happy by <lj user=galathea_snb>

Staying In Love With Your Partner (Show)

Staying In Love With Your Partner (Show)

Relationships are seldom easy. Oh, some friendships can be – but love? Keeping things both fresh and committed can be hard, because the people (shows) we love are uniquely able to hurt us as well as delight us. Here's some advice on making your relationship with your beloved partner (favorite TV show) work!

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So, those are my basic bits of successful partner (show) relationship advice. Do you have additional ones to contribute? Weigh in!

And stay in love!

SU weebros by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

Supernatural University: Tragedies, Bloodlines, Legacies – The Evolution of the Family Business



Supernatural University: Tragedies, Bloodlines, Legacies – The Evolution of the Family Business

“Saving people, hunting things: the family business.”

That's been the tagline of Supernatural from the very beginning, memorably given voice by Dean way back in the second episode, Wendigo, and repeated multiple times every season since. But it's never been a static concept; every part of that phrase has undergone evolution as the seasons progressed. In this discussion, I look at how the show has changed our understanding of family and the family business from its original presentation of hunting, hunters, the Winchesters, and saving people to where we stand at the beginning of season nine. Welcome to a multidiscliplinary Supernatural University analytical session!

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Anticipation, It's Making Me Wait …

Season nine promises to continue exploring the Winchesters' MOL legacy and – through the consequences of Sam's trials, Dean's decisions, the angels falling, and Castiel being rendered human – the tensions in both the Winchesters' immediate and extended family. I suspect we'll see even more evolution in the family business concerning what it means to save people and hunt things.

But no matter what comes, I know family will always remain at the heart of the show. After all, this all started with another family business that diversified from its origins – Kripke Enterprises, a metal scrap dealer in Toledo, Ohio!

SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

Supernatural University: Demonstration Angel



Supernatural University: Demonstration Angel

Even in the Supernatural universe, Castiel is absolutely unique. Oh, every angel is unique, like every person – each one is an individual with its own identity and personality – but from everything we've seen, Castiel stands alone as the only angel ever to die and be restored … not to mention experiencing that more than once. He's done things no other angel ever contemplated, and doesn't behave like any other angel we've ever met. Why is Castiel so unique? What is his purpose? Welcome to a speculative Supernatural University session in myth, theology, philosophy, psychology, and television production!

In my previous meta on angels as a group, I said I think Castiel represents the quintessential angel, the truest vision of what God intended angels to be. In this article, I'll look at Castiel from three very different but inextricably linked perspectives:


  • In practical television production terms, I'll explore why I think the writers – the show's other gods – designed and introduced him the way they did, why certain things happened to him along the way, and why I believe his initial role expanded largely because of what Misha Collins brought to his portrayal.


  • In terms of character development, I'll explain how I think he's different psychologically from most other angels we've seen, and postulate that his contact with Dean and Sam caused him to consider concepts he otherwise wouldn't have.


  • In story terms, I believe his innate differences, combined with his experience, are why he keeps being brought back from the dead: I propose the show's in-story God may be using him as both an exemplar and a test bed for angel development: God's demonstration angel.

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SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

Supernatural University: Calling All Angels

Supernatural University: Calling All Angels

This is the first of two articles exploring angels in the Supernatural universe. In this one, I'll be looking at the role angels have played and how that developed through the history of the series, including how angels relate to monsters and humans, and how I think their role has both meshed with and changed the show's “bible” over time. In the next article, shifting from the general concept of angels to the specific, I'm going to explore in detail the unique role of Castiel and put forward my own theories on his nature and purpose. Welcome to a multidisciplinary Supernatural University session in myth, theology, philosophy, psychology, and the nature of television production!

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SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

Supernatural University: The Rainbow Connection, Or Can You See What I See?


Supernatural University: The Rainbow Connection, Or Can You See What I See?

Addressing the emotional fan reaction on the internet to catastrophic events in The Rains Of Castamere episode of HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Game Of Thrones, Smithsonian Magazine tweeted an excellent article on how and why we bond so strongly with fictional characters. The neatest thing – to me, anyway – about the theory put forth in that article is that it would also explain very simply why we Supernatural fans can all watch the same show and yet have such vastly differing, strongly held interpretations of the characters of Sam and Dean, not to mention other characters in the show. Here's a little Supernatural University psychology and physics discussion about why fandom fights about characters will always be fruitless and never resolve into sense.

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Modern Classic by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

8.23 Sacrifice: It Was Always God's Intention, The Ultimate Sacrifice

8.23 Sacrifice: It Was Always God's Intention, The Ultimate Sacrifice

Metatron's Heaven:
Exile angels for revenge.
Closing Hell is death.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

My reaction to this episode was mixed. On the one hand, the performances, direction, and technical production aspects were absolutely stellar, and it filled my eyes and broke my heart in good ways; on the other, I had serious issues with aspects of the story, especially the divine metaphysics of falling angels, and it took a couple of viewings for me to get comfortable with the dialogue concerning Sam's confession to Dean and Dean's response. In this discussion, I'm going to address Metatron's expulsion of the angels and the emotional situation between the brothers.

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And here's my point. You've doubtless noticed my joy in this episode was not unalloyed. I have issues with the metaphysics of falling angels and with the idea of curing a demon by making it artificially feel remorse though injections of human blood. I've had criticisms of other episodes in this season, and throughout the run of the series.

But you know something? My delight in this show goes beyond my criticisms of the specific details that didn't work for me in a story or a season. I'm not concerned with having everything the way I want it to be. What makes me happy is having Supernatural itself: the story of two brothers who love each other and build a family of much more than blood, for whom saving people is the family business. What makes me happy is the passion and love of all the people behind the show who consistently make it more than an hour of entertainment; the quality it has that makes me think and write about it for long hours after an episode – or a season – has come to an end. What makes me happy are all the people I share my passion with, and the way they give it back to me.

Those are the blessings set before me, and with them, I'm content.

But really impatient for season nine.

Modern Classic by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

8.22 Clip Show: When They're All Gone, What Will You Have Left?

8.22 Clip Show: When They're All Gone, What Will You Have Left?

How can you fight on
When why you fight is destroyed?
Crowley's leverage ...

Commentary and Meta Analysis

This episode really turned up the pressure on the Winchesters, with Crowley finding the precise psychological lever to pull to hurt the brothers in the worst possible way as leverage to force their surrender. At the same time, it paired Castiel with Metatron in a simultaneous assault on Heaven, rocketing the season toward its end. In this discussion, I'm going to speculate on curing a demon; share concerns about Metatron and his plans for Castiel and Heaven; and look at the effectiveness of Crowley's ploy to blackmail the Winchesters.

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Clip Show left us with many more questions than answers, and those questions provide many different avenues the story could follow. I don't know where it's going, but wherever it is, I'm buckled in and along for the ride!

I apologize for being so late to post this here: all the problems with LJ lately made putting long things up particularly hard!

B&W brothers by <lj user=clubinthesky>

8.21 The Great Escapist: When You Create Stories, You Become Gods

8.21 The Great Escapist: When You Create Stories, You Become Gods

We can all be gods.
Our minds write our own stories;
Angels, demons, men.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

Ben Edlund never disappoints! This episode was chock-full of information advancing and reinforcing the overall mytharc of the series. I suspect I'll be doing many more analytical pieces during hiatus, because there was too much here for me to deal with in a single write-up. In this discussion, I'm going to look at angels rewriting their roles, the impact of the trials on Sam, and the nature of the trials themselves.

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Good stories take us out of ourselves and put us into other universes. When we watch an episode of Supernatural like this one, we can be escapists getting away from the problems of our personal worlds, much the way Metatron fled his angelic troubles to become absorbed instead into human fiction. But great stories can also take us deeper into ourselves and enhance our understanding of and connection with others, as Sam and Dean managed to force Metatron to become involved by personalizing Kevin's story and their own.

Perception can be everything. And if we open ourselves to it, our perceptions can change, and we can become better, more focused, more involved, more caring people.

B&W brothers by <lj user=clubinthesky>

8.19 Taxi Driver: No Reason To Think I Won't See You Again Somewhere Down The Road

8.19 Taxi Driver: No Reason To Think I Won't See You Again Somewhere Down The Road

Reaper shows the way.
Sam frees Bobby's Hell-trapped soul;
Benny says goodbye.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

I was thoroughly caught up in the emotion and rollercoaster nature of this episode while it was playing – tribute to all the actors and highest marks to the VFX crew – but once it ended, all the logic and plot holes weakening the script became glaringly obvious. I'm still going to treasure this episode despite the script issues, though, precisely because the characters' emotions were so profound and true.

In this discussion, I'm going to explore Reapers; speculate about Kevin, Crowley, and Naomi; celebrate Benny; and theorize about Sam and the trials.

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Modern Classic by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>

8.17 Goodbye Stranger: I Can't Take Any More Lies – From Anyone

8.17 Goodbye Stranger: I Can't Take Any More Lies – From Anyone

Lucifer's lost crypts
Conceal the angel tablet:
Win and lose at once.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

This episode was a game-changer in many ways, and I enjoyed them all. It also harked back to much of the show's history while shining a different light on it, and I appreciated that as well.

In this commentary, I'm going to speculate a lot about Crowley's history, contemplate what's happened to Sam, and delve into the bond between Castiel and Dean.

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As I noted, I have more to say, but no time at the moment to say it. I'm on tenterhooks for the rest of this season, and for what season nine will bring; I think the show right now is on an amazing creative roll, and however much it scares me, I can't wait to see where it goes. Especially when this is what the episode left with us to think about:

Goodbye stranger it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain …

Not on Supernatural. We'll feel … everything.