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Open Couch Two And a Half Men

 

Or

There’s no smoke without fire, Baby…

 

Okay, if you watch horror movies, you know that you should never, ever run upstairs to safety and hide under a bed because something will come and grab your feet. You’re trapped down there. Plus: you can’t properly see. And never, ever imagine you could keep an infant quiet. When you already have blood covering your arms and then you see a body covered in blood from your hiding place beneath the feathers, chances are you won’t be able to get away, so don’t bother relaxing… 

But mommy apparently is not an avid horror film fan. With this first scene I’m suspecting ghoul. Or the-hills-have-eyes-nutcase. Or shifter. Because I am an avid horror fan. Well, not really. I watch the occasional slasher film to calm my nerves (as they rarely scare me. They are just disgusting with their thrown around entrails and their rolling heads (or other body parts). But that’s just me. When I know I’m in no mood to stand a sentimental film, horror’s the thing to watch. Ay me… we’ve had some pretty disgusting scenes on our favourite show, too… Valentine’s Day, anyone?) 

That entrance to what’s going to be a lighter episode (so we have been told) doesn’t impress me much. It was to be expected. But – I notice myself worrying: now that mommy is gone, who will take care of a lost baby?! Well, who else but the first choices around – the Winchester Brothers. Fighting Evil and the odd dirty diaper. But not yet. 

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First, we follow Dean as he checks the trunk of the trusty Impala, going over the gizmos and guns almost tenderly, wistfully. The keys go to a tool box. In the first episode we saw that Dean seemed to carry them around with him at all times (hence he was able to offer them to Sam without having to get them from wherever)… Probably as a memory of Sam he could touch, curl his fingers around in his pocket without anyone noticing. Grieving people tend to have keepsakes of their passed away loved once close. I presume Dean might have held on to the keys of the only real home the brothers had had for a long time. The only ‘thing’ that was present when Sam fell into the cage. 

Now, there is no need for that kind of attachment. Sam is alive. Dean knows it now and doesn’t need memoranda anymore, which might be a reason for putting them away, under lock and key in a box. Instead he’s bound to help Lisa and Ben to unpack. We didn’t see how Dean must have persuaded them that moving would be the best for them, but both feel unwell. Lisa apparently understands it better, while Ben feels bored within this lockdown. 

The tension in the house is palpable. Dean keeping his car ready, the weapons checked, always an eye on the door and salt at the windows, ordering pizza instead of going out for lunch… oh my… the epitome of relaxed family life is a different one. It’s some kind of hell, alright. 

‘If something happens to you on my watch…’

Other families are going through a different ordeal, not less infernal – babies are missing. Sam, looking great in that well-cut suit (no longer the Woolworth ones, eh?) and well-groomed hair (sorry, just entered Salon-de-Drool for a shallow moment), investigates, and it still irritates me to see him confer with the Campbell clan via phone and not with Dean. I am not yet used to that. Especially not when possible ‘Baby stew’ is the matter… ugly idea, really, does it come with fava beans and a nice Chianti? 

Sam often wonders about himself, too, and why shouldn’t he? Who could blame him for not being comfortable with this new life he’s trying to find his way about? In all likelihood Sam has not yet understood the change in his demeanour he must be noticing  - he is, after all, a man of intelligence. His altered emotional state will be worrying him, and he might be missing that part of himself that used to dash to the rescue of innocents like he used to (something he still saw in Dean and tried to get back into his life by asking Dean to come along). 

Well, there’s more than one danger to kids, like getting their hands on guns. Guns that are supposed to be locked away in a classic Chevy’s trunk. Ben is quite the inquisitive young man… and Dean, well, Dean silences the boy very harshly. He’s freaked out, that’s for sure. But I think he underestimates the fine antenna children have. Since they don’t yet understand everything logically at a young age, they are very good at detecting changes in atmosphere, particular when their family is concerned. Their instincts often are sharp as broken glass. Of course Ben knows that something is going on. He surely remembers their first encounter and he notices Dean’s checking and re-checking of the house. 

Dean, from his protector’s point of view, is incapable of giving away more than he probably already has and, panicking, closes the door to Ben in regard to weapons training. He clearly wants another life for the boy, even though Ben seems to have the impression that handling guns at his age must have been cool for Dean. It probably was. But Dean will not have it. He will not allow Ben to be drawn into that world deeper. That would substantiate his most intolerable nightmares, as revealed in the first episode of this season by the Djinn poison. Knowing that he already had drawn danger to Lisa and Ben, he had no other choice but to keep them safe. And that he does. Like a soldier stationed in a war zone.

The soldiers I have met so far told me, for the most part, that their biggest asset was their family. Their support, their love, their understanding of what they do. Lisa offers Dean exactly that. But also realism – their life needs to go on. Without any normality they’d all go crazy with fear. As much as Dean is watching over them, Lisa does the same – protecting her family from imaginably falling apart because of the tension. 

Later, as Dean leaves with Sam on their baby-mission, she is calm and reassuring, showing him that he needn’t be worried – she can handle a weapon. And she senses that he wants to go. A fact she will talk to him about at another time. Right now she does what a great partner does – having his back by taking a part of the burden she knows Dean will carry with him the moment he closes that door behind him.
 
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The scene-shifts are marvellous, the differences between Impala and Dodge striking. Sam on a bench, actually eating (yes, this is a new show…) and auditioning for a shampoo commercial (so sorry, kind readers, I’ll shut up about that now) and – eventually – finding a slaughtered family, the guy, ahem, shifter responsible and something else (we don’t see the baby right away, but the look on Sam’s face is priceless. Confused, incredulous, a tad helpless… he was prepared to find something to kill. Not ‘something’ that will need a diaper change in no time.

(One thing I don’t like about Sam’s batmobile: the annoying beeping of the fasten-your-seatbelt sign. I share Dean’s reaction with a passion. If my car did that to me, we’d have a serious disagreement. Thankfully, mine only shows me a light when the seat belt is not fastened. That’s about as close as I am ready to come to a car telling me what to do.)

One reason for Sam to call Dean right away might be that he counts on their mutual experience with shapeshifters of various kinds. Another might be that he is indeed freaked out about his new passenger (he is quite adamant to get Dean to make an exception). And – well, Sam always used to turn to Dean to help. He was the first one he looked to when in trouble. Despite his detached emotional state, he might still have Dean’s number on speed dial.
 
‘Welcome to the party, Guttenberg.’

Okay, I have to admit – I’m easily bought with big baby blues and a sweet expression, and that baby in the back seat is so adorable, it almost hurts. Two men, however, who have hardly any experience with handling an infant (Dean more than Sam, since he raised him, but that was a long time ago and diapers are different now), will most certainly feel like fish in a desert.

‘We need supplies’ - ‘I’ve got an arsenal in the trunk.’- ‘Not that kind.’

Here we go. Some of the best lines of this young season are about to come up. I love this episode already. A cute little baby, the expected comedy of two grown men about to be blown to smithereens by a baby, and supernatural creatures with a soft spot for babynapping. Bring it.

‘Okay, I’m pretty sure that there’s some kind of paste or jelly you’re supposed to put on their butt.’ Remembering from childhood days, Dean, when you took care of your little brother? And – Sam finds a package that actually says ‘Butt Paste’. I’m dying with laughter. Please someone tell me that there is no such thing to be found in a US Walmart. They only made this up for the show! Or haven’t they?! Plus: Sam’s expression. This is Samgirl heaven. And I love Dean grabbing all the ‘supplies’ he can get a hold of and truly looking like an exhausted father. 

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For research reasons I went to a ‘baby shop’ here (ha!) to have a look at the men there. Most were dads who seemed cool with getting baby stuff and who knew exactly what size of diapers their infants need. But I saw some who actually seemed very, very exhausted and somewhat scared. Looking into one of the baby buggies I found an toddler of perhaps four weeks, screaming at the top of his lungs. It has a comedic element to it, indeed. It’s well played out in this episode.

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The theme is so cliché it hurts. But this show successfully managed to not make it too cheesy to bear. The comedic elements come from their own tension, Sam counting on his more experienced brother (Dean practically raised Sam, after all), the sudden changes in pace with shifter-danger and later the baby changing from a little blue-eyed white sweetie to the black cutie he saw on the diaper package. Talk about shift-inspiration. I truly felt for that baby – that must have hurt badly. You see a picture, examine it as babies do, and suddenly your skin explodes? Come on. That’s cruel. Poor laddie.

The situation in the mart is priceless. Dean is by far more comfortable with the whole matter than Sam who keeps praying for the baby to stop crying (‘Dean, make it stop’, Sammy, dear, there is unfortunately no stop button to push. I bet every parent has searched for that occasionally) or to not need a diaper change. His face is that of utter despair at the notion that they might actually have to do that – ‘God, I hope not.’ And later it’s not him who does the dirty work, but Dean. In the chase through the mart, however, Sam gets hold of the kid and knows how to hold a baby properly – supporting his head. 

The nice lady turns out to be the shifter. The Winchesters have to chance but to run. And no one of the customers there notice that there is some skin missing on the lady’s arm and that she doesn’t seem to care? A wound like that would hurt like hell and be in need of immediate medical attention and yet she runs out, composed, to get the licence plate?

Comments  

Bevie
# Bevie 2010-10-06 15:25
Jas, I agree with almost everything you have to say here, so don't want to repeat it again.

LOVE this show. Loved this episode. ;-)

Hate Christian with a passion. Hope Dean punches him out soon. :twisted:

Love Lisa. Others think she is too good to be true and must have an evil agenda. I don't. I do believe there are many ladies like her, sending their men off to do what must be done, and backing them all the way and loving them and welcoming them back home when the job is done. It is so refreshing to see a woman like that on a TV show, when the norm are usually nagging, selfish and confrontational biotches. :o

I sincerely hope that Sam isn't into completely trusting the Campbells like he did Ruby. I don't want him to be fooled in that way again. And why oh why weren't any of them upset about one of their own family being ganked? :-?

The end was priceless with "Smoke on the Water" and Dean taking the tarp off his poor Baby! Things seem almost the way they should be. We just need Sammy back in the shotgun seat. :-)
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2010-10-06 16:03
Jas a good job once more and just like Bevie I don't want to repeat it. But I have another favoured line of Dean: " I have been on a few milk runs" That just is something I couldn't have imagined Dean say in the befor-Lisa-time.

On comment on Lisa. I do love her and hope she will become a regular. And a little addition to Bevies comment about her. I used to be married to a US-Soldier and everytime before they took of to the gulf or the balkan all the spouses were called in on a mandatory meeting and amongst a lot of other things somebody always explained to us that it is very important that the-stay-at-hom e-spouse gives the leaving one the confidence that she/him can handle everything at home while the other one is gone. So Lisa did just do what the US-Army suggests to a soldier wife. She is great. Have I mentioned yet that I love her and want her to stay?
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-06 18:37
Jas,

Another fabulous Open Couch from you -- not that I expect less (no pressure :-)

Sam's subtle layering is intriguing to watch. Some critic characterized Jared as simply shrugging his way through Exile on Main Street and found that boring. I have a differing opinion, I think he shrugged his way through it 'cause that was what was intended. Sam was to be (and still is) mysterious, disconnected and we are in turn to be disturbed at his detachment.

In Two and a Half Men Sam gives us glimmers of himself in prior seasons, looking to Dean for help with the baby, in control at the Campbell family lair, not at all convincing in his denial of using the baby as bait and teasing his brother akin to Hell House, the familiarity and the comfort.

Sam is many layered already and there have been more added that we haven't seen arrive, this time we get to see the peeling back of them. It's gonna be fun and Jared is doing a fine job of giving us little glimpses of the many 'faces' of Sam. Well done.

As for Dean, the one line that really resonates with me is Samuel's "Why can't you give me an inch of trust (or ounce of trust)" It's so season one John/Sam. This time it's Dean/Samuel but the weight behind it is similar...altho ugh I trusted John in Season 1 and Samuel I don't. He's up to no good.

Lisa was wonderful and so far they have very intelligently and quite believable. Also, according to Yirabah's comment above it is believable. I like Lisa/Ben and while I don't believe we'll be seeing a lot of them I like knowing they're there.

:-)
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-06 19:59
We shouldn't forget that Dean was taking care of baby Sammy, even though he was a child himself. Can you see John changing diapers? :D

Even though I am not crazy about Ben and Lisa, I am glad that they are alive and still kicking.

I have not found one person in any Supernatural blog that has any trust in Gramps and the Campbells. We could all be wrong and they could turn out ok, but I truly doubt it.

Friday brings us Castiel and Sam in the Impala.
Thank you Chuck. :D
boobula
# boobula 2010-10-06 20:10
Hey Jas,
Love your open couch as always. As I was reading it, I was also trying to figure out what bugs me about the Campbell Clan. As per your words "One reason might be that I have fallen in part for Dean’s point of view that has been presented to us from episode one, so far." That makes all kinds of sense to me. So I got to thinking about the hunters Sam and Dean have encountered over the last 5 years.

First and foremost: John Winchester. An obsessed father who would do anything to keep his boys safe and find whatever thing killed their mother. He trusted very few people and from what we know, alienated almost everyone who tried to be of help, one way or another.

Then there's The Roadhouse. Ellen, Jo, and Ash. Valuable allies that as far as Dean is concerned are all dead because of him, one way or another.

Next up, Gordon Walker. In the words of Ellen "Gordon is dangerous to everyone and everything around him. If he’s working on a job just let him handle it and move on." He ends up on the "hell bent to kill Sam Winchester because he is the Anti-Christ" bus and we all remember how that ended for him. Vamp-Gordon beheaded by razor-wire wielding Sam.

Then here come Issac and Tamara. Not big Sam and Dean fans since they were the ones that let the Devil’s gate open up in the first place. Issac dies, Tamara goes off to hunt alone.

Next up to bat. Kubrick and Creedy. Creedy seems kinda okay, but Kubrick seems a bit out in left field. He first thought he was doing a favor for Gordon by killing Sam but now he is on a mission from God. Creedy has not been heard from again. And Kubrick got ganked by Vamp!Gordon. Hmmmm... Interesting how things work out now and then isn't it?

Next, the warm and fuzzy Rufus Turner. Retired hunter, knows alotta things about alotta people and is more likely to talk to you if you bring him a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. As Scotch goes... Pretty damn good stuff, if you are into that sorta thing. Out of retirement, still alive and still pretty cranky.

Then sent back 1973, Dean meets Samuel, Deanna, and Mary Campbell. And Samuel himself says he doesn't trust other hunters--doesn' t want their help or want them around his family.

Enter 3 hunters Bobby sent to check out the Revelation omens in Garber, Oklahoma (since Sam's done with hunting, someone has to do it). Hunter #1 and Hunter #2(Ritchie) tried to force feed Sam demon blood because Hunter #3 (Steve) got killed outside the 5 and dime. Plus they found out Sam started the apocalypse. #1 and #2, leave after the Sam beat-down, but promise they will be back.

Flash to the nuthouse where poor Martin has had himself committed to get away from all the craziness of a hunters life, (I would still like to know what happened in Albuquerque)onl y to be terrorized there as well. There seems to be no escape.

Up next, Roy and Walt. The 12-gauge toting hunters, also looking to kill Sam “You think you can just flip the switch on the apocalypse, and just walk away Sam?”. But this time they are gonna kill Dean too. “But I’m going to warn you. WHEN I come back, I’m gonna be pissed.” (I'm waiting for the day Sam and Dean run into Roy and Walt again. It's gonna be ugly.)

Then there is the Sacrament Lutheran Militia, lead astray by the whore of Babylon, Richie the Thai silk wearing hunter from Sin City, he's dead. Caleb and Pastor Jim... also dead. And let's not forget Travis, rugrau dinner.

Last but not least, Bobby. Loves the boys like they're his own, and there isn't anything he wouldn't do to help them, up to and including stabbing himself and selling his soul.

So when it comes to not trusting other hunters, I can kinda see Dean's point. The Winchester Brothers' track record hasn't been all that great. I'm just glad Bobby has made it through all these years. Not unscathed, but made it none the less. No one gets out of hunting unscathed it seems.
hjradcliff
# hjradcliff 2010-10-06 20:40
sorry to dissappoint but there is a product sold that is named "butt paste" i like to think it gave the scene at the store a "real" feel.
Karen
# Karen 2010-10-06 22:47
Hi Jasminka
Once again Jas a very insightful review.

I really loved this episode with comedic and dramatic moments.

I felt bad for Ben, wanting to help and be like Dean and Dean getting angry with him. I understand Dean of course. I would of freaked seeing my child holding a loaded firearm too. He doesn’t want this life for Ben, but how do you not become over protective. I guess Dean can sympathise with John and now understands how easy it is to become militant when your protecting someone you love.

Lisa is pretty amazing, supporting Dean and giving his space. She knows with Sam back Dean would be drawn back into the hunting life…since it has been his whole life.

I loved the Supermarket scene. The facial expressions alone were priceless.

The Campbell’s are certainly a mystery and a reason to be concerned. I have to wonder if Dean’s suspicions/dist aste for the Campbell’s is effecting his judgement a little. What were they suppose to do with the baby? The only options available were either to raise him or terminate him. However I do wonder if the baby was going to find itself in the care of Christian or with whom Gramps is working for. It’s funny to see Dean so protective of the baby even knowing it is a shape shifter. The Season 1-3 Dean would of sided with terminating the baby, as it is a monster.

I was surprise that when Sam asked Dean if he had any other suggestions on where to take the baby other than to Samuels that he didn’t say Bobby’s.

I do have to point out that this Alpha certainly has some many special gifts, not only can smell his offspring and can withstand an overdose of drugs, but he also must have esp or x-ray vision. How else did he know what Samuel looked like and what he was wearing. From what I gathered Gramps never left the compound (too busy beating up on the Laptop). And even with Sam, I can understand that he may of seen Sam, as Sam said he may have been followed, but to know exactly what he was wearing?

The final scene was amazing. Pulling the tarp off the Impala, Smoke on the Water playing in the background and that smile of Dean’s like he was saying “We’re back’ had me all goose-bumpy and teary.
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2010-10-07 00:12
Jas, I love your idea about the car keys. I'd noticed too how Dean had them with him last week, but now they were tucked away in the tool box.

It was wonderful to see Sam & Dean working together again; they are not yet comfortable with each other, but seeing some of the brotherly banter return was encouraging. I think it does help Sam to regain his sense of self to have his brother back in his life. He'd only been with the Campbell clan for the past year, & we saw how little feeling they show, even when it comes to losing several of their own family!

The analogy of Lisa as a soldier's wife really fits her situation. I love how the show has handled her character so far, & I hope she does stay there, waiting for Dean when he can come home. She seems to be a strong enough woman to understand & support Dean & take care of Ben too.
Speaking of Ben, I felt badly for him & Dean during the confrontation over the gun. Ben is old enough to want to help & to have some idea of the danger out there & wants to feel needed & useful to the guy he obviously idolizes. Dean immediately regretted how harsh he was with Ben, but I wish we could have seen him apologize & talk to Ben again before he left.

Yay for the fun moments!
The look on Sam's face when he 1st saw the baby: cuter than the really cute baby!!
And the expression on Dean's face as he gazed on the Impala: be still my heart!!
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-07 03:21
I enojoyed reading this article - lots of interesting insight. :-)

Small point - I'm fairly sure Dean meant to protect the baby (and was not thinking of killing the baby at any point in time).

He appeared to be ready to even lay down his own life for the baby in the panic room. Even after seeing what the alpha shifter did in the panic room (riping the door apart and making short work of Sam), and while the alpha was choking him, Dean still held on to the baby. Very strong paternal insticts kicking in, in my view.
juie
# juie 2010-10-07 04:22
Jas, great article as always .
It really is ridiculous and pathetic that 40 mins of tv can make me so happy, the last 30 seconds alone had me grinning like an idiot all weekend .
So many good things about this one it is hard to know where to start, of course they have to throw in some bits to tear at the old heartstrings too, and for me the scene with Ben and the gun left me wanting to give a huge hug to that little boy and a big boy as well.
There were many lines that I am sure are destined to be quoted ad nauseum and rightly so , for me Sams so heartfelt `Dean, make it stop!` with that look of sheer desperation was just perfect , also loved the total panic and terror at the prospect of having to change the baby `God I hope not`, all this from a man who has faced monsters all his life AND been to hell. I also loved the `You just stand there and think at me ` A classic `Deanism` if ever there was one.
Not sure why Sam was quite so amazed at Deans `Father ` skills as in some ways he has been honing them since he was 4 years old and while they may be slightly questionable , whiskey for a 6 month old is probably not his best idea , could anybody resist the Smoke on the water riff for a lullaby.
Of course though I am still, like you , worried about Sam .I was very uncomfortable about the way he took Bobby John (great name , and how telling were their choices there! ) and straight away handed him over to Samuel and I too noticed that smile and felt it very strange, it smacked almost of a conspiricy between him and the obnoxious Campbells, I hope it was not . still not liking or trusting them at all . I do not want Christian to meet an extremely nasty end though, until Dean has beaten the crap out of him .
To end with the shallow you are so right Sams hair was indeed lovely and very touchable but he is not the only Winchester who is improving with age ! ;-)
This is one which could, and has, inspired endless rambling, the last one that made me feel this happy at the end was PONR , and then next week we have more to look forward to , He is back , trenchcoat in tact !
Thanks Jas love Ju
Julie
# Julie 2010-10-07 04:23
Jas, great article as always .
It really is ridiculous and pathetic that 40 mins of tv can make me so happy, the last 30 seconds alone had me grinning like an idiot all weekend .
So many good things about this one it is hard to know where to start, of course they have to throw in some bits to tear at the old heartstrings too, and for me the scene with Ben and the gun left me wanting to give a huge hug to that little boy and a big boy as well.
There were many lines that I am sure are destined to be quoted ad nauseum and rightly so , for me Sams so heartfelt `Dean, make it stop!` with that look of sheer desperation was just perfect , also loved the total panic and terror at the prospect of having to change the baby `God I hope not`, all this from a man who has faced monsters all his life AND been to hell. I also loved the `You just stand there and think at me ` A classic `Deanism` if ever there was one.
Not sure why Sam was quite so amazed at Deans `Father ` skills as in some ways he has been honing them since he was 4 years old and while they may be slightly questionable , whiskey for a 6 month old is probably not his best idea , could anybody resist the Smoke on the water riff for a lullaby.
Of course though I am still, like you , worried about Sam .I was very uncomfortable about the way he took Bobby John (great name , and how telling were their choices there! ) and straight away handed him over to Samuel and I too noticed that smile and felt it very strange, it smacked almost of a conspiricy between him and the obnoxious Campbells, I hope it was not . still not liking or trusting them at all . I do not want Christian to meet an extremely nasty end though, until Dean has beaten the crap out of him .
To end with the shallow you are so right Sams hair was indeed lovely and very touchable but he is not the only Winchester who is improving with age ! ;-)
This is one which could, and has, inspired endless rambling, the last one that made me feel this happy at the end was PONR , and then next week we have more to look forward to , He is back , trenchcoat in tact !
Thanks Jas love Ju
Julie
# Julie 2010-10-07 04:24
Sorry about double post , but I did really really like this one !!!! :D
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-07 05:31
Bevie, Yirabah, Elle2, NancyL, Boobula, hjradcliff, Karen, BagginsDVM, CitizenKane2, Julie, what’s this? I’m not around for a couple of days and all of a sudden so many comments turn up. Thanks so much! I’m intrigued by your opinions!

Bevie, I truly hope Lisa will remain to be ‘too good to be true’, after all, didn’t Dean deserve a great partner for once, someone he loves to come home to, someone he finds some peace of mind with? Of course he does.
And I agree wholeheartedly with you – so often women are portrayed as you describe it, when you look at tv shows like Cougar Town or Desperate Housewives, gosh, women are not always that weird and ridiculous. Some are, granted, but some of us simply fight to remain standing in a life that’s constantly throwing new difficulties and pains at us. It’s great to find such a strong heroine here in this show that tends to kill its female character off… I do hope it won’t happen to Lisa. Should she turn out to be evil, well, that would be a coup I would not expect. It would be a shock, though. I hope the writers don’t choose that path.

Yirabah, I can relate to what you share from your life. I was engaged to a member of the US Navy and when he went off to the first Gulf War, this is exactly what I felt compelled to do – let him know that I believe in him, writing countless letters, postcards, sending packages to give him good reason to come home in one piece. I see a lot of that in Lisa, too. That’s the best thing you can do, if you love someone who happens to be a soldier – which Dean is. Not on a field somewhere in the Middle East, but just around the corner.

Oh, and keep mentioning how much you like Lisa! Let’s hope our wishes will keep her alive (I still fear she might meet a ghastly end…)

Elle2, sometimes I just don’t understand that critics, after having watched the prior seasons, still don’t know that Sam has always been a multi-layered character. For now, I bet it is intended that he remain a mystery. And I like that, so we’ll have a lot of fun pulling back the layers (hey, can’t keep my profession completely out of the way here, the mad scientist smiled).

I might back paddle a bit with the Open Couches. Right now I’m on vacation and that wasn’t much of a problem. But as soon as work begins again, with some new schedules I’ve been given, it will prove a massive difficulty to get them done in time. So, I think, I will write them when I feel I just have to, when I need to look behind the obvious.

NancyL, actually, I have trouble picturing John changing diapers. I would love to see a flashback scene with John buying baby-stuff and getting all exhausted. That’d be nice and funny. We won’t get that, I’m sure.

You know, I have often thought about that possibility – that the Campbell clan is portrayed like that and will eventually turn out to be good and trustworthy. It wouldn’t be the first time this show pulled our legs till kingdom come. Whatever they decide to do with them, I trust that it will be for the best of the show and will prove to be a lot of fun to watch. Or it will break our hearts. Anything is possible, don’t you think?

Boobula, wow, what an account of the walking weirdness that is the hunters’ “community” . Taken from that point of view – you’re absolutely right: there are not that many good reasons for Dean to trust any other hunter but himself, Sam or Bobby. Thanks so much for this idea. This might also serve as an inspiration to another article, who knows…?

Hjradcliff and Alice, no, really?! I can’t believe it! That is just hilarious. I guess everything is possible in the US… I’m off to the next baby-department to look if we have something as silly as that there. On the other hand – it tells you right away what to do with it, You don’t have to read the fine print, eh?

Karen, I wondered the same thing about Papa Shifter – how did he know how the hunters he appeared as look like? Perhaps we will find out, as I assume we will meet that one again. Perhaps there’ll be an AlphaMonster Convention…?

Goosebumps all over… oh, yes, that final scene was utterly magnificent.

Dawn, I agree that having Dean back in his life will help Sam finding his sense of self. After all, that’s what trauma survivors need – familiar things, the knowledge that something of their life is still there, that they didn’t lose it all. It’s wonderfully done here.

CitizenKane2, that’s my hope, too- that Dean would never consider killing that baby, albeit a monster. Alas, I’m ready for surprises within this new show. Perhaps they will shock us occasionally with unsuspected terror, like Dean or Sam doing something completely outside their character. On the other hand – I do hope I’m wrong.

Julie, I get it how much you love this episode, ha!, double posts, oh, yes, stress it, dear! You don’t say that you were grinning like a fool all weekend? Imagine what I say in my mirror?!

The Deanisms are indeed great this time, and I can imagine you remembering them for later use, eh? Have you already taken a trip to the Halifax Gibbet to see whether it’s still intact to use it on Christian? Need any help with that? He would certainly deserve a damn good thrashing, and I think that in one of the upcoming episodes we will see Christian and Dean having a serious disagreement.

Thank you so much for your detailed, lovely comments! Take care, Jas
brotherlylove
# brotherlylove 2010-10-07 08:46
I might be the only one but I am loving the Campbell's, their harshness, snark and their relationship with Sammy are a great contrast to the fluffiness and cheese of the Dean/Lisa/Ben dynamic. I love the sense of mystery there with those characters and with Sam, those are really the elements/questi ons of this season that's keeping me interested.

I'm glad we wont be seeing much more of Ben and Lisa this season, personally I thought that in the end she was just trying to get rid of Dean after all he was turning her life and more importantly her son's upside down. She may have know what she was letting herself in for (the hunting, monsters, danger) when she took Dean in but knowing and experience it are two very different things and while that year of Dean hunting free was the 'best year of her life' reality has now set in and the happiness and safety she may have felt then is essentially now gone. What better way to get her life back than to give Dean the out he so obviously wants and do it without making him feel or look like a jerk? They essentially both get what they want and no one gets hurt. The open door gesture felt more like just something you say, like inviting a neighbour around for a cup of tea out of politeness but knowing they'll never take you up on the offer. I think Lisa's gesture was made in the same vein, she made it knowing Dean would most likely never actually take her up on it. Anyhow I think Lisa and Ben will just be phased out and I couldn't be happier about not seeing much more of them.

They added an element to the show that can be found on just about every show around and I like my SPN unique. It's a show about two brothers hunting things and saving people and how those two brothers relate to each other. Outsiders are only important where they affect that relationship, so for me it felt like Dean getting back on the road was his getting over that obstacle (Lisa/Ben) keeping him from his brother, so now he is reunited with Sam Lisa/Ben no longer have a purpose, that storyline is essentially over.

Anyway the episode was much better than EOMS but I have a feeling episode 3 is where we'll really get a return to the show we all know and love.
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-10-07 10:21
Mmmm, comfy couch Jas! As always. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Just a few things to add.
I read Sam's smile differently. It may have seemed a bit creepy, but I thought it more friendly. Grampa Cambell revealed that Christian and his /significant other had been trying to have a baby. Suddenly they had a baby, I thought it was Sam being happy for a buddy. "Way to go man!" Don't get me wrong, Christian still needs to get his lights punched out, but that doesn't mean that Sam hasn't bonded with them. The Campbells haven't yet shown much emotion or grief over losing one of their own (except for when right after Mark got ganked) but then we've also mostly seen them when they had their 'war faces' on.

Oh, and Julie, you want to hug both Ben AND Dean? What's this? You want to hug a harsh acting father figure? Mysteries abound. :D

Favorite quote by far "Cars are meant to drive, not bitch." Yes!!!!

Lisa is so fantastic. Little surprised/bumme d that they didn't cut to the OTHER goodbye scene. I'm betting she gave him reason to come back. ;-) :lol: Yirabah is quite right, she does act like a soldiers wife and she is made of stuff to handle the job.

I may be wrong, Sammy layers are hard to peel back, but I honestly don't think he meant to use the baby as bait. The scene in the motel room doesn't have him showing up until a bit after the shifter made the reveal about the father. And Sam's reaction to Dean's questioning was pretty spot on for a guy who doesn't know what his brothers point it going to be. Besides, I feel we're being gently led to mistrust Sammy since it is from Dean's POV and Sam's conversation with Samuel (sometimes I wonder about me to) all points to Sammy not being quite right. Well, yes, Sam isn't quite right. (the cage!EEP!!) I believe he's changed, but still true. If he has gone all shady, I don't think he'd ever have tried to get Dean back. Sam knows his brother knows him better than anyone. Why invite the one guy back who has x-ray Sammy vision?

Ok, I'm done. The whole ep was made of win.

This whole episode was made of win. Yay!
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-10-07 10:24
Wow, apparently I have a stutter. :roll::
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-10-07 10:47
@Brotherlylove – Count two. I thought I was the only one that doesn’t care about the Lisa/Ben plot. Don’t get me wrong. Dean’s apple-pie life is cute in its own way but it’s also the kind of stuff that can be found in about every show on TV. And like you said, it’s not what SPN is about. Our show is about two brothers on the road and their unique relationship and THAT is the stuff that makes SPN special. Besides, Lisa is a bit too much perfect to be realistic. Every normal woman has complaints and rightly so. It’s only human. But all that understanding? I just don’t buy it.

As for the Campbells, it’s the contrary. The notion that they’re up to no good is practically thrown at our face from their very first appearance. Isn’t it a little too much obvious? It’s almost as though the writers WANT us to think like that. I’m sure there’s much more here than meets the eye and I have a feeling that we’ll be surprised. Anyways, I find the mystery surrounding the Campbell clan much more intriguing and appealing than Dean’s domestic life.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-07 12:40
Brotherlylove, Yvonne, AndreaW, this episode really set your brains going, eh?

Brotherlylove, hey, go on liking the Campbell clan. Who knows, perhaps it will turn out that their agenda is a really good one and everyone will start liking them… Opinions like yours are like pepper needed to a good meal.

You know, personally, I would love Lisa to leave Dean and not get killed off by some unholy circumstance. Perhaps we will see if Lisa did it as you think. Perhaps this show will end with this season and Dean will return ‘home’. About just anything can happen within the course of this season. I understand what you mean with liking your SPN unique. The elements that made us all love the show. Keep your hope. It may well be you’ll be getting that show back.

Yvonne, this is an interesting theory about Sam being happy for his buddy to adopt a baby. I wish we’d see more of them when they lower their ‘war faces’, to see what’s really going on in their mind. Perhaps we, who mistrust them, will ‘owe’ them an apology in the end.

Thanks for believing that Sam would not use the baby as bait. I can’t believe it either. I fear, Sam will still have to take quite some flak from some fans for being how he is, I guess he can use as much people in his corner as possible (and this she said about a fictional character….?! Inconceivable!)

AndreaW, it might well be that we’ve just not seen Lisa’s complaints, yet. There hasn’t been much to do for her so far. Personally, I’d like this idea – that Dean can come home to a loving woman. She might find out, however, that that kind of life she suggested to Dean will soon be too much for her. Let’s just keep biting our nails. There’s more to come

Folks, thank you ever so much for your comments! Cheers! Jas
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-10-07 17:37
Jas, yes, it's possible that we haven't seen Lisa's complaints yet, who knows. I see your point about Dean having someone at home waiting for him. Still, I think I prefer those times when they were two against the world, only the two of them.

Anyways, it's a relief to know that we have a place where we can discuss different points of view without getting at each other's throats and taking it personally. :-)
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-07 18:35
I like the idea of L'n'B floating around in the background and not horribly dead and making Dean even more f*cked-up and guilty than he already is but I'm more than happy to lose them for the forseeable future now he's back on the road ( YAY! :D ) with Sam and the Questionable Campbells ...

Good point about how much the Shiftyness Of Grandpa is being underlined for us, remember how long we were kept twisting in the wind before Ruby's true colours were revealed ... Maybe it's a double bluff and he's a good egg after all, or perhaps its a double double bluff and he's batting for the dark side all along or maybe ... Ow. What were you saying about antipsychotics?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-10-07 18:57
More typical excellence and more typically, I am late to the party. As all the best opinions have been taken can I just take one thing mentioned and expand on it? As Elle2 mentioned re Samuel to Dean 'Why can’t you give me an inch of trust?’ This is a question that could also apply to fans so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I trust the Campbells. More importantly, I want to trust the Campbells. (This is going to a really poorly structured post, sorry!)

Apart from the fact all they’ve done is, by their very existence, irk Dean, the Campbells have done nothing to warrant my mistrust. Maybe we don’t trust them because we don’t know a lot about them. However, we trust Castiel and Sam, both of whom we know very little about and by the circumstances surrounding them, would be more worthy of our mistrust and scepticism.

They captured a monster and we don’t know why so maybe they ARE up to no good, but... maybe they’re not. Maybe they are going to use the djinn to make an antidote, maybe they are planning a monster revolution. Who knows? The real question is, whatever the Campbells have planned, do the ends justify the means? Do the Campbells have the greater good in mind?

It’s quite ironic that, so far, the ones we ‘trusted’ the least are the ones who have seen the bigger picture and acted on it. We didn’t trust Gordon but if he had killed Sam; no Devils Gate. Had Anna, who nobody seemed to like, been able to carry out her plan to scatter Sam to the four corners of the earth, no Apocalypse and no vessel. We trusted Castiel, and he ended up betraying both Sam and Dean (there, I said it.... and now I'm running!)

We don’t trust Christian because he wants to take in a child that no-one else would touch? Um, ok. Do our minds, like Deans, go straight to something unseemly? If they do, does that say more about us than it does about Christian?

It seems all the Campbells have done wrong so far is to be hunters who have accepted Sam into their fold (and maybe this is why we (and Dean) don’t trust them, because they accepted Sam and we feel that should be an ‘honour’ only reserved for Dean).

My other reason for wanting to trust the Campbells is rather skewed. Basically, I don’t want Sam to look like a dumbass for exhibiting one of the most noble of human characteristics ; trust.

Sam put his trust in Ruby and she betrayed him. He trusted Castiel, Brady, his prom date, his high school teacher and countless others and, as we saw in Swan Song, he was wrong to trust, every single time.

However, despite all these wrongs, all these betrayals..... Sam still dares to trust. He seems willing to bet his soul on trust again and again and again. Just once, I’d like for him to be rewarded for doing so.

Like some dude (?) said ‘Being trusted is a greater compliment than being loved’. Being trusted is an honour. Being able to trust, an even greater one. People trust. I trust. I’d rather trust and be proved wrong than not trust and be proved right. Rather naive, I know, but with trust comes hope, and who wouldn’t want a bit of that? Trust isn’t logical, it isn’t debatable, it’s inherent, it’s indefinable but we all know what it is because we believe in it. (We trust in trust, tee hee!) I don’t want Sam’s innate feelings, his inborn sense of right and wrong to be proved wrong or tainted, again.

This may sound petty but I’d like Sam to feel he can trust someone outside of Dean, that he is worthy of trusting and being trusted in return.

I also don’t want mistrust to be endorsed and seen as something positive. I don’t want to see the Winchesters stuck in a cycle of cynicism where they become bitter and jaded and are expecting to be let down at every turn. Nobody deserves to live like that.

Finally, I don’t want to see Sam make the same mistakes of the past few years and if he blindly trusts the Campbells only to be betrayed again, then it shows he has learnt nothing. If he's trusting the Campbells (and there's a wee Scully voice in my brain that's shouting 'Nooo, he's just keeping his friends close but his enemies closer'), then I want him to be right to do so.

Wow, I'm getting cranky (and demanding) in my old age!
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-10-07 19:33
"We trusted Castiel, and he ended up betraying both Sam and Dean (there, I said it.... and now I'm running!)"

Well, then run with me! I said it before and I'm saying it again now (sorry guys). Castiel deceived Dean and gave Sam a little "help" with Lilith. But that little fact was just swept under the rug and Sam took the blame for everything alone. Then, Castiel dared, yes, he actually dared to blame Dean and Sam for the Apocalypse! Good God Y'All and I believe the Children are our Future, anyone?
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-07 19:39
I'm with you there, T the E ... Not about the cranky and demanding thing, the Sam not shooting himself in the foot twice in a row thing!

Also being bitter, jaded and cynical ( only where the writers of SPN are concerned, the rest of the time I'm as wide-eyed and custard-hearted as anyone could wish ... ) I reckon we might be being oversold on the dodgyness of the New Kids In Town. Or not ... Time ( and possibly Cas ) will tell ... ;-)
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-08 00:24
"We trusted Castiel, and he ended up betraying both Sam and Dean (there, I said it.... and now I'm running!)"

I think that was the point in time Castiel had just been "reconditioned" in Heaven (aka tortured), when he withheld vital information from Dean, and freed Sam from the Bobby's panic room.

But it should be remembered that notwithstanding the "reconditioning ", Castiel (at the end of Season 4) changed sides (to Dean's side).

Also, while Dean broke the first seal, he did so (also) under torture.

In contrast, Sam was warned repeatedly not to dabble in demon blood, but choose to continue down that path (addiction and Ruby's deceptionnotwithstanding).

So while all 3 (Sam, Dean and Castiel) contributed to Lucifer (literally) rising (among other individuals / entities that also played a part), somehow Castiel and Dean (both their contributions were made under the pain of torture) seem less culpable to me, compared to Sam's.

But to be fair, I don't think Dean and Castiel (towards the end of Season 5) still blamed Sam. Dean acknowledged that either Sam or himself knew that killing Lilith was a bad thing; Castiel was following Sam's lead at the end of Season 5.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-10-08 07:17
Neither Castiel nor Dean had the burden of being an "abomination", like Castiel kindly remarked. Sam was trying to make something positive of his abomination status. It was a bad decision, but he tried. And what's more, he owned up to his faults which is more than can be said of others.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-08 10:23
One thing I like about this site is the different perspectives I learn from reading the articles and comments made. :-)

I think you make a valid point, AndreaW, about Sam's burden. While Sam owned up to his part in setting Lucifer free - and perhaps to a lesser extent Dean also did acknowledge his part - I tend to agree that Castiel did not (at least did not explictly) appear to acknowledge that he also had a share in the blame.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-08 12:14
Wow, folks, look I missed a hell of a discussion! First of all, AndreaW, Tim the Enchanter, Suze and CitizenKane2, thank you for commenting and sticking your necks out. I don’t see a guillotine nearby, so you’ll be perfectly safe, eh?
AndreaW, that’s what I love about this site, too (among other aspects, of course) – that we can enter a discussion where do don’t always agree, and not ending up taking out knives. I see your point. There was something exclusive to the story when there were only the two of them. And should Dean really get back to ‘the life’, it might be fairly difficult with a family in the background, simply because they will be in constant danger. However, being a hopeless romantic (and helplessly shallow) at time, I wouldn’t mind the occasional love scene.

Suze, in need of meds? Hurray! The crazies have more fun, I’d say… (not professionally speaking, of course…) You know, Ruby was a figure I wanted to trust and defend, but I never came to believing her, even when it seemed that she was a good gal, helping Sam (which, underneath all the schemes, she indeed did, by providing him with understanding, support et al). So with the Campbells, I’m just confused I guess. If it is a double double bluff, it’s a damn good one, so far.

Enchanting Tim, bring on the ‘poorly structured posts’, girl! Trusting or not trusting the Campbells that is the question… Personally, it’s not something they have done that provoked my mistrust, it’s more the atmosphere that emerges when they are around. The glances that occur, the way they go about their business (obviously using monsters for a yet unknown purpose) and other things. For me, it’s certainly not the fact that Christian is ‘willing to take in a child that no-one else would touch’, it’s the manner in which he takes it on. I don’t see any affection for that kid there, and the remark he makes there. Something about it feels very much wrong – to me. And because he reminds me of someone I know who deserves a good slap in the face (there goes a part of my objectivity, and you’re right, in his case it shows something about myself)

Granted, you might say, they are just as mistrusting as Sam and Dean have been in the past when it comes to other hunters. You might be right that some fans feel that taking someone like Sam in, should be only Dean’s job and no one else’s. If they think so, it would be quite a narrow-minded point of view, don’t you think?

That Sam, despite what he has been through, still dares to trust is a sign of courage. He perhaps (again like I feel, another thing that I found here that reflects aspects of myself) feels it vital to let people in to not be alone, to have someone to lean on and to share thoughts with. I don’t think he will ever look dumb for doing that. Well, not to me. Not to you. To some fans, who will look for something to bitch about, he will, I fear.

And – I’m still waiting for Castiel’s letting out of Sam (out of the panic room) to come out of the box. But I guess that won’t be addressed ever again. Or, as Misha said at the Con I attended, when I asked him about it :it’s all water under the bridge.

CitizenKane2, I think there is some truth to it – that Castiel might have acknowledged to have a part of the burden by taking sides and helping the brothers to stand up against the whole heavenly master plan. But we’ll have to see what Castiel will to in this season. What his new position in heaven will bring him (and cost him?).

Folks, I think the boys have always tried to make the right thing, but were misguided in many ways. I would be surprised if they didn’t end up bitter and cynical. Streaks of that are certainly there. But I also think, as long as e.g. Sam is able to trust strangers (well, at first then family) and Dean letting someone in his heart – they still do a lot to save themselves from that fate. Let’s hope the writers will not take that road. I would love to see them smiling in the end, for once, riding into the sunset. Or, if necessary, go out with a big bang. But a smiling one.


:-) thank you so much for commenting and discussing! Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-09 05:54
Oh, Dany, yes, I'm also biting my nails... we have so many episodes to go and to be tortured by those darn writers of this show we love so much... I would also love to know how Sam ended up with the Campbells - did he find them? Or did they find him (and plan to use him somehow???) - I bet we will be told this story when they elaborate some more on what happened to Sam during this year he was back from hell.
I do hope so, at least.

Thank you so much for commenting. I'm off now to watch the new episode.

Love, Jas
AnonymousN
# AnonymousN 2010-10-09 10:34
I have started posting my opinions from when the season 6 has begun. I completely agree with Tim The Enchanter and AndreaW. That is the main reason why i don't want Sam to be wrong in trusting Campbells . I felt bad for him when i found that nearly all the people whom he was close with were demons. I want him to be right for a change. Still only guesses about what is really going on with Sam..... am really enjoying this. Also this is a very good website.I had always enjoyed reading the opinions of other fans here.I never miss your posts and Alice Jesters reviews.I also liked the story you did as Jaspala, would love if you continue it when you finish research for the next part of that article you did on croats.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-10 11:31
AnonymousN, I thank you so much for your comment - and welcome you to the site. I don't think I've had the chance, yet, forgive me.

I bet, Tim The Enchanter, AndreaW, you and me and many many more fans out there hope this to hold true for Sam. The decent, honourable, sweet boy so many of us fell in love with is still in there, I'm sure. And he'll probably emerge within the upcoming episodes, though altered, according to his experiences. That's going to be interesting to watch.

Thank you for liking Jaspala's work. I'm sure, she will some back, as soon as she finds some news worth sharing! (P.S: you might want to check out her latest article and collaboration with Randal Smith - the Winchester Biz Gazettes report on Ben Edlund's secret plans)

Cheers, Jas