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11.09 review/reaction 
11th-Dec-2015 07:05 pm
Relax!


Wait, so only dead people get to see Him? And this makes sense to billions of you?

I did love this line. That whole exchange with the priest made me laugh out loud.



Ok. So this is going to be a tough one to review because I have a range of mixed feelings about it. My initial reaction is - that was a hot mess. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it (well, quite a lot of it), but it was felt pretty messy and uneven to me. That said, there were some things I LOVED and some things that left me feeling frustrated and down right annoyed.

Something I will never understand is why they give an episode as important and the mid-season finale to the two weakest writers on the show. The Duo (Buckner/Ross-Leeming) are two of the clunkiest writers they have (imho) and getting them to pull off something as intricate as re-introducing the cage was a tough ask. I just don't think they are as capable as say, Robert Berens, in being able to use subtly, clever plotting and solid characterisations. If only they could give them MoTW eps and leave these ones to the others.

The major problems I had with it were the contrivances and lack of decent pay-offs. But more on that later.

The good stuff!

The top of my list is seeing Mark Pelligrino as Lucifer again. He is the creepiest Big Bad to ever have badded. My heart was pounding during all those scenes and Sam's fear was palpable. Kudos to both Jared and Mark for their wonderful performances.

Cage!Sam is rather exciting to me (hurt!Sam fan here ya know). The idea of Sam being back in the cage is intriguing as well as terrifying. I don't mind that they've re-visited this story-line for sam, mainly because we get to see Mark P again (but also I'm hopeful they'll do something interesting with it (oh, shuttup)).

The direction was mostly solid and I liked the variety of camera angles. The pacing was ok and the majority of the performances were solid. Jensen's performance was probably harder to notice because he had to be so calm - but in that respect I think he did well. He almost had to play against what we know of Dean - and that would have been tough.

Some of the dialogue was good - the quote above and Rowena's "he's probably not boyfriend material" were smile inducing.

The not so good stuff:

I am hesitant to be overly negative about the episode because I WAS engaged when I was watching it and it made me feel something. I was genuinely scared for Sam. So for an episode to do that, it means something is working for me. But it's kind of like eating junk food. It tastes good at the time, but afterwards it leaves you feeling a little sick and unsatisfied. It wasn't until the very end that I kinda wished I hadn't eaten as much as I had. :/

The biggest problem for me were the frustrating contrivances. I appreciate that they needed Sam to be left alone to face Lucifer by himself (for some reason) but to a) have Dean wander off with Sam watching over the ever-trustful Rowena by himself and b) have him ignore a phone call just after telling him to contact him left me feeling extremely annoyed. On top of that, Sam was presented with some kind of "urgency" to go ahead without Dean and therefore had to go behind his promise to wait. There was no good reason given for Sam to not just kick back and wait for Dean.

I was also annoyed by them dumbing the boys down in order to tell this story. Making them trust Crowley and Rowena made them look like amateurs. I get that they need powerful supernatural beings on their side but why on earth their first option wasn't Castiel seem crazy - especially as Castiel had been to the cage before. Leaving Castiel out of this part of the story (he could have helped Sam guard Rowena at least) just has me shaking my head (was he past is quota of eps maybe?).

I mentioned in the last review that it makes little sense that Sam thinks God is sending him messages to go to the cage. I had hoped it was all going to have some credible pay-off in this episode but instead it's weakened much of the season for me. Sam had been duped again and he really shouldn't have been. The cliff-hanger reveal that it was Lucifer sending Sam vision was a major let down. Not because the idea isn't interesting and scary as hell (I actually love the idea of that), but that Sam didn't once consider it. It would have been much for obvious (especially as he knows Lucifer is capable of doing that) than it being God. It would have all worked equally well if Sam knew it was Lucifer but went anyway (with Dean!).

Rowena double-crossing Sam also annoyed the hell out of me. Not because it's not something she'd do, but that they trusted she wouldn't do it.

Dean continuing to not tell Sam about his and Amara's "bond" is friggin' pissing me off. Over and over Sam is blamed for not coming clean and yet all season Dean has kept this from Sam. I still don't know why they are making him do that - other than to cause another contrived riff. It's ended up putting Sam's life in danger and I am seriously hoping Dean doesn't say "why didn't you wait?" to Sam when he finally knows what's happened. I was at least happy that Sam did try and call Dean.

Other stuff in general

I'm not sure what the purpose of the angels were - other than showing us Amara is very powerful. The last time we saw that angel it was with a demon and they talked about joining forces. I wonder what happened to that idea? Once again angels are presented as dicks and totally useless.

Amara's naivety is a little hard to buy considering she now represents a 30+ year old (notably making her age appropriate for Dean). I assume she's been gathering information since we last saw her so would be well aware of religion and the way it works. That said, I did enjoy many of those scenes.

The jury is out on Dean and Amara. I honestly don't know what to make of it. The most curious thing was Amara starting to suck out Dean's soul and stopping. I don't think it was clear why she stopped (I initially thought she could grab his soul for some reason), but others have suggested she stopped because of their so called bond. Dean is just so ineffectual around her and I'm not sure what to do with that. I appreciate it is part of their connection but placid, mesmerised Dean is so foreign to me. I wanted him to just snap out it. Clearly he wasn't able to.

I thought it was a plot hole that Michael wasn't in the cage, but I've since been informed that this is a different cage due to Rowena's spell (or something). I'm not even going to delve into any of that because I am happy to just do a massive *HANDWAVE* on that whole thing. They needed Lucifer by himself so there it is - retconning all of S5 was always something they were going to have to do and I'm just accepting it.

I spent a lot of time trying not to stare at Amara's cleavage.


I know this all sounds very negative (sorry), but I'm not letting these writers spoil the whole season for me. I think there's been some interesting stuff going on and just the fact that they are giving Sam something to do these says is pleasing me no end. I am past making any sort of connections to anything that's gone before because the show has gone way past that. Instead, I'm going to take each ep as a stand alone. Some I'll love, some not so much. :)


(I have something else I want to discuss about Sam and the cage but I'll put it in another post as it will be triggery and I don't want to risk doing that to anyone.)

Part two is now here
Comments 
11th-Dec-2015 11:35 am (UTC)
have him ignore a phone call just after telling him to contact him left me feeling extremely annoyed

I believe this was all on Amara, her all powerful, all consuming presence left him uncapable of answering Sam's call. He seems powerless to resist, almost drugged even by bliss which we clearly saw right before and during their kiss, too.
I do agree there there was no good reason given for Sam to not just kick back and wait for Dean.
11th-Dec-2015 01:55 pm (UTC)
Yes. I did think that it was Amara who stopped Dean. There was that moment when he was hovering between the answer and decline (I thought?) and wasn't entirely sure what was happening. I think Amara caught Dean in her spell. And actually - I meant to mention this in my post - both Sam and Dean have been mirrored in the way they have been seduced to where the big bads want them. Lets hope both are capable of overpowering them (which,I'm sure they will be!).

11th-Dec-2015 11:36 am (UTC)
I spent a lot of time trying not to stare at Amara's cleavage.

Me too, me too - there was such a lot of it for a very thin person...

Pulling myself away from that, I agree with most of your assessment - except Dean and Amara worked for me. Gave me feels for some reason, and I'll probably have to watch again to find out why. I also like her disconnect with humanity and the world, because it seems to be more about otherworldliness than naïveté. I like that it is making her seem more alien, because for me, that makes her more unpredictable, and therefore also more interesting.

I'm wondering if Amara didn't take Dean's soul because she already has it? Or part of it? I dunno.

But Sam and Lucifer in the Crowley cage - I am loving that idea and yes, let's hope they do something brilliant with that. I would actually like to see Sam in there for a few episodes but somehow I don't think that will happen. But if not, the return of Samifer would be both intriguing and terrible...

Edited at 2015-12-11 11:37 am (UTC)
11th-Dec-2015 02:02 pm (UTC)
I think Dean and Amara can work for me also - I just don;t think these writers worked it as well as they could have. I think they are a great match, but it's also rather disturbing because of the pull she has on Dean. He's not making the decision to be drawn to her. That element fascinates me. I also like her alien quality - and her kind of innocence, even though she's brutal.

I'm wondering if Amara didn't take Dean's soul because she already has it? Or part of it? I dunno.

That's cool. :) My first thought was that Dean's soul wasn't there (which is something that I've mentioned in a few reviews), but I don't think he's soulless. But I rather love that he may be partly soulless. She already has a bit (but then, not sure why she either tried to get the rest or stopped before she got the rest). I figure there's more to come on that.

I would actually like to see Sam in there for a few episodes

That would be extremely unsettling - which might be interesting indeed, but the threat of non-con is just too real for me and what made those scenes so damn terrifying (more about that in the next post).

I'd love to see Lucifer some more though. :)
11th-Dec-2015 12:07 pm (UTC)
I spent a lot of time trying not to stare at Amara's cleavage.

Haha! Omg, me too!

I agree with the things that annoy you. And yet, I was drawn into the episode from when Amara zapped Dean onto that field and felt emotionally engaged. (Though, yeah, those 3 angels coming to get themselves killed was odd. I'm guessing the point is that all of heaven now joins the fight against Amara.) I'm, too, wondering what is going on there with his "bond" to her and what is keeping him so spell bound.
I loved the Lucifer and Sam scenes! And I smirked at Rowena drooling for Lucifer.
I liked the idea of being able to visit the cage seemingly safely but then it wasn't. Luci's explanation of how the coming of the darkness weakened the cage (and strengthened him) creeped me out.
What really irriated me was the moment Sam going down hell alone because Dean wasn't answering his phone. Made it look like he was just popping out for an errand.
Overall, I was invested, creeped out by Lucifer, emotinally engaged about Sam and still intruiged by Amara and Dean. Which made it a good ep for me despite the red flags popping up along the way.
I hope that they will pick up that momentum in the next half of the season and not drop the ball. :)

xx
11th-Dec-2015 02:07 pm (UTC)
Yay! Great to hear it mostly worked for you. The more I hear about the positives the more I'll probably like it. I think because I'm not sure yet about Dean and Amara, it left me feeling not as engaged. But also, I was so friggin' worried that they were going to make Sam do something even more stupid - like have him say yes to lucifer - that I was wanting them to return to those scenes so I could see what happens next. I did think that Amara and Dean had a strong chemistry. Her non-con touching of Dean was as creepy as Lucifer's of Sam. It was an interesting mirror.

I hope they keep up the momentum also! :))
11th-Dec-2015 12:23 pm (UTC)
1. Rowena, as penned by these two, is nearly unwatchable. She's back to being a buffoon and as irritating and grating as lye.

2.the tone in some of the dialogue scenes was off, most notably in the Angel scene and in the Amara/Priest scene.

3.The nep duo has this amazing ability to make all these otherworldly characters sound pedantic, ordinary and dumb.

4.I could have done without her screeching at the sky.

5. What is it about Ross-Leming/Bruckner's dialog that makes all the actors overact?

6. And the angels scene? Ugh, they sounded like teamsters or dock workers; very awkwardly written.

7. where is Cas? He could so easily have been worked into this episode in any number or ways - he could have been in on the cage deal or with the angles as they fought.

8. Why Rowena's insistence that they do the spell "NOW?" That urgency was unsupported in the writing. Sam could have waited until three years from now if he'd wanted to, there was no reason for him to go ahead without Dean.
11th-Dec-2015 02:10 pm (UTC)
Rowena, as penned by these two, is nearly unwatchable

For me also. There are times when I think she's great and other times she's just grating. This was one of them. ;(

Cas not being around stuck out like a sore thumb. Even though I have no emotional investment in the character, he was obviously missing (for no reason whatsoever) from this episode.

Sam could have waited until three years from now if he'd wanted to, there was no reason for him to go ahead without Dean.

Exactly. It needs as special "ingredient" to the spell that was time dependent.

11th-Dec-2015 12:28 pm (UTC)
Agreed 1000% on Pellegrino. He's brilliant in the role, and I was SO happy to see him return. Plus, the scary chemistry between Mark P. and Jared is off-the-charts.

Cage!Sam is rather exciting to me (hurt!Sam fan here ya know). The idea of Sam being back in the cage is intriguing as well as terrifying. I don't mind that they've re-visited this story-line for sam, mainly because we get to see Mark P again (but also I'm hopeful they'll do something interesting with it (oh, shuttup)).

All of this! I don't necessarily want to see Sam beaten and bloody, but his relationship with Lucifer has always intrigued me. And I definitely look forward to seeing him hold his own against the Morningstar. (I absolutely cheered when he said "No" to Lucifer the first time. Go, Sam!)

I mentioned in the last review that it makes little sense that Sam thinks God is sending him messages to go to the cage.

I initially had issues with that, too. But Sam prayed to God and really, really wanted to believe it was God answering. He had faith, that God would answer, and he was misled. Meanwhile, Amara's talks with the preacher in the park and the priest in the church reflected the same thing, that many people had that unshakable faith in something that . . . wasn't exactly what they thought it was. I saw Sam's situation to be a fantastic parallel with the faithful in the park and church. (Overthinking again? Probably, but that's what I came away with.) :) Anyhow, I've heard a lot of people calling Sam "stupid" because he was misled, and that IRKS me. He had faith in the wrong thing, was all.

There was no good reason given for Sam to not just kick back and wait for Dean.

This, this, this, and THIS. As I said in my own post, what was the rush? There was no time-limit on Rowena casting that spell, so why did she push so hard? It did not make sense. I definitely lay this one at the feet of the writers.

Amara's naivety is a little hard to buy

I'm not entirely sure it's naivety. As you say, she knows how religion works. It's just that she also knows her brother, and her issue is with the fact that so many people have such unshakable faith in the person who exiled her.

I appreciate it is part of their connection but placid, mesmerised Dean is so foreign to me. I wanted him to just snap out it. Clearly he wasn't able to.

He did snap out of it long enough to attempt an assassination, so there's that. :) I agree that "dazed and confused" Dean is not much fun, but I also think that this may be the writers' clumsy attempt to reference Karl Marx's famous quote. (Yeah, I may be stretching a bit, but the religion angle was super-strong in 11.09 and that was the first thing that came to mind.)

Your post doesn't sound "very negative" at all. Just very, very thoughtful. :)

eta: whoa, sorry for the tl;dr! O.o

Edited at 2015-12-11 12:34 pm (UTC)
11th-Dec-2015 01:29 pm (UTC)
i um well that explains my feelings on the ep. my grade's a C

Edited at 2015-12-11 01:32 pm (UTC)
11th-Dec-2015 01:27 pm (UTC)
clearly Rowena has some other plans up her sleeve.

She betrayed Sam here and was probably using this spell as a means to get back at him for last season.

9.And Dean, this is what you get from keeping secrets Dean; your brother in a cage with Lucifer.

Had he been up front about his connection and his weakness when he's around Amara, then they could have been more careful about him going ALONE to a scene where it seemed likely that she was involved.

10. It's like the nep duo was trying too hard to be cryptic and failing to do so. I found the Dean/Amara scenes interesting on the one hand, and a bit dull on the other. the fact that it appeared she tried to suck out his soul and seemingly couldn't. I think that might be important for later. I am ready for them to move forward with this now.

Dean didnt answer Sam because Amara wanted to kiss him

11.Dean needs to acknowledge this connection, be open about it, and start flat out fighting it;

it's getting boring watching him stand around in a stupor and doing nothing. And how awkward was that angel attack?

12. Were we supposed to be afraid that the angels were any kind of real threat? Why did that come across like Wyle E. Coyote launching an attack agains the road runner? It was dumb and cartoonish.
11th-Dec-2015 02:24 pm (UTC)
clearly Rowena has some other plans up her sleeve.

Yep. And I'd sincerely love to actually care about that. But I just don't.

And how awkward was that angel attack?

So awkward. And weird. Why only 3 of them? There should have been a battalion. Even thought they would have all been wiped out, there should have been thousands of them. A very weak stand against a very very powerful force. So strange.

11th-Dec-2015 01:56 pm (UTC)
See, this is why I don't have to write reaction posts: you just put down everything that's in my head. :)

I do feel obliged to point out, though, that way back towards the beginning of the season, I commented on one of your reviews that I was pretty sure it was Lucifer sending the visions and not God. So yeah, I was also quite annoyed that supposedly-smart!Sam never considered that possibility, especially since no one else has heard a peep out of the Big Guy for lo these many years. (Which is why I think he's trapped somewhere himself, but that's another matter.)

I'm also trying to take on your attitude of one ep at a time; there have been some fantastic ones this season, and so I'm going to hope that there will be more to come!
11th-Dec-2015 02:29 pm (UTC)
See, this is why I don't have to write reaction posts: you just put down everything that's in my head. :)

Haha! Awesome! :)

I commented on one of your reviews that I was pretty sure it was Lucifer sending the visions and not God.

yes! I've had 3 people mention the same thing and so when it actually happened I was like - um, well lots of people worked that out so why didn't that cross Sam's mind (though was he privy to knowing that Hell was shaken up when The Darkness was released? I know Crowley mentioned it, but maybe Sam didn't know that? I can't remember… It would add some weight to him not even thinking it could possibly be him. Maybe).

(Which is why I think he's trapped somewhere himself, but that's another matter.)

Now, that's damn cool! And would make so much sense. (ooh, Sam and Dean have to save God. That would be a pretty big deal…).



11th-Dec-2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
Rowena manipulated the whole thing, seems to me. She'd love to get Lucifer to work with her, although she's a fool if she thinks she can control him in any way! I figured the warding failing was all her fault.

I guess Sam's willingness to go ahead without Dean seemed in character to me. Sam's so driven to do what he needs to do to stop the darkness, he feels so responsible for letting her out in the first place, and he's so sure going into the cage is the way to stop her, that I could believe it when he didn't wait till he could get ahold of Dean. I was a little frustrated by the lack of a text message or a voice mail, though, but again I put that off on the sense of urgency Sam feels to fix this problem he's created in the way his visions have told him to. The back and forth between Sam and Dean as Sam descended into hell and Dean bonded with Amara in some marshy field were tense and scary, and I could feel the build-up to a confrontation between Amara/Dean and Lucifer/Sam somewhere down the line. Maybe that's wrong, but that's what it felt like, and I'm excited to see it!
12th-Dec-2015 05:50 am (UTC)
I figured the warding failing was all her fault.

Yep. Totally worked it that way. Maybe to get Sam (and probably Dean) out of the way so she can …well, who knows. I'm not entirely sure what her end game is.

I agree that Sam was desperate to fix his mistake and I agree it was in character. I suppose I just wish they had found a better reason for it to be urgent (maybe time dependent?). For Sam to confront Lucifer in the cage he really did need back up. He was going down there with 2 bads and one extra big bad. Through all their experience of the many years that should have raised a major red flag for Sam. I will have to accept that he was just so driven and desperate to make things right that he thought it was going to end well. He honestly believed God was helping him, so perhaps he felt he had that security.

It was extremely tense. My heart took a while to settle down after the episode.
11th-Dec-2015 02:37 pm (UTC)
This was the first episode in a long time that had me emotionally invested...Sam's palpable fear of talking to Lucifer--damn, Jared just knocked it out of the park! And he said no--I was SO PROUD of Sam in that moment--Sam was willing to jump into the Cage with Lucifer in Swan Song, sacrificing himself for the greater good, knowing it would be awful...but this time, faced with Lucifer again, Sam's fear really made it hit home just HOW bad it must have been in the Cage and broke my heart retroactively thinking of what he must have endured! And then Lucifer got him back in the Cage anyway--the look on Sam's face, the tear--my heart, my heart!

And it needed for Dean not to be there, the dynamics would have been so different with Dean blustering "No, Sammy!" to sway the decision, so I didn't have a problem with Rowena insisting on going now...

And as for Dean not answering his phone--I was invested in the Dean/Amara story just as much as Sam's because Dean Winchester is NOT passive--so for him to just let Amara call the shots shows just how much of a hold she must have over him! Yet he did break it long enough to try to stab her, showing his strength of will--If you think about the times Dean has been helpless before an enemy, he is always struggling and snarking--but Amara's hold is making him unable to do that...And the kiss--what if Dean has the power to take down Amara by rejecting her???

I don't know exactly what their 'bond' means--but I am anxious for Dean, wanting him to find a way to fight it!

I'm willing to say this writing team did okay this time!

What I can't figure out is where the end game is going. It would seem to be heading to a confrontation with Amara and God--I can picture Amara railing against God portrayed by Rob Benedict's calm demeanor (and wouldn't it be great if Death was making snarky comments on the sidelines--I'm being optimistic that he's not really dead) but how would that involve Dean and Sam? And what justification could God have for his disappointing behavior?




11th-Dec-2015 02:52 pm (UTC)
I was talking elsewhere about where this could lead - got to say the possibilities are very juicy! An alternative End Verse? An alliance between Lucifer(Samifer) and God versus Amara and Dean? Who'd betray who, I wonder...
11th-Dec-2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
This episode left me with mixed feelings. It worked on an emotional level. I loved the Sam and Lucifer scenes. Dean and Amara worked for me. I liked Amara in the church. But when I look at the content, boy does it have holes big enough to drive a tank through.

Why did Azazel have to kill all those nuns if he could have just gotten the BOTD and then had a nice long chat with Lucifer? I mean these are the same writers who announced that after an entire season of Crowley trying to find a way into Purgatory all he really had to do was push a rock out of the way and sashey in, but still. I guess we can handwave that originally the 66 seals were more secure than the Cage is now and once they were broken the BOTD spell worked, although why the BOTD would have a spell that would work ONLY if Lucifer had escaped the Cage and then been put back in baffles me.

The there is Lucifer and his "My old friend Crowley" line. Lucifer was in the Cage for millennia, Crowley got turned into a demon 300 years ago. Crowley was staying as much off Lucifer's radar as he could during season 5, when did Lucifer even figure out who Crowley is?

Rowena double crossing them was pretty obvious and I don't know why Sam and Crowley didn't see it. All they needed were a couple of lines to make us think that they had to go and do the spell NOW. "This spell will self-destruct in 30 seconds." It has to be done under a full moon, when the dog howls at night or something that set an actual time limit. And then, yes have Sam leave a voice mail, although we could find out that he did next episode.

I wish they hadn't handed this to the nepotism twins, although they may have considered the next episode to be more important and switching around would have had these guys covering the fix-it.

So yeah, came away from the episode liking it. Have more issues when I actually think about what happened. I will say, it was better than I expected when I first found out who was writing it.
13th-Dec-2015 04:36 am (UTC)
*nods*. I don't even attempt to make sense of the way hell works and that cage. I like that idea that once the cage was opened it was easier to open it the second time. I also accept (my own head-canon I suppose) certain things aren't known way back then. So the BoTD perhaps wasn't even known about. The 66 seals were simply are story telling device in S5 and it just wasn't a focus this time. Maybe once purgatory was opened to Dean it was easier to open for other mortal (etc.). *shrugs* it is always going to be an issue when they go back to these story lines.

And then, yes have Sam leave a voice mail, although we could find out that he did next episode.

Well, Show isn't great at remembering about voice-mails…;) It's been suggested below (by Casey) that Rowena was about to withdraw her services if Sam didn't act now. I can buy that to a certain extent because I got the sense she was about to walk away. It would be great it some of these things are made a little more explicit. It's a fine line between "spoon feeding" us and helping us understand why characters are acting in a certain way.

I enjoyed the episode also (I know it doesn't sound like I did), I just wish it had addressed a few things to make it all a bit clearer. And Sam being duped again has left me sad. He doesn't deserve this treatment. :(( (that's from a character pov, not from the story telling. I'm intrigued by where they might go with this).
11th-Dec-2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
(LOL Amara's boobs)

Oddly, I kind of had a backward reaction from yours. I was annoyed as I was watching the show, but thinking about it and rewatching made it a lot better. Maybe because I ignored the things that bothered me and focused on the things I loved (ahem SAM) and that helped me appreciate it more.

I don't think Michael and Adam being absent is handwaving. For once (ha ha) I think they actually did something good here - Rowena extracted Lucifer from the cage somehow and pulled him into the new cage. They were left behind.

Yes, it was annoying that they trusted Rowena, especially Sam trusting that they had to do it RIGHT NOW. I assume she wanted to make her move while the brothers were separated? But yeah, they should have been smart enough not to rely on "the Darkness is bad for ALL of us" to convince Rowena to be on their side.
13th-Dec-2015 04:42 am (UTC)
but thinking about it and rewatching made it a lot better.

aha! Perhaps I better do a rewatch! I haven't yet - but I am definitely wanting to. After some of the suggestions in this post, it might make some things make more sense.

I don't think Michael and Adam being absent is handwaving.

Yeah, I accept everyone's explanation of Lucifer being removed and Michael being left there (I have no idea whether Adam would even be alive in there. Much like Castiel's vessel, long since gone. Maybe). What I'm handwaving is how the whole hell and cage thing works (moving Lucifer from one cage to another for example and how Sam physically got inside it - unless Luci opened it and closed it again).

I assume she wanted to make her move while the brothers were separated?

Definitely and I'm now accepting that Rowena was about to withdraw her services if Sam didn't act there and then.
11th-Dec-2015 07:28 pm (UTC) - I
I have liked the way Rowena is written, and the way Ruth plays her, quite a lot until this episode. Her fangirling Lucifer really bothered me because it was just so Becky, and I thought we were past that. They could have been so much less offensive when writing and directing Rowena being starstruck.

I'm hoping that now that Bob Singer is no longer an executive producer, the Duo will be fired.
13th-Dec-2015 04:47 am (UTC) - Re: I
Hmmm, yeah. I wonder if they will be let go - I am going to assume not as they keep using them and in important episodes like this one. One off MoTW eps would suit them better I think.

I've had mixed reactions with Rowena. I think I'm frustrated that I don't know what her end came is - to be the most powerful witch that ever lived maybe? Rule the world? She's so scheming and untrustworthy I struggle to actually like the character. Ruth seems lovely and it's great to have a recurring character like her. I think she needs a good director to help her not caricature Rowena too much. The fangirling didn't bother me too much because it seems in character that she'd be attracted to the ultimate bad boy.
12th-Dec-2015 12:22 am (UTC)
I've only seen the ep once so far and I was really engaged while watching it, except when Rowena rushed Sam into the cage...that really pulled me out of it. I was like, 'Wait...what...why the rush, Sam? Doesn't make sense.'
I mean, obviously Rowena had something up her sleeve and the rush was deliberate, but Sam could've waited, no problem.
And you know, the writers could have dealt with this in a couple of minutes; time lapse showing Sam calling Dean several times, with no answer, leaving him messages, no reply. And Rowena making some subtle comment about Amara having her claws deep in Dean and Sam needs to get her dealt with NOW. Still obvious manipulation, but to me it would have seemed more credible. So that is my head canon. That this is what happened, they just didn't show us on screen!
Oh, and I didn't even notice the lack of Cas, but when you pointed out that, you know, he's actually been into the cage maybe he'd be worth talking to...yep, now that's bugging me too!
But mostly I liked this ep a lot. Although I am a little concerned about the 'non-con' overtones...I'm terribly worried that the writers will try to go somewhere with this and mess it up big time...
13th-Dec-2015 04:52 am (UTC)
that really pulled me out of it. I was like, 'Wait...what...why the rush, Sam? Doesn't make sense.'

It didn't to me either. Though it's been suggested that Rowena was about to withdraw her services if Sam didn't act right then, so I'm thinking that could work. But, yes. A little more time to give that strength would have been great. At least they did have Sam trying to contact Dean - so he can't be totally blamed for the situation he found himself in (though, yeah. Hard not to point the finger a bit. Experience should have helped him make a better decision).

yep, now that's bugging me too!

Sorry! Actually, I think some things only started to bother me when I saw some other comments. But Cas has been notably lacking (without any good reason) for 3 episodes. It's not something that bothers me, but with a character as useful as that I just don't get why he couldn't have been there for this.

Although I am a little concerned about the 'non-con' overtones...I'm terribly worried that the writers will try to go somewhere with this and mess it up big time…

I am very worried about his aspect. I hope they don't trivialise what's gone before for Sam in there. I'm planning to write some stuff on this in a separate post).



12th-Dec-2015 12:29 am (UTC)
From what I saw on Twitter, I was beginning to think I was one of the few who felt let down by this episode! I agree about these writers, they and the other pair are my least favored writers. That said, while I was watching it I couldn't say anything was really wrong...just off and not right and not at the caliber I expect from our Supernatural writers. Basically, as you said, junk food with not substance.

Bottom line is there were no surprises, and that's what I expect and want from a mid-season finale. There is no logical reason for both Winchesters to not at least consider that the visions were coming from Lucifer. THAT's what I thought they were, so geez, guess I'm brilliant...or our writers are so obviously not! Like you, I'm not disappointed that Lucifer is that clever and evil, but I am astonished that the possibility was never explored and it's expected to be this huge surprise.

Contrivances in writing really bother me, so yes, Sam trusting Rowena enough to go to the cage without backup...not smart & not something Sam should or would have done. Why would Rowena do that? Cuz she can, cuz it worked, and now she has the Book of the Damned!

I do firmly believe that Amara cast her spell on Dean and prevented him from answering Sam's call. Which on Sam's part, might have made him even consider the possibility that perhaps Dean was in trouble and maybe he should wait to make sure.

Honestly the very best part of the ep was the preview for the next ep! This ep seems so straight forward, with no nuance or reason to delve deeper. Empty calories and I have little desire to analyze or rewatch as I normally do. I really hate they give such a critically important and potentially riveting episode to writers who can't deliver.

B.J.

13th-Dec-2015 08:19 am (UTC)
*nods* When I found out who was writing this ep (and what it contained) I mentally prepared myself to be disappointed (or that there would be some problems with it). I suppose TPTB think what they do is great and give them these heavy myth-arc eps.

I think that fact that many fans picked that the visions were coming from Lucifer the real twist would have been that they were actually coming from God. I would genuinely liked to have been surprised.

But the acting was top notch and there was a lot of tension (well, I was very tense during the second half of it). I am hopeful this will all be dealt with satisfactorily in the next ep. Not looking forward to the long wait though!
12th-Dec-2015 12:35 am (UTC) - Amara's cleavage
Forgot to mention, that yes, I too found her ample assets and how they were displayed distracting and annoying. Reminds me of when I'm hiring and the applicant has their boobs hanging out. I want to ask them if they assumed the HR was a guy who would go for that, cuz I certainly don't!

I would like to know if that was written into the script, the actress' character choice, or most likely, the director okaying wardrobe, which begs the question, why and who thought that was a good idea?

B.J.
13th-Dec-2015 08:21 am (UTC) - Re: Amara's cleavage
Yeah. I'd be curious too. I can only think it was a wardrobe / director decision. I'm not sure what it was about actually, but I sure had trouble not being distracted during her scenes (especially as there were so many high angle shots).
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