I read Jared’s chapter the other day - his chapter, or rather essay in Fangasm’s new book Family Don’t End With Blood. It was funny, and goofy, and insightful, and powerful, and raw, and really, really scary, and it reminded me of something, it reminded me how much I too love fandom, and of what fandom means to me. It reminded me how thankful I am for all the friends I’ve made, for finding a place where I could be myself and not be judged for my passion but rather accepted and even admired for it. It reminded me how fandom helped me at my darkest time, through the loss of my dad. How fandom, the show, the conventions, the cast, helped me to understand that I could be happy even when desperately sad. Fandom and everything that comes along with it, helped me to redefine my grief, and I don’t know, I really don’t know that I would have ever got there on my own.
Fandom is important to me, it's given me a home, it's given me a voice, it's given me an outlet, and it's given me so much love. I love fandom, I love our caring, driven, powerful, creative, focused, family. And it’s because of this love, this respect and admiration for what fandom can be and what fandom can represent, that I can get bitterly disappointed by it. Sometimes I just want to shut out the noise, the anger and negative responses that seem so out of whack with me and how I feel. I want to withdraw and just enjoy my show alone, my way, without being made to feel wrong or stupid because I don’t agree with this week’s fury raging all around me. I want to protect it, protect what I love, protect that profound sense of giddiness that my show always gives me even when it's at its bleakest. To protect what Sam and Dean mean to me, to my heart, my soul and my mind. Sometimes all this makes me want to distance myself from anywhere and anyone that might threaten the happy bubble this show has created for me, and threaten my ability to enjoy it.
Then I remember. I remember that I am not alone. That if I’m feeling love for the show, even when others are loudly shouting it down, that I am not alone. Other people are also feeling that love, and that isolation, and also want to feel like they’re not alone in this noisy, angry Universe, that they’re not watching the show wrong because they enjoy something many others seem not to. And though sometimes I just want to shut the whole thing down, and just bury myself in my love of the Winchester brothers, I also don’t want my love to be silenced, for me…or for you.
I really don’t care if people don’t like an episode, or don’t like an aspect of an episode, I really don’t, not even a little bit, we all see things differently. But how that is expressed, I do care about, a lot, because like I said, I love fandom and I believe in it. I have in the past, as recently as last week, let this affect me deeply and acutely…and let’s face it, the only person that hurts is actually me, because it makes me withdraw from something that gives me strength and happiness and purpose. And you know what, I’m not going to let that happen…
So thanks Jared, for reminding me that fandom, with all its flaws, can be beautiful, when it chooses to be, and I love it, and I love being a part of it just as much as I love this show that spawned it.
|Jared with me in a choke-hold apparently (!) at AHBL8 - Melbourne May 7|
I enjoyed There’s Something About Mary, and I ain’t gunna apologise for that. It was harsh for sure, but at this end of the season, I’d be damn shocked if it wasn’t. This was episode 21 of 23, no way was it going to be a cake walk. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, from epic sadness, to epic pride. It had the job of getting all the pieces of the puzzle on to the table for the season finale, and it did that well. From the brothers and their mum and the British Men of Letters, to Lucifer and Crowley and Lucifer’s kid…everyone is now in position and poised to kick our asses!
The tragedy in this episode started out right from the get go with the horrific loss of the hunter Eileen. I was so sad Eileen died, super sad, she was a great character, she was ballsy and smart, and I like her. I loved the little something something her and Sam had going on. When we heard her words in her letter about wanting to stay at the bunker for a while, I couldn’t help but later think of the possibilities. Of Dean excusing himself, so the kids could have some alone time. Of Eileen and Sam geeking out over research, of Sam learning more sign language, of a friendship that would blossom, and maybe blossom into something else. I felt so sad at what could have been and would never would be because Eileen died.
The show gave us a strong, capable character, who over a couple of episodes, we grew to love. But due to her job and unfortunate presence in the shit going down with the BMoL, she fell prey to the evil bastards of the season. This was pretty clearly telegraphed to be honest, as shocking as her death may have been, I was not even remotely shocked it happened. I would have been more shocked if it didn’t!
The way I saw it, I assumed the hunter deaths needed to be personal rather than abstract. To me, saying 7 hunters I've never met have died means zero, and though it would concern Sam and Dean for obvious reasons, it would not have the personal, emotional ramifications of a hunter they know being involved in the slaughter, for me or for them. Eileen was really the only hunter, outside of Jody and Claire that we and the boys currently have a relationship with this season, and that right there is a Sophie’s Choice! In addition to this, Eileen had earned the ire of the BMoL…and that's not a good ire to be at the end of.
We know the BMoL are vicious, cruel and horribly violent, but we haven't had the boys personally experience that since the beginning of the season, since Lady Bevell, who as far as they were aware, was still in England where she was shipped off to. The boys were still waiting on Mick, still trying to contact him. They were still calling Ketch, and though there was a warning message from their mum, they were yet to know what that meant, or see any of the behaviours by the BMoL that we have been privy to. They didn’t, and still don’t know about Magda, or the soldiers, or that Ketch put a bullet through Mick’s head, or tried to beat the snot out of their mum. But in figuring out that the BMoL horribly killed someone they cared deeply for, and figuring out that the hunters that were dying where not dying at the hands of monsters, the brothers begin to truly understand who the BMoL actually are, and what they were facing and what their mum is stuck in!
Supernatural has been amazing at giving us powerful, gutsy and relevant female characters, who because of their kickassness find themselves in the same life threatening situations as our brothers do. They find themselves choosing to be heroes, making the tough calls, standing up for what they believe in, and protecting strangers and those they love alike, even at the risk of their own lives. I personally like this. A lot. The women of Supernatural are not delicate damsels in distress, and I’m glad they are not treated as such. Eileen was awesome, and nothing will ever diminish that.
You don’t often see Sam wanting to punch something, anything in the face. Sam is usually more pragmatic. It’s Dean whose emotions usually boil to the top and bubble over in a fiery mass of fists and fury. So to see Sam so angry at what he was seeing, so gutted, so measured in the furious words he was delivering, made you know that no matter what, someone was going to pay for the death of his and his brother’s friend. Big ups to Jared for a fabulous performance in showing the pain and the shock of Eileen’s death over several scenes. Sam’s watery eyes always kill me. Always. And Jensen beautifully showed Dean’s heartache for his brother. We are so lucky to have those two.
There’s Something About Mary was full of smart brothers. Smart Sam and Dean are possibly my favourite, or maybe that’s kickass Sam and Dean, or funny Sam and Dean, or emotional Sam and Dean, or….well you know the drill! Here we had Sam and Dean not only figuring out pretty quickly that something hinky was going on with the hunters and it was most definitely not monsters, they also figured out it was a hellhound that killed their friend, and realised the culprits, hellhound or otherwise, must have been the BMoL. They found the listening device in the bunker, after an awesome sequence where they looked in the nooks and crannies, (I really loved the way that scene was shot), and managed to set a trap with it.
Then they totally kicked ass in tag teaming to disarm and capture Lady Toni Bevell…that was wicked cool. And do not even start me on that epic gun fight in the bunker! With Dean shooting behind his back and Sam using Lady Toni as a shield! She deserves nothing less! Everything was decided on and organised with a couple of silent looks between the brothers that enable them to communicate an entire plan! As only they can do. So much can be said between them without saying anything at all, and that’s something I’ve always appreciated the hell out of.
While her sons were being pretty awesome all over the place, Mary was being brainwashed.
Mary is an interesting one, because I really don’t feel a great deal of emotion for her, except on behalf of her boys, and while I don’t particularly like her as a character, I do like how she has been written, because it’s been truly interesting, and confronting, and totally not what I was expecting. Like Sam and Dean, I had a picture of Mary…well, through Sam and Dean I had a picture of Mary, but who we came to believe she was, is not who she was at all. I don’t think she ever gave up hunting, I don’t think she could ever really give up the life, no matter how much she thought she wanted to. She’s been back for about 7 months now, if we are counting how long the season has been on, and really, I don’t think she can say that she’s struggling with where she belongs anymore. I think she’s made that choice. I think she believes that she’s doing what she’s doing for her sons, but I think if she took a really long hard look at herself, I think she’d see that may not be an absolute truth. I think she enjoys hunting, and I think it’s gone past having something to focus on other than her feelings of isolation, to actually liking the work. I’m not sure why she’s avoided her sons so completely. I’m not sure if they’re just too hard, or if she’s scared of what they want from her, or whether she can live up to their expectations or what. I think it’s probably as confusing to her as it is to them. I don’t doubt that she loves them, she always has, but she’s definitely not a hugger, and she’s definitely nowhere near as demonstrative as either of her sons are, who both wear their hearts on their sleeves, even if in very different ways. I’ve enjoy the complexity of all of this, of everything Mary’s brought with her, even at the same time as not enjoying it, because it hurts those two guys I love.
I don’t feel emotionally connected to Mary. I can see she’s kickass and I like that, but I don’t feel anything much for her…except as I said, on behalf of her sons. I want them to be happy, I don’t want them to be heartbroken, so any feelings I have for Mary are seen through a filter of Sam and Dean.
I pity anyone who feels that their mind is being taken from them, through whatever means, and I did feel some sympathy for Mary as she was pleading with Ketch. Being brainwashed into killing friends must be an absolute nightmare. I was shocked she tried to kill herself, that felt very different to the Mary we had seen, I guess that was the point, her Marryness was being stripped away. I couldn’t decide if she was faking at the end or if she’s truly under the thumb of the BMoL now, I just couldn’t read that one….I guess next week will tell. Whatever happens, the looks on her sons’ faces were totally devastating. I’m so sad for them, for what they gained and have inevitably lost through that gain. Their ideal of their mum is gone forever, and I’m not sure who she is, fills that void they’ve always felt.
How on earth Mary’s story is going to round out, if indeed it does, is beyond me. There were a lot of Dean tears in the appa-teaser released by the show…and that already hurts my heart. I will say, that Sam Smith has done exceptional work this season, whether you like the character of Mary or not, Sam Smith has certainly turned in one hell of a performance.
I will not lie, I didn’t quite get the reverse polarity thing going on with Lucifer and Crowley, but I am super glad that got wrapped up! I was a little done with them evil monologuing at each other! I like Lucifer best when he’s scary…not campy/snarky. He gets a bit too cheesy for my liking. (Unpopular opinion time, I really still dig Rick Springfield’s Lucifer!) I love that we keep seeing Lucifer’s wings! They are not tattered, because he didn't fall when Metatron locked down Heaven. It made me wonder if any other angels were on earth at the time, because they’d have intact wings too!
Why am I not shocked that Crowley has a deal with Hess and the BMoL? Of course he does! Lord...there is a lot that the boys are going to be seriously pissed with him about when all this stuff comes out!
I don’t think for one-second that Crowley is dead. No demon flashes. It’s the same situation as when Cas stabbed him when Cas was all rabid Cas, but instead of Crowley’s essence whizzing down a drain, I’m pretty sure Crowley zipped into that conveniently located rat, that then happened to follow the Crowley meatsuit out of the room! I wonder if we’ll see him back this week, or if we won’t see him again until season 13 - I can’t remember when Mark S shot up to? Was he shooting in that final week?
Like I said, I enjoyed this episode, as punishing as it was at times. A hell of a lot happened and even though it was chocker block, I found it moved really well and kept me right on the edge from those opening scenes to the very end.
So the boys are now locked in the bunker with Lady Bevell, with whom I assume they will have to work in order to get out. It won’t be the first time they’ve had to put everything aside to work with their enemy. Unless they just lock her up somewhere while they try to figure it out between them. I’d like that! They should do that!
And now we facedown the season finale, and whatever the hell that’s going to mean. Everyone keeps telling us it’s basically going to kill us…though don’t they always say that? Doesn’t stop me being terrified! I'm worried and excited. Worcited!
The writers headed back to work today to start preparing season 13! Can you believe? This thing never stops! Supernatural is the gift that just keeps giving!
Thanks guys for reading, for always reading, and for always being here with me to celebrating this fuckin’ awesome show.
Love you all.