Supernatural - Sin City
Interesting. Inter-resting. Inter-regnum. The king is dead. Long live the king. Ding dong the demon is dead and chaos all that remains.
I've been considering what to say about this episode because it left me in such a perfect state of contentment and... sometimes writing is such a violent act.
The stabbing of fingers, the pounding of keys. The ripping apart of a narrative by its threads to arrange and spackle together with analysis. Poor lumps on the surface of what once was smooth. Oft times removing the heart like a sacrifice of some erstwhile autumn king. Horned, like a cuckold shooting a man dead in a bar.
Not a demon, just a man with all the seven deadly sins still thriving. Not banished, not so simply slain with a knife's vorple blade quickly slit slash snicker snack, but there in the lines of the city. In the runes of rust and blood.
Sin City. Moving pictures of modern noir and harsh brutal black and white and red. Pools of red in cartoon lines. Sin City with all its issues of gender and race and violence, oh, how we Americans love our issues, love our violence. Like a round saw, like a (pitched fork), like a Then runed bullet expanding forever out.
Sin, like rust on the soul. How then when a city sits in the middle of the rust belt. When all around hope has died.
Belts tied round the middle. Not heart center, but still, they hold the pants up. Or not. Or sin. Deadly sins.
Ruby, Ruby, who is she and what does she know? What runes are writ below the surface of her blood that does not flow when she is by bullet hit. Fallen angel on Sam's shoulder. The other angel (confused lost soul) sent to his heaven last season. Hope fading with the days. Two months down, ten to go and what desperation that reaches out to the face falling fast into the abyss.
Sin City. Sexy Sin, or so it always Hollywood Babylon seems. Beckoning with their candied kiss of infinite charms. Or so we’re always told.
And yet we tend to forget, the virtues are trapped in the same room. Like listing the seven sins, they're as hard to remember as a Latin verse. Far simpler to say this: Faith, Hope, Charity (sometimes called love) and the greatest of these is love.
"And now I look into a glass, but darkly, but then I will see face to face." Trapped in a room. The inward circle with its marks. If Casey is in danger, the compass leg to her fixed mark must seek her out. If Dean's gone missing. Sam must circle round and go. He may fear that the he will find/see lust around the corner, such that he wants to pluck his eyes out. The pig - slippers. Trotters. But what he finds with his circling round and round, and then into the parent's home is his brother.
His keeper. Him who he would keep.
After watching all of this, such was my state of contentment, I drifted a bit over the net. For once, I avoided TWoP's no doubt acid clutches and instead read posts of analytical delight. Such slicing, such delightful dicing and threading and tracing and patterns made. And so since others have much better done, I'll not analyze Azazel of Biblical and Apocrypha fame. Others have noted his lineage. Although, I was surprised to read that it was Azazel's sigil that John so long ago traced on the floor to save his son. The father at least knew his devil's name.
I consider then that until that moment, demon sitting in the inner circle, human no less trapped in the outer, like dewy petals on a rose, Dean did not know the name of his life's destruction. YED. Yellow eyes. The death of innocence, the death of childhood, the reason that Sam and Dean were raised as so much child soldiers with guns. Casting their own bullets. Taking guns apart, only to put them together again. All that and more. Sam's death. The loss of Dean's future. The wither on the vine and the future of a final stop in hell's embrace. And the bullet, that last bullet that shot forth and killed the beast. Killed the tyrant. Killed the king, ding, dong. In all of that, Dean never knew the tyrant's name.
There was something terribly startling about hearing “Azazel” from Casey's lips. Hearing Lucifer. I'm more used to my horror-fantasy in agnostic. Buffy demons as metaphors. As Caritas eyed demon-sion travelers.
Almost as startling as hearing a political comment. Dick Cheney has a place in hell. So, too it must have been startling for contemporary readers when first did they peruse that comedy on divine matters, in that part in which the reader/writer/poet/lost wanderer in a dark wood came upon a damned Pope, his feet on fire, who calls out to Dante. Asks if Dante is Dante’s great nemesis, Pope Boniface VIII (what’s a little threat to be burned at the stake between enemies) damned, but not yet died. And thus do writers damn in art. Startle and surprise.
For this is no generic theology.
I do fear for the sake of their audience that they'll offend someone. Generic seems so much safer. And yet, how much more daring to make the leap into the abyss (Pit of Despair/Hope/Faith/Love. To attempt the Manichean. Or perhaps better described as Zoroastrian: Ahura Mazda creation and Angra Mainyu destruction. Or the quarrels between the Smoking Mirror and the Plumed Serpent that create and destroy the Suns (light, hope, love). Or… this flavor of Christian this…
With God in his heaven. Unseen. Unfelt. All the world on its tilt. The seasons go round and the light fades from the sky.
Dean would like to believe (such a turn from last season.) The dead man walking turns around. Not for his own salvation to be sure. That's already lost. No hope. But for the world. For his world. His brother. Ten months left and then who will protect Sammy?
"Your own personal Jesus. Someone to hear your prayers." Pick up the phone. Oh, the telephone. Fearing that there is no cell signal toward the sky. But wishing to reach out and touch faith.
It's there in the circle. How Renaissance instructional manual with its inner and outer circles, men and women put to their places. Or not. The woman’s a demon. Demonized. She lures. She loves. She has charity and says, Stop, No. Let’s go.
Some sort of Sophia infernal. She's an open book. There was a time when God was a word. Then God was a book. Then God was a rose. There was a Romance of a Rose, but Christine di Pisan didn’t like it, and I’m inclined to agree. I like my female characters active. And yet, I quite liked Casey. Watching dark eyed from the center. This season, it all revolves around a woman and what did mother Mary know. What does Ruby know?
And Casey, dark eyed Casey. Full up with Faith and Love and Hope to avoid the abyss. She lights candles. Her face one time framed by a curl of black chandelier lit all over with lights. She believes in Lucifer. Who made them what they are.
Lucifer. Unseen. Unknown.
Both God and Lucifer then as light.
The episode opened with the candles going out.
That voice of despair. That God won't help. Or if that he does exists, that the problem is that he won't help. The rose that symbolizes God surrounding the sinner (another Andy) like a halo, but the glass (stained and not transparent at all) is blue that fades into red when the bullet hits the brain. But perhaps the problem lies not in our stars, but in our selves.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol." Like a mechanical monkey going clang, clang, clang. Like a rabbit's foot that brings ill luck. Like a mirror that brings bloody Mary, not mother Mary.
What did she know? What did father John learn, as he knew enough to trace symbols on the floor.
"If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." Faith to crack the ceiling and send knowledge away. Azazel, the king is dead, but his successor will not take the throne. There are no gifts of prophesy. No commanding voice. Only it seems love leading to collateral damage.
Just a war without a front. Fighting for the crown.
Through it all the mirrors. Looking into those smoking mirrors, but seeing not the self, but the self upside down. Inverted and yellow. With magic fingers. In the bar to reflect vice. Over the bed, where the soul sets to dreaming.
Nice guy turned douche - devil in her, but she wasn't a demon. Taking a car for a joyride, versus keeping the car safe. Making a mean hurricane and reaping the whirlwind.
Temptation get thee behind me, but not yet. A salad for Casey and a burger for Trotter. Red meat in front of Dean, but ignored. Chance met friends in danger. It's not enough to claim to have killed the succubus and then wander in. Toys trumping (sacred) oils.
Yet the GPS signal remains. I'd say Sam and Dean need one of those, but as this episode reminds us, they're wanted by John law and GPS would rather be beside the point. Above the point, pointing to X marks the spot.
Where the soldiers sit trapped in a room and learn respect for the enemy. To cry no in the face of death. There surrounded by wine. So much water into wine. So much wine into blood.
Ruby, Ruby. Fire at the red circles on the big, bad, bag of sand, red leather jacket and remake fire that deals death. Peace on Earth and a new shirt.
Red jacket Ruby, Red shirt Casey. Red shirt. Ruby Rose Red and fallen Snow White. Red as Caritas (and come to think of it agape, eros, psyche, storge, and philos too.)
"You're still trapped bitch." "So are you bitch." In this place where no one gets out alive, and everyone gets the same thing, a lifetime.
Where does that leave us? Clinging to hope. Holding the gun. Fallen angel on shoulders and facing forward. Temptation get thee behind me. It's easier to whisper from there.
Hmm. Really, for all of that tearing and rearranging, all that and even then the contentment, it all boils down to this: Oh, Sam! Oh, Dean!