Thoughts on Like a Virgin, by Elle2
  
Ah, yes, this is why I love "Supernatural"; Dean and Sam are brothers.
 
*Note to Ms. Gamble, please keep it that way.*
 
Of all the characters in "Like a Virgin," I identify with Bobby’s particular mindset at this moment, wary.  Bobby wants to forgive Sam.  In fact, I’ll hazard to say that Bobby doesn’t even believe Sam needs forgiveness.  Bobby has been hurt, scared and facing the end of his life at the hands of someone he loves and then in the next instant (all right, ten days) he finds himself face to face with the physical manifestation of that very same person who actually isn’t that very same person.  
 
As for me, I want to love "Supernatural," want to trust that the writers are completely done tearing apart the heart and soul of the show; yet at the same time I find myself wondering just when that ‘other’ shoe is going to drop.
 
In various interviews it has been said that the Sam and Dean train are back on track and that the ‘feed your brother to the vampires’ kind of bumps are done with; I hope so.  I want to believe.
 
So, was Like a Virgin all that I could have hoped for?  Yes and no.
 
I’ll keep this short and just make a list of sorts:
 
Funny – check
Chick flick moment – check
Brotherly banter – check
Brothers working together – check
Classic Rock – check and check
Wow of a monster – miss
Wow of a reveal of the mytharc – miss
 
Overall, this episode still works for me much more than it doesn’t.
 
So there was a lot of razzle dazzle in the first half of the season, Crowley, missing souls, Samuel, soulless Sam, Dean a vampire, sniper Dean, fight the fairies, shirtless Sam but there was no heart and soul; no brothers.
 
So, "Like a Virgin" had very little razzle dazzle but lots of heart and soul.  For me it’s a winner and I’ll be happily watching it several more times to drink in all the small brotherly moments and they abounded.
 
The opening montage was every bit as good as I had been led to believe, whoever cut that together is a master!!!
 
Jared’s return of Sam shows just how brilliantly he portrayed soulless Sam.  As brilliant as he was with soulless Sam, I never want to see him again aside from flashbacks – which I believe we’ll be getting next week which I am looking forward to for it gives us some insight into what Sam did and how he’ll deal with that.  That being said, I do hope Sam (and by proxy me) are not in for the remainder of the season being a long apology by Sam.  While it is an interesting inner dilemma for him to deal with, “I’m the one with the Zippo in my pocket so I’m not sure it isn’t me” and I am hoping it will be fascinating to watch provided it does not devolve into Sam beating himself up over it.  I want to see him wrestle with it but not if it’s going to drag him into depression.  It’ll be a fine line to walk.
 
On the other hand, I was very grateful for Sam’s apology to Dean.  I’ve had time to think about things so before you cry foul on me let me say that I appreciate the apology because it shows that Sam is really and truly back.  We know that Sam without a soul didn’t care at all what his actions did to Dean, only how they impacted the hunt.  The fact that Sam apologized here shows that it is, in fact, Sam.  The fact that Dean wouldn’t allow Sam to stay in that apology mode also tells me that Dean sees a distinction between Sam without a soul and Sam with a soul; something Bobby is having trouble with at the moment.  I’m not blaming Bobby mind you, having an ax coming at you, being hunted in your own home and having a knife to your throat while you’re tied to a chair is not something you let go of instantly.  Still, it speaks volumes of how Dean views Sam now as opposed to before his soul was returned and it also speaks volumes that he did the right thing. For me this is an indication that Dean will not be looking at Sam as he did in Season 5 when he wasn’t sure he could trust Sam.  It’s obvious Dean trusts Sam because he left him alone and went in search of the sword; had Dean not trusted Sam he never would have left him behind.
 
Now, how about that part with Dean not being able to easily pull the sword from the stone, come on all you out there complaining that Dean was made to look the fool; I don’t buy it at all.  When have our brothers ever been able to easily do anything?  Never.  As for him not being worthy?  I don’t buy that either.  The dragon type lore with knights in shining armor, full of virtue and without a flaw do not exist in the realm of Supernatural, they don’t exist in life either but that’s for another topic on another day.  Our heroes lie, cheat, steal and sometimes kill their way through their battles; to say they are flawed is to say they are good looking; in other words, obvious.
 
Dean’s battle with the sword in the stone may not have left me breathless on the floor in hysteria but it did leave me smiling and saying; ah, that’s true to the character.  Dean tried the obvious route and, when that didn’t give up the sword, he didn’t give up; in fact, he went back more determined than ever.  Dean was going to get that sword and that stone WOULD release it; and it did, mostly.   
Who can complain that we’ve gotten sniper Dean and explosives expert Dean all in the same season, and by the same writer thank you very much, Adam Glass.  You’ve penned three episodes in this show and I’ve enjoyed them all, this one by far outshines the other two but that’s because the boys are back in town!!!
 
I love the motel room, charts and papers stuck to the wall, fast food being brought in for a meal, another spectacular mural on the wall that is used as wonderful backdrop for both the brothers and for Sam alone; brilliant.  And as many others have stated over the last several weeks, Dean is not Dean when Sam is not there; this episode that back into sharp relief as well.  Dean was the Dean we know and love because Sam was the Sam we know and love.  I also loved the little comments by Sam regarding wanting to join the hunt: “Yeah, because that’s what you did when you came back from hell.”  It’s these moments that give me threads to cling to that the writers intend a more equal footing between the brothers going forward and that it will be built on the foundation of shared experiences, granted they’re hellish experiences but hey, both brothers have been tortured and both did horrific things (some of which we saw Sam do and some of which we’ll learn about next week).  Shared experiences do a relationship make.
 
And what about those two nonchecks I have above, the dragon and the mytharc reveal; yeah, those are big misses but in a season of no brotherly relationship and lots of reveals and ‘guns firing’ I’ll take an episode with the brothers back together with a lame monster and a nonreveal anytime.
 
Why was the dragon lame?  Because it’s a dragon and this is Supernatural.  I applaud the effort for, if you never try big things, you’ll never do good things, much less great things.  There’s a quote by someone:  “Show me a man who has never failed and I’ll show you a man who has never accomplished anything.”  Yeah, the dragon is a fail in my book; but Supernatural has accomplished so many things that one or two fails do not destroy anything.  The opening teaser and the abduction a few minutes in worked well, the guys with the now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t wings and hands that glow were simply below the standard of even the wendigo back in Season 1.  Too bad, should have stuck to shadows and crane shots…ah, but that’s hindsight for you and yes, that’s me with my critic’s hat on.
 
As for the big reveal, I don’t mind the actress that played ‘mother’ didn’t show much menace to me, for really, how much could she ‘sell’ menace when dangling above an abyss and no real buildup to her; the menace will come later.  Admittedly, Lilith as the little girl with the English accent really sold it in Jus In Bello but that was helped by the fact that we’d heard a bit about her in MM as well as in JIB and all the characters around her reacted with fear when she stated her name.  Here, ‘mother’ just appeared with little to no preamble as to her danger.  So, ‘mother’ doesn’t earn the noncheck of above, what does is that I still have no idea why she’s here as well as why dragons are here and why did they kidnap so many virgins when apparently all they needed was one.  Since Sera Gamble stated outright in the TVGuide article that this episode would explain all that and it didn’t, I’m left flat.
 
I don’t beat on the show over it though so don’t get depressed, there’s ten more episodes to come and that information will be revealed, but as for building this up to be the episode that answers the question of why dragons are back, um, I’m still waiting for the answer.
 
There are so many more hits than misses that I’ll happily -- and with my rose-colored glasses firmly in place -- say I enjoyed this episode and unlike the others this season, I’ll be cueing it up for several rewatches between now and next Friday.
 
As always, thanks for reading, Elle2 

Comments  

lulu
# lulu 2011-02-06 02:45
Hi elle2,
I do appreciate your balanced review, so thank you. I can sort of see why the episode worked for your in terms of brotherly moments, Sam complete with puppy dog eyes was back and their little banters was reminiscent of earlier seasons. But I felt that those were only small wins.

The rest of the episode was a complete bore to me. I wanted to care so much, I wanted to rediscover the love I once had for my show but all I kept getting was nonchalance. I really didn't care either way. It had taken so long to see the brothers being brothers again that when it finally happened it was anticlimactic. Maybe because it had been hyped up so much and over-played but I felt rather underwhelmed by the whole thing.

The monster of the week was beyond lame. Dragons. Really? And mother? mother of all? She was about as menacing as season 4 Ruby. And this fresh-faced virgin is supposed to be the 'big bad unlike any we've seen before'? Yawn. I'm positively quaking in my boots.

I'm struggling with the new mythology. Nothing stripped down or season 1 about it. Instead of closing the chapter on heaven and hell (which I really got into in season 4), they simply added to it and complicated things even more. I feel like the writers are writing themselves into a corner with the whole concept of purgatory, the nonexistent war in heaven, souls, Mother of All (which seems to be a complete rip off of "the source" or the "source of all evil" on Charmed), That's when I came to the sad realisation that Supernatural is slowly turning into *Charmed* and that is a sad, sad thing. And not even glimpses of the old supernatural bond between brothers that lured me in can hide the fact that the show is going downhill and turning into a snore fest.

These are just my opinions and not meant to be an attack on the show as I know this is a site for fans. Happy for the admins to delete if you feel it is too negative.
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-06 08:25
Hi, Lulu,

I totally understand, I do. I don't think there is anything negative in your comments; you are simply expressing your opinions and you are sad. :sad:

I second your thoughts that this season is far more convulted than the others, I'm slowly getting on board with the idea that that is how this new writing style is meant to be. I don't necessarily like it as I did the continual build upon each episode of Season 4 but I do really like the fact that the brothers are back together again. But, I remain wary that they will really STAY together.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :-)
Ginger
# Ginger 2011-02-06 08:34
I found this episode to be very solid, but not exceptional. I really liked how they used Bobby and his reaction to Sam. I had an uneasy feeling throughout the episode...perha ps it was me waiting for the next shoe to drop...but, like you, found that I my feelings were identical to Bobby's.

I was a bit perplexed that Dean dismissed Sam's apology so readily until it dawned on me that Dean was making a distinction between NotSam and RealSam and felt that he was guiding the viewers to do the same (especially viewers like me who were really so done with Sam and all his more awful problems than anyone else in the universe). Okay, so I see this, and I was pleasantly pleased that this Sam reminded me so much of what I used to like about Sam, that perhaps I can warm up to the character again...sometim e. That will all depend on where Becky Gamble takes the character from her on out.

For me, the monster of the week kind of interfered with the story of the brothers getting back together. It seemed kind of shoved in there and distracting. Yet, I'm still laughing at the Gossip Girl Mother of All Evil. Let's hope she picks up her acting in the future, although I agree there was no time for a set-up. It's just that she's so, so very CW material, it's hard to take her seriously right now.

Here's the one main problem I see here at mid-season and with the introducing of the big bad. The show has shown me nothing that connects the Winchesters with this new bad that is supposed to be worse that Lucifer himself (who, BTW, is supposed to be the pure manifestation of evil). At this point the brothers are not hunting for Purgatory, investigating the mystery of souls, and are only barely aware of GG Mother, so I am left to assume that they will just stumble into the whole myth arc at some point.

They thing is, though, as a viewer, it's hard to get invested in the big story if there is no connection to the heroes taking the journey. Whatever.

The season has been a huge disappointment, but this episode was solid and did remind me of the characters I once fell in love with. But still, there's that almost certain feeling of a second shoe looming over my head that I can't shake.

P. S. Just a comment on the Cas thing. Cas's character is suffering the same fate as other characters have suffered this season. Of course him not caring about Sam's soul is out of character for a powerful angel, since the whole purpose of Heaven and Hell (or good and evil, if you like) is a fight over human souls. But, in this case, I think Cas was used to bring tension to the "Will Sam be okay" question. It's really no different than not being able to tell is a soul was in the body without cramming his arm inside, or not being able to see a demon (hello Christian), or kissing a demon and not caring about their actual ugly form. My opinion, of course.
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-06 13:04
Hi, Ginger,

I think in hindsight I can see that this season is much like Season 3 was after they killed Azazel at the end of Season 2...they are sort of adrift and trying to get back together and begin a new storyline. The introduction of 'mother' at this point is very similar to the timing of the introduction of Lilith so there is some precedent there. I'm not too wowed by her yet but I also think that's because I'm so distracted by all the other plot lines running afoot. All part of how noir works as I learned and wrote a bit about in my article Season 6 a Second Look.

I'm not a huge fan of multiple storylines running all over the place that are randomly dropped and then picked up again but I do hold out hope that in the end what appears to be random will, in fact, prove to be orchestrated.

As for the 'GG' mother...yeah, well CW does seem to have a particular 'type' they like to cast. Lilith the woman was a bit like this as well, but who knows, she may grow into menace. I'm betting they don't have us see her that often but rather have her 'menacing' in the background as Azazel, Lilith and Lucifer have done in the past. We'll see.

Thanks for the comments.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2011-02-06 09:31
For me the MOTW storyline was very scarce.I would have liked it to be a little more detailed and i really don't think Sam should have needed Bobby to point out where the dragon's lair is at after hunting for so long.I really liked how they revealed the big bad with Bobby's explanation interspersed with the arrival of Mother.No idea about who mythologically they are referring to as the mother.I am happy that Sam got to experience the feeling of lightness which comes after accomplishing something . He looked really relieved after knowing everything happened properly and their team survived.The differences between souless and re-souled Sam was brilliantly shown by Jared.Waiting to see what the Mother is capable of.
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-06 13:07
I agree, Jared really has showcased not Sam with Sam. His almost breathless excitement as he realized that not only was Bobby alive but Cas as well...wonderful.

The reveal of the big bad interspersed with Bobby and the boys reminded my of DOn't Fear the Reaper in Faith as the boys discovered what they were dealing with, it's a nice way to blend a fair bit of exposition and not bore us to tears.

I think the whole Sam needing Bobby's help to find the lair was more Sam trying to break through Bobby's wall of silence than anything else. I think he was a bit lonely and confused and that's why he made the call.

Great comments, thanks for sharing.
Melanie
# Melanie 2011-02-06 12:19
I really enjoyed the episode. I thought it was strong --especially in the acting. I can't say enough about how wonderful Jared's performances have been this season. Jensen, Jim and Misha hit it out of the park as usual.
I think Bobby's reaction to Sam is completely realistic as he was far more accepting of Robo!Sam than Dean ever was. Bobby even counseled Dean that maybe Rob!Sam was 'Sam' AND I would assume he feels something like guilt for having admitted to Dean that Dean was his favorite -IE he loves him better than Sam. Bobby tried to accept Robo!Sam and thus (understandably ) felt the betrayal of Robo!Sam trying to kill him all the more. He's not convinced that Robo!Sam isn't still in there. Dean, on the other hand, has always been adamant that Robo!Sam was NOT his brother, so for him to make that distinction made perfect sense to me.
I liked the dragons. Every 'monster' that has been on the show has been based on humans. Why did anyone think the dragons would be different? I think it is a cool SPN-esque twist to have them in human form. (and yeah, I know a lot of it was driven by the budget, but it was still beter than the Wendigo when they had the budget) So in the SPN-verse dragons are hybrids with humans like the skinwalkers -- I like that, and think it shows consistency in the overall development of the SPN landscape and keeps the 'humanist' perspective that the show has always had.
Ever since the Alpha vamp said 'We all have our mothers' I've been expecting that we'd hear more about it. My theory was he was talking about Lilith but a new big bad works for me. I didn't get the Buffy-vibe off of this development that some did, but I do wonder if the actress has the chops to carry the weight of being the big bad. If not, I'm guessing that Mother will be burning through her virgin meatsuits until she finds one she likes. I think it was a pretty ballsy move to have a virgin be the mother -- My only reservation is that the show is once again trying a 20-something kick-ass female and that has worked out so well for them previously - NOT!
I'm looking forward to Sam dealing with 'the zippo in his pocket' and where the whole story goes next. Is it Friday yet?
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-06 13:14
Melanie,

Like you I am looking forward to Sam struggling with what he did without a soul and how he learns to accept this part of his life now, much as Dean has had to learn to accept his decade as a torturer.

You make some really good points regarding how Dean has never seen Robo Sam as his brother. Much as in earlier seasons when Dean steadfastly maintained that psychic visions and whatever did not mean that Sam was going to be a killer. I remember those conversations from S1 Nightmares and S2 Simon Said as well as Sam's concerns in Hunted as well as after ALBL II when it was alluded to that Sam didn't come all the way back; we know he did and Dean maintained Sam was, in fact, Sam. He had moments of doubt and concern but he always managed to come back around to the idea that Sam was not a murderer, was not going to go dark side; even when Sam did go 'dark side' it was because of outside manipulation; not because Sam himself was evil.

As I wrote and Ginger wrote this episode showcased to me that Dean continues to see Sam with a soul as a separate entity from Sam without a soul. I wonder if Sam will ultimately reconcile himself to that or how is journey will progress.

"Tis interesting, and for the first time in a while, I'm looking forward to this Friday.

I like it when the Monster story remains a bit more of the window dressing, the way to move the character story forward, probably why I like Metamorphosis and All Dogs Go to Heaven when many do not, those montsters were 'in your face' comparisions to struggles of the boys and I like it that way for Supernatural really shines in those moments.

Great comments, thanks for joining in and sharing.
Melanie
# Melanie 2011-02-06 13:54
I like those type of MOTW episodes also, although I thought All Dogs was a bit heavy-handed. This season has been different in that the 'myth' episodes ARE MOTW episodes and so sometimes don't seem to have the immediate parallel to the Winchesters' current state of affairs. I say 'seem to' because I'm not convinced that they don't have that connection to the boys -- we just don't know what it is yet.
LordAniline
# LordAniline 2011-02-06 19:35
While I expected Bobby to be wary of Sam, too, understandable given he came this close to die, again, at the hands of that-thing-that -looks-like-Sam , what he said to Dean afterwards that there was some part of "real" Sam that wanted to murder him, well, that just went downhill. When Dean said that it wasn't Sam who went "Menedez" on him, Bobby made a point of saying it wasn't all Sam, but it was Sam. That's when when my Bobby-love died a little.

I can't help but think this is just another continuing trend and patten of other characters projecting their issues and blame on to Sam. First seal? Cas? Phffft, Sam takes the entire blame for the stupid apocalypse. Bobby not recognizing notSam for the entire year? Oh well according to uncle Bobby it actually was Sam, the same Sam that just tried to kill him! Bobby has the rest of the season to make up for this, but given how the SPN writers let Cas skate through S4 and S5, I'm not holding my breath.
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-07 07:38
I'm hopeful that Bobby will be the one Sam can turn to to work through his wondering making amends and what is and is not 'him'.

Dean has always been cut and dry, black and white; even though last season he found some shades of gray. Dean still firmly maintains that soulless Sam is not and was not nor would ever be his brother (I agree which is why I quicly grew to dislike and frankly hate soulless Sam).

Sam, however, has always been the one to see shades of gray so his journey will be, I hope, fascinating as well as played out so that we can see and hear it as he reconciles himself with what his soulless part did.

Bobby is perhaps going to be the one that will engage Sam in that journey for I'm not so sure Dean wants any part of that discussion, so Bobby will be someone that Sam can talk to and figure it out with.

That's my hope at least. I have no desire for and dearly, dearly hope, that there is no blame to be laid here. I'm hoping that Sam reconciles himself to his 'deeds' done without a soul just as Dean has had to reconcile himself to his decade as being a torturer in hell; something he is still working on as his little 'speech' in You Can't Handle the Truth showed.

We'll see.

:-)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Junkerin
# Junkerin 2011-02-07 05:09
Hi Elle
First of all, I´m glad you found your love for SN agin. I felt so sorry for you when I readed you last review AND NOW look at you. Back in the saddle agin! Thank you for a great review I enjoyed reding it.
As a ESL I had two understanding problems maybe you can help me. What sad Sam why he didn´t want to hug Cass?
And what does a "Zippo in his pocket" mean?
Thank you for a wounderful review.
pandora
# pandora 2011-02-07 05:18
Junkerin, zippo = Feuerzeug
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-07 07:26
Hi, Junkerin,

Hopefully Pandora has answered the question for you in that Sam said he "woke up to find he burned the whole world down and that while Dean says it wasn't him, Sam countered with but he (Sam) is the one with the lighter = Zippo (brand name) = Feuerzeug.

As for why Sam didn't hug Cas...admittedl y I'm still a bit confused on that one. I've read thoughts by others that it was Sam remembing what it felt like to have Lucifer inside him so he didn't want to touch another angel but I don't know; he had no trouble calling Cas for the talk. Others have thought it was that Sam remembers Lucifer destroyed Cas and that's why, but he hugged Bobby. I'm not sure. It was a cute moment, but I'm still at a loss.

Perhaps others as more reviews come out will have thoughts on it that enlighten me. :-)

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I found my love by remembering what my love was, not the big mytharc which is why I'm not all that thrown by the "mother' reveal; not whether the monster of the week is really fabulous (but I hope that there will be more fabulous ones to come because those are enjoyable); no, my love is the brothers being brothers; loving each other, protecting each other, teasing each other, educating each other, challenging each other and yes, squabbling and perhaps even arguing with each other; just not lying and betraying.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Junkerin
# Junkerin 2011-02-07 07:43
Hi Elle + Pandora!

Thank you very much for you help. It is sometimes realy hard to understand when they are talking in pictures. But on the other hand it is a good exercise for my english.

I felt so sorry for Cas and I still don´t get it why.
Karen
# Karen 2011-02-07 10:29
Hi Elle2
I have to say when I saw you had written a review my first reaction was “YES!”
I took it to be a good sign.
I loved this episode…mainl y for seeing the brothers relationship back.
The hug, the banter, them working together as a team…sniff. :cry:
I have missed them so much these past 2 ½ years.
I loved seeing Dean’s reaction each time Sam responded in his old fashion. Using the puppy dog eyes and sympathetic demeanour to get into the door. Being shocked that Dean stole the girls’ diary. He was just so happy having Sam back.

I understand Bobby’s unease around Sam. You just don’t forget being almost murdered by someone who you have loved and treated as a son. Even when you know they were not themselves, it’s still hard to forgive and forget.
I just hope it doesn’t last too long.

I’m with you about the apology. It was one more bit of proof that the old Sam was back. I think Dean is able to forgive and forget so easily because he never accepted RoboSam to be his brother. To him that Sam was another person just looking like Sam. That is why he was willing to risk having Sam’s soul re-entered. Just like back in When the Levee Breaks, he would rather have Sam die human than live as a monster. I do however believe that as Sam learns more of what he did he will become more and more guilt ridden. I just hope they don’t make it the full focal point of the remainder of the season.

I loved the scene between Dean and the stone and bringing in the 21st century, it was classic. I think I would have been disappointed if Dean just walked up and was able to remove the sword. I always thought that is was more than just bravery and virtue that enable one to remove the sword but there also had to be some form of bloodline/linea ge connection.
I could be wrong, Chuck knows it wouldn’t be the first time.

Why Sam didn’t hug Cas, I have to agree with Yume’s theory on this. That because Sam was going to play/trick Cas into telling him about what had happened in past year, he didn’t want his display of affection for Cas to be considered part of his ploy or strategy.

As for the motw, I loved the off screen take of the dragons, the mystery behind it. However to see them in human form kind of left me a bit flat. But considering the show’s budget, I think they did the best that they could.
And as for Mommy Dearest, since they left it off with just an introduction to her I will have to wait and see how it is played out in further episodes.

Thanks for the review Elle2!
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-07 12:08
Why Sam didn’t hug Cas, I have to agree with Yume’s theory on this. That because Sam was going to play/trick Cas into telling him about what had happened in past year, he didn’t want his display of affection for Cas to be considered part of his ploy or strategy.

This is a good point, and, Yume, my sincere apologies for not mentioning it. Another proof that the Sam we know and love is back because the real Sam, the one not manipulated by that so and so Ruby or under the influence of demon blood would and does hate lying to his friends to get information. (Ah, yet another refreshing realization of why so many have suggested this has the feel of more S2.)

I love Sam free of all that guilt and fear, fear of what 'yellow eyes'' plans are for him, free of the desperation to save Dean, free from the guilt of joining forces with Ruby and 'making himself a freak' and then free of the guilt of all of that leading to him completing the freeing of Lucifer started by Dean. Sure, neither of them knew they were being played into ultimately freeing Lucifer but still, heavy, heavy, heavy burdens.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, glad you liked my review!
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2011-02-07 10:30
I can't say I really blame Bobby for feeling the way he does. He has a right to. But perhaps he could be reminded that this is also the same Sam who sacrificed himself for the good of others, Bobby included. Also, I can't help wondering what his reaction would be if it was Dean rather than Sam.

Not that this awkward situation between Bobby and Sam is a good one, but I'm hoping that when things are fixed these two are able to develop a more meaningful and profound relationship. The same goes for Sam and Cas. I liked their interaction in this episode and I'm hoping for more. The fact that supporting characters almost always interact more with Dean and isolate Sam has been an old complaint of mine.
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-07 11:57
Quote:


The fact that supporting characters almost always interact more with Dean and isolate Sam has been an old complaint of mine.
You're not alone in that complaint, or as I see it 'observation'. In these past weeks as I went through my SPN 'crisis' I found quite a few people who stated a similar thought. Interesting that it was all the way back in S1 Skin it's Sam calling Dean anti-social but in reality, it is Dean who is seeking out and developing the relationships more than Sam. Perhaps it is because Sam has always felt the freak, the outsider, somehow 'wrong' and he struggles with how to reconcile that part of himself.

I really hope as do you that the Bobby awkardness (while to me in keeping with the moment) is actually a catalyst for those two to develop a deeper relationship because as I stated above, I believe it is to Bobby Sam can share and seek to unravel the issue of what is and what isn't 'Sam'. Ah, don't think I expressed that well, perhaps an article will need to be written to think it out more...definite ly will hold on that until I see how the season plays out from here.

The fact that Bobby can now openly discuss those issues with Sam because Sam knows what was done by soulless Sam should ease things immensely. I'd like a conversation between the two, don't know if we'll get it or if we'll simply see them acting as they always had in the past. Still, it would be nice to see Bobby looking at Sam as he did at the end of Season 5 which was as a hero (which Sam always was) and as someone capable (which again, Sam always was and is).

Thanks for sharing. :-)
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2011-02-07 12:28
Elle2, I agree that Sam seeing himself as a freak could be an explanation for his constant isolation. He said himself that he never really fitted in Stanford, even when he was trying to "have a life". However, it's still painful to me that everyone seems to prefer Dean. Bobby and Cas even voiced their preference. :sad:

I think you have a point regarding Sam and Bobby, with Bobby being a possible source of help for Sam. Something like this would be a wonderful opportunity for them to build a stronger relationship. If you ever decide to write an article about that subject, I'm already looking forward to reading it. :-)

Like other posters, I too want to say I'm happy that you re-found your love for SPN. I was one of the people that disagreed with your POV about season 6. Maybe I was a little too much "enthusiastic" in my disagreement. If it was so, I apologize. Now, let's enjoy whatever this season has in store for us, and I'm sure it's gonna be awesome.
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-07 15:16
Well, AndreaW, I was certainly 'enthusiastic' in my dismay.

Your apology is completely accepted for two reasons, one, you feel the need to offer it and I will trust your sense of what you know your enthusiasm to have been; the second reason I accept it is because, if I were to say to you, "Hey, no worries", to me (and how I was taught) I would be saying, You are of so little importance to me that your apology is beneath me to even accept." and since nothing could be further from the truth, your apology is absolutely accepted. :-)

So, slate is clean as far as I'm concerned and like you said, let's enjoy whatever this season has in store for us. I'm looking forward to you and I and others discussing the episodes as they come out.

As for Bobby's and Cas' preference for Dean, I still take that with a huge grain of salt (as I wrote in my two reviews of those episodes where that occurred) that that wasn't just fun on the writers' parts to jab at the fandom.

As for that article, perhaps I'll jot some notes down and during the next...uh, 'period of time when there are no new episodes (won't call it spring hellatus even though that's what it will be) I'll have that ready to go.

We'll see.

BTW, this is response to your post just below (love this new commenting system, Alice and Jenna!) you're right, I mocked this title earlier but this makes so much more sense, Sam is all 'bright and shiny and clean' and it so refreshing to see him so light and guilt free. Please, please, please, writers, let him remain this way. I'm eager for his inner struggle (although I'd like to SEE IT!) as he reconciles things done without a soul but please don't send him down a depressed path for more than say one episode...he's so much fun all nice and light and clean. He could get drunk though from time to time, drunk Sam is so much fun!!!!
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2011-02-07 12:43
It just occurred to me that the title "Like a Virgin" has a parallel with Sam's current condition. Resouled Sam has a sort of innocence that is reminiscent of Season 1 Sam. Like others pointed out, he's free of guilt and any kind of burden. It's as though he just was born again and is willing to start afresh. In that sense, he's in a "virginal" state. Do I make any sense?
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-02-07 17:15
Elle2, from where you’re coming from in terms of previous episodes in this season, I can understand why you are a bit wary…

This episode had so much in it I love! I could care less for the monster of the week, but the brotherly relationship came up in many facets. It will also provide for some major drama in future episodes, I reckon – Sam trying to fix things, Dean hoping the wall holds, Bobby coming to terms with his experiences at Sam’s hand, Castiel wondering about this skinned-alive soul…

And I loved the slapstick moments, too, like the sword episode… Are there really fans out there complaining already that Dean wasn’t worthy and the like? Come on… If that is so, ah well, some people always find something to hiss and boo at.

I’m curious about this whole mother thing, but I was kinda disappointed that they again picked an actress who carried so little charisma. When I think mother of all monsters I think the calibres of Cate Blanchett or Rachel Weisz… But, okay, you can’t have everything…

Thanks for this review, Elle2, it’s great to have to on board again…

Love, Jas
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-07 20:20
Hi, Jas,

Yes, you know my thoughts all too well and I am wary but still loving this episode.

It is so refreshing to step back a bit and realize that there was so much that happened in S4 and S5 that never happened in the prior three seasons, not only with the dismantling (read destruction) of the brothers' relationship but also with the build of mytharc and overarching story that everything tied into.

I find myself after this episode sitting back a bit and saying...hey, so what if there's more MOTW that isn't so grandscale of Zachariah and Michael's vessl and Ruby and Lucifer vessel as long as we've got the Winchesters dealing with each other as equals, as brothers.

There is so much potential here with the brothers that I really hope is carried on with. After Like A Virgin I'm in the camp with others who have stated that Sam is basically back where he was at Swan Song, confident and secure with himself and Dean is no longer watching him with mistrust and neither is seeking to prove something to the other...so nice.

Sure there's plenty of angst to come for both brother in the rest of the season but as long as they are continued to be shown as a unit, working together with the occasional squabble in for fun (and usually growth as they plow through a rough patch) then my wariness will likely diminish...much as I hope time will diminish Sam's flayed to the bone soul so that he can have the wall come down without being a drooling, paralyzed puddle.

As for the nondescript, fresh-faced brunette...yeah , she's got no gravitas for the role in this particular episode...hopef ully she'll show more in her next outing when she has more to do; we'll see.

Is it Friday yet?

:-)
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-02-08 16:16
Haha! elle2, as for the angst undoubtedly coming... I'm already making room on my couch ;-) .
Who could resist having troubled Winchester material on their couch? My crazy scientist persona threatens to take over and giggle with excitement :-* hehehehe.... I'm learning a new therapy concept. So, I'll be even better qualified to deal with broken Winchester souls. So, I just say - sent them hither...

Still very happy with the last episode, :D Jas
Junkerin
# Junkerin 2011-02-08 10:43
To Andrea+Elle2
I always thought that Sam had a lot of interaction with Cas and Bobby but it was not show. For example when Sam went after Dean in Point of no Return he brought Cas along. So he must have talked to them, made a plan etc.
As for Sam being confident and secure with himself I would say he was like that from My bloddy Valantie or Dead Man don´t wear Plaid on.
BTW what I loved the most of SoullessSam was his self confident.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2011-02-08 19:02
Junkerin, you could be right, but if it's so we want to be SHOWN such interaction. And sorry if I sound like a broken record, but I still don't get why the writers would have the characters say aloud that they prefer Dean. If there was some purpose behind it, I didn't get the point. Anyways, like I said before, I'm very hopeful that the show will finally make an effort to fix that by building a more significant interaction between Sam and Bobby/Cas.

As for Sam's confidence, the Sam I want to see is the Sam of Point of No Return. Calm under pressure, mature in his dealing with Dean and taking leadership when required from him. That is my Sam. I may be wrong (I hope I'm not) but I think I saw growth in the character this last episode. Sam showed no anger or despair regarding everyhting that happened to him, but calm acceptance of his responsibilitie s. I do see him trying his best to make it right, but without giving way to depression.

But right now, I'm with Dean, let's just enjoy the moment, because who knows what future holds for our boys? ;-)
elle2
# elle2 2011-02-08 19:06
As for Sam's confidence, the Sam I want to see is the Sam of Point of No Return. Calm under pressure, mature in his dealing with Dean and taking leadership when required from him. That is my Sam.


Yes, Yes, YES!!!!!

I absolutely adored Sam in this episode as well as back in NRFTW when he assured Dean that Dean would not go to hell. That Sam so full of confidence and strenght, self-assurance. ..darn it, I love, love, love that Sam and I'm with you AndreaW...that' s my Sam too.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2011-02-08 19:23
That's OK, Elle2, I'll let you have him too. So that's our Sam. :D
ChristopherH
# ChristopherH 2011-02-10 00:29
Gonna keep it short and sweet. Loved this episode. Love this show. Never stopped while others were whining about and crapping on it.

If you're gonna fully embrace any creative work, sometimes you gotta be willing to buckle in and let the creator take you where they want to go. If not, don't sign up for the ride.