Thanks so much elle for submitting another great review. She’s one up on me, since I’ve been going through family induced writer’s block for three days. Enjoy!
Thoughts on the “The End”
How nice was it to see John? I had to smile just at hearing his voice – glad to have him present in an episode, whatever the form. So far, we’ve had two episodes of four that have reached all the way back to season one for THEN – and as we’ve now had Meg, Jess and the Colt, it will be interesting to see how much more of the shows foundation bleeds through into this season and if other old friends (and foes) make a return appearance.
The Phone Call
More than a few things about the telephone exchange between the boys were salient. First and foremost, that Sam, in a complete 180 from last season, spilled to Dean everything that Lucifer had told him pretty much right away. And he didn’t need to. Despite this, the dynamic between them is clearly off, they are out of sync. Dean needed a beer to get through this conversation, never mind that it’s 4 a.m. and he’s just woken up. Last week, Dean drank during the tete-a-tete with Raphael, much like what we saw in season four as he tried to suppress the Hell ordeal that plagued him. The drinking is always an indicator that Dean’s not in a good place. “I guess I’m a little numb to the earth shattering revelations at this point.” Numb is probably an apt descriptor for what Dean is right now, without Sammy and a vocation as “˜an angel condom’ that will leave him vegetabled.
What struck me most was that Dean’s speech to Sam and the evidence he offered for “picking a hemisphere” wasn’t entirely irrational. This isn’t to say that the boys should stay apart, or that they’re better that way, but rather it demonstrated that Dean has thought this through before now. He’s identified in the past that the brothers are each other’s weak spots and now, add in the Heaven/Hell component, the idea that they stay apart makes sense. Dean is time and again driven by his emotional yearning to unite the family or keep the unit together. But not in this instance. It was a moment of character growth and some demonstrable maturity that was in line with his decision not to go after Sam in “Good God, Ya’ll” ““ Dean has changed.
Both boys were noticeably distressed by the conversation. Dean was upset by what he felt he had to do, stay away from Sam possibly forever, and my heart went out as the call ended and the anguish settled onto his face. Sam, more than usual, has me wanting to give him a giant hug and some Hagen Daaz all the time now, but especially when he and Dean ‘broke up’ again. With regard to Sam’s quest for redemption ““ Sam’s fire has been reignited since last week when we saw his fraught attempt to escape the life. Now, he is ready to face it down and fight like hell to come out on top.
“Baby, no…Oh no. Baby, what’d they do to you?” Yup, that about sums it up doesn’t it?
Jensen outdid himself in this one. In every scene featuring dual Deans, it was two completely different men on the screen. Future Dean was a complete transformation, from the deeper, gravelly voice, to the way he moved – the portrayal of a war hardened Dean was marvellously done. Gone was the humour and caustic wit and in its place was pure survival and mission fulfillment. Evidenced by the disregard of the Impala (which was very difficult to watch!) and the cold shooting of one of his men, Dean!2014 is a damaged man. Dean 09 was absolutely disgusted with what he had become someone willing to sacrifice his friends (and Cas!), people who had put their trust into him. “Broken” was the word he used and I fully believe that “inhuman” was on the tip of his tongue.
Okay, I have to admit that I was one of the people who didn’t really notice the Croaton storyline had been left hanging. Nothing came of it back in season two, yes, but I didn’t dwell on it either. That said, I was expecting more of a payoff given the fact that we were revisiting this plot point all these years later. That’s not to say it detracted from the episode, personally, because the “˜Croat’ storyline was completely dwarfed by the emotionally charged rest of the episode, and since the episode was so remarkable, that’s okay.
2014!Cas is so much more ostentatious than 2009!Cas and as fun as he was, I like our humanity-naive, puritan, breast-fearing Cas best. The orgy had me laughing, half because of the expression on Dean’s face and half in light of the events of the Brothel Incident. It was a nice touch that Cas recognized instantly Dean to be an out of time Dean ““ I took this to mean he still had a modicum of “mojo” left from his angelic days. The five years has seen a role reversal in terms of camaraderie and ribbing. Cas was amused when future Dean was annoyed, though he was very loyal and largely unquestioning in following Dean, even though 2014!Dean was willing to use him as cannon fodder. The ‘fearless leader’ and “˜I like past you’ was also quite amusing. Misha was very convincing has hippy-drugged out Castiel – probably happy to get a change of wardrobe and make-up, and to change is usual angel-eyes expression for one of hazed, easy amusement. Castiel is thoroughly enjoyed when I see him on my screen and I’m satisfied to see TPTB have discovered fresh ways to use him without compromising the integrity of the character or exhausting him.
The Golden Toilet Paper
This episode was light on humour, but what it did have was quite droll. First, the continuing adventures of Cas and his cell. How great was the seriousness in his tone as he panicked to Dean about “˜the voice’ saying he was running out of time. Equally comical to me was the suspicious expression on his face when Cas pondered ‘what things?’ Dean, in his humanness, needed. In addition to Cas in this episode, we had the return of the prophet. Chuck is easily one of my preferred recurring characters (after Bobby, of course). He doesn’t try to be funny, but as a victim of circumstance Chuck is an endless source of enjoyment.