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S04.E16: On The Head Of A Pin

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Something is killing angels, and Castiel and Uriel need Dean's help to find out who.

 

I think I've been pretty vocal about my dislike of the episode in other threads, so I'll try not to repeat myself here. I do think it's a well-written episode, just think the execution and many of the performances and especially the direction was really poor. So, for what it was trying to be as apposed to what it actually became is really what makes me not like it. I think it could have and should have been so much more. I just don't think this show had the maturity to make this episode when it did and maybe they never will, I don't know.

 

When Dean says "you don't want me to open that door, you will not like what walks back out" is sort of the mission statement for the episode and I was expecting to see what Dean became in Hell. I'm sorry, I didn't see that and it's a big part of my disappointment. I'm not trying to pick on Jensen, I think he did okay given the circumstances. And since quite a few other performances feel off to me I've long chalked it up to director fail; I just don't think Jensen got there this time. I very rarely find the issues with this show to be performance-based and I feel almost dirty when I do. I also think Misha's performance is off somehow too and I can't quite put my finger on why. Oh, and, Genevieve was hinky to me too. She had a very odd energy to her that I really never paid attention to before, but I was trying to watch it last night with an open mind and really watch it. Ironically though, I think Julie McNiven finally finds that big powerful angel that I found lacking with Anna in Heaven And Hell and Christopher Heyerdahl is fan-freakin'-tastic and owns this episode, IMO.

 

I'm also very disappointed that they crammed the reveal of Sam drinking demon blood into this episode, I think I would have preferred they show that hand earlier in the season or waited until The Rapture altogether. It's just too much already going on that's important to have crammed that reveal in here too. Edlund crafts some very, very fine dialogue between Alistair and Dean, but I think this is probably the episode that I started to notice the angels starting to yammer on and on and on a lot. And, I'm not sure what they had to say was really all that interesting or important or well spoken. And not only did they yammer on, but they just stood around while they yammered. Again, I think of it as director's fail more than anything.

 

Anyway, I will try to end on a positive as is my want as of late...Jensen at the end of the episode did find that moment of Dean being just crushed and I feel it. So, kudos to Mr. Ackles for that.

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I went to re-watch, based mostly on catrox's waxing poetic. I've always loved this episode but I also wanted to see if there was something blinding me to it's faults based on your comments.  I can't argue that they crammed a bunch in but the whole Alastair/Dean engagement was so awesome that I just didn't care about the rest. (So yes...somewhat blinded).

 

I felt the opposite about the performances too.  Jensen & Heyerdahl were fantastic.  Yes, Christopher nearly steals the episode but I thought Jensen's non-verbal acting was really off the charts too.  I loved the final quiet moment with Cas and how Cas comes to his choices.  Finally, I thought Jared did an excellent job playing the agitated semi-strung-out guy and then Mr BigPower when he took on Alastair.  For me, he brought a lot of insight into the psychological addiction of his powers. At last he was not only saving Dean but killing Dean's torturer.  That HAD to feel good. 

 

Was it too much? Probably. I would have loved more. OTOH, I look at the Uriel scenes and am anxious for those to move along.  Although I loved Anna's moment of triumph, I was anxious to see Dean/Cas resolution.  So... I definitely can see some of the problems.  I am not bothered by it as I normally might be because I'm so jazzed about the insight into the boys (all three).  Ruby...meh. 

 

Bottom line: I think I'm a little rose-colored glasses on this one due to the performances and import of the plot.  It hits in my top 5 episodes of the series, however, and stands up on multiple re-watch for me. 

Edited by SueB
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I like the episode and the reason it works is that the torture is not the point of the episode. There is stuff going on before during and after in the episode that is not torture.

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I actually enjoy the heck out of this episode for a lot of reasons. First being Dean and Jensen. Just superb job with what material he was given* The actor for Alistair also was fantastic and their scenes together were creepy and heartbreaking and then more creepy.

The blood drinking reveal was icky and shocking. I didn't think the show would go there (in fact, I had written a fanfic just weeks before that insinuated Sam was injecting demon blood to get his strength, and I had toyed around with having him drinking the blood but I thought no way, that could make Sam a monster/completely irredeemable, right? Shows how much I knew)

And of course the need, which was creepy and almost childlike how he drank from Ruby, showed just how far gone in his addiction he was. Despite me being scared for Sam after all that, it was awesome to see him pull Alistair out and kill him.

I'm glad the show showed how messed up Dean was after that fight, too. It had been a long time since we'd seen real consequences for the boys,, medically. And having Sam show concern and demand a cure from Castiel was nice.

I loved seeing Cas realize that his blind faith was not a good thing and it's been nice to watch him unfold from heavens soldier/blunt instrument to free thinker (kind of a nice parallel to Dean vs his dad).

I tend to decide that Alistair was lying about John, because I don't like the implications the show was making otherwise. It's hard enough to believe that Dean lasted torture for 30 years, I don't need to swallow that John lasted longer. Actually in my head John broke too, but he wasn't the righteous man that was needed to break the seal. That's what I'm sticking to (I may be misremembering if this is cleared up/contradicted in later episodes... I guess Ill remember when I get there, lol)

Lastly, so glad Uriel got ganked

*the reason I say this about the material: once again, the show over reached what the story was going to physically be able to do. So while Jensen was awesome, the show shouldn't have implied that Dean was going to be some kind of bad ass evil monster if they made him torture Alistair. #1 because they didn't show that happening; #2 because there was no way the show, on the CW, could sell torture to me... Not real, on the rack tearing people, apart, HELLs version of demon torture. Sorry, but it gets hard for me to grasp story lines about demons and angels when they're waterd down to the point they have to be watered down to to fit into a prime time tv spot on a general cable channel. So when I'm told that a character spent 10 years perfecting and liking torture that he learned from the best demon torturer in HELL... I expect more. And I know they can't give it/show it, so why do they even set it up?

Anyway it's minor quibble cause I can hand wave those kinds of limitations (plus I really wouldn't want to see what they talked it up to be like anyway).

Edited by GirlyGeek
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Man....just rewatching this as my DVR caught it from TNT.

 

For some reason I totally forgo this exchange between Sam and Ruby

 

SAM: I need you to find out where they took Dean.

RUBY: Not sure I see the problem. You know they have Alastair strung up six ways from Sunday. Dean cuts himself a slice, Al's reduced to a quivering heap, and the good guys get the goods. What's wrong with that?

SAM:He can't do it.

RUBY:Look, I get it. You don't want him going all torture master again.

SAM:No. I mean, he can't do it. He can't get the job done. Something happened to him downstairs, Ruby. He's not what he used to be. He's not strong enough.

RUBY:And you are?

SAM:I will be.

 

 UGH SAM. You arrogant dick

 

Until right now, I was under the misconception that the only time Sam talked about Dean being weak was when he was under the influence of the siren or demon blood or something else. But this had none of that. Sam was sober and not under supernatural influence.

 

IMO this is when Sam went over the edge.  

 

He made a decision for Dean about Dean because he literally believed Hell made Dean weak. And IMO was an excuse to suck more demon blood from Ruby.    Ugh Well, shit, This totally changes everything I think about Sam in s4 and not for the better.

Edited by catrox14
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Sam was drinking demon blood though and that made him feel superior. And again I wonder: how on earth did Sam agree to drink it? Why did he? Where exactly did he come up with the idea that this was a Jim Dandy idea?

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Sam was drinking demon blood though and that made him feel superior. And again I wonder: how on earth did Sam agree to drink it? Why did he? Where exactly did he come up with the idea that this was a Jim Dandy idea?

 

I agree and I think this is where the writers went wrong with season 4. As I said over in the bitterness thread, it was an example of Sam point of view that they didn't give us, even though Sam first deciding to drink demon blood was a very important event, in my opinion, to explain Sam's state of mind and motivation. But the plot wanted Sam to go dark without having to worry about all of that complicated emotional stuff and they wanted it to be this 'big reveal", and so the writers just skipped over that. And then buried the "big reveal" in an episode already packed with 2 other big reveals.

 

I also objected in this episode to the same thing you were describing, catrox14, about what the writing did here to Sam. I think it was a somewhat unnecessary taking down of Sam in order to maybe pile more crap onto Dean. It is this conversation exactly where I saw the throwing Sam under the bus really coming to a head (it started in "Sex and Violence") for this season, and it's one of the reasons I really dislike this episode which is unusual for me with a Ben Edlund episode. This is what I mean when I complain about season 4 turning into poor Dean* and his crappy brother Sam (which Carver repeated in season 8.) They gave the excuse of demon blood, but that they went the arrogance route to begin with was annoying for me. And without even explaining why Sam drank the demon blood to begin with.

 

I also don't think it was necessary. Sam had a reason to go get Dean and to kill Alastair. He didn't want Dean to have to torture again. But they couldn't leave it at that and had to turn it into an arrogance thing and to show that Sam of course was wrong, and that really he was the weak one in the end by getting addicted and listening to Ruby.

 

So yeah, I don't really like this episode, because, in my opinion, it was just waaaaay too much of a pile on, and in the end was something they weren't going to address much anyway, because as soon as Sam

killed Lilith and raised Lucifer

, there would be one more mention of Dean breaking the first seal early in season 5, and then we'd never hear about it again.

 

Which kind of sucks, because as SueB said there was some nice acting going on here, but by the time they got to Sam saying Dean was weak and Alastair's taunts and Dean getting beat up again and being crushed about breaking the first seal, I was saying "Oh, come on. Really? This, too?" And it was just too grim and hopeless for me to enjoy it.

 

So I guess in the end Sam summed up this episode for me nicely... looking back at what happened later in the season, everything that happened here was just unnecessary. "This whole thing was pointless. You understand that?" Yes, Sam, I do.

 

* And I think for me this was partially due to what DittyDotDot and GirlyGeek were talking about above in terms of not seeing the supposed "monster" that Dean was afraid that he became in hell, either because they couldn't do it (GirlyGeek) or because it never felt like a threat (DDD). I didn't see Dean as anything here but a reluctant participant and was never worried that I "wouldn't like what came out" when Dean was done. I didn't buy that he would become that monster again, so the piling on just felt like an exercise in piling the guilt and crap onto Dean.

Edited by AwesomO4000
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Until right now, I was under the misconception that the only time Sam talked about Dean being weak was when he was under the influence of the siren or demon blood or something else. But this had none of that. Sam was sober and not under supernatural influence.

 

Sam had been drinking demon blood, he just didn't have a "fresh" supply of it. I always equated the demon blood to steroid-use. Steroids build up in your system and you're never really sober unless you stop using them all-together for a long period of time, like he did after Metamorphosis up until Criss Angel is a Douchebag. So, the drug was in his system and IMO affecting his behavior and thinking.

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This right here:

Quote

ALASTAIR
And finally you said, "Sign me up." Oh, the first time you picked up my razor, the first time you sliced into that weeping bitch...

Convinced me that Dean's first soul on the rack he had to torture was Bela.

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5 minutes ago, pixelcat said:

This right here:

Convinced me that Dean's first soul on the rack he had to torture was Bela.

Where do you get that idea from? I mean there were probably a lot of weeping people in Hell and "bitch" might not have even about a woman.

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It was just a thought that blindsided me halfway through my last season 4 rewatch, before I even got to this episode or remembered what Alastair said.  I think it was when Dean was confessing to Sam at the end of "Family Remains" and somehow my mind jumped to that conclusion.  But your question made me actually figure out why it did that in the first place, and I think I have two reasons:

Alastair needed blood shed in Hell by a righteous man.  He doesn't specify how much blood, or from how many people, so I'm going with it only takes one to break the seal.  Once he'd convinced Dean to start just to get his own torment to stop, I imagine Dean would still have a lot of hesitation his first time.  So Alastair, being the devious SOB he is, chose someone that Dean knew and had a lot of anger and resentment towards.  After all, Bela not only tried to kill him twice (come on, did she really think Gordon just wanted to talk to them?), but she also stole the only thing he believed could've possibly saved him from his fate.  First time is always the hardest, and I believe Bela up there would've pushed Dean just enough to make him go through with it.

On the flip side, putting someone up in front of Dean he knew would also make it that much harder.  I believe Dean felt guilt at what he was doing even in Hell, despite enjoying it.  If Dean was able to go through with it for the first time to someone he knew, then Alastair had that much more control over him, could twist him just a little further, and everyone after that would end up being a little easier.

For me, this also begs the question: after the first seal was broken, why did Alastair leave him where he was?  He could've easily put Dean back on the rack, since his job was done.  I'm going with what I said above, that it put Dean even more under Alastair's control when he was doing the torture instead of being on the receiving end.  Put him exactly where Alastair wanted him.

But as always YMMV.

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Yeah, my first thought was it was Bela, too.

Alastair was all about control, and he loved having Dean under his control- look at how Dean doesn't even fight him in this episode. He just lets Alastair beat t h e snot out of him. He tortured Dean til he broke then continued to sculpt and mold him.  

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So I can understand why Sam thinks he's in the right.  He's got superpowers against demons, which he is convinced will help him and Dean.  And this is compounded by Dean's apparent weakness because of what he did in hell and how he can't forgive himself (now more than ever).  So clearly, Sam is going to keep doing what he's doing and ignore the angels (especially since the one main angel against him, Uriel, has now been shown to be an 'angel traitor') until he really goes too far.

I gotta admit, when I saw the whole 'torture of Allistair' bit, I thought, hell anyone can pour holy water and salt on a demon, Dean's not doing anyting "special."  but yeah, obviously they couldn't show a real "hell torture."  Still, I was expecting at least that Dean would waterboard Allistair.

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15 hours ago, Diane said:

This episode is so hard to watch.

Not one of my favorites for rewatch.  I loved it the first time, though, because I was so shocked when I saw Sam drinking Ruby's blood. I thought he was getting powered up by demon sex.  It was all so obvious once I knew, I felt stupid.  And that Uriel was killing the angels.  That was a surprise.  And finding out that Dean broke the first seal.  Man, there were just so many reveals in this epi.  So many questions answered.  Even ones I didn't know I had, LOL.
This is also the episode where I started to not like Anna as much, though. 

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The opening shot of the dead angel is just beautiful and haunting. Dean raging against the angel is always entertaining to me. "You're all powerful, I get it. You can make me do anything, but you can't make me do this." Dean's defiant nature is a thing of beauty. I also love that this is the episode where Dean starts calling Castiel "Cas" to his face. We get confirmation on both sides of their growing connection. I love the reveal that John lasted 100 years in hell without breaking. I mean, that's badass. And the reveal that Dean broke the first seal - heartbreaking and Jensen plays it so well. Why is it so powerful when that man closes his eyes? Why? And that scene at the end where Cas tells Dean he's the only one who can stop the apocalypse. They're actually putting the weight of the world on Dean, but...

Spoiler

well, it's true.

Sam calling Dean weak and drinking demon blood are two of the things that make this my least favorite season for Sam. All the things I love about his character just get chipped away over the course of the season. His empathy, his faith in Dean, his logical thinking. And Castiel's kind of "WTF?" head turn when Sam says he can kill a demon with his mind - same, man. Same. 

Castiel's conversation with Anna is well-played. "For the first time, I feel." I love that line. Because I'm automatically waiting for him to finish the sentence, but that's it. He feels. I forgot how much I liked Castiel in the early seasons. As much as I love funny Castiel, I think the character was better more serious. I'd forgotten that Uriel was killing the angels and hoping to raise Lucifer. He and Castiel played well off each other. Anna's line when she saves Cas is badass. 

"Something's caught in my throat. I think it's my throat." Is it wrong that I use this line every single time I get strep?

Edited by bettername2come
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19 minutes ago, bettername2come said:

"Something's caught in my throat. I think it's my throat." Is it wrong that I use this line every single time I get strep?

Nope. I use it even when I just get a little tickle in my throat! LOL

I love your comment on Dean closing his eyes! It's a great observation. It really is powerful and I don't quite know why.

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34 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

I just don't understand why Cas didn't go ahead and heal Dean.

Because Cas is only as powerful as whatever the writers need/want him to be in any given week.  I believe he said he couldn't heal him. 

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4 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Because Cas is only as powerful as whatever the writers need/want him to be in any given week.  I believe he said he couldn't heal him. 

 

Quote


SAM
Get in there and heal him. Miracle. Now.

CASTIEL
I can't.

SAM
You and Uriel put him in there—

CASTIEL
No.

SAM
—because you can't keep a simple devil's trap together.

CASTIEL
I don't know what happened. That trap...it shouldn't have broken. I am sorry.

SAM
This whole thing was pointless. You understand that? The demons aren't doing the hits. Something else is killing your soldiers.

CASTIEL
Perhaps Alastair was lying.

SAM
No, he wasn't.

SAM goes back to DEAN. CASTIEL looks as though he has been slugged in the face.

 

Cas offered no further explanation as to why. It could have been he can't because he had been so badly hurt by Alastair  or he was on orders from Heaven to not heal him. It's unknown.

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17 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Because Cas is only as powerful as whatever the writers need/want him to be in any given week.  I believe he said he couldn't heal him. 

In recent years, I agree with you.  But back in S4, his powers seemed pretty consistent (at least so far in my rewatch.)  I had to go back and rewatch that part again - and I just watched the ep.  That "I can't" seemed more like he had an order not to, versus he didn't have the juice.

Also, I guess the whole 'saving the host' thing with Sam's demons powers didn't matter when it came to killing Alastair, eh?

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5 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Also, I guess the whole 'saving the host' thing with Sam's demons powers didn't matter when it came to killing Alastair, eh?

Somehow I don't think sending Alastair back to hell would've worked out too well for them, in that I would think a demon as powerful as he was would just come back. Not that the host was likely to be alive after anything that happened to him earlier or after what Dean had done to him anyway, but... yeah, I also suppose that Sam was in revenge mode, so the host was likely  toast anyway

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20 minutes ago, AwesomO4000 said:

Somehow I don't think sending Alastair back to hell would've worked out too well for them, in that I would think a demon as powerful as he was would just come back.

Not to mention that he preferred Hell, so it would almost be rewarding him for bad behavior and I never advocate that sort of thing.

As to the host, didn't he get zapped by lightning at the end of Death Takes A Holiday? I'm guessing the host was already dead.

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This episode is one of my all time favorites of the entire show and probably my favourite of season 4! I still have Jump the Shark to Lucifer Rising left of this rewatch before I decide for definite ;). In my opinion this is one of the best episodes for both advancing the plot and granting emotional / personal moments to the main characters involved in it. The scene where Alastair reveals Dean's decision to accept his offer and torture in hell was absolutely phenomenal. The way he gleefully revealed what Dean had done and the masterful response from Jensen as Dean tries to process just what he had done. First class acting from both! Surprise, surprise I also positively adored the way Misha played Castiel in this episode. He perfectly portrayed the nuances of the self-doubt the angel was feeling. The conflict between feeling doubts about the legitimacy of the orders they were following and the desire to not be associated with Anna who had committed the greatest sin known to angels. Then there was the reveal of Sam drinking the demon blood and what that meant for the character and his arc. All in all its a wonderful episode for me. My only nitpicks are that Genevieve's acting during the blood drinking scene

Spoiler

totally spoiled Ruby's ultimate allegiance. I don't know if that was purposeful or not, but I remember being totally convinced by then the first time I watched. I feel the big reveal in Lucifer Rising would have been much more profound if Genevieve had maintained the ambiguity Katie Cassidy was so good at maintaining throughout season three. 

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This is a Ben Edlund episode and he had become one of the best writers by then. What amazes me as I look back at it, is that so much reveal is packed into this episode but it doesn't feel rushed. It all evolves at a natural pace. And these are huge reveals that concern all our major characters: Dean breaking the first seal and starting the apocalypse; Sam drinking demon blood and gaining enough power to kill a high-level demon; Castiel doubting his "orders" and wondering if he should follow them as well as telling Dean that he is the only one who can save the world. (A little ha-ha there). We also have Uriel working against the angels and killing those who would not join him in raising Lucifer. And (supposedly) John Winchester not breaking in hell (which I've never bought).

Spoiler

And @Wayward Son, Ruby's little smile didn't mean anything to me because I never bought her act from the first time I saw the "first" Ruby in S3. I almost gagged when Dean attempted to "thank" her for helping them.

Spoiler

Because in S3, when they were facing the deal and Sam wanted to call her to get the knife, Dean said that "for all we know, she could be working with Lilith" and I said - you got that right!

Edited by FlickChick · Reason: Spoiler added.
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13 hours ago, FlickChick said:

This is a Ben Edlund episode and he had become one of the best writers by then. What amazes me as I look back at it, is that so much reveal is packed into this episode but it doesn't feel rushed. It all evolves at a natural pace. And these are huge reveals that concern all our major characters: Dean breaking the first seal and starting the apocalypse; Sam drinking demon blood and gaining enough power to kill a high-level demon; Castiel doubting his "orders" and wondering if he should follow them as well as telling Dean that he is the only one who can save the world. (A little ha-ha there).

I've always felt that this was Edlund's best effort on Supernatural. Like What Is and What Should Never Be, it is one of the most compelling episodes of the series, IMO. Dean silently shattering into a million pieces right before our eyes upon learning that he broke the first seal was some of the best acting that I've ever seen. And his "sensual hatred"(in JA's words) of Alastair was on complete display in this episode, too. This was the one episode where Dean's hell experience wasn't given short shrift and for that, more than anything else, I will always love it. But yes, even in this one we had to have the seed planted that John was stronger than Dean and never broke in Hell even though one has to wonder what John was doing just wandering around free when the gates of Hell were opened and why the demons were so eager to make another deal with Dean for Dean's soul in exchange for John's so soon after John had died. I'm sure Alastair lied also. It only makes sense or it's terrible writing, and FWIW, I don't think that Edlund had caught the bad writer's infection/curse yet(and that eventually catches up with any writer who remains working on this show for too long, IMO).

On the Head of a Pin is still classic Supernatural for me for the acting, but the subsequent writing of the rest of S5 rendered much of the storytelling moot and worthless for me, including Cas' stalwart allegiance to God which helped me finally come to accept Cas as a staple of this show back then. 

Still, Dean was changed irrevocably and so tragically when he went to Hell. And character-wise, that change remains in place to this day, IMO-most thanks having to go to the skillset and talent of Mr. Ackles, however, since the show has rarely revisited Dean's Hell-time since this episode in anything more than a cursory fashion-which is again too bad and such a shame because with this episode we saw a side of Dean that he likely never knew he had, but that only being tortured by Alastair, the Head Torturer in Hell, could have brought out in him and did. And this character shift was dropped by the wayside entirely by the writers in subsequent episodes so thoroughly that now it's simply thought of and written as something that Dean has always been-someone who, deep down inside, has always "enjoyed" torture but just couldn't admit it to himself, with Jensen being the only one interested enough in the character to show us that maybe that's not entirely true of Dean at all and that maybe never was and that his feelings concerning himself and that aspect of his personality are still a source of great shame and pain for the good man that he still is, deep down inside.

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Oh I like this extended or at least Dean's reaction to seeing Alastair again. And his breaking down when he told Cas why he couldn't do it. Gods, that is some of Jensen best work ever. MY HEART.  Fuck, that makes what he did when he got in there so much more painful. HELP

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On 26/02/2015 at 4:40 AM, GirlyGeek said:

 #2 because there was no way the show, on the CW, could sell torture to me... Not real, on the rack tearing people, apart, HELLs version of demon torture. Sorry, but it gets hard for me to grasp story lines about demons and angels when they're waterd down to the point they have to be watered down to to fit into a prime time tv spot on a general cable channel. So when I'm told that a character spent 10 years perfecting and liking torture that he learned from the best demon torturer in HELL... I expect more. And I know they can't give it/show it, so why do they even set it up?

 

 

yeah that's why me and my sibs hate CW and the reason why i believe SPN was ahead of its time. so many things can get over the radar on TV this time, especially if SPN aired on a different, uncensoring channel. any new shows on TV air on channels like TNT, HBO, etc. the torture could have been a lot more, especially since alastair kept taunting dean on how vanilla he was compared to hell. that didn't help. honestly, i feel like that the torture would have been done to what people wanted if it was animated - or an anime, more specifically.

-------

well this episode was...screamy ;) we all screamed when uriel and cass said that dean had to torture a demon, and profusely protested from them forcing dean to do it. we also all screamed in horror and turned away when we saw sam doing.....that (my mother exclaimed, "So that's what they're really doing in the dark!"). my mother also commented on how ruby looked, erm, feeding sam, and she's right. recalling the sight literally makes me nauseous, how greedily he lapped it and her reaction, oh my God. that was too much for us. 

".....DAMN IT!" my siblings loved that simple line delivered by jared, lol. they are so funny sometimes.

dean's expression when he was torturing the demon though. firm frown, eyelids drooped, dead eyes, his extremely creepy placidness and calmness talking to alastair...i must say my chest was thudding harshly even before he did anything; i could feel my cheeks heating from fear. my littlest sister covered her face as well. even though the torturing wasn't as what we all thought, the suspense leading up to it was masterfully done.

speaking of dean's expression, when he learned he was the cause of the apocalypse and turned away, mouth trembling, you could see right through him. you could see his thoughts, his guilt, his desprate denial of what he heard, and his rage when he faced the truth and wanted to hurt alastair anyway, good grief. just when you think it can't get any worse, he breaking down and begging cass for any sort of help, his loss as a person. i would say that i wish sam was there for him, but the writers have already failed at sam comforting him and i fear he would only be written in that same way and frustrate me.

i was thinking of complaining about how much of a beating dean is getting as a character, a lot like caitlin from the flash. the poor girl was beaten as a character for 3 straight seasons and i hated that. however, firstly sam and dean both have their own dark roads to deal with, and secondly this is only one season for dean's "beating". if he ends up as a caitlin then i will voice a bit of concern but i'm not doing that just yet.

for as much as physical and emotional turmoil this put on me and my fam, this was a great episode. i liked it a lot.

Edited by Iju
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12 hours ago, Iju said:

".....DAMN IT!" my siblings loved that simple line delivered by jensen, lol. they are so funny sometimes.

Wasn't that Jared (Sam)? Or are you talking about a different "Damn it?"

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23 hours ago, AwesomO4000 said:

Wasn't that Jared (Sam)? Or are you talking about a different "Damn it?"

oops yeah it was jared. i knew it was him it was just a typo. i'll correct it, thanks!

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Must remember can't watch this episode at work (TNT rewatch), I am now sitting at my desk with tears running down my face.  Gut wrenching episode. ugh.

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 I love the reveal that John lasted 100 years in hell without breaking. I mean, that's badass. 

I never believed that, it didn't make sense.  If John didn't break, he wouldn't have been free to run to through the gates of Hell when they opened at the end of Season 2.  No way Alistair would have let him off that rack no matter what else was happening, Alistair was clearly very devoted to his work.  They needed a Righteous Man, IMO, that wasn't John.  Dean was the one who fit that bill.   That was just Alistair twisting the knife, so to speak.

They may have thought John would do at first, but then he broke and nothing happened thus meaning he wasn't the one.  Or they never thought he was the one to begin with.  By Crossroad Blues, episode 8 of Season 2, only a few months at most after John's death, the Crossroads Demon was quite willing to make a deal to not just release John from Hell and let him go to Heaven but to bring him back to life in order to get Dean IN Hell. 

They wanted Dean, not John by that point and it had certainly not been a hundred years yet.  So either John had broken by that point and NOT broken the seal, meaning he wasn't the Righteous Man OR they never thought it was him to begin with and so he never got Alistair's VIP treatment the way Dean did.  They were even willing wait TEN years(which is what about a 1200 years Hell time) for Dean at that point, after they'd only had John a few months.  Seems to me they knew damn well John wasn't the one long before John's 100 years in Hell were up.

Quote

DEMON

You blew it, Dean! I could have given you what you need.
DEAN
What do I need?
DEMON
Your father. I could have brought him back. Your loss. Seeya, Dean. I wish you a nice long life. 
DEAN
Hold on.

DEMON
You're lucky I've got a soft spot for lost puppies and long faces. I just can't leave you like this. Besides. You didn't call me here to bargain for Evan. Not really.
DEAN
Can you bring him back? My dad?
DEMON
Of course I can. Just as he was. Your dad would live a long and natural life, like he was meant to. That's a promise. 
DEAN
What about me?
DEMON
I could give you ten years. Ten long good years with him. That's a lifetime. The family can be together again. John, Dean, Sammy. The Winchester boys all reunited. 
(she advances towards him)
Look. Your dad's supposed to be alive. You're supposed to be dead. So we'll just set things straight, put things back in their natural order. And you get ten extra years on top. That's a bonus. 


And by the way that whole conversation starts with the Crossroads Demon talking about how she had heard all about Dean Winchester, now she couched in sexual terms, but IMO the point is, Dean was a topic of discussion and not just because his dad had died for him IMO. 

Now I know, meta reason, the writers most likely hadn't come up with all the seals and what not yet by that time, but it is what it is.  What we have is that within a few months of John's death(seems like it's ten years a month if Dean's 4 months were 40 years and it certainly hadn't been ten months by Crossroad Blues) Hell already was quite willing to give him up to get Dean, up to and including giving Dean the full ten years(1200 years Hell time) until his deal was up.  The situation wasn't desperate enough to give him a shortened deal and they really wanted him locked in whenever they could get him.   

Edited by tessathereaper
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I really wish the blood drinking hadn't been spoiled. So many people have mentioned it here. I think it would have taken me totally by surprise. 

This episode had a lot going on. I think I have said that I am not so sure that the angels aren't basically demons with better PR and that played out here, but it turns out that is because Uriel is playing for the wrong team. That being said, clearly there is a problem with the system if he can work it. 

I liked the reappearance of Anna and the creep of doubt for Castiel. As noted by Anna, it is hard to say you are the good guys if you are having someone relive hell and torture in your name.

It was interesting that Dean was, in some ways, the tortured. Those incremental revelations to break him. I thought JA did some masterful work.

There is a lot of Samhate. And maybe it is justified. But even with the arrogance, and the thin excuses, I get where Sam is in this episode. I can see how wielding that power would make you feel stronger than anyone else. I talked about it before, but I think the fact that Sam is slipping while believing he has control is so human. We all tell ourselves lies. 

The battle was fun to watch. I do wish they made Uriel a little more likeable because the twist meant you were rooting against him, but I already kinda hated him. Not just his species bias. He was pretty awful.

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