Ha! It actually worked this time.
Man, guys. Just... *tingles* I'm loving this season.
I was smart this time. I wrote this in Word first, then posted. Take that, technology.
I'm writing this quickly and with a lot of emotion shaking through me. Quickly, because I have to get up at 3am to leave for the airport and fly away to Chicago for Creation Con. The emotion part I'll get to shortly.
For those of you who don't see previews, I won't ruin anything for you except to say OMFG I can't wait for next week. Kelly, you know exactly what I mean. *grin*
The build up in this epi was fabulous. The back story helped us — or maybe I should be saying me — form a more complete picture, helped us feel some balance of emotion, helped us see where Kripke's Plan may have been going all along. When this whole series is ultimately over, what a story it will have told.
I ended this episode with three over-arching thoughts:
1) The convenience of fictional storytelling is unparalleled and thank God for that.
2) There comes a time in every sibling's life when they have to force themselves to see their fellow sibs as a person in and of their own right and not as a playmate, childhood friend, partner in crime, or responsibility.
3) Desperation finds a comfortable home inside of grief, and has the uncanny ability to cause riots in the minds of the sane.
I should warn you, my head was all over the place watching this, so I can't guarantee any sort of logical, scene-following flow. Not sure if I ever had that in the first place…
I liked Anna immediately. I thought her striking in looks, with her wide, innocent eyes, her slight tremble of awed fear and disbelief, and her sarcastic, very Dean-like "smoke 'em if you got 'em" approach to the coming apocalypse.
I liked that we got some more information about why this war has been so hard-fought. Something like 600 possible seals, and Lilith only has to open 66 (and which 66 she plans on opening, none of the good guys know) to bring out Lucifer. Okay, we need some lawyers in Heaven because that is a pretty darn big loophole in the whole good vs. evil thing.
I liked the opening scene with the boys — Sam "drunk" and hustling pool, Dean setting up the play. I always pictured it opposite, and probably it usually is. But this is just one more example of the change we're seeing in Sam. Not only that, but the change in Dean. He's recognizing that his baby bro can hold his own, so it's giving it over to him. Their quick blink-and-you'll-miss-it exchange of looks when Sam kicks the anty up to $500 was a joy to watch. They are partners. And I love it.
Dean's "we've got leads…BIG leads" sarcasm when they leave behind cold, hard cash to meet up with Ruby is predictable. As was his doubt that Ruby was actually helping them or that Anna was real.
The hard edge to Sam's voice in the car on the three-day drive to Anna's hospital when he said "let's trade stories, how was hell? Don't spare the details" made me wince, but y'know, I couldn't blame the guy. No one knows how to push your buttons — and exactly what order to push them — like family. Sam is hurt at being left out in the cold of Dean's pain, and he's trying to be mature about it, but it makes him mad, and having a history that Dean doesn't know about with Ruby — and having Dean constantly sniping at and about her — has to be wearing him down.
And the flashbacks begin. I have to say that I loved the flashbacks. I loved seeing Sam rough and worn and weary. I loved seeing him as I felt he should have been — as he wasn't four months later when he finally saw Dean alive again. As we all expected him to be. Because, really? None of us moved on. We spent an entire summer with Dean's bloody face and his desperate cry of "SAM!" ringing in our ears and seeing Sam looking whole and healed just felt all levels of wrong.
But the flashbacks showed us how raw Sam had been. How unsteady and desperate. How lost he was with out Dean. Guh, I broke inside a bit for him. He had tried so hard for a year to save his brother and nothing worked. Dean still died — and not just died. Was ripped. To. Shreds. Right in front of Sam. Leaving Sam to bury him (a state away from where he died for some odd reason). Leaving Sam to go on alone in the middle of an all-out war where the demons claw at him day and night. The real ones, and the ones inside.
So, seeing him stagger towards the CRD2 (which, am I nuts in thinking that there was only 1 CRD?), not wanting a deal of 10 years, not even wanting one year, just wanting to trade places with Dean… broke my heart. I'm a big enough sap that I'm actually tearing up writing this.
But then we get that odd line from CRD2 about having Dean right where they want him… okay, so all along I had been speculating that Dean was simply Dean. Blue-collar, classic-car lovin' hunter who would have been a fireman or a mechanic had he never known about demons.
I thought he was there as a firewall to stand between Sam and the darkness. A reminder of what it's like to be real. But… perhaps he was significant in this universal struggle all along… perhaps the reason he was saved, the reason ANGELS take orders from him… is that Sam's not the only 'chosen one.'
I'll leave my speculations there because I rather enjoy watching Kripke unspool his ball of yarn and being thrilled by the unfolding story.
The quietness in the car, though, after Sam's mini-recollection, was heavy. Heavy enough that I felt it through my TV. And for some reason, the space in the interior of the Impala actually looked like it shrank. I don't know why I noticed that. Maybe it's just me.
Okay, when they went to Anna's house, find her parents dead and sulfur about, and Dean pulls his Columbo "girl, interrupted" lines out, all I could think was: they're not worried about fingerprints? Is it because they're officially dead after Jus In Bello? I'm just curious, not critical.
I loved the initial encounter with Anna. This girl really got to me for some reason. I think maybe because in Lazarus Rising Castiel said that only certain special people could hear them. And so far, the only "special people" we've seen exhibit powers like seeing demon's real faces or moving objects with their mind have either been damned or infused by demon blood.
Now, of course we don’t know that she isn't one of those two, but I'm doubting that's the case. I think maybe she's simply special, and like anything else humanity doesn't understand, she's feared and locked away.
Not only that, the demons want her because, as Dean pointed out, she's 1-900-ANGEL, and the Angels recognize the threat she is if captured alive by the demons, so they feel she must die. Anna's in a real tough spot. But, I can't help but believe that there's a purpose for everything. I mean, what happened to God works in mysterious ways? If Anna can hear the angels, then there must be a reason for it. Right?
I loved that she stepped out with a "THE Dean?" question. Dean's face looked really warm in that scene. Very infused with color and emotion and wonder. I couldn't help but think of his experience when Castiel spoke — made his ears bleed. I felt that he might have been thinking about that as well, and watching Anna in awe that she was still in one piece. That she knew everything he'd learned in the last two months.
And it all started for her the day he got out of hell. I chuckled at Sam's "that's above my pay grade" comment. I like that about as much as "yeah, I got nothin'." Hee.
Dean's fascination with the bloody eyes of the statue had me tilting my head at him in thought. I just want him to have some peace. Which, of course, was not to be in this moment as the demon burst through the door, and Sam was unable to use the Force, getting tossed aside like so much garbage as Ruby hid Anna and Dean ended up getting the ever-lovin' crap kicked out of him.
Not only that… but he knew the demon. Allistair. Whoever that is. Only Allistair I know was on You Can't Do That On Television. *shrug* But… Allistair eluded to the fact that Dean and he being "really close" when Dean was in hell. So either that's a hint at what Dean saw/did, or it's a demon's way of using sarcasm while he makes you bleed.
Sam saved his brother, though, and while Allistair was dealing with the Knife That Can Kill Any Demon Except When It Can't, they jump through a stained glass window. Ouch. And… ouch. Leading up to this fanfic writer's toe-curling scene of glee. Sam stitching up his own very yummy bicep while Dean spits out blood and waits to get his poor shoulder relocated. "On three… one…" CRACK!
Dude, I seriously felt the bile rise in his throat as Dean turned away and tried the breathe-through-your-nose-not-through-yo
I know I wasn't the only one. Terry's gonna wear out that part in her DVDs.
Okay, so, we get Dean sitting painfully in a chair, facing his brother and finally getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Turns out… he can't exactly handle the truth.
And this is where the creativity of fiction enters in. We all know that Kripke watches the boards and absorbs fan reaction. Personally? While slightly contrived, I think he handled the Ruby/Sam situation rather well.
It's really the only thing he could do. He'd already set it up that Sam and Ruby were "comfortable" around each other from the first episode, more than just the random show-up-and-fight-demons kind of relationship. I don't think the writing team really thought about the ramifications of what it would mean to the fans for Sam to have a relationship of any kind other than killing with a demon.
Or, maybe they did and this was planned all along, who knows. But either way, it was handled so that I was comfortable with the play-out, bought the somewhat scrambled reasoning, and decided that I could, like Dean, feel slightly dirty and ask to skip the nudity.
I liked Ruby showing up in a different body when she initially saved Sam. That wasn't something I expected. AND allowed for Sam to really be Sam a bit later by demanding that Ruby let the secretary go. The fact that she then possessed a Jane Doe coma patient that was going to be unplugged was the contrived part for me, but, hey, like I said, I was able to go with it.
The expression on Dean's face when he says "too much information" is how I felt when I found drugs on my baby sister. The okay, I don't want to know this, I want to erase it from my mind, but I can't go back, and I have to remember that they're an individual not ruled by my personal code of right and wrong and I have to decide how I'm going to love them—completely without complete understanding, or with parameters and limitations—because I can't have it both ways and I don't want to lose them, so I am going to have to suck it up and let them work through this feeling.
I think Dean was right, though. That Ruby screwed with Sam, played mind games, and did everything to get him to go "bad." And I think that there's something in this for her at the end of the road — something is going to happen with or for Ruby when Lilith dies. Otherwise her desperation to train Sam to get rid of Lilith wouldn't be so raw.
Her seduction was blatant, but at the same time, Sam was destroyed. Broken from the inside out. She knew it, took advantage of his grief, but he wasn't without control. He let it happen. He wanted escape. He justified it just as the writers did — it's not rape because there's no one else in that body but Ruby.
Yes, it is sleeping with a demon, but maybe he wanted to be dirty. Maybe he wanted to be bad. Just so that he could feel something else besides the overwhelming pain that had swamped him since the Hellhounds tore his brother apart before his eyes. He was all alone in the world and she was offering him warmth and companionship and a little danger and… yeah, I can get that.
And, man, did that actress look TINY compared to JP. One wrong move and he'd snap her in half!
Like Dean, I felt a little dirty. But in way, and please don’t hate me for this, I liked the feeling. I liked seeing Sam as someone who is vulnerable to life and makes mistakes and willingly goes where he knows he shouldn't just because he is tired of doing the right thing all the time — because the right thing left him alone in the world. That makes him fantastically flawed to me. And now he has somewhere to go, some way to grow, and change will be more significant. I dig it.
Ruby was so right about Sam wanting to die fighting Lilith. You could see it in the redness framing his eyes and the tension in his mouth. No matter what she was teaching him, he didn't want to survive this fight without Dean. Hearts breaking wide open all over the world tonight. Good Lord, kid.
So… Ruby saves Sam from the trap Lilith set for him, and in turn Sam saves her by successfully using the Force for the first time. Dean's slow absorption of this information made me want to squeeze his (non-wounded) shoulder and whisper "it's gonna be okay."
Ruby possessing the housekeeping lady to get the boys' attention had me chuckling. As did the awkward apology from Dean. I think I melted a little more when he said "I owe you for Sam." Holy smokes, boy. Kill me dead. Ruby realizing that the boys lost the knife with Dean's "don't look at me" and Sam's "thanks a lot!" gave me back a little balance.
Sam came clean. Like, all the way, no curtain calls clean. And Dean took the hit and listened and accepted. And because of that, they are one more step toward having a new balance all their own. Dean's secret pain, though, has to be aired. Sam has to know — not only to bring them back together, but because there are obviously enemies that Dean knew/knows that are coming back and they have to be ready for. Like Allistair.
Okay, so, like I said, quickly written and a bit scattered, but the emotion is well-intentioned and very real. And I cannot WAIT until next week. Plus?? Does ANYONE know when it's coming back? Do we just skip Thanksgiving Day? I told you, I plan my life around this show…
I'm off to peek at baby girl and attempt to sleep. I'll post Con experiences on LJ as often as possible. And, if anyone is interested, I am working on the first chapter of Weapon and the Wound. I have 15 pages done, but life got in the way a bit. I'll return to it after this weekend.