I hereby announce that from now on I will remain spoiler free. I have a feeling I would have enjoyed that a whole lot more if I had not known that Bobby was going to show up, or Benny or that Sam was going to be taking a trip to hell.
Between the promo and the episode I had all sorts of amazing possibilities going on in my head and, well...none of them happened.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the episode. I actually did - rather a lot.
The thing I don't understand is why such an amazing thing like Sam getting into purgatory and hell was over and done with in one episode. Just the idea
of Sam going into hell is pretty huge. But it was treated like a walk in the park. Everything happened so quickly and ended up being so easy. There was never a sense that there was real danger. Descending into the hell should have been hard
That said I LOVED that Sam got to see purgatory. I didn't expect that and I bounced a little when I saw him there.
Initially I was pretty impressed with what they did with hell (on a next to nothing budget) but by the time Sam emerged I was left thinking...is that it?
I don't really want to be too critical on their attempts at creating hell. It would be damn hard. It's tricky because when we first saw hell Dean was strung up in a mesh of chains and wires, Lucifer spoke of it being a cold place and then, through Sam's eyes, we see it's a place of fire. I suppose hell could be different things to different people.
What I don't get is how damn easy it was for Sam to find Bobby. They really needed to give us a reason why he found him so quickly - did Bobby's soul shine in a certain way because it was innocent for example?). Or maybe this was Bobby's "version" of hell so that's where Sam was entered (I think I could build my own personal canon around how hell works in the SPN 'verse. I just wish the show would give us a clue...).
I've come away with such a mixture of feelings. Hmmm..I'll try to make sense of them:The stuff I loved:
1. Sam and Dean. I know...DUH, but even with quite a bit of stuff that made me eye roll there was enough awesome SamnDean stuff that made me happy happy. The hug at the end was totally unexpected. I almost expected Dean to immediately ask after Benny and Bobby but he gave Sam that god almighty hug. The energy vibrating off of Jared and Jensen in that scene was electrifying. I absolutely loved it.
2. Sam. Sam being the rescuer and fighting off monsters in purgatory and demons in hell made me a happy fangirl. He looked so capable. And I'm loving his approached to the trials. He really doesn't want to have to do them but he knows he has to so he soldiers on. Of course the additional Sammy pain didn't go unnoticed...;D (not to mention is hair falling all over his face when he fights 'n stuff.<33) Also... YAY Sam! We actually had a bit more of him in this one. I think there was room for some deeper stuff from him, but at least we did get to see him being capable.
3. Dean. At first I thought Dean was being a little too chipper after Sam when into Hell. Then I thought that a) this is the way Dean copes when he's stressed (food!) and b) he knows how capable Sam is. He was confident that Sam could do it and knew he had a reaper to help him. It wasn't until purgatory was mentioned that he got really worried.
4. Dean and Benny. Man, those two have chemistry. I totally felt for Dean having to kill Benny. Jensen really sold his conflict. I thought the scene between them was great.
5. Benny. I am so surprised that this is how the Benny storyline has been resolved. Pleasantly surprised though. I am SO happy that it didn't come down to them having to kill Benny because he'd turned bad. I LOVED that Sam got to understand a little bit more about Benny - and they had some nice moments together (man, I'd love to see the three of them working together one day. That would be pretty electric I reckon). I'm glad they addressed Dean ditching him earlier in the season. I'm glad Benny turned out to be a good guy and he got to help Sam and Bobby get out of Purgatory.
6. I really liked seeing Bobby again. I actually didn't think we were going to get to see him (even though he was mentioned in the sneak peek) so when he turned around it was still a bit of a surprised. I thought the little moments between Sam and Bobby were nice. Great that they gave some extra bonding time between them. I really got the feeling that this isn't goodbye. Also, I liked that Bobby's soul ascended to heaven and then was stopped. It really surprised (and actually worried) me.
7. (SHOULD BE NUMBER ONE!) The thing I probably loved the most (other than the hug) was them addressing Sam not looking for Dean. To me this felt like a little bit of an admission that they kinda screwed that part of the storyline up. It was still pretty weak - telling Sam that the so called "rule" wasn't real (DUH!!! Sam knows that! The audience know that! It seems that the writers at the time are the ones that didn't). They may have being trying to tell us that this is what happens to the Winchesters brothers when Bobby isn't around. They do stupid things.
8. The Winchesters are very famous in both heaven and hell. I like how awesome and famous they are. ;)
10. Sam is changing on a subatomic level. Ack!! What does this even mean? What is happening to Sam's body each time he completes a trial?! I hope it's something really unexpected and cool. I'm pretty excited by the potential of this.
11. The special effects were very cool.The stuff I didn't like so much:
1. Crowley. Sorry, but he's just so underwhelming. He growls and threatens and is very horrible but he kinda just bores me. I was rather hoping we might see a change of plan from him. Perhaps something clever. But nah - more torture and growling.
2. Sam spent about 100 years in the cage yeah? Why is that never mentioned? Has Sam forgotten that? Maybe when Cas did whatever he did, he took away a lot of his memories because Sam was acting pretty cool about having to revisit hell. Not even a twitch or moment
where he remembers what it was like.
3. They really have forgotten Adam haven't they? Like...completely. *sadface* Even if they had slipped in a mention of Adam, only to be told breaking into the cage is impossible, at least he's considered.
4. I am just going to *handwave* the logistics of them actually getting into purgatory and hell etc. I figure they just make it up as they go and thinking too hard about it will just give me a headache. I suppose that now we know all about those places, getting in and out is just easier. Or something. Too damn hard to even contemplate. (though... how many "gates" or entrances are there? When they shut the gates of hell, I assume they mean ALL of them - not just the one they opened and closed at the end of S2?). I wonder how Sam's body became something that could not only enter hell, but withstand it. *not thinking too hard*
5. I'm neither here nor there with Kevin. I just don't know what I am supposed to be feeling. To say I don't care is pretty harsh, but actually, I just don't care. He's a device that gives Sam and Dean something to do. I think they are trying to give him some substance by us seeing how wrecked he is but, it all leaves me fairly *meh*. Though, I do like the continuity of him being slowly destroyed as his interprets the tablet.
6. Kevin's hideout isn't warded against angels. Is this after
last week's ep? Up until then they didn't really trust Cas, so I'm not sure why it wouldn't have been guarded against him. If Naomi found the hideout now, why didn't she visit Kevin earlier? How did she find the hideout anyway? Oh man, I just don't get all that stuff. I think Naomi is deliberately ambiguous and I'm cool with that. Is she good? Is she bad? We'll find out I suppose. (though HA! I loved that she took umbrage at being called a bureaucrat).Other stuff:
There was a lot of good in this episode. Some loose ends were tied up in an unexpected way and we had some huge things going on. I suppose the major issue is that it should
have been amazing. It should have had us all squeeing to the high heavens, instead we're left a little *meh*. Maybe it's because they tried to do SO MUCH in one episode or maybe this is because we are so spoiled with amazing fan stories that nothing can really match up to it. I am listening to a podfic at the moment that has Sam descending into hell to save Dean. The descriptions of hell and what happens to Sam's mind because of what he's done is so believable
. It's also horrific. There's no way they could ever show those types of horrors or turn Sam into a vegetable from the experience. I feel like the show is so limited - both on budget and because they are not on HBO, that they really aren't able to do the things that the story often calls for.
So I'll forgive it. And I will because I actually WANT to look past its flaws so I can continue to feel the love. And there's still a whole lot to love me thinks. :))
I am excited for the rest of the season. I think they have opened the doors to a lot of possibilities. It's curious to me that the MoL story line has been introduced but nothing more has been done about it - I assume that'll leave something to explore next season. I hope Carver actually writes an episode though. Maybe the finale?
Bring it SPN! I know you can do it!
In the meantime...THIS!