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13.01 reaction / review 
13th-Oct-2017 10:48 pm
Now & Then
Show is back \o/. Initially I didn't think I had much to say about this episode, but I've pondered on it over the last couple of hours since watching and there's a couple of things I have to say it seems...*g*



I admit I had a bit of trepidation going into the season opener. I was excited to see the boys again but I wasn't sure how they were going deal with the loss of Cas (and Mary). I thought there might be lots of moping and tension between Sam and Dean, but it turns out that even though there was some of that, it was actually handled really well.

I'm hesitant to say this (because there will no doubt be an episode (or episodes) that debunks this), but I felt like Supernatural came of age tonight. It felt like it had "grown up", but at the same time it was still grounded in what makes the show...well, the Show. :) It acknowledged that Sam and Dean has been through all this before (losing people they love and facing a new threat), but at the same time allowed them to feel everything that's associated with that.

I really loved the writing (kudos to Andrew Dabb) and direction (by seasoned director Phil Sgriccia). I particularly liked the structure. Sam and Dean dove directly into the "hunt" before spending the time to mourn their losses. Initially I was surprised by this, but I like that it was almost the "elephant in the room" during the episode before it closed the episode with a very moving tribute to all those who they've lost.

Jensen portrayed a man driven by loss and heartbreak, but someone has been through all this before, perfectly. He wasn't mopey or self destructive, but rather doing what Dean does best - hunting with a belligerence as a coping mechanism. He simmered,lashed out and then seethed. He had a weight on his shoulders that could have stopped him, but didn't.

Jared portrayed a man hanging on by a mere thread perfectly also. I love the way Jared is able to contain Sam's pain through hope and optimism. His words in the final scene brought me to tears. It was so full of feeling (I also think this has a lot to do with know Jared's personal struggles - he just brings so much truth to these scenes). That final scene was very moving.

I particularly liked the way each character was portrayed without either of them being compromised. They each showed grief, but in their own way. They both had strong story lines and we saw the strong connections they each had to the people they lost.

In fact, all the performances were very strong. I thought Alexander Calvert did a great job portraying Jack. At times he reminded me of Cas (I would like to think this was deliberate as he was tuning in to Cas's presence and thought he was his father). He played innocent and potential evil perfectly. I also liked the new sheriff (and her son).

The thing that stuck me the most in this episode was the similarities between Dean "hiding" when pleading for help (praying) and the scene from Home when he calls John and pleads for help when he was out of his depth. It's such a Dean thing and was a great way to join young Dean with this older Dean. He's different, but still the same. He's a strong man (a "hero") but he has weakness (that he feels he needs to hide). A beautifully shot scene also.

Sam and Dean's connection was a strong as ever. They had differences in the approach to Jack but it didn't mean they fought, but rather they acknowledged each other's approach and respected it. This is why I felt the show had come of age. They know each other so well now that the different approaches is a given. They just seemed so kinda soft with each other. Like they respect that each other are suffering but they know the hunt continues. I dunno. Hard to explain, but it made the episode for me.

My only niggle ('cause you know there will always be one - or a hundred ;D), is that the angels fight like they are mortals. They could easily kill Sam and Dean but don't (they must know they're the leads in a TV show or something...*g*). I was also a little surprised how quickly Dean was prepared to burn Cas's body and accept that Mary was dead. Though I think this was a lot to do with his way of coping with his pain. Accept the losses and move on as quickly as he can (even though we know that won't happen! *g*)

Overall a strong, engaging episode. I am really interested to see what they do with Jack (as long as it doesn't become to soap-ish and cause major issues between the brothers). I am also looking forward to see how they deal with life without anyone to call on (though I suppose there's still Jody).

Bring it show!
Comments 
13th-Oct-2017 04:02 pm (UTC)
The correlation to Home really struck me, too! Then I saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan's tweet and had a good laugh. I guess it's obvious to everybody! Good to know JDM watched the episode, though :)

I was also struck by the beautiful scene of the boys in the car on the highway at the beginning of the episode. You know more about this than I do, but the cinematography was like a whole separate character in that scene - really spectacular and utterly heart-breaking.

Great review! I loved this episode and am ridiculously thrilled by the direction the show is taking this season, so not much to add, but I was delighted to see your post!
14th-Oct-2017 09:05 am (UTC)
Hi,

Oh JDM said the same thing? Cool. It must have been deliberate then. :) And how awesome that he's watching and tweeting.

And I agree about the cinematography in that opening scene. It's always fantastic to seem them use it so effectively. Shots with baby are always particularly powerful - that also harkened back to earlier episodes.

I am excited by the potential direction. I'm looking forward to a good few episodes with just the boys having to use their skills and just each other (and maybe Jack?) again their foes. :)

13th-Oct-2017 05:30 pm (UTC)
I thought it was a fantastic start to the new season. Jensen and Jared were both incredible, and I thought Alex Calvert was impressive as Jack. I thought the same as you about Dean 'hiding' whenever he prays or asks for help -"The thing that stuck me the most in this episode was the similarities between Dean "hiding" when pleading for help (praying)" - at least this time he told Sam he'd prayed. Great start! :)
14th-Oct-2017 09:07 am (UTC)
Hey. Yes, it was a good start I thought. I'm glad they explained how/why Jack had grown up so quickly (and why he thought Castiel was his father).
13th-Oct-2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed it and had much the same reaction. Kind of--my, have our boys finally come of age? I didn't realize how much I missed them until I saw that tweet last week, but Jared and Jensen have always given this show their best, even when a given episode wasn't...exactly...the show's best.

I'm really going to try to stick with this season. Because I followed so lightly last year, a couple questions--has the last season ever been announced? And are there any of the last episodes of season 12 that are must-watch eps.

(While I have enjoyed Castiel, am not an angel arc fan. I tend to tune out when the angels take too large a role)
14th-Oct-2017 09:16 am (UTC)
Hey!

I like that they've allowed the boys to age, but still retain who they fundamentally are. :)


Answers to your questions - no, they haven't announced the last season yet. As far as we know, as long as the boys want to do it (and the ratings hold) they show will just keep going. *g*

Hmmmm - S12 must watch eps. Ya know, I can't even really remember much of last season to be honest. I know I didn't mind it, but it just had no emotional punch. I think they were going for a less emotional ride between Sam and Dean and it kinda meant not as much drama. I like that they weren't fighting, but it ended up being rather *meh*. My fave I think was 12.06 - Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox.

(While I have enjoyed Castiel, am not an angel arc fan. I tend to tune out when the angels take too large a role)

Oh me too. I once enjoyed Cas too, but no longer I'm sad to say. My fave eps tend to be the angel (and demon) free ones. I've resigned myself that they are here to stay so I'll just *shrug* them off now *g*)


13th-Oct-2017 07:12 pm (UTC)
Awesome review! You articulated so clearly so many of the things that I loved about last night's episode. I'm happy to know that it made you happy too!! I've got a good feeling going into this season ^_^
14th-Oct-2017 09:18 am (UTC)
Thank you hun! Nice to be able to write reviews again. :) I'm not sure I'll do it for every episode, but when an ep inspires me I'll put some thoughts down :D

xx
13th-Oct-2017 07:31 pm (UTC)
Hm. I wasn't quite as glowing about the episode as you were, so I'll just say I liked it better after a second watching! (And the mere fact I actually watched it a second time speaks volumes as to how much better I liked the start of this season.)
14th-Oct-2017 09:23 am (UTC)
Hey! I'd love to hear your thoughts about it (did you post something somewhere?) I wasn't sure during some parts and then later on, when I was thinking about it, a few things struck me and I had that feeling that I once had about the show (that feeling I can't quite put into words, but the one that reminded me how much I once loved (and still love) the show.

Perhaps I feared it was going to be so much worse (I did think we'd get a sulking Dean and I'm not a great fan of that). Instead we got an emotional Dean, but not one set on pure self destruction (yet anyway).

And I gotta say, I love that for anyone but Sam, Dean's emotional response is "normal" (punch something, say goodbye, burn the body etc). It's only Sam that brings out that irrational (and rather wonderful) soul selling and other desperate type deals.
13th-Oct-2017 09:09 pm (UTC)
I *loved* a little of this, I hated a little of this, I was pleasantly surprised by a little of this, and I yawned over a little of this. But all in all, it was more good than not good! I'll be back for more!
14th-Oct-2017 09:25 am (UTC)
Oooh, curious which bits you hated...

I confess I was a little bored at times. And I felt a little uncomfortable at times also. I'm not fond of Dean begging for help (especially from "god" who's treated them appallingly), but I appreciated their attempt to connect the scene to Home.
13th-Oct-2017 09:22 pm (UTC)
As you articulated, the different way each brother has of grieving--and the toll of the quantity of losses this time--was perfectly portrayed...Jensen and Jared cannot get enough praise!
14th-Oct-2017 09:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, their performances where spot on. They seem to always give their all - even after all these years. :)
13th-Oct-2017 09:37 pm (UTC)
I did have a feeling this ep would inspire you to leave a review. I was not wrong, just popped into LJ a little bit too early. ;)

"Supernatural came of age" "strong, engaging episode" Yes!! See, that is why I read your words. So I have some labels to put on my feelings. :D
Do you think we as viewers are perhaps coming of age, too? Just a thought that popped into my mind. :)






14th-Oct-2017 09:30 am (UTC)
I did have a feeling this ep would inspire you to leave a review.

Haha! You know me well! :)

Do you think we as viewers are perhaps coming of age, too?

Hmmm, that's a good question. Hee, I certainly know I'm a lot older than when all this started!

But...yeah. Maybe? I think we still want certain things from the show (and I appreciate that not all fans want the same thing) and when the show can demonstrated that it has grown up with the fans it's heartening. Unfortunately, the fact that the show has different writers means they may not all see it the same way. I suppose we'll have to wait and see. If the show can still inspired fans that are now 13 years older than when it started then they've got to be doing something right...*g*

*hugs*
13th-Oct-2017 10:16 pm (UTC)
I concur!
14th-Oct-2017 09:33 am (UTC)
Cool! *off to check out your review*

(always amazed at how detailed they are. And wonderfully humorous too...)

x
14th-Oct-2017 07:20 am (UTC)
I have felt that Dabb's strength as show-runner has been the psychology and emotional element. He does seem to have a respect for the original conception of the characters that I felt Carver lacked. In seasons 8 and 9, all was sacrificed to the manufacturing of artificial drama. Plus I hated the fact that Carver seemed to think he could only create drama by having the brothers at each other's throats and making Dean a mindless thug.

Like you, though, I'm still frustrated that all the supernatural opponents have been dis-empowered so that the climax of every episode boils down to yet another stock punch-up. In the early seasons of the show there were relatively few fist fights. The boys were pitted against supernaturally powerful opponents, and they had to beat them with their wits.

But it is good to see Sam and Dean portrayed as having achieved a mature relationship that acknowledges their past experience.
14th-Oct-2017 09:42 am (UTC)
Your whole first paragraph. YES! Very much. Even though I felt last season lacked the oomph of previous seasons (maybe the brothers being on the same page was something we were just not used to) it was refreshing to not have to witness them in conflict all the time. I don't think I'll ever forgive Caver for some of the things he made the brothers fight about.

The boys were pitted against supernaturally powerful opponents, and they had to beat them with their wits.

Yes. It's infuriates me so much. Both demons and angels are WAY more powerful than humans and yet they resort to using their fists.

14th-Oct-2017 09:05 am (UTC)
The bond the boys have was really strong and it came wonderfully through that they know each other well: Sam knows that Dean reacts strongly to losing people and that his words are sharper than he means. Dean knows that Sam's plans can be trusted even though his first thought is to punch something.

I agree that it'd be best to leave the soap out, so I really hope that Jack behaves in a more adult manner than Lucifer did in the Bunker in S11.
14th-Oct-2017 09:46 am (UTC)
*nods* and *nods* :D

so I really hope that Jack behaves in a more adult manner than Lucifer did in the Bunker in S11.

I hope Jack totally fights his potential to be evil. I suspect that much of s13 might be about that fight, but it would be good to see him as a "good" guy, fighting on Sam and Dean's side.

And how cool was the cinematography?! That shot of Dean when he was praying was glorious. :)
14th-Oct-2017 09:43 pm (UTC)
Yes to all the above - and the photography was gorgeous. Not only of the boys but of the scenery and placement of them in the various settings. My emotions weren't totally engaged but they haven't been for quite a while, mostly because the shows edges have worn smooth now, but I still loved it.

Jensen and Jared really knocked their scenes out of the park, and Jack was engaging. He managed innocence, vulnerability and danger all at once. Impressed!
19th-Oct-2017 09:30 am (UTC)
Hey!

*nods*

The photography was, once again, great. I love that they take care with their shots like that. Makes it even more special. :)
15th-Oct-2017 12:10 pm (UTC)
The link between Home and Lost and Found smacked me hard in the chest, I was thrilled to see the shout back to it, but at the same time it broke my damned heart ♥
19th-Oct-2017 09:30 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. They still know how to tug on those darn heart strings. :))
15th-Oct-2017 08:26 pm (UTC)
Last season left me feeling meh... but I did really like this episode so like Sam I have some hope. Happy to see your review and thoughts~! :)
19th-Oct-2017 09:32 am (UTC)
Yeah. Same. I liked some eps from last season, and I liked that the boys were at odds with each other. It just didn't made the most of some potential great moments (like Sam being rescued, and Sam's fall out after his awful torture. I need the "C" part of H/C. :)

16th-Oct-2017 12:55 pm (UTC)
I'm a happy camper!

I liked the balance of introducing Jack, and allowing Sam to bond with him, with seeing Dean's grief and anger and how they brought those things together at the end with the pyre. I loved the prettiness of the scenery and seeing the boys in the car, and talking, and basically, I just loved having Show back on my tv. Not much of a fan with angels fist-fighting, but overall I really liked the emotional depth we got.

For me Dean's prayer to Chuck just highlighted how isolated these boys are now, and how we really are harking back to season one where it was just the boys, with no angel to call, no demon to call, just each other and John's journal (Ohhh, I'd like to see that now!)

Take care and great to see you here :)
19th-Oct-2017 10:41 am (UTC)
Agreed! It was a nice balance actually. Each character had a solid part to play and they all fed into that last scene by the pyre.

They've talked about Sam and Dean's isolation before, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out this season. I suspect Jack may become a powerful ally, though he won't be able to be "too" powerful for a while. Hmmmm, curious to see what they do with Jack also.

Happy to be here! Great to have the show back! :D
xx
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