switchbladesis: (SPN)
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Today I found out that there's a spinning wheel part called 'the mother of all'. (it's the bit that holds the bobbins and the flyer). I don't know how this escaped my notice before.
Longish talk about the last two weeks of Doctor Who will go up later: this entry got kind of long. Meaning it's five pages in word. Uh, whoops?

Overall: I really, really liked the first hour and a half, but was less enthused by the second half of the second episode.

The Things I Liked:

*I approve of awesome characters named Eleanor. I also enjoy having an excuse to capslock ELEANORRRRR every so often. Supernatural doesn't allow for that character type very often (unlike Buffy), and I'm really sad to see her go. Crowley was the closest, and now he's obviously evil. I don't think she killed HP Lovecraft (why would she lie about it-she could have said that it was to keep Earth safe). I'd like to think that she's not the only thing that came out of purgatory that day-there might be some sort of unseen monster lurking in the breach. Though what she did to her vessel's son wasn't much better: locked in a mental hospital all of his life, because of what he saw? He's been in there for 75 years.

*I really liked Dean handling Ben with Lisa-giving orders, being harsh, but for a good reason. I liked that Ben didn't really know what to do-he's just a kid, but he's able to take action when he needed to. Dean obviously doesn't want Ben to be exposed to this, but he's not going to coddle him and risk losing Lisa. And earlier: when Dean told Ben to jump out the window-christ, Dean's the scariest ex-stepdad ever.

*Cas healing Lisa. Saving Dean from the demon. Realizing that he's not going to change Dean's mind, but still helping him anyway. Cas's face when he hears Sam pray. The fact that Sam prays to him, still has hope that he'll respond-that maybe Crowley didn't fill him in.

*Also: the idea of Castiel doing interviews. I want fic of this.


*Sam vs. Sam vs. Sam. I love Souless Sam. I love Souless Sam vs. Puppydog Sam. I really liked the bartender, too-once I realized she wasn't real. Before that, I was yelling at her to not follow the crazyman, even if he has amazing hair. I really thought the Hell!Sam was really well done, too-of course he's not going to have it in him to fight.


*Also: Sam's first thought about himself is that he's probably a hooker. Hmm.

*Every word out of Crowley's mouth. Especially 'cornicopia'.

*The way that Balthazar ships everyone with everyone. Oh, Balthy. I'm going to miss you.

*Bobby cleaning up. It's so weird to see him without the hat!

*Oh God, Castiel being betrayed by everyone at the end. For good reason-everyone was right to think it wouldn't work. But he didn't see any other alternative (was he supposed to just lay down and die?), so he kept on going, even though he knew this was only slightly less suicidal. I like how he just sort of snapped when he figured out Balthazar's betrayal. He's a creature of loyalty, of duty and faith above all else, and he's so used to putting it into other people. But he doesn't seem to understand that others aren't the same way. I think he would have been okay at the end if someone had stood by him-this isn't excusing his actions at all, but. . . he's made to be one soldier out of thousands, he's not made to be alone. He's not made to have power, or lead, or do any of those things he's been doing this season. He can't cope with it.

*The snap-kill of Raphael. Nice callback, show!

Things I didn't like:

*There was a lot of build up, but very little action at the end. We keep on hearing about how Dean and Sam and Bobby are going to go against Castiel and Crowley, but they don't actually do anything. We keep on hearing how horrible it would be for Sam to remember Hell, but he seems to be coping well enough by the end of the episode. We keep on hearing about the horrible things that happen when you open purgatory, but no monsters seem to escape (maybe they'll get back to that next year). SPN, you keep on promising all these cool plot points, but you don't seem to deliver.

*The brain wipe: Not that it was horrible or invasive (though it was), that it's completely useless. I don't think it's the worst thing Dean's ever done. Whether or not you think he can be culpable for torturing people in hell, or care about the vessel's pain whenever Dean tortures a demon, you've got to agree that he's killed plenty of not-quite-evil creatures in his time. He did spend half a season working with Crowley to kill/torture even more. The brain wipe was bad, but it's by far not the worst thing he's ever done (and it irritates me to have them call it the worst thing he's ever done because it's a horrible whitewashing of a character that's severly fucked up on multiple levels). What irritates me is that it doesn't solve anything: Lisa and Ben can still be used as leverage against him, because he still cares about them-he still remembers. The only thing I get from this is that Dean's so damaged that he really doesn't have any problem with Lisa and Ben being used as leverage against him, but he does honestly think he's made their lives worse by having them know him. . . . Which, if that was what they were going for, maybe that's what Sam should have talked about, instead.
My brain-canon says that Ben still remembers some of it. In the back of his mind-he just doesn't know what he remembers. But he has dreams sometimes. In about five years, he'll notice something weird in the papers: some sort of disappearances that coincide with the full moon. He'll check it out. If he'd remembered, he'd have been smart enough to stay out of hunting. But he doesn't know enough to not investigate.

*Cas and Crowley's evil monologues. I don't mind Castiel betraying Crowley. I definitely don't mind Crowley betraying Castiel back. But both of these are pretty damn crafty characters (Cas is pretty damn horrible at lying when asked a direct question, but he's good at finding loopholes/tricking others). So why in the world did Castiel decide to TELL Crowley that he was going to betray him? What, did he really think Crowley wasn't going to try and get back at him somehow? And then why in the world did Crowley give Castiel the chance to flee? Castiel had the supposed bottle of blood on the table right next to him. Why wouldn't Crowley and Raphael just kill Cas (or try to kill Cas, at least) and take the blood? The entire reason why Crowley wants the Winchesters dead is because he's not the type of character to leave possible enemies still on the board.

*I don't know if this is what was intended, but I noticed while watching a second time that Castiel's phrasing in the alley (right before he whammys Sam) implies that he wasn't going to save Sam if Dean and Bobby meddled with his plans. Which is a) a huge departure from the previous episode (where Castiel kept on saving Dean and Lisa even though Dean was working against him) and b) MUCH worse than what Crowley did to Lisa and Ben. Obviously, the episodes weren't actually made to be watched back to back. But that's a huge change, and I really don't think that Castiel would choose not to fix Sam as punishment, pre-purgatory souls.

What strikes me as really irritating is how easy some of these fixes would be:

The scene in the alley with Ellie-> Make Dean and/or Bobby actually attempt to stop Cas. Bobby's got a good reason to be pissed: his ladyfriend with the awesome name was just killed for no reason. Dean keeps on saying 'oh, I'm going to stop you', but he doesn't seem to ever take any action against him. Have Cas ask them to stand down once more, have Bobby, Sam and Dean try to take action in the alley (as opposed to just talking about all that action they're going to take), have Cas whammy Sam, promise to fix him later, and then run away. And suddenly I believe that the Winchesters are competent and that Castiel has even more reason to feel betrayed.

The Castiel and Crowley Evil Villain Monologing it up-> Look, at this point, Crowley has to be already feeling like he's being betrayed by Cas. He's trying his best to fulfill his end of the bargain without being killed-and Castiel keeps on helping out the people trying to kill him. Maybe have Crowley figure out that the Winchesters are heading straight for the secret purgatory compound with some angelic assistance, assume that it must have been Castiel that had helped them out, and decide to deal with Raphael instead. Instead of being given a choice, Castiel just runs. Crowley and Raphael don't have time to chase him, plus it'll be easier to track him down when they finish the ritual. I totally believe that Castiel would be paranoid enough to switch jars of blood around just in case Crowley tried to do the ritual without him (and/or make it starship blood. Remember the starships? And how they were experiementing with them? It'd make sense for them to have jars of that lying around). This would better set up Castiel figuring out Balthazar's betrayal AND add to the 'everyone betrays me in the end' moping that Castiel gets to have. It also tightens up the episode a lot, leaving room for, you know, other things. Dance parties? More commercials? Something.

Dean wiping Lisa and Ben's memories -> Dean wiping his own memory. He's got the right to ask that of himself, and that actually would keep Lisa and Ben from being used as leverage against him. You'd rely on the audience to feel the emotional impact without any cues from Dean, but hey.

I haven't spent that much time thinking about it (and apologies for any plot holes I might have left), but that already seems like it makes a lot more sense to me.

On the Ending:

I. . . don't know. I'd like it if it was the end of the storyline: it's a great tragedy. I'm also okay with it if it doesn't last too long-I'm not interested in God!Cas. It's not that I wanted Castiel to be human, I just don't want him to be happy. Or certain of himself. Castiel/Regrettable Things doesn't work if Castiel doesn't find said things to be regrettable. I'm invested in Castiel as a possible POV character, and that's impossible if he's also an all-powerful, righteous being. There's got to be some conflict there, otherwise he's just a really hot tidal wave of power, and while-yes, really hot. Not very interesting.

More than that, I don't think SPN would be able to do anything with God!Cas. He's too powerful. At least Lucifer and Michael had reasons to keep Sam and Dean alive-what reason does God!Cas have for not killing them if they interfere with his plans? How in the world would Sam and Dean defend themselves from that? He's also way, way out of the scope of the show. You know how they had trouble showing the Apocalypse last season and the war in heaven this season? You know how they had trouble showing dragons? What are they going to do with a battle with God?

I'm hoping that SPN realizes its limitations and defuses Cas early. I'd honestly be okay with them killing him after this-I'd prefer for him to live, obviously, but I'm more okay with him dying in the first five episodes than I am being the season 7 big bad. I'm hoping that the season seven storyline has more to do with Crowley or the unseen monsters from purgatory. I want there to be a thousand Eleanors walking the Supernatural Earth right now, possessing people-not causing any harm except to those who might guess the truth. It'd be a new threat. It would be doable. It'd make a lot more sense than God!Cas as big bad.

I kind of know how some Sam!girls thought about Robo!Sam at the beginning of the season. Only I was interested in RoboSam because of the issues of identity that he brought up-of how he was logical about his lack of a need of a soul (why would I want something that only brings me pain), and how Dean was completely unable to answer Sam, because he can't even conceive of being happy. God!Cas-well, there could be some argument about whether or not he has the responsibility to fix everything he can. How much he should use that power, whether he has the obligation to anyone. I want God!Cas in fic, but I don't want him in show. I can't see Supernatural letting him exist as a neither protagonist nor antagonist for long: SPN's morality is Dean's morality, and you're either good or evil in his mind. And that wasn't exactly a benevolent set-up.

Other random thoughts:

*Crowley really needs to invest in better henchdemons. Azazel had much better second-in-commands.

*You'd think that after six years, Dean would be more careful with his devil's trap.

* Balthazar asked if Castiel was in flagrante with Crowley, and the answer was yes. Castiel/Crowley is now canon. Trufax.

*I wonder if Ellie chose to say that she was from Milwaukee because that was the closest place to Purgatory she's ever been on Earth. I'd believe it.
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