I’m not going to lie, “Nightmare Logic” gave me an ache in my tummy, but it gave me an ache in the best possible way! It was a great, big, emotional rollercoaster with ups and downs and a bit of screaming…at my telly! Okay, my laptop, because I was travelling again! The episode left thinking, OMGGGG WHAT THE HELL …WHAT JUST HAPPENED!? Like seriously. I might have even whimpered a little. I definitely yelled on Twitter! Despite the anxiety it left me with, I absolutely love it. It moved at a rate of knots, the Sam and Dean interactions were amazing, as were their interactions with the other players. These men. I’m so proud of the humans they’ve become. There was also so much conflicting emotion around Bobby and Mary, which is exactly how the boys must be feeling, and I like that I was feeling my feels through what I felt Sam and Dean must feel! Relating to the characters in such a way makes the emotional impact all the more, well, impactful! But more on that later!
From season to season Sam and Dean’s roles go back and forth, both in support of each other and in leadership. It’s always been that way, and it’s something I’ve always loved. In the last episode, “Mint Condition”, it was Sam trying to lead Dean out of a funk, finding a hunt he knew his brother would love and then offering his support and a gentle nudge to get Dean to look forward. In “Nightmare Logic” it was Dean who had Sam’s back, complimenting him on his ideas, like the bodycam for all the newbie AU Hunters, and being openly impressed with Sam’s leadership and management of them. Reassuring Sam, encouraging him, trying to get him to rest, and of course, defending him.
I’ve been loving Sam and Dean so damn much these last couple of episodes (well, all the time, but you know what I mean.) It’s like they’re in peak brother mode with their level of caring and openness, and it goes back to what I keep harping on about with the trust and comfort between them. It truly is what I’ve always hoped they would achieve, through all the horrible animosity that kept popping up, through bad ideas and perceived and literal betrayals. Who they are now with each other, the closeness of their relationship, and yet the independence they still show as individuals within that relationship is pretty much how my Winchester rose coloured glasses was seeing them way back when, except now I see that where they are at this moment, is a much more powerful place! The stronger together thing has set let resin in their blood and I just can’t see them being pulled apart again. Personally, I like that. I’ve always said we can have conflict and drama in their relationship without having deep anger and hurt. To be honest, it’s more interesting seeing them take each other into account and working to be present in their relationship. Their maturity emotionally (and physically quite frankly) has been a beautiful thing to bear witness to.
Sam has taken on the role of leader of the rag tag group of AU peeps who are now becoming hunters and is doing it with his usually commitment and massive heart. He cares so much, wants to protect all of them, and feels a deep responsibility to these people he helped to bring into this world. Why they want to be hunters I don’t know! I’d be so out of there looking at the pretty world or getting a nice quiet job in town where there weren’t angel bombs or spikey things coming out of the ground! I know they need all hands on deck for Michael, and Michael destroyed their world and they want him dead, but, um. I mean, I guess looking at the gloriousness that is Sam and Dean may make hunting seem glamorous in a male model kind of way, but, it would be a big NOPE from me! Sam though, has managed to rally these people and organise them, and in his Sammy way, killing himself trying to do it!
I twigged it was a Djinn as soon as Sam found Maggie connected to that rig, as did Dean when he saw the rig downstairs, it was similar to what he was hooked up to in, “What Is and What Should Never Be’, and getting that call back to a season 2 episode was amazing. That was an episode that looked at the price of hunting, the strength of family and the sacrifices made for both those things; themes that are consistent throughout the series and were at the heart of “Nightmare Logic”.
Dean’s conversation with Sasha about her father was particularly poignant, it was something Dean completely understood, along with her reticence to share, yet how much she needed to share, her feelings. To hear Dean saying that every day he tries to put the past behind him is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Of course, Michael and his atrocities are fresh in Dean’s mind, but Dean also has decades of hurt and pain and guilt riding on those broad shoulders. His choice to focus forward instead of back speaks a lot to who Dean is now, as does his ability to see himself as a good force in the world and in the lives of the people he loves, not just the killer he was believed himself to be.
I loved how Dean responded to Sasha, so open and straightforward, no pandering, just clear and heartfelt advice, and I love how he treated Sam throughout, not allowing Sam to blame himself, not allowing Sam to slide into defeat, bolstering him up, telling Sam he did this, he was the reason they got Maggie back safely, and he was the reason she wanted to hunt again, “She learned from the best”. Sam’s shy smile at his big brother’s compliment literally killed me. I’m writing this from my grave. So much growth in these guys! GUH!
Then we had Bobby’s attack on Sam. Boo. Here’s what I think about Bobby, he’s supposed to make us feel a little confused and uncomfortable, because that’s exactly how the brothers would be feeling about him. It must be incredibly confusing for the boys having AU Bobby in their life. He looks like Bobby and sounds like Bobby, except he’s not their Bobby. He doesn’t have any history with the boys, he doesn’t know their faces like they know his, he doesn’t see them as familiar as they would see him. They are strangers to him, and really, he’s a stranger to them too, except there he is, looking and sounding exactly like a man they dearly loved. It would be easy for Sam and Dean to mistakenly fall into old feelings in this new relationship. It would be easy for them to think they have Bobby back. I can see how they could get into an easy groove with him, and then get startled out of it when AU Bobby is not as Bobbyesque as they were expecting. It must be hugely challenging, emotionally and intellectually. I understand all this because I’m going through it too! (Of course, I have the added emotional connection to Jim Beaver.) I hated what Bobby said to Sam, how you saw Sam practically wince. I did love Dean arching up though! I was so excited for AU Bobby, because Bobby! Now I’m understanding, I don’t know who he really is, and neither do the boys.
I’m glad we got a bit of AU Bobby’s background and a glimpse at the damage that he has gone through to make him into this man we are now getting to see. I’m also glad he’s found someone in Mary. At the recent Vancouver convention, during something I was saying to Jensen, I said, “And Mary and Bobby… you know” (I practically wink winked nudge nudged), and he looked at me confused, and I said, “You know something, something is going on there”, (I practically boom chica wah wah’d), and Jensen looked at me and did this faked shocked thing, and I said “Oh right, you’ve been away being Michael so you’ve not seen it”, and he said “GOOD!” all mock grossed out!! It’s even funnier now I see Mary and Bobby have gone off to Donna’s, henceforth to be known as, Garden Gnome Love Shack! Going off to give Bobby a break…a-ha, sure guys. The brothers must be so weirded out by it all!
Mary is the conundrum she has always been. I adored her chat in the forest with Sam, I love them spending any time together because I know that was something Sam missed out on and craved so much. It was funny when she caught herself having a relationship chat with her grown son, that she had to remind herself she he probably doesn’t need to know all this. It was also interesting how she remembers John, compared to the John Sam and Dean know, and it’s a persistent reminder that her experience is profoundly different to theirs. She has memory of man she spent many years with (on earth and in heaven), before he became the John Winchester who hunted and raised his boys as warriors. Sam saying, “My dad?” absolutely gobsmacked is reminder of the disconnect that Mary must still feel in this new world, and the disconnect her sons must still feel with her. Mary is complex, and I don’t always like her decisions, but I do appreciate her as a character that is always challenging.
As for the boys, well, their looks as Bobby and Mary walked up the stairs kind of spoke volumes. Like they are resigned to their mother not always being there. Resigned to the way their mum panned out. They’re letting her live her life her way, because they have to respect what she wants, even if that might hurt (like I think it must if they allow themselves to think on it), and really, what choice do they have? It is what it is. The scrubbing of the face, Sam’s nervous smile at Dean, and the look they finally exchanged once the door had closed. Yup…
“Nightmare Logic” left us all anxious and wondering what the hell the Djinn saw in Dean. Is it just that Dean’s nightmares are so horrific that even a monster can’t handle them? Is it that Michael has done something to Dean that wards of monster attempts. Is it that Michael has done something awful to Dean that the Djinn saw, or, was it that Michael….is still in Dean. Any of this is dreadful, but the thought that Michael is still inside Dean, hiding out, is such a hideous violation it makes my skin crawl…it will devastate Dean, and I’m not prepared for that. I will always go back to Michael telling Dean he owns him. There’s more to that. I don’t think Dean is in the clear and I’m dreading it playing out.
I loved this episode, it was a taut mystery, nicely shot by new director Darren Grant, and with beautiful draw characterisations, by Meredith Glynn, especially those of Sam and Dean. Seeing Sam take the leader role and seeing Dean gently watching and supporting Sam every step of the way has been such a joy. Like I said earlier, the to and fro in Sam and Dean’s relationship has always been one of my favourite things. Even with everything going on, there’s a lightness to Dean I’m enjoying, almost like allowing himself to let go and let Sam take the reins for a bit has released something in him. He’s got a lot happening, a lot of vulnerability post Michael, a lot he’s trying to move through, and knowing his brother has got this must be a huge comfort to Dean and is obviously a point of pride. He looks so proud of Sam, and Sam knows it. Love just quietly beams out of those two, and it’s a delight! Awwww, I gave myself feels!