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10.21 ep reaction and poll 
8th-May-2015 07:22 pm
Nothing but a song

It's been 24 hours since I watched the episode and I still haven't been able to work out what my reaction is. I'm feeling discombobulated (I hope that's the correct use of that word because it's my fave word ever and I'm pretty sure it describes my reaction…*g*).

I'm torn because in my heart I feel like this is a cheap way to tell a story. It feels lazy and openly contrived. I'm not sure if that's because of the writing (this writing pair lack the finesse of, say, Berens), or because we've seen this so many times we just know how it all works now.

I was spoiled for Charlie's death (couldn't help myself - Twitter man /o\) and so I was on the edge of my seat during the whole episode, wondering how they were going to do it.

When it happened I found it strangely underwhelming. That's possibly because I was spoiled for it, but I think it was mostly because the events leading up to it were so annoying that I almost felt like say "well, you all deserve this because you all acted so stupidly!". I know "classic horror" is to scream "don't go down there" at the stupid person going down to the attic when the lights are mysteriously out, so I should just accept that it's part of the genre. But man, Charlie not calling for Cas the minute she knew she was in trouble seemed like a glaring oversight (?). Maybe she was embarrassed that she went behind his back. Maybe she was blaming herself for the trouble she was in. I'm not sure about that one.

I was also disappointed because the purpose of her death is clearly about moving the emotional story for the brothers forward, and that just seemed so crass. It is no doubt the catalyst to the rest of the season and I can tell you now it will be HOW they play that out as to what I ultimately feel about them killing her off like this. If it's a catalyst for understanding and change between them (I mean come on! How many times did they have to mention doing stuff like this will end badly?) then I'll see that it might not be completely in vain (or pointless). If (and I suspect this will be the case) it is about sending Dean over the edge - blaming Sam for Charlie's death and pushing Dean to the predicted fratricide, then *sigh* I really don't know. So much will depend on how that is written if it goes down like that.

But. And here's the bit I'm torn with. This is Supernatural. This is what they do. Time and time again. Secondary characters are expendable, it really shouldn't shock or surprise us when one of them is written off killed. It's always about increasing the emotional journey of Sam and Dean (or Cas), so it should really be no surprise. I accepted that long ago and I'm rarely up in arms because they've killed off a character. I liked Charlie (a lot!), but I'm not going to start ranting about killing her off because - yep, if you're on the show, expect to die! (also, she'll be back one day. Along with Kevin and Bobby probably).

It was an incredibly dark and brutal episode. The "dark" I don't mind (these characters live in a dark world and so it's expected), but I found the "brutal" not as easy to accept. The mindless, relentless killing of people was just the wrong side of too much. But, each to their own. That's just me.

The part I'm not looking forward to is all the fandom in-fighting about who's to blame etc. etc. At this point Sam and Dean are so equally involved in pretty much everything that happens that there is just no good argument (I think) for laying blame on any one character. This is the dark side of their co-dependeny. One thing that the last three seasons have made very clear - their inability to live without each other ends up hurting other people, not just themselves.

"Family don't end in blood"

Actually, it does. Lots and lots of blood. See, here's the thing for me. In "The Whether Project" we saw Sam willing to drain himself dry of blood to open the safe as a means to save Dean. It was the first time this season that I really felt that Supernatural, the one I fell in love with many years ago, was back. It was about seeing the personal sacrifice each are prepared to make for the other. But this episode wasn't about the personal sacrifice. It was about being prepared to sacrifice other people, and potentially the world to save the other. It was the same when Dean "saved" Sam in S9. Dean didn't make a personal sacrifice in doing that. He sacrificed Sam and, eventually, Kevin. I know Sam didn't willingly sacrifice Charlie of course, the same way Dean didn't willingly sacrifice Kevin, but by involving other people in their quest, they are putting them in danger. Charlie made her own choices (as did Cas in being there), but I'm pretty sure it would be impossible to say no to either Sam or Dean. And they are essentially good people, so they do want to help. I do actually enjoy the complexity of that. And I think it makes for a great discussion (but not out and out arguing…).

I said in a previous reaction post "I want them to burn the world for each other." To do that they'd have to become the psychotic, serial killing, selfish murderers that the show hints at. Maybe I'm not really prepared for them to go that far after all. I like liking my boys. I want them flawed, but have the ability to learn.

So yeah. I think there were some problems with the episode (how did the baddies find Charlie so easily after not being able to find her for so long?), but the end result is really not surprising. I think I'm just disappointed that we're going to see the brothers at odds again.

I'm torn between loving this level of angst and hating it. If Sam buries himself in guilt (because, you know, that boy clearly hasn't suffered enough) and Dean tears into Sam because he "lied" to him (because, you know, Dean's never been guilty of that) I'm not going to be very happy. I am hoping they change things up and actually have an equal acknowledgement of why shit keeps happening to them from their choices.

And one last thing. It has never been made clear why Dean gave up trying to find a cure. Maybe because he knew that no matter what it would end badly? The thing is, Dean's destiny is going to end badly anyway. He's either going to turn into a demon and be full of evil or…? Idk…die and be evil? Kill Cas and then Sam and then be evil? Just…be evil? I wonder what it would have been like to see them fighting this together, to the end.

I think I'm just finding the constant roundabout of lies and deceit leading to hate and destruction tiresome. It's emotionally draining - and not in a good way. I want to cheer them on. I want them to fight the good together. It won't happen in the next 2 episodes I'm guessing (I'm still thinking it will end with MoC!Dean killing Sam *meep*), but maybe one day.

And after all that, I AM looking forward to the next two episodes. If nothing else, they will be full of action and emotion. They will tear at our heartstrings and leave us hanging for Season 11. :)

Poll #2010499 10.21 reaction

I thought 10.21 was:

Fantastic! What a riveting episode!
Pretty good. Most of it was great.
Ok. Not great, but not terrible.
*meh* Predictable and disappointing.
*ugh* I can't believe we're here again…:(
10th-May-2015 01:38 pm (UTC)
*nods* I have been wondering what this episode would have been like in different writers hands. I think Robbie Thompson should have been the one to write her out as (I think!) he was the one who first introduced her. I think he would have done it more respectfully. I think the idea was for her to come across as a hero, sacrificing herself for her "brothers". Unfortunately, because of all the stupid moves, she lost that shine (as did Sam, Cas and Dean). It really didn't have to be that way. At all. I am hoping they'll be back on track next ep.

Though yes. I think there were some great things happening between Sam and Dean. Sam is scared of Dean and Dean is becoming increasingly menacing to Sam. If they keep up that angle (and not simply Dean being pissed at Sam), it could become very interesting indeed.

10th-May-2015 01:59 pm (UTC)
There is an academic conference being held at DePaul University this weekend. RT was the keynote speaker. In his speech he said that he objected to having Charlie killed off. He wrote memos, he came up with different scenarios where they could achieve the same result of Sam feeling guilty and Dean being angry. He argued and argued and was told, tough toenails, they were killing her off. I think they knew that he would not write the kill Charlie episode.

He also said that he pitched an episode where the boys did laundry while flashing back to between seasons 7 and 8 with Dean remembering Purgatory and Sam remembering all the things he did to try to find Dean before he hit the dog and stopped. It was rejected.
10th-May-2015 02:25 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you so much for this. I knew this was on, but I haven't heard anything from it. I wondered how Robbie would feel. He must not only be disappointed that she was killed off, but disgusted with the way it was done. I just don't get why they didn't get better writers for this episode (I can only assume they think they're good). Even if he objected, if he had written it, he would have been more respectful to Charlie (and Sam I would hope).

And NOOOOOOOO! It was rejected!?! BOO. Though, at least he discussed the fact that Sam not looking for Dean was problematic.
10th-May-2015 09:17 pm (UTC)
Things like this just make me sad, more so seeing that some of the filler episodes this year have been tiresomely bland and repetitive.
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