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So, I liked it.

There were parts that could have done better: pacing issues (IN SPN?! NEVER!), clunky flashback (also not a first), and a lot of exposition. But, considering that I was spoiled about the time jump, and how they handled the last time jump, I'm okay with that.

At least purgatory's color scheme was pretty. Super desaturated with gold highlights, yes. Like first season, but moreso.

And then there's all the things they did right. I had to pause the episode ten minutes in and capslock to [personal profile] sistabro because I was simply overwhelmed with Sam feelings and I was so unused to it. I like Sam, but rarely do I have the instinctual urge to capslock his name without too much prompting. I mean, he's not Castiel. (OMG CAS).

But, Sam in this. I loved his demeanor in this, the choices he made, and how he's still trying to do the right thing. More than that, he showed maturity and growth and was still at the core. For once, someone finally looked back at the Winchester/Campbell self-sacrificing spiral, and stopped it. Seriously, the last time he tried to do that for Dean, he helped to nearly bring around the apocalypse! And so did Dean! And John, and Mary, and well, okay Samuel came after the rest of them, but it still folds in on itself. Sam spent an entire season trying to make up for what he did, threw himself into Hell to fix it, and when it finally came time for him to make the same decision again, he did something differently. He didn't really choose to settle down as much as he just chose not to obsessively go over Dean's death. He tried to move on.

But then Dean came back.

Okay, someone help me out. There's a body of myths that has the afterlife for warriors as an eternal battleground, right? Am I making that up? Kind of similar to Valhalla, but not just waiting for the One Big Fight, but many others. Maybe I'm just thinking of the end to Planescape: Torment.

I swear it's out there, and not just in D&D. And I love this idea, that's where monsters go, and that's where Dean ends up: this afterlife for warriors and monsters, where all there is is the hunt.

Anyway, he was surviving And people tend to regress when they do that, to basic survival behaviors. Who taught Dean how to fight, how to survive? His father. (and where did John learn how to survive? Vietnam.) He was not just angry, he was channeling his father big time.

And, for Dean? He's not really angry about Sam not fighting for Dean. In fact, season three, he kept on telling Sam not to fight for Dean, to live his life, to go on while he's in Hell. I think he meant it. Dean's not the sort to want anyone to sacrifice themselves for him. But he wanted Sam to keep on fighting, because fighting means living for him. He's only angry about the Kevin situation by proxy, because let's face it, Sam and Dean leave people behind in every single damn episode. Dean's speech in Repo Man shows that he knows that they go through when they drop someone off at a hospital after a possession, and that's never stopped him before. They change phone numbers all the time. Sam and Dean only care about family, only really seem to relate to family, and even that can be variable depending on how much other trouble the other brother's in.

So there's more behind his anger there than just concern over Kevin. And yeah, part of that is being in his father's mindset, but I think a large part of it is that he fought to live for so long, he lived to fight for so long, that fighting and living became the same thing. Sam chose to stop hunting? It means he gave up.

So Sam's demeanor reminded me of the family member of someone who had just gotten out of prison. Or maybe a war. He's happy Dean's back, of course he is. He's glad he's not in purgatory anymore. And he'll help Dean and try his best to take care of him. But there's still the selfish part that is reminded that there'd be some things that were just easier when he was gone, the things that he wouldn't have to deal with. There'd been peace before.

Anyway: Kevin. I love the explanation for the haircut, because Crowley would totally be the sort to take care of a prophet by giving him a suit and a haircut. I loved the THERE'S A DEMON INSIDE OF YOU AND YOU'RE GOING TO YOUR SAFETY SCHOOL line. I like how they're moving with this character. I'm not sure that he needed a fridged lady of his own, but eh.

The Winchesters should keep the hell away from the It Gets Better project, by the way. Especially Dean. That wasn't a pep talk.

And then, Benny. I mostly loved the way he treated Dean, like he and Dean were one of the same. The fact that he told Dean to keep his nose clean, too... what sort of trouble is he expecting Dean to get into? Accidentally chop off a few human heads? Something else? Dean was treated as if he were the monster the entire episode. There's something wrong with him. There's a lot he's not telling.

And I'm so goddamn glad that Supernatural finally broke their own cycle and made something be wrong with Dean for once.
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