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03 November 2006 @ 12:56 pm
SPN 2.06: No Exit  
I'm off the fence and standing on one side of it.

It's official. I don't like Jo. I don't hate her yet, but if it keeps up this way that is definitely going to change.



There were parts of this episode that were better than I could have expected, and parts that were far, far worse.

In summary, I'm hoping that we've seen the last of Jo for awhile (perhaps forever). This episode left a very bad feeling in my mouth, the likes of which I don't recall since the Killer Truck From Hell in Season 1.

It can't all be the actress here. I'm not impressed with her portrayal, but I'm even less impressed with how she's been written. Some of us felt she needed to be more of a person and less of a Love Interest Anvil. This is the episode that should have changed that, and though we know more about her now I have less love for her than before.

The opening fight with her mother... was it badly written, badly acted, or something else? So heavy-handed and unconvincing, and I didn't like Ellen's actress in ANY part of this other than on the phone and in the Impala. These two did NOT play off of each other well at all-- the mother/daughter chemistry just didn't work for me, and that undercut those key scenes severely.

I'd assumed somehow that Ellen and Jo were also Hunters, but that they did it less frequently. Finding out that Ellen was not a Hunter was less of a jolt than finding out that Jo was a Hunter wannabee-- with no experience at all. Gah. All of her arguments to her mother about it, and the followup later, were so immature. Is the character really young? I don't think canon's ever said. But she'd coming off in the 17-19 age range, and I'd just assumed she was older. Squicky.

The fake-girlfriend moment with Dean was awkward instead of funny. Most of her scenes with Dean were weird and awkward. The unexpected pleasure was Dean coming at her from the perspective of maturity and telling her to appreciate that she has a choice in life, and that she has people who want better for her and care about her. I love that side of Dean that we so rarely see (the phone conversation with Sam in "Scarecrow" was another memorable instance of it).

On the other hand, although her research was smart and her methods as skillfully devious as Sam and Dean's, having her turn out to be a scared little girl that needed saving by the big men... ugh. Why, Kripke? If you're serious about her, be serious. Don't flag down chauvinism in one moment and then justify it in the next. Just ugh.

Here are two points that stick with me, regarding her character. First, when you meet the two brothers and you have issues of "self" and are looking for support... Dean is not the brother you go to. He has his good moments, but he's not the listener. That's Sam. Second, and this is the big one, this episode reduced Sam to a SIDEKICK in his own show.

That is never going to go over well with me.

And on other random nits, having Dean steal big pieces of machinery and specialized vehicles was straining my disbelief the first time. Doing it twice is out of bounds. Quit it. Not to mention that I don't buy for a single second that the cement won't sweep the rocksalt away just as easily as water. A terrible idea with very little justification.

I want a break from the Roadhouse, Kripke, and everyone in it. I don't mind a mini-arc detour, but this idea is watering down your show. Time to let it go. :(
 
 
Current Mood: crankycranky
 
 
 
bluesister on November 3rd, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty mellow about his episode 'cause I think the whole thing may have been shaken up by JP's injury. But I too am so frustrated that Ellen and Jo aren't hunters. Unless I'm mistaken, the show has yet to show a female hunter. Ellen runs a bar/inn for hunters and Jo cleans up after them (literally and financially) and...that's it.

Women are fast, good at research, able to handle weapons. I mean, this isn't LOGGING. I'm about to start a petition demanding Joss join the writing team.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 3rd, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
Unless I'm mistaken, the show has yet to show a female hunter.
No, you're correct. I thought we were seeing it now with Jo and Ellen, but apparently not.

Of course, we haven't seen much in the way of hunters at ALL. There were Pastor Jim and Bobby, and there's reference to Ellen's husband. And the rogue Vampire Hunter was working independently.

But I absolutely hated the idea of Jo telling Dean that he was making false assumptions about women as hunters (which he did not entirely deny), and then Kripke proves Dean right at least as far as Jo is concerned.

Let us not carry over the part of Horror Movie/Urban Legend lore where women's only function is to scream and be idiots in the face of danger. :(
bluesister on November 3rd, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that accusation scene was problematic. She was, it appeared, wrong which is nice for Dean but makes Jo just that much more the over-reaching hysteric.

Re hunters: I've been keeping a close eye on the tables at the roadhouse and I have not yet seen a woman setting at one. The wife/mother tourist last night was the first woman other than Jo and Ellen to enter, as far as I've seen. And, as Nilchance once said, it makes sense that hunters have this male-enclave vibe 'cause they come out of the Church and military. So, yeah, mostly men. But exclusively?!
Ice-T: an actor, also a refreshing beveragefiddleyoumust on November 4th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
I had the same thought about Jared's injury. It seems to me they probably couldn't do much reworking for Simon Said because it was probably already written when he got injured. But, I imagine they probably did what they could to lighten his load this episode so it could heal.

I also heard rumor that he had to have some kind of surgery, but I don't remember where I read that.
mooyoomooyoo on November 4th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
I've been hearing that about him having surgery around too, mostly on the TWOP boards and I think clex mentioned it in her post as well. That makes a lot more sense (though makes me wonder what the episode would have been like if Jared hadn't gotten hurt).
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 3rd, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
where it would sit better as Jo/Sam
That's the thing. I get that Dean's hecka-pretty. No-one could fail to notice that.

But unless she's just looking for a zipless f**k, then Dean's not the right guy. And god help us, if she IS looking for that and she's as woefully childish as last night's show... ick. Ick ick ick.

Everybody relates to Sam. He's sincere, he's kind, and he knows how to laugh. She's a more natural fit for Sam (doomed girlfriend issues aside), but at this point I don't like the character much and don't want to see her in any context. She's whiny (all of a sudden), annoying, and now a major twit.

The liking thing does only work if I assume she's a kid though and it makes Dean's awkward chemistry work too - he'd be uncomfortable with a cute CHILD who obviously crushes on him and probably is not very sure how to relate :).
And that would work for me too, other than Dean talking the talk of the guy that would f**k anything that isn't nailed down (doesn't mean he does it, but there are signs...).

The Ellen vs. Jo thing was a heavy-handed echo of the John/Sam dynamic, but the unfolding of it was done badly. Kind of like "Cue conflict. Cue screaming and door-slam. Cue anvil phrases. Cut." It was oddly wooden to me-- again, really the acting though the writing definitely was not gold there.
Staceystaceey on November 3rd, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
I agree 100% with everything you said. Sam being reduced to a sidekick in his own show pretty much set me up to not liking this episode one bit. Last night felt like they were trying to shove the whole Dean and Jo thing down our throats.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 3rd, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Sam being reduced to a sidekick in his own show pretty much set me up to not liking this episode one bit.
That was the single most distateful part of it. I realize Jared's got a broken arm/wrist or something, but they can block around that. Being reduced to sitting at your computer (mostly offscreen), going out for coffee (!) and hugging the scared damsel while the Dean and Jo Show goes on... the episode made Sam entirely unimportant-- he was a visual accessory here.

He's already been kicked out of the know-how business by Ash this season. I don't want him becoming so useless that he might as well not be on the show. :(
Stacey: spn stand by youstaceey on November 3rd, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
He's already been kicked out of the know-how business by Ash this season. I don't want him becoming so useless that he might as well not be on the show. :(

And that right there? Continues to piss me off. Sam is smart. Hello full ride to Stanford? He's always been research guy and suddenly they need someone else to do it? I like Ash, I do but Sam's not an idiot. They wanna have Ash keep watch for demon signs? Fine but dont down play Sams intelligence.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
i>Fine but dont down play Sams intelligence.</i>
You and I are not alone on this one. I'm hearing rumblings of this cropping up in sargraf's journal as well (though I might have been the one to start it over there). ;)
Staceystaceey on November 4th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
xD You riot starter!
mooyoomooyoo on November 4th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
rambly rambly
This episode left a very bad feeling in my mouth, the likes of which I don't recall since the Killer Truck From Hell in Season 1.

Same for me, though part of it for me was that I'm really not into this sudden "Don't trust a Winchester" thing from Ellen and the revelation at the end. The bugged big time. Up until now Ellen has been nother but friendly, motherly, caring towards them, yet now suddenly she's angry at and doesn't trust them simply because of something that happened with John 20 years ago? I get that she was worried for Jo throughout this ep and that probably set her off, but we've seen no signs that there was any bad blood between her and John serious enough for her to take it out on the two of them until this episode.

And I think that was one of the biggest problems with this, that it felt like there was a disconnect between this one and the earlier episodes - or rather, the Jo storyline and the John revelation would've worked better if there'd been at least a little buildup in the previous episodes. I didn't hate Jo this episode, but I wish she'd been written a bit better, and been written as a hunter because the whole "girls can't hunt/Jo can't hunt" thing really got on my nerves, and having her run off to hunt against her mother's wishes did just make her come off as a pissy, rebellious teenager who obviously doesn't really know what she's getting herself into.

And I really hate that somehow her running off to join the hunt lands on Dean, and that he even apologizes for having her there - it's not his fault she turned up, and she's not his responsibility (though I do buy his feeling responsible for her because that's what he's like), it's not his job to force her to go home to her mother. She's an adult and having Dean constantly fretting over her safety and apologizing to her mother made her seem even more like a child (which isn't what I think they're going for in the Dean/Jo dynamic).

I actually didn't mind her getting caught (though I have to wonder how that happened, since she seemed to spot the ectoplasm before she was nabbed), and liked her scene while trapped in the box - I liked the brief moment of panic followed by trying to reassure herself and the other girl and fight off the demon however possible. But I do think she'd be a stronger character if she'd been written as having hunted before, someone a bit more equally matched with the brothers.

I've been wanting to see a bit more Jo to get a better idea of her as a character, but she still seems to be written as Dean's Love Interest rather than a character on her own, and that just never works for me. And the fact that Sam was relegated to getting coffee and communicating via cellphone the whole episode is exactly what most of us have been worrying about new characters and love interests being brought onto the show. I don't really buy the explination that Jared's injury kept him out of a lot of the episode - he was the center of last week's episode, this one was probably written long before he got hurt, and looks like Jo's going to be gone for a while (thank god) so Jared will have to be in all of these next episodes coming up. And there's really nothing more annoying (and obviously anvilicious) as Character A goes out for coffee, giving Characters C & D time for a Big Emotional Scene, and then Character A returns just as the scene is being wrapped up. So much of this episode felt riddled with cliches, and I hate that they had to fall back on something like that.

I want a break from the Roadhouse, Kripke, and everyone in it. I don't mind a mini-arc detour, but this idea is watering down your show.

Yes, please and thank you. Even Ash bugs me, and Ellen has gone from endearing to nasty. This is just what I'd been worrying about with the introduction of new characters, and I really hope they take a break from them for a while and get back to focusing on the boys and their quest. When you have only two main characters on a show, there's absolutely no reason that one of them is relegated to less screentime than the guest stars.
mooyoo: TDS - Jon tiemooyoo on November 4th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
Re: rambly rambly
Wow, I really went on there didn't I? :p Sorry for the rambling, I got a little carried away...
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
Re: rambly rambly
:D I are the Qveen of de rambles in other peeplz journals, so I really didn't especially notice this at all. ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: rambly rambly
but we've seen no signs that there was any bad blood between her and John serious enough for her to take it out on the two of them until this episode.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. It had the feeling of "instant exposition," which I really don't care for and which was a huge about face from the dynamic she'd had with the boys before. Her emotions were high, but still... this was a clumsy development at best.

I actually didn't mind her getting caught (though I have to wonder how that happened, since she seemed to spot the ectoplasm before she was nabbed),
Sloooow-moving teenager (it's a horror movie staple). Which makes it dumb. I had the same thought about the other girl-- a hand is coming at you out of the heating vent slo-o-o-wly. How do you NOT stomp on it, or take one of the kitchen knives to it? Sheesh.

Word on all your comments on the anvilicious handling of the Jo/Dean scenes and getting Jared out of the way. You know... writing that setup BETTER can remove a great deal of 'anvil' from it. This show CAN write better, and it frustrates me when they don't. Especially when they're trying to shove an idea down my throat. :(

Even Ash bugs me,
Ash as always bugged me, honestly. I do not get the big rave over him. He's a comic sidekick, and I've already seen too much of him. Plus, he's taking up some of Sam's role, which serves to imply that Sam has somehow become dumber. :(

I really think the fundamental basis of this show is the relationship between the two brothers (against the backdrop of their off-kilter highly-dark-and-spooky world). Occasional fleshing out with other scenarios is okay with me. But undermining that basic dynamic is not. And I'd like to think Kripke knows that-- I had the same concern about John being with the boys forever after they reunited. They aren't the same people when John is there, and he gets in the way of the awkward dance between the two of them that makes this show so compelling.

Two peas in a pod, Rachel, two peas in a pod. ;)
mooyoomooyoo on November 4th, 2006 07:50 am (UTC)
Re: rambly rambly
Her emotions were high, but still... this was a clumsy development at best.

Agreed, and interesting point that it came off like clunky exposition. I'm trying to see it from her POV, that she was worried and scared for Jo, but it just turned me off her quite a bit, especially after her lecturing Dean last week about sharing info, which I also didn't like. I really liked her initially, but she's actually starting to remind me of Missouri in her treatment of Dean and that really bugs, especially as he's in a similar emotional state right now with the loss of John as he was in Home with the return to Lawrence, and I wish she'd have a bit more respect for that. Though as fiddleyoumust pointed out, many of us often get a little protective of Dean when other characters beat up on him, and that may be part of what's bugging me about her.

On the other hand (again), someone on the TWOP boards made a really good point about how hypocritical it is of her to sternly lecture the boys last episode about this being war and how they have to share info and keep something like this - something that is obviously still coloring her view of John, the two of them, and Jo's place in the hunting world - from them and from Jo. [it does raise red flags for Ellen: if you insist that they tell you their secrets, then you need to equally forthcoming. Her feelings toward John might crop up at a crucial moment, and the boys had a right to know about it and to decide how much they wanted to trust her in light of that.]

I had the same thought about the other girl

Oh god, that made me insane. Completely forgot about her when I typed up my reaction post, but yes, that was one of the most annoying parts of the episode - if my ceiling started cracking and dripping blotchy stuff I'd be running for the door immediately, if only for the super to come take a look at it. And then when she sees the actual ghost/monster/whatever in the vent, what does she do? She stands there and cries, like every other pathetic female horror victim (I had a long ranty post about that exact thing last week). Yeah, the door's locked, but you must have a window, fire escape, neighbors you can yell for, a knife you can fight with, and at the very least get away from the thing! God, that bugs.
mooyoomooyoo on November 4th, 2006 07:51 am (UTC)
in which I get even more rambly, bc/ my post was too long...
Especially when they're trying to shove an idea down my throat. :(

I hear this episode was written by a new writer, which could explain why this one felt so off for everyone. And on the subject of forcing the idea down our throats, it's interesting (and by that I also mean frustrating) that so far Jess is still the only love interest/potential love interest that I've really liked. There have been a couple of Girlfriends of the Week that I've liked, but Jess is the only one who I think they really wrote well considering they only had one episode to show her with Sam. Their relationship was written very subtly, and with little more than a few exchanged looks and phone messages they told us how these two understand and care for each other. Why has it been so hard since then to write any romance on the show?

And you know what, I just answered my own question - perhaps because this show isn't about romance. I keep reading people speculating about the lack of Dean/Jo chemistry and what kind of girl Dean would be good with, and I keep thinking that I just can't picture him with anyone except Sam. The fact is (and by that I obviously mean in my opinion :p) we just don't need any romance on this show. That's not what it's about. I like a good love story too, but this isn't it. This is a story about the quest of these two brothers, and if they hook up with some women along the way, great, but there shouldn't be a focus on either one of them searching for their true love.

I do not get the big rave over him.

Thank you! God, I thought I was the only one. I liked him well enough with his first appearance, mostly because I find the actor endearing, but since then I've just found him kind of irritating and unfunny, and wondering what I'm missing with him. I've given him a pass on his usurping Sam's role as researcher for the first few episodes because their laptop was busted up and that probably hindered a lot of their work. But if that continues I'm going to get really tired with it. I'm already way over Ash, and glad that this is probably the last we'll see of him and the rest of the Roadhouse for a while.

Two peas in a pod, Rachel, two peas in a pod. ;)

Heh, as usual :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2006 08:16 am (UTC)
Re: in which I get even more rambly, bc/ my post was too long...
New Writer--- argh. You don't turn a newbie loose on your baby, especially when what you're doing is already a ham-handed idea to begin with! Did the other writers refuse to write the blechsposition of Jo-ness? One wonders. ;)

And you know what, I just answered my own question - perhaps because this show isn't about romance. I keep reading people speculating about the lack of Dean/Jo chemistry and what kind of girl Dean would be good with, and I keep thinking that I just can't picture him with anyone except Sam. The fact is (and by that I obviously mean in my opinion :p) we just don't need any romance on this show. That's not what it's about. I like a good love story too, but this isn't it. This is a story about the quest of these two brothers, and if they hook up with some women along the way, great, but there shouldn't be a focus on either one of them searching for their true love.
That's really it in a nutshell. This show SHOULD NOT be about romance, period. And god, have we forgotten that it's not necessary for every darn show on the tube? The Michael/Sara thing looms over Prison Break's eventual destruction. And it makes me think of "Without A Trace," which I liked a great deal in S1 and bailed out immediately on in S2 when it became not about their cases (and how emotionally torturous they are) but instead about who Sam was sleeping with at the office this week. That set up a whole character dynamic I didn't like (made me hate Anthony LaPaglia's character, which is a tragedy right there), and sucked the main drive out of the show. Gah!

I'm already way over Ash,
I'm with you there-- cute for one episode. And that's enough.

Aside from the angst and evil-clown funniness, the actor that sticks out MOST for me this season was that small town sheriff in 2.04 (?). The way he went from borderline hick to patronizing Sam and Dean over what he saw as their enormous stupidity (oh, the polite sarcasm) just completely cracked me up. 3 minutes of screen-time, and oh what he did with it. :)
Ice-T: an actor, also a refreshing beverage: SPN - Jo hunterfiddleyoumust on November 4th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
I agree with you on Ellen/Jo. Something was off in all their scenes.

I disagree with you on Jo as a whole. I think people put way to much thought in to what is or isn't politically correct. It bothers me a great deal that just because a female has to be saved by a male that we automatically assume it's because she's a woman. Sometimes people just get in over their heads. Both Sam and Dean have gotten in over their heads a time or two and the other brother has had to come in and save the day. It doesn't make you weak to need help. Hell, John needed saving in Devil's Trap and no one thought a thing about it. In fact, if she had figured it all out and gotten out on her own, it would have stretched believability for me. It was her first hunt.

I had the same thought about the cement and the salt. What the hell?
mooyoo: SN - J/JSqueemooyoo on November 4th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
Agree with you there on Jo - I get the feeling that if she'd done a great job throughout the hunt and gotten the ghost, saved the day, etc there would be far more cries of Mary-Sue, and as it happened she seemed to stay relatively in control considering her situation and did the best she could to keep herself safe while she was lock up. Everyone gets caught and needs to be rescued at times. I do wonder how she ended up getting caught, but her scenes stuck in the box/cage/thing were actually when I liked her the most (or maybe simply the only times I liked her at all) during this episode.
Ice-T: an actor, also a refreshing beveragefiddleyoumust on November 4th, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)
I think I actually fell a little in love with her when she woke up in the box. There was just something so perfect about her reaction there. She sees the claw marks, realizes what that means, takes a minute to freak the fuck out and then she pulls her shit together. I really think that's the moment I went from being very meh on her to actually liking her a great deal.
mooyoomooyoo on November 4th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, in that moment I really liked her and even idtentified with her a bit - I've obviously never been nearly that overwhelmed and out of my element, but when I'm in a similar position of being freaked out and overwhelmed, my first instinct is to panic, and my second is to tell myself to calm the fuck down and try to sort through it. I like that she had a mini-meltdown and then pulled it together and fought of the ghost as best she could. Beyond that I don't think there's much more she could have done, and I liked her a lot in that moment. Not so much by the end of the episode, but definitely at that point.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2006 03:25 am (UTC)
The show was just so quick to go to the "rescue" her point, and though she talked herself into being braver (out loud, which is very clunky), I would rather have had her be SOMEWHAT experienced. God, she had no business going out on that hunt at all. :0

I've liked the Ellen actress until now, but the two of them were bad together. Partly bad writing, but... their chemistry just doesn't really work. How strange to see that now, several episodes in.

Ice-T: an actor, also a refreshing beveragefiddleyoumust on November 4th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
I agree she had no business being on that hunt. But, that's part of what rang true about it for me. My early 20's were full of me doing all kinds of things I shouldn't have been doing. Because I obviously knew what was best for me dammit and no one could tell me any different!

I've loved Samantha Ferris too. I actually liked her this episode as well, just not in her scenes with Jo. I'm not exactly surprised that their lack of chemistry showed itself this episode. We really haven't seen much interaction between the two of them until this episode.

I don't really know how to explain why I loved that opening scene of Jo locked in the box. I think it was played beautifully and I actually stopped my DVR to talk about that scene with Elissa and how much I loved it as I was watching the show yesterday. I guess that's a prime example of different strokes for different folks.

I think what it really comes down to for me is the human and family element of this show. They do is so right so often that I really have a hard time finding any fault in the things they do wrong. I just tend to overlook it. Because really, even this episode, which was the weakest of the season so far in my opinion, had some great revelations and moments characterization wise. I loved Jo's speech to Ellen about trying "normal" and not fitting in. I loved her saying she was a freak. I loved Dean trying to make her see how lucky she is to be a loved child. Because Dean and Sam aren't anyone's children anymore and neither of them ever really got to have a mother to fret over them. I loved Dean's speech to Jo about hunting being a hard gig, about him being a little bit fucked up with the way he was raised, about how she really needed to think this through because she could have a chance at normal if she wanted it. I loved all the Sam and Jo looks and smirks. It really reminded me of two siblings ganging up on another sibling. Which I found adorable. Everyone loves to watch Dean squirm. :D

There was just so much to like here I think and everyone seems to be focused on being bitter about Jo instead of looking at what was actually good about it. I love this show so much I just want to squee about it all the time.
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on November 15th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
I meant to respond to this way-back-when, but had to shut the computer down and lost my momentum.

Devil's Advocacy is always welcome, and I do love a reasonable discussion with different viewpoints. :)

but I think anybody who hears the stories but has never actually encountered the things that go bump in the night would have a similarly romantic notion of how it works. I also think that perhaps part of the reason Dean went along with Jo when she showed up at the apartments was to get it out of her system ("See? Our life is not grand. We walk through walls looking for ghosts."). There was no way he could possibly have known how badly it would go down.
This is a very interesting perspective. My main complaint was that I'd expected/hoped she and Ellen would have had prior experience with this already. But given that she didn't, your turn of phrase on this captures a new angle on this very nicely. Actually, hearing Dean admit that their life ISN'T all it's cracked up to be was wonderful. He can't tell Sam that, after having tried so hard to keep up John's end of that argument. But it's nice to know he's not oblivious to the reality of how things are.

When Jo disappeared, Ellen knew exactly where she was (even if Ash did put together that paper trail), and Dean's lying likely did not help matters. And then when Jo *really* disappeared, that totally set Ellen off.
It makes me wonder what really happened when Ellen's husband died. Perhaps John lied and said he was okay, even though he wasn't? I think as the truth behind her husband's death is revealed, we'll begin to understand Ellen's reaction better.

Ellen did know, it's true, though to be fair-- this is her daughter's hard-headed idea, not something the Winchester boys lured her into. Although when your child is in danger, you are not always at your most rational. Regarding Ellen's husband, I can see a more likely and unfortunate scenario, i.e., that John chose to kill whatever they were hunting at the risk of his friend's injury becoming death. Doesn't that seem entirely like John? To be so single-minded that you make the wrong choice, and then how do you explain such a choice afterwards? There really is no excuse for it that matters to the man's wife and child...

It comes across as a crush - and part of the whole hunting-is-romantic thing, which as we all well know is not as romantic as we'd like it to be.
That actually was something of a relieft to me-- her onesided crush is more acceptable than insta!Romance because Dean's pants have become possessed or he's had an emotional lobotomy. You know how suspicious we get, after having watched too many TV shows handle this kind of thing so very badly and mainly for the sake of demographics and not for the sake of the story. :(

It makes me very worried for this brash and angry Dean that has been running around and pushing himself to the limits.
That would be interesting to see, though! A major reconsidering of what he thinks of John-- of himself-- would be fascinating. Although it appears that we've been visited by the Magic Reset button, so what came before may just be left lying fallow until the fanfic writers do something with it.

Wonderful ideas-- thanks for speaking up and participating! :)