well the only good thing about this ep was actually sam and dean and sam's hair like

Hi there. I know you’re a big Sam fan, so I was wondering if you might have any advice along the lines of what fic writers tend to miss when writing him or stuff that makes his voice seem off in fic. I don’t read a lot of fic that has his perspective extensively so I haven’t picked up on anything yet myself, but I’m sure there are things. Thanks!


First of all, thanks for asking this. The only way to prevent the spread of the plague of Sam Abuse is to talk about it like it actually is a fucking communicable disease because that’s really how badly it can take over.

Second, I’m going to direct you to a tag on my blog, #Sam Winchester is BEST Winchester.

Now, this isn’t just so you can reblog literally everything there because I know you want to (he’s so perfect????). Rather, in answer to your question, I think it might be easier to use the posts in that tag as a reference than to say “WELP maybe watch each of the episodes 26 times like I have and you’ll get a better idea.”

(I haven’t watched every episode 26 times.)

And I’m sure I write Sam badly sometimes, so, just, bottom line? I’m not an authority but if you’re gonna give me the opportunity to gently guide you to good Sam writing, I’mma do my best to gently guide the fuck out of you.

IMPORTANT SAM THINGS TO REMEMBER:

Sam Winchester Died For Us.

First and foremost every. single. fucking. time. I will scream about it until I’m dead and gone. Sam chose to throw himself in a hole with the one creature we’re all supposed to fear and as if it weren’t enough to save us from the Devil himself, he also grabbed the second angriest archangel and dragged him with so these two pricks could pick on each other for the rest of time, knowing full well he’d likely be their greatest fucking chew toy in that cage.

And Sam did these things to keep his brother safe, yes. But he also did these things to save all the lives on. the. planet.

One of the main reasons that Sam does things is

Sam Winchester Loves His Brother and Wants Him to Be Happy.

And a lot of what you need to know about Sam comes from the way he was raised – thus a lot of what you need to know about Sam is what kind of man raised him. And we ain’t talkin about John.

The man who raised Sam didn’t know how to raise a kid because he was a kid himself. So he just clung on and did his best and that means he loved too much and too close and so Sam’s formative idea of love is intense. Too much. Too close.

A sad fact is that

Sam Winchester Thinks He is a Dirty Infection.

Even before he knew he was fed demon blood, he suspected something was wrong. And we learn toward the end of Season Gr8 that he actually boxed away and hid a lot of serious sadness and self-loathing and held deep a very toxic belief that he was unclean and impure.

Now as far as writing Sam goes, these are the three blocks of foundation that I find most contribute to standing him on his own and telling a story about him.

If fics don’t remember these things, I usually put the fic down.

Sam feels dirty, Sam loves his brother, and he wants humanity to be free of infections like himself and he wants his brother not to have to deal with his bullshit.

So he saved all. of. us.

Now.

Sam is also heavily susceptible to being the absolute King of Best Intentions.

In order to shove monsters and mean freaks off the planet, in order to save people and preserve human life and keep his brother safe, he has done bad things with the best of intentions. That doesn’t mean that his intentions have never gone sour.

Because he’s a fucking human being.

So what I really need from writers is to allow Sam Winchester to be complex and flawed. The way he really is.

He is drawn to power and he has noticed this about himself and tried to check his behavior. He is quick to anger and he has noticed this about himself and tried to check his behavior. He is naturally big and intimidating and so he slouches in his clothes and hangs off his pockets and smiles like a big, cute dope when he looms accepts hugs from short people. Being tall isn’t something he can help, but he knows how to use it by now. He has learned how to make it mean safety and make it mean murder.

So now go back through some eps or through that tag with me.

Watch gifs or watch Sam on mute sometimes. Notice the way he moves.

He can’t help but be sure of where his feet go, and he doesn’t always restrain his physical movements, but he is dorky and hesitant sometimes, the way people are when they’re overjoyed to meet a new dog or something. Like, “I’m bigger than you, so let’s not make this scary, let’s find out how kind we can be to each other.”

Sam bites back words. He stops himself from going in certain directions sometimes and others he just kind of rattles stuff off because he just didn’t engage his filter.

Sam isn’t a people person!!

Sam doesn’t actually play well with others. He was raised to fit in with the normies – he was raised to act. But he’s not wild about hanging out with them. He sits hunched into himself or makes goofy, stilted, comedic movements.

Sam doesn’t understand family dynamics!! It’s something he’s read about in novels and watched on TV and something he thinks he gets and he’s just kind of annoyed by it? Sam is the kind of person who would choose who to love. If he had graduated with his people at Stanford, they probably all would have backpacked Europe together, after, and moved into the same apartment complex and tried to make every week of their lives a Friends rerun. He would want to choose his family.

That’s not to say that the family he has – Dean – is someone he would not choose.

At this point, however, his family relationship with his brother is a pretty unhealthy attachment that he can no longer function without.

This is something that the show doesn’t seem to want to fix, so, frankly, the more fanfic tackles the issue, the better. Because LAWD knows that Sam likes to keep his body healthy. If he could only care that he wasn’t keeping his mind healthy, he’d be in superb shape.

Sam encourages children!!
TO DO CRIME REALLY GOOD!!!!!!!

Sam Winchester grew up raised by another kid. They had tantrum hissy fits when dad wanted them to practice their shotguns and hand-to-hand combat. Guaran-fucking-teed. So Sam doesn’t get the whole innocent children thing. From afar? Maybe yeah. Protecting innocents? Yes, okay.

But when kids are all set to do evil, anyway, he’s like, could you at least grow up doing evil correctly??? Please.

I know I’m skipping around a bit.

But there’s just so much to cover.

PHYSICAL STUFF:

You need to remember that this nerd is FUKKEN’ RIPPED. Sam exercises on top of running around and ganking things for a living. He pushes his body to the limit but it’s also likely that he gets up and jogs real early like some absolute fucking fruitbat. STOP SAM WE WANT YOU TO GET MORE SLEEP.

On that note: SAM DOES NOT GET ENOUGH SLEEP. I can basically guarantee that. And it feels too normal to him so someone really ought to shake him out of the habit of only sleeping two hours in a 72-hour period.

Sam eats well. He probably doesn’t keep snacks around to mindlessly eat or pick up candy whenever it’s offered. He probably has two reasonable meals and one Really Good Super Healthy Meal every day. He doesn’t consider hamburgers toxic, but he’s not gonna have a soda if he also eats his fries. That kind of thing. Then, one meal per day? QUINOA WITH GOAT CHEESE ON SPINACH AND KALE WITH A LEMON VINAIGRETTE. Bam. Somewhere Dean is shifting uncomfortably just knowing that sentence exists in the world.

Sam sprawls.

Please make sure that when you apply your Sam Winchester to your scenery, you hit italics on that motherfucker and let him sprawl. He is too long for conventional chairs and I imagine his knees are continually bruised. His back is probably achy.

Sam sprawls on furniture and leans back in chairs and he looks weird and squished when he’s on couches. Please remember this just for my enjoyment, thanks. Please remember, also, that his toesies hang off his bed and that’s really sad and he needs proper accommodations. (I love him so much, I’m heartbroken.)

PLEASE REMEMBER SAM’S HAIR this one is for my SANITY.

You guys. I have had Sam-length hair for most my life. Mine is agonizingly curly, though, not a silken wave of bliss.

But I need you to remember that, when he settles down, he tosses his head a little to get it off his neck or away from his face. He pushes it behind his ears and there is ABSOLUTELY a secret length at which it drives him nuts and he has to get it cut. He’s got great boring white boy hair, though, so probably anyone can do it (probably he doesn’t have to rely on one person WHO KNOWS HOW TO DO IT RIGHT AND PAY HER A LOT OF MONEY I JUST DID THIS IT’S VERY IMPORTANT).

Please remember the heaving-bosom thing he does for maximum Samness.

Please remember that Sam is full of cringe-worthy moments of hilarity. He goofs up all the time just like that one time you fell down the entire second half of the Hall 100 stairwell on your ass and literally everyone who has ever hated your guts was watching and got the opportunity to laugh heartily.

He tries to laugh it off but he could proBABLY USE A DAMN HUG AFTERWARD I’M JUST SAYING.

Sam is very, very, intimately familiar with pain, ache, anguish, agony, failure, and desperation. He is suicidal. He is depressed. He does a very good job being functional and trying his best to be happy and there for the people who need him. He does an incredibly good job staying alive under those circumstances. But, again, we circle back around to the fact that Sam blames himself for the evil that was fed into him as a child. Blames himself for the predestined, cattle-prodded, bullshit fate he fulfilled in letting Lucifer out of the cage. And he blames himself every subsequent time there’s been an opportunity to save the world that didn’t quite pan out.

Sam didn’t finish school. If you think this doesn’t bug him, this is understandable because the show kicks this fact around maybe once a year like a deflated soccer ball. If you think this wouldn’t bug someone, then that might mean you haven’t had to pause school for any reason and you don’t know what an absolute joke that can make you feel like. When you’ve proven you’re smart but life doesn’t let you have the stupid fucking paper. So people look at you a certain way and tell you for the rest of time that “employers will think this way about you” and then list the 92 ways in which you are, I GUESSED IT, I WIN, a total failure.

Sam is smart. But he didn’t get the stupid paper. Didn’t get to go be a lawyer. Probably worries that he’s actually just a meathead hunter. He has a passion for being the first to LEARN why some phenomenon is going on. But we don’t reward a passion for learning in this country unless that’s a fakeass line you shove on your scholarship application.

Now, here are some things from fics that need to stop:

  • STOP calling Sam selfish
  • STOP sending Sam to the library
  • STOP making Sam and Cas out to be in opposition (they are LITERALLY friends and PROBABLY brothers-in-law so STOP)
  • STOP calling Sam moose non-fucking-stop
  • STOP writing him as if he looks down on Dean and thinks of him as lesser
  • STOP assuming he wants to make babies unless you write a good fucking reason for a change of attitude because the show as a whole ACTUALLY does not support the six seconds in S08 when he thought he wanted to maybe, possibly, some day reproduce
  • STOP making him super-serious 100% of the time, hello, he is a fucking goofball, it’s adorable

And finally, fanfic is largely about FIXING the inane crap that the show has been pounding down our throats, so feel free to explore the ways that Sam can find what he does not have in canon and what has not been offered to him. I will repeat myself from here:

  • a best friend
  • a life
  • meaningful relationships outside his brother
  • relationships without mourning at their center
  • relationships based on health and happiness
  • romantic attraction and some dates at least ffs
  • a texting buddy
  • CLOTHES HE LOOKS COMFORTABLE IN???
  • a hobby or something i mean goddamn
  • i don’t even care about dogs and i recognize that Sam needs a dog
  • a fucking vacation

One final point:

Sam is powerful, he is so so pretty when he smiles, and, bottom line, he puts other people before himself.

Sam loves us and wants us to be happy.

anonymous asked:

I think, too, the subtext debate can tear the fandom into two groups: those who are happy for it to stay subtext and don't require more to see it as valid, and those who are invested in it becoming textual canon. To the second group, eps like the finale can be very disheartening, because the casual viewer is going to hear "oh, well, they're brothers." And if the show, at this point, isn't laying out more easy breadcrumbs for the GA to catch, it doesn't look good for textual canon.

Hi there. I feel like this is addressed to the line I wrote in a reply yesterday, saying that I was happy to wade around in the subtext… and while that is factually accurate, that’s not to say that I’m not invested in it becoming canon, or that I will be content if it remains forever in the subtext and never addressed in the text.

Yeah, I’m splitting hairs, because these are hairs which, as you pointed out, seem to be dividing the fandom. I think it’s an artificial “divide,” and we all want the same thing, but our approaches differ.

For ME, PERSONALLY (and I am ONLY speaking for MYSELF and not issuing a blanket statement to cover anyone else, so PLEASE don’t try to twist this around), I simply don’t have the mental and physical energy to stake my entire investment in the show on this singular outcome, i.e. Destiel becoming explicitly, textually canon. I just… can’t. The show would essentially lose all its power to entertain and engage me if I allowed myself to become bitter because that one singular thing was just not happening RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT.

And as I have also said before, I have a very limited understanding of how the GA actually engages with the show. I’ve come to the point where the way I personally engage with it, reading the subtext, recalling parallels with past episodes, understanding the characters through the filter of my past experiences of them and having watched the entire series through probably 25 times… It’s like asking someone who writes the Tax Code to translate it into plain English, and they have no idea what you’re talking about, because to them, that IS plain English.

To me, I don’t understand how the show makes sense without understanding that subtextual layer, and I tend to assume everyone IS picking up on it, at least to a certain extent. Even Mr. Mittens does.

And I’ve said it before, and I guess I have to say it again: The subtext isn’t stagnant. It’s evolving. It’s become more consistent, and shown more development over the last few seasons. If the GA isn’t picking up on it, I’m left to seriously wonder if they’re not picking up on it because they *are actively refusing* to pick up on it at this point. And that’s not a function of the writing, but a function of the audience.

10.05 literally pointed to the subtext, used the word “Destiel” and “CasDean” and involved Sam and Dean having a DEBATE ABOUT WHICH TERM WAS BETTER, and then finished up with the approval of Real Actual God endorsing that reading of the show.

The GA was handed a platinum-engraved invitation to take a second look and put all the sub into that text. If they’re not at least peripherally reading a God-Approved layer of the story, THAT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE WRITING.

They’re telling their story, they’ve literally told us that this other story is happening in the subtext and that hey, lookie here, this might be important *wink wink*

What I’ve also come to realize is that, to a certain extent, the writers are going to write the story the way they want to. They have an understanding of fandom, they understand that a lot of us are heavily invested in the relationship between Dean and Cas. They’ve TOLD us this by mentioning it in canon. They told us that subtext isn’t there by accident.

We also know it’s taken eight freaking years to get to THIS point, where both Dean and Cas are of sound mind and body at the same time, are both free of obligations or duties to save the world or fix heaven or anything else. Neither is being mind-controlled or manipulated. Neither is dying or cursed. (Well, Cas thinks Dean’s dead, but he’ll find out in 12.01, or 12.03 AT THE LATEST that he’s definitely NOT dead… so.)

We know they’ve been aware of and utilizing the subtext to tell us this story going back AT LEAST TWO SEASONS. And what have they be doing with that much subtext? Mostly they’ve been using it to tick off a checklist of obstacles that would make bringing the destiel out of the subtext either impossible, or squicky, or contestable by ANYONE.

They established Castiel’s sole ownership of his vessel, overcoming consent issues surrounding using that vessel. They’ve taken it one step further, having Cas and Dean both acknowledge it’s not even Cas’s “vessel” but HIS OWN BODY.

They established Cas’s loyalty with humanity over his heavenly family. And now they have Dean fully accepting Cas as a member of his own family specifically. Cas has a home. He’s no longer adrift.

They have both established that not only would they be willing to die for each other, they’re ALSO both willing to LIVE for each other. (and yeah, I had one angry anon upset because Cas offered to go die with Dean in 11.23, but that’s not what he was offering, and in the end Dean gave him a continued purpose in looking after Sam for him, and Cas accepted that, and there’s far more to it than just that surface reading, but that’s beyond the scope of this particular reply).

So in effect, they’re going to keep telling this story. They’re going to keep progressing it, and evolving it, and developing it, even if it’s “just” in the subtext for now.

And BECAUSE I see that progress, I refuse to give up hope that they do eventually intend to make it textual canon. But I also refuse to make myself angry and miserable on an ongoing basis because they didn’t make it textual canon TODAY. Because I really don’t enjoy being angry and miserable.

Seven Things About Supernatural: 13x03 - “Patience”

So let me just acknowledge that as a human, my week has been kind of hard, and I’m not 100% sure how objective I can be this week.

In any case…

  1. Let’s rip the Band-Aid off and open with how I do not love Missouri’s death.  Yes, we all knew it was coming the minute the casting news came back.  Yes, it works within the text to advance the plot and give Patience now has an origin story that forces her to confront truths about herself and her family. 

    But fuck, I do not love how the “bring back beloved character just to kill them” thing has become reflexive for the show, and of all the writers, I hoped Bobo would subvert it.  Damn it.

    I get to some extent why the episode went there.  As written, saving Missouri would have left the wraith without motive to go to Georgia at all, but let’s be real: that fatality is still a choice.  We know from The Monologue™ later that a wraith doesn’t have to kill a meal, and non-fatal snack would have clued him in just as well.

    Honestly, the only real thing that this death accomplishes that couldn’t be accomplished any other way was to isolate Patience in the sense that Jody is her only viable ally as she comes to terms with the way her father has been gaslighting her for years about her powers and keeping Missouri at arm’s length. 

    Even then, I’m not sure I’m ready to say that sacrificing Missouri is worth it.  Yeah, people die on Supernatural, but I don’t like it.
  2. I do want to talk about Missouri, though, because even though her exit pissed me off, I loved seeing her again, and there is a lot of tantalizing character stuff that gets dropped in this ep that I would have loved to see expanded upon.

    Missouri wasn’t just a psychic.  She was, at times, a hunter as well.  That’s new and interesting and I wonder how it worked, given that her physical presence doesn’t jive with what we usually see in hunters.  How long has she been out of the life?  Since S1?  Longer?  

    I’m also curious about Missouri as a mother.  I get the sense that James’ upbringing was less nomadic, and that Missouri didn’t raise him the way Sam and Dean were raised.  He’s visibly useless in a fight.  At the same time, it’s clear he least grew up alongside the life, and knows a few things.

    (James is, in a lot of ways, what Sam might have been if things had gone just a little differently.) 

    She knows, too, when she sends Dean and Jody to Georgia what’s going to happen.  She’s gamed the whole thing out, and chosen the solution with the best possibility of overall success.  It means sacrificing herself for her family – other echoes of Winchester family dynamics – and she faces it without fear or apology. 

    Which, while I don’t like the thing itself, is something I recognize as being pretty fucking badass within the text.

    The show retcons her a little, too, in the sense that she’s a little less Tangina Barrons this time around.  She’s using psychometry as a specific skill, and associated with magic that reads to me as being less coded with African disaporic practices.

    We still don’t know why her son’s surname is Turner, nor how she ended up in Omaha.  Maybe we’ll get more of that (and more of her) as Wayward approaches?
  3. With all of the “good girl” and sniffing and hair-pulling, and even that shot of a wraith spike being driven into Dede’s neck, they sure are doubling down on all the rape imagery in this ep, aren’t they?

    This does earn some side-eye from me – like, can we not with this trope, say, ever? – but I guess we can acknowledge how it correlates Patience’s first big encounter with the supernatural to Alex’s experiences in 11x19 in particular (i.e. the boyfriend turning out to be a vamp who acts out some things that are consistent with real life abuse), but also her exploitation as a blood slave/bait with her original abductors.  

    Yeah, a literally nameless monster with no obvious redeeming traits saves us some emotional bandwidth for everything else, but ugh.  Gross.
  4. Speaking of Patience, I think I’m going to like her a lot.  She’s got this balance of self-assured talent and total blank slate in terms of what her life really is now.  Her relationship with her father – which has clearly been so central to her life – has been irrevocably changed by the revelation that he isolated her from Missouri, and that he’s kept her in the dark about a big part of herself.  Her life trajectory – which was up until now looking like valedictorian, elite school, etc. – is no longer as clear as it was. 

    There’s a lot the writers can do with that.  Admittedly there are a lot of wrong turns they can take, too, but i’m interested.

    Also, look at that red hoodie of family.  Such red.  Very hoodie.
  5. So remember when last week I was like, “Dean’s angry honesty is awful, but at least it’s better than lies and omission?”  

    That sure paid off quick.

    So here’s the thing about Sam Winchester: he’s complicated, and he’s a little bit of a cipher, and he’s both of those things because he absolutely hides things and lies when he thinks he needs to, or when doing that will help him get to what he thinks is a greater good.

    The problem here, obviously, is that while his intentions are usually good, or at least aimed at minimizing conflict, it’ means he tends to do things that (justifiably or not) read as manipulative to the people affected by them (usually Dean).  

    So here he is with Jack – and I do think he genuinely wants to connect with Jack, and that Sam has real sympathy with them having some shared experiences being a “freak” – but there’s still an undercurrent of this being a partnership that will possibly net him a benefit, too. 

    He’s made no secret of this with Dean, justifying them keeping him around to try and open the rift again so they can find Mary, but he hasn’t been upfront with Jack about this really.  He’s trying to play both sides, be the “right” Sam for each of them, and get what he wants from both Dean and Jack, and their dual confrontation at the end of the episode puts a lot of that out on the table.  

    Sam is justifiably angry at Dean for the extent to which he’s hurt Jack, but Dean calls Sam out for what Dean reads as manipulation and dishonesty, trying to couch his position in compassion when it’s actually selfish.  

    And both of them have valid points.  Dean is visibly uncomfortable when his behavior toward Jack is called out – because, yeah, it was like that, Dean – but Sam has failed to be honest to Jack, and that lie is potentially going to destabilize the trust between Sam and Jack.  
  6. Dean’s grieving process is maybe the most intense we’ve seen from him since S2.  He’s completely stone-faced in his room, in total contrast with the song he’s listening to.  He is at least sticking to beer at the moment, but whether that’s because the show has given us Significant Beers or because he feels like he needs to be ready to fight with Jack in the bunker is up in the air. 

    When Sam puts Jody on the case Missouri calls them about, Dean’s first reaction is that Jody will get killed because they’re focused on Jack.  Because, hey, that’s still raw, and he’s not going to let it go.  

    He doesn’t like leaving Missouri behind either, and hey, his instincts are spot on.  (We didn’t like it either, Dean.)

    Of the two, he’s also the brother more likely to be brusque and up-front, but he’s especially not sugarcoating anything, either to James or to Sam.  That confrontation at the end of the ep is an explosion of emotion that he’s been keeping capped, processing on his own, but hell, if Sam’s going to push?  He might as well just do what needs doing.

    And hey, if we needed an ep to remind us that Dean does better emotionally when he has solvable problems and something in front of him, here you are. 
  7. OH JACK.  Our nougat’s wrestling mightily with his nature this episode, and he really doesn’t have a single safe place to turn.  Sam is sympathetic but pressures him.  Dean is hostile.  Kelly loved him, and believed in him, but his birth killed her.  Asmodeus is clearly the enemy.  

    Like, no wonder this kid doesn’t leave his room.  

    And it’s great, you know, that when it’s evident that there’s nobody who can help him, he reaches out to the one person who was supposed to have his back, that his mom trusted, and that seems to be the key to making his angry uncles stop fighting: Castiel.  

Bonus Thing: “You have an angel watching over you” is not the most comforting series of words on this series, Kelly.  Just saying. 

Bonus Thing #2: Ronson is a delight.  Can we keep her?

Bonus Thing #3: So hey, that book Sam is reading?  The Drama of the Gifted Child?  That’s not a book about academically gifted kids.  It’s a book for/about those who “survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb.”  

Bonus Thing #4: So after last week’s incident with the Shedim, and this week’s Biggerson’s billboard in the background announcing the return of the Turducken Slammer, I can’t decide if I have amorphous concerns about things repeating, or that this is a sign that the theme is that our characters are in familiar territory and making new choices. 

Bonus Thing #5: This is me, still laughing about Kim Rhodes’ tweet about Jody’s “death” in Patience’s premonition: 

[transcription: “It just occurred to me… maybe the whole #wayward thing was just a complicated ruse so I would agree to film…  nah.  Prolly not.”]

This woman is a fucking gift.

(More Than) Seven Things About Supernatural: Impulse Rewatch 2017, 1x01-1x03

Me: Okay, fine I’ll do a rewatch, but I won’t blog it.

Also Me: *fucking well blogs it because there is clearly something wrong with my brainmeats* 

1x01

  1. 1x01: Dean wearing the black tee/red button-up combo stands out to me a lot given how significant that’s come to feel in later seasons.  Also, now that someone has pointed out that this is the episode where he gets his iconic leather jacket, I can’t unsee it, and it’s messing me up in the best ways. 
  2. 1x01: You can see Sam’s whole future pass before his eyes going onto the bridge with Dean pretexting as a federal marshal.  This is a man who absolutely has a law school interview in fewer than seventy-two hours and has zero desire to ruin that by impersonating law enforcement.  There is nothing about that whole scene – from the car through their passing the actual goddamn FBI on the way back to it – that you can’t hear him screaming on the inside.  I love it.
  3. 1x01: Random thought, but would this have been a deadly hunt for a solo Winchester?  Constance attacking Sam on the basis of his potential for future infidelity suggests that even if John was never unfaithful he’d be a potential target.  Dean’s timely intervention is what allows Sam to drive the Impala into the house, though that’s only an issue because they never have a chance to do a more traditional salt-and-burn.  I’m calling it 50/50, but am curious about what others might think. 
  4. 1x01: Oh hey, it’s 2005, which means they’re in a library because Sam’s hair isn’t long enough to generate its own wifi.  
  5. 1x01: But seriously, Sam does not appear to eat during his time with Dean.  At all.  He refuses the food of fairyland, and only takes a cookie when he arrives home, unaware that his home is already contaminated by the Other.  Sorry, Sam.

1x02

  1. 1x02: Sam’s nightmare is awful.  Like, that’s some fucking trauma.  Poor bastard.
  2. 1x02: We talk a lot later about Sam’s nature being more like John’s than Dean’s ever was, and I think this ep is so illustrative of how that switch got flipped by Jessica’s death.  He wants to ditch a hunt that is actively deadly to civilians because he’s so focused on finding John as a step toward hunting what killed Jess.  He softens on this somewhat by the end of the ep, but that’s such a great character thing in retrospect.
  3. 1x02: Dean spinning the flare guns on his fingers like a gunslinger.  Impossible to gif, probably, because the scene is so goddamn dark but we see it.  And it’s awesome.
  4. 1x02: Also awesome is watching Dean being this cocky, twenty-six-year-old version of himself.  We know from later on that he’s not as carefree as he looks – he wishes he could have had a different life, too – but he’s still doing the job and getting buzzed on the adrenaline and finding satisfaction in helping people.  And hey, his emotional intelligence is on display with how he checks in with Sam repeatedly.
  5. 1x02: Moment of appreciation for Sam bodily putting himself between a wendigo and civilians even though that’s essentially a hopeless tactic.  
  6. 1x02: Come to think of it, this would also have been an impossible hunt for either Sam or Dean alone.  A lone Winchester dies in this scenario.

1x03

  1. 1x03: Dean sniff-testing the laundry in the background when they hit the motel is a fucking delight.
  2. 1x03: Also, the way Dean seems to struggle talking about what happened to Mary with Lucas in the park, and then later in his room?  Fuck.  My heart.  
  3. 1x03: ARMY MEN.  SO MANY FUCKING ARMY MEN. Again, my heart.
  4. 1x03: You know, this is twice Dean’s chosen to come back to a scene just barely in the nick of time to save someone.  First Sam, then Andrea Barr. Curiously, I’m not sure this is an argument for psychic!Dean so much Really Good Instincts™.  
  5. 1x03: Compare: Dean and the waitress at the beginning of the episode with Dean and Andrea Barr, who is almost a proto-Lisa.  Not sure given the situation surrounding their meeting that future contacts would have worked out, but I like her, and Lucas, and Dean being all flustered instead of planning a hook-up is great, especially this early in the series.
Seven Things About Supernatural: 12x06 - “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox”

So apparently we need to take everyone down to the Hot Topical for Supernatural merch.  How do you get this many hunters together and only one of them has anti-possession mojo? 

(Also, someone please notify our hunting team that ice is solid water.  Oh, and I don’t care how much character that Pentacle of Mars has, nobody has time to draw a fucking scorpion in ashes with a scoop.) 

  1. So this whole ep is beautiful, but I’m really taken with the way the show handled the exposition required to make an story centered around a dead stranger work: Mary tying up loose ends, Asa being inspired to take up the hunter’s mantle, the montage of his life, and the abrupt, terrible shock of his death.  It’s exquisite storytelling, done in minutes, and damn.  Just damn. 

    I smiled at the ways Asa’s unique, smiled at the ways he’s like Dean, was warmed by his determination and joy at the work, even though it’s difficult and scary, loved the way he wrote to Mary, who only exists to him as the hunter who saved him, and as a blurry Polaroid from 1980.  

    It’s so smart, because it shows us that not all hunters have traumatic loss origin stories, reiterates that hunters bear a special responsibility to hunt because someone has to, and places Mary – who is retiring and doesn’t want her kids to hunt – into the position of being Asa’s inspiration to become a hunter.  
  2. And hey, let’s look at Mary in this ep.  She passed the work down to Asa, even if she didn’t intend to or realize it, just like she did with her sons, and then Asa dies on a hunt not long after she returns not only to life generally but the life.  In her scene with Asa, she is already Dean’s mother, but she also mothers Asa before sending him back inside by helping straighten up his hair and clothes.

    When Loraine confronts her in the kitchen about her role in Asa’s choice to hunt, some of that is mother v. mother conflict.  Loraine is Asa’s rightful mother, who brought him up and stuck around, while Mary is mythic, a Mother of Hunters, whose influence was so much stronger.  They ultimately reconcile – which, holy chickens, is a personal manifestation of the overall reconciliation of Mythic Mary with actual Mary – but I think we can agree that Mary’s crisis mid-ep is pretty justified.  

    She didn’t ask to be this person.  She tried to be the opposite.  And yet, like Sam points out, it’s an inextricable part of who they are.

    (Also, can we take a moment to stand in awe of the scene where Sam and Mary are talking over Asa’s body and Randy’s blood drips down from the ceiling onto his face?  Because holy shit, this is a terrible, shared horror, and I’m not sure Jael could have known, or orchestrated it so perfectly.  When it happened, though?  Holy fucking fuck.)  
  3. The inclusion of Jody in this story is wonderful – calling the boys out on – but particularly great because she’s such a crucial bridge for the boys.

    She’s the reason they attend Asa’s wake.  They’re a relatively isolated pair – John kept them separate, they were hunted for a while, etc. – but they care about her and want to support her.  She helps bridge the emotional gap for them as an informal maternal figure who is now adjacent to their actual mother.  She’s also a bit of a bridge for Mary toward the boys at the end, helping complete the circle.

    All of the character stuff – the way she’s like FUCK YEAH NETFLIX AND BOOZE, her whole you stink/here eat this thing with the boys, confirmation that her life without them is increasingly interesting/full, Sam outing Dean’s hentai habit, etc. – is also fantastic, and Kim Rhodes was fucking fantastic with red eyes.  

    Also, how is Jody getting home?!  She rode in with the boys.  Please tell me they all go to breakfast together. 
  4. So Sam and Dean are surprised that people tell stories about them, but uh, guys, there are whole books about you.  

    (Gods, can you imagine some random hunter stumbling across the books?  Can you imagine them finding the fan fiction?  Oh, and did we mention Dean killed Hitler?  We did?  Because that happened.)

    So yeah, 12x06 adds hunter lore as another layer to the story within a story within a story thing that the show has.  We’ve got reality prime, created by but ultimately independent from Chuck.  We’ve got the books, which exist in tandem but aren’t 100% in synch.  We’ve got myriad forms of in-show fan reaction/interpretation.  And, just to be difficult, we have the implication that show canon itself isn’t quite accurate given differences in the way Sam and Dean speak and act in the reality show footage in 3x13 (and possibly even the student film/video letter left by Kate in 8x04). 

    I have to wonder what the hunter lore about the Winchesters is like.  It seems like we’ve come a long way from like Gordon Walker, Kubrick, and Creedy, moving on from “let’s murder them in their beds” to “let’s be awkward at Sam about Lucifer.”  It’s another big part of bringing them into a new place as characters, and I like it. 

    (Bucky, on the other hand, is fucked.)
  5. One of the things I especially liked about this ep is that Loraine didn’t turn out to be the big bad.  I went in expecting a Ten Little Murder Victims story – the Clue ep that isn’t The Clue Ep, so to speak – with the Wronged Party acting out revenge in a fit of psychotic grief.  

    We still got something in that vein – a locked house with a killer inside – but the way it plays out is so much more satisfying than another variation on a bad old trope about predatory women.  It’s so much smarter the way it plays out with Jael, the even more obvious big bad, being…well, more or less an attendee.  A disruptive, murderous attendee with a score to settle, but an attendee nonetheless.  
  6. Billie.  BILLIE.  She’s such a great antagonist, and Lisa Berry is amazing, and I was very concerned at the end when she tries to collect Mary as payment for letting Dean into the Fox family home through the warding.

    Actually, I’m still kind of concerned, because owing Billie is probably not going to be great in the longer term, even if she was bound by the rules not to just collect the Winchester Of Her Choice without their consent.  

    Then again, she really just needs to be patient.  It’s not like she won’t get to collect all of them eventually…  
  7. I’m really enjoying this longer arc of Mary processing on her own terms, and how difficult it is for Dean.  He’s still pretty heavily locked into (toxic) ideas that John taught him about how families work, and so Mary’s independence is terribly hard for him to process.  

    He’s afraid, he hurts, and it’s not a terribly good or productive look on him, not least because there’s no good way for Mary to answer to him.  On some level he’s still trying to be proprietary about Mary, but now that she is living and real he can’t be in charge of her memory.  He’s so used to hanging on to her that when she needs to be a person, he loses it.

    Jody’s talk with him at the door is so important.  She’s someone who has lost family and would take them back in a heartbeat, but it can never be the same as it was.  She speaks directly to his fear and makes sure to leave the door open.    

    We’re seeing him get better about this, but we also see him have one of his old, bad dark moments about the hunting life ending in violent death, so we know the work is still in progress.  I’m glad it is taking a long time, because when he gets there it will mean something.     

    Mary is also modeling how to process things a an individual, which is pretty remarkable in terms of parental influence on both of the boys.  Her actions are difficult for Dean, but they’re entirely healthy and reasonable, and I love that she makes her own choices without caving.  

Bonus Thing: Holy crap, I think this may be one of the few episodes with near-equal gender representation.  Our active players are Sam, Dean, Max, Bucky, Elvis, and Loraine, Mary, Alicia, Billie, and Jody.  Jael takes a body of each.  

Randy and Asa skew the totals, but Randy dies early and Asa is…well, he’s pretty much dead for the action of the ep.  

Bonus Thing: I love Max and Alicia Banes so much.  I want them to come back.  I want them in on Wayward Daughters.  I want to read a dozen books about them.  Also, I think Max was coming on to Sam before Elvis interrupted them to ask awkward fanboy questions, and this delights me.  

Bonus Thing: Between the bacon and the “I’m fine,” Dean and Mary are so related.  It’s neat, too, the reversal that’s happening with Sam having to play voice of reason/peacemaker between them after Dean had to do that with Sam and John.  Bacon is the Winchester olive branch.

Seven Things About Supernatural: 11x11 - “Into The Mystic”

There are so many.

SO MANY FEELS.

  1. This week is the first time in a while that we’ve seen Sam’s inner demons and dealt with them.  S9 and S10 were very Dean-centric because of the Abaddon/MoC storylines, despite the fact that Sam had some very heavy things on his emotional plate (e.g. Gadreel, Kevin’s death, etc.) and obviously had to do some of that work.  

    To see Sam struggling with the wounds that Lucifer dredged up last week – and as we know from S8, many of those wounds revolve around failing Dean – is refreshing, and gave the show some space to finally address the “Sam Hit a Dog” running gag/guilt trip with some sincerity.  

    Sam gets to say his piece, Dean actually makes room for that and listens to him.  And yeah, as Dean points out, listening to Lucifer is never a smart decision, but that awareness doesn’t make it easy to disregard the things that hit a nerve.  So yeah.  Good balance on this.  And happy Sam at the end of the ep?  Keeping a souvenir?  Yes.  This is good.
  2. And actually, this is the most functional we’ve seen the Winchesters in a very long time.  That shift from brother v. brother back to brothers v. others that the writing team talked about during summer hiatus hasn’t been as striking as it is in this ep.  Seeing Dean check in on Sam is unusual, but good.  (Here’s hoping it’s not a Bad Sign.)
  3. Dean Winchester, still with the recreational drug use I see.  We saw you snag that Viagra, pal.  Also, nice dick joke.  Your long campaign of torturing your brother with terrible humor does not go unnoticed (or unappreciated). 
  4. Lustiel aka Casifer aka Deviled Ham is turning out to be VERY SATISFYING to watch, even if it does fill me with Serious Concern™.  In particular, the scene in the Bunker, where Dean interrupts Lucifer digging for supplies is very effective.  We actually see Lucifer have to change gears and pretend to be Castiel, and Misha’s performance of Lucifer pretending to be Cas was superb.  And yeah, Dean knows that something is amiss, but Lucifer in Cas’ vessel is so far from the range of obvious possibilities that the Winchesters get a pass for not guessing that one. I have concerns about his plans, especially now that Lucifer seems to be assessing Dean in terms of whether he’s an asset or a liability.  And hey, the MoC got mentioned not just in the teaser but in the ep itself.  Both Dean and Lucifer have carried that Mark.
  5. Eileen!  She’s not just a woman, but a woman hunter, who is – like the Winchesters – a MoL Legacy raised in the life.  She has spent her whole life hunting monsters while tracking this banshee.  She’s resourceful, smart, competent.  That she is deaf is not an obstacle, nor is it a superpower.  It’s just part of who she is.  Cap that off with Eileen being played by a deaf actor (Shoshannah Stern) and Eileen signing with Mildred during the ep, and…well, I’m proud of my show tonight for doing this better than a lot of others have.  
  6. Mildred?  Also super important.  She’s brave and smart and gives good advice.  She gets to have a sexuality without being treated like a joke (though if one wants to split hairs, she’s way handsy).  I loved watching her connect with Eileen, and I can’t underscore how glad I am that she not only lives, but helps save the day.  EFF YEAH MILDRED. 
  7. Who is Dean pining for?  Why is he vulnerable?  The text of the episode itself screams “Cas” to me – his reaction to Lustiel a) ditching after last week’s ep, and b) his weird behavior at the Bunker feels like the trigger.  The only thing that gives me pause is the teaser, which might be intended to either direct (or misdirect?) us toward Amara.  That said, if they do intend Amara, Robbie inverted the fuck out of the text-to-subtext ratio.   This ep is literally the most Destiel thing to have ever Destieled outside of AO-fucking-3 and Cas isn’t even in it properly.

Bonus Thing: If I wanted to make crazy predictions about where this arc is going, I might put forth that it will involve Lucifer defeating the Darkness taking up the Mark again, possibly with the First Blade.  I will probably regret saying this out loud.

Bonus Thing 2: But seriously, has anybody seen the No Homo Intern?  What’s the situation there?  I can’t decide if he’s vanished or been promoted.