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16 March 2009 @ 11:14 am
4.15 Death Takes A Holiday: Stop Lying To Yourself  
4.15 Death Takes A Holiday: Stop Lying To Yourself

No real second chance;
Demons seek to break a Seal
By kidnapping death.

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Current Mood: busy
Current Music: "Unforgiven II" by Metallica
 
 
 
ash48: Prettiest Anti-Christ Everash48 on March 17th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
Once again and excellent, EXCELLENT review and meta. I am completely guilty of not commenting after I read these, but I read every one and they are always so well written and enlightening. They always make so much sense and are objective and compassionate. I just love them.

Of course I have nothing valuable to add. I did wonder a little about Pamela (I, too, was sad to see her go) - I wonder if she knew she was going to die when she went to help the boys? She is psychic - maybe she thought it was inevitable and therefore just accepted it was going to happen - and let it. She seemed fairly resentful about being there in the first place. I don't know. Clutching here, as I think her demise was weak - and she was such a great character.

Thanks again. Wonderful insight and writing.

xx
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for commenting now, and for your praise. I'm very glad that you enjoy my writing!

I was a little surprised that Pamela, feeling as strongly as she did about not wanting to be involved any more, nonetheless came with Dean when he fetched her for help. Wyoming is a state over from South Dakota; they would have been driving for a while. I wonder what they talked about in the car? There's a plot bunny in that, if I could find time to chase it down ... *grin*
(Anonymous) on March 17th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
Hi Mary,

I have been eagerly awaiting your take on this episode. I have watched on YouTube and loved it. This episode took my breath away in how compelling the story has become. Many fans have said how depressing the episode was but I was blown away in it's brilliance. How many shows are prepared to go in such a direction as Supernatural has. Yet the story is still not complicated. Jared's portrayal of Sam is fantastic and I am really impressed with where his story is going.

I felt so sad for Dean. He is completely alone. He is surrounded by people/angels that he can't be sure of their honesty or their intentions. He still holds on to his compassion and belief that he should be doing good but he is not getting the support from his brother or Castiel. I feel for him so much.

I cannot wait for next week. Even watching it on YouTube. I can't wait for your review of next week's episode.

See ya. Lainey.
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Thanks, Lainey!

Hmm, you might want to check out the dean_sam community here on LJ; I've seen folk post links to downloadable files of decent quality there, for those like you who can't get the show off air ...

I grieve for both the boys. Dean and Sam are both approaching their limits, but I think they're going to be pushed further still. I think this week is going to leave me in a puddle on the floor.

Hang in there!
superwicked: Sam devil's trapsuperwicked on March 17th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
I always feel better about an episode after I read your thoughts. You make me see sense! ;) Sam is really starting to worry me, I really can't say that I like the new Sam, but I give credit to Jared for the work that he is doing, like you say, one can really see the change in Sam!

I also hope and pray for peace! ♥
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad to be of service!

I have hope still that Sam will find his proper footing and recover the best in himself, while still keeping his strength and uniqueness, in order to reforge the balance of his brother bond with Dean.

Both Winchester brothers are essential.

Welcome to my nondenominational prayer meeting!
shorofskyshorofsky on March 17th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Howdy:-D I really enjoyed reading this! What a great episode it was and how well you've framed it all. Good job!

About Pamela's death, this is my theory: The demon stabbed her and pulled the knife out which was perfectly in focus showing us there was no blood. Just as there was no blood when the guy in the intro got shot. I believe that was pretty much meant to show that had the reapers not been otherwise engaged, she'd've been pulled right then and there. Why didn't the boys try to help her nonetheless is beyond me. They're such assholes sometimes, man, I mean have some sense, and call the doctor when your friend is dying in your arms.

Anyway, great ep, great meta and can't wait for the next installment of both:-D
bardicvoicebardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Sometimes I want to smack the boys upside the head, and Pamela's death was one such cause ... *moue*
the island of conclusions: [info]iconographiesariadnes_string on March 17th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this, thank you! I particularly liked your points about how present John was in this episode (both in the call-back to IMToD and in Sam's scary mirroring of his behavior). Talk about *psychological* continuity!

I agree that Sam's line about the "normal rules" not applying to them was the scariest line in the episode. And it made me think that the definition of "normal" has shifted a little since S1, at least for Sam. I think he used to take "normal" to mean safe, and, especially, living inside social conventions (having a family, job, not knowing about monsters); and that's the definition of normal (safe, conventional) that Dean has never wanted any part of (well, consciously anyway, as you point out). But now, Sam seems to mean "normal rules" to mean something beyond simple social conventions--rules of good and evil, or metaphysical rules, like the inevitability of death. And I don't think Dean ever thought of himself as living outside those rules, that idea of normal--or even wanted to. Even before this season, he seems to have had a certain amount of humility about his own "ordinariness."

Also, really interested in the discussion on this thread about Sam's addictive behavior...

Sadly, I am both teased and spoiled about the next episode, and very, very scared...
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I really, really like your take on how the definition of "normal" has changed, and what it means/meant to both Sam and Dean; I think you're bang on, and I thank you for sharing that!

I don't even have to be spoiled about the next episode to be terrified of it ... and then I'll have to write about it. Talk about terror!
sn_mistresssn_mistress on March 17th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Dear Mary,

Thank you so much for such a wonderful review. I always truly look forward to them and they're always awesome.

I imagine the next few episodes are going to be very stressful and upsetting.

Thanks again, Mary. :)
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you, Sandra! I just read your recap over on the BFZ, and regret that I didn't leave a comment; I need to go back!

I think the rest of this season will push us to our limits and beyond ... Arrrgh!

Edited at 2009-03-18 01:58 am (UTC)
(Anonymous) on March 17th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Dear Bardicvoice! Sorry for my English - it’s not my native language, but I just want to say how much I LOVE and enjoy your brilliant reviews! And how much I’m thankful to you for your amazing work and for sharing your talent with us. Really hope Kripke himself sees it too ;) I always look forward to your reviews as much as new episodes, it is integral part of SN for me. And I always feel like you penned down all my thoughts in a more articulate manner. And it’s also great to know that I’m not crazy for overanalyzing everything about the show and constantly thinking about the boys and worrying about them like they are real persons - more than that, like they are part of my family.
And this is what I keep saying about Sam - “his pride has grown in unhealthy ways”. And the main thing here is that “He really does seem to believe increasingly that the ordinary rules don’t apply to him, that his power gives him the right to do what he chooses, because what he chooses is right … and that certainty is frightening.” Exactly. And pride, arrogance, anger and fear together with powers - this is what leads to the darkside… But I guess the reason he is now lying to his brother “with plausible conviction and without hesitation” may be that he is simply not going to tell Dean the truth - EVER. Because what Sam is doing with Ruby is so “far off the reservation”, so… terrible (and I think I know what it is), that Sam is convinced Dean could never accept it, that he is afraid of Dean loathing him, like you said before. That’s why Sam is probably hoping to hide his secret forever.
Your opinion is very important to me (especially considering that you’re almost always right ;) ), so could you tell me please, what do you really think - is it possible for our boys to go back to the way they were before, to them being really together, being brothers again, when they “used to be in this together, used to have each other’s backs”, to their priceless brotherly love moments?.. ‘Cause we only have glimpses of it now, I’m dying without it… Sometimes I'm even afraid that Kripke is tempted to forget this show’s main values… but still I’m going to keep the faith till the end.

Love, Vicky.
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Thank you, Vicky, and don't apologize for your English; you're doing just fine!

In answer to your question: I really do think that the brothers will eventually manage to find their way back to truly "being brothers" again. Throughout the series, the brothers have constantly been finding a new balance between them as events have changed their lives and brought about changes within each of them. Their one constant, however, is love. Dean essentially raised Sam, and couldn't imagine life without him; Sam has always found acceptance and validation in Dean, and lost himself when he lost his brother - both times. Even as Sam indulges his power, he holds back on information because he still fears to lose his brother's love; and Dean, no matter how much he fears what is going on with Sam, still holds on to him and feels responsible, and can't give up on him.

The themes of choice, personal responsibility, and the importance of family have run throughout the series, and I can't help but think they will be the key to how it evolves and ultimately ends. And no matter how much Kripke and company brand this a "horror" show, even horror films have heroes that triumph in the end, even if the "end" is only the beginning of the next adventure. I think that the boys will be tested to the edge of destruction and beyond - heck, we've already seen both of them die - but that, in the end, they will still be brothers, and together.

Call me Pollyanna or Tinkerbell, but I do believe.

And I'l cling to that thought no matter how dark things get.

Be seeing you, and thanks for making yourself known!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 18th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
anne_summers: Supernatural 2anne_summers on March 17th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Wow. Marvelously writen comment.
I'll be comming back to read the old ones, and the new ones.
You rock.
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy your browsing here! (I've, uh, written a lot of words, so I hope you have a lot of time ... *grin*)
beatlette: Oh Noes Sambeatlette on March 18th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your meta. It's so well-written, with a nice episode recap. I love the topics discussed and you gave me a few things to think about. My favorite topic is about all the lies in the episode. I noticed the obvious lies, like Sam to Dean about Alistair and then Sam to Cole but you explained a lot of key points from the episode that I didn't really catch prior to reading your meta. I have to say, I watched the episode twice and it was just one big blur because every moment was important, intense and a lot to take in.

Your meta also helped explain a few things I've wondered about [like Sam's powers...I get that it's "bad" for him to use them, but until this episode, I never really knew "why" other than Dean, the angels, etc want him to stop. I did have to sympathize with him that if he could save the hosts, that's good, though using something "evil" against "evil" isn't. I probably didn't make any sense but I'm just typing as I think ^_^ Anywho, I'm sure there will be a more definite reason explained in a later episode. Or I probably just missed something completely]. I hate how Sam's lying hurts Dean though. :( I noticed such a change in Sam in the beginning of the episode when he's telling Dean to take his food to go. The tone of his voice was all I needed to know and hear that Sam from S1 was gone for good. It's so funny [well not really] how similar Sam is to John. Poor Dean.

One last thing, thanks for citing previous episodes, especially from S4. I haven't seen the first 5 so that may explain why I still feel a little lost at times, especially when dealing with Sam.
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, and welcome!

I don't think you've missed anything obvious about Sam from the episodes you haven't seen; the bulk of Sam's development has been very, very subtle this season. I suspect we're soon to discover what Sam has been doing to pump up his metaphysical muscles; and whether Dean learns it when we do, or sometime later, I fear that the confrontation is going to be epic.

It really has been something to see just how much like John Sam has become, and to realize how much like John he always was - something he would have always denied, at least until their shared moment in the cabin in Dean Man's Blood. And yet, at the same time, he was once also so much like Mary, wanting to escape the hunting life and live normally. I weep.

I've been writing these reviews for a long time, now; if you'd like to catch up on the episodes you've missed, feel free to track back through my "episode commentaries" tag to see the earlier ones, at least as a fill-in until you can see the episodes themselves.

I hope to see you again! Thanks for coming!
(no subject) - beatlette on March 18th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
zofia27: Yorickzofia27 on March 18th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Great job as usual Professor!

There was so much going on in this episode and I think you hit on everything. I can't wait to see what happens in this week's episode!
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 18th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Thank you, Zofia! I'm with you in eagerly awaiting this week's episode, despite simultaneously being terrified of it ... I fear for our boys.

I'll look forward to seeing you again afterward!
electo_magnam on March 18th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
For the life of me I don’t understand why all of you are sad Pamela died. I was rather happy to see her go. Yes, that may sound bleak and perhaps even cruel, but it was necessary for a few reason.

In many ways, Pamela is Oedipus - an Oedipus who never learned his lesson for that matter.Although tolerable in “Lazarus Rising,” Pamela’s attitude in “Heaven and Hell” and “Death Takes a Holiday” was obnoxious, full of hubris, and impeccably arrogant. She was warned by both Bobby and Castiel to stop the seance, but she did not heed the warnings because she had too much pride in her own powers. Instead of being humbled, or at least admitting that it was her fault that her eyes were burned out, she blames the angels...and Bobby in this episode. Really, her eyes being burned out was just deserts because it mirrors her inordinate pride. Her death was inevitable because she never did learn her place in the cosmos even with all her physic abilities and insight into various realms.

Another person Pamela can be compared to...and one far more troubling is Sam. Similar to Pamela, Sam is placing too much emphasis on his own powers, and is not heeding Dean or the angels warnings. The more Sam uses his powers (which as we all know have been called physic since season one) the more blinded he becomes to how dangerous using them are and also how much he has changed for the worse. His insight or understanding of good and evil and ethics are also becoming very hazy. Personally I just hope that Pamela’s death is not a foreshadowing of what will happen to Sam. Either way it is somewhat ironic that the literal and figuratively blind Pamela tried to lead the other blind person in the room back to some light before she died. .... the blind leading the blind is not a very good idea, but it was the one and only positive thing she said before she died. All the other things said demonstrated that she still did not learn her lesson and to the last blamed everyone but herself for her pending demise. Her hubris was "the death of" her. Let's just hope that Sam's anger and faith in his powers does not destroy him like it did Pamela.
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 20th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
Welcome, thanks for coming, and sorry I was a little slow getting back to you; real life has been nuts!

I agree that Pamela brought her blindness upon herself by her insistence on seeing Castiel's face despite stern warnings to stay away. When she pushed the issue and lost her sight, however, I'm not surprised that she blamed the angels and resented Bobby, Dean, and Sam for having brought her into a fight way beyond her weight class. Was she wrong to blame them? Absolutely. But I can understand her doing it. Most people look for someone or something outside themselves to blame for misfortune, even if we just call it luck; few and far between are the people who will step up and take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions. Do I wish it were otherwise? Absolutely.

Even with her resentment and anger running riot, though, Pamela still agreed to help out this time, despite having learned the last time around, in Heaven and Hell, that this angel/demon war she didn't want to fight was centered around the Winchesters. I give her points for agreeing to help even though she bitched about it. And when her help resulted in her death - and I do think she realized that her injury was mortal, with no chance of survival, so grasping at 911 straws wouldn't have helped - I cut her some slack for being bitter about dying in a fight she thought she should have known better than to enter again. I don't see her reaction to having been blinded as being inordinate pride; I see it more as being anger and bitter resentment at her own continued involvement in something she knew was beyond her. And in a very human move, I think she redirected anger at herself into anger at the agents whose request for help she hadn't been "smart" enough to deny.

Anyway, that's why I still liked her, and regret her death. She was human, with all the faults and flaws that implies; but she didn't deny the boys even when she told herself she should have, and because of that, she died.

I liked your point about the blind leading the blind; Sam definitely has been blind to the ethical beam in his own eye, and pride has definitely been at the root of a lot of what has gone wrong within him.

Oops - time to get off the nets: it's showtime!
sophie_deangirlsophie_deangirl on March 18th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Coming to the party late
Sorry for commenting so late, Mary. Talk about reality just sucking all the fun out of fantasy...hee! As it was, I barely got my blog done yesterday.

As always though, I LOVE your blogs and they totally sync to what I've been thinking about the show. I love your point about how John permeates still throughout the mythology, but also specifically in this episode. I love that you captured the Sam and Dean role reversal, but also point out that Dean understands through being older and the wisdom, bad and good, that comes with it keeps him from pushing things too far. So true. You SO know how I love your Dean testimonials! I also LOVED your observations about Sam and how uncomfortably hardened Sam has become so much so that the lies he was saying were just too easy and too coated in the lack of conscience you described.

As the adage says, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" and it seems like Sam's heading in that direction.

Awesome, Mary! Thanks for letting me in late into the conversation.
(Anonymous) on March 20th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
This was another excellent review. I always enjoy reading your thought provoking reviews every week.