Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Review - Supernatural 13x03 "Patience" - by sweetondean

Ugh. Dean Winchester is killing me. Actually Sam is killing me too. Basically Sam and Dean Winchester are destroying me emotionally this season, and we’re only 3 episodes in!

I’m just going to get right into the Winchester goodness/badness/painfulness/angstynesstothepowerofamillion stuff because that's how I roll!.

I’m not going to judge Dean Winchester, I’m not. You won’t find me doing that, and not because he’s my main man, but because I am not going to judge him and his mourning. He’s a raw, open wound and I get it so completely. Yes, he’s apportioning blame where it doesn’t belong, but right now he can’t see or feel anything but his own loss and his own pain, and it’s ringing in his ears and drowning everything out as it drags him into the depths of fury and despair, and I get it. It’s grief, and it’s fresh grief, this is VERY fresh grief, and grief is a fucked up mistress that blindsides you in the worst possible way. It is a force of nature that leaves you in shock, and you can’t always control how you're going to react to things. Grief is a son of a bitch.

For Dean, from the moment everything around him imploded, he has had to look into Jack’s eyes. Jack, whose birth, whose existence Dean equates with his world upending. Every. Single. Day. That’s a lot to try and squash down, even for Dean Winchester. Dean’s had so much loss, harbours so much guilt over every death he feels he was in some way responsible for (which is most of them, and this episode added another one). Jack is a constant reminder of all of that, and of the moment everything went so bad…when that feeling that Sam and Dean had it all, family, their mum, a crew of people on their side, was in a matter of moments, ripped out from under them both, ripped out from under Dean. Is it rational for him to feel like this? Well, it’s completely understandable. Grief is a weird and hideously personal journey, and when you’re mired in it, it can be virtually impossible to see logic. 

In many ways Dean’s being asked to care more about this person he’s known for 3 whole days, who is his axis of torment and a completely unknown entity, than care about the people who have been his family for years, if not his whole life, to put aside his own hurt to focus his energy and empathy on Jack, and Dean can’t, and right now that’s okay, because to be honest, to ask that of him at this time, literally a few days after losing his mum, Cas, Crowley, is unfair. Dean’s feelings are coming in second in this situation, and that’s not a judgement on Sam, Sam is conscious of his brother’s misery, we’ve seen that, but Sam’s focus is also affected by his own feelings and his unique perspective on Jack’s situation. Basically, both brothers are being driven by very deep, very old, very familiar pain… 

Dean is an angry man at the best of times, a passionate man, he loves hard, he fights hard, he protects hard, and he feels deeply. We’re seeing Dean at maximum pain overload, he’s at boiling point, and it hurts like hell to watch, in every respect, because he doesn’t deserve this level of pain and he doesn’t deserve to be asked to put that on the back burner to focus on something he didn’t sign up for, just like Jack doesn’t deserve to be the brunt of Dean’s anguish. This feels like a very honest depiction of overwhelming grief. Right now Dean is barely going through the motions of living, and I’m not sure he’d even be bothered doing that if he didn’t still have Sam standing in front of him.

Sam sees everything that he went through with his own brush with evil, in Jack. Sam is definitely diverting his grief into the task at hand, and he’s most definitely projecting, but that’s not a bad thing, because he understands, and he’s Jack’s anchor right now. I loved all of the scenes between Jack and Sam, they were simply amazing. I loved that Sam was reading a book about gifted children! He’s so tender with Jack. Sam’s eternal hope and optimism is something that I’ve always loved and admired about Sam even when it’s led him down the wrong path - like with Ruby, the demon blood, and thinking it was God speaking to him when it was really Satan. Sam’s heart is forever in the right place. In the case of Jack, this has become a very personal crusade, not just because there is a chance that Jack could open the portal and if Mary is alive, the brothers could rescue her, not because training Jack to use his powers for good could save the world, but because Sam looks at Jack and sees himself reflected back at him. He understands that feeling of isolation, of what it’s like to fear what you may become…and if Sam could be saved, why not Jack?

Sam sees a kid who without support, without the love and the belief of someone, could most definitely go darkside, regardless of how badly he doesn’t want to. He sees his own struggle against his own powers, his own dark destiny. He knows that it was Dean’s belief in him, Dean’s resolute refusal to follow their father’s wishes to end Sam that was part of what kept Sam grounded, and empowered him to pull himself back from the clutches of the thing that was forced into his blood. What’s also interesting is that Jack’s like Sam in another way too - he thinks he’s let down all the people who believed in him, his mom, Cas…he thinks he’s a screw up, a disappointment. Sam has been plagued by similar feelings of inadequacy, some coming from within him as a response to the mistakes he made, and some coming from his brother - as he explained to Dean at the end of season 8. I think Sam has put most of those feelings to rest, and Dean’s support beyond that moment in the church has helped him to have the belief in himself that has seen him become both a leader, and in this case, standing up for what he feels is right, even when his brother doesn’t agree. Sam has never felt less like a little brother as when he was going toe to toe with Dean at the end of this episode. (Didn’t hurt that the camera angle had Dean having to look up! Heh.) 

The argument between the brothers at the end of the ep was so damn gut-wrenching to watch. We really saw Dean’s anguish unleashed, he’d been pretty muted up until that point, but he finally let it all out with ferocity, and Sam got to hear what’s going on inside him in no uncertain terms. I actually adored every single second of this fight. I freakin’ love that Sam’s demon blood past is coming up again, I love that he’s talking about it to Jack, and I love that he’s talking about it with Dean, and acknowledging Dean for saving him. I feel like, even though most of what the brothers have gone through together has been released as water under their proverbial bridge, there are still aspects of those early conflicts around Sam’s powers that have never been thoroughly dealt with. It feels like a conversation that’s been a long time coming and I hope we explore it more. The fact that Dean used the word freak when talking about Jack made everything in me churn, I’m pretty sure you could see that word physically hit Sam like a blow. And Dean’s pure blindness when it comes to Sam is demonstrated yet again when he says Sam deserved to be saved but Jack does not. I kinda adore that blindness to be honest. Forever Sam.

I loved every heartbreaking moment of this argument. Neither side holds less merit than the other in my opinion, because they are both coming from history, both personal and familiar, and they are both coming from the heart. Here lies the brothers’ conundrum, it’s all so personal to both of them. Dean is being influenced by past experience and his own grief, Sam is being influenced by past experience and his own history and there the twain is currently not meeting - though we know it will. The acting in this scene was out of this world. The strength Jared imbued Sam with, and the torment that flowed through Jensen into Dean. I think Jensen took Dean’s pain to a level we’ve never seen. Crazy good. Oh and small point, I adored that Dean argued the whole time with his bag on his shoulder, something in that felt so real.

 Meanwhile, Jack was listening to it all, like a kid listening to his parents fight!

Jack’s not just screwed up because of Dean, “I've only been on Earth for a few days and I've already hurt people. I've already done bad things.” Sure, Dean’s vocal lack of belief in the kid is not helping, but hey, the kid grew up in mere minutes, found out his mum and then the person he called father were both dead, discovered his actual father is considered the most evil creature to ever exist, was overwhelmed by powers he didn’t understand and couldn’t control, got thrown into the weirdest new family ever with a couple of angry giants, and he’s only a few days old….pretty sure all of that is screwing up Jack too! 

Jack’s powers seem to be totally connected to his emotions, and that’s scaring him, and he’s suppressing them - probably subconsciously. The two bursts of power we saw when we first met Jack burst forth from fear, then when he was opening up the gate to hell for fake Donatello, he was doing something he thought was good for a friend…which brings me to Cas. Oh. My. God. Jack reached out his mind to Cas when he heard how stricken Dean is by the loss of Castiel, and that he thinks Jack manipulated Cas to his death. Maybe Jack thinks this is the one thing that he can put right. If this is the thing that is causing Dean to hate him so, is causing this conflict between the brothers, is causing all this distress to everyone all around him, if he fixes it…. But not only that, if he can show that his powers can be used for good, that he can do something with good intentions, will that stop Dean hating him so? Because you can tell how much he wants Dean to like him, you could see it in the Scooby Doo moment, you can hear it in his voice when he speaks to Sam. Or does Jack just wish for Cas because that would be someone who isn’t all yelly, and angry, and doesn’t want to use him for anything.

When Jack says,“Castiel” once again he’s super emotional (by that point we all were) - and his eyes flash yellow and his powers flare up…and he wakes up Cas! Which was a total surprise to me because I didn’t think Misha was back until episode 4, and his credit was held until the end of the episode because the show is SNEAKY! And awesome, sneaky and awesome. Cas in The Empty. This will be interesting!

Patience was not just the first of the episodes to set up the Wayward Sisters spin off, it was an episode about family history and legacy, and how this can affect not only our own paths, but how others may choose to see us, judge us, or even try to protect us from that legacy, and we saw that not only play out for Patience herself, but also for Jack, and of course, Sam and Dean.

RIP Missouri Mosley. Well, is she really gone, or will she be able to talk to her grand-daughter from the grave - like we pretty much saw, I hope so, either way, it was sad to bring Missouri back and have her die, but she did go out kick-ass and protecting her family…like all good hunters (called Winchester) would, so in the scheme of things, it was a good death. She could see what was going to happen, no escaping her destiny laying out before her, and so she sent Dean off to take care of the ones she loved, with a “Yes Ma’am” and the knowledge that Dean was as sure as hell going to save that family, (because he wasn’t able to save his own - says Dean's brain.)

We first met Missouri in episode 9 of season 1, Home. This is when we discovered that Missouri was the psychic who introduced the grieving John Winchester to what’s really out there in the dark, propelling him into the life of hunting. 

There was some nice symmetry in the (brief) reintroduction of Missouri, with the moment when she hugged Dean and said she was sorry for his losses, just like she did when she first hugged Sam all those years ago. I always really appreciate these nods back to the past of our show, it’s one of the luxuries of having a show in its 13th season - the history that you can mine.

We discover that Patience doesn’t understand that she has powers, and that she’s estranged from her grandmother because of her father’s own anger and fear. There’s a lovely moment when Dean questions that James pushed his mother away. Dean obviously incredulous and instantly angry at that injustice, both for Missouri and Patience, but also in relation to Dean, because he just lost his mum for the second time…and Jody places a gentle hand on Dean’s arm to stabilise him. Such a small moment - but one that expressed who Jody is to the Winchester brothers, and how well she knows them.

I love Jody so much. Every time she’s in an episode, Kim Rhodes just lights up the screen. I absolutely adore her character, and I love the friendship that has developed between Jody, and Sam and Dean. It’s a friendship based on caring, and equality. I don’t think Dean doubted she could handle the case on her own, I just think he wanted out of the bunker and to bury himself in the work. You can see that Dean has all the belief in Jody - they looked like complete equals leaning back on the Impala like that.

Patience’s vision of everyone getting killed was sooooo disturbing. I am never going to get used to seeing Dean Winchester getting stabbed, and I never want to see that happen to Jody! Feel pretty safe in that one now! I loved the final conversation with Patience - Dean understandably telling her to forget her gift, the life, and try to live normal, with all that’s he’s been through since he was four, let alone the last days, obviously he’s going to say if you have a chance at normal, take it. He craved normal so bad for such a long time. But Jody advises Patience to be who she is and who she wants to be - make that choice, don’t let someone else make that choice for you. Wise words from Jody (also a very Kim thing to say). An excellent set up for the spinoff, with Patience onboard I guess she’s going with the powers, and a nice parallel to what’s happening to Jack too, with his mother telling him his destiny is his choice. I look forward to the next time we see Patience and Clark Backo in episode 10!

There has been so much emotional punch in the first episodes of season 13, and Patience was no different. It’s been such a powerful start to the season - I can’t remember the last time the brothers have talked so openly. Even though they’re arguing, it’s not about something either one has done to the other, but instead, it’s about what they’re facing together, and that makes a really lovely change. The man pain definitely tastes less bitter! So on to next week - where I hope there may be the occasional lighter moment! Show? Don’t break us too early!

Until then, as always, thanks so much for reading!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's Thoughts on Patience


Old Habits Die Hard

The scene between Sam and Dean at the end of Patience reminded me a lot of Southern Comfort. Dean had taken out his deep rooted anger on his brother and said some pretty hurtful things to Sam.  We learnt  a week later, when watching A Little Slice of Kevin, that Dean  had projected his own issues onto his brother when he accused him of leaving him in purgatory for a girl. The truth of the matter was, as we learnt in A Little Slice of Kevin, was that Dean's issues were with Cas. Dean took all of that guilt and anger he felt towards himself and towards Cas and laid it at his brother's feet.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's Thoughts on 13x02 The Rising Son

I'd just like to note, since this is a site that is very sensitive about Dean Winchester, that the following diatribe is in no way a slam on Dean's character.  Like I've said, when I write my articles I usually will touch on something that hits me the hardest, that I notice most and expand on it.  As I watched this episode, one line from a very funny movie kept ringing in my ears.......It comes from Mr. Mom, as Jack, the newly out of work and now stay at home dad is dropping the kids off at school.  Let's just say that Jack has no idea of the correct procedure, as he goes in through the out....and in the immortal words of Ann Jillian comes one of the most famous lines in movie history....."Jack, you're doing it wrong".  And with that all these thoughts came flooding into my head.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Review - Supernatural 13x02 "The Rising Son" - by sweetondean

I’ve got to say, I’ve really loved the start of season 13. I love the pace, and though this episode had several storylines going, we were still taking the time to understand where Sam and Dean are, with their grief, with each other, and with Jack. We didn’t just zip straight back to the bunker, we took a twelve hour road trip, complete with layover in dodgy motel because Dean refused not to drive and was starting to see things through sleep deprivation - remembering these guys haven’t taken a break since they set off from the bunker a couple of days ago to try and find Cas. Pile everything they’ve been through on top of that, and you’ve got a couple of strung out Winchesters. The Rising Son was great.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

sweetondean's Light on Spoilers, Heavy on Squee Preview of Supernatural 13x02 "The Rising Son"

Welcome to the second preview of season 13!

Yes, we got through the first episode of season 13...we probably cried...but we MADE IT! Unlike Cas, Crowley and Rowena. Too soon?

Monday, 16 October 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's Thoughts on 13x01 "Lost and Found"


First off I'd like to start out by saying...Welcome back everyone. I hope you all had a safe and fun Hellatus.   If you are reading this, I'd secondly like to thank you for that as well. I very much appreciate that Amy has allowed me the honour of sharing my thoughts with all of you, even if sometimes we all don't necessarily agree on them.  I very much appreciate the time you take out of your day to read them, whether for sheer enjoyment and interest or simply for the opportunity to comment and share your thoughts, either they be positive or negative.  I am just honoured that you made the effort. 😀  As you may or may not  know, I don't review the eps.  I will rave about it and I will gush with the love and admiration of our characters and the awesome work by both Jared and Jensen, but I leave the actual reviewing to Amy.  She's brilliant at reviewing and she doesn't need any assistance at all in that department.   What I tend to do is share my wandering thoughts with all of you when I find a certain aspect or aspects of the show compelling.  Of course one thing leads to another and before you know it I'm off on tangents as my thoughts simply wander and wonder in all sorts of directions.   I can only hope that some of these thoughts might be something that is as interesting to you as well and thoughts that you might have opinions on that you too would be willing to share.

All that being said, I hope you find the first of my ramblings regarding this season to be at the very most......interesting.😜 

An Interesting Observation in an Interestingly Observational Kind of Way

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Review: Supernatural Season 13 Premiere - 13x01 Lost and Found


So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know, yeah!

My goodness…13 seasons in and my anticipation for this show’s return continues to increase season on season! I was super pumped for Supernatural’s epic season 13 premiere, on what for me was Friday the 13th! I had to wait way too damn long to watch Lost and Found though…having to work of course (stupid work getting in the way of fangirl stuff), but then also having to go out at night! So I didn’t end up watching the first episode of the new season until about 1am in the morning! It didn’t matter that I was exhausted, there was no way in the world I was going to sleep without watching my boys…they had been on my mind for hours (oh who am I kidding, they are always on my mind!) So I got some cookies - nothing like a long past midnight snack - and settled in….

The Road So Far was a really interesting precursor to what we were about to see and feel. It one hundred percent focused on the people Sam and Dean had lost, and I loved that. There were all the hugs, hands helping each other up, everything that represented the family Sam and Dean had clawed back into their lives - yes, even Crowley - all of whom have now been torn away from them, yet again. It wasn’t so much a montage of what happened last season, as a montage pointing to the brothers’ new painful reality. Of what they fought for, and have lost. Of course they have each other, and when push shoves, that’s what is the most important thing and what always gets them through no matter what, which the amazing Metallica song we had accompanying The Road So Far perfectly captured… “Forever trusting who we are, and nothing else matters”, but that doesn’t mean this series of losses isn't absolutely cataclysmic...

Sunday, 8 October 2017


Honestly, I meant to write up the season 12 finale straight after it happened, I truly did, but then I got busy, and then it got further and further behind me, and then I started my EPIC HELLATUS REWATCH, and then I thought… ”well hell, let’s write it up just before season 13…like my very own ROAD SO FAR!” Heh. So here I am!

For the first time in a quite a while, this hiatus I did a full series rewatch. I used to do a full rewatch every hiatus, but then the show kept going and going and going and there were more and more episodes and it got more and more daunting! I’d watch full seasons, favourite eps, lots and lots of Supernatural, but the full season rewatch, I probably hadn’t done since METATRON KILLED DEAN AND I WAS CATATONIC FOR 3 MONTHS! I still can’t write this without excessive use of caps.

As always, it was super interesting going back and watching the Supernatural story unfold, being privy to all that would happen to the Winchesters further down the track. But what really interested me was how some of the seasons that had always been my go-to seasons, when watching them this time around as part of today’s big picture, now made me feel REALLY BIG FEELS! 

I had always said that seasons 4 and 5 were my favourite seasons. I loved the story that rolled out, the standalone episodes and the mytharc, and the brothers' epic fight against Lucifer and the apocalypse. But what I found interesting as I tackled my epic rewatch, was how traumatic I now found these seasons to be! Yes, sure, they were always traumatic, I knew they were chockerblock full of pain, yes they always hurt, these were the seasons where the fractures between the brothers really started, and some of the worst conflicts between the boys and some of the most feely moments live in seasons 4 and 5…but, oh my gosh…MY HEART! I was actually shocked at how devastating I found these two seasons, and how hard I found them to watch! I had been watching a few episodes each night, but half way through season 5, I took a little hiatus of my own… FROM THE PAIN!