?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Supernatural 5.2 “Good God, Y’all"

The title pretty much sums up my reaction. Follow the cut for a more detailed (spoilery) analysis...

The title of the episode pretty much sums it up. That’s definitely what I was saying by the time the episode was over. Followed by WTF?

New Enemies:
I loved War as the villain and the introduction of the Four Horsemen as villains!! This was the most fun I’ve had with an episode in a long time, not because the other episodes weren’t good, but because it’s new territory. It’s not the same old, same old, demon, angel, demon, angel, demon, angel, blah, blah, blah, let’s yank the Winchester’s chains a little more routine. Nope, this gave the Winchesters and the viewers a chance to expand their horizons and cut their teeth on something different for a change!! Very cool. I haven’t had as much fun watching a TV show explore the Four Horsemen myth since “Highlander: The Series” did it!

And Dean figuring it out all on his own? And before the priest got it? OMFG Yay FTW!!

Sam’s comment about needing to find Mount Doom was also a definite bright spot. Aw, Sammy! It’s good to see your geeky roots shining through and not lost underneath all that broody, demonic, psychosis.

The “X-Files” shout outs were also much appreciated.

Old Allies:
It was also a real treat to see so many hunters still alive and kicking some demon ass (even if it was fake demon ass)! I love Rufus, and while we “heard” from him at the end of Season 4, we haven’t actually seen him since “Time is on My Side” back in Season 3. It’s good to know that the apocalypse is big enough to get him to leave his hermitage.

Seeing Ellen and Jo again was great, but also very poignant. Ok, I apologize for all the evil, demon-conspiring theories I had about Ellen back in Season 2. I blame that on the writers and unintentional misdirection due to a dropped subplot (and thank you to conventions and DVDs for giving enough info to finally explain why I thought Ellen was an evil demonic mastermind). When we last saw Ellen she’d lost everything, including Jo, whose whereabouts were then unknown. Since then, she’s accepted Jo for who she is, has given up on trying to dissuade Jo from a life of hunting, and finally mended fences.

In the same amount of time, Dean’s gone to hell and come back, Sam realized his potential as the antichrist, both were manipulated into bringing about the apocalypse, and oh, right… their relationship has completely fallen apart.

Painful juxtaposition.

It was also heartbreaking to see how out-of-the-loop Ellen was. Ok, she’s never been as close to the boys as Bobby (and by all accounts and purposes they don’t even know her that well), but you get the sense (and Samantha Ferris has said as much) that Ellen sees herself as sort of a mother figure who really cares about them. It’s scary enough that she (and presumably a lot of other) hunters are out there not knowing for sure that the apocalypse is upon them, but it’s somehow far worse, to see her worrying about them, mothering them, expressing sympathy, all the while not knowing the role they played (were made to play) in the whole mess. You can tell that Dean (and especially Sam) doubt she’d be so welcoming of their help or so sympathetic and friendly towards them if she knew. That hurts. Sure, Lucifer is free and Sam (and yeah, Dean too) did an incredible amount of fucking up to make that happen, but knowing how much the demons and angels both have been playing them, how far back this all was planned and orchestrated, I have a really hard time blaming them, on any level. Hell, they were pretty much frigging constructed for the purpose of playing out their intended roles for heaven and hell, and they’ve never really had much “free will” to do otherwise.

The Born-Again Angel:
Which interestingly enough, brings me to Cas. I think I like the new, cynical Cas, although I’m still not 100% sure if I trust him (after Ruby, it’s hard to trust anyone claiming to help; and no, his being an angel definitely doesn’t help). Seeing him turn into a crazy believer is also really… fascinating. His new-found faith based in the apparent miracle of his own resurrection and Sam and Dean’s miraculous escape from Lucifer is both amusing and painful. He’s so fresh and new in his indignation and sense of betrayal and well humanity that it seems terrifyingly precarious to place all of that into god (or God) enough to go searching for him and put all his eggs in the basket. He’s like: I know, God will save us, if only we can get him to come back.

Sorry, Cas, but I’m with Dean on this one. If Castiel’s god exists, he’s either dead or he doesn’t give a shit. The third option is that he exists and he cares, but he isn’t all-powerful or all-knowing… and if that’s the case, then it makes me wonder how much help or good he’ll actually be.

Cas’s semi-loss of powers is also understandable, but annoyingly convenient for the plot. He sure as hell seemed all-powerful in “Sympathy for the Devil.” Was he not cut off then but is now? (Since he killed a bunch of angels and Zachariah got away and now knows Cas is once again alive, and no longer Zach’s bitch?) Could be; would be helpful if there was some clarity on that point.

As for Cas’s attitude…. *grrr* Ok, I get it; he’s new to being “human” and not used to the emotions; I’ll give him that. His self-righteous pissedoffedness at Dean was definitely humanly illogical. But while I understand how overwhelming and frightening and frustrating and painful (yeah, having to kill your awful traitor-all-along brothers has got to suck even if they are psycho apocalypse junkies), it’s hard to find the sympathy for him when he starts laying into Dean (and Sam). His rant about giving up everything and putting his faith in them and then them failing and the apocalypse happening is cool and all, but come on. If Cas had just decided a split second sooner, maybe Dean would have succeeded in stopping Sam. For that matter, if Cas had teleported Dean into the room, inside the door it might have worked. If Cas had listened to Anna sooner… If he’d done time travel again, to pop Dean back in time a few minutes when teleporting him (ok, that one might not be possible, but Kripke showed us angel-based time travel in “In the Beginning” and never explained its rules, so maybe he should explain it already so I don’t keep wondering why Cas doesn’t use it all the time). The point is they were all played and manipulated. Cas figured out what was going on and he tried to warn Dean and he was immediately brainwashed. It took him some time to fight back, and by the time he got the guts, it was too late for Dean to really do anything. And now he’s (irrationally, but oh so humanly) mad at Dean… *sigh* It makes sense, it’s just Dean really doesn’t need anyone else bitching at him right now.

My reaction to the Amulet’s true purpose was mixed. I (and pretty much every other fan out there) always assumed it had another meaning, some actual purpose (it is an amulet after all; generally they’re designed to do something, not just look pretty) beyond being the symbol of Sam and Dean’s relationship (Sam’s trust in Dean; Dean’s place of unequaled importance in Sam’s life; Dean’s role as parent and protect; Dean’s unconditional love for Sam; Sam’s place of unequalled importance in Dean’s life).

But now we’re supposed to believe it’s actually a super-rare (unique) amulet that detects God EMF? And Bobby just happened to give it to Sam to give to John as a Christmas present and Sam just happened to give it to Dean and God’s last loyal angel just happened to recognize it and… *pants* And we’re finding that out NOW in the fifth season? I want to believe!! But it smells a little bit of deus ex machina (deus ex amululeto, anyone?) to throw it out there this late in the game. Makes me wonder what Bobby thought it did. If feel like saying “aw, geez, you mean we coulda been on the lookout for god this whole time?”
Winchesters will be Winchesters:
Which brings me to the great, big, honking symbolic role of the amulet and its significance to the ill-fated ending of this episode.

The Amulet, we’ve known since “A Very Supernatural Christmas” is essentially the embodiment of Dean and Sam’s relationship, or DeanandSam if you will. The symbol of brothers–best friends–parent & child–soul mates–brothers-in-arms–colleagues–and the most important person in each other’s lives. Dean gives up the amulet and it’s a symbol (anvilicious foreshadowing, a harbinger if you will) of the loss of their relationship. They’ve been slipping farther and farther apart since Sam died (thanks mostly to the machinations of evil demons and eviler angels), and sure enough, once the amulet is no longer in Dean’s possession, by the end of the episode they’ve gone their separate ways.

Dean (as we know) has given up. He’s burned out, tired, exhausted, emotionally devastated, and he just can’t care anymore. If he still had any hope for Sam or for him and Sam and their place in each other’s lives, you know he wouldn’t have let Cas take the amulet so easily. But at this point Dean is alternating between believing Sam died when he well, died, and all he’s got left is a corrupted, twisted, disaster he ever should have resurrected from the dead and trying to convince himself that Sam was never really his brother in the first place. *deep breath*

I get it. Dean shouldn’t be functioning at this point; neither should Sam. And Bobby is understandably wrapped up in his own loss and pain to realize what’s going on (although, I can pretty much guarantee if Dean or Sam had run their genius “let’s go our separate ways” plan past Bobby, he would have called them on their shit and metaphorically put his foot down and refused to let it happen).

As my friend Katie pointed out while we were watching, “the last time they tried that [splitting up] Meg happened, and what a disaster that was.” Ok, well that was actually the first time it happened (since Stanford), but her point is valid. Sam and Dean split up—Meg tries to seduce Sam and Dean nearly gets sacrificed to a pagan god. Sam goes out for burgers by himself and gets possessed by Meg, kills a hunter, attacks Jo, and nearly kills Dean. Sam goes into a restaurant to buy burgers and pie without Dean, Sam gets nabbed by demons and winds up dead. Sam and Dean disagree on the best course of action to try to break Dean’s deal, they separate, and Sam nearly ends up loosing his eyeballs to “Dr. Quinn Medicine Zombie” (as I have seen the character affectionately called). Sam and Dean disagree about Ruby, Sam runs off and accidentally frees Lucifer and starts the apocalypse. The list goes on and on; whatever the situation, whatever the reason, no matter how good, Sam and Dean separating inevitably leads to disaster.

The thing is, they’re kind of between Scylla and Charibdis here. If they stay together, the tension and distrust is just going to get worse. Dean doesn’t trust Sam and constantly has to “watch out for him.” Sam doesn’t trust himself, so he’s dangerous hunting—he doubts, he hesitates, it’s potential disaster.

Of course, now that they’ve split up, it’s not like Dean will stop worrying about Sam. Sure, he won’t need to worry about whether or not Sam’s going to fuck up on a hunt or if he can trust him to have his back. But Dean also won’t have anyone at his back, and he won’t be able to check on Sam to know if he’s walking the straight-and-narrow or falling off the deep end. Right now Dean probably feels like he doesn’t really care what Sam does or what happens to him, but deep down, that’s very unlikely to be true; and well, considering how frakking dangerous Sam can be, letting him run around on his own, unsupervised, just sounds like a monumentally bad idea.

Again, from Sam’s POV, not hunting means not being tempted with power, not having to worry about Dea hating him, not having to worry about screwing up, and much, much more. But who wants to bet Sam won’t last one episode without getting further corrupted and tempted/seduced/tricked into helping Lucifer or one of his hench-chronies in some way? (Sure, he’s got the sigil, but this is Sam… he’ll find trouble if it doesn’t find him.) After all, Ruby said Lucifer would reward him in ways he couldn’t imagine… now that’s a threat and recipe for disaster if I ever heard one.

The smart thing to do would have been to assign Sam as Bobby’s nursemaid. Bobby would have hated it, of course, probably insisting he didn’t need one, but at least he’d have someone to fight with. Sam would have hated it and self-flagellated himself constantly. But at least Bobby (with his cool head and genuine concern) would have been able to watch out for Sam, and Sam would have something to do that wasn’t hunting or drifting around waiting to get further corrupted.

Oh boys. They never learn. Winchesters will always do the worst possible thing given the situation. It’s just who they are, and we love them for it.

All-in-all a very entertaining, thought provoking, and emotional episode! :)

Ooh, ooh, and the music rocked!! I seriously feel like I'm watching Season 1 again (as far as the music's concerned, anyway)!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
engel82
Sep. 18th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
And after Meg, came Ruby. And who's right there waiting for Sammy now; Lucifer. Great call boys...

I'm thinking, maybe the amulet wouldnt work if it's not Dean "using" it.

And that's pretty much my only thoughts right now. Cause Ive been trying to sleep for 4 hours and failed.
paleogymnast
Sep. 18th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC)
Sorry that you can't sleep. This not working at the moment thing has made me completely nocturnal. Sounds like you've got the same problem!

Hopefully you're right about the amulet. At least we know god hasn't been around so far in the series, or that amulet would have glowed hot at some point.

Oh, and I forgot to say; this episode totally made me think of "Croatoan" crossed with AHBL1... only more... twisted! :D Thanks for your comment, sweetie!! :)
a_phoenixdragon
Sep. 19th, 2009 09:22 am (UTC)
Nailed it, nailed it!

akes me wonder if Bobby actually DID send the amulet? Or if he was directed too and didn't understand what he was doing. After all, angels can manipulate time AND cellphones - what's a little snail mail to them?

*hugs you*
paleogymnast
Sep. 19th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
Especially intriguing (mind blowing) when you think about how long ago Sam gave Dean that amulet!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Sad Dean
paleogymnast
paleogymnast

Latest Month

July 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow