WARNING!!!!!  If you haven't seen "A Little Slice of Kevin," read no further!  There will be discussions of the episode, and it will spoil you.  So don't do it!!!  If you have watched, come on in, the water's fine.

So, I am just going to apologize in advance to everyone for the probable love-fest this review is going to be because I LOVED this episode.  I thought the pacing was fantastic, the dialogue was great, and it had lots of things that I love: BAMF Castiel, angsty Dean, supportive Sam, evil Crowley, Impala porn, mytharc progress, a little mystery, and great secondary characters.  Plus some gruesome horror!  Stir it all up and that was one fantastic hour.  I didn't want it to end!  I'm just really happy to have Cass back.

But never fear!  I have been chatting with one of our writers, Bookdal, and she and I (mostly her with me in support) have tossed around some great theories about where the show is headed now that we got some more information in this episode.  And with two weeks before the next episode (boo!) we will have plenty of time to discuss these theories (yay!)  I'm going to talk about three bigger theories and then bullet point the rest of the love.

Before I release you to read and comment, I want to remind everyone that this is a free commenting space.  That means all topics are welcome and will not be moved to another thread if we get off topic.  HOWEVER, there are still rules we ask you to follow when commenting, and they can be found here.  Please read them if you haven't already.  Basically, be respectful in the comments section, of each other, of me, and of anyone affiliated with the show.  We love to hear your opinions, but only in a constructive and respectful manner.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation!  And here we go!

Metatron's Tablets
Here's one way the arc for the next few seasons could go.  Each season has a goal described by a tablet.  This year, it's closing the gates of Hell.  Next season, it could be sealing Purgatory so nothing can get out.  Because we know monsters have gotten out of Purgatory, not just humans like Dean.  So what other tablets do you think are out there?  Why do you think Metatron left that note on this tablet saying he was done?  I have this amusing image in my head of God!Chuck all drunk and trying to tell Metatron what to write, and Metatron finally has enough and is like, "I am DONE with this shit."  But instead of saying it, he writes it down in Enochian and inscribes it on a tablet because he's very passive-aggressive for an angel.

CIAngel
Here's a theory about why the angels are spying on Sam and Dean via Castiel: they don't want the gates of Hell to be closed.  There's probably a huge catch to closing the gates anyway, one that we haven't heard of yet.  But if the gates to Hell are closed, I'm guessing it means no one could get out or IN.  So where would all those evil people go when they die?  Purgatory is for monsters.  They'd end up in heaven if they can't get to hell.  And I'm betting heaven doesn't want them.  They know that Sam and Dean won't cooperate, so they're using Castiel to get close and monitor the progress the boys are making.  And when they get too close to making some serious progress, the angels will swoop down and mess things up.

The Memory Problem
One of the biggest themes of the episode tonight was memory.  Dean created a new memory of what happened when he and Castiel tried to get out of Purgatory because he couldn't accept what really happened.  He couldn't accept that it wasn't his fault that Cass didn't get out, which is so typically Dean, that he created a scenario where it WAS his fault.  Which...oh, Dean.  That's so horrible.

Then we have Castiel, whose memory is being manipulated on purpose by a group of secretive angels.  You know they're really secretive when Godstiel didn't even know about them.  Why did they wipe his memory of their attack on Purgatory and Castiel's subsequent rescue?  What do they need Sam and Dean for this time, and what do they think Castiel can accomplish that they can't?  Probably a lot because Sam and Dean aren't exactly known for following angel orders.  How many times has Castiel been in that room reporting already?  The way he said "why am I telling you this?" sure made it seem like he doesn't have a choice in the matter.

Both of these examples set up the problem of a fallable memory and memory manipulation.  Is this what's happening to Sam?  In the season premiere, there was someone standing outside Sam's place when he left to meet Dean at the cabin.  What if it was Naomi?  Maybe she and her other CIAngels called Sam so he would meet Dean at the cabin.  Maybe the angels are manipulating Sam, too.  But why, you might ask?  Well, I will tell you in my Theory of the Week!

Theory of the Week
I was doing a little reading up on Metatron via Wikipedia, and they have a list of alternate names for Metatron, other things he's been called before.  And one of them caught my eye: Michael II.  What if this is Apocalypse 2.0?  I know, I know, but hear me out!  The Apocalypse of season 5 was supposed to be the end game for the show, but it got renewed, so plans changed.  But what if it's the end game again, and it's going to play out over the next few seasons?  But Lucifer and Michael are locked up, so they can't do it.  Maybe Apocalypse 2.0 would need two other archangels to fill the roles.  Metatron could step in for Michael, and I'm guessing Azrael could step in for Lucifer.  Azrael is the archangel of death in some cultures, so he would work.

All right, so we've got Metatron and Azrael, but they need vessels.  Cue Sam and Dean.  So, the angels want Dean to say yes to Metatron, and they want Sam to say yes to Azrael.  But they know the direct route didn't work last time, so they're trying stealth this time.  They're using Castiel as a sleeper agent because they know that Sam and especially Dean will fight for Castiel.  He's their friend, of course they will.  So they're manipulating Castiel, but just spying for all we know right now.

Here's how I think they're manipulating Sam: they know he's most vulnerable away from Dean, so they get Sam back together with Dean because it would be suspicious if Dean was out of Purgatory and Sam didn't reunite with him.  But then the angels make Sam believe he wants to be with Amelia more than he wants to be hunting with Dean.  They're manipulating Sam into wanting to leave.  Sam seems disconnected this season, and if he's being manipulated, maybe that's why.  He may not remember, but perhaps his subconscious is fighting back, so it makes him seem muted.  And once Sam is back with Amelia, they make him forget all about Dean.  Then they remove Amelia from the equation, and Sam is primed to say yes to Azrael.  Dean's more vulnerable without Sam, too, so the angels try to use Cass to make Dean say yes to Metatron.  Then Metatron and Azrael fight it out and the Apocalypse.

Of course, Sam and Dean are going to fight back and try and avert the whole thing again, but this is what I think the angels are planning.

Side theory: is Crowley Azrael?  King of hell, but also maybe archangel?

Okay, enough speculating and theorizing.  Time for bullet points!
  • Nice use of The Animals!  "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" is a great song.  Good to hear some more classic rock.
  • Maybe what scares me has changed now that I have a 13-month-old, but the kid getting taken to hell from preschool was horrible!  That was so scary!
  • I love it when the show makes the boys smart, and the exorcism into the phone disguised as notes in code was super smart!  I loved that.
  • I have to say, Dean actually talking about his feelings all episode was so refreshing.  And Sam trying to help him through it was great because he knows what Dean's going through.  He hallucinated Jess, too.
  • Castiel knew all along that he wasn't going through that portal, so him saying thank you to Dean for everything was his way of saying goodbye.
  • Any significance to the fact that Castiel came to in Illinois?  Maybe near Pontiac?
  • How great was Delta the witch?  Best witch ever?  I think yes.  She was super fun.  And I loooooove that Mrs. Tran found her on Craigslist, ha.
  • Cass watching TV and missing it.  Aw.  The remote he had was hilarious, too. 
  • More Leviathan bombs!  Those are really cool.
  • You know, I love Crowley.  I know he's a demon, but I can't help but love that magnificent bastard.  But it's nice to be reminded sometimes that yes, he is a DEMON, and he's not nice, no matter how fun he is and how much I love Mark Sheppard.  He cut off Kevin's finger!  Literally "A Little Slice of Kevin."
  • And after the finger cutting, there was a sign in the warehouse that said "Keep Fingers Clear."  Very clever, show.  Very clever.
  • Sam made a demon bomb!
  • Demon silhouette flash = angel wing burn.
  • Glowy angel eyes!
  • Where did Crowley get the angel blade from?  I'm guessing Meg since she had one and Crowley kidnapped her, but did I miss something else that happened where he got one of his own?
  • Wow, the preview for the next episode looked hilarious.  Cannot wait for that one!
All right, that was a lot, and it's late, so I am going to call this review done.  What did you think of the episode?  What clues do you think it gave us for the rest of the season?  What do you think about the theories I proposed tonight?  Why can't we have a pre-Thanksgiving show?  Blast!

Comments  

Kerri
# Kerri 2012-11-15 02:33
You're absolutely right about Sam being oddly muted this season. I thought it was just that he wants to get back to his girl and get on with his life, but maybe your right. Maybe there is som angel-memory-ma nipulation going on. Deans getting memory flashes at weird times and apparently remembering them wrong. Strange.

Cass is back!!! I love that angel! Those glowing eyes were awesome! But I think maybe he's already being possessed or controlled. That seemed to even freak Crowley out.

Dean... how I love you. *sighs* He's been so ruthless this season, like PTS disorder. I feel like Sam is trying to figure it out and assumes its because of Purgatory, but I think it's something more. Dean and Sam just aren't connecting the way they did in the past. It's weird and definitely suspect.

When the little boy was sent to hell and was hiding, the mom in me was yelling for these adults to go to him and hug him! I was pissed they didn't help him. Lol

That witch was great. Loved that she tricked Kevin's mom. Now she realizes she can't be super mom and do this on her own. Kevin's getting tougher with every episode, and I think they'll seal jells gates, but Kevin dies in the end. Didn't they say one prophet cannot live while another lives? I can't quite recall.

Great episode! :lol:
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-15 02:35
My favorite night-Arrow, Supernatural, and Ardeospina's Spec. Article!
Loved, loved this episode. I thought it was the best so far.
Downside: no more on Sam. I am one who has faith it will come though.
Upsides: so many. Mysteries, mayhem, betrayal, and great visual effects. The boys talked some, and Sam touched Dean to comfort him. Sam seemed more himself and Dean seemed less intense and willing to share. It is as if the big spectre rant and the ending scene with Sam last week has relieved some of the built up pressure between them. Oh, no doubt it will be revisited but it was nice. Cass is back.
Lots of smart snappy lines. Waiting for more of Sam's story but IMO this one was an A for me.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 20:51
Aw, I'm in very good company with "Arrow" and "Supernatural"! Though, I will confess to not having seen "Arrow." But I'll take the compliment!
alysha
# alysha 2012-11-15 04:21
For the first time since season five I am daring to speculate that something secreative is afoot. Thank you for some really good theories.

I have been thinking that the angels would not want Hell closed, then Michael and Lucifer would never be freed. But now something greater may be happening with Naomi's plans and memory wipes. Oh how I Hope that's Sam' s reason for being so disconnected. And who was watching him in episode one?
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 20:52
Theorizing is one of my favorite things to do! I used to be a LOST fanatic, so it spilled over.
Fedelynn M. Jemena
# Fedelynn M. Jemena 2012-11-15 05:37
AMELIA
-- did she really exist for Sam or was his time with her an angelic manipulation? I meant, did the angels hologrammed a real human and implanted her in Sam's memories?
-- is Amelia an, well, undercover angel? I always get this sneaky feeling about the girl
-- if Amelia is an undercover angel, who's side does she really belong to?

WOULDN'T IT BE NICE that, after all the angelic manipulation, either or both Metatron and Azrael refuse to play along with Apocalypse 2 scenario?

DIDN'T THE PRODUCERS SAY in a convention that Richard SPeight will be back? As what, Gabriel? Did he really die or did the Great Creator resurrected him for doing the right thing in Apocalypse 1? Could he be Crowley now (well, Mark said to watch for the finger-snapping in S7)

I WISH BOBBY IS BACK. Not a replacement for Garth -- he is just fine as the next Bobby. But Bobby as the new Weapons Keeper of Heaven. Wouldn't it be great -- when things get bad for Our Boys, Bad Ass Angel Bobby comes blazing back with his group of rogue angels to fight the CIA Angels?
Fedelynn M. Jemena
# Fedelynn M. Jemena 2012-11-15 05:41
OOPS! I forgot to THANK YOU MUCH for your article, Ms. Ardeospina. :P
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 20:53
You're very welcome for the article. Thanks for theorizing back!

I think Amelia is real, but maybe their relationship ended after one night and Sam's being manipulated into thinking it lasted longer, was more meaningful.
E
# E 2012-11-15 07:53
Great review! I like your theory on the angels. They could have been manipulating the whole thing.... and I like the idea that they were maybe manipulating Sam as well, or that maybe Amelia is some kind of plant. That would explain to some extent Sam's current apathy. When it comes to light (as I am sure it will, along with how the Angels are manipulating Cas), maybe it will be enough for Dean to forgive Sam for not looking for him.

There was one moment though, in the hotel when Cas first returns when it seemed like Cas and Sam were doing the eye thing... the silent communication thing; Cas was telling Dean that he was fighting Leviathan and the next thing he knew he was at the side of the road in Illinois. Dean doesn't seem convinced by Cas's story. Cas then looks over at Sam, who very subtly shakes his head 'no.' Maybe I am reading more into this then was actually there, and there was barely anything there, but it seemed like it could have been a moment of "there's something else going on here." Then Cas says "I'm dirty." This came across as an odd moment. He seemed to be implying more than he was actually saying.

The whole Dean memory issue regarding Cas getting out of purgatory seems strange to me too. Was Cas getting Dean to remember things accurately, or did he in fact change the memory at that point? Dean says that he doesn't want to carry around the guilt of having failed Cas too like he had failed so many others... so why would Dean CREATE a memory that does exactly that if that isn't what really happened? That whole moment seemed strange to me too. I understand that Dean has an overactive sense of responsibility, but I'm not so sure that I like the idea that Dean is now so intent on being blamed for everything that he is now deluding himself so completely that he can't even remember accurately. I wonder if there is something more going on here as well. I am curious to see where they are going with this! One thing I would like to NOT see again though. I really, really, REALLY don't want this season to be about how Dean is betrayed by those he loves AGAIN. I have it with that plot line. Between those people who have ACTUALLY betrayed Dean and those he feels have betrayed him, Dean can barely trust anyone anymore, even his own brother. I'd like to see Dean gain a little faith back in those he loves rather than be slammed down again.
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 11:13
Quote:
.....When it comes to light (as I am sure it will, along with how the Angels are manipulating Cas), maybe it will be enough for Dean to forgive Sam for not looking for him.
......
But will it be enough for the fans to forgive him. Somehow, I doubt it. It's gone on too long.
:cry:
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-15 11:22
Quote:
Quote:
.....When it comes to light (as I am sure it will, along with how the Angels are manipulating Cas), maybe it will be enough for Dean to forgive Sam for not looking for him.
......
But will it be enough for the fans to forgive him. Somehow, I doubt it. It's gone on too long.
:cry:
Agreed, what I am trying to understand is why this story for Sam and why he as become 'that' brother again while Dean gets Benny and Castiel and why I am supposed to believe in this 'brother ' relationship now.

Having them all ok this week doesnt dispel last week . And we know it will all rear its ugly head again once Benny reappears.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 14:14
With Cas being absolved from any bad actions before he ever commits them due to brainwashing, redeeming Sam will be way to late. The writers decided to trash Sam and no explanation will ever suffice, even as Castiel basks in the glow of having all his behavior explained away.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 11:42
Ok, I am over my gloom. Positive thinking! This is my proposal -

1) the only person who has, or ever needs to, forgive Sam for anything he has done is Sam. And he has done that - good for him, he deserves it, he was in Hell for 180 years voluntarily. Sam is awesome and wonderful.

2) The rest of the episode was loads of fun. Castiel's return was wonderful.

3) Maybe Dean can get his head straight now? Go back to being funny and caring.

4) Maybe Ardeospina is right about Sam? Maybe podSam is a short term creation.

Anyone with me?
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 11:45
Quote:
Ok, I am over my gloom. Positive thinking! This is my proposal -

1) the only person who has, or ever needs to, forgive Sam for anything he has done is Sam. And he has done that - good for him, he deserves it, he was in Hell for 180 years voluntarily. Sam is awesome and wonderful.

2) The rest of the episode was loads of fun. Castiel's return was wonderful.

3) Maybe Dean can get his head straight now? Go back to being funny and caring.

4) Maybe Ardeospina is right about Sam? Maybe podSam is a short term creation.

Anyone with me?
I'm with ya, eilf.
:-)
(Now, a shirtless scene would really help right about now, yes?)
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 11:48
Yes...

*pout* Also hugs (though probably not at the same time, might get misinterpreted)
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 11:51
Depends on who's doing the hugging...
I'm up for just about anybody hugging anybody else. Preferably shirtless.
:oops:
(Told ya, my new motto is shallow=happy, until the boys are reunited properly, and Sam's reasoning have been shown.)
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-15 12:55
eilf and st50, I was hoping for a Sam and Dean hug too but I'll make do with Sam patting Dean on the shoulder - it's a start and it's a positive development after the way things went in last week's episode.

I miss the old days when Dean and Sam would just have to hug or touch each other to make sure the other was all right after encounters with nasties. Also, I think that, in earlier seasons, they were just physically looser and more relaxed in each others company. The Winchester brothers are very short on the hugging this last number of years, their reluctance to hug or touch makes my repressed family look positively hippy-like lol.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-15 12:59
Well, they are both torture victims, and it was very strongly hinted that Sam was raped in the Cage, and has been someone more delicately hinted that rape was also part of Dean's hell experiences. That they might have become warier and more closed off about physical contact makes a sad sort of sense to me.

I thought it was interesting, actually, the infamous Sam being in a t-shirt in bed with Amelia last episode. It seems like even being ready to connect with someone again, physically and emotionally, Sam is still not entirely at ease with intimacy.
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 14:38
Quote:
Well, they are both torture victims, and it was very strongly hinted that Sam was raped in the Cage, and has been someone more delicately hinted that rape was also part of Dean's hell experiences. That they might have become warier and more closed off about physical contact makes a sad sort of sense to me.

I thought it was interesting, actually, the infamous Sam being in a t-shirt in bed with Amelia last episode. It seems like even being ready to connect with someone again, physically and emotionally, Sam is still not entirely at ease with intimacy.
Hmm. Good points, etheldred. I think only the Soulless version of Sam has connected physically with anyone since S5 (until Amelia). Is that right?
Dean's had a fair bit fewer connections, too. I bet you're on to something.
Sad.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-16 06:34
etheldred, I completely failed to pick up on those hints within the show with regards to rape, Sam and Dean and the Cage and Hell *feels shame* :( I mean, I knew those painful ideas existed in fanfic but I had no idea that the writers of the actual show considered it too. Given those events, plus torture, I can completely understand why there would be less physical closeness in their lives :(

st50, your analysis makes sense too. I've got stuff to think about now that I'm re-watching from S1.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 17:38
Oh yes, am watching season one eps at the moment to cheer myself up - and they were very touchy/feely! It was sweet.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 13:01
I have to admit I'm shocked that Sam girls or even Bibro girls (like me) who have been worried this season aren't more excited by this theory. If Sam's memories haven been messed with than we don't know what he did for sure after disappeared. His history is wide open and that means he could have looked for Dean and not remember. Could have kept looking, but was constantly manipulated and erased.

If Ardeosprina is correct in her theory about Sam, it explains everything about Sam this season. And quite frankly if that alone is correct, it fixes every problem I've had with this season so far. Changes every episode to pretty much a 10. (well except Bitten, but that seems to be a matter of taste). I'm going to rewatch the episodes with this in mind and see if it continues to fit. But I'm completely excited!
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-15 13:30
Wouldn't that be freaking awesome. It would throw a whole new light on everything that has gone on. And I would tip my hat to the writers and JC. I am not totally confident in that being the case, but whatever, I am excited too.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 13:55
Hey Kelly, I want to believe it and it will make me very happy if it turns out to be the case and yes it would make rewatching lots more fun. I am not convinced yet though, I feel burned this season :-) and I have been really trying to be positive!

I am going to watch again later today - I have found my second watch of all the eps have made me enjoy each of them way more!
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 14:40
Quote:

I am going to watch again later today - I have found my second watch of all the eps have made me enjoy each of them way more!
I'm going to rewatch as soon as I have time. I've enjoyed every ep (except Bitten) more on repeated viewings.

Yay for new theories!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 14:02
For me this makes it a thousand times worse. The writers set up an extremely controversial storyline for Sam. They have maintained from Day One that there is no supernatural influence on Sam. They have shown Sam to be OOC not only in not looking for Dean but also in not being happy that Dean isn't dead and in acting disinterested in Dean. They have shown minimal flashbacks to give us understanding on Sam. Then Castiel pops up and WITHIN ONE EPISODE we are shown that any betrayal of Sam or Dean is being done because he is brainwashed. Cas returns and gets a "get out of jail free" card from the writers and the viewers will NEVER blame Cas for any actions going forward. With Sam we are stuck with MAYBE he's being influenced by the CIAngels but maybe not. Maybe he is all those things that Dean accused him of.

This shows such disrespect to a main character. When a secondary character gets the freedom to behave in any way, no matter how despicable then it "isn't his fault" from the get go. I have no reason to think Cas will be despicable, but if he is he's already absolved while Sam is stuck with worst brother ever and Benny's a better brother and Cas is a better brother.

Finally, Sam has been manipulated by angels and demons his entire life. It is nothing new and Sam NEVER gets cut a break by fans or EVEN by Dean for being manipulated, while Cas gets off scottfree I did kind of hope that Sam's actions were human for once, because Dean gets ALL the human emotions, even when he's getting the mytharc. I was truly hoping for a breakdown because a least then Sam's sacrifice would have actually affected HIM instead of Castiel and Dean who was so hurt to lose his brother and it was ALL SAM'S fault according to Dean last week, while Sam had no repercussions at all.

So no, this does not make me happy. But Sam and his fans are irrelevant. And the ratings support that. So Sam gets no story and I'm almost done.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 14:29
I'm sorry, you're so upset. But I guess I coming from a different angle. I do still need all the things from Sam's storyline I've said before. (IE 1. SHOW us what he went through and make me believe it.) But now I feel pretty hopeful were going to get it.

If she's right, this doesn't make him bad in anyway. Yes, it makes it a little frustrating that they are taking risks with Sam's character that they never take with Dean's but I'M good with it if it makes for a great story. As long as in the end we actually DO find out more about Sam and what he went through and get inside his head more. I really loved S4, but I do think they need to do better about showing Sam's POV this time, after the mystery is revealed (I'm just assuming a mystery until I find out otherwise).
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 14:38
We see this differently. I came into this season with hope. What I see at this time is that the writers do not care about Sam in any way, shape or form. They are willing to destroy his character to build up others.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 14:53
Kelly, I hear what you're saying. I guess I could only say that the journey to the point has to be enjoyable for me to appreciate the big twist/reveal. If the journey to get there is not entertaining or enjoyable then I'm not sure how much I can appreciate the whole picture.

This is why Soulless Sam worked for some people and didn't work for others. Because Sam was so "unlike" himself, I had no problems sitting back and enjoying the ride. It helped that I found each and every episode in the first half of S6 to be highly entertaining. I could have watched SS all season long. He entertained me that much. We had Dean questioning what was wrong w/Sam right along w/us. Sam was sleeping w/prostitutes. He was letting Dean get vamped and smiling. He was watching a kid be tortured and enjoying it. It was pretty obvious something was wrong w/Sam. I enjoyed that ride.

Here, I don't know what to attribute to Sam's OCC behavior. Does the new showrunner truly understand Sam? Has he reset the characters? Is he experimenting w/Sam? Is there a twist planned? Who knows.

I, personally, am NOT enjoying this journey to the truth. The show is not fun to watch. The brothers are not fun. I liked to watch SS and Dean interact. This episode was the closest to the brothers being like the "brothers" since the second half of S6 or HCW.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 15:16
I can see your frustration. I absolutely can. And at points this season, I was kind of feeling the same way, but FOR ME I just needed a smidgeon of hope that they are going somewhere with this and I'm good for now. Now if they end up butchering Sam's storyline, or Dean's for that matter, then I will be right back there with you. But I guess I'm feeling really hopeful right now.

Also, since I rewatch my favorite shows (like a lot-while I'm cleaning house, doing bills, etc) it ends of mattering more to me if something doesn't fit at the end of the season than in the middle, because then I don't enjoy it on the rewatch. But if I can catch stuff that fits on the rewatch that I missed the first time because I didn't have all the info I'm in heaven.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 14:31
Quote:
The writers set up an extremely controversial storyline for Sam. They have maintained from Day One that there is no supernatural influence on Sam. They have shown Sam to be OOC not only in not looking for Dean but also in not being happy that Dean isn't dead and in acting disinterested in Dean. They have shown minimal flashbacks to give us understanding on Sam. Then Castiel pops up and WITHIN ONE EPISODE we are shown that any betrayal of Sam or Dean is being done because he is brainwashed. Cas returns and gets a "get out of jail free" card from the writers and the viewers will NEVER blame Cas for any actions going forward. With Sam we are stuck with MAYBE he's being influenced by the CIAngels but maybe not. Maybe he is all those things that Dean accused him of.
That is a very good point, Percy. We already know that any damage Cas causes will be unintentional. We have no idea if Sam will be "redeemed" from not looking for Dean.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-16 13:31
Quote:
For me this makes it a thousand times worse.
me too.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2012-11-15 16:02
Quote:
I have to admit I'm shocked that Sam girls or even Bibro girls (like me) who have been worried this season aren't more excited by this theory. If Sam's memories haven been messed with than we don't know what he did for sure after disappeared. His history is wide open and that means he could have looked for Dean and not remember. Could have kept looking, but was constantly manipulated and erased.

If Ardeosprina is correct in her theory about Sam, it explains everything about Sam this season. And quite frankly if that alone is correct, it fixes every problem I've had with this season so far. Changes every episode to pretty much a 10. (well except Bitten, but that seems to be a matter of taste). I'm going to rewatch the episodes with this in mind and see if it continues to fit. But I'm completely excited!
Because I don't have any faith that JC or the writers will actually do that. I don't think they care to write for Sam. We certainly haven't seen them do so in a long time.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-15 16:21
Well, for me it's partly that it seems like almost pure speculation -- I don't really see evidence for it in the text, and these elaborate fan speculations almost never come true.

But beyond that. Well, it's no secret that I am not hugely positive about many aspects of Sam's storyline this year, but I think if this did pan out it would destroy as much as it saved. The idea that Sam has come to a new perception of who he is and what he wants, the idea that Sam has formed a bond with a new person and been able to work through some things in that relationship, the idea that, weak though I find the grounds for Sam assuming Dean's death to be, it WAS important to see Sam able to move on from a loss constructively. If most of what we've seen of Sam's memories and feelings is angelic manipulation, then we go from having stuff on Sam that may not appeal to my own tastes or wishes for where the narrative should go, and that I think is rather a measly portion of character information, to having NOTHING on Sam. Not that I'm averse to having some plotty stuff with Sam's story, and I have speculated that the mysterious watcher is related to Naomi, but I don't think I'd want the whole Amelia thing or Sam's desire for a different kind of life to be essentially illusions that had nothing to do with Sam.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 17:20
Quote:
If most of what we've seen of Sam's memories and feelings is angelic manipulation, then we go from having stuff on Sam that may not appeal to my own tastes or wishes for where the narrative should go, and that I think is rather a measly portion of character information, to having NOTHING on Sam. Not that I'm averse to having some plotty stuff with Sam's story, and I have speculated that the mysterious watcher is related to Naomi, but I don't think I'd want the whole Amelia thing or Sam's desire for a different kind of life to be essentially illusions that had nothing to do with Sam.
That wasn't exactly what I was saying. I was thinking something like( and keep in mind this is NOT really thought through) Sam freaks out but starts to look for Dean. Maybe even contacts Castiel through the angels (remember Cas disappeared for a while.) Maybe even figures out a way to get Dean out and some how it gets to Benny(-okay that's mainly just an completely out there hope but at this point we don't know how Benny got the info.)

But the angels want Sam and Dean at odds, so they wipe the memory of this. Screwing with Sam's mental state, he races frantically down the highway, in a confused state and hits a dog.

That scene with the dog happens and maybe some of the other scenes. But if Sam starts looking again they change things or somehow mess with his memory to make him think he hasn't. So part or all of those scene could be true, manipulated to be more idyllic than they were or they could just show an inner longing for a simpler life. But either way, we have info on Sam-not that we don't need more. But Sam could have been looking for Dean the whole time he was with Amelia and those parts of his memory were erased.

We do have some evidence of this. Cas being forced to talk and then not remembering talking to them. Cas not remembering how he got out. Dean's memory might have also been manipulated.

And Sam's FB's have also had a dreamlike quality to them, especially the birthday cake scene. And he has seemed a little disconnected and out of it. What if he is fuzzy because of what they did to him and it's causing a disconnect in the present.

I am not saying this is what happened or even close. BUT I do think there is enough hints in this last episode to indicate this is something more than fanwank.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 17:35
While I agree with you etheldred that the theory is as likely as all the other speculation to be wrong, I think that it doesn't have to mess up Sam's maturing into acceptance of his life with Dean gone.

If Sam were only manipulated at one, or a few points, to forget previous events then there is no reason why a type of angelic hypnotism shouldn't allow him to accept that he can't find Dean and shouldn't worry about it.

I know how terrible the hypnotism idea sounds :D but sometimes you need help to break out of a self-destructiv e cycle, doesn't mean that the healing that results is fake.

Whether the angels would have continued to manipulate him and Amelia, I don't know. I really don't see Amelia as a plant so possibly they did, to make Sam want to stay - as Dean might have in the Djinn episode - why would he want to escape if everything was perfect?

What blows Ardeospinas argument out of the water I guess is Kevin. Because Sam clearly did throw away the phones and did not find Kevin - though the angels could have manipulated that too .... my, that back-story would have to be an entire episode I would think!

Heh, the more I think about A's theory, the less likely it seems...
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:05
No, no, don't think about the ways I'm wrong. Just think about the ways I'm right! ;)

Throwing away his phones could definitely be an angel order. Or maybe it's a direct result of the angels making him think he wanted out, made him think he didn't want to have anything to do with hunting.

OR, since Dean ended up listening to the voicemails, maybe he kept them with him but just never remembered that he listened to the messages. Angel memory wipe?
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 21:17
One thing Dean said was that half of Sam's phones were out of order - why not all of them - and he left messages so where are these working phones that Sam doesn't have? Or maybe it was the box of Dean's phones that he ended up calling?
Where did Dean find his own phones? Why didn't Sam throw those away? Questions, questions....
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 20:57
I, too, am really hoping I'm right because it would be a game changer. And if Sam was manipulated and DID look for Dean and didn't know it, wouldn't watching the beginning of the season knowing what happened to Sam even more interesting? I think it would!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-16 09:39
I have mixed feelings on you being right. I REALLY REALLY want the Sam had a breakdown explanation, because at least with that, Sam gets to be human. I will probably never get over season seven totally ignoring the fact that Sam should have had some reaction to the years in the cage. And I will never get over Castiel getting the insanity storyline. They could easily have put Sam into River Tam mode with him pulling things together to fight monsters and save his brother, then decompensating when the need to be strong was over.

So I really WANT for Sam to have had a nice normal breakdown. He has lost so much, even though Dean's reactions to his losses are what we see, not Sam's. Sam deserves to behave like an actual human being with feelings for once, instead of the most stable person in the world who never has a reaction to grief or pain or well anything. Plus Sam has been manipulated from before he was born by demons and angels. I would like to see him uninfluenced. But we are probably going to get angel manipulation that took away any despair or anger or weakness that Sam felt when Dean disappeared and because of that manipulation he will be fine, yet again and remain an emotional eunuch.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 22:28
Quote:
I have to admit I'm shocked that Sam girls or even Bibro girls (like me) who have been worried this season aren't more excited by this theory. If Sam's memories haven been messed with than we don't know what he did for sure after disappeared. His history is wide open and that means he could have looked for Dean and not remember. Could have kept looking, but was constantly manipulated and erased.
KELLY, I am bi-bro too. I also remember that RS said that Sam has the human story this season. Perhaps RS lied, I don't know, but if what he said is true then Sam's memories may not be tampered with by anyone. But he surely being watched. Or is it really Amelia who's being watched? The way she opened her eyes when Sam left the house is suspicious.

I have a theory that Sam thought she was asleep but the truth is she reported to this shadowy figure outside her house. Could be an angel offering her a deal to rescue her husband if she did what they said.

Personally I'd like to have a reason behind Sam's action. I'd like it that there is a very crucial and important reason behind Sam's choice of Not looking for Dean. And this reason comes out of Sam's conscious mind.

The one more likely have memory alteration is Dean. Dean's perception is skewed this episode. This could be a trend as Dean's escape out of Purgatory is also has been planned by Naomi.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 14:29
I agree. Painting Sam as the cold hearted villain brother from the get go can't be erased. No one, including Dean, forgave him for being manipulated by Ruby. Heck the show is clear that Sam being soulless is unforgivable. I think they dug the grave too deep and there is no way out this time.

On the bright side, Castiel is all shiny clean and never has to answer for anything he did ever again and Benny is a huggable vampire who was more human than Sam even before Purgatory, so Dean will have lots of wonderful brothers so he can finally dump that loser Sam and have a good life without him. And YES, IMHO this is exactly the message the show is giving us, because heck Sam deserves to be punished and Dean, Castiel and Benny deserve to be venerated. After all, Sam is an abomination.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-11-16 19:12
Quote:
I agree. Painting Sam as the cold hearted villain brother from the get go can't be erased. No one, including Dean, forgave him for being manipulated by Ruby. Heck the show is clear that Sam being soulless is unforgivable. I think they dug the grave too deep and there is no way out this time.
I forgive Sam. I always have and I always will.

In season 4 he was trying to do the right thing. He thought he was doing the right thing. I can't lay blame on him for that. I don't blame him for being soulless, that was in no way his fault and I expect I'll forgive him for his choices in this season too, if indeed forgiveness is even required.

He will never be beyond forgiveness in my eyes, because he's Sam and he's a good and beautiful human being, a flawed hero who only ever tries to do what's right.

So please know that there are those of us that have, do and always will forgive Sam.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-16 19:52
I second that and have said much the same thing in past comments but I think the sting of the Sam haters is hard to forget for the Sam lovers (that sounds bad, but you know what I mean!) sadly.
Fool for Dean
# Fool for Dean 2012-11-16 22:36
I have to admit that I don't visit any site other than this one, but I have never come across a Sam-hater, or Dean-hater for that matter. It seems to me that it's more about which brother you like more, can relate to more, and definitely not about which one you hate. Am I wrong? I'm a self-professed Dean-girl, but I have never hated Sam. In fact, I like Sam. I've never even thought that Sam needed forgiveness. Maybe some of his actions led to catastrophe, and maybe those actions needed forgiveness, but not Sam's whole person and character. Overall, he is still a hunter who saves people, who sacrifices his own dreams of a normal life to do so, and clearly, still a hero. I'm not seeing why anyone would hate him, or would believe that Sam is to be hated at all.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 23:16
Well I am not any expert because I am new to this myself but, yes it does seem to be pretty widespread. However, online the reviewers are pretty even handed and I don't bother reading the comments anywhere but here. The great job the people here do with the moderating means that people with reasonable points of view come here to post! It works really well other places could take lessons!

As I understand it there isn't much Dean-hate.

Otherwise apparently IMDB is pretty bad?

The guy over at TV without Pity who reviewed with page after page of vitriol about everything to do with the show at least insulted everybody even-handedly and has been replaced (yay) and I assume has been sent to a home for the bewildered to recover. The new reviewer is ok I guess.

The guys (and I do mean guys) over at After Elton seem to be one track minded Dean / Destiel and are rude about Sam but I suspect that doesn't have a whole lot to do with the show itself...

I wouldn't venture out into it if I were you, I sincerely doubt that the shows PTB read what they say anyway.

Hate-watching TV shows (yes that is an actual thing) is the new form of entertainment for people with nothing better to do.

In conclusion: people are weird
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 23:28
deleted
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 23:28
I really appreciate the clarity if your point sweetondean - can we have it as a site motto for Sam? How about a motto for Dean too, and all the characters! A sort of 'stone number 1 to build on!' when we are all feeling down about our favorites being misunderstood.
:-)
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 20:54
I think it depends on the fan. He's not past forgiveness for me, certainly.

I feel like since he's been consistently written as slightly off kilter, that it's leading to something interesting, and I am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
E
# E 2012-11-15 21:18
I think the fans HERE will forgive him and that's enough for me. All the rest of the Sam haters.... let them hate, I could care less about them; they are going to hate Sam no matter what he does.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 13:14
Quote:

There was one moment though, in the hotel when Cas first returns when it seemed like Cas and Sam were doing the eye thing... the silent communication thing; Cas was telling Dean that he was fighting Leviathan and the next thing he knew he was at the side of the road in Illinois. Dean doesn't seem convinced by Cas's story. Cas then looks over at Sam, who very subtly shakes his head 'no.' Maybe I am reading more into this then was actually there, and there was barely anything there, but it seemed like it could have been a moment of "there's something else going on here." Then Cas says "I'm dirty." This came across as an odd moment. He seemed to be implying more than he was actually saying.
I rewatched that part and I can see what your talking about. Yeah that could go either way. It could have been something or not.

Regarding Dean's memories about Cas, I originally did think that it was his exaggerated since of responsibility, which surprised after his words in the premiere. Now I think it could also go either way. If memories are being manipulated than it could be his or it could be Cas'. But his seem more likely only because said he never had any intention of leaving Purgatory.
E
# E 2012-11-15 21:39
Yeah, it makes sense to me that the Angels would try subterfuge this time to get the Winchesters to do what they want them to rather than the frontal assault of last time. I like this potential plot twist!
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-15 22:56
Yes - I think "I'm dirty" was significant too. Sooo got spec there. And I noticed the eye-lock between Cas and Sam too. Right now I got nothing (well...) on what it meant. I'd have to look and listen a few more times. But it makes sense to me based on my interpretation of the "Ring of Fire" scene.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-16 01:05
Oh. I hadn't read Ardeospina's spec on Illinois before I posted. I like that. Dean and Cas both have major ties to Pontiac. Maybe Sam played a part in Cas's intervention. But based on secret story observation, spec I'm wondering where the Niveus Pharma factory was in 2Min2Midnight. Dean went to Chicago so it's possible that Cas, Sam and Bobby were also in IL. Cas and Sam discussed Sam's plan en route and Cas was open to it... surprisingly open to it. So, if covert communication was going on, which we imagine based on the eye contact... "I woke up" may be an indication that Cas accepted the plan Sam put out there, which launched the current secret story. Now, I think Bobby was driving during the conversation, so there was no "on the side of the road" in that respect. But that could be code talk too. I coulld spec that a few different ways based on my current best guesses about what's going on in the secret story.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-15 08:11
I'm going to be really childish and get this out of my system, because it made me snigger as soon as I saw it...hee hee "Randy Raccoon" is quite a rude name LOL

*runs away giggling*

edits to add - just realised that perhaps the word 'randy' isn't as funny or potentially rude for folks from North America :-*
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 12:39
Oh, it is, ciar, it is.
:-*
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:07
I definitely giggled when I saw that, and then thought it was even more inappropriate since it was a PRESCHOOL named Randy Raccoon.

Oh, show. Hee.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-15 08:29
Thanks so much for doing these Ardeo. I too loved this episode, and you have some pretty interesting theories. I will be rewatching very closely with them in mind. And Fedelynn, yours were very intriguing also. I hadn't heard anything about Richard Speight Jr. coming back, but OMG, I would be over the moon if that were the case. I love Gabriel/Trickst er. While there at it, let TPTB bring Bobby back. I miss him soooo much. :cry:

It was nice to see Dean opening up and Sam being supportive. I realize Sam was a secondary player in this episode, but it didn't bother me too much, because I'm sure the time will come when we get the truth about what happened to him. And we got all those great Purgatory flashbacks, Castiel's blue flashing eyes & the angel wings. It was nice to see Crowley scared of the power emanating from our little angel. :-)

The next episode looks to be hilarious. Dean with the gun that literally goes BANG! :D
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:08
You're very welcome! I enjoy writing up my thoughts after the first viewing, though I fear I miss a lot of subtleties because of it. But that's what the other reviews are for!
BeccaB
# BeccaB 2012-11-15 08:43
Perhaps Crowley got his Angel blade from Samandriel the Wiener Hut Angel
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:09
Hmm, yes, perhaps he did.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-15 09:33
-This episode started off great for me- hullo, visual effects team who is rocking it again this season! More Leviathan meteor goo, and I loved the playschool tornado. And that slow-mo Purgatory fight was just so absolutely amazing, my mouth fell open. I did get a little bored when Kevin and Mom were on screen. And occasionally, the pacing just felt odd and jumpy to me.
-Did anyone giggle at the prophet with the Johnny Bravo haircut?
-I like the weird peace between Sam and Dean in this episode following last week’s blowout. It’s typical sibling behavior in my house- my brother and I get into roaring fights, and then we just…bury it. Oh, and hullo Supportive Sam. I continue to love you, but thought the whole “You did everything you could, Dean” was weird. How much has Dean told Sam? More than we’ve seen, apparently. Maybe that’s what they implied in Bitten.
-Our wayward angel is back! *Happy Dance*
-Oh, look. They actually mentioned Chuck. I literally said ‘thank you’ to the TV.
-New things are happening: more tablets (I always knew there would be), more stuff on Metatron, demon-bombs, CIA angels (love the term, Ardeospina!), and most importantly- fallible memory. That could mean a HECK LOT for both Dean and Sam. I’m especially starting to wonder about Sam’s memories now. You know what would be cool? If his whole year of memories were invented by the CIA angels. Or if Amelia is an undercover angel. But then Sam is supposed to have a human ARC this season, so maybe that’s far-fetched. Sigh.
-If the angels are against the hell-gates-clos ing and if they are manipulating Sam the way they’re manipulating Cass, then his whole free-will speech in episode 1 will make more sense to me.
-By the way, who are the “They” who told Benny where to find the portal? The CIA angels again?
-That exorcism spell is in so much style and variety this season. First, it’s in reverse. Now it’s code.
-As much as I love the idea of an apocalypse 2.0, I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want Sam and Dean to be vessels again.
-I actually thought something had happened to my downloaded episode when Sam cut off mid sentence and Cas showed up at the office.
- Crowley was SCARY in this episode. Finally. He exploded a guy and cut off Kevin’s finger, and we’re finally seeing more bad-guy and less sassy one-liners. Though he was also amusing.
-BTW, why is there two weeks before the next episode?
judyann
# judyann 2012-11-15 10:55
Darya, totally agree about the Apocalypse 2 thing- hope the show doesn't go there!. Do agree about the manipulating Sam (CIA angels- great!), makes the most sense.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:11
Glad you liked CIAngels! I rather like it, too!

I'm curious about who the "they" are that told Benny about the portal, too. I hope we're not done with the Purgatory FBs so we can find out.

Scary Crowley is an awesome Crowley. It's good to be reminded every now and again that he is a DEMON and not very nice.
E
# E 2012-11-16 19:00
IS Crowley a demon though? I feel like we are getting a lot of mixed signals about him... he flashed red eyes, but only while in Mrs. Tran, he can weild an angel knife and aparantly maim/kill with it. He can explode people with the snap of the fingers, we've only seen archangels do that so far (I think). What IS he? Are there any other fallen angels?
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-16 20:14
True, he may not be a demon after all. I think it would be really exciting if he wasn't. I should have said it's good to be reminded every now and again that despite the zingers, he's still capable of cruel and brutal acts, demon or otherwise.
E
# E 2012-11-18 10:24
I just did some quick research and there are LOTS of other fallen angels besides Lucifer, so maybe Crowley is one of these. That could be very interesting. He could be after Lucifer's place in Hell or trying to usurp his power; maybe someone like Abbadon who is a fallen angel of death and whose name mean "to destroy," or Asmodeus who is considered one of the most evil fallen angels and is considered an archdemon. There are archangels, why not archdemons? God, I love the internet!
Jean
# Jean 2012-11-18 11:50
Wouldn't that invalidate the whole Fergus McLeod story though? Or was the whole process of getting his remains back just an act to keep up appearances?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-18 13:15
Demons lie? Okay truth, I found the whole burning of the bones thing for killing demons interesting intellectually but at odds with established canon. Ruby 1 indicated that most demons didn't even remember being human and that fit with the way demons had behaved up until that time. However, even with that change of canon I could never figure out how Bobby knew the identity of the demon he captured then found her bones in order to burn them to get Crowley's name. Add that to they've only used it twice and it was just all too weird. It was a way to make us think that Crowley was dead and that Cas killed him only to pull the bait and switch that Crowley and Cas were working together. If it actually worked, the boys should, at the very least be digging up the bones of the people who were taken by the Hell Hounds in Cross Road Blues and eliminating demons before they can possess anybody. An ounce of prevention is better than killing 4 hosts and all that.

If Crowley is something other than a regular demon, I'm sure he would cover it up. So claiming he was Fergus McLeod and tricking Fergus's son into believing that Crowley was Fergus when he really wasn't makes sense to me.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-18 13:28
Quote:
Ruby 1 indicated that most demons didn't even remember being human
I think she only said that to freak Dean out and make herself look more sympathetic. She said most demons didn't remember being human, but she did? Yeah right. I never trusted a word Ruby (host 1 or host 2) ever said. And I really hated that scene, lol. And because of that, I never took the burning bones thing as a change of canon. Rather, I took it as a new discovery.

Quote:
I could never figure out how Bobby knew the identity of the demon he captured then found her bones in order to burn them to get Crowley's name.
I think he did the same thing Dean did when Crowley took Lisa and Ben - tortured demon after demon until they 'fessed up to something useful. One demon rats out another until you get the intel. No way to say for sure, of course. But that method seems par for course.

Quote:
Add that to they've only used it twice and it was just all too weird. It was a way to make us think that Crowley was dead and that Cas killed him only to pull the bait and switch that Crowley and Cas were working together.
Well, it wasn't just the bait-and-switch. When they actually found Crowley's real bones in 'Weekend at Bobby's', Crowley was extremely concerned about protecting them. So concerned, in fact, that he gave back Bobby's soul. So there must be some truth to the canon that you can destroy a demon by burning its bones.

Quote:
If it actually worked, the boys should, at the very least be digging up the bones of the people who were taken by the Hell Hounds in Cross Road Blues and eliminating demons before they can possess anybody. An ounce of prevention is better than killing 4 hosts and all that.
Interesting. I agree. Never thought of that before. If you can find the bones and kill the demon, they should do that.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-18 13:33
E,

Anyone can wield an angel knife and kill/maim with it. The point is that it is an effective weapon against angels. Sam and Dean have used those knives before to fight angels. Nothing special there. My question though, is when did Crowley ever explode someone with the snap of his fingers? In this episode he snapped his fingers to send the witch back to wherever she came from - he didn't explode her. And when he tortured the "prophets" around the table it was different, IMO, than when the archangels snap the fingers and explode someone. It was more like he did the demon-grabbing- and-squeezing-y our-insides-unt il-they-burst thing. Maybe I'm missing something?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 09:46
Quote:
BTW, why is there two weeks before the next episode?
Because ratings would tank the day before Thanksgiving. Lots of people are traveling to get to family celebrations.

I've given up all hope for a story for Sam. He hit a dog and met a girl and we get to see that Cas and Benny are Dean's real brothers and Sam is worth nothing.

I don't want the Apocalypse 2 either, but hey! This time they can have Sam say yes because he is a weak horrible person. That will work.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-15 10:16
Thank for the clarification- Thanksgiving is an alien concept over here.

I'm still hopeful because I am thinking as a writer would. But I'm also prepared to be really bummed at the end of this season, because I'm not sure if SPN's writing team is thinking as writers should. Still, fingers crossed.
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-11-15 10:04
Something has been bugging me since episode 1 and this looks like the right time to mention it. When Kevin tells the boys that there was a new tablet, Sam's first comment/questio n was "Was there a name on it?" To me, it was a strange question . . . like he knew there were multiple tablets out there and he was clarifying which one Kevin had located.

Not sure if it is relevant but it has been bugging me since that episode and figured I would throw it out there to help with people's theories. :-)
E
# E 2012-11-15 21:45
Oooh, I hadn't noticed that. I DID notice that Sam seemed incredibly interested in the tablet's themselves in the season opener. Nice catch! That makes me think that he may be in cahoots with the angels either knowingly or unknowingly... more grist for the rumor mill.
mer
# mer 2012-11-15 10:14
The scene with Cas in the angel's office and the female angel's demeanor was REALLLLY creepy...it felt evil and gave me chills.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-15 10:19
When I commented earlier, I forgot to mention the element of this episode that really, really bugged me. This the reason why I still can't make up my mind if I liked it or not.
Is the Purgatory flashbacks over? If so, I'm really sorely disappointed. If this is all there is to Dean's guilt, it just doesn't hit me emotionally at all.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 12:55
I think it may be, Darya! I'm not sure what more we need to see about Purgatory at this point. Dean was carrying a lot of OTT and unnecessary guilt for leaving/droppin g Castiel, but that didn't even happen. We got a lot of angst for nothing really.
E
# E 2012-11-15 21:47
I had speculated on another thread that the Cas actually manipulated Dean's memory in this episode, not that Dean remembered. I think that there is more to purgatory and Cas is currently messing with it.
shamangrrl
# shamangrrl 2012-11-15 10:28
As long as I don't try to fit this episode into the flow of the current season, I can say that I really liked the episode. However, taking the season into account, I can only assume that Sam is bipolar. Also, Crowley just doesn't work as a Big Bad for me. He's more of a WannaBe. I felt no threat at his torture scenes (angel and PiPs), only confusion that he's apparently able to handle Angel swords and torture Angels without reprocussion or effort.

None of that makes sense to me.

Also, not so interested in the Trans, and hope they don't reappear for a very long time. Or ever, really.

But onwards, toward the unalloyed goodness of the episode! Every moment between Dean and Castiel was gold. Every glance between the characters, the caring they showed each other, the fact that Castiel *gets* Dean, in a manner that family apparently doesn't - pure awesome sauce. More, please. Lots more. And feel free to add Benny to the mix. The bickering would be great, as would Dean's confusion and annoyance over it.

Also, Amanda Tapping did an excellent job with her brief appearance. I want Dean to shiv her at the soonest available opportunity, but she was great, and I'm looking forward to her causing more trouble. Before Dean kills her. Because I get a Big Bad vibe from her. So Dean needs to kill Crowley, find out Naomi is screwing with Castiel and move her to the top of his To Do List.

Next week looks like filler, which I find annoying since this episode actually progressed things. I can't say I enjoy the stop-start mentality. Maybe if there were several episodes in a row that progressed, and then we had a filler/stand-al one? But this one episode on/one episode off thing is just not working out for me. It makes everything too choppy and makes it seem that there isn't an overall plan for the season.
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 11:16
Quote:
As long as I don't try to fit this episode into the flow of the current season, I can say that I really liked the episode. However, taking the season into account, I can only assume that Sam is bipolar. .
Haha! That made me laugh.
Although I do agree.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-15 12:42
Don't know how to do the quotey thing yet but have to agree about Sam being bi-polar!! Funny. Either that or multiple personality disorder.

But I do think after a big blow there is often a calm before the next storm.
k-aj
# k-aj 2012-11-16 21:10
This is kaj
Quote:
Don't know how to do the quotey thing yet but have to agree about Sam being bi-polar!! Funny. Either that or multiple personality disorder.

But I do think after a big blow there is often a calm before the next storm.
I agree with multiple personality disorder because S6E22 showed that Sam has split himself into 3 in his mind to be able to cope with trauma. Losing Dean could be another trauma and Sam's mind revert to its old way of coping.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 21:31
Demons can wield angel swords - Meg did it in S6 Caged Heat. SOME demons make out with angels, before they wield angel swords, but that is probably not relevant to the plot here..
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-16 21:46
In regards to Amanda Tapping, I too think she did a great job. Lots of undercurrents in her performance. I am not calling for the shiv just yet, though.

A little off-topic but she sure has a lot of convention choices now!!
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-15 10:42
I just can't feel it, even though I agree with your review entirely on an intellectual level. It was an awesome ep, for all the reasons you said, but Sam's arc just upsets me so much it ruins all the rest for me. So I decided to stop watching the show and a friend will let me know if and when there is a reason to Sam's arc I can live with, and I'll catch up then.

In this case, it was the fact Dean and Cas are glorified in such a kickass storyline, while Sam is vilified in a tiresome soap opera. I love the way Dean and Cas are being written, but it just served to highlight how badly Sam is being written.

Even if it's true that Sam's memory is being manipulated by the CIAngels (I LOVE the theory and Chuck knows, I hope you're right) then there should've been clues by now, a trail of breadcrumbs I could follow, so I'm going "I can't wait to see where this leads!" instead of "I have completely lost faith this is leading somewhere. They have assassinated Sam's character, because there will be no good reason for his actions."

With Soulless!Sam, they gave us clear indicators he wasn't himself very early on, the reveal he was soulless came in episode 6, and his soul was restored in episode 11. And it was interesting to explore how Sam would act without a soul, and he was part of the main story and not shunted off to the side in a tiresome soap opera. And even at that, some people stopped watching the show because they believed Sera, a new showrunner who hadn't earned the fans' trust yet, didn't know how to write Sam. And I think Carver is repeating that mistake but to an even greater degree because unlike Sera he is dragging it out.

They're just moving waaaaay too slowly, if they are in fact going somewhere with it. How am I supposed to believe it's going somewhere if it isn't moving? Dean had done absolutely nothing wrong, and yet they wrote him a great story where he feels guilty and expresses remorse and gets the absolution of finding out it was Cas who pulled back, while there has been basically zero progress on Sam leaving Dean for dead. (I want to make it absolutely clear I could not be more bi-bro, and this isn't a "Dean always gets better storylines than Sam" kind of thing, not in the slightest. I've always loved Sam's storylines, and Dean's too. I'm just contrasting the two to illustrate the lack of progress on Sam's storyline.)

And if there is something supernatural going on, they have gone too far in obfuscating it, outright telling us there is nothing supernatural going on. How am I supposed to have faith there is something supernatural going on if they're outright saying there isn't? In order to believe the angel theory is true, then I have to believe Carver and Singer are full-on lying to us, and not in a fun harmless "I'm doing a Yeti movie" kind of way.

And the thing that most threw me for a loop is that someone here had showed me the Carver quote that basically said, Dean is piling on Sam right now, but soon the shoe will be on the other foot. I found another quote by Singer that says the same thing: Dean is "keeping a secret about how he got out, and who he got out with...And the fact that he’s being judgemental of him is probably not all that fair to Sam, given what Dean’s not saying."

I thought for sure they meant Dean deserted Cas in Purgatory, as the only thing that would be comparable to Sam deserting Dean. But obviously they mean befriending a vampire and not telling Sam about it for three episodes. But the Winchesters do that before breakfast. They've trusted monsters and kept secrets plenty of times. And the fact they equate something so mudane with Sam leaving Dean for dead really makes me worry they don't realize the impact of Sam leaving Dean for dead, and thus don't feel the need to justify, fix, or redeem it.

It's weird timing I got to the point of needing to stop watching the show just when they finally gave us a truly awesome episode, Sam was finally acting more in character, it finally looks like we'll be getting a funny one next time, and, most importantly, with the CIAngels there is finally a theory about Sam that I can get behind.

But I was hanging to the show by a thread and this is just where my spool ran out. I went into it last night thinking, if I can enjoy this episode and not come out of it upset all over again, I'll keep watching. But it did make me upset, and life is too short to keep watching a TV show that makes you upset. I have too much to deal with in real life to stick with a show that leaves me angry and frustrated for an entire season without even knowing if there will be a good reason in the end. So since the writers won't give me any indication there is a good reason, I'm going to wait for my friend to let me know before I start watching again.

Meanwhile, a great review Ardeospina (and up so quickly!) I hope to be able to feel all the awesome stuff again too at some point in the future.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-15 11:39
So sorry you feel that way Mickey. I'd hoped you would hang in for the duration. I DO understand and you have made your case very well. I hope you will still visit this site. Your commments are amusing and often "colorful" :)
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 11:43
I hear ya, Mickey. Very well put. Sending hugs and good thoughts.
Hope you'll feel able to be back soon.
I'm still relying on hope that there will be some greater story for Sam here. Much as I love Dean and Cas, it's gotta be about Dean and Sam.
'See' you back here soon!
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-15 11:47
"In the season premiere, there was someone standing outside Sam's place when he left to meet Dean at the cabin."

Actually, this more than anything gives me hope. At the time, it confirmed my belief that there was something going on. But it ws such a blink-and-you-m issed-it moment, and it was seven long episodes ago, that it had faded out from my consciousness.

And I think there would've been a very simple fix to the problem I was just describing above of not giving us any indications something was going on. All they had to do was show a figure shadowing Sam a few times in the past six episodes. If they were willing to drop that clue in the premiere, why not do it a couple more times so it sticks? Then I would've had fun all this time speculating "Who is following Sam? Why? Did they do something to him to make him desert Dean? Are they responsible for Dog and Amelia?" Instead of worrying all this time that Sam's character is being assassinated, and being bored by Sam's flashbacks because nothing is going on.

They may be going for a big reveal, but then in this case that big reveal should've been WHAT is going on, and not THAT something is going on. If you go to great length to make people believe nothing is going on, to the point of baldfaced lying in interviews that nothing is going on, then you can't blame them for believing that nothing is going on, and thus believing the only alternative, that you have written one brother leaving the other for dead for no good reason, and being upset by that.

But if it turns out there is a good story behind it, like the CIAngels manipulating Sam to some mysterious sinister purpose, then I will be very happy to start watching again. It won't be the first time a good story got lost in the telling of it. It's the betrayal of Sam's character and the brotherly bond and what the show stands for that I can't live with. But if that turns out to not be the case, then I will be a happy fan once again.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 13:48
Quote:
. . . And I think there would've been a very simple fix to the problem I was just describing above of not giving us any indications something was going on. All they had to do was show a figure shadowing Sam a few times in the past six episodes. If they were willing to drop that clue in the premiere, why not do it a couple more times so it sticks? Then I would've had fun all this time speculating "Who is following Sam? Why? Did they do something to him to make him desert Dean? Are they responsible for Dog and Amelia?" Instead of worrying all this time that Sam's character is being assassinated, and being bored by Sam's flashbacks because nothing is going on.

They may be going for a big reveal, but then in this case that big reveal should've been WHAT is going on, and not THAT something is going on. If you go to great length to make people believe nothing is going on, to the point of baldfaced lying in interviews that nothing is going on, then you can't blame them for believing that nothing is going on, and thus believing the only alternative, that you have written one brother leaving the other for dead for no good reason, and being upset by that.

But if it turns out there is a good story behind it, like the CIAngels manipulating Sam to some mysterious sinister purpose, then I will be very happy to start watching again. It won't be the first time a good story got lost in the telling of it. It's the betrayal of Sam's character and the brotherly bond and what the show stands for that I can't live with. But if that turns out to not be the case, then I will be a happy fan once again.
Again, you are on a roll, Mickey! I couldn't agree more w/you! I think the telling of Sam's story has driven more people away than intrigued me. During S6, I was very curious about Sam and what was up w/him. I wasn't put off by him. As you said, it was apparent from EOMS that Sam was "off" and that something wasn't right w/him. My friend and I had a lot of fun speculating about Sam and whether he was possessed or a demon, etc.

Here, Sam just seems wildly OOC. There doesn't seem to be anything else going on w/him.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 13:03
Quote:
. . . Even if it's true that Sam's memory is being manipulated by the CIAngels (I LOVE the theory and Chuck knows, I hope you're right) then there should've been clues by now, a trail of breadcrumbs I could follow, so I'm going "I can't wait to see where this leads!" instead of "I have completely lost faith this is leading somewhere. They have assassinated Sam's character, because there will be no good reason for his actions."

With Soulless!Sam, they gave us clear indicators he wasn't himself very early on, the reveal he was soulless came in episode 6, and his soul was restored in episode 11. And it was interesting to explore how Sam would act without a soul, and he was part of the main story and not shunted off to the side in a tiresome soap opera. And even at that, some people stopped watching the show because they believed Sera, a new showrunner who hadn't earned the fans' trust yet, didn't know how to write Sam. And I think Carver is repeating that mistake but to an even greater degree because unlike Sera he is dragging it out.

They're just moving waaaaay too slowly, if they are in fact going somewhere with it. How am I supposed to believe it's going somewhere if it isn't moving? Dean had done absolutely nothing wrong, and yet they wrote him a great story where he feels guilty and expresses remorse and gets the absolution of finding out it was Cas who pulled back, while there has been basically zero progress on Sam leaving Dean for dead. (I want to make it absolutely clear I could not be more bi-bro, and this isn't a "Dean always gets better storylines than Sam" kind of thing, not in the slightest. I've always loved Sam's storylines, and Dean's too. I'm just contrasting the two to illustrate the lack of progress on Sam's storyline.)

And if there is something supernatural going on, they have gone too far in obfuscating it, outright telling us there is nothing supernatural going on. How am I supposed to have faith there is something supernatural going on if they're outright saying there isn't? In order to believe the angel theory is true, then I have to believe Carver and Singer are full-on lying to us, and not in a fun harmless "I'm doing a Yeti movie" kind of way.

And the thing that most threw me for a loop is that someone here had showed me the Carver quote that basically said, Dean is piling on Sam right now, but soon the shoe will be on the other foot. I found another quote by Singer that says the same thing: Dean is "keeping a secret about how he got out, and who he got out with...And the fact that he’s being judgmental of him is probably not all that fair to Sam, given what Dean’s not saying."

I thought for sure they meant Dean deserted Cas in Purgatory, as the only thing that would be comparable to Sam deserting Dean. But obviously they mean befriending a vampire and not telling Sam about it for three episodes. But the Winchesters do that before breakfast. They've trusted monsters and kept secrets plenty of times. And the fact they equate something so mudane with Sam leaving Dean for dead really makes me worry they don't realize the impact of Sam leaving Dean for dead, and thus don't feel the need to justify, fix, or redeem it. . . .
Mickey, I couldn't agree more w/these points! I really have nothing else to add!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 13:52
Quote:
I just can't feel it, even though I agree with your review entirely on an intellectual level. It was an awesome ep, for all the reasons you said, but Sam's arc just upsets me so much it ruins all the rest for me. So I decided to stop watching the show and a friend will let me know if and when there is a reason to Sam's arc I can live with, and I'll catch up then.

In this case, it was the fact Dean and Cas are glorified in such a kickass storyline, while Sam is vilified in a tiresome soap opera. I love the way Dean and Cas are being written, but it just served to highlight how badly Sam is being written.

Even if it's true that Sam's memory is being manipulated by the CIAngels (I LOVE the theory and Chuck knows, I hope you're right) then there should've been clues by now, a trail of breadcrumbs I could follow, so I'm going "I can't wait to see where this leads!" instead of "I have completely lost faith this is leading somewhere. They have assassinated Sam's character, because there will be no good reason for his actions."
.
I think they HAVE shown us hints. If she's correct than that means that all the complaints that we've had this season about Sam OOC behavior could be attributed to his memories and experiences being manipulated.

As far as the quotes from the producers, they could be lying. Every writer or show runner I ever seen interview talks about spoilers ruining storylines before they even have chance to develop. My guess is that they are playing word games, such as saying Sam didn't look then finding out he didn't need to look because he was in Purgatory.

I didn't watch any spoilery interviews this summer and I think I was better off for it. I been hit and miss since than (worry was making me impatient) but I think I regained enough trust to stop again. And just see how this plays out.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 14:38
Other than Sam's OOC behavior (which could honestly be the writing), I can't think of any other hints that something supernatural has occurred. Sam's memories haven't been altered . . . at least I don't think they have. He said he thought Dean died, and then just drove around aimlessly until he hit a dog. Some have said that makes perfect sense to them. For me, it's wildly OOC, but I have no idea if that's b/c Carver doesn't know or understand Sam Winchester or if there's a twist coming.

I agree w/Mickey in that there could be better, more clear clues IF that's where the story is headed.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 15:00
It's probably a matter of taste. I don't mind subtle clues and hints in building a story. In fact, some of my favorites have been where I was going along, looking in one direction and got hit in the back of the head. And then all the clues I'd been watching or reading fell into place.
Kristina
# Kristina 2012-11-15 16:47
Quote:
It's probably a matter of taste. I don't mind subtle clues and hints in building a story. In fact, some of my favorites have been where I was going along, looking in one direction and got hit in the back of the head. And then all the clues I'd been watching or reading fell into place.
I totally agree Kelly. I don't want to be "told" exactly what's going on. The whole point of a good show is that you get done watching an episode and you think, "I CANNOT wait until the next one to find out where this is going!" I was not real thrilled with S6 and S7 over all. There were episodes that were good but I just felt like they were fillers. I am thrilled to be back to my "OMG I have to wait a week now (or 2 in this case)" feeling.

Quote:
Wow. I think you lost sight of the main thing here. A television show is for entertainment. It is meant to distract you from the real world for an hour. Take you into their world for that hour. It's creative writing. That's all. Even one a good as this. I'm going to be 50 yrs old in December. No show I've ever watched has done as well at that job as Supernatural has for me. I tell my kids it's my hobby!

Also, the best stories DO take time to tell. Books that have several in the series to tell the whole story. With 23 episodes, personally I don't want everything laid out in the 1st few. Where is the fun in that?? Sorry you don't like the anticipation. To me, it's part of the enjoyment. Good luck Sweetie
Penny Jaime, you are so right. I love the suspense because that is the whole point. I totally respect others opinions about how this season is crappy for them and they don't get it. I can't however understand or even begin to put myself in their shoes. I think the show's writers and creative team are doing an awesome job and we are only on episode 8! We have 15 more episodes so we can't get everything at once otherwise we would not continue to watch.

My own thoughts now:

What is up with Cas pulling out his angel blade against Crowely?! Did I miss something?! Crowely is a demon, the angel blade can't kill him. So why was he scared?? Also Crowely was torturing Samadriel/Alfie with an angel blade so he had one and he just used his powers to summon it from the torture room (others had been wondering where it came from. And yes it could have been the one Meg had or the one that I'm sure Samadriel/Alfie had). Also the blue eyes for Cas and the glow when he was whipping his wings out. We have seen him do that before and it wasn't that intense. My thought (and hopefully others haven't already said this because I haven't read all the comments yet) is that Cas may be an ArcAngel now. We know they are more powerful then regular angels, which is what Cas was before. Maybe when the CIAngels brought him back they made him an ArcAngel???

And by the way I lovvvveeee the CIAngel theory!! It totally works for what we know so far. I do not agree however that Chuck is God. I do agree though that he could be Metatron since he was a scribe and in S5 Swan Song he was very tired of that whole situation. Also if Chuck is Metatron he would not have to be dead for Kevin to be a profit, because Metatron wasn't a profit he was an angel.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 17:41
Quote:
What is up with Cas pulling out his angel blade against Crowely?! Did I miss something?! Crowely is a demon, the angel blade can't kill him. So why was he scared?? Also Crowely was torturing Samadriel/Alfie with an angel blade so he had one and he just used his powers to summon it from the torture room (others had been wondering where it came from.
We don't know that the angel blade can't kill Crowley. It killed the Hell Hounds when Meg used it, so it's up in the air. It is totally possible that Crowley was using Samandriel's own blade against him.

OTOH, I have always felt that Crowley is more than just your average demon or even more than your higher ranking demons like Azazel and Lilith. Until this season we have not seen Crowley's eyes go red and technically they only went red in Mrs. Tran's body AND for the first time ever a meatsuit used the voice of whatever was possessing it, so I'm still somewhat convinced that Crowley is something other than a demon, I just don't know what.
Kristina
# Kristina 2012-11-15 18:02
Quote:
Quote:
What is up with Cas pulling out his angel blade against Crowely?! Did I miss something?! Crowely is a demon, the angel blade can't kill him. So why was he scared?? Also Crowely was torturing Samadriel/Alfie with an angel blade so he had one and he just used his powers to summon it from the torture room (others had been wondering where it came from.
We don't know that the angel blade can't kill Crowley. It killed the Hell Hounds when Meg used it, so it's up in the air. It is totally possible that Crowley was using Samandriel's own blade against him.

OTOH, I have always felt that Crowley is more than just your average demon or even more than your higher ranking demons like Azazel and Lilith. Until this season we have not seen Crowley's eyes go red and technically they only went red in Mrs. Tran's body AND for the first time ever a meatsuit used the voice of whatever was possessing it, so I'm still somewhat convinced that Crowley is something other than a demon, I just don't know what.
I don't quite agree about the hell hounds. They are not as sturdy I guess as demons. I mean you can stab a demon (as long as its not Ruby's knife) and they won't die. The hell hounds are not that tough. IDK to me it just seemed a little suspect that he was afraid of the angel blade when he usually isn't afraid of anything. And yes I do think that Crowley was using Samandriel's blade against him.

I agree that Crowley this season seems more than your average demon or even King of Hell. And your totally right about the eyes and I hadn't even thought of that until you pointed it out.

And I totally forgot to add this to my first post:
I re-watched the first episode from this season and Sam clearly tells Dean that he didn't get any of Dean's messages that he was back. So, how does Sam know to go to Rufus's cabin and meet him???? Sam is very surprised when he shows up and Dean is there, like he had no clue he was back......Just so more food for thought.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 19:34
According to JC, BE, or RS, Sam would often go to Rufus's cabin throughout the year. So when he went there in the premiere, he wasn't expecting to see Dean.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-15 20:16
It was Jim Michaels, I think.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 21:36
Hey Chuck as Metatron - that totally could happen! And it would make sense, I like that theory :D
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-15 23:33
Just a small point. Both Kripke and Rob Benedict have confirmed mutliple times now that Chuck was indeed, god. Perhaps the current writers will reinterpret that, but that's how it was intended.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 14:19
You have summed this up beautifully. I'm still trying to hold on, but maybe not anymore. I'll try to go to midseason break, but then, who knows.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-15 14:24
Wow. I think you lost sight of the main thing here. A television show is for entertainment. It is meant to distract you from the real world for an hour. Take you into their world for that hour. It's creative writing. That's all. Even one a good as this. I'm going to be 50 yrs old in December. No show I've ever watched has done as well at that job as Supernatural has for me. I tell my kids it's my hobby!

Also, the best stories DO take time to tell. Books that have several in the series to tell the whole story. With 23 episodes, personally I don't want everything laid out in the 1st few. Where is the fun in that?? Sorry you don't like the anticipation. To me, it's part of the enjoyment. Good luck Sweetie
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 14:42
Actually, I think Mickey has realized the point you're making. TV is to entertain. Supernatural no longer entertains Mickey so he/she won't be watching anymore.

I can't speak for anyone else, but Sam has been a mystery since S4. His story has been told in the background since S4. We've been told his story is coming in the second half of the season since S4. I think some people are simply tired of waiting for Sam's story, esp. since the past years haven't been all that satisfying or fulfilling. If you've been enjoying Sam's story over the past four years, then you will probably never understand others' frustration w/the telling of his story.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2012-11-15 16:14
Quote:
Actually, I think Mickey has realized the point you're making. TV is to entertain. Supernatural no longer entertains Mickey so he/she won't be watching anymore.

I can't speak for anyone else, but Sam has been a mystery since S4. His story has been told in the background since S4. We've been told his story is coming in the second half of the season since S4. I think some people are simply tired of waiting for Sam's story, esp. since the past years haven't been all that satisfying or fulfilling. If you've been enjoying Sam's story over the past four years, then you will probably never understand others' frustration w/the telling of his story.
You hit the nail right smack on the head. I'm close to checking out myself. Depends upon if Sam actually gets something besides a girlfriend and a dog.
Actually, I don't really think they are telling a story for Sam. It's all just a set up for Dean to be the good brother while Sam is the bad brother...again .
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-15 18:32
the thing is Sam is not bad, he is inherent good!

ITs the kind of story telling that boggles/bothers me! there nuances in the shades of grey fog where Sam's character is concerned. Does he need this? After years of not showing his side, his POV?

I am trying SO HARD since some time to stay back, it is still habit, addiction and a big affection for Sam (and the Sam/Dean bond) but now I see the end of the horizon nearby! If there is no turning point in the Sam corner regarding his story and POV and emotional back up, I won't participate in this character destruction.

And its not that he has a girl, or that he doesn't want to hunt, its how tptb present Sam what makes it more than cringeworthy to watch.

And to give Dean a reason to be resentful towards Sam! Good night!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-16 09:44
And we have been there, done that so many times. Sam was initially portrayed as a good person who just wanted to live his life in a way that made him happy. However the show decided that unless Sam lives a life in a way that makes Dean happy, Sam isn't permitted to want anything for himself.

I'm really frustrated at this point. Only Dean matters to the writers and that hurts.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-15 19:05
Well, I guess it does depend on how you choose to look at it. I felt like seasons 5 & 6 were heavy "Sam" seasons. Some of Jared's best work was in 5. Dean, in 6, trying to figure out what was going on with Sam. Then fixing his soul. Then all about if Sam was OK. Even carrying over to 7 with his problems.
This is the 1st season I am seeing a little of the "old" Sam,but a much more mature one. People change over the years. It is resonable to expect these characters (even without the trips to Hell & back) would change as well. Agree to disagree I guess.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-15 14:50
Happy early birthday to you, I'll be 50 next August. :-) I agree with you Penny, I've always loved tv and I'm a die-hard fan of many, many shows, but none has captured my heart like SPN. I would feel like I was missing a limb if I stopped watching! But, I can sympathise with Mickey also. If something makes you miserable, you need to let it go. I dropped "The Mentalist" at the end of last season, I just couldn't take it anymore. And as much as I hate myself for it, I've started doing that with books. Life IS too short to spend on something that doesn't bring you pleasure anymore. That being said, I cannot wait for the next episode, looks to be a riot. ;-)
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-15 19:16
Thanks. My 1st bday wish.
Yeah, The Mentalist is another of my mom's shows I could recite the dialog on. They lost me when they were to afraid to kill the" big bad" on the show. That is another one of my favorite things about this show. They kill the "big bad". They can always make another one!! Most shows won't do that. I'm still waiting for "How I Met Your Mother" to met the mother!!! lol

Yeah, if you don't enjoy it any more I agree. For myself,I can't imagine not enjoying Supernatural. The acting is so much better than any other show on TV, that alone keeps me coming back
RMF
# RMF 2012-11-15 18:06
Quote:
I just can't feel it, even though I agree with your review entirely on an intellectual level. It was an awesome ep, for all the reasons you said, but Sam's arc just upsets me so much it ruins all the rest for me. So I decided to stop watching the show and a friend will let me know if and when there is a reason to Sam's arc I can live with, and I'll catch up then. 
I hear ya, Mickey. The problems with Sam's storyline loom large over the season. He is a main character, the brothers' relationship is key, and every week they don't explain Sam's actions or give us a real clue that his story is leading somewhere, the more frustrating it gets. Altered memory is presenting itself as a theme this season, but I don't get the sense that Sam's memories have been altered in a magical way. He has the "human" story this season, and I think his memories are being altered in only a very human sense -- he is idealizing his time with Amelia, whereas the actual relationship was rockier.

Where I don't agree with you is in the idea that the writing has been great for Dean. They gave us quite the buildup, hinting that something bad had happened in Purgatory involving Cas, and telling us that Sam may appear unsympathetic now, but just you wait, Dean has things to answer for too. With this episode, we now know that the only thing Dean has to answer for is befriending the nicest vampire evah. Cas made the decision to stay in Purgatory, and Dean merely invented guilt for himself. The show impressed in the past with the risks it was willing to take: they didn't pansyass their way out of Dean going to Hell, and they allowed Sam to become corrupt while trying to do the right thing. You'd think that by sending Dean to Purgatory, where he has to fight every day for his life, they might attempt something similarly daring.

Dean has always been the clearest voice for the human element of the show. He wolfs down cheeseburgers, he ogles the waitress, he tells corny jokes, and his heart breaks over his kid brother. This is all relatable stuff. Where he stops being relatable is when the story insists that he could endure 30 years of Hell torture before cracking, or here, when he emerges really faultless from a year of constant battling for his life. The invented guilt is a bit absurd -- isn't it wrenching enough for a beloved friend who couldn't have made it through the portal to have shoved you to safety because your dumb loyal ass would have stayed behind with him? What's the use of Dean making it worse, only to be absolved of it?

I know some are theorizing the segfault is a CIAngel mindfrak, but it's presented not as an anomaly, but as a character moment. So I'm wondering why, if they're going to put Dean in such a dire, dog-eat-dog situation as being sucked into Purgatory, they don't go for some real, actual, HTG guilt? Especially since he so represents the human side of the story? Put a little teeth in the narrative, and have him desperate enough to make a deal with a badass monster to get out. Have him wobble a bit and wonder how much culpability he has when he can't hold on to Cas. Have Cas point out that he's not doing anything down in Purgatory besides surviving, and there are people to be saved topside. Otherwise, this is all just forced drama that raises the stakes only to let the character off the hook. The writers' version of turning the tables seems to be: "Darn you, Dean, you're so loyal! And you feel guilty when bad stuff happens to your friends!"
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-15 18:24
I agree that they have kind of softballed Dean's whole storyline -- the edgy, dark Dean who came out of purgatory faded very fast, Benny turned out huggable, Dean's guilt turned out to be imaginary.

OTOH, that almost makes me think a bit better of Sam's storyline. At least Sam's decisions are honestly questionable and weird. The storytelling for Dean feels like one of those candidates at job interviews who are asked their greatest weakness and respond that they are just too hardworking and dedicated. There's not much room for learning and growth in that.

Sam's choices are so darn puzzling that I try to work to understand him, instead of having him handed to me with anything that might be difficult or troubling pre-explained a way.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 19:51
But Sam's decisions/choic es are always questionable, IMO. At least from S3 onward. Just for the sake of variety, they could have flipped it a bit this season and had Dean do something questionable for once.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-15 20:07
Between the resouling and 7.23, I think Dean has overall had the darker arc and more questionable decisions than Sam, though of course they both had their low points, and everyone's storyline petered out at the end of s7. In any case, I'm not saying I needed or wanted to have Sam making dubious choices, but I'm not very engaged with the current Dean storyline, which seems rather bland to me, compared to the promise I saw in 8.1 and 8.2. At least with Sam's storyline I'm frustrated -- that gives me an emotional connection.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 20:19
Well, miles definitely vary b/c I don't think Dean has ever done anything remotely "dark." He's never, IMO, had a "dark" arc.

But that's just my opinion.
E
# E 2012-11-15 22:19
Sorry Etheldred, I am going to have to go with Lala on this one. I don't see Dean as ever having dark moments like they have subjected Sam's character to. Now, I don't mean suffering, both brothers have clearly suffered terribly. My understanding of 'dark' here is in morally ambiguous decisions that are injurious to other characters or having made decisions with long term negative consequences. Has Dean ever had a storyline that shows his choices as being 'in the wrong' like demon blood, trusting ruby, betraying your brother, raising lucifer, being soulless...etc as they have done with Sam? No offense intended but I just don't see Dean's as the darker story arc in this way.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-15 23:55
The only thing I can think of that is really dark was wiping Lisa and Ben's memories, but it was couched in terms of a sacrifice for Dean, so I think that we were not supposed to see it as dark. But that is the pattern that I see for Dean. When he does something wrong, the repercussions on others aren't shown, just Dean's pain. When Sam screws up we see the effect on the world and Dean's pain but pretty much nothing about how it affects Sam. It makes for a real imbalance.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-16 05:48
E, that's my understanding of dark as well. Dean has never, IMO, made any really morally ambiguous decisions.

Sam had to be resouled after he tried to murder Bobby. Dean understood SS couldn't be kept around, and that he might have to be killed. Even wiping Ben and Lisa's memories was done to presumably help them. I never saw that as a "dark" moment. And the Amy killing was justified. Sam cared but then they had him say it was fine.

From the show's standpoint, I think most of Dean's decisions are supported and shown to be good decisions. Again, that's JMO though.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-16 00:08
Quote:
The storytelling for Dean feels like one of those candidates at job interviews who are asked their greatest weakness and respond that they are just too hardworking and dedicated. There's not much room for learning and growth in that.
But that is always Dean's story. His weaknesses are always that he loves too much and no one (Sam) love him back as much. That he puts others ahead of himself. That his lack of self esteem makes him take care of everybody while us mere mortals don't have the strength of character to save the world the way he does.

I think it is a real disservice to Dean and there are times when I really want to see him do something very dark and edgy and see how the fallout affects others, not how guilty it makes him feel. Frankly I want him to totally betray Sam, so he can at least understand that people do bad things for good reasons and that Dean hurts people too.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-16 06:10
Quote:
Quote:
The storytelling for Dean feels like one of those candidates at job interviews who are asked their greatest weakness and respond that they are just too hardworking and dedicated. There's not much room for learning and growth in that.
But that is always Dean's story. His weaknesses are always that he loves too much and no one (Sam) love him back as much. That he puts others ahead of himself. That his lack of self esteem makes him take care of everybody while us mere mortals don't have the strength of character to save the world the way he does.

I think it is a real disservice to Dean and there are times when I really want to see him do something very dark and edgy and see how the fallout affects others, not how guilty it makes him feel. Frankly I want him to totally betray Sam, so he can at least understand that people do bad things for good reasons and that Dean hurts people too.
I would of loved that too but they aren't going to go there and I never thought they would with Purgatory . Dean emerged from there with a vampire brother and a self imposed guilt born out of his loyalty and dedication to his angel brother. Sam has no place in that 3some because he wasnt in Purgatory and he didnt look for Dean which in turn has hurt his brother.

Sam needs more in the present day then the thin veil of sl he is being given as in this episode and more than likely up coming ones and the weird writing of the brothers as if last week's words weren't spoken.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-15 19:48
RMF, good post! I honestly think the Purgatory stuff was drama just for the sake of drama. It really didn't serve a purpose, and it was amped up to be this huge thing when it wasn't really anything.

As I said last night, all that angst for nothing!
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:30
Mickey, thanks for the compliment about the review. I stay up laaaaaate to finish, ha, so that's why it goes up so quickly.

You've stated your position very well here, too. I'm sorry that you're not enjoying what's been happening this season, and I totally understand needing to take a break from the show if it's not enjoyable anymore. Besides, when (and I say when hopefully, for your sake!) things happen that you are interested in, you can just catch up knowing that things will be resolved more to your liking. That's always a good feeling, knowing you're gonna like where the story goes even if you don't know the details.

Please feel free to continue to drop by and comment, even if you aren't watching. Unless that would spoil it too much for you! Either way, thanks for participating in the discussions!
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-11-16 01:03
Sorry to hear that Mickey. I can totally understand wanting to stop watching a show, especially if you don't enjoy it anymore. I've done that plenty myself. Just personally, I'm not quite ready to let go of SPN myself, and I'll probably being sticking around till the very end, since I enjoy it more than any other show on TV. I hope though that you might find your way back eventually, and start feeling the awesome again.
wunderpat
# wunderpat 2012-11-15 11:00
Great spec! I thought Crowley was Gabriel from the get go, then last year switched to samael who was also an angel of death and lover of Lilith. Crowley could be feigning demonic origins. Did he explode the lady? We have only seen archangels do that.

I have wondered if we were sidling to the apocalypse since the Sorry game and Survival of the Fittest where castiel wanted to play twister and risk ( it's the end of the world and we know it... REM). The reset to s1 core characteristics for Sam and Dean supports the idea that it all beginning again.

I have also suspected everyone in the Levi lab went to a purgatory of sorts when dick exploded. That although it' for monsters to work out there issues ( most get stuck in the cyclic hunt except for someone evolved like Benny who re-embraced his humanity before death). Evolved beings experience it differently based on their individual needs. Benny found Dean because he needed to get out. Dean was on the hunt hononh his warrior and leadership skills, becoming comfortable with brutality, finding castiel to protect and save him, and above all getting out to help Sam. So Dean is able to find Benny. Castiel is at the river washing the blood off his hands (out out damned spot) and hiding from the Leviathan that made him do the unthinkable. Sam ran and took any opportunity for a different life, desperate for normal. It looks to me like they are all on paths to self discovery and acceptance without guilt. So...

I have no idea what the hell (or heaven) is going on.
Amber
# Amber 2012-11-15 11:39
I don't know if anyone has speculated this yet (I'm avoiding possibly spoiler-y comments), but my running theory on the tablets is that the next one we'll see will be about Angels. I mean, when Crowley listed them off he mentioned the Leviathan tablet, the Demon tablet, then flappity-flap, Cas appears.

Also, it'd be awesome if the boys got some more leverage against one of the most organized and powerful enemy forces they've had to face: The CIAngels.

Also Also, how much do I love that Naomi's vessel is SG-1's Sam Carter? SO, SO MUCH! Amanda Tapping is awesome.

The only thing better than Amanda Tapping as a guest star? Alan Rickman guesting as Metatron. Start saving coin, C-Dub.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-15 12:35
Quote:
I don't know if anyone has speculated this yet (I'm avoiding possibly spoiler-y comments), but my running theory on the tablets is that the next one we'll see will be about Angels.
Great theory, AmberAnn. It's a real thought, isn't it? That would also explain why CIAngels are interested in Cas and the Winchesters! I don't think the angels would like an Angel Wipeout Manual...
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 14:02
I would love to see Alan Rickman on the show, but there is no way the CW can afford him.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-15 14:52
OMG, Professor Snape on SPN! That would make my millenium. :D
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 15:02
Yay! I get that ref:

"I'm pissed off, is what I am! Do you go around drenching everybody that comes into your room with flame-retardant chemicals? No wonder you're single."

one of the best lines ever!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 15:20
Oh Yeah, forgot about Dogma. That ref is so much funnier now. Thanks!
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-15 21:32
Yes, I like the angel tablet idea. It would be a good reason to send in the CIAngels to grab it.

Not gonna lie, every time they mention Metatron I think of Alan Rickman, too. And I definitely imagine everything translates in Rickman voice instead. And THEN I imagine him threatening to cut out someone's heart with a spoon.
Hades
# Hades 2012-11-16 09:17
I had a theory months back that the tablet (or now one of them) was about banishing the angels from earth, essentially closing the gates to heaven much like with what they plan to do to hell.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 11:43
I love love love this theory. Especially the part about Sam, this would explain the whole season. Yay! I haven't read the rest of the comments yet. But love this!
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-15 12:02
Wow. What an episode. There are so many layers to this one that I will definitely need more time - and multiple watches - to unpeel them all!

First of all - we have the return of "The Brothers Who Actually Have Heartwarming, Emotionally Honest Conversations" after what I would argue has been 4 seasons of lack. I do not think this is as jarring after the last episode as some. (Unless of course, the next episode reverts back to the chilliness and tension of the first 6 episodes). What I think what we are supposed to take from this is that something was released last episode. Like a balloon that got so big it finally popped and let all the air out. All that anger and tension and truth and perception and pain finally got out in the open. And rather than tearing the brothers apart - it seems to have brought them closer together.

I was SO enthralled by the brotherly moments in this episode. God, how they've been missed!

It seems Dean Winchester has turned over a new leaf after the last episode. It was incredibly odd for him to admit so readily that he thought he was hallucinating Cas (I hate spelling it 'Cass'). It was admitting a weakness, asking for help. The Dean Winchester of old would have NEVER done such a thing. He would have hid it from his brother until he could no longer hide it and/or it ended up blowing up in their faces. THEN we have Cas, god bless him, telling and showing Dean what no character has ever told or showed him: that it wasn't his fault, that he isn't responsible for everything. And Dean actually listened!

What is this strange and compelling thing called character development, and where has it been all my life???!!!

Then we have Sam, who after last episode maybe has realized the level of his brother's hurt, and seems to be making a real effort to care and comfort his brother. Not that he never cared or tried to comfort before - but what this reminded me of, really, was S4, and how whenever Dean would open up to Sam about how he was hurting, the scene would cut before we'd get to hear/see Sam's response (unless he really didn't say anything). THIS season, we got to see Sam comforting his brother. It's almost like last episode unleashed a dam of tension and hurt and we're left with nothing but emotional honesty. It's very weird, lol, but in a good way! I really hope they keep this up.

As for the rest of the episode - I'm not a fan of Mrs. Tran, and the less screen time she has, IMO, the better. The rest was great. Great writing, great pacing. Interesting, engaging, entertaining, etc. I can't believe they actually cut of Kevin's finger...did they have to do that? Ick.

I haven't yet formed a hypothesis about Cas's glowing-ness, the new angels, or the general plot, but they certainly have cards up their sleeves. One gets the distinct impression that we are on a journey going somewhere this season, and I am just along for the ride. :) That's all I have for now - gotta run!
st50
# st50 2012-11-15 12:07
Hey, Bamboo24,
I like your reading of where the brothers are right now. I might even have to grab onto that...
Not sure I buy that everything is hunky-dory between them, but maybe it's a start! They did indeed seem to care about each other (for the little bits we saw) and that has been sorely missed.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-15 12:33
Yes, this is true! I love that they are connecting, and I have been thinking about the inconsistency between last week's Sam and this week's, something that initially made me a little frustrated...an d thinking maybe it isn't inconsistency.

Maybe he's mulled over what Dean said while possessed, cobbled that with Dean's post-Purgatory PTSD and decided that the best way through this is to be understanding and honest. Same with Dean, who's also probably realized it's better to talk than hoard up a dam of emotions.

Wow, I think I'm ready to re watch this now after all this discussion. So buzzed that most people seem to like this episode.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-15 12:59
Bamboo24-Loved your comment and this episode. Everything you said. I touched on the idea that it felt that pressure had been released last week. It is the calm after the storm. But with these guys there is always another on the horizon. This one just flew buy for me, one of my favorites. Those angels are pesky aren't they. More of this type of storytelling please!!! And make Sam's story as compelling please!!!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 14:12
Yeah, I think it is a start. It was a bit jarring after last episode, but I think you right about the balloon popping thing. But I have a feeling the season is going to be a series of starts and stops. Finding some equilibrium until something else happens and everything explodes again. And honestly I prefer that, it makes the progress feel more substantive than when they just have a big blow up and say we good. My guess it that it will be blow up, blow up, blow up, with mild progress or even set backs on each until we start moving towards reconciliation. Or I guess that's my hope.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-15 18:08
Quote:
I have a feeling the season is going to be a series of starts and stops. Finding some equilibrium until something else happens and everything explodes again. And honestly I prefer that, it makes the progress feel more substantive than when they just have a big blow up and say we good.
Absolutely! And it's more realistic that way, too. :)
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-15 12:51
Well, I'm in the minority,but I never speculate. I love to see what the writers come up with. It is never what I think, which is actually one of the main reasons I LOVE this show.
Let me explain. I don't know why, but I seem to be able to guess what is going to happen in most TV & movies. Drove my kids crazy when they were growing up. I would figure it out half way through the movie. I remember my youngest saying, "Mom if your right I'm going to be so mad" (He can do it now-I'm so proud). After so many years of this "predicable" stuff, I like things that I CAN'T figure out. That's good story telling to me. That's one of the MANY,MANY,MANY reasons I love Supernatural.
Especially this season. Many shows I literally can guess even the dialog this year. It is that bad (My Mom's shows-Hawaii 5-0, Good Wife, Vegas,etc.--I say the lines before they do, drives her crazy!!. They make it to easy).

So bring on the surprises Supernatural. I live for it!!!
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-15 13:24
It's as if you were reading my mind. Awhile back I made the same comment about how I am always analyzing a TV show/movie and my kids hated when I said things. I definitely have not figured this out. A throwback to early seasons , which admittedly I watched on DVD so I didn't have to wait, like I do now. But I love the anticipation. It's not just another hour of TV.

I continue to speculate and theorize, but I don't get so wrapped up in my ideas that I can't enjoy what the writers come up with. And if it is way different than I expected I like to dig deeper into that so I can understand where they are coming from. I mean, it is their job and their call, not mine. I'm along for the ride and love, love, love these brothers.

Loved this episode as it had some answers, and more questions. I think the boys are trying, but they have a lot of history to overcome, not just with each other. It's difficult to break old patterns of behavior and these are grown men now, so maybe harder. Sam touching Dean's shoulder made me positively warm inside and I sort of cheered to my screen/Sam at that point about how I loved it !! Good thing I was alone.

Really anxious to see how the last episode before winter hiatus ends!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-15 14:50
I SOOO do the same thing.I can usually tell on procedural cops shows within minutes who did it and why. At best it's usually between 2 characters and motives. Part of the reason I love this show is that I love to be surprised. LOVE IT. But that any no way stops me from endlessly speculating to try to figure out is going on. (I'm a little irritated at myself that I didn't come up with this theory last night, but I did only watch it once and I was tired-yeah yeah that's it).

I was an avid Agatha Christie reader (which is probably why I figure out mystery plots, a larger portion of them I swear are based on her novels, or based on things that were based on them) and I used to do the same thing with her novels. I would speculate while I was at school, trying to figure out what happened before I got home. I never figured out the whole thing.

But she would set up the plots so that most of the time all the information was there, but it was hidden in seemingly mundane information scattered about in ACTUAL mundane information. So you never knew what was important and what was not. LOVED IT! I'm wondering if they are doing some of the same thing here. Hiding important info in randoms acts.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-16 13:38
I doubt they can be compared to Agatha Christie
Nick
# Nick 2012-11-15 13:26
I absolutely love this episode of Supernatural, and yes that’s probably because of Castiel being home. Even my coworkers at DISH loved this episode, since they are finally caught up to it. I am going to re-watch every episode of this season after it airs, so I’m recording every episode of the season with my Hopper from DISH, and I still have enough space to record the rest of my shows. I am so excited about the next episode, because it does look hilarious. I’m pretty sure that your theory of the story this season sounds very reasonable, and it’s a definite possibility that you are right about what is happening!
m1tchells
# m1tchells 2012-11-15 13:57
I loved it! I thought it was very telling that Sam described Dean as having survivor's guilt and that he had to walk through it and not get stuck there. Kinda like a ..."Trust me, I know what I'm talking about" thing.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 14:19
I liked that too - I really, really thought he was going to get eaten alive for it though! I was shouting at the TV - Don't say it Dean!!!

I have upstairs neighbours ....
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 14:52
I wonder who 'they' are that told Benny how to get out of Purgatory?
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-15 19:47
I'm just going to throw this excellent question into the mix before I go back to my Supernatural hiatus:

From Carina MacKenzie, tv critic at zap2it.com, on twitter (@cadlymack):

"I'm confused. If Dean didn't see Cas die why didn't he look for a way to get him out like Sam was supposed to look for a way to get Dean out?"

I am really not liking this theme of leaving people for dead.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 20:46
Here's a theory. Not sure how far it gets us. Maybe all of Dean's accusations that Sam left him to die when he shouldn't have ,have nothing at all to do with Sam and everything to do with Dean's guilt at abandoning Cas.

After all it is precisely the same scenario - with Dean actually having more information than Sam. He knew Cas was in Purgatory and he didn't know he wasn't dead. Well he might have assumed he was dead but apparently that isn't good enough ... should try to find the person in the inaccessable place.

As an aside: Script question. Since when is the response to "I'm putting a lot of trust in you, Brother" "You earned it"? Is it me, or does that make no sense? You earned the right to put a lot of trust in me...
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-16 00:00
Well it does make Dean a teeny bit of a hypocrite. He's banging on Sam for not looking for him when Sam tells him that Sam thought he was dead, but he knows Cas didn't die, but makes no move to find out if he can free him from Purgatory. Going with the arguments made that Sam was wrong/bad to not look for Dean, Sam and the writers have stated that Sam really had no idea where to look. Dean at least did know where to look if he wanted to find and rescue Castiel.

I'm not saying he shouldn't feel hurt because Sam didn't look and I still think Sam not looking is very OOC, but Dean did do the same thing and he believed that he had let Cas slip.
SPN Fan
# SPN Fan 2012-11-16 01:10
Quote:
Well it does make Dean a teeny bit of a hypocrite.


I dont see how it does. Dean knew Cass was in purgatory and as I said above he knew the only way out was thru a human. So he also realises he cannot save him and hence his guilt. Sam didnt know where Dean was and (as of current info available) he didnt bother to find out. These situations are not the same. Dean feels guilty but Sam has moved on. He found peace with Dean's disappearence and does not feel guilty about not saving Dean (I personally dont think he should feel guilty am just pointing out the difference in attitude).
The situations are not comparable and hence calling Dean a hypocrite is unfair.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-16 11:52
percysowner, I don't think Dean leaving Cas behind makes him a hypocrite, as such, but, up until this week, I did think that Dean's leaving Cas in Purgatory must have had some big significance or something. I was hoping that the writers would come up with a much better reason for WHY Dean left Cas behind.

I had been supposing that Dean had tried to get Cas out (and most of the Purgatory flashbacks were supporting that view) and I had thought that something dreadful happened at the end of their escape attempt which meant that Dean had to make a painful choice which then meant that Cas was trapped and/or killed. Now, after this week's episode, we see that Dean has just been feeling guilty about leaving Cas behind in a situation where there wasn't much Dean could have done to save Cas anyway. And we see that Dean feels he should have saved Cas (although, I'm not sure how that would have been possible given that Dean remembered Cas slipping away from his hold rather than being let go of). This plot development is not quite as dramatic as I was hoping.

I was hoping that Dean had done something darker than what we are shown he actually did. TBH, I'm in agreement with Castiel that he should have stayed in Purgatory for a longer time to expunge his sins. Plus, given that Cas has seriously mucked up the Winchester brothers' lives over the past number of years, I do find it strange that Dean was able to put all of that behind him so easily when trying to make sure Cas also escaped Purgatory. I suppose we could put that down to Dean's 'save everybody' mentality??
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-16 12:38
Quote:
but he knows Cas didn't die, but makes no move to find out if he can free him from Purgatory.
Exactly and since Dean had faulty memory and feeling guilty he should have been "frantic" to find a way.
SPN Fan
# SPN Fan 2012-11-16 01:04
Probably becos Dean knew the only way out would be through a human (it is afterall a human portal only). He can save Cass only if he gets transported to purgatory again. This will not be possible and hence his guilt over not being able to save Cass.Not sure if this is a good enough explanation but its the only one I can think of :)
It is probably not the same as Sam's situation becos Sam didnt know where Dean was. Dean was upset becos Sam didnt LOOK for him not becos he couldnt save him. If Sam had said I searched for u but couldnt bust u out of purgatory then Dean may not be all that upset. Just my thinking. I may be wrong. Dean knew the only way out of purgatory and he knew without a human body Cass cannot get out. So to me the situations are entirely comparable.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-15 21:25
The obvious answer is what Dean told Sam -- that Cas was in no shape to be able to stay alive on his own in Purgatory, which goes back to the earlier statement Dean had said about Cas had changed, that something had happened to him.

IMO, Dean, who never gives up on anything, simply could make no sense of Cas not trying harder, of thinking he could never get through the portal, of just letting go. Dean took this as a personal failure that he once again had not saved Cas, just like he somehow couldn't save him for working with Crowley and releasing the Levi's.

I think we finally got to Carver's comment about 'perception.' Dean's perception of Cas not getting out was totall wrong, and Cas showed him what really happened.

Dean's perception that Sam left him to die for a girl will no doubt be wrong, too.

Sam's perception of his perfect normal life with Amelia is obviously going to be wrong, too.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-15 23:44
I think Jermey Carver was being a good little trickster, following in the footsteps of big daddy Eric Kripke. The show has been playing with our perceptions all along. Or at least since that rumored moment in S1 when EK and RS supposedly finally figured out what the show was really about. That core idea probably hasn't changed. Some story specifics? Sure. We know some of those have changed. But the core premise... I don't think so. But either the Team has dialed up the clues a little more, and a little more, and... on our way to here, or a person just needs to get the right number of the right clues before s/he starts to catch on.

I believe it's going to be sooooo much fun, when this ride is over, to pull out the DVDs and go.... "Oh, no way!" When you can connect the dots. At least I hope the team is going to connect the dots. I hope commerce will win out over trickstery mystery. Cuz there is chance that the "hidden story" will breathe a whole new life... a new understanding.. . new money for DVDs {hehehehe} etc... into the series in syndication.

Yes. I think Cas's "revelation" has a part to play with respect to playing with our perceptions. But I think Cas manufactured that, which on the surface would seem more deceptive than simply "playing with perceptions." This was actually setting the stage, and its role in playing with our perspectives is really more about affecting how our perceptions will be played with down the road.

If you want "playing with perception" this season, start with episode 1 (LOL).

Here's a question for you: Why do you think Dean wound up in Purgatory? Do you think it was because of Dick Roman? It seems many fans do. I don't. Really pretty sure. I suspect I know why fans think it was Roman. I know why I don't. And I think the "Roman fans" (LOL) have had their perception played with on that point.

Or... maybe not... Maybe I'm the one who is suffering from misperception about that. Time will tell. Maybe... {grin}
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-16 00:05
Oh... hang on. I never read the quote firsthand. Did he say they'd playing with the characters' perceptions, specifically? The yes, I'll perk on it but maybe Cas's hijacking by Heaven is the first big, overt example of that being "in the works." But the fans perceptions are not just being played with alongside the characters, they're being played with separately too. Some fans are expressing a range of negative emotions about Sam not looking for Dean and starting with Purgatory because Dick Roman's explosion makes it so obvious Sam should have started there. And yes...it seems that's what the writers want peopke to think... right now. But just because they want fans to think it, doesn't necessarily mean it's true.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-16 07:42
Yes, sometimes you almost wonder if showrunner types can't see that their work will promote riots and revolution! It's utter madness. If only we could just figure out whose...
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 11:36
double post , sorry :P
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 11:43
Hmmm... okay here's what I think.

Assuming that Dean's memory do twisted by Dean's doing and Cas' memory is the right one. But seeing as Cas' memory also being altered by Naomi, I can't be sure if Cas' memory is true here regarding of Dean's memory.

But assuming that Dean's memory do false and Cas' is true :

Dean's raised by a soldier. Soldier's motto is No one get left behind. John always said that to Dean, Dean always said that to Sam. Dean likes to think that if he can do it, he will try hard to save anyone. He will not stop saving innocents if he is still breathing. He will not stop saving Cas and he tries as hard as he can to pull Cas.

Now, he was faced by the fact that Cas somehow pulled away. Giving up. Dean can't comprehend that. Now, the difference is only in a brief seconds. For us who sit quietly at home watching TV or VCR, we don't have Dean's experience of high adrenaline, of fear, of pain, of everything. It's possible for me that during that panic and confusion and fear and high adrenalin, the little difference in the end before the portal closed is rather skewed. Add to that Dean's confusion and his inability to understand Cas motivation.

Dean asks himself, "Did I let go of Cas? I can't be. Because I never left anyone behind. That's what Dad always told me. It's impossible that I let go of him but if it isn't then why did Cas let go of my hand? Did Cas let go of me or Didn't I strong enough to pull him?"

Now, the fact that Cas pushed Dean's hand equal to Dean leaving Cas behind. Because Cas stood back and Dean being whisked by the portal. Cas didn't fall down the cliff instead, he let go of Dean's hand and Dean left him behind. That is far worse in Dean's opinion because Dean always try to save everyone, not to leave anyone behind in a war zone. He couldn't even let go of the guilt when Jo died.

It's easier or perhaps better for Dean's own sanity to think that perhaps it's not Cas that let go of his hand but rather he slipped the slippery rock and Dean couldn't reach him in time before the portal closes. But deep in his mind he knows that he couldn't save Cas because Cas refused to be saved. And that's the thing that Dean fails to comprehend.

Dean knows exactly where Cas is. The portal opens from the inside and deep down he knows that Cas don't want to be saved. Yet, his conscious mind denies it. Well, Dean's the king of denial. These two facts warring inside his mind and spurs his guilt.

Now, Sam. When Dean learns that Sam didn't even try to lift a finger to look for him, he was livid. After all Dean tried as hard as he could to pull Cas out of Purg. His word : "I know I can pull him out. I just don't understand why he didn't try harder."

Dean is a man who never leaves anyone, any of his comrade to die in a battle field. Even dead soldier must be dragged out. He believes that he didn't leave Cas behind, he opts to think that Cas "didn't make it" as stated in epi.01.

In Sam case, Sam can't say that "I've tried to look for you Dean but I didn't succeed, I've looked everywhere, I swear, but I couldn't find a way to open purgatory from outside without damning the world."

Dean only wants to hear that Sam did TRY. Just like he had TRIED so hard to get him and Cas out of purgatory. Because he doesn't want to leave Cas behind just like he doesn't want to be left behind by Sam. Dean doesn't understand why Cas pulled off as well as he doesn't understand why Sam gave up and didn't look for him.

Dean can relate with Sam IF Sam said that he did try to look for him as hard as he could but failed. Because Dean too tried as hard as he can to pull Cas but he failed.

The fact that Cas even let go of his hand is confusing to Dean as well as the fact that Sam did not look for him. Dean cannot relate with Sam because did what Cas did. Letting go of Dean.

This is also (maybe) why Dean said last week. "Cas let me down, You let me down."
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-15 20:57
Are we thinking that Crowley is actually a fallen angel and not a demon at all?

I feel like I saw that point somewhere...it is interesting, especially since Crowley seems to 'know' so much about Metatron's interactions with God.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-15 23:57
Wasn't it Crowley who asked Kevin what "Metatron" means? I was actually wondering if Castiel was Metratron, or had been possessed by Metatron...but I hate all the funky angel/demon speculation because 9 times out of 10 the speculation is way left field of what they end up doing on the show. :P
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 10:51
Yes he did, it was funny because he had just finished being bitchy about Metatron and God. Odd.

Also I realized after I posted that it would need major retcons for Crowley not to be a demon because he has been demon trapped several times. Of course he could have been faking it, but it is really unlikely.

I love the fact that the angels and demons keep soap-opera type tabs on each other's activities
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-17 13:20
Bamboo 24, it is a misemphasis in the line - I just saw it again he is asking what is Metatron talking about with regard to the compendium? "What does Metatron mean?"
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-16 00:43
Thanks for the fast review! I am not a big Cas fan but loved much of the episode. I was very happy to see warmth and caring between the brothers, although I am a little afraid that this means that the conflict between them is now considered dealt with, except for the Benny issue.

I enjoy all the speculation but I have a different impression. I believe that the exploration of the brothers' relationship this season is of a psychological nature, not a supernatural one.

Dean's memory of his escape from Purgatory was tainted and changed because of his self-perception as the failed hero, the destined savior who never quite does and his resulting perpetual guilt. I believe that we will see a similar story emerge for Sam and his memories of his year away. Not because his memories were angel manipulated, but because they will turn out to be tainted and changed by his self-perception . How that will play out exactly, I do not know, but I was struck by how the scene of Sam leaving Amelia in the middle of the night, for example, was dark and grey, as opposed to the rose-colored memories in the flash back scenes.

The movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is being mentioned as a possible comparison in the speculation of Sam's mind-wipe by angels, but I am actually more reminded of the movie Memento. That movie's plot slowly unfolds in reverse chronological order to the main character, who is trying to solve his wife's murder and who has lost his capacity for memory due to a brain injury. The story is told in scenes that vary very much in color and tone, depending on whose memory or which timeline is being shown. The conclusion is very different than expected, especially by the main character. Despite his memory issues, his expectations are very much colored by his self-perception .

It looked to me that the plot device of Dean's incorrect memory was being used in order to move Dean forward and away from his heavy burden of guilt (perhaps toward Carver's "maturing" of the characters) If they do something similar for Sam, that could be interesting. It still leaves some clunky holes in the narrative, but at this point I am chalking a lot of that up to some inconsistent writing and tone and perhaps some acting choices being made based on limited knowledge of long term plot.
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-16 00:49
Sorry for the double post! Not sure how that happened and I don't have an option to delete. Sorry!!
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 10:44
Okay, after really watching the episode, I will add what I think here.

As I said in previous comment after episode 2 or 3 maybe was aired, there is a big Evil character here at play but they play behind the screen.

The speculation is they maybe Naomi.

I also mentioned this theory before after episode 2 was aired that somehow this big Evil character (who is probably not Crowley) need Sam and Dean to be together because they need them to do their work. But they can't be seen.

So, they formulate a plan to guide Dean out of purgatory and make him think that he got out on his own. Of course Benny helps but that's just it.

Now, in this episode I think some of my theory is proven right after all and there is new aspect being shed to light here. If the angels can drag Castiel out of Purg with ease and going so far as erasing his memory then it's also possible that they can drag Dean out of Purg. Why didn't they?

Now, history stated that the Winchesters never do what they are told. They always fight to have their freedom, to do their own choice. So, just like what Cas did on 'Death Takes a Holiday' when he manipulate Dean to do his work, The CIAngels manipulate Dean,Cas and Benny to do their work.

If they help Dean out, Dean would resent them and they know that Winchesters and angels don't mix, well except Cas. Dean thinks of them as dicks anyway. So, helping Dean out blatantly, no. Formulating a plan so that Dean thinks he got out by himself will be easier to steer Dean into their path. When Dean is already on the path, he will drag his little brother Sammy with him.

The plan hit a break when Cas decides to stay behind in Purg. Cas should go out with Dean because they need him as spy. So, they pull Cas out and wipe his memory.

The angels need the tablet. But they can't work on it themselves because they know from history that by antagonizing demons so openly will cause a war and that is never pleasant. Not that the casualty will be severe, on the angel part, but the result will be minimum. Not to mention if hunters getting involve and also they have humans' soul to consider. Not that they care about human's on earth that much but at least they are not like demons who love to torture humans.

Covert operation is what they need. And they need a field agent. Reluctant fields agents.

I am still not sure about Sam. Seemingly Sam has nothing to do with this CIAngels scheme but who knows. Sam has behaved OOC and weird from the get go. Too concern about the tablet than Kevin's safety, Too concern about Cas than Dean's well being. His behavior is too similar to that of Samandriel. odd very ODD. Oh, don't forget about that shadow who lurks outside of the house in Epi.01.

I thought they are one of Crowley's demons to spy on Sam and make sure that Sam stay out of the hunting and maybe if Kevin manage to get a hold of him then they can follow Sam to get to Kevin.

But now I think there's possibility that it was an angel sent by Naomi. I thought about this too before because JC said that he will bring back angels. Angels = plural. That means angels other than Cas. More angels other than Cas. That should be interesting.

I think it's getting too long. I'll stop now. :D
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-16 10:59
hmmm,..but angels can make themselfes invisible. It would be easy to spy on Sam/Dean without being seen. Castiel did spy on them too. Also, they can easily erase Dean's memory. The angels spied on Sam if he is still alone or with Dean. Then they could have easily followed him to the cabin to find out Dean is back. Then.....memory -wipe. (I don't like the angels in SPN, sorry, I would rather have that demons can be redeemed and there is a way to atone for sins and to change-of course not all)!
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 11:58
Quote:
hmmm,..but angels can make themselfes invisible. It would be easy to spy on Sam/Dean without being seen. Castiel did spy on them too.
Yes true but we can also see when Cas was spying on them. It could be angel, could be demon.

In my more twisty and out of the box theory, it could be Dean because Dean has been topside far much longer than what we know and his memory has been erased. :D

Quote:
Also, they can easily erase Dean's memory.
How do we know that they haven't do that? :D

But if they didn't tamper with Dean's memory, it could be because doing that will arouse suspicion. And these angels want to stay behind the screen. They don't want the Winchester to suspect anything. They even want them to trust Cas.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-17 22:35
Well, whether intentional or not, you've got me thinking about that old Star Trek episode where Spoke mindwiped... Jim...
{sigh}
Maybe I'd be better off Cleopatra-ing my way back down the river on this one.
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-16 11:00
hmmm...but angels can make themselfes invisible. It would be easy to spy on Sam/Dean without being seen. Castiel did spy on them too. Also, they can easily erase Dean's memory. The angels spied on Sam if he is still alone or with Dean. Then they could have easily followed him to the cabin to find out Dean is back. Then.....memory -wipe. (I don't like the angels in SPN, sorry, I would rather have that demons can be redeemed and there is a way to atone for sins and to change-of course not all)!
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-16 11:37
Shadowhund, that angels can make themselves invisible is a good point, but I'm confused as to how they can locate Sam and Dean in the first place i.e. how did Castiel find Dean and Sam when they have anti-angel sigils/runes carved/burned into their ribs? I know that the CIAngels could just use old fashioned methods to locate them, but it would make it harder to spy on the brothers, wouldn't it?
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-16 13:52
My comment is related to the "person" who stood outside of Sam and Amelias house! Of course...we don't know yet who it was. But this "someone" could have followed Sam to the cabin.

Either Castiel has his "profound" bond to Dean and felt his presence...or the CIAngels put him exactly to the place for the big reunion (I know this sounds more like Soapernatural than the series I fell for....once) sorry my "hurt" comes out sometimes in my comments! It feels so redundant and familiar, I should be used to those feelings ...
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-17 06:41
Ah, now I understand, thanks for the explanation, shadowhund.

As for the apparently *profound* bond between Dean and Cas - I'm with you: I don't like or believe in it, and I dislike the writers for trying to push it down our throats for the last few years. I'd rather have the CIAngels as the reason for Cas turning up at Sam and Dean's motel.

I love your term 'Soapernatural' :D
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-16 12:05
This episode was silly.I found the reason for Dean's faulty memory and Cas's reason to stay silly.The whole scene after they kill leviathans did not make me feel urgency but was simply over the top.I loved Mrs Tran and her spirit.Sam's treatment of Dean even after what Dean told him was admirable.
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-16 14:07
anonymusN, yeah I think this episode was the stroke for the Castiel-Dean fans, and for me it came out almost like a silly joke too. This episode was a Dean and Castiel fest, Sam like usual sidelined and no insight in Sam.

What strikes me when I think of the episodes I can't think of a floating brothers relationship anymore but I think the whole time "so tptb are doing this because of Castiel fans and they doing this because Dean is the fan favorite and they doing this because with Sam they can do this".
If JC would know the brothers and their bond and would concentrate to give us equality with Sam and Dean, my whole feeling would be different for this season.
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-16 14:11
sorry for the double posts, I don't know why they are. Maybe it has something to do with my laptop.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 14:42
My posts are sending slowly too - try clicking on send, giving it a few seconds then refreshing the page - that might help.

EDIT: Never mind, I think it might be MY computer which is being glitchy....
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-11-16 18:07
Ardeospina, as much as I like you (and I like you an awful lot more than most people I’ve never met) I’ve never hoped that your speculations be wrong so much in my entire life. Apart from the fact that it’d be another rehash of a past storyline it’d also mean that this current incarnation of Sam isn’t actually Sam either; like hallucination Sam wasn’t Sam, and Soulless Sam wasn’t Sam and blood drinking Sam wasn’t Sam. What Sam wants this season isn’t actually what he wants, his hopes for this season aren’t actually his hopes, his actions this season, his thoughts and feelings this season, aren’t actually his own. Dear God, enough already! Let the disinterested, not caring, muted, ‘traitorous†™ Sam of this season BE Sam and explain him so that we can actually know something about him as a person and build from there. Another season of ‘Manipulated by external forces, this isn’t really Sam’ Sam and ‘It’s my responsibilityâ €™, single manly tear Dean would be just pulling the piss altogether. That’s not the say this couldn’t happen. The mention of Chuck does bring us directly back into the Apocalypse storyline so who knows.

Re: the episode. I’ll be honest, every time I think about I can’t help but laugh, and it’s not a ‘That was funny’ laugh but an incredulous ‘Did they actually do that?’ laugh. That’s not good, I know and I’m sorry, but I can’t help it!

Let me see if I get this straight; we see Dean feeling guilty about leaving Castiel behind even though he didn’t leave him behind, he just wanted to believe that he left him behind so that he could feel guilty for leaving him behind and we sympathise with Dean for feeling guilty for something he did only then to realise that he didn’t do it, despite the fact that if he did actually do it then that would be a valid reason to feel sympathy for, and empathy with, him? Now, instead of feeling sympathy for Dean I feel like an idiot for feeling sympathy for Dean in the first place! Man, you couldn’t make this stuff up (oh wait, they did make this stuff up......)

Could someone please tell me what exactly was the point of Dean ‘rememberingâ €™ wrong in relation to Castiel? Was it to highlight the difference between ‘I’ll never leave a man behind’ Dean and ‘Yearrah, I’ll help as long as I can get home in time for my tea’ Sam? Was it a manipulative ploy to elicit sympathy for Dean in that he carries all this guilt and responsibility on his shoulders for stuff he didn’t actually do? Is it a rehash of how Dean felt in season 5 and where it almost led him when he thought it was all on him back then?

From a storytelling POV I know how I’m supposed to react to this ‘Oh Dean, you brave, tortured soul. Come and rest your weary, tormented head upon my heaving bosom and let me caress your furrowed brow while you angst on the aforementioned heaving bosom' but I didn't. Maybe it’s because I’m not a mother or something but what I actually want to do is laugh and say ‘Dean, dude, you’re some muppet...’ He’s making up ‘bad’ things that he believes he did as a form of self punishment for living! Honest question, is it possible that Dean has some form of Munchausen Syndrome? Does he like feeling miserable?

At this stage I just hope to God that Benny is a good vampire, the bestest ever vampire, the vampire that revolutionises vampirism for all eternity. Let him be the vampire who discovers that Blood Zero stuff they use in True Blood so that neither he, nor any other vampire will ever again have to kill a human. Hell, have another Benny flashback episode and let us see him be the one who showed Samuel how to reverse vampirism because if Benny does anything untoward, if he even breathes wrong (do vampires breathe?) and this causes Dean to start with the guilt complex thing again, then I'll crack.

I’m sure all this ‘Another person I couldn’t save’ malarkey is written to show how big of a heart Dean has, how noble he is, how burdened he is but the persistent shoving of this down my throat doesn’t make me think he’s noble or brave or worthy, it just makes me think how damn unrealistic he is. He’s now a freaking comic book hero, stereotypical as bedamned and it’s the main reason why I’m finding it so hard to relate to Dean this season, to get on board with him because this guilt ridden Jesus complex he has is fierce hard to take.

Not only that but now I’m questioning all of Dean’s past harsh judgments on others. Did these people actually wrong him or was it just his persecution complex ridden ‘memory’ again? (Whoa, if that's the case we might actually get something positive said about John! There, I've found a silver lining!)

Add to that, it seems that Dean is now a character that the show is utterly unwilling to take risks with. Spoilers said that Dean would have secrets and feel guilty about what he did in Purgatory. His secret was that he bought back a new vegetarian bff who saved his life numerous times and what he feels guilty about.... he made up!! (I’m sorry, I’m laughing again.) That's warm, flat, diet Coke Dean when I'd have loved to have had a straight from the fridge, poured into a glass of ice diet Coke Dean. Oh God, I miss the bravery of past seasons.

I’m fully expecting the ‘Hater, hater, pumpkin eater’ (is that how it goes?) comments, by the way. The thing is, I used to love Dean, I want to like Dean, I’m hanging for a return of a Dean that I can like (and I don’t have very high standards, ask anyone) but this guy that I’ve seen for the past 8 weeks is one I wouldn’t cross the road for, let alone support in whatever quest he’s on. I just hope to God that the Purgatory storyline is done and dusted and now Carver can spend some time on making Dean a real boy again.

Well Sam, I see the little pep talk that you got last week worked. I’m now wondering if he should check for the presence of a soul because not a single emotion did he carry forward from then? Were these episodes filmed chronologically because I must admit, Sam is giving me whiplash with all the about turns he’s doing; he’s hurt, he’s not hurt, he’s pissed, he’s not pissed, he’s empathic, he’s not empathic etc. It was nice to see how supportive Sam was of Dean. Fingers crossed that we’ll actually get to see Dean do likewise someday instead of just throwing out comments about organic produce and peanut butter (I really didn’t get that peanut butter and chocolate comment that Dean made in 8.01. I mean, I get what he's referring to (I think) but I don't get it. Is it some sort of euphemism for a sexual sandwich or something?)

Question; Sam wants to close the gates of hell, why on earth is he then sending the one man with the knowledge of how to do that to Garth? Apart from the fact that the prophet would surely be safer with two hunters and an angel, would it not make more sense to stay with Kevin and work on getting the gates closed before Crowley snaps Kevin up again?

It’s strange that the character I was most interested in this episode was Castiel, a character I wasn’t overly keen on up until now. Here he was interesting (though I fear that ‘You won’t remember a thing’ thing is going to be an awful pain in the arse pretty soon). So Castiel decided that Purgatory was his punishment for his wrongs, Sam decided that the Cage was the punishment for his wrongs, is this guilt-ridden Dean his self determined punishment for his own (made up) wrongs? Though if Castiel is to keep an eye on the Winchesters and reporting back to the other angels, does this mean we’ll be seeing an awful lot more of him working with the Winchesters in episodes to come? I guess their solved case rate will go through the roof. And he’ll be able to reattach Kevin’s baby finger so he’ll definitely come in handy. I liked Kevin here too and I’ve no problem with him doing Crowley’s bidding after the finger thing. I went around with only one ear pierced for 11 years (it hurt....) so I’m certainly not able to judge him harshly. Mrs Tran reminds me of someone, some TV mother, in terms of her attitude and actions and I cannot for the life of me think who. It’s really annoying me.

It was nice to see actually Crowley being a bit scary here, given that he is a demon and all. At least the torture of Alfie was realistic with the snot and saliva and stuff (nice and phlegmy!). Did Castiel or someone not twig how Crowley got the names of the prophets in the first place and maybe think about a rescue? I like Alfie, he’s a dote, so he deserves a bit of a rescue (if he’s not already dead).

Does Dean now have vampire blood (or dust or whatever Benny was) in him? If so, will this have any effect on him in later episodes or will it just increase his bond with Benny?

Either Sam is wearing bigger tee-shirts or JP has lost body mass. And when I saw him in the bed I thought he had shrunk, I didn't realise his legs were bent.....

“It’s here, they promised”. Who are ‘they’? Is Benny working for the angels? Was he sent there to get Dean out and make sure that he and Castiel survived? Is he a vampire/angel hybrid? (Why not??) God knows, it did seem very convenient that Dean just happened to meet the one monster in Purgatory who was good and who just happened to know the way out of there. Is Amelia also an angel? Oh awesome, Sam could have shagged both sides of the heavenly spectrum. That’s one for the diary. (Dude, you've got to start hitting some Leviathan nightclubs......)

‘CIAngel’ is a great phrase, by the way. I am so going to be using that!

Thanks for this, Ardeospina.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-16 18:41
I should go catch busses more often! If this is what you do during that time :D Epic, I love it!

EDIT: sorry for being cryptic I wrote this in a rush earlier.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-16 19:13
Even though I really liked, no loved this episode(my standards are lower) That was a pretty entertaining comment. Good points all. Good to see you back.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-16 20:25
Quote:
Ardeospina, as much as I like you (and I like you an awful lot more than most people I’ve never met) I’ve never hoped that your speculations be wrong so much in my entire life.
That made me laugh. A lot.

Elegant disagreement you've put forth here. I'll let others respond more in depth, but I can see where you're coming from on this.

And yes, use CIAngel. I am rather tickled with it and would love everyone to use it!
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-16 21:38
Perfect Tim.I was surprised When i started laughing at Dean flashback and when Castiel explained what really happened it was silly not even funny anymore.
There was no urgency in the Levi Dean cas fight scene at the end.The fight scene was plain bad.They killed two Levis then there was no others why not stroll to the portal .
Effectwise even the portal was not looking like it was closing so again that was funny..The portal waited till Dean could reach out to Castiel and Cas could hold on to his hand and then it blinks out after Castiel tells him go on :D :lol: :o .The conversation before that flashback between Dean and Cas might have been the silliest conversation i have heard .Dean is still unrelatable to me, I thought this episode might make Dean more relatable, but no.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-16 22:32
Quote:
Ardeospina, as much as I like you (and I like you an awful lot more than most people I’ve never met) I’ve never hoped that your speculations be wrong so much in my entire life. Apart from the fact that it’d be another rehash of a past storyline it’d also mean that this current incarnation of Sam isn’t actually Sam either; like hallucination Sam wasn’t Sam, and Soulless Sam wasn’t Sam and blood drinking Sam wasn’t Sam. What Sam wants this season isn’t actually what he wants, his hopes for this season aren’t actually his hopes, his actions this season, his thoughts and feelings this season, aren’t actually his own. Dear God, enough already! Let the disinterested, not caring, muted, ‘traitorous’ Sam of this season BE Sam and explain him so that we can actually know something about him as a person and build from there. Another season of ‘Manipulated by external forces, this isn’t really Sam’ Sam and ‘It’s my responsibility’, single manly tear Dean would be just pulling the piss altogether. That’s not the say this couldn’t happen. The mention of Chuck does bring us directly back into the Apocalypse storyline so who knows. Re: the episode. I’ll be honest, every time I think about I can’t help but laugh, and it’s not a ‘That was funny’ laugh but an incredulous ‘Did they actually do that?’ laugh. That’s not good, I know and I’m sorry, but I can’t help it! Let me see if I get this straight; we see Dean feeling guilty about leaving Castiel behind even though he didn’t leave him behind, he just wanted to believe that he left him behind so that he could feel guilty for leaving him behind and we sympathise with Dean for feeling guilty for something he did only then to realise that he didn’t do it, despite the fact that if he did actually do it then that would be a valid reason to feel sympathy for, and empathy with, him? Now, instead of feeling sympathy for Dean I feel like an idiot for feeling sympathy for Dean in the first place! Man, you couldn’t make this stuff up (oh wait, they did make this stuff up......) Could someone please tell me what exactly was the point of Dean ‘remembering’ wrong in relation to Castiel? Was it to highlight the difference between ‘I’ll never leave a man behind’ Dean and ‘Yearrah, I’ll help as long as I can get home in time for my tea’ Sam? Was it a manipulative ploy to elicit sympathy for Dean in that he carries all this guilt and responsibility on his shoulders for stuff he didn’t actually do? Is it a rehash of how Dean felt in season 5 and where it almost led him when he thought it was all on him back then? From a storytelling POV I know how I’m supposed to react to this ‘Oh Dean, you brave, tortured soul. Come and rest your weary, tormented head upon my heaving bosom and let me caress your furrowed brow while you angst on the aforementioned heaving bosom' but I didn't. Maybe it’s because I’m not a mother or something but what I actually want to do is laugh and say ‘Dean, dude, you’re some muppet...’ He’s making up ‘bad’ things that he believes he did as a form of self punishment for living! Honest question, is it possible that Dean has some form of Munchausen Syndrome? Does he like feeling miserable? At this stage I just hope to God that Benny is a good vampire, the bestest ever vampire, the vampire that revolutionises vampirism for all eternity. Let him be the vampire who discovers that Blood Zero stuff they use in True Blood so that neither he, nor any other vampire will ever again have to kill a human. Hell, have another Benny flashback episode and let us see him be the one who showed Samuel how to reverse vampirism because if Benny does anything untoward, if he even breathes wrong (do vampires breathe?) and this causes Dean to start with the guilt complex thing again, then I'll crack. I’m sure all this ‘Another person I couldn’t save’ malarkey is written to show how big of a heart Dean has, how noble he is, how burdened he is but the persistent shoving of this down my throat doesn’t make me think he’s noble or brave or worthy, it just makes me think how damn unrealistic he is. He’s now a freaking comic book hero, stereotypical as bedamned and it’s the main reason why I’m finding it so hard to relate to Dean this season, to get on board with him because this guilt ridden Jesus complex he has is fierce hard to take. Not only that but now I’m questioning all of Dean’s past harsh judgments on others. Did these people actually wrong him or was it just his persecution complex ridden ‘memory’ again? (Whoa, if that's the case we might actually get something positive said about John! There, I've found a silver lining!) Add to that, it seems that Dean is now a character that the show is utterly unwilling to take risks with. Spoilers said that Dean would have secrets and feel guilty about what he did in Purgatory. His secret was that he bought back a new vegetarian bff who saved his life numerous times and what he feels guilty about.... he made up!! (I’m sorry, I’m laughing again.) That's warm, flat, diet Coke Dean when I'd have loved to have had a straight from the fridge, poured into a glass of ice diet Coke Dean. Oh God, I miss the bravery of past seasons. I’m fully expecting the ‘Hater, hater, pumpkin eater’ (is that how it goes?) comments, by the way. The thing is, I used to love Dean, I want to like Dean, I’m hanging for a return of a Dean that I can like (and I don’t have very high standards, ask anyone) but this guy that I’ve seen for the past 8 weeks is one I wouldn’t cross the road for, let alone support in whatever quest he’s on. I just hope to God that the Purgatory storyline is done and dusted and now Carver can spend some time on making Dean a real boy again. Well Sam, I see the little pep talk that you got last week worked. I’m now wondering if he should check for the presence of a soul because not a single emotion did he carry forward from then? Were these episodes filmed chronologically because I must admit, Sam is giving me whiplash with all the about turns he’s doing; he’s hurt, he’s not hurt, he’s pissed, he’s not pissed, he’s empathic, he’s not empathic etc. It was nice to see how supportive Sam was of Dean. Fingers crossed that we’ll actually get to see Dean do likewise someday instead of just throwing out comments about organic produce and peanut butter (I really didn’t get that peanut butter and chocolate comment that Dean made in 8.01. I mean, I get what he's referring to (I think) but I don't get it. Is it some sort of euphemism for a sexual sandwich or something?) Question; Sam wants to close the gates of hell, why on earth is he then sending the one man with the knowledge of how to do that to Garth? Apart from the fact that the prophet would surely be safer with two hunters and an angel, would it not make more sense to stay with Kevin and work on getting the gates closed before Crowley snaps Kevin up again? It’s strange that the character I was most interested in this episode was Castiel, a character I wasn’t overly keen on up until now. Here he was interesting (though I fear that ‘You won’t remember a thing’ thing is going to be an awful pain in the arse pretty soon). So Castiel decided that Purgatory was his punishment for his wrongs, Sam decided that the Cage was the punishment for his wrongs, is this guilt-ridden Dean his self determined punishment for his own (made up) wrongs? Though if Castiel is to keep an eye on the Winchesters and reporting back to the other angels, does this mean we’ll be seeing an awful lot more of him working with the Winchesters in episodes to come? I guess their solved case rate will go through the roof. And he’ll be able to reattach Kevin’s baby finger so he’ll definitely come in handy. I liked Kevin here too and I’ve no problem with him doing Crowley’s bidding after the finger thing. I went around with only one ear pierced for 11 years (it hurt....) so I’m certainly not able to judge him harshly. Mrs Tran reminds me of someone, some TV mother, in terms of her attitude and actions and I cannot for the life of me think who. It’s really annoying me. It was nice to see actually Crowley being a bit scary here, given that he is a demon and all. At least the torture of Alfie was realistic with the snot and saliva and stuff (nice and phlegmy!). Did Castiel or someone not twig how Crowley got the names of the prophets in the first place and maybe think about a rescue? I like Alfie, he’s a dote, so he deserves a bit of a rescue (if he’s not already dead). Does Dean now have vampire blood (or dust or whatever Benny was) in him? If so, will this have any effect on him in later episodes or will it just increase his bond with Benny? Either Sam is wearing bigger tee-shirts or JP has lost body mass. And when I saw him in the bed I thought he had shrunk, I didn't realise his legs were bent..... “It’s here, they promised”. Who are ‘they’? Is Benny working for the angels? Was he sent there to get Dean out and make sure that he and Castiel survived? Is he a vampire/angel hybrid? (Why not??) God knows, it did seem very convenient that Dean just happened to meet the one monster in Purgatory who was good and who just happened to know the way out of there. Is Amelia also an angel? Oh awesome, Sam could have shagged both sides of the heavenly spectrum. That’s one for the diary. (Dude, you've got to start hitting some Leviathan nightclubs......) ‘CIAngel’ is a great phrase, by the way. I am so going to be using that! Thanks for this, Ardeospina.
Just wanted to say you are the best.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-17 06:51
Oh Tim :lol: , such good points made in such an amusing way that it took some of worst of the the sting out the excellent, and relevant, critique but.....yeah, I am not massively confident about the writers' ability to weave a coherent plotline this year :-?
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-17 10:59
Tim, thank you for this tirade. I am always interested to read your comments!
What you wrote about Dean is dead on for me. I felt relieved and (almost) laughed, no I laughed about your description of Dean. Its sad that the writers only coming up with ideas how to give Dean his self inflicted pain-guilt-synd rom, and drape all the other characters around so "it can happen again".

Also what you wrote about Sam, I don't know this Sam anymore, and he is just sometimes this sometimes that, but no personality I recognize anymore. Although Jared is worth a look or two, but I think its not honorable how the writers work with the character. He was once honorable in the past for me, the character is diminsihed and right now I can't connect to him anymore......wr iters fault!

And Dean is just .....they don't dare to make him questionable things...really questionable, because he is the POV of SPN. If they would have shifted to Sam ...now that would have been INTERESTING!
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-16 21:39
About the Metatron's note. It looks like the demon's tablet is the last of the tablet. Whereas Leviathan's tablet could be the first of the tablet because the Levis are supposed to be the first beast?
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-17 11:03
Tim, thank you for this tirade. I am always interested to read your comments!
What you wrote about Dean is dead on for me. I felt relieved and (almost) laughed, no I laughed about your description of Dean. Its sad that the writers only coming up with ideas how to give Dean his self inflicted pain-guilt-synd rom, and drape all the other characters around so "it can happen again".

Also what you wrote about Sam, I don't know this Sam anymore, and he is just sometimes this sometimes that, but no personality I recognize anymore. Although Jared is worth a look or two, but I think its not honorable how the writers work with the character. He was once honorable in the past for me, the character is diminsihed and right now I can't connect to him anymore......wr iters fault!

And Dean is just .....they don't dare to make him questionable things...really questionable, because he is the POV of SPN. If they would have shifted the POV to Sam ...now that would have been INTERESTING!
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-17 11:17
Yes I have to confess I was hoping for a little more with Dean than self inflicted guilt and he is too hard on himself .But it wasnt to be and I have to agree with Tim I do think they play it safe with Dean.

The theory that Sam may of been manipulated does provide a explanation to Sam this season I mean something has to but at the same time it would be sad has Sam would be robbed again of deciding for his life.