We picked up right where we left off again this week but "The Girl Next Door" provided a much needed breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been loving this season so far, it’s just that we’ve had a lot to process in the first two episodes and it’s left my head spinning. TGND was able to strike a great balance by providing an interesting monster of the week without putting everything else on the back burner. 

The boys make it out of Sioux Falls General with a little help from Bobby who made a less than dramatic entrance…seriously, after all that worrying and Dean’s heartbreaking voicemail that’s how we find out he’s still alive? It seemed a little anti-climactic although, I’m still wondering if that’s really Bobby in there. Maybe I’m reaching, but we didn’t get any real explanation about where he was and why he didn’t answer his phone.  And he wasn’t exactly torn up about losing his house and all his possessions. So maybe it’s not really Bobby? Or maybe it’s just a hole in the narrative? Who knows? What do you guys think?

We pick up three weeks later in White Fish, Montana. Dean has spent his time on the couch watching Spanish soap operas while Sam appears to have passed the time pressing the wound on his hand trying to stay in touch with reality. What is he going to do when that hand heals up? They did a great job of implying Sam’s hallucinations without us ever seeing Lucifer in the room. I’m assuming they couldn’t keep paying Mark Pellegrino to guest star but with good direction (Shout out to Jensen Ackles) those kinds of limitations don’t have to be a distraction. And they weren’t. 



When Dean sent Sam out for food I got nervous. When he told him to get pie, I thought “When has sending Sam for pie ever been a good idea?”  I was on edge just waiting for Sam to get snatched or hit over the back of the head or choked; you know… the usual. In fact, I thought for sure that the gas station attendant was going to be a leviathan, but he wasn’t. This however, did not disprove my theory. Sam was still able to set off a trace on his credit card and find a secret case while simultaneously forgetting the pie. I repeat, sending Sam for pie is never a good idea. But the credit card trace got me thinking, what is it with these Leviathan and the Winchesters? Do we even know? Are they carrying a grudge because Sam and Dean tried to help Castiel or is there more? If I’m missing something, please fill me in. 

Once Dean is asleep, Sam sneaks out on his secret case. I was obviously curious about what he was up to, but once things became clearer I wondered why he hadn’t just told Dean he was working a case. It all became clear through the flashbacks which I really enjoyed. I like any chance we get to know a little more about the early life of the Winchesters. So Sam always got stuck on research duty, huh? Things became clear pretty quickly after Sam set his eyes on Amy. He has an emotional attachment to this case. How adorable was it when he asked for Dean’s advice on how to talk to girls? I shudder to think what Dean told him came after hello. 



It was surprising to find that Sam has been attracted to monsters from such a young age. It has become sort of his “thing” over the seasons but I’d always just assumed that it started with “Heart”. Apparently it started much earlier and Sam kept it a secret. It makes me wonder just how long he knew he was different. And not just because he’s a hunter, but because he had been chosen; singled out by Azazel. And maybe he couldn’t articulate it and he certainly didn’t know why, but I’d bet he knew something was different.

He’s especially had a soft spot for the monsters who fight their animal instincts and attempt to redeem themselves. He’s been in that spot before and helping them redeem themselves was living proof that he could do the same. The only difference is that now he sees it as managing rather than being redeemed. It makes the whole thing sound so much lonelier. 

And that is clearly why he couldn’t tell Dean about Amy and his suspicions that she was killing again. Even though she was doing what any mother would do for her dying child, he couldn’t look past it. I was a little surprised that Amy’s son didn’t factor more into Dean’s decision. He so recently lost Ben who he loved like a son and I would have thought that it would be a tougher call for him. He kind of reminded me of Dean from the first and second season. Especially with lines like; â€œThey are who they are, no matter how hard you try.”

I guess I thought he had changed his tune a bit or at least gotten a little soft, especially where kids are involved. He did seem genuinely sorry to have to kill Amy but the way he talked to her son after was a little shocking. 

“Ever kill anyone; I’ll come back for you.”



It seemed way too harsh. The boy just watched his mother die and now you want to threaten him? Maybe it was because Jensen was directing himself or maybe that’s the way the scene was written but my jaw pretty much dropped during that scene. Was anyone else as shocked as I was at how Dean acted? 

I’ll be interested to see if Sam ever finds out what Dean did. It’s a huge violation of  trust. Not only did he go behind Sam’s back but it just proves that Dean still can’t trust Sam or his instincts. I don’t know who was right, maybe Amy would have eventually killed again, maybe she wouldn’t but I don’t think that’s the point. Where does Sam and Dean’s relationship stand? Is Dean not trusting Sam because of the hallucinations or is it just carried over from past betrayal? I’m really interested to hear what you guys think about this because I can’t pinpoint it. 

Let’s end this on a bit of a lighter note with a few moments that struck me and some funny quotes. 

* Did anyone else think it was a little convenient that Dean just assumed Sam had picked up a paper at the gas station? It’s a little nit picky thing but it would have made more sense for the clerk to just tell Dean that Sam had also bought a paper. 

* Another nit picky thing and then I swear I’m done. I really don’t like the Leviathan special effect. One of the things I love about Supernatural is that they know their limitations. And I don’t think they have the budget to make that effect look remotely realistic.  

*Dean waking up in the hospital and falling out of bed was pretty funny. Supernatural doesn’t do much slapstick humor but when they do it, they pull it off well. 



*Dean: “And Sam…pie.”
Sam: “Obviously.”

* “My Bloodiest Valentine in hellish 3D” Hilarious shout out. 

* Dean sacked out on the couch with the TV on. “The wildebeest lounges…” I don’t know if it was intentional but it made me laugh. 

*Only Dean Winchester is bad-ass enough to saw off his own cast. 

* Dean: “New rule; you steal my baby, you get punched.” Sam should really know that by now!

 

Comments  

Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-10-10 22:41
I found Dean's actions, as I said in my own review, to be reflections more on how he sees himself than anything else.

I also think his lack of trust in Sam here is more a lack of trust in himself.

I liked what you covered here. The Leviathan aren't necessarily clear in motivation for eliminating the Winchesters, but my only guess is because they have Castiel's knowledge of them, and know that they are dangerous to them because everyone else underestimated them so much.
sofia
# sofia 2011-10-11 08:24
I really did like where you went with that in your review. I like the idea of Dean's actions being reflections of how he feels about himself. I hope that's something they explore in the next few episodes. I certainly need a little explanation for his actions.

The promo for next week has me wondering about Dean's guilt. I'm interested to see what kind of inside information we may be able to get about what's going on inside Dean's head. Maybe something more will come out to help me understand what's going on with him.
KazKriz
# KazKriz 2011-10-10 23:08
I'm kind of tired of writing my thought every review so to make a long story short.

First: Good Review
- I agree with Dean, he had to kill Amy but not he boy... why?! because it's Dean and he would never kill a little boy that haven't killed anyone.
- I loved the punch in Sam
- who's Sam to ask for trust (it might sound a bit bad but I'm serious... Sam?! come on)
- I do think the special effects at the end were... terrible.
- I think they should have talk about where the hell was Bobby (he scared the hell aout of me)
- Jensen as a director is awesome (I loved what he did)
- I think Dean's actions where totally into character.
- Colin was great.

and the most importan: Sam.... oh my dude, Cake is NOT pie!!!!! how could you think so.... I blame the broken wall for that.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-11 14:43
KazKriz - ditto!!! Me too. ;-)
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2011-10-11 00:40
Good review. It amazes me how there are always numerous reviews of the same episode on this site, but each one brings a fresh perspective and focuses in on different things, so it never seems redundant.

I don't think there is an easy answer for the question of whether or not Dean should have killed Amy and/or her son. I have seen so many different opinions on just this site alone, and each one has its own merit.

I think the same applies to the issue of how both Sam and Dean behaved in regard to one another. There are valid arguments on both sides. Sam should probably not have gone away in the sneaky manner he did and then not return Dean's calls. Dean should not have told Sam "ok" about letting Amy go and then kill her behind his back. But of course, this sets the stage for plot points that I'm sure we will learn more about in upcoming episodes.

A few minor irritations about this episode for me: I did think the "3 weeks later" transition was a bit unfullfilling. Jensen apparently said that they cut some stuff in post production, so maybe if they left it in we would have gotten a bit more to explain Bobby's feelings about his house, Sam and Dean's recoveries, and their grief over losing Castiel.

I noticed Dean and his healed compound fracture after three weeks. Ok, so I'll take off my occupational therapist hat and suspend my disbelief.

Dean punching Sam did not sit well with me for two reasons. First, I know it was played for laughs, but how smart would it be to punch someone in the face (right in the eye area, as the bruise showed) immediately following a head injury? I know, I said I would take off my OT hat. But if they go through the trouble of getting a 1998 cell phone prop and a magazine prop with a picture of Clinton on the cover for realism, then we need to have a little realism on this front too.

Second, I do realize it was meant to be comical. And that would be fine if there was always comedy surrounding the scenes where Dean has hit Sam (like in BUABS, where Dean clocks him when Sam asks what he missed). But there have also been intensely dramatic scenes, such as Bloodlust and Metamorphosis, where Dean has hit Sam that weren't meant to convey a "big brother kicking his little brother's butt" lighthearted mentality, but meant to show Dean taking his anger out on Sam in a physically aggressive way. Even when Sam was soulless, Dean did beat him unconscious.

Yes I know, Sam is no wilting flower, and he has thrown his share of punches also. However, that has only been when he was under the spell of a Siren or hopped up on demon blood. Dean hits Sam when he is just being Dean!

I guess it just doesn't sit well with me, because Sam just takes it. I would like to at least hear an "Are you crazy?" or "watch it!" come out of his mouth, because otherwise it makes him seem accepting that his big brother hits him sometimes. And even though Sam is physically bigger than Dean, I just don't like that dynamic.

All in all, though, this was a good episode, and again, very nice job on the review.
sofia
# sofia 2011-10-11 08:18
I'm not an OT and I was seriously doubting that Dean's leg could heal so quickly!

Also, can you imagine the amount of brain injury these boys must have. They have been beaten silly more times than I can count; thrown up against walls, tossed into furniture, punched, choked, shot. They really shouldn't look as great as they do!
spnfan
# spnfan 2011-10-13 10:26
Dean punching Sam did not sit well with me for two reasons. First, I know it was played for laughs, but how smart would it be to punch someone in the face (right in the eye area, as the bruise showed) immediately following a head injury? I know, I said I would take off my OT hat. But if they go through the trouble of getting a 1998 cell phone prop and a magazine prop with a picture of Clinton on the cover for realism, then we need to have a little realism on this front too.

Second, I do realize it was meant to be comical. And that would be fine if there was always comedy surrounding the scenes where Dean has hit Sam (like in BUABS, where Dean clocks him when Sam asks what he missed). But there have also been intensely dramatic scenes, such as Bloodlust and Metamorphosis, where Dean has hit Sam that weren't meant to convey a "big brother kicking his little brother's butt" lighthearted mentality, but meant to show Dean taking his anger out on Sam in a physically aggressive way. Even when Sam was soulless, Dean did beat him unconscious.

Yes I know, Sam is no wilting flower, and he has thrown his share of punches also. However, that has only been when he was under the spell of a Siren or hopped up on demon blood. Dean hits Sam when he is just being Dean!

I guess it just doesn't sit well with me, because Sam just takes it. I would like to at least hear an "Are you crazy?" or "watch it!" come out of his mouth, because otherwise it makes him seem accepting that his big brother hits him sometimes. And even though Sam is physically bigger than Dean, I just don't like that dynamic.

All in all, though, this was a good episode, and again, very nice job on the review.

I agree with you! Dean thinks it's his right to punch Sam whenever he is angry at him and poor Sam just takes it like it's normal but it's not. And whenever Sam has hit Dean (under the influence of demon blood or being possessed by a demon) Dean always hits back. It's not fair. Sam should start standing up for himself!
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-10-11 00:43
Good review. As others have already pointed out, Sam went behind Dean's back first. He should have just told Dean what he was going to do. Dean wouldn't have liked it, but at least he would have known what was going on. The conversation at the hotel room should have happened way back at the cabin. As for Amy, she was a monster who killed and would kill again for her child. If eating dead brains caused his illness, then reason stands that this illness would return once they both reverted back to their old diet. Then, Amy would be killing again. So, Dean was right. It's regretful, but that's how it goes. Also, he didn't know her child was standing in the doorway. Even if he had closed the door after Amy entered the room and killed her, the child would have figured out what had happened as soon as the door opened. Dean didn't kill the child since he hadn't killed anyone. I'm sure if the child ever crosses that line, Dean will be back to finish the job.

As for Bobby, the last we saw of him he was in his car heading back to the house. It appears to me that he never made it home. He probably saw the flames and emergency vehicles and put two and two together. Then, he probably went over to Sheriff Mill's house and with police scanners figured out where they took Sam and Dean. He proceeded to the hospital to get them out. At least that's the way I took it as a possible scenario. Maybe it will be referenced more in the upcoming episodes although I doubt it.
mer
# mer 2011-10-11 01:43
read Scullspeare's latest story to help with all the "missing" parts between 7.02 and 7.03
sofia
# sofia 2011-10-11 08:15
I think the problem I had with Dean killing Amy was less about the fact that he killed her and more the coldness he showed. Over the seasons Dean has gone from black and white, shoot first and ask questions later to a more caring Dean who can see the grey areas and really wrestles with his decisions. In the scene in question he almost completely reverts back to old Dean. I say almost because he does seem to regret his decision for a brief moment.

I know he's been through a lot and has reason to revert to his old ways and I don't think that's a terrible place to go with the show, I just wish there had been a more steady development.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I hope they tell us more about where Bobby was in the next episode.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-11 14:51
I like the way you filled in the parts we really didn't find out about, like what Bobby was doing in the meantime.

I think the broken leg problem could have been solved merely if they had said it was 6 weeks instead of 3. Don't think it would have made any difference to the rest of the episode. Oh, well. Maybe none of the writers have ever had a compound fracture. :-|
elle
# elle 2011-10-11 04:12
Great review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Personally, I think the Dean-Killing-Am y thing has a lot to do with Dean's coping mechanisms. When there are things around him he can't control/deal with he shuts down in a big way and let's the pure hunter in him take over. We saw this back after John died and we're seeing it now. As I said somewhere else, I thought Dean did the right thing killing Amy and that he probably should have killed the boy too, but that would have crossed a line if he had.

Anyways, thanks for your thoughts!
sofia
# sofia 2011-10-11 08:05
I definitely agree that Dean's coping mechanisms tend to lean toward violence and alcohol. I just wonder if the majority of viewers would have been more understanding had they developed Dean's downward spiral a little more. They started to last week with his voice mail for Bobby but I think they needed one more week of development before doing something so shocking. Like I said, I don't know who was right about Amy but I know that Sam and Dean keeping secrets from each other is never a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-11 14:59
Agree with you Elle.

Also, I'm wondering if there would be less condemnation of Dean being "cold" if Amy had been less cute and sweet. She didn't look like a monster, so most don't see her as one. Dean is a hunter and was doing the job he was born to do.(according to Zachariah, anyway).

Ruby was beautiful and she was no saint and letting her live caused most of this mess they are in with and after the apocalypse.

Of course, if they had all been killed when they should have been, we would have no show to enjoy now.LOL. :P
Junkerin
# Junkerin 2011-10-11 06:23
I was actuly wondering when someone would point out Sam romantic interesst for monsters at this early stage. But he can talk to Bobby he had one too.
sofia
# sofia 2011-10-11 08:00
I totally forgot about Bobby's relationship with Elle. I think Sam has him beat in that category though... At least they're in good company!