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the island of conclusions

SPN 5.11: "Don't the Sun Look Angry at Me?" (episode reaction)

the island of conclusions

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SPN 5.11: "Don't the Sun Look Angry at Me?" (episode reaction)

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No spoilers for anything past 5.11.

So, I watched the episode late last night, and I woke up this morning with a low-grade fever. I’m not saying it had anything to do with Jensen Ackles in a short-sleeved white t-shirt. I’m just offering it as my excuse for not having anything particularly coherent to say about the episode (which I enjoyed, though I probably missed some of the finer points, what with the white t-shirts and all).

So, just a couple of things:


I still surprised that while I don’t exactly look forward to episodes by these writers (Dabb and Loflin), I feel strangely reassured now when I see that they’ve written something. They are, after all, responsible for my least favorite episode of SPN—“Yellow Fever”—and for one—“After School Special”—that I didn’t like very much. But “Jump the Shark” was pretty good (especially given the challenges of the topic), and in the swamp of dismality that was 5.05-5.09, “I Believe the Children are our Future” was at least straightforward, kinda fun, kinda interesting. And I thought they did pretty well with this. It was relatively tightly and plausibly plotted (at least given SPN’s standards), and got in some nice character work for Sam, Dean and the OMC Martin. I particularly liked the way they tried to give Martin his own special, unusual diction (“bet a chicken dinner,” etc.). They are definitely winning the award for most improved this season, anyway.


I’m kind of intrigued by how many sympathetic brunettes live in Dean’s subconscious. I mean, it makes sense that he would have inner voices (demons) telling him he isn’t good enough, that he’s failed, etc.—as the imaginary doctor eventually does. But, as others have noted, the imaginary doctor, and her concerns, resembled Carmen from WIAWSNB (and his dream of Lisa in DaLDoM). So, Dean also has inner (female) voices telling him that he shouldn’t have to shoulder the world’s problems, deserves a more peaceful life.

The “real” figure these sympathetic brunettes most resemble is not, I think, Mary, which would be one’s first guess, but rather the reaper, Tessa, and her (eroticized) offer of peace, of saying goodbye to the world. Which just goes to show how incredibly tantalizing death has been for Dean since the beginning of S2.

I also think it’s touching that (up to a point) Dean has someone being nice to him inside his own head, even if it so rarely happens outside it.


I’ve read a bunch of people complaining, justifiably, that the episode didn’t really break new ground in terms of the boys’ “issues”—especially re: Dean. But, here’s the thing—Dean’s hyper-responsibility, his determination to save everyone, his guilt over not being able to, gets me every fucking, overdone time it show up. I’m a sucker for it--what can I do?


That said, I did think the end of the episode was a little weird. Sam has anger issues. Yup. Dean’s advice is bad advice. Also Yup. Though I thought JA played it as if Dean half-knew that it was bad advice, a desperate gleam in his eyes, just wanting Sam to shut up and get in the fucking car already.

I was pretty upset that they didn’t do anything for Martin, though, and we have no idea what happened to him. He was a good character, I thought, and the little scene where he and Dean have to urge each other past their fears and insecurities to do the right thing was very nice. He, like Dean, was heroic in the old-fashioned way, moving past his own weakness to help others, and I wanted to see that rewarded with a little screen time…


Oh, and the white t-shirts were nice.

Still waking up in the mornings with shaking hands
And I’m trying to find a girl who understands me
But except in dreams you’re never really free.

Don’t the sun look angry at me.

Warren Zevon, “Desperadoes Under the Eaves.”
  • The “real” figure these sympathetic brunettes most resemble is not, I think, Mary, which would be one’s first guess, but rather the reaper, Tessa, and her (eroticized) offer of peace, of saying goodbye to the world. Which just goes to show how incredibly tantalizing death has been for Dean since the beginning of S2.

    I never thought about it that way, but what an interesting observation! And kind of depressing, though true to the character.

    In other words, yes, white t-shirts.

    (I'm currently working on the French translation of "Morituri Te Salutant." Hope it will please my French readers, who I have been neglecting lately...)
    • It is sad, I know, but sometimes I think it's also what allows him to live in the moment the way he does...

      And yes, I would have happily watched 40 minutes of Dean in a white t-shirt and scrub pants just lounging in the front of the nurses' station. Not even saying anything, just standing there. *iz shallow*

      I so admire your being able to write in two languages! I would ask to see the translation, but my French is so decayed I don't think I'd be able to read it. In any case, your French readers are in for a treat!
  • Oh, and the white t-shirts were nice.

    Shallow fangirl that I am, this was my favorite part of the episode. :-)
    • y'know, me too. Forty uninterrupted minutes of the guys in white t-shirts, minimal dialogue? I woulda been one happy fangirl :D
  • Yup, the white t-shirts were fabulous, weren't they? And wow, I had not thought about how Dean's troubled mind threw up a brunette yet again.

    I enjoyed it. I'm incredibly happy to have Show back and have missed it like crazy. And on another t-shirt-like shallow moment, do you think that since JP is not going to get to play Conan Sam can have his bangs back now? And maybe lose the sideburns??
    • OMG, the sideburns! I was going to devote a whole paragraph to the sideburns! They are like furry caterpillars that wouldn't look out of place on a whiskey-sodden Victorian gent. Show--please give us some better Sam hair!

      I was happy to have the show back, too! and, yes, the white t-shirts were fabulous--I'm feeling like I need a special new icon of them *iz happy being shallow*
  • (no subject) -
    • Yes--I know what you mean about JP's work in the ep.--especially in that one scene. One can't help but compare it to the drunk scene in "Playthings," which is not an exemplar of fine acting, or anything, but somehow incredibly charged--it's often cited as the most "Wincesty" scene ever on the show...Something just wasn't quite in place this time...

      But yes--almost-broken!Dean just kills me--every time. Everyone must have their "opening" into the show, and I guess that's mine. I would have loved more converstations with shrink--especially since you realize that these are the conversations Dean would have with himself--that somewhere inside him he's asking the tough questions...

      Oh, Dean!
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