bowtrunckle: (Dean big cheeks :D)
[personal profile] bowtrunckle
Surprise!  I'm still here (barely)!  Argh, you guys, so many Show thoughts, so little time!!!!!!   So I’m suppose to be working on grant applications for Important Things for one of my kids, but instead my brain wants to think about SPN.  This is so typical that I’m thinking I should try to trick myself into thinking I have Important Time-Sensitive Things to do in order to puke out things like this that I normally wouldn’t bother to find the time to do (because, you know, making dinner and washing laundry and driving kids all over the world is all time consuming (and sometimes coma inducing)).  Part of me just wants to write on these applications: “Just give me the money, OKAY!?!” but I don’t think that would be very convincing even with a smiley face and a promise not to spend it self-medicating on chocolate.

I'm glad to be seeing Show discussion at all (even though I can't seem to find time to read any of it *fail*) considering that I've felt like a lot of LJ has closed down and/or people (like me) have stopped commenting/posting because of general Show malaise and not wanting to stomp all over everybody else's parade.  So I’m going to add my 2 cents, which may be totally out of step with the general consensus (or not) and is probably after the fact (but I wouldn’t know bec. I’ve been sadly missing out on my frolic-on-the-internet time … somebody give me a respite grant!)  Here are some probably highly unorganized thoughts about this season:

With Sam in the know it seems like this season has finally started, or at least it feels like the story is finally moving forward instead of circling around itself in a wait-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop holding pattern.  Thankfully now Sam is actually a contributing part of The Plot instead of just being a vehicle for The Plot.  Having Sam in the dark about Gadreel made for good tension, but that necessitated half of the emotional story (Sam's half) was in stasis for almost half of the season.  In many ways this wasn't completely dissimilar to Robo!Sam in S6 except, unlike Robo!Sam, Sam wasn't privy to his possession (The Plot), so he couldn't effectively react to the story the rest of the characters were a part of.  Therefore, Sam wasn’t an active participant in his own emotional story and couldn’t affect outcomes based on his own informed decision and actions.  This resulted in the bizarre feeling that Sam has just now joined the show mid-season (like “OMG, welcome back Sam!!!!  I’ve MISSED YOU!”) even though he's physically been around and has been arguably the most important player (or of equal importance as Dean) being Gadreel’s vessel.  I felt there was a definite expiration date on how long Dean's deception and Sam's basic cluelessness could continue until it became untenable and ridiculous.  I feel like we were reaching that point, so I’m relieved to have that plot point be put to rest and excited to see the fall out of all these messy emotions and questions decisions.  Show let’s cover some serious ground and move things forward!  :)

Crowley galloping around freely adds to the newly found momentum, too.  But it's too bad that moving things forward was at Kevin's expense.  I liked his character and felt he could’ve been used better as a foil for the Winchesters with his history of tragic sacrifices and heroic choices.  I thought Kevin could've deepened Sam and Dean's emotional story, but being a prophet had him painted into a corner where he was too important to just "let go" into the SPN world to live a normal life, but his presence was creating issues with all those tablets lying around.  In many ways, Kevin’s role in the story was very similar to Castiel’s: both fulfilled very specific, individual roles no other character could substitute for, had powers that provided the Winchester’s strategic advantages, and both verged on becoming convenient solutions but in doing so required (sometimes convoluted) explanations as to why Sam and Dean didn’t just them in to magically fix everything, and/or strange absences and/or difficulties to stall the plot.  But unlike Cas, who could just fly off and do whatever the writers needed him to do off-screen, Kevin was stuck in Sam and Dean’s back pockets, and tablet deciphering can only be stalled so long before it became poke-yourself-in-the-eye-with-a-spork boring.  With Kevin’s death and the tablet(s?) back in Metatron’s hands, it seems like Carver and Co. may be ready to put all or most of the tablet plot to rest and instead redirect the story to the battles between would-be Hell and Heaven rulers with TFW sandwiched in between.  Which brings me to my next point….

I find the fight over Heaven and fight over Hell fascinating.  Not necessarily the individual demons or angels (although I enjoy Abaddon), but the fact that the battles have the potential to provide Sam and Dean storylines that could play out more independently.  I wouldn’t mind Sam and Dean separated for a time as long as we got to actually see what both of them were up to instead of a time jump or a string of single POV episodes and then sparse back flashes of what the other brother was doing.  I think it would provide for some much needed breathing room (hello, it’s been 9 seasons!), give each of them (*hehem* Sam) a chance to interact with other characters and for the audience to actually see it, and therefore delved into each of their characters in ways that we haven’t seen before.  It would also be an economic and interesting way—at least for SPN, which has failed at separating Sam and Dean on-screen for more than an episode or so—to efficiently and simultaneously burn through two major mytharcs (the Hell plot an the Heaven plot) and inject some forward momentum to the season.

Speaking of the Hell and Heaven mytharcs, at the opening of 9x11 I was surprised that the writers had Dean pursing Abaddon and Sam (and Cas) searching for Gadreel because it would make sense solely from a character-motivation perspective that their roles would be reversed.  Of course, by the end of 9x11 it became apparent why the writers had Dean running after Abaddon; the Mark of Cain will catapult Dean into a Dean-centric mytharc that will have ramifications that will be a huge driving force next season.  But to me it would’ve made more sense that Dean would be primarily consumed with pursuing Gadreel and, by default, Metatron (the Heaven plot).  Dean’s issues with Gadreel hit visceral and emotionally powerful places in Dean’s psyche and countered Dean's prime directive since day 1, save Sam at any cost.  And I feel that Abaddon—although she did kill Grandpa Henry and resulted in John growing up fatherless and feeling abandoned—is more of a target due to Dean’s dogmatic belief that demons are evil and all evil things must be destroyed.  We’ve seen both Sam and Dean invested in fights that have become deeply personal, but Gadreel’s betrayal goes deeper than that; like Ruby, Gadreel’s motives paired with one of the brother’s repeated choices have driven a wedge between Sam and Dean.  In many ways, Gadreel has become to Dean what Ruby was to Sam.

Similarly, solely from a character-motivation perspective it would make more sense to have Sam helming in the Hell mytharc being that he feels guilty and takes personal responsibility for not closing the Gates of Hell in 8x23.  For Sam, finishing the job he started and, in his mind, a job he feels he failed, would be of utmost importance, I think more so than getting revenge on an angel that possessed him.  Sam’s perceived sense of failure seems to be a rapidly growing driving force for him since last season, one that feels like it has picked up momentum and superseded his need for revenge/justice (S1-S3), power (S4/S5), and a light at the end of everything (mid-S8).  This isn’t to say that Sam isn’t pissed that he was used and deceive again, but it’s my sense that the angel possession story from Sam’s POV should have more personal ramifications between Sam and Dean than anything else, and Sam’s beef rests more with Dean and his repeated choice to keep Sam from the truth than with Gadreel.  Because supernatural beings on Show do not act in accordance with Winchester law and are not to be trusted (even Cas), so an angel betraying anyone’s trust is totally unsurprising, almost expected (who’s the sucker, Dean?).  And, therefore, I think in Sam’s eyes, Dean bears the greater share of culpability, making it logical that Sam would have a greater personal investment in buttoning up Hell than solely sticking it to Gadreel.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  SPN still manages to hold my attention even if sometimes I end up groaning into a throw pillow and/or making faces at the TV.  There’s potential, but it’s yet to be seen if Carver and Co. are doing to actually be able to create a smooth, logical, and satisfying path between the plot points they’ve laid out or careen around corners and jerk us back and forth over a train wreck of a story.  It’s all in the execution.  *crosses fingers*

Date: 2014-01-26 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hugemind.livejournal.com
Part of me just wants to write on these applications: “Just give me the money, OKAY!?!” but I don’t think that would be very convincing even with a smiley face and a promise not to spend it self-medicating on chocolate.


LOL. I should totally try this sometime. ;)

I completely agree with you on *points at everything and nods*

I find the boys' respective hunts for Gadreel and Abaddon both surprising and interesting. Dean chasing Abaddon instead of Gadreel did feel a bit weird to me, but at least he started out trying to find Gadreel. Then Crowley appeared and instead of twiddling his thumbs, Dean had a lead for at least one evil thing. Now, though, he's kinda stuck with the demon hunt. And Sam kind of happened on the hunt for Gadreel because Cas discovered the angel grace inside him. So, either the boys' quests were swapped so that Dean can have a mytharc and the odd swap was inevitable, or there's another reason for it which we'll see later. Could a kind of "the boys get a taste of their own medicine" and they come to understand each other better or something else entirely.

Date: 2014-03-31 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
Hi. I didn't realize I hadn't replied to this until now. How rude. My bad!

either the boys' quests were swapped so that Dean can have a mytharc and the odd swap was inevitable, or there's another reason for it which we'll see later.

Yes, Dean being the plot tiger FINALLY!!!!!! I'm very excited about this partially bec. I'm wondering if we'll get more Sam POV judging by the past seasons where there was a lot of Dean POV bec. Dean was the motivation tiger, but mostly bec. I can't wait to see how this changes Dean as a character. I'm also finding it sort of "Harhar, I see what you're doing, Carver" with Crowley being to Dean what Ruby was to Sam. Awww, demons, so predictable, and the Winchesters are always someone pawn.

Date: 2014-01-27 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ash48.livejournal.com
It has felt like Sam has been missing for the first half - which is weird because at the same time he was totally there. And in fact the brothers were working so well together. I know they were setting us up for this fall - but at least we got some pretty good broments out of it. What hurt was Dean and all of us knowing what was happening to Sam and Sam being kept in the dark. I feel very relieved that at least he knows everything (including everything that Gadreel and Dean did).

Dean going after Abaddon did seem weird at first and then someone pointed out that if Dean was getting frustrated with lack of progress finding Gadreel then a solid lead on Abaddon (or something that would kill her) was better than nothing. Dean certainly needed to vent some of that frustration (so much dark Dean in that last ep).

It looks like Sam is intent of hunting down Gadreel also (though I agree about him having personal reasons for hunting down Abaddon and sorting out Hell). Somehow the boys are going to have to make some sort of truce in order to work together -so going after Gadreel together will probably be it. I did like that both of them end with "we're got this" when referring to killing both Gadreel and Abaddon.

And yep! It's still holding my attention too! With an iron fist it would seem.

I can't wait to see where they plan to take it.

Date: 2014-03-31 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
So months later I found that I had somehow forgotten to reply to comments in some of my posts. Whoops!

What hurt was Dean and all of us knowing what was happening to Sam and Sam being kept in the dark. I feel very relieved that at least he knows everything (including everything that Gadreel and Dean did).

Yep, yep, yep! That was the tension! Now with a good number of episodes under our belt this season, though, I can't help but wonder if the ramifications of what Dean did and Sam's reaction are going to keep playing out in a major way. I feel like I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop and not in the sense that it's the boys reconciling. Maybe it's just my own wishful thinking, but I'd still like to see the depths of Dean's deception and Sam's feelings about it play out on screen in an overt way instead of it just trailing off and getting buried under the mountain of Winchester issues.

Somehow the boys are going to have to make some sort of truce in order to work together -so going after Gadreel together will probably be it.

I hope so. It would be a great catalyst to push all those messy emotions back to the surface where they're forced to deal with them. I'm still interested in seeing exactly what Sam thinks about the whole Gadreel/angel possession; I feel like he's just repressing, repressing, repressing and hiding behind this even-keel, matter-of-fact facade. We know Sam can express emotion. Where the heck is it?!?!?!

Date: 2014-01-29 11:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] llywela13.livejournal.com
Hallo, stranger! Nice to see you popping up again.

...and that's all she wrote. I'm not watching Supernatural any more (I know!) so can't contribute to any current season discussion of it at all. I'm happy other people are still enjoying it, though. :)

Date: 2014-03-31 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
Hello back, albeit months after the fact! Doh. I've been hibernating from fandom, but I pop in once in a while, and this time around I noticed (to my horror) I had posts with comments that I hadn't replied to.

I'm still watching SPN although not engaging in any sort of thinkiness or fandom discussions any longer. We'll see if that changes. *shrugs*

Hope you're doing well and your two kitties are healthy and pouncing around. :)

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