I gotta say I really (actually, really
) liked that episode. :)
I know it had some problems (and I'll get to those), but at its heart it was everything that Supernatural has set itself up to be about: family.
For me, an episode that acknowledges its roots and calls back to "saving people, hunting things" is always going to be a winner in my books.Counting the ways
(because I reckon I have some things to count in this one):
1. The brothers being brothers. Ok. So, I know we like to see more intensity between them but, to be honest, I love it when they are just getting on with the job. I love filler eps where they show the brothers being capable, experienced and just plain good at their job. I liked the banter and the wonderful ease between them. It's great when we can just sit back and enjoy them being partners. There were so many small, non verbal exchanges between them. There was a sense of history without it being overly angsty. I really liked that. And splitting up is never good but it sometimes makes sense that they do.
2. Being part of a family. I know that the show can sometimes hit this theme over the head and maybe they did that in this episode, but I don't think it hurts to see the idea and notion
of family explored again - looking at what it means to belong. As usual, the hunt reflects the brothers and in this episode it served to remind us not just of what the boys have lost but what they actually have. There was a wonderful sense of family between Sam and Dean I thought. The little moments of "eat me", "I'll wait out here" and "what do you want to do" etc. Even the little shrug Sam gave Dean when he was tied up. It was so.."yeah, I know. I'm an idiot and got caught."
3. Krissy. At times Krissy borders on being an annoying, Mary Sue type character, but I think the actress pulls it back just enough to not make it quite that. There were glimpses of some real depth and believability in the character. I like that they are at least attempting to give us a strong, young, independent female character (who has dubious taste in boys...). I rather think she's the little sister the brothers never (thankfully!) had.
4. Young v old. I love that they are allowing Sam and Dean to be older. They have grown up through this series and seeing them next to younger hunters reminds us of everything they have been through and how much they know now. They aren't exactly old but compared to Krissy they are. ;) hee
5. Dean. *guh* I love this Dean. I did fear that once he returned from Purgatory we'd have a whole season of him being a cold blooded killer. I would have accepted that because it would have made sense considering what he must have been through in Purgatory (and what a damn shame that was never explored!). But this caring, considerate, fatherly, badass, clever Dean is one that I melt over. Dean has always connected with people. It's becoming clearer over time. I had quite an interesting discussion recently about Sam not having those connections and I think it's very much part of their characters. Dean creates bonds. Sam is sympathetic and connects with victims, but Dean connects with people on a different, perhaps deeper level. For all he makes fun of Sam wanting to talk about "feelings", Dean is the one who can actually connects with others on that level. He and Krissy had a nice chemistry.
6. Sam. It's interesting that they have taken Sam right back to his original desire for normality. I suppose it is at the heart of his character. It's seems weird to be back there because there was a time when Sam seemed to completely given up on the idea. He knows there's no way it can happen. Maybe after his gap year he's seen that it is a possibility. (Grrrr...I wish they had made their mind up about which way they want to go with this. We had that flashback of Sam living this "normal" life and not fitting in at all (dinner with Amelia's dad) and I thought that was all about showing Sam he just doesn't fit in. And yet it keeps being mentioned. The problem is, he can't ever have it while the show is running so I don't know why they keep harping on about it. Though.. *answers self* - they need motivation to do the trials and shut the gates of hell. For Sam it's to maybe have this "normal" life and for Dean it's so people like Krissy don't have to hunt).
7. Sam got tied up. NUFF SAID!
8. Sam has lovely hair and puppy eyes to die for.
9. Dean is drop dead gorgeous when he's in control. And any other time for that matter.
10. This piece of dialogue (because my slash goggles were on here):Dean: So what you're saying is you like that boy over there and you want to stay?
Krissy: What? Adain? No. I mean, he's like my brother. It's nothing like that.
11. I totally thought of the amulet when Sam handed Krissy her father's necklace. :(
12. Yay, they saved a vampire. I like the call back to Dean being saved after he was turned.
13. Hunting isn't just about killing monsters. ( I know we know that, but it's a nice little reminder that Sam and Dean are heroes because it's more than just random killing for them. I just wish they'd remember that demon meat suits are innocent victims also).
This bugged the hell out of me:
Let's knock Sam over the head, drag him back to the house, tie him up, wait until he wakes up then tell him that we are going to kill him and monologue his ear off while we pad out time so that the rescue party arrives to foil our dastardly plans. Sheesh!
I know they can't kill Sam but why can't they give us a damn good reason why
they can't?! There was NO REASON why they didn't just kill him and set that plan in motion before the kids arrived back. Why did Victor have to tell him?! And I know the audience needs to know, but at least give us a good reason why he had to be kept alive. (even if it meant I got to see Sam tied up and monologued to. <33 AND have a great shot of Dean looking completely pissed at having a gun pointed at his brother <3333).
I watched the promo for this episode. I wonder if it was deliberate to give away that Victor was setting it all up. The promo actually gave away the "twist". I'm not sure if I was completely unsurprised because I already knew what was going to happen or whether the episode telegraphed what was going to happen anyway. Either way, there was little tension and no shock when the reveal was made.
Overall, a solid filler with some nice reminders of what Kripke had set in motion when he created this series. It's about family. It's about belonging and working through vengeance to discover that there's more to killing monsters than just getting even.
One query though...how does shutting the gates of hell allow hunters to retire? Surely ghosts, wendigos, ghouls, zombies, vampires, witches etc will still exist with the gates of heaven and hell shut. Unless all those are somehow connected to Hell and Purgatory? Curious...
Also...next week's ep? CAN. NOT. WAIT!!! OMG!