Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy!  On tap for today's Carver episode review is only one of the best episodes of "Supernatural" EVER!  That's right, it's "Mystery Spot!"  Can you believe this was only his third episode of the show?  Incredible!  Let's get right to the good stuff.  And there's going to be a LOT of good stuff.

  •  Aw, seeing the Trickster get stabbed during "Tall Tales" in the previously on section gets me right in the Gabriel feels.
  •  "Heat of the Moment"!!!!!!!!

  •  Sam's "If I ever hear it again, I'm gonna kill myself" line is foreshadowing with a capital F.
  •  Dean's little dance and lip-sync is just glorious.
  •  I'm guessing that 50% of Dean's morning routine is stuff he actually thinks is important to his hygiene, and 50% is just to annoy his brother early in the morning.
  •  I am rather impressed with Jensen's ability to still look good while simultaneously gurgling and smiling.  I tried that once after I saw this episode, and the results were less than spectacular, let me tell you.

  •  The bra Dean holds up to Sam looks lacy and nice and expensive.  As a woman, I'll just say there's no way in hell I would leave behind a nice, lacy, expensive bra.  I mean, when you find a bra that fits well and makes your boobs look good, it's the Holy Grail of bras, and you NEVER let it out of your possession.
  •  Sam bitchface in 3...2...1... There we go.

  •  We may have gone over this before here at the WFB, but just in case, I'll once again explain what a pig in a poke is.  According to Wikipedia, it's a con that originated in the late Middle Ages when meat was scarce.  The seller would place a cat or puppy in a bag (or poke) and say it was a suckling pig, then sell it to someone without them opening the bag.  When the person opened the bag later, they saw that they had received a dog or cat, not a good source of meat.  
  •  With that in mind, I like to think the significance of Tuesday's breakfast special being "pig in a poke" is the Trickster is hinting at the con he's running on Sam right here.  But the reference is veiled, and Sam doesn't pick up on it.
  •  Time for more over-analysis!  See the brochure for the Mystery Spot?

  •  I think the first two equations on the back are more clues for Sam.  First, E=MC2 is, of course, Einstein's famous formula for mass-energy equivalence.  Einstein was also famous for his theories on special relativity.  Per Wikipedia again, Einstein gave a new definition of space and time in his 1905 paper about special relativity: "all time and space coordinates in all reference frames are equal, so there is no "true" or "apparent time."  In other words, time and space are relative to the thing perceiving them, AKA Sam.  The whole episode is relative to Sam's experience of it.
  •  The second equation is the equation for solving the area of a circle.  Round and round Sam goes.
  •  I can't see the full third equation, but I bet it's something to do with solving for how long it will take someone to lose their mind, where m=moose.
  • The green hallway with the black spiral is such an amazing image.

  • The first of Dean's deaths is the worst because it's just so ordinary.  Dean's a badass hunter, and when he eventually dies for good, it should be something better than being shot by some greasy nobody in a backwater tourist trap.
  •  Wow, that was a hell of a teaser!  Also, brace yourselves because this is going to be a long review.
  •  How amazing is the first replay of the day, though, when Sam wakes up and Dean is still alive?  The first time I saw this episode, I was just as confused as Sam is.

  •  I love that Dean's idea of a weird dream is clowns or midgets.
  •  One of my favorite moments of Winchester logic: "Yesterday was Tuesday.  But today is Tuesday, too!"
  •  Dean gets all tingly when Sam takes control.  Ah ha ha ha ha.  He's probably not the only one.
  •  The part where Sam tells Dean that he's watched him die twice already and just can't do it anymore is really heartbreaking.  I know it gets a lot worse for him, but this part really gets to me.  Sam's got the watery eyes, and ugh.
  •  Only Dean would want to know if his own death looked cool or not.
  •  Sam's face right after Dean gets killed by the desk is priceless.  It's his, "We had a plan, Dean.  What happened to the plan?" face.

  •  It's really great of Dean to reassure his brother by telling him that if they decide he's not going to die, he won't die.  Of course, the Trickster is sitting right there, so he shows them what's what with some death by choking.
  •  The montage of Dean's deaths really shouldn't be funny, but wow, it's sooooooo funny.  Shower, taco, electric razor, dog.  Amazing.  Also, how adorable is it that Dean makes shapes in his hair when it's shampooed?

  •  I love the way they handled the death by axe, too.  Not showing the actual act was brilliant.  It's much funnier to see the blood spray on the mystery spot owner, watch him freak out, and hear Dean's body drop in the background while Sam says, "Dean? Oh, no."  Top marks for that.
  •  Doris shooting Dean with an arrow is a death I would have liked to see, though.
  •  I love the color in the episode gets more and more muted as Sam goes through more Tuesdays.  By the 100th one, everything is so dull and dreary.
  •  BROTHERS!!!!!

  •  I have to hand it to the Trickster.  I wouldn't be able to sit there all nonchalant and eat my breakfast if Sam Winchester was glaring at me the entire time.
  •  Even though he's psychologically torturing Sam in the most elaborate way ever, I just can't stay mad at this guy.  I love him!

  •  Sam is SO happy it's Wednesday.  Poor Sam.
  •  Dean's death in the parking lot on Wednesday is the WORST!  Jeremy Carver, you sadistic bastard!
  •  I had forgotten that Sam spends 6 months with Dean dead for real.  This episode is seriously depressing.
  •  Sam is seriously scary during the part where Dean's dead.  It's not hard to see why he acts the way he does when he's Soulless, is it?

  •  The scene with Bobby was so tense.  I was freaking out the first time I saw it.  I couldn't believe Sam was gonna let Bobby kill himself!
  •  I think the Trickster was lying about Dean being in Hell while Sam spent his 6 months alone, but if he wasn't there, where was he?  Dean obviously had his memory wiped because he didn't remember anything, but I have always been curious about what happened to him.
  •  Dean is so confused by the hug.  Of course Sam would hug him, because they only hug after death and periods of long separation.  But there hasn't been anything like that for Dean.  You can just see him working through the scenario in his head.  "What the hell happened?  Why is he hugging me?  Do I need to hug him back?"
  • Turning out the lights and shutting the door on this motel room must have felt amazing for Sam.  A bittersweet moment.


 

Hooray for "Mystery Spot!"  What a tremendous episode.  Definitely in my top 10 episodes of all time.  What are your favorite moments?  Tomorrow, Alice is taking on Carver's follow-up to this masterpiece, "Long-Distance Call," which is...not such a masterpiece.

 

Comments  

Bevie
# Bevie 2012-09-23 17:31
This episode just might be my favourite ever! But then, I have about 150 episodes in my top ten list and 50 in my top five so they get mixed up and down a lot. :D

it's much easier for me to name my least enjoyed episodes than it is to pick my favourites. There is only about ten of them after all! ;-)

Love the words over the diner table with Sam and Dean in tandem, love Dean wanting to know how cool it looked being hit by the car, love how adorable he looked in the shower and being whacked by the axe trying to calm Sam down. And love love love that trickster! (May he be revived to pull more of his tricks this season)

Love each and every Sam bitch face, and there were many here. Hated how cold and emotionless he was during those six months Dean was dead, and horrified that he was willing to kill Bobby to bring Dean back.(He couldn't have been that sure it wasn't Bobby!) :eek:

This was just a masterpiece episode! :roll:

I'm afraid I won't enjoy the next review, as I did like 'Long Distance Call'. Poor Dean, so very scared and needing to believe his Dad could save him. Poor Sam, knowing Dean was fooling himself and having difficulty making Dean doubt, when that was the only hope he had to be saved. Dean admitting how scared he was. Poor poor boys! Yes, this one is in my top ten as well so I can tell already I won't be agreeing with the next review. :-?
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-09-23 18:31
It would be impossible to overstate my love for this episode. I would state it was my favorite EVER, but I say that about Monster at the End of the Book and Swan Song and .....every time I see them too. But this would have to be in the top 5 ALWAYS.

This episode so amazing partly because it took an overused concept and made it completely epic. I've seen this concept down SOOOO many times on different Scifi shows that it should have been completely tired, but NO other show did anything as good as this. My sister loves Groundhog Day, like watches every night while going to sleep, loves it. And when I finally convinced her to watch SPN and was telling her about this episode saying she would love it. She scoffed because it would just be a pale image to her favorite movie, but she ended up adoring it too.

Yes it was incredibly clever and funny with having Dean die over and over again and having to just having it get more and more hilarious. But just when you think it's going to be another lighthearted antic by the trickster it turned dark. And Sammy was never completely the same afterword.

This episode holds up no matter how many times you watch it. It is just AWESOME. This episode is one of the reasons I have such hope for the new seasons. Because if he can't take such a tired concept and make it completely epic then I have faith that he can do the same for S8.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-09-23 18:37
This episode is a big fan favorite, but I never warmed up to it to the point that it is on my most favorite list. That's odd, too, because it is a good, solid episode with a good mix of humor and an underlying very sad state of affairs. I didn't dislike the episode at all. In fact, I liked it.

The episode suggested to me that without Dean, Sam’s life was nothing -- monotonous, totally without joy with nothing good ever happening, and that it would never change from that. In other words, Dean was Sam's whole life. From there, it all went downhill so, you see, this is another example of where I think the writers/showrun ner lied to me as a viewer -- something I am unable to just shrug my shoulders at. (Swan Song, I'm remembering you - *sigh*)

We went from Dean being everything to Sam to Sam telling Dean that he chose Ruby over him, because she was not Dean. Dean, Sam says, drove him away because he wouldn't let him grow up (Fallen Idols, oh you were so very, very bad).

The episode also showed Sam considering killing a human (Bobby) to save Dean, and then he later kills the possessed nurse (instead of exorcising her) to kill Lilith, because he thought killing Lilith would stop the Apocalypse, that Dean was too weak to stop it, and never never once considered that Dean's role was supposed to be to kill Luci after he rose -- more storytelling by the seat of your pants with NO PLAN.

I'm also one of the very few who did not like the Trickster being changed into Gabriel. Loved the Trickster, but I just didn't like the switch.

Then there was the question as to whether this episode was foreshadowing Luci and Michael killing each other or reconciling and walking away, thus avoiding the Apocalypse. As it turned out, it was a draw -- they fell into the hole together, with the open question being could they/did they reconcile.

Later episodes also showed that Dean, in fact, did remember dying. Wasn't it Changing Channels where Dean was so mad at Gabriel for repeatedly killing him? Yeah, I think that was the one. And either that one, or in another one, Dean mentions bad tacos.

I know Carver can't be held responsible for what came after him, and there was a lot of just changing canon to fit episode needs. That leaves me back to this was a good, solid episode, but not a big favorite of mine.

I think I'm going to disagree with the Long Distance Caller review, too, as that's another one I think didn't get the credit it deserved for being a good, solid episode.

Anyway, love these reviews of Carver's episodes. It's good to take a look at how he wrote the boys before we meet his version of Sam and Dean in just a few days. Hoorah for that!
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-09-23 19:29
Quote:
This episode is a big fan favorite, but I never warmed up to it to the point that it is on my most favorite list. That's odd, too, because it is a good, solid episode with a good mix of humor and an underlying very sad state of affairs. I didn't dislike the episode at all. In fact, I liked it.

The episode suggested to me that without Dean, Sam’s life was nothing -- monotonous, totally without joy with nothing good ever happening, and that it would never change from that. In other words, Dean was Sam's whole life. From there, it all went downhill so, you see, this is another example of where I think the writers/showrunner lied to me as a viewer -- something I am unable to just shrug my shoulders at. (Swan Song, I'm remembering you - *sigh*)

We went from Dean being everything to Sam to Sam telling Dean that he chose Ruby over him, because she was not Dean. Dean, Sam says, drove him away because he wouldn't let him grow up (Fallen Idols, oh you were so very, very bad).

The episode also showed Sam considering killing a human (Bobby) to save Dean, and then he later kills the possessed nurse (instead of exorcising her) to kill Lilith, because he thought killing Lilith would stop the Apocalypse, that Dean was too weak to stop it, and never never once considered that Dean's role was supposed to be to kill Luci after he rose -- more storytelling by the seat of your pants with NO PLAN.

I'm also one of the very few who did not like the Trickster being changed into Gabriel. Loved the Trickster, but I just didn't like the switch.

Then there was the question as to whether this episode was foreshadowing Luci and Michael killing each other or reconciling and walking away, thus avoiding the Apocalypse. As it turned out, it was a draw -- they fell into the hole together, with the open question being could they/did they reconcile.

Later episodes also showed that Dean, in fact, did remember dying. Wasn't it Changing Channels where Dean was so mad at Gabriel for repeatedly killing him? Yeah, I think that was the one. And either that one, or in another one, Dean mentions bad tacos.

I know Carver can't be held responsible for what came after him, and there was a lot of just changing canon to fit episode needs. That leaves me back to this was a good, solid episode, but not a big favorite of mine.
I agree and disagree with your post. Yes there is an inconsistency between how Sam reacts in MS to losing Dean and his behaviour in s4. But for me the fault there lies with s4 which is a total betrayal of Sam's character, of the brothers relationship and IMO of the whole established canon of the show. It isn't logical to blame MS for that. IMO MS is true to canon, and consistent with character and what happened in s4 was absolutely not. I'm not sure what you are getting at re Swan Song. I loved that ep and thought it was completely consistent with the characters of both boys.

Of course Dean doesn't remember all the days Sam had to go through while he was in the loop, and all the times he died. But he knows it happened because Sam told him - hence his comment to Gabriel/Trickst er in CC. No inconsistency there at all.

Sam was NOT killing a human in the way you imply. It is a totally different situation from killing the nurse. Sam knew that none of what was happening in his alternative timeline mattered if he succeeded in getting the Trickster to reverse everything. It would never have happened. Plus I always thought he knew that Bobby was really the Trickster. I really don't know what you mean by ' never never once considered that Dean's role was supposed to be to kill Luci after he rose'. Why on earth would Sam have thought that? No one thought that - either in the show or among the viewers that I have ever seen. He had absolutely no clue that Lucifer was going to rise. He just thought he was killing Lilith. He had no idea she was the final seal or that Luci would show up. The reverse was true. He believed - for very good reason - that killing Lilith would stop the whole raising Lucifer plan in its tracks - negating the need for Dean or anyone else to kill him. I don't get your point here.

Of course you can't help how you feel, so if it isn't one of your faves then that is that. But I think you are blaming MS for some of the problems you perceive with how the show went on from here which doesn't seem fair. I don't agree with many of the subsequent decisions made - particularly in s4 - but none of that spoils my enjoyment of what came before.

Mystery Spot is probably - if I was forced to choose - my favourite episode of SPN ever. I really hope that what we get from JC as a showrunner is more like MS and AVSC, and less like FTBYAM although the spoilers have left me sadly pessimistic on that front.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-09-23 19:37
I guess I don't agree with characters changing meaning they are changing canon to fit the story. I not saying this has never happened, but in the instances you mentioned I wouldn't necessarily agree. People changed because of what they go through. Sam, IMO, came out of MS very differently then he went in. (and he believed it was the trickster he was stabbing-but then had a moment of panic that he was wrong-still pretty ruthless to take the chance but not quite the same as outright killing Bobby).

He didn't go back to being sweet Sammy afterwords and then had months to process his behavior during the 6 months Dean was gone. When Dean died in NRFtW, Sam also had Ruby manipulating him. So I think different circumstances and an already changed Sam, led to different reactions.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-09-23 20:13
I agree. I think MS explains a lot about post-3.16 Sam. Sam's reactions to losing Dean in NRFTW weren't just reactions to losing Dean, they were reactions to losing Dean AGAIN when he'd lost Dean over a hundred times, been without him for six months, and then gotten him back, only to be unable to get him out of the deal and end up seeing the hellhounds take him. His despair and nihilism and pervasive anger and willingness to seize on revenge to be doing something after having his powerlessness so thoroughly beat into him make a lot of sense to me. I just wish Spn were better about referring back to these things, that they'd put in a reminder or two of MS in relation to Sam in s4, instead of only bringing it up again when they wanted to bring back the Trickster and do the Gabriel thing. But there are quite a few major moments in the series that that is true of. I think by and large they do a good job with continuity of characterizatio n, but they're not always so great with the continuity of specific events (the dropping of the voicemail and the Lisa and Ben memory wipe never being mentioned again are also both examples of that).
emmau
# emmau 2012-09-23 20:34
I agree very much with this. I think Mystery Spot was really a defining moment for Sam, and I think it's instrumental in understanding Sam in S4. Sam was destroyed in MS, to the point where he locked down everything but getting to the trickster and getting back Dean. He used his familial traits of revenge, anger, nihilism to push him forwrad. In S4, you could see where Sam locked down everything but getting to Lilith and stopping her using those same tools. The seals became part of that, sure, but in the end a big part of his motivation was still getting to Lilith, not to get Dean back but to get back for Dean (to do what he thought Dean couldn't do, whether true or not). I think Sam always had understandable control issues (coming from being kept in the dark and feeling scared and powerless growing up), and 3.11 and post 3.16 really showed how Sam was seeking to never feel that helpless again.

I further agree that this episode should have been referenced more in S4. Or even in S5, when show should have really been giving Sam a great redemptive arc while having Sam and Dean both work on repairing the damage S4 had done to their bond. Instead, there was the "I'm angry" line and the addiction and everything else kind of melted away. I always thought that did Sam a disservice. I also agree with others that the Trickster hadn't turned out to be an angel, though I'm not as able to clearly articulate why. I further agree that show has a habit of dropping important things to the detriment of continuity, but they generally have done a better job of keeping the characters consistent in the long view.

TL:DR I second everything you said, etheldred.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-09-23 20:51
Actually, s5 did have Sam confronting his issues with the need to feel powerful in 5.2, in his encounter with War. He didn't feel the need to step back from hunting because he didn't trust himself simply because of his addiction, but because he'd come to see the underlying cause of his addiction, the need for power. I think they handled that much better than the anger issues, actually. And Sam worked through a lot else in s5 (coming to understand and forgive John, knowing when to be honest and admit he couldn't fight the desire for demon blood in MBV, trusting Dean in 5.18 and not letting Dean's lack of trust in him affect him the way he had been affected by Dean being able to think him a monster in 4.21, etc.) And in post-resouling s6 and s7 he's consistently shown a lot of concern and understanding and appreciation for Dean (thanking him for trying to protect him by not telling him about soullessness in Like a Virgin, even while he made it clear that Dean should have told him, thanking him for the resouling and trying to offer him meaning in hunting in Mannequin, citing Dean never having given up on him as a reason to not give up on Cas in 7.1, the several occasions in s7 when, even with all that was going on with him, he expressed worry about Dean, encouraged him to unload on him, urged him to take care of himself).

TBH, I feel that Sam has shown more maturity in learning about himself and changing than Dean, who has had possible similar moments when he could understand and grapple with some of his underlying issues (like the Osiris episode, where he could have started to realize how destructive his guilt is for himself and others), but seemed to have settled into a kind of despair about himself that meant he didn't have to work on himself. Sam went wrong more dramatically than Dean has, but I think Dean's guilt and despair issues have made it difficult for him to feel that he can change, that Sam's proactiveness, which was largely destructive in s4, has stood him in good stead in doing something about his issues rather than getting stuck in guilt.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-09-23 21:44
I agreed I think Dean stagnated a bit in S7. I really think they dropped the ball on that one, since it did look like there were several opportunities to do so. But hopefully, they will pick it back up in S8 with better results.
emmau
# emmau 2012-09-23 21:49
I feel that Dean, in terms of personal growth, has been stagnating a lot longer than that. In order to hand him the ghost of a storyline "Dean considers what it means to be a hunter" two years in a row, show has pretty much left him mentally and emotionally crouched in a field in Lawrence. i think that's a big issue for show this season, allowing Dean to actually change and grow and not just be depressed because Jensen Ackles is really good at angst.
emmau
# emmau 2012-09-23 21:45
You bring up some good points here, and I want to consider them individually, if you'll indulge me. I had forgotten about War, and when you link that to Sam's reaction to craving the blood in 5.14, that's a nice bit of growth. On the other hand, they did tie the need for power pretty much to the addiction for me, and they didn't deal with the underlying powerless issue without it. Further, his control issues still remain largely unaddressed in my opinion, and they're not gone. Still, that's more credit than I gave them, so thank you for pointing it out. I agree it was better than the anger issues, which were announced in 5.11 and seemingly wrapped up with his talk with John (I by no means think they're gone, either, though they have improved).

The trust for Dean issue for me doesn't connect with the anger and seemed to come out of nowhere in 5.18. I liked that he didn't knee-jerk react to Dean's not trusting him in that episode, but Dean working with Crowley led to a knee-jerk drunken phone call of "Maybe I should just say yes." Which he might have been thinking about before, but the presentation of that idea in the way it was presented in that episode made me think that his reactive issues with Dean's opinion weren't all cleared up.

I still feel that they didn't address Sam's issues with Dean from S4 re: his weakness and his refusal to listen to Dean (or anyone else in that particular season, but I'm focusing on Dean here). I think Sam improved in some ways with Dean, but in other ways things stay the same. I never thought Sam didn't care about Dean, and I do appreciate that Sam made some gestures in S6, though my comments above were aimed primarily at S5. I'm afraid in S7 I mostly see the boys as separate--Dean worried about Sam's mental state but rarely talked to him about it, and Sam worried about Dean's mental state but rarely talked to him about it. Sam gave Dean worried looks and told him to take care of himself, Dean gave Sam worried looks and saved his life when he was dying. I think they were fairly even there, and show could have done better by them both.

I think Sam has shown some maturity, but still has some things to work on (i.e., he flips out when Dean isn't completely honest with him, but he sees no problems with not telling Dean things or taking off on him and leaving him in the dark). I would similarly point out that Dean has made some strides in treating Sam as a full partner, but has some things to work on (similarly being upset when Sam keeps things from him but keeping his own "game face" for Sammy's sake). I think you're right in stating that Dean's issues have done nothing but pile up, and that has made it hard for him to forgive himself and make changes. However, I am uncomfortable with terming someone who is having trouble coping with despair/depress ion as immature, to be honest.

I think in terms of coming to terms with himsef, show gave Sam a big advantage--Hell . As show told us in S7, Sam got to treat Hell as penance for his sins and able to cleanse himself of his guilt. Dean has received no such panecea. So I'm not sure we can say that was a result of Sam's proactiveness as much as Sam saying yes meant saving the world and getting redemption while Dean received no such path to salvation, so to speak. I would also argue that as Dean is pretty much the leader of TFW (I think it's arguable that Cas, Sam, and Bobby saw him that way because they seemed to wait for his lead in many episodes), he does end up with more responsibility than Sam in some cases. In Sam's case, he's the one who had to deal with resouling his brother when everyone else told him he was doing Sam more harm than good, and he was the one who had to worry about Sam's wall when Sam wasn't particularly concerned in Unforgiven (notice how that guilt issue of Sam's just seemed to drop off radar when show decided that Sam was going to be free and clear and "mature"). Castiel's situation is another example--as Castiel and the angels have named Dean his leader and his ruiner in turn, he's naturally going to be more effected than Sam was by his situation. Yes, sometimes Dean puts that pressure all on himself at times, but I would argue at other times that being that leader does give him more to cope with than Sam has.

Interesting points to think about, however.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-09-23 22:16
While I don't think Dean made a lot of movement forward in S7(in fact, I think he moved backwards in someways). I think he has good reason, he has been through a lot. Like you said, Sam experience in the cage provided him with redemption whereas Dean experience just added to his guilt.

Now as far as Sam in S7, I DO think the taking off after he found out Dean lied was a step back and really OOC for post-S4 Sam. It was the only thing I didn't like about that episode. I don't think getting mad because Dean lied was out of line, but since I completely disagree with Dean's actions in that storyline, that might be coloring my reaction.

I don't find either immature, but I would like to see more growth with both characters.
emmau
# emmau 2012-09-23 22:27
I'll give you little to no growth for Dean in S7 and raise you S6, Kelly. I think Dean has been trapped in the same place for a while now, partly because of his own depression issues and partly because the PTB (and fans) think Jensen Ackles gives great angst.

I agree that 7.3's set up was fairly OOC for post-S4 Sam. Then, I think there were many, many contrivances made in that episode to create a storyline that ultimately went nowhere. I was strictly referring to 7.3 when talking about Sam going MIA and not answering his phone. I agree that he had every right to be mad about Dean lying to him (I do no disagree with Dean killing Amy, but that's a discussion that's been done to death. I think we can all agree he was wrong to lie to Sam).

I agree that it's not a matter of maturity, but a mature of character growth that both Sam and Dean will hopefully receive this season.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-09-23 23:07
I don't know about a ton of growth for Dean in S6, but I thought he was dealing with things. I actually liked his discussions with Lisa about if it was safer to be out of their lives or to stay and protect them. And about feeling like (and acting like) a father to Ben. Although since I've always considered him a father to Sam, maybe that wasn't a lot of growth. (But father-like role to Sam was always tempered by his need to torture him like a big brother.) I liked that he was still protective of Sam but treated him with more respect than he had since S3. Before Cas' betrayal he seemed to be settling back in to his role of hunter and big brother quite nicely.

Even early S7, he seemed stressed and upset definitely working his way towards depressed, but he was not stagnate. But he got morose and just stayed there wasn't moving forwards or backwards- he was just stuck. There were incremental movements but nothing with any teeth to it. I was very frustrated with his character at times last season. But again I'm hoping for the best this next season.
emmau
# emmau 2012-09-23 23:32
I guess I just didn't see where any of those conversations with Lisa or times with Ben went anywhere, or ultimately netted Dean any character growth. In the end, they were just another brick in the depression wall. I'd agree that Dean seemed to be settling back into big brother-hood and the hunting life (though terrified of the wall falling) until Dean's betrayal, and that ended up just bringing him to more despair. So for me, there was zero net character growth in S6.

I will agree that S7 seemed to park Dean in depression and left him there for pretty much the entire season. I was very frustrated with the writers and the show runner all season long, really. I too hope for more next season.
emmau
# emmau 2012-09-23 22:30
Actually, I'd like to amend this statement and say that Sam and Dean have both had a tremendous amount to cope with, not that one had more than the other. I think they each had different things to cope with, and that they had to handle those things in different ways. Their abilities to make restitution and receive redemption are different, both because of who they are and what their issues were.

I like that better.
suzee51
# suzee51 2012-09-23 19:32
"I like to think the significance of Tuesday’s breakfast special being “pig in a poke” is the Trickster is hinting at the con he’s running on Sam right here. But the reference is veiled, and Sam doesn’t pick up on it.
I think the first two equations on the back are more clues for Sam. First, E=MC2 is, of course, Einstein’s famous formula for mass-energy equivalence. . . In other words, time and space are relative to the thing perceiving them, AKA Sam. The whole episode is relative to Sam’s experience of it.
The second equation is the equation for solving the area of a circle. Round and round Sam goes.
I can’t see the full third equation, but I bet it’s something to do with solving for how long it will take someone to lose their mind, where m=moose."


This is pure genius!

In all of my many viewings, I never picked up on any of these references. THANK YOU so much for sharing! (I especially enjoyed "where m=moose"!)
arefe
# arefe 2012-09-23 22:41
first time i saw this ep i was like your are SADISTS they really hurt me
but after some times i watched it again &beside all of your moments there were some special moments for me:

1. when sam recognized trickster & put the stick on his neck
trickster said: this is not about dean`s dying, this is all about you that you know you can not save your brother -- it was so heartbreaking

2. the last die in parking lot , Jared acting was special & his dialogues

3. after last die when we saw alone Sam he was sitting & eating dinner there was another meal or plate on the table -- they want to kill us with this details?:)

4. when Sam begged trickster to bring back Dean again the way Jared saying his line was something special

thank you i really enjoy of these commentary
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-09-24 12:47
Thank you for explaining "pig-in-a-poke" , I never knew! And I'm a history buff! More shame me I guess. But oh, do I love this episode. Yes, it's plenty funny, although seeing Dean die so many times really shouldn't be...but it is! What is really great about Mystery Spot, is the fine line there is between the comedy and the tragedy that Sam faces after his brother actually does die. The Trickster (RIP, I do miss him so) said it best when he tells Sam Dean has nothing on him in the psycho department, Travis Bickle in a dress (I so do love that line). This episode proved that Jeremy Carver was one sick bastard, and I mean that in a very good way.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-09-24 13:00
This is one episode which i will never forget .Interesting fact about pig-in-a-poke.G abriel never recovered in my eyes because of this episode till he died for giving Sam and Dean chance to stop apocalypse.
st50
# st50 2012-09-24 15:14
I loved MS, and it being a Carver episode gives me some hope for S8. But all the comments here and elsewhere have me really frightened that so much of what makes Supernatural a show that I enjoy will be missing. That is BOTH boys being active participants in the plot.

Neither of them can be stuck in the background if the show is going to continue, imho. If both Sam and Dean aren't actively involved - for good or ill - I doubt there'll be a season 9. I believe TPTB still recognize that, and that is what gives me hope that your worst scenarios here won't happen.

I guess I'm aligning myself with the Sam fans, but I really really wish they had given us some details to hint that he actually has a story here in S8. We'll find out soon enough now. Your thoughts about Jared having too much time off are worrying. I'd like to hope the writers are being kind to the new daddy, but we really need him working!
cd28
# cd28 2012-09-24 16:42
Quote:
I loved MS, and it being a Carver episode gives me some hope for S8. But all the comments here and elsewhere have me really frightened that so much of what makes Supernatural a show that I enjoy will be missing. That is BOTH boys being active participants in the plot.
I think it's clear that Carver can do a wonderful job writing Sam if he wants to, since we've seen him do it before while under the direction of Kripke. The question is what he will do when he's the one making the decisions.

Another question is whether Sam's diminishing presence on the show is due to a business decision above the showrunner's head - possibly guided by a network that has decided that Dean is more popular, so most of the focus should be on Dean. I say this because I don't believe Gamble hated Sam, yet much of the damage was done under her tenure.
st50
# st50 2012-09-24 16:49
Gosh, I hope you're wrong, cd28, that Sam's absence isn't due to some suit - analyzing some strange information - above Carvers (and/or Gambles) head.
Most of the creative folks right back to Kripke have noted that the success of the show is due to the chemistry between the leads. That it's a story about two brothers, first, and everything else is second.
I sure hope they haven't forgotten that!!!
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-09-25 05:17
Quote:
Quote:
I loved MS, and it being a Carver episode gives me some hope for S8. But all the comments here and elsewhere have me really frightened that so much of what makes Supernatural a show that I enjoy will be missing. That is BOTH boys being active participants in the plot.
Another question is whether Sam's diminishing presence on the show is due to a business decision above the showrunner's head - possibly guided by a network that has decided that Dean is more popular, so most of the focus should be on Dean. I say this because I don't believe Gamble hated Sam, yet much of the damage was done under her tenure.
You are taking as your starting point here that Sam's presence has diminished in the show. I am a huge Sam (and Dean) fan and I don't agree with that at all. Soulless Sam, Hellucination Sam were both strong storylines for Sam under Sera's time. Many Dean fans argue VERY strongly that it is Dean who hasn't been given a strong story in s6 and 7 (and - many would argue (although I stringly disagree) in s5 too).

I actually don't think either brother has had a diminished role. My issues are with the story decisions that have taken the show away from its heart which is the relationship between the brothers.

IMO the brothers were in the best place in their relationship they had ever been by the end of Swan Song, and they (and the writers) had worked very hard to get there. They had spent much of s5 successfully working through their issues and rebuilding trust. When Sam’s love for Dean gave him the strength to overcome Lucifer it was the most fantastic affirmation of the theme of family and brotherly love that had been there throughout EKs tenure.

Unfortunately Sera decided to throw away all that character and relationship development and spend the first half season of her reign without the real Sam and without any semblance of the brothers bond (as the real Sam wasn’t actually in the show). The momentum, focus and relationship development was lost. Despite a few shining brotherly moments (eg LaV, Hello Cruel World) the show has never got back that focus.

The issue, I feel, is not that one or other of the brothers has had a diminished role, it is that their relationship has not been given the focus. There has also been FAR more separate time onscreen which makes developing / showing the bond much harder. Sometimes this is due to artificially created angst (cough….Amy.. cough), but more often it seems driven by trying to give the Js more time off. In s7 it got ridiculous. The number of ep descriptions that said ‘while Sam does X, Dean does Y’. And those decisions in the eps were often nonsensical. They involved one of the boys going into danger on their own for no justification, or implied that they don’t like to spend their down time together – something that was never true in the earlier seasons.

Without spoiling anything, the structure of s8 looks to me specifically designed to allow them to have a lot more onscreen separation and separate stories. While I appreciate how hard the Js work, that fills me with dread.
cd28
# cd28 2012-09-25 06:57
Well, those are your issues, not mine, and not what I was talking about. I need that feeling of there being a close, unspoken bond, but I don't need the two of them joined at the hip.

As for the diminished role, if you don't see it, you don't see it. I can explain it 100 times but if this isn't something you care about, you'll still argue at the end that everything is fine the way it is.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-09-25 07:04
Quote:
Well, those are your issues, not mine, and not what I was talking about. I need that feeling of there being a close, unspoken bond, but I don't need the two of them joined at the hip.

As for the diminished role, if you don't see it, you don't see it. I can explain it 100 times but if this isn't something you care about, you'll still argue at the end that everything is fine the way it is.
There is no need to be so rude. Of COURSE these are my issues. They are in MY post. I don't expect you to agree. A bit of common courtesy would be nice though.

And by the way the reason I don't see a diminished role for Sam is NOT - as you arrogantly imply - because it IS diminished but I need that explaining to me more clearly so I can then accept your version of events. It is because I don't agree with you that his role has been diminished. My view on that is as valid as yours. It is not a failure to 'get it' on my part. Nor is it fair to say that I 'don't care' about Sam's role. I totally do. And I wasn't - as I think is clear to anyone reading my post - saying that I think 'everything is fine as it is'. I just have different issues with the show than you. To me if the boys aren't together onscreen it is damned hard to show the 'close unspoken bond' we both seem to want. So I do want them together for most of the time, and am not remotely interested in screen time being wasted on separate stories.

I am 100% bi bro and care deeply about the brothers bond, so my view on this absolutely does not come from an extreme Dean fan perspective.
cd28
# cd28 2012-09-25 09:22
Rude? Telling someone they lack "common courtesy" and calling them "arrogant" seems a little rude to me, but whatever. I don't want to turn this into a flame war. My response may have been a little short, but you responded to my comments by telling me I don't have the right issue ...

Quote:
The issue, I feel, is not that one or other of the brothers has had a diminished role, it is that their relationship has not been given the focus.
... and then explaining what the real issues are.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-09-25 09:29
Quote:
Rude? Telling someone they lack "common courtesy" and calling them "arrogant" seems a little rude to me, but whatever. I don't want to turn this into a flame war. My response may have been a little short, but you responded to my comments by telling me I don't have the right issue ...

Quote:
The issue, I feel, is not that one or other of the brothers has had a diminished role, it is that their relationship has not been given the focus.
... and then explaining what the real issues are.
The words 'I feel' make it VERY clear that I was talking about my issues not yours. I was disagreeing with you which on a discussion forum is perfectly fine. I was polite and made my points. I NEVER said you had the wrong issue. I said I have different ones. I simply said I disagreed and said what I think, and in mysecond post I was just responding to your rudeness.

I agree we should leave it at that as I am sure noone else want to read this.
cd28
# cd28 2012-09-24 17:08
Quote:
Gosh, I hope you're wrong, cd28, that Sam's absence isn't due to some suit - analyzing some strange information - above Carvers (and/or Gambles) head. Most of the creative folks right back to Kripke have noted that the success of the show is due to the chemistry between the leads. That it's a story about two brothers, first, and everything else is second. I sure hope they haven't forgotten that!!!
I don't know who to blame, but I am suspicious about the network having a hand. I've read interviews in the past where showrunners of various shows have mentioned the network influencing the direction of certain storylines. Another thing that makes me wonder is Jensen's decision to take this issue directly to the fans. It implies that it's above the heads of the people who might listen to him. Also, if you look at the recent multi-show promos from the CW, you'll see a lot more of Dean in them then you will Sam.
eilf
# eilf 2012-09-25 16:54
I am also seeing a trend towards favoring Dean over Sam. But I am wondering if they are emphasizing the Dean storyline because it is easy to promote without being specific while having a mystery story to do with Sam that they don't want us to guess at? Just from a couple of things that Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund have hinted at in interviews. I could be misreading it though.

Also I think that a certain amount less focus on Sam's hair and more on Jared's undoubted acting skills might focus the writers minds more on writing for him. (sorry I have read two articles in the past week which have basically said 'Dean is wonderful, and Sam, well, Sam has hair!!' and it has annoyed me just a little. And I don't consider myself a 'Sam girl')

Of course it could simply be that they are going easy on Jared for the beginning of the season because he has a young son?
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-09-25 17:03
That annoys me, too. Whatever their flaws, s6 and s7 had some stellar acting from JP, in a whole range of modes, from soulless!Sam to the daunted Sam of Hello, Cruel World. JA certainly deserves the praise he gets, but it sometimes seems that the amazing work JP puts into Sam gets a lot less acknowledgment.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-09-25 17:06
Also, responding to the other part of your post: it's possible that it's a twist in DEAN's storyline that they can't reveal that gives Sam something major. Part of the reasons the Dean spoilers looked skimpy before s6 was that they couldn't very well come out and say that Dean had to figure out how to get Sam's soul back from the Cage. I'm still hoping that there's something Sam has to save Dean from in the aftermath of purgatory, to make up for not getting the storyline where Sam gets Dean out.
eilf
# eilf 2012-09-25 17:42
There definitely is a mystery that they are all pleased with I think ... I don't suppose Jared would be quite as positive in interviews as he seems to be if the total of his storyline were just 'I got a girlfriend and then it ended'. I saw something he said at the Dallas con about the injured hand (compared to Dean's fast-healing broken leg) that leads me to believe that he will fight for his character to make sense, and that is all I am asking for!
The comments of 'things are not what they seem' are very mysterious! Yay!
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-09-25 17:08
Thomas has nothing to do with it. Nor should he or be used as a excuse . The fact is the show is Dean centric wether it is Sam's sl's or his own .

It isnt like it is unusual or not a trend in the writing only this time he gets the 'normal' sl because Castiel touched his head and Dean gets the huge Pugatory sl and the sort of storytelling Sam should of had last year.
There could be a mystery ? with Sam but I dont tend to like them as they have never done Sam any favours but it isnt beyond the realms of possibilty they are keeping something back a slim one I think though.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-09-25 05:29
Mystery Spot= Freaking Awesome! That is all.

P.S. I never knew about Pig in a poke, and the equations were actually quite clever.
Zombie Padalecki
# Zombie Padalecki 2012-09-25 17:11
How awesome would it be if the countdown landed on this article being on Tuesday?
eilf
# eilf 2012-09-25 17:32
Mystery spot is just about my favorite episode. I love all the funny bits and the heartbreak is so believable! Literally every time the desk falls on Dean it makes me laugh (I am a bad person) though the first two deaths are very sad and moving - especially the first one. The death in the parking lot is so incredibly unexpected, even though the episode is only half over.

I like the fact that the Trickster turns out to be Gabriel, I think it adds another layer to this episode, otherwise why would he care so much?

I believe that Dean's 'clowns or midgets?' shows just how well he knows Sam - because in the circus episode we see Sam being totally freaked out by both so it is a nice piece of continuity.

You have to feel for Sam having to deal with that level of morning person every day don't you :D (I am not a morning person)

Best lines
(muffled) Dude, how many Tuesdays did you have?

Forget about deja vu! I'm asking you if it feels like we're living yesterday all over again?
Okay, how is that not...?
Don't say it!

Let me tell you, whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional one, has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands.

Love, love, love this episode!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-09-25 17:50
Y'all are KILLING me. I'm trying so hard to stay away from spoilers and all these hints in all the posts...... I can't take it. I'm so weak. I know I'm going to cave and watch every spoiler and every interview from this summer any second now.

So they are saying this season is Sam-lite? NO don't tell. Okay tell me. No Don't. ARGGH.
eilf
# eilf 2012-09-25 17:57
This is my first season where I have had to wait to find out. I want to stay away from spoilers too but I find I just can't! As I said above I think that they are just messing with us ... though I believe that may be the definition of the word 'spoiler'. My non-spoiler hope (because I have no evidence whatsoever) is that all of the people who are alive at the beginning of the season will still be alive at the end. Is that too much to ask? Yes.