Renée (rogueslayer452) wrote,

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The beginnings of my S4 rewatch. Instead of just watching every single one, I've decided to go for some of my favorite episodes which I feel are pretty significant to the season and to the main plot overall. With these, knowing the outcome of the season, I'll be looking back at at do some retrospective meta that will be in preparation for the fifth season (which begins in like what, four weeks from now omgwhut!). Starting off with "Lazarus Rising", the kickass premiere to an amazing season.

And yes, plenty of Castiel and Dean/Castiel gushing are included, of course. ♥

Seeing it again makes me realize there are a lot of things that were setup for the rest of the season, things that when looking back in hindsight you can understand that “oh yeah, this is where they were going with it all.” Much like how when you look back at the entire series, everything was placed for a reason, there has been some kind of string attached all along.

First of all, the allusion of the episode title pretty much sets up more significance to not only the episode but the season overall, referring to Lazarus of Bethany, a biblical story told in the Gospel of John in the New Testament, in which Jesus resurrection Lazarus.
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live: And whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
Watching Dean rise from the ground – still wearing his clothes, mind you, being it a reference to the Lazarus story (and highly doubtful they would have him be naked when crawling out from his grave) – is still the most effective opening. They didn’t waste any time with bringing him back at all, and I liked that. The nearly silent way they opened it too, the first several minutes with him not really saying much aside from two lines. That was brilliant, because really there was no need for him to say anything else. The silence and just watching him walking about, grabbing things like water and food (and his porn) was all we needed to know that this is Dean Winchester, back and ready to rock and roll on out of there. It’s also very realistic after being in the ground for four months (and to him it would’ve seemed much longer than that) he would have to go for water immediately and to nourish his body.

Then of course, the first appearance by Castiel – without realizing it’s Castiel at the time, just knowing something really fucking weird was going on. I loved the high pitched voltage of noise and the glass shattering, definitely a moment of WTF, but in a good way.

Also want to make note of the location in the opening scene, the trees which are bent back in every which way, as Dean mentions it’s like a nuclear bomb went off. Directly where he was lay to rest, where he was resurrected. It makes you wonder exactly how cosmic was his resurrection and exactly how it was possible.

Watching Dean and Bobby is all sorts of fun, and Bobby reacting to him is just so natural after being dead for four months. The holy water in the face was simply priceless.

Something I’ve always wondered, how come Ruby didn’t react to Dean? Aside from the reason that it would have given away that she was, in fact, Ruby to begin with, wouldn’t it have at least brought some things into question that she didn’t even blink an eye when she first saw him? Unless, given what we learn about her true intentions later on, she already knew about Dean’s return and was only playing her part.

Now...Genevieve Courtese. You know, when I heard she was going to be cast in the show I honestly was anticipating what character she would be playing. I’d seen her previously in Wildfire and thought she was good, so I really wasn’t at all complaining about her being in the show. Seeing her as “Kristy” in the beginning I was looking forward to more of her as that “character”, unfortunately once realizing she was actually Ruby playing her part it was more of an “oh…” moment for me. I did give her a chance, though, in the next few episodes to prove that she was capable of carrying on the role previously portrayed by Katie because, let’s face it, it is hard to fill in those shoes when a previous actress already created the character. But she didn’t improve at all as the season progressed. To be perfectly honest, even though it was a ploy I would have much preferred if Genevieve actually stayed this “Kristy” persona instead of Ruby. Because when she was being Kristy at least she had that sweet and genuine modesty about her, however playing a demonic character? Definitely not within her range of acting, and she didn’t even try to become what Katie created and molded the character to be, which was the major downfall along with the watered down storyline and writing.

Oh well, sorry Genevieve for all the hate fandom has given you. Though honestly, you were not the Ruby I knew and loved the previous season, which is why I didn’t care for your performance. Better luck in whatever else you’re doing.

Although we were given probably the most and only awesome recurring female character introduced this season: Pamela Barnes. She was ultimately cool from the moment we see her, unapologetically flirtatious but also with the serious business. The scene with her, Bobby and the boys doing the séance was chilling, and still is, especially after her eyes are burned from her eye sockets. Yeesh.

I do think she should have listened though, since Castiel did give his warning of not looking upon his true form. It makes me wonder though, being a psychic shouldn’t she have at least gotten a sense she was messing with a celestial being? Something otherworldly that isn’t demonic or evil? I don’t know, I just think her bitterness on the angels is partially her own fault, but nevertheless she’s still awesome.

Demonic Waitress Seelix! Supernatural should get more BSG alumni to guest star, though it seems that Dollhouse has become that refuge now.

The introduction of Castiel is still epic as fucking hell. *___*

It’s hilarious looking back at everyone else’s initial reactions to Castiel, questioning whether he truly was an angel or whether he was good or bad and all of the speculations and assumptions and whatnot. And hey, as fans we know that in this show anything is possible. This is also the premiere which once he was introduced everyone was freaking out because he was simply walking sex on a stick (which still is the description used because hot damn, is Misha Collins fine in that trench coat holy tax accountant getup – totally Constantine in that deliberate sense by Kripke, of course). I remember just being so impressed with how they did this, and fandom reacted so well to his onscreen presence, and rightfully so because he became the new beloved character of the show after this premiere.

Also, this was the premiere where me and my sister FREAKED THE FUCK OUT when we learned that they were FINALLY introducing angels and Heaven and the concept of faith in God and all these other religious and theological themes. I loved it then, and still love it now. It’s still amazing just rewatching the episode, I get chills just hearing not only the “I’m the one that gripped you tight and raised you from perdition”, but also the “I’m an angel of the Lord” line. Also, the shadowed-wings were, and still are, freaking awesome (shadowed people, not black) – it’s like, what more proof do you need? I was so thrilled with everything they introduced to that I was like “AHHH!” when the episode went to black. I wanted more, I wanted to know more about how they would handle the religious mythology into their own mythology, I wanted more of Castiel, if there would be more angels of the warrior kind, everything involving that aspect.

(If there’s anything I am intrigued with more, it’s theology, and angels with this bigger picture and God wanting Dean for something more, made so super excited and had me and my sister just geek out over it all – to the point where I was all over the Internets researching shit, it was totally fun!)

Oh, and remembering people’s reactions and complaints about religion taking over “their” show or having God being shoving it down their throats, is still hilarious because if they had actually paid attention to the series throughout, religious lore has always been part of the show’s own mythology – it’s just never been the primary focus until now. It makes perfect sense that they would go in this direction; to be honest I would’ve been disappointed if they hadn’t. But I’m overly happy that they did, and that they’ve done it respectfully and beautifully as far as I’m concerned.

And, can we talk about Castiel for a moment, particularly all the Dean/Castiel vibes from their first meeting alone? Because dayum!

Aside from his presence alone, Misha did a damn good job at creating this character simply by his body language and the way he spoke. He definitely seemed otherworldly and new to the mortal world just by the nuances of what he was doing; from his head tilting and frown he gives Dean with confusion to him idly flipping through Bobby’s spell book, even him looking down at his vessel with some amusement or intrigue with being able to possession a human (and in an extended scene him saying that it wasn’t easy finding a human vessel that could contain his true form, and I really wish they hadn’t cut that bit out because I think it was important to announce that angels couldn’t just possess anyone, unlike demons, but oh well). And Dean being so confused and a bit apprehensive, not truly knowing what this guy is, being not human or a demon or any other monstrous creature that he’s ever known, and is questioning him very doubtfully, as Dean Winchester would, of course.

But then, there’s that moment where things are all defined between the two:
Castiel: Good things do happen, Dean.
Dean: Not in my experience
Castiel: What’s the matter? You think you don’t deserve to be saved
Castiel can accept that Dean doesn’t believe or have faith, or even has the disbelief in angels and God and all of that. He clearly would like him to, but he understands he cannot force that. But what he cannot understand or even begin to comprehend is Dean not accepting that he deserved to be saved, deserved a second chance at life, that he has nothing to be ashamed of. That simple line, along with his gazing look at Dean, means that he is so confused and stunned why such a human, a human that has done great things, sacrificed himself so selflessly, would ever feel the need to punish himself and think he was unworthy of living once more.

It’s so touching and amazing, just from that one moment in that final scene. From Dean’s front to Castiel’s perplexed expression, so perfect and really sets off the dynamic of their relationship straight off the bat. I loved it. It also spoke volumes with Jensen and Misha reflecting off each other, which we see that sizzling chemistry repeatedly throughout the season, from this premiere to the finale.

From what the lackluster season three had been, this premiere really amped ups the mythological aspect of the show. They wasted no time in getting right down to business, and I mightily approve of it. This was such a fantastic premiere and the beginning to an epic season, without a doubt.

Tags: meta: supernatural
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