- Cole. <3 I hope we can keep him. I want us to keep building his story, bring his family back in, actually build him something of an arc. (In the spirit of Jo, or Meg, or Charlie, or Jody.)
- JK did really well with ep. I feel like sometimes her characterizations can tend toward caricature, but she kept it pretty level and controlled here--like she found her element in this dark, hypermasculine tinge. If this is so, I hope she sticks with it, because I'd love see more in this vein! She can be our in-house horror writer.
- Also, whoever directed--I want more of him/her, too! Everything was so dark and lovely, and the opening sequence with the water and the hair and the upside-downness was just stunning. But in spite of how much I adored all that (and the way the helmet-cam footage was done), my favorite scene was between the two boys working the Gas-and-Sip and Kit. By sheer force of silent communication and the orientation of their bodies in that room, you could feel their trepidation, and their awareness both of their peril but also their regard for one another. And because of that connection, you as audience feel for the boy who gets his throat slashed. It's really hard to get your audience to care about strangers (especially strangers with only one line), but in spite of how curt and hard-boiled this episode plays, you still manage to genuinely feel for this boy. I'm not kidding, watch the blocking and the non-verbal communication between the two boys in that scene--it's so good!!! They sets you up to feel for Kit's wife, as she cradles her husband's body. In a very quiet, unassuming way, these moments re-introduce this idea of saving people, in addition to hunting things.
Granted, as Dean says, sometimes you can do everything right and the guy still dies. But sometimes it's a victory just to remember to try.
- Sort of in that vein, I think this is the first episode in like five billion years where the strongest part wasn't Sam and Dean--and I say this as someone who gets antsy if there isn't enough substantive Sam and Dean. I have a problem, I admit it. XP BUT I KNOW I'M NOT ALONE IN THIS. Every element carried itself unassisted, to riff on the title a bit. I think that shift in focus (or the success of it) plays into this sense of remembering the world around them, that world they are still sort of trying to save, when not saving/destroying themselves. I think it's unusual and perhaps even surprising to catch so much of that world when dealing with something like the Mark of Cain, which would seem to all but guarantee some exceptional, inexorable, desperately fervent tunnel-vision on the parts of both Winchesters. Definitely an element to keep in mind as we rush toward our final showdowns in these last few episodes.
Weirdly, I feel like this would be a pretty good candidate as a stand-alone you could show someone who wasn't into SPN--or an episode someone who wasn't into SPN might catch randomly and still get into. I say 'weirdly' because I operate under the assumption that SPN is writing very specifically for us, and if you haven't seen the last 200+ episodes it GIVES NO FUCKS and you will simply have to suffer through complete and utter confusion if that's the case, because it's not gonna waste time catching you up on the development of either Sam an Dean or the growing mythos that surrounds them. Law & Order, SPN is not!
10x15 probably won't explain to your new friend why you're so obsessed with these Sam and Dean guys (but there's not really any one episode that can do that for you now, anyway--you can't explain ten years in 40 minutes), but it does so many things so very well that I think would be legible even to the ~outside. The camerawork, the horror aesthetic, the baller (yet controlled, subdued) supporting characters... Really strong stuff.
I realize blood everywhere and multiple mucosal, laciniate, hydrophilic parasites and even more blood everywhere that dudes are slurping off the floor doesn't necessarily conjure the word "subdued" per se, but it's not exactly an anthropomorphized, suicidal teddy bear, now is it! But maybe it just seems subdued to me because no one dropped a bunch of tuner cars out of a cargo plane in Azerbaijan.
Also, peacing out of Twitter and Facebook for a week or so, in the hopes of mitigating some of this feeling of drowning. So if you see me on either, tell me to SCRAM! I kept telling myself I didn't want to, because I might miss something important and timely (I'm currently following some legislation in Washington State, and journalism on the California drought), but you know what? You're gonna miss things. So you know, fuck it. Just try to know one thin well and let the rest sweep past you.