Warning, this is a bit long. Oh yeah, and I've also included some overall thoughts on the season in another cut... that were sparked by a discussion on one of the forums. There's nothing really spoilery about them, but I put them behind a cut 'cause it's a bit long. If you are interested, please give them a read.
I LOVED that we learned more about Bobby, more of his backstory and how he got into hunting. I loved how Dean and Sam came to his rescue and how Dean tried to get him to wake up - how he told Bobby he's like a father to him.
A little break for shallow stuff: Not only did I think both boys looked particularly edible in this ep, teehee, but I literally squeeeee'd when the episode opened with the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running." I absolutely LOVE that song.
I found Bela to be quite cringe-worthy in this ep. I mean, come on. First we have Sam dreaming of hot steamy sex with her.... I was actually going "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" during that scene. Though I have to admit his reaction after he woke up was hilarious. I dunno though, I thought that little scene was pretty pointless. I know they were aiming for a few cheap laughs, but..... yeah, didn't serve to move the actual plot forward.
And she stole the colt. Sheesh...
Loved the part when the boys were first drinking that tea and Sam puts some of Bobby's hair in it, saying they have to drink it to enter the person's dreams and taste a part of their body... Loved Dean's "at least it's just hair and not some other part of the body." Heh...
Some very nice scenery when Sam exits the house. I just loved the lighting and coloring in those scenes. Just another plus of them shooting in HD this year, I guess.
Hmmm... did anyone think that Dean would actually drink the beer that Jeremy had spiked with the root? A bit careless there, no?
Okay, I have to go into detail a bit about this next part because it seems a bit controversial among fans. At a few of the Supernatural forums where I post, people have been saying that Dean's character is now destroyed, wrecked, he's now some poor insecure slob - no longer the strong, stoic guy, etc. I'm talking about the part where he's talking to the vision of himself who keeps telling him that he doesn't have an original thought of his own, that he's nothing and he has nothing without Sam, that he's "dad's blunt little instrument," etc. And then Dean lashes out at... himself... saying that Dad did nothing to protect the family, he didn't protect their mom, he wasn't there for Sam; that Dean himself did it all; that Dad was obsessed; and, finally, that he doesn't want to go to Hell.
Now, I personally did not see this as Dean's character being wrecked. We've seen little glimpses of this sort of thing before. Wasn't it in AHBL Part 2 where he told Bobby he made the deal to save Sam so that at least his life could mean something? Bobby told him "and it didn't before? Do you have that low an opinion of yourself?" If people are complaining that Dean isn't the strong, stoic guy anymore, we've seen hints in the more recent episodes that his facade is starting to crack; he is scared about going to Hell. Sam has seen it himself and has told Dean (see Fresh Blood for example). We saw more evidence of it in the last episode also, that he is becoming afraid and doesn't want to end up in Hell. He asked Ruby at the end if there was a way for him to avoid The Pit. I personally could see him getting a bit scared about it.
So, no, I don't think Dean's character is ruined or wrecked. I just think that the facade has cracked and we're seeing some vulnerabilities coming out. That doesn't ruin the character for me personally. If anyone has any other views or opinions on it, then you are more than welcome to it. But this is just how I see it personally.
Getting back to the rest of the episode... It was a bit freaky how after Dean shot the vision of himself, the guy turned into a demon and practically shrieked at him "THIS is what you will become!"
I love how Sam went in there with him, so it would be two of them against Jeremy - and love how he tricked Jeremy when the guy had him down... hmmm possible use of his psychic powers there? (just thinking about what Bobby asked him at the end)
And yes, Dean finally admits to Sam at the end that he doesn't want to die. Sam tells him they'll find a way to get him out of it. Again I don't see this as Dean's character being ruined. But that's just me.
The preview for next week's ep (Mystery Spot) looks really intense, too.... I can just see all the Sam Angst we're going to get. Looking forward to it.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. If you don't like the way the show is going, then fine. I've been a fan of multiple shows that I've felt have gone downhill after a certain period of time. The fellow Stargate fans on my f-list should know this fact well, LOL. ;) I sometimes air my anti- thoughts, but I do it in the appropriate places, such as anti- threads on forums like GW (though lately I haven't had much to say about it).
Getting back to Supernatural - I'm still a relatively new fan. I only started watching just over a year ago. My first episode that I saw was Playthings. And that wasn't even the whole ep. First ep I saw in totality was Roadkill. Not long after S2 finished airing I bought the S1 DVD set. So even though I'm still a pretty new fan, I've seen all the episodes to date. I agree that S3 does seem quite different from S1 and even S2 a bit. For one thing, we have no more YED, who was a big driving force in the first 2 seasons. S1 was mostly made up of urban legend type of investigations, though we did start seeing more of the arc involving the boys, their Dad, Sam's visions and the YED. S2 was a continuation of that and the boys trying to go it alone in the wake of Dad's death. S3 does seem a bit darker and edgier (and I think we'll all agree that it's been a bit gorier as well). Yes, the boys have changed, especially Sam. He's become darker but also a bit more mature. There is definitely a big difference between the S1 Sam and S3 Sam (and I'm not just talking about the hair... thinking of those of you who were yelling "bring back the bangs!" ;) Yeah I miss them too but I see how the hair off the forehead adds to his more mature look and I'm not really complaining too much). And there does appear to be a bit of a role reversal. In S2 it was mostly Dean looking out for Sam and trying to save him. Now it's Sam trying to save Dean. I like the fact that we see how devoted he is to his brother, as he'd said at the end of AHBL Pt. 2 "I don't care what it takes, I'm going to get you out of this."
Yes, I haven't been all that crazy about the girls either. Well, at least Bela. I was very wary at the start of the summer when the news came out that they were adding 2 female regulars to the cast. I didn't want them to take away from the brotherly scenes our boys have together, that Dean would spend the majority of his scenes with one girl, and Sam the majority of his scenes with the other, and we'd barely see them together. I didn't want to see more episodes like No Exit. But I took a wait-and-see attitude about the whole thing. While I wasn't too impressed with Ruby at the very beginning (her cocky attitude bugged me somewhat) I think her character has become pretty interesting. Even though I'm not totally in love with her, I think she has at least some use in the story. Bela on the other hand really bugs me. There were times that she's seemed to be little more than a Mary Sue. Whenever I re-watch Red Sky At Morning, I usually fast-forward through most of her scenes. If she's used in VERY small doses, I don't mind too much, but usually when she's around it means the boys (especially Dean it seems) are dumbed down for her sake.
I guess that being a relatively new fan doesn't make my opinion matter too much, but I'm still enjoying the show. I recognize how it's changed. There are little things here and there that I have issues with, but I'm trying to look past them and enjoy the more positive aspects of each new episode that I see. I can't say that I enjoy it more or less than the previous two seasons. I still enjoy it, but in a different way.
So, those are my thoughts on the whole thing. YMMV. And if you have any comments/thoughts/criticisms, etc. you'd like to add, please feel free.