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This is rather late, but I had an excuse this time.  I went away to Vegas the day after the show premiered.  I tried to post my thoughts via iPhone's Livejournal.app in the car, but the app sucks.  It *ate* the entire content of my post!  Lesson learned:  the app is only good when you post something small, and don't ever rely on the "Save Draft" option.

Rant over, let's try this again:  Supernatural launched season 5 with a BANG last Thursday!

And I don't mean just the episode itself.  The fans of the show surely deserve a huge pat on the back for their ardent promotion of the show!  By now many of you may heard the story of How Supernatural broke Twitter.  Apparently life imitates art, or at least virtually in this case.  The "epic" battle between "Lucifer" and "God" in Twitterland even found its way to Fox News last Thursday. Who would have thought this little genre show's season premier would make a resounding splash?

And now onto the episode itself, here's what I thought:

For the most part this is a great season opener. I do have a small nitpick, but regardless, I thought it effectively set the stage for an exciting and intriguing season.

First, let me get the nitpick out of the way, then I'll talk about what I liked about the episode.  Jared!Girls beware, if you can't abide seeing your favorite star being criticized in any way, shape, size, or form, you should skip the following paragraph.  I'm not bashing him by any means, just voicing an honest opinion on how he handled a scene.  And in all fairness, he earned my praise in other scenes later.

What I'm referring to is the moment when the boys first met Chuck in his battered house.  It was a superbly written scene, in all its wacky glory.  The neurotic little man going ninja on Sam with a plunger was pure gold.  However I was bothered by the way Sam answered his attacker's startled cry "Son, you're okay!"  I'm not talking about the dialog itself because "Well, my head hurts" was a perfect deadpan.  What I had problem with was Jared's expression when he delivered that line (screencap).  I know I'm not the only one detected the amusement on Sam's face here.  My viewing companion caught it too.  In my opinion, this was the moment Jared fell out of his character.  First of all, it diminished the hilarity of the situation.  The humor of the scene is more effective when audience finds it amusing instead of the character himself.  But most importantly, the expression was inconsistent with Sam's current state of mind.  At this junction, Sam should be an extremely contrite man.  And he should realize how seriously fucked they all were.  As such, I find it obtuse for Sam to consider anything remotely funny at the moment.  So I think Jared still needs to work on nuance in his acting.

Phew, I'm done with my quibble, let's move on to the squeeing part.  I'll start with the morbidly humorous moments.  This is one of the reasons why I find Supernatural so addictive.  Its warped sense of humor gets me every time.  Not very often a show can make me laugh and feeling sad at the same time. But when Chuck pulled a bloody tooth out of his hair and promptly freaked out: "Is that a molar? Do I have a molar in my hair?" I was cackling and horrified all at once.  It was clear who that tooth belonged to.  Poor Castiel!  That was all that's left of him, for the time being.  By the way, I thought Rob Benedict was pitch perfect as Chuck the prophet. The comic relief he brought to the show was much appreciated.

I can't talk about Chuck without mentioning Becky the fangirl.  ZOMG, she just about killed me here.  I literally whimpered when I realized she was writing wincest when we first met her.  Then came the scene where she went to see Sam and Dean.  I was laughing and cringing so hard, I literally cowered in my seat.  Aside from the amusement, I was a little embarrassed at the way Sam!Girl was lampooned here.  From now on, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Let's just say I wouldn't be surprised when us Dean!Girls are also made fun of in the future.  By the way, when Becky pawed Sam's chest, did anyone else think that glance Sam threw Dean and the fleeting looks they exchanged were loaded with subtext?  Discomfiture aside, I loved the way Becky outright refused to stop molesting Sam.  That's right, we fangirls are scarier than angels and demons combined!

My head spun during the episode's WOW moments.  First of all, I had no clue Bobby was possessed.  In retrospect I should've known when Bobby said he wished to sever all contacts with Sam should they survive the upcoming war.  But at the time I thought Bobby's anger was justified.  The harsh words Bobby laid into Sam were much needed to be said IMO.  Dean especially needed to hear them voiced by someone he considered family.  His earnest attempt in avoiding the giant Pink Elephant in an earlier scene (with Sam) clued me in that Dean was not okay with what his brother did.  Not by a long shot.  Here, I saw a trace of relief on Dean's face as he listened Bobby's speech (screencap).  I can sense Dean's logic that as long as Bobby is mad at Sam, then he doesn't have to.  In this scene Jared was perfect in showing Sam's contrition.  Seeing that look on Sam's face (screencap), even though I was mad at the choices Sam made in the past, I still couldn't help myself wanting to pat the boy on the head and tell him: "as long as you learned your lesson, sweetie..."

Kripke sure knows how to play with our heads.  I love how Dean figured out Chuck's clue.  The thought John had Michael Sword all along blew my mind.  But before I could even wonder how John got his hands on such an important weapon, Wham! Dean was down and the possessed Bobby loomed over his fallen body. The re-entrance of Meg, a.k.a. the demonic daughter of YED, promises all kinds of mischief, and her announcement that all demons are gunning for Dean foreshadows loads of "fun" for the beleaguered boys.

I couldn't help drawing comparison between Bobby and John.  Both men were forced to hurt Dean by the demons that possessed them.  Only in Bobby's case, he was able to overcome the evil without hurting Dean.  But then again, argument can be made that Bobby's demon was not as powerful as YED that possessed John.  Still Bobby's father figure status was firmly established here.  He's not just an uncle anymore.  Even Meg had called Bobby Dean's surrogate father.

Zachariah's startling revelation that Dean was the Michael Sword stole my breath away!  Wait, what?  Dean's a weapon?!  But of course, they were speaking metaphorically.  Turned out Dean is THE vessel for Michael!  I knew Dean is connected to the angels.  I just didn't know how close.  So what have we learned about the angels so far?  Let's see:

      + They are powerful beings.  Some more so than others.  Michael's the toughest SOB they got.
      + They are dicks with wings. Except Anna, who doesn't have one and Castiel, who most certainly isn't one.
      + They need a vessel to function on Earth.
      + Unlike Demons who can hop in and out of any body, they only get one choice of a vessel. But wait, Castiel!!!
      + Revised: Maybe archangels, or Michael in particular only get one choice of a vessel.
      + They need permissions to ride their vessels.
      + They fell from grace if they rebel.  But fallen angels are not necessarily evil.
      + Lucifer IS an angel.

Considering all that, it made sense Dean refused to give his consent.  "Life as an angel condom?  No thanks!"  Haha, trust Dean to come up with a snarky but colorful response.  And I could not have loved Dean more if I tried.  I love his steadfast refusal to give up his humanity, even for a "worthy" cause.  I see this as a sharp contrast to Sam, who was seduced by power, good intentions notwithstanding.  In my assessment, Dean is the stronger one between the two brothers.  Now here is the curious thing:  how come Michael hasn't appeared yet to ask Dean directly?  I'm not 100% sure on this but I don't believe Zachariah speaks for Michael.  Who put the brothers on that airplane and sent Castiel back from oblivion?  God?  Or archangel Michael?  Also we know Castiel has had two vessels.  But his second vessel (Claire) carries the blood of his first vessel (Jimmy).  So if Dean is Michael's chosen vessel, does that make Sam a second possibility?

Dean's refusal to accept Michael was juxtaposed against Nick's acceptance of Lucifer here.  I love Kripke's decision to make Lucifer's vessel sympathetic.  Like Dean, Nick loved and valued his family dearly.  He was a broken man after his wife and child were brutally ripped away from him.  So he raged against God for allowing this to happen.  Dean for a long time had doubted God's existence due to the death of his mother.  Here they are, two family men.  One accepted his angel, one denied.  I for one can't wait when these two come face to face.

I was charmed by Dean's bravado in the hospital.  I can tell he was worried about Bobby, and the situation they were in (screencap).  But like always, Dean's coping mechanism has been keep fighting.  So he tried to infuse Bobby with his fighting spirit.  I love the way Dean answered Bobby's question on how he plans to stop the angels and the demons.  "I got no idea, but what I do have is a GED and give them hell attitude..."  Jensen's delivery of the line underscores the rebel that is Dean (screencap).

My heart melted a little when Bobby told Sam his previous harsh words were demon talking, that he would never cut Sam off no matter what he did.  Bobby is like a parent who can never desert his child no matter how much that said child erred.  And I think it's appropriate for Sam to show his lovely dimples at Bobby's absolution (screencap).  I just wish it was the first time he smiled in this episode.  It would've been more powerful.  Ironically Bobby's words comforted Sam, but were not what Dean needed to hear at the moment.  Dean looked troubled during Bobby's speech (screencap).

After all, Sam had betrayed Dean by doubting him, and choosing a demon over him.  Seeing Bobby, his surrogate father swept all that aside so easily didn't do well to Dean's feeling.  If anything, Dean is all too human.  Hence came the heartbreaking speech in the parking lot.  It's true that Sam had walked out on Dean repeatedly.  Not only that, as far as Dean knew, Sam had also ignored the conciliatory message he left on Sam's cell phone.  Thus it's understandable that Dean cannot deny his injured feeling anymore.  And it pains him to tell Sam he can no longer trust him (screencap).  Jensen and Jared sold the scene so well.  Especially Jensen, whose expressive eyes and quivering voice telegraphed Dean's hurt.  And Jared as a remorseful Sam continues to garner my sympathy.

My score for the episode: A

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
maddonna001
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
man, I love your review!

I also noticed that Jared fell out of character when Chuck hit Sam. It was so cute.

I also noticed that Jared always looks at Jensen when someone else is rubbing his nipples, haha.

But seriously, Jensen really needs to cut back on his Batman-ish hoarse voice, that's not what makes Dean so tough and Jensen won't appear straighter by using that voice. It'll only get him mocked more (like Jake Abel did at the last con)

otherwise, it was an amazing episode and I loved every moment of it.

p.s.: a real hardcore SPN fangirl should have weighted at least 100kgs...
xwacky
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
p.s.: a real hardcore SPN fangirl should have weighted at least 100kgs...

OMG! I freaking *love* you for saying this. I've always joked there's only skinny girls in SPN universe!

Regarding to Jensen's growl, Eddie Olmos had it too and critics all say he has gravitas. ;-)

Thank you for stopping by. *hugs*
maddonna001
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
the woman and even the men in spn verse are too pretty.and did u notice that almost every guest star have cocksucking lips? even Becky!
Dean, teen Dean,Ruby 2.0, Castiel, Lilith, all the love interests (incl victims' wives) frakkin' everybody!
I'm tellin' ya, spn is pure porn. :-D

Eddie Olmos and his hoarse voice is epic but Christian Bale and his Batman voice is lulzy. I love Dean's sexy growl but the more queer Jensen looks, the more "lung cancer-y" Dean's voice is. sad.
xwacky
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
I hate Christian Bale's fake Batman voice as well, and don't think Jensen sounds anything like him. If anything I've always admired Jensen's ability to use different voice to carry through his character's emotional state. I appreciate the fact Jensen is the kind of actor who's not overly concerned with making himself look or sound sexy on screen. He is a character actor. But that's just my opinion.
maddonna001
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you. I love it that Jensen can "rearrange" his face for different characters, that he can talk different, walk different, he is not only a pretty boy but a really good actor, very talented and devoted. it would be a shame if he disappears after supernatural ends
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much sweetie. Jensen has talent, look, and charisma going for him. He's already been noticed and praised by credible critics, writers, directors, and peers. Unless the universe is conspired against him (and us), I think he will not disappear after Supernatural. In fact, I think he will go further (maybe even soar) once he loses the "actor from CW" stigma. :-)
etoile444
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
I noticed Jared slipping up when I saw that scene as a spoiler, but had forgotten it until now. I think the line was met to be funny, but the timing was poor (not Jared's timing, but just having it happen so soon after Sam just opeded up the door and let Lucifer out). So I blame Kripke for placing it there, but I blame Jared for not making it something else. How many times do you feel horrible, but you put on a quick smile, but that sadness still comes through? That's what he needed to convey and he did for the 99% of the rest of the show and conveyed it well. Jared does great acting through out his body language. So much of his thoughts in S4 were carried on his expressions. So I'll let him go on this one! ;)

As for Jensen, he can't help that Kripke keeps making Dean say things that only 12 year olds find amusing: "Cram it with Walnuts, ugly!" Yeh, that makes Dean sound really smart. Usually people hurl swear words infrustration over being able to communicate. I have never seen Dean this way. I just think the writers are excited that the censors let them get away with it, but it demeans the character. I have no problem with Jensen's voice being gravelly coz I think he changes it up for different effects (as does Jared).

And the fan girl needed to be overweight! Come on! I'll admit it, I'm 73 kilos, not 53 and I've seen pictures from conventions! That would have made more sense Kripke! Shame shame! :)

Wow! I rambled! :)

Edited at 2009-09-16 11:53 pm (UTC)
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks for stopping by my LJ and ramble. As you can see, I ramble too.

Regarding my nitpick, I still think the scene was brilliantly written, and well timed for the pace of the story. This is what Supernatural does well, its ability to infuse oddball humor amidst horror and fucked up situations. But I think Jared stepped out of his character for a brief second and was assessing the scene from the audience POV instead of acting in the scene. What I saw wasn't a simple tension relieve smile on his face, it was a barely suppressed amusement that reached all the way to his eyes. Even if Sam wasn't feeling horrible to begin with, I don't think he would find it funny when someone just clobbered his head hard with a plunger. This was a blink you'll miss moment in the episode. Most viewers wouldn't even notice it. But then again a few like me did. Truthfully I think Jared had improved so much since season one. If this was back then, I would shrug it off because I didn't expect much from him. But now he is a more formidable actor, and I have begun watching for subtext and nuance in his acting.

Awww, I *love* Dean-ism! Especially the snarky ones. I see Dean's boyishness as one of the facet that made up Dean's complex psyche. But that's just me.

It's true Supernatural is filled with gorgeous looking people. Although it never pretended it's a realistic show. Still, I would've loved to see an everyday looking woman on the show who actually has a line or two.
i_o_r_h_a_e_l
Sep. 17th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
What an awesome review, my dear! *gives two thumbs up* And I have to say I agree with it!

I don't believe Zachariah speaks for Michael

You know what, I'm starting to believe that, too. In fact perhaps it's Castiel who speaks for Michael. Michael is not supposed to be a dick. He is merciful and graceful though he is very, very harsh for all the demons. And perhaps as an Archangel it's not his job to 'persuade' his vessel.
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
*Tackle Hugs*

Thank you sweetie!

In fact perhaps it's Castiel who speaks for Michael.

I've been thinking about this too. That's why I think there's a chance it was Michael who sent Castiel back. The way these angel vessels are described, I have a feeling they are innately chosen. "It was in their blood." I believe that's how it was described. In that sense, I think Dean was the "Michael Sword" from the beginning, way before he broken the first seal. Since Castiel was Dean's guardian angel, he may be working for Michael without himself even aware of it.

Actually, I've had some "swirly" thoughts regarding Michael. If I have time tonight before the show starts, I'll write them down, and maybe we can discuss it later.
ckll
Sep. 17th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
Wonderful review, hun. We had so many surprises and info in this episode and a heartbroken end.
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Aww sweetie, thank you! *hugs*

Yeah, there were a lot of things going on in this episode. It was very entertaining, even with the heartbreaking moment at the end. And yes, I live for angst in my drama!
layne67
Sep. 17th, 2009 11:14 am (UTC)
I adore your review, my lovely. I was upset at first with what Dean said to Sam at the end of the episode, I was really hoping for a reconciliation but oh no, they're going to make us suffer on and on :(

Jensen did his part extremely well with what he said as well as what he didn't say. His eyes, his expressions, that man is close to perfection.
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you luv!

I think the brothers' reconciliation is going to be the big drama that parallels the Apocalypse storyline this season. In that sense I sure don't want them hug and makeup right away like nothing bad had happened between them. Angst is good, I'm an angst whore! =p

Jensen rocks in every scene. But that's nothing new.

Btw, I was lurking at your LJ late last night, and saw your review rec. That was awesome! I'm so happy to read someone else thought basically the same thing as I did, only deeper and worded better. Thanks for the rec. *hugs*
layne67
Sep. 18th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
I just wish that the two opposing camps would agree to disagree instead of sniping at each other, you know, when one side said Sam is blameless and the other side said Dean is blameless.

Edited at 2009-09-18 02:12 am (UTC)
xwacky
Sep. 19th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
*sigh* I don't like to see fandom divided either. The thing I have to remind myself from time to time is this fandom has loads of young ppl. Some of them barely legal to read half of the things we write. I would love to engage in an intelligent debate. But I see a lot of tantrum being thrown around. I just had to look away.

I'm always a Dean!girl, but I love Sam too. I guess I'm sort of like Bobby on this. Even though I have been mad at the choices Sam made, I could never write him off.

I think the issue Dean had with Sam isn't over the breaking of the final seal. It was over the fact Sam was so addicted to drinking demon blood that he was loosing his humanity, becoming the thing they used to hunt.

Apocalpyse is coming, whether they like it or not. It's not a time for them to lay blame. And I don't think they are. They got a job to do, and they need to be fit to take on the task. I think Dean's trust issue is he doesn't believe Sam is fit at the moment.

ala_tariel
Sep. 17th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
You know, I rarely read reviews, especially the one as wonderful as you wrote here.

You know, apart from Season 1, I always see Jared and Jensen in Supernatural. No longer Sam and Dean, but Jared and Jensen. For me, both boys were out of characters from a long time ago.

I didn't say that their acting are bad. On the contrary. They are very good actors. But what they act on screen sometimes, for me, is reflection of what they do every day. Heh, tell me to separate fiction with reality anytime, Hon. But that's just me.

That's why if Sam suddenly became Jared in one scene, it's no strange to me.

And the end of the episode is the beauty of it. We can expect that Season 5 is about reconciliation between the brothers. Of course, Sam has to work hard to regain his brother's trust and Dean also has to learn to to trust Sam like the way it used to be.

And in the end, we will have a brotherly love that beyond anything! \o/

Oh, sorry for my ramblings. :D
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
Heee, thanks for stopping by and read through my ramble.

You know I'm convinced when Kripke conceived the idea for Supernatural, he never intended for a relationship this intense between the boys. I think it wasn't until halfway through the first season, the creator (Ha, I'm making him sound like God) and his minions caught on the special bond between Jensen and Jared, and built the characters capitalizing that (now I'm making him sound mercenary).

The ending though intense and heartbreaking is a big progress for the boys I think. I had expected Dean to stonewall Sam longer and leaving the boy flailing around him not knowing what to do. Now Sam knew exactly how Dean feels and what the problem is, he can work on it head on. I have no doubt Sam will regain Dean's trust soon, and I'm half hoping he'll do so by saving Dean's ass from time to time, proving to him he has Dean's back, and Dean can depend on him.
tracys_dream
Sep. 17th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome review! It really made me think.
xwacky
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
*fist pumping* yay! That was high praise. Thanks for reading sweeite!
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Sep. 19th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks hun! *hugs*

Regarding to that scene, the thing is I don't think Sam is meant to be sarcastic. If Jared played Sam all pissed and a little snippy from being hit in the head by a plunger (and it did hurt, that "ow!" from him a minute ago was loud and clear), the whole scene would've been quintessentially amusing from viewer's POV. And we wouldn't feel Sam out of character.

He looked shocked and saddened that Bobby was able to forgive so easily, when he knew deep down that he can't find it in himself to do the same.

Yes exactly! The whole time he's trying not to think about it because he knew if he did, he couldn't stop himself from ripping into Sam.

I have more thoughts (or rather questions) on Michael and his vessel, although it's a bit jumbled up right now. After I sort them through, I'll write it down and maybe you can help me find some answers.

I wonder if it would be the endgame when Dean and Nick/Lucifer come face to face. I also wonder if Lucifer isn't out to kill Dean, or if he would put as much distance away from Dean knowing the guy is fated to kill him.
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Sep. 23rd, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Although Dean can’t really do much as a vessel and I would think that Lucifer would want Dean dead, because he’s still a threat to him, but that’s if he even knows Dean is the vessel. It would make things interesting if Lucifer couldn’t actually kill Dean though, like Lilith couldn’t kill Sam.

Isn't this a mind twister? I think most likely Lucifer knows Dean is the Michael!Sword. Why wouldn't he? Looks like most angels knew, especially the higher up ones. Lucifer is an angel, so my money is on him knowing this "little" detail.

But he can't find Dean, or so I'm led to believe. On the other hand, does he have an unseen connection to Sam? Would he be able to track Sam down even though Sam has the same Sigil carved into his bones as Dean? And what is Sam to Lucifer now since he obviously is not Lucifer's vessel? And then, does Lucifer want to kill Dean at all? After all, there's certain arrogance with Lucifer. Since Dean hasn't accepted Michael yet, and doesn't look like he is going to any time soon, I wonder if Lucifer is going to deem Dean a none threat even though Dean is fated to kill him in the end.

It would be pretty cool if Lucifer can't harm Dean. On the other hand, I don't mind Dean whumpage either. *evil cackle*
(Deleted comment)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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