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08 February 2008 @ 02:23 pm
Supernatural 3x10, Dream a Little Dream  
This was one of the better episodes for me this year, though I realize there are some of you who didn't like it.

First, Sam feeling despondent over Dean's future— and Dean finally getting that Sam has a right to feel that way— was a nice moment. It doesn't necessarily mean that Sam was ready to give up on saving Dean, just... sometimes you get discouraged, you know? Sometimes it all feels hopeless, and when that is all Sam can think about right now and Dean's not even helping him (is denying the whole thing all the way), there are times it's going to eat Sam alive. Making Dean see what that really feels like for Sam was a good thing, in my book.

Delving into Bobby's background was interesting— his feelings shown more than spoken in how he reacted to his dead wife, and to his own feelings of guilt about it. As he told Dean, in his usual man-of-few-words way, most Hunters start someplace. As we've seen from the Winchester family, Tamara's history, Gordon's and Bobby's history, that someplace is usually a tragedy that brings the reality home. I like the thought that he did love once, clearly very deeply, and that him being a loner now is probably more about being a one-woman-man or about fear of going through having another wife become possessed than because he's no good at the dating thing.

Bela was the most "off" part of this episode for me. Why the hell call her— they don't have any other contacts for magic herbs and such? My husband wanted to know why she was there, and the only answer I could give was that the show must still be working through the "babe and T&A quota" the network suits want. She didn't belong, she wasn't necessary, and she's already appeared far too much this season. Every time she puts one over on the boys they look like idiots all over again, and how exactly did Dean so easily get over her giving them up to Gordon? Her attempt at apology wouldn't have swayed me. Sam's dream felt like a nod to the network and not much else— why Bela of all people?— and then there's the awkwardness of him being trapped in a chair by a hard-on, which is totally TMI for Sam's character more than Dean's. The whole scene bothered me— its insertion in the episode felt forced.

That Dean's dream started out with a fantasy about a romantic picnic was kind of fun— and totally embarrassing! "I've never dreamed this before, I'm telling you!" Lisa professing her love for him was the ultimate capper, though it shouldn't surprise us that Dean's subconscious might occasionally long for someone to really want him and for a place to call 'home.' That's not the larger truth of who he is, but there have got to be fleeting moments.

Now, the Dean vs. Dean part of the dream was very meaty to me. First he tries to shine himself on with bravado, then to deny what the "inner" Dean is saying, and finally explodes in an epiphany of resentment. I don't think Dean feels those things ALL the time, or even very consciously when he does, but he's earned some of that anger. That he ultimately decided Sam's life was worth more than his— and not only that, but that it was worth going to Hell to bring Sam back— is probably his own doing more than John's, but I don't think he can separate that out for himself very well. Dean is a consumate Daddy's boy, and there are times when I think it's impossible for him to tell where his own will and his father's wishes divide. He wanted so badly for so long to please his father and do what John wanted that all of John's goals became part of Dean's own motivation. They're as deep a part of him now as John ever was.

I don't think that with Dean's dream the show is saying that Dean is worthless, less than Sam, etc. But that is what Dean fears within himself, usually buried so far down he isn't even aware of it. I think it was good for him to confront those aspects of his own thinking, and to flatten out the extremism of some of them. In essence, he was fighting against himself and FOR himself. I certainly can't argue with his conclusion at the end.

Did anyone else have qualms over Sam bringing Jeremy's father into the dream to drive the kid off? I don't think Sam had a choice there at all, but it disturbed me on some level because that terrible man was WHY the kid wound up as he did. It's one of those areas where the show makes you ache with there being "no right answer" to the situation. Which I also kind of love.

Other random love:
* The opening song and its "good times" mood are SO very different from what Sam's feeling— nice surprise.
* Dean telling the grad student that this could go on her "permanent record." That phrase is like magic doom to so many people. ;)
* Jeebus, the wrongness of the motel room decor. Peacock green and blue wallpaper that clashes with the room art, and in the hallway a peacock picture just to tweak us with the awful. Last week's 3D orange-colored stucco was bad enough. I'm continually amused by what the art department on this show does with the motel rooms— it's a running gag of inside jokes, and they're still coming up with new ideas (remembers the "birch" room in S1 and the Oh my eyes '60s psychedelic room with the black-and-white weirdness).
* Sam drooling in his sleep.
* Bobby's dead wife appeared to be wearing the White Nightgown Of Doom— does no-one learn?
* Dean spazzing out in the car on his excess caffeine and yelling at Bobby and being a total freak in general while Sam and Bobby grit their teeth and roll their eyes.
* I'm not actually sure whether I love or hate that Dean tried to place didgeridoos in Africa. Oh, Dean— sometimes the details are just 'noise,' aren't they?



 
 
 
deathbymutationdeathbymutation on February 8th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
I think they called Bela because Sam and Dean were the ones that unleashed hell on earth, other hunters don't take too kindly to that sort of thing. But yeah, they added the Sam/Bela scene for kicks *grumbles* stupid network.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
because Sam and Dean were the ones that unleashed hell on earth, other hunters don't take too kindly to that sort of thing.
It seemed like the kind of thing that herbalists that supply witches and such are made for-- along with Overnight Express or Fed Ex, so it really struck me as... contrived. :(

But yeah, they added the Sam/Bela scene for kicks *grumbles* stupid network.
I so hate when networks wade in and mess around with shows, especially for the sake of demographics. The results are rarely good-- a show is what it is, as conceived by its creator and the writers that support that vision. Don't make it something else, for crying out loud!

Love your username, BTW. :)
deathbymutation: j2/BXsdeathbymutation on February 9th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Thanks.

And seriously? If TV wasn't to image based, we would have significantly better shows with diverse scripts that are actually believable. *looks pointedly at the OC and Gossip Girl*

Oh and I feel the need to mention that I hate 99% of all reality shows.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
Oh and I feel the need to mention that I hate 99% of all reality shows.
I liked Survivor for awhile, and "Beauty and the Geek" in its first runs, but that's about it. The rest is pretty much excruciating!

And it kills me that the CW, which makes such utter crap as "The Gossip Girl" and all the other pretty-people-lightweight-soap-operas wants to mess with Supernatural to attract a bigger male demographic. Men don't watch the CW as a rule! Guess why that is! *rolls eyes*

Edited at 2008-02-09 06:18 am (UTC)
cindy: spn - dean's :D face (by dev_earl)tsuki_no_bara on February 8th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
i agree with everything you said about bela. she was there because otherwise it would've been a t&a-free episode, and we can't have that, now can we. (bobby's poor dead wife doesn't count. for one thing, dead. for another, creepy dead. for a third, bobby's wife.) (i loved the backstory on him, tho. and not very surprising or ooc backstory, either. good call, show.)

so. bela. yeah. what was the point, other than to throw in a little sexin' and a hot chick? oh, and so she could steal the colt, which the boys will no doubt need desperately in the not so distant future. her whole appearance was incredibly contrived from the get-go - she just felt so shoehorned in. ugh.

really liked the rest of it, tho. the dreamscapes were nicely done, and i loved the boys' looks of recognition when they realized they were in bobby's house, just a cleaner, less cluttered version.

also? did you notice how well the boys color-coordinated with the motel room? when they drank the dream juice, right before they sacked out. so much blue and green and kind of goldy-yellow!

and hyper-caffienated!dean cracked me up. i do love me some cranky!dean.

Edited at 2008-02-08 11:37 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
she was there because otherwise it would've been a t&a-free episode, and we can't have that, now can we.
The lingerie was really over the top. Gah.

for another, creepy dead.
Hahaha! The knife holes really take that sexy mood down a peg, don't they? I just noticed too that she appeared to be wearing the White Nightgown Of Doooom.

and i loved the boys' looks of recognition when they realized they were in bobby's house, just a cleaner, less cluttered version.
That single detail was a nice touch, I thought. In Bobby's dreams his house is more as it should look-- or used to look-- than as it actually now is.

when they drank the dream juice, right before they sacked out. so much blue and green and kind of goldy-yellow!
I didn't, though the drink looked scary. I was distracted by the wallpaper, and then the incongruous brick on the outer wall with the metal sun sculpture. Way too much conflicting texture for one room!

Though I did like the "Nothing. I don't feel a thing, you?" "Nah, nothing" followed by the freaky dream and then finally a pullback to them sacked out on the beds like they dropped over right where they were sitting.

i do love me some cranky!dean.
What was even funnier to me was how Bobby and Sam reacted to it-- especially Bobby's "Don't you talk to me that way, boy" reaction to Dean and then finally just hanging up on him in surrender. :D
Gretagretazreta on February 9th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
This show pleased me a great deal. It felt meaty and solid and I enjoyed watching it a lot.

I totally agree with the Bela thing. That dream of Sam's was almost totally gratuitous, and it seemed like they even knew it was gratuitous, there was NO care taken over it, so it was gratuitous and not even hot. Like somewhere between the writing and the direction there was a disagreement between someone. Bela in her nightie looked very uncomfortable as well.

I loved the dream scapes, the outside of Bobby's house (and the washing on the line) but also that fabulous awesome brilliant moment when Dean's forest turned into a hallway. So good.

I liked that Bobby was cranky as well as Dean (because he'd been without sleep as well) it reminded me when a group of my friends did a 48 hour film project. By late in the piece, we were so SNAPPISH. And totally over-caffeinated.

I too liked the Dean and Dean scene. Because I totally believe that Dean is unquestioningly obedient - and yet not entirely unquestioning. Lots of food for thought there - because dreams, like demons, sometimes lie, or represent something not obviously true, anyway.

It was so intriguing, I was left with a lot to think about.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
and it seemed like they even knew it was gratuitous, there was NO care taken over it, so it was gratuitous and not even hot.
Yes! It was a huge WTF moment, where the "Network suit-interference" radar went off big time. And even upon realizing it was a dream, my first thought was "Why is he dreaming about Bela? Why not someone he totally makes up, or has seen more of and doesn't mostly hate?" Because THAT dream was not an altered dream-- it was just a regular dream. Dumb...

because dreams, like demons, sometimes lie, or represent something not obviously true, anyway.
Yes! That dream was a facet of Dean's subconscious, and much of what it said had a certain raw truth but was likely overamplified. Dean may have these moments of conscious doubt even about his role in the family and all that his father asked of him, but I don't think they loom that large at all. I don't say that they shouldn't (I think he needs to ask those questions), but this is to a greater degree than an awake Dean would ever feel.
Pix: [SPN] You got my back kid?pixel_0 on February 9th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
I don't think Dean feels those things ALL the time, or even very consciously when he does, but he's earned some of that anger.

Agreed. I've seen a lot of, hm, dislike towards Dean's particular line about John being an obsessive bastard (or something similar to those lines--the brain, it's tired, oy). I think there's a place where yeah, those feelings do come from, but I don't think they're to that level of "hatred." It just reminds me of "Asylum" way back from S1 when Sam was possessed by that ghost and he shot Dean out of anger. Yeah, there was a place where those feelings were coming from, but they just got unleashed and scattered from the origin. Hm. All that made a lot more sense in my head. :P
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
I've seen a lot of, hm, dislike towards Dean's particular line about John being an obsessive bastard (or something similar to those lines
I knew that would set the "John" contingent off. But you know, John was an obsessive bastard and he cost both boys a great deal because of it, Dean even more than Sam. For Dean to have a rare surge of anger over it-- especially inside a dream-- doesn't seem OOC to me at all. Would he walk around thinking that in his waking hours, let alone saying it? Not likely. But is that resentment buried in there, with both rational and irrational components? How can it NOT be?

It just reminds me of "Asylum" way back from S1 when Sam was possessed by that ghost and he shot Dean out of anger. Yeah, there was a place where those feelings were coming from, but they just got unleashed and scattered from the origin. Hm. All that made a lot more sense in my head. :P
Actually, "Asylum" was the first thing that dream made me think of. Throw a little warp onto Sam courtesy of his subconscious and something like shooting Dean in anger comes boiling to the surface. And then as soon as conscious-Sam is in control again, he cries over it and hates himself for it.

There's a reason the subconscious doesn't get let into the driver's seat much-- it forgets important details like "But you love(d) him anyway" and "It wasn't great but I can live with it."
grand_sophygrand_sophy on February 9th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
With respect to Sam bringing in Jeremy's dad, I thought it was one more unsettling aspect of Sam allowing his demonic nature to surface in the dream, sort of a twisted echo of "Devil's Trap" when it was YED controlling John. The bat bashing didn't really hurt him, he got out of his restraints easily, and he used the boy's father to brutally murder him. Some posters thought his eyes were yellow in that scene. Brrrrr.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)
I thought it was one more unsettling aspect of Sam allowing his demonic nature to surface in the dream
The show does keep hinting at that, and I kind of like that they don't tell us outright. Is this Sam's increasing desperation that's changing him? Is it "How much of what came back is 100% Sammy?" Is it "Have to toughen up for when Dean's gone?" We don't know for sure, and it could be any or some combination of them. But he's ventured into some more disturbing areas this year, which hurts to watch almost as much as watching Dean's hourglass run out.

Some posters thought his eyes were yellow in that scene. Brrrrr.
I didn't see that myself, but perhaps I was already averting my eyes at that point, because the thread of where that was going was disturbing just by suggestion. :(
layne: dean 79layne67 on February 9th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
I didn't quite get Lisa. I didn't watch the episode with Lisa and Ben in it, so was Dean in love with her? I thought Cassie was the only woman that he fell in love with, so I thought shouldn't she be the one in his dream? Or was Lisa more than a one night stand?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
I didn't watch the episode with Lisa and Ben in it, so was Dean in love with her?
He'd had "amazing sex" over a weekend with her, and then there was the possibility that the child she'd had (who dated from that timeframe) might be Dean's.

She wasn't his deep love, but I think there was a part of him that in a blue moon longed for what she represented-- a ready-made family and home, even though he can't ever really be that kind of man.

For Cassie, I think it was finally clear to him that she was incapable of loving him the way he loved her. To reject him for what she thought was a big fable about who he was and what he did was one thing (reasonable, actually). To find out that it was real, and not jump all over the possibility of getting back together with him... says that her heart was never really in it at all. I think he knows that, even deep down.

So, I don't put too much store on the woman in the dream being Lisa. I see that as more the "randomly populating" component of dreams where she was a pretty girl that he actually knew but the important part was what she represented.

Heck, don't you ever wonder who fills out the "crowd" scenes in your dreams? I do! I wonder if they're just random people I've seen in the supermarket or the movie theater or whatnot, or if in fact they're crowds from a movie or something just lifted up and transplanted (because the brain is probably just that lazy).
layne: spn dean sammylayne67 on February 9th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
What you said about Lisa and Cassie makes perfect sense! Thanks for clearing that point. Having Lisa in Dean's dream bothered me a lot more than Sam having wet dreams about Bela. Because to my way of thinking, our "normal" dreams when we sleep can be as random as can be. So, no big deal for me there.
ErinRua: semper fierinrua on February 9th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
*points at your post* What you said. *G*

LOVED your recap, loved your points and observations, and I think I'll just nod like a little dashboard dog to all of it. ;-)

The only thing I'll add is that I've come to the conclusion that Dean's explosion against himself was actually a good thing. He finally reached the point where he was fighting *back*, denying all the things that have been wearing him down, and standing up for himself, his worth. The only thing he could *not* kill or beat or will away ... is the cold, hard truth about him and Hell.

At last that's how it's looking to me. The fact he came as clean as he could with Sam, at the end, (without actually asking for help, which would be him trying to weasel out of the deal) seems to back up the fact he's finally decided his "gutter soul" is worth something, after all.

And in so doing, he's given Sam what Sam needs most: a cause and a purpose, a goal to pursue. Sam's despondency at the beginning was clear indicator of how badly he'd been missing just that.

Anywho, lol, sorry to meta all over your review! I'll get a towel and clean up on the way out. *G*
Cheers ~

Erin

Edited at 2008-02-09 03:11 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
and I think I'll just nod like a little dashboard dog to all of it. ;-)
Hahaha! What a funny picture that makes. :D

He finally reached the point where he was fighting *back*, denying all the things that have been wearing him down, and standing up for himself, his worth.
Oh, I agree-- I think it was a good thing and a necessary thing. With all of his complaints about his father and his past and his duty-defined role in life, though there's truth in a lot of that I think he was also kicking his own complacency in the butt with that anger. Some people mistake Dean thinking he's a loser for the show calling him a loser. They're very different things. And frankly, one of the typical outcomes of growing up with the kind of conditional love Dean got from John is feeling that you're not worth much. You're only lovable so long as you do what that person wants and when they want it, and the moment you slip up or guess wrong (and you spend your whole life knowing it's coming), that love will be gone. Which means that at the core, you think of yourself as a f**kup waiting to be found out. :(

Anywho, lol, sorry to meta all over your review! I'll get a towel and clean up on the way out. *G*
This is never a bad thing. I have a phrase for it! I call it "thoughtful discussion." :D
ErinRua: Impalaerinrua on February 16th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like that observation, that he was also whupping ass on his own complacency. Yes, that's a perfect fit. Along with owning his own emotional demons, he's taking charge of being a passenger in his own life. Good thought!

And yes, sadly logical about Dean and John's conditional love. We know John never indented it that way, but when the only measure you've got of yourself is a man who's both hero and father to you ... it's hard to get balance self-image. And without any consistent support from anywhere else, with no teachers or friends or other family to offer a wider view ... yeah, that life of always moving on the road could only add to the situation.

Should be interesting to see where this breakthrough leads Dean, in days to come! :-)
Cheers ~

Erin
I'm Mulder, She's Scullyrunedgirl on February 9th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Agreed, agreed, on so many of your excellent points. Interesting that so many people are slamming Dean for essentially not being perfect, or slamming SPN/the writers/TPTB for not *writing* Dean as perfect. But when did that become a requirement, or even something desirable? Dean Winchester is many things, but perfect was never intended to be one of them. What kind of flat one-dimensional character would he be then? Nothing for Jensen to sink his acting chops into either. So yeah, sometimes the details are just "noise" (LOL), and yeah, he did call his father an obsessed lunatic (or something) out of anger, and yeah, he isn't very politically correct alot of the time -- but he hurts, and he tries, and he cares, and he loves (Sammy, deeply) and I personally am floored by watching him. He has the guts to take on his own subconscious in a dream and try to argue the self-loathing right out of himself. Damn!

I for one don't need perfection. Though I do have to cringe when Show gets *too* far from it... cough...Bela...cough

Thanks for this,
Lynsey
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
or slamming SPN/the writers/TPTB for not *writing* Dean as perfect.
Yes! I totally don't get that. He's never been portrayed as perfect, and we saw pretty early on in Season One that under the facade of cool and brave and capable, there is also dork and asshole and the ache of a lot of abandonment issues. Neither the good nor the bad is all of Dean-- he is every one of those things in turn and sometimes all at once. It's what makes him such an interesting, complex and human character.

And seriously, what show have people been watching if they don't realize that Dean has serious doubts about his own self-worth as compared to his father and brother? It's canon. I think they've practically thrown it in our faces at times.

but he hurts, and he tries, and he cares, and he loves (Sammy, deeply) and I personally am floored by watching him. He has the guts to take on his own subconscious in a dream and try to argue the self-loathing right out of himself. Damn!
Yes, exactly! That's why he's my favorite character. He isn't the character I like the most (he's pretty unlikeable a lot of the time), but he's the most fascinating character for me. And his ache is so bone-deep and captivating.

Though I do have to cringe when Show gets *too* far from it... cough...Bela...cough
Yes-- it's not a question of writing the characters as perfect, it's the issue of staying true to the show's vision. Interference from the network is SO hamhanded, and it never improves anything. :(
mercurybard on February 9th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC)
The Bela dream was so fucked up. I literally stopped the episode and just sat there asking "what the fuck? what the FUCK?" of my computer. It didn't have an answer. I'm choosing to interpret the dream as some sort of weirdass psychic crap dribbling in while Sam was drooling (I did like the drool dribbled on the back of his hand).

Seeing into Bobby's head--the house the way it must have been when his wife was alive, the tragedy of his wife's death, etc.--was amazing. I will forgive this episode it's (HUGE) flaws for that.

Bela was forced into the plot, I will give her that. They should've called four or five other contacts first and discovered the dream root is extremely rare and pricey and you have to go to a special dealer for that shit before they think of calling Bela (though I did like the "oh, crap" moment the brothers had).

But I think Bela's involvement in this entire season, as random as it's been, is worth it for the theft of the Colt. Because that is a damn powerful weapon and it makes life a little too easy for the Winchesters (I'm still waiting for the descendant of Samuel Colt to role through). As my friend who DMs once yelled at her players after giving them an overly powerful artifact: "I'm going to have to take that away from you, aren't I?"

Edited at 2008-02-09 07:28 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
I literally stopped the episode and just sat there asking "what the fuck? what the FUCK?" of my computer. It didn't have an answer.
Oh, god yes. I can't even force it to work with the canon. It's just an extraneous piece of crap that was put there as a demographic contrivance, it it freaking shows. Gah.

Seeing into Bobby's head--the house the way it must have been when his wife was alive, the tragedy of his wife's death, etc.--was amazing. I will forgive this episode it's (HUGE) flaws for that.
I really loved that, all of it. There's the possibility that in his head, his house still does look that way, that he's always seeing the ideal version and not the current clutter and dust he's living with. That's such sharp writing that it thrills me a little bit. And I love seeing the personal tragedy of how he got into hunting, and why he is a little bit haunted even to this day.

Because that is a damn powerful weapon and it makes life a little too easy for the Winchesters
I still kind of think it was a mistake to introduce it in Season One to begin with. Its backstory is wholly unbelievable, and given that it didn't kill the demon in the Witches episode we just saw... makes you wonder a little bit if YED is dead after all, doesn't it?
mercurybard on February 17th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
I probably should get ahold of season 2, so I can watch "All Hell Breaks Loose". Gah.