Thursday, May 21, 2020

Supernatural season 2 eps 18 - 22

Season 2 recap continues..  spoilers ahead.

Ep 18 - Hollywood Babylon
The boys investigate a haunted movie set, but it turns out to not be haunted.  Other things are afoot.  They manage to get jobs on the set, Dean makes a particularly good PA.  He also eats everything he can, I do enjoy Dean eating, and he gets laid, by the star actress no less.  We learn about Dean's love and knowledge of crappy horror films.  This is very much a Dean-centric episode and I heartily approve.  Particularly as I feel that season 2 is overall more Sam-centric.  It is about his psychic powers after all, and it's a good storyline, but I do like Dean stories.

Through looking at other recaps just now I see that Something Wicked in season 1 is also Dean centric.  Normally I would watch it, but it deals with ill children so I am so not up to watching it at the moment.

Ep 19 - Folsom Prison Blues
This is a bonkers premise.  There's a haunting in a prison so the boys get themselves arrested (easy enough to do with the files the police have on them), and they get sent to the haunted prison.  Convenient.  Dean fits in particularly well, he's all swagger and bravado and instantly gets on with some of the prisoners.  Others he gets into a fight with.  Of course he does, he's Dean.

Dean charms their lawyer and convinces her to get him information about the ghost's body, and the boys escape.

This is a wonderfully fun, charismatic episode.  Dean is having far too much fun and Sam thinks the whole idea is bonkers.

Ep 20 - What is and what should never be
Ooof. if you are a fan of Dean this might well break your heart.

Dean get attacked by a Djinn and is thrust into what he thinks is a new reality.  In this new reality his mum is alive, the family aren't hunters, and Sam and him don't get on.  Given that this is meant to be his greatest wish fulfilled, I find this ep a bit unbelievable, as I don't think he would ever dream of a reality where Sam and him weren't joined at the hip.

Their Dad is dead, of a stroke, small mercies and all that, but then Dean realises that all the people they have saved in the other world are dead in this one.  He decides that he needs to sacrifice his happiness and go back to his old world.  And that is why I love this show and I love Dean.  he's a hero through and through, he (nearly) always does the right thing and he's committed to improving the world.  He decides to give up his own personal happiness in order to do what is right.  That is amazing and something to aspire to.

Dean decides to go find the Djinn and kill it, thereby reversing the spell, and Sam comes along with him (because they are destined to be together), Sam finds out about the supernatural and then Dean realises this isn't a new reality, it's an illusion.  And he end sup back in the real world and he's quite broken.

Ep 21 - All hell breaks loose part 1
The start of the epic season 2 conclusion!

Sam get kidnapped to a weird deserted town. The other psychic kids are there.  They learn about Azazel's deathmatch plan.  Sam is stabbed by the remaining psychic kid and dies in Dean's arms.

My heart is broken, again.

This is an excellent death scene, watching Dean react to his brother's death tears me apart.

Ep 22 - All hell breaks loose part 2
And then I get torn apart even more.
Dean's words to Bobby and his monologing over Sam's body illustrates to me how much of a parental role Dean has to Sam.  He has seen his charge die, his role in life has been to keep Sam safe, at all costs, and now he's failed him.  Dean expected Sam to outlive him, but now Sam has died and it just reminds me so much of a parent's grief when their child dies.  Dean will do absolutely anything to get Sam back.  So he does.  He makes a deal with a crossroads demon - to get Sam back Deans gives up his soul in 12 months time.  Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

The thing I don't like about this episode is John's ridiculous return. It's not needed and it cheapens what has gone on earlier in the season.  The brothers have worked through their feelings about John's death and we've had a huge focus on the brother's relationship.  John does not belong there.

So, that's a shitty note to end the season on.  If we forget about that part then season 2 remains glorious and worth many many watches.  I've started rewatching season 3 already.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Supernatural Season 2 - eps 4, 6 - 17 and a pandemic related rant

Season 2 is absolutely fucking gold.  Pretty much all the episodes are great, and it's filled with memorable gems that I was sure were in later seasons.

This season really looked at how depressed Dean is.  He does the job, hes good at it, but he feels empty.  He doesn't have much hope.  He loves Sam, and he gets enjoyment out of things in life, but he is mostly just sad.

I've already talked about eps 1-3 and 5, now I'll recount the rest.

Ep 4 - Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.  So I didn't watch all of this again. It just didn't grab me.  I remember Dean being very angry, and rightfully so.  His dad has just died, he's grieving.

Ep 6 - No Exit. Jo from the Roadhouse joins the boys on a hunt.  She's clever that one.  She's capable and ambitious but not quite got enough experience.  It's another creepy episode, with an excellent ending to the ghost.

Ep 7 - The Usual Suspects.  Sam and Dean get arrested for murder, we get another excellent female supporting characters as Diana, a lady cop, played by Linda Blair.  Diana learns about the supernatural, we find out who wronged the ghost and the boys get away to hunt another day.  We also get a great pea soup gag at the end.  Sounds simplistic but the execution is marvellous. The interviews with the boys, both focusing on the hunt and seemingly not bothered by the arrest, and the way the story of the ghost pans out is marvellous.

This episode means that from now on the boys are on the run from the law, which makes for a slight change in attitude from them, and is followed through in future episodes.  Back when the season arcs made sense and we had continuity.

Ep 8 - Crossroad Blues.  We meet a crossroads demon and learn about hell hounds.  The opening to this is just wonderful, the blues scene is full of soul (pardon the obvious language, I'm tired and lockdown has turned my brain to jam), and the arrival of the hellhound is masterful.

Ep 9 - Croatoan.  Dean tells San what their dad told him before he died, but honestly I'm ambivalent about that.  I know it provides angst, but I do not give two shits about John.  The Croatoan demon virus is what is really interesting and what grabs me.  I feel like The Darkness' plague in season 13/14(?) repeated the Croatoan madness.  Lazy writing in later seasons.

Ep 10 - Hunted. I don't think I paid too much attention to this one either, not after looking at a  synopsis.  Gordon turned up and tried to kill Sam.  That was never gonna work, or take, let's be honest.  I have no interest in Gordon.

Ep 11 - Playthings.  I found this difficult to watch because of the daughter's near death.  Powerful episode though.  The case is found in a hotel.  A mother, daughter and grandma live there and the hotel is getting sold.  The Grandma had a sister who died as a young child, 9ish.  The Grandma has been keeping her ghost at bay with hoodoo all her life, but now she's had a stroke so her ghost now befriend the daughter and kills people.

Ep 12 - Nightshifter.  Super wiki tells me this is mostly about a bank robbery and apparent suicides.  I have no idea. Brain jam you see.

After running out of steam the other day, I am coming back to this post and will try to finish it tonight. But first, a rant.

I have been so eager to do a re-watch and write a recap of the episodes, I've been daydreaming about how to do it, thinking about the episodes that had the most impact on me, trying to spot the foreshadowing and Easter eggs and all the innocuous but important bits that you notice when you adore something.

Yet now I am in the situation where I want to continue writing, and I want to wrap up each season before starting the next, but it feels like another pressured thing to do, on top of all the other endless things to do that are stacking up and up and up an becoming unbearable, because we're in fucking lockdown, stuck at home, with a shit incompetent government who would rather make money than protect people, doing our best to avoid catching a virus that could well fucking kill me, stuck far away from family who I cannot visit because they are vulnerable, with next to no space to myself, no time to think and relax because there is always someone else around.  I am hardly ever alone and it's ruining me.

There's homeschooling (or whatever it is that we're calling it), checking the school website for lesson plans and educational ideas, trying to catch up with people on video chat, meal plans, sorting out food deliveries, working out when to do a supermarket shop, paying attention to my asthma and mood meds, going for daily exercise, cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, doing the laundry, trying to read, trying to junk model, trying to think of exciting things to make with what we've got, negotiating the post office, trying to manage my trichotillomania (and failing), thinking of how we will keep the lad at home when schools allegedly re-open, worrying about the lad's social interaction with other, being convinced that family or myself will die of this disease, worrying about my family's actual real non-covid related hospital admissions, getting up, going to bed, wondering when I can have another eyesight test, remembering to take my iron tablets, trying to work out balanced meals for everyone, trying not to drink too often.  Remembering to adjust my chair when I sit down to work, trying to do my work from home, trying to manage my family's expectations and prevent them from falling into a pit of despair.  Trying to do my hobbies.

There is probably far far more also on my plate, which leads to me rage typing this.

I'm not the only one, most people feel like this.  We've had 67 days of lockdown and it's awful.  Sometimes it's good.  But mostly it's awful.  I miss normal contact with people, I miss being able to go places.  I hate homeschooling.

Fuck this shit, fuck this pandemic and fuck this virus.  Fuck the Tory government and their lies and half truths and misinformation and piss poor strategy.

Now this is off my chest, let's go back to writing up the episodes.

Ep 13 - Houses of the Holy.  This might be my favourite ep of the season.  It's where the boys discover angels, or it seems like they do.  This feels like the start of theology in the show.  Sam believes in God, Dean doesn't and he is shaken by Sam's belief.  I feel like given all the shit (dead mother, shitty father, many horrible demons and supernatural stuff hurting people) that Dean has witnessed he can't believe in the christian God because what God could allow it.  Whereas Sam, well Sam never knew his mother, he doesn't feel the loss like Dean does, and he never witnessed the change in John's parenting.  Dean was young, sure, but he remembers bits of Mary.  He parented Sam and protected him, kept him safe, but he didn't have anyone to do that for him.  I'm not surprised he doesn't have any faith and that he can't accept the existence of angels.  At this point in the show they believe that angels represent goodness.  They'll learn.

Then at the end Dean is forced to reconsider his stance, and it's so touching, so emotional, and seeing him start to feel differently, to consider the possibility of the divine, is just a stellar piece of telly.

Ep 14 - Born Under a Bad Sign.  This is also an exceptionally good episode.  Sam gets possessed by Meg, the demon from season 1.  MegSam kills people.  Dean finds out and his first instinct is to cover up the murder and protect Sam.  My heart, it bursts.  I'm a sucker for deep, abiding, I will move the earth for you love, and the Winchesters have it in spades.  There's a reason the show is also known as The Epic Love Story Of Sam And Dean.

Ep 15 - Tall Tales.  The Trickster arrives.  I adore this guy.  I was so pleased he came back in later seasons.  I'm not that fussed about the plot for this ep, but it's got some great character moments.  The scenes where the boys are recounting their evening in the bar to Bobby, and we see their versions of events, is just top quality.

Ep 16 - Roadkill.  There are 2 ghosts haunting a stretch of road and the boys lay them to rest.  The plot twist is that we think one of them is a living human until the end of the episode, and so does the ghost.  I know this is a trope that has been done before, but it feels fresh and compelling in this episode.  I have a note that says that the way Sam explains why ghosts exist echoes how Dean saw him explain stuff to the guy in Tall Tales.  I think this is referring to Dean's version of events in tall tales where Sam gives an uninterested witness a hug and is very emotional slash supportive slash puppy eyed at them.  So I guess it shows where Dean's version of events comes from.

I feel that these episodes are good examples of how Dean is very practical, very much in the here and now, wanting to solve the immediate problem then emotionally ditch it.  Whereas Sam is more of a thinker.  I believe that Sam and Dean are just as emotional as each other, they just express or hide the emotions in different ways.  Dean certainly isn't stupid either, he's framed as the least educated one, because he didn't go to University and he isn't widely read, but he's a good hunter and can put two and two together perfectly well enough.  I think he's more reckless than Sam, and I think he's more willing to take risks (so long as they don't risk Sam), and he's more willing to get killed in the line of duty.  Sam nearly got out. He tasted a normal life.  Dean has never felt he's had that option.

Ep 17 - Heart.  Dean goes to a strip club, Sam gets laid and the boys argue over what makes a monster worth killing.  All in the context of a werewolf hunt.  There's a discussion about an abusive ex and I think the scene did a reasonable job at showing how women get away from domestic violence and recovery.
The scenes were Sam has Madison tied up and is trying to get her to admit to being a werewolf are really compelling.  Especially when viewed in parallel with the earlier discussion of DV.  Sam switches to terrifying and Madison is genuinely terrified.
Dean offers to shoot Madison for Sam, and then cries on behalf of Sam when he does it.  I feel like this is quite a Wincesty moment.  Even though by the end Season 2 finale Dean is in more of a parental place with Sam.  These Winchesters are complex.