Boo! What a shitty time for LJ to be down. I haven't been able to post and I've wanted to chat!
Well, I gotta say I ended up being more satisfying in the finale than I anticipated. I didn't think I was going to be by the way it started, but by the end I felt we had arrived somewhere
My thoughts that are all over the place. There were somethings that worried me, some things that bored me, some things that delighted me and some things I FUCKING LOVED!
Off the bat I have to say how impressed I was with Mark and Jared's performances. I had a tear a few times during this episode - one when Sam was about to confess (I was just imagining what he was saying…*sob*), one when Crowley asked about forgiveness and one at the end when Sam tells Dean how much he's let him down. *SOB* I also have to commend Jensen on his sincerity in *that* scene. It must get harder and harder to pull that off, but I think he nailed it. (and of course…SQUEEEEEE awesome brother moment AND another hug!!! S8 = Hug!Season).
I was worried for this episode because it had such a lot to do. For me it was about making some sense of the whole season. I am pleasantly surprised that it mostly DID help me make sense of some of the season. It by no means "fixed" a lot that was wrong with the season (unevenness, retconning, forgetting past canon, misdirected character arcs etc. etc.) but it did help me understand a couple of things.
And I cried. Crying during a Supernatural episode is often a signal that it worked. Weird I know. What can I say? I'm seriously hooked on this show.
All the things….
The "Wayward Son" opening was rather interesting. I laughed out loud to the "lay your weary head to rest" with shots of them cutting off monsters heads. HA! It made me think of them "laying" the Leviathan story line to rest actually. Which is pretty much what they've done. Hardly a mention of them in the entire season.
Recapping Dean saying Purgatory was "pure" and Sam not looking for Dean being mentioned made me very excited. It signaled that they were
significant moments and would be revisited in the finale. YAY!
As soon, AS SOON as I saw Jody I yelled NOOOOOOOO at the TV. NO NO they can't kill Jody. I will forgive them Sarah because it was a tactical move (I know, I am cold hearted) but Jody was crossing the line. I am assuming she's not dead. NOT DEAD! But I have to applaud show for using her, because after killing Sarah in the last episode it was a very real threat that they would kill Jody. I really thought they would do it. Bastards!
UGH! Dean listing "losing your soul" as one of Sam's sins. OUCH! Um….wasn't it Cas who pulled Sam out of the cage without his soul? I got all the other "sins" but that one really stung. Sam didn't "lose" his soul (the relevance of this line became clear later of course, so yeah I get why it was used).
I think before I say more I have to make it clear that I watch this show for the brothers and their amazing brother bond (ha! I'm sure you already know that *g*). I enjoy the plot lines and all the other characters but if the brotherness isn't there I pretty much lose interest. I'm saying this because the next section is essential to this understanding.
When the Cas and Metaron scenes started up I admit to sighing and thinking we were going to have to sit through the 2 angel trials leading up the climax of the episode (and because of the "then" I thought one of the trials would be killing Dean or something) .
When Cas came to Dean for help and Dean LEFT HIS BROTHER I have to say I went into a mini melt down because I seriously was not going to sit through the rest of the episode with Sam doing his own thing and Dean and Cas doing theirs (one of the biggest gripes I have when Cas turns up). When Dean was casually having a drink with Cas at the bar waiting for cupid to turn up while his brother was hurting and curing Crowley I nearly goddam cried!
BUT! It was all for a reason and by the end of the episode I could see all that in context and can see how it was all about getting to the climax. With Dean away from Sam it meant we had him rushing back to him. Cheap, but effective. (I told you I watch for the brotherness yeah?)
I liked that it didn't take long for Cas to find out that Metatron was evol. I mean, COME ON! the signals were all there last week but obviously Cas was too distracted (or something) to see them. Once we got past the rather boring waiting for cupid moment the pace seemed to pick up and we had some momentum.
It wasn't a big surprise that Crowley would be the demon they would cure and even though the way they tricked Crowley was fun, I keep coming back to thinking why the hell doesn't he just KILL THEM. Serious, he knew they had the tablet, surely he just had to flick his wrist and toss them into the air. But, *handwave* no story if he did that. But it's ALWAYS been an issue for me. I needed more of a reason why he just didn't get rid of these two ages ago.
I felt like were we finally seeing Dean and Cas as good friends - it was nice to see
that rather than be told about it. I'm glad Dean didn't remain pissed at him because I felt that was a little petulant in the last episode. I mean, he might have had good reason to be pissed but it's pretty well established now that Dean considers Cas "family" and therefore forgiving and forgetting is part of the deal. I mean, I could have done without it in this episode but TPTB are trying to please ALL the fans so we got a lovely mix of something for everyone *g* (and no, I'm not being sarcastic. They clearly DID try and satisfy the Dean/Cas fans as well as the brother fans and even the Dean, Sam 'n Cas fans. I actually think they did a pretty good job of it).
I LOVED the way Crowley subtly changed over the course of his "curing". I really saw a different character emerge. It made me appreciate Mark as an actor much more. It's a shame he wasn't able to bring any subtleties to demon!Crowley because Mark would have rocked it I think. He was evil, brutish (and mostly stupid) and that was that. I am very curious to see what kind of Crowley we will see now. Is he completely cured? Will he be the Winchester's "friend" or disappear into the normal world and become a banker? A social worker - looking after lost fallen angels maybe?
I had trouble keeping track of all the angel stuff (a re-watch is a must) but I was disappointed that Naomi had to die. Amanda was rocking that role and its a shame we won't see her next season. Just when her character seemed to take some shape they offed her. I take it Metatron and Abaddon will be next season's big bads? Shame Abaddon lost her meat suit because she was also amazing in that role. Would love to see her around next season.
Metatron is just plain creepy and sleezy and I don't like him. That's possibly a good thing as he's probably the big bad now, but yuk...*shivers*.
I was really happy to see Kevin again (his mom died? When did that happen?) - I thought they wrote him off and that was that. What a used and abused character. I felt his pain I have to say (we had Cas and Kevin wall slamming. Does that mean we can ship them now? ;D)
But for me the thing THE THING
that made this episode for me was the Sam and Dean moment at the end. I honestly didn't think we'd get anything like that - that level of emotion and brotherness, but there it was - at the climax of the episode. Sam was completely and utterly broken and for him to confess that his biggest sin is letting Dean down. I just. THE FEELS! My God! The show actually allowed Sam to have these feelings. TO SAY WHAT HE'S FEELING! Sam must feel like such a loser when it comes to his brother and I am SO GLAD he was able to voice that. And I'm not blaming Dean for that at all. Sam has done plenty of things to let Dean down (including not looking for him…..grrrrr). Sam HAS failed Dean. Sometimes it's been his fault, other times not. It must be something that weighs heavily on him. Maybe it shouldn't but it forms another layer to the complex character that is Sam Winchester.
Suddenly Sam's "I see light at the end of the tunnel" speech makes so much sense. Sam's "light" is showing Dean that he can be trusted - that he is
capable and that this is the one thing he won't fail at (though he nearly did and knowing what we know now, how devastating for Sam if he did actually fail). WE (and Dean!) know Sam doesn't always fail, but clearly Sam doesn't see that. :((
And I don't feel like we've been here before. Sure, we've had aaaaallll the angst, we've had Sam come to terms with his faults and failures but I don't believe we've ever had him actually say - the thing that hurts me the most is failing you
. Knowing that I will let you down again
and you will have to find someone else to trust again
. And knowing that all those times we desperately wanted Sam to save Dean (from his deal, from Hell, from Purgatory) it's has finally meant something to his overall character arc. It killed me dead. And Jared friggin' nailed it! Dean thinks he's failed as a big brother (in the past) and now Sam thinks he's failed as a little brother. OH BOYS!! <3
There's so much more to discuss here but I will be doing a season review at some point and I'll look at Sam's character arc then. I will say that it makes more sense of why they lead with Sam not looking for Dean, what they did with Benny and Dean and what they tried
to do with Amelia.
I think it's a shame that Dean seemed to be a little sidelined toward the end of the season. Don't get me wrong. I love big brother!Dean TO PIECES, but I think there was a lot more to explore. Maybe they're keeping that until next season. I do feel that Dean was more at one with himself than we've seen in a long time. I keep thinking that that
was what he came back from Purgatory with. It's a shame that the season was so uneven, because I think the notion of the "purity" of Purgatory was really important to the development of Dean's character this season. It wasn't consistently explored but as it was highlighted in the "Then" recap I think there is a connection. I just loved how clearly focused Dean was at the end of this episode. He knew exactly
the line he wasn't prepared to cross to "save" the world. He sacrificed Hell's Gates being closed for Sam. And every though we know
the lengths Dean will go to to save Sam, it's always wonderful to see. LOVE IT!!
And wow - we had the ULTIMATE whumped!Sam and awesome big brother!Dean *hearts* x 1000 (yeah, yeah, I know that doesn't appeal to everyone but it does to me!! so YAAAAY!!).
I wonder if the transformation to Sam has just miraculously stopped? It seems weird that he could "just let it go" - though he did seem to be suffering at the end. I wonder if this is something they will continue to explore next season. Hope so! And how awesome Dean saying "just let it go" - double meaning in those words. Letting the "transformation" go and just let all that emotion go. (GUH!! THAT SCENE!)
I have to say I wasn't surprised that they didn't manage to close the gates of hell. I never felt that was a real possibility. Sam and Dean kept thinking it would be the end of everything if they did this one thing, but that never rang true. It couldn't be the end of them hunting. This time is was all about the journey getting there, not the end goal. Maybe they'll examine what it would actually mean to shut the so called gates. It probably wouldn't really be a good idea after all.
The ending looked beautiful. The effects team did an amazing job. The falling angels were fantastic - we actually got to see the wings. Gorgeous.So where does that leave us?
Um....a whole heap of new "people" on the planet. What are they going to do with themselves?
Human!Cas So many mixed feelings about this. It will TOTALLY depend on how they chose to play him. If it's for comic relief (a "child" again) I will cry. If it's as a third wheel to the Winchester hunting team I will possibly cry as well - depends how they play it. In fact, I can't think of too many scenarios in which I will be thrilled. Maybe if he DID settle down, get married and have a family I would be happy with that. I dunno. Though I except he'll be wanting his grace back and will need Sam and Dean to help him. Maybe he'll have to "earn" it and actually start acting like a "good" angel. Hmmm...that might be a theme. Angels learning to be angelic instead of dicks. They seemed to have lost their way so this could totally be a thing. I could go with that I think.
Metatron being yuk.
Crowley helping little old ladies across the road.
Abaddon finding a new body (or maybe someone regenerating the burned one?) and being the Queen of Hell.
Cas searching for his grace (and character maybe? As in finding the real
Jody making better date choices.
Benny meeting the Vamp Alpha and being awesome together.
Kevin running away to a tropical island and sipping on cocktails.
More about the MoL maybe.
Dean...um...I really don't know. I kinda felt that Dean came into his own this season. There's still the abandonment issues to deal with and maybe not feeling like his whole being is reliant on Sam (and maybe Cas?). He seems to have come to terms a bit more with losing people and the importance of being a hunter, so I think some progress has been made.
Sam...um...oh Sam. I would like to think more will be explored on his almost complete transformation. I want to know what was going on there. He was going to die to close the gates - but now? And what exactly was happening to his body? Then there's coming to terms with what he told Dean. It's something he's kept close to his chest FOREVER, so now that's out of the bag will there be a change? Will Sam no longer feel like he has to prove himself to Dean? - and if so what will that look like? Is it something that's built in to his character - like Dean having to look out for Sam?
I'll wrap it up there. I feel like there's so much more to think and talk about. I'm still working through some of the overall issues but I feel fairly satisfied that something was achieved and that the way is clear for even more to be achieved. I feel better knowing that maybe Carver has put the show in a place he wants and will have a clearer goal for S9.