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the island of conclusions

(belated reaction post) 5.03 : Looks Like Freedom....

the island of conclusions

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(belated reaction post) 5.03 : Looks Like Freedom....

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bright star
…But it feels like death
It’s something in between I guess

“Closing Time,” Leonard Cohen.

Oh, c’mon, you knew someone was gonna use that tag!

I saw this episode very belatedly and very disjointedly, and so my reactions are kind of belated and disjointed too.

I’ve been reading through reaction posts, and rather than going back and leaving comments days later, I’m just going do this in the form of some FAQs.

Was the opening montage awesome or what?

I’m not much of a Sam/Dean shipper, but I did think it was interesting that living apart from each other they got both more domestic—Dean spot-cleaning his shirt had to be the cutest thing the ep.--and more naked. When he’s by himself, Sam sleeps without a shirt. Even Dean’s down to one layer for a bit. What are you protecting yourselves from with those layers when you’re together, boys?

How about that Dean/Cas fanservice?
It was fun, how it not be fun? I particularly liked the “personal space” scene.

Even more than the UST, I like the little dynamic where Dean tries to be all snarky, and Castiel shuts him down with a much funnier, deadpan one-liner (ie, “He’s not on any flatbread,” “arid”). Dean may be used to being the quippiest person in the room, but, Bert and Ernie aside, I think he’s fated to be Castiel’s straight man for the rest of the season.

Also, it’s nice continuity. Whenever the boys are separated, in body or spirit, Dean tends to find some guy to kill stuff with, and Sam hangs out with the ladies. True when Sam went to Stanford; in “Bloodlust”; while Dean was in Hell (Alastair vs. Ruby); and in “Sex and Violence.” Just saying. Draw your own conclusions.

Could they get any skeevier than that brothel scene?
Not really. If it hadn’t been so labored and clunky and OOC for everyone (including the hooker who’s freaked out by Castiel), it might have slid by. Like, if it had been funny enough for one to overlook how offensive it was. But it wasn’t. Sigh…

Lindsay: annoying or a breath of fresh air?
Annoying. I think the idea of Sam meeting another recovering addict was fine, it’s just the actress, or the way she was directed, or something, was annoying. Mileage varies, of course.

How smart is it to be belligerent with an archangel?
Oh, who the heck knows? This part just seemed like labored macho posturing to me…I’m happy to have the plot revolve around angels and demons wailing on each other (such, after all is the plot of the first few books of Paradise Lost), but the angel-psychology always leaves me a bit cold and WTF. Ditto the racial implications. Why, guys, why?

How can Dean say that he’s happy without Sam?
You’re kidding, right? First of all, you could see Dean’s ambivalence from space. Second of all, I actually thought the best thing about the episode was that, despite all the ham-handedness, it did try to put Dean and Sam in genuinely new mindsets. Dean has been without Sam many times, of course, and has been left by members of his family on numerous occasions, but he’s never made the conscious choice to be apart from them (well, and still be alive). Or, to tell himself, true or false, that he’s happy about it. Willing to separate himself from his family, Dean’s come 180 degrees from where he was when the series began—as has Sam, who still wants to leave the hunting life, but now because he recognizes how different he is (and, interestingly, for their safety, rather than his).

Sam-Lucifer, Sam/Lucifer (are we gonna have to come up with a new notation for vesseldom, like Sam~Lucifer?) I know there’s more to say about this scene, but I liked it a lot, mostly because I thought it was beautifully played by both actors, Lucifer quietly playing on Sam’s mental/moral exhaustion, guilt and lack of confidence.

I think I should have something to say about Sam-Jess, but I just don’t…

Anyway, have some more apocosong from Mr. Cohen:

And the whole damn place goes crazy twice
And it’s once for the devil and it’s once for Christ
But the Boss don’t like these dizzy heights
And we’re busted in the blinding lights
Busted in the blinding lights

  • (no subject) -
    • Yeah--I agree that the scene in the car was beautifully played--and even though some of the script was clunky, I really appreciate that they are at least trying to deal with and acknowledge these complex, ambivalent feelings--the kind of things that would come up in a loving but strained relationship over time (strained in the sense that it has had to bear a lot of strain and trauma).

      Same with the Lucifer scene. I agree about the devil. I was just reading Paradise Lost and this jumped out at me: when Satan approaches Eve for the first time, in a dream, she tells Adam, "Methought / Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk/ with gentle voice. I thought it thine." The gentle voice--yeah!

      And yeah, I always find the emotional story line more interesting that the doesn't-always-make-sense mytharc!

      thanks for sharing your thoughts!
  • Sucifer.

    ETA: And Dichael. Sucifer and Dichael.

    Edited at 2009-09-30 10:42 am (UTC)
  • Yes to everything you said, except for Lindsey, who didn't annoy me and a big yes to the brothel scene -- WAY not funny enough (or even necessary enough) to overcome the offensiveness.

    And anyone who took Dean's sad little speech at face value is either clueless about this character (not to mention human nature in general) or just mindlessly pimping their own anti-Dean agenda for whatever reason. Whether it's about politics or television shows, I've developed zero tolerance for people who proclaim their own biased opinions or theories as if they were rock-solid, indisputable facts, and have no evidence at all to back themselves up. Oh, Dean always hated Sam? Prove it.

    Leonard Cohen gives me the creeps like no one else. I would not want to spend any time in that guy's head.
    • Hey! *waves* missed you!

      Leonard Cohen is spooky/creepy--even the jauntier songs like that one...and then they get stuck in your head.

      And anyone who took Dean's sad little speech at face value is either clueless about this character (not to mention human nature in general) or just mindlessly pimping their own anti-Dean agenda for whatever reason.
      It's weird, isn't it--it reminds you of the degree to which, when watching TV, as in RL, some people just can't read emotional cues at all....(or, yes, will ignore them in favor of their own agendas). Because, yeah, it was subtly played, but tv-subtle, which means pretty damn straightforward!

      Too bad, since I wish the show would do more with ambivalence, so to speak--
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