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15 February 2008 @ 12:58 pm
SPN 3x11, "Mystery Spot"  
I laughed, I cried, I loved Jared beyond all reason...

I was a little worried when this episode started. First, there was Dean singing and doing MTV moves to "The Heat Of The Moment," which is the most OOC thing I've seen him do since the impromptu inside-the-Impala singing. I was embarrassed to watch both scenes, and (*cringe*) THIS OOC-Dean came back over and over during the episode.

All of the over-the-top moments in the first "round" of the Tuesday also had me worried. They were so excessively broad, as in "Hey, dumbass viewer-- you'll want to notice this for later!" Seriously, the vast majority of us aren't that stupid, and I hate being pandered to like that. Plus the obvious stealing from "Groundhog Day."

But... then there was the heartbreak of Dean getting shot (poor Sammy). And then the repeat of Tuesday, where Sam wisely decided not to go back to the Mystery Spot at night and then AUGH! Car! Oh Dean. :(

The way Sam got progressively more strung-out looking with each successive Tuesday kept the angst going even as the deaths became almost humorous (black humor). I foresaw the "choking at breakfast" and "piano (desk?) from above" coming, but not the shower (!) or the electrocution or the "Do these burritos taste funny to you?" (which made me LOL, and then feel like a sicko).

I very much liked the return of the Trickster, which settled out the issue of the corny similarities to a movie most of us have seen and why exactly the repeating day was possible.

And then, there was the MEGA-angst.

The destruction of Sam from within was fantastically shown-- the bleakness of his life without Dean (ow, ow, ow), the way he turned away from the comfort his friends could have given him, the growth of the dark pragmatism in him when all love and hope were gone. It hurt to watch, but I was very pleased with how well it was done.

Sam's pleading with the Trickster was heartbreaking. And then to have Dean back... thank you, Kripke, for that hug, and for Dean having enough understanding that he didn't pull away because even though it was just one day for him he knew it has to have been far too long for Sam.

I liked that Dean noticed Sam's distress at the end, though I honestly wish Sam had told him how bad the first version of that Wednesday had been. I'm betting there were still some sniffles and tears in the car after the relief of waking up to having Dean alive again.

And one of the best parts of the ending was that sense of fear in the way Sam looked around the motel room where everything he'd been so scared of had actually come to pass, at least inside his head. *sigh*

ETA: I forgot the horror of Sam's self-triage. What with "No Country For Old Men" and the "House, M.D." episode with the doctor doing all her own tests at the South Pole, I've already seen all the self-triage I can handle for the next ten years. Gah!


 
 
 
mercurybard on February 15th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
"Do these burritos taste funny to you?"
Maybe it's a function of where I live, but I saw the Death by Bad Mexican Food coming from a mile away.

The Trickster seems incredibly plugged into pop culture. It always amuses me when supernatural entities steal so broadly from modern culture. I guess Mercedes Lackey's elves were the worst at this (in her Underhill world, elves have no creativity...they can take a human idea and refine it to something truly spectacular, but it's the humans who generate that initial spark). That he's seen Groundhog Day doesn't surprise me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 15th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's a function of where I live, but I saw the Death by Bad Mexican Food coming from a mile away.
I probably didn't, just because we'd only see them eat the one diner meal before that. That must have been one of the days when Dean made it a little farther.

That he's seen Groundhog Day doesn't surprise me.
No, me either. Once the explanation was "Trickster" I was okay with the re-use of the Groundhog Day theme. But before that, during the first couple of Tuesdays, it kinds of bugged me-- partly because it was less well done than Groundhog Day at the start.

I'm sorry they had to let him get away, though. An entity that kills people just for being pompous or hypocritical is exactly the kind of thing the world needs protection from. :0
mercurybard on February 15th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
You don't have the taco trucks where you live, do you?

I'm sorry they had to let him get away, though. An entity that kills people just for being pompous or hypocritical is exactly the kind of thing the world needs protection from
I'm torn on the issue of the Trickster because a). if done correctly, he could be an incredible storytelling element. One of the greatest lessons a Trickster teaches a Hero is about humility, and as elanurel points out, pride is one of Sam's big flaws.

On the other hand, I have this urge to yell 'UR DOING IT WRONG!' at SPN's Trickster. Maybe because he's so smarmy? The boys' reaction to Bela last episode (the "oh, crap" moment) is my idea of a proper reaction to a Trickster. Did he kill anyone in "Tall Tales"? I forget. Because I got the impression that the professor he dropped into a wormhole last night could still be alive...and have the opportunity of coming back under his own steam one day, if he's clever enough. (There are so many awesome scifi shows based on the premise of 'drop X into a wormhole and see how he gets home'.) And that would serve him right for being so belligerent against the concept of the supernatural.

But with SPN's Trickster, it feels like the reason they can't kill him is because he's too big and scary when it needs to be more that they aren't quite clever enough.

Gah. Am I making any sense?
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
His hair got progressively stringier, his face more haggard and wild as each Tuesday went on. I really loved that kind of attention to detail. ♥
I'm Mulder, She's Scully: Chicagorunedgirl on February 16th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Agreed, agreed. I hate being treated like I need spoonfeeding, and the first part did that too much - but all was forgiven with the last third. Mygod, heartbreaking and cold, so damn cold, Sam without Dean, like the very spark that made him warm and human had been extinguished. Dean without Sam was a raw nerve of agony, Sam without Dean was cold, barren, dead. Terrifying.

I wanted to hug Kripke for that hug, and Jeremy newguy Carver too, for making it as heartfelt as it had to have been. And that final look around the room? *shudders*

Lynsey
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
I hate being treated like I need spoonfeeding, and the first part did that too much

Come to think of it, where the blame really lies for that is in the directing. In the subsequent Tuesdays, none of the events were that overdone (they weren't stellar writing, but they weren't screaming at the audience ever). And that surprises me, because Kim Manners usually does a better job than that.

Dean without Sam was a raw nerve of agony, Sam without Dean was cold, barren, dead.
This is a great description of the differences between them, and so true. Dean could not sit still with his pain, he couldn't stop long enough to let Sam's death actually move forward-- he was driven to action because he couldn't not do it. And Sam, on the other hand, was reduced to going through the motions. He didn't give up, in any sense of things, but his entire purpose became revenge or the faint hope that he might somehow get Dean back. Not by the drastic means Dean chose-- by pragmatism. And that also shows the huge difference between them.

I wanted to hug Kripke for that hug,
Me too-- and for letting Sam just hang on to Dean, which he would so have needed to do after the months without Dean he'd experienced. It wasn't quick or perfunctory, it was like balm to a barren soul.

And that final look around the room? *shudders*
I really, really liked how well done that was. It's just a room-- so ordinary (more ordinary than their usual, even), but god, what Sam suffered while he was in there.