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Stream of Consciousness, Episode 8.17

Our show went into the hiatus like a lamb, but came out like a lion. With only 6 episodes left this season, this one certainly packed a few punches...and added a few pegs to the Jenga tower that is the storyline. Just a warning: there might be a bit more ramble to this Ramble. Also, just a reminder that this is all just personal opinion and your thoughts (whether they agree or disagree) are always welcome. *smiles*


Sorry for the delay, folks. I hope you're still out there, ready to read and chat about this episode -- it was a LONG wait through that hiatus! I haven't taken time to see what others thought -- just wanted to take the limited time given me to watch and Ramble, so apologies if this goes over old ground that ya'll have already discussed. I can also see where some might love this episode while others cringe at it, depending on what you are watching for and/or hoping for with their respective favorite characters.

Honestly, I loved it. I go into these episodes looking for that escape, wanting to be entertained -- and both were offered to me today. I had some head-tilt moments that I'll get to, and did some hand-waving, but that's a given with the complexity of our show. But I loved the pop-cultural references peppered throughout the dialog and the sassy editing that illustrated so well both how Naomi was controlling Cas and how Cas could practically be in two places at once (celestial being and all that). I admired the fact that the editing didn't take away from Dean and Sam's POVs -- I still felt every moment of their confusion or pain.

The thing I'm rarely without when it comes to our show is the emotional impact -- and the often uncanny way that something I'm dealing with in life is reflected in the episode or in how one or both of the brothers react. Today, it was the eye-opening realization of how someone going through a personal change -- physical, mental, emotional -- is quite often unable to see how that change also affects those around them. Not only that, but the way they choose to deal with that change has a ripple effect through their loved ones.

Quick personal aside so that my thought process makes sense to you guys: I spent several days last week back in my hometown with my family so that my daughter could see her grandpa, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. It's Stage IV, and though he's undergoing chemotherapy treatment, the prognosis is not good. However, my father is fighting, as is his nature, and while I am glad of that, the way he's choosing to fight is by ignoring (as much as possible) the fact that he's going through this physical trial and working to live his life as if nothing has changed. You can see where that might be problematic for those around him. I've been frustrated with him and have wavered between playing along and calling him on it for several weeks.

But then Sam Winchester said, "I guess I just wanted to believe I was okay," and I caught my breath. You see, I've been frustrated with Sam as well -- since that first trial (as you can clearly see in my rambles), and I was still frustrated with him at the start of this episode. The blatant lying to his brother after all they'd been through, after he has lived through what lying to Dean does to both of them, was argh-worthy. But this episode had me sympathizing with him in a way I haven't in a long while.

And with that line, I realized that really, it had nothing to do with Dean. It was all about Sam and how he was coping. He wasn't hiding the truth from Dean because he didn't want Dean to think less of him or go off and kill a Hellhound to take Sam's place. He was actually, for all intents and purposes, lying to himself more than to Dean.

We all have that person in our lives who, when we tell them something -- anything -- it suddenly becomes real. We can pretend until we have to tell them about whatever it is, and then we have to live within the reality that their knowing creates. For Sam, that's Dean. If he didn't tell Dean, then he didn't have to face the truth that something was wrong with him. The thing is, when someone is going through something like this they literally cannot see how the situation is affecting the people around them -- nor can they see how their coping mechanism hurts those people even more.

Sam has been so wrapped up in the effort of hiding the truth that he hasn't seen how much it's hurting his brother -- to the point Dean prayed to an angel who hasn't been acting 'right' since his mysterious return from Purgatory. Sam hasn't meant to hurt Dean, but that's not really the point. The fact of the matter is, these trials are affecting Sam physically and Dean emotionally and both of them mentally. And Sam's actions have just been compounding the impact on Dean. Now that the truth is out and he sees what it's doing to Dean, I wonder how it will direct his actions; I wonder if he'll be able to keep his promise to be honest with Dean about what he's going through.

My thoughts on exactly what it is he's going through are starting to take shape, too. Castiel confirmed that Sam is damaged -- in a way that even he can't heal. But then he said he didn't know if it was lethal. The 'damage' was on a "sub-atomic level" and affected his electro-magnetic field (so...I'm thinking his spirit/soul in some way...since that's what EMF picks up for ghosts). It was said quickly and we didn't get to pay much attention to it, but that bit of information coupled with the glowy-arm thing that occurred after the first trial has me thinking that Sam's not so much damaged as changing. I mean, these trials were designed by God, and the spell spoken after the completion of them is in Enochian. To me, that means that if a human were to complete them, they wouldn't necessarily be completely human after all is said and done.

This would follow with the way Sam has been the one to have the not-quite-human abilities all along: visions, demon-blood powers, Lucifer's powers, soullessness. Plus also, raise your hand if you think they are really going to close the gates of Hell in the next 6 episodes. Same here. I think that the trials are setting up the cliffhanger into the next season and the tablets and closing down Heaven and Hell will take us through another season. I just hope if I'm right about any of this, poor Kevin gets off that boat for awhile at least.

For me, this thought process also follows Dean's characterization as well. In a friend-lock post a few weeks back, I postulated that in every story, there is a character who is the plot's "through line." The plot is anchored to that character's journey and the people s/he impacts or who impact them along the way. It doesn't mean that the "through line" is always the central character or even the most important character. In fact, in many cases, the supporting characters are the more interesting, more integral ones (Han Solo or Samwise Gamgee, for example). The very word supporting indicates as such -- the plot and the "through line" character can't stand up -- are in fact empty and hollow -- without the support of those characters.

I've always thought of the brothers as joint main characters, but if I had to choose, I would say that Kripke started with Sam as his "through line" and Carver has continued it. No matter how many individual storylines they've teased us with for Dean (righteous man, Micheal's sword, Purgatory), Sam has been the character most impacted/changed by the over-arching plot devices and Dean has been the one to protect him. It's been Dean's 'one job' throughout the whole series. Now, before you throw rotten fruit at me, in my mind, this doesn't minimize Dean as a character one bit. I mean, would I love for him to have a unique storyline that showcased the skills and talent and friggin' value this character embodies? Hell yes.

I personally had high hopes for the Purgatory storyline -- I loved how they showed us the washed-out, bloody flashbacks and Dean's loyalty throughout that hellish year. I loved how we got the true layers of Dean as a character and additional layers as we saw him build a bond with Benny. I loved how he was walking wounded when he came back. But that storyline has (so far) followed the direction of the others they've given us for Dean because, I think, the core of Dean's character (Sam) was missing in Purgatory. I also wanted Dean to be the one to go through the trials for all the reasons I listed in that particular Ramble. That would have been enormously fascinating (for me) to see Dean's worth be put front and center all buffed up and shiny.

But for me, he's no less valuable as the person who carries Sam through the trials. In point of fact, he's critical to the storyline. Maybe not in the way that we Deangirls might like to see, but none-the-less, his value is there and is being showcased in the way that has been true to this character -- this very human, very loyal character -- all along. So many times we've seen other characters and/or situations peel back Dean's layers or break down his walls and each time the same shining center is revealed. He reflects back a strength of purpose -- the purpose being that he believes he doesn't exist for himself, he exists for others, most notably Sam, but in a broader stroke...family.

I suppose that could be looked at multiple ways -- sad that he doesn't see the individual worth of himself, noble that he's willing to sacrifice for himself, selfish that he thinks himself so important to survival of others, heroic that he takes the changes to save others. To me, it's noble and heroic, but that's because he's my hero. No matter who the "through line" of the plot might be, this is the character that caught my attention, held my heart, and enables my obsession. He's also the one I relate to most. His way of dealing with Sam's method of coping by playing along until he couldn't anymore...it hit me where I live. And the way he was able to 'find' Cas -- I need you -- broke my heart.

I have more to say about Dean's reaction in that scene, but I'll save that for the recap part. Give you some incentive to read on. *wink*

I found it both interesting and telling that Naomi's method for breaking down and brainwashing Castiel was for him to kill thousands of Deans in her angelic holodeck program. Dean has said to Sam before, the brothers keep each other human. But in a strange way, I actually think it's Dean who keeps Sam human, and Sam keeps Dean in the game by giving him a purpose. I think the 'profound bond' that Castiel has with Dean has been having that same affect on the angel -- humanizing him, showing him and teaching him compassion, exposing his heart. While Sam might be the one who's known to live with his heart on his sleeve, it's Dean's compassion that has saved him and others over and over, and subconsciously, I think Castiel gravitated toward that element of Dean's personality.

When Hester said that the moment Castiel touched Dean in Hell he was lost, I think she was really onto something. As long as he's been around, and as long as he's been observing humanity, Cas still hasn't really been able to pick up on human mannerisms and colloquialisms. But something about saving Dean from Hell anchored him to this man and showed him the heart of humanity in a way he's apparently not seen before. He has affection for both brothers -- that much is clear or else he'd not trap himself with Hallucifer in order to save Sam and make amends for breaking the wall in the first place -- but he truly loves Dean. And I don't mean that in any other way than one being connecting to another. Love is quite possible without the addition of sex.

Naomi clearly knew this, thus the conditioning of Cas to be able to kill Dean -- and no one else but Dean. She was banking on the muscle memory of Cas' vessel to be able to go through with it, and didn't count on Cas knowing Dean better than anyone -- better than even his brother, the one person in the world Dean was willing to sacrifice everything for. The moment Cas beat on Dean, breaking his bones, bloodying his face, sending him to his knees, was reminiscent of "Swan Song" and Dean's broken reminder to Sam that he wasn't going to leave him, he was there for Sam, he was willing to die for Sam.

With that same desperate loyalty, that same bloody, broken voice, Dean reminded Cas that they're family, they need him, but most importantly, Dean needs him. And that's the turning point for the angel. When God or Micheal or whoever it was gave Cas the responsibility of saving Dean, it changed Cas -- much the same way that John giving the responsibility of saving Sam to Dean changed the course of Dean's life. It's hard sometimes for me to remember this because there are times Cas' non-human behavior is actually distracting to me. I enjoy the additional level of complexity he brings to the storyline and I like how his friendship with the brothers exposes truths about them that we might not otherwise see, but this story is about the Winchesters. So there are times -- like in Season 7 -- where Cas just took away from that focal point for me.

But this season, I've liked his involvement. I've liked how his being in Purgatory gave Dean a mission: find Cas, get them all out alive. I like the internal struggle Cas has faced due to Naomi's puppet master routine. I like that Dean's the one to help cut those strings. And I even like the resurgence of his wayward, possibly misplaced, but somewhat intriguing affection for Meg.

There's a line from one of my favorite movies, Silverado, "Cobb says there's no telling what you're going to care about." I thought about that all through the -- slightly awkward -- "Megstiel" scenes (as Dean hilariously dubbed them). Thinking back, Cas was adamant about not working with her initially, but as she came through a few times for the boys, taking hits for them -- even though she also betrayed them a time or two, but really, who hasn't, Castiel included? -- it was clear he was softening toward her. The quiet, battle-worn flirtations between the two of them in this episode was much less awkward than the full-mouthed, against the wall, "learned that from the pizza man" kiss a few seasons back.

And while it could be argued that Meg was keeping an eye on Cas because of Crowley, the fact that she stayed with him while he was in the asylum with no clear benefit to her pretty much cemented in my mind the fact that no matter what Cas felt, Meg had a crush on an angel. Which had to twist up her panties but good. It's like the Universe's version of Romeo and Juliet with Meg calling him Clarence and Castiel tending to her wounds. I even thought her sly, "If we survive this, I'm ordering a pizza and we're going to move some furniture around," promise was amusing. Especially when Cas almost-smiled as the implication sunk in. After all, he did admit that he's aware of how to make a girl's "nethers quiver" -- though it usually doesn't involve cleaning wounds.

While we're on the topic of Meg, I'll say this -- for the first time since Rachel Miner replaced Nikki Aycox, I liked this Meg. Miner's portrayal of Meg has just...irked me. Her delivery of lines have been mumbled and she's been more irritating than anything. But this time, I sympathized with her and actually grew curious about her -- maybe it was the year of torture that softened her up...or the blonde hair. Who knows. But I found myself wondering what her human story had been. I mean, we knew Ruby had been a witch once. Do we know anything about Meg other than her name isn't Meg (since that was the name of the girl she inhabited when we first met her), and she's one of Azazel's children? For the first time, I find myself wanting to know. So, good on ya, Meg.

So, yeah, I can see why Dean telling Sam that he might not be able to complete the trials, but he can carry Sam through them, standing by his side -- in front of him, behind him, keeping the monsters away as best he can, and following through with his promise that as long as he was around, nothing bad was going to happen to Sam -- might disappoint some Deangirls because it puts Dean in the "supporting Sam" role once more. But for me? It's part of what makes this character so real and relatable and someone I can find myself falling for time and again.

Frodo would have died on that mountain, succumbing to the power of the One Ring and the weakness and fear inside of him, had it not been for Samwise. There's no way Sam is going to make it through these trials without Dean. He knows it, Dean knows it, and now they both know the other knows it. And with this latest burst of honesty -- Dean telling Sam he can't take anymore lies, from anyone, and Sam saying he'll be truthful from here on out -- we have another chance for the balance to righten itself between the brothers.

Like so many things in life, the storyline of honesty with these two is cyclical. At various times, both have been less than truthful. They'll lie, the truth will come out, they'll have a come-to-Jesus about "this" ending and needing to change, they'll promise to do so, they follow through...and then something triggers another lie and the cycle starts again. We've all seen a version of this cycle in life, so this is understandable to me. But right now, with the current threat they're facing, the unknown of the trials, the fact that Cas is in the wind and Crowley is on their heels, the cycle needs to not curve again for a long while. They need this balance -- Dean needs it for his strength, Sam for his survival.

And I'm ready to see it play on.

Things I loved:

- Though it was at the end, playing Supertramp's "Goodbye Stranger" on the Impala's radio. I'm gonna be singing that song all night.

- The whole 1st edition of 'Voluptuous Asian Lovelies' scene -- from Dean admitting to maybe knowing what it would go for on eBay to his part lacivious, part childlike (how does he do that?!) grin when Sam gives him 10 mins with the mag.

- This line: "Y'know, I can hear you both; I am a celestial being." And the boys' joint whoops grimaces.

- The pop-cultural references, like: "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" and "I didn't give them the Glengarry leads." and "I saw you Zero Dark Thirty that demon."

- The fact that the first question Dean asked Meg was about her blonde hair.

- Dean & Sam telling Meg to 'shut up' in unison -- not once, but twice.

- These lines: "Cas...it's me...we're family...we need you...I need you."

- Dean calling Samwise the "Rudy Hobbit" -- primarily because that is the way I was able to convince my hubs to see LotR with me in the first place: it had Rudy in it! And I have yet to watch Rudy without crying when he takes the field in the final *sniff* game.

Things I liked:

- Using the rock alias (Jeff) Lynne and (Richard) Tandy from ELO. The only reason that's not up in the 'love' section is because it took me forever to place them.

- The super-cool peel-out of the Impala as the boys were escaping Crowley.

- Cas' almost-grin when he got Meg's flirtation about the pizza man.

- Dean calling Sam Doc Holiday even before he found the bloody rag in the basket.

- Meg calling Castiel her unicorn.

- Dean taking a beating from Cas while trying to save his friend. The gasping, choked, blood-thick voice just killed me. And also, yes, fed the h/c addict in me.

Things that were meh:

- Sam questioning Dean about praying to Cas. I get that it was to expose how worried Dean was for Sam, but it seemed weird to me that Sam was all "you prayed to him" like they hadn't been doing just that for weeks now. I mean, back a few episodes Dean was climbing the walls because Kevin hadn't found anything and Cas wasn't answering...so, why was it a problem for Sam now?

- Crowley insinuating that he and Naomi had a fling back in "Mesopotamia." How was Crowley in Mesopotamia? When they found his bones and threatened to burn them I got the impression he'd only been a demon a few hundred years -- Dark Ages, maybe. But Mesopotamia?? Did you guys think that was odd or am I just remembering Crowley's timeline wrong?

Things to add to my list of questions:

- I get why Cas has to protect the angel tablet from Naomi, but I'm really curious why he has to protect it from Dean. Is it simply because he's afraid Dean will translate and use it and it risks eliminating Cas along with the other angels? Or is there something more there that we've yet to see -- something that will have to do with Dean's continuing story? (Yes, okay, so I always have hope for more even when I am happy with what I have. Hush.)

- Why couldn't Cas just heal Meg? Why did he have to clean/wrap her wounds? Was it because the body she inhabited was really already dead?

- Was the "Spear of Destiny" something in SPN cannon? I'm getting my shows/stories mixed up. I remember a show back in 1997 called Roar with a young Heath Ledger and, ironically enough, Sebastian Roche where Roche played Longinus, the Roman soldier who stuck a spear in Jesus' side when he was on the cross. He was cursed with immortality and that spear -- the Spear of Destiny -- was the only thing that could kill him. I can't remember if we've heard of the Spear of Destiny in our show before this or not. Anyone?

- Is Meg really dead? We didn't see a full-on flame out, so I'm in the "not dead yet" camp, but I have to wonder. What do you guys think?

THEN

Basically recapping the important stuff those not paying enough attention might have forgotten over the hiatus, like who Meg is, Naomi controlling Cas, the angel tablet, the Gates of Hell, and Dean praying.

NOW

Probably the most jarring opening scene we've had for awhile -- Dean stalking stealthily through a seemingly abandoned warehouse only to be coldly and cruelly killed by Cas. In merciful moments we see that it's Naomi's angelic holodeck meant to train Cas to betray and murder his friend and that she's been at it for awhile: the floor is strewn with literally thousands of dead Deans, all in various manner of gruesome.

Shift to the Batcave and Sam is at his laptop, which is situated on the world's largest game of Risk, and Dean is going through MoL boxes -- which is where he finds the Spear of Destiny, not to mention a few other odds and ends.

Dean: Would it kill these asshats to label these boxes in something other than hieroglyphics?

Sam isn't really listening to him, brushing him off with a yeah, yeah, fascinating stuff, write it in your journal comment. He coughs into a napkin and Dean steals a sidelong glance at him, calling him Doc Holiday and asking him if he's okay. Sam, of course, is a lying liar who lies, but the nickname gave us (and Sam, if he were listening) a clue that Dean has been paying close attention to his brother this past month(ish). Just then, Dean finds a 1st edition of "Voluptuous Asian Lovelies" and his grin is friggin' priceless. I want to put an image of that grin above my computer so when work is wearing me down, I can glance at it and smile back.

Dean: Kon'nichiwa.

He brings the mag over to Sam and says something about what it would go for on eBay. Sam doesn't know, does Dean?

Dean: No...maybe. Shut up!

*laugh*

Sam tells him about a hunt that's their thing: dead bodies with wounds in the hands, back, chests, burns on the face, and eyes and internal organs liquified. Dean thinking power tools gone rogue, maybe a Maximum Overdrive situation, but whatever it is, they have to check it out. But first, Sam gives Dean 10 minutes with 'Miss October.' Hee.

As he leaves, though, Dean glances down into the trash and sees the bloody rag. Hrm.

They head to Missouri and the location of the last dead body, Ann Norton. In their FBI personas, they interview Ann's husband and find out that Ann was weird before her death -- obsessively digging holes 10-15 feet deep and bringing bags of dirt back to the house to hang over a to-scale model of the town she built in their basement. He says she was looking for an old orchard that was there and that when he finally confronted her about it, her eyes turned black. The boys head out, knowing what they're dealing with at least.

Dean: Someone is killing demons. We should send a card or flowers. What kind of flowers say 'thanks for killing demons'?

Sam: Why would a demon possess someone and then go all Beautiful Mind and start digging in the dirt?

They decide to go talk to the last person who spoke to Ann Norton. They show up at a a woman's house and she's a bit flustered to be caught by two handsome FBI Agents with her hair up in curlers. She's probably the least threatening person ever, with a shy smile, timid eyes, and nervous hands that seem to gravitate to a non-existent button at her collar. She tells them she's a PhD candidate and is doing her dissertation on the town, which had been wiped from the map by one of the 100 year floods. Ann had asked her for the location of the orchard and Ms. PhD Candidate (didn't catch her name) had one of the only maps of it's location.

She never got to talk to Ann, though she was currently waiting for her assistant. Just then, there's a knock at the door. Ms. PhD Candidate opens it up to reveal three demons who instantly attack. One grabs the map and bails while Dean takes down the other. Just as Dean's going to kill it, though, it body-jumps into PhD. Sam's getting his ass handed to him by demon number three until Cas shows up out of nowhere and kills it, tying up PhDemon in the kitchen.

Post-fight, Dean tries to give Sam an icepack for his neck, but Sam tosses it away saying he's fine. He wants some answers from Cas, starting with where the hell he's been.

Dean (quietly): You heard me, didn't you?

Sam (surprised): You prayed to him?

Dean looks chagrined and uncomfortable, but doesn't answer. Cas says that yes, he heard him, but that wasn't why he was there. So, basically, he told Dean he was ignoring him, which had to have stung. He says he's been hunting demons and Sam clues in that the trail of bodies they picked up on were all Cas. Castiel tells them that Crowley set out demons to find Lucifer's crypts -- and here's where the cool editing becomes a bit problematic for this recapper, because whenever Cas is in a scene, we cut between Cas with the boys and Cas with Naomi and it's seamless and immediate, but dang hard to recount. So...just go with me on this.

Cas lies to the boys per Naomi's orders that the demons are looking for a parchment -- something that will allow Crowley to decode the other half of the demon tablet sans prophet. Cas wants to tell them everything -- says they would be of more help if they had all the information, but Naomi orders him to lie. So, Cas tells the boys he's going to see if the "strange-haired demon in the kitchen" (ha!) has more information than the others.

He steps out of the room and the boys glance at each other.

Dean: He puts the 'ass' in Cas.

Sam: Yeah, he's definitely off.

Dean: Off? He hasn't been right since he got back from Purgatory. We still don't know how he got out of there.

Sam (clearly resisting the urge to cough): If he's so sketchy, why were you praying to him?

So, yeah, this bothered me. Because, haven't they already been praying to him? And also, Cas is really the only friend Dean has (or is allowed to have, anyway) and he's been rattled by this trials thing...why shouldn't he pray to him? But this is what I mean about Sam being so wrapped up in what's going on with him that he's clueless as to how it's been affecting Dean. He's only just getting how scared Dean's been, how worried, by the knowledge that his brother prayed and the sad, guilty look Dean shoots him when Sam calls him on it.

Cas: Y'know, I can hear you both; I am a celestial being.

Boys: Whoops.

They join Cas in the kitchen where PhDemon is tied up. Cas gets right to the torturing, wanting to know who told it about the crypts. The demon screams that they have a hostage -- one of Crowley's pets. She tells them where the hostage is stashed and that this hostage knows where all the crypts are. She's just about to give Dean the intel that they're not actually looking for a parchment when Cas (on Naomi's orders) kills her, then whooshes out of there.

The boys high-tail it out of there, trying to get to hotel where the hostage is being kept before Cas does (ha! fat chance). They get there in time to see Cas kill the last guard demon and the boys open the bathroom door to reveal an extremely battered, extremely blonde Meg.

Meg: Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?

They get her out and she's sitting on the bed, still all bloody. Dean's first question is, what's up with the hair? Sam's like dude, really? But Dean's shrug is like, what? Like you weren't wondering the same thing. Meg tells them it was Crowley's idea and is just another reason she wants to stab him in the face.

She's been telling the demons where the crypts are -- she saw them all during her time with 'Yellow Eyes' (made me head-tilt that she didn't call him Azazel) -- but she's not been giving them the Glengarry leads. She's just been getting them close-ish. She tells them she's been lying to buy herself some time to maybe escape.

Sam: So, a bunch of innocent people died so you could buy yourself some time?

Meg's like, hello, demon, and besides, the demons didn't kill those people -- Cas did. Unless we're now going by the theory that once a demon possesses you, you're toast, which is plausible (though, clearly not always cannon as Meg reminded us of her time 'inside' Sam) and also helps with the ease in which the boys now kill the demon-possessed humans.

All the crypts have been empty thus far and Meg knows Crowley's just going to keep sending more because he's hell-bent on finding--

--here we jump to Cas telling Naomi that Meg will tell them the truth and asking if he has to kill her. He sounds so...well, like he's pleading. He really doesn't want to kill Meg, but Naomi tells him working with a demon is 'unclean' (and apparently she should know). Cas talks her into allowing him to use Meg to find the crypt, much like Crowley did and we jump back to Meg revealing--

--the angel tablet.

Both boys look at Cas with an are you friggin' kidding me expression and Cas plays dumb (terribly, I might add) with an this is all news to me, the demons...they lied!!

Dean (totally not buying it): I saw you Zero Dark Thirty that demon. You were more than persuasive.

Meg's like, dudes, they're digging in the wrong place, but will be back, so who's for fleeing? Using the scale model map at Ann Norton's house, she shows them the right place, though the town's built up around it. Sam does some google-fu to find which building they need to go to while Cas tends to Meg's wounds in another room.

In yet another craftily subtle display of their base personality traits, Dean is pissed that Cas lied to them (again) while Sam says he gets why -- if a demon tablet can close the gates of Hell, what could an angel tablet do?

While Sam is searching, we get a bit of, as Dean calls it, Megstiel were Meg essentially (though not with so many words) confesses to having feelings for Cas and Cas tells her his 'noodle' is fine and he remembers everything -- even the "pizza man" moment, and it's a good memory. Meg says she misses the simplicity of the Apocalypse, where she was bad and he was good -- and I have to say that I kind of agree with her there. She says everything is messy now; she's kinda good, which sucks, and he's kinda bad which is all manner of hot...and I have to say...I kind of agree with her there, too. Dangit.

Meg: If we survive this? I'm gonna order some pizza and we're gonna move some furniture around. You understand?

Oh, Cas understands all right. The boys return -- because even if they don't exactly trust their other-wordly teammates, they don't have much of a choice. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Crowley's demon guy has to confess to their group failure.

Crowley: Let me get this straight. You can't find a hole in the ground, your co-workers have met with an untimely demise, and you've lost my favorite chew toy.

Yep, that about sums it up. Crowley dispatches the poor doomed demon dude in a very apology accepted, Captain Neda manner.

So, the foursome approaches the abandoned warehouse Sam found over Meg's crypt-keeping location.

Dean: Cas and I'll head in and get our Indiana Jones on; Sam, you stay outside with Meg.

Sam: I'm not letting you go in there alone!

Cas: He won't be alone.

Sam: That's not what I meant. Meg can hang here and watch our backs.

Dean: Oh, now you trust Meg?

Meg: I got you this far.

Dean & Sam: Shut up, Meg.

Dean: I saw your bloody rag in the trash can, Sam.

Sam tries to continue to protest, but Dean just stops him, his eyes big, his face serious. He has that look -- the one that says you are crushing me from the inside out.

Dean: Sam, we don't know what's in there. You almost let a demon get the best of you back there.

Sam: I'm fine.

Dean: No, you're not! You haven't been fine since the first trial. That's why I called Cas.

Meg: Trial?

Dean & Sam: Shut up, Meg.

Sam: Dean, I'm telling you, I'm okay.

Cas: No, you're not. Sam, you're damaged in ways even I can't heal. Dean's right. You should stay here and protect Meg.

Dean's face falls for a moment -- he knew he was right, but he didn't want to be and he certainly didn't want to hear that Cas couldn't heal his brother -- and Sam's breathing changes, gets a bit more rapid with this news.

Meg: Since when do I need protecting?

Cas: Since you were held captive and tortured for over a year.

Meg: Touche.

Sam looks pissed. Dean has that going to war, resigned expression. He hands Sam the demon-killing knife and Sam hesitates before taking it. Dean says they'll be back and he and Cas head inside. Cas tells Dean that Sam's 'damage' is on a sub-atomic level and says something about his electro-magnetic field but says he doesn't know if it's lethal -- and that's about as far as they get about Sam before they find the hidden room.

Meanwhile, outside, Sam and Meg are decorating the building with anti-demon sigils (which is funny that Meg can do this, but whatever *hand-wave*). She wants to know why Sam didn't look for her. Get in line, sister. He's got a brother still wondering that. She and Sam have a bit of a heart-to-heart about his wanting a normal life and Meg having been inside him, so to speak, so she's 'Team Sam.' Sam tells her about Amelia and Meg is impressed that there was a girl that could make him give up hunting.

Meg: That's one rare creature. Tell me...how'd you meet this unicorn?

Inside, Dean and Cas are in the crypt and Cas finds the box -- it's the only one warded against angels. Calls tells Naomi he found it, but he doesn't want to kill Dean to get it. Dean gets it out of the box, but instinctively keeps it from Cas -- Cas says he'll take it to Heaven and Dean's like, you mean to Kevin, to translate it and Cas is a lying liar who lies all sure, yeah, that's what I meant. Dean says he and Sam can take it -- he's backing away from Cas, holding the big stone with the tablet inside it.

Cas: I can't let you take that, Dean.

Dean: Can't or won't?

Cas: Both.

Dean: How'd you get out of Purgatory, Cas?

Cas is begging Naomi, saying there has to be another way than to kill Dean and Naomi's all kill kill kill.

Dean: Just tell me how you got out of Purgatory. Be honest, for the first time since you got back, and this is yours.

It all comes down to that moment for Dean -- the moment he'd been fighting for all that whole year surviving Purgatory, the moment Cas let go because he felt he deserved to stay there. Dean knew it was about that moment, that place, and it broke my heart how badly he needed to hear this truth. Instead of telling him, Cas drops his angel sword from his coat sleeve and Dean's like oh, shit.

Back outside with Sam and Meg, Sam's finished his story and Meg's like, wait, so you hit a dog, why did you stop? Sam's like, all I told you and  and that's what you focus on? But I loved it -- I was like, yes, thank you! Finally we're getting somewhere with Sam's story! I've been wondering that myself. We don't get an answer from Sam, though -- which makes me wonder even more if there's a reason in that moment we haven't heard/seen yet, or if I'm just making more of a deal of it because I really want to know Sam's reasons for stopping, for not looking.

Meg: I understood the rest. Fell in love with a unicorn, It was beautiful then sad, then sadder. I laughed, I cried, I threw up in my mouth a little. And honestly...I kinda get it.

But before Sam can get more out of her, she tells him they have company.

Inside, Cas has basically shut off and is attacking Dean. The Cas in Heaven is coming apart. The Cas with Dean is cold, hard, and dangerous. Dean -- while trying to avoid Cas' swings -- hears him say 'Naomi' but before he can say anything, Naomi in Heaven is screaming at Cas that the blood all over Heaven is on his hands and that she fixed him. She demands that he allow his vessel to do the job she trained him for -- the job he's done thousands of times: kill Dean.

And here again...I have to wonder if it's kill Dean because Cas cares for Dean and Dean keeps him real...or if there's more to it than that? If Dean is somehow connected to the angel tablet's destiny/future? I just can't help but wonder if there's hope for the fact that Dean's storyline as the righteous man and Micheal's sword and that he was the only human to survive Purgatory might come into play with the angel tablets.... *digress*

Outside, Meg and Sam are fighting demons. Inside, Cas is beating the crap out of Dean. Dean drops the angel tablet rock thingy and the tablet falls out of the rock, sending a shock-wave of power through everyone and summoning Crowley. Inside, Cas breaks Dean's arm, driving him to his knees, and repeatedly punches the left side of his face, the angel sword in his grip to make the impacts more damaging. His face a broken, bloody mess, Dean gasps out, "You want it? You're gonna have to kill me. C'mon, you coward. Do it."

In Heaven, Cas argues with Naomi while he beats Dean on Earth. It's "Swan Song" all over again with Dean's broken, raspy voice trying desperately to break through while he takes the hits, unable to fight back against such an inhuman strength, but unwilling to cave when his family is on the line.

Dean (gasping, voice filled with pain): Cas, this isn't you...(harsh breaths as Cas hits him again) I know you're in there...I know you can hear me....(voice choked as Cas hits him again) Cas, it's me. We're family. We need you. I need you.

Naomi tells Cas that he has to choose: us or them.

Cas drops the sword and Dean's broken arm and Dean cries out in pain, his breath rattling scarily as Cas reaches down and picks up the angel tablet -- his touch of it sending light through Heaven and inside the crypt -- and breaks the connection with Naomi. As Dean's breath rattles in the quiet of the room, Cas approaches him. Dean shrinks back, saying, "No...Cas, no...." as Cas reaches out for him. That just broke my heart. He's been so strong for so long, taking this terrible beating from his friend -- a friend who has beat him up on more than one occasion, let's not forget. And he just watched Cas pick up the tablet that he'd been trying to keep from him.

For all Dean knew, that was the end -- Cas was about to finish it and he reacted on instinct: no, I want to live...no, don't kill me...no, I risked everything to find you, to save you in Purgatory...no, don't do this. His gasp and cry of pain as Cas touched him and healed him had my inside shaking a bit. That whole scene was both fantastic and hard to watch. As Dean's staggering back -- reeling from the dizzying rush of being healed -- Cas looks and sounds remorseful as he apologizes to Dean.

Outside Crowley is being his usual self, telling Sam he has a bone to pick with him for what he did to his dog. Meg tells Sam to go -- save his brother and her unicorn. She faces off with Crowley, not flinching in the slightest when Crowley tells her the boys mean to close the gates of Hell and kill them all -- she's fine with it if it means Crowley will join the ranks of the dead.

Inside, Dean is getting the 411 on Naomi and her control of Cas. Cas says he has to protect the tablet from Naomi...and from Dean. Before Dean can find out what he means, he whooshes out and Sam shows up. A part of me kind wanted Sam to get there just a few minutes earlier -- I wanted him to see what Dean had been through, the beating his brother had taken to save his friend. I know...it's sadistic, but, well, there you go.

He tells Dean they have to go, now. They get to the Impala and look back in time to see a once-more severely battered Meg get stabbed with an angel sword by Crowley -- but, like I said, we never saw her completely flame out, though her spine got all glowy. I'm not sure if I believe she's really dead....

Inside the crypt, Crowley and Naomi confront each other (which means Naomi found out where it was -- so why didn't she just come down and get the tablet herself? -- and Crowley figured out a way to break the sigils). Crowley says Cas is in the wind, but Naomi argues that he's doing exactly what he's supposed to -- protect the tablets. Save face at all costs, I guess. Crowley insinuates that they had a romantic interlude in Mesopotamia and she calls him a cockroach -- it really is hard to talk with ex's isn't it? Crowley wants to make a deal, but Naomi whooshes out before he can get down to brass tacts.

Crowley: Tart stole my move.

Inside the Impala, Sam's getting caught up about Naomi (though I doubt Dean told him that Cas nearly beat him to death).

Dean: Cas is off the reservation with a Heavenly WMD.

His posture as he's driving is stiff, alomst pained. He's focused on the road, one arm straight on the wheel, his jaw set and his whole being just radiates STRESS.

Dean (not looking at Sam): Listen, man. I can't take any more lies. From anyone.

He gives Sam a brief, sidelong glance and then returns his attention to the road. Sam is watching his brother, looking uncomfortable and apologetic.

Sam: I'm sorry. I should have told you. I just wanted to believe I was okay.

Dean: You heard what Cas said. That first trial hurt you in ways that even he can't heal.... You gotta be honest with me from here on out, man.

Sam: You're right. I will be.

Me: He gosh-darn better be.

Dean: I may not be able to carry the burden that comes with these trials, but I can carry you.

Me: As he's done all his life.

Sam: You...realize you just kinda quoted Lord of the Rings.

Dean (frowning): Yeah, but it's the Rudy Hobbit. The Rudy Hobbit always gets a pass. Shut up.

He leans over and turns on the radio. "Goodbye Stranger" fills up the empty spaces in the car and Dean returns to his tense posture, not even really seeing Sam's half-grin at the 'Rudy Hobbit' line. Dean just looks like he's been pushed too far, too many times and he's not going to give, not this time. Sam's smile slips from his face and he looks forward, growing serious in the unnatural quiet that suddenly surrounds Dean.

In the Heavenly Office Space, Naomi's assistant comes in and shakes her head -- which I take it to mean that they can't find Cas. Castiel, meanwhile, is getting on a bus with the tablet. If he's on a bus, the angels can't track his celestial movements, I suppose. And I'm not sure where he's going, but it's apparently far away from Dean. The music fades off into eerie silence as we track the bus into a tunnel.

And thus wraps another piece of this season's puzzle. With six episodes left, I can't wait to see how it's all going to come together just to leave us hanging in May. I look forward to your thoughts! Thanks for reading.

Slainte!

Comments

( 61 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
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lovinjackson
Mar. 25th, 2013 03:41 am (UTC)
Hey there,

I have to say. I love our show. I love our characters. I know I constantly spam my FB wall with Alex and Hawaii Five O (Not a bad thing, right?) But This show is where my heart lies. Dean Winchester.

So much of what you mentioned here I agree and I question as well. I wonder if there is more to Dean's purpose in this story considering Naomi wanted Cas to kill Dean so much, considering Cas now believes he has to keep the tablet safe from not only Naomi but Dean as well.

I loved Misha in this episode. The fact that Cas is in a spot. he hasnt meant to lie this time. He really doesnt want to hurt his friends, he doesnt want to hurt Dean. His reactions up in heaven with Naomi while his vessel is coldly beating on Dean were fantastic.

And Dean? His desperate plea, the choked, rattly sounds of his breathing. But that pleading. Telling Cas that he's family and that he needs him. Dean Winchester you know how to hit me right in the Solar Plexus.

The way he whimpered away when Cas leaned forward to heal him. The H/C fan in me was all over this.

The pop culture references were in full force in this episode and I have to say it is SOOOOOOOOOO weird having Amanda Tapping in this show. SPN is my baby ... but Stargate was before that for 10 long years and then a year on Stargate Atlantis and then 4 years on Sanctuary with many of her Stargate cast LOL To have her on SPN really does mess with my head with that melding of fandoms LOL Gotta love shows made in Canada, right? LOL

Anyways just wanted to come by and say WORD.


gaelicspirit
Mar. 27th, 2013 03:18 pm (UTC)
But This show is where my heart lies. Dean Winchester.

WORD.

I get tangled up in other characters quite often -- lately Daryl from The Walking Dead has been my UNF. But no one in the last 8 years has usurped Dean as my hero.

Agree with everything you said, though I never watched Stargate, so I only know her as Naomi. :) Hee.

When fandoms cross.... ;)

'See' you soon!
borgmama1of5
Mar. 25th, 2013 04:34 am (UTC)
1) Crowley's mention of being in Mesopotamia with Naomi is either a writer's glitch or they are adding something to his character, as originally he was a tailor in the 1600s who made a crossroads deal.

2) At this point, John, Bobby, Sam, and Cas have all freed themselves from possession/mind control because of Dean. His presence--his love for them that enables them to break free--that is Dean's superpower.

I don't know if TPTB will ever develop a storyline to address this--clearly it could tie in with being Michael's vessel, the righteous man, etc.--but everyone who loves Dean's character knows it's there.

3) And I also have to say that there is an element to how Dean's love saves his family that disturbs me--how he passively allows himself to be beaten bloody to 'save' first Sam, now Cas--the same mindset of domestic abuse victims, and while I know this is an exaggeration in the service of dramatic storytelling, it is too close to real for me...

4) I am very nervous about what is going to happen to the boys in the last 6 episodes!

5) From your FB comments it looks like you had some respite over your trip, and I was glad to see that.

6) We can admire Dean's willingness to carry the world on his shoulders. But it's not something to emulate in real life. Hug!
amberdreams
Mar. 26th, 2013 09:42 am (UTC)
Dean's superpower is the power of love - awesome babe! :D
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biketest
Mar. 25th, 2013 05:00 am (UTC)
What a great episode! I'm glad everyone else seems to like it too. :) I really hope that Dean is somehow connected to the angel tablet.

Why couldn't Cas just heal Meg? Why did he have to clean/wrap her wounds? Was it because the body she inhabited was really already dead?

I think this is because she's a demon, and Cas' heavenly power would probably kill her.
gaelicspirit
Mar. 27th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
I really hope that Dean is somehow connected to the angel tablet.

Me too! I think that would add a very cool layer to the story line. :)

Yeah, you're probably right about Meg. Plus, her 'meatsuit' had already taken punishment far beyond what a human could handle, so, I'll give it a pass. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting! :)
harrigan
Mar. 25th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
It's so nice to read a rational, calm analysis of Dean's role in the show. And I think the LOTR and Star Wars references are the perfect illustration. Dean is Han Solo!

I'm sorry your family health situation has been so challenging, but I do appreciate how it's made you experience the show in new ways, and that you shared that with us.

Take care of yourself.
gaelicspirit
Mar. 27th, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
It's so nice to read a rational, calm analysis of Dean's role in the show.

LOL! Thank you for that.

And you know what, so much of my life has been oddly reflected in this show. In the ways the boys relate to each other and deal with life. I'm absolutely convinced it is true of so much of fandom -- that's why we are all so passionate about these guys.

Thank you for reading and commenting. Always wonderful to 'see' you.
taylorariel
Mar. 25th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC)
I thought about you all week and hoped things were going well with you and your family. I do hope the time you and your daughter got to spend with your Father were good for all three of you.

I really liked this episode and I was anxious to read your thoughts. As usual, you always show me things I did not see (or get) from the show and whether I agree with them or not they always make things much clearer for me.

Your comments about Sam here and him being afraid to admit to himself that he is not well really did make me look at him in a different way. I agree with your take on him. I wish I could say I trust him now but I still can't. Not the way he is being written this season. But his fear of what is happening to him is realistic and understandable. I just wish that he would be more open now with Dean and share his fear and allow the two of them to try to bring some kind of comfort to one another.

Others have suggested that Sam will become an Angel when this is all done. I hope not for I prefer the two of them being human. But with these writers? Anything can happen.

Loved the Doc Holiday comment and the Samwise reference. For me Samwise was the true hero of Lotr. Without him Frodo would have failed several times. Samwise was brave and loyal and intelligent and when the who trilogy was over I knew he was the true hero of the entire story. So while I know there are many Dean fans who felt anger when Dean and Sam made those comments I wasn't angry at all. I don't believe it puts Dean in a "support" role. I think it presents him as what he truly is: Loyal, Courageous, and Honest. And that makes him the true hero of all of this.

For me, Crowley is still a horrible weak link on this show. He is supposed to be the king of hell and the most powerful of demons. And yet Dean and Sam can just drive away from him and escape. I remember when he brought Dean to find Death. He popped in and out of the Impala like nothing. And yet somehow he cannot do the same thing here. He is written as a comedian- and a bad one at that. I feel no fear from him and I, honestly, do wonder why any of the characters fear him. I like the actor; I hate the character- at least the way he is written here.

I enjoyed your ramble and I am grateful for you sharing your thoughts.

I hope you and your family are well and that there is less stress in your life.
I am suffering through a horrible toothache (my worst fear, second to clowns). Reading your thoughts did help me for a few moments :)
Best to you and yours always
MD
gaelicspirit
Mar. 27th, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
I do hope the time you and your daughter got to spend with your Father were good for all three of you.

As hard as it was, it was good, too. Life just doesn't treat us with kid gloves, does it?

...whether I agree with them or not they always make things much clearer for me.

Thank you. :)

Others have suggested that Sam will become an Angel when this is all done. I hope not for I prefer the two of them being human. But with these writers? Anything can happen.

I kinda wonder that myself. If not an angel, then somehow imbued with celestial powers. I really think he's changing on a molecular level. Not "damaged."

I don't believe it puts Dean in a "support" role. I think it presents him as what he truly is: Loyal, Courageous, and Honest. And that makes him the true hero of all of this.

Couldn't agree more. Now, if they WERE to bless us with a Dean storyline that had to do with the angel tablets, I'd be doing backflips (virtually, of course). But I'm also happy with this.

I'm soooo sorry to hear about your toothache. That is awful. I have TMJ and when my jaw acts up it causes a headache that I cannot function through, so I completely sympathize with mouth pain of any kind. I hope you're feeling better soon, and I look forward to seeing you after tonight's episode.

tabaqui
Mar. 25th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
*happy sigh*

I dearly loved this episode - everything about it. The boys, and Castiel, and *Meg*, oh yes. But then, I've loved Meg since she first showed up, all bad-ass and snarky and pixie-cute. This 'new' Meg is just as wonderful.

I do love all your meta on Dean and Sam. So much interesting stuff, so many things to mull over.

I should open a reply window and type as i read, because now i'm just all suffused with Show love and can't be coherent.

The only two things I can say are.... I think Sam was surprised that Dean was praying to Castiel because he'd been acting so weird and hinky, and not talking to them at *all*, and Sam kind of assumed that Dean had just given up on him as a lost cause, someone who wasn't on their side. Dean had probably talked about how weird Castiel had been, too - voiced his trepidation and his fear that Castiel wasn't their friend anymore.

As for Crowley/Mesopotamia.... I totally forgot his origins were 1600s rather than 'ancient demon'. I'm think that he just used that name as the one he was most familiar with. The newer names for that region/each country were probably not something he, as a lowly tailor, would have known, or cared about. It was 'the Orient', and 'The New World' and 'The Levant'. So that was probably the familiar, most common name to him.

Again - a wonderful recap/review, a wonderful episode. Whee!
gaelicspirit
Mar. 27th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
I do love all your meta on Dean and Sam.

Thank you! I do tend to ramble, but if you get something out of it that's all that matters. :)

I think Sam was surprised that Dean was praying to Castiel because he'd been acting so weird and hinky, and not talking to them at *all*, and Sam kind of assumed that Dean had just given up on him as a lost cause, someone who wasn't on their side.

Okay. I can go with this. It helps smooth out my "wait, what" reaction. :)

Still not sure about Crowley, but maybe more information will come out in the next 6 episodes. :)

See you then!
a_phoenixdragon
Mar. 25th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm...to answer (in my own way) some questiony questions:

Sam probably thought Dean had given up praying to Cas, like he had in Seasons Six and Seven. So I think the surprise was genuine, as Dean had long since gotten frustrated from what Sam could see.

I think the demon in Meg prevent Cas from healing her. That and the dead flesh she's wearing. But teh demony aspect would make it like pouring filthy water over an infected wound. They are rather allergic to angels from what I understand, lol!!

I think everyone is mixing up Crowley with his meatsuit. We know his meatsuit died in Scotland a few centuries ago and he is rather attached to it (old demon, makes it harder to body jump nowadays). I remember then we were all 'But if he remembers when Azazel came up with this and ol YED has been cooking up a plan for centuries, how could he know if he has only been around for a few of those?' Crowley is King of the Crossroads. I don't think you get that title overnight, much less in four hundred years. I think Crowley the DEMON has been around as long as YED. I think the MEATSUIT has been around a few centuries. And Angels and Demons can see each other's 'spirits' so to speak. So yeah...totally plausible that Naomi knew Crowley 'way back when'.

Also, also...we know Meg was going to college. She had a sister who killed herself when Meg was found dead. I always wanted to know who 'Meg' originally was - as she has been very, VERY important this whole time.

That being said, I chose to think she 'smoked out' when Crowley turned to look at the Impala. I LIKE MY HAPPY PLACE. But I did like Nikki's Meg LOADS better...

*HUGS*

Awesome Ramble, as always, sweetie!!
amberdreams
Mar. 26th, 2013 09:51 am (UTC)
Interesting point about the Crowley meatsuit, but I think it's incorrect because his current meatsuit is not Fergus McLeod, which is who they said Crowley was when he originally sold his soul for a few inches in the 1600s. Fergus died when his soul was collected... Presumably this meatsuit is a modern one - demons don't generally appear in their original bodies because they are humans who become demons from living in Hell so their original bodies are long gone by the time they start galivanting on Earth again and possessing people.

I just reckon that was whole Fergus thing was a lie/subterfuge and that Crowley is in fact a hell of a lot older than Fergus. I've seen some speculation that he might in fact be one of the angels that fell with Lucifer, which would be quite cool.
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jennygeee
Mar. 25th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
I can relate to Sam not wanting to admit that all is not well because that would make it real – when my mother died I actually came on here for a while and didn’t even mention it because I believed that if I didn’t say anything then it didn’t happen, I was only talking about this with my friend the other day so I can totally see this being the reason Sam didn’t tell Dean.

I’m afraid I’m one of the Dean girls who doesn’t like Dean is the ‘Supporting Sam’ role – it happens all the time – but as you have said before, this is the essence of our show and so we have to accept it, we don’t have to like it though, but if we love the show there’s not much we can do about it.

”his part lascivious, part childlike (how does he do that?!) grin” and doesn’t that just make him so appealing and so sexy!!!!

”She wants to know why Sam didn't look for her. Get in line, sister. He's got a brother still wondering that.” and all of fandom!

”Before Dean can find out what he means, he whooshes out and Sam shows up. A part of me kind wanted Sam to get there just a few minutes earlier -- I wanted him to see what Dean had been through, the beating his brother had taken to save his friend. I know...it's sadistic, but, well, there you go.” Oh so did I – so much! I was so disappointed that he didn’t see it :(

I love all the movie quotes but often wonder whenever do they find the time to watch all these movies :)

I’ve been thinking of you and your family Gaelic and wondering how you are all coping.
gaelicspirit
Mar. 26th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, I hear you about the avoidance. I see my dad doing that now, and my hubs is my "makes it real" person. It clear to me now...it just took until this episode for me to 'get it.'

As for Dean...I write the rambles based on what I interpret they're giving us, but not necessarily what I'd like to see. For example, what I'd like to see is that the reason Cas has to protect the angel tablet from Dean is because his 'destiny' is aligned with the tablet somehow -- his having been the 'righteous man' and chosen as 'Micheal's Sword' somehow connecting to the use of the tablet.

If Sam is to complete the demon tablet trials -- which is aligned to his previous destiny as Lucifer's vessel and using demon blood to give him 'powers' -- then I would LOVE for the ying/yang of that to be Dean having trials of his own or connection to the angel tablet.

As a Deangirl, I would love Dean to be the hero supported by his brother. I think that would be a fascinating story. BUT, that said, I don't know that's what I'm seeing as the approach for the continuing storyline of the show and because I love this show -- and am a fan of both brothers, despite my Deangirl-ness -- I look for the positive side of the story we are getting.

I'll watch until the end, no matter what, because I, too, have to see what happens to Dean. :)

As for the movies, there's probably a lot of downtime between hunts. Not like they have a house or kids to take care of. ;)

Thank you for the thoughts -- I really appreciate it. It's not been an easy time, but I have a good support system with the hubs and Mo Chuisle. And thank goodness for that because life is wearing me thin as far as my family is concerned. *hugs you*

Hope to see you after the next episode!:)
thruterryseyes
Mar. 26th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
where has the year gone???

I totally agree with you about Sam being thetechnical "main Character" but since I ususally fasten on the 'other" characters in a story thats works for me. There would be no show without him. Just as without Sam there is no need for Dean.

I enjoyed the Meg/Cas give and take and I admit, I felt bad when she died at the end. I'll miss her.

As for the rest of the show I enjoyed it, I'm glad the boys appear to be on the same page for once. I spent most of the week drugged out on painkillers and as soon as this was over I went to bed so i haven't given it much thought and I forgot most of it til I read you Ramble so ta for refreshing me. I've said before, I always get more out of the show than I thoguht I did , but I have to read your stuff to get it. I'm to busy watching Dean's eyes and mouth to really pay attention.

Just for the record, 9 days of off and REALLY on muscles spasms in your neck and shoulder SUCKS.

gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
Out the window, that's where. How is it that we only have 6 episodes left?!?!

I think both of us have always found the 'other' characters...or barring that, the main characters who behave like the 'others' -- thinking about Cat.

And HELLO -- WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME you had muscle spasms and were on painkillers?! I mean, yeah, I know I wasn't really around, but STILL! :( I'm sorry you had to go through that. I hope you're better now. Silly.
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amberdreams
Mar. 26th, 2013 10:06 am (UTC)
I loved this episode, there was so much packed into it. I've not been bothered about Castiel's storyline this season so far but this epi dragged it into the forefront nicely. I thought Misha rocked all the layers of Cas he had to fit into this one - and the scene where he's being torn between Naomi's bullying and Dean's heartwrenching pleading was terrific.

At the end, I thought Cas looked happier than I can remember and i think it is because the care of the tablet has given him back a sense of purpose - maybe he even believes it's a divine mission to keep it safe because it did light up with that white angel grace-like light the moment he touched it. I'm sure Cas would see that as a sign from God.

I reckon he would need to keep the angel tablet from Dean simply because he would know that the Winchesters will more than happily lock the angels into Heaven. After all, what good have angels done for mankind that our boys have seen? Even Cas turned bad and nearly ended the world. Dean especially wouldn't hesitate to do whatever it takes to close off both Heaven and Hell, I'm sure. Even if it meant hurting Cas and himself, he'd see it as protecting humanity.

I wouldn't change the way the show deals with Dean's story and Sam's story because I don't see Dean's role as being a passive side kick just because he isn't the one doing the trials. Maybe it's because I love the character so much that I am focussed on Dean all the time, but I really do see the story being just as much about Dean as it is about Sam. I think it might be because we get much closer to Dean's emotions than we do to Sam's. Sam has the physical reactions, the divine consumption/atomic level damage, but we mostly get to worry about that via Dean. We love Sam because Dean loves Sam. I still think the show's heart is Dean, and it's head is Sam. IDK... I'm rambling now and it isn't your sort of coherent rambling!
gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks so much for taking time to come by, read, and comment! :)

I'm sure Cas would see that as a sign from God.

I totally agree!

I think it might be because we get much closer to Dean's emotions than we do to Sam's. Sam has the physical reactions, the divine consumption/atomic level damage, but we mostly get to worry about that via Dean. We love Sam because Dean loves Sam.

SO TRUE. I love that last sentence the best. :)

Thanks for rambling along with me.
bagginsdvm
Mar. 26th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
Dean Winchester has always been my Samwise Gamgee!! And Sam Winchester, of course, is my Frodo Baggins. Dean truly is the heart of the story for me. I cheered aloud & made my dogs jump up in excitement when that little exchange of LOTR references occurred in the Impala. Those words, whether it is Dean or Samwise saying them, sum up their characters so well & reinforce in my heart why I love them so dearly. I adore Sam & Frodo too, but I couldn't imagine either one without their "supporting character".

Dean was the support for Cas too; the beating he took certainly mirrored that of Swan Song. Just as it did with Sam, Dean's stalwart strength & refusal to abandon his family brought Cas back from possession.

I loved this episode & will actually miss Meg, if she really is gone. I am very curious about Crowley's true history now.

I can't believe we're rushing towards the end of another season. So much to discover yet, so many possibilities...


I'm keeping your dad in my prayers.
gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
I bet you were THRILLED with that line. I thought of you immediately. :) LOL!

Just as it did with Sam, Dean's stalwart strength & refusal to abandon his family brought Cas back from possession.

Yep. And it's one of the reasons I love him.

Thank you for the prayers. We need them.
jazzyirish
Mar. 26th, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
Hey Gaelic, I do love it when you ramble on so. ;) Liked reading your thoughts about Sam's possible motive why he's been lying to Dean and maybe himself about what's wrong with him. You could be right about that and if so, it would make his actions more palatable to me. As you know, I haven't really liked Sam at all this season, so anything to make me soften my view of him is welcomed.

Loved this episode; probably one of the best this season. There is just something special about the scenes between Cas and Dean that light up the screen. (I believe that Jensen and Misha up their acting chops when playing against each other) I agree with you that the scenes showing Cas/Dean's interactions intertwined with Cas/Naomi's interactions were very well edited and powerful as a result. :) When Dean was trying to get through to Cas in the crypt, I could just feel all of the emotions from both characters. I really liked that the first question Dean asked Cas was how he got out of Purgatory because I think that Dean believed that was the key to Cas' behavior change.

Put me in the camp with those who thought that the Meg/Cas exchange was creepy but fun. I think that she probably is dead which may be why they had her have scenes with both Cas and Sam - sort of a swan song - no pun intended. ;) Speaking of which, Cas' beat down of Dean in the crypt was very reminiscent of that episode. Each time Dean didn't fight for his life; he fought for their "brother" bond and what it might do to save the situation. I don't think anyone but Dean could really pull that off.

Lots of questions about what is to come with the angel tablet and why Cas felt it necessary to keep it from Dean. I personally hope that it is an indication that Dean will have more involvement with that tablet story. Like you, I can't imagine that they will close the gates of Hell this season (or until the end of the series, really), but with these writers who the hell knows.

Thanks for a great, rambling in-depth ramble that gives me new insights into the episode/characters. I love how you personalize it with experiences that relate in your own life - that's what makes it so special. :)

See you next week!
Irish
gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:31 am (UTC)
Hee -- thank you. I'm glad you get something out of my rambling.

When Dean was trying to get through to Cas in the crypt, I could just feel all of the emotions from both characters.

Right??

I wouldn't mind if Meg were dead, but I wouldn't put it past them to find a way to bring her back.

. I personally hope that it is an indication that Dean will have more involvement with that tablet story.

Ditto, my friend.

Thank you for your thoughts and sharing them with me. See you after tonights!
pandorajazz
Mar. 27th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
I enjoy reading your comments about the show as sometimes it makes me think about a scene differently or helps explain what a character did on the show.

This episode was one of my favorites for this season, except the writers killed Meg. I have read where many fans didn't like how Rachel Miner portrayed Meg, but she grew on me, especially when she became complicated by helping and caring for Castiel. I loved that Dean dubbed them Megstiel. :) I laughed when Dean asked Meg about her blond hair. Rachel had blond hair at her Chicago appearance last fall.

I like the return of Castiel and I'm glad he is free of Naomi, though where everyone seems to have loved the scene of him beating Dean; it reminded me to much of "Swan Song". (I almost quit the show after that episode and I had watched from the very beginning) Also, though I'm glad that Dean was able to get through to Castiel, I could just hear the fans of 'Dean and Castiel' reading more into the scene then was there. I liked your comment of "love is quite possible without the addition of sex".

I have been upset with Sam lying to Dean again, but had wondered if he was trying to believe he was alright. So as long as Sam didn’t admit something was wrong to Dean, then he could just pretend everything was fine. I am a little worried about Castiel's comments about Sam. The show has always been about the Winchester brothers, so I worry about Sam changing. I don't want to watch the Dean and Castiel show or the Winchester brothers and their angel. I loved your thoughts describing Dean and Sam's relationship and their roles in each other's lives.

I always love reading your lists. I agreed with your love and liked lists, but would have added the scene of Castiel telling Sam to protect Meg. I like a hurt Dean scene too, but I didn't enjoy Dean letting Castiel beat him.

I agree with your meh list and was also confused by the Mesopotamia comment. The 'SN' writers should know by now that the fans know the history of the show. I don't know why Castiel has to protect the tablet from Dean, but I did hold my breath for a moment as the camera panned the other passengers on the bus hoping that Meg was there too.

I watched 'Roar' too. It was good show. I thought of it and “The Librarian” movie on TNT when Dean found the "Spear of Destiny". I keep hoping someone will recognize the metal 'key?' that Dean found in one of the boxes. It looks like something I've seen from a movie or another show.

I didn't recognize the drawing on the 'Batcave' table, so thanks for that information. When Dean called Sam 'Doc Holiday' I loved it. Sam may have been hiding his illness, but big brother knows him well.

I would have probably closed the door again if I had Dean and Sam standing there on my front porch and I was dressed in sweats. (I don’t use curlers)

I love the timing the 2 J's have with their character's conversations. How can they say the same thing at the same time?

I liked Sam and Meg's conversation and agreed with Meg when she asked about the dog. I wish the 'SN' writers would finally explain Sam's actions while Dean was missing and yet part of me doesn't want them too. I'm afraid that will mean more flashbacks with Amelia and I don't want to watch that again.

I loved the final scene in the Impala between the brothers and then the music! Also, Jensen/Dean can kill me with his eyes and how many emotions he can say with them.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us.
I understand you don’t know me and words don't always help, but I’m sorry about your dad and will add your family to my prayers tonight.
gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:33 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and for letting me know what you enjoy. It encourages me to keep up, it really does. I'm glad you enjoyed the lists -- and I liked seeing your thoughts, too!

I love that you've seen Roar! I LOVED that show, even before I knew who Heath Ledger was. LOL!

Thanks again for sharing YOUR thoughts with me and thank you so much for your prayers. We need them.
impala1967
Mar. 27th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
I soooo can't beleive I missed this post. What was I doing???

Its been a week since I've seen it no so not all is fresh in the old brain, but you probably sumed it up about right for me.

Glad to see Meg finally gone. Someone posted a screen shot which shows her lit up like a xmas tree, so me thinks/hopes that she is done.

Love the Dean/Cas interaction, but then again I always do. And I too found it interesting that Naomi used killing Dean as a way to brainwash Cas. I wonder if it was just to get emotionless Cas back or was it to do with Dean and the angel tablet i.e if dean was dead the tablet/angels would be safe.

And of course I loved the ending of 'I need you cas' Don't you just love it when dean finally tells it like it is =)

I enjoyed this episode, and only 6 to go. I wonder where Carver is taking us? I would love it to be with dean and the angel tablet but again I think you are right, that there will never be a solely expansive Dean arc. He is there to support and protect Sam and I just have to learn to live with it. As you said, I see many similarities between how Kripke and Carver progress the boys and their stories have much the same thread running thru them ..... so I have my fingers crossed that Dean is all about the angel tablet and thats why Cas has to keep it safe from Dean .... yeah I know, don't go getting my hopes up ;)

Well next epi is tomorrow, kiddi hunters, not really my thing esp since that gurl is back, but it might surprise me, who knows.

See ya tomorrow

J
gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:39 am (UTC)
THERE you are!! Whew. I missed seeing you. :)

I wouldn't mind if Meg were really dead, but I wouldn't put it past them to find a way to spring her. ;)

I would love it to be with dean and the angel tablet but again I think you are right, that there will never be a solely expansive Dean arc.

If the first happened, I'd do virtual cartwheels. If it doesn't...I'll still be happy. :)

Let's see what they have in store for us tonight! :)
ladyarcherfan3
Mar. 27th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
I don't know how I missed this post, but I did.

This episode, oh man. I literally laughed, cried, cringed, was on the edge of my seat while clutching a pillow in terror.

The biggest moment for me probably was when Dean quoted LOTR and said he was going to carry Sam through the trials. I actually did a little dance of "yes!" because of the various discussion and ideas that have been floating around your Rambles - with Dean realizing that he wasn't just a grunt and was still there to support his brother. And then I did a double flail when I realized that he'd just quoted LOTR and aligned himself with Samwise. Because Samwise was always one my favorite characters, and the real hero for me. So even if Dean doesn't think he's the hero, he actually is. Like Samwise. :)

Admittedly the power of the scene where Dean tells Cas that he's family and he needs him cannot be denied, but I was just a little... I don't want to say upset just slightly uncomfortable with how like Swan Song it was. Maybe it sorta took a little of the strength from both scenes to be similar, though the parallels were still powerful. I dunno... That said, Good Godfrey, I was on the edge of my seat and strangling my pillow in terror and all sorts of emotions that whole scene. And the hurt comfort illness was only fed.

I liked Meg more than I usually did in this episode as well, which I swear is some sort of cruel trick by TPTB to make make you emote a bit when they kill the character. It has happened before, in various shows.

The fact that Amelia got brought up again makes me a little worried. Sam, didn't you find a niche with the MoLs, do you have to go back to Amelia and "normal"? Sorry, the longer Amelia is gone, the less I like her and more worried I get that she might come back.

And one last little thing that made me laugh - the little exchange between Cas and Meg involving "how to make a girl's nethers quiver" and bandaging wounds - all I could think was, "Oh, you've clearly never met the hurt comfort crowd..."

I hope that you and your family are doing well, and that the stress and pain of your situation eases as much as possible. Here are some hugs to hopefully help a little. *hugs*

Now, onto the new episode!
gaelicspirit
Mar. 28th, 2013 12:42 am (UTC)
I literally laughed, cried, cringed, was on the edge of my seat while clutching a pillow in terror.

Um, yep. :)

So even if Dean doesn't think he's the hero, he actually is.

YES. :)

Sam, didn't you find a niche with the MoLs, do you have to go back to Amelia and "normal"? Sorry, the longer Amelia is gone, the less I like her and more worried I get that she might come back.

Right there with you, sister.

all I could think was, "Oh, you've clearly never met the hurt comfort crowd..."

I was thinking the EXACT same thing! :)

Can't wait to see what they have in store for us tonight!
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