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Well, on a hopeful note I will say this episode wasn't the worst ever episode of Supernatural that I'd ever sat through, though that might be damning with faint praise, really, because it certainly wasn't the best either. But I have to give them a small amount of credit (though I'll probably take it away later) for the handling of Dean/Lisa. If you know me at all, you'll know that I did not like the shoehorned in Lisa/Ben stuff last season.

But this episode worked that pretty well, by actually showing that Sam and Bobby basically believed that Dean's wants and needs mirrored their own, and I really don't think they do. When I think of Dean wanting a family, well, the family Dean wants is John, Sam, and Dean, which not possible for oh-so-many reasons, but that's the family Dean's always wanted, not some generic wife and 2.5 kids. Dean (even as far back as season one) seemed to feel that living in Suburbia was the worst thing that could happen to a person.

But, hey, at least that episode did actually feel as though it addressed that. I'm not sure it did a great job, but it did try, by the way Dean acted with Lisa, and Sam and Bobby.

Why the points I give it for handling Dean/Lisa get took away later, is because later Lisa becomes pathetic or stupid, or maybe both. The scene was actually going pretty well until she said "it was the best year of my life," which leaves me forced to call bullshit. Fine, she accepts that Dean came to her with issues. That's good, but "best year of her life," either she's had an even shittier life than Dean, or she's touched in the head. She's had the "best year of her life" with a guy that freely admits he's spent said year living with nightmares and drinking to much, but that's not actually the worst of it, because in addition to that, Dean has really only been half there (if that) emotionally. He admits that he tried to find a way to break Sam out - does Lisa know about that? Considering that later in the episode Dean's first instinct is (still - after a year with her) to lie to her, I'm thinking she probably doesn't know that he's been "dabbling" with his former life while giving her "the best year of her life." My guess is that he told her what he had to so she'd back off and stop asking, but never really told her the whole truth about anything. So, Dean/Lisa is never gonna work for me, though I'm clearly buying that she does love him, and that Dean does at least care for her, but it's really just a bad situation all around, because he's clearly not going to stay because the wife and 2.5 really ain't his gig.
(And, sadly, as much as I hate to wish for another female death when it comes to this show, I don't see how Dean can just walk away from Lisa/Ben without looking like an ass, unless they both die, cause I sure as hell don't want Dean dragging Ben demon hunting with he and Sam.)

Okay, now maybe that's outta my system and I can move on to other things... *sigh* I'm not even a Dean!girl (I'm actually a Sam!girl, thank you very much), but I came away from this episode feeling like Sam should've told Dean (in the scene where he doesn't want to talk about hell) that "I don't want to talk about it. I'm sorry, man, I get it now." Cause remember after Dean's stint, he didn't want to talk about it either, but Sam kept pushing, which I can understand, but for Sam in this scene just to totally not get that bugs me.

*sigh* Okay, you know what, lets go back and do the thing properly, before I confuse myself by bouncing around to things all out of order.

The opening bits left me "meh," but to be fair, it's only the rare Supernatural opening that I do like. On the other hand, I think I like the new title card, the sound is especially nice, for me.

After that we open with Dean having a drink with a "friend" said friend looks a little weird, so I automatically assume he's up to no good. Seriously, I don't know if they did that on purpose or not, but that dude looks like he hasn't slept in a week. Considering what happens later, I think they should've given the actor some sleeping pills and called him back later.
(I'm torn on Dean admitting he hasn't unleashed the Kraken in over a year. On the other hand, if they'd shown him willing to cheat on Lisa I suspect the "mean to Dean" crowd would revolt.)

Anyway, this all leads into the scene I was talking about where we see that Dean's first instinct is to lie to Lisa about paranormal aspects. Of course, that opening actually makes it clear that Dean/Lisa ain't the healthiest relationship on the block, so it was hardly a surprise. Of course, I got the feeling from that scene that Lisa knew Dean was only half there as far as their relationship was/is concerned, but I was disabused of that notion later. "Best year of my life" and all.

The dog, oh-yes the dog. LOVED IT! Of course, I LOVED the episode Yellow Fever (except for the brutal way the ghost is offed), so anything that hearkens back to that episode is A+ in my book. And in case we missed it the first time, we're shown again that Dean's first instinct is to lie to Lisa (and she thinks it's the best year of her life, no I ain't letting that go any damn time soon), and I think he only come clean here because it was obvious that Lisa finally knew for sure that something was up.

Also, YED YED YED, I didn't realize how much I had missed him until tonights episode. *sigh* Anyway, it's shortly after this that the episode gets less enchanting for me, and since I LOVE Sam, it's very weird for me to feel like his entrance into this episode is the downward turning point, but it is what it is. Also, I loves me some Mitch, but I'm just not sure how I feel about Grandpa being back, especially with the kiddies he's dragged in. I know I don't like any of the kiddies, and I'm pretty sure Grandpa may in fact not really be Grandpa. And, to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think a part of me would almost like for Grandpa to really be Grandpa.

So, yeah, I kind of liked the first fifteen minutes of this episode, the rest I am more than a little iffy about.

Sam expecting a hug from Dean is BS, the holy water bit, yeah, but a hug. Seriously? Do you even remember anything about how you acted when Dean (who was dead) suddenly showed up at your hotel room door? And Dean was with Bobby, Sam just appears all by his lonesome. Honestly!

I guess no one (not even the writers) remembers since Sam (and Bobby later) have both clearly forgotten about the hell they went through while Dean was dead and in literal hell. But, no, they think Dean will totes be okay off living life and not once thinking about his baby brother, who he believes is still trapped in hell. Yeah, makes the kind of perfect sense that don't, doesn't it. I'm starting to wonder if the writers ever remember what's happened on this show before, except in very vague ways.

Okay, maybe I'm not being fair to the writers, but there's so much in this episode (after the first fifteen minutes) that makes the kind of sense that doesn't, and it really bugs me. But I do think they got it to an extent considering Dean's reactions to both Sam and Bobby. And I do kind of get why Sam and Bobby thought the way they did, I do. Bobby only got into hunting because of the demon in his wife, and last season the minute he thought she was back he was totally ready to walk away from hunting, and I understand that, I do. Also, with Sam, all Sam ever wanted was a normal life, so I could see both of them honestly believing that Dean wanted the same things they did, but in the end all that really proves is that neither Sam or Bobby really understand Dean. Also, worse still, it means they really did forget the hell they went through while Dean was in hell. The mere thought that they could somehow think Dean wasn't going through the same thing at the thought of Sam in hell just DOES NOT WORK!
(Also, the idea that Sam is ass-y enough to make fun of Dean for living the life Sam pretty much forced Dean to live, is, well, ass-y. I get why the other hunters might get a chuckle, but Sam, really. *shakes head* )

Anyway, at least Team Campbell brings in some hints at what we'll be seeing this season, but it's all very vague, but it is at this point where I think I'd have liked it better if this season had just started with Dean and Sam back together in the hunting life with explanations coming in as to how that happened as the show moved along. Cause I'm just having trouble believing that Dean would honestly stay with Lisa and Ben knowing that he doesn't love them as he should, that's a bit ass-wipey for Dean, especially a Dean that on some level at least understands him being around them isn't (or won't) end well for them which is revealed when Dean is having words with Sam and Bobby.

On the other hand, writers please, look, I get you don't want to just have Dean walk away from Lisa/Ben, but your audience would love that. Also, the way you wrote Sam wanting Dean to come with him in that last scene is just a little weird. Why not just have Sam say - "Look, Lisa/Ben would probably be safer if you walked away, after all, Jessica might be alive today if I'd just walked away from her." Instead Sam "hems and haws" all around that without saying it, which I guess makes sense for men, but it's annoying for me. JUST SAY IT!

PS - Okay, I haven't commented on this new cold Sam, but that's because despite the weirdness of the ending last season, I'm no longer thinking Sam is "wrong." I think Sam may have been broken like Dean was broken, but unlike Dean Sam appears to have been "rebuilt" by Grandpa Campbell, who may or may not be on the up and up, but I think that might account for the colder harder Sam. Could I be wrong? Of course, but at the moment I've stopped looking for other reasons for Sam's offish behavior.

PPS - And, as for the Dean being rusty bullcrap... *sigh* Sam was out four years, and he wasn't all that rusty, so I don't see why being out for just a year would make Dean rusty, but if I keep going my entire Saturday will be wasted griping about Supernatural, and since the heat-wave has FINALLY broken, I believe I'd like to go out and enjoy this much cooler and very much awesome day. However, as I said this episode left me with a lot of things that just freakin' bugged me.

So, in the end the episode was better then I expected, but not as good as I'd have hoped for.

Okay, one more thing, I think why Lisa didn't find herself a victim of the ceiling - she's not a blond. Think about it. Or not, but it was a fun moment for me when I thought about it. But I guess it could just be that Dean's penis is just not fatal like Sam's, but I like the blond thing better.

UPDATE (9/26) - One day and one rewatch later...

My above comments still stand, for the most part, but if I'd waited a little while before posting my thoughts they would have been stated in a much softer way. Anyway, last night there was nothing on that I cared to watch (not even a movie) so I decided to watch Supernatural again, and found that it didn't feel as bad/weird second time around. I don't know whether or not it just wasn't as surprising second time around, or if it was simply after having had time to think about it many of the things I had problems with aren't as big a problems as they originally looked.

For example, my gripe about Sam and Bobby not knowing Dean at all... The gripe really does still stand with Bobby (though I can, as I said, understand why Bobby decided not to tell Dean, I just think it's kind of shitty), but this time I watched Sam's face in that scene, and he seems to maybe finally get it, that's brought out even more by his final comments to Dean in the end.
(Though as I said, I do still wish in at least two cases Sam had said a little more to Dean, but found that this time around it just wasn't as bad as I thought first time.)

(Of course, my problem with "the best year of my life" still completely and totally stands even after watching again. And my fear that they are going to try and pull of Dean living (or trying to) in two worlds - one with Lisa/Ben and "part" time hunting still stands. I want Dean outright hunting again. However, after watching the episode again I admit I have more hopes about how things might play out this season then I did after watching the first time.)

PS - I've seen more then a few people complaining about the magically appearing Campbell's, especially in light of the fact that Sam was supposed to have checked for such people as far back as season three. Let me state clearly for the record that was one thing in this episode that didn't really stand out for me, especially since I think it probably was Grandpa who found all of them (Sam included), and brought them together.

Granted my theory on this only really holds if Grandpa is actually Grandpa, which admittedly I'm still not entirely sure of, but for now that's the assumption (Grandpa really is Grandpa) I'm going to work with.

So, Grandpa finds himself back with no idea why, but maybe he does have an idea of what's going on in the world - we really don't know how that works. Now Sam probably, upon finding himself back, went straight to Bobby. But Grandpa, who knows how Campbell's think/work goes off to find any still living Campbell's, and since Campbell's are die-hard hunters from way back, it is not just possible but likely that they knew how to keep themselves from being found. Also, it's important to remember that when Sam looked (way back in early season three) he literally had no idea that his mothers side of the family were all hunters, even Dean didn't know at that point. So, I have no trouble believing that Sam couldn't find them simply because he wouldn't know where/how to look for them.

Also, the show did go out of its way to point out that the cuzzies weren't very closely related to Dean and Sam, so that also adds to the easily missed factor. So, Grandpa finds the cuzzies and then finds Sam, or maybe Grandpa finds Sam first, but since Bobby admitted that he's known Sam was back for almost a year, I'm thinking Grandpa found Sam later after Sam had visited Bobby.

I've also seen people talk about how these hunters should have known John Winchester, since he was clearly more then a little famous in hunting circles. My guess is that they probably did/do know of John Winchester, but that still doesn't mean that the young Campbell's would know who John's kids really was. I think it's not only possible but likely that none of the Campbell's really knew what happened to Mary after the death of her parents. Mary wanted NO family contact, after all, so she might have left the extended family believing she died with her parents. That might also explain why she absolutely refused to leave John after Dean told her what would happen (and also why she never introduced John to any of her family.). And if I recall correctly, Mary's parents (Grandpa and Grandma) only met John shortly before they died, so they probably didn't have time to tell anyone, which means it's likely that none of Mary's extended family knew she "ran off" with John Winchester.

So, that's my theory, even if these people knew of John they still had no way of knowing who Dean and Sam was to them, and Sam not knowing that his mother's family were hunters probably wouldn't have looked for them quite as hard as he probably would have if he'd known.
Hiii! I randomly found your blog & thought I'd comment. So Hii & I agree with EVERYTHING you say, tho I love Dean a little more then Sam. But i'd be willing to love them both equally given the chance Lol.

One thing I still don't get about the Campbell's is this- 1) If they're these famous kick a** hunters, then why the heck werent they in the front line trying to stop the end of the world? In season 5, it sorta comes across as alot of hunters if not all know about the end of the world. I would think, one of the orignal hunting families would be all over that shiz. *shrug* I know its probs just a tiny hole in the plot, but it feels like a giant hole to me.

Ohh. I agree w/ the whole Grandpa & Grandma didn't tell their family about John. Even if she was dating him for awhile. They'd probs be embrassed, you know? Lol.

Hey, it takes both Dean and Sam to make the show work, so I try really hard to keep myself from starting to believe one of them is more important than the other. That's why even as a Sam!girl I can get upset when I feel Dean gets shafted.

Anyway, I agree that it's a little weird that Campbells didn't show up during season five, but in fairness there were, as Cass said, angels and demons fighting all over the globe, so it is possible that the living (young) Campbells were involved in the fight just their involvement didn't have them crossing Dean and Sam's path. Yeah, it's a bit of a stretch, but it works for me, at least if I tilt my head-sideways.

Edited at 2010-10-02 02:07 am (UTC)