This disc contained four episodes–Sin City, Bedtime Stories, Red Sky at Morning, and Fresh Blood. And we’re definitely getting into the meat of the season here, so no screwing around, let’s do it.
In Sin City, there were two big takeaways for me. The first one is that we got some real insights into Hell. It turns out that Lucifer is real … kind of. The demons all believe in him and he’s like the God of Hell, but none of them have ever seen him. This is really important in the Supernatural universe, so if you haven’t seen the rest of the series, note that. In his absence, YED, whose name was actually Azazel, was the king of Hell and Sam was supposed to take over. Obviously, that plan went to … well, you know.
Also, at some point during this conversation, Dean said that he’d like to believe in God. Not that he did, but that he’d like to. Mental note.
The idea was also presented that maybe when Sam came back, he came back different. This is an idea that comes up periodically in the series (of things that are dead should stay dead), as we’ve already seen and will continue to see.
At one point, Ruby and Sam are having a discussion, and I can’t remember if it was about saving Dean or the impending supernatural war, but she told Sam that there will be collateral damage. Sam is like, “Yeah, but I don’t have to like it,” and Ruby paused for just a second and said, “Of course. You wouldn’t be Sam if you did.” (Again, can’t be said enough, Katie Cassidy was AWESOME. Someone please cast her in something amazing.) I found that extremely interesting.
Also, at this point, I start to notice that we’re running into an awful lot of hunters this season. More than normal, it feels like.
Now, on Bedtime Stories, it was creepy and gross and a little touching, all the good Supernatural stuff, but there wasn’t a ton to note for later. I did notice that they were still using an EMF meter (I’m wondering when or if that stopped, although already it seems to have decreased in S3). The big thing was that Sam went out and summoned the crossroads demon to try to get Dean out of his deal. It didn’t work and she informed him that the contract was held higher up. Pissed Off Sam rather uncharacteristically vengefully kills her, but Dean is still on for his date with Hell.
But okay, listen. You guys. The next episode is … Red Sky at Morning! Yay! The almost universally agreed upon worst episode of the series! I was excited to watch it again to see if it was really THAT bad, and you know, my conclusion was … eh, not really. It wasn’t great, mind you, but it wasn’t just godawful, even in Supernatural terms. Certainly it wasn’t a “Phyllis’s Wedding” on The Office, which I kind of insist on pretending never happened. Still, I definitely get why fans hated it, and it’s definitely an episode that highlights the problems of having Bela as a regular cast member.
And that’s the thing–I feel like people will tolerate recurring characters on this show. Bobby, Ellen, Jo … Ruby, pre-Genevieve … there are others, those are the biggies and most importantly, there’s Castiel. Everyone fucking adores Castiel because he’s amazing and adds so much. (Also, I NEED to see Loretta Divine as Missouri Mosely again before this series is over–do you HEAR me, Show People?) But with Bela, it’s like she takes away from the story. She pulls it off in different directions, gives us someone that we have to watch without being invested in, and I think that probably the most offensive thing to the fans was how the boys turn into bumbling idiots when she’s around. And it’s not because she’s so smart, it’s like they lose all their sense and I don’t know if they thought that was for comedic effect, or story reasons, but it just seemed out of character and people didn’t like it. Plus, Bela was a smug bitch, and she really didn’t have any redeeming qualities, or at least she hasn’t so far, and we’re almost halfway into this season.
And the thing about Bela … I guess sort of Ruby, too, is that it made the writers look like they struggled with writing female characters. Ruby is almost more male than female, even though she is way sexy. Ellen and Jo are both tough badasses, and I think that’s a female character they can do. But you don’t see a lot of weaknesses in the writing on this show, and she definitely fit into that category. I think in hindsight, it may have just been an anomaly, that it wasn’t females in general so much as this character. (Spoilers in italics …) I mean, look at Lisa. She’s very feminine and she’s not a weak character … she just seems like a regular chick. There’s maybe a little male fantasy thrown in with her being so cool and independent, but in general, she’s well done. And I liked Young Mary Winchester, too. So I think that to sum all that up, maybe the biggest problem with Bela was that she dragged the writing down and made them look weak at something they actually are able to do, which is write for women.
Alright, as for the last episode, Fresh Blood, this is where we’re introduced to the hex bag when Gordon gives it to Bela in exchange for information on the Winchesters. He is, of course, after Sam, and I mean HARDCORE. But things hit a snag when Gordon is caught by a vampire and instead of the vamp killing him, he actually turns Gordon, which is … awesome. So good. Because really, there is no more fitting punishment for Gordon and nothing he’d hate more. Even before Sam and Dean know that Gordon is not only his regularly scheduled crazy, but also now a supercharged vampire, Sam actually consents to killing him, even though he’s a human. And he does eventually do it–Sam looks Gordon straight in the eye while he strangles his head off. It definitely took a lot of effort for Sam and when the whole thing is over, he looked kind of in shock.
Let’s pause here for two things. First of all, Gordon had one of the greatest villainous laughs of all time. I just loved how they decided to turn him and explore that idea of how eventually hunters become the things that they hate. Plus, there’s this … contrast in Gordon, where he so fully believes in destiny and inevitability that he fully embraces being a monster, even though he’s also trying to do a good thing in his own sick mind. Billy and I were having a discussion about Lex Luthor (Smallville incarnation) once (or as I like to call him, Sex Luthor), and how he was such a good character. Billy was saying that he read somewhere how someone that wrote for Lex Luthor in the comic books once said that the best villains are convinced that they’re the good guy, and it’s totally true, and why Gordon was so compelling. He had to go, and it was a really great ending for him, but I think that Gordon really added a lot to the show, especially for as little as he was on. It’s always interesting to see how differently various hunters turn out.
This paragraph will be spoilery, so go ahead and skip it if you don’t want to hear anything from the future episodes. Anyway, the other thing is that this episode was just really bittersweet for me, now that we’re into S6 and things are so difficult, how Sam and Dean used to be. Sam was so sweet and earnest, and Dean was able to joke around and they had touchy feely brotherly moments. There was a real lightness to them that didn’t really exist anymore after the end of S3, and I miss it.
Anyway, I almost died at Dean teaching Sam how to fix the car. It was so fucking emotional, and I don’t know … they were both sad (but pretending not to be), and so was I. I feel like I have this conversation every so often about whether it’s better for someone you care about to die suddenly or to have advance warning, and the reality is that they both suck ass. There’s honestly no good answer, but I think that this illustrates one of the hard things about knowing–that you have to go through that period where the person who is nearing the end is trying to prepare the survivor(s) for life without them. I think that in watching this scene, there’s something so universal about it to anyone who’s lived long enough to deal with that (and eventually, we all will), that it’s especially touching.
And that brings us to the end of disc two! What did you guys think? Anything I missed, or other things we need to discuss? Observations? And seriously, get ready for the next disc, because it starts out with the Christmas episode, and oh my god. I forgot how in love with it I am. See you in the comments!