Supernatural
has always peppered its seasons with stand alone episodes---but what makes them work is how they manage to loop back in some way to the overall story. These episodes allow them to look at other creatures and mythologies. This gives the show a chance to expand the world of the Winchesters beyond just the season long story arc. “Sharp Teeth” is another example of this---and yet we see it do what so many of the stand alone episodes do best: it reflects something in the overarching theme or story of the season.

Let's look at the stand alone case first.

We begin by watching a farmer come racing out of his house, carrying a shotgun and shouting at someone. As that figure flees the barn, we see them violently struck by a car and as they land on the asphalt we realize that we know this person. It's Garth---someone we hadn't seen for quite some time now.


His description hits the police wires, and both Sam and Dean come to check it out, knowing it has to be their missing friend. Once Garth is woken up---by a very sharp slap from Sam---he tells them that he was there hunting something and then flees the room in a panic as he gets sick.

Unfortunately it's all theatrics, and Garth splits without telling the brothers anything. It turns out, as they track him down, that he's with a werewolf pack. The Winchesters are ready to fight for him, kicking the doors down and brandishing weapons---but Garth stops them from killing the obvious female werewolf. He has as secret to share. Garth, himself, has been turned into a werewolf.


He tells them that's why he hasn't called in months. It's why he went AWOL. He tells them, “And tell you what? That I messed up? No, I-I knew the deal. There's no cure, so I accepted my fate.”

This leads the Winchesters to vet the pack Garth's not only moved in with but married into. Turns out the female werewolf, Bess, is his wife. To prove that they're not terrible man-eating monsters, Garth invites them to meet his new family and to go to church with them.

It's a nice scene as Dean enters to see the congregation practicing their hymns for Sunday. If Dean didn't know any better, it'd look like any other religious group preparing for weekend services. Garth plays the piano while everyone holds their hymnals and sings along. It's ordinary and safe.


The only problem is instead of soothing Dean, it only makes his hackles raise. This seems too good to be true. Something has to be going on here. There's no way that this whole werewolf pack can be this peaceful. The Reverend, also a werewolf and the pack leader, tries to soothe Dean's ruffled feathers. He seems gentle, patient, and respectable.

He even goes as far as to invite Dean to dinner. Let them share a meal and get to know one another and perhaps put some of the divisions between hunters and werewolves---or lycanthropes as they prefer---aside. Dean accepts grudgingly, needing to further his investigation. After all, his friend Garth is now a werewolf and he needs to know that things really are kosher.


Meanwhile, Sam keeps working on putting pieces together about the community and the cattle mutilations that snagged Garth in the first place. Turns out that all the organs are ripped out. So far, however, it seems that there are no humans on the menu. Perhaps Garth's story is checking out.

As Dean breaks bread with the werewolf family, they share their story. The Reverend's first wife was killed by a hunter---and he goes onto to tell the elder Winchester, “I realized the road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach, you never fill it -- ever.”


Dean also notices something unique around each of their necks. They are all wearing silver bullets to signify their fragility. Again, everything seems overly friendly---despite the raw hearts on everyone's plates, save Dean's. Joy, the Reverend's wife, matches her husband's gentle approach and is almost serene in this scene. It seems that Garth was telling the truth. This pack is really on the up and up.

The sheriff that Sam talks to, however, calls the brothers just before they're planning on splitting. There's been another mutilation and he'd like them to take a look. They arrive only to discover that he's also a werewolf and that it was a trap. The image of the friendly pack co-existing alongside humanity has been shattered. It means that they'll have to dig deeper into this.

Dean decides to go to the werewolf church---especially after discovering the word Ragnarok on the sheriff’s silver bullet. It would seem they're all about the end of days, bringing about the domination of the wolf over man. Dean investigates the church records, finding the scripture that backs up the claim that Fenris will rise and wolves will dominate. It means that the Reverend's pack has been hiding in plain sight as a sleeper cell waiting to launch an attack on their human neighbors.

Sam, checking in on Garth, finds that they've become victims. Their place is ransacked, destroyed, and worst of all, they're missing. He tells Dean this and before he can go to find them, he too is taken. When he awakens he finds himself tied to a tractor---alongside Bess and Garth.


Instead of the Reverend, however, it is Joy. She is trying to bring about Ragnarok. Sam and Dean came just at the right time to help her start it. She can frame them for killing Bess, the Reverend's daughter, and her new husband, Garth. It'll be the perfect set up. She tells Sam, “My husband turned his cheek once. I don't think he can do it again."

Dean and the Reverend speak about Ragnarok, and he assures the Winchester that he has nothing to do with it. Now, however, they must find where Bess, Garth---and Sam---are all being held.

It can only end one way. Joy tries to make her move on Sam, only to get kicked off her feet. As Dean bursts in, he ends up shooting her, ending the Maw of Fenris then and there.

So, how does this stand alone connect to the overarching season nine threads?


Unlike most stand alones, this case centered on a friend of the Winchesters. Garth has been an ally since his introduction in season seven, but after his disappearance in the latter half of season eight he's been only mentioned sparingly. Garth left Kevin largely unprotected, as he was away from the boat when Crowley finally found the prophet.

It's guilt over Kevin that Garth and Dean share. Garth tells Dean, “Friends don't do that.” He ended up turned and too afraid to say anything---and yet Garth is never one to pass the blame. Rather, he accepts his part and instantly tries to find any way he can to make it right. While he can't do that for Kevin now, he most certainly can try to make it up to Sam and Dean for his lengthy absence. He even offers to rejoin the hunt when necessary as his penance.

We've seen guilt become a big issue through this season---particularly since “Holy Terror.” Dean feels guilty for Kevin's death. Sam feels guilty for stopping the Trials. Castiel feels guilty for falling for Metatron's lies. It's a theme we've touched on through various characters---and each has reacted differently. Garth's guilt reflects all of this in many ways, allowing us to process this trope in a different way.


Garth didn't ask to be turned into a werewolf---just as Sam didn't ask to be possessed. He didn't reach out and tell someone about his problem---just as Dean kept that possession secret. And Garth is trying to find a way to make it up to the Winchesters---just as Castiel is trying to make it up to them for causing the Fall of the angels. It's a subtle layer tucked in amongst the stand alone story.

This isn't the only way, however, that “Sharp Teeth,” plays with the themes of season nine.

The angels have been amassing their armies by preying on religious faith. It's key for them to get the permission of their vessels. They've enlisted their own Reverend---Buddy Boyle---to capture the hearts and minds of thousands so they can start to fight against Metatron---and one another. Here we have this reflected not in Reverend Jim, but in his wife, Joy.


The religious faith trope is played with in this episode. Instead of angels or fixing Heaven, we're shown a group of werewolves forming into a fringe group---the Maw of Fenris---that believe they can bring about the world wide domination of werewolves by bringing on Ragnarok.

It preys on the dissatisfied, the angry, the resentful. It gives them something to fight for and strive towards. Those that end up in this group are militant, giving into their werewolf instincts to attack not only humans but their own---as we see those in the pack attack Bess and Garth. After all, Ragnarok is “bigger than all of us.”

This is no different than the lies the angels have told the humans duped into being vessels. They're told they’re going to bring God's work to the world. These werewolves are told they'll bring about their own paradise. Both are false prophecies and both will create mayhem and death in their wake.



We've also seen the Garden of Eden and serpents play a large role throughout the story on nearly every level. We see that here, too. Joy is sweet, forgiving, kind, and generous when we're first introduced to her. She seems gentle and friendly---willing to accept Dean into her home and at her table with grace. All she wants in return is for him to respect her in kind.

She seems very happy with the Reverend and her “step” daughter---who she sees as her own. Joy has wormed her way into the Reverend's pack on every level. She's at his side for sermons and meals. She's steadfast in supporting him after the loss of his first wife---and she had a hand in raising Bess. Joy has become the alpha female of this pack.

But when we see her in that barn, threatening Bess, Garth, and Sam, we realize she's been the serpent in the pack all along. She's been whispering to other select members---the sheriff for one---and convincing them that they should bring on Ragnarok with her. It will restore the pack to the one she remembers growing up in under her own father. Werewolves should be the dominant force here as far as she is concerned.


She tells Sam, “As long as there is a man, there can be no peace. Because man destroys. And I, for one, am sick of it. ”

For Joy, this is an absolute truth. Hunters will never stop and so she wants to start Ragnarok now. Just as expected, it ends with her death and with a lot of pain and misery. Her serpent bite has left her husband bereaved for another wife---one that betrayed him under his very nose---and a family shattered.

Their Garden had been the peaceful pack, living alongside humanity. In the wake of this invasion they will now have to find a way to live with the consequences.

“Sharp Teeth,” doesn't merely reflect the season storylines, however. Alongside the stand alone story, we see Sam and Dean struggle with finding a way to work together after the hurt and anger at the end of “Road Trip.”

The episode begins with both of them being cautious---as if sizing one another up. They tread carefully as they discuss Garth---and only Garth at first.


The longer, however, Sam and Dean are left in Garth's hospital room to wait, the more bold each gets. Dean asks Sam where he was coming from---New Mexico. Dean asks about Gadreel---and Sam tells him about the grace left behind. It's a tense conversation with clipped answers and curt remarks.

And then Sam spots a bit of the Mark of Cain on Dean's arm. It's evidence of the two steps forward, two steps back that the Winchesters have entered. Here, it's two steps forward. After Sam asks about it, Dean is forthcoming. He tells his brother what it is, where he got it, who gave it to him, and who he was with when he got it. Most importantly, Dean tells Sam why he got it: to kill Abaddon.

Instead of hiding this information or blowing his brother off, we see Dean tell Sam exactly what is going on. The Mark certainly has more to it than that, but Dean hasn't discovered what that “burden” is yet himself so there's nothing for him to share. This won't become yet another secret that'll fester---which is a good thing.


Unfortunately we're two steps back in the next scene as Dean lies about seeing Garth on the security camera footage---something Sam busts him for immediately. It makes the younger Winchester lay down rules for working this case together---mostly not to play games anymore.

For the remainder of the case, we see Dean stay to that.

At the end, we see the brothers prepare to separate once again. Sam told his brother that he'd be “gone” once this was over---and Dean is still banishing himself. But before Sam can leave, Dean tells him honestly that he's feeling lost. He tells Sam, “---what's right is wrong and what's wrong is more wrong, and... I just know that when... When we rode together---”


Sam tells him, “We split the crappiness.”

This isn't open ended forgiveness. This isn't even agreement that they are “all good.”

Sam has been in Dean's position before. He knows what it feels like to feel like he's dangerous and incapable of doing the job right. Sam has had to walk away like this once before---in “Free to Be You and Me,” Sam made the same choice Dean did in “Road Trip.” He had screwed up by trusting Ruby and letting out Lucifer and he figured that it'd be best if they didn't work together anymore. So he walked away and Dean let him.

Now Dean is the one that walked away because he screwed up. He lied about Gadreel. He tricked Sam in the hospital. He did things without thinking of their consequences---especially in regard to Sam. And for that he has to earn his brother's trust back.

Dean tries to tell Sam that they just need a couple “Ws” and Sam tells him no. He says, “But something's broken here.” It's true. There is much to fix between them. If they're to work together---and be brothers---then Dean must acknowledge the problem. He must work on it with Sam if they are to ever get past what caused it in the first place.

Or they won't work together at all.


Dean accepts the terms---and the brothers get back into the Impala once more.

It's another two steps forward for them here. Sam chose to go back with Dean---mostly because he knows what it's like to need a second chance. It doesn’t fix everything nor does it resolve the rift between them by any means, but it was clear in the scenes where they were separated in “First Born” that both were hurting. Being away from one another doesn't necessarily fix things any more than not talking about them---and they can't talk about these problems if they're not together.

It will take a lot for Dean to earn Sam's forgiveness---and most importantly trust.

“Sharp Teeth,” allowed us to look at some of the season themes in a different lens---and it allowed the Winchesters to thaw some of the ice between them. They certainly have much more to do, but this is a start.


Eve Gordon played two versions of Joy well in this episode. When we're first introduced to her, we find her to be welcoming, kind, and friendly. She fits the preacher's wife image to a T. There's a gracefulness to Joy in Gordon's performance, especially at the dinner. She makes Joy caring and loving especially when she speaks of Bess. Yet, Gordon seems to flip a switch when Joy is exposed as the monster. She is cruel and capricious. Joy's pride shows in how Gordon delivers her lines---especially “You're just dying for me to get my claws dirty, aren't you?” or “Oh, that is so sweet. But I am going to hurt her. And him. But especially you, for bringing these hunters here. I'm gonna hurt all of you.” We can tell that, despite being that preacher's wife, that she's dangerous and deadly. There's almost a delicious way in how she portrays Joy in this scene---even if we know what the final outcome will be.


DJ Qualls brings the sweet-natured Garth to life. It's been awhile since we've seen the oddball hunter. It seems he has a good reason for going AWOL after all. We first see him handcuffed to his hospital bed and as Sam and Dean huddle around him, he rushes to the bathroom with an “illness.” Instead, Garth flees because he has a terrible secret: he's been turned into a werewolf. Once Sam and Dean track him down, we see Qualls make Garth the sweet and loveable guy we've come to know. He tells Garth's story about being turned with a gentle acceptance. Garth has always had a strange insight underneath some of his quirks, and that's no different in “Sharp Teeth.” We see that in how he introduces Sam and Dean to Bess---knowing that one brother's “just a big ol' Teddy bear,” and that the other is “insecure at times with good reason.” We see that insight again when he tells Dean that he's found a family and “who cares where that comes from?” Qualls also shows Garth's frustration with the intolerance or mistrust well. We see him show Garth's fear and anger best when we see him and Bess captured by Joy. Qualls also shows us Garth's guilt well when he tells Dean about how he feels about Kevin and what has happened. It's a subtle performance that makes us feel these lines all the more deeply. Now we'll have to wait to see if Garth will make another appearance at some point.


Jensen Ackles portrays Dean as if he's walking on egg shells around Sam---there's a caginess in those opening scenes especially in the phone call about Garth's escape. As the case unfolds, we see Ackles put all of Dean's walls up. He's watching the world with mistrust and caution as he talks to Garth and his pack---shown best in the scenes where they talk to Bess and Garth and again at the dinner. Ackles also shows Dean's disgust well at what's served on everyone else's plates with just simple glances. In the scenes with the Reverend, Ackles shows Dean is careful and yet he starts to soften towards the pack leader---especially after he realizes that the Reverend is a victim himself. Ackles shined, too, in scenes with Qualls as Garth and Dean discuss Garth's new life. With just one look, Ackles conveys all of Dean's grief at losing Kevin. We also see him start to thaw about his rigid views---something that will hopefully help him with repairing what he's done wrong in his relationship with Sam. In the closing scene, we see Ackles put all of Dean's emotions on display. His heart is clearly on his sleeve as he expresses his confusion, his hurt, and his grief. We can tell that Dean wants to put this all behind them and go back to normal---but it won't be that simple. Ackles shows us that Dean's trying, even if he's not sure what he's supposed to do to fix things. This is a start, and it'll be interesting to see how Ackles shows Dean working on it as we go forward.

Jared Padalecki plays Sam a bit distant and cautious opposite Dean. We can tell that he is feeling the situation out, yet trying to be careful considering. Padalecki shows this best in the opening and closing scenes when we see Sam keep his cards close to the vest. He wants to open up, though, and we see glimpses of that in both scenes, too. He admits to Gadreel's grace and he tells Dean that they split the “crappiness.” Padalecki showed that Sam was all business on this case, though, as he kept digging into answers and asking questions about what they're investigating. It was Sam's method of keeping Dean at arm's length and it worked. But Padalecki also showed Sam's concern well---first for Dean when he asks about the Mark and for Garth as they try to piece together what's going on with his pack. In the barn, we see him calm and focused as he tries to keep Joy talking rather than acting. He doesn't agitate her and as she rants he keeps his responses quiet. Padalecki shows that Sam's walls are high in that final scene, and yet we can tell underneath it that he is willing to try if Dean can stick to his terms. It's done with Padalecki's signature subtly, and yet we can feel the emotional pain that Sam's enduring in those final moments, too.

Best Lines of the Week:

Sam: He’s a skinny, Ichabod Crane-looking kind of guy.

Garth: Bess, this is Dean, who could start a fight in an empty house, but deep down inside he's just a big old teddy bear. And Sam here? Sam can be a bit insecure at times, but with good reason. Bless his heart.

Bess: Many of our kind see themselves as indestructible. This is a constant reminder of how precious our lives truly are.

Dean: Don't you two have a chew toy or something to go play with?

Garth: Look, amigo... I know this is all looks nuts, but I found it. Love and a family? Who cares where that comes from?

Dean: Look, we're all a little weird, we're all a little wacky -- some more than others -- but...if it works, it works.

Next week it looks like Sam's turn at being an yoga instructor.

Comments  

amyh
# amyh 2014-02-01 16:19
Thank you for tout insights. excelleent read. :)
amyh
# amyh 2014-02-01 16:19
Thank you for tout insights. excelleent read. :)
Grace232
# Grace232 2014-02-01 17:57
This was not a favorite episode for me, but your analysis made me appreciate it more. Thank you for that. Road Trip and First Born were such great episodes. This will never be in that class, but the important threads you have highlighted add to the overall stories for the season. After reading this analysis, I am now ready to re-watch it. Thanks again.
Grace232
# Grace232 2014-02-01 17:57
This was not a favorite episode for me, but your analysis made me appreciate it more. Thank you for that. Road Trip and First Born were such great episodes. This will never be in that class, but the important threads you have highlighted add to the overall stories for the season. After reading this analysis, I am now ready to re-watch it. Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-01 19:15
Quoting amyh:
Thank you for tout insights. excelleent read. :)


Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you thought so.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-01 19:15
Quote:
Thank you for tout insights. excelleent read. :)
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you thought so.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-01 19:16
Quoting Grace232:
This was not a favorite episode for me, but your analysis made me appreciate it more. Thank you for that. Road Trip and First Born were such great episodes. This will never be in that class, but the important threads you have highlighted add to the overall stories for the season. After reading this analysis, I am now ready to re-watch it. Thanks again.



Thanks for the comment.

I think it did what it was supposed to: get the brothers talking on some level.

I'm glad you found my analysis helpful---and enjoy your rewatch!

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-01 19:16
Quote:
This was not a favorite episode for me, but your analysis made me appreciate it more. Thank you for that. Road Trip and First Born were such great episodes. This will never be in that class, but the important threads you have highlighted add to the overall stories for the season. After reading this analysis, I am now ready to re-watch it. Thanks again.
Thanks for the comment.

I think it did what it was supposed to: get the brothers talking on some level.

I'm glad you found my analysis helpful---and enjoy your rewatch!

Thanks again.
Sandra K
# Sandra K 2014-02-01 20:19
Oh, I do love reading your reviews! They are the just the best!
You manged to calmly and unbiasedly break down and lay out all the parts, themes and threads, giving us an aerial like view of the episode. So now we can focus on the bigger picture! And to top it off, like a juicy red cherry on top, you subtly bring it back to reality by pointing out that these characters are just being well played by two talented actors. ( and they are so talented, my goodness!)

The unifying themes are well explained and manage to stitch together the episodes.
Thanks!

Peace!
Sandra K
# Sandra K 2014-02-01 20:19
Oh, I do love reading your reviews! They are the just the best!
You manged to calmly and unbiasedly break down and lay out all the parts, themes and threads, giving us an aerial like view of the episode. So now we can focus on the bigger picture! And to top it off, like a juicy red cherry on top, you subtly bring it back to reality by pointing out that these characters are just being well played by two talented actors. ( and they are so talented, my goodness!)

The unifying themes are well explained and manage to stitch together the episodes.
Thanks!

Peace!
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-01 20:38
I look forward to you positivity and insight every week. I agree with your assessment regarding this eppy. Looking forward to this weeks eppy and your review of it next weekend. Jared in shorts and a tank...how can you go wrong with that
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-01 20:38
I look forward to you positivity and insight every week. I agree with your assessment regarding this eppy. Looking forward to this weeks eppy and your review of it next weekend. Jared in shorts and a tank...how can you go wrong with that
strawhair
# strawhair 2014-02-01 22:41
Very nicely written and thought out. While I enjoyed the episode to begin with you've unearthed some themes I might have missed. I'd only add that Tom Butler also does a fine job as Reverend Jim Meyers. Here's a man who could be as dangerous as Dean thinks he is, but who wants to do the right thing.
strawhair
# strawhair 2014-02-01 22:41
Very nicely written and thought out. While I enjoyed the episode to begin with you've unearthed some themes I might have missed. I'd only add that Tom Butler also does a fine job as Reverend Jim Meyers. Here's a man who could be as dangerous as Dean thinks he is, but who wants to do the right thing.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2014-02-01 23:10
@2 Grace : I concur. This is never going to be one of my favorite episodes but its awlrite, mostly for the various reasons laid out in this review. Thanx Alice! :-)
I very much agree and am positive for some fresh dynamic in their relationship.
Btw, Alice, another one of the major components this season, addressed in more than a couple of episodes and this one, is the theme of forgiveness and letting go.
Now I know that a lot of people have interpreted the "letting go " part as meaning that Dean must let Sam go, physically but I choose to see it differently. I think he "letting go is metaphorical . I think Dean needs to release the apron strings a bit. This motherly attitude was exacerbated by Sam going through the trials and being so ill and Sam realizes that its an attitude that has become quite suffocating.
All season long you've had various characters discussing this theme and I may be wrong about my interpretation but its very noticeable. I don't think the writers want to go to that well (one of the brothers dies) too often as its beginning to get a little silly. They've been shaking things up a bit this season so I think this seasons outcome will not go the same old way as before.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2014-02-01 23:10
@2 Grace : I concur. This is never going to be one of my favorite episodes but its awlrite, mostly for the various reasons laid out in this review. Thanx Alice! :-)
I very much agree and am positive for some fresh dynamic in their relationship.
Btw, Alice, another one of the major components this season, addressed in more than a couple of episodes and this one, is the theme of forgiveness and letting go.
Now I know that a lot of people have interpreted the "letting go " part as meaning that Dean must let Sam go, physically but I choose to see it differently. I think he "letting go is metaphorical . I think Dean needs to release the apron strings a bit. This motherly attitude was exacerbated by Sam going through the trials and being so ill and Sam realizes that its an attitude that has become quite suffocating.
All season long you've had various characters discussing this theme and I may be wrong about my interpretation but its very noticeable. I don't think the writers want to go to that well (one of the brothers dies) too often as its beginning to get a little silly. They've been shaking things up a bit this season so I think this seasons outcome will not go the same old way as before.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2014-02-01 23:12
I'm sorry. I mistakenly attributed this review to Alice Jester. My thanx go to Far Away Eyes.Excellent review.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2014-02-01 23:12
I'm sorry. I mistakenly attributed this review to Alice Jester. My thanx go to Far Away Eyes.Excellent review.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-02 07:29
In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car.

My point is that it is not just Dean who needs to work on fixing things in the relationship but Sam must own up to his his part of why the relationship has gone south. By the end of S8 Sam had gone from an I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I should do the trials because I don't see it as a suicide mission like you do Dean, to a mental and physical wreck whose answer to dying was an unhealthy "So." Letting Sam die would have been like telling someone on a building ledge to jump and saying you were just respecting they're right to chose. IMO.

If the problem is lying well both Sam and Dean lie. As late as S8 Sam was lying to Dean about how the trials were really affecting him and only came clean when forced to.

There was nothing conciliatory in Sam's ultimatium to Dean and really Dean should have told Sam that they weren't ready to work together again IMO. Dean has actually shown more maturity by not lashing back at Sam while both their emotions are raw.

This episode just didn't work for me on a lot of levels. Garth's character seemed off to me, the step mother's speech in the barn was way too long, evil step mother is a cliche and I felt like the parallels they wanted us to see between the Lycan family and Sam and Dean were about as subtle as having an anvil dropped on my head. In my opinion Adam Glass had a big miss with this one and if this was a goodbye to Garth it just didn't do Garth justice.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-02 07:29
In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car.

My point is that it is not just Dean who needs to work on fixing things in the relationship but Sam must own up to his his part of why the relationship has gone south. By the end of S8 Sam had gone from an I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I should do the trials because I don't see it as a suicide mission like you do Dean, to a mental and physical wreck whose answer to dying was an unhealthy "So." Letting Sam die would have been like telling someone on a building ledge to jump and saying you were just respecting they're right to chose. IMO.

If the problem is lying well both Sam and Dean lie. As late as S8 Sam was lying to Dean about how the trials were really affecting him and only came clean when forced to.

There was nothing conciliatory in Sam's ultimatium to Dean and really Dean should have told Sam that they weren't ready to work together again IMO. Dean has actually shown more maturity by not lashing back at Sam while both their emotions are raw.

This episode just didn't work for me on a lot of levels. Garth's character seemed off to me, the step mother's speech in the barn was way too long, evil step mother is a cliche and I felt like the parallels they wanted us to see between the Lycan family and Sam and Dean were about as subtle as having an anvil dropped on my head. In my opinion Adam Glass had a big miss with this one and if this was a goodbye to Garth it just didn't do Garth justice.
debbab
# debbab 2014-02-02 10:06
Enjoyed your review. This episode served as a back drop for many of the threads that have been part of SPN since the pilot. The writers had to explain Garth's disappearance somehow, so what better way than to make him the focus of a family in crisis of belief and pattern of behaviors-pick any family. Not sure if this was really a final goodbye. I found myself looking at Garth from a character who I just found goofy to a more insightful one in season 8, to a character I found myself embracing as one of SPN better ones- not sure we won't see him again although he seems to have made his choice and is sticking with it with a bit of encouragement from Dean. I am not sure about PRIX 68's comment on subtlety though. Newer fans do not have all of the history stored so the allusions are not so easy for them. Those of us with history just kinda nod when we feel them. While the script may not have been subtle, the acting was at times. Looks, quiet delivery of the big lines, etc. Not an all time "great" episode, but a "one off" that was really still carrying the brothers' arc forward. All in all it was clever and really worth a re-watch to catch a better feel for it. At least Garth was not "killed" just changed. Haven't we all been a bit changed by SPN?
debbab
# debbab 2014-02-02 10:06
Enjoyed your review. This episode served as a back drop for many of the threads that have been part of SPN since the pilot. The writers had to explain Garth's disappearance somehow, so what better way than to make him the focus of a family in crisis of belief and pattern of behaviors-pick any family. Not sure if this was really a final goodbye. I found myself looking at Garth from a character who I just found goofy to a more insightful one in season 8, to a character I found myself embracing as one of SPN better ones- not sure we won't see him again although he seems to have made his choice and is sticking with it with a bit of encouragement from Dean. I am not sure about PRIX 68's comment on subtlety though. Newer fans do not have all of the history stored so the allusions are not so easy for them. Those of us with history just kinda nod when we feel them. While the script may not have been subtle, the acting was at times. Looks, quiet delivery of the big lines, etc. Not an all time "great" episode, but a "one off" that was really still carrying the brothers' arc forward. All in all it was clever and really worth a re-watch to catch a better feel for it. At least Garth was not "killed" just changed. Haven't we all been a bit changed by SPN?
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-02 10:56
Prix68 Sam said what he needed for Dean to hear. He was calm and rational. He didn't throw a hissy fit he stated the facts and Dean didn't argue. Was it hard for Dean to hear? Of course but even Dean knew that this was something that Sam was going to be more than just pissed about. Sam was going to be hurt. All in all I thought Sam let Dean off pretty easy. It was clear that they both want to work on their broken relationship. Otherwise Sam wouldn't have got in the car and Dean wouldn't have wanted him in the car.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-02 10:56
Prix68 Sam said what he needed for Dean to hear. He was calm and rational. He didn't throw a hissy fit he stated the facts and Dean didn't argue. Was it hard for Dean to hear? Of course but even Dean knew that this was something that Sam was going to be more than just pissed about. Sam was going to be hurt. All in all I thought Sam let Dean off pretty easy. It was clear that they both want to work on their broken relationship. Otherwise Sam wouldn't have got in the car and Dean wouldn't have wanted him in the car.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:09
Quoting Sandra K:
Oh, I do love reading your reviews! They are the just the best!
You manged to calmly and unbiasedly break down and lay out all the parts, themes and threads, giving us an aerial like view of the episode. So now we can focus on the bigger picture! And to top it off, like a juicy red cherry on top, you subtly bring it back to reality by pointing out that these characters are just being well played by two talented actors. ( and they are so talented, my goodness!)

The unifying themes are well explained and manage to stitch together the episodes.
Thanks!

Peace!


Thanks for the comment.

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoy my reviews so much.

I find that over a long season they tend to stitch even the stand alones into the myth fabric/overall story, and that's what I like about it. It has enough to be its own story so it can give us a bit of a different creature, but it also keeps some of the themes going that tie it all together. That's what I saw in this one, too.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:09
Quote:
Oh, I do love reading your reviews! They are the just the best!
You manged to calmly and unbiasedly break down and lay out all the parts, themes and threads, giving us an aerial like view of the episode. So now we can focus on the bigger picture! And to top it off, like a juicy red cherry on top, you subtly bring it back to reality by pointing out that these characters are just being well played by two talented actors. ( and they are so talented, my goodness!)

The unifying themes are well explained and manage to stitch together the episodes.
Thanks!

Peace!
Thanks for the comment.

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoy my reviews so much.

I find that over a long season they tend to stitch even the stand alones into the myth fabric/overall story, and that's what I like about it. It has enough to be its own story so it can give us a bit of a different creature, but it also keeps some of the themes going that tie it all together. That's what I saw in this one, too.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:47
Quoting nappi815:
I look forward to you positivity and insight every week. I agree with your assessment regarding this eppy. Looking forward to this weeks eppy and your review of it next weekend. Jared in shorts and a tank...how can you go wrong with that


Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you look forward to my reviews. I'll try my best to have next week's ep reviewed by Saturday!

As for Sam in his yoga outfit, yes please. I don't feel guilty for being a bit shallow at all. We get so few of those moments on the show.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:47
Quote:
I look forward to you positivity and insight every week. I agree with your assessment regarding this eppy. Looking forward to this weeks eppy and your review of it next weekend. Jared in shorts and a tank...how can you go wrong with that
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you look forward to my reviews. I'll try my best to have next week's ep reviewed by Saturday!

As for Sam in his yoga outfit, yes please. I don't feel guilty for being a bit shallow at all. We get so few of those moments on the show.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:49
Quoting strawhair:
Very nicely written and thought out. While I enjoyed the episode to begin with you've unearthed some themes I might have missed. I'd only add that Tom Butler also does a fine job as Reverend Jim Meyers. Here's a man who could be as dangerous as Dean thinks he is, but who wants to do the right thing.


Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad I could unearth some themes for you.

I agree, Butler did an excellent job, especially in that scene with Dean at the church. He was the opposite of his wife for sure--even if it looked like he might be bad at first with the whole "heart beat" comment. I'm glad he didn't turn on Dean.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:49
Quote:
Very nicely written and thought out. While I enjoyed the episode to begin with you've unearthed some themes I might have missed. I'd only add that Tom Butler also does a fine job as Reverend Jim Meyers. Here's a man who could be as dangerous as Dean thinks he is, but who wants to do the right thing.
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad I could unearth some themes for you.

I agree, Butler did an excellent job, especially in that scene with Dean at the church. He was the opposite of his wife for sure--even if it looked like he might be bad at first with the whole "heart beat" comment. I'm glad he didn't turn on Dean.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:52
Quoting lkeke35:
@2 Grace : I concur. This is never going to be one of my favorite episodes but its awlrite, mostly for the various reasons laid out in this review. Thanx Alice! :-)
I very much agree and am positive for some fresh dynamic in their relationship.
Btw, Alice, another one of the major components this season, addressed in more than a couple of episodes and this one, is the theme of forgiveness and letting go.
Now I know that a lot of people have interpreted the "letting go " part as meaning that Dean must let Sam go, physically but I choose to see it differently. I think he "letting go is metaphorical . I think Dean needs to release the apron strings a bit. This motherly attitude was exacerbated by Sam going through the trials and being so ill and Sam realizes that its an attitude that has become quite suffocating.
All season long you've had various characters discussing this theme and I may be wrong about my interpretation but its very noticeable. I don't think the writers want to go to that well (one of the brothers dies) too often as its beginning to get a little silly. They've been shaking things up a bit this season so I think this seasons outcome will not go the same old way as before.


Thanks for the comment

I think the concept of letting go has been addressed on many levels, too. I think it's a significant trope that they've played with. I agree with you on Dean and apron strings. He certainly would like to make sure his brother is safe no matte what---which would be suffocating to anyone. I don't see them heading towards one of them dying necessarily, either.

I think it'll be interesting to see how letting go on so many different levels will come to play in the remainder of the season, too. I think each character has something they have to let go---be it something physical, mental, or emotional. That make for good drama in my opinion.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:52
Quote:
@2 Grace : I concur. This is never going to be one of my favorite episodes but its awlrite, mostly for the various reasons laid out in this review. Thanx Alice! :-)
I very much agree and am positive for some fresh dynamic in their relationship.
Btw, Alice, another one of the major components this season, addressed in more than a couple of episodes and this one, is the theme of forgiveness and letting go.
Now I know that a lot of people have interpreted the "letting go " part as meaning that Dean must let Sam go, physically but I choose to see it differently. I think he "letting go is metaphorical . I think Dean needs to release the apron strings a bit. This motherly attitude was exacerbated by Sam going through the trials and being so ill and Sam realizes that its an attitude that has become quite suffocating.
All season long you've had various characters discussing this theme and I may be wrong about my interpretation but its very noticeable. I don't think the writers want to go to that well (one of the brothers dies) too often as its beginning to get a little silly. They've been shaking things up a bit this season so I think this seasons outcome will not go the same old way as before.
Thanks for the comment

I think the concept of letting go has been addressed on many levels, too. I think it's a significant trope that they've played with. I agree with you on Dean and apron strings. He certainly would like to make sure his brother is safe no matte what---which would be suffocating to anyone. I don't see them heading towards one of them dying necessarily, either.

I think it'll be interesting to see how letting go on so many different levels will come to play in the remainder of the season, too. I think each character has something they have to let go---be it something physical, mental, or emotional. That make for good drama in my opinion.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:59
Quoting Prix68:
In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car.

My point is that it is not just Dean who needs to work on fixing things in the relationship but Sam must own up to his his part of why the relationship has gone south. By the end of S8 Sam had gone from an I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I should do the trials because I don't see it as a suicide mission like you do Dean, to a mental and physical wreck whose answer to dying was an unhealthy "So." Letting Sam die would have been like telling someone on a building ledge to jump and saying you were just respecting they're right to chose. IMO.

If the problem is lying well both Sam and Dean lie. As late as S8 Sam was lying to Dean about how the trials were really affecting him and only came clean when forced to.

There was nothing conciliatory in Sam's ultimatium to Dean and really Dean should have told Sam that they weren't ready to work together again IMO. Dean has actually shown more maturity by not lashing back at Sam while both their emotions are raw.

This episode just didn't work for me on a lot of levels. Garth's character seemed off to me, the step mother's speech in the barn was way too long, evil step mother is a cliche and I felt like the parallels they wanted us to see between the Lycan family and Sam and Dean were about as subtle as having an anvil dropped on my head. In my opinion Adam Glass had a big miss with this one and if this was a goodbye to Garth it just didn't do Garth justice.



Thanks for the comment.

I took a lot of Sam's attitude as the Trials went on that they didn't just make him physically ill---they also played with his emotions. If they were designed to have the undertaker die in the process, it would make sense to me that Sam would have felt that way by the end. The "light at the end of the tunnel" statement is key saying that he does want to live, yes, but he stated it prior to killing the hellhound and after we see him complete two of the Trials he starts that decline.

As for the brotherly relationship, I absolutely agree. Dean isn't the only brother that needs to work on things for this to improve. Sam needs to as well. I took his comments about family as building a buffer and to mean that they can't just weep their problems away under that family rug to rear their ugly heads again. Yes, they hurt like Hell, but I think in some ways they needed to be said.

I thought it fascinating that they were able to sit so close together on the Impala or communicate as we've seen them do so many times before, and yet their words were different.

I think both brothers have much to work on both as individuals and as brothers and I found that this episode set that up for them because they're now in each other's spheres again to do that. There's no fixing it if they aren't communicating at all. This was a first step to take them from being mere hunting partners to finding that brotherhood again for me.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 11:59
Quote:
In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car.

My point is that it is not just Dean who needs to work on fixing things in the relationship but Sam must own up to his his part of why the relationship has gone south. By the end of S8 Sam had gone from an I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I should do the trials because I don't see it as a suicide mission like you do Dean, to a mental and physical wreck whose answer to dying was an unhealthy "So." Letting Sam die would have been like telling someone on a building ledge to jump and saying you were just respecting they're right to chose. IMO.

If the problem is lying well both Sam and Dean lie. As late as S8 Sam was lying to Dean about how the trials were really affecting him and only came clean when forced to.

There was nothing conciliatory in Sam's ultimatium to Dean and really Dean should have told Sam that they weren't ready to work together again IMO. Dean has actually shown more maturity by not lashing back at Sam while both their emotions are raw.

This episode just didn't work for me on a lot of levels. Garth's character seemed off to me, the step mother's speech in the barn was way too long, evil step mother is a cliche and I felt like the parallels they wanted us to see between the Lycan family and Sam and Dean were about as subtle as having an anvil dropped on my head. In my opinion Adam Glass had a big miss with this one and if this was a goodbye to Garth it just didn't do Garth justice.
Thanks for the comment.

I took a lot of Sam's attitude as the Trials went on that they didn't just make him physically ill---they also played with his emotions. If they were designed to have the undertaker die in the process, it would make sense to me that Sam would have felt that way by the end. The "light at the end of the tunnel" statement is key saying that he does want to live, yes, but he stated it prior to killing the hellhound and after we see him complete two of the Trials he starts that decline.

As for the brotherly relationship, I absolutely agree. Dean isn't the only brother that needs to work on things for this to improve. Sam needs to as well. I took his comments about family as building a buffer and to mean that they can't just weep their problems away under that family rug to rear their ugly heads again. Yes, they hurt like Hell, but I think in some ways they needed to be said.

I thought it fascinating that they were able to sit so close together on the Impala or communicate as we've seen them do so many times before, and yet their words were different.

I think both brothers have much to work on both as individuals and as brothers and I found that this episode set that up for them because they're now in each other's spheres again to do that. There's no fixing it if they aren't communicating at all. This was a first step to take them from being mere hunting partners to finding that brotherhood again for me.

Thanks again.
E
# E 2014-02-02 12:21
Quoting Prix68:
In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car..



With respect, I disagree with this part of your statement Prix. Sam never said that they couldn't be brothers, that is your interpretation of the conversation and one I don't share. He also didn't say that he didn't WANT them to be brothers, he said that things needed to change. I think Sam's issue here is not that he and Dean can't be brothers or that he doesn't want them to be family. I saw it as Sam saying that this is not how family should treat one another, that the Winchester notion of family is completely screwed up and that they can't continue with things the way the are. The Winchesters wouldn't treat a complete stranger or even a mortal enemy the way in which they often treat one another, and it's all done in the name of 'family' or 'love' or 'brotherhood' as if that makes their actions acceptable.

Dean's view of family is that he gets to decide for the ones that he loves and discounts what they want and their right to make their own decisions either good or bad. Every time a decision goes against his wishes or what he wants for that person, he views it as a betrayal. He is dictatorial and often his decisions have more to do with his own insecurities than weather or not they are for the good of the person he's deciding for. This behavior usually turns out to be focused on Sam for the most part as he's the only family Dean has left, but we've seen him do this with Kevin and even Lisa and Ben as well. This behavior has been going on for years, and has been addressed before, several times, most notably in seasons 1, 2 and 5. Mostly Sam has let this behavior continue due to his own hangups about family (see below) but this season's possession issue has crossed a line for Sam. He has finally put his foot down and is saying "no, this stops now." He is saying that Dean can face the issues between them together or they can be separated. If Dean wasn't able or was unwilling to hash out the their problems, then he would have gotten into the Impala alone and continued their separation. If Sam wasn't willing to let them still be brothers he would have gotten into that awesome Vintage Dart and continued the separation. I saw them driving off together in the Impala as them agreeing to work on their issues no matter how uncomfortable it makes them. The decision to remain together was mutual. Now, both brothers need to learn to treat each other like human beings and as equals first and then figure out from there what being a family and what being brothers means.

Now, I am not saying that Sam does not need to work on this relationship, because he does. The importance he has placed on what Dean's opinion of him is, has made him make some terrible decisions in the past and he blindly chooses his path of action based on the one coveted (and often never achieved) goal that is Dean's approval and trust. But I think because of the lying and the possession that Sam is currently in a different place than Dean. He is willing to change things; I think that he's been willing to change things since the start of season 8. But Dean is still stuck in his own misguided sense of priorities; save Sam at all costs regardless of the consequences to anyone else. Make all important decisions for Sam regardless of how much these decisions hurt Sam and undermine his confidence and autonomy. This is my take on that situation anyway. Sam was harsh with Dean, but Dean's default setting is 'lets just get past this shall we? Let's pretend none of this ever happened.' But their actions towards one another have gone too far this time (at least in Sam's opinion, and in mine) so he is forcing the issue, and I for one am glad.
E
# E 2014-02-02 12:21
Quote:
In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car..
With respect, I disagree with this part of your statement Prix. Sam never said that they couldn't be brothers, that is your interpretation of the conversation and one I don't share. He also didn't say that he didn't WANT them to be brothers, he said that things needed to change. I think Sam's issue here is not that he and Dean can't be brothers or that he doesn't want them to be family. I saw it as Sam saying that this is not how family should treat one another, that the Winchester notion of family is completely screwed up and that they can't continue with things the way the are. The Winchesters wouldn't treat a complete stranger or even a mortal enemy the way in which they often treat one another, and it's all done in the name of 'family' or 'love' or 'brotherhood' as if that makes their actions acceptable.

Dean's view of family is that he gets to decide for the ones that he loves and discounts what they want and their right to make their own decisions either good or bad. Every time a decision goes against his wishes or what he wants for that person, he views it as a betrayal. He is dictatorial and often his decisions have more to do with his own insecurities than weather or not they are for the good of the person he's deciding for. This behavior usually turns out to be focused on Sam for the most part as he's the only family Dean has left, but we've seen him do this with Kevin and even Lisa and Ben as well. This behavior has been going on for years, and has been addressed before, several times, most notably in seasons 1, 2 and 5. Mostly Sam has let this behavior continue due to his own hangups about family (see below) but this season's possession issue has crossed a line for Sam. He has finally put his foot down and is saying "no, this stops now." He is saying that Dean can face the issues between them together or they can be separated. If Dean wasn't able or was unwilling to hash out the their problems, then he would have gotten into the Impala alone and continued their separation. If Sam wasn't willing to let them still be brothers he would have gotten into that awesome Vintage Dart and continued the separation. I saw them driving off together in the Impala as them agreeing to work on their issues no matter how uncomfortable it makes them. The decision to remain together was mutual. Now, both brothers need to learn to treat each other like human beings and as equals first and then figure out from there what being a family and what being brothers means.

Now, I am not saying that Sam does not need to work on this relationship, because he does. The importance he has placed on what Dean's opinion of him is, has made him make some terrible decisions in the past and he blindly chooses his path of action based on the one coveted (and often never achieved) goal that is Dean's approval and trust. But I think because of the lying and the possession that Sam is currently in a different place than Dean. He is willing to change things; I think that he's been willing to change things since the start of season 8. But Dean is still stuck in his own misguided sense of priorities; save Sam at all costs regardless of the consequences to anyone else. Make all important decisions for Sam regardless of how much these decisions hurt Sam and undermine his confidence and autonomy. This is my take on that situation anyway. Sam was harsh with Dean, but Dean's default setting is 'lets just get past this shall we? Let's pretend none of this ever happened.' But their actions towards one another have gone too far this time (at least in Sam's opinion, and in mine) so he is forcing the issue, and I for one am glad.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 12:22
Quoting debbab:
Enjoyed your review. This episode served as a back drop for many of the threads that have been part of SPN since the pilot. The writers had to explain Garth's disappearance somehow, so what better way than to make him the focus of a family in crisis of belief and pattern of behaviors-pick any family. Not sure if this was really a final goodbye. I found myself looking at Garth from a character who I just found goofy to a more insightful one in season 8, to a character I found myself embracing as one of SPN better ones- not sure we won't see him again although he seems to have made his choice and is sticking with it with a bit of encouragement from Dean. I am not sure about PRIX 68's comment on subtlety though. Newer fans do not have all of the history stored so the allusions are not so easy for them. Those of us with history just kinda nod when we feel them. While the script may not have been subtle, the acting was at times. Looks, quiet delivery of the big lines, etc. Not an all time "great" episode, but a "one off" that was really still carrying the brothers' arc forward. All in all it was clever and really worth a re-watch to catch a better feel for it. At least Garth was not "killed" just changed. Haven't we all been a bit changed by SPN?


Thanks for the comment.

I thought this episode did what it was meant to do.

I agree, I don't think this is necessarily a final goodbye for Garth. I think his being changed and joining this family and the Winchesters acceptance of that at the end left that door open perhaps.

I found this episode layered with a lot of subtly, and it took me a couple viewings to actually pick on some of those points. Some were more obvious to me, others were a bit more hidden. It's part of what I enjoy about this show---looking at its layers and how they shape the story. I found that here.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-02 12:22
Quote:
Enjoyed your review. This episode served as a back drop for many of the threads that have been part of SPN since the pilot. The writers had to explain Garth's disappearance somehow, so what better way than to make him the focus of a family in crisis of belief and pattern of behaviors-pick any family. Not sure if this was really a final goodbye. I found myself looking at Garth from a character who I just found goofy to a more insightful one in season 8, to a character I found myself embracing as one of SPN better ones- not sure we won't see him again although he seems to have made his choice and is sticking with it with a bit of encouragement from Dean. I am not sure about PRIX 68's comment on subtlety though. Newer fans do not have all of the history stored so the allusions are not so easy for them. Those of us with history just kinda nod when we feel them. While the script may not have been subtle, the acting was at times. Looks, quiet delivery of the big lines, etc. Not an all time "great" episode, but a "one off" that was really still carrying the brothers' arc forward. All in all it was clever and really worth a re-watch to catch a better feel for it. At least Garth was not "killed" just changed. Haven't we all been a bit changed by SPN?
Thanks for the comment.

I thought this episode did what it was meant to do.

I agree, I don't think this is necessarily a final goodbye for Garth. I think his being changed and joining this family and the Winchesters acceptance of that at the end left that door open perhaps.

I found this episode layered with a lot of subtly, and it took me a couple viewings to actually pick on some of those points. Some were more obvious to me, others were a bit more hidden. It's part of what I enjoy about this show---looking at its layers and how they shape the story. I found that here.

Thanks again!
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-02-02 14:44
E, that was beautifully stated. I agree 100%.

Prix68, in Season 5, Sam is the one who betrayed Dean, so the the show focused more on ways Sam had to change to repair the relationship. This year, it's the opposite, so we're talking more about Dean's faults within the brotherhood. But I agree they both have work to do. To me though, because Dean is in the parental role, it all starts with him treating Sam as an equal, which in turn will help with Sam's insecurities and desire to seek Dean's approval and trust to the exclusion of everything else.

However, if you don't think that Dean did anything wrong this season and that the possession wasn't a betrayal of everything Sam wouldn't have wanted, then I understand your POV, but I don't share it at all.

Loved your review, Far Away Eyes.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-02-02 14:44
E, that was beautifully stated. I agree 100%.

Prix68, in Season 5, Sam is the one who betrayed Dean, so the the show focused more on ways Sam had to change to repair the relationship. This year, it's the opposite, so we're talking more about Dean's faults within the brotherhood. But I agree they both have work to do. To me though, because Dean is in the parental role, it all starts with him treating Sam as an equal, which in turn will help with Sam's insecurities and desire to seek Dean's approval and trust to the exclusion of everything else.

However, if you don't think that Dean did anything wrong this season and that the possession wasn't a betrayal of everything Sam wouldn't have wanted, then I understand your POV, but I don't share it at all.

Loved your review, Far Away Eyes.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-02 17:01
E, i love your posts and totally agree. thanks for that. :lol:
quote: "In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car.."
I viewed that scene in SC differently. Prior to that episode dean has been giving sam digs because he didn't look for him. Sam had already explained he thought he was dead. He explained that he was keeping their promise. Dean couldn't or wouldn't hear sam because he remained angry and kept making sam feel worse than he already had. sam's only mistake was thinking his brother died. He didn't even know at the time he was even making a mistake. sam had undergone a year of the grieving process, which he was still doing up until dean showed up a the cabin. dean was hurt, i understand it. his stay in purgatory, he might just not have been able to even conceive the notion of how his death had badly affected his brother, even though sam told him. for five episodes, dean made sam feel worse than he'd already had and sam was starting to get angry. i found that understandable. when we get to blood brothers, dean just ditches sam. there was no reason that dean couldn't have taken sam with him. had he done so, sam would've met benny, gotten to see for himself what benny was all about and most likely wouldn't have had such a harsh first reaction. but dean simply left sam behind. as was posted, i believe it was even noted that dean called on sam so that he can distract the vampire. so dean knew sam would be upset and used sam. so sam shows up, plays the role dean expected him to play and finds out that benny is a vampire. so not only has dean been making sam feel like crap for the first 5 episodes, but all the while he was keeping benny a secret. stab to sam's heart. well played dean. but then in sc sam questions dean as to why he's still alive, meaning he got it when dean said benny helped him get topside, but why is benny topside? if benny is the brother in arms dean made sam try to believe then why didn't benny help dean and still remain in purgatory? sam knew something wasn't right, as he questioned dean about why benny was still alive topside. dean also hid benny from him as well. so now sam, who is angry because this happened before the rant. he was upset that dean brought benny out and he was upset he lied to him about him and he was upset that he was making him feel like crap all along he has benny for a secret. now sam is wondering why benny is topside? he knows there had to be something, he 's not a fool. dean isn't just going to bring a vampire on earth, even if they are friends. so he knows dean is keeping something from him. dean is lying. fast forward to the end of the ep where dean tells sam that benny is more of a brother than he's ever been and you have not only a suspicious sam, but a hurt one. so sam lashes out from that hurt and warns dean that it might be him that kills benny one day. a comment made from hurt yes, but also because he's been suspicious of benny from the start and he knows dean is hiding something. for the record, sam, because he's a hunter, but also because he loves his brother just tails benny. i mean dean brought up a vampire, sam knows nothing about him, he doesn't trust him, and he knows dean's been lying. sam never had to tell dean about the tail. when martin called, sam could've snuck away, gone to benny, killed him and that's it. but sam's not that way. he was honest with dean. still dean kept sam at arms length all he had to do was bring sam with him when dean was meeting up with benny. sam wouldn't have made a move on benny without cause and dean is the only one, who can legitamately kick sam's ass as he's stated before. imo, benny wouldn't never have been in danger had dean just let sam come with him. damn, i digressed, the point i wanted to make was that sam's response to dean after what he said in sc and all he's said in the episodes prior in addition to his lying was totally understandable and dean isn't the victim as he's being made out to be.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-02 17:01
E, i love your posts and totally agree. thanks for that. :lol:
quote: "In "Southern Comfort" last year at the end of the episode Garth reminds Dean that he and Sam are family and encourages him to reach out to Sam. When Dean does, Sam slams Dean with rancor and threats to kill Benny. In this year's episode Garth reminds Dean again of the importance of family and Dean reaches out to Sam and Sam slams Dean with how family is the root of all Sam's problems ever and now blames Dean for stopping the trials as well. Then the final blow is the we can't be brothers ultimatium and without waiting for Dean to answer Sam zips into the car.."
I viewed that scene in SC differently. Prior to that episode dean has been giving sam digs because he didn't look for him. Sam had already explained he thought he was dead. He explained that he was keeping their promise. Dean couldn't or wouldn't hear sam because he remained angry and kept making sam feel worse than he already had. sam's only mistake was thinking his brother died. He didn't even know at the time he was even making a mistake. sam had undergone a year of the grieving process, which he was still doing up until dean showed up a the cabin. dean was hurt, i understand it. his stay in purgatory, he might just not have been able to even conceive the notion of how his death had badly affected his brother, even though sam told him. for five episodes, dean made sam feel worse than he'd already had and sam was starting to get angry. i found that understandable. when we get to blood brothers, dean just ditches sam. there was no reason that dean couldn't have taken sam with him. had he done so, sam would've met benny, gotten to see for himself what benny was all about and most likely wouldn't have had such a harsh first reaction. but dean simply left sam behind. as was posted, i believe it was even noted that dean called on sam so that he can distract the vampire. so dean knew sam would be upset and used sam. so sam shows up, plays the role dean expected him to play and finds out that benny is a vampire. so not only has dean been making sam feel like crap for the first 5 episodes, but all the while he was keeping benny a secret. stab to sam's heart. well played dean. but then in sc sam questions dean as to why he's still alive, meaning he got it when dean said benny helped him get topside, but why is benny topside? if benny is the brother in arms dean made sam try to believe then why didn't benny help dean and still remain in purgatory? sam knew something wasn't right, as he questioned dean about why benny was still alive topside. dean also hid benny from him as well. so now sam, who is angry because this happened before the rant. he was upset that dean brought benny out and he was upset he lied to him about him and he was upset that he was making him feel like crap all along he has benny for a secret. now sam is wondering why benny is topside? he knows there had to be something, he 's not a fool. dean isn't just going to bring a vampire on earth, even if they are friends. so he knows dean is keeping something from him. dean is lying. fast forward to the end of the ep where dean tells sam that benny is more of a brother than he's ever been and you have not only a suspicious sam, but a hurt one. so sam lashes out from that hurt and warns dean that it might be him that kills benny one day. a comment made from hurt yes, but also because he's been suspicious of benny from the start and he knows dean is hiding something. for the record, sam, because he's a hunter, but also because he loves his brother just tails benny. i mean dean brought up a vampire, sam knows nothing about him, he doesn't trust him, and he knows dean's been lying. sam never had to tell dean about the tail. when martin called, sam could've snuck away, gone to benny, killed him and that's it. but sam's not that way. he was honest with dean. still dean kept sam at arms length all he had to do was bring sam with him when dean was meeting up with benny. sam wouldn't have made a move on benny without cause and dean is the only one, who can legitamately kick sam's ass as he's stated before. imo, benny wouldn't never have been in danger had dean just let sam come with him. damn, i digressed, the point i wanted to make was that sam's response to dean after what he said in sc and all he's said in the episodes prior in addition to his lying was totally understandable and dean isn't the victim as he's being made out to be.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-02 17:08
as for sam's response to dean at the end of this episode, i disagree with what you think sam said. the way i see it, sam didn't say family was the root of all his problems. he said that being family isn't the cure-all for all the crap that gone wrong between them. i interpret that as, we can't use the excuse of us being family to sweep everything we've ever done to or for ea. other under the rug. they never actually have dealt with their true issues. they commit acts that have hurt ea. other because they're family. they forgive and move on, because they're family, but they never really deal with the problems. i guess sam has finally drawn the line. he's simply telling dean that "we're family" won't cut it anymore. dean hurt sam enough where sam feels that "something is broken "...trust is broken. this time they have to deal with it. this time they have to fix it. no more sweeping it under the rug because they are family. if you want to work,we'll work...if you want to be brothers.....we ll that's going to take work to. i felt that dean seemed to understand where sam was coming from. you think sam doesn't care about his family? i say the opposite. i believe sam is trying to save his family. he went with dean because he wants to fix things. he wants to fix his relationship with his brother. dean aquieced to sam's terms because he wants to save his relationship with his brother. the end of the episode signified to me that both of them want the same thing. i also was left with the feeling that dean understands where sam is coming from and that they have work to do......and not on cases, but working on their relationship. i didn't feel that sam's comment to dean was an ultimatum at all. it simply felt like a plea of sorts. an honest, from the heart plea for change. as e noted if sam and dean both didn't want the same thing, neither one of them wouldve gotten into that car.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-02 17:08
as for sam's response to dean at the end of this episode, i disagree with what you think sam said. the way i see it, sam didn't say family was the root of all his problems. he said that being family isn't the cure-all for all the crap that gone wrong between them. i interpret that as, we can't use the excuse of us being family to sweep everything we've ever done to or for ea. other under the rug. they never actually have dealt with their true issues. they commit acts that have hurt ea. other because they're family. they forgive and move on, because they're family, but they never really deal with the problems. i guess sam has finally drawn the line. he's simply telling dean that "we're family" won't cut it anymore. dean hurt sam enough where sam feels that "something is broken "...trust is broken. this time they have to deal with it. this time they have to fix it. no more sweeping it under the rug because they are family. if you want to work,we'll work...if you want to be brothers.....we ll that's going to take work to. i felt that dean seemed to understand where sam was coming from. you think sam doesn't care about his family? i say the opposite. i believe sam is trying to save his family. he went with dean because he wants to fix things. he wants to fix his relationship with his brother. dean aquieced to sam's terms because he wants to save his relationship with his brother. the end of the episode signified to me that both of them want the same thing. i also was left with the feeling that dean understands where sam is coming from and that they have work to do......and not on cases, but working on their relationship. i didn't feel that sam's comment to dean was an ultimatum at all. it simply felt like a plea of sorts. an honest, from the heart plea for change. as e noted if sam and dean both didn't want the same thing, neither one of them wouldve gotten into that car.
E
# E 2014-02-02 18:00
Quoting nappi815:
as for sam's response to dean at the end of this episode, i disagree with what you think sam said. the way i see it, sam didn't say family was the root of all his problems. he said that being family isn't the cure-all for all the crap that gone wrong between them. i interpret that as, we can't use the excuse of us being family to sweep everything we've ever done to or for ea. other under the rug. they never actually have dealt with their true issues. they commit acts that have hurt ea. other because they're family. they forgive and move on, because they're family, but they never really deal with the problems. i guess sam has finally drawn the line. he's simply telling dean that "we're family" won't cut it anymore. dean hurt sam enough where sam feels that "something is broken "...trust is broken. this time they have to deal with it. this time they have to fix it. no more sweeping it under the rug because they are family. if you want to work,we'll work...if you want to be brothers.....well that's going to take work to. i felt that dean seemed to understand where sam was coming from. you think sam doesn't care about his family? i say the opposite. i believe sam is trying to save his family. he went with dean because he wants to fix things. he wants to fix his relationship with his brother. dean aquieced to sam's terms because he wants to save his relationship with his brother. the end of the episode signified to me that both of them want the same thing. i also was left with the feeling that dean understands where sam is coming from and that they have work to do......and not on cases, but working on their relationship. i didn't feel that sam's comment to dean was an ultimatum at all. it simply felt like a plea of sorts. an honest, from the heart plea for change. as e noted if sam and dean both didn't want the same thing, neither one of them wouldve gotten into that car.


Hey Nappi and JuliaG, thanks! I enjoy your comments too, like the one above: I agree completely!! I try to at least see how each brother is responsible for the mess that is their lives instead of heaping all the blame on only one brother. Both brothers are right AND wrong in equal measure; it's how a conflict works. Both need to realize how their respective behaviors exacerbate the problem and how they are also both justified in their thinking.
E
# E 2014-02-02 18:00
Quote:
as for sam's response to dean at the end of this episode, i disagree with what you think sam said. the way i see it, sam didn't say family was the root of all his problems. he said that being family isn't the cure-all for all the crap that gone wrong between them. i interpret that as, we can't use the excuse of us being family to sweep everything we've ever done to or for ea. other under the rug. they never actually have dealt with their true issues. they commit acts that have hurt ea. other because they're family. they forgive and move on, because they're family, but they never really deal with the problems. i guess sam has finally drawn the line. he's simply telling dean that "we're family" won't cut it anymore. dean hurt sam enough where sam feels that "something is broken "...trust is broken. this time they have to deal with it. this time they have to fix it. no more sweeping it under the rug because they are family. if you want to work,we'll work...if you want to be brothers.....well that's going to take work to. i felt that dean seemed to understand where sam was coming from. you think sam doesn't care about his family? i say the opposite. i believe sam is trying to save his family. he went with dean because he wants to fix things. he wants to fix his relationship with his brother. dean aquieced to sam's terms because he wants to save his relationship with his brother. the end of the episode signified to me that both of them want the same thing. i also was left with the feeling that dean understands where sam is coming from and that they have work to do......and not on cases, but working on their relationship. i didn't feel that sam's comment to dean was an ultimatum at all. it simply felt like a plea of sorts. an honest, from the heart plea for change. as e noted if sam and dean both didn't want the same thing, neither one of them wouldve gotten into that car.
Hey Nappi and JuliaG, thanks! I enjoy your comments too, like the one above: I agree completely!! I try to at least see how each brother is responsible for the mess that is their lives instead of heaping all the blame on only one brother. Both brothers are right AND wrong in equal measure; it's how a conflict works. Both need to realize how their respective behaviors exacerbate the problem and how they are also both justified in their thinking.
Gwen
# Gwen 2014-02-02 18:58
Wonderful post #18, E. Your take on everything is fabulous and I completely 100% agree with all you wrote.

I too am glad that Sam is forcing the issue right now. Things have gone too far now, lines have been crossed and their relationship is in desperate need of some intensive therapy if it is to survive. Things can only get better for them from now on in...surely??? :-?

Lovely posts too, nappi. I quite agree, I believe that Sam is trying to save his family here. He wants to save his relationship with his brother. Both of them do.

Thank you for this review, Far Away Eyes. You always write the most gorgeous, insightful reviews and I always look forward to reading them.
Gwen
# Gwen 2014-02-02 18:58
Wonderful post #18, E. Your take on everything is fabulous and I completely 100% agree with all you wrote.

I too am glad that Sam is forcing the issue right now. Things have gone too far now, lines have been crossed and their relationship is in desperate need of some intensive therapy if it is to survive. Things can only get better for them from now on in...surely??? :-?

Lovely posts too, nappi. I quite agree, I believe that Sam is trying to save his family here. He wants to save his relationship with his brother. Both of them do.

Thank you for this review, Far Away Eyes. You always write the most gorgeous, insightful reviews and I always look forward to reading them.
E
# E 2014-02-02 19:52
Far Away Eyes, yes, I should have mentioned earlier how much I like this review, as it's one of the only ones that isn't overtly negative. I can understand people's issues with this ep, but its hard to read one negative review after another when much of that negativity stems from interpretation rather than episode components.

The episode did have some problems though, but I liked it more than I didn't like it, and after reading your insights into how Garth and the werewolf's story was a metaphor for Sam and Dean, I like it even better. There were still those annoying problems like Dean got to do EVERYTHING, Sam got knocked out AGAIN, the baddie had an extra long, extra boring monologue, (although awesome kick by Sam and those long, long legs of his), and the now much hated 'Sam excuses himself from the room in a completely awkward fashion so Dean can bond with the guest star.' I never want to see this plot device again. Hopefully this will be the last time. There has GOT to be a more creative and graceful way to get the character that you don't want hearing an upcoming conversation out of the room. Thanks again for such an insightful and balanced review.
E
# E 2014-02-02 19:52
Far Away Eyes, yes, I should have mentioned earlier how much I like this review, as it's one of the only ones that isn't overtly negative. I can understand people's issues with this ep, but its hard to read one negative review after another when much of that negativity stems from interpretation rather than episode components.

The episode did have some problems though, but I liked it more than I didn't like it, and after reading your insights into how Garth and the werewolf's story was a metaphor for Sam and Dean, I like it even better. There were still those annoying problems like Dean got to do EVERYTHING, Sam got knocked out AGAIN, the baddie had an extra long, extra boring monologue, (although awesome kick by Sam and those long, long legs of his), and the now much hated 'Sam excuses himself from the room in a completely awkward fashion so Dean can bond with the guest star.' I never want to see this plot device again. Hopefully this will be the last time. There has GOT to be a more creative and graceful way to get the character that you don't want hearing an upcoming conversation out of the room. Thanks again for such an insightful and balanced review.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2014-02-03 01:39
Be careful what you wish for E.
The writers may decide to have Sam leave the conversation by having Dean or the guest conk him on the head thereby taking care of both tropes and then adding a long boring monologue about why it done.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2014-02-03 01:39
Be careful what you wish for E.
The writers may decide to have Sam leave the conversation by having Dean or the guest conk him on the head thereby taking care of both tropes and then adding a long boring monologue about why it done.
E
# E 2014-02-03 08:22
Quoting lkeke35:
Be careful what you wish for E.
The writers may decide to have Sam leave the conversation by having Dean or the guest conk him on the head thereby taking care of both tropes and then adding a long boring monologue about why it done.



Heh!! yes that's probably going to happen in the next episode!!! At least it would be different!
E
# E 2014-02-03 08:22
Quote:
Be careful what you wish for E.
The writers may decide to have Sam leave the conversation by having Dean or the guest conk him on the head thereby taking care of both tropes and then adding a long boring monologue about why it done.
Heh!! yes that's probably going to happen in the next episode!!! At least it would be different!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-02-03 08:51
That was a great analysis FarAwayEyes. I wasn't overly crazy about the episode when I first watched it, but on second viewing I liked it better. After reading your analysis, I think I'll see it differently again, the whole religious undertone is an interesting approach to it.

I like Garth and his views on life, he seems to soften the Winchesters up quite a bit. And he can read them so well. I loved the line about their jawlines and hair being intimidating to someone! :lol:

I think Reverend Jim made a good point here:
Quote:
“I realized the road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach, you never fill it -- ever.”
That is such a Winchester thing. Revenge has always gotten them in to trouble. And the talk between brothers at the end. That was just so heartbreaking. And I know others are very upset because they think it negates the speech Dean gave Sam in "Sacrifice", but I didn't see it that way. Sam is so very hurt right now. I do think he'll forgive Dean eventually, This is a huge thing that happened between them, and Sam was concerned for Dean when he saw the Mark of Cain, it's not like he's given up on his brother. I apologize for going on so long with this, sometimes I just don't know when to stop! :-)

It looks like next week's episode will deflate some of the tension. I mean, Sam in gym gear! Yum. :oops:
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-02-03 08:51
That was a great analysis FarAwayEyes. I wasn't overly crazy about the episode when I first watched it, but on second viewing I liked it better. After reading your analysis, I think I'll see it differently again, the whole religious undertone is an interesting approach to it.

I like Garth and his views on life, he seems to soften the Winchesters up quite a bit. And he can read them so well. I loved the line about their jawlines and hair being intimidating to someone! :lol:

I think Reverend Jim made a good point here:
Quote:
“I realized the road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach, you never fill it -- ever.”
That is such a Winchester thing. Revenge has always gotten them in to trouble. And the talk between brothers at the end. That was just so heartbreaking. And I know others are very upset because they think it negates the speech Dean gave Sam in "Sacrifice", but I didn't see it that way. Sam is so very hurt right now. I do think he'll forgive Dean eventually, This is a huge thing that happened between them, and Sam was concerned for Dean when he saw the Mark of Cain, it's not like he's given up on his brother. I apologize for going on so long with this, sometimes I just don't know when to stop! :-)

It looks like next week's episode will deflate some of the tension. I mean, Sam in gym gear! Yum. :oops:
love2boys
# love2boys 2014-02-03 13:17
I've gotta admit - I've been reading EVERYTHING. And I still don't understand the specifics of Sam's "ultimatum" at the end. Probably because he doesn't state the specifics. And I am a woman, not a man, and need it spelled out. And "..." doesn't spell it out. Oh well.

But I agree about seeing Jared's guns. Wheee!
love2boys
# love2boys 2014-02-03 13:17
I've gotta admit - I've been reading EVERYTHING. And I still don't understand the specifics of Sam's "ultimatum" at the end. Probably because he doesn't state the specifics. And I am a woman, not a man, and need it spelled out. And "..." doesn't spell it out. Oh well.

But I agree about seeing Jared's guns. Wheee!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 18:17
Quoting E:
Far Away Eyes, yes, I should have mentioned earlier how much I like this review, as it's one of the only ones that isn't overtly negative. I can understand people's issues with this ep, but its hard to read one negative review after another when much of that negativity stems from interpretation rather than episode components.

The episode did have some problems though, but I liked it more than I didn't like it, and after reading your insights into how Garth and the werewolf's story was a metaphor for Sam and Dean, I like it even better. There were still those annoying problems like Dean got to do EVERYTHING, Sam got knocked out AGAIN, the baddie had an extra long, extra boring monologue, (although awesome kick by Sam and those long, long legs of his), and the now much hated 'Sam excuses himself from the room in a completely awkward fashion so Dean can bond with the guest star.' I never want to see this plot device again. Hopefully this will be the last time. There has GOT to be a more creative and graceful way to get the character that you don't want hearing an upcoming conversation out of the room. Thanks again for such an insightful and balanced review.



Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you find my approach balanced. I take what the show gives me and try to figure out what it's saying to me. I'm just glad others enjoy the results.

It wasn't a perfect ep by an means, but I feel it did what it had to do---ie getting Sam and Dean to start working together again even if they're not done by a long shot on fixing things.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 18:17
Quote:
Far Away Eyes, yes, I should have mentioned earlier how much I like this review, as it's one of the only ones that isn't overtly negative. I can understand people's issues with this ep, but its hard to read one negative review after another when much of that negativity stems from interpretation rather than episode components.

The episode did have some problems though, but I liked it more than I didn't like it, and after reading your insights into how Garth and the werewolf's story was a metaphor for Sam and Dean, I like it even better. There were still those annoying problems like Dean got to do EVERYTHING, Sam got knocked out AGAIN, the baddie had an extra long, extra boring monologue, (although awesome kick by Sam and those long, long legs of his), and the now much hated 'Sam excuses himself from the room in a completely awkward fashion so Dean can bond with the guest star.' I never want to see this plot device again. Hopefully this will be the last time. There has GOT to be a more creative and graceful way to get the character that you don't want hearing an upcoming conversation out of the room. Thanks again for such an insightful and balanced review.
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you find my approach balanced. I take what the show gives me and try to figure out what it's saying to me. I'm just glad others enjoy the results.

It wasn't a perfect ep by an means, but I feel it did what it had to do---ie getting Sam and Dean to start working together again even if they're not done by a long shot on fixing things.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 18:21
Quoting Sylvie:
That was a great analysis FarAwayEyes. I wasn't overly crazy about the episode when I first watched it, but on second viewing I liked it better. After reading your analysis, I think I'll see it differently again, the whole religious undertone is an interesting approach to it.

I like Garth and his views on life, he seems to soften the Winchesters up quite a bit. And he can read them so well. I loved the line about their jawlines and hair being intimidating to someone! :lol:

I think Reverend Jim made a good point here:
Quote:
“I realized the road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach, you never fill it -- ever.”
That is such a Winchester thing. Revenge has always gotten them in to trouble. And the talk between brothers at the end. That was just so heartbreaking. And I know others are very upset because they think it negates the speech Dean gave Sam in "Sacrifice", but I didn't see it that way. Sam is so very hurt right now. I do think he'll forgive Dean eventually, This is a huge thing that happened between them, and Sam was concerned for Dean when he saw the Mark of Cain, it's not like he's given up on his brother. I apologize for going on so long with this, sometimes I just don't know when to stop! :-)

It looks like next week's episode will deflate some of the tension. I mean, Sam in gym gear! Yum. :oops:
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed my review. I was struck by the second or third viewing how so many threads that we've seen in the season come up here in various ways and layers. The religious one was a bit obvious, but after you look at the two sides of it---one being the Ragnarok/Angels and the other being the Reverend and not giving into revenge---I found it to be better.

I think you bring up a good point. Revenge has often made things turn sour for the Winchester, more than anything else really. One or the other or both brothers end up paying a heavy price for it usually. I think it's an interesting kernel we've seen introduced and I'll be curious to see just what they do with it for the remainder of the season.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 18:21
Quote:
That was a great analysis FarAwayEyes. I wasn't overly crazy about the episode when I first watched it, but on second viewing I liked it better. After reading your analysis, I think I'll see it differently again, the whole religious undertone is an interesting approach to it.

I like Garth and his views on life, he seems to soften the Winchesters up quite a bit. And he can read them so well. I loved the line about their jawlines and hair being intimidating to someone! :lol:

I think Reverend Jim made a good point here:
Quote:
“I realized the road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach, you never fill it -- ever.”
That is such a Winchester thing. Revenge has always gotten them in to trouble. And the talk between brothers at the end. That was just so heartbreaking. And I know others are very upset because they think it negates the speech Dean gave Sam in "Sacrifice", but I didn't see it that way. Sam is so very hurt right now. I do think he'll forgive Dean eventually, This is a huge thing that happened between them, and Sam was concerned for Dean when he saw the Mark of Cain, it's not like he's given up on his brother. I apologize for going on so long with this, sometimes I just don't know when to stop! :-)

It looks like next week's episode will deflate some of the tension. I mean, Sam in gym gear! Yum. :oops:
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed my review. I was struck by the second or third viewing how so many threads that we've seen in the season come up here in various ways and layers. The religious one was a bit obvious, but after you look at the two sides of it---one being the Ragnarok/Angels and the other being the Reverend and not giving into revenge---I found it to be better.

I think you bring up a good point. Revenge has often made things turn sour for the Winchester, more than anything else really. One or the other or both brothers end up paying a heavy price for it usually. I think it's an interesting kernel we've seen introduced and I'll be curious to see just what they do with it for the remainder of the season.

Thanks again!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 18:24
Quoting love2boys:
I've gotta admit - I've been reading EVERYTHING. And I still don't understand the specifics of Sam's "ultimatum" at the end. Probably because he doesn't state the specifics. And I am a woman, not a man, and need it spelled out. And "..." doesn't spell it out. Oh well.

But I agree about seeing Jared's guns. Wheee!


Thanks for the comment.

I kinda took Sam's meaning to mean that if they want to be brothers again they'll have to acknowledge what he mentioned earlier in that speech--the problems, the roles, and building trust. I kinda took it to mean that they both have to build real trust between one another---and that means no more games as he told Dean earlier in the episode.

I'm hoping, though, as we go deeper into the back half of the season we see that explored more.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 18:24
Quote:
I've gotta admit - I've been reading EVERYTHING. And I still don't understand the specifics of Sam's "ultimatum" at the end. Probably because he doesn't state the specifics. And I am a woman, not a man, and need it spelled out. And "..." doesn't spell it out. Oh well.

But I agree about seeing Jared's guns. Wheee!
Thanks for the comment.

I kinda took Sam's meaning to mean that if they want to be brothers again they'll have to acknowledge what he mentioned earlier in that speech--the problems, the roles, and building trust. I kinda took it to mean that they both have to build real trust between one another---and that means no more games as he told Dean earlier in the episode.

I'm hoping, though, as we go deeper into the back half of the season we see that explored more.

Thanks again.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-03 19:21
Well if the writers are true to previous seasons Sam will forgive. TBH I think he already has forgiven Dean for the most part, despite some residual, and very human, anger.

I think Sam is more concerned with stopping the same thing happening again. In my mind, Sam understands Dean's issues (that Dean was forced into a parental & protective role at a ludicrously early age) but Sam's determined not to let this continue to cause problems.

(Now, Sam has problems too, but I think Sam - and myself, since I relate to Sam much more - are too close to the problem to see a solution there. That's why we sometimes need other people to tell us where we're going wrong).

Sam got into the Impala with Dean, which is a pretty clear indication that he wants to work things through with Dean. I hope Sam manages to let Dean know that Dean has his own worth AND that Sam is an independent human being who can make his own choices.

(I also hope Dean challenges Sam on his issues by actually talking to him.)
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-03 19:21
Well if the writers are true to previous seasons Sam will forgive. TBH I think he already has forgiven Dean for the most part, despite some residual, and very human, anger.

I think Sam is more concerned with stopping the same thing happening again. In my mind, Sam understands Dean's issues (that Dean was forced into a parental & protective role at a ludicrously early age) but Sam's determined not to let this continue to cause problems.

(Now, Sam has problems too, but I think Sam - and myself, since I relate to Sam much more - are too close to the problem to see a solution there. That's why we sometimes need other people to tell us where we're going wrong).

Sam got into the Impala with Dean, which is a pretty clear indication that he wants to work things through with Dean. I hope Sam manages to let Dean know that Dean has his own worth AND that Sam is an independent human being who can make his own choices.

(I also hope Dean challenges Sam on his issues by actually talking to him.)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 23:25
Quoting Manzanita Crow:
Well if the writers are true to previous seasons Sam will forgive. TBH I think he already has forgiven Dean for the most part, despite some residual, and very human, anger.

I think Sam is more concerned with stopping the same thing happening again. In my mind, Sam understands Dean's issues (that Dean was forced into a parental & protective role at a ludicrously early age) but Sam's determined not to let this continue to cause problems.

(Now, Sam has problems too, but I think Sam - and myself, since I relate to Sam much more - are too close to the problem to see a solution there. That's why we sometimes need other people to tell us where we're going wrong).

Sam got into the Impala with Dean, which is a pretty clear indication that he wants to work things through with Dean. I hope Sam manages to let Dean know that Dean has his own worth AND that Sam is an independent human being who can make his own choices.

(I also hope Dean challenges Sam on his issues by actually talking to him.)


Thanks for the comment.

I agree. I think Sam truly wants to work on this with Dean, but they can't simply brush everything aside like nothing happened or they'll end up in the same place again. Both need to work on their issues and both need to work together on the shared problems so they can grow past them.

Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-03 23:25
Quote:
Well if the writers are true to previous seasons Sam will forgive. TBH I think he already has forgiven Dean for the most part, despite some residual, and very human, anger.

I think Sam is more concerned with stopping the same thing happening again. In my mind, Sam understands Dean's issues (that Dean was forced into a parental & protective role at a ludicrously early age) but Sam's determined not to let this continue to cause problems.

(Now, Sam has problems too, but I think Sam - and myself, since I relate to Sam much more - are too close to the problem to see a solution there. That's why we sometimes need other people to tell us where we're going wrong).

Sam got into the Impala with Dean, which is a pretty clear indication that he wants to work things through with Dean. I hope Sam manages to let Dean know that Dean has his own worth AND that Sam is an independent human being who can make his own choices.

(I also hope Dean challenges Sam on his issues by actually talking to him.)
Thanks for the comment.

I agree. I think Sam truly wants to work on this with Dean, but they can't simply brush everything aside like nothing happened or they'll end up in the same place again. Both need to work on their issues and both need to work together on the shared problems so they can grow past them.

Thanks again.