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9.03 - New director to SPN for this one

This recap is mostly on the filming of the episode and a couple of things that were in the background on the sets and not much at all on the writing or the plot.  I didn't hate this episode but I had a really difficult time watching it.  I can't stand watching torture.  That seemed to be a big deal last season with Torn and Frayed and A Little Slice of Kevin.  The writing team of Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming wrote both Slice of Kevin and this one.  I have a really hard time remaining even-handed with this team.   They also wrote Slice Girls which I found disturbing for all kinds of reasons.  The main reason I struggle with this duo though is that they wrote Man's Best Friend with Benefits (8.15).  I can't even be rational about that episode and this is the only place I'm going to refer to it by name in a recap.  I was so irritated about it that in my last recap I blamed it on poor Andrew Dabb, who is only guilty of Season 7: You Know What I'm Talking About.  Sometimes it helps that it takes so long to write a recap so I can just calm down and get a grip.

The episode was directed by Kevin Hooks.  He's been directing since 1983 but this is his first SPN directing experience.  He's directed for a lot of different shows including 24, Bones, Prison Break and St. Elsewhere. I liked a couple of things he did, particularly the way he shot Sam being thrown into the closet.







One of the other things he did was start many of the scenes by focusing on an object in the scene and then moving out from there to include the whole scene.  The episode opened with a woman in white (Mary) in a rose garden.



Our first shot of Dean in the bunker.



A scene change to the boys looking for Cas.



When we first meet Bartholomew, he has a glass ball in his hand.



Cas's arrival on the street to get his tattoo.



Scene change to Cas crossing the street.  The ambulance probably isn't the sign of anything good going to happen.  There were sirens all through this part.



The church right before Cas comes in.  There were a lot of shots that focused on angel statues and glass windows.





A scene change to Cas searching for food.



Scene change to Dean getting pie.  It's never a good thing when Dean actually gets to eat the pie.  It's a nice contrast with hungry Cas.



There is a focus on candles and fruit as Cas and April get to her place.  Nice warning orange.



Scene change to them in bed.  Now the orange candles are lit.



Another scene change to the next morning and the fruit, maybe blood oranges or pink grapefruit, is sliced up.  Not good, not good.



Worse and worse.



Scene change to impending disaster.



Scene change to Sam and Dean getting back to the bunker.



We also got this, which was perfect.



There were some interesting transitions also.  The woman in the church tells Cas, "Someone is listening."  He's left with a lot of red light.



It transitions to Bartholomew saying that they can't find Cas because he's warded himself.  Someone's listening or trying to anyhow.



There is a transition from Cas and April in bed...



to the reaper about to be tortured by Sam and Dean.  Is there a vessel involved here or is this just a reaper looking like a person?



Augh, Dean, such cold satisfaction.  Then Dean kills the reaper and there is a great light.



That transitions back to the candles at April's.



We got a couple of shots of the Impala heading into Michigan.  One into farm country.



And into Detroit…dun dun dun….and yup, looks like they got the skyline of Detroit in there.  The tall building on the left is the former Renaissance Center, now GM world headquarters.  It's been a long time since I've been there.  It had a hotel in the center of it and you could take a glass elevator up the outside of it to a revolving restaurant up on the top.  It's a nice view of the Detroit River at night.  Windsor, Ontario, Canada is right across the river.  Unfortunately the city has a lot of abandoned property like the red brick building in the foreground.



I also liked how Mr. Hooks showed Cas's sense of everything being either overwhelmingly large or overly fascinating in it's immediacy.





Cas had a huge part in this episode and I'm grateful that although we got bathroom humor, it was mixed in with other things and they didn't take it as far as they could have.  I like that even with everything he's been through, he still cares about people, both individually and generally. Misha did a good job with this Cas.  I really felt for him during parts of this episode in ways that I don't usually.  I understand hungry, wet and cold in a way that I can't understand having angelic grace or on-board Leviathan. We find out that Cas has been living in a homeless shelter discovering what it means to be human.  I'm just going to handwave that he's been observing humanity for millennia from a distance and Winchesters up close for the last 4 or 5 years and go with toothpaste being a new experience for him.  He probably never tasted it before, so that's new.





Red hoodies are all the rage.  Kevin from 8.23 with the same basic color scheme.





I like how the light focuses on Cas as he appears on the sidewalk.





There is so much red up and down this street.



The scene with Cas on the bus was very creepy.  Little bits of green.



Did the pharmacist angel appear out of nowhere or did we just not see him arrive?  I didn't think angels could teleport without wings.



Cool shot down an endless empty tunnel.



The angel was surprised that Cas is human.  Does that mean that the rest of the angels didn't know?



For all that Cas is baffled by his humanity, he's still a competent soldier.



A lot of the potential vessels have green or blue.



The pill bottles make a lovely orange wall behind the pharmacist.



The Rev. Buddy Boyle has a lot of green.  He's also got a statue of Cupid front and center behind his desk.  Bartholomew is in the old familiar dark suit that the angels used to wear.



This hapless woman shows up in a brownish yellow.  I'm wondering if that's the color this season for women possessed by something and doomed because of it.



When we first see April, she's in this color too.



Hael was in a similar shade.



I don't know what to make of this.  (Misha's instagram)



Then we get the green covered in gore.  I suspect there will be a lot more of that before the season is over.



The gore largely misses Bartholomew because of some weird angelic force field effect.  At some point, he says he'll never understand these people (humans).  Maybe that will be an advantage to humans later.  He reminds me a lot of the demon, Brady (and Kevin Bacon).



Interesting windows for the angels to enter through.  Crosses, a dove and a heart that looks a lot like Sacred Heart imagery, a heart pierced with swords.



With all the gold frames, it reminds me of a darker version of the Beautiful Room where the angels kept Dean away from Sam in S4.  I like how they shot this from below and quite a ways back.  I think there is a portrait of Rev. Buddy on the wall.



The homeless camp under the bridge has a great face in the graffiti.  It's being visited by Merlin, Gandalf or Dumbledore.



Later, outside the diner, there is a crucifix marked on the wall.



It's there when Cas is sitting in the rain that night.  There's a lot of red and yellow in that doorway where trouble is going to come for Cas.



The church is awash in pictures of suffering.  When Cas comes in, there is a stained glass window with Jesus's agony in the garden.



Plenty of angels.



Angels, crucifix, Mary, and St. Anthony of Padua, usually pictured in Franciscan robes holding infant Jesus, the patron saint of finding things or lost people.

Tony, Tony, look around.
Something's lost and can't be found.




St. Joseph in the opposite corner.



Stations of the Cross on the walls with Jesus on his way to crucifixtion.



The woman praying is in green.  I think the portrait over Cas's head must be Mary as she's in all white.



A red winged angel over a portrait of St. Roch.  He was said to have been able to cure the plague.



He eventually got the plague and headed off to the woods to die by himself but was surprised by the local Count's hunting dog, who brought him food and licked his wounds until they healed.  He's usually pictured showing a plague scar on his leg and accompanied by a bread-bearing dog.  He's the patron saint of dogs, among other things.



Who knows if any of that last bit means anything or not or was just coincidence because of wherever they shot this.  Might as well add the rest of the religious trivia.  Bartholomew means "son of furrows" and was one of the 12 Apostles (as well as Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts - a Welsh pirate, Bart Simpson, Bartholomew "Bobby" Boriello - a New York mobster, and Bartholomew Cubbins of the 500 hats).  Does the gore repelling force field work on oobleck?



I like how the reaper keeps showing up so you know he's following the Winchesters.  This reaper's in black like Tessa wore.  I wonder when the reapers started to go rogue.  Maybe when the apocalypse got derailed and everybody got a shot at free will.  Does Death know or care?







Come on, you're a reaper, you know what lurks in dark alleys.



That's right, bad news.



I'm thinking there's a parallel with this.



April the reaper goes through an interesting color progression.  Yellow when we first meet her and she doesn't appear to be a threat.  Then blue while she's taking care of Cas.  She's in so much shadow here.



Then to red when she's torturing Cas.



Since we're talking clothes colors, here's Sam, again in green and sort of purple.



And loud pink?



And all gray for Sam, no red or blue tie like the guys usually have.  I'm going to be really extra creeped out when he shows up dressed like Bartholomew.



He's looking good though.





Well, mostly….



Might as well finish off with the religious trivia from earlier with Ezekiel which means "God strengthens".  He's an Old Testament prophet who spent his time predicting the destruction of Jerusalem and then its restoration to glory.  He had visions that are recorded in the Book of Ezekiel including imagery that made it into SPN - the description of an angel having four heads, one of which is a lion.  The visions also included wheels of fire in the sky and a whole passage where Ezekiel sees a valley full of dry bones that are brought back to life.  (Them bones, them bones, them dry bones, now hear the word of the Lord.)  I wonder what that means for our Ezekiel.  He did bring Cas back.  Jared is making it really easy at this point to see who's driving the bus at any given moment but I have to wonder what Zeke's messing with while he's in there.



Sam in blue.



And Zeke.



I like how the view of Sam and Dean talking with Cas is unobtructed.



As opposed to later when Zeke has just had his say with Dean.  Dean is getting more trapped in this mess of his own creation the longer this goes on.  Sam is obscured by darkness.



And then Dean sent Cas packing, to the horror of Destiel fans everywhere.  Hey, with a side order of a shoulder shrug and hands in the air, it's SPN.  Nobody gets a happy ending (especially before the mid-season hiatus) and Dean always picks Sam.  This show is a tragedy on a road trip in a black Impala with guns and salt.

Caps from homeofthenutty and screencapped.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
justayooper
Nov. 12th, 2013 02:08 am (UTC)
This was the first episode I watched from the stack I'm accumulating on my DVR because it seems I'm never home before 9:00 pm anymore during the week (thanks job and yes I am doing this at work, shh). Anyways, my favorite part was actually the church scene, where the woman was talking with Cas about faith. For some reason, it made me feel really bad for the Winchesters and Cas, who know the truth and that the only way to fix something is to do it themselves. For them, there is no God to rely on to actually fix things. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and it made me feel so sad for them. I don't know why but it struck home with me.
Great recap! I never would notice all the detail you point out if it, well, wasn't pointed out to me. I am unobservant that way, unfortunately.
Yes, your description of SPN is spot-on and although I love the bunker, I miss the road trip feelings of the early years.
galwithglasses
Nov. 12th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
Out here, the eps air at 8:00 and there are always curious little eyes around that probably aren't quite old enough to watch so I get to watch sometime on Wednesdays. That was an interesting scene with Cas and the woman in the church. It was almost like the faith vs. science debate being played out through SPN theology. I'm glad this universe isn't like the SPN one….I like the mystery of it all (and no wendigos in my neighborhood is a plus).
runedgirl
Nov. 12th, 2013 04:30 am (UTC)
I always get so much out of the episode that I (unfortunately) missed when I read your recaps - thanks!!
galwithglasses
Nov. 12th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it….
bowtrunckle
Nov. 12th, 2013 07:36 am (UTC)
Lots of fun details and cool facts, thanks!

I also liked how Mr. Hooks showed Cas's sense of everything being either overwhelmingly large or overly fascinating in it's immediacy.

I loved this too. That shot really conveyed a lot.

This hapless woman shows up in a brownish yellow. I'm wondering if that's the color this season for women possessed by something and doomed because of it.

O.O


I don't know what to make of this. (Misha's instagram)

I died laughing when I first saw this. I wonder if they loaned it out or if he lifted it (or if he bought it at the last SPN wardrobe sale).

I'm going to be really extra creeped out when he shows up dressed like Bartholomew.

For sure. Poor Sam, first the Lucifer suit.... ;)
galwithglasses
Nov. 12th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
I think there was a meta somebody wrote about how the yellow waitress dress is always bad news in SPN. Maybe it was just a comment over on spnematography at some point. I didn't realize that's what April was wearing until a lot later. I'm a couple eps back looking at the caps so I'll have to see if anyone else shows up in that color in the next couple.

The Misha picture has probably been out for a while but it just showed up on my tumblr and I laughed extra because of the recap.
kazluvsbooks
Nov. 12th, 2013 11:51 am (UTC)
I love you and i love your recaps!!
((hugs you both))
galwithglasses
Nov. 12th, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC)
I love you and your comments…
((hugs back))
caranfindel
Nov. 12th, 2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
That fruit... orange on the outside, blood red on the inside. It's SO ominous!

Your attention to detail is always astonishing. Do you get all of this on the first watch, or does it take more than one?
galwithglasses
Nov. 12th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
Every now and then something will jump out during the first watch but mostly it's going back and looking at caps from the episode. The little details like the art are almost impossible to pick up when the film is rolling. I look at a lot of things differently now like advertising since I started doing these. Gotta keep the old brain working somehow. 8-)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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