By gosh I enjoyed that. Like, really really enjoyed it. That surprises me to be honest because it was a heavy angel episode and they are not always a favourite of mine. Also, it didn't particularly feature much Sam and Dean. Only, it felt
like it did because we got some more insight and some important moments.
What I love about Robert Berens' writing is the way he manages to give every character some depth. He's particularly good at writing secondary characters. He was given couple of important tasks in this episode - namely, write out Hannah and Cole. He also had to write in
Rowena. I wouldn't have thought that was an easy task, but I think he succeeded. Sure, it felt like a lot (and it was!) but I thought each aspect of this episode felt "true" and wasn't rushed. It had action that was balanced with poignant moments.The secondary characters
One of my favourite things was the way Hannah was handled (again, a huge surprise to me). When she was introduced as Cas's side kick this season I honestly thought she was going to end up dying - to give Castiel some extra angst (fridged in other words). I thought we'd have the love story and then a "tragic" ending. I am so happy it wasn't played this way. I LOVE LOVE that they FINALLY addressed the angel vessels and at the same time gave Hannah some added depth along the way. It was quite revealing that what Hannah was feeling was her vessel's emotions (I' don't think that's been fully explored that before?). I loved the way it became a slow reveal for Hannah and by the end she not only understood what it meant to be an angel, but it also what it meant to be human. She's done this better (and quicker) than Castiel.
It seems her "self" discovery has helped move Castiel forward. It's interesting that she mentioned that she'd learned from him, where actually, I think he's learnt more from her. Castiel can't learn that lesson too quickly otherwise what are they going to do with him? So it makes sense that he's still (somehow!) learning. We'll just have to go with it and know that finding a story arc for Cas can't be easy. If they are going to have him investigate his vessel (and family), I'm excited by that. Much more than all the angel politics crap. This has been one of the more interesting angel stories for me.
It's weird though that with an episode that (finally!) talks about vessels we see senseless vessel killings. I'm actually puzzled by this. I'm wondering if we are supposed to think that there are some actual
demons - not demons in meatsuits? One minute vessels (and possessed people) are a concern, the next they are stabbed and nothing is said or even reflected on. I wish they'd sort that out. If we could believe that the demons (and even angels) killed are actually the real deal (and not possessed humans) then we'd be able to stop worrying about the body count. Sam mentions that Raul was actually Raul so maybe they're heading in that direction (?).
Cole was much better handled this time too (and better acted I felt). The scene between Cole and Dean was very powerful and both Jensen and Travis's performances were top notch (I swear this comes down to the director). I didn't think the reappearance of Cole was going to be dealt with as strongly as it was. I thought he would die and get some added angst for the brothers (what's happening show? Are you turning a new leaf??).
I enjoyed Rowena. She was a nice mix of nasty, smart and charming (deliberate reminder of Abbadon maybe?). Her being Crowley's mother wasn't the "surprise" I think it was suppose to be though. Maybe I just really don't care enough for that to have been a shock. Though it adds another layer to everything, so maybe there's something interesting there.
I would say that we are seeing those "personal" journeys that Carver mentioned we'd be seeing this season, only I fear that Berens is able to do that and not so much the other writers. We'll see. Dean
Someone must have seen my recent moan about "missing" Dean. *g* I felt like I saw more of the old style Dean than I have for a while.
Dean on a dating app is a mix of hilarious and ridiculous. Dean could easily pick up someone if he wanted to. What I like about this approach is that maybe after his demon escapades he just doesn't want to take that approach at the moment. Also, maybe it's just too hard? He's also getting older, so I think we can throw that into the mix. We can fanon away all the reasons why someone as gorgeous as Dean would even need to put a call out to meet someone for a one night stand. The only thing that seemed a bit out of character was that he doesn't recognise the "talk" - he's been around women enough to be familiar with it I'm sure...*handwave* (or maybe he's just that hopeful). It's also a bit weird that Sam would be so knowledgable of it (especially after all his awkwardness last week). But the scene between then was fun and light so I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. It was purely to set up the case so whateves...
Poor Dean missing out on sex though. I was feeling frustrated for him! I can't believe how much I was hoping it was going to be the real deal for him. I knew it wouldn't be but, damn, a little bit of mutual pleasure would have been good for Dean.
I thought Dean's scene with Cole was excellent. It felt like the closest we've got yet to Dean recognising how far he's gone. I'd like to think he's not just referring to what he did as a demon. We even had straight out recognition of what Sam did for him by bringing him back. And (at last!) actual recognition that Sam loves him (as in Dean said he knows
Sam loves him). I think that was as important for Sam to hear as much as it was for Dean to say. It wasn't overly sentimental either, so yay!
Dean stated he's too late to save. This is not new for Dean - feeling he's in too deep or not worthy of being ultimately saved, but Jensen delivered it such a way that gave it renewed meaning. Sure, it's pretty much back to the same old same old, but I liked the added hardness and not self pity. He brushed it off to Sam at the end but they both know it's how really he feels.
We also got to see Dean save Cole. It felt like old days, where they did their best to save "innocent" people from the lives they've had. We had a measured dose of "saving people" with the "hunting things" in this episode.Sam
Will I ever lose my bitterness over the treatment of Sam over the last two seasons? Probably not, but as I've said before, I have to move on. Sam's love story, his failed trails and his forced possession have gone pretty much unexplored and I am more and more convinced that they never will be. Sam has been "reset" and we are now looking at the Sam that we possibly should have been looking at in the beginning of S8. So instead of looking for ANYTHING in Sam's story that could connect to the last 2 seasons, we (well, I) have to purely look at what they are doing with him now. It's almost as though he's been reborn. No good reason has been given for this rebirth (other than Dean dying and turning into a demon maybe?) so it just IS (personally, I think they just don't have a clue how to handle him or what to do with him now so it's easier to forget everything that's gone before).
I say all that because I can only talk about THIS season's Sam. So far we've only seen him driven to save Dean and I imagine that story line will continue for quite a while. It's what many have wanted to see (including me), so in that respect it's (probably) nice. He was prepared to shoot Cole to save Dean. He enjoyed good banter with his brother and together they worked pretty well. He was upset when Ellie couldn't "fight" the witch's spell and was generally competent throughout. He did get to hear his brother's words and we did get Sam's worried face at the end. I don't know what to make of all that to be honest. I think, much like Castiel, they don't really know what direction to take Sam in. At the moment he's the caring little brother and maybe that's got to be enough for now. Though I constantly see Sam's inner strength. The glowing moment was Sam telling Ellie to "fight it". It felt like a mirror to him telling Dean the same thing and to himself actually been through the same thing. It should be their life motto - "fight it!". I also liked that he got to talk to Cole - remind him he has a family who cares for him. Sam harbours no bitterness for what he did to him.Overall
This could have been pretty disastrous considering the material Berens was working with. He was flamed on Twitter because of the promo and he remarked how upset he was by it. Fans are pretty sensitive creatures when it comes to - well, a lot of things really. Naked Hannah worked out fine - there were no consent issues which seemed to be a major concern for fans. Personally I love the way she enjoyed her human form. In the past Cas has been shown being comfortable naked so I liked the equality (and innocence), when seeing that in Hannah. He was accused of being a rape apologist and after the episode it's hard to think where that idea even came from. I appreciate fans' concerns but if any writer can be trusted I think Berens is one of the better ones.
I had hoped that consent might have been further explored in this episode, but I'm not sure that will ever be on the cards really. I'm thinking it's not really an issue for the Show (if it wasn't addressed last season I'd say we're too late for that now). So, I gotta let that one go as well.
I like the way Berens writes women and as with Alex Annie Alexis Anne they are seen as competent, vulnerable without being weak and capable.
The theme of home and family continues to dominate the season. Hannah and Cole both went home - back to people who love them. This ties into Sam telling Dean he was taking him home when he was a demon and now it feels like Cas is more homeless than he's ever been before.
After doing the cinematography post recently I was thrilled to see them give us another beautiful shot. I'll leave you with this glorious moment. The boys together but slightly a part. Sam following faithfully as Dean strides toward his destination. It's symbolic and sad. And beautiful.
I thought 10.07 was
Awesome! Loved it!
Pretty good. I enjoyed most of it.
Ok. Some parts I liked, some parts I didn't.
Meh. Not really my thing.
Nope. Didn't work for me at all.