This was a strong episode. Any time an episode largely deals with the Winchester family dynamic, I tend to love it. We get that heartbreaking speech from Dean about how he wants him and Sam and John to be a family again; after the hunt for the thing that killed mom is over. And Sam just kills his hopes by telling him he’s not going to do this forever AND he doesn’t want things to go back to the way they were like Dean does. The acting in that scene, especially Jensen’s is exquisite.
Later, when John shows up, the meeting between him and Sam…how it starts out tentative and how JARED just kills it there; showing us just how badly Sam craves John’s love and approval, but is reluctant to be the one to make the first move towards a hug. It really hit home to me on re-watch just how LONG it had been since their fight before Sam left for Stanford and that was the last time they saw each other.
Also very effective to have the shadow entities attack right at the most emotional (and, as said in the show, moment when John had his guard down the most) moment. It was shocking to have them thrown around and attacked so violently after that touching scene with John.
I never believed that Meg didn’t know Sam was watching her from the elevator shaft…Sam thought so…but of course she knew he was there.
I also thought it was a very effective and creepy use of sexuality on Meg’s part. DEFINITELY the creepy demon thing – not caring if she’s ultimately going to kill them or use them…she’s still up for a little fun with Sam. Bravo to Sam for figuring out that something was off right away because it was just too weird to run into her again in the middle of the case.
And the fact that the victims whose case they were trying to solve came from Lawrence…it was just done by Meg to throw them. I thought this was a good, complicated, emotional episode.
Nice dive that Meg took out the window too.
“Later, when John shows up, the meeting between him and Sam…how it starts out tentative and how JARED just kills it there; showing us just how badly Sam craves John’s love and approval, but is reluctant to be the one to make the first move towards a hug. It really hit home to me on re-watch just how LONG it had been since their fight before Sam left for Stanford and that was the last time they saw each other.
Also very effective to have the shadow entities attack right at the most emotional (and, as said in the show, moment when John had his guard down the most) moment. It was shocking to have them thrown around and attacked so violently after that touching scene with John.”
You’re right, JBB! The emotion and tension in that scene is excellent. Aside from the brief phone call in “Scarecrow”, Sam and John had probably not spoken for what — two years or more? Interestingly, neither of them apologized. Sam saying “It’s been too long” is probably the closest we heard to either of them taking responsibility for the separation. The actors both walked that tightrope artfully — between being happy to see each other, but remaining stubborn about what had happened between them. And then the daeva attacks and just jerks us all back to bloody reality.
“Nice dive that Meg took out the window too.”
Wasn’t that cool!?!? And I remember being shocked when we saw Meg later, coming out of a subway station after she was supposed to be dead. I knew by that point that she wasn’t human, but I guess way back then I was still surprised that the fall hadn’t killed her. Of course, that loses its shock effect after the first time we see it 🙂
That opening teaser was so well done! The slow build of tension…I was worried something would happen in the alley, but who knew it would happen in the apartment!? Meredith’s murder was so creepy and shocking. Love that. I also love how creative they were with showing us the demon throughout this episode. Showing a shadow on the walls is cheap to create, but it was used so effectively.
Question: Why would the daeva leave a blood splatter pattern that would lead the Winchesters to it? Did Meg order that, so the Winchesters would come to Chicago and John would follow them there? If the daeva is as feral as Dean described, I doubt it would come up with that idea on its own.
Plot armor alert, PNP: Dean is and will forever be the man, but there’s NO way in hell he saw a pattern in that blood splatter. No way. Also, Meg and Sam walked several blocks in the rain, but their hair and jackets were completely dry 😊. It’s magic!
I must’ve really missed JDM! I was so happy to finally see him. I love how casually John asks if the person who fell out the window was the bad guy – as if his sons send people flying out windows all the time. 🙂
It’s sad that Sam bad mouths Dean when he’s not around. And it must have further broken Dean’s heart to hear Sam say he plans to leave again after they kill the demon, when all Dean wants is for them to be a family again. I get that Sam still wanted to be independent back then but dam, bro – can you leave a little meat on the bones, please? I hate watching that scene, because it’s clear how much Dean hurts without saying much. Jensen was so masterfully expressive, even back then.
Along those same lines, at the end of the episode, it must have killed Dean to have to be the one to say they should part ways with John again, after such a brief reunion. Jensen’s acting (and JDM’s too) was again incredible during that scene at the car. And kudos to the makeup folks for making all three of the actors look so bloody and tattered!
My spouse also said there was no way Dean could see that symbol pattern in those few blood dots!!!!
Ugh;that scene with Sam and Dean where Sam smashed Dean’s hopes for a complete family again totally kills me. Jensen’s reactions are so heartbreaking. He is the master of subtle acting.
Yes on the bloodly makeup! Loved that they stayed in it for awhile; made it more believable.
So good when they all get together and do the messed-up-family-dynamic things. One time when the show it at its best.
LAAAATE to the party…sorry.
This is such great episode and so so sad to me. The emotional rollercoaster it takes the brothers AND the audience on is impressive.
Love that we finally see John interacting with the boys. Love the exploration of the family drama and dynamic between the three of them.
The monster is wonderfully scary because, really, what’s scarier than something you can’t really see coming and which can inflict THIS much damage in seconds??? Even experienced hunters like John have no real way of defense. I know I’m jumping ahead, but I always thought Sam’s idea with the flare to fight off shadow monsters was pretty genius.
I also very much like this Meg. She is oozing danger and disregard for human life and all that in a very petite package. It’s very effective. I agree with you JBB that her use of the vessels sex appeal is really devious and super creepy.
I agree with both of you on the stretch of writing where it comes to the blood spatter, haha, especially as the symbol Dean magically sees in the dots of gore is a) unfamiliar to him and b) doesn’t even include ALL of the largest splotches of blood. BUT….he’s Dean effin’ Winchester and our super hero. I’m good with that.
I love the little diddy about how they now have to invest money into silly (to Dean) disguises.
You both already said most of what covers my thoughts and feelings about the emotional core of this episode – FAMILY. Sam’s hopefulness at the possibility that THIS could be IT and they could be “done” after this hunt was as emotionally raw as was Dean’s shock and disappointment to hear that Sam was wishing for nothing more than to get back to his college life. And although it makes sense to me at this point in the story that Sam still has some type of wish to have a different life from what he grew up with….I DO agree, Kate, that it was pretty insensitive of him to rub that in Dean’s face here. I don’t actually think he meant that he wants to be away from Dean as much as he doesn’t want to be trapped in the hamsterwheel of hunting and pain and ugliness that often comes with it BUT he should know better and have seen how deeply a statement like that would hurt Dean. (YES, I changed my tune on this a little, kate38!!)
The scene between all three Winchesters is BRILLIANTLY written AND acted by all three actors. There is SO MUCH that is NOT said, but which we can read between the lines. I love that. The relief on Dean’s face to see his dad in one piece is completely convincing. Sam’s almost vibrating with tension and you can see that he WANTS to hug his dad and be glad that he’s there but he’s not sure about the welcome. And JDM has the perfect way to come across as both warm and authoritative – it’s impressive. They all three don’t seem to be ACTING, they just ARE the characters. It definitely is what made me fall in love with the show so hard. They are completely believable.
And to have that relief at being together again immediately ripped away again is so heartbreaking all around. But it also serves super well to give us another glimpse into their dynamic – Dean the mediator and sensible one; Sam the hot-headed son who wants to be taken seriously but behaves irrationally; John the “dictator” who won’t accept that his sons are grown up and don’t really need protecting…It’s all right there in just a few moments. AMAZING.