- Dante Alighieriâ€™s inscription at the entrance to Hell
We donâ€™t know much about hell. In Supernaturalâ€™s universe it is a place where one month becomes a decade. It is a â€˜prison made of bone and flesh and blood and fear.â€™ It is â€˜a pit of despairâ€™, where human souls are turned into demons via endless years of agony.
All we have seen of hell are a few peeks, as Dean, after being torn up by hellhounds, hung suspended from hooks violently forced through his wrists and ankles, shoulder and abdomen, screaming for help and for the one soul who meant everything to him â€“ Sam. No one heard him. No one cared. Another glimpse of hell was given by flashbacks Dean experienced when he awoke in his coffin, remembering fragments of his time there â€“ his panic stricken, wide open eyes, blood everywhere, accompanied by jarring screams.
And we are aware of what he told Sam: â€˜â€¦they sliced and carved and tore at me in ways that youâ€¦ until there was nothing left. And then suddenly, I would be whole again, like magic. Just so they could start in all over. And Alistairâ€¦ at the end of every day, every one, he would come over and he would make me an offer: to take me off the rack, if I put souls on. If I started the torture. And every day I told him to stick it where the sun shinesâ€¦ For thirty years I told him. But then I couldnâ€™t do it anymore, Sammy, I couldnâ€™tâ€¦ And I got off that rack. God help me, I got right off and I started ripping them apart. I lost count of how many souls. The things that I did to themâ€¦ â€¦ how I feel? Thisâ€¦. inside meâ€¦ I wish I couldnâ€™t feel anything, Sammy. I wish I couldnâ€™t feel a damn thing.â€™
We donâ€™t need to become familiar with any more details. To watch Dean and his reactions to the memories coming over him is more than enough. And, frankly, does anyone of us really want to know what the demons of hell did to him? What ever it was â€“ it changed Dean profoundly. The man who returned from hell was still, essentially, Dean Winchester, loving brother and hunter of the paranormal, but he was also a broken, stunned and devastated survivor of torture. Being that, his reaction to an abnormal and unspeakable experience was absolutely normal and natural â€“ in clinical terms it is described as posttraumatic stress.
Before explaining more about that, I will take a look at torture and the psychology of it. I believe it imperative to understand the phenomenon to be able to realize what it does to a person subjected to torture.
In honor of Supernatural starting in US second run syndication on TNT today, I thought that since I didn't start writing reviews until season three, when I actually started watching the show, for each season one and two episode aired I'll write a quick 500 word review. It's a nifty little challenge because once I get my analytical hat on, 500 words becomes impossible. Even for bad episodes like "Bugs" there's plenty to rant about. Still, I'll try, for brevity with older episodes that already have been overanalyzed is probably desired. Naturally, first up is The Pilot. Word counter starts"¦now.
Almost every episode has them. Usually episodes can be categorized as either not a winner, dividing the fandom, or being a major classic. With almost every episode though, there is a small little moment between the characters that make us smile or giggle. Subtle reminders as to why we love this show. They arenâ€™t earth shattering or ground breaking, just enough to give us fond memories when looking back. It also keeps us coming back for a rewatch.
In 2009, there were 22 episodes. 12 for season four, 10 for season five. So out of those, which ones gave me those little quick, happy moments? More than I thought.
A terrible episode, probably the worst of season four, but I still get all giddy over the shot of Sam Winchester trying to sleep in the back of the Impala. I still try to picture how uncomfortable that might be for a man thatâ€™s 6â€™ 4â€, even if the car theyâ€™re driving is a boat. Deanâ€™s angst only made Samâ€™s inability to sleep even better.
It's been my goal to clean up and improve my Season Three recaps as I can. I so far have only fixed "Mystery Spot," so in honor off the holidays here's my new and improved recap for "A Very Supernatural Christmas." Enjoy!
What a better way to celebrate this special holiday season than to re-experience the twisted, gory, heart-wrenching, fast-paced, cynical, and downright brilliant version of Christmas the Supernatural style. Kripke and Company are a bunch of sick bastards, and we love them for it.
This episode contains an overwhelming attention to detail so it’ll be impossible to overlook most of these elements that made up one of the most outstanding episodes of the series. It went all out, beyond the usual great writing and acting, giving us several unique camera shots, extreme set decoration, a brilliant cast of supporting characters, loads of eye catching background details, and even a clever cover story as to why Ypsilanti Michigan was looking so lush in December.
The writer of this episode, Jeremy Carver, gives us his first solo script here, and I must wonder how many Andy Williams Christmas specials he’s seen in his lifetime (I assume enough to drive him crazy). As with his other masterpiece, “Mystery Spot”, this script is very diverse, offering snappy and outrageous (in a good way) dialogue, a multitude of jabs at the history of Christmas culture, a progression of scenes going at a wild yet seamless pace that blended laugh out loud moments, powerful emotional ones and very disturbing ones. Plus, it ruined Christmas. What could be better?
The directing on this episode is phenomenal as well, coming from J. Miller Tobin. This was his second outing for Supernatural. Considering his first episode was the stellar “Born Under A Bad Sign”, he already had an excellent track record with this show. What he did with this episode was nothing short of incredible.
Inspired by Randalâ€™s recent One Night Stands (and yes, I totally went the way of the gutter while preparing to read thatâ€¦) I decided to write briefly about some of my favorite recurring characters who alas are no more. Iâ€™m putting them in my order of favor, least to most, although any ordering is not meant to disparage because the following characters I truly enjoyed each and every time they came to visit. Be it on the side of the light or the side of the dark, they were all â€˜goodâ€™ characters who enriched the storyline.
â€œThis guyâ€™s no genius, heâ€™s a Lynyrd Skynyrd roadie.â€ -- Ash
Ash was the first wacky character that truly was a character: genius, drunk, opportunist, Dr. Bad***, unabashedly comfortable in his birthday suit, keeper of secrets â€“ until pressured by Ellen and then he folds â€“ and loyal.
Ash staggered drunkenly into the Winchesterâ€™s lives in ELAC and quickly proved himself able to decipher Johnâ€™s research (the man who writes like Yoda), to be a keeper of Samâ€™s secret psychic abilities, a helper to Jo who tried to ditch (unsuccessfully) her mother and hunt with the brothers, and very aware of the dangers abounding as he sensed the importance of his discovery and the need to keep it safe (AHBL I&II).
Ash came seemingly from nowhere (well, all right, MIT) and for some unknown reason found himself settled in a back room at The Roadhouse. Thereâ€™s much unknown about Ash, including his death â€“ to this day there are those that hope (against hope) that he somehow escaped the fiery explosion, that somehow the watch that was highlighted during his phone call to Dean and the burnt watch on the charred remains found at the devastation of The Roadhouse was somehow a ruseâ€¦Iâ€™m thinking Ash is gone.
He was fun, funny, outrageous and a mystery; in the end he did not fit anywhere in the landscape and it was best to remove himâ€¦before he outstayed his welcome; as it is, I miss him.
As some of you will already have noticed I read a lot, and I have a soft spot for poetry. Give me Shakespeare at any time, and Iâ€™m happy. Now, some of my best-loved poems have begun to remind me of my favourite tv-show and its charactersâ€¦
This is meant to be my Christmas gift for all of us, to carry us into the New Year on the immortal words of some of the worldâ€™s greatest minds, and their visions of hope, courage, human strength and human flaws, and the many faces of love.
On this site itâ€™s all about love, donâ€™t you think?, and it comes indeed in numerous forms â€“ itâ€™s the love we share for a tv-show, the love we give to one another by respecting each otherâ€™s comments and thoughts, the love we send via the web to console and/or appreciate someone who told us a personal story, the love that hides within relaxed banter and the fun craziness we unfold here.
And itâ€™s about shapes of courage â€“ it takes some guts to de-lurk and post a comment, thereby subject your thoughts and opinions to possible criticism, to defend or condemn an episode or this hellatusâ€¦, and, also, guts are needed when accepting anotherâ€™s point of view. Donâ€™t mind me; Iâ€™m a sentimental soul sometimes.
So, when winter embraces you with its icy wings (read too much poetry lately, Jas?), let the shadows go and remind yourself that there is a lot of kindness, compassion and warmth in this world, and itâ€™s worth fighting for (what else is being human about?).
Our Winchesters do it in fictional stories, and each one of us does it by accepting anotherâ€™s weaknesses, by helping up the old lady who stumbled in the street, by smiling at a stranger (and receiving a smile back), by reaching out to someone we have issues withâ€¦ the list could go onâ€¦
The other day I came back from a trip, and as my plane was late I missed all my trains and got stuck at a station. There was no other train that late in the night, and I prepared myself to order a cab and pay a ridiculous amount of money only to sleep in my own bed. A couple at the station noticed my predicament and offered to take me home. So they drove many miles just to get me there, and when I offered to pay them for it, they simply said: â€˜No, this is not for sale. Do something for another person in need.â€™
This is what I mean â€“ that is the kind of gift each one of us is able to give to others.
So, have a most wonderful and peaceful Christmas, allow yourselves to be enveloped in love and friendship, and may angels watch over all of you.
Merry Christmas to you all
- and to the cast and crew, everyone who works hard on this show, and all the creative minds of Supernatural.
Youâ€™ve given us the best show we could have possibly wished for, and with it fun, inspiration, creative debates and nourishing ideasâ€¦ Thank you.
(And, of course, copyrights lie with the authors entirely, I found the screencaps at screencap paradise, stills are property of the CW.)