Jump the Shark
 
Nope, not yet. When a show jumps the shark, they’ve done something that has no meaning or sense in the overall premise of the show; Supernatural has not jumped the shark. Adam may be a third brother that I feared and frankly didn’t really want but I contend his life does nothing to alter my love of the show; actually it deepens my love as I want to know more. I’ll be candid; I don’t need to know more about Adam but I do need to know more about how Sam and Dean move forward with this new information. Mr. Kripke knows how to tell a very good story. 
 
Are You Jealous of the Kid? Are You?
 
Yep. These two have always known how to get at the heart of the matter; it’s what they do with it afterwards they’re still figuring out. 
 
Sam’s more willing to be open to Adam being their brother, no surprise there; Sam is usually more open-minded about things. He more readily believed in angels, more easily questioned the killing of vampires who weren’t evil but seeking to survive peacefully. Sam’s openness to Adam isn’t surprising; his willingness to turn the kid into another hunter shows how much he is his father’s son but also how much he is obsessed with revenge…again, his father’s son. 
 
Sam looks at Adam and sees ‘meat’, true, but that cuts both ways. Yes, Adam died because he had no ability to protect himself from the evil that lurked all around him; he lacked the knowledge and the skills. However, Sam wasn’t only trying to protect Adam he was trying to forge him into a weapon. Sam’s brotherly advice about hunting is a way of life clearly showed that he had no intention of simply saving Adam from this clear and present danger but rather fully initiating him into the life of a hunter with one goal, fight evil. Also, Sam’s obsession blinded him to any possibility that this was a trap.
 
Dean’s jealousy, hurt and hostility towards Adam is similarly unsurprising. Dean did worship dad and he clings to the memory of mom being the only woman for dad and of dad and Sam and him being a family.  The realization that dad had given into his pain and longing and created in some small way a haven that resembled the one he’d lost with Mary cut Dean very deeply.   Once Adam passed the tests Dean had set for him and instead traveled into the emotional arena for Dean, Dean lost all perspective on the fact that he was right all along, this was a trap.
 
The fact that Dean wanted to protect Adam from hunting shows how much Dean has come to resent the life he leads. When he argued against Sam teaching Adam about hunting, he was arguing about everything that was John Winchester, at least the John Winchester as drill sergeant that was present the majority of his life.
 
You Take It Any Way You Want:
 
Sam accepts Dean’s words in a way that I have done when I think I’ve been complimented but I’m not really sure. For the record, I don’t think Dean meant it as a compliment. I think Dean is starting to realize how much of his father he truly did not like. Dean, in my opinion, is finally reaching the point of realization that his worship of his father blinded him. 
 
Dad was obsessed. Dad did train them like warriors. Dad did hide things from them that they could have and should have known. Dad made mistakes. Dad gave in to his own weaknesses, not only with Adam’s mother but in his deal with Azazel to save Dean. In short, Dad was human, not the idol that Dean had created in his mind. When one’s idols fall, it is painful and Dean has been dealing with this for a long time, perhaps this is finally the bottom and he can start to rebuild…we’ll see.
 
Dean is not complimenting Sam; he’s stating fact.
 
Sam is willing to take it as a compliment even though he knows there is more to it. Sam has always been willing to look for the deeper meaning, the grey in between the black and white lines, however, this season we see Sam seeking to rationalize his actions and he uses both sides, black and white, to rationalize his choice of gray. Sam uses revenge against Lilith as a way to rationalize sucking on demon blood and then he turns around and states that he doesn’t want to be hunting when he’s old and that’s why he’s willing to suck demon blood. It is a slippery slope that many have fallen and never returned. Then again, as Dean said in Nightmare: “…You have something Max didn’t have…me.”  
 
Here’s hoping that’s enough.
 
Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin:
 
I’ll admit, these two aren’t my favorite writers for the show but they are growing on me; they did an excellent job here. I give them high marks that both seem to spend quite a bit of effort on researching the show itself so that they give us an episode that brings in parts from Skin and Something Wicked specifically and much of Season 1 in general. In Skin it was Dean telling Sam that hunting meant turning his back on his friends, his dreams, anything and everything but the job; here it is Sam giving that speech to Adam. In Something Wicked it is Dean telling Sam that they need to use Michael for bait; here it’s Sam telling Dean that about Adam. 
 
I think, however, Jensen needs to get these guys some cookies or cake or something as a bribe. In all three of Dabb’s and Loflin’s episodes they’ve been particularly harsh to Dean, and by proxy Jensen. Let us not forget there’s been screaming until a voice was nearly gone, there’s been gym shorts and a head band and now there’s been crawling through vents and dirt tunnels. If I was Jensen, I’d spend my vacation from the show making friends.
 
These two writers do give me some interesting things to ponder, as does Phil Sgriccia. For instance, why does the opening on the brothers show Sam staring off over a grey, desolate looking lake? Is that a hint to the bleakness of the future? Does the placement of Dean scrunched in the Impala and then nearly falling out the passenger door mean to suggest just how disconnected and uncomfortable Dean is with his life, his own self? What does the world come to when Dean can’t even find comfort inside the Impala? 
And why did Dean stare face to beak with a decorative chicken in Adam’s mom’s bedroom shortly after Adam reveals John took him to baseball games. Is that just a random prop piece or is it a hint that Dean still battles the ‘chicken’ inside of him?
 
I do like that both these writers took full advantage of this seeming monster of the week episode to further cement some pillars of the show and this season specifically. First Dean, Dean is a hunter and he is good at it; Zachariah is right. For nearly four seasons now Dean has always been able to hunt and he is good at it. Despite the emotional agony in encountering Adam Dean hunts. He finds the scratches on the bedroom floor, he tracks down leads at the bar, the cemetery and despite his sense of betrayal by dad with Adam he seeks to protect the innocent. Dean has always hunted through the pain, Home, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, Cross Road Blues, for just a few examples.
 
For Sam, this episode showcased the change in this character from Season 1, no doubt that’s why it was by design and not coincidence that Season 1 heavily influenced this episode; we were meant to see how far Sam has come, or gone or is going. This episode also sets up some future events and revelations; blood, blood, so much blood. Sam lost a lot of blood during what normally I would consider to be overly long exposition. This time the whole point of the lengthy exposition and gore was to show us the loss of blood. In other words, Sammy needs a refill. Also, the whole point of being bound by the ropes and unable to free himself drives home what Sam declared in Metamorphosis…”it only works on demons.”
 
That’s good to know assuming another brodown/showdown is coming.
 
Some other random bits that I loved for a variety of reasons: When Dean’s attention is focused on some demon using dad as bait for a trap, he’s actually rude to a comely waitress; quite unDean like. Rock, Paper, Scissors…just like in Heart, Dean always goes with Scissors. That little moment is worth several rewinds and rewatches to catch all the nuances and facial expressions, it’s also a wonderful ‘bro-moment’. Of course, the tribute to Kim Manners was fun especially since it was embedded into the episode. I have a feeling we’ll be on the lookout for little touches like that in the future. And I love the set design putting that huge painting of a lake and outdoorsy scene to backdrop Sam and Adam as they clean guns. This family is weird or cursed or unique…or freaks.
 
I do have a nitpick…and I so try not to do that but this one I found so jarring that each time it occurred it leapt out at me. The sound department is either trying something new or going for an effect I don’t yet comprehend [could be both]. When Dean grabs the paper sack of sandwiches in the back seat of the Impala, when Sam hands the computer printouts to Dean and Dean’s jacket rustles after Rock, Paper, Scissor, all were jarringly loud or over-emphasized. I don’t know what or why ‘cause I haven’t that much knowledge about sound mixing other than people do it but that was odd.
 
Jump The Shark:
 
So, what do you guys think, did Kripke Jump the Shark?
 
Are you sorry that Adam died?
 
Are you sorry that Adam was dead before we ever ‘met’ him?
 
Were you grossed out by all the blood?
 
Are you counting down until The Rapture?
 
Who dies next?
 
 

 
Elle2

Comments  

Tigershire
# Tigershire 2009-04-25 23:58
Nice review Elle2. Thanks.

I had an interesting realization after watching this episode. When we meet Sam, he's like his mother. Granted, we don't learn this until "In The Beginning" but that's OK. Then, he tried to emulate Dean - in order to make it on his own once Dean went to hell, he had to be more like him. Now, he's morphed into his Dad.

Dean seems to have taken the opposite journey. It's facinating.

I found myself liking Adam. I also knew right from the opening scene that it was Adam chasing his mom. Now, I didn't know that woman was his mother and obviously , I didn't know Adam was really a Ghoul at that point BUT, I just knew Kripke wouldn't just randomly add a Winchester brother.

Kripke is god and I have faith.

So, the surprise for me what that Adam had been a real boy and had REALLY been John's son and by that Sam and Dean's half brother. I liked the actor they got to play Adam and I think that really makes the difference on this show. Whoever they get has got to deliver otherwise they just disappear against J&J's performances.

I also picked up a bit of interesting symbolism - did you notice what was in the stained glass window that Dean smashed to get out of the crypt? An angel - angels helping Dean at every turn it seems.

I was not grossed out by all that blood, however I was shouting at the TV for Dean to hurry before Sam lost so much blood he passed out or had to be hospitalized. However, I have my suspicions about side effects of Demon Blood - demons seem to be able to heal their host bodies to some extent. Sure, Meg was smashed to pieces internally but her shell was pretty much intact. I assume Ruby's current host has a nice smooth tummy now dispite Alistair slicing her open. However, internal damage is either irparible or they just choose not to bother.

Counting down to Rapture - no, of course I don't know that there is only 6 days exactly (it's 9:00pm my time).

GRIN
elle2
# elle2 2009-04-26 13:50
Hi, Tigershire,

I agree, the actor to stand against J2 does need to have some acting chops and the casting department did another excellent joy.

Kripke and Co. have done a wonderful job over the seasons of developing Sam and Dean and each season's flip flops or character reversals are seeming to allow these very rich characters to fully show themselves.

Since neither brother has had much in the way of normalcy (even Sam at Stanford still had that really cool curved weapon thingy that we only saw briefly while he packed it in his duffle bag) which is not THAT normal, so it makes sense that it has been a slow reveal of these characters as they are transformed by what occurs in their lives.

It is interesting that Sam has gone from being like mom (unknowningly) to kinda like dad but more just because of Jessica and the sense of revenge, to emulating Dean to full-on becoming his father's son.

It's similarly interesting to note that John was the innocent who became the hunter that Samuel Campbell was. It has been said that 'we' do often marry some resemblance of our parents...appea rs that despite Mary's wish to escape the hunter life, she ended up marrying someone with characteristics of her father. Not uncommon.

Dean, Dean has always been a bit of the 'outsider' sure he's always been a hunter but he's never been at it for revenge which is very much like Mary although he never seemed to want to get out of the life but he sure wasn't like John...which is also why Dean seems to carry such a low opinion of himself (or at least it is in part). I think it was Salvation where he stated that if getting the demon was going to cost Sam his life, then he hoped they never found the things. We saw/heard it again in ELAC when Sam asked him didn't he want revenge but Dean replied that while that sounded good with no plan, no lead, no weapon what was the point. I'm not sure Dean has ever been into hunting for any reason other than it was the family business and his love for family transferred to his love for hunting.

I don't believe Dean has lost any of his love for family but I do believe he's trying to figure out a way to keep his love for family while finding a way out of hunting...not sure though.

Dean, to me, remains the one who deals with what's right in front of them ("I'm hungry now" translates to need food NOW) Also, despite his pain, disillusionment and/or shock at discovering his father had a 'secret life', Dean still dealt with what was right in front of him...the hunt.

It was a great episode and I'm so glad you enjoyed it as well. I did notice it was an angel in the stain glass window but actually just in passing. You're right, once again, another angel...they seem to be everywhere!

Thanks for the comments. You were good figuring out it was Adam chasing her...I was too busy clutching my pillow in fear...kitty no longer lets me near him on Thursday nights...HE KNOWS!
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2009-04-27 03:10
Hi Elle2,

You know, this show has never scared me in the "horror movie" way. None of the monsters, demons, etc scare me. They were gross or disgusting, but never scary. However, put the brother's relationship/lo ve for each other in danger and I am clutching my pillow and telling the TV "no".

I agree, Dean is very much the "task at hand" while Sam is the "bigger picture" or "future" thinker. You can see that reflected in Sam's acceptance that there can be Vampires that don't kill people and wanting to help folks like Madison and the Rugaru (Jack). Sure there is the whole overtone that if he can save these monsters that meant he himself can be saved, but, it's also part of his personality. He can see past the moment to the future.

Dean doesn't think that far ahead. Or he never used to until Bloodlust (Dean's sudden realization "what if we killed stuff that didn't need killing?"). For him, it's all about the job. Now it could be that it's just his personality, or, we could read more into it and suggest that Dean fears looking ahead because it means that he might have to look back and see he made mistakes and lives were lost that didn't need to be. Actually, while writing this I just had an interesting thought.....cou ld it have been that Dean didn't really "want" to find Dad? John was kind of mean to him when they met up. Barking orders and giving him crap about the condition of the Impala. John really intimidated Dean into doing what he wanted. I wouldn't be surprised if deep down, Dean hadn't really wanted to find John which is why he kept on Sam about doing the job and saving folks and they'd find Dad when the found him. Hmmm, food for thought.

Anyhow, out of the two of the boys, Dean is the more "messed up" emotionally. Sam really is who he is. Because Dean took on the role that John pushed on him (really, Dean didn't have to. He could have rebelled as well, but didn't) he gave Sam the ability to really be his own person.

Yet Sam turned out just like John anyway. And Dean, well, perhaps we might just see what he's really like as he seems to be, slowly but surely, becoming who he really is and not a shadow of his dad.

SIGH - this show is just so fascinating. I love it.
Suze
# Suze 2009-04-27 07:45
Actually I WAS scared by this one ... I don't much like confined spaces so I spent half the show hyper-ventillat ing!

I thought the first scene by the lake was a neat reversal of the old Dean's-all-chip per and Sam's-all-mopey stand-by opener, because you're right, their positions have completely switched ... Dean wants out and Sam's hell-bent ( literally! ) on revenge.

I did like Adam, both the actor and the idea that Big Daddy W had another family that the boys didn't know about. I thought their reactions were spot on. That said though, I'm not sorry that he's dead, things are complicated enough this season already!

I didn't think Dean's comment at the end was any kind of a compliment. He looked pretty damn hostile when he said it and likening someone to an obsessed bastard isn't generally going to win you any friends. I think Sam knew it was a criticism but he doesn't care, he thinks Dean's lost his steel ( wrong about that, but anyway ... ) and it's up to him to do what must be done to see off Lilith and all the nasties.

So all in all, no sharks were jumped in the making of this program and various interesting points were raised. I do think you might be getting a bit carried away about the chicken though ... so I'd better go watch it again just to make sure :lol:
vana naine
# vana naine 2009-04-27 10:13
I was scared too by this one. First time in the history on Supernatural.

Because - well, you always know, that they have to save Dean and Sam somehow (even when they are dead) and those Ordinary People... sorry, but I watch them and I see meat.
And I never bonded so hard with Pamela or even Bobby (and even as I was hurt seeing Uriel dead, it was absolutely not horror-movie-ki nd-of-fear).
But this time there was poor Adam, and as I already knew that he will not come back later, I also assumed that he is probably somehow evil or gets killed. Well, turned out, it was both. But I was _so_ scared for him. And I felt _so_ sorry we will never meet him again.
This show is sometimes cruel :|
elle2
# elle2 2009-04-27 10:24
Hi, Tigershire and Suze,

Tigershire, you have some great thoughts...I really love how you caught that whole Sam is really like Mary and it took us until ITB to see it. You know, we've been teased all along that it was Sam as Mary and Dean like Dad but in truth...seeing the development over the years and then seeing the Mary and John of ITB it's quite true how Dean was like John in 1973 but not that John that hunted and Sam was the Mary of 1973 but not so much the Mary of 1983...confused ? I am and I know what I mean. Mary grew up with hunting being the family biz and so did Sam and both wanted out. John was 'innocent' before his life changed and so was Dean. The interesting twist is how John morphed to obsessed demon hunter and Dean did not, oh, Dean played the role but even in his grief over dad's death he never played it as believably as Sam plays it, or John did.

Yeah, this show is quite fascinating.

Suze, I'm glad you were scared like me...although I don't like confined spaces I was stretched out on my floor with plenty of room so it didn't get to me but I understand how it could. The chasing and terror had me looking over my shoulder and under the couch and heck, I KNOW there's no one there; my German shepherd would tell me...when he's not tormenting the kitty who won't let me 'clutch' him really hard anymore...darn that kitty. :-)

I think you're right that it was just a random prop piece (chicken) but I thought it was so funny when I saw it, so I couldn't resist throwing that in there.

I like how you summed up Dean's non-compliment to Sam and Sam's POV. I agree.

While I find it heartening that both brothers are learning to be their own person...Sam isn't trying to pretend (too much) about who he is to Dean...except for that darn blood drinking thingy but it's gonna come out soon, and Dean is pretty much done with Sam thinking him weak or a coward...there' s still gonna be a big blowup before any true rebuilding happens.

I have a lot of faith in the direction Kripke and Co. are going though. If the past is any indication of the future they are not setting us up for a disappointment. this season all along has led to a big reveal/event/fi ght/whatever between the brothers and when the smoke clears I still firmly believe that family remains...the fact that Sam stressed it so hard in this past episode tells me he's trying to convince himself b/c I think he knows Dean's gonna figure it out sooner or later.

Yep...better go watch again, you know, research is necessary if we're gonna be dedicated. Work, work, work. :lol:
elle2
# elle2 2009-04-27 10:29
Hi, Vana Naine,

I really liked how Kripke did it...he had it be real and a trap..that's cool.

Yes, it was cruel that Adam died, and I found it extremely sympathetic the way they revealed it...the look on his face was pure terror. That drove home the point that as much as John trained Sam and Dean to be hunters/soldier s/warriors and that they were not given any chance of a life he did protect them. Their knowledge has saved them time and time again, it also puts them in a lot of danger time and time and time again so it's a double-edged sword.

I liked Adam but I also really like that we never really got to 'know' Adam...we were just played all along by a ghoul.

Yes, life sometimes is quite cruel.

:-)

Happy watching in just a few days.
Mae
# Mae 2009-07-09 20:56
Huh.. re-watching this episode, I just realized that this was the first time we've seen Dean not immediately rush to Sam's side to help him. I mean, yes, when he's beating on Ghoul-Adam at the end, he's doing it to save Sam, but he sort of lets it go on a little too long for this beat down to be _just_ about saving Sam, don't you think? All the while, his little brother is sort of bleeding to death. Heck, Sam even has to holler at Dean to snap him back to the present and get his help.

Just a thought.
Narcissus
# Narcissus 2009-07-10 00:29
Nope..definitel y no shark-jumping, only awesomeness :-) As much as I loved having Adam there, the poor boy had to die. There just wasn't room for him in the show, and if they did keep him on as a new character it would have gone against most of what I love about the show. But I did wish we got to meet the real-Adam for a little bit.

Sam and Dean's reaction to him was perfect. Sam was so eager to be a big brother, and Dean was all pouty and jealous...aaaww www..those boys will be the death of me *sigh*

Tigershire, thank god I'm not the only one :D Monsters...no sweat. Brother stuff...leaves me trembling.

Mae..I noticed that too. And I know half of Dean's reaction was about beating up the idiot who was stupid enough to mess with his Sammy. The other half, I think was obviously envy towards Adam, anger at John, and anger that he got screwed over by some evil thing. Plus the writers probably just wanted Sam to keep bleeding a little longer so he would lose more blood.

I have to say though, I thought losing all that blood would sort of 'cleanse' Sam's system a bit. But then I remembered that one drop of Azazel's blood seemed to stay in the special kids' bodies for more than two decades so I guess blood-letting doesn't apply.
Mae
# Mae 2009-07-12 20:50
Hmm, Narcissus, I've been thinking the same thing about the whole "cleansing" of the Sammy's system, and I keep coming back to the "one drop of Azazels blood" thing, too. I think the season finale sort of explains the blood thing... but since this section/article is for Jump the Shark, I don't want to give anything away that's in the future episodes for readers who haven't watched that far yet.
Doh! *slaps self in forhead* I suppose the logical thing to do would be to reread the Lucifer's Rising article and post in that section. :D