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My Bloody Valentine:
It's out of order and disgusting as all get out but I really liked this episode, this is the second in a string of really strong to superior episodes, from The Song Remains the Same all the way through Point of No Return. I know some didn't like 99 Problems but I really did"¦but I get ahead of myself.
Blood and gore aside "“ and skipping past the ubiquitous infantile humor of a naked Cupid "“ I like this episode. As others have said, there is a brief glimpse of Jimmy inside Castiel's love for White Castle. That little smile Cas' gives as he says"¦ "These make me"¦happy." Yeah, I see Jimmy there. Misha had said that he'd find it interesting to play Castiel once he knew who Jimmy was and that 'he' was in there, well here he got a chance to show Jimmy for a moment.
The cell phone gag is exceptionally funny in this episode; I hit rewind again and again just to catch all the little moments between Misha and Jensen.
"Will you be my valentine?" Too funny. I don't mind that Sam and Dean were checking the organs; at least they weren't doing the autopsies which to me are just silly. The coroner was a great character and like Dean I kinda liked the guy, sorry dude, you were bound to die. 
Sam is strong here, sure at first he tells Dean he's fine when clearly he isn't but I think he just was so weirded out at first that he didn't know what to say so chose to keep silent. Once things got dicey though, Sam didn't hesitate to tell Dean what was going on and what needed to be done. Sam has come a long, long way.
Dean gets his third viewing of Sam using his powers and it's just as devastating to him as it was in It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester and The Rapture. What makes it worse is that Dean's mental/emotional decline is so nearly complete that he can barely hold on anymore. At the end we see him with his best friend, liquor, and even Cas' steady presence is no consolation; Dean is so broken he goes outside and prays. 
This entire episode carries so much more power when you watch it in the order it was intended, so I highly recommend when you're viewing Season 5, if you're viewing it in order, put Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid before My Bloody Valentine.
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid:
No, but they do wear flannel. Sorry, couldn't resist, see I resort to cheap, simple, easy writing too.
Bobby is neat, shaven, books are filed away, walls and floors and furniture is tidy and what is this...the smell of soap? Geez, check for sulphur someone please!!! Not that Bobby is unkempt; he's just super busy with all the trying to stop the end of the world business. 
I loved Karen. She was warm and witty and strong and fully aware of who and what she was. She was gentle but firm with Dean and I do believe he genuinely liked her, zombie notwithstanding. Sure he didn't trust Bobby to be safe in her presence but he didn't think twice about eating her pie. Hey, Dean, haven't you ever read any Grimms Brothers? Oh, that's right, Sam has done that. Anyway, poison can be put in pie.
This was a nice treat to see how the community in which Bobby lives views him, wonder how they view him now. This was also a devastating blow to Bobby to not only have a chance to spend time with his beloved wife but also to have to kill her "“ again; and then to find out it was all because of his devotion to Sam and Dean and dedication as a hunter. 
Sadly this was never followed up again in any way shape or form"¦or was it? I wonder if part of Bobby's reasoning for making the deal with Crowley was because of what Death imparted to him here. Don't know, 'tis fun to speculate.
Dark Side of the Moon:
I would never have expected an episode like this out of Mr. Dabb and Mr. Loflin. I'm not a huge fan of their writing, although I do like how much they make a point of pulling elements in from earlier seasons and that is to their credit. DSOTM is nothing short of brilliant. From beginning to end there is nothing in this episode that I do not like.
The opening teaser is shockingly violent. The first of several Winchester memories juxtaposes that violence with a sweet memory that allows us to see Dean experience some pure joy, something long missing as the burdens weigh heavier. Sam's memories are no less interesting as he moves through various phases, a real Thanksgiving, likely sanctioned by John or at least Dean, to his first taste of freedom when he ran away to his absolute rejection of 'the family business' as he leaves for Stanford.
While Sam looks for a 'real' Thanksgiving in part because he never had the crusts cut off of his pb&j, Dean is thankful for the Thanksgivings they did have, bucket of extra crispy and dad passed out on the couch notwithstanding.
Zachariah is near gleeful to have Sam and Dean on 'his territory' but that's of no use when Ash arrives on the scene. Ash, for that alone I love Dabb and Loflin "“ but unless they continue writing at this caliber or give me more Ash they're going to remain low on my list of favorites; come on, guys, you can do better than you have.
I love this episode and if I were to tell you all the reasons I would just have to review it which I don't think I have nor do I think I will; suffice it to say in my opinion this is a nearly perfect episode.



# Yvonne 2010-06-30 11:25
Great write up. I enjoy your reviews and perspective as well as reliving the episodes.

Starting to think I’m the only one who enjoyed ‘Swap Meat’. Perhaps it is because I didn’t have any expectations for body switching and I could simply enjoy the ride. I’ve often wondered as well how the town now treats Bobby, especially now that he’s walking again. Hoping the rumors are true, and we get a Bobby centric ep when Jensen directs.

Have to throw out a different opinion on Hammer of the Gods. It made perfect sense to me that Sam was lacking on sleep and worried. The poor guy saw his older brother jump off the Michael ledge. Sure, he caught himself and stabbed Zach through the face, but he did say yes. Sam must have felt he had to find another answer, or at least keep Dean on the move. Add that on top of all his other anxiety and it’s no wonder he fell into some old habits. Sam saw Dean at rock bottom and he was desperate to make sure that didn’t happen again. Dean’s reassurance that no one was giving up “especially me” seemed to take some weight off of Sam. That Dean even said that means Sam was worrying about it.

Love your articles. They’re excellent treatment for hellatus fever.
# elle2 2010-07-01 07:32
Hi, Yvonne,

You make some great points regarding Sam in Hammer of the Gods, hadn't thought about that, thank you.

The whole idea of Jared getting to act out Dean and vice versa has been something in the fandom for a few years (two at least) and while I'd have been happy if it didn't happen and likely happy if it did it's unfortunate that the whole concept was simply too difficult to pull off because it seemed to have caused a crash rewrite of what could have been a solid episode.

For me the biggest issues I have were that Sam got to be confused and looking fairly silly with the kid's family and those scenes were frankly boring and I was constantly distracted by Dean looking down at 'Sam' which kept throwing me out of the moment. I know, I should be able to suck it up and ignore it but I couldn't. Still, as I've said, perhaps five episodes I can miss altogether out of 104, not bad, in fact really, really awesome. I can't think of any other show I can say that about.

Glad you're enjoying the articles, with hellatus getting a wee bit longer, we'll have more time for reading and working through puzzles and whatnot.

# Karen 2010-07-01 10:10
Hi Elle2
Loved it, loved it, loved it…wait this sounds familiar.
The second half of the season was definitely stronger as well as emotionally draining. But I loved it.
That’s too bad about Swap Meat, I guess they did what they could do.
For me if they had left Jared playing the boys character while still being in Sam’s body it would of worked. But I guess for the young actor to get all of Sam’s characteristics and mannerisms down pat, would have been too difficult with the time they may already of lost with the change up.
I loved your vision of Dean being in the hammock, instead of the Angel/Devil dream, however I did find it amusing when I first watched it.
The only part I really hated about Hammer of the Gods was the senseless killing of the Trickster/Gabri el. Lucifer didn’t have to kill him, he could of sent him off somewhere until he got his big show down.
# Suze 2010-07-02 07:50
I think Swap Meat was a sweet enough idea but the wheels rather fell off in the execution, it did have some clunky bits but it wasn't totally dire ... I liked Hammer Of The Gods, although the idea seemed awfully similar to Neil Gaiman's book American Gods and they had a seriously weird selection of Gods on offer! It started out a bit wobbly and then picked up pace as it went along. The Trickster's postumous porno vid was wonderful! For what it's worth, I don't think he's dead and gone, everyone else who gets snuffed in the line of duty seems to get reconboobulated so why not our Gabe? He's just too good to lose, basically.

Still not sure about Swan Song, I think I'd built it up in my head until it was going to be the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything in 40 minutes of TV and then when it wasn't I was all miffed and huffish.

Never mind though ... I'm with you in the Oooh, What's In Store camp, it doesn't look to me like a simple re-set to Old Times either ... Just as long as they manage to work in a few You-Know-Whats I'll be happy! ;-)
# Elle2 2010-07-02 09:36
Hi, Karen and Suze,

Thanks for the comments.

Karen, as for the Lucifer killing of Gabriel, I'd like to offer a slightly different take, it is senseless and I think that was the point. Lucifer, for all his desire to 'walk off the field' did everything he could to ensure the battle was joined on the field in the first place. He didn't have to raise the four horsemen, he didn't have to pursue Sam relentlessly and yes, he didn't have to kill Gabriel. I think all that just goes to show that he was 'having a temper tantrum' against daddy and no matter what, he was going to vent his anger; Gabriel, other gods, failing vessel notwithstanding.

DOn't get me wrong though, I absolutely was devastated at Gabriel's death.

Like Suze, I think he'll be back and for the following reason: (Courtesy of Bardicvoice and terribly paraphrased by me) God restored Castiel because Castiel made a choice using free will (that angels do have or Lucifer would never have fallen and taken a third of the heavenly host with him). Castiel chose 'family'. Dean was restored courtesy of Castiel who was granted that power by God, and Bobby too was restored by Castiel; both those men chose family.

Sam was returned from hell (I believe fully Sam) by God -- here's where Bardicvoice shows her genius -- but Sam wasn't returned until Dean followed through and chose starting a new life with Lisa rather than revenge or suicide; Sam started the breaking of the Winchester cycle of death and blood by offering himself up for sacrifice, Dean finished it by honoring the promise he made to Sam and thus the cycle was broken (Granted that's just Bardicvoice's thoughts on it but darn, that woman is quite brilliant in formulating her thoughts on the episodes and what they mean).

Finally, Gabriel chose humanity over the cycle of blood and destruction that Michael and Lucifer were so intent after thus it is entirely plausible and in keeping with what we've seen for God to restore him as he did Cas, by proxy Dean and Bobby, and Sam. I hope Bardicvoice is right, it makes logical sense to.

Yeah, Suze, Swan Song like the 100th episode carried a burden that could be too much to be carried. I came into both without any illusions and so while the 100th I was able to enjoy immediately, Swan Song was so devastating to me that I couldn't rewatch it until five weeks later but I still liked it very much.

Upon rewatch I liked it more and since I knew this wasn't the end I didn't expect it to tie everything up. We still are left with some delicious dangling threads for Season 6...not the least of which is is it fully Sam or something/someo ne else? I still come down on fully Sam and Bardicvoice's review only firmed that up for me.

We'll know in 12 weeks...that sounds long but since we've already come 7 weeks we're well on our way to the half-way point.

I'll keep hoping for some You-Know-Whats. ..or anything else that leads to wet-shirted goodness!
# Evelyn 2010-07-03 16:50
Alas, what can I say elle, another great look back on the second part of Season 5. I loved the trip down memory lane. Thanks for this.

I loved your comment about the missed opportunity in Song Remains the Same with Dean's dream. That would have been very cool to see Dean dreaming about a family life, maybe then when Dean goes to see Lisa it wouldn't have been so out of the blue. Yes, Dean starting to wish for a family life was briefly hinted at in conversations, but seeing this now be a part of his dreams - that would have tied everything together with a neat little bow.

As for My Bloody Valentine, when Dean sees the full power of Sam. Yes, he witnessed this power in previous episodes, but not to the extent he did in this one. So, it was no wonder that Dean "lost it". Finally witnessing as he did first hand, what his "Sammy" is truly capable of - truly heartbreaking.

Big question about 99 Problems. I enjoyed the episode. But, when they went to fight the demons, they brought along the knife - BUT where the heck was the Colt?!?!?!?!?!? They still had that weapon in their arsenal, but we hadn't seen it since Abandon All Hope. So, since they realized it couldn't kill Lucifer, did they just forget about it? It still was a useful weapon in their fight and to not see it in this episode, well, I thought that was a lost opportunity. Would also have loved to see a scene where they explained the demon killing powers of these weapons to some of the townsfolk.

Point of No Return is one of my favorites and yes, this is an episode about family. And although Bobby and Castiel are not Winchesters, these four men are more like family than some other families out there. It's beautiful to watch.

Good point about the rings - I always just thought that they kept them because if someone else got their hands on them, the power held within the rings could still be used for evil. Also would have loved to see Pestilence and Death get their own episode. Missed opportunities there.

I so look forward to Season 6 and the smaller, intimate moments they will be showing us. Swan Song set things up perfectly for this new beginning. I also believed that Sam was restored to his whole self and enjoyed the insight that was brought out that he wasn't restored until Dean fulfilled Sam's promise and thus breaking the cycle of Winchester's sacrificing themselves. Which brings to point another question, with that thought in mind - just how much time do we think has passed now since Dean went to find Lisa and Sam appearing. With the sacrificing cycle being broken - it leads me to think that quite a chunk of time has passed, because I think at any time Dean could have broken that promise and gone to search for Sam, so it makes me wonder. Hmmmmmmm. It will definitely be interesting come Episode 1 of Season 6 to find out how much time has passed. Anxiously looking forward to it.!
# Elle2 2010-07-03 18:50
Hi, Eveyln

You are so right...where the heck was the Colt then. Excellent question. I too am wondering how much time has passed, a day, a few hours a week months? It's quite a topic in the fandom (at least it was last time I checked which wasn't recently.)

It would be interesting to see how that town deals with what it did, almost did and thought about doing. There sure is a lot of destruction going on there in Season 5!

Thanks for the comments...we'r e getting closer
# Jasminka 2010-07-04 14:28
Elle2, this is a great sequel to an already great part I - I think this season is my favourite so far (though even thinking which I like best is kinda ridiculous), and this account of the episodes brought back the episodes and its crucial scenes... ah.... tissues...

Thank you for this, Jas
# elle2 2010-07-04 18:31

Glad you enjoyed the rewatch through this article. It's the hardest one I write out of any article I do and purposefully I do wait until all 22 eps are done so I can frame it properly...stil l, so much to catch in the season that I end up leaving plenty out. But that's what articles on specific characters or writers or pivotal episodes are for, to add those other bits in.

I know about the tissues, I keep 'em stocked up.

Enjoy being home!