This week, since I'm on vacation for Spring Break, I'm not sure when I'm going to see "It's A Terrible Life", let alone get a review out of it!  Elle this time sent me a great write up of her reaction to the episode.  I haven't read this since I don't want to be spoiled, so thanks Elle for sending this and I promise I'll read it as soon as I watch! 

Since this seems to be a new thing for me, please note from here on out, all guest reviews are welcome.  Just send them to me in the "Contact Us" section and I'll be happy to post them.  Elle2's review last week of "On The Head Of A Pin" went over very well, so if you like reading them, I'll share them!  Enjoy everyone.  


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Thoughts on “It’s a Terrible Life” by Elle

This episode was an excellent reprieve from the heady Q&A, emotional/psychological ringer we’ve been dealt over the past few instalments of SPN. This episode made my favourites list from the teaser alone – got to love Health-Nut Dean! And this episode is now an answer to a trivia question – no Impala seen or heard. Sadness.  Corporate Dean was an interesting “what-if” scenario – what if he had been given the chance at a normal life, would he have succeeded as he seemed to in this alternate reality? I found this contrast interesting given that in the alternate reality in What Is and What Should Never Be we saw Dean as a loser (apparently a drunk one) with virtually no prospects of success. Sam was hilarious in his tech uniform. I wish we could have seen what his alternate home life was like the same way we saw Dean`s – I`ll bet it was just as entertaining. [Dean Smith and Sam Wesson – GENIUS!]

The brother dynamic was back! Even though they didn`t know they were brothers. It was a real treat to have a smiling Dean and one who meant his snarky comments. “I’m going to do a public service and let you know, you over share.” DEAN! There you are! He and Sam were great and I’d bet J2 had a lot of fun shooting those scenes. [Was I the only one who thought Sam’s tech friend was like a geeky, less-attractive, less-cool Dean in the way he was making fun of Sam and bugging him about the dreams? ]

I was delighted by the Ghostfacers – especially all the digs at “those Winchesters” and the way Sam and Dean thought they were excellent, awesome sources of information. I also enjoyed the references to past characters: Ellen, Jo, Madison (was surprised this wasn’t Jess). This episode was full of throw-backs to the early days of SPN when our boys were on the road, hunting things, without apocalypses, angels and Hellfire at their backs. I loved it. Also, the MOTW reminded me extensively of old Doctor Ellicott (Asylum) right down to his electric-finger-whammy touch.

Lots of gruesome deaths in this one, along with plenty of blood and splatter. Through the whole elevator scene where the security guard was climbing out and then stuck himself back in, I knew what was coming and boy, were those twitching legs realistic and DISGUSTING! The best thing about this episode was the hesitation and lack of usual bravado by Sam and Dean that comes from witnessing everything and then some. Sam’s face as he’s insisting he’ll stay in the elevator and wait was priceless. “Call you back” and the accompanying expression had me in stitches, especially combined with the exchange between Sam and Dean about the blood all over Sam. I’ve miss the laughs and it was good to have them back.

I enjoyed the final scene between Sam and Dean. It really drove home the juxtaposition between this season and season one – back then it was Dean who was all gung ho about hunting and Sam who wanted the “apple-pie” life. It was an effective way of illustrating the complete 180 the characters have engaged in through this season.

The reveal scene, answering the WTF? question with an Angel-Fingers moment. (I wish I could have that much power with mere touch of two fingers to someone’s forehead). Dean snapping out of the trance was abrupt and struck a chord with me – it’s not the only wake-up moment that he’ll be granted in this conversation. I had to laugh at the “why am I so hungry?!” – ah Dean, always food first. Three weeks have passed since the “incident” with Alastair (or, that was the impression I got from the episode) so Dean seems to be in better physical form and it also seemed that with distance from the incident as well as the slight mental reprieve of the alternate reality, he was a little more pre-Hell Dean and a little less Sad-Despondent Dean. I liked that the writer’s introduced another angel as a tool to snap Dean out of his pit of depression. It had to be a character that didn’t have a particular bias towards Dean one way or another and one that Dean didn’t have a certain view on either. That is was Castiel’s boss was perfect – Castiel was middle management and when there’s a big kafuffle like the drama with Uriel, the head-honcho’s step in and realign things. His speech to Dean was well put (I especially enjoyed the part about the “classic cars” and “fornication” and the expression of agreement Dean gave the camera).  At first, I took issue with his demand that Dean stop “whining” because I felt, initially, that it downplayed all the suffering Dean had endured. But, the more I thought about it, I realized it was exactly how Dean needed to be spoken to – how John would have spoken to his son – in order for it to get through effectively. It wasn’t cruel, it was effective and did what it was suppose to do.

I actually hissed at the TV when the credits came on, first because I was shocked the hour had passed and second, because I want to see Dean roar back to life like I always knew he would. This episode was a lovely treat for fans because we were given all of the elements of SPN that made us fall in love with it in the first place in addition to advancing the storyline in an it’s-about-time way. Overall, I loved this episode and can’t wait to see what’s coming next. Welcome back, Dean, welcome back.


Comments  

Suze
# Suze 2009-03-29 18:15
:D Yay! Fun episode with no heartbreak and misery and woe ( although it does occure to me that neck stabbings, decapitation and people exploding their own heads is possibly not everyone's idea of fun but never mind ... )

I didn't realise how much I was missing the guys being friends. Good stuff, especially after last weeks utter stress-fest. I feel better now, I really couldn't cope with Doomed And Dismal Dean for much longer without flooding the keyboard with bitter tears and fusing all the electrics.

All I need now is for my boss to tap me on the forehead and reveal I too have a higher purpose involving loud music, cool cars and lots and lots of sex rather than umpiring endless shouting matches between idiots about who should have parked their aeroplane where ... waiting ... waiting ... still waiting ... :lol:
elle2
# elle2 2009-03-29 20:17
"At first, I took issue with his demand that Dean stop "whining" because I felt, initially, that it downplayed all the suffering Dean had endured. But, the more I thought about it, I realized it was exactly how Dean needed to be spoken to – how John would have spoken to his son – in order for it to get through effectively. It wasn’t cruel, it was effective and did what it was suppose to do."


I agree Elle! Dean responds best to those who treat him as a grown up and give him 'what for' when he needs it. We saw as far back as 'Home' that Missouri rightly figured out that this was an emotional event for Dean and that he needed a strong hand, a bit of a stern force that kept him on his toes to assist him in that job. Missouri the psychic would readily know that that job would be painful for Dean. She played to his natural defense and allowed him to protect himself.

We saw how Ellen tried a more motherly, softer touch in ELAC and how Dean brushed it away and hardened against the emotional contact.

Missouri, like Zachariah got it right.

Like you, I knew Dean would bound back into action; sometimes we just need some healing time. Dean had at least three weeks from his conversation with Castiel to this episode, perhaps longer for we do not kow if Dean recovered fully in the hospital or not...doesn't matter either [that's what fanfiction is for LOL]

I'm eager to see where they go next.

Great thoughts, Elle thanks for sharing.
Alice
# Alice 2009-03-31 20:37
I personally loved Zachariah's entire speech to Dean. He doesn't think too well of humanity either! Or at least Corporate America. My favorite line is "Look around. There are plenty of fates worse than yours."

Great review, thanks so much for sharing!
romabelle
# romabelle 2009-04-01 21:01
I loved Zacharaiah's speech too!!! He clearly has no use for the soul-deadening pit that is the corporate world. That alone gets him my vote! And Zacharaiah understands Dean and what he needs perfectly - some TLC, some encouragement, and a little wakeup call to get our boy's mojo working again. Now if he could only have a little chat with Sam lol . . .