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12 October 2009 @ 11:47 pm
5.05 Fallen Idols: We Got Bigger Problems, Don’t You Think  
5.05 Fallen Idols: We Got Bigger Problems, Don’t You Think

Feeding off fandom,
Shallow pagan god provides
Hunter training wheels.


Episode Summary

In Canton, Ohio, Cal brought his friend Jim into his garage to admire his find: James Dean’s Porsche Spyder “Little Bastard” race car. While Jim went to fetch his camcorder to document the first time they’d fire up the engine, Cal slid behind the wheel, and then saw his breath in the sudden cold air. Jim heard the sound of a racing engine and an impact, and came back into the garage to find Cal bloodily dead in the car, looking as if he’d sustained a high speed crash despite the car never having moved.

Enroute to investigate the case, Sam questioned why they were doing it when there were bigger and more important things to do, such as find the Colt. Dean observed that they’d spent three weeks hunting the Colt to no avail, and insisted they were going to check out the case. Softening a little, he explained that this was their first case since getting back together and he felt they needed to ease into it, putting the training wheels back on their relationship. Sam, disgruntled, thought the training wheels comment was directed at him, and Dean insisted that wasn’t the case, saying they were both out of practice working together and needed the training wheels as a team. Dean said he wanted this to be a fresh start for both of them, and Sam agreed.

Posing as FBI agents Bonham and Copeland, they met obviously incompetent Sheriff Rick Carnegie, who told them Jim Grossman had been arrested for his friend Cal’s murder because it was obvious he had done it, since he was the only one for miles around. Talking with Grossman, they learned the car was Little Bastard, rumored to be cursed since James Dean died driving it. Grossman said that both he and Cal had been looking for it for years, but Cal found it first. Checking out the car in the Canton Sheriff’s impound garage, Dean hesitatingly crawled under it to get the identification number off the engine, understandably nervous since the first man killed by the putative curse, the mechanic who restored it, died when the car fell on him. Dean emerged unscathed with a rubbing of the number off the engine, and handed it to Sam to research while he went in pursuit of a beer. Sam eventually reported the car to be a fake, one with a prosaic history palmed off as famous.

That night, a Civil War scholar and Abraham Lincoln buff was murdered bloodily in his home, his head exploded as if by a gunshot but with no gunpowder trace and no bullet. The sheriff, desperately searching for a reasonable explanation, posited some professional super assassin. Questioned by Sam in his hesitant freshman Spanish, the man’s housekeeper claimed the killer was President Lincoln, stovepipe hat and all.

Back at the Nite Owl Motel, the brothers both hit their respective laptops for research, with Sam investigating the latest victim while Dean played back the video Grossman had shot of the car. Dean caught a reflection in the hubcap that looked like James Dean, in his trademark red jacket. Sam speculated that, for some reason, famous pissed off ghosts were killing their fans, since he discovered that Professor Hill, the second victim, had written four books on Lincoln, and Dean pointed out that Cal had spent 17 years of his life trying to find James Dean’s car. Trying to figure out why they would be in Canton rather than in places associated with Lincoln or James Dean, Sam discovered the Canton Wax Museum had displays featuring both historical figures. Posing as travel writers and visiting the museum, where Sam revealed his admiration for Gandhi, they learned the museum’s claim to fame was that its displays included real artifacts from the real and fictional people whose images were on display, including Lincoln’s hat, James Dean’s keychain, Gandhi’s spectacles, even Fonzi’s jacket from Happy Days. The curator reported he was working on a new display to attract kids, one featuring popular celebrities.

Planning to come back after hours to salt and burn the remains associated with the ghosts, Sam loaded weapons in the trunk while Dean filled Bobby in on the case. Sam walked in during the phone call, hearing only a snippet as Dean made reference to knowing who was to blame for starting the apocalypse. Sam challenged Dean to explain what he’d said, but Dean refused. At the museum, they tossed Lincoln’s hat into a metal wastebasket, and Dean headed to another room to get James Dean’s keychain while Sam stared down the wax figure of Lincoln. When the doors slammed and the temperature dropped, Sam called for Dean and got his shotgun ready, but the gun was ripped from his hands and he was jumped by the very solid ghost of Gandhi. Dean burst in as Gandhi was strangling Sam, but Sam managed to remind him that Gandhi’s glasses were the key, and Dean ripped them off the wax statue and burned them with Lincoln’s hat. The ghost disappeared.

At the motel, Dean packed to leave while Sam, troubled that Gandhi’s disappearance hadn’t looked or sounded the way torching a ghost usually did, wondered if something else might be going on. Sam said he thought the ghost had been trying to take a bite out of him, not just throttle him, but that would never have fit Gandhi because not only was he a pacifist; he ate only fruit. He argued that something more was going on and the case wasn’t over. When Dean refused to listen, Sam complained that Dean had first dragged him into town and now was dragging him out, and Dean said flatly that Sam wasn’t steering the boat. Questioning how long he was going to be kept on double secret probation, Sam said that he didn’t think their relationship could work any more, not the way it was going. Sam admitted understanding what he had done and said he was trying to dig himself back out of that hole, but Dean wasn’t making it any easier. He said Dean would never punish him as much as he was punishing himself, but if they were going to be a team, it had to be a two-way street. He told Dean one of the reasons he had gone off with Ruby was to get away from Dean, because it made him feel strong, like he wasn’t just Dean’s kid brother. He said they couldn’t fall back into the same rut of behavior they’d lived with before, and one part of that was Dean had to let him grow up.

Their conversation was interrupted by a phone call from the sheriff indicating the weirdness wasn’t over. Heading to the station, they found two girls claiming their friend had been abducted by Paris Hilton. Since Paris Hilton wasn’t dead, they knew they couldn’t be dealing with ghosts. Going back over the records of the previous victims, Sam realized the coroner had reported much more massive blood loss than would have matched their wounds. He did his own autopsy incisions, and found odd round seeds the size of acorns in the dead men’s body cavities. Researching the seeds online, Sam learned that they came from the Balkans, from a forest chopped down 30 years earlier. Local legend said the forest was guarded by a pagan god called a Leshi, a shapeshifter able to assume any form that drained the blood of its worshippers and stuffed their bodies with seeds. Dean postulated the Leshi could perhaps transform into the semblance of a person if it touched something belonging to the person. Sam reported the way to kill it was beheading with an iron axe.

Back at the museum, with Dean suitably armed from the arsenal he inherited from John, the brothers searched for the Leshi. Sam found the entrance to the new exhibit still under construction, a place mocked up to look like the garden of some fancy mansion complete with wax butler. Sam discovered the missing girl, unconscious but still alive, bound to a fake tree. An invisible force yanked the axe from Dean’s hand and buried it in another tree, and the Leshi in the form of Paris Hilton attacked, knocking Dean down and flinging Sam against the pillar of the exhibit’s house.

The brothers woke tied to two more trees in the museum exhibit, with the Leshi honing its Paris nails on a wickedly long knife. Seeing them conscious, the Leshi taunted that it would be good to do the ritual right and dine off them slowly instead of indulging in the quick “fast food” deaths it had taken lately. The Leshi said people had adored it once, but since its forest had been cut down for a Yugo plant, it had wandered hungry and scared, scrounging for scraps, until the best thing ever happened: something triggered the apocalypse, and the Leshi decided that all bets were off and it didn’t have to be careful any more. It found adoring fans frequenting the wax museum, and took what it could get, taking on the celebrity form appropriate to the fan so it could feed off the human. The Leshi chided them about how far humans had fallen, to go from worshipping gods to human celebrities.

Dean observed the Leshi couldn’t eat him because he wasn’t a fan of Paris Hilton, and it responded that it wouldn’t have a problem because it could read his mind and knew who his idol was: his father. Since John had owned the axe Dean carried, the Leshi reached for the axe haft, intending to transform into John so it would have the ability to eat Dean, but Dean broke free of his bonds and tackled the thing. Despite it still being in the form of Paris Hilton, the Leshi was getting the better of the fight when Sam also managed to break free. Grabbing the axe just as Dean landed a blow that flipped the Leshi aside, Sam swung the axe to behead the Leshi. In a moment that felt almost normal, Sam teased Dean about having been whaled on by Paris Hilton.

Packing the car to leave, Dean told Sam he’d been thinking about what Sam had said about Dean keeping too short a leash on him, and confessed that Sam might be right. He admitted he wasn’t innocent in the whole affair, acknowledging he’d broken the first seal, and when Sam quickly excused him by saying he hadn’t known, Dean pointed out that Sam hadn’t known about the last seal either, and neither of them would have guessed that killing Lilith would be a bad thing. Dean said the point was he’d been so worried about watching Sam’s every move that he hadn’t seen what his obvious vigilance and mistrust were doing to Sam, and for that, he was sorry. He asked Sam where they would go from here, and Sam advocated grabbing whatever was in front of them, kicking its ass, and going down fighting, not wringing their hands over destinies they might not be able to change. Dean agreed he could get on board with that, but Sam insisted they do it on the same level. Dean agreed, and then offered Sam the keys to the Impala, asking if he wanted to drive. Sam hesitated, wondering if he was serious, and Dean said he could use a nap. They drove off with Sam behind the wheel.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

To my mind, this was unquestionably the weakest episode so far this season, although the brotherhood aspects of it were its best feature. It advanced the relationship between the brothers in a positive direction, but did an unusually clunky job of getting there. In this single analysis, I’m going to look at Sam’s perspective, Dean’s perspective, and what the differences between them mean for the brothers’ relationship.

You’re Gonna Have To Let Me Grow Up, For Starters

Both of the brothers brought a lot of baggage into the resumption of their partnership, and the strain showed. Still plagued by his own sense of guilt and shame for having been duped by Ruby into killing Lilith and bringing on the apocalypse, and fearing that what Lucifer predicted might be inevitable, Sam saw accusation and blame in many things Dean said and did, irrespective of whether or not Dean actually meant it. For his part, consumed with the need to save both Sam and himself from the future he’d seen and still feeling unable to trust Sam after the way Sam had lied to him and favored Ruby, Dean became even more autocratic than he’d ever been before, riding close herd on Sam, insisting on giving all the orders, and forcing the two of them into the older brother/younger brother pattern of their youth. The joy of this episode was that they pushed through those things to achieve a new understanding and to agree tentatively on a new course of action: trying to approach the fight as equal partners. I fully expect this is going to take a lot more time and effort and see a lot of missteps along the way, but this confrontation laid the groundwork for a healthier future.

This episode began with the brothers having been back together for three weeks, but with their time having been spent in searching for leads to the Colt, not doing active hunting. Their teamwork hadn’t been tested on the battlefield. Not surprisingly, inaction grated on Dean, and he jumped at the chance of an old-fashioned hunt. His interest in pursuing the case was not only characteristic of his impatience with research, but demonstrated one of the key differences between the brothers at the beginning: Sam was focused again only on the big future picture, the main hunt, while Dean still wanted to save people and hunt things along the way. That was the same pattern we saw between them all the way back to first season’s Dead In The Water. By the end of the episode, with his resolution to grab whatever was in front of them, kick its ass, and go down fighting, Sam had apparently adopted Dean’s family business approach to dealing with the apocalypse: don’t obsess over the big picture, but do whatever you can with what’s right in front of you. That was a big change, and one I think will play into the brothers continuing to hunt mundane monsters as well as apocalyptic ones.

We saw from Dean’s behavior how much he had cracked down on Sam following his loss of trust in season four. Dean gave the orders. Dean chose the course. Dean issued the assignments. He was more stubborn and dictatorial than we had ever seen him. He’d always had those tendencies; think back across the seasons and you’ll see them, from things like his “big brother is always right” statement in Something Wicked through his adamant refusal in No Rest For The Wicked to let Sam try to save him using his powers. Dean’s attitude is understandable in the context of the Winchester family, where he’d been not only older brother but also in loco parentis for John all those times John was away on the hunt. We also learned from John’s admission during In My Time Of Dying that Dean had done his best to care for both John and Sam, as if he had tried to fill the nurturing hole left by Mary’s death. Dean’s role with respect to Sam thus wasn’t just an older brother, but a parent, and one of the hardest things a parent has to do is let go and stand back to give a child room to grow into himself by making his own mistakes. A child who isn’t given the chance to stand on his own, even though standing brings with it the risk of falling and getting hurt, never matures into an adult and never realizes his own strength – including the strength to know when to ask for help, something Sam is still trying to figure out.

Before the fractures between them in season four, Dean had been yielding more to Sam, learning gradually to accept Sam – especially in the second and third seasons – as a full partner, not just his kid brother. He still laid down the law on some of Sam’s decisions, most notably forbidding Sam from using his powers to save Dean from his deal, and he couldn’t stop himself from believing that Sam’s welfare was his responsibility, but he had to accept that Sam would have to continue without him once his deal came due. When he made it back from Hell, however, he saw where Sam’s decisions, made in his despair, had led him – trusting Ruby, drinking demon blood for strength, honing the very skills Dean feared – and his knee-jerk reaction was to try grabbing back the reins to control his brother again. That didn’t work precisely because Sam had gotten the feel for making his own decisions and valuing his own autonomy, and because at the time – from Sam’s perspective – what he was doing, exorcising demons with his mind, was working. Sam resented Dean’s flat assumption that Dean was right and Sam was wrong, and Dean couldn’t put his objections into a dispassionate, rational framework that Sam would find persuasive, especially not once addiction colored Sam’s reasoning. Their inability to communicate fed into Ruby’s plan to break them apart.

Dean trying to reassert his parental-style authority now as the basis for the brothers’ reunion was both a callback to the only pattern Dean knew and an indication of just how much he felt he couldn’t trust either Sam or Sam’s judgment after what Sam had done. It had nothing to do with blame for the apocalypse and everything to do with Sam not only having made choices of which Dean disapproved, but having hidden and lied about them. As Sam observed, however, the parental authority mold was already a broken pattern. It wouldn’t work because it would simply trigger all the same old resentments over again, with the same results. With the demon blood and demon powers out of the equation, however, both brothers have a fighting chance to reason with each other and be able to hear each other out. I give Sam full props for having the courage to lay it on the table, and Dean full credit for thinking about it rather than rejecting it out of hand. It took both of them to build that bridge from their two sides of the chasm.

Along the way, both brothers made apologies for some of the ways they’d hurt each other. Sam owned up to having done wrong and understanding that he needed to demonstrate that Dean could trust him again. He’s done a lot in that regard already by adopting his new policy of openness and truth. The secrets he’d kept for the past two years and the lies he’d told to keep them were, in my opinion, the biggest factors driving a wedge between him and Dean. Dean, in turn, apologized for not seeing how he was hurting Sam in being so watchful as to imply that trust could never be regained, and began to open their work relationship to change by asking Sam where they would go from here and agreeing to the equal partnership terms Sam set. More than that: in offering the keys to the Impala and letting Sam drive while he proposed to sleep, Dean made a first tentative overture of personal, emotional trust and support in the most concrete way he could.

There are still things unspoken and unresolved, but these first steps by both brothers laid the essential foundation on which more of their partnership and brotherhood can be rebuilt. I see two more essential things that have to be brought out and resolved before the air can be fully clear, however, one from Sam and one from Dean.

I would maintain that, as part of his growing up (and notwithstanding what Lucifer says), Sam still has to get over thinking that everything is about him. Twice in this episode we saw Sam automatically assume that Dean was criticizing or blaming him. He did it in the car when Dean made the comment about them needing training wheels, and he did it again when he walked in on Dean’s phone conversation with Bobby. Dean’s frustrated exasperation in the car when he emphasized that both of them needed training wheels, not just Sam, suggested to me that this wasn’t the first time Sam had jumped to the conclusion that Dean was needling him when that hadn’t been Dean’s intent. I thought Dean’s refusal to explain what Sam had overheard in the phone call with Bobby was most likely more of the same. Unlike Sam, I didn’t assume that Dean had spoken disparagingly to Bobby of Sam being at fault for starting the apocalypse; I think it’s more likely in fact that Dean was blaming himself, blaming them both together (along the lines of his comment in Sympathy For The Devil that they had made the mess and they would clean it up), or blaming the angels and demons alike. What I read into Dean’s refusal to expound on what he’d said was that, fully as much as Sam was getting tired of justifying himself to Dean, Dean had had enough of trying to justify himself to Sam when it was clear that Sam would impose his own judgments and beliefs on what he thought Dean had said and meant. Sam accepted only grudgingly Dean’s assertion that the training wheels comment was intended for them both; I don’t think he would have believed Dean at all had Dean said his comment to Bobby hadn’t been about Sam, so Dean chose not to waste his breath.

I’m not slamming Sam for doing this; it’s a human thing in which we all indulge. When we feel guilty, embarrassed, or ashamed, those negative feelings are at the top of our minds and we tend to project them on others because they are so overwhelmingly obvious and important to us. We project them most strongly when the opinions of others matter most to us. If we feel badly or uncertain about ourselves, we believe that everyone else must see us that way, too. We walk into a room and get the immediate feeling that everyone there is looking at us and seeing our guilt, our embarrassment, or our shame; we hear a conversation broken off and immediately assume that it was about us, something disparaging that touches on what we think or feel, what we’ve done, or how we look. Most times, the truth is that what is so overwhelmingly obvious to us hasn’t even registered on other peoples’ radar and wouldn’t matter to them if it did. But particularly if their good opinion is important to us, we find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t see the worst of us as we sense the worst of ourselves.

For as long as we’ve known him, Sam has always projected his feelings onto Dean. In the first two seasons, we saw Sam reluctant to tell Dean about his visions and admit his feelings because he was afraid Dean would look at him differently – as he was looking fearfully at himself – and would reject him, and not love or trust him any more. Even after it became clear that Dean wasn’t about to abandon him and had come to his own terms by determining to save Sam, Sam didn’t trust Dean’s love to be strong enough to deal with Sam’s difference. Ironically, it wasn’t the powers or having been fed demon blood as a baby that mattered to Dean in the end; it was Sam trying to hide the things he thought Dean wouldn’t be able to accept. The lies and the secrets destroyed more trust than Sam being a demon’s pawn ever did.

If he’d thought about it, Dean might have realized that he had behaved the exact same way with John. We saw in Something Wicked that Dean believed John had looked at him differently after the night his lapse of duty had nearly gotten Sammy killed. We and Sam both realized, watching Dean admit the pain of the past, that Dean’s perception that John was disappointed in him had driven his determination never to fall short again. What John actually felt wasn’t the point. Dean projected his own knowledge of his failure onto his father’s reaction, and believed that his own crushing guilt was the measure of his father’s disappointment in him. Dean’s need for John’s love and approval fueled every decision he made, everything he believed, everything he professed, right up until he confronted the memory of John within himself during Dream A Little Dream Of Me. When he could see his father’s flaws and understand that he had let those flaws drive his own feelings and his own life, he was finally able to assert himself and claim his own feelings and his own worth in his own eyes. That was a critical moment in Dean’s maturity.

Now it’s Sam’s turn. For most of his life, Dean’s love and approval mattered as much to Sam as John’s love and approval mattered to Dean. Before Sam can see Dean as he truly is and assert himself fully as his own man, he needs to stop projecting his feelings onto his older brother and see what his brother really feels. They’ve both said and meant the words about not blaming each other for their respective parts in bringing about the apocalypse. (Let me interject here that I was absolutely delighted to learn Dean had told Sam about having broken the first seal – never happier to be proven wrong! – but I really hated both that we didn’t get to see that happen and still don’t know for sure when it did. I hope they fix that …) Dean has said and meant the words apologizing for not having seen how he was hurting Sam by the distrust evident in the way he was watching everything Sam did. Now Sam needs to stop assuming that he knows what Dean thinks and feels, when what he’s still really doing is projecting what he’s afraid Dean thinks and feels. Sam was able to accept Bobby’s words at face value when Bobby said he wouldn’t cut Sam loose; he needs to learn to trust that Dean’s heart lies behind his words the same way that Bobby’s heart does, and to stop putting his own doubts and fears in the way.

Dean, for his part, needs to be honest with Sam about his own feelings. He’s been straight up about not blaming Sam for breaking the last seal, but he needs to be as honest with Sam as Sam was with him about the things he does resent, about the things Sam has done that have and do hurt him. As much as Sam resents being treated as a child, Dean resents being treated as an idiot. As much as Sam is hurt by distrust, Dean is hurt by denigration and belittlement. I think it still rankles that Sam more than once dismissed Dean as weak and holding him back. Most of all, however, I think it hurt Dean that Sam didn’t trust in his love. Even when he feared disappointing him, Dean never doubted John’s love; you only had to watch how he walked across the room into his father’s arms in Shadow to see how unquestioning his acceptance was. Dean’s love for Sam was fully as absolute, so I think Sam’s doubt in his love has been a knife in his heart, especially when he’s seen Sam accept Bobby’s love without question.

Dean also has to concede that he can’t control Sam even to protect him. He has to let Sam go and trust that reason will sway him where orders cannot, when next they have a dispute about what’s right and what’s wrong. I suspect he’ll backslide from time to time, wanting to protect Sam even from himself as he’s always tried to do, but I’m confident that not only will Sam call him on it, but that Dean, now, will listen.

Production Notes

This episode felt uncharacteristically clumsy to me in both script and execution. Make no mistake, I enjoyed it nonetheless – even the least of Supernatural’s episodes has a lot to offer – but it won’t be one I return to often except for certain scenes between the brothers. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki did their best work this episode in the early scene in the car, their confrontation in the motel room, and the final scene by the Impala.

As usual, I’ll get my criticisms out of the way up front, and then delve into all the things I liked. Most of my problems trace back to the script by Julie Siege, which surprised me given her earlier stellar work on It’s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester, Criss Angel Is A Douche Bag, and The Monster At The End Of This Book. I think in the effort to show rather than tell the strains in the brothers’ relationship brought about by Dean’s insistence on being even more autocratic than he used to be and Sam’s hypersensitivity to his own feelings of guilt and shame, the script pushed things a little too far and gave us almost caricatures of the brothers to make sure we wouldn’t miss the point. That wasn’t helped by the flaws and exaggerations in the monster-of-the-week story, from the very cheap laugh of the sheriff being a clueless buffoon, to the eyebrow-raiser of Sam doing an autopsy, to the overplayed importance of getting a rubbing of the car’s engine number, to the Leshi’s weaknesses not being consistent. With regard to the Leshi, if beheading with an iron axe was required to vanquish it, why did its Gandhi incarnation poof into nothing when Dean burned the spectacles? The logic behind monsters in horror films is often either stretched or lacking, and inserting “explainers” into the dialogue comes off as hokey in the extreme (remember Hollywood Babylon?), but this whole monster just smacked of excessive convenience in design, being made to look like a ghost only when it suited the particular moment in the plot and totally irrespective of whether it made sense in the context of the monster itself.

Apart from the story logic issues, the main reason I think this script didn’t work as well as others is simply because there was no organic link to be drawn between the monster of the week and the Winchesters. About the closest it came was noting that John was still Dean’s idol, even though Dean had come to terms with his flaws. This series has excelled at using metaphorical stories to make points about Sam, Dean, and their relationship, and it’s definitely easier to make those points when the situational parallel of a separate plot can reinforce the emotional content of the brothers’ story by pointing up a lesson. If the parallels are too blatant, the stories might come across as dropping anvils, but they definitely make it easier to pull off the “show, don’t tell” thing in an integral way. In this case, however, there wasn’t any remotely cohesive conceptual link between a monster able to take nourishment only from people who idolized it and the currently fragile relationship between the Winchester brothers. Since the Leshi couldn’t be used to make the relationship points, the relationship story wound up being a lot less subtle than the best ones we remember, and that was a structural weakness.

That weakness unfortunately got reinforced by James L. Conway’s direction, the performances, and even some of the technical details. The shot of the blood pouring over the car’s name was beautifully done and appropriately gruesome, but given that Cal’s face was sliced open on the front windscreen, it defied logic and physics that blood would pour over the car’s rear panel. Three unconscious people being tied standing up to trees just by having their arms secured around the trunks behind them at waist level also made no sense. Can you say, all fall down? The brothers being able to squirm free of those ropes in the precise nick of time was silly even for silliness on this show. Sam cutting open a corpse in a coroner’s lab as if doing an authorized autopsy, rooting randomly around inside, and emerging in moments with two anomalous seeds no real coroner had noticed beggared belief; that the script indicated he did it twice went beyond the pale. Dean making quips and not remembering which detail about Gandhi was real while Sam was being strangled was cartoonish, not the brother-protective and capable hunter Dean we know – Dean would have made the jokes afterward, the same way that Sam did on Dean getting trounced by Paris Hilton, but not during the fight when Sam was in danger. And Dean’s exaggerated fear at going beneath the car, complete with him perceiving scary tremors in the car, came straight out of Yellow Fever. Amusing? Yes. Bit much? Oh, definitely yes. Too much was done for the silly, I think, and it came off as over the top when inserted into the whole.

All that said, there was plenty in this episode that I liked. The major part was the brothers coming to terms. I liked Sam challenging Dean on his autocracy, owning up to his own culpability in events, insisting on the chance to prove himself, and telling Dean he had to let Sam grow up; all those things were well done. I also liked the way their conversation got interrupted by the case, giving Dean the time to do what he does best: think things through to avoid making a flip statement, knee-jerk decision, or snap judgment. Dean has always processed things inside his head over time and done his best to change when time and reflection have opened his doors to understanding, and I loved that this script followed that pattern and showed us Dean thinking things through in the background and coming to a decision of the heart. The brothers both having laptops for the first time really brought home that they had been apart. Having both brothers decide to spit in the face of destiny and charge forward without regard for Lucifer, Michael, or anything but their own lives and their own code of saving people was a root-for-the-future moment. I fully expect the path they’ve chosen will still be strewn with rocks they’re going to trip over, but now that they’ve laid their issues out between them, they have a better chance of continuing to talk things through rather than running on wrong assumptions.

Another thing I enjoyed about the plot was the Leshi’s observation that the triggering of the apocalypse was the “best thing ever” from its viewpoint. This opens the door for a lot of supernatural entities to take the opportunistic approach and seek to benefit from the bigger angel/demon war, and that means we can look forward to some variety in monsters and storylines even as the apocalypse unfolds. That also makes even the apocalypse feel more real, because we see that behavior – taking advantage of a bigger conflict to camouflage more venial assaults – in our everyday world.

In many ways, this episode felt like old home week to me, and that was a good thing. Cal was played by Brad Dryborough, who portrayed Madison’s clueless Christian werewolf neighbor Glen in Heart, and the sheriff was played by Daryl Shuttleworth, who played the pilot in Phantom Traveler who survived the first crash and then got possessed and died when he went flying again. Jim was played by Paul McGillion, Dr. Carson Beckett of Stargate: Atlantis fame. And Bruce Harwood, once of the Lone Gunmen from The X-Files, played the professor killed by Leshi Lincoln. The Nite Owl Motel was the 2400 Motel used in Something Wicked, and I’m tickled that I got photos of it while I was in Vancouver.

I thought the stunt casting of Paris Hilton as the Leshi worked just fine. She’ll never win any acting awards, but playing a boastful, talkative parody of herself was within her reach, and she and the boys obviously had a blast shooting that scene. If her casting brought more new eyes to the screen, all to the good; I just wish they’d seen a more even example of how wonderful this show can be. The commentary on our shallow idolatry of equally shallow celebrities was a bit on the nose, but also called into question just how much depth was accorded to religion, since even shallow fandom proved enough to sustain the Leshi.

The production folks get a tip of my hat for the wax figures, especially the Lincoln with which Sam went nose-to-nose; that was a wonderfully creepy moment played to the max by director Conway, Jared’s Sam, and the sculptor of that Lincoln figure. Their fake Little Bastard was a real treat, too, and I loved Jensen’s Dean geeking out over the car; that was definitely in character. And I had to laugh, seeing in the hotel room another variation on the sunburst clock that showed up time and again until Dean destroyed it in Yellow Fever. This one isn’t the same as the dead one, but I’ll be watching for it to turn up in myriad hotel rooms the same way the old one did! The Bonham and Copeland rock aliases were a fun continuation of tradition, and I was delighted to hear yet another notable song make the soundtrack – Jeff Beck’s cover of “Superstition.”

I have one funny story to share on the shooting of this episode. I was outside the location in New Westminster they redressed to be the Canton Sheriff’s impound garage, the place where Sam and Dean inspected the fake Little Bastard, while they were shooting. I didn’t get to see what they were shooting because I was there at night and they had the garage doors down every time the cameras were rolling on their supposedly daytime scene, although I did enjoy standing close to the Impala parked at the curb. Friends of mine visited the garage on a later date and met the owner, who reported really enjoying the shoot. He was particularly delighted that the production crew had cleaned that wall of windows; he said that to do the cleaning, you had to go over a fence and through bushes, so he hadn’t done it in years. He laughed that his daughters, who were fans of the show, immediately grabbed the signed photos the production gave him. Asked about Jensen and Jared, he didn’t know which was which, not being a fan himself, but he said they were both very nice and polite. He chuckled that the taller guy couldn’t seem to sit still, but wandered around the garage between setups and takes picking up and playing with things, while the other guy just sat back and watched him, amused. We could definitely see that happening!

My final production note is simply that this was the shortest episode in the history of the series: including the “Then/Now,” it clocked in at only 38 minutes, 11 seconds of story (not counting end credits and previews). The next shortest, Bad Day At Black Rock, had almost a full additional minute. It’s amazing how much you can do with even 60 seconds of film time; I wish this episode had taken that time to fill its holes, even though that might not have left us with the delicious two minutes of “Soon” previews.

Sam was right in the very beginning when he observed that the brothers had bigger problems than this case in Canton; he was just wrong about what they were. It was the brothers’ relationship problems and their beginning resolution that really made this story matter. 
 

 


My photos of the 2400 Motel, the real appearance of the garage redressed as the Canton Sheriff's impound garage, and my nighttime shots of the Impala parked at the curb outside the garage are here.


 
 
Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback
 
 
 
karenmiller: cute kittykarenmiller on October 13th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
Well, I'm trying very hard to find the positive, as you did, but I'm failing abysmally. I doubt I'll ever watch this one again.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
It was hard to write this. I gave credit for what I thought they were trying to do, but this is right down there with Bugs, Red Sky at Morning, and angels and grace falling from the sky with meteor trails in Heaven and Hell ... only worse. Single worst line? Sam telling Dean he went with Ruby to get away from Dean. Arrrgh.

Less said, the better.

On the other hand, I have real hopes for this week. And I got to see some of the shooting on it, so - yay!!
(no subject) - karenmiller on October 15th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
seesmooshrunseesmooshrun on October 13th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
Nice photo of you in your album!! And nice job finding good things to say about a so-so episode. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good, either. I was initially happy with the "SOON" montage since coming attractions are fun to piece together; when I was told by someone else that the reason for it was because the episode was so short I was, um, peeved. My thought then and now was "why not shorten the uncharacteristically lengthy preview, and give us a minute or two of something good?" Like Dean confessing to breaking the first seal. Or a valid reason for Sam to dig around in the stomachs of dead bodies for unknown seeds. Or a few more moments of heart-to-heart. Or a little more clue about what the phone conversation was really about. But... Dean and Sam are back on the road together with what looks like a fresh understanding of each others' needs, Sam is being painfully honest, Dean is trying to reach a new level of maturity; and in the end that's kind of what counts. It was not a horrible episode, just the least satisfying one of the season so far. And we move on.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
What I wouldn't give to be able to have seen Dean telling Sam about breaking the first seal ... What a wasted opportunity. Still:

But... Dean and Sam are back on the road together with what looks like a fresh understanding of each others' needs, Sam is being painfully honest, Dean is trying to reach a new level of maturity; and in the end that's kind of what counts.

Oh, yes!

Glad you enjoyed the photos! I loved getting that close to the Impala. I just wish I'd been able to get a few shots of the boys when they had the garage door open. Alas, having that film truck in front of me made that kind of hard ... I did better with the shooting on this week's episode, though!
(no subject) - seesmooshrun on October 14th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
sethra2000: SPN Anime Sam and Deansethra2000 on October 13th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
Whew... I have just caught up on all your awesome review/meta posts. I had to start at the beginning and not stop till I'd finished (barring RL breaks of course... *shakes fist at RL*)

WOW. is about all the coherent I have, you do such an wonderful job of articulating why I LOVE THIS SHOW. In fact there is a section in this that I feel I have to show my friends and family, the section about projecting ones fears and emotions onto other people, because that is so very relevant to my current situation and you have explained it so very well.

I look forward to revisiting the next episode with you.

Hugs
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
Thank you, Sethra, and welcome!! (Hmm ... Stephen Brust fan, by any chance?) I'm very happy you enjoyed what you found here (and wow - you read ALL of this? Jeez, I'm impressed!!!). I hope I continue to please.

And I'm very glad to hug you right back!
(no subject) - sethra2000 on October 14th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sethra2000 on October 14th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Zazzazreil on October 13th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
Wow as always great analysis. I was a little more positive about the epi than you were, but I don't know how much of that was my reaction to the fantabulous trailer. Its sort of like my reaction to Yellow Fever, Jensen lip sinking made the epi then so the trailer made the epi for me this time.

I had some dissatisfaction with the story, like you I loved much of the brother interaction, but thought a lot of it was over the top though I understood where it was coming from. I loved that Sam called Dean on being over bearing, but I still kept longing for that one apology to Dean for doubting his love, and his commitment to Sam's welfare. To me it is like a Mother who has a daughter who insists on going out with a drug dealing, gang-banger because she is rebellious and it makes her feel adult. Mom is going to forbid and fight it with everything she has and maybe go over the line in the effort to protect her daughter and her daughter is going to accuse her of not understanding or trying to ruin her life or control her. But even so whether or not the daughter gets out of her mess in one piece, she still owes her mom an apology for ever doubting that what drove her actions was love and that she always had her child's best interests at heart. That is the apology I want from Sam, and I am hoping that we will still get it

On the Leshi story, I laughed and laughed when Paris gave her "spray tan and little white dog" speech and had to wonder if Julie was poking at the fans again, as in the winter Jared and Jensen have to get artificially tanned by the make up department and Jensen owns a little white fluffy dog and you know how the fans get about Jensen, even more than Jared. Though I was amused by it, the fan references are such that they start to lose their amusement and novelty factor when used too much. If I count this epi there will be at least 4 this season that parody or refer to fans. I hope Kripke realizes that we don't watch Supernatural to see stories about ourselves, we have the Big Bang Theory or Chuck if we want to watch stories about nerd. We watch Supernatural for the wonderful Midwest Gothic vibe in the MOW and the myth arc.

Zaz - who despite what she wrote still hopes that Kripke will use the Twitter take over in a positive way in an epi this season
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Thanks, Zaz!

I still kept longing for that one apology to Dean for doubting his love, and his commitment to Sam's welfare. I'm with you on this one. Sam has apologized and apologized, but I think he's missed apologizing for the one specific thing that hurt more than all the others combined. And Dean is never going to mention that, because - hello! - big brother and guy. Sigh. I think Sam will get there eventually, though.

Given the nature of the Leshi story, the comment on fannishness didn't bother me at all. I did laugh at the "spray tans and little dogs" line, especially after having seen what I suspect was Icarus with Sadie, Harley, and Buddy (Clif's cattle dog) on one of the 5.06 locations. Tee-hee!
Sam's apologies - manzanita_crow on August 24th, 2013 12:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
evil cliffhanger girlalienat on October 13th, 2009 07:33 am (UTC)
Thanks for another amazing insight into the brother's relationship. I was nodding the whole time while reading.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad it resonated with you!
galathea_snbgalathea_snb on October 13th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
As usual I very much agree with you, Mary! Beautiful analysis. I really enjoy how the season so far comes full circle with S1, adressing issues that reach back to the beginning of the show. It gives a satisfying feel of closure. I, too, was disappointed though that there was no communication between the plot between the brothers and the casefile plot, and that the structuring and some of the wording in the episode was clumsy. But I am happy that the brothers are now where they need to be to move forward. ♥
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
Thank you, my dear! Twin minds ... except yours makes such glorious art!

I'm glad we got to where we were in the end, however ham-handed an approach the script took to getting there. I look forward to the brothers becoming more and more a balanced team as they continue to work through their issues.

And the callbacks and connections to earlier seasons have been a treat. I do love the way this series pays off everything that's come before, if only we wait long enough. Yum!
(Anonymous) on October 13th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
Fallen Idols Review
Another well written analysis. Thanks for the pictures from the set. I have to agree with you. I didn't like this episode either. I think it is because of what you mentioned that the monster of the week didn't connect with what was going on with the Winchesters. I hope that this week's episode will be better especially since there will be a hiatus after it.

supernatfem76
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Re: Fallen Idols Review
Thanks! I have high hopes for this week's episode ... and there will be more behind-the-scenes photos, because I got really lucky!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Re: thank you! - bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: thank you! - (Anonymous) on October 13th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: thank you! - bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: thank you! - bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
chiiyo86chiiyo86 on October 13th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the meta, Mary!

Not the most solid episode, but still important for the evolution of the brothers' relationship.

I like what you said about the now infamous phone call scene. People have very divergent opinions about it. What keeps me from really knowing what I think about what was said, is the fact that at first I didn't understand what Dean says on the phone. Reading episode reactions, I understood that something important was going on, and I rewatched the scene. What you had to say about this scene is the most convincing thing I've read:

Unlike Sam, I didn’t assume that Dean had spoken disparaging to Bobby of Sam being at fault for starting the apocalypse; I think it’s more likely in fact that Dean was blaming himself, blaming them both together (along the lines of his comment in Sympathy For The Devil that they had made the mess and they would clean it up), or blaming the angels and demons alike. What I read into Dean’s refusal to expound on what he’d said was that, fully as much as Sam was getting tired of justifying himself to Dean, Dean had had enough of trying to justify himself to Sam when it was clear that Sam would impose his own judgments and beliefs on what he thought Dean had said and meant.

As a matter of fact, there's no way to know what Dean meant; especially since we don't know what Bobby said. It's very vague and open to interpretation. The point of the scene, I think, was Sam's reaction and immediate assumption, and Dean's reaction to it. I can see Dean being irritated at Sam being defensive, which would explain his "pretend or don't pretend, whatever floats you boat," in other words "think what you want." You have a point when you say that Sam is projecting his own feelings on his brother, and that this is nothing new. How many times did he say that Dean was looking at him "like he was a freak", when I could see no evidence of that in Dean. As much as I can understand Sam's fear, it had to be hurtful for Dean.

With regard to the Leshi, if beheading with an iron axe was required to vanquish it, why did its Gandhi incarnation poof into nothing when Dean burned the spectacles?

Well, it puzzled me a little, but I must point out that the burning of the spectacles did not killed the Leshi. The beheading did. There's a difference. The way I understood it, the objects were necessary for the Leshi to take another form. Or something.

See you next week!
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Thanks, Elsa! I'm glad that what I said about the phone call scene made sense to you.

I'll buy the idea that burning the object cost the Leshi its specific form. Julie Siege owes you for that one!
(no subject) - fannishliss on October 14th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - immie_8 on October 14th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on October 15th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - immie_8 on October 15th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
janiebee64 on October 13th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Fallen Idols
Glad to see your review and I agree that this wasn't one of the strongest episodes, but the brother moments were the best. One thing you mentioned that I thought of an explanation for. You talked about how the Leshi(as ghandi)just vanished when Dean burned the glasses. My thought was maybe the Leshi did this on purpose hoping the boys would believe the ghost was destroyed and leave town so that the Leshi could continue what it was doing without having to deal with hunters. Just my thoughts. Thank you for your review. You always bring each show, whether good or not so good, into perspective. I'm with you about this episode. It is not one I will return to very often, except for those moments between the boys. I also laughed about when you talked about the comments from the garage owner. His explanation of how Jared and Jensen acted I could totally see in my head. They really do care about each other. Those boys never disappoint, even when we don't see them on tv. Take care and read you next week.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
Re: Fallen Idols
My thought was maybe the Leshi did this on purpose hoping the boys would believe the ghost was destroyed and leave town so that the Leshi could continue what it was doing without having to deal with hunters. And another possible explanation surfaces! That's a fun idea.

Thanks for your comments! There are always enough people to hate and disparage an episode; I don't ever intend to go there. I will always look for what worked. I try to be honest about what didn't, but hey - this series has fewer duds than any other with this long a track record. I figure they're entitled to the occasional break and less than stellar outing. We wound up where we needed to be.
tabbytabby333 on October 13th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
I can't say that I disagree with any of your observations. It's unfortunate that the stunt casting that might have drawn additional viewers was associated to such a weak episode. Also, I'm growing weary of the commentary on celebrity and fans that slides in and out each week. Still, I did love the last scene between the brothers and that Sam is finally voicing his thoughts (and that Dean is there to listen). He's been turned inward for so long. With both of them talking, even when it hurts, things can only get better.

I think it still rankles that Sam more than once dismissed Dean as weak and holding him back.

I was pondering this the other day and you say it quite nicely. Dean has never mentioned it, but I can't see how it couldn't be true. I could assume, if I wanted to insert some depth into this episode, that his overbearing attitude in this episode is partially driven by a need to show that he isn't weak and that he is an alpha. Or not. It's interesting to speculate, especially around an episode that was so clunky. What subtleties were they going after that they simply missed?
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! Interesting thought, that perhaps part of Dean's overbearing attitude was an attempt to override any lingering image of weakness. I wonder what light upcoming episodes may have to shed on all this? *grin*
immie_8immie_8 on October 13th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Afternoon Professor,

Wonderful, insightful meta as usual, Bardic - always a pleasure to read!

I definately agree that this episode was clunky, and especially agreed with your observation on the script making the brothers caricatures of themselves so that we wouldn't miss the point. I especially felt this was the case with Dean's character. I also agree that Sam is going to have to get over thinking that everything is about him, and I hope that Dean will have the chance to tell Sam about how Sam's actions in S4 affected him personally.

I have to admit that I found the bumbling sheriff an endless source of amusement, though. And I also thought that Paris was a great sport, making fun of herself like she did, and the look on Sam's face after Dean claimed that he'd never seen House of Wax was priceless. And that SOON promo was just made of AWESOME!!! :D

Overall, I'd say that I had fun during the humourous parts of this episode, but found myself quite disappointed on what was happening on the brothers' front. Although the conclusion took them into a positive direction, I found that the route that got them there to be forced and, therefore, the lesson Dean learned at the end didn't really ring true for me.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
Thanks, immie!

I forgot to mention the House of Wax shout-out; thanks for bringing it up. It made me laugh out loud, and I wondered how much making that joke had contributed in the first place to the idea in the writers' room of setting the story in a wax museum!

I had less of a problem with Dean working things through in his mind than I had with Sam's statement that one reason he went with Ruby was to get away from Dean. Now THAT was a clunker! Yes to Sam feeling stronger and more independent when he was away from Dean, but given that the reason Ruby got through to him after Dean's death was that she did her damn best to reflect Dean, that logic didn't work all that well. That line definitely needed some reworking.

I'm glad you enjoyed the bumbling sheriff; he just made me wince. Oh, well.

This week promises to be better. And I'm looking forward to putting up my behind-the-scenes photos to boot!
(no subject) - casey28 on October 15th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
historylover29historylover29 on October 14th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
I'm with you--I think this episode was just "eh." I was dreading Paris Hilton, and she turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

But, I thought the guys were written OOC. And you pretty much touched on all the points I've made. And you made some excellent points why they were kind of written in character.

Still a weak episode. A big letdown from the awesomeness that was "The End."

Got a question for you--

I'm a self-proclaimed Dean girl. And I keep seeing complaints of Sam knowing a little Spanish. I don't understand those complaints. (I was more upset at Sam doing an autopsy.) What is your take on this whole divided fandom? I can't understand why fans get mad when Sam is shown that he's actually intelligent. It's not cutting Dean down that Sam knows very basic Spanish, is it?

What do you think?

Thanks!

Kat
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 14th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Kat, I've never understood most of the complaints that run throughout this fandom. I'm downright tri-Winchester (and I'd try them all, as I've said more than once!), so I've never understood how fans could complain that one brother's intelligence or insight could reflect badly on the other. It was established pretty early on, I thought, that Sam was the more intellectual and Dean the more instinctive of the brothers, but I always saw those traits as simply playing to their strengths. Generally, Sam did better at the book-learning and Dean did better at the emotional street-smarts; they both preferred to deal with the things they more enjoyed. Their skill sets were complementary, not exclusionary, and that's what made them so hell-on-wheels when they teamed up. Dean isn't stupid and Sam isn't devoid of instinct - they can play on each others' fields - but they both understand that they work best in the areas they most enjoy and feel most comfortable with.

It's also true that the brothers used their strengths to score off of each other. Sam belittled Dean's intelligence on a routine basis; Dean retaliated by calling Sam a girl and teasing him for overthinking things. They're brothers, and that comes with the territory. They jab, they compete, and sometimes they draw blood - but still, they love, and they'd fight for each other against all comers. And against all overwrought fans, for that matter.

I really don't get most of the fannish disputes, which is one reason I tend to stay on the periphery of fandom and live here in my calm little hate-and-wank-free corner of LJ.

And Sam's Spanish sucked pretty badly, even to the ears of this long-out-of-practice Spanish speaker!! *grin*
(no subject) - historylover29 on October 14th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fannishliss on October 14th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on October 14th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - historylover29 on October 14th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fannishliss on October 14th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on October 15th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fannishliss on October 15th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
zofia27: Blinkzofia27 on October 14th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Like pretty much everyone has said this episode felt different and not in keeping with the prior eps aired so far this season. It definitely had that early Season 1 feel to it which was before the writers started tying the MotW to what was happening with Sam and Dean. On the other hand, maybe that was the intent. This was their first gig after reuniting and maybe the clunkiness was purposeful. Or maybe I'm being too hopeful? ;-)

My first thought with Dean's comments to Bobby was that he was blaming himself, not Sam, for the start of the apocalypse. I loved that he didn't even bother correcting Sam's immediate assumption that he had been talking about Sam in that comment. Dean sounded so tired there, like he didn't even want to waste words in trying to assure Sam that it wasn't him they'd been talking about. I liked the observation that Sam seems to think everything is still about him. He's been the focus of so much stuff the past few years that it's hard for him to see how others are being impacted by what's been going on. And yes, he hasn't apoligized to Dean for hurting him...just for starting the apocalypse. That's major and I'm hoping we'll see that apology. Show does a good job of spreading out the healing process and not tying it up neatly all in one episode.

The speech at the end where they say neither of them are to blame for it was good to hear. Both had been used by outside forces and like Dean said, who would've thought killing a demon would be a bad thing? But that doesn't mean Dean still doesn't blame himself for starting the apocalypse. It'll be interesting to see if that's still the case. What is bad is that somewhere along the way Dean told Sam about breaking the first seal. That definitely should have been shown on screen. And I'd like to know WHEN Dean told him...was it right after he found out? Was it after Sam broke the last seal?? Maybe they'll still show it but I consider that a major fail on their part.

I was pleasantly surprised by Paris Hilton. Again, not an award worthy performance but she did OK. The social commentary about worshipping idols now instead of gods was interesting when you think about the other stuff going on. God having left the building and Lucifer having risen. Plus the in-jokes were amusing.

The "SOON" was great though...even though my first thought was No! Hiatus!!!! LOL!! But I guess we have a new ep then a rerun then a few more new eps before the holiday hiatus.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 15th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
Show does a good job of spreading out the healing process and not tying it up neatly all in one episode.

Bravo, Zofia! This is one of the things I love the most about this show: that it doesn't try to hurry the things that need time. I hope we get all of those long-term, simmering things. Like you, I hope we get to see Sam's apology to Dean for hurting him, and I really hope we get to learn when Dean told Sam about breaking the first seal.

The social commentary about worshipping idols now instead of gods was interesting when you think about the other stuff going on. God having left the building and Lucifer having risen.

And another good observation! Thanks for that!
(Anonymous) on October 14th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)

What a relief to read such a coherent, sensible and insightful review for a change! You can't believe the crap you see in some sites. I saw comments in the line of Dean being an immaculate saint and Sam a bastard who deserves to die. It's sad that people fail to perceive Show's magic and choose to idolize a character instead. I feel sorry for Show and the actors. Jensen is a talented actor and a fine person and deserves better than this kind of sick devotion which, I'm sure, he neither asks nor needs. And kudos to Jared for not being afraid to play the unsympathetic character, when is so much easier to be liked when you are the flawless hero of the story.
Sorry for this! I just had to say it. Again, I love your reviews. The only thing I disagree is regarding Sam's Spanish. Portuguese is my native language so I'm familiar with Spanish, as the two languages are very similar. Sam's Spanish sounded quite correct to me, even if the pronunciation wasn't perfect.
bardicvoice: Trust by <lj user=jameserin>bardicvoice on October 15th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! I believe in balance, and learned long ago that there are a lot of places out on the web that I really can't go and expect to stay sane and on an even emotional keel. So I hang out here in my quiet little hate-and-wank-free zone. And I love what both Jensen and Jared bring to the table in terms of both their acting chops and their personal and professional personas - they are class acts, both of them!

On the Spanish; Sam's accent was a hoot. And while I tease about his word choice, I do no better; it's been about 35 years since I spoke Spanish in school, and I've had some humbling moments trying to communicate with the guys working on my house when I can't find the vocabulary! *grin*