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8.19 Taxi Driver

So, in this ep we:
* ignored that bit from 8.07 about the portal from purgatory closing
* ignored the bit from 2.01 (and implied again in 7.10) where if you refuse to go with your reaper, you're stuck between heaven and hell, never to go to either
* reiterated the bit where Sam and Dean had a 'deal' about not going after each other, and reiterated again that Sam was stupid to follow it (which, if he was, then MAYBE WE WILL FURTHER EXPLORE WHY HE DID)
* used two white men to torture a black demon
* failed to mention Meg even once
* squandered another visit to Purgatory and met absolutely no interesting people there
* squandered an opportunity to rescue someone interesting from hell (no, I did not need to see Bobby again, esp not when it meant screwing with like every single thing we knew about the ultimate destinations of souls)
* squandered an opportunity for Tessa to make an appearance
* destroyed previous canon about reapers - apparently we can see them anytime we want
* destroyed the characterization of Bobby's reaper from 7.10 (even played by a different actor, woe), gave him a name that made it clear he wasn't of European extraction, and then killed him
* made Cas and Crowley's big long search for Purgatory look completely moronic
* had way the heck too many guest stars for one ep - Kevin, Crowley, Naomi, Bobby, and Benny?
* KILLED LINDA TRAN?!? (I'm actually not sure about this one - given that the windows in the boat were whole when the boys got there, I think that last scene with Kevin might have been another hallucination? and of course Crowley could be lying)

On the plus side, I liked Naomi here about five times as much as all her previous appearances put together. She's much more fun when she's lying through her teeth than when she's being openly aggressive, like she was with Cas.

Also, Jensen's face.

Original entry posted at Dreamwidth. Feel free to reply here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
afastmachine
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC)
It honestly felt like I was watching a totally different show written by first-year fanfic writers. It was terrible. If they were determined to go through with this, at least they should have given it a two-parter and at least bothered to try to pass off some of these terrible inaccuracies.

Also I am upset that Benny now appears to be dead. The upsides, of course, were Dean's face(idk if it was just me, or was he being extra expressive today? or were there more close-ups?). I was joking with some people that you could read Dean's face like a large-print brightly colored with subtitles underneath picture book. Especially when Naomi was talking about Cas and when he was talking to Benny(it really looked like he was five seconds away from the One Perfect Tear).

And Naomi really got some character expansion, which was nice. Amanda Tapping is literally my favorite actress(and she played my favorite fictional character ever/inspiration) so I'm always glad to see her, but this was nice because we got to see some different sides, even if they were manipulative and out for her own interests alone.

Thankfully I had no high hopes for this episode and I wasn't so much let down as my expectations were met.
gryfndor_godess
Apr. 4th, 2013 11:14 am (UTC)
ALL OF THIS.

At face value, I enjoyed it as an episode just because all of the acting was so fantastic and I truly enjoyed Bobby, Benny, and Naomi's guest spots. Jensen was amazing, and Jared had some fabulous moments, like Bobby's 50/50. It was unexpectedly touching to see Jim Beaver again. Amanda Tapping's sweet disposition was brilliant, and the end (?) of Benny's story was fitting and well done. And I love the fact that Sam can now relate to Dean's purgatory experience a little.

But you think about anything besides the acting/characterization for one second and NONE OF IT MAKES SENSE. I can't believe we used to be able to praise the world-building of this show (at least relative to Whedon's stuff).

Also, CROWLEY REALLY NEEDS TO DIE.

And fandom is awful. I saw people on Tumblr talking about how much they hate Naomi but no one talking about how terrible Crowley is. At least (AFAIK) Naomi has a ~valid reason for doing what she does- protecting her people in a war.

If Naomi were Norman, I bet people would love her. :(

I feel like the discontinuity and uneven quality of this season is systematically ruining the earlier seasons. Humph.
de_nugis
Apr. 4th, 2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
I get breaking some of the worldbuilding details in service of developments that pack a narrative or thematic punch. But this was breaking ALL THE WORLDBUILDING and most of the emotional resonance in service of McGuffinification. The payoff was so utterly disproportionate to the price.
cordelia_gray
Apr. 4th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Not to mention it's been one of the premises of this show that Hell and Purgatory are difficult places to get in and out of. Think how different the story would have been if Sam had just figured out he could ask a Reaper to get Dean out of Hell that time! But no, it took a host of angels laying siege to Hell, fighting and dying. Bet they wish they'd known about the back door! And all those foolish people who thought you needed virgin sacrifices or weird rituals involving blood and all that to open a portal, when all that time they could have just taken a taxi! So silly.

It's remarkable that one episode can retroactively make so much of the rest of the show feel pointless and uncool, you know?
de_nugis
Apr. 4th, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
*interrupts to wave sadly at you*
cordelia_gray
Apr. 4th, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
*waves back*

I am curious about Kevin, poor lamb.
janice_lester
Apr. 6th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
Yeah. Um. That.

Re: Bobby's Reaper: I just figured he had two. He refused to go with the one in his death episode, so he stayed around as a ghost. Later, when they burnt his bones to banish his spirit, this new Reaper showed up on orders to drag him to Hell because Crowley said so. Yeah, the Reaper rules are getting dodgy here. BUT there was that early episode with the shows-up-once-a-year ghost of the woman who'd been murdered. She was a ghost, so had presumably declined to go with her Reaper at the point of death. But at the end when she realised that she was dead and hubby had moved on and was happy, her spirit moved on. So it seems likely she got two chances with the Reaper there.

How about the part where Bobby was conveniently, like, the third person Sam came across in Hell? Even if the whole Crowley-Castiel Evil Plan to Defeat Raphael and Take Over Everything depleted Hell's entire supply of souls--which seems unlikely--it's been a couple of years since then, I'd expect quite a lot of folks to have died and gone to Hell in that time.

Or the fact that Crowley's apparently had Hell completely redecorated from his shiny new Endless Queue of Queueing model?

I'm also getting really sick of the tendency in season 8 for Sam and Dean not to think of the things they should think of. I mean, wasn't YOUR first thought when you heard the part about getting an innocent soul out of hell about ANGELS? Yet they go without comment to find a demon to ask. I needed the comment! I needed at least to know that the THOUGHT occurred that, hey, Cas is good at rescuing souls from Hell/the Cage, but we can't find him, and it's awfully dangerous to go summoning Angels, so... dun dun dun... how about a demon? And their first thought when they heard about needing a demon 'close to Lucifer' to find the angel tablet SHOULD have been 'hey, we could go dig up Abbaddon... no, way too dangerous.'

Why WOULD there be a door from Purgatory into Hell? The show has never presented Purgatory as being like the Catholic model, where souls (like Old Hamlet) can burn away their sins and eventually get to Heaven--and even if it had, what on earth could they do in Purgatory to get demoted to Hell? I don't get it. They've always shown Purgatory as a separate place where the souls of monsters--regardless of how good or evil they've been in their lives--go when they die. I'm not even sure why there'd be a human-only portal out, unless it's expected that Reapers will make mistakes, but why would there ever be a portal through to Hell?? I just don't get it. *sigh*
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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