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09 February 2008 @ 10:51 am
A Thank You and SPN Thoughts  
First, I want to thank everyone for their support yesterday. I tend to live in my own bubble a lot and was surprised to find so many people offering even a few words. I sometimes forget just how supportive people in fandom can be. So thank you.

I'm a little behind since I have class on Thursdays, so here are my thoughts.



Malleus Maleficarum

I liked this episode. Then again, I like Ruby and how she fits into this season anyway.

I was a little nervous when I saw the preview and noticed it would be about witches. I'm not as fond of the storylines that deal with pagan gods, etc., but I feel the writers did a good job with this one. Maybe my pagan friends would disagree. But when I walked away from this episode, I didn't feel like all witches are evil and sell their souls to demons. I felt like there were certain demons that used different practices as a cover to get to people.

That is basically what this episode was about.

I'm not sure I believe Ruby. Why would she be the only demon we've met so far that would have retained her humanity? I still think she's speaking half truths and telling Sam and Dean what they want to hear in order to push her own agenda. Since her agenda is in line with the brothers right now, she is siding with them. However, I do think she is more with them than not, unlike Bela. I was surprised that Ruby was a human at one point. That was a nice twist.

The part that I saw coming was that humans were once demons. I've been waiting for a good part of this season to see if they would go this route. It creates a nice parallel between how people can become angry spirits and how people who sell their souls can become demons. Poor Dean. He's been stuck in the same type of situation twice now - the threat of becoming the thing that you hunt.

I don't think all demons are one time humans, though. I can't see how that would work. There had to be some in place to begin with I would imagine.

I'm on the fence about Sam. While I'm in the camp that doesn't want Sam to go evil (and if he does, then he has to be able to redeem himself), I would prefer to buy into the idea that he is just trying to emulate Dean. I just find that a rationalization on Sam's part for what he's done this season. Hopefully, the writers will treat this area well and not go to either extreme.

Anyway, it was a great episode and I was very pleased with it. It had elements that I love - whumped Dean and heroic Sam. I was a little surprised by an scene with Ruby and Dean at the end since the episode has either been the brothers together or Sam with Ruby and Dean with Bela. It was an interesting change and it worked for me. I remember thinking at the end of the episode that maybe they'll switch it up again and have a Sam and Bela scene at some point.

Oy.



Dream a Little Dream of Me

I just watched this episode this morning.

Okay, I had been slightly spoiled for this one a long time ago, so I knew some daddy issues were going to crop up. I'll discuss that later.

I'm thinky on this episode. I've been anticipating it for a while, but I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I enjoyed it - that's for sure. But there is a lot to digest in this episode and I think I'll have to see the results and consequences before I can really decide whether this episode was gold for me.

The idea of dreaming and controlling dreams has always fascinated me, so the idea itself already intrigued me. Plus I *love* Bobby. I keep getting scared that he'll die.

Bobby in a coma. Eep!

The dreaming was done wonderfully in this episode. Exploring a little bit of Bobby's past was nice and also tragic. He did this horrible thing but you still felt sympathy for him.

That lady on the picnic blanket...I assume I missed something with that. I haven't finished watching S2 and I wonder if that whole bit is from an episode I haven't seen yet. So maybe it will make sense once I get through Folsom Prison Blues and What Is and What Never Should Be. (Or whatever that episode's name is!)

When Dean grabbed the beer from the test subject person, I was like oh crap, Dean. You just didn't something stupid, didn't you? I'm glad that it wasn't random and that it was relevant to the story.

I wish there had been more for Sam to do, like have Sam face his fears, but they didn't go that route. Maybe we're not supposed to really know what is going on in Sam's head right now so we're left to question if he's alright or not. I did like the bit how Dean wants to live (of course he does). I also liked the stark reminder of what awaits Dean in hell.

I do hope, though, they keep in line that Dean won't just do anything. He needs to find a way where Sam doesn't die in the process. What a dilemma.

There were a couple of things that bothered me about this episode, though.

Sam and Bela. Where the heck did that come from? I don't recall any other episode that touched upon any attraction Sam might have had toward Bela. I mean, the scene was funny and all, and we all tend to have fantasies, but it seemed too odd and random. It didn't even make sense in the context of the episode. And all this time I was afraid they would have Dean and Bela hook up. Ack.

The other part I'm uneasy about is the confrontation between Dean and Dean. I understand it. I really do. I identify strongly with Dean which may be why it has me unsettled. But I was bothered a bit by his outburst about his father. Honestly, I don't think he really means it.

When you're an older sibling and you've been given the burden of protecting a younger sibling, you're forced to grow up fast. You become the kid that looks for approval and affection from the parents, and you essentially do become the good soldier. Your parents can be seen an infallible. You tend to place your own needs and desires last and decide to do whatever it takes to make the parent proud of you. This can lead to low self-esteem, identity issues, and lack of focus.

Dean is an extreme example of this. One of this days I'll do a write up how this relates to me and how I identify with Dean, but I don't feel like doing it right now LOL

Anyway, after a while all of that builds inside and it bursts. Dean burst in this episode. Everything he's been bottling up for so long came out in an angry outburst filled with resentment. This is normal. He said angry things. Some of the things he said had truth to them. Some were part of his anger and resentment. And with his death imminent, he is feeling it even more.

If they hadn't had Dean have this outburst, I would wonder what was wrong with him. He finally broke under the burden that he wasn't ready to have. I have no doubt that Dean loves his father and still admires John. But that resentment he's been holding onto that he couldn't live his own life because of his obligations, whether real or imagined, has finally come to the surface. He should be able to better deal with his situation. He should be able to come to terms with the love for his father, not as a hero, but as a person who made mistakes while still doing the best he could.

So the outburst made me uncomfortable, yes, but it made sense. It was unsettling for a reason. Like everything, I wouldn't take it as the gospel truth because every person's thoughts and opinions are filtered through their own emotions and biases. But this was an important episode. No one is perfect on this show and that is one of things I love about it :)

Next week's episode looks awesome :)
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
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Working for the Mandroid: Battle Readymoonshayde on February 9th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I think it was pretty much inline with your Halloween/horror genre witches, which if you keep that in mind, you can hand wave a lot of stuff. But the way they presented it sat better with me than the pagan gods killing people on Christmas (which is too bad because the actors were funny and interesting), because I felt there was some wiggle room for true witchcraft even if you may disagree with me on that point. My problem is that they emphasized too much that real witches are this variety and then you have the fluffy pagan people that are the New Agers that are harmless. That dicotomy doesn't work.

But I think there is still room to move in between. They really only showed witches that were duped into Satanic/demon focused stuff. There are people that claim to be witches that do dabble in this sort of thing. The Catholic church warns against stuff like that. So these witches were more of devil-worship/occult problem than witchcraft. They failed to make the distinction that witches don't worship the devil, etc.

I see it as a mislabeling issues which doesn't make it any better. But when I walked away from the episode, I didn't feel like all witches had to be evil and selling their souls. I got the impression that Sam and Dean *think* that all witches are like this.

Now the auidence? That's a different story. Everyone might not see it that way and might walk away thinking all witches are supposed to be this way which is false. And that is where must of my discomfort comes from.
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jessm78: AHBLjessm78 on February 9th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
First of all, I love your thoughts on both these eps. I enjoyed them myself. The first one, I thought they did a good job with the subject matter. I didn't get the impression that all witches were evil (I have a friend who was thinking about getting into the show and was worried about this - not sure if she got to see it).

You bring up some good points about Ruby. I wasn't sure I totally believed what she was saying either. I've always thought she was really trying to push her own agenda and saying anything to the boys in order to do so. I actually don't want to believe her, as odd as it sounds. The twist that she'd been human at some point was pretty cool, I have to give it that.

I feel pretty much the same way about Sam. I really don't want him to go evil, but if it does end up that way I want him to see him redeem himself. I'm more comfortable with the idea of him emulating Dean.

As for Dream a Little Dream of Me.... that's kind of how I felt about it. I've been reading some discussions in different places, and you wouldn't believe how many people think Dean's character is now wrecked because of that scene. I was a bit wary of the outburst myself, but I agree it did make sense. But I know quite a few fans who think that Dean is just supposed to be this brave, stoic guy and he now appears wimpy. I really don't get it.

That Sam/Bela scene came out of nowhere for me too. I'm still scratching my head, wondering what purpose it serves. I've never seen any attraction to Bela on Sam's part either. I guess they stuck it in for a cheap laugh break amidst all the intense stuff, but it didn't make any sense to me.

Oh, and did you notice she stole the Colt? Would the boys really leave it in the hotel room like that?

The girl on the picnic blanket appeared in the second episode of this season ("The Kids Are Alright"). She does have some history with Dean, but I won't spoil you on that. Just wanted to let you know. :)

Can't wait to see next week's episode.
Working for the Mandroid: Bobbymoonshayde on February 9th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
She was from this season? That didn't click. I've seen all the eps from this season but I guess I was confused why Sam would be confused. Sam met her right?

Hmm. I'll have to go back and rethink that episode.
jessm78: AHBLjessm78 on February 9th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yep, she was the girl he'd had a fling with and she had the son who seemed to act a lot like Dean (and he'd kept wondering if the boy was his). I think Sam did meet her, though I think it was very briefly at the end when Dean went back to say goodbye to her.
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Working for the Mandroid: Headlightsmoonshayde on February 9th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, and about this last episode...yeah. I mean, it doesn't change Dean for me. It seems perfectly normal for me. I understand where he is coming from. I do. I don't have depth of issues and problems he has, but I get the older sibling scenario. He was just finally letting out all those frustrations he's been having since he was a kid.

Yeah, I noticed about the Colt. I would think they'd keep it in the car. I don't know. maybe they felt it was safer in a safe.

The beginning confused me a little with Sam and Dean. Sam obviously doesn't know that Ruby can't help. Does he know that Dean will go demon? I don't think he does, from what I gather at the end, though I thought Sam said he was upset because he couldn't save Dean from what he could become. So I got confused. I don't think Dean would tell him that. And they obviously were keeping secrets again at the end of the episode.
jessm78: AHBLjessm78 on February 9th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
That's exactly how I saw it. To be honest I think the people who had a problem with it just have big problems with this season in general - they think it's just so "off", that the boys have changed so much and they hate the girls, etc. etc. I wrote up some discussion about it in my LJ. I'm not getting in the middle of any of that. Not gonna do a repeat of the Stargate stuff. I'm sticking to the mostly positive discussions.

Yeah, I'd thought they'd keep it in the car. I guess they could have felt it was safer there. Who knows, I guess...

I was a little confused there too. I know Sam said that Dean can't be saved because he doesn't want to be saved, but it seemed like there was more to it than that. I didn't think Sam was privy to that whole "Dean will become a demon" discussion, unless Ruby shared it with him at some other time (though I don't know how likely that is). I don't see Dean telling him that either. It's weird...
MegTDJ: Ruby Fight - keyweegirliemeg_tdj on February 13th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
The beginning scene with Sam and Dean in the bar played out exactly as I would have written it myself. It's spooky, I totally pictured pretty much that same conversation after the previous ep!! Ruby had to spell things out for Dean - that he would become a demon, that she couldn't save him, etc - but I think Sam figured it all out on his own once Ruby dropped the bomb that she'd once been human. That's why it was Dean Ruby appeared to at the end rather than Sam... Sam didn't need to be told. I didn't think the writers would actually explain that, or at least not so soon, so I was pleasantly surprised when they did.
Working for the Mandroid: Across Realmsmoonshayde on February 13th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think Ruby had to spell it out for Dean. He figured it out as well. She even answered his unspoken question. I think she needed to be there to kill any of the doubts that he might have had. Dean's always needed that little extra since he has trouble accepting things.

Of course, even though I realized this about that last scene, I didn't make the connection that Sam would come to the same conclusion. Maybe so much bad TV has spoiled me for so long LOL

I figured Sam had serious doubts that Ruby could actually save Dean, but I didn't think of the leap he would make about Dean becoming a demon. So that had me confused when i watched that opening scene, especially because I thought the writers would drag it out a bit. But it makes sense now in this context.
MegTDJ: Sam Not The Same - marys0023meg_tdj on February 14th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Well, I didn't mean that the whole thing went totally over Dean's head, heh. I just think he had more denial there than Sam did. I think the shot where Sam was splashing water on his face said a lot... he looked like he was quickly losing hope right there. :(
MegTDJ: Dean Worried - 494obsessionmeg_tdj on February 13th, 2008 05:29 am (UTC)
I totally agree about Dream. The Daniel/Vala Sam/Bela thing was just stupid, though I explained it away to myself as Bela trying out the dream root. She did say when she walked in that it's "nasty stuff," which means she must have tried it at some point.

But the Dean stuff... ohhhhhh my gosh. That is SO how I've always thought of Dean - he's tried all his life to be just like Daddy, with the car and the music and his attitude towards hunting and everything, and he's starting to resent it.

What you said about having a lot to digest after watching it is exactly right - I had to turn the TV off and just sit and think for the longest time after I watched it, and then I watched it a couple more times, LOL! It was just PACKED with character development for both Bobby and Dean, and DANG was it ever heartbreaking stuff. Loved getting to know Bobby a little better (incidentally, I went back and watched the entire series again this past week, and Bobby's expression at the end of BUABS made me cry), and finding out what Dean really thinks of himself. The comment that he "looks in the mirror and hates what he sees..." DUDE. That hurt me. Because despite the arrogance and over-confidence, you can totally see it.

When he exploded about his dad, though, I started crying for John's sake. Why would Dean think his dad didn't care whether he lived or died?? Because he didn't respond when Sam called him in Faith? That's the only thing I can think of, because dude... John SOLD HIS SOUL to save Dean's life!! Of course, then he turned around and laid the burden of having to kill Sam on him, which is probably when the resentment started. Dean would rather die than kill Sam, that's for sure. So yeah, his rant makes sense in a lashing-out-in-frustration kind of way, and I'm SO glad he used the dream as a catharsis for all his self-loathing and wants to end it, but still... it hurt. (But DANG did JA do demon!Dean well!!!! :P)

I loved that it was Lisa on the picnic blanket ("Gumby girl" from The Kids Are Alright, btw... Ben's mother). I've thought all along that all Dean wants is a family and people who love him unconditionally, and that just confirmed that for me. He wants to be a dad! Aww!! And have picnics and take his boy to baseball! I think John knew that about him all along, you know... in Salvation, he was listing all the things that he wanted, and one was "for Dean to have a home." Dean glanced over at Sam with this vulnerable look on his face like, "Hope Sammy didn't hear that, that is so uncool..." Poor Dean. ;)

Speaking of Sam... was it from Dean's head that the crucifix-pose came from, I wonder? Hmm...
Working for the Mandroid: Bobbymoonshayde on February 14th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
The Sam/Bela dream:

It was so random. I remember sitting there and just staring at the screen. Mind you, it was funny and JP is awesome with funny, but I was just kind of shocked. I kept waiting for them to reveal that Bela had tried the stuff and that was why Sam had such a random dream, but they really said so I figured I was nuts and grasping at straws. It's nice to know I wasn't the only one. Though, the scene does nicely demonstrate that Sam is a guy and I appreciated that much. *hates on people that keep trying to feminize him*

About Dean...see, I can relate to him on so many levels. I'm so much like him. I really am. Only, I don't have that same kind of resentment towards my parents. But I understand it because I keep so much bottled in. I understand the burden and obligations. I understand that kind of pressure that eats away at you bit by bit. I actually think the resentmenthas been growing there for a long time (not!Dean from Skin regardign Dean's feeling toward the life Sam had been leading) but the "killing Sam" directive that John left for him was the catalyst to start to bring it up. Because of course Dean woudl rather die than have to kill Sam. Dean only has his family. They're his life. I so get that.

That angry outburst was absolutely necessary. I hurt and felt bad for John because I still think that John, despite his crazy obsession and his poor parenting, did the very best he could. He did what he could for Sam and he died for Dean. Dean loves his father. I don't doubt that. He was speaking out of nager, frustration, and resentment and said some unfair things. That is what makes him human. I so appreciated that even if other people didn't.

Dean had to do this so he could finally forgive himself. And once he is at peace with himself and his issues, he could let go of that anger and resentment and see his father is a more healthy light.

Dean is so awesome, yes? *happy sigh* He just wants to be loved and have a family of his own. I get that.

Very pleased with the episode and my heart broke for Bobby. Guh. Bobby.

Interesting bit with Sam, though. Glad that i wasn't the only one that caught how Sam was positioned in the dream. Sam = savior figure?
MegTDJ: Dean Rock On - crystalscmeg_tdj on February 14th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
I'm sure they could have shown that Sam is a guy without... THAT. *shudder*

I agree that Dean's resentment has been building up for a long time. Just the fact that John ditched him with barely a word when he'd always done everything John ever wanted him to do... that would be enough to make him doubt that his father loved him, right there. But yeah, it was when John told him he might have to kill Sam that he really started acknowledging it. Smashing the car at the end of Everybody Loves a Clown really has a deeper meaning now that we know what's been going through Dean's head. He sees the car as an extension of his father, which is probably why he took out his anger on the Impala rather than any of the other random cars that were around him.

But I agree, Dean definitely still loves his father. Heck, I've raged about (and to) my parents on several occasions, but I still love them. Deep down I blame them for some of the things that have happened to me, so if I was in a situation where my inner self was taunting me like Dean's was, I'm sure some pretty nasty things would be said about them... but that doesn't mean I consciously hold it against them. I've forgiven, I just haven't forgotten, you know? I think Dean's more or less forgiven his dad, it's just that he used to think John was this powerful, infallible being that was way better than he could ever be, and now he's all disillusioned about him and doesn't know what to think anymore. Or something like that. I think I've lost track of what I was trying to say...

Yes, I give, Dean is awesome. I just wish he'd BE awesome rather than trying to cover it up with stupidness and sarcasm. :P

The bit with Sam... it was kind of a distorted version of the crucifix pose, which I read as symbolism for the antichrist thing. Oh, and something I forgot to mention... how did he get into Jeremy's head when he hadn't taken any of his "body"? He drank Dean's hair, not Jeremy's. He shouldn't have been able to get into Jeremy's head at all. Hmmmmmm...