Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER

DittyDotDot

S04.E01: Lazarus Rising

Recommended Posts

Dean returns from Hell. The question is how - and why?

 

Watching this episode had me, once again, lamenting the loss of Kim Manners. He had such a way of taking these absolutely silly and ridiculous concepts and not only bringing them to life, but having me believe them too. I don't think Dean digging himself out of his own grave could not have made one bit of sense if it weren't for Mr. Manners steady hand. Just the fact that the six feet of dirt didn't crush him alone makes it a physical impossibility not to mention that he did it with his own two hands--oh yeah and there's an oxygen issue to also consider--but at the end of it all, I'm always sitting there thinking "Hell, yeah, Dean Winchester can dig himself out of his own grave...no question!"  Of course, Jensen did a lot to convince me too, but I'm writing a love letter to Kim Manners here.

 

The beginning sequences of this episode are quiet things of beauty, IMO. I sometimes wish the show would remember that they don't need to fill all those quiet spaces with blathering, we can follow along and sometimes just relishing in the quietness will sell a moment better than the their drawn out explanations of non-explaining they seem to get caught up in these days. Add to it the quiet scenes of Dean looking in the mirror and sleeping while seeing those flashes of Hell and I'm in my happy place.

 

Manners always seemed to find that place to root his episodes in some sort of real emotional place, but they never seemed to drown in their own misery either. For example, the scenes of Bobby and Dean walk that line of humor and heavy just perfectly. Bobby and Dean hugging never fails to elicit an "aww" out of me and the holy water splashing never fails to elicit a giggle either, but I never feel like I have whiplash either.

 

Manners was also the master of taking scenes that are just basically people standing and/or sitting around talking and making them visually interesting to watch. Take the scene where Sam, Dean and Bobby are sitting around talking about how Dean got out of Hell...the camera starts on Sam moving and handing Dean and Bobby beers, then Sam sits on the bed in the fore-front, Dean (mid-frame) gets up and moves over and picks up Yucky Ruby's bra and sits beside him all the while Bobby is seated in the background. Not only is the camera moving, but the people are moving too--and the way he stacks them three deep gives depth to the framing-- the scene never feels static and/or uninteresting.

 

I could go on and on and talk about something I like in almost any scene of this episode, but I think you get my point so that's probably enough said. I'll just ad that this episode would probably sit on my trophy shelf right next to The Pilot, In My Time Of Dying, Born Under A Bad Sign and What Is And What Shall Never Be for story reasons anyway, but the Kim Manners factor makes it something I look forward to seeing.

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

ITA Daisy.  

 

I still don't understand the Christie/Kristen thing  - why did Sam pretend to get her name wrong, and why did Ruby look like a kicked puppy?  But oh well.  

 

And of course, Castiel's entrance is still amazing, I LOVE the music and sound effects to it.  

 

In fact, I'm off to watch it again.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think Sam and Ruby were trying to act as if they were casual hookups and overacted.

I love this episode. I love that Dean is confusedly as anyone because he legitimately *is*. I love the opening sequence. I love Castiel 's entrance. I love that Bobby and Sam both believe -as well they should- that Dean isn't Dean at first.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This is probably my favorite episode of Supernatural. Everything about it (with the exception of horrible new Ruby) is pitch perfect, from Dean crawling out of his own grave to the introduction of Castiel. Just fantastic.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

This is probably my favorite episode of Supernatural. Everything about it (with the exception of horrible new Ruby) is pitch perfect, from Dean crawling out of his own grave to the introduction of Castiel. Just fantastic.

 

I go back and forth if this is my favorite episode or The End. But I think I settle on The End because I'm a sucker for AU, but on other days this is my favorite.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

So much love for this ep, and especially the first 10 minutes or so.

However, I do kinda hate that the Dean and Sam reunion is tainted by all the lying lies. Sucks, and this is where (vague Sam spoilers for all seasons)

my ability to understand and comprehend the character of Sam really begins to decline, and rarely resurfaces to any kind of common ground. Yes, there are moments and even, maybe, whole halves of future seasons, where I can understand Sam's POV, but for the most part, I just don't.

I'm kind of hoping this re watch will help me out. When I first saw this season I was in the middle of a huge personal crisis that, I think, really colored my ability to like Sam. And I don't believe I've ever re watched the majority of this season and the ones that follow, while outside of that crisis mindset. I'm crossing my fingers that I am able to relate to him better, or at least not hate him ;)

Edited by GirlyGeek
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

As I learned over the years, despite the huge shift in tone and topic, key to understanding Sam is in the context of season 3. At least in the first half of the season. He makes much more sense when taking season 3 into account. If not, it's a lot of WTF are these writers thinking? I still have huge issues with the season, especially the continuing and repetitive reliance on Dean's devastated face at the end of almost every episode while barely showing things from Sam's perspective.

This is the beginning of the viewer being in Dean's shoes and the camera perspective looking sideways at shifty Sam who is run by the plot but barely by his actual character motivations.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Makes sense to me. And since I already lean Dean, it's not a leap for me to have just stopped trying with Sam. I'm going at it with all new perspective hopefully this time around.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I found if I didn't try too hard to try and understand why Sam did some things in S4, but instead just accept that he's gonna do them anyway, it was easier to understand what he was doing. I know that sounds totally irrational, but in some messed up universe it might make sense.

 

I also think it helps when it's the second time around because you have some of the information you needed the first time and can put some of it in perspective better.

 

Maybe it's just my own brain playing an elaborate ruse on me to make me feel better, though. Sometimes it can be hard to see that line between reality and wishful thinking when it comes to this show. ;)

Share this post


Link to post

I feel like the outlier. I never felt like Sam's actions were that big of a mystery. I thought he was so desperate that he made some shitty choices.  But that's just me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's not that I didn't get he made some shitty choices, it's how he actually got to the point of making those choices that doesn't make sense to me. If Dean hadn't come back from Hell, a lot of what he was doing would've made more sense, but what was the point in half of what he was doing anymore?

I get why he originally hooked up with Ruby--Dean was in Hell, he was doomed so he figured he'd take out Lilith on his way out. But, why continue to align himself with a demon, who had already been proven to be a lying liar that lies, when Dean was sitting right beside him again?

 So much of it makes no sense to who Sam actually was shown to be previous to S4 and since they failed to actually show us how he got there, I find it rather baffling.

Edited by DittyDotDot
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's not that I didn't get he made some shitty choices, it's how he actually got to the point of making those choices that doesn't make sense to me. If Dean hadn't come back from Hell, a lot of what he was doing would've made more sense, but what was the point in half of what he was doing anymore?

I get why he originally hooked up with Ruby--Dean was in Hell, he was doomed so he figured he'd take out Lilith on his way out. But, why continue to align himself with a demon, who had already been proven to be a lying liar that lies, when Dean was sitting right beside him again?

 So much of it makes no sense to who Sam actually was shown to be previous to S4 and since they failed to actually show us how he got there, I find it rather baffling.

 

 

For me, Sam joining up with Ruby made sense because of what he did to find Dean in Mystery Spot and because he was obsessed with finding Jessica's murderer. I thought it was in character that Sam would go to any means necessary.

Share this post


Link to post

After Sam goes back to wipe out those demons who he and Dean had had to let go earlier, he tells Ruby he's going to stay on the demon blood because it makes him so strong, and he feels more able to save people.

 

I think it did his head in that he couldn't save Dean from Hell, and then even when Dean got out of Hell he was feeling powerless because he had nothing to do with it, and I think that the demon blood made him feel *less* powerless so he kept at it.

 

Bizarrely, the show decided to go in the direction of it *actually* making him strong on the blood than off it, considering whenever he has to get stronger from then on,

like when he's going to become Lucifer's vessel

, he drinks a ton of blood. (Which is so disgusting I don't even...eh. Blood sausage is nasty, I don't know how anyone could possible drink a bunch of human/demon blood just straight). (I like how 50 Shades of Grey is considered kinky because of stuff like

period sex

and meanwhile on this show, Sam is having sex with a demon and getting high off of drinking her blood and it's just some side plot).

 

Anyway, I think that the show's intention was that Dean hiding his memories of Hell and Sam hiding Ruby were supposed to be more or less equivalent. I think that we're supposed to think something is wrong with Dean or he's hiding things when he lies about not remembering Hell or yells in Sam's face or when he handles the demons so slickly, just like we're supposed to think something is wrong with Sam what with the sneaking around with Ruby and the blood-powered mass exercism. I think at the end, the chat between Sam and Ruby and the chat with Castiel and Dean are also supposed to be roughly equivalent. When Cas says that Dean doesn't think he deserved to be saved, I think we were supposed to think, "OMG what horrible things did Dean do that he deserves to still be in Hell?!" Instead of what I think most people thought (and what I thought) which was more like, "awww Dean, your self-esteem is so low!"

 

But the show always does this, I think they write for the characters like everyone is thinking of Dean as a scuzzy drifter and Sam as the boy-next-door -- but that's not really how they come off imo. I don't know if it even occurred to many people to feel terrible/worried for Sam during this episode (that he'd been so heartbroken about his brother being killed that he'd withdrawn from Bobby, hooked up with a demon, and basically destroyed his life over a misguided attempt to save Dean/people-in-general) and I don't know that it even occurred to many people to feel suspicious of Dean (when he acted hardened and lied about not remembering Hell). It sure didn't occur to me! I think that Sam seems more capable and Dean seems more good-hearted than the writers realize?

Share this post


Link to post
But the show always does this, I think they write for the characters like everyone is thinking of Dean as a scuzzy drifter and Sam as the boy-next-door -- but that's not really how they come off imo. I don't know if it even occurred to many people to feel terrible/worried for Sam during this episode (that he'd been so heartbroken about his brother being killed that he'd withdrawn from Bobby, hooked up with a demon, and basically destroyed his life over a misguided attempt to save Dean/people-in-general) and I don't know that it even occurred to many people to feel suspicious of Dean (when he acted hardened and lied about not remembering Hell). It sure didn't occur to me! I think that Sam seems more capable and Dean seems more good-hearted than the writers realize?

 

Oh, I felt heartbroken for Sam and also worried of Dean. And I definitely wondered what Dean had done in hell to make him feel like he didn't deserve to be saved.

Share this post


Link to post

There was not really going to be *anything* that could come out about Dean that would make me actually believe he deserved to be in Hell (because who deserves to be in Hell?! Dean's not evil, what could he be doing in S4 to make anyone think "he belongs in Hell!"), so it didn't even occur to me that Dean's guilt could be appropriate.

 

Honestly, in Dean's shoes, I wouldn't have even been worrying about it at that point, because whatever problems might appear for him after being let out couldn't possibly be worse than the problems he'd have still BEING IN HELL. If I were Dean, I would have covered up that handprint and taken Bobby and Sam out for the best dinner of our lives. lol. "YOLO" probably would have gotten said, sort of ironically. Since iIrc this is actually Dean's third life, after someone died for him in Faith and now he's been raised from Hell?

 

I wish they'd explained more what Sam had actually been doing to try and get Dean out or what his plans had been. Sam has always been pretty methodical and driven, so that he would be at such loose ends/directionless made him seem OOC to me.

 

As it was, it seemed like he just fell apart and Ruby exploited that, which is fine in theory, as a thing that could happen to *someone,* but kind of unbelievable for me in terms of Sam in particular, post-Mystery Spot. He also had doubled down on commitment to his "mission" after Jessica died and after their father had died, previous to Mystery Spot -- which imo was a large part of why Mystery Spot worked in the first place, it seemed in line with how Sam reacted generally, albeit in Mystery Spot it was taken to an extreme because Dean wasn't there to help him keep some perspective. I know they were trying to make it seem like he'd once again doubled down and lost perspective, but because he and Ruby had such a weirdly good/happy/nice relationship and they seemed to be having so much *fun* together, that imo it just didn't come off that way. Idk, I just felt they got the tone wrong. I think they wrote it as though Sam was just a sweet dumb kid who it would be easy to imagine getting snookered and manipulated, but imo Jared tends to come off as tougher and more sophisticated than that in his performance (in this episode, and in general). Plus, it's just really hard for me to buy that Sam would be without direction or would be rudderless without Dean. Out of all the problems he's ever had, being directionless or rudderless has never been one of them. YMMV.

 

For Dean, I think this is just an on-going thing where Jensen's performance always takes a lot of the edge off of any sliminess that's written into the script for Dean. At least for me. He just really doesn't come off as slimy imo, not even like

Alastair, or Crowley, or Meg 2.0

do. I can buy him as tough or scary, easily, but not actually as...Idk, a slimeball. He just always has this sort of controlled, "good head on his shoulders" vibe for me. He just seems too sensible?

Even as a demon, he seemed sensible to me, so I guess it's just a vibe that I get from Jensen Ackles.

Sometimes it's a good thing that he softens the sliminess in the script (as a minor example off the top of my head, like

he was trying to make a deal with Death to get Sam's soul back in his body -- I think that it worked there that his version of playing hardball wasn't really that tough

), and sometimes it makes the story not quite land (like now, when we're supposed to be worried about what he did in Hell). YMMV.

Edited by rue721

Share this post


Link to post

There was not really going to be *anything* that could come out about Dean that would make me actually believe he deserved to be in Hell (because who deserves to be in Hell?! Dean's not evil, what could he be doing in S4 to make anyone think "he belongs in Hell!"), so it didn't even occur to me that Dean's guilt could be appropriate.

 

I didn't say I thought Dean deserved to be in Hell, but obviously Dean did and it was a changing of his tune from the end of S3 were he said he didn't deserve to go to hell, so I assumed something went down while he was away to make him change his tune.

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't say I thought Dean deserved to be in Hell, but obviously Dean did and it was a changing of his tune from the end of S3 were he said he didn't deserve to go to hell, so I assumed something went down while he was away to make him change his tune.

 

I know that you don't think that Dean deserved to be in Hell, I'm saying that I doubt there was ever a chance that *anyone* other than Dean was going to think that he deserved to be there. Regardless of what came out about his time there. Even Castiel in that scene didn't seem to think he deserved to still be in Hell.

 

So I just felt bad that Dean felt he deserved to be in Hell. I was not at all worried that something would come out that would ~reveal~ that he really did deserve to still be there.

 

Maybe other people were worried that there would be some reveal that showed that Dean was correct and that he did deserve to rot in Hell forever or that it was too dangerous for everyone else for him to be out of Hell. But I just really, really doubt it.

 

So the ending when Cas is like, "you don't think you deserved to be saved?!" [bah BUHHHHHH!] just made me feel bad for Dean rather than suspicious or even curious about what he'd done down there. Whereas when Sam was using his psychic powers to tear demons out of their hosts and then told Ruby he wanted to do more with that, I did think Sam had possibly become a monster over the summer hiatus. Even though I think those two scenes were supposed to be equivalent. YMMV.

Edited by rue721

Share this post


Link to post

Just rewatching this episode because I have Chromecast and I am seeing how it looks on my HDTV...and dear gods....Dean is so fucking pretty in this episode despite crawling out of a grave.

 

I just love this episode more than I can stand...I still can't decide if it's my favorite episode of the entire series or not but it's certainly in the top 5.  I do think it is the best season premiere episode.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I still don't understand the Christie/Kristen thing  - why did Sam pretend to get her name wrong, and why did Ruby look like a kicked puppy?  But oh well.  

 

So, I watched this the other day and I think Sam really didn't remember Ruby's host body's name because she was Ruby to Sam but couldn't call her Ruby in-front of Dean because...secrets!. I find it interesting in retrospect that Ruby corrected him. Was she trying to force Sam to out himself and start a fight between Sam and Dean as a way to keep them apart or was she legitimately annoyed and taking it personal that Sam couldn't remember the girl's real name?

Share this post


Link to post

Unpopular opinion ahoy: for me in retrospect it was mostly manipulation by Kripke to sustain the "surprise" that it was Ruby - which might've made more sense to me if that hadn't been revealed almost matter-of-factly not that much later in the episode. But to me the awkwardness of that exchange - because why would Ruby correct Sam? - made no sense, since her manipulation later was that she didn't want to put a wedge between Sam and Dean, so that earlier friction wouldn't have made any sense if that was her angle. For me this episode was pretty much the start of all the weirdness that was Sam's storyline being all shrouded in shadow, but in a bad way, where in addition to the shrouding, the audience didn't have a chance to understand where Sam was coming from.

 

Not that Dean's story didn't suffer from that as well, in my (again unpopular) opinion. I was not a fan of the "does he or doesn't he?" part of Dean's story in reference to his hell memories. In an attempt to have shock later, in retrospect some of the better scenes of this episode either no longer make any sense - if Dean remembered from the beginning - or the build-up to Dean remembering and the shock to his system and behavior that should have happened if it was that Dean remembered later weren't made clear. So for the most part, I enjoyed this episode more the first time I saw it (live), but it no longer holds up for me. (Sorry catrox14, I know how much you love it.) Even in terms of season openers, it wold likely be about 4th on my list after "In My Time of Dying," "Pilot," and "Meet the New Boss" (Underrated, in my opinion... good use of "montage" time, no tricky, secrets and lies plot devices, and yay! Death makes an appearance.)

 

So I would like to like this episode more than I do. In retrospect, I just can't.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Unpopular opinion ahoy: for me in retrospect it was mostly manipulation by Kripke to sustain the "surprise" that it was Ruby - which might've made more sense to me if that hadn't been revealed almost matter-of-factly not that much later in the episode. But to me the awkwardness of that exchange - because why would Ruby correct Sam? - made no sense, since her manipulation later was that she didn't want to put a wedge between Sam and Dean, so that earlier friction wouldn't have made any sense if that was her angle.

 

Oh, but I think she did want to put a wedge between Sam and Dean, but she didn't want Sam to think she did. She was playing the part of the supportive girlfriend, but she knew Dean wouldn't let Sam keep doing what he was doing and she needed Sam to keep doing what he was doing.

 

Granted, yes, it was just set up for the revel of her later in the episode, I was just saying in retrospect there could be other things that make it work too. If it's part that she really was annoyed that Sam couldn't remember the girl's name it puts another twist on it that maybe she did care for Sam even if she was using him.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Sam was never going to reveal he'd-by all appearances-given up looking for a way to get Dean back and was now banging Ruby instead to both Dean and Bobby. "Hey Dean! Glad you're out of Hell! Just so you know! I'm banging a demon! Ruby! Yes! Ruby!" So he went with the fiction.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, but I think she did want to put a wedge between Sam and Dean, but she didn't want Sam to think she did. She was playing the part of the supportive girlfriend, but she knew Dean wouldn't let Sam keep doing what he was doing and she needed Sam to keep doing what he was doing.

 

Granted, yes, it was just set up for the revel of her later in the episode, I was just saying in retrospect there could be other things that make it work too. If it's part that she really was annoyed that Sam couldn't remember the girl's name it puts another twist on it that maybe she did care for Sam even if she was using him.

 

I thought Ruby always had a bit of a thing for Sam which helped with her convincing Sam how much she just wanted to help him. Like with most demons there is truth in the lie.

 

I completely agree that she was attempting to make Sam think she was on his side and would NEVER want to come between Sam and Dean because that makes her look like the good one compared to Dean.  It was really a perfect manipulation. 

Share this post


Link to post

Sam was never going to reveal he'd-by all appearances-given up looking for a way to get Dean back and was now banging Ruby instead to both Dean and Bobby. "Hey Dean! Glad you're out of Hell! Just so you know! I'm banging a demon! Ruby! Yes! Ruby!" So he went with the fiction.

 

But at that time in the show we didn't know that Sam was sleeping with Ruby. Sam didn't have to tell that much. And that wasn't the only secret that Sam was keeping. He could've told Dean about his exorcising demons. At least if he'd revealed that much, it might've maybe lessened the blow of all of the rest. But that wasn't my objection really anyway. I get that Sam didn't think he could tell the truth. My main objection is that we, the audience, also weren't told the truth which in my opinion was more annoying than anything else. It made it seem like via the narrative that Sam was lying to us, too, so we were less likely to understand his point of view or sympathize with his position.

 

Also I'm not sure what else Sam was supposed to have done to get Dean out of hell. He'd already tried everything he could think of including trading his own soul numerous times and trying to open the Devil's Gate again. At the time canon-wise only an angel could get a soul out of hell, and Sam didn't even know angels existed.

 

Oh, but I think she did want to put a wedge between Sam and Dean, but she didn't want Sam to think she did. She was playing the part of the supportive girlfriend, but she knew Dean wouldn't let Sam keep doing what he was doing and she needed Sam to keep doing what he was doing.

 

Granted, yes, it was just set up for the revel of her later in the episode, I was just saying in retrospect there could be other things that make it work too. If it's part that she really was annoyed that Sam couldn't remember the girl's name it puts another twist on it that maybe she did care for Sam even if she was using him.

 

I completely agree that she was attempting to make Sam think she was on his side and would NEVER want to come between Sam and Dean because that makes her look like the good one compared to Dean.  It was really a perfect manipulation. 

 

I agree. And this is why it makes no sense to me that Ruby would create, for apparently no reason, an awkward situation that might jeopardize Sam's keeping his secret by potentially leading Dean to question what Sam was doing. If Ruby wanted to appear to be keeping Sam's secret and not wanting to create waves, she should've just pretended that that was her name. Why even take the chance of creating an altercation and/or making Sam question her sincerity? Even if they had somehow had time to think up a fake name, why should Ruby care that Sam - in an obviously somewhat stressful situation - accidentally forgot that name? We learned later on that her host body's name wasn't even known - she was a comatose "Jane Doe" - so there was no real name for Sam to even forget.

 

The whole scenario made little sense to me, and just feeds into my feeling that maybe Mr. Kripke didn't really think the details of Sam's storyline through entirely in his attempt to keep it all shrouded in mystery.

Share this post


Link to post

Well you have to allow for a bit of "what the fuck?" reaction from Sam. Bobby -who he's been actively avoiding- is at his door with Dean. Dean! Alive! Free! Lookin' good! What the fuck?... So Sam is scrambling a bit. I know I'd be acting like an idiot smacked by a wet trout if I were in Sam's boots.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

But at that time in the show we didn't know that Sam was sleeping with Ruby. Sam didn't have to tell that much.

 

I assumed he was sleeping with her given that she was standing in her underwear when we meet her and Dean later found her bra in Sam's bed.

 

 

 

I agree. And this is why it makes no sense to me that Ruby would create, for apparently no reason, an awkward situation that might jeopardize Sam's keeping his secret by potentially leading Dean to question what Sam was doing. If Ruby wanted to appear to be keeping Sam's secret and not wanting to create waves, she should've just pretended that that was her name. Why even take the chance of creating an altercation and/or making Sam question her sincerity?

 

Because she didn't want Sam to be keeping that secret, she wanted it out in the open so Sam and Dean would hopefully be at odds. If she could break Sam and Dean up from the get-go without looking like she broke them up intentionally, then her job would be a helluva lot easier. Or even if she could get Dean to start questioning things and sow the seeds of doubt, that's a win too, as long as Sam is still firmly sitting in the trust-Ruby camp. The more obstacles she can put up between Sam and Dean the better she'll be for it. That part comes clearer to me by how she was encouraging Sam to tell Dean at the end of the episode, but once Sam said no, she immediately jumped back into supportive girlfriend mode with her "I'll just take a step back so you and your brother can bond...blah, blah blah."

 

But, this time watching it I was just questioning if she also was really "hurt" that Sam didn't remember the girl's name, like she took it personally. I always assumed Ruby had a fondness for Sam, but I'm never sure how far that really goes considering she also seems annoyed by him a great deal, too. I don't know, just something I was thinking about when watching it this time. 

 

What's kinda interesting to me in hindsight is how much Ruby has learned in how to deal with Sam.

She garnered his trust by manipulating situations that gave him choices so he could feel like he was in control rather than feeling like he was helplessly being pushed around by the universe. 

Edited by DittyDotDot

Share this post


Link to post

Well you have to allow for a bit of "what the fuck?" reaction from Sam. Bobby -who he's been actively avoiding- is at his door with Dean. Dean! Alive! Free! Lookin' good! What the fuck?... So Sam is scrambling a bit. I know I'd be acting like an idiot smacked by a wet trout if I were in Sam's boots.

 

Sam's reaction made sense here for me. As I said above, it was a stressful situation for him. It was Ruby's strategy that I was questioning. It depending on Sam entirely dismissing and/or forgetting the whole thing later in order to be viable and it was risky to boot. See also below.

 

Because she didn't want Sam to be keeping that secret, she wanted it out in the open so Sam and Dean would hopefully be at odds. If she could break Sam and Dean up from the get-go without looking like she broke them up intentionally, then her job would be a helluva lot easier. Or even if she could get Dean to start questioning things and sow the seeds of doubt, that's a win too, as long as Sam is still firmly sitting in the trust-Ruby camp. The more obstacles she can put up between Sam and Dean the better she'll be for it. That part comes clearer to me by how she was encouraging Sam to tell Dean at the end of the episode, but once Sam said no, she immediately jumped back into supportive girlfriend mode with her "I'll just take a step back so you and your brother can bond...blah, blah blah."

 

And that second strategy made sense to me for her motives. It was more subtle and looked like she was being supportive while potentially not.

 

However, the name thing was, to me, a bad idea based on the situation. The situation was already stressful, and Ruby wouldn't be there to monitor the outcome. There wasn't just a chance for Sam and Dean to be at odds: a confrontation at that point could've potentially turned dangerous, and it might be Dean and Bobby against Sam... the odds would not be in Sam's favor.

 

But even assuming that that was Ruby's strategy and it was a good idea to give that kind of seed-sowing a shot, the scene working relied on Sam being stupid, because he seemed to completely forget it later on. If this whole thing was supposed to be Ruby manipulating Sam by making him feel in control, then creating a situation that spun things out of control as soon as Dean returned should've had Sam saying "What the hell, Ruby? You almost blew our cover back there! What were you thinking?" as soon as the subject came up again later in the episode. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like kind of a big point for Sam to have completely forgotten or dismissed. That Sam didn't bring it up and that that bit of awkwardness was just ignored by Sam made him look stupid, and on my part, especially in retrospect, I've become tired of Sam being made to look stupid in order for particular plot points to work.

 

It's maybe a small point and I'm nitpicking, but that the show does it - and then points to it later * - annoys me. This is an episode written by Kripke. It's his baby. If any episode should make sure the whole premise of the season works and is going based on his design it should be one written by him. And if he's telling me right off the bat that Sam is apparently going to be a manipulated idiot in order for this whole thing to go down, this is going to color my entire perception of the episode and the season. It's one of the reasons I didn't really like season 4 on subsequent viewings. I couldn't ignore little details like this which were telling me "warning: Sam is going to be an unobservant idiot this season. Just go with it."

 

*

Even though one of those references was well done and was in an episode I adored, it just says to me that the writers should be knowing it is a problem in the first place that they are doing it (TM Fritz), and that they either didn't think of it themselves or that they did and are willing to sacrifice Sam's intelligence in order to pull it off - and that annoys me. Especially when it's referred to many times and yet in the narrative they keep trying to tell me how "smart" Sam is. Just drop it, show, because even though I love Sam, the narrative keeps showing me he's not at all smart anymore and has been consistently dumbed-down as the series has progressed to the point that even Bobby points out that Sam is slow-witted. You've gone to the "Sam is stupid" well too many times for me to see him as "smart" anymore. I am just assuming now that he's been brain-damaged.

.

 

Since that is all spoiler-ish in this thread, but not for the show in general, I'm willing to continue the discussion in the all episodes thread or the bitterness thread (because I am somewhat bitter about it). I'm likely to rant though - so warning on that.

Share this post


Link to post

Seriously, AwesomO, it was just a random musing of mine. There's no reason to think that was Ruby's strategy, unless you're me and prefer to see things as more twisted than they were probably meant to be.

Share this post


Link to post

I was fully expecting it to be revealed that Cathy/Christy was Sam's hooku p and that's why he didn't remember her name because he just didn't care and Ruby possessed her between when we meet her at the same time as Dean and when Sam meets up with Ruby in the diner.   My head!canon is still trying to make that work.

Share this post


Link to post

Seriously, AwesomO, it was just a random musing of mine. There's no reason to think that was Ruby's strategy, unless you're me and prefer to see things as more twisted than they were probably meant to be.

 

Oh no, I agree with you that that sounds just like what Ruby was trying to ... which means that you've likely put more thought into it than perhaps Kripke did. It was Kripke that I was saying didn't make sense, because ...

 

I was fully expecting it to be revealed that Cathy/Christy was Sam's hooku p and that's why he didn't remember her name because he just didn't care and Ruby possessed her between when we meet her at the same time as Dean and when Sam meets up with Ruby in the diner.   My head!canon is still trying to make that work.

 

I agree with catrox14 here. That scenario would've made more sense. And again, I think you, catrox, thought it through more than Kripke did... unless this was the original intention and he decided to change it midway through the episode (because yeah Sam should've said something/complained about Ruby possessing the woman he just slept with as well)... But never mind. That's another minefield I don't want to think about: that Kripke might've at one point considered having Sam have sex with Ruby if she was in a borrowed meatsuit - just no.

 

Sorry if it sounded like I was ranting at you, DittyDotDot, because I definitely wasn't. It was that story thread of the episode that I was ranting at... explaining why  even though I'd like to like this episode more, that because of unanswered things like that which I can't seem to get past, I can't. That likely makes me sort of neurotic, but oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Sorry if it sounded like I was ranting at you, DittyDotDot, because I definitely wasn't. It was that story thread of the episode that I was ranting at... explaining why  even though I'd like to like this episode more, that because of unanswered things like that which I can't seem to get past, I can't. That likely makes me sort of neurotic, but oh well.

 

Oh no, it just seemed like you hold a lot of anger over this and I was just giving you way out. I didn't think you were singling me out personally.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you, I appreciate that. I've mostly come to terms with my bad feelings towards season 4, but every once in a while they rear their ugly head. Weirdly it's mostly in retrospect. While the beginning of season 4 was happening in real time * I was okay with what was happening - concerned, but okay. As the season progressed, however, and things started piling up and I said "wait a minute..." (because I agree with rue721's February post above that Sam's getting lead along and not having a goal seemed somewhat of a stretch for Sam from previously, but I chalked it up at first to his devastation at losing Dean with no goal to work for to get him back this time.), and by the time we got to the nastiness of episodes like "Sex and Violence" and Sam's apparent delusional outlook, I was going "woah, woah, woah. Who is this person, because he's not acting much like Sam anymore?" And the small amount of Sam POV didn't help, and as supposebly said above it all started here with this episode, so in retrospect, I am more likely to give it the side eye and get nasty with it for starting this trend.

 

But I'm feeling much better now  ; ). **

 

 

* (I watched the show live from the beginning, being a previous fan of Gilmore Girls - which ironically I didn't like anywhere near as much after Dean / Jared left - the show just seemed to get ugly for me after that in more ways than one, but here was this new show on right after it with "Dean" - I'll give this a try, and I was immediately hooked.)

 

** Old Nightcourt reference.

Share this post


Link to post

Came in here to post something else, but since there's a lot of angst over the Ruby introduction, I thought it played fine.  The name-correction makes it feel more authentic.  If Sam knows this girl's name, they have a relationship worthy of remembering or talking about later.  The boys go to leave town, and Dean asks "What about Kathy? We can stay a few more days ..."  But when Ruby "corrects" him, it's now something Dean understand all too well -- a one-night stand. I thought it played perfectly.

 

Anyway, I came here to say that I used to love this episode, but it's hard to watch it now without lamenting how they've ruined angels over the years.

Share this post


Link to post

Finally made it to this point in my rewatch.  And I had some different perspectives this go around, which is why I love this show so much. 

Unapologetic Dean-girl here, so I admit I rarely do more than a cursory "What's going on in Sam's head".  But, it was so interesting to me to watch Sam kind of unravel over the last few episodes of the season 3- becoming desperate (I mean, cmon, he wanted to make Dean into a frankenstein of sorts so he couldn't die... that's pretty crazy).

I still remember my first viewing of this episode and I was so happy with the episode until the reveal that Kathy/Kristy whatever was actually Ruby (and that Sam was lying to Dean about her and his powers).  Then of course I had to rewind in my brain and all the interactions between them upon Dean's arrival back to the land of living now felt so tarnished.  Yes, Sam was of course very emotional and happy to have Dean back, but within minutes was OK enough to concoct a lie about Ruby and send her on her way.  And watching Sam and Dean's scenes together again on rewatch... well Sam kinda seems douchey / full of himself.  IDK, it just all felt so inauthentic to me that it colors the way I view the episode now.

However, I LOVE Dean's resurrection and his reunion with Bobby is great, I do love that they 'went there' with Sam and his powers (which is probably an unpopular opinion).  I also have love/hate feelings now in rewatching the introduction of Castiel.  LOVE Castiel, hate what they've done to angels and Castiel in particular.  He used to be so... inscrutable and powerful.  I do like how he and Dean progress over the season, but he loses that Godly Fear part of him.

And finally, after watching a few episodes last night, I found myself getting pretty nostalgic with this show and these brothers.  Which is awesome considering after 11 seasons I still want to watch and seek new insight.  Hopefully that will stick around and I can move quicker through the rewatch ;)  At least till season 8 ;)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
35 minutes ago, GirlyGeek said:

And finally, after watching a few episodes last night, I found myself getting pretty nostalgic with this show and these brothers.  Which is awesome considering after 11 seasons I still want to watch and seek new insight.  Hopefully that will stick around and I can move quicker through the rewatch ;)  At least till season 8 ;)

I just finished S8...if I can make it though, I know you can too!

I don't know if I'm and enabler or just want everyone to suffer like me. ;)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I recently rewatched this ep when TNT began it's rerun of season 4 and it still hits me the same way as it always does. Dean clawing his way out of the grave, the whole opening sequence with Jensen keeping us riveted without uttering a word, the humorous reunion with Bobby (holy water to the face-hee!) and the emotional reunion with Sam will always be awesome. Little things that made me uneasy still make me uncomfortable on rewatch: Dean slapping the waitress (even though she's a demon), Sam beating the crap out of the same waitress (I know still a demon!) and the outright ruse as to who Christie aka Ruby really is. As a side note Cas had a badass introduction which makes me wistful considering how softened he's became in the following seasons :(

Edited by DeeDee79
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

So I'm a new watcher to the show, so all these episodes are my first time.  Of course, I know the boys survive for several seasons, so I know I won't be completely spoiler free, and obviously they survive, at least in some sense.  It is interesting the different way the writers carry the story, not just monster/demon of the week, but a pretty decent story arc with bits and pieces laid out along the way..

I always wondered how Dean couldn't believe in God and angels, if he believed in demons.  The demons came from somewhere.  He just needs to realize that God is a big believer in non-involvement. 

I always presumed that Dean believed he belonged in hell because of the innocent lives that died while he was taking out the demons.  He always believed there was more he could have done and because he didn't he deserved to be in hell (plus the whole selling soul on Sam's behalf thing).  Obviously God brought him back for 2 reasons.  1. Dean is pretty good at killing/getting rid of demons.  2. something's up with Sam and Dean's likely the only one who can help.

This still doesn't quite gel with the second trickster episode, Mystery Spot, which I guess one just has to put up as an aberration.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Hanahope said:

This still doesn't quite gel with the second trickster episode, Mystery Spot, which I guess one just has to put up as an aberration.

This will make more sense - or not, depending on your view - in a future episode.

Share this post


Link to post
22 hours ago, Hanahope said:

I always wondered how Dean couldn't believe in God and angels, if he believed in demons.  The demons came from somewhere.  He just needs to realize that God is a big believer in non-involvement. 

He said why in Faith and in Houses of the Holy-he believes what he can see with his own two eyes. He's a very pragmatic character, for the most part. And he never worried or wondered where demons came from. His job, from childhood, and in his own mind, has always simply been to save people by ridding the world of the supernatural evils that take human lives. As his journey goes forward, he learns that there is nothing simple about his job, though. And you're just coming up to how he truly feels about God and God's purported existence on this show. It's good stuff, so I won't spoil. Have fun.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

1 minute ago, Myrelle said:

He said why in Faith and in Houses of the Holy-he believes what he can see with his own two eyes.

Yup, I get that.  So now he's met an angel, with his own two eyes.  So better start believing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
23 hours ago, Hanahope said:

So I'm a new watcher to the show, so all these episodes are my first time.  Of course, I know the boys survive for several seasons, so I know I won't be completely spoiler free, and obviously they survive, at least in some sense.  It is interesting the different way the writers carry the story, not just monster/demon of the week, but a pretty decent story arc with bits and pieces laid out along the way..

I always wondered how Dean couldn't believe in God and angels, if he believed in demons.  The demons came from somewhere.  He just needs to realize that God is a big believer in non-involvement. 

First, welcome to our crazy show and even crazier boards!  Have you watched the next episode yet, Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester? I think Dean's position on angels and God is very well stated there. He just doesn't understand why, if they exist, they don't do anything to help. So, since there's no help and he's never seen one, by Dean logic they must not exist. But, all that changes this season. Looking forward to your reactions going forward. 

Edited by DittyDotDot · Reason: Wrong episode title...too many episodes!!!
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, DittyDotDot said:

He just doesn't understand why, if they exist, they don't do anything to help. So, since there's no help and he's never seen one, by Dean logic they must not exist. But, all that changes this season. Looking forward to your reactions going forward. 

Yeah, it looks like a different season.  Dean is always so black and white and Sam more grey.  So it'll be an interesting watch.  I get 1-2 episodes watched m-f while I commute (love Netflix download ability).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, Hanahope said:

Yeah, it looks like a different season.  Dean is always so black and white and Sam more grey.  So it'll be an interesting watch.  

That's another reason why Dean doesn't believe, Sam and Dean generally are two sides of the same coin on these things. So, if Sam believes, Dean doesn't to provide a more balanced discussion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Hanahope said:

Yup, I get that.  So now he's met an angel, with his own two eyes.  So better start believing.

I actually think that his thoughts on God are much more interesting in this season than in any other, up to this point. One scene in Monster Movie is an especially eye-opening scene, IMO, and in that regard. I'm sure you'll catch it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Such a powerful opening. Some of the most beautiful cinematography of the series. But seriously, how shallow was that grave? Dean Winchester - badass who claws his way out of the grave. I love Bobby's reunion with Dean. Bobby being smart enough to test him, but then that pure love once he realizes it's really Dean. I have some qualms about "you're the closest thing I have to a father" because I don't think that's fair to John. "You're like a father to me" would've fit the theme without discounting John. Damn, Jared worked out hard over the break didn't he? I love the Sam/Dean reunion hug for being the first time they both hug. Before this it's always one sided, often with one of them dead. The Samulet! I forgot that Sam wore it while Dean was gone. Dean/Baby reunion! Pamela! She and Dean could've been a great couple if given the chance. What is it with this show and the eye horror? I love Dean calling the demon's bluff.  The mirrored ceilings in the hotel rooms gets me every time. Castiel, you idiot, you can't talk to the man if you stab him with broken glass. Sam exorcising demons with his mind. It's terrifying and badass at the same time. But he's still Sammy enough to hope the victim lives and want to save people. I need to decide which one I think is the better Ruby. I love Bobby and Dean's room of crazy preparedness. Damn, that entrance. Misha has such a compelling presence in his first appearance. "Good things do happen, Dean." "Not in my experience." Ugh...I...Dean.

Anybody know at what point Kripke decided to start using angels? I have a sneaking suspicion it was over hiatus between third and fourth season. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, bettername2come said:

Anybody know at what point Kripke decided to start using angels? I have a sneaking suspicion it was over hiatus between third and fourth season. 

That would be correct. He talks about it on one of the S4 commentaries--In The Beginning, I think. He basically said writers had been pitching angel stories since the beginning but he would constantly tell them angels didn't exist on their show. After they sent Dean to Hell though, he realized angels would be the perfect way to get Dean out of Hell. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size