Friday, 10 October 2014

Review: Supernatural 10x01 "Black" - Sinners and Heartbreakers.




It was a long hiatus. And then we kind of got spoiled!

We had an amazing retrospective special, looking at the last ten years of our magnificent show. With Kripke, Bob Singer, The Carver and the boys, along with Misha and Mark, reliving memories and waxing lyrical about what they think makes our show so special. It was amazeballs. I may have cried. Alright, I did.

Then we had the season 10 premiere episode, which was made even more awesome because it was accompanied by randomly hilarious tweets by our twitter newbie, Jensen Ackles! I was at work. Freaking out. Luckily his tweets were so obtuse they didn’t spoil me! Because I couldn’t resist the lure of looking at them! Who can resist the lure of The Ackles!

By the time I got home I was positively salivating! I switched everything off and switched myself on to absorb the glory of a brand new episode of my favouritist show and I prepared to get punched in the feels. I was excited, I couldn’t wait, and yet somehow I was dreading it. How Supernatural!

But the most important thing… I wasn’t disappointed! OH MY GOSH, so not disappointed.

Episode 10x01 “Black” was a very personal season opener. We took at long, hard, and sometimes unsettling look at where our central characters are at, with the emphasis being, of course, on the Winchester brothers. There was no big bad, unless you count the big bads living inside our guys! There was no obvious mythology. It was just about Sam and Dean and Cas and Crowley. And in that way, the episode allowed us to catch up with these characters we love so much, without worrying about getting a whole lot of new. All we had to do was worry ourselves sick about these guys! And worry I did! Supernatural is at its best when it allows its characters to have rich external and internal lives and for us to bask in both. “Black” gave us this. And it was a cracker.

For many of us, it was the plight of Sam and Dean Winchester which had us champing at the bit for this season to get underway!

When we last saw Dean, he had those damned black eyes! That was not so much the thing that left me practically catatonic for 5 months, it was the other thing. Dean was also dead.

When we last saw Sam he was desperately trying to summon Crowley, unaware that just down the hall, Crowley was spiriting his not so dead brother away.


Who Dean was going to become in his afterlife life, under the influence of the Mark of Cain and possibly Crowley, had been much teased. I felt like we got an unprecedented amount of chatter about Demon Dean from the cast and writing team. Everyone seemed helluva excited! Me amongst that everyone! And when we first got a glimpse of this new incarnation of Dean, it was fantastically squeeworthy! He was singing karaoke. In fact…it’s worse than that (or maybe better), he was singing Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”…..which was actually kind of appropriate because it’s so TRUE! Guh!

I freakin’ loved Demon Dean…but probably not for the reasons you think. Sure, the singing, shagging, pantsless, carefree – as in not giving a shit kind of carefree – Dean had a lot of charm but it was the weird blurred line between what was Original Dean and what was this new Demon Dean that I found fascinating.

When we were told this would be Dean on steroids, they weren’t kidding! Many of the aspects of Dean’s personality were there. The boozing, the chicks, the violent edge, the who-the-fuck-do-you-think-you’re-talking-to attitude, the angry, hurtful comebacks…it was just that those were turned up to 11 and everything else was on mute! He truly is a demon/human hybrid. Maybe we should call him Hybrid!Dean!

But as I watched this new carefree Dean Winchester, I was struck by how sad this situation really is. This man who has cared so much, who has carried so much guilt, so many burdens, the weight of the world on his shoulders for so long, is now free of all of that, but at the cost of his humanity (at least, most of it). Part of me thought, well it’s good that he’s getting a break from all of the crap I guess, but most of me thought, a-wahhhh!


Watching Dean drink himself into a stupor… yikes. There’s something so sad about Demon Dean. As fun loving as he was on the outside, his emptiness on the inside made the fun seem so false. The thing with Demon Dean is, he’s supposed to be having a great time, a blast, drinking and sleeping around and annoying fellow bar patrons, but to me it didn’t look like fun at all and he didn’t look like he was particularly enjoying it. The drinking looked like he was drowning something out or drowning something within himself. All his actions still spoke of self-loathing. Demon Dean is not as carefree and he wants us all to believe. Poor baby.

I found myself wondering whether he was feeling anything. Crowley specifically told him that he was throwing Abaddon fanboys at Dean to ensure the Mark of Cain got fed and that Dean didn’t go full blown demon – though I think the scenario is more likely, to ensure Dean remains demonic – remember Cain could give up The Blade and live a good life - and there were moments when I wondered, if he’s not full blown demon, is there still some Dean left inside Dean.

When Anne Marie rebuffed him and gave him a pretty spot on piece of analysis, Dean didn’t shrug his shoulders and blow off her diatribe, nope…he did what we’ve seen Dean do in the past, he let loose with the most hurtful thing he could think of in retaliation for her stinging him. But who was he really condemning, himself or her. His disdain for himself still seems palatable, particularly in that moment. 

I did feel like Dean may have liked Anne Marie –maybe - just a little - at least as much as capable right now. He was obviously not a selfish lover, I mean he did that thing with the thing (tell me what it is!) and though he warned her not to get too attached (that could just as easily have been Original Dean speaking), he was still pretty light with her. He seemed almost touched when she bought him water, and when drunk and vulnerable, he asked her to go away with him. It was when she rejected him that he lashed out. But then when she left…he looked pretty sad about the whole thing. Demon Dean is a conundrum!


And like Dean, it seems Demon Dean can’t stand to be alone. But whether he was truly craving companionship, or simply just there, Dean’s relationship with Crowley seemed to be a bit of a one sided affair. These too have become such a joy to watch as they banter back and forth. But here it seemed pretty clear; Crowley has become a little too fond of Squirrel…to the point where I think it’s clouding his judgement as to who this Dean really is! Crowley cares (he does just want to be loved, after all), but Demon Dean most definitely does not. The imbalance in the relationship was super obvious when Crowley was trying to talk Dean into taking demon life a bit more serious and help out with ruling Hell. “Pass”. Fat chance, Crowley! Crowley is trying to manipulate Dean and I’m pretty sure Dean’s knows it, but just doesn’t care enough to care.

Then there was also Dean’s face when Crowley told him he’d just spoken to Moose. Dean quickly turned around and there was no way you can tell me he wasn’t just a little bit interested. Sure, maybe he was worrying that Sam was hot on his heels and he was going to have to split – not that he did, he just kept drinking and sung more karaoke! But Dean most definitely sat up a little straighter when Crowley dangled that one in front of him. (Seriously though, I can’t wait until he punches Crowley in the face!)

All these moments were what made Demon Dean so delicious for me. It was the not knowing. The not knowing where Dean ends and Demon Dean begins. It was smart writing, but an even smarter performance from Jensen. If you didn’t look too close, it seemed like Dean simply having a wild old time…and then it didn’t.

But it’s the final scenes of Dean in the car, talking to Cole on the phone and disregarding his brother’s safety; that showed how truly chilling this new Dean is. And if we had any doubt as to how far removed he is from the man we love; this scene put those doubts well and truly to rest. He was frightening.

I wasn’t surprised Dean didn’t go to help Sam. Why would he? For a start, he no longer cares, right? But also, there’s the fact that he knows Sam is trying to find him and “fix” him, and why would Dean want to be fixed? Why would he want to go back to what his life was before – full of darkness and guilt – when he can live this life, doing what he wants when he wants, with no responsibilities or regard for others (soooo sad). It totally reminded me of Soulless Sam, when Dean tries to explain to him that humanity = suffering and Sam was all, why the hell would I want that then!

What did surprise me was that Dean answered the phone. I was surprised by his comments to who he thought was Sam, that he’d left a bar tab open for him. This wasn’t exactly angry and hostile! I was surprised that he bothered to ask if Sam was dead or alive. Straight off the bat, when he knew Sam had been taken; it was Dean’s first question “Is he dead?” All of this gave me a little bit of hope that something of Dean continues to live, buried deep inside – which is maybe why Demon Dean is not quite as happy-go-lucky as he outwardly seems.

When he told Cole that there would be no trade, no nothing, just the 100% guarantee that somewhere down the road, Dean would kill him, the viewer was left to surmise, was Dean saying that because Cole was threatening to kill Sam - or because Cole was after Dean? I was left wondering again…how much of Dean was still in Demon Dean?

I think it was wonderful that the audience was left to make its own decisions around the motivation behind some of Dean’s behaviour and whether Demon Dean is still affected by just a pinch of the humanity that makes Original Dean who he is. The whole thing was damn well delicious. I loved it. LOVED IT!


But nothing. Nothing ever. Nothing ever in forever and ever and ever, could really prepare me for Dean not caring if Sam lives or dies. Nothing. Like. Ever. Admittedly, Dean does know Sam is perfectly capable of taking care of himself – but that cold, dead stare out the car windscreen… Geesh! It will haunt me (until the next episode).

Oh Sam. Sammy… My God, he went from terrifying to so tragic in the space of minutes. The opening scenes as he tortured Dar, show how far down the slippery slope Sam has already gone. By the way, someone pointed out to me that he was not torturing Dar with the demon knife. Interesting. That face of his we were left with just before the new title card. Eeeek! Scary Sam is scary!


We’ve see Sam go darkside on the hunt for Dean before, in “Mystery Spot” and to a degree in, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, but what was a little different here was that Sam was not only laser focused on finding his brother, he was also so obviously heart broken and destroyed. Oh my God, he was so sad and every time I saw him I wanted to reach out and hug him! When he’s sitting with his broken shoulder, pouring over his laptop and notes… ugh. When he rings Cas all excited because he thinks he’s found a clue… uggggh. When he goes to the Gas N’ Sip and sees the black eyes of his brother looking back at him from the CCTV… UGGGHHH. When he finally gets a hold of Crowley. OH. MY. GOD. Crowley knew exactly what to say to Sam…outside of the epic burn about hitting another dog (did anyone else feel like that was some kind of acknowledgement from the show?). Crowley knew that talking about Crowley and Dean’s friendship, everything that he now has with Dean that Sam no longer has, was like jabbing a hot poker into the gapping wound that’s Sammy’s heart. The way Jared played that whole scene was amazing. I wasn’t sure if he was going to cry, scream or throw-up, the emotion was so real, the pain on his face, so damn real…I literally grabbed my chest.


And the way Sam stood in Dean’s room and read the note that Dean left him on the pillow! *wibble* How many times do you think he’s read that note? And he put it back again…still all folded, just how Dean left it. Oooooooooh! My cries!

I said I was going to count how many times Sam said “my brother” in this episode (I didn’t because I’m lazy), because he said it over and over. I LOVE THIS SAM. He was smart with the phone tracer thing (though maybe Crowley was smarter…bastard) and he was 100% focused on getting his brother back, no matter what it took.


But he looks so broken in his sling... Sammy you’re really hurting my heart big time!

Of course, the thing that's massively interesting about what Sam is going through and doing right now, is it’s pretty much a mirror of what Dean went through and did at the beginning of Season 9. Okay, Sam’s not trying to shove an angel into Dean, but at this point, I wouldn’t put it past him. But what Sam is doing is disregarding Dean’s wishes in an attempt to save him. He’s not listening to Dean’s “It’s better this way”, he’s not paying attention to Dean’s “Sammy let me go” note. He's doing what Dean has always done, anything he can to save his brother – no matter what.

On the other side of town – or wherever he is – Dean is experiencing something that Sam has experienced over and over; what it’s like to lose the ability to control who you are. Dean did not ask to become a demon, he did not ask to be brought back to life, this was something that happened to him because someone else, or something else, took control of the situation above Dean’s wishes. Something that’s happened to Sam numerous times.

These boys are walking in each other’s shoes and I think this is going to go along way to building a bridge of understanding between them. I like this more than I can put into words! It makes me all trembly with anticipation! Squee to infinity and beyond!


The only part of “Black” that left me a teeny bit flat was the angel story.

I like Cas. I care for him. I want him to be okay. Last season’s arc for Cas was wonderful and it made me care for him more than I have since probably season 5 – definitely season 5. But the arc they opened with for him this season, for me, felt a tad slow and didn't light me on fire.

For a start, I found it a tad bewildering. I wasn’t sure why Cas wasn’t speaking up on behalf of Fishing!Angel. Cas understands choice. He understands free will. He values both. He feels emotions. He understands humanity (mostly). He loves humanity. He’s learned from us (for good and bad). But when Fishing!Angel was stating his case, Cas was surprisingly mute. I wanted Cas to back his play, but he didn't - at least not straight away.

Hannah I got.  I liked her last season, but this episode, hmmm not so much! But I understood her motivation. She wants the anarchy in Heaven and the killing of angels to stop and the only way she believes that can happen is by everyone towing the line.

I’ve always said that the show introduces too many random angels. Fishing!Angel and his girlfriend had purpose in setting up Hannah’s and Cas’ differing positions and introducing these concepts to Hannah, but I hardly knew ‘em, so when one died and the other split, I could give two shits really...

Though what was interesting to see was that Cas did the kill, when Cas actually agreed with him - which was a fascintating problem for Cas to face.


I feel like this arc could possibly have been better served if introduced in episode 2. Let Cas’ fading Grace and how he's struggling with that, and his relationship with Sam and his concern for Dean take centre stage initially. To be honest, I would have preferred to have seen Cas lying around in his robe coughing, than have to scratch my head over why we care if Hannah is getting nauseous on car trips! Which was a little odd.

I did enjoy the conversation between Hannah and Cas in the car, post the incident with the angels. I liked what Cas said and that you could see that Hannah was mulling that over and I can see that going places.

But hey…it’s just the beginning and I’m more than willing to wait it out to see. And you know, I'll own that I'm always most interested in the Winchester's story.

Not that this tiny bump took anything away from the episode for me. I totally dug “Black”. It had so much yummy goodness to chew on! The plight of our four main characters and their struggles with who they are, or who they are becoming made for some fascinating storytelling. Sam and Dean were particularly compelling as usual, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this all plays out. How each one of them deals with the choices that they’ve made that have led them to just a hint of what we’ve seen so far. Like I said, Supernatural is at its best when it allows its characters to have rich external and internal lives, and this was some of the best character work I’ve seen on the show for a while.

Just a couple of other little things I’d like to mention. 


As much as I found Demon Dean sorta sad, I can’t deny seeing him play foosball, sing karaoke, being partially naked after doing that thing with the thing (TELL ME!), forgetting his pants…I can’t deny all that was not only awesome, but damn well sexy as hell. Jensen looked like he was having blast! And I appreciated the hell out of every moment of it.

Big props to Gas ‘N Sip guy! He made the most of his small role. The way he said “Did I do a field interview? No.” made me want to high-five him!

I'm interested to find out more about this Cole dude and what exactly he holds Dean responsible for - and how long he'll be alive!

What happened to Sam's shoulder? I wondered if we'll find out. I joked that it must have happened in Omaha, because it felt that mysterious!

The Road So Far was brilliant. Pat Benatar? YEAH BABY! “You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasy” COULD THAT LINE BE ANY MORE PERFECT?

And the title card… LOVE! It’s so pretty!


Next week’s episode looks petrifying and fabulous! Sam and Dean face off! AND I CAN’T WAIT!

OMG OUR SHOW IS BACK! IT’S BACK WITH A BANG! IT’S BACK AND IT’S AWESOME AND I’M SO HAPPY I’M YELLING!

What did you think? Did you like the episode?

Thanks for reading!

-sweetondean

Bonus Demon Dean doesn't care


29 comments:

  1. Spot-on review! Loved your insight into Demon Dean! Hope you don't mind, I reblogged an except (with full credit to you, of course) - you put into words what I was feeling about the hollowness of his new freedom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nancy :) Nope, don't mind at all.

      Delete
  2. Gosh, THANK YOU for the awesome review!! I really like it so much :) Hell, it describes all the feeling that I felt during watching the EP!! Can't wait for the second EP :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good to have you back Amy! I also loved the Black and it was so good to have Supernatural back. I've missed it.

    I had only seen light-hearted Demon Dean in the promos, so I was really happy to see that he is a really complex character. I do think we saw glimpses of the Dean that cares, but he's burying it. He was downright scary when he started punching Anne Marie's ex-boyfriend (I assume). And I agree, the final scene was chilling. I'm both excited and scared for next week's episode.

    I was also heartbroken for Sam in all the scenes you mention. I'm doubly scared for him next week.

    Brilliant performances by Jensen & Jared. It's so great to have them back on our screens :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I also meant to say I wasn't surprised Dean answered the phone when Cole rang him with Sam's phone. I thought he'd probably been ignoring Sam's calls, but once Crowley had spoken to Sam he decided to answer it... probably just to reinforce that he didn't want to be found. That was just what I thought when that happened. I think Sam didn't quite believe he'd answered either after all this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree Karen, I'm sure that's why he did it. But i was still like, dude you could have just driven cross country, why open up that channel. I think it's part of the clashing of who he is inside.

      Delete
  5. Loved everything about Demon Dean, Sam and yes even Crowley. What annoyed me was the stupid Angel story line that shouldn't of been even in the episode. Seriously it was so boring, I couldn't wait until it was done. I'm excited to see the up coming episodes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping the angel storyline perks up as we start to examine Cas more and his place in this world and/or Heaven.
      -thanks for reading!

      Delete
  6. Hi! I really liked your interpretation of Sam doing what Dean did in S9 to Sam and ignore what Dean wants. I hadn't thought of that and considering how much that part of the story line took a lot of my thinking last season, it sounds promising. I mean, I'm still torn that Sam was more "sam" in the beginning of S9 than Dean is "dean" - though it could be argued that Sam had just finished the trials and was ready to kill himself - so he's probably not all "Sam". Sam would know that there's no way Dean would want to live life as a demon - so he's having to make that call and ignore the "let me go". (and now that note makes more sense in terms of the narrative - not just for the feels). More than anything I want the lines they cross for each other to be explored, so this is looking very promising for that. Great, positive review. Thanks hun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Ash, where this differs for Sam is that he believes Dean wouldn't want to live his life as a demon...of course he hasn't seen him doing karaoke! :D But there is still that element of I'm going to do this no matter what. I think like Dean, his reasons are all mixed of with gried and fear and panic. It's for Dean, but also for Sam. I always thought what Dean did in season 9 was for both Sam and for Dean. If feel like this is where everything has been heading, giving the boys a chance to see the story from the otherside. I'm also hoping it will be explored and yep, it's looking promising! This personal arc, this examining and accpeting who you are is who you are is something that could make both the Winchesters lives way less angsty! Where buddies of the supernatural kind wind up and if there's room for them in the reexamined Winchester's lives will be interesting....

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  7. Great review. I am so filled with anticipation and excitement for this season. The boys are finally walking in each other's shoes! A life lesson all of us sometimes miss. We can NEVER really know what it's like in another's shoes until we are there.

    I think this will open up the 'mature' relationship that JC has been talking about since he came back. We are who we are will play out very mysteriously I think. We will all be analyzing every scene and piece of dialogue. I know I will. But I'm not sure why, they are so good at surprises. HA

    Demon Dean is all of the things you said. What a mixed bag. Dean is still in there somewhere. So complex. Kudos to JA and the writers. And poor Sammy. JP's loss of weight and arm in a sling really makes Sam look more worse for the wear. Sorry JP had to endure it, but I think it lent to a true image of what Sammy is going through.

    I think I'm gonna love S10(X) whichever.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jared's physical appearance and disability definitely added to the overall look of the lost Sam for sure. He just needed such a cuddle! Just a gentle one! ;)
      -thanks for reading!

      Delete
  8. Great review Amy as always! I love your interpretation also of the parallel between what Sam is doing now concerning Dean and what Dean did in Season 9 concerning Sam. These boys will always do whatever it takes to save the other brother so this is no surprise to me. I did notice on another posting in FB that someone thought the anti-possession tattoo on Dean was different but I didn't think so. I did notice the title card has it upside down so I find that interesting. I am with you in that I am just loving, loving this season already and have no disappointments. I was less interested in the angle story this time and I also did not care for Hannah's part in this episode. She was always a black and white kind of angle but I found her being exceptionally hard and almost ruthless. Anyway, I am 100% on board with this show, writers, cast, crew and all those affiliated with my favorite little show and so happy they are back. 1 down 22 more to go and still in love!!!

    Trucklady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah, that tatt looks the same. Can't see how it could change when it's in his skin! But the pentagram being upside down in the titles was cool. The way up the boys have it (and so many of us), it for protection, upside and it represents the devil.

      Isn't it cool that after all this time we're still so in love, or even more in love, with out show!
      -thanks for reading, Sue!

      Delete
  9. Nice review! I don't need actually to write that much than what you wrote as I had the same view on the episode. It didn't start with a huge hit on your face but it offered so much new paths the story will go. I just want to know already where it is going! Can't wait for the next episode.

    You will be definitely on the list of reviewers that I will read. Good work. :)

    - Lilah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) and thanks for reading.

      Delete
  10. First of all, thanks for the great review. I'm so happy that SPN is back! And with a bang at that. Demon Dean is funny, scary and very sad. He's just this guy that's self-destructing, but because he can't die, he's just destructing (the word may not exist, but I'm using it). Who knew Crowley could be such a whiny little bore? Dean is happy playing foosball, drinking, singing really bad Karaoke and bedding women, and Crowley wants him to leave all that? And what to say about Sam? It's so bloody hard for him to know that his brother is out there with the King of Hell, and he's powerless to do anything about it(for now anyway). The scene where he was torturing that demon was just scary. Here we have a man who is willing to do anything to find his brother, and I hope there is no soul selling involved!

    I agree with many people that the angel part of the programming was a little meh. But I love Cas, and I'm confident the writers will have good storylines for him coming up. They had better not make me eat my words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Cas too and I'm hopeful that because of that, his story will still engage me.

      The whole Dean thing, the more you see it, the more you think of it, the sadder it is. He's still putting up a front. Geesh, he can't catch a break from himself even when he's a demon!

      Thanks for reading, Sylvie :)

      Delete
  11. Hi - enjoyed your review - agree with lots but have to say I really am not on board with the Castiel story - again ! It just didn't sit well and on second watch I found myself FF a lot of the Angel stuff - hoping that the Angel/Castiel story becomes more relevant to the brothers story or I will probably dislike it as much as I did last season. I didn't really like Demon Dean on first watch - I love the character of Dean and I guess it upset me to see him as so unlikeable but on second watch I enjoyed it much more but gotta say hope Dean and Sam get back together sooner rather than later. Loved having this Sam back and agree that the Crowley comment about the dog was probably the PTB giving a nod to the fandoms dislike of that story line. Very much enjoy your blog and will continue to follow you on twitter and catch your reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I don't think you have to worry, I'm pretty sure the demon story line is fairly shortlived, it's the aftermath of that and what Sam did that will be examined and that's the interesting stuff really, and of course, learning to live with the Mark of Cain!
      Thanks so much for readng!

      Delete
  12. To describe Black in one word. Wow! And your review was so spot on! Sam so desperate to find his brother yet not calling out for his help when Cole held up the phone.. an attempt to fill Dean wish maybe? Or knowing Dean wouldn't bother to help anyway, so sad. And Cole? WTF is he a hunter? Doesn't he know of the Winchesters history? And how badly this could end for him. I am thoroughly and utterly looking forward to his encounter with Dean! Whatever form of Dean it may be.
    The angel storyline also left me a bit flat, but I know the writers have good reasons for their story so I am hopeful we will see soon. But I would have rather watched Metatron being tortured in heaven for a way to restore Cas's grace than fishing angel. Just me?
    The final scene still gives me chills! The look on Deans face is hauntingly exciting!
    But overall this episode DID NOT DISAPPOINT! oh and if you ever find out what that thing with the thing is.. please let me know!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Excellent review as usual. A couple of minor clarifications:
    - I'm pretty sure Dean left Sam the open bar tab to stick him with the bill...not as an act of kindness. But that works for me, he's still pulling pranks...just kinda-demonic ones.
    - I presume you know how Jared hurt his shoulder in real life (if not, ask) and are talking about the mysterious "what happened...happened". I'm 100% convinced we will find out EXACTLY what happened... via flashback or exposition.

    I don't know what to say about the Angel story. I WANT to like it. But I fast forward too. *sigh*

    But overall? Excellent meaty episode. There are so many many layers. The entire bromance between Dean and Crowley is a lot more complicated I think. I believe Crowley has been doing more than just being the buddy. I think this has been one long (failed) seduction to get Dean to go to work with him. But I don't think Dean can simply walk away. He needs a minder. That's why Crowley insists that he's doing Dean a favor.

    I also note that Crowley said the favor started back with GETTING the Mark. It's like Crowley believes (and may very well have) he has some special insight into what makes Dean tick. Pre-demon Dean. I think he now considers himself a Dean-authority. I think he's mistaken. But WHY was getting the Mark a favor? This really has me curious.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh yeah, I didn't think Dean was being nice to Sam. I didn't think he was being "hey buddy have a drink on me', I doubt if it was about sticking him with the bill either. Dean was just being a smartass. But the point was, how he was on the phone - as in he wasn't attack first. It made it more apparent that there's definitely a lingering of Deanness.

    Yep know what happened to Jared! Maybe the backstory should be he was attacked by a Ninja! :D

    I think Crowley considers this new life for Dean a favour. Getting him out of the burden of his own life. He's not seeing Dean at all. Like you, I think he's mistaken! And it's going to be fun seeing that play out!

    Thanks for the comment :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. First off, Amy, I just wanted to tell you how much fun the WOL podcast is! I love listening to you and Jules squee about The Little Show That Could. Good stuff.

    Now, fade to ‘Black’, HAR. Overall, I jive with your review. Demon!Dean is a hoot. His sociopathy is showing. This new devil-may-care Dean does what he wants, when he wants it, but that freedom is clearly wearing thin already. He seems to get bored in a New York minute, and that’s no fun for him. He’s gonna be tough to entertain in about, oh, 3.5 seconds. Nothing matters anymore, and even the stuff he used to take pleasure in falls far short of expectations. He has to poke harder and harder to get his blood pumping.

    The angel business is kinda meh. I totally get why it’s good to have a storyline that doesn’t depend upon a Winchester, but I’m afraid this ain’t it. I do dig Hannah, though, so I hope they flesh her out a little more and give her some quirks, personality, let her use contractions, etc. ;)

    And yes, Gas n’ Sip guy rules. He needs to be reoccurring somehow. Like, a fixture at every retail establishment across the US. He was that good!

    The one thing I really have to beg to differ with you on, though, is the theory that Sam’s situation here in the beginning of S10 mirrors Dean’s in S9. Okay, there are some cursory similarities, but ethically, it’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Despite that brief note left behind, Sam knows damned well Dean (when he’s in his right mind) doesn’t want to be a demon, wreaking havoc on the world. Freeing Dean of that situation is Priority One. If Sam decides he has to kill Dean to accomplish this, I think he would. (And then probably fall on his own blade, but let’s not dwell on this, ugh!)

    It might be more appropriate to compare the situation to Soulless!Sam.

    Demon!Dean is broken and dangerous. Soulless!Sam was broken and dangerous. Sam on his deathbed, however, was following the natural order of things by dying when mortally wounded, in his right mind, and was a danger to no one. So you see, the situations are gravely different. Not really comparable, and I hope this gets discussed on the show. I think it’s important, in terms of honoring autonomy in valid ways. If Carver wants to grow the boys up a little, this is a good start!

    Speaking of good starts, I think 10.1 qualifies! It’s not the most surprising season premier, but it established the three storylines solidly and leaves me jonesin’ for more. Mission accomplished!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand what you're saying about Sam, but I'm afraid I can't agree. Dean, before he died, voiced that was it better this way, he was becoming something he didn't want to be. Sam wasn't hearing any of that, not in the moment and not since, just as Dean wasn't hearing any of Sam being ready to die. Especially as Sam had voiced so much hope in Trial and Error for a life beyond hunting, and especially as he did make the choice to live in that church. That was Sam's choice in that moment. I have always held that opinion and always will. I'm not saying that Dean not being forthcoming with his plan for Sam or the aftermath of that plan was in any way right, far from it, but I am saying I understand his reasoing and I see clear parallels here.

      Regardless of what Sam believes his brother wants, his brother has specifically stated otherwise. But Sam, just as Dean has done on more than one occasion, can't hear that through the noise of his loss and grief. I think this is very much about understanding and I think this will and if it doesn't, it should, give Sam a greater understanding of Dean's past actions, having been in a desperate and grief stricken state himself.

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for your thoughtful comment :)
      -sweetondean

      Delete
  16. This is the first episode I've ever been able to see in the same week as it originally aired. I mean, I watched the first few seasons on TV over here (South Africa) but I doubt very much that the air dates here were even in the same month as the CW air dates. It looks as if season 10 will be premiering here tomorrow, but I don't get the channel it'll be on (I get 3 and a half channels currently, coz I just don't watch TV unless it's Supernatural)... It may be time to start re-evaluating my television priorities.

    But no matter! I saw Black on Wednesday evening last week, because I have friends who love me and share my obsession and live in America and subscribe to awesome American technology. I know there are various ways to go about getting the episodes, but I've never really looked into them, being content to survive on spoilers and sulking until the DVD release. NO MORE! I'm thrilled to be able to participate in Season 10 flailing in practically real time, and I can't wait for the next episode.

    Thanks for you review, and your squeeing all over the place! Sometimes, one just needs to see that other people are as crazy for this show as you are :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm a little late, catching up on reviews now. I can't fault your impressions at all. I agree with everything. LOVED this episode. it was such a kick-ass start to the season. Totally adored Jared and Jensen's portrayal of the brothers this week, and Mark S is always fabulous as Crowley.

    As for Cas and the angels... I see that whole storyline as simple filler, allowing us an emotional break from what the brothers are going through. I have totally lost interest in the whole bit. I'd hoped to get a level of interest back in Cas this season but I'm just not feeling it. I'm hoping that will change.

    Thanks again for sticking with doing the reviews. Yours is the only review I bother to read. :0)

    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  18. I knew from the outset that I would have a problem with watching Dean as a demon, and I was right about that. Upon first viewing of this episode, I didn't care too much for it. It left me feeling empty and flat. But then, after reading some reviews and letting it all settle a little bit more, I found myself liking the episode a lot more. I did enjoy the character setup in this episode. Watching Dean in this new incarnation was difficult, and yet, I did love Jensen's performance. Like you, I felt conflicted and wondered if there was still a little bit of humanity left in Dean. Watching Dean defend Ann Marie's honor, at first it seemed like a good thing, but then the Mark took over and Dean was just a cruel demon when he beat that guy to a bloody pulp. I do think from the outset Dean was doing good, but the Mark wants what it wants and that was for Dean to kill, or a close facsimile of killing. Watching Dean as he softens when Crowley mentions Sam, or when he tells Cole that he will find him someday and kill him, despite his statements to the contrary that he could care less whether Sam was alive or dead. These were all actions of a man that looked like he might still have some humanity in him. But then, you see that dead, cold, evil face at the end and there is no doubt 'what' Dean is. I also wondered about the carousing and sexing that DD did in excess. That is a typical HD move, to hide his true feelings behind booze and women.

    I loved it how Dean more or less placated Crowley. Crowley may have manipulated Dean to this end in Season 9, but what Crowley doesn't truly understand about Dean, is that Dean marches to his own drummer. He may have towed the line with his father, but that was a totally different scenario. Dean has always been his own man, and he will not stand by and let someone else call the shots, and he just tow the line. For Crowley to think that Dean was just going to stand with him, let Crowley rule, and he be his errand boy, well, Crowley really is sorely mistaken and doesn't understand our boy in the least bit.

    I have never felt so much sympathy and empathy for Sam than I did in this episode. To learn that his brother is a demon, and has become the one thing he feared the most back in S4, and that they both have fought against their entire lives has to be a rude awakening to this little brother. It is interesting how the shoe is on the other foot now, and we now find Sam in Dean's role of going to the ends of the earth to save his brother. I think this experience will lend credence to how these brothers will finally be able to mend themselves and their relationship and come to a better understanding of each other. I do think that Jared's shoulder injury has played well into this whole scenario. I think the injury, and then watching Sam as he desperately searches for his brother really plays well into the desperation that he feels to find and save his brother. It will be interesting to eventually find out how dark Sam really went in his journey to save his brother.

    All in all a good start to the season. Thanks for your review. Always enjoy reading what you have to say.

    ReplyDelete