I feel SO BAD for Max in this one. To me, he is one of the most sympathetic and sad characters SPN has ever created. I have been close to people who were abused as children. It makes you want to kill the abuser yourself. I was cheering for Max. Kate, I didn’t see Max as out for revenge at all costs. I saw him as desperate to stop his own pain at all costs and to me, that is more like a matter of personal survival than a quest for revenge. The feelings of anger towards those who stood by and did nothing to stop the abuse are almost as strong with me as those towards the abusers. So I understood Max wanting to kill his stepmother. The betrayal some victims feel as children over not being protected by someone who should have protected them is lifelong and deep. I can totally condone Max’s (fictional) actions. They made complete sense to me.
I feel like this episode turns so much of what’s expected on its head. Those who died aren’t innocent victims. The killer is not a spirit. This is ANOTHER real-life hush-hush issue that they tackled and I love that. I STILL felt the hair on the back of my neck rise up when Sam realizes that Max’s mom died the same way Mary did. The first time he ever found someone else with his story.
Also, to me, it’s unexpected that Max dies. They can’t save him. Sam lays on the puppy dog eyes and the sincerity and it still doesn’t work. On first watch years ago, I was shocked when Max died.
It’s a huge jump ahead for Sam’s growing abilities; moving the huge piece of furniture.
The most masterful thing in this episode though, is Dean. His outward carefree and confident attitude towards Sam’s growing psychic issues, but ALL THE LOOKS we see that Sam doesn’t see that let us know he thinks this is serious and he IS really worried about it. But for Sam, he’s all there for him…trying to make sure Sam doesn’t worry. His comment about how Sam has him…where Max didn’t have a “Dean” to look out for him carries through the entire series.
Yes, it WAS interesting to show that Sam and Dean’s life could have been way WORSE. It’s kind of a lovely moment when Sam realizes that.
Yeah, what was with that weird laser thing?! We never saw it other than in this episode, did we? My first thought was about how HUGE it was and Dean was supposed to be hiding it completely in his Priest jacket??? I bet someone on the show just thought the lasers looked cool on film because they spent a long time on that scene with no payoff. (Nothing appearing on the screen, etc.)
I thought the actor who played Max did an INCREDIBLE job. He had to act on the edge of a breakdown…so fragile…ALL THE TIME and he made it believable to me!
I guess the idea that Sam had John instead of Max’s horrible childhood at the end kind of fits with Sam realizing that John didn’t do that bad compared to Mr. Miller. But yes, you’d think he’d have figured out Dean meant DEAN because of the tense relationship between Sam and John and, as Sam said, “Dad’s not here”…but Dean is!
The premonition of Dean dying STILL shocked me. I liked that the premonitions were so close to the actual event. Made it totally frustrating that they didn’t happen sooner so they had more time to save someone. That provided so much tension; you never knew how long they had.
Love that Sam’s love for Dean caused him to move the furniture. The only thing powerful enough to elicit that reaction.
Really? They didn’t continue with Sam’s psychic thing? I thought he still had psychic connections to the other “special” children in later episodes…some of them? I guess I’ll find out I was remembering wrong as we watch.
For the technology they had at the time, and the actor’s ability to act around something that wasn’t there…it made the floating knives and gun very believable. Loved the knife point to the eyeball. LOVED the sort of absentminded spinning of the letter opener as Max talked to Sam and the way Sam kept an eye on it as an indication of Max’s mental state.