Supernatural - Fresh Blood
And so threads. Tropes.
Classic and yet breaking type.
This week, we don't open on the victim of the week. Or rather... well.... we open on Dean, making of himself once more the sacrifice. Over and over offering himself up to be devoured. He smells good, but he tastes even better, snicker snack.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!"
Once more into the breach dear friends.
Offers himself to be consumed by jaws that bite and barely makes it in time to deliver the hypodermic needle of deadman's blood.
The new drug. An old drug.
She's high and she can't come down. Hearing every sound. Every beat, beat, beat of the raindrops, every tick, tick of the clock upon the wall. Every beat, beat, beat of a heartbeat making its call.
The sound of time passing. Away.
And there she is, Harmony that was and she echoes that teenage other show self and calls thirty old. And we look at Sam look at Dean, who was 26 in the pilot, and now, I'm not the kind of fan that does math, but three years and twenty-six is tickling down to a thirty that will never be old bones.
Time slipping away for the heroes and the villains.
Ah, Lucy. Victim and Villain, all in one.
In Dracula, that other Lucy slowly died as that most famous vampire drained her, made her into one of his bloody brides. She slept in a crypt and attacked children. A woman in white.
If Buffy was the inversion of the trope of the little blond girl, the first girl (not the last who slays the beast) going into the alley to (not) die. Lucy is that first girl. Because so often in the darkly dreamings of imagination, the horror isn't to die. That's quick and in Terry Pratchett books, often fairly funny. But in that grand-daddy of Vampire stories (although, Carmilla is still my favorite), the first girl doesn't die, but becomes the monster. And is killed by the heroes who love her. Huzzah.
Horror is such a problematic genre.
Interesting stories often are. That's why I like them. Except when I don’t, because seriously, Saw 4. I want my Serenity 4. Ah, well, there’s always Dexter.
Last week, Bela called Hunters serial killers, and the boys protested that they save people.
These days though, Sam doesn't feel like he gets to save anyone.
Ask Lucy. She's trapped on the other side of the looking glass.
In a horror movie, to hear a first girl cry out like that and ask for mercy would be the sign of the killer. To my mind, it's the most horrifying point in the episode. And I think that's the point.
It's the inevitable next step from last season's werewolf Madison asking for her own death. As Gordon would say, the right thing to do would be kill yourself. To ask to be killed. Ask (Stanley) Kubrick. If blood had touched that man in the hospital, then they'd have had to kill him. So serious. So calm. Kill him as he lay there, random passing plot soul.
And his attacker, this Lucy, this bloody mouthed girl, can't understand what has happened to her. Denies its reality and okay, I don't know if anyone here has seen any of the anti-drug movies of the 50s & 60s, but her fate her is practically a cautionary tale. All those horror movies about teenagers gone big, gone mad, gone PCP strong and red marijuana eyes.
Dragnet’s Sergeant Joe Friday (Jo of Freya’s day – war and beauty) judges marijuana by the company it keeps.
And the Hunters, these fierce vigilantes... they're in a war. One of those classic wars that for some reason hyperbole like to hype. War on drugs. War on terror. War on darkness. Night. Horror. Anger. Fear. Revenge. Mind sets.
And I dwell on that moment as one of our heroes goes to kill that monstrous feminine. That confused rufied girl. And I'm disturbed.
Because this is that next step. Because these few, these lone warriors. They're fighting a war no one knows about. Sometimes not even the enemy.
And as I looked at the boys in their pillow fort abandoned hotel, and Sam finally putting his fears and needs in terms his big brother could respond to. He’s looked up to his big brother since he was four years old - what interesting specific number. Four. Dean's age when their mother died. So, then I wonder if it's a number picked out of the air, or wrought with significance.
Everything is significant. If you care to make it so.
We see them in their pillow fort and we hear, big brother, little brother, and childhood and I wonder the price or is it a cost of this war. Not on Sam and Dean, though as we see and hear that has a daily price and a daily cost, but that a story of lone vigilantes are in their way, a children's story.
Well, an American story. We love the individual. The lone hero who rides into town and cleans out the bad guys. The little boy cries Shane, but the Fonz’s hero never looks back.
And yet, as in any narrative, I wonder if we'll ever reach that Footloose/Dirty Dancing/etc. moment, where we can finally reach the genius of crowds. The Wikipedia moment. The standup and count what slivers we all know.
Lucy isn't saved, can't be saved because the war is two men in an Impala. It's the junk man who deals in more than garbage. Its mad men in R.V.s looking for a sign from God. That comes/does not come as they choose to see it. It’s Grieving couples missing their daughter. It's a lone brother bitter who has lost everything. Even himself. Because he killed it. He had to. Didn’t he?
I mean, yes, yes, Gordon becomes the thing he hunts, but it's more than that.
What we have here is almost the inversion of the X-files. Our characters know the truth, which is then dolled out in portions. Even to each other.
Everyone driven by their own demons and where does that leave poor Lucy? Dead in a way from a lack of infrastructure to detox her down.
Not that I necessarily think that the Supernatural writers are setting out to do an overt critique of the western tradition of the lone hero who rescues a whole town and yet they did open with the Magnificent Seven, a movie which makes precisely that critique (and for that matter the Seven Samurai).
It's a new drug. It's an old drug.
Drops of blood in her drink. Poor infant. Poor Sam.
We had all last season to know that Dean will never kill his brother. Just offer himself up as the Abel sacrifice.
(and a short break to say that I'm watching Mythbusters strap a rocket to an Impala while writing this. Poor Impala just blew up. But the suspension was still good.)
And Jericho trumpets. Sam finally expressing his needs to Dean in a way that Dean can allow himself to respond to. And the walls fall.
I have to say that I'm really impressed with how they're handling Dean's, what does one call it. Death by degrees. Terrified and covering it with humor. Cracking the bone to consume life and it's empty. Hollow mimsy were the borogoves
And there's Sam, with his back to the Impala, with his back to his brother at his labors.
And always, Dean caring for their car. Their home. That big brother builder of forts. Taker of care.
Can there be a worse hell than an eternity alone.
Well, there's always hell.
There's always Sam, alone. What family will he be expected to build in his brother’s absence? Dixon captured girls to be his proxy daughters. What then Sam, in an absence of sense. Of caring.
Gordon told Sam he should kill himself. Do the right thing.
The weird thought that everyone in the episode is a killer. Is a victim. Vampires hunted to extinction. Vampires. Hunters. Dead families. Gordon who killed his sister. Kubrick, who loved nothing so much as the son of God. Would have slain his friend.
Poor Kubrick. Because with all those Jesus paintings and Gordon killed with a thorny wire, as Sam pulled, well, perhaps it’s my religious school training, but I saw a crown of thorns pulled taut. I’m not sure what I think of that yet. If, even for me, that makes Gordon John the Baptist yelling in the desert. Samuel the dreamer, the last Judge. Boy King of thorns and pillow forts. Little brother lost. One step after the other down that lone heroes road.
We end with the boys. We end with music. Desolation Angels" - Bad Company.
“Life is like a carousel you aim for heaven And you wind up in hell To all the world you're livin like a king But you're just a puppet on a broken string.
Although, beneath the beat, I seem to hear: “One, two! One, two! And through and through. The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.”
We end with Dean making the only gesture he can. The spinning socket branch. So, often the Impala represents Dean, and now Sam is given permission, given instruction on how to put his shoulder to it. The Metallicar represents so many things.
That Sam may try and try and try, but… the cancer may not remit, the virus may win. The demon may drag his brother down. That Dean can move past anger and hunger to acceptance, branch held out. Teaching his brother what he needs to know.
That maybe, just maybe there’s only grief down this road.
But for now, the walls fall and faint sunlight shines down. The pillow fort left behind. Sam his shoulder to it. Dean sitting facing him, looking on.