Warning!!!! If you haven't seen "Southern Comfort," stop reading now! There will be spoilers and discussion and talk of the preview for next week's episode and all manner of things that will spoil the episode for you if you haven't seen it yet! If you have, come on in and let's talk!
Sorry about the delay in posting, but my in-laws arrived from out-of-town about an hour after the episode ended, so we were catching up for a while! Anyway, there were some things that I liked about tonight's episode, mostly involving Garth and some zingy one-liners, but the brotherly stuff just felt stale to me. I wasn't impressed, which is sad because the setup from last week was amazing!
But before I get into the meat of my discussion, I want to make sure everyone is on the same page here. If you didn't already know, we're setting up some new commenting rules here at the WFB. We're trying to make the comments sections more accessible, so please, if you haven't already, take a moment and read this announcement so you'll understand what I'm about to say next.
This article is a free-commenting zone. We are not going to move any comments to the "Let's Discuss" topics for the week. The "Let's Speculate" articles are going to serve as the overall "Let's Discuss" topic for the current episode. Everyone on the same page? No comment moving here. That being said, we're still operating under the normal commenting rules, which are basically please use common sense when posting. Don't write anything you wouldn't say to someone's face. Be civil to each other. No attacking! We're all allowed to voice our opinions here, so please be respectful. Lastly, I'll be bringing up some possibly contentious issues, but I really don't want things to devolve into Sam vs. Dean. I'm not trying to say one brother is better than the other because that's not the case. They are both equally important. I'm just...kind of a little more annoyed with Sam right now than I am with Dean. But I am annoyed with both of them.
Get On With It, Ardeospina!
Good advice, self. I will do just that. Let's start with the heart of the episode; for me, the Dean possession scenes and the ending. Am I happy that Sam and Dean are finally airing some of their issues? Absolutely! Do I think they both have the right to be angry at each other right now? Yeah, I kind of do. Sam standing up for Amelia was excellent. He cared for her, and even if he's mad at Sam for being with her, Dean doesn't have the right to slander her. Not cool. So good on Sam for that. However, the rest of his tirade at the end? Did not sit well with me.
Here's my main issue: Dean has the right to be upset with his brother until Sam SHOWS him that he's sorry for not looking for Dean. Sam has told Dean, and us, his reasons for not looking for Dean. And I can go with that. But he hasn't shown any emotion behind those reasons! So they're ringing hollow for me, and Dean, too. Sam says his world imploded and rained down upon him when Dean was gone, and I believe that is true. Theoretically. Because we haven't seen it be true for Sam yet. And we, and Dean, need to see that. Until then, it feels like hollow words.
My secondary issue: Dean only airs his grievances when he's supernaturally possessed. This is never going to allow him to grow as a person if he can't be allowed to say these things while in full control of himself. So make that happen instead of him getting possessed by a ghost and then not remembering what he said. Because that feels like a cop-out, and it feels one-sided.
Here's what I want to see happen: Sam and Dean sit down and have a conversation, and Dean tells Sam that he's disappointed because of the demon blood, the Ruby stuff, whatever he needs to say. And then Sam apologizes for how those things hurt Dean. That's it. "Dean, I'm sorry that I hurt you when I did those things." End of story. That's literally all that needs to happen. We, and Dean, know that Sam had good intentions. I don't even think Dean really cares at this point that Sam set Lucifer free or was a Soulless bastard or whatever else. Dean's made plenty of mistakes in his time, done plenty of horrible things. He's still angry because Sam hasn't recognized the impact his actions had on Dean. I really think this would solve like 90% of their issues. Sam doesn't need to apologize for his actions. He's done that. I'm satisfied with his apologies on that front. Dean just needs his brother to acknowledge how Sam's actions impacted Dean. And Sam can do that for him, and I think would want to do that for him. He just needs to figure it out!
And then Sam gets to say, "Dean, you're my brother and you know I'd do anything for you, but I can't keep hunting full-time. My heart's just not in it. I don't want to cut you out of my life, and I don't want to leave you. But I want to have a house and a dog and a woman. I want that. It will make me happy. So I want to start doing fewer hunts, have more down time in between. I'll come if you need me, always. But I need to do this for me, Dean. Can we try that, together? See how it goes?"
Some of this I touched on already, but it's getting late, so I'm just gonna keep these as I wrote them in my notes while I was watching the show. Here's some open letters to Sam, Dean, and the show.
-Your brother has abandoment issues. Stop playing the "I'm leaving" card. That just makes him push back harder.
- Are you angry about Benny or do you just want revenge for Amy? Because threatening to kill Dean's friend seems like revenge. There's a way to present that argument, and that wasn't it.
- Your world imploding when Dean was gone, and running: okay, that was your breaking point. I can understand that. I can. But you need to SHOW Dean that. You've been telling him, but the emotion isn't behind it. So Dean isn't believing that you really just lost it when he was gone. Remember how you talked about Dean dying at the beginning of season 4? You were on the verge of tears. You need to be that brother right now. You need to make Dean believe that you regret not looking for him, that it was more than just a mistake. He needs you, and you're not stepping up to the plate. I know you miss what you had with Amelia, but being there for Dean and having a life with Amelia don't have to be mutually exclusive. You're a smart guy. Figure out a way to have both.
- I understand that you're angry at Sam about not looking for you. But you have to stop being passive-aggressive about it. Sam hates that, and it makes him push back against you. You need to talk to him about it. You need to tell him without yelling at him.
- I realize that Benny is a sticky situation for you, but you're always getting pissed at Sam for keeping secrets. So stop keeping secrets!
- You're never going to get over the feeling of Sam betraying you if you don't talk to him about this shit, Dean!
- You can't keep having Dean air his grievances and then not let him remember. That isn't going to help him. Now Sam is all pissed off at what Dean said, but Dean doesn't know what he said, so he can't move forward. And Sam got to air his grievances at the end, but Dean didn't. Now, at least they're starting to talk about these things, but it can't be a one-way street! And if Dean doesn't remember what he said, it's a one-way street.
- You need to let Sam SHOW and not tell. Right now, Sam is saying the right things, but he doesn't have any emotion behind it. So Dean's not getting the message that Sam's world imploded when Dean was gone. He doesn't think Sam means it. So he's hurting, and he doesn't have anyone else to turn to, and he's taking it out on Sam. He feels abandonded, so let Sam be there for his brother. Because that is going to help BOTH of them.
Okay, now it's bullet point time for the rest of the episode!
- Dean's line about Benny being the only person who hasn't let him down: foreshadowing or not?
- "Are you the new Bobby?" "You shut your mouth!" "Yes." "You shut your mouth!"
- Garth was a dentist, and he killed the tooth fairy!!!!! I will say, I like Garth. One or two episodes a year with him is fine with me. He's kind of like a sweet palate cleanser after all the angst.
- I keep going back and forth on Amelia. One week I like her, the next I don't. This week, I didn't.
- I love the idea of Bobby belonging to everyone. He was amazing and touched so many lives, and I MISS BOBBY SO MUCH!!!!
- Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Bobby!
- "Burn a Confederate Soldier's bones in a town full of rednecks? Sure." Point for Sam.
- "We won." 10 points for Dean. That was so bitchy. I loved it.
- Garth doesn't have any grudges! Garth, you are precious. Let me hug you, sir.
- I was obsessed with Soundgarden for a while in junior high, so I really liked hearing "Fell On Black Days" over the coin montage.
- Cass is back next week! This makes me extremely happy!!!!!!!!
UPDATE: Hi, everyone! I'd love to be more responsive to the comments this week, but with my in-laws in town, I don't have time! Blast! So keep up the great discussion, and I'll catch you guys after the next episode (when I'll be in-law free. I love them, but not a lot of commenting time, ha.) I appreciate the feedback about the reviews, as always.