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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
9.16 ep reaction/review 
19th-Mar-2014 11:22 pm
Ain't heavy


To anybody who says that the brotherhood is dead or that Sam severed all feelings of brotherhood when he said that they could only work as business partners your argument is invalid. At the heart of everything they do is their love and concern for each other. That was made evident in that episode. <3

In fact, if you didn't know there was a rather major issue between them you wouldn't even know that there was a major issue between them. Seriously. I'm not sure if that's good (even though there's hurt between them they can still work extremely well together) or bad (the issue has been set aside for this ep or ignored all together in favour of a new direction). I'm not complaining - it's nice to watch an episode that doesn't even mention it. It's even nicer to watch an episode that had the brothers connected and worried about each other (and, oh yeah, TIED UP TOGETHER! <333).

It's particularly awesome to watch Dean being consumed by something outside of himself. This episode was about addiction and to watch Dean start to succumb to that need was great to watch. I'd like to think they might draw a parallel between Sam's previous addiction. Or even Sam's lack of body control. I'm not sure if that's deliberate, but it sure is tantalising that they are flirting with it. There is also Crowley's connection to Sam through his human blood addiction. What a fabulous comparison. I loved how demon Lola even acted a little like Ruby - a seductress with a means to an ends.

Crowley's addiction was fabulous to watch (nice to see Mark stretching his acting chops). Also, the use of music in that scene was FANTASTIC!. Man, I miss the use of music in this show - that reminded me just how much.

And then we had Magnus who was addicted (obsessed) with collecting Supernatural things. I'm sure we are supposed to see the connecting thread between them all. Need, desire, power, addiction. It's all rather delicious (and Dean being stripped of his will and later clinging onto that sense of power...YUM!)

The idea that Dean could be part of a collection? KILL ME NOW!!! *thud* Such a collectable item *iz totally shallow* The Mark is going to be such an interesting storyline for Dean. I hope something actually comes of it though (other than sheer hotness!) - like drawing those parallels with Sam. Or maybe we'll get to see more of what makes Dean tick, what scares him, what thrills him - what it feels like to lose control of his body. Is killing going to be an uncontrollable addiction? And what it will take to stop him...*rubs hands*

I found the scene between Crowley and Sam curious. I felt that Sam was going to actually (finally!) say something about...something...ANYTHING. But it was left alone - it felt as if we were somehow meant to imagine what Sam would say. I'm not sure if that's Jared giving it more than is written or the fact that Sam just did not want to say anything to Crowley. It was almost like he wanted to say something but there's just too much to say to sum it up. And Crowley really isn't the person he'll open up to. I actually loved the way he kept shutting Crowley down. He's getting really good at shutting things down - including himself (and I'd love to think that's deliberate - if Dean is changing into a killing machine then maybe Sam is going to change into someone who can totally shut off his feelings).

My take on Sam (other than them really not knowing what the hell to give him to do when he's not "other") is that it's all just too much. Sam is like Dory from Finding Nemo - Just keep swimming. That's Sam. He can't wallow, he can't fight against it, he can't regret, he can't be angry, he can't share what's inside him. He just has to keep going. I think this also explains why Sam is so calm about Dean having the Mark. There's only so many times can you be surprised, shocked, hurt and dismayed about something. Just get on with solving the problem.

I thought it was a weirdly paced episode. And, as I find with most Buckner, Ross-Lemming episodes, it introduced lots of new canon (spells and history etc) and I had trouble making sense of it all. I'll have to re-watch to work some of it out (namely the ties to the MoLs).

But it was those little broment nuggets that I liked best - Sam doing everything he could to find Dean and Dean stressing big time when Sam was being hurt (seriously...did that moment just hit ever fanfic kink I own? YOU BET!). Sam talking Dean into letting go of the blade was seriously awesome and heartwarming (sorry? What was that about Sam not loving or caring about Dean?).

I also LOVED the lighting - not surprising considering Serge Ladouceur (director of photography) directed it. I wanted to post some caps but I'm running out of time. I will have to do that another time because I was drooling over some of those shots.

Overall, not a bad episode. There were some delightful moments ("not moose" being an all time favourite) and some interesting developments. It was the beginning of Dean's myth arc storyline and I'm looking forward to seeing where they take that. The jury is out on my feelings about what they plan to do with Sam - because I honestly couldn't tell by watching that. There were some hints but I have no idea if that was character development or just giving Sam screen time because, you know, he's in the show. Dean's story is about lack of control (and that delicious feeling of power) and Crowley's is about change due to addiction - themes we are familiar with.

And Crowley really does have a thing for Sam doesn't he? I wonder if that's because he was meant to be the Boy King. Or maybe it's the hair...

(oh and I have no idea who that "Snookie" person was but I hope she's not known for her acting /o\...)
Comments 
19th-Mar-2014 03:30 pm (UTC)
It's 100% deliberate. I'm sticking to my theory that this is Carver's ~correction of S4/5 and this is a direct parallel for the demon blood storyline. And Crowley is so blatantly the Ruby that I'm almost embarrassed for their lack of subtlety haha. Check out the look between Crowley and Dean while he was holding the blade. I expect a big time doublecross (Crowley and Cain in cahoots to get rid of Abaddon?)

I'm hopeful that the part where Sam talked Dean out of his trance is foreshadowing for him being the one to "save" Dean by leading him out of the darkside at the eventual conclusion of this arc (next season -- surely the cliffhanger will be Dark Dean ala Godstiel)

p.s. I love my boy, but Jensen's lip-acting was terrible :D

p.s.s. I'm betting Lola was a Damn Yankees reference

p.s.s.s. Sam and Crowley should have angsty sex

p.s.s.s.S. The whole thing was a Leonidaslion fic
19th-Mar-2014 03:41 pm (UTC)
yes yes, that's what I'm thinking too! And I have to say I'm intrigued to see what the role reversal will look like. Please be awesome!

I gotta say that if Sam doesn't get to save Dean I might just have to CRY! If someone else takes that away from him....*rolls up sleeves*

p.s.: actually, not overly impressed with some of Js the acting in this ep...(*ducks*)
p.s.s: I'll have to check that out
p.s.s.s. IT HAS TO HAPPEN! (though...MS doesn't really do it for me so can Crowley possess Dean when that happens...? Totally wrong of course but...so YUM!)
p.s.s.s.s: Oh my god yes.
19th-Mar-2014 03:34 pm (UTC)
I shouldn't even be commenting because I won't actually get to watch the ep till tonight or tomorrow, but I think it's fascinating that at the moment Sam is the closest thing in the major cast to a stable, grounded, species-appropriate (I want to say human, but that doesn't really fit the non-human characters!) self. Dean has the Mark of Cain. Crowley has his addiction, his taint of humanity. And [spoiler from Vegascon]Cas is operating on alien grace, and Misha is said to have said that that was going to be an issue. Despite the fact that Sam in the first half of the season went through the latest in his series of estrangements and violations of selfhood, right now he's in the novel position of being the one who is whole, who is himself. And I think, despite his anger at Dean (and fandom's anger at him!), he's also to some extent found his footing a bit in his relationships. He's come out and said that family isn't necessarily a good thing, that it's been a matrix of damage, that sacrifice can be selfish, that the sacrificer may be using the object of the sacrifice. Those are hurtful truths and they are partial truths, but they are truths, and I think Sam's "just keep swimming" may have less of an element of panic to it than it has in the past, that he may actually be at a point where he can look at Dean's experience, and maybe Crowley's, and the echoes of his own, and decide what to do about it, and be able to act on it. I hope so, anyway. (I do like that Sam remains hostile to Crowley. Someone should be, for Pete's sake, he's done them more damage than Abaddon. But I also think that Sam might eventually arrive at a point where he could have sympathy for Crowley's painfully hybrid moral state, as well.)
19th-Mar-2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
Nicely put! Especially this: I do like that Sam remains hostile to Crowley. Someone should be, for Pete's sake, he's done them more damage than Abaddon. But I also think that Sam might eventually arrive at a point where he could have sympathy for Crowley's painfully hybrid moral state, as well. I saw one reviewer who criticized Sam for being snarky with Crowley. What, really? Crowley has not even come CLOSE to repenting, that's plainly obvious. And sure enough, come the end, *poof* ... off he went with the Holy Jawbone of an Ass.





Edited at 2014-03-19 09:45 pm (UTC)
19th-Mar-2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
Great review. And there's no reason to know who/what Snooki is.
20th-Mar-2014 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think I might be rather blessed not ever having seen her before...;)
19th-Mar-2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
I love the lighting too. Don't know if this one is what you wanted to post here :)
perfection
20th-Mar-2014 12:26 am (UTC)
Oh, my. The lighting, but so much more than the lighting.
19th-Mar-2014 04:19 pm (UTC)
" There's only so many times can you be surprised, shocked, hurt and dismayed about something. Just get on with solving the problem." That is exactly what I've been thinking and saying about Sam since Dean was whisked off to Purgatory. I think Sam has been barely functioning since that moment because he was just overloaded - 'does not compute...does not compute...' and to a certain extent, he went into shut down and conserve mode. He might have been emerging from that but then was whammied with the Trial-side effects, then Gadreel...

But that doesn't mean that is what the writers think though! I do still worry about them.

Still. This was fun for all the reasons you mention and I was both surprised and thankful when I saw who wrote it - surprised it worked so well and thankful that particular team stayed away from the important emotional threads!

Mmm I'd add Dean to my collection any day, especially with his machete thigh holster. Yum.
20th-Mar-2014 02:20 pm (UTC)
I think Sam has been barely functioning since that moment because he was just overloaded

Yes indeed. We had that sense after Dean returned and then after they got back together. The trials seems to give him focus and then he just had to go along for the ride. He seemed ok at the beginning of S9 (but not all him) and now he's just kinda over it all.

surprised it worked so well and thankful that particular team stayed away from the important emotional threads!

Yes! I'm glad they weren't tasked with writing emotional confrontations between the boys.
19th-Mar-2014 04:19 pm (UTC)
A++ to your entire first paragraph. Perhaps this episode will quiet the doomsayers. (Probably not, but a girl can hope.) Oh, I do like this review. I hadn't considered Lola as another Ruby, but now that you mention it . . .

Sam doing everything he could to find Dean and Dean stressing big time when Sam was being hurt

Sam getting back to his brainy, problem-solver roots. Spellwork. Latinating. YES. And omg, did you hear Dean's growl when Magnus cut Sam the second time. Whoa. (I seriously cannot WAIT to see Dean go darkside, because WOW.)

And nevermind Snooki. You really don't wanna know. :D
20th-Mar-2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
Perhaps this episode will quiet the doomsayers.

hee! Nope. I haven't gone looking but I've already heard Sam has copped it. He can't win - but I'm a bit like Sam. time to just accept it and move on. ;)

And omg, did you hear Dean's growl when Magnus cut Sam the second time.

OH GOD!! HIT EVERY FRICKIN KINK I HAVE! I love that these two can have all these problems between them but as soon as someone hurts the other THERE IS GROWLING!!!
19th-Mar-2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
I noted the fantastic lighting and (what I consider) pretty derned good direction, so it pleases me muchly to discover that Serge did it!

Great review, Ash. Sam's return to a functioning character is delightful, Dean's slippery slope into darkness is delightful, let's just say I was delighted all 'round!

Snooki even delighted me. No, she's not an actress; she's a reality TV star from the old MTV series "Jersey Beach", I think they called it? Perfect casting. ;)

FINALLY an episode I can't wait to rewatch! \0/!!
20th-Mar-2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
I think Serge did a great job! I fangirl him pretty hard. :))

Sam's return to a functioning character is delightful, Dean's slippery slope into darkness is delightful,

Agreed! Sam actually got to DO STUFF! And be snarky. And smart. And protective . Woot!

I think the Snooki thing might have worked really well for those who know her (and I assume she was a good sport doing that), but wow - couldn't act and it felt really awkward. But I think in context it sounds like it worked. :)

I'm looking forward to rewatching too!! (especially growly, protective boys...;D)
xx
19th-Mar-2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
Nice review! Gotta disagree that it was nice not to hear mention of The Betrayal, but if this is this season's Taxi Driver (So. MUCH. NEW CANON.) then I count the ep as a win.
19th-Mar-2014 06:24 pm (UTC)
Personally, I needed the down-time from the emotional tension between the boys. It was exhausting. From a writer's standpoint, I think it was a good move. It was either that or have an episode that was all Castiel's angel politics. This was BY FAR the better choice. ;)
19th-Mar-2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh and when you are looking at caps and your usual lighting, colours, symbolism thingy - lookee - Dean in plaid, Sam not, Dean with a dark red t shirt under his plaid, Sam in blue...but Dean in blue overshirt...what does it all MEAN??!


And I'm pretty sure that yellowy brown plaid shirt was the one worn by Jensen last year at JIB...I need to have a quick comparison now.

Ah not the same, similar


Argh sorry about the HUGE image! I've edited now I've found out how to get a smaller size on imgur!

Edited at 2014-03-19 06:30 pm (UTC)
19th-Mar-2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
I don't have a pic of it, but I was ridiculously excited to see Sam in that shirt with the maroon-and-olive stripes again. Looks good on him. :D
19th-Mar-2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
i thought the ep was ok. i also dont understand the new canon . i agree with everything.

quote from season 6, episode 14- Sam-what's a Snooki? Dean- that's a good ?. Snooki was on a reality show called Jersey Shore.

Edited at 2014-03-19 07:42 pm (UTC)
20th-Mar-2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
New canon always take a while to sink in.

Oh so a reality show star. Hmmm..makes sense she's cast as a demon then. :)
19th-Mar-2014 07:57 pm (UTC)
I cant wait to get home from work and re-watch this episode. Best ep in a long while. Loved how different it was . Everyone wants Dean including that cougar in the beginning...lol. Cant blame them but when creepy pervy Magnus threw Sam out I LOL!
19th-Mar-2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
Pfft, I'd keep both of the Winchesters. ;) A nicely matched set!
19th-Mar-2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
The idea that Dean could be part of a collection? KILL ME NOW!!! *thud* Such a collectable item *iz totally shallow*

Personally, I feel he was wearing way too many clothes to be an appropriate part of such a collection. I mean, Magnus got fancy gold cuffs on his arms but kept his plaid and denim on? Please. *sees your shallow and raises it*
20th-Mar-2014 02:59 pm (UTC)
haha! Yes yes! :DD These boys wear far too many clothes. Tied up AND shirtless...now we're talking. (*remembers a certain Smallville ep of Jensen tied up shirtless*)
19th-Mar-2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
Hey. I just thought of something. What if Creepy Cougar was actually a demon? Or an angel, for that matter? A spy, or someone with her own agenda (other than getting into Dean's pants?) I'd kinda love to see her pop up again!
20th-Mar-2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
I'd love to see her again! I thought she was great and actually Dean with an older woman... Why does that appeal so much to me? *has nothing to do with my age of course*
19th-Mar-2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! (To your review and the episode!) I really enjoyed this episode and it left me feeling gooood which SPN hasn't done in a while because I've found the rift painful to watch.

Sam talking Dean into letting go of the blade was seriously awesome and heartwarming (sorry? What was that about Sam not loving or caring about Dean?).

Hell yeah. The way Sam spoke to Dean in that bit turned me to mush, you could hear how much he cares about Dean! I could just sit and doodle hearts now. ♥ ♥ ♥ *happy sigh*
20th-Mar-2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
The rift is SO hard to watch.

Sam might be pissed but that doesn't mean he doesn't care! I'm so glad they haven't decided to write it so neither of them worries about the other. It would be so out of character.
19th-Mar-2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
I really liked the episode. Sam snarking at Crowley amused me greatly and it was a nice break from the brotherly angst to have the boys actually communicating. Not to mention all the dangerous!Dean hotness or the general prettiness of the ep thanks to Serge.

\o/
20th-Mar-2014 03:53 pm (UTC)
yes yes and yes. Snarky Sam always delights me and dangerous!Dean stirs things in me. Damn this show and making them so delicious when I actually want to be able to quit! (well, not really...just some times!!)
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