“Form and Void” was one of the most intense episodes in Supernatural’s history, at least for me. The three members of Team Free Will were each isolated and desperate, facing an extreme situation. Brutal torture and betrayal of one, mere hours to death for a second, and understanding and accepting that a baby is evil incarnate for the third. The pain and fear were unrelenting, equally intense in each of our boys’ dilemmas. The music was riveting and the acting was excellent, which added to the tension.

Even though it is hard to look past drama that bores into your core, this episode provided excellent clues to possible directions for season 11’s mythology. Every plot was rich with hidden meaning!

Death, Reapers and the Great Beyond

Reaper 223

“Form and Void” introduced a second, striking female reaper to Supernatural’s world. The reaper Billie was calm and a wealth of knowledge, yet she also vindictively threatened to throw Sam (and Dean) into “the empty”, aka the “void”. So now Sam and Dean have to fear dying because there is fate worse than Hell? Seems being in nothing might be preferable to eternal torture. Still, Billie’s threats seemed hollow. Her promise to break her sacred vocation and not deliver Sam’s soul certainly added isolation and desperation to Sam’s immediate situation since he thought he was facing imminent death, but in the long term why introduce this plot line? Thinking about that question raised an interesting answer: maybe this was not the first time the empty void had been mentioned. Was this the place Death said he could send Dean, a place where Dean could never hurt anyone ever again? Is this “void” a fourth possible destination available to reapers (in addition to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory)? Could it be the season 11 cliffhanger? Let’s keep our ears open for future advancements of this thread!

Beyond this ominous description of a fate worse than death, Billie’s exposition did decisively answer one question that had been debated since the season 10 finale: What happens to all the people who die if Death is gone? She may as well have held up a flashing sign with arrows that said “Canon Clarification”!

ReaperBillie: “I am not looking to get friendly with the man who helped gut my boss
Sam: I’m sorry about Death.
ReaperBillie: So am I, but people are still dying so work to do, souls to collect.

Her explanation reiterated the importance of souls, and curiously contained a reference back to something the boy's have said so often, "we've got work to do", reminding us of their mission (Saving People, Hunting Things/Evil) and their determination to clean up their messes (hold that thought).

Her canon laden dialog also made a specific point of referencing her boss’ death. Call me crazy, but every time a character mentions that Death is dead, I become more convinced that he is still alive. It seems we are being set up for a “grand reveal” at some distant point in the future. Besides this intentional namedrop to bring Death back into the storyline, Billie said something else that fortified the theory that Death is not dead (or however that needs to be said!). Just before Death was killed in the Season 10 finale, he taunted Sam “Then there was that time you stood me up”, supposedly conveying his annoyance and providing additional motivation for wanting Sam dead. When Billie talked about Sam and Dean’s revolving door to the afterlife, though, she said, “The old Death thought it was funny.”  Her characterization of Death’s attitude toward the boys is inconsistent with the irritation expressed by the Death that Dean supposedly summoned, casting doubt either on Billie’s knowledge of her boss, or on the legitimacy of the Death in the finale .

The reaper was also introduced into the scene by singing “O Death”, which is Death’s theme song (an absolutely beautiful voice and rendition by whomever sang it by the way. A highlight of the episode for me!). The singer changed keys, went flat on cue, and varied the song’s notes just enough to give it an eerie, something’s-not-right feeling. Why use this specific musical cue, though? Since it was used way back in season 5 to introduce the character of Death, it seemed curious, although not entirely inappropriate, to use it again here. It undoubtedly reminded everyone of Death, so I interpret it a subconscious way to keep Death in the plot.

The fourth clue came last week when the Darkness said “I don’t know this Death, and he doesn’t know me”, yet the Death talking to Dean gave such a detailed description of the Darkness in the finale. In that exposition, Death said God and the archangels fought back the Darkness. Wasn’t Death around at the time? I thought he and God forget which one of them is older. Wouldn’t Death have known the Darkness if he is indeed as old as or older than God? Something isn’t tracking here.

Dean himself provided the most convincing clue…

Visions

Realistic, convincing visions were the basis of 10.19 “The Werther Project”. In that episode, a supernatural smoke which was analogous to the Darkness caused hallucinations that drove people to kill themselves. The introduction of that idea to canon was significant enough that I believe it was a seed for future arcs. Dean reintroduced the idea of visions into this year’s storyline in his conversation in the bunker with Sam:

Sam: I still don’t understand. I thought the Darkness was a woman, not a child.
Dean: Same here. I don’t know. Maybe whatever I saw wasn’t real. Maybe it was a vision
Sam: Vision?
Dean: Yeah.

The word “vision” was important enough to the story that Sam even repeated it. Dean is referring to his vision of the Darkness here, possibly secretly hoping that his conversation with the Darkness was only a vision so that her prophecy of his allegiance to her wouldn’t come true. An interesting possibility, but one that is not borne out by his observation of the MoC on Amara. The words by themselves, though, can take on a second application. Read in the context of Dean having recently discussed the demise of Death, they clearly open the possibility that Dean’s complex interaction with Death in the Mexican restaurant was nothing more than a vision. After all, Sam’s interaction with Rowena dispelling Susie’s ghost and opening the Werther box in the basement was equally complex. Dean summoned Death, but perhaps Death didn’t respond. Instead, the MoC took over and projected an entire dramatic scene whereby Death demanded Sam be killed. This vision gave the MoC what it wanted, a brother killing a brother, by providing a motivation Dean could accept, saving the world from his tyranny. Given Dean’s self-loathing, this was a reasonable scenario his mind might conjure.  In “The Werther Project”, Dean ended his vision himself by understanding that the real Benny would love him enough to never ask him for his life. Similarly, maybe Dean’s touchstone of love broke through his later vision, enabling him to end it by killing its central figure, Death.  There is one major hole in this parallel that I haven’t worked out yet (do you know what it is?). Everything else points so unilaterally to Death not being dead, though, that I’m remaining steadfast to my theory while I wait for more to be revealed.  

SamsVision 314

Even if the application of all these clues to Death’s corporeal status is completely off base, there is no doubt that visions will be a cornerstone of Season 11’s arc. After praying to God, Sam has a vision of…what? His time in the cage? Weren’t all Sam’s memories of the cage transferred to Castiel? Was it a vision of Sam’s future? Another possibility is that Lucifer heard Sam’s prayers (angels hear all prayers) and strengthened by the release of the Darkness was able to reconnect to Sam to resume his mental torture. That would be consistent with last week’s mention of voices suddenly crying out from the cage. It would also parallel the unexpected response Castiel received from his prayer. Castiel also prayed to Heaven for help, but his prayer was answered by malicious angels. Maybe this was a clue that Sam’s prayer would also be answered by a corrupted, evil angel.

CuringSam 451

Also, whose was the voice warning Sam to not go through with the Holy Oil cure?
“Don’t do this to yourself. Stop!”

Was that the Darkness trying to protect itself? Had it enough of a grip on Sam’s mind to influence his actions? This is the most likely explanation since victims went insane and starting killing people once the darkness reached their brains.  A wilder theory might be that Lucifer didn’t want Sam to cure himself so was again invading his thoughts. Either way, I loved that Sam was strong enough to break through the suicidal thoughts and save himself. I just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly…

Cleaning up The Darkness

Reaper Billie: “You are unclean in the biblical sense.”
CuringSam 470

So Holy Oil is the cure for the Darkness Disease (copyright on the name!). It was slightly awkward that the reaper gave Sam the clue to the cure at the same time she was telling him how much she wanted him dead but I liked that there was a biblical cure for a pre-biblical scourge. It was slightly disappointing that it happened so fast, though. Sam’s peril was an intensely emotional drama that could have lasted at least one or two more episodes. It was also a bit weak that the Darkness’ release only infected a few people in just one town. Wasn’t the darkness “explosion” (I just can’t repeat Dean’s description!) radially emitted? Surely there were other towns in the 360 degree blast zone. To do justice to the enormity of the release, the spread of the disease should have been explored longer. Instead, this fantastic plot fizzled in just two episodes. It reminded me of how abruptly the DemonDean plotline was resolved, although there were several mitigating circumstances involved there such as Jared’s injury and the timing of the 200th episode. Absent those factors, the Darkness Disease was a tremendous idea that should have been explored much longer. Why discard a good idea so fast??

SamPraying 292

While searching for the cure, Sam’s prayer to God held a curiously specific reference:

 Sam: I am not asking you to clean up my mess.

The pre-season Threads article explored whether the Darkness was actually a “mess” God left when he and the archangels didn’t “finish the job” of destroying the Darkness in the first place. Sam brining up this phrase calls attention to this possibility. This is definitely something we want to listen for in the future.

BabyCrib2 93

As far as Amara, the baby, the girl, eating souls, throwing possessed blocks across the room with ominous messages… you are on your own. Sorry, but I just can’t write about those things. They seriously creeped me out. In ten years I have never, ever been bothered by a Supernatural episode but this episode hit too many of my hot spots. It went way too close to The Omen with religious bastions being trashed by a demonic, horrifying child. I had nightmares both Wednesday and Thursday night, after the initial airing and my rewatch for this article. To write about it means I would have to allow the images to roll around in my mind, analyzing, considering – touching both logic and imagination. I just can’t. My throat has tightened up just writing this much.

05

It is interesting that Amara won’t hurt Dean, and supposedly visa-versa, though. How isolated and desperate must he feel, hearing that the child “likes him”? Hopefully, the little girl grows into an adult soon. I can deal with sultry woman in plunging necklines seducing Dean. So let me turn my thoughts to brighter subjects… like Crowley!

It’s About the Souls

You throw away your life because you've come to assume that it will bounce right back into your lap. The human soul is not a rubber ball. It's vulnerable, impermanent, but stronger than you know and more valuable than you can imagine.... Right now you're digging at something. Intrepid detective. I want you to keep digging, Dean. It's about the souls. – Death, 6.11 Appointment in Samarra

03

What are Crowley’s plans for Amara? With his scheming, manipulative mind, he has some plan. He was his evil self when he sacrificed innocent victims to sate Amara’s hunger for souls yet he helped Dean understand Amara’s threat:

Ancient, world shattering evil.
and
That thing. It’s Old, Deep, Dark.
When Dean asked if Crowley was offering to kill Amara, Crowley responded:

It’s a promise, right after I’m done with her.
That could be very useful!

DeanCrowley 521

Of course neither Crowley nor Dean could kill the other, realizing they still might need each other in the future. After all, while “ally” is probably too strong a word, they have a long history of working together for their mutual benefit.

Crowley’s duplicity is genius.

Castiel and Heaven

CasTorment 199

Hannah: “This isn’t how we do things”
I thought it odd that Hannah didn’t answer Castiel when he prayed to Heaven in last week’s premiere episode. I should have paid attention to that instinct! It turns out that she did hear him, but instead of sticking to the rules she so arduously championed in prior years and imprison Castiel for his “transgressions” or help cure him, she schemed with the two despicable angels and either allowed, or ordered, Castiel to be tortured.

Castiel: Why Hannah? We were friends.
Hannah: That was before you freed Metatron. Before…

Wasn’t she the one who insisted that Metatron be imprisoned, yet she doesn’t extend the same due process to her “friend”?  Wasn’t she the one who was willing to free Metatron in exchange for Castiel’s grace? It was Castiel who insisted that this not be done. Now she literally and figuratively turns her back on Castiel because he freed Metatron?

Hannah 368

This was a shocking betrayal that added to the intense emotion of Castiel’s isolation and desperation. She had also initially been very eager to track down and punish all the rogue angels. Cas repeatedly advocated tolerance and peace (remember those two fishing/hippie angels?). Based on her time with Cas on Earth and her decision to release her vessel and return to Heaven, it seemed she had grown in her independent thinking and loyalty to Castiel. Obviously, when the pressure rose to a whole new level, though (“Alarms that haven’t gone off since…ever”), she regressed to group think, or she caved to peer pressure.

The angels talked about taking a vote. Even though Hannah had grown into a leader and ingratiated herself to us by her displays of friendship with Castiel, she had gone along with the crowd and abandoned him once before, when Metatron broadcasted his condemnation of Castiel. It was very disappointing and surprising that she walked out on Cas with the other angels then, so her recent betrayal actually was consistent with her early character. It was really a shame that Castiel lost his only ally in Heaven and a friend he had come to trust, and the show lost another recurring female character. Still, her character was nebulous and she was now portrayed as a male, so while I feel bad for Castiel, I don’t personally feel a loss.

Her betrayal also showed us the smart, courageous, tactical warrior that Cas used to be, because even he was bleeding, in pain and exhausted, he was smart enough to figure out the sting and overpower his captors.

CasCap 427

Misha superbly portrayed Castiel’s pain, exhaustion, confusion, hurt feelings, humility, spell-induced rage and strength, and a variety of other emotions.

CasUnderstanding2 395

This episode gave him a chance to play something beyond Castiel’s stoic, naïve, straight-man role...with great results.

Curiosities

SamMeds 101

- Why do you think they showed Sam taking medication? Aspirin for a headache when Black Evil is taking over his body?

- SmartSam built a do-it-yourself Taser!

- Pudding!? What was with the pudding? That had to be an easter egg just for the fans.

- “Put a bullet in me and then eat one yourself” was very reminiscent of “Croatoan”

- How did they get Castiel’s trench coat off of him with his arms bound above his head? It was on him when they awoke him, but off of him during the torture.

- “Who we gonna call? Ghostbusters!” Great Line.

- Why would Sam and Dean go back to the bunker when they knew that Amara’s last location was gramma’s house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Did Dean conclude that Crowley took her? Considering she was just walking down the street barefooted, Dean would probably have been able to find her with just a drive through town.

- Sam revealed that he still believes he is the lesser of the two brothers, saying “Dean deserves better, Dean deserves a life.” Oh Sam.

So…

What did you think of this episode? Please tell me I’m not the only wimp in the SPN Family who was scarred for life (or at least days) by this episode! Am I totally nuts with my theory on Death? Cleaning up messes? How about visions and misdirected prayers? Have any ideas about Crowley’s plans? Your turn!

Screencaps courtesy of http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk
Research confirmed with www.supernaturalwiki.com




Comments  

Jen
# Jen 2015-10-16 21:55
Thanks Nightsky a great article - WFB writers never fail us with their indepth writing Thankyou
I have asked for some help on understanding Amara on other threads - so I have decided to give up on this story and concentrate on other areas of this faboulous show. I feel I'm missing to much worrying about a character who in time will reveal itself. I believe its the challenge of getting something right that pushes you on with Amara.
Eleven yrs we keep getting told that Supernatural has been running - S9/10 where a little down lots of hits and misses but I blame the story line for that I think they (the writers) just weren't sure where they were going S11 has started with a huge bang and it feels like they have come full circle. S1-S5 part 1 -- S6-S10 part 2 Now a fresh start with S11 lets up our game. If the rest of the season goes the way it started we will be in for one HELL of a ride. So many stories, so many directions and they are blending everything together perfectly. I love plenty of screen time with the Boys, but they are incorporating Cas & Crowley into the mix so well that you don't even notice its so smoothly done. The tension is back, the frights are back, the "what the hell" is back, the headache as to whats going on is back having to wait a week to find out is back and its killing me. Loving the strong, intelligent, sensitve, smart Sam at last my boy is back. Dean the jokster covering his pain and confusion with food and drink and jokes -- fantastic.
Crowleys back nasty King of Hell his Love/Hate relationship with Dean is acted and scripted perfectly. And Cas poor Cas still a lost little angel, so confused so hurt he needs the Boys more now than ever and he has reached out to BOTH of them wonderful. It will be interesting when Rowenna is thrown into the mix. She has no past with the Boys (like Crowely) so Row is going to be a threat, she doesn't care who gets hurt as long as she is on top. In my eyes Rowenna can be more evil than Crowely.
The character changes and story archs for the four main characters is moving along at a good pace, I believe we will see the communication between Sam & Dean gradually get better over the course of the season the time needs to be right so does the situation, Sam has already shown interest with Dean's mention of a vision this may lead to Sam at some point chatting to Dean about his.
I can't speculate on Amara and Dean's connection at the moment because I have no clue. Except maybe his first vision of her was of the future, and she just wonted to let him know who she was, it has caused conflict with Dean knowing he has some connection with this evil being, maybe his own inner Bad/evil is the connection. We have seen Dean question himself many a time as to how Good/Evil he is. If the baby is the grown up Amara and needs to eat souls to evolve at what point does she stop eating souls and become The Darkness I have no clue. Sam his visions are horrendous and I hope he has the strength to fight through. I think it could be Lucifer trying to mentally connect -- don't know. Love Billie good/bad, God/Death, don't know Hope we see more of her. Sooooo much happening, we just need to keep chatting and hope together we come up with some great thoeries. Ohh the void or the nothing Billie spoke of, Yes I do think this may have been where death would have sent Dean. And it could have been a motivational speech to Sam from Billie. Look/listen/slo w down and think or else this is where you'll end up.
On more thing Billie said that Death thought it was funny when the boys kept coming back. But in S6/S7? when they summoned Death he said that they were a afront to the natural order of things. To me Death didn't find Sam & Dean coming back all the time funny He was really pissed. ??
Nogadamo Bhitia
# Nogadamo Bhitia 2015-10-16 22:21
What a great review. These first two episodes brought back to me that Supernatural is a horror show. It felt good to be scared again and you described my reactions/frigh t/nightmares perfectly.

Crowley is back being the awful evil thing we expect a demon to be, while continuing to be the efficient administrator we know him to be-I thought the exorcist services he provides was genius.

Angels are back to being dicks. Tricky ones. Cas is back to figuring things out for himself.

Dean is back to being a wiseguy. And Sam is back to being smart.

This season is starting out great!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-16 23:03
I think Death has a fondness for the brothers. He has helped them out almost every time they get into a jam that requires the most powerful force in the universe bar God. Death always helps them out. I don't know what his endgame was but if he is dead I don't think that was it.

When Billie told Sam he was unclean in the biblical sense did she mean Demon Blood? And why visions of being tortured in the Cage? Was that God or Lucifer trying to warn Sam about the Darkness? And what did that mean!!


My understanding was that Cas took away Sam's crazy not his memories. He has made reference to his cage match a few times since Cas cured him. I think his memories of being tortured could possibly be Lucifer trying to connect with Sam. Maybe that Lucifer and Michael can help them with the Darkness since they know how to defeat it. Do you think that the Mark was removed from Lucifer too after Rowena's spell? Maybe now Lucifer isn't crazy anymore.

Did we see Dean look at baby Amara's shoulder? 3rd watch Dean did look at the Mark. Maybe that is why he lingered out in the yard with Crowley. To give Amara the chance to feed on Jenna's soul. Otherwise it didn't make any sense to me that Dean was chatting in the yard when Crowley warned him of the Dark evil in the house.

I agree that the cure for the Darkness Disease was solved to fast. I could have skipped the over long torture scene with Cas (that really didn't seem to have much point) and spent a little more time on working out the cure. Billie gave Sam the clue for the cure not God. After being so menacing why would she do that?

The Empty has all kinds of possibilities. Is that where the Darkness needs to go? Will that be the solution (thank you Sugarhi) to containing it again? Or will one of the brothers end up there in order to resolve the D? You know either one would sacrifice themselves for mankind.

I like the beginning to this season so far. I liked the skewed reality of the first episode and I like that Sam was still dealing with that in the town.

Not sure what is going on with Dean yet. I don't get why Dean didn't kill Crowley. What benefit is there to him being alive now?

I am going with Crowley won't kill the Winchester's because they always seem to bail him out when he tries to control beings more powerful than he is. He always fails at that.

So far so good.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:06
Quote:

The Empty has all kinds of possibilities. Is that where the Darkness needs to go? Will that be the solution (thank you Sugarhi) to containing it again?
This is an "OF COURSE!" observation. It makes perfect sense!
Quote:
Do you think that the Mark was removed from Lucifer too after Rowena's spell?
Yes, I do. If the "key" was still on Lucifer's arm, the Darkness would not have been able to get out. That would give a good explanation why the voices from the Cage were suddenly awakened and how they knew the Darkness was released.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-10-17 05:52
The answer who sang the song. It was the actress herself.
Holly Ollis: The lovely @_LisaBerry is also the amazing voice singing “O Death” in the new #Supernatural promo!

She gave us another sample in her twitter: Berry singing ("https://soundcloud.com/lisa-berry-live/brothel-song?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_content=https://soundcloud.com/lisa-berry-live/brothel-song")

I had no trouble with Crowley and Dean going outside. Things seemed calm in the house. I mean they were having tea and Dean wanted to know what was Crowley doing there. And it was a baby. I think Jenna didn't give Dean details yet about the trouble. The baby was only moving blocks? Doesn't sound life threatening for me. (Seeing it is another matter). So Crowley gives detail what he feels about the baby. They wanted to help the baby like Jenna said not think of it as threat. They were thinking it is a demon possessing a child at first. Dean checked the baby when they got back in and he saw the mark only then. Then they headed to find Jenna.

I think Dean did have intention to kill Crowley but in the scene he stopped. Of course there is the reason that all love Crowley and Sheppard but also they must know in the back of their minds "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" Dean was upset about Jenna but it was also tactical decision and he needed to check on Amara fast. Also I think Dean thought Crowley took the baby. He didn't see her grow up and walk out. So he had no reason to go look after her. Watching the scenes here again while writing. :)

I would have liked the cure also take some time but there was the "time is of the essence" factor playing. They have said they are not having the boys infected or invaded by anything this season. Sam was fighting against time and he found a cure. Of course it wasn't immediate so it was not like with a snap of his fingers and they had shown people dying fast to the cure. Prolonging it like weeks would have felt silly.

I felt for Cas with the torture because torture is nothing people should stand. It is tough to watch and that is the point. I am sorry for Hannah because the new vessel did pretty good job playing her and now Cas lost the only friend he actually had among the angels. It made me also think a bigger reason. As we have gotten hints about that Michael or Lucifer might help with the TD or know about it. Maybe Hannah's demise made a room to another step in who actually would put heaven in line (and maybe they have had time to think about the error of their ways). Maybe releasing the darkness released Lucifer from his human hate and he knows now what he has done. Also, we need at least 5 angels that are like Billie male/female with them/against them or else the angels can begone. Cas is better off with the Winchesters. I think the bridge has been burned, build up, burned, stomped on the ashes and blown to the wind already. And I might just kill someone if Metatron returns to lead the angels.......

Babies/children scary so I understand your nightmares Nightsky. ;)

Also I were talking with friends about the empty/void. Maybe that is the place where also angels and the monsters that die in Purgatory ends up? I have had theory that they just cease to exist and The Empty sounds like that. I mean angels are not meant to die so God probably didn't think they need a place where they go after dying. (Also, death might be there if he is dead as he is said to be "The angel of death") I can't see Death ending up in Purgatory.

I think Castiel's trench coat has magical abilities... People has also talked a lot about Castiel/angel getting in the bunker afterwards. I think he might have stayed close by to it/stole a car and drive to there (causing probably few accidents on the way) But they also pointed out how an angel could get in the bunker. Cas has been there many times and in season 4 when Castiel appeared they did say that nobody knew about angels and that they existed. Demons of course did but as they were keeping to themselves in heaven they were not a threat. So, bunker was not warded against angels because they didn't exist (demons were also surprise to the MOL) And the attack dog spell effects only Cas so that goes there too.

Liked your threads article!

- Lilah
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:07
Quote:
Cas has been there many times and in season 4 when Castiel appeared they did say that nobody knew about angels and they existed. Demons of course did but as they were keeping to themselves in heaven they were not a threat. So, bunker was not warded against angels because they didn't exist
OK _ I buy that explanation!
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-10-17 06:41
Thanks for the review.

Agree with the canon clarification thing with the Reaper, though I actually did like her. To me she may be giving away the whole of the solution to the darkness as well as trying to give a sense of consequences to what the boys may do. Seeing how it has gotten to the point of a joke that the boys can threaten to come back and everyone knows they will.

Amara in Dean's vision says she didn't know Death, which would make sense if she was older than him or technically not alive. Billie told same that the one universal truth was you live and you die and there is now something called the empty which is neither heaven, hell or purgatory. Amara took a baby, which both Dean and Crowley said can be killed, I'm guessing the darkness did it to look around and learn about where she was. But does that mean she is now under the same universal law that Death said was applicable to even God? She lives in that child so she can die and so the empty is where she will go?

Also I don't think Sam thinks he is the lesser brother here - I think he no longer thinks he is a victim of everything else around him so to speak. That is interesting and in effect gives him equal motivation as Dean - his own guilt and trying to protect his brother and really good as it makes him feel more part of the action and give us more of his POV without it devolving into him trying to prove he is good enough in Dean's or anyone else's eyes or he just wants to show how sorry he is for it. A Sam who was holding on to others being as responsible for the darkness or wanting to redeem himself for his actions with it, well story wise I couldn't see him being as invested in trying to save people from it, to the point he'd build his own taser to subdue rather than just try and shoot one in the leg. But this Sam who freely says he released the darkness to save Dean and that it was on him and not Dean. Yeah I can see him working tirelessly to put things right simply for the sake of trying to save people and minimise the risk for others from the thing he helped release.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-10-17 11:54
Wow, you were really creeped out by this one Nightsky. I liked these first two episodes; all of the storylines were engaging and kept things moving along.

Some random thoughts....

Were all the rabids trying to get to the baby to feed it? We know the rabids had a limited shelf life; maybe that was their purpose, to get infected, infect others, then die so their souls could be fed to the baby until it was old enough to feed for itself?

I really do think Death is dead. Why would Billie lie about this? And, while Death was annoyed at Sam "standing him up", and he was pissed at the brothers from time to time, he also viewed them as a source of amusement and entertainment. Deep down, I think he begrudgingly respected them as well; he came to reap Sam's soul in person, after all.

Billie's use of the term unclean was interesting and very "Old Testament". Unclean is used frequently and typically means that it's unfit to use in worship of God. It can also mean cermonially impure and not cleansed by ritual practices. The "holy oil" cure plays nicely in to that.

As far as Sam's visions, I don't think Castiel took away all of Sam's memories of his time in the cage; in The Born Identity, Castiel transferred Sam's hallucinations to himself. That was alluded to in the next episode, Party on Garth -

DEAN - By the way, how is your custard?
SAM - It's all right. It's getting better. Just wish it wasn't like the damn tape from "The Ring." I mean, I feel like I'm okay 'cause I passed on the crazy.

I always took that as meaning that Castiel took the hallucinations from Sam, but Sam still has his memories of his time in the cage. I do think the visions mean that Sam and/or Dean will be paying a visit to the cage to have a little chat with Michael and/or Lucifer; in 11.01 we found out that there's a big ruckus in the cage -

MINION 1: It's just -- something happened, sir . . . In the cage.
CROWLEY: What?
MINION Uh, they said it sounded like a frightened animal. All of hell heard -- like someone was going crazy. The rumor is that Michael or Lucifer -- one of them is trying to warn us.
CROWLEY: About the darkness. Ridiculous.

So, was this Michael trying to warn everyone, or was this the result of the Mark/effects of the Mark being removed from Lucifer by Rowena's spell? If this is the case, is this Carver trying to, for lack of a better term, redeem Lucifer? As in he wasn't responsible for his actions because he was under the effects of the Mark?

I don't think these visions are coming from the cage; if Michael or Lucifer had the ability to do that, they both would have done that before now. I do think these visions are being provided as clues by God, and ultimately all roads lead to the cage.

Carver has started Season 11 by opening up a lot of possibilities; fingers crossed he can carry thru on this and keep up the momentum.

And, while not mentioned yet, I still think The First Blade will play an important role in the Darkness mythology.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:15
Quote:
Were all the rabids trying to get to the baby to feed it?
I've thought about this. Mike saying "The Baby" could have many meanings. This was definitely a tease. They may have been wanting to feed it, or protect it, or have it among them. Don't know yet.
Quote:
Were all the rabids trying to get to the baby to feed it?
LOL! As I was writing my Death theories, I thought to myself, NJ is not going to agree with this!
Quote:
I do think these visions are being provided as clues by God, and ultimately all roads lead to the cage.
I like this idea very much. It makes sense to me.
BoGirle
# BoGirle 2015-10-17 12:12
Nice article, I love all your threads. Is it my imagination or does this season appear (at least so far) to more well thought out and organized? In season's 9 and 10 I was often confused and unsure of what was going on because the writers were seemingly not communicating with one another and there were many contradictory moments and logic fails. In the two episodes we've had so far I am still confused about many things, but not because of logic fails or inconsistent writing. I am confused because the show is deliberately stringing us along in a certain way, and that type of confusion is awesome and reminds me of seasons 4 and 5 where I was on pins and needles wondering what the heck was going on and how it would all pan out. It is my sincerest wish for this season that this tight and well thought out structure continues. (pleasepleasepl ease....) It seemed to take Carver three years to decide that his "throw something at the wall and see what sticks" approach was not working. Hopefully what we've gotten so far isn't a fluke.

A few things occurred to me: How do we know that TheD lady we saw with Dean and the baby/girl/soon to be woman Amara are in fact the same being? Speculation so far is that the baby is the human embodiment of that woman in the mist, but do we really know that for sure? What if they are two separate creatures? What if they aren't even working together? I wonder about this because TheD pre-dates humanity. She probably never saw or even knew about human being at all. If that is true (as sugar-hi mentioned on another thread) why does she need to eat human souls? It doesn't make sense that she would need to feed off of something she has no knowledge or experience of or that she needs to "eat" at all. Another thing: I think the Rabids were actually a food source for the baby and the cloud we saw was in fact only over that one town that was linked to the child's birth. Maybe the infection, which was clearly contagious, will spread and the boys will be confronted by it periodically, but the infection was only the initial issue, the boy's visions seem to be the real thread. So, while I think the cure was a bit rushed, I am OK with it because that is not what any of this is about. I really do like Billie... I hope she comes to Sam periodically to harass and eventually help him. No one can resist a Winchester. She's pissed now, but she'll come around.

I agree with you that I don't think Death is dead. I mean it really makes zero sense that he would A. be so stupid and B. go so easily. Reapers have been shown to create alternate realities to suit their needs; who's to say that Death can't and wouldn't do the same thing? Billie said that Death was "amused" with the Winchester's. Well maybe their most recent escapade with the MoC finally pissed him off and this is some kind of big lesson. I am spitting into the wind here because the whole "Dean killed Death" is preposterous, and I can't buy it. I am hoping that we will find out something more clever and plausible is going on. Maybe Billie IS Death in disguise?

Quote:
The reaper was also introduced into the scene by singing “O Death”, which is Death’s theme song (an absolutely beautiful voice and rendition by whomever sang it by the way. A highlight of the episode for me!). The singer changed keys, went flat on cue, and varied the song’s notes just enough to give it an eerie, something’s-not-right feeling.
I'm glad someone finally mentioned the changed key's in the singing of "O Death" I know I am being incredibly picky about something that means absolutely nothing, but as a musician the whole changing key thing bugged the crap out of me. I do realize that she probably had to sing that lick about 10 times over a period of several hours, but the editing of that key change jarred me right out of it. Sorry, totally irrelevant pickiness on my part.

And I TOTALLY agree with you about the baby.... ugh. The director did his level best to film the baby at the most opportune times, when she was at her most still, her most sinister looking. OY! The aging of her face was bonafide creepy! That is one of the most disturbing things I've seen on this show. I loved it. And I agree with some of the other commenters; Dean didn't know that Amara was dangerous until AFTER he talked to Crowley. So his leaving grandma and Jenna in the house with the baby did not come across as particularly dangerous to him as he did not understand the nature of the threat. Then Jenna had to die because the baby needed to feed. Her death was necessary to advance the plot and get Amara to her next stage of development. My only complain with that scene was how inconsistently the writers have been portraying soulless people; they all react differently and all but Sam are acting demonically. I wish they would stay consistent with established canon. Jared's interpretation of soullessness makes far more sense to me than for them to suddenly be viciously evil. And I also agree with someone above who mentioned that Dean does not know that Amara is no longer a baby. He incapacitated Crowley then ran to Amara to find only an empty crib. He then runs back to see Crowley has also gone. He's probably assumed that he has Amara. He did not see her grow, he doesn't know she walked out under her own steam. Still Crowley has her anyway, so Dean's basic assumption is still correct, he just won't necessarily recognize her now.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-10-18 03:01
Quote:
I'm glad someone finally mentioned the changed key's in the singing of "O Death" I know I am being incredibly picky about something that means absolutely nothing, but as a musician the whole changing key thing bugged the crap out of me. I do realize that she probably had to sing that lick about 10 times over a period of several hours, but the editing of that key change jarred me right out of it.
agree.I did not like it because of the key change.The singer has a good voice if we consider with out the key change parts separately.But yeah it was bothersome
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:24
Quote:
How do we know that TheD lady we saw with Dean and the baby/girl/soon to be woman Amara are in fact the same being? Speculation so far is that the baby is the human embodiment of that woman in the mist, but do we really know that for sure? What if they are two separate creatures? What if they aren't even working together? I wonder about this because TheD pre-dates humanity. She probably never saw or even knew about human being at all. If that is true (as sugar-hi mentioned on another thread) why does she need to eat human souls? It doesn't make sense that she would need to feed off of something she has no knowledge or experience of or that she needs to "eat" at all.
Excellent point. You have opened up new possibilities here!

Quote:
And I also agree with someone above who mentioned that Dean does not know that Amara is no longer a baby. He incapacitated Crowley then ran to Amara to find only an empty crib. He then runs back to see Crowley has also gone. He's probably assumed that he has Amara. He did not see her grow, he doesn't know she walked out under her own steam.
True.

Quote:
Maybe Billie IS Death in disguise?
OHHH!!! Jumping up and down with excitement! OF COURSE!
- That is why Billie was introduced with the "Oh Death" song, the same way Death was introduced the first time
- that is why Billie gave Sam so many hints on how to fix the mess
- that is why Billie said "the Old Death". I knew that was important!
- and I totally agree that Death could make Dean/Sam see whatever he wanted them to see.
- transcript isn't up yet and as I said, I am not rewatching, so someone please check...when Sam said "you're a reaper" to Billie, did she confirm his assumption?
-
BoGirle
# BoGirle 2015-10-17 12:12
Opps double post!
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-10-17 16:24
i noted this in the other thread...I should've just waited for you....always love reading these by the way. ;);)

i'm not sure I believe death is dead. his whole death scene was way off to me. why would death who knows all about the mark and what it wants and the end result of fratricide, simply give dean the one weapon that can kill him? like the mark would allow death to send him to planet tattooine or wherever....as of now, death being dead doesn't quite ring true.

I thought billie was a cool reaper, but I don't believe any reaper decides where souls go...that's God's decision...reap ers just reap..given that, I find her threat not merely a threat. I said it before, I think that if the darkness cannot be killed, the only option is containment.... .billie specifically said that "nobody can ever come back from the darkness"....If darkness cannot be killed, then the only option would be to send it to the empty. I think billie purposely provided sam with the answer....he just doesn't know it yet.

Billie telling sam was unclean in the biblical sense was not just a mere insult. Again, she gave sam the answer...there was no need for her to tell sam he was biblically unclean...she already had him freaked out with talk of the empty...she provided sam with the clue to help save himself and everyone else infected who was still alive.

Intentional or not, Billie's speech to sam led him to the chapel to pray. I don't think Lucifer sent sam any visions. I don't think Lucifer can answer any prayers from within the cage. seriously what kind of prison would that be if he were able to answer prayers....Why would God banish him at all then? doesn't track. I believe God answered Sam's prayer.....and why would sam have visions of his torture in hell? well, at this stage in the game carver and co. aren't going to let us see Lucifer or Michael for that matter....not this early on, not 2 eps in....but carver might drop a clue that we will be seeing Lucifer down the line...maybe more than one clue....not only has the darkness upset the cage's inhabitants...b ut now sam gets of vision of his torture and who tortured him?.......good old luci.....I think God is trying to tell Sam that the answers the boys seek lie within the cage.

I think sam took meds in an effort to slow down the process, or it's possible that the process of changing gives you a headache.

Crowley was awesome...but I think he's barking up the wrong tree much the way he did with deanmon....I think Crowley might be worried about the darkness and now it's all about survival....mak e nice with the darkness, become it's friend, it's ally...keep your friends close and your enemies closer.....she could probably squash Crowley like a bug...so my guess is...get in her good graces....i'm afraid Crowley might be in for a rude awakening....It wouldn't surprise me at all that he might end up switching back to the Winchester's side before too long.

so about the souls and the darkness....so souls are pretty much energy, power....in essence light...now we have the darkness consuming souls...why? once a person loses their soul, at least in spn world, they become dark...sometime s evil...dependin g on the individual...bu t always cold, without love, without caring....dark. ...the darkness thrives in the dark so it would make sense that she would consume souls to enhance a dark world...with dark people doing dark deeds....riddin g the world of light...of peace...of goodness....whe ther or not darkness is evil....the end result is...God created light to balance out the dark....good to balance the bad...without the light....there' s only dark/bad....hum anity is lost....there wasn't humanity in the beginning, so perhaps darkness wants it that way again...

darkness hasn't met the Winchesters. ;):D
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-10-17 19:52
What if Billie were God just manifesting as a reaper to talk to Sam?
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-17 19:57
I highly doubt it. It contradicts the whole philosophy of the show. Humans are adults, they don't need babysitting. Only minimal interference, only in situations involving humankind survival.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-10-17 22:37
The Darkness has not been freed since God locked it down, that would be one very good reason to intervene on mankind's behalf. I would hardly call it babysitting in this case. God chooses when to get involved, He works in mysterious ways. He's brought Cas back twice, saved Dean and Sam from Lucifer, brought them back after they were gunned down by Roy and Walt, powered Cas up twice... who knows why He gets involved when He does and why He doesn't at others. Facing down The Darkness ranks right up there in DefCon screwed. So yeah, I could see him stepping in in some manner like the manifestation of a reaper named Billie.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-17 23:31
Why would God/Billie tell Sam that the game was over. Next time they die it will be for good. Is it because he is tired of them screwing with his world? Or is he getting frustrated that the brothers never seem to learn the lesson he wants them to learn? Whatever that might be. I don't know about Billie being God. I think she is just one really angry reaper.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-10-18 02:04
I don't know. Why does He do anything? Maybe it's just a warning. Maybe it's His way of giving Sam the answer of what/where to ultimately put TheDarkness? If it's not then I hope she isn't Death either because that would be too obvious. Death was a Horseman. Does that mean that if Billie puts on Deaths ring (whereever it is) she becomes New NuDeath?
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-18 08:38
You are right that the Darkness as well as the Apocalypce are worthy reasons to step in, but then it was only minimal interference just enough to give the boys as the representatives of humankind in that case the chance to act as they find appropriate. But it's not His manner to clean up their mess. So it's logical if He finds appropriate to give a clue where to seek answers (like in Cage), but it's not in His manner to clean up their mess in a particular situation.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-10-18 14:44
Where did I say that God was going to or ever has cleaned up their messes?
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-18 16:54
I meant dealing with the problem in that town seems exactly like that. It doesn't have to do with the defeat of the Darkness.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:49
Quote:
I believe God answered Sam's prayer......I think God is trying to tell Sam that the answers the boys seek lie within the cage.
I like this idea better than my theory. I'm completely on board with this!
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-17 18:27
Thanks, Nightsky, a great article. Though you always write them great. Can I give a couple of considerations on this one?
These two phrases“The old Death thought it was funny.” and “I don’t know this Death, and he doesn’t know me” strongly imply that Death we have seen wasn't the first one, and won't be the last. The second is more philosophical. Logically Death exists only when there is life. So, The Darkness' words make perfect sense, if we suggest that she was imprisoned at the moment of Creation or shortly after that before God created life.
Her characterizatio n of Death’s attitude toward the boys is inconsistent with the irritation expressed by the Death that Dean supposedly summoned, casting doubt either on Billie’s knowledge of her boss, or on the legitimacy of the Death in the finale .
Or at last Winchesters got at him. They do that. That's their hereditary trait. :D

About Sam's vision. I think it was God who answered him. I think he gave a clue where he can find answers how to defeat the Darkness. Who else may have them, if not two of the archangels, who once defeated it?

Weren’t all Sam’s memories of the cage transferred to Castiel?
Not memories, only his insanity.

Considering she was just walking down the street barefooted, Dean would probably have been able to find her with just a drive through town.
That's easy. He doesn't have a slightest idea, that it is not a baby anymore.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-17 19:19
Quote:
That's easy. He doesn't have a slightest idea that it is not a baby anymore
I wonder how Crowley knew. And why did Amara need Crowley to "feed" her. She clearly knows how to feed herself.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-17 19:36
I wonder how Crowley knew
I think he noticed her, he looked at her direction, when she was leaving.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:55
Crowley found people for her. She was walking the streets but they were utterly deserted. He brought the food to her.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-17 19:38
Wasn't he pinned to the wall by an angel blade? Through his hand no less!:o
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-17 19:44
Wasn't he pinned to the wall by an angel blade?
It was later. Rewatch that scene. He was at the doors at the moment she was leaving and turned around just then. I was so impressed by the episode, that I rewathced it three times. And I never rewatched episodes before. I rewatched old seasons this summer, but all the same, three times is my personal record.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-17 19:59
I actually plan on re watching it again tonight. 3rd watch for me too.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-17 19:47
And, cheryl42, I should thank you because you were among those who convinced me to go on watching. :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-17 20:01
I'm glad you stuck with it. The show can still deliver when the writing rises to the level of the actors.:)
Jen
# Jen 2015-10-17 21:06
I'm glad to see disappointed viewers are sticking it out or even returning to the show I believe this season will be one of the best in a long while ;););)

I should wait to write my posts because reading everybody elses triggers thoughts, ideas and helps to clarify questions in my mind. So sorry if I'm back to babble.

Unless I go back for a 3rd or 4th read of everybodys ideas I can't always remember who said what So I would like to Thank one and all now and apologize if I don't put your name to what was said. :):)

Ok I have always thought Baby/ now child was a different character her name is Amara. In Ep 3 they describe her as a femme fatale with a acid tongue We never got a name with the lady in the darkness, because of the MOC on both adult and baby we jumped to a conculsion But when Dean asked the Beautiful Lady -- "Who are you" I don't think she gave a name and again Dean just assumed she was the Darkness. Could evil that has been released from the Empty as described by Billie all be marked with a brand (ie MOC) so their easly identified. ?

I personnally feel funny about the possible intro of God. I was brought up in the Catholic religon but I'm not a fanatic, I call myself more a Christian then anything. I think it may be just because it is something sacred to me. I know its a show for entertainment and should be taken that way but for some reason it makes me nervous.
Anyone else feel like this or able to explain this silly thought
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 12:59
I think you can relax. I am totally convinced that Billie is Death, not God and I now agree that God put the vision into Sam's mind, so why would God give that "sign" of hope if he intended to appear in the flesh to Sam? Anyway, the implication that Chuck is God was reiterated in "Fan Fiction" so I don't think the show would mix his representation.
Jen
# Jen 2015-10-17 21:14
PS WOW WOW Wasn't Castiel (Misha) brilliant his actor skills just blew me out of the water I have never seen him act like this and my goodness he was brilliant I honestly thought (for a moment) it was a different actor FAN FRIGINTASTIC :D:D:D
J & J are always great but they even seem more relaxed in this story line and their acting is showing this I think its true what they both have said at Cons / that the last couple of seasons didn't sit so well with them --- but now you can see how happy and comfortable they are It shines through in their perfomance.
Crowley as well seems more comfortable playing a more steadfast role as pure evil rather than a role where he is either good/bad Its wonderful to watch :p:p:p:p
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-10-18 03:06
For me the part where 'billie gives up the idea to cure the darkness disease ' is not awkward...becau se she did not and could not know that it was a cure.She kind of unknowingly gave a diagnosis with her heightened reaper senses.Sam like the time while saving anna considered Ruby's offhand comment and made it into a plan.It kind of reminded me of Agatha Christie mysteries where the detective encourages the suspects to talk and then one offhand comment points him/her in the right direction.

I think it was simply smart Sam coming into play gloriously.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-18 08:44
Completely agree. She was mocking him giving her diagnosis implying that he will be in that Empty pretty soon. It adds to the emotional impact of his prayer by the way. "let it be me, not Dean who goes into that Empty"
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-10-18 09:31
Great review Nightsky. But shockingly, I have a few thoughts to share. First off, unlike you, I loved the whole creepy baby story. One reason I have loved these first two episodes is that they are a return to the old SPN where the episodes were scary, creepy, eerie, horrifying. I hadn't realized just how tame the show has become in this regard until these eps reminded me of the show that SPN set out to be 11 years ago. I've actually jumped and been startled by a few scenes this season, and I find myself feeling tense while watching. Oddly, I consider that a good thing. I honestly can't recall the last time something was genuinely scary on the show- a long while, that's for sure. So I'm enjoying every scary and unsettling scene and image while it lasts. (Please let it last!)

Quote:
There is one major hole in this parallel that I haven’t worked out yet (do you know what it is?).
The hole that I see in your theory that Death was a MOC-fueled vision in BK is that Sam experienced the same events as Dean, and that would be a big leap in MOC canon (and I use that phrase very loosely) if it could also affect Sam. I want to believe that Death is not dead because it simply makes zero sense that he could be killed so easily. But if he's not dead, I hope they have some credible, logical reason why he's allowing the brothers to believe he is dead. Some posts have speculated that Billie is Death. But why the subterfuge by Death? It simply makes no sense. And I don't buy that Billie is really God. Every time God has helped the brothers he has gone big, not subtle. He reassembled Cas and put the boys on an airplane- he even arranged for said airplane to be playing a cartoon about the devil!:D Nothing subtle there. Moreover, I don't think that Billie was trying to give Sam a clue on how to solve the DD when she mentioned he was unclean. I took it as a dig at him. She certainly didn't seem fond of him. And he is sick or unclean in the biblical sense if he's infected by the D. I don't actually care where they go with Billie's character, I just want to see more of her.

About the Cas/Hannah connection, it didn't strike me as that odd that Hannah would allow Cas to be tortured. Yes, she wanted Metatron imprisoned rather than killed, but he never betrayed her in a personal sense the way Cas has. Twice! She declared her allegiance to him in S9 and he let her down by choosing the Winchesters over heaven and her. Then she placed her faith in Cas once again, and established a strong bond with him in S10. She even allowed him to "borrow" Metatron for questioning only and he came back brutalized. Then, in the ultimate betrayal, Cas jeopardized Hannah's seemingly tenuous grip on authority in Heaven by staging a break-in, kidnapping Metatron, and eventually allowing him to escape. Once again he chose the Winchesters over heaven, and now the angel who has caused even more damage to heaven than Cas had, is on the loose. So I think her feelings of anger are actually justified. But I still don't think she would have had Cas tortured if it weren't for the serious alarm bells ringing over the release of the D. Hannah is trying to deal with this new serious threat, she assumes (correctly) that the Winchesters are somehow involved, and she now knows beyond any doubt that Cas will not ever betray them. She gave him one last chance to do what she considers the right thing when she played good cop, hoping he would trust her. Because she does still have feelings for him. But once again he let her down. So IMO, everything that Hannah did and said made sense.

As far as the baby eating souls, I had liked the theory proposed by njspnfan and others that the D infected the people so that they would quickly die and provide food for the baby, but on second thought there is a problem with that theory. It's only one day after the release of the D and baby is already quite capable of feeding herself apparently. It seemed like she was able to gobble up Jenna's soul easily as Jenna peered down at her in the crib. Truthfully, as I said in another post, it doesn't really make sense to me that souls would be the food that the D needs, because the D existed before humans were even a glint in God's eye. But I'm willing to go along with it in the hopes that it's merely her "baby food" and won't be a continuing plot line.

One final thought (I swear!). Part of me agrees that they ended the Sam/Darkness disease story too soon, because it was so freaking awesome- every single scene was riveting, and we saw a return of the Sam I love. Smart, resourceful, caring, self-sacrificin g, putting Dean above himself. Honestly, I could watch episode after episode of that. But the show has set up so many interesting plot threads and possibilities to explore, and so many questions that they need to answer, that I can see why they wrapped this one up quickly. I would like one scene where we find out exactly what the cloud was and why it infected the people, and I will be satisfied. I don't want it to be a MOC scenario where canon was murky/ almost non-existent and we STILL don't know what all of the parameters were.
I love reading all of the theories about what the events of the first two eps signify, and going by my track record, almost everything I've said in this post will be proven wrong. But I just don't care because so far I'm excited by the show in a way that I haven't been in quite awhile. Looking forward to your next review!
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 13:15
Quote:
The hole that I see in your theory that Death was a MOC-fueled vision in BK is that Sam experienced the same events as Dean, and that would be a big leap in MOC canon (and I use that phrase very loosely) if it could also affect Sam.
Very Good! I was wondering if anyone would pick this up! Through these comments, though, I think I've worked out two possible solutions. See my reply to you below for the more detail and the solution for the theory I presented in the article. Here is the other (less likely) theory:
Dean's vision in 10.23 was created by Death, not the MoC. Death presented a "holodeck" image of himself that both Dean and Sam could see. The MoC, being fooled by seeing Death, proceeded to weave a scenario that would have ended in Sam's death. Much the same as Dean "argued" with Benny in Dean's Werther vision, Dean was fighting against the MoC's influence. The MoCDean's love of family broke through the MoC's reasoning of why Sam had to die, and Dean killed the image of Death, ending his own vision. MoC Dean was surprised because it thought it had won until that last second when RealDean prevailed.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-10-19 17:41
I would be very happy if Death is still alive, and even if he is masquerading as Billie. It's preposterous that Dean could have killed him so easily. But I want them to give a darn good explanation for his subterfuge. If he really sent a hologram of himself to engage with Dean and Sam in BK, why did he do that? what did he gain? and if that whole scenario was some kind of test for Dean, to what end? did Dean pass or fail? I hope they provide some explanation that makes sense. In the meanwhile, it really is fun seeing all of the various theories about this. I keep changing my mind about things after reading everyone else's suggestions.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-20 09:51
I am speculating that Death did not come himself because of self-preservati on. When he first arrived, he said something to Dean like "I've been burned by you Winchesters before". That is when Dean said, "Not this time. No games." I think Death understood how the MoC worked and suspected that Dean's mind might be controlled, so either didn't come at all (likely) or decided to manifest a vision to check out the situation. So many people have commented how easily it was to summon Death. I think that's because Death was nothing more than a vision. It is possible he sent the vision, which gives us the reason Sam was also able to see Death. The other (more) likely possibility is that Dean's mind created the vision. The MoC DID know all the history that Death explained about the key and the Darkness, and the MoC wanted Dean to kill Sam, so it exposed its secret (being a key to the Darkness) in order to give Dean a believable, desperate motivation for the deed - stop Sam from doing a great evil (same as Abel) and stop yourself from hurting anyone else. The one piece of info we don't have to clinch this theory is whether the MoC would be powerful enough to create a vision that Sam could also see. I say, yes.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-10-18 19:02
Hi, Samandean, agreed with you on every point. Yes, monsters used to be reall:(y creepy, and now they are more of a joke. Suffice it to compare vampires of the 1st season and the episode about that hippie-vampires in season 10. The last seemed pathetic.
Also agreed that when you said that Cas jeopardized Hannah's seemingly tenuous grip on authority in Heaven among other things. And it seems to me, it's even more here. I have an impression that Hannah lost her authority and was even suspended. It's sufficient to watch how those angels treated her. Obviously, they just overpowered her authority by their vote.
And I didn't make out any sense with that infection, something just doesn't add up, there is no need for Amara in those infected. Some other factor at play, may be?
Completely agreed with what you said about God. The same is with Sam's infection. Why to drag it out, if everything is clear. It would only dilute the emotional impact, which was impressive, to say the least (I thought it's impossible to show something more heroic, than Sam's behaviour in Reborn Identity (if leave alone the Swan Song), but they did that. And certainly I won't survive another MOC story :D
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-10-18 20:46
Hi Disgruntled. I really agree with this statement:
Quote:
Suffice it to compare vampires of the 1st season and the episode about that hippie-vampires in season 10. The last seemed pathetic.

The hippie vamps were not only pathetic, but downright boring. In fact, the only "monsters " who were even remotely chilling last season were Cain and Jakob Styne, and the latter wasn't even a monster (in the strict sense, anyway!)
But I was particularly struck by this comment:

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The same is with Sam's infection. Why to drag it out, if everything is clear. It would only dilute the emotional impact, which was impressive, to say the least
I hadn't thought about it that way, but it's so true, especially because there would have to be a number of different writers scripting the story. I thought this 2-episode arc was perfection in every way, and I attribute that partly to the writers, Carver and Dabb. Of the current crop of writers those two are far and away the best at writing Sam, (and the best overall, IMO, although they have had the occasional misstep). They give him meaty, significant scenes and dialogue, and they really seem to like, or at least "get" him. Moreover, the more you string a story out and have a number of different writers crafting it, the greater the possibility that there will be lapses in logic, canon, and emotional impact. So maybe it truly is for the best that this fantastic subplot was relatively brief.
Lilmac48
# Lilmac48 2015-10-18 20:18
Thanks Nightsky. Your review was great. Love reading the articles and responses that everyone does. They give a clarification on some things I may have missed.

Have some thoughts to share. Love your Darkness Disease classification. It's perfect. When Dean was putting items into the bag I thought it was strange he included holy oil. Not sure why I thought that. When Amara said she didn't know Death and Death didn't know her, I remembered the scene from Two Minutes to Midnight. Had to go back to reread but basically Death said he was as old as God or maybe older but couldn't remember. Her remark makes me think God was before Death as he and the Arch Angels were the ones that "imprisoned" The Darkness. Until then Death wasn't needed.
After God created the Earth and after Adam and Eve then Death would appear. He also said he would reap God. So God is still around. (I know there's been a lot of discussion on this topic. Just wanted complete my thoughts.) I'm thinking the infection wasn't connected to the Darkness. Everyone would have been infected, not just a select few. Then again I'm not sure what that was all about.

Death did say the Mark was the lock and key that imprisoned the Darkness. When it was revealed that Amara had the mark, she said she would protect Dean as he would protect her. Hopefully we'll find out sooner rather than later what this means.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-10-19 13:21
Sorry to be so late in replying everyone! I was away all weekend.
Also a note: I will be at ChiCon this coming weekend starting Thursday, so I won't be writing a Threads review this week. If there are significant myth arc advancements in 11.03, I will either catch up the following week, or combine them with 11.04.
YellowEyedSam
# YellowEyedSam 2015-10-19 13:54
It needed more time on Sam and less on Castiel. Why oh why do these writers keep ditching good ideas so fast? Its like they want to shove those filler episode in quick!