Friday, February 06, 2009

Sex and Violence

I spent a lot of time today chatting about last night's Supernatural episode at Supernatural Sisters, and it was great fun.

Then I ventured out into the greater fandom world (not far, I never go far), and much of the talk is about how the siren appeared to Dean. And it left me feeling queasy.

Of course, to Wincesters, the episode is canon that Dean lusts after Sam, because of the way the siren manifested. I disputed this, because during the "seduction" phase, where the siren got its victim close enough to poison it, the siren appeared like Dean, not like Sam. He loved classic cars and classic music. It was only after Dean was under its influence that it brought up the brother connection, and at that point, it didn't matter what it said, the victim will do whatever is asked of it because of the poison, not because of the seduction.

Someone said siren=sex, but I'm not convinced. First, siren also = female so once they twist that, anything can be changed. Now, I haven't read Homer or any other ancient mythology for a long time, and I'm not inclined to spend hours doing the research, but Sam's description of the sirens didn't mention sex at all, if I'm remembering right. They lured the men to their deaths with their appeal, and of course most men are led around by their you-know-whats. The stories were written by men, about seafaring vessels that were rarely controlled by women, so of course the original myths are tightly contained.

But Dean and Sam are not most men. The circumstance was unique. The siren was portrayed as clever and adaptable, not a mindless predator doing what it does. It was bored, it knew the boys were hunting it, and it took on the challenge of defeating them.

So yeah, at the moment, what Dean wants most is the brother he loved and trusted and protected. And anyone is free to interpret it in any way they want; that's the nature of entertainment. But I seriously doubt the writers intended anything sexual between the brothers, and I don't see anything there.

Sex aside...

There was one thing I didn't like about the show. When we clued in that the FBI agent was the siren, I was hoping there were two, and the doc was one, because otherwise the clues pointing to her were too heavy-handed and manipulative.

Otherwise, I thought it was a great episode. They held to our expected framework, but they mixed it up a little. They were lawyers! And I loved the FBI stuff, because we tend to see them only with quick hits; they get out fast when other authorities show up or they get questioned. It was nice to see them acting with such confidence in both roles.

The guest actors were also great. I wasn't impressed with the husband in the opening, but then when he was in jail, I got totally sucked in to his story and stopped thinking about the episode. I loved Cara, the doctor, who reminded me of Sarah but more mature, more seasoned, just like Sam.

Bobby, as always, was awesomeness. The phones! The cooking! And yes, the rescue. I know some would have liked the boys to get out of it themselves, and part of me wanted that, too, but I think it made more sense for Bobby to figure it out and rush in. I think, for example, Sam being immune to the venom the way he's immune to demon stuff would have been too pat.

The fight meant a lot to me. First, because I got hooked on the show during the pilot episode, when Dean snuck into the apartment and they fought. What a difference with this fight! It was very well blocked and shot, and very believable.

On the other hand, the verbal fight was heartbreaking. What Dean said came from pain and loss, and truth. Sam's been hiding from him and lying to him in ways he never did before. He's fracturing their trust, and for cripe's sake, Sam, Dean DIED for you! But Sam's words came from an ickier place. He said mean, hurtful things, things that if he really did mean them, make him no longer the man we love. I actually cheered Dean when he threw the knife at Sam.

So it seems (with or without spoilers) that we're heading for a Sam and Dean showdown, with Sam becoming the bad guy we've dreaded for three seasons. I adamantly disbelieved the possibility that he could really become wrong, but now I'm not so sure, and I both love and hate the writers for making me feel this way.

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