?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Supernatural report

Insta-thoughts on 5.16 below the cut, with spoilers aplenty.


1. Oh, Sam.  (repeated many times in varying tones of voice)

2. Oh, Dean.

3. Dean's idea of Heaven is other people, seen not only through the memories that he stepped into, but his conversation with Pamela.  He didn't like the idea of everyone being in their own little world because of his need for other people (his greatest fear is everyone leaving him, after all) and for another reason I'll discuss below.  So now that everyone has been stripped away from him, all the way up to God, maybe he needs to find a reason for going on that's not about anyone but himself.

4. Sam's idea of Heaven is independence and showing he can make it on his own, even if his memories showed he was oblivious to the effect that's had on other people (Dean) over his life.  Now that he has gone it on his own and royally screwed things up, maybe he needs to be in it fully with Dean for once.  Which kind of contradicts #3, so I'm not sure what to think about that.  I was a wee bit annoyed that this episode was so Dean-focused, because I feel like I'm missing what this all means for Sam.

5. It is now canon that Sam and Dean are soulmates.  *snicker*

6. Damn, I miss Ash.  That was totally what Ash's Heaven would be like, too, down to the homemade angel detector and the beer shotgunning.  *giggle*

7.  It was creepy but well-done for Dean to get up and be walking around with the bullet hole in his back.  *shudder*

8. I am so happy that it's canon that Sam went to Heaven after AHBL.  Love how they were both so confused as to how they ended up there this time (but how Sam wasn't surprised at all to see Dean, d'awww...)

9. Dean's talk with Pamela reminded me so much of WIAWSNB.  He doesn't want to be happy.  He wants what's real and true and human, and if that means pain in the real world rather than a made-up family, or the misery and guilt of trying to stop the Apocalypse vs. having whatever he wants in Heaven, then so be it.  Which matters a lot because

10. At first, I thought Joshua's message was a clumsy attempt to explain the literal deus ex machina from "Sympathy for the Devil" while also cutting off the possibility of a similar rescue later in this season, and it ticked me off.  Okay, so it was both those things, but it was also something else.  Dean asked why God wasn't going to step in, and Joshua said it was like asking why does God allow evil in the world?  Which to me (and excuse me, my theology is showing here), is not just one of the Big Questions, but is answered by Free Will.  

IOW, the God in SPN wants the Winchesters to win, or he wouldn't have pulled their asses out of the convent.  But he wants them to make use of the free will he gave them:  the most important thing that separates them from the angels.  And to my mind, that's also the only thing that redeems Dean for being so goshdarn stubborn in refusing Michael: the fact that he's exercising his free will, refusing to take the easy way out and remaining his fully human self.  So yeah, God's not being a deadbeat Dad.  He's stepping back and letting his kids grow up and do it on their own, which is what Sam's been trying to do his whole life and what Dean (ironically) has never quite learned to do.  *takes deep breath and stops*

11. We all know Sam picked up the amulet on his way out.  Right?  :(

 

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
whitereflection
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
11. We all know Sam picked up the amulet on his way out. Right? :(

I keep telling myself that, because it's the only band-aid for that scene for me at the moment. Well, not really a band-aid, but maybe a tourniquet. Or something. >_
zubeneschamali
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
It's food for the plot bunnies, at least...
(Deleted comment)
zubeneschamali
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Ha, you would! :) But I like your interpretation of the amulet, and it does fit rather well with what I figured above, doesn't it? I'm still going to believe that Sam grabbed the amulet and is holding onto it for later.

It was lots of fun, and I need to get my pics up from the site visits before I forget where everything was, LOL.
tigbit
Apr. 2nd, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
This episode...I'll never forget it. There was just so much to think about. And the hurt! The hopelessness! Holy crap, you know? For the first time in a long time, I felt like the show was actually trying, actually making sense.

Jeez, though.
zubeneschamali
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
I thought it was a really awesome character study of the kind they haven't done in a long time, which was great. The despair, though...it's hardly affecting me anymore because it's almost over the top now, you know?
tigbit
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
You're right. The despair-level...well. They always tend to lay it on a little thick these days. I think the most shocking thing they could do now is give them a happy episode. Fandom would collectively curl up and die from shock.

And yeah. Character study -- that's the right word. Like they actually took time to sit down and THINK before they wrote it. There are so many plot holes and things in the show that I'm sure it's intimidating, but at least they tried. I give them points for effort.
zubeneschamali
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
I think the most shocking thing they could do now is give them a happy episode.

I know, right? The fireworks scene was, like, more happy!Dean than we've seen in multiple seasons put together, and it was actually quite weird to watch. Lovely, but weird.

Edited at 2010-04-04 04:41 pm (UTC)
mangacat201
Apr. 2nd, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
I TOTALLY HOPE HE DID PICK IT UP CAUSE THAT'S JUST.... it's remarkable how the show has turned Sam and Dean into each other again. One brother no longer trusting the father to make it right and leaving the fold by cutting important ties and the other starting to try and glue the family back together like it's the lifeline of the century. The development of their character arcs is uncannily anti-thetic and paralell. What the one brother doesn't the other must, or else? Hmmmm... it's all in the balance at the end.

And on a side note... speaking of killing the Devil dead, has anyone even THOUGHT about trying to just box him UP again? *shakes head*
Cat
zubeneschamali
Apr. 2nd, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
it's remarkable how the show has turned Sam and Dean into each other again.

So true. It's like Sam's the one with the whole hope thing now, although I'm guessing that's because he can't bear the thought of saying yes and is holding on to anything he can against it.

Did Joshua say they can't kill the devil? So they're going to have to lock him up again somehow, right?
mangacat201
Apr. 3rd, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
yes, totally, it should feel unoriginal that they just take their own plots and turn them around to the other side, except that it's really generic and utterly natural. And we DO hope that they get the idea before time runs out.
Besides, you wouldn't want to kill the devil anymore than you'd want to kill God, balance is the key people...
Cat
(Deleted comment)
zubeneschamali
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I never read IMDB for that very reason. This was one of my favorite episodes of the season even if it was difficult to watch.
altyronsmaker
Apr. 4th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
You don't know me, but your number 10 is very similar to my very own thoughts. God's not uncaring - he's unconcerned. Which are two very different things! Yes! Joshua said Dean's losing faith, that Dean's not sure he can do it and that he needs God - that god was his last hope. And God's sorry to disappoint, but he's not going to interfere. To me that means he trusts in Dean and Sam's ability to stop the apocalypse, and that they don't need Him.

So. yeah. anyway! Thanks for the review!
zubeneschamali
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
To me that means he trusts in Dean and Sam's ability to stop the apocalypse, and that they don't need Him.

Yes, exactly. I just wish they understood that it's confidence that God's got going on and not abandonment. :(
oddlyspoken
Apr. 4th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Great review, I right with you there in your attitude to God and what the point is. Yeah, Dean may relate to God as if he's John but the point is Dean needs to exercise his free will and choose his own destiny. He's not on earth to follow orders and take care of everyone else's needs to the exclusion of his own.

Argh, sometimes I just want to shake Dean. He needs a little bit of Sam's independence just as Sam needs to consider how his choices impact others more often.

Let's hope the Winchester boys take this experience and apply it so they make better choices and win this damn Apocalypse. *keeping fingers crossed*
zubeneschamali
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Argh, sometimes I just want to shake Dean. He needs a little bit of Sam's independence just as Sam needs to consider how his choices impact others more often.

Totally. It's ironic how between the two, tough-guy!Dean is the one who's selfless to the point of it being a character flaw, while researcher!Sam is the one who always wants to leap in and do something. Here's hoping they learn from each other, too!
cookiemom6067
Apr. 5th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
It was creepy but well-done for Dean to get up and be walking around with the bullet hole in his back.

Well, in his shirt, anyhow. I'm assuming his back is fine, now.

Sam wasn't surprised at all to see Dean


Did you catch Dean's reaction to that? That was actually one of my (many) favorite moments in this episode. When Sam said "You, I get," Dean looked surprised to hear him say so. I thought that was a wonderful small reaction shot on JA's part - well acted.

The thing about both Winchesters that I think is really a very interesting character trait is that, even though their job description has always been "saving people, hunting [evil] things," they really sort of see themselves as the scum of the earth! And, yeah - they've had their moments, especially from the revelation of Sam's demon power usage (which Dean seems to be kind of giving him a pass on as of his "good intentions" line) of BELIEVING Sam to be evil, but for the most part, even though they demonstratively ARE good guys, they don't see themselves that way. As I said, VERY INTERESTING.

He doesn't want to be happy. He wants what's real and true and human, and if that means pain in the real world rather than a made-up family, or the misery and guilt of trying to stop the Apocalypse vs. having whatever he wants in Heaven, then so be it.


That's Dean in a nutshell, isn't it? I had not made the very obvious connection to WIAWSNB that you did - thanks for pointing that out. The vision of Heaven as an experience of fundamental isolation, with only RARE people being empowered to share in their loved ones' afterlife (And yeah - SOULMATES!!!!) is sorta creepy to me, and in fact, the antithesis of Heaven in my opinion, as (permit me to flash MY theology a bit), our divine nature is to LOVE, not to masturbate (so to speak, and not implying in any way that self-gratification is "sinful").

Dean asked why God wasn't going to step in, and Joshua said it was like asking why does God allow evil in the world? Which to me (and excuse me, my theology is showing here), is not just one of the Big Questions, but is answered by Free Will.


That was a huge, flashing neon sign to me that Free Will is EXACTLY what this is about. And the congregation says "AMEN!"

the only thing that redeems Dean for being so gosh darn stubborn in refusing Michael


Hold up! So you think he should say yes? WOW. Why?




Edited at 2010-04-05 03:08 am (UTC)
zubeneschamali
Apr. 5th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
Did you catch Dean's reaction to that? That was actually one of my (many) favorite moments in this episode. When Sam said "You, I get," Dean looked surprised to hear him say so. I thought that was a wonderful small reaction shot on JA's part - well acted.

Yes, I did, and I had the same reaction as you: great job, Jensen!

for the most part, even though they demonstratively ARE good guys, they don't see themselves that way

Well, Sam had the first angel he met basically go "Ew!" and only reluctantly shake his hand, and I'm sure Dean figures that whatever he did in Hell was enough to get him sent back down there. But yeah, the fact that if anyone called them heroes to their faces, they'd laugh it off, is part of what makes them even more heroic. :)

Hold up! So you think he should say yes? WOW. Why?

I would if canon was just a little different, especially after Michael said he wouldn't leave Dean a slobbering wreck. Dean is obviously willing to sacrifice himself to save anyone and everyone, and he's desperate to make up for helping start the apocalypse, so he comes across as not having a good reason to say no other than stamping his foot and being stubborn.

OTOH, Michael seems to be as much of a dick as most of the rest of the angels, so he's clearly not to be trusted. And while from a strategic POV it would make sense to take out Lucifer when he's not in his chosen vessel, I get the feeling that Michael would hang around till May 2 in Detroit anyway, so there's no point to Dean saying yes.

BTW, I feel much better about Dean being stubborn on principle after this ep, because now I see it as part of the SPN God's plan (oh, irony!).

Edited at 2010-04-05 12:44 pm (UTC)
cookiemom6067
Apr. 5th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
I guess I think he comes across as having very defensible reasons to say no - I think he truly does see it as distasteful to be an "Angel condom." I also had a real "stand up and cheer" moment in Sympathy for the Devil when he said (paraphrasing) that we should say no to both the demons and the angels and take back the world, even going so far as to say he was equipped with a "GED and a give 'em hell attitude."

Even though he, minutes later, told Sam he didn't really believe it, I think he actually DOES, he just doesn't know HOW they're going to do it. From the time of My Bloody Valentine to God's message to "Back off" in this episode, I think he was willing to believe that finding God was the answer after all (because he certainly thought it was laughable in Good God, Y'all), but I'm hoping he's ready to charge up "Team Free Will" after this.

It just occurred to me that "Team Free Will" has now (with the exception of Sam? Maybe??) given up on the deus ex machina of finding God - Castiel's "You son of a bitch" being an essential step in admitting that Big Daddy isn't going to wave his magic wand and fix everything.

It's definitely becoming more and more intriguing, as we watch it play out.

Thanks for a thought provoking reaction post.


Edited at 2010-04-05 01:21 pm (UTC)
zubeneschamali
Apr. 6th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
In thinking more about it, there's two other things that come to mind:

1) Dean already said "yes" once with horrible consequences, not only personally but for the fate of the world, so there's no way he's going to say yes this time if he can help it. I guess I would have to say that's more than stubbornness, so I revise my above opinion. :)

2) For Sam, the consequences of saying "yes" are a lot more serious, so he has to believe there's another way out. And now that he knows he's been to Heaven (multiple times!), he knows he's not irredeemable like he might have thought he was before. That's why I was a little unhappy with the Dean-centric focus of this ep, because it seemed to me like it offered Sam as much hope as it took away from Dean, but that was definitely secondary.

Thanks for engaging with my post so much; I appreciate the chance to think things out!
cookiemom6067
Apr. 6th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
I guess I'm slow tonight - what are you referring to in 1) above? When did Dean say "yes?"

I'm sure I"ll be ready to *headdesk* as soon as you tell me, but again, I'm having a short bus night.
zubeneschamali
Apr. 8th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Oh, I meant when he gave in in Hell, saying yes to Alastair.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )