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09 November 2008 @ 11:26 pm
4.8 Wishful Thinking: Careful What You Wish For  
4.8 Wishful Thinking: Careful What You Wish For

Cursed coin warps wishes,
Sowing chaos through a town.
Dean remembers Hell.

Episode Summary

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Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Home" by Daughtry
zofia27zofia27 on November 11th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
Great commentary Mary!

I'm glad that I'm not the only one that didn't think that Dean's revelation at the end was out of the blue. Looking back at this season we were given glimpses...we just didn't realize that they were not glimpses for Dean. Hiding it so well from Sam is totally in character too. He knows how to put his game face on. Afterall he hid what John told him about maybe having to kill Sam for months before he couldn't do it anymore.

The other thing to keep in mind is that he's only been back a few weeks. I don't know for sure but I would think the PTSD would not occur right away but kinda sneak up on him. Hence the drinking and sleeping more. It's wearing him down and I agree...the fall-out from this will be coming soon. It is November sweeps after all!
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 11th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Zofia!

I still suspect that Dean's memories weren't fully back the moment he returned, but have been coming back to him steadily as the season has progressed, with more coming back to him with each memory flash we've seen. Now that he definitely does remember it all - if he does! - I think it's going to build to the point where he has to either share or explode.

And I think it will come during the next two weeks, because you're right: it's sweeps!
spacefarer on November 11th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Interesting review as always.

A few thoughts:

"By condemning him seemingly out of hand for what was done to him, rather than for any actions of his own,"

I have to say don't see it that way. I would agree they do not automatically trust him because of the demon blood and the always-there potential for evil, but they are criticizing him specifically, IMO, for his own actions and his own choices, that is, the choice to use the powers, even though he knows their origin and even though he has already seen what has happened to others--like Ava and Jake--who gave into the whole powers package. If the fact that both the angels and Dean have warned Sam about the powers encourages him to use them in defiance of the criticism, well, that says a lot about a major character flaw in Sam. What might once be indulged as rebellion (against John and the hunting life) as a teenager is really arrogance in the adult.

I don't think Sam was really innocent, even in season 1. For me, in fact, the end of Something Wicked pointed that out. I do think, though, that he didn't really understand (not the same thing to me as innocence) a lot of things about his family, hunting and what was really out there--in part because he didn't want to--and that he understands considerably more now. He didn't really leave at eighteen to be normal; he left to be safe (he tells us that in the Pilot and again in Hunted), and I think he realizes now that there is no safety anywhere (at least not so long as your enemies are alive) and that there is no going back to a time when he was able to fool himself into thinking there was.

Even in season 1, I did not see Sam as a "gentle soul." That does not mean that Sam could not not be gentle; he most definitely could. But so could Dean be and even John. For me, Sam always had the capability of being darker, harder, colder, more ruthless, more obsessive and more vengeance-driven than Dean. He was, even then, his father's son (which is why, IMO, they argued so much), and we can see that even more clearly now.

In regard to the apologies, there was a difference to me in them. Dean took the blame for the lying, he shouldn't have done it and he won't do it anymore. When it came to the "you can't understand" comment, again (for me) Dean softened it by taking the fault for that on himself: I couldn't make you understand; I don't have the words. Sam, though, made it Dean's fault that he had lied (and he did not promise not to do it again--though I'm not sure how much such a promise would be worth at that point) because Dean had always looked at him as a freak--which Dean has not done in the show--and could never understand, not because Sam couldn't explain it right but just because Dean would never be able to get it.

As I see it, Sam will never truly mature until he accepts responsibility for his choices and his actions. It will not be the angels' fault if Sam decides to continue to use the demonic powers just because they disapprove of his actions, and it was not Dean's fault that Sam broke what was essentially a deathbed promise and then lied about. Every season, I expect Sam to finally take that step, and every season so far, Kripke has denied him that character growth, IMO.

It will be interesting to see if that finally changes in the rest of this season.
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 11th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for coming!

I really think that this will be a pivotal season for Sam, a season of very conscious choice. He has always reacted to what has happened to him and to those around him; now I think he's trying to make his own way.

I do cut him slack for having used his powers up to this point, for precisely the reason he put forth to Dean in Metamorphosis - that he's been trying to bring good out of evil. He couldn't do anything about having been tainted with demon's blood, but I can appreciate that he has tried to use it for good, to save lives. Yes, he saw what happened when Ava and Jake gave in to it; but he had also seen Andy, who had used his powers and not become a monster - at least, not yet. If it is truly impossible to use the powers without being corrupted by them over time, it would be good thing if the angels told him so. They haven't, thus far; they've just warned him not to use them, without providing a rationale to explain why the game isn't worth the candle by making the consequences plain. I can understand why it's hard for Sam to accept the warning, when he's trying to save lives and sees angels being willing to kill innocents wholesale.

It's definitely true that Sam is John's son, but I would argue that John was an essentially gentle soul before losing Mary, learning about the supernatural, and trying to protect his sons even as he pursued revenge calloused him. We learned in In The Beginning that John had even managed to come back from Vietnam still open, positive, and cheerful. It took extreme circumstances to flip him into the man we knew. The potential for obsessive brutality exists in Sam as well - we saw it in the open in Mystery Spot - but we also saw what put him there. I think we're about to learn the details of what put him into his current state, and that will help us understand what's going on inside his head.

Anyway, we'll see ...
yourlibrarianyourlibrarian on November 11th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
Did you notice the absence of the rearview mirror in the studio set car during the driving scene with Wesley in the back seat, and the presence of the rearview mirror in the location shot of them pulling to a stop when they saw Todd flipping the SUV? Welcome to Hollywood North magic – and to getting rid of a prop that would have blocked Ted Raimi’s face in the interior car scenes!

No, I totally missed that! I'm sure Bob Singer enjoyed directing this one, at least certain scenes (the unpredictable weather may have been less fun).
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 11th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Tee-hee! I'm especially sensitive to the Impala's rearview mirror, if only because of all the times when it disappears!

I think Singer always enjoys getting behind the camera on this show ... weather notwithstanding!
aimehpueaimehpue on November 11th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Great analysis!

One of my favourite scenes in this episode is when Dean wakes up after yet another nightmare about Hell. His first reaction is to grab for the liquor. I watched this episode with a friend and her first reaction was: "That guy is an alcoholic."

Jensen has done a really great job of showing up how broken up Dean is about his experiences in Hell. His drinking in Yellow Fever might be explained by his building fear, but if you count how much Dean drinks in Wishful Thinking it is obvious that he is moving beyond healthy.

He needs some kind of outlet - and soon. I can't wait to see how that plays out in coming episodes.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on November 11th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I agree that Jensen is displaying Dean's steady decline brilliantly. The sleeping, the nightmares, the booze - what really struck me was how much older he looked in the final scene. Some of that was makeup - the bags under his eyes, the lines on his face - but most of it was attitude, the depiction of fatigue and pain and grim determination. Wow.

I think the next episodes will rock our socks!
whimsywinx: SN-ImpalaRescuewhimsywinx on November 12th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
Poor teddy bear!! Ben Edlund is very sick (but he did get a shocked laugh out of me).

I loved that Ted Raimi has confessed to geeking out about getting to ride in the Impala. I've always enjoyed his characters, and I felt for him as he did the right thing.
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 12th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Ben Edlund is definitely twisted!

I did feel bad for poor Wesley. He just wanted to be loved ...
(Anonymous) on November 12th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
"to protect the other from pain and guilt, and to protect themselves from expected rejection"

This is a very good point and I can't help but think that it's linked to the reason Dean got ghost sickness in Yellow Fever. The Lilith hallucination hints that Dean did horrible things in hell, most likely to survive. I would suggest that Dean may be afraid of Sam rejecting him upon finding out exactly what those horrible things were.
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 14th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
I do wonder to what extent Dean broke under the tortures of Hell, and how badly he would react to what he would inevitably consider to be his failure in having broken ... I'm afraid to find out, but I also can't wait!
keefaqerda_3 on November 12th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you for once again writing such an enjoyable post. So much fun to read!

I can't help but think whatever happened to Dean in hell has more to do with himself and his own choices than with Sam. Sam going evil seems almost too predictable. I keep coming back to the idea that Dean broke, embraced evil himself, or something.

Personally, I loved Castiel's little hesitation before shaking Sam's hand. I love the ambiguity of it, that we have no idea what the hesitation really meant, and it allows us so much room to speculate.
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 14th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I do think that the worst of Hell was probably Dean breaking, although how he broke and why remains to be discovered. Somehow, I don't think it would have been embracing evil, but doing something to stop the torture? Oh, yes - and he'd never forgive himself for giving in, nor want to admit to Sam that he broke. Poor Dean!

I really appreciated Castiel's hesitation - I judge it as a negative thing only in terms of how it affected Sam, to be so judged. Poor Sam!
echo_grace_07echo_grace_07 on November 13th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Just a thought
If Dean really remembers every moment in Hell (I personally think his subconscious is airing out that laundry a piece at a time), then he remembers being pulled out. He has seen Castiel's true face, yet his sight is unburned, and all his physical scars healed (and, apparently, his tat isn't considered a scar). . .

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?, as some wise fangirls would say. :)
bardicvoice: FaceBlend Brothers by <lj user=clubinthebardicvoice on November 14th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
Re: Just a thought
Welcome to my little party!

I suspect that he didn't remember everything until Yellow Fever, when his hallucination of Lilith taunted him that of course he remembered everything - all effectively 40 years of it. Ow. No wonder his drinking picked up.

As for Dean having seen Castiel, try this on for size: he wasn't actually in his physical body in Hell, so he saw Cas only with the eyes of his tortured and tormented soul. Since he didn't see Castiel with the eyes of his physical body, they wouldn't have been burned out of his head.

I thought it a very handy thing that Castiel healed and restored his shredded and decomposing body and made it all pretty again before reinstalling his soul, and being an intelligent force, not just a mechanical eraser of scars, Cas elected deliberately to leave him the very useful marking intended to prevent him from being possessed by anything demonic.

Work for you? *grin*

Edited at 2008-11-14 01:19 am (UTC)