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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
10.04 Reaction/review 
30th-Oct-2014 08:11 pm
Ain't heavy

*checks the show I'm watching*. Yep. It says "Supernatural" and yet we had not one, not two, not even three bro talking scenes, but five! And not just little snippets but actual conversations. AND WITH THE GREEN COOLER! *picks self up off the ground*

That was a lot of talking. <3

I'm in two minds about the one because on the one hand we had all those bro!moments that we have been lacking for SOOOOO long but on the other hand it felt a little forced and there just to keep fans happy. I know that's a little cynical and I really shouldn't complain as it was actually really satisfying to have them not only talk, but actually listen to each other. Mostly.

I'm just a little confused about what we take away from this. Maybe it was to smooth things over until the next blow up. Maybe we were actually meant to believe all that (sorry but...) crap about "who's the biggest monster". I realise this is only episode 4 of 23 so there is perhaps a heap more to play out yet but it's just really hard to believe some of the conversations they were having.

Before I dissect that, I have to say I am a big fan of MoTW episodes. I like the boys on the road, working out a case, being in the car, drinking beers, being in peril, beating the "baddies" and getting back on the road. There's just something about the familiarity that's comforting somehow.

I really enjoyed watching this episode. It was "easy" watching compare to the angsty eps. I laughed at their sunglasses, awwwww'd because we saw the cooler again, was smiling as they discussed and worked out the case, felt annoyed when they got caught so easily (so used to this now I don't even need to *handwave*), did some eye rolling at how obvious they were making the parallels between the sisters and the brothers and enjoyed some droll one-liners. I wasn't particularly bored (though the werewolf story wasn't really working for me) and I couldn't identify too many holes as I was watching.


I've had some time to think more about this one and I just don't know what to do with it all. I can't tell if what we saw in this episode was part of character arcs or just poorly observed and remembered canon. Given the amount of canon mistakes (or resets) during S8 and S9 I am feeling more and more convinced that there is actually no "real" attempt at making sense of what comes out of Sam and Dean's mouths.

Here's the thing. Dean progressed through this episode. He started in a place of denial (I'm going to deflect all this and instead focus on how screwed up Sam is) and ended up with some sort of acceptance about himself (I am so sick and tired of doing the wrong thing). On that level I liked a lot of what was being attempted with Dean. It's very much in character for him to not want to talk about what he went through, get straight back into work, focus on Sam and deny there's any problem. It's even pretty typical for him to "finally" see some part of what's wrong (I'm thinking about the end of Bloodlust where Dean understand more about "shades of grey").

But then it seems totally ridiculous to me that Dean would raise the issue of Sam luring Lester and then force Sam to admit that he turned "dark". It's so shallow and empty considering everything we know about what Sam has done in the past (and Dean knows) and what Dean has also done. It could be argued that Dean was simply deflecting and trying to take heat off himself by focussing on Sam but that dialogue felt so clunky and just downright nasty. I wanted to slap Dean upside the head and remind him of what Sam has been through. And maybe that's the point. If I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt I'd say they are showing us a side of Dean that IS pretty nasty. It could suggest that the mark is still at work and Dean is speaking his actual mind. Let's not forget that Dean was "nearly human" when he still filled with the desire to kill Sam. I'm sure that they are not suggesting that Dean has any real ill will toward Sam, but it makes me wonder if that's an area they are heading in (my speculation is that at some point one brother will have to kill the other - not in order to die, but in order to save. Probs won't happen, but with the Mark and the Cain story there's got to be something like this on the horizon, surely).

Considering how horrible both these boys have been portrayed over the last 2 seasons, I'll not be surprised if we are going to be looking at this darker side to Dean. The demon may be gone, but he seems to be harbouring some bitterness toward Sam. I'd say that he's still feeling hurt over Sam's words to him last season and maybe even hurting over the fact that Sam didn't look for him when he was in Purgatory, but, to be honest I just can't tell if Carver is playing this really long game (over three seasons) or making it up as he goes. And it does seem likely that Sam's words will be remembered and revisited and not actually what happened to him. As there's been absolutely NO reference to either Dean's actions last season or Sam's possession we have to assume that just like Sam's early S8 story line, it's going to be ignored.

The "making it up as he goes" was reflected quite well in this episode by the attempt at having the sisters story paralleling the brothers. I would love to think that their story reflected last seasons situation (Sam's dying, Dean brings him back to life but instead of it going well he's created a "monster" and the thing inside Sam killed a close friend of theirs), but I'm sure it's supposed to reflected the demon!Dean story. Tasha is Dean - he's dying, he becomes a monster and his brother is put in a position where he might have to kill him. But that's where the parallel ends because unlike Tasha and Kate's story the WAS a cure and Sam didn't kill Dean. So, um…*shrugs* what was the "moral" there? That they got "lucky" and Dean survived? For us to see how wonderful it is that Sam and Dean have each other still? I suspect it's about realising that Sam DIDN'T have to kill Dean so, um, yay.

Whereas I LOVED seeing all the scenes of the brothers talking and it "felt" like they've come to some kind of temporary reprieve from their disconnect, the fact that Dean was so harsh on Sam left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. Not least because I think WE are supposed to come away thinking "oh yes, look how dark Sam became. I can't believe he crossed that line. I can see he loves his brother but that's just too far Sam!". Which, ::cough:: BULLSHIT! Was that about that? Were we simply being told this so they don't have to be subtle about it? I can't believe they actually used the word "dark". A whole season of "dark" Sam and I don't think that word was used once. We SAW it, we watched and experienced it. We didn't have to have dialogue telling us this is going on. We are smarted than that.

I am also confused about what we have to feel from Sam in all this. Dean rides him for going "dark" in order to find him and Sam pretty much just takes it on the chin. He even confesses to more than Dean accused him off. That's actually typical Sam in many ways. I think he's learned that Dean is usually disappointed in him, so seeing Sam accept it with little resistance is quite in character. And I'm not being mean on Dean here. I think Dean is actually very proud of his little brother, but that's not the way Sam sees it. Dean riding him because he "crossed a line" was expected and accepted. It breaks my heart and is probably why I didn't come away thinking all the "brother feels" were necessarily good feels.

And true to form, with Dean's final words we are back to feeling sympathy toward Dean. Dean just can't catch a break. He saves his brother and it backfires on him, he accepts the Mark in order to kill Abbaddon and as a result when he dies he's reborn a demon and he "embarrassed" himself as a demon (and really, that's all Dean was. An embarrassment. Sure, he beat up a guy and killed a guy - but he has an excuse so does that really count? He doesn't seemed to have done anything that dark - unless there's a reveal later on with more details on what Dean got up to as a demon. It just feels like there needs to be more. Surely a demon who didn't actually do anything demonic and a desperate brother who merely led a would be murderer to the crossroads is not all there is? *reminds self only 4 out of 23 episodes*. (nNot that I actually want there to be more. Carver seems intent at shredding these characters down to their base level, and it's very difficult to watch at times).

I don't know. I suppose I felt like it lacked fineness. I hate to criticise any writing because I couldn't do it, but after 10.02 I thought we might have turned a corner in the storytelling.

That's not to take away the fact that watching the Js work so seamlessly together was a joy. There were gorgeous little moments of wordless communications and lots and lots of wordFUL communications. Lots to dissect and chew over. Though more and more I'm thinking it's just not worth the thinking about. Maybe I just need to put my Teen Wolf watching head on and not try to make sense of it all. Stuff is said just to give us drama and then next week it will either be passed over or the next writer will add their spin on it.

For a mere MoTW episode I think there was a lot going on. Whether intentional or not I don't know. I'd say I don't care, but clearly I do. For the last two season my mantra has been - wait and see, it's all part of an overall arc. I want to say that now but I just don't believe there is an arc that will ever be resolved or ever really means anything. But dammit - I'll dissect it anyway. ;D

Other things:

As I said above, the werewolf story wasn't doing a lot for me. I appreciated the attempt at drawing parallels with the story but I felt that the actress playing Kate just didn't quite have the acting chops to bring the much needed gravitas to carry off killing her sister. I think if we were able to really feel what it must be like to fully realise her mistake and then have to actually do what fate had originally intended - the death of a family member, then maybe that parallel would have been much more powerful. Whereas Sam didn't end up having to kill Dean, Kate did and we needed see what it might have been like for Sam if he had to do that. If that was the point of the parallel stories then seeing her absolute devastation over what she had to do would have worked so much better. As would have her lone journey at the end. We've seen Sam on the lone road (way back in S1) and it would have been an additional parallel. It's probably a big ask but both the actress and director needed to know what had to happen in that scene (or was that just me? I felt I should have been crying at that point, instead it was just run of the mill. Not least because we knew it was coming).

Strange how Cas can be in 3 episodes and then not even a mention in this one. It's nothing that concerns me particularly but if they keep trying to sell that Cas is a major part of their lives for him to not even be mentioned in passing is weird. I suppose we have to assume Sam returned, they ate food and Sam filled Dean in on everything that had happened.

Sam's hair is killing me. Seriously! Not only have they been messing around with his character they are messing around with his hair! Get rid of that damn bob! Argh!

LOVED "taking some WE time". They are SO conjoined.

Dean ribbing Sam for his hurt elbow both irked me (some sympathy Dean!) and pleased the hell out of me. I think it was Sam's reaction - getting grief for an injury is such a big brother thing and Sam was loving it! It's moments like that where they seem just like real brothers.

Dean thanked Sam which was wonderful and Sam said he didn't have to ever say that. <3

Sam had little moments where you could see how happy he was to have Dean back. Little smirks and knowing glances.

I liked some of the role reversal. Dean being captured and threatened instead of Sam. Sam killing the baddies by himself. No knocked out Sam!

Dean was suitably "off" and Jensen continues to work this new version of Dean (I am going with it being deliberate and not wacky characterisations).

I know I've been overly picky. I really did enjoy watching this one though. Each bro scene was a joy, it was nice to have them back together and actually trying to talk things out. They weren't always easy talks - but if they were then I'd know FOR SURE that I wasn't watching Supernatural.

Poll #1987339 10.04 rating

10.04 was

Awesome! So many bro feels!
Pretty good! I enjoyed most of it.
Ok. There were some problems, which was a shame.
Meh. Felt forced and didn't resonate much with me.
Nope. Did nothing for me. :(
30th-Oct-2014 12:52 pm (UTC)
Well, I roll between cynicism and reckless optimism but I'm hoping it felt wrong and forced because it was meant to, because there's something rotten in the state of Deanmark :P

My theory here: http://fanspired.livejournal.com/45322.html
30th-Oct-2014 12:59 pm (UTC)
Haha! State of Deanmark..;)

I would love to think they are clever enough to dropping hints, but argh…my cynicism sneaks in and just don't trust them. Though, there's definitely going to be more and I suspect Dean is going to testing Sam with his comments or actions in the future - and no doubt cause much gnashing of teeth from fans.
30th-Oct-2014 12:59 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I didn't see Dean being mean towards Sam at all in those talks. Likewise, Sam wasn't mean towards Dean. They seemed to really be treating one another with kid gloves (hence, the awkwardness) and feeling out each other's thoughts and emotions. There was a little kidding, some snarkiness, but no accusations, no hurt feelings between them. In fact they both wanted to make sure they weren't starting anything that would start a fight (I'm not trying to start anything...).

I get Dean not wanting to talk about his demon days. He didn't want to talk about hell either. He's easily embarrassed by his actions because he's not proud over what he did, even if it was out of his control. So I do get him deflecting and instead getting Sam to talk about what he did...though there's a strong indication Dean already knows. I'd like to think there's more that Dean did as a demon that we have yet to find out about as well.

I loved their conversations and it was so nice to see them actually TALKING instead of fighting and then separating like we saw time and again last season.
30th-Oct-2014 01:17 pm (UTC)
I agree. It was wonderful to see them talking and more than just a few words. I suppose I am little protective at Sam at times so I know that clouds the way I view things. When Dean starting calling him on what he did to find him my immediate reactions was "seriously? you want to talk about crossing lines?" - but then realised that neither Dean nor the show consider what he did last season as crossing a line so I have to adjust the way I see Dean and take it from where he is now. though, I suspect there's more to find about about Dean also, so I think there might have been an attempt to draw attention away from that.

That was the only scene that I really struggled with. Dean KNOWS what it's like to see a dying brother. He knows what it's like to carry a corpse and lay it on a bed. He's made deals with demons and angels to bring his brother back and here he is riding Sam for setting a trap (and I'm torn between thinking they've forgotten all that, or they are revisiting it and drawing the parallels between them). It could be awesome characterisations - them BOTH coming to an understanding of how far is too far - or it could be an attempt to start them on a road to fighting over who is the biggest monster. I hope the former as I think that discussion needs to be had between them. I just hope they don't try and put one in a place as being worse than the other. That would be tedious as I want to see them fight on the same side against ANOTHER evil - not between themselves.

But progress was made in that they had the talks, they didn't fight, they stayed together and both on them had their say. I'd say that was mostly a win. :)
30th-Oct-2014 01:05 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed it but there were a few things that irked me. The parallels were obvious but didn't work as well as they possibly could have. I did come away from it thinking that after a few things Dean said to Kate, both boys are very frightened about what will happen because of the Mark - Dean especially. Why didn't they put Kate in touch with Garth so she could stay on the straight and narrow, and not be so alone? Yet another piece of canon forgotten?

I did watch an interview with Jared earlier today - I think it was from the 200th episode bash - where he said the flashbacks of what Sam did will continue throughout the season, so there's obviously a lot more to it. *sigh* I fear Sam will end up being the 'wrong' brother again.

I thought Dean needling Sam, both about his injury, and what he did while trying to save him, was in-character. Dean loves Sam and would give his life for him in a heartbeat but he's always been over-critical and unforgiving of him, and yes, sometimes a little mean. But I think that's always been there. I could cite multiple examples from almost every season. I think he wants Sam to be perfect, and when he's not, he's disappointed so he calls him on it, even the times when Sam isn't in the wrong. (Blaming him at the church for coming back from the cage soulless springs to mind.) That said, I think they were actually really careful of one another here, with both trying hard not to hurt the other. I don't think Dean was intentionally mean at all.

I loved the brother feels though, so overall I liked it. It was good to see a MOTW episode. But I definitely think we're heading for a Cain and Abel like fratricide attempt somewhere down the line.

Edited at 2014-10-30 01:08 pm (UTC)
30th-Oct-2014 01:41 pm (UTC)
Garth was forgotten and yeah, poor Kate was left alone as last time. I think it was meant to be poignant ("monsters" are loners) or if Sam had ended up killing Dean, that would have been Sam. The remembering Garth and helping Kate out might have been a really nice touch.

I fear Sam will end up being the 'wrong' brother again.

Yeah. I think so. If we look at Carver's pattern he's following S5 - so we have Sam who wanted "normal" (S1) and now a renewed "dark" Sam arc (S4). It's clearly about saving Dean but whatever happens he won't be sympathetic I suspect. Mainly because he rarely is (other than to those who see beneath what they keep trying to make us believe about him). Considering we had Dean as a demon and most people want him back means that no matter what happens to Dean, he can't be made "bad". It may be a theme of the show Sam = dark/aligned with Hell and Dean = light/aligned with Heaven. Even though I actually see that reversed, but that's my personal reading on the characters.

I don't think Dean was intentionally mean at all.

Agreed. I don't think he was intentionally mean. Actually, I wonder know how much of what Dean says is what people think Sam needs to hear anyway. Sam is still in the wrong from last season, so no matter what Dean says is justified for that (that's not my thinking of course, but considering I've seen comments that say Sam still hasn't said thank you or let Dean know how much he's appreciated I think Dean is voicing what's expected). I think there was a heap going on for Dean in this episode - Jensen was doing a great job of trying to find Dean's new headspace.

That said, I think they were actually really careful of one another here, with both trying hard not to hurt the other.

Yeah. Maybe. It just felt weird that Dean called Sam out on what he did. He knows what it's like to see a dead brother so he would have TOTAL understanding of what Sam did. So much so, I would have imagined him trying to help Sam come to grips with it (and helping him not feel bad about it) instead of saying - why don't you feel bad about what you did? I have no problem with Dean calling Sam out on it (that needs to happen between them!), but I suppose I would have loved to have seen some understanding of what Sam's been through. It's been an ordeal for Sam too and Dean's is essentially to blame for it (not directly - he didn't mean to die and be changed into a demon, but he did take on the mark which lead to this situation- so, yeah. Some empathy might have been nice. But I don't blame Dean either because ARGH! he was a demon!).

I think fratricide is on the cards. Won't happen of course, but I'm sure we'll see the mid season head toward this.

30th-Oct-2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
I think I have read too many good fanfics with brother dialog because the attempted conversations here felt off to me, and I think you hit on why--the whole Dean calling Sam 'dark' bit and bringing up Lester hit me wrong:

...that dialogue felt so clunky and just downright nasty. I wanted to slap Dean upside the head and remind him of what Sam has been through.

And the dig about Sam's shoulder injury at the start didn't feel like Dean to me either, though I seem to be in the minority.

All those 'I'm good' exchanges...Sam kept hinting that he thought Dean 'wasn't ready' but why not say what he thinks Dean isn't ready for? Maybe I'm thinking too much of early Sam calling Dean out for reckless behavior after John died or during season 3 where his words gave Dean something to push against, whereas now he just lets Dean slide. And that is probably the point, that Sam has come to realize he can't push his brother verbally. I just liked it better the other way...

I just can't tell if Carver is playing this really long game (over three seasons) or making it up as he goes.

I'm not holding up much hope for a coherent story line that I'm going to like from Carver anymore :(

And I am absolutely terrified over what episode 200 is going to be like...
30th-Oct-2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
And the dig about Sam's shoulder injury at the start didn't feel like Dean to me either, though I seem to be in the minority.

It really riled me when I first heard it too. Then when sam responded I thought maybe it was about showing them being the teasing bros again. Either that, or it was a taste of the less caring Dean we're used to seeing. And it might just be that - this Dean might be less protective of Sam. It will be so hard to watch, if that's what they are doing.

Sam kept hinting that he thought Dean 'wasn't ready' but why not say what he thinks Dean isn't ready for?

I got the feeling that Dean understood what Sam was talking about - it was one thing that I felt might not needed to have been said. And I think Sam knows there's just no stopping Dean if he has his mind set on something. But yes, the fact that Dean was so itching to get back to the hunt should probably have set more alarm bells for Sam.

Something I did like, was the suggestion that neither of them were really ready to go back and yet they both needed it. Sunning themselves by the lack seemed so out of place for them. Deliberately so!
30th-Oct-2014 01:40 pm (UTC)
I liked this episode. IDK, I didn't see this one as a "mere MoTW episode," as there was too much interconnection between the Kate and Tasha story and what has happened / is happening with Sam and Dean. (I definitely connected how Kate saved her sister with what Dean did at the beginning of S9.) I loved how Sam did all the saving -- twice stopping Dean from killing Kate, taking out the wannabe werewolves single-handed, and saving his brother. (And yes, no concussion!Sam this week, yay! Though he did get choked a few times . . . ) Dean felt "off" to me, too, but moreso because he's not 100% Dean yet. He's still being affected by the Mark -- and tbh, I'm still not entirely sure that demon!Dean is truly gone.

Dean teased Sam about his arm, but it wasn't a lack of sympathy -- like you say, it's just what real siblings do. :)

eta: Love your analysis, btw!

Edited at 2014-10-30 01:41 pm (UTC)
30th-Oct-2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
and tbh, I'm still not entirely sure that demon!Dean is truly gone.

Me neither! I like the little hints that something is not quite right. The mark will be having an effect and I'm sure what Dean said and did as a demon will be playing on his mind.

And yes, no concussion!Sam this week, yay! Though he did get choked a few times . . .

That's because his neck is so irresistible! :D I'm glad Sam's head was spared this time! And hey - some Dean manhandling is always nice. ;) And what did he say when he was told to get to his knees? Something that made me quiver…

And I agree - it wasn't a "mere MoTW" ep. It wove in so much of what's been going on. And thank goodness it address stuff between them and we didn't get an episode that ignored what's gone before!

Thanks hun! I know I get overly thinky about the show….but, it's kind of fun. :)
30th-Oct-2014 02:02 pm (UTC)
Intresting summary always enjoy what others think of eps. So far thanks to my trusty Ipad and Itunes have watched all 4 eps in a row and watched Tuesday alot and I enjoyed the boys lounging because we rarely see that and I like Dean took Cas's advice to not hunt right away not sure how much time passed from Cas saying that to there sitting and drinking beer. And I feel so bad for Osric he is going to be glad when the arm thing is stopped being discussed. Every eps so far; poor guy. And I like how Sam asks Dean how he is but how they both went and read about a hunt. I like typical Dean wants to get back in the game and he usually does that is him I think hunting keeps his mind off stuff. But to me this is very reflective of S1 of the boys together and Sam and his freaky visions and him having demon blood in his veins. Well now we have Dean with the mark and Sam playing big brother and Dean being Sam where it is going to be constant how are you doing type stuff. Role reversal. I get that sam is worried about Dean going dark side but you can see it all over Deans face and I think that is why he is off his game right now killing things and getting caught. If I shoot this wolfman will i go dark. If I kill this will I go dark? That is going to be on his mind. You can see it is and that is why if he isn't dark now then he has a lot of good he would like to do if that is the way this is going to go. And I think if Sam takes over the Dean role and watching over Dean constantly to make sure he doesn't go dark you know its going to wear thin because Sam didn't enjoy it in those seasons he had demon blood and visions Dean watching over him. I mean when Sam told Dean about carrying his corpse to his bed and such Dean could have reflected on when he did that with Sam's body. So I think right now they are walking in each others shoes but the intresting part will be will we get a Dean that will start killing things when he goes on a hunt or will he always be hesitant on what the mark will do. And sam should know the signs of when Dean is going dark of course they are talking now unlike last season so maybe with them closer might be hard to tell. But will be intresting and can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings. I am looking forward to more Dean and the mark of Cain story I just wish they would bring Cain back. Be curious if he could mentor dean but then Cain is a demon so he can maintain the mark and its power Dean isn't anymore unless a little demon is running through him or else we will have dean in puking his guts up again until he kills or gets the blade from crowley so many intresting ways the season could go.
1st-Nov-2014 01:06 am (UTC)
not sure how much time passed from Cas saying that to there sitting and drinking beer.

I wonder about that too. I'd say not much. Show usually goes in "real time" - so probably since the last episodes.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It does look like there is some role reversal so far - Dean on a potential "dark" journey (rather ironic considering he's just been a demon) and Sam will be watching him closely. Probably a bit like in S2 when Dean went off the rails a bit (and S3!).

I too am looking forward to seeing how the Mark of Cain story plays out. I would love to think they have something up their sleeves that we don't know about. I like being surprised.
30th-Oct-2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
I saw Dean's digging into Sam's past as a distraction from his own crimes, like "we're equally bad so don't call me on my bad behavior". It's gotta be really hard for Dean, who's ALWAYS had the moral high ground til now.
1st-Nov-2014 02:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, he may be looking at it like that. I think Dean knows how much he crosses that line - he has to know that making a crossroad Deal was not a good think to do. He hated it when John did it for him but when it comes to Sam all lines are crossable. And I love that part of the story line - as long as Dean is allowed to reflect on that (and not in the form of guilt or self loathing). Sam's crossed lines also - usually in revenge. Now he's doing it for Dean's life so, really, neither of them can call each other on it (but probably will do, as that's what creates the drama).

Oops - blathered a bit. Still working some of this out in my head. ;).
30th-Oct-2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
The parallels didn't work because they start with the parallel and then try to layer it over the story -- like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Carver has NO PLAN. Repeat it with me -- CARVER HAS NO PLAN.

That whole section about ~dark Sam~ was off because even Jensen and Jared don't believe it was that bad and couldn't hide the fact that the dialogue was stupid.

Poor Jared looked like Ray Charles in those sunglasses.

The boys are beautiful and they are enjoying their life together in the boathouse, so just focus on that, Ash, and you'll be much happier about life.

30th-Oct-2014 02:37 pm (UTC)
See, I have this crazy desire to be able to say at the end of all this - see JC, there was a plan!! I have a secret hope for this. Which I know won't happen - but I can live in hope. The fact that NOTHING has tied into, well, anything makes me realise there is no overall plan. I just wish that didn't drive me crazy the way it does.

The boathouse is happy making indeed! Much more happy making than trying to work out what's going on with S&D (won't stop me trying though…;D)

30th-Oct-2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
I do think a lot of what Dean is doing is trying to keep the power structure that he is used to and comfortable with in place. Dean has pretty much always made the decisions on how they live, what they hunt and when they hunt. Dean has always believed he has the high moral ground and/or better reasoning and uses that to keep his place as highest ranking officer in the Winchester Family Army Against Monsters. I don't think he knows how to deal with the change in status. So he talks about Sam's injury and demeans it, talking about crybaby pie because Sam really ISN'T 100% physically, making it sound more like Sam could do more but is being a crybaby about it. The same thing is going on with Lester. Dean was a demon and he did bad things. I mean we weren't shown anything really awful, but he WAS a demon so he had to do more than kill other demons and be a bad boyfriend. He doesn't want to face that. Up until now, Sam has always been the one to do bad things. So Dean fixates on telling Sam how DARK Sam went to find him partly in order to make Dean feel he didn't do anything so bad and partly to reset the dynamic between the two of them to what it has usually been.

Dean thanked Sam which was wonderful and Sam said he didn't have to ever say that. Being nitpicky here, but Dean actually didn't thank Sam. He said he hadn't thanked him/should thank him (I can't remember the exact words) and proceeded to continue to not thank him. Sam did wave it off with his "you don't need to" response, but the cold fact is, Dean didn't thank Sam or apologize for trying to beat Sam to death with a hammer.

I read the lj entry about how Dean may not be cured. I have mixed feelings about that. The Demon!Dean story was over way too fast, and he didn't do anything particularly demonic that we saw. He was a jerk and violent, but I've dated worse jerks and scanning the newspapers bring up all sorts of humans who are as violent if not more so. So I feel a bit cheated on Demon!Dean and would enjoy finding out that DD is still there, playing a long con. My problem is, if this is what's going on, then Sam's saving Dean never happened and we are back to Sam the screw up. He couldn't save Dean from going to Hell. He not only didn't stop the Apocalypse, he started it. He took on his Hell memories so Dean wouldn't be out there alone, and made no difference because Castiel was too strong to kill. He didn't rescue Dean from Purgatory, or even know Dean needed to be rescued. He didn't finish the Trials. He didn't even go with Dean to fight Metatron. The last two were because of Dean's actions, but they still have Sam failing at the big wins. Sam did jump into the Cage to save the world, but the show doesn't care about the world, the show cares about Dean and Sam saving the world made Dean sad. So I want Sam to actually have this win. I want him to have saved Dean from being a demon. Because he deserves to have saved Dean and because if he didn't save Dean then a certain faction is going to demand that Cas be the one to save Dean and that is a scenario that I DO NOT WANT!

As to Lester, I think there might be something hinky about that whole situation. Lester set the land speed record for accepting a deal. Sam had no chance to stop him. Crowley knew Sam wanted to find him. Crowley knew Sam was desperate and willing to do questionable things. What if Lester had already made a deal, and Crowley offered him an out by having Lester trick Sam into telling him about the CRD and selling his soul. In one way it's not a big difference, because Sam was willing to risk Lester's damnation, but we know that Dean killed Lester before his deal could be completed. I'm probably wrong, but if I'm not, the next question is was Dean in on the con? Because his constant bringing up of Sam's darkness with Lester, all while not telling him that Lester avoided Hell, has a totally different meaning if Sam really didn't mess up with Lester. It certainly is the kind of torture Demon!Dean would inflict on Sam. Just a thought.
1st-Nov-2014 02:43 am (UTC)
Hey. Thanks for your thinky!

Dean having a go at Sam's injury really got my back up when I was watching, but then realised there's probably a few things going on for Dean in all of that. Not least some guilt for not being there when Sam needed him. I mean, we can fanon away a lot of reasons for why Dean did and said things as we are privy what's going on in his head. Dean being a bit of a jerk with Sam is in character. I might not have thought so if Sam hadn't reacted the way he did. But, just like Sam "losing" his soul - Sam's to "blame" so it's big brother fodder (perhaps insensitive but when Dean is on the back foot he can be like that).

Being nitpicky here, but Dean actually didn't thank Sam. He said he hadn't thanked him/should thank him (I can't remember the exact words) and proceeded to continue to not thank him.

well, just like Dean "almost" said sorry to Sam last season - but Sam cut him off (grrr..). Again, I see this as typical behaviour for them. It's as close as a thank you Sam is likely to get and to be honest, I didn't even expect that. Sam is saving Dean from saying something he knows he's uncomfortable with. Sam says thanks easily and Dean is often awkward about it. Dean doesn't say these things easily, so Sam helps him out by cutting him off before he says it. I totally believed the intent was there and it was a bit of a turning point in the episode and for Dean. Dean's starting to back down a bit and that was his first act of letting go of some of that power (I think!).

Hmmmm, yes, good point about Dean not being cured which would mean Sam failed. I think the theory is interesting but I can't believe they'd be playing this long game. we haven't seen any "clever" or long games played in the last 2 season (well, other than Crowley leading Dean to the blade I suppose), so I would be surprised and shocked if Dean is still a demon but playing at being normal Dean. I think he was cured of demon-ness but not of the mark. The mark will still be in play and will be creating this "other" Dean for a while. Last season the mark was turning him into something he didn't like - even before his demonhood - I think they will pick up from there with this. Sam will still have another save to make - this time from the Mark, which will possibly be more deadly than demon!Dean (if they make this a season long arc). BUT, I might be wrong and if Sam didn't save Dean then he still has that to come (and Cas will have also failed).

The same with Lester. That would mean some serious forward planning by the writers (well, Carver), to have had Crowley playing that game. It's a nice idea though and might be the case. I think Lester had to say it quickly just so Sam became responsible for Lester. Lester is not a nice or sympathetic character - he wanted his wife dead so her was eager to make the deal. I think they are giving both the characters and "out" with the whole Lester thing by making him a douche. It would have been far more problematic if Lester had been true innocent - likeable and sympathetic. Which is why the whole thing feels "off". They've done far worse in their lives so this, in comparison, seems tame. If Carver is playing a long game, then maybe there is much for to see yet. But yeah, I've lost trust that he can see past a handful of episodes. I'd love to be wrong though.
30th-Oct-2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
1. way better than Bitten--Kate was much better in this ep.
2. <3 the brother moments/chats
3. my grade for this ep is a B for the brother moments/chats
4. im terrified for the 200th ep and scared it will turn out like 5x09-The Real Ghostbusters or 7x08 that terrible ep--:(
5.im thinking about waiting for your review of that ep to decide if i should watch or not
1st-Nov-2014 02:45 am (UTC)
I am one of the few fans who enjoyed bitten! I mean, it's not a re-watch ep, but I like their go at the found footage trope.

I am nail bitty about the 200th too! I could be laughing my head off or hiding behind my hands. I'll let you know!
30th-Oct-2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
Sure, he beat up a guy and killed a guy - but he has an excuse so does that really count? He doesn't seemed to have done anything that dark - unless there's a reveal later on with more details on what Dean got up to as a demon. It just feels like there needs to be more. Surely a demon who didn't actually do anything demonic and a desperate brother who merely led a would be murderer to the crossroads is not all there is?

Dean didn't really have an excuse for killing Lester. He said he did cause Lester was a "douche". It doesn't matter that Lester would've died eventually if the deal had gone through. Lester would've had more time to live. About Dean not doing anything demonic... he was going to kill Sam. If he had his way, Sam would be dead. Even though it didn't happen, there's the intention, and that's really "dark". There's all the nasty things that he said to Sam. Also, it's not just about how much "bad" stuff he's done, but how Dean was changed inside. In 10.02, when he said the Impala was just a car, and Sam said something like wow, you've gone really dark... Dean said, you have no idea.

When Dean was talking about Sam going "dark", he was trying to say that they both needed a break from hunting, not just him. But there was something off in the way it was brought up (and I don't think what Sam did was so bad). Dean said "Lester was gonna pay for that soul shake sooner or later. So technically, it's still on you." But, Crowley said that the deal was off, because the wife wasn't killed, so that's not true.

But I do love that we got so many brother scenes. :)
1st-Nov-2014 02:54 am (UTC)
Dean didn't really have an excuse for killing Lester.

No, I mean he can say "I was a demon so I can't be blamed for that" - which is what he did.

About Dean not doing anything demonic... he was going to kill Sam. If he had his way, Sam would be dead.

haha! yes, Good point. Strange that I don't connect him trying to kill Sam as demonic! I suppose I mean he didn't do anything all that bad (outside of being mean to Sam) - he was a douche, but he didn't go on a killing spree (which he could have done with the mark calling to him) or hurt and real innocent people. Calling the car "just a car" was very very un-Dean and showed how much he changed. But not feeling a connection to his car, again, isn't that demonic. Just sad…:(

Dean said "Lester was gonna pay for that soul shake sooner or later. So technically, it's still on you." But, Crowley said that the deal was off, because the wife wasn't killed, so that's not true.

Yeah, not sure what to make of that. If Dean said that deliberately to get to Sam then maybe there's still a bit of demon in him. Personally, I think its a lack of connection in the writing. Adam Glass probably slipped up with his reference. OR the fact that Lester was pretty bad, Hell may get his soul anything - even without the deal finalising. I don't know. I'm not sure there's any weight in it (bit like the mess up with Dean and John's blood types).
30th-Oct-2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
the fact that Dean was so harsh on Sam left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. Not least because I think WE are supposed to come away thinking "oh yes, look how dark Sam became.

It bugged me too, I don't know how the writers intended it to come across, but I thought that it made Dean look quite manipulative to immediately jump to talking about how dark Sam is, and how even Dean being the one to kill Lester is “technically still on you” because Sam supposedly made Lester sell his soul. Lol what, Lester couldn't wait to give it away?!

It just seems like Dean is forever stuck on seeing Sam as the one who really has the potential to go darkside, even in an episode following up on Dean going after his little brother with a hammer, and Sam being the one to save him from being a demon. I really felt for Sam when he asked what Dean wants from him because, when he doesn't go all-out to save his brother, it seems like that's not the correct choice either?
1st-Nov-2014 06:05 am (UTC)
I'm really torn sometimes because I think Sam "failing" is part of his character arc. Even now, after all the pain and anguish over demon!Dean he's greeted with "look what line you crossed" instead of "I know exactly why you did what you did". Sam seems to be screwed no matter what he does (and when he does do the right thing - like jumping in the pit - he totally screws himself). And as it happens a lot I think it might be a Sam "thing" - especially after his confession at the end of S8. I think Sam is going to have to show his true strength in the coming episodes as dean becomes increasingly affected by the Mark.
30th-Oct-2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
"Not least because I think WE are supposed to come away thinking "oh yes, look how dark Sam became. I can't believe he crossed that line. I can see he loves his brother but that's just too far Sam!". Which, ::cough:: BULLSHIT!"


Plus - Dean going on about how dark Sam went did feel incredibly forced and clunky - they keep on and on and on about Lester but it was Dean who killed the little would be murderer, and Sam tried to stop the silly bugger from selling his soul so I really don't see this DARK malarkey any more than Demon Dean did much other than torment innocent people with his terrible singing. So.
1st-Nov-2014 06:08 am (UTC)
*nods* I would like to think Dean going on about it is his way of deflecting his own behaviour. If he calls Sam out on it before Sam calls him out on it, then maybe its a small win. I suspect Dean really doesn't want to face what he was like as a demon (and boy will it be sad if that's truly it! Dean says I don't want to talk about it or remember it and -wham, d!dean forgotten! boo!)
30th-Oct-2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
I just cannot resonate with Carver's Winchesters, I hate, every single week, having to try and find an excuse and extra meaning for most of the dialogue he's letting his writing crew produce. It's clunky, ugly and bleak. I think this is me pretty much done with this show.
1st-Nov-2014 09:38 am (UTC)
*whaaaa* done with the show!

But I know what you mean. I struggle and struggle not to be too down on it. But it gets sooooo hard. Here we have an episode that could be full of gentle *feels* but instead there's an under current of tension and mistrust and nastiness that permeates everything Winchester. it's sad and as much as I "get" that these two would be touched by the work they do, it's just hard to watch them constantly at each other.

I think there were some positive moments - and some genuine points of contact, but as we've got a lot to play out yet, I figure we are in for a pretty torrid time ahead.

30th-Oct-2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
It's funny....maybe because my expectations have become so - relaxed - I am finding myself really enjoying this season because I'm not thinking about it too much. Lol, I like your "Teen Wolf thinking". I have a lot more thoughts than that, but because they're in the car together, and on the case together, and clinking beer bottles together, and because there were no angels to perplex me, I was pretty darn good during this episode.

But again, I thought I was done with Supernatural, so this has all been a pretty pleasant surprise! Connecting with an old friend, even though we've probably outgrown each other.... it's still nice and even a little warm and fuzzy.
1st-Nov-2014 09:41 am (UTC)
Relaxed expectations are a good way to go! I am TRYING not to think too hard. But it's really really hard! I think because I write up reactions I find myself digging deeper than if I wasn't. I should probably stop them, but I enjoy chatting to others about the show. :)

I am liking this season much better than the last one so far. There have been some great moments and, as always, just watching the two of them together is enough sometimes.
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