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23 September 2008 @ 11:37 am
SPN: 4x01 Lazarus Rising  

Here are my belated thoughts on the Supernatural S4 premiere. It's a bit long and thinky.

A few days before the SPN premiere, I played a game with myself to see if I could think of a suitable opening. I was completely unspoiled for the episode - aside from one thing later in the ep - so I couldn't help but wonder.

The image that stayed with me the most was that of a black screen and we hear some noise with images of Dean's eyes. Then I though he would wake up in his coffin and have to claw his way out of the Earth. After the shock of doing that, he'd walk along a desolate road.

This imagery stayed with me and wouldn't let me go, but I dismissed and said, nah. Surely Sam and Bobby would salt and burn the body right?

Let me say I was pleasantly surprised ;) My mental image might not have been exact, but dang. Close enough. And that is probably the closest I will ever get to having some weirdo psychic link to this show.

Anyway, onto Lazarus Rising.

To be honest, I still don't know what I think. The opening was amazing and I think it's probably the best premiere openings this show has had. It's just one of those images that stick with you. I also loved the desolate feel to the part where Dean is walking alone, finds the store, and raids it. Even past that to where the store goes a bit 'spodely. Tv's that snap on all by themselves still make me excited.

There was no dialogue and it just was well crafted all the way around. As a Deangirl, I was pleased.

I loved the Bobby and Dean reunion. Nice mix of pain, humor, joy, suspicion, and sadness.

The Sam and Dean reunion hurt, but I guess in a good way. The emotion was there before Sam attacked, during, and after and you just wanted to hug them, even when they were hugging themselves. For Sam, months have gone by. For Dean. nothing has really changed. That is going to create some problems.

I loved Castiel and think the character has presence. I think Dean is still as human as they come, but if TPTB throw a curveball and he's not, I won't complain about it.

The one thing that kind of sucked for me was that I knew Castiel was an angel and they were going to go this route. This is what happens when you have inconsiderate people posting links about angels and character names above cuts and tagging it as supernatural. I'm not an idiot. I can put two and two together. Aside from that, I wasn't spoiled and that was great.

The fact they brought in angels doesn't bother me. This show, for me, has been building toward a good and evil showdown so it makes sense. They even introduced Castiel in a way that mirrors the darker, spooky feel of the show. Can you imagine him coming in with fluffy wings? No, I didn't think so.

Not sure what I think about the new Ruby. And her personality seemed different. I am wondering if she is acting that way to get Sam to listen to her.

Bobby was awesome as usual.

I don't have too many thoughts on Sam for this episode. My appreciate for Sam grew in S3, but I'm sort of blanking out here. I cringe at what he's doing though. He seems convinced he's doing good, and he is, but you know nothing good can come out of it in the end.

A couple of nice funny moments like when the psychic propositioned them, when Bobby flung holy water in Dean's face, and the ipod incident. That helped break the heaviness of the episode.

I don't think the overall story of the premiere was necessarily the strongest of the series, but it was enjoyable. It had a different vibe. It was still Supernatural, but it was diferent and things are changing. I don't do well with change (as evidenced by my LJ) so I do hesitate a lot. They had a lot of ground to cover in the premiere, and needed to introduce new characters, so I won't fault them for that.

Some concerns I have for the show:

One of the desirable aspects of this show is how otherwordly the things they face tend to be. There is this dark, hidden, unknown quality to the show. We don't really see beyond it. Aside from one brief image of Hell last season, we don't know much about what Hell is like - though I think we're getting set up for some flashbacks through Dean. If there is a Heaven, what that is like. Where dead people go, etc. I like that sense of mystery because we can relate to it. While I expect the show to push the envelope and dig deeper into this, I hope they don't take it too far or else a lot of that mystery will lose its appeal. It's the nature of the beast. You want more and more and more, but more isn't always better. And while it's a concern of mine, I honestly don't think it will get out of hand. Sometimes I just have to verbalize it, you know?

Probably my biggest concern deals with the state of the relationship between Sam and Dean. No, I am not a smarm person. I hate smarm. And I actually love it when the brothers fight and argue and misunderstand each other. I LOVE conflict like whoa. In fact, despite my nervousness about how their relationship will go down this year, I want a little suspicion to start off. I want Dean to be a little suspicious of what Sam's been doing and I want Sam to still have some suspicions that Hell did do something to Dean. They can be real or unfounded. I don't care LOL Usually that means we get some massively good brotherly payoff in the end.

But to me, it's obvious that they are setting things up for it to be Sam and Ruby off doing their thing and Dean and Castiel off doing their thing. It's great for the actors because it gives them some time off. It adds to the growing tension and distance because I have a feeling that is going to continue.

But as one of the many fangirls that tune in for the plot and the brotherly relationship, that kind of kills me. I'm convinced we're going to see them grow apart this season and go down different roads. There was a palpable distance in the premiere and it's only going to grow. I still expect us to have scenes with them together. We'll have funny moments and everything, but it's just clear to me that it's a set up for them to grow apart. That is going to be difficult to watch. The upside of this is that most likely they will come back together again at some point. Now, it could be to face off or join forces or both. But usually the forumla goes that you'll have a stressful tense period and then the payoff. So I am expecting a payoff. I just keep reminding myself the payoff will be great. :)

Please keep reminding me, okay? I need the reminders and reassurance...

And you don't have to tell me how storytelling works. I know. The things I can complaining about? I do it ALL the time. Yes, I'm a hypocrite ;)

You'd think I hated the premiere. I didn't. The fact I'm all thinky about it means they did their job right and it was great. It's just one of those things where I feel better if I just talk about it. I'm sure that everything will be awesome in the end.

Just keep reminding me, all right? ;)

You can now see why I don't like becoming invested in shows. It demonsrates just how powerful a good show can be, but man I don't need to stress over TV because I'm so attached to the characters. I'm trying to just view it as a book unfolding on the screen and not get too rattled either way since we're just entering the tension part of the story. I do it as a writer all the time. It's standard storytelling. If my brain still has problems with this concept, though, I might have to scale back on Supernatural as a whole. No way am I going to make my favorite show into stressful and miserable event. I did that with SG-1 and I don't want it to happen again.

I hate being such an intense and cautious person sometimes. I just love this show WAAAY too much.

Is it Thursday yet?

maychorianmaychorian on September 23rd, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about the growing apart and stuff. I trust that it will pay off, that if it goes that route there will be a good reason, but definitely a huge reason to watch is the interaction between Dean and Sam. And if there's less of it, that's going to suck majorly. Even this first episode, with the discord and the lying, hurt really bad. That's not the way the Winchester brothers are supposed to be. :(

I also agree that the heaven stuff should remain ambiguous. I LOVE the character of Castiel and his reveal, but it could so easily mess everything up. (I whined about this in my episode reaction piece, too.) All in all I'm excited and nervous and really really eager for Thursday, and that's just weird. I don't know if I've EVER felt this anxious about a TV show. Usually I can just watch it unfold and enjoy it for what it is. But this...aw man. I love Dean and Sam so much. I want them to have good things, and that means being partners, a team, and that's not here right now. :(
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: no iconsuperbadgirl on September 23rd, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Even this first episode, with the discord and the lying, hurt really bad. That's not the way the Winchester brothers are supposed to be. :(

Isn't it? I think they've both done their fair share of withholding info from the other over the years. (Sam started it! *points fingers*) For two people who love each other so much, they sure excel at lying and subterfuge. ;)

But, yeah, they should know by now that lying gets them nowhere. It'll be interesting to see if Dean reveals what happened to Bobby at least. I don't think he'll be able to do so with Sam. Also interesting will be that I think he'll know what's going on with Sam, if vaguely, though Sam won't tell him.

They sure like to heap crap on Dean, don't they?

Working for the Mandroid: Castielmoonshayde on September 23rd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they've been lying for a looong time. I mean the secret keeping thing was going on even in S2. S1 too, right? They just have been doing ir more and more and over even more serious things.

I'm insanely curious to see just what happens. I mean, how is Dean going to explain things to Bobby? Sam? That's going to cause some problems. Is Dean just going to come out and say he was touched by an angel? He probably doesn't even want to deal with that concept.

So I think we'll have a little bit of back and forth between Sam and Dean and they'll keep lying to each other. It was okay last season for a little while, but it got to the point where it started to test my patience. At least by that time, the show decided to have them more forthcoming and we got to enjoy the fallout.

Cause I'm sadistic like that. I like the fallout ;)
maychorian: i lost my SHOE :(maychorian on September 23rd, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
At least Dean didn't try to keep the revelation that he had SOLD HIS SOUL for very long. First time I watched the end of S2, I was thinking, "Oh crap, they're going to drag this into the next season, aren't they?" But then he told Sam the truth at the end of the finale. I was glad. Even though it was a horrible thing for both of them.

And up till now they've mostly been lies of omission, I think, if I remember correctly, like Dean NOT telling Sam what John said to him. But now, Dean asked Sam point-blank if he had powers, and Sam said no, making himself into a lying liar who lies. Not cool.

I think Dean may suspect something, but I'm really not sure. They are so good at hurting each other with this stuff. :(
maychorian: GUH DEAN IS SO PRETTY AGHmaychorian on September 23rd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
They sure like to heap crap on Dean, don't they?

They sure do. "Dean, take care of your brother from the age of four so you'll be wholly and totally invested in his well-being. And, oh yeah, Dean, you might have to kill your brother if he turns into the Antichrist. And oh, hey, Dean you might have to destroy your brother with DIVINE FIRE."

At least, that's how this could potentially go.
Working for the Mandroid: Gravemoonshayde on September 23rd, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I lost my whole post! *kicks things*

I also loved the Castiel reveal, though I'm ticked I was somehwat spoiled for it. But his entrance was super cool.

The boys have been lying to each other since like S1 or S2. And people lie. It's just as time has worn on, their lies have more weight behind them and their struggles have become more epic.

This is probably one of the few shows I actually trust to give me the payoff I desire. The writing is top notch, the acting some of the best I've ever seen on tv, and it gels well. I just can't help but get nervous. Isn't that the point? I think they're doing their jobs well LOL If I wans't nervous, then there wouldn't be conflict and conflict = story.

This probably came off more negative than intended. I just wanted to voice my concerns.
maychorian: Dean's Diarymaychorian on September 23rd, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
Hey, I understand the need to just talk about things sometimes. I was definitely nothing but squee after I watched the premiere, but with a few days to think, things occur to you. (WHY do they torture us by making us wait seven whole days? AGH.)
jessm78: Supernatural: Dean in Hollywood Babylonjessm78 on September 23rd, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
First, yay that the opening of the premiere was so much like you'd pictured it! I loved it myself. You could feel the desolation after Dean freed himself, began to walk around and then entered the gas station store.

Big ditto to the Dean/Bobby reunion, and even the Dean/Sam one.

I also agree with you about the new Ruby. I'm not really sure what to think of her just yet. She just seemed kind of "meh" to me.

I've always wondered about the passage of time when you're in Hell. Is it basically the same as that in the land of the living, or is it more drawn out? Dean had been buried for four months, but I wonder if it seemed like much longer to him. And if it did, surely that had to affect him somehow. Will be interesting to see if they address that at all this season.

I like Castiel. There were a few people at the supernatural.tv board who were "offended" because they're atheists and they don't like the idea of God and angels being "canon" (I kid you not - someone actually said this). It doesn't bother me at all. We've seen the forces of evil at work in this show. It would only make sense for there to be forces of good as well, you know?

I share your concern about the possibility of the brothers growing apart. I really hope it's not all going to be Sam off with Ruby doing something, and Dean off with Castiel doing something else. I hope we get some nice brotherly interaction to compensate for that. I was a bit worried about it when S3 started with the addition of Bela and Ruby, but luckily we did see the boys together quite a bit (I just wasn't too crazy with episodes like Red Sky at Morning). I personally think that things will be okay, that there will be some payoff in the end. There's gotta be, right? :) I'll keep on reassuring you if you'll do the same for me, LOL

Another concern I have is that they will pit brother against brother in some huge showdown. The way Sam is honing his powers with Ruby helping him, and then Castiel telling Dean at the end that they have work for him... I wonder if Castiel doesn't approve of what Sam is doing, and wants Dean to try and stop him. Sure Sam is saving people and likes doing it (as he told Ruby), but I wonder if Castiel doesn't approve of the way he's doing it.

Ugh, I'm getting too thinky over this. :P Guess it shows how much I love this show too, lol. But I share your hope that we don't see the brothers growing apart too much. And if they do grow apart somewhat, I hope it's offset by some nice interaction and some payoff later.

Thursday can't come soon enough for me. And from the promo it looks like they will spend a good chunk of the episode together.
Working for the Mandroid: the boysmoonshayde on September 23rd, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think they are setting up a Sam vs Dean smackdown. I think Sam is going to get to the very edge of darkness and Dean is going to represent the light side. I think they've been setting this up since S2, maybe earlier, but definitely in S2. The foreshadowing is there. And with the show being so strong on foreshadowing and payoff, this isn't something they're going to ignore, imo.

I'm hoping that the smackdown results in the boys joining forces and deciding not to be pawns anymore. It's actually a plot I'm using for one of my original novels, so if it happens my books may look like they are copying, but I can survive LOL

People are mad about angels? But demons are okay? LOL This show has had religious undercurrents since S1. It's a show about Christian mythology whether you believe in it or not.

That was my concern in S3 - all the lying and Sam off with Ruby while Dean did something else would ruin the relationship for me and it didn't. I think we'll see the tension for a while. I think they will have their own missions. And I think it will come to head. But I also expect some payoff and some brotherliness along the way.
jessm78: AHBLjessm78 on September 24th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's the feeling I get, too. You bring up a good point about the foreshadowing. It seems like they're really going in this direction. I guess I'm silly for getting a wee bit nervous over it - but hopefully you're onto something and the whole thing will result in the boys joining forces. Cool idea for your novel, BTW :)

Yep, I don't understand it either. I think someone was just using it as an excuse to whine. Exactly. I mean, hello? The holy water, rosary beads, exorcisms ... tbey even mentioned "Christo" in Phantom Traveler.

That's how I felt about it. I was glad it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. Yeah, I bet we will be seeing the tension for a bit and they probably will have their own things to deal with. But I like your way of thinking. It's all gotta come to a head sooner or later. Payoffs and brotherliness wins at the end of the day. Here's hoping.
Working for the Mandroid: Boredmoonshayde on September 24th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm very nervous LOL But this is how I'm trying to convince myself that it will be okay. The show hasn't let me down yet, so I think I'm stressed for no reason.

So we can hope together :)
Working for the Mandroid: Across Realmsmoonshayde on September 24th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
I've always wondered about the passage of time when you're in Hell. Is it basically the same as that in the land of the living, or is it more drawn out? Dean had been buried for four months, but I wonder if it seemed like much longer to him. And if it did, surely that had to affect him somehow. Will be interesting to see if they address that at all this season.

I've actually heard something about this and I assume you may have too? But I don't want to post it here for spoilers. I am really unspoiled for this season, but I have bumped into a few things.
Prehumous Professor of Morbid Bibliomancyblpurdom on September 23rd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, that sucks that you saw spoilers when you didn't want to. I did my best to avoid them, which wasn't easy since my daughter was all over every spoiler she could get her hands on and she was DYING to tell me stuff but had to bite her tongue!

That said, I did expect Castiel to be an angel part of the way through the show. In retrospect, I should have been tipped off by the "el" ending of the name, but what did it was the way all of the demons seemed so afraid of whatever had pulled Dean out of hell; given the folklore about demons being angels who followed Lucifer into hell after he fell from grace, it seemed a fair assumption that angels and demons were pretty much supposed to have the same abilities but different motives driving them, so if anyone was going to be powerful, scary and want to pull Dean out of hell, an angel seemed like a pretty good candidate to me, and when we got the big reveal I laughed out loud, because I was right!

I doubt that he'll turn out to be much like Della Reese, though. ;)
Working for the Mandroid: brothers (winchester)moonshayde on September 24th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
I wonder if there are two types of demons? (I mean aside from the different ones like YED, the Crossroad Demon, and Lilith.) Demons that followed Lucifer and demons that were once human. The show as established the latter but I assume the former must have happened.

So, yeah. Bit bummed about the spoilers. If I seek them out, that's fine, but I hate when I lose choice LOL

And hi. I don't think I've spoken to you before :)
     Mandy: Winchestersa_phoenixdragon on September 24th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
I know!! I get so invested my ownself - and with SG-1, right around Season Eight is dawned on me that they were flushing it, and I was REAL upset!!

With this, there is always a twist! Is Ruby changed after being forcibly tossed by Lilltih? OR is Ruby even RUBY?! Hmmm...

As for Castiel - alot of people just assume that he's a good guy, or that he has good intentions (which he may very well have, but you ARE talking a supernatural being - their morals are NOT our morals!). What if he isn't what he says he is?

ALOT of people are getting all upset about the 'religious implications' the show is taking on. I have never forgotten that angels are older than the religions we as a planet are currently involved in - and that god may not necessarily be the God of Chrisitanity! We'll see - all in all, it doesn't bother me - as I know Kripke can push an envelope - but he'll step lightly for all that, as he does NOT want to deliberately offend or turn off his audience...

This season will most surely kick ass!! I'mSO on the angst train!!

Working for the Mandroid: crossroadsmoonshayde on September 27th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
I hate getting this invested! I get all angsty and flustered LOL And then inevitibly disappointed, so I have to be careful. I really wasn't feleing the love much in the last two seasons of SG-1 :(

I do hope we get some twists. I do wonder if Ruby is Ruby, if she is changed or someone else, or if maybe her agenda hasn't been as "good" as we've been led to believe.

I'm going to assume Castiel is good (but edgy) until shown otherwise. Only because I don't want to get overly invested in fan theories and then be disappinted if I fall for one and it doesn't happen. But I think there is a good chance he is good, just not humanly moral. But hey, you never know. He could be bad.

I would like it so that both boys are being usesd as pawns in a larger game, and come to recognize it before they destroy each other ;)

But I'm loving the new stuff and the religous stuff coming to head, whether it is accurate or not. Go S4!!!!
Banana Cave: Supernatural: Fangirls! Hide!banana_cave on September 28th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
I'm surprised your brain could process the show and verbalize it so well. I am just like SUPERNATURAL! EEEEEE! I really liked the lack of dialog in the beginning of the episode. I had heard a spoiler that an angel pulled Dean out of hell, so I knew that was coming, too.

I don't think Sam & Dean are going to grow apart. Well, no more than in season one anyway. In an interview I read, the creators said they are keeping the core of the show as the brother's relationship. So never fear! I don't think they'll have it be Castiel & Dean or Sam & Ruby working together without the other brother - because a. no one likes the new Ruby and b. Castiel seems pretty hands off.