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Changing Channels:
Jeremy Carver is brilliant, Mystery Spot, A Very Supernatural Christmas, In the Beginning, Death Takes a Holiday, Changing Channels, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Point of No Return, perhaps Sin City and The Rapture and Family Remains and Long Distance Caller and Free to be You and Me don't rank up there (at least in my opinion) as overall magnificent episodes but each of them (yes, even Family Remains) have moments that really soar, okay, not so much Family Remains.
But this isn't the article on Jeremy Carver; that will be later this Hellatus.
Changing Channels, from saturated colors to laugh tracks [I hate laugh tracks so here it was brilliantly used to poke fun!] from "son of a bitch' used in just about every tone and inflection that on paper it's bland and overused but spoken in dialogue it changes to meet the needs of every scene. Sam being the pawn in a cruel joke two episodes in a row - sorry, Jared but you even got double-dipped here! Dean speaks Japanese - didn't hear of any fan complaints on that one this season, the Impala/Sam = K.I.T.T. complete with theme song and talk about theme songs, love, love, love it. We've got a Ghostfacers theme song and a Supernatural theme song,come on CW, isn't it time for a soundtrack CD yet!? And if all that isn't enough, the Trickster returns after nearly two years and does he have a little secret that is about to be revealed,
There are only two named angels in the Bible, Michael and Gabriel. Gabriel is always shown as an angel bringing a message while Michael is shown to be one who contends on the side of Israel against Satan, just a little extra information there for you.
Now, back to our program. I have zero problems with Gabriel and the Trickster being one and the same, it actually answers quite a lot about our beloved Trickster starting with why he likes to take "dicks' or those full of themselves and "hoist them on their own petard' the issues he has with his family make it clear that he does not like those who are arrogant or who go about hurting others. He's not that well-adjusted however so here he gets a little taste of his own medicine as the Winchesters use his arrogance against him and trap him using one of the newest additions to their arsenal,holy oil.
We're left with the glimpse of the Trickster pondering Dean's words and left wondering if he's changed his mind about his role in "current events'. We get our answer later in the season, one that leaves me cheering and sobbing at the same time but that's Supernatural,or is it,
The Real Ghostbusters:
Just when we got the apocalypse back in alignment and the season back on track we switch up from a gigantic reveal to a convention. Huh? Admittedly I first did not like this episode at all. It has grown on me considerably mostly because I truly believe that Eric Kripke enjoys a good laugh and truly enjoys what he's created and all that comes with it [although I'm still sure he keeps a steady supply of medication on hand for those daily migraines otherwise called as "checking the fandom sites]
I have two main issues with this episode one that is now resolved because the season as a whole is complete and the other I choose to ignore as much as possible; timing is everything and the positioning of this episode after Changing Channels jolts the head of steam the series had built out of TCCODW and CC; now that the season is over I can speed through that jolt either by moving where I watch this episode or timing my viewing so I see this in conjunction with enough others that it doesn't matter. The second is harder to resolve so I just ignore it; Becky knew who had the Colt. Nope that just does not work for me at all.
Other than that I enjoy this episode actually a lot. I like that Sam and Dean get an outsiders' vantage point on their lives, much like Sam had back in Simon Said when he met Andy who was well-adjusted despite his "abilities'. I like that Dean got a lesson from two guys whose lives exemplify what Zach was trying to teach in It's a Terrible Life. These two guys were having a good time living a fantasy to escape their bored realities but were completely aware of what was and was not real "“ well, until they learned a thing or to courtesy of the real Dean and the real Sam.
I pick out little things from time to time for continuity's sake and I liked that Rufus and Bobby were Sam and Dean's "sidekicks' Castiel would not have been known by the fandom yet Rufus would so it's a good move on the writers to get this right. There are also many mirror moments that make this a lot of fun, Dean and Sam drinking to the pretend Dean and Sam drinking, pretend Sam with the EMF meter to the real Sam with a real EMF meter, pretend Dean saying he'll toast the ghost extra crispy to the real Dean saying similar. And yes, as any good fangirl I do love it when they talk in unison! 
This is an episode that has grown on me and I now look forward to watching it with a bowl of popcorn at the ready and the phone off the hook (or ringer off) so there are no interruptions. No tissues required for this episode, good thing for the next one needs a double supply times two!
Abandon All Hope:
Demon Crowley is no fool, Lucifer will kill demons once he's killed humans so he turns over the Colt and some information on where to find Lucifer. Ellen and Jo meet Cas, Cas can hold his liquor, Jo grows up and proves herself a match for Dean in several ways and does as well as he does with the hell hounds on her first encounter - which is to say not well. 
This is a heartbreaking episode from Ellen and Jo's courageous deaths to Dean leaning heavily on Bobby to make it through to Sam's second encounter with Lucifer and the silent memorial at the end,which also ushered in a nine-week mini-hellatus. Ouch!
Samantha Ferris and Alona Tal brought their A+ games to this episode and thankfully they were given A+ material to match. I still tear up during their final scene but at least I'm not as stricken by it as I was initially. See, last summer I put my 11 year old German Shepherd to sleep and as he was sedated and the final medication was being administered to stop his heart I was petting him and whispering to him that he was my good boy and that I would always love him. To hear Samantha Ferris as Ellen utter those same words a mere four months later tore my heart anew. It was real.
I wasn't surprised the Colt couldn't kill Lucifer but I am glad it was back in the arsenal of the Impala. Demon Crowley's arrival was a breath of demonic fresh air and I'm very glad he returns later in the season and perhaps will return in Season 6 "“ the door is certainly open. I trust not the demon Crowley but I like Mark Shephard's portrayal and it shows that added dimension to demons that we first heard about in Sin City - and also mirrors the angels' dimensions - that not all are on the same side.
Castiel's and Lucifer's scenes were excellent; hard to do when they're just two men talking as they stand mostly still. The piano score that underlies those scenes is discordant and haunting much as I would expect an encounter with Lucifer would be, wonderful.
So the first half of the season is past, the mini-hellatus arrived here but thankfully we won't have as long to wait for the second half of my article ("cause I know everyone is dying to read the rest) as I suspect it will be posted very, very soon.
Thanks for reading, Elle2.


# 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.