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      July 12, 2023 at 9:42 am #64434

      No wonder I didn’t remember this episode, because it deals with something I started NOT caring about in this episode and continued NOT caring about for the REST OF THE SERIES. The civil war in heaven. WHO CARES????

      I mean, it’s kind of interesting as Sam and Dean learn (at breakneck speed in this one) that there are so many conniving players in heaven…that Bathalzar has essentially become an arms dealer to amass the power of human souls…but OH MY GOD DO I NOT CARE ABOUT THE ANGELS!!!!!!!

      I loved that they introduced Cas. But I did not love that they also had to bring with him the whole ‘effin’ “world” of heaven.

      It WAS funny how Cas was just zapping everywhere. And zapping Sam and Dean everywhere (apparently without any physical effects now!).

      I did not like this one

      Story too complex.

      Too many characters.

      Too little to do with Sam and Dean. I care about Sam and Dean. Not everyone else.

      It WAS an indicator (another one) that something was off with Sam that he’d be so carelessly dealing with a prostitute who seemed to be offering more and just threw her number away. That’s very not-Sam.

      It WAS enjoyable to watch Jensen in this one. He had so many reaction shots to Sam’s behavior that I did enjoy that.

      I never even realized that was Sam’s car the angels fell on!

      I do like this version of Cas.

      But I didn’t need this episode.

      I also have a bad attitude because I really did not like the continued lame heaven storylines in later seasons and this feels like the start of that.

      The only redeeming value it had for me was Dean trying to figure Sam out. He’s SURE Sam’s not right. And Sam’s playing it off and Dean’s just getting more and more suspicious.

        July 7, 2023 at 2:04 pm #64291

        Accidentally watched this one out of order, so I can comment!

        First, the start is HILARIOUS. A complete send-up of the crazy-stupid “teen romantic” language of the Twilight series! Future generations watching this may not get that, but it’s so funny. The dialog between the two at the bar where the girl “write poetry” and so the guy “understands her real self” and how she’s so swept up in the fictional romantic component of it all…so good. ALL the Twilight references. When Dean stops one of the fake vampires with the fake teeth and is so offended that he’s wearing glitter (like the way vampires’ skin sparkles in Twilight)…and the guy says he just does it to get laid…and Dean asks, “Does it work?” and the guy says it does and Dean looks like he’s considering it. (The fact that Dean would ever have to TRY to get laid is beside the point – he wouldn’t have to try.)

        Like the best SPN, it starts out funny. The girl’s crazy “vampire” bedroom where Sam and Dean are both very put-off by all of it. I like the idea of a monster using pop culture popularity to grow their ranks!

        Then it gets very, very dark. All the beheading and Sam letting Dean get bitten (which it SEEMS maybe he does, as Samuel says, because Samuel already told him there’s a possible cure; but it’s very clear that something’s wrong with Sam – to put mission above Dean – because that is way too risky to risk Dean like that (or even put him through that!). Normal-Sam would never do that.

        Tons of violence in the “nest”. Very interesting glimpse into the “message” from the Alpha vamp.

        Horrible scene of Dean going to say goodbye to Lisa and shoving Ben against the wall to keep him away and protect him, but we know that has to be the beginning of the end if he hurts Ben. It all made for good drama…and maybe Dean figured that if he hadn’t fed yet and full turned, that he’d be okay to go to Lisa’s but that seems like a riskier move than Dean would be willing to attempt. I have to say that Jensen’s body acting in that scene was stellar. The way he shies away from the light and flinches away from Lisa…soooo good. The absolutely painful look on his face at Lisa’s when he turns away and all his teeth descend…it LOOKS like turning into a vampire is REALLY painful. Tooth stuff IS painful! It looks awful.

        Also loved the “flirting” Dean did with the head vampire just to try to get more info. He does THAT so well. Trying to play along…saying he wants the “private party” but not being able to hide his disgust at what that might mean he’d have to do or witness. I wonder whose idea it was to have Dean resting his foot on the head vamp’s head when Sam and Bobby finally arrive? It was good. Like when he circular-sawed the head off a vamp and Sam started to get concerned about where he was mentally.

        This one was one of the rare instances where Samuel seems like a better person than Sam. You really do get the feeling that they two of the have this plan they are not sharing with Dean, when DEAN’S the one putting his life on the line unknowingly just to get them information. AT LEAST Dean remembered seeing Sam hesitate to save him, so he knows something is not right. He tests Sam a bit at the end; asking if he always has his back and Sam plays it off and Dean knows he’s lying.

        It’s hard to watch, but Jensen did SUCH a good job with everything he had to convey in this one. I forgot how good he was here.

        I always enjoy them playing with both sexes wanting Dean…and the head vampire was doing that. Always fun. Also so true that Dean as a vampire could turn HUNDREDS of women (and some men probably) by seducing them. I always like it when characters (or Sam or whoever) just SAYS how gorgeous Dean is. I like that we’re not supposed to believe that no one ever notices his looks!

        So annoying (supposed to be) how Sam just keeps asking him what he saw. No concern for the hell Dean’s going through as he’s “cured” from being a vampire.

        But this is the start of a period of unraveling for Sam and Dean (and Lisa and Dean) and it’s not fun. My spouse, watching for the first time, finally asked, “What’s wrong with Sam?” This episode makes it clear that something’s really wrong.

          July 7, 2023 at 1:50 pm #64285

          This is one of the few I have rewatched several times. I just love it and it shows Jim Beaver could totally carry a show. Sam and Dean are side notes here, but I love the way they used them (by phone). Love Bobby setting them straight about always needing him and never thinking about what HE needs! It felt very much like a father talking to his sons and I loved that. It was a bit funny to have that CGI Scotland at the end, but of course they had to do that to fit the story (and at least had Sam and Dean driving on the wrong side of the road and talking about Dean’s fear of flying to get over there). Also fun that Crowley was talking to Bobby, then there in the graveyard with Sam and Dean in the blink of eye.

          Rufus and Bobby are THE BEST. They mercilessly tease and poke at each other…but when push comes to shove, Rufus is there to put his neck on the line to get the ring for Bobby. I loved that part. Kind of like Bobby’s relationship with Sam and Dean (loving but cantankerous) – he has a similar relationship with Rufus. They know they can count on each other. Steven Williams just looks like he’s having the time of his life playing Rufus with all the comedy. When Bobby says he hoped Rufus washed the ring really well and Rufus gives him the, “What?!” Love that.

          I too thought that for a first-time director, Jensen had to “block” a lot of shots! Many different angles and setting here…indoor and outdoor and all over the place! Effects with the wood chipper; all of it.

          Yes, first time we hear Garth’s name and it already establishes his character. Really good.

          I loved seeing kind of a “day in the life” of Jody dealing with Bobby.

          Poor Bobby never getting to get the girl because his life is so weird. I loved it when he tells Jody he has a body in the basement AND one buried in the backyard!

          There WAS so much going on in this one, including the monster lore.

          One of my favorites.

            July 7, 2023 at 1:43 pm #64283

            Crap. I somehow skipped right over this one and went on to Weekend at Bobby’s. Will have to go back.

              June 10, 2023 at 11:16 pm #60346

              One very weird moment was Dean sort of imitating the baby crying in the store. What was that? Just trying to “talk” back to it? I didn’t get that at all.

              I did like the shifter disguising themselves as the kindly lady in the store. And it was later fun to get to see Samuel, Sam, and Dean get to play shifter versions of themselves. Jensen did it especially well.

                June 10, 2023 at 11:14 pm #60345

                I remembered there being SO MUCH more “baby” time in this one!

                Again; cheating out on the shifters. Not much more “goo” or a tortured shifting phase. Okay, they explain that away by saying the shifters they are dealing with here are more evolved. It still feels like the easy way out.

                The baby idea was cute. And the babies were very cute.

                Sam is such a jerk; trying to play on Dean’s doubts (are Ben and Lisa in more danger WITH him around?) to get him back into hunting. But, since he’s soulless (which we don’t know yet) there’s none of the Sam with love there and just seems so cruel. I do give Jared credit for playing this role. I dispute the choice of taking the story in this way. I don’t like it at all.

                Lisa is so very understanding. It’s really nice. And the end leaves it open-ended – they can try to stay together and Dean can still hunt. I wish this had lasted for several SEASONS. I really do.

                Dean is entirely too happy in the corny, goofy montage at the end where he whips the cover off the Impala. I can only slightly believe this is due to Lisa’s acceptance of his “true self” as a hunter. I do not think he would be THIS happy to leave life with Lisa and Ben – he just admitted to Sam that he was starting to feel like Ben’s father. In order to join a family he doesn’t trust on some mission he’s not entirely up on?

                Jensen plays the “wary” role perfectly with Samuel and family. Oh, and the first Campbell cousin bites the dust in this one.

                The whole show just feels wrong now. Not after the perfect season 1-5. Dean is still Dean, but that’s about all of the original that remains. I forgot how HUGE a shift this was. And not a great one.

                  June 10, 2023 at 11:07 pm #60343

                  I had not seen this one in a long, Long time.

                  It was really jarring to watch this after the end of S5. Seasons 1-5 were so very good. Such perfect Supernatural. It made me fall in love with it.

                  Then Eric Kripke moved on. They’ve said (writers and producers) since then that they would write a season finale post-season-five and not really know how they were going to resolve it.

                  That is very abundantly clear here.

                  So Sam has the HUGE sacrifice of Swan Song. And we don’t get to see Sam or Dean again until a YEAR later! And Dean has a life with Lisa and Ben even though he’s barely hanging on sometimes. But for me, that’s because of the grief over Sam, and this episode tries to make some of that about him “not living his authentic life” – not living as his real self which would a hunter. I kind of disagree with this. It’s always part of him. And the caution and paranoid makes sense that way. But I do think he could have lived with Lisa and Ben. Forever. And been good.

                  I did like his very believable reaction to Sam showing up and all of that being kept secret from him for a year. He is US in this scenario; not believing any of this. That Grandpa Campbell is back and suddenly there are all these new family members we’ve never met before and Sam is acting very weird.

                  The only thing that felt “real” about this episode was Dean. He was the only part for me that felt like the Supernatural I fell in love with. The rest was just weird. And Samuel is acting suspicious and Sam is acting suspicious (of course we find out why at some point) but AT LEAST Dean is picking up on all of this!

                  The start of this one is still my favorite part of it. Seeing Dean living with Ben and Lisa…seeing his life…going out for a beer with the neighbor Syd and having to lie creatively about his past.

                  Jensen was superb in this one.

                  I thought Djinn story was weak. Nowhere NEAR as strong as the Djinn in earlier episode NOT AT ALL and it marks the point where Supernatural’s monsters start to be less compelling, less fascinating, and less part of the story. They are a sidebar or a way to move the story along.

                  The Djinn here were lame. They just were. This is also the point where they seem to “cheap out” on the monster effects a bit and the monsters “stay” much more human-looking than before.

                  I didn’t love this one. But Jensen was great.

                    March 7, 2023 at 10:24 pm #44146

                    BTW, I did like the idea that the Impala is a valued weapon. That IT was meant to kill the Akrida queen – now it’s a rather mystical weapon from another realm since what kills the queen had to be “not of this earth”. And THIS Impala was “not of this earth”. I suppose the Impala that Sam kept in the garage as he grew old was also “not of THIS (Winchester AU) earth” – it was of our real SPN earth…

                    But the Akrida as an idea…it’s a bad idea. There was no urgency! If mankind was about to be wiped out, they didn’t know it. No death before everyone was wiped out really, not mass chaos or fear…no urgency at all. So the “threat” never felt like any kind of threat to me at all!

                      March 7, 2023 at 9:57 pm #44144

                      Okay, let me get this straight.

                      The Akrida queen was once a hunter, just like Mary, who wanted out. She became disillusioned with humanity because so many hunters died saving regular people, then those regular people often wasted their second chance at life after they were saved by hunters…so she decided to join the monsters…the Akrida who Chuck made as a “failsafe” to destroy all of humanity everywhere if he, Chuck failed. If people saved by hunters weren’t grateful, she wanted everyone everywhere to die????

                      What the hell kind of sense does that make?

                      So Chuck failed and therefore dead Dean was afraid that the Akrida who were then unleashed would end up making their way to HIS world where Sam was still living out his life.

                      So Dean interfered with alternate worlds, against Jack’s orders, because he was afraid the Akrida would reach still-alive Sam. Okay, THAT made me a bit emotional for the only time in this series.

                      Seeing Jack and Bobby was an unexpected jolt. They were still “them”. That got to me.

                      But…the rest of it…

                      First of all, I am really really glad this was an alternate universe. I got very annoyed at the writers in the last few years of Supernatural for exploring the AU angle…as a way to bring back beloved AU versions of characters like Bobby and Charlie. I always thought that cheapened a great character. So this is THAT for the Campbells and Winchesters. Not the people we knew as Mary and John in SPN. I am glad of this because I couldn’t see any way that this show could jive with the show I love. It just couldn’t.

                      It also makes sense to me why this whole spinoff felt nothing like Supernatural. It wasn’t. It was an alternate universe.

                      I never grabbed onto these characters. I loved Millie and John. Especially their scenes together. They were the high point. I was interested in Carlos but thought he was not developed enough…and as a bisexual man in that era, not much of the downside/backlash realism was there at all. It felt like a fantasy of that time period as far as Carlos was concerned.

                      I cannot figure out how this is the Robbie Thompson I love so much. I just DO NOT GET IT. The weird space crickets. The “humanity ending” danger that NEVER gave me any sense of dread or danger.

                      I have a problem with “portals”. It seems like a far-too-convenient thing. Brings back dead people. Brings in otherworldly things (remember Kaia and her portal to a world that still had DINOSAURS???? Yeah, I hated that too.). Zapping between worlds was never a part of Supernatural (the later years) that I enjoyed at all. Time travel? To right a wrong? YES! That’s good. Or to TRY to right a wrong.

                      I was majorly confused about why the Akrida queen needed the MOL “clubhouse”. I’ll have to watch that again…it was where she had to start opening the portal? And why was she opening the portal?

                      Ada’s sacrifice of part of her soul seemed very anticlimactic.

                      Lata’s buried “anger issues” also kinda fizzled. Maybe the Queen was just baiting her; trash talking her. I don’t know.

                      I don’t know quite how to feel about this Winchesters experiment.

                      It falls flat with me if it’s not OUR Winchester family from SPN. And it’s not. It’s an alternate universe like “Richchester” Sam and Dean.

                      Drake was a natural. I could watch the John and Millie show all day long.

                      Meg never cut it for me as Mary. Her acting was not subtle enough. She was not a good fit for me.

                      I am very interested in Carlos and love that that character is part of this show. But there wasn’t enough depth or exploration. The show only scratched the surface on Carlos.

                      Even though Lata was supposed to have surpassed anger issues, her character was too sunny and “one note” for me.

                      There was WAY too much talk all the time about Mary getting out of hunting. I was sick of hearing about it.

                      Tom Welling as Samuel was kinda wasted.

                      My favorite scenes involved past SPN actors. I think my favorite was the one between back-from-the-dead Henry and John (and a bit of Millie there too).

                      I thought Dean didn’t look or sound like Dean when we saw him in the first episode. I thought Dean didn’t sound like Dean in the too-flowery “you have to follow your heart” narrations. I would have preferred NO Dean narration. But Dean was Dean tonight at the end. And that was surprisingly hard for me. Seeing “new” Dean…seeing DEAN only made me miss him more. Thank God he SAID the word Sam. Having no mention of Sam thus far was painful and wrong.

                      Even seeing Jack and Bobby being so very “Jack and Bobby” was a bit hard.

                      Rowena was wasted on me. Her appearance made me feel nothing without Sam or Dean or Crowley for her to play off against. It felt like pandering to SPN fans as did using phrases like “hello boys” and showing us the Colt.

                      This felt like a truly weird little experiment. I am most thankful that it did not mess with REAL SPN at all. They weren’t our John and Mary. So I can live with all of that.

                      It was not the show I had so desperately hoped for. It had moments, but only moments.

                        March 7, 2023 at 5:35 pm #44128

                        I did like the idea of the creepy magic ticket that they would find like a windfall but nothing good came from it.

                        OMG, I totally COMPLETELY FORGOT about Rowena until I just read PigNaPoke’s comments! The weird witch poker game. What was up with that makeup??? It didn’t look 70’s…did all witches then have to look like they were in some kind of burlesque show??? So strange.

                        I like Ada, I do. But this was boring. Rowena didn’t even seem like “our” Rowena. I couldn’t really see her as the one we know without Sam and Dean to play off of.

                        Carlos talking to the kid felt like a relatively real moment. I liked that okay.

                        PigNaPoke; you remember far more about Rowena and her timeline in SPN than I do! But good questions.

                          March 7, 2023 at 5:23 pm #44125

                          This was kind of a non episode for me. I mean, it wasn’t the worst episode. They did a great job on the visuals; the circus at night, the tent, the glowing light, the clown makeup…I thought it must be hard to shoot in a hall of mirrors and not get the camera in photo if that was a real illusion and not CGI hall of mirrors.

                          But…I have problems.

                          First of all, John and Mary are on the run from this murder charge and I couldn’t believe it when Lata and Carlos walked into their motel room in the middle of their fight over John’s anger issues! So Carlos and Lata went on the run WITH THEM?! I didn’t get that and thought it was a huge wasted opportunity for them to be ALONE and have romantic moments or fight moments or something where there was some chemistry and there still is none for me! One episode with them solo would have been interesting and could have dived deeper into their relationship, but here come Carlos and Lata and a case!

                          This one of course got me thinking about the clown SPN episode. I realized that one was so good because the monster in that one was kind of disguised as a clown; he was an actual monster from lore. The clown was a way he could get an “in” with kids and that’s creepy! Also, we got to learn about the carnival folks from Sam and Dean then.

                          Here, it was a real clown who made a deal with an “occultist” (????) to be able to steal people and keep them in kind of a happy suspended animation. No one was getting killed. Sure, people disappeared and didn’t age, but it seemed they were kind of unaware of it; kind of like being under the influence.

                          One thing I wanted to know more about were John’s tears when he saw the clown makeup on his face. What was that about? Was he relieved he could let go of anger? Was he happy to join Mary in being eternally happy? Or was he sad that this was happening against his will? What was up with the tear? The only other tear we saw was when Carlos got through to the kidnapped child when he was talking to him about his brother; so it was kind of like reality was breaking through. With John it was at the moment that reality was slipping away and I didn’t get it.

                          Of course all the clowns were creepy, but not scary to me.

                          Millie barging in at the end with the DUMBEST reasoning didn’t help my attitude about this one. They found a witness that saw the dead guy from the garage enter after making the 911 call or something like that? I don’t even remember but at the time I thought that was ridiculous and not enough to clear John. AND it would have been much more suspenseful to have him be on the run for awhile! But they have run out of episodes for that.

                          I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it as much as some. It was middle of the road for me.

                            February 20, 2023 at 2:35 pm #42728

                            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.

                              February 19, 2023 at 3:58 pm #42569

                              I remember not loving this one. Maybe because it’s so sad? I still don’t love it. Everyone getting their loved ones back only to have to lose them again. It’s all so unfair and sad. And the reasoning behind it, to me, is sketchy at best. Death chose Sioux Falls, SD so that it could “get to Bobby” – so that Bobby’s late wife Karen could kill him and therefore he’d be out of Sam’s life and not there trying to keep Sam from saying yes to Lucifer? Aren’t there easier ways to kill off Bobby for “Death”? Or was this the best way because Bobby is a hunter and won’t just allow any demon, etc. to get close to him to kill him? It seemed like a kind of “out there” premise.

                              The interactions between Sam and Dean and Bobby are great. At the very end, Sam asking him, like, three times if he was going to be okay. I was like, “Get a clue Sam, this was a big deal for Bobby, stop asking!!!!”.

                              I do love the intro of Sheriff Mills. What a great unexpected touch that she KNOWS Bobby’s voice when she calls the “FBI director” in order to check out who Sam and Dean are! I love her no-bullshit ways. I always wondered if her playing off Bobby and how she knows him as “the town drunk” was just an act…that maybe she already knew what he was into (obviously they shared the info about their dead relatives returning?). Maybe in a future re-watch episode I’ll be reminded if she knew or not.

                              It was nice to see Sam and Dean on the same page, even if it was about killing Karen!

                                February 2, 2023 at 1:34 pm #40532

                                Also funny: the couple at the beginning about to (at first, we think) have sex and the woman says she never does this…and the guy replies, as they are ripping each other’s clothes off, “I respect the hell out of you right now.” SO FUNNY!

                                  February 2, 2023 at 1:33 pm #40531

                                  Cupid’s naked hugs: “I don’t like it.” (Cas:) “Nobody likes it.” Makes me laugh every time. Cas being so deadpan is the best thing ever.

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