smalltrolven (smalltrolven) wrote,

8.04 - Bitten, or maybe just Bitterly Bored

Yes, I found this episode pretty boring, but I still feel compelled to talk (at length) about it.

I think that the lyrics to the song (What's The Matter by Milo Greene) that starts and ends the episode are really good and important to the overall Sam and Dean story, so here they are:

What's the matter? 
What's the matter with you lately? 
What's the matter? 
What's the matter with you?
he+matter_21016061.html ] 
Oh, your love 
Is never good enough 
Oh, your love is lost on me 
You don't know 
You don't know 
Oh, your love is lost on me 

What's the matter? 
What's the matter with you lately? 
What's the matter? 
What's the matter with you lately? 

Dreamer, you will waste your time 
Do you ever wonder why 
We go on and on and on? 
Love is gone and gone and gone 

What's the matter? 
What's the matter with you lately?

God, I know I'm a total sap, but these lyrics apply so directly to both Sam and Dean and all the things unsaid between them at this point in the story don't they?  You know they're both sitting there in the car next to each other, day after day, wondering exactly that "What's the matter with you lately?".  And they're probably both questioning the point of their love and why they bother to go on, what's the point, etc.  I say well done in choosing music.
8.04 insync
Sam and Dean start out the episode completely in sync, investigating just like usual, like they've done for years and years.  It could be the start of any MOTW episode from the past 7 seasons.  8.04sh to shAfter looking at the bodies, they sit there shoulder to shoulder and watch the video together with us which is an interesting way to get into the "found footage" trick of the episode.
In my opinion way too much time was spent on introducing the college kids.  Sure, it was cute, and some was needed to get the story going, but it was at the expense of showing us at least part of the conversation that Sam and Dean spent discussing their year apart. c'mon.grrrrrr.  That's what we're all so desperately interested in and they just tease us with letting us know the conversation happened and that it confirmed the kids suspicions about the FBI guy's "office romance".   What's that saying for interesting, effective storytelling, Show, don't tell.  sigh.  I found that really aggravating and disappointing.  Even just a few sentences would have been a really effective device to moving along the Sam and Dean renegotiating their relationship story that is the crux of this season so far.  How many missed opportunities is that now?  I'm not keeping track, just griping.

So Kate's maybe a law student  and Michael her boyfriend calls her a hippie.  Sound anything like another couple we know?

Bringing up Lord of the Flies was interesting,  so are we to assume that Sam feels like he's Piggy and sees Dean as being like Ralph?   If we were in college, I'd expect the professor to say: "Discuss." or assign us a paper on the subject.
rizolliandislesstarsky and hutchSam and Dean can now add the slash tv couples to their ever-expanding name-check resume: Starsky & Hutch, Rizzoli & Isles

We barely catch Dean saying kind of dismissively to Sam, "There is a case here, you're rusty."  So we can see that he's still bugging Sam about not hunting for the last year. But maybe not so much or directly as we don't get to hear much of their conversation in this episode.

Michael has a very cute look on his face as he asks Brian as they're spying on Sam and Dean, "Is it just me are you getting a workplace romance vibe from those two?"  Yeah, maybe it's a little anvil-ish, but I still love any and all direct Wincest-y mentions in canon.  Nice of them to give us that at least.  But again, it's a tell, not a show.

The found video thing was pretty interesting overall, I'm glad that Supernatural plays around with stuff like this occasionally.  But I found the idea of the kids constantly filming absolutely everything implausible.  Brushing their teeth while holding a camera, c'mon give me a break!.   So much so that it took me out of the story over and over again, which was unfortunate.  Do people really do this in real life? Maybe I'm just too old and don't know about how college kids would use this technology.  Perhaps if they'd set it up in the beginning that Brian had to film a week-in-the-life for a class project it would have been easier to suspend my disbelief and just go with it.  Same thing happened while I watched the movie "Cloverfield", for as interesting and exciting the story was, it just seemed contrived that there was always a camera in someone's hand or conveniently place to catch the action.  That and all the weird angles and camera movements made me feel ill from motion sickness in the theater!

The kids reaction to Michael's super strength seemed really strange: alien, mutant, super-hero, hee hee, are you an X-Files?  How weird was that? I would have been way more worried and upset if I was any of the three characters in the situation.  And the I'm a golden god bit was way over done and made me laugh.  I did like the changing into the werewolf scene, the eyes and teeth and the nails (eww!) were creepy and gross.  So Michael pets Kate lovingly on the cheek as a werewolf and then the very next scene he's normal but chowing down on everything, hmmmm really, how does that work?

8.04rosehudsonAgents Rose and Hudson ~ Guns N' Roses ~  Axl Rose and Saul Hudson (Slash) - yes I had to look that up, but that's really funny.  I love that Sam and Dean still do that with their alias names, Frank's advice be-damned.

"Back off douchewheel!"  Now there's an insult I've never heard before in my life, and I'm not likely to adopt it.  Whenever I hear douche being used like that in an insult, I always want to interrupt the person and describe what exactly a douche is to see if they even know.

I love that Kate's the one fighting for getting more information before calling the police in, she goes into protective mode and figures out that they should follow Sam and Dean to get Michael's situation figured out.

I don't know why, but I found this really charming,"Time to hit the books and feed the monster" Dean hits his stomach for emphasis.  Dean has named his appetite?  Why that is so cute to me I have no idea.

8.04 2burgers
"Dude two burgers?"  I love that Sam is continuing to monitor Dean's diet.  He wants him to stick around and last you know?  I can just hear his internal conversation, "After all this, I'm not losing Dean to a fucking heart attack!" And hey, what do you know, another episode where it seems Dean didn't drink any alcohol.
"Clear eyes, clogged arteries, can't lose."  So Dean is a "Friday Night Lights" fan huh?  He really does watch a lot of TV.

After spying on Sam and Dean eating lunch and talking about the case, Michael asks, "Did they say anything else?"
Brian answers rather hilariously, "Dude, they just sat and talked about how they've been apart for a year.  You're probably right about that whole office romance thing."
Arrrrgggggh, again. Kind of repeating myself from earlier, but I feel like I'm begging here, "throw us a frickin' bone".

The pure-bred Werewolf (the monster) so clearly insisting we don't get to chose who we are was great.  Another reminder to both Sam and Dean, that not all of it is their fault.  I feel like they need to hear this over and over again.  Sure the choices they've made are important too, but not all of it was even up to them.  Their mother's deal, Demon blood fed to Sam as a baby, their angelic destiny as vessels, their parents being brought together by cherubs, none of that was their choice.  But through it all they're still here, still together, at least for the moment anyways.

So we get to see that Dean saved Sam this time, I guess now they're even again after Sam saving Dean last week.  I like that they trade off like that, showing that they both have each other's backs, time after time.  So they can be reminded over and over again that they couldn't do this hunting thing alone.

Kate sure did a helluva lot of video editing before running away!  She incorporated all these scenes and spliced them together with various effects, not bad for someone who's just been turned into a werewolf, seen her boyfriend murdered, and murdered his killer.  And is sitting there in the room amidst all the blood and gore. Really?  Not terribly realistic in my opinion, but no one asked me.  But Kate's final plea of "I didn't choose this, please give me a chance. " ended up being pretty darned effective.

8.04 dean considering8.04 sam considering
As the video ends, fade to Dean's considering face, blowing out a breath, and then Sam doing the same thing too.  This case, as it played out on the video gave them a whole lot to consider, with the new werewolf lore they learned, memories of killing Madison, Dean's unstated Purgatory experiences maybe with other werewolves, the eternal "what makes a monster a monster" question they're always struggling with, the more recent experiences of Dean killing Amy Pond last season, and Sam killing Dean's Amazon daughter.

I was really surprised at the ending, that Dean didn't insist on going and hunting Kate down right away, considering how he's been after returning from Purgatory.  It seemed to me that Sam was at first automatically assuming that Dean would want to go hunt her immediately, noting that she had a half day jump on them.  Dean doesn't answer right away, like he's really thinking about it, he just says, uh huh a couple times.  You can see Sam gearing up for having to argue with Dean.
8.04 sam surprised"Let's give her a shot."  Dean finally decides.  Sam is truly surprised at this, and quickly recovers and proceeds to reassure Dean that they'll hunt her if she starts killing.  So, a year of constantly killing monsters in Purgatory and teaming up with them to escape has magically transformed Dean from a black and white, good vs. evil, hunter into what we can only assume is another version of Sam who sees the shades of grey in seasons 1 and 2? No wonder Sam is surprised and I'd bet pretty damned curious too.  How long do you think he lasted in the subsequent car ride before he bugs Dean about it?  I guess this means that if the current Dean met up with Amy Pond now, he wouldn't choose to kill her.  Character growth, whaddya know....

8.04 sam awesomeSam's fond smile at Dean's final awesome just killed me.  awwwww.  He never wants to stop hearing Dean say awesome all the time.

Dean putting the music back on as they were leaving was strange to me at first (beyond the hey you're leaving fingerprints).  Why would he even bother? It's not his type of music, so I think starting it up again was like a memorial or tribute to the dead bodies of the kids they'd just gotten to know by watching the video.  The song was after all shown to be Brian and Kate's love song, so I guess Dean was touched by their tragic relationship.  awwww.  Seems like something Sam would normally do, I wonder if he noticed Dean doing this?  Or perhaps, Dean noticed the lyrics of the song and they were meaningful for him.

So I'm left thinking about how Sam and Dean felt seeing an outsider POV on their relationship.  It must have been strange for them to have that outsider view, pointing out the things they never mention or acknowledge.  I noticed that Dean was only questioning Kate noticing that he says awesome a lot.  I can just imagine Sam and Dean sitting there shoulder to shoulder and snarking about the kids the whole time, and I kind of wish they'd cut back to scenes of them watching the video together and showed us their reactions.

All in all, an episode I won't likely re-watch.  Some of the filler episodes have super important Sam or Dean characterizations or conversations that are interesting to revisit, but not this one.  Just not an essential episode to the overall story.  I feel like this episode really slowed down any momentum that the season has gathered.  But now we know that after some amount of time has passed from 8.03: that Sam and Dean are still together, still talking about their relationship, still getting mistaken for two people very much in love, and still a great hunting team.

I'm kind of dying to see next week's episode, the potential for Jealous!Sam is immense, or at least hurt, pissed-off, you've been ragging on me for weeks about what I did on my year without you and you all of a sudden have a "brother" who's a vampire? argument is just too delicious to not anticipate.  Plus in the little preview, the last scene of Benny slurping blood while Dean drives the Impala "Do we really have to do that right now?" was just hilarious!  But Benny, sitting there in Sam's seat, yikes! I'm jealous on Sam's behalf you know?

Tags: episode reaction, general bitching about show, season 8, spoilers, supernatural
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