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SPN 6.16

 Other than the killing off of interesting characters, I liked this episode.  Here's what worked for me:

  • The atmosphere and lighting at the cannery
  • The cagelike elevator
  • Sam and Dean taking turns looking out for each other.  Sam really does have Dean's back now.
  • The boys listening to Bobby like he's an authority
  • More detail on the Bobby and Rufus backstory
  • Dean's general badassery (badassedness?  badassitude?)
  • Good suspense
  • Dean's face confronting Samuel and when he finds out he killed Gwen

The Campbells


I'm ok with the Campbell storyline being over.  They were fine for introducing the whole alpha and purgatory storylines.  Samuel had a lot of exposition on Eve in this episode.  I didn't like Gwen Campbell at all but I had a certain amount of sympathy for her being the only woman hunter in a big group of alpha males.  I was jolted to see Dean shoot her point blank.  I didn't see that coming.  In the Agatha Christie version of this story, the victims are killed off with the least culpable killed first.  That kind of fits Gwen pretty well.  I wouldn't have stuck with Grandpa after learning about Crowley though.  Seemed like she was mostly guilty of poor judgement. The Campbells underestimated Dean and saw him when he was trying not to be in hunter mode.  Dean backs up threats and promises with action and it's not a good idea to write him off as a non-threat.  In the brief time they had together in this segment, Grandpa probably had some misconceptions about Dean corrected.  He got an earful, that's for sure.  (Rolls eyes)

The Monster

Creepy ear thing with gooey yucky junk.  Just nasty.  Jim Beaver did a good job acting out possessed Bobby.  I liked the voice change.  We just need to let Dean know that herpetology is the study of reptiles, not bugs.  With Dean using the shocks on Bobby and Sam at one point stopping him, there was a brief flash of Dean torturing in hell.

Eve

I don't know if she's supposed to reflect Adam's Eve but the show has Adam stuck in Hell and Eve wreaking havoc.  The name Eve means "living one" or "source of life"  so her name is probably accurate for this situation.   With her general nastiness, I wonder why she got the murdered mother white nightgown instead of the black cocktail dress of evil.  Maybe just because she's a mother.

Bobby and Rufus

NO!  Rufus, dead?  What?  And here went another cool character killed off and gone.  It's remarkable that Bobby is still here. How old are Bobby and Rufus and when did they start hunting together?  Depending on the time period and where they were in the US geographically, race relations could have had an interesting impact on how they hunted.  I really liked their banter and Rufus's willingness to step in and help Bobby get out of his deal with Crowley even though there was obviously a break in their friendship.  What can I say?  I have a fondness for grumpy old guys.  If Dean lives long enough to get old, he'll be like that.  Sam will be the sweet old guy down the street who's always out working in his garden or reading the paper on the porch.

Sam

He was the only one who was himself when he killed someone and he killed Samuel who was possessed (technically a monster).  Dean and Bobby both killed someone I very much doubt they would have killed if not for the earworm possession. But I think Sam killing Samuel intentionally was certainly a possibility even without this setup.  If he hadn't, Dean probably would have eventually.  Nice to be able to see Sam not being able to watch Bobby in pain as opposed to trying to kill Bobby when he had no soul.  

Family

I liked Bobby saying that somebody had to step in and be a father to Sam and Dean and acting like he and the boys pretty much accepted him in that role.  It's a reversal in a way of Dean saying "you're not my father" in Point of No Return.  I'm liking all the exploration of family that we are getting this season.  There is more to family than a blood tie and blind loyalty to that tie doesn't get you too far and might get you killed.

Murder and Guns

Hunters are so used to using lethal force that shooting to kill is second nature and they always seem to have easy access to a deadly weapon.  The death of people is less important than getting rid of the "thing".  Sam and Dean have been dead so many times that I think they are desensitized to death being final for most everyone else.  Hunters are a suspicious crowd and always seem to be carrying a backup weapon of some sort.  Dudes, if you're turning in weapons, a pat down is probably in order.  With these guys, it probably still wouldn't take care of the problem.  When Dean says that he's likely to have his guts torn out by something, I think it's more likely that he'll die by being shot or stabbed.  It echoes back to Balthazar telling Cas that he has his sword now and to try not to die by it.   The hunting life reminds me of gang membership.  Hard to stay in the life and survive.

Forgiveness

The theme of forgiveness runs throughout SPN.  Without forgiveness, revenge and vengeance are common actions taken next. Most of these hunters got into the life because they are seeking to avenge a loved one or at least would have a reason to want to.  We've seen graphically with Sam that seeking revenge often leads to a much darker place.  Revenge feels good and may help you feel like you have power in your life again but there is the real chance of it eclipsing everything else and damaging you and the other people you care for.  John ended up obsessed with the YED to the detriment of his children although he was able to save others along the way.  (Doesn't mean I didn't like to watch Sam finish off Alastair and Brady.)

We've seen a lot of forgiveness given and denied during the course of the last 5 1/2 seasons.  Vengeful spirits can't forgive and let go.   Who knows what kind of friendship Rufus and Bobby could have had if there had been forgiveness.  Maybe neither would have been so alone.  In addition to Bobby looking for forgiveness, we've had Sam and Lucky this season asking for it directly and both were denied.  Anna came right out and told Dean she forgave him for planning to turn her over to the angels. She also tried to help him get beyond what he did in hell.  Bobby appears to have forgiven Sam for trying to kill him while souless.

Dean's blanket forgiveness at the end of 6.16 appears to be directed at Sam and Bobby.  He didn't include Grandpa in that.  He's pretty willing to forgive actions toward himself by the people he loves but I don't think he could forgive actions taken against the people he loves so easily.  I don't think he forgives himself for much of anything either. 


 

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