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I forgot how much screen time Ash and Pamela have in this one. I love both of those characters and THIS is the RIGHT way to bring back a dead character…not as a ghost (Bobby) or an angry spirit (Jo) or an AU person (Bobby and Charlie) – THIS is the the character we know and love; not a weird version of them and it’s REAL because Sam and Dean are on their (spirit’s) turf. Loved that.
I’ve been critical of The Winchesters and the way Latika knows everything all the time – always has the answer and it’s never hard to figure out what they need to know. I guess I could sorta put that same criticism on this episode for Cas communicating all the essential information, though Sam and Dean STILL had to stumble their way through to find the road Cas wanted them to follow; so it was still better than the “all the answers” Winchesters.
But this episode is so good. It’s so out of reality that as a viewer, we really don’t know what to expect. Just like Sam and Dean, we don’t know the rules in this world and that makes this one suspenseful for me!
The first scene is masterful right out of the gate! Dean recognizing the hunter’s voice is so very very “Dean”, and he turns on the charm, trying to talk them down. The way they blow Sam away is so very violent. If anything, I would expect a bit more of a complete panic response from Dean and you can see the desperation in his face, but I think he needed to lose it a bit more here than he did. And then they kill him too. Reasonable reason though; no, you would not want Dean on your ass after killing Sam. You’d be a dead man yourself then, no doubt.
The thing I loved about this episode from very first watch years ago was the differing POV’s. The choice of “good” experiences that were highlighted in heaven. We can wonder if Zachariah is manipulating the whole thing, but since he was still looking for them at first, I think the start was the “real” heaven experience of them dying and getting to relive their best memories. The fact that Dean is so hurt by the memories that Sam remembers most fondly is heartbreaking. All the times Sam WASN’T with his family. But I don’t blame Sam for this at all! I know people who grew up in the same household with their siblings and when they each talk about their childhood, it sounds like they lived completely separate childhoods. So this situation with Sam and Dean is very relatable to me in that way. Sam kinds sums it up when Dean calls him out on his “good” memories always excluding his family and Sam reminds him that he never got to have the loving, doting mom experience that Dean got to have for awhile. It’s true. They lived different childhoods.
Learning some of the characters and “rules” of heaven are interesting. Loved that Ash could break out of his own loop (why in the world was he dressed as a Mexican wrestler when he found Sam and Dean???). The whole scene with Joshua, on first watch, was not what I was expecting. They go through all of this; have this great opportunity to talk to someone who talks to God (or listens while God talks) and the guy basically has no news at all for them! He likes them! He hopes they succeed. But he can’t do anything and he can only tell them that God does know about all of it and isn’t inclined to lift a finger. I thought that was so cruel! It still is.
The loss of hope at the end on the part of Dean and Cas is heartbreaking. And it’s interesting that it’s Sam who brushes it off more easily. But it feels like it completely defeated Dean and that’s hard to watch; throwing out the amulet is only a visual expression of that…as well as, seemingly, his loss of his childhood fondness for Sam maybe? Maybe it was realizing Sam’s good memories didn’t involve him? Maybe it was a way to show Sam that he was out of hope? But when Cas asked for the amulet, Dean didn’t want to hand it over, I assumed because of what it meant as a gift from Sam. So to me, him throwing it out was more about Sam than God. Joshua DID say to Dean that he’s “lost faith in his brother” and Sam looked really shocked to hear it. But I guess after the Famine episode where Sam gives in to the demon blood craving, maybe Dean’s back to not trusting him at all.
PigNaPoke; there is NO WAY that was 40 minutes!!!! There is SO MUCH in there! It feels like 90 because it’s so packed full of insight!
I’m trying to find out of Sam’s dog “Bones” that he had for a week while he ran away was played by Jared’s real dog Sadie. Still trying to find out.
Jensen’s ability to say the lines the memory; to comfort his mom like a little boy would WAS incredible.
Really great episode.