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S12.E12: Stuck in the Middle (With You)


Diane
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In response to @ILoveReading comment that Dean had nothing to do in the episode (in the spoiler thread), I offer the following:


- Dean is literally front and center during the BadAss Walk (and called the 'team' to start moving)
- Dean is the one who literally stands at the door to face-down the demon, makes the first confrontation and shoot the bullets
- Dean is the one who engages Crowley on behalf of the group
- Dean is the one who makes the plan in the barn
- Dean is the one who initiates the dialog with the Prince and likely the 'torturer' if their plan had worked
- Dean is the one who secures the supernatural weapon at the end

In the group dynamics, and as identified by at least one cast member -- Dean is the leader of Team Free Will.  They let Mary call the shots on the initial plan but Dean was still the pointy end of the spear.  

So Sam got to be the one to stab the Prince with the Spear. That's a big highlight but he was following Dean's lead the rest of the time. 

Dean was on the front lines role and took over leadership of the team as soon as the plan went sideways.  Perhaps you consider that unimportant. I do not.  Try another test -- was there any way for the episode to play out the same WITHOUT Dean?  The answer is 'no'.  Same goes for Sam, Mary, Cas and even Wally (although his role was much less).  

Edited by SueB
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On 2/17/2017 at 1:48 AM, SueB said:

 I just think Mary hasn't learned what Sam and Dean have.  And her guilt is driving her to stupid decisions.  Plus she totally wants to go back to Heeeeaaaaavan (sing it like Buffy).  The boys don't want her to kill all the monsters.  The boys just want her to be around.  She's abandoned them because she thinks she's doing the right thing.

I've been thinking and thinking on this.  And I'm going to absolutely hate it if it's true.  And I think it's going to harder on Sam than Dean if Mary dies trying to make the world a safer place for her sons, especially if it happens out of some misplaced sense of guilt.  

At least Dean has his memories of his mom from when he was young to fall back on.  I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me, and maybe I'm projecting some of my own personality traits onto the characters, but I think maybe that Dean could always justify this adult Mary away somehow, since he does have those memories from his childhood.  Convince himself that the 'older' Mary was his "real" mom, and that this this Mary was confused and troubled, etc, etc, etc...and so it's no wonder that she wasn't as close to her sons as they would have liked, and eventually make peace with that.  

But Sam never had those memories of his mother when he was young.  He never felt a mother's unconditional love.  So if this Mary dies, that's a rejection of who they are now, even though she might think she's doing it to help them.  And since Sam doesn't have those memories of her from when he was young like Dean does, then that will be a direct, total rejection of HIM altogether, and the man he is now, even more so than Dean, at least possibly in Sam's mind.  

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59 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

Wow. The makeup to create Cas' wounds in this episode is pretty remarkable. And creepy. Especially where he was stabbed. EWWW

One of my favorite lines from Jensen at DenverCon 2015, talking about filming No Rest for the Wicked (paraphrased, because it's from memory):  "you know it's going to be a bad day at work when your wardrobe has plumbing..."

Edited by ahrtee
I forgot what year it is
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1 minute ago, ahrtee said:

One of my favorite lines from Jensen at DenverCon 2015, talking about filming No Rest for the Wicked (paraphrased, because it's from memory):  "you know it's going to be a bad day at work when your wardrobe has plumbing..."

Ha! I remember that. I remember recently Jared telling a story about his son being upset by seeing him on Facetime with wounds so he took some of their fake wounds home to show him and I guess it freaked him out even more because they were so realistic.  Poor kid LOL

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13 hours ago, catrox14 said:

 Re the Holy Oil. It's a clunky retcon that technically works because of the demon that immolated himself with it but IMO it makes the boys and Cas look stupid for never having thought to use Holy Oil, when they've had it at their disposal for 8 years.  I mean wouldn't Cas have had some idea that holy oil would work against demons but he doesn't tell the boys?  And given they've fought the Leviathan,  Abaddon and Cain which were the baddest of the bad non-Lucifer division but it didn't occur to them to even try it? Bleh, bad retcon is bad IMO

My theory is that Sam and Dean used the holy oil because they needed to question Ramiel and the holy oil was invisible - unlike the demon trap - and so they had at least a chance to trap him for a bit. Since they have other ways to off demons quickly - like angel swords and the demon knife - they can save the holy oil for other things, but in this case, it was probably their best chance to trap him. The main goal wasn't even to kill Ramiel per se... they might not even have killed him at all if he hadn't tried to kill them. I think that the goal was to find out if there was a cure for Castiel, and to get Ramiel to do it. If they had to let him go in order for that to happen, I think they would have. I'm pretty sure Sam and Dean didn't know about the stolen Colt or that Ramiel would insist on his stolen property being given back or they'd die. That's the only reason, in my opinion, they had to go for the kill.

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I really wonder why the BMoL haven't kidnapped the boys, drugged them, and pumped them for all the info they can get. I would were I a BMoL. They must have heard rumors about them. The Apocalypse. Roy and Walt (Disney?). Crowley.

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Something that really rankled was Crowley saying that it took (them and) the power of God to stop the darkness. Are you kidding me? God laying dying until Amara healed him. If you don`t wanna acknowledge Dean`s contribution, at least don`t make up random shit in its stead. Billie had more of contribution than God though in the end the bomb wasn`t the point.  

Edited by Aeryn13
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Not specifically mentioning Dean =/= deliberately dissing Dean. Were I Crowley talking to Ramiel I'd've been pretty darn quiet about how much Sam and Dean have done. Why make Ramiel more homicidal towards the Winchesters?

Edited by mertensia
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Were I Crowley talking to Ramiel I'd've been pretty darn quiet about how much Sam and Dean have done. Why make Ramiel more homicidal towards the Winchesters?

He was talking to the Winchesters, not Ramiel. It was an awkward line trying to sell "alternative facts".

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9 hours ago, SueB said:

In response to @ILoveReading comment that Dean had nothing to do in the episode (in the spoiler thread), I offer the following:


- Dean is literally front and center during the BadAss Walk (and called the 'team' to start moving)
- Dean is the one who literally stands at the door to face-down the demon, makes the first confrontation and shoot the bullets
- Dean is the one who engages Crowley on behalf of the group
- Dean is the one who makes the plan in the barn
- Dean is the one who initiates the dialog with the Prince and likely the 'torturer' if their plan had worked
- Dean is the one who secures the supernatural weapon at the end

In the group dynamics, and as identified by at least one cast member -- Dean is the leader of Team Free Will.  They let Mary call the shots on the initial plan but Dean was still the pointy end of the spear.  

So Sam got to be the one to stab the Prince with the Spear. That's a big highlight but he was following Dean's lead the rest of the time. 

Dean was on the front lines role and took over leadership of the team as soon as the plan went sideways.  Perhaps you consider that unimportant. I do not.  Try another test -- was there any way for the episode to play out the same WITHOUT Dean?  The answer is 'no'.  Same goes for Sam, Mary, Cas and even Wally (although his role was much less).  

TBH, if I Perez's script was a novel I was adapting for the screen and I needed to cut stuff and that list was the only thing I could use to justify a characters's presence s/he'd be the first to go.   Because yes you could very easily erase Dean from the script and not nothing change significantly.  

The slo-mo walk- even if I thought this was the best episode of the series I would still think that walk was cheesy.  I get it was supposed to be a homage to Tarentino but the only thing that crossed my mind was this is Supernatural, not Baywatch.  But if you take Dean out of it, the walk still happens.   How about instead of a pointless walk we get some dialogue where Dean is allowed to point out his a time he had it worse than Cas, because there were many.

Dean staring down the demon- it was a group effort.  Take Dean out, and Mary and Sam could have easily done that scene.  Nothing changes since the bullets didn't even slow down or stop the demon. 

Engaging Crowley- makes no difference to the episode.  Crowley showed up to the fight of his own free will and made the choice to save Cas.  You could argue that he did it to get into Dean's good graces because Crowley just wants Dean to like him.  (It's seriously the best one sided-bromance) but Dean doesn't need to be on screen.  It was actually used as another way to slight Dean.  Crowley announced that it took years to defeat Lucifer and the power of God to take down the Darkness.  No, Dean took down the darkness and saved the word, but there seems to be a mandate that Dean's past isn't allowed to be mentioned or brought up in meaningful ways. 

Dean being the one to initiate conversation- again remove Dean nothing changes because I highly doubt everyone else just would have stood around staring awkwardly.  Nothing Dean said changed anything, like when he talked Amara off the edge.   It actually gave a perfect opening for Dean to mention Michael when he asked the demon if he knew who they were.  "We're the guys who made Lucifer and Michael our bitches."  A very in character and effective way to bring up the past. 

I don't recall the show saying it was Dean's idea. But its possible i missed that bit of dialogue.  But even if he did, as you yourself point out it didn't work.  So eliminate Dean from the ep and all you eliminate is a plan that doesn't work.   So again nothing changes.  As for Dean being the torturer, I don't see it in a Perez script because then that might remind the audience that Dean has a past as a torture and stuff about Dean's past...see above points.  

Picking up the broken weapon- this is only important if Dean uses the weapon later on.  Until that happens, it changes nothing about the ep or season so far if Dean doesn't do it.   But I'm not holding my breath.   So again, its not really important.  If a fan picks up a game winning football it didn't make them important to that win. 

If Mary is calling the shots on the initial plan- doesn't that make the plan her idea?  I didn't see any leadership from Dean in this ep.  I saw a lot of standing around.  While I do see Dean as the leader, if it doesn't play out on screen its opinion, not fact.  At one point he even asks Sam what they should do.  Perez's heirarchy seems to be Mary...Sam... and I'm no sure who'd be next but I wouldn't bet on Dean.   The pointy end of the spear does the stabbing.  Dean did not do that. 

Its not that Sam made the kill, its that he did it with Michael's weapon.  The could have easily made that Lance belong to any of the other Archangels.  Last year they went to ridiculous lengths to avoid mentioning Michael.  This is an episode with multiple Michael mentions and nothing.  Its starting to feel deliberate.

Also where are Dean's instincts.  Even though he didn't want to believe that Cas could be working behind his back, you could clearly see he wanted to believe that but there was still deep suspicion.  "Dean trying so hard to be loyal, with every instinct telling him otherwise."  I get he wouldn't want to think ill of his mom but I would think he'd at least be suspicious that something was up.

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45 minutes ago, Aeryn13 said:

Something that really rankled was Crowley saying that it took (them and) the power of God to stop the darkness. Are you kidding me? God laying dying until Amara healed him. If you don`t wanna acknowledge Dean`s contribution, at least don`t make up random shit in its stead.

God's the one who told them that the "Darkness" could be cancelled out by light, which is how they came up with the idea of the soul bomb.  God transported Dean to Amara's location.

If you don't want to acknowledge God's contribution, at least don't make up random shit in its stead.

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12 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

TBH, if I Perez's script was a novel I was adapting for the screen and I needed to cut stuff and that list was the only thing I could use to justify a characters's presence s/he'd be the first to go.   Because yes you could very easily erase Dean from the script and not nothing change significantly.  

The slo-mo walk- even if I thought this was the best episode of the series I would still think that walk was cheesy.  I get it was supposed to be a homage to Tarentino but the only thing that crossed my mind was this is Supernatural, not Baywatch.  But if you take Dean out of it, the walk still happens.   How about instead of a pointless walk we get some dialogue where Dean is allowed to point out his a time he had it worse than Cas, because there were many.

Dean staring down the demon- it was a group effort.  Take Dean out, and Mary and Sam could have easily done that scene.  Nothing changes since the bullets didn't even slow down or stop the demon. 

Engaging Crowley- makes no difference to the episode.  Crowley showed up to the fight of his own free will and made the choice to save Cas.  You could argue that he did it to get into Dean's good graces because Crowley just wants Dean to like him.  (It's seriously the best one sided-bromance) but Dean doesn't need to be on screen.  It was actually used as another way to slight Dean.  Crowley announced that it took years to defeat Lucifer and the power of God to take down the Darkness.  No, Dean took down the darkness and saved the word, but there seems to be a mandate that Dean's past isn't allowed to be mentioned or brought up in meaningful ways. 

Dean being the one to initiate conversation- again remove Dean nothing changes because I highly doubt everyone else just would have stood around staring awkwardly.  Nothing Dean said changed anything, like when he talked Amara off the edge.   It actually gave a perfect opening for Dean to mention Michael when he asked the demon if he knew who they were.  "We're the guys who made Lucifer and Michael our bitches."  A very in character and effective way to bring up the past. 

I don't recall the show saying it was Dean's idea. But its possible i missed that bit of dialogue.  But even if he did, as you yourself point out it didn't work.  So eliminate Dean from the ep and all you eliminate is a plan that doesn't work.   So again nothing changes.  As for Dean being the torturer, I don't see it in a Perez script because then that might remind the audience that Dean has a past as a torture and stuff about Dean's past...see above points.  

Picking up the broken weapon- this is only important if Dean uses the weapon later on.  Until that happens, it changes nothing about the ep or season so far if Dean doesn't do it.   But I'm not holding my breath.   So again, its not really important.  If a fan picks up a game winning football it didn't make them important to that win. 

If Mary is calling the shots on the initial plan- doesn't that make the plan her idea?  I didn't see any leadership from Dean in this ep.  I saw a lot of standing around.  While I do see Dean as the leader, if it doesn't play out on screen its opinion, not fact.  At one point he even asks Sam what they should do.  Perez's heirarchy seems to be Mary...Sam... and I'm no sure who'd be next but I wouldn't bet on Dean.   The pointy end of the spear does the stabbing.  Dean did not do that. 

Its not that Sam made the kill, its that he did it with Michael's weapon.  The could have easily made that Lance belong to any of the other Archangels.  Last year they went to ridiculous lengths to avoid mentioning Michael.  This is an episode with multiple Michael mentions and nothing.  Its starting to feel deliberate.

Also where are Dean's instincts.  Even though he didn't want to believe that Cas could be working behind his back, you could clearly see he wanted to believe that but there was still deep suspicion.  "Dean trying so hard to be loyal, with every instinct telling him otherwise."  I get he wouldn't want to think ill of his mom but I would think he'd at least be suspicious that something was up.

Emphasis mine.

Saying another character COULD take Dean's actions doesn't mean you could erase Dean from the script.  Dean or Mary could have been the one to use the lance. With that reasoning any character can be superfluous to a script. And since Mary's plan didn't work, so that makes her unnecessary to the script?

My point: just because Dean didn't have the one moment that seems to be a sticking point (stabbing Ramiel with Michael's Lance) doesn't negate the rest of the episode for him.  

Secondary point: you may not have like the Tarantino homage, I freakin' loved it.  If the purpose was a Tarantino homage (and it was, per writer and director), then Dean's placement in the BadAss walk matters.  He was in the role of "Mr Pink" in that walk and Mr. Pink is fundamental to Reservoir Dogs.  Hence, my bringing it up in the first place.  

So, I appreciate your complete response to my comments, but having them based on 'someone else COULD do it', is not persuasive to me.  I see Dean as fundamental to this episode.   

Edited by SueB
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6 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

How about instead of a pointless walk we get some dialogue where Dean is allowed to point out his a time he had it worse than Cas, because there were many.

Why?  Why the hell would Dean want to one-up Cas as he's laying there dying?  If someone I love is dying, I am not going to spend time telling them how I had it so much worse.  Do you have any idea how insensitive that sounds?  And how much Dean would look like a dick if he said anything of the kind?

 

8 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

"We're the guys who made Lucifer and Michael our bitches."

Except they didn't.  A very effective way to rewrite the past.

As for the rest, agree to disagree.

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God's the one who told them that the "Darkness" could be cancelled out by light, which is how they came up with the idea of the soul bomb.  God transported Dean to Amara's location.

So Crowley was refering to his power of chauffeur? That is not how the line made it sound. More like God shot a beam down from Heaven and that stopped Amara. So, I still call very much bullshit on that line.  

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1 minute ago, Aeryn13 said:

So Crowley was refering to his power of chauffeur? That is not how the line made it sound. More like God shot a beam down from Heaven and that stopped Amara. So, I still call very much bullshit on that line.  

As is your right.  I disagree is all I'm saying.

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On 2/17/2017 at 4:57 AM, Aeryn13 said:

I was warned to stay away from this episode. Unfortunately, I didn`t listen.

Perez made it pretty clear he has no use for Dean whatsoever. If so, I liked it better when he just wrote him out of the entire final act without an explanation than the superflousness here. 

Anyone remembers Dean once had a connection to Michael? The writers sure don`t. 

And we`re pulling a new league of demons from our ass that have never been mentioned or hinted at before. One of them is a mix between a poor man`s Cain and YED. 

Mary is completely annoying and apparently terminally dumb.

As if Cas would die.

Crowley now chats with Lucifer. Are they that desperate to keep the Lucifer character on the show?

Well, Perez is certainly two for two with me when it comes to garbage.   

This sums up my feelings about the episode pretty succinctly. I had decided to skip it, actually, and even deleted it from my dvr unwatched. But on Friday I broke down and watched it online just in case there was something in there I'd be sorry to have missed. There really wasn't.  And weirdly, I don't know if it was the way the episode was shot, or eye strain, or a combination of both, but by the end I was in full-blown vertigo migraine stage. So any episode that quite literally makes me lose my lunch isn't ever going down as a favorite. So I'm two for two in hating Perez episodes. He's my least favorite writer at this point.


Overall I thought it was a hot mess. I thought many of the lines were laughably bad, and the acting worse, across the board.  And the slo-mo shot looked like something you'd see in the end of year gag reel.

I understand the style that Perez and Speight were attempting to go for, but I don't think it worked at all, and came across as silly and choppy instead. And repeating scenes from other viewpoints is supposed to net you new information each time, but I didn't see that happening. Just looked like an excuse to get away with writing as little as possible by simply repeating the same stupid scenes.

The new-old mytharc is a straight-on rip-off of Cain and the Knights of Hell, with a generous helping of apocalypse retconning. And having Sam kill a YED felt like one of those check-list things they've been waiting to get to and finally did ever since Dean killed the original YED in season two. Also apparently the gag order remains intact WRT no mention at all of Dean's one-time connection to Michael. Even Dean acted like he'd never heard of Michael before. Seriously?

And Mary is the worst. I remain dumbfounded at the portrayal of this character. She displays no emotion at all, certainly not toward her offspring, and sucks the life out of every single scene she's in. I'd actually love it if the brothers pulled away from her entirely and told her to stay gone. Truthfully I don't feel like this version of Mary would care anyway, and would very likely prefer it. The Mary we're seeing presented to us now makes me believe that had she never been killed when the kids were little, she'd simply have run off eventually anyway, and John was always going to end up a single parent.

I'm confused by Lucifer in that silly little cage at the end. Isn't that Crowley's earth-based lair, not actually Hell? Sooooo ... dude's just in a little cage, not in the supposedly supermax box? That doesn't make sense, he could pop out easily with a stray thought and jump into a vessel anytime. Dumb and dumber. It only makes sense if Lucifer is just a figment of Crowley's imagination, for whatever reason. Maybe that's where they're heading with this, which would therefore simply be a rehash of Sam's relentless Hellpain from season 6/7.

Total bust for me.

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2 minutes ago, SueB said:

 

So, I appreciate your complete response to my comments, but having them based on 'someone else COULD do it', is not persuasive to me.  I see Dean as fundamental to this episode.   

 

Sorry, I guess I didn't make my point clear.    What I meant is that Dean's words didn't really have an impact.  When Dean talked to Cas during the season 5 finale, they made a difference.  Cas changed his mind and helped, so even though Dean's part was mostly verbal, I still felt like he mattered.  Its more than just, well someone else could have done it.   

If they had just not said it was Michael's Lance.  They could have made it belong to  Lucifer, Raphael or  Gabriel and it wouldn't have bothered.  But to make it Michael's and then not give it to Dean its feels like a deliberate snub.

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Thinking about it some more.... there's no reason Team Winchester should have been able to kill a Prince of Hell -- except he stupidly brought a weapon that could kill him to a fight with seasoned veterans who are good at improvisation.  Ramiel did a VERY effective "You don't matter so I won't mind." bluster.  He took those first bullets and the demon knife wound like the pinpricks they were.  Then he blew off Crowley's attempt to explain these particular hunters are more than they seem and then literally swatted Crowley away.  Dean even gives him a warning... "Do you know who we are" and he replies with an insult.

But the guy STILL brought a weapon that could kill him.  Now it's true he thought they already had the Colt, but if there's only a tiny handful of things that can kill him, it was both stupid and arrogant to bring out that lance.  Is it possible he couldn't get out of the Holy Oil Fire without it?  Maybe.  But then why toy with his opponents.  Why not just stick them up against the wall with his enormous demon power and then poke each of them with the lance?

Arrogance, of course.  Once again, a Big Bad underestimates 'those denim clad nightmares'.  And, even better, he was WARNED by Crowley.  

So, I kinda like that he got killed primarily by underestimating the Winchesters.  They really had no business winning that fight.  Here's hoping that any other big players (like the other Princes) don't cotton on either.

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8 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

TBH, if I Perez's script was a novel I was adapting for the screen and I needed to cut stuff and that list was the only thing I could use to justify a characters's presence s/he'd be the first to go.   Because yes you could very easily erase Dean from the script and not nothing change significantly.  

As a Dean fan, I'm not sure I really understand what you're saying here.  Yes, Dean could have been removed from this episode, and the story would have been the same.  But the same could be said of Sam, Mary, etc.  As much as I love Dean, this is not the Dean Winchester show.  At the very least, it's a show with two co-stars, and many times, like this week's episode, it's a show with an ensemble cast.  We're just not going to get episodes where Dean is the constant focal point.  He played a fairly significant part in this episode, as did Sam and Mary and Cas and Crowley.  Some episodes lean more heavily in one brother's direction, or the other, but most times we're going to get what we got here...everyone playing a role of equal importance.

I don't mean to single you out, ILoveReading, as this is a common complaint.  When you have a specific favorite, you want them to get all the best scenes, but that's just not going to happen on this show.

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6 minutes ago, Aeryn13 said:

So Crowley was refering to his power of chauffeur? That is not how the line made it sound. More like God shot a beam down from Heaven and that stopped Amara. So, I still call very much bullshit on that line.  

I think Crowley was trying to get them to leave the premises ASAP so he was pointing out that they had help. Affirming to Dean that he was the one who talked Amara down would not have been helpful in fulfilling his goal of getting them to leave. You have to look at the context of what the character is trying to do.

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5 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

Sorry, I guess I didn't make my point clear.    What I meant is that Dean's words didn't really have an impact.  When Dean talked to Cas during the season 5 finale, they made a difference.  Cas changed his mind and helped, so even though Dean's part was mostly verbal, I still felt like he mattered.  Its more than just, well someone else could have done it.   

If they had just not said it was Michael's Lance.  They could have made it belong to  Lucifer, Raphael or  Gabriel and it wouldn't have bothered.  But to make it Michael's and then not give it to Dean its feels like a deliberate snub.

Actually, Dean goaded Crowley into taking action against Ramiel.  And while Crowley didn't stop Ramiel, Crowley chose a side in this episode.  He chose TFW by breaking the lance -- a powerful weapon he could have easily absconded with.  Yes, now the Winchesters 'owe him one', but he has no reason to believe that this will matter to them any more than any other thing he's done for them.  Hence, Lucifer's taunting at the end.  I, OTOH, think this one hit the central CPU of both Sam and Dean.  They know they owe Cas' life to Crowley.

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1 minute ago, MysteryGuest said:

As a Dean fan, I'm not sure I really understand what you're saying here.  Yes, Dean could have been removed from this episode, and the story would have been the same.  But the same could be said of Sam, Mary, etc.  As much as I love Dean, this is not the Dean Winchester show.  At the very least, it's a show with two co-stars, and many times, like this week's episode, it's a show with an ensemble cast.  We're just not going to get episodes where Dean is the constant focal point.  He played a fairly significant part in this episode, as did Sam and Mary and Cas and Crowley.  Some episodes lean more heavily in one brother's direction, or the other, but most times we're going to get what we got here...everyone playing a role of equal importance.

I don't mean to single you out, ILoveReading, as this is a common complaint.  When you have a specific favorite, you want them to get all the best scenes, but that's just not going to happen on this show.

Im just saying that I felt like Dean was unnessessary to the whole episode, as it was written.  If you take Sam out, you have to make major changes to the script, Same with Mary since without her none of them are even on that hunt.  But with this episode in particular, I feel  that if you took him out nothing really important would change.  I understand that Dean isn't going to get everything, and I'm not asking for him too.  But as I said its the Michael connecntion in this episode that makes it sore point. 

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12 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

Im just saying that I felt like Dean was unnessessary to the whole episode, as it was written.  If you take Sam out, you have to make major changes to the script, Same with Mary since without her none of them are even on that hunt.  But with this episode in particular, I feel  that if you took him out nothing really important would change.  I understand that Dean isn't going to get everything, and I'm not asking for him too.  But as I said its the Michael connecntion in this episode that makes it sore point. 

I guess I've just never felt the Dean/Michael connection was all that important.  It never came to be, so it means nothing to me.  I never wanted Dean to become Michael's vessel, any more than I wanted Sam to become Lucifer's vessel.  When season 5 ended, for me, that was the end of any nebulous connection Dean had to Michael.  Heaven and Hell didn't get their big Apocalypse smackdown, so Dean really has no connection with Michael anymore.  I know this is a hot topic for some Dean fans, but it has never been one of mine.  So as usual, opinions may vary.

Edited by MysteryGuest
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10 hours ago, catrox14 said:

Wow. The makeup to create Cas' wounds in this episode is pretty remarkable. And creepy. Especially where he was stabbed. EWWW.

All that effort wasted. We only saw the bottom corner of it when a little bit of his shirt was lifted up. Great effects though.

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56 minutes ago, MysteryGuest said:

As a Dean fan, I'm not sure I really understand what you're saying here.  Yes, Dean could have been removed from this episode, and the story would have been the same.  But the same could be said of Sam, Mary, etc.  As much as I love Dean, this is not the Dean Winchester show.  At the very least, it's a show with two co-stars, and many times, like this week's episode, it's a show with an ensemble cast.  We're just not going to get episodes where Dean is the constant focal point.  He played a fairly significant part in this episode, as did Sam and Mary and Cas and Crowley.  Some episodes lean more heavily in one brother's direction, or the other, but most times we're going to get what we got here...everyone playing a role of equal importance.

This is what made the episode work for me. I mean, it wasn't a standout production-wise, nor was the concept super-special or especially creatively executed; the writing was fine, but I wouldn't say it was spectacular either. However, what won me over was the ensemble nature of the episode. I found it refreshing they gave everyone something to do and, in the end, it was the team who won the day.

I don't think they've had an ensemble episode where the whole band gets together that's actually worked for me in years; probably not since S5, but I'm probably forgetting one this morning. Granted, it wasn't perfect--if Mary hadn't been such a numb skull in the end and they hadn't milked Cass's not-death for all it's worth I'd have been happier--but overall, I worked for me, after all was said and done. 

Of course, miles vary greatly on these things, though.

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2 hours ago, Aeryn13 said:

Something that really rankled was Crowley saying that it took (them and) the power of God to stop the darkness. Are you kidding me? God laying dying until Amara healed him. If you don`t wanna acknowledge Dean`s contribution, at least don`t make up random shit in its stead. Billie had more of contribution than God though in the end the bomb wasn`t the point.  

I guess it is possible that Crowley doesn't know what really happened. Although we as viewers all saw what Dean did, we have not seen anyone on the show talking about it. Dean just told Sam he would tell him about it later, but unfortunately that apparently took place off-screen. It is possible that Dean minimized his contribution; I think that would be characteristic of him.

You have a point, though. After all, Gabriel coming out of "witness protection" and joining the fight to stop the Apocalypse, giving them the information that the rings of the Four Horsemen could be used to put Lucifer back in the cage, was the only thing that made it possible for Sam to jump in the hole, taking Lucifer and Michael with him. But when it is talked about, no one on the show ever says that the Apocalypse was averted by "the power of the archangel Gabriel". Considering that what transpired between Dean and Amara has never been talked about on the show, I would have to agree to disagree that it was not an odd way to now characterize what happened, and somewhat jarring.

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Why the hell would Dean want to one-up Cas as he's laying there dying?  If someone I love is dying, I am not going to spend time telling them how I had it so much worse. 

I absolutely agree with this.  Dean would have come off as an insensitive jerk, and it wouldn't have helped Cas at all. I think that's why Dean shut down that line of conversation, because he was empathetic enough to realize that.

Quote

If you take Sam out, you have to make major changes to the script,

What major changes?  Somebody else holds the lance or draws the devil's trap?  Like so many others have pointed out, this was an ensemble episode, and I liked it because of that.  

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10 minutes ago, Wynne88 said:

What major changes?  Somebody else holds the lance or draws the devil's trap?  Like so many others have pointed out, this was an ensemble episode, and I liked it because of that.  

Exactly. 

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2 hours ago, Wynne88 said:

I absolutely agree with this.  Dean would have come off as an insensitive jerk, and it wouldn't have helped Cas at all. I think that's why Dean shut down that line of conversation, because he was empathetic enough to realize that.

I was annoyed with that moment originally and now I'm of a few minds on this

I'm going to give Perez some benefit of doubt here. It makes no sense for the writer to have Cas actuallybe serious that he doesn't know  when Dean had it worse since  Cas saved Dean and healed his Hellhound shredded corpse. He knows everything Dean has been through.

IMO, Dean was trying to take the edge off by attempting to be funny with "you look like hammered crap ". Then trying to make himself and Cas feel less worried /give hope that it wasn't as bad as it looked by saying "i ve had worse". Cas has been rather sarcastic with Dean this season, which takes Dean aback each time so he could have been trying to banter sarcastically with "yeah, when?", hence Deans  WTF face. But  did not see Cas' expression it's hard to say if it matches the tone of his voice which came off as angry.

My other mind is that  Cas was actually scared for the first time in his life like feeling angry that he was dying and Deans attempts to take the edge off just pissed off Cas and Dean didn't get that until Cas said "yeah, when" in a rather sarcastic tone.

I  found it strange that the camera didnt show Cas' face when he said "yeah, when", which leaves us to decide solely from Deans perspective whether  Cas really forgot Deans suffering, is really angry because he feels tremendous pain & believes he's dying and  he's not in the mood for Deans "performing", or he's attempting to banter back. I don't know if that is an intentional choice to not show us to make decide for ourselves or a Fuck up on directing or editing.

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5 hours ago, ILoveReading said:

I didn't see any leadership from Dean in this ep.

I did. Dean was the leader in the barn - Mary asked Dean "so what do we do?" The barn plan also was the one that was at least somewhat effective in that they trapped Ramiel for a bit and got some information that they needed. It actually would've been even more effective if not for the screw up of Mary's part of the plan from earlier. I honestly don't remember Dean asking Sam what they should do. I could be wrong, and I'll have to rewtach the episode, because that would  an interesting - and welcomed for me - change in the dynamic, because usually Sam asks Dean what they should do - which I'm fine with, because I like that Sam trusts Dean so much and is willing to take the follower role (for me it shows he's not always "arrogant") - but a change where Dean asks Sam would be nice, also. The part I remember is Mary asking Dean what they should do.

So we can agree to disagree on this one.

5 hours ago, ILoveReading said:

So eliminate Dean from the ep and all you eliminate is a plan that doesn't work.   So again nothing changes. 

The entire scene with Sam and Wally would've had to be different, because Mary was off saving Cas, and poor Wally was busy being killed, so no one would've been there to save Sam from the demon who was about to kill him while he was lying on the ground woozy after getting whacked on the head again. I guess they could've had less of Crowley's demons coming, but that would've been a fairly lame fight and that's generally not the way Crowley does things anyway. Crowley generally has a contingent of demons doing anything important. He's generally not stupid enough to trust only one or sometimes even two demons for such a task, because the chances that a demon might screw up - or worse, betray him - would be greater the fewer demons he had on a task.

So without Dean that entire scene would've had to have been rewritten, because unless Sam was momentarily dazed and off his game, not saving Wally would've looked bad for Sam. And seeing Wally die was a dramatic part of the scene... it will make more of an impact for Sam when Mary's betrayal is uncovered, because Sam had to watch Wally die, making it more personal. Especially if they find out why Mary brought Wally in in the first place from the BMoL or some other way.

So I'll agree to disagree here as well.

5 hours ago, ILoveReading said:

The pointy end of the spear does the stabbing.  Dean did not do that. 

Its not that Sam made the kill, its that he did it with Michael's weapon.  The could have easily made that Lance belong to any of the other Archangels.

But Dean killed the earlier demon as I mentioned above.

And my guess is that the spear will become important later - Lucifer and/or his spawn is still around after all - and my guess was that it will be more dramatic if Dean uses the spear later than if he used it now as well. I suspect that Dean will be the one to think that the weapon can be fixed somehow while everyone else thinks it's a lost cause. I could be entirely wrong, but it seems odd that they'd bring in Chekov's Michael's spear and then not do anything with it later.

On this point, it's still to be seen what's going to come of this.


I agree with @DittyDotDot that this was one of the better ensemble episodes they've had recently. Though I liked the ensemble build up to the season 11 finale, the ending scenes were more about Dean (which is fine, by the way - I have no complaints about that.) But I also enjoyed that this one was more ensemble all the way through.

Edited by AwesomO4000
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On 2/16/2017 at 9:07 PM, Wynne88 said:

Despite the fact that they tortured Sam.  I think Dean will have a really hard time forgiving that.

While I understand where you are coming from, according to canon, I don't how them torturing Sam should apply, considering Sam himself has already called them for help, more than once. So . . . maybe Sam and Dean are as desensitized to Sam torture as we are.

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6 hours ago, mertensia said:

I really wonder why the BMoL haven't kidnapped the boys, drugged them, and pumped them for all the info they can get. I would were I a BMoL. They must have heard rumors about them. The Apocalypse. Roy and Walt (Disney?). Crowley.

Did you miss the first two episods of the season?

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2 minutes ago, Res said:

While I understand where you are coming from, according to canon, I don't how them torturing Sam should apply, considering Sam himself has already called them for help, more than once. So . . . maybe Sam and Dean are as desensitized to Sam torture as we are.

That's true. The show also introduced Cole by having him torture Sam, and even though I couldn't forgive or like Cole after that, the Winchesters apparently did! And the show seemed to expect the audience to, too.

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1 minute ago, rue721 said:

That's true. The show also introduced Cole by having him torture Sam, and even though I couldn't forgive or like Cole after that, the Winchesters apparently did! And the show seemed to expect the audience to, too.

I can understand the Cole forgiveess a bit more easily than BMOL forgiveness.  Cole was trying to avenge his father and didn't know about monsters.  Sam and Dean could totally relate to that.  The BMOLs tortured Sam just because they wanted info that, ironically, I bet Sam would have given them willingly if they had asked politely.  Sam's always been the one more willing to work with others and for all the times he's been betrayed, he trusts pretty easily.

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5 hours ago, MysteryGuest said:

When you have a specific favorite, you want them to get all the best scenes, but that's just not going to happen on this show.

I don't think anyone here is saying this or even implying it.

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I know Dean's connection to Michael is down played in the show and since the Apocalypse was averted/stopped there is the school of thought amongst viewers that  Dean's connection to Michael no longer exists.  I don't agree with that school of thought myself.  For me as long as Michael and Lucifer are still known to be alive in the universe then Dean and Sam are still eligible to be their respective meatsuits should the story opt to go that route. 

That said, I would not be the least bit surprised if we found out that somehow Crowley got his mitts on Nick's body and he's been hosting Michael and now Lucifer and Michael are roommates in Nick's meatsuit. I say this because mystery man was singing which was what Lucifer said Michael was doing along with diddling himself. Why have the episode end on "That's not my name" if it's pretty clear that it's Pellegrino's voice which implies Lucifer 1.0. The name matters here and IMO that name might end up being Michael.  Just a speculation. Not a spoiler.

Edited by catrox14
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1 hour ago, Katy M said:

Did you miss the first two episods of the season?

I saw the first two episodes and I thought they didn't make a lot of sense.  If they went with what was implied in the finale, that the BMoLs see the Winchesters as causing more trouble then then start, then Toni's motives are understandable.  But she wanted Sam's help.  Why not try to recruit him?  Why shoot him and torture him?  Those two things would be counter productive to what you (general you) want to accomplish.  Her motives were completely contradictory to her goal.

It seemed more like a checklist Dabb was working off rather than actually attempting to tell a logical story.

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10 minutes ago, ILoveReading said:

I saw the first two episodes and I thought they didn't make a lot of sense. 

I thought it didn't m ake sense either.  Like I said somewhere else, if they had asked Sam nicely, he probably would have told them everything they wanted to know.  But, I was just responding to the poster who asked why the BMOLs didn't kidnap Sam and Dean and drugged them for info. Well, they did.  Sam anyway. Didn't work.  Trying something different now.

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1 hour ago, catrox14 said:

That said, I would not be the least bit surprised if we found out that somehow Crowley got his mitts on Nick's body and he's been hosting Michael and now Lucifer and Michael are roommates in Nick's meatsuit. I say this because mystery man was singing which was what Lucifer said Michael was doing along with diddling himself. Why have the episode end on "That's not my name" if it's pretty clear that it's Pellegrino's voice which implies Lucifer 1.0. The name matters here and IMO that name might end up being Michael.  Just a speculation. Not a spoiler.

Crowley called Lucifer "Dog."  Not Lucifer.  So, 'that's not my name' wouldn't mean he wasn't Lucifer.  Nick's been dead 6-7 years, and he could barely contain Lucifer.  I don't think his decayed body would be stronger in order to hold two archangels.  And, I don't think I've seen any evidence on the show that an angel can use an empty vessel.  Cas is the one exception, but that's not actually a human body, it's a specially made vessel by God.  Plus, why would Crowley go get Lucifer a vessel?  I would think he would want him vesselless.  We already saw in O Brother Where ARt Thou, that Lucifer can conjure up Nick aura--that apparently is solid so that he can punch people (Oh why did you even make me go here?)

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7 hours ago, ILoveReading said:

No, Dean took down the darkness and saved the word, but there seems to be a mandate that Dean's past isn't allowed to be mentioned or brought up in meaningful ways. 

Dean didn't take down the Darkness.  He talked down the Darkness.  There's a difference.  

7 hours ago, PAForrest said:

Also apparently the gag order remains intact WRT no mention at all of Dean's one-time connection to Michael. Even Dean acted like he'd never heard of Michael before. 

Dean never really even had a connection to Michael, imo.  Not any more so than to any other random angel or archangel.  So why bother mentioning it?  What would that accomplish?  Nothing.  

Also, I thought the "Michael, Michael?" from Dean pretty clearly indicated that he knew who Michael was.  

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22 minutes ago, Katy M said:

rowley called Lucifer "Dog."  Not Lucifer.  So, 'that's not my name' wouldn't mean he wasn't Lucifer.  Nick's been dead 6-7 years, and he could barely contain Lucifer.  I don't think his decayed body would be stronger in order to hold two archangels.  And, I don't think I've seen any evidence on the show that an angel can use an empty vessel.  Cas is the one exception, but that's not actually a human body, it's a specially made vessel by God.  Plus, why would Crowley go get Lucifer a vessel?  I would think he would want him vesselless.  We already saw in O Brother Where ARt Thou, that Lucifer can conjure up Nick aura--that apparently is solid so that he can punch people (Oh why did you even make me go here?)

I didn't say Crowley was calling him  Lucifer. I know he called him Dog which is theoretically  payback for Casifer calling Crowley 'doggie'. My point was more that audience, aside from brand new viewers, would immediately recognize Pellegrino's voice so they would know it was Lucifer.  To me it seemed kind of strange to end on when it's not even a power play that much if Crowley has Lucifer on lockdown.  Hence my wild ass speculation re "That's not my name'. 

5 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Also, I thought the "Michael, Michael?" from Dean pretty clearly indicated that he knew who Michael was.

I'm pinning all my hopes on Jensen's recitation of "Michael..Michael?" as a strongly accented note that he doesn't forget just like he had to make the hesistation before descending back into Hell the first time along with Dean picking up the pieces of the Lance of Michael as something cool coming for him re Michael.  I am so hoping.

I

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Finally got to get in a proper rewatch (iTunes, 27" screen -- the pretty is UP CLOSE).  Here's my additional/emphasized thoughts:

-Tarantino Style: I LOVED IT.  I totally get that QT is not a favorite director for everyone so YMMV on this.  But if ever they were going to do an homage, this is the show and this is the episode to do it.  First, if there's anything about QT style it's BRUTAL and mundane simultaneously.  That is the definition of a Hunter's life on Supernatural.  Second, it's ensemble.  As many have pointed out, this was definitely an ensemble episode.  But if you are going to do a QT homage, this episode did it well.  First, the central danger - Cas gut-shot with excruciating pain.  Second, two brutal fight scenes where everyone is shooting, stabbing, body throwing.  Third, there's a complex backstory for Mary, Cas, and Crowley that give depth to those three set pieces (diner, house fight, barn fight).  So the non-linear story-telling sets us up to really appreciate ALL that is happening "in the moment" of those three scenes.  It's also fun, IMO, because we see what individual characters are really picking up on and what they miss.  It shows us insights into what they think are important.  Finally, the initial smash-cut from diner to bleeding Cas is a great attention grabber IMO.  I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  
Yes, it's art-house Supernatural style.  And this is one that may not have as many fans as some of the other avant garde episodes (Baby, Fan Fiction, etc...).  As a film buff, I ate it up like chocolate mousse with whipped cream.  


-  Diner Scene: The guys whose life usually ends up with a brutal and bloody death are having a nice little pre-game dinner.  Conversation is light and banter is high.
Mother Mary: (And how apt was THAT title card! -- how many started singing 'Let It Be'?) Mary is on edge. To an extreme.  She's hatched this plan to get the BMoL their toy and she has little time for banter.  She wants everyone on high alert like she is.  She only catches half the conversation going -- it's just noise to her. Further, we find out that Wally is mostly unwittingly just feeding lies to the boys. Not just about him calling Mary but that there were cattle mutilations and dead virgins.  That BMoL bullshit right there.  Here's the question: did Mary KNOW the demon signs were bullshit?  Because they had to be. Ramiel wanted to be left alone.  That data was fed to Sam and Dean by Wally but it's veracity is in question.  I think Wally thought the signs were real.  But Sam and Dean needed convincing it was a demon for them to set up the trap.  So Mary set up the whole thing on false pretenses.  And she gambled with their lives. NOT COOL MOM.  
Wounded Angel: This is a delightful scene for him. We've already seen him ruminating on the Kelly situation (and listening to a fire and brimstone radio show is not what he needs right now).  But when he cottons on that the waitress is engaging him in a different conversation than everyone else, he tries to catch up. I LOVED the waitress sniff he did after Dean and Wally told him that matters.  And his eyebrows went up.  He got that there's a smell.  What that means, I'm not sure he knows.  But in classic Cas fashion, he takes in this important lesson because Dean has says it's a teachable moment.  So Cas gives it serious thought.  I love that about the Dean/Cas relationship.  Despite living on Earth for most of 8 years, Dean is still his tour guide and Cas still wants to know.  
Mr. Crowley: N/A
The little things: Dean says 'natural lubricant' to Sam as part of his argument.  Whut?  I google'd natural lubricant and surprisingly, the first few links are about greasy food providing more 'lubricant' for women's genitalia.  

1NHmlLM.gif

- House Fight: Well that went bad rather quickly.
Mother Mary: Mission accomplished (the Colt) before the demon even shows up.  And then he turns out to have Yellow Eyes! But note that she had full confidence in her boys to take out a routine demon.  Dean was first (with bullets), Sam was second (with the knife), Mary was third (with the Angel blade) and Cas was batting cleanup with a smiting.  Bullets and blades are ineffective and the demon goes straight after Cas, ignoring the other three.  A simple immobilize and kill turns into a trap for the boys.  Sam and Dean survive the basic demons because they are Sam and Dean. Wally is a red shirt whose blood is on Mary's hands.  Cas is the real target for Ramiel and he gets fatally stabbed.  Nice recovery, however, by taking out Ramiel with an SUV.  She listened when Cas said run and then came back with an effective weapon (the car).
Wounded Angel: He's trying to relate to Mary ("I get it. Urination.") but I think he was a little suspicious of her return from the basement.  He was clearly taken aback when things went pear-shaped.  At that point he was just in survival mode.  I liked that he kept fighting -- kept crawling away from the danger.  No wimpy angel here -- he knew to get away to fight again.  
Mr. Crowley:  While not directly here, he's had demons stationed for 7 years.  And they did what they were supposed to do.  They backed up Ramiel.  So, from that perspective, he once again lived up to his side of the baragain.
It's the little things: The slow-build menace with the whistling, the brutality of the fight, Sam assuring Dean that Wally and he were alright so go help Mom and Cas, The choreography was just fantastic. It was big and brawling. 

- Barn Burner: The plot thickens and the backstories are meaty.
Mother Mary: Stunned after seeing another Yellow Eyes, I’m pretty upset with her for not giving up the Colt.  Now she probably realized they would be killed anyway, but she should have confessed to the boys after.  It looked like she was going to then backed off.  NOT COOL.  I also saw a little bit of shock at the depth of emotions both boys have for Cas as family. I think she admired them in that moment and I’m not sure she expected that.  It’s not that she doesn’t know they are basically good men who save people, I think she’s been trying to lump them as ‘hunters’ and this was not what she was expecting.  Which is silly, of course family is everything.  But yet she seemed stunned.
Wounded Angel: He was in such pain.  And yet, as his guts are spilling out, Cas spills his guts (again) in an emotional way.  In this and First Blood he’s been very clear about what the Winchesters mean to him. And he puts it out there.  He’s never been so open about this before.  And Sam and Dean are so bro-code that this openness takes them back a little bit.  It’s not that they don’t know this information, it’s just that they don’t talk about it.  Not openly. Not like Cas does.  That scene, with them sitting around Cas as his insides ooze out, and he’s looking at them with his intense blue eyes – that was almost too much to bear.  I think they were gearing up for their own goodbyes when Crowley showed up and saved Cas.
Mr. Crowley: Well THAT was refreshing.  We get how he became King of Hell, the backstory on the Princes, and an open acknowledgement of the value of the Winchesters.  Plus he’s keeping Lucifer as a pet.  Does he have a choice?  Did the egg not send Luci all the way back to the cage? Is Luci really there or only torturing Crowley’s mind?  Regardless of those issues, I was proud of him defending Team Free Will and breaking the lance.  I want Dean to send him a “thank you” text message.  He’s earned it. 
It’s the little things: Crowley’s scream as he busts into the barn, the weird way the lance materializes, the tick, tick, tick Mexican standoff, the use of a shovel, and the ‘lance drop’ (aka mic drop) at the end.

Final little bits:
- “Mr. Crowley” works well as an homage to Reservoir Dogs, the song, and that Rob and Rich sing that song every time Sheppard comes onto the stage at a convention.
- Wally-the-redshirt. You so didn’t deserve to die. And I like that he also appreciates the way waitresses smell.  Kudos to whomever pointed out that Dean has mentioned good smelling waitresses before (Baby).
- I am the only person on the planet who apparently has some doubt that Mary gave away the Colt.  Ketch said he wanted to see it.  Now Mary put it in his ‘space’ so everyone else could be right, but I’m just not sure she gave it to him. 
- The music was perfect IMO.  Yes, it was part of the homage but the Hunters are like the cowboys of the old west and somehow I felt that connection with these songs. Then again, I just saw the Magnificent Seven, so I could be drawing an unintended parallel.

Bottom Line for the TL; DR:  I loved the story, the format, the characters, and the contribution to the mythology. It’s not just a Tarantino homage but an acknowledgement that the life of a hunter is short-lived and can go from mundane to brutal in a heartbeat.  This is an episode worth rewatching to pick up all the insight it provides.

Edited by SueB
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8 hours ago, PAForrest said:

And having Sam kill a YED felt like one of those check-list things they've been waiting to get to and finally did ever since Dean killed the original YED in season two

I agree with this so very much. And you know, it's sad in my opinion that TPTB seem to feel it is necessary. Lord knows it doesn't go the other way around. When Sam tried to take MOC (but it only briefly appeared, then disappeared), I thought, well, there's another tick down. I'm sorry it's really a sad state of affairs in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, SueB said:

Bottom Line for the TL; DR:  I loved the story, the format, the characters, and the contribution to the mythology. It’s not just a Tarantino homage but an acknowledgement that the life of a hunter is short-lived and can go from mundane to brutal in a heartbeat.  This is an episode worth rewatching to pick up all the insight it provides.

Let's list them out, i know you think Dean is Mr Pink (which amuses me because I can totally see Dean delivering that line about his code name) but, I actually think he's Mr. White.

Dean - Mr White 

Castiel - Mr orange (Gut wound)

Sam - Mr Pink 

Wally - Mr Brown?

Mary - Mr Blonde (only because she's the one that got them into that mess)

Crowley - Nice Guy Eddie 

Edited by Morrigan2575
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