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Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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My Bloody Valentine: "Please...I can't...I need some help...please..."
"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." -Ayn Rand

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person." -Albert Einstein

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wow, this episode totally took me off-guard.  Here I was expecting a light-hearted episode about Cupid and what I got was more grim gloom and doom with the horseman, Famine.  Poor, poor Dean!  I mean, how much more can the cosmos throw at this guy? It is a freakin' miracle that he hasn't already packed it in,  but even Famine's accusation about Dean just "going through the motions"  is still a testament to the fact that Dean does keep going.  Half the battle to reaching a goal is perseverance, to keep going even if you feel like you can't keep going maybe especially when you feel that way.  I just want everyone to stop picking on Dean and loading more crap on his shoulders.  Hee!

I know that between Abandon All Hope, The Song Remains the Same, and My Bloody Valentine, things just look COMPLETELY well, AWFUL (said with Gabriel's contempt)! There isn't a SHRED of positivity for Dean to cling to.  Is it any wonder that he doubts that he can win?  I can't blame him, but there is a Japanese proverb that says if you're knocked down 7 times, you get up 8 and that's the epitome of Dean Winchester right now.  He has gotten one knock down after another. Not being able to save his parents (then Cupid even added to the burden when he said that he had been ordered to get John and Mary together so that Dean and Sam could be born -- solidifying that John and Mary falling in love wasn't of their own making, that it had been commanded by Heaven for Cupid to create the union so that Dean and Sam would be born), losing Jo and Ellen, being unable to kill Lucifer with the Colt, EVERYONE telling him that he can't stop the inevitable, that it's pre-ordained, that there is no such thing as free will, Michael hammering it home that much more as the one waiting in the wings for Dean to give him his queue to use him as his vessel.  I mean, it's just TOO MUCH!  BUT in my heart of hearts, I know that Famine was either lying outright about his "read" of him to shake Dean even more since it's not hard to see that Dean is wavering or that he wasn't telling him the whole truth, twisting the "going through the motions" into a weakness, making Dean question himself instead of him looking at it as persistence and determination, stretched to its limits, sure, and perhaps even fraying under the stress, but holding on if just barely.  I don't want Dean to snap. I want him to believe that he REALLY does have strength of character like he said as jibe to Famine.

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. How can I POSSIBLY see that when things look so grim for everyone? Especially Dean. Call me a Pollyanna, but when I first saw the teaser of Dean not wanting to go carousing with women on Valentine's day like he usually does, I saw it as maturity.  Granted, I didn't have the frame of reference of Famine's appearance in the mix, but even with that, I didn't see Dean not wanting to fill the emptiness inside of him with his "usual exploits" as a bad thing. In fact, the old Dean used those devices to escape things, to run away or forget for awhile.  I saw this new attitude as Dean taking very seriously what's happening and now those devices no longer appeal to him or can give him the relief he needs, only stopping the Apocalypse can do that now. He's not running away anymore.  It's not to say that he wishes he weren't saddled with all the responsibility he has on his shoulders,  but Famine's claim about hunger being not only in the body, but also in the soul and that everyone in town, including Sam and Cas were being affected by Famine's influence when Dean wasn't, said more about Dean's character than anything else to me. I think that Dean's soul is unique, maybe now, even incorruptible to some degree and that's why he wasn't affected, if anything, I think that Dean is of purer heart and soul than he realizes or gives himself credit for. I think that God knows that and when He makes His "appearance", He will point out Dean's virtues and why it is exactly those qualities and more that make him the only man for the job.  Demons lie all the time and I just want Dean to hold on to his beliefs and convictions because I believe all of this is a test, a test of his resolve and courage to face down every blow thrown at him and still survive. To go the distance like Rocky Balboa, if I can be allowed to be cliche for a moment (hee). I believe that he needs to hear from God Himself some simple and basic truths to buoy his sagging spirit and ego. As it stands now, the supposed good guys, with the exception of Cas and Sam, are telling him he has no choice, but to give himself to Michael and the bad guys just want him out of the way.

Still, at the end, he pleaded to God for some help and it was HEARTBREAKING. Jensen is just a MARVEL at these moments, bringing up the emotions to just crack your soul in two.  Once again, "how does Jensen do that?" I see Dean as someone being put through the ringer in order to perhaps prove his resolve and maybe his faith and belief as well.  The fact that a non-religious man as Dean has protested himself to be (and in some ways, there is justification for his disbelief -- after all, he has so much as said in Houses of the Holy that God hadn't protected their mother -- a similar feeling that Nick had felt and that Lucifer exploited to gain him as his vessel for now) is now looking skyward asking for help from a God he's never believed existed is a dramatic change, if not tinged with desperation. I'll give on that.

It would be so easy to fall into the grimmer and seemingly black and white clues that are being thrown at us, that maybe Dean and Sam are doomed to become Michael and Lucifer's vessels because of all the compelling evidence leading up to that one and only conclusion, but I choose to continue to delude myself and maintain that these "stressors" are just that, ways in which to break Dean and Sam of their determination to keep on track.  Sam is outwardly faltering and Dean is trying to shroud his uncertainty as Famine accused, but he, too, is having doubts.  I don't deny that Famine read Dean's defeated feelings correctly, I accept that they are there given all he's been through thus far, but I also see Dean trying, struggling, yes, but still trying to keep from giving in.  I believe that Dean still believes in free will, but that maybe his doubts are stemming from whether having free will will be good enough.  I think he fears making a mistake that could inadvertently lead to succumbing somehow or worse for him that would lead Sam to say "yes" as was the scenario in The End. I feel his doubt about making any choice that could lead them to their destinies.  I don't want Dean to second guess himself  or give up so I saw him asking for Divine assistance as a way to maintain his resolve. No matter how weak others have painted him, Dean is becoming stronger the more he keeps going forward, but he needs something to help him. Again, Sam is faltering, so is Cas to some degree, so Dean isn't getting what he needs and that's reassurance that someone good is on their side, that someone can give him the strength he needs that he can't find in others or in himself right now and I hope that he gets the answer he truly needs. 

This episode was pretty "ewwww"-inducing.  All manner of scary and disgusting images, but between those moments were some touches of humor like Cupid.  He was HILARIOUS!!  Hugging being his handshake, just PRICELESS! I love the idea that he's totally clueless about what's going on and acts hurt when he's accused of going rogue!  He loves love and if love is wrong, he doesn't want to be right. Cue sappy love songs, please. Just loved him and he was a lovely break in the grim and gross.  Jensen's expressions as Cupid hugs him and the others was just spot-on funny, trying to resist looking at Cupid's...ahem...nether regions.  I LOVED that scene. Then there was poor Cas being unable to control the impulses of his vessel Jimmy who loves red meat. Funny too, if not ewww at the end when he's shoveling the ground beef into his mouth given to him by Famine. Again some really ewww moments. Eric Kripke must have LOVED reading this episode with all of its grotesqueness potential.

Sam's actions were compelling as well.  I certainly don't blame Sam for being vulnerable and succumbing to Famine's influence, but the stone cold efficiency of his kills both of the two demons he fed on and then later with Famine's Matrix/Men in Black henchmen, both beside and inside Famine was both powerful and eerily natural. Here Famine practically reveres at Sam's feet, offers his own men as sacrifices to him and compliments in a way that is unsettling for us and for Sam and Dean:

"You're the exception that proves the rule. Just the way Satan wanted you to be. So cut their throats! Have at them."

"Sammy, no."

"Please, be my guest."

Jared played this scary good.  He is SO great at being evil or at the very least, dark. He gives a real confidence to when he's in control, using his demon skills, which is in stark contrast to when he's just Sam. When Sam sensed the demon with the soul in the briefcase and attacked him, again, it was like everything was coming naturally to him.  The scene with him and Famine was really interesting.  In one way, it was Sam going toe-to-toe with a horseman and feeling no fear, no uncertainty, saving Dean and really looking like a hero at that moment. If you didn't have context about Sam's history and just knew that he gains powers from drinking demon blood, you'd wonder if he was just like any other superhero who just happens to gain strength from demon blood.  Jared gave Sam a Justice League kind of presence that gave me pause, that made me wonder like Bobby did about maybe using Sam's abilities to their advantage in the war.  Suddenly I wondered, "would it be all that bad to let Sam go rogue? They might have a chance at winning."  Then I wondered if that was the whole point of the scene, to maybe make us think that Sam isn't all evil, that he can harness his powers and control them and be useful that way.  Yet even with that thought in mind, it also made me step back and think, "ah, that's what Lucifer can use". If Sam gives in to Lucifer, Lucifer gets a two-fer, he not only gets a vessel with a lot of good rage to tap, but powers that he can enact just by having a demon cocktail. Scary good scene!

Sidenote: The coroner, Dr. Korman was a delight.  It's nice to see someone who on some level related to the boys, even joked with them about the victims' "good and plenties" being in the fridge and then telling them to "refrigerate after opening".  Even Dean smiled and I really liked having someone so open to them. I was sad to see him bite the big one by drinking himself to death, but I guess like in Star Trek, he probably was the proverbial "ensign with the red shirt that always gets killed" in this episode.  I did like him though.

The morgue scene in general was funny too in how Cas just "pops" up when Dean calls and when he says that cherubs aren't incontinent,. Cas's innocence continues to be a delight!  

Cupid was too CUTE!!!!  I mean, talk about the epitome of innocence and the 60's love child of all things romantic and free love. The actor who played him just nailed him perfectly!  

Okay, Famine...YEOW! Creepy in capital letters.  Reminded me of that guy on Poltergeist II (wouldn't Dean be so proud of me?). *brrrr. Perfect casting.  

"And then will come Famine, riding on a black steed. He will ride into the land of plenty and great will be the horseman's hunger for he is hunger. His hunger will seek out and poison the air."

Nothing more sinister than a creepy old guy in a wheelchair, breathing on an oxygen line (or whatever horsemen breath), add yellow crooked teeth and it's Halloween all over again. A soul eater to boot. Let's party! He was very well-played and sent shivers.  War was truly like "jello shots at a party" compared to this guy. Still, when he confronted Dean about why he wasn't affected by his presence, all I could feel was "Dean! Demons lie!!! Don't believe him!"

"Yes, I see. My, that's one deep, dark nothing you got there, Dean. Can't fill it, can you? Not with food or drink, not even with sex."

"You can smirk and joke and lie to your brother, lie to yourself, but not to me. I can see inside you, Dean. I can see how broken you are. How defeated. You can't win and you know it, but you just keep fighting, just keep going through the motions. You're not hungry, Dean because inside, you're already dead."

Even though Dean was acting with bravado when he said:

"I'd like to think it's because of my strength of character."

I believed that was the reason. I know, I know, I sound like I'm making this stuff up as I go and you're probably wondering, "did she even see the same episode that we did?" I get it.  Maybe putting a positive spin on what is likely exactly what was meant to be portrayed and nothing more might be considered a little bit like "there's a river in Egypt...", but deep inside of me, I have to believe that Dean will overcome all this doubt and uncertainty. To believe otherwise would kill the very thing that I LOVE about where I believe the show is going in my mind.  If Dean and everyone else goes through all this only to give in to their destinies, then what was the point of making  free will such a pivotal aspect of the mythology? Was it just presented only to have it ripped from their grasps? That our choices have consequences, yes, but they are still ours to own because we made them, not because something cosmic planned it all in advance.  To have the show say that Dean and Sam had no say in their entire lives makes their lives a sham, a joke and I can't believe the show would do that to us. I can't believe Kripke and his crew would do that to us. I can better believe that they are going to put Dean and Sam through a meat grinder of angst before all is said and done. So much so that it will drive them VERY close to the precipice of defeat, but that in the final analysis, they will yank each other back just in the nick of time to save the world.  That's my argument and I'm sticking with it. The day that Dean or Sam decide to give into  a perceived "destiny" is when I will question my allegiance to the show and I don't want to do that.

Well, another hiatus is facing us. No more episodes until March 25 and Dead Men don't Wear Plaid when we come back.  A funny nod to a hunter's wardrobe, specifically Bobby's maybe.  It looks intriguing from the promo.  Enjoy the time off with reruns for now. Thanks for reading.

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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I lvoe that quote for some reason, lol. ;)

Wow, this episode totally took me off-guard.

Me too! It wasn't at all what I was expecting. I loved the twists they threw at us. And I agree, poor Dean! I honestly think, of all the heroes on TV, Dean's the most tortured.

Jensen is just a MARVEL at these moments, bringing up the emotions to just crack your soul in two. Once again, "how does Jensen do that?"

Jensen really was absolutely amazing there. He never takes those scenes to far, always hits them just right, just enough to break your heart, but never crossing the line into overdone.

I believe that Dean still believes in free will, but that maybe his doubts are stemming from whether having free will will be good enough. I think he fears making a mistake that could inadvertently lead to succumbing somehow or worse for him that would lead Sam to say "yes" as was the scenario in The End.

So well said! It reminds me of the "The Moster At The End Of The Book." No matter how many choices they made, they all lead to the same road. I think that really is what Dean fears.

Okay, Famine...YEOW! Creepy in capital letters. Reminded me of that guy on Poltergeist II (wouldn't Dean be so proud of me?). *brrrr. Perfect casting.

I thought so too! That actor was amazing.

I loved all of your thoughts about the episode! Incredible, incredible blog as always! :)

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