As it turned out, writing a review for this episode hasn't been easy because my emotions were conflicted. I really shouldn't let fictional characters get to me so much. In fact, I should just focus on the eye candies sometimes. However, it was catharsis for me to write down how I felt, so here it goes...

Before I start, can anyone please enlighten me on how one can destroy a pair of bifocal glasses by lighting it on fire?

No?  I suppose not.  Is it me or is the show getting sloppy here?  I must not have been paying close attention because I completely missed the salt part of the Salt 'n Burn.  But oh boy, can Dean be any more adorable when he put on Lincoln's stovepipe hat and went: "Four score and seven years ago, I had a funny hat..."

And wasn't Sammy hot when he started speaking Spanish?  I don't care if it was broken sentences, I'm a sucker for a guy who can speak a language that I can't.  But, er... Consuela, were you faking not being able to speak English?  Because when you asked "So I go home now?"  your English sounded pretty decent.

Then there were those clues that just went over my head:  for the life of me I couldn't construe how Dean deduced "James Dean" was in the garage when Cal was killed.  All I could see was a blotch of red that might be the famous jacket.  But come on!  James Dean can't be the only dude who wore that colored clothes.  Besides I couldn't even tell it was a person by the shape of the reflection let alone make a positive identification.  Also didn't Consuela left Professor Hill's house for the night before "Lincoln" showed up?  How did she then become an eyewitness?  I had no idea what made Sam decide he needed to poke around the dead guy's stomach for clues.  It was too contrived when he happened to find those seeds in the guy's belly.  That was pretty gross by the way, I could barely watch.

I know these things aren't major, but they kinda jarred.  Compare to last week's excellent episode, this one was underwhelming to me.  I don't want to lay the blame on Paris Hilton because I appreciate the publicity she brought for the show, I really do.  But her performance was the weakest link here.  Story wise, I don't mind putting the Apocalypse on hold for a bit and focus on a simpler MotW hunt.  The idea of another mischievous pagan god actually holds a lot of appeal to me.  The last time we saw one, it was the Trickster, and I loved him.  The problem with Leshi however, is when we finally get to meet her, she was more ho-hum than interesting; and speaking of deviousness, the wickest thing I find here was the pointy heel of her Christian Louboutin shoe.

Maybe I'm expecting too much.  Paris is no actress after all.  All things considered, the lines were pretty funny, I just wish she didn't sound as if she was merely reciting them.  But her very presence did provide the hilarious "I've never even seen the House of Wax" moment, although to truly appreciate the joke, one has to know a bit about Jared's past career choice.  I have to say Paris is quite a trooper to take a jab at herself with the line about spray tan and tiny dog.  Even hubby chortled at that.  Then again, doesn't Jensen own a pint sized puppy and has to wear fake tan for the role?  So, um yeah, the joke is not exclusively on Paris.

The juiciest parts of the hour were the scenes where the brothers confronted each other.  I could never get tired of watching Jensen and Jared act together.  That is the reason that unimpressed I was with the episode, I watched it at least a couple of times:  once when it was aired, and once on Saturday night with hubby.

With that being said, I suspect I hold unpopular view on what was happening between the brothers.  I haven't read many reviews yet except a couple I stumbled upon.  Of all the things I read and glimpsed, people generally seemed happy that Sam and Dean both matured into having a healthier and more balanced relationship.  However, my view is exactly the opposite.

To begin with, although Sam claimed he still "punishes" himself hard for the mistakes he made, he was acting mighty defensive for someone who's supposedly contrite.  When Dean told Sam they needed "training wheels" to ease back into the throe of things, Sam immediately took offense thinking Dean implied he wasn't good enough, whereas Dean merely meant they as a team needed readjustment. Then there was that phone conversation Sam overheard.  Of course things are open for interpretation, but based on how Dean acted and what he has been saying all along, I don't think Dean was bitching about Sam to Bobby on the phone.  Ever since their escape from the "light of doom," Dean has been vocal in accusing the angels jump started the Apocalypse.  I don't think that view has changed here.  So if Dean complained whose fault it was, he's more than likely to point his finger at Zachariah.  Besides when confronted by a petulant Sam, Dean acted more nonchalant about the phone call than sheepish.  I have no doubt Sam felt bad for breaking the last seal, but he was also acting like he's having a chip on his shoulder, which in my opinion renders his claim of self-flagellation insincere.

It also robbed me the wrong way when Sam all but accused Dean as the reason he erred with Ruby in the first place. He said Dean's tight control belittled him and made him seek other means to feel strong.  But if I remember correctly, Sam never had a problem going off to do his own thing before.  When he wanted a normal life, Sam headed for Stanford without a backward glance; when he wanted to look for their father in California, Sam was quick to leave Dean alone back in Indiana; when Sam wanted to search for answers after Dean disclosed John's last words, he left Dean in the middle of the night without a word where he was going.  Thus the pattern is quite clear:  Sam is so headstrong that when he wanted something, he gave very little consideration to Dean and how his actions would affect his brother.  So it's a little pointless to blame Dean being bossy.

Besides, the minute Dean came back from Hell, Sam already began lying to him about Ruby, pretending she's just a nameless girl he picked up for a bit of fun.  That action alone said Sam instinctively knew he was doing the wrong thing but he chose to do it anyway.  How was that Dean's fault when he just crawled out from six feet under?  Therefore projecting the blame on Dean now sounded a lot like evading responsibility to me.

Sam wasn't wrong when he said partnership requires trust.  However that trust needs to be earned, especially after it was destroyed.  But Sam's actions over the past year haven't exactly given Dean a reason to implicitly grant that.  Yet he whined about being put on "double secret probation" (which was all in his head anyway) and threatened to leave Dean once again.  How was that for learned his lesson and being mature?

Sam abandoned Dean at a time when Dean needed him the most.  He witnessed first hand how broken Dean was after his ordeal in Hell.  But instead of being there for his brother, he thought Dean was weak so he went off with Ruby instead.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  that was an ultimate betrayal of trust.  Forget about the Apocalypse, that's not what Sam needed to apologize to Dean, and Dean never blamed Sam for that anyway.  Instead, Sam should apologize for what his action has done to Dean.  Until Sam does that, his relationship with Dean is always going to be one sided.

When hubby saw the last scene where Dean apologized to Sam, he blurted out: "He shouldn't do that!"  That surprised me, and I really wanted a man's point of view on this.  So I asked him to explain why he thought so.  This is what he had to say: "Dean has done nothing wrong [in watching Sam closely].  He did all those to protect Sam, and Sam gave him every reason to act that way.  Sam needs to man up and stop complaining so much."

Well, turned out hubby's POV wasn't far off from mine.  Imagine that!  The thing is, as much as I sounded disappointed with Sam, I'm actually very happy the boys are back to where they were before.  And that's the crux of the matter:  with everything that has happened, neither Sam nor Dean has changed much here.  But that's the way we fell in love with them, right?

My score for the episode:  C
ETA:  The more I thought over this episode, the less I'm happy with it.  So I downgraded it from a B- to C.  Show, do you really want to make no distinction between admiring Lincoln, Gandhi with worshiping Paris Hilton?  Really?

And here's a mini Dean-centric picspam.  Click images to enlarge (1280x720)...









































Phew!  That's a lot.  Here's the link to the rest of the screencaps I made for this episode.  I also made a few screencaps for the SOON promo at the end here, but I'll post those in a separate journal entry.

From: (Anonymous)


Yes, yes, YES!!!!!!!! I so agree with EVERYTHING you said. This episode just rubbed me the wrong way. I think the characterization of both boys was awful--Dean looked like a jerk at times, and I basically had the same thoughts about Sam that you had. I had a big issue with Sam saying he went off with Ruby to get away from Dean--um, he was with Ruby while Dean was in hell! And since when has Dean been that controlling over Sam? Ugh! Now, I can get behind Dean apologizing more with this episode than the last one, as he was apologizing for his actions in this one, but I am tired of him saying "I'm sorry." I still don't think that Sam gets it--it's not about the apocalypse, it's about how he hurt his brother. He needs to say to Dean, "I am sorry I hurt you." That, to me, would show some character growth, for him to realize how his actions affected his brother. But, it seems that everything is now magically fixed. UGH!!!!

I also had a hard time with the James Dean face--I couldn't see a thing, either. And since when can Sam perform an autopsy? Everything felt so contrived--like the writing was leading the story as opposed to the characters (if that makes sense). This one seemed more like a (bad) season 1 episode than a season 5 one.

I do give props to Paris being willing to make fun of herself (and I have to admit to getting a little excited when she mentioned John! I was all, "JDM is in this one!"), and the "House of Wax" thing was funny, but, yeah, she can't act.

Man, I'd love to watch an episode with you!!!!!!

mick

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


LOL *HUGS* Mick!

First of all, I would so loooove to watch an episode with you! Too bad Supernatural or the boys never featured at Dragon*Con (or did I miss something?) Otherwise it would be so awesome to have a reunion in Atlanta and we can just feast on watching BSG and SPN! *wistful*

I think the characterization of both boys was awful--Dean looked like a jerk at times...

I agree with you here. I think they went out of their way to show the crude side of Dean to make viewers more sympathetic with Sam. I don't deny Dean can be jerkish, after all that's what Sam's nickname for him, but they usually are not this pronounced, especially with his facetious attitude toward Gandhi.

Speaking of the man, I've been thinking more about this, and I can tell you another thing that bugged me HUGELY is the way they group Lincoln, Gandhi, and Paris Hilton in the same category. They drew no difference in worshiping public figures such as Lincoln, Gandhi, and Paris Hilton. Now that's just wrong! So WRONG!

And since when has Dean been that controlling over Sam?

Yes! Exactly. Dean might be a bit bossy which I think is a character trait that stemmed to the way he grew up, but Dean has never been able to control Sam.

I still don't think that Sam gets it--it's not about the apocalypse, it's about how he hurt his brother. He needs to say to Dean, "I am sorry I hurt you." That, to me, would show some character growth, for him to realize how his actions affected his brother.

Word! I so don't think anything is fixed except the brothers back on the road together like they were before. The problem plagued their relationship in the past is still there and unchanged. When I think more on this, I wonder if it wasn't left like that intentionally. One of the biggest driving force behind the whole myth arc is the question "Will Sam go dark, or Will Dean be able to prevent his brother turning to the dark side." As long as Sam continue to have that tendency of thinking only in terms of himself, he has that affinity with Lucifer, and thus the angst is still alive.

I have to admit to getting a little excited when she mentioned John! I was all, "JDM is in this one!"

OMG! I forgot to mention that I had a moment of mixed jubilation and panic when Paris Hilton said: "One distant father figure coming up!" I totally expected JDM to make a brief entrance, and horrified that one of the boys had to chop off his head!
Edited Date: 2009-10-14 06:11 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


Sam has a long way to go yet, but he's getting there. IDK, but I think he's just being what he is, the Younger Brother. He wants to be treated as an equal but it's not easy for Dean to let go of a lifetime role, and especially not after what happened during season 4. The hurt is still there for one thing yet at the same time he knows what would happen if he let Sam go, so yeah, the ... balance, for want of a better word, is still not there fully.

Dean apologizing, I didn't like that either, but again, I think he was being the Older Brother there, what the people in my part of the world would say as "giving way", if you know what I mean.

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


I think you hit everything I wanted to say here. You are absolutely right, in your succinctly put words that at the end here, Dean and Sam fell back in the "Older Brother" and "Younger Brother" mode.

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


So much for being equals and all, eh?
Edited Date: 2009-10-14 11:11 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Exactly! Which is such an irony IMO.

But hey, the brothers are back to where they were before--before Sam's screw up. Since I don't see either of them changed much here, that is not to say they won't screw up again. But at least they are together for now. That got to amount to something.

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


You know, it just occured to me why Lucifer was cast out from heaven in the first place - pride. A trait that he shared with Sam perhaps? Remember the siren and what Sam said under its influence - that he was better, stronger, smarter *winces* I just hope that there's enough of Sam, the brother that used to look up to Dean, that would differentiate him from Lucifer.

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


That's precisely what I've been thinking/saying. I think there are reasons why Sam is Lucifer's choosen vessel. One of which I think is their shared affinity of self importance. I'm not saying Sam has an inflated ego, but he can be self absorbed, sometimes unconsciously, other times purposefully.

I wonder if the writers didn't leave Sam the way he is on purpose here. I still steadfastly believe Sam will not turn dark, but as long as the character trait is there, Sam has a weakness, and the danger he might succumb to Lucifer one day is alive. Hence more drama and angst.

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


I wonder what trait does Michael share with Dean? The one that made him The Vessel for Michael. Other than him being Sam's brother, as Michael is Lucifer's that is.

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Very good question! I've been wondering about that too. I don't know much about Michael's lores. All I can think of is that Michael seems to be God's ultimate soldier, the commander of his army whatnot. Dean being John's soldier certainly fits that bill. Hmmm, speaking of John, we also have that absent father/missing God analogy here. I hesitate to think John = God, but the parallel is there, I think.

Also in my google search, I read in certain lore, Lucifer was intending to take Michael with him in his fall from grace. In fact, he took hold of Michael's wings. The latter was only saved by the grace of God. IDK, there seems to be some entanglement between the two "brothers."

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!! John=God!! 0_0 That would be awesome yet freaky and maybe a bit tacky too? I want John back in the show so very badly, if only to see Dean's interaction with him, because I LOVE seeing Dean with his Dad, but to have him coming back as ... God? I hope the writers won't go there, though like you said, the parallels are certainly there, glaring and obvious!

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Like you said, I hesitate to think any of the Winchesters as a Supernatural creature (yes I see God as one of those too). But I'm okay with them being the metaphors of these beings.

Although one thing about Michael kinda bugged me since 5.01. Why have we not seen Michael yet? Zachariah said Michael Sword was lost. So does that mean once the angels had it/him? In other words, was Dean among the angels at one time? If that's the case, that would make Dean more like Anna/Anna than Jimmy/Castiel, wouldn't it (assuming Michael Sword and Michael one and the same)?

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


That has been bothering me too, why Michael himself has not made an appearance - be it in a dream or through Castiel or whatever, and I don't trust Zachariah at all ( thought it may turned out that he really is the good guy, angel, whatever, after all.

Anna/Anna

Meaning that Dean is Michael? And if he said yes, he'd be Michael, not just a condom ( oh Dean ) for that archangel?

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


Though it had occured to me once that Dean was Michael himself, that time during the 'Monster at the end of the book' episode, I can't remember the exact words, it was when Zachariah said that no one would dare hurt Chuck, that Michael himself would look after him, and yet Michael wasn't there but Dean WAS! Yup, that was when it kinda jumped at me, the thought that Dean was Michael, without Dean realizing it himself of course.

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Whooo, interesting! Did they say Michael not an archangel would look after Chuck? I gotta go and rewatch that ep. We all know the archangel that did show up in bright light was Raphael. Maybe he wasn't the one to look after Chuck but to manip him? And then in The End, Raphael left Chuck, but Dean was still there.

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


No it was Raphael that showed up as we found out later from Castiel in 5.03. I don't remember they named which archangel was protecting Chuck, but I may be wrong.

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


'Kay, I've just watched those scenes from the two episodes. In Monster at the End of the Book, they didn't specifically said Raphael ( or Michael for that matter ), Castiel just said archangel.

And listening to what Castiel said in 5.03, I think I'm more confused then ever. Did Raphael really was the one who killed Castiel or did Castiel just think he did? Why would Raphael killed Castiel? Because he rebelled in 4.22? And also, which part was it that said Raphael was the one with Chuck in 'Monster'? I didn't hear that, or maybe I was watching the wrong scenes?

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Huh! So my memory was right that they only said archangel instead of naming a specific one in MatEoTB.

I think Cas should know who killed him, which in this case is Raphael. Question is were there more than one archangels hovering around Chuck? I guess they didn't specifically say one way or the other, but I tend to think it's Raphael all these times simply because there aren't that many archangels to begin with.

I think Raphael killed Castiel because Raphael is in cahoot with Zachariah, and Castiel was acting against them.

Unless I'm proven wrong, I have a strong feeling Michael is not on the same page as Zachariah and Raphael. But then, what about other archangels? Ohh, you must've seen the SOON promo at the end of this ep right? I mentioned this because it looks like Sam and Dean is going to trap an archangel again. I can't say for sure but I think it's not Raphael.

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Oops! So SORRY! I thought everyone who saw this ep has seen that. *headdesk*

But it was awesome! You have more self control than I could ever hope for.
Edited Date: 2009-10-15 06:05 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Yes, that's what I'm thinking. I don't quite know how I would feel about it if it turned to be true. But the possibility is certainly there, especially when I think Michael might be MIA at the moment. Otherwise even Dean doesn't say no, Michael can at least rides another vessel a la Lucifer is doing at the moment. So what if Michael isn't at his full strength. It's not like Lucifer was at his either.

Btw, I forgot to say I too wish to see JDM come back, even for a brief moment. Yes, he has such intense chemistry with Jensen. In fact, for a brief second toward the end of this ep, I thought he just might show up, and then I was all horrified thinking Sam or Dean would have to chop off "John's" head!

From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com


I've had this theory percolating for quite some time, absurd maybe, but I can't get it out of my mind.

When Mary made that deal with the YED to bring back John to life, she knew that the demon would come collecting in ten year's time, right? What if she made another deal, a heavenly deal this time, so that her son would be .. protected, and the protection came in the form of Dean. That Dean would be the one protecting Sam, and Dean in his turn, would be protected by the angels. I can't get Mary's words to wee!Dean out of my head, that the angels would always look after him. Why did she say that? Especially for someone who had made a deal with a demon. Do you say that kind of thing to your son?

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


That's a very interesting theory. One I can actually see it happen. And I don't believe that line about Mary telling Dean angels will look after him is a throw away line. I believe like other things Mary uttered, it has more story to it.

From: [identity profile] i-o-r-h-a-e-l.livejournal.com


Wow. This is great. Very great.

Though it's going to be hard to read if you're a Sam girl. But I'm not, so it's okay for me. :)

Anyway, I just want to say the last part of Dean saying, "For that, I'm sorry," will still be the most touching, poignant thing for me. My poor Dean. I always see him as a kind of a parent to Sam and as a parent, in my place, at least, most of the time, you just accept things, think that everything is your fault, etc., as long as it's for your child's sake. As long as your kid is safe, happy, and so on. And that's Dean to Sam for me, which makes him always such an angsty character. And your review only strengthen my view of how angsty he is, which I love. My poor Dean. My most beloved thing. *sniffs*

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Aww, thanks! <333

I understand what you mean by not a happy read for Sam!girl. The irony is although I'm a Dean!girl, I love Sam very much too. Maybe a little too much that I expected a lot from him. When he fells short from the level of maturity and growth I'd like to see from him, I may have become overly critical of him.

That's why I didn't cross post this at [livejournal.com profile] dean_sam. Like I said, writing this has been catharsis for me, thus I was afraid my thoughts were too emotional to be unbiased.

And I agree with your take on Dean here. I too felt Dean once again was being the ultimate parental figure/older brother in the end. Which is also ironic considering Sam all but wanted to be equal. But in the end, he still came off as the little brother.

From: [identity profile] anastdean.livejournal.com


This is so cool I love the spam and you're right I do that focus on the eye candy, I'm all shallow, it's more fun that way.
Leaving this place with a wish: "I wish I was that Pencil"
*huggles*

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


LOL! Love that icon of yours. Yeah, that pencil is a lucky *pencil*!

*smirk*

{{staring at the boys intently...}}

Huh? Wait, what?! Shallow? Shallow is good... I'm right there with you!

Hehe, I so agree "shallow" is fun! And the boys made admiring them (if not the characters) so easy. =)


From: [identity profile] evening-spirit.livejournal.com


When Dean told Sam they needed "training wheels" to ease back into the throe of things, Sam immediately took offense thinking Dean implied he wasn't good enough, whereas Dean merely meant they as a team needed readjustment

See, that's exactly why his reaction would be if he blamed himself. Someone says something and he interprets it as if they are putting the blame on him!

He said Dean's tight control belittled him and made him seek other means to feel strong. But if I remember correctly, Sam never had a problem going off to do his own thing before. When he wanted a normal life, Sam headed for Stanford without a backward glance

That's also true-to-character. Sam doesn't see his actions objectively. He's in denial. I see exactly that in my mother everyday (she's always able to turn thing so she's the victim for example). *head!desk*

I wholeheartedly agree with the not-so-little continuation-errors or whatever they were (Consuela, James Dean and poking in the victim's intestines) although I tend to forgive such things in tv-shows -- there are plenty of shows that make larger and more errors.

I also agree with your observations that Sam shouldn't be saying this or that to Dean, but I understand why he acts like that. I don't see it as an error on the writers' part, but rather an error of Sam himself. He's being unfair, selfish and he's also hurt.

Back all the way to Hell -- yeah, so Dean was in Hell, but being left behind was sort of "hell on earth" for Sam, so each of them was hurt. Oh, well, I think I better explained my take on Sam at the beginning of Season 4 in this fic.

I had a problem with a final scene with Dean's apology. It rang false to me and I couldn't pin-point why. In light of your review, I think I know now -- it wasn't fully sincere. Even though they said they need to start anew and act differently, they fall into the same old patterns -- Sam whining and being all younger-brother and Dean forgiving him everything and accepting it all -- which ISN'T A GOOD THING AT ALL. No one grew up, no one learned their lesson.

I love this show. :)

(And I love your thought-provoking reviews!)

From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


See, that's exactly why his reaction would be if he blamed himself. Someone says something and he interprets it as if they are putting the blame on him!

I very much agree with you that Sam felt bad about what he had done. But feeling bad and seeking penance (as he claimed he was doing) are two different things imo. You are right he was overly sensitive here, which made perfect sense. But he also exhibited a degree of annoyance with people (i.e. Dean) for seemingly laying blame on him. IDK, I tend to think those who thought they were wronged get offended easily. Therefore, my take is as bad as Sam felt, he also thought he didn't have much choice due to the circumstances at the time.

That's also true-to-character. Sam doesn't see his actions objectively. He's in denial.

I couldn't agree with you more on this. Sorry about your mother, but I have a close family member acts exactly as you described here. So I see exactly what you are saying.

I don't see it as an error on the writers' part, but rather an error of Sam himself. He's being unfair, selfish and he's also hurt.

I also completely agree with you here. Like what I said in the comment to Mick above, the more I think about this, the more I think this is exactly where the writers want to leave the characters.

I see Dean's apology at the end as his way of pacifying his baby brother. And I didn't fail to notice it came after Sam threatened to leave because he thought them together wasn't working out. Like you said, nothing new here. They've been down that road before, and their dynamic is still the same--not as equal, but still as big brother/younger brother.

And I love this show too! :)

*huggles* ♥

{{heads over to read your fic...}}

From: [identity profile] dreams-of-honey.livejournal.com


I love your review so much, cause you basically put into words everything about this episode that bugged me! And you've explained it far better than I ever could. When writing my review I couldn't quite pin point exactly what it was that left me feeling so irked, but you nailed every single one of those points! Although I initially enjoyed the episode, I felt a pang of emptiness, like it was missing an essence that made all the other episodes prior to this one so good!

But if I remember correctly, Sam never had a problem going off to do his own thing before.

Yes! Thank you! You know I was wrestling so much with my conflicted thoughts over Sam in this episode. I wanted to understand where he was coming from and try not to make my views one sided, as I tend to focus more on Dean, but although I tried to fight for Sam in my head, I still kept concluding that he was way out of line all throughout this episode. Clearly I’ve been way to lenient with him, cause after reading what you eloquently put, my irked doubts about him aren't just me being too over sensitive. I don’t know if the writing is to blame here or what, but what annoys me the most about this is Sam is getting away with this behaviour whilst Dean is being represented as a figure of blame in all this. I hope the writers don’t plan on letting this carry on all throughout the season.

When hubby saw the last scene where Dean apologized to Sam, he blurted out: "He shouldn't do that!" That surprised me, and I really wanted a man's point of view on this. So I asked him to explain why he thought so. This is what he had to say: "Dean has done nothing wrong [in watching Sam closely]. He did all those to protect Sam, and Sam gave him every reason to act that way. Sam needs to man up and stop complaining so much."

Hubby is a smart man! As much as I loved hearing Dean apologise here because it shows how much of a great and wonderful man he's grown into, I never felt like it was called for and I’m getting sick of hearing Dean apologising for everything under the sun and yet we haven’t seen Sam apologise once to Dean for hurting him. Although I agree their relationship over the years hasn't quite worked. although Sam's exaggeration that this is what led him to Ruby is ridiculos! He would have done his own thing whether Dean told him to or not! Yes the balance in the relaionship can be pretty off sometimes, but this doesn't mean all the blame should go on Dean for this. At least Dean’s part in this was purely out of love for his brother, whereas Sam’s issues come from deep inside himself. Sam came across like a whiny teenager and yes his point was valid, but like you said he needs to earn that trust back. I still think they need to be on equal footing in all this, because in order to let Sam show he can be trusted, Dean needs to let him off a leash, but Dean better not let Sam get away with not proving himself to him. I was so happy to hear Sam thanking Dean and telling him he won't let him down in the last episode and I truly believed he was going to prove himself and make it up to him, but after this episode, he just seemed so ungrateful and defensive and all those promises were forgotten.

All I've seen so far is Dean pandering to Sam and making him feel better, I've yet to see Sam say or do anything for Dean.

Anyway loved reading this! It’s everything I wished I’d said in my review and more! And gorgeous picspam! ♥


From: [identity profile] xwacky.livejournal.com


Hee sweetie, thanks for this lovely feedback! <333

You said it so well yourself here. I understand all about wrestling so much with ... conflicted thoughts over Sam in this episode. Because that's what I did too in the beginning. Then I thought why should Sam always gets a free pass in the end while Dean gets the blame. I'm tired of hearing: Sam got killed because Dean didn't do his job; Sam got the wrong end of the stick because Dean was being selfish and sold his soul; Sam got seduced by Ruby because Dean went to Hell and left him behind; Sam chose to follow Ruby and her shenanigans because Dean was too controlling. The way I see it, these notions are not only unfair to Dean, they are also not good for Sam because they "baby" him to the point of keeping him from taking responsibility for his own actions.

I don't deny I maybe too emotional to be impartial over this. But these are my truest feelings invoked by what I saw. I have no intention of bashing Sam. I'm only ever so disappointed in him because I had hoped he would grow up a bit. Instead I see him as pretty much his old self.

When Dean said: "...I didn't see what [my action] was doing to you. So for that, I apologize." I had wished so fervently these words were addressed to Dean coming out of Sam's mouth! This is the exact apology I want to hear Sam make to Dean. I wonder if we'll ever get to hear Sam say something like that.

I was so happy to hear Sam thanking Dean and telling him he won't let him down in the last episode and I truly believed he was going to prove himself and make it up to him, but after this episode, he just seemed so ungrateful and defensive and all those promises were forgotten.

Word! Not only those promises were quickly forgotten, Sam was so ready to leave Dean once again because he didn't think their partnership was going to work (to his liking).

So when everything all said and done here, we have Sam and Dean back to where they were before, the same big/baby brother dynamic.

From: [identity profile] dreams-of-honey.livejournal.com


Then I thought why should Sam always gets a free pass in the end while Dean gets the blame....The way I see it, these notions are not only unfair to Dean, they are also not good for Sam because they "baby" him to the point of keeping him from taking responsibility for his own actions.

Completely agree! Of course Dean has made mistakes and he's not perfect in all of this, but for me Dean's mistakes were less selfish then Sam's and to use Dean's mistakes as excuses for Sam's actions is ridiculous! Sam is an adult and like you said he needs to start taking responsibility for his own actions and decisions, just like Dean is responsible for his as well. If they have to blame anyone then blame the demons and Angels not each other!

I don't deny I maybe too emotional to be impartial over this. But these are my truest feelings invoked by what I saw. I have no intention of bashing Sam. I'm only ever so disappointed in him because I had hoped he would grow up a bit. Instead I see him as pretty much his old self.

Yep! I always try my best to see things from both sides, probably more so because I'm a Dean girl, but you can't deny how you feel and the evidence that's right there on screen. Hopefully Sam won't continue to disappoint us, cause he was doing so well and now that they're back together again it feels like we're back to square one!

I had wished so fervently these words were addressed to Dean coming out of Sam's mouth! This is the exact apology I want to hear Sam make to Dean. I wonder if we'll ever get to hear Sam say something like that.

I wish for this too! I'm patiently waiting for this apology, but whether we'll get it or not I don't know!

Sam was so ready to leave Dean once again because he didn't think their partnership was going to work (to his liking).

Exactly! Once again Sam isn't have much faith in Dean and giving up before he's even tried! I so badly want to see Dean have it out with Sam about this, because it feels like he's making all the effort here and I can understand why - he wants to change the future he saw, but not sorting this out could potentially have the same affect as leaving Sam behind.

From: [identity profile] corbyinoz.livejournal.com


YES! Hallelujia, yes. I completely agree with everything you've written. I thought this was a shoddy episode - I'm very underwhelmed by Julie Siege's writing. We've never seen Dean behave so bossily towards Sam before (going off to a bar while Sam researches? Really??), and it all seemed horribly contrived to support Sam's complaints. It didn't sit with me at all, and Sam's speech about needing to escape from Dean being the reason he went with Ruby? I wanted to slap him! He may well have wanted to escape from the *guilt* he felt when he was around Dean, certainly. It seemed like a monstrous dose of projection to me - Dean made him feel bad by calling him on his relationship with Ruby and what he was doing, igniting his conscience, so therefore Dean is to blame for driving him away.

I, too, couldn't see James Dean in there. And the bifocals getting burnt? WTF?

I don't think the show was equating liking Paris Hilton with admiring Gandhi/Lincoln - it was ism ply the act of hero-worshipping another human being rather than a god she was referring to, I believe.

Thank you for a great review.

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