When commenting on another friend’s blog prior to this week’s episode, I had an epiphany. The last few episodes – in particular, “As Time Goes By” and “Everybody Hates Hitler” made me realise I missed something I wasn’t even aware I was missing… I missed Sam and Dean.

Sure, they were there every week fighting the good fight and invariably each other, like they had been since season 1, but that something, that lightning in a bottle, that connection they had with each other that made me connect with them……
 
I knew it wasn’t the same, that’s ok, it shouldn’t be the same, but I didn’t realise, how much it wasn’t the same and how far they’d moved away from what made me love them in the first place.
 
Then…all of a sudden, there they were again, cautiously, slowly making their way back to each other and back to me and in doing so, making my heart beat and melt simultaneously.
 
I suddenly realised I’d been missing them terribly. I’d been missing Sam and Dean.
 
This probably seems weird coming from me, me who always champions the brothers and it’s true, I’ve never doubted their love and dedication to each other and I never will, it’s just…it was hard to see it sometimes, in amongst the anger, hurt and pain.
 
Then I had a second epiphany (that’s probably my 2 for the year… peaked so soon). All of a sudden, the second half of this season – post hiatus – brought into focus the first half of this season.

I know a lot of you have struggled with many aspects of the first 10 episodes of season 8. I haven’t necessarily shared those views, though I understand a lot of them. I didn’t have issues around Sam’s flashbacks. Their incongruity seemed purposeful to me. I felt like we weren’t supposed to understand them; that they were supposed to feel off, because they represented an ideal that in the end didn’t exist. I didn’t have issues around Dean and his post Purgatory personality, or how quickly he recovered. If he felt it was pure, I couldn’t see why he would be tortured by the experience. I understood his misunderstanding of what went down with Cass and the misconception that he left his friend behind, because that’s Dean…good or bad, like it or not, that’s who he is, it’s not the first time he’s worn guilt for something he’s not been responsible for. I was ok with Dean’s friendship with Benny, though I’m pretty suspicious of it now – not Benny as such but who flung Benny into Dean’s path, because how did Benny know that spell, let along about the portal, but beyond that, I enjoyed that friendship. But it ran its course and when Dean walked away, I was cool with it. That relationship was never supposed to exist outside of Purgatory. They were never supposed to contact each other in the living world. I didn’t have issues with Sam giving up ‘the life’, who could blame him after everything he’s been through, not me that’s for sure…the not searching for Dean, as shocking as that was, made some sense to me when looking at it inline with their past experiences, though I do agree that a little explainer would’ve been nice, not a great big scene, just a little one…even now…just to put it to rest…but I’ll be fine without it. I moved past Sam suggesting Dean hunt alone and Dean’s outburst under the influence of the spectre. I just kept looking to the future, because I assumed we were going somewhere, I assumed there was a reason for all of this. Then everything exploded in “Citizen Fang” followed up by “Torn and Frayed” and then…it all started to make sense…
 
Last week I got to thinking, as we experienced for the first time in a long time a harmonious Sam and Dean, that maybe this was Carver’s plan all along; his genius in action before our eyes.
 
In season 6 and 7 the brothers were all over the place. They were struggling with soullessness and then trust, with depression, with craziness, with friends betraying them, with friends dying in front of them…damn it, they even lost the car! Jeremy wrote for “Supernatural” during the heydays of seasons 3 – 5. I wonder what he thought when he came back and saw what Sam and Dean had become? Maybe this is where his plan took root. How could he bring the heart and soul of “Supernatural” back to the show, how could he reunite the Winchesters in a realistic and meaningful way.
 
After being apart and living opposing lives for a year, the brothers would be in different places emotionally. So reunite them, but explore that. Put obstacles in their path, which pull them in different directions, which essentially end up pulling them apart. Make them hit rock bottom. Bring them to a place where they no longer know whether they want to be together and then force them to make a choice. Make them choose between the other people in their lives or each other. Make them choose between walking away from their brother and everything that’s always been important to them or recommitting to each other and their ongoing quest. Then when they choose to move forward together, bring in the new mythology about the Winchesters. Introduce mythology that allows Sam to connect to hunting on a level he hasn’t in the past. Allows him to have a purpose in the hunt, other than out of duty to his brother. Allows Sam to find some happiness and through his happiness, see Dean gain some comfort and equilibrium. Put the focus squarely back on the origins of the show - family and legacy - and in doing so, bring the show back to its roots. Bring back the heart and the soul.
 
Then back all this up with an episode where the brothers actually speak to each other, tell each other their dreams. Dean’s is to see Sam happy, Sam’s is to be happy but with Dean by his side. Let the brothers see what they still mean to each other and that this is a journey they can make together. Reconfirm that bond, that love… and make the fan’s hearts explode with joy.
 
Whether this is what the plan was all along or not, whether you see it like this or not (and I’m sure plenty are in the ‘not’ camp) this is certainly how it’s worked for me. I feel like I’ve been taken on a journey of rediscovery along with the Winchester brothers…a journey to patch up all our broken hearts, that will let us move forward with hope and I like it.

Which brings me to “Trial and Error”.
 
My twitter was going CRAZY after this episode. I of course, was at work! But everyone was tweeting me about how I was going to love it. Then my emails lit up with comments on the Spolier-lite preview…which I didn’t read (the willpower that took). Then my friend Hazel texted me a message all in CAPS, yelling at me to get home and watch it! Geesh. I was a wreck driving home…yelling at all the cars in front of me, “MOVE IT I HAVE SUPERNATURAL TO WATCH!” 

I popped it on…then after Kevin’s scenes and the title, there was Dean caressing his new Zeppelin vinyl, smoothing out the weapons on the wall…pulling the photo of Mary out of his wallet “Hey mom”…o-oh…lump in my throat…but it wasn’t until Sam was alone in Dean’s room and looked around, saw the photo, looked over his shoulder at where Dean had walked out, and smiled…and then looked back at Dean’s perfectly made bed…with its one pillow. Yep…I burst into tears! Ugly crying. Ok…I’ve been a little emotionally wobbly in recent months but that moment – both Dean’s pride in his room and Sam’s obvious understanding and how touched and happy he looked for his brother…yep tears…I may be welling up a little at the thought of it! I even loved Sam’s bratty and playful gum wrapper toss. Little bastard! I giggled. Brother shenanigans…how I’ve missed thee. Warm and fuzzies abound. I cried at least three times in this episode. Happy cries. Big happy Winchestery cries. It’s been a while.
 
So every one of you who tweeted me…yes you were right, I loved this episode. It felt like such a wonderful continuation of the work that started at the very end of “Torn and Frayed” and then tentatively continued in “LARP and the Real Girl” and has been making little steps, little bits of character progression each week to get us here, which is way better than where we were!

This trials thing is equal parts exciting and troubling. I don’t like what completing that trial did to Sam’s head and then his arm, which seemed to glow like Cass glowed when he took away Sam’s crazy. What on earth does that mean?! I’m assuming Kevin’s nosebleeds and whatnot are because he’s read the trials – that connecting with the trials in any way, either physically or intellectually, causes something unpleasant to happen to you…unless Kevin was just in need of vitamins, but I thought, after the effect the trial had on Sam, it was more likely a physical side-effect of getting this close to God’s message and the endgame.

For Sam to be the one who completes God’s little obstacle course has arc symmetry for me. He’s Lucifer’s vessel, he unlocked the cage initially, he’s been plagued by his dark destiny since season 1. This is his chance to put all of that to rest, atone – to himself, because I think it’s only Sam who needs to forgive Sam. Demons have been manipulating Sam since he was a child. Time for payback. Dean will be kicking butt beside him all the way. I’m expecting the brothers to work these trials together – with Sam just being the one to deliver the final blow. The brothers are going to have to work together now more than ever, to keep each other safe. It was pure happenstance that Sam ended up being the one that killed the Hellhound – not through any will of his own, but because he was there and that bitch needed putting down before she ate his brother! But I like the way it turned out. I have a sneaking suspicion Dean will be involved in working out what’s happening with Cass. Once again…symmetry, being as what their Biblical destinies were and also, recognising Dean’s relationship with Castiel. I like this. I think I like this a lot.
 
Then there were the speeches that the brother’s both gave, which were awesome and I think, quite representative of where they’re at.

Dean, having seen Sam struggle and have a reinvigorated desire for a safe life, wants to see that for his brother. That’s Dean’s happy ending, Sam’s happiness. Dean has always been cavalier with his own life. I think that’s equal parts heroism and self-loathing. At his heart, he still doubts his own worth, but at his heart he also has Sam’s heart. Sam is his most perfect expression of love. He wants the best for his brother. Who doesn’t? Okay, most of us aren’t willing to toss our lives away, but we all understand wanting happiness for those we love the most. Dean’s speech made me cry. I cried at his sentiment for Sam but also at how sad it made me for Dean, that he can be so damn awesome but just not see it, that he can really think of himself as a "grunt"…which I think has been reinforced by Henry and the Men of Letters thing. Dean sees himself as the “ape” hunter where as Sam is the MoL. Dean not recognising his epic strategic skill…Sam’s right the dude’s a hunter savant! And then Sam’s broken-hearted face, he simply looked shattered for his brother. It was an great speech, I love Dean’s unabashed heroism, I love what Dean wants for Sam…but I wish he also wanted something for himself, like you know…life.

Sam, well he needs to be believed in again, because I’m not sure he believes in himself and I’m not sure he has for a long time now. So much has happened to Sam to shake him to his core. And I do believe that Dean believes in Sam, but most of their heart to hearts in recent memory have been angry ones…it’s been a long time since they spoke to each other so open and honestly…and POSITIVELY! I absolutely adored that Sam said he’d lead Dean to the light at the end of the tunnel. Damn Sam Winchester, that was the perfect thing to say. That’s all Dean really needs to hear, that Sam does want him by his side. That they are in this together and that no matter what the outcome and even if Sam does walk away from hunting, he still wants Dean there, part of his life. I hope Dean had his ears on. He needs to hear his brother and take that into his heart.
 
I don’t know about these boys, but I sure as hell needed those speeches. Oh and yes…I cried during Sam’s speech too. The brother scenes had me three for three!

One of the other aspects of “Trial and Error” I really enjoyed was the continuity with past seasons. The “THEN” was fantastic! It went back to season 2 and “Crossroads Blues”. We saw Crowley and his huge hound from season 5’s “The Devil You Know”. Then we brought Crowley and his deals into the present story. Plus I seriously love Hellhounds and I totally dug seeing them. How cool was that? Great effect. Awesome goopy blood goo all over Sam too! I was yelling…KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLOSED! Gross. Demon hound blood in your mouth, ick. I think it missed though!



Seeing the nasty dogs through the glasses was very cool as well…and hot. Hot. Those glasses were hot. Very, hot. Did I mention how hot the glasses were? Also flirty chick and caught-on-the-back-foot Dean and kissing and meat jokes and kissing...just sayin’. Oh and Aussie shout out to the Divinyls “I Touch Myself”! Rock on Chrissy Amphlett! Legend.
 
I like where all this is going. The tablets, the MoL and the supernatural mother load, the trials (though I’m frightened by them), the bros… I get a sense that there’s a clear plan in place for the rest of the season, like all these elements that are running concurrent are going to connect...because it already feels like that’s beginning to happen.

I feel season 8 has been consistent and well structured and there’s this awesome momentum building as we hit the back straight. It’s not been since season 5 that I’ve felt this anxious build towards the season endgame. Having season 9 locked and loaded so early in the piece, will also allow the creative team time to plan out the strategy for the end of this season into the new season, which is incredibly exciting.
 
“Trial and Error” was another classic “Supernatural” episode. That's 3 in a row where I've gone...oh yeah baby!
 
Not only that, the brothers are talking, they’re expressing their love for each other, they’re offering trust and support to each other. This makes me optimistic and happy. These are the guys I’ve been waiting to see. These are the guys I’ve been in love with for 8 years.
 
Welcome back boys…now behave yourselves and let’s never speak of that other stuff again!

Thanks for reading. See you soon.
- sweetondean


Comments  

Nate
# Nate 2013-02-15 08:56
sweetondean,
I am jumping up and down having just finished your review. My two highlights:
"I know a lot of you have struggled with many aspects of the first 10 episodes of season 8. I haven’t necessarily shared those views, though I understand a lot of them. I didn’t have issues around Sam’s flashbacks. Their incongruity seemed purposeful to me. I felt like we weren’t supposed to understand them; that they were supposed to feel off, because they represented an ideal that in the end didn’t exist.
I AGREE--I had my "ah-ha" moment yesterday too with the Sam/Amelia relationship. Most blamed her for Sam quitting hunting, that is sort of what was said by Dean "Did you quit for a girl?" Sam did not answer, but we assumed a "Yes." Amelia came AFTER Sam had quit, she was not to blame. I saw their relationship the same way you mentioned--off, the ideal that didn't exist. It was like the beginning of Season 6, when I was asking "What is Jared doing to Sam?" Then we are brought up to speed and "WOW, JARED has been KILLING it with his performance, BRAVO!" For me, the same with Sam/Amelia, I almost love it now after my "ah-ha." BUT, we don't need to see her again :)
#2 hightlight from your review: "Last week I got to thinking, as we experienced for the first time in a long time a harmonious Sam and Dean, that maybe this was Carver’s plan all along; his genius in action before our eyes."
Could not have said it better myself. I think we needed the "crap" first 10 emotional back and forth to get to the awesomeness we're currently starting. Thank you for mentioning all of that, as many have posted comments how bad or slow the first part of this Season Gr8 has been.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-15 09:13
Your writing is, as always, just a pleasure to read. I find myself looking forward to it week after week. You put so much perspective into each episode that some may miss, I know I do sometimes, so thank you for all you do.

I also, am just so giddy about this season. I was one of those that just rode out the ride because I knew there had to be better days to come and had faith in the writers, JC and always faith in the boys. Sure there were times I was not entirely happy with the direction, but like you, I knew there had to be a reason they were going there. I was never a fan of the Amelia relationship but I see that it got Sam out of the funck he was in. The Purgatory flashbacks were an awesome foundation that got Dean where he is today. All the pieces are beginning to fit and with so much more to go I barely get through the week in wanting more.

I am glad they took the arc to Sam being the one having to do the 3 trials because like you mentioned, this might be the opportunity for Dean to be the one to help Cas with his Naomi issue and he certainly could not do both, "although he would try" (stealing Cas' comments from ALSoK). The scenes of the boys really talking to each other were just so heartfelt and genuin and sooooo very needed at this time. We have our true Sam and Dean back where they should be and how exciting this is for us all.
witch22
# witch22 2013-02-15 09:19
awesome review. It really feels like Sam & Dean are back. Brotherly love & all that. As happy I am for those back to back epic episodes I am dreading what angst they are gonna throw at us.
BeccaB
# BeccaB 2013-02-15 09:48
Loved you review, but then again I always love your reviews. Although I only cried twice during the show, for some reason I did bawl while reading you review.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-15 11:23
Sweetondean, lovely review. I hope everyone reads it and it helps them blend this season together.

I agree totally with your conclusion. JC worked his magic and did it 10 episodes. He didn't have the time to take 5 seasons. But he managed to pull in all of the 'thens' from previous seasons and have so many references in the episodes to previous seasons. So I felt as close to Swan Song emotions in this episode as I haven't felt since. The emotional rollercoaster and build up of seasons 1-5 was so similar to the first 10 episodes this season. And I think that was an important thing to do for the newer viewers like me as well. People who have started watching in the last year or two because of TNT miss the continuity. That's why I had to buy all the DVD's!

JC found a way to have it all built up with similar issues as in the beginning. Then bring them together in a beautiful moment like Swan Song.

Thanks for the review. I too welled up reading it. Man all these emotional episodes right before Vegas. It is going to make it even harder for me not to burst into tears when I see the guys. And in my photo op with JA I will probably be a wreck, or have lost all of my eye makeup by then! Pathetic. I don't know if I can take two more like this! But of course I'll suffer through them if need be. Would do anything for those guys! HA! (Mother Bear mode again)
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-15 11:30
Sweetondean
When I first read thoughts in this chat room I agreed with many who were convinced the brother bond had been broken irreparably. Sam's first meeting with Dean was so lack lustre and the subsequent knowledge that he hadn't looked for Dean or Kevin, along with his almost irritation at Dean being around. then Torn and Frayed, well it was poor agony, rusty blunt knives through the heart agony!

And Sam not looking for Dean

I couldn't understand HOW on earth the producers directors and anyone who had power over the Sam/Amelia relationship could possibly ignore the lack of chemistry between the actors. Surely there is a get out clause in the contract, and if there was they sure as Chuck never used it. wtf!!!!! (I think of that killer scene with demon (Meg) possessed Sam and Jo.... the man can ACT oh my word did I sit up and take notice during that scene, nooooo problem there with Sam/Jo). Sorry I digress, my point is, I feel it was this that tainted the Sam storyline for me. Put Jessica in Amelia's place, and I don't have a problem with the FB at all... well except for..

And Sam not looking for Dean

But Nate, Leah, Sweetondean, PaintedWolf, Eilf, Fluffy, Kelly, Bamboo, E, Emmau and everyone I have interacted with, I thank you for convincing me that this relationship was never irreparable! So slowly I have come to a very ah HUUUH moment of my own, when I saw them slowly moving towards each other since LARP, as men with grownup love to give and share.


But the PTB puhleeez let us understand why Sam didn't look for Dean. We are owed that much.

Thanks so much for such a warm, heartfelt and positive review Sweetondean.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-15 16:57
Quote:
Sweetondean
When I first read thoughts in this chat room I agreed with many who were convinced the brother bond had been broken irreparably. Sam's first meeting with Dean was so lack lustre and the subsequent knowledge that he hadn't looked for Dean or Kevin, along with his almost irritation at Dean being around. then Torn and Frayed, well it was poor agony, rusty blunt knives through the heart agony!

And Sam not looking for Dean

I couldn't understand HOW on earth the producers directors and anyone who had power over the Sam/Amelia relationship could possibly ignore the lack of chemistry between the actors. Surely there is a get out clause in the contract, and if there was they sure as Chuck never used it. wtf!!!!! (I think of that killer scene with demon (Meg) possessed Sam and Jo.... the man can ACT oh my word did I sit up and take notice during that scene, nooooo problem there with Sam/Jo). Sorry I digress, my point is, I feel it was this that tainted the Sam storyline for me. Put Jessica in Amelia's place, and I don't have a problem with the FB at all... well except for..

And Sam not looking for Dean

But Nate, Leah, Sweetondean, PaintedWolf, Eilf, Fluffy, Kelly, Bamboo, E, Emmau and everyone I have interacted with, I thank you for convincing me that this relationship was never irreparable! So slowly I have come to a very ah HUUUH moment of my own, when I saw them slowly moving towards each other since LARP, as men with grownup love to give and share.


But the PTB puhleeez let us understand why Sam didn't look for Dean. We are owed that much.

Thanks so much for such a warm, heartfelt and positive review Sweetondean.
hey there.

you know i never once thought sam didn't look for dean. i think sam did try to look for dean. but i think he had no resources, nowhere to start, no help, basically no clue what to do. i think what sam did do was convince himself that dean was dead. i really do. i think he absolutely convinced himself that his brother was dead, because he couldn't face the alternative.... yet again not being able to save his brother.

then i think he hit the dog. i think he started to focus on amelia, because she was so messed up and he was and he wanted to help....he needed to help someone. he needed to succeed and not fail someone.

jmo of course.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-18 05:44
Nappi, I actually had that same thought! That maybe Sam suspected Dean was in Purgatory, but couldn't risk starting LeviApocalypse 2.0, so to avoid the devastation of feeling like he'd failed Dean again, he convinced himself that Dean really was dead and didn't need rescuing.
It would be nice, though to have that acknowledgd on screen, but I think, just personally, I'd be ok if it wasn't.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-18 08:04
Nappi
You know I hope you are right. I just feel sad because Sam had seen Dean disappear so many times before, it doesn't seem logical that he would now think Dean was dead and/or suddenly lose the power to look for Dean. I want TPTB to explain this. Even if you take his supposed (fanwank) breakdown into account after Dean disappeared, it still doesn't explain why he didn't protect Kevin. So something was up with our Sammy, it is so obvious to me. Us fans just need a one liner saying something explaining it .. even if it was as you said not being able to face the fact that he cannot save Dean. Unless of course Naomi is involved in some way and he 'lost' those few months btwn Dean and Amelia (may gods rest her soul). That 'lost' period could be used effectively to tie into the mytharc even now methinks. I am just hoping that this will be the case. It will FOREVERRRRR haunt me otherwise. Thanks for your thoughts though, I am routing that they will explain it eventually :-?
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-18 05:41
Kaz, I'm happy you found your ah-ha! moment.
As you know, I've always suspected Carver was bringing to this point. Well, not this, exactly, but I love that the boys are on the same page and actually having honest, heartfelt conversations.
I only hope that nothing comes between them again, because, being Supernatural, I'd imagine these tasks aren't going to be easy on either of them.
You know, in the last week or so, first with the season 9 renewal and now this, I have to say as much as I love this show and always will, this is the first in a long time that I'm feeling super hopeful and happy about the show. Yay!
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-18 08:09
PaintedWolf,
Quote:
You know, in the last week or so, first with the season 9 renewal and now this, I have to say as much as I love this show and always will, this is the first in a long time that I'm feeling super hopeful and happy about the show. Yay!
I knowwww!! it's just so exciting. I haven't been a fan for that long, but I can say that this is the first season I really cannot guess where the story is going. There are just so many options. But overall there is a feeling of deep optimism that hasn't been there since Bobby died
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-18 11:06
Hi Kaz1, Thank you for the mention and in such great company to boot! I love the show and these characters so much, it's pretty easy to keep the faith. You are aware that at one point, the constant barrage of comments that said Dean hates Sam, Dean doesn't want Sam around, Dean has new better brothers- was so disheartening that a step back was needed. I never doubted the love between Sam and Dean, not for a second.

I am happy with where the show has brought us and the brothers. I am looking forward to the rest of the season so much. I am completely with you on "let us understand" Sam and his lost months and his motivations. The ship has probably sailed on that one though. :-(
Bevie
# Bevie 2013-02-15 12:01
Your review and the above posts have been a balm to my soul, sweetondean! I do get twisted in knots when reading the Dean vs Sam posts in other threads. Hope they stay out of this one!

Your view of the whole season so far is mine also. So many are claiming never to watch the first 10 episodes this year again as they are so OOC or so not pleasing to them, or so anti-Sammy and Amelia. (don't care for her myself, but there was a reason for her) and JC is ruining Sam etc etc.
The first 10 were needed to bring us to this lovely position we're in right now. The brothers are BACK! They CARE for each other! Jeremy Carver is a genius, and look at how much better the writers have been with JC at the helm. (Ben Edlund is ALWAYS excellent no matter what).

The warm and fuzzies abounded in that episode and made me so happy when it was over. What a great feeling to be taken back to the first few seasons and see the love and commitment between the boys and not having it just shoved in but prepared for in the first part of the season.

I was thrilled when learning Jeremy Carver was taking over and he has not let me down at all. (still tearing up just thinking about it). :-)
Valgal
# Valgal 2013-02-15 12:17
Thanks sweetondean:

I hadn't watched more than the "Then" scene of "Trial and Error" before I knew I would LOVE this episode. Well, I love most of the episodes and those I don't...well, no one can bat 100% all of the time. I felt enveloped by the familiarity of it all and that the emotional connection between the boys is back.

Thank you for explaining your epiphany about the first part of the season. They (and maybe we viewers) had to hit bottom The past few episodes are bringing the boys and us back. "home". For Sam and Dean it finally a physical home of their own (Batcave), the emotional home (acknowledging again that they are better together than separate) and spiritual homes (Purgatory gave Dean clarity, being a MOL gives Sam "light" and hope.) How happy I am when I see the characters I fell in love with.

As long as I see Sam and Dean being true to their beliefs, to their legacy, to taking on the mantle as "hunters", I am giddy with joy. I don't know how Sam and Dean will be affected by the trials ahead of them. Life is full of trial and error. We can grow from them as we saw Sam and Dean do or be like the Cassity family-full of anger and grief and blame. I am confident the writers will create scenarios where Sam and Dean will figure out how to close hell or rescue Castiel or mentor Kevin or whatever obstacles that arise -together.

I watch Supernatural for the emotional connection. I want to believe that we draw our strength, compassion, creativity, endurance, and the power to forgive and move forward from those closest to us. Time and time again, the characters of Sam and Dean show us this can happen.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-15 12:26
Valgal
Quote:
I watch Supernatural for the emotional connection. I want to believe that we draw our strength, compassion, creativity, endurance, and the power to forgive and move forward from those closest to us. Time and time again, the characters of Sam and Dean show us this can happen.
I believe this is the reason why this little show has done so well for so long. I also believe it why it has one of the most dedicated fandoms of all the shows out there. It captures your heart so completely for the very reasons you state. I've never been much of a TV viewer, but SPN grabbed me from the second I began watching late last year, and I know I will be on board till the end.
st50
# st50 2013-02-15 12:30
Well, you hit it again, sweetondean.
That's what I've been missing. Sam and Dean. Together. (Not together, together... just together. You know. ;-) )
And that's what made this episode perfect for me.
They're back! I heart them.
I'm not sure I see that all the rest was necessary, but I'm willing to buy your argument and see where it goes.
As long as the brothers are back. I'm on board for the run.
And finally, for that.... Thank you Jeremy Carver.
Valgal
# Valgal 2013-02-15 12:44
Thanks kaz1. I too, am selective about what I watch. One of my students suggested SPN around the same time a friend did. Over winter break in 2011 I took a DVD out of the local library. Suffice it to say that I gifted myself the first five seasons for my birthday that March. The rest has been history. I too, am on board for whatever journeys the Winchester Brothers have ahead of them.
debbab
# debbab 2013-02-15 13:11
Agree with it all SweetonDean. Sam saves Dean from a hellhound which he could not do in previously and Dean went to Hell-now that's symmetry! Sam looking for Dean finally. Dean trying to kill one after we know it one of his greatest fears from Yellow Fever hallucination. Special effects showed Dean's inner ugliness toward himself and Sam's arm and his poor heat-symbol for hellfire or heaven's purification? He hid it from Dean as much as he could-that's our Sammy. I believe the series was reenergized with this episode. Loved the comedic lines slipped in, the homage to Smallville, even the reference to Calgon soap commercial. The Dallas/Walton wannabees chuckle, Laughed, cried, sighed, and physically stood up with a fist pump.
judyann
# judyann 2013-02-15 13:23
Sweetondean, another wonder ful review. I enjoy your spin on the show. I for one am just enjoying the ride this season. For most part I have little to complain about. But this eposide was one of the best of the season so far. Dean in his room with the picture of his mom was heartbreaking. I don't usually get to emotional with the show but that did have me tearing up alittle. As for the speeches they were some of the best in the show so far. I loved Sam saying he would take Dean to the light. I hope so. I am probably one of the few who would like to see Dean with a happy ending.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-15 13:39
Judyann
Quote:
As for the speeches they were some of the best in the show so far.
Oh my word weren't they just the best speeches ever. I keep on watching them over and over. Reminds me of Dean's speech over Sam's dead body way way back. I am so glad that I had the flashback to that ep, it shows me that those feelly feels are coming back to the brothers. (I keep on wanting to call them 'the boys' but I can't anymore :cry: )
judyann
# judyann 2013-02-15 18:56
Kaz1, They're not boys know- they finally are being written as men. Beautiful men at that!
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-16 12:20
judyann -I think all of us who love Dean would like to see a happy ending for him (and Sam). But with this particular show and the nature of what they do, a happy ending does not seem likely. One can hope though :-) For me, no matter how they end it, it is going to be extremely sad because saying goodbye to these characters will break my heart. Thankfully we don't have to worry about it for awhile.
aelaine
# aelaine 2013-02-15 13:34
Thank you sweetondean I too feel we had to take this journey too. we had to, to get were we are now, It was confusing, frustrating,for us and them, but finally here we are there, Lets Rejoice as per Cas. They had to grow, we had to see it. Sure there are still unanswered questions but I feel most of them will be answered. Loved the hellhounds, the crazy family - Sam and Dean positivity well adjusted in comparison ha . Love where we are going and looking forward to the ride and to be able in the future to look back at the beginning with a new clarity.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-15 13:54
Beautifully put, sweetondean. Could not agree with you more about the first 10 episodes this year. Torn and Frayed was a painful but necessary episode. I must admit I got a little weepy during their speeches to one another; the utterly shattered look on Sam's face after Dean finished and Sam telling Dean that he's the best hunter he's ever met, even better than their Dad . given how much Dean idolized their father, hearing this from his brother probably meant a lot to him. For so many seasons it has been Dean leading Sam to the light - its good to see Sam wanting too do the same for his big brother.

I think Sam's line at the end - I can do this - was trying to assure himself as much as his brother.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-15 14:21
Can anyone tell me why that piano playing in the background during Dean's speech to Sam is so familiar?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-15 15:07
Wasn't it a variation of Dean's theme (I think that's what its called)
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-15 14:34
A shoutout to the continuity people is required I think. Before the guys found the secret bunker they had the conversation about turning off their phone GPSs because Garth was monitoring them. Now they don't want to be found and this way of tracking them to the Batcave that they might otherwise have overlooked is gone.

I like that :D
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-15 14:39
Eilf
Neat observation
krystal
# krystal 2013-02-15 14:52
Sweetondean as always your reviews delve deep into the heart of the brother's relationship and story. I love reading your reviews because you really "get it" and help others see it even more clearly! I loved this episode! I teared up reading your review. I think this is going down as one of my favorites.

I am with you in that the storyline makes sense and has had a purpose. While it may have caused me to struggle a bit in the first half with some parts I never gave up and looked for the heart in each episode and what could be. Now we see what is and I am ever so happy and gleeful!

Thanks for bringing all the emotion forefront and keeping the heart in the show.
Beverly
# Beverly 2013-02-15 15:12
Lovely job as usual, Sweetondean.

Had a random thought last night as I was going to bed. Whatever wireless plan the boys have I want it. Not only does the batcave have electricity and great water pressure. Sam was using his laptop to surf for information last week and it was working beautifully. On top of that, Dean got a call from Kevin on the phone and it actually rang.

Being that surrounded by concrete and it all still works, sign me up :-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-15 15:15
Spot on review. I especially love what you said here:
Quote:
For Sam to be the one who completes God’s little obstacle course has symmetry for me. He’s Lucifer’s vessel, he unlocked the cage initially, he’s been plagued by his dark destiny since season 1. This is his chance to put all of that to rest, atone – to himself, because I think it’s only Sam who needs to forgive Sam. We know Dean will be kicking butt beside him all the way. I’m expecting the brothers to work these trials together – with Sam just being the one to deliver the final blow. The brothers are going to have to work together now more than ever, to keep each other safe. It was pure happenstance that Sam ended up being the one that killed the Hellhound – not through any will of his own, but because he was there and that bitch needed putting down before she ate his brother! But I like the way it turned out. I have a sneaking suspicion Dean will be involved in working out what’s happening with Cass. Once again…symmetry, being as what their Biblical destinies were and also, recognising Dean’s relationship with Castiel. I like this. I think I like this a lot.
You have a way with words, that's what I'm thinking, but I didn't know how to say it, so thank you for doing all the work. ;-)
Giorgia
# Giorgia 2013-02-15 15:19
great review! great episode, I really loved it! felt soooo good!

I just have 2 thoughts spoiling all the good feelings:
1. Dean saying "I didn't pass the test" sounded like him judging himself (again!) and made me sad and worried about his future feelings
2. the awkward thing with Sam's arm...mmmhhh... don't know... The special effect reminds me of Dean having Benny's soul in his arm...

can anybody reassure me? please?
krystal
# krystal 2013-02-15 17:56
Just watched the interview with Jared and he alluded to some consequences/si de effects from the trials. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil, but I don't think it's going to be all smiles for Sam. Sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-15 18:34
So krystal where did you watch this Jared interview at? I have not seen anything on that.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-15 18:48
Should have waited a minute before I sent the previous one. I just found it on zap2it. Thanks anyways.
Giorgia
# Giorgia 2013-02-16 16:01
...as long as it doesn't come between the brothers...I don't want to see them apart again, I need only good feelings for the rest of the season.

thanks a lot for the hint!
:-)
Shelley
# Shelley 2013-02-15 17:02
YES. My God, I loved this episode so much. I couldn't figure out how to put how I felt about it into words, but you've done that for me. At the end of the ep, I was just kind of like ASDFGHJKL! I didn't know what to do with all my feelings! So I just watched the episode again :D
Awesome awesome awesome review, Amy!
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-15 17:34
Quote:
In season 6 and 7 the brothers were all over the place. They were struggling with soullessness and then trust, with depression, with craziness, with friends betraying them, with friends dying in front of them…damn it, they even lost the car! Jeremy wrote for “Supernatural” during the heydays of seasons 3 – 5. I wonder what he thought when he came back and saw what Sam and Dean had become? Maybe this is where his plan took root. How could he bring the heart and soul of “Supernatural” back to the show, how could he reunite the Winchesters in a realistic and meaningful way.

After being apart and living opposing lives for a year, the brothers would be in different places emotionally. So reunite them, but explore that. Put obstacles in their path, which pull them in different directions, which essentially end up pulling them apart. Make them hit rock bottom. Bring them to a place where they no longer know whether they want to be together and then force them to make a choice. Make them choose between the other people in their lives or each other. Make them choose between walking away from their brother and everything that’s always been important to them or recommitting to each other and their ongoing quest. Then when they choose to move forward together, bring in the new mythology about the Winchesters. Introduce mythology that allows Sam to connect to hunting on a level he hasn’t in the past. Allows him to have a purpose in the hunt, other than out of duty to his brother. Allows Sam to find some happiness and through his happiness, see Dean gain some comfort and equilibrium. Put the focus squarely back on the origins of the show - family and legacy - and in doing so, bring the show back to its roots. Bring back the heart and the soul.

Then back all this up with an episode where the brothers actually speak to each other, tell each other their dreams. Dean’s is to see Sam happy, Sam’s is to be happy but with Dean by his side. Let the brothers see what they still mean to each other and that this is a journey they can make together. Reconfirm that bond, that love… and make the fan’s hearts explode with joy.

Whether this is what the plan was all along or not, whether you see it like this or not (and I’m sure plenty are in the ‘not’ camp) this is certainly how it’s worked for me. I feel like I’ve been taken on a journey of rediscovery along with the Winchester brothers…a journey to patch up all our broken hearts, that will let us move forward with hope and I like it.
Yes, yes, yes - we are definitely on the same page! Lovely, lovely, lovely review.
RGNYC Rebecca
# RGNYC Rebecca 2013-02-15 18:03
I am with you, sweetondean! This episode was sublime. You pointed out all the many delights and I agree totally about this episode (and the 2 previous ones) bringing together all the issues of the beginning of the season. But this one: Dean prepared home-made cheeseburgers on real plates! Sam took his plate to go! That just made me so very happy. And the beautiful speeches. Ahhh I just adore Supernatural now and always. Cheers.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-15 18:33
Ah such a nice review, sweetondean. I have to agree with Becca and Krystal. I teared up more reading your review than when I watched the episode. You have such a great way of expressing our feelings, even when we can't sometimes.

I don't feel that Dean is suicidal. He does have low self-esteem, but I think his words to Sam were about what he thinks is inevitable for him. He has told Sam before that it will "end bloody" and he doesn't want that for Sam. In his heart of hearts I don't think he really wants that for himself either but he doesn't think he has other options now.

I mentioned on another thread that rewatching some of the earlier episodes will be easier now that I see what JC and company had in mind. I guess they had to completely deconstruct the brothers so that they could rebuild the relationship again. I still have a few quibbles about the way it was done but I am so happy to be where we are at now.

The last few weeks we have been kicking around the notion of whats missing in the last few seasons. That missing element we are all nostalgic for. You are right, it is the brothers. We have seen the guys frowning and scowling so much the last few years (with good reasons) that we became accustomed to it. In the last fews weeks we have actually seen smiles and relaxed faces again. We have ALL missed that so much. More heartaches to come I am sure but for now the brothers are in the building again.
Becky
# Becky 2013-02-15 19:15
I really enjoy your writing. Your love and enthusiasm for the characters really shows and it is so enjoyable to read your thoughts. I look at what is written about the show elsewhere and it is often very negative and then I read what you have to say and it is always hopeful. Thanks!
Arad
# Arad 2013-02-15 19:58
Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I don't have anything to add, but you said everything I felt so beautifully I am seriously tearing up again. Thank you!!
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-15 20:56
I adored this episode, sweetondean. I think you saw my tweet immediately after I watched the episode about how much I LOVE supernatural... and Jeremy Carver! It’s also great to see so much positivity on the boards, as well as increased ratings. Jeremy Carver is doing wonderfully well.

It was definitely the bro moments that made this episode special for me, and both of their speeches had me in tears. I was also very anxious after Sam said the spell... the look on Dean’s face and Sam’s pain (ok, I’m feeling a tad scared right now). Kudos to Jared and Jensen, they did an incredible job in those scenes!

I’ve really enjoyed the entire season, including flashbacks because I think they served their purpose. But I do think the season really hit its strides in episode 8 (Hunter Heroici). That was a fun episode and, since then, every episode has been stellar (particularly the last four).

I also agree that the threads to this season will be woven together. There are still many unanswered questions, including how Benny came to help Dean and who was the shadowy figure outside Sam & Amelia’s house. I’m sticking with my theory that it’s all angel intervention.

People have speculated that it was Don outside the house, but I don’t buy that. Don came across as a forthright guy in the bar, so I don’t see him stalking their house in the middle of the night. An angel, on the other hand, who doesn’t need sleep, could’ve been watching Sam for ages. I also have a nagging feeling that the angels bought Don back from the dead. If they wanted Dean out of purgatory (and told Benny to help him), wouldn’t it make sense that they’d be trying to make sure Sam was back by his side (by throwing a wrench into his ‘domestic’ life)? But I have no theory on what the angels are up to...

But, back to this episode. I'm also happy about:
Quote:
For Sam to be the one who completes God’s little obstacle course has arc symmetry for me. He’s Lucifer’s vessel, he unlocked the cage initially, he’s been plagued by his dark destiny since season 1. This is his chance to put all of that to rest, atone – to himself, because I think it’s only Sam who needs to forgive Sam.
And I agree... Dean won’t sit mildly by on the sidelines. He’ll be kicking butt... helping Sam and, in all likelihood, helping Cas. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for another great review sweetondean.
Tiny
# Tiny 2013-02-15 22:42
AMY!!! I love your review!!! I've replied to your comment on my review, but I'm going to repeat and comment some more.. I am sure you don't mind :D

Thank you for bringing up the idea of symmetry, and the show is connecting the biblical destinies (and family legacy) together. I think things will come full circle. I think Jeremy Carver's vision is a genius one. How can you top the apocalypse? But JC has this vision of connecting everything together for the ultimate ending. No many TV shows can still be good at their 8th season (Smallville was one..I can't help it!) and Supernatural does not do crap and expect viewers to just suck it up and watch it. The show is everything to me, and I am sure to you too.

I love that you mention choosing Sam to close the gate of hell. From the writer's POV, I totally get it too. Sam has such deep connection with hell/ demons/ Lucifer. It makes sense for him to close the gate. I too had a epiphany too while reading your review.. there are other tablets... It's strategic to have Sam to close the gate of hell. And Dean, to close the gate of heaven, should this be developed further in the future.

Thanks Amy! I am going to have another coffee.

Have a nice day.

Tiny
xoxo

Tiny
olivia forest
# olivia forest 2013-02-16 00:44
did anyone notice the hell hound screamed sam's name as sam was killing it with the knife?

WOW! LOVEDLOVEDLOVED the episode -- had almost given up on the show, but am now deeply reminded of its magic and its heart. the past few epi's have been tremendous and i have been taken back to the earlier years and the power of the bros relationship. great job jc, cast & crew!
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-16 00:55
Quote:
did anyone notice the hell hound screamed sam's name as sam was killing it with the knife?
Really? Wow... I'll have to watch/listen to that scene again. I did freeze that particular frame to get a look at the creepy red eyes of the hell hound. It was very effective special effects. And even though we could see the hell hounds (thanks to those special specs), it didn't make them any less scary. I was truly afraid for Dean (and had a momentary flashback to Jo)... even though I knew Sam would come to the rescue :lol:
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2013-02-16 04:51
Haha I'm not sure it was screaming Sam's name, though it sort of sounded like it! I think the hellhound was just yelping in pain as Sam stabbed it, and it just happened to sound similar to Sam's name. But I could be wrong! Either way, interesting catch!
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-16 17:21
Yeah, I'm not convinced after the re-watch. The hell hound just sounded like it was in pain. But cool effects :-)
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 18:46
Quote:
did anyone notice the hell hound screamed sam's name as sam was killing it with the knife?
After you mentioned this I had to go back and keep rewinding and listening and it could be it's saying Sam but the CC didn't pick up any words being said and if it did say it, it was extremely suttle. Wouldn't that be a trip if it really did though? Gets one to thinking again.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-02-16 00:54
Watching this episode, it wasn't that speechesthat got me. It was Dean's nesting instincts, Sam smiling at the photo, even the doomed family were obnoxious but hilarious and this episode had so many great quotes. I had a good 2-3 belly laughs and that's something that I hadn't experienced in quite some time. The last episode that worked for me like that before this season was the Plucky Pennywhistle episode. This episode has definately entered my top ten list of favorites.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-02-16 01:01
Also since the Leviathan tablet involved all three realms to get rid of them, I'm thinking that certainly the closing of the gates of Hell is bound to involvethe Angelic, Demon and Human realms to pull it off, with perhaps the human portion of the spell requiring some sort of vessel, which Sam may have just become with the completion of the first trial. The Angel tablets may require the same basic ingrediants from all 3 realms in order to work.

Just some thoughts I'm having because I found Sam's painful aftermath so troubling.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 01:59
Very interesting for sure. And the portion from Purgatory? Maybe Benny or Dean? Oh the speculation continues...
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-16 03:28
I'm one on those people struggling (big understatement) with the first half of the season, unfortunately still really struggling. But I really appreciate you taking the time to delve into why it is working for you. Unfortunately I'm just not there, which is killing me since there was so much I loved about almost all those episodes.

BUT I have adored the last 4 episodes and you illuminated almost every single thing I loved about this one. And it did feel like SAM AND DEAN again. This reminded me so much of the early seasons when Sam expressed his admiration so openly for Dean and Dean had unswerving faith in Sam. I while seasons 4 and 5 are probably my favorite (it so hard to chose though!), I miss THIS Dean and Sam.

I do absolutely think you're right that Carver was working towards away to get them back to this point (probably so it's more heartbreaking when fight again-joking). And I'm hoping that with what else they have planned will be enough to get me over being so pathetically sad whenever I watch 1-10. Because these last episodes have made me very happy and I want to feel that way about the rest.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-16 05:56
So hellhound blood is invisible until it leaks outside the body
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 18:48
Quote:
So hellhound blood is invisible until it leaks outside the body
Well our blood is not visible until we are cut or wounded so guess in the supernatural world this could be the case. You do raise an interesting question though.
E
# E 2013-02-16 09:39
Great review Sweetondean! You know, I think that I am willing to go with your interpretation of the first half of the season. I think it's logical and satisfying from a story telling perspective. It makes sense that we wouldn't really accept or be grateful for the brother's reconciliation unless it was worth something, and I for one am soooooo incredibly grateful for their current awesome brotherliness. It's not that I didnt' enjoy the first half of the season, on the con tray, I did enjoy many of those episodes, even the ones where the brother's were being hurtful and hurting (love me some brangst). It was just hard for me to see why they were doing what they were doing with the brother's individual storylines, especially Sam's. I am willing to move on for the most part now... but the stubborn mule in me wants two things resolved from earlier in the season (yes, I can't let it go)...1. and answer to the Benny/How did Dean get out of Purgatory conundrum; and I think we will get this answer eventually, as I'll bet it's important. 2. A little more info on Sam and his Why he Didn't look for Dean issue. This, I cannot accept as currently written because it makes so little sense. Just a few lines, that's all I ask, but I am not so sure we will get this the way I am pretty sure the Dean holes will be filled because it seems less relevant to current developing plot lines. Oh, and while I am at it....3. What's up with Cas and how does he/Naomi tie in?

I am more excited than ever to see where this is all going.
E
# E 2013-02-16 09:41
That should be "on the contrary" oy. Curses auto correct!
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-02-16 11:22
That is why I like your reviews, you put in words what I can't (well in English too). I knew it was Carver's intentions in the beginning to 'fix' what 'they' left him to work with. He said something like it was going to take time to piece what they left him with what he want it to go (of course I don't remember word for word)... hence, the first episodes. He said too, that he was going to explore what happens to the brothers after they lived separated from each other for a year, and to see what does to their co-dependance, and I remember thinking... oh-oh the fans are not going to like this one!! and I was not that far from the truth.

That is why, I was waiting and thinking, all had to have a purpose, even the Amelia story, which I didn't like too much, like I said it before, lack of chemistry between actors (and please, don't bring back her with a baby Winchester hahaha).... but I'm please or I would have to say, I love season 8 so far!

I like too that you see the symmetry between Sam-devil's gate-manipulati on-payback, as I said it in another comments, Sam is in charge of the devil's tablet and Dean is with heaven's. Again, symmetry, Dean-Angel looking after him-Cass-manipulation-payback.

The only thing about this episode is that I keep thinking, it was the perfect time to throw an explanation from Sam about what he when thru with Dean's disappearance. Just when he was telling Dean he was going to take him to the end of the tunnel, in that moment I wanted to hear something on the vicinity of ... "Because when you disappeared I thought you were dead I went nuts, like missing half of my body, I tried to kill me, I cried like a baby for weeks, I lost my mind..." well I'm not a writer, but you get the picture...

Hopefully, in future episodes we can see that. I'm with the generation of Starsky and Hutch, they were the first ones to bring the brotherly-partn er love between guys, the first ones on TV to show their emotions, and that as you can imagine brought a lot of controversy back in the day, and a lot of fans, especially women melting for the two (cute) leads.. now you know how all I am...hahaha In my defense, in my country TV series came 3 to 4 years later.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-16 12:11
Although I really want to hear what Sam went through when Dean disappeared (because I don't think we will ever see it), I think that may never happen. Carver seems to be happy with the set up as it is and doesn't seem to see any need to explain Sam's actions. I will be pleasantly surprised if we do get Sam's POV, but I no longer believe we will. It has been too long and the story has moved beyond this point, IMHO.
st50
# st50 2013-02-16 12:25
I agree, percy. Although I haven't totally given up hope that there'll be more, I think we've moved on.
Which is a real shame, because while I loved the Purgatory flashbacks and I was intrigued with Benny, I can't bring myself to watch those episodes again, - unless they show us something more, and I can go back to watch the "Sam and Amelia" and "Sam and Dean" scenes with fresh eyes.

Luckily, I'm happy with where we are now, and I love the symmetry ideas here with both boys having a real task over the next few seasons - demon tablet, angel tablet, Naomi and Cas. It's intriguing enough to keep moving forward.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-16 16:38
I also agree percy, I think we've gone past the time where that might have occurred.

It doesn't spoil my overall enjoyment of this season and I'm mighty happy with where we've landed, but it would've be great to see it explained so we can all put it behind us that's for sure. Sadly, I think it's done and dusted though.

But who knows, maybe now that there is dialogue between the brothers we might be pleasantly surprised or maybe it is tied into the bigger picture somehow....
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-02-16 13:47
Sam telling Dean about his feelings when he disappear was a thought only, I didn't mean it is necessary because we as fans know how it was, it is up to our imagination. But, it would it be a nice tearjerker scene.

As for purgatory, I think the only thing floating around, unless I missed it, will be the question of how Benny got the info about the human's portal. But again, some things are more to the imagination of the viewer, so we can have this, conversations about what could it be, or what we want on a scene, controversies or theories... if I write all the things I imagine about purgatory with all the fans questions, I would need a book!

Right now I just watch the episode again, I'm going on my third view!! And I've got another point of view of the brothers speeches (other than the real one), I think the way Sam sees the future and the way Dean sees it, is to start checking on the fans about the possible endings of the show, a happy one or a tragic one, like the actors want.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 14:03
OH a happy one, a happy one pleeeeeease! Very interesting comment Manstrad. I thought I saw an interview recently with one of them, maybe Jared that hinted they(J2's) may not necessarily still want the Butch and Sundance ending anymore. Am I dreaming? Does someone else remember some kind of comment from someone about that?
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-16 16:21
Quote:
I thought I saw an interview recently with one of them, maybe Jared that hinted they(J2's) may not necessarily still want the Butch and Sundance ending anymore. Am I dreaming? Does someone else remember some kind of comment from someone about that?
You know what, this is interesting, I wonder if the Js still do want the blaze of glory ending? I'll tell you what, if I can I will ask Jensen in his Q&A in Vegas. I've already got a question for him, but this could tie in. If I can hang it off the end, I will! :-)
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 17:00
That would be great! Give it a try. I swear someone said something in the last couple of months.
Arad
# Arad 2013-02-16 16:49
That is such an interesting question, what those guys who know these characters better than anyone feel about it. Didn't Bob Singer say recently something along the lines if he has anything to do with it Dean (and I take that to mean subsequently Sam) would get a happy ending? I have wanted them to have a happy ending for a while, since the scene where Castiel is watching Dean rake leaves when he was with Lisa and Ben (I think from 620).
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-16 16:56
I took that interview differently. My interpretation was that Singer said that the great thing about Sam was that he got to DREAM about a happy ending, but that Singer only was interested in DEAN getting a happy ending. You could argue that Dean wouldn't be happy without Sam, but that doesn't mean Sam being happy. Also in a world where mindwipes are considered a valid way of giving Lisa and Ben a happy ending, Dean can get his happy ending without Sam by virtue of not remembering Sam or not remembering that Sam isn't across the country living a happy life.

In other words, I'm not sure the writers have shown much interest in Sam getting a happy ending, only that he gets to envision one.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-16 17:10
Quote:
. Also in a world where mindwipes are considered a valid way of giving Lisa and Ben a happy ending, Dean can get his happy ending without Sam by virtue of not remembering Sam or not remembering that Sam isn't across the country living a happy life.
I don't believe for a second the show would ever go there and wipe either brother's memories of each other. It would negate the entire series.

I don't think we're going to get a happy ending though! But then no ending will be happy, because it will be an ending and that'll just be damn sad!
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 17:25
I found the quote. It was a singer interview at the end of January after Grandpa Winchester showed up. Here is the question and Singer's answer from 1/30 on livejournal

Question:
Sam has kind of been wavering all season long about whether this was something he wanted to do. But he kind of said at the end of the episode that now he understands he sees why it’s all necessary and mythically destined. Would you say that this episode solidifies why he feels that what they’re doing is necessary?

Singer's response:
"Well, when we get into this whole idea of closing the gates of hell, that becomes a real raison d'etre for Sam. I think ... it’s really revenge motivated. It’s about everything that ... it’s what killed their mom, killed all their friends, all that. I think Sam would say that there’s a certain amount of closure if they could actually pull this off. I think still, he in the back of his mind thinks there’s a normal life out there for him. In a way, Dean’s onboard with that. He’d like to see [Sam] happy but they have this one thing to do. Now, television being television, they’ll have something else "one thing to do" down the line.

I think it’s a good separation of character for the two of them that one has one set of dreams and actually allows himself to dream while the other one is much more fatalistic and sort of accepts that. I would hope whenever we bring the curtain down that Dean would find some peace, and probably if I have anything to say about it he will."

Happy and at peace in my eyes are not the same thing. But at this point in their lives I would take peace over dead!!! I hope this implies the Butch and Sundance ending may not be the thoughts any longer.

Plus, maybe, just maybe the J's have a little bit different outlook on their characters after 8 years. I think they originally said it 3-4 years ago when the characters were young and in a different place. And the J's also! :) I think both personally have matured since being a daddy and soon to be daddy. Probably just me, but I can always hope. You know deep down as 'mother bear' I just can't fathom those two dying!!!! :sad:
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 17:40
Not to imply they were immature before! Maybe I should say their outlook on life may be different. The 30's can do that to you. That last interview with Jared the other day seemed to be so much more reflective than in years past when sometimes he was just goofy! And you could tell that he really cares about Sam.
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-16 17:33
I would be very disappointed if they did the mind-wipe trick again. That was one of the very few times I was disappointed with the plot of the show. Huge problems. For one, just because Lisa doesn't remember Dean, the demons still knew Dean loved her, so wiping her memory was no guarantee of safety.

Secondly, they only wiped Lisa & Ben's memories. What happened to all the people they interacted with when they lived together for a year? What happened to the photos & mementos around the house. It's not like going back in time to change what happened. Other people met Dean & would likely ask Lisa about him from time to time. Big problems. So I personally hope they never do that again.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 19:08
I don't think we're going to get a happy ending though! But then no ending will be happy, because it will be an ending and that'll just be damn sad!

Oh I so hear you sweetondean! Any ending of the show is going to be a major bummer and I don't even want to think that it will end (but we all know it will sometime). :sad:
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-16 19:16
My favorite ending idea was the idea of a reprise of the last scene from the pilot where Sam says 'we've got work to do' I think that would be really a great ending.

Even if it turned out that it meant 'we have to take our wives and kids to the park' :D
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 19:23
Quote:
My favorite ending idea was the idea of a reprise of the last scene from the pilot where Sam says 'we've got work to do' I think that would be really a great ending.

Even if it turned out that it meant 'we have to take our wives and kids to the park' :D
I love that idea. And Dean said the same thing at the end of AHBL Part Two. How fitting that would be.
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-16 19:28
Yeah, I'm basically soppy :-) ... don't tell anyone ... I don't want to see them both dead!

Though a variation on the end of Death's Door would be sweet too (and really sad)...
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-16 19:24
Quote:
My favorite ending idea was the idea of a reprise of the last scene from the pilot where Sam says 'we've got work to do' I think that would be really a great ending.
Me too eilf! POV shot from the Impala's trunk - up to the boys looking in. The line - "We got work to do" (I think Sam should say it because he said it in the pilot). Toss the guns into the trunk. Slam. Cut to black. Cue classic rock (I'm thinking AC/DC).

End how it began.

Then we know, they're out there somewhere... :D

Sunshine, rainbows and puppies! :D

Yep...never gonna happen!
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-16 19:33
Aw, it could! :cry:

Positive thinking! :-)
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-16 19:37
10 seasons and a movie! (to paraphrase Community)
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 19:37
Just a thought since it would be a final shot, since they have a habit of saying the same thing at the same time, why not have them both say it together? :lol:
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-16 19:39
Oh yes!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-16 19:42
"I love it when they talk at the same time" :D

Yes!
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 20:01
Quote:
"I love it when they talk at the same time" :D

Yes!
Me also, that's what made it come to mind throughout this discussion.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-16 20:30
I really like this idea too. When we started talking about legacies a few weeks ago, I started thinking maybe another way would be a shot of them Sam and Dean both training their kids as hunter. Because that would be a bittersweet ending. Yes, they had a future and a legacy but their hunting has always been such a destructive factor in their lives, that it wouldn't be a cheesy happy ending either.
Arad
# Arad 2013-02-17 08:28
I would love this and, well, who knows where it could go ;-)

The only problem is they did already use it twice!
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 17:03
Quote:
Dean can get his happy ending without Sam by virtue of not remembering Sam or not remembering that Sam isn't across the country living a happy life.
No, God no. I don't think I could take Dean getting a mindswipe like that. Maybe it wouldn't work. Their bond is too great, like in IATL, deep down they knew something was wrong.

But I do think I recall Singer talking about the ending somewhere recently.
Arad
# Arad 2013-02-16 17:04
Oh you may be right! But I hope not, I really do (apart from tearing my heart out that would be a bit of a weasley way of resolving the problem). I must admit I never thought of the whole mind-wipe thing gave Lisa and Ben a happy ending, just a pragmatic one they needed to survive (that tore me to bits as well).
NoLieFe
# NoLieFe 2013-02-16 17:47
As always I have loved your review Sweetondean ! I am so close of your POV. "Trial and Error" was so complete from beginning to end and heartwarming.
Maybe somebody talked about that but can someone explains to me the signification of the title "Trial and error" because I see no connection with the story ?
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-16 19:08
As a phrase 'trial and error' means to keep doing something until you get it right / find the truth almost by accident so Sam and Dean were mistaken about who was the hellhound's target initially.

I think it might also mean that Kevin's translation may contain an error?
Arad
# Arad 2013-02-16 17:57
I guessed 'trial'=first trial in closing hell 'error'=Sam killing the hell-hound. Also working out the victims was a but of 'trial and error'. There are probably many other things too! :-)
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-02-16 18:48
How can it be a happy ending if you don't remember?

I don't think the writers will erase anything. I read an interview (after watching SPN from season 1 thru 7 in less than 3 months you read anything in the web about it), that they were against erasing seasons 6 and 7 like it was suggested by some fans, so Bobby never dies and the leviathans never existed. The writers said it would be disrespectful to the fans, who are so invested into the show. And I agree, specially with the fans that get the show, watch it, and suffer and cries and.... etc. etc.

Winmomwannabe, I do too want a happy ending now!!!!, before I wanted Sam to find out he has a kid, and for some reason he had to save him but at the end Sam dies before making Dean promise that he will watch his kid, you now, to continuing with that first scene when John gave baby Sam to Dean... But of course, that was when I finished season 7 back in October, now I want a happy ending for both!!!
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 18:56
I think it could be referring to several things. The "trial" of course is the 1st trial they have to accomplish in order to shut the gates of hell permanently. But in doing so, the "error" first was thinking it was Alice that made the deal and it turned out to be Carl and then when they finally do get to kill the hellhound, the second "error" was that Sam ended up killing it instead of Dean. JMO There is also the "error" of leaving Margo (Margie) all by herself and thus making it easy for the hellhound to get her.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 20:56
I think the whole error thing is totally related to the broken tablet. Why on earth hasn't Dean or Sam asked how sure Kevin can be about this since he only has half the tablet!!!! No one seems to be taking that into consideration which really puzzles me!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-16 21:00
Yeah like maybe the other half just has...

PSYCH!

:P
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-16 21:05
Exactly! Only half means there is an awful lot out there with something else on it like 3 trials, but............ .......
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-16 21:32
My thoughts on this is that the half that Crowley still has must have the part with the recipe for killing demons and maybe even the part where Metatron was saying his fairwell.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2013-02-17 00:36
That definitely thinking positive! But I have a feeling there are some important details on Crowley's half. And like I said, can't believe that hasn't come up.
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-16 22:18
Kevin has so far only deciphered the first task, so I think they'll realise that the final trial is on the other half of the tablet (or partially on it). So Sam & Dean will also have to outsmart Crowley and retrieve the other half before they can close the gates to hell... I'm sure the writers are not going make things easy for the boys :sigh:
Annaliese
# Annaliese 2013-02-16 20:48
WOW this episode has seriously generated a lot of conversation! I love it! There's too many comments to read through right now so I figure I may as well just add on my two cents worth :)

Quote:
Reconfirm that bond, that love… and make the fan’s hearts explode with joy.
Oh boy did my heart explode. I typically don’t cry. Only twice has a movie or tv show ever brought me to tears (one of them is the Season 5 finale ‘Swan Song’ no matter how many time I watch it). Yet, I sobbed watching ‘Trial and Error’ and then I sobbed some more.

The first half of the season was strategic and well executed. After 7 seasons we all know that suddenly ‘getting over’ something ALWAYS comes back with a vengeance. It would have been very easy for JC to move into the Tablets, MoL and Trials earlier in the season but I am so glad that a number of episodes were used to work through some things – even if it were somewhat rocky! It allowed us a chance to get into the minds and positions of each of the brothers and go on this journey WITH them.

Quote:
The “THEN” was fantastic!
Typically I hate the “THEN” because it always gives away what’s going to be happening that episode but so far this season they have to used it less as a reminder of what’s happened and more as a tool to get us in the mindset for the coming scenes. Plus who doesn’t love some classic SPN here and there!

Unlike the Leviathan story line I feel like this season is multilayered and I am so glad that Season 9 has been confirmed because I’m not sure everything could have been dealt with effectively this season!

They went all out on the special effects for this episode and I loved it – but I hope they save some of the budget for the season finale!

The only single thing I could possibly complain about was how no-one seemed to consider that the hell hound was after the farmhand (I’ve forgotten her name – oops). I mean, come ON Dean – I figured that out straight away! But I guess the writers were too busy scripting dialogue for specific scenes that would have the SPNFamily on the floor sobbing to worry about that :P

I found this episode so upsetting (in a good way!) I’m not sure I’m ready to watch it again yet… even when it graces our screens in Australia. Only time will tell if I can put myself through all of that again!
MaggieMarble
# MaggieMarble 2013-02-17 04:40
I always enjoy your reviews.
Seeing how happy this episode made you was a joy and made be get those warm fuzzie feelings, which I experienced myself while watching, a second time. I so agree with you, that the mood and the overall feeling of the show had changed to the better. It feels like coming home again.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-17 11:54
Can anyone tell me if we are going to see the Alpha Vamp this season. If I remember correctly didn't he say see you next season last season. Have a hunch he is going to be back maybe to help close the gates, seeing as he isn't too fond of Crowley as I recall.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-17 12:21
I haven't heard one way or the other, but Rick Worthy is now on The Vampire Diaries. I'm sure they could coordinate the schedules if they wanted him. I loved the Alpha Vamp, but the see you next season was Gamble, not Carver, so who knows. At one time, in soap operas, the writer who created a character got royalties if whenever the character was used. The Alpha Vamp first appeared in Live Free or Twi Hard written by Brett Matthews, who is no longer with Supernatural. I don't know if the writer who creates a character gets royalties rule still exists, but if it does there is less reason for the Alpha Vamp to come back than Charlie, for example.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-17 13:13
Thanks for the explanation Percy, I loved his performance, like Crowley he seemed to get the sympathy/sinist er mix just perfect. Just thought there may be a connection through Benny somehow, would make for nice symmetry but I guess budget forbids.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-17 14:01
percysowner, there was so much info in that little paragraph. I not a fan of TVD but I'm so happy for Rick Worthy. He's a fantastic actor and really seems like a great guy. I hope he's a regular. Does he play a vampire?

I do hope he comes back if not this season than the next.

Also, I never thought about the royalties for creating a character. That's really interesting. Dabb and Loflin created Garth but he's been in two Glass episodes since then.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-19 05:17
I believe he plays Bonnie's father on TVD.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-19 06:29
Yep he does. He's the new mayor too. I think Rick said it was a 5 episode arc...but I could be mistaken. I've seen him in 2 episodes so far (I think). Nice to have him on my TV! But sure do wish the Alpha would come back.
Fool For Dean
# Fool For Dean 2013-02-17 12:12
Sweetondean,

Thank you so much for this awesome review. I enjoyed the episode soooo much and upon rushing to WFB, was quite surprised to soooo many others didn't feel the same way. I'm so glad you saw Sam's completing the trial as bring symmetry to the show (as opposed to throwing Dean under the bus)!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! Your review has made me so happy!!!
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-17 12:20
S.O.D: I love your reviews; always with the positive, cup half-full spin! I've read through a lot of the comments here and I have a few observations from this ep and beyond, actually:

I LOVED the ep, the continuity, the brother talks, the glasses, Dean's very own room. I love that Sam is doing the challenges, which should kick in Dean's protective big-brother instincts and actually give him a reason to keep going.

I was a little confused that Dean seemed to be settling into their 'home' so happily; nesting, cooking, putting his picture of "mom" out. Then, only to have him profess to Sam that he sees no future for himself, but his happy ending is Sam getting out. That seemed a little off to me and it doesn't seem to have bothered anyone else? We've seen Dean on this path before, although he's never professed it so eloquently, but not usually right after he's in his "happy place".

As for the first half of the season, Benny's story made sense to me and I think we'll see him again. It won't end well. Dean will have to kill him or Benny will save the brothers and then they'll have to kill him, but it won't be good.

Amelia, I think, is a done deal. Truthfully, I think the writers bailed on her after all the fan out-cry. She was poorly cast, no chemistry there, and I guess was just meant to show us that Sam really wanted his normal life. I didn't like that it went on so long and that they never elaborated on Sam's mental state when he didn't know how to find Dean and "just ran". Boy, I was tired of hearing that. I see how you are interpreting it, but from a story-telling POV, it was about as drawn out and useless as the "Amy" debacle. Best to just move on, I guess. Maybe they'll bring it full circle at the end of the season and show us what happened after Dean vanished in Roman's lab. Just a few scenes would satisfy me. I doubt it will happen, though. I think the writers just dropped the whole thing, as it seemed so unpopular and unbelievable.

I am looking forward to seeing how these trials play out for Sam, having watched his interview. But, I won't spoil for those that didn't read it. Lots of possibility there for more bro-mo's.

Thanks, S.O.D. I love your reviews!
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-17 12:59
Hi fanotheboyz, I would like to give my 2 cents on Dean decorating his room. One thing Dean has always been good at is living in the moment. He has been faced with death every day of his life and still enjoys the things that life offers knowing that he may not see tomorrow. I, for one, do not think he is actively seeking death. I think he would give his life for Sam's happiness in a heartbeat but that he would fight for his life in any other situation.

Totally agree with your take on the Amelia and Benny storylines. One of the reviews here said that Benny ending like we think might be too predictable and they might take it in a different direction.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-02-17 13:26
Hey Leah and fanotheboys
For me Dean's nesting thing was connected to Sam's MoL epiphany. When Sam embraced the MoL and library, Dean realised Sam had found is purpose. With them both together in their purpose I think it just felt like coming home to Dean and I think decorating his room was just a metaphor for that. Dean is only truly happy when Sam is, so a no brainer really. It is so nice to see Dean light and frivolous in some of the scenes.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-17 15:03
Yes kaz, completely agree. I also love that they have been more light hearted. It has been a balm to us fans.
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-17 22:30
You are right. Just to clarify, though, I wasn't confused about why Dean was nesting, enjoying life, creating his own special room. I was just thrown off by his flip-flopping between the sheer joy he seemed to express and their new digs and his fatalistic gloomy, doomy, "I'm going to die bloody" speech. I see these as 2 different aspects of Dean that we've seen before, but it seemed that both in one episode was a big swing.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-17 23:08
Oh I see. True enough. Things did move pretty fast from sitting at the table enjoying burgers to racing to the farm and facing hellhounds. Being fatalistic is always just under the surface with him though. He hasn't much wavered from that outlook. But it was a big swing in one episode. From happy to anticipating his death in such a short period. Sad.
Rick D
# Rick D 2013-02-18 00:25
I think FarAwayEyes has the best explanation for Dean's dramatic shift- the fact that the case involves hellhounds causing a radical shift in attitude for Dean, who undoubtedly remembers being ripped apart by them.
In much the same way that Sam just found it impossible to not be involved, when he had a chance to save Dean from hellhounds, unlike being powerless last time.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-18 00:37
Yes- Rick D- I just read that and I believe those things were a factor and I hadn't really looked at it like that. I did sort of wonder why he wasn't more apprehensive about facing the hellhound. I guess internally he was.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-17 14:36
This is my take on Dean's speech (well maybe-ask me tomorrow it could be something else). I don't see him so much as suicidal as sort of fatalistic. I think as soon as he heard about closing the gates of Hell, the idea that it would probably take a someone making the ultimate sacrifice started forming. He figured he was always destined to die bloody, so taking hell out with him, would seem like a great plan. So like when he had a year to live, he wants to enjoy life. Treasure each moment, so to speak.

It would even makes sense why he was so insistent on having Sam with him. I have to admit I was surprised he was so upset that Sam quit hunting, I'd would have thought he would want Sam out if he wasn't around to have his back. But I assumed that the anger was actual transferred from Sam not looking for him. And that still has to be part of it, I think. But the reason he kept pushing Sam, despite Sam's reluctance, is maybe because he wanted he Sam around for his remaining time.

And after that he became determine just to live life for today. When they met Henry and he talked of legacies and then found the batcave and Sam seemed so content, I think he was more determined than ever for Sam to have a happy ending. And that would be his legacy. Closing the gates of Hell leaving Sam happy in this new life as a MoL and with a wife and kids.

But luckily Sam sees that Dean deserves a shot at that too.
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-17 15:25
Quote:

It would even makes sense why he was so insistent on having Sam with him. I have to admit I was surprised he was so upset that Sam quit hunting, I'd would have thought he would want Sam out if he wasn't around to have his back. But I assumed that the anger was actual transferred from Sam not looking for him. And that still has to be part of it, I think. But the reason he kept pushing Sam, despite Sam's reluctance, is maybe because he wanted he Sam around for his remaining time.
Wow, that's an interesting take on it. It would help a bit to explain some of the attitudes he has taken towards brotherhood and Sam during the first half of the season.
Rick D
# Rick D 2013-02-17 15:51
Wow, that episode was a game changer, in a good way. I don't recall when I've been so happy with Show, and after I never thought I'd be happy with Show again. It has to be Season 3 since I've felt joy like this, if not earlier. I do like what you said, Sweet, about how the other episodes lead to this. I'm not certain it's a direct or smooth route to here, but at least we ARE here, so that makes all that came before easier to take. Maybe someday I'll watch those episodes again and the pain will lessen.

The new direction we are headed- a renewed bond between the brothers, a shared HOME and PURPOSE, actually CARING about each other again, support for and between them both, not to mention an actual place and value for Sam on the show again (with the MoL), and all the exciting possibilities for the future this new setup has given the show- it truly is REVITALIZED, and I can definitely see many more years ahead for sure. For the first time in a while, I'm EXCITED about MANY more years to come.

Of course some are upset Sam got to do something significant (for the first time all season) or hung up on Dean and Cas haven't kissed yet- but I think that's just because the SPN family is so far flung now, it's like hearing transmissions from far off land.
olivia forest
# olivia forest 2013-02-17 19:59
agree!agree!agr ee! well said rick!
Rick D
# Rick D 2013-02-18 00:17
Thank you! It's so great feeling a part of the fandom again, and really enjoying the show again.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2013-02-17 19:25
Hi Sweetondean,

Sigh. Lovely review of a great episode. So many Kleenexes. So many thinky-thoughts . There is so much in this episode about hope, and heart and love and faith and believe. (It’s given me entirely too much to ponder!)

I know others have mentioned this, but I’m quite intrigued that after Sam said the spell his arm glowed, just like Dean’s did when he took in Benny’s soul in Purgatory and released it back here in The World. I’m hoping that’s intentional and thinking it’s significiant. Perhaps it will help them solve a trial. Perhaps it will be how Dean keeps Sam’s soul safe during a trial, or perhaps it’s how he’ll keep his own soul safe. Of course, it could be that it’s just a similar special FX, but when I hear hoofbeats, I much prefer to imagine exotic zebras, rather than regular horses!

The trials.. Hmm… There is symmetry to Sam being the one to close the gates of Hell (which is SO not going to happen.. or if it does the Law of Unintended Consequences will kick in, like the season ending cliffhanger having Sam trapped behind them because of his demon blood & addiction & time as Lucifer!) I’m kind of assuming Dean will come into play on the angel tablet (personally I wish we would get a chance to see him as Michael. I just think it would be some great acting!) But, what I find really interesting is that I don’t think the tablet said that it must be only one person. Kevin says “whosoever chooses to undertake the task”. Whosoever can be more than one person. Until Dean said it would be him, and only him, it seemed Sam as assuming they would do them together. Dean made the decision that only one would do the trials because he wanted to keep Sam safe. As he said, that’s his happy ending, knowing his brother is safe. And he’s completely right – big scale gamechangers like this ALWAYS involve death, or worse, for one, or both, of the Winchesters. Sam followed the “only one of us will do the trials, and it’s going to be me” logic because he wants to keep Dean safe.

But…. They’ve never been able to achieve the desired end result as individuals. They’ve only ever succeeded by working together as a team. So, Dean will be involved in the trials, in some capacity. If the trials take too big a toll on a human body, Dean may well decide he can’t stand back and watch Sam suffer. So, he’ll go out and attempt one of the trials.

As well, Kevin could only read half the tablet. What if the portion Crowley has says “Under no circumstance should a single person attempt this feat”?

And finally, I keep thinking of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the trials Harry had to go through. Harry had to rescue Ron who was being used as a pawn. Maybe the not fearing death part is about not fearing the death of someone you love. And that would have HUGE resonance for both the brothers. In the same way that Sam accidentally completed the first trial, all in order to save Dean, I think the same may happen in reverse further down the line. And I just keep thinking that the 3 trials are going to be a bait & switch, just like the champions Goblet in Harry Potter was really a port-key to somewhere else. Perhaps completing those 3 trials will achieve some other end, rather than closing the Gates of Hell.

Finally, I would not be surprised if it turns out that in the same way Zachariah wanted to bring on the Apocalypse, that Naomi may not want the Gates of Hell shut. I think somehow the torture Castiel suffered, the fact Benny knew how to get himself out of Purgatory and how to find the human portal, and the glowing arm trick will all be woven together.

Those are my thoughts on the action. As for those speeches – I love the fact that Dean finally said what he wanted and needed. He never says what he really wants, or dreams. And now we know, as we had always assumed, it’s Sam’s safety. He wasn’t being bossy or officious. He was being loving and realistic. He’s already admitted he can’t separate himself from the job like Sam can, so it’s logical to assume he likely will die on duty, with no family other than Sam. So he wants the best of himself to live on in Sam, but that can only happen if Sam is alive and safe. He wasn’t giving an order, even with the bullet in the leg line. It was a plea to “please let me do this so one of us will have the live we’re both dreaming of”. Sam’s speech, distilled to its essence has almost exactly the same message, with one key difference. He’s saying I need you, Dean, in my life so “please let me do this so we can have the live we’re both dreaming of”.

Some of my thoughts and now, dang it, you made me think of a meta article to write and I have to go pound that out!

Cheers & thanks & Happy Family Day weekend (at least where I live)

Pragmatic Dreamer
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-17 20:09
Hi Pragmatic Dreamer, if somehow all the many elements of this season- the glowey arms, the shadow guy, the unexplained Purgatory things, Naomi, the tablets, the trials, on and on...if they all tied together and made some sense by the end of this season I would bow down in honor to Jeremy Carver. I am enjoying all the mysteries and don't want them all solved but to see how some things are connected would be really nice. I have little hope that Sam's lost months will be explored either but I can still hope.
E
# E 2013-02-17 21:50
Aw... me too! If even some of these elements can be tied together in the end I will be in awe!!!
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-17 23:53
I know others have mentioned this, but I’m quite intrigued that after Sam said the spell his arm glowed, just like Dean’s did when he took in Benny’s soul in Purgatory and released it back here in The World. I’m hoping that’s intentional and thinking it’s significiant. Perhaps it will help them solve a trial. Perhaps it will be how Dean keeps Sam’s soul safe during a trial, or perhaps it’s how he’ll keep his own soul safe. Of course, it could be that it’s just a similar special FX, but when I hear hoofbeats, I much prefer to imagine exotic zebras, rather than regular horses!

I caught the podcast the other night and Kevin Parks said the glow in Sam's arm represented a contract between Sam and God being initiated and that the 1st trial had been completed. This would mean that only Sam can complete the tasks but it certainly should not stop Dean from helping him achieve that goal. Sounds like it will be an unpleasant experience for Sam though according to his interview on 10 on Top Saturday.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-17 23:56
Sorry operator error, the quote didn't work right for me.
I know others have mentioned this, but I’m quite intrigued that after Sam said the spell his arm glowed, just like Dean’s did when he took in Benny’s soul in Purgatory and released it back here in The World. I’m hoping that’s intentional and thinking it’s significiant. Perhaps it will help them solve a trial. Perhaps it will be how Dean keeps Sam’s soul safe during a trial, or perhaps it’s how he’ll keep his own soul safe. Of course, it could be that it’s just a similar special FX, but when I hear hoofbeats, I much prefer to imagine exotic zebras, rather than regular horses![quote/]

I caught the podcast the other night and Kevin Parks said the glow in Sam's arm represented a contract between Sam and God being initiated and that the 1st trial had been completed. This would mean that only Sam can complete the tasks but it certainly should not stop Dean from helping him achieve that goal. Sounds like it will be an unpleasant experience for Sam though according to his interview on 10 on Top Saturday.
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2013-02-19 00:01
Another fantastic review girl! I've more or less given up giving my 2 cents worth as I seem to always be so late to this party. I ust have to make an exception here. I am thrilled the way this season has gone. God bless Jeremy Carver! I've agreed with all your reviews and loved these episodes after the hiatus. First I have become a major fan of Adam Dabb's episodes, he has finally got what this show is. He has laso become an expert at Dean and Sam dialogue as evident in each brothers speeches THEY WERE PERFECT!!! And yes I was bawling through them. Dean in his own room happy as little kid and Sam's teasing and smiling at his brother's excitement. And wasn't it perfect when Dean cooked up some grub surprising the be-geese out of Sam and the priceless grin on Dean's face as he watched Sam take a bite saying it was awesome and Dean beaming with pride...aaaww! I love hellhounds too and really appreciated being able to see them with those really hot glasses lol. Kudos special effects. I know I'm in heaven getting this early pick-up for Season 9 letting Jeremy have the time to plan a decent end to Season 8 and set up for Season 9.
I loved the way you write your reviews and chuckle, LOL or cry with you on your observations. Know that I love you even if you don't see any comments from me. Luv ya hugs Marilyn
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-02-19 00:08
Oh my gosh! Thank you! :roll:
YpsiConnie
# YpsiConnie 2013-02-19 19:40
You expressed everything in my head. Yes to everything you wrote.
"Not only that, the brothers are talking, they’re expressing their love for each other, they’re offering trust and support to each other. This makes me optimistic and happy. These are the guys I’ve been waiting to see. These are the guys I’ve been in love with for 8 years."
I knew that I loved this episode, but it's your words that explained why. Thank you.