Oh show, why did you have to go and do that?  Things were going so well.  The brothers were working through their issues, they finally had that old bond back, the excitement was up to eleven, plots made logical sense...What happened? 

As I thought about the words to convey how disheartened "The Girl Next Door" left me, a couple of past moments popped into my head.  First was a conversation that happened two years ago in Chicago between me, Mo Ryan, and Lynn and Kathy from Fangasm.  We had a lively talk about how Supernatural appeals to us because it is a smart show, one that attracts audiences that want to think, love to analyze, and are  enamored by the complex themes of normal guys dealing in flawed ways with those blurring lines between right and wrong.  Fans can be nitpicky and overly opinionated at times, but all in all, this show was brilliant in the way it stretched itself with the mythology and the character dilemmas without becoming cliche.  And everyone looked good doing it.  This was my inner fan at her most content.  I call this Point A.   

The second moment comes from Jensen at the Salute to Supernatural convention in Vancouver just this past August.  He was surprised that anyone thought that things were going to end well for Sam and Dean.  This little downer, coupled with my overall disappointment with characterization in season six, pushed me into Point B territory.  I wasn't ready to go there yet.  There was still too much of a great ride left but I had to wonder, is this what all the time invested is leading toward?  Will things just continue to get worse and worse and worse until our heroes just up and die?  I dismissed that negative inner voice.  No way they would go there.  

After a very promising first two episodes of season seven where I thought the show could head in the Point A direction after last season's dour noir, this episode took everything into a sudden, sharp turn toward Point B.  Not only are things not going to end well for Sam and Dean, I'm actually thinking they might end up killing each other before the monster gets them. 

I know the names Butch and Sundance (including my interview with Jared at Comic Con) have been mentioned a few times.  You all do realize that at the end to Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (spoiler alert!), they were blown away by the Bolivian Army?  What made Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid enjoyable was the story before their demise.  They were brazen, cocky, fearless, and shared plenty of good times, action, and fun squabbles before it all fell apart.  All it takes is one look at "The Girl Next Door" to easily conclude this ain't no Butch and Sundance.  Not remotely close.  

Most of It Wasn't a Disaster

I'll digress for a few paragraphs though since "The Girl Next Door" for the most part is an average episode and not entirely offensive.  There were things that I loved.  First is the awesome return of Colin Ford, who every time I see him on the screen gets more  mature with his acting.  Once again, he's brilliant as young Sam and the resemblance is even more striking.  He's blossoming very well and I see huge things for him in his future.  He even mastered the Sam puppy dog eyes this time!  Those flashback scenes with Amy, seeing Sam's place in the world at 15 or 16, I loved every second of it.  Sam's had so few allies or friends in this world.  It was an endearing backstory, especially when Amy killed her own mother to save Sam. 

The Leviathan continue to be delightful menaces as well.  They're quite persistent, aren't they?  I would have laughed at that "everything tastes better with cheese" line if they used it earlier in the episode when it was appropriate.  After the shock of the scene before, a great villainous line ends up being completely wasted.  

The director, the second time effort for Jensen Ackles, did a great job with the material he was given.  There were several interesting shots in there where he did his craft proud.  It wasn't a clean script by a long shot, but he managed the multiple choppy scenes very well.  I see huge things for him in the future.  

Finally, there was one laugh out loud moment for me.  An unwitting Sam comes back to his motel room, opens the door and "Bam!"  He gets punched and knocked over.  Then we see who's on the other side.  His very livid brother.  "Howdi Sam."  The angle in which that shot was done, seeing it as a bystander from the outside, was just awesome.     And funny.

Let The Rant Begin...

As for everything else, I thought I was in one of Sam's hallucinations.  Actually, I knew I wasn't, because his hallucinations are far more thought out and organized than this. 

If I wanted a contrived, messy brotherly drama, I would have been fine with seeing an episode of Dean pining over an unconscious Sam in Montana during that glossed over three weeks after the hospital rescue.  Sure it's been done before, but if we're reverting backward, that sounds like more fun.  How about at least a scene of Dean getting sad seeing an ad for raincoats during one of those telenovelas?  I'm so thrilled to see Castiel not become an afterthought (yes, that's sarcasm).   

But that's not me coming close to hitting the sore spot.  Remember last week's episode, when Sam thinks he's telling the real Dean, "I'm doing the best I can?"  Remember how that Dean mocks him for being messed up anyway?  Then it all turns out to be a hallucination.  The real Dean comes along and talks Sam down from the ledge so to speak.  As we see from Sam's little check-out moment this week, what Dean showed him seems to be helping.  Score a small win for the crazy brother. 

Then why, oh freaking for the love of Chuck why, does the real Dean stomp on that win and decide to act like last week's fake Dean?  Sam was completely honest with him.  Sure he snuck, off, but he explained it.  In a way, I think he snuck off to protect Amy in  fear that Dean would kill her.  Sam gets a reasonable story from Amy, shows her some mercy being the sensitive soul that he is, and then he comes clean with Dean.  He pleads with Dean to trust him, claiming he and Amy both are managing their issues.  Dean agrees to trust Sam and... kills Amy anyway.  Um, what?  IN FRONT OF HER KID?  HUH???? 

 

Dean in his righteousness even gives Amy the same "The other shoe will drop" line that he said to Bobby about Sam earlier before skewering her and taunting her orphaned son.  Doesn't he realize he set a probable loose cannon out into the world?  I get it.  Dean can't trust Sam.  It isn't anything Sam can earn anymore either.  They have a lot of bad history on their side.  No matter what they do, the worst always happens whether it's either's fault or not.  But how does Dean suddenly decide to go back to his "If it's a monster we kill it" attitude from season one because it's that simple?  After Sam reminds him that nothing in their lives is simple?  Right, Sam is nuts and doesn't know what he's saying (yes, that's sarcasm again).  

I'm still digging for the logic.  Could this be Dean projecting on Amy what he really wants to do to Sam but can't?  Is this Dean being cruel and callous to Amy's son because he's still smarting over the loss of Ben?  Is Dean going back to his black and white thinking because he knows that messing with those grey lines has gotten him nowhere?  Or is this a total character assassination by the writers because they're desperate to drum up more Sam and Dean conflict or make Dean look like a total dick for fun?  Sam being crackers isn't enough of a tension driver?  How about Dean betray Sam by having him institutionalized?  That's off the wall too but hey, it makes more sense.  

The issue here is nothing we've seen so far has led up to explaining why Dean did what he did.  Without any kind of background, just a perceived random act, how are we as fans supposed to make the logical leap that Dean would act that way?  When something like that happens out of the blue, we're left to assume it's grossly out of character.  There could be a good reason why Dean made that choice.  What the Hell was it?  That one scene obliterates so much character growth that's been achieved in six seasons and ends up being more of a point of contention rather than buzz over a shocking moment.  It's sloppy and poor execution and the writers know better.    

Maybe I just have to accept this is the new version of the brother's renewed bond.  They both are completely messed up and can't help the other one deal.  It uh, um...oh it's just not satisfying.  How can we go from that wonderful scene in the warehouse last week to this?  I assume it's meant to show that Dean is crumbling too.  Is it possible Dean is the real time bomb?  I'm hoping like mad future episodes will hash all that out better but in the meantime, I'm putting "The Girl Next Door" in terms of the brotherly relationship in the "Major Fail" category. 

(Deep breath...happy place...happy place)

If my sour mood wasn't bad enough, next week's episode, judging by the stills, looks like a ripoff of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Encounter at Farpoint."  I'm keeping an open mind though.  I still have hopes of those happier days of Point A.  I'm not ready for Point B.  A girl can dream, can't she?  

 

Comments  

alysha
# alysha 2011-10-09 20:15
This wasn't about Sam. Dean's actions with Amy are the actions of a hunter. They were cold, but they were within his ethics which is why he did not kill the boy. At the same time I think he hated what he had to do. He lied to Sam to avoid argument and to keep Sam from stopping him. The same can be said of Sam, who took off to deal with the case without Dean knowing so that Dean would not stop him.

It is complex and messed up, but it's really thought provoking because there is no easy answer for what we saw. I'm pretty pleased with it in a way, but it was hard to watch.
Kat Jack
# Kat Jack 2011-10-09 20:58
YES! Exactly!It was a sad mmoment for the brotherly love department but I wasn't shocked for a moment by Dean's actions. He knows he can't tell Sam the truth about what he's going to do and we know he has to do it. If he doesn't kill her, when she kills again it's all on him. He can't live with the idea of being responsible for another death by monster incident.We've seen too many in the past!
Alice
# Alice 2011-10-09 21:16
That's the thing, I really don't know what motivated Dean. I certainly can't refute your point that it's the actions of a hunter. The only issue is, why is this "hunter" in him all of a sudden appearing now? It was there in seasons one and two, but it's been a ton of grey since then. What's pushed Dean to this point? That hasn't been very clear.

I'm glad to hear you're pleased though. I'm just really perplexed about it. I do wonder if this will turn out like "Caged Heat" in season six. I didn't get that episode until roughly eight or ten episodes later.
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2011-10-09 20:19
It was just an odd follow up to last week all the way around.

That odd time jump felt like a cheat. I expected a little more action escaping from the hospital, and at least a moment where Bobby was asked to prove his non-Leviathan status. I also liked the idea of Dean being stuck in a cast for a few weeks, and having to rely on Sam a little more. Even a little mourning for Bobby's home would have been nice.

I was okay until Dean went behind Sam's back to kill Amy. I would much rather have seen them arrive at the decision together, to have an open conversation like the ones they had last week. I understand why Dean would kill her, but this is the kind of gray area the brothers used to discuss, like with Lenore and Madison and the Rugaru. I thought that's what they were doing before he went to the hotel. Even when he got there, I thought it was going to be a "Sam may not be able to kill you, but if you kill again I'll do it" talk.

It is a disturbing reversion to old norms, with Dean feeling it is his job to make the decisions. A series needs growth to survive, and this isn't it. It makes me think you are right, that Dean is the real time bomb. They brought up pills again in this episode, even if it was a ruse to go kill Amy, it was one Sam easily believed.

And I am also leery of Farpoint a la Supernatural. On some level it feels like a steal from the Rise of the Witnesses, which was very well done.

Hmm.

Edit: I should mention though that I quite liked Amy and the idea of her shared past with Sam. And Sam bringing home cake instead of pie.
Alice
# Alice 2011-10-09 21:32
I do love your view of things. Pie vs. cake. You would think Sam would know by now. That was another moment that on paper looked funny, but fell a little flat for me. Considering all my complaints though, I wasn't going to nitpick that one!

I think that's it, we went back to the old norms. It just didn't seem right. I'm certainly not bashing Dean, just why would the writers go that way? If there was a progression to how he'd gotten to this point, I'd accept it. I'd even marvel over the disturbing disintegration of Dean Winchester. At least Sam has been getting a natural progression.

Funny you bring up the Rugaru. That's it. Sam killed him after every attempt was made to help him. At the end, when he went after Dean, Sam had no choice. That didn't happen here at all. Sam made a judgment call and Dean went behind his back to essentially tell him it was the wrong one. Just, weird.
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2011-10-10 21:19
Pie vs. cake could have been funnier, if circumstances were different, but I liked the idea.

I wish I had an answer about the writers' decision. Or at least, I wish I was confident that an answer is coming.

Sam's "natural progression" does feel so much more logical. I like Dean and always have, but all his reactions are extreme. Self-loathing. Self-martyring. Overprotective to the point of controlling. It's like he can't find the middle ground unless someone shoves him on to it first. Sometimes that's Bobby, and at least once it was Lisa. Usually it's Sam, but when he doesn't trust Sam, he resists being shoved.

It's odd, but when Dean was more of a hedonist he seemed more flexible. That was really the only relief for all the stress he endured. Now, he seems more unyielding.
KAZKRIZ!!
# KAZKRIZ!! 2011-10-09 20:26
wow.. I can see your review has some.. well, let's called prefernce side.
first:
-"Then why, oh freaking for the love of Chuck why, does the real Dean stomp on that win and decide to act like last week’s fake Dean?"-

Dean is not acting as last week Dean. (that was lucifer and what we saw.. was a DICK) Dea's just doing what it takes to protect innocent poeple... even if you liked the good Amy, she was a monster and I see it totally into character what Dean did. He killed a monster because wheter sam or we want it or not she will kill again. If jacob were sick again she will kill again.
After what happened with Cas, Dean can't trust ... that's the point. Dean can't trust Bobby on staying at home and giving Sam a few days to deal with it because just like dean told Sam, he's been thinking a lot of stuff that could have being happening to Sam on his own (remember last week?) And he can't trust on his beautifulmind little brother because how could Sam now Amy wouldn't kill?! Sam can't control that.
They do have a stronger bond now.. and Sam had to be honest with Dean because he had to.. and also he wasn't totally honest (running away at night leaving just a note behind as he did when he was a teenager?)
I think Dean did good in Killing Amy because they are hunters, and what do hunters do? they kill monsters. We saw that back on "heart"... and Sam knew that .. he killed Madison because it was the right thing to do. So now I don't see it as something wrong.
Now Dean didn't know Jacob was there... do you really think he would do that in front of him on purpose? didn't you see he realized the kid was watching after killing her?

I don't think it was a terrible episode, in fact it showed us the storyline for Dean this year. After Cas and everything he's not letting something like that happen again and he's not taking that risk. and Yeah, look at what watching life in grey tones ended... now we have leviathans that will end the world. So to me it seems that Dean's actions last week were totally into character. it wasn't just a bunch of writers trying to finish an episode... because the magic word "trust" let us figure out what's going through Dean's mind.
Kat Jack
# Kat Jack 2011-10-09 21:06
YES! In fact, I loved this episode. Jensen did an amazing job of directing and acting. We had to time jump or we'd spend the next 6 weeks waiting for Dean's leg to heal. Unlike Jared real broken hand in season 2 watching Dean hobble around on crutches for even one week would never be a good plot decision. Maybe we need to trust the writers' wisdom, since they can see into the future and justify actions meant for plot development.
Alice
# Alice 2011-10-09 21:46
No preferences here. Sam's descent has been carefully plotted. Dean's, this was just so random. I wish the writers had done better by his character. They haven't shown him grieve over Castiel. They haven't shown him logically move to this "the other shoe will drop" attitude. Suddenly this week, this is how he feels. His character is suffering from randomness and not given a lot of time to develop.

Of course Sam wasn't right running off on Dean, but he explained why he did it. Dean tells Sam he trusts him and than kills Amy anyway. At least an honest "I can't trust you right now Sammy" would have been better and more in character.

Sam killed Madison because Madison begged him to. If she hadn't, I'd have a feeling Dean would have. Amy wasn't begging for death. It's a completely different thing.

I honestly didn't think overall it was a terrible episode, but when one scene ruins everything, something is very wrong. That will be the scene everyone talks about and will forget that there was a charming backstory and great directing behind it.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-10 15:33
Wow! Kazkriz, I agree entirely with your post. Exactly my thoughts! I just don't understand why this episode was a downer to so many, pertaining to Dean's actions. They seem plain as glass to me. I'm really sorry this episode upset so many, but I'm getting upset about that and not the episode.LOL. :-?

I loved to see the badass hunter back in action. He didn't know the kid was in the doorway until he looked up. I'm sure he was devastated in that moment. He still has his soft side as he let the kid go, and that was probably a HUGE mistake.

I can't see how Dean is supposed to be trusting Sam's judgement at the moment. He just sneaked out AGAIN on a helpless brother in the night leaving a note that was not too informative. Took the car and refused to answer calls. This has nothing to do with the close relationship between them, but the doubts about what Sam is seeing and thinking. Is it real or is it seeing Lucifer and unreality?

Anyway, you've posted how I feel about it so I won't go on forever here. :P

I actually liked this episode the best so far of three really great episodes to start the season. Looking forward to the next one with bated breath! :roll:

Show, I love you even more than ever after the hell and heaven wars of the last two seasons. ;-)
Ginger
# Ginger 2011-10-09 20:40
To cut through what you've said, I felt the same way on the first watch, but not about Dean...about what was shown of Sam. I'm not going to go into all the reasons, because there is no point in it. I will say that I'll never complain about how these two writers depict Dean. They like smart, hardened Dean the hunter, and so do I. Perhaps they shouldn't write for Sam, though.

On second watch, I felt a little better about the episode, BUT it was a major writer's failure and a total regression of both brothers' characters and Bobby's.

So many wanted Dean to be included in the story this season, but I hope the writers aren't going to trash Dean's character as the means of doing that. It does seem, though, that's the way it's going to go.

I was so excited about 7.04, but now I'm afraid it will just be Jo comes to turn Dean around and may him see the error of his ways. I hate the character of Jo, and I am expecting another disappointing episode...and after S7 got off to such a good start.

Following this episode, I again question SG as the showrunner. I hope I'm proven to be so very wrong in my thoughts on that.
Alice
# Alice 2011-10-09 21:57
You know Ginger, if you ever want to go through those reasons, I'd love to hear them. I really do think they are important.

I do have to agree, there was a major character regression on all parts. For example, I equate the lack of regard for Castiel's death like Seinfeld when George's fiancee died. It's indifference. That's just so wrong considering what he meant to them. This isn't a dark comedy.

I don't like seeing any character trashed. Sam though, despite his struggles, is going through a progression. Is the right one? Who knows. But at least they're putting some careful plotting into his character. Dean, where are they going? How can they go from Dean last week in the warehouse to what he did this week?

I guess we just have to see how it all goes. That's just my take this week. I certainly hope we'll all be proven wrong in our concerns.
cd28
# cd28 2011-10-09 21:33
Nice review Alice. I agree with your reactions. The only thing I can figure is that Dean is in a depressed, suicidal self-destructiv e downward cycle. He's never properly dealt with his issues and they're catching up to him. He's taking more and more pills, and he's expecting the worst from Sam and everything and everyone else at the moment. I think things will get tense between Sam and Dean for a while, especially since I think Sam will stop trying to cover up his "freak" side, but they'll be trapped together out of necessity by the Leviathans and will be forced to work through their issues.
Alice
# Alice 2011-10-09 22:09
Thanks!

Ah, now I can see that happening. Maybe close quarters and on the run will force Sam and Dean to work out their differences. You think once that happens, we'll get that Butch and Sundance they promised? Okay, that hope alone makes me feel better.

I do believe something is wrong with Dean, but we shouldn't exactly be guessing about it.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-10-09 22:15
I felt this episode was a lot of set up for just this scenario. They MUST bring these issues, both of their issues, to light NOW and deal with them in some manner or die. The Leviathan WILL destroy them if they allow weakness like this to linger.

Dean's tendency to lock things away has been mentioned repeatedly from episode 1 of season 7. Much like their credit cards being taken away or Bobby's house being torched, Dean can no longer afford to just bury things and move on. He must handle them, and to me this episode clearly shows how screwed up his method of handling issues in the past has been. His killing of Amy is both a condemnation of himself and grasping at control he feels he no longer has.

And I do think that shoving them into a tight confining corner will make both brothers face these things head on, handle them, and perhaps grow in ways we don't know yet. This episode, to me, really set so much of that up so we can see the brothers truly forge the bond that they must have to survive.
Sonni
# Sonni 2011-10-09 22:48
Quote:
I felt this episode was a lot of set up for just this scenario. They MUST bring these issues, both of their issues, to light NOW and deal with them in some manner or die. The Leviathan WILL destroy them if they allow weakness like this to linger.


Dean's tendency to lock things away has been mentioned repeatedly from episode 1 of season 7. Much like their credit cards being taken away or Bobby's house being torched, Dean can no longer afford to just bury things and move on. He must handle them, and to me this episode clearly shows how screwed up his method of handling issues in the past has been. His killing of Amy is both a condemnation of himself and grasping at control he feels he no longer has.

And I do think that shoving them into a tight confining corner will make both brothers face these things head on, handle them, and perhaps grow in ways we don't know yet. This episode, to me, really set so much of that up so we can see the brothers truly forge the bond that they must have to survive.
Great post! I agree.
Traci
# Traci 2011-10-11 10:52
Quote:
Dean's tendency to lock things away has been mentioned repeatedly from episode 1 of season 7. Much like their credit cards being taken away or Bobby's house being torched, Dean can no longer afford to just bury things and move on. He must handle them, and to me this episode clearly shows how screwed up his method of handling issues in the past has been. His killing of Amy is both a condemnation of himself and grasping at control he feels he no longer has.
I agree. I don't think Dean's fixation on 'waiting for the other shoe' to drop is sudden. After six seasons, he's learned this lesson the hard way.

I can see where Dean killing Amy is a huge conflict for him - both as the boy who lost his mother at a young age and as a hunter whose job it is to hunt demons.
cd28
# cd28 2011-10-09 22:18
I think he is grieving Cas, but this is the guy that couldn't even admit that everything wasn't perfectly OK after returning from Hell for several episodes. Maybe on some level he's picking a fight with Sam because that's preferable to acting that everything is OK when it's not? Maybe it's some kind of cry for help?

Last week he made a murder/suicide reference with Sam (driving off the cliff with his beautiful mind brother) and this week he kills a woman who he's associating with Sam (and the freak within Sam). Not very healthy, and really scary, but maybe Dean needs things to blow up so that he finally get out some of what he's pent up for many years.
Kayo
# Kayo 2011-10-09 22:20
Well, this episode certainly wasn't as wonderful as the first two. I understand that watching Dean sit on a couch with a broken leg would be a tad boring (of course, Sam and Dean stuck in a cabin could be humorous), but the "we now join our story 'three weeks later'" stuff did seem glib. Especially when Sam's injury seemed to be so serious.

I had no qualms with Dean killing Amy. A tough hunter would do that. I did have a problem with him lying to Sam. This feels like old territory--back to season 4; the brothers are supposed to be more in synch this year. I'm going to trust that there is something we don't know.

And I agree with AndreaW. I couldn't laugh at the punch scene, either. Sam's poor head has been so abused--inside and out--that it just didn't seem funny.
Bookdal
# Bookdal 2011-10-09 22:55
I've rewatched the episode and found myself even more taken with it. For me, and this is just my reading, the episode did several things that was surprising but makes logical sense. I'll focus on Sam/Dean/Amy/Ja cob as my response, to give you an idea of how I read it differently.
I think that the show has often grappled with a core issue at its heart, a contradiction that has become apparent with the leviathans, but has been there all along. And that is the hierarchy of survival. The first five seasons, to a certain degree, revolved around the greed and jealousy of demons/angels over humans, and how humans seemed to usurp their place in the universe. Humans are better; they are chosen. And Dean has adopted that pov as his justification for hunting.
You see, while John had revenge as his motivating factor, Dean was left to learn how to justify this life of killing, and while he had his father's guidance, he could never really have his father's passion. John's passion was personal. Dean's heartbreak, being four at the time of his mother's death, may have been traumatic but it would not have had the same currency in his memory as it did for John. So to supplement that passion, Dean became a hunter, not a vigilante, which is really what John was. He was a hunter by default, but a vigilante by choice. And Sam, who always thought himself different and freakish, was always in the "in-between."
This episode demonstrated that Sam could see past the hierarchy that Dean counts on as creating meaning in hunting. That's the basic difference between the two characters. Sam felt for Amy in a way Dean could never feel for her – she is the other.
Now, while it seems cruel of Dean, it makes sense that this situation with Amy would trigger Dean's initial "black/white" rules of hunting. She's a monster; we kill monsters. To not kill her would be a de-programming, in a sense. But moreso, I think Amy represents another issue Dean has, and that's with Sam's propensity for omission. Sam has lied outright, but most of the time, Sam's greatest lies are the ones he simply doesn't tell. And those lies come back to bite them. So what do you do? You head it off at the pass.
Back to the Leviathans and how they connect to Amy. They are technologically savvy and intelligent. They may be beasts, but they are the first beasts and they are the ones who could wreck “the petri dish,” as Death called it. So in the hierarchy of survival, who takes precedence? Who gets to live? God’s chosen, even though God is gone? Well, that’s the problem Dean is about to face, I think. The rules for hunting are full of fundamental values that define humanity as better than….and now perhaps it’s not. So in that last scene with Jacob, Dean becomes the Yellow-Eyed demon, and in some way, guarantees his own death. In that child John/Sam/Dean exist: son/vigilante/d emon.
(side note on the punch scene: I did think it was funny, but it pointed out to me that this episode would have been better directed by someone outside of the text. Jensen’s humor is sparkling and it translates well to screen, but it was an odd juxtaposition for this type of episode, which was much more cerebral than physical – in my opinion. I think he did a great job (especially the drug dealer death scene which had a movie quality feel to it), but his talent seems better suited for lighter episodes).
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-10-11 10:33
I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. When I first watched it, I was not in my own living-room so I didn't pay as much attention. Then on Monday, I had a 5 hour drive back home, and that's all I could focus on, rewatching the darn episode to get the nuances! Even the beautiful colours of the Green Mountains couldn't make me think of anything else. So I finally watched it when I got home. Sorry, that was a long preamble.

When I first watched I did think that what Dean did was pretty cold, but as I started to think about it, I felt it did fit into his MO. He sees things in b/w, whereas Sam can see those shades of grey. But it seems to me, and correct me if I'm wrong, that Sam told Amy that if he found out that she was killing again, he would find her and kill her. And I do believe that if Dean had known that Jacob was in the doorway, he would not have killed Amy at that moment, he was always pretty good with children.

I did love Jensen's directing, but I can understand what you mean about him being very good at levity, "Weekend at Bobby's" was a prime example of that. And although I didn't like the action, I loved the visual of Sam getting back to the hotel to a punch in the face. But, please, stop hitting the guy who just survived a major head trauma!
purplehairedwonder
# purplehairedwonder 2011-10-09 23:03
As much as Dean's actions at the end bother me, they seemed very much in character with how we know Dean deals with grief--in the sense that he simply doesn't and it eats him alive until he explodes. Dean's lost a lot of people close to him in a very short amount of time: Lisa and Ben, Cas, he thought Bobby for a horrifying period, and the jury's still out on Sam--though Sam seems to be doing the best out of the two of them.

Dean's been feeling helpless since Sam's wall was taken down (if not before). And now he's basically physically helpless, incapable of actually getting up to help his brother at all. And Dean Winchester doesn't do helpless, especially not when it comes to his brother, who has been his entire life's mission to protect. So Dean's feeling helpless, scared for Sam, worried and frustrated about not being able to do anything for his brother when he checks out, grieved for the loss of loved ones, guilt just about everything ever (I still think it particularly hurts Dean to see Sam's Hell trauma when he himself during his own time in Hell had dished out a lot of what Sam received and keeps reliving now)...

Basically Dean's in the middle of a perfect storm of self-worth issues and pain with downtime to let it all hit him at once. And when Dean gets upset, he bottles it up until he explodes. He tends to get angry rather than deal with his issues and lashes out (this Dean reminds me so much of ELAC Dean, lashing out at Sam and taking the crowbar to the Impala after John's death). I think he sees a certain safety in the black and white worldview he used to have, feels comfortable with that and immediately reverts back to it when he doesn't know what else to do.

I also think that the lying between the brothers this season is going to get called out pretty early on. Sam lying about how OK he was got unmasked early on and I think this will be the same. They can't afford to have this crap between them; the leviathans will seep into every chink in their armor and things like this provide perfect openings. Sam's going to find out and they're going to have to deal with it and move forward so they can face the leviathans as a united front. With the freak mentions, it's apparent that a lot of old issues being raised again and that, to me, is particularly important (also evidenced by Jo coming back next week). They can't ever fully trust each other, have each other's back when these old resentments festering. Honestly? I'm optimistic.
KAZKRIZ!!
# KAZKRIZ!! 2011-10-09 23:33
I couldn't agree more. I think you totally undertand Dean. He has been eating all those feelings over the past years and now I think he's at the point where he just can't handle it anymore. I think just like you, he can't stand the grey tones and he just want to go back to the "simple" way to look at life.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2011-10-10 00:42
I have just a slightly different view on Sam's actions, as much as I totally understand why he wanted so desperately to believe Amy and wanted to see the best in her, I don't understand the sneaking out. I don't think you can ask for trust if you don't give it in return. He obviously didn't trust Dean to hear him out or he knew what Dean would say and he didn't want to hear it. Either way, to leave a note saying back in 2 days I'm fine, when you know your brother is really worried about you is one thing, but then ignoring his calls is a whole other ball of wax. I thought this was somewhat thoughtless on Sam's behalf. Sure, Dean was going to rouse on him and I can totally understand why he didn't want to hear that, but if my brother did that to me, I tear him a new one! I wished he'd at least picked up the phone to say, it's all good I'm fine, I'll check in in a day, then I'd have no issue, but he'd know that Dean would be going up the wall, let alone that Dean was now immobile and alone with no car and no way escape if something came for him. I know Sam's not thinking clearly at the moment and I know Dean is driving him to distraction with his mother hen act, but really? You shouldn't do that to your brother when you know how worried he is about you. As for Dean, I agree that this was the move of a hunter and no-one can guarantee that Amy wouldn't kill again and yeah,if she did that's on his shoulders. I also think he's in a dark and wobbly place at the moment and the one thing he knows never changes is that monsters kill, so kill the monster before they do. I don't like that he lied to Sam, that's more of an issue for me, but I guess there was no other way. I pray that this doesn't put another wedge between the brothers and that it's dealt with quickly and that Sam understands and forgives Dean and Dean somehow forgives himself. I totally agree, we don't need them going down that well trod road. Lets have them be brothers again and not just for two episodes! All in all I liked The Girl Next Door and though it wasn't as epic as the first 2 eps, it was enjoyable and certainly set me thinking!
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-10-10 02:16
I totally agree with you. Let's wait and see what happens the next few episodes before we start to circle the wagons. We don't know where the writers are heading this year other than that tidbit about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

BTW - All in all, I thought it was a good episode with lots of thought provoking information.
Cathia
# Cathia 2011-10-10 07:14
I'm surprised about the kid as well. Especially after Dean's long speech about bad blood and monsters. I kinda expected the kid to stab him in the back with something... or even attack him, we don't know when those monsters are coming to age.

As to his attitude towards Sam. He's starting to behave in the same manner that pulled both boys apart in Season 4. I know, Sammy is having nightmares and hellucinations. .. but how many times did Dean tell about trust and now he still doesn't trust Sam - even after Season 5's finale and his behavior in late Season 6. No, we are having return to Dean being "protective and bitchy SOB" and that's kinda... not right.

Leviathans... how is it that they are having all Winchesters' aliases? Bullshit. Even Cas didn't know them, so they couldn't learn from him and I seriously doubt that Bobby would have them written somewhere.

Bobby is alive! I saw photos from that ep earlier, but I was still afraid for his life. Thanks God. This right one.

Two very amusing things - Mistress Magda and Amy Pond :D
Brynhild
# Brynhild 2011-10-11 17:18
Oh, how many times Sam told about trust, but now he still doesn't trust Dean.

Because if you trust your brother, don't go away without even telling him where are you going and why. Yes, he did it to not have to argue with him, but this is exactly the point: Sam behaved like a teenager who wants to prove himself worthy, but can't state his reasons, so he does his things behind others' back. And you can't demand trust, when you do things behind others' back.

I didn't like Dean's behaviour. I didn't like Sam's behaviour too.
sn_chills
# sn_chills 2011-10-10 07:40
I really wanted to enjoy this episode. The beginning I loved, Dean in the hospital hopped up on meds, Bobby charging in taking off with Sam, their great escape. And who didn’t want to see Dean wake up, look over and see Sam in the bed next to him (waves hand I did, yeah I know too much fan fiction). Cabin in the middle of nowhere, great idea. Sending Sam to get supplies and have him bring back cake instead of pie, classic. And then it takes an abrupt u-turn into the Un-trust zone. Really after two episodes with the boys regaining their trust of each other we have this. Sam once again sneaking off and then Dean doing the same. I just couldn’t believe Sam would leave his injured brother alone with no way to escape if there was trouble, and just leave a little note saying he’d be gone for a few days….a few days! Of course Dean was gonna freak out. That’s what he always does when Sam sneaks off and does questionable crap.

I think in light of this new openness and trust between them Sam should told Dean, hey this looks like this was an old hunt of ours, I'm gonna go check it out since it's so close by. Dean would have bitched, he would have tried to stop Sam but in keeping with the new trust between them would have begrudgedly let him go. But no we get Sam sneaking off…again And it seems little Sammy was not very truthful about what had happened in the past because Dean didn’t know Amy had saved Sam's life by killing her mother. Also about that…. Really you just met someone, yeah sure you have a connection, and yes it seems you hate your mother but right away you are willing to kill her for a stranger….seriously?

And then there is Dean…..That whole scene was just wrong in my books. It felt abrupt and out of the blue. Yes I know Dean is a hunter and he hunts monsters and yes I know Amy was a monster and needed to be killed. I get it. It was the “execution” of the scene that bothered me. Why involve a kid at all if you are going to let him watch his mother be killed and then be left to essentially starved to death because the person who used to feed you is now dead. I think there could have been a different scenario that didn’t involve her kid. If this is a way to show how much closer Dean is to the edge well then the succeeded.

I mentioned over in another forum that I thought Dean's attitude about freaks and monsters was really talk about how much he was hating the monster in himself. Everyone is keeping an eye on Sam, expecting him to go off the deep end and it's really Dean all along. Interesting that the character on the Spanish TV show committed suicide, a topic now brought up several times. Could Dean be so despondent that he is spirally down to the point of harming himself more than he already has (with his booze and drugs) and is Sam the only one who can save him? I really don’t know where this is heading but it doesn’t look good.

I like an episode to bring up questions but this one brought up too many wrong ones.
cd28
# cd28 2011-10-10 10:40
I've read a few times that Sam left Dean unprotected, but I don't think we were supposed to take from that scene that Dean was in any danger. Otherwise Bobby would have brought it up and offered to come back and stay with dean. And Dean apparently had access to a car because he got around alright once he got the cast off.

Second thing is I don't see what Sam did as sneaking off. Dean was laid up on the couch (not able to come along), probably passed out from alcohol and pills, and Sam read about murders that he guessed were tied to Amy. He was feeling more stable and decided to go out and look into the killings. He was wrong not to call Dean back, but I'm guessing the reason was because Dean was leaving a lot of angry messages on his phone. I think there's a parallel to the way young Sam was reacting to John to the way older Sam was relating to Dean. And I don't think its coincidence that John got labeled as a mean drunk in this episode - given Dean's growing problems with substance abuse.
dude
# dude 2011-10-10 11:34
total samgirl
Junkerin
# Junkerin 2011-10-10 08:51
First of all whats the diffrence between a cake and a pie. Even for my dic it´s the same?!
I´m with you Alice I didn´t get why Dean did what he did. For me it was a leap back to season 1 or 2 Dean. And if Dean belives what he told Amy how ca he justify for himself not "taken care" of Sam.
How can Sam ever trust Dean agin when he finds out.
I realy liked this epi. Having a reminder of good old John (oh I miss him) and the great old times. Maybe with the trail next week this was a kind of reminder how hard and anforgiven Dean can be.
I´m afraid about what Sera sad that we see "Dean´s issue" of this season in epi 3 well he has something to deal with.
As for Sam: I think he is doing fine. No I mean he is handeling it. And thanks to Dean he knows how. Maybe the hallutions will stay with him (like in "a beautiful Mind" and he has to learn to live with them) or they will slowly fayed away. I mean as an audiance we know now what he sees, why he sees it, what it does to him, and how he deals with it. So from the story telling point.... move on ?
Loved that Bobby had copys from his books hidden.
Those Leviatans (to the bibel the Leviatan was a water monster) reminds me of the titans acording to the greek they lived befor mankind and Zeus had to loked away because they were to brutal. I like the idea that they trace Sam and Dean down with there card fraude.
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2011-10-10 13:36
Pie e.g. Apfelkuchen
cake e.g. Torte
BEL
# BEL 2011-10-10 09:12
I will start out by saying I have never particularly been a fan of Dabb & Loflin. While they have come up with some winners like last years Weekend at Bobby's - they have always seemed to be to be the "new" writers that didn't pay attention to "old" details. At the end of this episode where Dean kills Amy because she is a monster to me hearkens to Season 2's "Bloodlust" - a monster looking for alternatives to killing and making a life despite being a monster. In that episode Sam makes the case for Lenore and Dean gets onboard. It feels like that lesson learned was lost in the episode.
Maybe that is just the disappointment talking - I was excited about season 7 and the brothers relationship and this episode just drained all the fun out of it. I feel like I have had enough of the brothers not working together. I am OK with a Butch and Sundance ending - but only with "the boys" on good terms.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-10 16:12
Yes, Dean got on board about Lenore and her family and they started killing again, Lenore also. That didn't work out too well for saving folks.

Lets wait until Sammy's head heals a bit more before we write off that they will be working together.

Once the worst effects of the wall coming down go, probably gradually, I believe they will be together, as they have to be this season, or perish.

Try not to be disappointed as there are still 20 episodes to go.

Some say Dean has reverted back to season 1 & 2. If so, that makes me happy as they were my favourite seasons, with the boys entirely in sync with each other. Remember, "saving people, hunting things, the family business"?

Oh, and I'm not OK with the ENDING of Butch and Sundance as I want the guys to drive off into the sunset in the Impala looking for Lisa and Sarah. :P ;-)
Sharon
# Sharon 2011-10-10 09:56
It was a episode designed to give Dean his yearly emo breakdo. This was not about Sam or what Sam has gone through this was about telling everybody there is something wrong with Dean and look out broken Dean is coming.

Sam got hit twice in the head , after suffering a serious head injury and a apparent break in his pysche and his this was his treatment.And next week we can delve even futher into Deans problems while Sam can stoically get on with it.

Yes this episode left me sad and angry.
Lori
# Lori 2011-10-10 11:49
I get why Dean felt he had to kill Amy. That wasn't particularly surprising to me. What stunned me is how easily he lied to Sam, that's not like Dean to be able to pull that off. It is, well, like Sam.

As for why Dean killed her, well, it's a return to S1 Dean only with a much harder edge for starters. Yes, he had grown past that in recent seasons but I think a few key things (in addition to stress and being in a very bad place) have caused him to revert.

In S2, Dean's instinct told him to kill the vampire Lenore and her nest. Sam convinced him to let them go because they weren't actively killing. Then in S6, Dean learns that Lenore AND the rest of her nest had returned to killing humans. No way has Dean at some rare quiet moment not wondered how many people died because he didn't kill them all then, as his instinct told him to. Personally, I don't think they were wrong to let the vampires go, I'm just stating an opinion on what it must feel like to Dean now.

Then there's the issue of Ruby. Ruby, who Dean REALLY REALLY wanted to kill. And whom Sam stopped him from killing, sometimes by physically blocking or restraining him, other times by convincing Dean to give her (temporary) benefit of the doubt. And then she led Sam directly into fulfilling his feared destiny and releasing Lucifer from his cage. From Dean's perspective, he must wonder how many people could have been saved if he'd overrode Sam and killed Ruby from the start?

And now here's Sam, with a monster who has very recently been on a murder spree. And Sam asks Dean not to kill her because Sam believes she will be "good". History has taught Dean she will not be good. Hell, history has sledge-hammered Dean upside the head that she will not be good. I think Dean simply can't take the guilt of knowing that one day they will come across more of her victims that he could have saved by doing his job now, and killing the monster. But Dean also recognizes that Sam cannot kill her, and that he knowledge she is dead will hurt Sam. So Dean does what Dean does -- he protects Sam with the lie. And he kills the monster.

Please keep in mind -- I'm not saying I necessarily agree with Dean's decision here, just that I understand how he got to that point and why he did what he did. I don't necessarily disagree with him either -- it's pretty much a damned either way situation from where Dean stands, and he followed his instinct over Sam's this time.

I do think he was wrong to lie to Sam, of course, but it's hard for me to blame him when all he really did was take a page out of Sam's old playbook. Yes, it will bite him later. Yes, it will get ugly. But -- I think it's meant to indicate that when all the audience is busy worrying about Sam, it's Dean that is really cause for concern. And Bobby's already onto that -- in Hello, Cruel World it was clear that although Bobby was concerned about Sam, Dean's mindset was what was really disturbing him.

Personally, I'm exxcited by this turn of events. Yeah, I miss the brotherly bond too but think back to season one -- there's never been complete harmony between the brothers, one of them always has a secret or a grudge or something -- and I don't see this as a killing blow to that bond. I do see this as an interesting departure from a pattern that was close to getting too stale, and it's been a long time since the show truly shocked and disturbed me in this way. I love it, and I cannot wait to see where they're going with it.
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2011-10-10 12:47
First off, good review Alice. Well spoken as always. I don't necessarily agree with you tho. :)

The things that stood out to me. First, 3 weeks is not long enough for a compound fracture to heal. The writers really screwed that up and I don't understand why it couldn't have been handled better. We could have had a small montage of Bobby fetching books, Sam showing, perhaps some progression (or maybe digression) in using the pain in his hand to deal with the Lucifer hallucinations and Dean getting more an more frustrated at being hobbled by a cast (and also inspiring Sam to want to get a bit of space from him - Cranky!Dean is no fun).

Next was Bobby's attitude. He didn't seem at ALL upset that his house and all his books and any memory of his beloved wife had gone up in smoke. Sure, he has copies of all the books hidden, but he lost EVERYTHING in that house. To me, in comparison, Sam and Dean are spot on.

Third, this episode was filmed first and maybe Jensen would have made changes or asked for different delivery of things had he seen how Episodes 1 and 2 turned out? I mean, really, I'm sure if we had all loved this episode 100% Jensen would have things he would have changed anyway - such the relationship between an artist and his art, but you see where I'm going with this.

I also have faith that we are not meant to know what is going on right now. That all will be revealed later. Not that that means that anyone has to like this episode, or that any errors should be forgiven, just that I'm willing to ignore the bumps in the road because I know there is smooth blacktop ahead.
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2011-10-10 13:49
As so many already commented, I have a problem with Dean killing Amy too. It was so great when he trusted Sam, that not all monsters deserve to be killed back when they talked about Leonore.

Another thing is: Did Dean suddenly turn stupid? Is that what the writers try to tell us? Anyone who had a cast before knows that that sucker is heavy. You definatly feel the weight. So why is Dean so surprised at his cast when he fell to the ground once he tried to get out of his bed?

Another thing? Rufus little cabin didn't look like it had a giant car park outside. Unless there are cars hidden somewhere in the bushes, how did Dean manage to get from the cabin to the store? On a leg that still must hurt pretty much since the freaktur is not healed up after three weeks.

So far I never said that I dislike any of the writers but I might be getting there if that duo keeps writting in plot-holes and doesn't check back if a certain reaction of Sam or Dean would go along with the story told so far.
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2011-10-10 13:52
Just thought of something else too. Amy's son needs to feed too. How is he supposed to do that since he has no access to the morgue. He has no other choice but to kill. So Dean just created the next monster. He could have killed him right away too or within a week or see the poor boy will have to start killing people for brains.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-10-10 15:33
Yirabah-
Just wanted to respond to a couple of your thoughts.
First--the cast. I think Dean was so drugged up on morphine that he didn't realize that his leg was broken. It wasn't until he hit the floor that he actually remembered what happened at Bobby's.
Second--the car. It appeared that Dean either stole or borrowed a car. I think he pulled up in front of that convenience store in an old Jeep wagon. Dean is pretty crafty at getting transportation. ..Remember where both the guys got a car for Jimmy's wife and child...It was even stated that Jimmy didn't know where they were going to get the car from.

Others have also made statements about Dean getting his cast off early. Well, I had a family member that broke his leg and after 3 weeks, he went out in the backyard and sawed the cast off. His leg was healed, but not completely. So, I can see someone like Dean doing this especially since he wasn't under a Dr.'s care.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-10 16:52
I don't think Dean is stupid. He just woke up and is drug confused and didn't realize he even had a cast on. He was knocked out with morphine before the cast was put on and had just awakened. Just my take on it.

And when has not killing the monster ever turned out well for them? :-?
NanT
# NanT 2011-10-10 15:10
This episode left me more angry than anything, for pretty much all the reasons in all the comments above.

First of all, the ginormous plot holes and illogic of the beginning, from doctors setting a compound fracture without anesthesia, to leaving Dean's watch on in the hospital bed, to the conveniently located crutches, to his *being able* to manage said crutches with a compound fracture, to Bobby's lack of explanation and seeming lack of concern...and that's just the first 10 minutes.

For the rest of the episode...no. Just, no. Even ignoring the bad writing...sorry , the flashbacks seemed to be retconning the WeeChester backstory by rewriting Sam as the hero and both John and Dean as idiots (though I can handwave that away since it was *Sam's* perspective on his backstory).

But for the main storyline, sorry, BOTH boys acted like dicks. And both boys were acting like the idiots they were in season 1: lying, sneaking around, doing what they thought they had to without listening to anyone else. BOTH of them.

Alice, Sam DID NOT "explain why" he left Dean. He left a note saying "back in two days," refused to answer his phone or return voice mail, knowing how frantic Dean would be, and endangered himself *and others*. Because, well, no matter how well he's "handling" his little breaks, going blank ("checking out"), even for 30 seconds at a time, is NOT a good thing when you're driving or facing a monster. This is a form of seizure, and the reason why epileptics aren't allowed to drive until they can prove to be seizure-free for a year or so. Dean was *right* to worry.

Sam could just as easily have TOLD Dean that he was following a lead on a hunt and gone with Bobby, since Dean was (theoretically) out of the picture anyway. I don't think even Dean would object to Sam hunting with Bobby, and he wouldn't have been worried out of his mind. This was Sam reverting to "I know best and I'm not going to listen to anyone else, including brothers, angels or Bobby," which I thought he'd gotten knocked out of him at the end of season 5.

And yes, I hated the fact that Dean reverted back to black-and-white , "you're a monster and have to die" mode. I thought he was past that. But I agree with the comments here that it was logical from a hunter's perspective.

I think, in their attempt to make Sam into the emo, empathetic character he used to be (sorry, he hasn't been that boy for 5 years now), they made him seem completely ruled by his "downstairs brain," which up to now they've reserved to make Dean look stupid.

He knew the woman ONE DAY, 13 years ago, when they were 15. She's had 13 years of living on her own (and I'm assuming she didn't become a mortician at age 15.) She was willing to kill to save her son (someone pointed out on another site that that would be equal to a mother killing a stranger to get her child a needed heart transplant. It's also similar to the doctor in Time Is On My Side, justifying getting his own organ replacements.)

For me, killing your own mother to save a virtual stranger would make me *more* wary (would Sam have killed John if he'd tried to kill the girl? Wouldn't a skillet to the head be just as effective to help him escape?) No, she obviously had her own agenda, and Sam not only bought into it at age 15 (which was more understandable) but was still using it to judge her by after everything he'd been through, including Ruby. Don't you think he might question his judgement just a little, once in a while?

So the upshot is: I went into the episode not expecting much, not sure how they could go from last week's cliffhanger to a simple hunt. I found myself caught up in the backstory, more than I'd expected, but the present-day events on BOTH sides just killed it for me.

What would have been more satisfying AND more logical? To have Sam tell Dean where he was going and why. To have Bobby go along with him as backup.

To have any one of them--and preferably Sam, to show that he does have some instincts after all--tell the girl, "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt THIS TIME, but if I hear of one more brain-sucking episode, you're history." And having Bobby and/or Dean there to witness and back him up, with the understanding that they reached this decision *together*.

That would have been consistent with the growth they've shown over the past years, not this reversion to one-dimensional caricatures of who they used to be.

What a letdown from the wild ride of the first two episodes!
NanT
# NanT 2011-10-10 15:56
Oops...just want to follow up and apologize a little for the length of my rant. I obviously missed a few of the earlier comments, and I'm sorry if I repeated things that had already been said. I was just so excited at the beginning of the season and so disappointed in this episode. But I'm still hopeful for the future...
Lynn
# Lynn 2011-10-10 18:14
FYI Alice, just posted an article on Jensen's Q & A from Toronto con, in which he sheds a wee bit of light on how he (and Dean) viewed that controversial scene, and how post production impacted what we saw of the episode. At Fangasm - http://fangasmthebook.wordpress.com/

My head is still spinning from this episode, so it was interesting to hear a bit of Jensen's take on it. I think I could write an actual research article on the psychology behind both Dean's coping skills and fandom's split reactions!
Alice
# Alice 2011-10-11 00:26
Thanks Lynn! I loved the article and the chat with Jensen. He's so forthright.

I'll include this link in our episode review roundup that I usually do on Tuesdays.

I swear, I watched the episode closely today creating the screen caps for our gallery and... it still pissed me off. I'll just chalk it up to that and move onto the next ep though. I'm ready.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-10-11 12:51
Thanks for sharing. I just read the article, it was great. I love how this site allows me to discover some other really great SPN sites.
RoseFicke
# RoseFicke 2011-10-10 18:20
So, I've finally finished reading all the comments. Seems this show stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Of course, when hasn't it?

Upon first viewing I totally agreed with your take on it Alice. I was left stunned and sadly disappointed. Didn't even want to watch it again. But I did. And strangely enough, found I liked it a little bit better. Upon my third viewing I ended up liking it. A lot.

After distancing myself from the shock of the second to last scene, I came to believe that this was actually entirely in Dean's character to kill the monster and not the boy, though I believe that last bit to be a mistake.

There's been so much discussion on this thread that I don't really need to go over it all again. But I do have one question. (Well 2 really but who's counting?) Did I miss something? What happened between the ambulance scene and the scene in Emergency where Dean suddenly acquired a head wound? That seems to be a bit of sloppy dis-continuity!
Tillyputian
# Tillyputian 2011-10-10 18:50
I liked this episode and I loved that Dean killed Amy. It was disturbing, but it was the right thing to do. He was regretful, he was professional and he got the job done. I thought it was so true to who he is as a hunter, true to the space his mind is in now, and also that it was a necessary thing after Sam shirked the responsibility.

Sam is the one I didn't get here. He acted like a child, irresponsible, illogical and weak. If anything, the way the writers wrote Sam here was puzzling. Leaving Dean helpless, taking the car, not answering the phone, these were all the things that helped to cause the breach between the brothers on his side in the first place. Letting Amy live because he wants to believe that he can fight the monster in himself if she manages not to kill again, doesn't make sense to me. She isn't him, she is a monster who has to eat humans in some form or another to survive. Sam isn't anything like her. Amy killed her own mother, four people that we know of and who knows how many others. Sam killed Madison for less.
JackieS
# JackieS 2011-10-10 22:16
I agree with you review. And I think the point of Dean killing Amy is to show how messed up he is with all that has happened with Sam and Cas. He's lost faith in everything, can't trust anyone and so is reverting back to a black and white view of the world he had evolved from during the past few seasons. It will all come to a head in an episode or two I'm guessing. I'm surprised some think killing Amy is what Dean always would have done. It's what a hopeless faithless Dean would do.
Sharon
# Sharon 2011-10-11 02:58
I agree we will get to see Deans problems and people will get a better understanding of Deans emotional fallout even going bacik has far has John it is what the show does best.
As for Sams lesser problem the show has not really addressed anything except given a few hallucinations whih are only a sympton of Sams break .
I do hope we got more on Sam than a few hand rubbing scenes .
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-10-11 14:19
Wow, I just finished reading all the comments. I love all the different perspectives that we got out of one episode. I actually enjoyed this one. I was a little perplexed about glossing over 3 weeks at the beginning, not getting all the info about Bobby's house burning down, Sam recovering from what looked like a pretty serious head trauma and Dean with a broken leg (love the hospital gown on him BTW). But I understand there is only so much exposition you can do on a 42 minute show. What bothered me along with a vast majority I think, is the killing of Amy at the end. I do get that they are hunters, but Dean was giving Sam the benefit of the doubt with Lenore and the Rugaru way back when, and it seemed like he would here also. That will come back and bite him in his perfect a**.

I would like to thank Lynn for posting the address of a very good site (I had never heard of it). I wish I had read it before reading any comments, because it gives us a really good idea of where Jensen and the writers were actually going with this episode. Speaking of, kudos to Jensen on the beautiful direction, I think he has actually improved from last year, so I can't wait for the next episode he directs. I enjoyed the sepia tones for the flashbacks. And Colin Ford has Jared's mannerisms down pat.
Brynhild
# Brynhild 2011-10-11 17:03
Lenore and the Rougarou never killed anyone, when Dean gave Sam the benefit of the doubt about them.

In fact, he saw Lenore resisting to the urge to feed on Sam's blood, and that made a very powerful impression on him. She was capable to not kill, even when pushed to the edge, so it can be hoped that she would resist in the future too.

And about the rougarou, do someone happen to remember that it was SAM who killed him, once demonstrated that he couldn't resist to feed on humans?

Amy did the exact opposite than Lenore: she demonstrated that, when pushed on the edge, she could kill and did kill. Yes, she did for her son. But exactly for that, is highly likely she would do it again, because she never acknowledged her actions as "wrong", only as "dangerous" for herself and her son.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-10-12 08:35
I think Lenore being a vampire had killed humans before, but didn't like it and managed to find something else, she did say it was disgusting drinking cow's blood, but it kept her alive. As for the Rugaru, had it not been for the other hunter (I forget his name) I think he would have managed the monster in him just fine. And Sam had to kill him once he had a taste of human blood, the fact that he was about to kill Dean made the decision that much easier for him.

So now with Amy dead, her son will become the next monster to hunt. Yes she did kill for him, but I do think that she would have kept her word to Sam about not killing again.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-10-11 19:19
I didn’t get to see this episode until late Sunday night so by the time I got on here the comments were coming so thick and fast I couldn’t keep up. You guys write really fast! I’m just going to ramble (and at length, sorry....). I will undoubtedly be repeating what’s already been said so apologies in advance.

There were quite a few eyebrow raisers about this episode. Small things first, the broken leg. I know my first aid knowledge is limited to occasionally buying a box of band aids but would an open compound fracture not generally mean surgery, pins, months in a cast and extensive physiotherapy? Seriously, three weeks and a circular saw and Dean is good to go? Also, Sam takes a metal crowbar direct to the head, at force, and he gets... a bruise? I’m hoping Bobby at least got Sam to another hospital to make sure his brain wasn’t coming out his ear.

Re: The punch. I’ve issues with it. I’ve always had issues with punching someone in the head and I always will. I certainly always will have issues with punching someone in the head so hard it knocks them clean off their feet. And I most definitely have issues with said punch being delivered to a guy who, about three weeks prior to that, was hospitalised with suspected intracranial bleeding, is prone to seizures and had a wall rattling around in his head. If it were my brother I wouldn’t even flick his ear, let alone punch him so hard that it knocks him clean off his feet. I don’t care that it seems to be a normal part of the Winchester dynamic (that actually makes it worse), I don’t care that Sam doesn’t hit back because he knows Dean has to vent, I don’t find it funny, I don’t think it was justified and I don’t understand it when people do. Sorry....

Re: Bobby’s house. It has been mentioned that people were surprised that Bobby losing his house wasn’t mentioned/mourn ed. It actually doesn’t surprise (or bother) me at all. Bobby has experienced true loss on more than one occasion. He knows what’s important. Also, given that he had the foresight to copy his library it stands to reason that he has been expecting this for a long time. To be honest, I’m surprised the house wasn’t destroyed long before now given that angels and demons know it’s home base for the Winchesters.

Re: The cheese thing. Not fucking on. I like cheese. However, I also know that a cheese burn is incredibly painful. You know when you bite into a slice of pizza and a string of cheese flops down and sticks to your bottom lip and chin..... The thought of being covered in boiling hot cheese is beyond horrific. Worst death on the show by far for me (JA, you pup!)

Re: Jacob. It’s interesting that Dean is now Jacobs YED. He’s the guy Jacob will be having nightmares about for the next ten years. He’s the guy that’s gonna drive Jacob to do things he wouldn’t normally do in order to get revenge. Add to that Dean’s just essentially handed the kid a death sentence. He either eats the pituitary glands in which case Dean kills him or he doesn’t eat them and he dies.

I’m also not entirely convinced that Jacob does have someone he can go to. I don’t think Amy would want her son hanging around with her side of the family, what with their tendency to eat brains and all. I also don’t think she could have him hanging around with the fathers side of their family what with their lack of knowledge of eating brains and whatnot. Part of me feels Jacob nodded so that Dean wouldn’t kill him. Man it’d suck to be Jacob right now.

However, I do love that this scenario ties into the ‘Are monsters born or made?’ argument.

Re: Sam heading off. Was Sam wrong to go off on the hunt on his own? Possibly. However, consider the circumstances. Had he told Dean about the hunt Dean would either have (a) told him not to go (in which case more people might die so Sam would end up going anyway) or (b) insist he go with Sam (in which case Dean might get injured, they’re very slow, and more people die). I dare say being cooped up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere would be worse for Sam than being on a hunt where his mind would be occupied. Finally, Spanish soap operas, for three weeks.... even Gandhi would be buying a shotgun after two days of that, ok.

I love that Sam is more at peace with who/what he is now. He’s not full of the self-loathing that permeated him in earlier seasons. This is something that has been falling into place since he got his soul back and it’s really heartwarming, the knowledge that while he might be different, he’s not ‘wrong’. If it took him 28 years to get to this place then they were 28 years well spent.

Fair enough, Sam’s not fine, he never was fine and he never will be fine but he’s okay, and he knows it. It’s probably one of the reasons Sam isn’t rolling around on the floor crazed with hell memories and hallucinations. Due to Sam being slightly... atypical, his ability to cope with unpleasant situations must be through the roof. It’s kind of a case of Sam going ‘I have hallucinations? No bother, I survived hell. I’m Lucifers vessel? No bother, I survived demon blood. I drink demon blood? No bother, I survived 24 years in the car with my brother whose diet consists solely of burgers, pie and beer. Bring on the demon blood. I’m well prepared for it’. He’s at a place where he believes he can cope because he’s proven he can cope. There will be blips, yeah, but they'll neither lead nor drive him.

At this stage, I feel the only thing Sam couldn’t cope with would be Dean’s death. He’ll cope with the lies and the lack of trust (while he mightn’t like it, he’ll surely understand it) and he’ll work for a way around it.

I like that at a time when Dean is floundering in his faith, Sam is regaining his. Dean needs to spend a bit of time being propped up and being helped when he’s down. Dude can’t carry the weight of the world on his shoulders forever (this explains Deans bow legs btw, he actually used to be taller than Sam....) Sam put all his faith in Dean in the past (Point of No Return) and in a way that moment was the catalyst for everything else positive that happened to Sam since, he used that as the cornerstone to rebuild himself. Sam had faith in Castiel because Dean proved to him that having faith in people can be the right thing to do, and it worked, Castiel came back. Sam had faith in Amy; he believed that she would have done the right thing.

Dean has promised since day one that he’ll take care of Sam, he’ll fix Sam and he has. He mightn’t know it yet, but he has. The Sam of 7.03, in nature, is very like the Sam of Season 1. Who would have thought that possible 12 months ago?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-10-11 19:43
I guess one of the biggest questions from the episode (for me) is ‘Why did Dean do what he did?’ ie discussing Sam behind his back, lying, trust issues, black and white etc.

Firstly, I think this Dean is totally in character for where Dean is mentally at the moment. There could be quite a few reasons for this. We know that Dean doesn’t trust Sam. Dean confirmed in this episode that he hasn’t trusted Sam in a long time and the question is why? Is it just the Lucifer thing or does it go back further than that? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Dean called Amy a freak in this episode. Monsters, such as they are, cannot be trusted and like it or not, Sam in his own words is a freak, an out and proud freak! However, does freak = monster?

Back in the early seasons both Sam and Dean rejected this notion at every turn. However, now Sam has accepted what he is, is there a fear too that Dean could be accepting it? Could this be the reason he doesn’t fully trust Sam, in his depressed/drug & drink addled mind is he waiting for a time when Sam reverts to ‘type’? Does he consider Sam physically incapable of making the right decision (mind unstable) or mentally incapable of making the right decisions (because he’s a monster and they have different ideals and drives to the non-monster population).

I wonder would Dean have killed the drug dealer, the guy who’d no bother being paid for in 'services', a guy who deals in death for money for probably a long time now. Is this guy more or less of a monster than Amy?

If things are that black and white with Dean, then how come he hasn’t killed Sam? He mentioned ‘the other shoe will drop’ in relation to both Sam and Amy. If he anticipating a time when Sam can no longer control who he is?

Dean has tried hoping for the best before and it hasn’t worked. Is he now just preparing for the worst? The thing is, with Dean it’s never been a case of the shoe just simply dropping. The shoe usually comes and flakes him across the head a few times before it eventually makes a hole in the ground. What he anticipates as a bad situation invariably becomes a catastrophic situation. We’ve seen Dean falling slowing for the past 2 seasons (who am I kidding, 5 ½ seasons). With the best will in the world, does Dean know how to see the good side of things any more? (Someone should sing him a bit of Monty Python).

I think this plays a part in why Dean has reverted back to season 1 and 2 mentality; it’s kind of a safety blanket. Back then he could see clearly. He (and all hunters) are judge, jury and executioner of every supernatural they meet. Soulless Sam found out that it’s a hell of a lot easier to live that way, to kill without impunity and to judge without consideration. Is Dean already part way there? It’s interesting to think that the last two times we saw Dean act this way was in Sam’s absence. When Sam was at Stanford Deans black & white were jet black and snow white. ‘If it’s evil, we kill it’. Same in The End, in Sam’s absence Dean turned into a living man without a soul. He was able to send friends to death without the blink of an eye in order to do what he believed had to be done. There has to be great freedom in that and for a guy who’s been slowly crushed since he was four.

Course, there’s also the possibility that Dean killed Amy because he wanted to spare Sam from having to kill her......

Re. the punch, fair enough I think it was wrong of him to do it (but a quick kick up the arse from Sam could go a long way to rectifying that!) but consider the times Dean has punched in the past; following Johns death, after he found out about the powers etc and Dean has only punched at times when he’s feeling utterly helpless. It doesn’t make it right but he didn’t punch him out of maliciousness. Dude’s really got to take up knitting or yoga or something.

It also has to scare him that Sam can identify so much with a monster, even up to the point where she asked him to run away (something he did not so long after). Perhaps Dean feels that if Sam continues to associate with them they might lead him down that murky road of old again. So, maybe from his point of view, gank them before they can get their claws into Sam.

One final thing that worries me about two of the main incidents here (the punch and the death of Amy), there are added implications to this in that when Sam finds out (and sure as night follows day he’ll find out) it could make it increasingly difficult for him to differentiate between big brother Dean and Lucifer Dean, especially as Dean seems to share a few thoughts and actions with Lucifer Dean. It’s another reason the punch didn’t sit so well with me. I dare say Lucifer likes Dean’s face (and who wouldn’t!) and would have no problem putting it on while they were in the Cage and he was flaking the crap out of Sam.

These are worrying times for Dean, he’s making himself into what he believes he is; a monster, a ruthless killer. Being a Winchester, both Sam and Dean tend to see the worst about themselves. For a long time, Sam only saw himself as a freak; he defined himself in these terms, completely ignoring all the evidence that made him anything but a freak. Dean sees himself as a killer and pushes aside all evidence that contradicts that. Interesting times......

I cannot fupping wait until next week. Sorry for going on and on. (Oh Lord God Almighty, I freaking love this show!)