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S05.E17: 99 Problems

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Outnumbered by demons, Sam and Dean are saved at the last minute by a hunter and his very religious townspeople - all of them aware of the Apocalypse and trained to kill demons!

 

So much of the rest of S5 is just not for me. There are some good moments, but overall nothing attracts my attention starting with this episode--I'll try not to repeat this sentiment in each and every thread.

 

I think the twist on the Whore of Babylon is kinda interesting and I think the opening sequence is one of the best openings they've done on the show. I like the progression with Dean's losing faith by having him kill the whore and setting up Point Of No Return was pretty good. And I'm probably the only person on the planet that doesn't mind the stuff with Lisa at the end.

 

I must say, I'm rather disappointed the show didn't remember Pastor Jim lived and died in Blue Earth, Minnesota, though. Seems like it would've been a nice callback to the first season considering the plan was that this was supposed to be the last season. I'm also kinda disappointed that they hired Michael Shanks and kinda wasted him here, but that's minor.

 

The best parts of this episode for me is drunk Castiel. From the moment he shows up, the episode is a little bit brighter. I have no idea what happens to him at the end of the episode, but I'll just leave you with a few exchanges the makes this episode worth watching...

 

CASTIEL: I got your message. It was long, your message. And I find the sound of your voice grating.

SAM: What’s wrong with you? Are you…drunk?

CASTIEL: No!…Yes.

SAM: What the hell happened to you?

CASTIEL: I found a liquor store.

SAM: And?

CASTIEL: And I drank it. Why’d you call me?

 

 

DEAN: Did he—did you say “on a bender?”

SAM: Yeah. He’s still pretty smashed.

CASTIEL: It is not of import. We need to talk about what’s happening here.

DEAN: Well I’m all ears.

SAM: Well, for starters…Leah is not a real prophet.

DEAN: Well, what is she, exactly?

CASTIEL: The whore.

DEAN: Wow. Cas, tell us what you really think.

 

 

DEAN: And the Enochian exorcism?

CASTIEL: Fake. It actually means, “you, um, breed with the mouth of a goat.”...It’s funnier in Enochian.

 

 

And my personal favorite...

CASTIEL: The whore can only be killed by a true Servant of Heaven.

DEAN: Servant, like…

CASTIEL: Not you. Or me. Sam, of course, is an abomination. We’ll have to find someone else.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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I agree with you, DittyDotDot, concerning drunk Castiel. I also like the consistency here that Sam is the one calling Cas, because Dean is having faith issues and doubt, and so is too distracted and/or out of hope to think that Castiel will be able to help.

 

As I mentioned in the survivor thread, though, I also liked me some Paul from this episode. I don't know exactly what about that character connected with me, but I was glad to see the Paul/Sam interaction - which was some nice insight into Sam's current state of faith as well. It was too bad that Paul got killed, because I really liked him. Poor Sam: he can't seem to connect with many characters without them getting killed. My last hope is with Jodi Mills.

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Paul was a great character.

I did love that this was a town which had wholly bought into the endtimes and that they did show different levels of faith.

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I also loved the construct of this episode. When Dean sees that he's not saving humans by holding out, I think it feels like the final straw. It's one thing for Supernatural entities to lay the burden at his feet. Seeing The End he knew the consequences of making the wrong call. Now he sees small town America starting to look a bit like the end but without the Croatoan virus. And he sees how both good and potentially self-destructive people can be when dealing with these issues for the first time.

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I always think of this episode being the one where Dean finally accepts what he's been thinking for months. There's no stopping it and continuing to fight against it is only resulting in more dead bodies.

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I just discovered Michael Shanks and Stargate last year.  During the Supernatural rewatch I was doing I have been lamenting how MS never did an ep.  I about screamed when I realized it was him in the teaser.  Then ... Why oh Why did they have MS play a bit character?  He's freaking Michael Shanks!  Did his star power disappear in a kawoosh?  Actually, he seemed to get only really awful Hallmark movies or dreadful B-movies on the SciFi channel, but still.  I was so focused on watching for him I nearly missed the ep.  Of course I knew the girl was screwy from the start.

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I just discovered Michael Shanks and Stargate last year.  During the Supernatural rewatch I was doing I have been lamenting how MS never did an ep.  I about screamed when I realized it was him in the teaser.  Then ... Why oh Why did they have MS play a bit character?  He's freaking Michael Shanks!  Did his star power disappear in a kawoosh?  Actually, he seemed to get only really awful Hallmark movies or dreadful B-movies on the SciFi channel, but still.  I was so focused on watching for him I nearly missed the ep.  Of course I knew the girl was screwy from the start.

I can tell you where Michael Shanks is currently.  He's staring in a supernatural hospital drama set in (and filmed in) Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  And yes, I said supernatural hospital drama.  Make of that what you will.

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How much differently would this episode have come across if they had Dean say

"On a good day, you get to kill THE whore" instead of "A whore". That way it was more than clear they meant the whore of babylon and not any ole whore.

Ugh.

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Overall an ok episode, certainly not one I reach for to re watch.  I don't mind Lisa and Ben, but even I was like "huh?" at the way she was shoe horned in to this episode.

I get it, what it is supposed to mean to Dean and the symbolism, etc, but he hasn't seen her since S3 and he's on her doorstep professing his love for her and the kid?  And she's just sitting around wait for him/hasn't moved on with her life?

Anyway, watching Dean fall so far and lose faith has been tough.  It was nice to see Sam was able to see that in Dean and know that something was very, very wrong.

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Agree with gat it was an interesting take on the Whore of Babylon, but a bit hard to think people would be ok with killing children just to see their son again.  And the set up with how the son died in the first place seemed forced. 

Drunk Cas was funny.  

I agree that the end with Lisa was a bit jarring until I realized what dean intended.

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Fantastic opening. When Sam and Dean are in the first five minutes, you know shit got real. Love the holy water fire truck. Brett Dier! Dean shocked by the preacher who's packing - have you forgotten Pastor Jim and his amazing arsenal already? Wait, wasn't Pastor Jim from Blue Earth, Minnesota too? This show would be so much better if they just remembered these things. Castiel versus voicemail. Dammit, CW, stop killing off Brett Dier! Drunk Castiel is awesome. Misha gets some of his best lines in this one. Dean wanting to go "Pimp of Babylon" made me laugh harder than it should have. "Sam, of course, is an abomination." I think you hurt his feelings. I love Sam figuring out that Dean was able to defeat the whore because he'd decided to go Michael. Nice try sneaking out, Dean, you have the loudest engine on earth. He could find Lisa's new address but not her phone number? I like Lisa. Shoehorned into the plot though she may be, she cared about Dean and tried to keep him from going, so that gets a lot of mileage in my book. I'm still not 100 % convinced Ben isn't his son.

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I agree with @bettername2come, riveting opening, but it makes me curious as to what was happening just prior to the opening to get them in that situation.  We never find that out, do we?  Drat.  Don't know why they were surprised at the wedding during the Apocalypse (it's like the rise in weddings just before soldiers ship off to war, to me) or - and especially - the 12 year old packing salt rounds.  I'll bet both of them were younger than that when they first started.  

I love Cas' voicemail recording.  I hope he never changed that.  

Nice talk between Sam and the bartender Paul.  It was sad to see Dean and Cas losing their faith and sad also to see Sam losing faith, maybe even sadder than Dean losing faith since Sam's always been more of a believer.  Kind of funny: slightly drunk Sam stumbling in the motel room then even drunker Cas stumbling in the motel room.  I wonder just how much alcohol Cas had to drink to get that drunk.  I'm thinking the 'drank a liquor store' isn't an exaggeration.

I like Cas apparating Pastor Gideon to the motel room.  Here his 'daughter' has been talking to angels and he gets zapped around by a real one.  What did Leah do to Cas though?

Hey, pets are okay at the Green Valley Motel.  I notice things like that when I don't want to think about the serious stuff going on.  

First time I watched, I didn't even think about Lisa being 'shoehorned' into the episode at the end.  Of course, since I was binge watching at the time, it wasn't 2 or 3 years since I'd seen her and Dean together.  It was only a couple weeks ago, max.   :)  I think what Dean said that he pictured himself happy with Lisa and Ben was really sweet.  Count me among those who believe that Ben is really his son.  

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ummmm so it wasn't explained how dean killed the whore???? or was cass wrong???? am i missing something???

OMG THIS PLOT IS GETTING REAL!!!! dean totally prepared to take the L huh? so sweet of him to try to save lisa and her son. poor dean, he probably would fit in the normal life even more than sam if he could. 

"You're not going to do anything stupid right?"

"What?"

"Like 'Michael' stupid?"

dang sam really knows him inside and out.

Edited by Iju
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On 3/3/2015 at 12:39 AM, GirlyGeek said:

Overall an ok episode, certainly not one I reach for to re watch.  I don't mind Lisa and Ben, but even I was like "huh?" at the way she was shoe horned in to this episode.

I get it, what it is supposed to mean to Dean and the symbolism, etc, but he hasn't seen her since S3 and he's on her doorstep professing his love for her and the kid?  And she's just sitting around wait for him/hasn't moved on with her life?

Anyway, watching Dean fall so far and lose faith has been tough.  It was nice to see Sam was able to see that in Dean and know that something was very, very wrong.

Right? I kept expecting a boyfriend or husband to call out. Dude, you show up.every few years.

That must have been some night. Wonder if it could go in the memories in heaven. 😆

On 4/8/2018 at 7:12 PM, Iju said:

ummmm so it wasn't explained how dean killed the whore???? or was cass wrong???? am i missing something???

OMG THIS PLOT IS GETTING REAL!!!! dean totally prepared to take the L huh? so sweet of him to try to save lisa and her son. poor dean, he probably would fit in the normal life even more than sam if he could. 

"You're not going to do anything stupid right?"

"What?"

"Like 'Michael' stupid?"

dang sam really knows him inside and out.

My understanding is that by agreeing to Michael up, he became eligible to do some Whore of Babylon killin'. Right?

It was hard to see hopeless Dean. I just wanted to cut him some pie and tell him  it was okay. I have always thought Lisa represented the idea of a normal life, but maybe the simpler answer is they got cupided.

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