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23 March 2009 @ 07:13 pm
4.16 On The Head Of A Pin: There’s No Going Back  
4.16 On The Head Of A Pin: There’s No Going Back

Facing Alastair,
Dean learns what he cannot bear:
He broke the first Seal.

Read the rest ...Collapse )


I always feel like the latecomer to the party; I really hope people don't mind that these things take me so long!

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: "These Days" by Jackson Browne
saltnburnemsaltnburnem on March 26th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
I knew this one would be a hard one. Your analysis is fantastic, and right on! So much happens in 42 minutes. Questions are answered, yet I am left with more at the end. As always, your meta helps to organize and clarify the thoughts in my head. (At work on Friday, we were all just saying, "Wow, that was incredible! Now what does it all mean in the end???? Hmmmmm. Let see what Bardicvoice says!!") Now we can discuss the epi with your additional input in mind.....and it's greatly appreciated. Keep up the great work, voluntary and all.
bardicvoice: DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>bardicvoice on March 27th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Thank you - and thank your friends at work! Say hello to them from me, hey? You can't imagine what gleeful delight it gives me, to think that people actually want to hear what I want to say. You've made my night!

And the next episode starts in three; time to settle in for another tasty episode and get ready for another meta review ... *grin*
saltnburnemsaltnburnem on March 29th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
You're welcome! And did you ever think you'd be part of some office's watercooler discussion?! LOL
coug80 on March 27th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Here it is the night of the next episode and I'm finally getting to comment on the last one. So you just put up your blogs any old time, Mary! They won't seem late to me. Besides, you are writing what sure seems like a college thesis on each episode and doing it in record time when you look at it like that!

I tried to comment a couple of times and somehow have goobered them up because they never got posted. I loved the episode. It took its place in my top favorites, that ever growing list!I'm loving this season and I don't count the minutes each brother has on screen. It's never even ocurred to me that one might be featured more than the other. I don't know why some people dwell on minutiat that takes their attention away from the enjoyment of the story.

Just when I think our Dean can't possibly shoulder any more, he gets burdened with starting the apocalypse! I couldn't help but wonder what were truths and what were lies that were coming out of Alistair. I sure hope it comes out that John didn't hold out 100 years. I agree he wasn't the rightous sort, and he could have been the first to say so.

"I guess I'm not the man either of our Dads wanted me to be." Guh. I made it through most everything, but that line really tore at me.

So Sam is an addict. If there was any question if Ruby's motives were good or evil, I think they've been answered in her self-satisifed smirk as she was giving Sam the demon blood he said he "needed". I don't know what her end game is, but it's not good.

Wonderful analysis, Mary. I eagerly look forward to your next one, on what looks like may be a little less intense episode tonight!
bardicvoicebardicvoice on April 7th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
Thank you, Coug! Don't apologize for being late; I'm even later!!

Dean's line about John and God got to me, too; such pain, such grief, such total and absolute loss. And the way Jensen becomes Dean and makes it all so real just makes it hurt more. Swear, the man owns me.

I can't wait to learn what Ruby's true endgame is. I do expect that she wants Lilith dead, but why; to replace her, maybe? What if whoever owns Sam could own Hell, and take on Heaven for control of Earth?

(Anonymous) on March 27th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
term: righteous
Thank you very much for posting these reviews. They are truly fantastic and well worth any wait.
I've been wondering how the term righteous is actually meant by Alistair. Quite obviously not as in "lives as a celibate hermit". I wonder whether it derives from the term zaddik ("righteous man") in Hebrew and I wonder whether Kripke had that in mind or if it's me going off on tangents. According to wikipedia, a zaddik is a person who goes above and beyond the requirements of the law and who is said to have special relationship with God. Possibly, by being so focused on the "saving people" part rather than the "hunting things" aspect, Dean is fulfilling the saying "who saves a person, saves a universe" and by sacrificing his soul for Sam, he gets to sacrifice himself for another, fulfilling at least some of the requirements for being "righteous".
If anybody's got any thought on this, I'd love to hear.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on April 7th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Re: term: righteous
Thank you!

I wasn't familiar with the word "zaddik" and its particular meaning; thank you for educating me! I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn than you weren't going off on a tangent, and that Kripke had something similar in mind; Dean is special, and this seems to be his gift, that he gives of himself without reserve and without thought of reward. That really is what makes him a hero - that he continues even without faith or hope, because it's what is right, what is needed.

Thank you for making me think further!
(Anonymous) on April 6th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
Terrific review!
Re your comment about Dean: "Saving people was always his mission, starting with his brother and father and spreading out to many people he never even knew, and he did it just for itself, not with any expectation that doing it would benefit him either in life or in the afterlife that he didn’t even believe in. I think that he was a most uncommon soul for Hell. "

First, I wholly agree with you that Alastair's claims about John were a weapon he wielded against Dean and had little or no basis in fact. Point of information: I didn't hear Castiel say anything about laying siege to Hell to save John, only Dean. But back to your line quoted above. I'm sure there have been, in the last several millenia, at least a few souls sent to Hell for whatever reason who were "righteous" or "zaddik", and I wondered "Why is Dean so special?" And then you nailed it: **not with any expectation that doing it would benefit him either in life or in the afterlife that he didn’t even believe in.** Exactly. So many people are righteous in this world because it is what they are told will get them into Heaven, or keep them out of Hell. I think of people who do good with an eye toward getting into Heaven sort of like people who do other good acts like recycling only if they are convenient or of some measurable benefit or profit to them (that sounds ridiculously cynical but bear with me for a moment). The point is not to do good things because they are easy (what were Sam's words in Croatoan? "It's supposed to be hard, Dean. We're supposed to struggle with this."). Nor is it to do good in hopes of a future (heavenly) reward. The point is to strive to do good things BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Dean does not (at this point at least) believe in Heaven or even God. He saves people, sacrifices himself for their sakes, because he feels it is the right thing to do, not so that he will earn a heavenly reward. It is perhaps that which sets him apart from other righteous men who may have gone before him into the Pit; that, and his reason for the deal in the first place. Yes, it was selfish and ill-advised and desperate and lonely -- but ultimately it was done out of love, IMHO. His love for Sam. His love for his father, who had already made the same sacrifice for him, and who had charged him to "save" Sam. He didn't want to let down the father to whom he had made a promise, or the little brother he had been protecting all his life. And he didn't feel superior for having done it, he only hoped that somehow it would give his life meaning. Doesn't a righteous man also need to be humble? (Don't laugh -- as cocky as Dean *appears* to be, we all know what he really thinks of himself.)

My husband brought up perhaps another reason Dean is THE "righteous man": Dean, again perhaps alone among all the others, knew full well what his deal meant. Dean may not have believed in Heaven, but he sure as heck believed in Hell, not just as a concept created to keep sinners in line in this world, but as a real place, peopled by real demons and real evil. It wasn't just an abstract concept to him. He may well have underestimated the enormity of the place, but his eyes were fully open to the consequences of his deal, in a way few other souls could claim.

As for the "lateness" of your reviews -- piff!!! Your metas are always worth waiting for, and yours is among the two or three names I am always scanning for because I know your metas to be well-thought out and intelligently written -- and I like the way your mind works. Besides, I was on vacation at a place that DID NOT CARRY THE CW (aaaack!!) so I did not even see this episode until this weekend -- and then went looking for your review. It did not disappoint.

Thanks so much for your consistently excellent thoughts.

Linda B.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on April 7th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Re: Terrific review!
Thank you, Linda! (Sorry, I'm just now catching up on comments ...)

I loved your characterization of Dean and what makes him truly special; I agree wholeheartedly. Dean is a quintessentially good man who always puts others ahead of himself. And I think your husband is right, too; Dean made his deal with his eyes truly open, fully believing in Hell even if he didn't realize all the details. When he made the deal, he didn't know about humans being turned into demons by the torments of Hell, but he was assured of eternal torture even if he didn't know the form it would take.

No matter what happens in the remainder of the series, I will always love Dean Winchester for precisely who he is, for all these reasons. This series will stay with me forever, and that's not an exaggeration; it has changed me right along with its characters.

Thank you very much for coming, and for your kind words! And I understand completely about the horror of being deprived of a live episode; it's happened to me only twice, and I hope it never happens again!!

(Anonymous) on April 7th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
Re: Terrific review!
Oooh, I'm just glad I didn't come across sounding like an idiot. Perhaps now that I know what you look like I will see you at a future con (Vancouver or Chicago, for example) and get to thank you in person for your metas. I also know that I am NOT going to tell my friend, who was also at the LA con (I missed it, boo hoo!) that you got your picture taken with Eric Kripke. She has been hoping to see/meet/question him at a convention and was disappointed he was not an official guest at LA, and would be INSANELY jealous that you even knew he was there (at least, I have not heard her mention seeing him in her bubbly con phone reports), much less had your photo taken with him. Thanks for saying hello and I hope to catch up on my reading very soon. And we need to work on getting The CW aired in all the hotels and households of The Big Island of Hawaii, 'cause i sure couldn't find it anywhere accessible. -- Linda B.
Zazzazreil on April 7th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
Love your meta's every time they give me new insights into the show and my own thoughts about the show

very enjoyable