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S03.E01: The Magnificent Seven

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Opening the Devil's Gate has let out hundreds of demons. Sam, Dean and Bobby hunt seven of them in Illinois, meeting up with some other hunters on the way.

 

 

 

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I don't know if I should chalk it up to sleep deprivation or what, but when I watched this episode last night I realized that I liked it more than I remembered. I usually remember it as the episode that Tamara screeches at me throughout, but she didn't bother me too much last night and I was able to focus on the episode properly. I do think this episode needed to be at least a two-parter though, I can imagine being entertained for a couple more episodes by the Seven Deadly Sins. Or maybe it would have been boring and lame in the end...who knows, right?

 

First, I love how Dean's decided to live life to his fullest knowing that he's only gotten a year left and I love how Sam goes along with it for a while, but calls bullshit on it when he needs to. I also love how Dean uses the deal to mess with Sam a bit. And it was also a nice touch having Dean "comforting the bereaved" but also not taking his attention off the job too. Nice character stuff here. Bobby is also great in how he side-eyes Dean's breakfast choice and I love how he's trying to be the voice of caution and reason throughout the episode. Not too interested in Tamara or her husband, but thought it was interesting that the hunting world seemed to see Sam, Dean and Bobby as bringing war down on them--this must be one of the themes that got cut short due to the writer's strike--I would have liked to have seen more on that.

 

Still not interested in Ruby and still found her introduction to be laugh-worthy.

I never cared for either version they put before me because I have never cared for how obvious and cliché her entire character was. I knew from the first moment she walked out of the shadows of that tree, she was up to no good. And by the end of the episode I knew she would be the chick to force a divide between Sam and Dean.

I will give it to Kim Manners for trying to make something out of it, though. They did try to make me interested in her, at least.

 

Speaking of Manners, he did a great job directing, as always. I really like how they shot that fight scene in the bar. There was a lot of energy and even though it was completely silly that these three guys bust into a bar and fight with seven demons and walk away with a win, I still buy it in the end. Also, nicely blocked in that scene over the mass grave. The way the camera looks up at them making them somewhat larger-than-life while the dialogue brings them back to human with their doubts that they can win this war. Nice.

 

And it was also nice that they had Dean just tell Sam about the conditions of his deal. They didn't drag out another stupid secret, instead they just put it out there for Sam to deal with. If you haven't already guessed, I greatly prefer this approach to the current continuous cycle of secrets and lies the show keeps trying to put forward.  Plus, the episode had them smart and proactive throughout, so that alone makes me happy! And there was some grave digging and corpse burning, too!

 

Overall, much more nuanced and engaging than I remembered. Good job, show, good job.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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That sort of happened to me for all of S3. Much better than my memory of it when I watched it the first time. It's now one of my favorite seasons. And to bring it back to the episode, it has one of my favorite exchanges, especially this part:

 

Dean: It's like a light at the end of a tunnel.

Sam: It's hellfire, Dean.

 

Dean tries like hell to keep the conversation light but it's not working for Sam this time. It sets the tone for the rest of the season nicely.

 

It's one of the few times I get a crystal clear picture of what Sam feels and what it does to him when Dean decides to sacrifice himself or something in order to keep Sam alive at all cost.

Edited by supposebly
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That sort of happened to me for all of S3. Much better than my memory of it when I watched it the first time. It's now one of my favorite seasons.

 

This show is oddly funny that way, isn't it.

 

I agree about the hellfire exchange @supposebly, it would top one of my favorite lists as well.

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So I was right!  It wasn't the worst episode of the season.  ;-)

 

Once again, you are correct sir! ;)

 

Wait, who said it was the worst? Do I need to go kick someone's ass for you?

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No, over in the Survival game, it was thisclose to being the first eliminated, which I took to mean that people thought it was the worst of the season.  A bad assumption on my part, I suppose.  ;-)

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Ahh, but that's a game and sometimes people have to make a choice between an episode they love and an episode they don't love as much. But I get your meaning now...and I so wanted to go kick someone's ass today! Hee!

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Ahh, but that's a game and sometimes people have to make a choice between an episode they love and an episode they don't love as much. But I get your meaning now...and I so wanted to go kick someone's ass today! Hee!

 

 

Don't let me stop you!  I'm sure someone out there deserves it.  ;-)

Well, I like it a bit better than the first few times, but no it's not a great one for me. 

 

Listening to Kim Manners talk about his approach to directing brought it up, but in some ways I would put it close to Red Sky...yes I'm one that likes half of it.  The old lady...no.

 

The bar fight to get the wife out and how they use the holy water to fight...plus

Dean and Sam's conversations ...plus

Bobby and Sam trying not to hit Dean when he puts his foot in his mouth...priceless

The end scene with Dean and Sam...awesome.

 

But why don't I still love it, The deadly Sins.  Maybe it was because they crammed too much into it.  But once you get to the house...not so great.  I needed to see the sins as a bigger powerhouse than they were.  On one hand they are taken out really easily.  Yes there is one death and it is not a death I want to watch, and I don't really care about them that much.  I liked this Ruby and thought her entrance was interesting but did they really surprise me with she is bad...nope knew pretty quick but I did say okay go with it, what reasons will make Sam cave and work with her.

 

So if you want to kick my butt...well...I don't fight like a girl...I have brothers.  :)  Perhaps a I can give you some ice cream instead?  What flavor?  ;)

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Nah, it's no fun if you want me to do it, but I am quite fond of ice cream! ;)

For a limit time only, as only can be found in the Supernatural world, the flavor of you choice is available for the next 24 hours.  Hurry while supplies last, Dean or Sam clones may be serving you if you are lucky enough to enter while they are on duty.  ;)

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Ooh, any flavor of my choice, eh? I have very weird tastes, are you sure you have what I want in stock? Lately, I've been somewhat addicted to a particular peanut butter variety....I've also been known to love a certain licorice ice cream.

 

Hey, wait a minute...clones, what do you mean clones? Am I not good enough for the real thing? I don't want imposters. And now that I think of it, if Sam and Dean are serving me ice cream, that means there's something bad afoot. Will my ice cream make me stoned or get pissed off at me? Or, is this a haunted ice cream parlor? In that case, I'll be right over...clones or not, I don't want to miss out on a good old fashioned dig up, and salt and burn...I might even have my ice cream while watching. ;)

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Well, some like to take the clones home and sometimes don't return them in good shape.  We can't have the real ones harmed now can we?

 

If you hurry you can ask them to mix it all up and watch them do a lovely salt and burn because the darn old biddy has been haunting the school house.  But you do have to get there before sunrise.  Of course Dean may flirt with you while Sam rolls his eyes.  Try not to damage them too much, please.  Clean up is a mess.  :)

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I would pay all the money to have Dean flirt with me. I would even pay all the money to have Dean-adjacent flirt with me....as long as he doesn't try to eat me....no...wait....../conflicted.

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Well, I like it a bit better than the first few times, but no it's not a great one for me.

<snip>

The bar fight to get the wife out and how they use the holy water to fight...plus

Dean and Sam's conversations ...plus

Bobby and Sam trying not to hit Dean when he puts his foot in his mouth...priceless

The end scene with Dean and Sam...awesome.

But why don't I still love it, The deadly Sins. Maybe it was because they crammed too much into it. But once you get to the house...not so great. I needed to see the sins as a bigger powerhouse than they were. On one hand they are taken out really easily. Yes there is one death and it is not a death I want to watch, and I don't really care about them that much. I liked this Ruby and thought her entrance was interesting but did they really surprise me with she is bad...nope knew pretty quick but I did say okay go with it, what reasons will make Sam cave and work with her.

Pretty much agree here.

I'll reiterate what I said in the In My Time of Dying thread. The way I watched S3 made a big difference. I think if you had to watch live, with the writers strike and the uncertainty and the millions of hiatuses, etc, that would be extremely frustrating and I think gave season 3 a bad wrap. I recall my other shows during that year really suffering, too. I didn't watch SPN yet at that time, and I got to binge watch season 1- 4x10, so season 3 didn't feel too disjointed to me. Plus, I'm pretty easy going, as a viewer, lol

I don't remember really liking this episode the first time around, and on previous re watches, I would usually skip all or most of this one. BUT today I liked it, beginning to end. Yes, the 7 deadly sins could have been so much more, but therein lies the issue:

As soon as you start throwing demons (or Angels for that matter) into the mix, en masse especially, you're ability to tell a story about a bunch of humans fighting the good fight really diminishes. You either end up with demons who aren't that epically demon-like (no real power or easily defeated, or dumbed down) or you end up with more-than-human humans, who start to really blur the line between what the show was/is about: brothers and humans who are saving people, hunting things.

Unfortunately, the show did both: made epic big bads who should be unkillable or at least very difficult foes, spanning multiple episode arcs to reign in, AND

made our human brothers slowly, over the next few seasons, less and less human with powers and abilities to help them out

It's inevitable in a show like this, I think, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. But as soon as they threw demons in, as the main big bads vs the urban legends monsters they usually went after, now it's a whole new ball game. The stakes have to be higher, and unfortunately, with human protagonists, they can't really reach that level.

Its late, and I'm not sure I'm making my point, but see the 'epic' apocalypse fight between Michael and lucifer to catch my drift ;)

Edited by GeekGirlnb
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Having the mystery woman with the magic knife show up in the nick of time to bail them out was pretty cheap.  Although if there's more of those knives, they could melt them down to make bullets for their gun. I had a stupid thought when Dean told Sam why he can't try to break his deal with the demon.  I pictured Sam going to the crossroads to give himself up for Dean, then the next episode Dean finds out and goes back to the crossroads to switch the deal back again, and on and on the rest of the season until demon girl finally says, "you've got to be kidding me, not again!".

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Too much crammed in to one episode.  I like the Sam, Dean and Bobby parts , but can't stand Ruby. Tamara and her husband, don't care. Love season 3, just not this episode. I keep thinking I will like it better each time I see it, but no, the wife yelling at me the whole time and the deadly sins just not feeling very deadly. Oh well I can deal with this one and the next to get to Bad day at blackrock.

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Agreed that this episode seemed to have too much.  I would have liked to see how some of the other vices worked out.  I did feel real sorry for Tamara.

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Yeah, I've always disliked this episode.  For some reason, in my head, it's the tipping point on a terrible problem Supernatural has had making black people evil or stupid or spectacular assholes.  Here, it's the latter two, as Isaac and Tamara are both stupid and assholes.  I know they've seen some shit, but they're two of the dumbest hunters we've ever seen, and they annoy the crap out of me.

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Well Henrickson was only sort of an asshat, and he actually turned out to be fairly decent before he got killed.

And I love Rufus. He's easily in my top 5 favorite SPN characters. I thought Sera did a great job introducing him and fleshing him out as a character.

Now Gordon was an asshat, but he was an interesting character nonetheless.

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I remember not liking this one when it first aired. I think a lot of it came from knowing they were adding to random women we'd never seen before as regulars. It does have what I now realize is my absolute favorite Supernatural exchange. "It's like there's a light at the end of the tunnel." "It's hellfire, Dean." Definitely gets quoted by me often.

I like when Sam or Dean get happy to meet other hunters, especially families of hunters. Then comes that sad moment when they realize that there's a tragic backstory and the smiles drop from their faces and things get awkward very quickly.

Oh, God, the Draino. The fucking Draino scene. The most horrifying thing the show has ever done.

I do enjoy the badass rescue of Tamara by the team. Dean, not the time for "what's in the box?" I'm sad for you. I think this is a really strong performance by Jim Beaver. It's kind of a nice change of pace to see Bobby yell at someone besides Sam and Dean for once. "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Ruby. Oh, how I hate thee. And, I just can't quite view this objectively. Like I'm trying to reevaluate and see just why I don't like her at this point and I'm not sure. Like, part of it is not wanting them to introduce the chick with a badass rescue of a Winchester when I know perfectly well he could have done better if they weren't trying to make the point about this badass character.

I am never going to just like an English person on Supernatural, am I?

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