This episode won’t be in the running for a spot on my personal favorites list of Supernatural stories, but it did have one scene in particular that’s pretty darn awesome.
I felt a tiny bit mean about calling Dean a jerk in my last review and some commentors seemed to support him in his actions, so I thought that I’d give Dean some slack this time around, because the poor guy’s hurting so badly…okay, nope. I’m still trying to understand the King of Manpain, but it’s a hard row to hoe. I’m sorry to have to say this about him, but Dean’s starting to remind me of a few villains on the other superhero shows that I watch. (Please don't yell at me, Dean's still my hero.) They have bad things happen to them, they pick someone to blame all their troubles on, and then they go after their target without mercy, or any real introspection about who’s really to blame, if anyone. Let’s hope that Dean comes to his senses, soon. I don’t like seeing him like this, though I guess Dean does go to some dark places, sometimes, but I’m rooting for him to see the light.
We meet a girl named Patience who just happens to have a mother who died tragically young, a father who is rigid in his views, and a grandmother who’s psychic. I like Patience, somewhat, at least for the fact that she’s a good student and respectful towards adults. That’s refreshing – to have a teenage girl without an attitude problem. So far, though, she’s rather bland. I’ll give her a chance to develop and see what she brings to the story.
Missouri’s a lady that I enjoyed meeting back in the first season and I was hoping to see more of her. I think that we will see her, in the future, just not as a living person. Missouri should be able to find a way to communicate with her granddaughter – from beyond. It did bother me that her screen time’s too short and that she didn’t even get to see Sam. There’s also the reveal that Missouri hunted and that she had a son. I don’t have too much trouble with the hunting, it doesn’t mean that Missouri was always on the road; she might have just gone to help out with a ghostly issue, from time to time. Her son obviously didn’t appreciate her leaving him and seems very upset about his mother’s vocation.
James is a character that I’m having a hard time feeling empathy for. His mother took part in activities that were dangerous and James was scared and upset about being left alone. Then when his wife was deathly ill, he looked to his mother for hope that his wife would recover. Missouri told him that everything was going to be alright, but it wasn’t, so he cut her out of their lives. Patience lost her mother and her grandmother because of that decision and that’s not fair. It’s pretty harsh, since I’m sure his mother did the best she could to comfort him at a tough time. It made me think what would have happened if John had just decided to stay in Lawrence with his boys and deny that anything supernatural was going on. Azazel would have come for Sam, just the same, except that Sam would have been unprepared to defend himself. A wraith came for Patience and all of James’s denial wasn’t going to stop that, either.
I was hoping that Missouri would have more of a dialog with Dean about his bad attitude, but maybe she’ll come back to haunt him. I don’t really fault Missouri for standing her ground against the wraith, the way she did. Maybe she saw all her possible futures, in that moment and knew that since she was destined to die that day, that she would do so with dignity and give the others a head start. I did like the ghostly flashing images, but didn’t buy those death-vision scenes, at all. I knew that it was all fake the minute our regular characters started getting stabbed. Plus, such lame hunting techniques were being utilized that I just can't help rolling my eyes. Most of the scenes with Dean and company are not ones that I’ll be looking forward to rewatching. They're just a device to introduce Patience to Jody, who seems to have room at the Inn for Wayward Sisters. Those scenes and action sequences aren't bad, but they didn’t hold my interest very well, either.
Now, on to the good stuff. I love every scene with Sam and Jack. Sam’s trying to help Jack understand his powers, but all Jack understands is that he can’t do anything at will. He needs a strong emotion or someone else in his head, like Asmodeus. Yikes. Oh, that reminds me of younger Sammy who thought he needed demon blood to boost his powers. Jack says that his powers are a reflex, like blinking, but I’m not so sure. He might just not realize yet that he doesn’t need the feather to fly, Dumbo. I’m loving the reminders of Sam’s Days of Wine and Roses and hope that they continue.
When Jack tells Sam about the conversation that he and Dean had, I can see Sam starting to lose his patience with Dean’s behavior. Sam’s getting angry that his brother would say those things to Jack in such a harsh way and those words that Dean used bring up painful memories for him. Sam and Jack are so cute together and this is the point, for me, where this episode starts entering epic territory. Jack thinks he must be evil because Dean’s being so awful to him and he asks Sam why he’s being so nice. Sam says that he knows what it feels like to not belong. At this point, I had to pause my DVR and have a small sobbing fit. Not only was I flashing on Sam’s life story, but mine, also. I too know exactly how it feels to be a misfit. I think the last time that I felt comfortable around groups of people was probably the day before I entered fourth grade in a new school, or maybe it was even earlier. Anyway, Sam’s Killing Me Softly with His Song as he tells Jack about his fears and the darkness that was inside of him. He says that Dean, Cas, and his family helped him through it. Oh man, I can’t help thinking of young Sammy – so confused and scared by what’s happening to him. He hid a lot of what he was going through from Dean sometimes, but in the end, Sam and Dean did make it through, together.
When Dean arrives home, Sam’s waiting for him and he’s not happy with his big brother. Sam lets Dean know that he’s upset about what Dean said to Jack. I love this next part as Sam (and Jared) channels all his emotions to get it across to Dean how his words make him feel. Dean can’t call Jack a freak without making Sam remember what that felt like, for him. “Grade A Freak!” That’s how Sam perceived his brother thinking about him, in the early days. Back then, Dean didn’t act on John’s words to kill his brother if he went evil. Dean's not letting his emotions get in the way of doing what he has to do, this time around. We'll see if Sam and Jack can change his mind.
When Sam says that Dean “saved” him; I thought about how, in the end, after all that they went through that Dean still showed up at that church, helped kill Ruby, grabbed onto his brother’s jacket, and was there for him. That was the image that flashed into my head when Sam said those words. Dean's still there with him and hopefully they will always save each other.
Since Jack reminds me so much of the other Jack on Titanic – I give you this:
Now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson, and that he saved me in every way that a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him. He exists now only in my memory.
Cool, huh? There’s more than one way to save someone. I met a girl in High School, who didn’t do anything extraordinary except wanting to be my best friend, but she did save me in many ways, nonetheless.
Where was I? Oh yes, Sam’s defiant as Dean’s blaming Jack for Castiel’s and Mary’s death, as if they didn’t make their own choices. I can see the parallel of Jack promising Cas paradise on earth and Missouri promising James that his wife would be fine. Maybe, they were both being truthful, just not in this current life…or in this particular timeline? Universe? Poor Jack’s listening to this argument and missing the one person who might help him figure out what to do. No, not his mom; he did get to see that sweet video she made, but in his confusion and pain – he calls out for Castiel. The haunting vocals of souls (my interpretation) is heard as we jump focus to where Cas currently seems to be. It’s a dark place with a black, shiny floor. Now all Cas needs is a top hat and some tap shoes and we can turn Supernatural into a musical again! Great idea, right? Right? Anyone?
My Random Musings
When Sam’s working with Jack on his powers, he wants Jack to move a pencil. That so reminded me of Willow. In Buffy, she starts out trying to manipulate a pencil with her magic. I’m thinking that a sharpened pencil might not be the best choice for a test of this kind. How about using something less pointy?
Patience’s grandmother might not be gone for good. On The Vampire Diaries, Bonnie’s grandmother (a good witch) didn’t let a little thing like being dead stop her from being a part of Bonnie’s life after that.
On Charmed, “The Charmed Ones” had their dead grandmother in the story as well. I don’t remember her being a very helpful ghost, though.
A wraith feeds on brains that are juicy with some form of disturbance going on, like mental illness, or psychic powers in this episode. I’ve been musing about the wraith that we saw in season five’s “Sam Interrupted.” She's pretty scary and good at hiding her true nature until it's almost too late. The wraith in this one is just not as compelling. I’m a fan of season five’s wraith episode – there are lots of great scenes and the boys are in mental ward pajamas most of the time. Oh, yeah.
Speaking of wraiths – Stargate Atlantis has them. They're cool and scary creatures that make great villains.
Okay, so most of this third outing of Supernatural – it wasn’t the most thrilling or engaging story, but I love the last scene of Sam and Dean’s quarrel with a passion. I can see that Dean’s saying things that indicate that he has blinders on where Jack’s concerned. I’m willing to watch Dean do what he has to do and keep open the theory that he might be right about Jack, as long as he doesn’t hurt anyone that doesn’t deserve it. What I love about their conversation is that I haven’t seen that much passion and emotion on Sam’s face in a long time. I literally was saying to myself (out loud, but quietly) – Yes! He’s alive, again! He’s not keeping quiet about his feelings and point of view; he’s expressing them to Dean and I love that. Dean’s not making much sense right now, and might not be able to think clearly on the subject as of yet, but still there’s an open dialog starting between our boys. Finally! Even though we cut away to go visit Cas, the conversation has started and who knows where it may lead? That anticipation of more dialog between Sam and Dean about the past and how it’s affecting their current views in the present – that’s a good thing, so let’s just hope the writers know enough to continue along this route. One can hope, right? I think that Jack will still know that Sam’s on his side, no matter what the cranky brother says, but what do you think?
Bye for now,
Extra images courtesy of HomeoftheNutty.com