hells_half_acre: (Sam strung-out)
[personal profile] hells_half_acre
First off, let me just say how much I LOVE the song When The Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin. I really wish they had been able to use it in the episode, it fits SO WELL (obviously why they named the episode after it). If there is not a fanvid out there with this song, a great crime has been committed.

Anyway, on to the show...

When The Levee Breaks

Gotta say I agree with Dean - being addicted to demon blood does make Sam weaker, because he's dependent on something other than himself. That being said, Dean REALLY shouldn't have gone the tough-love route on this...and he definitely shouldn't have left him alone in that room.

I love the use of the inverted cross imagery with Sam. It's not the first time we've seen it - Sam is often waking up upside down in a shot - Bloody Mary and AHBL1 are examples. We did see Dean wake up upsidedown in The Rapture though...but in this one, the way Sam is lying on the bed, you can see they were going for that specific imagery.

Dean: "How long is this going to go on?"
Bobby: "Here let me look it up in my demon detox manual...oh wait, no one ever wrote one!"
-I love the fact that Bobby is out of his depth here. That Bobby is as off-book as the Winchesters.

Bobby *on phone*: "Suck dirt and die, Rufus."
Dean: "What's with Rufus?"
Bobby: "He knows."
-Rufus knows?!!?! How much?! Just about the apocalypse? About Sam? How did I miss this the first time? (Oh yeah...I was drunk the first time I watched this episode...haha, good times.)

We get Teen!Sam :) I love Colin Ford. I want to abduct him and pretend he is my son. He's such a good actor, and him and Jared have such similar faces it's kind of cute and scary.

We do learn from Teen!Sam though that Sam still feels guilty over Jessica's death - for leaving her alone and vulnerable while he was off with Dean. Poor Sam.

Sam: "We were never going to be normal. We were never going to get away. Grow up."
-It's kind of sad that Sam's lost the ability to dream, that he's resigned himself to fate as it were.

The seals are breaking fast. I also missed all this the first time I watched it. I don't remember the conversation about the seals at all.

Bobby thinks they should detox Sam later.

Dean: "...sacrifice Sam's life? Sam's soul...?"
Bobby: "Maybe he's here right now instead of on the battlefield, because we love him too much."
-Of course, we know that Bobby isn't right, that Sam SHOULDN'T be out there trying to kill Lilith, but I love the fact that Bobby points out the fact that you CAN love someone too much.

It's a little heartbreaking that when Sam hallucinates his Mum, she's half-way through being killed - I mean, there's blood all over her. I wonder if that's always how Sam pictures his Mum - his Mum being murdered.

I like how Sam uses his mother as the voice to justify his actions. He needs a higher authority than Dean, because Dean obviously doesn't approve...and he can't use his father, because Sam and his father never saw eye-to-eye on anything, but the mother he never knew? Well, she's perfect.

Sam: "What if it's stronger than me?...What if Dean's right...?"
-I love the fact that Sam IS fighting a war within himself, and has been for years...is he evil? Does the demon blood make him who he is or does he? I think Dean's concern over Sam right now is registering to Sam as a lack of faith in Sam - in Sam being in control of himself.

And then of course, Hallucination!Mary gives Sam the out that he needs - the disapproval of Dean locking Sam away, the confirmation that Dean is weak and that Sam is strong. Sam feels abandoned by Dean because he's been locked in a room with only a bunch of hallucinations to keep him company (and some magazines), and Dean doesn't have any faith in him...and then you add in the fact that Sam is all messed up from Dean being vincible and actually (for once in his life) being VISIBLY affected by what's happened to him...and you get Sam thinking that he HAS to be the stronger one, because Dean needs someone to lighten the load off his own shoulders.

Castiel really doesn't want Dean to swear that oath. You can see it in his eyes. That being said, Castiel knows where Dean's buttons are. He uses the idea that Sam might become something Dean will feel compelled to hunt as a way to get Dean to swear the oath.

Dean: "If I do this, Sammy doesn't have to?"
Castiel: "If it'll give you comfort to see it that way."
-Here we get to the heartbreaking thing of it all. BOTH brothers are becoming fate's bitches because they want to protect each other. Sam is drinking demon blood and obsessing over Lilith, because he thinks it'll save Dean the task...and Dean is trying to lock Sam away and is swearing oaths to angels, because he thinks it'll mean that he's saving Sam.

Magazine Sam has to read while in detox: "Weekly Woodsman" - hahaha, somehow, I don't think it's the stuff Sam would normally choose to read.

Bobby: "You willing signed up to be the angels' bitch?"
Dean: "It's either trust the angels or let Sammy trust a demon!"
-Oh man, let's just talk for a moment here about Dean's use of "Sammy" - more and more this season he's just been using Sam...but we see Sammy swing back into use here, sadly, when he's NOT talking to Sam who would most likely benefit from hearing the nickname. "Sammy" always comes out when Dean is concerned about his brother, or when he is particularly fond of him...and it's sad that in an episode when Dean is driving Sam further away, he's actually using the affectionate nickname more.

Hallucination!Dean: "Revenge for what? Sending me to hell? Happen to notice I'm back alive and kicking?"
Sam: "How about stop the damn apocalypse?"
Hallucination!Dean: "My gig, not yours. God picked me."
-Sam's always been obsessed with revenge, and I don't really think it matters that Dean came BACK from the dead - that Dean CHOSE to make that deal in the first place - I think the point for Sam is that Dean died at all, and if he has soeone to blame (other than Dean), he's going to, and he's going to kill that son of a bitch.
-That being said, I think there's also a slight issue with DEAN being chosen to stop the apocalpyse. I'm not sure if Sam is feeling unnecessarily pushed to the side-lines, if he is worried about Dean's ability to do it, if he wants to protect Dean from it, or if it's a combination of all those things. But I find it interesting that his hallucination of Dean says "God picked me." - I'm wondering if this is also about Sam's need for personal redemption to know that God doesn't blame him for having demon-blood, that he's still loved and whatnot...because Sam's always been religious, and I think the idea that maybe God doesn't love him for something he has no control over terrifies him...and the angels didn't help. I think part of Sam feels that God picking Dean to stop the apocalypse and not Dean AND Sam or not Sam himself is just another point towards God-hates-Sam.

Bobby thinks they're killing Sam...and I love that about Bobby, because he loves the boys so much that he doesn't care HOW they live as long as they live. Dean though, well...

"Then at least he dies human!...I will not let my brother turn into a monster."
-Dean has admitted before, during Bloodlust back in S2, that John's education of Dean was very effective in making him hate all things Supernatural - to the point where it's basically just instinct. We've seen it come up against Sam before too...the way Sam hates how Dean looks at him sometimes, the way Dean protested when Bobby even SUGGESTED that Dean might have someting "special" about him in AHBL1. And here we see it finally come to the forfront...if Sam can't live without demon-blood, that makes him a creature that has to live off of blood.

Hallucination!Dean: "...and I tried so hard to pretend that we were brothers...(you're one of) the filthy things that we hunt...you're nothing to me."
-And here we have both Dean's known predjudices and Sam's own insecurities coming together in one fell swoop. Sam KNOWS Dean's feeling about the Supernatural, heck, he was brought up the exact same way. I think though, that if Sam sought comfort in the idea that God might still love him, the last straw after losing that hope would be if DEAN stopped loving him....and that's exactly what we have happen here.

Once Sam escapes, we find out that he hasn't been able to get in touch with Ruby for the past 3 weeks...this means that most likely Jump the Shark happened 3 weeks before this episode.

Ruby: "I had no idea that Dean would do that to you."
-Ruby plays her hand very well. It's important, when coming between people, that you never openly appear as if you want to come between them. You have to appear as though you only think the best of both of them.

Bobby: "..gotta be about getting him back, not pushing him away....I know you're angry...be good to him anyway."
-Times When Dean Should Have Listened To Bobby #1.

Dean: "Sam, you're lying to yourself! I just want you to be ok."
-Here's also the crux of the matter this season. We knew the whole time that Sam was lying to Dean, but I think Dean's correct here in that Sam's been lying to himself the whole time too.

Dean: "Because it's not what you're doing, it's what you are! It means..."
Sam: "What...No." *pause* "Say it."
Dean: "It means you're a monster."
-Oh man, and then Dean cries that single tear while Sam's not looking, and then Sam PUNCHES HIM! And if you've read my ramblings before at all (or my fic) you know that I'm slightly obsessed with the dynamics of physical abuse between the brothers....and this is the FIRST time we have ever seen Sam punch Dean while being fully in control of his faculties.

Oh man, and how cool is that cut-shot with the last thing you see being Dean's fist coming at you! I so wish I had an animated icon of that.

Sam: "You don't know me. You never did and you never will."
-Again, the theme of not knowing each other...I think, in this case, it's partially to do with the fact that Sam does not see himself as a monster, has faith that he is effectively staying clear of that line...and if Dean thinks otherwise, than obviously Dean doesn't know him.

Dean: "You walk out that door, don't you ever come back!"
-I love the symmetry here, just as much as my heart broke at the fact that Sam NEEDS Dean to always be there for him even as much as he takes/took it for granted.

DVD Commentary - Sera Gamble and Robert Singer

We find out that it was Bob Singer who directed the last few minutes of The Rapture...huh, so much for my praise of Charles Beeson for that last shot. Nice one Bob!

Sera talks about Sam latching on to the vision that he WANTS to hear - and that's his mother telling him that what he is doing is ok.

There is of course praise for Jared. Sera says that he "finds the nobility in the morally ambiguous things Sam goes through."

Sera: "Poor guy...if only he had a mom!"
-Haha, poor Sam indeed.

Bob Singer talks about how the first season or so was a weeding out process for directors and that at this stage they are a pretty well oiled machine with the people they have.

Sera: "At this point in his development Dean understands how screwed up he is about his Dad and what a kind of performing monkey he was when his Dad told him to do something."
-Interesting...I mean, I had noticed the turn around on opinions about his father, but I guess I didn't reflect on what that meant for opinions about himself.

Sera points out that every time Dean has referenced Star Trek, it's been in one of her scripts. She figures that she made Dean into a Trekkie.

She also points out that this episode is them finally pulling the trigger on the monster thing - the storyline of what John told Dean to do, and whatnot.

Bob Singer tells us that him and Misha laughed over the fact that Castiel uses his powers to close the door on the panic room, even though he is only standing about 5 feet from it.

It was Jared's idea to move Bobby's gun up to point at his heart.  (Way to break my heart, Jared!)

Bob Singer goes on about how it's nice because the actors all come in already knowing how they want to play the scene - they're open to suggestions, of course, but it's nice that you don't have to tell them what to do really.

"The important thing about this whole thing...these brothers do not want to be estranged from each other."

Sera never thought it was possible to get a woman between Sam and Dean, but is glad that they managed to pull it off....thinks it's solely because it was not sexual-thing.

Bob Singer points out Sam's weakness for "these kinds of women" - I believe the words he uses are "vixen" and "in control of the relationship" - (which fits in nicely with what I was saying about Sam constantly needing an authority figure and to be told what to do.) Sera jokes that they should do a show where they find out Jess was a succubus, but then says that she's kidding.

Sera: "It's not just angst, we're also killing and eating babies!"

Bob Singer points out how he changes to single-CU instead of having both boys in the frame as soon as the fight reaches the point-of-no-return.

Bob Singer says that the shot of Dean's tear and then the punch was take 1 - perfect the first time.

Sera says that when she saw it she was like "Oh my god! He punched him in the face when he was crying! ...that's our show in a nutshell."
-Haha, my thoughts exactly.
 
Crying won't help you, praying won't do you no good.....

Date: 2017-02-06 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] borgmama1of5.livejournal.com
I had forgotten just how psychologically consistent the boys were written in the early years, and especially for these last episodes of season 4/start of season 5...

Watching Sam convince himself that he is right and seeing Ruby give him little pushes whenever he starts to question himself (especially next episode)--it hurts so much to watch!

Date: 2017-02-07 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hells-half-acre.livejournal.com
Yeah, the early seasons were great for psychological consistency! I think because they were more character driven than plot driven... in that, the overarching plot was slower, so the characters had to be written with a lot more depth in order to hold audience interest.

But yeah, watching Sam get manipulated is always so painful!

On a completely different note, LJ just sent me an email and told me it was your birthday!! So Happy Birthday!!

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