My bet on the overall arc or through story or theme for Season 10: Family.
Since "Black," Sam has used the phrase “my brother” continuously all the way through Soul Survivor. In Fan Fiction the theme was blaring from every set on that stage, family, family, family. In Ask Jeeves we hear the word family as well as ‘feel’ the theme of it running through everything. Family is dysfunctional, family will betray you, family is more than just blood – as Dean reckons that he and Sam are close enough to be Bobby’s heirs, and once again Sam discusses family, especially how his gets along and doesn’t hate each other. He says it with pride.
Yes, the episode ended with Dean blaring the music and shutting Sam out, but I think that has a lot less to do with lying to Sam – which clearly doesn’t work as Sam saw what happened, and knows better, but I think it has everything to do with Dean being absolutely shaken to his core at what happened with killing that shapeshifter, and he just can bring himself to face it – yet.
I knew the moment Sam was the one to draw the shapeshifter’s fire that he was, first, buying time for Dean to get to the Impala for the silver bullets, and, two, that the MoC was about to be reawakened. The quiet time for the boys has well and truly ended. Ah, well, time to face the reality of their dark and dangerous and burdensome lives, but they do so with a reaffirmation of their commitment to each other, the realization that although their lives are fraught with danger and death, they do make a difference. Heck, even the shallow Dash wanted them to receive proper adulation for saving lives.
Each of these episodes since Soul Survivor has been a stepping stone to the next moment to come. The brothers had to first talk through their recent history, then they had to be reminded of why they do what they do, they also needed a chance to save people who weren’t clued into hunting and have yet another win, even as it came at a price. It’s time for the brothers to tackle the next thing on their to-do list: the MoC. Being who they are, I’m sure there will be some procrastination as Dean will try to deny the issue while trying to be stoic, and Sam will tear that down and remind Dean that they have to do things together. It’s not the norm for them anymore, but I do believe they’ll get there. (That and I’ve read spoilers from what Jared and Jensen say at Cons and whatnot – I’m totally that way. :))
As for the episode itself, I enjoyed it. I don’t mind this quieter, smaller seeming season. In fact, I find it a wonderful change from all the heaven and hell and closing gates and stopping Lucifer and end of the world drama. There’s enough of that in the real world: sports, politics, stock market, you name it. Give me Supernatural stripped down to the basics: saving people, hunting things; the family business – emphasis on the family!
Dean and Sam were able to parallel their lives, and family relationship, to another family’s, and it was Sam who had the interaction and the opportunity to say out loud that his family gets along. Yeah, Sam, keep it coming with the POV (that’s to the writers, of course.)
Ask Jeeves is a fun episode that keeps it guessing along the way. The “Then” opening clues us in right away that this is unusual as we see a plethora of monsters from their past showcased, setting us up for the fact that everything isn’t going to be cut and dry. A simple ghost or vengeful spirit ultimately turns out to be a shapeshifter who is somewhat akin to the human girl locked up in the house from Season 4’s Family Remains. That girl too was hidden from the world and became angry, just as happens here. Also similar is the hidden rooms and passageways. Of course, those ultimately are a nod to the game Clue with hidden passageways, but it is a reminder of episodes from the past, not only Family Remains but also Season 2’s "No Exit."
Sprinkled throughout were other references to Clue from the characters to the scene settings and, of course, all the weapons: candlestick, pistol/revolver, rope, lead pipe, wrench, and knife. A killing was even done with an axe. I’ll have to watch again to see if a chalice, trophy, bat, or garden shears were used.
The family was over the top, but they were supposed to be. This was supposed to be a bit light-hearted, but also a way to show that while some families have homes and regular jobs and money, from a little to a lot, sometimes having someone by your side you truly care about, and know truly cares about you, as well as someone who you can fight with, at times bitterly, yet still come back to time and time again is what really matters. So Sam and Dean wear flannel and drive an American-made car, they have no money and no acclaim – outside of the Carver/Edlund acclaim that is, but they do have each other no matter what, and MoC can and likely will bring its worst, as well as Cole coming for revenge and Sam having to face up to what he did to find Dean, whether we see a lot of it or it’s simply Sam shouldering that burden, and with all the long road that is behind them and all the road still to come, this is family they can count on. Yes, Dean shut Sam down at the end, but Sam is still right beside him, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Ask Jeeves was fun and silly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As always, thanks for reading, Elle2