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SPN report



I think I liked this episode overall. It's rare to have an MOTW ep that moves forward the overall story arc without being all anvil-ly about it, but I think this one managed that. We saw that Dean will give up anything to be with Sam, that he has a long history of lying to Sam "for his own good," (and how interesting was it that Sam shrugged it off when he found out Dean and John had made up that story?), and that he's actually wanted a home of his own as much as Sam ever has. All of these are obviously tangled up with S9 in terms of Ezekiel and the Batcave.

I got all excited when the EMF detector came out, and then the actual salt-and-burn, including Dean doing that flicky thing with the match that's so UNF, made me flail a little. And the SAMULET. :D All very exciting, but why this call back to the earlier seasons? My initial reaction was that the rug's about to get yanked out from under us as things come to a head with Ezekiel. (It's weird that while I commented in another journal that I can't get into the brotherly moments in S9 because I know they're going to be shattered, these scenes pointing back to the earlier seasons made me flail even though they're serving the same purpose.) But kalliel had an interesting take on it, that the point of bringing in these old, familiar elements is to show that the boys can't go back to who they were. Too much has changed, too much time has passed. I was thinking something like that in the final scene with Robin and Dean: she's been in that same little town her whole life and loved it, while Dean has been to Hell and back, started the apocalypse, and helped save the world. (Although it's still all about Sam.)

Other thoughts:

I don't think it was OOC for John to ditch Dean like that for two months. Dean hadn't done his job: taking care of Sammy. He lost their food money (never mind that he was probably trying to get more because John hadn't left them with enough, never mind that he hid from the cops and Sonny that he was stealing food for his younger brother). Remember how John looked at Dean after the shtriga almost got Sam? Remember how Dean knew John was possessed by the YED?

I also don't think it contradicts canon for Dean to have had this shot at "normalcy" and then given it away. Way back in "Skin," the skinwalker told Sam that Dean resented him being able to get away and go to college while Dean had to stay with Dad. Now we know that Dean's resentment is based on this time in his life, when he chose to come back to the hunting life because he couldn't leave Sam. Sam's the one who said in the pilot that he wanted "safe," not "normal," and then as Sam pointed out in the Oz episode, he doesn't even have the memory of home like Dean does. "There's no place like home"; but that's each other, not a physical place.

Dean referred to his cell as the Batphone. Hee!

The actor playing teen!Dean nailed it. So amazing.

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
killabeez
Nov. 20th, 2013 03:17 pm (UTC)
I found myself wondering whether maybe there was something else going on that led John to send Sam to Bobby and leave Dean where he was—maybe this is the time period when John found out about the demon blood, or that Mary had made a deal with YED, and he was trying to track it down. Maybe I've bought into the John Winchester kool aid, but he always seemed to have three or four things going on at any one time, and it wouldn't surprise me if there were more to it than teaching Dean a lesson.

ETA: incidentally, I agree, I liked this one overall. It does really bother me that Dean is supposedly 16 and Sam looks like he's about 7, but then, I have a seriously strong DNW for any young Sam not played by Colin Ford.

Edited at 2013-11-20 03:20 pm (UTC)
zubeneschamali
Nov. 20th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
OMG, I had the same thought and I can't believe I didn't put that in my review. We still don't know how John found about Sam, do we? I have headcanon now that John found out there was something wrong with Sam, and he planned to go all Abraham-and-Isaac on him, so he took advantage of Dean's slip-up to send him away, planning to tell Dean that something went wrong on a hunt and he lost Sam. But then he couldn't go through with it, and Sam never knew.

Now I want fic.
killabeez
Nov. 20th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
I feel like I have read at least one fic where John tried to kill Sam and couldn't go through with it, but maybe that's me projecting. I think you should write it to be sure. :D But yes, my John Winchester would totally send Dean away (and make him think he was being punished) so that he could deal with Sam.

…You're right, I would seriously love to read this fic.

Re: Sam's question to Dean at the end, about how Dean knew that Timmy sending his mom away would work. Whoa, I missed the days of angsty Sam/Dean car talk anvils! Dean knew because he knows he screwed up when he couldn't let Sam go.

Sam was smart in this ep! Hi, smart!Sammy! I missed you.
zubeneschamali
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it's out there! But I would love to read it, too. :)

Smart!Sam is my favorite Sam. ♥
counteragent
Nov. 20th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC)
I had the same thought!!!!!

Like maybe he was also trying to leave them for good, try and give them a better life even, and then he finds out that Sam needs to me Watched Or Else and he reluctantly drags Dean back in to do be his brother's keeper. Like having a second child to be a marrow donor. It's not really 100% pure, but it has to be done.
counteragent
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
Omg that's even better than what I'd imagined. WRITE IT PLEASE.
zubeneschamali
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
I like yours, too! I don't think I could do John POV, but at least the idea's out there. :)
a_starfish
Nov. 20th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
I saw your comment over on kalliel's post.

I was flailing at them digging the grave together too!!! And the Samulet!!!!! OHHHHHHH!!!!!!! ♥

Ah but of course the rug is about to get pulled out, would Show (or we) have it any other way? I don't think the show could make a genuinely happy episode given what they've been through/whatever might be to come!

Now I'm thinking that maybe this ep isn't just the good stuff before the epic pain but maybe it is partly setting up a way for Sam and Dean to move on, or forwards at least. This ep gave us a lovely insight into another aspect of Dean. And maybe Dean part of Dean growing is to realise/accept that it was okay to want things for himself, regardless of what his family wanted/needed. If it was Dean coming to realise that a bit more here then it sets it up nicely for working towards Dean being able to let go of Sam.

The 'previously' bit at the beginning was a killer. I've felt lately that Dean kind of resented his need of Sam as much as he loved/needed Sam because that codependent need drew him back in. "Don't you dare think that there is anything I would put in front of you" - but maybe you should've put other things first, Dean. Maybe it's okay that you come first sometimes. And I saw a little glimmer of hope that maybe Dean got that here.

Wow, that comment kind of got out of hand. Sorry!
zubeneschamali
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
No worries, I love discussion!

That's a good point about Dean maybe resenting Sam because of the co-dependency. Except I figured the Ezekiel thing was because Dean did put himself first, in that his need to have Sam around outweighed Sam's own wishes. But I do agree that he's going to have to figure out how to let go of Sam (besides the time where he already did in "Swan Song"), probably once Sam finds out about Ezekiel. :(
a_starfish
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
Swan Song! Yeah, I think that's ignored for the sake of the later Dean can't let Sam go arc. And Dean did get to have his year or something more normal with Lisa too (however dysfunctional) after Swan Song.

Except I figured the Ezekiel thing was because Dean did put himself first, in that his need to have Sam around outweighed Sam's own wishes.
I kind of agree? And kind of disagree? I guess I want Dean to be in a position to make a positive choice where he asserts/vocalises his own (healthier!) needs and desires. But such a scenario seems alien to SPN and probably belongs in a 179 Dean Winchester Never Said In Therapy fic.

Edited at 2013-11-21 12:10 am (UTC)
zubeneschamali
Nov. 21st, 2013 01:46 pm (UTC)
Maybe it was that year with Lisa that made Dean realize that once he got Sam back, he wasn't going to let him go. Alternatively, he saw Sam's need to jump into the Cage as self-atonement, and at that point in time, he was still mad at Sam for his betrayal with Ruby, so he was more willing to let him go. IDK.

I think ash48 just said it best, that Dean did finally take what he wanted for himself, but that was Sam. And so we have a problem.

Dean Winchester Never Said In Therapy fic

Love it!
kalliel
Nov. 22nd, 2013 07:50 pm (UTC)
I agree with you on John/Dean, and Dean's ambivalence toward hunting here; I don't think it's off the mark at all, or some kind of great slap in the face to extant canon. I mean... I like to think that the world that's been built up, and the characters we've watched grown and inhabit it, are complex enough to maintain under these new introductions. That is, it didn't seem wildly unnatural at all in either circumstance; IDK it just seemed naturally assimilable to me, so it's strange to see people so up in arms about it?

And Dylan Everett! He was AMAZING. Oh my god.

Haha, I do stand by my thoughts on characterization and not going back, but I also think that yes, I imagine that this is here to sort of up the ante in terms of how much we have to lose when the Ezekiel stuff comes out and everything goes to hell, omg. Which, I'm very excited by this storyline and I love the idea of impending fallout, but it is going to be so painful aaaah. ;___;

And all the shots of the salt n' bun. <3 Ghosts are my favorites forever.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )