I got to watch this with a friend last night and we rewatched it right after since she DVR’d it, fell off the couch laughing both times. She pointed something out to me though that when I thought about it this morning it made me see just how much deeper Jared and Jensen’s choices are, there’s one that I hadn’t even noticed and it really brings a lot of things home about where the boys are this season. I’ll get to that in a minute, let’s chat about Dylan.
Dylan played Jensen playing Dean flawlessly and that is no easy task since Jensen has years of emotional knowledge about Dean and Dylan has only played the character once before. I made the comment that Jensen must have loved the filming schedule since he would have had some time off but my friend stated she saw somewhere that Jensen had spent a lot of time on set with Dylan coaching him. I immediately regretted my earlier thought because I know Jensen wouldn’t just leave Dylan to his own devices, he would be there every step of the way to make sure Dylan would have all the tools to put in the best performance possible. Dylan nailed inflections, speaking patterns and even a lot of Jensen’s micro expressions so there was never a doubt that Dylan was Dean. One thing I noticed immediately was that Dylan seemed to be dropping his voice to get that trademark raspy Dean sound as well. It’s another testament to both the casting folks and Jensen that they were able to create such a believable young Dean. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Jensen went through the whole script with him several times so Dylan could get Dean’s character and personality perfect, even the timing of the banter with Sam was dead on.
Speaking of banter, some of the best comedic lines this season were in this episode. Yes, Fan Fiction was hysterical but this one was just pure brother on brother banter that we’ve not seen in quite some time. The underoos line was top notch along with the whole discussion of the bus ride. Once again, I really want to praise Jared’s reaction shots because as great as Dylan’s performance was Sam’s reactions, especially when teen Dean first shows up, sells it. The stunned confusion as he tries to make sense of what the hell he is seeing and the whole end scene with “Shake it Off” playing and adult Dean enjoying it seals the deal.
This episode was one of the “take a break from the main story arc and have fun” episodes even though we do catch a hint that the Grand Coven is after Rowena which ought to make things interesting in the upcoming episodes. Rowena probably knows which makes her power play in Hell start to make sense. She’s a survivor and if she can get the power of Hell behind her she may be able to wipe out the Coven. I am really quite curious as to what she did that pissed them off and how Cain, the Mark and Dean are going to play into that.
The ending where Tina mentions everyone wants a second chance and Dean’s reaction was the emotional hit for the episode and although it was brief it hit home. The conversation afterwards where Sam once again supports Dean and states that they will find a way through this since Dean didn’t “Hulk out” gave Dean a chance to look a bit more confident then he did at the beginning of the episode. He’s still hurting from almost beating Charlie to death. The opening scene with Sam telling him he needs to get back out there is another role reversal from the beginning of the season and Paper Moon. Dean wanted to hunt and Sam wasn’t sure they were ready, now we have Dean wanting to hide and Sam pulling him out of the depression he’s in. All hallmarks of great writing.
This leads me to what my friend mentioned, we haven’t had any Sam and Dean hugs this season and from what I remember of season nine there wasn’t really any either. I have to rewatch that one but I think the last time they really embraced was the end of season 8 and the trials. Let’s think about that for a moment. What happened in season 9, Dean betrayed Sam by letting in Gadreel, then pursued the choice to take the Mark without really talking to Sam about it resulting in a near total destruction of the bonds between them. By the end of season 9 Sam had straight up told Dean that they were hunters, not brothers and that he wouldn’t save him in the same way that Dean had saved him. Even though we have Crowley stating that Sam was getting ready to summon him and resurrect Dean we aren’t exactly sure of what Sam’s plan was. In season 10 we’ve seen Sam go much farther than I think he even thought he could to bring Dean back and he’s been utterly supportive of Dean ever since. Between that and the fact that Dean is still feeling guilty about trying to kill Sam and has no idea of where the Mark is taking him he’s unsure of himself and feels like he is not worthy of anything, even more than usual.
I think the lack of hugs is a reflection of that. Last night when Sam told Dean that they would work through it would have been a great hug moment in years past, but there is too much between them right now I think. Sam may have saved Dean from being a demon but that doesn’t necessarily means he has totally forgiven him for Gadreel and getting the Mark in the first place. Dean knows that the demon wanted to kill Sam, not him but he still lives with the fear that the Mark may take over and turn him against his brother. All of that makes for an underlying tension that my friend sensed but I missed. They still love each other but they are far from being able to fully express that like they used to in years past with the hugs etc. The last two years have put up some serious walls between them and I would be interested to find out if this is a conscious decision on the part of Jared or Jensen, the writers or something they are doing unconsciously because they know the brothers so well. I am going to Phoenix Con along with several friends so will try to get an answer.
Sorry this got a little long winded but the layers of this show always intrigue me.
Looking forward to next week and then the following week CAIN IS BACK!! YES!!