Yeah, I still think my theory *points up* is works. We’ll see how quickly Show shatters that, but for now, that’s still where I stand.
In my latest story, I had Cas tell Dean, “There’s no destiny. There’s only what you decide and how you live with that decision.” I modified something my grandfather used to tell me to get to that epiphany, but I was struck by how those words kept playing around in my head throughout this episode.
Dean doesn’t really…live with…his decisions. The tougher ones, that is. He makes them and survives them, and along the way, when he lets his guard down, they chew on him, digging into crevasses he mistakenly left unprotected. He moves through life – this crazy, messed up, bloody, unfair life of his – just trying to make it from one decision to the next and hope that along the way he doesn’t get the wrong people killed. It’s really the same thing any of us do – without the constant threat of death hanging over our heads, that is.
Someone pointed out last week that hunters are human, and they’re going to make mistakes. Not only that? No one is policing them. Nothing is holding them accountable but their own personal truths. And when you’ve lived such a messed up life as the Winchester’s, your truth can understandably be skewered. But I think it’s a bit more than just circumstances spinning Dean’s compass. The conversation by the Impala (because all heartfelt conversations between brothers must occur with beers, by car) at the end tuned me into this line of thinking.
Sam’s life has been no less crazy, no less bloody, and yet (as he says) because of Hell, he’s atoned. He’s paid his dues. He doesn’t feel guilty anymore. Which…huh. I don’t know what I think about that yet.
Dean’s Hell only added to his weight and sense of guilt. And I think that drives home a key point about these two brothers – close enough they live in each other’s pockets, close enough to have died for each other, close enough to sometimes forget where one ends and the other begins. They are very different people.
They come at things from different perspectives, they see the same thing in different lights, they find their balance with different grounding, they justify with different truths. I am the oldest of five, and my mother used to marvel that each of her children came from the same parents and yet were so utterly different it was as if we had all been adopted. Family unites you just so far; the rest you create on your own.
This episode – like last week’s episode – gave me a sense of block-building. Like Dean’s order to his brother to make him Stone #1 and build on it, we’re seeing a careful construction of a story that needs several stepping stones to reach a zenith of realization. We didn’t further the fight to defeat (or even find) the Leviathans. We didn’t find out how the fact that the Leviathans are onto their credit card schemes will ultimately affect them. They’re still doing what they do – saving people (sorta), hunting things. Living out of the Impala and (some rather decked out – I mean, wow, wood floors!) hotel rooms. Bobby’s still finding their nick-of-time answers.
Nothing’s really changed. And yet…everything feels different.
You can’t solve a problem like a completely fractured psyche and hallucinations that tease reality by gripping a scar on your hand. Sam’s ‘feeling pretty good’ seems like a gigantic band aide to me. Or at least it should. There’s going to be more there.
You can’t take apart a hunter with carefully constructed walls, built up over decades to put up a front of a womanizing, hard-drinking, uncaring jerk hiding a broken man who can’t be alone and wants nothing more than to keep those he loves from ever feeling pain again, with one Trial By Egyptian God. This is just the start of the universe pulling the playing cards out of Dean’s house, and just the start of his foundation shaking. There’s going to be more there.
That said? I do kinda like that we’re going monster-by-monster, threat by threat. Traveling across the country, taking down the bad guys (or the supernatural guys…whether or not they’re truly “bad”). It really gives a sense of what the hell else can we do? I mean, when they find out something to do about the Leviathans, they’ll obviously do it. But until then, it’s not like they can truly lay low. They are who they are. And I kinda like getting a new story each time.
SO! Okay, the THEN was well, then. Let’s just skip to the NOW.
We’re in Dearborn, MI. A man is running for his life from a speeding car. He cuts down an alley, thinking he lost it, but, impossibly, it’s there. He manages to get into his apartment, chanting to himself, “You’re okay, you’re okay,” but then…frosty ghost breath. Not so much okay. The car, believe it or not, is in his apartment and smashes him to smithereens against his wall.
The Impala pulls up to the crime scene, boys getting out suited up. Sam hears unintelligible whispers, grabs his scarred hand and gets a grip. So, that’s our sign that Things Still Aren’t Right, but it’s obvious he’s managing it – as well as “it” can be managed, I suppose. I mean, there’s no indication of nightmares, drinking, pills, none of that stuff. Not that they’re showing us. He’s finding a way to get a grip and channel it – ignoring the hallucinations he says he can still see (that we don’t).
So, he’s either the most well adjusted person on the planet. Or this is completely temporary and we’re going to see some kind of Hallucifer explosion down the line. I’m betting on the latter. Because what fun is a well-adjusted Winchester?
Still, when Dean says that the situation is ‘wonky’ (ha! Total Joss Whedon flash-back), Sam shoots him a what, who, me? look until Dean clarifies that he’s talking about having a regular, non-Levi job feels odd. Sam chooses to take that moment to thank Dean for letting Amy go.
Guh, knife-in-gut…aaandd, twist. Dean nods at his brother like, yeah, of course, but the minute Sam turns away, Dean’s face falls and he looks away as if he’d like nothing more than to have a hole swallow him whole.
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