caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

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9.07 Initial reaction: I stayed off the internet for THIS?

I was SO unspoiled for this episode. There was something in the air, I knew people were excited about it, but I literally knew NOTHING. I even blocked the names of the guest stars once I started watching. So imagine my surprise when I was apparently the only person on the internets who didn't love this one. In fact, I, uh, kind of hated it.

Petty things that bothered me

  • Sam answers Dean's phone, hears someone ask for "D-Dawg," and he's all "there's no one here by that name?" Seriously? Is it that far outside the realm of possibility that someone would call your brother D-Dawg? (Spoiler alert: it's not.)

  • Another one of those "hey, someone really important to me who has my phone number even though I haven't mentioned him in nine years" drop-ins. They annoy me.

  • Nobody is going to be suffocated by a shower curtain. It's too thick. It doesn't cling to the face.

  • They really didn't do a good job of aging that Josh Brolin lookalike.

  • Twenty years later, and there are only three or four names taped over Dean's name on the bed? Of course, there are only three boys at the ranch now, so I guess things aren't really hopping over at Josh Brolin's Home for Wayward Boys.

  • Oh, little Timmy drew his drama out in excruciating detail for Sam to find. How convenient.

  • At 12, Sam seems awfully old to be playing with that toy plane. (I did read that this story was originally written with Dean as a 14 year old, but they changed it after filming, so it's slightly less weird for 10 year old Sam to be playing with the plane.)

  • Robin is holding a grudge against Dean because he stood her up. At 16 (or 14) she may not have completely understood that a teenager staying at a boy's ranch is at the mercy of his parents and/or guardians. But as a grown-ass woman, she should certainly grasp that now.

  • Why is it so hard for the casting people to find kids who look like Dean? Sure, this kid played him well, but come on? Dark brown eyes and hair? How hard would it be to slap some contacts and dye on him?

  • The boys didn't look good. Dean looked puffy and tired, and Sam's hair (part of the reason I watch the show, dammit!) was just weird.

Bigger things that bothered me

  • The writing seemed clunky and expositional.

  • Wow, that ghost thing wrapped up REALLY quickly and easily.

  • Dean's comment about "sometimes you have to do what's best for you, even if it hurts your family" apparently was supposed to refer to how he "should" have told his father to go to hell and gone to the dance with Robin (as if that was even an option, please, Josh Brolin, there's no way you were going to keep that boy there if his father didn't want him kept there). But it could be applied to many ways. Does it mean Dean was okay allowing Ezekiel into Sam without his knowledge or true informed consent because it was best for Dean, even if it hurt his family? Because it could also mean Sam was right when he was ready to die because it was best for him, even if it hurt his family. It could mean Dean was right to kick Castiel out of the bunker because it was best for Dean, even though it hurt this person he claims as family. It covers everything, and nothing.

  • Where the hell did this version of Dean who wanted out of the hunting life come from? Sure, it makes sense that he would have felt that way at one point. But given that everything we've seen indicates that Dean never felt that way, or at least never expressed it, it's jarring that it came out so easily. Like it's something he thought all along. Like it came out of Sam's mouth. If Dean had been reluctant to say it, if he'd sounded like he'd just now figured out how he felt about things, it would have felt real. But the way it was presented last night, just kind of matter of fact, felt more like retconning.

  • Dean gambled away the food money and got caught stealing food. So John was gone. Who took care of Sam? What's the timeline here?

  • The John Winchester we know wouldn't have kept Dean's crime a secret from Sam. He would have used it as a learning opportunity for both of them. See, this is why we make money by gambling but never bet our whole stake. See, this is why we have to become better at shoplifting. Or maybe he wouldn't. Because...

The thing that bothered me the most

"Oh, yeah, that's what we told you happened." Dean was gone for TWO MONTHS. John told his 12 year old son, the son who lives in the back of a car and in cheap hotel rooms, that the ONE constant in his life, the one person who he could count on to love him unconditionally and protect him, the person he had already transferred all his filial love and loyalty and respect to... he told him he went missing on a hunt. And he let him think that for TWO MONTHS. He let Sam think Dean was missing (and in this life, missing means dead or injured or captured by really bad things) for TWO MONTHS. You know what? Fuck you, John Winchester. You crossed the line from "broken man who loves his boys but isn't always capable of giving them what they need" to "sadistic son of a bitch who only cares about revenge and punishment, even if his 12 year old son becomes collateral damage." No wonder Sam is fucked up. No wonder he wanted something else. Fuck you.

Now that I've got that off my chest, there was at least one thing that delighted me - when Dean asked Sam if "everyone" was okay with us going to the Catskills. Oh, Dean. You are turning into the Dean from that counteragent story with the weird shit you say, and I love you so much for it.

Again, I'm unspoiled for next week (will they even have a new episode next week, since it's Thanksgiving week in the U.S.?), please help me stay that way!
Tags: 9.07 bad boys, initial reaction, season 9, supernatural

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