SPN 9x8

Nov 27, 2013 21:26

Ten points to Ravenclaw* for the mention of “that hippie from Bethlehem,” though. I mean, it was a fun line, but also surprisingly subversive, that a pagan god takes issue with Christ for encouraging sexual permissiveness while using the sexual hang-ups of mainstream Protestantism to find her prey. snerk.

*just guessing. based on the Clever Trolling Quotient of this line.

I know I just crabbed about genderfail up there, but um, a butch hot mom taking down an old-world chastity enforcer?! BASICALLY THE GREATEST THING EVER. Jodi is a wonderfully refreshing character in that she’s just very honest with herself about what she wants, thinks, and needs, and because she’s basically a good person that ends up being a good thing for the people around her and ~the world generally.

And I really, really enjoyed that she ended up hanging out with Sam. I’m less bothered than most people are by Sam’s isolation as a characterization choice, because I think it makes sense, but I am happy to see him have a friend, and he and Jodi have had a nice rapport for a long time now.

A+++ to her laughing out loud at Sam’s “virginity” and somehow managing not to be unkind about it. It could’ve been really rough on Sam, especially in context of Vesta’s “lol u nasty” later, but I felt like she managed to present the whole thing in a way that was really validating of Sam as he was - no, you’re not a virgin (WHATEVER THAT EVEN IS VIRGINITY DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH) but why get pressed enough to pretend to be? JUST US BROS HERE SAM!

I have made a fuss about this more than once before, but if there’s a happy ending in the cards at all for Sam, Jodi would be a great person for him to end up with. Look at his pattern, even taking Ruby out of it (thought she fits most of the pattern too): Madison, Kara, Amelia. Noticeably older than he is (thought not the ridiculous age gap there was between, say, Jodi and Bobby), dark hair and brown eyes, accomplished and independent, blunt but not cruel. She was around for his ~stuff even when it was really bad in S7, she can deal with it without being destroyed by it, and she has the one foot in and one foot out of the supernatural world in a way that I think would be healthy for Sam to learn. And, you know, I’m sure she’d get something out of the arrangement.

"Let's go slay this chastity beast!"
"How do we kill her?"
"Yeah, Sam. That's what I meant."


I really love how the season has worked Sam’s restlessness. I don’t think it’s just about “let’s get out there and help people!” That’s probably the most prominent factor, ofc, but I think it’s also kind of a smaller, innocuous echo of how Sam always gets when he starts to lose his footing, that he wants to Do Something. And it’s also unsettlingly about his desire to look outward for problems to solve: he doesn’t want to believe the problem is with himself and Dean, or Ezekiel won’t let him see that the problem is with himself and Dean, so he fixates on the big picture strategy against the angels and demons and the more familiar baddies. This is a really consistent coping mechanism for him, one that he reverts to even when he’s not consciously aware he’s coping with anything.

I know everyone and their mom swooned at the angst-porn over his dialogue in the last scene there, but honestly, I found the scene to be a relief in a lot of ways? Because Sam always feels this way. We have known this for a very, very long time. Watching him internalize that and carry it around is what breaks my heart the most. Sam’s ability to verbalize the problem is actually a good sign.

Also, I’ll just be totally soulless here - more than anything, this scene is a sequence of clues about Ezekiel. When you’re looking at a character, you can’t think about what they ought to do, or what you want them to do, you have to look at what they can do. So I’m not saying that I want Sam’s mind to be screwed with more when I say: Ezekiel can erase Sam’s memory with laser-precision, and he has no scruples about doing so, but there are an awful lot of things he’s not taking away from Sam. Zeke is at the very least allowing Sam to have such shitty feelings of self-worth, and he may be actively encouraging those shitty feelings. Why? Zeke can make Sam forget conversations between himself and Dean, but he’s leaving bread crumbs, allowing Sam to remember Dean’s condescending fretting and even Dean’s near-confession. Why? That doesn’t help him toward any goal he’s claimed, or any goal we know about. Those are choices he’d make if he were looking to drive a wedge between Sam and Dean: let Sam make himself miserable, and amp up his insecurities by letting Dean look as remote and suspicious as possible. Shades of Ruby, much?

So yeah, that last scene was pretty complex in a good way, as was Dean’s end of it. I had…not mixed feelings, because I quite liked it, but kind of a scattered bundle of thoughts. On the one hand, it’s to Dean’s credit that he did at least made a good-faith effort to spit it out. It’s to the show’s credit that it still went down in a way that…did not make him look great?

It’s not as if Sam’s confession was any new information to Dean, because it was significantly less forceful than the same one he made a few weeks ago in the chapel, and in any event Dean still ought to know Sam feels this way because he has spent several years ensuring that Sam feels this way. I mean, it’d be nice if this actually represented Dean moving in a positive direction, and maybe this really will end up having been a turning point for his behavior, but I can’t discount the fact that the precipitating event to his attempted confession wasn’t something that actually changed, it was that Dean had his unjustifiable “things are okay” illusion busted. And like…there’s just something very unsavory about Dean deciding Sam EARNS honesty about something very intimate and private to Sam only when Sam turns himself inside out and self-flagellates to Dean’s satisfaction.

I also felt quite vindicated by the way the dominance display played out there. Ezekiel doesn’t just interrupt Dean, he comes up swinging with a threat, that “I wouldn’t do that.” And, as I’ve been saying for a while, I think that avoiding this moment (or one of several much worse outcomes to this moment) was a part of why Dean wasn’t saying anything - he was scared of Zeke leaving Sam or turning on him, and he really didn’t want to force himself to admit he isn’t the one in control of the situation. Unflattering? For sure. Honest? Extremely.
So I’m just going to think through what we do and don’t know about Zeke (IF THAT EVEN IS YOUR REAL NAME):
  • We don’t know his motives. Zeke started off by telling Dean that his motivation was loyalty to Cas, and by extension the mission. This was exactly the right thing to say to gain what he could of Dean’s trust, particularly since Dean wanted to buy what he was selling. However, two episodes later he had Dean throw Cas out on the street even though it wasn’t strictly necessary, and has been tacitly encouraging Dean to keep his distance, thus alienating Cas and leaving him vulnerable.
  • We know he needs Sam alive. Angels, unlike demons, cannot ride dead bodies. Zeke’s interest here seems pretty straightforward: angelic vessels are of variable power levels, as Hael mentions to Cas in the season premiere, and a vessel that can hold an archangel is about as good as it gets.
  • That doesn’t tell us why Dean is still alive. If Zeke didn’t have a reason to keep Dean alive, he could’ve made with the smiting weeks ago.
  • We don’t know why Sam is so tired all the time. Maybe he really is doing his good-faith best and the angelic healing process is failing. Maybe Zeke is keeping Sam weak on purpose, in order to give himself time to play a long game. Maybe he’s sucking up Sam’s strength to fuel his own grace. Maybe it’s just that Sam isn’t actually physiologically sleeping, so much as, he thinks he goes to bed while Zeke gets up and does God knows what for eight hours, leaving Sam exhausted.
  • We don’t know what Zeke gets up to every night. Whether or not it’s the cause of Sam’s exhaustion, we do know that Zeke has free range with Sam all night every night. Even if he never left the bunker or communicated with other angels, he could be wreaking all kinds of havoc. I know Crowley’s the obvious target here, but IMO the real worry is the Prophet of the Lord unknowingly living with a renegade angel who seems to specialize in mind control.
  • We do know he has some reason to avoid other angels.
  • We don’t know how he’s choosing what memories to erase.

So I’m less and less inclined toward the possibility that Zeke is a nobody, as was plausible in those first couple of episodes. Whoever this angel is, he’s playing a long game and I want to see it happen.

This entry was originally posted at http://pocochina.dreamwidth.org/318040.html. Leave a comment here, or there using OpenID.

spn: sammay!, supernatural, feminism, spn: corpus angelorum, spn: dean what even, sexuality

Previous post Next post