199 And Counting – Supernatural’s Paper Moon

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As this week’s Supernatural episode ended, I found myself very emotional. Not just from the episode, though the last line hit me hard, but from the realization that I had just watched the 199th episode of the show that changed my life. In two weeks, we’ll all celebrate the amazing milestone of the 200th, hopefully with cast and crew joining in the online celebration. When we fell in love with Supernatural and decided this would be the show we’d research and write books about, we thought we’d be lucky if it stayed on the air another year. That was 2007. Here we are, with 2014 almost done, and the Little Show That Could is still going strong. Forgive me if I needed a few extra tissues.

I really enjoyed this episode. The story line played out in a linear fashion instead of jumping around, and the pace was even throughout. And oh how I loved the interaction between the brothers. I’ll wax poetic over that in a minute. Most amazing thing about this episode? My daughter and I agreed. On everything. Is the moon blue instead of paper??

I’ll get the few things that both of us were iffy about out of the way first. Kate’s long exposition scene and the detailed flashbacks were the only jarring cutaways. For godsakes, Show, I am capable of remembering what happened TWO WEEKS AGO! I realize this is a network thing, that they want to ensure that a first-time viewer finally tuning in after ten frickin’ years won’t be totally lost, but damn, it’s annoying to all of us who follow along with a magnifying glass.

And I’m still struggling a bit with the whole “Sam was as much of a monster as Demon!Dean” thing. It still seems like Sam went after the worst of the worst in trying to get Dean back, so I’m having a hard time demonizing (heh heh) him for that. It feels a bit like they’re forcing that down my throat, but maybe we just haven’t heard quite enough yet. Sam fessed up to lying about there being others besides Lester, but I’m still skeptical that I’m going to climb aboard the Sam-is-a-monster-too train.

For the most part, I liked the parallels, though there were a few times they veered frighteningly close to anvilicious. It’s a long-standing Supernatural trope to use guest characters to mirror the Winchesters, and it’s one I like, but I prefer it subtle. That’s a pet peeve of mine though, so maybe I’m just hypervigilant for it. Most of the parallels worked here. Did you see the looks on Sam and Dean’s faces when Kate said, “She’s family, that’s worth eating a bullet for.” The way they glanced at each other, acknowledging that yeah, they get it. Do they ever!

The parallel got more complicated as Show presented us with the question of how far Kate should go to save her sister, questioning where that moral boundary tipped from one side to another. This is a question Supernatural has wrestled with throughout most of its run, and I like that it’s still asking. Is Kate’s decision a foreshadowing of what’s to come? Show seems to be setting up the possibility that Dean will be facing quite a struggle in trying to control the mark of Cain, and he seems to know it – his comment that Tasha was “in too deep – you don’t ever come back from that. Not ever” was chilling. Let’s hope Sam finds a different way to save his sibling from the darkness – he has so far, after all. I have faith in you, Sam Winchester.

So, other than those little quibbles….so much to love!

An aspect of the parallels I loved was the charm bracelet each sister wore, two halves of a whole. Many fans interpreted that as analogous to the amulet that has been passed back and forth between the brothers, especially since it seems like a soulmate sort of symbol. Seeing Kate wearing her sister’s in the end, because her sister was gone, hit close to home, evoking the time when Sam wore Dean’s amulet while he was in hell. I can’t even think of the amulet without getting all overly emotional, so that shot of the charms was powerful. As Kripke once said, the guest characters’ story lines give Show a chance to comment on the brothers and their relationship much more than could happen otherwise.

Tweeted by @emilyjtennant
Tweeted by @emilyjtennant

After feeling cheated of the Sam and Dean reunion broment (and hug) on last week’s SPN, I had my fingers and toes crossed that Adam Glass would come through with his promise of broments in this one. And boy, did he! I was so blown away by the sheer amount of actual conversation that the Winchesters were having, I didn’t know what to do with myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure I kept babbling something like “OMG they’re talking, they’re really talking!”

Their conversation struck just the right balance, which doesn’t always happen on Supernatural. They didn’t tip into “no way would the boys ever talk this much” territory, but they didn’t have one of those infuriatingly abbreviated non-conversations when nobody manages to convey anything to anyone either. Instead they haltingly but genuinely attempted to be real with each other. It was awkward, sure, but that only made it more emotional. They were trying so hard, bless their Winchester hearts. After all that’s happened, and the countless times they’ve hurt each other, it was agonizingly clear that repairing their relationship is the most important thing to both of them. They are so far from giving up on each other, that’s in another galaxy. And I loved every minute of it. It was especially touching that they both kept making sure the other didn’t think they were trying to “start anything”. God knows, things often go south between Sam and Dean because one of them does – or because their communication skills are so rusty that one of them at least thinks that’s what’s happening.

I feel like they both learned something from their painful journey in Season 9 and the first three episodes of Season 10, in which they flip-flopped their customary positions. Dean was the one struggling with his impulses and Sam was the one who decided to move heaven and earth to save his brother. Even if his brother didn’t exactly want to be saved. They’re both uncomfortable with the lengths they went too, embarrassed and ashamed. But instead of covering it up or lying to each other, they’re actually talking about it.

Talking. They're talking!
Talking. They’re talking!

Saying that it was refreshing and bloody satisfying to hear the boys actually talk to each other is a gross understatement. Only a Supernatural fan would understand how amazing this is, and how unusual. There was tenderness and affection in what they said, but it wasn’t overt, nothing hitting us over the head or so much that the characterization suffered. It seemed very real, and still very Winchester. I don’t know how you pulled that off, Adam Glass, but I’m grateful.

Dean: This is good.

Yes, Dean. It really was.

The best moments appeared on my Tumblr dash and Twitter feed almost immediately.

Dean: Not to mention, I never even said thank you

Sam: You don’t ever have to say that, not to me

Tumblr: How to say “I love you” in Winchester.

And speaking of that, the first scenes were so delicious I just want to stare at them forever. Sam and Dean at the lake in beach chairs and sunglasses? It was like a favorite piece of fan art come to life, except this was canon! Both the brothers looked ridiculously gorgeous, and wherever they filmed that was almost as beautiful as they were.

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And yes, they were having “we time”.

Tumblr: So they decided not to get that divorce and went on a second honeymoon instead?

Have we ever actually seen the Winchesters take a vacation before? It was glorious. I could watch an entire episode of Sam and Dean at the lake, staring at the setting sun and clinking their beers together, the Green Cooler of Feels between them. And a “No Hunting” sign posted nearby, which the boys clearly decided to ignore. Nice touch, Show.

Fandom quickly recognized the location as where Jared did his ALS ice bucket challenge too. See? We don’t need extended flashbacks, we’re quick like that.

Also delicious were Sam and Dean in park ranger uniforms and jeans. How lucky for us that the boys just happened to steal uniforms that fit them like they were painted on! And how lucky for me that wardrobe decided to give Dean Winchester a short jacket for a change and then make sure he was wearing tight jeans.

Me: Thank you wardrobe. #datass

I also loved the running joke between the brothers about Dean being a demon. That’s such a human thing to do, trying to deal with the elephant in the room by joking about it. It seemed so very Sam and Dean.

Sam: Oh, you were a demon? I didn’t realize that.

And later…

Dean: I was a demon? I didn’t realize.

Sam: Shut up [soft smile]

There were too many great lines to quote them all, but I laughed out loud at:

Tasha: No one’s talking to you Paul Bunyan!

Sam’s face O—o.

Paul Bunyan looks good to me :)
Paul Bunyan looks good to me 🙂

Sam: Guess she likes bad boys.

Dean: Well, wait till she gets a load of us.

That probably was way hotter than it should’ve been.

Vampire bad guy: On your knees!

Dean: Well I’m flattered, but…

One of the best things about this episode was that it broke ground and let Sam save Dean. Yes! The theme of Sam saving Dean played out in this episode in multiple ways, including Sam being totally kickass and saving both himself and Dean from the werewolves – with only one hand! Keep it up, Show. (Jared talked about this theme in his meet and greet – more on that in the next blog post.)

Dean down! Sam to the rescue!
Dean down! Sam to the rescue!

Glass didn’t shirk on the stab-you-in-the-heart emotional moments either.

Sam’s voice breaking when he tried to explain to Dean how desperate he’d been, how wrecked by Dean’s death.

Sam: I carried your corpse into your room. I put your dead body on your bed.

And Dean’s face when he hears it, so devastated. Because he knows what that’s like – he did the same thing for Sam in All Hell Breaks Loose, carried him back and laid him out and grieved over his body just like Sam did.

Tumblr: Now both brothers know what the heavy, lifeless weight of the other feels like in their arms.

Me: Tissues!

It did my heart good to see the brothers hunting side by side again, having each other’s backs literally. Dean reaching over to touch Sam on the shoulder as he asks “You okay?” These are the brothers who captured my imagination and my heart almost a decade ago.

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The other great thing about Sam and Dean actually talking is that they were able to say outright some of the things that fandom discusses but that rarely get acknowledged in canon. Sam is back to being smart – smart enough to worry about what will happen if Dean starts killing again, even if it’s a werewolf. He’s no longer underestimating the impact of the mark of Cain, and he’s willing to step in and tell Dean not to do it. And Dean is willing to listen.

The last line hit me hard. You can hear Dean’s guilt and shame – his embarrassment about all those bad decisions. And he doesn’t hide it from Sam, for once. He tries to open up and be honest about it, just as Sam does when he confesses that he lied about there being others besides Lester.

Dean: I’m just trying to do the right thing, man. Cause I’m so sick and tired of doing the wrong one.

That’s the Dean Winchester I know and love. Carrying a crap ton of burdens and going down the wrong path sometimes, but still wanting to get out there and kick ass – to do some saving people, hunting things. I feel like tonight’s Supernatural got the boys back on the road where they belong, back to the family business. I’m so glad I’m still along for the ride!

We were lucky enough to watch some of the filming of this episode while we were at VanCon, including Kate in the phone booth (where did she find a phone booth??).

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They also filmed the dark road she crosses as she leaves town, which was actually right behind the studios. We watched a random car and truck drive back and forth about 20 times, the dark road eerie with atmospheric smoke billowing across it like fog. It was strangely beautiful.

They also used that stretch of road to drive the Impala back and forth a few times, driven by Jensen and Jared’s stand-ins. Just hearing the familiar rumble of her engine gave me goosebumps. I would have been happy to stand there forever, watching her drive by, a sleek black form in the foggy night. Only a Supernatural fan could be this emotional about a car.

The Impala waits for her turn to film
The Impala waits for her turn to film

I wasn’t the only one captivated by Dean’s baby, it seems.

Brit Sheridan (Kate) tweeted this priceless photo:

Brit Sheridan loves her too (tweeted by @thebritsheridan)
Brit Sheridan loves her too (tweeted by @thebritsheridan)

Jason, Jared’s stand-in, was pretty awesome too. He’s not only as tall as Jared, but built the same way. He even moves the same way. Thanks for the great conversation, Jason!

So he's a little taller than me...
So he’s a little taller than me…

Stay tuned for some meet and greet tidbits from both Jared and Jensen at Chicon, and exclusive interviews with Lauren Tom, Curtis Armstrong and the talented guest star from Paper Moon, The Green Cooler. He has some fascinating insights about working with Jared and Jensen…

If you enjoy our reviews and convention coverage,
check out our books on Supernatural and fandom –
links at the top of the page!

33 thoughts on “199 And Counting – Supernatural’s Paper Moon

  • Really? You interviewed the Green Cooler? I can’t wait! 🙂

    I’m pretty much in agreement with you on this episode. I love the way the boys were communicating, and that exchange at the beginning where we think Dean’s going to go somewhere serious and instead he teases Sam about his arm. Sooner or later the fact that Dean nearly brained Sam is going to have to be voiced, but not yet.

    Little things bugged me. Why do I let them? I wish I knew. They were these: (1) like you said, we really didn’t need to see freakin’ Lester again. Dude’s had too much screen time already, if you ask me. (2) When Dean claims he was embarrassed that he’d become a demon, I didn’t buy it. Demon!Dean is beyond being able to feel shame, and I can’t wrap my head around the concept of even human Dean admitting embarrassment. (3) No one thought to mention Garth? (4) It pained me to see Sam riding in the back, even though I understood it was done so that Dean could get Kate in cuffs. (5) We all saw the note Dean left for Sam. Four little words. We know Sam must have read that note a million times. So how does he misquote it?

    All that aside, it was great to have a classic MOTW episode, and no forest rangers have ever looked hotter.

  • Spot on as usual Lynn. “Paul Bunyan” line and Sam’s expression still has me chuckling. And Dean’s last lines…*ugly crying* . But the parallels… Dean says to Kate “Tosha’s in too deep. You don’t ever come back from that. Not ever.” Foreshadowing??? Have we truly seen the last of Demon Dean?

  • I may be in the minority here but I thought the episode was horrible. I’m cautiously optimistic about the singing episode but I’m not getting my hopes up. Call me old school but when I saw the word Kate in the description on my DVR I immediately flashed to the cool Kate from season one who was Luther’s girlfriend. Brownie points to anyone who knows what I’m talking about.

    • I remember Kate from season one she was pretty cool. I would have liked seeing her turn up again. I enjoyed the episode though. Like I said after last weeks episode, I am ok with the show taking it’s time and looking at the season as a whole. I want to savor the each week and ponder where it might take us!

  • “These are the brothers who captured my imagination and my heart almost a decade ago.”
    Amen to that. This episode made me happier than any episode in years, definitely more than any last season. I doubted that it could be done, that Dean becoming a demon would actually cause him to become self-reflective, and yet- here it is. Dean is not only talking to Sam, he’s listening too! Good thing I was sitting down. I hope I’m not being foolish, but I actually have HOPE again – that our show (and the brother’s relationship) can be saved.

    However, I do have grave misgivings about the next episode, it looks so cringe-worthy. Hopefully it will be over quick, and we will be on to more awesome episodes like this one.

  • I enjoyed it more than I thought I would as I read a lot of comments before I watched and the majority were extremely negative. However, although I enjoyed it I didn’t get the vibe that the brothers were back and I am hoping that the awkwardness between them was down to the dialogue and acting/director choice as I found it rather stilted. I like MOTW episodes but (sorry another but) the werewolves were pretty bad and I would really like more urban legend monsters again so to be honest the main enjoyment I got from this episode was lots of Dean and Sam time! I was one of the people who was dreading the demon Dean story line but I think it was cut too short, something I wouldn’t have believed I would think, just all seemed a bit hurried – rather like the purgatory story. Still looking forward to seeing more of the brothers together in the next episodes though!

  • The Lake. The Boys. The Green Cooler of Winchester bro-ness! All these things gave me such a thrill as the episode opened!!

    And once again, you put my random, whackadoo thoughts of an episode into such an amazing piece in your reviews!! I sit and think these thinks right along with you but you just put them so well!! Thank you for giving the fandom a wonderful and intelligent voice. If not for you we’d all just be “flailing” and pointing in love!! 🙂

  • I enjoy reading your take on things and I agree with you that we didn’t need more Lester and Kate’s long winded explanation bogged the whole thing down. Boys looked great and I really loved seeing Sam being the one taking care of business.

    As for their conversations, my reactions were mixed and I had to watch a second time because my first reaction was kind of negative, at least until that last conversation. I guess I was hoping to hear Dean with some remorse towards what he said to Sam, but instead, he deflects his guilt by bringing up Lester. I’ve read mixed interpretations of this, but my initial reaction was that Dean was being a class A jerk and a hypocrite to boot. My only consolation was that Sam not only got to have some actual dialogue and POV about it, but that he didn’t apologize and I think Dean, no matter how he may had sounded at first, really gets that Sam is watching out for him and that he can be honest about he feels and Sam wont judge. By the end, he acknowledges that he’s embarrassed and that he feels like his decisions lately have been pretty bad. I don’t think Dean needs more guilt piled on him, but I think acknowledging that he’s been making bad decisions and allowing Sam to take charge and take care of them both for a bit will be good for him. For both of them, actually. Saving Dean and taking care of business seems to have given Sam more confidence and I think the shift in balance has been needed for a long time. I just hope that it doesn’t shift back.

  • As someone asked above, why couldn’t they mention Garth to Kate?
    I have been waiting for a musical episode of SPN since the beginning, so I am extremely excited about the 200th!!!

  • Hurray to you for another thoughtful and spot-on review of this week’s episode. Thank you!

    I too, really enjoyed this episode. In my opinion, Kate’s appearance and situation made Dean stop and question what he’s believed his whole life–that the Winchesters save people and monsters are the bad guys. ALWAYS the bad guys. Like when he killed that Kitsune (Amy, 7.03) behind Sam’s back. Was she really a monster? She was just trying to save her son, who’d been ill and needed fresh glands instead of ones harvested from dead humans. Was that any different than Sam trying to save Dean or Dean trying to save Sam by nefarious means?

    Now Dean’s paternal hero-worship has slipped out of place. Monsters and demons are still mostly the bad guys, but sometimes they’re not, no matter what he once thought. Even more, Dean can’t hold Sam’s previous bad choices/behavior against him anymore. So in a way, I think, this episode showed that the playing field has been leveled; they’re both the same, now. It brought me (and them) back to their beginnings. They’re just two brothers, “trying to do the right thing” with knowledge that sometimes what seems like the right thing can lead to the wrong choice. As I tweeted to Adam (not that he read it, of course), the lines are blurry now and the black and whites are gray.

    I’m wondering how this might change Dean’s hunting in the future. Of course, because the show is the show it is, with all those different writers who may or may not pay attention to the minutiae like we, the obsessed, Dean’s new knowledge may make absolutely no difference at all. But I hope it does, and I hope it brings him to a new level of conflict and decision-making and brings new consequences as a result.

    There was one niggly question I had (and tweeted): I too, loved the whole “Winchesters Family Vacation” scene at the lake. But as Dean jumped up and grabbed his lawn chair, all I could think was: The Winchesters have lawn chairs? Where do they keep them? You never see Dean fling open Baby’s trunk and have to push the chairs out of the way to reach the sawed-off. And they’re not wedged in the back seat. So…where do they keep them?

    Argh. All I could picture was a long shot of the Impala with chairs bungeed to the roof. Or worse, hauling a trailer full of stuff.

    Anyhow, thanks again for your review. My week of Supernatural watching is complete. And now, to wait. Two weeks until the two hundredth episode! It’s like waiting for Christmas. I hope we all get what we wished for. 🙂

    • Haha! I had that same reaction to the lawn chairs. I decided they got them at the Goodwill because they knew they’d be spending a little time by the lake, and that maybe they’re keeping them in the footwells in the back.

    • The chairs bugged me a little too. It would have been more realistic if they sat down in some bench or bleacher built on the site, or the lawn itself, like a pic nic.

  • Great review!!! Great great.

    I really loved how the communication evolves between the bros. It stays awkward for a while but it shows they are trying. And I like that they first both try to express what they feel about themselves and it sort of .. not fails … but feels incomplete. Not enough and you stay there going: Yes keep it up, say it, say it. But the case interrupts. Then since Dean can’t talk about Dean and Sam can’t talk about Sam right away, Dean talks about his worries for Sammy and Sammy about his worries for Dean and then the communications works. Finally they can both express how guilty/scared/sad/sorry they feel about all this. They still have a hard time expressing how they feel about themselves but they manage without effort to make the other understand that they care and listen and worry. All the things they failed to do in S9. Sam wasn’t listening or accepting Dean’s apologies because he felt betrayed and Dean wasn’t listening or acknowledging Sam’s feelings because he felt too guilty over Kevin, Gadreel etc… It’s still a bit twisted I guess that they actually need to put the other before themselves in order to finally be able to come to terms with their own personal, independent feelings. But They are the Winchesters. And it’s always when they aren’t in tune with each others that things go to shit.

    I did like the parallels with the MoW but it felt too forced sometimes. Kate’s sister went from cute and a bit insecure to batshit crazy “I need to kill” (not only to feed but to be powerful and to lead) too quickly, it wasn’t really believable. But the parallels showed that hunting wasn’t the problem, that it was easy to get back into working but that they should focus on their relationship first right now.

    I love you reviews, they always put words on things I feel but have a hard time understanding or on things I simply missed xD Coming here after an episode is part of the experience of being a Supernatural fan for me. So thank you!

  • Wonderful review as always! I don’t have the perspective many fans have since I’ve only been obsessed with this show for a little over a year now, but this episode was awesome! I just couldn’t believe it every time they started “talking” — AGAIN?! And then in the car with Kate asleep — OMG! It’s like they couldn’t stop themselves once the floodgates were opened! My only complaint is that Dean seemed a little harsh, maybe because he’s so full of guilt over the things he did as a demon, namely almost killing Sam (certainly he intended to, that was chillingly clear).

    Thanks for pointing out the jewelry thing. I’ve read so many amazing fanfics over the past year about the Samulet, and it feels like Adam Glass understands how meaningful that is, so I’m grateful.

  • This post was especially bittersweet. Sweet because of how you said all the things I thought. & bitter because I’m going through withdrawal from Chicon.

  • Lynn, nice job as always on the review. I am really loving this fan site! Thanks for taking the time to keep it updated and sharing your interviews and thoughts!!

  • I did not like this episode.

    Dean moaning and apologetic do not really know why.
    Lamenting that he was angry and “bad boy”. Preaching an apology do not know what for.

    Do not capable at the right time to draw weapons and kill an ordinary werewolf. Rolling out of any thrust. Retiring Sam at every step.

    Dean in this episode is bizarre and nonsensical. And tiring.

    Sam pose “a caring teddy bear” is even worse.

    Thread Kate and Tasha parallel so persistently that oh. From a moral that Sam did not kill his evil brother and should? Do not kill and could?

    Everyone waited to talk face to face Winchesters.
    I am really hoping that there will be a breakthrough.

    They were talking in the strict sense of the demon Dean. This led the way, when Dean feels guilty again. Dean saved Sam in the history of Gadreele also was guilty.

    Sam saved Dean and immediately gets the title of “Brother of the Year”. In any case, Sam is a winner, and Dean pulls a growing ball of guilt at his feet.

    And we all know what self-injury mental depression can make Dean.

    Throughout the episode I waited until Sam will notice your earlier sin of omission, rejection brother and say, “Dean, it’s not entirely your fault that you became a demon,” and he still only: you were a demon, you were a demon ….

    As the Dean will be referred to as such I thank. First, destroy the demon storyline and now destroy the character? Nightmare.

    • I agree about Sam’s “original sin” but I dont think they’ll dig that far. I wrote some fanfiction myself where I make Sam acknowledge that. My own way to right some wrongs 😉

  • The show always keeps you on your toes, I have a big obession with the show becuase when I was at my lowest the show is there and I still struggle till this very day and they are still here going strong. I’m proud of Jensen, Jared and the whole cast and crew for going strong for us everyday.

  • I really enjoyed the episode. The only thing that pulled me out of it was the over long speech of Kate’s – TMI – didn’t need it — or show me, stop telling me or at the very least let me watch the boys hearing the story some more . . . . . . .
    Otherwise an embarrassment of Winchester conversational riches!

  • You cover it all. Better than I could possibly ever do. I’ve been around since S1 so I totally get where you are coming from and how amazing this is. These are the brothers that captured my heart too. Dean posing his hand briefly on Sam’s shoulder flashed me back to the Nightmare episode when they were too late to stop Max’s father apparent suicide. There is a second after a cut-in scene when Dean is touching Sam’s shoulder and it remained in my heart forever. Just wanted to ask you this: Besides making them look hot as hell, dont you think the sunglasses were sort of a metaphore of them opening up to each other? They just take them off the minute they start talking, like putting aside all the shades they’ve been hiding behind and finally looking at each other. At least it felt like that to me. All in all, so much love coming out of my screen I could barely handle it. Winchester love: Awkward, harsh, unspoken, but love nonetheless. So looking forward to the 200th episode of this show that changed my life too.

  • I see what you’re saying Lynn, but it didn’t really work for me this week. Rather clunky and slow. And some of the brothers’ dialogue didn’t ring true to me. Jensen and Jared did what they could with what they were given, but it seemed like the writer, director and editor were all having an off week.
    But I’m not too unhappy – there were a few good moments of the guys feeling their way back to being a team (plus points for game warden uniforms, Ryan Gosling-alike witness, Tasha actress).
    And the last two episodes, especially Soul Survivor, were so good, that I can handle one off week; particularly with the promise of the 200th episode 🙂 I love this show – through thick and thin.
    Plus, like you, I loved the line: “I’m just trying to do the right thing, man. Cause I’m so sick and tired of doing the wrong one.”

  • I was going to try to write this out in a way that makes more sense and flows, but real life isn’t cooperating and since this is either a reply poorly or not at all situation, stream of consciousness here I come.

    I love that the conversations were awkward and stilted. It’s not like in real life two people going through anything remotely that huge would just suddenly have full emotional conversations about their horrible lives. And the fact that those conversations were side by side instead of face to face felt all the more real to me. I think all people tend to do that – it’s just easier to not have to face the person literally or figuratively. (Haven’t all of us had really good conversations on a long drive in the middle of the night?) They’ll work up to it – probably just in time for the MoC to do something horrible to Dean. That will certainly come back. Dean even acknowledged that he could feel it changing him before he died. (I love that I can use “before he died” as a timeline marker. A fairly consistent timeline marker. What a show.)

    The biggest emotional impact for me was Dean’s calling it ’embarrassing’ because that just sums Dean up somehow. He’s not saying he’s upset, scared, confused, etc. – he’s embarrassed. And I love that Sam’s stepping up to take care of Dean. He’s tried before, but somehow this time Sam’s managing to step out of big brother’s shadow and take lead. It’s like he found himself again and smart Sam came back. Granted his reasons for being off his game were really good. You don’t just snap back from Hell. Or soullessness. Or crazytown. Or almost dying from some sort of magical mark on your arm.

    Moral of the story: don’t get a magical mark on your forearm. If it glows, you’re F’d.

    Like a few people said, I’m not sure why they didn’t mention Garth’s little pack of friendly wolves. Maybe that Ragnorok (sp?) thing is looming too large.

    I’m wondering how the MofC is affecting Sam. Could there be some sort of issue with him being the equivalent of Abel? It’s even (literally) in their blood. Then again, I had thought that was going to come up with Gadreel and it never did.

    What really grabbed me was that Cas and Crowley weren’t in the episode and I just didn’t miss them. They’re great characters, but yes, this is what most of us care about, which might be as much about them being human (as opposed to angel and demon) as it is them being the Winchesters.

    While I’m glad Sam and Dean took their ‘we time’ I think the fact that there was any non-hospitalized R and R shows how freaked out Dean is about the path he’s on now. He tried to kill Sammy. I’m not on the side of he was pulling punches either – he was going to smash his head in – literally bash his brains out. They are going to need a lot more booze. I don’t think they’ve had time off since Sam got married in Vegas. (Tangent: I’m fairly certain I’m the only person in the fandom who views Becky as a sympathetic character. But apparently I viewed the episode differently than most people.) I’m hoping Becky makes it into the 200th episode somehow to clear her name.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this musical-ish thing. It sounds horrible on paper, but so did the concept of the French Mistake and that worked. I’m assuming its the musical version of one of Chuck’s books. That gives a lot of opportunities to bring in some long forgotten characters and some dead ones. If “Zachariah” could have a dance number with anything I’d lose my s. But by doing the show within a show trope, you save the Winchesters from the ridiculous in a way. So, here’s hoping.

    • Love the “don’t get a magical mark on your arm…..” That is right up there with “take your Christmas decorations down by New Year’s or you might get fileted by a hooker from God” You are not alone regarding Becky. I like Becky, she is a fun character to play against Sam every now and then. Nice insights on the episode!

      • Thanks Laura! We need to find a way to remind people that poor Becky got played by a demon. She thought they were BFFs and the demon full on admits he was targeting people exactly like her.

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