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TV Guide Blog - Everybody Loves a Clown
TV Guide Blog - Everybody Loves a Clown - Season 2 Episode 2

Posted on TV Guide on October 9, 2006

Sorry my comments are later than usual. I was out of town over the weekend, but I'm back to babble endlessly. I also purposely avoided reading other blogs and comments so that I wouldn't be swayed with my comments.

I have to admit that I had mixed emotions about this episode. I TOTALLY loved the parts with Sam and Dean dealing with John's death, but found the clown/demon storyline almost like filler and extraneous. It was okay, but I think it might have worked better to have just one more transitional episode  without having the boys return to demon hunting so soon after burning John at the funeral pyre which was the kind of "blaze of glory" I would have expected for John Wincester. That worked for me. I understand that the hunt for the clown played a pivotal role in shaping Sam's newfound zeal for hunting, but still, I felt it was a little too soon and bit of a throwaway.

Still, that's not to say that I didn't LOVE the episode for its other merits which were considerable. Back to that funeral pyre, Jensen just floored me with the look on his face. It was an agonized mix of coldness and loss. I thought the lone tear he shed made a POWERFUL emotional statement, even more so than Sam's sobbing. He felt the loss, but it was clouded by whatever John told him and clearly it was something that he was not willing to share with Sam because he lied to him about John saying anything to him before he died. So much could be read in that expression, pain, bitterness, maybe, but certainly, for me, a definite change in attitude that has the potential to destroy him.

Sam's insistence at the beginning of Dean dealing with their dad's death seemed shallow at first because he does make another connection to the revenge component. Even if Sam was just trying to get a rise out of Dean, it seemed short sighted to even mention it so soon after his death. Dean, even in the pain he's suffering, still manages to logically point out to Sam that they have nothing to go on and no weapon to fight the demon with so what was the point in even bringing it up.

I did like that the episode still had the brothers joke and care for each other, but I felt it was really muted, like the relationship had taken on some kind of wear and that Dean's conflict is affecting his ability to see things clearly. Yeh, he was teasing Sam about his fear of clowns, but it didn't have the same jovial ring to it like it did in Season 1. I do like that. I would have hated it if they had resumed their relationship like nothing had happened. As Eric Kripke pointed out, John's death as as well as what he whispered to Dean isn't being swept under the rug and it's being dealt with in a slow erosion of their relationship and maybe on a scarier level, Dean's sanity. Maybe even his core identity will come into question. I got this feeling of foreboding throughout the episode, especially after Dean's aggression on the Impala (that poor, poor car, hasn't it been  through enough?) which came off to me (forgive me, english major showing here) as symbolic. Not only is the Impala a character on the show, but it symbolizes John Wincester, especially for Dean. John gave him the car and to have him tear into the car, beating it as if beating his father in some way was heartbreaking. Then, the scary part, that after all that, there were no tears, just a cold, blank stare. Again, Jensen was just awesome!!! I'm enjoying the slow burn to whatever will come, but I'm also feeling the pain Dean is going through. For me, Sam's reaction to their dad's death is textbook, re-examining life as a hunter, wanting to do what dad would have wanted, feeling the guilt both from fighting him all his life to the last fight they had, all that is understandable and makes Sam no less in pain and struggling with dealing with the loss, but what's moving for me on his side is that he doesn't have his dependable, strong, big brother to lean on like he always has. Dean is slipping away from him and I feel Sam's loss as well as his desire to get him back because for the first time, Dean is the one who needs saving and he's resisting.

I loved the addition of Ellen, Jo and especially Ash. He is HILARIOUS and was the perfect contrast. MIT brainiac, but still funny and bumbling. I'm looking forward to seeing him in future episodes. I also liked Jo. She was capable, no-nonsense, but really likeable. I was so moved that Dean, seemingly trying to get back to his womanizing ways, couldn't do it because it didnt' feel right, not just because of her, but for him as well. I also liked the set up at the end of the episode where she asks if she'll see him again, he then asks her if she would like that, then she says she wouldn't hate it. It was a really cute exchange! Most admirable in my view of Dean was his honesty with her that he wasn't any different than the other hunters whohave hit on her, that he would have hit on her in a hot minute too, but that the timing wasn't right (wrong time, wrong place). She understood that and, I think, admired him for his honesty. This slow progression towards the eventual romance, I can take and approve of (like the writers need or want my approval, hee, hee).

All in all I really liked the episode and really am feeling the heartbreaking descent of Dean. I can already feel the different paths that both brothers are taking, but of course I have every faith that they will come together again. What's great about turning Dean into a darker direction is that it gives more meaning to how stalwart, heroic, and full of conviction Dean was in Season 1 and how he still is all those things, but they're now buried under anger, potentially self-doubt, uncertainty, maybe even a little hatred. That maybe he'll have to find his way out not only using those same qualities, but maybe even more importantly needing Sam to give him back those beliefs.

This week's episode sounds even better. As always, I can't wait for Thursday!! Would love to hear your thoughts as always as well.