Thoughts are pretty scattered. I'm yet to fully digest that one so this is more of an insta!reaction.
I was pretty nervous going into 8.02. The first episode was so strong that I was concerned about how this one would be.
Mostly I really enjoyed it. I thought there were some delightful moments, some great kick ass moments and some interesting tidbits of information given to us about the boys missing year. Though I did struggle with some parts...Highlights:
Kevin's mum. Hands down winner of that episode. She was a scene stealer in my opinion. Loved her motherly strength. She was great to watch.
Sam and Dean's stolen glances. I suppose I desperately seek all the moments between the boys so maybe all those looks to each other (mostly Dean to Sam) are small, but I do love the little hidden codes to each other. They worked well together in this episode. They aren't exactly on the same page so it's testament to their relationship that they can still work so well together.
Purgatory flashbacks. LOVE LOVE LOVED the interrogation scene. Possibly my favourite of all the scenes. THAT'S how to do flashbacks. I just loved that combination of scenes and the continuity of action. Editing that must have been awesome fun.
The camera work at the train station. Having Sam and Dean enter from opposite ends and then swing around to land on the Trans. Very cool.
Sam as Thor! TOTALLY AWESOME! HAIR!!!! \o/
MOTEL! They used the City Center Motel
exterior again. \o/ I thought the green of the motel was particularly fitting for the right hand man of the God of Greed, Plutus. I know green is associated more with jealousy and envy, but I think it works nicely with greed also.
Some great lines. "Moose and squirrel" LOLZ. "What's one more nightmare?" - that kind of sums things up for the boys at the moment. So many other lines I snickered at.
I continue to like Benny.
The auction room was in Room 101 - I'm sure that's a reference to the torture room in Orwell's 1984. Very cool!
ETA: eek, I forgot to mention the reverse exorcism (when did Sam learn to do that eh?!) and Sam suggesting to auction the Impala! Oh SamnDean...never change...<333Other thoughts:
The boys have changed. There's no doubt about it. I mean, they have been changing over the years but we are really seeing a major change now. Especially in Dean. At the moment the change in him isn't necessarily for the better (don't get me wrong though because I think this is really interesting). The boys killed three people (meat suits) getting into Kevin's house. The people demon's possess are no longer a concern to the boys. Casualties of war. I'll admit that that is a little sad to witness. I'm glad at least that there was some acknowledgement that a person was killed. But yeah. These are boys who don't care as much. Probably can't
care as much.
I don't think this is a permanent change though. I have no idea where we are heading but I'm thinking the boys have lost some of their humanity. In the past one of them brings the other back. "We keep each other human" has never been so important. Only this time it looks like neither of them is capable of bringing the other back. Will it take an outside force maybe? Will that be Kevin's future role?
Kevin represents everything the Winchesters used to be. He cares, he shows fear and worry. He is someone who DOES want to see his mother because he loves and cares for her. This Dean had a lot of trouble understanding that.
I think, above anything else, this episode was about seeing the Winchesters losing something that has always set them apart from not only monsters but other hunters. Compassion.
Moment upon moment gave us Winchesters (particularly Dean) who only see the end game. Closing the Gates have become more important than anything else. AnyONE else. I sincerely hope that this is something that they plan to explore and not just a one off for the sake of an episode. If it is then I can totally accept these lesser Winchesters. They will have to find their way back. They've done it before - usually when one can help the other. This time? Who's going to be the voice of humanity? Both of them are SO damaged. They seem to be moving on simply because the see an end goal. I wonder if they really think that once the gates are closed they can live out a peaceful existence. PLEASE EXPLORE THIS!!
I will note that Sam did show some levels of concern. "Five eights of a virgin" got him riled (and riled very nicely thank you!). So did Dean nearly killing Mrs Tran. But he didn't seem to have the strength or the will power to really call Dean on it. Sam might be the one to bring Dean back, but I suspect he'll need to be brought back first. There's an emptiness to Sam that we haven't seen since.... well, ever I think.
Also...revenge is back on the agenda it would seem.
Realising all that has helped me accept this episode a bit more than I did on first viewing. The boys are severely messed up. Understandable after everything they have been through. Easy to watch? I think many will find it challenging. I like the idea
of it all. I just hope they can do it justice. I think it has huge potential to be interesting.
It's also interesting how much hugging Dean is doing lately. Considering how "cold" he has become, it seems like he still likes the warmth of a hug.Some things that I had trouble with.
Why doesn't Crowley simply kill the Winchesters? Every time he appears I think - why don't you just snap their necks? Be done with the two of them? Of course I know he can't. No boys no show. But...I need a plausible reason why he just doesn't get rid of them once and for all. Sure, I can make some stuff up - He likes them as sport. He respects them in a twisted way. He likes the game. They would be more trouble dead than alive. But he's the King of Hell. Surely he has powers that exceed him being able to just waltz in and out of a scene.
I felt the ending was a little messy. I dunno. I loved everything up to the auction. I don't think it was because of Sam and Dean's obvious lack of concern for Mrs Tran and meat suits, it was more just the sort of somewhat aimless running around. I'm not sure what the point was of Dean getting into that locked room. It seemed to serve no purpose (other than another failed plan). I'm also not sure why Sam barrelled Crowley!Mrs Tran over and then stepped back? Ok. I'm probably nit picking, but after a cool first half (and smart!boys) they ended up doing some silly things (and really? They thought money would purchase supernatural artefacts?)
I got so excited for each purgatory flashback. I love having some pieces filled in - plus it looks great and Dean in purgatory is probably the hottest thing ever. I was curious about what happened to Castiel, but I confess I was non plussed by that scene.
As with Crowley I continue to just not understand the nature of Castiel. I assume Cas as no powers in purgatory. I assume he's locked into his meatsuit (who surely can't still be alive) and has to battle monsters with its limitations. Yeah? Otherwise why not just become a powerful angel and smite everything. I get that he's flawed just like Sam and Dean. I can't say I care in the slightest about his flaws or whatever journey they plan to take his character on. Just please make sense! (And I would like to see some strength return to Cas. This wishy washy, overly thoughtful Cas is not as interesting to me).
I'm sure Cas/Dean fans will be squeeing to the high heavens with all the lovey dovey eyes they were giving each other during that scene. I'd like to not have an issue with that (and essentially I don't) but I just want it to make sense. Is their connection simply because Cas saved Dean from Hell? I have to assume so because I struggle to understand the way they react to each other sometimes. Cas ran away from Dean when they arrived in Purgatory. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I had hoped that somehow he had been "removed". That he was torn away and had been searching for Dean ever since. But instead he ran away and left Dean defenseless. His argument about drawing the monsters away from Dean is kinda weak. If he cares so much about Dean surely he would have stayed and helped
Dean survive. I suppose that's part of his flaws. He runs way. Maybe it's a parallel to Sam? Sam runs away and it looks like he too "ran away" from Dean instead of looking for him. Hmmmmmm....maybe there's a reason behind all that after all. Maybe it will come back down to Dean's issue of being abandoned. But they've done that to death I think. Maybe this might be Dean's way of moving on from that. I like kick-ass, no beating about the bush Dean (compared to drowning it all in drink Dean), but I hope it doesn't lead to completely morose Dean. He's a little harder for me to warm to.
So. We didn't get any more of Sam's back story. I'm cool with that as I know it will be coming. (It's interesting that, as with past seasons, they give us Dean's issues and back story before we get Sam's. I wonder if that's deliberate?). Kevin looks like he might be out of the picture for a while. He's part of the major myth arc so I suspect he'll be in and out of the season. Cas looks like he's in mortal danger and Sam and Dean seemed to be hanging on by a thread.
Lots going on! Which is exciting. \o/ Still lots of questions to be answered and it looks like they are heading in an interesting direction with the story lines. Responsibility, compassion, heroism, blame, survival, revenge, mateship and duty all seem to be issues to be explored this season (oh and Sam's hair). Bring it!