Saturday, 27 February 2016

SUPERNATURAL THINK TANK - Thinky Thoughts and Theories on Supernatural 11x15 "Beyond the Mat"

-by Anna

Beyond the Mat certainly was just that.  It was way deeper an episode than I thought it would be and it certainly got my convoluted brain stirring. LOL. Did anyone else find this episode a bit metaphorical?  Wrestlers, Demons, wrestling one's  nobody?  just me? I kind of felt that anvil hit me right on the noggin, which probably could account for all my nonsensical thoughts to follow.  I actually thought there was a lesson in here, or maybe not a lesson, more of a revelation and I think Dean actually realised it.  I know it was probably meant just for laughs, but I saw Dean in the wrestling ring as more than just a mere whimsical moment.  I actually saw that as metaphorical for Dean fighting his own demon, his fear of Amara.  I actually imagined in my head that he was wrestling her.  For a moment in that ring, I witnessed a confident Dean, the champion,  who's been missing for quite some time now.

The story itself might not have seemed relevant to the myth arc, but I believe it was quite relevant.  If one were to compare Gunnar to Dean, one might see some parallels with significant differences.  Gunnar sold his soul because he wanted to be the best, he did it for the glory. He said he was desperate but in the end it was an act committed for himself alone.   Dean sold his soul as well, he too was desperate, but unlike Gunnar, Dean's act wasn't entirely selfish,  he did it out of love.  Gunnar killed innocents for a demon to delay his damnation,  where Dean used his time to save innocents.  Both have admitted to not liking what they see when they look in the mirror. Gunnar faced his ultimate meet and greet with the hellhounds with regret and the knowledge that he had this coming, that he was not a good man, whereas Dean's last moments were moments of love.  I thought Dean's encounter with Gunnar to be very significant, and ultimately I think it gave Dean the necessary confidence boost he really needed that we all witnessed at the end of the episode.

I think it did Dean good to see his "idol" as  the truly flawed individual he was.  I think Dean seeing similar mistakes he's made by one he's always admired, has helped Dean to recognise that self punishment for these mistakes isn't beneficial for anyone. Dean, Sam and Cas have all made bad decisions, but what's important to remember is that they are all good men. Every decision has always been motivated by goodness.  To dwell on these bad decisions and to punish themselves for them doesn't do any good.  I think this is the lesson Dean learnt from Gunnar. This realisation is the boost in confidence that Dean needed, for his defeatist attitude could very well have gotten the best of him. Dean isn't dwelling on what he can't do, he's focusing on what he will do and he's not going to stop, he's going to keep on grinding and that's how the boys will win.  Sam needed to hear this from Dean as much as Dean needed to say it.  I fear for Amara and Luci now, because the Winchesters are back in it and they're ready to rumble. 

Let's talk Hand of God and my off the wall theory on that shall we? 

From Wiki: There are numerous references to the hand, or arm, of God in the Hebrew Bible, some clearly metaphorical in the way that remains current in modern English, but others capable of a literal interpretation.[7] They are usually distinguished from references to a placement at the right hand of God. There are three occasions in the gospels when the voice of God is heard, and the hand often represents this in visual art.[8] Gertrud Schiller distinguishes three functions of the hand in Christian art: as symbol of either God's presence or the voice of God, or signifying God's acceptance of a sacrifice.[9]

So by definition, the Hand of God is symbolic of God's presence or his voice.  Now there is no SPN canon for the HOG as it's just been introduced, so it's not written in stone that a Hand of God is necessarily a weapon.  According to Wiki, it's something that symbolises God's presence.  So that brings me to the Samulet.  The amulet, as noted by Cas, glows in God's presence, therefore is it not safe to assume that this amulet, by definition is a Hand of God?  It is after all a symbol of his presence. Can this amulet possibly come into play in the fight against Amara? 

I've brought this up elsewhere and it was argued that if it were a HOG then either Sam when he wore it during the time Dean was in hell, or Dean himself would've exploded.  Is that necessarily so?  Are all Hands of God the same?  What if the amulet needs an incantation to work?.Do all Hands of God have the same magnitude of power?  The Ark blew up two ships but the Staff of Aaron merely killed one demon and simply knocked Luci to the ground. Is it not possible that every Hand of God is different and that some might not necessarily be a weapon at all, but merely be symbolic of God's voice/presence, like possibly the amulet?

I can't imagine that Sam left the amulet in the trash when Dean threw it away.  I still think he has it somewhere and I still think it's going to come into play in the fight against the Darkness.  If Sam has it then why wouldn't Luci know about it, he was in Sam after all?  Is it not possible that Luci wouldn't know every single Hand of God out there?  I mean if God is omnipotent, he would foresee that Luci would betray him, don't you think it likely that God would have a couple of aces up his sleeve, like the Winchesters and the amulet they possess?

Let's say for argument sake that Sam didn't take the amulet out of the trash, there is still one player on the board who would know about the amulet and know where it was when Dean threw it away.  Our beloved prophet Chuck, after all he wrote the Winchester Gospels.   If Sam doesn't have the amulet, then isn't it likely that Chuck could have it. I think  I'd like to take a look at Chuck's pivotal moments.

Chuck is there in The End why?  To relay the message that we need to store toilet paper because it's gold?  I don't think so.  I've always thought Chuck's presence in the End had more to do with guiding Dean.

Chuck is in Swan Song, signifying that he might be more than a mere prophet, letting us know that the boys passed the ultimate test and that their story wasn't in fact over.

Then we have Chuck in Fan Fiction.  Marie specifically tells Dean that he should never have thrown the amulet away.  At the time I thought that comment was simply Marie voicing aloud what the fandom has always felt, but looking back now...could it have meant more?  Chuck simply shows up to let Marie know that her version of the Winchester story is "not bad"?  I don't know, Chuck shows up and we get the mention of the amulet.....didn't seem like anything then, but now....I'm not so sure.
Spoiler Alert: Looks like we'll be getting a visit again from......

I don't know if a Hand of God will actually be something the boys will use to defeat Amara or if it's like the Colt and basically a red herring of sorts.  I do strongly believe that the amulet could very well make it's reappearance again, and I really believe that it can have a part to play in dealing with Amara. 

As for Crowely and Casifer, well I'm not sure who's going to win in the battle of the doublecross, perhaps it'll be the Winchesters. LOL

That's about it on my thinky thoughts for the week.

Looks like we're in for an exciting end of the season happy hellatus all.....

see you in a few weeks.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Light on Spoilers, Heavy on OH MY GOD ANOTHER HIATUS Preview of Supernatural 11x15 "Beyond the Mat"

- by sweetondean

Yes. There is another hiatus coming. 
After this episode. For 4 weeks.

But then, we're off to the silver lining. SILVER LINING, PEOPLE *she says grasping at straws*

But in the meantime, we're off to the wrestling! Yep, wrestling.

The Cas is out of the bag!

Date night!
(And I mean that is a total non-shippy way I swear!)

So the boys have a night out together and this makes me unbelievably happy. Could season 11 Winchesters get any more awesome. Seriously, I'm expecting to have the rug pulled out from under them and from under me at any moment! But until then, I'm going to enjoy the brothers having fun together! Because it's glorious!

Let's look at the synopsis!

“Beyond the Mat” 

WWE CHAMPION MIKE “THE MIZ” MIZANIN GUEST STARS – Dean (Jensen Ackles) sees an obituary notice for a wrestler he and Sam (Jared Padalecki) used to watch when they were kids. Deciding they need a break from tracking the Darkness, the brothers decide to attend the funeral to pay their respects. The funeral is full of wrestlers, including Shawn Harley (guest star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin), a hot shot new wrestler with a fiery temper who pushes everyone’s buttons, and veteran wrestler Gunner Lawless (guest star Aleks Paunovic). Sam and Dean attend the next match to re-live one of their fondest childhood memories but when another wrestler turns up dead, play time quickly turns to work. Jerry Wanek directed the episode written by John Bring & Andrew Dabb (#1115). 

Jerry Wanek is back behind the camera - after creating all our beautiful sets. This will be Jerry's 3rd episode as a director. This will be Andrew's 3rd episode this Andrew Dabb's episodes! John Bring is a writers assistance on the Supernatural. He also created the Penguins vs Possums comic - which I kickstarted and it's super cool! This is John's first writing credit on the show. He pitched the story and wrote the episode with Andrew!

Here's a little interview with John....CLICKETY CLICK

The Miz, is a Wrestler with the WWE. True confession: I like the wrestling. I used to work in Pay-Per-View...and though I looked after promoting the movies, we also had the sport arm of Pay-Per-View in our group - including the WWE. So I saw a lot of Pay-Per-View events and even went to a few live shows when they were touring Aussie, and met a few of the wrestlers through work. So...yeah! There you go!

Here's The Miz...

Time to check out the promo!





Hey there Casifer and Crowley not in the synopsis but in the promo! Crowley dressed sharp again. THANK GOODNESS THAT UNCOMFORTABLE DOG STUFF IS DONE WITH! Come on Crowley! Kick Lucifer's butt!


Now for sneak peek number 1!!


This is adorbs. Though fanboying at a funeral probably constitutes bad fanboy behaviour! I'm guessing Dean is the one with the fond memories of wrestling! Sam seems less enamoured and more amused by Dean! He's being Judgey McJudgerson again!!

And oh heys there Clif!

And here is another sneak peek - equally as adorable!

Seriously...Dean is me at a the Js panels! on the inside...though sometimes on the outside...


And here's a clip via the WWE that features The Miz (and a little bit of Dean)! Click here! Might get a different audience for this episode - maybe some WWE fans might discover HOW DAMN AWESOME OUR SHOW IS!

So maybe we'll go into this hiatus on happy Winchester feels... WHO AM I KIDDING! There's bound to be something to make us sweat for 4 weeks. I KNOW YOU SUPERNATURAL! I KNOW YOUR CRUEL NATURE!

Geesh, Supernatural! Look what you've done to me! I'm preempting my feels before I even have them!

Have fun with the wrestling episode, guys!

Read sweetondean's thoughts on last week's episode here
You can follow sweetondean on Twitter @AmyinSydney
For advice on attending conventions check out sweetondean's spncontips tumblr

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Review - Supernatural 11x14 "The Vessel"

-by sweetondean

It’s broken record time…. What even is season 11 and its escalating excellence? We all know this show rocks, week in and week out. And we all know our crew rocks, week in and week out. But then there are episodes like “The Vessel”. Set onboard a damn submarine in WWII for heaven’s sake. It’s unbe-freakin-lievable what this show can create and achieve. This episode looked like a mini movie, even more so than usual. It was positively cinematic – the gorgeous lighting, the astonishing sub set, the sharp editing, and the directing by John Badham. I still get blown away every time John Badham directs our show! That will never not be damn cool!

“The Vessel” was a tense episode, one of the reasons for that being; both areas of action were in enclosed spaces. Dean was trapped on a doomed submarine, the Necromancer Nazis depth charging from above; Sam was trapped in the Bunker with Lucifer…even if he didn’t know it at first, we sure as hell did and it was stressful and creepy and claustrophobic! My blood pressure was off the charts throughout this episode! And at one stage I was kneeling upright on my bed screaming at my TV…to the point where my dog started to fret and jumped on me to calm me the hell down. But there was no calm to be had. No calm at all!

“The Vessel” was also a profoundly sad episode. I cried at the end…yes Dean makes me cry whenever he cries sure, but it was also the thought of the crew of the submarine, whose destiny was set, and though they knew their fate, they stuck with their mission gallantly, while Dean could only watch on. I was also struck by the thought of all those souls that were lost like this, bombed to the bottom of the ocean, young lives snuffed out by stupid war. The whole thing was deeply moving. And Dean’s desire to save everyone and then his resulting sadness when he realised there was never anything he could have done…he was just a witness to history. It was horribly tragic. What a thing to carry…another thing. The lives that these brothers have to traverse, is staggering. I’d have folded into a ball in the corner of the room long ago.

But I have jumped waayyyyy ahead! Which is totally like me! :P

Once again we started this week with the Winchesters in another domestic scene in the Bunker…albeit a cranky, caffeine deprived one! The creation of the Bunker was genius. It allows the brothers to have this base and gives us some remarkably different, and remarkably ordinary interactions between them – like the search for coffee sitting alongside the search for how to kill the sister of God! The banter between Sam and Dean this season gives me bubbles of joy! That comfort that has settled over their relationship and consequently, their interactions.  It speaks to how relaxed these two are with each other now, that Dean finishes off – or attempts to finish off - Sam’s coffee dregs!

I feel like the search for a weapon to fight Amara is going to turn out to be folly…because I’m pretty sure Sam and Dean are going to discover that between them, they have whatever they need to destroy her…at least I hope so! I don’t think Lucifer is going to have what it takes, or be needed, or be in the final fight…it’s going to be the boys. I’m hoping somehow, something will change in Amara’s whack-a-do connection to Dean that will take her by surprise. It would be good to see Dean be the one to destroy her or send her back to her prison (which I think might be in the Empty)…breaking the last tie to the Mark of Cain and finally putting all that nastiness behind him. But until (if) that happens, the search for how to defeat the Darkness goes on, and leads Sam to the Hand of God, a weapon that was lost during WWII.

I love the time travel episodes, they can be a bit head screwing…like I found myself thinking…what if Dean died on the sub? Would he then be stuck in a loop from birth, to all the things we’ve witnessed, to dying on the sub again and again… time travel stuff can really do a number on you! They’re always super fun episodes though, and without fail, become favourites of mine.

Of course to get back in time (sing it with my Huey), the boys need some angel mojo…which of course means Cas…EXCEPT IT DOESN’T!

Man…Casifer creeps me the hell out. The way he watched, smirking at the boys as they heatedly discussed Dean’s decision to be the one to take on the mission. It was just plain creepy. Seeing Cas smirk = creepy.

Dean’s fervent assertion that he should be the one to get backed up for a week for the cause, was his way of feeling useful in a situation where he feels he’s utterly useless. Dean always likes to feel in control, like he can take on all the brother’s supernatural problems. He’s that guy; he sees himself as that guy, and to not be that guy messes with his self-image. So much of how he identifies himself is based around his ability to hunt. He may have inner conflicts about his worth and what the ability to kill and enjoy it says about him, but he never doubts his ability to be able to do the job and do it well. But now, he doesn’t believe he can act out against Amara, he feels impotent in the face of what might be the Winchester’s toughest fight, (which is a bit defeatist of him really…seeing as he did break through her trance twice), so in his eyes, this mission is a way he can contribute. This is how he can still do what he does best. I’m sure somewhere mixed in all of that was his protection of Sam thingy…which I’m sure is why Sam initially arced up over the idea! But hearing Dean’s reasons, Sam reluctantly agrees. Dean is right, if anything happened to him in the past, they’d need Sam in the future to finish the battle – because right now, Sam seems to be their best bet.

Imagine if all three of them went on to the sub though! They would’ve been helluva conspicuous! Imagine Sam on a sub! This actually made me Google if there were height restrictions on WWII subs…it seems you could be up to 6’4…so Sammy is borderline! Casifer ended up not being able to get onto the sub because of the warding created by Delphine. This was a good thing (though not a good thing for Sam’s soul), because I’m not so sure had Lucifer got on that sub…he wouldn’t have just zapped himself out of there to parts unknown with the Hand of God weapon, leaving Dean die on the doomed submarine, and Sam back in the Bunker never knowing what happened! Ugh! The thought of that is not worthy thoughting about! So I’m bloody glad for that warding! It also gave us a drippy Cas shot…which was hilarious and weirdly adorable! Snarky Lucifer nearly giving himself away because he can’t hide the fact he’s a total arsehole! Bit by bit, his facade was slipping.

The Men of Letters is the gift that just keeps giving. This season, we’ve met the wonderful Eileen who it turned out to be a Legacy like the brothers, and now we meet the kickass Delphine, a Femme de Lettres during a period where the Men of Letters were still active…and you know…alive!

There was never a single moment that I did not believe in the action set onboard the submarine. The guest cast was incredibly wonderful. Particular Weronika Rosati, who played the determined Delphine, and Grant Harvey who played Petey. I particularly liked Petey. His sad acceptance of what Dean told him was gut wrenching. He broke my heart. Grant did an amazing job with his character. I felt like he could have easily been Sam or Dean. He could have been a hunter, or he could have been the brothers were they alive during WWII…because you know both would have signed up in a heartbeat. The way Petey asked when the war was going to end, because he was worried about the people he loved…knowing his own fate was out of his hands… Ugh. It was all so tragic. For me, his character had such power. He was the representation of all that was happening to that crew, and to so many young men who faced their own demise in a similar way. Man, this episode was totally heartbreaking when it wasn’t freaking me out with stress!

The action away from the sub was equally as compelling. I was mighty uncomfortable during the scenes in Hell. Mark Sheppard played cowering Crowley beautifully…though I was never entirely sure that he wasn’t partly putting on an act – as Lucifer called him out on. We saw Crowley put on a similar performance in front of Cain, all the time scheming to ensure that situation went his way. There is no doubt in my mind Crowley’s plotting his return to power. But the way he cringed when Lucifer patted him on the head…ewwww…that was disturbing! The whole scene made my skin crawl! Misha allows just enough pure evil to seep through Lucifer’s Devil may care mask to make him feel truly terrifying, but never as much as when he’s with Sam.

Every so often, the Cas mask slipped. You could see that Lucifer was totally over the charade, and was finding it damn hard to care about keeping it up! But though you could see Sam starting to look questioningly at Cas…as his responses became less and less like the angel friend Sam knows, the desperate need to find a way to get Dean back to the present, over shadowed everything else. That was until Lucifer finally cottoned on that really, he didn’t need Sam anymore…

Oh my gosh, the soulonoscopy scene freaked me the hell out! This is when I started screaming at my TV. Sam’s shear terror when he realised he was trapped with Lucifer. Jared is so damn good at portraying the fear that you can see grips every part of Sam. You can feel Sam’s fear. It makes my blood run cold every time I witness it. He seems so small in those moments. Kudos to Jared, and how he played that scene. And to Misha too, because here we had Casifer vacillating between Lucifer and fake Cas, to show how easy it was for him to fool the brothers. It kind of gave me whiplash! Weirdly I find Misha’s Lucifer the most terrifying we’ve seen…and I think that’s because it’s Cas saying those words and it feels so wrong!

And then we had the question that fandom has pondered every since Cas said yes to becoming the Devil’s new vessel. Cas is indeed inside there as well. The horror!

The moment Cas was able to take control to save Sam gave me pause to hope that maybe Cas will be able to overcome Lucifer and cast him out of his vessel. But will he want to? In that moment, his reasoning for not throwing Lucifer out on his butt was that Lucifer was the only way to save Dean from the past. Cas can no longer time travel…broken wings means no teleporting full stop! But does Cas still believe that his move to yes was the right one? That this is the best way for him to help in the battle against Amara? Noooo Cas it’s not! Seriously, out of all the missteps Cas has made in his desire to be of service to the world, this is the absolute worst!

And of course as soon as Dean is back in the Bunker, he finds out that Cas is not Cas. The look on his face when Sam tells him what’s actually happening and he realises this is not the friend he trusts. Sadness! It was fabulous quick thinking on Sam’s behalf to do the send the angels to the outfield sigil and zap Lucifer’s ass to parts unknown, leaving the brothers once again with no lead on how to fix the Amara problem…and the final scene on the broken down jetty.

I need to give a shout out to Jensen Ackles yet again, for his bloody brilliant acting. The deep to the core sadness that permeated out of Dean in the final moments of this episode was astonishing. Ackles can fucking act, man. He’s so damn good. And Dean’s absolute inability to believe in that moment, that Cas would ever be complicit with the Devil, just added to the confusion and bone weary grief that sat like a shroud over Dean. It was another wonderful scene with another wonderfully emotionally open conversation between the brothers, and a metaphoric hand on the shoulder as Sam walked away. A comfort and also a reminder that Sam has Dean back. Such a powerful moment, enhanced by the music of Edith Piaf. This show is at the absolute top of its game. A++++++++++++ to every one involved.

The presence of God has been an ongoing theme in season 11. Whether it’s through Dean’s continued fury for what he sees as God’s desertion of His duties to man, to the Big Guy’s sister being a pain in everyone’s butt, to visions that Lucifer professes were all actually from him to trap Sam - who we all know has faith in God, to Dean witnessing His power flowing through Delphine as she used the Hand of God to save Dean and blow that German battleship out of the water. With God being so present in season 11, you can’t help but think that this is going to have relevance in the battle to come. It would be a nice way to close off the God is a deadbeat, out of the picture, dad storyline, to have Him empower the brothers in someway. Imagine the Winchesters going into season 12 with all that God stuff behind them…talk about clearing the slate! The brothers both have a different relationship with God. Dean’s anger towards Him certainly plays into Amara’s plans. I’ve talked about this in the past. It’s something that I’m sure enhances their bond and makes Dean even more attractive and susceptible to The Darkness…that anger, that hurt, that lack of faith, which has been referenced over and over. But as Dean cradled the one shot weapon that was once part of the Ark of the Covenant (Raiders reference for the WIN), I did wonder if the battle will end up coming down to acceptance of God and faith. God’s just anecdotally been such a big part of the story this season, I can’t see how He can’t be part of the big picture moving forward, or how Dean’s continual dismissal of Him isn’t going to have impact on the fight at hand. Maybe it’s as simple as Dean finding faith and belief in himself? It’ll be a big play on behalf of the show if we go the God road…but I feel like that’s the way we’re heading...also for reasons of…….. Well if you know, you getting what I’m layin’ down?

“The Vessel” was a tour-de-force, to keep up the French theme! I’m so glad Bob Beren’s pitched his wonderful idea and story to The Carver. I’m so glad John Badham was slated to direct this one, which gave The Carver the confidence to say yes to such a big undertaking. It was the show pushing it’s own boundaries yet again, with what it can achieve…in season 11. First we had “Baby”, all shot within the car…then we had “The Vessel”, where the action took place on a 100ft submarine set, purpose built for one episode. Yep. This is our show *heart explodes with love*.

Next week will be the final ep, before the mid-second-part-of-the-season mini-hiatus. After that, it’s hang on to everything you’ve got as we hurtle towards the finale. I have ZERO idea of where we’re going or what’s going to happen when we get there! But I’m sure as hell looking forward to the ride!


Saturday, 20 February 2016

SUPERNATURAL THINK TANK - Thinky Thoughts and Theories on Supernatural 11x14 "The Vessel"

-by Anna
- b

After watching the episode Baby, I'd posted my thoughts in which I had noted my belief that the vision Sam received from Not John was from either an emissary of God (like Chuck if he's not God himself) or Gabriel.  I still hold true to that belief after watching The Vessel. Lucifer has made it his mission to have everyone believe that he is the only one who can stop Amara.  He told Sam that all his visions were from him, to lead Sam to the only chance humanity has against the Darkness. He's even managed to convince Cas.  Yet, the vision in Baby specifically told Sam that the only ones who can stop the Darkness were them....Sam and Dean.  So if Lucifer truly sent Sam the visions, why would Lucifer warn Sam that it isn't in fact he who is there only hope, but that they themselves are the only hope.  It's because Luci never sent the vision in Baby.  Someone else did though.  So I decided to Wiki  the Hand of God and I copied it's definition:

The Hand of God, or Manus Dei in Latin, also known as Dextera domini/dei, the "right hand of God", is a motif in Jewish and Christian art, especially of theLate Antique and Early Medieval periods, when depiction of Jehovah or God the Father as a full human figure was considered unacceptable. The hand, sometimes including a portion of an arm, or ending about the wrist, is used to indicate the intervention in or approval of affairs on Earth by God, and sometimes as a subject in itself. It is an artistic metaphor that is generally not intended to indicate that a hand was physically present or seen at any subject depicted. The Hand is seen appearing from above in a fairly restricted number of narrative contexts, often in a blessing gesture (in Christian examples), but sometimes performing an action. In later Christian works it tends to be replaced by a fully realized figure of God the Father, whose depiction had become acceptable in Western Christianity, although not in Eastern Orthodox or Jewish art.[1] Though the hand of God has traditionally been understood as a symbol for God's intervention or approval of human affairs, it is also possible that the hand of God reflects the anthropomorphic conceptions of the deity which may have persisted in late antiquity.[2]
There are numerous references to the hand, or arm, of God in the Hebrew Bible, some clearly metaphorical in the way that remains current in modern English, but others capable of a literal interpretation.[7] They are usually distinguished from references to a placement at the right hand of God.  There are three occasions in the gospels when the voice of God is heard, and the hand often represents this in visual art.[8] Gertrud Schiller distinguishes three functions of the hand in Christian art: as symbol of either God's presence or the voice of God, or signifying God's acceptance of a sacrifice.[9]

I had started to wonder if the Hand of God might not necessarily be an object, and perhaps it was more metaphorical, which is why I looked up the Hand of God in the first place.   I recalled back in s5 the angels all searching for the Michael Sword and it had been assumed it was an object.  In reality, Dean was the Michael Sword.  So I began to think about Sam discovering the Hand of God and wondered if it wasn't that Dean was meant to find an object, but more that he was meant to witness the power and thus the presence of God.  I watched again to see if there is validity to my thoughts. I kind of think there is, but you all can decide if I'm on the right track or off my nut.  When Sam first learnt of the wreckage, the Hand of God was simply sunken treasure destroyed when the sub was downed by the Germans.  Dean arrives on board, tells Delphine, a WOL, who he is and why he's there.  She believes Dean and thus history changes.  The ship still goes down of course, but not in the way it went down originally.  The ship went down this time due to a sacrifice.  Delphine used the Hand of God and it was God's power in the object that took the ship down.  Dean was there to witness this act.  I'm not referring to the act of sacrifice though.  I think  Dean was meant to witness God's power. His presence. His existence. 

Amara's attraction to Dean might be in part due to the fact that he bore the mark, but let us remember why Dean was considered worthy of the Mark by Cain.  Dean has a darkness within.  He's not only noted it himself, but unfortunately Dean believes that's who he is, someone you don't want at your dinner table.  He liked when he tortured in hell, he liked and found peace in Purgatory.  Dean as a demon went on and on telling Sam he liked the Disease, he didn't want to be cured.  Cas himself noted that the burden of guilt Dean feels for having these dark feelings disappeared when Dean was a demon, it was easier.  I think  some of Dean's darkness can be attributed to not only the horrors in his life, and what was taken from him, but by the one he considers responsible.  God.  Dean has always been shown to have angry feelings when it comes to God.  He certainly doesn't believe God cares. It's my opinion that his anger towards God, attributes to that darkness within and this is the very darkness which Amara is attracted to. Amara's got a bee in her bonnet regarding God and Dean does as well.  I think it could be part of the reason she feels as though he and her will be one, because they share the same feelings regarding God.   If Dean is going to be able to break the hold Amara claims to have on him, then he's going to have to let the light in his heart. I think Dean was on that ship to be a witness to God's actual presence.  I think it's very possible that Dean's trip to the past was necessary to save the future.

I don't believe that Lucifer is the answer to the Amara problem.  I believe the only ones who can stop Amara are Sam and Dean.  Now whether Lucifer is intentionally lying to everyone so he could obtain his freedom, or if he's that egomaniacal that he's convinced himself that he's the only one who can stop Amara, I think it's pretty clear he's wrong.  Lucifer collected all the weapons in his crypts and still they are no match for Amara.  He seems to have forgotten, though Sam reminded him, that it took Lucifer and four archangels to stop Amara and God himself.  It was sad to see once again Dean's reaction to Cas not trusting in team free will and choosing to trust the Devil himself as he once chose to trust working with the King of Hell.  Did Cas forget what happened as a result?  Does Cas honestly believe putting humanity in the hands of the Devil is the answer?  I fear that once again Cas had made a serious error in judgement.  I only hope he comes to realise this before it's too late.

I really enjoyed this episode.  I'm glad the "cat's out" and there are no more secrets.  I really enjoyed the entire MOL aspect and kind of wonder if perhaps a Golem might come in handy....It's good to know that the boys know of one. The acting was great, the guests were wonderful and the whole episode felt like I was watching a movie.  I think it's incredible how 11 seasons in, this show is more exciting now then when it began.  I've always loved the relationship between these boys, but I'm loving more the relationship that exists between these two men. 

Well, that's it for this week.    So looking forward to next, til then.....


Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Light on Spoilers, Heavy on SQUEEEEEEE DEAN IN A SAILOR SUIT, Preview of Supernatural 11x14 "The Vessel"

- by sweetondean

Here we are back for episode 14 of the season, which means there's only 9 left. 9! How fast is this season going?! FAST, THAT'S HOW FAST!

Anyhoooo where were we?





Gotta tell ya, I am totally wigged out by the Lucifer being in the bunker with Sam thing...TOTALLY WIGGED OUT. I mean... ewwwww! It's not just nightmarishly scary, it's just plan creepy. I DO NOT LIKE IT. No siree, I do not!

Okay...what does the synopsis tell us?

“The Vessel” 

LUCIFER (AS CASTIEL) SENDS DEAN BACK IN TIME – Hoping to find a weapon powerful enough to defeat Amara (guest star Emily Swallow), Dean (Jensen Ackles) convinces “Castiel,” (Misha Collins) who is still Lucifer, to send him back in time to the last reported sighting of the Hand of God. Lucifer sees the potential in getting his hands on this weapon so goes along as Castiel and sends Dean to 1944 to the fated submarine mission that sunk the Hand of God. Meanwhile, continuing his charade with Sam (Jared Padalecki) while they wait for Dean’s return, Lucifer plans his next move. John Badham directed the episode written by Robert Berens (#1114). 

GREAT TEAM! John Badham is just a legend and Bobo Berens' episodes are always great. This is John's first episode for season 11 and Bob's 2nd - he wrote 11x06 "Our Little World".

This synopsis actually made me laugh... I thoughT, imagine reading this if you knew nothing about the show! Just the line, "Castiel who is still Lucifer", is hilarious...IF IT WASN'T SO AWFUL...AND BY AWFUL I MEAN KIND OF EPIC...BUT REALLY AWFUL!

And I'm thinking the title The Vessel is two fold, being the sub and Cas. I wonder if the Casifer secret comes out in this episode? I hope it does, because the boys not knowing... CREEPS ME OUT! I need them to know...NOW.

You know what? I'm rather excited about seeing Dean in his sailor you're totally surprised that I'm excited about that...right?

No but seriously folks... let us just take a moment... *plays girl from ipanema as thinking music and by thinking I mean objectifying*

Okay...enough objectifying (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA AS IF IT'S EVER ENOUGH!)


Let's look at the promo!

I'm worried for Sam being alone with the Devil. I'm super worried...this worries me. I HAS WORRY! LOOK AND WORRY!

What is happening! 


And now we know what's happened to Crowley. I don't think all is forgiven, at all. I'd say poor Crowley, but he really deserves it...if you think about it. He's probably more concerned over the outfit than anything else! I wonder if he ends up escaping?

Okie's the sneak peek (FINALLY!)

Well, who got up on of the wrong side of bed? Huh, Dean Winchester? Looks like the elder Winchester accidentally grabbed his cranky pants instead of his jeans! Sleepy, caffeine needing Dean is so cranky! (As I'm writing this at 6am because the stupid sneak peek was so late, I'm in touch with his emotion!) And he burning the midnight oil, scarfing down all the coffee? Because now he knows that Dean is worried about his ability to top Amara, he's desperately looking for something that can help them fight God's pissy sister! 

How I love these little domestic scenes...even when they're filled with caffeine withdrawal snarkiness!

ANDDDDDD ARK OF THE COVENANT PICTURE FOR THE WIN! I squeed a little when we lingered on that page. They could go and break in to that government warehouse where the Ark and other stuffs are stashed! WINCHESTERS MEET INDIANA JONES...I don't think I could cope!

So it's time to travel back in time, again! I always dig the time travel episodes...even when they screw with my brain a bit! And Dean joins the Navy and becomes a Submariner in a cute sailor cap....YES! Dean always gets the cutest back in time outfits! Casifer hangs out with Sam in the Bunker....NOOOOOOOOO! I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT AT ALL. Crowley's chained up wearing clothes that make him look like a tourist on holiday in Majorca....Heh...AWWW...Heee.

It's all so exciting and scary!

YAY! I think I love this episode already! Have fun everyone!



Read sweetondean's thoughts on last week's episode here
You can follow sweetondean on Twitter @AmyinSydney
For advice on attending conventions check out sweetondean's spncontips tumblr

Sunday, 14 February 2016

SUPERNATURAL THINK TANK - Thinky Thoughts and Theories on Supernatural 11x13 "Lover Hurts"

- by Anna

I'll start by saying I liked this episode. That's two episodes already involving Valentine's Day and not once has the show ever had the boys acknowledge the other's birthday, what's up with that? Anyhoo, as I was saying, I love when a seemingly run of the mill monster of the week episode can stir up those thinky thoughts and when all is said and done you realise that the episode was so much more than what we saw on the surface.  It's one of the reasons why this show is so damn awesome and successful.  I don't know of any other show that causes one to go into such deep analytical reflection as this show does.  It's really a question for the ages, what is it that makes us all delve deeper?  If anyone has the answer to that one, please clue me in. 

Although this seemed like nothing more than the average monster of the week, it was so much more. I'm going to share with you all the thoughts that ran through my head after watching twice now.

This is the second episode in a row now that I've felt the presence of a fallen character.  Last week it was Bobby and this week.....Mary Winchester.  If one were to think Mary to be missing from Supernatural, I'd say the contrary, that she is ever present in Sam Winchester. I've always felt her presence in Sam, don't get me wrong, but I really felt it in this one.  As I watched Dean finally come clean to Sam, I was in awe once again of Sam's unending patience, faith and unconditional love for his brother, which really is only equivocal to a mother's love for her child. I don't have to go on and on regarding this scene.  It was the best part of the episode.  It was just really a simple reminder to Dean and us that Dean didn't bear the only "parental" role. Sam has always been a "mother" to Dean as much as Dean has been a "father" to him.  The two of them together make up the entire Winchester Family, Mom, Dad, Sam and Dean, so really even though not physically present, Mom and Dad have always been  "there".   I was reminded of that after watching Sam listen to Dean.  Sam wasn't at all surprised at what Dean had to say.  He knew.  I had read comments from people regarding how Sam didn't hear Crowley when he made the comment about Amara being Dean's girlfriend.    Sam had listened.  Sam just waited.  He knew his brother needed time and he didn't push.  Sam also said everything Dean needed to hear.  There was no blame.  There was no shame.  There was nothing but complete understanding that Dean is not weak.  He's not complacent.  He has no choice, that he is dealing with God's freaking sister.  What chance did he have? Sam voiced everything we've all been saying.  As with Sam's confessional, this was Dean's.  He's shared both his guilt and his shame and Sam responded in a way to relieve him of his burden, not unlike what Dean did for Sam not two weeks earlier. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

Did anyone else feel the winds of change in this episode beside me?  I must say that when this episode ended, I felt a tinge of hope for the Winchesters.

There are reasons for my thinking this, so I'll just lay it on you. 

Sam was angry with Dean for kissing Melissa.  I understood why that was.  While on the surface it seemed like a heroic move, if we look deeper, as Sam did in that moment, we see once again that Dean's martyrdom didn't really solve the dilemma, it just created a new one.  That's always been a problem, Dean not considering the consequences of his actions.  The jumping in first asking questions later.  It's how he got in this pickle in the first place, taking on the mark without any consideration at all.  I think what Sam is basically saying here is that acting without thinking isn't always a good or heroic action, even if one might think it is at the time. Sam had heard that there could be consequences for saving Dean, but he was never told what they were.  In Sam's mind Dean was more the problem so he rationalised that any consequences that might result by saving Dean was worth the risk.  I think Sam's reaction to Dean taking the curse makes sense, given he's experienced first hand, serious consequences.  Once again we are seeing the new and improved mature relationship these boys have now.  Sam was angry because there might have been another way for Dean to have helped without sacrificing anyone.  I felt like this could be foreshadowing and this got me to feel "oh so hopeful". 

Sam will be taking the wheel now when it comes to Amara, but what I felt to be so significant is how it all plays out.  Dean has always had faith in Sam, but I felt like this time,  Dean's faith was so blatant that it made me do this :D :D. Dean willingly relinquished control to Sam as opposed to Sam taking control as he did when he took over the trials.  HOLY HELL if that's not character growth then what is? Not only do I have total faith in Sam, but Dean does as well. We've seen it more and more since the beginning of this season. I believe Sam to be more than capable of taking the reins. Sam is analytical, he thinks things through and he's most definitely learnt from past mistakes.  He's ready to die and he's ready to watch the people he loves die, but that doesn't mean it has to come to that.  Sam is forewarned now.  He can better prepare.  He can use this knowledge to their advantage and find a way to stop the D possibly without having to sacrifice either one of them.  Sam, after all, has been Mr. Plan B of late, so that alone gives me hope.

Lastly we have what will go down to be the most famous of the ROCK PAPER SCISSORS battle between Sam and Dean. I found the entire scene to be metaphorical for Dean's growth/change. For the last ten years, well more actually, Dean has always lost to Sam in this little battle.  Dean always doing the same thing, over and over and in doing so, always losing.  This time Dean changed.  He took a different approach and he didn't lose, he in fact finally won.  I really believe that RPS is symbolic of Dean's character growth. 

I really think that the boys can handle what's to come.  Sam might have to handle Amara, but let's not think for a moment that Dean has no significant role to play here.  Lucifer is out there as well. The boys most definitely have a full plate, but like I said, there's a change in the air folks.  I have much hope that the Winchesters will once again be successful, in a way that doesn't end up necessarily through sacrifice.

Until next week.


Read Anna's thinky thoughts from last week here
Read sweetondean's review of "Love Hurts" here

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Review - Supernatural 11x13 "Love Hurts" - Ripping out our hearts with broments!

-by sweetondean

Oh my gosh I loved this episode. “Love Hurts” totally didn’t, in fact it made me giddy with my love for this show and our two wayward sons!  I tweeted after the episode finished, “You know when you're all excited and bubbly and can't think straight because you love the show and Sam and Dean so much? That's me now.” And it’s still me now…4 viewings and counting.

I laughed, I gasped at the ridiculous beauty, RIDICULOUS BEAUTY, I ewwww, I yelled and screamed at the TV a lot towards the end there, and I clutched a pillow to my chest while hearts bounced out of my eyes. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this episode. It was funny and gory and scary and most importantly, epically bro-y and I freakin’ loved it. Whateven is season 11? I mean seriously!

The brother moments – along with a super pacy and pithy script and cool story – pushed this from being your standard midseason monster of the week episode, to something that popped and zinged with witty one-liners and delightful scenes. The opening in the kitchen, the epic rock-paper-scissors duel, and the closing broment were some of the best and most organically genuine scenes between Sam and Dean that I’ve had the joy of witnessing on this show. Where the brothers are this season…especially right now…is an absolutely joy. I can’t get enough of them. I just can’t. It’s what I’ve always dreamed and hope for them, a relaxed and confident harmony. No doubting where one stands with the other. They stand side by side. Man…it’s a privilege and a delight to watch them…for a whole bunch of reasons!

The monster of the week story seemed to be homage to the contemporary and critically acclaimed horror movie, “It Follows’. The movie focuses on teens who find that when they have sex with someone, they get relentlessly followed by something that never stops, ever. And will kill them, bloody, if it catches up to them. The only way to shed yourself of this thing – which appears in familiar human form – is to sleep with someone else and pass the curse on. The movie is a metaphor for STDs and a warning for young people about unprotected sex. And it’s an amazing movie – if you haven’t seen it, you really should.

“Love Hurts’ had a similar plot, and the fact that our show seems to have based an episode on a contemporary horror movie is so cool. The show has paid homage or referenced many classic horror movies, but it’s cool to see something so new get the Supernatural treatment. The twist to our story is the curse was created by a witch to punish cheaters and their cheatees along with the partners who put up with it. Spreading the curse via a kiss and then ripping out hearts, tied wonderfully in to the Valentines theme. I actually googled whether a heart continues to beat when ripped from the chest, and it actually does for a few beats! It will beat noticeably for several beats before it visibly stops. However it will continue to fibrillate for 3 – 5 minutes – you just can’t see it! Who knew! The things you learn because of Supernatural.

As much as I enjoyed the monster of the week angle of this episode, it was the brothers’ interactions that elevated it to something special. Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo nailed every single beat. The brothers were pitch perfect.

It’s no secret I’ve been loving season 11 Sam and Dean. Well, actually, I love every season Sam and Dean, even when they’re at loggerheads, I still love them, because they still love each other, through everything, that’s something I’ve never, ever doubted. But to see them at a place where they seem so comfortable in their own skins, and in each other’s company is a damn delight. 

On last week’s Women of Letters podcast Jules used the word, “relaxed” and I think that’s a great term for how they now are around each other. They’re not bristling at every off the cuff comment. They’re not side-eyeing each other waiting for the other shoe to drop. They’re not hiding out in their rooms, through shame or guilt or anger. The bunker has become like a true home, an oasis from their world (except for Casifer lurking in the halls), where they sit and talk over coffee in their huge kitchen, where they share moments and heart to hearts, where they feel safe and secure in their trust in their brother, and where they sleep UNDER the covers. It’s been a hell of a journey and I feel so proud of them (and us) that they stuck it out together through all the rough patches. Though, was there ever any doubt? Because for them (and for us), their love is at the core of who they are as individuals and as brothers and it’s what makes them exceptional. Their bond was never going away, but to see them in their 30’s, settling into a life where they’re not doubting at every turn if this is what they should be doing, or looking off into the distance for a way out, or to the past pointing a finger of blame…it’s damn heart-warming. It warms my heart and how! Like Dean said, the past is the past, for the first time, possibly ever, they’re living in the moment and not looking over their shoulders at old mistakes and betrayals. And it’s made them all the more powerful. Stronger together was not a platitude, it was an absolute truth. They are stronger together, as brothers, as hunters, as humans.

When the Carver took over as showrunner, one of his mission statements was to have the brothers communicate on a more mature level. As grown men, instead of the boys who grew up in each other’s back pockets, with sibling axes to grind buried deep inside. We’d seen all that, we’d seen them angst over absolutely everything and torture each other emotionally. We’d seen them close up, open up, close up again, rinse and repeat. Every step forward they seemed to make together was followed by 2 steps back…which was then followed by the inevitable anger and pain – FOR ALL OF US! Don’t get me wrong, I loved every moment of every step along the way, but I didn’t realise how desperately I wanted them to get past all that crap that they let weigh them down for so many years, until they actually started to get past it!

Some things will never change. Dean will always try to carry the weight of everything alone. He’s been doing that pretty much since he was 4. It’s not about martyrdom; it’s about who he is and what has been ingrained into his every being since he was a child. He was the one that took on holding the family together, looking after his brother, and probably looking after his father in the wake of Mary’s loss. He was the son, the brother, the mother, the hunter, all while he was a small boy. Taking on a burden, is no longer something that he would even think about – it’s just his natural state of being. His shoulders have always born a lot, but no matter how wide they are (and they are fantastically, gloriously, wide), he can’t carry every load alone and he doesn’t ever need to. Because there is a set of shoulders just as strong and wide alongside him. But asking for help is something that doesn’t come naturally to Dean. I’m pretty sure that was also ingrained in him at an early age…plus who would he have asked? That’s why the final brother scene was such a marvel. Such an amazing step for Dean. Such a perfect reaction from Sam. Basically… it was everything.

The opening in the kitchen was beyond adorable. Hung-over, hickey wearing Dean shuffling in with one sock half off his foot, heading to the fridge for leftover’s, only to find bad Chinese food. Sam’s gentle teasing. Dean’s little hung-over stumble on the way to the coffeemaker. Jensen’s ability with physical comedy is perfect –  in this scene and the rock, paper scissors scene that came later.

Dean finally won. FINALLY. And I’m not sure who was more surprised, him or Sam. But to see Dean’s concentration at every move, then his total gobsmacked shock when he actually won, followed by a five year old’s glee and triumphant arms in the air was just the best. The look on Sam’s face when Dean didn’t go with scissors! It was one of the best scenes ever…up there with last week’s dinner scene. How does this show keep delivering these kind of moments! And Ackles gave us comedy elbows. They are now officially canon!

And then there was the scene at the end.

The plot around the Qareen taking the form of your deepest, darkest desires was of course, a machination to bring the Dean and Amara story into the foreground. Once Dean kissed Melissa, proving the boys’ theory that the curse was transferable, it was no surprise that Amara – or a form of Amara, was coming. We saw the shadow change in the window hinting at what was to follow.

Sam’s panicked reaction to Dean taking on the curse was beautifully played. Sam worrying that Dean was, once again, solely taking on a burden that he needn’t. Knowing now what we know of Sam’s awareness of Dean’s struggles with the Darkness, I think a lot of his reaction was coming from that. Dean was holding on to this terrible secret, that Sam, unbeknownst to Dean, was aware of…or at least suspected. This instantly looked like a typical Dean move... But Dean’s calm reassurance that he’d be fine and as long as he’s good, Melissa would be good, didn’t ring of martyrdom, rather it rang of the saving people part of the bumper sticker. There was nothing that suggested he took on the curse as carelessly as self punishment – like he did with the Mark of Cain – but rather as a snap reaction to save the victim, because better the bad thing comes after Dean than a civilian. And I think Sam realised that and so there was no more admonition, just back to the fight at hand. I liked that scene a lot. I liked Dean’s response. I liked Sam’s response to Dean. It was a precursor of what was to come – and the surprise of Sam not being surprised.

When Sam vanquished the Qareen and fake Amara vanished in a puff of smoke and burst of light, I figured that would be the end of that, Dean’s secret would remain under wraps. But nooooo. My goodness, I so did not see Dean’s honesty coming.

When Sam, having seen holes everywhere, gently prods Dean as to who came after him, I was waiting for Dean to say Daisy Duke or something sassy, but when he stood up slowly and told his brother it was Amara…well…

This was Dean opening himself up to the one person whose opinion he truly cares about. Dean is embarrassed and confused by, and disgusted in how he feels. He’s judging himself, wondering what this makes him, this connection to evil. Does it make him evil, complicit, weak? Standing in front of Sam and admitting what he can barely admit to himself was a hell of a leap forward for Dean Winchester, and shows just how much the brothers’ relationship has shifted. That Dean would risk Sam’s disdain, that he would risk hearing repeated back to him all the heinous things he’s been thinking about himself? Dean knew they were in trouble, because he was in trouble and Sam had to know. This was Dean at his most vulnerable, most trusting, and most grownup. I was so damn proud of him. So proud that he trusted his brother in that moment.

And then Sam freakin’ Winchester gives Dean exactly what he needs... non-judgemental support, and unconditional love.

I was surprised as hell to hear that Sam wasn’t at all surprised about the Dean and Amara thing…but I also wasn’t. No one knows Dean as well as Sam…not even Dean. Sam’s a keenly observant and empathetic guy. But not only that, Sam’s been there. He understands wanting something he knows is wrong, but not being able to resist. He understands the conflict between the feelings of desire and disgust. And this is part of why the brothers can understand and accept each other with less judgement now, because they have had these shared experiences, they’ve walked in each other’s shoes, and this has helped them see their brother’s past actions and their own, in a different light.

I love Sam so much for how he reacted to Dean’s admission, and for those four simple words he uttered when Dean told Sam he didn’t think he could kill the Darkness… Sitting up straight, with clear eyes focused on his brother…

“I got it, Dean”

So much was said with those four words. Sure, Sam understands, he gets it, he knows what Dean is trying to say as he apologises to his brother. But more importantly, Sam’s got Dean; he’s got his big brother. Dean can share this load, he’s not alone, he can hand it over, Sam will take this one for him. “I got it, Dean”. Goddamn, I just made myself cry. I ain’t lying. I’m sitting here crying, just thinking of the power of these words, how much it would have meant to Dean to hear them, and this truly beautiful moment between these two fabulous men.

And as Dean walks out… Sam squeezes his eyes close, and when they open, they're glistening with emotion. Emotion over his brother’s plight, and over what lies ahead for both of them. The strength Sam offered Dean in that moment was such a gift…for all of us. These two have come so far. I feel like this is one of the best brother conversations of the series…certainly one of the most honest, and definitely one of the most mature.

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are damn fine actors. The range that they demonstrated in this episode, from the high comedy moments, to the deeply moving moments, were note perfect every step of the way. Their ability to imbued Sam and Dean with such depth, to pierce our hearts week in week out, and fill us with such unbridled emotion is mind-blowing. After eleven seasons of loving the Winchesters, I find with each tragedy, with each struggle, with each win, with each loss, with each teasing retort, and with each episode, I love them more. 

Yep. I loved this episode… a lot.


You can follow sweetondean on Twitter @AmyinSydney
For advice on attending conventions check out sweetondean's spncontips tumblr