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Jeremy Carver, you remain one of my favorite writers for this seriesâ€¦even Family Remains cannot change that. Still, I have to wonderâ€¦what? Thereâ€™s much to love hereâ€¦it had been eight weeks and finally a new episode. The Impala was shown in many scenes, the opening, several times in the middle, it got robbed, it got fixedâ€¦at the end it was once again the backdrop â€“ well, actually foredrop, for another brother to brother moment, albeit twice in a row was a bit heavy, still did I mention it had been eight weeks? The guest casting was very good, always wins big with me when theyâ€™re interesting and thought out characters â€“ just wait to the next episode though.
Still, the episode was dark, and not in a scary sort of way but more in the â€˜I canâ€™t see whatâ€™s going on sort of wayâ€™, it was gross â€“ but Jump The Shark will top that, and in the end it left me flat. Still, the underlying theme of family and staying together through whatever life throws at you came through loud and clear and I believe that was the intent. The season was going to get darker, a lot darker, for our beloved Winchester boys and in part I believe we the fans were being told to hang on, despite all thatâ€™s past and all thatâ€™s to come, family remains. â€˜Course could be that Iâ€™ve just taken my own advice and had a shot (or two) too many of bourbon.
Criss Angel is a Douche Bag:
Iâ€™ll admit it, I always hoped they were kidding with this titleâ€¦Iâ€™m a bit of a prude on this one, I hate the title. The episode however was a lot of fun, even if a little too much fun â€“ I mean, sometimes what they do to Dean is just a little too juvenile, enough already. Still, the guest cast were phenomenalâ€¦just perfection. Their story mirrored Samâ€™s and Deanâ€™s in a myriad of ways and I found myself alternating between who Sam identified with more. There was just a hint of Ruby â€“ as in enough to move the story without annoying me â€“ there was no Impala â€“ that annoys â€“ and in the end I enjoyed the exchange between Sam and Dean time and again in their room after Ruby challenges Sam and he ponders aloud whether or not they can really â€˜end it.â€™ Deanâ€™s fatalism remains strong as does Samâ€™s idealism and in the end both are rightâ€¦and both are wrong â€“ thank goodness, bring on Season 5.
This is a standalone that like most standalones this season adds to the whole. You can do without it, but youâ€™re missing something great. I give Julie Siege credit, she did well with this episode, itâ€™s tighter than TGPSW and she builds upon this to create the truly fabulous Monster at the End of This Book. Sheâ€™s writing in Season 5 and Iâ€™m looking forward to her next creation.
After School Special:
It had all the elements of greatness, classic rock, the hint of John â€“ more smoke and mirrors, still â€“ Colin Ford, angst in the brothersâ€™ childhood, teenage years, still this one I can take or leave. Perhaps itâ€™s the casting of the young Dean Winchester that bothers me, Brock Kelly at 23 is supposed to be an 18 year old Dean? Yeah, Iâ€™ll admit, sometimes I get stuck on the silly â€“ and to think I poke fun at others *pokes fun at self.*
I loved, truly loved, the insight into Sam however, while the story on a whole left me a bit kinda â€˜mehâ€™ the blend of Samâ€™s â€˜nowâ€™ conflict with his â€˜thenâ€™ conflict keeps me coming back. Both Jared and Colin can really sell soulful and vengeful Sam and while I always look for and rather easily find Samâ€™s story when it isnâ€™t front and center, I do enjoy when it IS front and center, and for Jared and Colin alone this episode is excellent. However, it is one Iâ€™ll be very careful not to abbreviateâ€¦oops!
Sex and Violence:
Cathryn Humprhis wrote this one, whatâ€™s not to love; she gets brotherly angst better thanâ€¦well, Sera Gamble, and usually without all the gore â€“ although this time somebody gave her some pointers. I can do without the extended scenes with the siren and his/her victims, seems like a bit of filler to me, however what she did setting up the whole mistrust and finally conflict between the brothers is excellent. I love that Deanâ€™s innermost wishes are portrayed; he just wants his brother back, his friend. Surrounded by scantily clad women, willing women, his fondest wish is the same as it was back in Shadowâ€¦I want us to be a family again. It makes me wonder what Ben Edlund was really trying to tell us back at the end of Monster Movie when Sam said he knew Dean enough to know what Dean would envision over what the shapeshifter envisioned, Porkyâ€™s 2? I donâ€™t think so. Iâ€™m not enough of a movie buff to be able to offer an acceptable alternative but judging from the sirenâ€™s accurate assessment of Dean, Porkyâ€™s 2 is the incorrect call.
As a further thought for thinking, if Sam got it so wrong, about Porkyâ€™s 2 that is, and the siren got it so right (which we know he did) than what does it means when Dean knows exactly how to track Sam down in When The Levee Breaks proving he really does know his brother, and yet Sam proclaims that Dean doesnâ€™t know him at all. I have no idea either, just filling in some wordsâ€¦â€™cause Alice tells me thereâ€™s no limit here.
Death Takes a Holiday:
Even so someone is going to die, you just know it. Pamela was a great character and had we never seen her again weâ€™d put her in Missouriâ€™s category of â€˜gee, I wonder what sheâ€™s up to now?â€ but now we know. Pamela, you never really had a shot, â€˜tis Bobby and Bobby alone (so far) thatâ€™s able to move in and out of the Winchesters 2â€™s lives and live. Pamela did her part excellently, she came however unwillingly and lent a hand, protected despite her disabilities and upon her demise imparted wise wordsâ€¦I think by the end Sam finally heard them and no doubt she spurred on his conscience for the rest of the season.
As for what I truly love about this episode, Tessa returned! Hooray, and with her arrival came all of what Dean experienced in IMTOD, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jeremy Carver. Sam has his brother, a psychic, even an angel telling him to be careful of the road heâ€™s walking, Dean has an angel and deathâ€¦hmm â€“ yeah, I have no idea what that means, but Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™s something (thatâ€™s for another hellatus a long, long time from now!) Iâ€™m very grateful that the casting department was able to secure Lindsey McKeonâ€™s services for this repeat appearance. It lent much to the feel and texture, that and I really love the chemistry the two have together.
This set up quite excellently the rest of the season for from here we got Alastair captured, Dean as torturer, Sam as blood sucker, the brothers without baggage, the brothers with a prophet, the brothers with a brother, crashing, burning and ultimately setting loose the devil himself. Not a bad set up.
As for Porky's 2, I'm probably reading too much into it, but I see that as the choice of Dean's defense mechanisms, if you will. *We* know he's about family and Sam does too, even if they slog through such sentiments without delicacy or consistent openness, but of course surface Dean is going to pick a 'guy' flick. How many times was douche said this season? 8-)
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad I did these season recaps. It really is necessary to look at the season as a whole to understand where things are going and then to piece together threads from four years is a lot of fun. Looking forward to how we go forward in just TWO days!!!!!
Randal...as for how many times douche was said...I have no idea. It was a lot, a lot and it's already in Sympathy for the Devil so obviously 'tis going to continue. That's all right though...hope they bring back fugly every now and again.
You're quite right ... Even the weaker episodes have something to contribute when you lay them end to end ( and everyone feel free to insert your own " I know who I'd like to lay end to end ffnar-ffnar " comment here ... )