hells_half_acre: (Worried!Sam)
And I'm back! And only one day late...

For my final selection, I've selected a scene that was LONG overdue...

S13 - Sam and Rowena discuss Lucifer - 13x12 Various and Sundry Villians

ROWENA: Are you very sure I can’t just enslave some townsfolk and make them take us to the girls?
SAM: I’m very sure you can, but I’m also very sure you shouldn’t.
ROWENA: Bless your precious heart, you just described my entire life.
SAM: [turning to face Rowena in the back seat] Rowena, even if you pull off whatever plan you’re trying to pull off, and even if you manage to get the book back –
ROWENA: [interrupting] I’ve been on my best behavior.
SAM: [nods in acknowledgement] Okay, sure. Let’s say you get the book. It’s not going to change anything. You’re still going to feel helpless. What Lucifer did to you–
ROWENA: [interrupting] Told you, I don’t… [puts on a brave, solemn face] Before he crushed my skull, Lucifer showed me his face. His true face. [brave façade cracks] I’m scared, Sam. All the time.
SAM: I’ve seen it too. What he really looks like behind – behind whatever vessel. It… Yeah, still keeps me up at night.
ROWENA: How do you deal with it?
SAM: I guess I don’t deal with it. Not really. I mean, I pushed it down and, um, the world kept almost ending, so I keep pushing it down, and I don’t know. [stammering] I really don’t talk about it, not even with Dean. I mean, I could. You know, he’d listen, but… That’s not something I really know how to share.

Why I chose this scene:

It's been 8 years since Sam got out of hell (10 years if we go by "actual" time - ignoring the two "skipped/looped" years). In those 8 years, we had 2-3 in which there were consequences to Sam's time in the cage (which I estimate to be AT LEAST 160 years "hell time" - if the we assume that the cage, being in the lowest reaches of hell, goes by hell time). But, even in those 2-3 years, where there were consequences, we never really delved too much into how Sam was DEALING with it. We saw him weathering it, we saw him... as he says here...pushing it down, away, doing is best to come out ahead and keep going. But, we never actually saw him directly address it. And, fair enough, you know - you don't just ask someone who has been tortured for 160 years to talk about his feelings right away and expect that he'll want to do so.

BUT, the fact that we get a glimpse of it here - the fact that Sam acknowledges that he HASN'T DEALT WITH IT. That he hasn't talked to Dean about, that he's just pushed it down... that he doesn't KNOW HOW to talk about it. I'd have loved this conversation in S8, where I think it really should have been (because it would explain so much about how adrift and OOC Sam was after Dean's "death", beyond us just having to acknowledge it as bad writing and doing our best to build up unsubstantiated headcanons to try to make up for Carver's failing). But, whether I wanted it sooner or not, I'm VERY THANKFUL that I get it here.

And, I won't say it's better, but I DO LOVE the fact that Sam has someone who can commiserate - who, even if she hasn't had the same extreme experience, has at least caught a glimpse of what Sam lived through. As much as I would love for Sam to confide in Dean... and my sidenote here is that I LOVE the fact that Sam and Dean's relationship is healthy enough that Sam knows Dean would listen and do his best to understand/help.... I also love the fact that Sam is able to share this and open up to someone other than his brother. I mean, yes, you could argue that Dean knows what it's like to be tortured with singular focus by a single entity in Hell. Alistair was Dean's Lucifer... BUT, at the same time, Lucifer is really a whole other type of beast. So, while Dean can no doubt commiserate about the torture, Rowena is really the only one that can commiserate about Lucifer... who simply has to show his true face to strike permanent terror into the hearts of humans. 

It also humanizes Rowena... who is MUCH more compelling as a multifaceted complex morally-grey character than she ever was as a cackling manipulating villain. She's basically moving from chaotic evil, through true neutral, to chaotic good (for those of you who know D&D alignments) and that's a hell of a character arc... and the best part is that it doesn't have to end when she gets to chaotic good, because that (like we see later) leads her into exploring where her new moral boundaries lie... is she still out only for herself, or does she start including the good of the universe in her decisions?

Now, granted, you could argue that this whole conversation is a well rehearsed move on Rowena's part to gain Sam's sympathy in order to ensure that he gives her the page out of the book that she needs.... I mean, in the end, that's how it works out. BUT, maybe I'm being too kind to her, but I don't think that's the case... I think Rowena DOES have a goal of starting a conversation that will give her an excuse to leave the car. Either Sam will get mad at her and start a fight, from which she can storm off, or she knows by sharing trauma, he will allow her to get some air... but, I think the content of her words are true. And we see much later in the season that the more sympathetic bond between her and Sam remains. Rowena is too proud of herself for well laid plans not to have gloated about the manipulation if it were one, and the fact that she never throws Sam's words back in his face, to me, proves that she meant what she said and plans to honour Sam's confidence as well.

Anyway, it's a great scene with complex characters and motivations... but really, despite all I just talked about Rowena, what I love most about it is how it cracks Sam open again in relation to Lucifer... it drove me NUTS in S11 that they had Sam and Lucifer in the same scenes, and had Sam playing family-counselor to Lucifer and God, like Sam had never been tortured and Lucifer was just an old annoyance rather than Sam's worst fear/greatest source of trauma/etc.

I'd love to see it explored a little more, but I think that, with Lucifer's death (and please god, let him remain dead) we're probably never going to address it again - and this will be all I ever get. So, I may as well treasure it! 

PROJECT FINISHED!

IMPORTANT NOTE:

I'm going to be disappearing for a few weeks, because I'm busy. However, I'll be back around the end of August. We still have September to get through before the show starts up again and I start up rewatches in October. SO... if you have any suggestions for something I should post in late August and September, please let me know!





hells_half_acre: (Crying Dean)
Hello!

Just a quick heads-up: Next week's clip will probably be posted on either Monday or Wednesday, depending on life, not Tuesday.

And now, we get to S12...

S12 - Dean confronts Mary in 12x22

 

Why I chose this scene:

Now, first off, I was really torn in this season between this scene, Sam taking charge and becoming a leader, and the family hug at the end of this episode when Mary apologizes to Sam too... but in the end, this one won out, because it was the one that the gravity of which was all encapsulated in the scene.

Second caveat, is that I absolutely hate the camera technique used in this clip, when both the person in the foreground and the person in the background are in focus. (You can see what I mean by just looking at the thumbnail for the video above). BUT, that's a personal taste thing, obviously, so I'll ignore it. I think if it was universally despised, Supernatural would stop using it so often.

Okay, now let's talk about the real reasons I chose this scene. I mean, thirdly, I suppose, it kind of drops an anvil where other seasons may have layered it's contents beautifully across the entire arc of the year... but, thems not the way SPN is written anymore, so I will take my anvils and be grateful. (And man, I used to complain about anvils in the early season too, I knew nothing).

Seriously though, I need to stop complaining, because this IS a beautiful scene and it's done really well by Jensen. I think what I like about it is how it does capture that emotion of hating the people you love, and how you don't WANT to. And I love the way that Jensen plays it as though Dean is only coming to this realization about his feelings towards his mother NOW, as he gets angry at her for hiding in this dream of an idyllic life. He realizes that it's not just NOW that she's hiding in this dream, but that she had been ever since 1973... which in turn, is why she never warned John about the deal, why she 'lied' to Dean as a kid. (I put 'lied' because honestly, what was she supposed to tell a 4 year-old? "Actually, Dean, in about two weeks, a demon is going to come and collect on a deal, and I have no idea what I've promised away - could be me, could be you, could be your brother... all I know is that it's probably going to visit untold horrors upon this family.")

It was easier for Mary to put the looming deal to the back of her mind, and enjoy the life she had bargained with a demon in order to get. But, from Dean's perspective, she traded their entire futures for just 10, only slightly idyllic, years as a housewife.

But, more importantly than that, even though lays out what happened to SAM because of it, he also acknowledges - possibly for the first time since S3 - what happened to HIM because of it. That he became father/mother/brother at the age of 5. That of COURSE he would (as he sees it) FAIL at that job. (In my opinion, of course, he didn't fail - if we measure parenting by how a person turned out, then Sam is absolutely wonderful and that's because of Dean and John, but mostly Dean.... of course, I know people with shitty parents who are also good people, so that's probably an inaccurate measure. Still, all things considered, I think Dean did alright considering he was only 4 years older than his "kid").

This is Dean confronting the "perfect" image that he had of his mom, and examining it for the denial that it is... which is just as much his fault as Mary's. We often turn the dead into saints, when it's not warranted. And probably, this sainthood has been questioned in Dean's mind ever since S4, when he found out that Mary wasn't some innocent civilian. But, that all being said, Dean himself has made deals, and I like the fact that he recognizes that he can't throw stones... but the fact that Mary is just as complicit as John in Dean's horrible childhood is still something that needs to be addressed.

And I love the way he finishes off, by asking Mary to look at him. To SEE him. Probably the least blatant part of the scene, this is Dean asking Mary to confront what she did, so THAT he can forgive her. You can't forgive someone who won't even acknowledge that they did something. And yes, Mary's previously acknowledged that she did something TO SAM, but she never mentioned Dean in that before... and I think this is Dean saying that she had to see what she did to him too. That she had to CONFRONT REALITY of what/who her kids became, rather than living in denial or a dream or trying to escape it... and simultaneously, it's Dean doing the same for Mary, it sounds harsh when he says it, but his rant is about him acknowledging that she ISN'T the perfect mom, that he doesn't expect her to be, that he understand she's a flawed and complicated individual who is imperfect and has made some huge mistakes in her life and will more than likely do so again. It's him telling her that he's taking that pressure to live up to his expectations away - that she doesn't have to be this beloved figure in their lives, hates her just as much as he loves her. In return, she has to do the same for him... she has to see him as something other than a 4 year-old that she's only going to let down, but also acknowledge that she already HAS let him down, and that he's still standing there.

Anyway, it's a good scene. 




hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)
 Hello!

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

hells_half_acre: (Young Dean)
And now we return to our regularly scheduled program of Winchester's ripping our hears out....

My choice for S9 is probably not that big of a surprise, given that I love pre-series/wee-chester stuff.

S9 - John shows up to collect 16 year-old Dean from Sonny's


Why I chose this scene:

Surprisingly enough, I think this was backstory that I really needed on Dean - to me, it explains just WHY Dean was so devastated by Sam leaving for Stanford. It also humanizes Dean to me, in a weird way... in that we see that Dean also had a chance to escape, like Sam did, and clearly WANTED to take it, but in the end chose not to... and chose not to not for the reason of "hunting is awesome and Dad knows best!" which is a lot of how Dean came across in the early seasons (when we were seeing him mostly from Sam's pov.) This complicates that. This chose that even before S3's revelations of Dean's resentments towards his father - Dean KNEW about them and struggled with them. I don't know if I'm articulating this correctly, so apologies if now - but to me, this really enriches an already rich character, in that it takes his internal character struggles back even further, which in turn makes them even more impactful to me. It also makes Dean's comment in Scarecrow about being PROUD of Sam for leaving, for being who he is, stand out all the more... because YES, Dean resents Sam for it, because Sam was the reason that Dean didn't leave, but Dean is also PROUD of Sam, because Sam did something Dean ultimately wished he could have done, but felt he could not. (Just, without even arguing which decision was the right decision - I don't think Dean leaving would have made him a bad person. It's that thing about affixing your own oxygen mask before helping someone else, in my opinion. Dean's tendency towards martyrdom is a debate all on its own though.)

But, this scene tells me why Sam leaving was so devastating to Dean - because Dean stayed BECAUSE of Sam. (Regardless of whether Sonny would have been successful with the petition) Dean gave up his shot at freedom and a second chance at life, because he didn't want to leave Sam behind. Of course, by nature and circumstance, it's impossible for Sam to return this gesture of devotion - because a)Sam didn't get his chance until Stanford, and b)Dean is his older brother, who was always firm in his decisions, who - more importantly - got ALONG with their father, and who didn't seem to need protecting. So, we really only see Sam return this same level of devotion when he has to save Dean from death (and we shall not speak of S8, which was a writing travesty).  I also think that it's unfair for anyone (possibly Dean) to consider Sam ungrateful for Dean's decision, because a)Sam never asked him to make it, and b)I think Sam WAS grateful that he had Dean, but Sam didn't realize that Dean needed him when they were traveling with their dad just as much as Sam needed Dean. We see a similar thing happen with Dean at the end of S2, when it's only when Sam bluntly ASKS him "what do you think my job is?" that Dean realizes that, at least n the absence of their father, Sam considers it his job to protect Dean as well.

ANYWAY, this is all a really long winded way to say that I love the character exploration that occurs in this mostly silent scene. I think the actor, whose name I momentarily forget, did an amazing job with Dean as well. I know some people disagree, but I think definitely acting-wise, he's the best young!Dean we've had. Just the way he plays this highly emotional scene, is so reminiscent of scenes we've seen Jensen do...like Heaven and Hell, and just that..."I want to cry, but I'm not going to cry, but I'm crying, but I just won't mention it and no one else mention it either please" and yeah.

The final thing I love about this scene is the ways you can read it. Like, the fact that we see everything from Dean's POV, so - is Sam seemingly acting too young for his age? Well, I think that's frankly how Dean sees him. I know, originally, they were going to play this episode as Dean being 14 and Sam being 10, and then they aged Dean up to 16, making Sam supposedly 12. But I love that we can also use this kind of clumsy script change as an amazing work of unreliable-narrator... because I remember when my little sister was a young teen (we're six years apart), and whenever she wasn't directly infront of me, I would still remember her as a child. And, while it's not related to this scene in particular, I love how we can contrast Dean in this episode (at 16) to Dean in After School Special (at 18) and the VAST DIFFERENCE, and then realize that After School Special was told from Sam's POV, and of course Dean would be this adult-looking Lothario of a guy. But that's all off topic.

I also love Sonny in this scene, because he's a good dude, and he's the kind of person that Dean needed more of in his life.

ETA: Oh man, I also forgot that this is the SAME YEAR that Dean "embraced the life" according to what he told Gordon in S2 - which to me makes perfect sense. Because if you make a decision to be trapped somewhere, you're going to change the story to be one where you PREFER to be there, rather than a story where you wish you could have left. You rationalize it to be something you want, so that you don't have to admit to being miserable. We do it all the time. So, this scene just completely fills out that story too. It could have very well been the hunt directly after this... Sam waiting in the car, Dean and John killing a werewolf, and Dean is like "yeah, what other kids get to kill werewolves, really, I should find this awesome, and ignore the fact that we live out of abandoned shacks and cheap motels, and I've been practically a single-parent to my little brother since I was at most 8 years old."



There's probably much more I want to say about this, but it's nearly dinner time and I'm getting hungry and it's hard to think. So, discuss with me more in comments if you feel the urge!

 
hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)
Look at this, already at S8, maybe I should have spaced these out a little more... 

Today, for the second time, we branch away from Sam and Dean centric scenes, and instead look at what I think is one of Crowley's absolute best character scenes.

Season 8 - Sacrifice - Crowley begins to break down



Why I chose this:

This is another one of those SO MUCH POTENTIAL moments, which, are obviously a draw for me. I love the introduction and exploration of possibilities - I love when the show opens up new doors on characters that we thought we knew, or character journey's that we thought we could predict. 

But, before we get into all that, I also just love this scene because, although Mark Sheppard is often typecast as the sort of sarcastic/clever villain type, sometimes the sarcastic/clever scenery-chewing villain type... he actually is a dynamic and GOOD actor, and I feel like this scene really gave him room to stretch into places that we hadn't seen before from this character. It's a monologue performed flawlessly. And of course, Jared's reactions are perfectly played as well - that "What?" after Crowley's entire speech just KILLED me when the show aired. It was such a great way to relieve this really tense moment, where you start seeing Crowley's walls come down - you start seeing that maybe it's possible for Crowley to be a human.

And this scene works even if you don't get the references, because Sam doesn't get the references either. 

But yeah, this turn that Crowley is taking here, this door opening to other, more human, sides of his character - is just brilliant, and it's acted brilliantly. And again, the places you could go with this!  Ultimately, of course, the show didn't go those places - or they did, but too weakly and ineffectually to be of interest - but I think S8 was really one of the last times that Crowley's character was written well, and I really love this scene with him. I think both Mark and Jared were doing some of their best work in this episode in general, and it was lovely to see them play off each other in this scene especially.

Now, if I were writing this show, I would have continued this journey into S9, instead of reverting him, or making him pathetic and then reverting him, as they did. But that's me - the question Crowley asks later in this episode, which amounts to basically "how would I even begin to find forgiveness" is a fantastic one, and it would have been amazing to explore. Alas, alas, Carver wasn't big on character-driven plots, so we never got to... but this scene is the door opening on the possibility of doing so, and for that, I love it.
hells_half_acre: (Bloody)
And now we go from laughter back to drama... with a scene from S7, which really makes me start humming that Adele song... we could have had it all...."

S7 - Dean finds out that Sam is suffering from hallucinations


Why I chose this:

This storyline had such rich character potential. Also, this was back in the day when I still liked Lucifer as a character (or, rather, I liked Sam's hallucination of Lucifer, because actual Lucifer was locked away in the cage where he goddamn belongs.)

But, instead of talking about potential storylines that may or may not have been disappointing in the end, let's just focus on the one scene.

One, this scene is amazing because Sam is being honest with Dean about the problem he is facing, rather than trying to hide it. With Sam returned from hell and as well as can be given the circumstances, we're still moving forward having learned our lessons from the mistakes of S1-5 - in that we aren't keeping secrets, and we're both fighting together and staying on the same page about things. Does it lessen the drama? No! Because the drama is in the circumstance and the problems being faced, rather than in familial conflict. 

Two, there are just so many fantastic, and completely heartbreaking, lines in this one scene - "you can't torture someone who has nothing left for you to take away", "it had to be a mess, Sam, otherwise you wouldn't believe it was your life", and "He says the same thing about you."

Three, just, the PERSONAL relationship that Sam has with Lucifer flows through their interactions here, it tells us so much about the cage - about the trauma that Sam may have suffered therein. There's such a story being told in behaviour, in positioning, in the words and gestures being used. 

Four, Jared just knocks it out of the park with that thing he can do where he makes all 6'5'' of him look small and fragile and on the cusp of breaking, and you just sit there going "oh no oh no oh no..."

Five, I know it's happened before this too, but I love how in S4+ we start getting to things that Bobby doesn't know how to deal with either. Bobby has flaws and knowledge gaps, and he's not necessarily always going to do the right thing, or know the perfect thing to say. And you see that here, where he just LEAVES... like, my goodness, dude, that's your adopted son, but Bobby is just like "wow, I'm out" and leaves Dean to it. I don't even mean that as a bad thing - it's just another example of how nuanced everyone's relationship is with each other, and how the characters are all multidimensional people.

Man, I wanted this storyline to continue with this same level of richness - I wanted to see a seasons where we directly addressed hunting when one has a mental illness, rather than just alluding to it. And it would have been fine and understandable if it set back their growth as characters a little - they could have had familial conflict in Dean treating Sam too gently, or Sam pushing himself too hard, and having to find that balance... and having to find some way to recover, or manage, or just move forward in some capacity. I mean, not to complain too much, but I really think it's here where we start really seeing the problems of not being able to plan for the next season/showrunner early... because if Carver really wanted to start S8 with Sam not looking for Dean, then you had your perfect set-up with this storyline, instead of Gamble giving Sam a magic cure that doesn't make sense - have Sam become incapable of looking for Dean - even if you wanted to use Cas as a cure, at least tie Sam's sanity with Cas's existence, so that when Cas disappears, Sam's ability to manage goes with him. That's seriously what I have to headcanon in order to make S8 (and Sam's "cure" for that matter) make any damn sense. /rant.

Really, I love this scene because it's RICH with character and possibilities, and if you just watched to this point, and didn't know the future - you could right so many different kinds of stories going forward. 


hells_half_acre: (laughing)
Hello! Sorry this one is a little late - I had to fly across the country today. Just as I was enjoying the fact that, for once, BC wasn't literally on fire this summer - I decided to fly to Ontario for a heat-wave. Good times.

So, let's enjoy something fun! Which we sorely need after my pick for favourite scene from S5.

S6 - The French Mistake - Sam and Dean Act


Why I chose this:

I mainly chose this because the night it aired, I was ON THE FLOOR laughing. When it's not first go, I tend to smile with mild amusement, because I know what's coming - but when it was new, it killed me with how funny it was.

In retrospect, I think this is both the pinnacle of how far Supernatural has ever reached towards absurdity, and also the pinnacle of them reaching and PULLING IT OFF. It was a brilliant masterclass of grounding absurdity in a core reality that made it believable instead of just ridiculous. 

If I did a favourite frame per episode, mind you, I'd choose the frame of this episode with the police tape that had maple leaves on it. That visual gag really did me in the night it aired.

And they both do such a good job of lampooning really bad actors - with Dean being super stiff, obviously looking to his marks, reading the stage directions like they're dialogue...and Sam speaking like he's doing high school theater, not knowing what to do with his hands, exaggerating all his gestures, while having a little nervous breakdown the whole time. 

Also, this is Jared and Jensen playing Sam and Dean playing Jared and Jensen playing Sam and Dean - how can it NOT be my favourite.

It's acting all the way down.
hells_half_acre: (Darkness Defines)
And now we come to the end of the original Kripke 5 year arc... so, naturally, my choice for S5 scene is well, the end of the original Kripke 5 year arc.

Swan Song: Chuck's final narration:

I'd even shave off the last 30 seconds when Sam is revealed.

Why did I chose this scene?

Well, first off, I guess this is cheating a little bit, since this isn't a scene, it's a narrated montage. But, whatever, I make the rules.

Mainly, I'm choosing this scene because it end Supernatural as such a perfect tragedy - as it was always set up to be (originally - these days, it could go either way on an ending). It's not a COMPLETE tragedy, but a perfect one - in that technically, it's a victory, but it's a victory at a high cost. Sam and Dean saved the world, and it costs Sam his life. Sam, who strived his whole life to break free from Hunting, who always believed and hoped that it was possible to do so, ends up sacrificing that dream (and himself) to save the world. Dean, meanwhile, who never had any hope that he would have a "home", could have a family beyond Sam, could escape the "life" ends up living Sam's dream... and actually having ALL of that (which he did secretly longed for), but the cost is the life of his brother - which makes the victory hollow, because if there was one thing Dean always put above his own dreams, it was Sam and Sam's dreams. So, the fact that Dean gets to live Sam's dream and Sam doesn't - I mean, OUCH.

It's a great ending, in my books, because it's hard to pull off the tragic victory - and I really think Kripke nailed it here.

And with or without the last 30 seconds, I love this ending because it left the door open for SO MUCH GREAT FIC. This was back in the days when I read fic (though it was a minefield of trying to avoid both Wincest and Destiel, neither of which I shipped) and I just remember so much great speculative fics about whether Dean stays with Lisa, or does go rescue Sam, how Sam escaped the cage, what his condition is, how much time had passed, etc. Sometimes, unanswered questions are the best thing a series can leave you with. 

I mean, off topic but related, I think a lot of people were disappointed with the Solo movie because they liked their imaginary versions of Han and Chewy's past better, they liked the excitement of speculating about it, rather than knowing for sure, or having an "official version" (I mean, same goes for all movies outside the original Star Wars trilogy really... *cough*except the prequels which were just objectively trash all around, so of course people hate them*cough*-what a long weird cough)

ANYWAY, it was a great wrap to the series, in my opinion:  On theme, foreshadowed well, and leaving that door open just enough that imaginations could run wild.

hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)
The scene I chose for S4 is probably of no surprise to anyone with whom I've ever gotten into in-depth Supernatural discussions

From 4x16 - On the Head of a Pin - Anna kills Uriel after his attack on Castiel and the reveal of his betrayal

(embedded video is queued to the relevant part, so don't be surprised when it starts at the 1:50 mark)

Why I chose this scene:

To me, this is the thesis statement of the entire show (or, at least, the core of it: S1-S5) - and, yes, it's not even spoken by one of our leads, but I think maybe it's even more awesome for being said by a female side-character (but that's a little beside the point.)

When Uriel beats Castiel and says that "there's no Will, no Wrath, no God", Anna replies with "Maybe, maybe not, but there's still me" as she stabs him in the throat.

And to me that's what Supernatural is about - it's not about the existence or non-existence of God - it's about the actions of humans, and it's telling us that it's human action (or, personal action, I should say, since these are angels) that is the important thing - not a divine plan or interference, nor an unholy plan or interference, but the individual actions of people that determine everything. 

Now, as an aside: in the comments section on my S2 scene choice, I did get into a long discussion about the idea of "God working through people" which I have problems with on a personal level and don't necessarily like as a concept - BUT... I want to say that if this is something you believe, that this line works for that too - "there's still me" and you could basically see it as Anna judging her own actions for herself, not what her religions (ie: Heaven) commands of her, but rather what her concept of God's wishes might be, and how her actions might reflect that. If you're someone whose concept of right and wrong is deeply rooted in God, then that's another way to read this scene, and I think it still works... that Anna is saying whether God exists or not, doesn't matter, because she believes in the morals that the concept of God has instilled in her and is going to act accordingly regardless - whereas Uriel has decided that God doesn't exist, and is therefore chosen to not follow the concepts of right or wrong according to God, and his own actions therefore also have consequences (and one of those is to suffer the Will and Wrath through Anna, who is still acting in accordance with the concept of God)

Basically, whether God exists or not doesn't matter - what we do as individual people matters.

Or, taken out even further  - no matter how large or powerful the forces either with or against us, what we do as individuals is what matters.

And yeah, that's the show right there, summed up in one fight scene and one killing-blow quip by a secondary character that we only see in a handful of episodes and whom most of the fandom hated. FITTING! Hahaha

Seriously though, this is possibly my favourite exchange in the ENTIRE SERIES, and I feel like I have utterly failed at describing why. I wish I hadn't lost the email exchange that I had once with my far more intelligent friend about this scene, because she could really put fancy words to things, you know. Alas, you are stuck with my fumbling attempts at communication.


hells_half_acre: (laughing)
Hello!

Season 3 was a hard choice - I mean, it contained A Very Supernatural Christmas, after all, which is one of my favourite episodes. BUT, in the end, I had to chose this particular moment in the diner in the episode Mystery Spot:



Why this scene?

I picked this scene for slightly different reasons than the previous two scenes - rather than discussing a particular character moment (though I think Mystery Spot as a whole is a fantastic character moment for Sam), I wanted to discuss the amazingness that is our two leads.

I know it's been talked about to death, but the success of Supernatural really is because of the relationship that Jared and Jensen have with each other. And as much as they talk about it being easy because they were two Texas boys from similar families who liked the same football team, it WAS a choice they made early on too. The choice to make the set a fun place to be, the choice to have any arguments they needed to have in private, the choice that their friendship was super important to them and they would WORK on it and prioritize it over any arguments they did have.

I think it's why we are able to have moments like this - why the writers trust they can pull these things off, and why they are able to pull them off so well. As much as the boys don't method act (and thank goodness for that), I think the reason that they can play brothers so well is because they decided that they were going to BE brothers.

Also, I decided to choose this scene because this is Supernatural really stepping into the absurd (the GOOD absurd). I know they did it a LITTLE in Hollywood Babylon, and a little MORE in Bad Day at Black Rock, but Mystery Spot is when they started to say "you know, I think there is a LOT of room in this show for just about anything...and I think our audience will come along with us for it..." and there really is, and we really did.

AND FINALLY, I wanted to choose this scene because I think Jared's great. Sam runs the gamut of emotions in this episode, and as you see in this scene here, Jared does it when his scene partner can't meet him in the same emotional space. Sam is miserable. Dean is just confused and a little concerned.

While I love A Very Supernatural Christmas, Mystery Spot is often the episode that I show people when they've never seen the show before and I want to give them a taste of what it's like - so, that's yet another reason I felt my scene should come from it. And I mean, who doesn't love it when they speak at the same time? ;)



hells_half_acre: (Darkness Defines)
We continue with our exploration of Dean's character with my favourite scene from S2, and possibly my second favourite quote from the show of all time.



"There's no higher power, there's no God. There's just chaos and violence, and random unpredictable evil that comes out of nowhere and rips you to shreds."

Man, I love him.

The thing is, he's not wrong - even all these years later. I mean, technically, there's a God in the show, BUT, because the God of Supernatural is actually a "god" and not the "God" of the actual Abrahamic faiths, even with god, there is still JUST chaos and violence, and random unpredictable evil that comes out of nowhere and rips you to shreds. The angels in SPN, from their conception, and with the seeming exception (most of the time) of Cas, have always been just as bad as demons from the perspective of the Winchesters. Certainly, they were rare on earth until S4, but after S4, we've seen them act much like demons do - using their vessels for their own ends, causing pain and destruction "for the greater good."  And God himself has proven to be both fallible and not omniscient, to the extent that, save for Castiel's resurrections and maybe one or two deus ex machina moments, he may as well not exist.

But really, even before we got to the reveal of angels (and by extension heaven and God) in S4, I loved this quote.

Dean is an atheist in a world where he KNOWS that demons and Hell are a thing. He has proof that the afterlife exists, and yet he doesn't even seem to entertain the idea that there might be a balanced "light" to the "dark." No, it is all just dark, it is all just misery... and Dean tells us this WITH A SMILE. Look at his smile as he delivers this line, as he says "...and rips you to shreds." It's... I don't think I'd even describe it as a bitter smile.... it's accepting. Dean has seen a world without salvation, a world that has already ripped him to shreds and he is sure will do so again, and he basically says "well, I might as well smile and do the best I can to make it a little bit better for as many people as I can before it kills me."

And THAT right there is a hero.

I think that's why a lot of "anti-heroes" rub me the wrong way. They're too bitter and miserable. Too reluctant. Dean does get more depressed as the series continues, it's true, but I think this here still remains the core of his character. 

I also maintain that even after the confirmed existence of God, that Dean remains an atheist... because he doesn't BELIEVE in God. He doesn't trust him. He doesn't have FAITH in God.... Dean believes and has faith in himself and those he loves, and Dean does not love God.

I feel like everything I've said so far is woefully inadequate for expressing my love for this scene and quote. But so much of it I haven't figured out how to put into words yet. Mainly though, this scene touches on a major theme of S1-S5, which I'll talk about more when I get to the scene I chose for S4. :)

hells_half_acre: (Churchyards Yawn)
Welcome to a Summer Themed Post! Going off a suggestion from borgmama1of5 - I'm going to pick one scene each season and tell you why I like it.

If there's a youtube clip for the scene, I'll post it, if not, I'll post either screenshots or dialogue (or both).

Season 1: Dean calls John in 1.09 Home






Why did I choose this scene: 

I've talked about it countless times before it seems, but this moment is the moment that the show hooked me. Up until this point, I was watching because the show was mildly entertaining and because it was an activity that I could do with my sister, and therefore spend more time with her (when we started watching the show, we had spent a few years separated by circumstance, and I had missed her.)

As soon as this scene happened though, and we got an emotion from Dean other than "cocky", "flirty", and "protective of Sam", I wanted to know more... Dean became a real person rather than an archetype. The facade had crumbled and suddenly he was those other things, but he was also scared, and his absent father was PAINFUL rather than just a plot device. Not only that, but his absent father was obviously loved by Dean, not just as "yeah, of course, he's my dad" but also clearly someone who Dean reached out to when he was scared.... those of us who have strained relationships with one or more of our parents know that who you reach out to when you're scared is a HUGE indicator of the relative health of your love. 

And yes, we can argue about the health of Dean's relationship to John until the cows come home - obviously, there WERE problems there... but this scene told me that whatever those problems were, John was loving underneath it all. John was someone that obviously, ordinarily, Dean felt that he COULD call when he was in crisis... and S1 was the aberration of John's response, not the standard. If John had always failed to come when Dean called him, then by the age of 26, Dean would have ceased trying. It's true, he's partially calling here because there's a slim possibility that the thing in the house is the thing that killed Mom and John would ultimately be interested in that - but that's not really how Dean frames the call. He's saying "come here, because I need you." Not, "this might be what you've been looking for."

In anycase, my main point is that this is the scene where we stared to see DEAN, not just "Sam's older brother" but Dean as his own complex character with a complex internal life, and a "public" face that he puts on for Sam, and a "private" face that he hides away.

And that made me want to watch the show to see what happened to him... without this scene, well, I would have watched the show anyway, and probably been hooked sometime later - but maybe not until S2... which I'll talk about next time.

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