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3x06 Red Sky at Morning

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  • 3x06 Red Sky at Morning

    Yay!!! Finally an episode focused on Sam'n'Dean and not just Sam or Dean or side characters and victims. This is how I expected the new female characters to insert into the show. This was a tight and extremely fun episode.

    I still think Bela having the accent was a poor idea by the show. It makes her stand out in a world where anonymity and being forgettable are invaluable tools. That being said, I still like Bela's character and it's fun how she is a worth adversary and thorn to Dean. Bela's pranks and teasing were hilarious. Adorably cute facial expressions aside, Dean however needs to step it up and compete with her.

    Loved the Sam and the old cougar sideline! It was like oh, no, they are not going to go there! And then they did!

    The brother reveal behind the hookman ghost and the ghost ship was interesting and I didn't see it coming. How the two canceled each other out was quite beautifully done.

    Sam is now the highlight of the show. Unfortunately I feel that is due more to default rather than the show actually exploring his character. So although Sam is now infinitely huggable, we still have yet to delve as deep as we once did on Dean and all his character's idiosyncrasies. But I guess that never really mattered, since they have turned Dean into a one note shell of a character. I can understand having a bunch of despairing and unrealistic expectations about the validity of a stupid decision. But to say them aloud and still think it makes wise sense tears down Dean's character in ways I thought impossible.

    I'm really disappointed in dragging out a single mentality for so long especially since I have always feared this to be their last season. And with the looming strike, I'd hate to see the show end without any resolution to Dean's deal or Sam's destiny. However I loved this episode greatly and easily top two of eps this season.

    Lydia made the punch!

  • #2
    That was pretty amusing. I don't mind Bela's accent -- it's not like Lauren Cohan is faking it.

    I thought it was brilliant to reverse the cliche -- Bela, gorgeous in her evening dress, standing downstairs waiting, and the slow, pan up from the feet coming down the stairs beauty reveal is on Dean. Really a nice touch, even as a non-familiar viewer, I get the joke, Dean is the ugly ducking, rough edge guy that's never been all prettied up before.

    Also, "later we should have angry sex" and Jensen Ackles' (what, triple? quadruple?) take was hysterical.

    Great effects for the ghosts annihilating.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
      This was a tight and extremely fun episode.
      Were we watching the same episode? I found it anything but tight (although it was fun). The whole episode seemed to drag in sections and it was completely devoid of any action. Even though the merging of the two spirits was beautiful, it too lacked any pace or excitement.

      I cringed all the way through the scenes of Sam and Gert, and I'm sure that was the point, but they went on for far too long, as did Dean and Bela's conversations at the party. I mean my god, they even walked slowly around the party!

      The ghost ship effects were gorgeous, and I liked that we found out that Bela has a dark secret, but I felt that the dead brothers storyline could have been aligned better with what is happening in the hunterly brothers relationship. You could concieve that, because of the deal, Sam is affectively killing Dean and it would've been nice if the ghost went after him for that fact. Maybe this would give Dean a bit of impetus to try and get himself out of the deal.

      I really enjoyed the conversation when Dean apologises to Sam, and how it seems that Sam doesn't believe that he'll be alright if Dean dies. Whether or not he's worried about turning evil may or may not be on his mind there. Why are these conversations limited to the very beginning of the eps and right at the end (three of the six episodes have started with them arguing in the car about it, and most of them have ended on it) - can they not think of a smoother way to incorporate it?

      Whilst I'm on the subject of repetetiveness, how did Bela become successful when every artifact that she goes after causes her to be affected by it's mojo (the rabbits foot and now the ghost ship)?

      So basically, whilst this episode made me laugh quite a lot, the lack of pace and action ruined it for me, and I am running out of patience for some real emotion or a season arc to appear.
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      Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

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      • #4
        Oh, boys.

        I have to admit, this episode took a little while to warm up for me, but once it did, it had me, completely.

        First, the case stuff. Very nearly a standard salt 'n' burn, only not. The ghost ship was very Pirates of the Caribbean, very cool, if only glimpsed once or twice. Bela?there hasn't been enough of the real her to capture my heart, not yet. But there are encouraging signs. She's all about the game face, playing the role she's chosen for herself, self-interest all the way ? look out for number one and don't care about anyone or anything else. But here we have our first hint at a chink in the armour, so who knows what the future will hold; this is only her second episode, after all. Dean in a tux was in itself well worth the admission fee ? oh, okay, and Sam, too. James Bond, eat your heart out! And Dean's reaction to having to wear the tux, and Bela's reaction to him in the tux: gold. Bela might not have completely won me over yet, but the snark between her and Dean is always fun, and now there's Sam joining in, too. The absolute loathing makes for good entertainment, so there's a strong element of humour with Bela that we don't get with Ruby. I loved her reaction to the dump the boys had found to squat in ? it's not like them not to spring for a motel. Money must be tight, so that ten grand she gave them will probably come in handy.

        It probably says a lot about Bela's values compared to the boys that she could put a price like that on the act of saving her life when they'd have settled for a sincere 'thank you'. Ten grand? Cheap at half the price; both of theirs cost a hell of a lot more. Putting things on a business transaction clears the slate. She likes to go it alone, so having a debt like that hanging over her head wouldn't sit well.

        Sam and the old lady was highly amusing, although it felt a bit thrown in for the sake of giving Sam something to do while Dean worked with Bela. Or maybe because the writers have suddenly realised that JP is actually pretty good at comedy! And, of course, Sam earned his supper by producing a creative solution to the problem out of thin air.

        "You wouldn't understand. No one did. Never mind. I'll just do what I've always done ? I'll deal with it myself."

        Again with the sibling/family parallels ? the way both brothers reacted to the ghost's origin story, and to the revelation that Bela must have the blood of a family member on her hands, that told a huge story. Family is sacrosanct to the Winchesters. Sam couldn't bring himself to shoot John even for the sake of destroying the Yellow-Eyed Demon, Dean sold his soul for Sam's sake?the very concept of the ship's captain having his brother hanged was pretty much obscene to them. And the vague knowledge that Bela must have been responsible for the death of someone in her family, they both seemed pretty outraged about that, as if they didn't hate her enough already. The show hasn't given us any backstory on it, though, not yet, which I like. Bela looked like she'd been kicked in the gut when she heard the spirit's MO, why she'd been targeted, but she wasn't going to spill her guts, not in front of strangers who hate her, not even to save her life. This is not a woman at ease with reliance on anyone.

        Our boys still came through for her, though, in spite of having these dark suspicions about her murky past, and every reason to loathe her utterly. I would say I hope she's taken note of that, but I doubt it would mean much to her ? she already had them pegged as the type who want to do the right thing and can therefore be exploited by those more unscrupulous than them, such as herself. Saving her life in spite of everything will only have added to that impression she has of them. From their point of view, if you're one of the good guys, you just don't get to draw lines between who is or isn't worthy of being saved ? a distinction Dean never really remembers to apply to himself.

        Okay, so that was the case story. And then there was also the development of our boys. Oh boys.

        First of all, this is the second episode in a row where the ongoing stuff has been tacked onto the beginning and end of the episode, rather than being worked into the main body of the story. I'm not sure if I like this as a regular trend or not, because on the one hand it feels very real, that they'd put all their personal stuff to one side while working a job, but on the other hands it smacks of slightly lazier writing than we're used to on this show, after two seasons spent carefully weaving such development into the ongoing story-of-the-week.

        As for the content ? wow, it hurts. It figures that Dean would find out what Sam had done ? noticing a missing bullet? Yeah, he would. Dean's a weapons man, and they're in the habit of keeping tabs on the bullets in that thing. We still don't know the details of its restored function to know whether the amount of bullets remains relevant or limited in any way, but I think Dean would notice anyway. But Sam absolutely was not going to tell him about his confrontation with the Crossroads Demon; Dean had to drag the information out of him.

        Dean: "So what, does that mean I'm out of my deal?"
        Sam: "Don't you think I might have mentioned that little fact, Dean? No."

        Oh, Dean. He had to ask. He hasn't been allowing himself even the tiniest grain of hope, and then there it was anyway, shot down in flames immediately. I'm glad they are talking about Sam's efforts, though, even if it is highly charged and confrontational.

        Sam: "You're my brother, Dean, and no matter what you do I'm going to try to save you, and I'm sure as hell not going to apologise for it."

        That argument has become very familiar this season: Sam wants to find a way to save Dean, no matter what, and Dean wants him to just drop it and accept the inevitable; Dean won't take any chances with Sam's restored life, Sam doesn't care. They're getting hardened in their respective stances, reaching that stage where they could just about hold the argument in their sleep they know it so well, covering the same ground over and over until the words lose their meaning, almost. Sam is absolutely unrepentant about going after the Crossroads Demon, in spite of all Dean's anger and bluster ? he feels it was worth trying, and refuses to back down. Shouting at him only puts his back up and makes him dig his heels in harder, that much is well established.

        No mention of the fact that the Crossroads Demon's human host was killed along with the demon. Partly, I think, the killing of demons has by necessity to become routine this season, and acceptance that some humans will have to be sacrificed for the cause is also necessary. Mostly, though, in this instance, it's just a place neither one is willing to go, that subject with all its connotations.

        Dean: "I'm not blind. I see what you're going through with this whole deal: me going away, and all that. But you're going to be okay."

        So then at the end we have Dean giving a little. He's been butting heads with Sam for a few episodes now, dictatorial, playing the John card for all he's worth, but that isn't who he really is and it isn't working. So he relents, can't keep it up ? can't deal with Sam being so miserable and angry. Making Sam feel better is what he does, what he's been doing most of his life. The trouble is that there isn't a great deal he can do to make Sam feel better right now. He can't take the deal back and he can't apologise for it, doesn't regret it in the slightest. He absolutely believes that this is the best possible outcome of an impossible scenario, that Sam is better equipped to carry on alone than he is. Trying to get Sam to accept the inevitable and stop fighting it is just about the only weapon he's got in his comfort arsenal right now, but it just isn't going to work. That he's trying to comfort Sam again, though, tells its own story. It's Dean resetting back to his default, and it's also another stage in his journey toward impending death, trying to ease the way for those who'll be left behind.

        Dean: "You're stronger than me. You are. You'll get over it. But I want you to know I'm sorry. I'm sorry for putting you through all this, I am."

        So, having tried being obnoxious to make Sam stop looking for a solution, now he's trying conciliation to make his brother accept the inevitable. And?just?damn. The worst part is that he really, honestly believes that, believes Sam will be able to just pick himself up and carry on when it's all over. It's a statement that refers us back to Scarecrow, when he told Sam he was proud of him for being strong enough to go after what he wants, to Devil's Trap when the Yellow-Eyed Demon taunted him for needing his family more than they need him. Dean takes things to heart, and tries not to let anyone see, buries his hurts deep, but they always come out again later. He's built this immense wall of denial around what's going to happen, right down to euphemising it as 'going away', not letting himself look at the destination. But Sam's not playing the game with him.

        Sam: "Would you please stop worrying about me? That's the whole problem in the first place ? I don't want you to worry about me, Dean. I want you to worry about you. I want you to give a crap that you're dying."

        God, poor Sam. And the awful thing about that is that there is still very good reason for Dean to worry about him, but Sam is way past clinging to his brother as his only hope of salvation, can see very clearly where the damage has come from. It's why he's been trying so hard to be more self-sufficient this season, it's why if Dean dies the guilt will tear Sam apart, and it's a contributing factor to his increasing determination to find a solution. But Dean just shuts him down, won't talk about it ? he'll talk about how this is affecting Sam, but what it means for him is off the menu, because talking about that means facing up to it, and he's refusing to go there. Damn, damn, damn. This is going to get so much uglier before it gets any better. And there's that writer's strike complicating matters, too.

        So, Sam's got demons telling him his brother isn't worth fighting for, and he's got Dean himself telling him that he isn't worth fighting for. All he's got to hold onto is his own determination, which is leading him down some very dark roads indeed.

        Episode six. As things stand, we might get a total of fifteen for the season before production has to shut down, unless a resolution to the WGA strike is struck. Whether or not we get any kind of resolution to the season ? well, we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope.

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        • #5
          The boys continue to break me into tiny little pieces. On the one hand the tension and the arguments between them feel very real and psychologically justified, after all the show always made a point in taking the time to play out these emotional elements with all the severe consequences the grave events in their lives have on the characters and I love that about Supernatural. On the other hand I just want them fixed, like yesterday, because it hurts to watch them struggle and being at odds with each other more than they have ever been before so far and the thought, that the WGA strike might end the show before it gets to the point where Sam and Dean reconcile, drives me nuts! *sigh*

          Dean: "So, unless you were shooting at some incredible evil cans ?"

          As expected Sam didn't tell Dean about his encounter with the crossroads demon but Dean did figure it out nonetheless and waited to confront Sam about it because he hoped his brother would confide with him. This small detail just killed me right in the beginning. It's Dean's own behaviour that pushed Sam away and made him close up, their latest interaction closer to the way John and Sam butted heads with each other than I thought would even be possible and with just the same effect: Sam revolts and closes himself off, just like in Scarecrow or Hunted and still Dean hopes every time that Sam comes around. Waiting for his brother to tell him what went down exactly, without doubt alternating between fear, anger, relief that Sam is still alive and maybe hoping that his deal may be off, must have driven him nuts.

          Of course his first concern is that Sam could've gotten himself killed, but his second thought is that maybe Sam did achieve his goal after all, betraying his cool demeanour and showing that part of him wants to be saved from this. Why even follow up any leads on who his contract holder is, if he doesn't believe at all that he can be freed from the deal? Why not just leave it alone, so Sam doesn't put himself into the position to take another stupid risk? I think that maybe Sam's perseverance did kindle a small flame of hope in Dean. Not that he would openly admit it, but sometimes his behaviour shows how torn he is in the matter, especially when he sees how much his brother suffers.

          Sam also openly admits, that he shot the demon out of pique and nothing else and if the coldness in his brothers words did bother Dean, he didn't let it show here. Sam of course is way beyond showing any signs of regret or giving in, openly telling Dean that no matter what he does or says, Sam is doing whatever is in his reach to save him, cutting off any further argument from Dean in that direction, basically giving Dean only two possibilities, to either come on board with Sam or to oppose him, but he won't get him to back down on this.

          Sam is obviously incredibly frustrated. He's frustrated with his brother, who not only refuses adamantly to support Sam in any effort to save him (although I think part of Sam understands Dean's fear that Sam gets himself killed again), but who also doesn't seem to value his own life enough to be afraid for himself. Of course Dean works hard to not let Sam see that part of his own struggle with his deal and just like nearly every other of Dean's coping mechanisms it does have just the opposite effect on Sam than intended.

          Sam's also frustrated because every attempt of his' is failing so far and he is slowly running out of time. As he admits after they fail to safe Peter Warrant he feels like he isn't able to save anyone lately, clearly referring to Dean. Burdened with the same task his brother had to carry last season, Sam struggles just as much as Dean did. In fact his mix of ruthless behaviour and desperation mirrors Dean's stance from last year perfectly.

          It's interesting how them being at odds with each other shows in so many little instances, like this short exchange about loosing the victim. Their little reassurance routines just don't work anymore. Where in earlier seasons Sam always conceded to Dean's reflex to reassure his brother with vague platitudes (?We can't save every one.' ?We just keep doing what we're doing.' ?Everything will be okay'), because he needed this feeling of leaning back into his big brother's display of confidence, he just deflected it here and admits that it doesn't make him feel better. He doesn't want the illusion of comfort anymore, away from being the little brother who needs to be protected. Which fits very well with their conversation at the end.

          Sam: "So would you please just quit worrying about me? I mean, that's the whole problem in the first place! I don't want you to worry about me, Dean, I want you to worry about you! I want you to give a crap that you're dying."

          The end conversation in the car was pretty much perfect and I was happy that they took Dean's character one step forward in finally making him openly acknowledge Sam's feelings, even if he still deflects on acknowledging his own. The last couple of episodes Dean refused to address Sam's grief over loosing him, pretending that Sam would be okay, even if he obviously wasn't, so taking a step towards Sam and offering an apology and understanding as an olive branch to bridge the gap between them is at least the first step in the right direction. Mind you, he was always the first to take a step towards his brother if he was in distress, always the first to offer comfort.

          In the end though he fails to see what Sam's actual concern is: His seemingly lack of regard for his own life. I think I never loved Sam more than in this instance. All his life Dean focused on John and Sam and Sam mostly took his brother's devotion for granted, basically relying on it all his life, until it lead to Dean laying his own life down for Sam, which turned Sam's view on the subject around. He finally acknowledges how detrimental Dean's sacrificial nature and his lack of self-worth was to his brother's psyche.

          I love about this conversation how both of them are more concerned about the other than about themselves, which is their dilemma in a nutshell really. Dean acknowledges Sam's grief and Sam acknowledges Dean's self-esteem issues and neither one is acknowledging their own problems with the whole situation towards each other. Although Dean is genuinely convinced that Sam will be better prepared to deal with his loss, than he was to deal with Sam's, Sam is obviously not at all able to even comprehend the thought of living without Dean, but he doesn't go into that with his brother. Sam on the other hand seems to genuinely think that Dean wants to die and doesn't care about the damnation of his soul and Dean doesn't correct him about it either. It's like their commitment towards each other is standing in their way here.

          This was the first conversation where they turned from yelling and exchanging more or less fruitless arguments to a real dialogue, at least until Dean was feeling too uncomfortable with where the dialogue was heading and closing off again. They may still be far from a resolution, but it's a start nonetheless.

          Dean: "Can I shoot her?"
          Sam: "Not in public!"


          So, Bela made her return in this episode and I still like her, as a character idea that is, not as a person obviously . She is annoying, in a way that I think they intend her to be annoying, as an obstacle in the boy's way to achieve what they want. Her constant effort to look down on Sam's and Dean's job, possibly a result of experiences with other hunters, her habit to refer to Dean as dumb and uneducated and to Sam as clever but overdramatic can be interpreted either as a defence mechanism or a genuine feeling of superiority. I need to see more of her to be clear on that one. Anyway, I like the snark between Sam'n'Dean and Bela, at least they are united in their distaste for her.

          With hinting at a dark background story for Bela, this character might turn out more interesting in the future, as long as the writers don't fall into the cliché of a redemption arc for her character. So, somehow Bela was guilty for killing someone in her family and since Sheila and her cousin obviously were an accident, it doesn't really matter if there was any intent behind it. I don't think that Bela is a stone-cold murderer, her reaction to the spirit's MO was subdued instead of self-righteous, still both boys reacted harshly to that revelation nonetheless. They don't have any reason to give her the benefit of the doubt, still I thought that Dean should've been able to relate to her, after all he felt responsible for not being able to prevent Sam's death, giving him an inappropriate feeling of guilt. Bela's situation might not be that much different. Anyways, in the end Bela is saved by Sam and I hope it foreshadows that he will be able to save Dean as well.

          I liked that Bela didn't change after the boys saved her life, she didn't come back redeemed from her experience and turned to a more selfless lifestyle. For her it's important to make the whole incident non-personal, Sam and Dean did their job and she compensated them for it. Deal done, no further obligations! So, I don't object to see her again, though I would find it not very believable if the boys would run into her every 2-3 episodes, unless she was connected more to the mytharc or the character arcs.

          Other pros and cons:
          Dean hyperventilating over a seemingly stolen Impala was just too cute for words! And I loved how Sam switched from amused to concerned within a second, aiding his brother.

          Boys! Boys in tuxedos! Okay, let me have a shallow moment. I love how uncomfortable Dean is whenever he has to dress up. Give him a prison uniform and he is fine, but put him in a tux and he is self-conscious. Usually Dean is very well aware how attractive he is to women and he does play that card quite blatantly to his advantage. His uneasiness with Bela's obvious flirtatious approach was funny, but shows also that he isn't comfortable with this kind of hit on from someone he loathes.

          I really liked the MotW this week, all the ?watery' effects were absolutely gorgeous in this episode, possibly some of the best effects in the show so far. Again they focused on a siblings storyline, though the parallels this time weren't as obvious as in Bedtime Stories, but I liked how both brothers cancelled each other out in the end, which can serve as a nice visual mirror on how Sam and Dean ?kill' each other with their efforts to save each other. Bela says later that Sam was giving the angry spirit what it really wanted: his brother. In a way you can refer that to Sam not only wanting Dean to be safe but also to acknowledge what he did to Sam with his deal. Or maybe that's just me over-interpreting.

          One of the biggest problems I had with the episode was the whole Sam-Gert interaction which really made me feel uncomfortable and which I didn't find funny at all, it just made me cringe. While in the end it at least lead to finding out the connection between the murder victims, it was drawn out too long and the ?intimate' camera-work especially during the dance scene was unsavoury in my opinion, but well, I am known to not be always on board with humor in this show.

          Also, the whole scene at the charity ball felt extremely ?out of character' for Supernatural. The music, the ?the high and the mighty' context, it just didn't feel like SN at all. Okay, I get that it is Bela's original habitat so to speak, but I don't feel comfortable with Sam and Dean in that environment. I always loved the grittiness and run-down environment the boys live in, so that scene didn't sit very well with me. I'd preferred a good breaking and entering scene, since Bela only was after the object as well, the whole charade didn't make that much sense to me.

          While a lot of the character work between Sam and Dean worked well in the episode, I couldn't help but feeling that they were taken slightly off character to accomodate Bela in this episode and that is a point that annoys me greatly. I just can't see Dean shrugging off that Bela shot Sam or forgiving her for towing the Impala. We have seen his reactions in both instances before and the one in RSAM is completely unlike him. I think it is very unlikely that Sam and Dean would even entertain the idea of working together with her in the first place on that grounds. I don't see any reason for them to not being able to ID the ship themselves (Bela even says so) and acquire the Hand of Glory on their own. It's usually a problem in writing if you need to change the main characters in order to fit in a new one. I hope this remains a singular case.
          Last edited by galathea; 01-02-08, 11:56 AM.

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          • #6
            I finally was able to sit down and watch this episode tonight, and I must admit I have mixed feelings about it.

            First off, there's just something about Bela's character that I just don't like. I think the story itself in this ep was workable, but her delivery just fell flat for me. I think she has zero chemistry with the boys, and her teeth totally drive me up a wall.

            I did love Dean's quadruple take over her 'angry sex' offer...that was so totally adorable! However the thought of the two of them make me cringe due to their total lack of chemistry.

            These past two episodes have had me giggling over Sam, which is a nice new bonus from the past two seasons annoyance with him. I'm liking the more humor added this season, so that's a bonus.

            Overall, the storyline was good, but the actress just doesn't do it for me...I really think it is just a bad casting decisions...
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            • #7
              I tend to feel much the same way about Bela, I must admit. I like the concept of the character as she appears on paper - she shakes up the dynamic, she adds a lot of humour to her episodes so far, she has potential for a lot of interesting development given the hints about her murky past, I love the way both brothers hate her so much... I'm just not sure that the actress convinces me. It's early days, but she doesn't strike me as having the greatest range. Hopefully that will improve. So far I'm enjoying the character more in spite of the actress than because of her.

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              • #8
                Okay I don't have the time or energy to write a detailed review about this episode. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed it (much more than last week's), it was funny and made me laugh, it had nice creepiness going, the special effects of the ghost ship and the spirits of the two brothers were beautiful and we got to see the boys in tuxedos! I also liked seeing Bela again, her bantering with the boys (especially with Dean) always makes me chuckle and I loved her angry sex line and Dean's adorable reaction to it!

                Plus the whole scene of Dean walking down those stairs in his tuxedo was just to die for, he looked so much like James Bond. I had to chuckle at his "don't objectify me" line.

                While the Sam and Gert scenes made me a bit uncomfortable, they also made me laugh, Jared has gotten so good when it comes to comedy, it's a joy to watch him.

                As for the brotherly scenes (and arguments) in this episode, I can relate to Sam's side of things very well, probably better than to Dean's, whose continued refusal to talk about how he really feels about his deal to Sam keeps on frustrating both Sam and me. Okay granted, he gave Sam a bit more in this episode but just when you think he is really gonna open up, he closes up again. That last scene literally made me scream at the screen!

                Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                I am running out of patience for some real emotion or a season arc to appear.
                While I don't agree with you about the seasonal arc (I think the seasonal arc is quite rich this season what with the demon war and Sam's possible role in it, Dean's deal, the possibility that Sam might go evil and how Ruby might (or might not) play into that etc.), I have to agree about the real emotion. So far, this season does just not grip me as much emotionally as season 2 did. I'm still waiting for an episode that will move me to tears such as so many s2 eps did, an episode that will really touch me and will make think about it for days. So far, I haven't experienced this yet this season and as for reasons for this, I think Lyn is right. It is due to the fact that Sam is now pretty much the highlight of the show and Dean's pushed into the background. While I have to say that I enjoy Sam's arc this season in ways I did not think possible, I'm still a Dean girl at heart and as such I miss the depth in Dean this season. His current attitude is frustrating a lot of the time and sometimes even annoying and to see this in my favourite character hurts. S2 put a heavy focus on Dean and I expected s3 to be more about Sam, which is perfectly fine with me, both Sam and Jared deserve it. What I did not expect, however, was how Dean would be written this season, how they would take away (at least some of) the depth and layers that made me fall in love with him in the first two seasons. I know it's still early in the season and the writers can still turn this around, I just don't know if there is enough time what with the strike and everything.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cori View Post
                  It is due to the fact that Sam is now pretty much the highlight of the show and Dean's pushed into the background. While I have to say that I enjoy Sam's arc this season in ways I did not think possible, I'm still a Dean girl at heart and as such I miss the depth in Dean this season. His current attitude is frustrating a lot of the time and sometimes even annoying and to see this in my favourite character hurts. S2 put a heavy focus on Dean and I expected s3 to be more about Sam, which is perfectly fine with me, both Sam and Jared deserve it. What I did not expect, however, was how Dean would be written this season, how they would take away (at least some of) the depth and layers that made me fall in love with him in the first two seasons.
                  I think the writers have always had difficulties to balance both characters out on equal measures. What you wrote above mirrors completely the complaints of Sam girls from last year. Basically character development and story for Sam in S2 were pushed back in favor of telling Dean's story, Sam mostly being used as a plotpoint to move the mytharc forward but having rare real development apart from it. It's not that he fell completely flat, but it was noticeable.

                  This year the same principle may apply to Dean, he's still the rich character we all know and love, but in order to give Sam's story more room, we only catch glimpses of him so far, mostly in TKAA and Sin City and in comparison to last season it feels of course lacking. Just as Sam was used to push the YED arc and the psychic children storyline last year, Dean this year is used to push the Sam storyline. I think his stubbornness is meant to frustrate Sam, to activate Sam's ruthless and reckless behaviour. I wished the writers would find a better balance between the two of them. I don't think they took away Dean's layers, just like they didn't take away Sam's last years, they are just more indirectly accessible this year so far.

                  Just for the record, I totally cried in Bedtime Stories when Sam asks if Dean wants him to let him go.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by galathea View Post
                    I think the writers have always had difficulties to balance both characters out on equal measures. What you wrote above mirrors completely the complaints of Sam girls from last year. Basically character development and story for Sam in S2 were pushed back in favor of telling Dean's story, Sam mostly being used as a plotpoint to move the mytharc forward but having rare real development apart from it. It's not that he fell completely flat, but it was noticeable.
                    I get that and as I said above I was prepared for s3 to focus more on Sam. As I said above, I really enjoy his character arc so far but the point for me is that I enjoy Sam's arc more than Dean's right now and I don't think that has ever happened to me before. It is just frustrating to me that the scenes of Dean we do get are not always scenes I can fully enjoy so the scenes which have me awwing and squeeing over Dean seem to become rarer and rarer for me. And after last season which gave me plenty to aww and squee over, this season feels a bit like cold turkey to me.

                    This year the same principle may apply to Dean, he's still the rich character we all know and love, but in order to give Sam's story more room, we only catch glimpses of him so far, mostly in TKAA and Sin City and in comparison to last season it feels of course lacking.
                    Exactly! And incidentally, TKAA and Sin City are my two favourite episodes so far. Go figure!

                    Just as Sam was used to push the YED arc and the psychic children storyline last year, Dean this year is used to push the Sam storyline. I think his stubbornness is meant to frustrate Sam, to activate Sam's ruthless and reckless behaviour. I wished the writers would find a better balance between the two of them.
                    Agreed!

                    I don't think they took away Dean's layers, just like they didn't take away Sam's last years, they are just more indirectly accessible this year so far.
                    Maybe you are right. Sometimes it just feels that his depth/layers are so well hidden right now, they might as well have been taken away by the writers. But maybe that's just me.

                    Just for the record, I totally cried in Bedtime Stories when Sam asks if Dean wants him to let him go.
                    Lucky you!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cori View Post
                      I get that and as I said above I was prepared for s3 to focus more on Sam. As I said above, I really enjoy his character arc so far but the point for me is that I enjoy Sam's arc more than Dean's right now and I don't think that has ever happened to me before. It is just frustrating to me that the scenes of Dean we do get are not always scenes I can fully enjoy so the scenes which have me awwing and squeeing over Dean seem to become rarer and rarer for me. And after last season which gave me plenty to aww and squee over, this season feels a bit like cold turkey to me.
                      Well, as I said in the last thread (I think) given the fact that we have a) more recurring characters and b) a LOT more plotlines in S3 than we have ever had before, we already have less time for the brothers together and both of them as individual characters by default. If we add then a focus on Sam's story we have a serious decrease in Dean's scenes in general and hence a lot less opportunities to AWW and SQUEE over his character for time reasons alone.

                      I am sure Dean's slow progression towards opening up to Sam would be way less frustrating for the viewer would we have more opportunity to look into him, like we had last season, where it took him 'til episode 10 until he was ready to tell Sam about the secret, but we were less fazed by that because the rest of the story also rested heavily on him and showed us his anguish from every possible angle. We just don't have that this season, because they do that with Sam. That doesn't mean we have less layers, it just means we have less scenes.

                      I mean, I am a rabid Dean fangirl myself, but I love Sam enough to allow myself to feel more for him for a while, as long as they find back to a better balance later on. I started to complain about the lack of good Sam exploration around late mid-S2! I am willing to give the writers the same amount of time til I start complaining about Dean in S3 as well!

                      And believe me I TOTALLY get the cold turkey feeling, not only about Dean but even more so about simple Sam'n'Dean scenes, as I said, a natural result of the new elements in SN, not always happy about that, but trying to adjust here.
                      Last edited by galathea; 14-11-07, 01:22 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cori View Post
                        As I said above, I really enjoy his character arc so far but the point for me is that I enjoy Sam's arc more than Dean's right now and I don't think that has ever happened to me before.
                        hehe, well... I started out a Sam-girl, and started to love Dean more in the last season, just cause he had more depth in that season. Now indeed Sam is more being highlighted.
                        I think we also stated that this season would probably be more a Sam season, cause he had so little attention in emotions and all the last season.

                        I am okay with it, but sure.. I'd prefer it too if both brothers would get the same amount of attention, development and depth in their characters.
                        But I guess that's really difficult, or they would've done it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cori
                          While I have to say that I enjoy Sam's arc this season in ways I did not think possible, I'm still a Dean girl at heart and as such I miss the depth in Dean this season. His current attitude is frustrating a lot of the time and sometimes even annoying and to see this in my favourite character hurts. S2 put a heavy focus on Dean and I expected s3 to be more about Sam, which is perfectly fine with me, both Sam and Jared deserve it. What I did not expect, however, was how Dean would be written this season, how they would take away (at least some of) the depth and layers that made me fall in love with him in the first two seasons. I know it's still early in the season and the writers can still turn this around, I just don't know if there is enough time what with the strike and everything.
                          I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one feeling this way.

                          Originally posted by Cori
                          And incidentally, TKAA and Sin City are my two favourite episodes so far. Go figure!
                          ME TOO. Well, I really loved Red Sky a lot! TKAA is by far my fave!

                          Originally posted by Cori
                          While the Sam and Gert scenes made me a bit uncomfortable, they also made me laugh, Jared has gotten so good when it comes to comedy, it's a joy to watch him.
                          They were supposed to make us cringe! I was peeking through my fingers much of their scenes. I hadn't done that since Skin! And isn't it a sad commentary that most of us are more willing to accept such gruesome deaths on a weekly basis rather than a woman not afraid to go after something she wanted.

                          Sure, the show could have gone with a younger looking woman like they did in Wedding Crashers, though Jane Seymour is currently Dancing With the Stars (not to mention the weird SV/JA connection), but I like how the show just decided to run to the extreme like they usually do with the horror.

                          I don't see anything wrong with an older woman who'd been widowed deciding that she's not the one that died and trying to live her life. Is there anything wrong with her propositioning Sam? Instead of Sam seeing her as a real person he just saw her as a crazy old lady and humored her. Not to mention later used her. And that's how he ended up in the position. Seriously though, she knew about the ghost ship, why didn't they just tell her they needed the hand? I bet she'd have loved to have been in on the plan.

                          I think Gert was great how she was willing to toss off the societal norms that probably restrained her since she was young girl. I can only imagine someone that rich was born into a family with a lot of expectations. I imagine Gert probably did a lot of it just to get reactions out of other members of their high society.

                          Originally posted by galathea
                          What you wrote above mirrors completely the complaints of Sam girls from last year. Basically character development and story for Sam in S2 were pushed back in favor of telling Dean's story, Sam mostly being used as a plotpoint to move the mytharc forward but having rare real development apart from it.
                          I think last year the show's focus was clearly on Dean. While this year it doesn't really feel on either of them. I know you were talking to Cori, but I was trying to say that although we are getting less Dean, it feels like we are getting still getting the same amount of Sam.

                          If this is going to be Sam's year, lets totally dive into it and find out more about his personality quirks. Make him more 3-D like they did with giving Dean rock music, love of food, and Mom adoration. One of the most real things we know about Sam was that he was going to propose to Jessica.

                          Why don't we learn about what Sam likes rather than what he just generally dislikes about Dean. He should not just be a reflection of Dean. The show was always supposed to be about Sam. Although, Dean as a secondary character had the freedom to do more with the little time first allotted to him. Sam's character has always been burdened with this unwanted "destiny". Maybe they just wanted him to be Everyman, but it's about time they defined the character if they want all viewers to feel his struggle as the show moves closer to their collision.

                          I love Sam. A large reason of why I don't LOVE & SQUEE Sam is that he has always been kept very generic, yet is supposed to be the character upon which the show revolves. I want the show to GIVE me a reason why I should see Sam a real person and not just a tv character.

                          I also don't feel the reoccuring characters (Bela and Ruby) have been the problem. They've actually been much more seamless than the Roadhouse Gang. Its all the extra side characters each week that are bogging the show and pace down. I WISH more time was focused on the reoccurring characters as compared to side characters. At least building a connection to the reoccurring characters will make it more dramatic if some horrible fate were to befall one of them. *whistles innocently, hides weapon*

                          Originally posted by ciderdrinker
                          Were we watching the same episode? I found it anything but tight (although it was fun). The whole episode seemed to drag in sections and it was completely devoid of any action.
                          Apparently not. I love the boys and how they can make the most banal of scenes teeming full of life and silent exchanges. JA and JP are wonderful actors in acting like brothers having their own secret language that everyone else has to puzzle out.

                          I thought the victim's deaths were quick and to the point without drawn out "suspense". We were just served the violent death "action". While the pace seemed proper since the show moved in a logical manner (except for the out of nowhere reveal of the killer's motive). I loved that their stealth mission amazingly went off without a hitch. I held my breath waiting for them to be found out and it was such a pleasure to release it when they gathered Gert and left.

                          The MOTW episodes are rarely a joy for the plot, but instead in allowing the boys to be boys. And for a minute I think they each were able to put their real troubles aside and be brothers again.

                          Lydia made the punch!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                            If this is going to be Sam's year, lets totally dive into it and find out more about his personality quirks. Make him more 3-D like they did with giving Dean rock music, love of food, and Mom adoration. One of the most real things we know about Sam was that he was going to propose to Jessica.

                            Why don't we learn about what Sam likes rather than what he just generally dislikes about Dean. He should not just be a reflection of Dean. The show was always supposed to be about Sam. Although, Dean as a secondary character had the freedom to do more with the little time first allotted to him. Sam's character has always been burdened with this unwanted "destiny". Maybe they just wanted him to be Everyman, but it's about time they defined the character if they want all viewers to feel his struggle as the show moves closer to their collision.
                            Yes, yes and YES to all that! I want to know more about Sam, want him to be fleshed out as a character just as much as Dean, want him to be defined distinctly through genuine actions of his own, instead of indirectly define him by what he is NOT, y'know, that he does not like Dean's music or does not like Dean's food etc. I am totally with you on this, but that's not necessarily what I meant with that there's more focus on Sam. I meant more that this year's plotlines rest more on Sam than on Dean, his destiny, his position as leader, his dealings with loosing Dean, the Ruby/Sam plotline etc. The character quirks are something that should be just woven naturally into the story like they were with Dean, his character traits were highlightened by the everyday brotherly interaction and here is where the argument with the recurring characters comes in.

                            I very much agree with you that the recurring characters are brought in a lot more naturally than the Roadhouse gang and I like both character concepts for the show, that's not my point. What I see is mostly a time problem. I don't think the episodes spent more time on the side characters of the MotW plots than usual, it's just that if you add more recurring characters and need to create interaction with the main characters for them, the overall time window to create interaction between Sam and Dean just becomes smaller and smaller.

                            Take Red Sky for example: This was clearly an episode to create more depth for Bela's character but she wasn't essential to the story at all. If this was a S1 or S2 episode, they would've let the boys identify the ship, shoot a fabulous breaking and entering scene, have Sam or Dean see the the ghost ship (with the MO of the ghost working on a guilt basis, similar to Bloody Mary) and then race to save the respective brother. That would have given us probably double the amount of time with Sam and Dean, it would interweave the Winchester story more closely with the MotW plot and would probably have a better emotional fallout of the story. So the need to weave Bela in changed the dynamics of the plot. Where in earlier seasons you had interaction between Sam and Dean and interaction between the brothers and the side characters, you now have a third angle, the interaction between the brothers and the recurring characters.

                            Where we had plenty of time for genuine brotherly interaction, which highlightened the character quirks in earlier seasons, that time is just cut short with the new plotlines and characters, leaving mostly only time for casefile exposition between them. I'm not saying that the recurring characters are a bad thing, I just think they should incorporate them differently. Instead of cramming mytharc development, MotW plot, recurring characters and brother exploration all into every episode, they should put more distinct focus on one of the angles per episode, so it's overall more satisfying. That's one of the reasons, why Sin City is one of my favourite episodes so far, they mostly dropped MotW plot for detailed mytharc and character exploration.

                            I think that maybe the writers themselves are still experimenting on how to find a way to juggle all the new elements with the old ones more cohesively. I guess we have to wait and see how it works out!

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                            • #15
                              On repeated watches this ep has grown on me much more (although I still find it slow), but that also has a lot to do with all of the fantastic reviews from you guys.

                              I am very much a "watch, make up an opinion and don't look at it too closely" kinda girl. Reading your reviews lets me look deeper into the eps and I see there is so much that I missed at first. Your insights into how the characters are feeling always amazes me!
                              sigpic

                              Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                                They were supposed to make us cringe! I was peeking through my fingers much of their scenes. I hadn't done that since Skin! And isn't it a sad commentary that most of us are more willing to accept such gruesome deaths on a weekly basis rather than a woman not afraid to go after something she wanted.

                                Sure, the show could have gone with a younger looking woman like they did in Wedding Crashers, though Jane Seymour is currently Dancing With the Stars (not to mention the weird SV/JA connection), but I like how the show just decided to run to the extreme like they usually do with the horror.

                                I don't see anything wrong with an older woman who'd been widowed deciding that she's not the one that died and trying to live her life. Is there anything wrong with her propositioning Sam? Instead of Sam seeing her as a real person he just saw her as a crazy old lady and humored her. Not to mention later used her. And that's how he ended up in the position. Seriously though, she knew about the ghost ship, why didn't they just tell her they needed the hand? I bet she'd have loved to have been in on the plan.

                                I think Gert was great how she was willing to toss off the societal norms that probably restrained her since she was young girl. I can only imagine someone that rich was born into a family with a lot of expectations. I imagine Gert probably did a lot of it just to get reactions out of other members of their high society.
                                I have been meaning to comment on your post, Lyn, but somehow squeeing over the new episode got in the way.

                                Anyway, I just wanted to say that you make a good point. Speaking as a feminist, I certainly agree with you. A lot of people still get freaked out when women do what they want, especially when it comes to sex. I mean there are still men out there who think it's acceptable for a guy to have as many one night stands as possible but when a woman does it, she is a slut. Our society has evolved but I guess it hasn't evolved that much. And yeah, I enjoyed that Gert was a bit of a rebel who wanted to make the other members of society talk about her and Sam, that she did not care about being gossiped about, no that she took actually some delight in that, that was pretty cool!

                                That being said, I still had problems with the Sam/Gert scenes because of the age difference. Of course I understand why Gert would be attracted to Sam, he is young and handsome and did look quite cute in that tuxedo. Such a huge age difference always makes a bit uncomfortable, whether it's between a much older man and a young woman or vice versa. I just feel that such a couple is not on an equal footing. Of course Sam and Gert were not really a couple but still. I totally agree with you though that they should have let Gert in on the plan, maybe they would have been able to steal the Hand and solve the case much quicker if they did. And yes, I'm sure Gert would have been thrilled to help out.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Cori View Post
                                  I have been meaning to comment on your post, Lyn, but somehow squeeing over the new episode got in the way.
                                  Imagine that!
                                  That being said, I still had problems with the Sam/Gert scenes because of the age difference. Of course I understand why Gert would be attracted to Sam, he is young and handsome and did look quite cute in that tuxedo. Such a huge age difference always makes a bit uncomfortable, whether it's between a much older man and a young woman or vice versa. I just feel that such a couple is not on an equal footing. Of course Sam and Gert were not really a couple but still. I totally agree with you though that they should have let Gert in on the plan, maybe they would have been able to steal the Hand and solve the case much quicker if they did. And yes, I'm sure Gert would have been thrilled to help out.
                                  I will be the first to agree with you on the opinion that age differences make for unbalanced relationships. Obviously there are plenty of people that look for someone 10-15 years older/younger (or more). Although that's something I cannot relate to and understand, I do not see the harm in taking a risk to see if you and another person are compatible. Gert took a risk and Sam didn't assertively turn her down.

                                  I do also think we were supposed to see Gert through Sam's eyes accentuating her oldness rather than her lively youthfulness. Something like in Tall Tales where we see how exaggerated the each brother sees the world.

                                  LMAO, Gert as a honorary hunter for the evening would have made for a fun plot. Lucky for Bela and Ruby, Gert didn't get that chance and therefore opening her up as a possible reoccurring character.

                                  I can just see that meeting with the CW. Ostroff: We told you to add female characters and sex up the show! Kripke: I did! What she lacks in youth, Gert makes up in rebellious 'tude!

                                  Lydia made the punch!

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                                  • #18
                                    Also, "later we should have angry sex" and Jensen Ackles' (what, triple? quadruple?) take was hysterical.
                                    That was hilarious! He's such a good physical comedy actor, the weird little shrug he does before saying don't treat me as an object, then the smile when she can't see.

                                    Really enjoyed this ep. Enjoying the season generally, though I do want things to move on a bit from the Sam's guilty trying to get Dean out of his deal stuff...want the blonde demon chick to do something about helping that move forward.

                                    Bella is brilliant. She's totally straight from a Bond film, and I'm enjoying that. She's one of thsoe larger than life characters who somehow work.


                                    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                                    • #19
                                      I think it's funny how differently we can think about those characters:

                                      Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                      Really enjoyed this ep. Enjoying the season generally, though I do want things to move on a bit from the Sam's guilty trying to get Dean out of his deal stuff...want the blonde demon chick to do something about helping that move forward.
                                      While I think Ruby's character integration in S3 worked well, it annoys me that 2 out of 3 times she appeared she was used as the solution to the problem, helping the boys out of their predicament and I find the prospect of that continuing not appealing, especially in regard to Dean's deal. I really hope that Ruby will in the end be exposed for trying to use the deal to push Sam into the direction she wants, without being able to offer a real solution. I have no problems with the boys needing help from time to time to come through, but I would find it really frustrating if Sam wouldn't find a way out of the deal on his own, so Ruby moving the plot around Dean's deal forward in a 'helping' way isn't really what I want to see.

                                      Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                      Bella is brilliant. She's totally straight from a Bond film, and I'm enjoying that. She's one of thsoe larger than life characters who somehow work.
                                      While I think the concept of Bela as a character in the Supernatural 'verse is very probable, a mercenary who exploits her knowledge of the supernatural world for her own advantage, her integration into the world of the Winchesters doesn't always work that well for me. The episodes she was in, her appearance seemed contrived to me, especially RSAM and FB. Since she has no natural connection to the boys, like Bobby and Ellen, who have a connection via John or Ruby who is intergral part of the mytharc, so her appearance usually works logically within the plot, while for Bela the plot has to be worked around her, which I not always find satisfying.

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