truth-and-consequences

1.21. AKA Things both come together and fall apart…

We finally meet John’s friend Pastor Jim only for him to die in the cold open…

Truths come out, and have consequences.

Sam and Dean finally stand up to John. We know he’s known about Sam’s psychic abilities since 1.09, yet when Sam has a vision in front of John and the boys just accept it as part of their lives (because hey it’s been happening for a while now), this goes down:

JOHN: (Flatly) A vision.
SAM: (Slowly, painfully) Yes. I saw the demon burning a woman on the ceiling.
JOHN: And you think this is going to happen to this woman you met because…
SAM: Because these things happen exactly the way I see them
DEAN: It started out as nightmares. Then it started happening while he was awake.
SAM: (Wincing) Yeah. It’s like the closer I get to anything to do with the demon the stronger the visions get.
JOHN: All right. When were you going to tell me about this?
DEAN: We didn’t know what it meant.
JOHN: All right, something like this starts happening to your brother, you pick up the phone and you call me.
DEAN: Call you? Are you kidding me? Dad I called you from Lawrence all right? Sam called you when I was dying. I mean, getting you on the phone? I got a better chance of winning the lottery.
JOHN: You’re right. Although I’m not too crazy about this new tone of yours, you’re right. I’m sorry.

Sam and Dean DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THESE VISIONS MEANT. They didn’t know they were connected to the demon who killed Mary and Jess… BECAUSE JOHN NEVER GAVE THEM REASON TO THINK THAT. He kept all the information about it so close to his vest because he thought he was protecting them, but all along they had information that maybe could’ve helped stop the thing sooner. But having been kept in the dark, having been LIED TO all these years, even the lies of omission about what John was after, stymied all their efforts in the end.

It’s only coming entirely clean with all the details that  allowed them to see the entire picture and effectively begin hunting the demon.

John runs off to play decoy, bringing a fake Colt to his meeting with Meg, while Sam and Dean stay in Salvation :

JOHN: I just…I just need to buy a few hours, that’s all.
SAM: You mean for Dean and me. You want us to stay here, and kill this demon by ourselves?
JOHN: No Sam. I want to stop losing people we love. I want you to go to school, I want…. I want Dean to have a home. I want Mary alive. It’s just….I just want this to be over.

*screams for eternity*

This is the ridiculous impossible wish that Sam tries to push onto Dean (go have a home) at the end of s5. And now it’s the lure Mary’s dangled in front of Sam (you can go back to school!) in 12.14.

And it all revolved around The Colt.

DEAN: This thing goes south just…get the hell out. Don’t get yourself killed all right, you’re no good to us dead.
JOHN: Same goes for you. (There is a long pause) All right listen to me. They made the bullets special for this colt. There’s only four of them left. Without them this gun is useless. You make every shot count.
SAM: Yes sir.
JOHN: Been waiting a long time for this fight. Now it’s here I’m not gonna be in it. It’s up to you boys now. It’s your fight, you finish this. You finish what I started. Understand?
JOHN hands DEAN the colt.

JOHN HANDS DEAN THE COLT.

Yet somehow it’s Sam who ends up with the gun when they break into the house to save the baby and kill the demon. Dean’s relegated to holding off the homeowner while Sam runs upstairs to the nursery.

I normally remove the extraneous stage directions for the purposes of these meta posts, but in this instance, the stage directions say it all:

SAM hesitates, frozen and staring.
MONICA: Rosie!
SAM raises the Colt and pulls the trigger. The demon disappears into smoke. 

SAM HESITATES. It’s only Monica calling out to her baby that spurs him to action, but by then it’s already too late. Sam was FINALLY face to face with the thing that killed his mother and Jess, and he froze.

(funny how it’s Dean in the end who manages to kill the thing… Dean being the one of the three of them who was willing to lay the vengeance aside…)

SAM: Dean let me go, it’s still in there.
DEAN: No. It’s burning to the ground, it’s suicide.
SAM: (Yelling) I don’t care.
DEAN: I do!

and then we hit the very painful core of 12 years of Winchester Family Dynamics:

SAM: If you had just let me go in there, I coulda ended all this.
DEAN: Sam, the only thing you would have ended was your life.
SAM: You don’t know that.
DEAN: So what, you’re just willing to sacrifice yourself, is that it?
SAM: Yeah. Yeah you’re damn right I am.
DEAN: Well that’s not going to happen, not as long as I’m around.
SAM: What the hell are you talking about Dean, we’ve been searching for this demon our whole lives. It’s the only thing we’ve ever cared about.
DEAN: Sam I wanna waste it. I do. Okay? But it’s not worth dying over.
SAM: What?
DEAN: I mean it. If hunting this demon means getting yourself killed then I hope we never find the damn thing.
SAM: That thing killed Jess. That thing killed Mom.
DEAN: You said yourself once, that no matter what we do, they’re gone, and they’re never coming back.
SAM: Don’t you say that, not you! Not after all this don’t you say that.
DEAN: Sam look. The three of us…that’s all we have…and it’s all I have. Sometimes I feel like I’m barely holding it together man…and without you or Dad….

*resists urge to just bold that entire conversation*

Sam sees getting his revenge as the end of the line. To him it means getting out of hunting, but he’s reached a point where nothing else matters to him at all

This really puts into context what Dean said to Mary in 12.02:

Dean: You know when you died, it changed Dad. I mean he was hell-bent on finding out what happened. The hunter life, it just took him over. I guess I was the same. But, Sammy– Sammy, he was different. He wanted out. He went to school, he went to Stanford.
Mary: Sam had a chance to get out, and he came back?
Dean: When Dad disappeared, Sam and I looked around and something became very clear. The only thing we had in this world – the only thing, aside from this car – was each other.

Because without each other, the only thing they would’ve had was that revenge, and that’s just no fucking way to live.

At that time, it wasn’t a depressing thing to think that all they had was each other. It’s what SAVED THEIR LIVES. It’s what gave them something to live for when they were at a place where it seemed like the only solution was to die. I mean… yeah, it’s still not a happy solution, but it was better than the alternative.

Live for the living, instead of dying for the dead.

And Mary just didn’t have the context to understand it. It’s like she’s picked up the other side of their s1 revenge quest, picking up right where she’d left off in 1983. She’s taken on John and Sam’s mission to destroy the Great Evil Thing as a sort of revenge for her loss of her babies, and for everything they’ve been through since her death. She’s willing to put her own life on the line over and over again. Someone needs to give her that little speech Dean gave Sam in 1.21.

No matter what you do, those little boys are gone and they’re never coming back. But the men they grew into have done incredible things, and they haven’t asked to have their lost childhoods and innocence avenged. They came to terms with their lives a long, long time ago.

It’s okay to let go and start living for the living.

“We were extra hard on him to toughen him up, and look what happened!”

-

Ludo is probably my favorite character in ‘Star vs The Forces of Evil’, and depending on where the writers are planning to take this, he might turn out to be the most important.

Who is Ludo?

In Season 2 of ‘Evil, the bard Ruberiot, who has vowed to sing The Truth, no matter the consequences, calls Ludo an envious jester. And yet Ludo might be the key to the core narrative of the show, and to the destiny of his entire world. 

Ludo is a fool. He is weak and stunted in every conceivable way - mentally, physically, emotionally, morally. 

In fact, one has to wonder how he even manages to be the heroine’s main antagonist at all. In Season 1, he had assembled a gang of vicious monsters and thrown his clan out of their ancestral home. Surely he must have SOME hidden talents?

In the episode ‘Ludo in the wild’, we finally learn what these are. For the first time, we really get to observe the pattern up close.

Ludo is alone. Weak, cold and hungry, surrounded by creatures much stronger and craftier than himself. 

He starts stalking them. They are kicking him around, and yet with glassy eyes, he keeps on following them into their nests, returning to their abuse like a moth to the flame. Except this particular moth is not flammable. They may feel pity for him, or disgust, but whatever he feels does not go any deeper than the most basic, ludicrous flashes of hunger, fear, pain and outrage. And… affection.

Are we starting to see how the trigger-happy warrior princess Star Butterfly might have first caught his attention? 

He’s always watching. Worming his way into his abusers’ lives, until they are becoming used to him. They think they know what their power dynamics are.

And then, in the blink of an eye, Ludo turns the tables. Perhaps even without realizing it himself, he has studied his abusers, knowing them on an intimate, if purely instinctual level.

If you are what you eat, and Ludo is all the way at the bottom of the food chain, then congratulations: Ludo is a part of you now.

Ludo’s talent is surviving abuse and mirroring his abusers (he even gets the better of Star Butterfly when he learns magic and steals her spellbook), in a twisted mockery of family relations. He did it with Arachne and the Bird (his two mothers…), the horde of rats, probably with his first troop of monsters as well. Oh yeah, and his actual family, where all of this started.

Ultimately, of course, his domain will fall apart. Once he has gathered his armies and his prizes, he hardly even knows what to do with them. All of his attempts at grandiose shemes are short-sighted and doomed to fail. As a survivor, he only lives in the moment. Easily tricked and robbed of all his achievements, or manipulated by those with much greater designs into doing their bidding. His armies of abusers are quick to turn on him again once he inevitably loses his focus, because frankly, they are not even sure why they ever… adopted him in the first place.

He has no past, and he has no future. It’s funny how he commands his army of rats to rebuild an ancient monster stronghold - ultimately doing little more than shoving debris around, before the house of cards inevitably falls apart again. In dreams and stories, houses represent your mind, your inner life. What does this ruin say about Ludo?

Ludo was the runt of the litter, and he has never grown up. Ludo is a child. Reverting again and again, repeating his cycle of survival and abandonment.  

There is a remarkable scene where the wise, ancient entity Glossaryck is trying to teach Ludo magic, and just after Ludo expressed his disappointment that convincing Glossaryck to work for him did not require torture, he immediately demands Glossaryck torture HIM. Just a couple of scenes later, he meekly asks Glossaryck to praise him, even tuck him into bed calling him “my darling”. 

Yeah, take a wild guess how those wires got crossed in Ludo’s head.

Ludo is attracted to abuse, to the abusive use of power, and abusers are attracted to him. He is the very focal point of the eponymous Forces of Evil.

Despite what you might have thought when you picked up this waaacky show, when it comes to Evil, with a capital “E”, they are being dead serious. Hint: it’s not the kind that is reliably confined to an impressive villain character, a single person or faction.

Star Butterfly will have to dip down and go deep.

As you might have guessed by now, the monsters themselves are not the Forces of Evil (though the Jury is still out on Toffee). They are the remnants of proud nations who have been decimated, robbed of their lands and pushed to the margins of civilization, many of them turning bitter and violent. 

In a way, Ludo is the ultimate monster.

And ‘Evil is his story.

The battle for the soul of that world is going to be fought inside Ludo.

Literally.

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Julien Solomita started a show on YouTube called Last Minute Trips! Julien is my absolute favorite vlogger! He came out with a shirt for the first epsidoe and next episode will be happening this weekend! He said they’d be throwing the dart again this weekend and I can’t wait!!!! Let’s see where the dart takes them next!!!!

Also if you want to follow on Snapchat then it’s Phycoticrainbow Okay to reblog~
I know some people will “say that you can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue within their actions.” But if those people are still effected by everything you have to say, somewhere deep down inside they realize that their actions are wrong, they are just too stubborn to admit when they are and are too much of a coward to change them.
—  Joanna Strafford, Tangled