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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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spn 4.1
awesome bunny

You know, I totally didn't see it coming. There was flailing! And wings! And a freaking angel, which is just--an angel! A messenger of God! Who chose a deeply hot body to borrow.

And I'm not surprised at all. I mean, surprised it went this way, sure. But surprised Dean's a new recruit to be the sword of God? Not really.

Start over:

1.) Grave. Not as good as Buffy, but scared me to death.

2.) Appliances. Wow, the thing that terrifies me the most. Thank you Ring. I needed those TVs to come on randomly.

3.) Ruby. Oh my. You know, it's not that I think she's actively in the pursuit of evil (though I'm curious if that's what will happen; I'll be disappointed if it is). I just think the show's made some interesting points about ends, means, and how grey space isn't your friend when you keep forgetting what white looks like.

Okay, see, I hate that phrase "the path to hell is paved with good intentions" because seriously, it's mostly not. It's paved with lots of mixed intentions that have perhaps a goal considered good but usually ends up in the range of selfish straight to stupid. It's a grey path, really. And as you trip down it, it gets darker. I don't think Ruby's intentions are pathed on good so much as something in the grey range. Which is why Sam learning his powers is both awesome and really bad. Awesome because he should. Really bad because he's learning it with not good intentions.

4.) My love for Bobbby is pure. He's the only sensible person there.

5.) Angels just make the weirdest sense. I feel idiotic I didn't guess with the eyes; staring into Light does that.

6.) That was the greatest entrance in history. That was just kickass. That was--wow. Fantastic. And the angel's bewilderment in Dean not being able to see him (emphasis on special) and surprised at Dean's sense of worth on the scale of humanity. And being recruited from hell.

Of course, now I wonder if Sam had been there with Dean and Bobby, if he would have come? He didn't come to the psychic, and he didn't come when Sam was in the room, so I'm guessing against coincidence.

7.) You know. Of all the places there could be demons. At Dean's resurrection Sam just happens to be in the same city. I can't think of a reason for that, but I also don't think it was random.

Below, random thoughts.


If there is a secondary theme that runs through this show and is given voice, a lot, it is the absolute non-specialness of Dean in the supernatural lexicon. That is like, his defining characteristic--not special. He could carry it on a card around with him--no epic destiny, no freaky powers, eats normal food, is always well armed. Just human.

Dean, however, is surrounded by all these awesomely special people of specialness. This is like, emphasized by his own mental not-special place, and by like, half the eps reminding us that Dean is not special like that. Dean's just this guy with a crazy dead father, a dead mother, a psychic epic-destinined brother; this guy who dies three times, who demons would take in trade for Sam's life--you know, with this angel thing added to canon, that has some interesting new dimensions added--and who, for reasons best known to other demons, was too valuable to trade for Sam's soul (assuming Sam tried, and I'm pretty sure he did), and was rescued by an angel sent by God....

Even eyeing this from a multiple writer perspective, either Dean has literally the greatest number of coincidences known to man, or the point of his existence is that humanity is really awesome. That being ordinary in supernatural terms, being a guy who kills demons because they're evil and stops evil because he can is fairly extraordinary.

Angels. Really?

The religion and various incarnations of angels is kind of fascinating to read (and guess what I'll be reading up on this weekend), but the most interesting concept of them as beings without will and without any particular concept of a conscience, seeing as they are, you know, the manifestation of the will of God. Good and evil are kind of superfluous at that point when your commander is God.

I have this entire train of thought on why Dean would be the more likely to be recruited by the lighter side of the force if what you are looking for in your warriors is an absolute devotion to right and a general sense that they will get the job done period. But it sounds incredibly stupid to write, even though I find it weirdly appropriate since Dean's life is lived in blind devotion to absolute right as interpreted by John Winchester.

I mean--okay, his utter non-faith aside--he's like a freaking Jesuit when it comes to the mission. This makes him lousy for demon recruitment, but pretty freaking awesome if you want someone who a.) is focused on The Right b.) is kind of scary about how he gets to it and c.) had a lifetime of practice doing it. He's not real bendy on evil. He's not really bendy, period.

Hmm. This does make me worry for Sam. He's very bendy.

Gah. I need sleep. This is possibly not even readable.

My thoughts - Oh. My. God. Yea, I didn't see it coming either. Kripke is an evil genius, because not even a HINT at Comic Con! :(

On the other side, now we know who is owed lunch among my tv watching circle. We bet on Bobby's 'surviving' season 3. I thought he'd bite it in the final battle sort of thing, one friend thought he'd die much earlier in the season, the third voted for living. Well, she won. Bobby wasn't shown in the final bit of the season, so it could be sort of not totally resolved.

Hee! I love Bobby. I want him to live forever. But if Sam's path is supposed to be stripped of all that could keep him from the dark side, Bobby probably has to go.


About the Special thing? You rock.

My love for Dean and Sam is pure. I like the idea of them on this course. It just works for me.

I figured out the Angel thing when Pam got her eyes burned but the entire opener rocked so hard. I enjoyed it much more than Snallville which just seemed campy. So yeah guess what I'll be watching this season.

God, I can't believe I missed that! I kept getting freaked out by the appliances and the glass and the sound and not putting it together. Not to mention power being used, not magic, which someone else said and I facepalmed so hard.

Readable. And also, far more coherent than I am at the moment.


This was awesome. It never even crossed my mind as a possibility, and it should have.

Mine either. I just didn't see Kripke going there at all.

I'm fascinated by your reaction, because Dean has never been that bendy before, but he certainly seemed bendy last night: telling Sam to let the demons go? That they were "just scared"? That's a far sight from letting abstemious vampires keep living. I am intrigued.

Weirdly, I was more bewildered by Sam's desire to kill them right now.

Sam was the grey point on the vampires--they weren't killing humans, cool--but in this case, he was killing off two of them immediately. If it was a matter of them possessing humans and that is wrong, cool, or that they potentially were going to do wrong, okay, but Ruby's still alive and she's possessing someone as well, which he seems to have little to no problem with.

Or I could have totally missed something the demons did that got Sam's attention, other than their existence. The act of possession doesn't seem to be enough--at least to Dean and Sam--to end their lives, so a potential act of evil strictly shouldn't either.

My thought on why demons wouldn't trade Sam for Dean's soul is that Sam is not to be dealt with in any way, by command of Lilith (who couldn't kill him), perhaps. If Sam is destined to be a Big Bad (per demon prophecy whatever), then it makes sense that his emotional support (Dean and Bobby) be stripped away and replaced with an alternate mentor/guide (Ruby), and then that support turned against him, i.e., brother versus brother.

Edited because I can spell.

Edited at 2008-09-19 02:38 pm (UTC)

Well--if they want Sam gone, it doesn't make sense not to let him make the trade for his soul. The last season seemed to be about another rising demon in place of Sam, so getting rid of Sam would seem to be a pretty good idea. Especially if Lilith can't kill him; letting him basically kill himself would be a way out of that.

So--I can see where you're going with this and it's intriguing, but I keep getting caught on Lilith not having a reason to keep Sam alive to give that order.

I was actually thinking about that VERY THING...how the angel never showed up while Sam was there. How they foreshadowed the change in Sam with the Groundhog Day episode, and what might have been going on while Dean was gone (I mean, Sam's running around with a demon lover, learning to use his Amazing Psychic Skills, and clearly wants to hide them from Dean. As we all learned in kindergarten, the Bad Touch is the one that someone tells you not to tell your "parents" about...). And it does make me very worried for Sam.

Dean's a fan of the absolutes, and he just doesn't see much gray ANYwhere. Like you said, not bendy at all, and a perfect choice for someone who's fighting for the cruel absolute of Good. Dean IS the mission. The only place he's shown any flexibility is when it comes to Sam, and Sam is the only thing more important to him than the mission.

What happens when Sam BECOMES the mission?

I cannot wait, CANNOT WAIT for the rest of this season. EEEE.

See, learning his powers is a good thing. Learning from Ruby makes me wary, since she's good with sacrificing innocent virgins, but okay. Learning them in secret from a demon and hiding it from his brother is problematic.

And oh yes, Sam as Dean's mission. The thing is, something they said last year about the willingness to sacrifice for each other being a weakness that can be exploited--this is true. It's a huge weakness. But it's also a strength combined with that; if Dean and Sam go head to head, Dean would be a sacrifice, and I'm not sure any known permutation of Sam can ever, ever deal with that. It's a mirrored weakness between them.

I totally called the angel thing when I saw the burn on Dean's shoulder. The eye-burny thing sealed it for me, though.

I do wonder why the angel (the Angel of Thursday, according to one source, and how cool is that?) seemed so suprised that Dean coudn't see or hear him? Maybe the angel (Who I think may be a rogue. Also, Lucifer was an angel once...) got the wrong brother? I bet Sam could see him, and I bet when Sam does see him, the gig will be up, because I bet Sam will know exactly what he is. Which should be interesting.

ETA: Angel is Misha Collins. Yum!

Edited at 2008-09-19 04:26 pm (UTC)

I don't see the angel making the mistake between brothers; to me, his surprise was that he was called to rescue someone that wasn't a (traditional) believer, but has the mind and will of one. Which makes sense, considering his upbringing and his worship of his father.

No, I totally agree about Dean Winchester: On a mission from GOD.

Your post is friggin' AWESOME. 110% awesome.

I just hope that they don't frack this ups.

Re: No, I totally agree about Dean Winchester: On a mission from GOD.

*Crosses fingers* Please let it be cool.

To me, Dean will always be Dean. Even if he were a demon, he'd be Dean. In fact, I think demon!Dean would be awesome.

Sam's reticence is part of who he is. He's always been reluctant to take up his role, whether as a hunter, or as a demon's chosen one. My personal feeling on the matter is that whatever abilities Sam has, they're a part of what he is whether he uses them or not. Denying their existence isn't going to make them go away.

Balance has been a big theme in SPN, we've seen two brother's ghosts cancel each other out before in Red Sky by Morning. Sam balances Dean, and Dean balances Sam. Without Sam, Dean refused to go on fighting. Without Dean, Sam either walks away completely, or becomes ruthless.

I don't think he *should* not learn his powers; learning and using aren't problematic. But it comes back to intentions, and the path he's taking to learn them is already very grey with several marks against him. Dean, even if he hates the powers, balances Ruby's enthusiastic ruthlessness. Without that balance, I'm not sure Sam's going to notice he's slipping into a darker shade of grey with each step. Sure, Dean's constant vocalizations of doom are freaking annoying--but they're also kind of the chorus of reminders that power itself isn't corruptive, but how you use it can be, and why you use it.

Even eyeing this from a multiple writer perspective, either Dean has literally the greatest number of coincidences known to man, or the point of his existence is that humanity is really awesome. That being ordinary in supernatural terms, being a guy who kills demons because they're evil and stops evil because he can is fairly extraordinary.


Of course, now I wonder if Sam had been there with Dean and Bobby, if he would have come?

Almost positive any season 4 arc with such a set up would pit brother against brother, with Sam going dark-side and Dead wondering if he's going nuts and imagining God/the angel recruiting him to stop Sam.

See, in terms of character relationship, they've reconciled, they've fought together, they've died/suffered for one another, and now, it's time to test the trust--big time.

*shrug* That's how I'd write it.

I really enjoyed your thoughts about Dean and his specialness. Also your ideas on bendy Winchesters is nail-biting inducing. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season. : )

Response to post in two parts.

Part One: ::incoherent wailing, gnashing of teeth, flailing, beating of the ground, rending of garments, etc etc etc::

[ translation: cable went out 10-15 minutes from end of episode, thus I missed actually seeing the ending and Angel-Cakes - though I was suspecting Angels from the point where Pam's being told "don't look any further, stop" ] in that ambiguous way that psychic contacts tend to have. I still wasn't positive, though, that it was Angels, even after her eyes got burned out, though that was the time I started flashing on Kevin Smith's Dogma and The Prophecy I, II & III and nilchance & beanside's Of Bastard Saints - good to learn I was on the right track ]



Part Two: There's this interesting up and down thing with Sam and Dean - as Sam loses compassion for the victims of demons (compassion that Dean also has and has mostly retained), Dean is gaining compassion for not only the victims, but (in some cases at least) for the demons themselves. Hence Dean telling Sam to leave the demons in that diner cause they're "afraid" (aka "love casteth out fear" and "God is perfect love" and those who fear thus living without God's love...) ... even such tiny flickers of compassion for one's enemy (as opposed to Sam, who's let his heart harden against the enemy - except for Ruby, and remember that Dean even, finally, showed a little something for Ruby when he asked where she was - and Sam outright lies that she must be dead - oh, Sam!!!), even such tiny flickers may be an indicator of where Dean is special enough for Angels (and their Boss) to pay attention to. Even though I don't think Angels themselves (in this version at least) really manifest much in the way of compassion.

On the other hand, what do I know - it's all a little too Religions of the Book (Judeo-Christian-Muslim) for my sensibilities.