At last... we have resolution from the three most cruel words in the English language: To Be Continued...
Can I just start by saying I love this show?? I look forward to it all week, count down the hours on the day of... when did this change from entertainment into obsession?
Ah, well. That ship has sailed, Gaelic.
Overall Thoughts and Observations
I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment. *catches breath* Do I always say that? I think I do. Well, it happens every week. You should see my poor pillow. Smushed to death.
There is so much real life angst that this show brings forth for me. And this episode slammed me with it from so many angles. For the first time this season, while there was mention of angels and devils, the focus was almost solely on the brothers and I ate it up.
No pun intended. *cough*
I got to watch this "with" my good friend SJ (via IM) and our comments are the closest I've ever come to taking notes, so I have no idea how rambley this will be…
As soon as we saw Sam and Ruby exorcising the demon at the beginning, I knew Dean was going to catch them, and my insides were shaking in anticipation. No joke. I thought it interesting that Sam asked where Lilith was. So… he has (had) an agenda—it's not just about getting rid of demons, it's about finding their ultimate enemy. Interesting.
Sam's shaking after he Used The Force had me tightening my gut. Sometimes he does get to me. I was so glad this one was still alive… but when Dean walked in… man, did you all feel the electricity in the room? It practically crackled around me. His purposeful walk, the dangerous look on his face, his "something you want to tell me…"
And then—confronting Ruby. Holy crap. I knew he'd try to kill her, and then she's stopped from choking him by Sam's "Ruby enough!" Wow. Just… wow, that whole scene set the stage beautifully. I found it interesting that Ruby took ex-possessed-wounded man to the ER… hmmm…
Oh, but when Dean walked away from Sam—not allowing him to explain… ouch. And… good for him. Man, he strips my emotions bare. There are times when I feel actually raw when I watch the interaction between the brothers—especially when they are forced by choice or circumstance to confront each other. There is so much heat there—love and betrayal and fear…
The scene in the motel room the next morning forced me to remember that there is a rhythm to breathing. There was no line anymore between little brother and big brother—it was just… brother. When Dean starts packing up with his "you don't need me…" the lump in my throat grew painful.
And then the punches. Sam took them like a trooper. And I was blown away by the freakin' emotion in Dean's eyes. His eyes were "who are you"… "where did my brother go"… "how could I have failed you so badly"… "what the hell were you thinking"… "please don't do this"… "I gotta fix this"… all at once.
The "What else can you do" demand had me nodding my head. No more secrets, boys. Get it all out there. Get bloody. Get angry. Hell, cry if you have to, but get it OUT THERE. And then Sam and his little-boy tears and I'm broken… All of the back and forth there was fantastic. Dean's "You're going down a slippery slope" and the "If I didn't know you, I'd want to hunt you…" Holy CRAP, man.
Sam's belief that he's doing good—the fact that he's saved more people with the Force than they had in years… That Dean was GONE and he had to hunt without him… that he'd had to figure out a way… *wants to hug him* Dean's argument that if what he was doing was so good, then why did he lie… I think that revealed Dean's true heartbreak. Not simply that Sam was using his powers; I think he might've seen his way around that tricky corner. But that Sam had full-on, to his face, with innocence shining in his eyes, LIED about using his "psychic mojo stuff."
But the clincher, the thing that scooped out Sam's breath and spread shock across his face was Dean's reveal that "Cass" (heh) had said Dean had to stop him. That GOD wants Sam to stop. It felt the like air had been sucked out of the room.
So, we get a new hunter to slice through the angst and I was almost relieved because my heart was hurting. I'll go to the MoTW in a minute, 'cause GORE! But I can't get off of the boys quite yet. So to speak…
The car ride to Carthiage(?) was another fantastic moment—Dean actually told Sam about his trip Back to the Future. I was very pleasantly surprised. Their talk about Mom and how she kicked ass, how she and Dad were both full of hope… it would have been such a "sniff… aww" moment had Sam not slipped up with the whole demon blood in the mouth reveal.
Whoops. See? That's what happens when you lie, folks. You can't keep them straight and sometimes… the truth slips out. Dean's reaction was perfect. He'd never said anything about that… Sam had known for a year… Dean transformed into Big Brother Who Is Very Disappointed in that instant.
Man, I've been there. I can remember watching my sisters' faces as they lied to me—knowing they were lying, saying nothing for reasons we don't need to get into here, and just being so…let down. Like no matter what, no matter how much I wanted to trust, to believe, no matter how many times they proved themselves to me, I would always have that nagging doubt in the back of my mind. That "what if…"
Okay, so Jack. Tragically creepy and sorta... likable. I really liked his wife, too. She was pretty and scrappy and had some excellent lines. Like, "Jack, are you stoned?" And how she called her own husband a bastard when he all but raped her. I just liked her. I was really glad she didn't get eaten or burned up. But the fact that she's out there, carrying the fetus of a… what was it? A Rugaroo?? That makes me wonder if we're going to see her again…
Gotta say, though? When Jack started noshing on the raw meat, I set down my glass of Cabernet right quick. *shudder*
Enter Travis and a bit of the lightheartedness of the episode. He hadn't seen the boys in 10 years… but he knew about John. However, it didn't seem like he knew about Dean. Either that, or it had all been explained to his satisfaction… so I'm going with the "didn't know" theory. Knives dug deeper in fresh wounds with his "your Daddy would have been proud by the way you two stuck together" and Dean's answering "nothing more important than family."
OMG… Dean's humor… I love that boy. "Long pig" is apparently is word of the day. Bwah! So, the hunt is revealed to us in a nice, succinct, believable story about a 30-year-old hunt. Flashing back and forth between Jack's plight and the boys preparing for a hunt was nicely done.
Dean's "Well that's gonna be… horrible" reply to how they have to kill the rugaroo had me wanting to ruffle is hair. Or something. As was his "Sam loves research…keeps it underneath his mattress next to his KY…" *LAUGH* Oh, brothers.
Poor Sammy, though. Wanting to talk Jack into "going vegan and staying human." He so wanted to believe what he said to Jack later on (when my uterus was doing back flips because Dean was out for the count and *gasp* bleeding)… when he said "it doesn't matter who you are, it matters what you do." He so wanted to save Jack from himself. Echoes of his "the more people I save, the more I can change my destiny" decree were all over his plight in this episode.
As I'm writing this, I'm listening to Snow Patrol's "Make this Go On Forever" and they're pleading "Please just save me from this darkness…" *shivers at irony*
The third made-of-awesome scene between the brothers was Sam demanding that Dean stop the car "or he will" and the resulting conversation. God! That was so needed. Sam yelling that he didn't tell Dean any of this because of the way Dean looks at him—like he's a freak, like he doesn't know the line between right and wrong. And Dean's honest "well, do you?"
The way I see it, Dean never really looked at his brother like a freak in the way Sam defines the word—he looked at him with worry and fear. Not because of what he was, but because of who he was. His little brother. His responsibility. And if he didn't understand what Sam could do and who might want him for it, he couldn't protect him. And the fact that Sam can do even more than before—and had lied about it just kicks the anxiety up several notches.
But Sam's confession to Dean that he saw himself as a "whole new level of freak" and that he did what he did to try to make something good come out of this "curse"… Dean crumbled. You saw it on his face. He just… melted inside. Sam was Sammy again, and he was willing to die to save him from himself.
Jack's talk didn't do much good—except for the fact that we got to hear Dean say "hungry, hungry hippos." Heh. And then OMG the funniest thing EVER. The boys watching Jack outside the girls window, running up to the apartment with flame thrower thingies, Jack resisting, boys breaking in, girl screaming, boys realizing quickly that no one was there… "We're here to save you… I guess." *LAUGHING SO HARD*
So… not to rush this or anything, but the end was a rush. It really was. When Travis trapped both Jack and Michelle, I realized quickly that she was preggers, and I honestly believed Travis when he said that he'd "give anything not to have to do this." I also knew that Jack was going to kill Travis. That the hunter would turn Jack into the monster he was trying so hard not to be. It just made sense, story-wise. The boys having to find Travis like that… uck. Sorry, boys.
THEN! Dean slammed so hard he's bleeding and unconscious with Sam trapped in the closet… in that moment I wondered (aloud, actually on IM to SJ) which one would end up having to kill Jack. Dean? And see Sam in the "monster" he was taking down? Or Sam? And see what he could become one day? I loved Sam's speech to Jack, Jack licking Dean's blood, Jack almost killing Dean, Dean waking barely in time to see Sam escape and fry Jack… it was just… perfectly executed.
One of Sam's best lines was "If you hurt him, I swear to God…" about his brother. *gut punch*
The end (after another very annoying commercial break) was both satisfying and frustrating. I wanted more. It wasn't long enough. Dean apologizing for being so hard on Sam, but that the "psychic thing" scares him… Sam's "something I gotta deal with" and Dean's answering "Not alone." *Squee*
Finally… they've gone to hell and back, in their own ways. They each have the scars to prove it. They have struggled through secrets and fears so overwhelming they almost drown in them. And now, finally, they are reaching toward one another and ready to grab on.
But they're not doing it as big brother/little brother. They're doing it as brothers and partners. Sam's words at the end cemented that for me. His "I'm not [quitting] for you or angels or anyone… this is my choice." He's taking control—a pawn no more.
I hope it lasts.
I'll keep this short(er).
Dean: I have to put in the obligatory "what that boy can do with a glance" comment. He speaks paragraphs with his eyes. In this episode he brought the Dean Winchester humor that we love as well as the Dangerous Face that curls our toes. The biggest thing about him, though, was his coming to terms with his brother as a man. Not just Sammy. But Sam. And thinking—really thinking—about what Sam has had to deal with all of his life, even before he was aware of it. That dark hole inside of Sam… Dean doesn't have it. He has walls and scars. He has wounds that may never heal, but he doesn't have the pit that Sam has had to edge around. I think that realization puts a new weight on Dean's shoulders, but if anyone can bare it, our hero can.
Sam: Last week I was worried because I wasn't sure what scared Sam anymore. Now I know. Himself. He's terrified of himself. And man, he can bring the little boy eyes when he wants to. There is no one in this world as important to him as Dean and having to face Dean's disappointment coupled with his own confusion about who he was and what he was doing just tore at Sam tonight. He needs his other half to prop him up for awhile. Brace him long enough that he can recover some of that hope. The same home that Dean saw in their parents before the YED took it away.
Travis: SJ commented that we might have another Gordon on our hands with him. But I think most hunters are probably like Gordon and Travis. Bobby and our boys are unique, and they keep each other in check. The doubts and questions, the research and wondering… it helps keep them human. I didn't wait around for credits after the previews, but I swear I've seen that Travis guy before somewhere. I just can't place him. Oh, and I thought it was pretty interesting that they put a hunter in a cast. You just rarely see injuries, though you know they get them. Nice going, Show!
-- Two epis in a row with no classic rock in the previously. *sad*
-- I wish Sam had been driving at the end: 1) Dean took a pretty hefty knock to the head with unconsciousness and bleeding and 2) It would have been kind of symbolic to back up Sam's "this is my choice" taking control stance
-- Did Sam get the lock in the closet picked and the door open? I think I missed how he actually opened the door.
-- Loved Dean's "I've seen big weird and little weird and weird with crazy on top…"
-- I just put together that Dean, the character is 29. I know, bad Gaelic, but he was born in '79, and Travis said he killed Jack's Dad in '78 and that Jack was 30… I think they need to celebrate Dean's 30th this year.
-- Can I just say that I LOVE when Sam yells "DEAN!" I know it's been suggested as a drinking game, but still… love.
Note about Next Week:
I will be leaving the land of Oz to return to the Hoosier state for five days and visit my family. Because of that, I most likely will not be able to watch the 10/16 episode on the day of. *cries* I am going to try to download it on Friday, and will still write up my Stream of Consciousness, if you care to read. But it will be a day or so late.
I apologize. Believe me.