This week’s hunt in Supernatural’s “Halt and Catch Fire” was reminiscent of early episodes in the series’ history. A kill, a drive, a hunt with lessons that paralleled the brothers’ larger story arc, some problem solving, a win, and a broment in or around Baby. Felt good, didn’t it? Just the boys, the people to be saved, the monster to be hunted and the moral of the story. You know – Saving People, Hunting Things, Then Family Business.

This episode’s “business” showed us a deeply reflective Dean. The messages relating to Dean’s story arc weren’t obtuse, contrived or heavily veiled in symbolism, but they also weren’t so blaringly repetitious that they became tiresome. Just simple comments, thoughts and an insightful discussion that moved the story line, accompanied by poignant music. So what did we learn?

Forgiveness and Redemption

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I promised myself I would not talk about forgiveness this week. After the long, dynamic, passionate conversation on forgiveness that occurred in the comments following last week’s “Threads” article, I thought that subject had been exhausted.  I was determined to ignore any subtle references or inferences about forgiveness that might appear in this week's episode. So, of course, that was the explicit subject of the heartfelt reflection from Dean to the co-ed! Dean himself raising the subject undeniably confirms that forgiveness is a major theme of the season and we are on the right track! So, I give up! Let’s talk about forgiveness.
Dean: “Truth is, I can relate. I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. Ones that haunt me day and night."

Delilah: “So how do you deal?”

Dean: “Whiskey. Denial. I do my best to make things right. Whatever that may be. For you, maybe it’s coming clean. You know, finding a way to ask for forgiveness.  But not breaking the bank at your local florist. I mean, real forgiveness. You can’t just bury stuff like this. You got to deal with it.”

What a breakthrough! Dean heard Charlie and Sam’s preaching that burying pain doesn’t work in the long run. Dean admitted that he tries to drink it away, and then refuses to deal with it when he is sober. An interesting psychology question – isn’t acknowledging that you are in denial mean that you actually aren’t in denial? Doesn’t denial mean that either you don’t believe there is a problem or you don’t believe you are the cause of the problem? If you are aware of the pain and the need to address that pain then I would term it avoidance, not denial. Anyway, Dean may not be ready to accept or deal with his issues but his speeches to both Delilah and later to Andrew certainly implied that he knows what he needs to do once he is ready. He understands that he needs to ask forgiveness for whatever wrongs he believes he's inflicted, and he obviously believes it enough to sincerely impart the same advice to someone whose wounds aren’t as scarred over as Dean’s. That’s a start.

Maybe, in a small way, Dean is ready, though. If we listened closely, he actually did start to acknowledge and apologize for the long list of things he feels guilty about, going all the way back to the very first day he reentered Sam’s life. Looking around at the coeds on the campus, Dean very nonchalantly commented to Sam:
“Sorry I ever made you leave.”

Dean didn’t make Sam leave college. He asked, or maybe even begged, Sam to help him look for their dad, but Sam made the choice. Then when Jessica died, Sam found his own motivation to leave school.  Yet this casual remark reveals how Dean views the situation. Dean feels he pulled Sam back into hunting, and Dean found a way to apologize for it.  What a perfect way to go down the road of redemption. Begin at the beginning, taking one small step at a time.  

MoC…and Letting Go

Firstly, what's with Dean’s appetite?? How about eyeing co-eds? Deano, my boy, they are 15 years younger than you! Get it together! I actually felt both of these "jokes" were overdone to the point of being ridiculous. Dean might be satisfying his murderous cravings by substituting gluttony and lust (or maybe the MoC is intensifying all vices?) but did he suddenly forget how to feed himself? A few weeks ago he was talking with his mouth full of hamburger. This week he was talking with noodles hanging out of his mouth.

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I don’t have any problem showing his cafeteria tray overflowing with all the tempting junk food offered in a campus dining hall (I may have been guilty of that myself once or twice. Free sundaes? Free, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? Bye bye good judgment & moderation!). I do, however, object to dumbing him down to a mannerless oaf.  In contrast to his eating frenzies, Dean displayed his usual strategic hunting skills as he grasped for a way to get through to the ghost-du-jour without bones or tethered objects to destroy.
Dean: “Andrew, listen to me. You have every right to be pissed, but take it from me, the more you kill the crazier you’ll get. The blood fuels the rage. So it looks to me like you got two choices: You can keep killing and become something you won’t recognize, or you can move on, ‘cause that is the only thing that’s gonna give you peace. It’s up to you man. Pain or Peace?”

Dean has a way of boiling things down to the simplest terms, doesn’t he?  Obviously Dean’s insights to the vengeful spirit were informed by his own battle with the MoC. Dean has the same choices – he can give in to killing and become something he won’t recognize (which already happened at Randy’s house) or he can get on with his life, because that is the only way he will find any peace. I’m curious if Dean had come to this conclusion for himself before trying to talk down Andrew, or if the heat of the moment helped him to see things more clearly. Either way, he had reflected on his situation enough to admit that the blood fuels his rage, and he will eventually have to deal with the rage.

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Andrew’s wife also encouraged him to move on, but she told him how to do it.
Corey Silver: “I should have said this earlier, but I couldn’t let go. But it’s time for me to let go and for you to do the same. Please I’m begging you. Do this for me. Do it for us. Goodbye.”
Letting go of wrongs done to us and wrongs we have done to others is the only way to save ourselves. Corey begged Andrew to let go of his need for revenge at the same time she acknowledged her need to let go of him so he could be at peace. Andrew chose to move on…and so did Dean.
Sam: “Looks like Andrew wasn’t the only one who chose peace.”

Dean: “Yeah, looks like. Think I’m gonna follow his lead too."

Sam: “What do you mean?”

Dean: “My peace is helping people. Working cases. That’s all I want to do."

Sam: “Is this about the Mark?”

Dean: “I’m done trying to find a cure Sammy."

Sam: “Dean, Cas is so close.”

Dean: “To what? We don’t even know if there is a cure. So far, we’ve got nothing. We have found nothing at the MoL library; Metatron may or may not know something and maybe Cas is onto something with Cain….maybe.”

Sam: “Yeah, maybe. Nothing is guaranteed Dean. So what? You can’t just stop fighting.”

Dean: “Yes we can.”

Sam: “So this is it. You’re just gonna give up.”

Dean: “No, I’m not just gonna give up. I appreciate the effort, OK? I do. But the answer is not out there. It’s with me. I need to be the one calling the shots here. I can’t keep waking up every morning with this false hope. I got to know where I stand, otherwise I’m gonna lose my freaking mind. So I want to fight it, ‘till I can’t fight it anymore. Then when all is said and done, I’ll go down swinging.”

Dean’s inner warrior needs to see things in simple terms – fight or flight – and Dean is tired of strategizing, researching, running, searching for answers and hoping for a way out. He’s decided to just turn around and face the fight head on. He knows his opponent now. He knows he is battling his own rage. So he’s going to try to find the answer within himself; he’s going to find his inner peace by saving people and hunting things. Hopefully, his speeches about forgiveness mean that he knows that working to feel peace is not the same as attaining peace. He needs to forgive himself one transgression at a time to find true peace.  

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Sam wisely let his brother have the last word because he knew that Dean sorely needed that resolution, even if it is only temporary. It didn’t look like Sam bought into it, though. Good.  Sam, you have to have enough hope for both of you.

The Story and the Truth

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This season has frequently shown how people weave their own stories to avoid facing painful truths. When talking to Sam, Corey defended her fabricated, romantic fairy tale story of communicating with her husband in the afterlife:
Mrs. Silver: “Mostly I didn’t want to face the truth.”
It was only through letting go of the story and facing the truth that she was able to let Andrew, and herself, be at peace.

Curiosities

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.         Sam made it a whole week without getting knocked unconscious! Hooray!!

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·         Supernatural is taking its family values lessons to a whole new level. A few weeks ago, a victim was killed when he went out to sneak a cigarette. This week:

  • Driving drunk? Billy died.
  • Texting while driving? Caused an accident.
  • Driving on a suspended license because of a previous DUI? Add letting a man die and leaving the scene of an accident to your list of crimes.
  • Play music too loud? Go deaf, right before your brain melts…literally.
  • Always practice safe sex, even in meaningless, casual hook-ups!

These public service announcements come at no extra charge during your weekly ghost hunt! Actually, though, I think they have a lot to do with the next point…

·         Again with the 16-25 year old guest stars! Not only were the crimes set on a college campus, inside dorms and dining halls, but the dialog emphasized the blatantly obvious targeted age of the show:
Local Detective: “Now days the only way to know anything about teenagers is through social media. Trust me. I have two of them.”

Mrs. Silver: “Some teenage girl. I think she goes to the college.”
Flash: The vast majority of teenagers are in high school/secondary school not college. In Iowa, only college freshmen or maybe sophomores would still be teens so don't try to trick us into thinking you're hip to teens when you're using college coeds in your story!

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This episode also talked about the latest social media tools, it made fun of the outrageously old “Gen Xers” (I'm in BIG trouble if GenX is now considered over the hill!), and the ghost used Wi-Fi to haunt victims. Wi-Fi wasn’t common enough when this show began 10 years ago for that to even have been an option back then! Again I say, some white board in the writers’ office has “modernize hunts and appeal to younger audience” as a goal for S10! I foresee a hiatus article dedicated to this subject because this demographic redirection is obvious, and frankly, alienating! Obviously, “teens these days” are proficient with social media and apps, but only a proportionate sector or the fan base are in their teens! The fact that you found this article on an internet website, probably because of a tweet or Facebook post, quite possibly when you checked your mobile device, probably fed from a wi-fi signal proves that the teens are not the only ones who “get” social media and apps!

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·         Several times this season we have observed the dumbing down of Sam or Dean. This episode they seemed to mysteriously be able to access their brains again, but it was the teens who were portrayed as mindless goofs. I know teens make dumb decisions a lot of the time, but Delilah's roommate didn’t have to study because she was sleeping with the TA, Delilah only took art history because she got to look at naked guys, Billy so relied on “Trini” that he drove further and further into a deserted area looking for Tacos, speaker guy was willing to “hook up” with some random chick just because she offered via text….I could go on and on. I am nowhere near my teen years, but I seriously objected to the portrayal of teens as complete and utter idiots. I think my two kids would object to this objectification also. What do you think? Was the stereotyping justified for the story? Did you notice the over-the-top typecasting? Am I being too sensitive?

So…

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I enjoyed the familiarity of “Halt and Catch Fire”. I loved seeing Sam and Dean hunt again! I was taken aback that they looked considerably older and more “gentrified” in their suits and overcoats, especially compared to the 20-somethings that surrounded them, but I’m afraid we’d all look old on a college campus (except those of you who belong on a college campus!). The myth arc symbolism didn’t melt my brain and the story was an original way to update an established plot. I liked that Sam and Dean split up to pursue different angles of the case. It seemed natural and believable, yet was a good way to relieve some of the Js filming time. I would have liked less caricature and more sophistication to the victims, the survivors and our boys, but I loved the broments.

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Always and forever.

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I’m sucked in every time.

Almost by definition, “Threads” readers like to analyze and decipher episodes. Did the pluses outweigh the negatives for you? Heaven help me, but did you hear Dean’s conversations as acknowledgement that forgiveness is on his mind? Given he doesn’t see any other solutions, do you agree with Dean’s strategy to quit looking for a way out and just plow forward to the end (that was so reminiscent of what he said when he had no other options in "No Rest for the Wicked"!)? Lastly, what have you thought of the updated pop music the past few weeks versus the traditional hard rock that is characteristic of Supernatural? A sign of the times or a willingness to be open to change...or a tragedy? I’m curious to hear what you thought of the episode!



Screencaps courtesy of www.screencapped.net


Comments  

sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-02-12 23:06
I liked this episode. It wasn't scary, because I don't think technology is scary....but it had ingenuity. I don't think machines can or ever will be scary....people are scary...what people do with these machines are scary and what is happening to this generation because of technology is scary....so if you look passed the ghost in the machine stuff and go a bit deeper then upon retrospection I can see the scare factor in this episode.

not only that, but when this episode was over I saw so much more than what was merely on the surface. I see an exciting second half ahead..;)

this is what tickles me most about this episode....

here we have it….the walk in ea. other’s shoes. at the beginning of s9, sam was resigned to accepting death because he saw no way out for himself. Dean kept telling him to fight, but sam believed there was no solution. He thus accepted his fate with pure Winchester style, both dignity and going out on his own terms. Though he didn't want to die, he saw so no way out and thus accepted for him what he believed to be the inevitable and resigned to do so his own way.


But dean didn’t stop the fight. He still believed in a way out for Sam and thus resorted to the only way he could think of to save his brother. He knew he wouldn’t like it, he knew Sam would be hurt and angry, but alive was more important to dean…..so for him, he’ll take his punishment when the time came.


So now here we are in quite a similar circumstance. Dean is now the one who has resigned himself to acceptance that there is no way out of this situation and thus will live with it on his own terms. He said he would fight til he couldn't anymore and if/when he goes down, it’ll be swinging.


Now we have Sam who hasn't lost faith. He still believes there is a cure and Sam is not so resigned to accept his brother's situation. There was an article recently that stated Sam would be exploring his own journey on his quest to save his brother. I have no doubt that Sam will keep trying to find a way to save Dean, even if his brother has given up. I believe we will see Sam working without Dean's knowledge on finding a way to rid Dean of the mark.


Now while I don't believe Sam will trick Dean into possession of any kind, I do believe that Sam may very well take an approach that Dean might not approve of. Sam will do what it takes to save his brother, regardless of Dean's acceptance or not.


I wonder if Sam can actually squeeze into Dean's work boots. LOL


I have no doubt that Sam will find a solution. I’m excited to see what it will be.


Looks like Sam will once again have enough faith for the both of them...…:)


I think the lesson for dean by the end of this story is to learn to have faith..…faith in Sam, faith in God, and most importantly faith in himself.



just my opinion of course..

question: is the lady who played Andrew's wife the same person who played the lady from wishful thinking ? you know the one the invisible kid was spying on, the one sam was interviewing?
ParadiseHeat
# ParadiseHeat 2015-02-13 08:01
There is a HUGE difference between Sam's situation last season and Dean's this season. If Sam has not chosen to trust Dean and died he would have just died, gone to heaven and that would have been that. If Dean gives up (which he has no matter how prettily they try to put it) theres a huge chance that he will still go nuclear even if he thinks he can control it and even if he doesnt eventually if/when he dies he wont be going to heaven he'll be a demon. OK so Demon Dean was a bit of a pansy and he probably wont do anything but just hang around feeling sorry for himself and singing Kareoke but he will basically be immortal, no peace just endless hanging around while everyone around him dies and moves on. Sam's death wouldnt have mattered to anyone but Dean, there would have been no consequences but with Dean's death there would be consequecnes and his death would matter. So while Dean may think he's be all noble and sacrificial he's actually being short sighted and selfish. I do get that they're trying to teach SAM another big lesson again (because thats what Carver seems to be dong every season) but the parallels a weak and the whole thing incredibly one sided favoruing Dean's actions as the right ones and Dean as noble and self sacrificing while Sam's have been shown/viewed as the opposite.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-02-13 08:06
Because of Metatron's spell, Sam would not have gone to heaven - he would have been stuck in the veil.
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-02-13 11:28
All i was pointing out was that both are experiencing similar types of situations....n ot the same. The only comparison i was making here is the decision of acceptance on both parts and the other brother not willing to accept the others decision.

Sam isnt the only one who is meant to learn a lesson here. This is about them both understanding each other's perspective...t ruly for the first time. This is just as much about dean understanding what sam has lived with and fought within his entire life. And the decsions hes made that dean may or may not have agreed with or understood as it is for sam understanding deans perspective about why hes been driven to do what hes done.

In the end, the lesson is for both...to accept who they are and love who they are....to let go of the self loathing and all the guilt theyve ladened themselves with.


Sam has always shown his love for dean by abiding his wishes/promises and each time it backfired on him....this time i think sam is going to do what he wants. Much the way dean has always done. Dean has been emulating sam, trying to find a way to live with this evil as sam has always done. Another example of the boys walking in each other's shoes...which again will lead to that inevitable lesson for them both that i mentioned above.;)


Jmo of course
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-02-13 09:02
I agree with everything you have said. Dean has accepted that he has the mark and he'll have to live with it. Like having a condition rather than a simple disease with an end cure. I think acceptance and learning to manage oneself will have a lot to do with Dean saving himself from the mark. I think next weeks episode will involve Cain trying to manage the mark and then trying to goad Dean into killing him because he no longer finds he is willing or able to do that.

But as for Sam this is the point where Sam has to start doing what Dean has done before, after we have had Dean definitely say that he has effectively drawn his line in the sand. Dean has said he is going to manage his condition in his way the best he can, for as long as he can, he has accepted his lot and let go of a mythical cure that probably doesn't exist but Sam isn't going to have that, Sam can't have that. I don't know if that is keeping the faith or not. But really, this is the point where Sam will go on a journey which he will find he can no longer justify going dark like he did with Lester by saying he wouldn't have done it only....and not feel any push back from it.

It is about the switch for where Sam has to understand the choices that Dean made to save him when Sam said he went to far, examine the things he said in the past two seasons because he will have to go that extra mile and explore what he is capable of doing just so he can keep his brother by his side even after his brother has made his choice to 'let go' of chasing his tail.

Though I wonder what PrincessElsa 8 think about the whole connection to Frozen and this weeks angle of 'letting go'
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-02-13 10:40
I tip my hat to you for catching the Frozen "Letting Go" inference! I didn't pick that up this time! I am a huge fan of that song (go figure) and have thought about incorporating the video/song into an article about the Let Go thread that has been used the past 2 season. I went so far as to put it in my YouTube playlist so it would be ready when I had the time. Alas, it is still on the to-do list.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-02-13 10:56
If it's possible, I agree with Sugar, Paradise, NJ AND Fazzie!
Sugarhi15, I love your observations about the parallels to S9! Those are the type of consistent themes that I believe distinguish Supernatural from other shows. It is the "walk a mile in my shoes" idea. As you said, I think this set up gives a great deal more depth and excitement to both Sam and Dean's journey.
ParadiseHeat, you are also correct that the stakes are much higher for Dean's situation. Sam dying (veil or not) would have caused Dean a great deal of pain, but Dean becoming a virtually immortal demon is a greater risk to the general population. If the MoC keeps resurrecting him, then even Ruby's knife wouldn't work to end his "demonhood" and he could go on generating havoc forever.

The image of Darth Vadar comes to mind. The prize pupil on the side of good becomes the most feared and ruthless weapon on the side of evil. His closest family, Luke, said "I have to save you", but Luke's love brought back Anakin, who then said "You already have." Dean would feel the same way if he became a force of evil. He would want death so that he could at least die a hunter.

I think Jeremy is going to teach both brothers a lesson. Dean: What is means to want death so that "No one is ever hurt again because of me" (Sam's words); and Sam: what it means to be the one who has to have faith and fight for both of you because the one you love is resigned to death. Those are themes worthy of Supernatural. Now we just need a string of superb episodes that highlight (rather than miss) that underlying message.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-13 15:53
Nice rodeo recap (pulling all the varied opinions into one )! Great points everyone!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-02-12 23:09
Since I am currently talking about the music choices elsewhere I will say it seems a little late in the game for such a drastic change in music. It's not like SPN is going to continue on for too many more seasons (if more than one more). I know there are younger viewers watching the show but they are already watching the show. They were attracted to it as is. I do love "Take me to Church" but it is an Irish folk type song. Let's stick to what brought us here. Kick ass rock while hunting the backroads of middle America.
That is an interesting point about Dean and forgiveness. I hadn't thought about forgiveness in his remark to Sam about taking him away from college. But that is as good a place to start as any. Dean does need to forgive himself before he can start to have a healthier relationship with Sam. We'll see how far the Mark let's Dean go with his journey of self awareness. It might have other plans.
I didn't much care for this episode. Dean's behavior was so over the top. It wasn't funny it was uncomfortable. We want to laugh with Dean not at his frat boy comedy. Ogling girls barely out of their teens was just well icky. It was nice that Sam didn't get knocked out or tied up. That was at least nice to see. Other than that the episode didn't tell us anything we didn't know except Dean is kind of giving up and Sam isn't. :(
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-02-12 23:21
hey Cheryl ,


I'm just guessing here....but I don't think the song choices are for the teen demographic.... there has been classic rock....the use this season of pop music came when dean wasn't himself....he was a demon or he was a teenage boy...

I think the music more represents dean's state...meaning dean isn't really himself since he got the mark.. sometimes the music is angsty rock, especially when we see him alone in his room worrying about the mark. they played annoying pop music when he was a demon and when he's a teenage boy they're playing taylor swift. the music seems to go with dean's mood so far this season. since dean isn't really himself, the music hasn't been typical dean music. .when dean gets rid of the mark, I wonder if there will be total rock and less use of pop music....when dean is back to dean again and the Winchester world is back to normal. going to have to pay attention to that.

the use of pop in some eps seems to represent the Winchester world in it's current state of turmoil and chaos.


jmo of course.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-02-12 23:53
I get the music choices for Dean it was just there was music playing in the truck with the four teens when they caused the accident that was clearly a modern pop song. It took me out of the moment because it didn't really seem to have anything to do with the scene like most of the music usually does. I just think with all the focus on teens this season and Alex last season there is an effort going on by probably the CW to attract younger viewers.
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-02-13 07:25
well I have cousins that are all teens and they don't even know what classic rock is. I can understand college students playing pop music in the truck. it makes more sense than if they played classic rock. as for the use of teens, there's been use of teens in many episodes over the years as have been the use of kids....kids are creepy after all. it just seems to me that over the years as the audience is getting older that is noticed more than it was ten years ago....

I just think and believe me it's not an attack on any of us....but the boys aren't the only ones getting older:D what we may not have noticed or cared about then, is being noticed now.

for me it's no big deal...when it comes time for me to make my season end cd's if I don't like a song, I wont burn it....:D
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-02-13 13:07
Actually I love Take me to Church my point was that as a long time SPN fan it took me out of the scene. The music has always had some meaning to the scene. This just seemed to be inserted for pop music sake. To appeal to a younger audience. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I could see a lot of current music fitting in the show now. It's just this show seems to appeal to an older audience. I don't think bringing in teenage girls and paying (I'm sure ridiculous amounts of money) for pop music is the way to go.
The Taylor Swift song was perfect for the ending of last weeks episode.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-02-14 12:23
I take your point that we won't know if pop music is being used to show that Dean isn't himself until he is back to normal. My instinct is telling me this is a pemanent shift, but I guess we won't know for sure until S11!
ParadiseHeat
# ParadiseHeat 2015-02-13 08:16
Except as usual Dean is missing the point and apologizing for the wrong things. Why is he apologizing for taking Sam away from college when that was Sam's choice? He should be apologizing for spending years resenting Sam and berrating him for wanting to go to college in the first place, for viewing Sam's going to college as selfish and a slight on Dean himelf when it was never about Dean. Dean just made it all about Dean.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-02-13 10:43
We don't know what Dean might have been doing in that scene. He may have been actually apologizing or he may have been a little jealous that Sam got to have a college life. Who knows. It would be some character growth if Dean started to realize that the blame isn't all on him (it is his guilt that continues to drive his actions specially in saving Sam at all costs). I am watching Shadow right now and the scene where Sam sees Meg in the bar just happened. Afterwards Dean asks Sam if it's true what Meg said about keeping Sam against his will. Sam says of course not. Sam chose to stay with Dean. This is also the episode where Sam tells Dean he has to let him go his own way. This is where we see Dean's abandonment issues. He doesn't want to be alone and as we see in the seasons that follow Dean will go to any lengths to make sure he isn't alone. Maybe that little comment is the beginning of Dean realizing what his pattern is and that this is the reason he is in the mess he's in now. It will be interesting to see what growth we see and understanding we see between the brothers as their roles are reversed.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-13 16:10
I didn't take that scene as anything more than Dean pointing out that he had just realized that if he had left Sam at college (and stayed with) instead of both running away together that he would have had a "target rich environment" of nubile sweet young things available to him. I didn't read that line as anything much deeper than that?
E
# E 2015-02-13 15:42
Good point. In Dean's big speach to Chick of the Week No. 1, he talked about forgivenss and making amends, but I got absolutely no sense that Dean realized that he should be taking his own advice. Maybe we were supposed to make that connection, but if we were then there was something off in the delivery of the lines, for me anyway, and all I got was Daddy Dean dispensing wordly advice and no real realization on Dean's part that he should be heeding what he's saying in a big, big way. I was so frustrated by the lack of relevancy that I basically wanted to kick in the TV screen at that point. Then Dean talks about Sam's college days? Um... hello? relevant and far more pressing issues need to be discussed here from BOTH of you. Talk about watering everything down with ancient and irrelevant history. What is the writers hang up about discussing current things, painful things, UNRESOLVED things that still fester between the boys? How about a discussion of the possession and it's fall out? Hmmm?
Shante
# Shante 2015-02-13 09:46
hello, i just wanted to say, i also love Take me to Church it is on my Spotify Music playlist, that i also have another playlist for Spn's music and i would prefer to hear classic rock only to add to my spn music. playlist
Prix68
# Prix68 2015-02-13 05:42
Well, showing all these abnoxious teens and putting the brothers on a college campus in this last episode seems to emphasize the fact that they are now men in there thirties.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-13 07:00
Prix - IKR!?! It's like I said on another post somewhere - Jared and Jensen are far from "old" and are both gorgeous men but they aren't in the age bracket to appeal to the demographic the CW is pursuing and lets face it, they won't be getting any younger. I was watching The 100 with my daughter who is in the age group that is being targeted and that show is full of the CW approved young, fresh faced actor/actresses . Why can't they just produce that and leave Supernatural alone? I don't think I'd mind it quite so much if the teenagers were well written, but most of the actresses (funny, no young actors besides Dylan and he doesn't count in this because he was Dean not a new character) make me want to gouge my eyes out. The girl that played young Tina did a great job. Claire is just typically written so far and no, I couldn't care less if she returns. Krissy, Kate and the rest? No, just no. I'm not even throwing the 200th ep in the mix. Even tho it was entertaining, I'd like to mostly just forget it - kinda like Bloodlines. So anyway, where was I going with this thought? Late and I'm tired. My daughter loves Supernatural and hates what they are doing to it. She watches a lot of different shows. The ones not targeting her? She adjusts, not the other way around. Why target her anyway? She isn't the one with the money. Honestly does The Walking Dead or Doctor Who target teenagers? There are more than enough The Vampire Diaries fluff crap already on the air, do we really need more? I thought Pedowitz was a fan of Supernatural? If he's a true fan, why is he allowing the show to be bastardized like this? I really don't like the direction the show has taken, and I fear that once the ship has turned that it won't be changing course back again.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-02-13 09:19
I see parallels to the start of S9, where Sam came to terms with, and accepted death as the only viable option (which is different than wanting to die, big difference). Part of that was a journey of self reflection; he'd done a lot of bad in his life, but he was finally acknowledging and accepting that he had done a hell of a lot of good, too. And, if that's the way things had to end, he was okay with it.

Now, Dean and Sam have been researching possible cures for the MoC and, not having found anything, Dean has decided the only viable option is to continue the family business, hunting things, saving people, until he can't anymore. This can be viewed as both fatalistic, and practical at the same time. Just as Dean took desperate action to save Sam, could this be setting up Sam to do the same for Dean? Not talking possession but something just as extreme? I too, was struck by Dean's nonchalant comment to Sam "Sorry I ever made you leave", referring to Sam's time at college. I don't want to get in to the whole apology thing after it had been beaten like a dead horse last week, but maybe this is also Dean reflecting back, taking stock on his life and the decisions he's made? Not saying he's going to die (or can die for that matter), but starting down the path of acknowledging that yes, he's done some bad but has also done a hell of a lot of good in his life, and that this ultimately leads to Dean forgiving himself?
Prix68
# Prix68 2015-02-13 10:29
The only problem with that line having that meaning is Dean didn't make Sam leave college. Sam left college to get revenge for Jessica's death and then later it was revealed he had been being manipulated by demons way before Dean even showed up. That's just another canon error as far as I'm concerned.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-02-13 10:39
i don't think so; Sam doesn't blame Dean for what happened, nor for leaving college. As Sam found out in S4/S5, he was destined to end up on this path; details might have been a little different but he was going to get dragged in to this one way or another. Dean does hold himself responsible, and that's part of what he needs to come to terms with, to stop blaming himself for these types of things. It's that Winchester self-loathing gene ;)
Prix68
# Prix68 2015-02-13 11:37
Sorry, I just think it was a throw out line to make sure we noticed Dean ogling the girls.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-02-13 11:47
could be interpreted that way, too ;)
Prix68
# Prix68 2015-02-13 09:24
AlyCat22 - well, I have two teenage grandsons who used to watch the show with me but both lost interest in the JC years. They want action and creepy bad guys. They both love the "Walking Dead", "Gotham", etc. They don't care about the age of the actors but if you bore them they have no problem leaving your show behind and moving on. I can't believe teenage girls are connecting with the way they are portrayed on the show either.

My husband and I watch NCIS, which has been on as long as Supernatural and gets top ratings. Although it evolves, it doesn't forget what made it a ratings winner in the first place. Yes, it's a different genre, but in the end, a show is only as good as the story it tells and we just are not getting top notch stories anymore. IMO. Supernatural should be embracing the fact that the brothers are now in their mid thirties and should be showing them as smarter, more worldly, more mature. more comfortable in their own skins. JC claimed he was going to mature the brothers but his idea of mature and mine are two very different things. When you read what he and the writers say in interviews and on Twitter, you wonder just how mature they are themselves. That's my rant this week about TPTB. Lol.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2015-02-13 09:27
I don't want Sam to compromise his morals. He was right to take a stand against the possession and I don't want that negated so that once again it's ok for Dean to do anything he wants to Sam and Sam is just supposed to shut up and be grateful.
I want Dean to realize that just because he can do something doesn't mean he should. He needs to think about the consequences of his actions which is something he doesn't seem do much of.
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-02-13 09:52
Too late for that I think esp as his words in the Purge seemed to of been made the issue rather than what Dean actually did.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2015-02-13 11:31
I kind of liked this episode (well maybe not the way Dean was eating :p). I work in a girls' high school (ages 11 to 17), and a lot of them are fans of the show, they come and chat with me about it. I do agree that the "teenagers" portrayed were not exactly like the college students that I know. They aren't that stupid and immature, but that's not saying that some aren't. I had a sixteen-year-ol d student come up to me the other day to ask me what the difference between dependent and independent was! She will be in college next year, so... (in Québec we have junior college before university, which explains the age). I thought Charlie from "Bloody Mary" was really well portrayed. Ah, that was a really good ghost story.

As for Dean starting to forgive himself, I like that aspect of him. Dean may have decided to just go with the flow until the end, but Sam will not give up the fight. It reminds me (very loosely) of someone with cancer or with any disease that has fought for so long and just decides to let nature take its course, until loved ones help that person fight on. I'm speaking from experience. That's how I see it.

Thank you for these threads. I don't have much time to express my views, but I do enjoy reading what you and others have to say. :)
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-02-14 12:39
I'm glad you enjoy Threads!
Deans resignation to his situation also reminded me of a terminally ill patient. Giving in isn't the same as giving up but it often takes loved ones to help regain fight.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-02-13 11:37
The episode was alright. I watched it slightly different than normal as the episode seemed to be campy/parody about Scream/I know what you did last summer. I don't like either and that is why this was a "decent" episode for me. The teens on it were shown the same way. I think they were meant to be shown annoying. Anyway, I thought about nothing from the music. It fit to these teens better than classic rock.

And with Dean's eating habits:

Superwiki - Young and old Dean ("http://supernaturalwiki.tumblr.com/post/110801273510/some-things-never-change")

It is just the same but the noodles make it pretty icky. Aaaanyway...

Supernatural has had a flock of child/teen actors. It is nothing new. We even got Weechesters in a high school. And how Dean was I think there might be something else behind it too. In second last episode he felt how being young was again. And being young at this age meant that Teen!Dean liked Taylor swift's music. It wasn't classic rock because on that scene it was not meant to be it. So, by that reaction on this one I think Dean reminisced his school days that might seem simpler and happier now. And it might again mirror Sam's life a bit.

We have evidence what he did when he was young. Checked every girl and ate like a sloth. In a way he escaped to be young again or well to the memories of it and as I watched it from that point of view. It really didn't bother me. Nor I don't think we get more teens or I rather hope we don't. Then I will start to complain. :)

It is weird how differently people saw this episode. Most what I saw thought it was like old times. That Dean was just Dean. This was a clear MotW episode that has been how they have been done from day one. Like I said. I have had not much trouble with the show but I have not been watching it for ten years. My observation from many sites is that maybe Supernatural has not changed that much but maybe the people that watch it? I mean when I was young I liked Knight Rider and Dempsey and Makepeace and I literally can't watch them nowadays without poking my eyes out. And if I hadn't watched them I would talk about "The glory of the good old days". They are now in my eyes very, very bad. People also wish a lot of stuff to happen/change in the show and when they seem to get it it is not what they wanted. As an observer it is probably easier to see it.

I mean my wish came trough. The Leviathans went bye bye and I am really glad of that. I wonder if all these issues have come because the difference of binge watching and normal or just most commonly that we all see the show in different ways. These are just thinky thoughts and in general so don't shoot me. Just wondering a lot the different reactions. ;)

I am glad that Dean said sorry. It is a good way to begin at the start.

- Lilah
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-02-14 13:13
Quote:
I have had not much trouble with the show but I have not been watching it for ten years. My observation from many sites is that maybe Supernatural has not changed that much but maybe the people that watch it?
You make an excellent point. Communication classes taught us that a message is a 2-sided coin - the way it is sent and the way it is received. Have all our discussions "matured" the boys more than the show has? Your superwiki link was evidence that we may have selective memories. We don't want to remember Dean being uncouth, so we don't. I certainly didn't remember him that way. Maybe the writers are being so consistent that we object because we believe the characters should have, or have, changed in 10 years.
Is there a point in time when fans just "burn out" on a show? Are the 10yr veterans the first to bail because they need to move on? Or are the binge watchers less patient with the slow progress of plots because they devoured the first x seasons in weeks rather than years? I don't know. Interesting questions.
ThisOldBag
# ThisOldBag 2015-02-13 14:56
One of the ways I grade an episode is how much of it I fast-forward through. This episode (and the last one too) I was doing way too much of that (and I didn't miss anything important). There has been a trend to have way too much second unit stuff that is completely unnecessary, and to include guest actors giving away way too much useless information while S&D watch. And, considering we are being informed of cut scenes with S&D, I don't buy that it's the whole "more time off for J2" thing that keeps being brought up. This whole stretching things out is not the writers, it's the show runners telling the writers that they can't reveal something(s) until later in the season, making the writers try to find a way to hint but not tell. This seems to be typical of JCs style. (It would be an interesting study to determine if there is actually more time spent on second unit stuff now compared to earlier seasons. However, more difficult seeing as there are semi-regulars now.)

The trends/threads I'm noticing: wrath, gluttony, lust, pride and one could consider Crowley slothful and Rowena greedy plus there is certainly some envy in there. Of course, this show has had no shortage of deadly sins. Also, faith, hope, justice and other theological or cardinal virtues like diligence, love, abstinence, patience, restraint, courage (more?). Intentional? I wouldn't have thought so, but this weeks blatant gluttony and lust makes me wonder. While EK used the strictest definition of righteous (obedience) during his tenure, Could it be that JC is using the general definition (without guilt (or Sin))? We do tend to see more than what is intended however, but I find it interesting.

I can't figure out the whole parade of teenagers thing, and I hope there is a point that is not related to appealing to a younger audience.

Honestly, unless the music is horrendous, I don't notice it too much, but I love the classic rock as it's feels like it's another character, like the Impala, so when it's not there it just feels wrong.

While the whole "walking in each other's shoes" has been mentioned (directly or indirectly) I am enjoying the differences in the way each brother handles the opposing experiences. Dean was bull in a china shop with Sam in years past (with doses of alcohol induced self pity) but Sam, although he hasn't said it (does he ever) is seemingly pleading with Dean not to give up, patient even, while slowly sliding towards desperation. However, I am not sure what that will become over the remaining episodes (is that anxiety I feel?). Perhaps this is the slow winding road that will lead to the fork where our beloved brothers will take different paths and (hopefully) end up fighting the heroic battle together.
Bevie
# Bevie 2015-02-13 16:52
Not getting into any arguments here. Just a friendly reply to Nightsky re Dean's eating habits. For myself, I love Dean Winchester and his sloppy eating habits have been endearing to me ever since the first time he talked with his mouth full. Was it Hollywood Babylon or earlier? Don't ever change Dean!:p

Also, I too was wracking my brain as to where I had seen the ghost's wife before and finally remembered the lady in Wishful Thinking who was spied on by the invisible kid and interviewerd by
Sam. I'm pretty sure that was her. Another recycled guest.

Oh, by the way. I liked the episode, but never never stop with the classic rock please!
E
# E 2015-02-14 13:36
Also not trying to argue; but I didn't see Dean or his eating habits in that clip, I saw Jensen goofing off. This is in no way a criticism of Jensen BTW, we all know that the boys like to have fun and spend a good deal of time "playing" in and around the serious acting. If anything I am questioning the editing choices. Clearly this was a moment made for the gag reel. Seeing it in an episode took me right out of the story they were building because it smacked of behind the scenes antics rather than on screen acting. It was completely irrelevant, both to the story and to Dean as a character. This is an error in editing to allow something so clearly not character or story related to remain in an episode and basically comes back to the show runner. Kripke would never have allowed something like that to remain in an episode. They could have shown DEAN eating lustily like he often does, but this wasn't Dean and it didn't belong in this episode. To me this is part of the wider problem of audience pandering, lack of coherent characterizatio n, continuity and concern for the quality of the story they are telling.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-14 14:41
I think I have to agree on this (sorry Bevie). This was so completely OTT ridiculous it was jarring. It had no place in the episode. Having said that I DO think that the leering and voracious eating are supposed to be important. Dean's ramped up appetite has been especially highlighted lately. He has always been hedonistically inclined but this is being fueled by the mark/lingering demon effects I believe. However the spaghetti hanging out of Dean's mouth is SO overdoing it. Leave it on the gag reel! Dean might talk with his mouth full but he isn't a complete moron who would think that is ok.
E
# E 2015-02-15 08:54
Totally agree that the eating and womanizing seem to be an attempt to show that the mark is still affecting Dean in some way. Still, I am finding the editing of these scenes a bit strange and ineffectual; first there was the noodle incident which as I've said didn't even look like a Dean moment, it was clearly a Jensen goof; and Dean's womanizing in this episode just came off as unattractive. I can understand the writers wanting to make a point of these traits as a means to show Dean isn't really himself (or perhaps MORE of himself, or himself of the edge) but they haven't got the right tone IMO. They either have to stop playing these things off as humorous or have Sam comment on it in some way or use them to show that Dean's really gone down the road of creepdom; that these are clear side effects of the mark and that's he's still in danger of turning once again. They could have easily made those two traits much more negative, creating something for Sam to really comment on or worry about; we then, in turn, could worry about it too. Imagine how Dean's end speech would have sounded if all his eating and leering had been played to look like he wasn't as in control of himself as he thinks, if it was all creepier and more grotesque? What if it had been written that Chick of the Week no. 1 was maybe in some danger FROM Dean himself? That could have been really interesting; it would have made Dean seem more desperate at the end of the ep and Sam's determination to find a cure more realistic and crucial. Instead they play it off as…. I don't know…. funny (not), endearing (really not)? cheaply humorous for humor's sake? I'm not sure what they were intending. So it's hard to tell if it's inconsistent writing or an aspect of the mark that we should be concerned with.
spnlit
# spnlit 2015-02-14 11:51
Nightsky, I appreciate the time and thought you put into the thread articles. I do agree with your insight that Dean is now taking the battle of the MOC to his playing field. I do not think he is giving up. I think he is dealing with in a way that makes sense to him. I think this dialogue really sums up, captures and stays true to the character of Dean:
“No, I’m not just gonna give up. I appreciate the effort, OK? I do. But the answer is not out there. It’s with me. I need to be the one calling the shots here. I can’t keep waking up every morning with this false hope. I got to know where I stand, otherwise I’m gonna lose my freaking mind. So I want to fight it, ‘till I can’t fight it anymore. Then when all is said and done, I’ll go down swinging.

First there is the assurance to Sam he is not giving up and the appreciation for Sam- (the effort) . Remember how touched Dean was in "My Time of Dying" when he thanked Sam for not giving up on him. Then we have Dean's self reliance and take charge approach to almost any situation. Dean then mentions hope as being false. Dean has been so scarred and saturated by the eternal darkness he see that he has always struggles with hope and faith. He has articulated this many times: Faith 1.12; House of the Holy 2.13; Are You there God it is Me Dean Winchester 4.02. He admits to Sam he is struggling "otherwise will lose his freakin mind" and then the eternal vow of both brothers who intend to go to their graves swinging. So I understand Dean's approach to the MOC and think it is pure Dean. Dean is also following Sam's advice. Sam told Dean he had to deal with the Mark and maybe the answer was within Dean, Sam also told Dean he had to get back in the game when Dean was hunkered down in in his room (sanctuary) searching for answers in the books. I personally was glad to see Dean doing the work to help himself and it was not a bad idea.... heck it could not have hurt to stay in there for a month! I know that Dean's approach will not succeed without Sam. They balance one another. Sam is also acting in true form to his character. Sam is giving Dean everything he needs. Sam is giving 100% support, constant presence (standing by Dean); he is seeking answers using everything he has- intelligence and physical force; and he is the one with the strength of faith and hope which was articulated most poignantly in Season 8 when he took on the trials. He sees a light at the end of the tunnel. I like where this going and think the resolution will be the combined force of the brothers.

I think Dean does have forgiveness on his mind based on his advice to the one remorseful college student. I do think part of the cure will be requesting forgiveness from Sam and forgiving himself. I do not think we can read to much into Dean's casual remark to Sam: "Sorry I ever made you leave (college)." I do think Dean blames himself for everything and he may still regret the role he thinks he played in taking Sam away from college and the life he wishes his brother had. (Dean struggles between wanting his brother to have a normal life and desperately needing him in the family business) It was just a line for Dean to emphasize his staring at so many hot chicks on campus. Where by the way are all the average looking young people in college?

In regard to music. Another person stated it perfectly. Classic Rock is another main character to the show. It seriously goes with the car and Dean thought Sam douched up baby with an IPOD playing crap music. Classic Rock is an intrinsic premise to the show. It cannot be replaced. I thought it was ludicrous and heresy that Dean in his 14 year old body would like that Taylor Swift tune. Dean was still his adult self in that 14 year old body and I cannot imagine that hormones would cause him to suddenly like Taylor Swift. With that said, I will concede that maybe there is some subtle meaning to Dean liking that Taylor Swift tune. What is that meaning? I think the producers are pandering to the teen audience and want them to think that teen Dean likes their music. Another less pessimistic view is that Dean enlightened by the feeling of his youth realized he is open to the new or change. There may be some truth to the fact that Dean liked Classic rock just because his Dad did. Perhaps a subtle reference to Dean making interior changes. Also it has been made known that Dean knows about and apparently listens to other music: In Crossroad Blues, 2.08 Dean knew about classic blues music: "Yeah, except that wasn't a legend. I mean, you know his music. You don't know Robert Johnson's songs? Sam, there's, there's occult references all over his lyrics, I mean, "Crossroad Blues"? "Me and the Devil Blues"? "Hellhound on My Trail"? " And in this current episode Dean says that the "thing" about driving the dead brother's truck is in all the country music. Despite all that the music foundation of the show has to remain classic rock. it is the heart and soul.

With the exception of the brother insights, I hate to say it but I found this episode just boring. I know it was a MOW episode and the set up was old school- usually like that but something was missing. . The opening was good... (was that the bridge we saw in the pilot???). It was just that the whole story was mundane, the dialogue commonplace, the teenage characters stereotypical and it seemed, as you mentioned, a Public Service Announcement not to text and drive. Supernatural used to scare, intrigue, inspire, humor and provoke (------------so mething , you fill in the blank.) I got nothing on this story. My other thoughts: Dean is too old to be staring at college girls 18-21. His lecherous side could be depicted by giving a double take at a hot 30 something professor. Food falling out of Dean's mouth is not funny. Dean is not stupid! I too was thinking of Frank Devereaux tutorial. Sam rushes to the door of the widow and says we have an emergency..... then proceeds to sit and with great empathy listen to a long superfluous story about her late night internet dates with her dead husband (I do like the idea.... maybe they should have just gave us a quick scene of that), LA LA LA, while Dean is hacking away at electronic devices and getting choked to death. Apparently the basement of the dorm did have good reception. I thought the 810 connection was lame and could not figure out how all the teenagers knew about or remembered the dead guys address.

Looking forward and excited to see the next episode.
E
# E 2015-02-14 13:11
Quote:
“No, I’m not just gonna give up. I appreciate the effort, OK? I do. But the answer is not out there. It’s with me. I need to be the one calling the shots here. I can’t keep waking up every morning with this false hope.
Isn't' this basically what both Sam and Charlie were telling Dean in an episode recently? So why is Dean saying this as though he came up with it out of the blue as though it's some great epiphany? Basically Sam has been telling Dean that the answer is inside of him for half the season now. A little acknowledgment would not be amiss IMO.