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7.21 Reaction 
5th-May-2012 01:51 pm
Relax!


Perhaps CONFUSED?! UNDERWHELMED, ANNOYED! What the hell was that?!

Yeah.. so, um... TURN BACK NOW because I am seriously struggling to find anything good to say about this one. Sorry. :(

I can't pinpoint whether it was bad direction, bad writing, bad acting or the fact that the writer was also the director (writer/director is a tricky combo to get right). It was Ben Edlund so I'm surprised it was so awful. He's written some pretty good episodes (Bad Day at Black Rock probably my favourite of his) but his directing is yet to impress me. This is his second directing gig for SPN (other one being The Man Who Would be King) and to be honest I'd think like to see it stay that way.

It was both too much and not enough. Too much new information (most of which made little sense) and not enough... well, everything else. It lacked energy and the pacing was woeful. It lacked the crucial element of tension. The was no build up - no urgency what so ever (compared to say last week that had us on the edge of our seats). It's not really fair to mention the bad acting because I think a director is mostly to blame for that but wow... there were some seriously medicore performances in there. I'm sorry but Hester never convinced me. Meg was better than last time I thought but there were still some issues.

I suppose I enjoyed Misha's performance. There were some nice laugh out loud moments but because the whole episode had that feeling of "what the hell is going on" he was kinda lost in there. There were some lovely little moments but they were surrounded with some truly awful ones. Something I did like was the feeling that he really was seeing "everything". I actually think that an opportunity was missed here to appreciate Castiel's plight. Or to connected with him in any way.

I suppose the thing that annoyed me the most was ALL THAT was going on in the hospital and NO ONE WAS AROUND! Ever! Hospitals are busy places... or did I miss something? Was there an explanation for why they could be going in and out like it was their home, chase and knock people out on the grounds etc.? Did I zone out and miss that? I just. IT MADE NO SENSE!

I did like Kevin Tran, but again because there was so much going on his character drew little interest or sympathy.

Our boys were sidelined and became observers. They seemed so out of their depth, (which might have been the whole point), but by doing that I felt we lost the connection to what was going on. We were left as damn confused as they were.

Some of the jokes seemed to be there just for us. Which, ok, sometimes that's fun but in an episode like this it felt try-hard. I'm not sure it ever made up it's mind what kind of episode it was going to be. It started of a little quirky, got quite serious, then there was that strange moment with action music, moments where Cas was "connecting" with first Sam and then Dean. Throw in suggested Cas/Meg romance and... yeah. A COMPLETE MESS!

So the boys now know how to kill the Leviathans. I probably should be more excited about that but I think because the way it came about seems so contrived I have little excitement for it. I suppose it might depend how they use that information now.

There's a lot more but I think I'm just depressing myself the more I write.

ACK!!! I DON'T KNOW?!! Is it just me? Am I being too harsh? Does it need a second viewing to appreciate it? (please no!) Other than some funny one liners was there actually anything good about that ep that I missed?

Sorry to be so negative. It's not usually like me. I always try to look for the positive but I'm struggling with this one. Thank God there are 2 more episodes. Please Show be building up to something interesting - something that actually involves the boys rather than having them watch other characters. Something that makes some sense would be good...*sigh*
Comments 
5th-May-2012 06:11 am (UTC)
OK - just watched ep 21, and wanted your opinion, how sad is that? Why did the angel's bleed black goo, but Castiel red blood? Phooey; go and read your ops now, 'cos feeling impatient! :(
5th-May-2012 06:26 am (UTC)
Hee... out of the whole ep it was the very last bit that I liked the best. The angels at the end where "filled" with black goo and killed (like Cas was when they took him over in the beginning). Leviathans trump angels (which probably makes no sense because why didn't Cas really die when he was over taken by them?). I think both angels and demons bleed red - well, their vessels do (ack! don't even get me started on the constant holes re vessels...) so that makes sense to me.

But.. (do you mind if I keep whinging?) I find it all too convenient that they need the blood of a fallen angel to help kill the Leviathans. Hmmm.. handy that they happen to know one.... (though God knows all I suppose so maybe he knew that they were going to need that when The Word was written. Maybe it's all part of him cunning plan...*nods*)

5th-May-2012 06:48 am (UTC)
My opinion of the episode improved somewhat, though not much, upon second viewing. The jokes are not really funny, 'cause they are trying too hard to be funny. Especially the sex torture dungeon line, I mean, that is the first thing popping out of a 16-year old honor student in AP? 

I actually liked the idea of angels being pissed off by Castiel's smote/disappear act, but, Hester's anger was way too forced, more like a menopausal unstable woman than a righteously angry angel; and what's-his-name, I mean the other angel, seemed too eager to please. These new angels are just off.

I have made my peace with the general swiss cheese plot line of the show though, it amuses me.

Good thing about this episode? Well, Sam and Dean seem to be back to the place where they can communicate with eyebrows again.
5th-May-2012 07:18 am (UTC)
Oh? Improved on the second viewing? Hmmm... maybe I better try it then.

Some of the jokes were weird - especially in the way they were repeated. Like we wouldn't have got it the first time. Like the sex torture dungeon and the transformers joke. And yeah... why would he even say that?

I get that other angels would be pissed at Cas's disappearing act. That does make some sense I suppose. Maybe it's because it feels like a story line from last year that it felt so jarring.

Sam and Dean seem to be back to the place where they can communicate with eyebrows again.

Hee. Yeah. I like it when they do that. They are definitely much more on the same page these days. Which is nice. :)
5th-May-2012 07:06 am (UTC)
The only thing I liked about it was Dean patting Sam on the arm at the end. I've been keen to see your reaction to check if I was being too harsh! Sam not having heard of the angel Metatron was particularly jarring.

Meg's voice bothered me much more this time. Some of those angel-heavy scenes reminded me of S4 (do not want).
5th-May-2012 07:14 am (UTC)
The only thing I liked about it was Dean patting Sam on the arm at the end

Ha! Yes! You know.. when that happened I actually said out loud (to myself!) that's the only brotherly moment in the whole episode. I suppose we should be grateful we at least got that...

And Sam not knowing the name of the angel is very jarring. One moment he's the geek that knows everything, the next he isn't. I know it was purely in there for the Transformers joke (but wow.. how laboured was that joke? !)

The angels just aren't doing it for me. I didn't mind some of them in S4 (mostly because they had purpose) but now? Definitely feeling tacked on and pointless.

Oh Show. This is why you make me nervous going into each episode.

xx
5th-May-2012 08:48 am (UTC)
Omg! What a bizarre episode! I loved it! \O/

Now, I'll read what you have to say.. :)

Oooh... you hated it... I personally really liked the crazy feel of this episode. For me it was mostly a Castiel episode with everything else happening "on the side", nearly rushing past.
I understand the things you don't like, but somehow they by-passed me and I enjoyed this "complete mess". ;)

Maybe I'm the only one who likes this ep. lol. But hey, can't always be part of the crowd. ;D

I hope next week will give you more of what you like again. I do prefer you squeeful after an episode. :) *hugs*

♥♥♥
5th-May-2012 09:17 am (UTC)
I am so happy you liked this episode! \o/ You might indeed be the only one but at least that's one!! (Hee.. I mean, I'm sure there are other people who loved it, a lot of reactions I've been seeing have been "what the...?"

I think Castiel did shine in many parts but because I'm not really invested in his story so much I wasn't that interested. Though he did make the episode bearable in terms of a lot of his lines and his innocence.

I ALSO HOPE I'M SQUEEING NEXT WEEK! I too hate it when I'm not squeeing.... :(((

But YAY for enjoying it. <33333333
5th-May-2012 08:56 am (UTC)
OMG, I thought I might be the only one who thought it was quite a boring/lackluster episode. Last week's epi was absolutely awesome, but this one... I have to say the promo was better/more exciting than the episode itself. I guess they're just spoon feeding us some info, kind of like a whole lot of exposition that wasn't dressed up well enough that we wouldn't notice, lol
5th-May-2012 09:20 am (UTC)
Yeah... it's weird. They have had plenty of episodes to tease the information out and then suddenly BAM! have all this exposition. I was so excited to find out what was inside the clay but then ended up being confused about the way it was handled. I mean... the boys know better then to play with something they're not sure what the consequences would be. What if people had died from their actions. *shrugs* I suppose it's also in their nature to dive head long into something.

I'm hoping by next week I'll be able to put this one behind me.

xox
5th-May-2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
There were some moments in this ep that I really liked, but my overall opinion is pretty much exactly the same as yours. I think you beautifully articulated everything that bugged me.
6th-May-2012 03:05 am (UTC)
Yeah - there really were some nice bits and they would have been enough if all the surrounding bits were so...um... difficult and awkward.

xx
5th-May-2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
I liked the ep a bit more than you did . . . but still, I agree wholeheartedly with your post. Considering that this was an Edlund episode, it was surprisingly lackluster. Just . . . not that good.

There were some lovely little moments but they were surrounded with some truly awful ones.

THIS RIGHT HERE. And the good moments just made the rest of it look that much worse. D:

ACK!!! I DON'T KNOW?!! Is it just me? Am I being too harsh? Does it need a second viewing to appreciate it? (please no!) Other than some funny one liners was there actually anything good about that ep that I missed?

Nope, it's not just you, and you're not being too harsh . . . but I do NOT recommend a second viewing, as I ended up downgrading my initial impression of the ep after such a re-viewing.

Honestly, I would have expected such a hit-and-miss exercise from Dabb & Loflin, but Edlund? No, in his hands, this should have been a MUCH better ep.
6th-May-2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Yes!

And the good moments just made the rest of it look that much worse.

I think that's spot on. There were moments that I was getting right into it and then... wham! awkward moment that slowed the pacing down. I even forgot to mention my favourite part (that my home town, Perth, got a mention) THAT'S how distracted I was...

The fact that it was Edlund does surprise me. Personally I don't think directors should direct their own scripts. I think it's often better for someone else to interpret what a writer meant. That way we don't rely on the writer alone to tell us his story.

xox
5th-May-2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
I think I was giving Mr. Edlund too much credit in his writing when I first watched the ep. I was thinking that maybe the whole thing was meant to be a disjointed mess as a way to have the audience get inside the headspace of Cas. Where there are moments of information and clarity and then a silly moment of amusement (for them at least). But… in all honesty, I think we had some really good eps this year and Imo, comparing this one to the others, the quality of writing here just doesn’t come close to them.

Some of my other shows leave me with only little gems that I love and the rest of the storyline is complete BS and over time I’ve developed the habit that instead of getting frustrated with aspects of the show that gets me upset or pissed, I focus on things that I like. So, instead of asking why Sam was so dumbed-down in this ep, I focused on Dean patting Sam’s arm and (what I took it as) references to Dogma. Also, I’m not a huge Castiel fan and that’s why I was feeling a little lack lustered about the ep.

The trailer for next week's ep has left me nervously waiting for what's to come.
6th-May-2012 03:19 am (UTC)
I was thinking that maybe the whole thing was meant to be a disjointed mess as a way to have the audience get inside the headspace of Cas.

Oh yes. I did wonder the same thing. That's why I wondered if Sam and Dean were there as observers so WE could feel the whole mess of how Cas was seeing things. I suppose Ben may just have been that clever (because it certainly was a mess), but it's dangerous to do that if the audience is actually left feeling nothing, or confused.

So, instead of asking why Sam was so dumbed-down in this ep

I know! So sad to see that happen...:(

I focused on Dean patting Sam’s arm

Happy place. One tiny brotherly moment - but at least there was that. Makes me wonder if Jensen actually threw that in. The boys don't casually touch each other much. I liked that it could have been a way of grounding themselves after such a muddle of a case.

The trailer for next week's ep has left me nervously waiting for what's to come.

I haven't seen the trailer as I try to stay clear of spoilers but I am seriously considering a peek because I am mightily worried for where this is going to go. (I might need to know if Cas is in it. I think I'll need to prepare myself for that possibility....)


5th-May-2012 02:40 pm (UTC)
Heh, just to add to all the 'what the hell was that', how was Meg able to kill the angel? I thought only angels could kill angels or did I miss something?
6th-May-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
She had the angel sword. I suppose anyone who has that can kill an angel? Though I'm not sure where she got it from...maybe from the last episode we saw her in?

Perth got a mention though. :DD I forgot to include that (so HAD to make a separate just for that!). So something good came out of it...;)

xx
5th-May-2012 04:01 pm (UTC) - Hey Ash
The highlight for me was where Cas got sent when Dean did the angel-banishing sigil.... Perth!!!! Our hometown!!! And it got even better by the fact that Dean has heard of Perth and knows, at least, what country it's in. And with the mention of racing dogs, it sounds like Cas was at Cannington Greyhounds. LOL

The rest was pretty much as you've described it, even on re-watch it didn't grab me like most SPN eps have. Maybe it will improve after we see the last 2 eps, but I'm not holding out much hope for that.

So surprising that a Ben Edlund ep was such a let-down. He usually delivers really great eps. Let's hope he makes up for it with his eps next season.
5th-May-2012 04:14 pm (UTC) - Re: Hey Ash
HA! You know, when I was watching this I jumped for JOY at the mention of Perth and I thought THAT'S how I'm starting my review. But then I got caught up in the WTF of it all and forgot to mention it.

I was thinking about it tonight and thought I HAVE to mention that in a separate post. OH Man! What I wouldn't give to be able to manip a pic of Cas at Canningtom Greyhounds.

It kinda blows me away that Dean would even know that there was a Perth in Australia. Colour me IMPRESSED!

I can't believe I forgot to mention it. /o\

xox
5th-May-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
This is the first (FIRST!) Supernatural ep ever that I've had the opportunity to watch but haven't watched yet. I just feel really lukewarm and decided to read your post because we usually agree and feel like I may just skip altogether.

*sniff*

Really, I don't like angel plotlines anymore. Can we get back to Sam and Dean please?

Still....there's season 8 for us to look forward to!!!!
6th-May-2012 03:50 am (UTC)
Yeah. I'd love to say give it a go but my heart really isn't in it. Even the positive reviews I've read haven't convinced me. But still... some people did like it.

I think it was possibly too angel and demon heavy for me. Whenever they are around little seems to make sense. Rules keep changing and I suppose I'm just not that interested in them. I actually don't mind Cas (actually his performance was the most entertaining) but having Meg and the other angels and a new prophet.... just too much for me.

But.

S8 has give us something to look forward to yeah? I wonder if they might do away with the overall season arc Big Bad. It's hard to imagine where they could go now. Unless they go back to the Lucifer story line...

At the moment I'm just hoping the next two episodes give us something to be excited about. ANYTHING with Sam and Dean would be AWESOME!<333
5th-May-2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
I think since I don't expect the show to make sense in a plot capacity anymore, I really enjoyed this one. There was so much subtle character stuff in this episode - the Sorry! game was one of the most amazing things ever - and I loved the new prophet.
6th-May-2012 09:23 am (UTC)
Hi!

Great to hear that someone liked it. I mean, I've seen a few positive comments so that's good. I suppose I wish I could have caught on to the subtle character stuff. I spent to much time nursing my whiplash from it going all over the place. /o\

xx
5th-May-2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
I actually enjoyed this one too, though last week's ep was so good that it set a high bar for Edlund to reach this week. I'm pretty good at handwaving plot holes, I admit, but I liked the 'crazy' feel of this one - it seemed too much not to be deliberate. I'm not a huge Cas fan, but I really enjoyed this iteration of Cas, and his non-sequitur filled ramblings seemed a fitting showcase for the craziness going on around him. I liked Kevin and Hester's heartfelt "WTF is going on here?!", which I interpreted again as a mirror of the audience reaction they were going for. It's entirely possible that I give Show too much credit, but it worked for me nevertheless.
6th-May-2012 09:28 am (UTC)
Hey there. I'm really glad it worked for you. I really do wish it had worked for me because I much prefer to be squeeing rather than scratching my head.

I did wonder if the "all over the place" feel was deliberate. I can see that it could have been, I just... argh....found it hard to know which story line to follow and whereas I normally hand wave the plot holes I found them just too distracting. I think the empty hospital caused me the most problems and because the episode started with that it had me off kilter from the beginning.

But yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :))

xx
5th-May-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Apparently I am very stream-of-consciousness today. :)

Our boys were sidelined and became observers. They seemed so out of their depth, (which might have been the whole point), but by doing that I felt we lost the connection to what was going on. We were left as damn confused as they were.

I read somewhere (and I can neither remember where nor find it again, so I can't actually vouch for it) that the last three episodes were filmed around the time Jared Padalecki's kid was born, so the characters were deliberately sidelined in order to give him time off without having Sam randomly vanish. I realise that doesn't necessarily make the structure of the episode better, but I thought Of Grave Importance and The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo handled it pretty well, so in the end I just said 'two out of three ain't bad,' waited until that Meatloaf song got out of my head, and forgave them. :)

So the boys now know how to kill the Leviathans. I probably should be more excited about that but I think because the way it came about seems so contrived I have little excitement for it. I suppose it might depend how they use that information now.

I suppose I don't mind this, because it's about what I expected. The item in the suitcase was too small to be anything but an instruction manual, and since we've established that they don't do ancient languages, they were probably going to need a translator. I'd agree that there might have been a better story around it, but the basics had to happen. As Charlie says, the really evil ones always need a special sword.

Some of the jokes seemed to be there just for us. Which, ok, sometimes that's fun but in an episode like this it felt try-hard.

Yeah, it was hit and miss. Dean's thing with the tablet made me chuckle, because it gave me the chance to yell 'Yes! Me! For the love of archaeology, be careful!' But Sam's transformer thing was just weird, because it was played straight - like he thought he might have to deal with a race of killer robots now. I’d believe them making a joke - 'So we've got a memo from some dude who's one letter away from a transformer?' - as an excuse for a bit of exposition, but this … The dog track in Perth thing was kind of amusing - but then I thought, well, the Antichrist. Apparently Australia is where lost monsters go. And that ... is a tad worrying. :)

Something I did like was the feeling that he really was seeing "everything". I actually think that an opportunity was missed here to appreciate Castiel's plight. Or to connected with him in any way.

I have trouble here, because Castiel episodes aren't really for me. I'm okay if he lives! I'm okay if he dies! I'm okay if he flutters off into the sunset! I find it hard to get worked up about him, so I often struggle to tell whether his plots aren't working, or whether I just don't care enough. That I said, I guess it was interesting to see him using madness as a retreat from guilt. It was useful for making him basically functional again, but then ... 'nothing is so bad when you see everything' sounds like a godlike perspective to me, which is creepy and goes back to the original problem with Castiel.

I'm sorry but Hester never convinced me. Meg was better than last time I thought but there were still some issues.

I did like the commentary on the uselessness of angels. They must have sided with Castiel, but are now trying to follow instructions from their absent god again. They switch between yelling at Sam and Dean for taking away their purpose, at Castiel for not delivering on the whole 'freedom' thing, and falling back into Must Obey God mode while pretending anyone cares what they think anymore. I think the bones of a good idea were there. But we had Angry, Betrayed Angel #1 and Sad, Forgiving Angel #2, who felt more like archetypes than people.

I enjoyed Meg's speech, though. She might still by lying about Crowley being her ultimate target, but the rest of it sounded very true to her character. In season one, she was basically the demon version of Dean, her tragedy being that she never had a Sam. But then, Castiel started out as angels' dark version of Sam so I suppose she does have one now. I'm curious to see what they do with her. :)
6th-May-2012 09:55 am (UTC)
Thank you (as always) for your interesting thinky. Reading this makes me think I did indeed miss some important moments.

That's curious out Jared and his baby. I heard a couple of things. One being similar to what you said here (though I didn't know it was 3 episodes) and other saying that he wasn't taking time off and he would be in the final episodes. Something like that. I thought they did a great job of "side lining" the boys in the last 2 episodes. I am sure the show can "survive" and make really interesting episodes without them as the focus. But with this one they also came across as incompetent. Which, for me, is the worst thing they can do. Sam would most definitely have known that angel AND he wouldn't have left the Word of God alone to run after Meg.

Hopefully this means the next two episodes will have the boys being more clever and more involved.

As Charlie says, the really evil ones always need a special sword.

Yeah. It did have to be something special so I suppose this is it. I wonder why Dick wanted to get hold of it? I mean, by finding it they have let loose the information on how to kill them. There must also be something on there that's beneficial to them. I would hope that he didn't want to find it just so no one else could. That would irk me.

so I often struggle to tell whether his plots aren't working, or whether I just don't care enough.

Yeah. Me too. My reaction to the episode isn't because Cas was in it. It just so happens that when he's in an episode so are other angels and demons and that often results in confusion (for me!). They seem to keep changing the rules each time they appear. I really really want to get into Castiel but I just don't care enough to be that interested. I did like his childlike innocence and the way his thoughts went all over the place. (even though that was also frustrating because some answers may have been nice at times).

So um? Is Lucifer gone do you think? Was that the upshot of all that. Cas took on Sam's hallucination and in Cas's brain it ended up just going away? (grrrrr, if that's the case....)

I just do not know how to take Meg at the moment. I have to confess that I am disliking Rachel's performance enough for me to almost shut off when she's talking. And yet, I think her dialogue was interesting. I think I may end up reading the transcript for this episode rather than rewatching it and see what I get from it.

I want them to have a purpose for her. I've always liked the idea that they explore "good" demon the way they did "evil" angel. And I've always found Meg fascinating.

So yeah. We'll see. I'm a little nervous now for the next 2 episodes. I wish sometimes I wasn't so damn invested! ;)

xx


5th-May-2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
This was definitely a miss for me (I think it was almost as bad as The Man Who Would Be King) it just had too much going on, I was confused for most of the episode and couldn't keep up with anything. I think important things were mentioned but since I was so lost I likely didn't catch them or forgot them. It was interlaced with some good moments, but it was drowned out by the horrible pacing and just random moments that weren't really necessary especially being so close to the finale.

I normally do like Edlund's writing but he seems to have a thing with Castiel, and it shows with this episode. I guess I preferred more of Sam and Dean, I thought some of their dialogue was off and even after all this I still think Dean should be more angry. He just seemed frustrated more than anything, which is perfectly fine given what he's been through this year but I guess I expected more anger on his part given all that he lost and almost lost from what Castiel did.

This episode really disappointed me. It's likely one I'll only watch once and never again.
6th-May-2012 10:05 am (UTC)
Yeah. This. I also wondered if Edlund has a thing for Cas because he certainly got most of the good lines - and a lot of the story. Though I'm still trying to work out where we are with now with Cas. He's back to being an angel, he's still sorry for what he did, he's a bit crazy and he's not going back to heaven. I think. I wonder if he'll going and find the person he married...?

I hope the next two episodes are a lot stronger.

xx
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