ashkiryn: (Namine chains)
[personal profile] ashkiryn
Alright, so I flaked off doing this last week.....but hopefully I'll be doing two of these things today to compensate?

Anyway, this episode isn't my favorite, but so far, Supernatural wins out and can make me become interested in any episode once I actually sit down to watch it. And I still found things to talk about. Like "Skin", this episode was written by John Shiban (who apparently stopped writing for this show after season 2, his last episode being a personal favorite of mine, "Folsom Prison Blues").


Sam says that quote to Lori in this episode, after she talks about how the police are frustrated with her for not providing much "real evidence", and how she must have been seeing things. I find it to be a very interesting choice for Sam to be the one saying such a line, especially given his character arc with Hallucifer in season 7. Of course, I don't think that the writers back in season 1 knew that such an arc was going to come about (seeing as Kripke envisioned the show ending after season 5), but it's still interesting, and it's an interesting commentary, one that Supernatural makes a couple of times: what constitutes reality? Or, even if something isn't real, does that mean the emotions it created are less as well? I think we see this particularly in "What Is and What Should Never Be", "The End", "It's a Terrible Life", and "My Heart Will Go On", all of which deal with 'alternate realities/universes', and technically I suppose "The French Mistake" also counts for this, even though I personally don't count it because it leans too heavily on the ridiculous for me to really take that episode seriously, especially as it's basically Supernatural's full on parody episode. Anyway, my point is that this is a theme that we'll see several times over the course of the series, with nuances and something I'd call unique to each case, but in the end, these alternate realities essentially die, though their impact on the characters can still be seen and felt. (It also interests me that two of those in particular are Dean-centric, while with the ones Sam gets to deal with, he has to share the focus with Dean and also Bobby and Cas in the last one.) In any case, I just thought that it was a neat comment by Sam, and one of the few things that he's said that's really stuck out to me (so far, and that's stuck out in a positive way).

Before I fully delve into analyzing the Hook Man, though, I want to take a moment to make an observation about Sam that's been swimming in the back of my head for some time, and that with this episode has been brought to the forefront of my mind. Which, is basically the difference that I note between the way Sam and Dean relate to their love interests.

Because here in this episode, we have Lori Sorenson, who is the first vague love interest that Sam's had since Jessica in the "Pilot". And Lori here starts a trend that follows Sam throughout all 8 seasons, and is repeated with countless love interests. To get to the point, Sam gets attracted to people with whom he can identify, in whom he sees a part of himself, and this especially happens when he's undergoing some kind of internal crisis, and thus unconsciously seeks validation from another. I mean, really, look at this list:

-Lori: A woman struggling with morality and her understanding of how the world works, who clashes with her father that taught her that black and white view of the world, and who she feels is betraying those teachings, and perhaps the reason they clash so much is because they're too much alike, and she inherently knows and hates this. Also, it's interesting....Lori's father was having an affair with a married woman with kids. Kind of reminds you of John and Kate Milligan, and the Winchesters' half-brother Adam, no?

-Meg: (As she presents herself before we know that she's a demon.) A person who ran away from home because their family couldn't understand them and therefore accept their differences, and that said family couldn't understand their desire for freedom and independence. (Conviently appearing in the episode where Sam runs away from Dean, because Dean just can't possibly understand his need for revenge and to find John.)

-Sarah Blake: A woman who's been dealing with a recent death (of her mother, even), and who's battling through the pain and fear and trying to stop locking herself away from the world for fear of getting more hurt.

-Madison: A werewolf who's fighting a darkness inside of her that everyone says is impossible to win against, even though she's a nice, good, innocent person who doesn't deserve it. (I maintain that his determination to save her is more about him and his need to save himself than about loving her.)

-Ruby: A demon, that he has to believe is "good" and who is his hope in his darkest moments that he won't have to completely forget his humanity, and that he can still save people even as he walks down a dark road that everyone else warns him against.

-Amy: A freak who wants to escape life from under her abusive mother's thumb, and who later is just desperate and trying to get by.

-Amelia Richardson: A woman who's been shattered by the loss of her husband, the most important person in her life, and who's basically run away from everyone that she knew because she couldn't stand to see their faces anymore. (And into the picture comes a Sam shattered by the loss of his brother, riding on the heels of the loss of basically everyone he knows in one stroke.)

Like, holy crap, man. (The only one I can't quite get my head around is Bela, with whom Sam dreams of having sex with in "Dream a Little Dream of Me". Like, I'm going to seriously have to commit to paying attention to that one to try to see if I can lessen the feeling of that coming out of left field.) And the only one who doesn't fit this pattern is Jessica, and only because we never see enough of the relationship she had with Sam to understand the canon dynamic. Basically, Sam latches onto people for validation of himself and his feelings, whereas Dean from what I can see is attracted to things in people that he doesn't see in himself (namely, self-confidence, a comfortableness in their own skin, normality, intelligence, goodness, etc), and things that he thinks he himself could never get. And when someone does hold up a mirror so that he can see himself in them, and then implies romantic/sexual interest, well....he runs the fuck away and/or freaks out about them (see: Bela, Lydia once he finds out she's a monster...). Except for maybe Cas, but then, Cas is a different kettle of fish for Dean (and like I'm guessing Jess was for Sam).

Oh, and this episode also continues the pattern of the climatic, epic saving being left to Dean, a pattern which I've previously noted is going to hold until "Scarecrow", and Sam actually making the right choice for the right reasons, for once.

Anywho. Let's actually get to talking about the Hook Man, yes? So, it's the spirit of this reverend, who once got fed up with the immorality of the world and murdered 13 prostitutes, and said spirit is attaching itself to people of faith, and starts acting up when the religious person is full of conflicting feelings, and takes it upon itself to adminster punishment to the people around the Person that they believe to be sinners.

Um. Which, really, this is part of why I've never been able to be big into religion. Like, love and forgiveness and salvation and understanding and shit? That, I can get behind. But so much of religion seems to be focused on punishing people for not doing right, or for not being good enough, or for not ascribing to all these rules and regulations that barely make any sense (like how Jewish people can't eat pork, or ham, or bacon, and stuff), and to me, it just seems so....tiring, to have to beat up on yourself all the time, and then according to some religions, it doesn't even really matter, because we're born sinners with Original Sin or whatever because of Adam and Eve, and just....

Look, I'm hard enough on myself every day without getting extra helpings from religion, thank you very much, especially when it seems to me that the whole point of religion is to give you something to feel better about, a higher cause to believe in that's looking out for you or whatever....except if you fail to keep to a ridiculous number of rituals, or if you're gay, etc, etc.

So Lori's whole talk about how her dad brought her up to believe that if you do bad things, you're going to get punished, and that she unconsciously believes enough for the Hook Man to latch onto her, that said punishment should be death? Uh, no thanks, you can keep that to yourself.

I guess that makes this episode a commentary on the eventual self-destructive quality of Sam's rage against his father and his uncertainty about John's teachings, which of course morphs into the self-righteous line of thought that leads to Sam's being a mess in season 4. I mean, both Lori and Sam believe that they know what's right more than anybody else does, and they both become obsessed with punishing those with whom they find fault (Lori's dad, and really, Lilith for Sam in season 4). And of course, they both dearly regret the violence enacted on aforementioned people (because if Sam hadn't killed Lilith, well, then Lucifer wouldn't have been freed).

So, yeah. Sam sure knows how to pick 'em.

(And Dean is lovely, being all badass and big brotherly in the background. *hearts him*)


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ashkiryn

December 2015

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