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ep 7.17 reaction and all that... 
24th-Mar-2012 09:08 pm
Relax!


My feeling are ALL OVER THE PLACE with this episode. Seriously. What do I do with these...?! (sorry for such a rambly review...)

First, I just have to....SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MY HURT!SAM GIRL WAS IN FRIGGIN' HEAVEN! HOLY HELL!!! IT WAS ALL THERE! Sam AT THE END OF HIS TETHER! Sam HIT by a car! Sam in HOSPITAL, Sam cut up with broken ribs! RESTRAINED!! (did I mention heaven?!) SHOCK THERAPY!! Holy.... *happy place*

HOWEVER... as much as I like a bit of Sam!whump (and Dean... I don't play favourites when it comes to whumping! *g*) it also made me shed a little tear. I really, really felt his pain and torment and I kept muttering...oh Sammy... :((( This is a man who rates broken ribs as a 3. High tolerance... no kidding! I was on the edge of my seat through all those hospital scenes.

All righty roo. Time to get serious and to try and make sense of all those damn FEELINGS...

I will definitely need to watch this episode again because overall it felt a bit...um... messy. I loved some of it and I enjoyed watching it but it felt kinda uneven and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe because there was such a lot GOING ON - lot's of surprises (I knew Cas was back but I didn't know about Meg or what was going to happen to Sam). It felt like they were trying to cram SO MUCH into one episode- the disintegration of Sam's mind and body, the return and subsequent redemption of Cas and the return of Meg. I loved all those things but, as a viewer, I felt like I was being pulled all over the place - edge of my seat worry for Sam, interest in Dean's response to Cas returning, fascination with Cas' back story and trying to figure out what the hell Meg was saying! (I will be having to check out the transcript for a lot of her dialogue (eyes zebra363)). On top of all that there there was also a hunt! Oh man.... /o\

Some thinky dissecting:

1. Sam and Lucifer:

I felt like all the hospital scenes held together pretty well. Mark Pellegrino's performance as Lucifer was (as always) both amusing and unsettling. I didn't think his lines were as witty as they had been in past episodes but his forms of torture were inventive. The megaphone was particularly amusing (hee...yeah...as a teacher I'm familiar with that one!). And firecrackers!... that'll keep you awake for sure. And his singing...

I loved that even though Sam was suffering his own mental torture he was able to put that aside to help someone else in need. It's very Sam. I also LOVE the idea that mental patients could possibly be suffering from very "real" supernatural issues. It makes sense and I loved this was explored. I probably would like to have seen a really mentally tortured girl but I get that this is television and they have to be...um...very pretty.

I STILL DON'T GET HOW LUCIFER WORKS! If he was "transferred" to Cas then surely that means he's somehow "real". Or was it just a transfer of a memory? Cas took Sam's memory of the cage and Lucifer. If so then the Lucifer Cas sees can only be as Sam "remembers" him. Is Sam's brain still scrambled? Is Cas' brain now scrambled? Or is Lucifer actually, really around. AM I OVER THINKING THIS TOO MUCH!!?! (probably...) Do I even need an answer to this? Maybe it doesn't matter how Lucifer works. It's just that he's there. Or something...

2. Meg

I have to admit I think this is where I had the most problems. I LOVE Meg. I've always loved her ambiguity. If we have corrupt angels then why not have a potentially "good" demon? But. IDK. It's not just that she looked so different (though I did find that rather distracting) but her mumbling was hard to make out. She also seemed less re-assured.(I'm not sure if this was the actress or the character) Of course, that might have been the WHOLE POINT! In that case....ok. I was sold. Meg is not so confident when she hasn't got the backing of other demons. Ack... I need to re-watch. I'm torn. But I will confess I didn't enjoy her as much I have done in the past. (*sniff*)

3. Castiel

I get nervous talking about Cas because I know how much passion surrounds this character. I don't have that level of passion, but neither do I dislike him. In fact, I've always enjoyed seeing Cas and tonight was no different. I really REALLY loved that we had a born again Cas. I was keen to see how they were going to introduce him back into the show and...ok... it was a little predictable, but I was SOLD and totally bought that he crawled out of the lake to be discovered by a women passing by..(what? Maybe she WAS sent by God...in this 'verse that makes some sense...).

There was a lovely sense of "clean" about him and I thought Misha really embodied that innocence. I also loved his conflict when he realised who he really was and what he had done. But... WOW... what a lot to take in. In an amazingly short time we found out that: Cas survived, he MARRIED, he lost his memory, he was a man called Emmanuel, he had powers to heal, he was discover by Dean, he found he was Dean's friend, he found out he hurt Dean by hurting Sam, he wanted to make amends, he MADE amends and now sees his brother. HOLY HELL! I'm not sure whether to admire the writers for managing to get so much in or slap them about the head for being so ambitious. (possibly the latter...)

4. Dean

Arghh.... I feel that out of all the characters in that ep he was the most underwritten. Idk. Again it comes down to there being SO MUCH going on. Not only did he have a brother DYING in a mental hospital he also had to confront Cas returning (and ALLTHE FEELINGS associated with that - disbelief, relief, bitterness, memories etc.) AND deal with seeing Meg after all this time. He was pulled all over the place with emotions and maybe that's why I felt I was too. I was following Dean's journey during the episode (though captivated by Sam's) and feeling torn in the process. Like Dean must have. He was bombarded by SO MUCH!

It's either extremely clever story telling or rather messy story telling. I haven't figure that one out yet.

5. Where we are now:

So. Cas came, he discovered stuff, he redeemed himself and he now has his brother in his head and is left behind in a mental hospital. I'm not entirely sure what to do with all that. I like the mirror (any parallels in an ep excites me) between the girl and her brother in her head and now Cas with his brother in his head. I like that he has redeemed himself by fixing Sam and essentially doing what Sam did to save the world (locking himself in with Lucifer) but... idk, that just seems so quick. Would Dean and Sam be happy leaving him behind like that? I suppose they've left their half brother in the cage so maybe they are actually ok with that.

I JUST DON'T KNOW!! They set our boys up to CARE about family and then have them drive away from them. (And I really did need Dean to at least TOUCH SAM!! Come on Show! They are brothers!! Dean was concerned, sure, but A LITTLE BIT OF COMFORT WOULDN'T GO ASTRAY!! A squeeze on the shoulder at least!)

(Side note: I get that having Cas around is a "problem." If he's so powerful then he'd be able to solve all their problems and we wouldn't have a show. Having an angel around is problematic for that reason. I'm not sure if Show (STILL!!!) knows what to do with him. I think because he has been so popular they keep him (which I'm cool with) but they really have to decide what to do with him...)

I keep saying "I don't know" because I really don't after this one. I really enjoyed watching it but as I pondered it I was left rather empty. It solved Sam's hallucinations (and yeah...when I knew Cas was returning I also knew he'd be the one to heal Sam...*sigh* ::koff:: cop out...) which I think is good. A bit like Dean's angst...it can't go on for a whole season.

So yeah. It felt messy and crowded. Dean's loyalties were divided and conflicted. Cas seemed to re-appear more as a "tool" to save Sam and Meg...um...not sure why Meg was around really. Though i did like the idea of a human, and angel and a demon working together. I also liked the mirror of Sam saying he could't "fight" because he was tired the same was Dean was when he wanted to say yes to Michael. It was also reminiscent of Faith. Just not as well written me thinks.

THOUGHTS!?! Am I being too harsh?! I've been loving season 7. I didn't dislike this ep as such, I just feel like they crammed in far too much.
Comments 
24th-Mar-2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
I'm onto it, though I don't know that I'll get as far as Meg tonight since I'm busy baking for tomorrow!

Maybe it doesn't matter how Lucifer works.

I'm hoping it will make more sense in coming episodes and will reserve judgment until then.

A LITTLE BIT OF COMFORT WOULDN'T GO ASTRAY!! A squeeze on the shoulder at least!

I was truly disappointed to get nothing, even though you tried to warn me! I could have done with a much shorter Dean-Meg scene and a lot more Dean-Sam.

Watching the episode reinforced my belief that I enjoy it more unspoiled, so (willpower allowing) no more previews for me.
24th-Mar-2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if I wasn't hearing Meg because I was so taken aback to her appearance or because so much of her dialogue was muffled. I'm sure she said some important things - the most I got was that she's "alone".

I'm also hoping the Lucifer thing will make more sense but I have a feeling that....um...this might be it. I'm not sure but now that he's no longer in Sam's head I'm not sure how much of a part he'll play. I'm curious to find out (but not so curious if we know have a Lucifer in Cas head scenario..)

Yeah....we get very little h/c in the show. We KNOW the boys love each other beyond anything else...but they rarely physically show it (they do in other shows dammit! In Heroes Peter actually placed a kiss on his brother's head when he was in hospital... *wishes*).

Being unspoiled does make for a more enjoyable watching experience I reckon. From that fic description I was telling you about I knew Sam ended up in a psych ward at some point in the show. I REALLY wish I hadn't known that. I didn't know it was in this ep though. Some spoilers are hard to avoid but I liked not knowing what we were in for.

SO MUCH TO DISSECT with this one....

25th-Mar-2012 12:14 am (UTC)
Yeah..even now, the next day, I'm not sure what to do with it all. Maybe I'll just take the bits I loved and leave it at that. (hee..though knowing me that won't be happening!)

xx
24th-Mar-2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
I liked it but I do need to rewatch because there was so much going on. Sam isn't actually fixed. Cas said he couldn't do that, however, he could shift things so I think he just took the hallucinations from Sam's mind. Sam will still struggled but he won't be bothered by Lucifer so now he only has to deal with the regular memories and such, as did Dean. By removing that part of Sam's broken-ness, Cas was able to get Sam back on his feet - which is what Cas said he could do.

One of my favorite parts though was Cas admitting he should have never done that to Sam. I think that needed to be said.

As for them leaving Cas like that - I've said it before. Yes, Cas is Dean's friend but Sam is Dean's brother and brother trumps friend so if someone had to get left behind, it was going to be Cas in Dean's level of okayedness. Kinda like the choice between Adam and Sam - there is no choice for Dean. I do think this will bother Sam more (leaving Cas behind) but at the same time there is a sense of justice. Cas did that so Sam so why shouldn't turnaround be fair play?

I have no problem with it at all. The only thing I thought that did not fit was bringing Meg back. I have no idea why...
25th-Mar-2012 12:24 am (UTC)
Sam isn't actually fixed

Yeah - I like that Cas said he couldn't fix him (which I believed until be kinda did fix him). I'm curious to see what just removing the hallucinations will be for Sam. I imagine he will be back to the way he was. Have memories of hell but not being taunted by Lucifer. Which, I imagine, will mean a back to normal Sam. He was handling it all pretty well until Lucifer kept him awake.

I'm also glad Cas said he shouldn't have done that.

Essentially I have no issue (what so ever!) that they left Cas behind. I would much rather see Dean choose Sam over Cas any day and I can see the justice in Cas making that sacrifice for Sam. Instant redemption. But I just... idk...the Cas and Dean (and even Cas and Sam) friendship confuses me. I'm going to just let it be at the moment. I'll be curious to see what happens after this. (Um...Cas' wife for example...?) Not that I want any time spent exploring that (I WANT SAM AND DEAN ON MY SCREEN!) but there seem to be some loose ends needing to be tied up there..)

And yeah. The whole episode could have existed just fine without Meg returning. Or the other demons for that matter. It would have been great to see Meg in another context though.
24th-Mar-2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
Oh yes - and some sort of physical comfort from Dean was really needed. Sam wasn't touched by anyone except Cas and the doctors. A shoulder squeeze, hell, even a brief hug had to be in order because Dean thought he was dying. And since when doesn't dying warrant a hug???
25th-Mar-2012 12:27 am (UTC)
YES! It didn't need to be anything out of character. Poor Sam was suffering SO much (:koff: yay) just a little bit of physical contact would have been reassurance. Though I did wonder if Dean was also just holding it together. So a touch may have been Dean's crumbling point. Hm.....I might go with that one.

24th-Mar-2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
I will definitely need to watch this episode again because overall it felt a bit...um... messy. I loved some of it and I enjoyed watching it but it felt kinda uneven and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe because there was such a lot GOING ON

Yes - I think that's it. There was a whole lot of good stuff in this episode - but that was the problem: there was way too much good stuff. For instance - Sam's subplot with the girl just stopped. I mean, he got the job done, but there was no time for a resolution for her character or an exploration of any of the themes they set up for her. She was the least important part of the episode, sure, but once upon a time she'd have been a whole episode unto herself. I just kept thinking - you know, we could have lost the damn wedding episode and made this a two parter. Wouldn't everyone have been happier that way? :)

I STILL DON'T GET HOW LUCIFER WORKS! If he was "transferred" to Cas then surely that means he's somehow "real". Or was it just a transfer of a memory?

I'm a bit confused about this myself. For a start - Castiel doesn't generally eat or sleep, and preventing Sam from doing those things was how Lucifer really drove him around the bend. Also, as an angel, Castiel can travel in time and hold multiple timelines in his head - so you'd think the whole 'is it real?' thing would be less of a problem for him. Which just leaves the fact that Lucifer is incredibly annoying ... but that shouldn't knock a person out instantaneously. And yet there he was, unable to see his friends for Lucifer. So Castiel didn't take Lucifer, he took the damage Sam suffered. Which - okay, fine, there's no point in questioning how magic works. Except ... Dean suggested they amputate the damaged part of Sam's soul last season, and Death said that was impossible. So ... how ...? To be fair, I think they recognised the peculiarity of it. I mean, Dean's response was basically 'Wait, what?'

I have to admit I think this is where I had the most problems. I LOVE Meg. I've always loved her ambiguity. If we have corrupt angels then why not have a potentially "good" demon? But. IDK.

I'm just so proud of Meg. At this point all she has to do is keep breathing (Er. Through stolen lungs). Seven seasons, still standing. But - I thought the demon plot was confusing. The official line is that there's still a truce, but the demons think they'll get more from Crowley if they hurt the Winchesters bringing in Castiel than if they leave the Winchesters and miss the healer? Um. Why? From where I'm sitting, letting the mortals deal with the volatile angel who may-or-may-not be the key to stopping the leviathans looks like the safer option to me.

I JUST DON'T KNOW!! They set our boys up to CARE about family and then have them drive away from them. (And I really did need Dean to at least TOUCH SAM!! Come on Show! They are brothers!! Dean was concerned, sure, but A LITTLE BIT OF COMFORT WOULDN'T GO ASTRAY!! A squeeze on the shoulder at least!)

I ... think we are much of the same mind regarding Castiel. I like him well enough. I think he's sometimes well used, and his character arc has been very interesting. And I see that helping Sam was an obviously redemptive act for him, and it was also the most obvious solution to Sam's problem. But. I still think this was the wrong sort of episode to bring him back in.

When it's an apocalyptic scenario, you call in everyone. Castiel, Bobby, Rufus, Ellen, Jo, Pamela, Ruby, Meg, John - Garth. Whomever you can get on the phone, you bring them in. And those episodes suit a cast of thousands. But this was a smaller story; it was just Sam in peril, and everything else was a distraction. I kept waiting for this story to be about Sam and Dean, and how they were going to deal with this ... but it never was. So I think there was a lot of good in this story, but they tried to strike an epic note with it, when something more intimate might have been more effective.
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24th-Mar-2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
I had many of the same questions, especially being confused about whether Lucifer is a hallucination or something more real, if not tangible. I've had those questions for a while, and I can never quite figure out if Show *wants* me to be questioning it or if it's just....well, messy.

Mostly, this episode was simply too crowded. I think all the characters/actors struggled to convey alot of emotion and did a bang-up job, but there just wasn't time to properly show it or for the viewer to process it. You could see glimpses of Dean's ALL THE FEELS about Cas being alive, but he didn't have time to say much or do much about it -- same with Dean's panic over Sam dying. It was there, but there needed to be a bit more lingering on it -- and damn, we were cheated out of a huge emotional scene between the boys, since Dean would have been crazy relieved. Even if it was blunted by the state they left Cas in. I don't think Dean has come close to resolving his anger at Cas, and that part is realistic. This is the only way Show could partially make it 'okay', but it isn't, and I think that's a part of why Dean is more okay with leaving Cas there than we might expect.

25th-Mar-2012 01:05 am (UTC)
and I can never quite figure out if Show *wants* me to be questioning it or if it's just....well, messy.

I haven't figure that yet either. To be honest, I'm not sure Show has really thought about how the hallucinations work either. The fact that they could be transferred to an angel adds a whole new level to them. *head scratch*

I like that Dean's anger over what Cas did isn't fully resolved. I don't think it should be - he screwed with Sam's head and Sam has suffered greatly because of it. Cas healing Sam will go part way in helping Dean get over it but yeah... it shouldn't be an instant.."oh that's ok then". I don't actually have an issue with them leaving Cas there as such (though it makes little sense because surely Cas could just zap himself out of there. I'm sure Lucifer will have little effect on Cas. He doesn't need sleep anyway...) it just seems weird that they had built up this whole "team free will" thing and then walk away from that. Maybe it's the anger, maybe it's the only solution at this time.

I just hope show has thought his all through.

xx
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25th-Mar-2012 10:03 am (UTC)
Hey.. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

I'm beginning to see that I'm not the only one who was left a little empty after this ep. It's weird because I really enjoyed watching it but by the end I was left with confusion. I've just now realised this was written by Sera Gamble. In some ways this explains it. She may not have had anyone say..."whoa! There's too much going on here". As it's Sera they may have just let it go. Trusted her. I usually love her eps but I think this one might have just been trying to do too much.

I think there was huge potential to really explore some great issues but they were missed unfortunately. It's a shame in some ways that Cas had to be brought back in an ep when Sam is in so much torment. It meant Dean's attention was torn. He had to not only deal with what was going on with Sam, but also how he felt about seeing Cas again. There's so much going for Dean and he really wasn't allowed to explore that.

And I think you're right... some man ideas for scenes and they all made the cut rather than someone reigning Sera in to say...too much.

I thought Jared was stunning. I didn't nearly express how impressed I was with his performance in this episode. Sam is such an interesting character. He often takes the back seat to Dean (and I don't mean that as a Dean getting more attention) but Sam's actual emotions seem to be rarely visited. He suffers, he copes, he moves on. He runs away sometimes but that never works out so he comes back and continues to do what he thinks he should. (I'm sure there's huge meta here but my brain can't get around it at the moment *g*).

Mark is amazing and I really hope this isn't the last we'll see of him.

Jensen also did wonderfully well. He had SO many emotions to convey and he did so beautifully. I also enjoyed Misha's performance.

And Meg *sigh*... where's Nicki when we need her?

xx
24th-Mar-2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed your thoughts, because I think if I were really taking the episode as a whole, I'd feel similarly. In a way, I think I'm handwaving because Show took so long to get to Sam's breakdown that I'm just like, FINALLY they are fixing this, but it's a little too late. Ditto with Castiel's return. (And what is with mumble!Meg? She barely moves her lips. Is her jaw wired shut or something? *g*)

IDK. I don't think you're being too harsh.
25th-Mar-2012 10:15 am (UTC)
Thanks hun. :) It was a strange one because I loved watching it but afterwards felt a bit confused. Sam's hallucination were due to be resolved and even though I was a bit disappointed it was remedied with a touch to the head I suppose it made sense - in that it allowed Cas redemption. (though I have NO idea how that actually works. I might be *hand waving* that one).

I haven't minded Meg up until now...maybe because she's had less to say in the past. Also her presence just didn't make a lot of sense.

xx
24th-Mar-2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
1. I STILL DON'T GET HOW LUCIFER WORKS! If he was "transferred" to Cas then surely that means he's somehow "real". Or was it just a transfer of a memory? Cas took Sam's memory of the cage and Lucifer. If so then the Lucifer Cas sees can only be as Sam "remembers" him. Is Sam's brain still scrambled? Is Cas' brain now scrambled? Or is Lucifer actually, really around. AM I OVER THINKING THIS TOO MUCH!!?! (probably...) Do I even need an answer to this? Maybe it doesn't matter how Lucifer works.

I think the logic of it doesn't track at all, BUT it is a much better answer to Sam's problem (which had to be solved, and solved soon, because it was in danger of dragging on too long) than "Cas comes in a fixes Sam and all is well" which would have been weak and a writerly cop-out. By that one act, Cas gets to fix some of what he broke, gain some redemption for his wrong actions by taking on Sam's torment--a rather direct punishment--and set up a whole other problem (what is going on with Cas and why do the demons/Meg care so much) that I'm interesting in seeing play out. For all that? I'm more than willing to handwave the logic.

2. I have never liked Rachel Miner's Meg (whereas I ADORED Nikki Aycox in that role). It's mostly her weird way of talking. I don't know Miner well enough to know if that's just how she talks or if she's affecting that for Meg, but either way I hate it. As for how different she looked, I read elsewhere that the actress is taking steroids for a back condition and that's why her face looked so swollen. That doesn't bother me near as much as her strange, moan-y speech.

3. But... WOW... what a lot to take in. In an amazingly short time we found out that: Cas survived, he MARRIED, he lost his memory, he was a man called Emmanuel, he had powers to heal, he was discover by Dean, he found he was Dean's friend, he found out he hurt Dean by hurting Sam, he wanted to make amends, he MADE amends and now sees his brother. HOLY HELL!

I agree, and I suspect that Cas fans (of which I am not one--I feel as you do--he's okay, but I can take him or leave him) are going to think they got shortchanged on all this backstory. On the other hand, think of all the possibilities for fanfic. These are the kind of holes that fanfiction was made to fill.

4. I agree...Dean was a bit underwritten and I think you're right as to the reasons why. I'm hopeful that the premise is that Dean has been holding himself together up to this point for Sam--he COULD NOT fall apart while Sam was so shaky--and that we'll get to see Dean break down soon, once Sam is back on his feet again.

I actually really liked this ep--better than the last one, for sure. It was a bit messy and a lot was happening, but it has me looking forward to the rest of the season in a new way. I really need to rewatch, I think.
25th-Mar-2012 11:00 am (UTC)
Hi.

I really liked the ep also. In that I really enjoyed watching it and I loved that we got some resolution to Sam's hallucinations. I was jumping up and down when Cas said he couldn't fix him. I thought...yay! no cop out and yet, he did end up fixing him. Sam can function again. We don't know yet what it will all mean for Sam but it looks like he will function fine now that Lu is no longer haunting him.

I'm curious to see how Lucifer will effect Cas because surely Cas can do all sorts of things to deal with Lu in his brain. He doesn't need sleep so that kind of torture won't be on offering. Maybe Lu will bore him to death.

I haven't mined Rachel Miner's Meg - though I MUCH preferred Nikki' - I think because we haven't seen that much of her. Her voice has always been rather irritating. Thanks for the info on the steroids. That makes sense. I thought maybe she had put on weight but it didn't look like natural weight. Swollen describes it for sure.

I'm hopeful that the premise is that Dean has been holding himself together up to this point for Sam--he COULD NOT fall apart while Sam was so shaky

Yeah... I like this idea. I've wondered way he didn't reach out to Sam but maybe a touch would have been his last straw. In hindsight there were some clues that Dean was barely holding it together. I loved that he ran to Sam once the hallucinations had been transferred.

but it has me looking forward to the rest of the season in a new way

That's a good way of looking at it. I thought that at the end. Sam and Dean are now on a level playing field. Dean is stronger and Sam is "better". I think they will need all their strength for whatevers coming (I hope! I have high hopes for the future eps..*g*)

xx


24th-Mar-2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
Okay, (kind of) short points 'cause I could go on for hours with regards with this ep.

1. Holy heck I'm glad I wasn't the only one having serious trouble understanding Meg speak. It was so peculiar; yes the actress has gained weight but my god, she sounded stoned when she was in that grocery store.

2. There was so goddamn much squeezed into this episode that I felt cheated as the audience in terms of the fact that they could have put this easily into a two parter or longer. I mentioned to someone on Twitter that if you took a deep breath and recited everything squashed up into that 45mins it read like a cheap fic, which has been done a couple of times before and each time it disappoints. I mean we know that Show can be so kickass in terms of storyline when it wants to be and at times like this it just reeks of sloppy writing.

3. Which brings me to Cas. I think it's widely accepted that yeah, the lil treetoper was brought back due mostly to fan reaction over his dismissive death and that equally as you said, Sara and Co have really no clue what to do with their resident angel and all-around powerful problem solver. And I think so far it's been handled cheaply. I've become a big Cas fan over the years and some part of me feels that if they don't have any idea of what to do with the poor bugger (as much as the shallow part of me wants him to stay on) they should at least give him a proper and thorough chance to redeem himself and have a decent send-off. This business of dumping him in the ward and leaving him to stew inside his own brain is just a slack way to sideline him until he's once again useful.

All in all, for such an anticipated and hypedepisode, all I truly felt was given adequate strength was Sam's suffering.
25th-Mar-2012 11:09 am (UTC)
It's great to hear what a Cas fan links. I've never minded Cas but his story arc is so messy. But I think it's also really hard. He's an angel after all. The problem with where they have left him is it negates what he actually is. As an angel he could just zap to another place - or time. He can do amazing things and yet he's left sitting there, seemingly powerless. Maybe having Cas in his brain is more damaging than I initially thought it was.

He's certainly redeemed himself - in terms of fixing Sam. He still has the Leviathan issue to deal with and I have to say I am concerned he's going to be able to suddenly solve that whole issue as well. I'm keen to see where they take that.

all I truly felt was given adequate strength was Sam's suffering.

Yeah. I agree. And I did love all that. Those scenes were much tighter than the rest. which is a major shame. I think they could have done without the Meg story line and given more time to Dean and Sam. Even to Dean, Sam and Cas. There was enough in just that to carry the episode.

Aaannnnwaaayyy...these episodes are hard. It might only be in hindsight that we see how it all fits in.

xx
24th-Mar-2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
While I truly enjoyed the actual watching of the ep, I agree that they tried to cram too much into one. I can't say I think pacing is the current writer's strong suit -- while I absolutely love S7 as a whole, I think it's pretty uneven in terms of narrative arc.

As for how Lucifer works, I just read this great meta on it: http://purplehrdwonder.livejournal.com/21073.html
25th-Mar-2012 11:16 am (UTC)
It was a weird ep in that I've heard many say they loved watching it but was then left feeling empty, or confused. I was surprised that this was Sera's script. Usually I find her episode fairly good. It makes me wonder if this episode is a big set up for things to come (which I'm sure it is. So it might fit better in hindsight).

Thanks so much for the link to the meta. That's exactly what I have been thinking. In a review a while back I mused that Lucifer was some how real rather than a hallucination. I didn't consider a link to the cage as a possibility though. That's cool.

I did wonder why Lucifer would want Sam dead? Maybe if Sam died he'd be released along with Sam's soul? Hmmmm....

I only scanned that meta. I shall go back and read further and read the comments.

Thanks so much for that.
<33
24th-Mar-2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
I really liked this episode and didn't have an issue with how much they tried to fit in--except for the fact if felt like they needed another 10 minutes or so to wrap everything up.

I felt like the pacing was actually pretty good until Cas saved Sam, but then it seemed like somebody hit the fast forward button. We missed out on Sam and Dean being reunited, Dean convincing the hospital that Sam was "cured" (or did he just steal Sam away?), Cas being admitted, Sam recovering enough to be set free from the gurney, Sam being set free from the gurney (by his shaken big brother), Meg's reaction...

...there was a lot that happened that we didn't get to see. And I wanted to see it.

But overall, great episode. Jared brought down the house, I thought.
25th-Mar-2012 11:22 am (UTC)
It might just be that extra 10 minutes that left me feeling like I needed more.. or something.

I too liked the pacing. In fact I really liked the ep for the most part. If they had perhaps kept Meg and the demons out of the picture I would have been less distracted. I love Meg and her story arc, so I felt like she was given a disservice in this one. (But maybe they had to set something up for future episodes).

JARED WAS AWESOME! I was so convinced by his torment. I actually had a little tear at one point. He has suffered SO much. It just doesn't seem far. And still he manages to carry on. I ADORE him so much...<333

Thanks hun.

AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!\o/

25th-Mar-2012 03:20 am (UTC)
As soon as it started I thought "Ash is gonna love this with all the Sam whump". This is an ep that I watched and enjoyed while I was watching it and then at the end was all "hold on a sec, what?" It probably should have been a two-parter. I'm going to have to watch again, for sure. Not only was there all the Sam stuff, the Cas with a wife, the Meg, the hospital, the demons, the Dean, the trenchcoat still in the trunk with blood stains, and the haunted girl, we had more of what I'm guessing must be Bobby's ghost? Part of it seems like now they've only got a few episodes left and with renewal still up in the air, the big Leviathan plot has to go somewhere so lets wrap up all the plot lines at once.

Jared rocked it though. Wow Sam, just wow.

I'm baffled about the Lucifer thing now. If he's just hallucination, how does Cas take that and why does it cause red lightning under the skin? If he's physically part of Sam, how did part of him get out of the cage or is it like how angels can get to you in dreams? What does that do to Dean's claim that he's not real? How come sedatives weren't working if this is in Sam's head?

The other part that bugs me is that they spent the whole season breaking these boys down by taking everything. We had to go through Bobby dying, for heaven's sake. Why do that to them (and us) if Cas can get Sam functional in two minutes and then is available along with a demon to add extra fire power for the Leviathan battle?

I can be patient and give them an episode or two to get it together but I have admit to not having missed angels or demons this season. I really like the human as prey dealing with a predator and having to solve it as humans. I liked real life stuff like mental illness, drinking, and bad driving as the stuff that was getting these guys. None of us get the easy angel fix on that stuff and it made it cool to be battling the same crap as these guys for a change. That stuff can be scary as hell.

But Sam, wow Sam. He's grown up so much.
26th-Mar-2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yes... omg... my hurt!Sammy gal was in heaven. \0/ (I would have been in an even better heaven if we'd have some Dean comfort thrown in but I suppose I can't be greedy...)

Jared TOTALLY rocked it! His performance was brilliant. He's come so far as an actor and all in the course of this show.

And I want to know the answer to all those questions as well!! I sincerely hope they've thought all this through. SO much makes no sense. I've always felt that Lucifer is more than just an hallucination. That somehow a part of Lucifer actually embedded himself in Sam's brain (or soul!). If he's more than just a construct of Sam's mind then it would make more sense that he could be transferred to Cas. BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!

The other part that bugs me is that they spent the whole season breaking these boys down by taking everything.

Good point. Maybe that's why I'm feeling a little let down. Cas appears (out of now where) to save the day which almost makes a mockery of where they've been heading all season. The end of the ep suggested they were back on their own again, but for how long? The notion that Cas would remain in a mental institution is rather ludicrous. He could transport himself anywhere. And I find it hard to believe he would suffer the same way Sam did with Lucifer in his brain... HE'S AN ANGEL! He doesn't need sleep....Does he even have a brain like a human?? Ack! I just don't know.

Having an angel that can fix everything is problematic for the show I reckon. I mean, he could solve everything. Which makes me worry for a Leviathan quick fix. I HOPE NOT! I want them to be tough (really tough) to get rid of.

I have been loving this season so much. Largely, I think, because it's been about the boys. The next episode will be crucial in terms of understanding where they plan to go from here.

I HOPE THEY KNOW!.. (and that it's great....)
25th-Mar-2012 09:20 am (UTC)
Yeah, I watched it and enjoyed it, but didn't understand half of it afterwards and I'm once again left thinking - "where is the fic that will satisfy me" - because show just isn't doing that right now.

Saying that the hospital parts were way and above the best parts. Sam dealing with Lucifer finally, finally got top place and felt real and horrible and like he was falling to pieces. But like everyone else, Lucifer himself and what he is and how Cas could now have him and why Cas (a fully charged angel going by the way he blew through those demons) doesn't seem to be coping anywhere near as well as Sam was just baffles the shit out of me.

I loved the reflections to Faith, even to Dean sitting on the bed with his phone which mirrored Sam's hunt for a healer for Dean - that worked really well and I also loved the fact that as sick as Sam was he was still doing the job, hunting things and saving people, it's been a while since I felt that, so that was great. Actually I really would have been happy with just those hospital scenes because the Dean, Cas, Meg stuff was totally flat for me. Half the time I couldn't understand what Meg was saying and the other half just didn't make sense at all - still not sure why she was needed in this one.

In a way it was all there, Dean was worried about Sam, Dean was angry at Cas and Cas was sorry about what he'd done to Sam, but that episode was one of the very few where Ackles just hasn't sold it to me one bit, I was underwhelmed and kind of bored by those three. By the end I felt manipulated by the machination of just getting Sam fixed, I didn't feel the emotion, I didn't feel the worry or the anger, it just felt very old and flat.

Once again show creeped me the shit out over women who take in strange and troubled (and this time naked) men and fall all over them - *ugh* show, just *UGH*.

Compare it to Faith and it fails, totally and utterly because that was ALL about the emotions and the worry and the care, and this? Not so much. Although I did squee once with delight and that was because once it was known Cas was Emanuel and had no memory? Bobby must be the one helping them and I've been so hoping it was him and not Cas. Yeah, I know, maybe it's my mood, maybe I read too much bloody good caring and in character fic, but this one had such a good premise and I felt they pissed it all away somehow. **sigh** Don't mind me...I still love show, just want more out of show than it's giving me lately.

Editing to add - now that I think about it...don't laugh, I do think occasionally! :)) When Castiel was fixing Sam, it was a little like how he touches the soul, so I'm thinking perhaps Castiel took most of the damaged parts of Sam's soul? But instead of charging him up like it did when he touched Bobby - it drained him and that's why he's kind of catatonic? *shrug* I'm still not sure, but I'm still stuck on where Castiel was getting his powers from, didn't he have to get them from heaven before? I guess whoever is in charge up there now is still on Castiel's side? Who knows....

Edited at 2012-03-25 02:33 pm (UTC)
26th-Mar-2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah... you make some great points.

I hesitated saying that I was bored by the Meg, Cas and Dean scenes...but really? *nods* I was so on the edge of my seat with the hospital scenes it really powered me through the whole episode but as I re-watched I found myself fast forwarding through those other scenes because I just wasn't feeling them.

I have to say, I really feel for Dean in all of this (and maybe Jensen...) He had to feel SO many things in this ep...worry for Sam, surprise (and all those other emotions!) in seeing Cas and then deal with seeing Meg. Jensen must have read the script and thought...what the fuck...? How does Dean deal with all this? Do I just have a permanent "What the hell... ?" look on my face...

I agree it would have been more interesting to have just concentrated on the human emotions. Dean had that desperation, but it was lost as soon as Cas appeared. It would have been interesting for this episode to explore just how alone they really were. Sam stuck and a hospital and Dean with no where to turn. I know they needed a solution, but it all just happened so fast. I keep hearing this should have been 2 episodes... I tend to agree.

Dammit. There are moments like these I wish I wasn't so damn invested in this show. This is the kind of turmoil I felt during S6..... I was enjoying not feeling it during S7 (which is why I have been enjoying this season so much...)

I hope the next ep holds some answers!

<3333333
25th-Mar-2012 10:02 am (UTC)
I STILL DON'T GET HOW LUCIFER WORKS!

I think Cas took the torture from within Sam's soul and put it on himself. So, not the memory but the "on fire" part of Sam's soul.
You find the concept of taking on illnesses from others when you can't heal them as an act of love and devotion in stories, real ones as well as made up ones.

I loved Cas's return, I'm a fan of him after all ;), and even though this ep was rather cramped, packed full, I think I loved exactly that.
However, I didn't like Meg too much. Not sure why. But maybe it was because of the change in the actress. Though I was never too much a fan of her anyway...

And I do think that there was no closeness between the brothers was part of the Sam-being-alone-with-Lucifer thing. Anyone getting close to Sam could have in his perception been Lucie in disguise. So, I think this "mental illness" of Sam did indeed put a wall between the brothers. And when he was well again at the end it was at he price of Cas being stuck with the Lucifer-madness. So, maybe not the best moment to hug either. That's my thoughts on that anyway.
But I'm sure there will be hugging again...sometime.. ;D

(I could only enjoy the ep properly today after my internet was giving me problems yesterday, giving me a slide show rather than a film. Which was incredibly annoying especially with the "Cas remembers" scene. Glad things worked fine today. I really need faster internet...or a faster computer..or win a million...or..LOL)

xx
26th-Mar-2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
I think Cas took the torture from within Sam's soul and put it on himself.

Oh wow... I love that idea. I struggle with thinking that Cas would suffer in the same way that Sam would have done, but maybe the weight of Sam's suffering is now weighing on Cas in a way that only an angel could feel.... Hmmmm.... I might just be able to see that in a different light.

I have mixed feelings about Cas' return and I think I will only truly know how I feel when I see how they are going to tell his story. I just don't know - still! Even after re-watching it....!!

I like your reasoning about why there was distance between the brothers. Sam was seeing all sorts of things. He might not even trusted that he was actually seeing Dean.... *sniff*

Hee...Here's to winning a million!

(thanks for your positive take on the ep. I've struggled with this one...)
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