Take a walk down White-Picket Fence Lane and revisit the firsthand reactions to Exile on Main St. and all it revealed about the new Supernatural world in a post-non-Apocalyptic showdown world…
Exile on Main Street, Review by Elle2
(Originally Published September 25, 2010)
Ah glorious times are upon us, a new season of Supernatural! Even more glorious, Supernatural got some pretty stinking darn good ratings to boot - take that CW darlings on Monday night. Yeah, I have issues.
I’ve watched EOMS now about twice so this isn’t going to be in depth, I leave that to the experts - Bardicvoice, I’ll be looking for your writings in the next week. I’m going to hit the high points, throw in a couple minor, very minor, nits and toss out some thoughts overall.
“One Year Ago”
I loved this short review from last season, it was Dean’s memories rolling in his head and giving us the picture of just where Dean is in his grief ““ he’s coping but the agony remains.
Bob Seger’s Beautiful Loser was about perfect as the music behind the montage that gives us insight into how Dean is living. Better than Madge and Edward Carrigan, Dean has assimilated. ”You’d be amazed at what lives inside people’s walls; it’ll eat them alive.” Yeah, that’s the truth without telling -- you know -- the truth.
The intercutting of Dean’s current life with his past brought tears to my eyes - sentimentalist I am, don’t tell mom - and I could just imagine him trying to reconcile drinking beers with Sid versus Sam and teaching Ben about engines versus Sam. Everything is the same; nothing is the same.
Some in the fandom thought the return of Yellow Eyes was cheesy, this is before the episode, and that it was proof positive that the writers had lost their creativity -- but there’s an element that’s always going to complain about everything - for me it was Sera doing what Sera does very, very well, getting inside the character’s heads and showing us what’s going on. Dean fears his past will catch up to him. Dean fears he can’t have what he’s secretly -- so secret he doesn’t even recognize it -- longed for. Dean wonders just how he got to this place of “happiness” and is certain something is going to take it away. Dean fears that he will fail Ben - Azazel’s words are chilling, “Something is coming for this one.” - was that real or was that Memorex - uh, Djinn poison? It was under the effects of the Djinn poison but I wouldn’t put it past Sera and company to also make it real.
The exposition in this episode was superb because it came in small bites throughout; Dean’s mindset is established through the review as well as the montage as well as his conversation with Sid. The ‘army’ of creatures arising spills out of Samuel’s mouth in a few seconds setting up many of the monsters we’re going to be seeing this season, all neatly set forth in less than a minute’s worth of dialogue. Bobby’s hopes for Dean, Sam’s reasoning to Dean. Dean’s efforts to find a way to get Sam out of the pit - “So sue me” - all came at separate times in short little bursts of dialogue. Unlike many episodes in the past when the endless monologues occur here it is spread throughout. The episode plays like much of how the season, I suspect, will play out; a little bit revealed along the way.
There is much more to be revealed for while there was lots of information given in the short bursts by the characters on who and what and when and where there was very little why. While the Djinn threat was neutralized here there is no understanding of what they were doing aside from revenge with according to all involved (as in the characters) is unlike what the monsters do. The Djinn has been killed and/or captured but the threat remains, this is an open-ended episode for it opens the season. It presented much but completed none. I liked it a lot for that.
Lisa et al live in Cicero, Indiana; Bobby lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. For those of us into geography (or not) that’s approximately 765 miles or 12 hours of driving (12 hours and six minutes but I’m betting they were able to shave off those six minutes.) So, Dean packs up said family and travels to Bobby’s and then he and Sam head back to trap the Djinn. Fine. Here’s my question, where is Sam and the rest of the Campbell family’s lair, home base, headquarters, control room - you get the idea. Judging from Sam’s ability to save Dean with the antidote and get him to the Campbell family ranch before Dean awakens and then get Dean back to Lisa and Ben’s (as well as the fact that Samuel Campbell had dispatched somebody to keep an eye on Lisa and Ben) leads me to believe that Sam and family have set up their home base in or around Cicero, Indiana. Hmm, what made them do that? Did they want to stay near to Dean? Or, is this home base the first and last time we’re going to see it? Guess we’ll know more next week. Still, for all that it was dark, abandoned or at least a determined fixer-upper’s habitation, it looked pretty well equipped (cot with sheet and blankets) and other such fine stuff. Did Sam and company set up to be near to Dean in order to keep an eye on him? Don’t know. Just curious nothing more.
A season opener should answer cliffhanger questions, to an extent, as well as lay out the beginnings of where we’re going next, posing questions, developing mysteries, adding suspicions, perhaps even relieving some. Exile on Main Street (EOMS) did just that.
Here’s just a few of the mysteries presented:
Samuel Campbell has been resurrected. How, why, by whom no one knows - or no one is saying.
How did he know about and make the Djinn antidote.
Sam Winchester has been resurrected. How, why, by whom no one knows - or no one is saying.
Huey, Duey and Luey - or my name is Larry, this is my brother Daryl, this is my other brother - sister --- Daryl - erh, Darlene. How did these three Campbells survive the slaughter wrought by Yellow Eyes all those years ago? No idea. The fact that it was mentioned tells me that the writers are very aware of the past canon on this material and that, in fact, there will be a revelation later on. Wait and see, don’t forget. This isn’t a canon error, there is more here. (by the way, kudos to all who get the references I made above - I’ll give you a cookie (not really).
Why did Samuel want the Djinn, what’s he hiding, what’s he doing with them (is he planning on opening his own museum akin to the Canton Wax Museum?) Whatever he’s up to it ain’t good AND he’s hiding it from not only Dean but from Sam as well - oooh, this will be good.
Samuel Campbell vs. Bobby Singer: Round I
Contrast the two men in how they interact with Dean.
Bobby hid Sam from Dean because he was happy that Dean had gotten out of hunting.
Samuel wanted Sam to tell Dean he was back and get Dean back into the business, but, for reasons not yet known, although I’m betting having a lot to do with what Grandpa is doing capturing monsters and hiding them, he acquiesced to Sam’s wishes; until the right time - which coincidentally happened to fall on Friday, September 24, 2010.
Bobby made no pretense to Dean about his deception with regard to Sam and proclaimed that he would do it again because Dean’s happiness separate from hunting is a sacrifice Bobby was willing to make because it was for Dean’s best interests. Life, living, love, loving, Lisa and Ben; Bobby knew that Dean craved family and that having that was bigger and better than being with Bobby and Sam and driving the Impala
Samuel pulled out all the stops in an attempt to guilt Dean back into hunting: ”you’re part of something huge” “Cutting heads off of vampires since the Mayflower” “Our blood is being spilled trying to get in front of this - now is not the best time for golf.”
Who loves Dean? Bobby. He’s the clear winner. And he brought his A game, tough love and all, to play in one (or I suppose technically) two scenes. Love you, Bobby, glad you’re back.
Sam is out of hell. Sam is definitely Sam, not Lucifer personified but Sam, no more, no less. We know from Mystery Spot as well as Lazarus Rising that Sam is very much like John Winchester, disciplined, focused, obsessed. I’m not surprised that he came out of the pit and went very militarily forth to hunt, hunt and hunt. His explanation to Dean makes perfect sense, doesn’t mean I gotta like it but it’s a no-win situation.
Sam loves Dean and to show that love he made a hard decision, he let Dean go. By the end of the episode we know that Sam is having a hard time with that decision and that he really wants Dean with him -- It’s just better when you’re here. Sam, unlike Samuel yet very much like Bobby, loves Dean and is willing to sacrifice his own wishes, for Dean to be hunting with him, in order to allow Dean a chance to be free. I’ve always loved you, Sam Winchester, and this doesn’t change that.
I liked this character in The Kids Are Alright and I continue to like her now. She’s understanding and loving and has her head on right, this is a remarkable woman. Akin to Sarah from Provenance, Lisa knows about hunting and has first-hand experience. She’s willing to back off, get her and Ben to ‘safety’ at the movies to allow Dean to deal with his hunting OCD issues. She’s allowed guns and holy water and devil’s traps in her house. She makes it clear that while Dean has issues she wasn’t at all surprised by them and grounded it in reality (at least as SPN presents reality) with her comment about expecting a man who just saved the world to have some issues. Uh, yeah.
When faced with Dean leaving her at Bobby’s she reads between the lines and correctly interprets what he doesn’t say and lovingly yet firmly presents her case to Dean about what the past year has been -- “The best year of my life.”It is Lisa’s loving, firm and uncomplicated talk with Dean on the staircase in Bobby’s house that changes Dean’s mind so that he tells Sam he’s staying. This is a mature woman who did not hamstring or whip or any other such slangy, disrespectful comment that can be issued towards a real (although it’s fake ‘cause, you know, it’s a television show) relationship and how real people handle these situations. Kudos to Sera for writing this character as a true partner for Dean.
Oh, how he hurts, and yet how he is ‘manning up’ and moving on with life. Sam is not forgotten, far from it, but Dean can’t just booze it up and sit on the side of the road until he dies; he goes on. We get wonderful exposition on his year through a montage of scenes carefully directed and edited by the Supernatural team. Dean has made friends, found a job, cares for Lisa and Ben and is involving himself in something he knows nothing about, life. I love the pictures in Lisa’s house, the golf clubs, the touches of a woman and a child. Yet the past isn’t far, under a tarp, in a box are those things that formed him to this point and he isn’t rusty at all in his ability to get ready.
Fred Lehne hasn’t lost his touch as Azazel, love the delivery of the line, “A little spice to go with all that sugar.”Unless there’s more poisoning to come and/or hallucinations I doubt he’ll be back but Fred and the character did their jobs well and I enjoyed the time we had with them.
The subtle shot of the Djinn waitress who lightly, flirtatiously stroked Dean’s arm thus exposing him to the poison.
Dean has lost none of his steps as he recognizes he’s received the waitress’ phone number without making a show of looking at said receipt, he still notices everything around him.
Dean checking out the waitress without the leering or overt ogling of the woman, combine it with the comment about him being unavailable speaks volumes of his regard for Lisa and their relationship.
Sam telling Dean not to be stupid at the end when Dean asks Sam why he wants him to join him in the hunt. It’s the affectionate type of chiding siblings and best friends do to each other. It made me smile.
Note the almost reversal of the Djinn’s patterns, outside, daylight, amongst people they move; they inject with poison and show the victim’s greatest fears. Contrast that to all you know from What is and What Should Never Be” - near opposites.
Yorkies - who knew that joke still had life in it!
Sure, I’ll always have some; in the scope of things these nits are pretty darn small. I want to know what Sam saw when he was hit with the Djinn’s poison. I wanted to see Sam save Dean at Sid’s house. How is it that Dean, who was at Sid’s and his wife’s side in less than a minute wasn’t able to save them yet Sam, who wasn’t at Dean’s side as fast, was able to save him? If I have a nitpick of any size that’s the one I have but on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being forgivable and 10 being pack up my tinker toys and go home, this one is a 1.5. It’s forgivable but not forgettable for with a little different editing, it could have been avoided.
My grade, an A. This was an excellent season opener. We got the ‘band back together’ well, almost, Cas isn’t there yet but he was referenced so I’ll go with that for now.
I like what Sera has done thus far and I’m eager for the next episode to spool out a little bit more of the mystery.
There was music and memories, a few laughs - mostly at Dean’s (Jensen’s golf addiction) and there was the Impala. She was front and center in the recap and the montage we got a small, itsy, bitsy glimpse of her under the tarp ““ hey, at least she’s not collecting dust!
There you go, my thoughts on Exile on Main Street, what were yours? Thanks for reading. Elle2
Robin’s Rambles on Exile on Main St.
(Originally Published September 27, 2010)
One year ago - We are reminded of last year's sad ending, when Sam and Adam "triple-lindied" into the box, with a voice-over of Sam reminding Dean to go find Lisa and live an apple pie life and not go looking for him. "Promise me, Dean. Promise me!"
Now - An alarm clock goes off at 7 AM, and Dean, who looks as if he hasn't slept much, smiles at Lisa, who rolls over to hold and kiss his hand and ask, "You all right?" "Yeah," he answers. Bob Seger's "Beautiful Loser" begins to play on the soundtrack; Dean runs a hand through his hair and the line "You just can't have it all" seems to take on special meaning for him. Next scene, he takes down a can of salt, but only to add it to the eggs he's frying; the next two black and white flashbacks show him laying it down as protection while he was hunting. Lisa slides gracefully under his arm, a domestic dance, as if she's done it hundreds of times before as he serves the eggs to Ben. Dean closes his truck's trunk, closes the Impala's trunk with Sam at his side; backs down the truck, backs down the Impala, uses tools to work on a construction site, uses similar tools to kill vampires and ghosts. He shares beer with Sam on the road, with neighbor Sid at a barbecue; he works on the Impala with Sam, he works on the Impala with Ben.
At the end of the evening, Dean closes the curtains, locks the doors, peeks through the blinds, finishes a stiff drink, gazes through the window to make sure his neighbors and friends are all right, peers into Ben's room (where the ceiling is covered with stars) at the sleeping child, then slides into bed beside Lisa, dropping his hand to show us the gun and bottle of holy water with rosary beads inside--proving you can take the man out of hunting but not the hunter out of the man. "Beautiful Dreamer" comes to a close with "just don't need it all."
Over beers in Jonesy's Bar & Grill, Dean and Sid, his friend and next-door neighbor, are discussing how their lives have changed, and how, 15 years ago, for Sid, it would have been "Me and that goat all over the internet." "Believe me, I know," says Dean, "my whole life, pretty much." "And?" says Sid, making it clear that Dean's always been closed-mouthed about his life and past. Dean finally confesses that he lived on the road taking crap jobs nobody else wanted. "Like. . .pest control." He worked with a partner, helped people--"You have no idea what's in some people's walls--eat 'em alive." Sid makes a disgusted sound. "That was then and this is now," says Dean. "You're practically respectable," notes his friend. "Guess so, kinda scary, actually," says Dean. The waitress, arm full of tats, comes over, leaves the check and slides her hand over Dean's arm. "I think she likes you," observes Sid. She even left her phone number on the check. "What is it with you?" demands Sid, snatching the bill, "EVERY TIME!" "It's like chicks specifically dig unavailable guys," complains Dean, tearing up the check, "who knew?" (Oh, Dean, in your case, it would be whether you're single or married!)
Dean and Sid part company outside the bar. Dean's about to leave when he hears a woman's scream; he grab's a flashlight and gun from his truck and enters a building under construction next to the bar. A bird flies out, giving him and us a start, but when he comes across scratch marks and a large, bloody hand print on a wall, it becomes interesting.
He returns home to call and find out if there have been any missing person reports and check 911 dispatches on his computer. When he's told no, he explains he has a hunch, that he was a cop for a long time. Lisa comes down and asks who he's speaking to; he lies, says he was speaking to Sid, trying to set up a poker game. It's 11:30, she points out. That explains why he was sleepin' when I called, says Dean, glass in hand, and promises to be right up. OK, she says, and leaves. This time, when Dean performs his night time ritual, we see he has a Devil's Trap hidden under the carpet by the front door.
Next morning, Dean spots scratch marks on a light pole. He stops, slips his gun into the back of his pants, and finds claw marks first in hanging laundry, then on a shed door. Gun drawn, he pushes open the shed door, all set to shoot the deadly. . .Yorkie? The terrified little dog runs away. "Dean, is that a gun?" asks Sid, shocked. Dean quickly shoves it back in his pants. "No. . .yeah. . .well, I got a permit for it," blathers Dean. "What, to shoot the Glickman's dog?" asks Sid. "I thought that was a possum," says Dean, "remember when I said I was in pest control? Well, possums carry rabies, so." Dean makes a sound of a gunshot. "I did not KNOW that!" says Sid, sounding scared. "Yeah, possums kill," warns Dean, spotting something on the ground, "oh, crap." He leans down. "What's that?" asks Sid. "Sulfur," says Dean, almost to himself, rubbing the yellow substance between his fingers, "I gotta go." "Hold on, Dean!" says Sid, but Dean is racing off--"what the hell?"
Dean enters his garage, removes a tarp from the Impala (poor Baby, put in a corner), and begins throwing weapons into a duffel. When Lisa enters, however, he's taking a hammer from his red toolbox, holding it up. "Gettin' a hammer," he says. Lisa just saw Sid--"Did you almost shoot a Yorkie?" she asks. "Technically," answers Dean. "What's goin' on?" she asks. He says nothing, but she doesn't believe him. "I got this Spidey sense," he explains. "OK," she says, "are you hunting something?" "At first I thought I was," he says, but I'm pretty sure I got all worked up over nothin'--it happens." "Are you sure?" she asks. Because he has an OCD thing about this, he asks her to take Ben and go to a movie, Cheesecake Factory, hang out with the TV masses, and he'll do a final sweep to be 100% sure. "OK," Lisa agrees, "be careful." "Careful is my middle name," he says. She grins, they kiss, she leaves. (She's super-patient with him, isn't she?)
Dean frantically opens a footlocker. Underneath his old leather jacket, which he caresses for a moment, is John's journal. He glances at a few pages until the light bulb over his head begins to flicker and he hears a noise; then he rises to his feet, shotgun in his hands, and stalks his prey. A ball rolls out from beside the Impala, and Dean moves there, all set to shoot. . .nothing. Then he's face to face with the Yellow-Eyed Demon, who, grinning, says, "Hi, Dean, look who the Apocalypse shook loose!" Azazel laughs. "You have fun, sniffin' that trail? 'Cause I sure had fun battin' ya around!" "You can't be!" snarls Dean. "Oh, sure I can," says the YED, advancing on Dean as he backs away. "No," moans Dean. "Yeah, kiddo, the Big Daddy brought your pal Cas back, right?--so why not me?--add a little spice to all that sugar?" Dean shoots him. "Really?" asks the YED, fake-aggrieved--"after all we've been through together?" Azazel lifts him up by the throat. "You know," he says, "you got a great little life here--pretty lady, real understanding, hell of a kid. . .and how DO you keep your lawn so green? I mean, come on, Dean, you never been what I call brainy, but did you really think you were gonna get to keep all this? You had to know that we were comin' for ya sometime." Azazel pulls him around and pushes him against the covered Impala, squeezing the life out of him. "Ya can't outrun your past. . ." Grinning, the YED slowly chokes the life out of Dean. Until Sam comes up behind the YED and injects Dean in the chest with a huge needle of something.
Dean comes to consciousness and blearily sees Sam sideways at first. Incredulous, he bolts upright. "Hey Dean," his brother says calmly, standing and approaching the cot where Dean lies. Chucking, Sam says, "I was expecting, I dunno, a hug?--holy water in the face?-- somethin'?" "So I'm dead?" says Dean--"this is heaven?--Yellow Eyes killed me and. . ." "Yellow Eyes?" questions Sam--"that's what you saw?" He explains to Dean that he was poisoned, and whatever crazy crap he'd been seeing was illusions brought on by the poison. Dean remembers the scratches on the wall, tears in laundry, Azazel. "So are you real?" asks Dean. "I'M real," Sam assures him, and offers to save him the trouble by cutting his own arm with a silver knife and, then gulping holy water with what looks like added salt. "All me," says Sam, adding, "that's nasty." Dean stands. "Sammy," he says. "Yeah, it's me," his brother says. Dean walks slowly towards Sam and into a hug, which Sam returns with a smile and a nod. (No tears.) Dean is starting to well up, but he abruptly says, "Wait a minute, you were GONE, that was IT, how the hell did you. . .?" Sam doesn't know--he's just back. "Was it God or Cas?" asks Dean--"does Cas know anything about it?" "You tell me," says Sam, "I've been callin', Cas hasn't answered my prayers--I don't even know where he is--I mean, I was down there, one minute later it was raining and I was up in that field--alone. It's kinda hard to go lookin' for whatever saved you when you got no leads--I looked, believe me, I looked--for weeks." This captures Dean's attention: "Wait. . .weeks? How long you been back?" Seeing Sam's guilty face, Dean asks again, "How long you been back, Sam?" "About a year," confesses Sam. "YOU'VE BEEN BACK PRACTICALLY THIS WHOLE TIME?" demands Dean--"WHAT, DID YOU LOSE THE ABILITY TO SEND A FREAKIN' TEXT MESSAGE?" "You finally had what you wanted, Dean," says Sam softly. "I WANTED MY BROTHER, ALIVE!" shouts Dean. "You wanted a family," counters Sam, "you have for a long time, maybe the whole time, I know you--you only gave it up because of the way we lived--but you HAD something and you were BUILDING something--had I shown up, Dean, you woulda just run off." Dean, disbelieving, turns away and covers his mouth with one hand. (I was expecting him to haul off and punch Sam.) "I'm sorry," says Sam, "but I felt like after everything, you deserved some regular life." Dean turns back to his brother. "What have you been doing?" he asks. "Hunting," reveals Sam. "You left me alone and you were flying solo?" asks Dean, pissed off. "Not solo, I hooked up with some other people," says Sam. "You working with strangers," says Dean, stunned. "They were more like family," says Sam, "and they're here."
Sam throws open double doors in another house. A pretty, dark-haired young woman says "Hi!" "Hi," says Dean. "My God, you have delicate features for a hunter," she remarks. "Excuse me?" says Dean. Sam introduces her--"Gwen Campbell." "Good to finally meet you," she says," Sam's gone on and on." Next is Christian, who just waves at Dean with two fingers; Mark Campbell, who shakes Dean's hand and says "Campbell, like your Mom." "Third cousin, third cousin, somethin' something' twice removed," says Sam, "they grew up in the life, like us." "I thought all Mom's relatives were gone," says Dean, "and I'm sorry, but why didn't we know about ANY of you?" "Because they didn't know about you," says another, familiar, voice--dead Grandpa Campbell!--"until I brought you all together." "Samuel," says a stunned Dean. "C'mere," says Samuel, pulling Dean into his arms for a hug. Dean remembers 1973, meeting his grandfather, seeing the YED flee Samuel's body and leave him dead. "Guys, give me a few seconds with my grandsons here, please," says Samuel. The cousins exit. "A lot of resurrections in your face today," Samuel tells Dean, "it's all right, take a minute." "It's gonna take a little more than a minute," says Dean, "I mean what the hell, how did this happen?" Samuel thinks whatever pulled Sam up pulled him down. "So whatever this is, we're both a part of it," says Sam. "But you don't know what that is," says Dean darkly. "Bingo," says Samuel. And they have no leads. Dean wipes his face, upset--"No more doornails comin' outta that door, is there?" he asks. "As far as we know, it's Samuel and me," answers Sam. "Am I the only one who doesn't think this just can't be fine?" asks Dean. "You're not," Samuel assures him, "I wanted to come get you right away, Sam was adamant about leaving you out, so we did--until this." "So you ended up in my garage how?" asks Dean. Apparently, Sam was attacked by Djinn who look just like regular people. They stuffed him with poison, unlike the cave-dwelling hermit Djinn of old. All they need to do to kill is touch a person; the toxin gets into your system, you hallucinate your worst nightmares, then overdose. "How are you breathin' air?" asks Dean. Luckily, Samuel has a cure for Djinn poisoning and saved Sam. "Stick around, I'll show you tricks your Daddy never dreamed of," promises Samuel. Sam explains that since Dean staked a Djinn a while back, this is revenge; they figured one would be coming after him next, which explains why they are here. "Lisa and Ben," realizes Dean, "they're at the house right now!" Even though Samuel assures him he's got someone at the house watching them, Dean orders Sam, "You gotta take me home right now!" Dean runs into his house, calling to Lisa and Ben, running past their protector sitting dead in a car outside. With no response from either Lisa or Ben and no sign of them, Dean is terrified. Sam comes into the house and they shares his brother's fear.
Dean, scanning smiling photos of him with Lisa and Ben on the wall in front of him, calls her, but when he gets no answer, bangs the wall in frustration. Petrified, he turns and sees her behind him, with Ben, both safe. "Where have you been?" he demands, hugging both of them so tightly, Lisa says OW. She reminds him that he sent them to the movies and asks what's wrong. "Get upstairs and pack your bags," he says. "Where are we going?" asks Ben. "To a friend's house," says Dean. Lisa sends Ben upstairs, but he runs into Sam on the way. "Um," he says. "Oh my God!" says Lisa. "Lisa, Ben, I don't know if you remember," begins Dean. "Sam," says Lisa, and she looks at Dean in shock.
Bobby opens a knock at his door and surveys his company for a long moment. "Dammit," he says. "It's good to see you too, Bobby," says Dean, it's been a while." (Shades of Henriksen!) "If you're here, somethin's wrong," says Bobby tiredly. Dean introduces Lisa and Ben. "It's nice to finally meet you two," says Bobby, inviting them in, "mi casa es su casa." He tells them to go upstairs; the TV is broken, but there's plenty of READER'S DIGESTS. "Just don't touch the decor, OK?--assume it's all loaded." says Bobby. (LOL!) When Sam comes in and Bobby greets him, Dean realizes--"You knew! You knew Sam was alive! HOW LONG?" "All year," confesses Bobby. Both he and Sam look guilty. "You gotta be kidding me," says Dean. "And I'd do it again," insists Bobby. "WHY?" asks Dean, throwing up his arms. "Because you got OUT, Dean!" cries Bobby--"you walked away from the life, and I was so damn grateful, you got no idea!" "Do you have any clue what walkin' away meant for me?" demands Dean. "Yeah!" says Bobby--"a woman, and a kid, and not gettin' your guts ripped out at 30, that's what it meant!" "That woman and that kid, I went to them because YOU asked me to!" says Dean angrily, pointing at Sam. "GOOD!" shouts Bobby. "GOOD FOR WHO?" asks Dean--"I showed up on their doorstep, half out of my head with grief, God knows why they even let me in--I drank too much, I had nightmares--I looked EVERYWHERE, I collected hundreds of books tryin' to find anything to bust you out!" "You promised you'd leave it alone," Sam reminds him. "O' course I didn't leave it alone, sue me!" yells Dean--"a damn YEAR?--you couldn't put me out of my misery?" "Look," says Bobby, "I GET it wasn't easy, but that's LIFE, and it's as close to happiness as I've ever seen another hunter get! It ain't like I wanted to lie to you, son. But you were OUT, Dean." "Do I look out to you?" asks Dean brokenly, gazing from Sam to Bobby. (That was really sad. But I understand both viewpoints here.)
Lisa meets Dean on the stairs. "How's he doin'?" Dean asks. "He's OK," she says, "how are you?" He takes a deep breath. "I know Bobby's a little crotchety," he says, "but he's great--he's gonna look after you guys. Me and Sam, we're gonna head out." She sits on a step, her face neutral. "For how long?" she asks. He shakes his head, not answering, but says, "I'm so sorry, Lisa." "For what?" she asks. "Those things were comin' for me," he says, "and I shouda known." "How could you know a monster was gonna show up?" she asks. "I should've known," he says, "I should've known that if I stayed with you something would come because something ALWAYS does, but I was stupid and reckless and you can't outrun your past." "You're saying goodbye," Lisa realizes. Again, he doesn't reply, he just apologizes, for everything. "You're an idiot," she says, "I know it wasn't greeting-card perfect, but we were in it together." "I was a wreck half the time," he reminds her. "Yeah, but when a man who just saved the world shows up at your door, you expect him to have a few issues," she says, "you're always so amazing with Ben. . .you know what I wanted, more than anything--was a guy that Ben could look up to--like. . .like a dad--so you're saying it's all bad, Dean? 'Cause it was the best year of my life."
(That was a beautiful thing for her to say, and I hope Dean gets it. He changed their lives in many positive ways, and Lisa is a very special woman to understand his issues in the face of what he went through. She GETS him!)
Sam's car races down the road, back to where Samuel and their cousins are hiding out. "What's the plan?" asks Dean. "Stock up and get set," says Samuel, cleaning a weapon. "So you're saying there is no plan," says Dean. "We'll find 'em," promises Samuel, "just gotta be patient." "Why don't we go kill the sons-of-bitches that broke into my home?" suggests Dean. "Relax, Dean," Christian advises, "Djinn are hard to draw out. You've been out of the game for a while; leave it to the professionals." "Djinn are easier to draw out when you've got bait," says Dean, "they want Sam and me, they know where I live, now I haven't been hunting in a while, but I'm gonna stick my neck out and guess that's a pretty good place for us to go--see, it's almost like I'm a professional." Samuel and Gwen smile, amused by Dean's sarcasm.
They descend on Dean's home, tossing aside the laundry basket. Gwen makes fun of InStyle Magazine, asking if it's Dean's or Lisa's; Dean doesn't like his silent cousin looking at pictures of his family; when Sam checks out Dean's clubs and notes, "Golf. . .really," Dean defends himself, "It's a sport." Bamboozled over the clash between his old life and new, Dean splashes water on his face in the kitchen. Samuel comes in. "Nice house," he remarks. "Go ahead, say it, call me a soccer mom, whatever," urges Dean. "Soccer mom, huh?--I'll have to look that up on the intranet," teases Samuel, "believe it or not, I get it, Dean, you wanted a normal life--your mom wanted a normal life, too--you remind me of her, actually--the attitude, for one thing--your brother tell you what we've been dealin' with the past few months?" "No, not really," says Dean. "Never seen anything quite like it," says Samuel, "been workin' around the clock. Whatever it is, it goes way beyond a couple of Djinn actin' off--nocturnals attacking in broad daylight, werewolves out at half-moon, creatures we've never even seen before, we don't even know what they are. I'm knee-deep in half-eaten human hearts and exsanguinated 10-year-olds and it's all makin' me uneasy." "What's your theory?" asks Dean. "You tell me," says Samuel, "all we really know is it's all hands on deck, we're counting on each other right now, that's how it is with Campbells. We need you, Dean." "Look, I hear you," says Dean, shaking his head. Samuel tells Dean he doesn't know what he's part of; he had ancestors hacking heads of vampires on the Mayflower--"We're your blood, and we're dyin' tryin' to get in front of whatever this is. It may not be the best time for golf."
Mark sits outside Dean's house staring through a mini-telescope. "You don't say much, do ya?" Dean asks him. "No," agrees Mark, who has spotted three Djinn off in the trees. Finding Samuel and the cousins in the house, Dean tells everyone to clear out, "The Djinn are just sittin' outside; they're not gonna come in here until me and Sam are alone." Samuel is reluctant to leave them with no back-up, but Sam agrees with Dean: "They're smart, they'll wait till they aren't outnumbered." "All right, we won't be far," promises Samuel, "you call when them come, ya hear?" "You bet," says Sam. Samuel and the cousins climb into the van and leave. Sam, who has been studying the photos of Ben, Lisa and Dean, asks his brother, "Are you OK?" "Oh, yeah," says Dean sarcastically, spreading his arms, "no, this is crazy, I mean you, Grandpa, whoever brought you back--" "They don't want to be found," says Sam. "Yeah, I get that," says Dean, "but who are they, and what do they want, why?" "Good question," says Sam. Dean asks Sam if he remembers the cage, because he, of all people, can relate. Sam replies, "I don't wanna talk about it. I'm back--I get to breathe fresh air, have a beer, hunt with my family, see you again, so why exactly would I want to think about hell?" "You really think. . ." begins Dean, but spies something horrifying happening next door--Sid and his wife collapsing to the floor!
Dean grabs two Djinn antidote shots. Sam says, "They're already dead and you know it!" "This is happening because of me!" cries Dean, and leaves the house on the run. Sam also grabs two shots filled with antidote and is about to follow, but he is faced with a Djinn. Sam watches tattoos slither down the Djinn's arms before he attacks, knocking the shots out of his hand.
At Sid's house, Dean finds Sid's wife already dead, and goes to see if Sid is still alive.
Sam fights the Djinn, using a floor lamp as a weapon.
Before Dean can do anything to help Sid, he's grabbed from behind by one Djinn and a female of the species (the waitress from the restaurant, I believe), steps on the needle, grabs his face and says, "You made it through that last trip, so how about a nice, fat double dose?" The tattoo starts moving up her arm. "Bad news? It'll kill you. Good news? At least you'll go fast." She squeezes his face in her hand, causing the tattoo to slide up his face, too.
Sam appears to get the better of his Djinn partner, sending him toppling over a desk.
The Djinn holding Dean from behind also grabs hold of his face. The female says, "That's for our father, you son of a bitch!" (Oh, no, it's personal!) Dean's eyeballs disappear and he passes out.
Unfortunately, Sam's Djinn opponent returns to the fray. Sam grabs one of Dean's golf clubs and starts in on the Djinn with that, whomping him over and over until he's down--but his arms are covered with tats. He turns to find himself facing the female and male Djinn, fresh from ipoisoning Dean.
Dean has begun to have delusions--Ben and Lisa have come home, Lisa complaining she couldn't sleep at that house. The YED is there. "Don't worry about them, Dean, worry about me," he taunts. The YED waves to him from the kitchen. "NOOOOO!" yells Dean, who finds himself in Ben's bedroom, lying on his bed, the stars shivering above him. Lisa's being pulled up the wall, to the ceiling! The YED has Ben imprisoned in his arms and is forcing him to drink his blood, demon blood! Lisa tells Dean "It's all your fault" as she sticks to the ceiling, her belly cut and bleeding! "Drink it," the YED urges Ben, "you'll feel better. You can't stop it," says the YED as Ben drinks, Lisa body exlodes into flames and and she screams, Dean lies dying and Sam tries to fight off two Djinn with a driver--which is quickly snatched from him by the male Djinn, who reaches out a deadly hand to touch Sam. The Djinn's eyes go wide as Samuel stabs him in the back with the bronze knife dipped in lamb's blood. "I got it, go get Dean," says Samuel. However, once Sam is gone, Christian comes in, covers the female Djinn's body with a blanket and binds her tightly. "Relax, hon," Samuel assures her, "we're not gonna kill ya." To the cousin: "Get in the van, quick, now, before the boys get back." Christian drags the Djinn away. (What's that all about?
Dean straightens a photo of Lisa on a shelf in his wrecked-up house. Sam tells him Samuel and the cousins went back to their place in a hurry, I'll be going back to join them--you comin' with me?" asks Sam. "No," says Dean, "I'm goin' back for Lisa and Ben." "I thought you said--" begins Sam. "I did," says Dean, "I changed my mind." Sam sighs. "Look," he says, "I practically shoved you at them." "Funny way to put it, but all right," smiles Dean. "I'm just sayin', I really wanted that for you," says Sam, "and when I told you to go, I thought you could have it, you know, but now I'm not so sure. I mean, you've got to consider the fact that you'll be putting them in danger if you go back." "So, what, it's better to leave them alone, unprotected, and then they're not in danger?" asks Dean--"I did this to them--I made them vulnerable the moment I knocked on their door, I can't undo that, but what I can do is go with the best option." Sam nods. I hear ya," he says, "I guess I just wish you were comin', that's all." "Why?" asks Dean. Sam huffs. "Don't be stupid," he says. "No, I mean it," says Dean, "you know plenty of good hunters--I'm rusty--I did something seriously stupid goin' out there, I almost got us both killed." "And that's exactly why I want ya," says Sam--"ya just went--ya didn't hesitate, because you care--and that's who you are. Me, I wouldn't even think to try." "Yes you would," says Dean. "No, Dean, I'm tellin' ya, it's just better with you around, that's all," says Sam. "Listen," says Dean, handing Sam the keys to the Impala, "she should be hunting, take her." Sam studies the keys for a moment. "Thanks, really," he says, "but I got my car set up how I like it. I should hit the road." Dean pockets the Impala keys. "I'll walk you out," he says. Outside, Dean tells him, "You keep in touch, you hear?" "Of course," promises Sam, "it was really good to see you again, Dean." The latter nods as though he can't say anything more, making a face at Sam's car as he backs down the driveway.
Dean looks like he's going to cry.
Some first episodes leave me in awe, like "In My Time of Dying." This one left me wondering what happened to the Dean Winchester I've known for the past five years, but I kept reminding myself that of course he was going to be different--he was living the life of a FORMER hunter all this time. Of course, you can take the man out of hunting, but you can't take the hunter out of the man. I laughed when I saw what was under Dean's bed, and the Devil's Trap under the carpet, which Lisa must have seen while vacuuming. Lisa apparently knows everything about Dean, but accepts him for what he is, was and what he might be, damages and all. She didn't argue when he ordered her and Ben to pack and said they were going to a friend's house. She asked if he was all right often because there was good reason to. She was grateful for his attention and love for Ben. I admired her. And even though it was going to kill her, she was willing to let him go, too. Samuel wanted him back in hunting. So did Sam. Yet the latter didn't give the one reason that might have brought Dean back--"I want you back at my side because you're my brother and I missed you." Why, I wondered, didn't Sam say that?
So many questions have I!
1. Why did Samuel and the Campbell cousins kidnap the Djinn gal instead of killing her? Why didn't they want Dean and Sam to know?
2. Did Dean make a mistake in returning to Ben and Lisa? Are they safer with or without him?
3. Does Dean really have delicate features for a hunter?
4. Whose idea was it that Dean become a golfer? Avid golfer Jensen? LOL!
5. Weren't the scenes of Dean in domestic bliss interspersed with those of his former hunts really cool? Salt on eggs, salting doors? Sawing wood, sawing off a vamp's head?
6. Did you cry after Lisa's speech on the steps? I did! Did you laugh after Bobby's speech about not changing the decor of his house? I did!
7. Does Sam seem like Sam to you, or is there something "off" about him? How do you feel about HIS refusal to discuss hell? What about his expression when hugging Dean? I felt it was weird.
8. I needed more than one viewing of this ep to feel positive about it. My first left me missing OUR Dean, the brothers being together as a team, and wondering if these Campbells are good or evil. But I am curious to see where this re-boot is taking us! What did you think? Did you feel as if you were watching a brand-new show with characters completely different than those you had known for the past five years?
9. Did anyone wonder about Sam's exit from hell? Doesn't it sound like he was only down there for a very brief time before getting out, like he got out the same day he got in, or damn close?
10. Do you think Sam and Samuel's resurrections are for good or evil, and who do you think brought them back?
Looking Back Now…
What was your first reaction to Grandpa’s resurrection?
Should Bobby have told Dean or was he right to leave him out of the life?
Did you know Sam was off immediately? Did you assume he was just affected from his time below?
Looking for another good analysis of this doozy? Alice always has some great insights to offer in >>Review of 6x01<<
How about a more psycho-analytical look from >>Jasminka’s Open Couch on Exile on Main St.<<
Also, check out the >>6x01 photo gallery<< for the impressive visuals Exile on Main St. had to offer as well.