galathea: (Sam&Dean hug)

So, my review for Swan Song has been a long time coming, but that’s not the result of a lack of enthusiasm for the episode on my part, quite the contrary, actually. It’s an episode that moves me immensely, and it sure holds a special place in my heart. However, severe time constraints in the first couple of months after the episode aired prevented me from writing a review and then the new season started up, demanding all of my attention, so the review for Swan Song was postponed time and again – until I finally had the time to address myself to the task. I admit, I (almost) found it too difficult to write about the episode, not only because I had a rather intimidating amount of notes for it, but also because I felt that I would never be able to do the episode justice or adequately express why it elated me the way it did.

But well, here we are anyway. Better late than never, right? Unsurprisingly, this is the longest review I have ever written for a single episode. In fact, it’s the longest meta I have ever written about Supernatural. Period. I tried to be concise, but I still ended up with almost 10.000 words, which is why it took me so long to actually finish it. So, in case anyone is interested enough to read their way through this monster: Please make yourself comfortable – and maybe bring provisions. Also, I apologise for the fact that this turned out a tad more sentimental than usual. I just couldn’t help it. Anyway, this review is based on the notes I took right after the episode aired, so S6 hindsight does not play into it. Enjoy!

Swan Song, by courtesy of Eric Kripke, concludes the five year arc of Supernatural, and while it is the end of the season and probably the most important milestone in Sam and Dean’s story, it’s luckily not the end of the show. The episode is intensely focussed on the brothers – which is always a plus in my book – and even though the plot may not be perfect in every sense possible, where Sam and Dean’s storyline is concerned, the episode hits all the right notes for me. And, ultimately, that’s all I ever wanted from the S5 finale. Moreover though, the episode connects beautifully to what came before, echoing crucial episodes of the past five seasons and circling back to the beginning of the show, bringing closure to some of the main themes for the characters in the process. Overall, I can honestly say that Swan Song is one of my favourite episodes of the show. ♥

I’m here. I’m not going to leave you. )

galathea: (scenery_yellowfever)

Sera Gamble’s Two Minutes To Midnight is a fast paced episode that covers a lot of ground, plot-wise, which makes it entertaining to watch. However, the fact that it covers a lot of ground also results in the fact that a good part of the plot feels rushed. There simply wasn’t enough time to tap the full potential of all the storylines featured in the episode and I find that regrettable. In the end though my feelings towards Two Minutes To Midnight are as usual defined by the state of the brotherly relationship and on that front I don't have any complaints. Not to mention that the brilliant introduction of Death makes the episode worthwhile in any case. So, overall I enjoyed the episode, even though I think it would have worked better as a two-parter.

Remember when we used to just hunt Wendigos? )

Okay, so obviously my review for Swan Song will no be finished any time soon. I have a rather intimidating amount of notes on the episode and I definitely plan on writing them up at some point – not least because Swan Song is one of my favourite S5 episodes – I just don’t know when I will find the time to do it. I am not even sure I’ll find the time to keep up my reviews for S6, even if only in less extensive versions. I’ll try, of course, but I can’t promise anything. Here’s to an awesome 6th season of Supernatural. :)

galathea: (scenery_clapyourhands)

Ben Edlund’s The Devil You Know was more satisfying for me than last week’s episode, not only in terms of the plot, but also because it had some very strong and positive character work, especially for Sam. We don’t get Sam centric episodes all that often, so I am grateful whenever an episode takes the time to explore some of his issues in more depth. That’s not to say that the episode was perfect, far from it. I had problems with the finer points in the characterisation for Dean in particular, and I think the writing didn’t always support the characters as well they deserved, but overall I enjoyed the episode.

You had a devil on your shoulder even back then. )

galathea: (scenery_yellowfever)

Last week the writers brought the brothers’ reconciliation arc to a preliminary resolution, so it was to be expected that they turn their attention to the apocalypse plotline now. Hammer Of The Gods, by courtesy of Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin, is plot plot-driven rather than character centric, which is not exactly my favourite kind of episode, but the story is decent enough and the characterisation for Sam and Dean feels appropriately brotherly, which follows well from Point Of No Return. Compared to the brilliance of the episodes that preceded it, however, Hammer Of The Gods feels like a let down, even if it does have enjoyable qualities.

It's either us or them. )

galathea: (Sam&Dean hug)

Sorry, the review for Point Of No Return took a bit longer than I thought it would, but I really didn’t want to rush through it just to make it in time for the new episode. The episode was simply too important for that, and I wanted to do its beauty and depth justice, or well, at least I tried to. I hope you all enjoy it, it’s my longest episode review of the season so far. :) I’ll probably be behind with my reviews for the remainder of the season, just so you know.

Point Of No Return by Jeremy Carver is the logical conclusion to the arc the writers steadily built up over the second half of the season, and it is beautiful to behold. I have been waiting for this episode all season long, as the brotherly relationship finally finds a new footing, after it was in a downward spiral for almost two seasons now. It’s not only all I ever wanted from Sam and Dean’s first steps towards a true reconciliation, but also exceeded my hopes for Sam’s redemption arc. And it all comes in the neat package of the first dramatic highlight of the mytharc, without ever losing sight of the characters. Fantastic! ♥

We’re working on the power of love. )

galathea: (Dean tired)

Admittedly, I was pretty apprehensive of 99 Problems, as Julie Siege, who wrote the script to the episode, has been the least consistent writer this season in my opinion, and given the brilliance of the previous episode, I feared yet another let-down. However, the episode hit the ground running and didn’t really slow down in the forty minutes that followed. 99 Problems is a beautiful combination of character work, development for the mytharc and monster-of-the-week plot and not only follows logically from where Dark Side Of The Moon left off, but also puts all the characters into position for the (presumably first) dramatic climax of this season’s arc in the 100th episode. Fabulous! ♥

I can’t do this alone. )

I had no opportunity to actually watch Point Of No Return yet, so please no spoilers in the comments. :)

galathea: (Sam&Dean by your side)

Dark Side Of The Moon has been the first episode this season that I watched completely unspoiled, so I wasn’t prepared in the slightest for this kind of emotional roller coaster. Admittedly, it is a bittersweet episode with a devastating conclusion, but nevertheless it’s the most powerful and touching episode of the current season for me. It managed to emotionally engage me in a way the show hasn’t in a long time, possibly since S3, in fact. It’s not that we gained a lot of brand-new insights into Sam and Dean, but the way the episode brought the history of these characters back into sharp focus and used it to drive the story forward, reminded me of why I fell in love with this show in the first place. ♥ Kudos to Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin for their excellent script.

It’s supposed to be you and me against the world. )

galathea: (Bobby)

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid was a good, solid Supernatural episode, quiet and surprisingly introspective for a zombie horror story. Jeremy Carver’s script offered some subtle character insights and an interesting monster-of-the-week plot that cleverly tied in with the mytharc, but still kept the story deeply personal. The only real weakness of the episode was the lack of a deeper exploration of the parallels between Sam and Dean’s own history and the zombie plot, but that didn’t negatively affect my enjoyment of the episode as a whole.

We’re his family. )

galathea: (Sam simple)

My Bloody Valentine, Ben Edlund’s latest instalment in the series, wasn’t as tightly written, well structured and executed as his previous episodes for the season, but overall I can say that I loved it, mostly because I really, really enjoyed the character work here, which ultimately always determines how I feel about an episode. Furthermore, I thought the Famine plotline was fascinating and creepy, gore and all. However, I think that the mythology implications of the episode finally torpedoed the already fragile mytharc beyond salvation for me, and I find that most regrettable. It didn’t distract me from my enjoyment of the episode though, so that’s a good sign I guess.

You can’t win, and you know it, but you just keep fighting. )

galathea: (Sam&Dean beer)

Sorry, I'm late to the party. I don't really have any excuses, other than the fact that I had troubles to focus on writing these last couple of days. :)

So, just when I was about to write S5 off, the show sends the unexpected gift of The Song Remains The Same our way, and I am immensely grateful to see that the writers remembered how to do it right. The episode was chock-full of Winchester goodness and successfully managed to achieve the rare combination of mytharc driven plot with in depth character exploration. The excellent script by Sera Gamble and Nancy Weiner, combined with outstanding acting and an atmospheric setting, made for great forty minutes of television. Of course The Song Remains The Same raised the bar on the episodes that follow considerably. I just hope the team can keep this level of quality up for the rest of the season.

Team Free Will. )

galathea: (scenery_clapyourhands)

I had really low expectations for this week’s episode Swap Meat by Julie Siege, because once again it is based on a pretty whimsical premise - a bodyswap in this case - and I really had enough of those in S5 to last me a lifetime. Unfortunately the episode didn’t do much to refute my expectations. Mind you, this episode would probably have worked slightly better for me in a different spot in the timeline this season, but still, there were too many problems with it for me to ignore, even under better circumstances. I can see what the writers tried to show here, in regard to the state of the brothers’ relationship – namely how damaged it really is – but it didn’t quite work for me. So, be warned, this 'review' has a slightly different format than usual and is more like one long list of why this episode missed the mark by a mile wide for me. I didn’t want to analyse this episode too deeply, because while I didn’t hate it, I also didn’t want to risk to resent this episode more than I already do.

One leatherjacket. One Sasquatch. )

galathea: (Sam simple)

Sam, Interrupted by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin is a solid standalone episode that finally took some time to explore Sam and Dean’s current mindset. It may not move their character arcs forward quite as much as I hoped for, but it still shows us some interesting new angles to the brothers’ internal struggles, which was urgently needed in general, but especially after the personal and 'professional' blow they had to take in Abandon All Hope. While I had issues with a couple of minor scenes, overall I enjoyed it a lot. I just hope that from here on the writers give us a more steady focus on Sam and Dean. I don’t think I could stand another extended period with a lack of character development this season.

You build your own hell. )

galathea: (Bobby)

I’m sorry that this review comes with a two months delay, I didn’t intend to put if off for so long, but unfortunately my massive disappointment with how the brothers' story was handled in the episodes between The End and Abandon All Hope completely drained my enthusiasm to write about the show during the hiatus. I’m kinda stuck in a headspace where I wonder why I bother to put so much effort into my reviews, when it seems that the writers stopped to make an effort with the characters that motivate me to write these reviews in the first place. Even the fact that we were sent into the hiatus with the excellent Abandon All Hope couldn’t raise my low spirits. Now, with the second half of S5 upon us, I forced myself to get on with it, so I don’t fall behind with my reviews. I mostly focus on some of the core emotional scenes that I found especially meaningful and don’t dwell much on the mytharc implications of the episode. I might work it over one day, when I found my motivation back.

If we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it together! )

galathea: (Sam&Dean bike)

I knew about the premise for The Real Ghostbusters for quite a while and given my fierce dislike for the fandom jokes in the show, I dreaded the episode like no other. In the end, I didn’t loathe it quite as much as I thought I would – the brothers’ characterisation felt natural and their interaction had their old smoothness, the ghost case was genuinely creepy, some of the side characters were enjoyable - but it was still pretty self-indulgent, heavy-handed and (mostly) pointless storytelling. Additionally, the episode is adversely affected by the fact that it tops off a run of episodes that not only sorely lack in plot and character development, but also suffer from a tonal whiplash at the most inopportune time of the season. Overall, Eric Kripke and Nancy Weiner wrote a script that, on its own, would have been harmless at best, but combined with he episodes that preceded it, it further drags down the already struggling season for me.

I think that the Dean and Sam story sucks! )

galathea: (Sam&Dean bike)

For the last two episodes I had pretty high expectations, and I found myself sorely disappointed. For Changing Channels, on the other hand, I had very low expectations, due to its silly premise, and found myself pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Go figure! Jeremy Carver’s characterisation for Sam and Dean was, for the most part, enjoyable and felt more natural to me than in the past episodes, which was an immense relief. Additionally, I found some of the depicted TV show parodies in the episode genuinely funny and even meaningful in places, and although I also cringed at quite a lot of the 'jokes', there was enough good in the episode to outweigh the bad for me, not least because the episode managed to make a strong turn at the end and tied it into the mythology.

It’s about two brothers that loved each other and betrayed each other. )

galathea: (Default)

On a superficial level I enjoyed The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester by Sera Gamble – the humour was more entertaining than in the last episode and the characters weren’t quite as silly – but unfortunately superficial was also (almost) all this episode was. If I was a casual viewer of Supernatural I’d probably be amused and move on, but as it is, I take this show and its characters very serious, and I can’t help but feel disappointed about the waste of potential in this episode, plot-wise as well as character-wise, which seems to be exemplary for the general direction of the show lately.

No matter what shape you’re in, bottom line is, you’re family. )

galathea: (Sam simple)

Sorry this review comes out so very late, but given that we have no new episode this week, I thought I might as well lift the pressure to have the review finished within the weekend and give myself a bit of breathing space. But better late than never, right? ;)

The latest instalment in S5, I Believe The Children Are Our Future by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin, left me with pretty mixed feelings. On the one hand its main plotline had a strong and interesting parallel to the Winchesters in general, and Sam in particular, which positively deepened Sam’s S5 characterisation, but on the other hand the tone and character work of the first half of the episode didn’t work at all for me. Unfortunately the uneven script negatively impacted the excellent premise of the story to a point where my enjoyment of the episode was outweighed by my frustration with it, and I really regret that.

I have to believe someone can make the right choice. )

galathea: (scenery_heavenandhell)

In typical Supernatural fashion the angst heavy mytharc episode The End is followed by a more light-hearted monster-of-the-week type standalone with the obligatory brother development on the side. In short, exactly what I needed at this point. I really miss the typical S1 casefile episodes – the brothers alone in a random small town, siblings banter, research and Sam and Dean whumpage - a lot. Anyway, Fallen Idols by Julie Siege explores the effects of Sam and Dean’s ongoing trust issues on their working, as well as their personal, relationship in the wake of their tentative reconciliation from last episode and culminates in a major step forward towards healing. ♥ The episode has a couple of weaknesses, but I think the character development more than compensates for that.

You gonna have to let me grow up. )

galathea: (Sam&Dean hug)

You know what? I think Ben Edlund should write more drama and action and less humour in this show. Nightshifter, On The Head Of A Pin and now The End prove that the man can do some amazing things with his scripts, if he drops the quirky attitude and tries to tell a serious story about the characters instead. The End temporarily concludes the four episode mini-arc that deals with the immediate fallout to Sam and Dean’s estrangement in S4. It's an intense character drama set on an apocalyptic background and a visually stunning viewing experience. I haven’t been this thrilled with a mytharc focused episode in a long while, and I am looking forward to the rest of the season more than ever now.

We keep each other human. )

galathea: (scenery_heavenandhell)

Admittedly, I didn’t look forward to Jeremy Carver’s Free To Be You And Me, because I was heavily spoiled for the episode and worried over Sam and Dean being apart, so I was surprised that I enjoyed it more than I had anticipated, even if it was nowhere near as powerful as last week’s episode. The focus of Free To Be You And Me was on the exploration of the brothers' separate paths and managed to move Sam and Dean's arcs forward, and while not all parts of the episode worked for me, the positive developments managed to outweigh my discomfort with those parts.

People can change. There is reason for hope. )

December 2013

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