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I have to admit I was not a big fan of “Hammer of the Gods," "Supernatural’s" last episode featuring Greek gods. So I wasn’t terribly excited when I saw the previews for “Remember the Titans." But as sweetondean put it last week, a less-than-stellar episode of "Supernatural" is better than a good episode of most other shows out there. And while I didn’t love “Remember the Titans” I thought it was a perfectly entertaining standalone hour of television.

I wish “Remember the Titans” had done a little more to advance the story arc of Sam facing God’s trials. The episode certainly tried to. There was a definite parallel between Sam and Shane that the writers made painfully obvious at points. Dean draws the parallel for us at the beginning of the episode, and at the end of the episode Sam points it out one more time for those in the back of the room. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly fine parallel. I just think it could have been a bit more subtle. Shane and Sam are both destined to live a cursed life fighting to save the world. They have to make sacrifices and give up the people they love in the process. And yeah, they both die a lot. I do hope that Shane’s final death is not a foreshadowing of what we can expect for Sam. The parallel definitely works but for me it wasn’t new information. We already knew all these things about Sam. He’s been cursed from the get-go. He has made a lot of sacrifices and lost a lot of loved one in the fight to save the world. And he’s been dying on and off since the second season. Maybe I’m missing an important piece of the puzzle, I’ve certainly done it before. Was the whole story meant to remind Sam that he could die at the end of these trials? Dean has been telling him that since the beginning. I wonder why it took Shane’s story to convince him?


Speaking of Sam and the trials, what is up with all the blood? A little blood out the nose is nothing new for this show, but when it starts coming out the mouth I get worried. I don’t even know where to begin speculating what might be happening to Sam’s body. Is it a way to weaken him for the trials? I don’t know. I’m interested in the fact that the first trial had to do with bathing in blood and now Sam himself is bleeding. Will all the trials have something to do with blood or is this just a coincidence?

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Another thing that troubles me is that he hasn’t told Dean. Dean isn’t dumb, he knows something is up with Sam. And Sam can see that Dean is suspicious so what’s the point in keeping the secret? I’m sure Sam thinks he’s protecting Dean by keeping this from him. But as we saw at the end of the episode, Dean is more worried than ever. When Dean starts to pray you know it’s bad. We’ve only seen him praying when he’s completely out of options and terrified for his brother’s safety. The whole scene was very moving and as usual Jensen Ackles really brought his A-game.

Dean: “You know I’m not one for praying because in my book it’s the same as begging. But this is about Sam so I need you to hear me. We are going into this deal blind and I don’t know what’s ahead or what it’s gonna bring for Sam. He’s covering it up pretty good but I know he’s hurting and this one was supposed to be on me. So for all that we’ve been through, I’m asking you to keep a lookout for my little brother, okay?”

Dean is worried about Sam, Sam is trying to keep Dean from worrying about him. I think these boys would benefit from a nice talk. Sam did open up a bit after realizing that he may not make it out of these trials in one piece. He may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel but wishful thinking doesn’t always save you. His fear is perfectly logical. They have no idea what to expect from these trials and there is no getting around them. Whatever has to be done will have to be done. I just hope that Sam doesn’t lose his hope for a Clark Griswold-style-life. He and Dean are both counting on it for strength and I’d love to see them both get their happily ever after.

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So let’s talk about the Greek gods. I liked Shane. He was selfless and trusting. I was surprised at how quickly he just accepted the fact that he was Prometheus but I can let that slide for time’s sake. His life was terrible. He was cursed by Zeus for saving the world and even though he couldn’t remember doing it he took full responsibility. He even died to protect a son he barely knew, not to mention Sam and Dean, so he’s good in my book. I was intrigued by the backstory between Artemis and Shane. But I did wonder why she was so ready to kill him just because he forgot who she was. It seemed a little rash to me. Maybe there’s more of a story there? Any mythology buffs out there? Sam picked up on Artemis’ non-verbal love cues pretty quickly and I loved how confused Dean was throughout the entire process. It made me smile watching him try to keep up.

So there you have it. Not a bad episode by any means, I just would have liked to see a bit more plot advancement. I like a good standalone every now and then but I’m ready to jump back into the meat of the story arc. Looks like that’s what we’ll get on March 20th when the show returns. (That mini-hiatus snuck up on me!) I’ll be happy to see Crowley again and hopeful that we’ll get a good dose of Cass. I miss our feathered friend. So what did you guys think of the episode? Were you intrigued by the story? What did you think of Zeus? I was a little underwhelmed by him.

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As usual there were some quotes and moments worth mentioning.

I thought it was funny that the trooper was trying to convince Sam and Dean that they were dealing with a zombie.

I loved the fight scene between Shane and Artemis. I thought it was well coreographed.

Dean’s “Awkward” after he finds out about Shane’s post-sex heart attack made me laugh.

Dean: “Here we go”
Sam: “What do you got?”
Dean: “Dragon penis.”

Dean: “We’re legacies...no big deal.”

Dean: “Balls.” And Bobby lives on.

Dean: “You promised to live a long, Clark Griswold life.”

And lastly, did anyone else laugh about how Sam found a list of practicing Greek pagans and their burial information online so quickly? I just have to smile about those kinds of things.

Comments  

Nate
# Nate 2013-02-28 17:00
".....and at the end of the episode Sam points it out one more time for those in the back of the room."

Sofia, that had me rolling on the floor! :) Good review. I agree this was a good episode. I also would have liked to see a bit more plot moving. A lot of fans feel last week's ep was bad, to be followed up by a solid ep, but 2 weeks of not a lot of forward movement. At least we got more MOL lair scenes, Sam et. all using the research books, and the last scene was Jensen at his best x100.
sofia
# sofia 2013-03-01 07:58
Last week's episode was not a favorite of mine so I was glad to see "Remember the Titans" attempting some plot movement. I am excited for March 20th though. It looks like we'll really be moving then.
Becky
# Becky 2013-02-28 17:14
Thanks for the review! I liked the line about,"What do we know that has Jason Bourne fighting skills, dies a lot and has a history with violent women? and Dean answers, "I don't know. You?". :D
sofia
# sofia 2013-03-01 07:55
Yes, that was a favorite of mine! Can't believe I forgot to include it at the end!
debbab
# debbab 2013-02-28 18:26
I thought the lack of subtlety when Dean compares Shane to Sam was done for humor, and to catch newbies up on Sam's habit of dying thru the seasons and his poor taste in women, and maybe to replant that all will not be well for Sam. Loved the zombie humor. Yep, Dean is no dummy-he knows Sam is in trouble at this point he and the viewers are at almost the same point of view since Dean does know somethings wrong b/c Sam is acting cagey. He also has a strange reaction when Sam tells Artemis to go ahead and kill them if she wants. The nose bleeds were due to the stress Sam put out exorcising demons. Here the coughing blood is not precipitated by effort. He is washing up so it looks like it happens without any physical stress inducement so his body is perhaps weakening-he does not get up so fast in this episode-remembe r that light in his arm and the headache-did he swallow any hell hound blood? It did not look like he did, but can we tell? The theme of absentee dads came up again. It was good to see sam try to reach out to the little boy. The boy made a tough decision to stay at the funeral, reflective of the brothers difficult decisions. Jared's hair was much improved. The final scene reminded me of when Sam is detoxing and dean goes out and asks the stars for help. It was a solid episode of going back to hunting but it served to connect the past, present, and tablet future story-reminding us that CAS is out there. Zeus was kind of "douchy" but wasn't he supposed to be? Not an absentee father, but one who could not take his son's preference for humans=familiar story we heard about Lucifer. It was a well thought out episode which covered a lot, brought forward many threads and we do not always need an intense episode or we will burn out as well. has been some chatter that the drunk driver is not punished- we know he is going to hell or is he since nobody died?. Did not watch the show for a lecture on perils of drinking/drivin g.Once again, Jensen gave a superb soliloquy just enough pathos to make u wait till 3/20.
sofia
# sofia 2013-03-01 08:12
I agree that Dean comparing Shane to Sam was for humor and it was really funny. But I think it was also strategic. It got us thinking about the parallels right off the bat. That's fine with me, but I'm just not sure that we needed all the hints we got. We're a smart fandom, we could have figured it out.

Zeus was douchy...I think my problem with him was that he is supposed to be this all-powerful god and I was unimpressed with his abilities.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-03-01 22:12
We could have figured it out ourselves, BUT the brother who died every day and came back every day was Dean in Mystery Spot, so I can see where the writers wanted to bring the focus back to Sam. Because of what happened in Broward County Dean has died many more times than Sam and come back.
nancyL
# nancyL 2013-02-28 19:08
Thinking about the trials and Sam's aliments, makes me remember the Buffy episode 'Helpless':

The council had to drug the Slayer to weaken her, so that the idiots could test how strong she really was. Lucky for Buffy, she was still badass even weak and her watcher felt terrible guilt and loved her like a Dad. Go Giles.

Anyway, maybe that is what the trials are all about, weakening you (Sam) to see how strong your inner spirit really is. But like Buffy, Sam has a very strong man at his side, ready to help him out, if Sam would only tell poor Dean the truth.
Lark
# Lark 2013-02-28 21:56
"Was the whole story meant to remind Sam that he could die at the end of these trials? Dean has been telling him that since the beginning. I wonder why it took Shane’s story to convince him?"

Before Sam was healthy. When he killed the hellhound and accepted the role of champion, Sam was at the top of his health and confident enough to say to Dean, "I can do this." All before the TB-like condition which severely weakens the strongest man. So now Sam is not so confident anymore and Shane (a Titan!) story only
reinforce that doubt.

Dean has gotten more reckless ever since Sam chose him over Amelia; with his original plan A to call the hellhounds at the crossroad and his determination to do the trials in order to spare Sam. If Sam tells Dean of his TB-like condition, there is a fair chance that Dean would react with overreaction. We all seen many examples of this. Heck, the brothers going after Zeus, the king of gods, without hesitation is typical Winchester recklessness.
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-28 22:44
The conversation between Sam and Prometheus in the graveyard is interesting:
Sam: Trust me it was worth it, you pretty much saved the world.
Prometheus: Yes but it means nothing if I can't save my son.

Sam looks pretty thoughtful after that doesn't he? I wonder if we haven't quite finished with the whole 'why didn't you look for me?' storyline just yet.

I don't like the way it looks like panning out though ...
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-28 23:46
I will hope until the end of the season that they will revisit what Sam did after Dean disappeared, but I suspect it is a vain hope. The writers are too invested in Sam the bad, neglectful brother vs. Benny the better brother and Cas the woobie brother who can't help betraying Dean. Sam's story is over and done and I see no indication that the writers care at all about it.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-03-01 20:41
Quote:
I will hope until the end of the season that they will revisit what Sam did after Dean disappeared, but I suspect it is a vain hope.
Me too. To me, that is getting to be the most important question of this season. The longer it is unanswered, the larger it looms. I can hardly stand not knowing. :-|
mer
# mer 2013-03-01 10:20
Thanks for a wonderful review.

For me, Shane accepted himself as Prometheus quickly, yes. However, I didn't think it was 'too' quick because, after all he knows he dies everyday and he was shown how a bird ate his liver, so for him the math was simple...
Amy
# Amy 2013-03-02 15:00
Thank the lotus blossoms someone else saw Zeus as underwhelming. The charector was so one note evil he was boring.

As to Sam not telling Dean he's coughing up blood...i think it has partly to do with Sam not knowing who he would be telling. His hunting partner and brother.....or his obsessively protective helicoptor mommy.

And I'm sorry but Sam has NEVER wanted a clark griswald kind of life. He's wanted safe and he's wanted normal but Sam himself has never defined what those things actually mean TO HIM so it seems Dean is trying to force his own ideas of normal onto Sam.

Also....no matter how violent the death, the actual cause is because their heart stops due to the physical trauma.

I think the best part of the whole episode was the sheriff. SN seems to be supergood at writing exceptional one off sheriffs.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-03-05 05:16
I don't know, Amy, I don't think I agree with you on Dean forcing his own ideas of normal onto Sam.
Yes, I think Dean equates 'normal' with growing old with a wife and kids, and he might genuinely believe that is what Sam wants.
Sam's idea of normal might very well be burying himself in books in the Batcave and becoming some super-guru on all things supernatural, but just because their views on this might differ, doesn't mean Sam is somewhow obligated to what Dean thinks normal means for him.
If Sam truly wants 'normal', I'm sure he will pursue his version of it and no one else's, and I can't see that Dean can be upset about it as long as it's Sam's choice and he's happy.
Lark
# Lark 2013-03-05 07:15
I agree and disagree PaintedWolf. Dean is happy with Sam's choice as long as it involves hunting while Dean is still alive. In "Heart" Sam sulked and counted the days until the hell gate closes and so he can get out of hunting while Dean went on and on about how he is at most content/happy driving down crazy road with Sam beside him. Once Dean is dead (for doing the tests) then he would like Sam to have "normal" of growing old with a wife and kids. Sam now having to do the tests threw off Dean's post mortem plan for him.

Dean likely feels some guilt that Sam gave up Amelia for good when Sam made it clear that Amelia was his lifeline when he had NO family left; and Dean never asked about Amelia (yeah I know Dean was very angry and rightfully so) and never tried to meet her. Dean gave Sam his blessing to pursue that life again, post-Dean.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-03-05 09:26
Didn't Dean mention in this episode again though, about the normal life thing? After Sam has taken on the trials?
I dunno maybe I'm just hoping that after the normal life thing being such a point of contention between the brothers that maybe Dean has finally made peace with Sam's choice, whether he lives to see it or not.
Leah
# Leah 2013-03-02 21:45
I enjoyed this episode. I was determined to after the last "less than stellar" one. But it wasn't that much of an effort. I liked the sheriff who believed in the possibility of zombies. The characters and acting was generally good. I liked the little boy he seemed sweet and sad, and showed that with only his eyes until the end. Loved the brothers in this one. What will we get next episode though?

One last thing, is it just me or is that sheet draped on Shane rather like a toga in the morgue scene? The right shoulder was open while the left arm was covered in the manner of ancient greeks. Maybe a coinsidence. He was just cold?

Thank you for the review Sofia!!