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09 December 2014 @ 10:32 pm
SPN #10x09 The Things We Left Behind (episode review)  
Some thoughts on this one...hope they make sense...

Hmm...with everything going on, Cas with Claire, Dean and the Mark, Crowley & his Mummy...this episode felt a little "busy" to me. Though I do wonder if they were trying to make some parallel between Crowley/Rowena and Claire/Cas, especially with the kids resenting their respective parents. Crowley's got Mommy issues, but he saves her in the end when Gerald starts strangling her.

Unpopular opinion maybe, but I didn't really feel too emotionally attached to Claire. It's totally understandable that she's be really pissed off at Cas for taking her dad away. And I actually think it's a shame that Jimmy is actually no more. It's also a shame what happened to Claire, that she's living such a life. But again...eh, she really doesn't interest me.

This one was pretty Winchester-lite. Their first scene though in the bunker with Dean watching The 3 Stooges...lol. And Sam is looking a bit unnerved by the Mark, but also watches along with Dean. Oh and Sam's hair still kinda bugs me, though I disliked it even more last week. Not sure why...

And then when the 3 of them in the bar and the boys start telling Cas about John. I dunno, I have to digest that again to decide what I think. They did say that John didn't want them to "like" him, but that he wanted to raise them right...and he did. I did think it was kinda sweet how Sam & Dean were kinda reminiscing about that time in NY. Especially with Sam looking all excited/amused as Dean's telling some of it (and helpfully filling in some details). And hey, shoutout to my area of LONG ISLAND!! Woo-hooooo!! Although Boo to John for hating the Yankees! *grumbles*

Some parts of this ep just felt anti-climatic in a way. Like loan sharks gunning for Randy? Attacking Claire until Cas comes in (though she still manages to beat the guy)? Yawn. Dean gets punched by those thugs till flashbacks of the Mark, ie the Mark's power takes hold of him so he hulks out and kills those guys. I kinda expected that, based on the flashback at the beginning right before Dean wakes up. I did like how Sam is in the car & suddenly knows something's up so they run inside. And the way he runs up to Dean, his hands on Dean's face as he begs him to say he did it because if it wasn't them, it was him (that would be killed).

And then that's the end.

So i guess we may pick up on this? Dean told Cas that he didn't want to be that thing again. Will they try some kind of detox on him? Will he try to get rid of the Mark somehow? And what about Crowley & his mother? He did say he needed her for something, wonder what.

Maybe I was being a little too harsh & my opinion will change if I watch it again. But I guess the "busyness" of it bugged me a bit at first and also, based on what people had said about this episode earlier, I maybe expected something a little more. SE Hinton was on set around the time they filmed this one, or maybe directly before & had scene the script...but she said there was supposed to be a big twist and then fade to black. Not sure what that was? Unless she saw an earlier version & that part had changed. I'll watch it again though & see if I like it a little better...
cindylscindyls on December 10th, 2014 06:00 am (UTC)
Hey Jess,
I had to sneak in here and comment ;) I am still watching the eppie, but I read your review during it (gotta admit, I had a lot of trouble paying attention in this one, snore....Cas, Crowley, Claire, Rowena....kind of boring to me). Anyway, I do have one thing to say about the fight thing at the end - why did Dean send Sam out with Cas and the girl? I mean, Cas has some powers, he showed them, he can protect her, what do they need Sam going out with them for? Oh right, lame reason to have Dean alone so he can hulk out...kind of lazy writing. Couldn't they come up with some logical way for Dean to be alone with random bad guys for a minute or two with Sam nearby to come in and ask him the pertinent questions? Oh well...like I said, I am really disheartened that a mid season finale has so much CAS, ugh. I could care less about his vessel's family - the only thing that would change my mind about liking that storyline is if they use to make Cas give up the vessel finally at the end of the season and go back to heaven FOR GOOD. Then I will dance the dance of joy, lol. But WAY too little boys in this for me - as has been the case for years it seems. Sigh. Jared did tweet because of course Jensen was still working - guess Sam is really wallpaper these days ;-)
cuddyclothescuddyclothes on December 10th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
SO on target.
jessm78: Jared Padalecki: Mar 11 Van Airportjessm78 on December 10th, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
Hey Cindy!
Yeah, I hear ya. That was a big issue with me and it looks like it was with a lot of others too. They shouldn't have sent Sam outside with Cas and Claire. Like strgazr04 said, at the very least, he should have stayed by the door. Cas didn't need any help with the girl. Just a really convenient plot device... *eyeroll* Ugh. The writing in this one (except for the few brother moments) really sucked. You know I agree! I'd give anything for more screen time for the boys. It's really sad the lousy job the writers have been doing. If one of us wrote this, it'd be so much better.
cindylscindyls on December 10th, 2014 09:54 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, and Cas' powers seem to come and go - why didn't he stop the car when Claire was running away? He uses the powers later...they can't keep continuity straight within an episode, let alone 9 seasons, lol.
I feel bad that the comment was made that Sam doesn't ask Dean how he is when he comes running in at the end - once again the writers make Sam an uncaring douchebag - when will this end? I know he's not uncaring, but they constantly show him do these things that fans interpret this way and frankly, they make Dean the all sacrificing, caring beyond reason brother in contrast. I really am tired of this uncaring attitude the writers have for what they do to Sam. He's a plot device, used to drive things alone to get a reaction from Dean, so Dean comes off more human and sympathetic. Sigh.
percysownerpercysowner on December 10th, 2014 09:56 pm (UTC)
Well at least they consider Dean important enough to shoot scenes. Sam, apparently not. That really bothers me.
strgazr04: Jensen elvis lipstrgazr04 on December 10th, 2014 11:16 am (UTC)
This epi left me kinda blah (even with the LI shoutout lol). For a midseason finale to have maybe 5 whole minutes combined of scenes with the main characters is not good imho. From the promo, I could tell that bloody Dean scene was a dream. I also knew he wasn't turning back into a demon. Why is it a surprise for him to go back to the MOC taking over and him almost having these 'black out moments'? Isn't that exactly how he was when the MOC first started? How he was so focused on killing like with Abaddon? This was supposed to be a big plot twist? Since when is following your own lore a plot twist?

It definitely was lazy writing to have Sam leave Dean in the house. There was no reason for him to go to the car with Cas. Cas had Claire handled just fine. Your brother is inside with like 5 gunmen and you just make yourself comfy in the car? Come on, Sam Winchester is not stupid. He should have waited right outside the door until Dean joined him, especially knowing how loose of a canon Dean is these days. Then he swoops in and demands Dean tell him it was self defense? Not "are you ok"? He didn't even ask if Dean was hurt since Dean was - ya know - bleeding from the head! And of course it was self defense. He was surrounded by gunmen who wanted to kill him!

That's another thing I don't understand. Right before the last commercial break, the loan shark kicks Dean in the head and Dean slumps passed out. And isn't that after being hit on the head with a glass bottle? How in the world did he wake up and kill all those people in the time Sam walked to the car?

And why is the MOC giving him vision/dreams now? Wasn't that Sam's gig? lol

I think my biggest gripe is that all the action they promised in the promo happened in the last 2secs. Yes that last scene was great with Sam grabbing onto Dean and all, but come on. Why is it a theme now that all the action in every epi constantly happens at the very end? I know finales need cliffhangers but still. It's almost every week now. That fight scene and Sam finding Dean in the house like that could have happened with 15mins left to the epi and then we could have played it out more. It also would have been better if Sam stayed in the house with Dean and the loan shark snuck up and grabbed him, disabling him and using an unable-to-defend-himself Sam as a threat against Dean. I would have LOVED for Dean to risk allowing the MOC to come out because he was protecting Sam. Now THAT would have made for a great BM scene later! Especially since Sam has yet to acknowledge his hand in Dean eventually taking on the Mark in the first place. They really need to talk things out, but that won't happen. Instead, next epi will jump like 3 weeks forward in time so everything is off camera again.
jessm78: Supernatural: Dean and Sam in DALDOMjessm78 on December 10th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one. I rewatched it, thinking maybe I'd warm up to it a little more, but no.

I pretty much agree with everything you said. It was pretty uneventful for a mid-season finale, no real surprises. And you're right, it pretty much was a throwback to the way Dean was when he first had the MOC and killing Abaddon.

Yep, that was lazy writing. I didn't see any reason for Sam to just leave with Cas & Claire. Honestly, I wish you'd written this episode instead of Dabb, lol. That's exactly how I would have liked to have seen it. I was surprised that Sam didn't ask him if he was okay. I mean, I know he was probably scared about the MOC overtaking him again, but still. Ugh, such bad writing. They really didn't do Sam any favors.

I don't get that either! It's like there's supposed to be missing scene in there. Do they want us to assume that the MOC somehow made him come to in a hurry and kick their asses?

LOL! Maybe Cain has "special kids" now like the YED had? ;)

That's one of my biggest pet peeves too. It's really become an annoying trend. Honestly, I would have LOVED that scenario. Seriously, I wish you could've written this one. It's like the writers don't know what they're doing anymore and aren't doing much justice to Sam and Dean, and their relationship.
Lady Korana: Sleeping Sammy w/bandaged handladykorana on December 11th, 2014 01:01 pm (UTC)
What hand did Sam have in Dean taking the Mark in the first place? He said he was pissed after Dean prompted him to and let Dean walk away in ep 10. That's about it. People seem to forget that Dean met Cain and took the Mark (episode 11, First Born) before any of the comments people condemn Sam for was even aired. At the time Dean took the Mark, Sam was in the bunker with Cas and Dean hadn't seen fit to come home yet. Sam gets enough blame, let's not blame him for things he didn't even do.

I do agree I wish they had written the confrontation at the end the way you suggest it. It would have been so much more meaningful all around. Very lackluster midseason finale. The only bit I liked was Sam bringing Dean a sandwich, and the 3 guys hanging out in the bar, and even those felt just a tiny bit 'off', but I'm hard pressed to explain exactly how. But I'll run with those as brighter spots in the ep.

Edited at 2014-12-11 01:13 pm (UTC)
strgazr04strgazr04 on December 11th, 2014 01:15 pm (UTC)
Look, I'm not trying to start an argument here. I am only stating my opinion. I feel that Sam's anger at Dean for saving him and the distance that created only allowed it to be even more possible for Dean to fall enough for the mark to take him down. If things were all perfect between the boys, Sam would have seen more of what was going on and been able to stop it going this far or stop Dean from being depressed enough to take the mark in the first place. Jensen has said at cons and in interviews that due to the brothers fighting and Sam saying he didn't want to be brothers, Dean felt he failed Sam on some level and needed a new mission to focus on because he felt lost (I.e. He could no longer define himself solely as Sam's protector). All of this snowballed and Dean became a demon. It's like they said waaaay back in Phantom Traveler, a demon needs a "chink in the armor, a way to worm through" so all this drama had Dean's psyche weakened, making it easier for the mark to manifest so quickly and so powerfully. I'm not saying the blame lays at Sam's feet, because it doesn't, but it's just one of the factors and I don't think that's been outwardly stated. Hell I'd rather that angle than all that crap about Sam doing evil things while tracking down demon!Dean. That just seems like the writing is forcing negativity on Sam's character and I hate that. One minute we hate that Sam didn't do anything to find Dean in purgatory and now we are supposed to be mad that he DID do something? Wtf? That's enough to send Sam's head spinning even more than all those concussions over ten seasons lol.
Lady Korana: Sleeping Sammy w/bandaged handladykorana on December 11th, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not trying to start an argument either. Really. I feel that Dean was hurt and that didn't help him deal, and and that Sam's anger was poorly expressed at times but also largely justified as a victim of violation trying to deal with the fallout. But that's all completely beside the point. I don't want to start that again as I know there are many conflicting interpretations.

I'm just confused by the timeline logic here, and Jensen's too if he said that. I mean, Sam has spikes in his head and had literally just found out he was possessed and expelled the angel. Dean leaves only a few minutes after that. He wanted to leave, Sam only said he wouldn't stop him. He gets the Mark right after that.

My confusion also could be because I'm of the opinion that there was nothing Dean could have done to stop the Mark from taking over, short of quitting hunting and maybe not even then, if it activated upon his death. So I don't think that he had to make a choice to accept its effects or not once he already had the Mark. So I don't really see much blame to go around anywhere (regarding the Mark, that is) other than Dean for not asking for the warning label in the first place.

Edited because I didn't proofread well enough.

Edited at 2014-12-11 04:16 pm (UTC)
strgazr04strgazr04 on December 11th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
As far as the timeline goes, I'll have to go back and rewatched. I just always went by what Jensen said since he'd know Dean better than anyone else. Regardless of the order of events, Dean's emotional state is important to note in regards to the mark. I think him feeling lost and in need of a mission he can set right is why he accepted the mark from Cain and his downward spiral of depression allowed him to fall into its grips because he was too focused on the end goal to see what it was doing to him. Plus after his fights with Sam, I don't think he really cared what it did to him as long as get completed his task of getting Abaddon and Metatron. His acceptance of the mark predeath is what let him turn into a demon later.

Either way, those issues (Sam needing to explain his feeling of being violated and that he lied to Dean with the while "I wouldn't do the same" etc) need to be talked out. Right now it's just "I lied" and swept under the rug. (And that's only because Jared came up with that line, not that it was actually in the script) I'm just frustrated that Carver insists on his line of the bros maturing together and yet we still have them brushing off issues and pretending it's ok just so that a season or two from now the writers can use those unresolved issues to bring back a similar plot point. It's not like they haven't before. It makes their relationship start to become unrealistic as far as two human beings go (outside of the whole scifi world I mean) because no two regular people would ever go this long without at least having something to say about what happened.

Basically all I'm saying is they need to have an actual adult conversation on camera instead of just sweeping it under the rug and saying its fine. At the end of so many past seasons they realize that they are stronger together and how if they'd just talked earlier things wouldn't have gotten so bad (same thing happened with Sam's emotional state that led him into Ruby's arms and to killing Lilith - like the voicemail that never got touched on).
Yellowbulmayellowbulma on December 10th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen it and going by other people's and your reviews I'm not in a rush to see it.

I have said it before but I don't give a fuck about Castiel or Crowley.(Crowley is a good villain but I don't give a shit about his mommy issues zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

I get that after 10 years Jared and Jensen want to spend time with their family's but I watch the show for Sam and Dean.

There is talk of an 11th season but I would prefer this be the last and Jared and Jensen just focus on this one.
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam pouting (3x06)jessm78 on December 10th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
You really wouldn't miss anything hon. I really wasn't thrilled with it at all.

Yeah Crowley's mommy issues are annoying, they really should just get to the point about why he needs her alive (if he really does anyway). Don't drag it out so much... like you said... zzzzzzzzzz.

I agree. I don't want to see less Sam and Dean. I'm probably going to get flamed for saying this, but if the boys wanted to spend more time with their families maybe they should have packed it in already? Or at least make the seasons shorter, like 12-13 episodes and that way they'd have a longer hiatus and get to spend more time with them.

I agree with you on that too.
Yellowbulmayellowbulma on December 12th, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
Exactly if season 10 is going to be the last can't they just focus on it one last time.
darkrose_9darkrose_9 on December 11th, 2014 05:50 am (UTC)
I liked the Claire storyline, but the acting on her part was...not great. It kind of distanced me from the actress.

Cas and Dean on the other hand? Wonderful range of emotion for Cas, and Dean always looks beautiful covered in blood. That part where he says he didn't mean to do it? *shivers*
Amy Cooperamycooper on December 11th, 2014 04:00 pm (UTC)
First - they hyped this story way to much. It was a busy story, but kind of quiet at the same time, you know? No big monster, but rather domestic really.

Second, I think one of the things that seems to have missed TPTB is that Supernatural really is the Winchesters' story. Despite this, they've tried for YEARS to give Cas his own storylines and...I mean, they're boring on their own merit but also they often don't mesh much with the Winchesters' story. The best seasons for Cas where the seasons where his story intertwined the most with the Winchesters.

If we had years of Cas' story meshing with the Winchester, I think this story would have felt more interesting (Lord knows I'll take Claire over any angels storyline any day of the week). BUT, I think we've had so much of these side-Cas stories that...this just didn't fly as well as it should have for that reason. And I'm saying this as someone that ADORES Castiel.

What did work, or what I at least found interesting, was that they chose *this* story as the story where Dean loses control. In a story obsessed with parents and parental responsibility and where we have two (older) child characters face and get rescued by sexual violence last minute by parental figures.

First, the story Dean tells really, really sounds like he got roofied, leading one to wonder what would have happened if John didn't show up. The threat of rape was very implicit, but there all the same. Then directly after Dean tells that story you have Castiel (now armed with the knowledge from that story) rescue Claire who was trade in as a sex slave and nearly raped.

I think of how, in both cases, both "fathers" (Castiel is NOT Claire's father but was trying to fill the role) weren't very good parents, but at least stopped that from happening to their kids.

And then I think of how lost and confused Dean looked after he killed everyone and I wonder if there is a purposeful parallel between rape and the MoC and parents and what family needs to do to protect each other from violence and violation.

strgazr04strgazr04 on December 11th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
Woah. I hadn't even thought of that! That parallel makes so much sense. It would also flow nicely after last season with Sam being invaded by Gadreel and Dean's role there (whether Dean realized that violation or not in his frantic attempt to save Sam). It's, in a way, been a thread since s1 with one or both of the bros feeling forced against their will to do some deed (Sam and the YED powers, John telling Dean to kill Sam, Dean torturing in hell, Sam and the demon blood, all the angel and demon possessions, etc). Very insightful. This could be a whole meta discussion in itself!
Amy Cooperamycooper on December 12th, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked my mini meta. :)