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just enough to make us dangerous
9.12 episode review (and a wee pinch of rantiness) 
29th-Jan-2014 04:51 pm

I was a little restless watching that episode. I was surprised how easily Sam slipped back into hunting with Dean kept wondering if this will be it. The episode seemed to be geared toward exploring Dean's issues - family and finding love where you can etc, but I was itching to see if Sam was actually going to get a voice. He was merrily just going along for the ride and I was thinking…what the hell?!

Thank goodness for the last 5 minutes. This may have been a seriously ranty post if Sam hadn't been allowed to say something.

(the only ranting I will do is not understanding some comments around the place about Sam giving Dean shit at the end. If anything Sam didn't give Dean enough shit. I actually thought Sam's restraint showed his maturity. He's not going to let Dean off easily for what he did and so he shouldn't. I know some people will never see anything Sam does as good enough but surely this is one thing they can sympathise with him on. I just don't get why Sam is considered to be in the wrong here. Why isn't Sam ever allowed to be pissed at Dean? I seriously don't get it. /end rant).

I was disappointed about the lack of Sam but I read a tweet that he was "off making babies". I assume that meant Gen was having their baby. Totally acceptable. At least we got some Sam.

I've always liked Garth (love how fundamentally different he is to any other hunters) and this ep was ok. Nothing startling, but after those epic first 2 episodes we probably needed a breather. It was heavy handed and there was a lot of repetition about family and monsters and love etc and I have to confess I wasn't always engaged. Actually, it felt like there was a lot of padding. Dialogue that didn't achieve a lot - maybe they had to change things around if Jared had to leave. At the end of the day it was a solid enough filler though.

I'm glad Garth didn't die. It feels like they've put him aside for a while, but at least they can go back to him later if the want to.

I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't myth arc heavy (only so much this gal can take of the demons and angels) so the werewolves made a nice change. I didn't spend much time working it all out (felt like I slipped into Teen Wolf there for a minute), I let it wash over me pretty much (mostly waiting to see if we were going to get a heart to heart at the end).

Dean was scruffy and surly and generally feeling rotten about everything (love that the dark quality from last week was still lingering). I kept thinking why is his angst only about the guilt he feels over Kevin? What about the bigger picture surrounding how that happened and maybe even consideration for how Sam must be feeling knowing it was his body doing the killing. I'm not sure the end fully addressed that, but a least Sam had a chance to bring it up. Maybe Dean will get it one day (though I'm not convinced the writers think what he did was much of an issue, so maybe not…). I did like that Dean ATTEMPTED to say sorry - it was on the tip of his tongue! It was typical Dean that he couldn't actually get it out. But the sentiment was there. I also liked that he tried the "we are family" as a cure all and Sam just didn't accept that this time. Though perhaps Dean's "took a piece of you" was an acknowledgement of the toll the possession took on Sam.

And sharing the crappiness? I did like that a lot.

I took Sam's "terms" to mean that they can work together but the trust that existed between them won't be there like it has been before. It might even mean that Sam will speak up more if Dean chooses to do something that Sam doesn't agree with. They'll never stop being brothers, but much of what is taken for granted in brotherhood might not be there for a while. Clearly Sam still cares very deeply for Dean - that will never change. (His "be careful" to Dean was a nice bit of dialogue to cement that the care still there).

I found Sam's comment about them being different in their approach to the job now a little strange. I've always felt that they were different and that's why they work together so well. They compliment each other. Maybe the difference is much greater than it used to be.

I've never really had a problem with Sam in peril but even I'm thinking we've seen it too much now. That man's head must be mush! At least he was involved (a little bit) in the "saving the day" moment. Though, poor guy being bored to death with the monologuing...

What the hell is it about the villain monologue? Could she have taken any longer to actually kill someone?! I wanted Dean to get there just so she would shut up! (this scene felt padded also…)

I like their uneasy alliance. They had to come back together somehow - they were never going to keep them apart for long - so a kind of truce leaves the door open for some serious healing later on. Sam is so right - something is broken between them. Sam has always trusted Dean, so for him to say he can't any more is huge. It's also a role reversal. At the end of S4 Dean lost his trust in Sam. It took a long time for Sam to earn that back. Now it looks like it's Dean's turn to prove he deserves Sam's trust back. I know it's hard watching them in conflict but at least that means they'll be some juicy angst (and brother soul searching) in future episodes. I much prefer this type of (organic) conflict rather than the overtly manufactured stuff we saw last year. I think the issues between them are going to be around for a while to come and may even play a large part in the finale. We'll see!

In the mean time…without saying anything too spoilery - hubba bubba next week….
29th-Jan-2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
So much to comment on (and agree with) here....

About your rant about reaction to Sam giving Dean shit at the end. I'm coming at this from the "Dean girl/love Sam" side of the fence. I definitely agree it was about time Sam gave Dean shit and that Sam was totally in the right to do so. It just hurt (as it should). For those of us who are so (overly)invested in these characters, and who have an affiliation with one brother or other, it's hurty to have the other brother say I can't trust you anymore and that our "brotherhood" isn't as strong. I also flashed back to the parking lot scene where Dean basically said the same thing to Sam. And now I'm remembering my reactions/feelings to that back then. It was also painful. But it was different to me, a Dean girl. I felt my reaction from a total Dean perspective. Like Dean can't be complete without Sam, so therefore Dean not trusting Sam meant that Dean was somehow....less. And while intellectually I "felt" for Sam. My visceral reaction was related to Dean.

I'm saying this because it is interesting to me to compare my reactions to the two scenes. I love both brothers, but I am a Dean girl. Makes me somehow grok how a Sam girl would reaction to the two scenes, from a different perspective.

Plus, in all honesty, there is a lot of foundational "Dean can do no wrong", "Sam is flawed" build up out there over the years. And those who may have internalized (consciously or not) the "Dean can do no wrong" may also be reacting because whatever their hearts may tell them, their minds have to be struggling with the fact that Dean F'd up.

Having said all that. I do admit that I internally eyerolled just a tad because of the okay, we are repeating a scene/theme again. But while the show does that frequently, this is likely a time when it is a good thing/interesting thing. (If I can see past my "but Dean can do no wrong" internal programming, lol.)

I totally agree with all your filler comments. Also with the fact that since this may be the ep filming while Jared's son was being born, less Sam has some level of "okay-ness."

And YES! I totally paused the playback and HAD to say to my family about what in the heck was it with TV show villains having to EXPLAIN everything! She/they could have just off'd all three of them as soon as they were captured/knocked out. But no, she had to wait til they all woke up so she could .... ramble ... on and on and on about the whys and wherefores. (Plus, and I always kinda hate to say this, don't know if it was the writing or the acting or just the uselessness of it, but it kinda wasn't even good rambling...)

I also kinda of think that Dean may not truly, totally *get* how wrong the Gadreel possession action was. He knows it wasn't right. But I wonder if he really *KNOWS* how wrong it really was. Yes and how truly selfish it was. It's one (selfish) thing to sell your soul to bring your brother back, but letting something alien into your brother, *shudders*. However, at *that* moment when Dean made the decision to trick Sam into being possessed, Dean was under emotional distress. That does not excuse it at all, just explains it a bit. Regardless, I think Dean still doesn't really understand how bad it really was.

(ACK! comment too long...)
29th-Jan-2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
I agree with your about Sam's comment about "how different their approach was". I had a bzuh? moment. Hasn't their approach and feelings about their roles and jobs *always* been different. In fact, hasn't that difference fueled a lot of previous brother-angst? (As well as brother-wonderfulness)? It seemed ... a weird thing to say.

I don't truly know how I feel about their uneasy alliance. As I watched the brothers get into the Impala at the end (and randomly wondered about leaving that semi-neat blue other vintage car behind without a comment), I felt a bit deflated that, yet again, they were at odds. But this at odds felt almost more ... resigned than anything else. Perhaps that is a measure of their maturity or just them being run down over too many years and not having other options. I'm not saying it is a bad story choice really. I guess I just had a moment of reflection and of missing the intensity of passion between the brothers (and I do mean non-Wincest passion here btw, lol, just couldn't find better words because *passion* really does say it all.)

And definitely YES about next ep. I wanted to shout that out, but decided against for the spoiler-free folks.

29th-Jan-2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
That sweet blue car….
30th-Jan-2014 10:25 am (UTC)
I felt a bit deflated that, yet again, they were at odds. But this at odds felt almost more ... resigned than anything else.

Yeah. It was pretty heartbreaking. It reminded me of when they came back together last season. Sam decided to leave Amelia, Dean left Benny and there was a sad sort of resignation that they were destined to be together even his they not longer liked each other. It feels like that know (I wonder if Carver even likes their relationship. He seems determined to show us how strained it is).

Blue car! I can't believe Sam just left that! (was it from the bunker I wondered?)

And passion is the perfect word. the love is intense. Even when they seem to hate each other. Their emotions are always so intense. When it's just resignation it looses its spark.

Let's hope there's some great coming up that brings them back together - even stronger than before.
30th-Jan-2014 10:19 am (UTC)
Hey hun!

Thanks so much for your perspective.

Like Dean can't be complete without Sam, so therefore Dean not trusting Sam meant that Dean was somehow....less. And while intellectually I "felt" for Sam. My visceral reaction was related to Dean.

And I totally get this. In fact, in a discussion I've been having on someone else's journal (a Dean girl) I've said much of the way some people have been reacting is because we watched that scene from Dean's POV. In the last episode we saw how screwed up he was. In this episode we saw the same. We watched him get out of the car an approach Sam. We saw Sam reacted through Dean's eyes, so no wonder we are on Dean's side. I hurt for Dean too, but I also think Sam was well within his right to say - no, you can't just say "we're family" and that be it. What you did crossed a line (and I'm not referring to the church scene. No idea why they made Sam say that - Sam at least had a choice there) and Sam needed to say it. No one else seems to be able to call Dean out on his shit. Sam at least needs to be able to do that. I think…. (eep…I've been feeling very passionate about this recently.../o\)

But thank you so much for your Dean!girl perspective. I feel heartened when I hear a dean!girl acknowledge that Dean screwed up. He didn't mean to. He was left with very few options and he did it for the "right" reasons, but it still doesn't make it ok and that Sam should be all forgiving. Sam WILL forgive Dean because that's what he does - but I think it needs to take more than 2 episodes for that to happen.

Regardless, I think Dean still doesn't really understand how bad it really was.

No. And much worse than that I don't think the writers do. Dean feels most guilty because his actions resulted in the death of Kevin. He's acknowledged he took a "piece of" Sam, but I'm pretty such non-con possession isn't one of the issues Dean or the writers have an issue with. He saved Sam's life and the reaction from some fans is that Sam should be grateful for that. Regardless that Sam was actually prepared to die.

It's complicated and I do actually love discussing it. I am also SO thankful for the sane comments that my flist make on my journal. Just reading some of those awful comments on the other journal made be extra grateful (though the fans I've engaged with have over there have been pretty good. I worried I would be shouted down - one even said they hadn't considered Sam's POV and that what I said helped).

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