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27 October 2006 @ 08:48 am
Supernatural Mumblings, Ep. 2.05  

Less angsty than the last few episodes, but... I feel cheated that we didn't get to see the healing process of Sam and Dean getting closer.

We were denied necessary touching last week (the only thing that could have helped Dean then, because words would have been so useless and trite). So we go from broken-hearted (and just plain broken) with disturbing explosions of anger and single-minded on Dean's part to... la-la-la-la. Happy day, love my car.

After suffering through so much of the angst (and part of it hurt so much because of the refusal to make things right between the brothers-- the way they were so isolated from each other at a time when they needed to support each other most), it seems unfair that everything has snapped back into their old dynamic without any in-between to account for it.

I'm griping about this episode's position in the arc, really. I have no complaints about it otherwise, just that I feel we were owed more of a transition out of that 4-episode angst-arc. This could have happily come later in the season.

Of the good:
Cracks about bad food (Yes! We always knew that must eventually get old)
A "fake" metal-band song! Kripke, you kill me. I can't believe you used a "Spinal Tap" song-- especially THAT one!
'Mind-controlled' Dean just cheerfully babbling stuff out, and then wanting to kill himself moments later.
Icky, pantsless, porn-watching Ash-- Sam and Dean's reaction was priceless.
The honky-tonk jazzy song in the bar near the end.
"These are not the droids you're looking for."
Soundgarden song! And an appropriate choice.
"I have an evil twin."
Sam being devastated over preventing the one disaster he foresaw, but the Doctor still died after all.
Dean loves Sam again. I have so desperately missed that. Can't wait for sargraf's manlove meta on it, because the little touches were back. The tide has turned.



Of the bad:
Still not liking Jo so much (sorry)
How does a guy who lives at a bar get swayed by the offer of a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer? Dude, hold out for more.
The jukebox bar song. REO Speedwagon? One of the many 80's dud bands for me.
Not actually a fan of Dean gushing all over the car and calling it 'baby.' I know everybody else loves it, but I don't. It's too over-the-top.
Dean tossing his food-wrapper crap in the back of the car. That seems really inconsistent to me given the above.
Dean singing in the car just bothered me. It went on too long, and was... awkward. Mainly, I felt embarassed for Jensen, and that pulls me right out of the show.
Sam's parted bangs. Please cover that forehead again. Not only does it make Sam less good-looking (to me), but the forehead always seems to be furrowed this season.
Implied evil-twin rape of Andy's still-loved girlfriend. Not unrealistic, just... the first element of that I think we've seen in this show.
The human-torch at the gas station. That really disturbed me in so many ways.


While I didn't like so much that Andy cheated people out of money, most of his mind controlling was rather gentle and harmless. Even with the Impala-- he wanted to take it for a ride, but never meant to keep it.

I like that Dean's instincts about him were right, as well. It's a nice contrast to last week's episode, when he went all postal on a grieving father. :(

ETA: I found the phrase that describes my major complaint about this episode: Magic Reset Button. That's what it feels like-- as if Kripke pushed the Magic Reset on all the angst and discomfort between the brothers and magically cancelled it out. I've never liked that in any other show that's done it, and I don't like it here. If you can write the broken angst... you should be able to write the healing as well. And I wanted to see that, damnit! I wanted to see the gradual coming back together, and Dean awkwardly trying to undo the assy corner he put himself in and having to earn Sam's goodwill instead of taking it for granted. That's why I feel so damn cheated. They skipped over the HARD part, and we deserved better.
 
 
 
mooyoo: Dean/Sam - Orangemooyoo on October 27th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
Mostly agreed with both your lists, and especially with the feeling that we missed something between last week and this week. We could chalk it up to Dean still not really being okay and he's just doing a better job at dealing and covering things up, but I feel kind of jipped that we don't know what happened after the cameras stopped rolling in the last episode or why Sam is suddenly less woried about Dean. It does feel like we jumped far too quickly from the serious Dean angst to business as usual (despite the Sam angst in this one). It felt much more like a S1 episode, but it probably shouldn't have so quickly and easily.

I still have no strong feelings for Jo or any of the others at the roadhouse, but mostly at the moment I'm wary of them all and still worry that this will shift too much towards an ensemble show (and I really don't want it to).

I don't mind Dean calling the car baby (I take it more as Dean knows he's being over the top when he does it), but totally agreed on him throwing food in the backseat. He loves that car, he just rebuilt it, I can't see him doing anything to treat it badly. Plus I totally see John as the type of father would would never stand for that.

The singing did seem to go on a bit too long and seemed a bit to much of a "see, Dean likes Jo!" anvil.
Pheebs1pheebs1 on October 27th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
seemed a bit to much of a "see, Dean likes Jo!" anvil. Yeah!

And I don't mind her - but I think they are trying too hard. She cons people for money? (like dean). She banters with him about music? You know, just make her a cool person and we'll like her, don't try so hard!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 27th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
And I don't mind her - but I think they are trying too hard. She cons people for money? (like dean). She banters with him about music? You know, just make her a cool person and we'll like her, don't try so hard!

I hadn't really thought of her that way, but... if she's too much like Dean, that's 1)lame and 2)makes it less likely that he'd be attracted to her (and still lame).

It does increase the likelihood that SAM might like her (she's the female Dean!), but then also... awkward. ;)
Pheebs1pheebs1 on October 27th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
That is how it comes over to me, but I guess we haven't seen her enough really to tell. I reserve judgement until the inevitable Jo centric episode ;)

Sam/Jo totally works ;) !
mooyoo: Dean/Sam - Bc you watch the showmooyoo on October 27th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
It does increase the likelihood that SAM might like her (she's the female Dean!), but then also... awkward. ;)

Heh. That'd be awesome. Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode in which George dates a woman who looks just like Jerry and it freaks him out.

But so far we've seen no interest in Sam from Jo, and that's part of what bugs me about her - she knows next to nothing about either of them, has spoken to both of them about equally, so why is she immediately interested in Dean but not at all in Sam? (I'm still thinking more about the first episode she was in than this one).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on October 28th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC)
so why is she immediately interested in Dean but not at all in Sam?
Shallow and/or slutty?

I mean, Dean is gorgeous. He's a pain in the ass, a player, and frankly (don't hurt me) not very likeable. If you're just after a roll-in-the-hay, though, why wouldn't you try for Dean?

Not that I don't understand your question, because being that I'm not a one-night-stand sex-for-sex kind of person at all, I'd never consider sleeping with Dean. I'd be too afraid of being used-- the vibe comes pouring right off of him. Sam is much nicer and less emotionally 'weird' and walled-off (I'm talking from a stranger's perspective, not the viewer's perspective). So to a person who looks for long-term relationships, both might initially seem about equally attractive but then Sam would likely win out. If a person is looking for a quick, meaningless one-nighter, though-- that would be Dean. In part, too, because Sam doesn't show any signs of wanting that himself. If you're personally afraid of commitment, Sam isn't your boy. I know-- he's not looking for that after Jess. But it's his nature, regardless. And that comes through loud and clear.

NOT that I spend a lot of time thinking about this, you understand. ;)
mooyoo: Dean/Sam - BlueBrothersmooyoo on October 27th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
Exactly - I want to like her, but they're pushing too hard, and when will TV writers learn that shoving two pretty people together and telling us that they're perfect for each other doesn't automatically equal true love? Why can't they just let two characters be and then go from there? I feel like the more they'd develop her as an interesting character in her own right, one unrelated to Dean, the more I'd like the idea of her and Dean together. But they brought her in, gave her two scenes with Dean, and right off the bat it was "when will I see you again?" and that just struck me as trying way too hard to make us realize that these two should get together.
Pheebs1pheebs1 on October 27th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
I am hoping that a more Jo centric ep - with more than a scene or two in - will resolve this problem. I'm trying to wait and see, I don't mind her, and feel on the fence about her at the minute, but for the time being she's... a cipher of what she could become...?? If that makes any sense at all at all!!
mooyoo: Dean/Sam - &mooyoo on October 27th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
Totally makes sense. Right now I'm just pretty indifferent to her. I'm not in love with her, but I don't hate her, and mostly I'm just wary of her, but I'm wary of all of these new characters right now. I just don't want them to push so hard to make us love her so that we'll be okay with Dean having a love interest (and have her become a Mary-Sue in the process), and I worry about that taking away from the Sam/Dean dynamic.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 28th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
and when will TV writers learn that shoving two pretty people together and telling us that they're perfect for each other doesn't automatically equal true love?
Ack! You've just described every wrongly-aligned relationship that's spoiled a ton of shows for me.

Sara/Michael is the current one, but there have been SO many in the past.

I really agree strongly with your main point, though. Develop the character (which in part, actually, is what the actors do with the characters and what their chemistry winds up being). THEN see what you've got. But forcing it... for many viewers that doesn't work at all.

Gah-- now I have Sayid/Maggie on the brain. *hurk* Talk about someone Sayid would never be interested in. :(
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 27th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)
but I feel kind of jipped that we don't know what happened after the cameras stopped rolling in the last episode or why Sam is suddenly less woried about Dean. It does feel like we jumped far too quickly from the serious Dean angst to business as usual (despite the Sam angst in this one). It felt much more like a S1 episode, but it probably shouldn't have so quickly and easily.
That's my main complaint exactly. The HARD stuff-- the healing between them-- was skipped over and we were right back into a mid-Season 1 dynamic. That's cheating, and I don't like it. They tortured us with the broken-pain between the brothers. We deserve to see the awkward rebuilding of love and trust between them. We are OWED that for having our hearts stomped on by the first four episodes. :(

but mostly at the moment I'm wary of them all and still worry that this will shift too much towards an ensemble show (and I really don't want it to).
Exactly. The brothers (and their extremely weird mission, let's be honest) are the main part of the show for me. Not sidekicks of any kind, not the Demon Hunters' version of "Cheers." None of that would be good, in my opinion. I don't want the show "lightened-up" or whatevered that way. I like that it's dark. That makes it different, to be honest, and different is good. God knows the networks are wall-to-wall sameness already.

He loves that car, he just rebuilt it, I can't see him doing anything to treat it badly. Plus I totally see John as the type of father would would never stand for that.
Yeah, I can see Military Dad making Dean or Sam do push-ups by the side of the road for an infraction like that. ;)

and seemed a bit to much of a "see, Dean likes Jo!" anvil.
Aaah! *anti-vampire finger-cross to deflect idea* I didn't even see it in a Dean/Jo sense. And yeah, I hate the whole idea of that. Mainly because I've already got my OTP on this show, and let's just say that it doesn't involve any 'outsiders.'
Destina: spn dean sam surpriseddestina on October 28th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
, it seems unfair that everything has snapped back into their old dynamic without any in-between to account for it.

This, of course, is why I love fandom, and want to draw hearts all over my flist, because they will bring the in-between in the form of fanfic. I hope. :)

Icky, pantsless, porn-watching Ash-- Sam and Dean's reaction was priceless.

Hee! Yes it was, and I loved that Ash was grinning mostly about how weirded out they were, which just cracks me up. :D

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 28th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
and want to draw hearts all over my flist, because they will bring the in-between in the form of fanfic. I hope. :)
Oh, I hope so too, and I'm positive they'll come through. I'm guessing that you're going to be one of them yourself, so all to the good for me!

But I would like to see the show balance this out in canon. They painted themselves into that corner, and I want to watch them wait for the paint to dry-- not draw a door on the wall and escape that way. (possibly a dreadful metaphor, but I hope you get the point)

and I loved that Ash was grinning mostly about how weirded out they were, which just cracks me up. :D
Yes! He could not have been happier to be creeping them out that way. Probably waggling everything below the belt at them from behind the door. :0

Oh, say, destina-- have you discovered the 60_minute_fics community? It's a writing challenge community I belong too (mooyoo and pheebs1 too), where you get a prompt every Friday night (with an optional Saturday and then a weekly one), and 60-minutes to write your story and post it up. You might enjoy it-- I've gotten some wonderful stories (and beginnings for longer stories) out of it.

Don't know what timezone you're in, but I'm on the West Coast and my kids are always going to bed at 10pm EST (7pm PST). So I just wait until my personal 10pm time slot, and do the challenge then...
dc_longwing on October 28th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
Amen to your lists, honey. Thanks a TON for the reference to sargraf's site/journal! I clicked over there and happily disappeared into the vortex of her research-fu. I'm back now.
And re: your 'of the bad' list? The only point on which we are not one is: I like that we can see Sam's forehead now. Other than that, you articulated my responses to the ep way better than I could.
Thanks, too, for the update on what you're writing AND for the fic recs in your subsequent post.
Gratitudinally,
DC
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on October 28th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks a TON for the reference to sargraf's site/journal! I clicked over there and happily disappeared into the vortex of her research-fu. I'm back now.
Hee! And I'm so glad you visited sargraf's stuff. It really is incredible-- it has made me rethink how I see the characters in some of the episodes, and made me more alert to the current position of their dynamic based on who is touching, in what way, and how things then stand between them right now. Really thoughtful stuff.

Oh, and Sam's hair is a love-or-hate thing. I'm anti-forehead, and very much love the floppy hair. But there's a whole spectrum of opinion across fandom, including some who are dying for Dean to buzzcut Sam in his sleep!

Glad you liked the recs too-- I think you'll find some great stuff there. AND... I got a PB Gen fic out last night! Yay! *pampers currently unblocked muse*
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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 29th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping that Dean's not properly fixed, that he's just pulling a Dean and covering it all up.
Which, again, would make for really interesting drama.

Moreso than, "Eh. Done with that now."
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 29th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
but I'm not sure whether they could manage the delicacy required to portray that emotional healing.
I don't know if they could either, but you know what would have helped? Hugging/touching at the end of the prior episode.

Visibly close the gap that's been widening between them. It isn't just the fangirl in us all-- the end of that episode screamed out for hugs.

I would like to see more touching in general, AND... have that take the place of the awkward talking-through scenes Kripke tends to do instead.

Sometimes, words are so inadequate. But touch can say everything that really needs to be said instead. And it would have gone a long way toward showing us that 1) Sam is prepared to offer Dean the support Dean's always given him, and 2) Dean is now able to accept it (which would be huge).

I know what you're saying-- I just want to see it worked around instead of dodged! :D
Sar: :|sargraf on October 29th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
The touching just kept going on and on, didn't it? :D That was lovely to see.

Dean singing in the car just bothered me. It went on too long, and was... awkward. Mainly, I felt embarassed for Jensen, and that pulls me right out of the show.

I completely agree, unfortunately for Jensen.

They skipped over the HARD part, and we deserved better.

WORD. There was absolutely no indication of where they'd been the previous week or, heck, all of the weeks before that. As far as their interaction with each other, it felt like something that could have easily taken the place of Nightmare in S1 (aside from a few "I know something you don't know" looks by Dean).

*sigh* I really didn't care for this episode. I felt Sam deserved a much meatier story and reason for angst than "Andy killed in self defense, that makes us all killers, woe!" This isn't the same guy as the one who was making such clear and hard choices in DT. And I missed that Sam. A lot. He felt like such a pawn here.
Sar: exitsargraf on October 29th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
p.s.
I agree about Sam's hair! My favorite Sam hair episode ever was ELaC, but that seems to be the one where everyone else was going "Make it go AWAY, EEE."

*weeps for the bangs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
WORD. There was absolutely no indication of where they'd been the previous week or, heck, all of the weeks before that. As far as their interaction with each other, it felt like something that could have easily taken the place of Nightmare in S1 (aside from a few "I know something you don't know" looks by Dean).
It really had a S1 feel to it (other than the undercurrents of S2 story, not emotion). Still feel cheated-- I want to see the healing to counteract the breaking. "Magically healed" is such a dodge. :( Try harder, writers. If the fanfic people can do it, so can you.

felt Sam deserved a much meatier story and reason for angst than "Andy killed in self defense, that makes us all killers, woe!" This isn't the same guy as the one who was making such clear and hard choices in DT. And I missed that Sam. A lot. He felt like such a pawn here.
I think someone else on my f-list made this point, and I whole-heartedly agree. When the episode is about Sam and his powers/conflict, don't short-change his character by glossing past that (or anvilling us to death with cheesy parallels). Show us more of what he's dealing with (less talking, more showing, more worried introspection). Write THAT-- and if it takes up its own episode, so be it.