(Sorry this is so wordy but that ep really brought out the thinky thoughts in me...)
I gotta say it took me a while to get what was going on in this episode. And I don't mean what it was about.. that was pretty clear, it was the way it was being presented that (initially) was confusing. And then when the penny dropped... it's the ultimate noir episode
... I was along for the ride.
And that's what this show keeps doing. Taking us along for a ride and each time it seems to chose a different type of road to take us down.
This time they used the classic noir element of the narrator to present its story. "An omniscient, metaphor-spouting narrator (often the central character, a world-weary private eye) frequently clarifies a characteristically labyrinthine noir plot or offers a subjective, jaded point of view"
I find it interesting that usually it's a mysterious damsel that has the "detective" recalling the story and working out where he went wrong or could have made a different decision. I am assuming Dean, or maybe even "the boys" filled that role tonight. The heart of this story was filled with as much love, despair, betrayal and self doubt as any good noir genre film.
The way it was filmed homaged that style and of course it helps that Cas wears a trench coat. *g*
Even down to the way the dialogue was written and delivered. No... not corny (as I was first thinking..) but stylised
So in light of that, Supernatural (once again) fills me with AWE and GLEE. Not only for having the guts
to play with the way it delivers its story but also for its passion for film genres.
Good move Show! I'm impressed.
That said... WOW.. there were some reveals tonight! Admittedly, for me, nothing too unexpected. I love that we've had some confirmations of things we already suspected. The big one being Cas raised Sam from hell (and how much do I love that he raised both Dean AND Sam from perdition..). Though why did Sam not have a hand print? (I know, I know... don't ask those questions!)
In the beginning I wasn't particularly interested to know all the details of why Cas was fighting the war in heaven. We knew he was and that was enough for me. But now, when I sit back and reflect, I'm glad to know it all. I think it clears the way for the last two episodes and it certainly sheds some light as to what Cas has been doing all season.Counting the ways....
One thing that's a little difficult when reviewing an episode from a "subjective, jaded" point of view is how much can we take at face value. How much is "real" and how much is just the way Castiel saw things? I'm going to take it for face value because I suspect that's how we are meant to take it. I could be wrong of course.
Some things I loved in particular:
Dean was an interesting study and I think we are still seeing that growth in character development that has been present throughout season six.
Dean knows betrayal. From the start we know Dean has experienced betrayal and tonight he experienced it again. Only this time he seemed to truly understand where it's came from. Sure it hurt
(and wow.. I loved the way Jensen played that), but due to his experience about why
people have betrayed him in the past, he could see this betrayal as "good intentions" rather than because he is some sort of failure (has he has done in the past....)
why deals are struck with the devil. He's done it, John's done it and so has Sam. He also knows NO GOOD WILL COME OF IT! No matter how good the intentions are (listen to him Cas. He's knows what he's talking about!!).
That doesn't mean I don't feel for him. Cas has been a genuine friend to Dean, Sam and Bobby. He has a "special bond" with Dean (even as a non-shipper it's damn clear he does) so for Dean to lose that - another real friend and ally, is heart breaking. (though I suspect Cas will come around to the power of mere humans in the end...)
Dean showed strength in despair and disappointment - and that's why he's a goddamn big hero.
Sam was a little more in the shadows tonight, but his acknowledgement of the betrayal was strong also. We could see how much he wanted Cas to be on the up - not just for Cas but for Dean as well. (how's his clap on Dean's shoulder when the truth comes out?...*hearts* them)
Sam's face when he found out Cas was the one who raised him... :(( Cas knew all this time.... It really is a huge betrayal.
I wanted to believe that Cas didn't know Sam came back soulless (and I actually do believe that...) but with all the lying Cas has done it's hard to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. Not only do the boys not trust him - we can't either.
*draws hearts around show* You know how to play us.... <333
SO much going on for him tonight.
I'm not always enthralled by Cas's story I have to admit. I think they struggle to find a place for him in the story arc and usually I'm all... "but I want to know about the boys..". But I think they've really thought Castiel's story through from the beginning and given him a bit of meat. An episode every now and then that's devoted to him I'm good with. Especially when it gives us an outsider POV of the boys. :)
So Cas is a "kid" and is learning to manage emotions and understand loyalty and make the hard decisions... I feel for Cas too. I'm loving the way he is mirroring Sam's "good intentions" from season 4. ( DEAN KNOWS CAS! SAM DID IT BEFORE YOU!)
Cas is learning. He might have been around since the dawn of time, but he really isn't that wise. It's probably the thing I like most about him and why he'll probably do the right thing in the end. Or not.
I loved his constant I AM AN ANGEL... as though that makes everything ok. Or important. "I am important so what I am doing is right". Oh Cas.
(I know there's more to say but that's probably a bit tooooo thinky for me at the moment).
4. The Winchesters are AWESOME!
I love it when the boys are referred to in outsider conversations. They really are larger than any demon or angel. They are THE WINCHESTERS! DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THEM! At least Crowley got that right!
5. Friends, family and brotherhood.
Show keeps coming back to its roots. Family. And loyalty. And love. Cas is like a brother to Dean. Dean, Sam and Bobby are family to Cas. More so than his actually family. Family is hard. And I love that we keep seeing how damn hard it is. LOVE that they are showing it through Cas rather than Sam and Dean fighting. Looks like they really have moved on from that. (YAY! Please keep doing that..)
IS A LINE! \o/I love it.... so much... yes. BRILLIANT.
*I can't put Crowley in my list of loves because he's always grated on me. I mean.. I like Mark Sheppard well enough and I like the menace he (mostly) brings to Crowley but... ah... I dunno... Can't pin point it. Maybe it's the character.
*The torture was pretty tough to watch. I know show is dark and I love that about it.. but yeah... I actually really felt for that monster that Crowley was torturing and Cas was ignoring...
Though I did LOVE that that torture was then mirrored with Bobby and Sam torturing the demon for info on Crowley. Hmmm...how different are they after all...
*The lack of women in the Show was really apparent tonight. It's not something that usually bugs me (too) much, but tonight it seemed so obvious. I think because with noir there is usually a woman who is often central to the narrator's dilema and because there wasn't one it really stood out. Though it was great to see Rachel (briefly) and how she fitted in to Castiel's story.
Watching was an interesting journey tonight. I kinda cringed when Cas looked at the camera and thought about my beloved 4th wall but then as it became more apparent about what they were doing I started to really fall in love with it.
I think we are poised for a very exciting finale. I have NO idea what they are planning. They've kept Sam's wall out of the story line for a while so I figure it will come on in full force over the next two (I hope!). There's still Meg and maybe even Adam (am I living in too much hope here?) might make an appearance.
I can't WAIT! though I think they miss one next week don't they?! Arghhh... 2 weeeks?! That sucks...