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7.04 Reaction / Review 
15th-Oct-2011 07:27 pm
Relax!


So for the first time in... well, since I've been writing down reactions I am having a tremendously hard time writing anything at all (if deleting everything I've written 3 times now counts...)

I am so torn about that episode I just can't make enough sense when I write anything down.

I enjoyed. I did. There were many, many awesome moments. But I was also...um... I dunno. Disappointed maybe. Let down? The kick of it is I DON'T KNOW WHY !?! Arghhh.. that's frustrating the hell out of me.

I mean... wow... there was heaps of great stuff: angst and info, some great bro moments, Lawyer!Sam (fuck YES!!) Jo (Yay!) We had EMF and gorgeous boys looking gorgeous with their longer hair. We had Dean in chains (*guh*) and chemistry between Alona and Jensen. We had flashbacks to earlier episodes and (deliberately) lame Dean jokes and eyeroll!Sam. We even had a road side drink at the end (*hearts*). Sam was incredibly energised and competent. Dean was wooby and tired and angst ridden. It had all the ingredients...but..... I dunno....what?! Why aren't I feeling it!?

Was is that Sam's ok now? He's dealing and doesn't feel guilt and all is ok with him? (which I don't buy completely but looks like they're playing that card).

Was is that I want Dean to catch a break? Realise that he is AMAZING and has done more good than bad in his life. That his brother will love him NO MATTER WHAT! (I mean... wow... he'd rather die than tell Sam he lied to him. That is just so goddam heartbreaking!).

Was it that I was expecting Amy's ghost to return and actually watch Dean (and Sam's) reaction to that?! I was hoping for this I think. In hindsight it makes more sense that it was Jo that confronted Dean (it was a great scene I thought) , but I was expecting Amy and wondering how that conversation was going to to. I thought maybe Amy would convince Dean that he wasn't guilty. But that makes no sense as the guilt Dean felt was lying to Sam. Maybe I wanted that to be addressed. (and yet I was totally prepared for the Amy thing never to be addressed again at the end of the last episode... so no idea why I wanted to see it now).

Was it that nothing changed for Dean by the end of it all? Ah. Maybe that's it. I knew the episode was going to be about Dean confronting his past and I imagined it might be about him being able to let go of some of that guilt. I thought (hoped) that Sam would be able to convince him of that. I'm not sure I bought that Sam had any effect on how Dean felt about himself. (Maybe that was the point but if was kind of a let down I think).

Was is that it's all well and good for Sam to be feeling great while his brother is feeling downright awful? Maybe Sam knows that he can't actually say anything to make Dean feel less guilty so he's saying he's feeling great knowing that that will make Dean feel better. *shrugs*

Maybe it's a completely shallow thing where I actually enjoy it more when Dean's in control (like the fabulous warehouse scene from 7.02) and Sam is hurty and needy. It might just be that simple. Personal preference probably. (Though I do love competent Sam too and wooby Dean, but I probably have a preference for the other way around more. Or something. Damnit! I don't know.

ARGHHHHH!! See!?! That's why I couldn't write anything. (even though I seemed to have written some incoherent drivel after saying that. /o\).

This might be one I need to think about some more. Maybe read some stuff. Try and get a handle on it. Though I'd be keen yo hear your thoughts. You might be able to make me get a better handle on this one.
Comments 
15th-Oct-2011 11:37 am (UTC)
Maybe it's a completely shallow thing where I actually enjoy it more when Dean's in control (like the fabulous warehouse scene from 7.02) and Sam is hurty and needy. It might just be that simple. Personal preference probably. (Though I do love competent Sam too and wooby Dean, but I probably have a preference for the other way around more. Or something. Damnit! I don't know.

If it helps at all, I absolutely ADORE competent Sam and spiraling Dean. But I had the same reaction to this episode. "Wait...that's it?" Like, to almost every scene.

They went places I didn't think they'd do by the fourth episode but there was ZERO follow-thru, so it didn't add up to ANYTHING. I have to sit with it alittle bit longer. As it stands now, the only moment that really sat with me was Dean ALLOWING Jo to take his lighter out of his jacket. That was unsettling as shit.

But yea, I think I need to sit on it. Which is what I thought about last weeks, so who knows.
15th-Oct-2011 11:51 am (UTC)
If it helps at all, I absolutely ADORE competent Sam and spiraling Dean.

Yeah.. I do too. Particularly when Sam just knows what to do. And Jensen does spiraling Dean so well. There were moments tonight where he was teetering on going overboard but he held it in check and was nicely done for the most part.

Oh so.. not just me then? I look back and think... how did we move forward? It had huge potential to really address some of Dean's guilt issues but left it all pretty much the same as when it started. Maybe it was about seeing Sam get over his.. or something (only... we got that at the end of last season. Sam was making peace with himself way back then).

Yeah. One to sit on. I suppose not all eps will have great moments and reveals (though, really? Dean defending his life (with Sam as his lawyer) should have been powerhouse..).



15th-Oct-2011 11:58 am (UTC)
hey newbie here jumping in for a second.

i haven't had time to truly digest it, either, and maybe it's an ep you have to watch a couple of times to really get the meat, but i see where you're coming from.

loved all the highlights you pointed out (lord, the boys are AMAZING), but if we're doing an episode about dean's guilt, where was cas? adam? ben and lisa? hell, ellen for that matter.

even a mention of any of the above would have been...i don't know, nice isn't really the word, but maybe more complete?

and it seems to me that they forgot the fact that sam got brought back into the life because YED manipulated just about everyone around him to get him there.

i'm totally with you on the ARGHHHHH!

:)
15th-Oct-2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
Oh hey there new person! :D

See... YES! That's it. I mean.. Jo and Sam are the only ones that had a say and really? It was kinda lame. Definitely what about Ben and Lisa, Adam, Pamela, Hendrickson, Ronald...etc. etc.

I mean.. they hinted that there was a heap of people that could be called and I know it probably wasn't feasible to go there, but to mention stuff would have been great - with Sam knocking them on the head along the way.

sam got brought back into the life because YED manipulated just about everyone around him to get him there.

Yeah.. drudging up that one seemed a hard push. I might have been more interested in the fact that Dean brought Sam back to life, which really did set a whole ball rolling toward a heap of problems (not least Sam's blood addiction and bringing on the apocalypse. Oh and Sam's time in hell etc. etc. I'm sure Dean would be feeling more guilt over that than getting him from Stanford. It boils down to the same thing. Dean doesn't want to do it without Sam.

Thanks for dropping by. I think that's helped me identify a little more what was off about it. :D
15th-Oct-2011 12:41 pm (UTC)
*peeks in* Hey!

I haven't done any reading anywhere else and I've only watched the epi once, but what bothers me the most about the episode is that Dean was just so ready to die, he had accepted that he was going to die and didn't seem to care. His guilt is so deep that it's like he resigned himself that his miserable life would finally be over. And he would rather die than have Sammy know what he did with Amy.

It really sad that no one can ever prop Dean up enough for him to realize that his life is worth something. Sam is trying the best way he knows how, no chick flick moments, but still trying to get Dean to know that he cares and he loves him.

Sam as his lawyer was awesome - glad we got to see that finally. Even though he's 0 for 1 *g* That was a no win situation going in.

Jo touching Dean's face, letting him know that he can forgive himself and quit beating himself up. Now if he would only realize it.

But like you I wasn't satisfied with the conclusion, and show enjoys leaving things unfinished and makes us want more. In this case they certainly did that.

Maybe it's a completely shallow thing where I actually enjoy it more when Dean's in control (like the fabulous warehouse scene from 7.02) and Sam is hurty and needy.

It's really weird to see Dean this way - he's always been a rock even when he's at the end of his rope. I think his rope is about to break and I hope Sam is there to catch him when he falls.

15th-Oct-2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Hey you!

I've done a little bit of reading but not a lot. I'm getting a mixed reactions. It think it's such a tricky episode.

From Dean being so (seemingly) in control when killing Amy, talking Sam off the ledge AND asking Sam to believe in him enough to be stone number one, to being ready to die and give it all up is difficult. I would love to see have seen him defend himself. Perhaps call it in and say.. yeah. I did kill Amy and here's why. He obviously had good enough reasons. Ok, so he made the mistake of agreeing with Sam and then going behind his back. Sam may have been pissed with him but there's no way that would have stopped Sam loving, respecting or wanting to stay with him.

But Dean doesn't see it like that. I get these characters are flawed and it's easy for us to say.. oh but you should have... but it would have been nice to see a little more fight. Maybe Dean is hurting over the loss of Cas and Lisa and Ben more than we know. (if so, I wonder why they haven't been referenced more?)

The Jo and Dean scene was quite heart breaking. There were moments I teared up. That;s why I'm so confused about this episode. For moments I was really emotionally involved. I felt so sad for Dean.

I think his rope is about to break and I hope Sam is there to catch him when he falls. </i? And if that happens I will understand all this better. We've seen Dean at the end of his tether before (just before he said yes to Michael), so I wonder what will happen this time. I'm suspecting the drink will have something to do with it. And yeah. Sam is so ready to catch him. Thanks babe. Sorry to be on such a downer with this one. There were some wonderful moments indeed. (I loved Dean telling himself that he's "Dean Winchester"!) xx
15th-Oct-2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
Was it that nothing changed for Dean by the end of it all? Ah. Maybe that's it. I knew the episode was going to be about Dean confronting his past and I imagined it might be about him being able to let go of some of that guilt. I thought (hoped) that Sam would be able to convince him of that. I'm not sure I bought that Sam had any effect on how Dean felt about himself.

This was ... unabashed set-up, and yes, I think that is always going to be a bit of a let down after the big finish that came before. I've seen it said that season seven is reminiscent of season two, and I think I agree - because I think this one maps pretty well onto Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, as the one before mapped pretty well onto Bloodlust. It was mostly there to take Sam aside and make sure he was noticing that Dean isn't coping.

I don't really buy that Sam got through to Dean, either, and I don't think it was supposed to look like he had. Osiris obfuscated the issue with big concrete events - Jo's death, Jess's death.

The bigger picture was there, but Sam didn't quite see it. He got it a bit with Jo - they got right down to it and agreed that her life's choices were based on 'daddy issues' very quickly, but he didn't quite get it when it came to himself, and Sam is a bigger issue with Dean than Jo.

Sam remembers events as they happened - Dean asked him to come away for a couple of days, and while he might have wanted more he let him go easily enough when Sam said he couldn't stay. So he fixated on how Dean couldn't have known what would happen. Dean remembers what he wanted - Sam to stay forever, and he got that and feels wretched about it. He can't face the possibility that Sam might leave or hate him if he finds out that he lied about Amy, and Sam's protestations that he might not be exactly 'fine' but he's certainly happy came at all the wrong points in the episode - so Dean never connected any of that happiness to himself. They were talking at cross purposes.

I'm not sure I'm disappointed because, big trial scene or no, I didn't really expect them to fix this right away. I do think this indicates they're going to deal with it in a much bigger way in the future, which provides an opportunity for a more permanent resolution than they could provide this early in the season - but I think the forward momentum here is that now Sam knows something is wrong. He suspected before, but there was Lucifer and Amy and the end of the world, and he kept hitting his head really hard. But this he couldn't miss.

Sorry for the disjointed blather. Just working it through myself, apparently right here in this comment box. :)
15th-Oct-2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
I'll start from the bottom:

Sorry for the disjointed blather.

Hee. Did you see my shambolic post? My head it all over the place with this one.. :

So ok. If it was a set up for future eps I can buy into that a bit more. I get the feeling that we are being set up for a mighty fall by Dean and liking it to CSPwDT works for me also. I'll be keen to see what kind of fall Dean is heading for this time. It really can't be a death wish because I think we've seen that quite a few times now. And suicide just doesn't fit with Dean's character. I just.... I'm not sure. Drinking has to play a part me thinks.

The trail was certainly a fix. There was no way Sam was going to win (though.. yep. I thought he might have done at one point. Before Dean refused the last witness).

The bigger picture was there, but Sam didn't quite see it.

Yeah. Maybe it's that I wished he had. Sam has to get how important he is to Dean. But it's that hidden guilt I suppose. Sam wasn't to know, beyond Jo and himself, that Dean was hiding other stuff. But wow... there could be so much other stuff it would be hard to know where to start with Dean.

I love you point that Dean wasn't connecting the fact that Sam was alright to himself. I mean.. after Sam came back down to earth in the warehouse you'd think Dean would realise that he did that. He's saved his brother over and over. He IS Sam's stone #1. I guess that's still part of Dean's quest. To allow himself to accept that knowledge.

I didn't really expect them to fix this right away.

Oh for sure. Hee... there's no way things will be fixed (especially if they're hoping for season 8) and certainly not in one episode. I do sometimes need reminding of that. If all this was about Sam knowing something is wrong with Dean then ok. It's a building block to other eps.

Maybe even Dean got something out of this also. His guilt has been lain bare. He's was really having to confront some stuff he may not have been willing to look at before. That in itself might be a stepping stone to future growth. Hmmm.. *ponders*

Thanks hun! Seems I was working it through in my comment also. :D
xx





15th-Oct-2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
The way Sam talked Dean into not feeling guilty is how I talked myself into finding this episode quite nice. :P But the strange, empty feeling inside won't go away... lol. really weird.
I'm wondering if with this episode they are preparing for an episode that needs the infos given here...maybe... :/

I still had Amy on my mind, too. And really didn't expect Jo. But, you know, I guess Dean doesn't feel guilty about killing Amy, he just doesn't want Sam to find out. That way Osiris could trick him into excepting the sentence.

Like "maenad" said, this was an unabashed set-up.- Everything seemed to float on the surface rather than going deep as dealing with feelings of guilt would suggest.

So, I don't know, really strange thing with this ep. *nods*

15th-Oct-2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
The way Sam talked Dean into not feeling guilty is how I talked myself into finding this episode quite nice.

Ha! Oh yes. I spent quite a while finding all the squee. I prefer to post the squee. But as I started typing I got bogged down in just not really feeling it. I mean, there were certainly squeeful moments... like Sam's amazingly long hair, but overall I was left a bit flat.

Others have also said it might be a precursor to another episode - which each episode has been so far - so I can take that. But it was such a huge premise. To actually put Dean on trail for his guilt is such an amazing idea. I think I would just like to have seen something come of it. Now. ('cause I'm impatient like that..*g*)

So you felt it was a bit strange too?! It might be one of those eps that will look different later on. It might have planted a few seeds for the future.

xx
15th-Oct-2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
I had a feeling that Sam knew he needed to be there for Dean this time, needed Dean to know he's dealing. So I enjoyed it. Kind of a lot.

But I totally get what you're saying because my favorite flavor of Supernatural is that warehouse scene, no question about it. Woobie Sam is my preference - I know it and own it. I guess I just feel like we hit the bonanza two eps in....the show gets impatient with wallowing after two eps. They did the same thing with Dean and his hell issues too during season 4.

15th-Oct-2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
(You know, I'm also thinking that here's where it pays off dabbling in spoilers - I knew some of this was coming, so I wasn't as disappointed. I do get where you're coming from completely!)
15th-Oct-2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
I think it's more that Sam is coping with his life and the situation he's in. I'm not sure he's okay per-se but he's coping and handling and letting go of past guilt. I think Sam is living in the now as opposed to wallowing in the past. Now, he's okay, he's top side with his brother, hunting things and is alive. He's still being haunted by Lucifer and is still suffering hallucinations and hell memories, but maybe that's what's making Sam okay. He's still being punished and maybe that gives Sam a sense of piece.

I'm hoping Dean tells Sam what he did, because if this is going to be eating at Dean, if this is what Dean is going to be like, then I'm not going to enjoy it. I love my boys angsting but there's a limit to the amount of guilt the boys feel. First it was Sam, we saw where that guilt went and happened. Now, it's Dean and I'm afraid he might be going down that path Sam visited. We all know how that one ended. So, I'm hoping he tells Sam and rids himself of this guilt. As for past actions he should see that he's being silly, half the time it wasn't in his control so how can he be responsible. So, yeah I'm hoping Dean gets out of this funk because I miss our old Dean. Even in S4 he wasn't this emo and he just came out of hell!
16th-Oct-2011 07:02 am (UTC)
I'm not sure he's okay per-se but he's coping and handling and letting go of past guilt.

Yeah. And it's great to see him take charge and move on. I felt that Sam had a pretty good handle on him guilt by the end of last season. though I wondered if they may have given us some other soulless!Sam falshbacks. If anything, he may be guilty about some of that stuff.

I love my boys angsting but there's a limit to the amount of guilt the boys feel

Yeah. For sure. I like them confronting all this stuff but it can become a downer if it's all we get. I take it they are pushing Dean toward some sort of break down. I'm probably hoping it comes sooner rather than later. Maybe.

Yeah Dean... it's kind weird that they're taking him back so far. If he was going to feel guilty about anything (especially in regards to Sam) it would be that he risked his life by getting his soul back. Sam said he didn't want it, Cas said it was a risk and yet he did it anyway and Sam was suffering for it. I mean, it worked out in the end, but he could have been habouring guilt for that.

*shrugs* I suppose we shall just have to wait and see...
xx
15th-Oct-2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
*wanders in*
See without your reaction post being here I had to make do with my own instant reaction which was, you must admit, deeply profound haha
See I am an uber Dean ho so I was very happy to see this episode. I was so excited when Jo reappeared, I loved the glimpses back to previous seasons and of course lawyer!Sam defending Dean. I was trying to decide if the 3rd witness would actually be Amy. Obviously it's what Dean thought but would it be? Was he guilty about HER? I wouldn't think it. Surely it would still all be about Sam. Jo and Sam I understand because they're family. Third top person to feel guilty about? Hmm John trading his life for his? Being weaker than John with breaking the first seal that led to everything else? Ellen? Lisa? Or 10,000 souls he tortured in hell? lol Sadly I guess we'll never know lol. I do wonder if Sam does feel guilt free. Dean was on trial not him so Sam's 'guilt' was irrelevent at the time or maybe he is beyond feeling it now, maybe, ironically, helping Amy made him feel better. Ach, I could run myself in circles thinking about it and should probably stick to my original thought of \o/ :) :D <3 LOL
On a final note as my inner Dean ho demands it - I would like me some 'totally wasted, lashing out and then sobbing in his pint as he breaks down'!Dean please and thank you haha
16th-Oct-2011 07:10 am (UTC)
You reaction was spot on! THAT's how they should be... not this mush of rambly stuff.

I should have gone: \o/ :D :( ?? O_o *_* ?? I think that sums me up.

I think the list of what Dean could be feeling guilty about would be pretty long. I found it really hard to think that he would feel guilty about Jo. Or even getting Sam from Stanford. Now... maybe, selling his soul for Sam's life, or returning Sam's soul maybe... but to go way back to the very beginning seems strange.

I could run myself in circles thinking about it and should probably stick to my original thought of \o/ :) :D <3 LOL

Yep! See... that's how I was. I just keep going around in circles trying to make some sense of it.

I would like me some 'totally wasted, lashing out and then sobbing in his pint as he breaks down'!Dean please

Ah yes!! Dean getting totally wasted and going a bit crazy and then breaking down (IN SAM ARM's please!) would be awesome. He's gotta be heading there. (though.. he's kinda been there already when John died... so. I'm wondering how else they will given us a broken Dean. *rubs hands*)

<3
16th-Oct-2011 02:12 am (UTC)
My problem with the episode was... We're being asked to understand that Dean's carrying all this crap. Well, hello, CAREFUL viewers have known this for YEARS (and by careful, I mean every goddamned one of us, down to the person who catches an ep once a month or so). So why are they dropping anvils on our heads about it now? Ditto on the alcohol dependence. They spent an episode telling us shit we already know. I'd that's why you weren't feeling it, and why I wasn't either, really.

So, why? The only thing I can figure is this; they're setting up the season arc, and since they don't trust us to pick up on the cues on our own, or through subtle storytelling, they're making REALLY SURE we see where they're heading so we're not surprised when we get there. In other words, I feel like they're underestimating our intelligence, but I'm hoping they're doing it with intent to finally deal with these issues, at the very least.

I'm at least happy that the Amy thing isn't being swept under the rug. It's gonna be key, as I'd hoped after last week.
16th-Oct-2011 07:17 am (UTC)
Oh hi you!

I think you've hit it on the head. It's like... yes, yes that's all well and good, we know that so what happens next. And then.... nothing. he's back to square one without gaining any ground. We knew it all anyway. (New writer maybe?..)

I'm at least happy that the Amy thing isn't being swept under the rug. It's gonna be key, as I'd hoped after last week.

Oh, you think it will be revisited again? At the end of the last ep I felt sure nothing would come of that. And then, this episode seemed to suggest it was going to be all about that... and then it wasn't. I just. I don't get that. Why set up the whole Amy killing/Lying to Sam guilt when it didn't end up being addressed!? So yeah.. maybe it's about setting that up to be addressed in the future.

Also.. Amy's death is something Sam could so easily find out. He is always on the internet so he'd notice the death report. I am also sure that he'd be checking on Amy has be would want to make sure she wasn't killing. I dunno... I really liked the ambiguous morality of that scene. But it holds little weight if they don't do anything with it.

Thanks for sharing hun. I noticing I'm not the only one with questions after that one.
xx
16th-Oct-2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
See, this is where I'm so bloody glad I'm spoiler free, because if I'd have KNOWN Dean was on trial for his life and Sam was defending him? Then I would not have been very happy at all! In hindsight I'm still not really happy that Sam wasn't really defending as such, just put on the stand to once again hash out something that we already knew, actually so much of this was stuff we already knew - while I am glad Sam was questioning Dean drinking, I'm thinking why didn't he notice it last year? Anvils again, show gets a little heavy handed some times for me.

Saying that though, going in blind, I did enjoy watching it, lots more fun than thinking about it later! Jo was the perfect unwilling executioner even though the Osiris thing was a bit silly. Those final scenes with her and Dean were damned good. All this about Dean's guilt though, for me it's not so much the guilt as the worth and I felt they missed that opportunity by a mile.

We'll see, I might feel better about it after watching again tonight.
17th-Oct-2011 05:44 am (UTC)
I really would like not to have been spoiled for this one. My fault completely because I just didn't have the strength to not peek. But I won't be from now on. :)

The anvils were pretty damn huge. We've already had Sam noticing Dean's drinking AND all those issues Dean has.

I too actually enjoyed watching it. It wasn't until I tried to sum up what I liked that I had trouble. There were plently of moments I loved (Dean and Jo's scene being one of them) but then I was left feeling empty and feeling that we hadn't really moved forward.

Overall it does feel like a lost opportunity. Mainly because there are so many other things that Dean could be feeling guilty about. It would have been great to explore those.

16th-Oct-2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
Here's a totally shallow response to this episode because I just skimmed through parts of it, but didn't these guys look exceptionally good? The first part in their suits? That last bit in the sun by the car? Holy hair, Batman.

I totally watch for the plot.....
17th-Oct-2011 05:45 am (UTC)
YES YES! They looked SO hot. And my GOD... the hair! I admit I was often distracted by just how god damn good looking these boys are.

:D
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