Supernatural Review: Episode 8×22 “Clip Show”

Review of Episode 8×22: “Clip Show”
by castiello

Initial Thoughts: They killed Sarah. Sam’s Sarah. Right in front of him. Right in front of us…It was awful and brutal and…and…**runs off to sob in a dark corner**

A few hours later…

Okay, I think I’ve recovered enough to talk about the episode.

Sammy: Oh, poor baby…Watching Sarah die like that and not being able to do anything about it…Seriously, there are no words. I almost couldn’t bear to look at the screen. And afterwards, his brokenness. His defeat. So painful…Now Sam wants to give up on the quest, and I can’t blame him – who knows which person Crowley will go after next? I mean, think about the kids Sam and Dean have saved: that little boy in “Dead in the Water,” the little girl in “Playthings,” Krissy, Ben…Just going over the possibilities makes me feel a little sick. Crowley sure knew which trigger to pull didn’t he? And so did the writers. Ouch.

Proud of Sam for sticking up for Cass in this ep. Dean went on and on about all the crap Cass has pulled recently – which honestly isn’t that bad compared to things Castiel’s done in the past, e.g. teaming up with the King of Hell – and Sam’s simple argument for why they should forgive their angel buddy consisted of three short words: “Because it’s Cass.” Amen, Sam! Amen!

Sarah’s observations about Sam’s hair may have been flawed (Yes, you heard me, I didn’t like the Season One haircut. Nay, I hated it **ducks sharp objects hurled by rabid Sam girls**) but what she noticed about his character was right on the $$$. She said he seems more self-assured. Seeing as he felt lost and guilty and cursed when she first met him, it was cool to see Sam’s changes through the eyes of someone who hasn’t been there to witness everything he’s survived in the past seven-to-nine years. The differences between then and now, both physical and mental, are staggering. He is all grown up, just like Sarah said.

She also said that Sam “knows what he wants.” At that particular moment, I’d say it was true. Sam wanted to close the Hell Gate, and then go on to lead a normal, “apple pie” life. The only problem with that goal: Sam and Dean have no idea what will happen when the Gate slams shut. They are operating under the highly unrealistic expectation that once the door is closed, all things that screech and claw and rip people up will instantly go “poof” and the world will be a calm place, empty of both monsters and demons. When this doesn’t happen, and there are still ten million creatures out there killing innocent folks, then I have no idea what Sam will want. He’s been very committed to this task…but what about the next one?

Dean: Another poor baby. Though Sarah’s death surely didn’t impact him as hard as it did Sam, I know Dean can’t be taking it well, either. Especially thinking about who might be next. I mean Crowley does know about Ben and Lisa. Wiping Lisa and Ben’s memories has done nothing to prevent Dean’s ex-girlfriend and surrogate son from being used as a weapon – why would it matter to Crowley that they don’t remember Dean? Dean remembers them, and that’s all Crowley cares about. They are a way to emotionally gut Dean, just as Sarah’s death emotionally gutted Sam. And Crowley was wicked smart not to start with Lisa and Ben – holding onto them as an ace in the hole was one of his usual strokes of demonic brilliance.

But now Dean is in a major Catch-22 situation. Because if he and Sam don’t quit, Ben, Lisa and hundreds of other people could die senselessly. But if they do quit, then Sam dies. And that is simply not an option in Dean’s book, or in mine. Dean’s main driving force at this point is trying to get Sam better. Without completing the third task, that won’t happen. Sam is clearly willing to make the sacrifice, but there’ll be Ice Capades in Hell before Dean goes along with that plan.

Not diggin’ how mean Dean was to Castiel in this episode. Poor Cass had his brain rewired – numerous times – and still managed to overcome his programming to keep himself from killing Dean. So what if Castiel took the angel tablet? Dean doesn’t have any right to that, anyway. Get off your high horse, Dean! (Ooh, I just had a cool mental image of Dean riding Death’s horse in the apocalypse…) Seriously, though, this is not the first time Dean’s been downright cold towards Cass – remember back in Season Six when the angel civil war was going down? Most of the time, Dean acted like he couldn’t care less. I think he offered to help a grand total of one time, and even then it was only as an afterthought. I know the current strife between Cass and Dean won’t last forever – it never does. So I’ll suck it up…for now. But all the while I’ll be eagerly looking forward to the return of the closeness I have come to cherish between Dean and his angel.

Sarah: You know, there’s a part of me that rages against certain post-Season Five creative choices. Like killing off Bobby, having Castiel be the bad guy for a whole season, turning Grandpa Samuel into a world-class d!ck, etc, etc. Now, I will be adding killing off Sarah and Tommy to that list. Okay, maybe Tommy’s death was somewhat acceptable, but Sarah? The one girl who was pretty darn near universally approved by the fandom as a potential mate for Sam? When the post-Season Five creative team decided to take her away from us, something rose up inside of me. Something like “This is NOT your show. This is KRIPKE’S show. You are not running it as well as he did, therefore you do NOT have a right to kill off beloved characters on a whim.” And then I realized: that is exactly how I am supposed to feel – because that is exactly how Sam and Dean feel. The people they’ve saved are the one thing that keeps them going, the one pure, good thing they can look back on when they want to feel better. Crowley took that from them, and the writers took it from us, creating a perfect moment of empathy between the fans and the characters. Hats off to some tremendous, Kripke-worthy writing.

Castiel: Totally won my heart over during his trip to the grocery story, buying jerky and Busty Asian Beauties and demanding PIE. In his childlike, emotionally-stunted, socially-crippled way, Cass was doing everything he could to make things right with Dean. I only wish Castiel had finished the job rather than teaming up with Metatron for some seriously-dubious Nephilim-hunting. It’s scary how easily Cass can be led astray, even after the Crowley debacle…

Metatron: I was just saying how much I liked this dude, and already he’s lost some of my respect! Killing an innocent creature that had committed no crime aside from being born? ICK. The justification “she’s an abomination” holds less water than a desert. You can’t kill somebody for no other reason than because they happen to exist. And the self-defense argument doesn’t work, either – Castiel and Metatron went after this girl with the intent of murdering her. So what if she made the first move? I had nothing but sympathy for this creature, no matter how mean and bad-@$$ they tried to make her seem. Metatron’s idea about closing Heaven was well-reasoned, but the cost of getting the job done is already too high.

Abadon: Sam and Dean get major IQ points for leaving her without hands – I’ll give them that. Sadly, that’s about all the IQ points they earned in this episode. There was no logic behind reconstructing one of Lucifer’s Knights. They had a dangerous demon successfully incapacitated, and they brought her back for no good reason. The demon-curing exorcism they listened to was performed on a REGULAR demon – there was no reason to think it would or could work on a super-powered Knight of Hell. And at that point in the ep, Sam and Dean didn’t know that Crowley was intentionally keeping demons and demonic creatures away from them. So, there was no reason not to try to find a normal demon to test the ritual on. No reason except that the writers wanted Abadon back, and took the easiest route possible to have that happen. Sam and Dean didn’t even put her in a devil’s trap, for crying out loud! They relied solely on the bullet rather than putting every possible precaution into place, and that’s so not them. Also, they left her unattended. And they left her hands about two feet away from her. Stupid X infinity. The only positive thing I can say about the Abadon mess is that watching her hand creep across the table and jump onto her shoulder and reach into her brain was a fine moment of horror television. I think my skin crawled away.

Crowley: Can’t talk about him right now. The pain is still too fresh.

Re: Closing Heaven: I like that the tasks to close the Heaven Gate are quite the opposite of the ones required to close Hell. To shut the door on demons, a person is asked to do good things – e.g. kill an evil creature, save an innocent soul, cure a demon. But to close Heaven, a person must do something morally corrupt, like cut the heart out of a creature that doesn’t deserve to die. I shudder to think what else Castiel and his new friend will have to do to meet their goal…

Final Thoughts: So, Abadon is (stupidly) on the loose, Crowley is hitting the boys – and the fans – where it really hurts, Sam’s ready to give up, Dean doesn’t know which way to turn, and Castiel and Metatron have embarked on a morally-questionable-at-best mission to save angel-kind. Sounds to me like we have all the makings of a gut-wrenching, thrill-a-minute season finale :).

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