Monday, 22 May 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's Thoughts on 12x22 "Who We Are"



Winchesters
Family
Courage
Loyalty
Love
Brothers
Leaders
Heroes

I just wanted to start by saying that this is the most bromentic episode that we've had the pleasure of watching for I'd say quite some time. Now don't get me wrong, we've had our broments during this season and they've been good ones.  This episode, however, has been an emotional buffet of sheer goodness, just one brother moment after another and I was so emotionally satiated, that I believe this joy will last the entire duration of Hellatus, which has officially just begun.😬  My heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to Robert Berens for providing me with more smiles than a face has a right to display.😍 

Supernatural continued where we had left off last week.  Sam and Dean trapped in the bunker, with the air supply running out.  Just another day in the life of a Winchester. The entire scene of them trapped in the bunker was incredibly intense.  It was beautifully shot and despite the actual terror of the situation at hand, as I watched the boys together in the bunker, it felt cosy and comfortable.   I know, what the hell am I talking about? !🤔     I know the bunker doesn't seem all that homey,, with it's dungeon and shooting range and giant computer room and endless hallways,  but this is where Sam and Dean live and according to Ketch,  this is where they were meant to die.  I am likely among the very first to cheer and be relieved that this wasn't the case, and hopefully never will be, but despite the life threatening situation these boys were placed in,  I felt as though Sam and Dean brought a level of "home" to it.🏡  I guess it's because, the way I interpret it,  home isn't a "place" for the boys,  for Sam and Dean, they are each others home and this episode really made this aspect shine through, more than any other episode this season.  We were given such amazing displays of love between the boys  during this episode.  It was sheer bliss to be a witness to all of it.  Sam and Dean's indestructible brother bond, their inspirational love for each other and the indisputable  fact that despite everyone who's ever been a part of their lives, it's only always been each other that they could truly count on was first and foremost in this episode.     It really was a tribute to the fans who have invested their hearts and soul loving and caring about these boys, as they do each other.  Gobsmacked is a word I think best describes how I felt when this episode ended.  What a truly great feeling it was. 💞💥  Can I just reiterate how much  I love Smart Sam.  I was really impressed with his ability to remain level headed and take a logical approach to figure a way out of their life threatening predicament.   The spell they managed to find and jerry rig to suit their needs was brilliant and the fact that Ketch booby trapped the bunker in such a way that magic wouldn't work clearly insinuates that Ketch is totally aware of how clever the Winchesters truly are.  When that didn't work, I really loved how Dean  acknowledged the "brains" aspect of the plan, while at the same time deciding that it was time to bring in the brawn.  Just a perfect example of how well the boys complement each other.   Dean went all old school and just decided it was best to go with muscle.  Thank you Dean Winchester for giving us a reason for you and Sam to wear t-shirts.  Just because you're in a dire situation, doesn't mean you can't look good trying to get out of it. 💪😍   When that didn't work, we got our first special broment of the episode. 💜 Sam and Dean talking about how they imagined they would go out is very much a shout out to the conversations that Jared and Jensen have had  when asked this question at conventions.  I just adored how this conversation and their idea to go out in a blaze of glory led to Dean remembering his awesome toy🔫..No not that one.😝  that he had in the trunk of Baby.  On a side note,  although we didn't see much of her, she did play her part in helping her boys.  I'm not saying I'm surprised by the use of the grenade launcher, I had theorised that Dean would be using it to get out of the bunker, still, the knowing didn't make the entire scene any less fantastic.  Kudos to Mr. Berens for giving us a nice Die Hard moment. When Sam went searching for Dean, his air running out and the panic of not knowing where Dean was, I just wanted to reach out and hug him.   Then the lights begin to flicker and the air returns and that look on Sam's face when he saw his brother at the top of the stairs, utter those words of love that we were all so happy to hear ..."hey lunatic".  My heart just burst of joy.  There was literally bits of joy all over the carpet, quite the mess to clean up. What an awesome broment number two.  I was bombarded with brotherly love and it was only the first 15 minutes of the episode.   I would just like to add that as dire as the situation was and them being in deep💩 , I would like to note how much I appreciated the laugh when Dean wanted to kill Toni so they could conserve air.  Her telling Dean that she was a shallow breather just rang funny to me. I kind of had the feeling she was lying to save her ass when she told Dean she was the only one who can cure Mary, but it was a chance they had to take.  She got hers in the end though, karma can certainly be a bitch.

It was so great to see Jody alive and kicking ass and surviving yet another season of Supernatural.  I love her relationship with Sam and Dean.  Though she's not that much older than they are, she has always seen them and treated them as if they were her children, not unlike the way Bobby had.  Sam and Dean were the children Bobby always feared to have and for Jody, well they came at a time when she had just lost her child.  Sam saved her from having to kill her zombie son, after just witnessing him kill her husband.  There was a special bond that formed between them that day and it continues through the series.  Even Mary recognised the bond that Jody shares with her children. She recognised it all the way back in The Celebration of Asa Fox.  Kind of wonder if Mary might have been a teensy bit jealous at the bond the boys share with Jody, given that she seemed unable or unwilling to connect to her children on a more personal level. I was in awe of the courage and leadership that Sam demonstrated as he tried to rally his troops to fight by his side against the BMOL.  Sam Winchester is the only one I know who can get the very two hunters who killed him to not only fight by his side, but follow his lead.  I loved the honesty that came out of Sam as he took responsibility for believing in a cause that he thought was good and right, and fought with the group who wanted to rid the world of monsters.  He truly believed that the unity of American and British hunters would be a force to be reckoned with and the monsters would lose against them.  He admitted that he was enamoured of the idea that with all that technical advancement and the skills of American hunters that they could win the war on monsters and with that began to follow.  Now he stood up there, among his peers, recognising the mistake he  made.  He realised that the BMOL are just about killing and controlling people .  They believe the end justifies the means.  Sam acknowledged that American hunters are not like that.  American hunters don't just hunt to kill.  They're about doing the right thing, even when that thing is hard to do.  American hunters are about saving lives.  They're about what it truly means to be a hero.  It was truly an inspirational call to duty and I myself would've followed Sam Winchester anywhere at that moment.  Jared did an amazing job here.

Back in S4, in Sin City, Cassie had told Dean that she was willing to follow Sam, as he was supposed to be their leader, the boy king.  The Demon Priest had told Sam that he had seen him as more of a leader.  The plan was Sam would lead the army in the Apocalypse.  As much as he's always followed his brother's lead, he had always been viewed as a leader.  Over the years, most especially this season, we've even seen Dean follow Sam's lead. Though demons had always seen Sam as a leader of demons, in retrospect I think that Sam has always been being groomed to be a leader of hunters.  Sam certainly is capable and he has the ability to get people to listen to him, believe in him and follow him.  I was bursting at the seams as I watched Dean with such pride on his face, as he listened to his brother speak.  There was no doubt in Dean's mind that Sam wouldn't succeed at this mission.  His faith in him was so blatant.  Dean didn't even hesitate when he told Sam that he had this and he would stay behind to save their Mom.  He was absolute in his belief that Sam would destroy the BMOL.   With that we get another memorable moment in which Dean reminds Sam that he's got this and that Sam make sure he comes back.  Sam's I promise followed by their version of I love you....Bitch/Jerk provided awesome broment number three.  Oh my heart. 💖.

The Winchesters just don't fight by each other, they've always fought for each other, so it stands to reason that Dean would fight to save his mother.  At last a practical use for Lady Toni.  She had hers coming no doubt, but it was nice that her last official act was helping the Winchesters.  Oh the sweet irony there.   Jensen did such a wonderful job in this scene.  He was angry, guilt ridden, hurt, sad and forgiving all at the same time.  It was both a heartbreaking and heartwarming performance.  There were many people who had desired a conversation between Sam and Mary regarding what she had done to them all those years ago.  In all honesty though, I never really expected Sam to have such a conversation.  Sam has always been shown to be very forgiving.  I think Sam has accepted and forgiven his mother long ago.  He never really had any kind of relationship with her, so I think it was easier for him to let go of the anger.  In Sam's case it seemed more like he'd been trying to connect with his mom, trying to reach out.  I think he's been trying to keep the peace because he was trying to hold onto what little relationship they had.  She was never there.  She kept her distance.  So what little he did get to see of her, he wanted to make the best of it.
Dean is a bit of a different story.  Dean's had this ideal of what his mother was all his life.  He built a fantasy in his head, remembering her as a four year old.  Dean's whole life was based on revenge for her death.  So when Dean is reunited with Mary, and she's nothing at all like he remembered and shows no interest in spending time with her children, Dean's anger just builds and builds. Mary just continues to betray Dean(and Sam too) left and right, first by betraying his memory of her and then by choosing to work with the BMOL and then trying to kill him and Sam.  Dean knows she's been brainwashed,  hence the reason why he's going out of his way to save her, but it doesn't take away the pain she's caused.  Dean seeing Sam as a baby, his mom cutting off the crusts to his sandwich promising him that he'd always be safe, well that was just about the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.  For the first time ever, we really got insight to makes Dean Winchester tick. It was heartbreaking and cathartic all at once. He was finally able to just let it go, to display his anger at the right person.   As I listened to Dean tell his mother that he hated her, and heard him as he spoke of her broken promise, her deserting them, and her ultimately making him both a mother and a father, with the duty to keep Sam safe, a duty he believed he failed to do. As I listened to Dean speak on Sam's behalf, of all the pain that he had suffered because of her deal, my mind started to wander and I'd gone back a bit and Sacrifice came into my head.  I know, how did you get from this episode to an episode from four years ago?

I was thinking about the scene where Sam and Dean were discussing what Sam would say when he went into the confessional. Dean's laundry list of sins that he'd given Sam  were not sins against God, they were sins against him.....or at least so at the time it's what it seemed.  But some of them didn't make sense, like Sam being soulless, as that wasn't Sam's fault at all. I think it's safe to say that God had long past forgiven Sam for Ruby and letting Lucifer out,  after all Sam did spend a century in hell for that.  Sam of course took all those mistakes as failing his brother, which is why it was so important to him to finish the trials.  He couldn't bear to fail Dean again, and yet as Sam confessed this to Dean, the look on Dean's face was one of pain and disbelief, he couldn't understand how Sam could think such a thing.  He seemed to be genuinely shocked that Sam could believe that anyone or anything came before him and that Dean saw him as a disappointment.  Sure there are times when we all disappoint, but that doesn't mean we're considered a disappointment or a failure.    I always felt that the list Dean had given Sam had more to do with those being all the times that Sam had caused Dean pain, albeit unintentionally or under circumstances beyond his control or by simply breaking and running away when he believed Dean had died.  Those were also the times that Sam suffered the most and I always thought that Dean might have resented Sam for making him watch his brother suffer. Listening to Dean's speech to Mary though, I think I'd like to rescind that position. Hearing Dean tell Mary because of her it became his job to keep Sam safe, that it wasn't fair and he couldn't do it, I started to think about that list again.  It seems to me, that it's very possible that all of these were, in Dean's eyes, the moments he might have felt that he had failed Sam.  Those were the times in which Dean didn't or couldn't  keep Sam safe.  He died because of his deal and went to hell, so he wasn't there when Ruby preyed upon Sam.  By the time Cas got Dean out of hell, she'd already had Sam convinced that he was the one who can kill Lilith. Of course this led to Lucifer and thus Sam jumping in the pit, which Dean couldn't rescue Sam from.  Cas is the one who was responsible for Soulless Sam, yet Sam lost his soul because he was in hell.  Soulless Sam may very well have been a constant reminder that Dean couldn't get Sam out of hell. I even think Dean recognised eventually, though he never actually brought it up, that Sam not looking, him running away the way he did, was because Dean wasn't there.  Sam thought Dean died and with that Sam ran.  I think that Dean understood in Sacrifice why it was that Sam insisted on doing and completing the trials.  Sam nearly died from them, again Dean unable to protect Sam.     Now I wonder if all of that wasn't about Sam at all.  Dean's anger was based on his subconscious hatred and anger towards his mother.  His mother who made the deal in first place.  His mother who promised that she would keep them safe.  The mother who then left them, leaving Dean the responsibility to do her job, a job he believes in many ways he failed to do.  It's possible  that he deflected his anger that he had with his mom, onto Sam. I think that part of his self loathing comes from the fact that he believes that he had failed to do the job that his mother and father failed to do themselves.

I  keep going back to Amara telling Dean that she wanted to give him what he needed the way he had done for her.   Upon listening to Dean's speech to his mother, I think I finally understand what Amara's gift was.  It was Dean's freedom.  Freedom of the anger and resentment he's held onto for so long.  The freedom of this fantasy he created of his mother, this perfect person, who he had discovered wasn't perfect at all, as a matter of fact she was pretty far from it.  With her death, he wasn't free to express his hatred and anger for her.  Dean spent years of suppressing this anger, and I suppose redirecting it at the monsters he fought. Amara bringing back Mary, who was not the mother Dean or Sam imagined her to be, was finally able to purge all those repressed angry feelings.  He was able to tell her how he felt of her betrayal, to him and Sam.  He let her know all the torment Sam had gone through because of what she'd done and how much he hated her for it, and for not keeping his brother safe.  He freed himself of the anger and made room for love and forgiveness and understanding.   Maybe he can free himself of the guilt he carries for not being able to keep Sam safe.  He can accept that even though what they'd been through was awful at times, it made them who they are today.  It made them strong.  It made them love harder and stick together, forming an unbreakable bond.  It made them a force to be reckoned with.  It made them heroes.  What Mary had done so long ago was as it was supposed to be.  I think Dean is finally able to see and accept that now. So Amara did give Dean what he needed, much the way he had done for her.

Dean reached Mary through love and forgiveness.  She was thus able to confess her reasons for staying away.  Her guilt weighing heavy, knowing that everything Dean had said was the truth.  She couldn't face them and she wanted to make things right.  Her biggest fear was facing Sam, the one who endured so much pain and suffering because of the deal she had made.  She couldn't keep Sam safe that night when he was six months old, and she wasn't there to keep him safe thereafter.  How could she face him?  Truth of the matter is, Sam never felt anything but love for his Mom and never once blamed her for anything.  He, in fact, was the last person in this world that she had to be afraid of.  Cue in the last broment of the episode, which ended with an epic Winchester hug.  💝


So, did I mention how much I loved this episode yet? 💞 If I didn't......I LOVED EVERY SINGLE SECOND....😍  Jared and Jensen were fantastic, superb, brilliant, heartbreaking, kickass, beautiful, just absolutely perfect.  Both gave award worthy performances. 🎖I can't say enough good things about them, well I can but I've written way too much already.  David Haydn Jones, I will miss you.  Love him or hate him, or love to hate him, Arthur Ketch was anything but boring.  DHJ did a fantastic job bringing different nuances to a character that could have been a run of the mill psychopath.  He brought humour and a touch of class to Ketch.  David even managed to make one believe that it was possible for Ketch to have actual feelings.  I really enjoyed his character and will actually miss him.  Elizabeth Blackmore did a wonderful job with Lady Toni Bevell.  She was yet another character in which I loved to hate.  I really did enjoy her banter with Ketch and the Winchesters.  Although Lady T certainly had it coming, I actually felt bad that she never got that head start to see her son one more time. 🙁  Kim was awesome as usual. I really love her relationship with the boys.   Samantha did a fantastic job with Mary.  I  think I might have actually empathised with her and possibly even forgave her for her distance from her children.  I still would like to hear her apologise to Sam. Her scenes with Jensen and Jared were powerful.  I really enjoyed her scenes with DHJ as well.  It hasn't been too bad having Mary back. 😜
Robert Berens provided us with a bromentic filled, heartbreaking, heartwarming, kick ass episode.  It's definitely among the top ten eps of Supernatural for sure.  Thanks also Mr. Berens for the nod to a very much still missed Kim Manners.  He definitely would've been proud of this one. 

That's all for now.  Sorry it ran quite long.  Til next week when I ramble on about our awesome season finale.

Quotables

"I may be many things, but I’m not stupid."
-Mr. Ketch



Sam: Is this how you pictured it? The end?
Dean: Oh, you know it’s not. I always thought I’d go out Butch and Sundance style.
Sam: Blaze of glory.
Dean: Blaze of glory....son of a bitch


Sam: Wait a minute. So we’re gonna…
Dean: Straight “Shawshank” this bitch


"You're lunatics. Action movie loving, cheeseburger-eating, moronic American lunatics."
-Lady Toni to the boys


"Big, beautiful and dumb. I've had this thing for so long, been waiting for the perfect moment to use it."
-Dean to Toni about grenade launcher


"Ok beautiful...yippee kay yay mother ***"
-Dean to grenade launcher


“We know hunting isn’t just about killing, it’s about doing what’s right, even when it’s hard.
-Sam to American hunters


“We go in fast and hard and we fight. And we beat them down until they give up or until they’re dead. … We will win. We will take down the bad guys, because that’s what we do.”
-Sam to the American Hunters about the British Men of Letters


"They're scared of us. Yeah, good. They should be."
- Sam to the American Hunters about the BMOL


Basically .....Sam's entire speech to rally the American hunters is just one awesome amazing quote.
“I’ll take a jacked-up Dean Winchester over any 10 other Hunters any day.”
-Sam to Dean


"I saw you . You're ready for this. You show those sons of bitches who's boss."
-Dean to Sam


Dean: You got this. You come back.
Sam: Promise.
Dean: Bitch.
Sam: Jerk


"You lied to me. I was a kid. You promised to keep me safe then you made a deal with Azazel."
-Dean to Mary


“You left us alone cuz dad was just a shell. His perfect wife, gone. Our perfect mom, the perfect family, it was gone. I had to be more than just a brother, I had to be a father and a mother to keep him safe. That wasn’t fair and I couldn’t do it. And you want to know what that was like? They killed the girl that he loved, he got possessed by Lucifer, they tortured him in Hell and he lost his soul. His soul. All because of you."

-Dean to Mary


“I hate you. I hate you. And I love you. Cuz I can’t help it. You’re my mom.”
-Dean to Mary


“I understand cuz I have made deals to save the ones I love more than once. I forgive you. I forgive you for all of it, everything. On the other side of this, we can start over. You, me, Sam, we can get it right this time.”
-Dean to Mary


“What you did, the deal? Everything that’s happened since has made us who we are. And who we are? We kick ass. We save the world.”
-Dean to Mary


Mr. Ketch: “I knew you were a killer. You both are."
Dean: “You were right."

Thanks for reading.
-Anna



4 comments:

  1. You've put into words what I have felt about Mary for so long. They always put the blame for their cursed lives on the wrong people or person. Sam blamed their dad and Dean always blamed the demon or himself. Finally some clarity on that score. It was a fantastic episode. I'm still not sure what canon means and I don't want to know. I love the show even when it's not the best episode. Thanks for your optimistic and upbeat attitude. We need more yous.

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  2. thank you so much for reading...I know this one was very long...hope you had a nice cup of coffee and a cookie...LOL. I think it was hard for both boys to blame their mother...on the surface...but deep down I think both boys held resentment towards her. I remember back in s5, in Sam Interrupted, when Sam had told Dean he was angry and he didn't know why. I always thought it was suppressed anger he held for his mother. I think when Sam went to hell, when he came out he had let all of that go. Dean had never really been able to do that....i'm so glad that he finally got the chance and he could be free.

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  3. I LOVED this episode so much I had to rewatch it again and again. It was very powerful. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing. I'm really happy with where Dean and Sam are at in their relationship and who they are. It was great to hear Sam acknowledge his error in trusting BMOL and even greater to watch him take leadership and Dean standing aside but having his back and supporting him and believing in him and I actually yelled "YES!!!" when Sam said "Pass" to Dr. Hess when she told him that he needed her to fight against Lucifer. So many great moments and that Winchester Family Hug in the end! And I hold great fondness for the bunker with its wooden desks and lamps and shelves with books and other stuff)))

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  4. I'm glad you liked it...I know it was quite verbose, but there was so  much going on and so much goodness.  I too am glad that the boys have finally accepted and acknowledge who they are and find pride in it.  Although the boys will always have self doubts and such, I'm so glad that they can be free of all that self loathing and deep rooted resentments that they had held on to for so long.  Martin Luther King's words come to mind regarding Dean in this one  "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I'm free at last", although in this case...it's Amara he should be thanking.  Jensen said at the convention that he realized what Amara meant by giving him what he needed.  

    I will say this though, I know Sam noted that he'd made a mistake in trusting the BMOL, but I felt that was more along the lines of when he was talking to Dean and just readily followed instead of leading...I don't think his error was in joining the BMOL, because if he hadn't, they never would've known what they were up to and all their hunter friends and themselves as well would've ended up dead.....sometimes you have to bite the apple to find the worm.  To have ignored the BMOL and let them continue without ever being part of it....so many more would've died....

    I felt that this was a meant to be situation.   I did love that Sam finally accepted the role of leader and Dean's pride on his face as he listened to his brother.  I also loved that Dean could get through to his mom, he might not have had the photo, but the fantasy moment was just as powerful.  I'm going to miss Ketch....I really liked him, he made for a great villain, never boring, quite humorous and really dressed in style.  Sam saying pass to Hess reminded me of the time he said no to Luci in the cage....Sam is truly done being anyone's bitch...

    I don't think the BMOL story is necessarily over, there's still the "old men" and I'm kind of still holding onto the idea that Asmodeus could be one of them.  

    I do like the direction that show it taking.  I love that American hunters are willing to follow Sam Winchester...it could be necessary in the future.

    I love the bunker too, and I know that all the antagonists are dead, but I really do hope Sam can find some kind of spell to lock up the bunker...or at least change the locks ...

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