First, let me apologize for this being late. Or, well, later than usual. I feel like if I post on Thursdays, I get more of you to swing by, read, chat. But I don't want to NOT post just because Thursday wasn't possible, so here I am.
It was a tough week; my maternal grandfather passed away last week and his funeral was on Tuesday the 9th...in my hometown in IN. For so many reasons, I couldn't not go, even though the trip ended up entailing a 20 hr round trip from KS to IN in a snowstorm. Both ways. The Impala must have magic seats with all the driving our boys do...my lower back was Not. Happy. It was a good service and it was great to see so much of my (very large) family, but I was emotionally and physically wiped out when I returned to my crazy job on Thursday...which is why it's Saturday and you're just hearing from me. Hope a few of you are still out there.
So, we have ten more episodes to go this season; several people commented last Ramble that they were ready to get back to the mytharc and find out what is going on -- but I think that I like how they are slowly parceling out information to us. Even with these MotW episodes, we learn a little bit about the boys and their connection to the arc (though, admittedly, last week not so much). It has to be a challenge to strike the right balance across 23 episodes between over-arching storyline, history, MotW, and sub-plots. I don't want them to give us too much of the mytharc story too soon...just as I really would like it mostly wrapped up by the end of this season. Yeah. Balance.
I thought this MotW turn was a good spin on a Valentine's Day tie-in. We once more got a new creature--a Karine (sp?), which even the boys had never heard of before, and that hasn't happened in a while--and we had the boys on a basic hunt while also revealing glimpses of their personal layers that need to be exposed. And the point about not talking to each other = bad things happen was made once more, only this time with characters other than our favorite brothers.
To be honest, I thought the story/hunt was sad. All Melissa wanted was to get her husband's love and attention back. Not that he deserved to come back, but...still. She loved him and her heart was broken. Let this be a lesson to you, kiddies: if you suspect your partner is shtupping the babysitter, talk to them...don't take magical advice from your hairdresser. Just...don't. Also? If you're planning on schtupping the babysitter, maybe turn off the nannycam first.
I liked that the Journey of Bad Guy Identification went from shapeshifter (way too easy) to witch (only partly right) to the actual source, which included brand new lore. It was interesting watching the boys work for the solution to this one -- and to realize that it wasn't a spell, but a curse.
The moment Sam revealed that the Karine would take the form of the cursed one's deepest, darkest desires, I knew Amara was going to be involved somehow. Actually, I initially suspected that she was the hairdresser/white witch because the curse was written in Aramaic -- the language of Jesus. I went with that idea until we saw the shadow of not!Dan shift into a very familiar Amara-shaped shadow. In truth, it wasn't technically Amara who was involved in this, which is just as well.
The point, though, wasn't that the boys had to confront her -- because for all their monster hunting and Life Goes On-ing, they are soooo not ready to take on god's sister. I mean, sure, they haven't found any sign of her or any way, yet, to call her out, but they also haven't even figured out what to do about it if they do find her. The demon-killing knife disintegrated when Dean tried to stab her. An angelic horde was unable to smite her. And as far as the brothers know, Lucifer is in his Cage and of no use to them.
I kinda think that they maybe should be figuring out how to light up The Darkness before they figure out how to find her.
The point, I think, to this hunt was the need for honesty between partners. Melissa should have confronted Dan about his affair, and in the end trusted magic instead and was an unwitting party to the death of both her cheating husband and the traitorous babysitter. Dean should have probably told his brother about his challenging feelings toward Amara a long time ago...and luckily keeping that quiet didn't end in his having his heart punched through his chest.
I have to admit that I was initially disappointed when Sam came down to the basement of the salon after stabbing the Karine's heart to find Dean alone--rattled and bruised, yes, but alone. I wanted Sam to know that Dean was dealing with when it came to Amara. So, you can imagine how pleased I was when Dean fessed up in the motel room that who showed up was, in fact, Amara. I'm pretty sure I said to the TV, "It's about time!"
I was surprised, though, that Sam wasn't surprised.
I mentally retraced the last several episodes and tried to pinpoint where Dean might've given away his struggle with that emotional and physical connection to Amara. Sam wasn't there for any of the moments Dean confronted Amara, and there's no way Casifer said anything to Sam about Dean's confession. My fanfic writer's brain took me to moments of Dean being distracted, staring off into space as he mentally replayed the moments of confrontation within that cloud, or the way he couldn't help but let Amara kiss him. Sam has spent a lifetime watching his brother; it couldn't be too hard to think that he might have made a connection between those moments of a lost look in Dean's eyes and their research to find Amara.
And then there are always nightmares. Dean's had them all this time, since being de-demonized. And Sam knew, heard, watched. It's entirely plausible in my mind that it could have been something like that bringing the puzzle pieces in Sam's mind closer so that Dean's confession just snapped the picture in place.
My two favorite moments in the episode were when Sam confronted Dean at the trunk of the Impala, angry that Dean had willingly put himself in danger again (and sounding for all the world like he was dying to say, I thought we were past all of this...we're in this together, man...you are supposed to know you matter to me...to the world) and when Dean haltingly confessed that he wanted Amara dead, but didn't think he was going to be able to do it and Sam quietly, confidently replied, "I got this, Dean." And Dean accepted that. That's big, for both of them. The confession, the assertion, the acceptance.
The only thing I wish they would have covered -- though it would probably have upset the pacing of the scene by cramming too much into those last few moments -- was the fact that Amara's connection to Dean is through the Mark of Cain. It's not just because she picked him...he was marked for her. Makes me wonder if she would have had that same connection to Lucifer or Cain...or if there is something special about the Righteous Man who broke in Hell and opened the last seal that allowed Lucifer to rise also bearing the Mark of Cain that connects her to him.
Just...saying. Dean's got a lot more baggage than having once carried a mark on his arm. Anyway, now Sam knows and Dean's opened up and things can move forward and shift and change from here. How about some lists, yeah?
- Dean entering the kitchen, clearly hungover, walking like his head was made of glass and could very easily tumble from his shoulders and roll down the hall if he took one wrong step. Bonus points for the hickie.
- Dean's Unattached Drifter's Christmas catch phrases: "Doing my civic duty. Helping all the single ladies."
- "Don't have to be Mr. Right; just have to be Mr. Right Now." "That's classy."
- The term Ironic Werewolf.
- Sam telling Dean he needs a shower. "You're not wrong."
- Dean's alias being Agent Weller...which was probably Paul Weller from The Jam, but I immediately thought of Kurt Weller, Sullivan Stapleton's character in Blindspot. lovinjackson, if you're reading, you know what I mean.
- The motel rooms. I mean, Oh. My. God. The set department must get a kick out of figuring out the cheesiest ways to outfit these places. Also the names: Too Tired Motel. HA!
- Dean saying 'yahtzee'. Because.
- Dean using a silver pen to test Melissa. Clever.
- Dean saying he needed to get a beer, to regroup, and to get lucky. I recently re-read a story of mine called Soldier's Eyes where Sam commented that the three main things that calmed Dean down were getting to drink, getting laid, and getting to kill a monster. I liked that the story was kinda right in line with this.
- "Didn't you just get lucky?" "That was in Kansas." Heh.
- You guys ever read that freaky story, The Monkey's Paw? If so, did you flashback to that when not!Dan knocked on the front door? Yeah, I liked the creepy factor there.
- Sam's grin when Dean returns to the motel. I mean, talk about adorable. Dean: "Any luck?" Sam (ADORABLE GRIN): "No. You?"
- Dean in a red shirt being a GIGANTIC WARNING SIGN that something bad is going to happen.
- "Magic STD...kinda makes you nostalgic for good old fashioned herpes."
- The fight in the motel room and Dean's split-second decision to kiss Melissa and divert the attention from her to him.
- "You don't have to do this! Be the martyr. Try to carry the weight by yourself."
- "What kind of FBI Agents are you?" "The fake kind."
- "Even if it's not a shape shifter it's still shifting shapes." Okay, say that five times fast. I want the blooper reel for when Jared tried to spit that number out.
- The Art of Dyeing. "Can't say she didn't warn you."
- "If she shows up here, you punch her, you stab her, you drop a freaking house on her if you have to."
- "Witch-killing bullets." "We gotta come up with a better name than that." Yes, you do. Same with Demon-killing knife, please.
- The whole Bach or Simpson conversation when Dean thinks he'll see Daisy Duke.
- Dean winning at Rock/Paper/Scissors for the first time EVER. His face and his little chuckle of delight were priceless. As was the fact that he was so surprised at winning, he didn't even care that Sam got to go upstairs anyway. #nomorescissors
- The shots of Dean's boots as he tries to out-maneuver the Karine. I don't know why, but I liked that.
- Sam totally getting why Dean can't have Amara be his deepest, darkest desire...and in doing so, reminding Dean that Sam is no angel either. He's been through stuff, seen stuff, done stuff that gives him some heavy baggage himself.
- "We need to kill The Darkness...and I don't think I can." "I got it, Dean."
- The money pinned under the cinder block as a way to compensate for the broken window. Love that little touch.
- Dan the hubs and Stacey the babysitter. Just...sigh. Cliche.
- The obvious shots of the nanny cam bear.
- Melissa saving Sam from Sonya the Witch. Sam has a lot of women to thank for saving his life lately. I mean, I liked it because yay! Melissa! But I didn't like it because if she hadn't been there, Sam would have been toast. He had no Plan B, no way to get out of that. And Dean wasn't going to save him because Dean was trying not to get his heart punched out. So, yeah.
- Dean asking what a 'dad bod' is. Whaaaat? So the little hotties he goes after when trying to get lucky think he has a 'dad bod' just because he's in his thirties? Come on.
- Melissa not immediately grabbing a weapon when she heard the knock at the door. Plus also all of those...hex bag object things she had in the house. That seemed to be one of those plot plants so that we would immediately go to 'witch' before she revealed the fact that her hairdresser gave her the "spell."
- Not bringing up the Mark of Cain as a connection between Dean and Amara -- but we covered that earlier.
- Anyone else wonder who Sam might have seen if he'd transferred the curse to himself? Deepest, darkest desire...makes me wonder if he'd see Amelia, since he's not supposed to want that life (or her) anymore. Jessica would be too obvious, and hardly dark. Or would it be something that came out of left field and surprised all of us? Like...I don't know. Lucifer. Maybe it wouldn't just be about "love" -- because I don't believe Dean's connection to Amara is "love" -- but about want. Desire could be want for power or peace as much as it is for passion.
- I wonder about Sam saying "I got it." I initially assumed it was his way of saying, I'll kill her since you can't. But maybe it was more like, I understand. I understand what you're saying...I understand you're struggling...I understand you want the monster dead. And since they don't actually know how to kill her, I have to wonder if Sam's need to reassure his brother is going to come back to bite both of them in the ass because of this connection Dean has to her.
- All the other unanswered questions still apply.
So, the previews for the 17th look cool. I dig time travel stories. And it looks like we might get a bit more of a peek into what's going on in the mytharc. Anyone know the schedule for upcoming breaks? Thanks for reading, as always. See ya'll next week!