fanfic

11 things I loved about SPN 11.16

Honestly? I loved pretty much everything. But here's the first 11 things that come to mind--in not much detail because that would lead to a blow-by-blow recreation of the episode:

1. Bobby and Rufus! I love Rufus an awful lot, and was very disappointed when he got killed back in season 6. So this was a delightful new outing with him. I'd quote favorite lines, but that would be just about all of 'em.

2. Finally finding out the story behind the bottle Sam and Jodie drink in "Time After Time". I love small bits of continuity like that, and this show does them so well.

3. The grave-digging--it was nifty to finally see the aftermath of a salt-and-burn, and the bit where Dean says "there has to be an easier way to do this" and it cuts to Bobby with the digger made me laugh. Also, the Sam and Dean shots, looking up at them from the coffin, were gorgeous.

4. That we didn't start in the Bunker. I love the Bunker, but I also like when they mix things up a little with the boys' entry to the episode. And it gave the sense that the brothers have been out trawling the countryside for something, anything that might be useful.

5. How much it felt like a horror movie--I could almost feel the creepy vibes coming off the screen, and the trapped souls were freaky, and Dean and Bobby getting possessed was skeevy, and all round it was an nice bit of genre.

6. It felt like a mystery, too; I like it when there's dead-ends and they have to backtrack and try a different line of inquiry.

7. The editing, goodness gracious--that scene where they're all doing the research and the rotating camera shot cycles between Bobby & Rufus and Sam & Dean. There was an enormous amount of that kind of thing, which must require a crazy amount of technical skill, to make sure everything matches up seamlessly, and it all appeared so effortless. (The director had some similarly gorgeous transitions in "The Werther Project"; so glad they've apparently added him to their stable of regulars.)

8. Having the Bobby & Rufus portion of the story set during season 4. It allowed for some nice, unforced paralleling, both emotionally and thematically.

9. The scene on the stairs with Dean and Bobby--the brevity and beauty of it--I'm glad there wasn't any dialog; would've spoiled the moment.

10. Dean seeing Sam dead in the nest--and telling him about it--and Sam's response. Painful but beautiful and (as Sam says) weirdly heart-warming.

11. Sam cradling Dean after freeing him from the soul-eater. I'll admit to melting all over the floor when that happened.

Is it just me, or has this season had a very strong old-school vibe to it throughout? And isn't it awesome?! :D
Yes, it is awesome. The return to that classic horror feel and grittier, dingier visuals; the show feels a lot more grounded this year, which is interesting since the mytharc stakes are more existential than ever.

1. Rufus is one of my favorite minors. I hope if we ever get follow up on what's happening to Bobby in Heaven (isn't he in trouble with management?) that Rufus is involved as well.

2.Thanks for pointing out that that's the same bottle we see in Time After Time, I missed that.

10. That Sam was relieved--still needed to hear--that Dean loved him that much kinda broke my heart.
the show feels a lot more grounded this year, which is interesting since the mytharc stakes are more existential than ever. - I wonder if that's deliberate--if the grit's there to provide balance and a bottom to the existential stuff. Whatever the basis for it, I'm loving it, and I'm glad so many other fans seem to be too.

I hope if we ever get follow up on what's happening to Bobby in Heaven (isn't he in trouble with management?) that Rufus is involved as well. - This is on my wishlist for season 12. (12! Still feeling a bit giddy over that. :D)

Thanks for pointing out that that's the same bottle we see in Time After Time - Can't take credit; someone pointed this out on Tumblr.

That Sam was relieved--still needed to hear--that Dean loved him that much kinda broke my heart. - It kind of makes sense, given Dean's confession the end of "Love Hurts". But it supports Dean's statement that whatever's going on with Amara isn't love: that's apparently reserved utterly for Sam. <3
It kind of makes sense, given Dean's confession the end of "Love Hurts". --That, and how long they've spent with the curse of fratricide hanging over them, and all Sam's lingering doubt and guilt and feeling like he's let Dean down which he revisited with Lucifer.

I liked how understated it was, for them: usually when they're admitting how much they mean to each other it's because somebody's about to die and their emotional reserves are shot. Here, Dean just said it and Sam admitted that it was a comfort to hear it. I mean, in that oblique "we're talking about monsters and how screwed up our lives are" Winchester way.
Considering how much I find myself enjoying this season overall, there can't be something too old school/horror/mystery about it. *g*

#9 I agree so much! A good example of how less is more! Though I still would have taken crying!Dean any day.

(Will reply to your mail once I'm back at a real computer.)
I suspect by "old school" I actually mean "not too much angel/demon stuff". :P But also the lighting--it's been a fairly visually dark season--and something in the sensibility of how the season's been unfolding. There's been some stellar stand-alone episodes, and Sam and Dean are once again (finally) both relatively sane, undamaged, and going in the same direction.

Or maybe it's just all the grave-digging. :P
Or--on further thought--perhaps it's that some combination of these factors is giving us the "hardy boys/horror movie" combo vibe of the early seasons, which I really enjoyed. Something about the way the episodes are framed (story-wise) and shot (camera angles, lighting), perhaps. I can't put my finger on it beyond that, though.