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SPN report



There were some things I really liked about this episode, and some things that pissed me off so much I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. (Or maybe that was because I cracked my head on the kitchen cabinet while doing the dishes, IDK.) Of course, about an hour before the show started, I read that Jared said this was going to be the best season yet, and I thought, "Oh, no."

The Good:

I like the peeks we get into Sam's head. It's the third time now, and I like that it always involves a forest. What I most adored about this journey was that before he realized that the conversation with Dean was all in his head, he knew that Dean was working on a way to save him. Sam's subconscious completely trusts Dean. And also, Dean gives Sam a reason to live. I thought the scenes in Sam's head showed us a really good understanding of the relationship between the brothers from Sam's POV. I don't think we should be surprised that Sam was willing to die, though; remember his "So?" when Dean told him the Trials were going to kill him? He was ready, whether as a result of the exertion of the Trials or because, like Dean way back in "Croatoan," he was just so tired.

The scene with Death blew me away. When Death said it was an honor to collect Sam's soul, I honestly made little squeeing noises. And then he said it was Sam's choice. Dean didn't have a choice in IMTOD, not like this. But Death said, "Well-played." Death respects Sam Winchester. How freakin' amazing is that? And then Sam's request that he stay dead so that no one else (Dean) can get hurt because of him...that just broke my heart. Oh, Sam.

The Bad:

I know that being the first ep of the season, there's a lot of setting up involved, so I'm trying not to judge the angel storyline yet. What I will judge, though, is the abrupt cutting back and forth between storylines in the second half, especially as Dean was trying to make his decision. Maybe it's just that I'm more invested in Sam-n-Dean than Castiel, but it was driving me nuts. I also hope Cas meets up with the boys again soon; I don't mind him interacting with them, but I'm just not that interested in him out there on his own. (Entitled!Z is entitled.)

Also, so not happy with yet another season of Sam-who's-not-really-Sam. I do enjoy watching Jared act out different variations of Sam, but it really would have been nice for once to open the season with Sam, fully intact and whole with no doubt that he's himself. (See Seasons 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.)

The Ugly:

Dean. Dean, Dean, Dean. There's erotic co-dependency, and then there's you. If the scenes in Sam's head showed us how well the writers understand the boys' relationship, how Sam has grown enough after everything to be able to let go, the scenes with Dean showed us that absolutely nothing has changed for him since S2. He knows what kind of bad stuff can happen when he can't let go of Sam, including but not limited to the apocalypse. He knows that Sam made his decision, made his peace with Death. He knows that Sam doesn't want to be possessed by an angel. He knows all of these things, and he doesn't care, because what he wants is more important. So there might not be a Dean without a Sam, but what kind of a Dean is there if he's willing to do things to Sam that he knows Sam doesn't want?






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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
dugindeep
Oct. 9th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC)
would have been nice for once to open the season with Sam, fully intact and whole with no doubt that he's himself. (See Seasons 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.)

I legit LOLed at the parentheses :D

There is a small (okay fairly large) part of me that loves Dean's codependency with Sam - to always have his brother and to always save him (he obvs loves the hero role) - but I just kljsadfkljlskdjf . Sigh. After a while I just kept thinking 'okay, let's go, bring Sam back already!' I mean, it's the season 9 opener, we KNOW he's going to live, and I almost didn't care how it came to be. But then it happened and ... I don't even know. What's worse than jumping a shark?

Edited at 2013-10-09 02:47 pm (UTC)
zubeneschamali
Oct. 9th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
I knew it had happened a few times, but I didn't realize it was every season but one till I started counting!

I know what you mean. I've always loved that about their relationship. But IDK, it started to bother me at the end of last season. After all they'd gone through, all of the people they'd lost to get to that point, to be so close to closing the gates of Hell, which would have a huge impact on the world, when Dean finds out Sam's life is the price, he's like, "Uh-uh, no way, can't have that. Demons, have at the world all you want." And now this is just going too far. :(
fiercelynormal
Oct. 9th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
I love how whenever Jared says he loves something fandom (including me) braces themselves for the worst. He's such a horrible judge!
zubeneschamali
Oct. 9th, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
Right? I think it's because he's excited to be playing a variation on his character, but it always seems like his opinions are 180 degrees from mine.
thursdaysisters
Oct. 9th, 2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
Dean's motivation was very selfish, true, his S8 monologue of "you have to live cuz my dream is to see you fat, bald, and with grandkids" was a far healthier argument. But considering the upset hierarchy on both sides of the Afterlife, with no leadership and rogue players looking to make a power grab, I can understand his reticence to release Sam into Heaven.
zubeneschamali
Oct. 10th, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
I could understand if Dean had made that argument to Sam, and it's a good one. Who knows what's going on up there, and maybe it would be best to wait it out? But that's not what he said.
galwithglasses
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
I just love that Death told Sam it was well played and that it was an honor to collect him. I think he was also there because he probably knew if there was going to be anything hinky going on, it would be at that point. I'm going to reserve judgement on the angel possession for a few episodes but they better wrap it up quick. It really makes Sam into a superpowered character and while he might be good in a fight, it's not what I'd like to see from Sam.
zubeneschamali
Oct. 10th, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)
That scene with Death was amazing. Especially since he's only ever really talked to Dean before in any depth. And I agree with your hope for a short-term possession!
cassiopeia7
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
What I will judge, though, is the abrupt cutting back and forth between storylines in the second half, especially as Dean was trying to make his decision. Maybe it's just that I'm more invested in Sam-n-Dean than Castiel, but it was driving me nuts.

*is entitled right along with you* And I fully admit that I'm MUCH more invested in Sam-n-Dean than I am in Castiel. I hope he survives his little adventure, but his story takes the back seat (in the car five car-lengths behind) to Sam and Dean's story.

Dean's actions . . . are less than commendable, it is true. But (a), he's hard-wired to "save Sammy," and (b) grieving people don't always do what's "right."
zubeneschamali
Oct. 10th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
Your last comment made me think, especially some of the responses to it on your journal. Maybe it's that I haven't been in that situation, IDK. But I can't help thinking less of Dean for it.
cassiopeia7
Oct. 10th, 2013 04:02 am (UTC)
It's all good. :) As I mentioned in the post, I don't think what he did was necessarily right, but still understand why he did it. (And while your comment was the one that planted the seed for that post . . . your post was mild compared to some of the truly appalling things I've read today. I had to reply regarding of the more vitriolic posts, as they were . . . not pleasant.)

But we're cool. :)
harrigan
Oct. 10th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
I like the mirrored icons there in the last two comments!

Just have to drop in to say I like both your comments. It may be sort of a fanwank to insert inner dialogue into an episode that isn't actually there in the script, but I imagine two things when I think about Dean's action. (In addition to your great new observations: Dean's hard-wiring and grief.

1. In my mind (not in the script), Dean is telling Sammy - you said there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and you'd take me to it. This isn't that light. You said you'd show me that life is worth living; I need you to stick around and keep that promise.

2. If Sam ever did complete a health care proxy (and I don't see how he could, when they're unlikely to be facing medical end-of-life decisions under their own names), but if he did, I can imagine him filling out a form that lists extreme measures that can be taken, and at the end of the form, it would say something like: for anything not covered above, is there someone you trust completely to make decisions on your behalf on extreme measures to keep you alive if you are in a coma?

I think Sam would have put Dean's name, and signed it. Not that he did, or that Dean would necessarily know if he did, but in terms of consent issues, this lingers in the back of my mind.
cassiopeia7
Oct. 10th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
OMG, your first point, yes, yes, a million times, yes.

I can imagine him filling out a form that lists extreme measures that can be taken, and at the end of the form, it would say something like: for anything not covered above, is there someone you trust completely to make decisions on your behalf on extreme measures to keep you alive if you are in a coma?

I think Sam would have put Dean's name, and signed it.


I imagine he would have, too. (He would've done such a thing in a much better frame-of-mind than he was at the end of 8.23, also.)
zubeneschamali
Oct. 12th, 2013 02:40 pm (UTC)
I like that first point. I have to say, I'm also somewhat surprised that Sam would have chosen to die after he'd already refused to do so for the sake of the Trials. I mean, if he thought dying was a worthy price to pay for closing the gates to Hell, would dying just for the sake of dying be sufficient?

In the end, I'm annoyed at the writers for contriving this situation where Dean had to trick Sam into being possessed by an angel. There were so many other ways to go from the end of last season, and that they set up this episode specifically to have that outcome annoys me. I just want to start a season with Sam as Sam for once. *cuddles him*
zubeneschamali
Oct. 12th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
The variety of responses I've seen has made me realize how much our reactions to TV/movies are conditioned based on our personal experiences, and how what seems right to one person seems utterly wrong to another. Which is probably why we get so intense in our responses.

I am interested in seeing how things play out now, both on the show and in fandom...
kinkthatwinked
Oct. 9th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
LMAO at you believing this season will suck because Jared said it'll be good! I don't know what this season will be like, but that was just funny!

(See Seasons 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.) But what of Season 3, since the YED said at the end of AHBL 2 that Dean couldn't be sure that what he brought back was "100% pure Sam?" Crap, have we EVER seen the real Sam?!

Yes, Dean's move was selfish and desperate, but frankly I didn't expect anything else. Don't get me wrong, I fucking love Dean, and his Sam-shaped blind spot is the character flaw that's most compelling about him. I'm just remembering that for all his S3 fears about going to Hell, and all his S4 agony about what was done to him there, he never once expressed regret about making that deal. He was never truly sorry he saved Sam that way. Anyone who can hold onto that mindset after 40 years of Hell torture ain't gonna change, ever. I'm not defending him (well, maybe), I'm just saying I wasn't surprised.
zubeneschamali
Oct. 10th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
Heh, it's like the third time now that Jared's said, "You guys are going to love this!" and I really haven't at all.

Maybe I meant 3 and not 2, because that's the line I was thinking of. But no, there was more concern that there was something wrong with Sam in S2 than in S3, right?

I guess what surprises me now is that he ever let Sam jump into the pit. Was he just too beat up to lunge out and hold him back the way Michael tried to?
kinkthatwinked
Oct. 10th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
S2 was, "Are Sam and all the psychic kids fated to go darkside?" S3 was, "Did Dean bring Sam back, or something else?" But you're right, the YED's hint kind of went by the wayside as the season arc focused more on Dean's time running out.
gypsy_atavari
Oct. 11th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, best part for me was the death and Sam scene. :-)
zubeneschamali
Oct. 12th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
That was so awesome. Yay Sam!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )