In terms of brotherly drama it can’t get much worse for Dean and Sam Winchester, or can it? This fourth season will tear them apart, and there’s not much we, the audience, can do about it.
I am still amazed that I am able to care this much about fictional characters. They are well drawn. Authentic. Brilliantly acted. Their story pulls us in, sometimes reflecting personal experiences of us. Their courage is an inspiration. And it’s plain, great fun to watch, albeit it proves us to be textbook masochists. Who in his right mind loves a story that, to quote Randal, keeps â€˜Kleenex in business’. Well, clearly a rhetorical question. Personally, I have never loved any TV show more. Or invested that much time in writing or talking about or promoting it.
Dean crawls back into life after being pulled out from hell by â€˜the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition’. The brothers re-unite, but are different men. Ruby is there from the beginning, a fact Sam lies to Dean about. We meet Pamela, great, suddenly blind psychic. And, ahem, angels are real. You can’t deny it anymore, Dean. They are devastatingly real.
Two fave moments here (sorry, folks, I am a weak womanâ€¦)
Sam and Dean finally in each others’ arms. Yes, Dean, he is still alive.
The best introduction to a new character: bad ass angel Castiel, in the coolest trench coat since Columbo.
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester (4.2)
Okay, apocalypse starts slowly, breaking of 66 seals afoot. Rising of the witnesses. And they are angry. Sam is beaming about the angel news (at first, that is) â€“ he was right all the time, there is some greater power watching! Fortunately, he doesn’t know yet how hard the rock bottom is he’s going to hit soon when the truth about the celestial dicks comes out. For now he is granted a moment of happiness and hope, while Dean still struggles with the idea.
Fave moment of many: The tragedy behind Meg. A parallel to the Winchester brothers. We hear about more terrible things the demon did to her. She had a little sister who killed herself. How beautiful she was when not possessed. Too bad she had to be evil after being risen.
In The Beginning (4.3)
Yes. Angels are in possession of DeLoreans. Castiel throws Dean back in time to stop the Winchester-Soul-Selling Tradition.
Dean: Sammy, wherever you are, mom is a babeâ€¦ I’m going to hell. Again.
Dean tries to explain to Mary not to get out of bed on the day in the future. Watching Dean torn up as he is in this scene makes me break out the tissues again. Looks, like I’m gonna need them writing this thing, as if weeping when watching the show wasn’t enough, come on!
Dean finds out about Sam’s secrets with Ruby (well, the exorcising-with-the-mind thing, the blood drinking will remain a mystery to him for a while longer). Sam, for knowing how it feels like to be an abomination, sympathises with the rugaru.
Iconic moment of this episode: the brothers’ fight which shows in a nutshell Sam’s condition.
Sam: You want to know why I’ve been lying to you, Dean? Because of crap like this!
Dean: Like what?
Sam: The way you talk to me, the way you look at me â€“ like I’m a freak!
Dean: I do not.
Sam: You know, or even worse, like I’m an idiot. Like I don’t know the difference between right and wrong.
Dean: Do you know the difference, Sam? I mean, you’ve been kind of strolling a dark road lately.
Sam: You have no idea what I’m going through. None.
Dean: Well, then enlighten me.
Sam: I’ve got demon blood in me, Dean! This disease pumping through my veins and I can’t ever rip it out or scrub it clean. I’m a whole new level of freak! And I’m just trying to take thisâ€¦ this curse and make something good out of it. Because I have to.
Monster Movie (4.5)
The Winchesters look fabulous in black and white! More of this, please! I can’t watch this anymore without hearing Jensen’s tale from the L.A. convention March last: Todd Stashwick, the actor playing the shifter (as Dracula) went up to Jensen (in Lederhosen), saying: â€˜remember, Jensen, we’re grown men’ â€“ â€˜I was like a basket case’ Jensen admitted.
This episode is one single favourite moment. But I’m gonna pick this one out:
Sam corners Ed and tries to tear off his ear.
Sam: this is supposed to come off.
Ed: No, it’s not!
The look on Sam’s face is priceless.
Yellow Fever (4.6)
Ghost sickness! Bobby speaking Japanese! Scaring a ghost to death, ha! Jensen singing Eye of the Tiger! Dean screaming at the sight of a kitty. His vision of evil-Sam.
Best, to my mind though, is Dean’s rant at Sam (could anyone check if the guy breathes at all???):
C’mon, we hunt monsters! What the hell? I mean, normal people, they see a monster and they run. But not us, no, no, no, we search out things that want to kill us! Or eat us! You know who does that? Crazy people! Weâ€¦ are insane! You know, and then there’s the crappy dinner food and the skivvy motel rooms and the truck stop waitress with the bizarre rash. I mean, who wants this life, Sam? Seriously? Do you actually like being stuck in a car with me eight hours a day every single day? I don’t think so! I drive too fast and I listen to the same five albums over and over and over again and I sing along and I’m annoying and I know that. And youâ€¦ you’re gassy! You eat half a burrito and you get toxic. You know what, you can forget it.. Stay away from me, Sam, because I’m done with it. I am done with the monsters and the hell hounds and the damn ghost sickness and the whole apocalypse. I’m out. I’m done. I quit.
It was about time a real Halloween episode came up, and man, this one really nailed Sammy to the wall – the angels are dicks. There goes his belief and his trust. Even harder to fight the good fight now. Gory story. (With the impact of the story, I didn’t really mind that they messed up the Samhain mythology here.)
Super-Sammy being immune to demon ray-gun stuffâ€¦ and Dean’s devastated expression at realizing what his baby brother is capable of doing.
I wanted to go with all kinds of fave Sam scenes here, but I love the scene in which Dean tries to comfort Sam most:
Don’t give up on this stuff, is all I’m saying. I mean, Babe Ruth was a dick, but baseball’s still a beautiful game.
Wishful thinking (4.8)
Oh,my, be careful what you wish for. Sam reveals (not news, actually) that he isn’t the guy who left for Stanford anymore. Not by far.
All kinds of crazies in this episode but, and I guess I’m preaching to the choir (so forgive me for not being original at all): my favourite is the suicidal Tedd.y
Teddy: Tea parties? Is that all there is?
Yeah, right, teddy bear doctors…but adorable one!
I Know What You Did Last Summer (4.9)
Another episode I need to put on my all-time-fave list. After wondering for almost the whole first half of the season what happened to Sam when Dean was gone, this episode is an eye opener alright. Plus: we meet Anna.
And it is “again” a testimony to the marvellous actor Jared is. Playing e.g. a drunk well is as hard as it gets. I’ve hardly seen in well done. Jared nails is. His desperate Sam is so painfully at the end of his wits that it almost hurts physically to watch him. Well, done, Jared. Well, well done.
He gets close up to Ruby, but more than that she is able to get through to him. Finally, Sam reveals to Dean some of his past without his older brother.
My fave scene is (although the hot sex scene was a close contestant, who am I kidding) the one Ruby finds a way to touch Sam’s depressed soul. And, frankly, Sam Winchester is, no matter how exhausted he might look, some fine eye candy. There you have it. Shallow woman, again.
Heaven and Hell (4.10)
Pam, blind, but still gutsy as hell, returns. She helps Anna find out that she is, in fact, an angel. Uriel, again, turns out to be a major dick. Alistair tortures Ruby (which is part of a huge con plan, brave of her to go for it, because the pain was real for her, well we know what prize she was expecting for her loyalty). Dean and Anna make love. And Dean talks about hell.
There are two scenes I particularly love:
Pamela and Sam meet again. He is movingly sweet with her.
Pamela: Sam, is that you?
Sam: I’m right here.
She takes a grab: Oh, know how I can tell? That perky little ass of yours. (and Dean likes this moment, too)
Dean: they sliced and carved and tore at me in ways that you until there was nothing left. And then, suddenly, I would be whole again. Like magic. Just so they could start in all over. And Alistair, at the end of every day, every one, he would come over and he would make me an offer: to take me off the rack. If I put souls on. If I started the torture. And every day I told him to stick it where the sun shines. For 30 years I told him. But then I couldn’t do it anymore, Sammy. I couldn’t . And I got off that rack. God help me, I got right off it, and I started ripping them apart. I lost count of how many souls. The…the things that I did to them.
Sam: Dean, Dean, look, you held out for 30 years. That’s longer than anyone would have.
Dean: How I feel…this inside me…I wish I couldn’t feel anything. Sammy, I wish I couldn’t feel a damn thing.
There are no words to express how fabulous an actor this man is. If you follow Sam’s reaction to Dean’s words, you will notice how accordingly Jared responds here, a evidence of his talent. Both actors are actually listening to one another, crucial to play a scene like this well. With moments like this I am hardly able to say how much I respect and admire their abilities.
Family Remains (4.11)
Creepy children again. Disgusting, too. And Supergirl.
Best scene here, and, I admit, again not the most original suggestion: Dean’s second part of revealing how he feels about his time in hell and giving the perfect description of a man who survived torture (I addressed this in an article ‘Torture and Survival of Dean Winchester’, in case you want to look into it again or – those of you who haven’t read it might be interested to understand a tiny bit more about the psychology behind it).
Sam: You were in hell, Dean. Maybe you did what you did there, but you’re not them. They were barely human.
Dean: No, you’re right. I wasn’t like them. I was worse. They were animals, Sam. Defending territory. Me? I did it for the sheer pleasure.
Dean: I enjoyed it, Sam. They took me off the rack and I tortured souls, and I liked it. All those years, all that pain, finally getting to deal some out yourself. I didn’t care who they put in front of me. Because that pain I felt, that just slipped away. No matter how many people I save, I can’t change that. I can’t fill this hole. Not ever.
Someone get me a drink. Oban. Double. Neat.