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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….
2nd-Feb-2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
....Sam was referring to Dean's method of working and decision. I think you're right and he's not playing the blame game but rather is looking at Dean's approach to the job (and in turn, their lives) and has recognised that he wouldn't approach it like that (and is probably not sure what has changed in Dean for him to make him make those choices).

Exactly! While we have always known that Sam and Dean are very different people who differ in their approach to a whole crapload of stuff, it stands to reason that our insight into the characters isn't their insight into each other. Yes, we are invested in the characters (obviously!) but we are still outside observers while they may not always be able to see the forest for the trees. They have been caught up in grand scheme life and death battles for a long time.

And I may be in the minority here (at least online) but I LIKE where Carver and Co. has taken the characters. I don't feel that it is a case of engineered drama just to have conflict. I don't feel they have been OOC at all. Maybe the execution didn't come off as well as intended but I think there is a point to all of it. I think I feel this way because, on more than one occasion, I found myself saying "YES! This is it EXACTLY where I needed to see them go" even if I wasn't consciously aware of this need before it happened. So, I've been annoyed by all the Carver bashing. Maybe I don't have season 1-5 rose colored glasses on because I didn't watch it in real time but there were quite a few duds and do what? moments in the first five seasons that no show is immune to no matter how good. Would folks have really been happier for it to end with one or both of them jumping into the Cage? Gah! To me that would rank right up there with the Farscape finale pre-PK wars as the most infuriating and disappointing ending of all time! When I finally caught up mid season 7 and came online to discuss and see what was happening in the my new found fandom, I promptly ran into the Gamble bashing which also irritated me. I mean, where do you go after stopping the devil and the apocalypse!?! I, for one, am quite impressed that Gamble and now Carver are still keeping me coming back week after week!

And, oh my gosh....to be continued in post #2
2nd-Feb-2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
Which baffles me why some fans haven't cut him some slack. WE'VE known the whole story for 6 months. Sam has only just found out. And I totally believe that if the shoe was on the other foot Sam would be completely shouted down. And also, it took Dean a whole season and Sam jumping into the pit to gain back Dean's trust.

Oh yeah! I totally agree! It reminds me that I was also a bit surprised at the sheer amount of character bashing that I encountered when I came online for the first time. I shouldn't have been surprised because SPN wasn't my first foray into fandom. If there's one thing fans love more than their shows it's fanwank about their shows. But the hate surprised me still because, hello, this is a show about two brothers. How can you love one and despise the other?!? But the idea that Dean should just dump Sam and never look back is not a new concept that I have only now encountered/post season 8. I saw it then! I see it today in my feed which has made me think that we, as fans, are so tied to the characters that we also have an inability to see the forest for the trees. We love to delve deep and analyse everything. It's why we read reviews and participate in discussion. Discussion is fun. However, in a show that has gone on this long, it's also very easy to find whatever is needed to support any given interpretation or perception of a character no matter how completely skewed that perception may be. And some of these analyses are thoughtful and intelligent. Initially, I found that I enjoyed reading them because I don't mind reading a viewpoint that is different from my own. Lately, I just find myself frustrated because it's become a predictable rehash of Dean/Sam is always the martyr/victim and Dean/Sam is always abusive/uncaring and deals in absolutes where one of the brothers is always wrong and one of the brothers is always right.

I love online fandom. I love that this show gives us something to be passionate about. But the darkside is that, sometimes, online fans have the tendency to be completely self-absorbed, self-important, and oh so certain that we know what's absolutely right about a show or the course it should take. But when I mention some of the arguments and fanwank that I encounter to my friends who love they show but are not online, they are like "Wait. What????"

Whew! Sorry that I felt the need to get all of that out of my system!

Edited at 2014-02-02 11:44 pm (UTC)
3rd-Feb-2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
Whew! Sorry that I felt the need to get all of that out of my system!

I'm glad you did! It's been nice to read some positive responses. I mean, I understand why people have issues with it but I, like you, have been enjoying what they've been doing this season. I don't like that the brothers are in such a dark place but I've liked that they've really dug deep into this relationship. They've exposed some real issues and I'm hoping this means there will be an amazing pay off.

I too liked what Gamble (mostly) did and other than Sam making no attempt (or us not really seeing why Sam made no attempt to look for Sam I've mostly enjoyed what Carver has been doing. As long as he makes it right between the two of them in the not too distant future. :)
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