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07 April 2010 @ 12:21 pm
5.16 Dark Side of the Moon: How Are We In Heaven?  

5.16 Dark Side of the Moon:  How Are We In Heaven?

 

Winchester Heaven:

Memories of times gone by

Teach lessons, kill faith.

 

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Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan
 
 
 
Amberamberdreams on April 7th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
Oh and another thought to throw into the pot - what if Joshua wasn’t Joshua at all, and he was in fact, God? There was just something about the way Joshua talked about God’s wrath when suddenly the amiable, apologetic little man simply radiated menace; and then later when he was talking to the boys in the garden, particularly when he told them God says ‘back off” – it felt to me like a test. That was on first viewing, and I didn’t change my mind second time – it might just be that the guy playing Joshua had a tremendous presence, but it might be Kripkesque enough to be true…. :D
krisreinkekrisreinke on April 14th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
Yeshua ben Joseph
There has been an interesting question raised as to just *which* Joshua that was.

Was it the Joshua who fought at Jerico?

Or was it Yeshua of the house of David - better known as that 'Christos' guy. *grin*

I'm personally betting on #2. (I mean - who is the ONE and ONLY person who not only talks to but apparently talks FOR the 'Big G'? Who hangs out - him and him alone - at the place that "Some see as God's Throne Room". Plus the equality implied in 'one gardner to another'. It isn't going to be a mid-range prophet,now, is it?)

Also, I noticed a bit attitude shift from a sort of old-testament 'You know how he is about that 'wrath' thing'.... to Joshua being the first to mention things like 'salvation' and 'giving ...life'. Not that I'm going to say Kripkie is seeing things as I am.... but those are some pretty supercharged phrases in the right context.

(Anonymous) on April 7th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
Hi!
Congratulations on your review. As a Samgirl, I was firstly irritated at Dean for what I considered as overreaction and selfishness regarding Sam's happy memories. The lucidity and coherence of you analysis helped me see both perspectives. Thank you very much! I hope you're right and that Sam steps up to the plate. God knows he needs redemption himself.
I wholeheartedly agree about the fireworks scene. It was one of the most beutiful things I ever saw in SPN, which is to say a lot. Colin Ford is precious. It's always a delight to see him.
I found some parts of this episode intriguing, like a sort of puzzle. For instance, I keep thinking about Castiel's words to Dean: follow the road and you'll find Sam. It sounded - at least to me - as though Sam is a destination for Dean, and not ony in this episode. Do you agree?
Andrea
My name is Ancastaancastar on April 7th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful. I like the idea that much of what happened (or what was allowed to happen) in heaven was aimed at Sam. I was one of those who was surprised by many people being upset with him after this ep. I'd thought he'd shown real growth and compassion. Dean has done all he can do; it's time for his brother to bear the weight. I think Sam is ready for it.

Great review.
Zazzazreil on April 7th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
Wow you always catch something that I did not see. I guess part of the reason I missed the huge important point that you made, is that I, like Dean was hoping for this episode to be the one that gave the Winchester's hope. And I just didn't get that pay off. Don't get me wrong knowing Kripke's and most of the writer's humanistic stance I was not expecting God to save the day, but I was hoping for memories or scenes that help bolster the Winchester determination. Mostly I suppose because after spending an entire season + ripping the Winchester'a apart I want more than one episode of putting them back together, no one big yellow crayon moment, but rather a series of moments where we can see the brothers again become the kind of team that can take down a Prince of Hell on their terms, because it is the right thing to do. So I totally missed that the memories that we were seeing were orchestrated by a higher power, even though I could see Sam grow every step of the way. And hasn't that boy been growing this season? Though I do wish they did not try to shoe horn the growth into the last half of the season but spread it out more evenly. That Caveat aside it was really interesting to see him start to come to grips with his flaws and failings. Starting with his intense anger, which we know from VSC and ASS he has had since he was a child, and which Lucifer wants and needs. And better yet we see him start to understand it and change. First by realizing in BSW that he hates feeling controlled, then in TSRMtS giving up a part of his anger and forgiving his father. By the time we get to MBV he has accepted his addiction but instead of running from it like the beginning of the season or hiding and denying it in season 4, he reaches out for help. And now in TDSotM he is beginning to empathize with someone out side of himself - his brother. Yeah Sam has always been promoted as the empathic side of the team but really Dean is far more empathic but just determined to hide it because it wasn't macho. What Sam was able to do that Dean couldn't or wouldn't was appear sympathetic and normal no matter what his personal opinion. But I digress. I agree that Sam's growth is very important, he is the only one who can put Dean back together, and if he does not repeat the mistake of last year and see Dean's need of healing as a weakness, I think he can and by doing so, Dean will be stronger than he was before and so will their partnership
Zaz
harriganharrigan on April 8th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Off to recommend this to my friends!!!
debbiel66: Sam and Dean cloudy skydebbiel66 on April 8th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
This was absolutely brilliant. You articulated everything so well, and I agree with so much of it. I adore your meta and analysis... it explained why this episode made me warm and hopeful inside in a way that the show hasn't done for some time.

Thank you!
immie_8immie_8 on April 8th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
Hey Bardic,

I've missed your metas SO MUCH, it's great to have you back! :D

This episode was a heartbreaker, but I, like you, feel that the events of this episode were crucial to helping the brothers truly rebuild their relationship, and am excited about how this episode will look in retrospect, once the season is over.

I’m also going to go out on a limb here and say I believe the brothers’ specific heavenly memories weren’t accidental or random, but also that they weren’t – well, except for the last grotesque one of Mary – devised or manipulated by Zachariah. I think God took the opportunity to send the brothers to Heaven for a purpose beyond telling them to back off, and I believe their ability freely to inhabit each other’s Heavens...


I'm not sure what I believe, here. On one hand, I do find it odd Dean's second memory and Sam's Standford memory, odd, as I'm not sure how "happy" those moments would be for either boy, but I do see how important the revelations that came with these memories were to Sam. (I have to admit, though, if this was a manipulation by Zach, I will laugh, as I like you believe that what was show will prove pivotal to mending Sam and Dean's relationship. Could almost feel sorry for him, as everything he seems to do seems to backfire on him! LOL!)

What really makes me wonder if those were manipulations by Zach, though, was Dean's comment to Mary about how he'd "never leave her". There just seemed to be this deliberate juxtiposition of how Dean was holding on to everyone, while (from what he was being shown) everyone else was pushing him away/trying to get away.

I believe Sam, on the other hand, was given insight he desperately needs to be able to take steps to save his brother and with him, the world.

...

And because Sam has grown more mature and truly loves his brother, what he learned had an impact and made him think.


ITA. Like with all those little moments in S1, Sam has been given an opportunity to take a look back at his (and Dean's) childhood and reevaluate what he thought he knew back then.

Looking back on everything, now, I actually think that's it's kind of ironic that right now Sam has, in a way, gotten what he claimed to have wanted in "When the Levee Breaks" - he's now in the driver's seat of the relationship. Dean's exhausted, and, like you said, it's going to be up to Sam pull Dean out of the darkness and steer them both to the point where Dean can see the truth about all his doubts about his place in Sam's heart.

Lastly, I agree that God just because God won't intervene directly, doesn't mean that he has turned his back on humanity. I think that he's indirectly told them by listing all that he's done, that he's given them everything they need to stop the apocalypse on their own, and that they need to put their heads together (Sam, Dean and Cas) and stop looking to him to solve the problem.

The season has really started to kick things into high gear, and with the elephant in the room finally being addressed, I've got high hopes that we've got a happy(ish) ending waiting for us.

Take care,

immie_8
ellie_234ellie_234 on April 8th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
I love your reviews very honest and thoughtful.I think it was a good time to give Sam a Epiphany moment where Dean is concerned . I think was is needed for Dean has well where Sam is concerned otherwise there is little point in Sam trying to rebuild the brothers. Dean needs to realize because Sam wanted something that was outside of his family wasnt a rejection of him or because Sam views family or his childhood differently it isnt a rejection of him. In all this time being with Sam from the pilot onwards Dean still hasnt learnt that much about his brother. That Independence doesnt equate rejection and Sam has proved his love more than once. If Dean keeps ploughing the same furrow then nothing Sam can do or say will make much difference. Until both boys come to that true understanding of each other then the relationship will always have strains and undercurrents of resentment that will tear them apart again.They need to find that peace with themselves and each other , then truly I believe they will have a strong relationship . This episode took Sam on that first step along a long road at some point Dean needs to join him .
rgnyc on April 8th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Beautiful and spot on analysis!
Thank you so much for your review. I am with you on everything! What a pleasure to relive the episode through your writing. I especially appreciate how you make note of plot points from past episodes to clarify and explain. I am so emotionally connected with the relationship between these brothers that I have been in pain all week but have been counting on Sam's determination to keep us all going! Thank you! -RG
ash48ash48 on April 9th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Excellent. And really, just how I saw it. A chance for Sam to grow and have a better understanding of Dean, in order to help him through it. Dean asked God for help at the end of MBV and in return I think God has given him Sam. Sam will help him...

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful insights.
xx
(Anonymous) on April 9th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
Wow! What a beautiful idea. So Sam is God's gift to Dean! I like it. :)

Andrea
(no subject) - ash48 on April 10th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
getting the chocolate in the peanut butterdotfic on April 9th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
A little late reading this, but beautifully done commentary. Thanks for articulating all of that and in a way that captures why I felt for both brothers in this, and why I found it a Sam-sympathetic episode. I haven't been able to agree with the commentaries arguing that the episode was trying to paint Sam in a bad light. Really terrific point about the mixed happy and sad in Dean's memories that acts as a mirror to Sam's happy memory being the night he left for Stanford. My sense is that night would've been mixed for Sam--happy and painful both. Just as Dean has his perfect memory of Mary, but included in that is a sign of unrest in the Winchester marriage.

Sam apologized for a lot of things and felt genuine horror and remorse for his actions and their consequences, but he kept missing the point that the things he was apologizing for weren’t the things that mattered to Dean. Dean never blamed Sam for killing Lilith or breaking the final seal. He never blamed Sam for the apocalypse, particularly since he himself had broken the first seal. He didn’t blame Sam for his demon blood addiction. What rankled was Sam lying to him, shutting him out, and willfully leaving him

This, thank you. I've felt that since 5.01, and it's been good to see the season bearing it out, at least to my reading -- and in this ep, when Sam said to Dean "why am I in heaven, after the things I've done" and Dean said "you were trying to do what you thought was right" (or words to that effect) showed to me Dean's issues aren't that Sam accidentally started the apocalypse, it was all the personal stuff. In his hurt, Dean might've spoken carelessly, thrown up the opening of the seal, but he knew, he knew all along he was complicit too and that came out in Fallen Idols, and here I think we see Dean letting go of the hurt enough to separate the logistics of what happened from his own personals hurts re: Sam.
fruitynut on April 9th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Children never grow up if their parents do everything for them; in the same way, I think angels and humans couldn’t develop into responsible adult beings if their choices had no meaning and God swooped in to make everything right.

THIS! I felt the same way! I never believed that God didn't care, Joshua just said it wasn't His problem.

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to read everyone else's replies but in regards to Sam and Dean being soul mates in Heaven, I have to disagree. They didn't actually share Heaven, each one just inhabited the other's because Sam couldn't interact with Dean's Mary and Dean wasn't even acknowledged in Sam's thanksgiving.

Peace Love and Cheese
(Anonymous) on April 10th, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
Your review is awesome!
Your grasp of the continuity and depth of the show over the 5 seasons is outstanding. I'm in awe of your insight and the rightness of your conclusions. Thanks for caring enough about the inner life of these growing spiritual beings to shed light on their true motivations. Great job.
momsgyver on April 10th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Great review, and thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents.
We started this Supernatural journey thinking it was just about John wanting to find what killed Mary that drove him to be a hunter, and training the boys to be warriors. THEN we discovered that Mary actually was already from a hunter family and had MADE A DEAL to save John. Why and how her family became hunters was not entirely made clear, but Azazel the yellow eyed demon was behind their demise and Sam's demon connection.

Soon, we find that John is put into a situation to save Dean's life, by MAKING A DEAL with the same demon that Mary bargained with for his life. We later find out that John went to hell, to be tortured but he doesn't break, according to Alastair, hell's torture-master.

We later found out what YED was trying to do, build an army of psychic part-demon warriors to fight for his cause, which was to open the gates of hell (the first step of release Lucifer and starting the Apocalypse). In this process, we lose Sam, which prompts Dean to MAKE A DEAL with the Crossroads Demon to save Sam's life. Eventually the gates of hell are opened, releasing countless demons, but YED was vanquished, thanks to John's heroic ghostly return from hell. Still, YED influence lived on in Sam, taking Sam all the way to the dark side. Dean goes to hell, fulfilling his deal, manages to hold on to his humanity for 30 years of torture by Alastair, until he finally breaks down, thereby breaking the first seal, and starting the train of events leading to Lucifer's release.

Without Dean, Sam goes deep into himself and falls under Ruby's spell. Without Dean, Sam is a lost, demon-possessed soul. He fully teams with Ruby to fight demons and Lilith. Sam thinks his redemption will come when he vanquishes Lilith, so he amps himself up on Ruby's demon blood to do so. In the process of trying to protect the seals, Castiel is sent to earth with work for Dean. As the righteous man who broke the first seal, it will be up to Dean to fight Lucifer. Dean, Sam and Cas battle to keep the seals from being broken, but alas, all 66 seals go down, with Lilith being the last and vital seal to bring Lucifer to earth. As Lilith leaves the world, her eyes go yellow, tying back to the YED. Sam discovers he actually starts the Apocalypse, not ends it. Dean vanquishes Ruby.

Now Lucifer walks free and we live in an apocalyptic world, and the warrior men who started out in the "simple" family business of hunting demons, find themselves on shakier and shakier ground. They are dealing with angels who team up with Lucifer and angels that don't believe in God. The line between good and evil is very blurred. What a mess. All the while, their central core motivation is getting tested and tried at every turn. They are taken into the presence of higher beings who doubt God. Sam and Dean's reliance on each other seems to have been an illusion all along, if you believe the implications of this last episode. The are allowed free will, but the choice is for each to be the vessels of the opposing forces of the Apocalypse, which means that one of them must die to finish this war and bring peace back to both heaven and earth. God has left the building, so we are told, and doesn't feel it's his job anymore. All parties are being tested, and God's main creation, mankind, are particularly being put on trial.

Are the brothers pulling together and confidently going into battle? On the contrary, faith is shattered, and hope is lost. Sam is the only family Dean has and Dean protects Sam fiercely at every opportunity, but is seems that Dean is optional to Sam's picture of happiness. Dean's whole reason for being has been thrown into severe doubt. Who is this Sam guy and why should Dean really care anyway, since all Sam has done has been to keep secrets and rely on demons rather than Dean?

I believe now it's Sam's turn to MAKE A DEAL. One question I have is: will the deal be to save Dean, which would probably be the only thing that could bring Dean back from his abyss, or would Sam's deal be to save the world, in the ultimate grand gesture of redemption from his walk on the dark side?
momsgyver on April 10th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Great review, and thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents.
This is compelling and unfolding drama, showing how gifted Eric Kripke is as the creator of this mythos, and the team of writers, directors, producers and actors have been, to keep us on the edge of our seats, caring intensely about these characters and wanting to see them fulfill their destinies.
keerawakeerawa on April 11th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
The insight about the two brothers projecting their deepest fear onto each other was brilliant. It's lovely to think that perhaps that those particular memories, damaging as they were for Dean, might be the nasty medicine needed to bring Sam to that realization and let them start to move past this.