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Better late than never. My reaction to


As a "town under siege" scenario, I liked it WAY better than the "Night of the disgruntled florists" - you may know it as "Croatoan" - and as an "apocalypse now" scenario, I liked it better than "Marguaritaville" - you may it know it as "Sin City". :D
It was suspenseful, had nice action and for their modest budget conveyed a nice enough atmosphere.

I LOVED Smart!Dean and Leader!Dean here. What do you know, the boy has learned. NOT running off half-cocked, even when Sam is in danger, but instead strategizing and formulating a plan, thinking of the bigger picture. And figuring things out about war. *wipes a proud tear*

I also loved the dynamic with Ellen and her encouraging him to use his own wits for a change. Nice change to all the "you're stupid" digs. See, he CAN do the research/thinky part of the hunt and I think it's important that he doesn't let those "muscles" atrophy anymore.

I like that Sam's addiction wasn't as insta-cleansed as it seemed in the Opener. Yay for continuity.

There was not much of Rufus and Jo but what I saw I liked.

Sera Gamble also managed to keep from killing off recurring characters like there was no tomorrow this time. Yay.

Ellen's reaction upon the reunion was perfect. Holy water - hug - slap. Hahaha, hilarious. And their little faces. I also thought the interaction despite everything was those of equals, not faux-mommy. I seriously don't see that, never have. Also, really, why did noone call her? Bobby and Sam, that muchly includes you.

Speaking of Bobby, you know, once upon a time I would have been sympathetic but a character who flips the fuck out when OTHER people take some time to maybe wallow a bit for totally justifiable reason has lost any and all right to wallow themselves. If you set ridiculous standards, at least have the guts to live by them yourself. And the angels/Castiel as a personal healing squad? That "I'm so entitled" vibe? Boohoo, right back attcha.

The actor for War did a great job, I thought. The ring was maybe a bit cheesy but it gave us the cute LOTR reference.

Castiel being grumpily grumpy. Awww. I think he is angry at himself as much as at everybody right now. And those carved symbols will never be not cool.

Sure, the amulet being a God-finder is cheesy but I don't see it any differently than Giles and the Thesulah ball paperweight. Goofy but I can live with it.

Did I forget something? Kidding. Obviously, things are tense in Denmark Sam'nDean land. But I personally welcome the developments. I may be one of three people in the world who does not in any way miss or want that codependent unhealthy relationship back but I just don't. I doesn't give me ANY viewing pleasure anymore and it has long since lost the "sym" before "pathetic" for me. I just want the characters to grow and become stronger individually BEFORE they become stronger together.

As such I'm heartened by their last conversation. Sam analyzing what it is inside him that led him to act the way he did. Making the responsible choice to remove himself from temptation. Dean agreeing with that choice because he too sees the value in it for himself and for Sam - much needed breathing space. And he knows that he can't take ab break right now. He offered the Impala as his saying of "I love you" and Sam turned it down as his "right back at you". Nicely understated but nevertheless meaningful.

Maybe in that moment Sam would have found it nicer for Dean to offer some token protest - the already secured ride told me Sam had made up his mind - but I think in the end he would have been disappointed that it was only token protest. That honesty thing they got going on may hurt them both like hell now but it is ten times better in the long run than the king of denials they were before.

So, yup, loving both characters right now and being okay with a brief separation. Relationship breaks are a good and necessary thing to me when it has gotten so bad as it obviously has here. Next time Sam wants to prove that he can do it and can it now and Dean has family-member-of-addict-angst maybe someone would have died. As it is, I find them closer NOW than they have been pretty much at any time in Season 4 minus the immediate reunion. They were physically together, yes, but miles apart in reality.

Besides, it's obvious even without being spoiled that they will be together again in no time. :D


Grading it, I'd give it a 4 out of 5.

(And last weeks would get a 3.5 out of 5)

Comments

( 9 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
trishabooms
Sep. 20th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
I totally agree. very nice review!
astri13
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you, always nice to find a likeminded soul. :D
albeitslowly
Sep. 20th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
I agree on all counts.

Such a well thought out review deserves more of a comment than that, but there's not enough time in the day.

*two thumbs up*
astri13
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
Hehe, thanks. I had an inkling we might have seen the ep the same way. :D
katrinhelsing
Sep. 20th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Me I love the amulet moment. I think it is so cool that Dean says No first and then thinks later and the comment about being naked is just so right. Admit it we all knew that the amulet was going to be important, though some how I think Castiel is not really telling the truth about what it is or can do. I also feel that Castiel is getting a little darker maybe stepping onto the demon track nearly.

After saying all that I think my favourite moment was actually the serving quote, about recognising a fellow soldier. Dean stating that he did his service in Hell, No Seriously Hell was brillant.

Being part of a family who's father worked for the military - this attitude is so understandable and right!
astri13
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
I also feel that Castiel is getting a little darker maybe stepping onto the demon track nearly.

Really? I didn't get the impression. I thought he is becoming human. Which maybe worse. *g*

After saying all that I think my favourite moment was actually the serving quote, about recognising a fellow soldier. Dean stating that he did his service in Hell, No Seriously Hell was brillant.

Yes, that was a funny moment. And a little bonding scene with Dean and the young soldier.
nachekana
Sep. 20th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
I like your analyze about how Sam and Dean were closer by going they're seperate ways than during the entire 4th season. I really liked the idea of them breaking up for a while (and yes, I doubt it will even lasts 2 episodes...), it was a nice change, Sam leaving with Dean's approval for once.

As for the rest of the episode, well, it left me strangely indifferent. *shrugs* It happens sometimes. I just found that all the hunters seemed quite dumb (except for Dean, who understood pretty fast): the supposed demons' behavior was obviously strange.
astri13
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
it was a nice change, Sam leaving with Dean's approval for once.

Yes, they have grown so much. *pumps fist*

I just found that all the hunters seemed quite dumb (except for Dean, who understood pretty fast): the supposed demons' behavior was obviously strange.

Yeah, they kinda tried too hard or too little to "surprise" the audience with the twist when the audience had likely figured it out in the first five minutes.

I can fanwank that War spread a bit of real paranoia or amped up the feeling beyond normal level so people couldn't think straight anymore the longer they were there. Maybe. :D
(Deleted comment)
astri13
Sep. 21st, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
It's probably why I always thought the Ellen/Dean shippers could make a decent case.

I wouldn't mind that hook-up at all, not even romance just something mature and casual maybe but I think with Kripke no luck. His reaction is so ten-year-old-boy sometimes "but she is MOOOOOM and over forty, icky". Yes, Eric, people over forty miraculously become asexual, I'm sure your parents will tell you. :-p

I am so GLAD that they're breaking away from the unhealthy co-dependency relationship this season!

Me too. I honestly can't understand why so many people want it back in all its unhealthy glory or romanticize even the parts in retrospect now where pretty much everybody used to say "wow, that is fucked up".

Maybe the thought of living under such co-dependence being so abhorrent to me in real life is what makes me unable to enjoy it even in fictional form beyond a certain point. I just, there is no glee or squee for me in it anymore.
( 9 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )