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9.14 Ep reaction/review 
26th-Feb-2014 09:34 pm

I may need to sit on this episode for a while. Mull it over a bit (as ya do). I think there was some interesting stuff in there, it's just that I came off it feeling much like the boys did. Lack lustre and sad. There's no doubt it's difficult to watch when there's such a rift between them.

Seeing Kevin again was no surprise. Death doesn't mean you're off the show after all. :) I was pleased that at least he had a purpose for being there and I'm seriously glad they resolved the storyline with Mrs T. But wow - tortured for a year? Man, this show can be so cruel.

It was nice to see Mrs Tran again. I'm really glad the fact she was mentioned early in the season led somewhere. Though making Sam out to be stupid by not knowing which wires to cut in order to make her look kickass was cheap. Wasn't Sam a handyman when Dean was in Purgatory? And isn't like some sort of brainiac? He'd know all about wiring….sheesh.

The angel story line doesn't particularly interest me but I did like Cas's development. Becoming a different kind of leader than he was before makes some sense and isn't unexpected. He'll no doubt lead the charge to restore heaven. We're beginning to see a confident, competent and compassionate Cas - which I rather like. I wonder if he'll ever stop looking puzzled though?

And I can't help feel sorry for all those vessels. The human collateral. :(

Ok. So I gotta talk about SamnDean.

I have to admit I was feeling a little deflated by the end of the episode. I liked that Sam is still rightly pissed and walked away but this episode gave us a pretty clear indication that it's Sam who holds this relationship to ransom and therefore he's the one who'll have to approach Dean and say sorry and forgive him. That continues to worry me and I will be bitterly disappointed if it's resolved this way. That's not to say I want to continue to watch them like this. It's bloody depressing. I've never felt less joy watching an episode before. The last time I felt this down about them being together was after their reunion in S8. Just being together for the sake of it. *sniff*

As much as Kevin's speech made me want to say "yes yes"and slap them both upside the head it would be terribly disappointing if this is all resolved by Sam instantly forgiving Dean or Sam saying sorry for being pissed at him. If they have opened this huge can of worms I can only hope they deal it with the satisfactorily.

There was something that gave me a little bit of hope though (or it might be despair, depending which way it plays out).

Mrs Tran talked about Kevin being her responsibility and it was her right to take her son with her, even if it meant it could turn bad for Kevin. She said it was her responsibility to keep him safe. I felt this was directly related to how Dean feels about Sam. It's his right to keep Sam safe and so he'll do what he has to do.

This depressed me at first because I thought this could be vindicating Dean's actions. Mrs Tran and Kevin were the happy picture of "family" and the message seemed to be - if you have a responsibility it's ok to make choices that could turn bad.

But now I wonder if maybe this is being set up for a future episode where Kevin does actually begin to change and suffer and Mrs Tran has to make a choice about letting him go? Will Dean be the one to convince her to let Kevin go and maybe begin to understand what letting go and holding on means? Probably not - but I'm hoping there's something more here than Mrs Tran and Kevin ascending the stairs to a "perfect" family life (well, as perfect as a ghost and human sharing a life can be).

Either way, I'm sure we'll see Kevin and Mrs T again.

But wow. How so depressing Show… :( I love the angst but without the fire it's just plain sadness.

Other than that….

I did love that both boys were yelling for each other when the ghost activity started. No matter what personal issues are between them they still care very much about what happens to the other. And Sam saved Dean. A small, unsung moment but it was there. (\o/)

At the end it was nice that we saw that moment of hesitation from Sam as he came to his room - it would have been even nicer to have been able to go inside with him. How interesting it might have been to be able to share his pain for a moment. As usual we get to share Dean's and it was interesting how hardened he looked. It wasn't a sadness, but rather a determination to not approach Sam on the matter either. Sam made it clear it's not going to be resolved by simply "moving on" and Dean was honouring that.

The boys looked weary. Shaving is clearly too much of a chore when you're fighting your brother. ;)

I was strangely unmoved by Dean's apology to Kevin. I'm not sure why. It might be because I get that Dean is gutted by what happened but instead of saying sorry I want to see him understand things on a deeper level and really work out what he has to be sorry for. But…*shrugs*…I'm not sure how they're going to be playing that out. I just have to be patient I think.

Both boys were in tight shirts in the beginning. I think we have to appreciate what's really important in this episode. ;) And Sam with a sword = *guh* (though, um… sword vs ghost? Lead sword maybe?)

It's always great to have show back, but boy I look forward to feeling joy after watching an episode rather than sadness.

(I have comments to answer on my recent post but I've run out of time tonight. Thanks for your interesting thoughts though. I swear I will let this go. One day.)
26th-Feb-2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
I'm with you; this ep felt dour. But that's probably appropriate, given where the Winchesters are at right now.

Really, the only thing that truly bugged me about it was Sam-centric. (Surprise, surprise.) Once again, we get almost none of his POV and apparently, his brain has leaked out his ears at some point. This is purely writing flaws. I like Berens' scripts well enough but I wish the show would figure out who Sam is these days.

But man, do I love Dean's beard! And the Trans were wonderful. So pretty solid ep.
26th-Feb-2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
Yes - dour is the word. Anything else would have felt wrong so I'm glad what had gone before seeped through every scene.

And yeah, this was a really good example of not getting much go Sam's POV. The closest we came was how forcefully he shut his door. There's still a lot of anger there.

AND there was some Dean in peril…(and some villain monologuing) so there were some other highlights….;D
26th-Feb-2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
The pause before Sam went in his room gives me the tiniest hope. Also the fact that as soon as something started happening in the bunker they started yelling for each other--no matter how broken, they're first instinct is each other--that has got to mean they're fixable!

No matter which one 'breaks' first to fix the situation, though, half of fandom is going to be pissed.

I don't care, I just want them back together!
27th-Feb-2014 11:37 am (UTC)
No matter which one 'breaks' first to fix the situation, though, half of fandom is going to be pissed.

I don't care, I just want them back together!

Yeah, it's a good point. I suppose I'm hoping it's something they both come to an agreement about. When they reunited in S8 they both had to give something up to be with each other (it really does sound like a romance doesn't it?) - this time it's probably about them both conceding something in order to start the process of making amends.

Either way I agree. I look forward to the day they are back on the same footing.
26th-Feb-2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
I like Dean was already starting to honor Kevin's wishes and talk it out with Sam which they need to do but I think Sam needs to hear Dean out and not walk out when he thinks his final say is it. And sam also needs to stick to issue at hand not go off on some tangent on all the wrong doings dean has done. But I wonder if Dean is staying in different room farther from Sam because that is not the one with mom's pic in it and weapons on the wall. I miss that room. So I wonder if Dean moved farther from Sam just to be all business like and give him the space he needs. But if Sam wants to talk it out he has to listen to Dean and Dean has to listen to Sam. There has to be no leaving when they do start this things might get said about what happend but I think when it does happen alot of things will be resolved. I just think its hard for Dean to be brother and caretaker since he has been caretaker for so long for Sam and maybe this might be good for them that the business like stuff may get Dean to see hey maybe Sam can take care of himself and he doesn't need me. Sorry just thinking out loud.
27th-Feb-2014 11:41 am (UTC)
But I wonder if Dean is staying in different room farther from Sam because that is not the one with mom's pic in it and weapons on the wall. I miss that room

Oh wow, I didn't pick that up. SO they're actually sleeping further away from each other too? Wow - it really is serious. Hmmm, I wonder how many bedrooms are in that bunker.

And yeah, they have to have s serious sit down conversation. But I actually think it's take something big to see each other's points of view. I think they are beyond talking. I think there are realisations that they both need to make that will happen through an event (possibly something to do with the Mark) rather than a discussion.

I suppose we'll just have to wait and see!
26th-Feb-2014 02:39 pm (UTC)
Swords are steel = iron so better than a poker.

That out of the way - mmm interesting idea that maybe they are thinking of using Kevin & his Mum to show Dean about letting go - I like that idea. Something/somebody has to show Dean that saving Sam at any cost is not right. I wanted to underline the "at any cost" but can't remember the HTML!

I too was unmoved by Dean's apology - in fact, my reaction was similar to Kevin's - oh no, not more Dean angsting! I'm getting annoyed with him now, all this shouldering the blame/responsibility yet not really taking care of these other people when it comes to the crunch, it's not good enough, Deano.

Finally - don't let it go! In the meantime, we need your insights!

26th-Feb-2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
I've become so conscious of my impatience with Dean's pain recently, I tried so hard to rekindle my love for him in various ways, but tonight I got distracted by Sam's eagerness to leave the scene. Is it my illusion, or are his lines getting fewer and fewer...
26th-Feb-2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
I'm conflicted about this one and I need to mull it over like you do (though that didn't stop me from posting a reaction). But no matter what else we get from this episode, it did give us Sam wielding a sword, and that's a GOOD THING.
27th-Feb-2014 11:43 am (UTC)
Sam wieling a sword was definitely a win!! And ditto - I need to mull it over, but it didn't stop me posting my reaction…;)

26th-Feb-2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
I thought it was a solid episode (although I'm a bit biased because Berens and I have bonded over twitter and I think he's a doll lol) in that it was well-paced, progressed the mytharc in an interesting way (I like that the human souls are trapped in the veil), and the character interactions felt pretty natural.

I will say that I'm a bit confused at the moment about what the show's POV is. Mama Tran quite clearly reiterated Dean's POV, then Kevin pulled a "Boo Hoo Princess" Bobby speech and mocked Dean's emo manpain. So is Sam's POV, the one that says "fuck you, I don't have to suck up what has happened to me", the show's POV? I'm not quite sure yet.

I will say that two things seem clear to be now after this episode. The first is that they are isolating Dean emotionally in order to take him on some kind of darkside arc. I would bet money that's where we are heading, so I do think that not only do they need to stretch out the reconciliation between he and Sam, but I don't think they are going to make it as easy as "Sam sucks it up and forgives Dean."

The second is that Cas is being setup to eventually take over Heaven and correct what the corrupt angels had done to it. I think the brief glimpse of humanity was not about him eventually choosing to be human again, but about him finally having the final piece of the puzzle that will allow him to understand what God intended when he created them. Also, Misha gets to carry his own separate story so that J2 get all the time off they've been getting this year. Win-win for everyone lol.

I will say that the ending made me feel really bad for Sam. He says something to Dean --fandom rips him apart. He doesn't say something to Dean --fandom still rips him apart. The poor schmuck can't win!
26th-Feb-2014 02:59 pm (UTC)
And if Dean does have a darkside arc, it's quite plain now that that's Sam's fault, too.
26th-Feb-2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
But now I wonder if maybe this is being set up for a future episode where Kevin does actually begin to change and suffer and Mrs Tran has to make a choice about letting him go? Will Dean be the one to convince her to let Kevin go and maybe begin to understand what letting go and holding on means?

Oh! If only...!

All in all, I liked the ep. (Except for the jarring bounces to the angel drama. I really do like the idea that heaven needs to be re-opened so that souls can find peace, but I'm not very invested in that being outside the Sam-n-Dean storyline.)

I thought Kevin and Mrs. Tran rocked! And since I know the rift between Dean and Sam can't be easily healed, I was prepared for the 'dour' tone of the episode, but I felt that Dean's disappointment that Sam had left the room and Sam's lingering at his door each lead me to hold onto some hope that they are *slowly* moving toward reconciliation.

(As for who needs to listen to/apologize to whom to what degree, I won't take up more space. But ditto to everything you've said here and elsewhere.)
27th-Feb-2014 12:25 pm (UTC)
I really do like the idea that heaven needs to be re-opened so that souls can find peace

Yeah, I really like this added layer to the story line. It gives them opening Heaven more urgency. And it may even make them think that if they closed the gates of hell all the "good" and "bad" souls would be waiting in the veil together. I would love them to think about the consequences of shutting the gates of hell in all of this (maybe it's something both brothers can stop feeling guilty about).

I think there is definitely hope for a reconciliation. I know neither of them like fighting but the issues are too deep to get over it quickly - I'm glad they're not solving it immediately. In fact, I suspect the Mark will be the thing that may eventually bring them back together. Can't wait to find out!
26th-Feb-2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
I look forward to feeling joy after watching an episode rather than sadness.

Oh, wow. Yes. I thought it was only me, but . . . yes.

maybe this is being set up for a future episode where Kevin does actually begin to change and suffer and Mrs Tran has to make a choice about letting him go? Will Dean be the one to convince her to let Kevin go and maybe begin to understand what letting go and holding on means?

Though I don't want to see Kevin end up like Bobby, they've got to be leading up to something, and your comment makes perfect sense. That's one ball they really can't afford to drop, and having Kevin's plight be a catalyst for Dean . . . wow. That'd be awesome.

And yeah, as I mentioned on my post, Sam's moment of hesitation was wonderful and links nicely to Linda Tran's moment of hesitation, followed by determination to see the job through.
27th-Feb-2014 12:31 pm (UTC)
and having Kevin's plight be a catalyst for Dean . . . wow. That'd be awesome.

It really would be I think. Dean clearly cares a lot for Kevin and wouldn't it be interesting for him to realise that Mrs Tran keeping him close is only damaging Kevin. Mrs Tran would only be doing it for herself (let's say once the gates of heaven are open and she still won't let go) so maybe Dean will see something of himself in that. Also, Mrs T has got to be damaged after a year of torture - so it might make sense that she might refuse to let go (even if Kevin wants it). We know that Dean is hypocritical when it comes to Sam. One thing for him, another thing for everyone else…;)

26th-Feb-2014 03:35 pm (UTC)
You know I just wanted you to know that I have enjoyed the last two posts and share your thoughts. Thanks for sharing with us!:)
27th-Feb-2014 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm so glad you think so. :)
26th-Feb-2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
The whole episode felt so damn bleak and tiring and I just hope it get's better. It was a solid episode but I'm really missing Gamble at the moment. Whatever one may thing about her as an Executive Producer, she was a great writer and really good at writing Sam, giving us his side.
26th-Feb-2014 04:00 pm (UTC)
You are so right about Sera, she was so good at giving us at least a glimpse of Sam's pov. Miss that part she brought to the show as a writer and I liked the episodes she wrote. :)
26th-Feb-2014 03:45 pm (UTC)
Sad, wasn't it? I'm pretty much with all of your thoughts in your ep reaction.

For me it was (emotions aside) interesting to see how Sam was told by Kevin to let it go and be all peachy with Dean again just after Kevin sort of redeemed Sam from his guilt of having killed Kevin. That must have felt to Sam nearly like (uninteded, of course) emotional blackmail. So he was forced to lie to Kevin, saying, yes, yes, we will follow your advice, and now he feels even more shit because he knows he can't, he is hurting too much and feels misunderstood in his latest traumatic experiences.
That is what I got from it and I felt instant compassion for him. But also for a moment that deep, deep chasm of Sam's true emotions showed. Nearly a deep and dark a hole like the one he threw himself that day he was ready to throw his soul into the lucifer cage. :( Meanwhile, Dean thought it was all a good chance to do the hugging thing but Sam was gone and had slammed the door behind him. And Dean just doesn't understand it. Not really. And so is just as hurt and also confused by Sams attitude and deals with is the only way he knows how to: waiting for Sam to come around. Makes me feel bad for both of them. And I sincerly hope the writers find an interesting way to dissolve this. Something needs to happen that is bigger than both of them, that brings them back together despite their differences and all that has happened. Something that outweighs all the pain and brings new light to their relationship. IMO Hope show can deliver... :/

I like where things are heading with Castiel but I wish they wouldn't paint the angels as bad and even worse than the demons. It would have been nice to have given them a tint that neither humans nor demons have (other than the wings. ;) )

I liked that we got to find out that people who die now are not making it up to heaven but stuck in the lower realms. That would make for a lot of hateful and angry spirits if Heaven is not opened sooner rather than later... and yeah, maybe Kevin will go there, too. I hope not.

Next ep better be more cheerful or I'll get depressed. ;)


27th-Feb-2014 12:48 pm (UTC)
Yes yes yes. On all accounts. Kevin making them promise what tough. I mean, what can either of them say to that?

And Dean just doesn't understand it. Not really

And there it is. It's so painful for Dean because he just doesn't understand. And for me I feel like there was little Sam could actually say to Dean at this point. If Dean doesn't understand (and I really don't think he does) there's little Sam can say that will change that. I reminds me of some of the discussions that have been around about the current situation between them. Some just can't understand where Sam is coming from and even though I know the show makes it difficult to understand Sam- there's this kind of refusal to think he has a point (or even a right).

I agree that it's a shame that the angels are as bad as demons. Absolutely no differentiating them. Good to see Cas step up and be a worthy leader now.

We need more cheer!! (maybe one of the AU episodes where they live different lives or something. I'd like that).

26th-Feb-2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
Though making Sam out to be stupid by not knowing which wires to cut in order to make her look kickass was cheap. Wasn't Sam a handyman when Dean was in Purgatory? And isn't like some sort of brainiac? He'd know all about wiring….sheesh.

Thank you! That bugged me too. Continuity goes out the window once again.

I'm also glad that I'm not the only one who isn't all that interested in the angel storyline.

I'm with you on the SamnDean stuff. Even though I don't want to see it resolved so easily and instantly, it still hurts to see them like this.

Yeah, this one left me on a rather depressing note... :(

I did love them in the tight shirts at the beginning too :D And Sam's hair looked rather nice then (though it looked pretty greasy and blah to me in the rest...).

Edited at 2014-02-26 05:30 pm (UTC)
27th-Feb-2014 12:54 pm (UTC)
I want Sam's flowing locks back!! Maybe when he and Dean have kissed and made up his hair will be back to looking awesome. Definitely want more of those tight shirts!!

And some more reasons to smile...
26th-Feb-2014 08:33 pm (UTC)
I wish I hadn't been spoiled for Kevin's appearance because the first part with the haunted bunker was nicely done. We had to find out the consequences of a locked Heaven and I'm glad they gave the exposition to Kevin because it gives a human perspective on the situation rather than an angelic one. I'm glad Bartholomew is done. I'm ok with this version of Cas. I'd be ok if we got a couple of other angels we could like. You can't tell me that the only vessels available were the sales staff at Brooks Brothers. Where's my punk rock angel and my reggae angel with dreads? I also thought this one was plotted out well but melancholy. I felt like it moved some of the season arc along in an organic way. It didn't feel as contrived as some of these kind of episodes are. It also dropped another tick in the 'Crowley is bad' column and Dean is a dumbass for getting involved there at all. They gave Kevin a dad and that makes me happy for both Kevin and Mrs. Tran.

As for Sam, I don't think he lied when he promised Kevin they'd work it out. He didn't have to say that and he didn't give Kevin a timeline either. And yes, they left it to Sam to be the one to go approach Dean to move forward but I don't think it needs to be for him to apologize. They have to keep talking if they want to get past this and I'm thinking since Sam is still with Dean, he probably does still want a relationship with Dean but on a different footing. He must be able to believe that Dean can change but I think Sam knows Dean well enough to know that Dean's not going to be able to absorb any of what Sam needs him to hear right now. I have to believe this or else the idea that he's with Dean is too distressing to contemplate. The one thing that I thought was interesting in light of the fandom uproar right now is that they cut Sam's line about same circumstances from the bit about not bringing Dean back that they ran in the Then section. Probably cut for time, not content, I hope.

Still not a lot of concern for the vessels or folks being possessed and it's worse now because they have nowhere to go when they get slaughtered. Maybe they ought to unionize…...
27th-Feb-2014 05:40 am (UTC)
I actually don't think Sam should be the one to make a move, he has stated his terms and conditions, not clearly, but he did not pull the punch when he told Dean that he had a problem with what Dean had done. Now before Dean at least acknowledge there was a problem, I don't see what move he could make.

I'm kind of proud of him when he walked away, and a little surprised that Dean didn't know he was just saying yeah yeah to appease a ghost.

And really, just because your friends thought you should kiss and make up, didn't mean you should, at least not without addressing the issues.
26th-Feb-2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
there is only 1 scene i liked-Sam with the sword, boring angel scenes other than that...i dont know :(

Edited at 2014-02-26 08:55 pm (UTC)
27th-Feb-2014 12:55 pm (UTC)
Hmmm…sounds like your not enjoying the show much at the moment. ;/
27th-Feb-2014 06:22 am (UTC)
Why is it the writers keep Dean plodding along without him ever evolving? Why do they never give a satisfactory resolution for Sam? I'll be majorly pissed as well if Sam just forgives and they move on. To me, the whole point of this storyline is to force Dean to make some inner changes. They always find a way to vindicate Dean's actions and end up making Sam the bad guy. I just don't understand it.

It's always been obvious that the show revolves around Dean and his POV but Sam is not a secondary character and I'm getting a little tired of it being written that way. The show is supposed to be about the Winchester brothers after all, not the Winchesters according to Dean. I also despise it when they have Sam do something or react to something that's totally OOC. They spent years showing us how intelligent and strong Sam is but then they write in ridiculous scenarios that make him appear stupid or weak. I hate that they really are making me start to dislike Dean because his character is stagnant and goes in circles. It really is starting to look like Carver has no idea where to take things.

Plus I'd really like it now if the whole angel storyline was gotten rid of. It's tired and I'm over it. Bring back the old MOTW stories and have the angels all go live happily ever after in Heaven or something.
27th-Feb-2014 01:28 pm (UTC)
My hope is all this has been set up to move the characters along and actually address some issues that have been hanging over them for a while. It certainly looks that way - but we'll see how it all plays out. The end of last season gave us some good Sam pov I thought so maybe it's heading that way. Though, I have a feeling it's going to be very much about Dean at the end of this season - but no doubt Sam will have a part to play.

I think the angel storyline will be here to stay for a while. It's a good way to allow the Js to have some time off - especially with their young families. But yeah, nothing like a full ep of SamnDean. :))
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