Live Free or Twihard, by Elle2
 
Episode five of season six…anyone know where we’re going, anyone got this figured out yet?  I don’t.  First off, for those who are hoping the whole ‘alpha’ thing will hurry up and go away (I’ve read some comments on some spoiler threads this past week as the synopsis for All Dogs Go To Heaven came out), I don’t think alphas are going anywhere.  Judging from what we’ve seen in Two and a Half Men, here, as well as what is coming up, the alpha is a part of the seasonal thread.  And there’s a parallel to the Winchesters as well, an alpha is the leader of a pack, he/she may or may not be the ‘first’ but they sure are the leader.  Samuel Campbell isn’t the first Campbell but he sure is this current Campbell pack’s leader…their alpha.  So the parallels are neatly in place.  BTW, who didn’t love the line regarding the recipe and the soup…ha, ha!!  Or rather…mmm, mmm, good!
 
Now, did I like this episode…eh, in places very much, in others, no.  I think this episode tried to do too much and sometimes that works but most times it doesn’t.  I think there were five things trying to be achieved by this episode:  1, spoofing on vampires; 2, showing just how ‘far gone’ Sam is and setting up episodes to come; 3, deepening the mystery of Samuel Campbell; 4, giving Dean absolute proof that Sam is not Sam and yes as a by-product we can see the beginning of the Lisa/Ben end; 5, further layering the mystery going on with monsters and demons and angels…oh, my.  Episode 5 achieved all five of those goals but only a few did it do very well.

 
Goal #1, Spoofing Vampires:
 
As someone not in touch with the vampire phenomena, although I now count myself a fan of The Vampire Diaries – great acting, great writing and lots, lots, lots of ‘guns’ being fired this season with seemingly no end of the momentum (or the carnage), much of the opening teaser (at around four minutes in length) was dull, boring and way, way, way too long and drawn out for my taste.  
 
Dean’s and Sam’s moments of investigating and poking fun at the vampire craze were fine in and of themselves but I didn’t get many of the jokes.  The first of my observations, the long, boring teaser, I’ll hold ‘against’ the episode; the second, my not getting the references, at least most of them, I don’t hold against the episode.  Many of Supernatural’s foreign fans don’t understand all the meta references when the show pokes fun at things decidedly American so while I was interested, I wasn’t rolling on the floor with laughter as I know some were – again, judging by the responses to the clips that were released during this past week.
 
Goal #2, Deepening Sam’s Mystery:
 
I sat up a lot, lot, lot straighter when I watched Sam watching Dean get turned….now that got my attention.  Hmm, I think I stated during my review of Two and a Half Men that I wasn’t sure if Sam used the baby for bait.  Then revised my thoughts a bit in the comments (or somewhere in discussions for that episode) that I was more and more of the belief that Sam did use the baby as bait.  Again, the episode set up didn’t lead me to believe Sam used the baby as bait, his unconvincing protestations otherwise to Dean, however, did.  In light of watching Sam’s actions (or nonactions) towards Dean’s danger and his unconvincing response to Samuel’s queries on the same matter I am firmly of the belief that Sam used that baby as bait much as he used Dean here.  Why remains the mystery and I’m intrigued where we’re going.  (BTW, is this a parallel to what some have thought were John’s actions in Something Wicked?  Don’t know.  Likely we’ll never know if John intentionally used his boys as bait for the shtriga but there is that thought out there…perhaps that was a motivation for the writers.)
 
Goal #3, Just Who/What is Samuel Campbell?
 
Samuel’s character turned a bit for me this week.  It was clear that he truly meant to help Dean.  I don’t trust Samuel Campbell, his actions in Exile on Main Street with the djinn as well as the baby shifter have me suspicious but I am convinced he honestly meant Dean no harm here.  Yes, he would have killed Dean had Dean ‘fed’ but since Dean was on the same page with that (as was the long-since-passed Gordon) I don’t mind that.  Dean was honorable in his desire for death to avoid actually being a vampire and Grandpa Samuel would be doing the correct thing here.  However, I still don’t trust the man and it looks like in another two weeks Dean won’t be either… ?
 
Goal # 4, Give Dean Solid Proof:
 
Dean finally has proof, he’s had suspicions, he’s had his instinct (or, if this were NCIS, his gut) but now he’s got proof.  And, if I’m interpreting my previews correctly, he’s going to be calling Bobby for a little 411 on the situation – Bobby, when Dean tells you Sam watched him get turned, I expect a bit of a reaction to that, something that opens up what you do or do not know about Sam.
 
I know some have been upset that Dean hasn’t been – I don’t know, harder on Sam with his suspicions or that Dean hasn’t been concerned enough, or that somehow Dean is out of character in these first few episodes.  I’m still formulating my opinion there but so far I don’t come down on the side of Dean should be doing something more.  I’m fine with how the season is pacing the story; it’s a huge, huge mystery.  We pretty much know what Dean did that whole year; we got it in the opening montage and first few minutes of Exile On Main Street.  With Sam it’s a whole different story and I like the mystery that’s slowly being unfolded.
 
Let us not forget that Sera indicated this season would be a call back to Season 1 in many ways; it is.  Sam is the focused hunter here, Season 1 it was Dean.  Dean is the reluctant but now willing partner, Season 1 it was Sam.  Each week was a different monster, Season 1 it was ghosts, wendigos, vengeful ghosts/spirits, demons, bloody Mary, shapeshifter, hookman, Indian curses; Season 6 it’s djinn, shapeshifters, angels gone awry with heavenly weapons – all right, that’s more akin to Season 4 and Season 5 – okamis and llamias, and now vampires.  In Season 1 we knew by episode 5 (Bloody Mary) that Sam had dreamed of Jessica’s death before it happened – pretty mind-blowing back then; in Season 6 we know that Sam allowed Dean to be turned into a vampire and that vampires are building an army and that overall monsters are acting strange (even for monsters).  I say we’re right on track with Season 1.
 
Goal #5, Where Are We Going?
 
So what is the overall thread in this season, there are several.  We have Sam’s mystery, Samuel’s mystery (not just what ‘yanked him down’ but what is he doing with captured djinns and whatever else he may have captured) Dean’s emotional storyline with Lisa, Bobby’s deal with Crowley (neatly and nicely resolved), Cas’ dealing with angels and monsters who are recruiting, building and probing for hunters’ weak spots.  I’m intrigued.  
 
I’m also hopeful for some answers, there have been a few, we know what Dean was doing for that past year, thank you for that.  I think we can see the end of Lisa and Ben’s involvement on the horizon, although I have enjoyed immensely how the story has been handled thus far but I also recognize what the show is about (and that’s just how I like it too) and like the parallel Dean now has with John and Adam and perhaps it draws a bit more sympathy to John’s dilemma with his ‘other family’.  
 
I’m glad that Bobby’s deal with Crowley has been resolved.  I like seeing that both Crowley and Cas have their hands full with their respective spheres and suspect that there will be more coming that will weave in and out through the season.  What I do look forward to is some confrontation on the Sam is ‘not Sam’ issue as well as just what is Samuel Campbell up to.  
 
Judging from the previews and the synopsis of upcoming episodes we’re going to start getting some answers, or at the very least some peeks.
 
So, did Live Free or Twihard work, for me no.  It’s an episode that I’ll skip unless I’m absolutely positively determined to watch each and every episode, per season, in order.  I just didn’t enjoy it.  It was well-lit, the camera angles were fine but for me it basically had no heart.  This episode was meant to do certain things, and it did but those are all simply set ups for the future.  Like last season’s “The Devil You Know” and “Two Minutes to Midnight” I’m left feeling that this is simply a precursor to things to come.  
 
Season 6, Thus Far:
 
“Exile On Main Street” reunited the brothers and introduced the Campbells.  â€œTwo Men and a Baby” had light fun during the baby-on-board scenes and paved the way for Dean’s return to hunting.  â€œThe Third Man” returned Cas to the scenery and gave us a glimpse into heaven and angels with nefarious deeds at hand.  â€œWeekend At Bobby’s” closed out Bobby’s deal, showcased Jim Beaver wonderfully and broadened our familiarity with Rufus, Crowley and Sheriff Mills.  â€œLive Free or Twihard” fell flat.  It was dark, depressing and similar to Sam’s steady-as-she-goes-heart rate left me wanting some excitement.
 
I don’t expect every episode to hit it out of the park and while this is one that I’ll be skipping in the future it was necessary; the information gained here will be utilized elsewhere.  In parts it worked, as a whole it didn’t, my grade.  C-
 
Now for those of you who loved it, let me know what you loved.  Often reading comments causes me to rethink things.  
 
Thanks for reading, Elle2
 

Comments  

Karen
# Karen 2010-10-24 01:28
Hi Elle2
I have to say this is one episode I won’t voluntarily re-watch.
I too found the open scene just a little too long. However I did enjoy the little digs on the new vampire craze Twilight/Vampir e Diaries. For the record my daughter and I do watch The Vampire Diaries and enjoy the show.

However the mystery of Sam’s behaviour I have to say I’m not a fan.
I really don’t like what they are doing to Sam’s character.
I truly hope they give Sam a plausible and forgivable explanation for his actions.

After the last two seasons of enduring the deterioration of the brothers relationship and then to have some what of that relationship restored by Swan Song, just to have that all tossed away to go back to this? I guess I have reached my saturation point for this story line.

As for Samuel, I’m still suspicious, but no longer seeing him as a villain. He does appear to be on some Alpha capturing mission but he does seem to care about both brothers.

As for Dean’s proof I don’t know. After re-watching that alley scene numerous times I have to wonder how Dean saw Sam smirk. Mr. Vamsleeze was smearing his blood in Dean mouth at the time and from what I could tell Dean had his eyes shut. He may of caught Sam standing there but I don’t see how he saw him smirk.

Where are we going? I would like to see how the two Sam’s new about each other and how they crossed paths. And I am curious on where this Alpha story line is taking us.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-24 04:18
Oh, Lady of the Fast Reviews, Elle2, I salute you.

I am still cringing and confused with this episode, and I have to admit I haven’t figured out the storyline as of yet. Right there with you, Elle2. There are so many questions asked and even more with each episode, that I haven’t a real clue so far. There’s the Alpha line. There is Sam’s behaviour. There is Dean’s home life. Crowley. Rafael. I’m done speculating about this show. Whenever I try, they prove me wrong. I’m just trying to stay curious.

But I have to agree with Karen. The story of Sam is hard to digest. At this point it’s so damn hard to love the character and I can’t say that I like what they’re doing with Sam. I am so fond of Sam as you well know, and it just hurts to see this development.

Dissecting his character in this way will have to be explained by some good clarification. So far I don’t see the point except getting the fans into a craze about this new storyline and giving Jared the opportunity to do something he loves – play ‘bad’ Sam. Not the worst reasons and from a writer's or actor's perspective I understand how tempting it can be to stretch your muscles.

Sadly, I have recognized some strange emotions during the week which used to be filled with I-can’t-Wait- till-I-see-the- next-episode curiosity. There have been moments I thought Okay, I’m gonna watch it when I make time, and I used to get up two hours earlier on Fridays to watch the episode before heading to work – I wouldn’t do that at this moment. One reason being that I have way more work to master in real life, but it might also be a result of this plot that is so painful to follow.

There is some saturation point as to how much I want to bear. I love this show so much. I love the characters, and Sam in particular, so much, and my faith in him has never faltered. I have felt like this for a few years now. But at them moment I can’t say I love where it’s going. I don’t like that the creators pile even more pain, torment, guilt on the shoulders of the protagonists, in particular Dean (about Sam’s potential pain we know only glimpses of, not enough to understand, yet).
Perhaps they have grown a tad too comfortable with torturing the Winchesters, since the ratings are stupendous. For me, personally, it might reach a point when I’m gonna have to say – I don’t want to be exposed to that kind of emotional turmoil every week. I have enough of that in my professional and my private life. Since I have allowed myself to grow so fond of these characters (note to self: remind yourself that it’s only a tv show) I can’t entirely distance myself from the story and I have never wanted to, not really.

I’m afraid there might come a point when I’m gonna have to say: it’s enough for me. I don#t want to be angry at a character or at a show. I want to look forward to the next episode with loving curiosity instead of wishing the episode to finish. I want to be tempted to re-watch the episodes instead of thinking: no, I’m not gonna watch this again.

I trust this is just a phase I'm going through right now, under the shock of this episode and the heartbreaking scenario.

I still have a lot of faith and trust attached to this show. But I feel how some of it begins to crumble away. And that’s the most uncomfortable notion I’ve had in a long time concerning a tv show I love. I hope they give us an explanation (and, hopefully, redemption) to Sam's behaviour soon. Not drag it out to a possible season seven.

Confused, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-24 05:06
P.S.: For the record (and I'm trying to make a mantra out of it) - I do hope they will find out what happened to Sam that made him change this much and find a way to find his real self again... Damaged, tortured, in pain, probably, but still compassionate. I might be a dreamer, but in this case I need to be
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-24 08:59
Hmm ... I'm not really sure what I think of 6.05.

Technically, I think it was a good episode - the acting was superb, the episode was funny, intense and intriguing etc.

But it was also ... depressing ? It was hard (i.e. depressing) to watch Dean betrayed in the way that he was by Sam, and somehow (for me) that impression (depression) seems to stand out like a sore thumb when I think about this episode. It's hard (for me at least) to like an episode that is technically stellar, but leaves me feeling rather depressed. :P

And this after the emotional high from Weekend's At Bobby's.

There were some parts in the previous Seasons of Supernatural that were not very comfortable to watch (the fight in When the Levee Breaks comes to mind), but I don't think we have ever had one of the brothers actively betray the other before (i.e. deliberately putting the other brother's life in danger to achieve a goal).

Incidentally, wasn't the tag line for Season 6 "The End Begins" ?
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-24 09:03
Sorry, I forgot to add - Elle2, excellent review. I enjoyed reading your review, and I especially like how you broke it down into the various themes. :-)
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-24 09:23
As an addition, for those who haven't already seen it - CW's trailer for next week's episode can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64KfkWZDg5M&feature=player_embedded

Thanks to Supernatural Fans Online for the heads-up.
peek-a-boo
# peek-a-boo 2010-10-24 10:16
Great review Elle2, and impressively quick :D

I agree the teaser/twilight /vamp diaries stuff was over long and would have worked better interspersed throughout the episode rather than in one chunk.

You are right, as a UK viewer there are occasionally cultural references that don't have the same impact over here. However, how often are there ten solid minutes of them? I think it resulted in people feeling they were left out of the joke for too long, and I say that as someone who has knowledge of both Twilight and cursory knowledge of the Vampire Diaries.

I did like the episode very much despite this though :P
I think it's good that the Sam stuff is being handled early in the season so we are not left hanging as to why for too long. I think Dean's reaction was believable from how we have seen him behave before.

It makes me sad as I know elsewhere the war drums have started already for the 'ruining the character' brigade. Newsflash! People do not always do the right thing, and have a variety of reasons for doing so. We don't even know if that is really Sam yet! I will reserve judgement until I have all the facts :twisted:

I like the tension that is being created in the show and see the amount of dismay and passion people have as Sara et al doing their job properly. How many shows can say they are getting people this worked up in their 6th season?! ;-)
Ana from Rio
# Ana from Rio 2010-10-24 12:04
First time commenting here although I really love the site and I am always lurking around.

I am from Brazil so I apologize for my poor english :-)

I really loved the episode. Since I am quite familiar with twilight (guilt pleasure!) I laughed a lot during the opening scene. It did not feel long and I have re-watched it to find all the references.

Besides, I consider the episode perfect technically (acting, directing and special effects). The pacing was also great, very different from episodes 1, 2 and 3. Kudos for the team!

As for the storyline it seems to me that Sam is not Sam and I am confident that the explanation for his behavior will not make us stop loving Sam but will make us cheer for him.

Maybe that is not Sam and Dean will have to find his brother or helping him find himself? The last scene of Swan Song (the flickering light on the lamp) keeps coming to my mind every time I think about it...

I remember that Sera Gamble said in interviews that this season have a "noir" mood. In film noir the heroes are "anti-heroes" and things are usually not what it seems to be. There is a moral ambiguity and a cynical perpective. Maybe this is where we are right now.

I was having my doubts about the show but now I think it is coming back on track. Sure it is a different road. But I decided to enjoy the travel and not think so much about the destination. For me is a completely different way to watch the show and I am quite enjoying it.
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-24 13:37
Hi, Karen, Jas, CitizenKane2, Peek-a-boo and Ana from Rio.

Hi, Karen, yeah, the Sam as baddie is not something I'm a fan of either. Perhaps the whole idea of trust no one and things aren't what they appear means that Sam is still trapped in hell and this is 'merely' a revenant. Don't know. I'm intrigued where it's going though and do have faith that while I may not like the character now, he is not unredeemable. I know I don't know what's behind this and thus I'll have to wait and see.

You bring up an excellent point about 'Dean's proof' You're right, the editing, plotting of that scene did not/does not lead me to believe Dean 'saw' Sam standing by. I give them a little (very little) leeway here, unlike Two and a Half Men, in that perhaps it's an outshoot of the visions Dean had in the vampire lair so it's a part of the whole vampire sense thingy...still, it's weak proof at best for Dean. For us, it undeniable.

Jas, I'm with you on your sentiment that there are aspects that are painful to watch. Frankly, as I was watching this episode there was a part of me thinking...I've got better things to do (like sleep) then watch this. At the end I was a bit depressed which is a first this season.

I trust the writers and I've long learned not to judge the direction until I see the whole (in this case season) so I'll withhold judgement such as Sera's ruined this or this is jumping the shark or anything truly along those lines. I'm hoping for some good fisticuffs and then bringing back some of the brotherly banter, it will never be S1 or S2 again and I'm fine with that; I like the progression. But this episode left me cold. Don't like that.


Hi, CitizenKane2, First off, thanks for posting the link to the preview for next week. :-) And thank you for the compliment. Glad you liked how I formatted the review.

As for the episode, I just didn't laugh once...not once. And that's not a requirment for an episode...don't think I laughed once in When the Levee Breaks and that's a stellar piece. Perhaps I'm just not 'in the know' with vampires et al to find those opening moments and the Sam/Dean computer etc scene funny. Ah, well. :oops:

Like you said, it was depressing. That was my overall sense. I think it had things that had to occur so that other things could then happen thus it was a critical episode for things to come which is why I'm hanging on without too much difficulty. I don't believe this is where the season is going to stand. We just don't know everything yet. Can't wait to find out more.

Peek-a-boo, excellent comments, by friend. You really summed up my feelings. I agree, interspersing the jokes would have been better, for I felt uninvolved for almost the first ten minutes of the episode. Like you, I reserve judgement on Sam b/c I have no idea what's going on. Trying to second guess any of the creators of Supernatural always finds me missing the turn of the story so I simply settle in for the ride. Despite not liking this episode I'm still a huge fan. Heck, last season I didn't like Fallen Idols, I Believe the Children, Sam Interrupted and Hammer of the Gods...if I gave up after an episode I didn't like, I'd have given up last season...or certainly after Red Sky (I didn't start watching until the third season so I 'lived' through Bugs in a historical sense. :D

The Sam story is troubling but that is precisely what it is supposed to be. Like you I'm glad we seem to be building somewhere quickly (hope, hope, hope for some answers) so that we can move on past the Sam is not Sam and instead get to what else is going on (and there is much)

Hi, Ana from Rio,

I'm so happy you delurked and left such a wonderful comment. First off, you're English is excellent! So you should not apologize or worry about it, really perfect.

Secondly, I'm so glad you enjoyed the vampire et al references. I knew I wasn't enjoying them simply because it's not something I'm familiar with and thus while it bored me, I don't hold it against the writers. I can't enjoy every fun moment. ;-)

Thanks for the insights on noir and heroes being the anti-heroes and the moral ambiguity. We've certainly seen moral ambiguity from the Winchesters in the past and that doesn't detract nor ruin the characters. I'm thinking there is a deep problem with Sam that Jared will have a wonderful time exploring with the character and we will ultimately be rewarded with the effort.

As has been said, how many shows work their fans up so much? Not many and I'm still enjoying the roller coaster ride.

Is it Friday yet?
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2010-10-24 14:13
I loved the review Ell2. I love when this show gets depressing because that's when it makes you think.

Okay, I may be committing heresy but here goes. Maybe Sam, is really not all that nice and sweet. He's grown up and who he is, is not Mr. Nice Guy. It's not the demon blood or Lucifer but just the way he's wired. Come on, Sam always makes the wrong decisions, he doesn't think ahead to the ramifications in the future. He probably did make a deal in Hell without thinking what the results would be. Sam is totally obsessed and is so focused that he becomes uncaring and dangerous. And don't think this is something that can be fixed by saying "I'm sorry, Dean." It has no meaning anymore.

Making a character unlikable is quite a mind-blowing step for a TV show but then again so was the ending last season (it was a killer). It would make Supernatural iconic. I'm just saying that this could be the road the PTB are taking and it would fit the character, unsettling as it would be. It's just that if you really look at Sam and all his mistakes and bluders, can it all be the consequence of bad blood, destiny or bad luck? Maybe it's him. Period. Please don't throw anything at me.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-10-24 14:30
I thought the episode was depressing and the shock kind of took over and left me confused as to my reactions to the whole of the episode.

But Elle2, after seeing the latest thoughts on the "What is Wrong with Sam" thread, my reaction is Wow! What a great episode. It has certainly got everyone all worked up and anxious about the way things will go from here. That's great drama and accomplished much to be admired if the writers are going in that direction that I hope they are. It is the only way in which I will be able to forgive Sam for what he did (or didn't) do. :-?

Also loved the way Dean was portrayed as the badass hunter that he is. Not rusty at all, Christian! 8-)

So, if the latest theory about Sam is correct, I believe we will all look back at this episode with new eyes and realize just how good it was. I hope so anyway. It makes me anxious to see the next episode and I believe that is what good drama does. :P
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-24 14:56
I also am a fan of 'Vampire Diaries', and only know of 'Twilight' what I see from the trailers. (and that is more than enough) :D I think Buffy would kick all their butts, but that is just me. :-)

I think Grandpa has his own agenda, but I also think that he doesn't want Dean hurt. So when he questioned Sam and his motives, I was thinking maybe Grandpa isn't as all-bad as I first thought in 'Exile..'

Bevie, I agree with you, hunting is just like riding a bicycle, you never forget. Dean wasn't rusty, he was just out of practice after a year of being a 'normal' guy. Also, I hope that at the end of this season, we can look back at this episode and it will make more sense. Kind of when Mary said 'sorry' to Sam in 'Home', we had wait until 'In the Beginning', to find out why.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-10-24 18:09
If this turns into a moan, apologies in advance. Great review, Elle2 (heh, that rhymes....) How quick (and analytical) are you?? I couldn’t even bear to watch this a second time, let alone scrutinise it enough to write such an in-depth analysis of it. I too must learn to step back from the show.

So I’m stepping back..... The episode itself had all the hallmarks of a truly great one; brotherly banter, vampire parodies, mystery, danger, more mystery, anguish, the whole works. The acting was great, as always. JA was excellent and I really love how JP is portraying this new Sam. That has to be difficult, playing one character a certain way for five years and then taking the same character, twisting him completely but still making it that people care about him. Kudos.

However, I'm with the masses here in that the episode left me in shock and hugely frustrated. This change in Sam is getting increasingly difficult to stomach. For the past four weeks, when we’ve dared to think there’s a Sam thaw on the way, we’re given a kick in the stomach as he regresses even further. We go from thinking MAYBE Sam knew about the Alpha Djinn to the knowledge that he DID stand by and watch get Dean get turned. Lucifer would be proud!

I don’t think I can face the possibility of seeing Sam descend even further.

What's hitting me off at the moment is not that the show has changed (because after five years, change should be expected and applauded) but with this episode the writers have tainted the one thing that we (or I at least) believed was sacrosanct to the show; the strength of the brothers relationship. We knew they would never hurt each other. They would (and did) willingly die for each other.

Now we see this isn't true. The relationship has been tainted, and not only tainted; it’s been ripped to shreds by a guy who did it with a smile on his face. Is it possible to come back from that?

One other thing, based on the promo for 6.06, Sam believes he’s a better hunter than he’s ever been and he probably is (no more pesky morals or emotions to get in the way for a start.) I’m wondering if this ties in with Dean’s line where he says the vampires aren’t afraid of them anymore. You could almost hear Sam thinking ‘Yeah well, they will be.’ That could be interesting.
Jaci
# Jaci 2010-10-25 00:01
At first I felt this episode fell flat as well, but I find myself wanting to watch it more and more. (I've already watched it 3 times with the help of the FF button in more than a few occasions *coughopeningcough*)
The beginning of the episode was almost torturous, but that's how I felt when I watched Twilight the first time, so well done Show? haha
I also was finally intrigued when Sam stood there and watched Dean get turned and I highly enjoyed seeing Badass!Vampire! Dean. I don't know what it is, but I find myself liking the episode more and more.
I don't agree with what they are doing with Sam's character, but hopefully we will get some answers soon.
Bottom line: I've learned not to have expectations and I won't get disappointed *coughseason5co ugh* So far, it's worked.
faye
# faye 2010-10-25 00:46
I liked this episode, and I can hardly wait to see it again. I've only watched it once so far, so I don't have a strong opinion on the apparently dragging intro, but if you've ever seen the Twilight movie, aand I could barely stand watching the 1st 20 minutes of it, drag is exactly what it does...

But badass!vampire! dean! only mentioned by 2 posters (and not the reviewer!) I thought that part was really terrific. Being targeted because he was "pretty". His polite rebuff when he thought the biker guy was hitting on him (Elle2, you didn't laugh at THAT?) And Dean taking them all on in the nest! So cool!

Makes me kind of wonder something. So far this season, Dean's been bait (even when the baby was bait, who had the baby? Not his supposed adoptive father). He was even the bait for luring Cas back to Earth, if you look at it in a certain way. I'm still curious to see if the Campbells want to add an angel to their collection of monsters.

And it kind of seems Sam is setting him up as bait. But there are a lot of possible reasons why. Here's another possible theory: maybe he is trying to prove something to someone (who pulled him out of the pit)? Maybe part of the deal is he can't explain.

I think we have to let go of the "what the writers are doing to Sam's character". It can make you crazy. I can think of a dozen reasons why Sam would smile at that point in the story, but we don't have enough information to condemn a character (or the writers). Let's trust and take the ride.
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-25 10:00
Hi, Daisymae, Bevie, nancyL, Jaci, Faye and Dany

Daisymae...don't duck! No one (I hope) will throw anything at you. It's interesting the turn Sam has taken thus far. Hey, if a show can be successful with its main character as a serial killer (and I actually found myself kinda rooting for the guy) then anything is possible. Oh, I'm referring to Dexter which I caught most of the first season of back during the writers' strike when CBS aired the first season. Haven't seen anything since because I don't have HBO or Showtime or any of that. But hey, who doesn't root for Dexter?

I'm very interested where Sam's storyline is going this year. I'm not very happy with him at the moment and am more than ready for him to get a good beat down from Dean perhaps like Bobby's rant on the boys in Weekend at Bobby's we'll all be cheering...yeah , Dean, smash him another one!!!!

Calming down.

Anywho, interesting theory you have there, and despite my discomfit at the moment (and it's really the first time I've found myself saying...eeeh, this is not fun to watch) I'm really impressed at what Sera and company have been willing to do. Alice is right, out of the box thinking here.


Bevie,

I do agree with you that despite my unease over this episode it is a daring act on the writers part and it should (I hope) bring everyone back looking for answers -- which hopefully will start leaking out in these upcoming episodes.

Also, I do like that Dean was shown to be the bada** hunter we've always known him to be. He isn't rusty, he isn't weak and it's time for those to be laid to rest completely. Surely Samuel sees it, me thinks Christian won't find any common thinking from Samuel in the future.

Like you, I'm looking forward to looking back on this episode once more pieces are on the puzzle board and in place.


nancyL,

Live Free or Twihard is the Home of Season 6...that's brilliant!!! There was too much that happened in this episode for it to be an accident, I think all the opinions that say we'll look back on this one and say, oh, now I see, are correct. (I hope)

Tim the Enchanter,

Your thoughts mirror mine in that this is the episode that I truly said, the brothers are gone. But, I don't believe this is the end. Mostly b/c the writers all know that their bread and butter is the brothers together (they've made mention of that many times leading up to this season which leads me to believe they knew exactly where we'd be after this episode and they were preparing us to realize that they haven't abandoned the core of the show. It just looks like it.

We'll make it, I have faith!

Jaci,

Like you I've learned to have very little expectations for the show other than I expect the unexpected and expect that most times I'll enjoy the result. While I don't mind reading others thoughts on what they think is happening I usually stay away from spending too much time trying to guess...I'm wrong all the time anyway. :-)

Faye,

Oh, I agree, we don't know where Sam is going and how many twists the ride is going to take, that intrigues me greatly. I'm not for condemning Sam as a character in whole (I'll condemn his actions here, Bad, Sammy, very, very, very bad. Allowing your brother to be turned into a vampire is bad, watching it happen and doing nothing about it but observing with morbid curiosity is bad. Using him as access to the vampire nest -- while tacticly smart -- is mean, mean, and very, very mean. Don't expect him to say thank you. Sam, you've been bad.

Oops, that got away from me. ;-)

Faye, I didn't enjoy the episode, just didn't. Although, I do admit there were excellent moments in it. I'm not depressed about the future of the show...it's Monday now and I'm stoked for this Friday's episode...that' s good television in my eyes. Bring on the next episode and the next piece (or pieces) of the puzzle so we can start putting this picture together. I don't think we're going to have the whole picture until the end of the season (and if there's a season 7, we may not have it all then either)

You bring out good thoughts, there is a theme of bait going on here...hmmm, perhaps like souls and chaos in all realms bait is a theme...that and don't trust.

It's a great season 6 so far. :-)

Dany,

Your rambles are always a lot of fun, keep 'em up. Sera had said there were going to be twists and turns this season and just when you thought you had it figured out the show would turn sharply and you'd be left wondering...I think we've seen one of those violent turns here.

It's four days to episode 6...can you handle the truth? Can I? We'll see.

:-)
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-25 19:00
I enjoyed this one ... Loved Boris, there should be more fat vampires ... Pleased Grandad C's getting even more confusing ( I like a challenge ... ) Not pleased that Sam seems to be back in bastard-mode. Been there, done that! I though his hell-dive wiped the slate ... I know EvilSam is seriously hot but we've just left this storyline, so enough already!