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Episode 6.21 review... mostly of the thinky variety... 
21st-May-2011 10:36 pm
Thinky thougts

That was quite a ride eh? Both eps were pretty epic.... \o/ Such a lot going on. Some truly awesome moments, some not so awesome moments and some moments that I'm sure will have fans divided.

I imagine each of us will get something different from those eps, depending on how we each view the show. There may well be a mix of love and hate. For me.... LOVE!!!!!!! \o/

I have to split the reviews because there's just too much brain strain for one post..*g*

Instead of "counting the ways" I'm going to mainly focus on one aspect of the episode. And look at other parts of the episode in relation to that. Of course this is purely my perspective and I GET that everyone will have different ways of looking at. But this is what I got...

For me the crux of 6.21 was Dean's decision to have Cas erase himself from Lisa and Ben's memories. It's controversial because he did that without permission from either Lisa or Ben. He made a decision, on their behalf that their lives would be better without any trace of him in it. It's completely heartbreaking because it shows that Dean still doesn't value his self worth. The underlying self esteem issues are still a major aspect of Dean's personality. WHAAAA!!!!

Dean's decision was made from the culmination of events that happened throughout the ep.

- Demon!Lisa saying that Lisa wished she'd never met him, that's she's be better off with out him. I love that Dean tells Ben not to believe what the demon is saying and yet he is prepared to believe what it says about him. ARGH!! Dean!!

(I totally believe that demon!Lisa was lying about it ALL because of the way that whole scene was played).

- Seeing Ben watch his mom possessed and then stabbed. AND having to make him shoot demons....(I love the way Dean became John during that scene. I imagine that's exactly how he would have treated his boys...(whaaaaaaa) ).

- Castiel's betrayal. Dean's self worth has taken an absolute battering with Cas's decision to ignore his pleas to not join forces with Crowley. He does not believe he can make a positive impact in anyone's life... (whaaaaaaa)

Totally TOTALLY heartbreaking. *hugs* Dean like WHOA!!

Dean's decision was honorable (from his stand point) but not exactly well thought through. Lisa and Ben could still be used as leverage against Dean in the future. Only. They won't know who to turn to. They will be defenseless. (like Adam was...).

It really is a complete mess. And I'm not sure if this is really, really clever and they have opened up opportunities to explore this next season or they have used it as a way of writing Lisa and Ben completely out of the series.

God.. I hope it's the former. Because a decision like that can't (or shouldn't) be left unexplored. It could even be linked to a number of other decisions Dean as made in the past... mostly notably the one to bring Sam back from the dead.

(Though I suspect we won't see or hear much (if anything) from Lisa and Ben in the future. But who knows...?!).

Even though this was a Dean focussed episode I LOVED that Sam had his back throughout it. His palpable concern and him begging Cas to help was great to watch.

I also loved that Sam knew Dean's decision was neither wise nor ethical but.. AND THIS IS THE THING!...THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!!!.. that's what these characters do! They make decisions because they think what they are doing is right... Sam followed Ruby, Cas teamed up with Crowley...it's a pattern. At least Show is being CONSISTENT! Flawed characters are FLAWED! *HUGS THEM* Flawed characters are much more interesting that ones that are always getting it right. That's why I got so pissed when everyone was having a go at Sam in S4. He believed he was doing the right thing.

That's my take on it anyway. I thought it was wonderfully angsty and opens up potential of more angst next season. \o/

Other stuff:

Demon!Lisa was AWESOME! Loved her...

*Sam being knocked out and locked away.. not so awesome (even though I did kinda love limp!Sam being dragged along the floor..). Mainly because it was too obvious as a way to keep him out of the way so Dean could have his moment with Demon!Lisa. But.. yeah... I get it...

*I would have loved the actor playing Ben to be stronger. I think if we had witnessed a truly terrified, traumatised boy... Dean's decision would have (perhaps) been more acceptable. He was deciding not only that Lisa's life would be better but also Ben's. Ben had witnessed something truly life changing and that in itself would have been enough for Dean to make up his mind. I don't think that came across as well as it could have done.

*Cas reminded me of Sam in S4. That pleading he did to Dean. Cas honestly feels betrayed. I actually felt the same way I did when Sam was begging Dean to believe him. I wondered if maybe Cas was right and Dean was wrong. I think it's no accident that Dean said he Cas was like a brother to him. Cas then went on to take the same path that Sam did. That didn't end well. And I suspect this thing with Cas won't either. OH SHOW!!

There was other stuff wasn't there?! Ack.. my brain is fried. You'll just have to tell me. I'll go over 6.22 tomorrow. <333
21st-May-2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
Cas definitely reminded me of Sam in this ep. He was almost crying!

The wiping their memories was a ill thought out move, I thought. Surely they'll be less safe now? But yeah totally agree, Dean's self worth has plummetted. DDDDD:

P.S. Are you getting problems with Rich Text editor when you post? Mine doesn't appear on Firefox, IE or Chrome. :/
21st-May-2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah... that look in his eyes. He REALLY wanted Dean to be on side. He just couldn't understand why he wasn't I don't think. (Just like Sam did in S4)

And yes. Definitely less safe. I'm sure Dean doesn't see it like that. Unfortunately. Leaves open the opportunity to (maybe) hurt or kill them next season with Dean realising his mistake. Totally crappy why to realise his mistake though... :(( Or maybe that's the end of that. Out of mind now. (LIKE ADAM! Whaaaaa!)

PS: I don't actually use Rich Text. I use html. Um... sounds weird though. If I get a chance later I'll swap to Rich Text and see what it does. ..;)

21st-May-2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
I absolutely agree with what you've written here, particularly in Dean's memory wipe of Lisa and Ben. I think it is so very true to the worst, most messed-up aspects of his character and definitely feel that he (wrongly) felt he was doing the right thing. Linking it back to his original deal with the crossroads demon was inspired. Dean doesn't do his best thinking on impulse.

I think it would have been a better decision on the writer's part to have had him wipe his own memories as well. That would have been interesting and would have taken away some of the leverage their characters would still have over him.

OH SHOW, indeed!

21st-May-2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
Dean doesn't do his best thinking on impulse.

Yeah. That's what it is. He works on such an emotional level in these moments he doesn't think about the consequences.

Wow.. it would have been interesting if Dean's memory had been wiped as well. That would most definitely put an end to any future angst Dean would have over them. Hmmm... interesting. I'm going to be very curious to see if they bring Lisa and Ben back next season in any way.

Show knows how to make us THINK!! (and FEEL!!)

22nd-May-2011 01:36 am (UTC)
I watched both eps again and thought they were better the second time again. My husband watched with me (I'm lucky he's a fellow fan) and we both made the comment that the show is so audacious. It's like they are constantly unable to turn down a dare...
22nd-May-2011 09:49 am (UTC)
You are lucky to have a hubby who is a fan. My hubby hates it. And audacious is an excellent way to describe the show. They like to push those boundaries!

21st-May-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)

- Castiel's betrayal. Dean's self worth has taken an absolute battering with Cas's decision to ignore his pleas to not join forces with Crowley. He does not believe he can make a positive impact in anyone's life...

Waaaaah, definitely. But what I love about the cleverness of Show is that technically, Castiel did listen to Dean, and betrayed Crowley, when he changed their deal and went off on his own to open Purgatory, and I bet he thought that would make it okay in Dean's eyes, because the way he looked when he looked at them after blasting Raphael implied to me that he thought Dean would be satisfied that. He opened the gate without working with Crowley in the end! Wouldn't Dean understand that?

Of course, the fact that he used the blood of a virgin (who we and Dean assume was killed) and the blood of someone Dean liked (namely, Ellie), which bears an interesting parallel to Sam's killing the possessed girl at the end of S5 so he could kill Lilith, is, well, giving me thinky thoughts. And not just for the number of people who were all yelling about Sam killing that girl two years ago, but don't seem to have given much thought to the fact that Castiel's transformation was brought about because two people - basically, innocent people - were killed.

(Then again, I think Castiel may be *a* god, like the various gods we saw back in S5, but he still isn't at Chuck-level of God-ness.)
22nd-May-2011 09:58 am (UTC)
Castiel did listen to Dean, and betrayed Crowley, when he changed their deal and went off on his own to open Purgatory,

aahhh, yes. Good point. He really did think that Dean would approve. It actually showed how far Cas had gone... how power hungry he was. How much he actually wanted this for himself and not for any greater good. And also the killing he would have to have done... Oh CAS! :((((

And yes... definitely *a* god.. not THE God...but in his mind I'm sure he thinks he's a God to be reckoned with.


21st-May-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
You know the memory wipe thing is bothering me, mind wipe JUST them? It isn't going to work for long and leaves them just as vulnerable if not more so. I am wondering if Dean asked Cas to go back and change the past, wipe not her and Ben's memories but wipe Dean from her past all together, that way, no fuglies would EVER be looking for them as Lisa not just didn't know Dean but honestly had never even MET him. Butterfly effect of course comes in, but if Balthazaar could wipe out the Titanic disaster with no difficulty? Only thing about that though is, Cas as usual, left Dean's memories of the past as they were, but if Dean had never met Lisa in this new present time line, then where was he that year Sam spent in the cage? Ack.

But yes, I do agree with how Cas and his pride and power and blind decisions of doing *something*, *anything* to solve a problem is very much like Sam in season 4. However, unlike many others, I actually *loved* Sam in season 4...so don't go by me!

I truly loved the few moments of brotherly interaction we had, of course I wished for more, I always do, but what we did get was very satisfying in that at long last those small moments are saying so very much about them, how very much they are still ONE, and that pleases me no end.

Edited to add: - nope, I'm wrong, after watching it again tonight, Sam definitely refers to them being "white-washed" and admonishes Dean for doing it as Sam knows what it's like - huh, still can't think how that works, all the people that knew them as a couple that year, Dean's workmates, all of Ben's friends, Lisa's sister, photographs, house moving etc., and what on earth do Ben and Lisa have in the way of memories to replace the last couple of years, they both have short term memory loss from the accident? I know angels are good but that seems a bit extreme and hard to swallow.

Edited at 2011-05-21 09:41 pm (UTC)
22nd-May-2011 10:13 am (UTC)
The memory wipe is indeed bothersome. When thinking about it closely it really opens up a heap improbabilities.

I really can't see how it can be achieved. So I figure Show wants us to *hand wave* that part. Surely they should know us by now.

Surely they will develop serious mental issues trying to fill in the blanks of the year they had with Dean. There was no suggestion he was replaced with a memory someone else. Hmmm....

I'm hand waving. I think they were going more for the "what the hell Dean was even thinking". I just hope that they mention it next season but I am seriously doubtful. I think that might have just closed the door on Ben and Lisa. But *shrugs* they also like to surprise us with characters returning.

Cas is quite an amazing study. Oooh and I think a lot of people loved S4 Sam. The feeling I get is that S4 has been many fans favourites. I agree that it was the most focused season. Both boys had serious issues. I really struggled with the divide between the boys... but it was completely necessary to give the whole arc real depth.

I wish there had been more brotherly moments too. hey were they... they were subtle, but sometimes I like overt bromance... *g* Sam was SO concerned for Dean....

I am still heavily invested in the show. I can't wait to see what they do next season.

21st-May-2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm all the way with you on this! Nice to see you finding words.^_^ I never made it passed the emoticon post. ;)
22nd-May-2011 10:14 am (UTC)
Hee... I find far too many words sometimes... /o\

I think emoticons sum it up perfectly. :D
21st-May-2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
You covered two of the main points.

I really think the mind eraser was just a way to finally tie up the loose end of Lisa and Ben. So are they going to forget about Matt too? Or why they moved? And the changelings? It just doesn't work.

Yet Dean's angst over it? Yeah, that definitely works.
22nd-May-2011 10:20 am (UTC)
Yeah... it really doens't work when delved into. Removing a memory of Dean is difficult. Hmmm... the changeling thing is interesting to ponder. It could all have happened, but how would she remember Ben being saved? Or maybe that whole incident was erased? Too messy....

I think it was all about the angst. Perhaps a rather flimsy plot devise to show us what Dean thinks of himself. Strange though, because we know that Dean suffers from low self esteem..... Hmm... which means they want to put the Lisa and Ben story line behind them.

Shame. Because they could have done that in any number of ways.

Though ultimately it was about Dean making a bad decision. Like Cas has done and like Sam has done before him.

(Can you tell I'm just thinking out loud when typing this? sorry for the babble...)
22nd-May-2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
Babble away. What else do we have to do all summer?

Though ultimately it was about Dean making a bad decision. Like Cas has done and like Sam has done before him.

Too bad that won't be explored. Well, on show anyway.

21st-May-2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
*CLAPS SO VERY LOUDLY* I agree with everything you wrote; EVERYTHING!

and I too thought Demon!Lisa was awesomesauce <3333
22nd-May-2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Thanks hun! And YES! She made and AWESOME Demon! (oooh.. maybe they will bring her back next season as a Demon.... *bounces* now that would be damn interesting!! )

23rd-May-2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Dean's decision was one I don't approve of at all for a variety of reasons, but yeah: It was SO VERY MUCH Dean it hurts.

Also, this: I love the way Dean became John during that scene. I imagine that's exactly how he would have treated his boys... Saddest thing in a already really, really sad episode.
24th-May-2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
Yes. The decision was not a good one... at all. But I think it shows us how hurt Dean still is over... well, many things. :(

I think him treating Ben like that was necessary for survival - he probably recognised John in himself then. Another reason (he thought) for removing himself completely from their lives. :(( Whaaaa
25th-May-2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Just watched this ep, but not the last one yet. Later tonight, I hope. I agree with everything you said, and immediately after the episode ended (and I no longer had Dean's sadface to distract me), I started wondering about all the loose ends that removing Dean from their memories would leave. For one thing, there's probably a dead guy in their living room (Matt)!

But what occurred to me just now is that I wonder if the writers were somehow bowing to the fans' wishes, in a way. There's been a lot of discussion about the fact that for all that Show kills pretty much everyone, the numbers are especially bad for female characters that have been involved with the boys over time, rather than just as the person to be saved. Maybe this was their way of eliminating Lisa and Ben from the story without killing them, unlike Anna, Ruby, Jess, Mary, Meg, Bela...
26th-May-2011 10:26 am (UTC)
Yeah... Matt left on the floor is a biggie. We can only assume that at some point he was removed.... but by whom we can only surmise.

I wondered the same about not killing off Lisa. I think one big problem they would have with killing her off is what to do with Ben. If they killed her they would have to kill Ben to. Otherwise Dean would definitely have to look after him.

I really can't figure this one. I think Dean made a bad choice about changing the memories without their permission so maybe next season they could address that. I don't put it past show to kill them off one day... maybe as a way of showing Dean he did the wrong thing. If they are ever threatened again he's not there to call on.

But really... yeah.. I think they just wanted to write them out. Start clean next season maybe.

Ack! Now we have to wait a whole 4 months! I always hate this long break...

But at least we have another season. \o/
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