Sam, Interruptedâ€¦Did It Work or Not? Elle2
At last, nine long weeks are over â€“ and for those of us who may be counting down to spring (at least in the northeast) only eight weeks and three days until spring.
Iâ€™ll go on record and state that Sam, Interrupted workedâ€¦and didnâ€™t work.
First off, it ended winter Hellatusâ€”thatâ€™s a work.
Second off, it continued the brothersâ€™ trek back together as they reaffirm that they are brothers and they are in â€˜itâ€™ together while at the same time it separated the brothers at various points and had them confront their individual issuesâ€”thatâ€™s a major work.
It was funny, somewhat scary (or at least bloody), threw in a little misdirection that frankly worked (for me, donâ€™t know about you) harkened back to early episodes and did I mention it ended winter Hellatus?
There were some holes; Iâ€™ll get them out of the way right now so as not to dwell on them. First off, how did Martin call them, didnâ€™t see anyone else having an opportunity to call, so how the heck did he do it. Thatâ€™s minor though. The clothes the boys wore, chances are real good weâ€™ll see those jackets on the boys againâ€”uh, how did they get them out of the facility? Not to mention, do we really believe they can just open a door and get out? Really?
Again, I could probably look for bigger, badder and more glaring holes but I wonâ€™t â€˜cause first off, I didnâ€™t see too many (on the two viewings Iâ€™ve had) and also, I donâ€™t want toâ€”so there.
Iâ€™ll start with what I call â€˜technical aspectsâ€™ of the show, like sets, shots, music, plot devices and the like.
I really like that James Conway repeated the opening shot of the facility and then the doctor opening the patient chart from the teaser to Dean and Sam. Nice way to move the story along and dive headfirst into the show.
No background music at all until the group scene, keeps the atmosphere of the episode quiet, subdued â€“ kinda what one would expect in a mental health facility so it sets the tone well.
The shot on the thingy Sam used to pick his door lock and get out was nice for we then knew theyâ€™d designed something which allowed them to enter doors at will; nice touch.
Then thereâ€™s the misdirection of Wendy, the over-sexed patient, as the possible wraith for Nurse â€œRatchetâ€ that worked well. At first I was suspicious of Nurse â€œRatchetâ€ until Dean postulated that it was Wendyâ€”course that was misdirection but very plausible.
Also to go in this the â€˜technical aspectsâ€™ of the episode, there are plenty of fun gems here, Sam doped up on happy pills and then pulling a â€œboopâ€ on Deanâ€™s nose â€“ very funny. Dean going all Hannibal Lector, excellent.
Eddie and Alex â€“ hah, two brothers as rockers, two brothers as hunters â€“ nice aliases boys.
Dean fitting in in the mental health institute (Pudding!) harkens back to Folsom Prison Blues as does the plot device of Martin a hunter who saved Dadâ€™s life many times mirrors Deacon calling the boys â€˜cause he was an ex-Marine buddy of Johnâ€™s. Another Folsom Prison Blues â€˜shout outâ€™ is that once again the Impala is faithfully waiting where sheâ€™s been parked handily for the getaway.
Phew, I was starting to sweat this would be yet another episode without the Impala. SPN has gone eleven episodes this season and sheâ€™s been in every one, after last yearâ€™s three without her, Kripke and Co. owe us (and her) a full season of appearances â€“ and yes, the three in a row during The Real Ghostbusters helps offset last yearâ€™s missed opportunities but do not count for this year.
What did we (they) learn?
Geez, I hope they learned something but Iâ€™m not so sure. Dean goes with what Dean knows best, bury, ignore, deflect; it is slowly killing him. I think he does recognize that at least, so I give him hope. Dean may be willing to ignore it:
Sam: â€œThe last few weeks youâ€™ve been worrying me.â€
â€œYou do this every time. You canâ€™t just keep this crap in.â€
Dean: â€œWatch me.â€
We do watch you, Dean. Itâ€™s not healthy and the fact that you conjured up a smart, attractive, take-no-crap-from-you-equal-in-every-wisecracking-way, doctor, tells us that you know itâ€™s not healthy either and that you want someone to be strong, and equal.
Itâ€™s quite telling of the toll this life and this burden is taking on Dean that when given the opportunity, and a little departure from reality (as weâ€™ve seen in WIAWHNB, DALDOM) he lets down his walls to somebody. Here itâ€™s a decidedly attractive female doctor but also very interesting is the fact that sheâ€™s as tough as he is. She cracks wise, sees through his vulnerabilities and doesnâ€™t let him deflect her; the fact that sheâ€™s a hallucination doesnâ€™t change the fact that we â€˜seeâ€™ what Dean really wants, and once again it is so much more than mere sex for the sake of sex. He wants an equal.
Dean wants someone to lean on, wants someone to fight the battle with him and I truly believe he wishes he didnâ€™t have the burdens he does but heâ€™s also not going to run from them. Dean is going to do what heâ€™s always done and what he said he believes in doing (Itâ€™s a Terrible Life) dealing with whatâ€™s in front of him. He doesnâ€™t make excuses, he simply does.
Sam comes to a revelation (finally) and whatâ€™s even better, he admits it to himself and to Dean. Heâ€™s angry. He admits the pattern, John, Dean, Lilith, Lucifer â€“ you didnâ€™t need the feather to fly, Dumbo, it was inside you all the time. Is this what they meant? That Sam had anger inside of him and thatâ€™s what Lucifer needed? Donâ€™t know. Could be that simple, might be more. Whatâ€™s great is that Sam confronted it, out loud, to himself and to Dean.
The problemâ€”Dean, who has spent from Season 1 trying to get Sam to open up and tell him whatâ€™s going on (remember Bloody Mary?) actually tells Sam to bury it down. Sam has been very good all these years harassing Dean to let him in (ELAC and CSPWDT and Croatoan are good ones for specific comments. Then thereâ€™s Fresh Blood, thatâ€™s a goodie. Letâ€™s not forget last yearâ€™s Wishful Thinking.) Yet through all those times of Sam trying to get Dean to open up and â€˜unburden himselfâ€™ Sam has been one to hide his feelings, thoughts and fears.
Here he goes full bore, Iâ€™m angry and Iâ€™ve made excuses, Ruby, demon bloodâ€¦blame everyone but me. Well, the confrontation Sam had in the break room shows that despite the delusional state he might have been in he does know that he was arrogant, stubborn, and that he carries just as heavy a burden as does Dean for the apocalypse.
Good. Both brothers know theyâ€™re broken, both brothers know theyâ€™re carrying heavy burdens of guilt and the future what ifs. My hope that I take from this is that Dean asked Sam twice if Sam was with him and in the end Sam said yes, Iâ€™m with you. Alleluia!
The doctor made a profound observation that may just explain why with all the drinking and sleep deprivation Dean abuses himself with why heâ€™s perhaps dealing with all this better than Sam:
â€œPeople can learn to live with delusions but the angerâ€â€¦Sam has anger and it does threaten to destroy him. Dean has coping mechanisms and while healthy they may not be, helpful they do seem to be. I still think itâ€™s family thatâ€™s going to save them. Thankfully the brothers seem to be stronger together than ever; despite the horrors theyâ€™ve endured.
Dean: â€œMy brotherâ€™s not evil. He was just high.â€
I liked it, itâ€™s no On The Head of a Pin or Lazarus Rising, nor is it a In My Time of Dying; but itâ€™s no Family Remains or Bugs or Red Sky in the Morning either.
Also, Dean and Martin scenesâ€”comedic timing brilliance yet again!
My score, a strong B. The writing clipped along, the emotional impact of the brothersâ€™ journey was not stunted. Both brothers continued to work together while separately dealing with their issues. The doctor was a good foil for Dean. Martin was a sad picture of what the future can be while similarly providing an anchor to the past. The wraith may be somewhat plodding in that it was a monster weâ€™ve sort of seen before, distorted face only to be seen in mirrors, feeds on its captive victims, like the Siren, like the Crocotta, like the Ghouls (same thing with Sam tied up and the â€˜thingâ€™ licking its fingers of Samâ€™s sweat in anticipation much like the ghoul tasting his blood) still â€“ thereâ€™s only so many devices one can come up with so things are likely to repeat.
Plenty of fun without being over the top and no doubt Jensen and Jared enjoyed the â€˜lighterâ€™ wardrobe of robes and scrubs to their normal attire â€“ at least Jensen and Jared alluded to that in the commentary on IMTOD that Jensen likely had it quite comfortable in that eppie. One would think they did again here.
Thank you, winter Hellatus, for ending. Now, bring on Swap Meatâ€¦
Thanks for reading. Elle2