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Supernatural: Two and a Half Men

This episode made me even more excited for this season, because the stuff they're setting up looks really intriguing.

First, the things that made me totally squeeful

1. Dean + Sam + baby. This whole thing was just MADE for domestic fanfic, wasn't it? AUs where they actually end up raising it, and fodder for future fanfic (like Dean using alcohol to soothe the baby--oh DEAN I can't believe you really did that.)

It was interesting, though, how it skipped all the fanonical "Dean is an expert with babies because he practically raised Sam" and instead didn't mention that at ALL. Instead Dean's expertise at fatherhood comes from his more recent experiences with Ben and with Lisa's niece. That actually makes a lot of sense given the whole theme that Sam and Dean's childhood sucked and Dean wants to do better by Ben--more on that below.

2. LISA!!! I kind of want to marry her myself. This is actually even better than what I requested in my review last week, because not only does she decide on her own Dean should leave, but she validates that he is a hunter and that's a GOOD thing, not something he should be ashamed of, AND she says that he can come back and they can try to make it work with his lifestyle. She sets boundaries, but she's not totally ending the relationship. I loved that about her.

3. Lisa is very hot with a gun. Sam is also very hot with a gun (especially shooting things). I know, I am very shallow.

And now something more closely approximating meta

4. Is fatherhood going to be the overarching theme of this season? Because we've had so much of it in only 2 episodes: the djinn seeking revenge for the death of their father; the alpha father of the shapeshifters, who gets children by cuckolding the real husbands; the return of Samuel Campbell, kind of the uberfather of the whole clan; the return of Azazel, the father of demons; and of course Dean's own fatherhood, both of Ben and the baby this week, which leads both Dean and Sam to reflect on John's fatherhood.

(And I haven't been able to rewatch the tape yet, but I'm dying to know: which one of them names the kid John and which Bobby? Speaking of fanon! But it's probably also a statement on their concepts of fatherhood).

I thought Sam's speech to Dean was far too apposite, because Dean really was turning into the worst parts of John in this episode--he even admitted to Lisa that he could see it happening and yet couldn't stop it. That line about it being "temporary" for 22 years really hit home. And Dean so clearly doesn't want to become John and he doesn't want Ben to turn into himself. Ouch. As several reviews I've read have said, his determination that Ben will never have to learn to fire a gun is pretty much a guarantee that he will sometime this season, yes? And yet I love the idea that Dean is really trying to be a different type of father than John, because for so long he idolized John and overlooked all his flaws.

5. And speaking of flawed father figures: I was leaning toward Samuel being Azazel last week, but now with the command to bring the alpha shapeshifter to someone else, I'm actually wondering if he is Meg.

6. The Campbells were SO fascinating tonight--I still hate them, but I think they're really interesting as plot devices. Their existence really amped up the dramatic tension in several ways, tonight, for example:

A. The idea that Sam has formed a close, trusting relationship with someone who isn't Dean is really going to grate on Dean, I can tell, since he doesn't trust them. It's an interesting parallel to Dean's relationship with Lisa: Sam knows Lisa, of course, but doesn't trust the relationship since he doesn't think it can be stable and it's pulling Dean out of his orbit. Dean knows Samuel a little, but clearly has serious issues with the ways the Campbells operate.

B. Dean's assumptions that a group of hunters will naturally kill a baby monster is a really interesting one. One might ask, as one of the Campbell cousins did, how much of that was a projection of what he thought, deep down, he should do. And yet in a way the only thing worse in his eyes than killing the baby was to raise it as an experiment/a hunter of its own kind. And projection his John issues/his own issues with Lisa and Ben onto the situation, he can't imagine active hunters can do a good job raising a baby.

And this plotline not only exposed Dean's total ambivalence about being a hunter/parent, it also set up even more conflict with the Campbells, who are insulted at his assumptions (even though his assumptions are probably right at least for Samuel--they're using the baby as a trap for the alpha). So I am enjoying the Campbells as a plot device, even though as characters I pretty much want to give every one of them a beat-down.

7. Sam was not quite as affectless this week as he was last week, which calls into question (at least partially) the theory that his time in hell has separated him from his emotions. Still, I thought it very interesting that even though he is clearly working with the Campbells, he was working this case alone with Samuel just as his research assistant (kind of playing Bobby). That hearkens back to his time after Dean died in Mystery Spot, in a way, and I do wonder how he's going to transition back from Lone Wolf to Dean's partner.

8. Did anyone else think it strange that the alpha shifter didn't seem to even be seriously trying to kill the Campbells? What was up with that? Edited to add : Oops, I guess I missed one of the Campbells actually being killed. Still, the shifter could have clearly killed everyone, and I don't understand why he didn't, other than the fact that they're regulars on the show. :-)

9. Yay for the Impala porn at the end!

10. Once again, there is no number 10. (Number 9, number 9, number 9).


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
You point out some really interesting things (particularly about Sam and his relationship to the Campbells).

For the record, Sam says John and Dean says Bobby. :-)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
Oh, really? Yikes. So Bobby really has displaced John as the best father figure in Dean's mind. That's very interesting.

And thanks!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
I still think Sam is uncertain of Dean's acceptance, after he came back from hell with no idea how it happened. The more time they spend together, the more confidence Sam feels, and the more he'll be able to trust Dean with his feelings - and eventually he'll be able to talk about his experience with Lucifer in the cage.

I have a couple of cavils with continuity in this episode - Lisa says Ben was in his room for 'hours' after Dean yelled at him - surely she wouldn't have let it go for hours! And after the incident with the shape-shifter in the store, somehow Sam got all their purchases into the car, the baby strapped in and the car to the front door in the time it took Dean to run to the door? And then Sam suggests the shape-shifter had followed him from the baby's house - why didn't it attack while he was waiting for Dean, or while he was waiting for Dean to come back??? I know, LA LA LA...I just wish they didn't poke at my willing suspension of disbelief! (It doesn't bother me that Dean didn't cite his experience changing Sammy's diapers because, hey, he was only five at the time....it's been a few years there!)

In spite of all that, I'm very happy with all the great stuff in this one - Lisa seriously rocks, Dean was definitely hoping to improve on his self-perceived failings in raising Sam and chagrined (at least!) when he recognized the way he might be turning into his own father in spite of his best intentions... And I'm really looking forward to seeing Castiel again (finally!!) next week!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Your continuity points are good ones, especially Sam's magical ability to get the baby in the car--ah well. But I think that later in the episode we learned that shapeshifters can actually sense the baby, so it wasn't necessarily following Sam in the first place.

I will be happy to see Castiel back, but I'm slightly spoiled for that plotline and it concerns me, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Several people in their reviews went back and looked at that scene and determined Sam didn't come in until much after the shifter's speech, so Sam probably wasn't deliberately using the baby as bait--unless he is the mastermind behind everything, anyway. I saw someone's theory that Sam was actually the person on the phone with Samuel. I don't know that I buy it, but it's an interesting theory.

It's actually Samuel, not Sam, I suspect of being Meg. If Sam is anyone other than Sam I suspect he's Lucifer. But I think more likely he's just Sam rather damaged by Lucifer's possession.
(Deleted comment)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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