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13.03 reaction / review 
28th-Oct-2017 06:49 pm
Becc_j Art
You know how in my last review I mentioned how nice it was that even though Sam and Dean aren't on the same page at least they're not fighting about it?

Yeah well. I probably shouldn't have said that.

(some spoilers for future episodes, but nothing that isn't out there already)



I gotta say that episode didn't really grab me. I mean, there were some bits I liked (loved even) but mostly I was just bored and a bit annoyed. But...*shrugs*... that's a pretty standard reaction to some eps isn't it?

Mostly I was annoyed that for a Robert Berens episode it failed to hit some marks he normally hits easily. Namely - character development. It was also pretty heavy-handed, even clunky at times. I think the big problem for writers in this series is knowing exactly what's gone before. Berens would have been given the brief : introduce a new character for the spin-off series, show Dean grieving and show Sam connecting with Jack because he knows what he's going through. On that level Berens delivered, but we already knew that stuff about Sam and Dean so a lot of that ended up being just anvillious (no idea if that's a word, but you know what I mean *g*).

That said, I LOVED the scene between Sam and Jack where Sam talked about knowing about the darkness inside himself. It actually brought a tear. It was an extremely honest moment and Jared knocked it out of the park.

And Jensen really delivered too. He was consistent in his mood throughout the episode. It was a well focused performance. Even though it frustrated me (this Dean is devoid of joy and lacks a care for Sam that it breaks my heart to watch), Jensen didn't waiver in his delivery.

The thing that really surprised me is how bland the new character, Patience, was. Berens is normally great at that stuff. But I ended up not caring a jot about her (or her father), which leaves me worried for the Wayward Sisters spin off (not that I'm exactly excited for it. It's not a show I'll probably watch, but I would like to it do well for the sake of the actors and crew etc.)

The episode didn't really make a lot of sense actually. Missouri (*weeps*) contacting them out of the blue after 12 years with no more than a "oh, it's you" from the boys? There was such a lack of depth to any of that. I just had a feeling that it was all just rushed through, with little care for what she meant to Sam and Dean in S1 (yeah, I know it's a long time ago but for fans like me she a crucial part of Sam and Dean's early life). Much like the amulet's return, she was "token" and ended up just being a tool for the introduction of a new character (though I did like the way she confront her death - so sassy).

Jody wasn't her usual self either. I love her snide, oft humorous quips. I get that she's a hardened hunter now, but we still need to see some level of joy from these characters I think.

The clichéd "girl gets kidnapped and villain monologues before killing her" really annoyed me. Please! Give me a better reason for not killing someone other than "we have to wait for the heroes to arrive to save her" (and then use that saving as a way to see that..."oh, look at that, I really am psychic!"). Also, the method and speed in which they found her was simply ridiculous (seriously, if this was a method for finding people why haven't the boys heard about it before? It would be an AWESOME tool to have up their sleeves).

I have mixed feelings about the final confrontation between the boys at the end. I didn't like Dean taking out his grief out on Sam (even though I got why he did that - Sam's probably the only one who would take it maybe?) and I hate that level of anger between them at any time. That said, it's a crucial ingredient to the show. Last season there was a lot of criticism that there wasn't a lot going on between the brothers - that was simply because they got on so well. These scenes heighten the drama and is usually what gets fans talking. It also means there might be some reconciliation between them at some point.

Not sure what to make of Cas being in the empty yet. I was rather hoping we'd see alt!Cas (which, I still think is possible. With Cas's "spirit" in the Empty (if that's what it was) and a version of his body in the alt-universe we might be in for something interesting? A coming together of spirit and body maybe? Or maybe that's just wishful thinking...)

Aaaanyway. It wasn't dreadful. The Sam and Jack scenes got me through it and seeing Missouri again was a delight. JP and JA's performances were spot on and Alex continues to do great things with Jack (my heart broke for him at the end). I'm just disappointed that Berens didn't deliver a stronger introduction to Patience (and kept Missouri alive for future episodes in the WS spinoff). But maybe there's room to grow in the actual back-door spin-off episodes.


A little side note: I've seen a lot of comments (on twitter) claiming both Sam and Dean were OOC in the episode. I'm confused a bit by that because I think their actions in this episode were very much in the realms of their characters. We might not like the way they are reacting, but I don't think either of them are doing anything that's particularly out of character? Are they?
Comments 
28th-Oct-2017 12:25 pm (UTC)
We might not like the way they are reacting, but I don't think either of them are doing anything that's particularly out of character?

I think they are in character, even though I kinda want to slap Dean right now...and while there is conflict between them, they are talking...or at least yelling...at each other...I can't put my finger on it, but it feels like a solvable disagreement as opposed to some of the times they have been at odds...

As far as the rest, pretty much agree with you. Patience was boring, and I was really surprised at Berens not doing better.
28th-Oct-2017 03:08 pm (UTC)
That's how I felt about the boys interactions too - I get that they are disagreeing, and Dean is angry, but whether it's Jared's acting, or wishful thinking on my part, but I'm seeing a lot of patience and understanding on Sam's side. He's fighting back, sure, but not with the sharpened weapons Sam's used in the past. He's not drawing blood with Dean, and we know he could, if he wanted.
28th-Oct-2017 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yes to everything here - and I think you've highlighted something about this episode (and maybe the season so far, though I don't remember noticing it so much after the first two, so maybe it was just this one). Joyless. Such a good word for it.

I mean it wasn't JUST that they killed of Missouri so casually, or so quickly, though that didn't help - it was everything else. This one just felt so damned HEAVY. In every sense of the word - heavy on the anvils, heavy on mood. And yes. Joyless.

I wonder if this was in the editing, the writing or what. I hadn't realised it was Berens, that is a worry.
28th-Oct-2017 10:21 pm (UTC)
I AGREE. It was joyless. Berens does usually write his episodes with more gravitas, but dang, this one was downright onerous. It's times like these where I reeeeeally miss Edlund. For me, he struck just the right balance.
28th-Oct-2017 03:12 pm (UTC)
Re: the boys arguing, I didn't feel the impact like you did. I think Sam is pushing Dean more than fighting him. We know Sam can wield words like blades and knows exactly what to say to Dean to hurt him the most - but he isn't doing that. He's standing his ground, and he's coming back at Dean, but he's not drawing blood.

Plus what he's saying to Jack about Dean shows Sam is totally cognisant of what Dean's doing - and why. I'm finding that rather awesome, so their fighting doesn't seem that problematic to me.
29th-Oct-2017 12:29 pm (UTC)
Cool! That's a great way of looking at it. :) I mostly just thought of Dean letting go of his grief at Sam - but I like the idea of Sam holding back because he knows what's going on with Dean (and yeah, Sam can be vicious when he needs to be...)
28th-Oct-2017 05:31 pm (UTC)
This ep was frustrating to watch for many of the reason you stated. I wondered even if you'd write a review.

I was unhappy for Missouri to die after getting so excited seeing her again, and also, they not distinguishing between a psychic and a hunter but act like they are the same thing. To me it was super annoying. Then we learn that Missouri's past vision of her daughter in law surviving the illness was wrong but she trusts the vision of her own death now so much that she gives into it. While Patience used her vision to alter the reality. Meh. :/

I wonder if this strange joylessness you mention was the reason that I struggled to handwave aspects I didn't like.

I do like the word "anvillious".

The Sam and Jack scenes were beautiful. :)

I somehow thought Cas was really gone for good. I was like "What? Back again?! After getting such a beautiful funeral?" But with Death dead, what can one expect. ;)

xx



30th-Oct-2017 10:38 am (UTC)
I wondered even if you'd write a review.

I wondered too, but it seems I had some things I wanted to say! :)

they not distinguishing between a psychic and a hunter but act like they are the same thing.

Yes! I noticed that too. They called Missouri a hunter and we just have to assume she became one? If so, why call Sam and Dean?

I somehow thought Cas was really gone for good.

Ah. That's the joy of not being spoiled. Because I'm on twitter (and follow con news) it was reveal (pretty much straight away) that he'd be back. I think Cas fans might have broken the internet if they thought he was dead for good. ;)

But with Death dead, what can one expect. ;)

Good point! How is anyone dying actually....
28th-Oct-2017 10:48 pm (UTC)
The show got pre-empted in my area, so I let myself get spoiled on twitter. Glad I did. I would've been madder than a hornet (and rolling my eyes) about losing Missouri so fast. I know, I know, it's a dangerous world SPN operates in, everyone dies, yadda yadda. But this almost feels like the show is systematically killing every stinkin' incidental character that ever existed from Seasons 1-5. It almost feels like they're erasing the old SPN so that eventually, we're left with nothing but the characters peopling the spin-off.

Which I am less than zero interested in. And dammit, I used to really love Jody. Now, poopka. And Patience is dull as dishwater. Total Mary Sue.

I'm still vainly hoping for alt!Cas myself, but yeah, that looks like sameold!Cas in The Empty. Yay.

Surprising no one, I dug all of Sam's scenes: the ones with Jack and the 'discussion' with Dean. FINALLY we get the tiniest peek via Sam's POV, and hear him verbalize (and confirm) what we all pretty much suspected: he's not just using Jack as a tool (as many in fandom still seem convinced), he's also seeing so much of himself in Jack. And if Sam can rise above a tainted bloodline, so too can Jack.


"It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters what you do. It's your choice."

~Sam 'You Don't Have to Be a Monster' Winchester


I'm not altogether certain where the OOC claims come from either. Sorry, can't help you there.

In closing, not awful, some of the boys' baggage is getting aired (genuine "yay" this time!), but I wish they'd stop burning SPN time on WS stuff. I get why they're doing it, but that doesn't mean I gotta like it.
30th-Oct-2017 10:47 am (UTC)
Hey! <3

But this almost feels like the show is systematically killing every stinkin' incidental character that ever existed from Seasons 1-5.

This is making me so sad. I am very surprised Berens killed her off (unless he was told to?) He's one writer I've felt respected not only female characters, but past characters too. I've often wondered if they just get sick of fans asking for the return of something/someone and kill them off so we stop asking? They (probably cleverly) ended up making the amulet a mute point (it's around but we never see it), so we no longer ask for that.

And dammit, I used to really love Jody.

Whhaaaaaaa me too! She used to be so interesting. I'm still hoping they haven't actually forgotten how to write her and we'll still see some of the old time Jody we used to.

And yes - the WS is not at all interesting to me. I can that they are trying another angle on the spin off but surely (surely!!) they get why SPN has been so successful? I will be MIGHTY surprised if takes off with the current SPN audience. We'll see I suppose.

And yes - nice to have some things aired. I didn't realise that people were thinking Sam was just using Jack as a tool. It seemed clear as day to me that it was about their similarities. Sam's also just a damn nice guy and wants to help those he can. I'm glad that hasn't changed about him. :)


28th-Oct-2017 11:10 pm (UTC)
I always find episodes that are vehicles for other shows clunky and I think it is because everything is written around the need to create this character and situation. I hated that Missouri was thrown away in a meh episode. I did love the Sam and Jack stuff and you are right the boys were in character so that made the episode for me.
1st-Nov-2017 11:47 am (UTC)
It was very disappointing that they used Missouri in this way. She is not a throw away character dammit!

With two more major spin-off episodes to come it will be interesting to see how things develop. I'd like it to be (for the sake of those involved) but if Patience is anything to go by, I'm worried it won't be.

29th-Oct-2017 12:19 am (UTC)
Aaaanyway. It wasn't dreadful.

In a nutshell, that's way I stopped watching. I glanced at it online, then went to the Big Scene at the end. They can do this stuff in their sleep.

Berens is probably more involved emotionally in Wayward. I'm surprised he wrote such a lackluster script.
1st-Nov-2017 11:49 am (UTC)
Berens is probably more involved emotionally in Wayward.

He is. Which is why it surprised me how weak the spin off character was. I kinda hate losing Berens to the spin off to be honest. His eps are usually my faves...

xx
29th-Oct-2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
The introduction of Patience was really clunky and boring and heavy-handed and cliched. Oh, look, she "saved" everyone with her powers she didn't even know she had and so she's super-smart and a ready-made hunter. It would've been more interesting if she hadn't done anything and we would've seen the difference between her vision and what really happened and then she maybe could've questioned her visions and if she could've done something to help/save people etc. Now she just feels like a Mary Sue who was elevated to being the hero by pushing down everyone else.

I loved the boys and mentor!Sam, and I didn't get a feeling of OOC-ness from the boys. I can understand Dean's anger, although he seemed to go a bit far, and I can understand Sam being annoyed at Dean for threatening Jack.
1st-Nov-2017 11:54 am (UTC)
Oh, look, she "saved" everyone with her powers she didn't even know she had and so she's super-smart and a ready-made hunter.

Yeah. As you (and quickreaver) have observed - a total Mary Sue. Why??? Berens? You're better than that! (I hadn't thought of in Mary Sue terms but I can definitely see how she fits the stereotype).

And I love your suggestion for the way it could have played out.




Edited at 2017-11-01 12:03 pm (UTC)
30th-Oct-2017 12:24 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this a little more than you. I liked having a little distraction from the heaviness of mytharc, but I was annoyed that they brought back another fan favourite only to use her death to set up the spin off. Also I really wanted to see Missouri 'tell Dean off' for his potty mouth, or putting his feet on her coffee table again. But I think that might just be me (and I would have liked Sam and Missouri to meet and maybe for her to mention Sam's own psychic abilities which now seem to be have been put under a demon blood umbrella).

I didn't mind the argument at the end. Dean's still so hurt and in pain and struggling, and I think Sam knows that, but like most of us is getting a little frustrated that Dean can't see through his grief yet. Like other's have said, it doesn't feel like an unsolvable argument, more like a stumbling block.

Yes, from what I've seen a few people were hoping for the AU Cas to show up, myself included, but it's looks like he's what, in the Empty for killing Billie? Which wouldn't be too terrible as they seem to have forgotten all about the 'cosmic consequences' not to moment Death's death.

It did feel a little on the bland side, but I enjoyed it more than last week (if I can forgive them for Missouri) Take care lovely :)
1st-Nov-2017 12:02 pm (UTC)
I liked having a little distraction from the heaviness of mythic,

Actually yes! That was a positive for sure! :) It was certainly more MoTW than the last two eps.

Also I really wanted to see Missouri 'tell Dean off' for his potty mouth,

Yes. A reference to her last encounter with Dean would have been great. Even her noting how difference he was now - I mean, she did mention his loses but something about the weight on his shoulders would have been even more poignant (compare to their last encounter).

but like most of us is getting a little frustrated that Dean can't see through his grief yet.

Yeah. Especially as we've been here so many times before. It's probably because Jensen does this Dean so well, but yeah - move on a little bit maybe? (And I'm still struggling with him not even wanting to try and look for Mary... maybe he's just TOO hurt...poor boy).


30th-Oct-2017 01:29 pm (UTC)
I concur with this so closely that I almost could have written it myself. It's really weird for me to find myself enjoying a Buckleming only to be so disappointed by Berens' contribution. I think what made Dean's outburst in this episode so incongruous was the fact that it followed the scene at the end of last week's episode. As you say, that suggests Berens wasn't aware of what Buckleming had written. SPN could do with a system like Whedon used to have where all the writers story-edited each others work, to make sure they were all on the same page. Or at least have an executive story editor who takes the job seriously enough to get re-writes when things don't mesh. But that would just take too much time, I guess :(
2nd-Nov-2017 09:47 am (UTC)
I concur with this so closely that I almost could have written it myself.

haha!

SPN could do with a system like Whedon used to have where all the writers story-edited each others work, to make sure they were all on the same page

Oh that would be so good! I actually thought Berens had a job similar to that on the show? But I might be misunderstanding his role.



1st-Nov-2017 09:40 am (UTC)
I've just been commenting on Caranfindel's review that epsiodes 2 and 3 make perfect sense if you assume the writing credits were swapped. I started off half joking but, you know, the more I think about it, the more I think it does make sense. This episode had all the hallmarks of a Buckleming: OOC Sam and Dean, complete inattention to previous episodes this season, bad ret-con, total continuity fail and gratuitous uncomfortable het-sex situations. But this was an important episode - a pilot episode for Wayward Sisters - and maybe show didn't want to admit it was penned by writers they know we hate because they didn't want us predisposed to hate their new WS character and he origin story. Oh, well. That worked out well for them :P
4th-Nov-2017 05:29 am (UTC)
Actually, swapping writing credits would make a lot of sense to me! :)
2nd-Nov-2017 02:01 am (UTC)
I'm with you on this one. I can't say I was surprised with how Missouri was handled -- does anyone remember Sarah's return? And it's not like they could probably get Loretta Devine back again anyway, so I figured she was going to die. But yes, I think the casual way it was done was very empty.

Also, the method and speed in which they found her was simply ridiculous (seriously, if this was a method for finding people why haven't the boys heard about it before? It would be an AWESOME tool to have up their sleeves).

*snort* Right? But what annoyed me even more was the re-run of her vision before each person was attacked as if we couldn't remember the previous 5 minute scene! Everything was just so clunky and by the numbers.

And no, I don't see them being OOC, in fact the whole thing just seems like a giant rerun. That said, I agree with you that JP's scene with Jack was the best part of the episode because it was the only one that seemed to have any real emotion to it. It certainly wasn't in the writing, the writing was so pedestrian. It was just what he was able to do with it. I mean watching that scene, I wanted Sam Winchester to believe in me.
4th-Nov-2017 05:33 am (UTC)
does anyone remember Sarah's return?

Oh please don't remind me. That was awful... :(

And it's not like they could probably get Loretta Devine back again anyway,

I wondered this also. But yes, they could have made so much more of her return and the boys meeting up again after all these years.

But what annoyed me even more was the re-run of her vision before each person was attacked as if we couldn't remember the previous 5 minute scene!

YES YES YES! I was thinking that too. I mean, we're not stupid! We got the point of that immediately. So clunky and unnecessary.

I mean watching that scene, I wanted Sam Winchester to believe in me.

Yes. Jared puts so much into those scene. It's like a part of him is actually doing the talking (which, I think is probably the case after listening to his struggles with depression).




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