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  • 3.11 Mystery Spot

    When did you have time to do all that research?
    Tuesday.

    Wow! I am so surprised I get to be the first person to post on the episode. This mostly just a squee since I loved this episode to death. In no small part due to my love of Groundhog's Day. And they even managed to work in my fave quote from the movie:

    "Maybe not THE GOD. But definitely a god. "

    The Trickster is awesome. All he wants to do is join in on pranking wars and Sam can't find a chuckle. Tsk Tsk. Not to mention the Trickster tried so hard to get Sam to realize some things about himself and his life.

    Which normally would have been exasperating considering I came up with a list of about 23 distinct epiphanies and lessons. But I carried them around in my pocket today and at least had the joy of knowing I learned a little as well. Paired with a random convergence of events last night, I was able to have my own escape from inevitability and fear that have ruled me for a while.

    Simply a wonderful and insightful episode, I do hope to be back and post more.

    Lydia made the punch!

  • #2
    Huh. I am surprised you loved it. I felt a mixture of things about this particular episode. It could be I watched it at four in the morning. I was frickin' tired and didn't really watch it. I plan to watch it while sober and will share my thoughts later but at first watch- I thought it was funny and emotional but it was the ending I was unsure about. I look forward to hearing what other fans have to say.
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    • #3
      Sam: "I'm supposed to wake up!"

      I wasn't quite sure how I felt about the episode after I saw it and I didn't know exactly why, because I was entertained and moved for the most part while watching it. It took me a while to put my finger on it: It was like watching a myriad of delightful single moments, that for some reason didn't quite make it into an equally delightful whole, if I had to phrase it I'd say it was less than the sum of its parts. I had high expectations for this episode, because firstly, I love the movie Groundhog Day and I have seen variations of the theme in other shows and usually loved it as well (especially adore the X-Files episode Monday) and secondly, I am a h/c addict and the premise for the episode had all the ingredients for turning this into a true h/c classic. For once I'll try to capture what irritated me first and then move on to the ?squee' part:

      The one thing that threw me slightly off is the way the funny and the tragic didn't really mesh all that well for me. Dean's death is Sam's worst nightmare and the montage of funny Dean death scenes seemed very inappropriate in the serious context that event means for Sam. I guess, I don't like Dean's death being reduced to a joke considering how devastating the plotline has been all season. In Groundhog Day the funny death montage worked well as a morbid comic relief, since the viewer and the protagonist himself are the only one's witnessing his suicides, but in Mystery Spot we experience the death of one character through the eyes of another over and over again and I feel that you can't have comic relief and tragic impact in the same sequence here. That's especially true for some of those death scenes, which weren't funny but bordering on the tasteless, like Sam killing Dean with an axe or Dean being mauled to death by a golden retriever. Death is simply rendered meaningless in these endless repetitions and since we know that Dean's death can never be meaningless for Sam (or the viewer for that matter) the comedic expression and the emotional approach to the subject contradict each other. At least that's my perception here and I think that left me with a bit of unease.

      I guess my unease with the comedy sequence was probably cemented by the wonderful execution of Dean's first death at the mystery house, which was heart-wrenching. The way Dean grabs onto Sam's jacket, searching for contact and how he tries to stay focused on his brother's face, the silent despair und disbelief in Sam's voice when he whispers Dean's name, it's all in stark contrast to the loud and messy executions later. The only other death that had tangible impact on me was Dean's ?final' death on Wednesday, which I guess was intended to make an impression, still it was nowhere near as powerful as the first death, despite it having so much more devastating effects in the end and I think that's a side effect of the funny death montage.

      The second thing, that I missed most in this episode was a balance between the first part, with Dean repeatedly dying and the second part, with Sam on a warpath. Mystery Spot was an excellent opportunity to give us an in depth look into Sam's head and play out the scenario of what exactly happens to Sam if Dean's deal is irreversible, so that if they save Dean in the end we still had seen the full fallout. But instead of exploring that, they teased us with a 2 minute montage full of grim images, which by the way had a very weird score underneath that irritated me, but ultimately only stayed at the surface. For me that part was the most important message in the episode and I felt it was cut too short for the sake of the comedy part and that didn't work all too well for me.

      I simply wanted more! It's not that the montage didn't manage to give us a full picture in just a few sequences, I just wanted to know a lot more details, about how Sam handled the immediate aftermath of Dean's death, how he worked himself into that frenzy, how he would've reacted after he had exacted his revenge and much more. The whole 2nd part felt rushed and that didn't do its importance justice, a different pacing and structuring of the episode would probably have worked wonders here. Given how much time we spent in Dean's head (which, no complaint here), I again had the feeling Sam fell short in comparison. On a sidenote: I also wasn't happy that they rehashed older Sam scenes for the montage. I didn't mind the reuse of ?the Impala on the road' shots we had this season, but the reuse of these Sam shots irritated me, probably because I just know these scenes so well and instantly connect them to a different context. Sometimes it's a curse to have seen every episode as often as I did.

      Groundhog Day is an intriguing basis for this episode because the conclusion of the movie is that the main character had to discover that it wasn't about getting the girl to fall in love with him, but it was about changing himself into a better man. ?Saving' himself in the end resulted in the getting the girl and breaking the time-loop. I would have loved to see that twist in the original story properly applied to the SN version of it, for Sam to realize that he can only save Dean if he refrains from giving himself over to despair and ruthlessness. I am not sure if that message was achieved in the end, because we didn't exactly see Sam taking that turn.

      I guess I expected a kind of immediate resolution for Sam's character out of the episode and was disappointed when it didn't come, simply because there was no time. Sam's shaken expression when he leaves the motel, leaves room open for speculation how this experience will influence his future decisions and I am not quite sure if for the better or worse. Could be that hindsight renders this point of mine moot though. Alas, since the episode order of 3x11 and 3x12 was switched because of the unsure outcome of the strike, we won't even see any fallout to the events of Mystery Spot right away. I am really curious if they manage to keep character continuity intact with the switched episodes.

      Sorry, that was quite a ramble, but I had to pin down where my initial reservations came from after that first watching of the episode. Anyway, on to the good stuff, because as I said, there were so many little moment to love in this episode and the brotherly dynamic, while always enjoyable, was outright delightful in Mystery Spot.

      Dean: "Cause if you and I say that I'm not gonna die. I'm not gonna die!"

      That Dean quote right there, a simple side remark, broke me into tiny little pieces. It's so incredibly poignant, the sheer hope that Dean thrives on now, after he admitted to his wish to live and Sam's simple reassurance that they will find a way no matter how hopeless the situation seems. Winchesters versus the world and against all odds and Dean has absolute trust in the outcome of that. The character continuity from last episode is great here: Dean is chipper and outright happy and relaxed in this episode. Compare that to his fake-enthusiasm and forced carefree attitude in the beginning of the season and there's a difference a mile wide and he seems more at peace than we've seen him in a while now.

      The classic domestic brotherly teasing scenes in the beginning reminded me so much of Tall Tales that I don't know why I didn't make the connection to the Trickster earlier. Dean mouthing the lyrics to the Asia song, head banging, annoying his little brother with gurgling and his complete messiness is just wonderful siblings stuff. Sam's disgusted look at the messy toothpaste and his eye-rolls at his brother's typical annoying behaviour and lame jokes was just hilarious. See, I appreciate humour when it's done well and works within the characters emotional status. While I would love this scenes just for themselves, it's even more satisfying that they clearly serve to emphasise the stark contrast to Sam's later lifestyle after Dean is dead, but more on that later.

      While Dean thinks the whole case is bogus, he still supports his brother unhesitatingly when he insists to check it out. The readiness with which he switches from joking disbelief to reassuring big brother mode, when he sees Sam's earnest distress at what is going on is so typical Dean, it's beautiful. We didn't have a that clear cut big brother/little brother role allocation for a while. The dynamics between Sam and Dean, while they work the case together, again build up a great contrast to the later montage of Sam working alone. Sam in the beginning of the episode is truly freaking out and looses sight of the details pretty fast, too concentrated to prevent Dean from dying to think this case through more thoroughly and explore different, more successful angles.

      He turns to Dean instead, like he always does, and Dean, although the one with no memory and even less of an idea of what is going on, gives him the necessary input every time, to slowly clue the story together, like talking to the fist victim's daughter or pointing out the underlying theme of the case. It's how they work as a team, brainstorming and pitching ideas until the puzzle pieces fall together and I never get tired of watching that. As long as Dean is around, Sam can allow himself to not be in complete control all the time and rely on his brother instead, take that away and he truly looses balance and his personality flips like a switch. The sheer irony of the fact that Dean's death easily achieves what the YED didn't manage with all his ploys, is haunting. If the YED had simply killed Dean he would probably have had his favourite ?general' long ago.

      Bobby: "Because I thought you backed down from killing a man!"
      Sam: "Well, you thought wrong! Leave the stuff I do it myself."


      Sam and Dean deal different with death and I would have loved to see the episode drawing a direct parallel to Dean (not) coping with Sam's death in All Hell Breaks Loose II, by showing us the immediate hours after Dean's death for Sam instead of jumping directly into the montage. Dean was frozen after Sam's death, motionless, caught up in a grief that allowed no other feeling or motion, until he had made his decision. Jake had no place in his mind and revenge no place in his heart. While we didn't witness a long-term fallout to Sam's death I tend to think that Dean would have retreated within himself. He was ready to quit after John's death, had Sam stayed dead, he would probably finally have given up, at least for the time being.

      Sam on the other hand is driven by revenge, hollowed out and dead inside, but constantly on the move, not allowing the grief in, concentrated on taking action. Sam is lashing out and while Dean was willing to sacrifice himself, Sam is willing to sacrifice others. If you compare that to the aftermath of John's death, where the roles for the boys were reversed and they still had each other, it just emphasizes how co-dependent Sam and Dean became over the last 2 years. It's frightening and naturally I love that unhealthy, self-sacrificial co-dependency between them.

      The striking parallels between John and Sam were never clearer than in this episode, with Sam even outdoing John's streak of obsessiveness and ruthlessness, nothing to keep him grounded anymore, where John at least had his kids to anchor him. Sam completely cuts himself off from contact and even his own emotions, his eyes dead, his movements on automatic. It was terrifying to see the gentle and caring man of earlier seasons in such a desolate state of mind. Dean simply cannot die. Period! Sam, while shielded from a lot of childhood traumas by Dean's protection, manifested most of his dysfunctions over the course of the last 2 years, watching everybody around him die, because of him, guilt and despair eating away at him for quite a while now and it's just devastating to watch the slow downward spiral for that character. Man, I so want a peaceful resolution for these boys at the end of the show!

      As pointed out earlier, the contrast between Sam and Dean's messy lifestyle when being together and Sam's obsessive-compulsive need for order when being alone is chilling. We know that it is Dean who is messy and untidy and Sam, while being a control freak, doesn't really mind and easily gives in his brother's quirks. He is annoyed from time to time, sure, after all they live in each other's pockets, but while Dean's lifestyle is messy, it is also full of spontaneity and life and fun and warmth and the complete absence of these qualities in Sam's life after Dean is gone couldn't have been illustrated more vividly than by this contrast. Sam methodically making his bed in the montage sequence and his final look back to the dishevelled bed at the end of the episode are two wonderful contrasting snapshots to drive that point home.

      In Sam's final confrontation with not!Bobby and the Trickster they managed to switch from chilling to heartbreaking within the blink of an eye. Sam's absolute willingness to sacrifice an innocent human being to achieve his goals was reminiscent of Gordon's approach of the end justifies the means and the coldness in Sam's behaviour was disturbing. I don't really doubt that he would've gone through with it, if the Trickster hadn't made the mistake to lay on Bobby's will to self-sacrifice himself and appealing to Sam's sense of family too thick, opening Sam's eyes for the fact that he was set up for yet another mind game. Still, the moment of insecurity after he stabbed not!Bobby was absolutely heartbreaking and stands in stark contrast to his fierceness just moments ago, turning from cold maniac to confused and terrified child within an instant.

      Sam stands before the Trickster absolutely defeated and all of his earlier hardened stance falls away immediately, simply reduced to begging the Trickster to return his brother to him. Man, that scene killed me dead. Sam has no real leverage in this moment and the Trickster has no real reason to let him off the hook. Sure, that game stopped being fun for him after a while, but usually he doesn't care at all about the outcome of his games, so his willingness to grant Sam's wish makes me wonder if he didn't have ulterior motives to do so.

      While I don't think that he has any direct involvement in the demon war, his quip about the baddies knowing Sam's weaknesses and him referring to Sam as Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, made me think that he might be quite aware of the war situation and after all, the demons taking over the world isn't really in his own interests, since it would rob him of his natural playground. So, instilling a lesson in Sam and making sure he can take back his place in the good fight, maybe better prepared after experiencing his own defeat, probably served egoistical purposes for the Trickster after all.

      Trickster: "Whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional one, has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands!"

      Talking about the Trickster: I loved to see his return in Mystery Spot! Granted, Tall Tales isn't anywhere near one of my favourite episodes, but even back then I already loved Richard Speight's interpretation of the character, a mixture of mischief and menace. What I loved about that character was that he isn't that clear cut evil, but more in the grey area. As a demi-god the Trickster regards the world as his playground and people as a means of amusement. He turns people's weaknesses and fears, their hypocrisies and prejudices against them, hoists them on their own petards and teaches them a lesson in the progress, mainly for his own entertainment and not always necessarily with deadly intentions. They fall for his pranks, mostly because of their own stupidity, hence the Trickster places the blame completely on his victims and has no moral qualms if his pranks take a deadly turn. If the professor in Tall Tales had resisted the temptation of the pretty student, nothing would've happened to him, had the research guy just resisted to reach for the golden watch, he would be still alive, the frat boy learned his lesson well, without being bodily harmed.

      Despite them being hunters, he took a liking to Sam and Dean and contented himself with creating some discord between the brothers, in order to throw them off his tail, but he admitted that he originally never intended to harm them, since they just didn't fit his target group: self-important and presumptuous pricks. Only when they ignored his offer to just leave each other alone he turned against them. So, when the brothers coincidentally crossed his path in Mystery Spot again, he took the opportunity to exact a cruel revenge on Sam and Dean, latching onto what was foremost on the brother's and especially Sam's mind, their desperate quest to save Dean's life and turning it into a game. The interesting question is: if Sam had just stopped to try and save Dean over and over again and accepted his death, had the Trickster's prank just played out there and then? After all, if his victims just didn't do what he expected them to do, usually the traps he set up for them would've turned harmless.

      Anyway, while his motivation for the first part of the episode was pretty clear cut revenge and one can easily see the Trickster's amusement in watching Sam's desperate attempts to save Dean to no avail, his motivation for the 2nd part wasn't quite as tangible at first for me, yet nonetheless intriguing. When Sam exposes the Trickster's game and understandably isn't really in the mood for negotiations, the Trickster just ups the game, turning the joke into harsh reality for Sam. As I said above, reflecting on the Trickster's words to Sam in the end I am now convinced that he had ulterior motives to put Sam through this last ordeal and let him go in the end, it just makes the most sense to me.

      Sam's return to that fateful Wednesday, utterly shaken with his experience and so, so happy and relieved to see his brother totally teared me up. His unhesitating stride towards Dean, engulfing him in a fierce and desperate hug, mirrored perfectly Dean's same action in AHBL II. I don't think we have seen such an open physical representation of his affection for Dean from Sam before in the show and I love how ?no chick flick moments' Dean simply goes with it and lets Sam take what he needs. He has a pretty good idea what Sam went through, but still, his soft and slightly bewildered tone show clearly that he is surprised by Sam's action. Those boys!

      Again, Sam opted for not telling Dean about his traumatic experience and that only adds to the secrets that Sam keeps from Dean this season. On the other hand, just like Dean wasn't comfortable to tell Sam about the intense confrontation with his dream!self in Dream A Little Dream and only let him in on the decisions that derived out of that experience, I think that Sam is equally uncomfortable to show Dean how he let himself go after his death, knowing that Dean would never want that for him and would probably set him in a state of worry again. It only stands to hope that the events caused a turn in Sam's misdirected attempt to turn himself into a ruthless hunter. Only time will tell, I guess.

      I have to take a short moment here to appreciate how much Jared matured in his acting over the last 3 years. Not that I ever thought he was really bad, but he developed such a subtle quality and expressiveness in his acting, that it is just a joy to watch and that's especially true for S3. Sam's range of emotions for Mystery Spot from irritation to confusion and desperation, from emotional to completely bleak and cold was conveyed wonderfully by Jared. I am usually all over Jensen's acting, so I think it's time to just give credits to Jared as well.

      Oh, and by the way: The boys should have synchronised shouting matches more often! Bloopers?! Pretty please!
      Last edited by galathea; 16-02-08, 06:33 PM.

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      • #4
        "Whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional one has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands."

        Whoa.

        1. Is it just me, or did this episode feel like it could or should have been twice as long?

        2. Okay, so Groundhog Day is kind of a cliché. In genre film and television, every man and his dog eventually makes a show like this. But this was a fantastic twisting of the formula! Various repetitive elements were established very early on, with enough variety in each re-run to prevent it becoming stale, yet monotonous enough that Sam's increasingly weary frustration was palpable. And then to twist the formula further, by allowing the timeloop to end but still continue to mess with both Sam and viewers?that was a neat twist.

        3. Timing is everything. This episode wasn't intended to air in this slot ? it was switched with next week's episode. And yet?having Dean die in the teaser, when last week's episode ended on Dean telling Sam that he didn't want to die, man, that gives the death scene so much more impact even than it would have had anyway.

        4. The ending. On first viewing, I was a bit puzzled as to why the hell the Trickster would go to so much trouble to confront Sam again, when it had no need to, and to undo three months worth of time to put him back, because that seems to require a lot of time-and-space bending power and seemed rather extreme and motiveless, not to mention, let's say it, not entirely possible ? undoing time seems to take the laws of this universe a lot further than they've ever gone before. So I tend to think, no ? it wasn't anything to do with manipulating the actual universe. It had created a little mini-reality just for Sam, and kept it going to watch Sam's reactions, but then when, to use the Trickster's own words, it was no longer fun, then it wasn't worth the effort of maintaining that separate reality any longer. So it messed with Sam's head one last time, and then burst the bubble, so to speak, putting him back where he should have been all along.

        5. Sam's three months alone. I wanted more. This is where the episode felt like it could and should have been a lot longer, so that we could really dig deep into Sam's head during his time alone, post-Dean. It feels kind of morbid to say, but I wanted details, like?I wanted to know if he burned Dean's body or buried it, since burning is standard for hunters, but burial seems safe for Dean, since the crossroads deal means they know his spirit isn't going to be wandering the earth. I wanted to follow Sam through those excruciating first hours and days, although I suppose we already did that with Dean and there just wasn't time or space in this episode. The cheesy little montage is what we got, with Bobby's voicemail messages supplying timeframe and specifics, and that kind of fits with the idea of the Trickster having created a separate reality for Sam.

        6. Sam became so...neat during that time alone. Osessive-compulsive neat. Organising the weapons compartment in the trunk in much the same way that John organised his, keeping the motel room so neurotically tidy, pinning the research so neatly ? such an enormously painful contrast to Dean's more slapdash approach. Sam is tidier and more methodical than Dean; we already knew that, but this was extreme. Almost as if he needed to underline the difference between his life now and his life then as a constant reminder of what he was missing.

        7. Sam's clinical ruthlessness in that final scene with the Trickster-conjured Bobby, man, that was so cold and so terrifying a prospect for what he could become. I hope he takes a good hard look at himself now, with the memory of that burned into his mind. Family is everything, but the loop of sacrifice has to end somewhere. Someone has to draw the line and learn how to let go, but as things stand it doesn't look as if Sam is going to be able to be that person.

        8. Dean's many deaths. Boy. From the sublime to the ridiculous. Sam's little 'not like this' really broke my heart, and so did each of his initial faltering attempts to break the loop ? changing the time of their visit to the Mystery Spot, pulling Dean back before the car could hit him ? gradually developing into increasingly desperate mania: verbally sniping at Dean, taking the Mystery Spot owner hostage so he could rip the place apart, and so on. And the way DyingDean that first time around kept his eyes glued to Sam's face the whole time he was dying. The many, many loops that were referenced but we didn't get to see, or were implied off camera, such as Sam accidentally hitting Dean with the axe. I think that one was probably the worst, and maybe all the more awful because neither we nor Sam got to dwell on the fact of his being the one to kill his brother, because the day reset itself immediately. Overall, I kept expecting Sam to reach the conclusion that tying Dean to the bed and maybe sedating him for the day was the only way to keep him safe - and even then, the motel would probably have burned down!

        9. The fact that Sam got so caught up in trying to find ways to save Dean that he totally lost his focus on the case, that was interesting ? another example of Sam's tunnel-vision when he gets focused like that. And so it was Dean who thought to talk to the missing man's daughter, which provided Sam with the clue he needed to figure out the Trickster's involvement. I can't help thinking there's a significant point there, and maybe that's the point that the Trickster was trying to make, although why he would care I don't know: that Sam is not going to cope when Dean is gone because his balance will be gone. We've seen it already this season, that Sam's focus on saving Dean at all costs is affecting his judgement and blinding him to the bigger picture. His reaction to Dean's many Tuesday deaths and more particularly the Wednesday death only served to drive that point home all the more. Sam has had a taste now of what lies ahead of him, and it wasn't pretty.

        10. Sam chose not to tell Dean about the Trickster's final game, about the months he spent alone with Dean dead. Those boys are keeping a lot of secrets from one another this season, and that's never healthy. I can understand why he wouldn't want Dean to know, but it feels significant that he has opted for non-disclosure once again.

        11. A Sam-initiated hug. Yay! Sam is never touchy-feely in the slightest, he almost never touches his brother even casually, so to grab Dean and hug him like that is the biggest possible statement he could make of just how devastated he was during those three months alone. As if he needed any more motivation to find a solution for the crossroads deal!

        12. I'm now having visions of ParanoidSam not wanting to let Dean out of his sight for many days to come!

        Comment


        • #5
          After the last 4 episodes have all been so fantastic, I have to say I was a bit let down by this week's episode. It's definitely not one of my favourite s3 eps. This is due to various reasons. First off, I'm not a fan of the Groundhog Day theme. The repetitiveness of it all in "Mystery Spot" made me loose interest quickly. I know the repetitiveness was the point but I still don't have to like it. Secondly, I didn't think that the whole Dean dying over and over again thing was very funny. I had read an interview with Kripke before watching this ep where he gushed about this ep and said that the Dean dying scenes were so funny. I guess I just have a very different taste in comedy because I didn't find those scenes funny at all. In fact, some of them were pretty tasteless IMO. I just hated that they turned something as upsetting and serious as Dean's death into something ridiculous, I really did not appreciate this at all. Then when the Trickster appeared (which came as a total surprise to me even though I should have guessed that he was involved, I hated the comedy in "Tall Tales" and I didn't like it in "Mystery Spot"), I just rolled my eyes and thought "here we go again". This kind of humour is just not my cup of tea. Thirdly, I also felt that this episode was very uneven. It felt like two completely different episodes: a comedy episode and a drama episode. I loved the drama part (more on that later) and felt that the comedy part took too much time away from the drama, which is why the second part of the episode felt very rushed to me.

          Sorry about the rant, I just needed to get this out of my system. I'll focus now on the things that I liked in this episode which mostly have to do with the drama of Dean's death and how Sam dealt with it.

          The first time Dean got killed was the most shocking, upsetting and moving. The way he died in Sam's arms and how Sam fell apart and said that it was not supposed to happen "like this" were just heartbreaking. Sam's grief and despair when Dean dies the last time (on Wednesday) was also very upsetting but I think the first time was still the most moving.

          The obsessive-compulsive hunter Sam turned into after Dean's death was scary. How he was so driven by revenge that he cut himself of from everything and anyone else, even Bobby. This painted a not very positive picture of Sam without Dean. I thought it was a pity that the three months later/obsessive Sam montage was cut so short. I would have liked to see more of Sam's development into this cold, revenge-seeking guy, that would have been much more interesting than the previous comedy scenes IMO.

          It was scary how far Sam was willing to go to have his revenge on the Trickster. I hope this is not some kind of foreshadowing of a future Sam on the writers' part, what Sam could become if he lost Dean and/or if he went over to the dark side. Sam killing fake Bobby even though he wasn't 100% sure that it wasn't the real Bobby was extremely scary. But I loved how Sam's whole behaviour changed from one second to the next when he was unsure whether he had just killed Bobby or the Trickster, how he started to fall apart.

          The way Sam was begging for Dean's life to the Trickster, to have his brother back with him, was heartbreaking (and very well played by Jared, might I add). Then the Trickster reveals his motive for doing all of this. Sure at first it was revenge, but this last time was in order to teach Sam a lesson.

          Sam: "Lesson? What lesson?"
          Trickster: "This obsession to save Dean, the way you two keep sacrificing yourselves for each other, nothing good comes out of it. Just blood and pain. Dean's your weakness, the bad guys know it too. It's gonna be the death of you, Sam."

          As much as I don't like him, the Trickster is not wrong. This whole self sacrifice for your family deal the Winchesters have going on is definitely unhealthy and self-destructive. And I hope that Sam took a good look at himself and vows not to become the obsessive-compulsive revenge-seeking hunter we saw.

          When the Trickster sends Sam back in time and he wakes up on Wednesday again, it was so touching to see Sam head straight for Dean and pull him into a hug. This is one of the few times that we have seen the boys hugging and I for one was very moved by Sam's desperate need to hug his brother. Dean totally gets that something awful, something extreme must have happened to Sam and so even if he is a bit confused at first by this sudden show of affection, he just lets Sam hug him. Oh boys!

          Dean can also tell that Sam is deeply freaked out and askes him about it. Sam decides not to tell Dean what had happened after his death, what he became, and thereby keeps yet another secret from his brother. This is worrying. One day all those secrets the boys have been keeping from each other will come out and there's gonna be a bang because of it.

          So on the whole, this episode was a very uneven experience for me. I didn't much care for the first part but really enjoyed the second part, despite its shortness. But yeah, as mentioned above, definitely not one of my favourite SN episodes. I'm really looking forward to next week's episode though.

          Comment


          • #6
            I liked this episode. It was one of those dark Gothic ones of the show. The Trickster really got into Sam's head. You could tell he was feeling the enormous depression from the fact that he knew Dean was eventually going to die and he couldn't stop it.

            On a lighter note, during the montage of Tuesday's some of them were kinda funny. "Do these tacos taste funny to you?"

            Comment


            • #7
              I just wanted to quickly dart in here and reply a little though I'm sure I'm opening myself up to attack since I still cannot give a complete episode analysis.

              Originally posted by galathea
              That’s especially true for some of those death scenes, which weren’t funny but bordering on the tasteless, like Sam killing Dean with an axe or Dean being mauled to death by a golden retriever. Death is simply rendered meaningless in these endless repetitions and since we know that Dean’s death can never be meaningless for Sam (or the viewer for that matter) the comedic expression and the emotional approach to the subject contradict each other. At least that’s my perception here and I think that left me with a bit of unease.
              Actually the sad part is that Sam couldn't find the meaning in these deaths. Most of all Sam was unable to see that his obsession would hurt others along the way including those he loves (Dean). Sam and the axe was the Tricksters first attempt at this. And that's what I found so horrifying about that Tuesday. Sam stabbing Bobby at the end was just the Trickster's 2nd attempt to show Sam this.

              Sam was unable to see the bigger picture. Pretty much everyone there was in their own hell. Dean's deaths correlated to another person's hell spilling over. The man who sunk his money into the money pit of a Mystery Spot and accidentally shot Dean while trying to defend the little he had. The old man too arrogant to realize his driving was a hazard. The mover who was to assured the desk would fit and the other who was too caught up in his pride of "I told you so." Inadvertently causing Dean's death was also part of their hell, not just Sam's.

              The trickster set Tuesday up so that Sam could help these other peoples out of their own hells before they self destructed their own lives.

              There was also the daughter forever trapped by her search to find her father. The careless dog owner. And ultimately, down on his luck Cal who believed the only way he could get ahead in life was to take from others. He and Dean could have been saved by Sam giving him $20 bucks. I could continue hypothesizing on the other denizens of the town and Dean's death.

              The trickster's expression in the end is so preciously sad as Sam begs for Tuesday, and then quickly asks for Wednesday. We thought that Sam had learned something but then immediately sinks into his old mindset.

              I truly believe Sam should have chose to redo Tuesday until helping the town and saving the writer who had been dumped in the warm hole. Why not? Dean wasn't moving any closer to his deadline. They came to the town in order to save that man and instead only worry about saving their own hides.

              Instead Sam chose to escape to Wednesday and not make a difference in anyone's life.


              This was a perfect episode to show the poignancy and tragedy of the THEN previouslies becoming "Lets kill some evil sonsabitches" from "Saving People, Hunting things".


              Originally posted by galathea
              Groundhog Day is an intriguing basis for this episode because the conclusion of the movie is that the main character had to discover that it wasn’t about getting the girl to fall in love with him, but it was about changing himself into a better man. ‘Saving’ himself in the end resulted in the getting the girl and breaking the time-loop. I would have loved to see that twist in the original story properly applied to the SN version of it, for Sam to realize that he can only save Dean if he refrains from giving himself over to despair and ruthlessness. I am not sure if that message was achieved in the end, because we didn’t exactly see Sam taking that turn.
              This is the frustration I have each week that no one ever seems to learn anything, they each continue on with essentially the same mindset. I don't believe the point was for Sam to learn something, but to show the audience that he should have.

              But essentially this is a large part of what has been bothering me since 2.02. The boys have lost sight of what their reason in being alive and the value of time. The fact that the show realizes this and put it into an episode gives me peace that perhaps there will be resolution rather than it being a thoughtless oversight.

              Originally posted by galathea
              Sure, that game stopped being fun for him after a while, but usually he doesn’t care at all about the outcome of his games, so his willingness to grant Sam’s wish makes me wonder if he didn’t have ulterior motives to do so.
              I believe the Trickster actually likes the boys. He had the opportunity to do far worse than stick Sam into a situation where he is supposed to learn something. And Dean being the one who "staked" him in TT, is actually given perpetual innocence to his death.

              I also believe that the Trickster did not rewind time in the end. I believe Wednesday and its subsequent months were another illusion to try and allow Sam to learn the importance lesson. Obviously the illusion of Tuesday could no longer work without Sam's cooperation. And the chances of Huey Lewis being on the radio Wednesday out of sheer chance shrink the possibility of Wednesday being real.

              The trickster has no reason to want demons and hell to roam earth. I also imagine it's lonely for the trickster and does enjoy the real interaction with the Winchesters that his illusions do not bring. I see no ulterior motive than preserving the world and a couple of humans he's become fond of.

              Lydia made the punch!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                Sam was unable to see the bigger picture.
                Absolutely! It's what I said later in my review, in his obsession to save Dean, he pretty much even forgets to do basic hunting groundwork like questioning the first victim's daughter, looking for more connections and different routes. It's each time Dean who gives Sam the clue how to proceed. It simply drove the point home that Sam is completely lost without Dean and clearly not ready to stand on his own feet.

                Good point about all the other inhabitants who got stuck in time as well and how Sam could've helped them, but I think they weren't even aware of that repetition, since Sam is the only one who ever remembers and who interacts with the world in different manners and hence changes the world around him, the rest of the of the characters were always set back to 0 again, just like Dean. So even if Sam would've helped one of them, the same would've happened just the next day. Phil in Groundhog Day spent some of his time with whole days only running from one point to the next to prevent harmful catastrophes, convinced he was destined to save all those people, but in the end he only needed to save himself, so to speak.

                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                This is the frustration I have each week that no one ever seems to learn anything, they each continue on with essentially the same mindset. I don't believe the point was for Sam to learn something, but to show the audience that he should have.
                Hm, I guess I don't see it quite that way. Dean for example gradually developed away from his devil-may-care attitude in the beginning and stopped trying to distance himself from Sam in Fresh Blood, salvaging his relationship to his brother. Sam on the other hand went from hell-bent to rescue Dean to depression over Dean's lack of cooperation and back to fighting will when Dean overcame his reluctance in DALDOM. Sam's choices to change himself into Dean and Dean's first steps to overcome all his self-worth issues were other character developments, where the boys progressed in little steps, learning. So, character progression is absolutely visible over the course of the first half of the season.

                I actually do believe that it was the point of the episode for Sam to learn something, because the audience already knew that Sam's decisions to become more ruthless and his obsession with Dean's death are detrimental to him, only Sam couldn't really see it that clearly since he is caught in the process. It's always more difficult to realize something while your in the progress of changing, than to look at it from the outside afterwards. The Trickster gave Sam a real taste of what he will become and I do have to believe that this lesson wasn't wasted on Sam. I hope to see the fallout of this episode later in the season. Obviously not in 3x12, since it was shot before Mystery Spot.

                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                I believe the Trickster actually likes the boys. He had the opportunity to do far worse than stick Sam into a situation where he is supposed to learn something. And Dean being the one who "staked" him in TT, is actually given perpetual innocence to his death.
                I believe I said the exact same thing in my Trickster analysis. The Trickster likes Sam and Dean, he states as such in Tall Tales. Still they tried to kill him and I do believe that the Trickster does state the truth when he tells Sam that the repeated Tuesday was revenge for him. The 2nd part though clearly was a lesson and as I said, in my opinion the Trickster did have self-motivated reasons to do so, since he clearly can have no desire for demons taking over the world.

                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                I also believe that the Trickster did not rewind time in the end. I believe Wednesday and its subsequent months were another illusion to try and allow Sam to learn the importance lesson. Obviously the illusion of Tuesday could no longer work without Sam's cooperation. And the chances of Huey Lewis being on the radio Wednesday out of sheer chance shrink the possibility of Wednesday being real.
                Absolutely. I as well think that everything in Sam's "reality" was an illusion specifically created for him, rather than a bent of the time-space continuum. Sam says so himself if I remember right.

                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                The trickster has no reason to want demons and hell to roam earth. I also imagine it's lonely for the trickster and does enjoy the real interaction with the Winchesters that his illusions do not bring. I see no ulterior motive than preserving the world and a couple of humans he's become fond of.
                Preserving the world, yes, altruistic motives, uhm not so much. A world without humans in it would be absolutely pointless for the Trickster, but I don't figure him to be humanistic, so to speak. The Trickster acts for his own entertainment and clearly is amoral in the sense that he doesn't mind people getting hurt in his little games. He liked Sam and Dean, but he did seriously try to kill them in Tall Tales, no matter how fond he was of them.
                Last edited by galathea; 18-02-08, 02:44 AM.

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                • #9
                  Hey Supernatural fans

                  Just wanted to wander into this thread because this was the 3 episode I've seen of Supernatural and I really loved it! It was so awesome.. I know the Groundhog thing has been done, but I was so entertained and touched by how much the brothers care for each other.

                  Not sure how they're going to get around Dean going to hell.. but they have to right?

                  This episode aired here last night, so only one more episode before the strike started?
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