Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Episode 4x08 "Wishful Thinking"

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Episode 4x08 "Wishful Thinking"

    Ha check me out starting a new thread!!

    So another good episode, not quite as great as some of the earlier episodes, but still some stuff to chew on.

    I liked the premise for the MOTW, and am a strong believer in "careful what you wish for" so it was right up my alley in that respect. Some funny moments where I laughed and immediately thought "Oh I so shouldn't be laughing at that" the giant teddy blowing the back of his head out comes to mind. I mean I know it was supposed to be funny but seriously teddy bear suicide isn't a laughing matter

    What brings this episode up is all the talk of what Dean does or doesn't remember from his "time down under".
    Spoiler:
    It's been said that we will find out more about Dean's Hell experience in episode 10 and this was obviously laying the ground work for that.
    In a way I'm sad that Dean hasn't talked to Sam about this before, but it's understandable that Dean would want to protect his little brother from it, so it makes perfect sense. In the same way it makes perfect sense that Sam is worried about Dean and wants to help, although when he says that he spends 24/7 with him and can see what's going on, it did make me wonder why he didn't bring the subject up before Uriel mentioned it.

    The conversation at the wishing well about what Sam would wish for was interesting. We already know what Dean would wish for as seen in WIAWSNB (which I only watched last night so is fresh in my memory) and I wondered then what would Sam wish for. Now we see that Sam wouldn't wish for anything for himself but for revenge on Lillith. I was surprised at that, and a little saddened that he didn't wish for Dean not to have had to go to hell, or that he didn't have the demon blood in him or anything else bad that has happened to them to have not happened.

    The question that comes up in my mind is why Sam is focusing all his attention on Lilith? Ok obviously we know that Lilith is the big bad in this and last season, and that's reason enough I suppose, but surely Azazael should be in there too as the start of all of it. Why is Sam intent on blaming Lilith and not Azazael? I don't quite get it.

    I did love the fact that he wouldn't want to go back to his old life, that he's no longer that person. Something that I don't think Dean has really grasped is that Sam is no longer the boy he pulled out of Stanford 4 years ago and doesn't want the same things he did then. If WIAWSNB happened now, Dean would still see Sam as the lawyer with Jess, whereas if it happened to Sam he would want something totally different for his life. IDK maybe I'm way off here but I think there is a growing divide in how the brothers see their respective positions on the "job".

    The last scene? OMFG wow! I'm so pleased that Dean has opened up to Sam, but really, really sad at what he said. Dean is carrying that memory forever and that just breaks my heart for him. The fact that he's seemed so in control and calm this season, and that that's all just a front for how much he carries shows just how much of an amazingly strong hero he really is (see my banner for further proof that I feel that!) I want to see the fallout of that, which I'm sure we'll get later on, but at the moment I'm just so proud of him.
    sigpic

    Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

  • #2
    Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
    The question that comes up in my mind is why Sam is focusing all his attention on Lilith? Ok obviously we know that Lilith is the big bad in this and last season, and that's reason enough I suppose, but surely Azazael should be in there too as the start of all of it. Why is Sam intent on blaming Lilith and not Azazael? I don't quite get it.
    I think he is so concentrated on Lilith since they already took their revenge against the YED and Lilith was the single focus he had in mind during the time Dean was in hell. She took his brother, ripped him apart in front of him, laughing and mocking the brothers, tortured Dean's soul and Sam was powerless to stop that. I think the thought of taking revenge against Lilith was the driving force after he realised he won't get Dean back, so it's no real surprise that she is at the forefront of Sam's mind.

    I am quite torn about this episode, since the revelations about Dean remembering hell and Sam noticing his brother's distress don't quite track back to the episodes before. There's just no indication for either of that in 4.01-4.07 and I would expect Dean to be a complete mess would he have remembered his time in hell to the full extent from the season opener on. I am not sure if I buy that Dean would be able to put on THAT good of a mask all the time. On the other hand I totally loved the brother scenes. Jensen and Jared as usual brought them to life with heart-wrenching intensity and so I am inclined to rationalise a lot of the inconsistencies and wait if things get clearer over the next couple of episodes.

    Well, I know more when I managed to rewatch and put my thoughts into a review!

    Comment


    • #3
      This episode was amazing. It didn't really contribute that much to the main storylines this season, but it was still a fantastic episode (and beats a whole lot of other fillers from the show). I loved Dean and Sam interacting with Aubrey and diagnosing her teddy bear with Lollipop Disease. And only Kripke can use suicidal teddy bears and actually let them make sense.

      Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
      The last scene? OMFG wow! I'm so pleased that Dean has opened up to Sam, but really, really sad at what he said. Dean is carrying that memory forever and that just breaks my heart for him. The fact that he's seemed so in control and calm this season, and that that's all just a front for how much he carries shows just how much of an amazingly strong hero he really is (see my banner for further proof that I feel that!) I want to see the fallout of that, which I'm sure we'll get later on, but at the moment I'm just so proud of him.
      The last scene was incredible! I feel bad for Dean because he has to deal with that all by himself. The fact that he's not freaking out about it really shows me how much Dean has grown IMO. But I also feel sorry for Sam because he knows that Dean doesn't believe that Sam can help him through that tough time. I guess it's sort of like a parallel to what happened at the end of Metamorphosis where Dean tried to offer Sam help with his powers and Sam was like he could handle it himself.

      Comment


      • #4
        I guess sooner or later it had to happen: Wishful Thinking was the first episode this season that left me rather dissatisfied, even if I enjoyed a lot of aspects about it. It was another episode that was funny on the surface, but revealed to be rather dark just beneath. Unlike Yellow Fever though, Ben Edlund’s script turned out to be quite unbalanced, which may be a result from his cooperation with writer Lou Bollo, still it’s sad that this was the first let down in the otherwise awesome season.

        It's funny, I enjoyed Wishful Thinking while watching it, but afterwards I found myself less touched than I would have expected, given the brotherly material in this episode, and it took me two rewatchings and mulling the plot over for a review, to put my finger on what was bothering me. There are two main problems with this episode for me: Firstly, there’s an emotional disconnect between the MotW plot and the brother plot. The story around the wishing well was independent from what was going on with the brothers and not only did it fail to support the characters but it even opposed their storyarc in this episode. The bizarre nature of their case stood in stark contrast to their very emotional and serious issues with each other and that threw me off. I think the brother arc would have worked a lot better in a less wacky context. Secondly, the reveal of Dean remembering his time in hell doesn’t really track back very well to the rest of the season so far. I'll expand on that point further down in my review.

        Dean: "I don’t want a giant, flaming, pissed-off teddy at our hands!"

        It’s no secret that the humour in Supernatural is often a hit-and-miss for me and Wishful Thinking was more the latter than the first in my opinion. I just don’t find giant talking teddy bears in any way funny, not even if they are in an existential crisis. The bear sequences really made me cringe and I thought the 'suicide' was distasteful rather than funny, but I guess I am in the minority with that. The only thing in Supernatural that I found even less funny so far were the slow-dancing aliens in Tall Tales.

        Truth be told, on closer inspection I found most of the plot rather disturbing and not really all that amusing. Wes ended up abusing the woman he claimed to love, basically depriving her of the freedom of choice in her partner. Audrey found herself abandoned by her parents, left alone to care for her suicidal companion and forced to dispose of porn magazines and booze. That’s especially unsettling, given her young age. Todd turned from victim to bully himself as soon as he had the power to strike back and both Todd and Hope turned murderous in the end. While I guess that part of these twists reflect on the destructive nature of the curse of the wish coin, I found the events rather dark and not exactly designed to be played for a laugh, but I guess that was intentional. Ben Edlund does have a knack for dark humour, it’s just that it doesn’t always work for me.

        There were a lot of parts in the episode that I did find funny though, but the humour for me was in the bemused reactions and puzzled facial expressions of the boys, rather than in the plot itself. Sam and Dean’s perplexity at the bigfoot sighting or the hilarious conversation about how to kill a teddy bear for example were just priceless. Sam’s interrogation of Candice Armstrong was another amusing highlight, with his sheer disbelief at her crazy story, and the little self referential joke about writing a book called Supernatural.

        Sam: "I’m your brother. I just wished you talked to me!"

        Despite the many problems of the episode, I enjoyed watching it and clearly the reason for that was the immense brotherly closeness between Sam and Dean, which felt like good old S2 characterisation. Sam’s care and worry for his brother was reminiscent of his efforts to reach Dean after John’s death, desperately trying to push Dean into opening up and sharing his burdens with him, but in the end unprepared at what to do when Dean finally does.

        Their interaction in Wishful Thinking affirmed my impression that after the events at Halloween, Dean came to a new understanding with Sam and this understanding in return lead to Sam growing closer to his brother again. Dean being more accepting in regard to Sam’s powers, however hesitant and fragile that acceptance may be, and their united front against the angels, seemingly allowed Sam to overcome his detachment from his brother and direct his attention from his own problems and struggles to Dean’s. It’s typical for Sam though to push his brother into talking to him, when he himself refused to open up to Dean and lied to him for quite a while. They always have different standards for the other than for themself.

        Sam: "The nightmares, the drinking. I’m with you 24/7. I know something’s going on."

        At first I was a tad irritated at Sam’s insistence that he noticed that something is going on with Dean, since there was no indication of that in earlier episodes, but I think it is likely that we only witnessed the end phase of a process here that went on off-screen ever since Halloween, with Sam wearing Dean’s defences down and Dean trying to keep his cool up. Obviously only a couple of days passed since the events of last week’s episode and I imagine that Sam pursued the topic of Dean’s memories with the single-mindedness that is characteristic for him, if his ferventness in their opening discussion at the bar is any indication.

        Sam’s surprise at Uriel’s insinuation that Dean remembers hell seemed genuine to me, and I guess in the beginning of the season he was simply too preoccupied with his own deceptions and problems, too detached from his brother to realise that Dean was hiding something. In fact Sam completely ignored the whole topic of Dean’s trip to hell after his initial inquiry in Lazarus Rising and maybe subconsciously he didn’t really want to know. It’s understandable that only now that the air between them is cleared and they seemed to have grown closer again, Sam was ready to approach that issue again.

        While there has been no sign that Sam took notice of Dean’s nightmares in earlier episodes or that he acknowledged his brother’s evasiveness at times, it stands to reason that Uriel’s remark made him aware that something was off and that he started to keep close tabs on his brother over the last couple of days, observing, pushing, piecing the clues together. We didn’t really see Dean drinking more than usual over the course of the season so far, but I am willing to concede that maybe with Sam pushing and trying to break through his defences, Dean hit the bottle more often, fuelling his brother suspicions further.

        So, while I can rationalise away the fact of Sam’s sudden awareness of Dean’s state of mind despite his obliviousness earlier in the season, I would have preferred at least one intermediate episode that showed us Sam catching on slowly and then confronting his brother.

        Sam: "It’s too late to go back to our old lives, Dean. I’m not that guy anymore."

        One of my favourite scenes in this episode was Sam and Dean’s conversation at the wishing well. Dean’s expectation that Sam still wants a normal life just shows how desperately Dean holds onto an innocence in his brother that Sam left behind long ago. Dean still wants that normalcy, maybe not only for his brother, but also for himself, and he wants for Sam to want that normalcy as well. Dean using the 'Sammy' endearment for his baby brother in this context was especially heartbreaking. He can't (or maybe even refuses to) see that his Sammy, the kid he cared for all his life, doesn’t really exist anymore. He grew up into a hardened man, without illusions about their future.

        In a lot of aspects, Sam turned into John. The loss of the person he loved most, pushed him over the edge, just like his father, and he is as focused on taking revenge on Lilith, as John was on taking revenge on the YED. His admission that all he wishes for was Lilith's bloody head on a plate, showed that clearly and while Dean tried to hide how much Sam’s wish unsettled him, it shows in his expression. For Sam there’s no turning back, only pushing forward and just like Dean I mourn the hopeful young man we met at the beginning of the show.

        Dean: "The things that I saw. There aren’t words. There’s no forgetting. There’s no making it better. Because it’s right here, forever."

        Dean’s admission to Sam that he does indeed remember his time in hell to the full extent came out of the blue for me to be honest, because there has been no real indication in earlier episodes that Dean suffers from some sort of post-traumatic stress. It’s just psychologically implausible to me that Dean wouldn’t show a single sign of distress at what he went through, and that he would be able to keep a perfect mask at all times. We know that he remembers flashes, maybe uncovered partial memories, yes, but a full memory? That just seems unlikely to me. Every time Dean experienced flashbacks so far, he was easily able to shake his uneasiness off and that’s consistent with someone who represses rather than someone who remembers.

        It’s just hard to believe that they have mislead us throughout the season so far, not even allowing Jensen to weave in some sort of subliminal hints in his acting. So, for the time being I’ll stick with the theory that Dean remembered next to nothing of his time in hell when he came back in Lazarus Rising and that the flashes and nightmares he experienced over the last couple of weeks gradually brought back memories that he mostly shut off and pushed to the back of his mind, compartmentalisation and denial in full effect. His fear induced hallucination in Yellow Fever then again confronted him with the truth and maybe tore down some of his blocks, but his self-preservation was still intact enough to allow him to function.

        I also think that by admitting to Sam that he lied about his memories and by emphasising the unwillingness to share, he tried to get his brother off his back and in the process he might have shown a greater conviction about his memories than he actually has. His admission that he remembers everything might as well refer to his realisation in Yellow Fever that all those memories do in fact exist in his subconsciousness rather than to the fact that he actually actively remembers them all at the moment. It’s one thing to know that you went through an event but an entirely different thing to confront and relive the memory of that event. Still, again there should have been at least one intermediate episode that showed us Dean struggling with returning memories, to allow for a smoother transition. I really hope the upcoming episodes shed a more satisfying light on this issue.

        In any case, continuity problems aside, Dean coming out with the truth to Sam was an immensely moving scene, delivered with just the right amount of intensity from both Jensen and Jared. It was a perfect mirror of the end scene to Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, where Dean admitted his feelings of survivors guilt and self-loathing to Sam, after his brother pushed him into talking, only for Sam to be silenced by the sheer enormity of the burden Dean carried. Now, just like back then, there’s nothing Sam can say or do to make what Dean went through all right, no matter how much he wished to share his brother’s burden. I think part of Sam needs to help his brother in order to cope with his own guilt for not saving Dean from going to hell for him, but it would also intensify Sam’s feelings of guilt indefinitely and I imagine Dean wants to protect his brother from that. Talking wouldn’t change his own situation and it would only make Sam’s worth.

        I love that Dean throws back Sam’s own words from Metamorphosis back to him, that Sam won’t understand and Dean can’t make him understand. Sam’s powers and Dean’s trip to hell, both are unique experiences that have no equivalent in the other’s life that would allow the one brother to relate to what the other brother is going through and so they push each other away. But maybe the uniqueness of their situations is the one common ground they share and their love for each other can be the bridge for what separates them. Dean already made a first step towards understanding Sam last episode, maybe he will allow his brother to make one towards understanding him as well in the future.

        No matter if Dean really remembers all of his torment in hell or only part of it, he shows an enormous strength and determination ever since he returned from hell. In S2 Dean was close to buckle under the burdens life threw at him, but it seems that in the end he came out of his trials stronger than ever and determined to get his brother and himself through whatever lies ahead of them.

        What else was noteworthy:

        I adored the conversation between Wes and the brothers in the Impala. Not only because we got yet another jinx between the boys, but also because I loved their combined indignation at Wes’ whiny attitude towards the unfairness of life. Dean’s admission that they have to fight tooth and nails just to keep whatever little they have, struck right home, despite the humorous overtones in that scene.

        It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for Dean and kids, and Dean’s interaction with Audrey and Todd was no exception. I loved especially Dean helping Todd to get rid of the bullies, despite nearly being strangled to death by him just moments before. It reminded me of The Kids Are Alright where he encouraged Ben to stand up against bullies as well. I can’t help but think that he might have done that for Sam too, when they were kids, protecting his little brother from being bullied, but maybe I just read too much fanfiction.

        In conclusion: I find myself in the rather odd situation that I enjoyed watching this episode but didn’t quite enjoy thinking about it, since it messed with the awesomely consistent characterisation so far. It’s never a good sign if I need to put too much effort into rationalising the characterisation and to be fair, I rarely ever had to do that for Sam and Dean in this show. I hope that some of the more fuzzy details about the exact nature of Dean’s memories will be cleared in the next couple of episodes though.

        Overall I think that with the unfortunate episode switch of Monster Movie we now had 3 episodes with comedic overtones and bizarre premises within the short span of 4 weeks and that’s unusual for Supernatural. Add to that the fact that the emotions of the characters didn’t find any resonance in the MotW plotline thi week, and I find myself feeling disconnected from the ongoing storyarc, despite Dean’s confession at the end. I hope that we return to a more serious tone in the next half of the season.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by galathea View Post
          I think he is so concentrated on Lilith since they already took their revenge against the YED and Lilith was the single focus he had in mind during the time Dean was in hell. She took his brother, ripped him apart in front of him, laughing and mocking the brothers, tortured Dean's soul and Sam was powerless to stop that. I think the thought of taking revenge against Lilith was the driving force after he realised he won't get Dean back, so it's no real surprise that she is at the forefront of Sam's mind.
          Obviously I am totally thick because I completely forgot that Azazael is dead and that Sam can't take his revenge on him, DUH! What you've said about him focusing on her as the one to blame for Dean's trip to hell and his lack of control over that situation makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up.

          Originally posted by HeroSplinter View Post
          I loved Dean and Sam interacting with Aubrey and diagnosing her teddy bear with Lollipop Disease.
          Lollipop disease

          Originally posted by galathea View Post
          I guess sooner or later it had to happen: Wishful Thinking was the first episode this season that left me rather dissatisfied, even if I enjoyed a lot of aspects about it.
          Dissatisfied it too strong a word for my feelings on this ep, I guess. It could've been better, but I wouldn't say that it will be one of the episodes that I don't enjoy watching later on. Like you say though, it did have to happen, there's no way that it could go a full season without some not-so-good episodes.

          It's no secret that the humour in Supernatural is often a hit-and-miss for me and Wishful Thinking was more the latter than the first in my opinion. I just don't find giant talking teddy bears in any way funny, not even if they are in an existential crisis. The bear sequences really made me cringe and I thought the 'suicide' was distasteful rather than funny, but I guess I am in the minority with that. The only thing in Supernatural that I found even less funny so far were the slow-dancing aliens in Tall Tales.

          Truth be told, on closer inspection I found most of the plot rather disturbing and not really all that amusing. Wes ended up abusing the woman he claimed to love, basically depriving her of the freedom of choice in her partner. Audrey found herself abandoned by her parents, left alone to care for her suicidal companion and forced to dispose of porn magazines and booze. That's especially unsettling, given her young age. Todd turned from victim to bully himself as soon as he had the power to strike back and both Todd and Hope turned murderous in the end. While I guess that part of these twists reflect on the destructive nature of the curse of the wish coin, I found the events rather dark and not exactly designed to be played for a laugh, but I guess that was intentional. Ben Edlund does have a knack for dark humour, it's just that it doesn't always work for me.
          Well, I did say earlier that teddy bear suicide is no laughing matter, I see you agree. I was actually reminded of Smile Time (S5 ATS) a lot in this episode, which was also written by Ben Edlund. That episode is positively midnight it's so dark and disturbing when you scratch away the comedy aspects of it. Yes, he certainly likes dark humour. The disturbing aspect is obviously there as the plot device that the wishes were turning bad and although I clearly found it funnier than you, I agree this episode would've worked better without the humour IMO.

          Sam's interrogation of Candice Armstrong was another amusing highlight, with his sheer disbelief at her crazy story, and the little self referential joke about writing a book called Supernatural.
          I too loved the inclusion of the show's name, and Jared's face when he said it. The shame is that the comedy is in stark contrast to what is going on between the boys. It's almost as if Ben Edlund wanted to write a comedy episode and was forced to tack on the parts about Dean's time in hell to give it more gravitas, as like you say we have had more than a few comedy episodes already this season. The end result is something that's not that funny and negates the seriousness of their discussions. We have been through this before though, Tall Tales and Hollywood Babylon are comedy episodes that are placed too close to the end of the season and negate what has happened in the episodes surrounding them.

          At first I was a tad irritated at Sam's insistence that he noticed that something is going on with Dean, since there was no indication of that in earlier episodes, but I think it is likely that we only witnessed the end phase of a process here that went on off-screen ever since Halloween, with Sam wearing Dean's defences down and Dean trying to keep his cool up. Obviously only a couple of days passed since the events of last week's episode and I imagine that Sam pursued the topic of Dean's memories with the single-mindedness that is characteristic for him, if his ferventness in their opening discussion at the bar is any indication.

          Sam's surprise at Uriel's insinuation that Dean remembers hell seemed genuine to me, and I guess in the beginning of the season he was simply too preoccupied with his own deceptions and problems, too detached from his brother to realise that Dean was hiding something. In fact Sam completely ignored the whole topic of Dean's trip to hell after his initial inquiry in Lazarus Rising and maybe subconsciously he didn't really want to know. It's understandable that only now that the air between them is cleared and they seemed to have grown closer again, Sam was ready to approach that issue again.
          Well, I've already said that I felt the same regarding this, but you've rationalised it well. Sam in the earlier episodes is too preoccupied to notice until he has it pointed out to him and then can't fail to notice because there have been glaring signs along the way.

          Dean's admission to Sam that he does indeed remember his time in hell to the full extent came out of the blue for me to be honest, because there has been no real indication in earlier episodes that Dean suffers from some sort of post-traumatic stress. It's just psychologically implausible to me that Dean wouldn't show a single sign of distress at what he went through, and that he would be able to keep a perfect mask at all times. We know that he remembers flashes, maybe uncovered partial memories, yes, but a full memory? That just seems unlikely to me. Every time Dean experienced flashbacks so far, he was easily able to shake his uneasiness off and that's consistent with someone who represses rather than someone who remembers.

          It's just hard to believe that they have mislead us throughout the season so far, not even allowing Jensen to weave in some sort of subliminal hints in his acting. So, for the time being I'll stick with the theory that Dean remembered next to nothing of his time in hell when he came back in Lazarus Rising and that the flashes and nightmares he experienced over the last couple of weeks gradually brought back memories that he mostly shut off and pushed to the back of his mind, compartmentalisation and denial in full effect. His fear induced hallucination in Yellow Fever then again confronted him with the truth and maybe tore down some of his blocks, but his self-preservation was still intact enough to allow him to function.

          I also think that by admitting to Sam that he lied about his memories and by emphasising the unwillingness to share, he tried to get his brother off his back and in the process he might have shown a greater conviction about his memories than he actually has. His admission that he remembers everything might as well refer to his realisation in Yellow Fever that all those memories do in fact exist in his subconsciousness rather than to the fact that he actually actively remembers them all at the moment. It's one thing to know that you went through an event but an entirely different thing to confront and relive the memory of that event. Still, again there should have been at least one intermediate episode that showed us Dean struggling with returning memories, to allow for a smoother transition. I really hope the upcoming episodes shed a more satisfying light on this issue.
          Whilst I do agree with everything you say here, and see that your rationalisation is completely plausible, my impression was more that the memories were coming back to him a little at a time but all the time. At first when it was in dreams and when looking in the mirror they were split second flashes, but as his hell jetlag has worn off the dreams have got longer and more intense, every little flash like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle, gradually making up a bigger picture. Lilith's involvement in Yellow Fever, finished the puzzle for him, and now everyday things are reminding him (the mask in last weeks episode for example) - hence why he is now drinking more and moaning in his sleep. He can finally remember it all rather than fragments.

          No matter if Dean really remembers all of his torment in hell or only part of it, he shows an enormous strength and determination ever since he returned from hell. In S2 Dean was close to buckle under the burdens life threw at him, but it seems that in the end he came out of his trials stronger than ever and determined to get his brother and himself through whatever lies ahead of them.
          I wouldn't expect anything else from my hero! Well that and perky nipples.
          sigpic

          Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

          Comment


          • #6
            For me a very peaceful episode to watch. Lots of laughs, old character traits rising to the surface, no bloody deaths, everyone lives. I can't name an episode with less death in it (human or creature).

            I don't get enjoyment out of seeing Sam and Dean burdened by their problems. I like episodes when they get to live as normal as they ever can be, but getting to do their job, help people, and have some type of enjoyment and satisfaction about doing the task right.

            I was glad the show was able to pair enjoying and making the most out of life despite having a cold realism that your wishes were never going to come true.

            The end was a perfect cap to that. Dean finally realized that Sam had truly moved past his boyhood wish for a normal life. He realized that he didn't need to protect Sam from the truth by giving him the hope that Dean was okay from his summer vacation down south.

            The poor couple who had returned from their trip looked even more miserable than him, perhaps finally giving Dean the incentive to define himself from civilians and to be able to look forward rather than live in regret. I imagine that poor couple made the wish and were immediately transported there wearing their uncomfortably hot clothing and most likely without any wallet, money, credit cards, or worse passports. I imagine they were frantic as to how their daughter was but had no way of contacting her.

            But back to Dean. I completely understand his decision to want to move forward and leave his memories in the past. There was no changing or taking back of the memories. Why give them more weight in your life? I know I would rather walk towards something else in an effort of making new memories which would distract and dull.

            Sam needed to know that Dean remembered. We've seen Dean struggling with the hell flashes, extended sleeping, and extra drink. Keeping a secret like that tears at you. The shame that you cannot do anything about it. The realization that no one else can do anything to help and can only pity you because they do care. These make the secret problem even more monumental and unable to be overcome.

            With Dean finally sharing with Sam, he can start to move forward. Perhaps the future is bleak but at least it is a future.

            I love the final shot of Dean walking towards the screen with the unlit lightbulb ahead. Maybe he doesn't have his hope lighting his way, but he has enough inner determination to move forward without such a reward drawing him forward.

            Lydia made the punch!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              Dissatisfied it too strong a word for my feelings on this ep, I guess. It could've been better, but I wouldn't say that it will be one of the episodes that I don't enjoy watching later on. Like you say though, it did have to happen, there's no way that it could go a full season without some not-so-good episodes.
              Well, characterisation is something that is most important to me and the way they developed the characters so far this season was so wonderfully consistent for me and I hate to see that jeopardised by Wishful Thinking. I just found it disappointing in comparison to the rest of the S4 so far. I mean, I've seen far worse SN episodes and I watched this episode 3 times in a row and I still enjoy watching it.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              Yes, he certainly likes dark humour. The disturbing aspect is obviously there as the plot device that the wishes were turning bad and although I clearly found it funnier than you, I agree this episode would've worked better without the humour IMO.
              Yeah, I think humour is just so much more difficult to relate to. I mean, we basically all weep about the same emotional scenes, but when it comes to humorous scenes we all widely differ in our tastes. If there hadn't been the discrepancy to the serious tone of the boys, I guess I would have enjoyed the silliness of the episode more. Sometimes Ben Edlund's humour works for me (Ghostfacers, Monster Movie), sometimes it doesn't (Hollywood Babylon, Wishful Thinking). In those where it didn't work, it's usually that I wanted something different out of the episode, e.g. more focus on the boys' story and found the humour contraproductive to my emotions.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              He can finally remember it all rather than fragments.
              Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
              But back to Dean. I completely understand his decision to want to move forward and leave his memories in the past. There was no changing or taking back of the memories. Why give them more weight in your life? I know I would rather walk towards something else in an effort of making new memories which would distract and dull.
              See, the problem I have is that I just cannot find it believable that someone comes out of hell, suffered torture for a subjective timespan of decades, and there isn't a single sign of post-traumatic stress when his memory about that suffering returns. That just doesn't work for me, no matter how strong Dean is. I want to see a fallout before Dean moves forward! Dean going to hell for his brother was such an immense event and I would find it highly anti-climactic if they just brush over it in this fashion. I mean, that's just as if John had died in the beginning of S2 and Dean had been right as rain, it just doesn't match.

              Once there has been a fallout and we saw Dean dealing with it, I totally agree Lyn, I want Dean to move forward and leave the bad memories behind, start building his life anew. I just feel that we miss out on a huge hunk of Dean's story if his hell experience is just reduced to an insignificant bump in the plot, instead of giving it the room it deserves in my opinion.
              Last edited by galathea; 09-11-08, 09:49 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by galathea View Post
                See, the problem I have is that I just cannot find it believable that someone comes out of hell, suffered torture for a subjective timespan of decades, and there isn't a single sign of post-traumatic stress when his memory about that suffering returns. That just doesn't work for me, no matter how strong Dean is. I want to see a fallout before Dean moves forward! Dean going to hell for his brother was such an immense event and I would find it highly anti-climactic if they just brush over it in this fashion. I mean, that's just as if John had died in the beginning of S2 and Dean had been right as rain, it just doesn't match.

                Once there has been a fallout and we saw Dean dealing with it, I totally agree Lyn, I want Dean to move forward and leave the bad memories behind, start building his life anew. I just feel that we miss out on a huge hunk of Dean's story if his hell experience is just reduced to an insignificant bump in the plot, instead of giving it the room it deserves in my opinion.
                So maybe I'm trying to rationalise this too much! I do agree that this hasn't been played very well. We've come out of Wishful Thinking with textual evidence that Dean remembers everything, but I don't think that's the whole story. I said earlier in the thread that he has now remembered everything, I'm now thinking that that's not entirely the case. He remembers a lot more than he did when he first came back, and thinks he has remembered everything, but just like you said remembering being there and dwelling on how you felt are different things. I don't now think that Dean is remembering everything, just a much bigger part of it, and because of that he can still repress the emotions from it, still wear a game face. The drinking and the moaning in his sleep is the beginning of him not being able to cope with it because more is coming back to him all the time.

                I imagine it like being abused. You can remember that you were abused but turn off your thoughts about it, and therefore seem to function completely normally, although you're not at all "over it" to the outside world you would act as if you were. That the game face is necessary for you to be able to function at all. Suddenly, a small thing reminds you of the full force of how you felt - the terror, uselessness and anger and you are a quivering wreck when you allow it to creep into your thoughts.

                What we're seeing with Dean, IMO is the start of that fall out - Lilith was the small thing that made him remember and now he's started to remember it he can't look away from it. It will affect him more and more until he can no longer cope. His game face is slipping. The problem with this theory is that Dean says he can remember everything, all of it and it will seem like a retcon if following episodes show that he didn't really remember everything after all.

                So all in all, I can rationalise that Dean thinks he remembers everything but he doesn't, and in the next few episodes it will be clear that he has been tormented by it and has managed to cover it up convincingly but can't hold onto his pretence any longer.

                That said I do agree that if there's no major consequence of Dean going to hell, then his sacrifice to save Sam at the end of Season 2 and his determination not to let himself be saved, by any means possible at the end of Season 3 will be for nothing - in the same way that Angel returning from Hell in S3 of Buffy negated the suffering that Buffy went through in S2. Supernatural though, doesn't shy as much from the pain of consequence, so I'm hopeful that that won't happen.
                sigpic

                Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Even though this episode started good (scared women in showers freak me out ) and had some really funny quotes
                  "Women, showers... we got to save these people"

                  "The working title is... Supernatural"

                  "I hate to break it to you, but your teddy's got ... lollipop disease"

                  The overall episode was pretty boring.
                  There was pretty much no action, it was not scary, the humour didn't very much appeal to me and it was slow.

                  The good stuff of course was the sharing and the brotherly moments. Dean finally telling Sam, and all that has been mentioned in this thread

                  About the Lillith's head on a plate
                  Originally posted by galathea View Post
                  I think he is so concentrated on Lilith since they already took their revenge against the YED and Lilith was the single focus he had in mind during the time Dean was in hell. She took his brother, ripped him apart in front of him, laughing and mocking the brothers, tortured Dean's soul and Sam was powerless to stop that. I think the thought of taking revenge against Lilith was the driving force after he realised he won't get Dean back, so it's no real surprise that she is at the forefront of Sam's mind.
                  Could be, but I think he wants it because that would seem like it's all over. He doesn't wanna go back and change things, cause you can't and it wouldn't be real. But ending this whole nightmare, that's something different. That would also mean that he might no longer need his powers and thus will never turn evil.

                  Originally posted by galathea View Post
                  There's just no indication for either of that in 4.01-4.07 and I would expect Dean to be a complete mess would he have remembered his time in hell to the full extent from the season opener on. I am not sure if I buy that Dean would be able to put on THAT good of a mask all the time.
                  To me it felt like he didn't remember everything from the beginning, but he got back more and more, up till he remembers all of it now.
                  Cause in the last episode, he got another flash while seeing that mask, it gave me the impression that more is coming back to him. And apparently, now he remembers everything. Not sure, but that's what I think.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                    So maybe I'm trying to rationalise this too much! I do agree that this hasn't been played very well. We've come out of Wishful Thinking with textual evidence that Dean remembers everything, but I don't think that's the whole story. I said earlier in the thread that he has now remembered everything, I'm now thinking that that's not entirely the case. He remembers a lot more than he did when he first came back, and thinks he has remembered everything, but just like you said remembering being there and dwelling on how you felt are different things. I don't now think that Dean is remembering everything, just a much bigger part of it, and because of that he can still repress the emotions from it, still wear a game face. The drinking and the moaning in his sleep is the beginning of him not being able to cope with it because more is coming back to him all the time.
                    Exactly! It's just that I don't want them to retcon all of S4 so far and stating Dean remembered right from the start and just kept it a secret all along, because I'm not buying that for reasons I already stated. I am okay with Dean starting to remember bits and pieces but repressing most of it over the course of 4.01-4.05, so it didn't really affect his behaviour. Then his hallucination in 4.06 started to tear the walls down and things come back more fiercely now and while we didn't see much of that in 4.07+4.08, I hope that in the upcoming episodes we actually see it affect Dean, showing us a fallout. If that were they case I can easily bury my problems with Wishful Thinking and just put it aside as a fluke. So, if we, as you say, only saw the start of the actual fallout now, I am perfectly fine. Just the transition could've been handled better then.

                    Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
                    Supernatural though, doesn't shy as much from the pain of consequence, so I'm hopeful that that won't happen.
                    Yep. Show is very good with angst and I doubt they would let the opportunity slip by to show Dean in pain over the hell experience. Just need to have faith in the writers. They probably spare the big emotional scenes for sweeps!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by galathea
                      See, the problem I have is that I just cannot find it believable that someone comes out of hell, suffered torture for a subjective timespan of decades, and there isn't a single sign of post-traumatic stress when his memory about that suffering returns.
                      I guess I'd like to know what you want "post traumatic stress symptoms" to include.

                      We've already seen him have:
                      1. nightmares,
                      2. clinical depression,
                      3. lack of enjoying things he used to (4.06 eating donuts),
                      4. increased alcohol intake,
                      5. increased sleeping,
                      6. aversion to loud noises (4.01 "Castiel's voice"),
                      7. reluctance to leave safety (4.02 "Bobby's ghostproof safe room")
                      8. poor job performance (4.06 wont handle gun, runs off job, drinks),
                      9. withdrawn and lack of social interaction
                      10. I could even add paranoia or delusions (seeing angels, it wasn't until 4.07 that Sam saw an angel state thats what it was, I believe Bobby was already passed out in 4.01 when Castiel says such).

                      4.06 Yellow Fever was about his post traumatic stress. The supernatural ghost infection was a way for all these little things that have changed about Dean to be magnified so the viewers could see it, but yet it not be emotionally wearing to the viewer. I prefer stuff shown this way as a cohesive metaphor rather than dragged over several episodes without any other meaning than Dean is having it rough coping.

                      Condensing the matter of Dean's evident post traumatic stress into a single episode plot also allows other episodes to focus on other aspects. This keeps the overall arc varied rather than one long stretched out idea where episodes bleed into each rather than have distinct ideas.

                      The use of supernatural in 4.06 was not an aggravation to be explained away. For example, to say, "Oh, Dean only had these symptoms because of the ghost infection." That's not true. Dean had them, Sam just wasn't noticing. The show may be third person perspective, but sometimes we're not allowed to see something until someone else does.

                      Sam's casual acceptance of Dean's drinking is actually scary. The end of 4.06, even Bobby was a little wary and turned down a drink rather than allowing Dean to disguise his drinking as social. I was horrified at how much Dean had to drink at the beginning of 4.08.

                      Personally, I've always saw Dean as the stoic person whose nature would lead him to close off his heart rather than to fall to pieces and be unable to cope with life. His father was like that and driven by sheer will and determination. Inherited or learned, Dean's behavior seems in line with how such a traumatic experience would affect him. Hollow.

                      Sam has always tried to pull Dean's emotion out of him rather than let Dean close off and die inside. This season Sam has been focused on his own problems and fears. So without Sam, Dean's going to go his natural tendency of holding his emotions tight to himself.

                      So I see his withdrawn nature and focus on things exterior of him as Dean's coping.

                      Lydia made the punch!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                        I guess I'd like to know what you want "post traumatic stress symptoms" to include.

                        We've already seen him have:
                        1. nightmares,
                        2. clinical depression,
                        3. lack of enjoying things he used to (4.06 eating donuts),
                        4. increased alcohol intake,
                        5. increased sleeping,
                        6. aversion to loud noises (4.01 "Castiel's voice"),
                        7. reluctance to leave safety (4.02 "Bobby's ghostproof safe room")
                        8. poor job performance (4.06 wont handle gun, runs off job, drinks),
                        9. withdrawn and lack of social interaction
                        10. I could even add paranoia or delusions (seeing angels, it wasn't until 4.07 that Sam saw an angel state thats what it was, I believe Bobby was already passed out in 4.01 when Castiel says such).

                        4.06 Yellow Fever was about his post traumatic stress. The supernatural ghost infection was a way for all these little things that have changed about Dean to be magnified so the viewers could see it, but yet it not be emotionally wearing to the viewer. I prefer stuff shown this way as a cohesive metaphor rather than dragged over several episodes without any other meaning than Dean is having it rough coping.
                        Uhm, sorry I'm just not buying this. I guess we see this very differently.

                        1. nightmares --- Yep, he has nightmares and they definitely are connected to his time in hell. They are part of post-traumatic behaviour, no argument there, but as a symptom they are too unspecific and only a sign that he represses a lot of bad memories, not a sign for a fully fledged PTSD

                        2. clinical depression --- I am sorry, but I see no signs of clinical depression in Dean ever since he came back from hell and believe me, I know a thing or two about clinical depression. Compare Dean's behaviour in 4.01-4.08 to the beginning of S2 and Dean is nothing compared to that.

                        3. lack of enjoying things he used to (4.06 eating donuts) --- First sign of the ghost sickness. And no, I don't take take the ghost sickness as a symptom for his PTSD condensed in one single episode. Dean has no problems at all over the rest of the season to do the things he enjoys. On the contrary, his appetite, sexually as well as nutritionally, is very healthy ever since he came back.

                        4. increased alcohol intake --- The only time before 4.08 we have seen him drinking was in 4.06 under influence of the sickness. There's no indication apart from that that he was drinking more.

                        5. increased sleeping -- Yep, comes with the nightmares

                        6. aversion to loud noises (4.01 "Castiel's voice") --- Seriously? C'mon, so you don't buy Castiel's explanation that the human body isn't able to hear his real voice or take in his real appearance without taking damage? Hm, okay, that's your opinion, but Pamela and the people in the diner kind of affirm his story and I tend to believe him. I mean, Dean bled out of his ears upon hearing Castiel's voice. He isn't jumpy, he doesn't flinch at loud noises or sudden movements. Nothing of that.

                        7. reluctance to leave safety (4.02 "Bobby's ghostproof safe room") -- Good point, didn't think about that, but I saw Dean making a joke to lift the mood.

                        8. poor job performance (4.06 wont handle gun, runs off job, drinks) -- Well, see my point above, ghost sickness

                        9. withdrawn and lack of social interaction --- I see no sign of Dean being more withdrawn as usual. He flirts with the ladies (as opposed to the time when he was suffering from depression after the loss of John), easily reconnects with Travis and makes contact with the people around him when they are on a case.

                        So, no I don't see much evidence that Dean is suffering from PTSD. Post traumatic stress would have affected him gradually over a long while and to just expose it indirectly and focused on one instance when he was under supernatural influence (4.06) just doesn't fit with the shows usual narrative as well as the psycological nature of that disease. I guess we just have to agree that we disagree here and wait what the show does next!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Apparently we will just disagree. I always see the show as at least two distinct entities. Obviously, one is the life of Sam and Dean Winchester full of supernatural occurrences. But the other is a perception of the real world. Where a single line or event is representative of a real world truth. A world without magic as an explanation.

                          Of course, I believe that Castiel's true voice/visage is too powerful for most humans. But it doesn't mean that I can't also see Dean's reaction as him overreacting to something small. Dean was alone for those times he heard his voice. If everyone was there hunching down, then I would have to say he wasn't overreacting. But he was alone.

                          Completely discounting the episode of Yellow Fever seems like folly to me. Kripke was distressed enough that everyone thought the episode was about Dean being a bully, that he made a comment that it wasn't. To me, that means the episode was meant to be more than just a throw away.

                          I'm not going to argue with you. I just wanted to present an opposing view.

                          Lydia made the punch!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                            Completely discounting the episode of Yellow Fever seems like folly to me. Kripke was distressed enough that everyone thought the episode was about Dean being a bully, that he made a comment that it wasn't. To me, that means the episode was meant to be more than just a throw away.

                            I'm not going to argue with you. I just wanted to present an opposing view.
                            I am not discounting Yellow Fever at all, it definitely was an important episode. I just think it was about something different than you think it was. If you read Kripke's statment about the episode you know that the storyline about the ghost sickness had a certain purpose and Kripke made that statment because the purpose he intended to show was misinterpreted/unseen by the fans and he felt the need to correct that. I just think that if Dean would suffer from any kind of real post-traumatic stress there would have been more subtle hints in Dean's behaviour so far. We know how well Jensen does the subliminal reveal of Dean's real frame of mind even if Dean acts self-confident and brash on the outside. It's one of his strengths as an actor and I just think they would have used that to show something's going on. To confine it to one episode just doesn't make any sense to me, that's all.

                            I won't make a big argument out of this either, we'll have to wait and see what happens with this particular storyline. You know I always love to read your thoughts!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First and foremost, I think Yellow Fever is about how keeping a secret feels to the person keeping it. Even though elements are exaggerated in the episode, I don't think they are simply symptoms of the ghost sickness.

                              I think if someone wants Dean to be exhibiting post traumatic stress, then these elements would be symptoms. Even if you didn't like my examples, were there any other symptoms you think that Dean should be exhibiting?

                              All I know is how I react to traumatic things. I draw myself in. I distract myself by indulging in simple things I love. I compartmentalize. To me, Dean has seemed fairly in line with how I would act.

                              I don't see Dean reacting like the Teddy Bear did (when seeing horrible world events) in Wishful Thinking by becoming depressed, holed up in a room, and trying to take his own life.

                              Dean has more brains, heart and will.

                              Lydia made the punch!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                                First and foremost, I think Yellow Fever is about how keeping a secret feels to the person keeping it. Even though elements are exaggerated in the episode, I don't think they are simply symptoms of the ghost sickness.

                                I think if someone wants Dean to be exhibiting post traumatic stress, then these elements would be symptoms. Even if you didn't like my examples, were there any other symptoms you think that Dean should be exhibiting?

                                All I know is how I react to traumatic things. I draw myself in. I distract myself by indulging in simple things I love. I compartmentalize. To me, Dean has seemed fairly in line with how I would act.

                                I don't see Dean reacting like the Teddy Bear did (when seeing horrible world events) in Wishful Thinking by becoming depressed, holed up in a room, and trying to take his own life.

                                Dean has more brains, heart and will.
                                Okay, the thing is, for me Dean in Yellow Fever is no reliable narrator for the audience. We experience the episode through the eyes of someone who is hallucinating, under the influence of a incapacitating illness, so everything we see cannot count as a 100% reliable source of information. Some of his fears are genuine, some of them might not. Sure, you can see that as a metaphor for PTSD, but to believe that Dean is actually suffering from it, I need evidence for that in episodes where Dean is himself and there is none in my opinion.

                                Someone suffering from traumatic stress would be socially withdrawn, suffering from violent mood swings and anxieties, unable to function properly in his job and in his normal relationships. I see nothing of that in Dean in the rest of the season. He reconnects easily to Sam and Bobby, is competent and sure in his job, makes new contacts without problems, exhibits no signs of insecurity or anxiety. S2 shows us how Dean reacts in a depression and I take that as my reference guide. Dean this season is nothing like that and even if I would think that Dean developed and is more easily able to fend off the signs of a depression, I would expect at least some symptoms apart from nightmares.

                                Yes, Dean compartmentalises and Dean is in denial, which is exactly how I see Dean over the course of the season so far. The memories are there, but they are repressed, that's how Dean copes and how he is able to function. But that's not dealing, that's avoiding. To deal, Dean would have to confront those memories and work through them, and he would be severely messed up during that time. As I said, we have seen Dean in a depression and he was tailspinning in that time. I would expect a trip to hell have at least similar traumatic results like losing John. I don't see Dean as suicidal either, Dean wouldn't blow his brains out, he's got too much to live for and he is strong-willed, but there's a huge margin of possible reactions between suicidal and unaffected.

                                To me it's also a matter of narrating a story. You can't have an immense event like that and then sweep it under the rug by saying well, he just keeps it all in. I feel that is a betrayal of the viewer's investment in the story, well at least to mine. Hell, I exhibited more post-traumatic stress symptoms after seeing Dean ripped apart in the S3 finale than Dean after his return. So, I expect some kind of fallout and I still hope we get it.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X