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18 November 2006 @ 12:16 am
Supernatural 2.08, Crossroads Blues  
Mostly love for this week's episode, both for the music and for the nicely executed plot.


I know my f-list is hit or miss on this episode. Some found it perfect, some found it 'meh.'

My single biggest complaint was the atrocious actress who was Demon v.2. The other stuff is noise after that.

Yay!
===
* Loved the entire opening this week. The era was captured so well (place and mood just pitch perfect), and the really good blues before the guitarists bill came due.
* The Crossroads legend and its tie-in-- even the contents of the tin box had me going (I love the flash of low-tech witchcraft, because it doesn't have to be fancy).
* The "artist" who'd sold his soul-- and his stunning, creepy paintings-- just wonderfully real, and I love the bitterness of having asked for the wrong thing and also the resignation that he must own up to the choices he made (I admire that).
* The battle over "save these people or don't" was interesting to me. I like both sides of it-- staving off evil because that's the Winchester Way (even if evil was summoned) vs. focusing on Supernatural dangers rather than saving people from the bad choices they made themselves (especially because the consequences are isolated from harming the world at large).
* Sam restraining Dean physically and verbally from heading any further down the path of 'abuse the interviewee.'
* Creepy morphing effect on the hotel guy and on the wife. Aaaaaah!
* Unspoken exchange of "You'd better not give yourself up to the Demon, dude!"
* Dean's double-trap for the Demon.
* Dean knows and can speak Latin, just as any one of John Winchester's boys should (i.e., the writers didn't make him stupid).
* Demon taunting Dean with what Hell is probably like for John.
* Dean seriously weighing her offer, because how could he not?
* Jared's series of facial expressions after Sam realized that Dean was close to making that trade after all. Sam looks shocked and terrified in turns in that scene.

Coin-Toss
=========
* I both love and hate the way Dean keeps going on the attack with the 'victims' this season. Love because it's in character with where he is at this point in S2. Hate because it makes me squirm like it does Sam.
* Sam and Evan hiding out in the circle from the Hell Hound felt like filler, once again.

Nay!
====
* Demon Actress #2. Says her lines like she doesn't know what they mean. Perhaps cast only for her cleavage.
* Sam's hair! Hate the parted bangs, and his hair looks greasy all the time now. Yuck.
* That Jared's cast is pushing him out of too much of the storyline.
* Dean getting all 12-year-old about girls. Remember when he used to be cool about the sex thing in S1, instead of such a dork?


I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but overall I liked this one a lot. I would have liked Sam to verbalize his fears and pain more, and as I said on someone else's journal, Dean is easily controlled by guilt and I'd like to see Sam make it clear to Dean how devastated he'd be if Dean were gone. Sam should know Dean well enough to use that weapon, and be smart enough to manipulate Dean back with it. Plus... Dean needs to hear that.

In Dean's place, being who he is, I probably would have taken the Demon's offer. Because that's Dean to a T. John's life is far more worthy than his own (in Dean's mind), and Dean is not supposed to be here anymore. Wanting to make things 'right' and to let his father live again as he should have is so very Dean. When you add in the fact that missing John and feeling guilty and angry about surviving is nearly killing Dean, you also see why he's not so troubled by the idea of giving it all up.

For the next episodes: No Roadhouse, please! They've worn out their welcome with me already, and damn-- I don't like the boys' sudden incompetence that the running to Ellen and Ash again and again implies now. :(





 
 
 
Stacey: spn sammys hairstaceey on November 18th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
I totally agree with everything you said. :) Except about Sams hair, I take it any way I can get. xD And you're totally spot on about the mirage of expressions JP had at the end. People are really starting to piss me off about JP/Sam and his acting. Why cant those that think he sucks as an actor/character all fall down in a hole somewhere and never come out again? Or even better stfu. heh ok I'm done ranting.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply! This feel by the wayside immediately thanks to mini_wrimo. All my comment replies are painfully overdue. :(

I'm one of the people who was not always impressed by Jared in Season 1. But in Season 2, he is by and large in a completely different ballpark. He learned some stuff over the summer, and it really, really shows. I'm very pleased with his acting in S2 (though not always the writing for him, which is a different story, and a lot of it may be about the cast).
I'm for wine and the embrace of questionable women: facepalmmissyjack on November 18th, 2006 08:55 am (UTC)
Remember when he used to be cool about the sex thing in S1 - yes well that was back when he actually got to have sex occasionally! I think the attitude we see here s because he hasn't got any since that threesome back in the beginning of Provenance! Since then he's only had noncon kisses from a vampire and a demon ;)

and obviously Sammy just isn't satisfying all his needs
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
I think the attitude we see here s because he hasn't got any since that threesome back in the beginning of Provenance!
Ack! Brain bleach! The whole threesome thing is so not me. :0

I dunno-- I see Dean as having had a lot of experience with sex (junior slut and all), and I tend to think he should be either cool or dorky about it, but not switch off based on whether the writers are looking for laughs this week!

It's true that it's been awhile for him, though. And if he'd just stop pushing Sam away, it'd all be better. :(
plutogirl10 on November 18th, 2006 09:15 am (UTC)
Yes! I said in dawnie's journal that Sam just HAS TO TELL DEAN HOW MUCH HE NEEDS HIM! Cause Dean, in his telescopic pain, I think needs to realize that he might have John back, but then Sam will have to deal with Dean being gone, not to mention when/if John comes back, how bad would he feel, knowing his own son is in hell because of a twisted cycle. Whew.
andromakhe001andromakhe001 on November 27th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
But Dean didn't do it. He'd have been inhuman to have not considered it given his grief and his state of mind. He was offered the thing he wanted most in the world and he turned it down. That's a good thing, not a bad thing. I'm not sure why he seems to be getting scolded for this. :) Lots of stories are based on just that plot, does the hero remain a hero and turn down the offer of his heart's desire or does he accept it and fall?

Dean knows all those things which is, I'm sure, part of the reasons why he didn't do it. He knows it's wrong, he knows(to quote Demon!Daddy) "two wrongs don't make a right", he knows it would just put his family where he is now. He didn't accept the offer. That's one of the more difficult tests for a person to be put through and he passed during one of the most difficult phases of his life without anyone holding his hand, without anyone begging him not to, without anyone throwing themselves between him and danger. All alone, just him and a demon at a dark deserted crossroads. He doesn't deserve a guilt trip for that IMO. :) What would probably go further than anything would be a simple thank you from Sam for not doing it and appreciation of the fact that while it must have been difficult he did the right thing.
plutogirl10 on November 27th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
No, I agree with you; it's to be expected that he would consider it, even if some part of him knows all along he'd never commit to going through with it. And yes, it is important in both plot and character development that it's established that Dean chose to turn the demon's offer down, of his own free will and on the steam of his own desires.

But . . . I'm just being a needy!fangirl. I just want an emo!scene with an emo!Sam and a emo!Dean. Pretty boys with their pretty pain - yes, I pretty much have a one track mind ; )
andromakhe001andromakhe001 on November 27th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
Ah well, I'm a needy fangirl too so I completely understand the need for emo!Winchesters. :) They are the prettiest boys with the prettiest pain ever!!!! :D

It wasn't your comment so much, I just keep wondering why some people think Dean needs his ass kicked(so to speak;) for turning down a deal with a demon. He did a good thing.

If anything Sam in asking that question was kind of almost wanting Dean to lie to him. He had to know what the answer would be because if it had been him at the crossroads with a demon offering him what he wanted most he'd have been considering it too and I'm sure he knows that. In that sense I think it's interesting, that maybe Sam wanted to be treated like the "little brother" here, wanted to be reassured, maybe kind of wanted not to know his big brother is just as human as anyone else. I almost sort of wish Sam could have seen it instead of just heard about it secondhand from Dean.

Maybe Dean being "only human" is what's all the more amazing. :) Look at all he's been through, all he's done and yet he's "only human".
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
That's one of the more difficult tests for a person to be put through and he passed during one of the most difficult phases of his life without anyone holding his hand, without anyone begging him not to, without anyone throwing themselves between him and danger. All alone, just him and a demon at a dark deserted crossroads.
I love how you phrased all of this, because it's completely true. He was sorely tempted-- for obvious reasons-- and yet he did not do it. He chose the harder, and correct, path.

What is alarming to so many viewers is how that feels to Sam-- knowing that Dean DID think about it, and that he'd let Dean go alone to meet the Demon and that it might have gone some completely different way while Sam's back was turned. THAT is terrifying.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
Cause Dean, in his telescopic pain, I think needs to realize that he might have John back, but then Sam will have to deal with Dean being gone, not to mention when/if John comes back, how bad would he feel, knowing his own son is in hell because of a twisted cycle. Whew.
Oh, I agree-- Dean is very guilt-motivated, and Sam's not turning that to his advantage right now.

Dean's being here matters to Sam, and it's the choice their Dad made, and he'd be hella-pissed off if Dean tried to override that decision. Work that, Sam!
Destinadestina on November 18th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC)
I love your three-way breakdown method of talking about the ep. *g*

The "artist" who'd sold his soul-- and his stunning, creepy paintings-- just wonderfully real, and I love the bitterness of having asked for the wrong thing and also the resignation that he must own up to the choices he made (I admire that).

That's the kind of stuff that keeps me consistently watching -- that guy felt real, and as a minor character, he was interesting, too.

And! The fact that the boys both consistently get to be smart continues to rock my world completely. I've just been waiting for that moment when Dean busted out with the Latin. :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
Sorry I'm so late in getting back to you! Oy.

That's the kind of stuff that keeps me consistently watching -- that guy felt real, and as a minor character, he was interesting, too.
Those are the parts I really like as well-- the brother-angst and Daddy-angst are wonderful, but I also like the spooky stories, and how the show makes all those aspects seem real (when our logic says that it's absurd).

I've just been waiting for that moment when Dean busted out with the Latin. :D
At this point, I'm almost grateful when they don't depict Dean as being all muscle and no brain. So that part-- and his multi-level plan-- was a really nice surprise!
Pheebs1pheebs1 on November 18th, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
I really liked this ep - and I thought the blues bit was all excellent, agreed with pretty much all of your YAY stuff.

That Jared's cast is pushing him out of too much of the storyline. I know! Dude, they must be pissed about that. Kripke was all 'ahh Jared' about it, but they must be wishing they hadn't let him do that stunt. I bet they don't again. Because it does seem limiting. However, what else they would have done with Sam left looking after vicim I don't know - a lot of that did feel like filler?

* Dean getting all 12-year-old about girls. Remember when he used to be cool about the sex thing in S1, instead of such a dork? Don't get which bit you mean? Him getting the myspace address of that girl? I thought that was all supposed to play a lot like, oh, is it Shadows? 'Amy our perky officer of the law'. Mind in Shadows he references going to ask Amy for something, and I always imagined he banged her as 'reward'. Anyway, I do agree that he needs to get back to his old self and be more flirty on screen. (I guess the whole Jo storyline was stopping that).

I also think it's funny that grief would make Dean not want sex, because I think wanting to go out and 'reaffirm life' is a more natural reaction, but hey...

/have burbled on/
andromakhe001andromakhe001 on November 27th, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
But Dean doesn't think he deserves to be alive, so he wouldn't want to reaffirm life. :) Dean believes his very existence is unnatural. But anyway, it looks like he's slowly getting a bit back into chicks. He did seem like he'd flirted up Callie, who gave him her myspace address. :) I thought that recalled last season and busty Demon Girl, while not a great actress, didn't seem like she was 12 to me, so I don't really follow the comment either. :)

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
:D It's not the females who are acting like they're 12, it's Dean's reaction to that whole off-camera Amy scene. He was incredibly juvenile about ALL of it, and I found it kind of off-putting just in the sheer intensity of how juvenile he was.

No Demon girl was just a bad actress in my book. Terribly bad, to the point where you start to imagine the secondary reasons she was cast that have nothing to do with acting talent. :(
andromakhe001andromakhe001 on December 4th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
It's not the females who are acting like they're 12, it's Dean's
reaction to that whole off-camera Amy scene. He was incredibly juvenile
about ALL of it, and I found it kind of off-putting just in the sheer
intensity of how juvenile he was.


Oh god I'm about to show my complete cluelessness but who's Amy? :) For the life of me I can't remember the scene.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
The 12-year-old part was his entire rundown on "Amy, our perky officer of the law" complete with the "They're real, by the way" and the myspace address. Individually, none of those would stick out so much. But collectively, they made me groan!

I also think it's funny that grief would make Dean not want sex, because I think wanting to go out and 'reaffirm life' is a more natural reaction, but hey...
Actually, Dean's reaction makes sense to me (I think it's the more common response, if anything). But Dean's reaction overall has been to withdraw and turn into emotional stone-- he wasn't terribly present in his own life after John died, more like just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping someday he would care.