Red Sky at Morning
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.
Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning
Same thing. Different meaning depending on context.
Sometimes I think I should just substitute this with: ramble, ramble, philosophical connective non-objective love, blah, blah, blah, ramble, ramble, ramble.
Because it's true.
A red sky in the morning speaking of storms to come. But all we see are the night.
Opening and closing on our boys as sailors of the road.
Well, actually we open with a woman running. Not in fear, but for the pleasure of the run. She's not listening to the world around her. She listens to music that she has selected. She stops to drink. To refresh herself with that most essential of things, water.
There's a section in Laurie King's "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" where a charismatic female minister speaks about the water of life and refreshment. How a body so longs to drink from that water that we drink from the muddy water in the reeds. Of the longing, to just once, put down the burdens of caring for others and climb up to the source of the water and drink pure clean water.
Bubbling from a spring.
To rest, from being heavily laden.
And while I realize that it's a Psycho homage, never-the-less, there's some significance to me that the first two deaths we see are of characters attempting to bathe. But the water is not clean. It is not life and refreshment. It is not cleansing. It is the water among the reeds. It's run through murk and muck and it fills the lungs with same. It marks with green anger and lingering creak and drip. It stops that other of most essential things, air.
All around, you don't miss it until it's gone.
But now then, to the bookends of the brothers. Opening with Dean confronting Sam and ending with Sam confronting Dean. Dean's little weed of soon ripped hope that he might not die. Sam's desperate plea that Dean care just a little. That thin, brittle as a shell mask covering the oceanic fears that lies below. Atlantic and Pacific. Morning and night. Neither can afford to do what the other wants, begs, rails. Against some dying of light.
Instead we get secrets/unsecrets. Dean still doesn't know about Mother Mary. About blood and drips.
Blood thicker than water.
Secrets thicker than tarred ropes and deeper than coastal waters.
I've decided something about Bela this episode and I'm going to stick to it until further notice... She's initially positioned as a cat burglar. As Catwoman to Dean's "I'm Batman." However, in both cases, what we've seen is someone who knows how to get others to do her thieving for her. Placing the means and then stepping back... one of my favorite fictional characters has a saying, "Never do yourself what you can con an expert into doing for you." and Bela is well on her way to spinning the lot of them around. Sam to his Haversham duty (and more on that later) and Dean to his burglar's task.
Oscar Wilde - "I can resist anything, except temptation."
There too the interesting juxtaposition of Dean's discomfort with Bella's literary reference (echoed in Sam's later Dickensian twist) and his absolute comfort in cracking the museum's security. An expert in his environment. Uncomfortable, in the tuxedo skin. Fooled, not once, but twice by Bella and shame on him, and it's in his eyes when Sam says it. Needy and a little brittle.
Those increasingly sharp jests. It's funny and not funny to see the brothers sending their little bite me barbs. Love twisting round like roses and thorns.
There was a moment, when Bella said that no one understood (her tragedy) and I saw their faces. I thought, well here you are speaking to two people who will and have given up absolutely anything to protect their loved ones. Who will never see that dark omen-ed ship blinking on the waters. And yet conversely are already in the grip of that ship's undertow. Keelhauled by their own grip on each other's hands and heels. Like some Celtic drawing in the edges of some ancient book.
Cain and Abel (able), not my brother's keeper. The ghost was accused of treason and hanged by his brother. His hand removed as some macabre tool. (Like the hand of the thief removed. Like the right hand offending and cut off.) What an interesting thing for the sea drenched sailor to have been accused of, perhaps even guilty of. Damp and 37 sailing.
Dante would have it that the bowels of hell are frozen. Where all those hellish rivers resolve into ice. The liquid made solid and there the betrayers are trapped like straw in ice. First those of family, then country, then guests, then God (chewed upon by Satan - Lucifer with three heads). Here then the tension - betrayal of family or betrayal of state as the worst sin. God and Lucifer being somewhat omni(present/absent) in the text - perhaps playing cards together in the next room and guests being ill sought. Anyone could come in. Anyone did.
As with the Lady in White, the solution is not to burn, but to confront (water there too). This time not the betrayer, but the betrayed. Himself (perhaps) tainted by another type of betrayal, but eternally angry that his brother, his own brother didn't put him first. Or defend him or, sorry, so sorry. When the brother appears, the storm pulls back and in the air there is the sound of creaking and gulls (Albatross - innocence slain - oh, ancient mariner, where is your rime?). The two points of view crash into each other, splash through and into. Sorrowful duty and bitter anger and dissolve each other. What could not be washed in the falling rain, melts together and crashes like a white wave.
So much anger. So, much lashing out and dramatic bitter. Sam doesn't want Dean's sorry. His apologies for dying for him. Perhaps their father didn't hug them enough. And what of it that when Dean picks on two family members that Bella could have killed it was father. It was little sister. It was killed.
Bella in her way paralleled with each brother in turn. Wilde Haversham and knowing the other damaged.
And those brothers, the other set. Two sons who killed their father for his money. I'd need to review it again, but somehow my memory teases that the murderous brothers inherited real estate money. A fortune in land and stability in this town that is at the place where the sea and land join.
Two sons whose father begged them to kill him while the demon still held bottled within. Who gave his life for his son. Dad's gone now though, but his mark remains. Like high tide water. Like the rings on a bathtub. Rings in a tree to show the wet years and the dry. Cut down and made into a mast.
Home is the sailor, home from the sea. Home is the hunter, home from the hill.
The Impala, the Metallicar, roaring down those night time roads. The last remnant of their home.
Bella’s, well, violence is too strong of a word, but breach against this, their roaming home, was interesting. Their father's legacy (Dean's legacy) - their masted ship of road and time. The place where they sit in confined space and argue and I fear the breaking. I fear the crashing.
And before I dewy resolve, I consider our Miss Haversham/Ms. Case, because Dear Sam, oh, Sammy, she's not Miss Haversham at all. If I had to pick our Haversham in the text, oddly enough, it would be John. He of the plentiful hugs, who set his boys, such children, down the road that they now travel. Because Bella’s a little right and she's a little wrong, and there's the asphalt in between. Hunters are Gordian knots of obsession. Driven hunters of things. Often about the killing of things, and not always the saving of people. As S1&2 faded, we lost that slogan. Now Dad is gone and it's time to kill some sons-of-bitches and raise a little hell.
Sam feeling that these days. The burn of not saving anyone. Killing. Last year, he thought if he could save someone, then maybe he could save himself. Now, he's struggling for his right to step into the protector's role. Not telling Dean, "But your only one person." (how can you save me), but that he doesn't want to be protected. Chin up and you're the strong one. Really?
No, Ms. Case is someone else entirely. She's wealthy and she knows what's going on. A bit dotty. A bit in her cups, secure in her sexuality, and the power of a check. Because I don't think Bella was lying that Ms. Case had cut off payment. Bella seems the sort to want to be paid twice for a job. There was a tweak to Ms. Case eyes that said, "Oh, really" to the job not done. Not a literary Miss frustrated bitter spinster twisting the plants around her and leaving the cake to rot. She's also not a little Mrs. Rib. Married to her shy husband. Shy until they went below decks. He’s dead (widowed not from fire, but age) She's herself. Played for laughs, certainly, and yet... it's because she's aggressive that Sam learns what he needs to know.
She has the secret last key. Like a hand of glory itself, she gets them in the door. And she whispers that last lynchpin thing. The brother's unproved secret. The niece's tragic loss. Without it, the hand would have gone where the Winchester's could not reach, Bella would be dead, and all that bitterness and anger left to roam those coastal waters.
Instead we're off to Atlantic City. Not the un-pacific Pacific of Stanford’s far peninsular side, but the east. Rising sun. Red Sky. Bet on black and the storm that's ahead.