kitewithfish: The Doctor tilts his head. (i love you)
[personal profile] kitewithfish
Rewatching 5.20- "The Devil You Know."  First part, running commentary- second part, my thoughts on the episode as a whole.


Swine flue? Are we still worried about this? Is this actually an effective way to spread the virus? I have a sneaking suspicion that anti-vaccination campaigners might end up being the only people in the Supernatural universe not to get infected with this virus and it would be really, really ironic. 

It's the guy Pestilence sneezed on! Patient Zero!   I was kind of disappointed with the whole Pestilence thing, honestly. It's an unimaginative take on the Horseman. Given how the writers have been happily stealing from American Gods and Good Omens, I was kind of hoping that they would go the route of Pollution- make Pestilence an avatar of the death of the planet, not just the people on it. It would make a much better point, given the whole climate change issue and the sudden rise in offshore drilling.

Scene- takling with the little facemasks? Ridiculous. Kind of stupid.

Crowley! Good Omens reference for the win! And Sam stabs the Metallicar. Why is Dean not more upset by this?

THEY ATE MY TAILOR! 

Tracking coin? That actually sounds really cool. I wonder if that was just something they stuck in there, or was that a plan from the start? Probably a later addition.

Stableboy? Sounds a little creepy.

Niveus- It just means "white" in latin.

I'm trying to make out the date on the newspaper that Brady holds up in the meeting to get an idea of the timing on this episode. I'm never exactly sure when the episode fall in RL timeline, outside of roughly 'the present.'

Ah! The evil bowl! Cut-throat world of upper-management. Why is it that demons love puns?
Ew, flies. Cheap shot at the teamsters.... "Best of someone better."

Sam is whiney, Crowley is exclusive, and once more Dean becomes the center of the episode. And Crowley smiles as Dean comes round to his opinion. And sad!face Sam is left behind once more. 

Oh, man, the Sam and Bobby parallel is adorable.  Drinking alone is never a good sign.  

Bad idea, Sam. BAD IDEA! You can't make the Devil jump! Sam, seriously, listen to Bobby. You can't base an entire plan on a slim chance that you might be stronger than the devil.

"How are you going to control the Devil when you can't control yourself?" Low blow, Bobby, but fair.

Crowley kills the security guards with a cheeky wave- is it wrong to say that I love him.

The evil executive thing has been done a lot before, but I have to say it still works really, really well for me. There's something about handsome white men in expensive suits that I find unsettling and a general sign that assholery will be present.

Taking the rings made War and Famine into withered husks? That seems really, really overstating the measure, but probably for the Winchesters' benefit.

The Brady-Dean beatdown is giving me serious flashback to American Psycho. Like whoa. Maybe that's the root of my fear of yuppies in suits?

Crowley saves the day with a crowbar! And a bag. That's kind of creepy and weird. I love Crowley's total unconcern that he pissed Dean off.

A sigil that locks a demon inside the body? That would be a seriously good thing to know beforehand! Majorly useful.

Sam and Brady have history? Crowley pysching Sam out is actually pretty effective, it seems.

"I trust you." That's a development with the boys.

Big Reveal! "You had a devil on your shoulder even back then." Brady was demonic at Sam back when they were in Stanford. That... That's brilliant and evil. Let's see how that retcon works out.

Lucifer made demons? I think I've heard this before, but I'm not really sure. Back when Lilith was the Big Bad, maybe?

The way Brady talks makes me want to smack him with a crowbar too. And Crowley's total nonchalance about his desperate swashbuckle is very, very cool. Crowley has a habit of putting everything on the line and so far that's served him badly, but that might not keep turning out that way. Clearly, you don't get to be high-up in hell without learning how to pick the right side to stand with.

Brady monologue: Bitch count: 1.  Sam is a good friend! Sam in Stanford, not so idyllic as we thought. I personally think that this is much better- Yellow Eyed Demon was not going to let Sam just sit and waste that valuable asset.  Oh, Jess, making cookies....

Crowley: "Lovers... in league... against Satan! Hello, darling." Oh, I love Crowley. Craven self-preservation. Crowley might save the world to save himself, but it's really all about him.  I really, really like how Crowley is just casually gay and still utterly dangerous.

Oh, someone else pulled the tracking coin thing- this seems like it should pop up at least once before being used twice in one episode.

I love Dean's pissy face- "Oh, well, at least we have salt in the kitchen!"
The invisible hellhound thing is kind of getting old, frankly, I'd like to see some more hints about what they look like.
Crowley has a pet hellhound! I bet he monologues to it and feeds it the flesh of minions who piss him off by wiping their feet on his rug. And sics it on people who stiff his tailor.

The little moment where Dean lets Crowley edge his way out of the salt circle really helps visually set the tone for their alliance. It's tentative and kind of unnatural- their primary weapons and tools against their enemies can now be used against their allies. But Dean deliberately lets Crowley go- this is a big change from the guy who wanted to snuff Ruby on principle.

Brady: *monologues himself into a vaguely dramatic death.* Your hell is right here.
Sam: *squints* Interesting theory

That... particular theory is actually once I would like to see expounded a bit more. Given what Sam saw as his version of Heaven- a conventional life away from his family and free from demons- it does fit in with what the writers would like us to think: Sam is unhappy being a hunter. But you have to also consider that Sam was bound to Dean even in Heaven

Bobby and Crowley: I like this suit!  And Crowley is tempty and smug. I love how he says Bobby's name- wonderful accent. 

"I want your soul!" "No!" I'll give it right back!" 



Total bitch count: 1
 

General thoughts:
The reappearance of Crowley is a really fun touch to the rather dower feeling the show's cultivated recently. Crowley's got a talent for being grim and funny at the same time and that's not something that they've really been giving the boys this season. I personally love him, as a character, but I kind of wonder if he's just becoming a dark-toned Castiel.

Actually, to expand on that, there is a lot of contrast between Castiel and Crowley that would make for some really interesting character interaction. Crowley is worldly, casually sexual, flip, and self-centered. Castiel (at least towards the beginning) was innocent, sexually innocent/inexperienced, serious, and utterly devoted to his ideals. While the retcon of Brady into the backstory was clearly the dramatic point of this episode, Crowley was the catalyst and may very hopefully develop into a really interesting fleshed-out character.

And it's nice for there to be at least one gay character on the show. I'm not sure if the fact that it's a vain, treacherous demon is not playing into some really nasty stereotypes of gay men, but Crowley is dynamic and morally ambiguous, so I will reserve judgment on whether this is a cheap shot or a more nuance choice. Not that Supernatural has given me a whole lot of reasons to hope on that front, but...

The more the show steals from Gaiman and Pratchett, the more I like it.

On the whole issue of Brady- I think this is a well-planned retcon, and I like that the writers are drawing on the fen's familiarity with the series and the backstory to make the stories richer. The Horsemen, as villains in and of themselves, don't really compel me- they are too elemental, too much like a tsunami to really find a deeper interest in them. The boys find them and stop them- that's about as much plot as any of the Horsemen are good for. Renewing the pain of already established backstory to motivate Sam? Beautiful. And I wonder if that was the real point of Brady's little dying speech: to persuade Sam not to carry out his plan to allow Lucifer to possess him and gamble everything on the hope that he can resist him at the last minute. Though Dean seems to get more screen time, this episode contains a whole micro character arc for Sam.

The Winchester boys are trying to gather allies, but the show is clearly aiming to keep it just Sam and Dean for the big blowout... Bobby's ability to help is situation-specific in a way that it wasn't. God's not interested. Castiel has lost power and is losing faith. Adam eventually tried to side with his brothers and died. Gabriel and his pre-Christian god friends seemed likely but got toasted.  Crowley seems like he'll stick around for another episode or two, but he's not trustworthy... It's going to be an interesting ride, but it looks like we're going to end up back where we started.
 



In keeping with Three Weeks of Dreamwidth, I will not be posting this to my lj kitewithfish account.

Date: 2010-05-01 07:47 pm (UTC)
yourlibrarian: Angel and Lindsey (SPN-SamDeanOffCenter-fiendunderpin)
From: [personal profile] yourlibrarian
make Pestilence an avatar of the death of the planet, not just the people on it. It would make a much better point, given the whole climate change issue and the sudden rise in offshore drilling.

::nods:: Poisoning ourselves to death would seem worse than random viruses.

I'm trying to make out the date on the newspaper that Brady holds up in the meeting to get an idea of the timing on this episode. I'm never exactly sure when the episode fall in RL timeline, outside of roughly 'the present.'

Crowley mentions he's been in hiding for two months, and that could mean since his last appearance in AAH.

Maybe that's the root of my fear of yuppies in suits?

LOL, well that would be a good reason!

A sigil that locks a demon inside the body? That would be a seriously good thing to know beforehand! Majorly useful.

Meg did that when she possessed Sam.

this seems like it should pop up at least once before being used twice in one episode.

I thought so, too, though it remains to be seen whether or not Crowley actually went anywhere or was just faking them out to get Brady to talk.

But Dean deliberately lets Crowley go- this is a big change from the guy who wanted to snuff Ruby on principle.

Not to mention his being ready to double-cross the first CRD he ran into during S2.

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