Warning!!!!  If you have not seen tonight's episode, "Slice Girls," read no further!  Here there be spoilers...and dragons.  Definitely dragons.

First and foremost, I have to say I'm glad they addressed the issue of Dean using protection or not because seriously, Dean Winchester, master of the one-night-stand, better be using condoms, damn it!  All right, with that off my chest, let's move on to the good stuff.

To Kill Or Not To Kill?

The biggest question of this episode for me is would Dean have killed Emma if Sam hadn't stepped in?  Yes, he had his gun drawn.  Yes, Emma had a knife.  Yes, she was plainly telling Dean she was out to get him.  But it's my belief that he would not have shot Emma unless she attacked him first and really tried to hurt him.  Dean, right or wrong, went into caregiver mode with Emma.  He can't help himself.  He'll always hesitate to kill a child or someone he sees as a child because of his experiences raising Sam.  And unless that person is an imminent threat, he won't take action.  I think Dean felt Emma was still far enough away from him, and he hoped he could get her to change her mind before he had to shoot her.

So then Sam came in and made the decision for Dean.  Fair or not?  Did Sam jump the gun on this one?  Should he have waited until Emma attacked to fire the shot?  I think Sam here was acting in pure "protect Dean" mode because he's worried that Dean isn't caring for himself right now.  He sees Dean drinking more and more, sees Dean checking out, and he's worried that Dean is getting careless with his own safety, so he feels like he has to step in and handle the situation.  I think that's why Sam was angry at Dean at the end of the episode, too.  Maybe he used the Amy argument to get the conversation going, but really, he's scared that Dean is spiraling so far down that he won't be able to pull him back up again.  And he might be right because...

Is Dean Suicidal?

Dean has always been okay with dying, but as Bookdal and I discussed in our lengthy post-episode Twitter extravaganza (follow her @bookdal; I'm @Ardeospina, if you dare) being okay with dying and being suicidal are two different things.  Going all the way back to "Faith" in season 1, Dean has supposed to die or died so many times now that he's felt for a long time that he's living on borrowed time, that if his number finally gets called, he'll be okay with that.  But the way Dean is acting right now feels different than that.  I think Dean is barely hanging on, and maybe he didn't kill Emma right away because he's trying for suicide by job, maybe letting himself get killed as his way out.  He's mentioned pulling a Thelma and Louise this season, said he was going to take his "beautiful mind brother" and drive off a pier.  Maybe Dean's not drinking to dull the pain of losing his friends and family, or not solely that.  Maybe he's drinking to dull his own suicidal thoughts so he won't do something drastic.  He already feels like he's living on borrowed time anyway, so maybe now he's just that much closer to the edge.

But what about Dick Roman and revenge for Bobby?  Dean does seem motivated by that, but I don't think it's enough.  He's not the same as his father and Sam when they're on a vengeance quest.  He's not as wholly encompassed by it, not as 100% focused and driven and goal-oriented as they are.  Which isn't to say that he's not intent on revenge for Bobby, but Dean has always been a more emotional person, and his emotions affect him and his actions to a greater extent than I think his brother's or his father's did.  I think this is all just finally too much for Dean, and he's having a hard time figuring out where to go from here.  He doesn't have Bobby or even Cass to help steer him in the right direction anymore, and he's not sure he can rely on Sam because Sam isn't well, either.  Dean's worried about Sam's mental health and doesn't want to further burden him with his problems, so yet again he bottles it all up until he's going to explode.  Or implode.

So, news of future episodes is saying there's a psychotic break ahead for Sam.  At the beginning of the season, he rebuilt his sanity based on the fact that Dean was Dean, and he could believe it would stay that way.  Does Dean lose his way so badly that Sam can't believe in him anymore, thus causing his fragile sanity to snap?  Does the weight of having to carry Sam's mental health on his shoulders cause Dean to collapse, thus sending Sam into insanity?  What a vicious cycle that would be.

Is Bobby A Ghost?

I'm with Dean on this one.  I think Bobby is a ghost.  Even though we got confirmation that they burned Bobby's body, I think he's still around helping out his boys whenever he can.  And I think he's haunting the flask.  That's right, I think Bobby is tied to the flask that Dean is carrying around.  Nothing ghostly happened until he got it back from Lydia's, even though they had been working the case before that.  Or maybe, like Sam said, I just want it to be Bobby because I miss him.

Bits and Pieces
  • I laughed when the professor was so incredulous about a tomorrow deadline for that research.  Bobby would have found it in two hours.  *sigh* I miss Bobby.
  • I liked that morgue tech.  He was super helpful.  Let's keep him.
  • I guess Sam's not the only brother to have a thing for sleeping with the supernatural.  Props to Lydia for getting us some shirtless Dean, though.  Looking good, Dean.  Looking good.
  • But the handprint is gone!  I'm sad about that.  I felt like that was a physical reminder for Dean that even when he was at his worst, someone still cared enough to pull him out of it.  I guess when Cass healed Dean in "Swan Song," he fixed that, too?
All right, it's getting late, and I need to get to bed!  I hope the previous has been semi-coherent.  Please excuse any typos as I didn't yet go back and proofread this.  I will tomorrow.  Anyway, I'll be looking forward to hearing what you all have to say about this!  Speculate away!



Comments  

Leah
# Leah 2012-02-04 03:59
Yeah, that whole 'don't you die on me' from Sam and Dean's lack of a quick response has me extremely worried. But i do agree that being okay with dying and being suicidal are two completely different things--so here's hoping Dean doesn't jump that bridge.

And i adore the idea of ghost!Bobby and i'm completely convinced it is Bobby--i thought that way back when Dean's beer was suddenly gone. I was yelling at my TV for Dean to try and summon him with the flask but it never happened. And i kind of hope that ghost!Bobby remains unseen and is just a steady presence in missing beers and turning pages and Ouija boards and the like.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-04 06:37
To Kill Or Not To Kill?

I think Dean would have killed Emma when she made her move. I found this scene to be totally in character for Dean. Emma hadn't killed yet, and Dean was trying to talk her down -- give her a chance to walk away. Sam, though, was definitely concerned about Dean, burst in, and made the kill. I'm so happy that Sam did that. I think if Dean would have had to make the kill himself, it would have been so much harder on him in his current state.

Is Dean Suicidal?

No, but I do think he is at the point of where risk to his own life means nothing to him.

I was pretty happy with this depiction of Dean. First, his drinking and having no interest in taking the 'small' hunt until Sam said something of the Levi were nowhere to be found, tells me that Dean's arc is not going to be suddenly dropped as in previous years. All the bickering between Dean and Sam, not backing down to Sam's complaints, tells me Dean is still angry. With him angry and his story the only one connected to the overall mytharc, it gives me great hope that Dean will go dark and have some significant impact on killing the Levi -- the Levi we've been told many times cannot be killed.

Dean's continued drinking and his building anger gives me hope that the Show will, in fact, take Dean dark. A dark Dean is an impressively dangerous thing. There's a reason that LeviCas specifically told Dean he would be back for him in Ep. 1 of this season, and there's a reason that Dick Roman is scared of Dean. After watching this episode, I feel like there is going to be some kind of payoff to Dean's story for once...I hope it's a Levi slaughter....I' m in the mood for a good slaughter after all this grieving and hand rubbing.


Is Bobby A Ghost?

Yes, I think we got Bobby's answer to the Reaper. Honestly, I don't know yet if I like the idea of Ghost Bobby or not. He can't hang around forever w/o turning into something he hunted; yet, I don't want Dean burning the flask at the end of the season.

I like that Dean kept the flask. It's a nice reminder to the audience of Bobby and how deeply Dean cares for those few people he gets close to. If, because Dean is all okay by the end of the season and burns Bobby's flask to help him move on; to me, this would just be another loss added to the pile. I know it could all be done in a very touching and bittersweet way, but Dean would still 'feel it' and so would I. I want Dean to have that flask.

On the other hand, I'm not sold on Casper Bobby showing up ever so often, either. That's cheesey. I like the way they've done it these couple of times, but it will turn cheesey very quickly if they keep it up.


Tidbits:

Still NO IMPALA, damnit. That car they used this episode was ugly.

The 2Js were on their game in this one. Both did an excellent job, but that JA is one fine actor and is selling all that Dean is going through. The two actresses did an equally excellent job, and; yes, I liked the tech guy, too.

The two writers totally redeemed themselves for Route 666 and Dr. Phil. I liked the way they write dialogue for the brothers, even in Route 666, and they did that again in this script. I also like the way they write the brothers interacting with each other. In Route 666, Sam's teasing Dean and Dean's reactions were cute (saved the episode from total disaster, actually), despite a poor story. In this one, I thought they hit the perfect note of the two brothers bickering to show where each brother was. Dean is not functioning well at all, and Sam is trying desperately to hang onto Dean for his own sanity. I loved it.

The minute I heard my favorite song, ACDC's You Shook Me All Night Long, I knew this episode was a winner (and here I had thought for two weeks it had the potential for total disaster). Of course, that song should have been blaring from the Impala (DO YOU HEAR ME, SG! I want the Impala back NOW.)

Good job, Jerry Wanek, on your first directing gig. Nice dark tone to the episode. Of course, we didn't get to see enough of Dean's upper torso...and my goodness, he has nice broad shoulders...wit h the cutting back and forth between the murder and the sex scene. I kept looking at the gore, instead of drooling over Dean, but I can wait for some screen caps (insert half pouty face).

I did kind of like the close-ups of the Dean and Mama Amazon faces as a way of working up to the athletic sex. That was unique, but just don't use it too often.

I thought this was the strongest episode of the season, and I loved it. That, of course, takes nothing away from Dean and Eliot Ness and those clothes that men should never have quit wearing. Still drooling over that hot dressed man. Mmm, Mmm.

It feels really nice not to have to talk about things I didn't like.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-02-04 11:58
Quote:
Yes, I think we got Bobby's answer to the Reaper. Honestly, I don't know yet if I like the idea of Ghost Bobby or not. He can't hang around forever w/o turning into something he hunted; yet, I don't want Dean burning the flask at the end of the season.
I really think that this is less clear than we think. Mary stayed sane for over 22 years. She minded her own business and only acted when the Poltergeist entered her house and began hurting people. Molly from Roadkill did hurt people, but not from anger. She was simply trying to find a husband she believed was wandering around the woods injured. She moved on once she knew the truth.

While it is true that most of the ghosts we have seen become unstable, angry and violent, Tessa and other Reapers have an investment in having their clients move on. That is their job. The ghosts that hunters become aware of are the ones that have become angry and violent. We honestly don't know how many, if any, are sticking around watching out for their kids and hurting no one.

The one thing I believe is that if Mary could hold out for as long as she did and if she could take herself out when she felt it was time, then so can Bobby. I think he can judge when and if he becomes dangerous and that he would act accordingly. In the end, what Tessa said about ghosts is information imparted by not exactly a supernatural creature, because death is a natural part of life, but by a non-human creature whose job is making souls move on. It's like trusting a salesman. Tessa may have been completely honest. She may have believed what she said. It doesn't mean she was right or that she was not shading the truth when she talked to Dean.
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 13:06
Actually we have precedent for a couple more ghosts who aren't vengeful spirits: the heroin dealer from The Usual Suspects, the Hollywood ghosts (who did kill people, but there is no real indication that they would have done so if they hadn't been commanded to), and the little boy in Death Takes a Holiday (although I will grant that he is newly dead which allows for Tessa's theory). Even Leticia Gore could have arguably been trying to protect people since she appeared but never tried to kill anyone.

But if it is Bobby, I like to believe that he would move on of his own free will once he could be sure that the boys are ok.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-02-04 13:25
Add in the Fox sister.

There may be a point of concern, however. Who says the reapers won't just blow you off eventually. The latest reaper seemed to give Bobby an ultimatum. Is that also just salesmanship? Are they honor-bound to restore order so they (or a hunter branch of reaperdom) have to chase down all ghosts? Or can you get stuck as a ghost for eternity if no reaper will come for you? And what if you piss off the wrong supernatural entity like, say, Death and he forbids any reaper to come for you?
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-02-04 13:29
And as a ghost-hunter that Death seems to do favors for (if resouling Sam was a favor), is "Dean" a reaper from the special division who doesn't go after the newly dead, he goes after "the runners"?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-02-04 14:32
It is possible that the Reapers blow you off eventually, but we saw both Mary and Molly move on without any apparent help from the Reapers. The Reapers are part of the moving on process, but may not be the only way of moving on. I think there is a lot of leeway on the issue.
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 15:02
I think the implication is that reapers WILL blow you off at some point. Otherwise nobody would remain behind at all. Tessa's reaping in Death Takes a Holiday seems more motivated by the fact that the boy was only left behind because someone was messing with them, rather than because he refused to go after he died.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-02-04 19:54
I beg to differ. Missouri almost made it sound like Mary went to oblivion. We don't know that reapers escort people there. I wouldn't think you'd be escorted to non-existence. But maybe that's not where Mary went, or maybe you do need an escort "there." But as for Mary *and* Molly, you don't know they weren't escorted by reapers just because we the director didn't show us any reapers. The reapers maybe the ghosts went invisible first then the reapers appeared only to them. They wouldn't have been important to the plots in those cases and typically one the people reapers come for are supposed to see them.

But your bringing this up has me thinking about something that honestly never crossed my mind before. I'm sure it will have been discussed elsewhere but I don't get out and about in the fandom. Why was there no escort by a reaper in Dark Side of the Moon? Hmmmm... Error... or interesting?
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-04 13:18
Quote:
I really think that this is less clear than we think.
You could be right. It could be that the disappearing beer and the moving paper are just in Dean's head -- that he wants to believe Bobby's still helping them. Sam did say the bones were burned, but canon is often changed to fit the story.

It may also be that Bobby is pulling a Mary and is a ghost helping the boys. The one thing I do not want it to be is that Bobby shows up in the last few minutes and saves the day before smiling at the brothers and going off into the light.

Showing them the paper with the answer to this week's problem is close to still being an ex deus machina. Saving the day at the last minute would be an ex deus machina. Bobby had become an ex deus machina in the series; therefore, although I love the guy, I do not miss him. If he's going to be an ex deus machina in death, then they shouldn't have killed him off.
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 13:31
I disagree that Bobby had become a deus ex machina. By definition a deus ex machina is something random and unexpected. Bobby was closer to Mr. Exposition (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MrExposition).

A more suitable example of deus ex machina from the series would be John crawling out of hell to help Dean, but even that is debatable as it seemed totally within John's character to crawl out of hell at the first chance he had to kill Azazel and save his boys.

At this point so much story time has been spent on Bobby having to chose whether or not he would move on and the possibility that he may not have, either answer would be earned from a story writing stand point.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-04 15:49
Whatever Bobby is or was, there are certain things that I want out of this season.

The first is that I want the question of why the brothers are even hunting answered. I've wondered that since Sam got his soul back and here we are with the reward of their efforts being mental illness, depression, and alcoholism, along with two years of soap and fanfic themes.

I don't want this season to end up being a season all about Bobby with the brothers as support characters to Bobby's story. We had that last year with Cas, and I wasn't thrilled with it. I want the focus to be on the Winchesters.

I want the brothers to be the heroes to save the day. Either they are still juniors in training to hunters like John, Bobby and Rufus, or they have stepped into their own. Right now, no one in the hunter community even recognizes their names. After all they have done, shouldn't someone out there in the same business at least know something about them, since they are supposed to be the two best hunters on the planet? I want them to step into their roles as the most experienced hunters.

I'd like that to be next year's story with Sam taking on some of Bobby's role and interacting with various hunters (expand the hunter community) and Dean being the paranoid, gruff bastard that don't trust others hunter. The brothers could hunt together or separately. I don't mind them working apart at this point.

I want Sam's permanent mental illness fixed, because I don't buy into a permanently mental hunter, his story is not interesting, and it is not connected in any way to the mytharc.

I want Dean to regain his love of hunting and half-believe that he is good at it. Most of all, though, since they have connected Dean's story to the mytharc this season, I want a payoff to at least this or one of his multiple dropped storylines that have cropped up over the years. Not one of Dean's storylines has every had a resolution or a conclusion to it. I'm looking for that this year.

I know, what you want is not always what you get, but I'm more than ready for proactive hunters with action stories and to be rid of the personal psychological emo'g that seems to have no end.

And none of this is to say that I have not been enjoying S7, but I'd like to see the brothers get some of the Winchester jewels back.
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 18:05
I almost think at this point the brothers are still hunting half because the other is still hunting (going to the "I'm not leaving my brother alone" theme) and half because they can't in good conscience walk away while they know people are being hurt.

I don't really think this season has been about Bobby any more than the first season was about John. Actually even less so because in the first season John's disappearance was actually driving the mytharc. Bobby is weighing heavily on the boys' psyche, but he isn't even close to driving the mytharc.

I see your point about their place in the hunter community, but consider two things: 1)From what we've seen there isn't a community per se as much as there are people with certain contacts that overlap (and because of how John raised the boys they were never privy to the contacts) and 2)most of the hunters we've met up to now have either been hostile to the boys or have outright tried to kill them. Given that the Winchester's tend to be mixed up near the top of the trouble, their mistakes tend to be more epic and world crashing in nature which understandably irritates most other hunters. From what I've heard (I still haven't seen the tail end of season 6) blame for the Leviathan release could conceivably be laid on their shoulders by other hunters. The last thing they need at this moment is another disgruntled hunter with a gun popping up.

I totally buy a permanently mentally damaged hunter, but I suspect Sam's mental illness will be dealt with on a more permanent basis before the season is out. Unless of course they are planning to quit after 8 seasons, in which case they might push it to the winter finale of a season 8.

Now what I absolutely would not by is Dean falling head over heels in love with hunting again like he was in season 1. At 26 hunting really hadn't cost him anything. Sure he didn't have a normal life or childhood, but he didn't really know what he was missing. He'd never had a relationship, but he didn't know what he was missing. His father was still alive, Sam was alive and relatively healthy (plus if we believe what he says, he was actually proud that Sam had followed his dream despite missing him and their family unit). He hadn't been killed and dragged to hell, in fact as far as we know he hadn't even been seriously injured on the job.

I can't comment on the dropped story lines, because I haven't noticed any so far (remember because I was viewing with TNT's airing I haven't seen about 10 episodes of season 6 which is where everyone seems to say the dropped plot lines are) so without examples I can't comment on that. Although I would totally love it if you would give me examples ^_^.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-04 22:33
If we are to believe narrative, then, yes, each brother hunts because the other one hunts, but that doesn't answer the question of why either of them are still at it. Sam with his soul back and wall up would have been the perfect time for both of them to quit. Dean could have gone back to Lisa, Sam could have gone back to school, both could have retired to Bobby's, worked on cars and did some research for other hunters. It's not like they have gained anything from continuing to hunt. Just the opposite, actually. Trying to save Cas wasn't important at that time, because they didn't know Cas was the bad guy and they certainly weren't involved in the Heaven/Hell war.

If they can't walk away because people are being hurt, then they fought their destiny for no reason, because that just puts them destined to be hunters regardless of what they go through.

The brothers started off as simple humans who roamed around the country saving people by killing evil. Then the story went epic and the brothers became two mysterious heroes. There would be a second Apocalypse and our two hunters were "chosen" to be right in the middle of it -- the determining factor really. These two mysterious humans, using free will, out of all the humans on the planet, would defeat all the forces of Heaven and Hell and save the world. And what did they get for their efforts? The pain of Hell and the pain of losing everything loved for a life in the suburbs just like every other human on the planet.

But they tried to save the world one more time, and now they have mental illness as a reward (because depression is also a mental illness).

A poster on another board summed it up: In Dean's case, you have what was once an epic hero who endured the deaths of his parents by a demon, the damnation of his father, the death of his brother, his own horrific death by hellhounds, decades of torture in the pit, and the agony of letting the one person he loves most in the world throw himself into eternal torment–into a self-pitying drunk.

For Sam, we have a once epic hero who made mistakes, jumped into a pit to save mankind, was raised again, got his soul back, lost his sanity, put himself back together again, and is still clinging to his sanity by sheer willpower, hoping to save the world once again and trying to help the self-pitying drunk of a brother.

I think, given this history, why do they keep going on is a fair question to ask, and a question the show needs to give some substantial, plausible answer to. Misery and a pre-determined destiny they fought so hard against just isn't enough at this stage of the game. Nor is it satisfactory that "I hunt because my brother hunts." That is destiny.

As far as a hunter community, you are right that all we have seen are the likes of the roadhouse bunch, Issac and whatever her name was, Roy and Walt, and the hunters that came after Sam in the bar; all of whom blamed the Winchesters. Then there's the absolute jokes of hunters, like Garth, Krissy, and Lee, who apparently had no knowledge of the Winchesters at all. To off-set those two groups, we have Bobby and Rufus, who respected the Winchesters as hunters. The boys have done world changing things and should, in my mind, be building some kind of a reputation in the network (or community), be that animosity (which would add some other kind of tension besides the tension of their own personal relationship again and again) or some good will, which would layer the world the brothers live in.

I certainly don't expect the Dean of S1, but Dean has been dealing with the issuea of his hunting, his self-esteem, his relationship with his father and all of that stuff since S1. There has been no forward movement to the character in that respect at all. If anything, those issues are just more prominent than they were to begin with and the question of why does he continue to hunt naturally is raised again. I've even wondered what he thinks of John now. We went from hero worship to deadbeat dad, the end. Sam had resolution with his issues with John, so maybe Dean thinking John was a piece of crap is that resolution for him. I don't know, because it is not clear.

Without going into detail because this would become a novel, I'll just throw out examples of dropped storylines: the PTSD of S4; barely addressed; Michael's Sword, Michael's vessel, the righteous man, the one to start it has to be the one to finish it; all chucked with Swan Song. Looking at the grace of an arch angel, the only person in the SPN verse to kill an angel besides another angel, how he was able to kill the WoB; did those have any meaning, or also chucked with Swan Song. Does killing a legendary figure and then ingesting Phoenix ash have any lasting significance? Would that work against the Levi somehow? Did being touch by the fae and returning have any significance or was that just something thrown into an episode.

Dean is the only character in the SPNverse that has a connection to both Heaven and Hell (as a torturer apprentice to Alistair and being resurrected by the angels). That should make Dean the most powerful, or influential, person in the Universe. Does that mean anything?

Then there is the toying with Dean being crazy and dark since the Pilot. Introduced in the shadows, the one who hunted in this unknown SPN world, the one who was the natural born hunter, the one who Sam has called half-crazy his whole life, the one who self-diagnosed himself crazy in Sam, Interrupted, the one who occasionally flips out and saws the heads off vamps in a brutal fashion, the one who enjoyed torturing others in Hell, the one who was willing to kill Roy the preacher in Faith (a human -- and other humans he has threatened if Sam got hurt), who threatened to march into Hell and slaughter every demon if John was harmed, him thinking of himself as no better than a demon (Dream a Little Dream and now as a killer), and on and on. Am I to believe now that all of that teasing was just a Dean that huffs and puffs and all of it meant nothing? If so, he's just a blowhard self-pitying drunk. Or...maybe Lisa taught him to be sane and normal that year Sam was down under, but that's not how Dean said it went and that's not what I am seeing now.

In every case, Sam's stories have been brought to a resolution or a conclusion. The death visions, his issues with John, him wanting normal, him going dark, his ultimate redemption, and his soulless self. This season is the falling wall, so I can't address that yet. I can't think of one of Dean's stories that has ever been resolved or brought to conclusion throughout the series.

But the point of all of this is that we have two hunters wallowing in a solely human problem (mental illness) that has nothing to do with the supernatural except that is the world they live in so it is a backdrop to their human story. I'd like to get beyond the focus on their psyche and back to more of the supernatural aspect of the show.

Dean's revenge is connected to the mytharc, so I'd like to see one long lingering issue; be that revenge, why he hunts, his self-esteem, get a pay-off. After all these years, it's long overdue that he either decides to hunt or gets out, Sam or no Sam.
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 23:40
I...totally need a minute to digest what you just said before I can respond
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-05 00:17
we consider seasons 6 and 7 (along with a hypothetical 8) to be part of a new "series" or "anthology" then the major question definitely seems to be "Why the h*ll are we still doing this and how long do we have before we die doing it". I'm betting they are putting that off until the end so it will either be in the last few episodes of this season of it will be the major theme of next season.

I think the fighting their destiny was always more the brothers going "Um ok look, we are NOT going to do something that will result in the deaths of a significant part of the population, and we really don't care how long you've been planning for us to do it". I don't remember it being about hunting, and I don't really remember either one of them considering leaving when they were done. Dean did leave it, but specifically because it was Sam's dying wish. And he even admitted later that he hadn't been able to leave it as easily or completely as anyone had hoped. Ackles and Padalecki have both said that they don't see the Winchester boys coming back from some of the places they've been and some of the things they've seen. I tend to agree. Both of them literally spent more time in Hell than they did on Earth. A serious question that needs to be asked is are they even fit for "civilian" life anymore. And I totally agree: depression is absolutely a mental illness. I do wonder if Dean's is more a situational depression, meaning if he were able to be removed from the situation he could recover as opposed to say major depressive disorder which he should really be medicated for. But...tha tis probably a whole other discussion.


As for Dean the drunk, they are rapidly writing him into a place where they are going to have to deal with his alcohol consumption because it is bordering on dependance. I suspect that the intention was to imply that Dean has been consuming large amount of alcohol since his return from hell to numb himself (according to Lisa he continuted to consume large amounts in between and into season 6). I think the only reason he isn't hiding how much he's drinking is that Sam isn't giving him a hard time about it. He hasn't blacked out yet (that we know of), but he is using booze as an "eye opener". I'm seriously expecting blackouts and DTs before season end.
...cutting this post in half now :D
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-05 00:32
I almost feel like they are starting to go that way. Dean says he should repair cars professionally, a beat that could have easily been put in to the season 2 repair, but was left out. Both Dean (in "Adventures in Baby sitting") and Sam (in 6x22) allude to the fact that they are putting themselves through everything they are because of the other brother. Now if they would just sit down and have an actually freakin' conversation they might realize that neither wants to be in it as much as they used to. As much as I love Dean, I generally blame the lack ofcommunication on him. As to why they didn't get out at the midpoint of season 6 (pretending for a minute that it would have been feasible and not left us with only half a season :lol: ) is that Death basically told Dean something big and bad was coming and he needed to deal with it. Translation: you've got work to do, boy.

I actually think the resolution of the story between Dean and John was Dean realizing that John was far from perfect and really screwed up raising him and Sam. There really can't ever be full resolution of that because John is dead, therefore Dean can never confront him and John can never apologize. Sam did pretty much get resolution of his issues with John, but that's different because he had issues with John before his death, and they were largely solved by Sam doing exactly what John wanted him to do: hunting. Dean doesn't really start to have issues until just before John dies and even then they aren't major until John lays the responsibility for saving or killing Sam on Dean's shoulders.

About the dropped plots:
Michael's Sword=red herring the angels came up with to trap Dean
Michael's vessel=resolved :Dean refused so Adam was used instead
Righteous man=resolved: Dean spilled blood in hell and broke the seal. Which is why the brothers felt responsible for ending the Apocalypse.
PTSD=ongoing, one of the things Dean's alcohol consumption is used to blot out.
WoB=resolved: Dean had made it up in his mind to become Michael's vessel. He later copped out, but at that precise moment it was his intention to be a servant of Heaven so it gets a pass.
Phoenix Ash=No idea. I saw this episode but because TNT aired it but not "Fronteirland" I had no idea what was going on.
Fae=not really likely to come up again unless they are a MotW again, but as it stands Dean should be able to see fairies.

I already talked in the other thread about my opinion on Dean's place in the universe and his clout in Heaven and Hell (basically: he probably has none and he's lucky that neither side is actively trying to waste him).

I suppose the meat of this conversation really boils down to one question: is SPN about two brothers who happen to be hunters, or two hunters who happen to be brothers. Where you stand on that issue really colors your entire view of the series, where it's been, and where it's going.

and thank you. I have been dying to analyze this show in depth like this since I started watching it.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-05 08:16
Yes, to discuss these points in-depth would require a novel. It is fun to see other perspectives on the show and to learn what others take from it. Prior to this episode, I was completely uninterested in Sam's story and have been since the end of S4. Now I'm curious to see what causes Sam's mental break (not the great hellpain, though, but the trigger for it) and Dean's reaction. For that reason, I count this as a very good episode.
FMJemena
# FMJemena 2012-02-07 05:12
Good points, Ginger! I admit that, as a fan, most of the time, I just want my weekly SPN/Winchester fix. When I think of where the series and the boys are going, I only hope for them to have some happiness, some peace, in return for the good they've done.

However, under fanfic, that's the time I get really caught up thinking of possible futures for them and their world. It's weird. Is it because I realize SPN TV is out of our hands and we can't dictate? But the points you made? Yeah, they're valid.
suzee51
# suzee51 2012-02-04 06:40
Hey, will you please take one minute of your time to help?
Immediately go to: http://celebufight.com/ and vote for Jensen Ackles? He is currently LOSING in a poll pitted against fudgin' Hugh Laurie, and I can't stand to see our boy humiliated that way! HELP!
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2012-02-04 08:49
I do believe Dean would have killed Emma. but since she was his daughter he just wanted a little chat. But he was ready to kill from the time she walked in the door. She was playing Dean, and maybe Dean was playing Emma. I loved the scene in the car when Sam was rushing to save Dean-very suspenseful. Also Sam saw Emma's eyes turn red so he knew she had to go.

It was so sad when Sam said "don't die." He would have no one if Dean was gone!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-02-04 09:36
I'm glad for this episode. I think it moved things along nicely. The exchanges between Sam and Dean were very good. I loved Sam's teasing Dean about his one night stand, brotherly banter! Can never get enough of it.

But more seriously, I do think Dean would have killed Emma if push shoved, because he does know evil when he sees it, but I'm glad it was Sam that did it. Because if Dean would have shot his "own" daughter, I don't know what that would have done to his already fragile psyche.

The conversation in the not-impala (I won't dignify that as a car) was quite sad. And yes I wholeheartedly agree that being okay with dying and being suicidal are two different things. Sam knows that Dean is in a fragile state, and he desperately needs his brother to lean back from the edge, because that is where he is tottering himself. I guess we will find out soon how close to the edge he really is.

P.S. I do think Bobby is still present somehow, through that flask probably. Love the way that ancient Greek text just appeared, and yes Dean, I noticed it wasn't there before. Sam has to be less of a Scully and more of a Mulder on this. "The Bobby truth is out there"!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-02-04 12:05
Quote:
P.S. I do think Bobby is still present somehow, through that flask probably. Love the way that ancient Greek text just appeared, and yes Dean, I noticed it wasn't there before. Sam has to be less of a Scully and more of a Mulder on this. "The Bobby truth is out there"!
In most cases I would agree, but Sam has a very fragile hold on reality. He may not be able to allow himself to believe things just because he wants to. Right now he has to determine every minute of every day what is real and what is an hallucination. Believing that Bobby is defying the logic of moving on is a slippery slope for Sam. Until he sees proof, he has to go with what feels logical. He can't afford anything different.
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2012-02-04 10:03
While this was not a particularly good episode, I thought the acting and writing of the brothers was right.

I am impressed by Jensen Ackles's performance as depressed Dean here. It feels like there is no joy, or no passion, left in the world for Dean.

I agree that Dean has no objection to dying. He has given up on anything but hunting and Sam, and will not mind when the pain stops. I do not think he is to the 'suicide by job' point yet, and would have killed Emma if she had attacked outright. His reaction to her was so sorrowful. And then he reverted to Frank's philosophy.

Sam jumped the gun a little (pun, I know), but it was better that he kill her than to have Dean do it at this point. I am reminded how far this Sam is from the Sam of Season 1. His desperation showed through here.

Ghost Bobby is not something I was looking forward to, but it is here. Being tethered to the flask makes sense to me, it was Bobby's forever. And I like that Dean kept it.

I miss the handprint too, for exactly the reason you gave.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-04 10:28
I don't mind the handprint being gone, because Cas pulliing Dean out of Hell was only so that Dean could be used and manipulated by the dick angels. I don't see that handprint as symbolic of a fond remembrance of the Dean/Cas relationship or as Cas caring about Dean as a friend and person. I was very happy to see that the show remembered the tattoo, though.
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 18:06
That's actually a very good observation. I didn't read it that way originally, but now that you mention it I agree.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-04 19:52
One thing the raising from Perdition did do that I don't think the writers have ever even realized is that that resurrection put Dean as the only character in the SPNverse that has a connection to both Heaven and Hell (as a torturer apprentice to Alistair). That should make Dean the most powerful, or influential, person in the Universe and it is one of those plot point that has never addressed.

I doubt anything will ever be done with that, but this would be the perfect season to make something of Dean being so powerful, since the Levi supposedly are unable to be killed.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-02-04 12:01
I thought it was a good episode. Poor Dean and Sam....
ErinS
# ErinS 2012-02-04 13:22
I really liked this episode. The fact that I only became a fan in late December means I've missed too much of this season to call a favorite yet, but this one is in contention.

I don't think Dean is suicidal. If he was there is one surefire way to kill himself: go after Dick Roman right now. His behavior isn't reckless, after all he didn't go after the MOTW alone, and he did attempt to defend himself and reason with Emma rather than just letting her kill him. Granted his sexual behavior was reckless but the dialogue implies that it is no more reckless than normal. I personally have always thought the odds are that Dean has at least one kid he doesn't know about.

What does concern me is Dean's alcohol consumption. His tolerance is very high as we saw in "Defending Your Life" and now he seems to be taking maintenance drinks throughout the day. Those are bad signs.

And finally, I really don't believe Dean was going to kill Emma. I don't think he had it in him to do it at that moment. Not after he'd lost his best friend and his (surrogate) father in the same year.
Sweet
# Sweet 2012-02-04 14:19
Sad to say, I am not concerned about Dean at all this season, lol. He's been this way since season 2; it's a rehash and I didn't like it much back then, either. I do mind that it's been used to destroy Sam's hell sl this season. I mind very much. Sam goes insane and we get nothing on it because Dean is flailing again.

What struck me the most about this episode is that Sam always gets angry with Dean for not taking care of himself. But Dean only gets angry with Sam when Sam does things Dean doesn't like. Big difference, and not one that makes Dean look very good or sympathetic to me.

The deal with Emma is that she was faking Dean out all along. She was taking her time with her prey, not bonding with daddy and trying to save herself. She showed her true face, right in front of Dean, and then played the scared little girl act as soon as Sam bounded in with his gun pulled. Maybe she could have been talked down, but then what? She would grow up and make insta-babies just like her mom did eventually. If Emma were truly going to make a run for it, she would have RUN, not stopped by to see Dean, a hunter. That's not running away; it's stalling. Emma was an active threat at that point, which is different from Amy, who only killed to save her son. Otherwise, she was not a killer at all.

Unless Ghost!Bobby shows concern for BOTH Sam and Dean, he can stay gone. I'm not going to care. For once, let the boys do research and be smart like they used to. Sam's intelligence is never played up at all on the show, which is stupid, because he's one of the leads.


Dean's sl is flat out ruining this season for me. Period. It's a drag and it's going nowhere. Maybe Dean really will lose it while crazy!Sam holds it together. I don't care. For me, it's just a rip off and it was used to ruin an awesome story line for Sam. Go ahead, Dean, go ahead and lose it. I'll try and suppress my yawn when you do.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-02-04 19:31
Quote:
Sam's intelligence is never played up at all on the show, which is stupid, because he's one of the leads.
i agree and not because he is the lead but because he has tried to translate i think Sanskrit using computer and his limited knowledge in that language that is why .
Cindy
# Cindy 2012-02-04 21:53
And Sam's hell storyline isn't a rip off of Dean's? Talk about yawn inducing.
lianne
# lianne 2012-02-05 19:50
Quote:
What struck me the most about this episode is that Sam always gets angry with Dean for not taking care of himself. But Dean only gets angry with Sam when Sam does things Dean doesn't like. Big difference, and not one that makes Dean look very good or sympathetic to me.
Sam gets angry at Dean when Dean is self-destructiv e because Sam needs Dean to be there for HIM... to "save" him and to protect him. This is the way it's always been and something Sam relies on.

Dean gets angry at Sam when he's being self-destructiv e because Dean has been made responsible to "save Sam" and it will be HIS failure if something happens to Sam. It's his only value in life to protect Sam.

Dean didn't seem suicidal at all to me in this episode. He just seemed like he wanted to take a break from the hunt. Especially hunts that don't involve the big-picture threat-- the leviathans.

Sam seems to have forgotten that Dean isn't an idiot. He DID use protection, despite Sam's bitchy accusations, and in the end, Dean did realize who Emma really was. Dean simply thought he should hear her out, since she was his "family", and maybe see if he could "save" her as well. But I have no doubt that if she actually made good on her verbal threat, that Dean would have taken her out.

I don't know what is up with Sam for not understanding this? Or why Sam was so annoyed and irritated at Dean for trying to give his family the benefit of the doubt. He certainly did that enough with Sam in the past.

I love how gentle and sweet Dean is in his sex scenes. Dean is so adorable! I do feel bad for him that he put himself out there again after, what, 3 years of only being with Lisa?! And he ends up not only getting rejected by Lydia but also the father of a monster! Bummer.

I enjoyed this episode overall. I don't know what to think about Bobby being a ghost. On the one hand, I think Bobby had a wonderful sendoff episode, but on the other, I love Bobby/Jim. So torn!
nancyL
# nancyL 2012-02-04 15:29
Ardeospina, Dean knew that he was quicker with the gun then Emma was with the knife, so he was waiting for her to be more of a threat before he shot her. Sam bursts in and sees his brother in danger and takes care of business, taking the decision out of Dean's hands. But Emma was definitely not leaving that room alive.

I agree that revenge for Bobby's 'death' (I too believe that he is haunting the boys) is not enough motivation for Dean to carry on. When John died, he was depressed enough to beat the poor Impala (returning soon, I hope), when he finally killed the YED, he did it in Mary's name, but I don't think it was revenge for himself, but more for what the YED had done to Mary, Jessica, John, and Sam. When Sam died, Dean didn't care about going after Jake, he wanted Sam alive.

You are right, Dean for all his 'no chick flick moments' is a very emotional guy, and knowing that Emma was his child (remember Dean in 'Kids are Alright') he would have tried to reach her as a father, even knowing what happened to all the fathers. His head told him that she was a threat, but his heart wanted to bond with his daughter.

Not the best episode of the season, but not the worst either. That honor may belong to next week's episode:'Everyb ody loves a Clown' part 2.
nancyL
# nancyL 2012-02-04 15:41
One more thing, the handprint.

Maybe you are right and it was 'healed' after the beatdown that Dean got in 'Swan Song' (after all, it was a burn). But wouldn't there be a mention that it was gone? Or is it like the 'annual' Las Vegas trip that we only first hear about seven years after meeting Sam and Dean?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-02-04 18:40
To Kill or Not to Kill.
Emma was playing Dean. She probably didn't bank on Sam showing up as she figured he’d be taken up with Detective Amazon. She did show her true colours/eyes to Sam though. Did she have to die? Was it her intention to kill? That seems to be what she went there for. Though I do find that the whole idea that if it’s evil you kill it to be a little depressing. A black and white world is a Gordon world and that’s not a good world.

Is Dean suicidal?
Yep. He might be only verbalising it (a lot) this season but I think he has been suicidal for a while. (Though could an argument be made that all hunters have a bit of a death via monster complex going on?)

It’s hard to know how much this will weigh on Dean. Depends on whether he considers Emma his daughter, or a monster. I guess when he’s up, Emma will be a monster, thereby helping Dean feel better and when he’s down, he will consider Emma his daughter, thereby enhancing Dean’s feelings of worthlessness. After all, she is another ‘family’ member he couldn’t ‘save’. (Does Dean see similarities between Emma and Sam? After all, both Emma and Sam were born ‘wrong’, destined to do wrong. Perhaps he hoped to get it right with Emma where he couldn’t with Sam, a sort of second chance?)

Are there similarities between Dean and Emma (besides DNA)? I think so. Taking the whole 0-16 years in 36 hours out of the equation for a minute, there are similarities there. Both have lied to get what they want. They both have Daddy issues (though I don’t see Dean chopping off any of John’s hands and feet. John would totally kick Dean’s ass if he did that, feet or no feet), both know what it feels like to have no choice but to do what they do. It will be interesting to see how this will be addressed in future episodes because guaranteed this will churn in Dean’s head for a hell of a long time.

Is Bobby a ghost?
Much as I like Bobby, I really hope not. The boys need closure in order to let go and move on; and it has been their inability to let go that has killed them both in the past. This whole ‘Is it Bobby?’ will end up haunting them. Add to that if they stick to the whole ‘If it’s supernatural we kill it’ ethos then Bobby will end up dead anyway (again), only this time at the hands of the brothers and that will end them altogether.

Not only that, I think this whole ‘Is he or isn’t he?’ thing the show has going on in relation to Bobby is kinda cowardly. It’s like they’re testing the water to see how the fans will react to the show without him and if it works, great; Bobby is not a ghost and the missing beer and papers were just the wind etc. If fans don’t like it then they’ll bring him back. I’m sure this is SOP for a TV show but I don’t particularly like it. I also don’t want Bobby to become a caricature of himself. It would leave a bitter taste in my mouth if Bobby became one of the things he has hunted for decades.

This is the first time in a long time I’ve enjoyed the writing for Sam. Now, I get that the Sam we’re seeing at the moment is as fake as Christmas but seriously, if Sam decides to swallow a few paracetamol and do a bit of yoga to keep hell at bay in order to continue as this Sam for a while, I think I’d be okay with that. I like that Sam is so proactive and is as protective of Dean as Dean is always shown to be towards Sam. There have been numerous incidents of Dean rushing to save Sam this season, so this role reversal was nice.

It’s also been a while since we had capable Sam so this little bit of it is good. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily like to see him become immune to killing (and he has gotten a lot of kills under his belt this season) because that would do a serious disservice to the guy.

I thought the final scene in the car was really well done, and it fit really well. I felt it was true to both boys and where they are at this time. I didn’t think Sam was bitching, more that he’s extremely worried about, and scared for Dean. Sam can’t keep that worry inside any longer and it manifested the way it did . Is he a bit pissed at Dean? Probably. Dean means too much to Sam to just up and die and if he keeps freezing on cases or drinking himself through the day then that’s what’s going to happen to him. Sam needs Dean to know that.

At the moment Sam’s shouldering hell, his own loss of Bobby and worry for Dean. He’s also got to pick up the slack on cases (turnabout is fair play and all that) so he’s under huge pressure and here it showed. Not only that, Sam has been where Dean is. He’s had the addiction, he’s lived the obsession, he’s done the not letting go and he knows where it will lead Dean if he doesn’t learn to let go and I don’t think Sam wants that for Dean. Perhaps this is why he’s so insistent that Bobby is dead. Not only can he not dare to hope, he’s also trying to get Dean to look up and see that it is worth, and that he is capable of, moving on. That isn’t an insult to Bobby’s memory because I don’t think Bobby would want them to be incapable of moving on.

I think this outburst was the only way to communicate to Dean in this scenario. If Sam had done the whole ‘Dean, we need to talk....’ thing then Dean could have said he was fine, called him Samantha and made a joke about man boobs and that would have been the end of it. When Dean doesn’t want to talk, he does not talk so Sam had to give Dean no choice but to listen. And I think it worked. Dean didn’t fob him off or say he was fine. This outburst was more effective because very often slow build up to a 'moment' can sound rehearsed and manipulative and Dean would have caught onto this in an instant and he’d have gone on the defensive. To know that Sam is genuinely scared he might lose his brother might give Dean the jolt he needs. Hopefully....

I like that this scene showed that maybe Sam could be Dean’s lifeline. We’ve had seasons of Dean picking up Sam when he was down, this was the first time this season I’ve seen the opposite, and I kinda liked it. Could do with more of it, to be honest!

Add to that, I’m a bit more hopeful about their relationship. In the past few episodes I’ve gotten little sign of the infamous ‘brotherly relationship’ . Sam and Dean were more like mere hunting partners than brothers who have died for each other. Now while this was understandable given their individual circumstances I found it was getting a little tedious. In a season as bleak (for me) as this one is, there has to be a ray of light, some sort of anchor for the brothers. Hopefully they will realise that that is each other. (Mother of God, that sounded so bloody corny!)

Anyway, good episode. Me likey. Thanks show!
LEAH
# LEAH 2012-02-05 16:37
I did not know there was another Leah posting so I changed my name to all caps to avoid confusion.

I think the brothers are still hunting because they feel they have no choice. Not just because of each other. Dean in particular, because he feels he is a "killer".

I did not love this episode. It was just average to me. I did like some things. The problem for me is I used to love to rewatch the episodes and now I have a problem just remembering them a few days later. I do love the series
but the old magic is not there anymore. The seven year itch?? I will follow this show to the end mainly due to the outstanding acting. I also hope the SL picks up, becomes more interesting, or just suprises me once in awhile.

The MOTW are kind of boring lately. They are all human-like
with some minor supernatural variation. The angels and demons included, but not boring at least. It has been that way for years. If any other, less charismatic actors were involved, would the series still be around?

Sam and Dean being depressd/mental ly ill just seems like a dead end street without any satisfying resolution. Well, these characters are resilient and the writers are capable of brilliant moves so hope remains alive!
FMJemena
# FMJemena 2012-02-07 03:41
THANK YOU SO MUCH! Uhm, maybe Bobby became an Angel? :P