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Slovenly Muse

SPN Curated Binge?

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1 hour ago, AwesomO4000 said:

" I was thinking "How is that hooker not running panicked from the room?" Sure, the exercising part was nice eye candy, but then he spoke, and I was completely creeped out.*** It seemed to me like Soulless Sam was seriously thinking about whether it might be interesting to slowly strangle the woman if she didn't leave. That head tilt and the flash of menacing annoyance in his eyes when she started asking questions? I was creeped out. Then the "here's your tip. You're lucky I'm not going to hurt you" look afterwards.

I so agree with that.  That was the scariest Soulless Sam scene for me too.  He really did look more like a wild animal than a human.  Jared did a fantastic job of showing zero emotion.  He does villain really well.

Side note story....I was at a home of a friend of my sisters.  They weren't home and I needed to use the restroom.  The only one in the house was in the master bedroom and when I came out an African wildcat about the size of a greyhound was sitting at the doorway to the bedroom just staring at me (no one told me there was a wild animal in the house!).  Yeah! That same look.

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Season 7- What can I say about S7....hmmm...let me think.  I know!  Robbie Thompson! That is all.

Seriously this is the season the J's decided the show had run it's course. The Dick jokes, borax (really borax), the goofy Levi's, no Castiel (didn't really bother me), no Baby (uh no), Bobby is killed then brought back as a vengeful ghost (uh really no!)...not to mention all the behind the scenes drama that was tearing the cast and crew apart.  There were still some episodes that made my top 100 list. Fair warning I loved Charlie!

There really isn't much of an order to my picks....they were slim.

Reading is Fundamental- I did love Kevin. Didn't love whatever Castiel was supposed to be. I always loved Rachel Miner's portrayal of Meg. I loved that she kept trying to move the plot along..."somebody had to".  Not sure how I felt about the tablets. Dean "is that someone saying no stop".  Sam "are you saying a Transformer wrote it?"

Deaths Door- as much as I hated Bobby being killed off this was a very good episode.  I especially loved the ending with Bobby's fading last memory of his "boys".  Dean confronting Dick Roman...even Dick seemed to understand he shouldn't underestimate Dean.

Meet the New Boss- Why wasn't Castiel the big bad of the season? Other than that this was a promising episode to set up the season. Castiel/God, Death, Sam's hellucinations, Dean trying to keep it all together.

Hello Cruel World- other than Cas walking into the water supply and out of the story for most of the season this was a good follow up to the season opener.  Dean trying to get through to Sam....great performances by both Jared and Jensen. At this point I didn't realize how lame the Leviathans were going to be.  It seemed like a good start at the time.

Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie- Another fun episode, Octovamp, Vamptopus, Sam's fear of clowns, the Ball pit, "the ball washer did it", giant slinky...it really was funny. I loved the 24 clock countdown and of course....

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and...

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Slash Fiction- because Robbie! and Frank! And "dead plants with creamy goo", smart ass Chet, but then again...borax.  The Amy crap was annoying in an otherwise good episode.

Time After Time- Elliot Ness, Dean in period clothes, time god, Jody and Sam working together to save Dean,  a message from the past, just  a clever script from....Robbie! 

The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo- Hmm....I'm sensing a theme here.  Robbie! I loved Charlie! This was the episode that Jared was on baby watch and access to the J's was limited.  Having said that Robbie still found a way to make the Winchester's relevant to the story even with limited access (I'm looking at you Dabb..it is possible).  Charlie was sweet smart and funny.  She didn't understand the world she was suddenly thrust into and even though scared she still rose to the occasion. Some fans were offended that she was smarter than Sam at hacking (so was Ash, Frank, Chet) but it fit her nerd persona and Sam can't be everything.  We got Sam and Dean outsmarting Dick and stealing the "cave rock". Dean teasing Sam, coaching Charlie through flirting. It was a cute refreshing episode in an otherwise forgettable season...at least for me.  However having said that compared to S12-15 it seems like a masterpiece now.

 

Edited by Casseiopeia
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39 minutes ago, Casseiopeia said:

not to mention all the behind the scenes drama that was tearing the cast and crew apart. 

Do tell, please? PM if it's the kind of thing that derails threads. 🙂

I'm indifferent to most of S7. It's not a secret I think Jared's acting hasn't been great post S4, and yet conversely, I  think that The Born Again Identity is probably his best wire-to-wire performance of the series. 

Loved Slash Fiction. The imagination and writing was SO much better then.  And I remember being so excited/intigued by the finale and Purgatory.  Sadly, it turned into the first (of too many) great premise that went nowhere.

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I actually enjoyed much of season 7 primarily because for most of the episodes - though not all because of the Amy nonsense - the boys were on the same page. I really enjoyed several of the episodes mentioned above, plus The Mentalist because of Melanie, Dean's smackdown of Sam, and Sam's response to said smackdown. And also How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters because of the scene of Dean, Sam, and Bobby walking through the woods and, well, 

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Edited by bethy
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1 hour ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Do tell, please? PM if it's the kind of thing that derails threads. 🙂

I'm indifferent to most of S7. It's not a secret I think Jared's acting hasn't been great post S4, and yet conversely, I  think that The Born Again Identity is probably his best wire-to-wire performance of the series. 

Loved Slash Fiction. The imagination and writing was SO much better then.  And I remember being so excited/intigued by the finale and Purgatory.  Sadly, it turned into the first (of too many) great premise that went nowhere.

It was mostly Sera Gamble.  She was way over budget, the scripts were being written as they were filming, sometimes the cast was reading them for the first time on set. There appeared to be some friction between her and the J's. The CW boss at the time hated the show and cast it to Fridays (where it thrived and won PCA's and the first fan voted cover of TVGuide). It was looking like S7 was going to be it until Mark Pedowitz took over the network and Jeremy Carver was hired. 

I agree about Purgatory.  I was so excited for that story to unfold in S8.  Oh well!

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1 hour ago, Casseiopeia said:

It was looking like S7 was going to be it until Mark Pedowitz took over the network and Jeremy Carver was hired. 

IMO, it's too bad Carver moved on because look what we got instead!!! I'll still never understand why they thought Dabb could run this show properly. 😞

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30 minutes ago, FlickChick said:

IMO, it's too bad Carver moved on because look what we got instead!!! I'll still never understand why they thought Dabb could run this show properly. 😞

You would have thought Dabb's failed spinoff would have been the hint maybe he wasn't up to the task.

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12 minutes ago, Casseiopeia said:

You would have thought Dabb's failed spinoff would have been the hint maybe he wasn't up to the task.

Instead they doubled down on him. The mind boggles. 

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Not gonna lie, y'all. Just started the Pilot and goodness, they are such BABIES. Plus Mary tapping on that light being all, "Huh" just doesn't track with what we find out later about her hunting. Surprise, surprise. 🙄

Also: 

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The scene that hooked me.

Edited by bethy
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6 hours ago, FlickChick said:

IMO, it's too bad Carver moved on because look what we got instead!!! I'll still never understand why they thought Dabb could run this show properly. 😞

Well, for me - and I realize I'm likely in the minority - if more of Dabb's seasons had been like season 11, I would have welcomed him as a change. As it was, I really liked much of season 11 whereas I HATED what Carver did with the show in season 8 and 9.

I have no idea why the J's would have listened to a pitch of season 8 - See *** below - and have actually wanted to do that. I might be alone, but for me, the mind boggles.

*** "Well, Purgatory? that's boring. Instead we'll have Sam abandon Dean - and Kevin, too, because why not? - and shack up with an annoying woman whose husband supposedly died but is really not dead at all, so we can have a love triangle. I mean can't you see it, just what supernatural needs: a domestic love triangle, shown entirely through weird flashbacks, that otherwise serves no narrative purpose! And Dean will have a vampire friend, but he can't really have him as a friend, because who would want to see that when we can watch Sam and Dean bitch at and be miserable with each other instead? And Castiel will have some kind of mind problems due to a new antagonist named Naomi... who will turn out not to actually be the antagonist or have any understandable agenda at all, because: reasons. And we'll have an entire arc about trials and closing the gates of hell, except we won't actually do that at all! Because why would Sam and Dean sacrifice to help out the world when they can screw it over instead to save each other?

11 hours ago, Casseiopeia said:

It was a cute refreshing episode in an otherwise forgettable season...at least for me. 

For me, I found season 7 so much more enjoyable than season 8 and 9. *shrug* I liked the Leviathans: Loved Chet, loved Dick Roman, even loved real estate lady and her harried assistant. I loved Frank. I enjoyed Crowley in season 7 - he was a complete asshat in season 8, and I wanted him dead. Like @bethy, I liked that the brothers were on the same page. I didn't even mind the Amy thing, because it was really, really short - compared to half of season 8's and most of season 9's bitch fest conflict - and actually concluded positively.

I guess I can understand that the J's might have been dissatisfied with the working conditions under Gamble, but at least their characters were recognizable as Sam and Dean and weren't clubbed with a stupid stick before having to turn in their hero status. I mean the conflict and dissension season 8 caused among the fans - especially with Sam not looking for Dean and ending up being the cause of Benny leaving - couldn't have been fun for them, Jared especially.

Just my opinion on that one.

10 hours ago, gonzosgirrl said:

...and yet conversely, I  think that The Born Again Identity is probably his best wire-to-wire performance of the series. 

I think that episode is underrated and deserves more love.

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41 minutes ago, AwesomO4000 said:

Just my opinion on that one.

Gee, someone might think you didn't like season 8. 😊

Looking back, it was the last season where I actually enjoyed more episodes than I hated,** stinkers and bait-and-switch notwithstanding.  

ETA: **Of course, that could be because I wiped out all the Amelia scenes from my mind completely, so they didn't interfere with the rest of the story.  

Edited by ahrtee
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20 hours ago, FlickChick said:

IMO, it's too bad Carver moved on because look what we got instead!!! I'll still never understand why they thought Dabb could run this show properly. 😞

I agree. Plus, Carver gave us MOC Dean which was an amazing storyline IMO and Benny who was one of the best parts of season 8 also IMO.

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S8- Okay now we dive into a whole bunch of probably very unpopular opinions.  I loved S8! After the mess that was S7 I was pretty stoked to have Carver at the helm.  Unfortunately he got saddled with the Duo.   I think early on they knew Edlund was going to be leaving and someone (probably Singer) thought Eugenie and Brad would be the perfect replacement for one of the most inventive writers of the series. Carver also had Adam Glass and even though he was a Dean fan he (as head writer) and the Duo blew canon and continuity out the window.

 I'm not going to go into why I thought the first half worked so well (I'm guessing that is more of B/J topic). I was not a fan of Benny or Amelia.  Everyone was acting so out of character because of them I couldn't enjoy their story lines.   I did feel like I could breathe again when Sam and Dean gave up their significant others (and no I'm not a Bronly or Tinhat or any  shipper of any kind). All of my picks came from the second half.

Trial and Error- I was a fan of the trials.  Finally there was a quest or a purpose for the season other than everyone moping around feeling sorry for themselves. Our first look at Hell Hounds was actually pretty clever that they could be seen through glasses burned in Holy Oil. How do they have so much of that anyway? Castiel had to go to Jerusalem to get his supply.  Sam telling Dean he wasn't a grunt, he was a genius was my favorite part.  Words Dean needs to hear (and Sam needs to say) sometimes. 

Goodbye Stranger- I liked this episode.  I always loved Megstiel such an odd couple but it worked for me.  The crazy map room, finding out Sam was "damaged", Crowley closing in on the Winchesters, Castiel still acting off, wasn't a fan of Cas beating the crap out of Dean (again) and I wasn't fan of Dean begging for his life (again). Still waiting for them to remember the Spear of Destiny.  I enjoyed the episode. 

As Time Goes By- Henry Winchester was almost a MOL's. I do love a little back story about the Winchesters. Abaddon the scariest never to be redeemed villain the show has had since Azazel or Gordon.   I also loved the history of the Men of Letters.  We hadn't made it to the Bunker yet but I was intrigued by that story.

Larp and the Real Girl- Like I said...Charlie fan! I loved the Sheriff "these kids today with their texting and murder".  Ed "I'm a very powerful maige". Dean getting into the fun of it all until

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I loved that Sam was the only one that didn't jump

and...

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I kind of like Dean in long hair.

The Great Escapists- Metatron (yes I liked Metatron).  Sam's getting worse. Dean gets into it with the scribe of God. Castiel makes his escape and is finally reunited with the Winchesters (albeit with one very pissed off Dean). Sam being purified from DB. And Kevin is finally rescued. BE's last episode for Supernatural 😞  At least he got the gang back together.

Pac Man Fever- I always loved Dean and Charlie's big brother little sister relationship. Dean in period costume again.  The Bunker has a Firing Range!! Dean gets Tron'd and saves the day.  Sam kills the other Djinn.   That's why we don't have nice things and just 5 minutes with a razor.

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My favorite hug.

Everyone Hates Hitler- I LOVED this episode.  I got my sister hooked on Supernatural.  Whenever she came to visit we always had to watch a few episodes.  This ep was her favorite.  Golem's, Necromancer Nazi's, Rabbi saboteur's, Aaron Bass, Hal Linden...and my favorite....the Bunker.  What a cool place!  I'm so afraid Dabb is going to destroy it....and the Impala.  Finally the Winchesters have their own home.  I wish it hadn't become a revolving door for every character good and evil later on.  It should have stayed their own secret lair.  But I loved it's inclusion.  Full of lore and spells and knowledge for Sam and for Dean finally his very own home.  Something he hasn't had since he was 4 years old...full of cool weapons, turns out a firing range, his own room, his own space and even a home for Baby. 

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Sacrifice- Yes I loved Sacrifice. I loved the scenes between Sam and Crowley, I loved the scene between Dean and Sam in the end (when Jared and Jensen are on screen in a scene like this it's electrifying...at least for me) and I particularly loved the angels falling.  I think it was the best season end/cliffhanger since S5.  I won't go into why I loved it because it had very personal meaning for me and I know how most everyone else felt about it. But yes my 3rd #1 episode for the series.

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Edited by Casseiopeia

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21 hours ago, ahrtee said:

ETA: **Of course, that could be because I wiped out all the Amelia scenes from my mind completely, so they didn't interfere with the rest of the story.  

That's a useful talent! I wish I could wipe out those scenes.

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Ok, I am loving this discussion so far! Thanks so much everyone who has been sharing their lists!

I started a re-watch, and I'm so glad I did. I'm working mostly from home at the moment, and I'm able to put on some TV in the background from time to time while working on other tasks, so I've been revisiting the series at a pretty good clip. I also found the archive of old TWOP recaps of the show, and there's nothing quite like watching along with Demian and Raoul! I've made it through season 3, and what a ride! I've only skipped a few episodes so far, just ones that I remember being boring or so dumb they aggravated me. I had totally forgotten how genuinely good this show was at the start! (Yes, the idea of paring it down to just a few episodes per season to revisit was not one of my best. Thanks for talking me out of it! Maybe once I get to the weaker seasons later on, the "curated" component of this binge will start to kick in.😉)

Season 1 was such a blast from the past. The cases were simple and fun, and the family relationships really shone through. The mytharc of Sam having weird psychic powers was really compelling, even rewatching with the knowledge that it doesn't really go anywhere, seeing Dean try to pretend he's not freaking out about it so he can be strong for Sammy even though they're both in way over their heads, was really affecting. And the tension between Sam and John when John finally showed up, which sparked Dean (hunting for months with a partner who actually cares and has his back for a change) to confront the fact that his father actually sucked? *Chef's kiss* The only episodes I skipped this season were Bugs (boring) and Route 666 (the racist truck was a bit too dumb for me). I would say my favourites of the season were: Skin, Asylum, Scarecrow, Nightmare, and Devil's Trap.

Season 2 was pretty solid too. The show definitely had its feet under it a little more, and there were some stronger episodes. A few REALLY strong episodes, potential series-best episodes, as identified in a few people's lists. Overall, though, I found the mytharc really tiresome once it switched from "What are these weird powers Sam has and why?" to "Will Sam go darkside and force Dean to kill him?" Obviously not. Every time it was suggested or talked about I pretty much just felt mad, probably because I already knew Sam's demon powers weren't going to like, spring up and seize control of him, and if they did, Dean would go down with him before he'd ever hurt Sam, so there was no tension there at all. But a lot of the standalone episodes absolutely delighted me, and I can't believe I didn't remember how good this show used to be! The only ones I skipped this season were No Exit (I liked Jo, and it bothered me when the show belittled her with lame "damsel in distress" stuff, or tried to put her in her place when she wanted to step up - I know a lot of that was due to fan reaction against her, but it sucked), and Houses of the Holy (I can't handle this show's previous take on religion before it got, you know, biblical). My favourites were: In My Time of Dying, The Usual Suspects, Nightshifter, Hollywood Babylon, Folsom Prison Blues, and What Is and What Should Never Be.

Season 3's mytharc got me right back on board AND HOW. Dean selling his soul, and then slowly embarking on a journey towards recognizing his own self-worth, accepting that he didn't want to die only when it was too late to save him? (Though, it had been too late as soon as the deal was made). Oh, I loved it. I loved it a lot. And the Sam going darkside stuff became more compelling as well once we stopped expecting some sort of "evil" switch to flip inside him, and started watching him gradually but steadily compromise his morals out of desperation to save Dean. I didn't love every episode, and the overall plot arc could have been stronger (though understandable as the season was cut short), and Ruby was interminable, but the character work on Sam and Dean was masterful. I skipped Red Sky at Morning, and I had meant to skip Ghostfacers because I didn't like those guys, and I typically hate it when scripted shows do episodes parodying reality TV, but I saw it on a couple of "yes" lists and decided to give it another shot. I'm glad I did: I hated the format and the Ghostfacers themselves (and the homophobic "gay intern" stuff), but it's always great to watch Dean take charge and kick ass. Plus Sam in the party hat was adorable. This show used to do comedy so well. There weren't as many single standout episodes, but my favourites of the season were probably: Bad Day at Black Rock, Fresh Blood, A Very Supernatural Christmas, Mystery Spot, and Jus In Bello (though I didn't enjoy this one as much as I expected to - a few things annoyed me enough that it almost didn't make my list!).

Next up is Season 4! I haven't rewatched any of it since it originally aired. I have such weird mixed memories of this one, and there's some good disagreement about it in this thread too, so I'll be really interested to see how it plays for me this time! I'll let you know!

Edited by Slovenly Muse
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Well, that was season 4!

Oh, man, I have so many thoughts about this season. I understand why it's so divisive! Overall, it is very coherent, and there are plot threads introduced in the premiere that wind their way VERY nicely through the season to the finale. The introduction of the angels is absolutely dynamite! The power of their first appearance, and the gradual realization that they are dicks who are just as manipulative and dangerous as the demons, because nothing on this show can ever just be a win... amazing. I also really enjoyed most of the episodes, and found a lot of the season very compelling. The storytelling was quite well-done. The only downside, really, is that I didn't care for a lot of the story. Sam's descent into darkness is continuing in a natural progression, but I just hate it. Sam's not my favourite, but I like LIKING Sam, even when I'm affectionately calling him an idiot! Even when I think he's going about things the wrong way, I can usually see his side, or at least respect his competence as a character. But this season flat-out turned Sam unlikable, the blood-drinking was so over-the-top, and was just painful to watch, as was Dean's extended suffering about his actions in Hell and being forced into that mindset again by the angels when they made him torture Alistair... It was damn powerful stuff, but it wasn't necessarily enjoyable to watch. I have a lot of respect for the storytelling of the way the angels and demons played Sam and Dean off each other, basically each side convincing "their guy" that he was "the one" to save the world, and then pushing them right into each other's way to undermine their cooperation, although I also hated seeing them dicked around like that and it gave me the feels in a frustrating way, instead of a good way. I thought the finale was brilliant. I was VERY engaged, probably more so than any other season so far, but not always in a good way. I loved seeing the growing bond between Dean and Castiel (this is a season that launched a thousand fanfics, I know that much!), and I actually thought it was really interesting that Sam's growing darkness had him acting more and more like John, and that that was directly addressed. I wonder if that was a deliberate attempt to mislead us into thinking that Sam wasn't REALLY turning evil, he was just growing into the image of his father that he had always fundamentally resembled, or if this was an intentional nod to the fact that John's path, his single-minded quest for revenge at the cost of his sons' happiness, was darker than he (and his boys) were willing to admit at the time. It felt like a fresh take on their "daddy issues," and I appreciated it.

Anyway, I watched all the episodes except Family Remains, and I had MEANT to skip Criss Angel is a Douchebag as well, but on further reflection decided to give it a try, since I had been enjoying the season so much. I wish I had skipped it. I did not care about the washed-up old magicians at all, and found myself counting down the minutes until it was over.

My favourites of the season would have to be: Lazarus Rising (seriously amazing introduction to Castiel), Yellow Fever (a qualified yes, because the story was kind of dumb and full of holes, and I found the idea of road-hauling a ghost that had been an innocent victim totally repugnant, but the comedy bits were gold), Death Takes a Holiday (I love Tessa! So great to see her back! And once again giving Dean the exact advice he needs to hear!), It's a Terrible Life ("There are fates out there worse than yours."), The Monster at the End of This Book (I don't always love it when the show goes meta, but this was thoroughly entertaining, as was Chuck before his whole character was, I assume, retconned), Jump the Shark (I remember being really annoyed by the idea of Adam, but I forgot how WELL this episode introduced him (and then, um, bid him farewell.). I also really liked the evident pain of Sam and Dean learning they had a brother who was able to have the simple pleasures of a normal father/son relationship with John that they had always been denied, and the intense complexity of figuring out what was best for him - Dean was right, in that it was the only moral and decent thing to do to protect him and let him live a normal life, but Sam was right (if a bit unhinged), in that simply being John's son made living a normal life impossible. It was heartbreaking, but interesting and good.), and of course, Lucifer Rising.

Then there's Wishful Thinking, which sort of simultaneously appears on my "yes" and "no" lists. I LOVED the comedy, and got so much genuine joy out of the suicidal teddy bear and "KNEEL BEFORE TODD!" But I remember at the time it first aired, I spent most of the week setting the forums on fire about the Hope storyline, and how bullshit and gross it is to center your episode around a rape story without ever actually acknowledging that that's what it was, or demonstrating any interest in, or respect for, the victim's experience. Having Sam and Dean tell Wes that his wish (to make Hope love him) has to be taken back because it is "going to go wrong," rather than stating that wishing a person into sexual slavery in the first place IS wrong, seemed to intentionally miss the mark, or make light of the truly horrible thing he had done. It's one thing for the character of Wes to treat Hope like a "thing" he could "have," but when the actual writers seem to see her the same way, that is a problem. Of course, that's back when I still expected better of the show, or thought that if fans like me made enough noise about its really gross gender politics, they might take note and do better. And I WAS able to enjoy it a little better this time, knowing that I had wasted my breath all those years ago, and feeling more resigned to this type of bullshit. But it was still bullshit and really soured an otherwise outstanding episode for me. So, mixed bag. (I know, I know. The show often rubs me the wrong way with its gender politics, but then usually balances it out by doing other things really well, and I can usually just bristle and then let it go and still enjoy the experience - but this seemed like a whole other level of sexist and it really got under my skin.)

So, having had a short novel to say about Season 4, I begin my journey into Season 5! I don't remember a whole lot about this one, so it should be fun!

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Ok, now I've got Season 5 under my belt! Hmm. I have some mixed feelings about this season. After one season of Castiel, the writers are already struggling to find ways to keep this character around despite him being a LITERAL "deus ex machina,"  but I do like him and I'm glad they were committed to keeping him on because Mischa is really doing compelling stuff with the character and it's a delight to watch. I liked the increased stakes of having to stop Lucifer after helping him to rise, but I do feel like the whole mytharc of the season was a bit vague. The story got so huge, with the impending conflict between heaven and hell with Earth as the battleground... but the details kind of got lost along the way, and I would have liked a bit more clarity. What exactly did Lucifer want to do to the world? Just wipe out humanity? Why? And what then? Did he WANT to wage war on heaven? It seems not, since he tried to walk away from the final battle with Michael. Did he just want "Hell on Earth?" And if so, why would demons ever follow him, seeing as how they HATE hell, and see Earth as their escape from it? And if he really would turn on demons next, the way Crowley predicted, who would be left? What would this empty world look like, and why would he want it that way? I never really got a handle on exactly what motivated him or what was ultimately at stake. And Michael as a character was also kind of non-existent. We only saw one brief scene of him, and while it was awesome, I would have liked to feel that Michael was more of an immediate presence, working steadily on Dean maybe through his dreams the way Lucifer did with Sam. But overall, I did like the season, and I thought it did interesting things with the mythology. This season, and season 4, really demonstrate how badly this show ultimately suffered from not understanding HOW LONG it would run! I can sort of see them blowing their load on some big ideas (like making GOD a character in-universe!) that they obviously didn't think they'd run long enough to have to follow up on. But at the time, it was ballsy stuff, and I admire them for thinking big!

Let's see, what did I skip? I passed on The Curious Case of Dean Winchester (because of unbearable idiocy), Swap Meat (painfully bad), and 99 Problems (Meh).

My favourites of the season would have to be:

- Changing Channels (duh)

- The Real Ghostbusters (I liked this one, but I'm starting to see some barely-visible red flags with the way the show goes meta to talk about their fans. I totally understand that SPN fans can be... um... a lot. But sometimes the show isn't totally in control of the tone it's using to poke fun at those fans, and while this one is pretty successful, the groundwork is being laid for future missteps. I also forgot how big an influence TWOP was back in the day - shows like this actually gave them regular shout-outs, such as naming the LARPing Sam and Dean duo "Demian and Barnes" (the TWOP recapper and forum moderator respectively). Awesome.)

- Sam, Interrupted (Not a fantastic episode, but solid and interesting, with some outstanding performances!)

- My Bloody Valentine (after the way it was hyped upthread, I was not disappointed! Some great stuff for both Sam and Dean, and Jared brought his A-game. Not sure I totally buy Dean not falling under Famine's spell, but I'll handwave it, because the episode gifted us with some awesomely gruesome fun stuff!)

- Dark Side of the Moon (So great to see the returning guest cast, and some good character stuff too in their memories. Sam always looking for the home he never had, and Dean trying to hold on tight to Sam, the only home he has left... Awww, boys. An interesting concept for heaven as well. Plus that opening sequence with Dean and baby Sam and the fireworks was so special. Colin Ford always does a phenomenal job as tiny Sam!)

- Point of No Return (This is EXACTLY the kind of thing I meant upthread about episodes or moments that make me like Sam. I loved this. It gave us the moving scene of Sam deciding to put his faith in Dean and being right about it, AND the awesome moment of Dean STABBING ZACHARIAH IN THE FACE! I didn't love everything in this episode, but I did love watching Dean steadily crack under the pressure of having Adam used as leverage against him, and Sam reaching the end of his rope trying to save both his brothers from themselves. Great stuff.)

- Swan Song (Yeah. I'm a sap. Sue me. I echo the curiosity upthread about how this would have ended if it had been planned as a series finale, because it did seem a bit hastily restructured. But whatever, it got us to that lovely Sam and Dean moment where love, not anger, is what lets Sam break free of Lucifer's control, and it hit me in all the right feels.)

Honorable mention to Free to Be You and Me, which I really liked in concept, but not in execution. I thought it was interesting to see the boys apart, see Sam trying to find his way outside of hunting, but being troubled by visions of Lucifer (which were very well-done), and Dean falling back into the more carefree rhythm of hunting alone, but both of them having the security of knowing that their separation is a mutual decision (so they don't have to agonize over it), and knowing the other is just a phone call away. I hated the way it all played out in the episode, but I thought it was an interesting premise, and I kind of wish they'd stretched it out over another week or two to fully explore that dynamic (and give Sam something to do). But I get it - they can't actually keep the boys apart for long because their dynamic is too central to the show. Fair!

I remember having some very mixed feelings about Season 6 and soulless Sam, but again, I don't recall a lot of specifics. I'll let you know how it goes!

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Wow, so that was season 6! I pushed through it pretty fast. As I recalled, I had some pretty mixed feelings. I didn't love Castiel's hubris and his increasing slips towards the dark side, even though I enjoyed seeing him and Dean positioned as antagonists, and appropriately equal ones, despite the fact that Dean is "just a man." ("I've taken some pretty big fish." That moment gave me chills, and I LOVE when the show remembers that Dean is a serious BAMF.) But Castiel's actual arc was... well, I just have this thing where I hate watching characters I respect do things that are blatantly idiotic for extended stretches. Like trusting Crowley, even though that ended in a surprising reversal somehow even worse than the expected outcome would have been. I also didn't particularly enjoy the Samuel/Campbells stuff - it didn't really go anywhere and I find pointless secret-keeping tiresome. I liked Dean's arc this season, even though it was painful - I liked the way Sam made him promise to settle down and try to be happy, because Sam genuinely cared about Dean's happiness and wanted him to have a good life after he was gone, but then the attempt at normalcy and its thorough failure ended up being far more painful for Dean than if he'd never tried. Sam had tried to give his brother a gift, and ended up breaking him, but the Winchesters' mistakes this season were made out of love, and that made them infinitely more watchable (and good-painful) than Castiel's or Samuel's mistakes made out of hubris or selfishness.

Which brings us to Sam. Ok, I didn't love Soulless Sam. I went through this season pretty fast because I was frustrated with Soulless Sam and impatient to have Real Sam back. (This also taught me that maybe I liked Sam better than I thought, which was a welcome little realization.) However, I was thoroughly impressed with Padalecki's acting this season. I think it's hands-down his strongest season yet. Man, he's come so far from those first few seasons when you could sort of see him learning on the job. I REALLY enjoyed seeing his ability to layer the character of Sam into so many different incarnations - that first version, when he has no soul, but is trying to pretend everything is normal, and you can just sort of tell that something is subtly wrong, but can't quite put a finger on what it is, to when he is alone and full-on lizard-brain super-hunter Sam, to this somehow different version when he is on the road with Dean after Dean knows the truth - he's not pretending anymore, but he's not letting his Terminator flag fly all the way either... Then Reinsouled Sam is his usual puppy-dog empathetic self (which was a serious breath of fresh air, holy cow, and that was the acting, not just the writing - Padalecki made us feel, right alongside Dean, how great it was to have Our Sam back). And then the various incarnations in the finale, which were all spot-on. Even though I didn't enjoy watching it all, this season seriously cranked up my respect for Padalecki as an actor, AND my appreciation of Sam as a character.

I had a harder time skipping episodes this season, even though I didn't love a lot of the arc stuff, it felt too important to skip. I did manage to skip All Dogs Go to Heaven, Unforgiven (no desire to see Sam alternating between super-angst and super-dick), and Mannequin 3: The Reckoning (a homicidal kidney should be more fun than this).

My favourites of the season would have to be:

- Weekend at Bobby's (so much to love here, and Rufus never really got his due for being a brilliant side character)

- Live Free or Twihard (BAMF Dean goes next-level and I love it)

- Appointment in Samarra (Dean's experience as Death seemed a bit generic and uninspired, and it kind of infuriated me that they brought Tessa back again so that Dean could ignorantly Mansplain her job to her over multiple scenes, but I love it when Death makes an appearance, and the Sam vs. Bobby stuff was gold.)

- Like a Virgin (Great introduction to Eleanor, who I wish could have stuck around because she was an awesome character)

- My Heart Will Go On (For the "One Way or Another" montage ALONE! Not to mention ELLEN!)

- Mommie Dearest (Things shift into place for the endgame and it's all nice and intriguing, plus Dean is damn good at this.)

Season 7 should be interesting - Once again, I don't remember much about it from the original airing, and I've never rewatched, so I'm excited to see where it all goes from here!

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1 hour ago, Slovenly Muse said:

I liked the way Sam made him promise to settle down and try to be happy, because Sam genuinely cared about Dean's happiness and wanted him to have a good life after he was gone, but then the attempt at normalcy and its thorough failure ended up being far more painful for Dean than if he'd never tried. Sam had tried to give his brother a gift, and ended up breaking him, but the Winchesters' mistakes this season were made out of love, and that made them infinitely more watchable (and good-painful) than Castiel's or Samuel's mistakes made out of hubris or selfishness.

IA that both Winchesters always wanted to give the other what they thought would make them happy after they were gone, but I always found it very telling that (up to that point, at least) they still didn't know what that would actually be, and so they each told the other to do what *they* would have done.  So, Dean, in season 3's farewell speech, told Sam to keep fighting, and to "remember what Dad taught you, and remember what I taught you."  And Sam in season 5 told Dean to quit hunting and find a "normal" life.  Neither would have actually made them happy, but both tried (and failed) because they'd promised. 

It kind of reminds me of my older sister who, when we were kids, always gave me birthday presents that she would have wanted, not what I enjoyed (we were pretty much opposites in most of our interests and likes).  Good intentions, bad results.  (as a side note, my emojis don't seem to have one for "sad."  They have angry, frowning, worried, neutral, pensive, and about 30 different versions of smiling/laughing, but nothing for just sad. 😕)

  

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On 7/3/2020 at 5:58 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

and Mannequin 3: The Reckoning (a homicidal kidney should be more fun than this).

True, but I love the final scene. Sam thanking Dean for getting his soul out of hell - in typical Winchester fashion - is one I always enjoy. Good choice to skip "All Dogs..." though, and the one notable thing about "Unforgiven" is how truly dangerous Soulless Sam was, but the writing wasn't so great on that one, I think.

On 7/3/2020 at 5:58 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

I didn't love Castiel's hubris and his increasing slips towards the dark side, even though I enjoyed seeing him and Dean positioned as antagonists, and appropriately equal ones, despite the fact that Dean is "just a man." ("I've taken some pretty big fish." That moment gave me chills, and I LOVE when the show remembers that Dean is a serious BAMF.) But Castiel's actual arc was... well, I just have this thing where I hate watching characters I respect do things that are blatantly idiotic for extended stretches. Like trusting Crowley, even though that ended in a surprising reversal somehow even worse than the expected outcome would have been.

I was a little more okay with how that all turned out than maybe you were. Castiel showed quite a few signs of serious denial of and/or ignoring his own role in how things went down in season 5 ("My Bloody Valentine is a good example), and this was a believable result of that for me. I also felt for Castiel, though, in terms of him being between a rock and a hard place. Raphael did have to be stopped, and Castiel did consider himself from a "better club" than Dean, so not only didn't he want to disturb Dean with all of that after Dean's losing Sam, deep down, he also likely thought Dean wouldn't be able to help anyway. It was also one of the few twists on this show that truly surprised me - that end of "Mommy Dearest" was a total surprise in a good way. Also seeing Castiel out-Crowley Crowley was somehow satisfying for me. Heh. If Castiel thought he was in a "better club" than humans... he surely thought he was in a better one than Crowley. Screwing Crowley over wouldn't have lost him any (metaphorical) sleep at night.

On 7/3/2020 at 5:58 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

However, I was thoroughly impressed with Padalecki's acting this season. I think it's hands-down his strongest season yet. Man, he's come so far from those first few seasons when you could sort of see him learning on the job. I REALLY enjoyed seeing his ability to layer the character of Sam into so many different incarnations - that first version, when he has no soul, but is trying to pretend everything is normal, and you can just sort of tell that something is subtly wrong, but can't quite put a finger on what it is, to when he is alone and full-on lizard-brain super-hunter Sam, to this somehow different version when he is on the road with Dean after Dean knows the truth - he's not pretending anymore, but he's not letting his Terminator flag fly all the way either... Then Reinsouled Sam is his usual puppy-dog empathetic self (which was a serious breath of fresh air, holy cow, and that was the acting, not just the writing - Padalecki made us feel, right alongside Dean, how great it was to have Our Sam back). And then the various incarnations in the finale, which were all spot-on.

I agree with all of this. And I enjoyed that season finale episode more than many and think it is underrated. The way Soulless Sam stands taller with his overconfident bravado whereas regular Sam slouched a little as if he's not so sure of himself. I could tell which Sam was which just by the way they stood... very impressive for me.

On 7/3/2020 at 5:58 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

Even though I didn't enjoy watching it all, this season seriously cranked up my respect for Padalecki as an actor, AND my appreciation of Sam as a character.

I'm enjoying your new discoveries from the rewatch. Season 6 was a favorite for me in terms of Jared's acting work, too.

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Great introduction to Eleanor, who I wish could have stuck around because she was an awesome character

I really liked Eleanor, too. I knew the actress from Passions - a guilty pleasure soap opera of mine, for a while. (Timmy, the living doll, is still one of my favorite television characters ever.)

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Season 7 should be interesting - Once again, I don't remember much about it from the original airing, and I've never rewatched, so I'm excited to see where it all goes from here!

I'm interested to see what you think, too! Season 7 is one that I enjoy. It had quite a bit of fun stuff for me. I enjoyed having villains who were at the same time formidable and amusing. (The description of salad is still one of my favorite lines of all time.)

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On 7/3/2020 at 4:32 PM, ahrtee said:

IA that both Winchesters always wanted to give the other what they thought would make them happy after they were gone, but I always found it very telling that (up to that point, at least) they still didn't know what that would actually be, and so they each told the other to do what *they* would have done.  So, Dean, in season 3's farewell speech, told Sam to keep fighting, and to "remember what Dad taught you, and remember what I taught you."  And Sam in season 5 told Dean to quit hunting and find a "normal" life.  Neither would have actually made them happy, but both tried (and failed) because they'd promised. 

That's interesting... I like the idea that they tried to give each other what THEY would have wanted for themselves, but I'm not sure I totally agree. Dean's wish in Season 3 makes sense, because he knew he was dying and he understood that Sam, and what he'd taught Sam and done for Sam, was his only legacy. Sam may not have wanted to keep hunting, but he was obviously going to, and Dean was worried about him being on his own. Sam failed because he couldn't get Dean out of hell, and was desperate enough to be manipulated by Ruby. But I disagree that Dean didn't really want a normal life. I mean, we saw in What Is And What Should Never Be that he does have a deep-rooted desire for the safety and stability of family. He also forms deep attachments to the people that he cares about. Mostly, we see his bulldog-loyalty directed at Sam, but Dean would do absolutely fucking anything for Bobby, Castiel... anyone he considers a friend. I always kind of thought his approach to sex (casual hookups with strangers) was mostly an attempt to separate the concept of "sex" from "relationships" because he was only equipped to handle one of those things with his hunter lifestyle, not because that's all he really wanted. But I think the stability of being in a relationship with Lisa and Ben WAS better for him than his life on the road, and it WAS what he needed to help cope with Sam's death. It was his past that was the problem, and the inherent danger it presented to the people around him, not his own desires. So. Sam gets full credit for good intentions, but was perhaps willfully naive about how badly Dean would be hurt when it all inevitably went wrong. But I'm sure this is something that was discussed to death at the time, so maybe I'll just leave it for the fanfic writers to work out.

 

19 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

I'm enjoying your new discoveries from the rewatch. Season 6 was a favorite for me in terms of Jared's acting work, too.

I loved your whole post! But I didn't want to quote the whole thing just to nod vigorously at it! I'm glad you're enjoying my ramblings. I figured since I asked for the thread's input I kind of owe it to you to share my impressions/reactions as I go, and you all gave great advice. I've really been loving this rewatch - it's reminded me how much I used to genuinely love this show, and now I get to rediscover it! I think watching with readjusted expectations has helped a lot: Knowing where things go later on and what will or won't ever improve has helped me to relax and appreciate what is working well WHILE it's working. Does that make sense?

 

19 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

I'm interested to see what you think, too! Season 7 is one that I enjoy. It had quite a bit of fun stuff for me. I enjoyed having villains who were at the same time formidable and amusing. (The description of salad is still one of my favorite lines of all time.)

Ok, I JUST got to the "salad description" episode, and I genuinely had to rewatch that entire conversation about 3 times, it was so goddamn delightful.

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27 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Isn't this pretty much an All Seasons discussion at this point?

Seems like it! 😁

Edited by DeeDee79

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Ok, ok, back on topic!

Season 7! Wow, ok, I can really see why this one is divisive. One the one hand, I liked the Leviathans. (Or is the whole group of them referred to collectively as "Leviathan?" I think it was used that way at least a few times.) It was refreshing to get a break from the angels vs. demons stuff that dominated the previous few seasons, and Leviathan at least had a unique and interesting plan with more specific stakes than the Lucifer threat (my big criticism of season 5), which played into a slightly different horror angle than the show had covered previously (medical/food horror). So it was a welcome change of pace, not to mention the interactions between Leviathans, who were generally affable with each other, cooperative, and keen to get chowing down on humanity, which was a nice change from the backstabbing demons and grimly-serious angels. Leviathan were kind of fun! That said, I can definitely believe there were production issues, because the season as a whole didn't really gel. Leviathan were back-burnered for too much of it, and they weren't really explored as fully as I would have liked (plus some very "yanked from someone's ass" particulars about them, like the Borax and the weapon from the tablet, which felt like it was made up as they went along). Meanwhile, the mini-arcs that made up the majority of the season felt kind of pointless, like the Amy stuff ("Will Sam find out what Dean did?!" stretched out for too many episodes, and then ended up not coming to anything), Bobby ducking his reaper (then contributing little to the rest of the season and going out with a whimper before the climactic battle), and Sam's hallucinations of Lucifer (which felt like a problem the show kept kicking down the road until they could deux ex machina a quick fix. I would have loved to see Sam work through this on his own instead of needing Cas to magic it away, but whatever). Overall, even though I didn't enjoy as many individual episodes, the change of tone and focus worked for me, and I did come out in favor of Season 7!

Based on recommendations and my recollections of the first watch, I skipped:

  • Shut Up, Dr. Phil (marital strife is not fun to watch, even with great guest stars)
  • Season 7, Time for a Wedding (I remember loathing this one and do not care to revisit!)
  • The Slice Girls (Evil man-butchering amazons? On any other show, I bet I'd love it.)
  • Party On, Garth (Drunk acting is painful)

And I would have to say my favourites were:

  • Slash Fiction (Even JUST for the diner conversation between fake Sam and Dean. This one was solid!)
  • The Mentalists (Although the "twist" was frustratingly obvious, this was a fun ride!)
  • Death's Door (Shut up! I'm not crying; YOU'RE crying!)
  • Time After Time (Great dialogue, fun story, with bonus Jody Mills!)
  • The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo (I know Felicia Day is a bit divisive, but I love Charlie)
  • Reading is Fundamental (Osric Chau was a welcome addition to the cast, and Kevin was a great character. And sorry not sorry but I LOVED "naked guy at the rave" Cas. That game of "Sorry!" with Dean in the dayroom was my everything, and again, it's a refreshing take on a character who has been entirely too serious up to this point.)

I remember a bit of Season 8, specifically I remember LOATHING the beginning, which seems to be a common sentiment, and then coming around on the rest of it. I had forgotten how MUCH was dropped on Sam's plate at the end of S7 (Dean and Cas trapped in Purgatory, Meg and Kevin taken by demons, Leviathan still active without a leader), and knowing he did basically nothing about it was frankly enraging and a huge disservice to his character (although, I must admit, he doesn't have a history of being great on his own, at least not with a soul). But I guess I have to rewatch before I can judge properly because I don't remember the details. Wish me luck!

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2 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

Party On, Garth (Drunk acting is painful)

Weirdly, this one was on TNT recently and because I was bored I went ahead and watched it. It's interesting to me now to watch episodes I wasn't enamored with the first time around because the last few seasons have given me a fresh appreciation for earlier seasons - especially when it comes to pre-Amelia Sam.

Me watching this episode:

  • Aw, Garth!
  • Aw, Sam's cute grin after sticking Dean with Garth when splitting up investigative tasks!
  • Aw, Bobby!
  • Aw, the boys trying to protect each other - without selling their souls or killing themselves - while trying to figure out if Bobby was still hanging around!
  • Aw, the boys actually talking to each other and planning what to do about Bobby!

Anyway. 🙂 It's kind of nice to have this new perspective as I'm doing my own rewatch. 

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I have to say, I would not have skipped Slice Girls, because it was way more than just man butchering Amazons. Dean had a rather important tie to the episode.

On 7/11/2020 at 2:14 PM, Slovenly Muse said:
  •  
  • The Slice Girls (Evil man-butchering amazons? On any other show, I bet I'd love it.)

 

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On 7/11/2020 at 5:14 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

Season 7, Time for a Wedding (I remember loathing this one and do not care to revisit!)

This one actually grew on me a little bit over time. The roofie-ing of Sam should be horrifying, but in retrospect of things done to Sam later (especially in season 12) and glossed over, it is almost quaint now. And two scenes stick out as enjoyable - though brief: Jared obviously (to me, and apparently my hubby who was wandering through the room) saying "F$%k you" behind the sock in his mouth and somehow getting it past the sensors and the end scene again where Sam fondly admits to Dean that he does need Dean looking out for him and the accompanying brotherly banter of the scene.

I agree with your favorites, and I would add:

Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie - there was some great fun to be had in that one for me. Sam the "bad cop", "at least I'll see it coming," "Shark week, man... a whole week of sharks," and the unicorn discussion. Sam confronting his clown fear, the giant slinky, Dean having an honest to goodness laugh. I liked the whole thing.

Out with the Old - So much fun for me with this one. The Leviathan were amusing, the cursed objects were fun, and Frank's memorable lines. Man, I miss Frank.

Meet the New Boss / Hello Cruel World - Death! Crowley hiding from Castiel in a trailer, the time passing as they fixed the car montage (much better for me than flashbacks), and the "stone number one" scene. I really liked this season opening.

Repo Man - divisive episode, I know, but I liked this one, dark as it was. I liked the deep dive into Sam's psyche.

On 7/11/2020 at 5:14 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

and knowing he did basically nothing about it was frankly enraging and a huge disservice to his character (although, I must admit, he doesn't have a history of being great on his own, at least not with a soul).

And if they had showed that - Sam not doing well on his own - I would have been fine with it, but I got the impression I was supposed to be seeing Sam as mostly fine, and that was what angered me. Not only was Sam doing nothing out of character for me (Time After Time wasn't that long ago when Dean disappeared this time), but Sam being "fine" was also. I basically didn't recognize that person onscreen who was supposed to be Sam.

On 7/11/2020 at 5:14 PM, Slovenly Muse said:

But I guess I have to rewatch before I can judge properly because I don't remember the details. Wish me luck!

Good luck! (I actually disliked season 8 more on rewatch - especially the first half - which I didn't think was possible).

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On 7/11/2020 at 5:15 PM, bethy said:

It's interesting to me now to watch episodes I wasn't enamored with the first time around because the last few seasons have given me a fresh appreciation for earlier seasons - especially when it comes to pre-Amelia Sam.

(Above quote re: Party On, Garth)

On 7/12/2020 at 2:59 PM, catrox14 said:

I have to say, I would not have skipped Slice Girls, because it was way more than just man butchering Amazons. Dean had a rather important tie to the episode.

Ok, ok, well, I'm far enough into Season 8 to discover that the Amelia stuff, and the Sam stuff, which I was SURE I must be remembering as worse than it was, is actually far, far more horrendous than I had expected. I must have blocked it out in self-defense the first time around. So, since you both make a good case, I went back and caught up on The Slice Girls and Party On, Garth, because I really needed a hit of the boys being functional and communicating with each other and actually having a relationship that is not actively painful to watch. Thanks for that! I didn't love either episode, but I didn't dislike them either, because even "meh" episodes from previous seasons are miles better than where I'm at now. I do recall the back half of Season 8 improving, and then enjoying Season 9, so I'm powering through, but oof. This is rough. I'm still not ready to give Season 7, Time For a Wedding! another chance though, but if things continue like this, who knows!

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Wow, ok, that was Season 8.

Geez, what can I even say about this season? There was a bunch of stuff that worked well, that I really liked, and some that was THE most painfully awful stuff the show has done to this point, and then there was some stuff with good bones that was just too dumb to be satisfying.

First off, the obvious, is Sam. I can absolutely see Sam taking the chance to get out of the life and trying to have something "normal" for himself without anyone there to keep him hunting, IF he truly believed Dean was dead. I could even (not really, but just BARELY) see him rationalizing that wherever Dean was, Cas was with him, and probably represented Dean's best shot at rescue. But giving up without even taking a single step toward finding out what had happened to Dean and if it was possible to save him? No way. And even leaving aside the fact that he gave up on Dean, the fact that he made no effort to rescue Kevin, or protect Kevin's mom, or even keep his PHONE so that Kevin had SOMEONE to reach out to if he managed to save HIMSELF is just beyond the pale. Kevin was his responsibility, and that kid had literally no one else he could call for help. Remember when John went off the grid back in Season 1 and changed his outgoing voicemail message to give people Dean's number for emergencies? Sam dropped the ball so thoroughly, he didn't even kick it over to someone else to pick up. It is simply enraging. And not only was the Amelia stuff agonizing to watch for how bad it was, I was really appalled that the show waited so long to clarify HOW their relationship ended. In the premiere, it kind of looked like he was just ditching her in the middle of the night without a goodbye, which made all the flashbacks doubly painful, because their relationship sucked, AND we didn't even get the small comfort of knowing it was over, because he looked like a complete dickwad for worming his way into her life and then dumping her like yesterday's trash as soon as Dean got in touch. So their relationship AND lack of relationship were BOTH enraging for the entire first half of the season! I have never seen such thorough, ill-advised character assassination on any show before or since. 

But I know this is probably EVERYONE'S number one complaint about the season, so let's move on to what did work. I had no problems with Benny, though I know he's a sore point for some (the worst thing about Benny IMO was how unreasonably against him Sam was, as if Sam didn't INVENT not killing vampires if they promised they weren't an immediate threat to humans). I was disappointed in how his story fizzled to an ending, but kind of liked the character. I really liked the Men of Letters stuff and the move into the bunker - it's great to see the boys get settled in, actually have a home base (Dean has his own room!) and geek out over the wealth of tools and information left for them. A lot of the bunker scenes were really delightful. The trials were interesting, if poorly paced. Very clumsy as an attempted redemption arc for Sam, but on their own merits, the idea was fun. I liked Abaddon a lot, even though the decision to put her back together (the most unkillable, unstoppable demon you've ever met? Really?) rather than just... summon someone else... was incredibly stupid, I am kind of willing to let it slide since it meant getting more of her. That actress was dynamite. Amanda Tapping was a fabulous guest star, and I really liked Naomi, despite the "hacking the angel operating system" concept being dumb. And while it was frustratingly obvious that Metatron was playing Castiel from the beginning of the "angel trials" nonsense, the angels falling from heaven was an awesome hook to end the season on.

But I feel like I could ramble about this inconsistent season forever, so let's move on.

I skipped Bitten and Man's Best Friend With Benefits, and I considered skipping Remember the Titans, based on recommendations in this thread, but watched it and wished I'd skipped it (boring, and a bullshit portrayal of Diana). I had planned to skip Taxi Driver, but felt like it was too important plotwise. Ugh. That episode needed to be a 2-parter, with a much higher budget and better writers. Blech.

My favourites from this season are probably all from the second half, and it looks like they match up with others' picks as well:

  • LARP and the Real Girl - Always great to see Charlie, and to see Dean and Sam eventually get into the spirit of things, rather than making the LARPers too much of a punchline.
  • Everybody Hates Hitler - Surprising lack of Hitler, given the title, but a very fun episode, and great to see the boys exploring the bunker and settling in. Nazi necromancers!
  • Trial and Error - This may be a controversial pick, given how interminable the family is, but I loved Dean's new room, and the surprisingly subtle treatment of the typical "be careful what you wish for" demon deal morality lesson (it's not that wishes can be corrupted, it's that the dealmaker just didn't understand what the problem was), as well as the discussion of who was going to undertake the trials. Conversations where the brothers build each other up, rather than existing in a dumb state of manufactured conflict, is my catnip. As long as you don't think about where the trials story ends, it's all good!
  • Goodbye Stranger - Surprisingly nice to see Meg again! (I'm repressing my memory of her ultimate fate) I liked everyone navigating their (justified) mistrust of Castiel, as well as Cas arriving at that intersection of his need to obey his brainwashing, protect the angel tablet, and also not kill Dean. I was into it!
  • Pac-Man Fever - Although the writers are pushing her "tweeness" a touch too much, it's still great to see Charlie and learn more about her. Solid stuff, and a fun watch!
  • The Great Escapist - I enjoyed this episode primarily, but not entirely, for Kevin's DGAF confrontation with Crowley. I don't know what the hell his plan was if an angel hadn't rescued him at that moment, or if he was just ready to die and let the next prophet inherit his problem, but it was so damn good to see him being smart and confident and getting the best of Crowley that I flat-out don't care.

Ok, this brings me to a personal problem I had with the series after this point. I was supremely disappointed that Sarah was brought back from her season 1 appearance, just to make sure she didn't escape the curse of Sam Winchester's homicidal penis. It reinforced that the show was committed to killing its female characters with impunity and would never learn its lesson about fridging, and I started to fear for Jody Mills. She is by far my favourite recurring character, and after this season I started to DREAD her appearances, because every time she was in an episode, I'd get that gut-twisting bad feeling that this would be it, and I'd have to watch her die, especially given Charlie's eventual fate. And once you've ruined Jody Mills' appearances for me, you've sapped my will to keep watching. (I actually remember in the High School Musical episode, there was a throwaway line when the teen actress playing Jody walked by with the script wondering if she was even in the second act, and it felt like a deliberate joke on how tenuous her survival on the show was. Once again, the writers lampshade something they should be FIXING!) So can you guys do me a favour? I didn't stick around long enough to find out (unless I've repressed it), so if Jody Mills does die, can you tell me what episode that happens in so I can brace myself appropriately and not worry in the meantime? PM me if you'd rather not get into it here, but please let me know! Thank you, friends!

Ok, Season 9! I think I remember mostly liking this one! Let's see how it goes!

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12 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

So can you guys do me a favour? I didn't stick around long enough to find out (unless I've repressed it), so if Jody Mills does die, can you tell me what episode that happens in so I can brace myself appropriately and not worry in the meantime? PM me if you'd rather not get into it here, but please let me know! Thank you, friends!

Spoiler

Jody Mills is still alive so far with just a few more episodes to go after they start filming again.

12 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

Ok, Season 9! I think I remember mostly liking this one! Let's see how it goes!

I'll be interested to hear. I somewhat enjoyed season 9 at first also, well until...

 

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15 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

But I know this is probably EVERYONE'S number one complaint about the season, 

Haha, no, I hated the trials and Dean`s pathetic non-role in them as useless little nursemaid so, so much more. Amelia was barely a blip on my radar screen compared to that.   

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19 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

But I know this is probably EVERYONE'S number one complaint about the season,

Like @Aeryn13 Amelia didn't register with me too much beyond just thinking about how bland she was. My gripe was how badly Dean was treated after returning from Purgatory and the crapfest that was the trials when he was reduced to being Sam's nursemaid. The best thing to come out of that season and the reason why I don't write it off entirely was the awesomeness that was Dean and Benny and the MOL bunker.

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On 7/23/2020 at 1:23 AM, Slovenly Muse said:

Ok, Season 9! I think I remember mostly liking this one! Let's see how it goes!

I find s9 is one of those that is better appreciated the second time around and also works better without large gaps between eps.  I remember not liking it that much at first but when I binged it,I liked it much better.  I'd recommend not really skipping any eps because Jensen's acting this season was next level and it really is about

Spoiler

the fall of Dean Winchester.  You can really see his downward spiral playing thoughout the season.

It turned out to be one of my favorite seasons.

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1 hour ago, ILoveReading said:

I find s9 is one of those that is better appreciated the second time around and also works better without large gaps between eps.  I remember not liking it that much at first but when I binged it,I liked it much better.  I'd recommend not really skipping any eps because Jensen's acting this season was next level and it really is about

  Hide contents

the fall of Dean Winchester.  You can really see his downward spiral playing thoughout the season.

It turned out to be one of my favorite seasons.

I didn`t care for the first half of Season 9, though, pretty much only perked up from episode 11 on.

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22 hours ago, Aeryn13 said:

I didn`t care for the first half of Season 9, though, pretty much only perked up from episode 11 on.

Whereas I preferred the first half and where it looked like it might be leading, but instead it took a left turn and went downhill for me starting episode 12. Like season 8, season 9 seemed to have two different tones depending on whether it was the first half or the second. I didn't like the tone of the second half.

23 hours ago, ILoveReading said:

I find s9 is one of those that is better appreciated the second time around and also works better without large gaps between eps.  I remember not liking it that much at first but when I binged it,I liked it much better. 

I had the opposite reaction. I liked it less the second time around, because I saw things I missed the first time around, and I found myself saying "wait a minute... that's not right..."  when I saw them. And by "King of the Damned," I was fairly ticked off at the direction the season had taken, and that episode cemented it as one of my least favorites. Gadreel was a big reason (see below).

One of the only things I liked about the season was how it set up Metatron's redemption arc.*** It - unlike Gadreel's - was actually well done, in my opinion, and was given time to progress. Gadreel's was shoe-horned in there, rushed, and mostly unearned. It was one of the main things that made me dislike the season. It's too bad, too, because Gadreel could have been an interesting character for me, but I mostly ended up resenting his presence for taking time and focus away from Dean's story, and for promoting some pretty hefty retcons in order to support his redemption.

*** "Don't Call Me Shurley" is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. Man, I miss Robbie Thompson.

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Season 9 set up Metatron's redemption? Season nine? The one where he had Kevin murdered. Where he killed Dean? That season 9?

In my opinion the eventual redemption of Metatron was one of the biggest insults of the series. Certainly worse than the Gadreel/Sam thing. At least Gadreel started out with good intentions. He was genuinely manipulated into his worst actions and voluntarily gave up his own life in redemption. Not to mention, for better or worse, he did save Sam's life. Metatron was a self-centered little d-bag to the end. 

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36 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Season 9 set up Metatron's redemption? Season nine? The one where he had Kevin murdered. Where he killed Dean? That season 9?

In my opinion the eventual redemption of Metatron was one of the biggest insults of the series. Certainly worse than the Gadreel/Sam thing. At least Gadreel started out with good intentions. He was genuinely manipulated into his worst actions and voluntarily gave up his own life in redemption. Not to mention, for better or worse, he did save Sam's life. Metatron was a self-centered little d-bag to the end. 

I agree. To me it just seemed like he decided to act decent because Chuck was back and he didn’t want him to let the world be destroyed by Amara. He was worried about what might happen to him when he realized that he had seen all of his bad deeds but he didn’t seem remorseful for doing them IMO. Gadreel on the other hand sincerely wanted to redeem himself and sacrificed himself to do so.

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Aren't you all getting a little spoiler-y here (considering it's just discussing the start of season 9)?  Or are spoilers allowed in this thread?  (Just curious for future discussions, since I already know what's happened up through season 15....)  

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1 hour ago, ahrtee said:

Aren't you all getting a little spoiler-y here (considering it's just discussing the start of season 9)?  Or are spoilers allowed in this thread?  (Just curious for future discussions, since I already know what's happened up through season 15....)  

I wondered the same for a minute but I doubt it since this is a thread about binge rewatching, not first time viewing.

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Yeah, this is technically I guess some sort of all-seasons episode recommendation thread. There's stuff from all seasons all over this thread, so spoilery discussions of plot points, while possibly off-topic, are probably fine, but spoiler tags never really hurt if you're not sure.

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On 7/25/2020 at 9:13 AM, gonzosgirrl said:

In my opinion the eventual redemption of Metatron was one of the biggest insults of the series. Certainly worse than the Gadreel/Sam thing. At least Gadreel started out with good intentions. He was genuinely manipulated into his worst actions and voluntarily gave up his own life in redemption. Not to mention, for better or worse, he did save Sam's life. Metatron was a self-centered little d-bag to the end. 

Intense discussion of season 9 coming up. Please skip if you don't want season 9 (and some season 11) spoilers:

But did Gadreel really start out with just good intentions? I don't think he did, myself. Gadreel wanted to "redeem" himself by doing something, but that in itself wasn't a selfless act. He wanted to do it to show the other angels who had imprisoned him that they were wrong about him, and revenge peppered his actions in the first half of the season. How was killing a whole bunch of angels supposed to be in any way a good thing? So getting talked into that without any reservations at all is more than a little naive... it is bordering on complicit. Gadreel let himself be talked into it, because he wanted an excuse to do it and be on the winning side.

But the crappiness of the redemption story for me was less Gadreel and his change of heart than the lame retcons and having Sam behave out of character in order to play up Gadreel's change of heart. That and Gadreel's redemption took over the end of the season. Some of Gadreel's actions were excused with (paraphrase) "I don't think he felt evil, more misunderstood, but I was wrong, because he killed Kevin" which was a retcon, because Sam didn't even know he was possessed. So Sam ends up putting some of the blame on himself, and Castiel just listens and nods instead of pointing that out. Now some of that is likely because of Buck and Lemming ("King of the Damned" was their episode), but it was pretty huge stuff that didn't get fixed in that script. That, and Gadreel had some pretty mean intentions we saw in the beginning... from invading Sam's private thoughts, to erasing Sam's memories and giving him false memories, to threatening to kill Sam. Much of that was not instigated by Metatron or because Gadreel was duped. That was all Gadreel's decision to do to Sam, because he had an alternative host that was willing. He wanted Sam, because Sam provided him more protection... which was a selfish motivation, but again that wasn't addressed later on as to what Gadreel did to Sam personally. It was just waved away as Gadreel was "misunderstood" and he was instead elevated to "real friend" status and hyped as their only hope to defeat Metatron as part of his redemption. To me, it just felt unearned and lessened the role of Dean and Sam (especially) in the story. If there had been less "Gadreel was duped, he didn't mean to do bad" and more acknowledgement of Gadreel's self-serving behavior as part of his redemption, it would have been different, but there wasn't, so it fell flat for me.

Metatron on the other hand: yes, he was a crappy individual... and there was no sugar-coating or retconning of his behavior. He was an angel, and he acted like a typical angel, i.e. a big bag of dicks (TM Gabriel)... but then he had to live like a human being for a while. Metatron learned that human life wasn't always like in the books that he read or the movies he watched. There wasn't always an exciting story or quest. Sometimes it was just hard and day by day. He ended up having to scrounge in a dumpster for food - which he ended up giving to a hungry dog instead. And somewhere along that journey, Metatron learned to appreciate what human beings did as them personally and not just as a good story. As he told Chuck, he knew that they screwed up, but also appreciated how they tried. For me that was an interesting redemption story. An angel who technically knew all about humans, but didn't truly understand any of it until he had to live it for himself. Which is why I thought he made a good choice as the one to talk to Chuck (who also didn't technically understand his own human creations.)

And when Metatron sacrificed himself, he did so knowing that it wouldn't make up for what he did. He did it because he truly thought that the world was worth saving. He wasn't doing it to try to redeem or prove himself. He was trying to help save the world. While still being a weasel to the end and not by having to be given some fake "friend" status. Or by taking away from Sam and Dean's part in the story. In my opinion, Metatron's redemption was much more earned, no retcons of his behavior or talking him up scenes necessary. It was more a natural progression of his character, and it was given over 3 seasons to develop.

That's why I thought Metatron's redemption arc was better than Gadreel's. It wasn't that I thought Metatron was a better being - though he was a more interesting character for me - it was more that I thought his story arc was much better in terms of construction and the way it played out.

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Ok! I burned through Season 9 at a pretty good clip! As many of you've said, it was a mixed bag. I didn't love the Gadreel stuff, mostly because I didn't understand WHY it was happening from a storytelling perspective. One one hand, it seemed like a way for the writers to have their cake and eat it too, with making Cas human, but still hanging on to the "Angelus Ex Machina" plot convenience of having an angel around to magically provide easy solutions, but then, on the OTHER hand, it also felt like a way of adding manufactured conflict to the brothers' relationship with all the unnecessary secrets and lies. Neither reason really played well for me, but especially the second one, because they milked the "Sam feels betrayed" angle on it way too much, having Sam hold an oversized grudge for too long while repeatedly bringing up how Dean lied to him and unfairly saved his life (after he agreed to undertake AND abandon the trials specifically because he wanted to survive and thought Dean was too willing to throw his own life away. Also I don't actually think Dean really tricked him into letting Gadreel in, but I'll stow my thoughts on that for now.), and how they can't be brothers anymore, and how he wouldn't have done the same to save Dean, etc. The conflict got pretty ugly, and never actually got resolved, apart from the end of the season when Sam admitted that he WOULD fight to save Dean from dying, which, duh. What was the point of all that? I know there's some more resolution on that front coming in S10, but just looking at S9 in isolation, it was a disappointing thread to have to endure, only to be almost totally dropped without getting tied up. I also didn't love Abaddon this season, even though I really enjoyed her in the past, mostly because she didn't seem to really DO anything here, apart from bully demons to her side against Crowley, and use harmful tactics to outplay him, like breaking contracts to get more souls on her side - we never saw WHY she was too dangerous to lead Hell, or what specific plans she had that needed stopping, or even saw her wipe the floor with the Winchesters in combat (which would justify the need to get the First Blade to stop her). It kind of felt like the Winchesters putting their lives on the line to get involved in a political campaign in Hell on Crowley's behalf, and I would have liked to see some higher stakes there.

But then, we get to the MoC stuff, and that's where the season struck gold, even if it took awhile to see where it was going and why. Dean's slow descent, his gradual loss of control, until he was becoming the very thing he would want to hunt... It was painful to watch, but very effectively done, and just got progressively more and more chilling. I'm really looking forward to the resolution to that story in S10. I also kind of enjoyed the Metatron storyline, and while I didn't love all of it, I enjoyed watching him follow Cas's path of trying to become the new God and seize control of heaven, but for all the wrong reasons (contrasting to Cas' good intentions, which were ultimately just as harmful), and the ways he tricked and manipulated the others angels into following him. That said, the writers seem to be flailing a bit with coming up with stories for the angels. I was hoping to see some meatier stuff after the fall, with the angels having to live among humanity and maybe explore their relationship to humans in new ways, but instead it's just the same old political/power struggles as always, just on a different plane. As usual, I had some issues, but found it overall an enjoyable season.

So the episodes I skipped: Obviously Bloodlines, let us never speak of it again. It's actually the only one I skipped! I nearly skipped Dog Dean Afternoon, because the premise sounded too dumb to be good, but after seeing it on a few lists of favourites I gave it a try and quite enjoyed it! It wasn't the strongest comedy episode, but I had no idea Jenson Ackles barking at the mailman could bring my heart so much joy!

My favourites of the season would have to be:

  • Heaven Can't Wait - Maybe a controversial pick. I didn't actually enjoy watching this episode, so much as I enjoy everything it accomplished. Dean feeling wracked with guilt about kicking Cas out of the bunker, slipping out from under Sam/Gadreel's watch to check on his friend and try to help him and be there for him in the small ways that he could. Cas adapting to human life with a quiet dignity that is absolutely earned, taking misfortune in stride and finding the good in people and situations where he can. Jenson and Misha are always dynamite together. I'm not in a hurry to rewatch it, but I found it surprisingly emotionally satisfying.
  • Bad Boys - Such a great Dean episode, totally in line with what we've seen of John's A+ parenting, but what absolutely sold this episode for me was the smile on young Dean's face at the end when he saw little Sam in the back of the Impala. That one little moment put the whole story in context and made it clear that by going back to his family, he wasn't choosing duty over happiness. Sam WAS his happiness. D'awwww.
  • First Born - This one wasn't perfect, not only because of the TWO female characters it introduced and immediately fridged, but I LOVE Timothy Omundson, and that fight scene in the kitchen was bonkers. Of course Dean could pass Cain's test. Yowza.
  • Blade Runners - Creepy MoL guy was a fun villain, and Dean's reaction to holding (and using) the blade for the first time was fascinating and great setup. Love it.
  • Alex Annie Alexis Ann - Another controversial pick, I'm sure, but I enjoyed this one a lot. Probably because I adore Jody Mills, and I found her refusal to give up on Annie a really effective counterpoint to where the boys are in their arc. Dean's been gradually slipping into darkness and brutality, and Sam's been uneasily rationalizing it, so Jody acts as a sort of stabilizing force who puts the morality of the situation into perspective. Her maternal energy is a strength here, not (as is usually the case) coded as some sign of weakness, and her empathy creates a baseline that lets us see more effectively just how far Dean has been slipping. I suspect it's better on rewatch, with the whole-season perspective, but I found it really engaging, and a great direction for Jody's character.
  • Do You Believe in Miracles - Not a perfect finale, but what an ending! I was surprised that Crowley's attempts to be besties with Dean all season would end up being the storyline that actually paid off (as opposed to the conflict between Sam and Dean). The way it left some things hanging made it feel more like a midseason finale somehow, but it was damn entertaining, and Dean's black eyes will haunt my dreams tonight.

So far so good! On to Season 10! I'm not entirely sure I made it all the way through the season when it first aired. I THINK I did, but this was around the time I stopped watching, so some of it might be new for me. I'm interested to see how I feel this time around, because this whole rewatch has left me enjoying the show a lot more than I remembered!

 

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Hmm. Season 10. What can I say about this season? I... really liked it. Mostly. I loved the Demon!Dean stuff at the beginning (could have used more though!), and I liked that it had more-or-less one arc that played out over the whole span of episodes, even though it did tread water a bunch and rehash some stuff to a frustrating degree; it didn't need to stuff in more plot, and the MoC story needed space to play out, so I appreciated that structure. I really enjoyed the slow progression of Dean's descent and his loss of control, even though it could have been smoother in the way it was communicated and executed. I REALLY enjoyed the brotherly dynamics of the season, as it seemed like Sam and Dean were actually communicating, and back in their old rhythms, right up until the last few eps, where Sam started working behind Dean's back and UGH! Here we are back at secrets and lies, which ALWAYS makes a bad situation worse, and is not fun to watch. But right up to that point, I was pretty sold! I liked Cole (is that an unpopular opinion?), but I was sorry to see his story just dropped and discarded so quickly. It could have been interesting to see more of his journey after learning that monsters exist and his father was one... That's typically where character journeys START on this show. Surely he'll redirect his obsession with Dean (i.e., revenge for his father) to an obsession with finding out the truth about his father. Was he always monster, or was he replaced by a monster? Could Cole and his son ALSO become monsters? What REALLY killed his dad? How will he handle knowledge of the supernatural w/r/t his own family? Could he act as a sort of counterpoint to John Winchester? I feel like he could have been more interesting if his role in the story had been meatier, but since it wasn't, he kind of came across as a distraction. I had mixed feelings about Rowena too. I really disliked her scenes with Crowley (the political manipulations and family drama in Hell), but once she was an independent agent working with (or, uh, for) Sam, she got more interesting. It's funny, I stopped watching the show after the S10 finale, and I spent the majority of this rewatch wondering WHY this season had been the breaking point for me, since I actually enjoyed the majority of it more than the several previous seasons. But I was pretty sore from losing Charlie, and convinced Jody Mills was next, and then the finale was SUPER disappointing, so that was probably what did it. I'll push through this time and find out where things went from here!

I was really into the flow of the season, so I didn't skip any episodes, but I WISH I had skipped Paper Moon and Paint It Black, as I couldn't quite care about the cases or characters and found them dull. I had also intended to skip Dark Dynasty, because Charlie's death enraged me, but I steeled myself for it and managed to enjoy the parts of the ep that WEREN'T bullshit. I couldn't skip, but was very disappointed in Brother's Keeper. After an entire season on the MoC, it felt like they all of a sudden realized they had no idea how to end it, so just focused on dumping in a bunch of setup for next season instead of actually resolving the arc properly, or giving Dean and Sam the real Cain and Abel moment they deserved.

I had a lot of favourites though:

  • Reichenbach - I loved this version of Demon!Dean, like that the mark made him a demon, but without the twisting and corruption that comes from the usual method of centuries of torture, so he played more like Soulless!Sam, living in this gray area between being truly evil and feeling anything more than apathy about being good. It was just tragic enough, and our Dean was just recognizable enough, to be really affecting.
  • Soul Survivor - I wish the Demon!Dean storyline had played out a bit longer, and I didn't love everything about this one, but watching the boys stalk each other through the bunker was dynamite.
  • Fan Fiction - I don't always love the way the show engages with its fanbase, but this was very sweet and I enjoyed it despite myself. Credit where credit's due.
  • Hibbing 911 - Jody and Donna forever! So much fun! Please give them a spinoff!
  • There's No Place Like Home - I didn't love the Oz stuff, especially the wizard (kind of a letdown), but a great episode for Charlie, and for Dean's struggle with the mark.
  • About a Boy - I'm so glad they got that actor back to play Young!Dean, because he absolutely nailed it, and this whole episode was a blast.
  • Book of the Damned - The A-plot and the B-plot were both engaging. Charlie gets to kick a little butt, and Sam gets some fabulous character moments. Loved it.
  • The Prisoner - What can I say about this one besides.... Yowza. Like a shot of pure BAMF!Dean directly into the bloodstream. This episode felt like a special reward for me personally for sticking around 10 seasons. You're welcome, show!

Alright, after this point, it's all new to me. I'll swing back around with a Season 11 update (though it will be first impressions, rather than a rewatch), but if the following seasons are as bad as I fear, I may just do one general wrap-up at the end, if I make it that far! Thanks for your suggestions and feedback on this surprisingly delightful journey through a show I did not remember nearly as fondly as I should have. I can always count on these forums for the best opinions!

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2 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

Alright, after this point, it's all new to me. I'll swing back around with a Season 11 update (though it will be first impressions, rather than a rewatch), but if the following seasons are as bad as I fear, I may just do one general wrap-up at the end, if I make it that far!

Please come back after season 11 at least. I actually loved most of season 11. It may not be a popular opinion, but season 11 is in my top 5 of all Supernatural seasons. And even though Charlie was gone, Robbie Thompson wrote 4 great episodes (in my opinion - I miss him greatly) with his swan song being one of my most favorite episodes of the series. The main story arc could have been stronger in some ways, but I loved the general tone and attitude of the season.

So I'm interested to see what you think of season 11.

You may want to skip "Red Meat" though. That seems to be a divisive episode for a lot of fans.

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Well, that was Season 11! This one was interesting. I liked a lot of the standalone episodes, and the general vibe of the season, but altogether I found the whole thing kind of disjointed and confusing. Mostly the Amara stuff.

I know I complained in Season 5 that Lucifer's whole character and plan was kind of vague and made it hard to understand the stakes, like the writers were maybe coasting on him being LUCIFER and what that name already meant to us to generate tension, rather than clearly outline his goals. But this season, the whole Amara situation was 100x worse, because we didn't have any concept of "God's sister" going in, and all the writing that attempted to show who she was as a character, and what she wanted, and why, was endlessly contradictory. She unleashes a plague that turns people into mindless rage zombies. She sucks out people's souls and leaves them emotionless empty husks seeking her "bliss". So, which does she inspire: rage or blissful calm? She is connected to Dean in a way that seemed profound and deeply rooted in the MoC, but was actually just be because she saw him on her way out of prison and noticed he looked like Jensen Ackles? (Completely understandable on her part, but this "connection" they had ended up being totally arbitrary and ultimately meaningless, as was his resultant inability to harm her which was never even genuinely put to the test.) She wants God to come out and face her, but is warded against him so he can't find her? She's upset about being locked away alone for so long, but wants to destroy existence? She says she wants solitude, but wants Dean to be a part of her forever? But she doesn't suck his soul out when she has the chance, after explaining to him that all the souls she sucked out will be a part of her forever? She kills people in churches semi-apologetically, saying it's not them she wants to hurt, she's only doing it to get God's attention. But when Chuck wants to give himself up to her, he can't, because she wants to kill him and THEN destroy all creation because that IS one of her goals? And when she's finally cornered and Chuck explains to her why creation was important enough to be protected, she understands and agrees up to the point of offering up her LIFE to preserve the world, and Chuck still feels the need to betray her and try to lock her away again, even though she can clearly be reasoned with? And no one thinks about talking to her again until AFTER they construct a bomb made of souls, which are essentially light, which she is vulnerable to, despite having EATEN souls in order to grow up and become more powerful? (Also, wouldn't the exploding light of 100 000 suns, like, destroy our entire solar system?) I'm sorry, but none of it made any goddamned sense.

Besides that, the season made some baffling decisions, like bringing back Lucifer only to downgrade him to a petulant child. And even with the deliberate reminder of Adam in Fan Fiction last season, the boys crack open the cage to get Lucifer out, barely mention Michael, and make NO effort to rescue (or even passingly discuss) their innocent half-brother who is still trapped down there? And why? Why not free Michael now that Lucifer is free? Why does Michael need to be there? Even if he is a gibbering idiot now, as Lucifer claims, why leave him imprisoned? And why would Michael, Heaven's MIGHTIEST archangel, and the only one with a chance of overpowering Lucifer in the apocalyptic battle, be mentally unable to endure a few centuries locked in a cage, when Lucifer seems almost entirely unaffected by the experience? And as much as I enjoyed Misha's performance as Lucifer, I found it a bit strange that he was doing a Mark Pellegrino impression. I get that MP is the sort of "face" of Lucifer on the show, but Misha-as-MP was such a far cry from Jared's portrayal of Lucifer way back when, and since that was Lucifer at home in his "true vessel" the way things were "meant" to be, I always sort of considered JP's version to be the "real" one. He certainly had more menace and gravitas than Misha-as-MP, but for some reason I guess they wanted to take one of the show's biggest and most sinister villains and kneecap him by giving him a "comedy" twist.

But despite the weird logic holes and strange choices, there were a lot of things about the season I liked. Sam and Dean's relationship was great. For the most part, they were very in sync, honest, and worked seamlessly as a team, which is awesome to watch. Some great (and necessary) conversations too. Their relationship seems to have come out of the MoC situation stronger than ever, which is really satisfying. I liked a lot of the standalone episodes - some strong writing there, and the new characters, like Billie and Eileen, and Jesse/Cesar (The Chitters), though I would like to see more regulars, since the new characters this season were mostly one-offs. They've killed off most of their recurring characters, like Kevin, Charlie, Hannah, Death, etc... But haven't really replaced them with new recurring associates. The circle is starting to feel a little small. Even new-ish characters like Claire, who do recur, have a totally different dynamic with the boys than the characters we've lost. Paternalistic, rather than collaborative. It just doesn't quite fill the void!

I didn't skip anything, because it was all new to me, but there weren't any episodes I really disliked and would skip on rewatch except Red Meat, which I came out against. It seemed tonally out of place in the series, and I don't think it really introduced or accomplished anything to justify its awkward/painful choices.

I did like quite a few episodes, especially:

  • Baby - This was a fun one! Very fanservicey, but damn if I didn't feel nicely serviced! Some surprisingly deep callbacks, too, like Dean's "I Shot the Sheriff" joke back in Jus in Belo... and BTW, Dean's teasing Sam about finally losing his virginity reminded me that I don't think we HAVE seen or heard of Sam hooking up since taking that virginity pledge back in S9. So he DID finally lose it! 😄
  • Thin Lizzie - Sam's understated glee at finally having an excuse to check out the Lizzie Borden B&B was infectious. This was a fun case! Good stuff for everyone to do!
  • Just My Imagination - An original concept, that brought just enough comedy to be delightful and balance out the sentimentality. I think it struck exactly the right tone, and brought out interesting angles on both boys.
  • Into The Mystic - You guys weren't kidding about this being a good one! The case was interesting, but more importantly, the characters were awesome. I loved Mildred (finally, the show manages "old lady hitting on the boys" without being super creepy and awkward!), but especially Eileen. I hope we see more of her! I loved her a lot. I REALLY appreciated how they dealt with the character being deaf. It would be so easy to make her either the Banshee, or the one who is "special" enough to be unaffected by the Banshee's scream and defeat it. Instead, they made her deafness totally incidental to the hunt, bringing all the same advantages and disadvantages it would against any other monster. And while it's easy to picture being deaf as a liability on a hunt, the show seemed to make a point of showing how it worked to her advantage too, helping her to eavesdrop visually on private conversations and sneak into situations as an easily-underestimated and nearly-invisible laborer, acting freely in the background, rather than coming in flashing badges like Sam and Dean. I'm also assuming this episode birthed a substantial Sam/Eileen ship, because they had great chemistry. In short: more Eileen, please!
  • The Vessel - This one was kind of deceptive. Even though it didn't accomplish much, and Dean was primarily, as he said, a witness to events he didn't affect, it was damn entertaining, and I loved Delphine. I know it's unlikely we'd see her again, but man, it'd be great if we did.
  • Safe House - RUFUS IS BACK! Also this episode was super touching and well-constructed, and was more of a thinker than cases usually are, but the headline is Rufus. As always.

I kind of also want to give honorable mention to Don't Call Me Shurley. Even though I wasn't riveted, and I don't love the show's choices re: God, it was quite satisfying to FINALLY get some clarity and and dig into the meat of the Chuck/God situation.

All-in-all, an ok season with lots of high points that I don't regret watching, despite the very muddled mythology. And so, it is with trepidation that I embark on Season 12!

Edited by Slovenly Muse · Reason: Persnickitiness.
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50 minutes ago, Slovenly Muse said:

All-in-all, an ok season with lots of high points that I don't regret watching, despite the very muddled mythology. And so, it is with trepidation that I embark on Season 12!

Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid from here on out.  

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3 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

I kind of also want to give honorable mention to Don't Call Me Shurley. Even though I wasn't riveted, and I don't love the show's choices re: God, it was quite satisfying to FINALLY get some clarity and and dig into the meat of the Chuck/God situation.

I loved this one even though I agree with you in respect to Chuck / God. I loved what it did with Metatron though, since for some reason I really connected with his arc here, and I enjoyed seeing him evolve as a character. I may have also watched that final scene with Chuck singing "Fare thee Well" with Metatron's face as he realized what Chuck was going to do and with Dean and Sam's relief as Sam didn't die and with the townspeople being reunited with their loved ones more times than I should have.

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Liking this thread, though I'm sort of scanning through it. I guess I don't really belong on this forum in a lot of ways, but I do enjoy reading a lot of the analyses and finding bits and pieces that I never would have picked up on from just watching. 

At the end of the day, though, I'm more a fan of cerebral/psychological stories, heavy on dialogue, light on action (when it comes to conflict, just tell me who won and get on with the story - watching it play out is just too stressful). However, I do love supernatural type fiction and drama which focuses on interesting relationships. To say nothing of being pathetically prone to finding faces to obsess over (which are typically more the quirky ones than the flat-out beautiful, but there are levels of beauty which just can't be resisted)

So, basically, I've watched the entirety of the show exactly once, with re-watches of only a bare handful of episodes. I was introduced to it just prior to the 11th season starting up, so binge-watched everything before then over the course of about six weeks, and never really got a chance to really digest things. And, really, that was about the time that the show was starting to really get pretty tired anyway.

I've been really wanting to do a rewatch, but it just seems like such a monumental task that I just keep putting it off. But having  this sort of batch of recommendations makes it feel more doable.

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