galathea: (s/d secrets)
[personal profile] galathea
Okay, that was perfectly – boring. Heaven Can’t Wait by new writer Robert Berens is not a bad episode per se, it is just not relevant to my interests. I mean, monologue-ing angels and squabbling demons are just not my idea of fun, and the Castiel centricity of the plot does not help either. Obviously, the fact that the episode has no Sam-and-Dean time to speak of impacts my enjoyment of the episode as well, and since I do not even find the brothers’ individual storylines particularly engaging (or illuminating, character-wise), there is just nothing that captures my attention. So far, it is probably my least favourite episode of the season. Well, the least interesting at any rate.

To be quite frank, I do not have a lot to say about Heaven Can’t Wait. It is no secret that I watch the show almost exclusively for Sam and Dean these days, so naturally an episode that sees the brothers separated for the majority of its run has very little to offer me. Now, that is not to say that Sam and Dean going their separate ways is generally detrimental to my enjoyment of an episode. On the contrary, some of my favourite episodes revolve around the brothers splitting up – like Hunted, for example, or Scarecrow – and I think a separation can actually be a very effective narrative tool to explore and develop Sam and Dean’s relationship and/or the characters as individuals. There are mainly two scenarios in which a separation works really well for me. In the first scenario, the brothers’ separation is, in itself, the storyline, i.e. Sam and Dean are pulled apart by an internal conflict or an outside force, and they need to overcome the issues/forces that separate them, thus strengthening their unity. Scarecrow or Time After Time are good examples for this kind of storyline. In the second scenario, the brothers’ separation serves as a means to explore facets of the characters that cannot be addressed in the context of their relationship with each other. The Kids Are Alright comes to mind, for example. In Heaven Can’t Wait, however, the brothers’ separation is not utilised in either way. It does not tell us anything about Sam and Dean’s relationship or about them as individuals; it is simply used to highlight Castiel’s story (Dean) as well as Crowley's (Sam).

Anyway, as I already stated at the beginning of S9, I have no intention of writing about Castiel and the fallen angels or about Crowley and the power struggle in hell in any significant capacity, and since Heaven Can’t Wait revolves almost entirely around those characters/conflicts, I am left with nothing of note to write about. Usually, even the smallest scene between the brothers can cause me to go off on a tangent about all things Sam and Dean, but the opening scenes in the Batcave as well as the brothers’ two phone calls mid-hunt just give me nothing substantial to go on. Of course, there are minor references to the brothers’ ongoing storyline. For example, the plot further illustrates Dean’s inability to escape the web of lies he spun for himself with the Ezekiel situation, as he is forced to find excuses for keeping Sam and Castiel apart and struggles with the need to leave Castiel in the dark about his motives for kicking him out of the Batcave. Apart from that, however, the brothers’ main storyline remains untouched throughout the episode. But well, Jeremy Carver mentioned in several interviews that S9 will give the individual storylines of recurring characters more weight, so the occasional Sam-and-Dean light episode was to be expected. I can just hope that the next episode is more to my liking.

Random Notes:
  • Okay, so there is one thing I actually do find interesting, namely Crowley injecting himself with Kevin’s blood. If I look past the fact that there is really no comprehensible reason why Sam and Kevin would leave a syringe filled with blood in Crowley’s reach, it is a pretty fascinating development. I find it particularly noteworthy that Crowley rejects Sam’s blood and insists on getting Kevin’s. His explanation that he wants some 'variety' is less than convincing, so what makes Kevin’s blood so special to him? I somehow doubt that Crowley is keen on continuing the humanisation process Sam started on him in Sacrifice, so I assume that, unlike Sam’s purified blood, Kevin’s blood is not entirely human. It brings me back to Crowley’s statement in What’s Up, Tiger Mommy that Linda Tran never told Kevin about his real father. Supposing that Kevin’s father was a demon or an angel, Crowley could either use Kevin’s blood to boost his demonic powers or to turn himself into some kind of hybrid. Only time will tell, I guess.

  • Robert Berens, the latest addition to Supernatural’s writing team, makes a solid first impression with his script for Heaven Can’t Wait. I mean, as a character study for Castiel, the episode is actually quite decent; it treats the character with respect and even offers some lovely insight into the angel’s emotional journey. Moreover, aside from the blood-filled syringe that Crowley mysteriously finds on his table, there are no glaring plot holes, and I see no blatant canon violations either. Of course, I will only be able to truly judge Berens' competence once he actually delivers a Sam and Dean centric episode, but so far he seems promising.

Date: 2013-11-19 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh is that what he was injecting himself with at the end? I was confused about that, and where the syringe had come from, lol. Hmm...

And I enjoyed this episode far more than some of the other ones this season (the first episode might still be the worst for me, or Slumber Party), but then again Cas doesn't bore me on the same way, and like you said it treated his character with dignity, which is always a welcome surprise. And Crowley's snark provides much of what little remaining entertainment exists on this show. *sigh*

Date: 2013-11-19 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I can understand that the episode is quite a treat for the Castiel fans. I wished I could love his character more, but the past couple of seasons have killed every last bit of appreciation I ever had for him, so Castiel centric episodes are a chore to watch for me. /sigh It works better when it is like in I'm No Angel, where Sam and Dean have their own story alongside Castiel's, so I have something that holds my interest, but well. It is what it is.

Crowley has lost most of his charm for me last season, where they reduced him to an evil villain without layers or sensible strategies. He bores me, too, nowadays, and I find that sad, given that I once truly loved his character and still adore Mark Sheppard. The show could do with some new blood, but I guess that's what Abaddon is for.

Date: 2013-12-14 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Given what we now know post 9.09, the idea that Kevin isn't completely human is interesting. I mean, speculation is that Chuck was God. Perhaps prophets in general aren't human? Maybe they are all "God" in disguise, perhaps might not even know it at first? Hm, maybe Kevin isn't as "dead" as we think. On the one hand it is intriguing. On the other, I wish they'd quit bringing everyone back to life.

Date: 2013-12-15 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Kevin's heritage is another storystrand that lead nowhere in the end. /sigh I doubt they'll bring Kevin back - his death was obviously designed to create angst for Sam and Dean - and I really, really don't want them to. I hate the way death has been reduced to a mere annoyance in the show. Not to mention that the constant resurrections diminish Sam and Dean's uniqueness.

Date: 2013-12-16 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I kind of wonder if they intended to address prophet lore. We've long speculated that Chuck was God, but maybe not. Maybe prophets are nephilim -- half angel, half human? I don't know, but it might have been interesting to find out. I mean, why shouldn't they be angelic -- the reapers are now. *sigh*

I agree though that I don't want them to bring Kevin back. Death has certainly begun to lose it's sting with the way that they keep bringing Bobby and Castiel back. I get that Cas is an angel but still, and Bobby hasn't been "alive" but just being present in some way undermines the "finality" of death and Sam and Dean's uniqueness as you say.

Date: 2013-12-17 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bobby hasn't been "alive" but just being present in some way undermines the "finality" of death

Hm, I don't mind the way they brought Bobby back so far. I mean, in the S9 opener it wasn't even really Bobby, and in Taxi Driver I was more annoyed about the poor characterisation for Bobby than about his spirit making an appearance. The thing is, death in the Supernatural universe is never truly 'final' - in the sense that people cease to exist entirely - since there is an afterlife. But as long as characters stay dead and are not resurrected, I am good. :)

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