Unabashed Spoiler Hound & Fanfic writer

Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Criss Angel is a Douch Bag: "Man, I hope I die before I get old"
sophie_deangirl
Sorry for the delay.  Those of you who use iTunes to get their episode downloads like I do, were waiting breathlessly for both Criss Angel is a Douchebag and After School Special as I was. They finally arrived late last week and over the weekend.  I use the downloads to help me get specifics. Try doing that with video tape and you'll understand why I wait for the downloads. I haven't graduated to TiVo or DVR yet.

First, I have to carbon date myself here and say that I loved seeing Barry Bostwick as Jay. Many of you probably know him as the Mayor from Spin City, but this old dinosaur fondly remembers him as the Jensen Ackles of the 70's and 80's and when he was in a certain mini-series called Scruples playing a character named Spider Elliot opposite Lindsay Wagner. I crushed a bit on him in those days too.  Nothing makes a girl feel more like a cradle robber than to admit to crushing on a guy in the 80's who appears on a show to which she is crushing on another, much YOUNGER, actor in the 21st Century.  Whoa...Still, it was nice to see Barry holding up well and aging nicely.  It was also nice to see John Rubinstein, son of renown pianist Arthur Rubinstein, and Richard Libertini.  Both have been all over the tube in guest appearances dating back to as long ago as the 70's and 80's themselves.  I loved Sam's comment about Jay:  "Looks like this guy Jay was a pretty big deal in the 70's".  It made me giggle given what I knew about Barry.

Okay, to the episode. I liked this episode a lot.  It broke my heart in so many ways, both sentimentally and in ways that made me want to rage against the world.  I know you know what I'm talking about.  More on that in a minute.  I LOVED that this episode reflected some interesting parallels between Jay, Charlie and Vernon and Dean and Sam, specifically Jay's relationship to Charlie.  In so many ways, Jay killing Charlie could be both Sam and Dean's fates, that one of them will kill the other for the sake of saving other lives.  Jay feels no comfort in his actions even when Dean tells him that he did the right thing:

"I killed my best friend yesterday and you want to thank me?"

"Listen, Jay, you know Charlie was never going to give up what he was doing. Ever.  You did the right thing."

"You sure about that? You know Charlie was like my brother. Now he's dead. Because I did the right thing. He offered me a gift and I just threw it back in his face. So now I have to spend the rest of my life old and alone. What's so right about that?"


You can see the stricken looks on both Sam and Dean's faces.  I can easily see Jay as Dean, killing Sam because it was the right thing to do, because Sam had turned darkside. The ending showed that possibility becoming more and more plausible as Sam makes what I think will be a fatal mistake. I can see Dean drinking his pain away like Jay, questioning his choice.  I can see Sam offering Dean a chance to join him on the darkside, but Dean being the principled man that he is, despite his own horrific choices in Hell and likely his own belief that maybe he's dipped his toe into the dark as much, if not more than, Sam has, he will still make the awful choice of saving the world at the expense of his brother and hate himself for the rest of his life for doing "the right thing".

I can also see Sam killing Dean.  Right now, we're being led to think that Sam is the one going down the dark path and all evidence seems to definitely point that way, especially when he climbs into the car with Ruby:

"Okay, I'm in."

"What changed your mind?"

"I don't want to be doing this when I'm an old man."


But I can also envision Sam sitting at a bar drinking, being the last Winchester standing, either resulting from killing Dean as EvilSam then realizing what he's done and coming back to normal (this is the romantic in me, mind you -- I'd like to think that if Sam does go darkside, killing Dean would be the shock to the system that would bring Sam back -- unlikely though this is because once turned, likely hard to undo, I'd like to think love would somehow prevail -- like I said, romantic, incurable to say the least) or that Dean might have been seduced to the darkside by some force or through the same "pressure" that Uriel talked about, Sam. I can see Dean trading himself in for Sam. Who's to say that Lillith or Lucifer don't want Dean instead of Sam? Being the unrepentant DeanGirl that I am, I absolutely HATE this idea, but you never know, especially with the revelation that Dean enjoyed torturing souls.  I'm hoping that this reveal is just another way to show how remorseful Dean is for all his actions in Hell, not that he is more subject to going dark because he did enjoy torturing those souls, but who knows what lies in the dark minds of Eric Kripke and his writers.  It would be like them to torture ME by making Dean evil.  The very LAST thing I'd want to have happen. *crosses fingers and toes that it doesn't happen.

I totally loved the conversation that Sam and Dean had about how their lives might end up.  This discussion along with Jay's statement at the end seems to be the trigger that drives Sam to Ruby.  In a way, you see that Sam still dreams of having that normal life, of escaping hunting, of still not accepting the legacy given to him. Sure, unfairly, no one can dispute that, but Sam just can't accept the idea that he has no choice in his destiny and convinces himself that the choices he's making now will somehow redeem him or at the very least allow him a life beyond hunting.  This was enlightened in the following episode, After School Special when a caring teacher tells him that he has choices that he doesn't have to go into the "family business".  More on that in another blog.  We realize that despite Sam's declaration in Wishful Thinking that he's not the Sam who dreamed of a white picket fence anymore, in many ways, he still is, but maybe what he wants from his life has changed.  He doesn't want to grow old hunting...the problem is, you wonder if he's considering Jay's other lament, growing old alone. 

When Dean and Sam talk about their futures, Dean just sees an early death for them both, he doesn't even consider Bobby's longevity as a hunter as an attractive concept, but Sam does in a way.  This is the first clue that Sam wants more, that he wants to live a long life, but not as a hunter.  You can also see him thinking that if he could get rid of Lillith, he'd have that chance, that they both would.  You can't miss that his drive for payback against Lillith is still there, raw and dying to be exacted. It's like he's shifted the blame for his life from their father to Lillith.  It's a wonderful and telling exchange:

"Man, I hope I die before I get old. That thing seems brutal, don't it?"

“Think we will?”

“What?”  

“Die before we get old?” 

“Haven’t we both already?” -- (who didn't laugh at this a little)

“You know what I mean, Dean. Do you think we’ll still be chasing demons when we’re... sixty.” 

“No, I think we’ll be dead. For good. What, you wanna end up like Travis? Huh? Or Gordon maybe?” 

“There’s Bobby.” 

“Oh yeah, there’s a poster child for growing old gracefully.”  --  I know that Dean didn't mean anything derogatory against Bobby, but he's right.  Bobby, though he's lived a long time, is also haunted by the losses he's suffered in "the life" and isn't living a normal life, likely never will. 

“Maybe we’ll be different, Dean.”  -- here's Sam's hope for something more revealed here. You want that for him and Dean, but you also can't help seeing Dean's side of it too.

“What kinda Kool-Aid you drinking, man? Sammy, it ends bloody, or sad. That’s just the life.”

“What if we could win?”   -- You get the hint here that Sam's thinking that maybe HE can win it for them and for the world.

“Win?”

“If there was a way we could just... put an end to all of it.” 

“Is there something going on you’re not telling me?” -- You can see Dean's suspicions here and he has a right to be.

“No,” 

“Sammy?”

“No! Look, I’m just saying, I just wish there was a way we could just go after the source. That’s all. Cut the head off the snake.” 

“Well the problem with the snake is that it has a thousand heads. Evil bitches just keep piling out of the Volkswagen.”

“Yup. Guess you’re right,” Sam says after a bit. 


You can tell Dean suspects something, even when Sam says he's going for a walk at the end of the episode, you can see Dean wonder where he's going or more likely, if he's going to meet Ruby on his "walk".

I was SO crushed when Sam made this decision.  It cements Sam's selfish drive with regards to his actions. I'm not Sam-bashing, but it's arrogant to think that he, alone, with his powers, can defeat Lillith and thus keep Lucifer from rising and himself from turning into a monster. Again, like I said earlier, it seems his need for payback and vengeance against Lillith is blinding him.  It's here that I feel Ruby's influence and I hate every moment of it.  I hate that she's found a way to reach Sam, to manipulate him into thinking that he can stop Lillith, that he might be the only one who can stop her.  It's the kind of ego-building that Sam is vulnerable to. Sam needs validation just as much as Dean. Dean sought it out with their father's approval and to some degree, Sam's too.  His high regard for his family drives him to do what he does.  Most of the time to his detriment.

Sam wanted that approval from his father as well, but instead of taking what he could from it, like Dean did, he rebelled and left to find it elsewhere.  Sam is torn between wanting to be normal, to live a normal life, to have a choice in his destiny and yet being unable to reconcile what he feels he's doomed to be.  His words in Metamorphosis sheds light into that. He feels since he can't take the demon blood out of him, all he can do is make the best of it and save people using his powers.  Taking a bad situation and doing good with it. He doesn't seem to see that by giving into his powers, realizing how good it feels to use them (Ruby loves pointing this out to him as a carrot to continue doing it -- again, I HATE that -- also I wondered about her little bit of knowledge about Lillith already breaking 34 seals.  If she's SO in the know, why isn't she helping to act proactively?  Like Sam said, how is he supposed to know when Lillith is breaking a seal or will break one or know which one she's going to break? It's then you learn that Ruby wants him to also fine tune his psychic powers back up again, yet another one of the powers he gets to "tone up" for during his "evolution".  I was so irked by her in his episode and a little glad I was because I have to admit I've had my moments when I've wondered if maybe she wasn't all bad...), he is only falling deeper into his own dark pit.  

Just as Dean said to Jay about magic:

"See, the thing about real magic is it's a whole lot like crack.  People do surprising things once they get a taste of it."   

And you see Sam look over at Dean for a second, and maybe for that second, you wonder if Sam heard himself in Dean's words, but it passes and then the ending shows you that Sam has either missed it or dismissed it. He doesn't see that soon, using his powers will become addictive and he'll be unable to walk away, at least not easily, from it once he's tasted it.  It will give him the control he feels he doesn't have, has never had.  He will convince himself that the rush is the reward for doing good.  Like an addict , he will find justification to continue using them until it ultimately destroys him or hopefully Dean will find a way to save him.

Dean's perception of their future is no less grim,  but probably more realistic.  We all know from his dream in Dream a little Dream of Me that he does want that normal life, his vision with Lisa and Ben so painfully heart wrenching because the desire is so meager, that he also wants love, family, a white picket fence life. But while Sam still believes it might be possible, Dean doesn't.  We all know from What is and What Never Should be that Dean could never walk away from the hunting life because he couldn't walk away from the lives he could save.  The only way he's leaving the life is in a pine box.  Dead for good as he said.  It's sad, but Dean harbors no illusions about his future.  To some degree, since being in Hell and doing what he did there, he has an even grimmer view of his future. In his eyes, dead for good might also mean an eternity in Hell that he now feels he's truly earned because of what he did. No more rescues from angels the next time he faces death.  Dean's vision is sad, like he said and he probably sees his end as bloody too.

When Vernon and Jay meet the young Charlie and Charlie tells Jay that Jay had wanted all that he had given him and that he had saved him from committing suicide by giving him purpose again. You can't help, but hear Sam's voice trying to convince Dean of his actions in just the same way.  Not wanting to be alone to live his "second life".  You can hear Jay's voice sounding like Dean, professing that he didn't want any more people to die to live forever or to live youthfully, asking how many more had to in order for him and Vernon to become immortal. And yet at the end of it, Jay questions what he's done, whether doing the right thing was worth losing both of his friends.  You can't help, but see pain and defeat on both Sam and Dean's faces. 

I really loved this episode for all of its foreshadowing both obvious (Sam leaving with Ruby) and subtle (whether Dean and Sam are facing the same hard decisions as Jay and Charlie).  It's these kinds of stories that engage me in the mythology.

As a side note,  I was saddened by the news of the loss of Kim Manners to complications from lung cancer.  Having dodged a bullet recently myself with a breast cancer scare, I have come to appreciate life and all its beauty and simplicity.  Kim's gift to all of us was his ability to draw out the best in his crew and in his actors.  I credit him for my falling in love with Supernatural because the first episode I saw was Dead in the Water and what he drew out of Jensen to reveal the first signs of  Dean's deep devotion and love for his mother and how he tributes her memory by being brave, tugged at my heart and won me over to the show, to Jensen, to Dean and to the lovely mythology that has evolved so wonderfully and continues to unfold before us.  I'll miss Kim's imprint on the show, but his legacy looms large and shines brightly.


Thanks for reading as always.  Comments welcome.  After School Special to follow soon.

  • 1
I loved the layers in this episode. It was so easy to see the parallels between the older magicians and Sam and Dean. And I loved how they brought back Sam's desire to someday lead a normal life. I had assumed he had given that up, but not at all. That was one of the biggest differences between Sam and Dean when this show started, and this episode proved that it's still there.

I've said this many times already, lol, but it's so nice to have my computer back, praise the Lord! And now I have a chance to catch up on the blogs of yours I missed! :)

Nothing makes a girl feel more like a cradle robber than to admit to crushing on a guy in the 80's who appears on a show to which she is crushing on another, much YOUNGER, actor in the 21st Century.

It just goes to show that you have very good taste. :D

"Looks like this guy Jay was a pretty big deal in the 70's". It made me giggle given what I knew about Barry.

Lol, I hadn't thought about the connection before, even with what you said about the actor, but that is hilarious, lol!

"Listen, Jay, you know Charlie was never going to give up what he was doing. Ever. You did the right thing."

"You sure about that? You know Charlie was like my brother. Now he's dead. Because I did the right thing. He offered me a gift and I just threw it back in his face. So now I have to spend the rest of my life old and alone. What's so right about that?"


I still find this line from the episode so haunting, because as you said, it's so easy to imagine Dean winding up that way, especially with what's happened since... *looks worried*

I can also see Sam killing Dean.

I love the point you make here. It would be just like the writers to trick us completely -- or to continue on the magician theme, to misdirect us ;) -- and it's even easier to imagine now that we've seen some of the darkness in Dean.

It would be like them to torture ME by making Dean evil. The very LAST thing I'd want to have happen. *crosses fingers and toes that it doesn't happen.

*crosses fingers with you*

*goes to get picket sign*

NO EVIL DEAN! NO EVIL DEAN!

He doesn't want to grow old hunting...the problem is, you wonder if he's considering Jay's other lament, growing old alone.

Oh, so true! Sam seems to have lost sight of what's really important. I think, in a way, it goes back to one of his biggest character flaws: he's selfish. No always, and certainly Sam's given up a lot of help others, but there's a part of him that still tends to think of himself first, what HE wants, instead of what the people around him may need from him instead.

“Think we will?”

“What?”

“Die before we get old?”

“Haven’t we both already?” -- (who didn't laugh at this a little)


*grins* I so did, lol. I love Dean's grave humor. Yes, I know, terrible pun, lol.

“Well the problem with the snake is that it has a thousand heads.

Sad as it is, I completely agree, I think Dean's got a more realistic picture of what they face. Sam almost comes across as naive there. Not to say that Sam and Dean should lose hope that it's possible for them to actually win, but to fight, they can't let that hope blind them either.

It's here that I feel Ruby's influence and I hate every moment of it. I hate that she's found a way to reach Sam, to manipulate him into thinking that he can stop Lillith, that he might be the only one who can stop her. It's the kind of ego-building that Sam is vulnerable to. Sam needs validation just as much as Dean.

SO TRUE! FANTASTIC POINT!

And you see Sam look over at Dean for a second, and maybe for that second, you wonder if Sam heard himself in Dean's words, but it passes and then the ending shows you that Sam has either missed it or dismissed it.

Again, so very well-said! I think part of what played into his dismissal of it is what we hear Sam say a couple episodes later, that he sees himself as better than Dean. If he's better than Dean, then he has no reason to listen to what Dean says, because Dean doesn't know what he's talking about. It's typical Sam arrogance at a new level, an arrogance I think Ruby has been encouraging.

I'll miss Kim's imprint on the show, but his legacy looms large and shines brightly.

Beautifully said. *hugs* :)

Oh goodness, did that wind up long... *blushes deeply* I guess I have even more pent-up ranting than I realized, lol.

*goes happily to read the next blog...and probably rant some more...* ;)

-Laughter

Thanks for your comments as always

Sorry I am getting around to replying to comments to my blog so late. Busy is just not a fun thing. It takes me away from things like this.

Thanks as always for your comments. I agree that Sam's desire for normal is there, it may not be college or being a lawyer anymore, but it's still not growing old as a hunter either.

Even though Dean's view of their lives is grim, it's realistic.

Laughter, I loved your comment here, "what HE wants, instead of what the people around him may need from him instead."

It's SO true. I mean he thinks he's thinking of the world at large, but in the final analysis, he really wants to have what HE wants. Sam's arrogance is getting scary for me and it's such a human failing, that and revenge are driving Sam and neither very human, but very dangerous qualities will help him and likely will doom him. Their father was driven by revenge and look at the pain and suffering that need for vengeance has wrought on his sons.

It's like this very bad cycle is about to turn back around full circle.

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account