rhoda_rants: (Default)
[personal profile] rhoda_rants
Yeah, I need a moment. The marathon will continue after I gather the pieces of my heart up off the floor. This is going to be somewhat more disorganized than usual. Bear with me.


Current mood: Overwhelmed by Feels.


Here’s something I just realized: somewhere between deciding to actually watch this properly, then getting hooked to the point of wanting to continue watching more episodes because it’s a lot smarter and more self-aware than I expected, and getting gut-punched by Season 2 in general, and by Episode 17, “Heart,” in particular (it’s about werewolves)--I have become a FAN of Supernatural. Because you know, I was kind of holding it at arm’s length before, mostly because of all the Problematic Issues people have warned me about. However, I was intrigued because so many of my favorite people seem to love it despite its issues, so I wanted to know what was so goddamn special about it.


After the aforementioned gut-punch to the feels, my next question was “Has Mark seen this show?” and yes. As of now, he’s caught up to all eleven seasons. Given that he started when there were only nine, I get the impression he’s hooked. And he had this to say about horror and why we horror-geeks love it:

I’m coming into Supernatural from someone who adores the genre, despite that it is flawed and a hot mess. If you’re a horror fan, I’ve found you generally see more bad movies than good ones, but some of the bad ones end up making for a great time. About fifteen minutes into “Pilot,” I realized that even if this truly is a problematic show as people have said, I am going to have so much fun yelling at bad decisions.” (Source.)

Yup! That’s it in a nutshell. Horror is notorious for a lot of really shitty predictable plots and shittier and more predictable tropes, especially when it comes to female characters, but dammit it is fun to watch. Yelling “Don’t go in there!” and “Look out behind you!” and “The knife, son, get the knife!” is part of the charm. However, like Buffy and The X-Files before it, since we’ve got a Monster of the Week style plot engine for the bulk of the episodes, the common thread has to come from the characters. And the only ones we know are actually going to show up every time are the Winchesters.

Basically, I am slowly learning not to get attached to ANYONE who isn’t Sam or Dean. Rather, I am firmly telling myself that RIGHT NOW because I was so not prepared for the twist this took. The connecting tissue is the emotional journey Sam and Dean are on, and it keeps getting more devastating. I don’t even have the stamina right now to talk about “Born Under a Bad Sign” which fucking TERRIFIED me, and ratcheted my respect for Jared Padalecki’s acting skills basically through the roof. Yeah, that one gave me chills.

Plot summary: Werewolves! There’s a red herring about this girl Madison’s stalker ex-boyfriend who definitely isn’t the wolf because that’d be too easy, and I guessed pretty early that it was actually her. Silver bullets are the weapon of choice, and these particular werewolves can’t remember what they’ve done when they come out of it the next morning. Also apparently their instincts are fine-tuned enough that they will target specific people who pissed them off as humans, and return safely to their beds when they’re done. Keep this in mind because I’m going to complain about it in a minute.


Minor quibble: Werewolves should look like WOLVES.
Not people with extra-sharp teeth and yellow contacts. As you were.


Madison needs watching while the Winchesters sort out her stalker, and Sam beats Dean at rock-paper-scissors so he stays at the apartment, and Dean goes out to research stuff. This was when I figured out A) Madison is going to be Sam’s designated love interest, and B) Sarah from “Provenance” isn’t coming back, is she? Yeah, I shouldn’t have gotten attached. Keep in mind at this point that the Winchesters don’t yet know she’s the werewolf they’re looking for. Keep in mind also that while Sam is clearly crushing on Madison and a bit flustered and clueless as to how to proceed, she picks up on it and reciprocates. Hard. But not like in a pushy way? It’s remarkable how close they get, and how quickly, and how much I bought it despite knowing the lunar cycle only lasts like three days so that’s our timeframe for this episode.

What follows is Sam figuring out that she’s the wolf after all (because Sam is still The Best), figuring out as well that she has no idea about any of this, and then his compassionate instincts kick in. Compassion is Sam’s superpower. I mean, he’s also psychic and telekinetic, but the tendency to seek out the best in everyone, even the monsters, is what sets him apart from other hunters. So he convinces Dean to try and take out the wolf who bit her, figuring that will take the curse away from her, and then they stay up with her all night to make sure she doesn’t turn.

The next morning, Dean departs with a “You kids have fun!” and leaves Sam and Madison to, well. Okay, I could see this coming. But the way it played out was so intense. And that intensity was earned. There’s definitely a different tone to this scene than, say, the one kiss he had with Sarah, where there was a sense that he could maybe come back and see her someday and then carry on with his college degree and rebuild his life the way it was before Dean dragged him back to the hunting world. We are now at a point in Sam’s life where he knows that’s never going to happen. He tells Madison that there’s not really a way to go back to her life before this werewolf thing happened to her, but he’s talking just as much about himself. So there’s a sense that, whatever time they have right now, before Sam and Dean move on to the next monster, is the only time they have. So we get this sexy montage that’s almost desperate, and then oh man, I should have turned it off and pretended the thing ended right there.


Can we pause for a second to appreciate the utter perfection that is Jared Padalecki?
This whole scene is blatant fanservice. God bless it.


BUT NO. We have to find a way to torture Sam EVEN MORE. Because it turns out this particular brand of werewolf only changes when it’s asleep, so staying up with her the previous night didn’t prove anything, and they didn’t fix it. Once Madison learns this, she’s devastated and begs Sam to kill her. Then, angst, MORE ANGST, tears, off-screen gunshot, the end. Cue me screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK!??!?!” and having a semi-coherent meltdown on Twitter. So many details about that final scene are subtly soul-crushing--the way Dean quietly takes the gun away and guides Sam into the next room, the fact that Sam, not Madison, is the one going to pieces here, the last shot that shows us not Madison’s death but Dean’s reaction to it, the fact that she’s still wearing Sam’s shirt--it is exquisitely awful, and dear GOD I was not prepared.

But here’s the other thing: They didn’t have to kill her. I mean, they did, but they really didn’t. You know how I said the werewolf in wolf form only kills people who pissed off the human in the first place? This “monster” is not a mindless killer. The Madison wolf kills her creepy ex-boyfriend, and her creepy boss. That’s it. She attacks Sam, but only after he tied her up and pulled a gun on her. And because Sam is The Best, he then traps her in a closet for the night instead of killing her. And let’s talk about the werewolf who bit her, who just happens to be her creepy Nice Guy across-the-hall neighbor. All his kills are prostitutes, and a police officer who pulled a gun on him. The little we know about this guy suggests to me he’d think of prostitutes as lower life forms and worth killing, because he’s got Nice Guy written all over him. And he was aware enough of his surroundings when he bit Madison to only change her, not kill her. Also there is no evidence that Madison killed anyone after she got out for her post-coital romp. The fact that she woke up in a strange place, rather than going back to bed like usual, is odd, but she at least had the clarity not to attack Sam, who is literally the first person she sees after she changes.

Guys. GUYS. They did NOT have to KILL her. It should have been easy to enough to check the morning papers and see if any other bodies had turned up, because y’know, that’s what the Winchesters do. It may be impossible to reverse the curse, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. I love my vampires, but I’ve always thought werewolves were more inherently sympathetic, and this story is no exception.

Except they did have to kill her, because this story isn’t even about her, but about Sam. He has a demon-thing messing with his head and this season’s arc is about him dealing with the possibility of going Dark one day. So really this story is the mirror image of “Blood Lust,” where we learned that vampires can sometimes choose not to be evil (especially when they’re played by Amber Benson <3). That’s the best-case scenario for Sam, the idea that when the demon-thing in his head wakes up, he’ll have enough awareness and will power not to let it take over. “Heart,” on the other hand, is the worst-case scenario, where he won’t know what’s going on when the demon-thing wakes up and he’ll be forced to kill innocent people without being able to stop it, and Dean will have to kill him. That’s really what’s going on here. They didn’t research more into the possibility of Madison managing her inner wolf because the seasonal arc doesn’t care whether or not she lives--it cares whether or not Dean will have the strength to kill Sam if he has to.


DON'T DO IT, SAMMY, DON'T DO IT!!!!


I am nowhere near the rage-smash point of Problematic Stuff I’ve been told is coming, but I can see the problem already. Any character who walks into this show who isn’t Sam or Dean is a cypher to tell us something about them. They exist to either further the character development of these two brothers, or to further the seasonal arc. The problem is the show keeps bringing in these other compelling characters for the audience to care about, and then either killing them off or leaving them behind forever. There are a handful of recurring ones--Ellen, who is rad as hell; her daughter Jo, who is less so but growing on me; Bobby, who is level-headed and decent; Gordon, who kills things; and a bunch of demons--but even they all have expiration dates, I’m sure. Hell, Dean’s already “died” and come back a couple times, and I have a feeling he’ll get “killed” at least once more before Castiel shows up. (There are a couple spoilers I did know coming in.)

So far, the deaths-in-service-of-Winchester-angst have been spread out more or less evenly across the gender scale. This one hurt. Partly because of the details that suggest it wasn’t necessary except the plot said so; partly because, well, I just like Madison. I already have this head-canon where, since we don’t actually see that shot hit home, maybe he shot her somewhere non-fatal and told her to play dead and RUN, he’ll find her again by the next full moon and figure something out. I decided that could have happened.

But mostly it hurt because I am just that invested in this show now. It hurt me because it hurt Sam, and I imprinted on him very quickly. Lord help me when he has to watch Dean die. I know that’s coming, and it is going to S-U-C-K.

Date: 2016-10-12 07:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothrockrulz.livejournal.com
*MEGA HUGS*

I'm happy dancing over here that you're a fan now. The magic, it has you.

Mark's summary is pretty darn good, I must say. (Talking about the gay angel that shows up partway through, bless him. <3)

Had to look up Born Under a Bad Sign because I suck at remembering titles. AND HOLY CRAP I LOVE THIS EPISODE (except the scariest parts). Soooo creepy but so well done. Actually, rewatching the scene I remember best, it's TWICE as creepy now.

Can we pause for a second to appreciate the utter perfection that is Jared Padalecki?
This whole scene is blatant fanservice. God bless it.


Ohohohoho. Wait, just wait. Gets even better. :D

The problem is the show keeps bringing in these other compelling characters for the audience to care about, and then either killing them off or leaving them behind forever.

Yes. This, a thousand times, this. And yeah, in the beginning it didn't feel like the death toll veered heavily toward girls. But the girls end up stacking up, and it's . . . arg.

Again, all the hugs. I didn't realize this episode would have gotten to you so much, but hey, werewolves. Of course this one will mean a lot. While this episode made me sad, I wasn't quite as attached to Monica, though I wished she could have been spared. (I admit, I was still hoping Jess would be brought back, somehow.)

Date: 2016-10-12 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhoda-rants.livejournal.com
It has me, it does!!

The stuff Mark knew going into it was more or less what I knew--the fandom stuff, and the It's So Problematic stuff. Even if the first season, it's easy to see how it could develop a dedicated fanbase. But THIS SEASON!! Yeah, I'm in it for real now.

Question: Pie? This one has me genuinely stumped.

(I admit, I was still hoping Jess would be brought back, somehow.)
I had that in the back of my head too. Partly because it's Adrianne Palicki. I mean, she's not a low-profile TV actress. That's the other thing--so many of these guest stars are people I have seen before, either on other TV shows or in cult cinema. And then I have to remind myself how long ago this show started, so they maybe weren't as "known" as I think they are, and it doesn't guarantee anything.

Date: 2016-10-13 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothrockrulz.livejournal.com
But THIS SEASON!! Yeah, I'm in it for real now.

Heh, yes! BTW, Season (double checks because after 10 I started getting mixed up) 12 is starting tomorrow night and I CAN'T WAIT. Gonna have to avoid social media until Friday when I see it with mom. Padalecki, Ackles, and the gang live-tweet through episodes as they air, fair warning.

Question: Pie? This one has me genuinely stumped.

A certain character (*cough* Dean *cough*) LOVES pie. So it's a fandom joke. My mom and I made a habit of eating pie when we watch the episodes last season.

And then I have to remind myself how long ago this show started, so they maybe weren't as "known" as I think they are, and it doesn't guarantee anything.

Good point! Though I couldn't even recognize the famous ones, LOL.

Date: 2016-10-13 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhoda-rants.livejournal.com
BTW, Season (double checks because after 10 I started getting mixed up) 12 is starting tomorrow night and I CAN'T WAIT.
I KNOW!!! Gah, I wish I was caught up!!! Please, please let this be renewed for at least one more season so I can get in on the Live Tweet action. I am, however, working on a Thing to post on Glitter n Gore about coming into this as a new fan, and I'll probably post that this weekend.

A certain character (*cough* Dean *cough*) LOVES pie.
LOL--nice! And dude, I just watched "Hollywood Babylon" (the one where they pose as PAs on the set of what is OBVIOUSLY a shitty ripoff of Evil Dead 2) and OMG THIS SHOW!!! I got SO MUCH to squee about as a horror fan, you don't even know. And I'm really liking Dean a LOT more now, if you couldn't tell.

Good point! Though I couldn't even recognize the famous ones, LOL.
Heh--well, as I said, some of them are "famous" only because of their work elsewhere in the horror-verse. It's a small, underground, but very tight-knit fandom community.

Right--to the recap mobile!

Date: 2016-10-16 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothrockrulz.livejournal.com
I KNOW!!! Gah, I wish I was caught up!!! Please, please let this be renewed for at least one more season so I can get in on the Live Tweet action.

Me, too! I'm *fairly* confident it will, since Supernatural's a pretty big cash cow. (Conventions alone, mannnn.) Fingers crossed!

And dude, I just watched "Hollywood Babylon" (the one where they pose as PAs on the set of what is OBVIOUSLY a shitty ripoff of Evil Dead 2) and OMG THIS SHOW!!! I got SO MUCH to squee about as a horror fan, you don't even know. And I'm really liking Dean a LOT more now, if you couldn't tell.

Hee, I'm glad! Supernatural was basically my introduction to horror (and frankly, haven't watched much else), so I don't get all the references . . . but I knew you would! And like I said, Dean grows on you. A LOT. I love both Sam and Dean equally now.

ETA: Oh my goodness your header!!!! :D
Edited Date: 2016-10-16 04:34 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-10-16 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhoda-rants.livejournal.com
I changed my banner on Twitter too! :) I just need some icons now.

I have checked out more than a few convention clips, and come to the following conclusions:

1) Misha Collins is a fucking GIFT to humanity, wow. What did we do to deserve him? (I AM SO READY FOR CASTIEL, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.)

2) This cast/crew is more attuned to fandom culture than pretty much any other I've encountered. I've yet to see another one that really embraces/engages with their fans like this.

3) Which is why it's easy to see why so many people love this show, despite the issues it has with writing and its treatment of women. It's still not super-pervasive right now, but it's climbing, and I'm uncomfortable. But dude, these guys are just good folks, y'know?

4) They're all so enthusiastic and excited to be a part of it still? After twelve years? That's incredible. I mean, there have been long-running shows around before this, but even Buffy started to feel like they were maybe getting tired of being stuck in those characters after awhile. These guys, complete opposite.

Date: 2016-10-17 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothrockrulz.livejournal.com
Hee, if you're looking for really bright or colorful icons, here's the Supernatural tag (http://sweet-lyri.livejournal.com/tag/supernatural) of one of my faves. Hers are GORGEOUS.

1) Misha Collins is a fucking GIFT to humanity, wow. What did we do to deserve him? (I AM SO READY FOR CASTIEL, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.)

Ohhh, he is a balm to the soul. Especially this election season, bless him.

2) This cast/crew is more attuned to fandom culture than pretty much any other I've encountered. I've yet to see another one that really embraces/engages with their fans like this.

Agreed, wholeheartedly. Misha has been running his Random Acts charity for I don't know how many years. More or less the entire cast of memorables regularly goofs off at conventions (cash cow, yeah, but a happy one). I think Dick Speight Jr. (Gabriel) and Rob Benedict (who you'll meet later) are doing/have a Kings of Con show??? (So hard to keep up, sometimes.)

And recently (in the last year, I think???) Jared has been raising awareness and encouraging people to fight mental illness, since he himself suffers from depression. We're a SPN Family, alright! (Doesn't mean there isn't ugly ship wars or asshole fans, because there always is, but for the most part we're all benign crazy, I think.)

About being attuned to fandom culture . . . lemme know when you get the fanfiction-ish episode. Or, first instance of it. I think it's still a season or two away, though. *evil grin*

4) They're all so enthusiastic and excited to be a part of it still? After twelve years? That's incredible.

Oho, yes. I'm sure some things get old, but they have embraced the phenomenon. I think they realize they've touched a lot of lives and are happy for it. Misha is the Beloved King of Trolls and All Things Fandom.

I did tell you Jared Padalecki married one of the actresses from the show, right? And that now Jared and Jensen are both dads, their families hang out together all the time. Jensen's daughter calls Padalecki Uncle Jared. And last year, the Ackles family and Padalecki family Halloween pictures were taken IN FRONT OF THE SAME HOUSE. So they all must've celebrated Halloween together as a big family group and EXCUSE ME, I MUST FLING MYSELF INTO THE SUN, THIS IS TOO PRECIOUS.

(Edited for typos/broken link.)
Edited Date: 2016-10-17 05:11 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-10-17 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhoda-rants.livejournal.com
Oooh, likey the 100 set one! Nice!

Ohhh, he is a balm to the soul. Especially this election season, bless him.
No kidding. He gives me hope for the future. And I just found out he interned at the White House during the first Clinton Administration in the '90s, so A) He definitely knows what he's talking about, which is great, and B) I'm wondering if he knows my cousin, because she also interned at the White House during the Clinton Administration in the '90s. I dunno how small that community is. I imagine it's a huge network with lots of people, but I'm curious now. They are the same age...

Agreed, wholeheartedly. Misha has been running his Random Acts charity for I don't know how many years.
And the GISHWES thing! And the "You Are Not Alone" thing, which once I realized what it was made me so warm and fuzzy inside! And they have their own Heartagram with is different from the HIM Heartagram but still iconic in its own way!!!

Jared has been raising awareness and encouraging people to fight mental illness, since he himself suffers from depression.
I did not know that, and never would've guessed. He comes across as such a goofball at the cons. But y'know, we're kind of good at hiding that, which is why raising awareness and taking the stigma off it is so important.

About being attuned to fandom culture . . . lemme know when you get the fanfiction-ish episode. Or, first instance of it.
What now?? 0_0 Okay, I gotta know which season it is at least. Or will I know it when I see it? No, don't tell me which season. GAH this show/cast is RIDICULOUS!

That said, this might be my favorite convention moment I've come across so far, from Italy earlier this year:



(Relevant moment starts at about 15:15.) When he said, "Would that be Sastiel or Cam?" that was the moment when I just went, "OH GOD, THEY KNOW EVERYTHING!!!"

Jensen's daughter calls Padalecki Uncle Jared.
THAT IS THE MOST PRECIOUS THING!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Profile

rhoda_rants: (Default)
rhoda_rants

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10 111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 07:28 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios