I promised it, and I’m delivering! After my procedure Tuesday, I have risen like a phoenix from the ashes (preferably one that has reformed and/or hasn’t killed so I can get the Winchester brothers to decide not to do me in...) and am working on my review. O.K., I’m being a little melodramatic...it really wasn’t a big deal, but still, it has meant I haven’t been able to work out all week...or really do much of anything--like go to the library and download the episode to watch. And dealing with my parents...but that is another story for another day...
The story of the day is “A Little Slice of Kevin”, the episode of Supernatural that aired last week. As is typical with boys (or at least our boys), the angst between Sam and Dean has been put aside to deal with more important things--like a string of random kidnappings...and Dean’s man-pain over leaving Cas in Purgatory. We got a lot of Flashback Purgatory moments, and Dean looks so amazingly splendiferous all dirty and feral that I thought I would write a sonnet to better illustrate:
A Sonnet to Dean Winchester
Oh Dean, your man-pain always hurts my heart,
When seeing you does bring me so much glee,
You know the fight is yours to take your part,
And look so sexy that you make me squee.
But on your shoulders so much weight you bear,
And fail to see the good that you have done,
Each time you shed that manly single tear,
You brace yourself and stay when others run.
Although so many times you have been told,
Impossible it is to save them all,
You blame yourself for leaving Cas out cold,
You blame yourself whenever others fall.
If only you would hear what others speak,
You’d see your strengths and see you are not weak.
It was touch and go for a minute whether the sonnet would be about Sam or Dean...Jared Padalecki’s hair may warrant a sonnet all on its own. We will see where the season takes me. A sonnet has been requested about Miles Matheson’s hair (Revolution. If you aren’t watching, you may want to get on that). I write reviews for Revolution on the www.tvfortherestofus.com site.
I may or may not have sighed a bit when I read in the credits that the episode was written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming. They are the writing team that brought us Route 666 and Slice Girls. While I always am ready for a Dean!Sex scene, the storylines were not my favorites. The director was Charles Robert Carner, who I IMDB searched, but didn’t recognize anything he has done.
I was pleasantly surprised about the episode, though. The fact that Mama Tran was duped by a witch left me underwhelmed--a slight bit obvious. Witches tend to be bad news in the SPNverse. Ms. Tran busting out the way she did with the massive water-launcher was glorious! As was finding out that prophets are a lot like vampire slayers (Buffyverse). I was happy to see Chuck brought up. We haven’t really heard anything about Chuck, and you’d think this whole “prophet of the Lord” thing would have sparked a renewed interest like “hey, what happened to Chuck?” I think most of us have questioned if Chuck was really a prophet or something else--maybe God himself. The way “Swan Song” was done definitely seemed that way. I suppose Chuck throwing his name on a list wouldn’t be that big a deal...The angels don’t see to have any knowledge of the prophets other than their names. It is very possible...especially since the angels don’t seem to know what happened to Chuck.
So much more than the witch betrayal and finding out about the other potential prophets happened though. There was a lot of movement in this episode! Cas returned, we met Naomi (Amanda Tapping), and got to see that we aren’t done questioning the intention of the angels. Dean’s man-pain was showing, and Sam was worried about his brother and Cas...
Like Sam and Dean, Crowley has been searching for Kevin Tran...but Crowley has decided to buy himself some insurance in the process. Only one prophet exists at a time, but all angels have the knowledge of each potential prophet in the currently living generation. As such, Crowley has kidnapped Samandriel and tortures him for the names of the potentials. He then sends demons out for them. Ms. Tran employs a witch to help them find ingredients for “demon bombs” with disasterous results, and Dean’s guilt over leaving Cas in Purgatory reaches new levels...or does it?
And on to the analysis...
After last episode’s blow up, this episode was a breath of fresh air. We saw Sam and Dean working together and deciding together that they should look into the random kidnappings. We saw Sam worried about his brother’s new level of distraction, and Sam listen to Dean when Dean mentioned his misgivings about how Cas got out of Purgatory. All in all, it was a very healthy brotherly exchange, complete with the hand on the shoulder showing support.
Part of me worries about this brush over of the issues that came out the episode before. Are we just glossing over what happened? Tucking it into a pocket and forgetting about it? But then I remember, these are guys. They fought it out a bit last time, but the moment has passed and they probably want to get back to what they do. Dean said things while under ghost influence, Sam said things in anger. I’m sure neither one of them wants to dwell on it. I’m also sure that since Dean is actually showing some willingness to discuss some aspects of things today, Sam wouldn’t want to infringe on that potentiality for growth in their relationship in any way.
What I really loved seeing was just how well Sam and Cas know Dean. He isn’t much of a talker. He is someone who is a real “guy’s guy” and wants so badly to appear strong and together. Part of it is being the older brother. He feels like he always has to be the strong one. This attitude has been part of his life and part of his psyche. Because it is so ingrained in his personality, we’ve even seen it in the way he treats Cas. In this episode Cas knew, and I’m sure Sam did too, that even though Dean was saying he didn’t “understand why he (Cas) didn’t try harder” and how it wasn’t on him that Dean blamed himself. He was saying these things not so much to convince Cas or convince Sam, but to convince himself. I loved that moment when Cas says “So you think this was your fault?”. I love that Cas knows Dean well enough to not try to talk him through understanding. That would mean that Dean would be putting what Cas said against his own memory of what happened. Instead, Cas showed Dean what happened. Dean couldn’t refute that. As Cas said, Dean remembered it the way he needed to remember it.
Dean always tries so hard to save everyone. I love that Cas and Sam see that as one of Dean’s strengths. Both of them have at times seen this differently, however. Dean’s attempts to save everyone also seem to mean that, to an extent, Dean is always trying to control the situation. He remembers how he failed people, or how he could have made things work out differently. He doesn’t factor into things how other people’s will can affect the outcome. Cas points out that he was stronger than Dean and able to push Dean away. Sam has seen this in the past as Dean always treating him like a little brother and not like an equal.
In this episode he was doing a little ordering around of Cas, but I do see where he has been trying to make corrections where Sam is concerned. I think Dean feels that with what happened with Crowley, what happened in Purgatory, and the fact that Cas has no memory of how he got out of Purgatory, that maybe Cas isn’t ready for big decision making on his own.
Maybe with Sam laying it on the line Dean is ready to give some of that control over to Sam. I feel that we can see a beginning of this when Dean talked to Sam this episode about seeing Cas, and then after about his misgivings about Cas and how he got out of Purgatory.
Turns out Dean’s hesitancy regarding how Cas got out of Purgatory was well founded. We know that a group of angels stormed Purgatory to get Cas. My question is why at that particular moment? Did the fact that Cas pushed Dean into the rift, sacrificing himself, make him worthy of redemption? Was it a higher order that called him back? Is this like when God saved Cas? And that whole ultra-blue eyes, showing his wings show he gave Crowley symbolic of that whole thing we learned about back with Chuck?
In “The Monster At the End of This Book” we found out that if a Prophet of the Lord is threatened, an archangel shows up to smite whatever is threatening him/her. Could Cas have been elevated to archangel? If so, why did that visit with Naomi seem like they were brainwashing him somehow? What are the angels after? I am trying not to be too cynical. Maybe they were just interested in finding out what was going on with “the word” and making sure it didn’t fall into the wrong hands. We have seen the angels doing some pretty sneaky things though...
And what was Kevin about to read in that post script from Metatron? I am very curious about that. We now know that there are a compendium of these tablets. more than just leviathan and demons. Angels? Monsters? The possibilities are endless. Is there a tablet about God himself? I love that there are endless possibilities. I worry about the whole is Cas being played as a chump thing...I really don’t think Dean is going to fall for it. Dean has been burned before by Cas. I don’t think he’ll be so quick to overlook odd occurrences this time. That power the angels have to pull him out and return him to the same moment so that they never know he is gone will make seeing through Cas very difficult. Cas isn’t supposed to remember the meetings. Poor Cas!
I really liked Ms. Tran’s kick butt behavior in this episode! We got to see her get her mom on (being not impressed by her son staring at Delta’s butt). She was so great taking that demon on, AND tying him up and putting him in her trunk to bring over to the Winchesters! Her whole hiring a witch thing showed she is still a newbie at this...And there was even that wonderful moment where we see the generational differences! (“Casual encounters. That means no questions asked.” “No, Mom, that’s another section of Craig’s List.”). Looks like Cas will be able to fix that finger for Kevin! And I loved the Garth reference! Ms. Tran and Kevin are going to Garth’s! This shows that Sam and Dean respect and trust Garth. Sure, he may not be Bobby, but he’s earned their respect, and that is awesome. I’m excited for the chance to see Garth again. He brings an optimism into the mix that Sam and Dean have been lacking. They have both had to shoulder so much crap for so long, that Garth is really good for them. In my opinion anyway.
I also liked how Sam brought up the possibility that Dean seeing Cas could be “survivor’s guilt”. Maybe the oddness we’ve seen from Sam so far this season (lines that don’t totally seem like “Sam” things to say, or looking for a fight) have to do with Sam’s issues regarding that as well. Did Sam have a “Xander” moment and feel that maybe Dean was in a better place--that he didn’t have the right to drag Dean back. Maybe he really had to work at it himself to walk past losing Dean (like he was trying to tell Dean he needed to do about Cas). We saw that there might have been an issue wit this in “Southern Comfort” when Sam told Amelia about how horrible it was losing Dean.
The Purgatory scenes were as amazing as they have been all season. I especially loved seeing the leviathans rise up out of the ooze and form into people Death Eater Levi style! I also loved seeing Benny’s soul dematerialize into light and go into Dean’s arm. The “trust” moment where Dean comments that Benny has “earned it” was great. I also liked Benny’s side comment to Cas about how he thought they (angels) were “all about faith”. Faith and trust came up a lot in that convo right before getting to the rift...
With Sam and Dean, Cas and Benny, this episode has a bunch of moments, allusions and side notes to trust and faith. Dean’s faith in Cas is not there, but what is definitely there is a desire to find that faith again. Standing in the way of that is the lack of understanding of how Cas got out of Purgatory. Now we also have the possibility of Cas as the reluctant spy. Benny wasn’t in this episode other than in flashback, but we know from past flashbacks, as well as what Dean said to him in one of these flashbacks that Benny has earned trust as far as Dean is concerned. The fact that Dean was confiding his fears to Sam in this episode is demonstrative that Dean is working on their relationship as “equals."
Kevin and Ms. Tran thought they could do better on their own, but have shown a “green-ness” when it comes to understanding just who they can and can’t trust, and to what extent people will go. They definitely couldn’t be left alone, and are being left with Garth, someone who has shown Sam and Dean worthy of their trust.
And just because I love to give y’all the music from the eppie... add “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals to your playlist!
Let me know what you thought of the episode! Unfortunately, we have to wait another week for a new one--not this Wednesday, but NEXT Wednesday. Thanks for reading!
Screencaps from http://homeofthenutty.com/supernatural/screencaps
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