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21 November 2008 @ 11:06 am
SPN 4x10: Heaven and Hell  
Okay, so now for SPN. I assume this show comes back with SV in January.



Okay, disclaimer here. I'm not a film critic, but I do tend to see things from a storytelling pov since I am a writer. So a lot of what I wrote is biased in that regard.

I have mixed feelings on it. I'm going to assume a lot of people didn't like the angel plot. Personally, the plot doesn't bother me. I'm not looking for a literal interpretation of the Bible or Christianity. For me, it's all fiction so nothing about that bothers me. And it looks like they are definitely going for some gray area which will keep the tension and conflict going. The "negative" view of the angels has been done before in previous tales. The grayer they keep this, the more room they have to work storywise.

I love Castiel more and more. Just saying.

My problem with the episode was actually on pacing again. The first half hour dragged. This was exposition to the extreme. SG-1 suffered from this a lot in its final days. The exposition in this episode just was very poorly executed which also made some of the dialog about grace stilted. Sam's research skills are good, but wow. Him figuring out the exact comet? That's a bit contrived. And I wasn't really feeling it between Anna and Dean, even if it was a "last time on Earth" moment. Once we got past the first half hour, the plot and sense of urgency kicked back in and then it was fine.

This was the opposite problem of last week. I felt their first half hour was awesome and then the show came to screeching halt for Sam's flashbacks. If TPTB had combined the first half hour from last week with the last half hour of this week, that would have been one fantastic episode. I still feel that Sam's flashbacks deserved their own episode. This isn't a slam on Sam or JP. Again, I had no problems with character or plot from last week. I just feel his meaty stuff would have been best in its own episode and that this two parter should have focused on the conflict between Heaven and Hell with the Winchesters stuck in the middle.

I also felt this two-parter suffered greatly from the budget problem. This needed to be an action packed two-partner, imo. I don't mean non-stop action. But the action element was really week. last weke you had Sam and Dean jump through a window. This week people stood around and talked alot. And the angels and demons stared at each other. Not quite so exciting. I'm going to say that their lack of money really affected on how "big" these eps could have been.

That said they weren't bad episodes. Their weaker episodes still are better than most stuff on TV. And the acting is top notch. Just like JP knocked it out of the park last week, JA had his turn to shine at the end of this episode. Both actors continue to excel and so do many of the guests.

End scene was killer. Poor Dean and Sam. But that is Hell and I expected no less. Neither episode makes me feel any less for the boys. Makes me wonder about John.

So in short I guess I can say great story, lousy execution. This probably looked better on paper than it did on screen. I enjoyed the content and many of the character moments - I'm still wondering if now both Dean and Sam sort of trusting Ruby is going to come back to bite them - but the pacing, sense of urgency, and overall execution hurt the story.

Onward into hiatus. Still, this season has been very good, but even the best shows have their weak moments. It was bound to happen. Hopefully, the rest of the season will remain strong. Still my fave show and I stand by it. It doesn't mean I can't call it on some of it's weaker moments :)
 
 
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Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: car scenesuperbadgirl on November 21st, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
It's not the angel storyline which bothers me so much, but how they're going about it. I worried from the get-go this could be potentially disastrous, and this episode did little to relieve me of that worry.

I was, frankly, bored through most if it. Anna bores me. The demon and angel in the backseat bores me. The Sam's-in-bed-with-demons/Dean's-in-bed-with-angels thing isn't necessary for me to "get" the dichotomy theme. (There are better ways to reveal the guys' skin, if they feel this must be done.)

It wasn't terrible or anything, but it wasn't memorable either. Execept for the last five minutes, which broke me and probably everyone else.
Shalla: dean angstshallanelprin on November 21st, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Ah ha! Thank for writing this 'cause I could not figure out what was bothering me. I like the fallen angel idea just fine, I like Anna, the whole Heaven vs. Hell thing was interesting but something was still off. Pacing, that's totally what's been bothering me.

The end...oh poor Dean. The poor, poor boys *hugs the boys* JA just killed me there.

Makes me wonder about John.

Now that's interesting. Hmmmmm.
jessm78: Jensen Ackles: Magazine Shootjessm78 on November 21st, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to comment on either of the last two eps since I was in Chicago, but I did get a chance to catch up on them and thought I'd comment.

I agree that the first half of this episode seemed to drag; it was quite exposition-heavy and I remember how it was that way in SG-1's final days.

I also agree that Sam's flashbacks totally should have had their own, whole episode.

It does sound like some of these problems are due to budget constraints. And I'm wondering if this had anything to do with it as well: at the Chicago con, Jensen said that Kripke had previously said season 4 was going to be the last season. Then he saw that the ratings were quite strong and he went, "crap!" *g* So they'll likely be getting another season out of it. Maybe when this episode was being written, they were trying to cram a lot into it in a short time with the idea this was going to be the last season? That probably doesn't make much sense, but just a thought I had.

I agree though that this season on the whole has been quite good.

And the end of this ep... oh, Deeeeeeean. That boy just about made me cry, and I have to admit it's not very easy to make me cry most times I'm watching tv. I really wanted to hug both boys so much.

Edited at 2008-11-21 08:56 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Working for the Mandroid: Gravemoonshayde on November 22nd, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
I couldn't care less about Dean, but the expression on Castiel's face during the exchange scene? LOVE!

Aw. As a Deangirl, that makes me sad.