hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
Before I get into today's entrance - just an announcement that this will probably be my last in this series for a little bit. I may pick it up again later, but I'm going to be a bit busy until the show returns on Oct 11, and then once that happens, I'll be back into Quick Reactions and Rewatches (once I get the DVDs which will also happen sometime in October.)

Also, don't forget that Cain's re-entrance in S10 which I talked about in my One Scene Each Season series also counts as an entry in this series! 

And now...

Charlie (and Sam&Dean) - LARP and the Real Girl (8x11)

So, this might be stretching the idea of an "entrance" but I think it still counts. It's not the first time we meet Charlie, and it's not even the first time that we see her in the episode (we see a recording of her at the police station) - but it IS when she re-enters the narrative as an active participant... so, to me, that's an entrance. And it's definitely filmed as one. If this were a play, this would be the first time that Charlie was on stage, so, entrance.

And it's a great entrance - it's short and to the point. First, we get the reveal that she's not just supervising the knight tryouts, but she's testing the knights herself. We get the "I am no man" helmet removal reveal, ala Eowyn, and then the Han Solo reference that's a signature of Charlie's character as well... both things tell us, or remind us, firmly, who Charlie is. She's a nerd, sure - but she's also skilled and charismatic.

That charisma is immediately thrown into contrast with her faltering when she sees Sam and Dean - and this is why this is one of my absolute favourite entrances (possibly my actual top one favourite) because this isn't just an re-entrance for Charlie, this is a re-entrance of Sam and Dean into Charlie's life, and we actually GET TO SEE IT FROM CHARLIE'S POV. Sam and Dean are just standing in the crowd, sure, and Dean gives that little chagrined smile, but they're also clearly visible as having KNOWN MEANING. We don't just see Sam and Dean in out-of-place FBI suits, we see Sam and Dean as people like Charlie see them - foreboding portents. If Charlie's missing players were symptoms, then Sam and Dean arrive in the crowd like a diagnoses.

I love this entrance because it does double-duty. It's a great example of a short-but-effective character re-introduction, but it's also possible the only time we get to see a Sam and Dean entrance from the point of view of a civilian who knows about both the Supernatural and the Winchesters.

hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)
 In the spirit of the last Favourite Entrances selection, I'm jumping ahead to talk about Billie's introduction...

Billie - 11x02 Form and Void

Now, just a fair warning, there will be a little rant in here about how they could have made this (retroactively) even better... but I'll talk about why it's fantastic even without that first.

Firstly, we get that repeated leitmotif that tells us exactly who Billie is before Sam clues in. This is purely for the audiences benefit, which COULD be a complaint, but personally, I like it. We know Billie is a reaper - and the folk-song quality to her singing establishes her immediately in the subconscious as being associated with the ancient and unchanging... which is a fantastic unconscious association to establish when it comes to reapers/Death.

Then we move on to her action words - again, immediately she KNOWS Sam. This puts Billie on firm ground, and Sam off of it. Potential threats are always more threatening when they know you and you don't know them.

And then, Billie does the near-impossible on the show, which is to re-establish the fear of death. By introducing a possibility of "the Empty" - Billie gives us a possible final death for both the boys... actually, she PROMISES a final death. Which means the stakes MUCH hire for both Sam currently (who is dying), and also the safety of either brother going forward. (Of course, this works better if you ignore subsequent sequences when they then undercut even the danger of the Empty by pulling Castiel back from it.)

The other thing I like about this introduction is that it's to Sam... although, once again, the show falls back on old habits and then starts having Billie interact primarily with Dean, it was cool, for a moment, to have this newly incarnated Death-like being interact with Sam instead. Just to contrast her more with the previous incarnation of a Death-like being who interacted with Dean.

Rant time:
But you know what would make this introduction SO MUCH BETTER.... if the show, from the jump, decided that Billie was the "new" Death. It would make WAY more sense than having Death be killable, since we know that the other horseman can't be killed, they can only be defeated/weakened. It would follow that Death too, cannot be killed... especially because DEATH IS DEATH. As long as people are dying, Death is there, my friends. Just like when God was dying, the universe started collapsing (ie: life was impossible), so too should it have been that if Death truly died, everyone would have stopped dying.  But, that's my opinion, and I favour dualistic supernatural universes. And I'm getting off track... if Billie were Death, in a momentarily weakened state, it would make sense that she'd let Sam assume she was just a reaper while she regained her strength.

Moreover, it would account for why random-reaper-named-Billie decides she's going to be the one to take the Winchesters to task. I guess they stupidly killed Tessa, so the show was like "shit, we don't have any other established reapers, let's just make one." But even Tessa was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when she formed her association with Dean... Billie seems to be volunteering for the job, and that would make FAR MORE SENSE if the Winchesters had just "killed" her the day before. You needn't even have the reveal be any different than what it was - just instead of some convoluted mythology of a reaper needing to die to become "the next Death" just have Billie return after Castiel "kills" her and say "Okay, enough of that false identity shit - it's me, Death, and I'm pissed." Though, granted, I recognize they also needed a reason for Billie to be like "but I'm not going to kill you, because now I have new information and you need to stay alive"... but honestly, just go with that, I'd have preferred it. Moreover, if you establish Death as unkillable, then Billie threatening to toss them into the Empty, and perhaps only letting Dean live that one time as a personal favour, keeps that threat of finale death present as much as possible on the show... because, there but by the grace of Death go they.  /rant
hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)
So, while we're going through the obvious choices (and please remember that these are in no particular order) - next up is Death.

Death - Two Minutes to Midnight (5x21)

Death is so important here that he's, to this day, the only character that gets his own separate intro (that had that intro released as a teaser to the episode too) where Sam and Dean aren't even present. Not only that, but he gets his own intro music. I mean, he's basically Darth Vader, only better.

And why is he better? Because Death isn't a villain - he's not even presented as a villain (not really) - he is presented as a FORCE. He's a force of nature. To fight death, would be like fighting the wind, or the ocean, or the vacuum of space. You can certainly try, but you aren't going to win.

That's all conveyed through this intro - we don't even see Death's face, we see his shape, sure... but we only glimpse his face briefly when he turns to brush his sleeve, as if removing lint... and it is quite clearly an act of simply removing lint from a jacket sleeve, only we immediately see that the lint is a man's life. A weighty thing for us, a stray bit of lint to Death.

In addition to that, while he does this, we get the lyrics "When God is gone and the Devil takes hold, who'll have mercy on your soul?" 

And this is what makes this character SO RICH AND AWESOME. The lyrics directly reference the situation we are in as a show - God is gone, and the devil has taken hold... and the boys are looking for a little mercy. And we've just seen death be spectacularly UNMERCIFUL... and yet, we know that our hero(es) have to encounter him next if they're to have any chance of victory. Again, it makes him this force that is, more powerful than anything we've ever encountered before, a force of nature, and undefeatable*. 

Fundamentally, this sets us up perfectly for the scene where Dean meets up with Death - we know what Death is capable of, we know how outside Dean's paygrade he is (to borrow a phrase the boys have used), and we know that we need this mysterious unstoppable force to show us mercy.

Which, of course, inevitably he does - but we don't know that yet.

*Now, to go on a little rant - Death DID work best when he was undefeatable - and, I suppose technically Death still is. I have one friend quit watching the show when Dean ostensibly "killed" Death at the end of S10, because "it was the stupidest thing the show's ever done." And I have to agree, Death works best when Death can't be killed. Likewise, I got SUPER MAD when Reapers became an order of angel-class and were killable in S8 onwards - and I had to develop a very specific headcanon in order for me to not just storm off in a huff - because it was throwing out WONDERFULLY established mythology and replacing it with crap. Reapers and Death have to be outside of Sam and Dean's ability to kill in order for them to work effectively in the show - they have to be a neutral force of nature. That's what makes Death so precious in the moments that he decides to help the Winchesters, it's also what lends weight to mortality and stability to the universe in general. Now, this isn't all to say that I don't like Billie... but again, I basically have to believe something other than what the show told me, in order to get behind Billie as the "new" Death. Mainly, because YOU CAN'T KILL THE HORSEMEN, you can only weaken them - that's been established. Moreover, Death established that he will reap God in the end, and I firmly believe that to be true. Anyway, this whole rant has nothing to do with the intro. The great thing about this intro is that it was BEFORE they broke their own mythology and made it crappier - so when this happened, this was EPIC. Death was a force. The only slim hope Dean had was getting his hand on the scythe... and it was quite clear that wasn't going to happen with any sort of ease.

hells_half_acre: (...shit)
 I figured I might as well get the obvious one out of the way, rather than going in any particular seasonal order (there IS an entrance I love in S3, but it's probably one that I'll have to cut myself and see if I can get it up on youtube if I actually want to show the clip... )

Castiel - Lazarus Rising 4x01

This is arguably everyone's favourite entrance. It's kind of hard to deny that it's badass. I mean... obviously, you have the build-up, wind picking up so strongly that it starts blowing the roof from the rafters, we've seemingly got lighting outside, and electrical surges that are blowing out the lights inside. We have Castiel walking forward nearly unfliching at being shot in the chest (he blinks... I mean, full credit to Misha that he was able to control his reaction enough to ONLY blink as the squibs in his chest went off.)

Then, after all that, he treats his opening line like this is going to be a normal conversation  - "We need to talk, Dean - alone."

And yes, I know his opening line is actually "I'm the one that gripped you tight and raised you from perdition" - but that's in answer to a question. Castiel's first volunteered conversation starter is to say "We need to talk, Dean." Then, he seemingly doesn't say anything more as he let's Dean check on Bobby - reassuring him that he's okay.

I have to explain why all this is cool though, otherwise, it's me just reciting the scene... there's a juxtaposition going on here, between three things - first, there's the POWER that Castiel obviously has - he's the biggest thing we've seen in the series thus far. The most unknown, the most potentially destructive... and that's contrasted with his extremely calm matter-of-fact demeanor. So often, when we see powerful supernatural beings on this show, they're coupled with an over-the-top personality to match - a touch of cackling villain to go with their inherent danger. Castiel doesn't have that at all. He's actually FAIRLY ADORABLE, at least in the instant where he almost smiles when he says that Dean already knew that his voice was overwhelming... like, "hey, human, can we look back on those times I accidentally freaked you the fuck out trying to say hi, before I clued in that you couldn't hear me, and laugh yet? Because that would really help me out relation-ally here."

But, the other thing we're contrasting Castiel's calm demeanor with is Dean's very angry-freaked-out demeanor... which is understandable. And what we get here, because as an audience member, we're identifying with Dean in this instance - is not just the danger of Castiel's power and presence, but also Castiel poses a psychological danger to Dean, as he immediately zeros in on the fact that Dean doesn't think he deserves to be saved. At this point, even not knowing what Dean did in hell, the audience already knows from S2 and S3 that Dean has giant self-worth issues... and bringing them up is NOT GOOD when Dean is already off balance.

There's also the wing reveal in this scene - and by far, it's STILL the best wing reveal they've ever done, in my opinion. No other wing reveal has ever been as awesome as this one.

And, of course, Castiel's entrance also serves as an entrance for God into the narrative. Now, how you feel about that differs from person to person, but you can't deny that it was QUITE THE GAME CHANGER.

Sidenote #1: Man, how I wish they had kept angels THIS bad-ass... I know why they "clipped" them from a writing perspective - but in my opinion, they could have done so much more if they hadn't. They wouldn't have been able to do the storylines they chose to do, for sure, so the entire series after, say, S7, would have been different, but it would have been cool different. (The trick would have been limiting the number of angels/angel-storylines, rather than limiting angel's powers. And possibly ONLY "clipping" Castiel, as they did in S5, rather than clipping all angels. Not only that, but to me fallen-angel/outcast Castiel is WAY more interesting a plot-line than 90% of the angel plotlines they actually did.)

Sidenote #2: Another reason I love this scene, and actually the whole episode, is because Dean is wearing Sam's clothes in it. Look at him! Meeting his angel BFF for the first time in a shirt and jacket that is obviously too big for him. He's ADORABLE. They are both ADORABLE and AWKWARD and this is why they are BFF4EVA.
hells_half_acre: (Scary!Dean)
Hello! I haven't forgotten about you. I was contemplating what I would do for September, and was warring between options. Long story EXTREMELY SHORT: I drank a lot of wine at my friend's house tonight, and I have to sober up before I can fall asleep... and so just for something to do, I've decided on FAVOURITE ENTRANCES (spelled the Canadian way) until I run out, and then I'll do something else (suggestions welcome)

I'm not going by seasons, because, quite frankly, if I can't immediately remember the entrance, it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH, and I can't remember any spectacular entrances in S2 or even S3 (Ruby's doesn't count, it doesn't do much for me.)  There is one entrance in S3 that I like, so if I can find a clip of it I'll share, but we'll see.

Let's get on with the one I want to talk about today though...

Dean - Pilot 1x01

This is, arguably, actually the second time we're introduced to Dean, but it's the first time that we're introduced to Adult!Dean, and that distinction is important. Up until this point, we've seen 4 year old Dean carry his brother outside the house.

(Sidenote: I have spent time with a 4 year old this summer, if Dean was a realistic 4 year old, Sam would definitely be dumped in a hallway pretty much immediately - this is more evidence for wunderkind Dean, if there ever was any - 4 year old boys are self-centred a-holes, and I say that being someone who very much loves the 4 year old that I'm basing my evidence on.)

We've already been introduced to adult Sam - a strapping college student with a lovely girlfriend, who is intelligent, and has an estranged relationship with his family. Where is his brother? we ask... well, this is the answer to that question. His brother is breaking into his apartment in the middle of the night, calling him "tiger" and ultimately losing their wrestling match (but arguably, only because he paused for banter).

And the fact that Sam flips him is important for two reasons: Firstly, in the fight we see that they are MATCHED IN SKILL. Not only that, they're matched in a skill that normal college students don't have (hand to hand combat), SECONDLY, they are INTIMATE. And I know you'll see that word and be like "They're brothers, don't make this about sex!" but seriously - what I really mean is a familiarity with physical proximity and COMFORT. They don't distance themselves from each other. Dean stays over Sam to reveal himself, Sam flips him because they are STILL IN AN EMBRACE. Dean has to TELL Sam to let him up, and once Sam lets him up, Dean immediately reaches out to him to run his hands down his arms - to reacquaint himself physically with someone who he obviously once knew every inch of. The whole fight, Dean is countering all of Sam's attacks, because he knows what they will be. Right away, just through the physicality of the scene, we know that these two men know each other well, they are comfortable with each other, they have a long history... they're brothers, but not just brothers like siblings, but brothers in the sense of shared experience and knowledge of the other.

The first clip I found cuts out right after the fight, but the fact that in the scene following, a short hand is revealed - "Dad's on a hunting trip, and he hasn't been home in a few days" -  and the conversation that follows only reinforces what this fight has already shown us. Dean and Sam are estranged, but they aren't strangers. They've been separated, but the time and distance has not actually affected the intimacy of their relationship at all, nor their understanding of each other. This sets us up, immediately, with the heart of the show - the relationship and love between these two brothers.

And, just as a sidenote, although I don't ship wincest myself, I completely understand why people do.

It's a great entrance, and a great (re-)introduction to the second half of our leading duo.

hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)

I actually took the time to CUT THIS SCENE MYSELF and upload it to YouTube - and surprisingly, it only took me 20 minutes. So, if this embed works and it all goes right, that means that I can do the same for my picks for S11 and S13, which don't already have the clips online.

So, today's scene is...

S10 - Cain's Entrance in the Teaser scene of 10x14:

Why I chose this scene:

I know, I know, there's no Jared or Jensen or even Misha... but listen, I really love Timothy Omundson. I think he's just phenomenal and, you know what else I love? REALLY AWESOME ENTRANCES. Especially really awesome villain entrances.

I could have picked Death's entrance from S5 too, of course, but I already had a pick for that season, and Cain's appearance here, at least in my opinion, is right up there with Death. The cinematography of it all is brilliant, with the lights going off as he walks down the hall, the complete blackout and then the return to normalcy, just as the guards have started panicking, and then it's like nothing has happened at all. 

Then there's Cain's complete control of the scene at all times. 

Supernatural, in the later seasons, has fallen a little bit into the trap of following their villains too tightly and therefore undercutting their menace. Something you only see when it's attacking, something you only see when it's controlling the entire exchange, is WAY more menacing than something you see the whole life of. Things are far more terrifying when you don't know how/when they'll strike and you aren't aware of their weaknesses or foibles.

I also just love that dialogue of "Am I here to save you or kill you?" and the answer being "both"... and of course Omundson's delivery is perfect.

Honestly, this was filmed around the same time they were filming Galavant - the characters look exactly the same, because Omundson couldn't cut his hair for either, and yet the characters are complete opposites, and both portrayed believably and perfectly. I really hope that Omundson is recovering from his stroke well, because I would love to see him act again in the future.

Sidenote: I could have also picked the fight scene between Cain and Dean in this episode, where Dean gets the final blow regarding the curse of the Mark of Cain... but it was, in the end, my second choice. It's a great Dean character moment, don't get me wrong, and Omundson is brilliant then too... but I really really really love this entrance, hence why I decided I needed to just upload the clip myself and be honest about what my first choice is.

Let me know any thoughts! I'm sorry this entry is a little rushed today! I'll probably make up for it on Tuesday, because my S11 favourite scene is like 5-10 minutes long. :P


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