Monday, 13 March 2017
Review - Supernatural 12x15 "Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell" - by sweetondean
Grown up Winchesters are my favourite thing. Or maybe it’s grown up Winchesters who can still tease each other and act like five year olds. Or maybe it’s grown up Winchesters who can still tease each other, act like five year olds, and trust each other 100%. Yeah. Maybe it’s that, that’s my favourite thing.
Season 12 has been full of wonderful broments - from the moving, to the hilarious, to the fist pumping unity, and “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” by Davy Perez, who is fast becoming a favourite writer of mine, was stuffed with more perfect Sam and Dean gems. The Winchester brothers are in a solid place, which makes my heart happy, and it’s because of this solid place that all these wonderful scenes can unfold.
Dean Winchester loves a good hunt. There’s no doubt about this, and it’s not because he’s a killer like Ketch, but because he’s good at it, it’s where he feels most purposeful, it’s where he’s knows he’s doing good. He likes saving people, in his most trying times, hunting gives him peace in his life and he turns to it and throws himself into it with gusto, especially whenever he’s feeling like his footing is unsure… and fighting next to his brother…if Sam and Dean are shoulder to shoulder in battle, Dean could live with doing that forever.
Dean was positively gleeful when the boys returned to the bunker after a series of hunts. Happy to be doing the work, happy to be doing it with Sam. Dean’s mood for the most part was pretty light hearted throughout this episode and it got me to thinking about the weight that must have been lifted when his mother came clean - weight he may not have even been aware he was carrying. Sure, he was pissed and hurt that she lied to him and Sam, and sure he is not happy about her decision, but now he knows the truth. He’s no longer suspicious and thinking she’s hiding something. He knows that she wasn’t trying to avoid her sons (not consciously anyway). He knows what she was doing and her reasons for it. The rift between them was mended over pretty quickly, even if they agreed to disagree. If Dean’s been hurting that their mum has been brushing them off, not wanting to hunt with them, feigning being tired, if he’s been hurting because he could see the writing on the wall and knew that something was going on with her, knowing the truth and finding a place of peace between them would have made him feel a whole lot of better, and maybe, along with a good hunt next to his bro…this contributed to him being so damn chipper!
It’s just beyond amazing that after so many years of push and shove between the brothers, we have this harmony - it means we can have the gorgeous domestic scenes in the bunker - and even the gooey ones!
Grubby Dean irritating Sam with his stubbornness to shower gave me life! Dean can be all - don’t mess up my room, ewwwww I put my hand on something slimy, but he’s also all sniffing stinky clothes stuffed in his duffle and flicking beer bottle lids on to the bunker floor! He can be clean and tidy, and he can be pretty grotty! He can be covered in blood one minute, and icked out by shifter goo the next! And if he can get some traction out of making Sam huff, he’s going to do it. This week it seemed like it was Dean’s mission to tease Sam…and I loved it! I’m so thankful we’re in a place where they feel the need…the need to tease!
Thankfully, the brothers are allowed to be these rich characters whose ways can change dependent on their moods and/or current circumstances. That’s one thing I love about Supernatural, the writers don’t get locked down by a line that a character said 9 seasons ago and allow that to define them or dictate their behaviours for eternity. Our characters are allowed to change and they are allowed to grow They can be different from day to day, reason to reason, emotion to emotion…because they’re written as real people and real people are complex and fluid.
Sam’s disgust with gooey Dean was a treat. As was the underwear conversation and the fancy shampoo reference, Sam would totally have fancy shampoo (let’s not talk about Dean’s hair product!), and later the Impala banter, and the blaming Sam for the bear idea. All this poking and joshing is such a wonderful, casual reminder of how close these brothers are, the affectionate exchanges which aren’t overtly affectionate. Two people who know each other like no one else does. I love all the scenes like these; domestic, ribbing broments…it’s just hearts in eyes!
And then as if to add icing to the delicious Winchester cake, there was the final scene between Sam and Dean… How I loved the final scene. How I love these boys.
I’ll admit I internally moaned when I realised Sam was lying to Dean about where the cases they’d just been on were coming from, making up a story about computer algorithms because he knew Dean wouldn't question it, I internally moaned…but to be honest, I wasn’t really worried. I understood why Sam lied - or rather, why he was afraid to tell Dean the truth. Not only had the brothers just gone through a similar situation with Mary, which cut Dean to the quick, Sam also knew how strongly his brother felt about the British Men of Letters. But, Dean has grown a lot over the past couple of years…and I think Sam knows and appreciates this. Gwen’s comments about not telling the truth to her unfortunate boyfriend, about lying to make things easier, made Sam think twice about what he was doing to Dean. So after the hunt when the brothers got back to the bunker…Sam came clean.
What I loved about how Sam did this was he didn’t say sorry and then instantly try to excuse what he’d done. He wasn’t automatically defensive, he didn’t have his guard up. He calmly explained why he agreed to work with the BMoL, he explained his reasoning and what he saw as the advantage for both the brothers to align with the BMoL. He explained it all logically, calmly and rationally, and then he said, “Either way, I shouldn’t have lied to you, and, I’m sorry man.” No excuses, just sorry. And he was…you could see it.
And then Dean said, “Okay”.
I’ve been saying since we discovered that Sam was going to go down the working with the BMoL road, that I believed when Dean found out, he would take Sam’s lead. I believed this whole heartedly, because I’ve seen how much Dean has changed, how he allows people to make their own choices even when he doesn’t necessarily agree with them, and how he knows that his brother will always, always be there for him. I think this is an important change for Dean in his relationship with Sam, and Sam has been instrumental in Dean understanding this. In the last couple of years, when Dean has faced some of the most challenging challenges of his challenging life, Sam was there, offering him support, not judging him, quietly letting Dean know that no matter what his little brother will always have his back. This has allowed Dean to relax, to step back from insisting that he always has to be the one to make all their decisions, it’s led to Dean treating his brother as an equal in their partnership, and all this has created unanimity. Between the two of them, they’ve brought each other to a place where Sam could trust Dean enough to finally tell the truth to him, and Dean could trust Sam enough to say, “Okay”.
Dean could also see that Sam was right. They had saved a bunch of lives over the last couple of weeks they may never had access to…because of information being fed to them - and saving lives is what it’s all about - and they do work with people they don’t trust ALL the time - look at Crowley and Rowena! I also think there’s no way in the world Dean is going to lose his brother to the BMoL out of Dean’s own stubbornness, no matter what his feelings are on the matter. At this place in the brothers long fought for relationship, I don’t believe Dean would let anything that he could prevent, fracture his relationship with Sam. Dean has learnt to pick his fights. This is season 12 pushing forty Dean, he’s more thoughtful, not always reactionary, his growth has been so wonderful to watch, and a lot of it has to do with comfort and trust. It’s a realistic depiction of how we bend for family because sometimes that’s more important in the long run.
Dean answered Sam in US and WE, which has been a theme of the last few episodes, and Sam agreed that if either of them felt like it was all going south, they’d be out - together - then he didn’t pick up the phone to Mick until he knew they were both on the same page, maintaining the image of unity that has become so powerful.
So Dean said “Okay” and we had one of the most mature conversations/moments I think we’ve ever had with the brothers and it was a magnificent, and reflective of how far the brothers have come and who they are this season.
Man I loved that scene and I loved how both Sam and Dean were in it. I was so proud of them both…even if I think the whole BMoL thing is not going to be what it seems…
“Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” was smart in how it linked together two of the stories in this week’s episode. Our hunt of the week turned out to be linked to Lucifer, and linked to the massive reveal which came later and made me go, OH THANK CHUCK CROWLEY’S NOT BEING AN IDIOT! (Well he probably still is….but a smarter one). The brothers went off on a hunt courtesy of the British Men of Letters, which turned out to be hellhound related…Lucifer’s very own hellhound related!
I love the hellhounds. I love how the hellhound mythology has been such an intrinsic part of the brother’s history. From Dean being shredded by one, to Sam having to kill one for the trials, to the one responsible for fatally injuring Jo. We’ve seen them, or rather heard them hunting other people who have sold their souls. We’ve seen them invisibly fighting each other and protecting the first blade. We now know that you can see them if you look through glass that’s gone through holy fire, and excitingly, we got some new lore on the hellhounds!
According to Crowley, hellhounds were made by God to be the “Creator’s best friend” (after God created koalas…which are usually too stoned to care about being anyone’s friend). But the dogs were vicious and He couldn’t control them. So instead of trying to train them or working with them to try to modify their bad behaviours, God decided to put them all down. The whole thing, quite frankly, is just irresponsible pet ownership! Geesh. Anyhooo, Lucifer decided he needed a rescue dog and took one of God’s hellhounds, a pregnant bitch called Ramsey - which is really lovely of him actually, not many people would take on a rescue that was pregnant. Heh. And so now we have hellhounds…. Because God just couldn’t be bothered putting in the work to train his dogs….basically.
Lucifer’s hellhound gets loose (courtesy of a couple of now dead demons) and goes after some campers - who apparently didn’t sell their souls, but did piss off a giant invisible dog. This leads to Sam and Dean joining forces with Crowley, and…because we had hellhounds, the boys wore their glasses! They’re so pretty in glasses. Even Crowley agrees! Of course Crowley agrees…I’m pretty sure he fancies them both! I freakin’ laughed out loud when he said to Dean “Maybe I’ve rubbed off, all over you”. Oh Lordy! Dean’s shudder was gold!
I love how the relationship between Crowley and the boys has developed. They even both thanked him this week! Dean for saving Cas for them, Sam for helping them with the “girl of the week” (that made me laugh too!). Crowley even got a hug from Gwen - which was damn hilarious (“he seems nice”). All these thanks and cute moments makes me think that everything is about to go very sideways for the brothers and Crowley…probably when they discover that he has Lucifer stashed…which you know they will and soon!
I was so worried that Crowley had not only gone soft, he’d gone stupid…but instead, he’s damn well brilliant! Genius really does trump brut force. He had a dozen of his most loyal studying the Cage at a molecular level, he had the Nick vessel stashed away, and he prepared it to become a trap for Lucifer’s essence. He worked on this plan…FOR…YEARS…which makes you wonder if it was a just in case plan, or if he always planned to remove Lucifer from the Cage and and put him in the Nick Cage (been dying to say that!), and if he’s been planning to do this…why? What are his plans for Lucifer…surely it’s not just to torment and punish him. Crowley’s ego was definitely bruised, but he’s not stupid. What’s Crowley got up his well tailored sleeve? He’s scheming, I’m sure of it…
Meanwhile, Cas is being wooed back to Heaven.
Cas has been on the outs with his brothers and sisters for a long time, so when they come calling (in the shape of a hotty!) offering to accept him back as one of them in the fight against the Nephilim, I’m not surprised Cas acquiesced. He has Sam and Dean, sure, but being on the outs from heaven has always seemed like a sadness Cas wore in his very being. He loves earth, but he’s never felt like he 100% fit. If he had a real choice between his brothers and sisters in heaven and a life on earth with Sam and Dean…which would he choose? I can’t see him walking away from Sam and Dean, but I also can’t see him turning down forgiveness in heaven. And with Joshua back in the garden, and heaven working pretty well…is this finally Cas’ opportunity to return to the angelic fold?
Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, was enjoyable from beginning to end. All the story arcs pushed the season along nicely, all the characters were awesome (including Gwen, the girl of the week), the effects, the direction from Nina Lopez-Corrado …with great action, and the cool shots through doors and glasses, and the moments between the brothers - from the sassy bantering to the deeply satisfying final scene. More like that please!
I’m not sure where the Somewhere between Heaven and Hell is…but I feel like Sam and Dean are about to find themselves caught between the two places and the two “people” connected to them.
Oh and Lucille! Classic.
OH MY CHUCK! Two week HELLATUSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
I think a season 12 rematch is in order!
Thanks for reading…let me know your thoughts!