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Stream of Consciousness: Episode 8.22

Dark, disturbing, with a dash of intrigue for flavoring….

Though, I have to say, adding complexity to an already complex situation doesn’t always pay off the way you might want it to.

So, I know the fact that these rambles are written after one viewing, and without too much critical analysis/research, might lend one to believe I shoot a bit from the hip as I go (which, true), but I do work to keep the thread going through the season, and I seek to apply the themes I see repeated or significant to the moments we experience onscreen. Sometimes, though, it’s a bit more difficult than others. I’ll start with the constants I appreciated.

Like the brothers. I always appreciate the brothers. Their fight, their sacrifice, their drive, their loyalty, their heart, their willingness, their steadfastness…their bowed legs, green/hazel eyes, killer grins, jaw-flinches…. *ahem* Sorry.

Even if I don’t like some of the consistencies all the time – the roles that they play in each other lives – I appreciate that they’re constant in those roles. And I have enjoyed that there’s been little strife between them since they made the choice to do this thing together, turning their backs on the things that could have separated them. I have appreciated Sam’s focus and Dean’s care. I have appreciated that Sam is earning this and that Dean has a firm grip on his one job.

I had hoped, until this episode, that Dean would have a role to play with the Angle Tablet. I didn’t realize how much I’d hoped for it, though, until the Cas & Marv Plan started to play out. I will admit that it makes a poetic sort of sense – as Cas said, he broke Heaven, he started that mess, so just like with Sam needing to “fix” things by falling into the Cage after he helped Lucifer rise, Cas needs to “fix” things by shutting down Heaven.

However, even with that, I can’t help but reflect back on Cas himself telling Dean that he had to “fix” things since he was the righteous man, the only one who could, and he never got that chance. And even though the Angel trials were never Dean’s to begin with, I still feel a bit like something else has been taken from him.

Still. That’s not the story we’re being told; it does me no good to reflect on what we didn’t get and aren’t seeing. Not if I want the escape and enjoyment I so yearn for when I watch our show. So! I will focus on what is playing out for us and not what I would have liked to have seen. *nods decisively*

Dean has fully embraced this mission. He may have been relegated to the role of caretaker and watcher, but he’s playing the hell out of that role. He's taking the Tolkien-esque edict to carry Sam through the trials to the wall and he’s not flinching, not failing. Even if all they have to eat is Reeces Cups, beef jerky, and half-drunk beer, he’s giving it all to Sam – on a tray no less.

When he says he knows Sam is going to cross that finish line, there is not one trace of doubt in his voice, in his eyes, in the lines of his face. He believes this. He’s had to; it’s the only thing that’s kept him going as he's watching his brother weaken and falter and remains powerless to stop it. And what’s more? He’s proud. He’s proud of Sam, of what Sam’s enduring, of what he’s shouldering, and of why he’s doing it all. I so dig that about Dean.

This is all he has left, this mission. If they fail in this – if they don’t close the gates – not only will all that he’s survived and sacrificed, all he’s shoved down and put behind him, all he’s gone without be for nothing, but Sam won’t come out of it purified, healed, back to his old self. Dean has to believe that Sam has some kind of super-human ability to keep going and keep the promise he made to show Dean that surviving the trials is possible, that there’s light in all of this. If he doesn’t…he’s got nothing.

I thought it was interesting, though, how he showed his wounded feelings toward Cas. No one who’s been hurt really plays fair. Dean is the most human character on this show, and he plays that role superbly, right up to the unfairness of hurt feelings. He’s been hurt by so many close to him I’ve lost count, but when Cas hurts him, it seems to count double. Even more than if it’s Sam. When it’s his brother who hurts Dean, the hurt digs in and leaves scars, but Sam is blood. Like Bobby said, family is supposed to make you miserable. But Cas…well, Cas was chosen family. So when Dean’s hurt by Cas it’s compounded, and he always lashes out, double the amount of the hurt.

The last time he saw Cas, his friend beat him bloody, then healed him, then told him he wasn’t trusted, then disappeared. That had to leave Dean reeling a bit. The fact that Cas thought he was doing the right thing just…hurt me. Not only for Cas, but for Dean. Every time he’s hurt Dean, he’s done so because he thought he was doing the right thing and he’s not listened to Dean who has been – quite literally – the only voice of reason in Cas’ life since he pulled Dean from Hell. After awhile, that’s gotta wear on a guy.

Coupling all of that with the fact that Cas was healing slowly, Dean just tapped out. He couldn’t take on one more wounded family member; he had his hands full with Sam and right now everything he has left inside of him that still believes in anything is focused on Sam and these trials. He’s been through too much and lost too much and been tested too many times to have enough faith to believe in much else.

Sam telling Dean to give Cas a break simply because he’s Cas irritated me a bit. I mean, I got it – Sam sees a kindred spirit, a fellow wounded warrior, and knows that if Dean weren’t focused so completely on getting Sam through the trials that he wouldn’t have been so hard on Cas – knows that his brother needs this friend – but I still wanted him to hush.

Let Dean be mad for a bit. Sometimes being mad is the only way we can cope. And Dean needs a bit of coping room as he’s busy turning himself inside out for the sake of someone else’s health and safety.

Sam’s waning health has been done very well these past few episodes. I like that he was up-front with how he was feeling – body hurt, nauseous and starving at the same time, everything smelled like rotting meat. Sounded like me when I was pregnant. But I have to wonder how far are they going to take this; it’s clear they’re not going to have Metatron heal him, and Cas can’t, so it looks like it’s still a the only way out is through solution for him. He has to finish the trials, get purified, if he has any hope of healing.

I’m enjoying Sam’s research and reading binge through all the materials in the Batcave. This treasure trove of lore is probably one of my favorite things about this season – the possibilities they could mine with what the MoL’s have stored away. Add to that the fact that they have a dungeon – and Dean’s grin when they discover it -- and it just gets cooler and cooler. It played out for me that they’d start looking through the MoL records on demons and exorcisms, but I really didn’t call the twist that there would be a ritual that could cure a demon.

I thought it would be something, I don’t know, more…organic. But this is intriguing to me. Especially the part about purified blood. The priest purified his blood by going to confession, and while we know that the trials are purifying Sam’s blood, it doesn’t exactly make sense to me that they’d be able to use his blood during the trial. I would think they’d have to complete the trial for the whole purification thing to take hold. Which makes me think that there still could be a role for Dean to play in the final trial. (Hey, I always have hope.)

One thing, though…Abbadon as their practice demon? Really? Okay, so maybe it was a good idea in concept, but they were much too sloppy in the execution of the plan. One could argue a number of things – they didn’t think sewing her back together again would work so they didn’t paint a devil’s trap on the ground…or they just took for granted that the bullet would keep her trapped (in which case they should have put her hands far, far, far away from her AND not sewn on her feet). But the bottom line was that they totally screwed the pooch on that one, letting Abbadon get away. Still. That said? I kinda loved seeing her again. I liked her cool smoke trick when we met her several epis ago.

As I filter down through the emotion and reaction of this episode, two components settle to the bottom for me: Crowley’s attack on the boys, and the Cas & Merv Plan to shut down Heaven.

I’ll start with the angels.

I’ve already covered the whole “aw, man!” reaction to Cas being the one to start in on the trials, so let’s go to what the trials will do. Metatron sticks his head out from the rock he’s been hiding under for a millennium, sees Heaven is broken, thinks his dysfunctional family needs to be locked in a room together to hash it out so he picks the one warrior angel just desperate enough to “fix” things to be his Huckleberry. I know he said that the warring factions in Heaven would eventually spill down onto Earth, but is now the best time to take away all the angels from Earth? Are all of them (except Cas…right now at least) bad-ish?

His caution to Dean about choosing wisely and taking into consideration what the world would look like if they closed the gates seemed to make a lot of sense. His sudden push to close Heaven at the same time…doesn’t. Not really. I like Metatron and yet…I don’t know if I trust him completely. Call it a gut feeling, and I hope I’m wrong, but his plan seemed almost…selfish.

And if they close down Heaven and Hell…where will everyone go when they die? Purgatory? Because we’ve only talked about demons here…not vamps, werewolves, wendigo, shtriga, the whole alphabet of monsters out there. I honestly can’t decide if I’m intrigued by this turn of events or completely confused by it. Either way, I’m dying to know what happens, so there’s that at least.

Cas…this guy has just been through it this season. His Dean-focused grocery trip – complete with beef jerky, beer, Busty Asian Beauties, and pie (or at least an attempt for pie) – broke my heart a little, but his ramble to Metatron that he broke Heaven and tried to atone, tried penance, betrayed his friends to protect the angels secrets and has just failed…well, that broke it the rest of the way. He really has tried, but Dean’s right…he’s like a child. A child who doesn’t seem to be able to stop running out into traffic.

And I honestly don’t know if I feel like Cas decided shutting down Heaven was really a good idea, or if he was just swayed by a fellow angel and the idea of getting his family – his angelic family, I mean – back. It almost seemed like he was played, in a way, not that he knew this was the right choice, down in his gut. He’s just searching for something to “fix” things, and wants so badly to make things right between himself and all those he feels he’s wronged – Dean especially – I just think he was a bit…vulnerable.

Now, Crowley and the war he declared on our boys.

He’s bounced all around, hasn’t he? It’s hard to believe now, after tonight’s maneuver, that the boys ever worked with him. Or for him. Or however you want to look at it. Unfortunately, all their dealings with him left them exposed. The fact that Abbadon knew him as a ‘salesman’ worked perfectly. He knew what to say, how to say it, and how to twist the situation to either get what he wanted or save his own hide. And he sure knew how to hurt our boys.

As it was with What is and What Should Never Be, seeing all the good they’ve done, all the lives they’ve saved, unravel before their eyes…that’s probably the only way to truly get under their skin. To shake them to their core. Playing on their own motto, allowing them to try and then annihilating their chance at success and hope all in one swift blow. He’s playing psychological warfare and he has a friggin’ arsenal. Pretty clever using Chuck’s books, too, to pick apart those they saved, one-by-one.

Tommy from Wendigo was a pretty random choice, but I was okay with it (though, gah…gruesome death). Sarah, though…. Now, that one hurt. I liked Sarah. I liked her with Sam! And then to allow Sarah and Sam that moment where we learned that Sarah got married and had a daughter not yet one year old…and then to kill her. Oh, Show. You are cruel…cruel.

I get that they had to show how evil Crowley is and I get that they had to make it hurt for the boys – apparently especially for Sam as he’s the one who has to physically do the trials – but I honestly and truly didn’t like that. It's a rough way to tell a story, to create an impact, and after awhile the boys are just going to get numb to loss. Mary and John were bad enough. Jo, Ellen, Bobby...I mean, jeeze. Watching Sarah choke to death and being utterly helpless to stop it? That was as rough. I just have to wonder who's next on the death list?

*gasp* I just thought of something. Jodie Mills. They had BETTER not kill her off, too, or I will…I will…I will probably do nothing but type curses. With three exclamation points!!!

Crowley’s tried so many angles to get at them, to wear them down, to weaken them, and he finally found it, finally found the chink in their armor and is shoving in a double-edged sword. I was pretty impressed with his voice-over bad-guy speech. I thought that was a nice piece of writing and was artfully delivered. The fact that the hex bag was in the cell phone, I can’t even…. That was a gut-punch to us all.

And, in hindsight, we should have seen it, I think. After all, Crowley did say that the boys would try because they always try. And he was way too confident. I am always suspicious of a confident bad guy. He set that up from the start...though I'd love to know how he got to their phone. And when.

I think it’s funny that they had to wait until they got back to the Batcave to talk about if Sam was okay and have Dean talk about the fact that they stick to the plan. The MoL Bunker is in Kansas. Sarah died in Indianapolis, IN. Having driven between Lawrence, KS, and Indianapolis, IN, many many times over the past decade, I can tell you it’s an 8 hour drive on a good day. I can’t imagine them not discussing it at all during that time, can you? *laugh*

The thing I don’t really get, though, is…if they already know what the 3rd trial is, and they don’t need the tablet to complete it, why don’t they just give it to Crowley and continue on with the trials? It’s not like Crowley knows what the trial is or could translate it to find out. Not in time -- they're two trials in. He just knows that it has something to do with one of his Hellish things based on the previous two, so he’s being overly cautious and locking his demons in their rooms.

Shoot, they should just tell him they’ll give it to him, and only him, and then trap him and cure him. Done and done. *easy for you to say, Gaelic*

So…next week is it.

For Dean, the journey out of Purgatory, through PTSD, back to his brother and his life as a hunter, having a vampire friend, leaving his vampire friend, killing his vampire friend, stepping aside as his brother takes on the trials that could change not only their lives, purpose, and destiny but the future of the entire human race, stalwartly performing the one job his father had put on his shoulders as a child, carrying his brother through the test of their lives…will come to a close.

For Sam, the shift from a normal life with a woman he loves (and a dog), back into hunting, through dealing with the guilt of his actions and inactions, choosing once and for all to live the life of a hunter, finding focus and seeing his brother clearly (perhaps for one of the first times in his life), taking on the trials that will allow him to earn the sacrifices made for him and (hopefully) rid the world of an evil that has traumatized his entire family, and finally having the opportunity to cleanse himself of the demon blood he was poisoned with as a baby…will be realized.

One way or another, it’ll be over – this season, this journey, this saga. Their fight will continue, and we’ll be here to see what happens.

Because they’re our boys.

Things I loved:

  • Dean wanting to get a ping-pong table for the Batcave

  • The way Dean holds pain in his eyes, even as his face is cool and impassive (re: the “take your apology and cram it up your ass” scene)

  • The fact that the case that led them to find the ‘cure film’ was #1138 (die-hard Star Wars fans will know this, but George Lucas’ first film, pre-Star Wars, was THX1138)

  • Dean’s face when he tells the priest that there is no doubt in his mind that Sam’s gonna cross that finish line (or, you could change this to Dean’s face, full stop)

  • Cas on the best grocery shopping trip ever

  • This line: “I need pie.”


Things I liked:

  • The fact that the MoL records room had demon files on Lizzie Bordon and Ichabod Crane

  • Sam’s totally awkward, “Do we have a room 7B?” interruption of Dean and Cas’ pain-laced, angry, apologetic exchange

  • The fact that the MoLs had classifications of ‘weird’ like the Fujita Scale

  • This exchange: “…so, we have a dungeon.” “Finally!”

  • Winchester Movie Night - complete with Jiffy Pop

  • Metatron going by ‘Merv’ in public

  • This line: “It worked! You owe me a beer.”

  • Abbadon’s hand pulling a 'Thing' from the Adams' Family and removing the devil's trap bullet via her mouth – creepy, but clever

  • Dean saying ‘kick it in the ass’ in his “we’ll figure this out” speech

Things that were meh:

  • Okay, IF Chuck’s books were Crowley’s only source of information for finding out who the boys had saved (as he seemed to indicate), then once again, tsk, tsk writers. Jenny “Hearts In my Cupcakes” Klein was from Season 7’s Shut Up, Dr. Phil. NOT in the books. I can hand-wave with the best of them, and I can ease up on the nit-picking, too, but a few of these have piled up this season. I mean, crimeny, writers. There are about 47 bagillion places you can go to check your own canon. (Though, I will say, Dean's "You were a great gal, Jenny Klein," line was nice.)

  • As the seasoned hunters we know they are, I'm disappointed that they were so sloppy with Abbadon. They should have put her hands much further away from her, at the very least. Which is probably the weirdest thing I've written all day.

Things to add to my list of questions:

  • I think it’s interesting that an angel could complete the trials on the angel tablet. I guess we didn’t hear any limitations on the demon tablet, but I just find it…interesting. I wonder…if he’s successful, does that mean Cas will get sucked into Heaven with the rest of the angels? And has he thought of that? Of the fact that he’ll have to say goodbye to the boys for as long as Heaven is closed? And that the boys will have no chance of going there one day?

  • I also think it’s interesting that there is only one Nephilim in existence. And that she was able to almost take down two other angels. Wonder if her human side gave her a strength advantage?

  • Anyone else intrigued by the fact that Abbadon knew Crowley as a sales man and was outraged to find out he’s the King of Hell? Just me? Oh.



Thanks so much for reading and for taking time to share your thoughts with me. I know I haven’t replied to all of the comments from last week, but I will, I promise. Life has me a bit by the throat these days and there have been more than a few “barely keeping my head above water” moments. But having a weekly escape and seeing what you guys think is a great distraction, so I thank you for your time.

As it takes less time, I’m going to keep this ramble + lists – recap format for the finale next week as well. I’ll return the recap portion when I come back next season. Assuming ya’ll want me back next season, of course.

Slainte!

Comments

( 25 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
ramblin_rosie
May. 9th, 2013 07:11 am (UTC)
I'm not sure Cas and Metatron can complete the angel-tablet trials. One reason is that Cas has insisted that the tablets were not meant for angels' use. Another is that we don't know yet that the trials will even work as advertised (I speculated a bit on this point here--includes one spoiler that's not really all that spoilery). The third, related to that speculation, is that you're absolutely right: Metatron wants to do this out of selfish ambition. He's been so convinced of his own value in the grand scheme of things that he's hidden under a rock for millennia... yet no one even thought to look for him! And Cas is not without selfish ambition, either, or he'd quit leaning on his own understanding and listen to Dean. He seems to have forgotten that wanting to fix Heaven is precisely what caused him to break it so badly--not that it wasn't already messed up by what Michael and Raphael had done, but you get the picture. Plus, Sam could right the wrong of having started the Apocalypse easily enough by shoving Lucifer back in the Cage, but what Cas did is more on a par with Adam and Eve breaking Earth by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; according to Anselm, only humankind needed to make restitution for the Fall, but no human could possibly be good enough to make the sacrifice needed. (Of course, the rest of the argument goes that only God could fix things, so the only solution was for God to become Man in the person of Jesus Christ, but somehow I doubt we'll get that kind of storyline. And probably just as well, too. Just put everything back in the Righteous Man's hands and we'll be golden.)
And no, I don't believe Metatron's telling the whole truth about the angel-tablet trials. Note that, so far as we've seen, he didn't give Cas the "security code" spell to recite at the end of the trial.

As for the books: I strongly suspect that the increased references to them, especially to the ones that hadn't been published prior to "Swan Song," is a hint that Chuck is still alive and well and writing but somehow off the boys' radar. Becky can't have taken up the mantle because she and Chuck broke up before "Swan Song," and "Hunteri Heroici" is the first time anyone has mentioned that Chuck is missing. I don't think Becky even knew.

ANYWAY. Agree on all the rest, I think! And I think your "*easy for you to say, Gaelic*" is exactly where they're headed--"heaping burning coals" and alllll that. :D Very curious now to see how it all turns out and where it's headed next season!
impala1967
May. 9th, 2013 08:37 am (UTC)
Well Gaelic you pretty well sumed it up for me. I too was dissapointed that Dean won't do any Angel trials. I had hoped that these tablets would mirror the boys destinies but it wasn't to be.

I do honestly beleive, and it has taken me 4 years of always hoping it would be otherwise, that Dean will not get an amazing storyline that will carry him through a season. He will always be the support role to Sam, the side-kick to the main character Sam no matter how much is voiced on the net that we want more for him. The writers have the idea of Dean , even if our idea differs, and they will not be swayed.

I had hoped with Carver coming on board that it might change but this season has showed that even with a major change in leadership the shows writing will not change. I now have to get myself into a place over the next few months during hiatus so that when SPN returns and nothing changes for Deans story I will not be so sad and disappointed each episode when I see him side lined.

The writers need a kick up their arses again for forgeting canon. Again I say, fandom knows these things, so should they.

I soooo don't trust Metatron, going with my gut but he seemed 'sneaky' and Cas, what are you doing man. They say things come in threes and is this going to be the third way of betraying Dean.

So Sam decides to give it up to Crowley (geez am so over him, can't wait for Abaddon to gank him) how does he get well again?

I did wonder if next week Sam walks away from hunting. He said at the start that he was going to stop hunting and now that he sees what could have been with Sarah and how sick he has been, will it make him take that final step. Oh well I suppose all will be revealed next week.

Catch you then

*Hugs*

J
kitap
May. 9th, 2013 11:25 am (UTC)
The show should not be about Sam and Alice from The Brady Bunch, but that is apparently how Carver sees Sam and Dean.

Of course they've also made Dean so irritated he's about 3 steps away from just walking away. And if he does SAM, good luck in finding him again.
megumiogata_1
May. 9th, 2013 11:43 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing. :)
spike247uk
May. 9th, 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
thanks for another wonderful recap!

I agree with you and Impala1967 - I have spent, since season 5, getting my hopes up that Dean would have a decent storyline and get to be more than the support roles he continues to be cast in....but alas, it hasn't materialised and I fear never will.

Not that I dislike Sam, I just feel that after 8 seasons we've never really seen any of Dean's issues being fully realised; recognition for being the major caregiver for both Sam & John, going to Hell, being the righteous man, going to purgatory. I really am starting to lose hope that Dean will have this recognition of all the trials he has had to go through - and then once again have to put them aside to look after others.

I've liked this series - but I am unsure as to what season 9 will bring us, and if it's more dissapointment I'm not sure if I'll carry on watching.....

Edited at 2013-05-09 11:57 am (UTC)
primrose_1
May. 9th, 2013 12:13 pm (UTC)
My station decided to preempt Supernatural for soccer, and air it at, according to their schedule 9:40. That's when my DVR started recording, anyway. ARGH! Of course the game ended early, so they started airing the show early, and I missed the first ten minutes of the episode- I started with watching the movie. It's not fair!

Seeing the preview for next week, I get this episode. Abbadon is tougher than Crowley, she's going to try to take over hell, Crowley is in place to get cured, and this episode needed to set that up. I just felt like the writers were sloppy about it just to get the finale the way they want. I can't imagine the boys looking for a demon, and thinking, "Hey, lets sew up the one we cut up and buried months ago." REALLY? Did I miss an explanation at the beginning? And then her escape? Yes, the boys were distracted, but they are more careful than that. It felt sloppy.

Cas grocery shopping was funny, but it irritated me at the same time. Last season he had spent months living as a human, and was MARRIED (he's never ONCE thought of his wife? REALLY?) I can't believe she didn't send him to the store for milk, and say, "Oh for the love of God, will you stop playing with the eggs? You're embarrassing me, and I don't care if you are an amnesiac" or, "I need you to get something from the store, will you please just follow the list and stop knocking over the store shelves?" I just think he's spent enough time in the human world to not be a complete idiot.

Thinking about your lots. Hang in there, Lady.
(Anonymous)
May. 9th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
maz
It kind of sums up something rather sad that my son, with whom I have always shared the love (not the swooning DeanFanGirl sort, you understand - that's all me) and the discussion and the admiration of this show, has now turned his back on it. Course, it may be that it really is so not cool to get at all fannish with your mum (and yes, I really would prefer that he actually does have a real life and lives it) but still (as we walked to dogs), we sometimes used to have pretty good debates on what the writers were doing or planning with these characters and stories. But apparently, no more, and really... I can't blame him at the moment. He mutters things like 'repetitive', 'going nowhere', 'don't really care anymore', 'seen it before' - things I can't really deny despite all that great stuff that's still here.
As usual, I agree with your assessments in every way (those continuity mistakes are unforgivable IMHO) - your's is the voice of reason. I just wish the writers didn't need you reasoning for them. I wish you were writing instead of them!
I also really wish I was more excited about the prospect of the finale and the hope of Dean's part to play - JA's done a great job with what's been given but he deserves more.
*Please* do ramble next season too - I need you.
Maz
apieceofcake
May. 9th, 2013 12:45 pm (UTC)
I should be used to being disappointed over what they do with Dean :-( They start things off which have the potential to be really good and they never follow through..still really pisses me off! They better have something epic lined up for him for next season or I'm gonna go up there and kick some butts ;-) Grr..

And yeah they are getting sloppy..how long would it take for someone who really knows the show/storylines or who can research to check first before filming!

Sarah...*wails* I really liked her!!!!!!!!!! *sigh*

Crowley is such a good character but how much more can they do/go with him.

I didn't feel sorry for Cas.


*huggles*

xx.
borgmama1of5
May. 9th, 2013 01:06 pm (UTC)
Emotionally the episode left me with a knot in my gut about the impossible situation the boys were left in. I was actually really happy for a change that the preview gave away a big scene because otherwise I don't think I would survive this week from anxiety.(And really, I don't need to spend my week tied up in knots over a TV show!)

However, from a logic POV I was infuriated.
-Put Abbadon back together without any precautions?!?! I am so upset about how STUPID they made the boys for that, when it would have been so easy to have her chair in a devil's trap, and then the hand could have crawled down and scratched open the trap. I'll give them the ease with which she got the bullet out (which Cas did last week too) and yeah, leaving her alone was bad but getting a call from Crowley could take priority...but where was their basic hunter common sense???
-Set up a terrible moral quandry for Cas and then give him an easy out in making the nephilim go bad after all, so what was the point in making her sweet and innocent initially?
-Where is Kevin? He's just...forgotten.
-Cas being played and not consulting with Dean--been there, done that.
-Jenny from season 7 as a victim--the writer couldn't think of any other rescuees from the first 5 seasons? I give up, all season the writers' have been sloppy with canon. I guess we should assume anything prior to season 8 is just a suggestion.

Sigh. I am thisclose to writing season 8 off...The only thing still keeping me watching is the brothers' relationship now, they are finally back to being there for each other...and the Batcave, which is cool and has so much potential. Except for not being used--why didn't they reassemble Abbadon in that perfect dungeon???

Sigh. It helps that you are still enthusiastic, maybe if I reread this enough times I will feel better...
a_phoenixdragon
May. 9th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
OMG, once again - ALL OF THIS.

I was so shocked at SEEING Sarah, then...SARAH'S DEAD?! WHUT?! NO CPR?! BURN THE HEXBAG AND CPR, DAMMIT!! Noooo!! *Throws things*

Must say, though...Crowley's plan is wickedly dead on. He THINKS like them now - and that makes him twice as dangerous. They say 'the devil you know' - but I think this time, that adage doesn't stick.

Merv's up to some shit. He took advantage of Cas' being vulnerable. I CAN FEEL IT.

And Abaddon was BEYOND pissed. Can't say I blame her. Then again, she HAS been out of the world for a long, long time.

What a rookie move! Leaving her by herself. No protection. Hands at easy access. AFTER SPILLING THEIR PLANS FOR THE THIRD TRIAL. Seriously?! REALLY?! They've gotten as bad as the demons! OMG...

Lovely Ramble as always, sweetie. Thank you for taking the time to do this - especially when we know life is treating you so well. I hope these Rambles are a balm for you as well...

*HUGS*
tyrsibs
May. 9th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Hi, Gaelic, Barb here--I'll try not to babble too much, like I did last week. I enjoyed your ramble, as ever (and will keep checking back with you as long as you want to write these! You always bring out interesting lines of thought and surprise me with details that I missed, and I appreciate that your blog is a "safe zone". I've wandered around other sites over the last couple of months, and sometimes been outright shocked at the levels of negativity on some of them. That you are able to keep things positive, and see things from several points of view, means a lot!)

This episode wasn't as strong as last weeks', but I thought it was intense--Crowley coming at the brothers head on instead of his usual sidewise swipe proved absolutely terrifying, and though I guessed that Sarah wasn't going to make it, that scene was still almost unbearable. The pieces are set for the finale in a mostly satisfying way, and I really cannot fathom where they're going to end up!

You know I watch these with my husband, and while I wouldn't call him a rule-whipper, he doesn't have much patience for plot holes or oversights on the part of characters--he hated the whole thing with Abbadon. I think I may react more positively to such stuff as an automatic response to his criticism. His biggest beef was having the boys leave her unattended, not to mention not taking her to their spiffy new dungeon for their experiment in the first place. I get it, but I'm with you, I'm just ridiculously happy to have her back in the game.

I do understand your feelings about Dean, I really do--the fangirl inside me was utterly dismayed by the thought that it would be Cas and not Dean dealing with the angel tablet. What part is left for him, here? Perhaps there really is more to the "righteous man" role that will play out next season--though I have to say, I think he fulfilled his destiny on that score by showing up at that cemetery and stopping the fight before it began. He did stop the apocalypse, just not in the way the angels had planned. I don't know, still sitting tight and crossing my fingers that Carver and Co. have something juicy in mind.

That doesn't involve death.

Unless it's Death.

For either of our heroes.

I've gone on longer than I intended, so I will stop now. Til next time, take care of yourself and yours!
(Anonymous)
May. 10th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
Good review. I was a little disappointed to see that Dean wasn't going to do the Angel trials but my disappointment is utterly meaningless because the season isn't over yet and Cas may not end up doing them either. The Cas/Metatron teamup came from left field for me but I don't want the writers repeating the same Cas story over and over. Its already tired to see Cas jump into something without giving it any thought and f***int it up yet again.

I'm a little miffed about the writers not getting canon correct this season but that small thing is overshadowed by all the great new shiny stuff they've shown us this season -devil's trap bullets (which is what they may use on Crowley to capture him The Batcave, the Men of Letters, golems and Abaddon. Plus thistle season really got the fans riled up and speculating. I haven't seen this much frenetic typing/brain activity since season five. Hello!

That said though I'm getting really tired of people referring to Dean as the sidekick. That's just mean and disrespectful. Dean is the leader the sargeant, the alpha of this pack and that in no way equates with sidekick. For the record I'm not a Deangirl. I'm definately Bi -Brow so this constant demeaning of their relationship just be pause the writers aren't doing what you want them to do with this character is getting pretty tired.


I have found that whenever the writers do thesame old thing we all b**ch and moan but when they do all new stuff we weren't expel ting or just don't like (AMELIA) we b**ch and moan about that too. They are never going to please all of us. They are only ever going to please a handful of people so the writers are going to ignore all the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair and just do as they darn well please. Itseems a lot of people had a lot of problems to complain about all season long. But I don't care. As long as the brothers are together and on the same page and there's a plot then everything else is meaningless.
ladyarcherfan3
May. 10th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
The feeling the last few episodes have left me with is that the writers have a bunch of awesome ideas, but have managed to run out of episodes to tell them with. So a lot of things have felt rushed and a bit sloppy in general.

That said, there is a lot of things I liked about this episode. Dean's absolute conviction in Sam's ability to see this thing done, Sam's acceptance that he's weak and allowing Dean to help him, the levity the brothers manage to have between the darker aspects, and even Dean's harshness to Cas were all good things in my mind. Abbadon's return was a bit icky, but she's generally cool, so I'm okay with her. :)

Metatron started out cool, but I don't trust him anymore. It seems way too easy for him to say "Oh yeah, this is what the tablets say, here's what you have to do." Is he really closing Heaven or is there some other plan in mind. He's been out of Heaven long enough to learn how to manipulate based on emotions, and probably hasn't been exposed to Naomi, so he's got his own agenda. If we can believe his story.

Crowley's war on the boys ripped my heart to shreds. Sarah was such a fantastic character, and I wanted to see her again... but nothing is safe. I'm also afraid for Sheriff Mills.

Cas's shopping trip initially made me wonder if Misha took artistic inspiration from his son, as seen here and here. But one has to wonder at the fact that Cas has been hanging out with humans for quite a while, he can't be that bad at pretending to be normal, can he?

I also think it’s interesting that there is only one Nephilim in existence. Me too. Seriously, it was forbidden, don't tell me there aren't more. You forbid something and instantly it become popular. Also, that was such an interesting concept that could have been played with more, and then they killed her after what, 10 minutes? *sigh*
And that she was able to almost take down two other angels. Wonder if her human side gave her a strength advantage? Hybridization usually results in increased vigor in the offspring... *takes animal science degree and hides in a corner*

I hope you are doing well, and continue to take care of yourself.

Edited at 2013-05-10 01:08 am (UTC)
iontas
May. 10th, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
Of course we want you back next year!

So there were some highs and lows for me in this episode. The Dean/Cas interactions were great, if not painful. I think if Dean didn't care so much about Cas he wouldn't be so mad at him. Sam's saying to cut him a break because he is Cas I think is more about the fact the Cas is just so odd. As in, what did you expect? Dean expects more and I think he is right. So Cas learned nothing from when he didn't trust Dean and ended up killing nearly all of heaven. So then he doesn't trust Dean with the Angel tablet. And even after that went to hell in a hand basket, he doesn't ask Dean what he thinks about the Metadude's plan to close heaven. Really Cas are you that stupid?

I did love the grocery shopping though - adorable.

Ok, they have seconds to find a hex bag. Could you try to call Cas who can zip around a room at lightening speed? Wouldn't you at least try? Writers!

If Sam is so smart then he should have know he was nauseated not nauseous. Would have been funny if Dean called him on it. Although I am beginning to find him nauseous every time he does the blood in the hand thing. Enough with that already!

Oh, the Abbadon thing irritated me! Yes, cool on the sewing together thing. But no Devil's trap - seriously? Crowley was just a crossroads demon, so I can see why she would not be impressed with him. It does make me wonder where all the other more frightening demons went and why Crowley got to take over. Did the boys really get rid of that many?

I thought the same thing about the Angel tablet, so you are not alone. I was disappointed that Dean didn't get to do it. But I think that Dean was the one to stop the Apocalypse. If he didn't go to confront Lucifer, then Sam never could have gained control and jumped in the pit. Dean was ready to die to do it. It seems to me that Dean is the one that always has to carry the consequences. Or at least the mortal consequences. It could be that I just favor him though!


I don't trust Metadude. I thought for a minute that he could be god hiding out again. I am not sure what he is up to.

So the episode was a bit of a bummer for me. The little things were what made it ok. The interactions between Dean, Sam, and Cas made it all worthwhile. I can't see how they can wrap it up in one episode though!
iontas
May. 11th, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)
So I just watched it again and as usual I liked it better the second time around. I was thinking last night that the reason that the boys have been screwing up so much is because they are distracted by what is going on with Sam. I could see that Dean is especially distracted. This may be an excuse on my part, but they deserve the benefit of the doubt! Also, Dean did say they were going to consecrate the ground around Abadon, so if Crowley hadn't called then things would have gone ok. But still, a big slip up on their part.

The more I watched Merv and Cas, it really looked like Merv was up to something. When he said, he couldn't do the trials that he was just a scribe, well so was Chuck. Also, he is kind of funky like Chuck. And he seemed angry about the Nephilim, maybe as angry as god? Who knows, but he is up to something I think.

I am still bummed that they couldn't save Sarah. It looks like the hex bag was in the hotel phone handset, not their cell phone. That would make more sense. I still wish they had tried to revive her.

So it was better the second time around. The first half was awesome, and by golly Dean/Jensen was gorgeous in it all. The story may be Sam's, but Dean is carrying the show right now. Although I feel like Jensen always does because he is so there in every scene. His exchanges with Cas, the priest, and then Sam at the end were all pitch perfect. And that is why I will always come back to this show. Ok, now I think I am getting excited about next week!

I hope that you and your family are doing well. You are in my thoughts. Hugs!
lovinjackson
May. 10th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
I am still hurting over Sarah. I mean ... really? Whyyyyy! It was so cruel and hopeless and ... cruel and I liked her so much. She was one of the ones they saved that really stuck with me because she's been one of the few chicks I have liked with Sammy. And yeah, I get why ... but ... Nooooo...

I did starting writign an answer to your last ramble but work knocked me for six and I never got back to it. So know I am reading and I am trying to reply when I can ;)

Cas trying to make it up to Dean with Porn and Pie? Priceless. I understand Dean being angry and I totally agree with you that he needs to be let to get that out of his system because he was hurt and you;re right he does tend to hurt more and longer with Cas because ... well like you said he is chosen family.

I ache for Cas. To me, it seems like he has forever been searching for the right thing to do. Like when he let the Levi's out ... and now this. I liked Metatron .... but I dont trust him. There is just something about him that I feel he has his own agenda. Maybe this show has made me skeptical in my old age LOL

Im riding there with you, my friend. WORD!!!!!
pandi19
May. 10th, 2013 03:57 am (UTC)
Hi Name Buddy!

I just want you to know that I've thought about you quite a bit this week & prayed. *hugs*

I liked this week's episode although it was heavy both in subject matter and on the heart. More than once I caught myself saying "oooohhh." So obviously I learned a lot. :)

I wrote my lists as I watched (which I haven't always done, but started a couple eps ago), so our lists have a few similarities. But I love that. :)

Love:
- Dean (because he's always #1)
- “So we have a dungeon.” “Finally.” I loved Dean’s expression.
- Dean’s faith in Sam
- “You don’t understand. I. Need. Pie.” *giggle*
- Cas running with/after Metatron. “You’re Metatron?”
- “Do miss the old haircut though.” *LAUGH* That’s 2 eps now with Sam-hair comments.

Like:
- “Borden, Lizzie.” That actually would explain A LOT about what happened with her family’s murder.
- Cas’ shopping trip. It reminded me of Misha’s YouTube videos where he cooks with his son, West.
- Marv. Haha…where’d he come up with that? His vessel?
- Fully understanding the angel ranks (maybe it clicked for me later than everybody else) -- the clear difference between Metatron (paper-pusher) and Cas (warrior)

Intrigued aka I'm such a nerd:
- Definition of a demon
- Nephilim
- New exorcism to cleanse
- Men of Letters record keeping skills
- Angel Tablet trials

Sad:
- How Dean feels about Cas’ actions *sniff sniff*
- Killing Sarah. I loved her too…and not-so-secretly held out hope that Sam could be with her eventually.
- Crowley shoving the family motto in their faces.
- Sam’s hopelessness at the end of the episode.

Meep!
- Abbadon’s hand crawling out of the box!

I have questions following this episode like you do...especially the Angel Tablet trials. I just thought a human would need to complete them. So, will Cas change with each trial being finished like Sam has? What's Marv's motive for this?

Also with Abbadon...what's her end game? Did I miss it? I only got one viewing in before typing this up, so I could have missed it.

One thing that was the deepest cuts this week was Crowley targeting all the people the boys saved. That's the one thing that keeps them together. And if all of the survivors die, what do they have? Along those lines though, my muse woke up a bit and starting thinking there's a story in there...somewhere.... :)

Lovely Ramble, friend. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts, this really is my favorite part of the week, well, after our show. So, if you still want to write these next season, I will gladly read and if you don't I may beg you to email me your thoughts.

See you after next week's episode. And after Arrow!
Mandi
candygramme
May. 10th, 2013 04:08 am (UTC)
Sarah's loss was doubly tragic, but if Crowley really wants to break the boys, I think he should go for Ben. That would pretty much kill Dean, I think. I just hope that he reaches for Jesse before he thinks of Ben.
kitap
May. 10th, 2013 11:17 am (UTC)
If Crowley were really really smart he'd've gone after Sam and Dean and killed them. Seriously all he's done now is make himself #1 on the "beings Dean is going to kill" list. Not a place or list you want to be on.
(Anonymous)
May. 10th, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you once again for a wonderful recap.

As I may have mentioned before, I'm a bit blah about Cas, so having Dean angry with him sits very right with me. In my humble opinion, Dean should have been royally pissed off with him for ages, but hey ... I'm not writing this, so I don't call the shots. :D If I did write this, the angle-story would be over and done with, but *shrugs*. That's life.

Anyway, back on topic here. I can't help thinking that the whole change that Sam's going through isn't a cleansing. I can't shake the feeling that he's not supposed to come out alive in the end. But maybe that's just me being pessimistic here. :)

That the angels can close Heaven ... no, that doesn't make any sense. Besides, who's to say that Metatron doesn't have an ulterior agenda here? Keep Cas away from the boys and watch them fail or something along those lines?

Even though I'm kinda fed up with the whole angel deal, I can't help wondering what Naomi's agenda is. She's definitely not one of the good guys.

I guess I'm tired of the angels because you never know where they stand. Demons are so wonderfully straight forward. They're evil, they want to hurt you, period. Angels are supposed to be the opposite, but they're not, because most of the time they behave just like demons. And they also possess people, which has been a general issue for me from the start. *g* And they're snooty about it too. I just want the guys to find something or someone who can put them all in their place and be done with it, ya know? Get back to basics. Saving people, hunting things, the family business.

All in all I agree with your view on this. And I think it's about damned time that Dean gets a little pissy with Cas. He's not exactly been a good friend in any of this. *tsk*
cathy1967
May. 10th, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
Damn! Just posted a reply and it did it anonymously and it's not showing up. If you've got one waiting that isn't named (and is anti-Cas), that'll be me. *L*

Otherwise I'll have to recompose it. *sighs*

Loved the ramble, as always.
taylorariel
May. 11th, 2013 06:26 am (UTC)
Honestly, you summarized this all so well I really don't have much to add.

This second-to-last-episode of the season was just "eh" for me. But it has been such a lousy season I really wasn't expecting more.

Yes, the boys were really stupid when it came to trapping-and holding- Abbadon. But they have been written so poorly this season I wasn't really surprised. I did think that when they brought up the dungeon they might have brought her THERE but I guess a barn was safer....RIGHT.

Well, perhaps next week they will finally get rid of Crowley once and for all. Love the actor but HATE the character. He is one of the reasons this show is turning into a joke so I will be glad if he is gone by season's end.

Dean has had absolutely no role in this entire season so really am not expecting anything from him next week. I do not understand how Jensen has been able to read these lines and act this role this season. Perhaps he has been so gleefully focused on his little girl's coming arrival that he has just let this all roll off of him.

I wish I could.

I hope life holds a steady grip for you and that you find some peace in the days ahead.

Best to you and yours always.
MD
bagginsdvm
May. 12th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
I adore Mark Sheppard & what he's done with the role, but Crowley is no longer endearing to any degree after what he did this episode. Of course that is the writers' choice, but killing Sarah was truly a sucker punch for me, especially upon learning that she had an infant daughter at home. It certainly worked to demoralize the boys ... and fans like me. Crowley will get his comeuppance, of that I trust in the Winchesters!

I loved seeing more of the MoL bunker's secrets, but I'm still waiting for a garage for Baby. She deserves one!

My opinion of Metatron is still in development, but I am not trusting him. It does seem like he is playing Cas...

I loved everything about your Ramble. Please keep writing them! I can't believe the season finale is nearly upon us!
(Anonymous)
May. 13th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
From the fanboy demographic
Agreed on the confusion this week. Thre writing does seem to ge betting sloppy. Maybe I'm not the sharpest tool, but come on. Getting too left-field makes the story weaker. Agreed on the screw up with Abadon, you'd think they'd start smaller with stunt demon #3 and see if it worked first. They are after all living in the Letters' HQ because she killed them all. Didn't think about them trapping and curing Crowley, but that would actually be awesome.
Liked Sam still fighting the good fight and Dean still propping him up. Castiel's storyline is probably the most mangled at this point, so was interesting Castiel is taking on the Heaven side of the trials, never know, maybe Dean'd forgive him for that. Liking the demon side in this one - Demons haven't been scary for a while now, nice to see Crowley actually being a threat and the demons a little more visceral. The Letters are awesome. Agreed - they could get some good stories out of that place. And the dungeon in the basement - not so squeaky clean after all.
Next week being the finale is a bummer though. Ramble on!
jesters_tear82
May. 14th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
Great ramble, Gaelic. I pretty much agree with you on everything :) Poor boys & mostly Sam for losing Sara, it was a kick to the gut but that's exactly what Crowley wanted, to shock Sam so he'd stop with the third trial (& really, it's not about the tablet anymore..)

Kudos to Dean for staying strong in his belief in his brother & just knowing they can do it, it's like a role reversal from the end of season 5, having faith despite the impossible odds. Cas & the angel tablet - seems a bit rushed to me, the demon tablets we chase around all year & the angel ones are solved that easily.. *shrugs* Seems to me like Marv (LOL) is looking for a temporary solution.. or is he really? Maybe he's using Cas to close heaven for good? & is there a way to reverse the angel & demon trials? I wonder..

- Chuck - is he really dead? & if so, he may be in hell..(like Bobby was)- maybe he's still writing from there :P Anywho if not, he could have unpublished manuscripts that Crowley somehow got his hands on.

Now I'm dying to know what the final sacrifice will be..!!
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