Reaction: Supernatural (7×03)

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The Girl Next Door, or, The One After The One That Made Me Go Eeeeep.

We start in the hospital. I admit, I had grandiose ideas of where they could go with that. For crying out loud, they had Dean with an open leg fracture and Sam seizing from a likely brain bleed…and they were out within five minutes of the episode. Points for scruff on Dean (Supernatural is notoriously bad at continuity regarding facial hair, I think), but I’m not going to lie – it was a bit of a let down. At the same time, it was kind of nice to see them make a quick hospital escape, as that something that has been metaed a bit in fandom.

Is it weird to say I miss Sam’s hallucinations? All we got was that one little blank out. ;)

It was clear early on this was going to be an episode about trust. Dean not trusting Sam is a continual theme, and I do think Dean’s got good reasons to have trouble with that. Sam’s the kid who “left the family business” to go to college. Sam’s the one who has demon blood, turned to a demon for help instead of his brother, started the apocalypse and then got all soulless and stuff. I get it the mistrust, I do. But Sam’s also the one who has always, ultimately, had Dean’s back and Sam’s the one that saved the world from the apocalypse he started. So, while I don’t think it was terribly smart for Sam to just take off, knowing how fretful Dean is about his state of mind, some trust would be nice.

Especially if the lack of trust comes at the expense of a relative innocent. And a female one at that.

Let’s back up a bit. I enjoyed the flashbacking. That’s a technique that can be schlocky at times. Wee!Sam isn’t so wee anymore, and isn’t it so appropriate his first (presumably) kiss is with a supernatural creature? I really liked Amy (Pond, haha, Show, that’s cute!), in the flashbacks and in real time. She was smart, kind and clearly in control. She’s like the kitsune version of Lenore (RIP), so I figured early on Sam would embrace the gray and Dean would not. Sometimes, often, Supernatural is like deja vu all over again. Even though Dean and John were not physically present, you could sense Sam’s frustration with his role in the family. Turns out, it was for the best that he played research nerd, because I don’t think he would have made any kind of headway arguing Amy’s nature and she would have been killed then along with her genuinely evil supernatural mom.

*sigh* You all had to know where it was going to go by this point.

When Sam catches up with who he knows he will when he reads of the same type of murders being committed, Amy’s just as great as an adult. She’s still smart, kind and clearly in control, with a job that alleviates the need for killing to survive. It’s resourceful and a perfectly good solution, being a mortician. (Is that a commonly used word anymore?) The murders began for one reason only – her son became ill and the only thing that would fix him was fresh pituitary. I don’t like it. I don’t endorse it, but it makes absolute sense and I believed, like Sam did, that she would not kill again because her son was better. Fixed.

And now we’re back to trust. After Dean tracks Sam down and punches him (Jesus, btw, guy had a brain bleed and he got walloped twice tonight – that cannot be good, even a month after the fact. You don’t recover that fast from major head injuries. Stupid TV medicine.), Sam tells the story and Dean says he buys it. After they have the whole “she’s a freak but OMG I didn’t mean you/yes you did mean me” conversation. Sam, break my heart with the, “I might be a freak, but that’s not the same as dangerous.” This is a lesson I don’t believe Dean will ever actually get.

Then, after it’s all presumably good, Dean drives them to Spokane with no intention of doing anything but dumping Sam to backtrack and kill Amy because it’s not gray, it’s black and white and Amy does not fall on the right side of that. Except, she kind of does. There is no guarantee her son won’t get sick again. There’s also no way to know if he’ll be healthy as a horse living on corpse pituitary forever. What do you do in a situation like that? I … side more with Sam on this one, but I cannot determine if it’s because of the way Dean went about it. He’s all about trust, but he has to hide what he’s doing from Sam. This means he doesn’t trust Sam, and Sam shouldn’t trust Dean.

To make matters worse, Dean stabs the woman in the heart right in front of her son and then proceeds to not kill the son too, because the son’s never killed anyone. I suppose that’s valid, but Dean’s logic is flawed a bit. If the kid hasn’t killed, it might be in part due to his mother’s influence, which now he no longer will have due to her sudden, unnecessary refrigeration on Dean’s part. It’s altogether possible Dean killed a non-monster and created a monster, monster. Why does he think that the boy won’t do what is in his nature, as he’s just argued with Amy before killing her, but doesn’t give Amy the benefit of the doubt given her extenuating circumstances? It sticks in my craw, it does.

It’s frustrating, because up until the end, I was really enjoying this episode. The brotherly concern, the heartfelt talks, Bobby being super cool and telling Dean to trust his damned brother already (and for the first time, Bobby in a suit kind of made me go woof!), the flashbacks, the return of awesome pseudonyms, the silly reference to MBV, even the Leviathan bounty hunter wasn’t so bad. Okay, that part was kind of ridiculous, if I’m going to be honest. Dear Supernatural: we don’t actually need cheesy (no pun, I swear) episodic proof that the Big Bads are after the Winchester-Singer Consortium for them to be ominous threats.

Believe it or not, I still give this one higher marks than most of last year. Not as good as the first two of the year, by a long shot.

Comments

  1. Azzy says

    Man, Dean pissed me off this episode. All throughout the scene where he was explaining to Amy why he had to kill her, all I could think was “OH BULLSHIT, DEAN. BULLSHIT.” Because I knew he wouldn’t kill the little kid, even though HE was a kitsune, too. But no, Dean is too squeamish to go through with his fucked up ideology. Saint fuckin’ Dean, and his arbitrary justice! Doing the right thing, except when he doesn’t really feel like it! He just destroyed a family to appease his hunter’s ego. Dean was the monster this episode, not Amy.

    Cripes, I’m so angry, I’m not even coherent.

  2. sbg says

    Azzy,

    Right? It made no sense. Of course, kid-killing is probably on the “don’t go there” list for prime time television, but it made me shriek a little at how stupid Dean was being. All righteous and sure about Amy eventually killing again, though she’d gone 30 years without and only did because it was a last resort; she didn’t enjoy it. She didn’t have a lust for it.

    By his logic, Sam needs to go. Sam’s killed before. He could do it again, at any moment. Shoot, I’ll bet Dean’s responsible for some innocent losing her (yes, pronoun intentional) life, so he should off himself to prevent it from happening again.

  3. Kex says

    Yeah, I hated the end of this episode with so much passion. I really hated Dean!! He goes and kills someone in front of her kid and he has to talk about it so she knows she is going to die. And then he lies about it to Sam even though he has spent the last two episodes whining over that Sam lied about the hallucinations. Dean you dick!!! And shall we talk about how many innocent people you´ve killed by torturing g demons who is possessing actual people. Dick!!
    And I was so happy about the last two episodes! I really loved them

    The only thing I hope for is that this will turn out to be something Dean realizes is wrong. That he suddenly gets that the Dean Winchesters School of morale isn’t always right and that he often is a damn hypocrite!

    On another note, damn, how much more evil can they make John Winchester? It made me seriously uncomfortable to se Dean punch Sam in the face after a flashback where Sam talks about what an angry drunk John is. Seriously, circle of abuse!

  4. Azzy says

    You know, I think this episode pissed me off because it reminded me of that episode with the vampires who wanted to reform. I find it morally objectionable for a hunter to chase down monsters who have no intention of harming humans in the future, because it wastes time that could be spent hunting down those who DO kill humans.

    I don’t know if I’m remembering this correctly, but didn’t Dean take the side of the vampires in that episode? Is it possible that after finding out they all eventually relapsed, he lost faith in the notion that any monster could possibly reform?

    Man, this irritates me. Because while it’s frustrating characterization, it’s not unbelievable, given Dean’s experiences. I’m angry with the character, and not the writers. Maybe if I watch the whole season and revisit this episode afterwards, I’ll have a better appreciation for Dean’s actions, but I hate the ending SO MUCH right now. I haven’t had a TV show piss me off like this in years. Just as Supernatural was starting to pique my interest again, it pulls something like this.

  5. sbg says

    Kex,

    While I’m appalled from a feminist perspective (seriously, kill the woman but leave the boy?!), from a contextual show perspective I’m more upset that Dean made throughout the whole episode a big to-do about not trusting Sam because Sam might crack at any moment, then lies to Sam’s face and forges into moral gray area to kill someone that didn’t need killing. Erm, so trust is a one-way street, apparently.

    Yes, they continue to butcher the memory of John Winchester. We get it, Show, Bobby is a better daddy figure.

  6. sbg says

    Azzy,

    Dean would tell you Lenore and her band of peaceful vampires eventually turned. Of course, the problem with Dean’s side of this argument is that it washes all the gray into the black, because it’s better to ignore it and kill everything than think. Lenore turned because of the Mother walking around up top and wouldn’t have otherwise. Amy killed because of her son’s deathly illness and wouldn’t have otherwise. Dean can’t allow himself to see the “wouldn’t have otherwise”.

    Part of me thinks he’s trying to exhibit control over some part of his life, because he feels so frantically out of control regarding Sam cracking up. He can’t do anything about that, but by God, he can kill monsters.

  7. says

    I was just as annoyed/frustrated as any of you by this episode. Dean’s always been a hypocrite, but they really seem to have dialed that up to 11 this season. I get the impression, since I’ve heard that they’re aiming to isolate the boys this season, that they are going to try and isolate them from us as well, make them less likable, enhance the qualities that we’ve come to hate and fear in our superheroes.

    I’ve started work on a re-watch from the very beginning, and one of the statistics I’m accumulating as I go along is “innocents killed by Dean and Sam” – each time they kill a demon, instead of exorcising, that’s one more dead innocent (or most likely – they may have been “dead” before the kill, maintained by the demon, but the boys don’t know that). When they start messing with angels and demons? That shit gets NUMEROUS.

  8. The Other Anne says

    CaitieCat,

    I am curious as to what the tally is. Can you share, or is it more of a “there’s another one” thing over a meticulous count? This has been one of the major things i have hated from the get go, and one thing I thought Sam was VERY RIGHT about, in that his powers generally allowed him to save the people afterwards whereas Dean got REALLY knife-happy along the way, as though those people don’t MATTER because they happen to house a demon. They left the “saving people” part of their motto behind almost as soon as they ever said it.

  9. says

    It’s ongoing – I’m working on building up a good pile of them before I start posting, because I deal with physical disability and depression, and I know there’ll be periods when I can’t get any done.

    The first season is short on incidents so far, but I’ve looked at the second already some, and it gets big. By S6 and S7, they don’t even mention anymore that there were innocent people being ridden by the demons and angels they kill.

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