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just enough to make us dangerous
11.02 episode reaction 
15th-Oct-2015 10:09 pm
Discussion / no weapons discharge
Disclaimer time! This isn't a glowing reaction so (please!) enter at your own risk. Seriously. I am more than happy to discuss the episode if your reaction is opposite to mine (as I always am! *g*), but please don't "police" me. I love the show and I respect the work they all do. Also, criticism doesn't change the way I feel about the show. I will always love it - even if it frustrates the hell out of me! :D

I'll talk about the positives first. :)

It was great to see some more Sam pov and his prayer brought a tear to my eye. Jared's performance was soulful and I really felt the depth of what Sam was going through. Sam praying for Dean was very emotional and poignant. It was also a nice mirror to Dean for Sam praying in 9.01.

Billy the Reaper was awesome and her singing "Oh Death" was a highlight of the episode. Her threat of sending Sam and Dean into the empty void was wonderfully threatening. It suddenly upped the stakes in terms of their (never ending) deaths.

I loved the apocalyptic opening scene (though made me wonder if it made the news?!)

Clever Sam was fantastic to see. Thank you Show.

Crowley's first appearance was humorous. Dean coo-ing at the baby was cute.

I liked the idea that Sam could solve the problem of dying without Dean. I feel that that was meant to be significant. Like, really significant. I'm just not sure what they were trying to say with all that (Sam needs to start looking after himself maybe? Sam need to "always keep fighting" maybe? The brothers can work out how to stay alive without the other?), but I think there's something there to be teased out. Unfortunately there were too many negatives to make this episode an overall success for me.

Now the issues (you can still turn back!):

The major issue I had with this episode is that it essentially made no sense. I can easily hand-wave some things (Sam finding Dean quickly in the last episode for example - expediency in story telling I can accept - though why Dean had to be so far away in the first place made no sense really...) but there was just too much to hand-wave in this one.

My biggest issue was the Dean scenes. And no, this has NOTHING to do with "Dean", but everything to do with the non-sensical approach to the whole situation they gave him. I'm not sure if it's because we are supposed to be seeing Dean as somehow mesmerised by Amara (which I don't believe because show does not do subtle) or if it's just poor scripting.

It was completely unbelievable to me that a) Dean would leave the baby in the house with two innocent people after hearing there was something supernatural about her and b) he didn't kill Crowley when he had the chance. Dean not going directly to the baby and removing her from the house made no sense. Result - two innocent deaths. Dean not putting the demon killing knife through Crowley when he had the chance - also made no sense (unless we are to believe Dean is somehow still seeing Crowley as his best bud or something). And leaving him pinned to the wall by an angel blade expecting him to still be there when he returned? Stoopid.

Jenna losing her soul and becoming a murderer of her beloved grandma also made no sense at all. Sam lost his soul and did not go around killing people he loved. Sure, he was cold and analytical - but not an instant killer. In fact, he went undetected for quite a while before it was discovered he had no soul. So, sorry. But seriously bullshit on that part of the story telling. I don't know why they didn't add "no soul and something "evil" added". I would have bought that. And maybe that was the idea there, but I don't think it came across clearly if it was.

Where did that little girl dress come from? I know, I can fanon it by saying grandma had baby and little girl clothes in storage but, ugh. Did I miss something there? And everyone was just far too damn calm around a baby like that. Grandma put the kettle on for god's sake! It was all so damn WEIRD!

How are people dying with Death dead? I suppose that might be answered later. Maybe Death isn't actually dead. Or something.

But other than that…

There was no pay off for Sam being infected by the darkness in terms of SamnDean. Now, I appreciate that not everything has to be "SamnDean" focussed. But, really? It kind of does. It is the heart of the show. Sam did a remarkable thing by solving his infection by himself (usually imminent death is stuff of season finales) and it's possible something that Dean may never know. OR he may well find out and it will cause some sort of riff because Sam didn't tell him (roundabout anyone?). I actually don't mind the "mess" of all that because it could play out in future episodes. Dean finding out what Sam did might renew his respect for him. It might make them both realise they can solve their "deaths" without threatening the world. I like that, but do not trust (for one minute) that they have even considered that. If they do in future episodes I will happily eat my words. HAPPILY! Ideally this is the catalyst for a multitude of things - but why do I feel it will be Dean saying "why didn't you tell me Sam!?". OR, it will go by without reference and therefore it will all be an empty gesture. I'll hold off on this because I don't know if this is a set-up for the future.

I could not watch Cas being tortured. I fast-forwarded through each one of those scenes so I'm not sure what was even going on. For me, torture is insignificant (and downright painful to watch) if no one is there to care about it (as in, other characters). It's just torture for torture's sake and I'm not sure what it achieved. I did manage to catch Cas saying he wouldn't give up Sam and Dean (so, wow, he cares for them. I had no idea! ::sarcasm::). I did watch the Hannah stuff but as I don't actually care that much about Cas as a storyline I was, at most, curious to see what they were doing. Cas felt for Hannah and when she/he was tortured he had the power to escape. Good to see him fight it. A parallel with Sam maybe?

It was during these scenes I wondered if I was watching a different show. It was becoming unrecognisable to me. I think the sound track was part of that. The music was weird and not something we hear that much on the show. I wondered if they were trying to copy another show maybe?

I'm still trying to work out what Sam's cage flashbacks meant. (And damn they used those in the promo. I was expecting so much more from those). Was that God's answer? A reminder of where he once was and what he did to get there? Did it actually end up helping him find the solution? Also, it was pretty horrific. How Sam is still functioning is beyond me (Dean too!).

And did angel and demon powers just fly out the window. What happened to Crowley clicking in and clicking out of a place. And what happened to angels being all damn powerful. Surely they could find Sam and Dean. Even Metatron. Argh. Too many holes. /o\

Also - (ark, I'm sorry, I'm on a roll), J2 have been going on about how Sam and Dean are together this season. I appreciate that we might be working up to that, but so far - wow. It's like Carver has said - "ok you guys! You don't like it when they are physically together but emotionally apart so let's do emotionally together (sort of) and physically apart)". But, as I said above, jury is still out on that. I have to assume Dean will find out what Sam went through and it will be addressed. And hopefully be the catalyst for them STOPPING the damn cycle of blame and guilt. Otherwise why? Why have him go through all that alone without a pay off?

So yeah. I'm not pissed off about it (kinda passed that by now), just a bit frustrated. The show has such HUGE potential to be fucking amazing. And it can be at times - so many times it has. Unfortunately, this episode reminded me that really, nothing will change in Carver's era. The boys will be at some sort of odds - even when they are supposed to be working together (I think the Js have just being doing a good "sell". Or it's wishful thinking on their part). Or it may change so..yay!

Bring on MoTW eps I say! I think the overall mytharc-ness of the series is problematic. So much history to have to deal with. And it takes much more thought and consideration.

Aaanyway. There we are. Some powerful moments, but too many stoopid bits to make it jell for me. And the darkness being a little "Lilith" type girl is a wee bit disappointing. But, I'm happy to wait to see how that plays out. I figure we have one more myth arc ep to start the season and then we should be into the MoTW eps. Hopefully we'll actually see Sam and Dean together in those. ;)

5 is "LOVED IT!!" 1 is "nope".

Poll #2025022 11.01 episode reaction

I rate 11.02:

15th-Oct-2015 02:27 pm (UTC)
the soulless thing - i totally agree that sam was not 'evil' when he was soulless, but they already did kind of retcon that in the 'abbadon wears josie' flashback story. souls were being collected and the resultant soulless ones were killing without a care. not that it makes that reconciliation more right, but they apparently re-set it then about the effects of soulless and are carrying on with that as the new paradigm.

ugh, i thought the castiel scenes were awful. pointless and gross.

still curious to everywhere everything is going.
15th-Oct-2015 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remember that retcon. I didn't like it then, and don't now. The soullessness that is most poignant in the show was Sam's and they keep crapping on that. So weird.

Still curious where it's heading, but not as positive as I was last episode. I forgot for a minute Show does this. But yeah, I'm sure there will be some great eps so I look forward to those. :)

15th-Oct-2015 02:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this honest and thorough review. I needed this, because I need information about whether I can even watch the episode, and nope. I can't. There is nothing I hate more on SPN than stupid, gratuitous torture, and nothing making sense/continuity LOL is a close second. So I'm glad you're of a similar mind and told me how much of that there was. It doesn't sound like this episode is anything I'm ever going to watch.

Here's hoping for better stuff in the future! <3
15th-Oct-2015 02:51 pm (UTC)
Hey hun. Hmm, maybe see what others thought too? I'm critical because I suppose I know what they are capable of and when they do stupid things I find it hard to look over. I loved it for Sam's actions (his prayer and smarts), but - just like the endless torture - it falls flat when no one is there to witness it.

It you watch for Sam and Dean being together than this isn't the episode. There's one phone call and nothing is said. There maybe layers of meaning in this one, but I couldn't see them. And I am beyond reading stuff into things that just aren't there. But maybe others will be more positive. ;)
15th-Oct-2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
Remember during the comic con panel and Jensen was talking about boys working together be like the good ole days of S1 and Carver waited until Jensen was done to say "ish" they will be together "ish" so they will be together working common cause just not together together. take as you will.
15th-Oct-2015 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I think the Js say what they want to believe for the brothers (and what they know the fans want). Carver has something else in mind and will only give us the so called "pay off" in the season finale. Forgetting it's so much more than that.

15th-Oct-2015 02:55 pm (UTC)
There were so many terrible things about this episode that listing them will give me an ulcer and Andrew Dabb isn't worth that so all I'll say is that I'll play the bad guy and call out that bullshit church scene:

You can be ready to die Sam, but when you don't take the time to warn your partner about it, then you chance him showing up to the hospital and finding his dead brother's body lying on the ground. Not for one second did he contemplate that fact. That isn't badass, that's SELFISH. It doesn't make you united or equals or ~~mature~~ to not let your PARTNER give you BACK-UP. Even your average cop show has more emotional common sense than this episode.

And there will be no follow-up next week because they will be too busy house-breaking the rabid puppy angel and making sure that Dean is super-concerned. Can't have Dean giving a shit about his brother almost dying because that would ruin Carver's current case study, so better to just not have him know at all and pretend that they aren't hiding more MAJOR secrets from each other in the first two episodes than most of the last three years.

If brothers united means a season of proving that they do NOT need each other, then they can all fuck-off, tbh. J2 must be smoking crack while lying by their million-dollar pools if they believe the PR they've been schilling lately.

/toddles off to get more coffee
15th-Oct-2015 03:09 pm (UTC)
You can be ready to die Sam, but when you don't take the time to warn your partner about it, then you chance him showing up to the hospital and finding his dead brother's body lying on the ground.

Yes. It was so fucking annoying. The problem is we knew Sam wasn't going to die so it lost any sort of potency. It almost gets lost in translation - the issue becomes about self (as it did with Dean in S9) and everything they build up to - epic brotherness - is lost. He prays for Dean but doesn't tell him that he could die. But Sam is thinking he isn't going to (and WE know he isn't) so he doesn't have to tell him. It's SO messed up. And it makes no sense. Like this whole damn episode.

I did like the prayer because I felt the honesty in Jared's performance. But him not telling Dean is crazy. And I'd think there were some wonderful character notes in all of that, but really there isn't. They continue to love each other so much that they actually don't care about what they do to the other. I'll fuck you over and hurt the hell out of you, but hey, I really love you so that's ok.

I just can't.

Damnit. Episode two. :(

15th-Oct-2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than the season opener, mainly because, like you say, the pacing was so much better. Apart from the Castiel parts, which I just can't get interested in - at all. The way this particular angel plot was wrapped up was completely nonsensical - I mean, Hannah set Cas up to be tortured? Nope, not credible. And I'm SO completely DONE with these colourless, pointless men-in-black angels. What are they looking for Metatron for anyhow? Nope, don't care.

I'm hoping the not killing Crowley means something - because Crowley also threatened to smash Dean to pieces and didn't. Now this makes no sense for either of them - Crowley is demonstrating he's back to being evil, and I really like that he's behaving more like the King of Hell now in his complete lack of concern for human life - While Dean cannot see Crowley as anything but dangerous. So something is stopping them both from taking the obvious step and trying to finally rid the world of each other. I'd like to think it's something more than a residual buddy-thing left over from Dean's phase as a demon.

I'm hoping a lot of things while agreeing with most of your quibbles with the story so far.

Other than that - I liked all the things you did - Billie the reaper was rather awesome, I really hope we will see her again.
16th-Oct-2015 04:53 am (UTC)
I really glad you enjoyed this one! :) It's so much nicer to come away from an episode happy with it.

Though, I actually had issues with the pacing - I think that's because I skipped all of the Cas torture bits - so the flow was off to me. And the Dean and Crowley chat seemed to slow things down - especially when there was a real danger of the baby in the house. Phil Sgriccia is a great director and it was mostly tightly directed.

I'm hoping the not killing Crowley means something. Hee, it mostly means Mark as a contract and they can't (or won't) get rid of him. I don't mind them not killing him if they give the characters a good reason not to. There was absolutely no reason why Dean didn't kill him. I could buy that maybe it's because he thinks that Crowley will be able to hell them fight the darkness, but it was never mentioned. And surely Dean knows Crowley will try to use it to his advantage. I dunno. The demon threat is no longer a real threat I suppose and I have to just accept that.

What are they looking for Metatron for anyhow? Nope, don't care.. SO don't care. When I heard mutation mentioned I was just a mess of sighing. And then they go and kill the one good angel they had. Hannah.

But yeah. I'll move on! :) I should be used to the show not making sense by now, but I just keep hoping...
15th-Oct-2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
One thing fresh in my mind from just rewatching season 10 on dvd--viewed as aired, the first 2 episodes of last year were very frustrating because they were so disjointed, split up between 3 different storylines. But rewatching them in a row and going on to episode 3, they become a coherent 3-hour story. And for some reason, even though there are again 3 plot lines, I don't feel nearly the same separateness with the first 2 eps this year.

I noticed the technique of having the character's voice from the previous scene continue as the scene switched from one storyline to another, and I wonder if that helped the continuity feeling?

The very un-Supernatural-like music was jarring, I agree.

Details they got right: in ep 1 there was a shot of Dean putting the holy oil in the duffle as they were loading up for the foray into the hospital, and lo and behold, Sam needed it this ep! Nice set-up! And Crowley had a very reasonable explanation of how he got wind of the baby so quickly--positioning himself as the 'go-to' priest for exorcisms so he can check whether the possession is one he authorized or not.

Billy went to great pains to let the viewers know that Sam and Dean are no longer immune to dying...nice attempt, but we all know Jared and Jensen aren't going anywhere...

I thought Sam was going to have to set himself on fire to purge the infection, that scene was very unnerving!

Re Jenna being soulless, in the flashback episode with Henry and Josie masquerading as clergy, the soulless people Sam encountered were very amorally violent, and Jenna acted in the same way as they had.

Another evil little girl, though? Really? Couldn't they make it a boy for once? I know, the Darkness appeared to Dean as a woman, but what's a little gender-switching among friends?

I did find it annoying that Dean again failed to finish off Crowley, but it wasn't an egregiously out-of-character moment as when he and Sam let Crowley go right after Dean killed Abbadon and a helpless Crowley was sitting there while Dean held the First Blade! Maybe Dean wanted to keep Crowley around in case he needed help with controlling the baby? To be honest, show has developed a bit of kids' cartoon handling of Crowley--when I used to watch He-Man, Thundercats, etc. with my kids in the eighties, the hero would capture the bad guy, give him a lecture to behave, and set him loose for the next episode...

The Darkness told Dean they were bound, so it makes sense to me that Dean is unconsciously reacting protectively toward the baby. What if they are setting up Sam's visions to tell him to kill Amara and Dean wants to protect her? That would certainly subvert Sam's speech from ep 1 about saving people and Dean struggling to go with it...The Michael/Lucifer story reversed? (Yes,this completely disregards the actors saying the boys will be working together this season, but it wouldn't be the first time that they are perceiving the season as one way and we are getting something else...)

About Sam's visions, did you catch that someone was speaking to him while he was doing his research? When the Mark was removed from Dean, did it also come off Lucifer? Did that somehow make it possible for Luci to communicate with Sam? Will Sam think he's getting visions from God when they are really from Luci? Could Luci switch to being a good guy???

Gratuitous torture of Cas was gratuitious...ugh...

I am more unhappy about Hannah being killed than Jenna...there are so few decent angels. Honestly, I find demons more righteous than angels nowadays, at least demons are acting true to their natures. Angels are supposed to be the good guys...

The most annoying omission to me was a scene of the boys driving back to the bunker! Come on, we need to know what they told each other about what happened to them!!!

Did they make a spare key for Cas to get in the bunker? (Why do they do that--set up some details so beautifully--see holy oil above--and then clunk something in and assume we won't notice the inconsistency?)

My overall reaction is that things are being set up, I'm interested in where this could go (albeit apprehensive about it getting screwed up, as I've been since Carver took over,) and I want to see more.
16th-Oct-2015 07:16 am (UTC)
HI, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I find that many of them match mine. There were some great little moments and some not so great ones.

The very un-Supernatural-like music was jarring, I agree.

I've seen many praise it, so it's probably a matter of taste. To me, if I notice the background music it means it isn't working. I was taken out of the moment a couple of times because of the soundtrack.

I missed Dean putting the holy oil in. Good catch!

but what's a little gender-switching among friends?

Haha, well. I think it might create further eruptions in fandom if Dean was bonded to a male. It would be "proof" that Dean is bi or flailing because Dean can only be bonded to Sam. So yeah, the female makes some sense in this case. But I would like to switch it up a bit in that regard.

the hero would capture the bad guy, give him a lecture to behave, and set him loose for the next episode…

And I think this is exactly how it's being played. Crowley is the baddie who has to live to see another episode. It's so tiresome. I know they are keeping him around to give the boys some time off, but I just don't know why they can't introduce a new baddie to help with that.

Killing Hannah has only really hit me today. She was the only angel I felt something for and it was a terrible way to go. I have NO idea why all the angels have to be such dicks. They are no better than demons (in some cases even worse). I suppose that's the point maybe. With "god" around, there's no one to keep an eye on all the dicks.

Come on, we need to know what they told each other about what happened to them!!!

This is the thing that I will be hanging out for next week. I wonder if this is the thing that will "separate" them this season. I know the Js have said they will be working together, but I'm not really believing them. If Sam is pushed to kill the darkness and Dean pushed to protect it we are in for even more fighting. I seriously will not cope if this is the set up. It will be the last straw for me if they contrive this between them. So many promises that they won't - lets hope they mean it.

My overall reaction is that things are being set up

I agree and with many things I will just wait. I'm feeling that ep 4 will be the big test for this.
15th-Oct-2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
I too don't understand how the big bad angels suddenly became less powerful than one human witch. And unable to cure their vessel's psoriasis. It makes no sense.

The best description of soullessness came from this review of Mother's Little Helper, by Nate Winchester http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/season-nine/18510-nate-winchester-s-remix-of-supernatural-9-16-mother-s-little-helper

Sam: It all seems... familiar.

Dean: How so?

Sam: Like when I didn't have my soul.

Dean: But you didn't paint anything with your blood.

Sam: Yes I did.

Dean: ...True. But you did it to escape, not write a manifesto.

Sam: Touche.

Dean: And you didn't go postal on random people.

Sam: Well maybe everyone experiences soullessness differently.

Dean: Then how do you know they're soulless?

Sam: Because they're acting like me.

Dean: But the don't act like you.

Sam: Because people experience soullessness differently.

Dean: Then how do you know they're soulless?

Sam: Because they're acting like me.

Dean: ...

Sam ...

Edited at 2015-10-15 03:37 pm (UTC)
16th-Oct-2015 07:19 am (UTC)
Oh perfect. Nothing to add because that's spot on.

Though, perhaps it's like the way the darkness infection worked quickly on some and slowly on others. Convenient that.
15th-Oct-2015 04:02 pm (UTC)
The major issue I had with this episode is that it essentially made no sense.

That about sums it up.

I still kind of enjoyed watching, probably for the pace. I have to admit that I do like this strange banter between Dean and Crowly. But yes, how did Dean not kill Crowly? All buddies now. So much history together. :P
I enjoyed watching Sam finding a cure for the darkness infection. And perhaps the vision he had of hell was the same hint that the reaper gave him about being unclean in a biblical sense. That is when he thought of the holy oil and fire.
It's totally unrealistic that Sam would not tell Dean about finding a cure for that infection and healing the whole town from it. I mean, that is a MAJOR thing!! Preventing it from spreading- everywhere (and killing everyone).
Cas' storyline doesn't make much sense anymore either. (The torture scenes frustrated me and I was just about to finally fast forward when Hanna came in. I did like his/her entrance! (That light and the bending door) A faint memory of what angels are and can do.
And the darkness is just a little girl now eating souls to grow up. Hmm.. ok. (I'm sure eventually everything will become like in my icon with utter darkness and Sam and Dean trying to find each other.. tihihi.)
Like you I cannot stop watching Supernatural. I sometimes wonder where the show would have gone if Bobby had stayed as a regular character. With Cas now looking more and more worn out and down (both personally and as his story line) I miss Bobby even more than ever. He needs to come and rescue the supernatural world and bring it back into a sense making (film-) reality. In the meantime just concentrate on Sam's hair. ;D

16th-Oct-2015 07:30 am (UTC)
That about sums it up.

I should be used to that by now I suppose. I accept some non-sensical stuff, but too much drives me a little nuts.

I am going to totally fanon that Dean and Crowley are actually best buddies. I know Crowley likes Dean, but I always thought Dean hated Crowley. Seems I was wrong. Best buds!

It's totally unrealistic that Sam would not tell Dean about finding a cure for that infection and healing the whole town from it.

I am assuming Sam will tell me. I suspect the next episode we will find out that Sam told Dean - but maybe not that he was infected. He will have to tell Dean because they will need to use that sure in the future I imagine.

I found it difficult to believe that Sam was prepared to die without letting Dean know. Imagine how devasting it would have been for Dean if he found out Sam died from the infection without telling him. Guh.

And the darkness is just a little girl now eating souls to grow up.

Looks like! I quite like the idea of that - but in the actual darkness she was already grown up. Hmmm, must have been born again or something.

And yes. Cas is a mess and the boys have no one to turn to anymore. I miss Bobby for that reason. They need someone on their side. Poor boys. :(

*strokes Sam's hair*
15th-Oct-2015 05:12 pm (UTC)
I love how each episode can seem very different to each of us. I agree with you on some points but disagree on others. It seems we had very different takes on many of the story points.

Dean being so far away from the car. We have no idea how long that all took and Sam may have been out cold for ages so that didn't bother me. Sam finding him so easily however, did. I didn't feel that Dean was mesmerised by Amara, I took it as there is some sort of unholy bond that Dean is most likely not going to understand and will most likely be pretty powerless against. I felt the way he reacted when Crowley wanted her was not to stop him from using her for nefarious reasons, it was extreme protectiveness. This could get interesting.

The soulless thing really worked for me. When Abaddon was taking people's souls they became killing machines. Sam didn't, and I think he may have mentioned this when speaking to Jody last season, he could keep focused because he could get his rocks off killing monsters. I think the fact he was trained since childhood to be a killer worked in his favour, He certainly had no issue when he used that cop as bait when he was working with Samuel. And I think he even killed another cop in that same episode.

I think Crowley can still zap in and out like before. I think that's how he got out of the house before Dean came back in the room. I'm loving Crowley right now!!

Billie was very cool. I'm really interested to find out why people can still die, I think that's going to factor in some time later. I also think Sam's flashbacks will mean something later on as well. I think we're meant to be as confused as Sam about that.

I think the Castiel torture scene was mainly to show us that the angels have even more of a hard on to kill Sam and Dean now. Another thing I think that will unfold later is Metatron is going to play a role when they're trying to fix things.

Like you I thought Dean leaving two innocents inside the house with a possibly demonic baby was ridiculous. It was so OOC. My biggest facepalm moment though was when Sam had the three rabids trapped with holy fire and the fire just went out. When they were using it to trap angels in earlier seasons it would burn indefinitely. That really annoyed me. And Dean has been letting Crowley live almost every time they meet. Remember it's Sam that said he'd stab him in the face. If it was Sam that let him go I would have found it more difficult to believe.

In the last episode Sam made a point of saying they had to learn from their mistakes and do things differently so I really think the writers have finally listened to everyone saying they are sick of them going in circles. The fact that Dean listened to him and let Sam use himself as bait really made me feel they are beginning to move forward. That was a big moment for Dean, letting Sam put himself in harm's way and not insisting that Sam needed his protection. I don't think there will be a big "why didn't you tell me?" moment between the boys over Sam being infected. I don't think Sam will tell him. Not to purposely be secretive but because I think he's already blaming himself for the darkness so he would think it would be upsetting Dean unnecessarily as he's fine now.

Clever Sam is back!! Oh how I've missed him. I was ecstatic that they finally wrote Sam in character. It's been a looooong time.

15th-Oct-2015 10:24 pm (UTC)
I too love that Smart Sam was back and written in character and that was a big plus for me giving this episode a five. ;)
15th-Oct-2015 05:33 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed it.
I do think there's a flash of a box with Jenna's other clothes in it if I'm remembering correctly.
And see, I don't see what Sam is doing as selfish. His mindset seems to be that it's more important to save others than to save himself. I believe Sam thinks that telling Dean he's infected might cause Dean to abandon his declared quest of saving the baby, or to screw it up because Dean would run straight to Sam instead. And if Sam dies, there's no escaping how badly it'll hurt Dean regardless. I figure he realizes how wild and even tormented Dean would be about not being able to try and help save Sam, but that's part of what they discussed - doing it a different way now, with an emphasis on saving people. And I loved that Sam went it alone, and how he never gives up or stops thinking, and it really illustrates/informs his character in a way that the show hasn't bothered with in a very long time. Feeling alone is something I believe Sam is intimately familiar with, and that he should go this route is very much in character to me. I do get how you miss the SamnDean thing, though, certainly! Me too. But I respect the way it came about and what I feel are the reasons why.
The guys do seem united to me so far this year. Dean listened to what Sam had to say last episode and even though he didn't like it, he agreed his brother was making sense. They had a real discussion about the way to do things - that's better than we get most years!
But I will say I'm not one of the Sam fans that feel Dean should always be asking if Sam's okay, or apologizing because he was an ass -- there's a lot of complex/unspoken communications that go on between the two, and sometimes what is said or shared stands in for what actually should have been said. People don't always spell things out the way our fannish selves sometimes wish they would. It makes it more genuine to me.
So yeah, I'm happy about this episode. I've found poor Cas's storyline, such as it is, to be so contrived over the past seasons that it doesn't affect my feelings much one way or the other.
So I guess I handwave a lot about this show if I get characterization:) Though I think that killing Crowley isn't something that Dean 100% wants to do, honestly, so I didn't have a problem with him not killing him then and there. And I think? Crowley mentioned something, the spell or something, keeping him from clicking about? God, that's vague of me I know, but I swear I heard it! At any rate I won't try to plug all the plot holes (too many of them;)
16th-Oct-2015 01:42 pm (UTC)
Hey. It's great to hear you enjoyed it. It's so much nicer to enjoy and ep, that's for sure. :)

Thanks for your thoughts on Sam. They mirror my own about Sam generally and it was wonderful to see all these qualities again. I rarely consider Sam selfish (if ever?) and even though I totally accept your reasoning for why Sam didn't tell Dean I can't help think about how Dean would have felt if sam had dies without him ever saying anything. Though, it's also redundant because we knew that Sam wasn't going to die. I know this was more about Sam proving he could save himself and knowing that Dean would probably do something bad to try and save him.

I think some of the problem is hearing the Js say they will be working together this season and not seeing that yet. But, I can be patient and maybe they have to take these steps first before they can change their sacrificing ways.

And I don't think I always need them to be apologising to each other either. It goes unsaid and they have both made mistakes so it makes no sense to tally everything they've done. I just don't like it when Dean blames Sam for something without pausing to think about why Sam might have done that in the first place (like - Sam released the darkness to save Dean but that was because Dean decided to take on the Mark in the first place), I know it would be tedious for the boys to constantly talk about their mistakes so I can let that go. I think I'm still just a little bitter about S9 to be honest, so it clouds a lot of my feelings on the lines they cross.

I'm still hopeful we'll get to a point when they don't have to keep those kinds of secrets from each other, The strength of the show comes from them working together to solve a problem. But I also get they have to tell a story and that's all part of it.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It has made me feel a bit better about the episode. :)
15th-Oct-2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
i agree with your review,my grade is 2 and 3 because well... some of it i liked, which you mentioned, some i didnt which you mentioned. we'll see next week. *payed no attention to the torture scenes*
16th-Oct-2015 01:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it seemed to cause me a few problems. But there were some very strong bits so I'll keep thinking about those. :)
15th-Oct-2015 07:00 pm (UTC)
Aside from how utterly pointless, boring, juvenile (and did I mention pointless?) the cardboard angel scenes usually are, I actually scoffed out loud when the scene cut to Cas tied up with a bag over his head. I've been sick of torture scenes like this since early S4, and they're still doing them. The first time Meg was tied to a chair in a devil's trap, that worked. When Gordon did the same to Dean and tortured him with mental images of what he was going to do to Sam—yes. Maayyybe two or three times since then. But there have been what feels like hundreds of these scenes, and since S6 they are all uniformly static, revolting, tedious, and pointless to the plot. I can't believe they keep going there. I can't believe they waste money and resources filming them. Also, wtf with Hannah tricking Cas and then dying? Hannah was the first interesting angel they've had since Naomi died, and they managed to wipe all of that out in about 30 seconds.

I actually enjoyed a lot of the episode (mostly because Jared), and I can't even get worked up about the stupid stuff any more. But it really is sad, how much potential gets thrown out the window every week. It's like they have this huge, beautiful box of crayons in every conceivable color, and yet they go for the same three colors every time, using them to draw the same clumsy picture of a house with two windows and a door.

Edited at 2015-10-15 07:01 pm (UTC)
15th-Oct-2015 08:01 pm (UTC)
It's like they have this huge, beautiful box of crayons in every conceivable color, and yet they go for the same three colors every time, using them to draw the same clumsy picture of a house with two windows and a door.

That is such a perfect metaphor!!!!
15th-Oct-2015 08:01 pm (UTC)
As you know, I didn't enjoy this episode much at all, except for the Sam scenes, even if they made no sense. You can find my review here:


I agree with so much of the above comments! It seems I'm the only one who didn't notice the music. I was too busy wincing over all of the other stuff.
16th-Oct-2015 02:27 pm (UTC)
It was a difficult one for me too. It's good to see it worked for many - it's better to be happy with an episode than not. I would certainly prefer the former. But yeah, there were just too many holes for me to sit back and just enjoy it.
15th-Oct-2015 11:55 pm (UTC)
Cas's torture scene is sooo long and tasteless. And I'm really tired of hearing Sam saying how this is his fault. I don't believe him or the show.
Other than that I enjoyed this episode better than the last one. I don't have high expectations for them, and I have stopped fussing over details...
Hugs you.
17th-Oct-2015 06:22 am (UTC)
Since writing this I am feeling slightly better about it. I'm mostly feeling better about the Sam stuff, which helps a lot. The characters blaming themselves seems to be a constant. The amount of guilt those boys carry around could sink a ship (or the show if they're not careful). Let's hope it's been said and now moving on will begin.
16th-Oct-2015 01:15 am (UTC)
Your recap sums up most everything I've said elsewhere last night and today about this episode and how the season is shaping up. Only two episodes in and the boys are telling huge lies, or avoiding the truth (same thing.) If all these lies between them are swept under the rug, or perhaps hand waved as a better term just WTF?

Some of us were discussing today that the heart of the show is gone, that it's just a jumbled mess with no center and that's soley on Carver. He doesn't care about Sam and Dean and it shows in his storytelling. He doesn't know how to show them as loving, co-dependent, been through hell and back, brothers. He shows them as hunting partners.

I hate to think of the Js fibbing to us that the boys are back to a S1 type relationship when, so far, it's anything but. The Baby epi may give us some good conversations but if they aren't honest about some of the fundamental issues between them early on, it will only fester and that never ends well. IDK maybe that's what Carver's end game is, to have them never trusting each other again, much less show affection or concern towards each other. Season 8 was horrible but at least it gave us some good moments between them, as fucked up as things were. He has no idea how to grow characters and keep them growing. I could ramble on about the rest of how he's ruined show but it's all been said.

Bottom line, I'm very sad to finally say out loud that our once magical show has lost it's magic and it's heartbreaking.
17th-Oct-2015 06:33 am (UTC)

I have to admit that some of the comments in this thread have helped me accept the episode more. In fact, it might even be making me a little excited again (which is bloody dangerous because I don't want to get my hopes up too much!).

I have a feeling (of course, I might be wrong), that the first 3 episodes are going to be about re-adjustment. Looking at it now I think Sam has made the first big adjustment. In 11.01 he talked about them needing to change and stopping the cycle. I have been struggling with why Sam didn't tell Dean that he was dying. I have been reminded that after what Dean did to him last time he was dying (S9) and what Sam did consequently - he knew telling Dean was too big a risk. I think Sam was prepared to have a devastated Dean over Dean doing something that would jeopardise his autonomy and world again.

I don't think it means there's less love between them, or that they still wouldn't burn the world for each other, but I think this is Carver's (?) way of starting a reset. Sam has put the brothers back on even footing. He saved himself, found a cure and didn't risk either Dean or the world to stop him from dying. He proved it can be done. I don't think it means he wouldn't risk all that to save Dean, but here he empowered himself. Almost a complete opposite to the start of S9.

*phew* sorry, I had to get all that out.

I think the next 2 episodes will be vital to see if this hold true. Dean's response will be very important - as will the episode that HOPEFULLY brings them back together. *fingers crossed*
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