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A little post-turkey meta. 

This is late. Sorry. Meta hasn’t been coming so easily lately, which is strange because I thought writer’s block was reserved for fiction. *doublepalmface* But because we don’t have an episode prompt entry for 3x04, I thought I should do one, and this was such a mytharc-juicy episode that it deserves to be talked about more.  Don’t twist my arm or anything. ;) So, for spnematography’s “Sin City” (3x04) episode prompt, here are some ramblings about Dean and why the “reversed” and “upside down” camera work in this episode reflects reversals in his fundamental hunting ideology. It seems that Sam somehow snuck into this meta despite the fact this wasn’t supposed to be about him. Attention hog. Heh. 
 
Dean and the Things He Hunts
 
Dean’s hunting philosophy has evolved in fits and starts since S1. His hunting beliefs have been challenged on a number of occasions, causing him to re-evaluate his assumptions about the nature of good and evil as well as those that he defends versus the “monsters” he destroys. In “Bloodlust” (2x03) Dean migrated from the black and white “If it’s supernatural we kill it. End of story. That’s our job” mindset to wondering aloud to Sam if maybe he has killed things that didn’t deserve to die. In “HotH” (2x13) Dean’s refutation of angels and God and his belief in only things he’s experienced was questioned. He saw things that couldn’t be logically explained and began to entertain the idea of divine intervention, therefore, acknowledging the possible existence of a higher power. Dean’s shifting belief system was carried through in “Sin City” when Casey!demon asked him if he believed in God and Dean answered, “I don’t know. I’d like to.” 
 
He’d like to.
 
This was very forthright and candid for a hunter who usually crams his cards so close to his chest that the closest person to him, Sam, rarely sees his hand. It was also surprising, considering he was talking to the enemy. Or was it? 
 
This wasn’t the first time Dean has emptied his heart to an almost stranger.  He confessed his crumbling state of mind to Gordon, a soon to be enemy, in “Bloodlust” instead of Sam despite him nagging Dean to have a Care ‘n Share session with him about John’s death. In fact, Dean seems to forge intimacy with strangers relatively quickly when under emotional duress, and rather than express his fears directly to Sam, he repeatedly puts on his game face when around him. This is a classic defense mechanism born out of the instinct to protect those who the instigator deems are under their care. Dean’s stoic facade was likely learned from John, who probably used it on Sam and Dean, one that Dean repeatedly employed with Sam in S2 and now in S3, and one that we saw Sam use with the other PsyKids in Cold Oak, South Dakota (“AHBL-1” 2x21). With the heavy emphasis on reversals so far this season, it’ll be interesting to see if Sam starts wearing his game face around Dean. But regardless, it seems like the need to protect at the expense of one’s own emotional well-being is a patented Winchester trait. Oh, boys.
 
So like in “Bloodlust” Dean baring bits of his soul to Casey!demon was our first clue that “Sin City” was intended to strip down Dean’s walls and allow us to get a much-needed glimpse into his head. But not only did we see his mental state, we watched him essentially get a brain swirly whereby his assertions regarding demons and evil were shaken up and left in a soggy shades-of-grey puddle on the floor. Despite Dean’s game face suggesting otherwise, this episode picked him up, tipped him upside down, and shook him to the foundations of his hunter’s creed. 
 
The first time Dean voiced his opinion about demons and their motivations was in “Phantom Traveler” (1x04)--also the first episode that featured demons--where he said, “They don’t want anything, just death and destruction for its own sake.” This statement held water for the following forty-three episodes. However, in “Sin City (interestingly the S3 placeholder equivalent of “Phantom Traveler”) Casey!demon appeared to be “a demon with a heart”, and Dean’s previous statements no longer seemed to fit. 
 
In “Sin City” Dean learned that demons are capable of having long-lived attachments to a single partner (perhaps even feeling something that could approach love?) when it was revealed that Casey!demon and Father Gil!demon have survived going to hell and back for centuries together. The demons’ actions reinforced this assertion, making it more than likely it wasn’t a lie: Father Gil!demon’s eagerness to find Casey, the fact he seemed more concerned with finding and freeing her than killing Bobby, Sam, or Dean, Casey!demon yelling for him not to step into the Devil’s Trap, as well as their ardent kiss. Interestingly, it was only after Casey!demon was freed and found to be unharmed did Father Gil!demon turn his attention to Dean.
 
Casey!demon also demonstrated that demons are capable of positive human emotions such as respect, admiration, and mercy. This demon respected its host and didn’t want to cause undo harm to Casey’s body, a very different approach from what Ritchie describes as typical demon protocol: “It wrecks one body, moves to another. You know, like taking a stolen car for a joyride.” Furthermore, Casey!demon voiced her respect and admiration for Dean’s choice to sacrifice his life for Sam’s, she called him “likeable”, and showed that demons are capable of mercy by asking Father Gil!demon to not to kill Dean.
 
But perhaps nothing upended Dean’s hunting ethos more than the discovery that some demons, like humans, believe in a higher power. In fact, Casey!demon’s words about demons having Faith in an unseen and seemingly absent god sounded eerily similar to Layla’s and Sam’s assertions about Faith and hope in “Faith” (1x12), “HotH”, and “Roadkill” (2x16).
 
The fact that both humans and demons are waging war in what appears to be a largely godless world and waiting for the return of their respective gods and creators creates a lovely symmetry in the SPNverse. It seems like Kripke is pushing the idea that humans and demons are not as dissimilar as previously presented; they could essentially be the opposite sides of the same coin. Dean and Casey!demon’s conversation hit home this point nicely:
 
“Is my kind all that different from yours?”
 
“Except that demons are evil.”
 
“And humans are such a loveable bunch.”
 
To bring the inversion of Dean’s previous assumptions full circle, it was no accident that the people doing evil deeds, the ones Sam and Dean believed to be possessed by demons, were nothing more than humans acting on their own free will. Reggie shot John, the man who slept with his wife, and Trotter was the financier for the bars, clubs, and casinos that were partially responsible for the town’s corruption. This reinforces the idea that, just as demons are capable of positive emotion, humans possess the same capacity for dark deeds. Once again Casey!demon acted as Kripke’s mouthpiece when she said, “All you gotta do is nudge the humans in the right direction … and they’ll walk into hell with big, fat smiles on their faces. You kind is corrupt, Dean. Weak.” Like in “Bloodlust” and “HotH”, the two other episodes where Dean’s hunting principles were overhauled, at the end of “Sin City” Dean questioned the validity of his previous assumptions.
 
“Do you think anything’s gonna change? Maybe these people do just really want to destroy themselves. Maybe it’s a loosing battle.”
 
In “The Benders” (1x15) Dean said, “Demons I get, people are crazy!” But after “Sin City” and the blurring of the line between humans and demons does Dean truly understand demons anymore?  Did he ever?
 
Dean and the Reversed God Shot
 
It’s appropriate that “reversed” and “upside down” camera shots were also featured in an episode where Dean’s fundamental beliefs were upended. The example that applies to Dean involves the components and shots surrounding the exorcism ritual. 
 
Before “Sin City” the demon exorcism ritual was performed five times. With the exception of “Phantom Traveler” every instance involved luring the demon into a devil’s trap and performing an exorcism by reciting the Latinate incantation. Each time the devil’s traps were painted on overhead objects and were revealed using extreme low-angle shots tilted up toward the subject.





Caps 1, 2, 3, and 4. From top to bottom: Meg in “Devil’s Trap” (1x22), the RED in “Crossroad Blues” (2x08), Sam in “BUaBS” (2x14), and the Envy!demon in “M7” (3x01). Low-angle shots like these give the impression that the subject is being dominated and overwhelmed by forces greater than themselves.  All caps from marishna.

However, in “Sin City” the devil’s trap shot sequence and its components were inverted. The devil’s trap was on the floor, not the ceiling, necessitating an overhead high-angle shot instead of the traditional exorcism low angle shot used to reveal the devil’s trap. Even though chalking a devil’s trap on the ground isn’t new (Dean sketched a trap under the Impala in “Crossroad Blues”), it’s interesting we don’t see an actual exorcism with a ground level devil’s trap, an inverse of the norm, until an episode where Dean’s fundamental beliefs about the demons he’s exorcising are also turned upside down.
 

Cap 5.  “Sin City” marks the debut of a new version of the devil’s trap (compare this cap with 1-4).
 
In line with the parallels previously discussed, the demon/human symmetry between this shot and the ones from the Pilot of Mary and Jess burning on the ceiling is interesting: two demons versus two humans (as far as we know); the floor of a cellar, the closest approximation to the depths of Hell, versus the ceiling of two second-story buildings, which lies closer to Heaven; Mary and Jess backed by yellow demon-induced flame while the demons are backed by the red blood of humans; low angle shots were used for Mary and Jess’s shots (in reality they were lying on the floor so the shots were really high angle, but lets look at the shots from the perspective in which they were meant to be viewed, not from which they were filmed) while low angle shots were employed for the demons’ shot. In all fairness Charles Beeson, the director, probably wasn’t thinking about demon/human parallels or how this shot might seem similar to the two ceiling shots in the Pilot (because how can you be insanely thinky when you have an entire episode to film in a week?). I admit that these shots are likely coincidental, but nit-picking and detailed analysis is the life force of fandom, is it not? ;)
 
High-angle shots are used for esthetic, technical, and/or psychological reasons. In this case, it was probably employed because there was no other way to get a complete shot of the devil’s trap, but also because high-angle shots have high dramatic impact as they’re visually distinct from the more commonly used eye-level shots. The higher angle the high-angle shot, the greater the dramatic impact. And judging by the use of a direct overhead shot (the highest high-angle shot possible), Beeson was aiming for a high visual impact shot, likely to reinforce the consequences of Sam’s itchy trigger finger. I call shots like this “God shots” (recall the last shot of “AHBL-1”) because I think they create a feeling of heavenly transcendence (I hope that doesn’t sound as pompous as it reads *gags*), which is ironic considering they’re demons. But perhaps that was the point considering one of the main themes in this episode was that demons and humans may not be so different after all.
 
Sam and the Upside Down Mirror Shot
 
Even though this meta is about Dean, I couldn’t ignore the most conspicuous shot in the entire episode, and the fact it was upside down was like a red flag flapping two inches from my nose.  So here’s a very brief discussion about Sam and his backwards dynamic with Ruby and Dean because I’m weak and can’t resist blabbing about Sam even a little bit.
 
In “Sin City” Sam wasn’t without his own visual clues signifying the inversion of his hunter ideology.  At the opening of Sam and Ruby’s conversation at the end of the episode, we were treated to this:


Cap 6.
 
This shot disorienting because it’s upside down. The diagonal lines formed by the edges of the bed, walls, and door as well as the cross-cutting lines in the mirrored ceiling injects tension and contributes to the visually disturbing nature of this shot. Even though it’s technically a low-angle shot, we’re looking down on Sam and Ruby because of the mirrors, which is a little funky and kind of cool. I suppose it could have some deep meaning about contradiction (Ruby being on the “good side” despite that she’s a demon and Sam apparently being the Anti-Christ despite that he’s on the “good side”) and illusion (Sam and Ruby playing each other to get what they want), but I don’t know … it’s all just spaztastic arm waving at this point. *shrugs* But what we do know is that this was purposefully used for an establishing shot to grab our attention and prep us for an unsettling scene. And what an unsettling scene it was. 
 
Sam is not only in league with a demon, but it was made perfectly clear that he believes he needs Ruby's help. He stood there, clenched his jaw, and aimed the Colt at Ruby's chest, but it was all posturing. We know, Ruby knows, and Sam knows he’s not going to kill Ruby because he has no other options but to trust her. But even more disturbing was that Sam didn’t deny he’s willing to do things that will go against his “gentle nature” in order to save Dean; things he won’t like; things that will involve “collateral damage”. This ruthless, desperate attitude is a far cry from the sensitive and empathic pre-death Sam who was overly concerned with saving as many people as possible no matter the cost and acted as Dean’s moral compass. So appropriately “Sin City” was the debut of a shoot-first-ask-questions-later Sam as he killed two demons and the humans they possessed without blinking an eye while it was Dean who yelled for him to stop. And just like this shot is upside down, we get our first glimpse of Sam and Dean’s role reversal in this episode.
 
Futhermore, I found it interesting that Ruby was included in this shot when it could’ve easily been just Sam throwing his bag around on the bed and angsting out. Recall that Ruby exhibited backwards/upside down behavior for a demon in this episode. She helped Bobby restore the Colt to its former demon-killing glory and then handed it over to hunters who could easily use it to kill her (Bobby or Dean). That was certainly curious behavior. It seems Sam isn’t the only one caught in what appears to be a role reversal, and it's lovely that the visual story behind the story also suggests this.

Conclusions
 
“Sin City” was full of inversions and reversals. Dean’s hunting ethos got tipped upside down and Sam behavior took a 180 degree turn. We saw Dean struggle to reconcile what he learned from Casey!demon with his years of anti-demon conditioning and his hunting mentality. We watched Sam take up arms and kill two demons and the humans they were possessing and then lay plans with a demon. And appropriately, we’re given some lovely shots that reflect the backwards nature of Sam and Dean’s mindsets, behavior, and dynamic. This episode also touched on the nature of evil in humans and the capacity of good in demons. It blurred the line dividing line between black and white and produced a huge swath of grey full of contradiction, symmetry, and lots of unanswered questions. Hopefully we’ll be getting more of this in the future because it makes for juicy meta.  :) Go demons! Go Show.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
ladymirth
Nov. 25th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
It seems like a pitifully inadequate response to such an amazing, incisive and mother-of-all metas, but I'm just commenting to say that you do the entire fandom proud!

Also, am feeling a bit small. All I ever thought of when I saw those shots were, "Huh. Pretty!". *blushes*

I really, really wish Kripke and the directors could read this. So much. Think we can mail them a link?
bowtrunckle
Nov. 25th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
LOL! Your icon is awesome.

Thanks for the compliments. They're a nice boost for when I think I'm totally moronic to be analyzing screencaps from a TV show.

Also, am feeling a bit small. All I ever thought of when I saw those shots were, "Huh. Pretty!".

Well, really these cinematography-slanted meta are just an excuse to look at pretty pictures; the words are means to an end! The vast majority of the time I'm oogling The Pretty, flapping around, and making fangirl faces.

Think we can mail them a link?

I'm flattered that you think the brains behind the operation would find this meta interesting. :) Thank you.

Edited at 2007-11-25 08:50 pm (UTC)
hearseeno
Nov. 25th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
, it’s interesting we don’t see an actual exorcism with a ground level devil’s trap, an inverse of the norm, until an episode where Dean’s fundamental beliefs about demons he’s exorcising are also turned upside down.

*BLINK* Whoooooaaaaaa.

Wow, Billie. This is wonderful stuff. :) You have a real talent for drawing parallels between the visual and narrative themes of the show.
bowtrunckle
Nov. 25th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
Hi!

Thanks for dropping me such a nice note. *grins* Even though I knew what I wanted to say, this meta took longer than normal to write for some reason. So I'm just glad it's done.

Do you have any more meta coming along? *looks hopeful*
hearseeno
Nov. 26th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
You're welcome, Billie. You certainly deserve it. :D

Do you have any more meta coming along? *looks hopeful*

Welllll... now that you ask, I actually do. I think *crosses fingers and holds thumbs* I may have figured out Blue, which is also leading me to thinky thoughts about the role of Good and God in the SPN-verse.

Oh! Which reminds me, you (uh... I think it was you.. was it you?) told me once that Blue moderates the effects of the combination of Red and Yellow (which is making a lot more sense to me now that I've had a chance to study it). I've been looking around, but haven't seen anything like this discussed. Any ideas?
bowtrunckle
Nov. 26th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
I may have figured out Blue, which is also leading me to thinky thoughts about the role of Good and God in the SPN-verse.

Oh, excellent! :)

you (uh... I think it was you.. was it you?) told me once that Blue moderates the effects of the combination of Red and Yellow

I'm not sure if I said "moderate" (but I could be wrong), but red and cyan are complimentary colors as are yellow and blue. Using complimentary colors together helps create visual contrast, which can be useful when highlighting opposites (heh ... warm colors = evil/demons and cool colors = good/God? Nice.) or making certain (conspiciously colored) things in a scene pop out. Maybe that's what you mean (or I meant) by "moderate"?

Here's a neat little website that shows color harmonies if you're interested:

http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-harmonies.htm

Hope that helps a little. If you need someone to bounce ideas off of I'm always around. :) I look forward to reading your meta when you have it finished. :)
kentawolf
Nov. 25th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Nice meta.

Dean's hunting ethos has been rather tortured these past three years, eh? From "Supernatural = evil" to "Evil = evil" to now "Evil = Good(?)" It was very telling that he yelled at Sam to stop when Sam took it upon himself to exercise the new Colt.

Nice nit-picky eye for the placement of the Devil's Traps and the mirrored-ceiling shot. Love the camera work in Our Show.

The whole idea of Humanity being more closely equated with Demons is an interesting one. It seems as if we the audience are being hand-held into a Future Episode where Sammy is to be Evil, and so it's not such a stretch when it happens. Maybe we're even to think that not just "Demon-Blood-Infected"/"Boy-king"/"Anti-Christ" characters that can make this jump, but anyone can.

And will.
bowtrunckle
Nov. 26th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
It was very telling that he yelled at Sam to stop when Sam took it upon himself to exercise the new Colt.

*nods* I was suprised that Dean did that, but I liked it nonetheless. I can't think of another instance where Dean was the one to hestitate on a hunt like that (is there one?). It'll be interesting to see if this hunting role reversal will play out again and how Dean takes it. Will he think he's lost is hunting edge? Will he think Sam's lost a little of his humanity?

Love the camera work in Our Show.

Ditto!

It seems as if we the audience are being hand-held into a Future Episode where Sammy is to be Evil

*shivers in anticipation* I love your brain. :) You know, Sam really is the perfect example of the two sides of Krikpe's single good demon/evil human coin. Sam's got both sides in him, and depending on which way you look at it is he a good demon or an evil/tainted human? And thanks to "Sin City" both those options are now possibilities. :)

And will.

Eee. When we get Our Show back after the strike and this happens, you know I'm going to spamming your LJ with incoherent comments, right?
kentawolf
Nov. 27th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
I can't think of another instance where Dean was the one to hestitate on a hunt like that (is there one?).

The only situation of any possible relevance I could possibly think of - which, tellingly, is an action which also made me just as disturbed - is in "Croatoan," when Dean goes into the storage room to shoot the infected mother. He doesn't so much as hesitate as ask Sam if he was sure. And then he just pulls the trigger. *shivers*

Sam's got both sides in him, and depending on which way you look at it is he a good demon or an evil/tainted human?

Or is he Just Human? Remember in "Sin City," Casey!Demon did say that all the terrible, demonlike actions people were committing were just demons nudging full humans the right way. Perhaps the demon blood was just for the connection to "'Ol Yellow Eyes" (so the YED could mess with the Psykids, "find ways to break us"), as Sam is referred to as not 100% only AFTER he is resurrected. We still don't know what the whole "100%" means (I have my theory which is a little Buckets of Crazy but still ties into the show's mythos and Rules of the Verse). But we DO know that humans are capable of committing terrible acts that could be mistaken as demonic.

And wouldn't that be creepier? That Sam was Just Human?

When we get Our Show back after the strike and this happens, you know I'm going to spamming your LJ with incoherent comments, right?

Don't forget we get the Christmas episode! Squeedom to the MAX!

---

Oh, and the other day I was thinking, (since I have a Religious Studies class on Jesus), about in the gospel of John, when Jesus uses the phrase "I AM." This is taken by scholars as a Jesus using a direct allusion to Moses and the burning bush, when Moses asks who is speaking to him, and God announces himself as "I AM." Jesus uses it to establish his identity with God. (There's iffy-ness with the truthfullness of the Gospel of John, but the space is too small here to elaborate on it.)

Ready for the crack!cheese! part?

I was watching the deleted scenes from "Hunted" last night (I have to have one SPN episode a day or I get withdrawl) and I noticed with a dropped-jaw-giggle
oh-they-didn't-really-mean-that-but-I-know-Our-Show-and-maybe-they-did:

That Ash called our youngest Winchester "Sam-I-Am."

Foreshadowing Sam's role as Antichrist!Sam? Or mere allusion to a Dr. Seuss book?

I think time has already told.
bowtrunckle
Nov. 27th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
"Croatoan" *nods* ... that was an interesting episode--one that's still begs to be explained. I connect it with "Skin" because in both Dean acts so ... ruthless, and both start with a flashforward. Intereseting that the S1 episode is not!Dean and the S2 episode is very much Dean. Character development anyone? :)

We still don't know what the whole "100%" means (I have my theory which is a little Buckets of Crazy but still ties into the show's mythos and Rules of the Verse). But we DO know that humans are capable of committing terrible acts that could be mistaken as demonic.

Buckets-o-crazy seem to be in abundance around here. *grabs own bucket and grins*

You're right, it would be more chilling if Sam got a little dark and it was just him making the decision to do so. But, to be honest, I would prefer that to happen. It seems to me that free will and personal choice are such important themes in this show (and in much contemporary fiction writing/story telling in general) that it would be terribly unsatisfying if Sam just went dark because of external factors out of his control. I think doing that for an episode (his possession in BUaBS) is fine, but for a good portion of the mytharc? :(

But I don't think Sam having demon blood or PsyKid powers are all that bad, nor do they predestine him for bad demonhood necessarily. I think they could be used to his advantage (*coughCroatoancough* ... I don't think that's the last time we're going to hear about that demonic virus), a way to level the playing field and fight fire with fire so to speak, IF Sam so chooses. But he's got to choose to assume his role in this mess (hello, "Hero's Journey").

Here's a peek into my bucket-0-crazy: Who's to say that a legion of demons under Sam's control would do BAD things? Maybe Sam's meant to be the leader of a demon army to defeat another legion of uber-bad demons (Who is the RED's boss holding Dean's life contract anyway?)? Demons are technically fallen angels after all, and we know demons have the capability of positive human emotion (perhaps are able to do "good"?). With parallels between hunters and avenging angels suggested in "HotH", it would be a poetic end being that Sam is both. Wouldn't it be ironic if our forces of good have been hiding in plain sight all this time and it was just a matter of Sam getting over his issues and choosing to embrace his inner "demon"? *snortlaugh*

What I'm trying to say (not very well) is in my mind the loss of free will/Sam "loosing" his humanity isn't bound to the "100% pure Sam" line or him having demon blood. I think he can have demon blood and maybe have been slightly changed by his death experience but he'll still be able to make choices and retain his humanity, therefore preserving himself, the real Sam. And any darkside tendancies or otherwise *grins* will be of his own choosing.

Foreshadowing Sam's role as Antichrist!Sam? Or mere allusion to a Dr. Seuss book?

Bwah! Or ... heh ... maybe Sam isn't really the Antichrist but the antiantichrist in the "fallen angel" sense. ;) Your brain kills me in the best ways. *hugs*

I hope I didn't scare you with the sample of my bucket-o-crazy.
kentawolf
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
Mini-meta, it seems
You're right, it would be more chilling if Sam got a little dark and it was just him making the decision to do so. But, to be honest, I would prefer that to happen. It seems to me that free will and personal choice are such important themes in this show (and in much contemporary fiction writing/story telling in general) that it would be terribly unsatisfying if Sam just went dark because of external factors out of his control. I think doing that for an episode (his possession in BUaBS) is fine, but for a good portion of the mytharc? :(

I've been pushing this on forums, because I, too, felt that it would be (1) cheap way to make Sam evil,(2) not fair to Sam's character development, and (3) an very unwelcome "tricked ya!" to fandom when the "real" Sam came back. So, yes, it would be terribly unsatisfying to have Sam turn evil JUST FOR external factors.

I think they could be used to his advantage (*coughCroatoancough* ... I don't think that's the last time we're going to hear about that demonic virus), a way to level the playing field and fight fire with fire so to speak, IF Sam so chooses.

Perhaps his role as demon!leader is something Sam would twist to Good. I had that idea on a brainvomit at a forum once: Sam would seem to go evil, but it's him tricking his demon legion to do Good. But it be so much interesting, like you suggest later in the "Buckets-o-crazy" section, that Sam would head a demon legion in order to fight another faction of demons. (Perhaps those who killed Mary's friends?) It's true, as you point out, that we're seeing that demons are not All Evil:

1. Demon!Meg expresses love and loyalty in "Shadow."
2. Demon!Casey shows love and loyalty in "Sin City."
...aaaand for a stretch:
3. Azazel sure does have some weird twisted pride in "his kids." Sure, it's deadly and self-serving, etc., but it was rather paternal. *gives self weird look*

And I have a feeling, just as in your "lists of personal canon," that Ruby may not be All Evil. Perhaps she is the fourth piece of this puzzle. Perhaps she is the demon to finally show that yes, there are factions (she even reveals this in "The Kids Are Alright") and yes, demons are Just Fallen Angels.

Are demons DESTINED to be evil? If so, there is no hope for Sam. Destiny becomes stronger than free will in the Supernatural 'Verse, and the outcome is written.

So it is about demons in Season Three (*points to title card*). It is through demons that we will understand Sam and his place and fate in the world.

*waaaay too emo*

So, no, you didn't scare me with your buckets-o-crazy. *grin*
bowtrunckle
Nov. 28th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Mini-meta, it seems
Just out of curiosity, what forums do you frequent?

Sam would seem to go evil, but it's him tricking his demon legion to do Good.

Have you read this fic? *grins*

http://pheebs1.livejournal.com/129047.html

You're right about Azazel having a paternal "twisted pride" in his crazy kids. He also seemed a little perturbed at John in "IMToD" that Dean took out his two kids (namelessbrother!demon and Meg!demon), which could be interpreted as he might've cared about them a tiny bit or he was just peeved because some of his underlings were indisposed. Which makes me wonder how the heck demons have/create kids.

I would love it if Ruby wasn't all bad. In fact, I would love it if she's human *somewhere* in there (even if she was an "evil" human). Humanity in a demon would freak Sam out (I love Sam angst) and just make the whole two sides of the human/demon coin just that much more awesome. But I get carried away with my wishful thinking sometimes...

Are demons DESTINED to be evil?

I hope not. :(

So it is about demons in Season Three (*points to title card*). It is through demons that we will understand Sam and his place and fate in the world.

So it is! Let's hope we get a second half of S3 to see how all of this plays out. *crosses fingers and toes*

So, no, you didn't scare me with your buckets-o-crazy. *grin*

*grins back* Mini-meta is fun.
yourlibrarian
Nov. 26th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
n “The Benders” (1x15) Dean said, “Demons I get, people are crazy!” But after “Sin City” and the blurring of the line between humans and demons does Dean truly understand demons anymore?

Such a good callback.

it’s interesting we don’t see an actual exorcism with a ground level devil’s trap, an inverse of the norm, until an episode where Dean’s fundamental beliefs about demons he’s exorcising are also turned upside down.

Oh I like that! Especially combined with the reverse mirror shot as well.
bowtrunckle
Nov. 26th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Hi!

"The Benders" is an episode that doesn't get as much meta time as it probably deserves. But I think with this emerging capacity-for-evil-in-humans theme pounding us on the head this season, there will be more "Benders" callbacks. Or so I hope. Maybe we'll even get the mirror episode where Sam needs to rescue Dean from demons.

Both the devil's trap and mirror shots were my favorite of the episode. When starting this meta, I picked the devil's trap one because I was sure that someone else would pick up the mirror shot. But as it turned out, nobody did, so I ended up doing both. Lucky me.

Thanks for stopping by. :)
yourlibrarian
Nov. 26th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
I remember someone did meta about the use of mirrors in this ep, though it wasn't based on a still. However the significance of the reversed DT location definitely adds to the discussion!
bowtrunckle
Nov. 27th, 2007 07:33 am (UTC)
I just found and read that meta. Thanks for mentioning it. :) I don't know how I missed it the first time around.

I guess I was being more literal in that nobody had discussed the mirror shots for the spnematography prompt, but you had no way of knowing that. Doh.

But on the flip side, it's great to read so many different interpretations of a theme with all these meta floating around.
erinrua
Nov. 26th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
Shoot. I've been wanting to say something thinky and involved and lengthy to this, in return, but I seem to sit down in the evenings lately and my brain just goes "bzuh?"

So, I'll just say that I really enjoyed reading this, love the thought and time you've put into it, and the amazing thinkiness of your amazing thinky brain. *G* Thank you so much for sharing this. It would indeed be fun if only we could know what Kripke would think of all this. :-)
Cheers ~

Erin
bowtrunckle
Nov. 26th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
my brain just goes "bzuh?"

LOL. I know the feeling. That's what happens whenever I try to write anything these days.

Thanks for reading and your compliments. They made my day. *hugs*

It would indeed be fun if only we could know what Kripke would think of all this.

Oo. I think he might be a little frightened, don't you think? "These people are crazy." Or else really excited that people are twisting their brains in knots about The Show because he seems a little crazy himself. But, you know, I love crazy. And we're all a little crazy in our own special way. :)
dianne_37
Nov. 27th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
If this is you with a half broken brain, colour me impressed! It's not half broken by the way, just the other half is visiting Canada right now. Don't worry, I won't spill stuff on it.
Hee, there's not much to dissect in Corner Gas so maybe your brain can just have a rest. Hopefully it will get there before the hiatus ends of for spn. OO, that writer's strike is still going strong! *noooosammeedean* OH, and the Bud Light Institute stuff, it's possible Adrian may find it funnier than you but I think you'll both howl. If you like it, maybe you can let Katy hear it or her husband. Guys here thought it was a riot. The original came in a twenty four pack of beer, Budweiser.

Well, I'm off to do housework and update my lj maybe. D
bowtrunckle
Nov. 28th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)
I'll let you know when I get your package. :) That was so thoughtful of you to send me stuff; I can't wait! *dances* I'll be sure to share it with Katy. Hopefully one of these days we'll be able to schedule in a coffee.

Oh, A and I just booked our tickets to Mexico! And I was finally coerced into getting a Facebook account. *headdesk*

Happy housecleaning. :)
hugemind
Nov. 28th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
Dude, I'm not even fashionably late with this... I don't have anything truly intelligent to add, as you've covered everything very nicely, so I'll just go with 'wow'. :)

I really like the way you've analyzed the evolution of Dean's beliefs.

With the heavy emphasis on reversals so far this season, it’ll be interesting to see if Sam starts wearing his game face around Dean.

We've seen hints of this already. Sam's crappy lying about ordering a pizza in TKAA (3x02) and Sam's stoic silence over having used a Colt!bullet in RSAM (3x06) is not the same thing per se, but at least Sam's become better at lying to Dean. That could be sort of counted as Sam developing a game face - at least he's not feeling that guilty anymore about trying to save Dean.

The fact that both humans and demons are waging war in what appears to be a largely godless world and waiting for the return of their respective gods and creators creates a lovely symmetry in the SPNverse.

*loves the symmetry*

What strikes me in the reversed god shots is that everyone trapped inside a Devil's Trap has been exorcised and/or killed at some point (not necessarily because of the exorcism, like Sam and the 3x05!RED). It would seem that being trapped inside a DT does not improve your life. ;)

About the mirror in the ceiling. I haven't thought about this much, but the fact that the boys are shot through the mirror when they step into their room for the first time bothers me just a little. Of course, there is the obvious answer of foreshadowing that both boys will have their views/life/beliefs/whatever turned upside down in this episode (Dean finds "good" demons and Sam starts shooting first and never asking questions). I'm kind of loving the way how the camera tilts down to show Dean's glee in the first mirror shot and in the second shot, there's a cut from Sam and Ruby in the mirror to a normal POV of Sam. But as you know already, I'm weird like that. ;)

Your metas always hit the right spot! *wanders off to ponder on, um, things*
bowtrunckle
Nov. 28th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
HEY! :) Thanks for stopping by!

I really like the way you've analyzed the evolution of Dean's beliefs.

Thank you.

Yes, you're right about Sam developing a game face. *snickers* He's so horrible at lying to Dean it just kills me. Sam's lying skills seem to extend to everyone else and only work with Dean when lying by omission. But, you know, I love that Sam has trouble lying directly to Dean and that whenever Dean lies to Sam he never makes eye contact. That's the way it should be, and when either of them becomes more proficient at lying to the other I will start to become concerned.

What strikes me in the reversed god shots is that everyone trapped inside a Devil's Trap has been exorcised and/or killed

*big eyes* Great observation! Good grief, lets keep Bobby and Dean away from those things.

Speaking of devil's traps, did you read this post about the incontinuity between the types of devil's traps used in the show?

http://kroki-refur.livejournal.com/168047.html#cutid1

Do you have any awesome insights because it pretty much broke my brain.

the fact that the boys are shot through the mirror when they step into their room for the first time bothers me just a little.

I like your ideas about this. :) I had no real clue why that shot was used there except to set up the Ruby and Sam shot at the end of the episode. *suffers from the dumb at lot*

LOL! Dean's expression is priceless! It reminds me of the look on his face when he and Sam won free food in "BDaBR". He's such a kid at heart, getting excited over the basic needs in life: food, sex, and Magic Fingers.
hugemind
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
But, you know, I love that Sam has trouble lying directly to Dean and that whenever Dean lies to Sam he never makes eye contact.

Me too! The boys may try but they really suck at it. Or maybe they're just feeling really guilty about lying and that makes them crappy liars.

I hadn't seen that DT post before... Thanks for the link! People are being so smart there that I think I'll just wax lyrical here. ;) *clears throat* *pokes the brain* *nothing happens*

Uh, I'll start by stating that my lingo is what it is, DTs, protective circles, Key of Solomon... meh. :) I just noticed that the DT on Bobby's ceiling has changed between 1x22 and 2x14: one of the markings on the intersecting lines isn't there in 2x14 (the one that's just above Sam's shoulder and half-hidden by Meg's shoulder; it should be clearly visible in the pic in linked post but the symbol is missing completely). Not really relevant but still, you'd think that Bobby wouldn't mess with the pretty DT. And I like that they used the same symbol in 2x08 and 3x01.

The one DT that hasn't been included in these pics is the one inside Bobby's car's trunk (3x01) which is a version of the 2x08 one, but the points of the star go all the way to the circle and are not connected to it by lines. And yeah, those teeny tiny symbols between the points are probably a bitch to spray paint. ;) Sorry, no actual insights here. :)



So, after that, I have to admit that I'd like to go with the boring explanation that there are different kinds of DTs. I peeked into the Key of Solomon a while back (probably when I was doing this weird search for the sigil of Azazel and wondering if Lucifer and others had their sigils which led me to the Lesser Key of Solomon... and I'm shutting up about that now because dude, again, really not what I should've been doing back then...) and there are lots of pentacles in that thing. Maybe what bothers me the most is the fact that in AHBL the DT is a simple pentagram. Okay, as we learned in the Pilot, pentagrams are protection against evil, but I felt a little cheated after the pretty DT on Bobby's ceiling. ;)

I had no real clue why that shot was used there except to set up the Ruby and Sam shot at the end of the episode.

It does set up that shot as they cut away from the mirror rather than pan down like in the first shot, and somehow that makes the latter shot a little more "heavier", I guess. Though it could be that Dean's glee makes the atmosphere in the first one lighter, but anyway. :)

He's such a kid at heart, getting excited over the basic needs in life: food, sex, and Magic Fingers.

Heh, Sam's magic fingers. Oh crap, I'll stop now with this madness. ;)
bowtrunckle
Nov. 29th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
*is awed by the results of your brain poking*

I never would've noticed the missing inscriptions on Bobby's devil's trap if you hadn't pointed it out. It makes me wonder if the set designers had to refabricate Bobby's set for S2 because they didn't think there would be a S2 or because they didn't think Bobby would be a regular player. Makes you wonder just how much of this stuff is planned out, eh?

I totally forgot about the devil's trap in Bobby's trunk! Your memory is like a steel trap. :) Judging by how easily it is to sketch a devil's trap in spray paint, I'm surprised the boys haven't stuck it all over the place. But who's to say Dean hasn't drawn it in hidden places on the Impala?

Maybe what bothers me the most is the fact that in AHBL the DT is a simple pentagram. Okay, as we learned in the Pilot, pentagrams are protection against evil, but I felt a little cheated after the pretty DT on Bobby's ceiling.

The most simple explanation is usually the best. And the whole protective circle, devil's trap thing is so convoluted and confusing to me that it makes me go "huh?" Maybe this whole this is the Art Department just making things pretty and this just shows that fandom really is insane (myself included). *spins off into crazyland* Whee. ;)

Thanks for lending your brain. It's always interesting to hear what you think. :)
hugemind
Nov. 29th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Makes you wonder just how much of this stuff is planned out, eh?

Indeed it does. Haven't they mentioned in some interviews that they have no standing sets? If it really is so, then they probably had to do Bobby's devil's trap again.

Your memory is like a steel trap.

Heh, sometimes, but now I just remembered the DT that John painted on the floor of his secret storage space. From what I can tell, it's similar to the big DT but instead of a scorpion, it has a Star of David with some additional symbols in the middle. *states this for completeness's sake*

I'm surprised the boys haven't stuck it all over the place.

Now I have this image of the boys tagging every place imaginable with devil's traps. ;) But would Dean really tag the Impala unless it was absolutely necessary? He was immediately on Sam's case when he drew it on the trunk... :) Though maybe they have it inside the trunk just to be sure - we really need a trunk!shot soon-ish.

and this just shows that fandom really is insane

But obsessing over things like these keeps us out of other trouble, so it's all good. ;)
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