Welcome back everyone. I know this mini hiatus wasn't long, but when we're at the end of the season, they feel eternal none the less. I'm just glad our boys are back. I hope they have an awesome and restful summer break. They have been amazing this season and they totally deserve a most enjoyable summer hiatus.
It's not always easy coming back from a hiatus with a new episode that will rock one's world. I guess expectations are higher when we're made to wait to see the boys after so long. Sometimes eps come back that are super amazing and other times, not so much. I liked this episode for the most part. I don't really have the same complaints as others have, as there were a lot of issues mentioned in many of the posts I've been reading, the most popular one being how boring it was. As for myself, I didn't find the episode boring. It was an okay ep overall, but I have to admit I did have one issue with it. I don't know if it was the same for anyone else, but by the time it was over, my first reaction was one of confusion. I couldn't quite place it at first, but then I realised how off the whole episode felt to me. It was as though they were in an alternate universe.
Now I'm perfectly aware of the rules here regarding bashing of characters and writers and believe me this is not what I am doing here. Even if I'm not fond of a particular writer, I don't bash them. I'm just pointing out as tactfully as I can where I'm coming from. First off I'll start by saying that Nancy Won has written three episodes now and two of them have been wonderful and insightful. I must say though that I didn't get the same feeling with this episode, as a matter of fact, I felt like the characters were written in reverse. That was the feeling I got when the ep ended, why the episode felt so "off". Let me explain what I mean......
After all these years it's pretty much the norm now that separating the boys basically means that the powers that be are giving them their much deserved days off. These boys are the entire show, they carry most of the weight. This is not a show where one of them could be missing. They've tried that once before and that episode didn't bode well with a lot of people. Lucky at the time the story behind it was a good one, but still, having one of the boys missing does not put that episode among the favourites. My issue has nothing to do with that. What I found to be a common theme over the years though, is that when the boys are separated, there is often a reason behind it. It's been that way of late any how. Most often there's a parallel or a lesson somewhere in there. This is where my confusion comes into play. I didn't understand the lesson that was meant to be learnt here.
Dean was paired with Cesar, Sam with Jesse. I didn't get where the lesson came in for either one of the guys with this pairing. The common theme with Dean and Cesar is revenge and how unfulfilling it really is. Why did Dean have to be reminded of this? Dean's entire existence is based on the idea of revenge. John had to get revenge for Mary. Dean needed to avenge his Mom and then his father. When Dean killed the Yellow Eyed Demon, his mother was still dead, his father was dead and nothing changed for him. Dean needed revenge for Bobby and it ended up with him being trapped in Purgatory. Dean has sought revenge and he's witnessed others who sought revenge and never did it fulfil anyone. It didn't change any circumstance that the victims suffered from. Dean is totally aware of both the need and the results of revenge, so why did he need a reminder once again?
Sam was paired with Jesse and the theme here seemed to be accepting the loss of a brother. If anyone knows what it's like to deal with the loss of a brother, it's Sam Winchester. Was the lesson here about accepting decisions that one might not like? Again, we're talking about Sam Winchester here who has spent most of his life following his brother and abiding by most of his brother's decisions, whether he liked them or not. Need I mention season 8, where Sam had to face the loss of his brother because he abided a promise, one he didn't necessarily like, but kept anyway. Was the lesson about letting go or holding on? In either case, Sam not only knows how to let go, he most definitely knows when to keep holding on. What was the point of the supposed lessons? What were the boys and the fans supposed to get out of them? I was left baffled. I couldn't get my thoughts together because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to think. I was worried that I wouldn't have any thinky thoughts to share with you all this week.
I waited before I started the article. I waited for reviews to come up. I had hoped that the more opinions I read, the more I would come to understand what I might not have seen for myself. Patience is indeed a virtue. I want to take a personal moment to thank Nightsky for the clarity I'd been missing. It was after reading her threads that I realised that perhaps the lesson wasn't so much for the boys themselves as much as it was meant to be a tactic to be used in the fight against Amara. This was a possibility I could go for. Dean being paired with Oscar suddenly made sense to me. If the lesson is for Amara and her need for revenge against God, then perhaps Dean can somehow use this knowledge in the attempt to trick and trap her (I don't really think logic is going to factor in here). If we explore this possibility then the pairing of Sam and Jesse starts to make more sense. Sam being reminded of losing a brother, might not necessarily be about him having to face the idea of losing Dean. Sam's experience of his own loss, as he was reminded of again in this episode, could very well play into the plan to defeat Amara, especially if Amara feels she suffered some kind of a loss. This definitely ties into Not John's words to Sam in Baby, when Sam was told that only the two of them can stop the Darkness.
Three days and a few reviews later, after all is said and done, my opinion of this episode still remains the same. I thought it was ok. It wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst. I guess for me, even after reading Nightsky's threads and seeing the show with a better understanding, I guess it would've had more impact emotionally for me, if the pairing of the boys with the other hunters would've been defined more clearly. I usually have no trouble psychoanalysing the episodes to death, but for some reason this wasn't presented in a way that made it apparent to me that there's more with what's going on here than meets the eye. I am very thankful that Nightsky opened my eyes for me, but I can't help but think that if she hadn't then I would still be sitting here in a state of confusion wondering what was really going on behind this episode.
Now that the suggestion is out there that this episode's lesson might very well tie in with God and Amara and not necessarily Sam and Dean, it leaves me very excited for what's to come. Maybe we won't get the typical Swan Song ending we had in S5...perhaps this time it'll be more of a twist of an ending like S10. I am anxious to see how it all turns out. Next week Metatron....Chuck....ooh the possibilities are endless.
Thanks for reading everyone. Looking forward to next week.