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The Road So Far, Season Fourâ€¦
Whew, we made it, the end of the Road So Far Series â€“ for those of you who hung on this far, this means weâ€™re mere days from the beginning of Season 5. Hooray! When I started this I had no idea what I was getting into, my original plan was to look back across the series and pick out those episodes that I considered to be game changers, episodes like Home and Faith and Crossroad Blues and others. As I got going I realized my muse preferred to simply spend some time with each and every episode, some for a moment others for longer. Thus The Road So Far series was bornâ€¦as much fun as it has been, Iâ€™m glad weâ€™re up to date, if for no other reason then it means I can count the days on just my hands until the beginning of Season 5.
So here we go, a look back at the incredible, all around game changing phenomena that was and is Season 4.
What can I say, it was 17 loong weeks since we last saw Dean screaming, impaled by hooks on a web of chains, begging for somebody, anybody to help him â€“ SAM! I sat down gripped, psyched and ready for anything and this episode delivered. From the moment Dean clawed his way from the coffin beneath the earth I was right there with him.
What I didnâ€™t get on screen with Bobbyâ€™s reaction to Deanâ€™s death and burial I got through Bobbyâ€™s reaction to Deanâ€™s reappearance and then his carefully worded explanation of how they buried him and his emotions at just how hard the last four months had been. Sometimes it is what you donâ€™t see but rather imagine that packs a powerful punch and Jensen and Jim delivered.
Iâ€™ll never understand the purpose of having Ms. Cortese scantily dressed and insipidly spewing dialogue about â€˜are you like togetherâ€™ and then â€˜call meâ€™ other than to say that sometimes EK gets a little carried away with busting on the fandom and playing up the gaydom aspect but itâ€™s an annoying little speck that quickly disappears when what weâ€™ve (Iâ€™ve) been waiting for for years finally occurs â€“ they hug. The brothers Winchester mutually hug, gripping each other and letting their emotions show through that physical contact that eases many a heartache. Thank you, Kim Manners.
This episode packed a punch with the reunions, the suspicions, the humor, the terror of watching Pamelaâ€™s eyes being burned out but then it delivered its final wallop with the entrance of all entrances, and reveals, Castiel â€“ an angel. Lazarus Rising delivered all I could have hoped for a season premier to deliver, answers, questions, action, calm, tears, joy and left me satisfied that the last 17 weeks were worth the waitâ€¦now bring on episode 2â€¦NOW!
Are You There, God; Itâ€™s Me, Dean Winchester:
Occasionally the show makes an effort to deliver the message of how much time has passed from the events prior. I appreciate those little details as itâ€™s helpful in framing my understanding of where the characters are at a given point. Here we know itâ€™s only three days since the events of Lazarus Rising. While we donâ€™t know how much time passed between this episode and In the Beginning (and also because Monster Movie was moved out of sequence) we do know that the events of ITB and Metamorphosis are tied right together as are I Know What You Did Last Summer with Heaven and Hell, Death Takes a Holiday with On The Head of a Pin and The Rapture with When the Levee Breaks and Lucifer Rising. In looking at that list I note that all my critical episodes, those that must be viewed again and again, are included. Season 4 had a lot of must see episodes and even the so-called standalone or off-beat episodes such as Monster Movie, Itâ€™s A Terrible Life, Yellow Fever and others add nuances to the season that without which one is missing the full flavor. Good thing the DVDs are due out momentarily *edited since first written, mine arrived today, 9/1*
I sometimes cringe when series start to bring back former guests, whether I loved them or not, for a couple of reasons; first, it usually means thereâ€™s closure coming *sniff*, second it tends to lead to the warm up to jumping the shark and third, itâ€™s frequently done poorly. AYTGIMDW passed over all those hurdles handily. I love that Sera Gamble posed the question here, through Meg, of just what was Sam doing with that demon Ruby and the body she was possessing. Then several episodes later Sera got to write the answer. She made us all wonder at Samâ€™s moral fabric and then gave us an out that some say was cheap and not satisfactory but to me it shows not only do the writers have an awareness of how their charactersâ€™ actions can and will be perceived but also have no desire to so thoroughly devolve the characters so that they are no longer redeemable.
There was a lot of discussion on the threads throughout the early part of the season that Sam was raping some poor innocent girl and then when it was shown that he wasnâ€™t, there was an equally loud discussion that â€˜theyâ€™ cheaped out. Sheesh. Good thing Sera Gamble and the rest donâ€™t pay a whole lot of attention to us but rather stick to doing their jobs. I for one find it very telling for Samâ€™s character arc that while he was in deep grief and a downward spiral following Deanâ€™s death he had not so fully been lost as to question what body Ruby â€˜was riding.â€™ Compare that to the Sam at the end of the season who, while still deeply conflicted over drinking that innocent nurseâ€™s blood chose to do so, thus killing not only the demon but the host. Yeah, Ruby had to die for having twisted Sam so badly. Heâ€™s very redeemable though, heavy burdens forever he will carry (ooh, sounds like Yoda) but very redeemable. *I could have put this in with I Know What You Did Last Summer but I wanted to finish the thought here, so when you get to that episode, refer back to here.*