I'm not sure exactly what this season is about, but it could be about perceptions—the way each person perceives what is going on. (having seen other eps since I started this, I think perceptions play a part of it but not all)
The show opened this year in a very beautiful way, I thought—those scenes of Dean in Darkness land were eerie and so cool—the kind of dreamy that hovers right at the edge of turning into nightmarish. And the way Sam's memories came at him, with little warning for us, made it feel overwhelming, the way I'm pretty sure it must have felt for him, remembering. Fascinating, the way the whole first part of the ep seemed to be told kind of Rashomon-style. Between Sam and Dean and Cas, we saw snippets of what happened the way each of them thought it happened—made the intro much more interesting to me.
There was a nice emphasis on Sam immediately looking for Dean—thank you Carver, you asshat. That was maybe a handwave, letting us know, hopefully, the boys would be working differently this year. Plus we got treated to a gorgeous Oz-like shot of Dean waking up in a field of flowers. Does it mean anything that the flowers are Yarrow? According to some flower meanings, yarrow means war, and healing.
There are a lot of callbacks to previous eps this season—that walk up the road where the Rabids took out the crew reminded me strongly of Good God, Ya'all, that walk up the road in the town War destroyed with demon hallucinations. The whole episode had a nice Walking Dead feel to it as well. Show has always done a great job creepy atmosphere-wise. They're good at making you jump. *g* That beautiful shot where Dean glared out through those old-fashioned huge window blinds (who even has those any more except me?) was a perfect example of that.
Darkness notes that I took that first ep had me wondering if Amara was Dean's Ruby, but I'm not too sure about that. She has this strange aspect—in our first view of her, She doesn't seem to know anything about the world today. She's been gone so long that She really didn't seem one hundred percent concerning the communication thing.
(I felt when she responded to Dean, it was as much a learning experience as growing from infant to child has been for her.)
She predates everything, Death as well? I wonder how soon after God caged her that Death appeared. Something to think about! Unless I'm reading it all wrong which is all too often a thing with me.
I'm going to talk about Cas' story this season—wait, no I'm not.
I got the feeling this ep that they were laying out the broad stripes of this season and it might be Sam and Dean working together from opposite views to get to the same place, but without each of them feeling that they were doing it all alone, one carrying the burden to protect the other..
It was encouraging that Dean actually listened to Sam—like *listened* listened. When Sam said, "When did we forget how to do this?" I think he was right. Dean has narrowed his scope to' one person at a time, fuck it', and Sam still concentrates on the big picture, saving humanity. But Sam has been following Dean's way pretty closely since Ruby if I'm not mistaken. I'd like to see him—both of them—take some steps back to the way they cared in the early seasons. They're not ever going to be all the way like that again of course, they aren't little boys anymore, they’re grown men with a lot, a LOT, of crummy life experience between them. Still, they each have these strengths that when pooled make them unbeatable. Can we hope for more cooperation and less standoffs this season? Less storming off in snits and swearing off each other forever?
Please, lord, let someone have explained the concept of brotherhood and love to Carver over the hiatus….
As for the lying to each other bit, I thought I understood why Sam didn’t tell Dean he'd been infected. I was a little disappointed in Sam but not mad about that; it wasn't a Ruby-level lie or an "I'm fine, the MOC is just a little itchy" kinda lie. It was a 'I'm protecting my big brother." lie. This kind of lying is a big military thing. When someone is deployed, they don’t need worries to distract them. Mind you…lying about possible death doesn’t really fall under that umbrella, but they are Winchesters and their dad was a Marine….
I was happy with the ep all in all. There are possible nits to pick but I'm not interested in doing so. I'm just here to spread the happy.
Fun little observations—
* knowing now that Jenna is gay, on rewatch I noticed they framed a shot with her with what looked like a pain chart over her head—a rainbow-striped pain chart.
* Crowley as bored suburban housewife agreeing to a mini-key party made me laugh, like, he skipped into a different meatsuit and a different century, Tom Jones blaring out the hi-fi and all. :D
* My eyes SHOT open when I saw that mark on the baby!!