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 Reviews du net

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a.a.k
Cangel 'till the end
Cangel 'till the end


Messages : 17874
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2009
Age : 28
Localisation : In Jensen's arms

MessageSujet: Reviews du net   Sam 5 Nov - 16:08

Je ne sais pas vous, mais perso, j'adore aller farfouiller sur le net à la recherche d'avis de fans sur les séries que j'aime.

Un de mes p'tits péchés mignons, c'est aussi de lire des reviews détaillées d'épisodes. Parfois, ça peut donner des envies de meurtre quand on descend un truc que j'adore. Mais souvent, c'est pertinent et ça peut aider à comprendre certaines choses, ou du moins à les voir sous d'autres angles. Ce qui est, bien entendu, super enrichissant ^^

Je vous propose donc de venir poster ici vos reviews de séries et/ou épisodes préférés du net.

Bien évidemment, je vous demande de préciser de quelle série et de quel épisode il s'agit, mais aussi de poster la source

_________________




You're a lot smarter than you look. Of course, you look like a retard ~ Cordelia Chase
This is it: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr Comatose over there. Awesome. ~ Dean Winchester
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a.a.k
Cangel 'till the end
Cangel 'till the end


Messages : 17874
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2009
Age : 28
Localisation : In Jensen's arms

MessageSujet: Re: Reviews du net   Sam 5 Nov - 16:13

J'ouvre le bal avec les écrits de Galatea ^^

C'est une fan de SPN qui, saison 1 mis à part (j‘espère qu‘elle prendra le temps de le faire un jour ^^), reviewe de manière très détaillée et très en profondeur les épisodes de la série. Je suis pas toujours d'accord sur tout, mais de manière générale, j'adhère à sa vision de la série et des frères. Et ses reviews sont de qualité! Elle m'a permis de voir les choses souvent sous un autre angle, de les remettre en perspective et de voir, à quel point, la série est intelligente, bien écrite et comme J² sont talentueux.



Citation :
Review for 2x01 'In My Time Of Dying'


Three months full of waiting and anxiousness and finally we get to the second season and I for one am not disappointed, but shocked, grievous and deeply touched by this episode. So forgive me if I am not very coherent here and jump around a bit.

We start off with a kick-ass rock recap of S1 and I LOVE it! Man, they can do it every time an episode starts and I won't get tired of the clips, so well done. While I am a huge fan of the short bluish lightning opening title, I have to say the new flamish one looks awesome as well and hey, if they change it every season, I can live with it. Love how for a split second the A turns into a pentagram ... neat!

I love the fact that we start exactly where we left the boys, in the crushed Impala. I was a tad surprised that Sam was up and awake again so soon, but he was the farthest away from the impact so it made some sense. He is so determined to not let the demon get his family, even willing to use the last bullet from the Colt in order to protect his father and brother and I love that. Jared seriously killed me in this episode with the emotion he carried into every scene! There is a slight continuity error here, because in Devil's Trap Sam mentioned that they are just 10 minutes away from the next hospital, so it shouldn't be full daylight when the helicopters arrive to get them out of there.

I just love the teaser, with Dean getting up, confused and calling out for his brother first thing! ♥ I love how the camera slowly pans back and shows the huge red EXIT sign in the upper right corner and Dean running straight in the opposite direction. It’s so telling for his behaviour throughout the whole episode. I am just a sucker for symbolic stuff like that. ♥ If Jared kills me with the emotions he brings into every scene, Jensen just impresses me again, displaying the several stages of Dean processing his own death subtly but intense. I have never seen Dean so quiet and subdued like in this episode and Jensen just nails the confusion, desperation and determination of his character perfectly. ♥

Even with finding himself dying in a hospital bed, Dean's first thoughts go out to his family, wondering if they are alright. His overwhelming happiness at seeing Sam alive and well is palpable and I love how he snaps at his brother just a moment later, begging him to lay some mojo on him if necessary. Given his dislike of all things supernatural it clearly emphasises his desperation that he even considers using non-natural forces. On the surface he may be calm and confident, but it's visible that it is a facade and that he is terrified beneath. It's great though, that amidst all the tragedy they brought in little moments of levity, by giving Dean a lot of funny onliners.

John and Sam are still tense. Sam is clearly still frustrated about John expressing his anger over Sam not killing the demon and he is all too ready to assume a second motive behind everything John says, accusing him to not care enough about Dean, so they are soon at each others throats again. I am glad though that they are level-headed enough to think about the Impala and its 'contents' and phoned Bobby to get the car.

And man, what a wreck our beloved Impala is! I love Sam's first incredulous reaction when he sees the car: 'Oh man, Dean is gonna be pissed!', which soon turns into exasperation. For Sam the Impala is an extension of Dean and Bobby’s suggestion to just scrap the car visibly shakes him, clearly drifting from talking about saving the Impala to saving his brother. He won’t give up on Dean, no matter how desolate the situation may seem, there’s really no other option in Sam’s mind, he can't lose Dean now, even less than he could 6 months ago.

The scene with John at Dean's bed, taciturn, pensive and clearly hurting to see his son lying there, is beautiful. I love that Dean is out of focus and blurry, when he starts talking to John, emphasising his ghostly state, until the camera zooms in on him. For the first time in 23 years he is confronting John about his seemingly cold behaviour, and it's incredibly sad that he can only go there when John can't actually hear him. And I can only repeat it, damn, Jensen breaks my heart in this scene 'I've given everything I've ever had', a mixture of anger and plea and desperation, even for the usually stoic Dean there is a point to fully question his father and it seems to be on his death bed and not earlier.

The reaper CGI was incredibly well done, very spooky and ethereal. It's so typical Dean to follow the apparition and instantly focus on it. Dean always needs to be in control of a situation, to be active and the hunt redirects the feelings of powerlessness towards his current situation into something productive, giving him something to do besides mulling over his nearing death.

And then John and Sam get into their next fight and Dean is helplessly watching them again going at each others throat and unlike in Dead Man's Blood he can't just go between them and order them to stop. And his frustration is written all over his face, slowly turning to anger until he goes all Patrick Swayze. Love his puzzled look and the way he delivers that line.

John and Sam's argument is clearly a continuation of the dialogue they started in the car and gets totally out of hand, both directing the blame to the other. Sam now completely switched places, showing how fully he came to understand Dean's point of view on revenge and the priority of family, blaming John for the same obsession he clearly shared during the final episodes of last season. John on the other hand scolds Sam again for not killing the demon, placing the responsibility for Dean's condition on his youngest son, regretting that despite his reservations he involved his boys in the hunt for the demon. It's a futile circle of arguments (again it gives a very good insight in the fights they had in the past) and as John points out later it's pretty much only a lot of head-butting. And Sam's angry 'Go to Hell' was a nice foreshadowing of the coming events and I am pretty sure that Sam will beat himself up over that outburst for the rest of the season.

I wonder if it is the frustration over John and Sam's fight that leads to Dean flatlining, as if his grip on life is fading with his growing irritation with his family. The resuscitation scene is heart-wrenching, Sam’s desperation is tangible, gripping the doorframe, with tears in his eyes, disbelieving at the scene that plays out in front of him and then being overwhelmingly relieved when his brother dodged the bullet. And of course it is Dean who tells Sam not to worry, even when he can't hear him, needing to reassure his brother, maybe just a little bit for his own sake as well. The way Dean keeps talking to Sam and John, despite his knowledge that communication with them is impossible, just moves me, it’s a lovely transference of his habit to talk to himself when he is alone. As a side note: I loved the nod to his dialogue with Sam from Wendigo, pointing out that he can kill the creature as long as it is corporeal.

Dean: "Well, that's crap. You always have a choice. You can either roll over and die or you can keep fighting, no matter what."

Enter Tessa, I really liked her character and I loved Dean's interaction with her. In the beginning, when she fools him into believing that she is just in the same situation as he is, he instantly jumps into caretaker mode, trying to reassure her, finding rational explanations for their current state, trying to ease fear by cracking subtle jokes. I love how he instantly cuts through her 'everything is fate' crap and states that he firmly believes in having choices. Supernatural’s take on the question of fate and destiny versus choice is interesting to look at:

There are probably a dozen different definitions of the terms 'fate' and 'free will' but if we define fate as pre-determined to come to pass, no matter what course of action a person takes and that any choice simply is an illusion, maintained by ignorance, then I am firmly on the side of free will. Like Dean, I do think that we always have a choice, but that the choice we make is mostly determined by who we are at a certain point in time. If we were given full insight we can probably pretty accurately predict how a certain person decides in a defined situation and if that person would be in the exact same circumstances as before, they would very likely make the same choice again, rather than a random choice. So my personal intake on the question of fate vs free will is that the latter exists, but that it is not random but determined in terms of psychological and sociological factors.

When it comes to SN it’s clear they are playing more on the side of choice than fate as well. If we concede that Tessa's statement 'You are living on borrowed time already' is alluding to Dean’s life being unnaturally prolonged by Marshall Hall’s death for him in Faith, then Dean was clearly meant to die after the electrocution, but Sam's choice to fight for his brother's life instead of accepting 'fate' prevented that. Also, as Sam mentions in the Ouja board scene: If the reaper is after Dean because his time is up (which Tessa confirms in her dialogue with Dean "You are not getting back in your body and that's just facts!") his death can't be prevented (fate) but John manages it nonetheless, therefore strongly suggesting the theory that in the SN universe at least an inevitable fate does not exist. It’s more reinforcing the opposition of natural versus supernatural and possibility versus certainty.

The same applies to Nightmare: We don't know, what is causing Sam's visions, but if they are a ‘true' premonition about what is destined to happen to the persons he has visions about, he and Dean wouldn't be able to stop them, so Max's mother or Monica from Salvation would have died, no matter, what course of action the brothers would have taken.

Sam: "Hey. I think maybe you're around. And if you are, don't make fun of me for this, but uhm, well, there's one way we can talk."

The Ouja-board scene was so incredibly cute and touching and on top of it, it was filmed beautifully, with the camera circling around Sam, Dean alternately being in and out of frame, emphasizing his incorporeal existence. I love how Sam anticipates that Dean will make fun of him and his relieved laughter when he realizes that Dean is indeed still there is heart-warming. Relief soon turns to worry again though, when he learns about the Reaper and it's so telling that even if he might have one fight after another with John, his father is the first person he turns to when it comes to finding a solution for Dean’s predicament! 'Dad will know what to do', they always fall back on that security. But Dad isn't there. He is in the basement preparing for summoning the demon. Anybody can tell me why it is always Boiler Rooms? Nice nod to Asylum. Wink

Sam returning to Dean’s bedside, just being there with him, looking for physical closeness and the sincerely grateful and loving look Dean shoots his brother when he thanks him for not giving up on him, once again breaks my heart. The same goes for the scene later on, when Sam pleads with Dean to hang on, admitting how much he needs him, his voice thick with affection. Damn, they know how to rip out my heart in this episode. Even if Sam can't stop himself from getting into a fight with John time and again, he is clearly aware of the dynamics between the three of them, with Dean always trying to play peacekeeper. I am happy he is able to at least acknowledge that here, since we saw him snap at Dean more than once in earlier episodes, when he tried to pacify Sam towards John. Sam and John without Dean would drift apart within a short span of time. Dean is the glue holding the family together and both Sam and John admit to that fact in this episode! ♥

Tessa: "Death is nothing to fear. It's your time to go, Dean. You're living on borrowed time already."

One of the core moments in this episode is Dean's talk to Tessa and her subtle and gentle attempt to convince Dean to let go. I can't even begin to describe how deeply touching that scene was. ♥ I love that there was nearly no music in that scene, just quietness, muted lights and their hushed voices. When Dean tries to bargain with death, after his initial anger, he is so lost and desperate; we've never seen him like that before. It’s so typical for Dean to not show any concerns for his life for his own sake, but only in relation to his family. His first thought naturally goes out to them, Sam in particular, afraid what would become of his brother once he isn’t there anymore to protect him.

Tessa’s revelation that if he chooses to hold on to his life, he will inevitably turn into the very thing he hunts, an angry spirit, visibly shakes him to the core and his determination wavers. While I think that as a hunter Dean must theoretically be aware of the process that leads to angry spirits being born, he just wasn’t able to apply that concept to himself before Tessa pointed it out to him again. His self-image didn’t allow for that kind of transference and the realization of his fate is the only thing able to override his concern for his family. The acceptance of the truth in what Tessa tells him goes hand in hand with the acceptance of his own death, he’s ready to go in the end, at least that’s what I read from his expression. I love how sympathetic Tessa is, so gentle and understanding and caring for Dean's choice here and I can’t help but wonder if she goes through that trouble with every resistant soul.

Demon: "You still need to sweeten the pot!"

In the meantime John is summoning the demon and striking a deal for his son’s life. I have to say that this was the only scene in this emotionally rich episode that partly irritated me. So, if John knew how to summon the demon all along, why didn't he do that earlier? Or at least after he got the Colt? Why following leads criss-cross around the country, trying to hunt him down if he could simply summon him to his side? That doesn't make much sense to me. From the confrontation between John and the demon we learn that John knows a lot more about Sam and the other psychic kids than he told his sons and I am very curious about what that is actually and how he got hold of that much information. It’s of course typical for John to keep his sons on a strict need to know basis ever since they were reunited and in the end he might have done more harm with that policy than he intended.

Another interesting point: The demon needed to possess someone when being conjured. Have his appearances in the Pilot and Salvation also been possessions? At least in the latter episode the way he just dissolves when Sam shoots at him suggested that he was disembodied. Anyway, it is painfully obvious, that the YED just could have killed John there and then but refrains from it because he sees a way better opportunity coming up. While John clearly came with the intention to only offer the YED the Colt, he shows no hesitation to throw his own life in to make him accept the deal. In Dead Man’s Blood John already stated that he didn’t really expect to come out of this fight alive, accepting of his own death long ago, but never willing to accept the death of one of his sons, unable to go through the pain of losing them as well, which kind of foreshadowed his decision here.

The exchange between John and the demon was also interesting because the overall tone of their conversation and the YED’s eagerness to lay his hands on John’s soul, suggested that they were old acquaintances, which makes me think that there may be a connection between the Winchesters and the demon that we don’t know of yet, or that at least John was onto more than I even suspected during that last year. He mentioned the demon has tried to stop him before in Shadow, so who knows the whole story behind that. I am really curious to learn more about that!

John: "You took care of Sammy, you took care of me. You did that! And you never complained, not once!"

John's final words to Dean: Whoa, okay, that just blew me away. ♥ I know I am often hard on John for how he handles things and I still am, but I never doubted that he deeply loves his sons. John makes sure that his last words to his firstborn are not only about his love for him, though that’s in there as well, but mainly about Dean as a person. An acknowledgement of Dean’s immense importance for this family, of the sacrifices he made and of his commitment to Sam and John. For once John is honest, open and shows no restraint emotion when he tells him how proud he is of him.

It’s an appreciation Dean desperately needs to hear from his father, pointing back to the scene in Devil’s Trap where possessed!John said something similar to him and Dean wasn't able to accept the praise, instantly suspecting his father of not being himself. Dean looks touched, confused and terrified at the same time, because he knows something is seriously wrong. But unlike with Sam in Salvation, whom he stopped from giving his farewell speech, he let's John go through with it. When he admits with the small voice of a 4 year old that John is scaring him, it's like a switch 23 years back to a father comforting his frightened child. Both Jensen and Jeff knocked this emotional exchange out of the park! ♥

While my heart goes out to the father who says goodbye to his son, I am angry again with the man who at the same time burdens him with a secret that seems to shatter Dean’s world if his horrified expression is anything to go by. Whatever it was that John told Dean, the fact that he excludes Sam from that talk makes it clear that it has something to do with him and Dean keeping a secret about Sam is something that sooner or later might explode in their faces and drive a wedge between the brothers again. Sad

Anyway, I am happy that Dean got this moment with his father and I am so sad that Sam didn't. Whatever the reasons for John to exclude Sam, the fact that he had no chance to make peace with his youngest son will probably be another drag und undisclosed burden for Sam throughout the season. When he runs over to John’s fallen body, crying for help, instantly reverting from rebellious to frightened, holding his barely recovered brother up as they watch their father die, I knew we just saw the setup for a season full of family drama and angst. And I really want to know what John told Dean. Damn, I am sure we will wait for the end of the season for that LOL.

* * *

Did you notice? When the Reaper goes after the sick little girl and Dean runs towards her room you can hear the nurse call for Dr. Kripke over the voice speaker! A joke from director Phil Sgriccia. *g*



Source

_________________




You're a lot smarter than you look. Of course, you look like a retard ~ Cordelia Chase
This is it: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr Comatose over there. Awesome. ~ Dean Winchester
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
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a.a.k
Cangel 'till the end
Cangel 'till the end


Messages : 17874
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2009
Age : 28
Localisation : In Jensen's arms

MessageSujet: Re: Reviews du net   Sam 5 Nov - 16:14

Citation :
Review for 2x02 'Everybody Loves A Clown'


This week’s episode was written by John Shiban and deals mainly with the immediate effect that John’s death has on the brothers. It’s an intense emotional ride with an ending that left me aching for both boys, S2 certainly starts off with a punch. I’m jumping a bit back and forth here, I hope it’s not too confusing. *g*

It looks like Kripke&Co heard my prayer and will give us a kick-ass recap rock video at the beginning of every episode, which makes me oh so happy. *g* This week’s recap was especially intriguing with the end sequence of the song slowing down, like a slowly stopping heartbeat, showing us John’s sacrifice at the same time. Beautifully done!

Sam: "At least I am not afraid of flying!”
Dean: "Planes crash!”
Sam: "And apparently clowns kill!”


I think only Supernatural can get away with an episode about killer clowns! While I am not particularly afraid of clowns, I have to admit that I did find this clown version creepy. Interestingly the fact that clowns hide their 'true expression' behind an artificial, painted on smile makes a good metaphor for how the brothers are coping with John’s death in this episode, especially Dean. The MotW plot seemed a bit rushed, especially towards the end, but I guess that’s due to the fact that it was a rash distraction manoeuvre from Sam to do something instead of mulling over his guilt and grief, which wasn’t really working at all.

Working on that case just emphasized how much the brothers are affected by John’s loss. Hardly a minute goes by without them being tense, prodding at each other, throwing in faint attempts to be funny, inquisitive looks, helpless attempts to reach out. The usually well oiled Winchester team was fractured. Anyway, I loved this episode again for these brother moments, which were intense, chilling, scary and emotional. At my first viewing I was irritated with the episode though and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I watched it again and then realized what it was: Dean is completely off his game throughout the episode!

He is caught totally off guard by Jo, allowing her to get the drop on him. He is easily intimidated by the blind knife thrower, falls asleep while being on guard duty (which makes me think that Dean got little to no sleep during the past week, worrying, trying to guard his emotions off) and reaching out for Sam's help multiple times. He tries so hard to be his usual snarky and charming self and fails so miserably. Apparently, unlike Jensen, Dean is a very bad actor under stress. His smile is a touch too bright and his cockiness a tad too thick. He is not able to pull off sincere interaction with people most of the time, too bottled up in grief, anger and despair.

His inner walls are up and higher than ever, but he fails to bring his façade up all the way along with it, cracks showing everywhere, emphasizing just how much he is not all right, no matter how often he tries to tell Sam the opposite. So he decides to fix what he can fix and shuts everybody around him off by hiding under the hood of the Impala. He completely internalises his grief, deflecting Sam’s attempts to share by either sarcasm or simply stonewalling his brother. His whole behaviour towards Sam, or other well meaning people throughout the episode, a study in evasiveness.

Dean: "Now that he's dead, now you want to make it right? Well, I'm sorry, Sam, but you can't. It's too little, too late.!”

While Dean is obviously unable to deal with his own emotions, he sharply cuts right through Sam’s newly discovered obedience to Dad’s wishes though, revealing it as an attempt to deal with his guilt towards his father. On several occasions Dean tries to push Sam into admitting that. While he backs down from a direct confrontation about the root of his brother’s sudden motivation to hunt, when he first addresses Sam’s eagerness to take the case in the car, and even later, when Sam admits to having second thoughts about his return to college, he finally snaps when Sam tries again to push Dean into opening up to him about his feelings in regard to John’s death.

Dean’s short outburst - accusing Sam of lying to himself - is brutal in its honesty, and it’s the first time that Dean deliberately uses words to hurt his little brother, although he can clearly see that he’s in distress. But for once Dean isn’t able to give Sam the reassurance and strength he needs from him, his own nerves are lying blank and he has no emotional reservoir to draw from at the moment.

I love though how he visibly berates himself silently just a moment later, when a deeply hurt Sam turns away from him with the excuse to call Ellen. And just as fast and intense as the confrontation took place, it is forgiven, although not forgotten, as Sam's admission that Dean is right at the end of the episode shows. Dean’s anger burns high but is usually short-lived. How he hesitantly stirs the conversation back to the case, using humour to diffuse the tension is beautiful, and in the end he calls his brother 'Sammy' and Sam smiles and easy as that they strike a truce again. ♥

Sam’s attempts to reach out to his brother, trying to get him to admit that he isn’t fine, aren’t quite as effective as Dean’s, mainly because he forces his brother onto the defensive by pushing too hard. While it is a constant push and pull between both of them throughout the episode, it's usually Sam who initiates the confrontation, with Dean pushing back and the situation escalating from there. Dean doesn’t react well to pressure and evades by going from defence to offence. He is completely unable to open up to his brother, which is kind of a step back from the openness he developed towards Sam at the end of last season, and I can’t help but wonder if John’s last words to Dean are responsible for that.

Dean’s inability to verbalise his emotional state builds up a tension within him that explodes in a sudden breakdown at the end of the episode, when he takes a crowbar to his beloved car over and over again, venting all his anger, frustration and grief towards the car he desperately tried to fix earlier. That’s heartbreaking on many different levels: Fixing the Impala wasn’t only about rebuilding the car, it was also about putting himself back together after his world shattered and left him just as damaged as his car. By destroying what he already accomplished, it becomes painfully clear, that Dean isn’t able to fix himself, his usual defence mechanisms are failing. Sad

His violent outburst against his car is also of a high symbolic value, as the car is his connection to his past and to his father. It’s his home and his companion in the life he leads. So, his rage is also directed against John, against the life he chose, against his sacrifices and burdens, and with hindsight that’s Dean’s character arc overall in S2, summarised in one single, powerful moment. Jensen pulls angry!Dean off with so much intensity, it’s chilling, scary and makes me hurt for him so deeply. Dean’s blank expression after he exerted himself is devastating to watch.

Sam: "I miss him, man. And I feel guilty as hell. And I'm not all right. Not at all. But neither are you. That much I know!"

Sam on the other hand deals differently with his grief. As predicted he internally berates himself that his last moments with his father have been directed by anger and resentment, guilt heavily weighing him down. Unlike Dean, Sam has no practical task to distract him from the raw hurt, so he tries to cope by retroactively being the good son he thinks John expected him to be and the caring brother he wants to be for Dean. It’s interesting to see that while Sam was withdrawn after Jess' death and Dean had to get him out of his shell, he freely seeks out Dean’s company and dialogue with him after John’s death, while Dean is the one unable to share the grief; a role reversal for both characters. Sam seeks comfort, which Dean isn’t able to provide or even able to accept from Sam either.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how Sam’s newly found, but clearly misdirected dedication to the hunt will play out further along the season. Denying himself his own dreams and goals in life for the memory of his father can’t ultimately be the right path for Sam. I hope when he gets past his first overwhelming grief and guilt, he remembers that John wanted for him to go to school back in Salvation and that he admitted in Dead Man’s Blood that hunting was never the life he wished for his sons.

Ellen: "Hey, I just run a saloon. But hunters have been known to pass through now and again. Including your dad a long time ago. John was like family once."

This episode we also saw the introduction of three new recurring characters. I think most of this introduction was handled very well. The focus still was pretty much solely on the Sam'n'Dean interaction, the Roadhouse didn’t take away from that so it was a welcomed addition. I liked the location/set they chose here, very high noon-ish, which is very fitting and emphasized by the excellent music as well. The whole atmosphere had a classic western appeal to it - tumbling weeds, outlaws, lone riders and all - which I enjoyed very much.

As far as characters go, I liked Ash a lot; he was funny, though a bit stereotypical and I liked his snarky interaction with Dean. I would really like to know, what kind of accent he had, he was a bit difficult to understand at times. They really managed to make this character tangible with a few strokes. Out of the three introduced characters, he developed the most personality in the few scenes he got.

As for Ellen, I liked her. The actress was very appealing and gave off some very warm and laid-back vibes, but with an edge beneath, which made me warm up to her very fast. We didn’t get to see much of her throughout the episode, so I look forward to a deeper exploration of that character. And just like everybody else I was of course wondering about her relation to John. I mean, we know that John was devoted to Mary, after 22 years he still wears his wedding ring and looks at it lovingly, but I can see him taking comfort in the warmth of another woman, without ever losing his dedication to his wife. It's interesting that Dean brushes the thought off instantly, while Sam is more curious and open to the idea. Just shows how much Dean is still stuck in the past with his picture of the perfect family, not able to move on from that and obviously having difficulties to imagine that John did.

It made me think about John again in this episode. Ellen mentions that John was like family back in the past and it makes me wonder, why John never mentioned this place and the people to Sam and Dean and why he never tried to bring them there. Ellen’s statement suggests that John was a frequent guest and it pains me to think that John left his small sons alone in a motel room when he was visiting the Roadhouse. While he obviously couldn’t take them on a hunt, it’s incomprehensible why he didn’t take them with him when he was with friends in a homey location. Thinking back to Sam’s allusions about John’s affinity to alcohol, maybe Ellen’s Roadhouse provided a place for him to swallow his sorrows with a drink without affecting his boys, sparing them the sight of their drunken and broken father. It makes me wish for more insight into John’s past and the aftermath of Mary’s death for him. A goldmine of untold Winchester stories!

This brings me to the last addition, which was the infamous Jo, who had fandom in an uproar throughout the summer, because Kripke stated that he brings her in as a love interest for Dean! I know, I tend to be overly protective of Dean, but I am not generally against seeing him in a relationship. I really wanted to like Jo, but so far she didn’t do it for me. First off, I don’t like that type of girl, looks-wise, too stylish and way too flashy. I didn’t like her hitting on an obviously grieving man she just met a couple of hours ago. It seemed inappropriate and insensitive. Not that Dean isn’t able to handle that situation, I just find it thoughtless from her side, which made her come off as a tad immature.

What I really did like was the short exchange they had at the table, when Dean openly told her it wasn’t the right time and place for a flirt. A very quiet and sympathetic little exchange, but then I was annoyed at her behaviour again at the end, shushing Sam away with an 'hinting' look and acting way too girly with Dean. I really hope the next impressions on her are a bit more serious and likeable, she really needs to improve a lot to be a match for Dean. But I am willing to cut her some slack.

Oh, I nearly forgot - a thought about the funeral scene: I couldn’t help it but my first thought was, is an open cremation in the field even allowed in the states? In Europe at least this would be impossible. Also, I just can’t see the hospital handing over John’s body to the boys, there are certain procedures to follow after the death of a patient, plus I would think that to issue a death certificate would lead to a deeper digging into the legal status of a certain Mister McGillicuddy, which should produce some problems for the boys.

So, it needed an initial suspense of disbelief to fully get into the moment for me. Sam being in tears and Dean quiet and petrified was very touching and a good visual for how the brother's react in this episode, with Sam letting his emotions out freely and Dean trying to reel them in. Dean lying to Sam about Dad’s last moment with him made me feel uneasy. Dammit, what did John tell him? How long can Dean lie to Sam about this? After all, he is not John, his relationshipt to Sam is different, more based on trust and loyalty. Wouldn’t they be better off if Sam knew about what may lie ahead of him? I can’t help but being afraid that this 'secret' is exploding in their faces at some point.

* * *

Did you know? Actually it is Jensen Ackles who is afraid of clowns, ever since he saw the tv mini-series 'It' based on the Stephen King novel about a killer clown.


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You're a lot smarter than you look. Of course, you look like a retard ~ Cordelia Chase
This is it: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr Comatose over there. Awesome. ~ Dean Winchester
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Messages : 17874
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MessageSujet: Re: Reviews du net   Sam 5 Nov - 16:15

Citation :
Review for 2x03 'Bloodlust'

Okay, it's now official: This season is going to kill me! Ever since the finale of last season it was my biggest fear that the writers kill John off and give Dean's character a dark turn as a result, so this episode hit right home for me and left me worried about Dean and where his path may lead him. I really have to have trust in the writers that they are not going to break him completely or my night sleep is seriously endangered. *g*

I enjoyed this episode's plot more than the last one, not only because I never cared much about clowns, but also because unlike last week, the plot this time was more closely interwoven with the brothers' dynamics and reflected back on them on so many different levels that it was interesting to watch how the plot unfolds.

Gordon: "See, most people spend their lives in shades of gray. Is this right? Is that wrong? Not us."

The question of good and evil, black and white and all the shades of grey in between was something brewing under the surface of last season on different occasions, mostly referring to their cases where humans were involved, like in Nightmare, Faith or The Benders, but also shortly in Dead Man's Blood and Skin from the monster's point of view, so I was glad the show addressed this topic in more length here. While I think the writers handled a lot of the issues quite well in this episode, there’s also a bit of a simplification going on in the depiction of the black & white position of the brothers, presumably in order to drive a point home, which at times doesn’t do the complexity of the characters justice.

I think the show has been blurry in regard to Sam and Dean's moral boundaries over the course of S1. While it is true that Dean has always been quick to suggest killing humans who abuse the supernatural for their own gain, he has also been willing to listen to his brother’s voice of moral reason, and that is true for Dean's behaviour in Bloodlust as well. On the other hand, Dean has been the only one so far to show remorse over actually killing a person - through direct action (Tom) or as an indirect consequence of his actions (Meg) - which hasn't always been the case with Sam (see below). Dean has also been the one, who was able to relate to Sue Ann’s desperation to save her husband in Faith, while Sam classified her as evil without a second thought.

While Sam tends to be the voice of reason in the brothers' relationship, he didn't always have the moral high ground in S1. I don't think Sam had any real remorse for saving Dean's life at the expense of a stranger's life in Faith. He apologized to Dean, but I felt that was more for his brother's sake. He knew how much Dean would resent that sacrifice. Sam's conscience didn't seem to stir either, when he watched Sue Ann die at the hand of the Reaper. He didn't even attempt to help her and showed no remorse about the fact that she died as a result of his intervention. In The Benders Sam left Pa Bender with Deputy Hudak, knowing that there was a good chance that she was tempted to kill her brother's murderer, but he showed no sign of ruefulness about that either. So, on occasion Sam’s moral boundaries are skewed as well, especially if it serves his sense of justice.

Sam and Dean might not actively kill 'evil' human beings, but they certainly don't seem to have any problems if the perpetrators are brought to 'justice' through their intervention, no matter how it comes to pass, and that's definitely not a flawless moral stance. Granted, in all of these cases humans have been at the centre of the moral dilemma and not the monsters Sam and Dean usually hunt. However, I would argue that just like Dean tends to transfer his hate of the supernatural to humans who involve themselves with it, he is also able to transfer his ability to see shades of grey in human 'monsters' to monsters of the supernatural variety, as long as he can relate on a human level to them. I think the same reverse logic applies to Sam’s ability to suppress moral considerations, if it suits his personal feelings.

Anyway, the vampires in Bloodlust have been the first supernatural creatures in Supernatural to present a grey area within a 'monster' type. That nicely refers back to Dead Man’s Blood, where Luthor already pleaded for the vampire’s right to live, but with different arguments. It’s worth pointing out though, that Dean is right when he says to Sam that killing people is in the vampire’s nature and that didn’t change with Lenore’s group. It's not that the vampires gave up feeding off humans because they came to the conclusion that killing humans is morally wrong, it’s simply a way to ascertain their own survival by avoiding to be hunted down and be killed themselves. Lenore says explicitly that they adapted, because they realized that they weren't at the top of the food chain, which clearly suggests that they would still kill humans if that was the case. So, does the fact that they quit feeding really make them less evil? What constitutes 'evil', the intention or the act?

In the end letting the vampires go sure was the right, the humane, thing to do, but it’s a risk, given that they have no moral compass to act on and could potentially revert to their old habits, if Lenore’s struggle to hold Eli in check is any indication. The brothers let potentially dangerous creatures go, because they don't act on their intentions in a given moment, trusting in their ability to control their urges, which can be seen as a reflection of modern jurisdiction, and I really love that about the episode.

As pointed out above though, I think the suggestion that Dean cannot differentiate, cannot see the shades of grey, while Sam can, is too clear cut and simplistic and doesn’t do the characters justice. It’s not even correct in this specific episode! Dean might see black (vampires=killers=evil) in this particular case, but Sam doesn't see grey either, he sees white (they don't kill now=good). Sam's approach to the topic is just as simple as Dean’s. He is awfully quick to trust the vampires just because they didn't kill him. They still knocked him out, kidnapped and threatened him, which is not exactly a peaceful course of action, when they could simply have approached him in human form, trying to seek out a dialogue.

Also, even when Dean is still clearly convinced about the vampires' evil intentions and eager to help Gordon to wipe out the nest, he reacts appalled when Gordon tortures Lenore. He feels sympathy for her suffering and promptly orders Gordon to stop. Dean might have felt satisfaction, when he killed the vampire at the mill, but he doesn’t feel satisfaction or even indifference at witnessing Lenore’s pain. And that not only indicates that his behaviour at the mill was influenced by other factors than just hatred for supernatural beings, but also that he is able to see through his hate, if given the right incentive.

In conclusion: Dean clearly hates supernatural beings, a result of his life-long personal, as well as professional, experience, while Sam is usually the more reasonable, morally grounding part in their relationship. Still, I feel that to amplify these general and not completely exclusive character traits to a point where the brothers are reduced to black and white positions, is a disservice to the characters, and I found that part of the episode disappointing. In any case, it has to be taken into consideration that Dean is in a particularly twisted frame of mind in the aftermath of John’s death, so his hardened stance throughout the episode can also be seen as a direct result of that.

Dean: "I can't talk about this to Sammy. No, I got to keep my game face on. But, uh, truth is I'm not handling it very well."

Dean’s character arc directly develops further from where Everybody Loves A Clown left off. He is restless, itching for a hunt, looking for a vent to all his pent up feelings and the strain to keep his emotions in check discharges violently on the first opportunity, when he decapitates a vampire with a raw brutality. Man, I have to admit that was chilling to watch! I thought I already saw Dean’s scary face in his interrogation with Meg, but the writers took Dean a step further here, and personally I could have gone without that gruesome scene. Dean’s expression of satisfaction, hate and anger when he kills that vampire is disturbing, and I guess my own expression mirrored Sam's, a mixture of deep concern, worry and horror. Dean's subsequent bleak and defiant look, when he meets his brother's eyes, tells a completely different story though. Dean knows he overreacted, but he is nowhere near willing to admit that to his brother - no doubt trying to avoid to expose himself to another 'you have to deal with dad’s death' lecture from Sam - so he latches onto Gordon instead, looking for a strong affirmative support for his self-destructive behaviour.

I think that Dean is so used to define himself through John and his family, that he is totally lost after his father's death. He doesn't know anymore, who he is as a person. He is like a drowning man, helplessly lashing about him, but hurting himself and those close to him in the process. He takes to Gordon so fast, because he needs to fill the void John's death created in his life - and Sam is spot on about that - but in the end Dean needs to realize that he has to find his own way now, that he has to take lead, instead of being led, and that he has to grow into a man of his own. When Dean questions their past hunts and John’s decision to raise them to hate all supernatural beings, he takes a step to separate himself from his father’s ways. He is finally able to openly admit to Sam that John wasn’t perfect - whereas in the last season he usually tried to defend their father’s actions and decisions towards Sam - and I think that's the right direction for Dean to take.

Gordon: "Dean, it’s not a crime to need your job."

I found the introduction of Gordon especially intriguing. He is a dark representative of what Dean could become further down the road, if he doesn't manage to keep his violence in check. Someone, who uses his anger and hate for the hunt, who is eroded from the inside out by negative emotions, reckless, relentless, almost just as inhuman as the vampires he hunts. I am glad that despite the connection Dean feels to the other hunter at first, he soon realizes how unhinged Gordon really is and subsequently rejects him. When Gordon states that Dean is a killer, just like himself, it's obvious that Dean doesn’t agree. After all, for Dean the hunt has always been about the people he saves first and foremost and only secondly about the creatures he brings down, and that’s a major difference. The hunt never was a means to an end for Dean, it had a purpose beyond that, even if he momentarily can’t focus on that aspect of his job.

Anyway, like the Winchesters, Gordon was drawn into the hunting lifestyle by a personal tragedy - the guilt over the death of his sister at the hand of vampires - and Dean visibly relates to that. However, unlike Dean, Gordon isn’t grounded in his family or even by a hunting partner, he is a lone wolf, who allowed his obsession to take over and excuse any extreme action as reasonable. The way Gordon tortures Lenore shows that he lost any point of reference for humane behaviour long ago, and while Dean certainly feels the same pull of darkness inside himself in this episode, it’s not only Sam’s influence that keeps him on track, but also his own realisation of the errors of Gordon’s ways! Dean is visibly appalled at the sight of Gordon torturing Lenore and outright shocked at his confession that he hunted down and killed his sister himself.

As an interesting sidenote: When Gordon suggests that Dean would do the same in his situation, i.e. that he wouldn’t hesitate to kill Sam, if he was turned into a monster, the camera stays on Dean's expression, while Sam and Gordon talk. He is visibly distraught at the suggestion, a flicker of anxiety and uncertainty crosses his face, when he looks at his brother. This short moment was too obvious to not be of any significance, and it brings up the speculation that the secret John told Dean entails Sam going evil at some point and Dean having to fight his own brother! Sad

Anyway, I love Dean’s instant reaction to Gordon's threat to hurt Sam with his knife, how he finally sides again with his brother and shakes off Gordon’s influence over him. The fight between Dean and Gordon was great, a nice visual for Dean fighting down his own darkness in the form of Gordon. Meeting the other hunter was a lecture in self-reflection for Dean, which he really needed in order to see where his self-destructive behaviour may lead him!

Sam: "Dad's dead. And he left a hole, and it hurts so bad you can't take it, but you can't just fill up that hole with whoever you want to. It's an insult to his memory."

Another vital part of Dean’s self-reflection process is grounded in his brother though. I loved Sam in this episode more than ever for his devotion, loyalty and love for Dean. I like the reversal of roles we see in this season a lot. Last season I have always been grateful for the fact that Dean was at Sam’s side in the aftermath of Jessica's death, supportive, a rock, keeping Sam grounded and preventing that he burned out over his guilt and need for revenge. Sam needed Dean and he was there, steady and stable. This season Sam is doing the same for Dean, and I am very happy about that. It’s important to remember though that Sam lost his father, too, and since Dean is spiralling out of control, he has to deal with his feelings of grief and guilt on his own - on top of his worry about his brother - which makes his efforts especially admirable.

Anyway, Sam's reaction to Gordon is very much the direct opposite to Dean's - cautious, distrustful and wary. Sam is visibly unhappy to see that Dean bonds so quickly with Gordon and even trusts him, a total stranger, over his own brother, and I think his rejection of the other hunter is rooted in jealousy as much as it is rooted in worry about Dean. Despite Sam's best efforts, Dean is unwilling to open up to him and to see his brother connect so easily to a stranger, where he himself is held at an arm's length, undoubtedly feels like a further rejection to Sam. Furthermore, Sam is not used to being the caretaker in his relationship with Dean, his position as the younger sibling didn't prepare him for handling his brother's fragile psyche, and so he pushes too hard and corners Dean, which, unsurprisingly, gets him exactly nowhere with his brother.

Sam's attempt to directly confront Dean by cutting right through his brother's defence mechanisms and calling him on his true feelings backfires spectecularly, as Dean simply strikes back, like a wounded animal that is attacked. I have to say that it caught me by surprise when Dean hit Sam, even though I should have foreseen that. Dean moved on from verbal hits against his brother in Everybody Loves A Clown to physical one’s in Bloodlust, his reaction to Sam’s concern escalating in the same fashion as the rest of his behaviour in this episode. I loved Sam’s collected reaction to the blow, clearly seeing his brother's reaction for what it is, namely a defensive stance, and neither hitting back nor backing down from his position, and in the end his persistence does come through to Dean.

Sam: "Guess I have to stick around to be a pain in the ass then!"

The final scene, where Dean is unable to simply apologize to Sam for hitting him, asking Sam to just hit him back instead, and Sam’s amused reaction to Dean’s proposal was just adorable. ♥ And while Dean did a lot of talking to the wrong guy in this episode, in the end he is able to talk to Sam again, and the sincerity in this little exchange with Sam gives me hope that Dean will come through this trial intact.

It’s interesting that Dean’s admission that his instincts tell him to kill every supernatural being, echoes his statement that it is instinct that induces vampires to kill every human. In the end though, both Dean and the vampires didn’t act on those instincts, thus demonstrating that Lenore’s hope that both sides can change is not entirely misplaced. Sam’s quiet reassurance that Dean didn’t kill Lenore is what matters in the end was heart-warming. He clearly feels sympathy at Dean’s self-doubt and tries to show him that he always has the choice.

Dean’s acknowledgment of his violent feelings and his active examinations of his motivations and fears, was an important step for Dean. Only if he is able to reflect on his own weaknesses, he can fight them and actively decide to not go down the same route Gordon took. Dean might be like Gordon to a certain extent, but it’s in his reach to actively choose the direction he takes, rather than just let it happen, and that gives him the advantage, especially with Sam at his side. ♥

What else was noteworthy:

(1) Apart from the excellent, yet scary, character insights in this episode, it also managed to provide us with a lot of fun scenes. Especially the first ten minutes of the episode were a pure fangirl heaven! A spooky moonlight chase scene that ends with a gruesome decapitation? Very nice! The return of the Impala? A truly celebratory moment! The beautiful camera work and lighting turned the simple scene of the Impala racing down the highway into a tribute to the car. And AC/DC's Back in Black? I think we can all agree that there couldn’t possibly be a more fitting song for that scene. That was just awesome! ♥

(2) Two changes of costumes within five minutes was just delightful, as was the banter between the brothers during the morgue scene, 'Silence Of The Lambs' references included! I mean, what more can a girl ask for? ♥ Even though the viewer (and Sam apparently) is aware of the fact that Dean is indeed wearing a game face here - although with much more success than in the last episode - I couldn’t help but enjoy this first ten minutes thoroughly, if only for the moments of light-heartedness they brought into the ongoing drama of this season.

(3) Unlike many other fans, I am not very keen on seeing Whedonverse actors in Supernatural. For various reasons I like to see Supernatural as far away from the Jossverse as possible, but I can say I really enjoyed Amber Benson as Lenore. She did a convincible job, in fact, I wouldn’t necessarily have recognized her instantly, which always is a good sign, acting wise. On a sidenote: I was particularly fond of the actor who played the Sheriff. Sometimes Supernatural comes up with this small side characters, who are very lovable and funny - Jerry from Phantom Traveller comes to mind - and this character was one of them, lively and tangible in one short scene.

In conclusion: So far S2 managed to exceed my expectations, which makes me very happy, since I tend to be overly pessimistic. Even with the stuff I feared the most for this season, the way it plays out on the screen so far is re-assuring. I love Supernatural for many reasons, and one of it is that despite what the boys go through, even if it is as scary and disturbing as in this episode, the show very rarely ends without Sam and Dean coming clean with each other to a certain extent.

And last but not least:
Gordon: "Lighten up a little, Sammy!"
Sam: "He (nods in Dean’s direction) is the only one who gets to call me that!" ♥


* * *

Did you notice? The orderly’s name in the morgue is J. Manners, which of course refers to director Kim Manners and Dean addresses him as Jeff/John, which are JDM's/Daddy Winchester's names.


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You're a lot smarter than you look. Of course, you look like a retard ~ Cordelia Chase
This is it: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr Comatose over there. Awesome. ~ Dean Winchester
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
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Cangel 'till the end
Cangel 'till the end


Messages : 17874
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2009
Age : 28
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MessageSujet: Re: Reviews du net   Sam 5 Nov - 16:16

Citation :
Review for 2x04 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things'

This week’s episode by Raelle Tucker brought a preliminary closure to the 4-episode character arc, dealing with John’s death and its immediate fallout for Sam and Dean and in addition it is a perfect example of how plot and character exploration can go hand in hand! Wonderful! ♥

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things was the perfect symbiosis between monster-of-the-week plot and in depth exploration of character issues, without adding a catalyst like Gordon. I always love the plot the most when it is directly linked to the brothers' dynamics and/or character arcs. While I do enjoy a good monster plot on its own, I am mainly interested in how it actually moves the character development and reflects back on the Winchesters, and I think this week’s episode managed that beautifully.

Dean: "What’s dead should stay dead!"

I have to jump to the end scene first, because it is so pivotal to the understanding of what Dean has been going through these last couple of weeks in general, and in this episode in particular. Dean is grieving the loss of his father, yes, but his issues reach far beyond grief. He is additionally burdened by a combination of survivor's guilt, self-loathing and anger. His final confession to Sam breaks down into two main arguments: Firstly, he feels guilty for being the cause of John’s death, strongly suspecting a connection between his recovery and his father’s sudden demise. Secondly, he loathes the thought that he has been brought back from the 'dead' by supernatural means. Dean basically questions his integrity as a person, and started to perceive himself as one of the monsters he hunts, as a supernatural anomaly, and he feels that it would have been better, if he had died in his father's place. "It wasn’t natural!"

Obviously Dean doesn’t remember his encounter with Tessa in In My Time Of Dying, but his statements here echoe his conversation with the reaper, who ultimately convinced Dean to accept his own death by pointing out to him that he will become an angry spirit, if he doesn't come to terms with dying. To turn into one of the very things he hunts is Dean's own personal nightmare and it's a tragedy on a cosmic scale that John’s sacrifice unintentionally achieved the one thing that has always been unacceptable for Dean. Sad Back in Faith Dean already struggled with the fact that Marshall Hall died to save him, but the burden of John’s sacrifice pushes him over the edge. It’s very typical for Dean to shoulder the guilt of a decision on which he had no influence whatsoever.

Dean’s confession sheds a completely new light on his out-of-control behaviour in the last two episodes, thus adding a new level of depth to his character. Dean’s unrelenting stance towards the vampires in Bloodlust suddenly reveals itself as a new facet of self-hatred. It's obvious that his natural dislike of supernatural beings has been amplified by his own self-loathing. Additionally, it shows that Dean's violent outburst against the Impala at the end of Everybody Loves A Clown has not only been a manifestation of his anger at himself, but also expresses his anger towards John for putting him in this situation. Last but not least, his confession also reveals that Dean is talking about himself throughout Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, when he repeatedly states that what’s dead should stay dead, and not about Angela or John!

Dean completely identifies with Angela’s case. They both have been brought back from the dead against their will and their perspectives on life have been changed in the process. When Dean describes zombies as vicious, violent and nasty, he obviously refers to himself, caught up in self-loathing. And his verbal attack of Angela’s father is simply redirected anger at his own father, using Professor Mason as a substitute for John. Man, that’s heartbreaking! The parallels between Dean and Angela are played beautifully here! Where Angela argues in her confrontation with Sam that she is still a person, intent on defending her right to live, Dean confesses to his brother that he isn’t a person anymore and argues for his own death, thus clearly demonstrating how much he is still himself. Brilliant! Kudos to Raelle Tucker; this was an unexpected but believable twist.

I utterly adore how the last three episodes intertwine to one coherent character arc. ♥ The progression of Dean’s character development in the aftermath of John’s death - from his silence in Everybody Loves A Clown, over his physical violence in Bloodlust, to the verbalisation of his feelings in Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things - was handled with much care and psychologically believable. I love that the writers took the risk and gave Sam and Dean's grieving period the appropriate amount of space and time in the show. Too many other shows gloss over traumatizing events within the span of one episode, if they give them any significant fallout at all.

Sam: "Stop. Please, Dean, it's killing you. Please. We've already lost Dad. We've lost Mom. I've lost Jessica. And now I'm going to lose you too?"

While Dean moved on from his physical violence in Bloodlust, Sam learns to grow past his confrontational behaviour from last week’s episode as well. While his initial suspicion that Dean tries to fabricate a case just to keep himself busy and to avoid dealing with his grief is understandable, it’s of course no route that would win him his brother’s confidentiality. Again, in his persistence to get Dean to talk - instead just giving him time to process his feelings and come to him on his own - he manages to push his brother even farther away at first. It is visible that he desperately needs Dean to open up, not only for Dean's sake but for his own as well. He looks incredibly tired and worn out throughout the episode, the strain Dean’s behaviour puts on him is obvious, and while I understand Dean’s annoyance with Sam’s accusations, I also love that Sam at least never stops trying. ♥

It’s only after Dean goes ballistic on Angela’s father and accuses him of having brought his daughter back from the dead, that Sam realises that he needs to approach his brother differently, if he wants him to open up. He finally goes from attacking Dean and trying to push him into talking about his feelings, to expressing his own feelings and fears instead, and that always works better with Dean. This way it becomes less about Dean himself and more about Sam and that's a completely different angle for Dean to consider. He hates talking about his own feelings, but he can’t deny his little brother when he sees him in distress from his own behaviour.

I love how Sam's speech to Dean on the sidewalk mirrored their dialogue in Wendigo, just with reversed roles for the brothers. Back then, in the aftermath of Jessica's death, Dean tried to convince Sam that he can’t hold on to all the anger and guilt or it will kill him eventually, now it is Sam who tries to convince Dean that his behaviour in the wake of John's death is self-destructive. When Sam confesses that he is afraid of losing Dean, just like he lost Mary, Jess and John, that finally punches right through Dean’s defences. I think Sam's desperate plea is just as much a motivation for Dean to finally open up about his feelings, as the self-reflection that Dean experiences while working on the zombie case. Sam’s admission deflates Dean’s anger visibly and although he keeps his focus firmly on the case, his stance towards his brother softens instantly. ♥

Sam: "It's not about a body, or, or a casket. It's about her memory, okay?"

Going back to the beginning to the episode, I found Sam's wish to visit Mary's grave incredibly touching. I thought about the fact that it’s not even a year ago that Dean slammed Sam into the bridge pier for disrespecting Mary's memory and here he is, searching closure over his mother's grave. The recent loss of his father and the connection to his family he restored over the course of S1 obviously re-established a feeling of closeness to the mother he never got to know. His tears and his heart-felt 'I miss you, mum!' were heartbreaking. For some reason Sam burying John's military dog tags was a symbolic closure act that had a different impact on me than the burning of his body, it was peaceful, a goodbye. It's also the second time in the show that we see Sam mourning at a grave, even if the first one was a dream, but I still like his ability to talk and find comfort there.

Dean of course is having none of it. He is way too far away from having any kind of closure at all! I was wondering about his reluctance to go near the grave, once he was there. Was it really only about the fact that he thought it was irrational to pay his respects to an empty grave? Was the memory of losing Mary too much on top of his grief for John? Or was it Dean's self-loathing that kept him away, the thought that he somehow impurifies Mary’s grave? Still, his pensive look back to Mary's grave at the end of the episode makes me think it was good that Sam dragged him there.

Talking of, another moment in this episode that I loved very much was the opening scene between the brothers in the car. I think it's noteworthy that while Dean reacts dismissive to Sam's suggestion to visit their mother’s grave, he still passes instantly on Sam’s offer to just drop him at the graveyard and drive to the Roadhouse instead! It’s the first instance where Sam doesn’t push Dean, but gives him an alternative and promptly Dean comes around. Theoretically it would have been a good opportunity to a) find out more about the hunter community and John’s involvement there and b) to avoid Sam’s nagging questions about his feelings, but his readiness to stick with Sam instead, easily reveals his negative reaction to Sam's suggestion as a distraction manoeuvre to get Sam to change his course.

Dean: "So tell me, what could you possibly say to make that all right?"

To close the circle, I return to the end scene once more. What can I say, it just killed me. After all is said and done and the case and Angela are at rest, Dean is finally able to acknowledge the effect Sam’s words earlier had on him and he breaks the silence he imposed on himself. I love how he wordlessly pulls off the street, sits down on the hood of the car and hesitantly starts to talk to Sam, never making eye contact in the process. They had a lot of physical distance over the last two episodes, so I loved how Sam awkwardly and silently comes to sit beside his brother, just close enough to be a reassuring presence, letting him say his piece.

Seeing his brother so devastated visibly rattles Sam and while he tries to comfort Dean at first, he falls silent after Dean’s last admission. There is absolutely nothing he could say to make this better for his brother; he pushed him to talk, needed Dean to talk, but the scale of what lies behind his brother’s walls stuns him. I am glad Sam remains silent, acknowledging that Dean’s pain isn't fixable with any amount of words, no matter how well-meaning and sincere. Any word of reassurance would ring hollow after that and all Sam can do is hope that him being there is enough to pull Dean through this

The slow camera pan back to the beautiful wide angle shot of the brothers side by side, but broken, leaves me breathless. The contrast between the inner turmoil of the characters and the quiet peace of the scenery is excellent! Kudos to Kim Manners!

What else was noteworthy:

(1) This episode didn’t only offer doom and gloom, but also plenty of fun. I'll predict that 'Sam watches porn' will become an instant classic in fandom! ♥ It’s great that the writers toyed with viewer’s expectations here and chose the more reserved Sam for that humorous scene, instead of the 'womanizer' Dean. I loved Dean’s little 'awkward' comment when he walks in on his brother, as well as his mocking expression when he sees the skin-channel ad on the tv. The numerous porn jokes he cracks at Sam's expense over the course of the episode are just hilarious! They are such blokes! ♥

(2) Dean’s facial expressions and his delivery of lines while interrogating Angela’s roommate Lindsey were extremely funny to watch, as was the typical brother banter while digging the grave. By the way, that's something I'll never grow tired of, the digging of the graves I mean - well, the banter as well, obviously. Although I always have to wonder how Sam and Dean manage to dig these huge and neatly squared holes in just a couple of hours, not to mention that nobody ever catches them while doing it. The magic of television I guess!

(3) I also loved that once again Dean is depicted as the competent hunter he is. He picks up the job on a hunch - lead by his instincts - and then works the case from every angle, despite Sam's disapproval. Aside from the fact that he loses it, when the case hits too close home, he is professional, creative and resourceful. I hate it when the writers try to dumb Dean down, like in Provenance. While I do think that Sam is right with his assumption that Dean picks up the case so fast in order to avoid thinking about Mary or John, I actually like that this episode shows that his grief doesn’t diminish his ability to work a job thoroughly.

(4) Lastly, I am not all that well-versed in zombie lore, but I found the way they were presented here interesting. Instead of the standard low witted and slow, brainless creatures of the average zombie movie, the writers chose a different approach and kept them very close to their human pendants. In the end Angela was still looking for faithful love, just with a completely skewed perspective and more driven by anger and violence. As so often in Supernatural the creature turns against her creator in the end and spares Sam and Dean the moral dilemma to take actions against Neil themselves. Still, it’s noteworthy that despite his distaste for people who meddle with the supernatural, Dean does try to save Neil, when he offers him to just leave with them.

In conclusion: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things was a brilliant episode, certainly one of my favourites so far! With Dean finally breaking out of his self-destructive tailspin, I expect the brothers to return to a less strained relationship in the next episode. At least for a while, John’s secret is still lingering in the back, waiting to send them into yet another crisis!

* * *

Did you know? Drawing on his emotions for the end scene had Jensen emotionally so drained that he took off the road after the shoot by the roadside, trying to recollect himself. Jared followed him, hugged him and told him that it was a really great scene! ♥






Source

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You're a lot smarter than you look. Of course, you look like a retard ~ Cordelia Chase
This is it: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr Comatose over there. Awesome. ~ Dean Winchester
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Messages : 17874
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2009
Age : 28
Localisation : In Jensen's arms

MessageSujet: Re: Reviews du net   Mer 24 Oct - 22:41

Je veux juste dire que j'adore l'analyse profonde faite au niveau des frères. Elle est très juste IMO:

Citation :
Review for 8x03 'Heartache'


I will be the first one to admit that Brad Bruckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming do not exactly have a good track record with their scripts for Supernatural. I mean, episodes like Route 666 or What’s Up, Dr. Phil are not exactly in Supernatural’s hall of fame. So I went into Heartache with very low expectations, only to be pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. I daresay that Heartache is the first episode this season that managed to truly engage me, emotionally, and that is most certainly owed to the fact that it takes a step back from the mytharc and focuses entirely on the exploration of Sam and Dean’s current issues. Character driven episodes just appeal so much more to me than plot driven ones, and obviously Heartache is no exception to that rule.


* * *

I guess it is well-known by now that episodes like Heartache are my favourite kind of Supernatural episode – Sam and Dean on the road, working a case that is a thinly veiled metaphor for the state of the brotherly relationship and dealing with their various personal issues along the way. In short, Sam and Dean’s relationship is at the centre of every aspect of the narrative. Moreover, throughout the episode the brothers actively engage in an honest exchange about their different perspectives, about their emotions and future goals – even if they still hold things back, of course – and that is one thing that was sorely lacking from the brothers’ interaction in S7. Now, I know that, as usual, the majority of fandom will hold Sam’s position in the brothers’ argument about hunting versus a normal life against him, but there is nothing inherently wrong about Sam and Dean finding different purposes in life. After all, two people can love each other deeply and still want/need different things. Sam’s desire to quit hunting is no more selfish than Dean’s desire to continue hunting, and it is hardly fair to expect either of them to sacrifice his dream for the other. And the fact that Sam finds meaning in a life outside hunting does not devaluate Dean’s desire to keep hunting and vice versa. There is simply no right or wrong position in their argument, just two equally valid points of view. It is important to keep in mind though that we still have no idea how the brothers got from point A (Dean being clinically depressed, Sam being terrified and desperate) to point B (both having found a new, albeit different, purpose in life), so any interpretation of their positions is inevitably flawed. It may be easier to track Dean’s journey at this point in the season than Sam’s, but that does not mean that Sam’s journey will be any less comprehensible once we know his full story.

Dean: "I know where I’m at my best. And that is right here, driving down crazy street, next to you."
Sam: "Makes sense."
Dean: "Yes, it does."
Sam: "Or maybe you don’t need me. Maybe you’re at your best hacking and slicing your way through all the world’s crap alone. Not having to explain yourself to anybody."
Dean: "Yeah, that makes sense. Seeing as I have so many other brothers I can talk to about this stuff."
Sam: "Look, I’m not saying I’m bailing on you. I’m just saying, make room for the possibility that we want different things."


The brothers’ conflict in the episode revolves almost entirely around their different positions regarding hunting versus a normal life. Of course, this is not a new argument between them; it was the main source of friction between Sam and Dean back in S1, and it frequently re-emerged over the years in different contexts. However, I think that revisiting the theme now – ten years later (in Supernatural years) and with characters that have significantly changed – can serve as an interesting starting point to contrast and compare Sam and Dean’s different journeys and work towards a final resolution to this ever-present dualism in the show. That said, I think this thematic approach can only work if the writers make the brothers’ personal histories relevant to their current points of view and refrain from using the year Sam and Dean spent apart as a simple reset button. I mean, there has to be a true sense of continuity for the familiar argument to be productive at this point in the brothers’ story. It is too early to tell if the writers will actually manage to create a new angle here, but Heartache at least motivated me enough to give the theme new thought. I know I could be reaching, but I will give the writers the benefit of a doubt for now.

Let’s talk about Sam first! It is a well-known fact that, from a young age on, Sam rejected the life John forced upon him. He dreamt of a life that made him feel normal and safe; a dream that motivated him to leave his family and go to Stanford. At the time, Sam’s decision to leave was part of his teenage rebellion against John. He was not only driven by youthful anger, but also by the need to set himself apart from his family and establish an identity of his own. Now, considering the time he spent at Stanford, Sam’s statement that he never had a normal life may seem odd at first, but it is important to keep in mind that Stanford and everything it used to stand for – choice, freedom, normality, safety – has been tainted for Sam ever since it was revealed to him that he was manipulated by demons even back then. In The Devil You Know Sam learned that Brady, his best friend at university, had been replaced by a demon and that Jessica had been introduced to him on Azazel’s order. Unsurprisingly, the realisation that an important part of his 'normal life' at Stanford was never actually real, ruined Sam’s positive memories of that time. Moreover, in Swan Song Lucifer took great delight in taunting Sam with the number of people in his life that had actually been Azazel’s minions, thus demonstrating that Sam had never truly been in charge of his own life. So, all in all, it makes perfect sense that Sam feels his life was never even remotely normal. However, even before those revelations disillusioned Sam, he had gradually lost the belief that he can live a life of his own choosing. "Life doesn't turn out the way you thought when you were fourteen years old. We were never gonna be normal. We were never gonna get away. Grow up," Sam told his younger self in When The Levee Breaks, and everything that happened to him since, only served to cement his fatalistic perspective.

Sam last believed that it is possible to quit hunting when he pushed Dean towards the pursuit of a normal life in Swan Song, but when even that hope was cruelly crushed, he gave that belief up altogether. By the time Sam was freed from Lucifer’s cage and got his soul back, retirement was obviously not an option anymore. I mean, in Frontierland Sam told Samuel Colt that there is no such thing as a retired hunter, that there is no getting out of the life – and he clearly talked about his own experience. His mother tried to quit hunting and it cost Mary her life; Sam thought he had escaped hunting and it turned out to be an illusion; Dean tried to retire from the hunt, but he was violently pulled back in. Ultimately, I think that Sam’s unwavering commitment to the family business these last couple of years was largely the result of resignation and had little to do with a true renunciation of the apple pie life. Of course, Dean played a huge part in Sam’s commitment to hunting as well. Over time, they had both become so co-dependent from each other that leaving Dean behind to fend for himself became unthinkable. Remember, in The Man Who Knew Too Much Sam willingly took his hell memories back and battled his way out of his coma, just because he was convinced that Dean could not survive without him, and subsequently he fought for his sanity tooth and nails, so he could provide support and backup for Dean. That is not to say that Sam did not find meaning in the act of hunting itself, quite the contrary, actually, but I think it is not unreasonable to assume that it never fulfilled him the way college and a normal life did.

Now, I think whether Sam’s decision to stop hunting and pursue a normal life was forced by external or internal factors is really not all that important in this context; the important thing is that he rediscovered how much he appreciates it. The past year obviously rekindled something in Sam he long thought lost, namely his ability to dream. However, this time around, Sam’s dream of a normal life is not driven by angry rebellion or the need to set himself apart from his family; instead it is driven by the need for peace in his life, at least that is what the world-weary and tired demeanour Sam displayed throughout the season so far suggests to me. Moreover, this time there is no reason to believe that he is manipulated into anything; he is no longer on heaven, hell or purgatory’s 'Most Wanted' list; he is free of his destiny and for the first time in a long time, he sees a future for himself. Most importantly though, Sam’s steadfast belief that Dean needs him and cannot survive without him has been proven wrong. Dean survived purgatory just fine; he held his ground in a hostile environment that makes Sam and Dean’s usual hunting gigs look like a walk in the park, and he even seems to have enjoyed it to an extent. So it is not surprising that Sam comes to the conclusion that Dean is perfectly capable of hunting alone, especially once all demons are banished and all that is left are routine monster hunts. Obviously, that does not mean that Sam’s conclusion is correct - after all, Dean did not even tell him about Benny yet - but it is not difficult to see that Dean’s current psyched up demeanour would give him that impression. Overall, I have nothing but sympathy for Sam’s position, and I love that he, calmly but firmly, asserts what he wants, despite Dean’s confrontational reaction.

I think in Dean’s case things are a little more straightforward than in Sam’s. When we first met Dean, he was a consummate hunter, and while part of his motivation to join the family business was rooted in his desire to meet John’s expectations, he also genuinely loved it. It was something he was good at, something that gave his life purpose and, most importantly, it gave him the means to protect his family from the kind of monsters that took his mother away. And yet, all his dedication and skill did not allow him to save John or Sam; it did not allow him to save Ellen, Jo, Rufus, Lisa, Ben or Bobby either, so over the years, hunting became just another synonym for failure to Dean, and thus just another burden. Furthermore, the constant loss and sacrifice associated with hunting gradually undermined his life-affirming attitude and self-confidence and threw him into a perpetual state of depression – a process that was only exacerbated by his time in hell, where even his basic ability to fight back was taken from him and he was forced into the role of a helpless victim. Now, the more disillusioned Dean became with hunting, the more the idea of a normal family life appealed to him, but when even his attempt at building a steady home for himself failed, he lost any and all purpose. Sure, he continued to hunt, but not because he felt that it still gave his life meaning, he simply did not know what else to do. Of course, just like Dean was a huge factor in Sam’s commitment to the hunt, Sam was a factor in Dean’s, too. He freely admitted to Frank that, despite his burn-out syndrome, retiring from the hunt was not an option for him, because he could not leave Sam behind. However, even his dedication to Sam was not enough to give him a sense of purpose at that point. "To tell you the truth, I don't know why I'm doing much of anything anymore," Dean confessed to Eliot Ness in Time after Time, and even though he wanted to break out of his self-destructive mindset, he had no idea of how to achieve that.

Now, for all that his time in purgatory has damaged Dean further and continued to erode his moral boundaries, it at least gave Dean that missing sense of purpose back, and I think that is hardly surprising. In purgatory 'saving people, hunting things' boiled down to only one part of the equation, namely hunting things. There was only one measure of success, i.e. his own survival, and the crippling fear of failing innocent people was pretty much eliminated. As Dean so rightly stated in the season opener, purgatory was pure. Moreover, unlike in hell, Dean was not reduced to a helpless victim in purgatory. On the contrary, he was a predator – and one who was obviously superior to the other predators at that, or he would not have survived for a whole year, even with Benny (and Castiel) as his companion. Ultimately, Dean’s life-long experience as a monster hunter gave him the exact skill-set he needed to come through his ordeal, and I think that provided Dean with the validation he missed these last couple of years. In effect, purgatory allowed Dean to rediscover that he is pretty damn good at what he does and regain a clear sense of who he is and what he wants. So, naturally, Dean is irritated to come back to a brother who turned his back on hunting and thus seems to call his newfound purpose into question.

Still, I find Dean’s reaction to Sam's announcement that he wants to quit hunting once they closed the gates of hell remarkable. He not only instantly jumps into outright denial and dismisses Sam’s earnest assertions as a fleeting fancy, but also constantly puts Sam’s life choices down and tries to make him feel guilty about wanting different things than Dean. In short, he takes the offensive. If we compare this reaction to his reaction to Sam’s similar announcement back in Shadow, the contrast is quite stunning. Back then, Dean was visibly crushed by Sam’s statement that, once they avenged Mary and Jess, he intends to go back to school again, and he offered little opposition to his brother’s plans. He rather kept his hurt bottled up inside. This time around, Dean seems intent on fighting Sam every step of the way. Now, I do not approve of Dean’s attempts at emotional manipulation, and I am not overly fond of his confrontational methods either – not that I think it will get him very far with Sam, but still – but I am glad that he keeps asserting his own position. Ever since he came back from purgatory, Dean is emotionally more open, and he is increasingly vocal about what he wants and feels, and I definitely consider that a progress for the character. Dean always had the tendency to subordinate his own needs and desires to those of others, and I wanted to see him grow out of that for a while now, so I am excited about these glimpses of a true character growth for Dean. Now he only needs to work on his communication strategy.

All in all, I come out of Heartache with the clear impression that, despite their many differences, Sam and Dean both want to be with each other first and foremost, not only now, but also in the future. Dean openly states as much, and Sam proves it through his actions. After all, he returns to a life that holds no meaning for him, simply because Dean wants him to, and I think that shows his commitment to his brother. I know that some fans equate Sam's desire to leave hunting with a desire to leave Dean, but that is not the case at all. Sam is not desperate to leave Dean; he is desperate to leave the life that cost them their entire family and friends, the life that damaged them beyond repair and will most likely end in an early, violent death for both of them if they do not quit. Of course, Dean identifies with his job and hence tends to misinterpret Sam’s rejection of hunting as a rejection of his person, but I hope that this time around he will be able to understand that hunting does not make them a family, their love for each other does. I love you Besides, hunting or a normal life are not the only two choices, there is always a middle ground, and I am sure that Sam and Dean will be able to find an alternative that suits both their needs; a place where they can be together, but also themselves. I just hope that the writers work towards a final solution for this conflict that does both characters some justice.

Betsy: "I am so tired. You can’t imagine the burden of it all. I think even Brick was through. He could see the end of my days were at hand. He had lived centuries. All alone. But I don’t think he could bear the thought of life without me."

Like in many of the more interesting monster-of-the-week episodes in Supernatural, the one-off characters Brick and Betsy serve as a reflection for Sam and Dean, respectively, and in this particular case the parallels actually work in every direction. On the one hand, Dean is Betsy. Just like Betsy’s love for Brick overcame the fact that he was a heart-stealing monster, Dean’s love for Sam overcame his life-long hatred of the supernatural, even when he discovered that his brother had visions or demon blood or dark powers. Moreover, Dean was willing to sacrifice his own needs and desires in order to protect his little brother, just like Betsy was willing to make personal sacrifices in order to protect her husband’s true identity. And just like Betsy, Dean had come to the point where he was tired of his burdens and just wanted for everything to be over; he wanted to finally be at peace and did not care about the how. Of course, Sam is Brick in this scenario, a warrior who no longer sees his only reason for living in combat and who wants more from his life. And just like Brick, who anticipated Betsy’s death and could not bear the thought of living without her, Sam knows that Dean’s days are numbered if he does not give up hunting, and obviously he cannot bear living without his brother either.

On the other hand, Dean is also Brick, a person so devoted to a cause – though in Dean’s case that cause is hunting rather than sports – that he is willing to become something less than human in the pursuit of it. Brick made a deal with a monster in order to prolong his life, just like Dean made a deal with a monster to survive in purgatory, and I am pretty sure that said deal will cost Dean just as dearly as it cost Brick. I guess it goes without saying that Dean is just as unwilling to live without Sam, as Brick is to live without Betsy – or Sam without Dean for that matter. Last but not least, Sam is also Betsy, tired of a life full of sacrifices and just desperate to find a measure of peace after everything he went through. However, I think maybe the most important parallel we can take from the comparison between Brick & Betsy and Sam & Dean is that, despite their differences in temperament and perspective, Brick and Betsy shared the same mindset at the end. They both wanted it to be over, they both preferred death to a continued existence without each other, and if that is not the Winchester credo, I do not know what is. While I hope that the 'death' part is not meant as a foreshadowing, I think the 'shared mindset' part is. Sam and Dean may only be in the negotiating stages of their relationship yet, but as I said before, I have little doubt that they will find a way to overcome their differences and arrive at the same endpoint.

What else is noteworthy:

(1) The episode gives us a second glimpse of Amelia, and this time she is considerably more likeable than when we first met her. Still, it is difficult to feel truly invested in Sam’s memory of Amelia preparing a birthday picnic for him, because the writers neglected to show us how they went from chance acquaintances to lovers. It is hard to reconcile the hostile veterinarian from the season opener with the affectionate, cheerful woman we see in Heartache, and even though I understand that the writers keep us wilfully in the dark about Sam’s past year so they can use the reveal later in the season, I feel that this kind of retroactive storytelling is really detrimental to the narrative flow as well as the characters’ transparency and thus to the viewers’ emotional response to Sam’s flashbacks. I think a more straightforward narrative style would have served the characters better. Anyway, I think Sam’s picnic with Amelia is actually the least interesting aspect of his flashback. I am way more interested in Sam’s panicked response to Amelia’s 'disappearance'. It seems entirely out of proportion – they are in a public park, after all – and it reminds me of Sam’s similarly frantic response to having injured the dog in the season premiere. In both scenes, he hardly makes the impression of a man who has adjusted well to his new situation, and I can’t help but wonder if there is something more going on than just Sam reacting to trigger-y situations of his past. By the way, I know that some fans feel the flashback insinuates that Sam never before had a birthday cake – which is rather unlikely, of course; Jessica baked cookies for Sam, so I think it is safe to assume that she baked him cakes, too – but the scene never read like that to me. Amelia’s question is quite obviously meant teasingly, and Sam is so caught up in his relief and pleasant surprise that he is rendered speechless. So, actually, I find the scene rather sweet.

In conclusion: Heartache is an enjoyable 'monster of the week' episode that not only explores Sam and Dean’s current issues, but also gives us a reprieve of angels, demons and the word of God – and that is definitely what I needed at this point to finally connect to the season. I am still not happy about the way the writers chose to handle the narrative this season, and I probably never will, but if the show continues to give me episodes like Heartache, I am a lot more willing to give the writers some leeway and wait patiently for the slow reveal of Sam and Dean’s time apart.

source

_________________




You're a lot smarter than you look. Of course, you look like a retard ~ Cordelia Chase
This is it: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr Comatose over there. Awesome. ~ Dean Winchester
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MessageSujet: Re: Reviews du net   Aujourd'hui à 18:35

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