bardicvoice: (9.01)

9.01 I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here: There Ain't No Me If There Ain't No You

Sam's inner debate:
Fight for life, or die in peace?
Dean loads angel dice.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

Put me on the list of fans who loved this episode. I know it created controversy among fans – hell, what episode doesn't these days, given the different lenses fans always watch through? – but it worked brilliantly for me. In this discussion, I'm going to look at angels in the human outfield; what was going on in Sam's mind as he lay in that coma; Dean's decisions; Castiel dealing with humanity from the inside; and the enigmatic Ezekiel.

Read the rest ... )

In his internal debate about living or dying, Sam unconsciously stacked the deck against his own survival by emphasizing all the things that make human life hard: struggle, conflict, anger, pain, loss. All too often, I think we, like Sam, lose sight of the very things that make even the hardest life worthwhile: love, concern for each other, generosity, acceptance, forgiveness. Sometimes, we need to take a leap of faith and place our trust in someone else to find our way back to ourselves. Every time we do that, we take a risk – but don't you think life and love are worth a risk?


Want to read my commentaries and meta earlier? They always post on The Winchester Family Business a few days before they appear here. Check http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/!



bardicvoice: (happy by <lj user=galathea_snb>)

Staying In Love With Your Partner (Show)

Relationships are seldom easy. Oh, some friendships can be – but love? Keeping things both fresh and committed can be hard, because the people (shows) we love are uniquely able to hurt us as well as delight us. Here's some advice on making your relationship with your beloved partner (favorite TV show) work!

Read the rest ... )

So, those are my basic bits of successful partner (show) relationship advice. Do you have additional ones to contribute? Weigh in!

And stay in love!

bardicvoice: (SU weebros by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)



Supernatural University: Tragedies, Bloodlines, Legacies – The Evolution of the Family Business

“Saving people, hunting things: the family business.”

That's been the tagline of Supernatural from the very beginning, memorably given voice by Dean way back in the second episode, Wendigo, and repeated multiple times every season since. But it's never been a static concept; every part of that phrase has undergone evolution as the seasons progressed. In this discussion, I look at how the show has changed our understanding of family and the family business from its original presentation of hunting, hunters, the Winchesters, and saving people to where we stand at the beginning of season nine. Welcome to a multidiscliplinary Supernatural University analytical session!

Read the rest ... )

Anticipation, It's Making Me Wait …

Season nine promises to continue exploring the Winchesters' MOL legacy and – through the consequences of Sam's trials, Dean's decisions, the angels falling, and Castiel being rendered human – the tensions in both the Winchesters' immediate and extended family. I suspect we'll see even more evolution in the family business concerning what it means to save people and hunt things.

But no matter what comes, I know family will always remain at the heart of the show. After all, this all started with another family business that diversified from its origins – Kripke Enterprises, a metal scrap dealer in Toledo, Ohio!

bardicvoice: (SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)



Supernatural University: Demonstration Angel

Even in the Supernatural universe, Castiel is absolutely unique. Oh, every angel is unique, like every person – each one is an individual with its own identity and personality – but from everything we've seen, Castiel stands alone as the only angel ever to die and be restored … not to mention experiencing that more than once. He's done things no other angel ever contemplated, and doesn't behave like any other angel we've ever met. Why is Castiel so unique? What is his purpose? Welcome to a speculative Supernatural University session in myth, theology, philosophy, psychology, and television production!

In my previous meta on angels as a group, I said I think Castiel represents the quintessential angel, the truest vision of what God intended angels to be. In this article, I'll look at Castiel from three very different but inextricably linked perspectives:


  • In practical television production terms, I'll explore why I think the writers – the show's other gods – designed and introduced him the way they did, why certain things happened to him along the way, and why I believe his initial role expanded largely because of what Misha Collins brought to his portrayal.


  • In terms of character development, I'll explain how I think he's different psychologically from most other angels we've seen, and postulate that his contact with Dean and Sam caused him to consider concepts he otherwise wouldn't have.


  • In story terms, I believe his innate differences, combined with his experience, are why he keeps being brought back from the dead: I propose the show's in-story God may be using him as both an exemplar and a test bed for angel development: God's demonstration angel.

Read the rest... )


bardicvoice: (SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

Supernatural University: Calling All Angels

This is the first of two articles exploring angels in the Supernatural universe. In this one, I'll be looking at the role angels have played and how that developed through the history of the series, including how angels relate to monsters and humans, and how I think their role has both meshed with and changed the show's “bible” over time. In the next article, shifting from the general concept of angels to the specific, I'm going to explore in detail the unique role of Castiel and put forward my own theories on his nature and purpose. Welcome to a multidisciplinary Supernatural University session in myth, theology, philosophy, psychology, and the nature of television production!

Read more... )

bardicvoice: (SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

Supernatural University: The Rainbow Connection, Or Can You See What I See?

Addressing the emotional fan reaction on the internet to catastrophic events in The Rains Of Castamere episode of HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Game Of Thrones, Smithsonian Magazine tweeted an excellent article on how and why we bond so strongly with fictional characters. The neatest thing – to me, anyway – about the theory put forth in that article is that it would also explain very simply why we Supernatural fans can all watch the same show and yet have such vastly differing, strongly held interpretations of the characters of Sam and Dean, not to mention other characters in the show. Here's a little Supernatural University psychology and physics discussion about why fandom fights about characters will always be fruitless and never resolve into sense.

Read the rest ... )

bardicvoice: (Modern Classic by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

8.17 Goodbye Stranger: I Can't Take Any More Lies – From Anyone

Lucifer's lost crypts
Conceal the angel tablet:
Win and lose at once.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

This episode was a game-changer in many ways, and I enjoyed them all. It also harked back to much of the show's history while shining a different light on it, and I appreciated that as well.

In this commentary, I'm going to speculate a lot about Crowley's history, contemplate what's happened to Sam, and delve into the bond between Castiel and Dean.

Read the rest ... )

As I noted, I have more to say, but no time at the moment to say it. I'm on tenterhooks for the rest of this season, and for what season nine will bring; I think the show right now is on an amazing creative roll, and however much it scares me, I can't wait to see where it goes. Especially when this is what the episode left with us to think about:

Goodbye stranger it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain …

Not on Supernatural. We'll feel … everything.


bardicvoice: (6.19 Car boys by <lj user=meg_tdj>)

8.16 Remember The Titans: This One Was Supposed To Be On Me

Prometheus' fate –
Die every day forever:
Hereditary.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

I enjoyed this episode a lot more than I expected to when I first learned about it. Supernatural has an unfortunate track record when it comes to stories involving non-Christian gods; they have most often come off as sloppy caricatures bearing little resemblance to their source mythology. I particularly loathed everything about the travesty that was Hammer Of The Gods and the bizarre depiction of Osiris in Defending Your Life, among others. This episode had its significant inaccuracies and issues, but it escaped the gross stupidity of prior outings, and I found the story of Shane, Hayley, and Oliver magnetic.

In this discussion, I'm going to look at Supernatural's cosmology and its treatment of gods and myth, and talk a little about the Winchesters' current relationship and the parallels I saw between them and Prometheus.

Read the rest ... )

This was a monster of the week story rather than one heavily into the show's mythology, but I very much enjoyed the way it still managed to tie the brothers' overall themes and issues into a standalone tale. That kind of solid linkage always makes a MOTW story more memorable and enjoyable, and with all the emotional and thematic resonance among Sam, Dean, and Prometheus, I will remember and savor this one for a long time.

bardicvoice: (Modern Classic by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

8.15 Man's Best Friend With Benefits: And Then Some Other Crap

Witch and familiar:
Partners in magic and love
Confront jealousy.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

I didn't care for this episode at all. This poorly conceived monster-of-the-week outing did nothing to advance the brothers' story, and the whole witch story didn't work for me for many reasons. In this discussion, I'm going to speak mostly to my problems with the episode's witch lore, and look at what little it had to say about the relationship between the brothers.

Read the rest ... )



Again, apologies for being so late posting this here. It went up on The Winchester Family Business back on Wednesday. WFB always gets at least a 24-hour exclusive; when I encounter interface problems or real life busyness, delays take hold. Sorry!

bardicvoice: (Modern Classic by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

8.14 Trial And Error: This Is My Perfect Ending

God's obstacle course:
Three deadly trials prepare one
To slam shut Hell's gates.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

This episode clearly set the stage for the rest of the season, and perhaps longer. I particularly loved the honesty we got from both of the brothers and the way their respective declarations demonstrated the profound differences in their mindsets facing the quest to close the gates of Hell. With Sam now committed to perform the trials, I really hope the honesty continues, although I'm betting it won't at first.

In this discussion, I'm going to speculate about Kevin's difficulties with translating the tablet and what that may mean for the quest, and I'm going to look at where Dean and Sam stand psychologically and emotionally.

Read the rest ... )

Apologies for the delay in posting this here: I've had problems with the LJ posting interface on Chrome. It's being a bitch. These posts always appear first on The Winchester Family Business: you might want to look there first.


bardicvoice: (worth it by <lj user=galathea_snb>)

8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler: Knowledge Is Power, Isn't It

Claim inheritance,
Hunt down secret enemies;
Take charge of your life.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

This episode was pure delight from beginning to end: a signature Ben Edlund blending of humor and horror beautifully realized by the cast, director Phil Sgriccia, and every single creative production department. The headquarters bunker set of the Men of Letters was nothing short of amazing, and I can't wait to see more of it and learn about the resources it provides.

I don't have a lot of things to say about this episode in terms of meta, so this discussion is going to be very short by my standards. I'm going to look at the season's continuing theme of taking responsibility, speculate about secret societies, and enjoy the brothers' reactions to their inheritance.


Read the rest ... )

I know this is just the calm before the storm, but I can't help being cheered by the resources the Letters' bunker provides the Winchesters. Eckhart was right: knowledge is power, and with the Letters' library combined with Kevin's work on the demon tablet, the Winchesters have access to an unprecedented quantity and quality of organized knowledge: a veritable arsenal of power.

What they do with it and what it will cost them remains to be seen.

bardicvoice: (Whee! by <lj user=talulababy>)

8.11 LARP And The Real Girl: Escaping Isn't What It Used To Be

Frustrated LARPer
Binds fairy to kill rivals:
Brave hearts win the day.


Read the rest ... )

I found the way this episode ended, with the brothers taking a few hours simply to play together, happily healing. They have a long way yet to go to rebuild the full strength of their brother bond, but they've both taken purposeful steps toward that end. And I think they will take those lessons with them when they leave Moondoor's escapism behind to go bravely into the next world – their real one.

bardicvoice: (B&W brothers by <lj user=clubinthesky>)

8.10 Torn And Frayed: I Can't Enjoy A World I Need To Save

Who controls angels?
Crowley and Naomi both
Tamper with base code.

Commentary And Meta Analysis

Torn and frayed pretty well described all of our heroes by the end of this episode. But despite being torn and frayed, a blanket can still keep you warm, and the way this episode ended, with the Winchesters deliberately reunited by their own conscious choice, it offered us a warmth and hope we've long been missing. I loved this episode and look forward to where the story will take us from here.

In this commentary, I'm going to look at angel source code, tablets, and what's happening in Heaven; Sam and Dean's choices and relationships; and Benny's struggle with addiction.


Read more... )

I know I've been missing in action from commentary during much of this season so far, but I have to say I've been enjoying what showrunner Jeremy Carver has brought to the table. I'm in for the long run, and I can't wait to see where we go from here, with Sam and Dean back together again. And while their coats are torn and frayed and have seen much better days, as long as this show plays, they'll steal my heart away.

bardicvoice: (SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

Supernatural University: Being Your Brother's Keeper

We know season eight is exploring issues of perception. Even if we didn't have the interview words of showrunner Jeremy Carver pointing that out, we'd have known it from what we've seen thus far of the conflict between the brothers, particularly given its basis in their differing experiences and views of those experiences from their year apart, and from Castiel's pointed demonstration in A Little Slice Of Kevin of the crucial difference between Dean's memories of events in Purgatory – his perception of reality – and the truth of what really happened when Castiel chose to remain behind.

As usual, however, there's more than a single theme to the season, and I think one many people have overlooked involves a question the show has been asking, albeit mostly rhetorically, from the beginning: how responsible are we for the well-being of others? Or in other words, to what extent are we – and Sam and Dean – personally, socially, ethically, and morally responsible for being our brothers' keepers? How much of our time, our substance, and ourselves must we give to others? When have we given enough? When can we say “no more” without feeling guilty or being called selfish? And do hunters owe a greater duty to others than those who don't know about the supernatural? Welcome to a philosophy and psychology discussion at Supernatural University!


Read the rest ... )

Sorry this has posted so late; I wrote it before Torn And Frayed aired, but it got held up in the queue for publication over at The Winchester Family Business, and my agreement with WFB is they get to post first. I think it's clear from the last two episodes that Dean has been able to adjust his perception at least a little to be able to see things from Sam's perspective!

bardicvoice: (B&W brothers by <lj user=clubinthesky>)

8.03: What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?: It’s About The Sacrifice

(Previously published on The Winchester Family Business)

What's the price of peace?
Mother's soul for her son's life;
Dean's Winchester guilt.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

I will apologize in advance, because this one’s going to be short and shallow given the current strictures on my time. I hope to be able to come back and explore more things later – for one, I already have a whole meta in process on the role played by Castiel throughout the show, something I began over a month ago, and I agree with Samandiriel’s comment on heart – but for the time being, I’m going to run very briefly just with the glimpse inside Dean this episode gave us.


Read the rest ... )


bardicvoice: (Welome back boys by <lj user=Cakehole_Ca)

8.02 We Need To Talk About Kevin: Let's Do This

(Originally published on the Winchester Family Business)

Escaped fighter Dean
Disrupts Sam's new life of peace.
New quest: Word of God.

Commentary and Meta Analysis

I'm afraid this won't be up to my usual standards – I'm hideously hard-pressed right now juggling the career I'm leaving, the career I'm starting, family matters, and my fannish heart – but I had to return to blogging Supernatural. I hope you'll forgive the absence of the episode summaries and the scattershot and incomplete nature of the commentaries, at least until my life takes on its new proper proportions in January. I promise to try to do better then, although I think the summaries are toast. Alas.

In the meantime, this discussion explores my thoughts on Purgatory, Dean, and Sam.


Read the rest ... )

Suffice to say for the moment that I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, need to watch it again, and cannot wait to see where Carver and company are taking us! I especially want to know what happened to Castiel; Dean's whole story in Purgatory; exactly what happened to Sam after Dean and Castiel disappeared; and why the angels haven't intervened to secure the stray Words of God on Earth … Oh, and I hope we get to keep the rock music this season, because opening with Jethro Tull and Styx was wonderful!

Bring it, season eight!

bardicvoice: (DeanSky by <lj user=clubinthesky>)

Supernatural University: Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose

(Originally posted on The Winchester Family Business -- Contains Discussion of Spoilers!)

As always in the anticipation of a new season, many fans are bouncing off the walls reacting to spoilery tidbits about the upcoming storyline. I'm going to say up front I've never understood the fannish tendency to jump off cliffs making judgments about things we haven't even seen yet, especially leaping to angry, bitter conclusions about the writers throwing one character under a bus while obviously favoring the other purely on the basis of short, deliberately vague interviews and attention-getting, tiny clips. Prejudging on the basis of incomplete information strikes me as short-sighted on so many levels, and can ruin the viewing experience not only for the judger, but for others who simply want to see where the story will go. My advice to fans (including me!) is always the same: don't assume things in advance, be aware of your own biases before accusing others, and give the writers time in which to build and develop their story – don't expect all the answers in the first five minutes, or even the first five episodes. If there were no mystery, where would the story have room to grow?


Read the rest ... )



And we'll all know more about whether I'm right or wrong as the season progresses! Give it time. I will.

bardicvoice: (On location)

2012 Location Tour, Spoilers Only!

(Originally posted on The Winchester Family Business)

Russ offered a few very tiny little spoilers for season 8 during the location tour. They don't give away anything about character or plot, so they hardly qualify as spoilers at all, but for people who are thoroughly keeping their heads down and eyes averted to come into the season as total virgins, back away now! Otherwise, come on in; I don't think anything here really gives anything crucial away …


Read the rest ... )

And that ends my report of spoilery information from the location tour. On to season 8!

All my specifically spoilery photos and videos from the tour are here.

bardicvoice: (On location)

2012 Supernatural Location Tour (No Spoilers!)

(Originally published on The Winchester Family Business)

This article takes you along on the 2012 Location Tour with locations manager Russ Hamilton. While we clearly went to some locations that are being used in season 8 – heck, Supernatural reuses so many locations that it would be impossible to avoid that, and we saw a glimpse of Purgatory at the end of season 7! – this article doesn't include any of the spoilery teases provided on the tour, so you can read this and stay unspoiled. The teasing bits Russ provided will appear in a very short follow-up article clearly marked as containing spoilers. Please don't mention spoiler-related information in your comments on this article; save them for the next one. I know what I skipped saying here!

This year's tour took us to the Purgatory woods, which have also been other things in the past; the DOD lands, also called the North 40, which have been used in so many episodes I've lost count; the backlot, originally built for Watchmen and now a staple of the local studio scene; Como Lake, where Castiel walked into the reservoir and released the Leviathan in Hello, Cruel World; the Paramount Gentlemen's Club in New Westminster, used in Criss Angel Is A Douchebag; and the Minoru Chapel, the deconsecrated church where Castiel killed the preacher in Meet The New Boss.


Read the rest ... )

Well, that's it for the non-spoilery report on the 2012 Location Tour. If you're okay with spoilers, check out the next post; if you're avoiding spoilers, wait until after the first five episodes air before you check it out.

And I think I'll be planning on joining Russ for next year's tour … :)

A slideshow of all non-spoilery tour photos - with captions - is here.

My photos and videos are here.

bardicvoice: (SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)


Supernatural University: Shameless Spoilery Speculation -- Season Eight, The Search for … Limbo?

I avoid spoilers, but accept teasers – by which I mean sanctioned interviews with writers, actors, producers, and directors. So I did follow the coverage from the San Diego ComicCon (although I haven't had time to see it all!), and of course, it sparked some thoughts in my overly fertile brain. What follows is just speculation, pure and simple, so don't take it as anything more. It's probably totally wrong, and trust me, I'm perfectly fine with that; I'll welcome seeing whichever way Season Eight goes, and I trust Jeremy Carver & Company to take me for a fine ride! But while I'm waiting to board the Supernatural Season Eight soul train, I'm going to indulge in a little wild-assery – come along if you dare!


Read the rest ... )


Profile

bardicvoice: (Default)
bardicvoice

December 2015

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags