Exile on Main Street, Review by Elle2 -

Ah glorious times are upon us, a new season of Supernatural!  Even more glorious, Supernatural got some pretty stinking darn good ratings to boot - take that CW darlings on Monday night.  Yeah, I have issues.

I’ve watched EOMS now about twice so this isn’t going to be in depth, I leave that to the experts ““ Bardicvoice, I’ll be looking for your writings in the next week.  I’m going to hit the high points, throw in a couple minor, very minor, nits and toss out some thoughts overall.

“One Year Ago”

I loved this short review from last season, it was Dean’s memories rolling in his head and giving us the picture of just where Dean is in his grief ““ he’s coping but the agony remains.  

Bob Seger’s Beautiful Loser was about perfect as the music behind the montage that gives us insight into how Dean is living.  Better than Madge and Edward Carrigan, Dean has assimilated.  ”You’d be amazed at what lives inside people’s walls; it’ll eat them alive.” Yeah, that’s the truth without telling -- you know -- the truth.

The intercutting of Dean’s current life with his past brought tears to my eyes - sentimentalist I am, don’t tell mom - and I could just imagine him trying to reconcile drinking beers with Sid versus Sam and teaching Ben about engines versus Sam.  Everything is the same; nothing is the same.

Some in the fandom thought the return of Yellow Eyes was cheesy, this is before the episode, and that it was proof positive that the writers had lost their creativity -- but there’s an element that’s always going to complain about everything  - for me it was Sera doing what Sera does very, very well, getting inside the character’s heads and showing us what’s going on.  Dean fears his past will catch up to him. Dean fears he can’t have what he’s secretly -- so secret he doesn’t even recognize it -- longed for.  Dean wonders just how he got to this place of “happiness” and is certain something is going to take it away.  Dean fears that he will fail Ben - Azazel’s words are chilling, “Something is coming for this one.” - was that real or was that Memorex  - uh, Djinn poison?  It was under the effects of the Djinn poison but I wouldn’t put it past Sera and company to also make it real.

The exposition in this episode was superb because it came in small bites throughout; Dean’s mindset is established through the review as well as the montage as well as his conversation with Sid.  The ‘army’ of creatures arising spills out of Samuel’s mouth in a few seconds setting up many of the monsters we’re going to be seeing this season, all neatly set forth in less than a minute’s worth of dialogue.  Bobby’s hopes for Dean, Sam’s reasoning to Dean. Dean’s efforts to find a way to get Sam out of the pit  -  “So sue me” - all came at separate times in short little bursts of dialogue.  Unlike many episodes in the past when the endless monologues occur here it is spread throughout.  The episode plays like much of how the season, I suspect, will play out; a little bit revealed along the way.  

There is much more to be revealed for while there was lots of information given in the short bursts by the characters on who and what and when and where there was very little why.  While the Djinn threat was neutralized here there is no understanding of what they were doing aside from revenge with according to all involved (as in the characters) is unlike what the monsters do.  The Djinn has been killed and/or captured but the threat remains, this is an open-ended episode for it opens the season.  It presented much but completed none.  I liked it a lot for that.

Locations:

Lisa et al live in Cicero, Indiana; Bobby lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  For those of us into geography (or not) that’s approximately 765 miles or 12 hours of driving (12 hours and six minutes but I’m betting they were able to shave off those six minutes.)  So, Dean packs up said family and travels to Bobby’s and then he and Sam head back to trap the Djinn.  Fine.  Here’s my question, where is Sam and the rest of the Campbell family’s lair, home base, headquarters, control room  - you get the idea.  Judging from Sam’s ability to save Dean with the antidote and get him to the Campbell family ranch before Dean awakens and then get Dean back to Lisa and Ben’s (as well as the fact that Samuel Campbell had dispatched somebody to keep an eye on Lisa and Ben) leads me to believe that Sam and family have set up their home base in or around Cicero, Indiana.  Hmm, what made them do that?  Did they want to stay near to Dean?  Or, is this home base the first and last time we’re going to see it?  Guess we’ll know more next week.  Still, for all that it was dark, abandoned or at least a determined fixer-upper’s habitation, it looked pretty well equipped (cot with sheet and blankets) and other such fine stuff.  Did Sam and company set up to be near to Dean in order to keep an eye on him?  Don’t know.  Just curious nothing more.

Mysteries abound:

A season opener should answer cliffhanger questions, to an extent, as well as lay out the beginnings of where we’re going next, posing questions, developing mysteries, adding suspicions, perhaps even relieving some.  Exile on Main Street (EOMS) did just that.

Here’s just a few of the mysteries presented:

Samuel Campbell has been resurrected.  How, why, by whom no one knows -  or no one is saying.

How did he know about and make the Djinn antidote.

Sam Winchester has been resurrected.  How, why, by whom no one knows  - or no one is saying.

Huey, Duey and Luey - or my name is Larry, this is my brother Daryl, this is my other brother  - sister --- Daryl  - erh, Darlene.  How did these three Campbells survive the slaughter wrought by Yellow Eyes all those years ago?  No idea.  The fact that it was mentioned tells me that the writers are very aware of the past canon on this material and that, in fact, there will be a revelation later on.  Wait and see, don’t forget.  This isn’t a canon error, there is more here.  (by the way, kudos to all who get the references I made above - I’ll give you a cookie (not really).

Why did Samuel want the Djinn, what’s he hiding, what’s he doing with them (is he planning on opening his own museum akin to the Canton Wax Museum?)  Whatever he’s up to it ain’t good AND he’s hiding it from not only Dean but from Sam as well - oooh, this will be good.

Samuel Campbell vs. Bobby Singer:  Round I

Contrast the two men in how they interact with Dean.

Bobby hid Sam from Dean because he was happy that Dean had gotten out of hunting.  

Samuel wanted Sam to tell Dean he was back and get Dean back into the business, but, for reasons not yet known, although I’m betting having a lot to do with what Grandpa is doing capturing monsters and hiding them, he acquiesced to Sam’s wishes; until the right time - which coincidentally happened to fall on Friday, September 24, 2010.

Bobby made no pretense to Dean about his deception with regard to Sam and proclaimed that he would do it again because Dean’s happiness separate from hunting is a sacrifice Bobby was willing to make because it was for Dean’s best interests.  Life, living, love, loving, Lisa and Ben; Bobby knew that Dean craved family and that having that was bigger and better than being with Bobby and Sam and driving the Impala

Samuel pulled out all the stops in an attempt to guilt Dean back into hunting:  ”you’re part of something huge”  “Cutting heads off of vampires since the Mayflower”  “Our blood is being spilled trying to get in front of this - now is not the best time for golf.”

Who loves Dean?  Bobby.  He’s the clear winner.  And he brought his A game, tough love and all, to play in one (or I suppose technically) two scenes.  Love you, Bobby, glad you’re back.

Sam:

Sam is out of hell. Sam is definitely Sam, not Lucifer personified but Sam, no more, no less.  We know from Mystery Spot as well as Lazarus Rising that Sam is very much like John Winchester, disciplined, focused, obsessed.  I’m not surprised that he came out of the pit and went very militarily forth to hunt, hunt and hunt.  His explanation to Dean makes perfect sense, doesn’t mean I gotta like it but it’s a no-win situation.  

Sam loves Dean and to show that love he made a hard decision, he let Dean go.  By the end of the episode we know that Sam is having a hard time with that decision and that he really wants Dean with him -- It’s just better when you’re here.  Sam, unlike Samuel yet very much like Bobby, loves Dean and is willing to sacrifice his own wishes, for Dean to be hunting with him, in order to allow Dean a chance to be free.  I’ve always loved you, Sam Winchester, and this doesn’t change that.

Lisa:

I liked this character in The Kids Are Alright and I continue to like her now.  She’s understanding and loving and has her head on right, this is a remarkable woman.  Akin to Sarah from Provenance, Lisa knows about hunting and has first-hand experience.  She’s willing to back off, get her and Ben to ‘safety’ at the movies to allow Dean to deal with his hunting OCD issues.  She’s allowed guns and holy water and devil’s traps in her house.  She makes it clear that while Dean has issues she wasn’t at all surprised by them and grounded it in reality (at least as SPN presents reality) with her comment about expecting a man who just saved the world to have some issues.  Uh, yeah.  

When faced with Dean leaving her at Bobby’s she reads between the lines and correctly interprets what he doesn’t say and lovingly yet firmly presents her case to Dean about what the past year has been -- “The best year of my life.”It is Lisa’s loving, firm and uncomplicated talk with Dean on the staircase in Bobby’s house that changes Dean’s mind so that he tells Sam he’s staying.  This is a mature woman who did not hamstring or whip or any other such slangy, disrespectful comment that can be issued towards a real (although it’s fake ‘cause, you know, it’s a television show) relationship and how real people handle these situations.  Kudos to Sera for writing this character as a true partner for Dean.  

Dean:

Oh, how he hurts, and yet how he is ‘manning up’ and moving on with life.  Sam is not forgotten, far from it, but Dean can’t just booze it up and sit on the side of the road until he dies; he goes on.  We get wonderful exposition on his year through a montage of scenes carefully directed and edited by the Supernatural team.  Dean has made friends, found a job, cares for Lisa and Ben and is involving himself in something he knows nothing about, life.  I love the pictures in Lisa’s house, the golf clubs, the touches of a woman and a child.  Yet the past isn’t far, under a tarp, in a box are those things that formed him to this point and he isn’t rusty at all in his ability to get ready.

Performances: 

Fred Lehne hasn’t lost his touch as Azazel, love the delivery of the line, “A little spice to go with all that sugar.”Unless there’s more poisoning to come and/or hallucinations I doubt he’ll be back but Fred and the character did their jobs well and I enjoyed the time we had with them.  

Other hightlights:

The subtle shot of the Djinn waitress who lightly, flirtatiously stroked Dean’s arm thus exposing him to the poison. 

Dean has lost none of his steps as he recognizes he’s received the waitress’ phone number without making a show of looking at said receipt, he still notices everything around him.

Dean checking out the waitress without the leering or overt ogling of the woman, combine it with the comment about him being unavailable speaks volumes of his regard for Lisa and their relationship.

Sam telling Dean not to be stupid at the end when Dean asks Sam why he wants him to join him in the hunt.  It’s the affectionate type of chiding siblings and best friends do to each other.  It made me smile.

Note the almost reversal of the Djinn’s patterns, outside, daylight, amongst people they move; they inject with poison and show the victim’s greatest fears.  Contrast that to all you know from What is and What Should Never Be” - near opposites.

Yorkies - who knew that joke still had life in it!

Nitpicks:

Sure, I’ll always have some; in the scope of things these nits are pretty darn small.  I want to know what Sam saw when he was hit with the Djinn’s poison.  I wanted to see Sam save Dean at Sid’s house.  How is it that Dean, who was at Sid’s and his wife’s side in less than a minute wasn’t able to save them yet Sam, who wasn’t at Dean’s side as fast, was able to save him?  If I have a nitpick of any size that’s the one I have but on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being forgivable and 10 being pack up my tinker toys and go home, this one is a 1.5.  It’s forgivable but not forgettable for with a little different editing, it could have been avoided.

My grade, an A.  This was an excellent season opener.  We got the ‘band back together’ well, almost, Cas isn’t there yet but he was referenced so I’ll go with that for now. 

I like what Sera has done thus far and I’m eager for the next episode to spool out a little bit more of the mystery.  

There was music and memories, a few laughs - mostly at Dean’s (Jensen’s golf addiction) and there was the Impala.  She was front and center in the recap and the montage we got a small, itsy, bitsy glimpse of her under the tarp ““ hey, at least she’s not collecting dust!

There you go, my thoughts on Exile on Main Street, what were yours?  Thanks for reading.  Elle2

Comments  

AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-09-25 23:34
I agree with you about Dean being scared of failing Ben. I believe that deep down he thinks he failed Sam. He probalby feels that he ultimately failed protecting Sam from the Devil and he doesn't want to fail this time, with Ben.

Speaking of the Devil and his minions, don't get me wrong, but I love Azazel. He, Zach and Gordon are bad guys that I was sorry to say goodbye to. Plus his appearance was reminiscent of Season 2, my favorite.

I was excited with this episode but I have some minor complaints too. For example, what the hell - pun intended - happened to Adam? I feel so sorry for the poor boy. Being a Winchester didn't bring him any advantages. Neither of his brothers seem to remember that he exists. Even if we don't see Kake Abel again, I'd like to see him mentioned at some point.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-09-25 23:36
Sorry, I mean Jake Abel. ;-)
Rlwgsd
# Rlwgsd 2010-09-26 02:13
As always your reviews are amazing. You raised several great points. My Favorite part of the episode is the montage in the beginning with the song Beautiful Loser. I have made no secret that i love Sam and he is indeed hot but will always be a Dean girl at heart; however, Sam evened up the odds in the fact that his car is a Dodge Charger SRT(yes i am that much of a geek over this show). That was a brilliant choice made by the producers as the New Dodge Charger really is the only car on the market today that comes close to the BADASS quotient of the Impala. This episode was a new beginning and i am really excited about this season.

:D :-)
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-09-26 02:23
I absolutely loved this episode. Just finished watching it for the third time and I continue to get more insights and thoughts from it. Still trying to formulate everything though. So much happened.

Elle2 I loved your review and concur with your thoughts and insights. I loved the beginning montage undercut with Bob Seger's 'Just Can't have it All'. This song is truly foretelling as to what is to come. Dean is trying to have it all, but somehow he just can't - first he doesn't have his brother, then he does but he might have to give up his new family to be with Sam. Like the old saying goes, 'can't have your cake (or in Dean's case, pie) and eat it too.' I loved how the show shadows both lives and especially loved the Dean "as dad" scenes.

The episode showed a matured Dean and Sam and I loved that. How can they both go through what they went through and not come out different and matured. For this show to mature you have to also show the boys growing up and becoming more mature as men, as hunters. And this episode definitely showcased the differences in both men. I'm looking forward to seeing more of that and then some and seeing how Dean and Sam will develop their relationship together with the maturations that took place each character separately over the last year.

The Campbells - I don't trust any of them, especially Grandpa. There is something fishy and underhanded going on with them and I don't trust them and I certainly hope Dean and Sam will not completely trust them either. It's like one of the previews we saw last week - the family one - where the slogan flipped across our screens - Trust - No One. It's going to be very intriguing to see this develop. I also didn't like the Campbells for their condescending attitude towards Dean. The girl with her "delicate features" remark and Christian with the "leave it to the professionals" remark. I love how Dean retorted back and put Christian in his place and hope that Dean will continue to do this, because I don't know if we will get that kind of attitude from Sam. Also, Dean is/was a great hunter and do these Campbell's truly know who they are dealing with? I mean, all that Dean (and Sam) have been through and accomplished over the years, Dean at least deserves their respect and not some snarky "leave it to the professionals" comment. And then Grandpa's comments to Dean about the history of the Campbells'. I just want Dean to retort back to him saying, "well, I'm a Winchester too. And Grandpa, you didn't really care all that much for John, so, I'll just take the Campbell's with a grain of salt, thank you very much." I kinda get this feeling that there are sinister underlying motives with Grandpa, but I can't quite put my finger on it just yet.

Lisa - I love Lisa, she is Grade A in my book. I especially loved her comment to Dean on the stairs telling him that they were in this together. Which says to me that Dean has told her a lot about what has happened to him in the last several years and that she is accepting of his hunters' life and all that comes with it. I'm worried about how they are going to end it with her.

As to Bobby and Sam not telling Dean. Well, that is a whole other book of comments that I will leave for another time and I will post on my LJ in the next couple of days, so I won't list them here. Just will say that I understand both sides of the coin, but not telling Dean took away lost chances for Dean to make his own decisions on the subject matter.

All in all, I am very happy with this episode and excited to see where the season is going to take us. I think it's gonna be a good one.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-09-26 09:00
Thanks for the review - I enjoyed reading it. :-) I especially liked the insightful comparison between Bobby and Samuel; I also liked how Dean and Lisa were protrayed in 6.01.

My main discomfort is a personal one - I'm not sure I feel a connection with the "new" Sam at this time. The "new" Sam reminds me in some ways of Sam in "Mystery Spot" and Future!Dean in "The End" - but in those episodes, I didn't feel a "disconnect".
Ashke
# Ashke 2010-09-26 09:42
I just discovered this site over this summer's Hellatus. It was great to read your and Alice's and Elle's recaps and reviews as I re-watched all the old eps. So I was really looking forward to seeing what you had to say about the season premiere and I must admit a little anxious too. I've been reading a lot of negative comments about the latest episode and I don't really understand it.

Did they expect Sam who just got out of Hell and has been hunting without Dean for a year to be the same guy they saw in the finale. Did they expect Dean to be after everything he's been through. I actually thought that where their character's were made a lot of sense. As you said Sam is disciplined and focused. Dean was always the heart. Even Sam knows this.

Between the title of the Ep and the opening montage to Beautiful Loser it's obvious that despite everything that Dean has done to be what's now expected of him he doesn't quite fit in. He cares about Lisa and Ben and I believe he wants what's best for them but it isn't his world and he knows it.

That's what made me so upset with all the negativity I read. Good writers give characters a place to go. I'll paraphrase another one of my favorite writers Joss Whedon "it's boring to watch the tough, strong guy be tough and strong." Most fans of Supernatural love the relationship between the brothers and love that as tough as Sam and Dean are both of them are emotionally vulnerable too. Well then if you need to create conflict you do what Sera did. Separate the brothers physically and emotionally and make them have to find a way back to equilibrium. Why is any of this a surprise?

This is just my long winded way of saying "Thank you". For your thoughtful review that looked at the episode on it's own merits and not for whatever you wanted it to be.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-09-26 10:23
I've been hearing many complaints about Sam's cold behavior. And even if I sympathize with Dean's feelings like I said before, something has to be said for Sam and it's not just because I'm a Samgirl. Actually, after watching the entire episode I kind of softened to him.

To start with, the guy sacrificed himself for the greater good and if he's experiencing some colateral effects now I think he deserves some credit. I suppose that being inhabited by the Devil is not without its costs, if only for a while. So what did we expect? Puppy-dogdness? Really? Actually, the word that comes to my mind regarding Sam is SADNESS. He's like an empty vessel. He has no more hopes or dreams. He doesn't care anymore. When you think about the college boy who loved Jessica and wanted to have a life, who had bangs and was innocent and cared about everyone, and then you see this hardened and saddened man, you can't help feeling sorry for him. Well, at least I can't.

Does anyone remember how depressed Dean was in Season 5. How HE didn't care anymore and how he was rescued from that state by Sam? So maybe it's Dean's turn now to return the favor? I understand that Dean has a new family now to care about (I was never in favor of Lisas's introduction but that's another discussion) and I understand too that he's feeling hurt by the notion that Sam doesn't need him anymore. But I think that he'll eventually find out that he's wrong and that his brother needs him badly. Honestly, I think that Sam never needed him so much as he does now, even if neither of them is aware of that yet.
magichappening
# magichappening 2010-09-26 12:55
Great review, Elle. My reading of it coincided with my second re-watch of the episode and I thought of this:

In honour of the new title card, let us talk of mirrors. Mirrors in families, words and lives ever-looping.

But of mirrors shattered and mirrors reflecting opposites, turning the world around and exposing the cracks in the perfection. Perfect and imperfect symmetry taking jagged shapes, sharp enough to cut yourself.

Of Dean coming to get Sam from Normal. Taking him back to find the patriach of the clan. Who Dean follows. vs. Sam coming to get Dean from Normal. Taking him back to the patriach of the clan, Grandpa. Who Sam follows.

Of Sam introducing Dean to Jess who knew nothing vs. Dean introducing Sam to Lisa who knows enough

Of the whole past being about family, the Winchesters vs. the whole future being about family, the Campbells

Of Sam having spent the time Dean was in Hell in rundown shacks with a demon not to be trusted vs. Sam having spent his year after he was in Hell in rundown shacks with family not to be trusted

Of Sam having been on the outside looking in with Dean and Dad and hunting vs. now Dean being on the outside looking in of Sam and Grandpa and hunting

Of Dean not wanting to speak of Hell before vs. Sam not wanting to speak of Hell now

Of Dean having said to Azazel, ‘That‘s for our mother, you son of a bitch’ vs. the Djinn saying to Dean, ‘That’s for our father, you son of a bitch’

Of Dean’s previous Djinn encounter haunted with guilt of not saving an innocent vs. Dean’s Djinn nightmare this time haunted by guilt and failure of not saving innocents, his family

Of Sam drinking Azazel’s blood unknowingly and Mary and Jess on the ceiling dying with no spoken blame vs. Ben drinking Azazel’s blood willingly and Lisa on the ceiling dying, blaming Dean

Of Dean life in the Djinn world last time being at odds with a Sam who does not really need Dean in his life vs. Dean now waking in the real world to a Sam who does not really need him in his life.

Of Sam reverting to an unhealthy level of detachment when hunting without Dean after Dean died in Mystery Spot vs. Sam to an unhealthy level of detachment when hunting without Dean after Dean went to hell vs. to an unhealthy level of detachment when hunting without Dean after the cage

Of, previously, Dean offering the keys of the Impala to Sam and their being refused when they sat at that bench and Sam did not trust himself vs. Dean offering the keys of the Impala to Sam now, when Dean does not trust himself, and Sam not wanting or needing them as he has his own car.

Of, Dean previously asking Sam to come with him to find Dad, perhaps not needing Sam, but wanting him nonetheless vs. Sam asking Dean to come with him at the end, but not needing or wanting him all that much
Of black cars, now and then.

Of Dean having rushed in so many times to save a family in their suburban house and driving away in the end vs. Dean and his family needing to be saved in their suburban house and Sam driving away at the end.

Of lives flipped over, turned around and distorted in funhouse mirrors, and a whole season spooling ahead of us to look at the different reflections and find what is real in this new Supernatural world.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-09-26 14:21
Love that the show is back!

Love Lisa with Dean. Loving and sensible woman caring for her man and his issues. That "happiest year of her life" making me slightly jealous.LOL

Love Dean trying to save Sam even when Sam thought he had promised he wouldn't. That's Dean. He won't give up when it comes to his brother. Hope he won't give up now either.

Uneasy about Sam's coldness and seemingly unemotional attitude towards everything right now. What's up with that? His attitude is turning off my affection for him at the moment.

Perhaps Sam and Bobby had good intentions for Dean by not telling him Sam was back for a whole year, but it makes me feel like they really don't know Dean like they think they do. By not telling him, they have unknowingly trapped him into a life he may not have chosen had he known the truth a year ago. Now, of course he would choose to stay and protect Lisa and Ben as he feels it is his fault they may be in danger. That's our Dean and how he reacts. He protects the innocent. Always has.

Don't like the cousins at all. Supercilious bunch. Dean could run rings around them with a blindfold on! Doubt if I will warm up to them too soon! Maybe Sam has been with them so long, their attitudes were catching, like the flu. :sad:

Gramps is up to something, but is it good or is it not? Love Mitch Pileggi and good to see him back, good or bad.

So pleased to see my favourite demon, Fred Lehne, make an appearance. And what an appearance ! :o I kinda hope he really has come back from the dead demon world.

Jensen really brought his A game and you could see the hurt and confusion clearly on his face without any dialogue needed. They all were excellent this episode.

Can't wait for Castiel's next appearance. I hope he too doesn't hurt Dean emotionally. The only one truly on his wavelength this episode seems to have been Lisa. Thank God for her!

Please, please, please writers. Don't kill Lisa and Ben off this season or any other. Have MERCY! :|
Sharon
# Sharon 2010-09-26 16:25
Great review Elle.As for Sam what were people expecting? really they thought he goes through that and comes out the same , wasnt going to happen , a little thought and unerstanding fo him wouldnt go a miss.

I loved seeing the YED again and Lisa was ok.All in all not the best premier but not the worst either.

:-)
Lisa
# Lisa 2010-09-26 16:59
Thanks for the great review! I loved this episode and I just wanted to say that I got my sister into watching this show by giving her my DVD's to watch. She was caught up by the beginning of season 5. While she always agreed with me that it was a good show, she never really got excited about it. But after watching the season premiere this past Friday she actually called me up to say how much she liked it and that she actually got chills while watching it. That makes me all the more excited for an epic season 6 to come!
magichappening
# magichappening 2010-09-26 17:04
Also:

Oh thank the Lord. Our show is back. In black (Or, rather, slightly incongruous suburban pastels, shot through with black... but whatever).

So it wasn’t Lazarus Rising. But I really liked it. I like Lisa a lot and I like the life Dean and she have built. I think the actress did a good job with what could have been a really obvious role. She (and Sera) managed to convey that Lisa is strong and intelligent and loves him for who he is. The montage was great. Dean’s puffy Dad jacket though? Did not like. Do not want.

Is it weird that the thing that really brought home to me how different Dean was now, was the fact that he was barefoot the second time he locked his front door for the night? He just looked so…ordinary and un…..ready to defend himself, you know? Throughout the episode I kept expecting Dean to punch someone, but he did not hit anyone at all…and he actually asked Sam to drive him home. Bizarro world.

I also love the fact that at the end Dean did not get in the car with Sam and leave them behind – he is not that guy – after I picked my jaw up from the floor because (let me be clear here): Dean did not get in the car with Sam and leave them behind. What? WHAT? Does not compute. But brilliant!

And the fact that Bobby knew? Jensen gets better and better - Dean’s betrayal in that scene and the reunion with Sam scene – heart-breaking. And clever writing – building up to that reveal. I was mouthing the words before he actually said them: How long have you been back? Ouch.

The reunion scene was good – but for some reason the hug was flat. Perhaps because Sam was so odd and flat himself…maybe he was meant to make us feel uncomfortable and off balance. He seemed …different. Also, I do not trust Grampa as far as I can throw him – nor the male cousin who talks…somethi ng is rotten in the state of Denmark – what is with the scurrying away with the Last Djinn Standing? Curiouser and curiouser. Not entirely sold on the Campbells coming out of the woodwork to be honest, but am willing to see where it goes.

I think Sid was a weak spot (did he look like a cross between Todd Stashwick and Jared to anyone else? No? Just me then). Overacting 101. But Jensen’s acting saying goodbye to Sam at the end – the half smiles and aborted gestures? Watch and learn, Sid, watch and learn.

Loved the line: ‘Possums kills, Sid’, though. But the funniest exchange has to be:

Lisa: Did you almost shoot a Yorkie?
Dean: Technically.

Love this show. Bring on next week.
elle2
# elle2 2010-09-26 17:06
Hi, everyone, it's a new episode and the site is filled with amazing comments...love it!

AndreaW -- Azazel is an iconic character, seen infrequently but how he left an impressions.

Time will tell if we get any closure on Adam. Hope we do. Perhaps when Sam spills about his time in hell.

Regarding Sam's choice, it was a tough one -- I love that the writers don't shy away from difficult, perhaps polarizing, certainly to be deeply discussed, topics, issues, scenarios what have you. I believe Sam fully understands how much he needs Dean from his final comments in the episode. This is a nice build upon Jeremy Carver's writing in The End when Dean had a peek at who he was five years in the future without Sam, wasn't pretty. As Dean said then I believe Sam recognizes now, "We keep each other human."

Really liked that you went back in a put your thoughts out regarding Sam. This will be interesting to watch unfold.

Rlwgs -- the montage is excellent. Sam's car utterly rocks (not Impala rocks mind you but still).

Evelyn -- Beautiful Loser .. just can't have it all is a great build upon Cas' comments at the end of Swan Song... "you got what you wanted Dean, no paradise, no hell... What would you rather have, peace or freedom?" (Just can't have it all)

The boys have matured a lot over five years and this year the maturation is more dramatic because an entire year has passed so we get to be sort of 'shocked' and get to newly experience and get to know these older and different Winchesters. I like it.

CitizenKane2 -- Glad you enjoyed the review. :-)

As for Sam being 'off', like you I didn't relate to Sam in Mystery Spot after Dean was killed or the flashback in IKWYDLS. While here Sam is definitely changed he isn't on automatic or suicidal like he had been those two previous times. Here he is focused, driven but with a mission aspect, not destructive. It will be interesting as we 'get to know him' again.

Ashke -- I try not to have expectations going into the show. Rather I let it happen and then make the decision if I enjoyed it or not. I've also learned that when analzying this show I do better allowing the whole to be revealed before giving an overall assessment of what occurred. That's why I do my "Road So Far" series.

:oops: :D I'm so glad my review, A, was eagerly awaited and, B, relieved your anxieties. I may knock and episode around when I think it deserves it but I'll never bash the series or the direction. Until we 'get there' I don't even know what the direction is, so hard to bash what I don't know.

I tend to skim the negative of others, not that I believe their opinions invalid but simply b/c, A, if I enjoyed the episode, I don't need my enjoyment decreased by someone who didn't enjoy it; B, since my writing doesn't do anything to change the direction of the show, I don't need to poll the fandom and then present what's good, bad or otherwise based on the vocal community. I write it as I see it and let it go from there.

Your Joss Whedon quote as well as your comments about writing and Sera's efforts are excellent, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

magichappening -- Bravo for you analysis of mirrors and SPN! (Love, love, love the new title card!!) You've given a fantastic look into all that has come before in this show and what has been presented already in this one episode. It shows just how much these writers pay attention to what they are construction.

Bevie -- I don't like those cousins either. Let's keep a close watch on them...dangerou s they are.

Time will tell regarding Dean's motivation at the end but I truly believe that he is staying because he does have something now that he does not want to lose, Lisa and Ben are a family. Dean's deepest fears have always been revealed in a dream or some sort of hallucination (altered state) -- Yellow Fever showed his fear of Sam going evil as well as being thrown back into hell. DALDOM gave insight into Dean's thoughts on Lisa from TKAA; at the end of TKAA he stated that he would be proud to be Ben's dad, was a little saddened that it wasn't and while he knew Lisa's life wasn't his, there was a definite wistfulness as he left; Shadow he made it clear he wanted he and Sam to be a family again with their father. In Swap Meat he stated that perhaps a family and a home was something that they (he and Sam) were missing they just didn't know it.

I think there's been a thread woven carefully (perhaps accidently at times) and certainly not often throughout showing that Dean longs for family. I believe he always felt in unavailable so why dream for something you don't believe you'll ever attain...or as Azazel said in Dean's Djinn-poison-in duced hallucination.. .won't be able to keep.

I don't think for one moment this cheapens his love for Sam or his desire to have his brother back but I think Dean has matured to a point where he's realized that having something of his own, separate from Sam, is a good thing and that he and Lisa have and are building something that is good.

It will be interesting to watch how the writers explore this. I'll hold to my usual mode though and not have any expectations but allow the story to unfold as it has been designed to.

Sharon, glad you liked the review. I like Sam just fine. I'll be enjoying the mystery that unfolds around him. It's like opening a present that gives you something but also reveals another present which offers a little something as well as another present...the enjoyment goes on and on and on.

Bring on episode 2!
elle2
# elle2 2010-09-26 17:12
Oops, sorry Lisa and magichappening,

I was soooooo long in my reply I got timed out AND that meant two more comments came in.

Lisa, Way to bring new eyes to the show!!! Good for you! I really enjoyed EOMS, it's an excellent start to the new season that is different and yet the same.

magichappening,

Love your "ALSO" -- I noticed that Dean was barefoot as well, I think the last time we saw that he was a spirit in In My Time of Dying, a bit defenseless then as well. Good thoughts.

Bizarro world!! I so agree. That was going through my mind as I was writing my review, so much happening here is sort of Bizarro world.

As for Lisa, I really do like her. It was an excellent choice making it clear that Lisa knows a lot of what Dean has been about his whole life; how much who knows but clearly she knows enough. She is a real person here.

Lisa and Dean regarding the yorkies...too funny!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-09-26 20:57
Elle2, dear, thanks so much for this great review - you're as fast as ever, woman! Kudos to you!

I didn't read it or any of the comments earlier, because I wanted to finish my OpenCouch thing first, to keep my emotions and thoughts fresh, so I'm a bit late to the party here, forgive me.

I loved the questions you ask and agree wholeheartedly with you that the Campbells can't be trusted. However, as within this show nothing is what it seems, there might be more to them - I wish a week had less days.
Ah, okay, we survived hiatus, we're the patient kind :D

Love, Jas
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-09-26 22:54
Excellent review. You hit some points I’d definitely missed. Going to try to keep this short since I don’t want to simply reiterate everything that has already been said.

Have to respond to your comment on how Dean’s longing for family has been woven throughout the show. Totally agree, but you missed the first time. In S1, I believe it was ep 21, Papa Winchester mentioned it in his dialogue. “I want you to go to college. I want Dean to have a home. I want Mary alive.” Or something along those lines. I remember how much it caught me off guard.

Ok, considering that that they were driving a Dodge Charger SRT8 which has a 425hp 6.1L HEMI V8 engine, and I doubt they were following the speed limit the whole way…betting it was less than a 12 hour drive. I’m quibbling and also showing off how I did my homework. ;-) 8-) I’m liking that Charger. It’s no Impala but she’s nice! (Actually not sure if she’s the SRT. Didn’t see the lettering, so please correct me or confirm!)

Would like to add on my own hails and praises of Jim Beaver in this ep. He’s always been great but there seemed something more this time.

Also distrusting the family Campbell. Something about Mark appealed to me more than the rest, maybe because he wasn’t talking much (7 words the whole ep?!) and wasn’t taking part in the Dean dissing. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but there seemed to be something in the way he was handling that pic in the house that made me wonder if he hadn’t had his own family once. Maybe they were taken out during the Campbell cleanse. Now I’m really reading into things.

Thanks for the review Elle2, twas fun to read.
elle2
# elle2 2010-09-27 09:23
Hi, Jas and Yvonne,

Jas, my friend, you're not late at all! Like you I avoid reading anything until I've got my thoughts down so I keep them fresh. It may come out quick but for me it's just my immediate or relatively immediate thoughts and as someone wrote above, simply taking the episode on its own merits.

That said, I'll be looking forward to your Open Couch very much. :-)

Yvonne,

You're right about John's comment in Salvation. He knew his son better than perhaps Dean even knew (but then Azazel said it best in IMTOD... "shame your boys don't know what a sentimentalist you are."

I'm glad you had fun with the math. :-) Sam's car is very cool, it's no classic Chevy with its own story to tell and personality and history but it is in keeping with Sam's new 'mission' in life. Fast, furious, dangerous and carries an air of mystery (oh, my, all that in a car? Well, yeah.)

Jim Beaver brings his A game every time. I'm so looking forward to Weekend At Bobby's. From I can see it's likely to be other characters entering and exiting Bobby's life and we see all of it through his perspective, instead of him just showing up for a moment or two and the story carrying on without him. I like that Lisa and Ben have now had some exposure to Bobby and vice versa. It gives a depth to each relationship through Dean.

As for you reading too much into Mark and his possible past, who knows. I'm planning on rewatching the ep tonight and I know your comments will have me watching him more closely and seeing those moments through your 'eyes' and impressions.

It's all good.

Thank you so much for responding, Jas and Yvonne, and so much for adding your thoughts. Only four days until episode number 2!!!
Jeannine
# Jeannine 2010-09-28 10:06
Wonderful article elle2! Looks like I'm the really late one here. I'm a bit behind on my reading I'm afraid. But I wanted to answer your challenge, elle2. Larry, Darryl and Darryl are from the 80s TV show.....drum roll, please....... NEWHART!!!!! I get the cookie!!!! Yay!!! :mrgreen:
elle2
# elle2 2010-09-28 16:03
Jeannine,

You absolutely do get the cookie!!! Hooray!!!! It's being sent to via my thoughts....mmm ...mmm...good. Did you get it? :mrgreen:

In fact, this happened to me just last week during a deposition when a witness got confused and answered a question leading the attorney to believe there were two brothers in the family with the same first name. When that confusion was cleared up the attorney replied that he was just happy the witness didn't say the brother's name was Darryl...I chuckled discreetly (court reporters are not supposed to react) but when the other two attorneys asked what the first attorney meant by that we had to go off the record in order to explain...I think that's where my inspiration came from.

Don't worry about being late...just stay up late and get all your reading done between now and this Friday.

:-)