*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
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.
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. :(