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The great thing about Show being on Wednesday nights is that I have… 
18th-Oct-2012 08:36 pm
Becc_j Art
The great thing about Show being on Wednesday nights is that I have the evening to myself. Which means I can watch and post a insta!reaction straight after. Thank god because I was busting to get this out...



I have SO MUCH LOVE for that episode that I just don't even know where to put it all. I'm thinking I might be the only one holding this much love but... DAMN! that felt good. I loved it! LOVED. IT!

Here's why:

IT WAS ALL SAM AND DEAN!!! That! That right there. It was ALL THEM. No other characters. No demons or angels. No major myth arc drawing them away. It was THEM! THEM in a motel room. THEM in the Impala. THEM working a case and HAVING ISSUES! Fuck yeah! (If you're not sure what it is that I love about this show then you do now! It's THEM!)

That's not to say I don't love other characters - I mostly do. But damn, it was SO lovely to just have them. Lots of scenes with them and lots and lots of underlying issues between them and LOTS AND LOTS of subtext. <33

This Dean and This Sam. I dunno why but I connected with both of them so much during that episode. I fell in love with this Dean many, many years ago. The one who wanted nothing but a hunt, his car and Sam by his side (HE EVEN SAID THAT!) And yeah I know - I can already hear people say "but we've already had that". But I don't care. Give me confident, capable, enthusiastic, kick-ass Dean any day. I know Jensen does angsty, near-suicidal, tired, alcoholic Dean extremely well but I do love this invigorated Dean. And I think they are clever to bring him back like this.

The brothers are counterparts to each other. When one wants to hunt the other doesn't and visa versa. Now it's Sam's turn to want to give it all in (and before you all shout "again" - the only other time has been when the series started and just before Free to be You and Me. Other than that he has stuck to it. After everything and I mean EVERYTHING that Sam has been though I can TOTALLY understand him wanting normal again. After 8 years (though more if you add hell years). Dean has voiced wanting out and it all to be over as well. Possibly more).

And God did I feel for Sam in this. What I LOVED is that it was clear that Sam did not want to do this hunt, but he did. He did for his brother. He even did it well. He sucked it up because that's what he does for Dean. But he doesn't want it and you know what? I UNDERSTAND WHY! Why the hell would he want the misery and the pain and the danger and the nomad existence? (and you can't tell me it's ok to want all that as long as he has his brother by his side. I just don't buy it. He can not want all that and still want his brother around). He's experienced what it's like without all that and it's BETTER! He's been a hero. He's saved the world. He's had enough. (Oh god. Is it bad that I want that for him now? I know he can't and won't because there wouldn't be a show, but damn. I felt for Sam so much).

Both Jared and Jensen sold me so completely on their characters tonight.

You know what else? There was so much care in this episode. It was beautifully handled and wonderfully shot. Jensen knows this stuff now and he knows these characters. Nothing felt throwaway. Both actors seemed so...um... ON. I wonder if it's because this was the first episode shot after a long holiday?

But the clincher for me was epic love between Sam and Dean. You saw that yeah? You know how the MotWs are often reflections of the state of the brothers relationship? This one was no exception. This: (OH GOD THIS!!!!)

Betsy: But by that time Brick himself had changed. Inside. He wasn't just the warrior whose only reason for living was combat. We were deeply, deeply in love.

then

I am so tired. You can't imagine the burden of it all.

I know I might be grasping here but all through her speech I felt like she was talking about Sam and Dean and their current situation. Dean as the warrior who loves his brother more that anything (and yep..that's even without the wincest goggles on) and Sam the one tired from the burden of it all. It's both beautiful and painful.

I seriously did this little sigh after that scene.

I have been so concerned that they would make Sam look like some heartless bastard (thanks for that Jared *g*), but I have never felt his need for some sort of normality more so than after this. And I know, I KNOW it's dragging up the past but why not?! Why can't he still want that AND still love his brother. Which he does. More than anything. It's as clear as daylight. Someone can love someone but not want what they want.

I wasn't around in the first season but I believe Sam copped a lot of flack from fans because he wanted a normal life - that he left his family so he could pursue a normal life. That this somehow made him selfish. I figure he's gonna cop it again (sadly). But I just don't see it. I just don't see why wanting this again makes him anything but a tragic hero. He's not going to get it. We know that. And that's what makes it even sadder. (but yay! emotion! I actually shed a wee tear at the end. Never had a birthday cake...*weeps*). I do not see this Sam as weak or selfish or any less the god damn hero that he is. In fact, I see him even stronger for admitting it, after all this time.

And I know... Dean is back to wanting Sam in the game and can't understand why he doesn't want it. It's definitely a mirror to season 1. But I DON'T CARE! If they want to mirror season 1 and explore how they would act differently to it all now then that's fine with me. If an episode can have this much heart in it then I'm damn happy with that.

We also had lots of in the car conversations. THANK YOU! Each time they were in the car and started to chat I was like... on god. We are actually going to get them talking in the car like they used to. And it wasn't all prissy angst. It was both of them on different pages (once again) but neither of them was really getting all pissy with the other. They've been here before. It's familiar and they seem to know what to do to keep the other one ok.

I feel like I could go on and on about this one. I am that BUZZED! But I'll stop and mention a couple of other things I liked.

HOW FINE DID JENSEN LOOK?! GOD DAMN! He needs to direct himself more often. I was very distracted. Especially in his white shirt. <33

Geeky!Dean (did I mention how much I love this Dean?!) God I love this Dean. (ok, so it's probably sad how much he wants to impress Sam but I kinda love that too).

Sam applied to university. I think I am going to officially die now. I can't WAIT to see how this plays out. (I just hope to God it's not throw away later on).

MOTEL ROOM DIVIDER!! Thank you show!! (I think that might even be The Floor Plan by the door).

8.03 divider

There's more love but I'll stop there for now. I'll probably pick out some pics later and swoon over it some more later. :DD

Oooh, but I have to say there was also Dean in peril and my heart went pitter pat because... damn. That was kinda hot.

My only negative was that it was a little anvilicious at times but damn it, I don't care. When isn't it?!

I have to admit that reading zimshan's meta before watching this might be the reason why I loved this so much. It didn't give us answers about why Sam didn't look for Dean as he stated in episode one but I found myself not needing answers. I already had them.

Oh show. Just when I think you are going to screw it all up you give me something like this to cling on to. Have I told you how much I love you lately?


Ok. So now you have to talk to me because I feel like I spent most of this post imagining all the reasons why no one liked this one. You know you can tell me - I never have an issue with peeps harshing my squee. :) (hee.. I'll probably answer with... "I know but... SamnDean!"
Comments 
18th-Oct-2012 01:25 pm (UTC)
IT WAS ALL SAM AND DEAN!!! That! That right there. It was ALL THEM. No other characters. No demons or angels. No major myth arc drawing them away. It was THEM! THEM in a motel room. THEM in the Impala. THEM working a case and HAVING ISSUES! Fuck yeah! (If you're not sure what it is that I love about this show then you do now! It's THEM!

Ha, yes. Not an angel in sight. Not a dig at Castiel, just - the angel brigade in general tends to swoop in and declare that their angst is bigger than everyone else's, and it gets deafening. It's nice to be able to hear Sam and Dean sometimes. :)

I know I might be grasping here but all through her speech I felt like she was talking about Sam and Dean and their current situation. Dean as the warrior who loves his brother more that anything (and yep..that's even without the wincest goggles on) and Sam the one tired from the burden of it all. It's both beautiful and painful.

Yes. :) The thing is, Brick and Betsy reached the same point of view at the end: they both wanted out, even if death was the only way to do it. Sam and Dean aren't there yet. They're at odds about what they should be doing and why. But, you know, give them time. :)

I just don't see why wanting this again makes him anything but a tragic hero. He's not going to get it. We know that. And that's what makes it even sadder. (but yay! emotion! I actually shed a wee tear at the end. Never had a birthday cake...*weeps*). I do not see this Sam as weak or selfish or any less the god damn hero that he is. In fact, I see him even stronger for admitting it, after all this time.

What struck me there was that when Sam couldn't find Amelia, he seemed genuinely scared. Not 'Oh, my girlfriend is late again', but actually distressed. And why wouldn't he be? He goes out for a couple of days with Dean, and when he gets back Jessica is on fire. He goes to get coffee and comes back to find John dead on the floor. He tries to hand Bobby his hat over his shoulder, and when he turns around Bobby is dying. And then Dean vanishes right in front of him and can't be retrieved.

Of course he wants out. How could anyone live like that, when not being able to find someone for ten minutes probably means they're dead? Of course, there may be other reasons why Sam stayed out of hunting - this is Supernatural, and the last time Sam genuinely tried to live his own life it was part of a nefarious demon plot to shape him as Lucifer's vessel, so who knows - but it's hardly surprising that he's not happy with his life. He's not stupid.

I will say that I think this is one place where the wobbly bits at the end of the last season show. There was a plot thread about how Dean was suicidal and Sam was terrified of losing him. And then that sort of ... petered out, only to be suddenly revived in the last scene of Survival of the Fittest. I think the theme would be more powerful if they'd really carried that through last season.

Ok. So now you have to talk to me because I feel like I spent most of this post imagining all the reasons why no one liked this one. You know you can tell me - I never have an issue with peeps harshing my squee. :)

Well - one thing that did bother me a bit was the blithe insistence that those wacky Mayans are good for nothing but death, torture and sports. Because, um, highly sophisticated civilisation? And into human sacrifice, sure, but it's harder to find cultures that weren't, at some point in their history.

That did strike me as a pity, because there's a good parallel between Brick and Dean - Brick came from a time when cutting out someone's heart to honour a god was acceptable, and he ended his life in a time when doing that made him a murderer and a criminal and he had to feel awful about it; Dean's fresh out of purgatory, where gutting someone who looks at you funny means you have good survival skills - and here it's a dangerous and damaging attitude to have. I think that would have worked better if they'd looked at the past with a bit more sympathy - it was what it was, and people did what they did. They weren't monsters in their own context, but they would be if they did it now.
18th-Oct-2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
Hey!

It's nice to be able to hear Sam and Dean sometimes

Oh that's a nice way of putting it. I feel like we haven't had these pure SamnDean eps in ages (maybe even since S1 &2?). I know there have been others but as you say, it's nice to be able to hear them without the noise of everything else they have going on.

they both wanted out, even if death was the only way to do it. Sam and Dean aren't there yet

Yeah, this is what I was thinking too. It was almost foretelling the boys future (*meep* I hope not. I want happy endings for our boys. Hmmm...maybe that does mean death...)

What struck me there was that when Sam couldn't find Amelia, he seemed genuinely scared. Not 'Oh, my girlfriend is late again', but actually distressed. And why wouldn't he be? He goes out for a couple of days with Dean, and when he gets back Jessica is on fire. He goes to get coffee and comes back to find John dead on the floor. He tries to hand Bobby his hat over his shoulder, and when he turns around Bobby is dying. And then Dean vanishes right in front of him and can't be retrieved.

Oh god yes! I'm loving these little flashbacks. The Sam ones have been small but they are so telling. To think about all those things that Sam has been through. I have to admit I am finding it really hard to read that some fans can't understand why Sam would want a normal life again. It just seems to make so much sense at this point in his story. Why the hell wouldn't he!? (Sorry, mini-rant. /o\)

There was a plot thread about how Dean was suicidal and Sam was terrified of losing him. And then that sort of ... petered out

Yeah, and it was a shame. As much as I love this Dean I really would have loved to see them fully play out the suicidal Dean story line. Much like hallucination!Sam. I have similar worries for this season. They have started bold and I worry that these story lines won't be fully realized. I will wait and see...

one thing that did bother me a bit was the blithe insistence that those wacky Mayans are good for nothing but death, torture and sports

Um, yeah. I winced at that also. Even though I was mighty distracted by all the SamnDeanness in the ep (told you I'd mention that! *g*) I was like...um what? The Mayans were so much more than that.

I think that would have worked better if they'd looked at the past with a bit more sympathy - it was what it was, and people did what they did. They weren't monsters in their own context, but they would be if they did it now.

Yeah, great point. Especially as Show likes to point out the grey areas of monsters. And ESPECIALLY as it looks like we are going to be getting a look at that grey area this season with Dean and Benny.

xx

18th-Oct-2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
I loved this ep for exactly the same reasons! But I somehow believe that Sam is going to get his happy ending with his normal life :) And I want Dean to get a happy ending to! Why didn't the government understood that something is very wrong when the Liviathans pulled their evil plan? How could they miss that? They need to make add a supernatural branch to the FBI and make Dean its head! That's gonna be his happy end! :)))
18th-Oct-2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked it too!

They need to make add a supernatural branch to the FBI and make Dean its head!

Hee! That I could see! (I read a story ages ago where Sam and Dean lead a type of FBI team looking into supernatural crimes. I could see that!)

xx
18th-Oct-2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
I think I just need to stick to reading your reaction posts from this point on. I think yours and MJs are the only two positive ones I've read so far.

I'm still very much on the fence and scared I'm there more because I love the show so much than because I'm feeling good or at least somewhat good about what I'm seeing. So I really need posts like yours. I am also halfway through the meta you rec'd. I read half of it before I watched last night. And I admit the meta *did* do a lot for bringing me around to the reasons behind Sam's story.

18th-Oct-2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
I think yours and MJs are the only two positive ones I've read so far.

I know! It's distressing me. I'm wondering what they're seeing that I'm not. I just can't understand why it doesn't make sense to anyone that Sam couldn't want a normal life. I see things like "it's not in character". It's SO in character that it's not funny. In fact, it's so in character as to be sad and tragic. To think that Sam could still want this after everything. That he still can see hope even though he knows.. he KNOWS he's not going to get it. Sam has experienced a major shift over the year. Everyone accepts that Dean as changed but not Sam. Why? Why are they so hard on him...*sniiff* (hee... that's completely rhetorical).

I was so worried going into this episode, but it was such a relief. It leaves the gate open for so much more information about what they have both been through. It hopefully gives us a chance to see another side to Sam (other than him being controlled by an outside force) and it gives us a huge chance to see what happens that brings them back together so that they are both in a happy, hunting place (which I figure they have to get to make the show continue).

Also, the meta makes SO much sense to me and has helped me buy into this Sam so much.

I think they are taking a thoughtful, careful approach to these boys and totally taking their past into account. yay!

(oooh, sorry I ranted a bit. I know I'm one of the few peeps feeling positive about his ep and I'm trying to figure out why....;D)

xox


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18th-Oct-2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
I know I might be grasping here but all through her speech I felt like she was talking about Sam and Dean and their current situation. Dean as the warrior who loves his brother more that anything (and yep..that's even without the wincest goggles on) and Sam the one tired from the burden of it all. It's both beautiful and painful.

I completely agree with you on getting a feeling like that speech was about the boys! And I rather like wearing my wincest goggles. *shows them off* :D

He's saved the world. He's had enough. (Oh god. Is it bad that I want that for him now? I know he can't and won't because there wouldn't be a show, but damn. I felt for Sam so much).

Is it bad if I don't want that for him? That's completely selfish of me, I know. Sam's definitely deserved it, but I feel like he would really do it (and Show would do it even if not permanently) and it makes me really sad to think about the boys going their separate ways. Which usually leads to Show breaking my heart. And yeah, it's Show's modus operandi to have the boys at odds about something, but one of the big reasons I liked S7 was because the boys were for once fighting the big bad and not each other. Though if correctly established, I almost enjoy Show breaking my heart, because I'm weird like that. ;) Just that what we've seen in Sam's flashbacks, it's not enough to convince me yet that this so-called normal life is so much better.

So, I basically like everything about this A LOT except for Sam's flashback. :)
18th-Oct-2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Hey!

*G* I was totally wearing my wincest goggles but even when I don't their love is HUGE!

Hee... And I had started typing up this mini rant on your post because...um...obviously we saw different stuff in this ep (well, the flashback) and then I stopped myself because I am FAR too emotional about this ep at the moment!! ;D

and it makes me really sad to think about the boys going their separate ways.

See, for me, I can't see them going their separate ways. Even after an episode like this. If Sam gets "normal" then Dean would get it too (and yeah...curtain!fic totally. They would settle down together). There's no way one would live "happily ever after" without the other. And that's why with Dean being back Sam can't contemplate that. It's messed up. Completely. They would both be better off without the other and yet THEY CAN'T DO THAT. They won't do that. And that's why I think I loved this so much. It again demonstrated their tangled up messy relationship. It was all about that and we so rarely get these lovely messy (wincesty) episodes now.

it's not enough to convince me yet that this so-called normal life is so much better.

Ah, yeah. I think this is where we differ. I totally see how this is so much better for Sam. I mean, I am a TOTAL Sam/Dean and SamnDean gal but with all the pain and misery and everything that surrounds the hunting life, no wonder a simple picnic with a girl and a dog would be awesome.

Also, it mirrors exactly what Dean was "dreaming" with Lisa. I'm confused at the moment why it was ok for Dean to "dream" of a normal life with Lisa but Sam isn't allowed this. (and I don't mean just you, I am seeing it all over this all over the place. Sam is being touted as being out of character because he wants normal after all these years. I just...argh... I can't see why that is).

Oh show!
xxx


18th-Oct-2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
Did you read this?

http://maraceles.livejournal.com/284500.html

I had already noticed the mirroring and was loving it, but then I read this and it was all laid out for me and it was just YES. This episode tore up my heart, but then gave me ALL the feels about SamnDean. ALL of them! Aptly named episode is aptly named.

I do take issue with the birthday cake scene -- really? Jess never baked him a cake? DEAN never did? I know I read lots of fanfic, but I'm pretty sure that just didn't make sense. I also wouldn't mind the characters acknowledging that they're going over familiar ground here with the places they're occupying about hunting/the life/normal. They've been here before, and they would know that -- and most likely say it.

But all in all, yes :)
18th-Oct-2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
Hee... yes! I just saw that post. And I thought...yay! I'm not the only one liking this or seeing the parallels. :))

ALL THE FEELS!!\o/

Ok. So the birthday cake scene. This is the thing that seems to be the big issue. For me I totally bought it because a) it may well have reminded Sam of having birthday cake with Jess once and b) I'm feeling that Sam has completely forgotten ever having had anything normal. Ever. Even when he has. And it can happen. I know instances where bad things that happen in a persons life can completely overshadow anything that's been good. After everything Sam has been through (and I am including the cage) it would be no wonder he'd forget anything ever "normal" happening to him.

Um... that's my little fanon on that. :DD

Also, I thought the normal life was acknowledged as being something they've been through before. Dean's acknowledgement that the university email would be for Sam etc. Maybe?

I suppose I can see that it looks like old ground being covered again but I think that excites me rather than annoys me.

For me it was a Sam whofelt he's never had normal. It was so sad. I think there's a lot me to his gap year than we know yet.

xox

Aptly named episode is aptly named.

God yes!
18th-Oct-2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Have not watched and have not read anything but the first two lines of your post, but you know I think I'll use you as an episode barometer this season....like, not like, meh. You don't mind, do you? :)

In other words, I love it when you're happy! :-)
18th-Oct-2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Hi!

Hee...I'm feeling like I'm not a good judge for this season. You know me... I love it nearly all the time. I particularly loved this one but I get the feeling not many others do. :(( Poor Sammy is getting heaped on again...(what's new eh?)

I just love how much the boys were in this one. It was all narrowed down to just the two of them. Not murkied by other characters. They were so in tune with each other - even though they were at odds. The Js just have these two down pat.

Hee! And I love that you love that I'm happy!! (you have to watch it now!)

xx
18th-Oct-2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
IT WAS ALL SAM AND DEAN!!! That! That right there. It was ALL THEM.

I basked in that! I will never, ever get enough of watching them talk in motels and in the Impala.

I was more moved by this episode than any since The Mentalists, which was also heavily Sam & Dean focused and featured conflict between them — a recipe for a good episode in my book!

I thought of you the second I saw that motel room divider.
19th-Oct-2012 01:16 am (UTC)
It was SO refreshing to just wallow in all the SamnDean-ness wasn't it? All their looks to each other, all the issues between them..ALL THE LOVE! It's probably the last we'll have for a while so I figure we have to make the most of it.

I thought of you the second I saw that motel room divider.

It's probably quite sad that of all the moments I chose to cap for this post it's a motel room divider. Hee...(I actually clapped my hands when I saw it. I love it when they actually make these dividers...)
18th-Oct-2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
I fell in love with this Dean many, many years ago.

Me too! first 3 episodes, I got a lot of season 1 feel. I was first drawn to the show by Dean, season 1, so much life and non of the care.

But, I have problem with the birthday cake line. I cannot imagine that Jess did not bake him a b-day cake way back when. And I cannot imagine Dean just ignored all his B-days when they grew up. Well, maybe Sam never had a surprise picnic b-day cake, still, b-day cake he should have had.
19th-Oct-2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
I'm getting a bit of the S1 vibe from it all as well. I think some are having issues with that (which completely surprises me considering all the "I fell in love with S1 and I want that back" that goes around) but I rather love the mirror. I think if they can show us how things will be handled differently this time then it could be very clever.

Hee... and I think I might have addressed the b-day cake issue...;)
18th-Oct-2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
Beautiful post, just beautiful.

I fell in love with this Dean many, many years ago. The one who wanted nothing but a hunt, his car and Sam by his side (HE EVEN SAID THAT!) And yeah I know - I can already hear people say "but we've already had that".

Yeah, we've already had it. Then, somewhere between S3 and S5, we lost it. And, IMO, missed it. Now, we may be getting it back, so yay, because we sure as hell need it.

it was clear that Sam did not want to do this hunt, but he did. He did for his brother. He even did it well. He sucked it up because that's what he does for Dean.

500% agreement here. Sam did what he did out of love. Bravo, you.

We are actually going to get them talking in the car like they used to.

And, you know, actually talking about stuff that actually MATTERS. I am so looking forward to this.
19th-Oct-2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
heya!

Thanks hun.

Yeah, we've already had it. Then, somewhere between S3 and S5, we lost it. And, IMO, missed it. Now, we may be getting it back, so yay, because we sure as hell need it.

Yeah. I mean, I love that we got to see Dean at his absolute lowest and Jensen is great at showing us that but I really do miss this Dean. And I have a feeling that down the track we will see Dean crash from all this, but in the meantime we can enjoy him being actually happy.

xx

18th-Oct-2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
I really loved this ep as well! :D When we saw the jogger at the beginning I started getting happy. It was like: yay, old style episode! :D And it was, as in Sam and Dean on a case. (including all the things you mentioned. :) )

I thought what made Sam's not wanting to hunt anymore even more plausible (than it is anyway) was that in the end they solved the case but really, everyone died. The scene where they all dropped dead seemed so much to signal that it isn't about saving people anymore. It was just about hunting. Something that makes Dean happy but Sam was always about saving people.
19th-Oct-2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
It was like: yay, old style episode

Wasn't it though?! I loved all the scenes of them nutting the case out. And all the car talks...very old school.

The scene where they all dropped dead seemed so much to signal that it isn't about saving people anymore.

Oh yes. Good point. So far this season it seems to be very much about the hunt and not who they might be saving. Even though Dean says it...I wonder if it's more about the thrill of it all rather than the "saving people". Yeah... good point. More things to think about. :)
18th-Oct-2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether to reply to this post or to your other one. So consider to both, this is a heartfelt thanks. (I'm not really reading much in the way of episode reviews so if others have already said the following, just ignore me!)

I love both boys. And to be honest, I actually like where they appear to be going this season. I agree with everything you said, and add just a couple notes:

Not only did Dean dream of normal with Lisa, but remember Carmen? What Is and What Shall Never Be still rips my heart out. In it, Dean really yearned for that normal life. One of the driving reasons he didn't stay there is because all the people he had already saved would now be lost. Lucas from Dead in the Water, Cassie from Route 666, all the kids from Something Wicked.... it's a lot harder to give a death sentence to those people you cared about than it is to decide not to re-enlist in a war. And I'm not sure Dean didn't regret his decision at the end of WIAWSNB. So -- I'm honestly glad to see Sam trying to put himself back together, considering going back to school. I completely see Sam as a war vet with PTSD who is doing the best he can.

I am loving that he and Dean can talk about their difference of opinion. They don't agree - but they can be honest with each other. (And I'm not ashamed to admit to tearing up at the end of the episode.)

And one final note on the cake and normal. I think some folks may be a little convinced that fanon is canon. There is a lot of fic about Dean cooking/baking. Personally, I absolutely believe Dean would have celebrated Sam's birthday, but I'm not convinced he baked him a cake. My impression of pre-series Dean is pretty macho. Bought him some HoHos and stuck a candle on them - sure.

I will grant you, I *do* think Jess would probably have made him a cake. After all, it's canon she made him cookies! But--Sam never said he'd never had a cake. He looked surprised at the whole shindig, and Amelia's tone with the remark was sarcastic. But Sam never said he'd never had a cake.

And Sam not having had normal? That's something I can buy ingo. Certainly not much pre-Stanford was normal. (His childhood had more normal than Dean's did after Mom died, I think. But it wasn't normal.) And even though he tried at college, we know he carried at least one of his hunters' knives, which tells us he never forgot his roots. It's just as reasonable to me to think that he worried every night whether his dad and Dean were safe as to think he blew them off and had a worry-free normal. And honestly, college isn't 'normal' either. A life with a paying job, a significant other, a dog, that he might imagine building on for the rest of his life. That's the normal he is thinking about.

I'll look forward to watching this episode again and thinking about it some more. - done!



Edited at 2012-10-19 02:26 am (UTC)
20th-Oct-2012 10:29 am (UTC)
Hey honey!

Thanks for your thoughts hun. I glad you are also enjoying this season. :))

I think it's a great point about Dean. We've really seen him yearn for that life (more so than Sam even). We tend to associate Sam with always wanting normal and yet from S2 onwards we never really heard him say anything about it. He was the one dragging Dean back into the hunt. :D

I am loving that he and Dean can talk about their difference of opinion.

Yeah. I don't think lack of communication is their problem this time. It's their different desires. I think they even understand, to a certain extent, what the other wants but each are so (SO!) fixed on what they want that now desire they are not really bending. (though I suppose Sam is because he is actually still hunting).

and Amelia's tone with the remark was sarcastic

Yeah. I think Amelia is going to be interesting (I am assuming we'll see much more of her yet). I actually like her snarky quality. She seems to be someone that Sam might have needed during Dean's absence.

And Sam never actually having normal is something I can buy into also. I think he certainly had a level of it during Stanford but it has to be so tainted with what he knows happened there. And you're right about college life not exactly being the normal he is talking about NOW. At his age it's about a relationship, a place to live, a pet and shopping at farmer's markets. Hmmm...yeah. I like that a lot. He's talking about not having THIS kind of normal before. now *hugs* This!!
18th-Oct-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
What I LOVED is that it was clear that Sam did not want to do this hunt, but he did. He did for his brother. He even did it well. He sucked it up because that's what he does for Dean.

Yes, this. I feel like I'm coming from an opposite point from many of the reactions I've seen, that say Sam loves Dean less than Dean loves Sam because Dean is hunting with Sam because he wants to whereas Sam is hunting with Dean out of obligation. I saw Sam and Dean's love as very equal here, just coming from opposite emotional places.
20th-Oct-2012 10:47 am (UTC)
that say Sam loves Dean less than Dean loves Sam because Dean is hunting with Sam because he wants to whereas Sam is hunting with Dean out of obligation.

O_o

I don't see it like that. Sam isn't someone who is doing this entirely out of obligation. I think that's too simplistic for the level of issues they have going on here. I suspect it's partly out of feeling a duty to the hunt and maybe to Dean but I think there's also that tangled up, messy, co-dependent love they have that keeps him by Dean's side.

I also wonder how much guilt Sam is carrying at the moment. We still don't know exactly went on in his gap year but I wonder how much is him wanting to make up for his failure in finding Dean (again!). I thinking it's slowly dawning on him that his decision to not search was a bad call. Hmmm...hard to know until we know more but I think I'm seeing a level of guilt (hee.. or maybe that's just Sam anyway).

Ack! So much going on - with lots of levels being explored once again in their relationship. I love it!
19th-Oct-2012 01:00 am (UTC)
This, this and more this. I loved all the bromo we got in this episode. I just think I expected more with regard to the flashbacks to Sam's year. I want to know more and I kept waiting for it all through the episode. We've seen loads of purgatory and still have more to see. I think I just felt a bit short changed because, again, we are full up with what's happened to Dean and have so very little Sam experiences in comparison.

That, and that music was so cheesy that it was jarring. The purgatory flashbacks have flowed with what is going on in the main story. Not so much, Sam's. It almost seemed unreal, which made me wonder, is that just poor music choices or was it really unreal? Did it even happen? Or, contrasted with the darkness in the impala, was it meant to be that way. That where Sam is now is so far removed from where he was then that it's almost as though he dreamed that reality. It's like the difference between night and day, literally. I lean toward the second explanation though it is fun to consider the first. Still, it'd be nice to have more.</p>

But, I'm sticking with my premiere thoughts about just how weary Sam is. JP is playing that so well. His whole countenance and bearing is of someone who is just so damn tired. He is just going through the motions for Dean and Dean alone! What I don't get is how people don't get that. Why is it so hard to comprehend that Sam is not Dean; he doesn't want the same things as Dean? Why does that make him a "bad" or "selfish" person? I chose my profession and I am pretty glad that I am not working in the same field as my brother and sister. They probably wouldn't be keen on doing what I do. Sure, it's not anything as monumental as averting the apocalypse and hunting monsters, though my actions have saved a few folks during my time, but I feel the thought stands. If John and Dean were firefighters who come from a long line of firefighters, would Sam be considered selfish because he wanted to be an lawyer or an accountant? But what about all those folks who could die in a horrible, fiery blaze because you wanna go crunch some numbers would not even be a valid argument or consideration. Don't you feel horrible about all those kittens left to languish about in trees while you were off balancing the books, Sam, would never be used for guilt tripping.

So, yeah, even though I like the brothers together, hunting things because that is the show, I just don't get the level of flak Sam gets about being selfish just because he doesn't want what Dean wants.

It's the opposite, really, because Sam is doing something he does not want to do for Dean and Dean alone. It doesn't have to be all or none but, to Sam, it must seem that way as he was shut out during his previous attempt to have a different sort of life. Even though its hard for me to picture Dean and Sam not having contact during those years at Stanford, based on what we know now (and the enormous amounts of fanfiction that has colored my perception), in the pilot, I got the impression that they hadn't seen one another in years. It's sad, really, that it must seem to Sam that in order to have his brother, he must accept a life he does not want. If Sam's perception is accurate, then Dean is the selfish one. Dean has had his down times but he clearly embraces the life, for better or worse.

But, yeah, I was definitely digging the parallels between the MotW story and Dean/Sam during that scene with Eleanor. So. Much. Love.

20th-Oct-2012 01:05 pm (UTC)
I just think I expected more with regard to the flashbacks to Sam's year

Yeah. I hear ya. I thought this was going to give us a lot more information on Sam's year but by the end I was happy that we got more about where he is at now. I look back and the last 2 times we knew nothing about his past (S4 and S6) we had to wait about 9 episodes before we got the whole picture. We got Dean's story before Sam's so I'm thinking they might be following that pattern. :)

You noticing the music is interesting. I noticed it too. It was rather, um...noticeable. ;) I'm not sure what it says though at this point. When you say "was it unreal" do you mean purgatory or Sam's flashback? I think purgatory is real and the look of it signifies the flashback and how dark it was there. In contrast we have Sam's bright and colouring "normal" life. I think the contrast is meant to be representative of their experiences of their past year.

Why is it so hard to comprehend that Sam is not Dean; he doesn't want the same things as Dean?

It really is the crux of where they are at the moment and probably where they have always been. They want different things. It's where they started in S1 and after everything they are where they were back then.

I think much of the criticism has been with them writing Sam wanting normal again. From what I have seen people don't seem to think Sam could still want that after everything. For me it makes perfect sense and is very in character. Sam has been hunting all this time for various reasons that made sense to him back then. Now, after losing his brother (again) he has gone back to something that he once dreamed about.

And yeah, selfish and Sam have never been words I put together. He's the least self character in the show (to me anyway).

It's sad, really, that it must seem to Sam that in order to have his brother, he must accept a life he does not want.

I think this is exactly the issue that they are embracing this season. They are so tangled up in each other that if one walks away it looks like it's because he doesn't love the other. Dean sold his soul for Sam (and has done many things beside) and Sam knows that. He loves Dean for it and idolises his big brother. Dean has an inbuilt "look out for Sam" driven into him and loves him deeply so leaving him is not an option. They are both tied together and yet they both want something different. I actually love that they are continuing to explore that.

Thanks for your thought hun. <333

19th-Oct-2012 04:14 am (UTC)
IT WAS ALL SAM AND DEAN!!! That! That right there. It was ALL THEM. No other characters. No demons or angels. No major myth arc drawing them away. It was THEM! THEM in a motel room. THEM in the Impala. THEM working a case and HAVING ISSUES! Fuck yeah! (If you're not sure what it is that I love about this show then you do now! It's THEM!)


ALLLL of it!! I've seen alot of fans complain it was too much about the MOTW. And I'm like BUT THE MOTW WAS ABOUT SAM AND DEAN!!

I don't think it's a stretch at all. This show has had seven seasons of using MOTW to talk about the brothers. AND as de_nugis noted, Carver said he wanted to get back to using that. So I think it's allowed to say, yes, that was absolutely intentional and pointed. :)

I do think there's an argument to be open about how the lines work between Brick & Betsy, Sam & Dean. But I think I favor Brick=Sam, Betsy=Dean because of following red and everything maraceles laid out in her post. Plus I gotta say it through me for a bit that Dean softened to Betsy as she told her story, which is not how Dean has worked at all in the last two eps. I think that only happened because her story struck a chord for him.

I also got this feeling like Dean was feeling Sam pull away from him. And there were a number of places where Dean overcompensated for it. Like the car moments and the Sammy (after the college email) and the app! (that app moment gave me such a wtf reaction when it first happened but it retrospect, it works well :))

I just love how intentional it all felt, right from the opener when the guy reaching in and ripping out someones still beating heart. It was like a warning for viewers of what was to come. But because it feels so precise, I couldn't be less worried if I tried!
20th-Oct-2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
Ah yes. I can how it can work the other way. I think because the warrior was mentioned I was feeling Dean. In fact, I suppose either character to be represented by both. I just love that they're back to using MotW to highlight the issues between the boys. \o/ (and yay Carver saying that!)

And how awesome was them reading their love letters to each other? Jensen's choice to do close ups during that moment was fab. And thumbs up to the writers for giving us that scene...<3

And I love the combination of the physical heart ripping out with the emotional one. I wonder if it means anything that Sam saves Dean from having his heart literally ripped out? It seems to me that Sam stayed and helped with the hunt to prevent Dean from being heartbroken.

You know what I reeeally love? That there has been all this discussion and throwing around ideas since this episode (and season). I reckon they have to be doing something right . I hope it continues.
xox
19th-Oct-2012 07:22 am (UTC)
A quick drive-by just to say that I adored this episode too :)
20th-Oct-2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Yay! :DD
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