Thoughts. There are so many.
Okay, so first, I wanted to say a quick thanks to ya'll for reading and especially those of you who take the time to share your thoughts in the comments. I don't usually venture out much beyond this Ramble when it comes to our Show (partly due to lack of time, but also in an effort for both 'protection' and to stay unspoiled), but I did after last week and saw that there are quite a few places where people post insightful commentary. So, it means a lot that you chat here. I really appreciate your words. *tips Newcastle to you*
Also, I know I haven't replied to a couple of you guys from last week, but I'll do so ASAP. Promise. I was traveling all week and between 14-hour meetings, bad hotel connections, and LJ wigging out...well, you get the idea. Also? I'm going on about 3 hours sleep here, so some of the recap part of this might seem a bit rushed so I can ramble all the thoughts. *grins*
Okay, so just before I sat down (with said Newcastle) to watch, I saw that Jewel Staite was going to be guest starring (thanks, Twitter) tonight and immediately thought KAYLEE! Oh, how I miss Firefly and that ruggedly handsome Mal Reynolds. *sigh*
Also, I knew going in that Jensen was directing this one, so my anticipation was high. In Season 6, his Weekend at Bobby's episode was one of my favorites - 2nd only to Frontierland. But then, that was in comparison to all of Season 6. I gotta be honest, I usually don't pay much attention to the directing and such. I rarely notice the names of the episode writers (as you will no doubt recall,jazzyirish). My attention is on the story, the dialog, and, well, *ahem* Dean.
But I paid attention this time. Because of the reason.
I think Jensen has a great eye for storytelling. He managed to pace the story that took place in the now and the flashbacks to then with timing that didn't reveal too much too soon and also didn't take my attention away from the tension of the moment. Also, I really liked the visual effects of the flashbacks, with that softening of focus and an almost cepiatone-like effect. And for the amount of work it has to take to direct an episode, he was sure in this one a lot more than I expected him to be -- and his character was going through a lot...very, very subtly.
But I'll get there in a moment.
It can't be easy to direct yourself groggy and in pain. And there were little touches here and there that had me both grinning and nodding, impressed. The short of it is, I'd definitely watch more directed by Jensen. I think he's got a great way to pull focus on different aspects of the story and the way the facts roll out are compelling and leave you second-guessing yourself. I know part of that is writing, but it's his vision that we're seeing and it grabbed me.
He just better never stop acting. That is all. Act, Jensen. Act your brilliant heart out.
All that said? The path of the story after tonight's episode has me less "SQUEE!" and more "oooohh..." I'll try to insert those thoughts as they come to me while I stream this puppy. But. And this is a big ‘but’ for me because I am REALLY enjoying this season so far (like...obsessively enjoying), story-wise, this probably isn’t going to be high-up on my fav’s for this season unless they find a way to have the end not drive a wedge between the brothers. They’ve already been down that road.
As I watched, I found myself seeing both sides to the story, sympathizing more with Dean, but understanding where Sam was coming from...until the end and then I had to sit back and remember who they are. Or rather...what they are.
Sometimes I think it's easy for me to forget that they're hunters. We've spent so much time with the struggle of Heaven and Hell and the suffering they've both been through as a result of that universal battle that it's pulled focus from the basic job. And, more often than not, when they kill the monster -- who is always in some kind of human form (even dragons!) -- it's a literal fight-for-their-lives situation. So, it's been a little easy for me to forget that...their job is to hunt and kill monsters because monsters hunt and kill people. Period, the end.
Okay, so before I end up Rambling backwards through the episode, let's get to it.
THEN: Pretty much the last two weeks.
On a purely base level, I say without shame, that the first part of this episode -- prior to the title card -- was my favorite. Not because of anything other than...well, Dean. Pretty much. I'm enough of a storyteller that I quickly moved past the initial 'unf'...but it was good 'unf.' Especially with the black T-shirt. And the blood. Yes, okay! I'm sorry! Moving on!
We open on blurry vision of a hospital ER light, a very woozy Dean -- forehead and left ear bloody -- looking around confused and in pain. There are people all around his bed and we hear a countdown before CRACK! They set leg. Dean literally sits up, screaming. And then there's a tangle of orders and questions, with Dean in the middle, lost.
Dean: Where am I?
Sioux Falls general.
Dean (voice breaking, rough): Where’s my brother? We gotta go.”
Aside -- I frakking love how he says m’brother. I loved it when he said it in Bobby's scrap yard back in Season 2 trying to defend why he sold his soul. I loved it here.
They're injecting him with something. A nurse (doctor?) tells him that Sam bashed his head, going up for MRI.
Dean: I gotta go.
Doc: You’re not going anywhere on this leg, buddy.
Dean gets very woozy, eyes-rolling, passes out. Guuuuhhhhhh.
Next thing we know, Dean's waking up, dry mouthed, blinking, in hospital gown, looking around, confused. There's no one in room with him, but he can see "Sioux Falls General Hospital" on a sign and he's aware enough to know that is Not Good. He sits up, sees his IV, pulls it out (okay, OUCH!). He's clearly not with it, tries to get out of bed, ends up falling on his rear by weight of cast.
That made me chuckle. I've been in the 'just waking up' space of awareness where you literally feel no pain and are completely like, seriously, where the hell am I? But...question. Wouldn’t his leg have been suspended or something? The EMT was saying 'compound tibia fracture'? Eh...not worrying about it. *hand waves*
There's a huge cast on leg. And then? Bobby walks in, suited up, staring at Dean.
*LETS OUT RELIEVED BREATH*
I mean, I didn't doubt it. Really. But they've messed with us before. And so...I was just really happy to see Bobby. HOWEVER! I have a bone to pick with them. Why, I ask you, couldn't they have told us where Bobby was when the Levi's were busy torching his house? A quick one-liner would have sufficed. Sure, it's possible that it will come up later on in another episode, but I wanted to know!
Y'know what else I wanted to now? If Bobby heard Dean's VM. I really wanted to know that. But, those things weren't the focus of this episode. I get it, and it's okay. But...I wanted to know.
And if I can't let that go...I may make it up for myself. That's what fanfic is for, right?
ANYway. This isn't about me.
Dean, staring up at Bobby from the ground, looks shell-shocked. And bewildered. And damn sexy.
Dean: Bobby, you’re alive.
Bobby: ‘Course I am. Why are you on the floor?
Dean (blinking, still trying to get a grip): They gave me morphine. A lot. A monster broke my leg.
Hee! And also, awwww.
Bobby helps him up in bed – and I’m glad he was in an actual hospital gown…the kind that awkwardly ties in the back. I’ve yet to see a hospital where the patients wear those sexy, V-neck T-shirts he’s usually in.
Dean: The house. We thought you were dead.
Bobby: I ain’t. Not yet. But we’ve gotta run. This place ain’t safe. Where’s Sam?
He hands Dean clothes. He's moving really fast, closing blinds, speaking quickly. Dean is still reeling a little, gaping open-mouthed at Bobby.
Dean: Uh…head scan. I think.
Bobby: Meet me at the ambulance bay. STAT.
Dean: Wait, where? Bobby…I’m a gimp.
Bobby hands him crutches (that were conveniently against the wall), pats his cheek and gives him this adorable, I’m proud of you grin. For the briefest of moments, I had this tight, suspicious feeling in chest and may have murmured a quick: pleaseletthisbeRealBobby. It was, but...for just a second there...I wasn't sure.
Elsewhere in LeviHospital, LeviDoc and LeviNurse washing up – “You scheduled dessert, I presume?”
LeviDoc gets call…The Winchesters Are Here. Dun dun duuuunnnn.
Dean is trying to walk out on crutches, his vision blurring out to almost nothing, shaking his head. He's really not doing so hot. Elsewhere in the hospital, Bobby flashes a badge at the orderly pushing a strapped-down-to-gurney, unconscious Sam, says his coverage lapsed, taking him to county.
Bobby: C’mon, sicko, let’s get you healing someplace safer.
While I totally get that they had to get out of LeviHospital…he had intracranial pressure, or whatnot. It was bad enough to make him seize. Just taking him out of there without checking on the results of the MRI just seemed…dangerous. But…I get it. There was a bigger danger.
Speaking of bigger danger, LeviDoc/Nurse are coming down the hall like they’re on a mission. Dean is trying to make his way out, eying anyone in a white coat with unease. Levi’s discover Dean’s room is empty. Bobby gets Sam into ambulance, climbs in, watching door, waiting for Dean. LeviDoc/Nurse come out of ambulance bay doors instead of Dean.
Bobby: Balls! C’mon Dean…c’mon Dean!
Dean (somehow) jumps into the passenger door with a go go go go go and away they go, just as LeviDoc gets on Cell Phone of Doom.
Whitefish, Montana, cabin, 3 weeks later
(Why do we know Whitefish, MT? superwiki? Help me out here....)
Okay, so we knew the continuity thing couldn't continue to work with Dean in a cast. They'd have to have a time jump. But. Three weeks canNOT be long enough to heal up a compound fracture. I've never broken a bone, but the hubs has, and it took him a good 6 weeks to get to a walking cast. Clearly, Dean still had some of that magic CW goo that heals you quickly on hand. *wink* BUT! It's much better than Instafix by Angel Intervention. I'll say that much.
Sam’s okay(ish), reading. Dean’s got his leg up and is watching TV…totally (and hilariously) into the Mexican Soap Opera he’s watching. Bobby comes in and Dean’s all, “Dude, Ricardo!” Bobby, “What happened?” Dean replies with something…Spanish I couldn’t understand (any of you get it?). Bobby, regretfully, “Adios, Ese.”
Dean looks sad. HA! Ya'll, these guys. They just...crack me right up. *laughs*
Bobby brings Dean the keys to the Impala, saying that outside it’s “weird with a side of bloody.” Bobby checked in with some other hunters and apparently Levi’s are like shapeshifters who eat people and nothing can kill them. Awesome.
Okay, so this could be really interesting; I’m look forward to seeing how they go about this. With the Butch & Sundance theme I heard about, I wondered which angle they were going to go. I mean, Butch and Sundance robbed trains and banks to keep themselves afloat. They were constantly on the run from the law -- and not only the law, but also Lefors who could apparently track them over rock, prompting Butch to constantly ask, "Who are these guys?" They actually go to Bolivia to try to live a different life, try to stay safe from the law.
Thinking about the Leviathans being human-noshing shapeshifters who (we later learn) have the boys’ fake credit cards flagged and can literally be anyone, I wonder how long it's going to be until they are forced to a cash-only basis (and then how are they going to get that cash), until they have to hide the Impala (*whimper*), until they have to go like...Yemen deep to stay alive.
Just so long as they don't end the season with them running out of a building while some Leviathan yells, "Fuego!" and we fade to black. That's all I ask. Pleaseohplease.
Dean: Good times. Anything else?
Bobby: They bleed black goo.
On the table there's a bucket of Sandy’s Chicken. Totally random observation.
As Dean and Bobby are talking, Sam’s obviously seeing something Hellish, totally checked out. We don't see it this time, but by the look on his face, it's not pretty.
Dean’s all, "Sammy, Sam, Sam, Ground Control to Sam. You okay?"
Sam rubs the scar on his hand and “comes back.” Says he's fine. Uh-huh.
Bobby says he's gotta round up his old library. Has copies all over the place. Hooray!! Love a guy who’s prepared.
Dean to Sam: Hey, Two-legs…we’re fresh out of grub. Wanna make a run? (tosses him the keys to the Impala) Be careful with her. And, uh, Sam? Pie!
*grins* I heart him.
Sam leaves and Dean looks at Bobby.
Dean: So? Before you bail again, Girl, Interrupted over there. Thoughts?
Bobby: He’s doing better.
Bobby thinks Sam’s head is like Dean’s leg. Dean thinks he gets his cast off in 5 days and he’s golden but Sam’s a time bomb. Bobby points out that he’s not keeping secrets, call it an upswing. Famous last words.
Dean rubs his face. “That’s not how it works. Ever. The other shoe is going to drop. Just a matter of when.”
Bobby says worry about today’s problems today. “You sit there and stew. I’m going to get intel.”
Dean looks down, his expression…worried. Dejected. Just…unf. *rubs heart* He's more than helpless. He's helpless AND needs help and that's gotta be killing him. He can't fix Sam and he's laid up and...man, I could just feel his frustration bleeding through the screen.
Bobby: You sitting there wringing your hands ain’t gonna do nothing. Maybe he’ll surprise you.
Dean = irritated glance. Looking around. Scratching cast. Mrph. Not. Happy.
Meanwhile, Sam's at some Quick Shop place for grub, and sees headline on the local paper: Ice Pick Killer Strikes Again.
Uses credit card to pay for everything – including a copy of the paper.
Somewhere else in the US, a red warning on some credit check computer guy’s screen pops up for a Lenny Kilmister (at least I'm pretty sure it said 'Lenny' – I’m thinking that was supposed to be a Motorhead shout out for 'Lemmy' but I only got a quick look at it).
Credit guy calls Edgar, the Levi’s 2nd in command – who is back in one piece after being smushed by a car (swell) -- says he’s two days from them. Edgar's like, why you still talking to me, then? Credit guy goes after the boys. Yipe.
Sam brings food back, notices Bobby's gone.
Dean (still trapped on couch): How you doing?
Dean: I mean, are you still…y’know?
Sam: I’m still seeing crap that’s not real, but I can tell the difference.
He doesn’t know if he’s getting better. He’s just managing it. So, don’t worry.
Yeah. Right. 'Cause spontaneously not worrying about Sam sounds exactly like something Dean would do. Pfft.
Dean pulls out mini-cake from his bag o'grub and is like, dude? pie? Sam’s all…you got cake. Dean's incensed expression is pretty much like, "Cake is NOT pie. The. End."
Gotta say, I agree with him.
Later…there are empty beer bottles, empty prescription bottle, and Dean is sacked out on couch (yum). Sam is carefully watching him while he gets paper out and reads under the pic that there’s a “signature” of the Ice Pick killer.
We get our first flashback to YoungSam (Colin Ford) – finding out about a bunch of murders by something called a Kitsuni (sp?). He’s on the phone with Dean and is apparently getting flack that it has to be killed (I missed why YoungSam was reluctant to kill it...except for the fact that Sam's always had the soft heart of the family). Dean puts John on phone and apparently John echoes that sentiment, so YoungSam goes to Library to find out how to kill it.
Back in the now, Sam snakes the Impala’s keys and sneaks out while Dean’s asleep in front of some murder mystery show. *has Very Bad Feeling About This*
Elsewhere in an empty skate park under a bridge, there's a drug deal going down. Police come, buyer runs off, seller…not so lucky. Jumped and dead. Hmm.
It's morning. Dean wakes up on couch disoriented (and probably has a wicked crick in his neck), turns off TV and finds a note from Sam: Back in a few days. I’m fine. Sam
Gotta be honest, my knee-jerk reaction to seeing that note was being a bit irked at Sam.
So, I tried to see this through Sam’s eyes (which is easier in retrospect). He's coming to terms with the fact that this deal with his hallucinations isn't a spell they can counteract -- this is his new reality now. And he's managing, and still needs to be viable and needed. Plus, he technically knows what he's doing. He's done this his whole life, right? So he needs his brother to go back to treating him like an equal and partner, not like the walking wounded. Because he can’t get better if someone is always expecting him to break. Not only that, but we know that this particular case has special meaning for him. After thinking through that, I could kinda understand Sam's reasons for sneaking out.
But it was easier for me to see it through Dean's eyes. His brother, who just three weeks prior had waved a gun in his face because he didn't know what was real and what wasn't, and who checks out on a semi-regular basis, has just taken off, no indication of why or where he was going. Not only that? He took the car! Left Dean totally helpless and alone in the cabin. Whether or not Bobby could have come back is irrelevant to me. Dean is living in fear for his brother, unable to fix him, is laid up, and whether anyone but Bobby is willing to recognize it, is also clinging to control by sheer iron will. Sam may be making Dean “Stone #1” and building on it, but Dean’s own walls are crumbling.
So, Sam leaving with no more than an "I'm fine" just didn't sit well with me.
[ETA: I need to add a caveat here that will, I think, be needed for later in the ramble, too. As a very 'pro-Dean' fan, when I get irked at Sam, I find myself working extra hard to see things from Sam's perspective so that I don't end up coming down too hard on him. The end result, to some, may seem that I'm not giving Dean enough leeway. It's kind of a no-win situation. Just know that for the sake of all reading, I'm working to strike a balance between honest reaction and (what I deem to be) fair assessment...and I may miss the mark with some of you sometimes.]
Dean gets on the phone to Bobby: Other. Shoe.
Bobby says maybe he needs some alone time. Bobby's like the polar opposite of Dean when it comes to Sam. It offers a balance -- and is what Dean needs to hear to not spiral out of control -- but sometimes, I wish they'd both worry at the same time. *laugh*
Dean points out that his alone time isn’t necessary alone. Sam could be out there with Lucifer riding shotgun.
Dean: Left me here like Jimmy Friggin’ Stewart.
He'd called Sam; it went to VM.
Dean: HE TOOK MY CAR.
Bobby says to give it a couple of days, until Dean gets the cast off. Dean's like, hell with that. He hangs up, gets out a mini buzz saw, stares at his cast – you’re going down – and cuts the damn thing off. Loved the look on his face, and the tiny thbt thbt as the plaster dust rose up.
Sam looking into ice pick killer case at the morgue. He sees he's got three missed calls from a Lars Ulrich. (HEE! Lovin' the return of the classic rock shout-outs.) But, he ignores them. Okay, see...I get that he wasn't ready to tell Dean about the case, or that he didn't want to hear Dean yell at him, or ask him if he was okay, or any number of things, but...it wasn't all about him. I was irked that he was hiding from Dean, (even if he did need a break from his brother's worry), but I was a little bit more irked that he wasn't worried about his brother.
I just wanted Sam to step out of his head for a bit. But, y'know...maybe that's just not easy for him to do right now. His head is so full of...of crap and has so many fissures and breaks inside of it...maybe right now thinking beyond that, beyond him is...well, beyond him.
I just wonder if things might've turned out differently if Dean had been part of this hunt from the start. If his trust hadn't been tested again by Sam sneaking out, keeping something from him. *ponders*
Back in Whitefish Dean pulls up in old Jeep wagoneer, limps (sans cast) into the Quick Mart, and asks clerk (who is watching TV) if a “big guy” came in yesterday.
Clerk: That’s specific.
*scowls at smart-assed clerk*
Dean ignores the tone, trying to figure out what Sam might’ve bought, what triggered his vacay. Zeroes in on yesterday’s paper. Sees Ice Pick headline, takes paper and leaves.
Back at the morgue with Sam, we find out that the drug dealer's body is missing pituitary gland, which triggers a flashback to the first Kitsuni hunt. YoungSam’s on his own in the flashback, in the library, tiredly marking a trail on a map, grumbling to his brother on the phone, “I’ve been looking at this for like…8 years.”
Took me a bit to figure out how old he was, but later Dean says the hunt was in 1998, so that would have made Sam 15. He was still a bit scrawny at 15.
Sam now does the same thing with the map, tracking the murders to a location. Later, sitting in the Impala, Sam’s staking out someplace, remembering getting a “triple red eye” (coffee) outside of the library back in '98, and seeing a pretty blonde.
In the now, an SUV pulls up in lot where Sam is waiting in Impala. Muddy boots exit the vehicle, and we see an empty Impala.
Back in'98, YoungSam is looking for a book, sees pretty blonde. Gets on phone and is telling Dean how to kill the Kitsuni, “You stab it in the heart!”
I need to explore our Library more, I think.
That solved, he asks Dean, “How do you talk to girls?”
Aww...YoungSam. *pets him*
He pauses next to a magazine rack with an Inside America mag with Clinton on the cover, goes up to pretty blonde, sees moon/star necklace, tries to say ‘hi’ and she’s all “Go away.” Totally stung, YoungSam practically runs out, then sees blonde leave, and two other boys follow her around the side of the Library, backing her up against a tree. Sam tells them to leave her alone they think it's funny that the scrawny kid is threatening them...until he goes TOTALLY Kung-Fu on their asses. Nice!
Aside: Colin Ford has Jared’s version of Sam’s quirks down pat. From the eye flinch, to the puppy-dog look. He’s brilliant.
So, Sam first meets Amy in 1998. Back in the now, though, Sam is stalking someone through a wooded area. And not being too stealthy about it either as he steps on a stick and ducks behind a tree. Whoops. Some random drunk guy is trying to unlock his car, and someone is watching him. Sam suddenly grabs that someone, presses a knife to her chest, sees the same sun/moon necklace, and says, “Hi, Amy.”
Amy remembers him. Says he got tall. Sam’s got the knife on her and makes her walk. Stammering, trying to defend herself, Amy says she has a normal life now.
Flashback to Amy fixing YoungSam's bruised eye up, listening to music. She offers him a drink, heads to the kitchen where YoungSam can't see, goes to the fridge and moves a Mason jar of brains aside (gack!), and grabs a coke. YoungSam says he likes the music they're listening to (couldn’t hear it – ya’ll know what where they listening to? *must know*). John won’t listen to anything recorded after 1979, so he’s stuck doing that, too, since they’re in the car, traveling a lot. For his dad’s work. Amy says her mom “let’s the wind be her guide.” Like a hippie, minus the peace and love.
YoungSam bonds with her about moving all the time. Says it makes him feel like a freak to always be the new kid. Amy tells him he is a freak, but so are Jimmy Hendrix and Picasso. All the coolest people are freaks. YoungSam suddenly moves in and kisses her.
Back in the woods of now, Amy is hastily trying to reassure Sam that she’s not a killer… she’s “managing it.” (Oh, I see where this is going.)
Sam’s like, you spiked, killed 3 guys in 1 week. She says it’s not like that. She just had to. He says he can’t believe her and he’s sorry, but then…so is she. There’s a scuffle, but Sam loses. She doesn’t kill him (even though her eyes do this wicked red flash thing). She just rams his head into a tree. That’s…probably not good.
Dean is following Sam's tracks, suited up at the morgue and looking down at drug dealer body (cool shot with fading off of Sam blacking out and the up on Dean looking down on someone -- could have been Sam). He finds out from the coroner about the missing pituitary gland and mutters, “Son of a bitch.” He calls Bobby.
Apparently, the ’98 Kitsuni hunt didn’t make their highlight reel, making Dean wonder even more about Sam's Houdini act, and is even more determined to catch up.
Amy’s packing and Sam shows up. Followed some note she dropped. She’s using the name Amy Pond. I had to google it. The Dr. Who fans probably got a kick out of that.
Sam sees by the blood on her hand that she’s killed again. She says she's done, that he knows the kind of person she is, trying to convince him that she’s the kind of monster who is a killer with a heart of gold.
Back to that first kiss in '98. YoungSam drops the can and spills soda. Amy cleans it up quickly because her mom has a temper. Sam says his dad does, too. “You don’t want to see him when he’s drinking.” Ouch. I didn't like to hear that. I mean, he's 15, and Sam has always tended toward the more dramatic, emotional spectrum, but still...the way he said that made it sound abusive. *sad*
Of course, with the whole, ‘two people can look at the same picture and one sees a dog while the other sees a wolf’ perspective, two sons can remember their complicated parent very, very differently. *shrugs*
Amy says her mom’s not a good person – and she doesn’t think she’s a good person either. YoungSam says she is – he’s been around enough bad to know good when he sees it. *pets him*
Amy says her mom has a plan for her, but she doesn’t want to be like her. YoungSam’s like, well, I don’t want to be like my dad either.
Back in the now, Sam has his knife out, held at the ready. Amy is tense, scared, practically trembling.
Sam: Tell me what’s going on.
Amy: Drop the knife and I’ll show you.
Sam: Show me, and I’ll drop the knife.
Amy – warning him not to move – goes to open door. I knew what was going to be back there about two seconds before Sam looks in to see kid. Jacob. Her son.
This just got a lot more complicated.
So, it turns out that the way she's managing the fact that she and Jacob need a steady diet of pituitary glands to survive is by being a mortician. She only feeds on the dead. (Ack!) But, Jacob got sick. He needed “fresh meat” to heal. Amy tells Sam he can walk away from this. Says, “After what I did for you….”
In flashback, Amy's mom comes home, Amy hides YoungSam in the coat closet. Mom is in a rush, saying, “They caught up – those pros in that piece of crap Impala.”
Hearing this, YoungSam flinches, gets out a knife. Amy deflects her mom’s attention, lets YoungSam out, but he’s looking at her like he’s going to be sick, then sees the brain on table. He raises his knife.
Sam: “It’s my dad and brother in the Impala. You’re a monster.”
Amy says she’s never killed anyone and doesn’t want to hurt him. He doesn’t want to hurt her, she lets him go – if mom finds him, she’ll kill him. So, Sam grabs bag, hides knife, and goes to leave.
Back at motel, a downtrodden Sam is returning to his room. He opens the door and BAM! Dean lays him flat. I did NOT see that coming. Dean looks down on him all, Howdy, Sam.
Maaaaannnn is he pissed. And for good reason, you ask me.
Dean: New rule, you steal my baby, you get punched. (he’s still limping) What were you thinking running off like that? For all I know, Satan could have been calling your plays.
Sam puts cold beer against his head, saying he’s fine. So, this whole 'managing it' schtick they've got with him, overlaying the lesson with Amy...I hope they're not going back down the "save your brother or kill him" route. I don't know where the writers might going with this -- if anywhere. Because Sam's not a monster. He's a human. But he's also not the same as Dean. He's been changed, possessed, drank demon blood, acted as Lucifer's vessel, was soulless. There are things about him that are decidedly...un-human like. Nothing that he can control or change now, but i just...I'm thinking out loud, really.
Anyway, understandably so, Dean’s not buying it. “Right, you're the poster boy for mental health. You have any kind of idea what kind of horror stories I had going on in my head?”
He makes me hurt for him.
Sam’s all, I left you a note, there was a job in town. ERF. (Still. Not. Happy. About. Note.)
Dean knows it’s a Kitsuni. Wants to know why Sam’s been dodging phone calls. Sam says he took care of it, but there is no body because he let her go. Dean’s all, ummm…? So, Sam comes clean about Amy.
Back in '98, YoungSam goes to leave, but Mommy Dearest is there, ready to nosh. A struggle ensues and the bottom line is, Amy kills her mom to save YoungSam.
Dean is leaning against the bed, listening, arms crossed over his chest. He says he never knew any of this, and Sam says that's because he never told anyone...making me wonder what happened when he hooked back up with Dean and John back in '98. Did he tell them he killed the Kitsuni? Anyway, he says it was his mess to clean up.
Dean is skeptical.
Sam: She killed her own mom to save me.
Dean: I hear you, Sam, I do. But…she’s droppin’ bodies, man. Which means we gotta drop her, no matter how many merit badges she racked up when we were kids. It’s that simple.
Sam: Nothing in our lives is simple.
I thought he was going to bring up the kid in that moment -- and, as an aside, I really thought the fact that she had a kid would sway Dean...especially after he behaved with Bobby John -- but instead, Sam continues to tell Dean about '98. YoungSam tells Amy to run…Amy asks him to come with her. Sam looks like he wants to for a moment, but…he can’t.
Seriously, I’m hugely impressed by Colin Ford. He must have watch a TON of footage of Jared playing Sam to pull of these facial expressions like he did. *rubs heart*
Dean tries to see things from Sam’s perspective, saying he can totally understand what it's like to meet a girl and feel that spark, but he calls Amy a freak, which pisses Sam off, understandably so. Dean tries to take it back, but Sam isn’t having it. Says he sees the way Dean looks at him – like he’s a grenade about to go off.
“I’m not going off. I might be a freak, but that’s not the same as dangerous. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to be normal. I’m not normal. I’m a grade-A freak. But I’m managing it. And so is Amy.”
The look on Dean's face is clearly yeah, but for how long? Sam broke before when he thought he could manage it. I mean, shoot, even Cas thought he could manage the power he'd inhaled, and look where that got them. Dean’s not ready to accept that those he loves are going to be able to keep it together like they think they are.
I don't think it's at all easy to be in the position Sam is, constantly trying to keep it together, constantly aware of those he loves worrying he's going to crumble. But I also sympathize with Dean's position that their track record does not speak highly of 'managing' things. I mean, look how well Dean is managing his PTSD, post-apocalypse stress. Steady diet of liquor, and some kind of pills (could be antibiotics, sure, but I'm thinking otherwise).
Sam does tell him about Amy’s kid, and then says, “You don’t trust her, fine. Trust me.”
I think my “he’s a hunter” argument would be even stronger if Dean hadn’t known about the kid. Because we’ve seen how he is with and about kids. Even monster kids. *frowns*
Dean looks doubtful, but says ‘okay.’ “Gotta start sometime, right?”
I knew it wasn't going to go well. You could see this shift in his eyes, a tightness there that said, I am gonna do what I've gotta do. I saw that he understood why Sam let Amy go, understood that Sam could do nothing else, understood that he couldn't ask anything else of Sam in this situation. I saw him accept that just as he accepted the fact that he had a job to do, and Sam didn't have to be part of it.
He's a hunter, and his instincts are telling him that she got desperate once when her kid got sick...what's stopping her from doing it again? Nothing guaranteeing that he'll stay healthy. Her 'management plan' wasn't foolproof. His instincts are telling him that she's a monster who kills people and he's a person who kills monsters. End of story.
But it was complicated by Sam's history and choice for dealing with the situation, and Dean now "undermining" that decision by taking care of it a different way. Which, it just occurred to me, is exactly WHY Sam didn't tell his brother anything, snuck out, scared the crap out of him -- because he knew what should be done, but didn't want to do it. He didn't want to do it from the jump.
Outside of a Biggerson’s somewhere in Montana, Dean’s on the phone with Bobby. He says 'Bozeman,' then hangs up just as Sam comes out with a sack-o-food. Dean tells him they’re going to hole up in Spokane and meet up with him later.
He let’s Sam drive, all See? I trust you.
Later, pulling up to a hotel in Spokane, Dean tells Sam to check them in, then says he has to “hit the candy store – doctor’s orders.” Has to renew his prescription. Pills. Hmmm.
And then he drives off. I knew where he was going (and it took me this long to realize that Amy was from Bozeman, but had run to Spokane, which is why Bobby told them to head there), and I knew what he was going to do and why, and it twisted my heart a bit. For both of them, honestly.
Amy is at motel (with the same geometric cement block pattern they've had in a number of hotel sets). She walks in, Dean is inside sitting on couch in her room. There's a great shot where the camera's on her with Dean in the reflection of the mirror.
Dean tells her that next time she runs she ought to change her license plate – too easy to track. Which has me thinking that they'll start there with the Impala....
He tells her that he's Sam's brother, but that Sam doesn't know he's there. Sam told him about her, though. She defends herself just as she did with Sam, but Dean isn't Sam. Doesn't have Sam's past with her. Doesn't have Sam's tender heart. Dean’s heart has been broken and he’s never allowed it to heal, so it doesn’t feel things in quite the same way.
Plus, Sam's fallen for a supernatural being several times over (Ruby, Madison, Amy), seeing beyond the monster to the self inside. Dean has reluctantly trusted a demon (got burned), trusted an angel (was hurt), and felt momentary kinship with another demon before his brother shot her, and that's pretty much it.
There is a heavy dividing line between the supernatural and humans for Dean that he's had to work to smear into the gray area of life when it comes to the things they encounter. Seeing his mom die, having the weight his Dad put on him, finding his ground and personality inside the direction his father gave him...Dean sees monsters in a much different light than his brother (when Sam has a soul, that is).
And that's what makes the fact that Sam lives in that grey area of life so much of the time hard for them to see eye to eye on everything. And I think the fact that Dean understands that about his brother encourages him to assume he should take matters into his own hands.
He basically uses pretty much the same argument on Amy as they both used on Madison – the only difference being, Madison had accepted the truth and rejected the monster. Amy hadn’t.
Dean: People are who they are, no matter how hard they try. You will kill again. Listen to me, I’m an expert. Maybe in a year, maybe ten. But eventually, the other shoe will drop. It always does.
And as he's talking, he stabs her. I gasped. I knew it was going to happen, but...I still gasped. It was just...so sudden. He says he’s sorry, then lays her down easily before pulling out the knife. Then, he turns around and her son is standing in the doorway. Good. Lord.
The flash of kill me now goes across Dean's face lightning quick, and he swallows. He asks the boy if he somewhere he can go to. Kid nods. Asks him if he’s ever killed anyone. Kid shakes his head. Dean's eyes going flat and his face dead serious, and he tells him if he ever does, Dean’ll be back for him. (Gotta wonder what he’s going to do – has to have pituitary gland to live, can’t be a mortician….)
Kid: Only person I’m gonna kill is you.
Dean (with a bitter, sad smile): Look me up in a few years…assuming I live that long.
*rubs heart* Guh, this is just.... There's a line in the song I'm listening to now ("Hurricane," by 30 Seconds to Mars) that says, "Tell me, would you kill to save a life? Tell me would you kill to prove you're right?" Can't help but think both apply to Dean in this moment.
I was honestly surprised the writers gave Amy a kid because I knew where this was headed and that just sucks (but that's the emotional mom in me talking), and for a moment, I was totally afraid they'd take the "people don't change" lesson one step too far and force Dean to do something he would never have been able to come back from.
Bottom line, though? While this episode might ultimately not be at the top of my OMGYAYSTORY! list, it certainly has made me think and watch my hero closely. This could end up being one rather profound season for our boy Dean, if they do it right. One where, again if done right, they will get to the bottom of Dean's unhealed, broken heart, strip away the wall and reasons and justifications and find the ginormous crack inside of him that needs filled. One where they all stop long enough from trying to save the world and stay alive to focus solely on one of their own who is adept at deflecting the attention and try to do what they can to fix him. I'm just...saying.
Oh, but before we fade to black, back in Whitefish, the Credit guy is at the Quick Shop, saying he's on the Winchester's trail...he's just stopping for a bit. And then he…eats the store clerk. With cheese. Boiling hot melted cheese. OMG…
So, like I said...left me with a feeling of "ooooh…” And forced me to remember that Dean is a hunter. They both are, but Sam (again, when souled) lets his heart lead in a lot more situations than his brother does. The things I'm wondering about, though, are:
- Dean more than likely won't tell Sam about this...which means secrets...which means eventual discovery...which means...what? for the brothers down the road?
- Dean lied to Sam, saying he trusted him ("Gotta start somewhere, right?") when clearly he didn't. I can totally understand why, but what will the repercussions be there? (which I guess is kinda the same as the point above....)
- The thing with Sam managing his mental issues and Dean afraid for him every minute of the day...that's going to break him down. Dean I mean. He can't sustain this constant level of concern and do his job. Or keep them safe.
It's pretty much a pipe dream to be all "No more secrets, no more lies" between the brothers. I want it that way, yes, but after all they've been through, it's just not possible. But now, though, it seems even clearer that the secrets and lies have the underlying purpose of protecting the other. Frustrating, yes, but not malicious.
Dean didn't kill the Kitsuni because Sam wouldn't. He did it because Sam couldn't. Not this time. He'd had to do it before with Madison, but that was a clearer-cut case of monster.
This time, Sam had too much of a connection to the monster, both in the past and now. The 'managing it' similarities were too much for Sam to get over. That, and Amy had a kid, which was a twist of the knife for me. The fact that he killed the monster/Amy wasn’t a problem for me as it was that the kid was there...and the fact that he isn't going to tell Sam and Sam will inevitably find out somehow. And that's gonna just...not. be. easy.
I guess I just hope that after all this time, all these fights, all this struggle, the writers won't take them down a path that will sever bonds. They're all they've got now. Literally homeless, running out of allies, and things are just getting started. And I’m really not sure how Dean’s going to handle everything. I know he’s worried about Sam’s sanity with hunting, but I don’t think he’s thinking very clearly either.
*tough situation is tough*
Previews for next week look like the story of Dean's thin grip on control is going to be amped up a notch or two. Yikes!
Thanks for reading.