Friday, October 31, 2008

So Smote It Be

I don't have anything coherent to say about last night's Supernatural. You know what that means. I will start with one little thing and then ramble on forever.

Okay, maybe I'll start with a big thing. I love the way they're handling the angels/God/Lucifer thing. They're staying firmly away from religion and just addressing the mythology, which I've talked about before. I have no doubt there are people out there who are indignantly offended, but such people will be no matter what you do, so who cares?

Uriel is a black-and-white kind of guy. Actually, after I wrote that, I didn't know how to continue. I was going to talk about good and evil, but I don't think Uriel considers good and evil, balance and humanity (well, for sure he doesn't care about humanity). He considers his side, which happens to be God's side, and Lucifer is the enemy, and anyone who's not with him is against him. Hmmm, sounds familiar.

Castiel, on the other hand, has doubts, despite the sheer strength of his faith. If I hadn't already loved him, I'd have fallen hard during that scene at the end. Okay, I did fall hard. I've never been in favor of the whole idea of doing what you're told without question, of subjugating your ability to think and reason to someone else's agenda. Castiel wants the right thing, and isn't sure what that's supposed to be.

Now, he could be playing good cop to Uriel's bad cop, giving Dean someone to identify with and feel like he has an ally, in order to lead him down a path to doing something he otherwise wouldn't even consider doing. But for now, I'm choosing to believe his sincerity, and if I lived in their world, it would give me hope. Staving off an apocalypse wouldn't seem like a win if 1200 people had to die, including me.

I did like Uriel. I knew I would, when I learned who was playing him. He's intimidating and badass but in a quiet enough manner that will mean when he does go off on someone, it will have huge impact.

Sam meeting Castiel! How cute was he! And Castiel hesitating, not sure what to make of this guy. I bet he thought he knew what Sam was because of what he'd been given, but when he saw him personally, he wasn't that. Sam was like...well, he was like one of Jared's fans meeting him for the first time. I wonder if that was his inspiration for the gee-gosh approach. :)

And poor Sammy with his doubts after hearing what they wanted, and DEAN! Reassuring him! Saying Babe Ruth was a dick (they're trying to start a new drinking game, apparently) but baseball is still beautiful. He probably doesn't believe that himself, but doesn't want Sammy's faith to be destroyed because it's so important to him. He probably recognizes that it's one of the things keeping him in control.

Speaking of control... I know it's wrong, but Sam using his mojo is so frickin' hot. And that sequence, where he gives in because he doesn't have much choice, and he has to fight so hard, so he's struggling to draw the demon out (cool effect with the bullet holes smoke), and sees Dean seeing him, and sees Dean's reaction, and it just tears him up, but he can't stop, and he pushes harder and pops his brain. He showed a lot in a few seconds, and Jared wouldn't have been capable of that a couple of seasons ago.

Dude. Sammy's more powerful than a centuries-old, all-powerful demon! I know it should be scary, because use of power is what this thing seems to be all about, but it just delights me. Use of power = the Spider-Man credo, "with great power comes great responsibility." The angels and demons both think the power Sam has defines him, and Dean's afraid the power can change him, but Sam has even greater power than that. He has the power to use it wisely, not let it take over. The power to wield the ring.

Whoops, mixing mythologies there. Sorry.

In a CW Source interview with Misha Collins, he said Kripke modeled Castiel's look on Constantine. Now, he meant from the comic books, but all I could see was Keanu. (Megan! Dude! A Keanu connection! If you could love it more...)

It's a little annoying that there were so many slut costumes (ref. both parties, the one where the girl boiled and the one in the crypt), but I dismissed it because it gives the guys something to look at (the guys watching the show, not the guys on the show! geez!). It would be hypocritical of me to drool and sigh and then gripe. But can't there be some middle ground between crotch-level, skin-tight Lycra and floor-to-chin robes (the mom shaking her head at the witch house)?

Speaking of witches, there was a mission here. I liked the way they did that. After three-plus seasons, it's hard to either introduce new stuff believably (how come they didn't know about rugaru?) or reuse the same stuff without being stale and repetitive. Having the witch actually be a pair of witches, brother and sister, working together and yet using each other...nice twistiness there.

Ooh, also, the 66 seals thing is tough. If they stop a seal from being broken, it's over. Lucifer can't rise. Well, some seals, anyway, like this one that can only be broken every 600 years. So dramatically speaking, they can't stop the seals from being broken. But that means Sam and Dean LOSE all the time, and that's not acceptable, either. So what happened here is a compromise. I wonder if this thread will carry through to next season or be resolved at the end of this season? I guess it will depend on The CW. If we get a fifth, I betcha anything it continues. I mean, how do you top the apocalypse?

There was much less humor in this episode, but there was fun. Josh from Kyle XY got to be all party guy and then get shredded by a zombie (in probably the grossest moment of the episode). Dean got to face zombies and ghosts. The burning would have been cool to see, but probably out of their budget.

Oh, and the opposite of fun is what happened to Dean in Hell. Most of the people I've talked to so far seem to think he doesn't remember, maybe that he's blocked it. I think he does remember, and I think it was like when someone goes to supermax prison. You do what you need to, to survive. The biggest clue is from "Yellow Fever" when Sam said the people getting infected were those who use fear as a weapon. And Dean's hallucination of Lilith said Dean knows what he did. Which has my curiosity level almost as high as it was in season two when we were waiting to find out what Dad told Dean about Sam.

So, I guess this episode doesn't rank as high as my favorites of the season because it was less intense and revelatory, but it's in the top half, for sure.

Next week looks like a fun episode, though the CW has been really misleading with their promos. The "Yellow Fever" preview made that one look intensely scary, while it was intensely funny instead (and intensely disturbing, but not the way they implied it would be). For this episode, they showed some of the "Then" shots and the line of Sam's that they'd see every horrible thing they'd ever hunted. That led people to believe they were bringing back actual, specific things they'd hunted. The idea was probably fed by what happened with the rising of the witnesses, but I had my doubts. I remembered how the promos said the shifter from "Skin" returned in "Nightshifter," and it was actually a whole different shifter. So I take the previews lightly and don't let them feed my expectations anymore. Still, the idea of everyone's wishes coming true has huge potential, and I can't wait!

Man, I love this show.


Victoria said...

I'm with you 100%!! Love Uriel. Love Castiel even more! Sam and powers = total absolute hotness! He just keeps getting sexier and sexier.
I still want to believe Dean's blocked most of his time in hell because of the way he reacts when he does have a flashback.
And the razor blades were wayyy grosser than the zombie stuff!
I love this show too!

Victoria said...

Oh and I forgot to say...I totally agree with you on the misleading promos.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Maybe we're just talking semantics. I understand you to mean he doesn't remember, but occasionally he has a dream or a trigger that brings back the screams.

I think he can remember but chooses not to, until something like the mask or his dreams dig under the walls he put up. But if he wanted to give in and tell Sam, he could bring it all up again. But gah, why would he want to?

The razor blades are worse because they could happen! Zombies can' long as we stay away from Megan, that is. :)

Victoria said...

Maybe the screams are all he consciously remembers, like bits of a nightmare, and an occasional flash when he's awake, like with the mask last night.
IDK. Guess we'll find out soon enough. He just doesn't seem like he remembers to me, but he is really good at hiding what's going on inside that beautiful head of his. So I could be all wet.
Stayin' away from Megan and the zombies. Though Zombies really aren't that scary. They can't run fast and they walk all broken-looking and stuff, and they smell funny...ha!

MaryF said...

The more I think about the episode the more I liked it, though I didn't love it. It may be in the top half - which episode are we on now? I told Trish I hadn't thought about WHY the angels didn't want Sam to use his power, but duh, it's from Azazel. I like what you said about Sam showing more control than everyone thinks he can. That so is his character, though, the control.

Great analysis, as usual! Must watch again.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I think we find out what Hell was like for him in episode 11 or so.

Thanks, Mary! I think about this show way too much. LOL But maybe my deep analysis is why I'm never disappointed.

And yeah, if you think about where the power comes from--as far as the angels are concerned, there's nothing good about demons. So how could Sam having a demonic power be good? Apparently, they've never watched Blade. :)