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Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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The Curious Case of Dean Winchester: "Bottom line is, you're family...I can't do this without you."
sophie_deangirl

 "You don't stop being a soldier because you got wounded in battle." -- Dean Winchester

 

"The basic difference between an ordinary person and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary person takes everything as a blessing or a curse." -- Carlos Castandea

 

"Greatness is the dream of youth realized in old age." -- Alfred Victor Vigny




This was a HILARIOUS episode!!! Though Jensen wasn't in it enough, this 70's TV girl LOVED watching Chad Everett as a "seasoned" Dean.  What is it with Supernatural "resurrecting" my old 70's crushes? First Barry Bostwick and now Chad Everett? Dr. Joe Gannon of Medical Center? I just about died laughing! Both were the Jensens of their day and again as I said with Barry, there is something oh so delightfully wrongedy wrong and cradle robbing about my having a crush on Chad Everett back in the 70's only to have him play the character my current hunk of choice plays years later.  I JUST LOVED IT!!! Chad was HYSTERICALLY spot on!!!

Like all Supernatural episodes, there was a vein of angst threading through the hilarity of watching Chad playing Dean as an old man, complaining all the way. Yes, it was about aging and how helpless you can feel to the march of time on your body (and Chad played that to the HILT -- he captured Jensen's take on Dean to a tee, my friend Tiffany wondered if maybe Chad watched the episodes to study up.  If he did, he passed with flying colors-- and oh, how she must have LOVED it when Sam said old Dean reminded him of Emperor Palpatine!), but for Bobby, we saw a despair for his own particular predicament that we all knew was there, but which was finally revealed to Sam and Dean.  Bobby is your typical macho hunter. Being in a wheelchair, unable to get into the fight, is a fate worse than death for him. Bobby is not a sidelines kind of guy and maybe even more emotional, the very idea that he might not be able to be there to save his boys, is simply an unconscionable idea and is slowly eating at him. Though I LOVE that nobility, like when the boys act like "idjits", I just wanted to slap Bobby upside the head for thinking that he is useless, that he can't be a soldier anymore without his legs or more importantly  that he doesn't see how he is the much needed family in the boys' lives. I cheered when Dean gave him a loving little tongue lashing about his attitude, giving him the tough love words that Bobby needed to hear and will hopefully take to heart. I have to admit though that I wasn't all together sure that they will stick, still, for now, I think Dean saying them gave Bobby a much needed lift.  It's the most wonderful thing about Dean. He knows the right thing to say to the right person most times. No mushy platitudes here because he knows Bobby would never buy them.  He tells him the emotional truth straight out, reminds Bobby of his own words to him, that they are family and that Dean can't do what's coming without Bobby...What I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED (have I said that enough?) the most was that unlike the Dean of the past with all of his self-worth issues, this Dean, the Dean who has gone through so much and who has gained some much needed and much deserved self-understanding never once mentioned that Bobby got hurt saving him, that it was his fault that he was paralyzed. There was no guilt laid on himself or on Bobby. Dean just approached the situation from the very basics. Bobby was family, he got hurt in a battle, but he was still worthy, still a warrior, more importantly, still someone Dean needed.  It was just AMAZING! It was yet another one of those "How does Jensen do that" kind of moments.  He played Dean strong, confident, yet vulnerable to someone else's needs as well as his own.

Potential spoiler next so if you haven't been reading all the speculation or any Kripke interviews, skip the sidenote.

Sidenote: There have been rumblings that 3 regular characters will be sacrificed...how I HATE it when that kind of word gets around, presumably from the Kripke himself.  All of you know from my previous blogs that it's been my fear every season that Bobby would be sacrificed and here is that possibility YET again and given Bobby's particularly vulnerable state both physically and emotionally these days, that terror of mine rears its ugly head YET again. I'm worried that though Bobby may say that he's not suicidal anymore, his frame of mind is such that in a pinch, he would sacrifice himself to save Dean and Sam more readily and also Bobby seems to be more "expendable" than he has ever been. Not to me, but I'm just saying...plus losing him would have the bigger bang for the buck for us fans. We would be completely devastated as would our boys. There's more emotional impact...did I tell you how much I HATE that? I'm hoping that's NOT the case, but it's not looking good right now and I so hate that feeling of dread I'm getting. The idea of losing Ellen and Jo isn't all that cheery, but forgive me Ellen and Jo fans, I want Bobby to live so given the choice, you know where I stand.  The title of the episode doesn't comfort either...quoting from Dante's Inferno is never a good thing. The implication that hope will be abandoned is not welcome.

Okay, back to it.  You all know that I just LOVED it when Dean learns that Bobby lost 25 years to the man-witch, Patrick. You can't help, but hear an echo from All Hell Breaks Loose when Dean asks him how many years Bobby lost just like Bobby asked Dean then about how long he got from the crossroads demon then throwing Bobby's words back at him later when Dean leaps in to get Bobby's years back. This wasn't self-sacrifice in my view, not the same kind of martyr complex that Dean has been famous for. Dean is a card shark, is confident that he can win Bobby's years back and in a heroic gesture, does just that, but Patrick is just too good even for him and he loses his own years in the attempt. It's not something Dean's happy about (Chad's grumbling about what happens just makes this even more comforting and funny for me) and he doesn't accept his fate as something he deserves. He doesn't get into thinking that since Bobby got paralyzed because of him, resisting the demon inside of him to keep it/him from killing Dean, he deserves to lose his years in return for the sacrifice. No, here, Dean is more like a parent, scolding Bobby for making the mistake (later learning it wasn't really a mistake at all, but Bobby's decision to either get his legs back or die of old age, both of which he was willing to risk) and going in to right the wrong.  His line of "we're not done" has a delightful parental tone to it.

Once Dean turns into Chad Everett, for me, the hilarity begins.  Again, much as I missed Jensen and wished that he had been in the episode more, the moments when he was in it were all the more worthwhile for his absence in the rest, especially with his speech to Bobby at the end. Once again the ending was the heart tugger and once again, Jensen is the one doing the tugging and boy, does he do that really well.

Chad's take on Dean as an old geezer was PRICELESS and I just LOVED every second of it!  My UTMOST favorite scene was the one in the graveyard.  Two grumpy old men (Sam's delight at that was shared by me as well.  I couldn't contain my giggles at seeing Bobby and Dean going at it like Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) getting on each other's nerves. Chad had Jensen's comic timing on the money, the capper being "You know, Bobby, killing you is officially on my bucket list" . I just about died laughing.  There's love in that statement too. Chad is a pretty good looking 73 in real life and carries off how Dean might age perfectly, both dramatically and comically. He's even got that jaw clench down which he uses to great effect when Bobby reveals how useless he feels earlier!  I read his bio on IMDB and he's done just about every kind of role so versatility isn't a problem for him.  Chad also got Dean's tone down.

"What the hell were you thinking? He's a witch. He's been playing poker since guys wore tights."

I just about busted a GUT  because I could SO hear Jensen's voice saying those words, perfection inflection in all the right places.  I also loved that old Dean got immediately why Bobby would do such a lame brained thing and even Bobby tries to play the pity card about how Dean couldn't understand what he was feeling. Dean retorts back with some much needed perspective:

"You got me.  I've never been paralyzed, but I'll tell you something, I've been to Hell and there's an archangel there wanting me to drop the soap."

Though Dean's appeal to Bobby falls a little short when he gets to the "belly aching" part, the gesture is still meaningful. Hard to top going to Hell in my view and given all that Dean said he experienced and did there, it's a wonder that Dean hasn't given into more self-pity or the idea of offing himself. It shows a huge amount of self-worth on that point alone.

This episode was also not just about Bobby.  There was a thread there that belonged to Sam too.  Even though Dean and Bobby said that if they couldn't beat Patrick, Sam didn't have a chance, it was Sam who proved them both wrong.  Patrick tried to play him, hoping to use Sam's anger at being "babied" all the time as the weapon of choice which used to be the perfect sharp instrument to apply to Sam, again, playing on Sam's insecurity (pulling Dean's and Bobby's asses out of the fire, yet still being treated like a little brother etc.) and weaknesses against him or so he thought, but Sam, like Dean, played Patrick instead. It's not to say that Sam's emotions weren't genuine on some deeper level, but he's growing up, he's learning from his big brother and he's proven that he can handle things on his own with his newly realized goal for maturity.

When Sam asks Dean to let him grow up, there's a deeper understanding there for Sam than was there in previous seasons, especially in Season 3.  Sam didn't think he could live without Dean when Dean was facing Hell, despite Dean's assurances that he could.  Sam didn't have the faith in himself to grow up all alone and without Dean's guidance, he grew up all right, but in all the wrong ways, in the kind of ways you think of when a child is left to experience life without the security of knowing that when he fell, someone would be there to catch his fall, to impart the proper lesson and wisdom to be gained from the fall then move on to the next experience. It's what a good parent does, letting their child go with the lessons they've taught them and hope that they can fly on their own, but being there if they're needed. Instead, Sam "fell into the wrong crowd", Ruby, fell under the wrong influences and by the time Dean returned, imparted with his own life lessons gleaned from Hell, it was too late for Dean to be teacher and as a parent trying to exact tough love as "scare tactic" to "straighten Sam up" (it didn't work for John either.), it was doomed for failure and rebellion was the only possible option.  Sam's journey was to be expected given all the "right/wrong" influences that entered his life.  One could argue that even if Dean hadn't been facing Hell, the two of them would have reached the same breaking point because as Sam said, what they were doing before didn't work in the first place.  You can see Sam's maturity in this episode and also, Sam's lack of arrogance at showing Dean and Bobby both that he can handle himself, that he is growing into his own, was also a sure sign that Sam is slowly climbing out of his own personal darkness.  It was great that way.

A small mention that I enjoyed that Patrick wasn't an all out evil guy and I LOVED the accent.  Anglophile that I am. 

I love the tension building up as Sam played for Dean's life, Dean's life ebbing away, Bobby calling out to Dean frantically on the cell phone, then Sam winning.  I LOVE Patrick's acknowledgement too:

"There's more to you than meets the eye."

I love that Patrick admires Sam's play and plays fair despite his initial threatening stance. it's a refreshing take. Some might take Patrick's words as threatening, ominous, foreboding and maybe they are (that Sam might become Lucifer's vessel after all is said and done or that despite his desire for change, he's still dark inside and could turn evil if the right provocation is applied), but for me, as I took the episode as a whole, I heard something less dark and more promising. Sam, like Dean, could have reacted as Patrick had said, completely emotionally wrecked allowing him to be vulnerable and easily read (as Dean has said, that they are their own Achille's Heels), but that didn't happen. Sam proved to Patrick that there was more to him than what he thought he saw in Sam, that he had read him all wrong and he tipped his hat, so to speak, for Sam's ability to fool him.  The way I saw it, it was a way to show Sam's maturity.  As with Dean when Zacariah threatened Dean with harm to Sam and Bobby if he didn't consent, Dean stood firm, not allowing himself to be emotionally blackmailed as has been done to him in the past.  So this time did Sam not allow Patrick to break his concentration in the game with emotional tactics like threatening Dean's impending death which ultimately allowed Sam to win and regain Dean's youth. The lesson in this and previous episodes, is that as hard as the idea is for both our boys, the war ahead will be merciless and, in the end, Dean and Sam have to become their own men, to be separate from each other yet still brothers in all the best ways. They both have to be able to let each other go if the situation warrants it and understand each other enough, trust each other enough to know that they won't be failing each other when they do, that they will be able to stand alone knowing that they loved the other minus all the past baggage. I think they are getting there beautifully.

Okay, finally, Dean's jump for joy at the end? AWESOME.  It made ME want to jump for joy.  My friend Tiffany told me that jump isn't easy to do so once again, kudos to Jensen's talents and cough, cough, flexibility.

Whew! Well, I made it. Got all caught up.  Now is tonight's Changing Channels with the Trickster.  It will be nice to see him back. I wonder if this episode will just be a throwaway or yet another lesson taught to our boys.  In Tall Tales, it was about how easy it was to set them off against each other, to see how their differences could get in the way of the bigger picture. In Mystery Spot, it was a lesson to Sam about not being able to save Dean and also that they both have to stop martyring each other for each other that no good can come from it and in both cases, as annoying as the Trickster can be, the lesson proved true.  I'll just get a cheap thrill of seeing Jensen in scrubs, my idea of a McDreamy AND a McSteamy as well as the play off of CSI:Miami.  From the looks of it, Jared just NAILS David Caruso's hammy lack of acting skills to humorous effect.  I can probably do without the sitcom take and the Japanese game show one too, but if anyone can pull it off and save it, Jensen and Jared can. I can't wait!  

Thanks for reading as always and letting me catch up. Comments welcome as always.  Enjoy tonight's episode!






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...my friend Tiffany wondered if maybe Chad watched the episodes to study up. If he did, he passed with flying colors-- and oh, how she must have LOVED it when Sam said old Dean reminded him of Emperor Palpatine!),

As always, thank you for the mentions! LOL. I did love that line! *grins* Oh, Jensen as a Sith... I like that thought, lol!

...the most was that unlike the Dean of the past with all of his self-worth issues, this Dean, the Dean who has gone through so much and who has gained some much needed and much deserved self-understanding never once mentioned that Bobby got hurt saving him, that it was his fault that he was paralyzed. There was no guilt laid on himself or on Bobby. Dean just approached the situation from the very basics. Bobby was family, he got hurt in a battle, but he was still worthy, still a warrior, more importantly, still someone Dean needed.

I totally loved that too. Dean's not blaming himself for it. And I love that Bobby's not blaming him either. He's just angry at the situation.

Chad is a pretty good looking 73 in real life and carries off how Dean might age perfectly, both dramatically and comically.

I completely agree! :) Like I said over IM, it says how well Chad did that I didn't find myself going, "When will Dean be back?" He felt like Dean the whole time.

...in the kind of ways you think of when a child is left to experience life without the security of knowing that when he fell, someone would be there to catch his fall, to impart the proper lesson and wisdom to be gained from the fall then move on to the next experience.

Beautifully put!

Okay, finally, Dean's jump for joy at the end? AWESOME. It made ME want to jump for joy. My friend Tiffany told me that jump isn't easy to do so once again, kudos to Jensen's talents and cough, cough, flexibility.

Lol, it really isn't easy, but Jensen make it look that way!

Incredible blog as always! :)

-Laughter

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