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4x06 Yellow Fever

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  • 4x06 Yellow Fever

    Hey, making new threads seems to be a new habit of mine!

    It's surprising but true, there hasn't been a S4 episode so far that I didn't love and I think that's a first for any season of the show. Awesome! Just like the 6th episode of the previous two seasons, Yellow Fever introduced a new writer, or a team of writers in this case, to the staff. Unlike Matt Witten and Laurence Andries though, Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin created an excellent episode, that managed to make me laugh and freak me out at the same time.

    First off, Yellow Fever demonstrated just how much out of order last week's episode really was, because the characterisation follows seamlessly from Metamorphosis, but doesn't fit at all with Monster Movie. Even if Dean is not an entirely reliable narrator in this episode, since his emotions are magnified and out of control, his freak-out about the nature of their job and the sacrifices their life entails, stands in direct opposition to his renewed spirit for the hunt in Monster Movie. It relates well though to his increased state of insecurity about the question where he and Sam are heading after their confrontation in Metamorphosis. Also, Sam's reaction to the case and Dean's predicament makes more sense in the aftermath of their fallout, but more about that further down in my review. Anyway onto the episode!

    In some aspects Yellow Fever is a complementary episode to last year's Bad Day At Black Rock only with reversed roles for Sam and Dean. Back then Sam's bad luck made him a hazard to a case and forced Dean to leave Sam behind in order to avoid endangering them, here it's Dean who is the obstacle to the case and Sam is forced to take over complete control of the situation. Also, in both episodes one of the actors got the chance to show off his comedic potential and while Jared proved that he is fantastic at slapstick, Jensen pulled off the whole range of hilarious facial expressions and vocal changes here. Still, he managed to make Dean's emotional state, from anxiety to full-blown panic always tangible, even in moments that were played as comedy.

    I love when we open an episode on the boys, not only because it gives a bit of variety to the teasers, but also because it usually means that there is juicy character stuff ahead and this one didn't disappoint. The teaser sequence with Dean seemingly running from hellhounds, a clear visual replay of the opening scene in No Rest For The Wicked, only to reveal that he runs from a yorkie instead, easily established the overall tone for the episode. They managed to sneak in a pretty dark and terrifying character episode under a humorous surface. That's not often done in the show, at least not to this extent and I think that's a big achievement for two new writers.

    Dean: "We search out things that want to kill us, or eat us. You know who does that? Crazy people! We are insane! (?) I am done with it. I'm done with the monsters and the hellhounds and the ghost sickness and the damn apocalypse! I'm out. I'm done. I quit!"

    First off, I think the manifestation of fears in Dean were mostly an expression of subconscious fears, either literally or metaphorically, transferring an intangible fear into something tangible. Some fears of course were rather straightforward, like his fear to die and go back to hell but even more unreasonable fears can be seen as founded in real fears. For example his sudden fear of heights, which can easily be related to his fear of flying or his fear of the yorkie, which clearly transferred his fear of the hellhounds to a harmless dog, simple exaggerations of already existing fears in Dean. It was interesting though that also habits that should be ingrained as normal and 'safe' in Dean's subconsciousness, like handling a weapon, driving his car or using fake IDs, suddenly created anxieties. Every action, every word, every object distorted and twisted into a potentially lethal threat. So while I do think that Dean's fears mostly have a true core, he is not a completely reliable narrator in the episode.

    While Dean's fears were played humorous at the surface, underneath his predicament always carried a deeper level of desperation and darkness. He tried to cling to his brother, his bravado, his courage, but it all slipped away, leaving him defenceless and out of control, something that had to be deeply terrifying in itself for someone like Dean, who always needs to be in control of himself and the situation. There was something very touching about seeing Dean stripped off all of his defences, reduced to the opposite of his usual cocky self and barely functional. A terrified child in a world full of incomprehensible dangers and Jensen really portrayed that part of Dean's change wonderfully, despite the mostly comedic context.

    Clearly the most disturbing scene for me was Dean's fright hallucination about Sam. It starts out as a twisted version of their end conversation in Long Distance Call, with Dean admitting to his fear of dying and looking for reassurance from his brother, only this time Sam seems to turn on him, expressing cruel satisfaction about Dean returning to hell and consequently being out of his way. Dean's deep seated fear that Sam not only doesn't need him anymore but also doesn't want him further at his side, already reared its head in Metamorphosis, and while it was of course amplified considerably here, it shows that he doesn't know anymore where he stands with his brother. Abandonment issues have always been part of Dean's psyche and with the changes in Sam's personality, they suddenly become more prominent again.

    The fact that Dean hallucinates Sam turning his powers against him and that he suspects that Sam wants to become the monster within, wants to make a deliberate choice to turn down his humanity, is harder to interpret. The trust issues resulting from Sam's lies and deceptions clearly play their part in this particular expression of his fears, but I wonder if there's more to it. I have to admit, that it is the first time in the show that I got the impression that some part of Dean might be afraid of his brother and that unsettled me. I always argued that Dean is afraid for Sam, that he sees nothing but goodness in his brother and hence will always choose to protect him, but if he is afraid of Sam it opens up the possibility that Dean is willing to fight him if necessary. I guess I need to wait for more conclusive evidence in future episode to get a clear read on this.

    Another fascinating bit was Dean's hallucinated conversation with Lilith: On some level Dean seems to know that he has full recollection of what happened to him in hell, but he represses that knowledge. We already saw that Dean has nightmares about his time in hell, the repressed memories floating to the surface in his sleep, and it will be interesting to see when and why these mental barriers will break down and he becomes fully aware. That Dean's subconsciousness chose Lilith's form to represent hell isn't surprising, still it makes me wonder if Lilith personally had a hand in his torment and if there's any significance to Lilith stating that Dean knows exactly why he was infected. Did anything happen to Dean in hell that made him a target for this particular ghost?

    In any case, it is clear that in the aftermath of In The Beginning and Castiel's warning, Dean fears more than ever for his brother's destiny. When he imagines for a short moment the yellow glint in his brother's eyes at the end of the episode, the uneasiness is clearly visible in his facial expression. I don't think that it is meant as foreshadowing in this case, but just like Dean's unsettling short flash of his demon-self at the end of Dream a Little Dream Of Me, as an expression of his innermost fear. One he of course hides from his brother.

    Dean: "I have 48 hours before I go insane and my heart stops?"
    Sam: "More like 24."
    Dean: "Super!"
    Sam: "Yeah."


    My initial reaction to the fact that Dean was dying, again, was annoyance. They played that particular card plenty of times before and after a while it loses impact, but as the episode went on, I realised that this plotline served a different purpose here. It clearly emphasised how differently Sam reacted to this particular situation this time around. He was concerned, yes, he took a protective stance towards Dean, but he was also distanced and closed off to the fact of losing Dean again. If we look back at episodes like Faith, Mystery Spot or No Rest For The Wicked, where Sam was choked up with emotions at the prospect of losing his brother, driven by desperation, panic and fear, the difference to Yellow Fever was striking. The Sam back then couldn't cope with the thought of living without Dean, the Sam now is prepared for such a situation.

    This Sam already lived through his biggest personal nightmare and had moved on with his life. He isn't indifferent towards Dean dying, but he knows he can survive it and presumably steeled himself emotionally against going through a similar loss, resulting in a detachment from the possible consequences of their predicament. Even with only 2 hours to go, Sam kept his calm and relatively relaxed demeanour, nothing of the frenzy he displayed in previous episodes. He was solely focused on the job and didn't allow himself any emotional distraction from it, and I think that is why he so often reacted irritable and annoyed at Dean's incapability to deal with the onslaught of fears and his dependency on Sam. There were only few moments of brotherly comfort and care, like when he tells Dean to stop scratching or rests a comforting hand on his brother's back or chest, but overall he seemed frustrated with his brother.

    Yellow Fever therefore further adds to the impression that Sam closed himself off after Dean's death and didn't really allow himself to let go of that reservation when Dean came back. Already in Lazarus Rising Sam's joy at having Dean back was subdued and his resignation in the face of the realisation that the one thing that made him feel good about himself, namely using his powers for good, was a self-delusion, only caused that he drew back even more into himself. While we see in Are You There God? and Monster Movie that the easy brotherly companionship with Dean is still intact at the surface, it's the closeness, the intimacy that is lacking.

    I think Sam didn't really allow his brother back in emotionally, didn't allow himself to fall back into his dependency on Dean, staying detached in order to be prepared for situations just like these. For the first time in S4 we really see how much Sam grew into a man of his own, while Dean was in hell. With Dean basically unable to back Sam up, he takes charge sure and easy. His demeanour is calm and authoritative, he strings the clues together and even though Bobby gives him the last information he needs, it's Sam who in the end comes up with the plan and stops the ghost. While Sam was always capable on his own, he just shows a whole new level of independency from Dean here. He might need back-up from time to time, but I am not sure if he still needs Dean at the moment, in the same way he needed him before Dean's trip to hell. That doesn't mean that he doesn't still love his brother more than anything, but his approach to that love seems to have changed.

    The dynamics between the brothers definitely reached a completely new stage this season and while I am anxious and worried about where they are heading, I also find myself intrigued, something I definitely didn't anticipate. As a side note: I think that Jared plays Sam's new guardedness towards Dean very low-key and it's once again great to see how much he grew as an actor, because I think back in S1 Jared would have struggled more with that kind of subtlety in his acting.

    Garland: "Everybody was scared of Luthor. They called him a monster. He was too big, too mean looking, just too different. Didn't matter that he was the kindest man I ever knew."

    Whenever there are pairs of brothers in the show I naturally expect parallels with the Winchesters and sure enough the brothers Garland make no exception. The gentle giant of a brother, who was murdered out of misdirected fear and his sibling, who felt he failed his brother because he was too preoccupied with his own burdens and gave up on him too easily, make the obvious parallel to Sam and Dean. Sam who may find himself on the wrong end not only of the hunter's community and (worst case) his brother but also of God, an outcast in every sense of the word and Dean, who isn't sure if he will be able to save Sam, always afraid of failing to protect his brother.

    The resolution to the case, scaring Luthor's ghost to 'death' by subjecting him to the same fear he felt when he was murdered, was unexpectedly brutal though. I rarely feel pity for the spirits or demons in the show, but this case was one of those times.

    What else was noteworthy:

    I am usually not one to complain about plot holes, but I thought they should have found a more conclusive way to deal with the question as to why Dean was infected, while Sam or the doctor who did the autopsy were not. In the end Sam's explanation that all the infected people used fear as a means of intimidation wasn't convincing, because we know that Sam, just as Dean, works that angle in their line of profession as well. I might have bought that reason in S1 or S2, but over the last 1.5 seasons Sam was depicted as increasingly more ruthless and violent, so that explanation didn't really cut it anymore. Obviously it was important for the brother arc that the events played out the way they did and so they took the MotW and just ran with it, but failed to make it really plausible. That's really a pity for an otherwise very strong episode.

    I really enjoyed to see Sam and Bobby working together for a change. So far we mostly had scenes between Dean and Bobby, with Sam more in the background. They displayed an easy companionship here, but nothing of the closeness that is tangible between Bobby and Dean and I wonder if Bobby still feels betrayed by Sam withdrawal in the aftermath of Dean's death. It will be interesting to see if there will be a fallout to that one day. Oh, and I really, really want to know what Bobby said in Japanese!

    Although I was spoiled for the surprise at the end of the episode, I was laughing tears at Jensen's full lip-sync performance of 'Eye Of The Tiger'. I love that they actually added that blooper fully into the airtime of the episode, complete with credits and all. Someone clearly loves us fans over at the CW. As the story goes, Jared was curious to see how Jensen would react if he didn't give him his dialogue cue (tapping on the roof of the Impala) and told the crew beforehand to just keep the cameras rolling and see what happens. From his surprised laughter off camera, it's clear that he didn't exactly expect Jensen's impromptu performance. Jensen's bright smile after he finished and breaks character was absolutely delightful as well. Boys!! They are such dorks! I am so insanely grateful that we have these two goofballs on our show!

  • #2
    Originally posted by galathea View Post
    I am usually not one to complain about plot holes, but I thought they should have found a more conclusive way to deal with the question as to why Dean was infected, while Sam or the doctor who did the autopsy were not. In the end Sam's explanation that all the infected people used fear as a means of intimidation wasn't convincing, because we know that Sam, just as Dean, works that angle in their line of profession as well. I might have bought that reason in S1 or S2, but over the last 1.5 seasons Sam was depicted as increasingly more ruthless and violent, so that explanation didn't really cut it anymore. Obviously it was important for the brother arc that the events played out the way they did and so they took the MotW and just ran with it, but failed to make it really plausible. That's really a pity for an otherwise very strong episode.
    I just saw this on TVGuide...
    Spoiler:

    Originally posted by Eric Kripke
    "I've never before responded directly to the fandom's comments about an episode, and I don't plan to make a habit of it, but I couldn't resist dropping in a thought about 'Yellow Fever.'

    Which is this: Dean is not a dick.

    None of the writers, or anyone on the creative team of Supernatural, think Dean's ever been a dick, past, present, or future. He's a hero. Dean did not contract the ghost sickness because he's a dick. Victims contract the illness because they use "fear as a weapon." Dean asks Lilith at the episode's end, "Why did I get infected?" And she cryptically responds, "You know why. Listen to your heart." We, as the writers, probably should have emphasized this mystery more, I take responsibility for that omission. But the point is: the reason he was infected is because of a secret he's keeping. A dark secret that will be revealed in Episode 10. And not at all because of any dickishness, implied or otherwise.

    Thanks, gang."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Thomas View Post
      I just saw this on TVGuide...
      Could you please put that info behind a spoiler cut? There are a lot of people who don't want to know these things beforehand.

      In any case, I never once thought that the writers wanted to imply that Dean is a dick or even that Sam genuinely thinks that Dean is a dick. I simply saw a bit of harsh brotherly ribbing in that statement, since Sam makes clear in his explanation that the ultimate reason was using fear as a weapon. It's good to know that it indeed did have significance when Lilith said Dean knows why he was infected.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by galathea View Post
        It's surprising but true, there hasn't been a S4 episode so far that I didn't love
        I am in total agreement with you here. Every week I steel myself for whether this week is going to be the week that we get a rocky episode, but so far I have been gobsmackedly surprised at how good these episodes are. There were times last season that I thought SN was beginning to lose it's charm slightly, and was worried that it was because it couldn't keep up the standard of the first two seasons, but I needn't have worried at all...

        First off, Yellow Fever demonstrated just how much out of order last week's episode really was, because the characterisation follows seamlessly from Metamorphosis, but doesn't fit at all with Monster Movie.
        Again, I agree. As far as I'm concerned Monster Movie is episode 3 and will always be watched in that order, because it all flows so together so much better.

        It was interesting though that also habits that should be ingrained as normal and 'safe' in Dean's subconsciousness, like handling a weapon, driving his car or using fake IDs, suddenly created anxieties.
        While I agree that some of Dean's exaggerated fears were based on his real fears, I felt that these ^^ ones were mainly there for comedic value and to play on the fact that Dean and Sam live outside "normal" worldly rules. They are not bothered about stuff that would cause the likes of us anxiety because it is a necessity and they have become used to it - remember Sam's face in the pilot when Dean pulls out some fake ID's before they interview the cops on the bridge. It's obviously something that Dean has become very comfortable with but Sam, being out of touch and grounded in reality for a few years finds as shocking as we would if we were in that situation. My point is I don't think that Dean has a deep-rooted fear of getting into trouble from using a fake ID (or using a weapon, or driving too fast), but more that everyone has that fear. The sickness was causing paranoia, which has only a little to do with real fears. I mean I don't think that Dean has a fear of teenagers deep down, do you?

        A terrified child in a world full of incomprehensible dangers and Jensen really portrayed that part of Dean's change wonderfully, despite the mostly comedic context.
        I'm pleased that you mentioned a child, as that was exactly as I saw the way he was acting - as the child he would've been if he hadn't had this upbringing, scared and vulnerable. Jensen did a great job of showing Dean's vulnerable side and trying to act his usual cocky self at the same time. The comedic part was truly excellent too though, and I laughed hard for a few minutes after he screamed like a girl at the cat in the locker (in fact it still cracks me up just thinking about it!) but there were so many tiny moments that were perfect - the look on Sam's face when Dean tosses away the donuts; how Dean gives a wide berth to someone in the corridor of the retirement home (presumably for fear of catching oldness??!!??); the fear on his face as he fighting the sherrif, and how he moves away from Lilith after she hugs his shoulder.

        sidenote: do you think it was deliberate that the shoulder she hugs is not the one that has the angel hand print scar on it, or just coincidence?

        The fact that Dean hallucinates Sam turning his powers against him and that he suspects that Sam wants to become the monster within, wants to make a deliberate choice to turn down his humanity, is harder to interpret. The trust issues resulting from Sam's lies and deceptions clearly play their part in this particular expression of his fears, but I wonder if there's more to it. I have to admit, that it is the first time in the show that I got the impression that some part of Dean might be afraid of his brother and that unsettled me. I always argued that Dean is afraid for Sam, that he sees nothing but goodness in his brother and hence will always choose to protect him, but if he is afraid of Sam it opens up the possibility that Dean is willing to fight him if necessary. I guess I need to wait for more conclusive evidence in future episode to get a clear read on this.
        Hmm, whilst I do think you are much more intuitive than I am regarding how the boys think, I think that the differences of being scared of him and being scared for him are not as clear cut as you've made them here. I don't think that Dean is afraid of Sam at all, but he is afraid of what he could become if he continues down a dark path - the leader of Azazeal's army, fighting on the side of the demon that killed his entire family. In my eyes Dean has always been willing to fight Sam, but only when it became absolutely necessary, when there was absolutely no other way and when his brother was no longer "Sam". In every episode that this has been brought up (BUABS comes to mind) there has always been another option, and Sam has always been there - in mind and spirit. Sam meddling with his powers may or may not turn him into a human version of Azazeal, but Dean is scared that it might take over Sam completely and Sam not be "Sam" anymore. His fear of Sam stems from his fear of losing his brother.

        My initial reaction to the fact that Dean was dying, again, was annoyance. They played that particular card plenty of times before and after a while it loses impact
        Disagree here. I never felt that Dean dying was taken seriously by anyone. This was a simple case and the boys would win out in the end just like they did in BDABR, when Sam's life was in danger. In the other episodes you mentioned there was a real and tangible threat to Dean's life - there was no getting away from it and it was going to happen no matter what Sam did. In this episode everyone involved knew they'd find a way around it and Dean would survive. I do agree with your thoughts on Sam acting differently however. Fear is usually conquered by doing the thing that scares you, and Sam has dealt with living without Dean and survived, and so he doesn't fear it like he did before. He has matured in that respect. Funny really, in an episode where Sam had to basically play the older brother, that he shows maturity and knowledge in something that Dean still doesn't understand. Mind you, look at how they dealt with the other sibling's death - Sam started using his powers after promising he wouldn't and Dean sold his soul - who's to say which one is the more mature really?

        I rarely feel pity for the spirits or demons in the show, but this case was one of those times.
        I didn't feel sorry for the spirit because of the way he was stopped, I feel he was pity-worthy because he was killed for a crime he didn't commit and the killer was never brought to justice because Luther was, presumably anyway, simple and not cared about. You should feel pity for him. Mostly on this show when the spirits have met with their deaths unfairly, their actions i.e. killing people make them less pitiful and more vengeful. Luther wasn't killing anyone with his own actions. His fear caused the sickness, yes and that sickness ended in deaths, but Luther did not willingly infect them. He is just a victim, and what you were saying about Sam being more ruthless than Dean - what he does to a "victim" to help Dean goes to show it!

        When I watched the episode I too was confounded by the Dean-is-a-dick-and-that's-why-he-was-infected thing. I'm pleased that's been cleared up a bit, because it was annoying me in the way that a huge continuity error does. Niggles at you when you're lying in bed at night, thinking up ways around it (or maybe that's just me)

        So overall, a funny episode with much more to it than meets the eye, carrying on the fantastic start to this season. I continue my prayer that the next episode will still be as good as the first 6 have been!
        sigpic

        Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          Again, I agree. As far as I'm concerned Monster Movie is episode 3 and will always be watched in that order, because it all flows so together so much better.
          Heh, me too! I wished there was a way to ensure that they switch the episode order back on the DVD set. /sigh

          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          My point is I don't think that Dean has a deep-rooted fear of getting into trouble from using a fake ID (or using a weapon, or driving too fast), but more that everyone has that fear. The sickness was causing paranoia, which has only a little to do with real fears. I mean I don't think that Dean has a fear of teenagers deep down, do you?
          Oh, I am sorry I didn't make that clear enough. That's exactly what I meant, there are a lot of fears that are rooted in Dean's real fears while there were others, that were created by the infection, like the fake IDs, driving the car, the gun going off etc. That's what I meant with Dean is no reliable narrator, we can't take everything he says and hallucinates here at face value because not every fear is genuine here.

          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          sidenote: do you think it was deliberate that the shoulder she hugs is not the one that has the angel hand print scar on it, or just coincidence?
          Hm, interesting point, I didn't notice that. Could be, especially since she just appears when he clutches the bible, but I don't think there's any significance to it.

          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          Hmm, whilst I do think you are much more intuitive than I am regarding how the boys think, I think that the differences of being scared of him and being scared for him are not as clear cut as you've made them here. I don't think that Dean is afraid of Sam at all, but he is afraid of what he could become if he continues down a dark path - the leader of Azazeal's army, fighting on the side of the demon that killed his entire family. In my eyes Dean has always been willing to fight Sam, but only when it became absolutely necessary, when there was absolutely no other way and when his brother was no longer "Sam". In every episode that this has been brought up (BUABS comes to mind) there has always been another option, and Sam has always been there - in mind and spirit. Sam meddling with his powers may or may not turn him into a human version of Azazeal, but Dean is scared that it might take over Sam completely and Sam not be "Sam" anymore. His fear of Sam stems from his fear of losing his brother.
          Hm, don't get me wrong, I am sure that what Dean fears the most is what Sam could become, if he gives his powers free reign. I think that much is clear and we are on the same page here. The impression I got in Yellow Fever though was that Dean is afraid of Sam in the sense that he isn't sure anymore if his brother is all good. In my opinion Dean always believed that his brother is inherently good and that's why he could never believe that Sam could actually turn evil as long as he has the free will to fight it. I saw that believe waver in his hallucination when he imagined Sam saying 'This is what I want to become'. Of course I could be wrong and it is just another non-genuine effect of the infection. We'll see.

          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          Disagree here. I never felt that Dean dying was taken seriously by anyone. This was a simple case and the boys would win out in the end just like they did in BDABR, when Sam's life was in danger. In the other episodes you mentioned there was a real and tangible threat to Dean's life - there was no getting away from it and it was going to happen no matter what Sam did. In this episode everyone involved knew they'd find a way around it and Dean would survive.
          Hm you think this disease wasn't a tangible thread? I have to disagree. In normal cases they don't come down with a terminal illness. I just don't think that the characters do not take that threat serious! We as viewers might not, but if the characters would not take it serious, the story would make no sense. The electrocution in Faith was just as terminal as the sickness here, Dean's coma in In My Time of Dying was terminal as well .. and Sam and John prevented both. I just think that they usually only choose a plot like that if they want to express something significant about the characters.

          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          When I watched the episode I too was confounded by the Dean-is-a-dick-and-that's-why-he-was-infected thing. I'm pleased that's been cleared up a bit, because it was annoying me in the way that a huge continuity error does. Niggles at you when you're lying in bed at night, thinking up ways around it (or maybe that's just me)
          LOL I guess I was one of the few who wasn't confused about that. It's not that I liked that Sam made that statement but I took it as Sam getting one over Dean, even if it was bad taste in that moment. Sam clearly states that the reason why people were infected was because they used fear as a weapon and not because they are dicks. I mean, being a vice-principal or a bouncer doesn't necessarily make you a dick. So I didn't put any weight in Sam's remark apart from questionable brotherly ribbing, just like Dean always teases Sam about being gay or girly. *shrugs*

          Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
          So overall, a funny episode with much more to it than meets the eye, carrying on the fantastic start to this season. I continue my prayer that the next episode will still be as good as the first 6 have been!
          It was one of my favourite parts of this episode that despite the obvious humour there was a dark and very sad layer just beneath that humorous surface. The characterisation was a lot deeper in this episode than one would expect in such an episode and I was immensely pleased with that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by galathea View Post
            Heh, me too! I wished there was a way to ensure that they switch the episode order back on the DVD set. /sigh
            Well they did it with Firefly, so I haven't lose complete hope!

            Oh, I am sorry I didn't make that clear enough. That's exactly what I meant, there are a lot of fears that are rooted in Dean's real fears while there were others, that were created by the infection, like the fake IDs, driving the car, the gun going off etc. That's what I meant with Dean is no reliable narrator, we can't take everything he says and hallucinates here at face value because not every fear is genuine here.
            Oh I see, I didn't realise that, cos I thought that you were saying that even the "silly" fears were based on some fear that Dean already held. That's a relief cos if you thought that Dean was scared of teenagers, I was worried for your sanity

            Hm, interesting point, I didn't notice that. Could be, especially since she just appears when he clutches the bible, but I don't think there's any significance to it.
            Maybe no significance at all, but there seems to be alot of shoulder touching this season. Maybe it's always been there but I'm more conscious of it. Dean pats Samuel on the shoulder in "In The Beginning" as well, and when I noticed it again in this episode, I thought there maybe more to it than we're seeing

            The impression I got in Yellow Fever though was that Dean is afraid of Sam in the sense that he isn't sure anymore if his brother is all good. In my opinion Dean always believed that his brother is inherently good and that's why he could never believe that Sam could actually turn evil as long as he has the free will to fight it. I saw that believe waver in his hallucination when he imagined Sam saying 'This is what I want to become'. Of course I could be wrong and it is just another non-genuine effect of the infection. We'll see.
            Yeah, the "want to become" is definitely concerning. I've always took the seductiveness of Sam's powers as something that he could resist if he really wanted to, and we know that Sam does want to but is he strong enough? So I never really saw it as him wanting to choose to become evil but more being unable to resist it's lure in the end. If Dean is hallucinating that Sam's willing to choose that - that he gives into the temptation without a fight, and that turns out to be true, then I'm not surprised that he would be scared of/for Sam. I can't seperate the two as they are so closely connected. I suppose it all comes down to him being afraid of losing his brother, be it to another hunter, to evil, to Azazeal or at his own hands, it terrifies him as much as it did when he actually did lose him at the end of S2 - the flash at the end of the episode, to me, showed that this was his biggest and truest fear, just like the black-eyed Dean at the end of DALDOM showed Dean that he didn't want to go to hell.


            Hm you think this disease wasn't a tangible thread? I have to disagree. In normal cases they don't come down with a terminal illness. I just don't think that the characters do not take that threat serious! We as viewers might not, but if the characters would not take it serious, the story would make no sense. The electrocution in Faith was just as terminal as the sickness here, Dean's coma in In My Time of Dying was terminal as well .. and Sam and John prevented both. I just think that they usually only choose a plot like that if they want to express something significant about the characters.
            I probably didnt express myself very well. It's not that it wasn't a tangible threat, far from it, but it was an easier situation to resolve. In Faith, IMTOD and Mystery Spot there was nothing that could be done to save Dean. In Faith, Sam goes to a faith healer for help, in IMTOD he uses a Ouiga board and nothing he does affects the outcome, in Mystery Spot he just watches Dean die over and over. Hell, even in NRFTW, Sam's attempts to save Dean are based on getting advice from a demon. My point is his efforts were desperate and more or less ineffectual, but here and BDABR both brothers knew there was a way round it, it was just a matter of getting there before time ran out. Their efforts to save the other brother are similar to any other case in that they find the bad thing and kill it, but they're saving their sibling rather than a random victim. I just didn't feel "Oh my god Dean could actually die", and my impression is that Sam, Bobby or Dean didn't see it as serious as the before, because they knew they would find a way round it, but in the other times there wasn't such certainty


            LOL I guess I was one of the few who wasn't confused about that. It's not that I liked that Sam made that statement but I took it as Sam getting one over Dean, even if it was bad taste in that moment. Sam clearly states that the reason why people were infected was because they used fear as a weapon and not because they are dicks. I mean, being a vice-principal or a bouncer doesn't necessarily make you a dick. So I didn't put any weight in Sam's remark apart from questionable brotherly ribbing, just like Dean always teases Sam about being gay or girly. *shrugs*
            I guess, but I really didn't like Dean's "Well you're a dick too" being responded to as "Apparently, I'm not" said with such smugness on behalf of Sam. It's not a big thing and I should let it go!
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            • #7
              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              Well they did it with Firefly, so I haven't lose complete hope!
              True, but on the other hand they didn't switch the episode order back to normal for S3 Mystery Spot and Jus In Bello either.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              Oh I see, I didn't realise that, cos I thought that you were saying that even the "silly" fears were based on some fear that Dean already held. That's a relief cos if you thought that Dean was scared of teenagers, I was worried for your sanity
              ROFL Wellll, let's say if Dean was bullied in school as a kid (not likely I know, but not impossible) then those teenagers could have touched upon a real fear in Dean, even if it was an old one.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              Maybe no significance at all, but there seems to be alot of shoulder touching this season. Maybe it's always been there but I'm more conscious of it. Dean pats Samuel on the shoulder in "In The Beginning" as well, and when I noticed it again in this episode, I thought there maybe more to it than we're seeing
              Maybe! I wonder if the handprint is still visible or if it healed and left no mark or scars. When Dean mentioned in Monster Movie that he has no scars or marks on his body anymore, I wondered if that was true for the handprint as well.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              the flash at the end of the episode, to me, showed that this was his biggest and truest fear, just like the black-eyed Dean at the end of DALDOM showed Dean that he didn't want to go to hell.
              Yep, that's exactly what I said in my review. That's certainly what Dean drives the most at the moment.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              I probably didnt express myself very well. It's not that it wasn't a tangible threat, far from it, but it was an easier situation to resolve. In Faith, IMTOD and Mystery Spot there was nothing that could be done to save Dean. In Faith, Sam goes to a faith healer for help, in IMTOD he uses a Ouiga board and nothing he does affects the outcome, in Mystery Spot he just watches Dean die over and over. Hell, even in NRFTW, Sam's attempts to save Dean are based on getting advice from a demon. My point is his efforts were desperate and more or less ineffectual, but here and BDABR both brothers knew there was a way round it, it was just a matter of getting there before time ran out. Their efforts to save the other brother are similar to any other case in that they find the bad thing and kill it, but they're saving their sibling rather than a random victim. I just didn't feel "Oh my god Dean could actually die", and my impression is that Sam, Bobby or Dean didn't see it as serious as the before, because they knew they would find a way round it, but in the other times there wasn't such certainty
              Ah, gotcha! Still, even if they knew that there was a solution out there, they were still running against the clock and there was the very real chance that they lose that run, so Sam's reaction was still way too distanced and collected for the situation, especially since they cut it kinda close.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by galathea View Post
                Ah, gotcha! Still, even if they knew that there was a solution out there, they were still running against the clock and there was the very real chance that they lose that run, so Sam's reaction was still way too distanced and collected for the situation, especially since they cut it kinda close.
                Yes, Sam's reaction was almost as if he didn't care. I know that that is far too big an assumption to make, and of course he does care, immensely, but he has been acting very cooly to Dean throughout all of this season's episodes. I have been feeling that Sam has "moved on" from Dean, feeling that he can cope without him. Dean, of course, will always need his brother around him. His need for a family bond so important to him, as he states in Shadow, that it's almost his driving force. Sam has always shown independance from the family. He loves his brother but doesn't feel the need to be with him all the time. When Dean freaked out about the job in this episode and said how he knew that Sam couldn't like spending 8 hours a day in the car with him, the look on Sam's face is a look of recognition of the truth, and if Dean hadn't been too distracted to notice that would've really hurt.

                I see Sam's feelings towards Dean as very similar to mine for my (older) sister. I would do anything for her but we don't need to spend all of our time together to know how much we care about each other. My life and my sister's are very different and we only see each other about once a month at the most, but if something were to happen to her I would be at her side in a flash. There have been times in the past that I've distanced myself from her, because I just have to do my own thing. Now I realise that I can do my own thing and still be part of her life and she mine. There doesn't have to be an emotional distance even if there's a physical one. This is what Sam is struggling with, instead of giving them a physical distance for breathing space, he's giving Dean an emotional one. Sam has been with Dean constantly for 3 years because Dean has needed him there, but now he is realising that it's never going to change for Dean - he's always going to need him there, and so the independantness in Sam is rebelling - just as it did when he went to college. Dean being gone for four months has reinforced this feeling.

                Now this maybe natural progression in the way of sibling relationships, but as far as the show goes, Sam and Dean can't have the physical distance Sam requires. It just can't happen! What I feel the outcome will be, is that Sam's walk down the dark path will eventually lead him to a knowledge that he needs Dean, just as much as Dean needs him, and that they're stronger together. Well that's what I hope at least.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                  Yes, Sam's reaction was almost as if he didn't care. I know that that is far too big an assumption to make, and of course he does care, immensely, but he has been acting very cooly to Dean throughout all of this season's episodes. I have been feeling that Sam has "moved on" from Dean, feeling that he can cope without him. Dean, of course, will always need his brother around him. His need for a family bond so important to him, as he states in Shadow, that it's almost his driving force. Sam has always shown independance from the family. He loves his brother but doesn't feel the need to be with him all the time. When Dean freaked out about the job in this episode and said how he knew that Sam couldn't like spending 8 hours a day in the car with him, the look on Sam's face is a look of recognition of the truth, and if Dean hadn't been too distracted to notice that would've really hurt.
                  Hm, I didn't interpret Sam's expression during Dean's rant as affirmative to be honest. I think he looked a bit indulgent, puzzled and amused. Of course there's the truth about it that both of them are together 24/7 and go on each others nerves constantly, we've seen that in episodes, but I don't think Sam really questions his life at the side of his brother anymore. I agree though that I think he doesn't need Dean anymore, he knows that he can live without Dean, he moved on after Dean's death, something Dean never did after Sam's death. In S1-S3 Sam needed Dean as his brother, partner, protector, friend with an overwhelming urgency. They were truly co-dependent, especially in S2/3, but in S4 Sam moved on from all that.

                  More importantly, being with Dean now reminds Sam on a daily basis just how much he screwed up, how much he failed him, what kind of a freak he is and I think that's makes Sam uncomfortable and creates distance between them. On top of that I think he is still emotionally withdrawn and didn't really reconnect with Dean since he is back. I have no doubt that once they reconnect and overcome the whole 'powers' question Sam settles at his brothers side without problems, not because he needs it but because he wants it.

                  As for Dean: I think Dean cannot be alone, not in the way Sam always has been able to, but I think he would be able to live without Sam constantly at his side, if he were to find extended family bonds, namely a family of his own. He would always feel the need to be connected to Sam, that's a given, but let's say he gave settling down with Lisa and Ben a chance, hunting from a home base instead of travelling across the country, his dependency on Sam would be less prominent, especially if Sam had a chance at a life of his own himself. Look at What Is and What Should Never Be, where Dean was content to settle down with Carmen, having his mother near by and the only thing he needed was to reconnect to Sam and he'd have been happy.

                  So, I can see a less co-dependent relationship between Sam and Dean if the circumstances would allow them to breathe more easily.

                  Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                  Sam has been with Dean constantly for 3 years because Dean has needed him there, but now he is realising that it's never going to change for Dean - he's always going to need him there, and so the independantness in Sam is rebelling - just as it did when he went to college. Dean being gone for four months has reinforced this feeling.
                  I don't quite agree with this. Especially in the last 2 seasons, it was Sam who needed Dean just as fiercely. With the visions and his destiny breathing down his neck, Dean was the one constant in his life that gave him a sense of security, a grounding influence in all the madness. I think Sam needed Dean just as much, if not more in that time than vice versa. But now this is different: after Dean's death he was forced to take his 'destiny' in his own hands and managed. What he rebels against isn't Dean's dependency on him but Dean's patronizing attitude. Dean is used to take care of Sam, of having a quasi-parental authority over Sam and while Sam in former seasons leaned on that authority, he now rejects it. They need to find a new balance.

                  Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                  What I feel the outcome will be, is that Sam's walk down the dark path will eventually lead him to a knowledge that he needs Dean, just as much as Dean needs him, and that they're stronger together. Well that's what I hope at least.
                  I think in the end they'll both find that they don't need each other, in a codependent kind of way, but genuinely want to be with each other. That both of them grew into independent men who choose to be with the other as equal partners, friends and family.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                    Yes, Sam's reaction was almost as if he didn't care. I know that that is far too big an assumption to make, and of course he does care, immensely, but he has been acting very cooly to Dean throughout all of this season's episodes. I have been feeling that Sam has "moved on" from Dean, feeling that he can cope without him.
                    That's exactly how I felt while watching this episode. To be honest when I watched "Yellow Fever" the first time around, even though I enjoyed the ep and laughed out aloud several times, there were two things that bothered me: firstly, the whole Dean-is-a-dick-thing, which irritated me and also made no sense to me whatsoever but which thankfully has been cleared up by Kripke (thank you for posting that link, Thomas! ). Secondly, I was upset by Sam's seemingly cool attitude towards the Dean dying scenario. Yes Sam tried to save Dean's life and succeeded in the end and yes Dean's being infected was mostly played out on a comedy level but Sam never seemed to be truly upset about the prospect of Dean's possible death. Now I get that this is in character for Sam this season, that it is a logical continuation of his character development in S4 so far but I found it very disturbing to watch nevertheless.

                    As others have said, this episode was very funny on the surface with a very dark layer underneath. While I did enjoy the funny scenes immensely ("I'll man the flashlight" still cracks me up everytime I even think about it. And of course Jensen's hilarious lip-synching to Eye of the Tiger is just comedy gold! ), it was the dark scenes that stuck with me (as always). Dean's hallucination of yellow-eyed Sam was both terrifying and absolutely intriguing (hey I just discovered that the acronym for yellow-eyed Sam is YES! ). One of Dean's biggest fears is indeed that Sam might want to choose evil and I loved how that was conveyed in this episode. Of course it made me a bit sad that Dean felt the need to lie to Sam again (more secrets between the boys! ) but I could totally understand that he did not want to tell Sam about that particular hallucination.

                    However, I wondered why Dean did not tell Sam about the Lilith hallucination. Was it because of what Lilith said to him and which, according to Kripke, is the reason why Dean was infected? I have to say that little girl who played Lilith seriously creeped me out again with her constant "ba boom". Now of course I can't wait to see
                    Spoiler:
                    what Dean's dark secret is supposed to be, too bad we have to wait until episode 4.10 to find out.


                    So overall, I enjoyed Yellow Fever much more than Monster Movie, mostly due to the conflicted emotions the boys had towards each other, Dean's dark hallucinations and Jensen Ackles' hilarious performance. It really felt as if Dean were a little kid in this episode and at times I just wanted to hug and protect him.

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                    • #11
                      If Chris hadn't mention the Monster Movie switch up- I wouldn't have picked up on the weridness between the brothers as much. Though now it bothers me. Thanks a lot Chris. Mumble grumble.

                      I thought the episode was so funny and didn't think Dean was a dick. I dunno. I Just cracked up instantly. Though I was bothered how calm how Sam was with Bobbie at the end- at the car scene. I was like eh? And I agree I didn't like that Dean didn't tell Sam about Lilth? After everything Dean has told Sam about not telling him the truth about things. Was Dean just too scared? And yeah- that girl is uber-creepy as her, especially her voice! Chills.

                      Course Jensen sining 'Eye of the Tiger'- classic!
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