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...