Boy, it sure has been a LONG time amirite? Well, as you all know I have a tradition I started in Season 6 where I post episode reviews (rambles, rants, etc. you get the picture) and I am dutifully here posting reviews for Season 9. I decided to start off each review now with a simple poll gauging whether everyone liked the episode or not. I plan to keep a check on what episodes seem to be favorites compared to others and whether the likes or dislikes surge or whatnot.
Did you like the episode?
YES. Best ever, really better than S8
NO. I'm disappointed I expected better
Neutral. I'm not sure what to think yet.
I didn't watch the episode
Thanks for participating in the quick poll and onward with the review!
First and foremost, I will say I was a lot MORE excited for this season than season 8. Just, Jensen and Jared hyping it up and other good things I've been hearing from spoilers and what not really amped me up, as well as, the rest of fandom from what I can see. Everyone seemed generally excited and not the 'I can't stop watching this far end guess I have to continue' attitude either.
With that in mind I will state early on: I did like the episode. In fact I liked it a lot. I thought it was an pretty awesome opener for the season, and for numerous reasons.
Here are a few:
- A lot of action
- Newer plot lines that aren't repetitive (basically a surprise!)
- Deeper more meaningful brotherly connection
- Castiel not strictly being used as a humor device
What I thought. This was something completely out of left field and new. I love love LOVE bring surprised by show and getting into the emotions of these surprises. Unfortunately, when you watch a show SO MUCH you start to understand their ins an outs and nothing becomes a surprise anymore. However, the angel possession was an absolute shock I was not expecting (as a plot line AND as something Dean would do) and it kept things fresh and interesting. I really like to see where this leads us, whether there are complications, or we get to see Sam through Ezekiel himself (wonder how interesting that might be.)
Another major thing is we got to see inside Sam's head. We saw Sam's mind making sense of itself by manifesting as different people. DEAN IS SAM'S REASON TO FIGHT. This is significant because I think we all needed to realize this. Dean is used as Sam's beacon of life. His reason to stand up and fight and never give in. We see Sam's mind do some dirty tricks, totally not unlike something Dean might do in return for Sam.
Is Sam's mind fucked up? Of course it is. I wouldn't expect it to be fully functioning at this point, but it fascinates me at how Sam rationalizes his thoughts.
Another key thing is Sam is still suicidal (to a point) and we begin to see that DEEP down Sam recognizes that he's a good person, that he saved the world and helped a lot of people along the way. We see this through Bobby, now having Bobby being the one telling Sam to basically let go was kind of drastic. I was actually shocked at seeing it. It was so blunt and rather harsh to me, was it for anyone else? However, I began to think it through and I realized that Sam likely rationalizes Bobby as being logical and comforting, telling Sam that it's okay to let go that he's lived long enough and done enough. Something that Dean would never say because Dean would never believe that Sam's time is over (obviously I mean *koffkoff* the damn episode *koffkoff*)
Okay the fight scenes and everything were epic! Loved seeing the angels respond to Dean's heartfelt prayer (albeit with the intentions of beating him heh heh) I mean these angels are so vicious and brutal. They are basically chaos. They don't know what to do with themselves, they have no purpose and in their mind Dean Winchester and Castiel as well as Sam are to blame. So what do they do? Well duh anything an ANGEL would do find the little shits and pulverize them! (God sometimes I love this show)
It was also a creepy reminder at what Castiel and the Winchester's by default have done. Even unintentionally, like a chain of dominoes Heaven is in shambles and the angels are wandering earth. It's like WWIII out there and there are consequences that they are only beginning to realize.
Now I will get to the cruddy stuff....
A SECRET, REALLY?! I mean God forbid can't have a new season without another secret hanging over their heads. Writers please find new ways of inserting tension, or better yet STOP WITH THE BROTHERLY TENSION it's annoying and not at all entertaining. We don't need tension to keep things interesting. We honestly don't. Write amazing storylines and awesome characters and we'll be interested! It's all you have to do.
I already called the secret being dragged out until episode 10 or 11. Then Sam will find out in a dramatic, angst filled way. Likely not by Dean himself. Then we will have man pain, possible episode apart or angst filled, then man hugs and tears, then it's over.
I'm already dreading it.
However, another key factor that disturbs me is Sam's lack of agency...again. I don't know how much meta anyone reads about this but it's sort of a theme that Sam has his agency (basically his decision and choice factor over himself) taken away. Sam didn't get a choice into this, he was tricked into it. I know I know good intentions, Dean was doing what he thought he had too, but I mean if you are Sam are the LAST time you got possessed it was by Lucifer? Albeit, by your own choice but that has to be....triggering in a way. ADD onto that Dean had Sam's memories erased. Like, is this Dean's new shtick? Erase people's memories when Dean himself can't handle exposing the truth?
This is like....this is an issue. A ginormous one that is vicious and nasty and can only get worse the longer the show goes on and doesn't address it. I mean Sam was so amazing in his mind, standing up for himself and asserting that this is what HE wants. I don't want Sam to accept this. I understand it was to save his life, I do, but sometimes things that are meant to be good become so distorted that they turn into something else (sound familiar). I want Sam to be pissed on his own behalf about this and I want Dean to be ashamed for doing it. I mean, yes last resort and all but the memories too? REALLY? This will only end badly as I'm sure you all already know but hey, that's Supernatural I guess?
Questions to ponder:
- How big are the angels gonna factor into villains?
- I'm still uncertain how Crowley and the demons play a factor into this, WHAT is our big bad this season?
- What are the consequences of this possession? How long can Ezekiel possess Sam and will he even be able to heal him?
- Now that Castiel is human, what now?