Boys, boys, boys.  Oh how you crush me so.  Last week I went on a wee bit (yeah right) of a rant about how I was dying for movement in the whole angel thing.  While the episode itself was well constructed, my overall sentiment was a rinse, lather, repeat type attitude.  I’ve seen this with Sam and Dean.  I’ll give “Rock and a Hard Place” credit for one thing.  I haven’t seen this before.  
 
For one, Sheriff Mills is back, and she couldn’t be more awesome.  She’s been through so much crap in her life.  She’s alone, she’s dealing with the residual effects of many horrors in her life, but she’s carrying on because she’s a strong woman.  When strange stuff happens, she knows who to call!  We got to see the best of Jody here; the feisty, takes crap from no one law woman, but she’s vulnerable too, and lonely.  I loved how we got sometime for her and Sam to have an honest talk.  In all the craziness and total heartbreak she’s seen, she has turned to church.  It makes sense to her.  Good thing she doesn’t know about Chuck and the angels, huh?  Speaking of which, Jody didn’t know that angels existed before?  Really?  No one told her about Castiel?  Huh (mentally goes back through all her episodes).  I guess not.   

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I’ll tell you who else was really awesome.  I loved Dean in this episode.  My sense of humor has always been very dry.  I tend not to like silly scenes or anything too over the top when it comes to humor and admit it fandom, attempts at humor has often failed in this show.  However, I laughed my ass off at the scenes with Dean in this episode.  Sure the group therapy thing was funny, but what really had me howling was the whole foreplay scene between Dean and Suzy, complete with cheesy “Casa Erotica” dialogue, over the top flirting, and cheesy mariachi music.  Ole! indeed.  Come on, who didn't double over in a fit of laughter after, "Why don't you ask me that in Spanish?"  Also, my imagination is now running a bit wild over the taco scene.  

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Dean finally got to live out one of his porn fantasies, and it was every bit as hilarious as I  imagined this moment would be.  He and “Carmelita” really hit is off, don’t you think?  I mean come on, Dean hasn’t been laid since season seven!  He was long overdue, especially after that year in Purgatory.  Leave it up to Sam though to get in the final zinger when he found the DVD after Dean and Suzy disappeared.  “I think he crossed someone off his bucket list.”  Indeed he did, and how fun it was for us to be a part of that.  Thank you writer Jenny Klein for making that moment so perfect.  Happy Dean makes me very, very happy!   

My biggest criticism of the episode was the MOTW story itself, but I won’t dwell on that too much.  The people in the bunker were just too off and not very interesting.  I didn’t feel their terror and felt more annoyed by their behavior than creeped out.  It kind of had me rooting for the bad guy.  Except for the lady with the bloody fingernails.  That was pretty gross and ideal bit of horror.  The roman goddess Vesta did nothing either and was kind of predictable, but turns out her true purpose wasn’t to scare us.  It was to rattle Sam.  And man did she do her job.  

Sam and that quest for normal

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We’re a bit overdue to talk about Sam and the post impact of the trials on him.  This episode for me anyway triggered a lot of those lingering thoughts that I’ve had since the season opener about poor Sammy.  It’s been eight episodes now, and not since the season premiere have we had a good look at what’s going on inside Sam, and I’m not talking about that new inner blue glow.  What played out this episode was truly heart crushing for Sam, and it had greater impact on his psyche that any of us may realize.  It’s another crushing blow to a lifelong desire that he can never let go.  The quest to be normal.  

Going back to last season’s “The Great Escapist,” (and something that has been swept under the rug since then), Sam believed the trials were purifying him.  That was never clearly defined, but I took it to mean it was washing away the evil inside of him.  As we learned though, the burning in his arms from the trials ended up cooking his insides and damaging him beyond repair.  He was supposed to die.  That’s because in the bible, fire is the true purifier.  It burns away sin and evil.  So, whoever took the trials would in a sense die from internal fire, but they would be purified as they moved into the next life.    

The problems is, Sam didn’t die.  Although, the true Sam right now is dead inside.  Does this mean that Sam in his current state is now fully pure?  If that’s true, then how will being possessed by a being of light change all that, or will it? 

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Not much has changed since the season premiere.  He isn’t getting healed, and is still feeling bad.  Is it possible that’s because Zeke isn’t powerful enough to heal him? Or maybe he can’t heal him because of the type of damage caused by the trials?  Can an angel undo the damage of purification?  I still remember Castiel telling Sam he couldn’t heal him in “Goodbye Stranger.”  What makes Ezekiel different?    

On a side note, could it be that Sam’s illness and fatigue in this episode isn’t from the trials, but from the fact that the angel possession is making him sick?  His vessel can’t contain the stress and is beginning to falter?  If that’s true, we have another huge complication here.  Let’s keep that open though for future episodes.   

It’s important to look at the dialogue from the ending scene.  It just kills me how much being normal matters to Sam.  It’s everything, the whole ballgame.  

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Sam: “What if there is something wrong with me. If there is something really wrong.”
Dean: “You’re just crapped out man, you need some rest.”
Sam: “No, it’s more than that. I mean Vesta said I was practically dead inside.”
Dean: “Oh, and she’s in the circle of trust now?”
Sam: “Why would she lie?”
Dean: “It’s probably the trials, ok, probably some sort of after effect. It’s not like you’re bouncing back from a flu here. I mean, you were glowing with freaking trial juice.”
Sam: “I don’t know.”
Dean: “Well, what else would it be?”
Sam: “Why does it have to be something else? It’s always something else. We’re always scraping to find some other explanation when maybe it’s just me.”
Sam: “Oh, come on Sam.”
Dean: “I’m a mess Dean. You know it. And sometimes I feel like maybe I’m never gonna actually be alright.”
Dean: “You will. Alright, because whatever it is, we’ll figure it out.”
Sam: “Or this is just the way I am.”

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Let's set aside the debate of Dean not being able to tell Sam about Ezekiel for now (my honest opinion is Zeke won't let him no matter how much he tries).  Sam is realizing that he’s been changed irreparably by the trials.  Once again, he’s a freak of nature.  All these strange happenings, it’s no different than his psychic visions or when he had his demon powers.  He’s losing faith and starting to accept he’s never going to get better, he’s never going to change.  

This comes after the trials restored his hope that being normal could finally happen.  Remember his speech to Dean in “The Great Escapist?”  Here’s a refresher:

Sam:  Knights of the Round Table. Had all of King Arthur's knights, and they were all on the quest for the Holy Grail. And I remember looking at this picture of Sir Galahad, and, and, and he was kneeling, and— and light streaming over his face, and— I remember... thinking, uh, I could never go on a quest like that. Because I'm not clean. I mean, I w— I was just a little kid. You think... maybe I knew? I mean, deep down, that— I had... demon blood in me, and about the evil of it, and that I'm— wasn't pure?
Dean:  Sam, it's not your fault.
Sam:  It doesn't matter anymore. Because these trials... they're purifying me.

samtears

The lingering hurt of having that demon blood in him and the realization that he always felt different, even when he was very young showed us how deep that trauma goes with Sam.  The teary revelation that the trials were purifying him was something we all wanted to be desperately true for Sam.  We wanted to believe that he could be healed of the horror that Dean could never truly understand.  It’s not that Dean hasn’t been  sympathetic.  He’s just never been able to truly understand that feeling and Sam knows it.  That’s comes up countless times through the seasons in their conversations (see “Metamorphosis” as an example).  

No wonder Sam looked very dejected when he left that room in “Rock and a Hard Place,” not getting comfort from Dean’s comment that it’s not his fault.  He walked out without waiting for Dean.  Sam knows it’s not his fault.  He’s heard it before.  That doesn’t change that crushing feeling of being a freak.  It never will.  The question is, what happens when Sam finds out it is an angel that is keeping him alive?  Will that change anything in his mind? Would that make Sam normal like he desires?  

We know that Dean will fight for life no matter what the cost, but what about Sam?  He didn’t want to die in the premiere, but he was willing to let go and stop fighting because Dean didn’t have a plan and there was nothing left to fight for.  Would he have said yes to Dean if he was told he would go back to life as being a freak?  I’m thinking the answer would be a very certain no.  Perhaps that’s the question he’ll have to ask himself when he finds out there’s an angel inside him and what the costs of healing will be.     

When all that falls out, will Sam ever be able to have that feeling of normal?  That feeling of knowing that he will be alright, and there’s nothing wrong with him?  Sam believed in that light at the end of the tunnel and a chance at a normal life in the beginning of season eight without being pure.  Can he ever get there again after what happened to him with the trials? 

Deanconsoles

Notice too how the episode closed on Dean’s face, not Sam’s.  Dean’s issue is guilt.  I do wonder if he thinks that once Sam knows the truth he’ll be alright again.  Is he possibly forgetting how much Sam values being normal?  Do you think he believes that Sam would just carry on and adjust like he always has if he doesn’t get to be normal inside but gets to live?  Will that be one of the unintended consequences of his actions?  

Hee, I just threw a lot at you, didn’t I?  I’m sure there will be some answers to these questions as things progress, but the mere fact that “Rock and A Hard Place” triggered such a thought process makes it a worthwhile episode for me.  Now it’s your turn.  What do you think about the plight of poor Sammy?   


Comments  

amyh
# amyh 2013-11-29 13:08
The problem for Sam isn't simply being 'normal'. But human. Every year there is something that keeps him from simply being SAM. Weather it is soulessness, or walls in his mind or walls being torn down in his mind. Or insanity and hallucinations. ..and now even if he doesn't know it yet possession.
Sam has simply never been the manster of his own domain, his own life, his own free will. Someone weathher it is an Angel ICas included) , a demon, a monster, or his own family (Dean included)....so meone is always making decisons about Sams own life and death. And they often do it through manipulation of playing on his guilt (There aint no me if there aint no me) and/or love for his family.

no one ... not ONE person sam loves is willing to tell him the facts and let him decide for himself. Right now....Dean CHOOSING to lie to Sam is Dean choosing to lie for his own reasons. its not because he loves Sam but because ...at least its feeling like it to me...Dean needs to feel guilty/responsi ble for something. And most of all Dean needs to feel as if he hasn't failed at a job he was given as a child.
Personally I'd like to see Sam be viewed as a person; as a brother and a human instead of some ongoing job that feeds Deans self worth..

At this point the writers have basiucally told me Sam is exists. Existing isn't living. Being an Angel condome...which is the only thing keeping him breathing isn;t living either.

I think it was importnt that at th virginity meeting Sam said he used all his relationships 'not ending well' as a reason for joining the chastity group.

Sam is abstaining not jut from sex....he is truely abstaining from relationships.. . real relationships. And he's abstaining from truely living...but its difficult to truely live when something supernatural is ALWAYS happening to you against your will..
amyh
# amyh 2013-11-29 13:08
The problem for Sam isn't simply being 'normal'. But human. Every year there is something that keeps him from simply being SAM. Weather it is soulessness, or walls in his mind or walls being torn down in his mind. Or insanity and hallucinations. ..and now even if he doesn't know it yet possession.
Sam has simply never been the manster of his own domain, his own life, his own free will. Someone weathher it is an Angel ICas included) , a demon, a monster, or his own family (Dean included)....so meone is always making decisons about Sams own life and death. And they often do it through manipulation of playing on his guilt (There aint no me if there aint no me) and/or love for his family.

no one ... not ONE person sam loves is willing to tell him the facts and let him decide for himself. Right now....Dean CHOOSING to lie to Sam is Dean choosing to lie for his own reasons. its not because he loves Sam but because ...at least its feeling like it to me...Dean needs to feel guilty/responsi ble for something. And most of all Dean needs to feel as if he hasn't failed at a job he was given as a child.
Personally I'd like to see Sam be viewed as a person; as a brother and a human instead of some ongoing job that feeds Deans self worth..

At this point the writers have basiucally told me Sam is exists. Existing isn't living. Being an Angel condome...which is the only thing keeping him breathing isn;t living either.

I think it was importnt that at th virginity meeting Sam said he used all his relationships 'not ending well' as a reason for joining the chastity group.

Sam is abstaining not jut from sex....he is truely abstaining from relationships.. . real relationships. And he's abstaining from truely living...but its difficult to truely live when something supernatural is ALWAYS happening to you against your will..
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-29 13:14
Hi Alice, I loved this episode, too! Though I agree, I thought the Vesta part was a little derivative. But I loved the exploration of madonna/whore surrounding women's sexuality and that Dean simply doesn't have that construction. He loves women's sexuality, he loves their motherhood, he loves them as friends, he loves them as partners . . . he loves them. I had no issues with Suzy and Dean enjoying a quickie, because Suzy's pledge was based on feeling her past made her horrible, dirty, and Dean made her feel beautiful and sexy.

I love your analysis of Sam, too. I'm so glad his self-worth story is still in play. My read on his arc has always been that his journey is to feel comfortable in his own skin. He's always defined comfortable as being in someone else's skin, living another life--that's his idea of normal. But he's never been able to leave Sam Winchester and all his issues behind. I think/hope he's going to learn how to feel comfortable in his own skin and that there is no place called normal, for anyone.

I think it's going to be a painful ride the next few episodes, as Sam has to decide if he truly wants to die and if so, why. And Dean has to accept his actions did not help with this conversation and in fact, gave Sam even less to put in the life-positive side of the column because now he can't trust Dean.

My own hope is Sam realizes his calling Death to him was not a sign of emotional health and that he was still suffering the kind of distorted thinking that led him to believe he was so flawed he deserved to die in last year's finale.

How could Dean let Sam go with his words about deserving to die because he let Dean down ringing in his ears? But how can Sam accept Dean manipulating and hiding his brother's possession, given his feelings on being born to be a vessel? Oh boys.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-29 13:14
Hi Alice, I loved this episode, too! Though I agree, I thought the Vesta part was a little derivative. But I loved the exploration of madonna/whore surrounding women's sexuality and that Dean simply doesn't have that construction. He loves women's sexuality, he loves their motherhood, he loves them as friends, he loves them as partners . . . he loves them. I had no issues with Suzy and Dean enjoying a quickie, because Suzy's pledge was based on feeling her past made her horrible, dirty, and Dean made her feel beautiful and sexy.

I love your analysis of Sam, too. I'm so glad his self-worth story is still in play. My read on his arc has always been that his journey is to feel comfortable in his own skin. He's always defined comfortable as being in someone else's skin, living another life--that's his idea of normal. But he's never been able to leave Sam Winchester and all his issues behind. I think/hope he's going to learn how to feel comfortable in his own skin and that there is no place called normal, for anyone.

I think it's going to be a painful ride the next few episodes, as Sam has to decide if he truly wants to die and if so, why. And Dean has to accept his actions did not help with this conversation and in fact, gave Sam even less to put in the life-positive side of the column because now he can't trust Dean.

My own hope is Sam realizes his calling Death to him was not a sign of emotional health and that he was still suffering the kind of distorted thinking that led him to believe he was so flawed he deserved to die in last year's finale.

How could Dean let Sam go with his words about deserving to die because he let Dean down ringing in his ears? But how can Sam accept Dean manipulating and hiding his brother's possession, given his feelings on being born to be a vessel? Oh boys.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-11-29 13:30
Quote:
Notice too how the episode closed on Dean’s face, not Sam’s. Dean’s issue is guilt. I do wonder if he thinks that once Sam knows the truth he’ll be alright again. Is he possibly forgetting how much Sam values being normal? Do you think he believes that Sam would just carry on and adjust like he always has if he doesn’t get to be normal inside but gets to live? Will that be one of the unintended consequences of his actions?
The thing that bothers me is that we ALWAYS end on Dean's face, Dean's guilt, Dean's feelings. Sam's part has been shorted for years. So when Sam finds out about all of this I thoroughly expect to get more reasons why Sam should not for one single second be angry at Dean for what he did, but just accept that Dean feels worse about it than Sam does, so Dean's feelings must be appeased.

It was said at the most recent convention (BurCon) that Jensen has had one day of shooting off, but Jared has had 23 days off so far. Add to that the fact that some or most of the episodes have had Zeke not Sam in them and that pretty well tells me exactly how interested the writers are in telling Sam's story, i.e. not at all.

So as nice as it is that Sam actually got a line or two about how he feels, I'm really unhappy with the out and out refusal of various writing regimes to portray Sam as a person rather than as a problem to be solved every single season. Jodi is one of the extremely few characters that actually cares about Sam and what is going on with him. They had a chance for Sam to talk to someone other than Dean about the trials, his life, what he's feeling and the totally declined to do so. So right now I am not a happy camper.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-11-29 13:30
Quote:
Notice too how the episode closed on Dean’s face, not Sam’s. Dean’s issue is guilt. I do wonder if he thinks that once Sam knows the truth he’ll be alright again. Is he possibly forgetting how much Sam values being normal? Do you think he believes that Sam would just carry on and adjust like he always has if he doesn’t get to be normal inside but gets to live? Will that be one of the unintended consequences of his actions?
The thing that bothers me is that we ALWAYS end on Dean's face, Dean's guilt, Dean's feelings. Sam's part has been shorted for years. So when Sam finds out about all of this I thoroughly expect to get more reasons why Sam should not for one single second be angry at Dean for what he did, but just accept that Dean feels worse about it than Sam does, so Dean's feelings must be appeased.

It was said at the most recent convention (BurCon) that Jensen has had one day of shooting off, but Jared has had 23 days off so far. Add to that the fact that some or most of the episodes have had Zeke not Sam in them and that pretty well tells me exactly how interested the writers are in telling Sam's story, i.e. not at all.

So as nice as it is that Sam actually got a line or two about how he feels, I'm really unhappy with the out and out refusal of various writing regimes to portray Sam as a person rather than as a problem to be solved every single season. Jodi is one of the extremely few characters that actually cares about Sam and what is going on with him. They had a chance for Sam to talk to someone other than Dean about the trials, his life, what he's feeling and the totally declined to do so. So right now I am not a happy camper.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 14:30
23 to 1 and people wonder why I struggle with this show and its Sam treatment.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 14:30
23 to 1 and people wonder why I struggle with this show and its Sam treatment.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 14:40
I think the comment was actually single digits for Jensen. But there is a baby coming so I am sure there are going to be some Sam light episodes.
I am actually very worried for Dean right now. If Zeke does something horrible while in Sam's body and all is revealed to Sam the guilt is going to drive Dean into a dark place that is going to take everyone who cares about him to get him out. That may be the eventual arc for Sam is to find forgiveness for his brother in time to save him.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 14:40
I think the comment was actually single digits for Jensen. But there is a baby coming so I am sure there are going to be some Sam light episodes.
I am actually very worried for Dean right now. If Zeke does something horrible while in Sam's body and all is revealed to Sam the guilt is going to drive Dean into a dark place that is going to take everyone who cares about him to get him out. That may be the eventual arc for Sam is to find forgiveness for his brother in time to save him.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 15:44
No the upcoming baby has nothing to do with it. Jensen did not have 23 days off before JJ was born or after.
Your comment about Dean shows the problem and precisely why Jared as had 23 days off. And surely should not the Ezekiel arc be a shared one? . The brother who allowed the possession and the brother who is possessed. Should not the story be seen from those two different pov's?.


Not Sam lite episode,s that seems to allow us to follow Dean to his 'dark place' ?
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 15:44
No the upcoming baby has nothing to do with it. Jensen did not have 23 days off before JJ was born or after.
Your comment about Dean shows the problem and precisely why Jared as had 23 days off. And surely should not the Ezekiel arc be a shared one? . The brother who allowed the possession and the brother who is possessed. Should not the story be seen from those two different pov's?.


Not Sam lite episode,s that seems to allow us to follow Dean to his 'dark place' ?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 15:45
Thank you, Alice; was hoping someone on the site would do a review about this. Though usually not a big fan of the Greek/Roman god episodes, this one was pretty good - well written and we got Jody Mills back for an episode. Going in to the season, I was hoping we would finally get to see "normal" Sam for the first time; that being said, I like the way they handled the angelic pacemaker thing, though things are moving along slowly.

I am 100% convinced that, if the choice was to die or being possessed by an angel, Sam would have chosen to die. Dean knows this too, which is why he agreed to having Zeke mind wipe Sam. And, since Zeke knows everything Sam knows, that's why he interrupted Dean when he was about to tell him. I was confused in the season opener when Zeke said "I cannot promise, but there is a chance I can fix your brother from the inside", especially when Castiel said Sam was damaged in ways even he couldn't heal. Why would Zeke be able to heal him when Castiel couldn't? Or is the fact that he's doing this from the inside make a difference? Was also speculating that Zeke is having to tap in to the power of Sam's soul to heal himself, and that's why Sam is more run down/tired now. Or, perhaps Zeke is doing that intentionally so Sam doesn't over exert himself, causing Zeke to have to work that much harder keeping Sam duck taped and safety pinned together. Still not sure of Zeke's intentions, though.

While Dean's intentions are good when it comes to saving Sam, we all know what road is paved with good intentions and this whole thing is going to blow up in ways we probably haven't guessed/specula ted yet. I'm curious to see how Sam is going to react to all of this. I think it's going to be more hurt/betrayal/d evastation than out and out anger/violence (that's always been more Dean's style anyway), especially if Zeke turns out to be a bad guy and starts doing serious damage while wearing Sam as a meat suit.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 15:45
Thank you, Alice; was hoping someone on the site would do a review about this. Though usually not a big fan of the Greek/Roman god episodes, this one was pretty good - well written and we got Jody Mills back for an episode. Going in to the season, I was hoping we would finally get to see "normal" Sam for the first time; that being said, I like the way they handled the angelic pacemaker thing, though things are moving along slowly.

I am 100% convinced that, if the choice was to die or being possessed by an angel, Sam would have chosen to die. Dean knows this too, which is why he agreed to having Zeke mind wipe Sam. And, since Zeke knows everything Sam knows, that's why he interrupted Dean when he was about to tell him. I was confused in the season opener when Zeke said "I cannot promise, but there is a chance I can fix your brother from the inside", especially when Castiel said Sam was damaged in ways even he couldn't heal. Why would Zeke be able to heal him when Castiel couldn't? Or is the fact that he's doing this from the inside make a difference? Was also speculating that Zeke is having to tap in to the power of Sam's soul to heal himself, and that's why Sam is more run down/tired now. Or, perhaps Zeke is doing that intentionally so Sam doesn't over exert himself, causing Zeke to have to work that much harder keeping Sam duck taped and safety pinned together. Still not sure of Zeke's intentions, though.

While Dean's intentions are good when it comes to saving Sam, we all know what road is paved with good intentions and this whole thing is going to blow up in ways we probably haven't guessed/specula ted yet. I'm curious to see how Sam is going to react to all of this. I think it's going to be more hurt/betrayal/d evastation than out and out anger/violence (that's always been more Dean's style anyway), especially if Zeke turns out to be a bad guy and starts doing serious damage while wearing Sam as a meat suit.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 15:54
Sharon I thought the quote from BurCon was that Jared had 23 days off while Jensen's was in the single digits. My comment about the upcoming baby was that in the future there may be more Sam lite episodes. I was also just observing that Dean may be going to a very dark place considering what he has done and what Zeke may do while inhabiting Sam. And ala FTBYAM Sam may have to forgive Dean in order to save him. I was in do way suggesting that everyone should be satisfied with how the story for Sam has played out so far just speculating a little.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 15:54
Sharon I thought the quote from BurCon was that Jared had 23 days off while Jensen's was in the single digits. My comment about the upcoming baby was that in the future there may be more Sam lite episodes. I was also just observing that Dean may be going to a very dark place considering what he has done and what Zeke may do while inhabiting Sam. And ala FTBYAM Sam may have to forgive Dean in order to save him. I was in do way suggesting that everyone should be satisfied with how the story for Sam has played out so far just speculating a little.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-11-29 16:52
Quote:
Sharon I thought the quote from BurCon was that Jared had 23 days off while Jensen's was in the single digits. My comment about the upcoming baby was that in the future there may be more Sam lite episodes. I was also just observing that Dean may be going to a very dark place considering what he has done and what Zeke may do while inhabiting Sam. And ala FTBYAM Sam may have to forgive Dean in order to save him. I was in do way suggesting that everyone should be satisfied with how the story for Sam has played out so far just speculating a little.
Even if it's single digits that's still means that AT BEST Jared has had twice as many days off as Jensen. If you are right and they are going to write Sam lite episodes because of the baby, that means even LESS Sam in the second half, which does not fill me with joy. If, in fact you are right and the writers planned to have Sam lite scripts in the second half of the season so Jared can get time off for the baby to be born then I think they should have worked to have Sam heavy episodes in the first half.

As I said, this shows a disregard for the character of Sam by the show and the writers. You can't build sympathy or have the audience relating to Sam if he isn't on screen and if the only thing we are shown is how Sam's not being there is hurting Dean, even if he has every right to be angry at Dean. I guess I should just resign myself to the idea that Sam will be painted as wrong, bad and evil yet again because he doesn't understand poor, giving Dean and immediately and without thinking about it complete and total forgiveness for letting him think he is a failure and allowing his body to be used without his will.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-11-29 16:52
Quote:
Sharon I thought the quote from BurCon was that Jared had 23 days off while Jensen's was in the single digits. My comment about the upcoming baby was that in the future there may be more Sam lite episodes. I was also just observing that Dean may be going to a very dark place considering what he has done and what Zeke may do while inhabiting Sam. And ala FTBYAM Sam may have to forgive Dean in order to save him. I was in do way suggesting that everyone should be satisfied with how the story for Sam has played out so far just speculating a little.
Even if it's single digits that's still means that AT BEST Jared has had twice as many days off as Jensen. If you are right and they are going to write Sam lite episodes because of the baby, that means even LESS Sam in the second half, which does not fill me with joy. If, in fact you are right and the writers planned to have Sam lite scripts in the second half of the season so Jared can get time off for the baby to be born then I think they should have worked to have Sam heavy episodes in the first half.

As I said, this shows a disregard for the character of Sam by the show and the writers. You can't build sympathy or have the audience relating to Sam if he isn't on screen and if the only thing we are shown is how Sam's not being there is hurting Dean, even if he has every right to be angry at Dean. I guess I should just resign myself to the idea that Sam will be painted as wrong, bad and evil yet again because he doesn't understand poor, giving Dean and immediately and without thinking about it complete and total forgiveness for letting him think he is a failure and allowing his body to be used without his will.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 16:54
Quoting cheryl42:
Sharon I thought the quote from BurCon was that Jared had 23 days off while Jensen's was in the single digits. My comment about the upcoming baby was that in the future there may be more Sam lite episodes. I was also just observing that Dean may be going to a very dark place considering what he has done and what Zeke may do while inhabiting Sam. And ala FTBYAM Sam may have to forgive Dean in order to save him. I was in do way suggesting that everyone should be satisfied with how the story for Sam has played out so far just speculating a little.

Sam lite episodes are a thorny subject for me and I find 23 days for a lead actor ridiculous and the fact it is always the same actor/character .

I never thought you were suggesting that people should be satisified with how Sam's story was playing out so no issues for me there :).
The story/narrative and how the writers proceed is what excludes Sam not really anything else.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 16:54
Quote:
Sharon I thought the quote from BurCon was that Jared had 23 days off while Jensen's was in the single digits. My comment about the upcoming baby was that in the future there may be more Sam lite episodes. I was also just observing that Dean may be going to a very dark place considering what he has done and what Zeke may do while inhabiting Sam. And ala FTBYAM Sam may have to forgive Dean in order to save him. I was in do way suggesting that everyone should be satisfied with how the story for Sam has played out so far just speculating a little.
Sam lite episodes are a thorny subject for me and I find 23 days for a lead actor ridiculous and the fact it is always the same actor/character .

I never thought you were suggesting that people should be satisified with how Sam's story was playing out so no issues for me there :).
The story/narrative and how the writers proceed is what excludes Sam not really anything else.
leah d
# leah d 2013-11-29 19:00
Nice to see you doing a review Alice. :-) I liked last weeks and wasn't crazy about this one but nonetheless!

I was rather uninspired by this episode. No Love , no hate. I didn't think the scene with Dean and the ex-porn star was well done. I wished Dean had been a little less concerned about hitting that and a little more concerned about her choice to abstain. I got that it was supposed to be a parody and humorous. I just didn't think it was that funny.

I did love the Jody and Sam scenes and wish there had been more of them. I am glad the didn't kill Jody (as it looked for a moment) off. THAT would have really upset me!!!

For whatever reasons I do not like the god/goddesses episodes.

The final scene with Sam and Dean was heartbreaking and makes me very apprehensive for next week. The promo's don't help!

I have a hard time with the idea that Jared didn't sign off on all those days off. He is one of the lead actors and has enough pull to raise hell if he was being forced to do something that he wasn't on board with IMO. I could be wrong of course but I don't see this as a lack of caring on the part of the show for Sam/Jared. Otherwise why would Jared be so excited about this season. His enthusiasm seemed genuine. I think the impending birth has something to do with it I am sure. Jensen's baby was born during the hiatus wasn't she?

Thanks again Alice.
leah d
# leah d 2013-11-29 19:00
Nice to see you doing a review Alice. :-) I liked last weeks and wasn't crazy about this one but nonetheless!

I was rather uninspired by this episode. No Love , no hate. I didn't think the scene with Dean and the ex-porn star was well done. I wished Dean had been a little less concerned about hitting that and a little more concerned about her choice to abstain. I got that it was supposed to be a parody and humorous. I just didn't think it was that funny.

I did love the Jody and Sam scenes and wish there had been more of them. I am glad the didn't kill Jody (as it looked for a moment) off. THAT would have really upset me!!!

For whatever reasons I do not like the god/goddesses episodes.

The final scene with Sam and Dean was heartbreaking and makes me very apprehensive for next week. The promo's don't help!

I have a hard time with the idea that Jared didn't sign off on all those days off. He is one of the lead actors and has enough pull to raise hell if he was being forced to do something that he wasn't on board with IMO. I could be wrong of course but I don't see this as a lack of caring on the part of the show for Sam/Jared. Otherwise why would Jared be so excited about this season. His enthusiasm seemed genuine. I think the impending birth has something to do with it I am sure. Jensen's baby was born during the hiatus wasn't she?

Thanks again Alice.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 20:53
Jared is not having the baby why would he need time off ? not least that amount.
Jensen is a new father where is the difference , why would not he need time off to be with JJ ?

Babies are not the reason , the story is we have had Sam lite episodes since season 4 .I could be wrong but the boys had a meeting with the writers on Tuesday and the time off was one of the concerns ?.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-29 20:53
Jared is not having the baby why would he need time off ? not least that amount.
Jensen is a new father where is the difference , why would not he need time off to be with JJ ?

Babies are not the reason , the story is we have had Sam lite episodes since season 4 .I could be wrong but the boys had a meeting with the writers on Tuesday and the time off was one of the concerns ?.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 21:09
I think I will have to disagree there Sharon. Jared is having a baby. He is very much a family man and I think that is what has endeared me to him more than anything. I absolutely do not begrudge him whatever time off he needs to be with his new baby and to help Gen in any way she needs.
It seems like most seasons are Dean heavy in the first half and Sam heavy in the second half. I also think that Sam is supposed to be more of a mystery. When we do get insights into Sam they come as very emotional punches to the gut because they come from out of nowhere and surprise us every time i.e. visions, drinking demon blood, having no soul, never feeling pure etc. These reveals IMO wouldn't have been so shocking or emotional if Sam had always been an open book. At least to me. Any way I tend to agree with Leah d I doubt that these days off were not approved by Jared.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 21:09
I think I will have to disagree there Sharon. Jared is having a baby. He is very much a family man and I think that is what has endeared me to him more than anything. I absolutely do not begrudge him whatever time off he needs to be with his new baby and to help Gen in any way she needs.
It seems like most seasons are Dean heavy in the first half and Sam heavy in the second half. I also think that Sam is supposed to be more of a mystery. When we do get insights into Sam they come as very emotional punches to the gut because they come from out of nowhere and surprise us every time i.e. visions, drinking demon blood, having no soul, never feeling pure etc. These reveals IMO wouldn't have been so shocking or emotional if Sam had always been an open book. At least to me. Any way I tend to agree with Leah d I doubt that these days off were not approved by Jared.
E
# E 2013-11-29 21:16
Hi Alice,
I like this episode too… and I liked Dean in the episode as well, which is something that's been a bit of a concern for me both this season and last season; it was nice to see carefree funny Dean again for a change. I wasn't offended by the subject matter at all, and I liked Suzy and I liked Suzy and Dean together. I can understand how others might not feel that generous to the storyline, so I don't have any problems with those fans who didn't appreciate it. I also didn't have much of a problem with the MOW. Yeah, she was a little by the book, but she served her purpose well, and I actually appreciated that Jenny Klein didn't waste a lot of time on building her up or providing a lot of unnecessary detail as she really wasn't the point of the episode. My only wish was that Jody and Sam could have had a more relevant talk, but most of their scenes were about the case. Missed opportunity IMO. THe scene at the end was just heart wrenching. Poor Sam! Finally a little teeny, weeny insight. I hope there is more to come. Im on pins and needles about next week; the photos and promo promise a complex and potentially devastating episode.
E
# E 2013-11-29 21:16
Hi Alice,
I like this episode too… and I liked Dean in the episode as well, which is something that's been a bit of a concern for me both this season and last season; it was nice to see carefree funny Dean again for a change. I wasn't offended by the subject matter at all, and I liked Suzy and I liked Suzy and Dean together. I can understand how others might not feel that generous to the storyline, so I don't have any problems with those fans who didn't appreciate it. I also didn't have much of a problem with the MOW. Yeah, she was a little by the book, but she served her purpose well, and I actually appreciated that Jenny Klein didn't waste a lot of time on building her up or providing a lot of unnecessary detail as she really wasn't the point of the episode. My only wish was that Jody and Sam could have had a more relevant talk, but most of their scenes were about the case. Missed opportunity IMO. THe scene at the end was just heart wrenching. Poor Sam! Finally a little teeny, weeny insight. I hope there is more to come. Im on pins and needles about next week; the photos and promo promise a complex and potentially devastating episode.
E
# E 2013-11-29 21:48
Quoting cheryl42:
I think I will have to disagree there Sharon. Jared is having a baby. He is very much a family man and I think that is what has endeared me to him more than anything. I absolutely do not begrudge him whatever time off he needs to be with his new baby and to help Gen in any way she needs.


Jared got three days off when Thomas was born, 3, that's all, just enough time to see Thomas born and see he and Gen safely out of the hospital; he wasn't even written out of an episode. I don't think he will be given any additional time off with the new baby either as that is not the president that has been set. When Thomas was born Jared's contribution to the episodes looked the same as always, and I am sure that this will be the case with his second child as well. If Jared is written "light" in the back half of the season, it won't be because of the baby.
E
# E 2013-11-29 21:48
Quote:
I think I will have to disagree there Sharon. Jared is having a baby. He is very much a family man and I think that is what has endeared me to him more than anything. I absolutely do not begrudge him whatever time off he needs to be with his new baby and to help Gen in any way she needs.
Jared got three days off when Thomas was born, 3, that's all, just enough time to see Thomas born and see he and Gen safely out of the hospital; he wasn't even written out of an episode. I don't think he will be given any additional time off with the new baby either as that is not the president that has been set. When Thomas was born Jared's contribution to the episodes looked the same as always, and I am sure that this will be the case with his second child as well. If Jared is written "light" in the back half of the season, it won't be because of the baby.
E
# E 2013-11-29 21:50
Grrr! auto correct! precedent not president! Humph.
E
# E 2013-11-29 21:50
Grrr! auto correct! precedent not president! Humph.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 21:55
Quoting cheryl42:
I think I will have to disagree there Sharon. Jared is having a baby. He is very much a family man and I think that is what has endeared me to him more than anything. I absolutely do not begrudge him whatever time off he needs to be with his new baby and to help Gen in any way she needs.
It seems like most seasons are Dean heavy in the first half and Sam heavy in the second half. I also think that Sam is supposed to be more of a mystery. When we do get insights into Sam they come as very emotional punches to the gut because they come from out of nowhere and surprise us every time i.e. visions, drinking demon blood, having no soul, never feeling pure etc. These reveals IMO wouldn't have been so shocking or emotional if Sam had always been an open book. At least to me. Any way I tend to agree with Leah d I doubt that these days off were not approved by Jared.


i usually avoid wading in to these conversations but you're right; S8 was the same way (Dean-heavy first half, Sam-heavy second half). It's always a challenge with this show because it's told primarily from Dean's POV. Personally, I like it when they leave us guessing as to what's going on with Sam - makes for some interesting speculation and banter on this site.

And, for what it's worth, I read that JP mentioned at Burcon that he has very little time off in the second half of the season and he won't be able to take a lot of baby-time off.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 21:55
Quote:
I think I will have to disagree there Sharon. Jared is having a baby. He is very much a family man and I think that is what has endeared me to him more than anything. I absolutely do not begrudge him whatever time off he needs to be with his new baby and to help Gen in any way she needs.
It seems like most seasons are Dean heavy in the first half and Sam heavy in the second half. I also think that Sam is supposed to be more of a mystery. When we do get insights into Sam they come as very emotional punches to the gut because they come from out of nowhere and surprise us every time i.e. visions, drinking demon blood, having no soul, never feeling pure etc. These reveals IMO wouldn't have been so shocking or emotional if Sam had always been an open book. At least to me. Any way I tend to agree with Leah d I doubt that these days off were not approved by Jared.
i usually avoid wading in to these conversations but you're right; S8 was the same way (Dean-heavy first half, Sam-heavy second half). It's always a challenge with this show because it's told primarily from Dean's POV. Personally, I like it when they leave us guessing as to what's going on with Sam - makes for some interesting speculation and banter on this site.

And, for what it's worth, I read that JP mentioned at Burcon that he has very little time off in the second half of the season and he won't be able to take a lot of baby-time off.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-11-29 22:44
Quote:
i usually avoid wading in to these conversations but you're right; S8 was the same way (Dean-heavy first half, Sam-heavy second half). It's always a challenge with this show because it's told primarily from Dean's POV. Personally, I like it when they leave us guessing as to what's going on with Sam - makes for some interesting speculation and banter on this site.
Checking the episodes from the back half of season 8 I really don't agree that they were Sam heavy. I only see Sacrifice and Taxi Driver as truly Sam heavy and Taxi Driver is Sam heavy only by having Bobby tell Sam that he was a failure to not look for Dean and for Sam to tell Dean that he was wrong about Benny. Torn and Frayed is pretty mutual. LARP and the Real Girl and Pac Man Fever were Dean and Charlie centric. As Time Goes By was Henry centric and he only talked to Dean. Everybody Hates Hitler, Man's Best Friend... and Remember the Titans were all COTW centric. Freaks and Geeks had Sam physically removed from the action to Krissy could talk only to Dean. Goodbye Stranger has Meg explaining Sam but is mostly Cas centric. The Great Escapist and Clip Show are mytharc heavy, but focused a lot on Cas's mental state. Even in Trial and Error when Sam accepts taking over the trials it is an accident because he is the one who is able to kill the Hell Hound. Dean talks to the girl who made the deal, talks about how he's going to do the trials. Sam gets his line about showing Dean the light and then goes back to being silenced while we hear how Dean feels about Sam doing the trials.

I would dearly love having a season that is Sam heavy on the back half, but that hasn't happened since season 2, IMHO. I'm glad you and others enjoy speculating about Sam, but personally I just want him to have an actual personality and be allowed to talk about who he is and what he is feeling.

Quote:
And, for what it's worth, I read that JP mentioned at Burcon that he has very little time off in the second half of the season and he won't be able to take a lot of baby-time off.
Although that could mean we will finally get some Sam development it is just as likely that we will get lots of Zeke and little to no Sam. Nothing has convinced me that these writers can or are interested in writing for SAM. Dean yes, Cas yes, Crowley yes, Metatron yes, Zeke maybe, but Sam I just haven't seen it at all.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-11-29 22:44
Quote:
i usually avoid wading in to these conversations but you're right; S8 was the same way (Dean-heavy first half, Sam-heavy second half). It's always a challenge with this show because it's told primarily from Dean's POV. Personally, I like it when they leave us guessing as to what's going on with Sam - makes for some interesting speculation and banter on this site.
Checking the episodes from the back half of season 8 I really don't agree that they were Sam heavy. I only see Sacrifice and Taxi Driver as truly Sam heavy and Taxi Driver is Sam heavy only by having Bobby tell Sam that he was a failure to not look for Dean and for Sam to tell Dean that he was wrong about Benny. Torn and Frayed is pretty mutual. LARP and the Real Girl and Pac Man Fever were Dean and Charlie centric. As Time Goes By was Henry centric and he only talked to Dean. Everybody Hates Hitler, Man's Best Friend... and Remember the Titans were all COTW centric. Freaks and Geeks had Sam physically removed from the action to Krissy could talk only to Dean. Goodbye Stranger has Meg explaining Sam but is mostly Cas centric. The Great Escapist and Clip Show are mytharc heavy, but focused a lot on Cas's mental state. Even in Trial and Error when Sam accepts taking over the trials it is an accident because he is the one who is able to kill the Hell Hound. Dean talks to the girl who made the deal, talks about how he's going to do the trials. Sam gets his line about showing Dean the light and then goes back to being silenced while we hear how Dean feels about Sam doing the trials.

I would dearly love having a season that is Sam heavy on the back half, but that hasn't happened since season 2, IMHO. I'm glad you and others enjoy speculating about Sam, but personally I just want him to have an actual personality and be allowed to talk about who he is and what he is feeling.

Quote:
And, for what it's worth, I read that JP mentioned at Burcon that he has very little time off in the second half of the season and he won't be able to take a lot of baby-time off.
Although that could mean we will finally get some Sam development it is just as likely that we will get lots of Zeke and little to no Sam. Nothing has convinced me that these writers can or are interested in writing for SAM. Dean yes, Cas yes, Crowley yes, Metatron yes, Zeke maybe, but Sam I just haven't seen it at all.
alice
# alice 2013-11-29 23:05
Really, I spark a discussion about Sam and his plight in season nine and you all are making Jared's days off the focus? :-? I got to say I'm rather disappointed and disheartened. That has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's going on. If anything, I'm pleased that Jared is actually getting some time since he lives in Austin now and commutes. That's only my personal observation though and irrelevant to Sam's story, so that's all I'm going to say about that. Any more comments about Jared's days off will be edited.

AmyH - I love your points that Sam has never had control of his destiny. That's probably the important step that has to happen in order to get that normal life. Part of me thinks that he'll finally get that moment in the series finale. This whole series seems to be certain around the twisted misfortune of Sam Winchester.

Gerry - I think Sam was feeling that comfort the year that Dean was in Purgatory. I don't think he was totally there, but it's the closest he's ever been. It makes me wonder if Sam can only get that normalcy if he lives apart from Dean, which we know cannot be possible! I do understand Dean did what he did because of his promise to Sam in that church. It is going to be painful, because he'll have to bridge his own desires with the needs and feelings of guilt of his brother.

njspnfan - I agree with you 100 percent, Sam would have chosen to die. But that would have been the end of the show, so we know that wasn't going to happen!
Alice
# Alice 2013-11-29 23:05
Really, I spark a discussion about Sam and his plight in season nine and you all are making Jared's days off the focus? :-? I got to say I'm rather disappointed and disheartened. That has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's going on. If anything, I'm pleased that Jared is actually getting some time since he lives in Austin now and commutes. That's only my personal observation though and irrelevant to Sam's story, so that's all I'm going to say about that. Any more comments about Jared's days off will be edited.

AmyH - I love your points that Sam has never had control of his destiny. That's probably the important step that has to happen in order to get that normal life. Part of me thinks that he'll finally get that moment in the series finale. This whole series seems to be certain around the twisted misfortune of Sam Winchester.

Gerry - I think Sam was feeling that comfort the year that Dean was in Purgatory. I don't think he was totally there, but it's the closest he's ever been. It makes me wonder if Sam can only get that normalcy if he lives apart from Dean, which we know cannot be possible! I do understand Dean did what he did because of his promise to Sam in that church. It is going to be painful, because he'll have to bridge his own desires with the needs and feelings of guilt of his brother.

njspnfan - I agree with you 100 percent, Sam would have chosen to die. But that would have been the end of the show, so we know that wasn't going to happen!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 23:11
Quoting percysowner:
Quote:
i usually avoid wading in to these conversations but you're right; S8 was the same way (Dean-heavy first half, Sam-heavy second half). It's always a challenge with this show because it's told primarily from Dean's POV. Personally, I like it when they leave us guessing as to what's going on with Sam - makes for some interesting speculation and banter on this site.


Checking the episodes from the back half of season 8 I really don't agree that they were Sam heavy. I only see Sacrifice and Taxi Driver as truly Sam heavy and Taxi Driver is Sam heavy only by having Bobby tell Sam that he was a failure to not look for Dean and for Sam to tell Dean that he was wrong about Benny. Torn and Frayed is pretty mutual. LARP and the Real Girl and Pac Man Fever were Dean and Charlie centric. As Time Goes By was Henry centric and he only talked to Dean. Everybody Hates Hitler, Man's Best Friend... and Remember the Titans were all COTW centric. Freaks and Geeks had Sam physically removed from the action to Krissy could talk only to Dean. Goodbye Stranger has Meg explaining Sam but is mostly Cas centric. The Great Escapist and Clip Show are mytharc heavy, but focused a lot on Cas's mental state. Even in Trial and Error when Sam accepts taking over the trials it is an accident because he is the one who is able to kill the Hell Hound. Dean talks to the girl who made the deal, talks about how he's going to do the trials. Sam gets his line about showing Dean the light and then goes back to being silenced while we hear how Dean feels about Sam doing the trials.

I would dearly love having a season that is Sam heavy on the back half, but that hasn't happened since season 2, IMHO. I'm glad you and others enjoy speculating about Sam, but personally I just want him to have an actual personality and be allowed to talk about who he is and what he is feeling.

Quote:
And, for what it's worth, I read that JP mentioned at Burcon that he has very little time off in the second half of the season and he won't be able to take a lot of baby-time off.
Although that could mean we will finally get some Sam development it is just as likely that we will get lots of Zeke and little to no Sam. Nothing has convinced me that these writers can or are interested in writing for SAM. Dean yes, Cas yes, Crowley yes, Metatron yes, Zeke maybe, but Sam I just haven't seen it at all.
okay... agree to disagree then...
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 23:11
Quote:
Quote:
i usually avoid wading in to these conversations but you're right; S8 was the same way (Dean-heavy first half, Sam-heavy second half). It's always a challenge with this show because it's told primarily from Dean's POV. Personally, I like it when they leave us guessing as to what's going on with Sam - makes for some interesting speculation and banter on this site.
Checking the episodes from the back half of season 8 I really don't agree that they were Sam heavy. I only see Sacrifice and Taxi Driver as truly Sam heavy and Taxi Driver is Sam heavy only by having Bobby tell Sam that he was a failure to not look for Dean and for Sam to tell Dean that he was wrong about Benny. Torn and Frayed is pretty mutual. LARP and the Real Girl and Pac Man Fever were Dean and Charlie centric. As Time Goes By was Henry centric and he only talked to Dean. Everybody Hates Hitler, Man's Best Friend... and Remember the Titans were all COTW centric. Freaks and Geeks had Sam physically removed from the action to Krissy could talk only to Dean. Goodbye Stranger has Meg explaining Sam but is mostly Cas centric. The Great Escapist and Clip Show are mytharc heavy, but focused a lot on Cas's mental state. Even in Trial and Error when Sam accepts taking over the trials it is an accident because he is the one who is able to kill the Hell Hound. Dean talks to the girl who made the deal, talks about how he's going to do the trials. Sam gets his line about showing Dean the light and then goes back to being silenced while we hear how Dean feels about Sam doing the trials.

I would dearly love having a season that is Sam heavy on the back half, but that hasn't happened since season 2, IMHO. I'm glad you and others enjoy speculating about Sam, but personally I just want him to have an actual personality and be allowed to talk about who he is and what he is feeling.

Quote:
And, for what it's worth, I read that JP mentioned at Burcon that he has very little time off in the second half of the season and he won't be able to take a lot of baby-time off.
Although that could mean we will finally get some Sam development it is just as likely that we will get lots of Zeke and little to no Sam. Nothing has convinced me that these writers can or are interested in writing for SAM. Dean yes, Cas yes, Crowley yes, Metatron yes, Zeke maybe, but Sam I just haven't seen it at all.
okay... agree to disagree then...
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 23:21
Quoting alice:
Really, I spark a discussion about Sam and his plight in season nine and you all are making Jared's days off the focus? :-? I got to say I'm rather disappointed and disheartened. That has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's going on. If anything, I'm pleased that Jared is actually getting some time since he lives in Austin now and commutes. That's only my personal observation though and irrelevant to Sam's story, so hat's all I'm going to say about that. Any more comments about Jared's days off will be edited.

AmyH - I love your points that Sam has never had control of his destiny. That's probably the important step that has to happen in order to get that normal life. Part of me thinks that he'll finally get that moment in the series finale. This whole series seems to be certain around the twisted misfortune of Sam Winchester.

Gerry - I think Sam was feeling that comfort the year that Dean was in Purgatory. I don't think he was totally there, but it's the closest he's ever been. It makes me wonder if Sam can only get that normalcy if he lives apart from Dean, which we know cannot be possible! I do understand Dean did what he did because of his promise to Sam in that church. It is going to be painful, because he'll have to bridge his own desires with the needs and feelings of guilt of his brother.

njspnfan - I agree with you 100 percent, Sam would have chosen to die. But that would have been the end of the show, so we know that wasn't going to happen!


Yes, that certainly took a turn, didn't it :D

And AmyH did hit the nail on the head - Sam not being in control of his own destiny, being made to feel like a freak; that's why normal is so important to him. And of course I wasn't implying that Sam should have died in 9.01 (though that would have settled the time off arguments ;-) ) - just making the point that this is why he's gonna be so devastated when he finds out what Dean did, the person he always looked up to and counted on. I think Sam will view this as a transgression on par with how Dean felt when Sam chose Ruby over his own brother in S4, and will have just as difficult a time in getting over it.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-29 23:21
Quote:
Really, I spark a discussion about Sam and his plight in season nine and you all are making Jared's days off the focus? :-? I got to say I'm rather disappointed and disheartened. That has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's going on. If anything, I'm pleased that Jared is actually getting some time since he lives in Austin now and commutes. That's only my personal observation though and irrelevant to Sam's story, so hat's all I'm going to say about that. Any more comments about Jared's days off will be edited.

AmyH - I love your points that Sam has never had control of his destiny. That's probably the important step that has to happen in order to get that normal life. Part of me thinks that he'll finally get that moment in the series finale. This whole series seems to be certain around the twisted misfortune of Sam Winchester.

Gerry - I think Sam was feeling that comfort the year that Dean was in Purgatory. I don't think he was totally there, but it's the closest he's ever been. It makes me wonder if Sam can only get that normalcy if he lives apart from Dean, which we know cannot be possible! I do understand Dean did what he did because of his promise to Sam in that church. It is going to be painful, because he'll have to bridge his own desires with the needs and feelings of guilt of his brother.

njspnfan - I agree with you 100 percent, Sam would have chosen to die. But that would have been the end of the show, so we know that wasn't going to happen!
Yes, that certainly took a turn, didn't it :D

And AmyH did hit the nail on the head - Sam not being in control of his own destiny, being made to feel like a freak; that's why normal is so important to him. And of course I wasn't implying that Sam should have died in 9.01 (though that would have settled the time off arguments ;-) ) - just making the point that this is why he's gonna be so devastated when he finds out what Dean did, the person he always looked up to and counted on. I think Sam will view this as a transgression on par with how Dean felt when Sam chose Ruby over his own brother in S4, and will have just as difficult a time in getting over it.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 23:21
Sorry, it wasn't my intention to cause trouble.
I really liked your review. Yours and SweetonDeans are always my favorites to read.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-29 23:21
Sorry, it wasn't my intention to cause trouble.
I really liked your review. Yours and SweetonDeans are always my favorites to read.
leah d
# leah d 2013-11-29 23:59
Commenting hasn't worked out so well for me lately.
leah d
# leah d 2013-11-29 23:59
Commenting hasn't worked out so well for me lately.
alice
# alice 2013-11-30 00:54
Thanks cheryl 42.

leah d - I haven't noticed anything wrong with your commenting lately. Or are you talking in a technical sense?
Alice
# Alice 2013-11-30 00:54
Thanks cheryl 42.

leah d - I haven't noticed anything wrong with your commenting lately. Or are you talking in a technical sense?
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 01:57
I think the show has always focused primarily on Dean. This isn't new and I cant understand why people are chafing at this. As far back as season two or three I have always thought of Dean as the everyman and heart of this show. Ive always thought of the show as Sam's story as told through Dean's eyes.Hes the one character everyone is supposed to vicariously live through which means he has to remain as human as possible and every event that occurs gets seen primarily through Dean's emotional outlook.

I think Sam is being healed (badly) but that Zeke is tapping Sam's soul to fuel himself. My reasoning for this is that its already been established that souls are power sources. Death said it, Henry Winchester tapped his own to perform magic with it, wars have been fought over them. Ibelieve Sam can survive just fine without Zeke but Zeke needs Sam and his soul's power to perform whatever deed he has in mind. I think Sam is purified of the demon blood because otherwise his cure of Crowley wouldn't even have been working and I don't think a pure angel like Zeke would've been able to inhabit a corrupt vessel.

I think its all handwaving anyway. While all of our attention is focused in other directions I think the writers intend to surprise us with something else. Were always putting a great deal of importance on some of the red herrings that the writers are throwing in ourpath. We never question where our attention is deliberately being focused or what very obvious clues are being given to us about certain things.

Just, Imho. Just my spec. No offense meant to it.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 01:57
I think the show has always focused primarily on Dean. This isn't new and I cant understand why people are chafing at this. As far back as season two or three I have always thought of Dean as the everyman and heart of this show. Ive always thought of the show as Sam's story as told through Dean's eyes.Hes the one character everyone is supposed to vicariously live through which means he has to remain as human as possible and every event that occurs gets seen primarily through Dean's emotional outlook.

I think Sam is being healed (badly) but that Zeke is tapping Sam's soul to fuel himself. My reasoning for this is that its already been established that souls are power sources. Death said it, Henry Winchester tapped his own to perform magic with it, wars have been fought over them. Ibelieve Sam can survive just fine without Zeke but Zeke needs Sam and his soul's power to perform whatever deed he has in mind. I think Sam is purified of the demon blood because otherwise his cure of Crowley wouldn't even have been working and I don't think a pure angel like Zeke would've been able to inhabit a corrupt vessel.

I think its all handwaving anyway. While all of our attention is focused in other directions I think the writers intend to surprise us with something else. Were always putting a great deal of importance on some of the red herrings that the writers are throwing in ourpath. We never question where our attention is deliberately being focused or what very obvious clues are being given to us about certain things.

Just, Imho. Just my spec. No offense meant to it.
Rince1wind
# Rince1wind 2013-11-30 02:06
Really enjoyed your and Sweetondean's reviews on this episode I also really enjoyed. I was really taken aback reading TheGeekiary's almost completely negative review that insists Dean is often portrayed as a "racist fetishist," among other things. I really didn't see Dean's "Say it to me in Spanish" in that light--more like Gomez Addams requesting Morticia to speak French! Good to see Dean break out of his lengthy celibacy. I was beginning to worry.

I also enjoyed seeing Sam and Jody Mills having some time together, talking thoughtfully. I got the feeling that Sam might even talk to her about how he's been feeling--if only she were more experienced and knowledgable about the freaky lives the Winchesters lead.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 02:07
Oh, as for Sam what I meant was that Sam is just tired because of his soul being tapped by Zeke. Hes not still dying. Hes just sleeping a lot. Every time Zeke makes a display of power Sam is extremely fatigued afterwards. Sam himself said he cant seem to recharge his battery. And that's what souls are : batteries. I think hes healed about as well as Zeke can do it and only by inhabiting Sam could he see and repair the damage that Cas couldn't fix from the outside.
Now is Zeke trustworthy? Does he have ulterior motives? These are all great questions. Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show. Of course I tend to under -react to everything so the proper reaction is probably somewhere between ho hum and abject hysteria, I guess. :-D

This is a fairly consistent and predictable show to my eyes. Its a prime time show with two leads, so certain things are and are not going to air in primetime. I'm just trying to keep perspective, is all. Jut, imho.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 02:07
Oh, as for Sam what I meant was that Sam is just tired because of his soul being tapped by Zeke. Hes not still dying. Hes just sleeping a lot. Every time Zeke makes a display of power Sam is extremely fatigued afterwards. Sam himself said he cant seem to recharge his battery. And that's what souls are : batteries. I think hes healed about as well as Zeke can do it and only by inhabiting Sam could he see and repair the damage that Cas couldn't fix from the outside.
Now is Zeke trustworthy? Does he have ulterior motives? These are all great questions. Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show. Of course I tend to under -react to everything so the proper reaction is probably somewhere between ho hum and abject hysteria, I guess. :-D

This is a fairly consistent and predictable show to my eyes. Its a prime time show with two leads, so certain things are and are not going to air in primetime. I'm just trying to keep perspective, is all. Jut, imho.
Emily Rose
# Emily Rose 2013-11-30 06:59
Quoting Rince1wind:
Really enjoyed your and Sweetondean's reviews on this episode I also really enjoyed. I was really taken aback reading TheGeekiary's almost completely negative review that insists Dean is often portrayed as a "racist fetishist," among other things. I really didn't see Dean's "Say it to me in Spanish" in that light--more like Gomez Addams requesting Morticia to speak French! Good to see Dean break out of his lengthy celibacy. I was beginning to worry.


Imagine how everyone who DID find the episode problematic in multiple ways feels about this review, and sweetondean's.

I respect everyone's right to enjoy an episode that I did not. But this, and that review, are incredibly jarring compared to things like the AV Club, Laura Prudom, the Geekiary, the Collective Mind, etc. They don't even touch upon the things people took issue with in the episode in order to dismiss them and establish personal opinion on the matter, as you'd expect in any manner of journalistic endeavor (see Spoiler TV's reviews, for example, which were positive and addressed the negative people saw in order to establish their own take).

A lot of people found the episode problematic in multiple ways: I personally felt it was misogynistic, appropriated culture for crude jokes (not just language; rewatch the episode for how the porn is discussed), and incredibly damaging to Dean's character.

I mean, he's spent the entire season (well, frankly his entire life, but even MORE this season where it's a major plot point) worried about Sam, but twice ignores his brother calling in order to sleep with a girl he's known for mere minutes?

He minimized Suzy down to merely a sex object. She changed her entire life, became a celibacy counselor, changed her name, etc. He saw her once. Decided that celibacy wasn't for her and he was going to walk her home to 'tap that,' knowing absolutely nothing about her except that she was celibate and he didn't care.

And then Dean Winchester, who was kind to Nancy-the-Virgi n in JIB, who respected Jo's "self-respect" line on their last night on earth not to push it, who walked away from Kali when she said she wasn't interested, found DVDs of her and began immediately pushing her to play lead in his own fantasy porno. While he's privately objectified women (Busty Asian Beauties, "Gumby Girl") he's always been a -charmer- not reliant on dudebro pickups.

If we were meant to find that humorous, it just didn't ring true for me, or for many others.

The narrative was not kind to Dean. It didn't SOUND like Dean. And that, I put to writing.

The message of it was problematic. While Jody was fantastic (as always), every other woman in the episode was a two-dimensional caricature of both religiously devout people (another problematic aspect) and they essentially recycled Veritas for Vestia.

Has it been too long since Dean got laid? Sure. But I don't see why that means glossing over all the problematic aspects of the episode entirely, to the point where it sounds like these are reviews for an entirely different show than many other reviewers watched.

If you guys enjoyed the episode, I'm happy for you. I wish I could have. I just don't like the implication that people are "wrong" for having a different reaction, or having seen these issues (issues Kim Rhodes herself acknowledged on her Twitter).
Emily Rose
# Emily Rose 2013-11-30 06:59
Quote:
Really enjoyed your and Sweetondean's reviews on this episode I also really enjoyed. I was really taken aback reading TheGeekiary's almost completely negative review that insists Dean is often portrayed as a "racist fetishist," among other things. I really didn't see Dean's "Say it to me in Spanish" in that light--more like Gomez Addams requesting Morticia to speak French! Good to see Dean break out of his lengthy celibacy. I was beginning to worry.
Imagine how everyone who DID find the episode problematic in multiple ways feels about this review, and sweetondean's.

I respect everyone's right to enjoy an episode that I did not. But this, and that review, are incredibly jarring compared to things like the AV Club, Laura Prudom, the Geekiary, the Collective Mind, etc. They don't even touch upon the things people took issue with in the episode in order to dismiss them and establish personal opinion on the matter, as you'd expect in any manner of journalistic endeavor (see Spoiler TV's reviews, for example, which were positive and addressed the negative people saw in order to establish their own take).

A lot of people found the episode problematic in multiple ways: I personally felt it was misogynistic, appropriated culture for crude jokes (not just language; rewatch the episode for how the porn is discussed), and incredibly damaging to Dean's character.

I mean, he's spent the entire season (well, frankly his entire life, but even MORE this season where it's a major plot point) worried about Sam, but twice ignores his brother calling in order to sleep with a girl he's known for mere minutes?

He minimized Suzy down to merely a sex object. She changed her entire life, became a celibacy counselor, changed her name, etc. He saw her once. Decided that celibacy wasn't for her and he was going to walk her home to 'tap that,' knowing absolutely nothing about her except that she was celibate and he didn't care.

And then Dean Winchester, who was kind to Nancy-the-Virgi n in JIB, who respected Jo's "self-respect" line on their last night on earth not to push it, who walked away from Kali when she said she wasn't interested, found DVDs of her and began immediately pushing her to play lead in his own fantasy porno. While he's privately objectified women (Busty Asian Beauties, "Gumby Girl") he's always been a -charmer- not reliant on dudebro pickups.

If we were meant to find that humorous, it just didn't ring true for me, or for many others.

The narrative was not kind to Dean. It didn't SOUND like Dean. And that, I put to writing.

The message of it was problematic. While Jody was fantastic (as always), every other woman in the episode was a two-dimensional caricature of both religiously devout people (another problematic aspect) and they essentially recycled Veritas for Vestia.

Has it been too long since Dean got laid? Sure. But I don't see why that means glossing over all the problematic aspects of the episode entirely, to the point where it sounds like these are reviews for an entirely different show than many other reviewers watched.

If you guys enjoyed the episode, I'm happy for you. I wish I could have. I just don't like the implication that people are "wrong" for having a different reaction, or having seen these issues (issues Kim Rhodes herself acknowledged on her Twitter).
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-11-30 07:39
Quoting lkeke35:
Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show.

No we don't and that is not what we are concerned about.
Dean fans and Cas fans...well never mind, I will scrap this part of the comment.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-11-30 07:39
Quote:
Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show.
No we don't and that is not what we are concerned about.
Dean fans and Cas fans...well never mind, I will scrap this part of the comment.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:36
This is really long, sorry. Feel free to skip the next 4 posts.

I think I liked this one. Okay, it might not have jumped on miles ahead in terms of storyarc (but it was mentioned) and it was a tad predictable but I was entertained so these days I call that a win. I’m also seeing loads of parallels and subtext in this episode to Sam, Dean and their relationship. (Admittedly, I might be over-reading in my desperate desire for this to not be another pointless filler but I’m still going to argue it....)

This episode was all about virgins, virginal status, virgin mindset and the violation of same. At the end of 8.23, both Sam and Dean were technically virgins; after realisations and confessions from both, a pledge (of sorts) was taken in a church for a new, clean start between them. Sam, as a result of the trials was also a virgin, not in a sexual sense but this was the first time since he was six months old that his body was pure (and they did bring up fire as the great purifier in this episode). His soul was clean because he confessed, and got absolution of, his sins. His mind was clean because he hasn’t lied or kept secrets so body, soul, mind; as far as SPN goes, Sam was a virgin.

In this episode, Sam got the opportunity to cleanse one more thing; his sexual past. The consequences of having relations with Sam was brought up again this episode so it’s no wonder Sam would like to be pure in that regard as well. He was awful quick to sign the pledge (outstretched hand and everything) and he did confess in the prayer circle (as he did in the confessional in 8.23) so it’s possible that this is, in Sam’s mind, another step towards purity for him. If he’s pure in all senses then relationships, whether they be with himself, his brother or with a lover, should not have the dire consequences for him and for them that they have had in the past (and death by peen is a fairly dire consequence).

Bonnie (was her name Bonnie?) mentioned a ‘clean slate’, and this is all Sam has ever wanted. It’s no wonder he grabbed it. It also makes his ‘I’m a virgin’ to Jody more understandable, he believes he’s a virgin, that his slate is finally clean. I don’t think that Sam would be so stupid as to believe that the blood of a born again virgin, who only became a born again virgin to solve a case, would suffice in a spell that actually required the blood of a virgin. I doubt he’d chance that when it’s Dean’s life on the line. Virginity is a mindset, so I think that Sam believes he’s a virgin. This is all really rather lovely. However......

Soon after the pledge in 8.23 was taken it was broken (so Sam’s body, unknownst to him, isn’t virginal) and immediately after Sam’s confession we hear Dean’s ‘He ain’t lyin’ and that is a reminder to Sam that he can’t disavow his past. Tracey served the same purpose in 9.01 when she brought up about Sam being the ‘dumb kid’ who set Lucifer free. You can desire a ‘clean slate’, you can search for purity as much as you want but people don’t forget, and they won't let you forget. I know what Dean said is the goofy way he usually reacts to awkward situations but this time his words weren’t tempered by a grin or a wink at Sam to show that he’s kidding. It served almost as an ‘I know something you don’t know’ with Sam and with the prayer circle, and he does (know something). He knows something major about Sam that will stop him living the lie he’s currently living when he finds out about Ezekiel and he knows something about sex that will stop people from living the ‘lie’ he believes they are living. Dean, with his ‘confession’, dangled in their faces the reality (or his reality) of the situation. It’s as if he wanted them to see what they’re missing and so work things out for themselves. The same applies with Sam. How many times has Dean dropped hints or said something obvious, waiting for Sam to pick up on things and maybe figure out what is going on for himself, or put him (Dean) into a situation where he has to tell the truth?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:36
This is really long, sorry. Feel free to skip the next 4 posts.

I think I liked this one. Okay, it might not have jumped on miles ahead in terms of storyarc (but it was mentioned) and it was a tad predictable but I was entertained so these days I call that a win. I’m also seeing loads of parallels and subtext in this episode to Sam, Dean and their relationship. (Admittedly, I might be over-reading in my desperate desire for this to not be another pointless filler but I’m still going to argue it....)

This episode was all about virgins, virginal status, virgin mindset and the violation of same. At the end of 8.23, both Sam and Dean were technically virgins; after realisations and confessions from both, a pledge (of sorts) was taken in a church for a new, clean start between them. Sam, as a result of the trials was also a virgin, not in a sexual sense but this was the first time since he was six months old that his body was pure (and they did bring up fire as the great purifier in this episode). His soul was clean because he confessed, and got absolution of, his sins. His mind was clean because he hasn’t lied or kept secrets so body, soul, mind; as far as SPN goes, Sam was a virgin.

In this episode, Sam got the opportunity to cleanse one more thing; his sexual past. The consequences of having relations with Sam was brought up again this episode so it’s no wonder Sam would like to be pure in that regard as well. He was awful quick to sign the pledge (outstretched hand and everything) and he did confess in the prayer circle (as he did in the confessional in 8.23) so it’s possible that this is, in Sam’s mind, another step towards purity for him. If he’s pure in all senses then relationships, whether they be with himself, his brother or with a lover, should not have the dire consequences for him and for them that they have had in the past (and death by peen is a fairly dire consequence).

Bonnie (was her name Bonnie?) mentioned a ‘clean slate’, and this is all Sam has ever wanted. It’s no wonder he grabbed it. It also makes his ‘I’m a virgin’ to Jody more understandable, he believes he’s a virgin, that his slate is finally clean. I don’t think that Sam would be so stupid as to believe that the blood of a born again virgin, who only became a born again virgin to solve a case, would suffice in a spell that actually required the blood of a virgin. I doubt he’d chance that when it’s Dean’s life on the line. Virginity is a mindset, so I think that Sam believes he’s a virgin. This is all really rather lovely. However......

Soon after the pledge in 8.23 was taken it was broken (so Sam’s body, unknownst to him, isn’t virginal) and immediately after Sam’s confession we hear Dean’s ‘He ain’t lyin’ and that is a reminder to Sam that he can’t disavow his past. Tracey served the same purpose in 9.01 when she brought up about Sam being the ‘dumb kid’ who set Lucifer free. You can desire a ‘clean slate’, you can search for purity as much as you want but people don’t forget, and they won't let you forget. I know what Dean said is the goofy way he usually reacts to awkward situations but this time his words weren’t tempered by a grin or a wink at Sam to show that he’s kidding. It served almost as an ‘I know something you don’t know’ with Sam and with the prayer circle, and he does (know something). He knows something major about Sam that will stop him living the lie he’s currently living when he finds out about Ezekiel and he knows something about sex that will stop people from living the ‘lie’ he believes they are living. Dean, with his ‘confession’, dangled in their faces the reality (or his reality) of the situation. It’s as if he wanted them to see what they’re missing and so work things out for themselves. The same applies with Sam. How many times has Dean dropped hints or said something obvious, waiting for Sam to pick up on things and maybe figure out what is going on for himself, or put him (Dean) into a situation where he has to tell the truth?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:45
Cont.

In relation to the scene between Dean and Suzy, I can’t say I liked it. On first watch, it left an absolutely foul taste in my mouth. On the surface, the whole thing came off as just skeevy; Dean saw and wanted an attractive girl, she was a challenge because of her born again status (would he have acted the same with a ‘non born again virgin’ virgin, a nun or a married woman?), he wheedled his way into her home and set the scene for what he was there to get by lighting candles. He seemed put out when Suzy was upset about her missing friends, he knew how important her new faith was to her but still he continued with his quest to get in her pants. Once he found the DVD’s then these were used to further what he expected to get from her. (What’s the difference between what Dean did here and what Reggie and Tim did in season 5 when, based on his past, they expected Sam to drink demon blood and then use that to get what they wanted?)

However, instead of being horrified, humiliated or angry by being confronted in such a way it turned out Suzy is not at all bothered by being considered nothing more than tits and an arse and the ‘things she can do’. When Dean does confront her, instead of kicking him out (and she should have as soon as he called her ‘Carmelita’) or saying ‘Dean, what the hell were you doing rooting around in my stuff? What gives you the right to do that and use it to try and get what you want from me? How dare you have expectations of me based on my past’ she’s perfectly okay with it, and actually becomes what he wants to play into his fantasy! WAT DA FUUUCCCCKKKK??? Not only that, I find the implication that Dean set Suzy back on the right path to be disturbing. ‘Gotta say, I missed that’, as if someones beliefs etc can be so casually cast aside.

Were some things changed, were Suzy not an ex (emphasis on the word ‘ex’) porn star, were Dean not so determined to ’tap’ her straight from the off, were Suzy not a leader in the chastity circle (so she obviously takes her born again status very seriously) and a multitude of other things then this scene would have sat a lot better with me. The tacky porn style scene would have been funny were it with anyone but Suzy, who fought very hard to get out of that life (and I’m not at all familiar with the porn trade but I’m sure it’s not a particularly pleasant or easy life), who moved towns, changed her name and did her utmost to leave her old life behind but when Dean lets her know that he knows who she is, she’s straight away back to that old life and that old mentality. (Should the moral of this story be, you can’t change who you or so don’t even try?) She believed herself ‘horrible’ but when she is told that she made men happy then bye bye change. Sorry, but no. The way the scene is presented it came across as being written by a horny teenage boy.

I figure there has to be something more. There has to be sort of subtext there that goes beyond Klein going ‘Because I was good at sex then sex should now be expected from me’ (I wonder if this script would have passed if it was a male writer). There are parallels between Suzy and Sam, and their interaction with Dean.

That scene wasn’t there as some gratuitous sex scene to give the fans what they wanted ie Dean skin etc so there had to have been a deeper meaning. For me, Dean in that scene was not Dean Winchester. So maybe that’s the point, in order for Dean to be Dean (as we knew him in the past) he has to be someone else. In the same way that he has to be someone else to maintain the current relationship with Sam, he has to be someone else to be able to sleep with Suzy. Suzy has to be someone else to be able to sleep with Dean. It’s not because she’s not attracted to him or whatnot but because of the deeply negative associations sex must have for her. So in order to be intimate they each have to be each other’s porn stars where they essentially play a role; they even have lines! There is no emotion involved, it’s just biology. I wonder when Dean and Suzy look back on what happened will they realise how much it cost them.

It ties in with Sam and Ezekiel. Looking at the situation impassively it’s just biology. Sam has a sort of life support system inside of him right now. It’s when you add the aftermath of past experience and emotion to both incidents (for Sam, Dean and Suzy) that mere biology becomes human. It’s the aftermath that will make Sam realise that his body, mind and soul were not as clean as he believed they were, that he’s back to being that ‘horrible’ person he believed himself to be before; like Suzy surely did in the aftermath of this. Hell, as I imagine Dean also would because Dean’s relationship with Suzy in this episode is based on as much of a fantasy as his relationship with Sam currently is.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:45
Cont.

In relation to the scene between Dean and Suzy, I can’t say I liked it. On first watch, it left an absolutely foul taste in my mouth. On the surface, the whole thing came off as just skeevy; Dean saw and wanted an attractive girl, she was a challenge because of her born again status (would he have acted the same with a ‘non born again virgin’ virgin, a nun or a married woman?), he wheedled his way into her home and set the scene for what he was there to get by lighting candles. He seemed put out when Suzy was upset about her missing friends, he knew how important her new faith was to her but still he continued with his quest to get in her pants. Once he found the DVD’s then these were used to further what he expected to get from her. (What’s the difference between what Dean did here and what Reggie and Tim did in season 5 when, based on his past, they expected Sam to drink demon blood and then use that to get what they wanted?)

However, instead of being horrified, humiliated or angry by being confronted in such a way it turned out Suzy is not at all bothered by being considered nothing more than tits and an arse and the ‘things she can do’. When Dean does confront her, instead of kicking him out (and she should have as soon as he called her ‘Carmelita’) or saying ‘Dean, what the hell were you doing rooting around in my stuff? What gives you the right to do that and use it to try and get what you want from me? How dare you have expectations of me based on my past’ she’s perfectly okay with it, and actually becomes what he wants to play into his fantasy! WAT DA FUUUCCCCKKKK??? Not only that, I find the implication that Dean set Suzy back on the right path to be disturbing. ‘Gotta say, I missed that’, as if someones beliefs etc can be so casually cast aside.

Were some things changed, were Suzy not an ex (emphasis on the word ‘ex’) porn star, were Dean not so determined to ’tap’ her straight from the off, were Suzy not a leader in the chastity circle (so she obviously takes her born again status very seriously) and a multitude of other things then this scene would have sat a lot better with me. The tacky porn style scene would have been funny were it with anyone but Suzy, who fought very hard to get out of that life (and I’m not at all familiar with the porn trade but I’m sure it’s not a particularly pleasant or easy life), who moved towns, changed her name and did her utmost to leave her old life behind but when Dean lets her know that he knows who she is, she’s straight away back to that old life and that old mentality. (Should the moral of this story be, you can’t change who you or so don’t even try?) She believed herself ‘horrible’ but when she is told that she made men happy then bye bye change. Sorry, but no. The way the scene is presented it came across as being written by a horny teenage boy.

I figure there has to be something more. There has to be sort of subtext there that goes beyond Klein going ‘Because I was good at sex then sex should now be expected from me’ (I wonder if this script would have passed if it was a male writer). There are parallels between Suzy and Sam, and their interaction with Dean.

That scene wasn’t there as some gratuitous sex scene to give the fans what they wanted ie Dean skin etc so there had to have been a deeper meaning. For me, Dean in that scene was not Dean Winchester. So maybe that’s the point, in order for Dean to be Dean (as we knew him in the past) he has to be someone else. In the same way that he has to be someone else to maintain the current relationship with Sam, he has to be someone else to be able to sleep with Suzy. Suzy has to be someone else to be able to sleep with Dean. It’s not because she’s not attracted to him or whatnot but because of the deeply negative associations sex must have for her. So in order to be intimate they each have to be each other’s porn stars where they essentially play a role; they even have lines! There is no emotion involved, it’s just biology. I wonder when Dean and Suzy look back on what happened will they realise how much it cost them.

It ties in with Sam and Ezekiel. Looking at the situation impassively it’s just biology. Sam has a sort of life support system inside of him right now. It’s when you add the aftermath of past experience and emotion to both incidents (for Sam, Dean and Suzy) that mere biology becomes human. It’s the aftermath that will make Sam realise that his body, mind and soul were not as clean as he believed they were, that he’s back to being that ‘horrible’ person he believed himself to be before; like Suzy surely did in the aftermath of this. Hell, as I imagine Dean also would because Dean’s relationship with Suzy in this episode is based on as much of a fantasy as his relationship with Sam currently is.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:55
cont.

There are also copious parallels between Sam and Suzy (Sammy – Suzy. Even their names sound the same!) The whole wanting to escape from your past and putting measures in place so that your past mistakes can’t harm you or anyone else again (whether that be taking a pledge, changing your name or making a deal with Death), to going back (knowingly or unknowingly) to what you once were (by playing the porn star for someone else’s ‘good dreams’, or the baby brother for the ‘There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you’ dream). Are Suzy and Sam both just fulfilling roles here? I mean, Dean wanted what Suzy was not what she is, is the same true for Sam; that Dean wants what Sam was (way back when) and not what Sam is (ie the wee Sam in his dreams and not the real Sam, the Sam who started the Apocalypse, drank demon blood, killed demons with his mind, didn’t look for him etc). Can Dean truly get over his issues with Sam of the past (that were brought to the fore again last season) to accept the Sam that is there now? It’s kind of like asking if Dean could have a relationship with Suzy or would he have too many issues with her past, and his seeing her as just a fantasy?

There are more, Dean essentially has control over both Suzy and Sam at this point. If Dean spills about Suzy’s past then the life she has at the moment is over (Don’t worry, I’m not saying he would). In order to survive, she will need to adapt and live her life under new, different pretences. However, the memory and shame of what happened will always follow her and will make her more disinclined to trust or move on easily again. Ditto with Sam and Ezekiel. If Dean spills then Sam will also need to adapt to this new knowledge, he will find it difficult to trust and move past it. Both Suzy and Sam were essentially seduced by appreciation, by the idea of having worth (something we know Sam does not have and I doubt Suzy has). Suzy didn’t really want to have sex but she convinced herself that she did because of Dean, and what it would mean to him. Ditto with Sam. He didn’t really want to live but convinced himself he did because of Dean, and what it meant to him.

Many of the words spoken between Dean and Suzy (and later Carmelita) could also be said to Sam: Dean: ‘They do not appreciate you’ Suzy/Sam: ‘That girl (guy) was horrible.’ Sam is Dean’s ‘good dream’. ‘And nobody (in Hartford) knows’ (about Ezekiel or Suzy’s past). Fantasy world!

Taking Dean out of the equation for a moment (and this is where things start getting very disturbing), both Sam and Suzy reacted the same when they were confronted with the reality of their various situations. Suzy puts it on her ‘I’ll understand if you want to get a different counsellor (ie she’s the one in the wrong here because of her past). Was this foreshadowing the end of the episode when Sam didn’t consider outside intervention in relation to his health issues, he just put what was happening to him, on him and on what he believes he is? Is this sort of mentality indoctrinated in Sam and Suzy because of their respective pasts? Is this preparing Sam to possibly say ‘Yes’ (properly) to Ezekiel because he knows it’s what Dean wants (for him to be alive) and being what he is, what else can he do?

There was also a lot of really nice symbolism in the episode. I liked where Dean was seen to open the manhole by himself. For me it stands for his issues. Sam isn’t strong enough to break Dean out of this co-dependency thing he has going on at the moment. He can help get him there, he can show him the way and point out how to but Dean has to break it himself. Sam (and others) will be there to lead and support and whatnot, but he had to get out himself.

Obviously Jody Mills is awesome but I was just wondering about the blood on the oak weapon. I thought it interesting that Jody openly said “I don’t make promises I can’t keep” and her (virgin?) blood doused the weapon that killed the Vesta. I know she wasn’t a virgin in the true sense of the word but she’s pure in her honesty. I’m sorry, there’s no way that a drop of blood on a tissue would be enough blood to stain that stick so I'm going with Jody's blood!
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:55
cont.

There are also copious parallels between Sam and Suzy (Sammy – Suzy. Even their names sound the same!) The whole wanting to escape from your past and putting measures in place so that your past mistakes can’t harm you or anyone else again (whether that be taking a pledge, changing your name or making a deal with Death), to going back (knowingly or unknowingly) to what you once were (by playing the porn star for someone else’s ‘good dreams’, or the baby brother for the ‘There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you’ dream). Are Suzy and Sam both just fulfilling roles here? I mean, Dean wanted what Suzy was not what she is, is the same true for Sam; that Dean wants what Sam was (way back when) and not what Sam is (ie the wee Sam in his dreams and not the real Sam, the Sam who started the Apocalypse, drank demon blood, killed demons with his mind, didn’t look for him etc). Can Dean truly get over his issues with Sam of the past (that were brought to the fore again last season) to accept the Sam that is there now? It’s kind of like asking if Dean could have a relationship with Suzy or would he have too many issues with her past, and his seeing her as just a fantasy?

There are more, Dean essentially has control over both Suzy and Sam at this point. If Dean spills about Suzy’s past then the life she has at the moment is over (Don’t worry, I’m not saying he would). In order to survive, she will need to adapt and live her life under new, different pretences. However, the memory and shame of what happened will always follow her and will make her more disinclined to trust or move on easily again. Ditto with Sam and Ezekiel. If Dean spills then Sam will also need to adapt to this new knowledge, he will find it difficult to trust and move past it. Both Suzy and Sam were essentially seduced by appreciation, by the idea of having worth (something we know Sam does not have and I doubt Suzy has). Suzy didn’t really want to have sex but she convinced herself that she did because of Dean, and what it would mean to him. Ditto with Sam. He didn’t really want to live but convinced himself he did because of Dean, and what it meant to him.

Many of the words spoken between Dean and Suzy (and later Carmelita) could also be said to Sam: Dean: ‘They do not appreciate you’ Suzy/Sam: ‘That girl (guy) was horrible.’ Sam is Dean’s ‘good dream’. ‘And nobody (in Hartford) knows’ (about Ezekiel or Suzy’s past). Fantasy world!

Taking Dean out of the equation for a moment (and this is where things start getting very disturbing), both Sam and Suzy reacted the same when they were confronted with the reality of their various situations. Suzy puts it on her ‘I’ll understand if you want to get a different counsellor (ie she’s the one in the wrong here because of her past). Was this foreshadowing the end of the episode when Sam didn’t consider outside intervention in relation to his health issues, he just put what was happening to him, on him and on what he believes he is? Is this sort of mentality indoctrinated in Sam and Suzy because of their respective pasts? Is this preparing Sam to possibly say ‘Yes’ (properly) to Ezekiel because he knows it’s what Dean wants (for him to be alive) and being what he is, what else can he do?

There was also a lot of really nice symbolism in the episode. I liked where Dean was seen to open the manhole by himself. For me it stands for his issues. Sam isn’t strong enough to break Dean out of this co-dependency thing he has going on at the moment. He can help get him there, he can show him the way and point out how to but Dean has to break it himself. Sam (and others) will be there to lead and support and whatnot, but he had to get out himself.

Obviously Jody Mills is awesome but I was just wondering about the blood on the oak weapon. I thought it interesting that Jody openly said “I don’t make promises I can’t keep” and her (virgin?) blood doused the weapon that killed the Vesta. I know she wasn’t a virgin in the true sense of the word but she’s pure in her honesty. I’m sorry, there’s no way that a drop of blood on a tissue would be enough blood to stain that stick so I'm going with Jody's blood!
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:56
I’ve a feeling Sam knows. He doesn’t know it all but I think he knows that Dean did something. Two reasons; (i) he didn’t seem at all comforted or relieved (quite the opposite) when Jody mentioned his relationship with Dean as being 'comfort'. You would expect him to if the relationship was as it appears on the surface and (ii) I just got the vibe in the final scene that Sam was waiting for Dean to say it. Jeez, his wording in that scene was played just to give Dean the opportunity to tell him. Were it not for Ezekiel he would have. The side look at Dean when Dean talks about faith, the long pauses, everything.

Oh, I dunno. I do think this episode is a lot more than it appears on the surface though. A lesson in just because you could doesn’t mean you should?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 08:56
I’ve a feeling Sam knows. He doesn’t know it all but I think he knows that Dean did something. Two reasons; (i) he didn’t seem at all comforted or relieved (quite the opposite) when Jody mentioned his relationship with Dean as being 'comfort'. You would expect him to if the relationship was as it appears on the surface and (ii) I just got the vibe in the final scene that Sam was waiting for Dean to say it. Jeez, his wording in that scene was played just to give Dean the opportunity to tell him. Were it not for Ezekiel he would have. The side look at Dean when Dean talks about faith, the long pauses, everything.

Oh, I dunno. I do think this episode is a lot more than it appears on the surface though. A lesson in just because you could doesn’t mean you should?
amyh
# amyh 2013-11-30 09:18
Quoting cheryl42:
I think the comment was actually single digits for Jensen. But there is a baby coming so I am sure there are going to be some Sam light episodes.
I am actually very worried for Dean right now. If Zeke does something horrible while in Sam's body and all is revealed to Sam the guilt is going to drive Dean into a dark place that is going to take everyone who cares about him to get him out. That may be the eventual arc for Sam is to find forgiveness for his brother in time to save him.


Find foregivness? Sam isn't Dean. Sam doesn't hold grudges against anyone. . hell he forgives within the same episode or the very next one practically every single time. I think Dean will be golden where Sam forgiving him is concerned.

If Dean is in a dark place its because he is punishing himself and refuses to accept Sam's love and foregiveness.
amyh
# amyh 2013-11-30 09:18
Quote:
I think the comment was actually single digits for Jensen. But there is a baby coming so I am sure there are going to be some Sam light episodes.
I am actually very worried for Dean right now. If Zeke does something horrible while in Sam's body and all is revealed to Sam the guilt is going to drive Dean into a dark place that is going to take everyone who cares about him to get him out. That may be the eventual arc for Sam is to find forgiveness for his brother in time to save him.
Find foregivness? Sam isn't Dean. Sam doesn't hold grudges against anyone. . hell he forgives within the same episode or the very next one practically every single time. I think Dean will be golden where Sam forgiving him is concerned.

If Dean is in a dark place its because he is punishing himself and refuses to accept Sam's love and foregiveness.
E
# E 2013-11-30 09:54
Hi Tim (#30, 31, 32 AND 33!, yes, I read the entire post) Very insightful. I love your posts and I think that you are on to something here. In the past on this show, often the victims of the week (VOW's) were used to reflect back on what was going on with the brothers, and I like to think that that is happening here as well, at least in some capacity. I really like your Suzy/Sam analogy here and seen in that light it makes her willingness to break her vows of chastity and Dean's pressure on her to do the same somewhat more understandable from a character perspective. I didn't really have that much trouble with the whole 'former porn star' thing or the depiction of her character woman wise, but I certainly see how others might have been offended or made uncomfortable. To see her character in light of what Dean has done/still doing with Sam, makes her depiction, perhaps not more palatable, but at least more understandable from a story perspective. Dean has a lot to learn still. I wonder if either this season or next (possibly the last) that Dean will be forced to deal with his major issues/ i.e. letting those he loves make their own decisions and abide by those decisions even if they go against what Dean wants. I think Dean has shown some major character growth in that he has acknowledged that what he's doing to Sam now is highly questionable, but his willingness to see the wrongness of his choices hasn't stopped him from making those choices.

I have a horrible feeling that Zeke does something terrible while wearing Sam in next weeks episode. The major plot point so far has been that Dean made this decision on behalf of Sam and is lying to him. What if that ends up being only half the problem? What if Zeke becomes a loose canon, tapping into Sam and using him as a weapon? What if Dean's decision has horrible real world consequences in that a whole bunch of innocent people die because of this choice he made for his brother? This is pure spec on my part, but I am wondering if the whole "You either have to save Sam or kill him" dynamic from season 2 is coming back into play. With Zeke inhabiting Sam they could certainly go in this direction quite easily.
E
# E 2013-11-30 09:54
Hi Tim (#30, 31, 32 AND 33!, yes, I read the entire post) Very insightful. I love your posts and I think that you are on to something here. In the past on this show, often the victims of the week (VOW's) were used to reflect back on what was going on with the brothers, and I like to think that that is happening here as well, at least in some capacity. I really like your Suzy/Sam analogy here and seen in that light it makes her willingness to break her vows of chastity and Dean's pressure on her to do the same somewhat more understandable from a character perspective. I didn't really have that much trouble with the whole 'former porn star' thing or the depiction of her character woman wise, but I certainly see how others might have been offended or made uncomfortable. To see her character in light of what Dean has done/still doing with Sam, makes her depiction, perhaps not more palatable, but at least more understandable from a story perspective. Dean has a lot to learn still. I wonder if either this season or next (possibly the last) that Dean will be forced to deal with his major issues/ i.e. letting those he loves make their own decisions and abide by those decisions even if they go against what Dean wants. I think Dean has shown some major character growth in that he has acknowledged that what he's doing to Sam now is highly questionable, but his willingness to see the wrongness of his choices hasn't stopped him from making those choices.

I have a horrible feeling that Zeke does something terrible while wearing Sam in next weeks episode. The major plot point so far has been that Dean made this decision on behalf of Sam and is lying to him. What if that ends up being only half the problem? What if Zeke becomes a loose canon, tapping into Sam and using him as a weapon? What if Dean's decision has horrible real world consequences in that a whole bunch of innocent people die because of this choice he made for his brother? This is pure spec on my part, but I am wondering if the whole "You either have to save Sam or kill him" dynamic from season 2 is coming back into play. With Zeke inhabiting Sam they could certainly go in this direction quite easily.
Lucy
# Lucy 2013-11-30 10:05
Quoting Emily Rose:
I wish I could have. I just don't like the implication that people are "wrong" for having a different reaction, or having seen these issues (issues Kim Rhodes herself acknowledged on her Twitter).


Ohhh thank you so much for this. I am frankly sick of having my issues with the episode handwaved as my "destiel agenda" when I don't even ship Destiel. To see people at various forums defending Dean's predatory approach to this encounter with comments like, "she was wearing a revealing tanktop so she was obviously lying about wanting to be celibate," is so akin to rape apologism (she was scantily clad, therefore she was asking for it!) that it makes me feel nauseous.

The episode was appallingly written with regard to Dean's characterizatio n.
Lucy
# Lucy 2013-11-30 10:05
Quote:
I wish I could have. I just don't like the implication that people are "wrong" for having a different reaction, or having seen these issues (issues Kim Rhodes herself acknowledged on her Twitter).
Ohhh thank you so much for this. I am frankly sick of having my issues with the episode handwaved as my "destiel agenda" when I don't even ship Destiel. To see people at various forums defending Dean's predatory approach to this encounter with comments like, "she was wearing a revealing tanktop so she was obviously lying about wanting to be celibate," is so akin to rape apologism (she was scantily clad, therefore she was asking for it!) that it makes me feel nauseous.

The episode was appallingly written with regard to Dean's characterizatio n.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 10:10
Very interesting discussion! I had a little different read on what the episode was exploring.

I think Klein was taking a look at the way women's sexuality gets discussed and controlled, and the way this aspect of women so often falls into a Madonna/whore binary, especially in a religious context (not that I'm saying all people with faith all react this way. Not at all and the episode used Jody Mills to make the point there are many reasons to be drawn to faith).

But the Madonna/whore complex does have a long history. Suzy is looking for change, but to find it she feels she has to disavow her sexual self completely and feel shame. Her choices seem to her to be: she used to be whore, so now she has to be a virgin to repent. She's not open about who she is to the townspeople, because she knows she will be judged harshly--slut shamed.j

To me, this does seem like a position of reclaiming her sexual identity. She's rejecting a part of herself to fit herself into what she thinks will make her acceptable to her community.

When she meets Dean, she doesn't respond to his cheesy moves. He's flirting and she's ignoring and Dean accepts that when she asks him to pray with her.

He does think finding the DVDs shows that there is more to Suzy's pledge than meets the eye, but how he handles that is what changes her feelings toward him.

When he lets Suzy know he recognizes her, she immediately assumes she's about to get slut shamed and that whether Dean wants to sleep with her or not, he'll be thinking she's damaged goods. So she rushes in and tells him how horrible she is, before she has to hear it from his lips.

But Dean does not view women through a Madonna/whore binary. He never has. He loves sex and is very comfortable with sexuality, his and other people's. He has no issue with women feeling the same.

He loved that Lisa was a very sexual woman who owned her sexuality and he loved that she was a wonderful mother, and to him, there's no tension or dissonance there.

He doesn't for a moment feel he has to slut shame Suzy. That fear of hers comes from the community she's in, not from Dean. To me, the moment Dean actually had a chance of sweeping Suzy off her feet was the moment he dropped the cheesy lines and told her he knows bad stuff and she, at any point of her life, is not that.

I think Suzy was first amazed and then appreciative that Dean, in full knowledge of her sexual past, saw her as a beautiful and sexy woman he'd be lucky to be with. She may want to change her life, but she doesn't have to construct herself as a virgin to do it, because she doesn't have to see herself as a whore. She can be a sexual woman who loves sex for its own sake without shame or apology. She only responds to Dean's overtures after he surprises her by not judging her.

When we catch up with the pair after sex, they are very in tune with each other. It's not a big love affair; they don't have stars in their eyes. They both thoroughly enjoyed the sex, which Suzy admits she's missed. I think the narrative challenges the audience on whether they judge Suzy for that.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 10:10
Very interesting discussion! I had a little different read on what the episode was exploring.

I think Klein was taking a look at the way women's sexuality gets discussed and controlled, and the way this aspect of women so often falls into a Madonna/whore binary, especially in a religious context (not that I'm saying all people with faith all react this way. Not at all and the episode used Jody Mills to make the point there are many reasons to be drawn to faith).

But the Madonna/whore complex does have a long history. Suzy is looking for change, but to find it she feels she has to disavow her sexual self completely and feel shame. Her choices seem to her to be: she used to be whore, so now she has to be a virgin to repent. She's not open about who she is to the townspeople, because she knows she will be judged harshly--slut shamed.j

To me, this does seem like a position of reclaiming her sexual identity. She's rejecting a part of herself to fit herself into what she thinks will make her acceptable to her community.

When she meets Dean, she doesn't respond to his cheesy moves. He's flirting and she's ignoring and Dean accepts that when she asks him to pray with her.

He does think finding the DVDs shows that there is more to Suzy's pledge than meets the eye, but how he handles that is what changes her feelings toward him.

When he lets Suzy know he recognizes her, she immediately assumes she's about to get slut shamed and that whether Dean wants to sleep with her or not, he'll be thinking she's damaged goods. So she rushes in and tells him how horrible she is, before she has to hear it from his lips.

But Dean does not view women through a Madonna/whore binary. He never has. He loves sex and is very comfortable with sexuality, his and other people's. He has no issue with women feeling the same.

He loved that Lisa was a very sexual woman who owned her sexuality and he loved that she was a wonderful mother, and to him, there's no tension or dissonance there.

He doesn't for a moment feel he has to slut shame Suzy. That fear of hers comes from the community she's in, not from Dean. To me, the moment Dean actually had a chance of sweeping Suzy off her feet was the moment he dropped the cheesy lines and told her he knows bad stuff and she, at any point of her life, is not that.

I think Suzy was first amazed and then appreciative that Dean, in full knowledge of her sexual past, saw her as a beautiful and sexy woman he'd be lucky to be with. She may want to change her life, but she doesn't have to construct herself as a virgin to do it, because she doesn't have to see herself as a whore. She can be a sexual woman who loves sex for its own sake without shame or apology. She only responds to Dean's overtures after he surprises her by not judging her.

When we catch up with the pair after sex, they are very in tune with each other. It's not a big love affair; they don't have stars in their eyes. They both thoroughly enjoyed the sex, which Suzy admits she's missed. I think the narrative challenges the audience on whether they judge Suzy for that.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 10:11
I think the parallel to Sam is that he too falls very easily into harshly judging himself according to what he perceives "normal" society thinks is right.

He wants so desperately to free of the taint of demon blood and his fate to be involved with Hell that he has idealized the civilian life, feeling that if he could just leave himself behind and take on another identity, he could finally fit in--much like Suzy.

But like Suzy, running from himself means he has to deny parts of himself, and whether those parts are good or bad is really a matter of perspective.

I never thought Sam puttering around the motel with Amelia was meant to be a life Sam would find fulfilling for long, or that Sam having to back down and apologize for his past and his family to Amelia's father was portrayed as empowering for him.

The MOL storyline to me looks like a way for Sam to authentically live as the scholar he enjoys and at the same time also be the hunter he is. Authenticity is what his previous attempts at "normal" lacked.

But he still has that harsh self-judgement, wondering if his past means he's fatally flawed. I think Dean's attitude that Suzy is beautiful just as she is without any need for apology and if her community thinks she's shameful, she needs a new community, is relevant.

It's also relevant that it's up to Suzy in the end how she intends to proceed from there. She may still decide to define herself through the purity vow. Or she may decide to deconstruct the Madonna Whore binary and define her sexuality in her own terms. It`s up to her, in a way Sam is not in control of his choices.

And that to me is what the next half of the season will explore. Sam will have to decide whether he wants to live or die and why and he`ll have to decide what place Dean holds for him, in light of how far he went to save him.

He`s always needed to be the centre of Dean`s life, as we saw in the 8th season finale. And like most things, there`s positives and negatives to the fact that he always has been. I expect both aspects to get their due in the coming fall out.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 10:11
I think the parallel to Sam is that he too falls very easily into harshly judging himself according to what he perceives "normal" society thinks is right.

He wants so desperately to free of the taint of demon blood and his fate to be involved with Hell that he has idealized the civilian life, feeling that if he could just leave himself behind and take on another identity, he could finally fit in--much like Suzy.

But like Suzy, running from himself means he has to deny parts of himself, and whether those parts are good or bad is really a matter of perspective.

I never thought Sam puttering around the motel with Amelia was meant to be a life Sam would find fulfilling for long, or that Sam having to back down and apologize for his past and his family to Amelia's father was portrayed as empowering for him.

The MOL storyline to me looks like a way for Sam to authentically live as the scholar he enjoys and at the same time also be the hunter he is. Authenticity is what his previous attempts at "normal" lacked.

But he still has that harsh self-judgement, wondering if his past means he's fatally flawed. I think Dean's attitude that Suzy is beautiful just as she is without any need for apology and if her community thinks she's shameful, she needs a new community, is relevant.

It's also relevant that it's up to Suzy in the end how she intends to proceed from there. She may still decide to define herself through the purity vow. Or she may decide to deconstruct the Madonna Whore binary and define her sexuality in her own terms. It`s up to her, in a way Sam is not in control of his choices.

And that to me is what the next half of the season will explore. Sam will have to decide whether he wants to live or die and why and he`ll have to decide what place Dean holds for him, in light of how far he went to save him.

He`s always needed to be the centre of Dean`s life, as we saw in the 8th season finale. And like most things, there`s positives and negatives to the fact that he always has been. I expect both aspects to get their due in the coming fall out.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 10:21
Sorry - typing so fast I made a typo:

``To me, this does seem like a position of reclaiming her sexual identity. She's rejecting a part of herself to fit herself into what she thinks will make her acceptable to her community.`

Should be ``To me, this doesn`t seem . . . `etc.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 10:21
Sorry - typing so fast I made a typo:

``To me, this does seem like a position of reclaiming her sexual identity. She's rejecting a part of herself to fit herself into what she thinks will make her acceptable to her community.`

Should be ``To me, this doesn`t seem . . . `etc.
tigerlily2
# tigerlily2 2013-11-30 10:24
Quoting Tim the Enchanter:
I’ve a feeling Sam knows. He doesn’t know it all but I think he knows that Dean did something. Two reasons; (i) he didn’t seem at all comforted or relieved (quite the opposite) when Jody mentioned his relationship with Dean as being 'comfort'. You would expect him to if the relationship was as it appears on the surface and (ii) I just got the vibe in the final scene that Sam was waiting for Dean to say it. Jeez, his wording in that scene was played just to give Dean the opportunity to tell him. Were it not for Ezekiel he would have. The side look at Dean when Dean talks about faith, the long pauses, everything.


I agree, Tim. The way Sam left the room looking so dejected and beaten down seemed to indicate that he knows Dean did something, and he's just waiting for Dean to tell him. It's heartbreaking.
tigerlily2
# tigerlily2 2013-11-30 10:24
Quote:
I’ve a feeling Sam knows. He doesn’t know it all but I think he knows that Dean did something. Two reasons; (i) he didn’t seem at all comforted or relieved (quite the opposite) when Jody mentioned his relationship with Dean as being 'comfort'. You would expect him to if the relationship was as it appears on the surface and (ii) I just got the vibe in the final scene that Sam was waiting for Dean to say it. Jeez, his wording in that scene was played just to give Dean the opportunity to tell him. Were it not for Ezekiel he would have. The side look at Dean when Dean talks about faith, the long pauses, everything.
I agree, Tim. The way Sam left the room looking so dejected and beaten down seemed to indicate that he knows Dean did something, and he's just waiting for Dean to tell him. It's heartbreaking.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-30 10:29
#34amyh I agree with you about Sam. I think that is why he is my favorite, I think I can identify with him more. I also agree that it is Dean's actions that have put him where he is. I just meant that Dean is really going to need Sam to forgive him and possibly talk him off the ledge if Zeke has done something truly awful.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-11-30 10:29
#34amyh I agree with you about Sam. I think that is why he is my favorite, I think I can identify with him more. I also agree that it is Dean's actions that have put him where he is. I just meant that Dean is really going to need Sam to forgive him and possibly talk him off the ledge if Zeke has done something truly awful.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-30 10:32
Quoting anonymousN:
Quoting lkeke35:
Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show.

No we don't and that is not what we are concerned about.
Dean fans and Cas fans...well never mind, I will scrap this part of the comment.

I think Sam fans are more patient than most . I have already said how I feel about the 'time off ' disparity .As with most things everybody is free to see it how they want to.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-11-30 10:32
Quote:
Quote:
Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show.
No we don't and that is not what we are concerned about.
Dean fans and Cas fans...well never mind, I will scrap this part of the comment.
I think Sam fans are more patient than most . I have already said how I feel about the 'time off ' disparity .As with most things everybody is free to see it how they want to.
kristin
# kristin 2013-11-30 10:49
Wow, what an episode! I loved it from start to finish. It made me sad, it made me laugh, it made me think, it scared me, it upset me. That's what I want from my television shows!

Alice, I am so glad to see your review this week. I worried that last week's episode and your concerns about the time spent on the arc (or lack of time, rather) might have disheartened you enough not to write one. Thanks goodness this episode didn't get the same reaction! I really look forward to your take on the episodes.

My favorite moment in the show was the last scene, of course. Poor, poor Sam. He's back to thinking there's something wrong with him. It's really unfair how much he's been put through. I love and hate Sam's "trials;" it makes me weep for that little boy in the crib who lost his mom and his "normal" life when he was six months old. I wonder if last week's episode's focus on what Dean gave up, paired with this week's episode focusing on how Sam still feels about himself, were purposefully reminding us of what the boys were put through and what that did to their self-esteem. Even Dean's behavior - reverting to the sex-driven ladies man of old - was a bit of that; really, with bad food and old, icky hotel rooms, what did Dean have to enjoy in life, other than sex? I'm glad he gets to enjoy that. I am starting to feel like the whole season has been showing us that Sam doesn't enjoy much; it's something I've noticed before. Where Dean can often find some fun in the cases - he jokes and banters - Sam doesn't, or at least not much. The moment in the Dog episode when Sam held up the dressed up rat was so funny and so rare for Sam to be joking on a case, at least that I remember, that it was really notable. If Sam gets no joy from his job and no comfort from his home and no peace from his fear that he's wrong in some way, that's just sad. I know both Dean and Sam are tragic characters, but this episode really smacked me in the face with it.

I also felt bad for Dean. We can argue all day about whether he was right or not to let Zeke use Sam as a vessel, but even in those moments, we see how conflicted he is. This episode piles salt on the wounds that Dean is carrying around and I was so glad to see him decide to tell Sam. And then for Zeke to pop out and stop him... Well, my hopes for Zeke being on their side are dwindling. Of course, the possibilities for the drama got better, so I'm not totally complaining.

I could go on and on about the funny in this episode. The "Virgins Anonymous" meeting was so funny and uncomfortable and funny. Classic Dean, and classic Sam reacting to Dean. The pre-sex dialogue made me howl. Dean's bucket list indeed. I thought the dialogue was cracking and I was impressed with the Casa Erotica porn star. See, Show: it's not that hard to do a little research and be faithful to mythology or other elements of the last eight seasons. Or maybe the (mostly male) writing staff just remembers the porn. ;-)

I am also getting very worried about Dean ever being able to tell Sam about Zeke, which means Sam can't "eject him." I'm glad to see Metatron back. I'm really hoping there's a "Heaven loophole" in the spell Metatron cast. Are we sure that his spell is the same as the one on Angel tablet? I got the impression that it wasn't the same one in the Season 8 finale but the boys think it is, so I'm probably wrong. Then again, do we really trust Crawley? I'm so bad at figuring things like this out.

Then again, that's why I love this show. It keeps me on the edge of my seat. It scares the crap out of me. It rips my heart out. And it makes me think. What more could I ask for? Oh, yeah, pretty boys in an awesome car. :-)
kristin
# kristin 2013-11-30 10:49
Wow, what an episode! I loved it from start to finish. It made me sad, it made me laugh, it made me think, it scared me, it upset me. That's what I want from my television shows!

Alice, I am so glad to see your review this week. I worried that last week's episode and your concerns about the time spent on the arc (or lack of time, rather) might have disheartened you enough not to write one. Thanks goodness this episode didn't get the same reaction! I really look forward to your take on the episodes.

My favorite moment in the show was the last scene, of course. Poor, poor Sam. He's back to thinking there's something wrong with him. It's really unfair how much he's been put through. I love and hate Sam's "trials;" it makes me weep for that little boy in the crib who lost his mom and his "normal" life when he was six months old. I wonder if last week's episode's focus on what Dean gave up, paired with this week's episode focusing on how Sam still feels about himself, were purposefully reminding us of what the boys were put through and what that did to their self-esteem. Even Dean's behavior - reverting to the sex-driven ladies man of old - was a bit of that; really, with bad food and old, icky hotel rooms, what did Dean have to enjoy in life, other than sex? I'm glad he gets to enjoy that. I am starting to feel like the whole season has been showing us that Sam doesn't enjoy much; it's something I've noticed before. Where Dean can often find some fun in the cases - he jokes and banters - Sam doesn't, or at least not much. The moment in the Dog episode when Sam held up the dressed up rat was so funny and so rare for Sam to be joking on a case, at least that I remember, that it was really notable. If Sam gets no joy from his job and no comfort from his home and no peace from his fear that he's wrong in some way, that's just sad. I know both Dean and Sam are tragic characters, but this episode really smacked me in the face with it.

I also felt bad for Dean. We can argue all day about whether he was right or not to let Zeke use Sam as a vessel, but even in those moments, we see how conflicted he is. This episode piles salt on the wounds that Dean is carrying around and I was so glad to see him decide to tell Sam. And then for Zeke to pop out and stop him... Well, my hopes for Zeke being on their side are dwindling. Of course, the possibilities for the drama got better, so I'm not totally complaining.

I could go on and on about the funny in this episode. The "Virgins Anonymous" meeting was so funny and uncomfortable and funny. Classic Dean, and classic Sam reacting to Dean. The pre-sex dialogue made me howl. Dean's bucket list indeed. I thought the dialogue was cracking and I was impressed with the Casa Erotica porn star. See, Show: it's not that hard to do a little research and be faithful to mythology or other elements of the last eight seasons. Or maybe the (mostly male) writing staff just remembers the porn. ;-)

I am also getting very worried about Dean ever being able to tell Sam about Zeke, which means Sam can't "eject him." I'm glad to see Metatron back. I'm really hoping there's a "Heaven loophole" in the spell Metatron cast. Are we sure that his spell is the same as the one on Angel tablet? I got the impression that it wasn't the same one in the Season 8 finale but the boys think it is, so I'm probably wrong. Then again, do we really trust Crawley? I'm so bad at figuring things like this out.

Then again, that's why I love this show. It keeps me on the edge of my seat. It scares the crap out of me. It rips my heart out. And it makes me think. What more could I ask for? Oh, yeah, pretty boys in an awesome car. :-)
E
# E 2013-11-30 11:00
Gerry, this is utterly fabulous!! You've taken the entire "Dean as sexist" argument and turned it on its head, and I find your argument much more convincing. Dean loves women, all women and does not judge them by their past. I kept wondering why, as a well-educated and feminist type of strong and opinionated woman that I wasn't seeing all of the sexist stereo-types that people are seeing is in this episode, and that's because I think I view Dean more like you've described him. And I am not saying that those who were offended by the entire Dean/Suzy subplot are wrong or that this show has never had problems with its depiction of women, because it has, but for this particular episode the Suzy/Dean dynamic did not offend me. I like this idea that Dean can see the good in what she was doing and challenges her to look at her past in a different way. Dean was the only one to see the good in Suzy's past when even she couldn't. He doesn't judge her they way that she feels everyone will judge her and the way that she judges herself. Interesting. Although, I am not sure how this applies to Sam as it's clear that everyone judges Sam's past including Dean, and it's Dean's view of Sam's past that is the most important and detrimental to Sam. Perhaps that is where things are going with the season; Dean needs to realize that his judgement of Sam's past is the thing that has been the most difficult for Sam to deal with, and that they both must find the good in it rather than continual condemnation.

Both you and Tim have made such compelling and interesting arguments that I am feeling the need to watch this episode again.
E
# E 2013-11-30 11:00
Gerry, this is utterly fabulous!! You've taken the entire "Dean as sexist" argument and turned it on its head, and I find your argument much more convincing. Dean loves women, all women and does not judge them by their past. I kept wondering why, as a well-educated and feminist type of strong and opinionated woman that I wasn't seeing all of the sexist stereo-types that people are seeing is in this episode, and that's because I think I view Dean more like you've described him. And I am not saying that those who were offended by the entire Dean/Suzy subplot are wrong or that this show has never had problems with its depiction of women, because it has, but for this particular episode the Suzy/Dean dynamic did not offend me. I like this idea that Dean can see the good in what she was doing and challenges her to look at her past in a different way. Dean was the only one to see the good in Suzy's past when even she couldn't. He doesn't judge her they way that she feels everyone will judge her and the way that she judges herself. Interesting. Although, I am not sure how this applies to Sam as it's clear that everyone judges Sam's past including Dean, and it's Dean's view of Sam's past that is the most important and detrimental to Sam. Perhaps that is where things are going with the season; Dean needs to realize that his judgement of Sam's past is the thing that has been the most difficult for Sam to deal with, and that they both must find the good in it rather than continual condemnation.

Both you and Tim have made such compelling and interesting arguments that I am feeling the need to watch this episode again.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:05
#30,#31,#32,#33

Wow, Tim. you covered a lot of ground. You did mention a something I take exception with.

(What’s the difference between what Dean did here and what Reggie and Tim did in season 5 when, based on his past, they expected Sam to drink demon blood and then use that to get what they wanted?)

If I remember correctly, Reggie and Tim forced the demon blood on Sam. I don't think Dean forced Suzy/Carmelita to have sex; That would be considered rape and I'm sorry, just not seeing it. You might not be happy about the way Suzy's character was written, but, I'm sorry, the whole idea of being a "born again" virgin is ludicrous. There's absolutely nothing wrong with her or anyone else choosing a life of abstinence (or changing their mind for that matter), but once the virginity bell's been rung, it can't be unrung.

Early on, you mentioned that Sam can't disavow his past; maybe the same could be said about Suzy, too?

I do agree with your summary - "Oh, I dunno. I do think this episode is a lot more than it appears on the surface though. A lesson in just because you could doesn’t mean you should?"
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:05
#30,#31,#32,#33

Wow, Tim. you covered a lot of ground. You did mention a something I take exception with.

(What’s the difference between what Dean did here and what Reggie and Tim did in season 5 when, based on his past, they expected Sam to drink demon blood and then use that to get what they wanted?)

If I remember correctly, Reggie and Tim forced the demon blood on Sam. I don't think Dean forced Suzy/Carmelita to have sex; That would be considered rape and I'm sorry, just not seeing it. You might not be happy about the way Suzy's character was written, but, I'm sorry, the whole idea of being a "born again" virgin is ludicrous. There's absolutely nothing wrong with her or anyone else choosing a life of abstinence (or changing their mind for that matter), but once the virginity bell's been rung, it can't be unrung.

Early on, you mentioned that Sam can't disavow his past; maybe the same could be said about Suzy, too?

I do agree with your summary - "Oh, I dunno. I do think this episode is a lot more than it appears on the surface though. A lesson in just because you could doesn’t mean you should?"
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:13
Quoting lkeke35:
Oh, as for Sam what I meant was that Sam is just tired because of his soul being tapped by Zeke. Hes not still dying. Hes just sleeping a lot. Every time Zeke makes a display of power Sam is extremely fatigued afterwards. Sam himself said he cant seem to recharge his battery. And that's what souls are : batteries. I think hes healed about as well as Zeke can do it and only by inhabiting Sam could he see and repair the damage that Cas couldn't fix from the outside.
Now is Zeke trustworthy? Does he have ulterior motives? These are all great questions. Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show. Of course I tend to under -react to everything so the proper reaction is probably somewhere between ho hum and abject hysteria, I guess. :-D

This is a fairly consistent and predictable show to my eyes. Its a prime time show with two leads, so certain things are and are not going to air in primetime. I'm just trying to keep perspective, is all. Jut, imho.


Agree on the soul-tapping as the reason for him being so run down but clinically, if you go based upon what the doctor said in 9.01, and Vesta said about him in this episode, Sam is clinically dead and is only being kept "alive" because of his angelic pacemaker. In fact, I'm not sure his being cured is a gradual process; maybe Zeke has to fully heal himself before taking on the task of healing Sam?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:13
Quote:
Oh, as for Sam what I meant was that Sam is just tired because of his soul being tapped by Zeke. Hes not still dying. Hes just sleeping a lot. Every time Zeke makes a display of power Sam is extremely fatigued afterwards. Sam himself said he cant seem to recharge his battery. And that's what souls are : batteries. I think hes healed about as well as Zeke can do it and only by inhabiting Sam could he see and repair the damage that Cas couldn't fix from the outside.
Now is Zeke trustworthy? Does he have ulterior motives? These are all great questions. Everyone has wonderful questions but Ive also never understood the tendency for Sam fans to start screaming about how the sky is falling with every little setback on the show. Of course I tend to under -react to everything so the proper reaction is probably somewhere between ho hum and abject hysteria, I guess. :-D

This is a fairly consistent and predictable show to my eyes. Its a prime time show with two leads, so certain things are and are not going to air in primetime. I'm just trying to keep perspective, is all. Jut, imho.
Agree on the soul-tapping as the reason for him being so run down but clinically, if you go based upon what the doctor said in 9.01, and Vesta said about him in this episode, Sam is clinically dead and is only being kept "alive" because of his angelic pacemaker. In fact, I'm not sure his being cured is a gradual process; maybe Zeke has to fully heal himself before taking on the task of healing Sam?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:20
...
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:20
...
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 11:21
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 11:21
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 11:24
@29: Sorry anonymous. I didn't mean Sam fans, that was a typo. I meant "SOME" fans.

I prefer to stay VERY far afield of the "who loves who" fandom.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 11:24
@29: Sorry anonymous. I didn't mean Sam fans, that was a typo. I meant "SOME" fans.

I prefer to stay VERY far afield of the "who loves who" fandom.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:58
Quoting lkeke35:
@29: Sorry anonymous. I didn't mean Sam fans, that was a typo. I meant "SOME" fans.

I prefer to stay VERY far afield of the "who loves who" fandom.


A very wise strategy :-)
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 11:58
Quote:
@29: Sorry anonymous. I didn't mean Sam fans, that was a typo. I meant "SOME" fans.

I prefer to stay VERY far afield of the "who loves who" fandom.
A very wise strategy :-)
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 12:09
[quote name="E. Although, I am not sure how this applies to Sam as it's clear that everyone judges Sam's past including Dean, and it's Dean's view of Sam's past that is the most important and detrimental to Sam. Perhaps that is where things are going with the season; Dean needs to realize that his judgement of Sam's past is the thing that has been the most difficult for Sam to deal with, and that they both must find the good in it rather than continual condemnation.


Hi E! I too consider myself to be someone very interested in gender construction, sexuality, morality, perception of women and as you saw, I was fine with this episode.

I think your point that Sam feels he has been judged for his past and hos perception that Dean was one of the people doing the judging is not only a parallel to Suzy, it also picks up from the finale last year.

In the finale, Sam finally verbalizes to Dean his fears about Dean judging him and what that means to him. And Dean`s response is to tell him if he feels that, it`s a misperception of Dean`s feelings and that he never felt Sam was lesser. That`s how Dean talks Sam off the ledge.

But how much Sam was really able to process that before his organs failed is a big question. I think Dean has a lot to process on his boundaries between what he needs and what Sam needs, and Sam has a lot to process on what his perception of himself is really based on. I think we were supposed to take it from the finale that Sam`s fears about Dean`s perception of him were not accurate. He didn`t know he should be more worried about where Dean`s boundaries were about how much he needed him.

It`s an interesting season!
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 12:09
Hi E! I too consider myself to be someone very interested in gender construction, sexuality, morality, perception of women and as you saw, I was fine with this episode.

I think your point that Sam feels he has been judged for his past and hos perception that Dean was one of the people doing the judging is not only a parallel to Suzy, it also picks up from the finale last year.

In the finale, Sam finally verbalizes to Dean his fears about Dean judging him and what that means to him. And Dean`s response is to tell him if he feels that, it`s a misperception of Dean`s feelings and that he never felt Sam was lesser. That`s how Dean talks Sam off the ledge.

But how much Sam was really able to process that before his organs failed is a big question. I think Dean has a lot to process on his boundaries between what he needs and what Sam needs, and Sam has a lot to process on what his perception of himself is really based on. I think we were supposed to take it from the finale that Sam`s fears about Dean`s perception of him were not accurate. He didn`t know he should be more worried about where Dean`s boundaries were about how much he needed him.

It`s an interesting season!
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 12:17
@45

Perhaps I wasn’t clear, njspnfan. I’m aware of that Tim and Reggie ended up forcing Sam to take the demon blood, I was talking about the lead up to forcible ingestion of blood. “Come on, you know you want it, Sam. Just reach out and take it.” “Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna drink this, Hulk out, and you're gonna waste every one of the demon scum that killed my best friend.” They brought the blood there for Sam, with the assumption that he would drink it, to get him to do something they wanted.

Quote:
once the virginity bell's been rung, it can't be unrung
I find this to be rather cut and dry. Even if we are solely looking at virginity from a sexual point of view, are people not allowed second chances? If, for example, a child or even an older person is raped, are they no longer virgins? And should their lives be defined by what happened in the past? Add to that, given that hymen restoration surgeries are possible, technically that bell can be unrung. So I guess the question is, is virginity something physical or something psychological? Either way, bells unringing all over the place!

In relation to disavowing your past, I think you can. If people let the past in the past, why can’t you??
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-11-30 12:17
@45

Perhaps I wasn’t clear, njspnfan. I’m aware of that Tim and Reggie ended up forcing Sam to take the demon blood, I was talking about the lead up to forcible ingestion of blood. “Come on, you know you want it, Sam. Just reach out and take it.” “Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna drink this, Hulk out, and you're gonna waste every one of the demon scum that killed my best friend.” They brought the blood there for Sam, with the assumption that he would drink it, to get him to do something they wanted.

Quote:
once the virginity bell's been rung, it can't be unrung
I find this to be rather cut and dry. Even if we are solely looking at virginity from a sexual point of view, are people not allowed second chances? If, for example, a child or even an older person is raped, are they no longer virgins? And should their lives be defined by what happened in the past? Add to that, given that hymen restoration surgeries are possible, technically that bell can be unrung. So I guess the question is, is virginity something physical or something psychological? Either way, bells unringing all over the place!

In relation to disavowing your past, I think you can. If people let the past in the past, why can’t you??
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 12:18
Quoting eilf:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.


I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 12:18
Quote:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.
I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.
E
# E 2013-11-30 12:52
Quoting Gerry:
[quote name="E. Although, I am not sure how this applies to Sam as it's clear that everyone judges Sam's past including Dean, and it's Dean's view of Sam's past that is the most important and detrimental to Sam. Perhaps that is where things are going with the season; Dean needs to realize that his judgement of Sam's past is the thing that has been the most difficult for Sam to deal with, and that they both must find the good in it rather than continual condemnation.


Hi E! I too consider myself to be someone very interested in gender construction, sexuality, morality, perception of women and as you saw, I was fine with this episode.

I think your point that Sam feels he has been judged for his past and hos perception that Dean was one of the people doing the judging is not only a parallel to Suzy, it also picks up from the finale last year.

In the finale, Sam finally verbalizes to Dean his fears about Dean judging him and what that means to him. And Dean`s response is to tell him if he feels that, it`s a misperception of Dean`s feelings and that he never felt Sam was lesser. That`s how Dean talks Sam off the ledge.

But how much Sam was really able to process that before his organs failed is a big question. I think Dean has a lot to process on his boundaries between what he needs and what Sam needs, and Sam has a lot to process on what his perception of himself is really based on. I think we were supposed to take it from the finale that Sam`s fears about Dean`s perception of him were not accurate. He didn`t know he should be more worried about where Dean`s boundaries were about how much he needed him.

It`s an interesting season!

Hi Gerry,
But how could Sam know that Dean wasn't judging him given Dean's WORDS of judgement going back seasons? How can someone understand something that is never said and the opposite of which is repeated over and over? My whole problem with the scenario set up by the season 8 finale is that Dean never said that he didn't judge Sam, nor did he say he forgives him or that he trusts him either. He said that "nothing or no one comes before Sam" which is a different thing IMO. I believe that this is true for Dean, nothing does or ever will come before Sam with Dean, which is a sign of Dean's affection and love for Sam and his importance in Dean's life. But its neither absolution nor trust. You can love someone without trusting them, and you can put them first and tell them they are important to you while still making decisions for them because you don't think that they are capable of making their own decisions.

In part, I think Sam did need to know that despite his mistakes that Dean still loves him and puts him before anyone else in his life. But Sam needs Dean's acknowledgment of his mistakes and forgiveness for them more than anything. He needs Dean to take a chance on trusting him to make his own decision regardless of Dean's fear of what those decisions might be. Dean keeps saying to Sam "its not your fault" even for things that ARE Sam's fault. I think instead that Sam needs Dean to say, "It IS your fault, but I forgive you anyway, and maybe you'll do better next time," more than just about anything else.
E
# E 2013-11-30 12:52
Quote:


Hi E! I too consider myself to be someone very interested in gender construction, sexuality, morality, perception of women and as you saw, I was fine with this episode.

I think your point that Sam feels he has been judged for his past and hos perception that Dean was one of the people doing the judging is not only a parallel to Suzy, it also picks up from the finale last year.

In the finale, Sam finally verbalizes to Dean his fears about Dean judging him and what that means to him. And Dean`s response is to tell him if he feels that, it`s a misperception of Dean`s feelings and that he never felt Sam was lesser. That`s how Dean talks Sam off the ledge.

But how much Sam was really able to process that before his organs failed is a big question. I think Dean has a lot to process on his boundaries between what he needs and what Sam needs, and Sam has a lot to process on what his perception of himself is really based on. I think we were supposed to take it from the finale that Sam`s fears about Dean`s perception of him were not accurate. He didn`t know he should be more worried about where Dean`s boundaries were about how much he needed him.

It`s an interesting season!
Hi Gerry,
But how could Sam know that Dean wasn't judging him given Dean's WORDS of judgement going back seasons? How can someone understand something that is never said and the opposite of which is repeated over and over? My whole problem with the scenario set up by the season 8 finale is that Dean never said that he didn't judge Sam, nor did he say he forgives him or that he trusts him either. He said that "nothing or no one comes before Sam" which is a different thing IMO. I believe that this is true for Dean, nothing does or ever will come before Sam with Dean, which is a sign of Dean's affection and love for Sam and his importance in Dean's life. But its neither absolution nor trust. You can love someone without trusting them, and you can put them first and tell them they are important to you while still making decisions for them because you don't think that they are capable of making their own decisions.

In part, I think Sam did need to know that despite his mistakes that Dean still loves him and puts him before anyone else in his life. But Sam needs Dean's acknowledgment of his mistakes and forgiveness for them more than anything. He needs Dean to take a chance on trusting him to make his own decision regardless of Dean's fear of what those decisions might be. Dean keeps saying to Sam "its not your fault" even for things that ARE Sam's fault. I think instead that Sam needs Dean to say, "It IS your fault, but I forgive you anyway, and maybe you'll do better next time," more than just about anything else.
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 13:03
Quoting E:

I think instead that Sam needs Dean to say, "It IS your fault, but I forgive you anyway, and maybe you'll do better next time," more than just about anything else.

Since Dean also (and repeatedly) judges Sam on things that are NOT his fault I think Sam needs to say 'I am the person who judges me. Not you. You don't have all the facts and you can't help putting the facts you do have through the lens of your own perspective.'
I feel this is pretty reasonable because mostly what Sam judges Dean for, if he does come down in judgement, it is either for things that Dean doesn't personally have a problem with and will ignore, ie: "Dude you CANNOT tap that' or if it is serious he tells Dean and then lets it go.
That is the understanding I would like them to come to...not gonna happen though :-)
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 13:03
Quote:

I think instead that Sam needs Dean to say, "It IS your fault, but I forgive you anyway, and maybe you'll do better next time," more than just about anything else.
Since Dean also (and repeatedly) judges Sam on things that are NOT his fault I think Sam needs to say 'I am the person who judges me. Not you. You don't have all the facts and you can't help putting the facts you do have through the lens of your own perspective.'
I feel this is pretty reasonable because mostly what Sam judges Dean for, if he does come down in judgement, it is either for things that Dean doesn't personally have a problem with and will ignore, ie: "Dude you CANNOT tap that' or if it is serious he tells Dean and then lets it go.
That is the understanding I would like them to come to...not gonna happen though :-)
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 13:07
Quoting Gerry:
Quoting eilf:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.


I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.

Well good for them in their attempt to subvert a trope on the show, that literally goes back to episode 1, in a 5 minute clip (that reads like a basic porn movie) in the middle of one episode, in Season 9. :-) From my perspective if that was what they were trying to do they pretty much failed, but kudos for the attempt.
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 13:07
Quote:
Quote:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.
I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.
Well good for them in their attempt to subvert a trope on the show, that literally goes back to episode 1, in a 5 minute clip (that reads like a basic porn movie) in the middle of one episode, in Season 9. :-) From my perspective if that was what they were trying to do they pretty much failed, but kudos for the attempt.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 13:32
Quoting eilf:
Quoting Gerry:
Quoting eilf:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.


I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.

Well good for them in their attempt to subvert a trope on the show, that literally goes back to episode 1, in a 5 minute clip (that reads like a basic porn movie) in the middle of one episode, in Season 9. :-) From my perspective if that was what they were trying to do they pretty much failed, but kudos for the attempt.


No episode is going to land the same for everyone. (-: I thought they did a good job highlighting the kinds of ways women's sexuality is discussed from all angles, but there's no way this wasn't going to be a mileage will very much vary type of issue.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 13:32
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.
I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.
Well good for them in their attempt to subvert a trope on the show, that literally goes back to episode 1, in a 5 minute clip (that reads like a basic porn movie) in the middle of one episode, in Season 9. :-) From my perspective if that was what they were trying to do they pretty much failed, but kudos for the attempt.
No episode is going to land the same for everyone. (-: I thought they did a good job highlighting the kinds of ways women's sexuality is discussed from all angles, but there's no way this wasn't going to be a mileage will very much vary type of issue.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 13:45
Quoting E:
Quoting Gerry:
[quote name="E. Although, I am not sure how this applies to Sam as it's clear that everyone judges Sam's past including Dean, and it's Dean's view of Sam's past that is the most important and detrimental to Sam. Perhaps that is where things are going with the season; Dean needs to realize that his judgement of Sam's past is the thing that has been the most difficult for Sam to deal with, and that they both must find the good in it rather than continual condemnation.


Hi E! I too consider myself to be someone very interested in gender construction, sexuality, morality, perception of women and as you saw, I was fine with this episode.

I think your point that Sam feels he has been judged for his past and hos perception that Dean was one of the people doing the judging is not only a parallel to Suzy, it also picks up from the finale last year.

In the finale, Sam finally verbalizes to Dean his fears about Dean judging him and what that means to him. And Dean`s response is to tell him if he feels that, it`s a misperception of Dean`s feelings and that he never felt Sam was lesser. That`s how Dean talks Sam off the ledge.

But how much Sam was really able to process that before his organs failed is a big question. I think Dean has a lot to process on his boundaries between what he needs and what Sam needs, and Sam has a lot to process on what his perception of himself is really based on. I think we were supposed to take it from the finale that Sam`s fears about Dean`s perception of him were not accurate. He didn`t know he should be more worried about where Dean`s boundaries were about how much he needed him.

It`s an interesting season!


Hi Gerry,
But how could Sam know that Dean wasn't judging him given Dean's WORDS of judgement going back seasons? How can someone understand something that is never said and the opposite of which is repeated over and over? My whole problem with the scenario set up by the season 8 finale is that Dean never said that he didn't judge Sam, nor did he say he forgives him or that he trusts him either. He said that "nothing or no one comes before Sam" which is a different thing IMO. I believe that this is true for Dean, nothing does or ever will come before Sam with Dean, which is a sign of Dean's affection and love for Sam and his importance in Dean's life. But its neither absolution nor trust. You can love someone without trusting them, and you can put them first and tell them they are important to you while still making decisions for them because you don't think that they are capable of making their own decisions.

In part, I think Sam did need to know that despite his mistakes that Dean still loves him and puts him before anyone else in his life. But Sam needs Dean's acknowledgment of his mistakes and forgiveness for them more than anything. He needs Dean to take a chance on trusting him to make his own decision regardless of Dean's fear of what those decisions might be. Dean keeps saying to Sam "its not your fault" even for things that ARE Sam's fault. I think instead that Sam needs Dean to say, "It IS your fault, but I forgive you anyway, and maybe you'll do better next time," more than just about anything else.

It will indeed be a difficult and sensitive discussion, which is probably why the boys haven't had it yet. I think we have seen Dean doesn't judge Sam, despite the fact that he brings up Sam's mistakes. Sam being possessed by Lucifer was the ultimate reason to give up on his brother, but Dean never lost faith that if anyone could defeat Lucifer, Sam could. When Sam almost killed Dean and left with Ruby, Dean thought he couldn't get passed that, but Bobby smacked him upside the head and told him family wasn't there to make him happy, it was there to be . . . family. And Dean got passed it.

The problem is that Dean still needles Sam and until the finale, he didn't know how seriously Sam was taking him. But now he does and I think there's lots of ways to show Sam he does trust him. But I agree with everything you wrote about what Sam needs to hear and that Dean needs to allow Sam to make decisions he might not agree with. It's time.

But for me, I have not gotten my head around Sam choosing to die as showing him in a good emotionally balanced place that I should root for to be able to do. An hour before the premiere, he wanted to die because of how flawed he is. So I think the discussion will be bigger than just what Dean needs to do to allow Sam the autonomy he deserves, especially since Sam didn't really want autonomy last season. He wanted to be able to get space from Dean, but feared that Dean might want space from him. What Sam wants from Dean is as complicated as what Dean wants from Sam, to me.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 13:45
Quote:
Quote:


Hi E! I too consider myself to be someone very interested in gender construction, sexuality, morality, perception of women and as you saw, I was fine with this episode.

I think your point that Sam feels he has been judged for his past and hos perception that Dean was one of the people doing the judging is not only a parallel to Suzy, it also picks up from the finale last year.

In the finale, Sam finally verbalizes to Dean his fears about Dean judging him and what that means to him. And Dean`s response is to tell him if he feels that, it`s a misperception of Dean`s feelings and that he never felt Sam was lesser. That`s how Dean talks Sam off the ledge.

But how much Sam was really able to process that before his organs failed is a big question. I think Dean has a lot to process on his boundaries between what he needs and what Sam needs, and Sam has a lot to process on what his perception of himself is really based on. I think we were supposed to take it from the finale that Sam`s fears about Dean`s perception of him were not accurate. He didn`t know he should be more worried about where Dean`s boundaries were about how much he needed him.

It`s an interesting season!
Hi Gerry,
But how could Sam know that Dean wasn't judging him given Dean's WORDS of judgement going back seasons? How can someone understand something that is never said and the opposite of which is repeated over and over? My whole problem with the scenario set up by the season 8 finale is that Dean never said that he didn't judge Sam, nor did he say he forgives him or that he trusts him either. He said that "nothing or no one comes before Sam" which is a different thing IMO. I believe that this is true for Dean, nothing does or ever will come before Sam with Dean, which is a sign of Dean's affection and love for Sam and his importance in Dean's life. But its neither absolution nor trust. You can love someone without trusting them, and you can put them first and tell them they are important to you while still making decisions for them because you don't think that they are capable of making their own decisions.

In part, I think Sam did need to know that despite his mistakes that Dean still loves him and puts him before anyone else in his life. But Sam needs Dean's acknowledgment of his mistakes and forgiveness for them more than anything. He needs Dean to take a chance on trusting him to make his own decision regardless of Dean's fear of what those decisions might be. Dean keeps saying to Sam "its not your fault" even for things that ARE Sam's fault. I think instead that Sam needs Dean to say, "It IS your fault, but I forgive you anyway, and maybe you'll do better next time," more than just about anything else.
It will indeed be a difficult and sensitive discussion, which is probably why the boys haven't had it yet. I think we have seen Dean doesn't judge Sam, despite the fact that he brings up Sam's mistakes. Sam being possessed by Lucifer was the ultimate reason to give up on his brother, but Dean never lost faith that if anyone could defeat Lucifer, Sam could. When Sam almost killed Dean and left with Ruby, Dean thought he couldn't get passed that, but Bobby smacked him upside the head and told him family wasn't there to make him happy, it was there to be . . . family. And Dean got passed it.

The problem is that Dean still needles Sam and until the finale, he didn't know how seriously Sam was taking him. But now he does and I think there's lots of ways to show Sam he does trust him. But I agree with everything you wrote about what Sam needs to hear and that Dean needs to allow Sam to make decisions he might not agree with. It's time.

But for me, I have not gotten my head around Sam choosing to die as showing him in a good emotionally balanced place that I should root for to be able to do. An hour before the premiere, he wanted to die because of how flawed he is. So I think the discussion will be bigger than just what Dean needs to do to allow Sam the autonomy he deserves, especially since Sam didn't really want autonomy last season. He wanted to be able to get space from Dean, but feared that Dean might want space from him. What Sam wants from Dean is as complicated as what Dean wants from Sam, to me.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 13:46
wow, did I mess up the quoting on my last comment. Sorry!
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 13:46
wow, did I mess up the quoting on my last comment. Sorry!
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 14:18
Quoting Gerry:
Quoting eilf:
Quoting Gerry:
Quoting eilf:
I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.


I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.

Well good for them in their attempt to subvert a trope on the show, that literally goes back to episode 1, in a 5 minute clip (that reads like a basic porn movie) in the middle of one episode, in Season 9. :-) From my perspective if that was what they were trying to do they pretty much failed, but kudos for the attempt.


No episode is going to land the same for everyone. (-: I thought they did a good job highlighting the kinds of ways women's sexuality is discussed from all angles, but there's no way this wasn't going to be a mileage will very much vary type of issue.


I came back to edit my comment because it came across as somewhat acid, sorry for that :-) it was aimed at the show.

I honestly feel if the important thing about that encounter was Suzy getting her groove back she wouldn't have been relegated to plot point as soon as Dean escaped from the pit. I mean she just vanished, so it appears that her perspective was never meant to be either believable or real. I mean if she came back and said "yeah I can be a person not a Madonna or whore, but YOU need to learn the 'reality/porn' lesson as well", then maybe, but ....
In as much as it is Dean's perspective we go with practically always in the show I guess it was somewhat disappointing to see that entire scene through Dean's eyes - his absolutely superficial interest in her because of her looks, his chase after the girl, who you could see wasn't intentionally coming on to him, purely because she was a challenge to his masculinity, his almost comical focus on her boobs and her ass, his attempts at seduction etc etc... it made him look like a schoolboy. It was almost more a perspective on how women assume men think (and how they should go along with it) than anything else.
Honestly though I haven't done any gender studies in my life so all I can look at is my perception of that scene and interpret it the way I do. I accept SPN with its normally pretty old-fashioned attitude to women (along with it's new-man attitude to relationships between men) because it is usually not too extreme and I can handwave it, and while the relationships tend to be old-fashioned, the women tend to kick ass in all the other aspects of the show. But the show hasn't really earned the ability to make this sort of social commentary (if that is what they are doing) which is why it has outraged such a lot of people. I am not annoyed by it particularly, it just didn't work for me. But as you say, each to their own.
eilf
# eilf 2013-11-30 14:18
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
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I just realized what is confusing me about that whole scene with Dean objectifying the girl and being a horndog etc. In any other episode of SPN he would have been the disposable guy who gets killed for his behavior before the episode starts. :P

And we would have subconsciously gone, 'heh, serves him right' since - as I saw in a comment elsewhere - horror tropes are basically morality plays.
I think this episode was bringing those morality assumptions into the spotlight and challenging them, not reinforcing them.
Well good for them in their attempt to subvert a trope on the show, that literally goes back to episode 1, in a 5 minute clip (that reads like a basic porn movie) in the middle of one episode, in Season 9. :-) From my perspective if that was what they were trying to do they pretty much failed, but kudos for the attempt.
No episode is going to land the same for everyone. (-: I thought they did a good job highlighting the kinds of ways women's sexuality is discussed from all angles, but there's no way this wasn't going to be a mileage will very much vary type of issue.
I came back to edit my comment because it came across as somewhat acid, sorry for that :-) it was aimed at the show.

I honestly feel if the important thing about that encounter was Suzy getting her groove back she wouldn't have been relegated to plot point as soon as Dean escaped from the pit. I mean she just vanished, so it appears that her perspective was never meant to be either believable or real. I mean if she came back and said "yeah I can be a person not a Madonna or whore, but YOU need to learn the 'reality/porn' lesson as well", then maybe, but ....
In as much as it is Dean's perspective we go with practically always in the show I guess it was somewhat disappointing to see that entire scene through Dean's eyes - his absolutely superficial interest in her because of her looks, his chase after the girl, who you could see wasn't intentionally coming on to him, purely because she was a challenge to his masculinity, his almost comical focus on her boobs and her ass, his attempts at seduction etc etc... it made him look like a schoolboy. It was almost more a perspective on how women assume men think (and how they should go along with it) than anything else.
Honestly though I haven't done any gender studies in my life so all I can look at is my perception of that scene and interpret it the way I do. I accept SPN with its normally pretty old-fashioned attitude to women (along with it's new-man attitude to relationships between men) because it is usually not too extreme and I can handwave it, and while the relationships tend to be old-fashioned, the women tend to kick ass in all the other aspects of the show. But the show hasn't really earned the ability to make this sort of social commentary (if that is what they are doing) which is why it has outraged such a lot of people. I am not annoyed by it particularly, it just didn't work for me. But as you say, each to their own.
kristin
# kristin 2013-11-30 15:10
I didn't find the storyline with the former porn star racist. Is it racist to speak in Spanish? Is it racist to call someone by a Spanish name? Is it racist to name porn "Casa Erotica?" I thought it fit perfectly in the history of the show to use Casa Erotica as the porn star's background. Did anyone think Casa Erotica was "racist" before this episode?

I haven't seen any Twitter feeds, by actors or others, and I don't want to demean people's rights to have a different opinion, but I'm getting a little tired of being told that things are racist (or sexist, frankly). The Oxford Definition of racism is:

"The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics , abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races; prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior."

Sorry but I see none of that in "Rock and a Hard Place." Suzy was played by a beautiful actress with a banging body. She was in porn that Dean enjoys. She and Dean spoke Spanish. Actually, we all know Dean's real "porn of choice" is Busty Asian Beauties, vintage or current. Imagine what would have happened if Dean had found one of those magazines in the drawer? And if they'd cast the part with an Asian actress with big boobs? My god, the Tweets alone!

But to be clear, even that wouldn't have been racist, and neither is what was portrayed in the episode. It is not racist to portray someone of a certain race in a "bad" light, although I don't think that Suzy was at all portrayed in a bad light. It's racist to say ALL people of a certain race are inferior to another race. It's racist to say someone is inferior or superior because of a character trait that is the result of their race. Neither of those things happened here.

Sorry, but sometimes I think that these kinds of labels and accusations are thrown around too cheaply. When my little brother (who is adopted and black) is called the n-word by someone, that's racism. When Dean uses Spanish and calls a white woman Rosalita because she was in porn called "Casa Erotica," I don't see how that matches any definition of racism I've ever seen. I apologize for the rant, but this kind of thing really annoys me. We need to fight racism and in my opinion, labeling this "racism" doesn't help anyone take a really important issue seriously.
kristin
# kristin 2013-11-30 15:10
I didn't find the storyline with the former porn star racist. Is it racist to speak in Spanish? Is it racist to call someone by a Spanish name? Is it racist to name porn "Casa Erotica?" I thought it fit perfectly in the history of the show to use Casa Erotica as the porn star's background. Did anyone think Casa Erotica was "racist" before this episode?

I haven't seen any Twitter feeds, by actors or others, and I don't want to demean people's rights to have a different opinion, but I'm getting a little tired of being told that things are racist (or sexist, frankly). The Oxford Definition of racism is:

"The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics , abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races; prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior."

Sorry but I see none of that in "Rock and a Hard Place." Suzy was played by a beautiful actress with a banging body. She was in porn that Dean enjoys. She and Dean spoke Spanish. Actually, we all know Dean's real "porn of choice" is Busty Asian Beauties, vintage or current. Imagine what would have happened if Dean had found one of those magazines in the drawer? And if they'd cast the part with an Asian actress with big boobs? My god, the Tweets alone!

But to be clear, even that wouldn't have been racist, and neither is what was portrayed in the episode. It is not racist to portray someone of a certain race in a "bad" light, although I don't think that Suzy was at all portrayed in a bad light. It's racist to say ALL people of a certain race are inferior to another race. It's racist to say someone is inferior or superior because of a character trait that is the result of their race. Neither of those things happened here.

Sorry, but sometimes I think that these kinds of labels and accusations are thrown around too cheaply. When my little brother (who is adopted and black) is called the n-word by someone, that's racism. When Dean uses Spanish and calls a white woman Rosalita because she was in porn called "Casa Erotica," I don't see how that matches any definition of racism I've ever seen. I apologize for the rant, but this kind of thing really annoys me. We need to fight racism and in my opinion, labeling this "racism" doesn't help anyone take a really important issue seriously.
StarMinion
# StarMinion 2013-11-30 15:27
(Part 1 of 2)

You can add me to the list of people who are very unhappy and disturbed with this episode. I thought some of the dialogue was so bad and embarrassing I ended up muting it on my TV rather than having to listen to it.

If you enjoyed the episode, that's great. I sincerely wish I could say the same as I don't like it when my favorite show not only disappoints me, but makes me feel embarrassed to be fan. I wish I could overlook the problematic, virgin-shaming, racist elements and accept the justification and excuses some fans have been making for them, but I cannot unfortunately.

If the show wanted to avoid making Dean out to be a horny, sleazeball jerk, then here's how it could have avoided it:

Suzy said she had counseled individuals of the chastity group on a one-on-one basis. Dean would have good reason to want to talk to with her to see if she might know more about the other members, which would help them piece together clues about why they may have been abducted. No need for Dean to act like a horny irresponsible teen and lie about why he wants to go home under false pretexts in order to seduce her into having sex. He simply could have showed up at her house later, flashed his FBI badge, and explained why he wanted to talk more with her.

Then Suzy could have said something in their exchange to make Dean suspect she's lying or hiding something, which increases Dean's suspicions that she might be behind the disappearances. So when an opportunity arises, he goes snooping through her things in order to find evidence that she might be involved.

THAT would be when he accidentally comes across the Casa Erotica porn and realizes why she seemed so familiar to him. Then Suzy catches him in the act, and Dean is appropriately chagrined and embarrassed and apologizes. Suzy is mad and tells him:

"Why do you think I kept them? It's to remind me of who I was, and how far I've come from being that person that I was ashamed to be."

At which point Dean could say "I don't think you have anything to be ashamed of," and Suzy could have explained WHY she chose to change her name, move somewhere and start over. It could have given us some real character insight into her. We could have seen her as a 3D dimensional person; we could have gotten some insight into the abuses that go inside the porn industry. She would have been more than a plot device, an item for Dean to check off his "bucket list".

After hearing her story, Dean is moved because the Dean I have grown to know and love over the years is a compassionate, empathetic person who understands what it's like to be an abusive and unhappy situation and want to escape from it (just like we saw in 9x07, so that could have been a thread in common to tie these episodes together). Dean would say then "I'm sorry. I should leave." Then turn to go.

At which point Suzy would say "Wait" and then kisses him. While Dean would enjoy the kiss, it would also startle Dean, and he'd be confused.

"I thought you didn't want to do this anymore?"

Then she would explain that she's been having doubts for some time about this chastity vow, and has decided maybe she has gone too far trying to hide from her past. Plus, the fact that her friends have been disappearing, and are probably dead, has made her think about her own mortality and how limited their time is on this Earth. This conversation could have served to also illuminate Dean's struggles to find a middle ground when it comes to hunting and spending too much time caring for others but losing himself in the process. Who is Dean Winchester? How can he change his own life to be a happier person? Hunting ALL the time isn't good for him, but we know Dean can't give up hunting altogether too. Like Suzy, Dean also needs to try and find a middle ground.

See the difference between how the scene is constructed here versus the embarrassing dreck the episode gave us? The end result is the same. Dean and Suzy still have sex. They still get captured by Hestia. The difference is Suzy is treated like a real person, and Dean doesn't come across as like sleazy, horny teen who is more interested in getting laid instead of you know, saving people and hunting things.
StarMinion
# StarMinion 2013-11-30 15:27
(Part 1 of 2)

You can add me to the list of people who are very unhappy and disturbed with this episode. I thought some of the dialogue was so bad and embarrassing I ended up muting it on my TV rather than having to listen to it.

If you enjoyed the episode, that's great. I sincerely wish I could say the same as I don't like it when my favorite show not only disappoints me, but makes me feel embarrassed to be fan. I wish I could overlook the problematic, virgin-shaming, racist elements and accept the justification and excuses some fans have been making for them, but I cannot unfortunately.

If the show wanted to avoid making Dean out to be a horny, sleazeball jerk, then here's how it could have avoided it:

Suzy said she had counseled individuals of the chastity group on a one-on-one basis. Dean would have good reason to want to talk to with her to see if she might know more about the other members, which would help them piece together clues about why they may have been abducted. No need for Dean to act like a horny irresponsible teen and lie about why he wants to go home under false pretexts in order to seduce her into having sex. He simply could have showed up at her house later, flashed his FBI badge, and explained why he wanted to talk more with her.

Then Suzy could have said something in their exchange to make Dean suspect she's lying or hiding something, which increases Dean's suspicions that she might be behind the disappearances. So when an opportunity arises, he goes snooping through her things in order to find evidence that she might be involved.

THAT would be when he accidentally comes across the Casa Erotica porn and realizes why she seemed so familiar to him. Then Suzy catches him in the act, and Dean is appropriately chagrined and embarrassed and apologizes. Suzy is mad and tells him:

"Why do you think I kept them? It's to remind me of who I was, and how far I've come from being that person that I was ashamed to be."

At which point Dean could say "I don't think you have anything to be ashamed of," and Suzy could have explained WHY she chose to change her name, move somewhere and start over. It could have given us some real character insight into her. We could have seen her as a 3D dimensional person; we could have gotten some insight into the abuses that go inside the porn industry. She would have been more than a plot device, an item for Dean to check off his "bucket list".

After hearing her story, Dean is moved because the Dean I have grown to know and love over the years is a compassionate, empathetic person who understands what it's like to be an abusive and unhappy situation and want to escape from it (just like we saw in 9x07, so that could have been a thread in common to tie these episodes together). Dean would say then "I'm sorry. I should leave." Then turn to go.

At which point Suzy would say "Wait" and then kisses him. While Dean would enjoy the kiss, it would also startle Dean, and he'd be confused.

"I thought you didn't want to do this anymore?"

Then she would explain that she's been having doubts for some time about this chastity vow, and has decided maybe she has gone too far trying to hide from her past. Plus, the fact that her friends have been disappearing, and are probably dead, has made her think about her own mortality and how limited their time is on this Earth. This conversation could have served to also illuminate Dean's struggles to find a middle ground when it comes to hunting and spending too much time caring for others but losing himself in the process. Who is Dean Winchester? How can he change his own life to be a happier person? Hunting ALL the time isn't good for him, but we know Dean can't give up hunting altogether too. Like Suzy, Dean also needs to try and find a middle ground.

See the difference between how the scene is constructed here versus the embarrassing dreck the episode gave us? The end result is the same. Dean and Suzy still have sex. They still get captured by Hestia. The difference is Suzy is treated like a real person, and Dean doesn't come across as like sleazy, horny teen who is more interested in getting laid instead of you know, saving people and hunting things.
StarMinion
# StarMinion 2013-11-30 15:28
(Part 2 of 2)

I've seen some defenders of the episode say that Dean DID help Suzy to not feel ashamed of her work in the porn industry, but here's the problem with how the episode clumsily attempted to do this:

The way Dean said it made it all about HIM and not Suzy. She shouldn't be ashamed because her work made HIM feel better and gave HIM comfort. The thing is it's NOT about Dean, it's about Suzy, and it doesn't make sense that some random dude enjoying her work would suddenly make that shame, which motivated her to change her name and lifestyle drastically, go away. If the episode had framed it instead to show that Suzy was already harboring doubts about her new life and was beginning to reevaluate how she wanted to live, then it would have come across much better as a positive "I'm not going to hide from my past anymore. I have nothing to be ashamed about" message instead of the weak, unbelievable paltry motivations the episode poorly used.

After all, if I recall right, the last we see of Suzy is looking sadly at her ring and going "I guess I wasn't as strong as I thought I was." Does that sound like a woman Dean has liberated from seeing her past as shameful, or does that sound like a woman who gave into the temptation of having sex with a hot guy and now regrets it and is filled with guilt? It is to the episode's detriment that it didn't give us a final scene between Dean and Suzy, so we could have gotten some much needed perspective from Suzy's point of view about what she felt after her encounter with Dean. Instead she is discarded like the cheap plot device the show made her out to be, and this is the main reason why the episode disturbed me on so many levels.

It's a darn shame. The episode had Jody Mills who was awesome, and I liked the exchange between Dean and Sam at the end with Dean trying to tell Sam the truth and Ezekiel preventing him. I liked the realization that Zeke seems to not be healing Sam after all. The episode could have been a good, solid MoTW, but instead it's on my blacklist of episodes I will never, ever again rewatch. I hope Jody Mills will return in an episode that is worthy of her awesomeness and looking back at season 9, I hope I'll see this episode as the last bad one to air before the season starts to hit its stride and becomes an enjoyable show for me to watch again.
StarMinion
# StarMinion 2013-11-30 15:28
(Part 2 of 2)

I've seen some defenders of the episode say that Dean DID help Suzy to not feel ashamed of her work in the porn industry, but here's the problem with how the episode clumsily attempted to do this:

The way Dean said it made it all about HIM and not Suzy. She shouldn't be ashamed because her work made HIM feel better and gave HIM comfort. The thing is it's NOT about Dean, it's about Suzy, and it doesn't make sense that some random dude enjoying her work would suddenly make that shame, which motivated her to change her name and lifestyle drastically, go away. If the episode had framed it instead to show that Suzy was already harboring doubts about her new life and was beginning to reevaluate how she wanted to live, then it would have come across much better as a positive "I'm not going to hide from my past anymore. I have nothing to be ashamed about" message instead of the weak, unbelievable paltry motivations the episode poorly used.

After all, if I recall right, the last we see of Suzy is looking sadly at her ring and going "I guess I wasn't as strong as I thought I was." Does that sound like a woman Dean has liberated from seeing her past as shameful, or does that sound like a woman who gave into the temptation of having sex with a hot guy and now regrets it and is filled with guilt? It is to the episode's detriment that it didn't give us a final scene between Dean and Suzy, so we could have gotten some much needed perspective from Suzy's point of view about what she felt after her encounter with Dean. Instead she is discarded like the cheap plot device the show made her out to be, and this is the main reason why the episode disturbed me on so many levels.

It's a darn shame. The episode had Jody Mills who was awesome, and I liked the exchange between Dean and Sam at the end with Dean trying to tell Sam the truth and Ezekiel preventing him. I liked the realization that Zeke seems to not be healing Sam after all. The episode could have been a good, solid MoTW, but instead it's on my blacklist of episodes I will never, ever again rewatch. I hope Jody Mills will return in an episode that is worthy of her awesomeness and looking back at season 9, I hope I'll see this episode as the last bad one to air before the season starts to hit its stride and becomes an enjoyable show for me to watch again.
Bornagain
# Bornagain 2013-11-30 16:04
SPN writers tend to write from a left leaning politics so an episode showing that abstinence usually fails is not surprising to me. To procreate is part of our DNA. I feel like some fans are judging Dean for simply wanting sex from a beautiful woman. This is the same guy that had a threesome with The Doublemint twins. Having sex with an ex porn star is not something he would wince at. Having sex with a virgin probably is and if he had pursued a virgin I could see that being problematic.

Supernatural is not a show I seek out to clarify social, political, and religious ambiguities. The show makes fun of all those agendas. Friday Night Lights did a great job highlighting faith, sex, and relationships in an honest and thoughtful way. But that show didn't have demons, werewolves, and vampires so Supernatural satisfies my needs there.
Bornagain
# Bornagain 2013-11-30 16:04
SPN writers tend to write from a left leaning politics so an episode showing that abstinence usually fails is not surprising to me. To procreate is part of our DNA. I feel like some fans are judging Dean for simply wanting sex from a beautiful woman. This is the same guy that had a threesome with The Doublemint twins. Having sex with an ex porn star is not something he would wince at. Having sex with a virgin probably is and if he had pursued a virgin I could see that being problematic.

Supernatural is not a show I seek out to clarify social, political, and religious ambiguities. The show makes fun of all those agendas. Friday Night Lights did a great job highlighting faith, sex, and relationships in an honest and thoughtful way. But that show didn't have demons, werewolves, and vampires so Supernatural satisfies my needs there.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 17:19
@62-63 Starminion:

Count me among those people who found this episode problematic for all the reasons you just cited. It's treatment of Suzy is one of the reasons why I was very uncomfortable with Dean's scenes with her and for the reasons you gave. I remember rolling my eyes a lot during this scene. I remember wanting to yell at my TV during a couple of moments but couldn't articulate, at the time, why I was so angry at what was happening on screen.

That scene wasn't about Suzy at all, it was about Dean and what he wanted, but I feel calling it misogynistic is too strong a word.

I was also uncomfortable with the show's depiction of virginity, virgins in general and Suzy's complete willingness to completely throw out her vows just because some "haut" guy said she gave him happy times. Just a small change in her dialogue would have made this a little bit better, so I'm going to chalk this up to incredibly clumsy writing.

I didn't see the racism in that scene at the time. Only upon re-watching it did I think other people would have a problem with it, although I didn't.

I don't hate this episode because it had some good moments in it but it gets as low a rating as I can give it. Jodi Mills and Sam and Dean's dialogue at the end save this episode from the lowest rating possible.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-11-30 17:19
@62-63 Starminion:

Count me among those people who found this episode problematic for all the reasons you just cited. It's treatment of Suzy is one of the reasons why I was very uncomfortable with Dean's scenes with her and for the reasons you gave. I remember rolling my eyes a lot during this scene. I remember wanting to yell at my TV during a couple of moments but couldn't articulate, at the time, why I was so angry at what was happening on screen.

That scene wasn't about Suzy at all, it was about Dean and what he wanted, but I feel calling it misogynistic is too strong a word.

I was also uncomfortable with the show's depiction of virginity, virgins in general and Suzy's complete willingness to completely throw out her vows just because some "haut" guy said she gave him happy times. Just a small change in her dialogue would have made this a little bit better, so I'm going to chalk this up to incredibly clumsy writing.

I didn't see the racism in that scene at the time. Only upon re-watching it did I think other people would have a problem with it, although I didn't.

I don't hate this episode because it had some good moments in it but it gets as low a rating as I can give it. Jodi Mills and Sam and Dean's dialogue at the end save this episode from the lowest rating possible.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 18:50
There's no way everyone will react to this kind of episode the same, so that there's different reads is not surprising. For me, the episode did a fine job of showing, not telling, that Suzy was in the purity group because she felt she was damaged goods and had to feel shame of who she was. And going from "whore" in the discourse of the purity group, which views sex before marriage as a sin, presumably because a man has the right to not have damaged goods as a wife, to a born again virgin, makes the purity discourse something to be examined. At least to me.

I also think Dean and Suzy got a final scene together which answered how she felt about his interest in her--she had the same kind of interest in him and they were on the same page about enjoying the sex. We don't know much about her background because she's a guest star--I'm so glad Klein didn't feel the need to make the ep a very special episode where the boys play supporting roles to a guest star. I have limited patience with those.

But we do know she joined the group because she felt she was horrible; she changed her name because she didn't feel could safely reveal her past to the church and she misses being to express her sexuality. I don't think we only learned about Dean.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-11-30 18:50
There's no way everyone will react to this kind of episode the same, so that there's different reads is not surprising. For me, the episode did a fine job of showing, not telling, that Suzy was in the purity group because she felt she was damaged goods and had to feel shame of who she was. And going from "whore" in the discourse of the purity group, which views sex before marriage as a sin, presumably because a man has the right to not have damaged goods as a wife, to a born again virgin, makes the purity discourse something to be examined. At least to me.

I also think Dean and Suzy got a final scene together which answered how she felt about his interest in her--she had the same kind of interest in him and they were on the same page about enjoying the sex. We don't know much about her background because she's a guest star--I'm so glad Klein didn't feel the need to make the ep a very special episode where the boys play supporting roles to a guest star. I have limited patience with those.

But we do know she joined the group because she felt she was horrible; she changed her name because she didn't feel could safely reveal her past to the church and she misses being to express her sexuality. I don't think we only learned about Dean.
bornagain
# bornagain 2013-11-30 19:10
[quote name="lkeke35"] @62-63 Starminion:

Count me among those people who found this episode problematic for all the reasons you just cited. It's treatment of Suzy is one of the reasons why I was very uncomfortable with Dean's scenes with her and for the reasons you gave. I remember rolling my eyes a lot during this scene. I remember wanting to yell at my TV during a couple of moments but couldn't articulate, at the time, why I was so angry at what was happening on screen.

That scene wasn't about Suzy at all, it was about Dean and what he wanted, but I feel calling it misogynistic is too strong a word.

I was also uncomfortable with the show's depiction of virginity, virgins in general and Suzy's complete willingness to completely throw out her vows just because some "haut" guy said she gave him happy times. Just a small change in her dialogue would have made this a little bit better, so I'm going to chalk this up to incredibly clumsy writing.

I didn't see the racism in that scene at the time. Only upon re-watching it did I think other people would have a problem with it, although I didn't.

I don't hate this episode because it had some good moments in it but it gets as low a rating as I can give it. Jodi Mills and Sam and Dean's dialogue at the end save this episode from the lowest rating possible.[/quote

Abstinence programs don't work well so portraying someone not adhering to those vows is not unrealistic. That's why sex eduaction is so important in preventing pregnancies and STDs. Hormones are powerful! The ultimate goal of every species ever created is to "make more".
bornagain
# bornagain 2013-11-30 19:10
@62-63 Starminion:

Count me among those people who found this episode problematic for all the reasons you just cited. It's treatment of Suzy is one of the reasons why I was very uncomfortable with Dean's scenes with her and for the reasons you gave. I remember rolling my eyes a lot during this scene. I remember wanting to yell at my TV during a couple of moments but couldn't articulate, at the time, why I was so angry at what was happening on screen.

That scene wasn't about Suzy at all, it was about Dean and what he wanted, but I feel calling it misogynistic is too strong a word.

I was also uncomfortable with the show's depiction of virginity, virgins in general and Suzy's complete willingness to completely throw out her vows just because some "haut" guy said she gave him happy times. Just a small change in her dialogue would have made this a little bit better, so I'm going to chalk this up to incredibly clumsy writing.

I didn't see the racism in that scene at the time. Only upon re-watching it did I think other people would have a problem with it, although I didn't.

I don't hate this episode because it had some good moments in it but it gets as low a rating as I can give it. Jodi Mills and Sam and Dean's dialogue at the end save this episode from the lowest rating possible.[/quote

Abstinence programs don't work well so portraying someone not adhering to those vows is not unrealistic. That's why sex eduaction is so important in preventing pregnancies and STDs. Hormones are powerful! The ultimate goal of every species ever created is to "make more".
bornagain
# bornagain 2013-11-30 19:11
Sorry I quoted wrong. My comment starts w/abstinence
bornagain
# bornagain 2013-11-30 19:11
Sorry I quoted wrong. My comment starts w/abstinence
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 19:16
Quoting Tim the Enchanter:
@45

Perhaps I wasn’t clear, njspnfan. I’m aware of that Tim and Reggie ended up forcing Sam to take the demon blood, I was talking about the lead up to forcible ingestion of blood. “Come on, you know you want it, Sam. Just reach out and take it.” “Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna drink this, Hulk out, and you're gonna waste every one of the demon scum that killed my best friend.” They brought the blood there for Sam, with the assumption that he would drink it, to get him to do something they wanted.

Quote:
once the virginity bell's been rung, it can't be unrung
I find this to be rather cut and dry. Even if we are solely looking at virginity from a sexual point of view, are people not allowed second chances? If, for example, a child or even an older person is raped, are they no longer virgins? And should their lives be defined by what happened in the past? Add to that, given that hymen restoration surgeries are possible, technically that bell can be unrung. So I guess the question is, is virginity something physical or something psychological? Either way, bells unringing all over the place!

In relation to disavowing your past, I think you can. If people let the past in the past, why can’t you??
Tim - okay, point taken on Sam and the demon blood but my point was, that might have been Dean's expectation of Suzy, but if Suzy said no that would have been the end of it, which was clearly not the case in Sam's encounter with the other hunters.

Regarding virginity, just referring to the physical act, not from a spiritual/relig ious/psychologi cal/cultural standpoint.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-11-30 19:16
Quote:
@45

Perhaps I wasn’t clear, njspnfan. I’m aware of that Tim and Reggie ended up forcing Sam to take the demon blood, I was talking about the lead up to forcible ingestion of blood. “Come on, you know you want it, Sam. Just reach out and take it.” “Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna drink this, Hulk out, and you're gonna waste every one of the demon scum that killed my best friend.” They brought the blood there for Sam, with the assumption that he would drink it, to get him to do something they wanted.

Quote:
once the virginity bell's been rung, it can't be unrung
I find this to be rather cut and dry. Even if we are solely looking at virginity from a sexual point of view, are people not allowed second chances? If, for example, a child or even an older person is raped, are they no longer virgins? And should their lives be defined by what happened in the past? Add to that, given that hymen restoration surgeries are possible, technically that bell can be unrung. So I guess the question is, is virginity something physical or something psychological? Either way, bells unringing all over the place!

In relation to disavowing your past, I think you can. If people let the past in the past, why can’t you??
Tim - okay, point taken on Sam and the demon blood but my point was, that might have been Dean's expectation of Suzy, but if Suzy said no that would have been the end of it, which was clearly not the case in Sam's encounter with the other hunters.

Regarding virginity, just referring to the physical act, not from a spiritual/relig ious/psychologi cal/cultural standpoint.
Ramona
# Ramona 2013-11-30 20:07
Quoting Gerry:
There's no way everyone will react to this kind of episode the same, so that there's different reads is not surprising. For me, the episode did a fine job of showing, not telling, that Suzy was in the purity group because she felt she was damaged goods and had to feel shame of who she was. And going from "whore" in the discourse of the purity group, which views sex before marriage as a sin, presumably because a man has the right to not have damaged goods as a wife, to a born again virgin, makes the purity discourse something to be examined. At least to me.


Gerry, I agree with all of your posts in this comment section so far. This is exactly how I felt about Suzy in this episode. I think, if anything, it was the community and religious group shaming her, and not Dean.
Ramona
# Ramona 2013-11-30 20:07
Quote:
There's no way everyone will react to this kind of episode the same, so that there's different reads is not surprising. For me, the episode did a fine job of showing, not telling, that Suzy was in the purity group because she felt she was damaged goods and had to feel shame of who she was. And going from "whore" in the discourse of the purity group, which views sex before marriage as a sin, presumably because a man has the right to not have damaged goods as a wife, to a born again virgin, makes the purity discourse something to be examined. At least to me.
Gerry, I agree with all of your posts in this comment section so far. This is exactly how I felt about Suzy in this episode. I think, if anything, it was the community and religious group shaming her, and not Dean.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-12-01 03:55
@66-67:

I agree with you both on the idea that abstinence doesn't work so well and Susy may have thought her community would try to shame her but while watching it, I didn't get any of the Suzy stuff that you saw. I just didn't see it and Im still unable to completely articulate why the the shows depiction of abstinence and virgins was problematic for me. I just know I did a lot of eye rolling during /his episode and exasperated and not laughing very much. I'm like a couple of the reviewers here. I largely go on "feels" when watching an episode.

Gerry : I get how you see Suzy. I just didn't see any of that at all and in my mind everybody came off looking pretty bad. The Purity group, Suzy and Dean. I think maybe the show should just stay away from such topics if they're unable to make the episodes less vague or ambiguous than this. (And you cant help but do that in a show with so many running themes and a short amount of time.)

Ftw, my favorite episode was Dog Dean Afternnon which a whole host of people found problematic and I just guffawed all the way through so its fascinating tom me how we can all watch the same episode, at the same time and get completely opposite readings. :-D
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-12-01 03:55
@66-67:

I agree with you both on the idea that abstinence doesn't work so well and Susy may have thought her community would try to shame her but while watching it, I didn't get any of the Suzy stuff that you saw. I just didn't see it and Im still unable to completely articulate why the the shows depiction of abstinence and virgins was problematic for me. I just know I did a lot of eye rolling during /his episode and exasperated and not laughing very much. I'm like a couple of the reviewers here. I largely go on "feels" when watching an episode.

Gerry : I get how you see Suzy. I just didn't see any of that at all and in my mind everybody came off looking pretty bad. The Purity group, Suzy and Dean. I think maybe the show should just stay away from such topics if they're unable to make the episodes less vague or ambiguous than this. (And you cant help but do that in a show with so many running themes and a short amount of time.)

Ftw, my favorite episode was Dog Dean Afternnon which a whole host of people found problematic and I just guffawed all the way through so its fascinating tom me how we can all watch the same episode, at the same time and get completely opposite readings. :-D
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-12-01 09:41
Quoting lkeke35:
@66-67:

I agree with you both on the idea that abstinence doesn't work so well and Susy may have thought her community would try to shame her but while watching it, I didn't get any of the Suzy stuff that you saw. I just didn't see it and Im still unable to completely articulate why the the shows depiction of abstinence and virgins was problematic for me. I just know I did a lot of eye rolling during /his episode and exasperated and not laughing very much. I'm like a couple of the reviewers here. I largely go on "feels" when watching an episode.

Gerry : I get how you see Suzy. I just didn't see any of that at all and in my mind everybody came off looking pretty bad. The Purity group, Suzy and Dean. I think maybe the show should just stay away from such topics if they're unable to make the episodes less vague or ambiguous than this. (And you cant help but do that in a show with so many running themes and a short amount of time.)

Ftw, my favorite episode was Dog Dean Afternnon which a whole host of people found problematic and I just guffawed all the way through so its fascinating tom me how we can all watch the same episode, at the same time and get completely opposite readings. :-D


It is interesting, the different reads! We all bring our own experiences to the story, so it's not so surprising different things resonate. I don't think, though, that the show should shy away from anything that might strike a chord and cause a lot discussion. To me, there's no more reason to not do "Rock and a Hard Place" than there is to not do "Dog Dean Afternoon," another polarising episode. I think it's a good thing to have to realise that no matter where you stand on "RAAHP," there's other viewers who saw something different. Women's sexuality is still a hot button issue in many ways and as long as it, discussion is a good thing in my eyes.
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-12-01 09:41
Quote:
@66-67:

I agree with you both on the idea that abstinence doesn't work so well and Susy may have thought her community would try to shame her but while watching it, I didn't get any of the Suzy stuff that you saw. I just didn't see it and Im still unable to completely articulate why the the shows depiction of abstinence and virgins was problematic for me. I just know I did a lot of eye rolling during /his episode and exasperated and not laughing very much. I'm like a couple of the reviewers here. I largely go on "feels" when watching an episode.

Gerry : I get how you see Suzy. I just didn't see any of that at all and in my mind everybody came off looking pretty bad. The Purity group, Suzy and Dean. I think maybe the show should just stay away from such topics if they're unable to make the episodes less vague or ambiguous than this. (And you cant help but do that in a show with so many running themes and a short amount of time.)

Ftw, my favorite episode was Dog Dean Afternnon which a whole host of people found problematic and I just guffawed all the way through so its fascinating tom me how we can all watch the same episode, at the same time and get completely opposite readings. :-D
It is interesting, the different reads! We all bring our own experiences to the story, so it's not so surprising different things resonate. I don't think, though, that the show should shy away from anything that might strike a chord and cause a lot discussion. To me, there's no more reason to not do "Rock and a Hard Place" than there is to not do "Dog Dean Afternoon," another polarising episode. I think it's a good thing to have to realise that no matter where you stand on "RAAHP," there's other viewers who saw something different. Women's sexuality is still a hot button issue in many ways and as long as it, discussion is a good thing in my eyes.
Lucy
# Lucy 2013-12-01 13:29
Quoting StarMinion:
I hope I'll see this episode as the last bad one to air before the season starts to hit its stride and becomes an enjoyable show for me to watch again.


I agree, and thank you for your comments which addressed so much more of what was vile about this episode. It's too bad the writer likely won't ever see them.
Lucy
# Lucy 2013-12-01 13:29
Quote:
I hope I'll see this episode as the last bad one to air before the season starts to hit its stride and becomes an enjoyable show for me to watch again.
I agree, and thank you for your comments which addressed so much more of what was vile about this episode. It's too bad the writer likely won't ever see them.