Article Index

Family Remains:
 
Jeremy Carver, you remain one of my favorite writers for this series…even Family Remains cannot change that. Still, I have to wonder…what? There’s much to love here…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 fixed…at the end it was once again the backdrop – 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 they’re interesting and thought out characters – just wait to the next episode though.
 
Still, the episode was dark, and not in a scary sort of way but more in the ‘I can’t see what’s going on sort of way’, it was gross – 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 that’s past and all that’s to come, family remains. â€˜Course could be that I’ve just taken my own advice and had a shot (or two) too many of bourbon.
 
Criss Angel is a Douche Bag:
 
I’ll admit it, I always hoped they were kidding with this title…I’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 – I mean, sometimes what they do to Dean is just a little too juvenile, enough already. Still, the guest cast were phenomenal…just perfection. Their story mirrored Sam’s and Dean’s in a myriad of ways and I found myself alternating between who Sam identified with more. There was just a hint of Ruby – as in enough to move the story without annoying me – there was no Impala – that annoys – 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 ‘end it.’ Dean’s fatalism remains strong as does Sam’s idealism and in the end both are right…and both are wrong – 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 you’re missing something great. I give Julie Siege credit, she did well with this episode, it’s tighter than TGPSW and she builds upon this to create the truly fabulous Monster at the End of This Book. She’s writing in Season 5 and I’m looking forward to her next creation.
 
After School Special:
 
It had all the elements of greatness, classic rock, the hint of John – more smoke and mirrors, still – Colin Ford, angst in the brothers’ childhood, teenage years, still this one I can take or leave. Perhaps it’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, I’ll admit, sometimes I get stuck on the silly – 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 ‘meh’ the blend of Sam’s ‘now’ conflict with his ‘then’ 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 Sam’s story when it isn’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 I’ll be very careful not to abbreviate…oops!
 
Sex and Violence:
 
Cathryn Humprhis wrote this one, what’s not to love; she gets brotherly angst better than…well, Sera Gamble, and usually without all the gore – 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 Dean’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 Shadow…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, Porky’s 2? I don’t think so. I’m not enough of a movie buff to be able to offer an acceptable alternative but judging from the siren’s accurate assessment of Dean, Porky’s 2 is the incorrect call. 
 
As a further thought for thinking, if Sam got it so wrong, about Porky’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 doesn’t know him at all. I have no idea either, just filling in some words…’cause Alice tells me there’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 we’d put her in Missouri’s category of ‘gee, I wonder what she’s up to now?” but now we know. Pamela, you never really had a shot, ‘tis Bobby and Bobby alone (so far) that’s able to move in and out of the Winchesters 2’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 words…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 he’s walking, Dean has an angel and death…hmm – yeah, I have no idea what that means, but I’m sure there’s something (that’s for another hellatus a long, long time from now!) I’m very grateful that the casting department was able to secure Lindsey McKeon’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.
 

Comments  

Ash
# Ash 2009-09-08 03:56
Thanks for the lovely recap Elle2, I am now truely all set for season 5!
Randal
# Randal 2009-09-08 06:49
Great sum up, and the first line of the second paragraph of Criss Angel says a lot: there really isn't an episode you can miss, for even if it isn't a heavy contribution to the mytharc story-wise, there is always grist for the brothers' relationship. Even the "clunkers" like Family Remains aren't bad at all precisely because of that.

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-)
elle2
# elle2 2009-09-08 14:27
Hi, Ash and Randal,

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.

;-)
Suze
# Suze 2009-09-09 05:58
Good overview Elle2.

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 ... )