SUPERNATURAL: All Dogs Go To Heaven - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERNATURAL: All Dogs Go To Heaven

November 14, 2010 by  

Well, I could have done with a little less dog murder, but it was still an enjoyable, if creepy, episode. There wasn’t much that directly dealt with the show’s mythology, but we did get some nice moments, both brother-wise and monster-wise, that will continue to have an impact throughout the season. What this episode was really about was getting Dean on board with the “be Crowley’s bitch” plan in order to get Sam’s soul back. The season so far, while really enjoyable, has felt a bit aimless so I’m happy that we now have a specific goal established (restore Sam), and a means by which to attain it (capture a live alpha for Crowley).

When I say the season has felt aimless, I don’t necessarily mean it as a criticism. I’m glad we had several weeks where nobody knew what the hell was going on, or whether Sam was lost forever, because theorizing and speculating is all part of the fun with a show like SUPERNATURAL. Those moments of Sam’s betrayal, or just his general strangeness would have definitely lacked impact if we knew exactly why he behaved the way he did.

Now that we know the root cause the focus has to shift away from “what’s wrong with Sam” to something else, which is great because soul-free Sam is funny, y’all. Of course, I do want him to be restored, if only to have the Winchester bond fixed once and for all (I still hold out hope that this is possible). However, it doesn’t have to happen tomorrow, and in the meantime I hope that the show will continue to mine his evil streak for hilarity at every opportunity.

Watching Sam taunt Lucky in human form with a ball, or laugh at his collar, was just funny – even if you do have a soul. I was always a fan of “dark Sam” episodes, like season 2’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” – it’s always interesting when established characters undergo a sudden personality change. This feels like getting that dark Sam without the side of evil demon possession – what’s not to like?

It was interesting to hear him talk about his memories as “Old Sam” – the girl he used to crush on in high school, his memories of being with his family. And to see that he appreciated that his old life was probably a better way to live, as opposed to the fearless and super-skilled hunter he is now. I find it fascinating that New Sam doesn’t sleep – I always hated pulling all-nighters in school because at around the 3:00 hour, you start to feel like you’re the only person awake in the world, and your brain can really start to mess with you. Sam doesn’t sleep ever (I’ve decided it’s best not to get into the physiology of sleep requirements, soul or not, and just go with it). And he doesn’t care about anyone beyond how they can help him accomplish goals. I know he’s emotionless right now and so he probably doesn’t feel loneliness, but at the very least he must get bored a lot.

Not to mention the pain it causes Dean every time Sam feels the need to over share and remind him how little he actually cares about his brother. So yes, I want them to get the soul, but like I said, I’ll enjoy this Sam until it’s time to say goodbye.

In terms of the monster story this episode, as previously mentioned, it was a little heavy on dog shootings. My parents have a Doberman pinscher so that one hit particularly hard, but I was glad that the show had the decency to have the dogs turn into their human forms on death so we didn’t have to see dead dogs lying around the room. Is it weird that I’m much more okay with seeing people injured or killed on tv than I am with dogs, or other animals? I’m normal, right?

The takeaway from the story was that the skinwalkers, like the vampires previously, are actively recruiting members. They’ve formed sleeper cells, just waiting for the signal to instigate a mass-recruitment at a moment’s notice. A lot of questions came out of this: are all of the alphas working together towards a common goal? Are all of the various monsters lying low, scattered around the country or the world, waiting for a war to begin? What is their end-game? Will Crowley’s search for purgatory play into it all (I’m betting yes)? What about Cas’ war in heaven?

In other words, there is still plenty for us to learn this season, and frankly, enough of a story for them to carry it on for another year if they decide to do that. And that’s really the most impressive feat of all – for a show that’s been on for over five years to wrap up its central story and yet still feel fresh enough to keep viewer’s interest is pretty amazing. I went from being on the fence about a sixth season to kind of hoping that there’ll be a seventh.

To go back to the episode briefly, I have to discuss that last scene with Sam and Dean at the picnic table. It was a really hard scene to watch. Sam admitting that he feels no emotional connection to Dean at all, but that he remembers the life of Old Sam, and how difficult those feelings could be at times. But things left off on a hopeful note, once Dean could see that Sam really did want to go back to that old life, not because he missed it, because Sam is incapable of sentimentality. Instead it’s because he rationally decided that his previous life is just a better way to live.

I inferred that he meant this on a few levels; it was morally better, mentally healthier, and I think a part of him wants to be able to give Dean back the brother that he’s been missing for over a year (and really, for much longer than that). So in the end, Dean is on really on board with making this happen for the first time. The plan is set; now it’s just a matter of execution.

Some of my favorite lines from last night:

* You’d sell your brother for a dollar right now if you really needed a soda.
* Werewolves turning on a full moon. So…’09.
* We’re specialists. They call us in to answer the questions of mouth-breathing dick monkeys.
* What? Soul or not, that’s funny.
* You care about them, in your own whack-a-doodle way, that’s obvious.
* Fetch this, dick.
* Dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria. (Ghostbusters reference FTW)
* Thanks Dexter, that’s reassuring. (Best line of the night? Survey says yes.)

So what did you think of the episode? Are you warming up to soul-free Sam, or do you just want him fully back to normal already? Any theories on the big picture? At this point in the season, are you hoping that they return for number 7, or do you think they should wind it up this year? Talk to me in the comments!

Next week, either Dean becomes uncharacteristically homophobic, or the boys will be battling honest-to-goodness, Tinkerbell-style fairies. Let’s hope it’s at least 100% less lame than Sookie’s fairy wonderland fiasco on TRUE BLOOD. Something tells me that given that this episode is written by Edlund and Kripke(!), we won’t be disappointed:

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4 Responses to “SUPERNATURAL: All Dogs Go To Heaven”

  1. John on November 14th, 2010 3:37 pm

    I have a question. Last season Bobby traded away his soul and didn’t get it back until this season. Dean and everyone still trusted him and he acted no different the whole time.

    Sam has his soul “stolen” and he is untrustworth and acts nothing like the old Sam.

    Why the difference?

  2. Tanya on November 14th, 2010 7:12 pm

    To John: I think Bobby still had his soul, but that upon death his soul would belong to Crowley. I think he just got back the “ownership” of the soul.

    Now, about the episode. Aside from some clever references and exchanges (and the last 5 minutes) I was bored to tears watching this episode. Are we not in November sweeps? Maybe I’m just not a dog person!

    I am very much looking forward to next Friday, I don’t enjoy feeling bored watching one of my favorite shows!

    Thanks for the recap Nicole!

  3. Mary Choglund on November 14th, 2010 8:46 pm

    Since I just got on board with this show at the beginning of season 5 (I immediately bought seasons 1-4 on DVD to catch up), I definitely would like another season. I am glad that this season is tackling the aftermath of the aborted Apocalypse, and the “off” feeling so far has been about right, even if a little slower than past seasons. Some other blogs have had posted complaints that things aren’t yet back to normal, but getting there too fast wouldn’t feel right either. I am enjoying the journey back to soulful Sam and the humor and pathos this allows Dean and RoboSam to portray.

    I am not convinced we yet know all about Crowley and Sam’s soul. The old Crowley seemed opportunistic and not above using any situation to his benefit even if he did not have a hand in creating it. Maybe I have just absorbed too much of Dean’s skepticism having done recent marathon viewings of the first 5 seasons!

  4. Nicole on November 15th, 2010 4:57 pm

    Thanks for your comments, guys!

    @John – Thanks for bringing that up – it’s something I’ve meant to discuss in my posts and just forgot to do. I was wondering the same thing, and then decided to go with the prevailing theory (that Tanya mentioned); the notion that Bobby never actually “lost” his soul – he lost ownership rights. He still had possession though, and so there was no “Bad!Bobby” like we’re having with Sam now. I haven’t had a chance to go back and watch the episode from last season where Crowley and Bobby make the deal, and I don’t know if it would help to clear anything up, but that’s the only way it makes sense to me, so I’m going with it.

    @Tanya – Yeah, it’s no fun when you’re yawning through an ep of your favorite show, and I can see why you felt that way, especially since you don’t like dogs(!). Next week definitely looks like it won’t be boring, so I don’t think you’ll have to worry about it. Thanks for sharing your theory on Bobby’s soul – I tend to agree with you.

    @Mary Choglund – Yay, a new SPN fan! I personally caught up with the show on dvd just before the third season started and I’m so jealous that you got to watch FOUR seasons on dvd – it’s really the best way to watch a show. If I wasn’t so impatient, I’d watch all my favorite shows that way.

    I completely agree with your assessment of the pace of the show this season, as you can probably tell from my recaps. I too think that if they wrapped up the Sam story too soon it would feel wrong. This is something that kept him from contacting his brother for a whole year after being pulled up from the cage, and something that has fundamentally changed who Sam is as a person. It SHOULD take some time to sort it out. Especially if it’s supposed to feel like a genuinely threatening situation. We have to remember that there are two sides to this deal with Crowley – yes, on the one hand he’s promised Sam’s soul back if they capture a live alpha, but on the other hand, if they don’t, he promised to send Sam right back where he came from. Big, scary stuff with major consequences.

    As to your other point, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to this Crowley deal than he’s let on so far. It doesn’t feel big enough that they have to capture an alpha – we’ve already seen Grampa Samuel do it at least once, so it doesn’t seem out of the realm of impossibility (like, say, stopping the Apocalypse). Also, we still don’t know what Crowley’s holding over Gramps’ head – there is a good chance it could involve one or both of the brothers – he is their grandfather, after all. There has to be a reason why the show is playing that card close to the vest – I can’t wait to find out.