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Ramble On

This is my first international ‘Ramble.’ I'm writing this from a hotel in Sydney, Australia while here working on a training session. Copious amounts of gratitude showered upon lovinjacksonfor not only traveling up from Melbourne to hang out with me for one day but also bringing a copy of this episode with her for us to enjoy together. I’m posting this earlier than I anticipated, but apparently a wicked time change + insomnia = Ramble On.

While there have been better episodes – and worse episodes – I most certainly enjoyed this one. I have been well and truly entertained throughout this entire season, to be honest. Obviously, you all have seen this and have discussed it amongst yourselves, so this will be old news to many of you, but even so, I bring you my one-time-viewed, on-the-road recap/review. This “Ramblette” isn’t as detailed as I usually provide but I hope you enjoy and look forward to your thoughts.


When I was in high school, at the after-ballgame dances, there were three songs that could get every kid on the floor to ‘dance’ (even those of us who were sadly born sans rhythm): Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker,” Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler,” and AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long.”

Now, however, “Shook Me All Night Long” will forever hold a different memory for me. *sighs happily* I have some specific story reactions and plot observations, but right now, from this tired mind, this episode will be The One With Shirtless Dean, and as I reflect back on the season…I’m pretty okay with that.

The THEN pretty much (IMO) gave away the whole “what lesson did we learn today, kids” ending of this episode when they brought up the Amy situation. And I have some thoughts about that when we get to the end. The thing I found the most interesting, though, is how much they focused on Bobby’s demise in the THEN. Our musings that the Mystery of the Disappearing Beer last episode could possibly be Bobby’s spirit watching out for the boys was, for me, all-but solidified with the way they set up this episode, reminding us that Bobby had to make a choice to ‘stay or go.’ I think they’re telling us that Bobby’s spirit stuck around to watch out for the boys – tied perhaps to his flask that Dean can’t bear to part with.

Works for me – Mary’s spirit stuck with the house, right? And I like the idea of the boys having that “crazy, drunk genius” watching out for them. Plus, since we found out from Sam during an argument that they cremated Bobby’s remains, I feel oddly reassured that if they have to “deal” with his spirit down the road it could be done so in a peaceful way (like John going to the light, or the spirit in “Roadkill,” for example).

The opening of the episode set up the MotW aspect with a decent level of gore. A man (who looked like he could have been James VanDerbeek’s stunt double) hanging out in his modern, nicely-appointed living room, working on his laptop. He hears a sound, thinks it’s his wife or something equally as innocuous and unthreatening, but this is Supernatural ya’ll. Every sound is threatening.

In a rather gore-filled, blood-cast-off attack, the man is thrown across the room, slamming into a wall, then his hands and feet are cut off – while he’s still alive – and a symbol is carved into his chest. Yowza.

When we first see our boys, Sam’s driving and Dean’s sleeping against the door on the passenger side. In fact, I think he’s even snoring a little bit. Hee. I couldn’t figure out what they were driving – and ya’ll know how I love my cars, so if you know, I’d be obliged if you shared with the class. I don’t think it was the Skylark – mainly because they hadn’t had that in the previous episode, so I figured they would be changing up on a regular basis (else why not just bring back the Impala…*misses the Impala*).

Dean wakes, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, and immediately pulls out a flask. I think the lessening of drinking in the last episode was more due to the fact that he was busy traveling through time than anything else. Sam gives him what should be a copyrighted Little Brother Look Of Irritation And Worry and makes a comment on the fact that Dean’s drinking from Bobby’s flask. Interesting, I thought, because when they first discovered the flask, Dean sniffed it and put it back.

Dean claims that using Bobby’s flask is “grief therapy” – which, honestly, I can totally buy. Dean drinking as a coping mechanism is hardly new. He’s been doing it since Season 2. Dean holding articles of others close to him to keep them close and helps him feel less alone is his M.O. – John’s leather jacket, Sam’s amulet, the Impala…. A flask from Bobby – yep. Works for me.

However, Sam’s worry about Dean’s drinking, his not ‘dealing’ with things as he should, or just…the state of things in general has him calling attention to Dean’s drinking and Dean’s auto-deflect mechanism has him pointing out that the hunt they’re on is a “wild goose chase.” Sam breaks it down for us – 4 guys in the last “X” days (I can’t remember) were killed just like the guy we saw at the start. Dean = *grumble, grumble, grumble* But they carry on.

They show up suited up at the morgue to check out dead guy #4 (the James VanDerbeek guy) and the M.E. comments on them working late. Dean cracks wise that the hours suck, but they have a “great benefits package” – especially the coverage for drugs. Not just generic, either, he says. Sam brings the conversation back to the body on the table in front of them and gets the 411: there was DNA at the scene and actually found on one or two bodies, but it didn’t match anything human.

As they leave, Dean concedes that it’s, “generally in the vicinity of the ballpark of our thing.” Hee.

Sam proposes the return to the hotel and break out the laptop part of the hunt, but Dean counters with a, “you do that, I’ll mingle with the locals.”

Sam: You’re going to a bar.

Dean: If you want to oversimplify it.

Sam gives him a look which I’m sure was supposed to be another one of irritated concern, but he uses it so much in this episode I started just thinking of it as more of a bitchface than anything else. However before you throw lost shoes at me, I will say I noticed something about their brotherly dynamic a bit later that had me dialing back my frown at Sam’s bitchfaciness. Which is a word I just made up.

So, as Sam goes back to spend some QT with his laptop and dig deeper into the hunt, Dean heads to a schwanky bar (they actually say the name of the bar a couple of times, but I’m sorry, I didn’t make a note of it and it’s left my brain…not a big deal, but the bar location is important because of the links for the MotW so I’m just going to call it Hunting Ground Bar) and is at a high-top table talking with a pretty girl named Lydia. The conversation is very flirtatious, and it’s obvious where things are heading. Whoever directed this episode did a fantastic job with this scene, IMO.

The basic important parts of the conversation include Dean passing himself off as an investment banker (the suit helps seal that deal) and his usual self-deprecating demeanor that just pulls us – and Lydia – in. The way he half-smiles, a high ball of whiskey hanging from loose fingers, glancing down slightly as he replies, “Yeah, look at me,” in response to Lydia’s obviously attracted, “Well, look at you,” could turn any perfectly mature, sane woman into a quivering ball of goo.

What the director did, though, was push the conversation to the background allowing us to pull out whatever we deemed important about the words they’re saying. The focus instead is on body language: the camera pulling close to  Lydia’s eyes and then her lips – showing us what Dean is seeing. Then broadening the shot before shifting close to Dean’s eyes and mouth (bottom lip rolling up against his teeth as he swallows). It’s seductive and sensuous and tells us all we need to know about how things jump from “can I buy you a drink” to “you want to take this conversation somewhere more private.”

And then the director makes another interesting choice – interspersing scenes from Dean’s first love scene in three seasons with vicious murder number five. Now, the Dean girl in me would have loved to have focused the whole shebang on the sex scene because seriously…hummina hummina. But I thought stylistically and storytelling-wise, it was effective. The only thing I’d say is that doing it this way pretty much hit us over the head with the anvil of reveal that Lydia was A Bad Guy (not that any of us thought it would be different based on, y’know, previews and Dean’s sad track record with women).

Doesn’t mean I can’t recap it though. *wicked grin*

So, the murder is pretty much the same as the first one we saw – man thrown across room, man hacked up with blood everywhere, man dead. But the pacing and timing is in line with the hard-rocking chords of “Shook Me All Night Long” and Lydia and Dean hurriedly pulling at each other’s clothes, Lydia shoving Dean hard against the French doors of her bedroom, Lydia tearing Dean’s shirt off -- *pauses for a moment to remember that lovely moment* -- and then shoving him back on the bed. She definitely drove the entire encounter.

And I have to say, it’s so rare that Dean is shirtless – when we’ve seen Sam sans shirt quite a few times over the years – I was appreciative on a basic level. It wasn’t (just) a gratuitous oh-my-god-he’s-so-hot-look-at-those-hip-dents appreciation. It was more that everything I found attractive about Dean was enhanced because de-clothed, he appeared both powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I was happy to see the anti-possession Devil’s Trap tat, but noticed when he rolled Lydia over, curving over her with his body (*pauses to bite lip*) that the hand-brand from Castiel wasn’t there. Don’t know if that was meant to insinuate that the mark ‘healed’ – or if it was a continuity ‘oops.’ I prefer for the sake of our Show to believe the former.

Lydia doesn’t let Dean to dominate the situation long. She turns him over on his back, their rhythm matching the drive of AC/DC’s song until finally she rolls away leaving Dean to look up at the ceiling, exhaling with a world-has-been-rocked, “Whoo.”

Whooo is right. *fans self*

Next day, the boys are together, suited up and heading to the newest murder scene. Sam’s giving Dean a hard time – in the traditional guys-give-guys-a-hard-time-the-morning-after way. Dean, though, does comment a bit that he’s getting too old for this, and that he feels worse than he looks, insinuating that the series of drinks + high activity + (presumably) lack of sleep caught up with him rather fast. That…and I think that Lydia’s, um, energy level, shall we say, was probably a bit more than he was used to. For good reason.

When they show up on-scene, Dean wryly comments that the nicely-appointed house had “nice décor, very early slaughterhouse.” The blood everywhere really does add a certain… je ne sais quoi. The M.E. is there as is a blonde woman who I gathered was the local detective assigned to the case. She reiterated that this victim was the same as the others – early 30’s, decent looking, very successful, no known enemies….

Sam talks to the neighbor and finds out victim #5 had a one-night fling, but they quickly rule out his potentially jealous wife as a suspect. As they talk through the facts, Dean realizes that he left Bobby’s flask at his “work-out partner’s” house. He calls her – prompting Sam to comment on Lydia giving him her number and Dean to respond, “They always give their number.” But she blows him off saying she’s really busy.

Yeah, no joke. When the camera pulls away she looks about 12 years pregnant.

Dean’s reaction to her shutting him down is obvious on his face, prompting a somewhat hilarious expression from Sam. Sometimes I wonder if Sam’s penchant for giving Dean a hard time about his bedroom companions might be a little out of envy. Not important. Just…musing.

Okay, so next thing we know, Lydia’s in a room with a bunch of other women as she gives birth. A dark-haired woman who looked a bit like Morticia Adams is telling her that the pain is an honor. Sweetie, I’ve had a baby. The pain is painful. Full stop. Lydia has a baby girl and names her Emma. Done and done.

Meanwhile, the boys are visiting a Professor Morrison – thanks to Sam’s research – to help them figure out the symbol carved on the victim’s chest. Hilariously, the Professor just so happens to be the same actor who played The Evil Mayor in Buffy and infuses this character with the same kooky vagueness that made The Mayor actually likable as a bad guy. When the boys ask the Prof if he can figure out the symbol, he answers, “Maybe. It’s possible. I could. Even likely. For suitable remuneration.”

Dean is not impressed, but Sam’s convinced this guy is their only link to figuring out the symbol. He tells the Professor that his government needs him. Prof answers that his housekeeper needs a green card. Heh.

As they walk away from the Professor’s office, Dean’s disgruntlement spills over into their conversation. He feels like they’re spinning their wheels, but it’s clear he’s thrown by having left Bobby’s flask at Lydia’s. He tries to get a hold of her again, but she isn’t calling him back. Sam’s all, “Some girl actually dumping you the next morning.” His attitude irritated me for a bit – until I realized later on in the episode that Dean was pretty much treating Sam the same as Sam was treating Dean.

They both were playing on their assumptions of each other’s habits, allowing those habits to irritate them and choosing to be grumpy about it. Sam was all over Dean’s penchant for one-night-stands and missing BIG clues that Dean was actually in danger. Dean was taking for granted Sam’s penchant for thorough research and leaning on that to get to the facts of the case (without having to do the research work himself).

Not only that -- but Sam paying attention to the things Dean's doing that are worrying him shows how much he IS worried about his brother. How much he cares about him. He's so focused on the every day things that he's scared will take Dean from him that he almost misses the right there things that almost DO take Dean from him. And he doesn't listen to what Dean is saying because his ears are full of what he thinks Dean isn't saying. I've done that before. Been so worried about someone because of what I think is wrong that miss what is actually wrong.

Anyway, Dean needs that flask, so he heads over to Lydia’s house…where he finds that she has a baby. A baby he overhears talking. And not just coo-talking. Full on, “Hey Mom, who is that guy?” talking. The WTF expression on his face was rather perfect. Sam calls him while he’s there trying to get him to hurry up and get back so they can go meet up with the M.E., but when Dean hears the baby talk, anything the M.E. could give them goes right out the window as far as he’s concerned.

So, Sam goes by himself and while there runs into the blonde detective who warns him to hurry up and get things wrapped up. She’s not liking his interference. He also finds out that there were ‘cold case’ files (thanks to the innocently chatty M.E.) about other similar cases and asks for help getting them to review. While he’s going through the files, Sam finds a link to the Hunting Ground Bar and calls Dean to fill him in on the facts. Dean is parked outside of Lydia’s house…watching.

Dean: I have been eating at the buffet of strange all afternoon.

At first Sam keeps up with the hard time, harping on Dean obsessing over Lydia. But then he listens to Dean breaking down how Lydia had been kidless the day before, and reluctantly offers backup. When Dean declines, Sam tells him about the other cases (the similarities to what Dean was dealing with are glaringly obvious) as Dean is watching a 5-ish year old little girl being led out of the house by Lydia and handed over to Morticia Adams.

Dean follows Morticia’s car to a random building, watching the woman lead the little girl inside. Next thing we know, he’s back at the motel and is pacing around, telling Sam about Lydia being kid-free when he spent the night with her. No baby, no crib, no rubber ducks (hee – rubber ducks…I love our Show). Next day she has a baby named Emma and then later that same day, a little girl named Emma is being led away from Lydia’s house? What the hell doesn’t begin to cover it for him.

Sam is so focused on getting facts about the hunt he completely misses facts about the hunt. He just gives Dean flack about what he’s saying, teasing him and being sarcastic because what Dean’s talking about is not focusing on what Sam’s been researching – which is the evidence they’ve gathered.

Dean: Are you deliberately messing with me? I know weird.

Just then, the Professor calls.

Dean: Oh, great. I bet he’ll crack this wide open.

Hee.

Back at the warehouse – or Convent of Weird – Morticia Adams is making the now 10ish-looking little girls eat something saying they have to “consume their kill” as a symbol of their unity and a tribute to the one who created them. Emma has to be ‘encouraged’ to eat her piece. Blech.

The boys head to the Professor’s office and he tells them that he ID’d the symbol as coming from the goddess Harmonia. Boiling it all down, the killers are Amazons – exclusively female culture, no use for males except for procreation. While the boys are there finding this out, the blonde female cop is on the phone with Morticia Adams IDing the boys as hunters. Yipe!

The boys head back to the motel and they’re digging through the boxes of books that Sheriff Mills retrieved from Bobby’s storage locker. And, query. Didn’t Bobby say that he had copies of his books hidden everywhere? I don’t know about you, but when he said that, I pictured like…reams of paper or something, not actual book-copies. These boxes are filled with a bunch of ancient-looking, dusty books.

Logistically speaking, it’s going to be hell for the boys to keep boosting different cars and then filling the new cars with the boxes of books. I personally think they should go back to Buffalo and get into John’s storage locker and add Bobby’s books to the collection there. And I also think they should use the Impala to do that. I’m just saying….

ANYWAY, Dean’s digging through the boxes looking for some “Grecian encyclopedia of weird” that he’s sure Bobby has somewhere. Sam’s continued research (the guy was relentless with the whole ‘getting to the bottom of this’ search) turns up another side to Harmonia’s Amazons – where a deal they made with her turned them into a race of monsters. Here’s where I realized that all the poking Sam’s been doing to Dean on the one-night-stand and drinking was being turned right back around by Dean in demanding Sam feed him more information.

It’s just another layer of their relationship that highlights (for me) how very realistic their sibling connection is.

As Sam is rattling off how the Amazons continue their race – find a successful, powerful male, ‘mate’ with him, then they have a baby the next day and the baby grows into a teen in three days time – the penny is dropping for Dean. The look of horror on his face would be slightly humorous if it weren’t so heartbreaking that he has a child – but that child is literally a monster.

Sam’s coming to the same conclusion and reacts first with denial, then with incredulity that Dean could “let this happen.” I actually hadn’t gone there until Sam did – figuring that Dean’s done this enough he wouldn’t be so stupid to not use protection. Dean’s reply is simply that accidents happen; he’s not brain dead. And as Ross and Rachel can attest, condoms are only 97% effective. It says it right on the box. *grins*

Elsewhere in the Convent of Weird, the now-teenaged girls are doing some kind of weird Skulls-like ceremony where that symbol that’s been carved on the chest of the dead guys is being branded onto their wrists. Emma winces and Morticia is again with the “pain is an honor” schtick. Yeouch. The actress who is playing 16 year-old Emma looked familiar to me and lovinjackson confirmed that she’s the same actress who played young Missy Bender five years ago. Gotta say, that wins the Most Creepy Recycle of an Actress Award in my book.

Back with the boys, Sam wants to know why Lydia – an Amazon – would have hooked up with Dean if they’re so picky about their gene pool.

Dean: She may or may not have thought I was a rich investment banker.

Whoops.

As they’re talking, though, there’s a sound like a sigh and Dean looks over on the bed saying that the papers moved. Frowning, Sam gets out the EMF and it redlines. He walks all around the room, redline going wacko, then says that there are power lines outside the open window – completely dispelling the possibility of a helpful ghost in his mind. But, not necessarily Dean’s.

The paper that moved was a piece with a bunch of Greek writing on it that neither of them can read…’cause…it’s Greek to them. Heh. They don’t know if it’s helpful because it’s in the pile of stuff that might be helpful.

Dean, holding the flask he’d finally rescued from Lydia’s house, supposes with a look of hesitantly awed wonder that it could be Bobby. Sam’s face closes down on that possibility – their body language once again telling a bigger story than the actual dialog. Dean’s shoulders are back, down, relaxed almost. His eyes are rounded with a small tinge of hope. Sam’s shoulders are square, his body tight, his face lined. He says that they cremated Bobby, and it can’t be him basically because they want it to be.

Dean pulls in on himself when confronted by Sam’s denial, but Sam’s words kinda broke my heart a bit. It’s so sad to see how they are forced to accept a life where they don’t even get the smallest chance of a break.

Anyway, even after figuring out that Dean probably-definitely fathered an Amazon, Sam heads off to get more intel from the Professor, leaving Dean with the equivalent of, “Lock the door and hope they don’t have blasters.” I honestly don’t get why Dean didn’t just go with him – leaving Dean behind at this moment was just…illogical. And a convenient writing tool to amp up the drama and what happened next.

Sam barges into the Prof’s office and takes the Greek paper that “somehow” fluffed up to the top of the pile and asks him to translate it. The Prof is hesitant because the gov’t isn’t paying him enough.

Sam: I’ll sweeten the deal. We’ll remove your wire tap.

HA! I love conniving Sam. *grins*

Back at the hotel, there’s a knock at the door. Dean cautiously goes to open it – and he does that thing where he licks his lower lip as he’s centering himself…*love* -- and on the other side of the door is Emma. She looks at him pleadingly and asks for his help, saying she doesn’t want to be like the others and she knew he would help her because…he’s her father.

(Gaelic mentally inserts image of Dean replaying Luke Skywalker’s devastated NOOOOOOO!!!)

Here’s something I found interesting at this point – the other Babyzons went right to their rich daddy’s houses and without remorse or discussion took them out. They ate their “offering” without being prodded and didn’t wince when branded. Emma is the child of a hunter – a hunter who was at one time tagged as Michael’s sword, even – and she was a bit difficult. She still goes for the kill at the end, but goes about it decidedly differently.

To me, it just showed how unique Dean is, period. Even his monster offspring rebels against the norm. He may live his life as a battle-weary warrior, thinking he’s not really worth anything because of what he does or what he’s done (which he basically reiterates as he’s talking to Emma), but when it comes down to it, he and his brother are unique. And the universe in which they live would not exist were it not for them. End of story.

Dean lets Emma and her little pink suitcase into the room and she says that her mother told her Dean was a good man. Dean says he seriously doubts that is true. Emma says she believes he’s a good man.

Dean: If you knew me, you would seriously doubt that’s true.

*rubs heart*

Emma tries to go into the whole “I know you don’t want me, but…” and Dean (rightly so) tells her this is not even close to a normal situation – it has nothing to do with Dean not wanting her (or, by a broader definition, wanting a child).

Meanwhile, Sam’s back with the Prof trying to figure out what’s on the paper.

Prof: Where did you get this?

Sam: A crazy, drunk old genius.

Prof: They always have the best stuff.

Hee.

So, basically, the paper reveals that it’s the kid who has to kill the father, not the Amazon mama – which I kinda already knew, but maybe it wasn’t that obvious…? Sam runs out, but the blonde female cop is there, stops him by telling him she knows he’s a fake and we see the scar of her Amazon brand. She goes all freaky-red-eyes and throws Sam down some stairs, but he rolls over, gun up, and shoots her. It surprised me that act took her out. Maybe they were like…silver bullets or something. I just expected the Amazons to be harder to kill for some reason. *shrug*

Back with Dean, Emma’s looking sad and vulnerable so Dean goes to the fridge to get her some food. His back to her, he’s peering into the nearly-empty fridge giving options of cheese or a leftover burrito when Emma stands up and a gigantic knife drops down from her sleeve. Dean doesn’t see her, but he senses the danger because he turns around, pulling his gun up fast in one smooth motion.

I totally dig it when he does that. *Toe. Curl.*

Sam’s booking it home – realizing that Dean’s ‘accident’ is on her way to kill his brother—and in the hotel room, Dean’s got his gun on Emma, his face impassive as he tells her that he figured she’d chat him up, catch him off-guard and it almost worked because he was expecting her mother. Emma says this is hard for her, but she looks pretty dead-eyed about it. A lot like her alter-ego Missy Bender, you ask me.

Dean says killing her won’t be hard for him, but she calls his bluff because he hasn’t done it yet. Then she figuratively twists the knife, causing emotion to spark to life in his eyes.

Emma: You’re my father. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

*ouch*

Dean softens, doesn’t drop his gun, but his body shifts subtly from I can take you out any second to this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. He says she hasn’t killed anyone yet – meaning maybe she could go against her nature and live a normal life. He just wants so badly to believe that there could be good in him – from him – even as he doubts it with every statement about himself. Emma says she doesn’t have a choice.

Nature vs Nurture goes out the window when you go from zero to sixteen in three days….

Sam reaches the room, standing outside the door in time to hear the last exchange. The look on his face when he hears Emma say she doesn’t have a choice is a mixture of fear and anger. He bursts through the door, causing Emma to whirl and face him, her eyes going all freaky-red like the blonde cop, before she turns back to Dean (who has not lowered his weapon, mind you). Plaintively she looks at Dean and says, “Please don’t let him hurt me.”

Sam doesn’t hesitate – he shoots her. Dean…works to swallow as he slowly lowers his gun. He looks…crushed. But not shocked. Not upset at Sam or angry at what he did. But…crushed that it had to happen at all.

Here’s the thing. I think Dean would have shot her. I think he needed time to untangle his mind about the fact that he was going to have to kill what was ‘technically’ his own child. Not an easy thing to come to grips with. But just like he took out Amy, who was a monster, I think he would have done it. Like the Top Gun quote – “He’d have hated it, but he’d have done it.”

He’s a hunter. He knows what has to happen – a monster is a monster, end of story. That said, when it comes to kids, he has a soft spot that he’s just not going to be able to ignore. That’s why he let Amy’s kid go – the kid hadn’t killed anyone yet, there was still a chance for him to overcome his monster side. Personally, I think that will come back and bite him in the ass, but still, it’s a personality  aspect that he can’t just end. So he hadn’t done it yet when Sam took control, but my opinion is that he would have done what needed to be done.

They head to the Convent of Weird to take out Morticia and her crew, but it’s empty. The rest of the Amazons and their offspring got away. I kinda liked that twist – they quite literally can’t win them all.

It’s night and Sam’s driving again. And he’s Not. Happy. It’s like that…heavy quiet where you know there are copious amounts of words just waiting to be said.

Dean: I don’t like it either. I wanted to torch them as much as you. We’ll get them next time they surface. (pause) Fine, just sit there and be pissed, then.

Sam is angry and brings up Amy – saying that this was the same situation. Sam did what needed to be done. Which (IMO) they telegraphed he was going to the moment we saw that scene in the THEN. I even said out loud to lovinjackson the moment Emma showed up at the hotel door that Sam was going to be the one to kill her because that’s the way the writers slant the moral dilemmas sometimes. I’m not surprised or even disappointed. BUT. I will say I think it would have been better character development and growth if Dean had been allowed to kill Emma.

First of all, he hasn’t struck the final killing blow of the MotW in several episodes. And second of all, he was able to “do what had to be done” when it was Sam’s situation…it would have been good to see him able to carry that through with his own situation. However, that brings us to the real issue: how each of them is 'dealing' (or not) with things - like Bobby's death. 

Sam takes the argument one step further and says that Emma wasn’t Dean’s, not really. Dean argues that she was his. That’s the whole point. 
They lash out like weak, wounded animals. Both acutely aware of how much they’re hurting but neither willing to admit it and expose a gaping internal vulnerability to each other. Just...they break me. But in a good way, odd as that sounds.

Sam needs to believe he’s okay and the easiest way for him to do that is if Dean believes Sam’s okay. Dean just doesn’t want to ever look too closely at himself – he never has.

Sam (worried): When Cas died, you were wobbly, but now….

Dean (irritated): You’re just as screwed up as I am. You’re just…bigger.

Sam (incredulous): What?!

Dean (grumpy): I don’t know!

They aren’t looking at each other but are drawn back to their worry like magnets.

Sam: The thing is, tonight it almost got you killed. I don’t care how you deal…I don’t. Just…don’t get killed.

*rubs heart* Aww, Sammy. That said so much. He gets that Dean’s a functioning alcoholic who isn’t going to put down the flask anytime soon because right now it’s his only way of finding balance and now is his only tie to a friend he still desperately needs. But he can’t handle this without Dean. If Dean were to get killed because he’s not focused, It would kill Sam. *rubs heart again*

Dean (softly, almost reluctantly): I’ll do what I can.

Sam: What’s that supposed to mean?

Dean (in a very I can’t give you anything else right now tone): It means I’ll do what I can. Shut up about it.

They quiet down, each glowering into the night with their own disenchanted, disgruntled feelings, trying to find a place to put all that they can’t control.

I think that the “Sam’s coping better than Dean” set up is going to come crashing down on them pretty soon. Because I was watching a download, I didn’t see previews, so this is totally shooting in the dark speculation, but I don’t think Sam’s scar-rubbing is going to hold him together much longer – how can it? We’re talking about a serious mental issue that he isn’t going get over.

So…my speculation is this. Dean’s purpose has always been Sam. That’s no secret. Since the return of Sam’s soul, protecting his brother has been at the forefront of his strategy – it was even the reason he gave Frank for why he couldn’t/wouldn’t quit hunting. “I’m not gonna leave my brother.” Not “I can’t do anything else,” not “I was meant to do this,” not even “I’m good at this.” He didn’t want to leave Sam.

I think that Sam cracking will be the thing to help Dean find a way to “deal” as Sam keeps asking him in various ways to do. Now, part of me appreciates this and part of me doesn’t like it. Because I want Dean to be able to crack, too. Not (just) because I want to see that performance, but because he’s human and he’s taken more than his internal dam should be able to stand. That box inside him is getting more and more full.

And I think he needs a ‘straw’ moment – some random moment that catches him and allows him a chance to turn that release valve and break down – just a bit – to give him more room to breathe. Emma could have been that random moment…but she wasn’t. I don’t know if they’ll allow that, but it would be so much healthier to see him break down a little bit rather than the two extremes of not at all or all together. Because that line about "I'll do what I can" worries me a bit about his state of mind.

If he's not allowed to bend, the break could be permanent and that is NOT a performance I wish to see. *sniff*

Okay, so there you go! Sorry for the lack of details/quotes this go-round, but I should be back to that for the next one airing on the 10th. I need to find previews for that, though, because I have no clue what it’s about.

Thanks for reading! Slainte.


Comments

lovinjackson
Feb. 7th, 2012 11:54 am (UTC)
*Memories of pausing and rewinding certain parts* Hahaha

I completely agree with you about the whole Dean needing to break down himself ... I mean like you said, aside from the obvious Awesomeness that would be to see Jensen act that out. He is only human, a incredibly awesome amazing human ... but a human nonetheless.

I miss the Impala ... I know I said that numerous times when we were watching it but I really, really do. They are going to bring it back at some point right?

As much as sometimes Sam does shit me ... I do like the worry he has for his brother. I dont like it when that worry is double standard. Of course Dean has himself shown that double standard worry towards Sam as well ... so I guess I would be showing a bit of double standard if I didnt acknowledge it ...ah well cant help myself LOL

It's kind of sad that Dean's child turned out to be a monstar :( ... but i loved the little differences Emma had to the other kids.

I feel like I have seen Morticia in something else but I cant put my finger on it.

So cool that we got to watch it together :)

Word, Rodge.

(Anonymous)
Feb. 7th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
Awesome
Great international ramble - I liked the epi too, altho I think the writers missed several opportunities to give us more depth, perhaps even build up some sort of arc involving Dean's offspring - not that I want a father/daughter thing but it felt kind of abrupt to introduce such an opportunity for Dean-needs-family-Dean-loses-or-even-has-to-kill-family (again!) angst then close it down so efficiently. The Amy parallel was so signposted - Sam was bound to have to kill Dean's daughter but I totally agree with your judgement that it would have been better if Dean had done it himself. I also feel certain he would/could have.

Dean shirtless sex scene = Heaven! (thinking of it now - might have to go watch ti again!)
I agree, the inter-cuttingof the murder and the sex worked really well and AC/DC was perfect.

So happy to see you had a good time down under.

Maz
gaelicspirit
Feb. 10th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Awesome
Hey, Maz!! :) So fun to see you over here.

I think that we can't help to see the layers that could have been because we love these character so much. And we write/read about them outside of the story they show us so we are forever wanting just a little bit more....

Thank you so much for reading and taking time to comment!
gaelicspirit
Feb. 10th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Being able to watch this with you was one best things about the whole episode. :) Thank you so much for making that possible!

It will forever be the episode where Dean Is Shirtless and I got to see with you! :)

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