22 March 2013

Review: Supernatural 'Goodbye Stranger'


"We are family. We need you. I need you."
Dean Winchester

Thank goodness Supernatural is back and my life is back to some sort of order. I have been so looking forward to watching Goodbye Stranger. Part of me was excited, but part of me was scared. I was excited because I knew this episode would be epic and intense, I was very much looking forward to the development of the story and the return of Megstiel. Shut up! I was scared because I knew Dean and Cas would have some sort of confrontation that was bloody. If my favourite musical taught me anything, Cas has been changed for good because he knew Dean. Dean has re-written Cas' life by being his friend. This is something Naomi would never understand, no matter how many times Cas has killed Dean during his training session. The last time we saw Cas causing a catastrophic annihilation was when he killed the angels in Meet the New Boss. The opening scene of Goodbye Stranger certainly has the same effect. But you and I both knew, Cas would never kill Dean, but it was the 'how' that intrigued me the most. 



There are so many things to talk about. Let me start by talking about the confrontation between Dean and Cas a bit more. The opening scene certainly set the tone for the episode extremely well. Ever since A Slice of Kevin, I have been asking myself, what would happen when Dean found out about Naomi who had been controlling Cas? I was wondering if Dean would go all 'I can't believe you are lying to me again', but I prefer him not to, otherwise it'd be season six all over again. I was wondering if Cas would continue to be controlled and lie to Dean, but I prefer not to as I don't want this to drag longer than it should. I wanted an ending to this particular part of the story. 



I think Jeremy Carver is doing really good with the structure of the overall story, he has been giving us small arcs, solving them, and then giving us enough to move forward to the next arc. It's very Kripke like. Turned out, Naomi needed her best soldier to be re-programed and trained to do his job. Angels were soldiers, as Cas had told us in Are You There God, It's Me, Dean Winchester. I like the progression of this part of the story, it was a nice call back to the previous seasons and the angel mytho. It also moved things along to the next phase of the story. I think Robbie Thompson put his heart and soul into writing this episode and I love that. There wasn't a dull moment from the moment the episodes started. This episodes have plenty of great lines and pop culture references.


The way Cas and Dean confronted each other was epic. I am really proud of Cas, he resisted and defied Naomi the same way he responded to Zachariah in Lucifer Rising when Cas chose Dean over heaven. That scene, to me, was life-changing for Cas because of Dean. After everything that had happened since season six, after everything Cas had experienced emotionally, this was what these friends had come to -- they are family, they need each other. Yes, Cas had made Dean very angry with all the betrayals and lies, but I think Dean was pissed because Cas could've come to Dean for help -- 'why didn't you talk to me if you were confused?' 'why did you not ask for my help when you needed it the most?' -- it wasn't the case of the simple 'oh you bastard, you lie to me' like a ten year old. I think Cas wanted to experience his humanity independently without anyone telling him how to think and what to do, and he thought he was doing the right thing. But he didn't realise how complicated human emotions were and he screwed up. What saved Cas was Dean's persistence as a friend. Dean never gave up on Cas, he saved his friend from darkness, Purgatory and confusion. Naomi had underestimated the depth of BFF! 


Life won't be the same again for Cas now that the angel tablet is in his possession. Cas still feels incredible guilty but he will have time to process his feelings. Cas continues to intrigue me because he brings different perspectives and dynamic to the show. I can't wait to see the next chapter and how Cas' role will progress with the highly valuable angel tablet. The closing scene with Supertramp's Goodbye Stranger symbolised the very human side of Cas. It was somewhat very poetic too. The song was about a guy not wanting a relationship. You and I know, this won't the last time we see this angel of the lord.



So, what do you think about Naomi? One thing for sure, she doesn't take crap from Crowley. I like that she just walked away when Crowley was about to propose a deal. Working with demons were unclean. What role will she play when Metatron makes his appearance before the season ends? This isn't be the last time we see Naomi, she will return in 8.19 Taxi Driver. I don't think she will give up on finding Cas and the angel tablet. She is going to keep an eye on Dean and Sam, because they are her only link for finding Cas and the angel tablet. I like Naomi as a character on the show, I think she is a mystery box and she is the kind of character the writers want to keep in the side pocket. I like the balance between the leaders of Angel (Naomi) and Demon (Crowley), and Dean, Sam and Cas are smack in the middle of it.




Can we talk about Megstiel? Do you think she is really dead? May be Cas went back and heal her? I have sent a few tweets about this -- is it weird that I love Meg and Cas together? It's so totally wrong but it's so intriguing and…cute! I love how flirtatious Cas and Meg had been since Caged Heat. The pizza man reference was hilarious! But there is more to this relationship and this is how I interpret it. Meg has been, and I quote my friends on Twitter, the most consistent female character on the show. I add, she is one of the most underrated characters on the show. She has been around since season one, she has been super bad. She was doing all sorts of bad things to survive. She chose the right leaders to follow to ensure her own survival. But they were all defeated by the same people -- Dean and Sam.


So Meg considered herself 'good'. It's complicated, like she said. Meg turned to the fighting with the 'good side' -- the Winchesters and the angel -- because she wanted to be free. This has been a recurring theme for awhile -- putting humanity into monsters and see what happened. I won't say fans would now all forgive what Meg did to Ellen and Jo in Abandon All Hope. But she wasn't Ruby and she wasn't pretentious like Ruby. She was the second in charge for many big bads including Lucifer and Yellow Eyed, and they lost. I think Cas changed her way of thinking. May be part of her believed that she can be saved by the angel. This is weird, but this is her way being in love with Cas and the idea of being free. She did refer Cas as 'my unicorn'. After Sam told her his story, she connected her own emotional experience and it was very Cas influenced.

Rachel is tiny.
Rachel Miner's Meg is my favourite Meg. I didn't think much of Meg nor the actresses who played her. But she had been growing on me since Caged Heat. I think the Megstiel thing really got me and it's fascinating. And she was really changing. During Goodbye Stranger, I was like, OK, she is going to betray the boys now! Now! Oh wait! What about now? Ah.. now? But she never! It's a very strange 'love story' between her and Cas, one I did not see coming until season seven. I need a rewatch of their episodes.


Let's talk about Sam. I was half expected Dean will go super angry on Sam when he found out about Sam coughing out blood and didn't tell him. Not super angry anyway, I think Dean understood why Sam lied to him. Dean knew all along this won't be easy and Dean knew Sam wasn't doing great, he just didn't know what. Dean just came straight out and said no more lies. And Sam was honest about his condition. He just didn't want his big brother to worry.

One moment please...
But oh was Dean worried? At the end of the day, LOTRs saved the day, "I may not be able to carry the burden that comes with these trials, but I can carry you." Adorable! Dean was the over protected big brother but he had every reason to be. And I think that's why Sam didn't tell him half the stuff he did in the past, because he knew how Dean would react. But let's move on! And that's what this episode did… everyone moved on.


Crowley was super Crowley in this episode. Mark Sheppard was just so good to watch on screen. His one-liners were awesome and you have to be stoned to write his lines! I really like that fact that Crowley isn't like Lucifer or Yellow Eyed Demon or Lillith. Crowley is a businessman and an opportunist, and he knows how to do business. He is smart and he loves to talk. He is a lover. Yeah right! But seriously he is good. He is really good! What will he do now?


I think Goodbye Stranger was a very important and super solid episode. This wrapped the middle act I think. And now, with six episodes to go before season eight ends, I think we are going into the final act with some really materials. It's going to be seriously epic. 

Konnichiwa
Next week, Madison McLaughlin returns as Krissy in Freaks and Geeks. It looks like a filler episode on paper, but what do I know?!

8.18 Freaks and Geeks  


SAM AND DEAN RUN ACROSS A NEW AND UNUSUAL TEAM OF HUNTERS — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate some recent vampire kills and are surprised to learn Krissy Chambers (guest star Madison McLaughlin) is involved. They find Krissy and learn her father was killed and she’s been taken in by a man named Victor (guest star Adrian Hough), who has taken in a group of orphan kids to teach them how to hunt. Victor is helping the teenagers find the vampires who took their parents so they can get revenge. Sam is intrigued by Victor’s method of giving the teenagers a home life as well as a hunting life, but Dean is suspicious of Victor’s motives. John F. Showalter directed the episode written by Adam Glass.


4 comments:

  1. @Deanie_24 -I totally loved this episode. It had a little but of everything for everyone!! Nicely broken down Tiny. :)

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  2. It was such a good episode Tiny! I'm absolutely loving where the brothers are at and how their interacting with each other.

    I think the loss of Meg is a tragedy for the show. She's been with us since season 1 and there is such a sense of history with her. She's part of Azazel's original crew. She's intrinsically tied to the series mythology. I will miss that history. I wish they hadn't done that. I loved that she was a survivor, I loved that you never knew when she might pop up again.

    But I loved this episode, really well written and directed and EDITED. The edited was a knock out.

    Great review as usual Tiny!
    -Amy xx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! Indeed. I miss the old Meg but also love the new and now dead Meg. So underrated at times, but a great character on the show. And great point about Meg in relation to the mytho of the show overall.

      Thanks Amy.

      Tiny

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