I have mixed feelings about that one - ranging from "OMG WOW" to "seriously, we're back here again?". There's also some.."that was cool" and "eeewwwwww" and "wake me up when this bit is over". So yeah, very mixed. Some good and some not so good.
Bear with me if you choose to read on - I'm trying to work it out.
It felt like this episode was putting all the pieces on the chessboard in order to play the actual game next week. Maybe that's what the penultimate episode is suppose to do. I get it, the pieces need to be moved around and positioned correctly but it just all felt a little...um....contrived. Or something. Dammit. I don't know - I can't put my finger on why it left me feeling less than squeeful.There were some things I loved:
The thing that struck me the most was the way they acknowledged and used the very thing - the very reason
why Sam and Dean hunt - saving people
. This was extremely powerful and totally ramped up the intensity at the end. I loved it.
I think using Sarah Blake was a stroke of genius (and proves that TPTB listen and know what and who is important to us). Sarah has been held dear to many fans - she was seen as a great match for Sam. From what I understand, the fans loved her and she was often written into stories that involved Sam's "happy ever after" (well, the ones that don't have Dean as his happy ever after...;D), so it was no accident that she was the one chosen to die in this episode. She meant
something to us, to Sam AND to Dean. I honestly didn't think they would kill her - especially after mentioning she had a child, but they did and they actually needed
to in order to bring the seriousness of this home. And it did. The ending was intense and rather harrowing. Everything we've come to expect in a Supernatural episode.
Sarah's comments about how Sam has "grown up" rather killed me. I kept thinking she was going to say..."you look awful Sam. What happened to you". But she didn't. She knows what he deals with and knows that it would have taken its toll. Instead she remained positive, telling him he's more focused and more confident, that he knows what he wants. It made my heart break.
I mean - this is how she saw Sam 7 years ago:
And this is what she is looking at now:
The difference is striking and having an outsider POV of Sam, really highlights just how much he's changed - and not for the better. *sniff*
And then there's Dean's reaction shot:
I love how this sums up the tragedy of their lives. Sam's telling Sarah she's happy for her and Dean knows it's the life that Sam might have had. Sam's holding it in and Dean knows it.Other stuff I really liked:
Seeing more of the bunker. I really like the new reveals - room 7b. Ha! Dungeon! *yikes* I figure that's going to come in handy in the finale? - they must have introduced it for a reason (another chess piece).
Even something like Dean wanting to ping pong table. :)
The old film footage. It was an interesting device for getting across the information and I like the spooky element it added to everything. Just something about black and white footage. The demons (particularly the first one) were scary.
Dean drinking out of Sam's beer bottle. These boys share spit no problem. :)
Sam asking after Cas. Sam continues to have a connection with Cas and I like the further development of this. It's curious to me that Sam and Cas constantly share similar experiences (turning "evil", going crazy, needing redemption, suffering in some way) and yet they haven't ever really explored that. I don't mind that they are showing
us, rather than telling us though. Sam has always been the one to really understands Cas (and yet it's Dean that Cas constantly seeks approval from).
Sam and Dean still being on the same page and working together. yay! Dean is still keeping his eye on Sam. I personally believe that Dean is at his best when he feels he can help or look after Sam. I know some don't like Dean as Sam's carer, but it (fortunately) is something I like very much. That's not to say I wouldn't like to see Sam caring for Dean. In fact - I would love to see that at some stage.
Crowley. Yes, I actually didn't mind Crowley so much in this one because he was being smart rather than brutal. He knows
Sam and Dean so well that he knows where to hit them the hardest. This Crowley is much more interesting. Maybe Crowley has been on a journey of realization through this season. Smart is better than brutal (though I really don't think this has been deliberate).Stuff I struggled with:
Umm...pretty much everything else. *sigh* I really, really don't wish that to be the case, but I come away from that episode feeling somewhat disappointed. Namely in the following things:
Cas is back to where he was in S6. After the episode where he ran off with the tablet I felt we had real direction for Cas - he has a purpose and a strength. Now he's back to being led into a direction he's not entirely happy with and we are back to where we've been before. They even made him hapless and doting and...yeah. Just wasn't working for me I'm afraid. I want Cas to man up! Stop trying to seek Dean's approval, instead do
something that will make him happy with you. They obviously still consider Cas a child (breaking eggs and bumping into shelves).
I just CAN NOT work out what they are trying to do with the Dean and Cas relationship. I get that Dean would be pissed with him, but all it does is take us back to every other time Dean is pissed with him - which seems like always. Maybe we're meant to be on this journey to see how they "make up" - but to be honest I really don't care. I'd rather see all three of them getting on and working together. I get that there's supposed to be emotional drama in that, but it's only the same as when Sam and Dean fight -unless it's for a perfectly good reason I don't buy it.
Cas is to do the heaven trials. That's incredibly disappointing to me. Someone suggested that Dean might be the one to do those and I rather loved the idea of that. Dean has been aligned with Heaven as Sam is with Hell. I suppose it could be argued that that's too obvious but I am certainly more interested in seeing Dean go through trials than I am Cas.
Metatron and Cas stuff. Hmm...cup of tea time. Those scenes should
have been engaging - COULD have been engaging if it had been filmed differently. Maybe give it more intensity. Or it's probably just me. Unless S&D are somehow involved in the story I tend to switch off a bit.
It was nice to see Abaddon again - I love the actress who is playing her. But really? They had to make the boys stupid enough to leave her hands close by (hee, anyone not having seen that ep will have no idea what that means *g*), not trap her more securely and then leave her unattended etc. COME ON! They had a dungeon!! (I get why they didn't take her to the MoL bunker though. That actually makes sense.
Where's Kevin? Safe with his mom maybe.Where it's heading
(No spoilers here - I have no idea!)
I didn't watch the preview. I will TRY and stay unspoiled, though Tumblr is horrible for that.
I really, really want something to happen that we can't even fathom. I want them to really put it out there - turn everything on it's head. I don't think they will, but I can hope.
They've put out all the pieces - Abaddon (unless she's on the loose to return next season), Crowley (surely he's gotta die), Cas and Metaron (er...no idea. Though maybe Cas will stop and realise he's only doing what's he's done before - following an angel. Maybe it's time for him to stop and think instead of rushing into his next course of action). There's the last trial (why is curing a demon less than exciting to me? Inject a demon with purified blood (probably Sam's) and say a few words and that's it? Is there even a demon we care enough about to be saved? (Meg!)). And where does Dean fit into all this? At the moment he seems to be on the sidelines - in terms of what's at sake for him. Sure, Sam's at stake but he's been at stake for a few episodes now. Ramping up the angst in that area is going to be tricky). I honestly thought that the trials would somehow involve Dean, but so far, it's not looking like it.
But I shall remain hopeful! It feels
like they are heading toward something significant. I think I am particularly nervous because the finale is likely to impact my final thoughts on the overall season. I hope to see them pull it all together and I can look back and see that it was all there for a reason. And rejoice!
(ETA: I am MORE than happy to hear your squee about this one. I didn't NOT like it, it just didn't leave me bouncing around. My heart did break a wee bit, so that's something. ;D)