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Stop the Ride, I Wanna Get Off! Supernatural’s The Prisoner

May 14, 2015
WB/The CW

WB/The CW

I often say that watching Supernatural is a roller coaster – emotional ups and downs, violent twists and turns, screams and shouts and sometimes a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach even though you’re having a great time. The last two weeks were a bit different – Dark Dynasty was just plain dark at the end, and left me with the sinking feeling that Show had gone somewhere it would have a tough time digging itself out of. The Prisoner was dark too, but it was more of a roller coaster. This time, though, it wasn’t always my favorite one (that would be the Great Bear coaster at Hershey Park, btw). That one flies you through the air swiftly and smoothly, your feet hanging free, a gigantic grin on your face as you soar and dip and basically have the time of your life. The roller coaster ride of The Prisoner was more like one not designed quite so smoothly – one that goes at breakneck speed and sometimes jerks you around corners too roughly and leaves you screaming OUCH instead of YAY. One that creates a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, far beyond queasy. One that you stagger off of at the end clutching your heart and asking WHY??

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But last night’s episode did have me feeling a bit sick and worse for wear. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a well done episode – it was, especially the amazing acting. But there were parts that were just too painful for me; I haven’t been able to do a rewatch yet, in fact. So this review is from my live watching, which sort of seems fitting for an episode that left me feeling so raw.

Oh, and by the way, I was sort of hoping that the title would somehow refer to the quirky cult classic PBS television show of the same name, which had all sorts of interesting things to say about identity and independence. Hmmm.

Anyway…

I haven’t been a fan of the Stynes (or the odd reveal that they’re actually the Franken-steins) but the reluctant young family member made me care about their story a bit for the first time, if only to care about him. Connor Price did a great job as Cyrus, and the parallels to Sam Winchester were clear but not too anvilicous. I felt for him, wanting just to get away from the family business, but inevitably and reluctantly drawn in. The scene where he’s forced to eviscerate his bully was chilling – and started my stomach turning. Also the plastic bag on the head thing was scary, maybe because when your kids are little every plastic bag comes with such a dire warning. I’m still a little traumatized from them.

I guess the sewing of the bully’s arm onto the Styne who ripped his own off last week was a nice nod to the whole Frankenstein thing, but eww. (Also I’m still not over the Winchesters shackling the Styne guy by ONE arm last week…really, Show? Really?)

If that wasn’t enough to make me feel ill, the scene in which the Winchesters give Charlie a hunter’s funeral did the trick.

Cap @dr_spn_phd

Cap @dr_spn_phd

I didn’t actually need the sentimental montage, which was a bit too much and actually made me feel LESS emotional. What got to me more were the looks on Sam and Dean’s faces, Sam overcome with guilt and chopping wood like he wants to chop up the world instead, and Dean so effing cold, almost glaring at his brother as he carries Charlie’s wrapped body and places it on the pyre. Sam tries to give some sort of eulogy, which doesn’t work too well (“You were the best”…), but Dean isn’t having it. He lashes out at Sam, telling him he doesn’t get to apologize. (What? Since when?) And then he says something that made me want to lose my dinner.

Dean: I think it should be you up there and not her.

WHAT?????

I assume we’re supposed to think that Charlie’s death pushed Dean over the edge and it’s now the Mark talking and not Dean, because Dean Winchester would NEVER say that. NEVER. I’m assuming that his emotions are closer to what he was when he was a demon than what he was as Dean. But we’ve had precious little lead up to that state, so Dean’s comment came out of nowhere and caught me so off guard that I had no time to protect myself from the pain of it. I think it cut ME even deeper than it cut poor Sam, who seemed to be expecting a verbal attack from his brother. (Sam keeps talking about how much worse Dean is getting, so he was more prepared than us hapless viewers, since Show hasn’t SHOWN us much of that at all! We got surly Dean on a normal bad day more than we got about-to-become-a-demon-again Dean who was totally losing it, until now.)

Sam interprets the awful words as the Mark talking, though Dean won’t admit it. He even tries to plead his case, but again, Dean is having none of it. As though, for a Winchester, telling the other one to “leave it” has ever worked. Dean himself can’t do that either. And while we saw Sam similarly blame his brother and lash out during Season 9, Dean does it with even more venom – and, one could argue, even less reason.

They both made rash decisions faced with what felt like no other choice, and with the goal of saving the other. They both lied about it and deceived each other. People who are lied to by those they love and trust have a tough time dealing with it, and I think we saw that with both Sam and Dean. It’s humiliating, horribly painful, to find out that someone has been lying to you for a long time. The person feels like a fool, obsessively going back over every conversation wondering if the other person was laughing at them for their trust and optimism. It breaks relationships, and people have a hard time getting over it. It creates great rage, and all sorts of attempts at hurting the liar in return. I think that’s a big part of what’s happening here, just as it was when Sam kept lashing out at Dean in S9 hitting him where it hurt most – saying they could work together but weren’t brothers. Dean is doing the same, and damn, it hurts. Charlie’s death was the last straw, but finding out that Sam has been lying to him is as much the source of Dean’s rage as his (perceived) part in Charlie’s death.

Sam and Dean both also got someone else killed with their decisions (Kevin and Charlie). But Sam was honest with Charlie – she chose to help, to do it “for Dean.” So did Castiel. Sam didn’t drag them into it or hold something over their heads. Charlie died a hero, making the choice to send the file and smash the laptop that sealed her fate. Blaming Sam for her death doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Not that emotional reactions and rage always make a lot of sense.

I’m guessing (because I have to make sense of those horrible words somehow) that Dean is feeling every bit as guilty as Sam. Or at least he was before the Mark pushed him out of internalizing all that guilt and let him externalize it in extreme violence instead. His decision to take on the Mark was as responsible for Charlie’s death as Sam’s decision to ask for her help in translating the Book of the Damned. He almost killed Charlie himself earlier this season and still is carrying that guilt. But when Dean gets overwhelmed by guilt and loss, he lashes out. Sam internalizes and stays with the guilt; Dean pushes it outward and slashes away at whoever happens to be in his path. Sam is the one who’s most often there, so he’s the first to get cut.

I swear, I was bleeding a little when Dean said that, and at the shattered look on Sam’s face and the absolute hard cold glare on Dean’s.

I cannot help but love Sam Winchester even more for refusing to give up on his brother, no matter how far gone he is – or how hurtful. He struggles to do what Dean asks and stop the translation, but then he gets Charlie’s email, and he can’t bring himself not to try. At this point, Sam sees much more clearly than Dean where the path he’s on will inevitably lead. Dean keeps talking about the inevitability of other people (like Cyrus Styne) becoming monsters, but it’s Dean who’s actually headed down that one way road. He’s refusing to see it, clinging to the fiction that he’ll be able to control it enough, that he’ll keep going and then go out swinging. What he’s missing (but Sam is not) is that he CAN’T control it, and that the people he’s taking swings at are not just the bad guys anymore. He’ll eventually be dangerous to everyone – Sam, Cas, humanity. Sam HAS to try to stop him, and not just so he won’t be without his brother. Dean seems to be picking up where Cain left off, blindly cutting down anyone and everyone who might someday become a monster, not just those who already are.

Can you tell I feel for Sam so much it’s breaking my heart? OUCH.

His guilt is palpable. And yet his commitment to his brother is unwavering. It’s like they’ve completely switched viewpoints – Sam now recognizes that Dean has saved him again and again, even when he didn’t want to be saved, and he no longer resents that. He’s glad he’s alive and invested in ‘saving people, hunting things’ now – not that he wasn’t ready to die to save others, he was, and not that he will ever think that Dean not asking him before letting an angel in was okay (because it wasn’t), but he also feels some gratitude to Dean for saving him.

Sam: I owe him. I owe him everything. I’ve been the one out there – messed up, alone. And Dean…

Cas: Did whatever he could to save you.

Sam is determined to do the same. And I love him for it.

Meanwhile, Rowena becomes integral to the plot when she refuses to break the code until Sam kills Crowley, and Cas is set up as the opposing force to her power (especially after she called him a fish and totally pissed him off).

@ruthieconnell and her awesome Rowena makeup

@ruthieconnell and her awesome Rowena makeup

Sam tricks Crowley into meeting with him – which, I’ll admit, broke my heart a little. He came because he thought Dean needed him, and that just….my feelings about Crowley are confusing, okay? When I thought Sam really was going to kill him, I was actually screaming NOOOOOOO at my television. I know he’s supposed to be the bad guy, but damn it, I love Crowley!

Sam echoed the reasons why so many of us are confused about our affection for the King of Hell –

Sam: You have the accent, and the suit, and the snark, but at the end of it you’re a monster just like the rest of them!

I mean, I do know that. I know he killed plenty of good people, and he’s sadistic and just plain evil. But he’s CROWLEY. I love that Show has made me conflicted, by showing a bit of his humanity with the human blood addiction and a bit of his vulnerability, both in his affection for Dean and his longing for his mother’s love. I can’t forget all that, even as I’m reminding myself that he’s a bad guy.

I did have to snort a dark laugh at Sam’s exasperated, “Would you just die, already?”

But Crowley doesn’t. Instead we see his eyes turn red (and smoking – kudos, VFX guys!) and he’s suddenly pretty damn scary again. I like it! Jared and Mark were incredible in that scene – you could have cut the tension with a knife.

Also, thank you Andrew Dabb, for remembering canon and using the Devil’s Trap bullet trick again.

xxxxx 10.22 crowley

cap covermysixdean

cap covermysixdean

Meanwhile, Dean goes after the Stynes. Single handed. He gets stopped by some cops, and I found myself feeling worried for THEM instead of for Dean, which I guess is an indication that Show is FINALLY making me believe that Dean is one scary f—ker. The cop proves himself appallingly gullible by coming around the other side of the table to pick up Dean’s deliberately spilled mess, but I’m prepared to forgive Show for that contrivance because HOLY HELL Dean brings the guy down with his THIGHS! Where’s the gif of this, fandom? I need it. Um, for research. Yes, that’s it.

Also, another canon remembrance nod to Dabb for Dean’s matter of fact “Yeah, well, I kill gods.”

Yes you do, Dean. I remember also.

Dean versus the Stynes was bloody and disturbing and terrifying. Jensen sold it, absolutely and completely. There wasn’t a moment of hesitation or remorse. He was killing humans, men and women, a brutally efficient killing machine. And while we were all plenty disgusted with the Stynes by then and not exactly feeling bad about their demise, it was still hard to watch Dean like that.

Even when they had him strapped to the table (thanks for that, Andrew Dabb and Serge Ladouceur, the angle was quite….pleasing) I didn’t have a second of worrying that he wouldn’t get free. You could tell he was just biding his time, almost taunting them. I liked seeing their haughty certainty of superiority slashed and burnt, but again, ohgod Dean. Ohgod.

xxxxx 10.22 deanguh

Meanwhile, Sam is still feeling guilty and answering questions like “What happened?” with a mournful “Me.”

Oh Sam. That’s not the right answer! Don’t buy in to what your Marked brother is saying to you right now. Just keep fighting!

He wants to head to the Stynes, but Cas tells him no, that’s not where Dean is anymore, as Cas stands among the bloodied bodies.

“Dean’s coming home,” Cas says, and my heart hurts and my stomach twists and turns. It was so ominous, the way he said it, so heartbreaking. Kudos Misha. And OUCH.

It is home. It’s their home. The bunker. I feel as attached to it as Dean did when he was still totally human, and all my protective instincts kick in at once. Surely they won’t be able to get in, though, right? It’s warded, protected, you need that special highly guarded key….

xxxxx 10.22 samcas

Oops. The Stynes break in with not all that much fuss, which still has me mystified. Remember that canon we were just talking about? Not sure this lines up very well.

Eldon seals his fate a billion times over when he forces Cyrus to pile up the Winchesters’ belongings (including Dean’s clothes, his vintage record collection, and even the photo of the Winchester family from when all four of them were still together). Noooooo!

Then Dean walked through the door and my heart was in my throat. Jensen can make Dean look so menacing that even I’m terrified, and I’m safely on the other side of the screen. Deadly, absolutely deadly.

xxxxx 10.22 badass dean

He shoots Eldon, which surprises no one.

(That was an Indiana Jones-with-the-whip moment, when Dean pointed out ‘you only have one brain’ and then calmly shot him in the head, wasn’t it?)

I also loved the priceless line: The seven nipples, for the ladies, or the fellas, I don’t judge.

It’s true, I’m quite sure Dean doesn’t.

So Eldon is dead, and we’re all pretty damn glad. But uh oh, there’s Cyrus. Cyrus, the reluctant family member who just wants to walk away, pleads for his life. I sit clutching my box of tissues mumbling Nononononononono and then SHIT! He did it.

Metaphorically, Dean just shot Sam (or the episode’s representation of Sam).

cap @adamwvfx

cap @adamwvfx

cap @margab92

cap @margab92

The bad in your blood will always win?

What?! That is definitely NOT the message of most seasons of Supernatural.

I felt like Dean was written a bit OOC in this episode the same way I felt that he wasn’t written in character when he killed Amy Pond (and lied to Sam about it). Dean can be a black and white thinker sometimes, but he has also evolved, and he doesn’t usually judge that way anymore. Again, it can be put down to the Mark of Cain, but the speech itself just didn’t ring true to me at all. And the death itself was painful, especially because Cyrus was ‘Sam’.

Alas, the pain wasn’t over yet. The last scene between Dean and Castiel was so hard to watch, and had my stomach twisting and turning once again.

Poor Cas, he’s right. He will be the one still around when Dean goes completely dark side, no matter how long that takes.

Cas: I’m the one who will have to watch you murder the world.

My heart broke for Cas there, as he desperately tried to get through to Dean. But, just as with Sam, Dean remains resolutely unemotional. Cold. Rage simmering just barely under the surface. The look on his face when Cas puts a hand on his shoulder made me literally shudder.

I need to point out again that the change came too fast, imho. Just last week or the week before, Dean was putting a casual hand on Castiel’s shoulder as they walked in the door to talk with Claire. Now a similar touch has filled him with rage. Just last week, Dean was still able to make jokes, do research, want to do his job. We didn’t see nearly enough of the frightening behavior that Sam kept referencing. Even the few things we did see, like Dean slamming that guy’s head into the bar table to get information, didn’t seem all that out of character. Castiel’s ominous warning to Sam, that “he’s getting worse” made me go ‘Huh?’ A bit of a fail there, Show, sorry.

Anyway, Dean is clearly dark side now! And he clearly blames Cas for lying to him just like he blames Sam.

Cas: I don’t want to hurt you, Dean.

Dean: I don’t think that’s gonna be problem.

Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We got a reverse of the beat down scene in the crypt, where Cas was being controlled by Naomi and Dean doesn’t fight back. This time it’s Dean under the influence of the Mark, and he beats Cas brutally.

Graphic chinmayee190

Graphic chinmayee190

For once, Show lets us see it, and while it’s horribly painful to watch, it SHOULD be. We needed to see Dean slam Cas headfirst into the floor repeatedly for the true horror of it to come through. I was shaking, on the verge of tears throughout.

The last scene did nothing but amp up the emotional impact. It’s a scene that recalls the one in BUABS where possessed Sam is crouched over Dean beating him unmercifully, holding Dean close with a fistful of his shirt, while Dean has his hand clasped around Sam’s wrist, just hanging on. This time it’s Dean on top of Cas, with a fistful of his shirt and his tie, while Cas wraps his fingers around Dean’s wrist and holds on. It’s one of those confusing scenes that’s horribly violent and yet oddly intimate, and it pretty much threw fandom into paroxysms of conflicting and overwhelming emotions, no matter which lens you watch the Show through.

gif mooseleys

gif mooseleys

xxxxx 10.22 end

xxxxx 10.22 cas down

I don’t entirely understand why Cas can’t seem to heal anyone or to defend himself, but I guess we’ll find out soon. For now, Dean warns Cas to stay away – and tells him to warn Sam away too. He walks away from the two people who care about him the most, rejecting their help, rejecting their love.

Damn, but this episode hurt. I know that it was supposed to, I know that’s part of what this Show I love does to the people who love it, but damn.

I have a feeling next week ain’t gonna be a walk in the park either. This is what my living room will look like next Wednesday:

cap @poisoned87

cap @poisoned87

Somebody be prepared to come dig me out of the mountain of tissues, okay?

–Lynn
For more pleasant thoughts about Supernatural,
check out our books Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls
and Fan Phenomena Supernatural at the links at the top

39 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2015 9:40 pm

    You captured how I felt (still feel) about this episode perfectly. The emotional impact was completely on-point and terrifying, yet there were too many moments where my brain butted in and said “wah?” for me to really let it take me into the story completely.

  2. May 14, 2015 10:09 pm

    OMG yes so emotionally brutal and yet so must watch!

    I actually didn’t have the Sam-Cyrus parallel occur to me until after the fact – though it is a very good one. When Dean was talking about how the monster was in his blood and he couldn’t change that, I actually read it as coming as close as Dean could to acknowledging how doomed he himself felt from the Mark, that he didn’t see any room any more for being a better person or making good choices.

    And then once the Sam parallel did occur to me, it was almost better. Is this what it takes for Dean to start to consider the possibility that he might, possibly, have gone overboard in the past in the department of Keeping Sam Alive At All Costs? He’s never been inclined to self-reflection, God, but I think his battle with the Mark has been making him actually think about shit? Or am I totally committing fandom sacrilege here??

    I don’t know. I just know I am afraid of next week.

    And that I’m really glad the Bunker (and Dean’s picture of his mom) didn’t get torched. B/c seriously, I am a fan of their lives not completely sucking. *whimpers*

  3. May 14, 2015 10:17 pm

    Well, once again your review did the trick of (mostly) helping me understand some of my conflicted feelings.

    The first thing I got from reading your review, is why I felt so weird about Dean going dark so fast and so hard. After Charlie’s death last week we all knew it would come to that, we probably didn’t expect it to completely overwhelm him in the course of one night. At this I can still propose an explication though: The mark is stronger because of his pain and grief and his grief is stronger because of the mark. I think it’s a vicious circle and I think that the true mistake that Sam made in all this, is to have missed that fact.

    Don’t get me wrong, Sam couldn’t exactly know how the mark works. Except for the basic ‘needs blood, death and violence’, Dean has been pretty unclear on the specifics of the mark. We understand that the mark pulls at him, maybe clouds his judgment. Most of the time it breaks the barriers of his consciousness and makes his desire for violence more alive. Mostly because it was still Dean. It was the darkness in him, a darkness cultivated through what he’s been through, (pain, insecurities and self loathing) just as what the demon blood used to do to Sam (make him stronger when he felt weaker, giving him the mean to save people and be a hero and a good guy instead of the monster they all made him to be), that darkness he could (and Sam) bury because darkness is not the only thing that defines you. Love does that too, family and friends and purpose and saving people. Being together, laughing, listening to music, burgers and pies, tv and books… this is what feeds your humanity.

    Sam… Sam was so scared, is so scared he throws himself into darkness and makes deals with wicked witches to save Dean. So far so good, it’s good old Winchester move and as he says it himself : he loves Dean, he owes Dean (yes technically but he doesn’t owe him for all the time Dean saved his ass, he owes him to love him as much as Dean loves him. It’s not the ramifications and consequences that make what they share important and beautiful, it’s just the love that it stems from) and he can’t go on without Dean.

    But to go back to your argument that we barely saw Dean fight the mark, I want also to offer that it’s true because we have seen it through Sam’s eyes. Sam’s interpretation of the situation which is mostly blinded by his fear. Dean barely sneezes and Sam is like : HE IS GETTING WORST. Whereas Dean wasn’t doing so bad actually. Around Sam mostly and then Cas or Charlie cause around people, the mark may manifest itself but Dean is able to fight it and focus on the good. Not becoming a monster for those he loves and it helps that he remains around those people. Most of the times we saw Dean having to truly fight the mark, seeing his eyes turn black in the mirror or going on a killing spree, it was when he was alone. He may have had some little problems like drinking and slamming people’s faces against tables, he was mostly okay when he was around one of them. It was getting a bit more difficult episodes after episodes but it got also easy for us to catch when it was actually worst.

    Now Charlie’s death is a finale straw, just like Sam and Cas shutting him out. That’s probably where we could (but won’t cause he is scared of losing his brother) sort of blame Sam. You said Charlie came willingly and helped willingly, just like Cas. I think that though they did, they didn’t have all the true information in order to judge the real situation. Sam convinced them both that Dean was getting worst, according to his own interpretation of how Dean was doing which was partially and strongly influenced by his fear of losing Dean. Dean wasn’t THAT bad YET. Last episode, Charie, Cas and Sam were together and Dean was alone. Cas and Charlie both wanted to go to Dean and tell him truth because … because they are them and they felt in their guts that it wasn’t right. But Sammy’s fear won and spread.

    I hated the writing of this episode for so many reasons but all in all… even if it felt like losing Charlie set him over the edge, being kept alone and lied to made him dark and cruel too. In wanting to keep him human and who he is, Sam actually made him feel alone and now he is grieving on top of that. Giving into violence is easier for him now.

    I feel weird about it cause it makes sense to me that way but it also doesn’t. I wish they had done that through the course of several episodes, and I moreover doesn’t think that killing Charlie was necessary if that’s how they wanted Dean. They needed something to completely crush him so he wouldn’t have his shield up against the mark. Probably. But they only needed that because they came into it that way in the writing. I’m positive now (a week after her death) that they could have set Dean over the edge differently with as much effectiveness OR that they could have killed her without it feeling like it was rushed and reduce her to a Mark of Cain trigger and make more sense in how Dean got so dark.

    All of this may terrify me concerning Dean. It mostly break my heart for Sam. His despair and his fear are so controlling him. Every inches of him is fighting against the very thought of losing Dean to the mark. Dean may have the mark on his arm, Sammy…. is the one who has no place to hide behind when the pain is too much. The Dean he loves isn’t himself anymore. And for his own choices, Sammy has no mark to blame, no ways to find peace or even the illusion of peace except his hope in Dean and his own willingness to keep fighting.

  4. May 14, 2015 10:24 pm

    PS: sorry for my English😄 I was so happy I got it all at once, I pressed send without reading it!

  5. May 14, 2015 10:51 pm

    I think it’s easy to be observers and maintain the outsider POV of Sam and Dean’s actions and reactions from season 9 to 10. But in the narrative, inside the soul of the character, it’s a different story. And if the full emotional impacts of each of these betrayals (Dean of Sam, then this season, Sam of Dean) isn’t completely lived in, that would be so false. The horrible things they said to each other; isn’t this how we lash out when we are so horribly betrayed?

    As far as telling rather than showing the influence of the Mark, we were shown the effect earlier in the season, and Dean’s struggle with it. I believe he gained control, or convinced himself that he had, the longer he lived with it and coupled with the support he received from Sam and Cas. And as with anything so powerful one tries to repress, his control was bound to explode. The trigger was the loss of Charlie, somebody Dean truly, deeply loved. One can’t separate Dean from Mark-of-Cain-Dean; not anymore. And Dean thinking he could was his Achilles’ Heel. Loved this episode; and while I completely agree with the flaws pointed out (they could have restrained both of Eldon’s arms; he could still have pulled one free and managed to extricate himself), I think there’s a larger perspective at play here. Loved this review; I’ve loved all of them!

  6. Teresa permalink
    May 14, 2015 11:12 pm

    Hoard toilet paper! Hoard it like it’s gold because it is. Great review Lynn. That scene with Cas at the end left me shaking. I held my breath for a second or two when I thought Dean might have killed Cas. Poor Cas! Being immortal watching Dean on a murderous rampage for eternity would be devastating. Never thought of that until just then – well done Show. So glad to see The King of Hell back! I am so worried about the finale. There are no happy endings in Supernatural so something bad is about to happen – REAL bad!! I’ve already picked out my spot in the corner where I’ll be curled in the fetal position after next week’s show. I wish us all luck surviving My Brother’s Keeper.

  7. May 14, 2015 11:28 pm

    I have to admit, I really enjoyed this episode, but the critiques you made all make sense. I seem to be one of the few who really enjoyed the Stynes – especially the first one we met – those accents and the way they all just oozed menace really got me. I’m kind of sad that it doesn’t seem like they’re really going to go anywhere with it, other than the reattaching of the arm in this ep. I would have enjoyed seeing more of them, tbh.

    This ep totally got sold because of the acting all the way through, from Jared and Jensen down through the guests. Jared’s face the entire ep nearly had me in tears all on its own (when they’re standing at the pyre and his voice cracks and he looks heavenward? Pass the tissues please) and Jensen was absolutely TERRIFYING. The one killing that really got me was when he’s breaking into the mansion and he slits the guy’s throat and then just casually pushes the guy aside. Wow. No emotion, nothing. And then the end with Cyrus. Remind me not to get on Jensen’s bad side. And can we shout out to Ruth? She is just so, so brilliant. I am praying they keep her around, though I’m not holding my breath. I’m hoping she pulls a Jim Beaver and ends up sticking around for another season or seven (I’m optimistic, what can I say?).

    I have to say that I’m hoping they do follow the Cain and Abel story. I have this image in my head of Dean in a murderous rage and killing Sam and then coming to himself and realising what he’s done. Cue the angst and hiatus.

    (Yes, I know I have issues. :D)

    Thanks as always for a great review. I look forward to these every week!🙂

    • May 15, 2015 3:52 am

      I liked the Stynes initially, but I’ll own up to not be wild about the Frankenstein reveal initially. (Anyone else immediately yell out, “It’s pronounced Fraunkin-Schteeeen!!”) But then I realized that if you gave me the elevator pitch of ‘Samuel Colt will help the Boys kill a Phoenix when they travel back in time. Oh, and it will have the Back to the Future ending.’ I would’ve thought that idea sucked. Yet somehow, it worked. So I was willing to give the Stynes a chance. Maybe they’ll reorganize. They said their were a lot of them all over the world.

      I was also kind of hoping that the next Styne to lose an arm was going to get Cain’s hand grafted onto their body. We still haven’t found that thing.

      • Selene permalink
        May 15, 2015 12:15 pm

        Actually, the character Frankenstein in Shelley’s book was Swiss/German, where the name would surely be pronounced Franken-“Styne”.

      • May 17, 2015 11:47 am

        There was something about the ridiculousness of the Frankenstein reveal that made me think of Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein.” As the American Dr. Frankenstein he kept insisting it was pronounced
        /Fawnkenschteeeen/ to separate himself from his family legacy. It didn’t go so well, but it was hilarious.

    • May 15, 2015 7:19 pm

      I can’t agree more! I always too had the same picture in front of my eye. Dean is killing Sam like the bible toled us. And I still HOPE they (the writers) will do it, but I don’t have much hope.
      The whole story was soooo focusd on Dean, there’s not much room for a Sam story besides the usual I have to save Dean story. But since I know Death is back in the game there will be a Reaper Dean story next year and Sam AGAIN tries to save Dean for the next 23 Eps.
      But I want to see the old Dean. The caring Dean and not a demonic brutal Dean.
      I know I rambling here, but 23 Eps of MoC were a way too much for me.

  8. Kelly permalink
    May 15, 2015 12:02 am

    Your review was-as usual-spot on. I did wonder if Dean said that very cruel line to Sam for possibly another reason. If Dean recognizes that he’s getting worse, than he might also realize that Cains prophecy about him killing Sam could be true. He might want Sam as far away from him as possible, and was as cruel as he could be to drive Sam away. Better a hurt brother than a dead one. I don’t know, maybe grasping at straws here. Compelling episode though. Next weeks will be worse and then…..Hellatus!!

  9. Dawn permalink
    May 15, 2015 12:10 am

    Another spot on review. I agree that Dean was ruthless to Sam at the beginning of the episode. I hope it was the mark talking, because I refuse to believe that Dean would ever tell Sammy that he should be the one that was dead. This is the man who sold his soul for Sam and talked Sam out of clothing the gates of Hell because he couldn’t bear his brother dying. I think part of Dean’s anger is also guilt. He took on the mark and now there are some serious consequences because of it. Neither of the boys is to blame for her death. She knew there were risks in helping them. Charlie helped because she loved them.

    I also wish we would have seen more of Dean’s spiral into darkness. I think it could have been slowly added to the episodes leading up to this one without taking away from those episodes. Just a scene or an action that was out of character would have worked.

    I’m glad Sam’s not giving up. I’m wondering what the consequences of the Book of the Damned could be. I’m sure we’ll find out next week or at the beginning of Season 11.

    Ever since seeing the preview for next week I’ve been trying to figure out how it will end. I have a theory which I hope I’m wrong about. All I know for sure is that I want normal Sam and normal Dean (as “normal” as Winchesters can be) for Season 11. I want the brothers united to fight evil TOGETHER.

    • May 18, 2015 3:16 am

      I would like to see them together united too. The two of them against the world. I understand why Sam and Dean would each blame themselves for Charlies` death but it was the Stynes fault not theirs. Charlie wanted to help, she got the book and no one twisted her arm to help, having said that, going to that motel was not a bright move. She should have known better.
      I still think Dean said that comment to Sam about being dead to keep Sam away from him. He doesn`t want Cain`s prophecy to come true. He would rather hurt Sam than kill him (I hope).

  10. Sacados permalink
    May 15, 2015 12:54 am

    I know Cyrus was the Sam stand-in, but I really read dean’s speech as more him talking to himself. “you think you can beat the evil, but it’s inside you. You have to die.”
    I think partially it also struck me because right before we got Sam talking to crowley (paraphrasing) “you’ve killed people, people I love. You think you’re doing good but at the end of the day you’re just a monster”
    Again, I know crowley is more associated with Dean, but those two scenes really felt like the brothers letting out all the darkest accusations that they secretly hold against themselves. Really chilling and well done.

  11. May 15, 2015 1:10 am

    Charlie’s death was so quick and off-camera, and there was something fishy about that email with the eternity symbol…there’s definitely got to be more explanation than the mark controlling Dean and Sam and Charlie keeping secrets. There’s got to be some magic involved. Necromancy, even.

    Love your word “anvilicous.”

    • May 15, 2015 3:42 am

      Cain’s death was also off-camera, and I keep hoping that comes back up. There’s one more episode this season… it could happen. Right? Right?!

      Admittedly, for Charlie, the hunter’s funeral did seal the deal for me that she really is dead. (Again… the Wicked Witch briefly killed her last year.) But Sam said it: Death doesn’t always mean good-bye.

  12. jazzerkim permalink
    May 15, 2015 5:02 am

    Thanks for an interesting review! I can see where you’re coming from, but none of the criticisms really bothered me. I assumed Dean took a sudden turn for the worse because of the grief/anger/guilt over Charlie’s death. In fact, this was one of my favorite episodes ever of anything! So intense. Such great writing, acting, directing, and score. And I laughed. And I gasped. And Dean. Oh. No no no Dean…. So if I liked this episode so much, am I a bit of a masochist?🙂

    I associated the title with the recent movie “The Prisoner” with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Daughter goes missing, father tasks matters into his own hands. Very dark!

  13. May 15, 2015 5:23 am

    As much as I complained that the writers were only touching on the MoC at the top or bottom of each episode, they did at least do that much throughout the season. It might’ve been treated like checking off the box, but it was there. Dean has acknowledged creepy visions, violent urges, and needing to hunt to take the edge off. His happy place was Purgatory for its purity. The lead up was slow, but it was there. Consequently, people were expecting a slower descent into the effects of the Mark. That wasn’t the case. Dean took the cliff dive to evil instead of a gradual path. It reminded me a bit of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. There’s one specific breaking point, and suddenly he’s killing younglings. Congrats Anakin, you’ve become Vader. At the end of Dark Dynasty, for the first time ever in the show I thought, “Holy shit Dean really could kill Sam.” Charlie’s death was the tipping point that took down the last of Dean’s humanity in one fell swoop.

    What I found the most interesting in Dark Dynasty was one line from Rowena: good and evil have to exist side by side in the magical world. This applies to the brothers, too, right? They HAD to be born according to Heaven. Their entire lives are essentially magically ordained. One of them will always be dark; one will always be struggling to save the other… or the world.

    This does not look good for Dean. Or Sam. Or us.

    On a random note, the plastic bag abduction technique is f-ing badass. I loved it. It has to take a lot of practice to get that right, too. A little too long and they die, not long enough and they aren’t subdued enough. It’s more of an art than a science. That makes it an interesting choice for the family of mad scientists who probably could just take the equivalent of an epi-pen loaded with sedative.

    I am so happy that evil Crowley is back. Not chummy and snarky (although I do love the snark), just full-on evil. My take on the hex bag not working, however, is that it did. Rowena wanted her son killed because he was too soft. Did she send Sam in with a hex bag to kill off his humanity? (Which is an interesting parallel to Dean.) Did she kill of Fergus to bring back the BAMF Crowley who will be terrifying and going after Sam with a vengeance? Because, while I do adore Sam, he panics, makes terrible decisions, and let’s himself get blindsided whenever Dean is in trouble. Dean is more than a chink in his armor. Dean is Sam’s equivalent of walking into battle unarmed. Rowena has been playing people for 300 years. Sam didn’t have a chance.

    [Plus she’s beautiful and evil, if Sam hadn’t reclaimed his virginity, he totally would’ve hit that. And then she’d die, problem solved.]

    We haven’t seen Metatron since he left with the Demon Tablet… after he led Cas to his supposed grace… and now Cas can’t heal people even though he’s at full strength. Is Cas a demon? Metatron was God for a while. He would have the power to cast out an angel and twist it into something else. Maybe Cas doesn’t have to suffer while Dean kills everything. Maybe he goes along for the ride.

    Stock up on booze and pie. Wednesday is going to be rough.

  14. hunenka permalink
    May 15, 2015 9:59 am

    I don’t usually comment here (I’m a bit of a chronic lurker), but now I’d like to add my two cents in hope that it will explain what you perceived as Dean being OOC.

    Cyrus Styne is definitely a mirror for Sam, especially on the surface. But I think he is also a mirror for Dean, actually. A scalpel is forced into his reluctant hand just like it was forced into Dean’s by Alastair in Hell. Butcher or be butchered, torture or be tortured. And we, as audince, of course know and understand the choice to hurt instead of be hurt, but Dean doesn’t see it that way. He sees his breaking in Hell as a horrible failure, as a proof that there’s something wrong with him, something bad inside him. The fact that he was “worthy” of the Mark must’ve only strengthened that notion in his head.

    So Dean’s speech about “The bad in your blood will always win” was actually a self-reflection. “Once you touch that darkness, it never goes away,” he told Cole. And he may not believe that when it comes to Sam (because Sam is the biggest hero in Dean’s eyes), and he may sometimes make exceptions when it comes to other “monsters” (Benny, werewolf Kate, werewolf Garth), but he will always believe it’s true when it comes to him.

    So by killing Cyrus, Dean was also killing himself. Because even though he won’t admit it to Sam or Cas, he knows he’s becoming a monster again, and just like he said, taking down monsters is what he does.

  15. May 15, 2015 2:16 pm

    Although I LOVED this week’s episode, I feel like I can’t at least mention the horrible ending of last week’s episode. Yes, I know that there needed to be something awful to push Dean over the brink. Yes, they can’t (currently) kill Sam or Cas for plot reasons. I understand why Charlie died. But did they have to write the scene like they did? I would have liked it much better if Charlie had maybe killed her attacker yet sustained a fatal wound, and died in Dean or Sam’s arms. They way they shot the scene, with her bloody body stuffed in the bathtub…it was awful, and not in a good way. She deserved to die with more dignity than that. Henry Winchester was afforded that, Jo and Ellen were afforded that. The same should have gone for Charlie.
    So, after last week I was pretty nervous going into this episode. But holy crap, it was amazing. Most of the complaints I’m hearing – about Dean being too cruel and the change in him being too abrupt – weren’t a problem for me. It seemed pretty clear to me that Charlie’s death pushed him over the edge, not with pain, but with rage. The mark has full control, which means that he’s horrible to Sam, he’s driven only by the desire to hurt, and he doesn’t really care who’s on the receiving end of his aggression.
    And can I just mention how amazing Crowley was in this episode? One compliant that I’ve had about Crowley in the recent seasons was that he just wasn’t scary enough. I was so glad to see “scary” Crowley come back. When he looked up with his red eyes I felt a chill go down my spine.
    And I don’t know who directed this episode, but can they direct ALL THE EPISODES? I loved how so many beautiful shots were used – Dean upside down on the hospital table, slowly walking into the MOL bunker, all of Sam’s scene with Crowley, and of course the moment where Dean slammed the angel blade down and we couldn’t see where it landed. Yikes. It was brutal, in a good way.
    So yeah, only a truly amazing episode could have redeemed last week for me. Onto the finale!

  16. May 15, 2015 7:56 pm

    The same music played over the Cas/Dean fight as over Sam’s first death in Season Two and basically all the saddest SPN moments. The whole episode just killed me.
    Fantastic review, though I personally have been able to track the progression of the Mark- Dean’s just seemed pretty off to me over the past weeks- the vamp massacre in Werther was way too cheerful, and I found the Dark Dynasty scene where Dean interrogates Sam about the Book so chilling. Dean was so predatory and unnerving there.
    But yes, Charlie’s death was obviously going to push him over the edge. Also, poor Sam. Just as he realises he doesn’t want to let Dean go, he’s being pushed away.

  17. Lynn permalink
    May 15, 2015 8:00 pm

    Another great review and interesting comments. Althought I felt totally devastated by this episode, it was full of amazing performances by all the actors. Dean beating on Cas was so hard to watch and actually made me feel quite uncomfortable, it was just so brutal. I wanted Cas to do something to make it stop. I find it a bit odd that the Show has made no reference to Cas getting his grace back in Book of the Damned. Couldn’t he have zapped over and healed Charlie or done something to restrain Dean. Perhaps all will be revealed next week!
    I’m worried for what will happen and how Sam and Dean will come back from such a dark path. I must say Season 10 has been amazing, I’ve found myself on the edge of my seat and holding my breath during several episodes.

  18. Lefwyn permalink
    May 15, 2015 10:00 pm

    Here’s my fanon for why Cas let Dean beat him so badly:
    He thought it would help.
    Because, when Sam needed to get control of Lucifer, the horror of beating Dean is what broke through to him. And, when Cas was controlled by Naomi, beating and almost killing Dean is what got through to Cas and snapped him out of it.
    So…
    Cas is still learning by example. He thought letting Dean beat him senseless might be the thing that snapped him out of it.
    That’s my fanon. 🙂

    (Also — there is something seriously wrong with Cas and his “grace” — he couldn’t heal Claire’s mom, Amelia, either… and it surprised him…)

  19. Jennifer permalink
    May 15, 2015 11:38 pm

    We need to remember what Cain told Dean about the Mark: “There is only remission and relapse.” I think what we’ve just seen is a massive relapse after a period of something close to remission. But I agree that Show has not been, well, showing much of the deterioration. Or else it was felt we’d all “get” that Charlie’s death has triggered the latest onslaught of the Mark’s hunger and rage. I was heart-broken by Sam’s devastation when Dean spoke those horrible words at the pyre, and I agree with the review about the motivation behind it, though I feel very strongly that DEAN would never wish it was Sam up there instead of anyone. I was equally heart-broken when Sam was so torn in deciding to follow up Charlie’s e-mail, or shut everything down. It was in those moments, I think, that Sam finally REALLY understood what has been driving his brother all these years to protect Sammy at all costs, no matter the consequences. Which is clearly what underscores the scene in the trailer for the finale.

    This was an exceptionally difficult episode to watch for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which was the sheer, raw emotion of Dean’s Mark-fueled rage, Sam’s desperation, Cas’s fear and compassion, and Crowley’s return to his true self. That moment when he almost snapped his fingers, then told Sam that he would always have to remember Crowley chose NOT to kill him was amazing. No more Moose and Squirrel now!

    The acting was superb in so many of the scenes. I am constantly amazed by how Jensen knocks it out of the park no matter what the scene is, be it funny, emotional, or downright frightening as Mark-powered Dean. All of the principals had some truly outstanding scenes. And while the brutal fight with Cas had me squirming, it was indeed a mirror of what Cas did to Dean in the crypt, starting with the snapping of his wrist. Even to the “Dean/Cas . . . please” they said to one another. And I have to say the show has just ramped up the tension these last few weeks. I am almost afraid to watch the finale! I think all of fandom is in for major heartbreak–and then a very long, very hot hellatus.

  20. Shinychimera permalink
    May 16, 2015 6:03 am

    Such an intense episode, such a lovely review, can’t wait to see what Show and then you will have for us next week. (Still hoping to see your thoughts on Dark Dynasty as well.)

    You and the other commenters here have reflected all my reactions, thrills, terrors, and hopes. I just had one more observation to add to the pile: in my opinion, when Dean says “it should be you up there,” it’s not that he truly wants Sam dead, even now. And it’s not that he wants to use those words to hurt/punish Sam (a la “not brothers”). It’s that he thinks SAM should be the one suffering the consequences of Sam’s mistakes. No matter what price Charlie had paid, final or not, Dean would think Sam should be the one footing that bill.

    He’s furious that Sam dragged down the ONE person in their lives they both feel is unambiguously good, with the possible exception of Jody (Cas is well-meaning, but, uh, apocalypse-prone? Everyone else is dead, a monster, shades of gray, or all of the above). That Sam didn’t trust Dean enough to argue out the plan, let them decide together how to fight and protect anything that needed fighting or protecting.

    Anyway, starting to repeat what you’ve already touched on, just wanted to offer another possible interpretation for that scene.

    Thanks for all you do, if you’ll be at Burcon — er, I guess now it’s Pascon? — in Southern California this year, I’d love to say hello!

  21. StrGazr04 permalink
    May 16, 2015 6:15 am

    I totally agree with this review. I didn’t like the episode either. Nor did I like last week’s. The last few seasons, I feel like Carver doesn’t map out the pacing with the same finesse Kripke had. There’s such lag during the season and then all of the action is suddenly shoved into the last two episodes. I think that’s why Dean’s change is so abrupt.

    Then again, is this done on purpose? Maybe we are supposed to think that the leap between regular hunter does-whatever-he-has-to-in-order-to-do-the-job Dean and MOC!Dean really isn’t so much of a leap, as it is a mere step. Let’s be honest here. Regular Dean is one scary, badass SOB. If he were in the real world, we wouldn’t be hitting on him. We wouldn’t be gushing over him. If we saw him walking down the block, we’d run to the sidewalk on the other side of the street. He’s a hunter, a criminal, someone on the FBI’s most wanted list. The only difference between regular Dean and the one we see now is that he’s missing his most vital part – his heart. And why is it always his heart huh? (Faith. IMTOD. etc). He’s missing his emotive nature, the part of him that cares, the part of him that nurtures, the part of him that wants to do the right thing and be the hero. I think what the Mark does to Dean is similar to what losing his soul did to Sam. He becomes calculating. He no longer cares about the risks or who he hurts to get what he wants. And isn’t that just the complete opposite of the Dean we know? After years of clutching onto what family he has left, he’s now kicking them to the curb – pretty literally too. While I do think they could have paced it better to show an ongoing decline in Dean, I think that’s why this change is so abrupt.

  22. May 17, 2015 9:16 am

    “And while we saw Sam similarly blame his brother and lash out during Season 9, Dean does it with even more venom – and, one could argue, even less reason” What? I think Sam’s purge speech was a lot worse because of how cold and calculated it was. This was (MoC)Dean lashing out, the other was Sam calmly trashing Dean’s entire character and reason to live.

    You also lost me when you talked about Amy Pond not deserving to die. She was a monster who killed people, who lied to Sam about being done with killing and who just left the only job that could secure her food without killing. Why on earth should they let her go?

    When it comes to this ep. I’m just happy Charlie’s gone and that we finally get some MoC Dean! Bring it on!! .

    • May 18, 2015 3:26 am

      Sams speech was cold last season but as he told Dean later, he`s the one who kept having nightmares about killing Kevin. Dean never understood what effect that had on his brother. He just knew that Sam was alive. Sam was hurt, he kept reliving a terrible time and it was Deans fault (Gadreel and Metatrons too of course). So, he said terrible things to Dean, to give himself some space from Dean and from what happened. I think what Dean said to Sam about Sam should be the one dead was cruel, and hard. Dean isn`t Dean anymore. Hopefully the boys can get back to being brothers.

      • May 18, 2015 12:20 pm

        Of course Dean understood the effects it had on Sam, it’s just that he was also happy his brother was alive. Dean was sick with guilt over Kevin as well, even thought it wasn’t his fault that Kevin died.Dean didn’t make Gadreel betray them and kill Kevin, Metatron did that. Dean is not at fault for Kevin’s death, just as Sam is not at fault for Charlie’s death.

        Sam didn’t say that to Dean because he needed space. The Purge was long after Kevin had died so Sam had time to cool down, and he still went with the lies he knew would hurt his brother the most. That’s why I think the Purge is much much worse than what happened in this ep. But this really isn’t the place to discuss that.

  23. May 19, 2015 12:03 am

    It all went a bit Tarantino

    I enjoyed it, very dramatic, powerful, tense.

    I can see why Charlie had to die, to push Dean over the edge, but as for who is to blame? Well it was Charlie who chose to leave the sanctuary where Sam knew where she was, and Cas was there. Like a lot of things in life, it is the accumulation of decisions . . .

    I have been confused about Castiel for a while now. He has his own grace back now, but he seems to have lost his angelic powers. I know for plot lines, they couldnt have had him suddenly wing his way over to rescue Charlie, but I didnt understand why in the previous episode, Sam and Dean didnt at least call on him to go there ASAP, and then be too late.

    MoL: Ive been worried since last season when Gadreel just turned up, that the bunker is not as secure as it should be. Next thing, there will be a bus load of tourists . . .

    I picked up on the Sam/Cyrus thing, but Im also glad the Stynes/Steins have gone. They seemed to0 much like the Chicago mob/monster families from Bloodlines, in running Shreveport as their fiefdom.

    Crowley and Rowena – only one will survive !!

    I dont want the season to end, but I cant wait for next episode

  24. May 19, 2015 4:15 pm

    Great review as always. You said many of the things I was thinking, though I do think we’ve been shown plenty of times how much the Mark is affecting Dean.

    One thing that struck me was the music during the Cas/Dean fight scene. I didn’t notice it the first time, but once I re-watched and listened more closely, I noticed. It is “Dean’s Theme” from Gruska’s “Americana” in strings, primarily cello. The last time we heard it in cello was in 10.3 “Soul Survivor” when Dean is returning from Demon Dean. In that episode, we hear it as Sam is in Dean’s room, looking at family pictures.

    But in this episode, using it during a fight scene–with a being Dean has called family–brought up so many questions and emotions. Now I can’t unhear it, and I wonder if the use of “Dean’s Theme” at that moment signals the loss of Dean–fully human Dean–again. The music in this series.

  25. Stefania (@s_verasani) permalink
    May 25, 2015 11:52 am

    HI,
    I’ll try to explain my point of view about this episode but I have to start with two warnings. The first one is that I’m Italian, so I wish I’ll be able to explain myself in English. It’s not easy, trust me.

    The second one Is that my point of view is biased because of my own situation. I’m aware of that, so I’m not here pretending to be “right”, I’m only trying to share something different.

    I’ll start to explain this second point: my eldest daughter, 20 years old, is struggling with depression and panic attacks for more than three years now. I’ve been the one seeing her go through this battle and the one who mostly had to figure out which was the best way to help her and the rest of our family to cope with it. It’s a tough journey. I’ve had to come to terms to my own problems and my own fears to actually being able to do something for her that wasn’t worrying myself sick.

    The most valuable thing that I’ve learned is that my daughter is NOT her illness, or that her illness doesn’t define her. I mean, if a person got pneumonia we don’t say he/she is pneumonia, but we say so about depression. I’ve done this myself a lot, finding myself trying to “protect” her from reality, for example never arguing with her, and talking about her illness not with her but with everyone else around us. Big mistake. Everything becomes a lie, and she knew it as much as I did.

    So said, probably if I have been able to explain myself enough you see where I’m going.

    In my parallel my daughter is Dean and I am Sam (and Cas, btw). Sam and Cas in their need to save Dean, forget all about him and treat him as if he is the MOC. Dean hasn’t lost it but Sam and Cas have. They talk about him but not TO him. Dean says it himself to Sam, when in The Werther’s project accuses his brother to look at him as if he is a “sick killing puppy” (or something like that, I don’t remember the exact line).

    When Dean finds out about how much they have lied to him, he loses it completely. I knew it would come to this: basically Sam and Cas have not trusted Dean enough to work with him, convincing themselves that the MOC has taken over, looking at everyone of Dean actions through these “you are your illness” lenses. Dean has talked to them, Dean didn’t lied about his condition. But in their frantic worry they forgot that a person with a mental illness (and the MOC affects the mind) needs that the others believe in his/her ability to heal. Lying, acting behind their back is basically saying: “I don’t think you are strong enough, I don’t believe in you”.

    Dean is pushed over the edge basically by Sam and Cas “telling” him: you’re not yourself, you are your illness. He complies, what other should he do? This make so much sense for me that I found it really brilliant (and heartbreaking, so many memories of my own mistakes …).

    I hope I’ve been able to explain myself, if not you are all welcome to ask.

    Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about it.

    Stefania

    • Jennifer permalink
      May 25, 2015 2:52 pm

      Stefania, thank you. That is a very interesting viewpoint. I had not thought of it that way, but it does make you think. I suspect Sam and Cas felt talking TO Dean wouldn’t get them anywhere, since he tends to shut down, or deny there’s a problem even when there is. Plus, it also adds emotional context and conflict to the story, and of course the writers always look for that. What amazes me is that even when I may feel the writers have dropped an element that really needs to be explored (or maybe it was cut out for time concerns), for the most part they find lovely themes and nuances. I have found the MoC arc to be vastly fascinating, but I think there were times when the writers forgot about it. Nonetheless, what you pointed out is another way of looking at how the MoC affected Dean and his interactions with others.

      • May 25, 2015 5:24 pm

        Thanks Jennifer. Everything you write makes a lot of sense. The plot the need to keep the story going the pathos. Everything.
        I’m full aware that my POV is actually a lot biased and i really doubt that’s what the writers had in mind.
        But what really amazes me is that I’ve talked about this episode with other fans that are my friends and are struggling with mental problems or have relatives struggling. And they saw the same thing that I saw. So maybe the show, probably unwillingly, has find a way to talk about this for us. And this is really amazing regardless how much the writers looked at it that way!

      • May 27, 2015 1:27 am

        I think the way that multiple people have been able to find that similarity, and the way others have been as emotionally gobsmacked by the show while finding a different ‘truth’ in the story, shows how well the writers and performers are harnessing the emotions of the characters. The emotions are resonating regardless of how we are interpreting them. We are all affected by this show somehow – that’s why we all keep coming back to it.

        I hope you are doing well and I wish nothing but the best to you and your family. I look forward to continuing these conversations with you through Season 11 and beyond!

  26. Stefania (@s_verasani) permalink
    May 27, 2015 5:52 am

    BL: Thank you so much and YES, I agree completely with you: teh way the how is able to speek in different ways to everyone of us is what makes it great and what makes us coming back year after year. It’s like a very good book: it speaks to different people in different countries and of different coltures because its core is in human emotions, that are our only common language!

  27. June 6, 2015 8:30 pm

    I loved your opinions, but I think the writers intended for Dean’s switch to bloodthirsty to be sudden, and catch us off guard. I mean, I don’t think anyone was ready, or at least wanted Dean to go overboard, as exhilarating it was to watch, and Charlie’s death and how it affected him definitely sped the process. I wailed so loudly when Dean killed Cyrus that my parents ran into the room to make sure I was okay. And I’m still not over it, especially since I have been racking my brain wondering, if Cas is full angel now, why couldn’t he have brought Cyrus back to life? I kept thinking that maybe there was something from a previous episode that explains that. Maybe it’ll come up next season, but as of now, I’m still unsure. I have been trying to convince myself that maybe Cas brought him back after Dean left and recovered from that severe beating.

    • Jennifer permalink
      June 6, 2015 11:23 pm

      I may be completely wrong, but I’m not sure Cas is at full power yet. He did heal Charlie of her bullet wound and carpal tunnel, but that was minor stuff. His wings remain completely tattered and he drives, he doesn’t fly. So I’m not sure he’s got all the mojo back and could resurrect a dead person. He didn’t resurrect Charlie. But I don’t think this has been adequately answered, yet.

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