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08 April 2010 @ 12:46 pm
SzzzXXXXNNnnx!  
I've had trouble sleeping since the Daylight Savings Time shift, and that was what, a month ago? I love "fall back," but not so much "spring forward." The curse of being a night owl!

We enjoyed our trip to Santa Cruz/Capitola for Spring Break, despite the rain. The kids had a couple of good beach days, a little time at the Boardwalk before the downpour came, and Christopher especially enjoyed exploring the tidepools (he's never done that before). We saw a crab, 3 starfish, a hermit crab on the move, and countless sea anenomes. Funny how I rarely see jellyfish at Santa Cruz—on the Oregon Coast they're everywhere. I also got the kids hooked on stomping the seaweed "grapes," which is pretty much like naturally-occurring bubble wrap. ;)

There was too much eating (Denny's French Toast will be the death of me), and we watched a LOT of ESPN Classic and grumbled about the Women's NCAA games only being on cable—and airing the day after we checked out. I read a lot of books, faithfully worked the recumbent bike in the gym (it kills my back), and did very little writing. I was expecting more takers on my offer of birthday drabbles!

While we were gone, I managed to once again record Grey's Anatomy instead of The Mentalist (our local CBS and ABC affiliates swapped channels a few years back, and I've never recovered). I downloaded The Mentalist via Torrent (still haven't seen it or Fringe), and also SPN, which we finally saw on Sunday.

I liked most of this episode (the weirness of the concept, the return visits from Ash and Pam), but other parts bugged me a little. I've said before that I don't like the whole Angels/God direction the show's taken since S4, and that's still true. So the find-Joshua-pilgrimage and ending of this episode were kind of, "Yeah, whatever" for me instead of the angst a lot of others felt. I did like Joshua, and the process of the journey, but the whole point of it was a sore spot.

I loved the twinges of S1 pain that returned when Dean discovered that Sam's best memories involved escaping and being independent. Dean has never fully understood how impossible it was for Sam to be John Winchester's son, and he personalizes Sam's escapes rather than realizing that Sam always needed to get out from under John's thumb and that Dean's desperate need to stick close to John's side meant that Sam was always going to leave him too. But it was about John, not about Dean, and it was irresolvable. Those are the roots of tragedy, and it's launched a ton of great fanfic as well as hooking most of us on the show.

What I didn't love was Sam standing by and watching their "mother" and Zachariah bully Dean. Yes, Sam is in awe of the angels in a way Dean isn't, and the mere presence of their mother overwhelms him. But Sam not jumping to Dean's defense doesn't ring true to me. Sam isn't some random terrified wimp, he's Dean's brother, and he loves Dean. The boy who in 8th grade beat up a bigger kid to stop him from bullying a boy he hardly knew does NOT grow up to let people talk undeserved trash to Dean. Those were heartbreak-words, and Sam knew it.

The real Sam Winchester would have at least said something on Dean's behalf.

*sigh* I hate it when the show does things that feel false. Especially if it's only in the service of contriving some outcome that I don't want and don't believe in either.

I do wonder how religious fans feel about the developments in this episode. The first three seasons, we had the Winchesters and other hunters fighting random evil, and that made sense to me. In S4, we got angels and allusions to God (who just, what—sits on his hands and lets hunters fight and die for things he and the angels should be handling?) Now, in S5, Kripke seems to be saying that not only are the angels assholes, but God is too.

Oh, and the world is apparently also based in Catholicism. *eye roll*

For agnostics, atheists, and non-Christians, the whole paradigm of the SPN universe changed after S3 (and was probably less appealing).

But now, it's potentially offensive to Christians as well.

This is where it starts to seem like flailing toward an Earth Shattering Denouementtm rather than writing with a plan—the details are scattershot.

Also a reminder of why large mytharcs may not be such a great idea.

No idea what's in store for tonight, but I like it that way. Unspoiled is the way to go! Now just please let me program the DVR correctly for a change...

 
 
 
Pain killer and Caffeinefourtenpm on April 8th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Those are the roots of tragedy, and it's launched a ton of great fanfic as well as hooking most of us on the show.

This one is so funny that I started laughing out loud, in the it is funny because it is true.

I am an atheist, and I do not mind the myth arc, basically because I do not believe.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on April 8th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
in the it is funny because it is true.
That's always been the crux of the show for me. The beasties and the comic interludes are just backdrop to the Winchester story, and I honestly feel like I could live in Season One forever and still have stuff to write about.

There's melodrama (with everything being over-the-top, or too many "if onlys" and bad timing). But a situation where everyone is being themselves and doing what they have to do (Dean clinging to John, for instance, and Sam needing to get the hell away) you have real tragedy. Here, it's only the tragedy of emotion ("only"!), but the Winchesters are a family of volatile interdependencies and frustrations in tight orbit, and ultimately it is an unstable triad-- which is the beauty of it, dramatically.

I'm an agnostic, so I don't believe either, but nothing after S3 makes sense to me within the universe that Kripke created. Random demons committing random evil? Absolutely! Angels and revelations and God turning his back on humanity and the Four Horseman... *groans*
cindy: the dean show - sam sez tsuki_no_bara on April 8th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
i don't think you have to be christian or a believer in any particular religion in order to find the whole gods/angels/lucifer/demon biblical apocalypse mytharc interesting. i'm agnostic and i think some of revelations is pretty cool. i'm annoyed that every end-of-the-world storyline seems to default to the biblical god-vs-lucifer/satan story, tho. make something up! use another paradigm! especially when you're spn and you've cheerfully used creatures from non-christian, non-western mythos before. one of the big bads in s1 and s2 was zoroastrian.

i think heaven - or at least zachariah - was screwing with the boys' happiest memories, and deliberately manipulating which ones they saw. i find it very hard to believe that all of sam's happiest memories from when he was a kid revolve around getting away from his family. not just dad - i mean, we all know he hated being john's kid and really, really, really wanted a different life - but dean too. i can't imagine sam has no happy memories that involve his brother, and that he'd revisit his childhood and ignore any happy sam&dean moments.

but the thing is, sam isn't that person any more. he knows it, we know it, zachariah probably knows it. yeah, he wants to be independent and forge his own path, but he's also living the life john raised him to, by his own choice. but zachariah's agenda is best served by amping up dean's angst and hopelessness (and no doubt showing sam that he really loved not being a winchester, and then splitting the boys up) and he knows bringing up sam leaving is a good way to do it.

(and dean dropping his amulet in the trash can felt like ptb-manipulation and excessive angst to me, like they want to make sure we know how very very hopeless and very very broken dean is. yeah yeah, we get it, is he going to mope around the rest of the season or is he going to fight back? it was an anvil.)

i did like a lot of the episode, tho. i loved seeing ash again (i love that he's still so himself), i liked the idea that there are thousands of different heavens, and i liked that the boys' path thru heaven was an asphalt road. what else would it be, y'know? i may or may not have sniffled at the first memory of the boys setting off fireworks. also castiel talking thru the radio and then the tv was kind of cute. don't go into the light! heee.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on April 8th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
i'm annoyed that every end-of-the-world storyline seems to default to the biblical god-vs-lucifer/satan story, tho. make something up! use another paradigm! especially when you're spn and you've cheerfully used creatures from non-christian, non-western mythos before.
Exactly! That's part of it-- the show had baddies from every corner of earth history before S4, and suddenly we're locked into a solely christian paradigm. I preferred it the other way. Plus (sacrilege warning!), sometimes I find that the Apocalypse gets old for me.

i find it very hard to believe that all of sam's happiest memories from when he was a kid revolve around getting away from his family.
Oh surely-- he must have had some great memories about other times (where was Jess, for instance?) We didn't see very many of their individual moments-- maybe 3 apiece-- so there's lots of unexplored territory there. I just enjoyed the juxtaposition of Sam's reality against Dean's, in part because I still don't think Dean ever fully "got" why Sam found the Winchester life so utterly intolerable.

yeah yeah, we get it, is he going to mope around the rest of the season or is he going to fight back? it was an anvil.
Exactly. An anvil that was heavier than necessary, given that only Castiel wanted to use it as a God-finder. For Dean, it's always been a form of protection (not to mention a gift from little Sammy!)

i liked the idea that there are thousands of different heavens
Me too-- that was one of the best aspects of the episode. It makes sense that heaven should be "personalized," in a way. I mean, if MY heaven were full of country music and nekkid wimmin and cigarette smoke and Funions and borscht, I would NOT be happy. ;)
Gretagretazreta on April 8th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Maybe just THIS version of the world is Catholic. Like, maybe there's an Islaamic heaven as well. And a Valhalla, and whatnot. Like we've had tricksters and djinns and irish leprechauns and tulpas and all the different lores.

Maybe that's next season: when all the Norse gods get their shit on because of the Catholic gods killing their followers. THEN the angels would have something to whine about.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on April 8th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
I wish I could believe that, but I think it's just Kripke turning his back on his early SPN canon in favor of his Impending Apocalypse gig. :(

I much preferred the "multicultural" SPN, in part because it implies that none of the lore is wrong. It's just that certain 'baddies' may have yet to be seen or 'named' in other parts of the world!