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Oooo, this one was good!
My favorite part first. Dean’s self-sacrificing, self-destructive tendencies. He is TOTALLY thinking about trading himself for his father (can’t believe he didn’t, actually). The very last scene where Sam flat-out asks him if was going to make a deal and he doesn’t respond is very powerful. At least he couldn’t lie to Sam about it. I was still a bit shocked when the camera cut back to Dean kissing the demon and for a second you’re like, “Hold ON! What did he DO?!” and you find out she’s sealing the deal with Dean to let the doomed man live out a full life; not sealing some kind of demon deal that Dean made. Clever with the devil’s traps – the SECOND one; like she caught the first (and he make that catch-able on purpose so she thought she got around it, only to be trapped under the water tower?) and let down her guard for the second.
And the demon that Dean summons is perfectly awful; going right for the thing she knows will get him – guilt over John and fear for what he’s enduring in hell, as well as confirming what Dean feared; that John went to hell to spare Dean’s life. That was PERFECT for more info. for the viewer on what demons are like. I do like that the demon often shows up in the form of a beautiful woman. Even Robert Johnson’s demon. I liked the flashbacks to Robert Johnson and that era. The music too. Funny moment when Dean’s exasperated at SAM’S lack of knowledge (for once!) of music history!
I also really liked the guy who made the deal who DIDN’T want help; he wanted to take responsibility for his deal and ANY artist can sympathize with that guy! He only wished for talent; not fame or fortune; so he was very talented and also surrounded by his art since no one wanted to buy it (yet – I’m thinking he was one of those guys whose art would sell for millions after his death) and no one recognized his talent in his lifetime. He was great casting and a great side character. Very believable. And he introduced Sam and Dean to goofer dust. More southern/hoodoo/voodoo practices and I really liked that.
Kind of nice that the one deal-making guy who got to live was the one who asked for something for someone other than himself; to save his wife from cancer. Of course Dean accused him of doing THAT for selfish reasons so as to not have to live without her…but when he says that, Dean is still very much in guilt mode over John’s death and in “what is meant to die should die” frame of mind.
I did like that Sam and Dean BOTH hit on the truth about what John did simultaneously and they actually TALKED about it, even though Dean ran off to do something risky anyway and Sam didn’t try all that hard to stop him. Did Sam trust him at that point? He shouldn’t have.
Also a pretty good commentary on be careful what you wish for. The deal ends for everyone in a terrifying way (and the doctor being dragged away by the hellhounds is very close to what will eventually happen to Dean after his deal for Sam’s life later), no matter how good the life was. Better not to mess with things like that!
I have always had a fear of aggressive dogs. So the hellhound has always freaked me out. I like the invisible aspect to someone who is not about to have their contract come due. Now, the gruesome images of the distorted people before dying…where did that come from? I think in a later episode they say that it’s when the veil starts to get thin and you see things like demons…is that the demon torturing the soon-to-be victim by making “regular” people look terrifying? I wonder who on SPN came up with that.