true. It's interesting how secondary characters - Claire and now Charlie, have been given more voice than Sam has recently

I only have a moment to comment, but I agree whole heartedly with this statement. I do get kind of a hollow feeling regarding Sam. He's there, but he's more reactive than active much of the time. I miss the Sam who used to actively fight for Dean. I'd like to think that they are saving that for later in the season, but they'll probably have him do things during hiatus that we won't get to see since that is often their MO -- pre-S8 and pre-S10.

Gotta run, sorry.
30th-Jan-2015 11:20 am (UTC)
Hi!

I very much suspect that Sam will end up doing something ("bad"..) to try and save Dean. It will be nice to see him proactive but I had to admit I am a little worried about how they will play that. As always, we'll just have to wait and see! :)
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