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The End:
A middle of the night call to Dean from Sam and now Dean is up to speed, Lucifer wants to wear Sam. Sam wants back in but it's not revenge anymore it's redemption. Dean for his part is tired and sees no choice for the brothers but to stay apart so he hangs up and goes back to sleep. Too bad Zach has adapted himself and reached out through "fringe elements" and found Dean. The next morning for Dean is five years in the future and he gets dumped into the frying pan of an out of control Croatoan virus, Castiel as fully human - except he can "see' the differences between Dean of 2009 and Dean of 2014 whereas others cannot. Chuck is no longer a prophet apparently but he is a quartermaster of sorts, clearly he's thrown in his chips with Team Free Will (even though they are not yet named). 
Dean gets a chance to see himself five years in the future and does not like what he sees. We're treated to several excellent Dean on Dean scenes and much like Dream a Little Dream of Me I have no difficulty discerning which Dean I'm looking at at any given moment. Dean of 2014 is killed by Lucifer/Sam of 2014 and Dean of 2009 supposedly is taught a lesson by Lucifer that it is all futile to resist and that he best consign himself to his role and say yes now (that is when he's back in 2009) but Dean, for his part, employs that independent streak of his and learns a greater lesson. He needs Sam; Sam needs him; together they keep each other human.
Buckle up, Supernatural fans, Season 5 is on a roll,oops, big pothole ahead, times two. The next two episodes I could have done completely without but for a few moments, these will be quick.
Fallen Idols:
Save the scene with Dean going under the car and Sam "helpfully' asking him if he needs a flashlight. It's funny and well-timed and gives a lighthearted feel to their relationship.
Otherwise it's way out of character for a season devoted to stopping the apocalypse.
I Believe the Children Are Our Future:
If they are it's not Jesse. Adorable as the actor is and as great a job as he did in the role I wish this one had sat on the board in the writers' room. It's a huge thread that dangles begging to be pulled - Jesse in Australia, munching prawns on the barbie - with no life skills and no support system to help him just how is he to grow up and not become dangerous?
Also, while Loflin and Dabb gave us the fabulous Dark Side of the Moon here they hit new lows, whoopee cushions and joy buzzers are fine but hair on the palm,did they really have to go there? Again, in a season of mistrust between Dean and Sam (mostly Dean to Sam) and attempts at rebuilding trust and the apocalypse building around them, this was out of place. Bring on some Bobby angst and let's get back to the heart of this show, family!

The Curious Case of Dean Winchester:
First off, I'm betting Jensen was glad for a break in the filming schedule after his work in The End. As for how to make an episode that is light on one of the leads without making it seem like it's light on one of the leads,bring on a guest actor like Chad Everett. His chemistry with Jared and Jim was spot on and the only way this could have been done any better was aging Jensen - but then he wouldn't have gotten some down time. This was brilliant casting!
While there is little to nothing happening on the apocalypse front in this episode there is plenty on the emotional front going on and since that is the heart and soul of the show I have no complaints.
If you're going to take one of your vital characters, Bobby, and put him in a wheelchair you'd better follow up with some repercussions. Here it is Bobby who stops being the voice of reason and does something he'd surely take a stick to either of the boys if they did. True to form Dean is in Bobby's face for his "stupidity' and then rushes in to save him,results = disastrous! 
Sam gets to play the hero here and he clearly has the support of both Dean and Bobby as he faces off against Patrick "“ a complex witch given to helping some win or at least not allowing them to lose while at the same time making sure there is appropriate punishment spread around. Sorry, Sam, but you get the embarrassment here! Clap, Clap, Clap "“ oooh, that is good! 
Don't know much about you, Jenny Klein, but you and Sera wrote a good one here. Enough humor to go with the heavy emotions and not so much heavy emotions that I needed tissues -  well, all right, maybe I needed one as Bobby declared he wasn't a hunter anymore, old and useless. [Never, Bobby, never!]
This was a great episode for Bobby to emote and he gets several more chances this season,bring them on! But first, a word from our sponsors,



# rlwgsd 2010-06-28 23:59
That was amazing. Thank you. One small disagreement with regards to changing channels. I dont think you gave enough credit to the fact that the writers so totally got away with the whole Grey Anatomy Satire and the "Commercial" that Sam did for the herpes medication. I have to say the one thing that i love about supernatural is the fact that we get something of a break from the intense episodes with a little comedy thrown in at the right time. Also I think that The Real Ghostbusters came at the right time. I felt that it was tribute to the fans that was well deserved. It had to be placed where it was because anywhere else in this season would have been just wrong. And after a long day at work it was refreshing to be able to come home and watch theses two episodes. And i am very glad to have had them after Abandon all hope. That episode totally killed me, Elle i know what you mean about the last scene with jo and dean (omg) and ellen and jo. i didnt stop crying.I had to put my germen shepherd down a couple of years ago and i still miss him to this day, watching her say goodbye to jo still makes me cry.
again thank you for the article it was amazing.
# elle2 2010-06-29 09:26

Thanks for the comments and wow, another German Shepherd lover. I have a new one (born on the day my beloved RJ died) and here we are nearing his one year birthday, amazing to me; he fills my heart with great joy and I can't imagine my life without him. He's a 90 pound baby (and still growing, oh, my!) and he snuggles and cuddles which makes him a perfect Supernatural viewing companion!

You bring up excellent comments on Changing Channels, there is so much I could (and would) say about this episode and it's sheer brilliance. Can't remember if I reviewed it or not, I'll have to check. I kept my comments short simply for the length of the article, but there will be more said on this excellent episode when I write my Jeremy Carver article.

I love the satire and all the digs and pokes and laughs at the expense of other shows. Just love them. And poor Sam, that's where the 'double dipped' comment came from, not only the Nutcracker but Herpexia -- bwah!!!!!

I have found that Changing Channels and The Real Ghostbusters make an excellent double feature, especially if I'm not trying to view the season as a whole and look for the major mytharc story but rather enjoy Supernatural at its best, poking fun at the 'successful' shows (financially and viewing millions that is) and then poking fun at itself and the fans ('it's not jumping the shark if you never come down...HAH!)

Thanks for comments. Have you gotten a new dog to fill the void? Jobe has not replaced RJ but rather given me new adventures and joys and I see much of RJ in him; he's a joy!
# Bevie 2010-06-29 12:58
elle2, I enjoy your articles very much so don't be deprecating yourself, and almost always agree with them.

Just as rlwgsd said, I love the episodes that aren't heavily into the despair of the apocalypse mytharc. I just needed a break from all the sturm and drang and angst that have built up over the last two seasons. I can view these without my stomach clenching up and depleting the tissue box. And wasn't Chad Everett absolutely awesome as old Dean? I just loved old Dean and Bobby together. :D

Another thing I loved about this episode was watching Sam completely fool the witch with his bluffing. I'm sure his daddy taught him his poker skills well even though Sam is reluctant to hustle, he can do it beautifully when necessary. I was so proud of him!

I completely understand how you felt saying good-bye to your doggy friends. I too have been in that very same position with 2 beloved dogs (weimaraner and black lab) and also my darling loving cat Scruffy. It is a hard price to pay even for the many happy years preceding, but giving a good home and love to the furry members of our family is worth it in the end.

Looking forward to part 2. (This site is keeping me sane during hellatus)
# Suze 2010-06-29 14:45
Loved poker-witch and the anti-christ, Changing Channels was great fun although Gabriel = Trickster = me sulking, Fallen Idols was mindless fluff but for some reason I found The Real Ghostfacers totally excruciating ... I had to watch through my fingers, it wasn't exactly bad ... just 40 minutes of cringeing. Which is a bit odd as I thought Uberfan Becky was priceless the time before. I think a little bit of all that mind-melty stuff goes a long way!

My kids have a theory that all our dead cats are still around the place and the live cats can see them, although we can't, and when the live cats go all mad and pouncy they're playing with the dead ones. ;-)

I'd love them to be right.
# elle2 2010-06-29 20:14
Hi, Bevie and Suze,

I think Sam was excellent in episode 7, he played that game of poker with great confidence and showed that even when he was pitted against the crisis of Dean dying in minutes he was able to keep his focus and in the end win; did we really expect less?

As for the timing of The Real Ghostbusters... with the season complete it doesn't really bother me as I said I can 'view' around it. I love your use of the 'sturm and drang' and while I love good old Winchester angst, I'm looking foward to the 'smaller' aspect that we're hearing Season 6 is likely to bring. Less big overpowering storylines and smaller more intimate with a through line, I'm quite eager to see it play out.

Glad the site is keeping you sane, the schedule I'm looking to keep to of an article a week (or perhaps slightly more as I've got some 'extra' things that came to mind) keep me pretty sane as that's a lot of writing.

Glad you like my writing! :-)

As for our beloved furry friends, yep, the years of love and play are worth it even with the sorrow. When RJ died last year I immediately started looking, not to replace him but because I needed that presence in my life. Jobe is a joy and in one week he'll be a year -- amazing!

Suze, I know you don't like Gabriel = Trickster and for that I'm sorry. At least we got two Trickster eppies this season and if Bardicvoice's idea is correct -- and it could be based on what we know of Dean's, Castiel's and possibly Sam's outcomes in Swan Song it sounds solid -- then perhaps we'll get some more Trickster/Gabri el. Like Ash, I'm cool with it!

As for Uberfan Becky, yeah, didn't mind her so much in Sympathy for the Devil and like you said, a little goes a long way. Still, Sam and her scenes were priceless.

I like the theory on the dead kitties and perhaps that is what my dear Munchkin is looking at from time to time. He'd like my past kitties and they he. As for Jobe, I know he and RJ would have gotten along together.

Part 2 will be up shortly, I've sent a lot of stuff to Alice and Jenna, some of which requires a lot of work on their part but they were willing to take it on.

Happy Hellatus all, filming begins tomorrow!
# BagginsDVM 2010-06-29 22:47
I've enjoyed all your "road so far"s & this one is no exception!
I'm so sorry to hear about RJ's passing, but happy for you & Jobe. One of my current dogs was born within days of the death of her predecessor. I am a vet, & thus I've been on both sides of the table, as the doctor & as the grieving pet owner. It never gets any easier to recommend or to make the choice. And you never replace a deceased furry friend; he or she lives forever in that special spot in your heart & you just find a new place in your heart for that new love. That's one thing about hearts...they never get too full.
I like the idea about the dead kitties too.
# rlwgsd 2010-06-30 02:01
First i have to tell you all that most of my viewing of supernatural season 5 took place at this time of the morning . I work two jobs the parttime one at a movie theatre and on thursday night we have midnight shows of the new movies releasing that friday so i get home at like 1:30 am and have to be at work at 8:30 the next morning. That being said When i watched TCCODW and Chad Everett came out of the bathroom I just about fell off my bed i was cheering and laughing so hard. And to date my self i remember watching him on medical center as a kid with my mom and i had such a crush on him. He was the perfect actor to play the older dean. Being a dean girl that was a dream come true.
# elle2 2010-06-30 10:22
BagginsDVM and rlwgsd,

I'm so glad you've enjoyed all my Road So Far articles. These are the hardest to write (and last year I did four of them...whew.) When I finished this one and sent it off, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted; I do enjoy going back, however, and rereading them once they're posted.

My vet was great, the whole staff is included in that comment as well. When I came in with RJ who they had all known for the decade I had him they were all crying. I couldn't do that job if it meant I would be crying with everyone else.

When I brought my little Jobe to them at nine weeks they were all so excited to see him and tell him that he had a good mommy and he wagged his little tail and sat on command and even thrust out his little paw to shake (even though it took a little longer to master that command)

I too like the idea of the kitties. Munchkin loves to cuddle and he'd make fast friends with my other gentle kitties.

rlwgsd...I don't remember Chad Everett from anything (although I hazard I can date myself nearly as closely as you can :-) but I do think that was inspired casting. He had the mannerisms down perfect; he did his homework no doubt about it.

With SPN moving to Fridays will the viewing schedule be any easier for you? Hope so.

Thanks for the comments.
# Karen 2010-07-01 10:09
Hi Elle2
Loved it, loved it, loved it.
So many heart breaking and great moments in this first half.
I have only ever seen Abandon all Hope when it originally aired. I still to this day can’t bring myself to re-watch this one.
Bobby being possessed?? I still don’t buy this one, yeah I know get over it.
I agree with you on Jesse and Becky. They just seemed to drop Jesse’s story line completely, so was there a point to his character?
And Becky suddenly announcing at the last minute that she knows who has the Colt, it just didn’t sit well with me.
Changing Channels/Tricks ter will always be my favourite.
The Curious case ranks up there too. Loved Chad Everett and the grumpy old men sequences. Dean’s little happy dance. Sam winning the game. Yeah Sam!
# Evelyn 2010-07-03 16:03
Loved your look back and analysis of Season 5 so far elle. It's always interesting to look back on the season as you have, from a different perspective, with less emotion, and see what worked and didn't. I enjoyed reading your take on the season so far. Thanks.

Adding my two-cents about Chad Everett. I also remember watching Medical Center. It was one of my favorite shows at the time and especially enjoyed Chad, guh! He was handsome back then and he still is. It was nice to see him again, especially as Dean. And I agree with ya'll, he was perfect casting. Chad got Jensen's mannerisms down quite well - he even got Jensen's walk down, which is saying something. Chad did Jensen proud.

Quick Medical Center story. Way back when, (I believe I was about 9-yrs old) I cut through my leg one night playing with the neighborhood kids. The gash was very deep and icky looking and in need of stitches. Well, back then you didn't just go to Emergency Rooms like you do now, so we had to wait for our doctor to get in his office so I could go there and get my leg stitched up. So, while we were waiting, I was sitting in this lounger chair with my leg elevated watching, guess what, you got it Medical Center. Such irony and humor. I just have to laugh whenever I think about it. :D
# Elle2 2010-07-03 18:58
Hi, Karen and Evelyn,

I watched Abandon All Hope not that long ago and while it doesn't hurt as much as it still breaks my heart. There were some missed or lost opportunities and some gaffes but hey, you can't get it all perfect, especially when you can't write all 22 episodes first, review them, see what is fiscally possible and all that and then start shooting them. SPN gets it right more often than not so I'm pretty darn pleased and try to be gentle when I criticize; I have to remember, these are real human beings doing this stuff and I don't want them to stop!

Evelyn, I'm finding that unless something is so unique (Changing Channels to Point of No Return and some others) I'm going to stay away from actual reviews as the episodes air but rather wait and do a season in review. So often I find that while something may not have worked initially (such as all of The Real Ghostbusters) upon seeing in the context of the whole, it works quite well. That episode has grown on me quite a lot and I do look forward to it, I just skip Becky's part which just isn't ever going to work so I'll ignore it and then the episode isn't diminished for me.

I found that to be the case in Season 3 when Ghostfacers aired after the long hiatus coupled with the writers' strike which shortened the season, I loved it at the time but understood why so many bemoaned it. ( I had only just started watching SPN at Mystery Spot so I wasn't as -- uh, dedicated, yeah that's the word.) But upon viewing the season as a whole, the episode rocked perfectly.

Glad you enjoyed Part 1, hope you enjoy Part 2...ooops, I'm posting this afterwards and I see that you did enjoy Part 2!
# Rlwgsd 2010-07-04 02:24
Well funny you shold mention that about the move to fridays. About March I changed my availability at the theatre so that i had thursdays off and i was able to watch the show, Being a theatre and fridays being the busiest day i will have to just depend that much more on my dvr. It is worth waiting an extra 4 hours and will always make sure the weekend starts off good.
# Jasminka 2010-07-04 14:23
I am really late to this party, dear, but as I have been on a holiday I have a wonderful excuse .
I love your looking back on the road whe travelled with the brothers this last season... Off to reading Part II!

LOve Jas
# elle2 2010-07-04 18:29
Hi, Rlwgsd and Jas,

So darn it, Rlwgsd, just when you got your schedule coordinated...t he CW up and changes things. Well, good for you on your positive outlook, DVR and the weekend for the rewatches. :-)

Hi, Jas, yeah, you're back from holiday. I knew you were away and thought, geez, just when she leaves I post this big thing. :-)

Glad you're back, hope you had lots of fun and some rest and are now enjoying catching up on the site...we kept it busy for you.
# Rlwgsd 2010-07-04 19:52
Happy Fourth of July to Everyon.