OMG!

I was trying to come up with some witty title, but the only thing running through my mind right now is OMG! OMG! OMG! I just got back from the Supernatural Dallas Con and it was an absolutely AMAZING weekend. I obviously didn’t make entries while I was there. First of all because they kept us up so late and second of all, I was not about to pay for internet access at the hotel. I promise I will tell you all about my weekend of awesomeness, but I just got back home today and I’m too tired right now. Stay tuned though. Until next time, peace, love, and joy to all. 🙂

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These are a few of my favorite things…

Hey y’all! It’s T-3 days until the Supernatural Convention, and I’m on pins and needles. I fangirl pretty regularly, but you can expect a greater than usual amount of fangirling this weekend. Oh, and of course updates about the walking hotness that is Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. I mean seriously. Staring at them is like staring into the sun. Do it too long and your eyes will burn out. But hey, I’m willing to take the risk. Don’t worry. I plan to tell you all about it. 🙂 Anyway, that’s not what I plan to talk about today, but suffice it to say, that’s pretty much all that’s on my mind right now. So much so in fact that instead of putting today’s date as September 17, 2012, I realized at about 3 or so this afternoon that I’d been putting Supernatural 17, 2012 on everything. Distracted much? I’d say so. But can you blame me?

At any rate, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she asked me what my favorite episodes of SPN are. I told her I could give her my top 10 favorite eps in descending order from ‘I absolutely ADORED everything about this ep’ to ‘really liked it a whole lot.’ This is my list:

10. The Born-Again Identity: This episode was one of my favorites from S7. Of all of the storylines presented in S7, I was most interested in Sam’s crumbling mental state; this episode tackled that subject beautifully. The Winchesters pretty much try to just muscle through whatever is going on in their lives, but Sam’s hellucinations presented an obstacle that he couldn’t just power through. It’s a terrible thing to become of prisoner in your own mind, and that’s what happened to Sam. I thought Jared Padalecki did a phenomenal job of conveying the crazy without going over the top. His performance was understated, but you could see the exhaustion, fear, and resignation that he was going to die. Jensen Ackles also did a fantastic job of playing Dean’s desperation to save Sam, shock at finding Cas, and conflict about forgiving Cas. I really loved pretty much everything about this ep.

9. The Real Ghostbusters: SPN pulls off meta in a way that I have never seen another show be able to do. So, bravo to SPN for that. But this is one of my favorites also because Sam and Dean’s reaction to the SPN convention amuses me a great deal. I would imagine it would be off-putting for people to have read all about your life and then basically show up dressed as your worst nightmares. I always enjoy when Sam and Dean are put in uncomfortable situations because comedy always ensues. I also love this ep because I love Chuck. Rob Benedict is one of my favorite guest stars, and he’s hilarious here.

8. Two Minutes to Midnight: This is on the list because the writing is just top notch. The conversation between Dean and Death in the pizzeria alone is worth the price of admission. Julian Richings is perfection in the role. And, he had one of the most awesome entrances known to man. I mean, rollin’ up in a classic car (in slow motion no less) with Jen Titus’ ‘O Death’ playing. C’mon. That’s just awesome.

7. The End: Double dose of Jensen Ackles. Need I say more?

6. Mystery Spot: I like this one not only because Jensen Ackles’ comedy chops are so awesome, but also because it gave us a glimpse of a darker Sam. There were little bits of dark Sam throughout S2 and S3, but after Dean died permanently, we got a preview of S4 Sam. He was completely closed off, methodical, and downright scary. I think watching that episode was the first time I realized just how much Sam and Dean need each other. They balance each other out. I also tend to like the SPN episodes that start out kind of light and then take a darker turn.

5. Swan Song: This one makes me cry every single time. It is one of the best hours of tv SPN has ever done. It is everything I love about this show.

4. Changing Channels: Much like Mystery Spot, I like this one because it starts off fairly light, then turns very serious. The reveal of the Trickster as the archangel Gabriel was something I did NOT see coming and I love when SPN surprises me like that. I also think the herpes commercial is hilarious. As is the CSI bit. And since I’m old enough to remember the original Knight Rider (dang, I’m old!) I thoroughly enjoyed the Impala being turned into KITT. Or in this case, SAM.

3. Point of No Return: This episode was a turning point; not just for the characters but for S5 as a whole. This one is toward the top of the list because all of the relationships get tested here. I think SPN works best when it focuses on relationships, and each of the characters had to confront Dean here. In many ways, Dean is the rock everyone leans on. They depend on him to make the right choice. They depend on him to save them. They depend on his loyalty to and love for his family. So when Dean had a moment of weakness, all of the characters felt let down and they approached that, and Dean, in different ways. This episode was one of the first times we saw Cas lose his temper. He gave up everything for Dean, and he felt like Dean was just throwing it all away to take the easy way out. I wanted Dean to get some sense slapped into him, but Cas beating the holy hell out of him was not exactly what I had in mind. But I think Sam’s approach revealed 5 seasons worth of character growth. Sam wanted to stop Dean from making a bad choice, but in the end, Sam stepped back and let Dean choose for himself. He let Dean know that he loved him and had faith in him, but he didn’t make Dean do anything. He let Dean come to the right decision all on his own. I love it. I also love Dean killing Zachariah. Aside from the fact that it was beautifully shot (which it was. Kudos Phil Sgriccia), I was really sick of Zachariah and ready for him to go. Loved it.

2. On the Head of a Pin: This one has so much awesome in it. I like this one primarily because of the conflict going on with Dean. On the one hand, Dean knows they need to get this information. He knows how high the stakes are, and he knows the consequences of failure. But on the other hand, Dean is a very black and white character. Either you’re a monster or you’re human. I think Dean feels like he became a monster in Hell, and he’s spent his life trying to make up for it. Therefore, having to bring that monster back out was something he struggled with and something he (understandably) wanted to avoid. However, during those torture scenes I always got the feeling Alastair was still the one doing the torturing. This episode also revealed that Ruby was giving Sam demon blood. I remember being totally shocked the first time I saw it. I was on Ruby’s side and thinking that maybe she really was just trying to help…until this episode. After the reveal of what she and Sam were doing, I wasn’t on her side anymore. But this whole episode was just top notch storytelling.

1. What is and What Should Never Be: This is the episode that made me fall in love with SPN and for that reason it holds a very special place in my heart. It was the second episode of SPN that I ever saw, and it started me on the journey toward total fangirl. This also happens to be a fantastically written episode. It reveals so much about Dean. Dean puts on a brave face, but underneath everything he’s just a boy who wanted a mother. He of course wanted things for himself, but mostly he wanted his mother alive and Sammy safe and happy. But it says a great deal about his character that he willingly gave all that up to return to a world where he had lost almost everyone he loved for the sake of thousands of people he didn’t know. In case you can’t tell, I fell in love with Dean Winchester.

Well, folks. Those are my favorites. There are so many more episodes that I really love too, but these are my top ten. Honorable mention goes to: Frontierland, Meet the New Boss, Faith, Abandon All Hope, When the Levee Breaks, and Yellow Fever. I’m interested to hear what your favorite eps are and why. Until next time, peace, love, and joy to all. 🙂

My Hopes for Season 8

Hey y’all! I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I will be attending the Salute to Supernatural Convention in Dallas in two weeks. I am ridiculously excited about it for so many reasons. The first is of course getting to chat with J2, Misha, and the bunch. But also, I’m going to get to see some members of my Supernatural family that I haven’t seen in a while. Really looking forward to it. 🙂 As I’ve been thinking about what I want to ask the Boys if I get the opportunity, I started thinking about my hopes for season 8. Here they are in no particular order:

1. I hope Dean’s Purgatory storyline is handled well. We all know that Jensen Ackles is a phenomenal actor and if he’s given good material he will make it great. And let’s be honest, even if he’s given not so good material he still makes it good. But I’m hoping that his Purgatory story is handled in greater detail than his Hell experience was handled. I think Jensen did a great job throughout the course of S4 showing, in little ways, how Hell was affecting Dean. His body language was different, he drank a whole lot more than normal (for him anyway), and the weight of what he’d done and what was done to him started showing. But the show actually only really addressed it directly twice; once in Wishful Thinking when Sam tried to get Dean to talk to him and then once in Heaven and Hell when Dean finally broke down and told Sam what happened in Hell. And just as an aside, Jensen TOTALLY knocked that scene out of the park. It makes me tear up every time I watch it. But other than that, the audience had to fill in the blanks. On the one hand, that works because my imagination of being tortured in Hell can run in all kinds of directions. And as long as SPN doesn’t show me any differently, I can let my mind believe all of those things happened to Dean. But on the other hand, I need the show to realize that Dean’s Hell experience is important in shaping who he is and that should be explored more thoroughly. As far as Dean’s Purgatory experience, I want the show to actually show me what Dean had to go through there. I want to see him having to fight for his life. I want to see him find the fire in his gut that he been all but gone for the last 2 seasons. I want to see what happened between Dean and Cas in Purgatory. I want to see Dean come face to face with some of the monsters he’s put down over the years. I want to see how all of that is going to change him after he gets out. I want to know what he thinks about it. How he feels about it. I want to see how that experience is going to shape the brothers’ relationship. Basically, I want this part of the story to flesh out Dean’s character in a way that we haven’t seen pretty much since S5.

2. Speaking of Cas, I hope that Dean and Cas are able to repair their relationship. One of the aspects I’ve enjoyed the most about SPN over the last few seasons is watching the evolution of Dean and Cas’ relationship. They have a great many things in common, and I was excited for Dean to get someone besides Sam that he could lean on and trust. One of the realities of being a hunter is that it tends to be a pretty solitary life. If you have a partner, they’re pretty much the only person if your life. Sure you meet people on the job, but you never get to stay. In the beginning, Sam had people other than Dean in his life because he (Sam) had walked away from hunting to go to school. For a time he had sustained friendships and of course a serious romantic relationship with Jessica. Of course, as he got back into the hunting life, he had to let those relationships go. But for a time, he had them. Dean has never really had anyone outside of Sam…until Cas. In Cas Dean found a kindred spirit in a manner of speaking. No, Cas isn’t human. But he and Dean both know what it is to follow orders and be a good soldier/son. They know what it is to feel the massive disappointment that results when your father lets you down. They know what it means to be confront with the choice to either continue following orders or follow your gut and do what feels right. They know what it is to suffer the consequences of making that decision. So for me, their friendship and subsequent brotherhood was inevitable. I was really kind of disappointed when TPTB decided to make Cas the Big Bad of S6, but I think it solidified Cas’ position as the newest Winchester. Of course, Cas lied to Dean and broke his heart in ways that few others can, but I think it it had just been that, Dean would’ve been able to forgive Cas relatively quickly. However, Cas did something much worse than that. He committed the greatest of all sins–he hurt Sam. For Dean, there’s really nothing worse than that. It was true to character for Dean to refuse to forgive Cas quickly. I think Dean does want to forgive Cas, but he’s going to need some time. And he’s going to need Cas to not be nuts. He needs to be able to talk to Cas about this, and he can’t do that while Cas is crazy. I’m interested to see how Purgatory helps, or hinders, the process for these two characters.

3. I hope the Boys’ relationship stays on solid footing. SPN works best when the focus of the story is Sam and Dean’s relationship. S4 is one of my favorites because even though a lot happened in that season, the real focus of the season was the crumbling relationship between Sam and Dean. The lying and omissions created a gulf between them that filled up with all of the things they needed to say, but wouldn’t. All of that suspicion, mistrust, disappointment, and anger culminated in Sam letting Lucifer out of the box. Well, that, and few other things that were out of their control. The point is, S4 and S5 couldn’t have happened without Sam and Dean. It wasn’t just that their relationship was central to the plot, THEY were central to the plot. S6 wasn’t that way. The brother relationship wasn’t central at all. Partly because we spent the first half of the season without Sam and partly because the main arcs of the season were happening completely independently of Sam and Dean’s journey. Sam and Dean could’ve been absent for the entirety of S6 and it wouldn’t have mattered plot wise. S7 did a much better job with the brother relationship (excluding that drummed up drama over the Amy killing) and S7 felt more like the SPN I know and love. I’m hoping that the writers remember how important it is for the heart of the show to be Sam and Dean’s relationship. I hope we don’t lose 7 years worth of character growth too. Jeremy Carver has always done a great job with the brothers’ relationship, and I have faith he’s going to do a good job this time around too. That’s not to say that I want Sam and Dean’s relationship to be the ONLY relationship we focus on. That would get really old really fast. I just think it needs to be the heart of the season.  Sam and Dean need to matter to the overall season arc.

4. I hope we get to repopulate the Winchester universe. One of my major complaints about the last few seasons (and I’ve mentioned this before) is how desolate the Winchester universe has become. TPTB seem to keep trying to remind us that hunting is dangerous, so they keep killing everyone. Seven seasons in, I’m pretty sure we’re all clear that hunting is dangerous. We get it. You don’t need to keep killing everyone the Winchesters meet to drive home that point. Colorful, recurring, supporting characters are necessary to a good story. Take Bobby for example. In addition to adding layers to Sam and Dean, Bobby added a great deal to the SPN universe as a whole. We got to spend time with him. We got to know him. We got to care about him. We got to see what he brought to the table. He was a fully realized character. Why? Because he didn’t get killed off after an episode or two. Sam and Dean need more ties to the world. They need more people that they care about. They need to have some investment in the world other than trying to save it simply because they don’t feel like they can do anything else. Supporting characters provide that and they also help to reveal more about the heroes. I want more Felicia Day and DJ Qualls. I want more regular, recurring guest stars that are going to add to the universe.

Well, that’s pretty much it. I, of course, always hope that we’ll get great writing and some good laughs thrown in. But the 4 things I mentioned above are the primary things I hoping for this season. What about you? What are your hopes for S8? I’m interested to hear some other ideas. That’s all for now friends. I’ll try to post and/or tweet things from the SPN Con in Dallas in two weeks too. So stay tuned for that. Until next time, peace, love, and joy to all. 🙂