So ... just got done watching 9.15, and ... am I the only one who liked it? Okay, yes, ‘anvillicious’--the word I saw most often describing this episode--is appropriate, mostly, I have to say, due to the (otherwise gorgeous) direction, as well as choices on the part of the actor who plays Harry, who was plainly all too keenly aware he was representing Sam’s position and played it thusly. If he just hadn’t done that, it would have cut down on the anvils by I’d say 30% ....
... But the thing is, frankly, we can use them. I’m not sure what’s up with these writers being so unclear about expressing what Sam’s thinking that fandom has to debate it, with precious little solid material to go on, for weeks. Maybe the SPN writers are afraid of telling instead of showing? (Because they never do that! *sigh*) My wonderful creative writing teacher once said “It’s good to make the reader wonder why something happened, but you don’t want them to be asking ‘what happened?’,” which we have to do all too often with this show these days. Why is Sam so mad? What is he thinking? How serious is it? What, specifically, is he so upset over? We finally got the answers to those questions here, lots and lots of direct dialogue explaining the matter via Harry and Ed, so at least now if fans fight over Sam and Dean’s serious relationship problems, they’ll have explicit perspectives to discuss and hash through.
People have noted the bad dialogue, and yeah, sometimes it was really bad, but I still found a lot to enjoy, because a) Harry and Ed have always sounded pretty stupid (though it used to be brilliantly stupid), so at least it was in character, and b) even when the dialogue was lousy for them to work with, those guys found every other opportunity to do something quirky or amusing or Ghostfacer-y (like ‘kicking through’ the hanging plastic flaps, running into each other hilariously on their way to view the video in the diner, etc.). I’m not sure whether it was originally scripted or not, but it’s cute that Harry makes his big departure from Ed ... having nowhere to go and no way to get there, so he walks all of 15 feet away to ask Sam and Dean for a ride. This episode was full of tiny little details like that that added many layers to the basic story. (I loved Sam’s baffled expression when Harry said he’d been “punched in the feels.”)
I, for one, am satisfied with where they left things with Sam and Dean; it seemed genuine and true to the situation. Arrgh, that wonderful little moment when they talked about playing Superman and Batman as kids (pretty appropriate choices there: Dean really does love to think of himself as all-powerful, fixing everything just by rushing in and taking action, whereas Sam recognizes he’s only human and takes the responsibility of what he does quite seriously). Sam freakin’ broke his arm ... but for Dean it’s nothing but a happy memory ... and then it turns out it’s so for Sam, as well. We see that at least they feel the same about the past, about the relationship they had then, which is a place to start. And it’s hard to argue with Sam’s statement on whether a thing can be forgiven, that it’s something you have to decide for yourself (so at least my fears that he would be villified in upcoming episodes don’t seem to be panning out).
Can I just talk about the direction? That was beautiful! New director, right? The shots were careful, delicate, and rich, gorgeously lit. It was a difficult balance, to put characters known for humor in a semi-serious situation and have them handle it semi-seriously, and it wasn’t the deftest job I’ve ever seen done with such a tricky setup, but still, pretty damn good. So kudos to you, new director.
I loved the deputy actor--great actor, great energy, he did affable and agreeable (you know something must be off when a local officer acts HAPPY to see feds) as well as he did scary and evil. Okay, yeah, the reasoning behind why they turned into murderous psychopaths was pretty weak ... and Sam and Dean--and Harry--just up and killed some more humans ... but the acting was great. And *drool*, Sam and Dean, tazed, bound and gagged? Mm mm mmm, more onscreen fanfic, thanks SPN folks!!
And DEAR GOD, could J2 get any hotter?!? HOLY CRAP, they get sexier by the week!!!! And ohhh, that suit on Jensen, with the green tie that brought out his eyes? Mmmm. Every time Jared comes onscreen, I melt. DELICIOUS. (And frankly, Ed and Harry were looking pretty fine, too! MANFLESH.)
All in all, though far from the best writing I’ve ever seen, I found it pretty enjoyable!