Renée (rogueslayer452) wrote,
Renée
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SPN: "Sympathy for the Devil" Episode Review + Meta

To be honest, I'm still too excited since the premiere that when I started writing my review I couldn't get the words out correctly. My mind was in a whirlwind of enthusiasm that the only thing I could manage for the first several tries was "OMG SO FRAKKING AWESOME" and just so much "OMGOMGOMG". I finally stopped and got at least coherent sentences, although my brain is still so scattered with many thoughts that I don't think it's as profound as others have been. But whatever, I can always write more meta later, which you all know I will eventually.

Supernatural 5.01 "Sympathy for the Devil"

The fifth season premiere begins with a bang, more accurately a flash of white light, as it picks up directly as it left us in the season four finale after Sam killed Lilith and Sam and Dean kill Ruby, and they are standing in the middle of the convent watching Lucifer rise from his eternal prison. They try to leave but are trapped as Lucifer is nearly almost on the brink of destroying the entire convent...until suddenly both Sam and Dean are mysteriously transported onto a plane that is flying over the town they were just in, as they both see the bright light from the convent explode, announcing Lucifer has risen.

Back on the ground they go to Chuck's, only to find his home completely trashed and to discover that Castiel was killed by the archangel that appeared just only hours ago. This is when Zachariah and his main angel posse appear to bring forth "good news" to Dean, saying they are all on the same side now. Dean refuses anything to do with them, and sends them away using the same sigil that Castiel used in the finale. Things get more interesting as a message, given from Chuck, reveal the location of the Sword of Michael, the archangel that had defeated Lucifer the first time, and is the only weapon that can help Dean defeat him again. After a run-in with a possessed Bobby and a few other demons who learn this information through them, they go to the location which was John Winchester's secret warehouse filled with supplies. Only to discover Zachariah is there, and yet another startling revelation that it is Dean Winchester who is the embodiment of Michael's sword, as he will become the vessel of Michael to defeat Lucifer. Until he gives his consent of course, which Dean does not, and Zachariah is displeased with this.

Fortunately, much to everyone's surprise, Castiel shows up and lays the smiting smackdown on the angel henchmen and tells Zachariah off, saving the boys. He then brands them with a protective sigil that will keep them hidden, but before anything else is revealed of his mysterious resurrection and a shitload of masterful kung fu skills, Castiel disappears leaving Sam and Dean confused, but alive and relieved that Castiel is alive, as well. Meanwhile, Lucifer has tracked down his chosen vessel and begins to manipulate, via guilt and sympathies, to give consent to become his vessel, which the man eventually agrees.

The final scene, after all that is said and done, leaves us uncertain of the future before them. The Apocalypse has started, Lucifer has risen, the angels and demons are pining for control of the Winchesters, and there is nothing left but each other to make it through this holy war. However, more devastatingly is Dean confessing everything is not okay between him and his brother, that he doesn't trust Sam after all what he'd done, and the episode leaves the two brothers together, but distant.


Dean Winchester's Special Destiny: The Embodiment of Michael's Sword?

Interestingly it's only been like what, a day since the episode aired and already so much meta and discussion in regards to the revelation of Dean possibly being Michael's vessel in the holy war to defeat Lucifer, among other things. I kinda love this fandom, really I do.

So far there is much talk about bloodlines and how Dean could be considered special in terms of being a chosen vessel when he, himself, couldn't have seen or hear Castiel when he first appeared to him in the premiere of last season. I've been trying to mole this over myself, whether or not he's special in that kind of way or if this is something entirely different in and of itself. The bloodlines of special individuals who are chosen to be vessels for specific otherworldly creatures such as celestial beings has never quite been explained or explored enough in canon to really make any kind of proper speculation, at least for me. Unless we learn something new in this season which gives something more to this, I'm completely at loss at how to explain away the differences in bloodlines and such, whether it be with the Jimmy Novak situation or Lucifer or whoever else in chosen to be vessels of particular powerful celestial beings.

However in terms of Dean and his Special Destiny, I don't think this is the case.

It's been said everything had been long foretold of this unraveling of the Apocalypse, of the righteous man breaking in Hell and everything else that sets it all in motion, though had it really been Dean this entire time? Was this predicted long ago by oracles or prophets, or the angels themselves, of the Winchester legacy starting back from Mary Winchester and her deal with the YED to present day? Does the Winchester line have that special "bloodline" that can only be activated if it's part of prophecy? After John sold himself to Hell it was predicted he would break thus setting forth the Seals breaking and the Apocalypse, but he didn't. It was Dean. If John had broke in Hell, would the angels gone after him and he would've been the one chosen to be Michael's vessel? Or had it really been Dean the entire time?

Even so, the part of the prophecy of "the righteous man who starts it, is the only one who can finish it" seems to mean that it is Dean and Dean alone that has to defeat Lucifer, with or without divine intervention. I'm leaning towards the latter.

As evidenced in this episode, I honestly cannot see Dean consenting unless it is the absolute last resort to take. Given how untrustworthy and heartless and cold Zachariah and his pals seem, Dean definitely does not want anything to do with them and whatever his special destiny inquires, although I would love him to accept his destiny at some point, but definitely not in the way that Zachariah wants him to, that's for sure. We don't even know for sure that Michael is going to be willing to enter Dean as his vessel, given that Zachariah is mightily persistent in getting Dean to actually agree to consenting and that we know that it is the angel in question that should be asking the human they will be inhabiting for permission of taking over their body. Of course, therein lies the other issue: if, perchance, Dean does give his consent would this make Michael be Dean, or Dean still Dean only with angelical influence inside of him? Since Michael is considered an archangel, I don't think we've seen archangels enter human vessels before in the show. Maybe it might be entirely different than, say, the other angels taking vessels.

My theory has been, and will remain, that the Dean/Michael connection is merely metaphorical. I strongly believe that Dean will possibly be influenced by such divine help, but only he alone will defeat Lucifer in the end. Since Lucifer despises humanity so much, it would be highly ironic that a human being would defeat him. Poetic justice, in a sense. Moreover is the theme in the show about the strength and the resilience of humanity, and it would be cheating if Michael entered Dean as a vessel and took credit for killing Lucifer, again, aside from Dean who would only be a container for the powerful archangel and had done nothing. No, I feel this is Dean's time. There's a lot of things Dean needs to resolve about himself, the acceptance of this destiny, forgiveness of what's happened in his life, resolving the emotional turmoil with his brother, and so on. I feel that this season will focus on how Dean will manage to overcome all this overwhelming information and whether he is willing to accept his calling.

I go a little more indepth of this theory with my Dean Winchester and his Special Destiny meta piece in case anyone wants to see more of what I had to say prior to this episode airing, which still remains pretty much the same.


Castiel's Resurrection: Mysterious Influence of the Almighty or Something Else Entirely?

So knowing beforehand that Castiel is going to be a primary player this season, the whole "Castiel was killed by the archangel" thing in the beginning wasn't necessarily shocking as it should have been. But the intriguing part is how he returns and the mystery revolving who or what resurrected him, and there's been much speculation to this in fandom which I find interesting. The most popular theory concocted is that it was God that intervened in not only saving Sam and Dean from the convent as Lucifer was arising, but also by means of resurrecting Castiel which is definitely a plausible explanation, though I have theories of my own that go along with that.

Everyone knows that I am deeply in love with the theological aspect the show has conjured up since last season, the introduction of angel mythology and religious lore mixed in with the show's own mythology and everything in connection to that. However, I would kinda love it if they kept the existence or perhaps the identity of God ambiguous. We've been introduced to the concept that even angels are doubting His existence and presence in Heaven, I think it would be more interesting if we have that large question mark in whether or not it was actually God that orchestrated these events of saving the Winchesters and Castiel, and leaving it all for speculation not only for the characters and their personal beliefs of what happened, but also for the audience so it doesn't seem like they're too preaching the idea of God present in this universe. Sorta like going the Battlestar Galactica route of not really knowing whether or not there is a One True God out there, an all-powerful divine being that has a plan for everything and everyone, but that there might just be something mysterious out there without an actual definite answer of whether God truly does exist or if this is just the natural design of the universe.

Obviously, something did orchestrate these events that wasn't part of Zachariah or the other angel's plans, and Castiel does have a particular season-long mission because of this. What this mission is, I haven't the slightest clue since I haven't read further spoilers, but I'm predicting it'll get really interesting.

Other theories point to maybe an archangel was responsible, which I can also get behind of this as well. Perhaps there really is a dividing line in Heaven now, with the Zachariah and his posse of angels and archangels versus the other side, with Castiel and possibly other angels like him and archangels as well. A civil war in Heaven, which I have been wanting to happen since last season! Maybe when Castiel was destroyed by the archangel that appeared at Chuck's, another archangel (or one of the higher ups in Heaven) resurrected him for whatever purpose to bring back the natural order of things and help the Winchesters in this holy war. It's not entirely clear whether Castiel is fighting alone based on his decision to standby humanity and the Winchesters or if, whoever/whatever brought him back has new plans for him, but all I do know is that Castiel giving Zachariah the upper hand this time and bringing a sense of fear and anxiety to his former superior from his mysterious return, which seems to really catch Zachariah off guard and terrified, and rightfully so. Also, keep in mind that Castiel has never doubted God; he still has strong faith and belief in his Father even though he's questioned the orders that's come from Heaven and realizing what his superiors have planned, which is NOT in God's plan that be believes in. So yeah, I definitely think faith and belief play a huge role in this.

Whatever is revealed, I hope that this alonwill be epic and awesome and nothing cheesy, as they did with the whole "grace-in-a-bottle/tree" bullshit, which I pretend never happened. But I think Kripke and the writers know what they're doing with this as they've been very respectful towards the religious aspect of the show except for that whole 4.09/4.10 mistake. So I trust that they have something big and epic planned for whatever is to be unveiled of this mystery.


The Rising of Lucifer

I have yet to form a real opinion about Lucifer, or rather his chosen vessel (played by Mark Pellegrino). I will say though that "sympathy for the devil" is certainly the card they're playing at here. I am very intrigued with how they'll handle the Lucifer situation, how this chosen human, named Nick, and his tragic past will be in connection with the whole bigger scheme of things. Supernatural has been very precise about choices and freewill and the inevitable tragedies that one endures, and this Nick guys definitely fits that category of agreeing to something without fully aware of what he's getting himself into, much like Jimmy Novak in a way.

I'm really hoping they made Lucifer sympathetic enough because of what he mentioned of loving God to much and felt betrayed, yet terrifying and threatening and manipulative because of how much vengeance and hatred he holds because of it, and that Lucifer is a horrifying being that will wreck all havoc on Earth and humanity and Heaven and everything else that has betrayed him. If handled correctly, it can be a very fascinating storyline of Lucifer along with his vessel.

There's also that connection between Lucifer and Sam, and even Castiel. Sam had belief in God and angels, but since last season we see that faith dwindling away and now with the betrayal of not only Ruby but feeling rejected by his own brother, he feels utterly alone. Maybe once meeting Lucifer he can be convinced otherwise, which can become problematic, but again Lucifer needs to be so charismatic yet sympathetic all at the same time that even Sam, despite the Ruby situation, will continue to follow the same pathway he was going towards. Those similarities of feeling betrayed, of feeling ostracized and looked down on because of their reputations and not for who they are or their motivations for doing so, I can totally see Lucifer manipulating Sam into that same mindset. The same with Castiel, although it might be different if they ever confront each other because Castiel favors humanity, is compassionate about humans and even choose humanity over his own brothers and sisters in Heaven. For the most part, I see quarreling and disgust on Lucifer's end, though I can see him enticing Castiel with joining his side, much like Uriel had tried to do previously. With the doubts, not knowing where the orders come from and if God truly is on their side.

Of course I doubt that Castiel would ever join Lucifer, seeing as he'll be beside Dean the entire time. Nevertheless, I'm hoping for a Lucifer versus Castiel showdown in the future.

I do hope we see more of Lucifer and how Mark will portray him. Will it be as sympathetic as the woman Lucifer appeared to him before gaining permission, or was that all a ploy since he can't really say "hey, I'm Lucifer and I want to destroy the world, mind if I borrow your body to do so?" Being manipulative and cunning in ways of words can be something Lucifer excels in, which is perhaps one of the reasons that, before he Fell, he gained many followers in Heaven. Since Lucifer is not a demon, but an angel, I am looking forward to how this is all going to play out this season.


The Winchester Brothers: Together But Distant

I'm actually incredibly relieved they are not just kissing and making up after all that's happened. I know fandom is mourning and thinking they should, as they've done so before. But this is entirely different as opposed to the other times. Truthfully, Sam had this coming ever since his behavior last season, and he has to suffer the consequences of his actions. It's just more realistic because there are wounds that cannot be healed that quickly.

I'm not ragging on Sam, I love him and I know he's deeply and truly sorry. Dean understands this, but somehow Sam just doesn't understand why Dean is acting the way he is, and that's what's irritating to me about how he's behaving especially in this episode. He's constantly apologizing about not knowing about Ruby's true intentions, about not knowing that Lilith was the final seal, that he unintentionally and inadvertently unleashed Lucifer from his prison. All that is understandable, and if it were underneath normal circumstances I'm sure it would be forgiven and all would be fine between them. But this is not what Dean is devastated and disappointed in Sam the most. Throughout most of season four Sam had this chip on his shoulder, thinking he was the one to stop Lilith, thinking that Dean couldn't handle it, the lying and sneaking out at night with Ruby, practicing his demonic powers, drinking demon blood, choosing Ruby over Dean...all of that is too much to be forgiven automatically. Sam hurt Dean too much, that a simple apology isn't going to magically make everything he did disappear. It just does not happen.

How many times have we done something so bad that it takes a long time before we can redeem and prove ourselves to someone that we aren't to make that same mistake or and worthy of being trusted again? This is the situation that's happening between Sam and Dean right now. It hurts I know, we want the boys back together. But Dean is in the right: they will never be the same again. They will never be as they once were before, and that's the harsh reality they have to face.

But this doesn't mean they'll be separated forever. They'll need this time to be distant to look at themselves, redeem and make amends and repair their relationship as brothers again and, believe me when I say, this will make them stronger then ever before. Sometimes you need these obstacles to overcome in order to have that stronger, more reliable, connection. The Winchesters will prevail, just not right away. They need this time apart to join up together later, better and badder and stronger.

That is why I love that they're continuing in this direction for them being in a rift. I'm looking forward to more of the brotherly angst, because what is Supernatural without the angst? Come one now.


Memorable Moments from the Premiere:

++ The "road so far" seemed different from the previous ones, so much crammed in there. But it was awesome nonetheless. Also, the moment where Castiel shows up with the "this is a vessel" there is that voiceover of him that I hadn't heard before, of him saying about giving consent? Obviously a hint to what they would be dealing with in this but still, is that from like the extended/deleted DVD stuff or was that added? Either way, loved it.

++ And how we jump directly to where we left off in the finale. Lucifer rising -- and did anyone else hear the growling creature noises? It was ominous and freaking scary, dude. O_O

++ When they transported to the airplane, I was half-expecting Dean to be freaking the fuck out. Because he hates flying. Am I the only one?

++ NEW TITLE CARD! NEW TITLE CARD! LOVE IT, HOLY SHIT!

++ I love Chuck. I fucking love Chuck and him speaking for the audience. "This sucks ass." Yep, it totally does Chuck. Also him thwacking Sam on the head? Will never get old, never ever. Also, pulling the molar from his hair, and him saying that he's had a bad day? LOLARIOUS, and also very true. Poor Chuck, I hope they don't kill him off. He's awesome.

++ Can I just say that Dean gets all the cool insults for Zachariah? Love the creativity there.

++ "MY FRIEND CAS!" MY FRIEND CAS!" ♥ ♥ ♥

++ FANGIRL. WRITING WINCEST. IN THE SHOW. HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT THAT IS JUST TOTALLY AWESOME A ON WHOLE DIFFERENT LEVEL! Just the fact they can incestuous gay porn passed the censors of network television in such a blatant manner is impressive, and I totally love you so much right now Kripke. I know others will be uncomfortable because of it, but you kow what? I'm repeating what serrico mentioned in her little review: if we're allowed to write fanfiction about the show, they are totally allowed to write fanfiction about us, the fandom. It's a completely circle now, the love is mutual and come on, they mock because they love us.

++ "YOU'RE SO FIRM!" LOLING FOREVER U GUISE, LOLING FOREVER.

++ I'm actually very curious about Nick and his backstory, and whether the murder of his wife and child was accidental or intentional. Like the incident had been inevitable because he was Lucifer's chosen vessel, and unless he had something to sympathize with he wouldn't have consented to be Lucifer's meatsuit. Destiny and fate, the poor sap. I do wonder if Nick will play a role later on though, and not just as the vessel but more as the person. Should be interesting.

++ LOVED that they had a girl!Lucifer. LOVELOVELOVE.

++ Also, MEG HAS RETURNED! \O/\O/\O/ I was wondering when she would reappear again, since she wasn't killed off when we last saw her, and she's an important asset and enemy of the Winchesters so, yay. I love the actress that played her too, I thought she did a good job at mimicking Nicki Aycox in her words and mannerisms, especially with kissing Dean. I know some are bitching about her, but whatever. I liked her. It's not clear whether that is going to be the body she'll be wearing the next time we see her, but nevertheless I really liked the actress. She reminded me of Gretchen Wilson a bit, only a bit paler. Still, kickass demon that is unapologetically evil. Love.

++ Possessed!Bobby actually scared me for the moment, especially with the cold words he uttered to Sam. Jim Beaver is awesome, 'nuff said. Of course, will he be permanently crippled? I hope not. Bobby is too badass to be crippled, however if he's really that badass he can kick some demon ass without the need to walk. Because he is just that awesome.

++ Mentioning of John's warehouses full of hunter paraphernalia. I wondered when they were going to return to those at some point, because otherwise they were just plot devices for season three. Glad they're still going with it.

++ "Life as an angel condom" <---- Dean Winchester, ladies and gentlemen. That will forever be the favorite line of this episode, trufax.

++ Zachariah is one sadistic evil bastard, and on the side of the angels which are now defying God which makes him even more dangerous than normal angels. And I am loving this portrayal of angels in the show, I really am. The division between Heaven that has erupted, the fact there are angels like Zachariah who are taking matters into their own hands (very His Dark Materials, if you will), and just. Yeah. With the snap of a finger he can break Sam's legs, with just looking at Dean he can give him stomach cancer. That is just WAY TOO FREAKING AND SCARY, and I LOVE IT. MOAR OF THIS PLZ (but not to the boys, they've suffered enough!)

++ CASTIEL BEING A BAMF, HELLS YEAH BITCHES!



++ "I carved them into your ribs" How Misha manages to deliver these lines with a straight face, I will never know. But it was awesome. Still wished there could have been a reunion hug (I was actually expected when he was approaching them before branding them that he would embrace Dean, but that was hopeful wishing -- hey, we got Wincest fanfic in canon now, so there's always possibilities!) And MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARING IS MYSTERIOUS, CASTIEL STOP BEING A TEASE TO US! But he'll be featured more this season, AS A MOTHERFUCKING REGULAR! BOO-YEAH! So there's still more hope for those ~*~moments~*~ between him and Dean.

++ Last scene between Sam and Dean = D: *cries* But it needed to be said. Dean took the words right from my mouth and I'm glad they're going there.


Overall: One hell of an opener. There was so much crammed into the fifth season premiere I thought, from Chuck's the Zachariah to the reveal of Castiel not being dead and Bobby being possessed and in the hospital and Dean's destiny taking a whole different turn and just, yeah. I still loved the premiere don't get me wrong, but I think in terms of shocking revelations the season four premiere will probably be the best. Although I'm not entirely sure which Castiel entrance is better, the one in the S4 premiere or this one, when he's KICKING ASS AND SMITING SOME BITCHES. It's a tie I think, but the fact that Castiel won a motherfucking fight for once really tops everything at this moment, not gonna lie. But yeah, it's an awesome start to what I hope will be an even awesomer season. And if it's anything like last season, maybe better, bring it on Kripke. Me likey what I've seen thus far, keep it going. *g*


Oh, how I've missed this show. Next Thursday needs to be here like, right now. For reals.
Tags: meta: supernatural, show reviews: supernatural
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