I promised it, and I’m delivering!  After my procedure Tuesday, I have risen like a phoenix from the ashes (preferably one that has reformed and/or hasn’t killed so I can get the Winchester brothers to decide not to do me in...) and am working on my review.  O.K., I’m being a little melodramatic...it really wasn’t a big deal, but still, it has meant I haven’t been able to work out all week...or really do much of anything--like go to the library and download the episode to watch.  And dealing with my parents...but that is another story for another day...



 

The story of the day is “A Little Slice of Kevin”, the episode of Supernatural that aired last week.  As is typical with boys (or at least our boys), the angst between Sam and Dean has been put aside to deal with more important things--like a string of random kidnappings...and Dean’s man-pain over leaving Cas in Purgatory.  We got a lot of Flashback Purgatory moments, and Dean looks so amazingly splendiferous all dirty and feral that I thought I would write a sonnet to better illustrate:



 

A Sonnet to Dean Winchester

 

Oh Dean, your man-pain always hurts my heart,

When seeing you does bring me so much glee,

You know the fight is yours to take your part,

And look so sexy that you make me squee.

 

But on your shoulders so much weight you bear,

And fail to see the good that you have done,

Each time you shed that manly single tear,

You brace yourself and stay when others run.

 

Although so many times you have been told,

Impossible it is to save them all,

You blame yourself for leaving Cas out cold,

You blame yourself whenever others fall.

 

If only you would hear what others speak,

You’d see your strengths and see you are not weak.

 

It was touch and go for a minute whether the sonnet would be about Sam or Dean...Jared Padalecki’s hair may warrant a sonnet all on its own.  We will see where the season takes me.  A sonnet has been requested about Miles Matheson’s hair (Revolution.  If you aren’t watching, you may want to get on that).  I write reviews for Revolution on the www.tvfortherestofus.com site.

 

I may or may not have sighed a bit when I read in the credits that the episode was written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming.  They are the writing team that brought us Route 666 and Slice Girls.  While I always am ready for a Dean!Sex scene, the storylines were not my favorites.  The director was Charles Robert Carner, who I IMDB searched, but didn’t recognize anything he has done.

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised about the episode, though. The fact that Mama Tran was duped by a witch left me underwhelmed--a slight bit obvious.  Witches tend to be bad news in the SPNverse. Ms. Tran busting out the way she did with the massive water-launcher was glorious!  As was finding out that prophets are a lot like vampire slayers (Buffyverse).  I was happy to see Chuck brought up.  We haven’t really heard anything about Chuck, and you’d think this whole “prophet of the Lord” thing would have sparked a renewed interest like “hey, what happened to Chuck?” I think most of us have questioned if Chuck was really a prophet or something else--maybe God himself.  The way “Swan Song” was done definitely seemed that way.  I suppose Chuck throwing his name on a list wouldn’t be that big a deal...The angels don’t see to have any knowledge of the prophets other than their names. It is very possible...especially since the angels don’t seem to know what happened to Chuck.

 

So much more than the witch betrayal and finding out about the other potential prophets happened though.  There was a lot of movement in this episode!  Cas returned,  we met Naomi (Amanda Tapping), and got to see that we aren’t done questioning the intention of the angels.  Dean’s man-pain was showing, and Sam was worried about his brother and Cas...

 

Like Sam and Dean, Crowley has been searching for Kevin Tran...but Crowley has decided to buy himself some insurance in the process.  Only one prophet exists at a time, but all angels have the knowledge of each potential prophet in the currently living generation.  As such, Crowley has kidnapped Samandriel and tortures him for the names of the potentials. He then sends demons out for them.  Ms. Tran employs a witch to help them find ingredients for “demon bombs” with disasterous results, and Dean’s guilt over leaving Cas in Purgatory reaches new levels...or does it?

 

And on to the analysis...



 

After last episode’s blow up, this episode was a breath of fresh air.  We saw Sam and Dean working together and deciding together that they should look into the random kidnappings.  We saw Sam worried about his brother’s new level of distraction, and Sam listen to Dean when Dean mentioned his misgivings about how Cas got out of Purgatory.  All in all, it was a very healthy brotherly exchange, complete with the hand on the shoulder showing support.

 

Part of me worries about this brush over of the issues that came out the episode before.  Are we just glossing over what happened? Tucking it into a pocket and forgetting about it?  But then I remember, these are guys.  They fought it out a bit last time, but the moment has passed and they probably want to get back to what they do.  Dean said things while under ghost influence, Sam said things in anger.  I’m sure neither one of them wants to dwell on it.  I’m also sure that since Dean is actually showing some willingness to discuss some aspects of things today, Sam wouldn’t want to infringe on that potentiality for growth in their relationship in any way.

 

What I really loved seeing was just how well Sam and Cas know Dean.  He isn’t much of a talker.  He is someone who is a real “guy’s guy” and wants so badly to appear strong and together.  Part of it is being the older brother.  He feels like he always has to be the strong one.  This attitude has been part of his life and part of his psyche.  Because it is so ingrained in his personality, we’ve even seen it in the way he treats Cas. In this episode Cas knew, and I’m sure Sam did too, that even though Dean was saying he didn’t “understand why he (Cas) didn’t try harder” and how it wasn’t on him that Dean blamed himself.  He was saying these things not so much to convince Cas or convince Sam, but to convince himself.  I loved that moment when Cas says “So you think this was your fault?”. I love that Cas knows Dean well enough to not try to talk him through understanding.  That would mean that Dean would be putting what Cas said against his own memory of what happened.  Instead, Cas showed Dean what happened. Dean couldn’t refute that.  As Cas said, Dean remembered it the way he needed to remember it.

 

Dean always tries so hard to save everyone.  I love that Cas and Sam see that as one of Dean’s strengths.  Both of them have at times seen this differently, however. Dean’s attempts to save everyone also seem to mean that, to an extent, Dean is always trying to control the situation.  He remembers how he failed people, or how he could have made things work out differently.  He doesn’t factor into things how other people’s will can affect the outcome.  Cas points out that he was stronger than Dean and able to push Dean away.  Sam has seen this in the past as Dean always treating him like a little brother and not like an equal. 

 

In this episode he was doing a little ordering around of Cas, but I do see where he has been trying to make corrections where Sam is concerned.  I think Dean feels that with what happened with Crowley, what happened in Purgatory, and the fact that Cas has no memory of how he got out of Purgatory, that maybe Cas isn’t ready for big decision making on his own.  

 

Maybe with Sam laying it on the line Dean is ready to give some of that control over to Sam.  I feel that we can see a beginning of this when Dean talked to Sam this episode about seeing Cas, and then after about his misgivings about Cas and how he got out of Purgatory. 

 

Turns out Dean’s hesitancy regarding how Cas got out of Purgatory was well founded. We know that a group of angels stormed Purgatory to get Cas.  My question is why at that particular moment?  Did the fact that Cas pushed Dean into the rift, sacrificing himself, make him worthy of redemption?  Was it a higher order that called him back?  Is this like when God saved Cas? And that whole ultra-blue eyes, showing his wings show he gave Crowley symbolic of that whole thing we learned about back with Chuck? 



In “The Monster At the End of This Book” we found out that if a Prophet of the Lord is threatened, an archangel shows up to smite whatever is threatening him/her. Could Cas have been elevated to archangel?  If so, why did that visit with Naomi seem like they were brainwashing him somehow? What are the angels after?  I am trying not to be too cynical. Maybe they were just interested in finding out what was going on with “the word” and making sure it didn’t fall into the wrong hands.  We have seen the angels doing some pretty sneaky things though...

 

And what was Kevin about to read in that post script from Metatron? I am very curious about that. We now know that there are a compendium of these tablets.  more than just leviathan and demons.  Angels? Monsters? The possibilities are endless.  Is there a tablet about God himself?  I love that there are endless possibilities.  I worry about the whole is Cas being played as a chump thing...I really don’t think Dean is going to fall for it.  Dean has been burned before by Cas.  I don’t think he’ll be so quick to overlook odd occurrences this time.  That power the angels have to pull him out and return him to the same moment so that they never know he is gone will make seeing through Cas very difficult. Cas isn’t supposed to remember the meetings.  Poor Cas!

 

I really liked Ms. Tran’s kick butt behavior in this episode!  We got to see her get her mom on (being not impressed by her son staring at Delta’s butt). She was so great taking that demon on, AND tying him up and putting him in her trunk to bring over to the Winchesters!  Her whole hiring a witch thing showed she is still a newbie at this...And there was even that wonderful moment where we see the generational differences! (“Casual encounters.  That means no questions asked.” “No, Mom, that’s another section of Craig’s List.”).  Looks like Cas will be able to fix that finger for Kevin!  And I loved the Garth reference!  Ms. Tran and Kevin are going to Garth’s!  This shows that Sam and Dean respect and trust Garth.  Sure, he may not be Bobby, but he’s earned their respect, and that is awesome. I’m excited for the chance to see Garth again. He brings an optimism into the mix that Sam and Dean have been lacking.  They have both had to shoulder so much crap for so long, that Garth is really good for them.  In my opinion anyway.

 

I also liked how Sam brought up the possibility that Dean seeing Cas could be “survivor’s guilt”.  Maybe the oddness we’ve seen from Sam so far this season (lines that don’t totally seem like “Sam” things to say, or looking for a fight) have to do with Sam’s issues regarding that as well. Did Sam have a “Xander” moment and feel that maybe Dean was in a better place--that he didn’t have the right to drag Dean back.  Maybe he really had to work at it himself to walk past losing Dean (like he was trying to tell Dean he needed to do about Cas).  We saw that there might have been an issue wit this in “Southern Comfort” when Sam told Amelia about how horrible it was losing Dean.

 

The Purgatory scenes were as amazing as they have been all season.  I especially loved seeing the leviathans rise up out of the ooze and form into people Death Eater Levi style!  I also loved seeing Benny’s soul dematerialize into light and go into Dean’s arm.  The “trust” moment where Dean comments that Benny has “earned it” was great. I also liked Benny’s side comment to Cas about how he thought they (angels) were “all about faith”.  Faith and trust came up a lot in that convo right before getting to the rift...

 

With Sam and Dean, Cas and Benny, this episode has a bunch of moments, allusions and side notes to trust and faith. Dean’s faith in Cas is not there, but what is definitely there is a desire to find that faith again.  Standing in the way of that is the lack of understanding of how Cas got out of Purgatory.  Now we also have the possibility of Cas as the reluctant spy. Benny wasn’t in this episode other than in flashback, but we know from past flashbacks, as well as what Dean said to him in one of these flashbacks that Benny has earned trust as far as Dean is concerned.  The fact that Dean was confiding his fears to Sam in this episode is demonstrative that Dean is working on their relationship as “equals."

 

Kevin and Ms. Tran thought they could do better on their own, but have shown a “green-ness” when it comes to understanding just who they can and can’t trust, and to what extent people will go.  They definitely couldn’t be left alone, and are being left with Garth, someone who has shown Sam and Dean worthy of their trust.

 

And just because I love to give y’all the music from the eppie... add “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals to your playlist!

 

Let me know what you thought of the episode!  Unfortunately, we have to wait another week for a new one--not this Wednesday, but NEXT Wednesday.  Thanks for reading!

Screencaps from http://homeofthenutty.com/supernatural/screencaps


 

Comments  

wendy shimmin
# wendy shimmin 2012-11-18 14:49
I am loving this season - I like the uncertainty regarding the CIAngels and Crowley is deliciously evil - the King of Hell and not just of Snark. What I am liking most is that the season isn't as dark and claustrophobic as some of the past ones.

Now on to this episode - having Garth and the Trans together will be very good for the Trans. They will see that the hunter world is not all evil toothy bitey monsters - there are hugs for the asking.

Cas is always a welcome visitor but I hope the Jedi mind trick is going to stop work on him within the next few episodes. I loved the smile on his face when he steped out of the bathroom all clean and tidy.

And I was surprised to see all the mellowness between the boys but I was also happy to see it - I hope there was a lot of time spent in the Impala not talking and then only saying what was actually needed - using grown-up words and "I feel " statements.

Anyway - I am reloving Supernatural and hope to continue on this path for the rest of the season and on.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-18 14:59
I hope Cas figures it out, too! I don't much like the idea of him being duped...but at least he isn't betraying them willingly! Still, perceptions and trust...Thanks for reading and commenting! I'm loving this season too! :D
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-11-18 21:37
Nice write up Nicole! Ode to Dean...my life is an ode to Dean.... :lol:

Anyhoooo... I really dug this episode, it was chocked full of all the stuff I like and yeah, Dean and his hero complex, to me, will always be a thing of beauty...I can't helps it!

You know what I love about season 8...and I'm really loving season 8 as most people have become aware of.... I love that the Winchester Universe is being opened up again.

Last season everything was stripped away, ostensibly to draw the brothers together. But then at the end, they were ripped apart and have to, once again, struggle to find their way back to each other. So, what was the point? Their world was reduced to 2 and in that situation there can be no outside perspective to help you see yourself, your brother, your relationship or your actions. How can you grow when you only have one other person to interact with?

This season there are people! New characters and familiar characters, all of whom can shed light upon the brothers and their journey, past and present. The season feels more expansive because of it, in the best possible way. Not big and unweilding, but personal. The whole thing feels more personal and so the stakes feel higher.

Seeing the brothers as individuals and as a duo through other's eyes is good for them and good for us. It's not taking away from their relationship for me. In fact it's doing the opposite.

It feels like a breath of fresh air has blown through Supernatural. I like!

Hope you're feeling better :-)
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-18 21:53
thanks Amy! I agree. We have added in more people into the mix, but haven't lost that personal touch :D I am happy.
Tiny
# Tiny 2012-11-18 23:44
Awesome review Nicole! I LOVE the sonnet, are you writing some tunes for it too? That'll be a great song!! Do it!

You know how much I love this episode, right? There's just so much in this episode, it's taking awhile for me to process its awesomeness!! I love the angels are back the story, like you, I love the Chuck and Garth reference. I think Mrs Tran is funny! Sorry, but I think she totally is! She has great chemistry with Kevin.

I love how Sam is all caring in this episode. He bothered me a little last week, but this week he is good. But I don't know if it's me or not, Sam's anger or whatever is not very consistence. I mean, he is all caring this week, but he wasn't before. And they didn't carry on with the whole Sammy doesn't like Benny thing. I guess time will tell.

I can smell my mangoes, they smell so good! I'm gonna eat one now.

Peace out!

(And yes, I am going to watch Revolution soon!)

(((bear hugs)))
Tiny
xoxo
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-19 07:37
What I found was interesting was how in this one episode, Carver expanded the whole SPNverse. He opened up a lot of avenues with the bringing up of the archangel Metatron and the compendium of tablets and with adding the question of Naomi and what she's up to.

My only regret is that I wished he would have added more interesting characters into this expansion. I personally find Garth, Kevin, and especially Mrs. Tran and Charlie more suitable characters to the Disney channel's pre-adolescent shows. Benny, though, is a keeper; yet, I feel like he is doomed vampirate walking.
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Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-20 12:45
Thanks Nicole for another great review. And what a beautiful sonnet for Dean, our psychically wounded soldier, I can't wait for the one dedicated to Sam's hair, it is quite pretty this season. Anyhoo, shallowness over and onto the wonderful episode we got from two writers I don't usually care for that much. It was chock full of great things. The beginners foibles with the Trans, the evilness of Crowley, the awesomeness that is Cass in full angel mode, and the CIAngels. I just can't wait for the next episode! Catch you on the other side for the review of Revolution, another show I'm really enjoying this year. Kripke you magnificent bastard! :lol: