I always take a cautious approach to any script that has Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner as the writers.  My expectations are lower, as are my standards.  What you get from these two is fairly basic stuff, and it’s always considered a good outing when they don’t butcher canon into a thousand bits and produce a relatively acceptable story.  Yes, when using those guidelines, “The Hunter Games” was a success.  There were some good moments in the mix there.  Still, even with the lowered standards, it's not an episode to write home about.

Overall, I liked what I saw. The whole saga with Metatron was pure gold and I so wish it had dominated more of the hour.  Why oh why wasn't it the whole hour?  By placing less emphasis on that story, it kind of ruined the urgency and the impact of what Sam, Dean, and Castiel were trying to do.  But still, it was a pretty ballsy plan.  When there is no tablet (anyone remember who has the demon tablet these days?) the scribe of God is the only answer.  Ross-Leming and Buckner wrote some great dialogue for Metatron and this is the Metatron I love to see; the evil, diabolical, scheming little prick and not the buffoon he was made to be last season in several episodes.  Every scene with Castiel, Sam and Dean interacting with Metatron was a huge treat.  Unhinged Dean, getting his chance for payback over Metatron killing him, let's just say I was happier than a pig in shoes (S6 reference!).  Angry Sam, just whoa!  Even Castiel's bitterness was enjoyable, even if he needs to come up with better comebacks.  

But then, the rest of it happened.  I get what the theme is this season.  Family.  There’s Sam and Dean facing their very scary situation, Crowley is dealing with mama issues and even Castiel has had a couple of family dramas of his own.  I do accept that people like watching these sort of character dramas.  I do too.  BUT, I’m rather accustomed to these issues being secondary to an actual plot.  There's still no plot here.  There’s nothing driving a big arc this season in some big direction toward a climactic goal, just the aimless happening of unconnected events.  Without a driving plot, the drama loses so much of it's meaning.  Suddenly, the show I once loved for it's bold storytelling has grown boring.  When there are many non-boring options on The CW (like the hour before it), "Supernatural" has a big problem. 

I do hold a couple of exceptions though to that last statement, for there were some scenes that got to me.  First was remorseful Dean in the bunker declaring to Sam and Castiel that the Mark had to go.  Second was the heartfelt chat that Sam had with Dean after the whole Metatron thing went sideways.  Sam’s sincere belief that Dean could live with the MOC, just like Cain did all those years, was a testament to the true backbone of the show, the brotherly relationship.  Little brother always has and always will believe in big brother.  Sam has that much faith in Dean, even though Dean lacks that faith himself.  It was sweet, refreshing, and was sadly wedged into the story before and after some very awkward, unnecessary scenes. 

I've read a lot of complaints, especially on this site, that Sam doesn't have a plot this season.  No, he doesn't, but honestly neither does anyone else.  The lack of character development and utilizing the strengths of the four actors at their disposal is pretty perplexing.  Other than wishing Sam had a better story (or even a story), I loved him in this episode.  He was strong, loyal, and while clearly bothered by Dean's behavior (yes, calm Dean is a flashing neon sign of trouble), he didn't let that loyalty waiver.  He's become the rock, the solid center, and I do love this new role for him.  

Dean is clearly distracted by his situation.  The question Sam asked was fair, should Dean instead be trying to control the impulses the MOC gives him rather than trying to get rid of it?  Can he learn to live with it just like Cain?  I do wonder if Dean has ever deeply considered having to carry with the MOC for the rest of his life (and beyond as he now knows).  It's an interesting parallel to Sam resisting the demon blood inside him all those years.  Dean always thought deep down that Sam's demon blood didn't make him normal, so I'm wondering if Dean doesn't feel very normal himself now.  Perhaps that's the reason why he doesn't want to live with it, because he doesn't want to be a freak like Sammy was all those years.  For Sam, having to live with the demon blood and overcoming it, the idea is a lot more acceptable.   

On the b-side of the episode, Rowena is not winning me over.  Her scheming is way too obvious and it does make you wonder why Crowley hasn’t skewered her by now.  The writers have gone out of their way to make Crowley look very dumb, even though I’m still clinging to the belief that he isn’t buying any of this and is playing along.  The question is, how did Rowena even get there?  How is she still alive and why did she suddenly resurface?  Shouldn't we be getting some of those clues and solving those kind of mysteries along the way rather than seeing a bunch of time wasting antics when Metatron is in the &@$! dungeon?  Again, it's missing plot, and it's a wasted opportunity.  

But out of all the “time wasting” crimes, nothing was absolutely worse than the whole Claire debacle.  What the hell was that?  Oh, poor wounded teenager is suddenly bonding with a couple of derelicts in a pool hall because Castiel is scum.   Geez, could they make her any dumber?   Having a powerful angel on your side can be advantageous chickadee.  When you’re rooting for a character to meet an early and very bloody demise more than actually connecting with her, something is very, very wrong.  More importantly, those derelicts seriously thought they could take on Dean Winchester?  That confrontation scene BTW, even thought the intent was to show that Dean was taking Sam’s words to heart and him choosing not to kill these losers, was the lamest damn thing I’d seen on this show ever.  Honestly, the lamest.  There were so many better ways to make that point.  So many.  It’s just plain lazy.   I suspect that Brad and Eugenie were saddled with a way to wrap up the whole dumb mess they inherited from Andrew Dabb (who’s clearly out of ideas) and took the very easy way out.  I hope that Claire is gone for good, even though revisiting her saga looked good on paper.  Too bad the execution sucked. 

"The Hunter Games" exposed a glaring weakness with season ten, and this isn’t just a Brad and Eugenie problem.  The writing really struggles with juggling multiple story lines.  The Crowley/Rowena storyline slowly progressed and then just fizzled without any mention in the closing act, the Castiel/Claire story was a choppy mess that was unnecessarily shoved between a very intense main situation, and the main story, the most compelling part of the entire hour, suffered greatly because of the inability to juggle three stories.  This is becoming a broken record complaint from me, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it still remains a glaring problem.  You don’t have to look at only past “Supernatural” seasons to see how this has been done better.  Just watch another current CW show.  They all seem to know what to do with their ensembles. 

That could be the issue though.  SPN has never been an ensemble show, and making it one (out of necessity to give Jared and Jensen some time off) seems to be a very ill-conceived idea.  Either that or SPN just doesn’t have the talent in the writer’s room to pull such a switch.  The most common complaint I hear is there’s not enough Sam and Dean.  If we’re noticing there's less Sam and Dean, then the writers aren’t delivering stories correctly.  Slowing down the pacing has been a colossal error in strategy.  That slowness has only exposed the weaknesses.  All I’ve been doing during these episodes is watching the clock, wondering how much longer I have to wait before something actually happens.  In “The Hunter Games,” that was finally achieved when Castiel blew through those doors with his angel mojo. Most casual viewers (it was after all the State of the Union) would have turned off the TV before then.  

My issue is just plain construction.  I like a fluid story.  I like individual stories that perfectly intertwine and I really love it when they all come together in the end to something meaningful.  That’s my thing.  I know that many others out there like the individual stories, focusing more on the personal elements than an overall mytharc.  These type of stories are very, very common in fan fiction.  Those are the happy “Supernatural” fans.  I’m not knocking the likes or dislikes of fans.  I’m just saying that for me personally, it’s because “Supernatural” went for something different and went away from the regular formula of other TV shows that I fell in love with it.  It captured my attention and imagination.  That’s exactly why the new creative direction isn’t sitting well with me at all.  "Supernatural" has lost it's unique edge.    

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Of course, there are times when I’m willing to put aside overall issues for those tiny little gems, like Sam’s wet hair in the rain.  Yes, they still do know how to get through to even the most disgruntled fan.  They certainly know me!  I also LOVED the VFX of Castiel going all nuclear angel and obliterating the dungeon door.  That was pretty badass and got me smiling.  It reminds us that Castiel is an actual warrior angel, doesn’t it?  Of course it’s hard to remember all that when he’s sitting in the MOL control room being all jovial about texting teenagers (ugh, way to diminish a popular character).  The dumbing down in the writing it probably the one thing I find most upsetting of "Supernatural's" new direction.  I love smart shows.  However, all I need to do is play that Castiel door explosion thing again and again or keep a screencap of Sam's wet hair on my laptop and character assassinations will be wiped from my mind (for now, until it happens again next week). 

Overall I give “The Hunter Games” a C, which ends up being a vast improvement over it’s predecessor, “Things We Left Behind.”  Still, I’m holding out hope that this show aims higher.  We’ve got another season to endure after this one, and plots usually prove to be entertaining in sci-fi dramas.  Here’s to hoping “Supernatural” gets one soon. 

Comments  

sylvia37
# sylvia37 2015-01-21 22:54
You are kinder than I am, Alice. I found Metatron's dialogue really annoying. And Cas blowing the door open did not make up for the dumbing down of Crowley (although wet Sam came close). The ONLY thing that saved this episode for me was Sam and Dean's interaction. For the first time in a long time, I could feel their brotherhood and I think the reason is because Dean is finally showing some vulnerability and trust in Sam to help him. Sam's faith in him is finally getting through a little, and their scenes together were miles above everybody else this time, at least for me. I was irritated that Sam didn't get to really confront Metatron and I was REALLY irritated that Dean went to meet Claire by himself after his killing episode. It was utterly ridiculous that Sam didn't go with him. I know the guys need time off, but it's killing the show. They want to keep doing it, but they were there during the 200th hoopla when everyone and their brother was saying that show IS Sam and Dean, that it's at it's best when it's the two of them together. As you said, if they don't manage to write this ensemble stuff better, it's just going to die a slow, painful death.

I'm hoping that it was just these two writers and that Crowley's story will get more interesting and I REALLY hope that Claire is gone, but I doubt it. My husband only watches the show because I do, and his only comment through the whole thing was "Please leave, please leave faster" when Claire was berating Cas in the hotel room and packing her things. It doesn't bode well for a character when even the casual viewers can't stand them.

Ugh, enough negativity. I'll just concentrate on wet haired Sam and bamf Dean and try to hope in next week.
carol
# carol 2015-01-22 03:06
I now only watch the show after i have recorded it and fast forward through the Castiel, Claire and Crowley with his mother scenes. Jensen is still turning out stellar work and Jared is watchable but the side stories are so badly written I just can't watch the whole thing. That episode was truly terrible and didn't make any sense.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-01-27 16:39
I wish I had the GUTS to do what you do.
Feels like I will miss something important.
Brava, Carol. :);)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-01-22 04:04
Alice , This review resonated with my thoughts.Quote:
The question Sam asked was fair, should Dean instead be trying to control the impulses the MOC gives him rather than trying to get rid of it?
This one scene showed that Sam is the thinker.But the thing is Sam has lost his smarts.I still remember during the anna episode how he had angels fight with demons ..that was pretty smart.now Sam is dumb (in both ways).Then again the characters will be as smart as the writers are and with the current crop, Sam is at a big *edit* disadvantage.
Ginger
# Ginger 2015-01-22 06:56
Nice analysis, Alice. I, too, think you were quite diplomatic in the review. I was so very excited about what could be done with S10 when the season started, and that turned a little bit of disappointment and anger when it was apparent that the Winchesters had lost their show. Now I am completely indifferent as to what is going on. I could not even begin to rate this last episode, because Indifference is worse than anger or disappointment. I watch, and probably will continue out of habit, but I find I am no longer invested in what's going on. I do like the Winchesters third of the story, and it could have been the best one the show has done in years, but there is not enough screen-time allotted to them so that it will be fully developed and explored.

I feel like the network is milking the show for the last dollars it can get and, in doing so, are milking the loyalty of the long-term fanbase like myself. It really is time that they wrap the thing up, and how sad is that to say when there was so much potential still there.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-01-22 07:51
Nice and diplomatic analysis, Alice. I agree with much of what you say here; by S10 standards, I gave this episode a C; by earlier season standards, a D/D minus. I did like the brother's interactions, and the scenes with Metatron were good. You are right, Sam does appear to be the "solid center" now, though it's a shame he's given even less to do than the other regulars on the show. On the plus side, Dean wasn't overly angsty and they got Metatron's characterizatio n right, none of that awful cartoonish stuff from the latter part of S9.

As far as the demon tablets, Gadreel took the angel and demon tablets when he killed Kevin, so Metatron has the demon tablet, which of course is a moot point because there are no prophets around to read it.

I'm just not buying Crowley as he is being portrayed this season; he was smarter/more clever when totally hooked on human blood last season; why do they insist on portraying him as a moron now? And what was that First Blade nonsense? First of all, he would have never retrieved it for the brothers and, even if he did agree to get it for him,, why would he retrieve it now? He knows where it is and can get it for them at any time. And Rowena is just campishly annoying; at any time I expect her to grow a long mustache so she can deviously twirl it.

The Claire storyline continues to baffle and bore me. So Castiel breaks her out of a shelter, she runs away a few times, gets sold as a sex slave to a loan shark by her surrogate father Randy, then hooks up with some complete strangers to try to kill Dean? Then Castiel lets her go on her merry way? I wouldn't trust Castiel with a goldfish, much less a child. And the only reason I would trust him with a goldfish is because he could resurrect it when he inevitably does something to kill it.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2015-01-22 08:45
Bahahahaha....I have this mental picture of Cas's face when he comes back to wherever and sees his goldfish floating sideways in a bowl. Thanks for the laugh this morning.
jane
# jane 2015-01-22 08:52
Nice review Alice.
For me now, Claire, Rowena and Metatron in the same episode means boring, annoying and boring and annoying so it is a "no go zone".
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-01-22 09:30
You are being a lot more diplomatic than I feel about the episode. The character development is all over the shop; Sam comes across as half way between idiot and dick not a solid rock that really gets that his brother needs his help considering he not only tells Dean he just needs to have self control to deal as a part of Dean wants to give into it just after Dean tortures someone and the letting him bound off to see Claire. Then we have Cas telling his friend that he should talk to the angry teen to explain why he just straight up 'murdered' her only friend.

Concern face from Sam and a 'we'll fix this' before essentially telling Dean it is all on him doesn't cut it as brotherly rock in this situation for me as I don't think he truly believes that Dean can do it with his support unlike every time I have seen Dean be a rock for Cas or Sam. Even though it maybe a legitimate question it is like he is also telling Dean that if he gets a hold of himself then he will just live with the mark that makes him lose control and want to kill people all on his own.

It feels like the answer to the mark is Dean just living with it because Cas and Sam may have provided Metatron but it doesn't really feel like they are all in about willingly putting the mark as a priority because it is hurting Dean but because of what Dean is capable of doing - does it take Dean massacring a room of people to get Dean needs to get that mark off as soon as possible. Didn't him turning into a demon who'd kill on a whim give make them desperate enough to try everything? Actually using Dean to put the fear of god into Metatron seemed to be the tack to get info out of the guy so it was Dean really doing the work there, not blow the doors off Cas or Sam who sat there. But, hey we finally found out that Sam has gone through all the lore after a season and a half of Dean having the damn thing and seeing him looking up Cain and Abel once in season 9 and looking through a couple of files once in season 10 and now they can go for Metatron. Did it really take them that long to go through the lore when everyother time it didn't?

That being the case it feels like they are just trying to control the situation while Dean flails around rather than actually getting the severity of what it is doing to Dean himself. Oh wait they now get that Dean is losing it enough to kill people while having the thing - this from the guy who was soulless and killed victims and the angel who became a god and killed a hypocritical preacher to show he could. But they have to get it while discussing things behind Dean's back and then have Dean walk in to tell them he knows he crossed a line and needs to get rid of the thing that caused him to become a demon.

Also Dean not killing the two douchebags Claire met was character development for Claire and Dean not Cas and Sam unless taking stupid pills for both is character development because why didn't Sam go with Dean? Why could Cas find Claire when she thinks of him on the road but when telling the two morons who will kill for her within minutes of meeting her that she thinks Cas is a scum bag in the pool hall he has no idea she is in possible trouble and needs someone to be there for her to stop her being stupid? I have no idea, because there was no conversation explaining either, not with Cas or about why Sam let the Dean that just tortured Metatron in the same room as the angry teenager who Sam knows willing pulled out a gun is a real good idea.
Ginger
# Ginger 2015-01-22 10:16
Quote:
Also Dean not killing the two douchebags Claire met was character development for Claire and Dean
Just my view, but to me that scene was all about Claire and her character development...a writer's attempt at gaining some sympathy for stupid, bratty TV trope teen whom they have every intention of using again. Unfortunately, her character was so ill-conceived, there is nothing they will ever do that will make me like her.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-01-22 10:44
Quote:
Unfortunately, her character was so ill-conceived, there is nothing they will ever do that will make me like her
See common sense to me would be for them to have called up Jodie when the massacre happened and dumped Claire with her.

That would have dealt with Claire in a sensible way as Jodie is solid, law enforcement and probably better able to deal with a troubled teen as she already got one who is turning into a normal teen than the angel and the boys than letting Claire simply wander. But instead all we got in the end was us ending up with a female teenage run away with connections to a room of dead people roaming the streets hitch hiking with no real protection or alibi. It's as stupid as the boys not introducing the werewolf who didn't want to kill to Garth and the non killing mormon werewolves. It wouldn't surprise me if we never see Claire again not because she is a bad character they don't want to use but story wise she has had her throat slashed by some guy who picked her up on the side of the road.

Now I got that scene was Claire letting go of the revenge thing as she realises being complicit in flat out murder isn't fun is a stupid character development even for a character who is poorly developed the only other take away I could take is Dean being able not to kill two people who tried to kill him for no reason. That or all the rage he has from the mark will now be taken out on park benches.

But either way - Sam and Cas are taking stupid pills or aren't truly in on the helping Dean front if neither thought that Claire doing something stupid and Dean being at risk of losing it wouldn't be the outcome without a conversation of why weren't either of them being present. Now some may say Cas was in heaven dealing with the Metatron fallout but as we saw Crowley can get perfect cell reception in Hell, so by implication Heaven is also within rang of a cell tower so Sam could have called to let him know Claire had been in touch.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2015-01-22 19:12
Fazzie, if Sam was the same kind of "rock" to Dean as Dean has been to Sam, Dean would most likely be locked up by now, after being told how pathetic it was to take the mark in the first place, how he can't be trusted and that Sam doesn't believe in him anymore. Would that be better? I prefer Sam's approach myself. He's compassionate and still believes in his brother after Dean screwed up so badly. I only wish Dean had shown that much faith in Sam after the demon blood fiasco. That being said, Sam needs to make it clear to Dean that he's not go go out own his own. I'm not sure Dean would listen, but he has to try. Otherwise, I'm so happy with how he's handling this.
katDee
# katDee 2015-01-22 10:12
Yes, totally agree. Entirely too many plot lines crammed into a show that was once about 2 brothers. I wish so badly that the cw would give cas and crowley the spin off or give sam and dean a spin off. And the claire story, what oh what were they trying to achieve with that? I do not believe the crap about j2 wanting time off as they have never ever voiced it themselves. This is just speculation some fans use to validate the ever present and irrelevant cas/crowley stories. The writers are servicing the most fanatic of the fandom and their rants are not indicative of true Spn fans feelings, they are just louder. I am not afraid to voice, as a watcher from day 1, that the show has suffered because of the meandering cas story. He is not the 3rd brother. If he has business in heaven, then why the flip is he not in heaven instead of wandering around the bunker. I miss the days when sam and dean were in it together. Now they stick cas in all of their major issues for the effect of TFW and as I can tell, I hate it.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-01-22 10:50
Fazzie why dump Claire on poor Jodie. I like Jodie she doesn't deserve that. :o
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-01-22 11:23
We don't have to see Claire again we have never seen Alex again just that involving a sane solid parental figure into Claire's life or at least suggesting it would make them appear semi competent or the parental caring front as they get Claire needs someone but none of them is it.

Hell Donna would do.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-01-22 11:07
Mostly disagree but there are also points I do agree for balance.

The review was very constructive but I just see the story of this season and episode differently.
I actually were reserved about Claire and Rowena at the start but they grew on me little bit on this episode. They are not fully out of the woods yet so I will see how it goes and the story evolves.
I liked to see TFW together again too.

Otherwise it would be a novel if I would write how and why I see things differently so in short "just the opposite" is fine without dwelling too much into it.

- Lilah
Penny Jaime
# Penny Jaime 2015-01-22 11:25
THE PLOT THIS YEAR, TO ME, IS DEAN. I LOVE THAT. PROBLEM IS, LIKE YOU SAID, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SAM AND DEAN THIS YEAR. I DO NOT BUY A DUMB, AND UNAWARE CROWLEY. IT MAKES THE STORYLINE ANNOYING INSTEAD OF INTERESTING. THE CAS AND CLAIRE STORY WAS JUST FLAT. MISSED OPPORTUNITY THERE. GLAD IT IS DONE.

GOING FORWARD MAYBE THEY WILL FOCUS ON DEAN STORY MORE. THIS IS THE 1ST TIME IN 10 SEASONS THEY HAVE DONE THAT. IT IS A NICE CHANGE, BUT I WANT MORE OF IT!!
Prix68
# Prix68 2015-01-22 12:32
Actually, Cas should have left Claire alone completely. She was in a supervised group home setting BECAUSE she runs away and makes bad decisions. They never showed that the group home was bad or neglected Claire's well being. Cas just released an immature, unruly teenage girl back into a bad situation, hitchhiking down the road with no money, no job and no education. Guess Cas forgot how hard it was to get by with no skills when he was human that short time. Just like Cas has forgotten the thousands of humans he killed while on his mission to be God but now feels free to act like what Dean did was worse and Sam needs to be reminded about the seriousness of what Dean did. Cause Sam doesn't get it already!? Cas is the last one who should be lecturing and judging the Winchesters. IMO. I personally don't understand the point of the Cas/Claire sl at all. What about that situation had any relavence to a show called supernatual.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-01-22 12:46
Brevity is the Soul of Wit. I find it interesting that
you used the word ''endure'' Alice.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2015-01-22 13:42
Quote:
Alice: Of course it’s hard to remember all that when he’s sitting in the MOL control room being all jovial about texting teenagers (ugh, way to diminish a popular character). The dumbing down in the writing it probably the one thing I find most upsetting of "Supernatural's" new direction.
I think that Cas was just hamming it up for Dean because as soon as Dean left the room, Cas turned all serious. Although I do think that he likes texting so he wanted to give Claire’s number to Dean via text message.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-01-22 14:01
I don't know if it was just hamming it up for Dean's benefit or him hamming it up as he realised he had put his foot in it when he said Dean was extremely messed up and bringing up how Dean had also murdered Claire's only friend and he was trying to lighten the mood. Especially seeing how Dean didn't defend himself at all and seemed to just comply
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-01-22 13:55
Prix that was my thought about Claire. She should have gone back to the group home. A 16/17 year old girl on the streets alone? I agree Castiel should have never bothered her to begin with.
A different subject I have always wondered about is does the director pull out, tone down, ramp up the performances of the actors? I only ask because I was enjoying Rowena until she turned into Snydley Whiplash. I wonder how much better the episode would have been if RC hadn't turned her character into Duddly Do Right's nemesis. Same with the actress who played Claire (sorry don't feel like looking it up) she was a caricature of an angry teen. Granted the dialog wasn't great but maybe the Director? should have tried to tone down the performances a little. I know we are spoiled because the J's always seem to hit the right note regardless of the written dialog but we have had guest actors on the show that can act, right? Or is that Carvers job. Is he the one that looks at the dailies and approves or sends everyone back to the scene? I only ask because the performances were so over the top it was kind of embarrassing.
My grade for this episode B+ for the J's and Metatron....C- for the rest.
eilf
# eilf 2015-01-22 17:05
Well I watched the episode purely because it was written by these two writers - for several reasons:

They are the only writers left who remember that the show is supposed to be about Dean AND Sam and not Dean and 'whatever the writer feels like writing about'. They don't use a character they have invented to replace Sam for example.
Since the show is about 50% high-camp at this stage I actually thought Rowena was pretty funny - she was more entertaining than Cas (who was last close to being this entertaining during his bee phase) - and she gave Crowley someone to react to - I thought that was fun.
They remember that in a tv show for a character to communicate he needs something to communicate with - Jared shouldn't need both the writers AND the director to notice him in order for him to communicate who Sam is and what Sam needs. I don't suppose that B&L wrote all that silent Dean!brooding at the beginning of the episode - that was probably a directoral choice - the sort of framing that Sam doesn't get in general. So they DID give Sam dialogue. YAY! The fact that some of said dialogue included the word 'dickwad' as a piece of rapier wit really just shows how low my standards have fallen.
Someone this morning commented (in puzzlement) on the enthusiasm over Sam's hair being wet - I am surprised it didn't trend on twitter I saw so many comments on it - honestly we get the show we deserve...
But it is interesting that one of the writers - who could write for Sam as well as Dean, and doesn't - was pretty much the first person to make this comment:
Robbie Thompson @rthompson1138 · Jan 20 Here's my #SOTU: Sam should have wet hair more often on #Supernatural, cc: @jarpad

All in all it was reasonably entertaining, moved the plot on somewhat, and any advances made will be entirely undone next week when whoever is writing that episode decides to ignore everything that happened.

I thought it was ok ;)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-01-22 17:25
Well I think it's Robbie Thompson writing the next episode since it's a Charlie one. So my guess is it isn't about either brother or the current arc. I do think that wet Sam was just overwhelmingly amazing though.
eilf
# eilf 2015-01-22 17:38
I saw a comment yesterday saying that it is likely a Dean/Charlie heavy episode as Jared wasn't on set more than a couple of days over the next few episodes. I don't know where people get this type of information from but if it is true then that answers that question really. *shrug*
I am only watching episodes that I feel are unlikely to piss me off too much at the moment - such as this one and the Snyder and Char....whoever ones (I may catch up with the season at the end if it improves .... ) so I will give next weeks a miss - let me know how it turns out? :D
I am happy for Sam to be wet and happy for him to have showers and happy for him to be shirtless .... *gets distracted* .... but it doesn't constitute a character or a storyline.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2015-01-22 17:52
eilf, at least in the promotional pictures Sam seems to have an emotional connection with Charlie.
eilf
# eilf 2015-01-22 18:08
There is cause for hope :-)
Underneath it all I am an eternal optimist really ... you kinda have to be ...
ParadiseHeat
# ParadiseHeat 2015-01-22 17:47
Amazing how Dean's behavior is being blamed on Sam (and Cas) by certain members of the fandom. I'm sorry but Dean took on the MOC because he was feeling guilty and drowning in his own self pity, he didnt ask any questions and didnt care about the consequences. Sam and Cas are not responsible for Dean's actions and although they can and will help there is only so much they can do without just locking Dean in a room while they try to find a cure. Dean needs to man up stop feeling sorry for himself ang get pro-active and mostly listen to Sam when he tells him he has the strength to control the MOC himself. Because at the moment that is the only thing he has, his own strength to control himself and not go on killing rampages and Sam's faith in him that he can do it. Sam's season 10 advise for Dean was better than Dean's telling Sam to bury his anger in season 5 or locking him in the panic room to die when he was addicted to demon blood in season 4 so calling Sam stupid and a dick just makes Dean look like a dick and stupid because he already did and said almost the exact same things to Sam in previous seasons. I mean how is what Sam said to Dean in this episode any different that Dean telling Sam to make Dean his stone number in season 7 other than that being Dean telling Sam to have faith in Dean and this being Sam telling Dean to have faith in himself because Sam does? In fact Sam's speach while not as flashy as Dean's was actually better. And no Sam and Cas cant act with more urgency and do things like sell their souls or bargain with Death or anything else like that 1) because this MOC storyline has to last a lot longer than say the soulless Sam storyline, 2) it would be repetitive, 3)Carver seems to be taking a different route by making the MOC a permanent fixture so Dean to deal with or at least throwing the idea out there that Dean might have to learn to deal because getting rid is not possible.

As for Dean running off to talk to Claire, well he's a grown man who can either control his own actions or should be locked up like I said before. If he cant be trusted not to kill then he should take himself out of the equation much like Sam in season 5 when he decided he couldn't hunt because he could trust himself to not give in to the demon blood temptation. So he leans to control it with the support he's been given or he takes himself out of the equation. My guess is Dean will decide he needs to take himself out of the equation altogether within the next couple of episodes because he cant trust himself to be able to control the MOC. I also see Carver taking Sam down much darker roads than Dean has ever been down to try and solve Dean's problem even if he has to go it alone or do it behind Dean's back because he will no longer be able to rely on Dean being able to control himself, no longer be able to rely on Dean to even try and not give up, no longer be able to rely on Dean to have any kind of faith in Sam himself and according to Carver he wont know what Dean is up to behind his back either.

Calling Sam names is just ridiculous.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-01-22 19:35
In all fairness to Sam and Dean, Dean was going off on his own to talk to a 16/17 year old girl. I don't think either Sam or Dean thought it would end up in a life or death situation. It was I guess a clunky way to show that Dean is going to be able to control himself when it comes to violence and he needed to be alone to prove it?
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-01-22 19:52
In all fairness to Sam and Dean, Dean was going off on his own to talk to a 16/17 year old girl. I don't think either Sam or Dean thought it would end up in a life or death situation. It was I guess a clunky way to show that Dean is going to be able to control himself when it comes to violence and he needed to be alone to prove it?

What bugged me was Cas's decision to send
Dean to Claire. It's like his thought process was 1) Claire is mad and I'm wearing her dead father's body so I'm not the one to go. Claire is angry because I convinced her father that saying yes to me would help the world. I then convinced a child to young to give consent to give consent. I then took her father away by blackmailing him with her safety. 2) I have 2 choices to talk to Claire. There's Sam who gave consent to Lucifer to save the world. Later he was tricked into giving consent which is somewhat of a parallel to what Claire has experiences in her own dubiously obtained consent and her father's coerced consent. Then there is Dean who had never experienced possession by an angel or anything else. Dean, who tried to kill Metatron. Dean who just massacred a room full of people. Dean who is being influenced by a supernatural Mark and who could go off and become a violent killer if someone says the wrong thing. 3) Claire is an angry teen who is more than likely to get mouthy and insulting and say the wrong thing. 4) Sam Dean? Sam Dean? Oh hell, lets send the massacre guy who has nothing in common with Claire. Nobody cares much about Claire so if he snaps and kills her no big deal.

It was just so nonsensical to me to even consider having Dean, the guy being influenced by the Mark to go see Claire alone, with no Sam to talk him down if things go wrong. Yes, if Dean can't control himself he should take himself out, but Cas actively recruited an on edge and dangerous Dean to go talk to Claire.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2015-01-22 21:32
I completely agree Percysowner.

One of my major issues with season 10 is that Dean is still written as the moral center of the show, the go-to guy if there's a problem, even if the story has been driven by his his bad choices since the beginning of season 9! It's as if Dean is a victim in all of this and it's all because of the mark, when he was responsible for getting the mark in the first place. It's very frustrating.
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-01-23 04:16
That is because people want it both ways with Dean . One of the disturbing issue's I had coming out of season 9 was that Dean was seen as the 'victim' and that Sam fell short as a loving brother .
ParadiseHeat
# ParadiseHeat 2015-01-23 14:07
Yes it was something that Dean needed to prove to himself without Sam by his side because otherwise he/Sam/we might never know if he did it because he could/wanted to or because Sam was their. Playing it off as the writing showing Sam as not being vigilant or as stupid to let Dean go is grossly unfair to Sam.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-01-22 20:10
That's true. It was a clunky way to end a clunky story. I understood why the show did what it did....just didn't work on so many levels. I was mostly excusing Sam for letting Dean go to see Claire. If you follow the "logic" of the scene I guess the point was to show that Dean could control himself. I agree it wasn't handled very well but if it means the end to this story I will accept it.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2015-01-23 01:43
Hi Alice, as much as it upsets me to say it since I’m generally quite upbeat, I have to agree with you. I too spent this entire episode wondering where the plot was. I can understand them wanting to make it more of an ensemble show to give Jared and Jensen time off. Chuck knows they’ve worked hard enough to give us a show we all love so much to deserve it, but they’re just not doing it well, which only makes the shift that much more jarring for fans who’ve watched the show a long time. When you don’t care about two-thirds of their storyline, that’s a problem.

I love the character stuff-I always have-but what happened to the days when that character stuff would be told between and around a good MOTW story? When we’d at least have a few grisly murders, some horror, a good old fashioned FBI disguise, a proper fight scene to fall back on? We shouldn’t have to resort to wet-haired Sam in the rain to get our kicks out of an episode no matter how awesome it is and how many screencaps we’re inevitably going to take of it.

This is episode 10. Surely we should be feeling it’s all starting to build up to something big by now? Remember what happened round this time in season 5? Surely we should be properly worried about whether Dean’s going to go full-on foaming-at-the- mouth-psycho and what that means if he does? The only time I felt like that this episode was when he was about to kill Metatron, but then any urgency or momentum they build up keeps being brought to a grinding halt by “teenage angst” and “Adventures in Hell,” and I just don’t care.

Rowena’s so fake and put-on, I can’t believe that Crowley could possibly fall for her “Mummy loves you” bullshit. It’s not even fun to watch, we’ve been given no real context for it, and I can only pray that he’s playing her and will eventually stick her like a pig. Also, what the hell (pun intended) happened to the demons? Guthrie sounded like he should’ve been on an episode of Downton Abbey instead of an episode of Supernatural. I know that’s more Crowley’s style, but really, where are the demons like Alastair, or Yellow-Eyes, or that guy from Repo Man. These ones are practically civilised.
I didn’t mind Claire so much last episode but in this one she was way more like spoiled fecking brat than traumatised teenager. I was rooting for Cas to just tell her to get lost. I couldn’t even slightly buy that she was damaged enough not to understand that Randy was a bad dude. For a supposedly sympathetic character, I sure didn’t feel much for her. Hell, I felt more sympathy for Kate, and she was a sodding werewolf. Plus, that “beating up Dean” scene was the most contrived, ridiculous thing I’ve seen, and that’s even without considering Sam and Cas spent the whole episode worrying about Dean going nuclear, but they let him out alone to go see Claire. That’s just utterly lazy writing.

On a lighter note (cause now I need one), I loved Sam and Dean’s scenes, as I always do, and if anything ever made it more glaring that they’re still the heart of this show it was this episode. I am enjoying this season’s Sam (lack of story notwithstanding , but then, no one actually has one anyway). He reminds me of the guy who took his brother with to rescue Adam in PONR, because he had faith in him. He hasn’t truly been that guy for a long time, so it’s good to see him back. I liked his thoughts about Dean fighting the MOC, about maybe learning to live with it, and I’d love to see Sam be the reason, the strength behind that force that keeps Dean from losing it. They do, after all, keep each other human.
debbab
# debbab 2015-01-26 11:06
Much of the arc in season 10 appears to me to be personal struggles of our lead characters. And because there is so much internal struggle at the center, it doesn't jump out as loudly as the arcs in previous years. This being said, the performances are full of nuance. John Badhma's direction shows his own growth and understanding from earlier episodes he directed. Let's not forget the opening montage and the musical choice that fit so well with the struggles within ( we all have a little monster in us). I struggle with the Claire/Cas cut a ways but do understand how that mini arc fits in to the season. It isn't strong enough to hold an entire hour so squeeze it in to disrupt the intensity of the Dean/Metatron scenes or the tenderness of Dean/Sam. IMHO the MoC arc = Dean's inner struggle to overcome his leanings toward the monster within, parallels Sam's arc in previous seasons when he fought to overcome his demon blood lines and even now, to reverse his thinking on would he do "the same" kind of deception to save Dean has Dean did with him? The Rowena/Crowley duality of monster/humanit y reflects the central characters. Claire has a bit of a monster in her as well but unlike Dean it was not her choice. but it is her choice to be a bit less bad when she chooses to save Dean. So I did feel the tie ins with the central figures to the central arc of self discovery and acceptance(?). It is a much more subtle arc than an obvious quest for a piece of rock with scribbles on it. As usual the acting was superb from our leads and CA as Metatron. I accepted the skipping between stories- it just seems to be the only way to tie stuff together and yes, more Metatron and Dean and Sam( reminded me of Dean torturing Alisatair for the better good) is always a better route.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2015-01-27 15:32
The best line in the episode went to Metatron: Dean Winchester is judging my morality. Had me on the floor LOL.