I can't stop thinking about how familiar many of the scenes were in episode 8.01. I love the deliberate choices to "call back" or mirror past episodes. It not only uses our past knowledge of those moments but it also gives them extra significance by being used again.
I thought I'd take a little look at those moments.1. Monster of the Week:
As I mentioned in my episode reaction, the very beginning is similar to many episode beginnings. We usually have a scene where innocent victims are terrorised and often killed (or munched!) by the MotW. They started this episode much the same, only this time the "monster" turned out to be Dean (poignant yeah?!)
The scene in 8.01 reminded me more specifically of the beginning of 1.02 (Wendigo).
The next few scenes are direct comparisons to 4.01 (Lazarus Rising). I love how Dean's return from Purgatory is mirrored in his return from Hell. 2. The Walk
I think of this as a symbolic of Dean's journey. I'm sure Dean being framed in green is deliberate in both scenes. Green represents new beginnings and a sense of life and health. Opposite to the places he's emerged from.3. The Testing:
Testing for the supernatural in each other has now become a returning from the grave ritual. We've seen it when Dean returned from Hell in 4.01, Sam from Hell in 6.01 and now both Dean and Sam in 8.01. It's a motif now - they usually come in threes. Each time it tells us something about the state of their relationship. This time Dean is all business (similar to Sam when Sam returned from the Cage) and Sam is "we've done this enough to know we're each other". So cool!4. The hug
Another returning from the grave ritual. No wonder Dean was all "Well let's do this. Come here". They've done it so many times now. If we looked at each hug we could see how their response offers a window to their states of mind when it happens - that's probably for another picspam though. Here Dean seems thoroughly warmed and relieved. And Sam, even though surprised, does seem equally warmed. Dean likes to close his eyes when he hugs Sam. He gets totally immersed in the hug. (Different to the way he hugs Benny you will notice. All smiles but no eye closing...)5. Sam with a mysterious woman:
I think this is an interesting comparison. 4.01 presented us with a "mysterious" woman with Sam in the beginning of the episode. She later turned out to be Ruby. Here we have another woman who Sam has obviously had a relationship with. I think it's no accident that each time one brother is without the other they form a relationship with another person. I think Lisa understood it. The boys aren't able to sustain a healthy relationship with another person when they have each other. (Epic love story I tells ya!)6. The Impala's key toss:
(no good pics for this one I'm sorry...)
The keys to the Impala have become very symbolic over the course of the show. They have been used quite a few times now to represent the various stages in the boys relationship (I plan to do a mini picspam on this later on so will examine each of those later). Twice now Sam has looked after the Impala while Dean has been away and both times he's tossed the keys back to Dean upon his return. I love that they chose to mirror the tossing action from 4.01. A handing back of the Impala is a ritual now.7. Sammy's "who me?" face.
Both times Sam has handed back the Impala Dean has spotted something different with his car. The first time the iPod and this time the dog smell. Such great mirroring.8. The phone call:
I'm not sure if this is a deliberate "mirror" as such but Dean's sneaky phone call to Benny reminded me very much of his phone call to John in Home. There's been a suggestion that Dean has become more like John in this episode (military man) so I wonder if this was done for that reason? I think it's possibly done like this to emphasis that Dean is keeping this from Sam - much like he did his phone call to John in Home.
There may be some others but they are the ones the came to mind on the first viewing. I do love that they have chosen to present the scenes like this. It raises the question...what will be different this time and why?