+ I enjoyed Sheriff Mills' existence, but only if it means we get more of her later! I love that she's still out there doin' her thang, I would read 500 fics of the Winchesters calling her and parsing out that whole blind date thing, and "Don't bother getting the door for me" was the very best line of the entire episode. <3
+ I also really appreciated the episode's approach to both abstinence and the church. My interest in sex is very limited, so television's 18-49 sophomoric preoccupation with chastity and STDs has also never been interesting to me, but I'm also very against Abstinence Only sex ed in schools, and I'm not a theist, so the church? Who cares? XP But at the same time I think it's also very easy to make fun of these things, and I think that the Winchesters themselves have no real reason to be above making fun of these things (and they do). So to have a chastity counselor whose line is about getting her clients educated about abstinence (as opposed to indoctrinated) was great. And Sheriff Mills' relationship to her Church felt much the same to me, because lolll SPN has not been shy about dragging theology through the mud now has it. XD I GUESS. LONG STORY SHORT, between Sheriff Mills and Mrs. Mike from 9x03, I've enjoyed the additional representation of believing Christians, and at the mytharc level, I love what that puts into play in terms of just the general notions of faith, and trust, and...you know. Things that other people are capable of, to varying degrees of success, and things that the Winchesters have never even heard of.
+ Generally I give everything the benefit of the doubt, but even I think that signing their names as Sam and Dean Winchester was probably a writing error. XP On the other hand, now I really want fic about that point where using your real name is actually less likely to raise red flags than using any alias you could think up. Because if there's one place the wanted-by-the-FBI and-also-by-angels-probably and-maybe-by-Abaddon-who-knows Winchesters aren't, it's joining a church in some random town in South Dakota.
(Sam Winchester. Your name means nothing here on Earth. But in Heaven, you're a legend. And in Hell, you could be King.)
+ I didn't think that using the Roman god as reveal was particularly effective here, because come on now, we did that with Veritas already, and I will be FOREVER biased in favor of Veritas at all times, because every inch of 6x06 is my favorite of all favorite favorites.
BUT I did like Dean's reaction. And then Ezekiel's intervention was kind of lukewarm, so I wasn't big on that. XD But the initial reaction, I liked.
+ BUT MOSTLY SAM. I JUST REALLY LIKED ALL OF THE SAM. AND SAM THINKING. AND THE WAY THE CAMERA LINGERED ON SAM WHEN THEY WERE SIGNING THEIR STUPID CHASTITY VOWS AND THE LADY SAID "PURIFICATION." Because I felt like the cerebro-theistic-whatever network of undercurrents at play throughout the episode (and back to S8) were well wended. Sam's sad worried tag scene monologue. ;____; <3
+ I got what they were going for a parallel to that with Dean and the idea of clean slating it, but ehhh they reached, they closed on air, we pet them on the head and said nice try, come back next week.
+ Search the Web has got to be the best search engine of all time, if it can get you info on how to kill Roman gods! Not that SPN world's internet isn't usually pretty helpful on that count, but I feel like one time, I would not be opposed to just having them establish that the powers of a god are also their weakness. (In keeping with the tradition of SPN gods drawing power from sacrifices, but also drawing attention to themselves because of that need.) Like one day, Sam could say, oh hey. Vesta feeds on the blood of virgins and her hearth is fueled by oak, because it's the wood that burns hottest. I bet if we dipped an oak branch in virgin blood, that'd do the trick!
+ If E came in tablet form, like other kinds of E, I'd make sure to feed Sam one five times more often. Because I want to RIDE THAT STORYLINE HARD and forget putting it away wet, I just don't want to put it away, period! XP /mixing metaphors
+ Positive Takeaways: SAM.
+ Negative Takeaways: I see you're playing it safe, Jenny Klein. I wish you wouldn't! But to be fair, if you've ever watched any pro poker... No, I'm not going to go there. Not two weeks in a row. Carry on!
+ But wait, actually though, I do kind of like this lull. I'm not sure why, since I'm not really a lull person, but I actually do kind of enjoy it. I think it's likely that, as zubeneschamali was saying last week, it's a calm before a storm. Will there be a storm? Maaaaybe. Would I enjoy that? YES VERY MUCH. Do I think it actually needs to happen? You know, I honestly could't say. And I can't decide if the questionable presence of a "storm" in S5, S6, S7, and S8 makes catastrophic fallout in S9 absolutely necessary, or demonstrates that it needn't be. Because this is the show where
1. they never really found their father (meeting up with John in S1 was through no actual sleuthing effort on the Winchesters' parts, and arguably they are still trying to "locate" him emotionally)
2. Sam was never quite the King of Hell
3. Dean didn't actually get out of his Deal (nor did he actually spend eternity in Hell)
4. they didn't actually stop the seals from breaking
5. it didn't actually happen in Detroit
6. Eve was totally nbd (though I suppose a case could be made otherwise for Godstiel)
7. [I don't actually remember what they were trying to do in S7 besides not get eaten by Leviathans, so let's placeholder that]
8. and they didn't actually seal Hell--or Heaven.
And yeah, you can take the boring route and be like, well, if any of those things really HAD happened, then they wouldn't have been able to have a subsequent season! But...yeaaaah they probably could have. Certainly, Sam and Dean could have actively tracked John down in S1 without ruining opportunities for an S2, at the very least.
Hell, I started watching SPN, I assumed 5x22 would end the series. I didn't know what on earth they would do with an S6. Clearly it did not end the series! And thank heavens, because late season SPN is my jam; SPN means so much more, and has done so much more, than it would have had it ended in 2010.
Long story short, I think this whole "is this a fight? are we in a fight?" deal with S9 could go either way, and I think I'd be equally intrigued. It may be more likely, and more beneficial, if there is in fact no "storm"--because if there is no storm, then fandom will certainly write one. If there IS a storm, fandom probably wouldn't be as keen on writing it out. XP So we get more bang for our buck if Nothing Happens, honestly.
+ When I said "I have nothing to say" I originally meant it, I swear.
Okay, no, I have to. I know I brought up pro poker last week too, but for real this time. If you've ever watched any pro poker, I 90% of the game is folding before the flop. 90% of the game is immediately deciding you're not going to play your cards. If you get good enough at poker, you discover that the winning way to play poker--is not to play poker!
Food for thought?
More importantly, are we on winter Hellatus after next week? I know they gave us the wonder that was 9x03, but I'm not sure how I feel about a mid-season finale being left to Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming. XD Actually, I know exactly how I feel--nervous! I just miss having Sera do them, okayyy.