This week’s Supernatural left me feeling like I’d been hugged for 40 some minutes! A great, big, warm, Winchestery hug. It was so nice. Familiar. Cosy. It left me feeling happy, hopeful, and of course, a little sad and scared…otherwise this wouldn’t be Supernatural!
I never lose faith in the brothers. I never lose faith in their love and believing in that love, no matter what they’re saying or putting each other through. I don’t mind if they fight, I can easily put up with the lies, because I look at their world as extreme and for me, their actions have always appropriately mirrored that world. And through their missteps, the angry words, the occasional flying fists, I always see the love…because that’s where those hard moments come from. They come from a place of love within each brother, which sometimes comes bursting forth as hurt, or misplaced protection, or bad choices, or harsh payback. But no matter what is happening in their world, what they’re saying or doing, I never doubt that love, because everything they are and everything they do, springs from that.
Over the past 2 seasons, I’ve watched the Winchesters struggle to make some kind of peace with the life they’ve ‘chosen’, tell each other heart felt truths only to trip up again and repeat the same mistakes of the past, face losing each other permanently and realise what they’d do to prevent that, open up to each like we’ve never seen, nearly toss everything away through anger and hurt, yet always return to fight side by side no matter how pissed off they are, and then have fate make them walk in each other’s shoes. I never lost the belief that we were going somewhere good. That rehashing and dealing with so much emotional baggage, even in a hurtful way, was part of a grand journey towards understanding.
“Paper Moon” felt like a reward! It was everything I was hoping we were working towards. And though this road is always going to be a rocky one, I feel like the bumps just got a little less bumpy. The boys were talking. Really talking. And every word made my heart a little lighter.
Who would have ever thought we’d see the boys sitting in deckchairs, wearing sunnies and knocking back a few brews by a river, having some “we” time – faithful green cooler between them. I think I had my fists balled up to my face through the whole scene! It felt so wonderful to see them taking time to essentially get to know each other again, obviously both committed to repairing their wounded relationship *insert huge sigh here*. I loved it. I could have watched them just sit for hours. Dean poking fun and Sam’s injury…. Just… Bless them both.
And the talking. How good was the talking? I loved how when they both brought up contentious topics, they made a point to let the other one know that they weren’t trying to start something! So often they jump to the defensive. It was heart warming to see them treading carefully to ensure they didn’t upset their brother and upset the awkward…it was adorably awkward…peace they were trying to build on.
Not only that, they were being honest with the talking! Sam came clean and told Dean that he’d done other questionable things other than convince the ill-fated Lester into a situation that left him sans soul. He actually told Dean! He told him! He lied at first and then thought better of it! And though I know some fans are all, so what, it’s not that bad, I’m not in that camp, because Sam has never been the torturing kind, not really, We’ve rarely seen him take that route. So yeah, it may be just monsters, but for Sam, I’m sure that’s a line he’s troubled he crossed. And like I said last week, whatever shine you put on the Lester incident, it was an incredibly manipulative and shitty thing to do. Lester lost his soul. Tool or not, that wouldn’t have happened without Sam. Of course, we don’t know much of what Dean did when he was a demon – other than kill some other demons and Lester. If that’s all he did – then he’s right; Sam and him are pretty much on par on this one. Not that I blame Sam, nor am I calling him a monster. He was on a mission and I love him for it. It's just, I see where Dean's worry for Sam is coming from and I liked that he wanted to give Sam the chance to open up about it.
I liked both the conversations around what Sam did, the awkwardness and the awkward honesty. These two have kept secrets from each other for so long, it must have felt so weird to actually tell the truth! And the fact that they both did, shows their commitment to making their relationship right.
Hearing Sam tell Dean how he’d carried Dean’s corpse back to the bunker and laid him out on his bed was heartbreaking. Both brothers have had to do that now. Carry their dead sibling, lay them out and grieve at their bedside. As Sam relayed what he did for Dean, there was no way Dean wasn’t reliving the time he did the same thing for Sam…all those years ago.
And it didn’t stop there! “Paper Moon” was the gift that just kept giving! Dean admitted he was embarrassed at becoming a demon, and all that followed. It made me so sad. There was such shame in Dean’s voice. And his thank you to Sam for saving him... And then Sam's response... I wanted to kiss him when he told Dean he never had to thank him, not him. Geesh. Perfect moment was perfect.
It was like they hadn’t spoken for years and were now making up time. Through all the hurts of the past and through all the pain they have caused each other…they still keep trying. These brothers will never give up on each other, and that’s why I love them with all my heart.
It was so satisfying to hear the brothers talk like this, and talk so much! It never felt out of character, it was all discomfort and tentative reaching out. It was beautiful and sad and completely awesome. Their lovely hearts were being worn on their sleeves and it was absolute fangirl bliss!
“Paper Moon” also brought back a character from a rather controversial episode, season 8’s “Bitten”. Personally, I liked that episode a lot. I liked the found footage treatment, the monster origin story, the expansion on the werewolf mythology and seeing the Winchester brothers through an outsider’s point of view. I also liked that Sam and Dean let Kate walk. Of course that was during the Dean hiding having a monster for a BFF phase, so there was that as part of his decision! But I always liked that they let Kate go. It felt somehow, evolved.
I love revisiting old characters and I love how these characters are used to reflect the brothers back at us. Kate’s story reflected Sam and Dean’s, which of course, was the whole point. This show loves a parallel! Kate did something questionable to save her sister, which then had terrible repercussions. The brother’s know how that feels. The way they looked at each other when Kate said her sister was family and she’d take a bullet for her. The brothers know how that feels too. How can they judge Kate for what she did, when they've done similar things? It was interesting to see their faces, as Kate relayed her all too familiar story.
I got the distinct feeling that Kate’s story was a whacking great big hunk of foreshadowing. Dean’s troubling comment about the sister being in too deep, that you never come back from that, ever. His comment to Sam about the consequences of saving each other, because even though he’s alive, he still has that mark. And the fact that in the end, Kate had to kill her sister, because even though she did what she had to do to save her, ultimately she couldn’t save her from the monster within. GULP. We’re going that direction, aren’t we? That damn mark is going to keep me up at night! They need to figure out how to get rid of it! But before that happens, I’m pretty sure we’ll see it doing bad things to Dean, and the question of whether he should have been saved and can be saved again, is bound to come up before that nasty assed thing is erased from his arm and his soul! Damn you show, you can’t let me be happy for one moment!
And as much as this episode left me feeling all giddy with Winchester lurve (if a tad worried about the future), I spontaneously burst into tears at the end…
“I’m just trying to do the right thing, man. Cause I’m so sick and tired of doing the wrong one.”
Oh Dean Winchester, you break my heart. So much guilt. So much sorrow. So much shame. Don’t you wish you could just sit him down and tell him how damn awesome he is! This is the journey that Carver and Bob Singer spoke of, Dean’s journey to rediscovering he’s a hero. Maybe he’ll actually start to believe in himself. Wouldn’t that be something?
There were so many other wonderful moments in this episode filled with wonderful moments.
I loved Sam yelling at the werewolf about to attack his brother. I loved Dean’s hand on Sam’s back, as he made sure his brother was okay. I loved Sam saving Dean, again, by stabbing the werewolf in the heart because his brother wasn’t able to. I loved how Sam pulled an OMG face at Dean’s sassy “welcome to the majors” come back. I loved the ongoing, “I was a demon/really, I didn’t realise” gag. I loved Dean calling Sam, Sammy. And I loved how worried Sam is about Dean and how Dean isn’t fighting it.
I loved their super cute Game Warden uniforms. SUPER CUTE! And all tucked in. And all fitted! I loved how many walking shots there were – to the barn – out in the forest. Not only did this make for epic bow-legged porn, but to top it off, wardrobe thankfully put Dean in a rather shorter than usual jacket. Who do I thank for that? I need to send some fruit baskets!
And I can’t lie…I loved just concentrating on the Winchester’s story for a whole episode. Just us, and the brothers. I loved that.
Suffice to say…I loved “Paper Moon”. It was well paced, had a good story, a returning character I like, neat parallels, scary foreshadowing, and the most amazing, heartfelt brother interactions we’ve seen in a really long time. Adam Glass did a bang up job. I like the way he has grown into writing the boys. I know he loves them like we do, and it shows.
You know, this was the 199th episode of Supernatural. How damn amazing is that! I couldn't help but think about it as I was watching “Paper Moon”. I’ve never watched 199 episodes of any show. Ever. That’s like 143 hours of television or something! Then times that by A LOT, because I watch this show constantly! I've spent a significant part of the last 9 years watching Supernatural. And a signification part of the last 6 years, talking and writing about it. This show has been such a big part of my life for such a long time! And the week after next, we hit episode 200. What an amazing achievement. This show, that for years was in danger of being cancelled. 200 EPISODES! And still more to come. I’m so damn proud to be a fan of Supernatural.
And “Paper Moon” positioned us so nicely for that 200th episode...with the Winchesters together, because that’s where they want to be. I couldn’t ask for anything more.