?

Log in

No account? Create an account
curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
11.19 episode reaction/review  
29th-Apr-2016 09:19 pm
squeed, posted, I watched
This got a little long. I felt like I could write about this one forever *g*. Such a beautifully layered episode.



The are times when this show is downright terrible (I'm sorry, but it is) and other times it's bloody spectacular. This one? Spectacular! I know that might be a strange way to describe an episode that was actually fairly quiet, steadily paced and thoughtful - but those are actually the reasons why I thought it was rather spectacular. It was an episode that peered into the heart of this show and delivered on a level that I cherish. It examined the brothers' relationship using a parallel that spoke of revenge, dedication, love and finality (be it a happy ever after or one of tragedy).

It also told a story that had a deeply satisfying conclusion (something I've discovered I really need in an episode). It resolved Jesse's need for revenge. It also gave as a "happily ever after" - something that we can perhaps wish for Sam and Dean - it doesn't mean they will get one, but it left the idea open that one day it might be possible for them to their own happily ever after.

On every level this episode delivered for me. It didn't reach the intensity that Red Meat did (hee, thankfully!), but instead it told a very personal story - one that touched on the reasons people hunt, the connection hunting partners have to each other and the way a hunter's life starts and (possibly) finishes.

It also tapped into something Supernatural essentially is - a male story. Each of the men in this episode - Sam, Dean, Jesse, Cesar and the father who lost his daughter - had a connection through loss and examined how each handled it. By looking at this we can reflect of how Sam and Dean have dealt with their own personal losses over the years.

There are a mass of parallels between Sam and Dean and Jesse and Cesar - but the most striking to me is the way each partnership is about endurance - staying with your loved one, no matter what. Cesar's devotion to Jesse through his thirst for revenge mirrored both Sam and Dean's devotion to each other through - well, everything they've been through. It's no mistake "just like a married couple" comes up when describing Sam and Dean. Being married means hanging in there through thick and thin.

I don't think it was an accident that Jesse and Matty not only looked a bit like young Sam and Dean (hair colour notably) but their age difference matched also (4 years apart). Jesse and Matty discussing escaping to a better life was perhaps a reflection of Sam and Dean's early lives (with Matty promising things will get better) and then later Jesse was consumed with revenge and grief after losing his brother (of which we've seen in both Sam and Dean).

I know fandom likes shipping and I'm sure each shipping camp will own the parallels as "proof" or hints that there's gay love between Sam/Dean or Dean/Cas (or Sam and someone else? It was the younger brother who was gay after all), but I think the parallels are more powerful when read as intended - the examination of the variations of love we get between men; between brothers, lovers and a father and child. That the love is just as powerful and soul consuming no matter how you feel it or who you share it with. So fucking deep! I love it.

And look at our little show that could! Giving us a gay, interracial hunting couple without judgement or comment (or death!). It was a tender examination of a couple overcoming the issue of revenge and loss to triumph in the end. YAY! And as much as I'd love to see them again I hope never to see them again. I want them to escape the horrid hunting life - I want them to have their happy ever after.

On top of all the wonderfully deep issues this episode examined it also delivered fantastic performances. I thought the father was excellent. He portrayed a deeply conflicted and guilt ridden man who dealt with his loss differently to Sam and Dean. Jesse and Cesar were absolutely wonderful (their love and respect for each other leapt off the screen) and I also loved the three female guest stars - Sheriff Tyson, the witness and that adorable woman flirting with Sam.

The brothers were given equal opportunities to have their stories told through a connection with the other characters (yay!). They both had similar stories and could empathise with their counterparts. Dean contemplating helping others get their revenge and Sam seeing his own story unfold in Jesse - looking at your brother as "other" - Matty with green eyes, Dean with black ones.

And once again the comment about losing the person who you love more than anything in the world came up. Dean heard it at the end of Red Meat (by the woman who lost her husband) and that was mirrored by Sam hearing it from Jesse in this episode (ack! I hope they're not gearing up for another death at the end of the season).

The monster was wonderfully creepy. I hate cicadas, so things making that noise and crawling out of the ground worked for me!

I think the thing that really cemented this episode as being special was the way it concluded. I totally expected Sam and Jesse to come storming in, blades in hand, full of blood lust saving the men they love. Instead it was almost an anti-climax (in a good way!) with them arriving just in time for Jesse to find his brother *sniff* and quietly and respectfully burning the bodies. It was touching and gave Jesse and Cesar closure.

Sam reminiscing about how he felt as a child - fearing the loss of his dad and brother (even with the mistake of vampires), was poignant and maybe (just maybe?) harked back to the way he actually did feel completely lost when he though Dean had died at the beginning of S8. Sam feeling utterly lost and not knowing how to respond works for me.

My only quibble is the way we are getting the stock standard dialogue before each episode that Cas doesn't appear in. Dean is incredibly worried and is in such a state that Sam has to find a hunt in order to get him out of the bunker. I know they have to tie together myth arc eps with MoTW eps and it's always a little, er, clunky but I'd love these moments to add some dialogue about what Cas actually did. Maybe even acknowledging that Lucifer is out of the cage. There was a time the Lucifer being free was a whole season's myth arc (S5) and now it feels like a mere inconvenience (the threat of Amara seems like the much bigger concern - not Lucifer).

But really, I'm not complaining. I know it's tricky tying these different types of episodes together. I adore MoTW eps (and how weird that these are often referred to as "fillers") and would happily watch a whole season of these. I know the boys need something that keeps them in the game (the world needing to be saved) so I understand why they do it.

S11 is really delivering for me. Having episodes like this (and Red Meat, Safe House, Just My Imagination) that use the MoTW to examine the brothers' relationship and the world in with they live in is what I'm here for. And because this season has a much more positive approach to the brothers (wow 19 eps in and they not only like each other, I think they are trusting each other again too), we are seeing these more positive examinations of their relationship. All I can say is...more please!
Comments 
29th-Apr-2016 01:57 pm (UTC)
hi Ash, im glad you enjoyed; for me, problems in this episode; it was boring, (i never say that about an episode!) :(

1.editing issues,the camera following Dean. Sam disappearing (long conversation with guest star) while

2.Dean got all the action scenes

3. um..well...uh...no...just no 4 weeks on break and this is what we have?
29th-Apr-2016 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. I'm sorry to hear you felt that way. It was such an amazing Sam and Dean episode (with a major focus on Sam I have to say) that I'm surprised to hear you didn't enjoy it.

The nuanced layers were beautifully crafted and Sam not having the action scenes were crucial to him connecting with Jesse and his story. As you can see, I totally loved it. Another top one from this fab season...;D

just no 4 weeks on break and this is what we have?

If you mean amazing story telling then yes!! (Hee, I know you don't but I'm pretty happy to have loved it as much as I did. *g*) Nancy Won is quickly becoming one of my fave writers.
29th-Apr-2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, all of this. All the love.

Sam seeing his own story unfold in Jesse - looking at your brother as "other" - Matty with green eyes, Dean with black ones

Ah! Great catch. I completely missed that parallel.
29th-Apr-2016 02:06 pm (UTC)
I only picked that up on the second viewing. There was a deliberate shot to Sam and if felt significant. Or maybe it was just the way Jared was playing it. Either way, I think there were some great parallels in this one.
29th-Apr-2016 02:24 pm (UTC)
Was so great watching the ep with you tonight and discussing so many of the points you detail here. Have such a better understanding and love for this ep after our discussions.

Sam reminiscing about how he felt as a child - fearing the loss of his dad and brother (even with the mistake of vampires), was poignant and maybe (just maybe?) harked back to the way he actually did feel completely lost when he though Dean had died at the beginning of S8. Sam feeling utterly lost and not knowing how to respond works for me.

OMG, of course!!!! This makes so much sense. Love that we are FINALLY getting some insight into Sam's possible state of mind after end of Season 7/ early S8. Even if it wasn't intentional on Nancy Won's part, I'm taking it as a win for always much needed Sam POV even if it is 3 1/2 seasons too late!!!
29th-Apr-2016 03:26 pm (UTC)
Was so great watching the ep with you tonight and discussing so many of the points you detail here

It was great to watch together! And thanks for listening to me waffle on about this episode...

That second viewing made me see so many more thing connections. I was curious why Sam mentioned being lost and when we look back at the times he loses Dean - he's exactly that. Lost. I wish S8 had explored that more at the time, but little things like this can help be understand (and accept it) more. I'm sure Nancy Won wasn't thinking about S8 when she wrote that, but she was writing Sam in character so that counts for something. :)
29th-Apr-2016 02:34 pm (UTC)

Yessss, knew you'd nail it. Excellent review, dear! Spot on - loved it!

29th-Apr-2016 03:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks hun! :)
29th-Apr-2016 02:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad they gave this episode to Nancy Won - certain other writers would have made a right fist of it but with Nancy it was in safe hands. I really liked it, and I think I will like it more on a second view because of the reasons you mention - it was subtle, understated (mostly) and relatively quiet. What I found very unsubtle was that whole losing the person you love most theme which they seem to be bashing us over the head with the last few episodes. It really does feel they are foreshadowing something like crazy that we are supposed to be picking up on. And I find that a little annoying.
Apart from that though, I liked it a lot.

This season!!! ♥ all over the place!

Oh and Sheriff thingy! I was racking my brains for why she was so familiar and hey! she was in Dark Angel as Joshua's love interest, the blind girl - and I loved her in that.

Edited at 2016-04-29 02:52 pm (UTC)
29th-Apr-2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
What I found very unsubtle was that whole losing the person you love most theme which they seem to be bashing us over the head with the last few episodes. It really does feel they are foreshadowing something like crazy that we are supposed to be picking up on.

Yes. It's weird because this show is pretty much always about that. They just seem to be making more of an issue of it this season. I also fear it's foreshadowing something but in all honesty if they kill one of them off AGAIN at the end of the season it just won't resonate - mostly because it can never be "real". Now, they might subvert it - have us think that's where they are going but turn it about somehow, but I'm never confident that they are that forwarding thinking.

There's definitely some message about grief and loss and the lengths partners go to for each other. But even if one of them end up in the Empty (no different to Hell or Purgatory etc) we know they'll be back next season. I would love to think they are being more clever than that.

And the sheriff looked familiar but I'm not sure I recognise her from DA (as I haven't watched much of them). Possibly from another series even...

29th-Apr-2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
I really liked those 2 hunters and very selfishly want them to show up again- or even have their own show! :D
29th-Apr-2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
*nods* own show! I would watch the hell out of that! <3
29th-Apr-2016 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this review! I've been off-line for a few days and I haven't seen reactions to this episode so I've been afraid to express how much I loved it -- thanks for doing that for me!! I loved that we got a healthy, complex hunter couple as a parallel for the Winchesters, and that they got their happy ending! I kept thinking, see? It's possible! You don't have to go out "blaze o' glory style," boys!
30th-Apr-2016 02:08 am (UTC)
Haha! Yes! No blaze of glory for you two! Find a ranch somewhere and settle down. :) Having a healthy, complex hunter couple was the best part about the ep I think. You can carry all that anger and guilt and still come out ok in the end - because you have someone to share it with.
29th-Apr-2016 04:29 pm (UTC)
Really sweet episode, as have been nearly all the MOTW ones.
This was perhaps slow-paced but that didn't detract from the enjoyment.

The gay couple was presented with just the right approach, and the fondness between them was palpable without being over-the top.

I know many enjoy the parallels that are drawn between Sam and Dean and the occasional guest stars in the various episodes, but I feel we've gotten past that now. It's renowned that Sam and Dean share unboundless love and are ready and willing to make the extreme sacrifice for each other, and always will.

It's rather annoying that we get the same repetitive opening in each episode.
We're supposed to believe Dean is upset because Castiel prefers sitting comfortably in front of the TV inside his Lucifer-possessed vessel, but each time he repeats it, his concern is less believable.
When he and Sam go off on their weekly hunt, Deans forgets completely about the angel.

I just have to finish off by saying that I find Amara the least scary of all the enemies the brothers have faced.
To be touted as God's sister she's pretty weak.
Sure she's good for the occasional earthquake, but a troupe of angels managed to weaken her and knock her out, so not all that strong.

Anyhow, I've really enjoyed the MOTW brother eps, the story-arc not so much, and I doubt the remaining eps leading up to the end of the season will be any more interesting. But we'll see. :)
30th-Apr-2016 09:40 am (UTC)
Hi there.

When he and Sam go off on their weekly hunt, Deans forgets completely about the angel.

It's as though the opening tells us that they're worried for Cas (and yes, I believe Sam would also be worried, even though we're not really seeing it. Though I think he's probably also pretty angry that Cas let Lucifer out of the cage) and then the new hunt distracts them completely from their other troubles. Which, I suppose they've always done it that way. It just seems more clunky this season for some reason.

I just have to finish off by saying that I find Amara the least scary of all the enemies the brothers have faced.

It's weird isn't it? I'm not sure why that is. Maybe they are holding back on just how devastating she can be. Maybe it's because we watched her grow up and haven't really seen her true capabilities. I don't know, but I agree she's definitely not scary (yet!).

I love the MoTW stories too. Always get good insights into the brothers and I love it when they come across a new monster. :)
29th-Apr-2016 04:39 pm (UTC)
Wasn't it just wonderful? I'm with you, I loved it; quiet, poignant, subtle and understated. It felt deep and thinky to me, rather than big on the action and fighting scenes, and I really enjoyed that change of pace.

I adored Cesar and Jesse, and I was thrilled that one or both of them didn't die (which I was expecting), and I love the idea of the hunters finding a happy ending, and leaving that life behind. I'd like to see these two again, but then again I don't because then something 'bad' would happen and I like the idea of Sam and Dean visiting them at their ranch and riding on horses and drinking beers ;)

Indiachick mentioned something in her recent post that stuck with me about my enjoyment of season 11 so far and that's "its willingness to zoom in on the boys, not the big myth-arcs", allowing us to find out new things that we didn't know before (like Sam smoking weed, his childhood fear about Dean and John not returning from a hunt, or Dean telling us about his recurring dream in 11.04 etc). I love finding out these little details about Sam and Dean, things that even after 11 years, are new to us. Season 11 is giving us this and so much more - I'm loving it!

Wonderful review, and I'm so happy that you enjoyed it *hugs*
30th-Apr-2016 09:42 am (UTC)
and I really enjoyed that change of pace.

Me too! I think some found it too slow or not action based enough but I love the change in format.

that's "its willingness to zoom in on the boys, not the big myth-arcs", allowing us to find out new things that we didn't know before

Yes! Definitely. We've been getting some lovely nuggets of information and because the season isn't all about them fighting they don't have to concentrate on their problems.

Always great to enjoy an ep! I'm hoping there's more to come! :D
29th-Apr-2016 05:48 pm (UTC)
As usual, you relate all the feelings I have about an episode, and point out things (green eyes--black eyes) I missed, or didn't consciously pick up on.

I've lately realized I'm a little tired of crisis to crisis television, in general. A little slower pace, quiet introspection and character exploration are often more welcome than commercial-to-commercial heightening tension, just for the sake of it.

Kandyse McClure did indeed have several scenes with Jensen on Dark Angel. She was also Deck Officer Dualla, "Dee", on Battlestar Galactica.
30th-Apr-2016 10:04 am (UTC)
A little slower pace, quiet introspection and character exploration are often more welcome than commercial-to-commercial heightening tension, just for the sake of it.

I agree. I liked the change in format. I was thinking these monsters won't be able to capture Dean and Cesar and monologue to them whilst we wait for Sam and Jesse to arrive (which would normally happen). I really liked the departure from that.

Kandyse McClure did indeed have several scenes with Jensen on Dark Angel.

It would have been nice to have already worked with Jensen. :)
29th-Apr-2016 06:09 pm (UTC)
You described the episode wonderfully. i had to watch it twice to get the full effect. I spent the first watch expecting the usual format- with galloping rescues and flying blades and dead hunter, instead we actually got a wonderfully competent hunt (overlooking Dean's initial foray into the forest without weapons drawn, which was a plot device) and yes, lots of story and character and a win. On first watch it put me off balance, on second watch I loved it.

I too could have done without the lame Cas dialogue. Show not tell - a Cas case map on the wall would have been as effective for me.

As for the Sam and vampire (and rugaru) thing, I really don't have an issue with that. For Sam, those memories of childhood are thousands of years old - he has cage time between. I suspect he remembers the general feeling of worrying and ascribes monsters in general with any faces, after all this time. The specific monsters weren't important the emotions were.

So far this season, sticking to MOtW eps is the only thing that has kept me watching, so i am now conflicted about whether the season has effectively finished for me or if I watch the rest and risk being seriously disappointed.
29th-Apr-2016 09:54 pm (UTC)
Funny you should say that about Sam, I was thinking something similar. We get very hung up about the minutiae of their lives, their time lines and suchlike, but most people aren't actually that precise in their own memories. And that is without factoring in the whole dying and coming back and being in Hell or Cages for decades longer than they've actually lived their own 'normal' lives. So yeah, a little blending of memories is to be expected.
29th-Apr-2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop as I watched this one--some crazy twist, some tragedy (I am sure I was not the only viewer yelling 'don't split up!' at my TV while Dean and Cesar were looking for the chitters!)

Then when Sam and Dean decided they'd ask Cesar and Jesse to join them I thought how cool to add new semi-regulars...only to have that hope dashed right away. But pleasantly stunned that both of them survived the ep and are heading for a happy ending!
30th-Apr-2016 10:17 am (UTC)
some crazy twist, some tragedy

I know! It was kind of unsettling. But by the end I loved that about it. It's broke format and instead of giving us a typical episode it delved deeper and the twist ended up being no twist at all.

(I am sure I was not the only viewer yelling 'don't split up!' at my TV while Dean and Cesar were looking for the chitters!)

Nope! I was doing it too. A couple of times - when sam and Dean split up (and Dean went in without a weapon) and then in the cave. And I wonder how Dean lost his blade? They mention it, but not how it happened.

I thought how cool to add new semi-regulars.

I would have actually loved this. I felt that too. They would have been great other partners for them to have, but I also loved that they decided to stop hunting. And love that Dean let that go. SOOOO much love for the ending of the episode. Maybe one of my all time fave endings. :)
29th-Apr-2016 11:38 pm (UTC)
Great review! Touched on so many of my own thoughts. :D

I think the parallels are more powerful when read as intended - the examination of the variations of love we get between men; between brothers, lovers and a father and child. That the love is just as powerful and soul consuming no matter how you feel it or who you share it with.

^^This! When ruminating on Show the day after watching it, that was my main take away, the point that I kept coming back to and thinking about.

There was a time the Lucifer being free was a whole season's myth arc

I'm not so worried about that right now because Amara has him on a leash...so I feel like he's contained.

As to the mytharc...it has so much potential. I just...I can't help worrying that said potential will not be fulfilled.
30th-Apr-2016 10:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! I have a lot of feeling about this ep. <3

I'm not so worried about that right now because Amara has him on a leash...so I feel like he's contained.

True that. I suppose they don't have to worry about any damage he'll do. It just seems to weird Sam and Dean as pretty much *meh* about Cas letting him out. Maybe they know they've made mistakes and understand how it goes.

As to the mytharc...it has so much potential. I just...I can't help worrying that said potential will not be fulfilled.

Me too. I actually have't any ideas or hopes to how it will conclude but I want to be surprised and impressed. I want them to do something we haven't considered. Something they haven't done before. Or a different twist on what they have done before (I'm thinking one of the boys having to sacrifice themselves or dying - a new twist on that).

I just know I don't want Amara being easily taken down - God's sister shouldn't be "killed" or got rid of by a magic trick.

But we'll see. I'm just thrilled the boys aren't hating on each other any more. :)
30th-Apr-2016 10:58 am (UTC)
Enjoyed this one very much once it got going. Like you I'm rather jaded with the Cas situation. I don't mean to stir up any trouble, but Dean is one of those personalities that never ever fails to bring up past mistakes and yet Cas seems to get a free ride every turn - at the end of the day Cas said 'yes' to the devil and I'd much rather see some real true simmering anger from Dean over this, but no, save the pet angel is the order of the day - again. Thank goodness he's researching and not moping in his room listening to One Direction! Oops - there goes my inner bitch again...

The episode once it got past that problem though was a pleasure of discovery and some surprisingly nuanced and subtle topics. I expected to cringe in a couple of places, but the anvils had been replaced with thoughtful parallels that had insight and development. Pleased to see the two hunters getting their 'happy ever after' and even happier to see Dean let them walk away when both guys are really in a dark place of needing help, this time a sacrifice wasn't made or asked for, and it was a good thing they did - saving people - it's been a theme this season that's really made me happy.
1st-May-2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
I agree it took a little bit to get going but once it established its pace and got pace that clunky opening it was great. I was so happy to see them take a different direction with this rather than the stock standard format.

Cats can do no wrong it seems - release Sam from the panic room so he could release Lucifer in S4, get Sam out of hell without telling Sam or Dean, break Sam's wall, become "god" and screw things up and now let Lucifer loose on the world. In any other universe Dean would be so pissed off with Cas that he wouldn't spend his energy on him. But it's this universe and clearly their "bond" means Cas can pretty much do anything and Dean is ok with it.

I actually think it would be a stronger story if they allowed Dean to have actually feelings about this rather than just worry. I don't think it would annoy the fans who want Dean and Cas together because it would be about real emotion - not this empty stuff (not that I care either way but I figure it must be frustrating for them also).

The happy ending for the hunters was wonderful. Totally unexpected and satisfying.
30th-Apr-2016 04:33 pm (UTC)
Another great episode! Season 11 is the best by far of the more recent seasons. And, I think, Nancy Won is my favorite writer, too. So much of the brothers working together - I love it!
1st-May-2016 12:59 pm (UTC)
Agreed!! I hope we have a lot more Nancy Won!
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
This page was loaded Nov 25th 2017, 11:19 am GMT.