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the island of conclusions

Slow Train Coming (SPN 5.17 episode reaction)

the island of conclusions

bright star

Slow Train Coming (SPN 5.17 episode reaction)

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bright star

Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions
Are they lost or are they found
Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend.

Bob Dylan, “Slow Train Coming”

I know I’m in trouble when born-again era Dylan starts seeming appropriate to the show. You don’t have to tell me that.


The domestic stars have been in some pretty strange alignments this week—but tonight, for the first time since I think October, they lined up so that I could actually watch the show as it aired.

What’s more, I actually watched it on our big new TV (not big by most people’s standards, just big compared to the one we used to have) instead of my computer screen. Which meant a much bigger Jared, Misha and Jensen than I was used to.

Which was kind of distracting. And would have been more so, if they hadn’t kept spitting out variations on “kill the whore.” Ow. Just ow.

Though I guess if SPN were going to do a take on the whole Whore/Madonna complex this was it. If, y’know, the Madonna was a yoga instructor.

I usually take my time with writing these episode reactions, but since I’ll be away from tomorrow morning til Sat. night, I thought I’d just post now—apologies for the incoherence.

Even though nothing really happened in the episode that either hasn’t been building for a long time, or hinted at recently, it still left me confused for some reason.

*Of course Dean is a servant of Heaven—either because he (still) is a righteous man, or because in his heart he’s already said yes.

*it has seemed for a while now that Dean is getting ready to say yes to Michael—I think I was confused because I couldn’t tell if it was because he didn’t care anymore (as he said several times tonight) or because he cares too much (ie, his sorrow over Dylan getting killed tonight, or his fear that more people will die).

*Lisa Braeden: Well, she’s shown up before (in DaLDoM) to fulfill the same function: to point out to us that Dean’s deepest idea (fantasy?) of happiness is a wife and kid (and not an eternity with his soulmate/brother?). Out of left field, sure, but not without precedent.

There were some other interesting reversals of earlier moments:

*Sam (and Cas) out drinking while Dean stays in brooding and drinking coffee. Of course, on SPN-speak, getting drunk=sane response to the situation, while broody coffee-drinking=psychosis.

*Sam telling Dean he can’t/doesn’t want to do it alone. That was the most touching moment for me. Clearly, Sam is being primed to step up. Which is a lovely thing. He was being if not solicitous, at least vigilant about what was going on with Dean in a way he hasn't been since early S2, maybe.

*Dean telling Cas that “sometimes you get to kill a whore” in the exact “place” in the conversation where he once told Sam (in “Wendigo”) that it’s “saving people, hunting things” that makes their miserable lives worthwhile. Okay—that, for me, was just horribly, horribly grating (see above), though I did like the aspirin toss.

*Dean slamming the doors of the Impala and driving off alone. Willfully leaving Sam. Wait. That wasn’t a replay. THAT’S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. That was genuinely shocking.

Okay—I need to go pack. Tell me what you thought of the ep—because I am obviously confused.
  • (no subject) -
    • just a quick reply, still kind of confused--

      I liked the set-up with the town a lot too--thought it was an interesting variation on what might happen during the apocalypse; and the Salem Witch trials vibe was also interesting.

      The Lisa thing didn't bother me all that much. Or rather, I was halfway there with it, because it made sense from Dean's perspective--the show has established (albeit a long time ago) that she's the one he thinks about when he thinks about having a happy family; and they did give it that "everybody gets married during the apocalypse" lead in. But she herself doesn't resonate too much as a character for me--even though she was pretty sweet during that scene--so it didn't pack the punch it might have...

      It is interesting to see Dean kind of swinging out there in the wind--unanchored by Sam--like this....
  • I dunno, I came away pretty emotionally disengaged from the whole thing. We are of a mind on many points, and some of it may just be that I'm too tired to get sucked into the story right now, but they've kind of lost me for the moment. Actually, part of it may be that all the POV characters are in such a bleak, disappointed place right now, but since the writers haven't (for me) created the urgency of these feeling like the last days on earth, it just feels as flat and indifferent as they are.
    • Actually, part of it may be that all the POV characters are in such a bleak, disappointed place right now, but since the writers haven't (for me) created the urgency of these feeling like the last days on earth, it just feels as flat and indifferent as they are.
      Yeah--I can see that. Everyone seemed much more emotionally engaged last week, which made for a better episode. But I'm still hanging in there, interested to see what's going to happen next. It's interesting to see Dean kind of swinging in the wind--cutting himself off from Sam--like this--
  • The whore comments really bothered me too, though I'm holding out hope they'll also bring in the woman with the eagle wings, who's supposed to be protected so she can birth to someone important. Which, yeah, playing right into the Madonna/Whore thing, but at least it'll balance things out a little? Also, I want to a see a giant goddamn mountain made out of bitter wood fall out of the sky. That would be awesome.

    Why no, Revelations was not one of my favorite books of the Bible when I was a kid.

    Dean's behavior...I have mixed feelings. I kept expecting him to step up the plate, and he just...didn't. Not even a word about Cas' bender is probably the first step towards the Cas of 2014? Is Dean really about to give up? I always figured that, if he did give into Michael, it'd be to stop Sam from giving in to Lucifer. I've only seen a single season, and I've already picked up on how their dynamic works, but now it's all shaken up. It's interesting, but it feels really uncomfortable in my gut.

    I haven't seen the other episode with Lisa, my RL friend had to explain that to me. Again, it makes sense, but it just...I don't know. I'm reserving judgment on this until next week.
    • Hey--sorry to take a while responding, I was away for a couple of days--

      I always figured that, if he did give into Michael, it'd be to stop Sam from giving in to Lucifer.
      Yeah--me too! But I actually think it's kind of cool and interesting that they've found a different way to bring it to a crisis, one that also makes a lot of sense (I just read a nice analysis of it here).

  • I have just watched it so it's difficult to sort out my thoughts... Obviously I'm shocked by the ending - they rarely let us hanging like that. I think also that I could have done without the last scene. Because yes, Lisa has already been used to represent Dean's desire for a family, and he could still have doubts about Ben being his son, but I never thought she really meant much to Dean in herself so while I guess the last scene was supposed to be moving, I didn't really feel it... But I'm still anxious about what's going to happen next week!

    I did love the apocalyptic feel of the episode, though.
    • Sorry to take a while to respond--I was away for a few days.

      But yeah, I liked the apocalyptic feel of the episode too! I guess they did the whole-town-responds in 5.02 too, but this was a really interesting take on it.

      And yeah--I was halfway sold on the Lisa-Dean scene: it felt understandable, and moving, from his perspective, but she doesn't really resonate for me as a character, even though the actress did do a nice job with the scene...

      Dying to see what will happen next week! (though I'll be out of town, so it might take me a while to see it...)
  • I so agree with you with the 'duh' reaction to Dean being a servant of Heaven, tho what I did love there was how it had apparently never occurred to Sam that it was really a done deal, whether or not Dean says yes. I suppose that technically, it has been a done deal since Dean swore himself to Heaven's service, but I think it goes deeper than that, and Sam just assumed that Dean's ability to kill the WOB meant that he was already in YES territory. Poor Sam.

    And wow, still not over Dean just driving away and leaving Sam there. Heart-stopping!
    • No--I'm still not over it either. But I also admired the moment in retrospect--because it was shocking, and something you never thought would actually happen. And yet, it made perfect sense once it did, and you then realized things had been building up to it for a long time...

      heart-stopping for sure--and also wondering what's going to happen next!
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