Reaction: Supernatural (7×11)

Completely and totally unrelated to Supernatural, but it’s my least favorite time of the year: Special K Ad Inundation Time with a side of Annoying Truvia Commercials. So, I might be cranky because of that, that’s all.

Oh, and because they killed Bobby Fucking Singer last time I saw this show. That might have something to do with it also.

It seems strange to me that they’ve stripped Sam and Dean of all the extras – the people, the things that they had come to rely on – in an apparent attempt to return to Supernatural’s roots as a story about these two guys, and then have these two guys working separately. I find my attention wandering when they split-case it for most of an episode. It makes it harder to connect to emotionally.

This was a pretty good ep anyway, though they really stretched the vetala mythology to suit their needs, didn’t they? I don’t mind that so much, really, because zombie vampires are just too much for prime time television. I found it a tad hard to believe that seasoned hunters like whathisface (and isn’t Ian Tracey looking aged? Yow.) and Sam wouldn’t even consider it was a trap. I mean, Sam, come on. Also, the blonde vetala was played by a very tall woman. Very tall. I cop to a little height envy, there.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. That “time passes” bit at the beginning. Week one about broke my heart, the guys just sitting there staring into space. Oh, boys. *hugs them* I knew it would be Sam who was ready to move on, get back to work because that’s how he copes. Dean, not so much, especially given the way they’ve been showing him slip into a crevasse this year. The time lapse with the beer was startling, and became anvilly obvious when Dean hightailed it to find Frank (who had better not show up much, he annoys me), who revealed deep seated truths about Dean via his own story. Oh, Supernatural, your old tricks, etc. Frank is a hot mess with trauma induced mental illness. Dean is a hot mess with trauma induced mental illness. Frank fakes it till he makes it and since Dean cannot leave the life and abandon Sam, so must he. :(

The girl, Chrissy, was a good point. She was perhaps slightly overwritten, but I liked her spunkiness – like Dean was at that age, and what a kick in the pants to have Dean openly try to dissuade someone from joining the life. I’m glad it’ll work out for her, if she truly stays out. I think she might have been Dean’s final good deed, as far as he was concerned.

The carversation at the end was close to those of old, but I’m still getting a distinct lack of feeling in the writing. I used to be right there with Sam and Dean, and now I’m very aware I’m just watching Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki acting. They’re doing it well, so I’m not saying it’s them. It’s indefinable. I can’t put my finger on what I even mean. Except not even Dean trying to fake smile made me feel as punched-in-the-gut as, say, the scene at the end of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things back in S2, which left me sleepless and broken as Dean. And it should have.

It is pale and tragic that what Sam needs to hold onto his sanity is to keep working, and what Dean needs to hold onto his is to not keep working. And Sam cannot conceive of losing his sanity for Dean’s, partially because Dean is hiding his issues. I wonder, though, if he knew, if he would make the same choice Dean is and do what is best for his brother, not him. Hard to say. Sam’s insanity has Satan and hellfire behind it. Dean’s just facing “normal” crazy.

Wah, wah, cry moar, right? I just find myself waxing nostalgic these days, and I can’t seem to stop looking back in order to enjoy the now for what it is, because I knew what it used to be.

Long story short (too late!): a decent ep with an actual strong female character who survived (and two bad female characters who got stabbed to death, so is that a wash?).

Comments

  1. Fairfield says

    I agree with you in regards to the “carversation”. As I watched it I felt the same sense of detachment, like I’m no longer watching the show but watching the mechanics of the show, if that makes sense? At times it feels like they’re trying too hard to recapture the old magic and yet, at other times, it feels as if they’re just not trying at all, and rarer still you get that moment where they get “it” right — whatever that is — and everything is great.

    I’m beginning to think that, for me, watching Supernatural is like trying to rekindle an old relationship where the spark has gone.

  2. Kex says

    I actually really liked this episode, mostly because the interaction between Dean and Chrissy. I smiled my way all through their banter. Deans good with kids and it was nice to have something that felt a bit new. I mourn that she probably never will be back, but hey, considering what they usually do to women on the show, maybe that is lucky.

    I find it hard to believe that hunter suck so much at hunting. I totally agree with you on the trap thing. When have something not been a trap??

    A theory has been popping up: the missing beer, ghost!Bobby? I don’t want Bobby as a ghost though, I want him back in flesh and blood.

  3. sbg says

    Fairfield,

    I have to find a way to work around it, because it’s got to get boring hearing me bring this issue up episode after episode. It just breaks my heart, is all, so that even a decent episode that doesn’t slaughter every female in a five mile range is difficult to enjoy fully. :\

  4. sbg says

    Kex,
    There should be a Touched By Winchesters forum somewhere where all the cool characters that survived can congregate and discuss how they’ve dealt after learning there are monsters for really real.

    I find it hard to believe that hunter suck so much at hunting. I totally agree with you on the trap thing. When have something not been a trap??

    I totes got Admiral Ackbar in my head right there.

    I’ve heard speculation about ghost!Bobby and also, because if heavy inclusion in the ‘Then’, that this is somehow a hallucination. I’m confused by both, because if it was ghost!Bobby, why didn’t Sam notice and if it is a Lucifer!hallucination, why DID Dean notice?

  5. SunlessNick says

    sbg,

    There should be a Touched By Winchesters forum somewhere where all the cool characters that survived can congregate and discuss how they’ve dealt after learning there are monsters for really real.

    One of the reasons I liked the idea of Hailey – along with her cool, and bringing out an unexpected sort of cool in Dean – was that it would make a change from the revenge and loss stories to have a hunter whose loved one was saved, and got into the lifestyle to pay that forward.

    Not really the same thing, but related perhaps.

  6. Nathaniel says

    Liked the episode okay. Girl was trying hard but sometimes pushed a little too hard on the acting.

    This has to be the last season. Don’t really see how they can continue after killing everyone else off.

  7. A says

    A theory has been popping up: the missing beer, ghost!Bobby? I don’t want Bobby as a ghost though, I want him back in flesh and blood.

    I thgouth this too when I saw it – think there was a sound effect that made me feel it was a dropped hint.

    And I totally agree with the mechanical and distancing factors of this episode – it made me wonder if I’m going to be frustrated by this half-season…

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