This one got me thinking. And I can't wait to see how the story plays out. Can. Not. Wait.
After a very long day, our boys are just the balm I need, regardless of the background they're playing against.
Before I get into my ramble, I'd like to say something. This is the first show that I've ever enjoyed to the point that reaches something close to obsession. The rearrange my life so that I don't miss an episode kind of obsession.
And it's also the first show I've ever been as involved in the fandom -- or heck, even KNOWN what a fanfom was. And because of that involvement -- because of fanfiction and the realization that I can create situations and feelings for these characters that are surprisingly fulfilling -- I look at the show differently. I question some things.
But, I always enjoy it. And last week, after I posted my review, I was a silly girl and let some negative feedback on the episode bring me down. In my head, all thoughts are welcome. My heart hurts sometimes by what I read. SO! This week? I'm growing up, posting my thoughts, allowing others theirs, taking a breath, and moving on.
I have been thinking a lot about Sam's plight between last Thursday and this. Thinking about how the creators of his character have been subtly shifting him--even before Dean's deal was due.
Killing Jeremy in DALDOM. Killing Gordon in Fresh Blood. His immunity to Lilith's (or any demon's, apparently) White Light Of Doom (aka Demon Death Rays). Not to mention unspecified dealings with Ruby and using the Force to cast out demons.
There are just so many little things they've been teasing us with to show us how his life, this life, has begun to change him from the sensitive, heart-on-his-sleeve, save as many as he can to change his destiny boy, to a powerful, I have demon blood in me, whole new level of freak, I can use my powers to do "good" man.
And some of that shift happened in the four months we still aren't privy to. I am so. friggin. curious.
But enough about that. Tonight, man. *shivers* These boys twist me up something fierce.
One thing that I noticed, and I don't think I would have had I not read some comments on a ff.net forum -- the Wallace kitchen looked a lot like the kitchen from the epi with the ruguru. And the hotel room? I know we've seen that before. However, I am willing to cut them slack on this because I read in an interview sent to me by the generous wolfpup that they turn this show out on a dime, budgeted to the hilt, and being a Project Manager in life, I know that cuts have to be made somewhere. So, instead of slamming them, I say, yay me for being uber observant. *wink* I wonder what else I can spot that has been used before over the last 4 years?
Okay, razorblades. Gah. Serious. Gah. The inside-the-mouth shot? SWEET! That was very unexpected and rather effective at producing the aformentioned Gah.
I didn't know much about this epi, despite watching the "first looks" -- but with Sam doing the quizzing and Dean poking around randomly, I figured they were looking for a hex bag.
Okay, Dean + Candy = Love. I'm not kidding. His "it's Halloween, man!" had me grinning. He makes me giggle.
Usually, I start the show in a ball of anticipation. But either the wine, the let-down from the day, or the rhythm of the show had me watching the first 30 or so minutes in frank curiousity, rather than tight anxiety.
So, as the boys are checking out the hex bag, and I'm grinning at Dean's "and that makes it better" comment about the charred infant bone, I find myself wondering how the boys found out about this hunt in the first place. Did they spot a news article about the dude that ate the razorblade-filled candy? 'Cause they were there the very next day. How the hell...
See? That's one of those things that I wonder if I would even have noticed or cared about before I started writing fanfiction.
Okay, so... bobbing for apples IS apparently sexy. If you're blonde. And not hexed. Dean's "I got this one" and Sam's very guyish "Two words. Jail. Bait." had me smiling again. I love it when they're just guys.
Oh, total aside? Agent Seger? LOVE! I always thought Bob Seger fit Dean. Actually, I thought he fit John, but since Dream!Dean told Dean back in DALDOM that his music was his Dad's... I guess that works.
Dean's sarcasm toward his brother's eager-beaver research was welcomed. If only because it felt so natural. "Wow. Insightful."
Okay, I know nothing about the origin of Halloween. I mean, I've heard from my Bible belt family, and I've seen from numerous horror movies, and as far as I'm concerned, it's about as fluid as vampire lore. But regardless of the validity of Samhain, I thought this theory made for good storytelling. Plus? Dean's right. Leprechans are scary. Ever see Darby O'Gill and the Little People? I had nightmares for a week about that freaky King Brian riding up in the Banshee's carriage.
Here is where I found myself wishing there was simply more time to tell the story. I really wanted more on how they found out about the hunt, how they found out about Samhain, what this meant, what that meant... blah blah blah. But, when I realized what I was doing, I took a conscious step back, and looked at our boys. Just looked at them. Beauty.
Okay, Dean + Candy = Tummy Ache, apparently. Loved the "No, I mean, son of a bitch." Hee. The phrase actually has meaning.
Oh... Dean's face as he thought about coming back as a hot cheerleader? Priceless. I wanted to climb into his lap when his eyes got that far-away look. I may have whimpered. Good thing the hubs was in the other room.
DUDES! We got some audible flashes of hell! And Sam's "bring back memories" certainly caught Dean off-balance. I. Want. To. Know. MORE!!
I know this sounds trite in retrospect, but I totally thought "Don" Harding was sketchy. He was too "cool" the way he talked to the boys, letting that one kid put a bong in the kiln. WTF? Plus? He'd been a bad guy on Angel. And CSI. SO, I didn't trust him.
How many of us called bad tidings on the Impala when Dean told Astronaut Boy he'd had enough candy? Hee. Poor Dean.
Okay, so now we get to the part of the show where I sat forward, arms tight around the pillow, and thought. Really, really thought. Not about the quality of the storytelling. Not about the beauty of JA. Or, at times, JP. (Sorry, Sam-girls.)
But about faith. About LIFE. About what I depend on to be true just to move through my day, and what I just take for granted. Seriously? A TV show did that. On a freakin' Thursday night. And they say you have to go to church to sit awhile with God. Heh.
I loved, loved Sam's child-like glee upon meeting Castiel. I felt goosebumps when Castiel shook his hand. And at the same time, my heart was literally breaking at the reality that was about to hit Sam in the face. He just... guh. That kid. I loved his "Oh my God! Oh, sorry..." He turned into a fangirl. *wrinkles nose with a grin*
So, a new player is in the mix. One Dean does NOT care for. And, quite frankly, neither do I. Which is fine. I think it's fantastic to have one of the *ahem* "good guys" be unlikable. Because then the gray is deeper and the struggle more painful and the line between right and wrong is so blurred you have to wonder at every step you take. GREAT storytelling, that.
We get the skinny on Samhain, find out that Uriel (love this dude's voice, btw) and Castiel are going to smite the town to make sure the seal isn't opened and the Samhain witch is dead, and Dean, my freakin' hero, steps up, puts himself and his brother between the angels and the town and says they'll have to go through the brothers if they want to kill the town.
I seriously got chills. Hey, corny or not, the look on Dean's face, the cut of his jaw, the determined edge to his eyes, and I was ready to join the fray. Sam's hurt, disillusioned "you're supposed to show mercy" continued to fracture my heart.
Oh, and here's something I noticed that I thought very well played and just subtle enough that it got under my skin. The stare-down between Dean and Castiel while Uriel and Sam were busy talking about smiting. Dean seemed unable to catch his breath. It was as if the angel was peeling Dean's walls away with his eyes and standing in awe at what he saw there.
The line that they had to "have faith in the plan" just because it came from heaven... that concept made me squirm. It's where I always have a human issue when it comes to faith. I suppose this makes me a cautious believer. I know there is a God. I believe it to be true. But to have faith that His way is right and His will is just and I should turn my worries over to Him... It makes me... anxious and doubtful.
Probably the best conversation between the brothers thus far in the season (for me) is the one in the Impala on their way to get the witch before the angels got about smiting things. Dean for my money was the epitome of Big Brother.
Sam's broken-hearted question of "This is God? This is what I've been praying to?" just scooped out my biggest fear and splashed it across TV for all to see. But Dean? The previous non-believer. The Doubting Thomas of the duo says that a few rotten apples doesn't mean the whole group is bad. For all they know, God hates these jerks. Don't give up on the stuff.
Best line? "Babe Ruth was a d*ck, but baseball is still a beautiful game."
He needs Sam to believe. He needs it for himself, and he needs it for Sam. He needs Sam to not lose sight of the good because he knows his little brother could so easily slip into the bad. Without even realizing that he was sitting in darkness. Dean needs Sam to believe.
Okay, the children's bones in "Don"'s desk? Creepy. I don't even want to think about how they got there. But yay boys for figuring out the teacher was involved. Just... too bad you thought it was only one witch.
The angels' mysterious conversation about their "true" orders had me tilting my head and cursing commercials. I'm so glad we got a resolution to that.
Okay, the deal with the brother/sister witch team waiting 600 years to bring about Samhain. Interesting. The cheerleader witch blowing the boys back bad enough that they were BOTH gasping in pain? Toe curling. Sam being smart enough to "give it a shot" and put bloody masks on their faces to hide from Samhain? Brilliant. (Not to mention, I liked that he spread it on Dean's face, too. Don't ask me why. I don't want to go there.)
So... was Samhain like... near-sighted or something? He was blurry-eyed the whole time and the kids in their costumes were able to stay safe. *shrugs* Not important, I guess.
When Sam broached the subject that the demon was powerful and they may need more than Ruby's knife, I knew he was going to find a way to use his powers, despite Dean's "please." Then, the nicely foreshadowed mausoleum party, the dead rising, the kid dying bloody... you could safely say I was now in my Ball of Worry.
When they separate, I think I said "oh, no" out loud. This could only end in tears. Mine, quite possibly.
Dean facing down zombies and ghosts, getting slammed against the wall, quipping out the "burn 'em all" one-liners was classic. But what was actually really scary? Sam seeking out Samhain.
This isn't our little brother Sammy anymore. Those four months without his brother, his coming to terms with what he could do and how, his using those powers, it changed him in ways that he's only just accepting and Dean is having more than a hard time wrapping his mind around. As evidenced by their locations at the end.
Sam's still not that great at hand-to-hand, but the kid was holding his own. Even tried the knife once, but when it became obvious that he was about to be chum for this ancient demon, he pulled out the Force. Only this time, he was up against something wicked powerful, and we saw the strain it had on him. The pain in his head, the bloody nose, the gasps and the trembling.
And just before he vanquishes Samhain, Dean appears, sees what his brother is doing, and I couldn't help it, but a line from Serenity popped into my head. "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"
Sam looked at Dean with a "please don't hate me... I had to" expression while Dean looked back with a "Aw, God, Sammy... what have you done... and how the hell am I gonna save you now?"
The end, with Sam in the hotel room packing, and Dean sitting on the park bench, decompressing, spoke deeper volumes about their pain and their struggle to come to terms with this new life than any Impala-induced conversation could have. These two are hurting big. And they're scared. And they don't know how to come together. And they don't know how to be apart.
How many of us have been there, huh? Maybe not on such a cosmic, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it level, but still. You love them too much to leave them, but you don't know how to be in the same room with them unless something changes and you're scared to death of what that change will be and have no idea how to instigate it and you just want to go back to the way things were, but you know you can't because life doesn't allow do-overs and so you have to fix it...
Until Uriel pointed it out to Sam, I hadn't really picked up on the fact that Halloween was so close to Nov 2nd -- I mean calendar-wise, sure. I'm not an idiot. But I'd forgotten what Nov 2nd would mean to our boys. Uriel's reminder was like a slice on Sam's heart. And his warning was terrifying. Sam uses his powers again -- or becomes... what was it? "More trouble than you're worth"... Uriel will turn him to dust.
And then... the line that will have my teeth grinding until Kripke shows us his hand. Dean needs to "get down off his high horse" and Sam should ask his brother what he remembers from hell.
And all this time I pictured Dean a victim. Or perhaps a virtuous crusader against the demons that tore him apart. But... maybe... Sam's not the only one struggling with darkness. Maybe we have a dark side to see from the one who is on a mission from God. *is VASTLY intrigued*
Castiel's admission that their orders were to do whatever Dean said? Fascinating. "It was a witch, not the Tet Offensive." HEE! I love this guy.
Dean thinks he failed the "field test" ... and his line about making the same call... that all those kids and all the peace in the playground before them was still there because of what "my brother and me did"... that one line told me all I needed to know.
Dean is scared for Sam, sure. He doesn't understand a lot -- especially about Sam's powers and what these powerful beings that have a sudden interest in them are up to. But Sam is his brother. Plain and simple. He spent his entire life taking care of that kid. He gave his life for his brother. No tainted blood, no angel, no Force-using or demon-pal is going to get in the way of that. This town was alive because of BOTH of them. Powers or no powers. *claps* Way to go, Dean.
Castiel's quiet admission that he has doubts, and that failure meant hell on earth, and Dean of all people should know what that meant, made me really, really like that character. I mean, sure he's easy on the eyes, but after that, I felt drawn to him.
This assignment, these brothers, Dean, was starting to humanize the angel. He scolded Uriel for the insulting "mud monkey" term, calling it close to blasphemy. I liked that. As humans were made in God's image and all. I also liked how he said that people were "his father's creation."
I can't explain why I like that yet doubt faith. I simply can't. But I did like that. As much as I liked Castiel admitting that he didn't envy the weight on Dean's shoulders.
Not that carrying such a weight is any different than Dean's been asked to do his whole life. Not that it's much different from his father's order to save or kill his brother. Not that it's different from living a year with Hellhounds on his tail. Not that it's different from raising his brother.
Yet... it is. Everything is different now. There are questions peppered throughout the characters, and the fans, and all we can do is wait.
This show made me appreciate storytelling. It made me fall in love with it again. And I know that a story as epic as the one being played out before us can't be told in the space of an evening. I know we all have to be patient.
And, to echo Bobby, I feel a storm coming. With our boys right in the middle.
That's all I got tonight. Suffice it to say that the players were on their A-game as always. Jensen shifted seamlessly between little-boy on a candy-high to warrior protecting the innocent to Big Brother with a broken heart to soldier shouldering the burden of the generals. I am forever amazed by the quality of that man's acting and his ability to simply make me believe. No matter what.
Plus? His eyes? Make me melt.
Jared really got to me in this one as well. He is portraying Sam's internal struggle, confusion, search for his place in this world with such sincerity that I ache for him. I want to push him behind me so he can hide. 'Course... I pretty much come up to his elbow, so that is a bad idea... but you get my meaning. I was more encouraged about his inevitable salvation than I have been in any of the previous ones. His eyes came alive. They'd been so vacant until now. With the one exception of hugging his brother in the premiere, he was just... hard. Too hard for our Sam.
Thanks for reading the ramble. Hope to "see" you next week.