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the island of conclusions

a day late and extremely short episode reations: Merlin 3.07; SPN 6.05; H50 1.06.

the island of conclusions

bright star

a day late and extremely short episode reations: Merlin 3.07; SPN 6.05; H50 1.06.

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bright star
In which I continue to be easy to please.

Merlin 3.07

Aside from the ongoing Morgana smirk-a-thon, the boys and I enjoyed this episode a lot. Most of our commentary revolved around style, however. They were quite taken with Cendred’s two-swords-crossed-behind-his-back look, as well as “his tight leather thing.” I thought both were campy, but despaired of explaining campiness to the boys. We agreed, however, that when you’ve put together a signature look, it’s in your best interest to maintain it. This also explains some of the Renaissance Faire dreck Morgause wears.

They, of course, liked the kerchief-faced ninjas best (the nine-year-old, with his interest in taxonomy, labeled them “scary cave ninjas”); I was quite taken with Gwen’s brother, and I liked their somewhat snippy dynamic (“yes [doofus], Prince Arthur of Camelot”). I hope the fact that he’s set up their father’s forge again means he’s going to come back.

Tho’, speaking of campy, was there another reason we were treated to a gratuitous Arthur-wakes-up-nude scene? Oh well, the episode had enough action!Arthur, even ceiling!Arthur to compensate me for it. My favorite line of the night was Gwen’s “He’s, y’know, chivalrous.”

SPN 6.05

”There’s more than one flavor of ice cream”

And you know what else there’re a lot of flavors of? Dean Winchester, that’s what!

Okay, cheesy, I know, but after skimming through a bunch of negative reactions to this episode before I watched it, I was actually kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Even though I agree with most of the criticism: the opening was ridiculously badly paced; the digs at Twilight were overdone; I have no idea what Dean’s visions were about; and SPN would be an infinitely better show if it wrote Sam better/more/less repetitively (or all of the above).


Fandom has already expressed my feelings on the hotness and badassery of vamp!Dean, but let me also give a shout out to: domestic!Dean, longing to see his girlfriend; well-over-thirty-now!Dean, telling the kid to use a condom; ready-to-die-right-now!Dean (a personal favorite); and, of course, puking!Dean.

How is that not rapey?

I know the episode made an explicit comparison between Dean making fun of stalker-y vamps and then becoming one himself, but it also got pretty explicit in its suggestions of male rape (no, not as explicit as it might have been, but still…): the look on Dean’s face after he was made by Boris-the-vamp; his pained acceptance of the “private tour” invitation.

I’m not sure the episode did anything interesting with this suggestion, but it’s worth noting because (sexual)-abuse-victim!Dean isn’t only a standby of fanfic but canonically one of SPN’s central tropes (going back to the YED in “Devil’s Trap” and making a spectacular appearance in 4.16, with Alistair), so it was interesting to see it show up again this season.

Of course, the difference here was Sam watching—not in horror as in 1.22, or in vengeful fury, as in 4.16—but like he was enjoying it. And maybe that’s why I found the scene as shocking as anything the show has done since BUaBS, even though I was spoiled for it (and yes, I’ve seen other people make the comparison). I have to say, I’m curious to find out what’s going on with Sam, even if the answer is ridiculous.

H50 1.06

Did anything happen in this episode aside from lovely, though gratuitous, shots of Steve and Chin dirt-biking?

Oh yeah: there was Kono kicking the bad guy off his bike. And Danny, after bitching all the way up the mountain, pulling himself out the car window to aim at (the same) bad guy (who needs two good knees to be badass? Not Danny Williams.).

And of course the ongoing and epic slashy-ness (“you know, when I say 'book ‘em Danno,' it’s a term of endearment”; “Oh, right, like when I sometimes call you “Big Boy” or “Hotpants” in heat of the moment?”; “Yeah, kinda, except for how it's way more manly and Hawaiian. Seriously, Brah, we’re going flip-flopslipper* shopping for you right the fuck now.”)

Actually, I’m joking, because there did actually seem to be stuff going on in this episode. Which seemed a little disjointed—probably because they were trying to pack in a plot, explore the multiculturalism of Hawaii, and keep up the aforementioned epic slashy-ness and it was a bit much—but still interesting.

Now, I know nothing about Hawaiian culture, and so had no idea whether the stuff they were pouring on (the Kapu? Boar-hunting? Gorgeous surfer funeral?) was an accurate representation or egregious exoticization (feel free to tell me, if you know), but I did appreciate the nod towards a complicated and multi-faceted cultural landscape, with a violent history and somewhat surprising allegiances and divisions (though I could have done without some of the details—like the blue drink, even if I did like Steve’s “they were from out of town” line, since that seemed to be the root of the matter). The conflict between environmentalists and big (though home-grown) business was way more interesting (and grounded) than the whole Phillipino revolutionary/terrorist thing last week.

And Kono got to have feelings and interact with people while wearing reasonably appropriate clothing. And, you know, knock a bad guy off his scooter with her foot.

*tumblr informs me that people in Hawaii do not say flip-flops!
  • I seriously wish that "term of endearment" scene had ended the way you mentioned above, except "Okay, do it everyday. I like it." is, uh, an acceptable substitute.

    Kono is pretty awesome when they allow her to wear something other than a bikini.

    I agree about the Hawaiian culture in this last episode. I appreciated that they showed that side of Hawaii, which up until now has been mostly tan people surfing, but I also wondered how much of it was accurate and how much was someone wikipediaing "Hawaiian culture" (especially since they didn't get the flip-flops=slippers thing right, which to me says that no actual Hawaiian people read the script prior to filming). Of all things, the little boy smiling adorably while he played "Hey Soul Sister" on the ukulele just...bothered me for some reason. Also, the fact that with indigenous people in poorly written storylines, it always comes down to "the land ©." So, all in all, I wasn't sure how I felt about this episode, but it was nice to see Kono get some character development (and, you know, kick a guy off a dirt bike with her foot). I'd also be interested in knowing how much of the Hawaiian stuff was legit.
    • Also, the fact that with indigenous people in poorly written storylines, it always comes down to "the land ©."
      Such an excellent point!

      I don't know how I felt about it either--on the one hand, it gave you a sense that Hawaii is a really interesting and complicated place--while on the other hand making you feel like you couldn't really trust what they were saying about it....

      On the third, completely shallow, hand, have you seen the spoiler clip of 1.07 that's been circulating today? Literally blows all my other kinks out of the water--
      • I don't know how I felt about it either--on the one hand, it gave you a sense that Hawaii is a really interesting and complicated place--while on the other hand making you feel like you couldn't really trust what they were saying about it.... My feelings exactly!

        GUH, JUST WATCHED IT. God, Alex O'Loughlin is so hot. I hope Danny is there to witness some of that...
        • IKR? I didn't start out thinking he was much of anything--but between the tattoos and the swimming, I've kind of changed my mind. To put it mildly. UNF.
  • Really late commenting here but I kinda loved the vampire episode. It wasn't perfect but SPN rarely is but I enjoyed vamped out Dean being all badass and angsty and I was actually pleased that Dean finally saw Sam being so unambiguously gleefully homicidal shady. I was getting mighty tired of Sam acting odd, Dean questioning him and Sam going no I din't. I was sure that would drag on for another half season so I was happy to get some real movement here.

    I also thought the Lisa thing was handled really well (as was the break-up in the next episode.) I've no idea if that's the end for them but I do hope Dean gets some kind of real closure at some point later in the series.

    RE Merlin, Morganna is just making all of them look stupid and why is she being so mean to Gwen and Arthur? (Well OK she wants to rule) but Gwen has been nothing but loyal to her so FU Morganna.

    I confess I don't remember much about last week's H50. I love the show but have yet to give it a second thought beyond Steve is hot, Chin is hot, Kono is hot and Danny gives good snark. I'm gonna have to start paying more attention I think.

    • I agree that the Lisa situation was handled well--and I'm so happy she's alive!--though it made me SO sad that Dean had to give up something that made him happy....might post more about it later, if I get a chance (it didn't seem to go with my post about chest hair *g*).

      Re: Merlin--I agree. I don't know why she's being mean to Gwen--and I don't know why she just doesn't kill (or try to kill) Merlin, who;'s onto her, and keeps getting in her way....

      And I think "everyone is hot" is about the level of attention H50 deserves!
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