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Death Takes a Holiday: "We're no different than anyone else"
sophie_deangirl
First of all, thanks to everyone who has commented over the last few weeks.  Sorry I have been MIA, but real life, you know, it can be a real cramp in one's style at times, but here we are, a new episode with many more to come, I hope, building to some serious stuff if the rumors are true.  No spoilers here so no worries, besides, they are likely Eric Kripke messing with our heads anyway.

I really liked this episode.  It was a slow burn of intensity in many ways, mixing anger, recrimination, seriously scary issues and complete and utter emotional conflict and confusion. It left me feeling afraid and uncertain for our beloved brothers and I felt the pain and desperate disconnect that Dean felt towards Sam.  

However, this was by no means a reassuring sign of things to come.  If anything, it felt like the downward spiral is beginning and I have to admit that's what's been keeping from writing this blog.  I was left feeling shaky and there was this sense of dread.  The most painful and heart breaking thing that came through this episode will come as no surprise to anyone, it was Sam's complete dismissal of Dean.  His denials to Dean that he wasn't hiding anything despite Dean's upfront confrontation that Sam not treat him like an idiot because he knows better. There was a coldness there that just hung in the air for so long that I felt that chill as I watched.  All those years of Sam prodding Dean to open up to Sam and tell him what was bothering him or sharing an emotion and now, here was Dean asking to be treated with straight answers and Sam not even acknowledging Dean.  No insult to Jared and likely a compliment to how well he portrayed it, but he plays this side of Sam with a bitterly frigid realism that gave me the creeps.  Yes, Dean is still holding a grudge over the words said under the siren spell despite declaring that he was good about what Sam had said, but at worst, that might be perceived as being childish, but no where comes close to Sam's detachment.

This episode also marked the first, likely of many, deaths to come as the episodes unravel before us. Pamela Barnes dying, but with a bang as she whispers the eerie admonition to Sam about using his powers.  Again, brrrr....chills.  Though we didn't know Pamela long, she still played her role in the the gears and cogs of the mythology and we cared about her as well.  Rest in Peace, Pamela.  I fear for what other deaths are to come.  All I have to say on it for now is that they better NOT kill off Bobby Singer.  For all of the rationale and reasoning AGAINST doing it, the fact of the matter is, his death would be a CRUSHING blow, especially to Dean because of Dean's overt declaration to Bobby about how he was like a father to him, and would provide just the right heart breaking twist to bring this season to a deeply darker end.  But I'm NOT going to entertain the idea at all.  I'm going to pout like a spoiled child and refuse to accept that they would do that to the boys and to us devoted Bobby Singer fans.

I have to say that Jensen played Dean's Atlas-like burdens all across his face with BEAUTIFUL agony and weariness, a weariness that you can feel by looking at Dean's expressions as he listens to Jenkins relate his miraculous survival after being shot in the heart, the bullet still in his heart.  When Jenkins admits that he hasn't exactly been a stellar person or father and that living through the shooting made him think that maybe he was being given a second chance, you can't help but see Dean feeling a kindred connection to him and what he was feeling especially when Jenkins said that he thought angels were watching over him.  Jensen gives Dean this look that I can't even BEGIN to put into words.  A mix of a soft smile and an underlying sense of burden all right there.  When Jenkins tells them he doesn't expect them to understand and Dean retorts back that they'll just have to try, you know that Dean doesn't have to try, he understands completely.  When Sam breaks up that moment with the practical, much darker questioning, you can't help, but feel the mood shift and it doesn't feel good at all. Dean dismisses the questioning as quickly as the opportunity presents itself and they both leave.  Sam with this expression that said to me, "don't interfere".  This felt like a role reversal.  Normally, it would have been Dean asking the "demon" questions, but now, it was Sam asking them, maybe even hoping to find those dark answers back so that he can use his powers to defeat whatever was causing the problems.

When they're back at the motel, another role reversal is felt here.  Dean wanting to acknowledge that maybe miracles are happening and Sam dismissing the idea, completely unlike in Are you there, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester or even as early as Houses of the Holy when Sam wanted to entertain the idea of miracles being possible. Still, that was before Sam met Castiel and Uriel and you can't help wondering if they both single handedly with their unquestioning decision to smite the town pretty much decimated Sam's belief in angels and their image as merciful beings.   Maybe that becomes a turning point or the beginnings of one for Sam.  Criss Angel is a Douche Bag just throws Sam headlong back into Ruby's clutches and we all know the journey down the dark and sinister road has begun for Sam.

Still, they come up with the theory that maybe Reapers are being prevented from taking souls in some way and Sam suggests they talk to Cole Griffith the little boy who was the last person to die in the town.  We're back in familiar territory for the Winchesters, the cemetery, but they are not there to do the usual routine procedures, salt and burn, nothing is routine any more for our boys. They are hoping to resurrect Cole's spirit and talk to him. Another interesting moment happens here.  Dean acknowledges what they have done as hunters, kill demons and salt and burn corpses, but he questions whether what they are doing is right because the compassionate side of him sees that if they succeed in getting the "natural order" back in place (though I LOVED Dean's comment about how he and Sam are the "poster boys of the unnatural order" then Sam's point that the two of them are different because he has demon blood and Dean's gone to Hell -- Dean's "We're no different than anyone else" is a touching denial on Dean's part), those that are alive now, good people as he claims, will die.  It harks back to Faith when Dean questions killing the reaper there because Layla would be denied the healing that he feels she deserves.  He asks, "We are doing the right thing, right?" and when Sam says they were, Dean wonders and says, "Doesn't feel like it".  You get that sense here again.  

When they are interrupted by Alistair and Sam exerts his powers on him, tossing Alistair in the air when Alistair couldn't, you get the first feel of bone-chilling foreboding of how far Sam has progressed.   Powerful enough not to be tossed by a demon, let alone a demon of Alistair's caliber, and then to be able to toss Alistair, it's truly terrifying. Alistair's frighteningly pleased tone when he says, "You're stronger, Sam" then Sam saying, "You have no idea", it gives whole new meaning to unnatural and blood-curdling.  Yikes!

The most hurtful moment came later when Sam dismissively tells Dean that nothing else happened with Alistair other than he couldn't be tossed by him and Alistair bailing. Dean knows better and says, "Sam, do me a favor? You're gonna keep your little secrets and I can't stop you, but just don't treat me like an idiot, okay?" You feel Dean's sadness and frustration and when Sam continues to deny he's keeping secrets, your heart breaks for them both.  The distance between them is becoming a crevasse so large, they are barely straddling the divide or maybe more accurately, Dean is.  I can't help but feel that Sam isn't even trying to straddle it, that he's just floating between the divide, inwardly relishing that he can and maybe even a little bit pleased that he's hurting Dean with his denials.

Sam relates that he's  talked with Bobby though later we learn it was really Castiel impersonating Bobby and proudly proclaims that "Bobby" agrees with him and that a demon is kidnapping reapers in order to kill them to break yet another seal.  They employ Pamela Barnes to send them into the spirit world using astral projection (gotta say, this DeanGirl loved that Dean came up with the idea -- crazy an idea as it was), for which she is none too happy about being "volunteered" into doing.  I love that Dean is the one to convince her though. For this DeanGirl, Dean's conviction to save the world would be an easy sell.  She warns them that she's the only one who can get them out which then makes you suspect she's not long for this world, after all, when has it ever been easy for the Winchesters? If their luck wasn't bad, they'd have no luck at all, let's face it!  

So, in the spirit world they communicate with Cole Griffith.  It's here that Dean sees Tessa again.  He doesn't remember her, but one lovely little kiss later, all the memories come flooding back...oh, these lucky actresses who get to kiss Jensen for such wonderfully plot driven reasons.  Talk about bummer...NOT.  Hee!  

It's with Cole they learn that the reaper who was going to take Cole's soul had been kidnapped by a demon, Alistair, we would later learn. Tessa refuses to leave, but gives Dean and Sam time to get the information they need from Cole before she takes his soul. 

Okay, the moment between Sam and Cole...there aren't enough adjectives for chilling, eerie, sinister in the thesaurus to describe how UTTERLY CREEPY and again, heart breaking it was to hear Sam toy with little Cole.  I know, I looked. To hear Sam promise that Cole wouldn't have to leave his mom that he could stay there forever, going against everything they stood for as hunters, even if it was to get Cole to cooperate felt all manner of wrong and for Sam to do it with the ease that he did, even more wrong. It gave a chilling meaning to Sam's words, "Whatever I have to" when he responds to Dean about what he was going to say. When Sam swears to Cole that he has the power to keep Cole there, it didn't feel compassionate at all. This was in such direct contrast to how Dean tried to convince Cole to leave later. There was such humanity in Dean's words.

Okay, those who know me, know that I lapped up the scene between Tess and Dean here.  

"After our little experience, for that whole year, I felt like I had this hole in my gut, like I was missing something. I didn't know what, but you know what it was? It was you. The pain of losing my father then Sammy...I just... I wished I'd gone with you for good. But I guess things are different now."

"What? The angels on your shoulder?"

"So you know about that, huh? Well, hey don't get me wrong.  Most of the ones I've met have been dicks with wings, but still...You know, I've done things, horrible things, and someone upstairs still decided to give me a second chance. It just makes me feel...I don't know..."

Jensen just does an AMAZING job of recalling the right emotions to evoke what Dean is going through, to produce the perfect lump in his throat for the hard swallow or when he says, "horrible things", the tremble in his voice at recalling those things is still there, exactly where it was when he told Sam of the horrible things he'd done in Hell. He's just phenomenal!

Tessa's dismissal here also hurts and for me, poor Dean can't seem to catch a break with anyone in this episode and though some might argue that Dean is just feeling sorry for himself or is fishing for approval for his mission, his belief that he was worth saving, this unrepentant DeanGirl will defend to the death that Dean is trying really hard to come to terms with his disintegrating relationship with his brother as well as his uncertainty about his role in the war.  I believe that he wants to believe he has good things to accomplish, that he's slowly coming around to the idea that he was rescued from Hell for a reason, but at what cost? I believe that Dean has always hoped and believed that he and Sam would be on the same side of the battle, but you can see that  he's not sure anymore because of Sam's secrets and lack of willingness to be honest with him. He is doing everything he can to keep Sam fighting beside him, but the doubts he expressed in Sex and Violence are all there in stark relief. He doesn't think that Sam will watch his back anymore. Everywhere around him, all he is getting are reasons to think that he's on the wrong side of the war.  The speculation that this week's episode will reveal information that will shatter Dean will give that much more credence to Dean's doubts.  Here's a scary thought, what if Dean learns not that Sam is going darkside which one could easily believe would shatter Dean, but that Dean's deal, his descent to Hell, his resurrection, all of it, what if Dean learns that what's happening is his fault?  Second only to Sam going darkside would be Dean finding out that he's the cause of everything or worse, that he's the reason Sam will go darkside...okay, I gotta stop.  See what this episode has done to me.

Now, where was I?

Oh, Tessa's been grabbed by Alistair.  

Okay, so now Dean and Sam have to find a way to fight the demon who look Tessa and it's Cole who does a Ghost and teaches Dean and Sam how to influence the real world. A moment of cuteness that is delightful.  Dean's delight is cool too, "Dude, you are so Amityville"  and "Whoa, whoa, you gotta teach us that".  I have to admit too that hearing Sam laugh at Dean getting sucker punched by Cole was just nostalgia beyond belief.  How I SO miss that easy rapport between them.  It's SO noticeable when it's gone.  

Side note: I have to say that the Marlon Brando voicing of Alistair by the actors who have played him (other than the cemetery guy) grates a bit.  Whose idea was that anyway?

The battle between Alistair and the boys was okay and flipping between it and Pamela's attack by a demon was a good parallel, but in the end, my favorite scenes were right after that and I have to admit the very end with Pamela's scary admonition to Sam.

Any excuse for Dean and Castiel to interact is a good one.  I LOVE the dynamic between them as characters, and to a degree Castiel's presence filling the void, however brief, of  Sam's absence. Castiel capturing Alistair was ULTRA cool!  It was cool to find out that there were symbols that kept angels out of the funeral home.  Learning new mythology every day.  I love how Dean campaigns to save the good people of the town and Castiel giving Dean the stock answer, "to everything there is a season..." and then Dean asks the loaded question, one that you know still haunts him, why him? Why make an exception for him?  He still can't wrap around the idea that he's special, he's different.  This feeds into his doubts and what I can understand as needing to understand why he was singled out, maybe even needing to be told that he has something special to offer and what that is.  Just being called "different" isn't a comforting rationale.  Different could mean Sam-different too.

Then comes Tessa and for me the final blow to Dean's need for assurance.  But before that, Dean gets to help Cole:

"She won't answer you, Cole. Reapers never do, but trust me, staying here is a whole lot worse than anything over there."

"Why?"

"Because one day your family will be gone and there'll be nothing left here for you. It's okay to be scared."

"I'm not scared."

"We're all scared. That's the big secret.  We're all scared."

"And you're coming?"  --Admission here:  Just CHOKED up here. I mean, sigh... I can totally see why Cole would want Dean to come!

"Oh, I'm sure I'll be there sooner than you think."  -- Especially here!!!


I can't help but love that Cole wanted to know if Dean would come or would be with him someday in that not so obvious way and Dean comforts that he probably will be and however sad the idea, you can't help, but think, what a great place to go if Dean can be there for you.  Okay, okay. DeanGirl moment over.


"Look out for that boy."  -- I ask you how AWESOME is it for Dean to tell Tessa to take care of the little boy ---that protective streak always there, sigh!!!

"Look out for yourself, Dean."

"What do you mean?"

"I've been around death from the get-go. You know what I see most? Lies. He's in a better place, at least they're together now. You all lie to yourselves, Dean. It's like you said, deep down, you're all scared.  Stop lying to yourself, Dean."

"What?"

"The angels have something good in store for you, the second chance, really? Cuz I'm pretty sure deep down, you know something nasty's coming down the road.  Trust your instincts, Dean. There's no such thing as miracles."

"What are you saying?"

Tessa disappears and leaves Dean all alone and you can't help, but see Dean standing all by himself and wonder if there is some symbolism there.  Will he be truly alone?  Last man standing?  Sob...

But Dean gets no answer and once again, you can't help, but feel like Dean's been shot down again and wonder how and why he keeps coming back up again and again, why he even bothers, but I know that he will again and again.  We hope anyway.  

Okay, the big climax, somewhat a cliffhangery kind of ending.  Pamela is dying and just after Dean comes back from the spirit world, she whispers to Sam:

"I know what you did to that demon, Sam. I can feel what's inside of you. If you think you have good intentions, think again."

And when Dean asks,  "What'd she say to you?"  You can help but wonder what Sam is thinking.  And it scares the crap out of you.


Awesome episode and like I said, I know that it's the beginning of the downward spiral that will pull all of us into its undertow.  I'm sure On the Head of a Pin this week will kill me.



Thanks for reading.  I didn't get a chance to proof this completely because I was anxious to post it because real life will impinge on my time yet again tomorrow and I didn't want it to be much later and so close to the new episode so forgive any errors and I hope to edit it completely in between!

Comments always welcome!!!


 


 

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There was a coldness there that just hung in the air for so long that I felt that chill as I watched.

SO WELL PUT! I agree completely! The distance is growing, and becoming more and more tangible, and Sam just struck another blow to their relationship at that moment, refusing to even admit that he's hiding something, when Dean so obviously knows he is. And in a way, it says even more that Dean didn't push Sam or fight...he just gave up, and let him be.

I fear for what other deaths to come. All I have to say on it for now is that they better NOT kill off Bobby Singer."

No kidding! I suggest we start a "society for the prevention of cruelty to Bobby." *goes to make signs*

A mix of a soft smile and an underlying sense of burden all right there.

Again, I totally agree. Jensen just coveys so much with his expressions, the absolute soul-deep weariness Dean feels. I think there was also discomfort there in that scene, going back to Dean's uneasiness with being different.

Normally, it would have been Dean asking the "demon" questions, but now, it was Sam asking them, maybe even hoping to find those dark answers back so that he can use his powers to defeat whatever was causing the problems.

I LOVE this thought. It really does make you wonder if that was his motivation...and it links to what Pamela says too, about Sam not really having "good intentions," no matter what he tries to tell himself.

Alistair's frighteningly pleased tone when he says, "You're stronger, Sam" then Sam saying, "You have no idea", it gives whole new meaning to unnatural and blood-curdling. Yikes!

It really does! I shrieked, "SAM!" when I first saw that scene, lol.

I can't help but feel that Sam isn't even trying to straddle it, that he's just floating between the divide, inwardly relishing that he can and maybe even a little bit pleased that he's hurting Dean with his denials.

Such a great description! He really does give you that impression, that a part of him at least, is enjoying cutting Dean out of his life...having control that way.

He doesn't remember her, but one lovely little kiss later, all the memories come flooding back...oh, these lucky actresses who get to kiss Jensen for such wonderfully plot driven reasons. Talk about bummer...NOT. Hee!

*falls over laughing* Yep, those poor actresses just suffer so. ;) You know, I realized too, lol, with Tessa, it's the kiss of death! *grin*

This was in such direct contrast to how Dean tried to convince Cole to leave. There was such humanity in Dean's words.

I agree! I loved that scene too. Dean talks to Cole as someone who's been there, someone who wishes he'd done things differently, hadn't fought so hard to stay. Sam was just using Cole for his own ends.

I have to say that the Marlon Brando voicing of Alistair by the actors who have played him (other than the cemetery guy) grates a bit. Whose idea was that anyway?

It really does! He sounds like he has a cold. I thought this actor did a little better with it than the last though.

""Oh, I'm sure I'll be there sooner than you think.""

When I heard that line, I couldn't help wondering.... is it foreshadowing? I also loved Dean's absolute calm and matter-of-fact, almost wry attitude about his own death. He isn't afraid. It's almost been there, done that.

This was an AWESOME blog, as always! :)

-Laughter

Hey Soph! As always, LOVE reading your thoughts! I am so short on time, and I understand PERFECTLY how RL can often get in the way of our blogging fun, but I am happy to take what I can get of you! In the same vein, I'm going to use my old friend "cut and paste"(from another friend's LJ I visited yesterday)because I'm so short on time, too. Hope you don't mind and are not offended. I don't normally like to do this, but I LOVED this ep. so much-a few sentences just won't cut it.
This one goes into my new top ten, honestly, because of Jensen Ackles' eyes and facial expressions and voice; because of his body language and those unbelievable Ackting skills of his that allow us to see and feel right along with him, the many, many sides and emotions of Dean Winchster as he attempts to navigate through this, the most trying and difficult time in his life-the loneliness, the sadness, the confusion, the weariness, but also, the ever present humor and little boy glee at being ghosts and learning all the tricks of the trade(he is magical with kids), the brave front behind which lurks a fear that I'm not even sure I want to know about, but that I MUST know about, the fledgling and fragile faith and hope in the thought that the angels have offered him something good and the devastation at the thought of the knowledge that IS buried deep down inside of him-the truth and understanding that he knows it's NOT good...but the weariness...more than anything, the weariness...and sadness...
You know me, I love this show and all the emotions it evokes in us, but deep down inside, at my very core, I am a HurtDean lover first-and JA is my King of Pain-all kinds of pain physical or emotional-he brings it for me like nobody else can. His scenes with Tessa killed. me. dead.-all of them.
Do you think Kripke is foreshadowing the end of the story in this one through Dean's conversations with Tessa? Or is he maybe alluding to the something "different" about him(I have NEVER in my life been more curious about something, than I am about this mystery concerning our Dean!)being his strange and bittersweet relationship with death. Through most of this series, I have felt that Dean, more than any fictional character I have ever known, deserves a peaceful end. *I* don't want it for him, but what's happening with Sam right now...he is just so hurt and tired. His wish that he would have gone with Tessa the first time she came for him was no surprise to me at all. And I fear what's to come-tomorrow night and through the rest of this season. I see and feel this show through Dean, and what I see and feel now is a simple man who ALWAYS only wanted to fight with all he had in him and to meet his end head-on, as he lived his life, and most importantly, to spend whatever time is left to him with his family, the people he loves and cares about the most, and who he thought, cared for him-which makes this whole damned season so damned sad to me. I want to see them back together, loving and truly appreciative, of each other, and of all the things that each one of them brings and has brought to this sibling relationship to make it the wonderful, unique, otherworldly, and oh-so-binding thing that it is, and that I have a sneaking suspicion it MUST be, if the world is to have any hope...*sigh and sniff*... What a great ep. I can't even imagine what next week will bring, but I'm thinking, it will make this one look like an emotional walk in the park, in comparison. I can't wait. I am sick, I know...


Sorry, too long again!:) Have to make it two:

LOVED Seeing Tessa again-I cheered at the kiss(*arafel melting*) to restore the memories from IMTOD. Not as sorry to see Pamela go as most-she kind of seemed like more of a caricature than a character to me. I DID enjoy her in LR, though, and she got a GREAT death scene here, and IMO. I tingled at the growly-made-of-sex voice Dean used on her when he kind of put her in her place about the end of the world scenario-YOWZA! And poor Dean with his hurt head and his leg draped over the footboard of the bed made me want to jump into the tv and "soothe and comfort" him-after having my way with him, first-hee! Great acting all around in this one. Loved the boy who played Cole, too, and his crossing over to ease his mom's pain got to me big-time and made me think of my youngest(my wild child) who got his license in Dec. and who makes my heart leap into my throat every time he leaves the house now and prompts more prayers from me than I have ever uttered in my entire life-I hope I will never have to know that pain. Thanks again, Soph! See you next week!

Hi, Sophie!

You already know I'm never going to disagree with you on the subject of Jensen Ackles and the wonderfulness that is Dean. I'm very afraid this week is going to be terminally brutal ...

I hate to blog and run, but - like you - I'm a little real-life crazy at the moment. Oh, for it to be this time tomorrow ...

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