Episode Review – the Song Remains the Same

While there were a lot of worthy candidates for quote of the episode, I just had to give it to John, in the car saying:

“Not another word or I will turn this car around.”

For one night, all the Winchesters got a taste of normal living.

This is a hard episode for me to review (so much so I had to watch it again) because, as both readers of this blog know, I have a crush on Julie McNiven, but I will try and judge this the best I can without letting my feelings color my duty as a reviewer.

Ignoring for a moment the plot, this was one of the best acted episodes of all time.  Amy Gumenick & Matthew Cohen are so good as John & Mary (Matthew also did great as Michael) and they both really click with Jared & Jensen.  These are four people we really could believe are a family.  The boys at the door, one on one with a parent, this episode was full of heartwrenching moments but none cheesily so.  Mary and John both showing true horror at their kids being raised as hunters nearly brought me to tears.  Part of me wishes that, finally having the heart to heart he was never able to with his dad, that Sam might finally find a bit of peace.  That he wouldn’t be so angry from now on.  Maybe it was my own wishful thinking, but I also thought Julie did an excellent job showing at every moment that she really and truly regretted her actions.  I also must say that Anna has better chemistry with Dean than any other girl save for Lisa Braeden.

If I was grading on acting alone, I’d give this episode a 5 shell rating.  But there is the plot to worry about.  It’s not the time travel per se, my first fan obsession was Star Trek so believe me, I have no problems with time travel.  I’ll even allow that Anna may have snapped a bit while in Heaven’s prison.  But why do the show creators have to insist on getting rid of every ally the Winchesters have?  What’s worse is now, with each ally (or potential ally) lost, it seems even cheaper that Bobby lived from his near death.  If you really insist on the brothers being alone except for Castiel, then kill Bobby off too, don’t half-ass it.  It also makes one wonder, why did Anna go to 1978?  She doesn’t need to kill both brothers, just Sam.  Since he was born in ’83, why didn’t she jump to about 80-82 and take out Mary then?  (or just slip her constant birth control pills for years?)  Dean would survive which would be nice for us shippers (that she still cares for him) and the whole conflict would help explain why Dean hates the angels so bleeding much.  Also, why didn’t she and Uriel show up in pure form without vessels (or whatever Anna is) and burn out all the Winchesters’ eyes?  I doubt they would do much good blind.

The conversation between Dean & Michael was long overdue, but poorly done.  I was hoping they would show Michael as a little bit less of a dick than the rest of the angels.  In the past, one of the things that drew me to SPN was that there weren’t always easy choices in the show.  Having Michael be a lot more likable would have made it a greater dilemma for Dean.  However,  now that we know that Dean won’t be an empty shell after saying ‘yes’ he has even LESS reason to keep saying no know.  Seriously, I was angry that Michael chose probably one of the worst arguments he could (there is no free will? why not just encourage him to refuse you?) instead of pointing out what I’ve been saying for awhile: Say yes and kill Satan before he takes over Sam.  They even hinted at that point with John accepting to save Mary.  With the horseman of Death loose, there’s nothing holding you back, Dean – SAVE – YOUR – FAMILY!

The bloodlines bit was interesting.  I actually like the idea that it’s all linked to Cain & Abel (although not perfect symmetry because Cain is the eldest) but it does make you wonder.  If John is of the Abel line (because Michael can inhabit him) then that must mean that Mary is of the Cain line (because Satan can inhabit Sam).  Does that mean Nick is a cousin to the boys?  I’m guessing that, actually all the psychic children Azazel bled into were distant cousins to each other which explains why he was targeting certain families.  Still, part of me is wondering, is the only thing making Sam the “true vessel” the demon blood?  What would happen if he got a blood transfusion?

So all in all, lots of good stuff in this episode, very myth heavy but… it just brings up so many problems that the show hasn’t even shown a sign of addressing any time soon.

Definitely one you should watch, but it might be polarizing among fans.

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