Episode Review – Road Trip

(Well since I don’t get to catch this night’s episode until it’s posted online tomorrow…)

In my previous resolutions post there was a third thing that I forgot to mention which this episode reminded me:

3) Balance the brothers’ relationship.

This is one of those things which is such common sense, nobody really thinks about it, but our minds all know it.  Everything in life has its ups and downs.  Roller coasters can’t go in only one direction.  After a drop, there must eventually come a climb, or vice versa.  There’s an ebb and flow to life and without it we find ourselves subject to diminishing returns.  In the context of the show, this means that not every brother moment has to be a “big” one.  Moments like Sam & Dean reuniting in the S4 premiere work best when it rests upon the quieter moments before then.  Like a silly prank war.  Or exchanging Christmas gifts and watching holiday specials.  It’s a truth of any relationship in any media: the biggest emotional moments work best when there’s smaller moments before it.  Which is hard because writing “big” moments is easy, heck it’s even easy to let a “small” moment mutate into a “big” one (this is one of my prime complaints with modern romances, as they go straight for the “big” – most often sex – without bothering to build anything before which is what would be called “chemistry” or “attraction”).  After all, that is our lives.  Family & friendship is built upon millions and millions of little moments shared together, with occasional big moments.

One of the problems with S9 is that it’s been all “big” moments with almost nothing “small” between the brothers.  We almost had such a moment in Bad Boys but (like I warned) it mutated into a big one when we found out Dean abandoned his best shot at a normal life for Sam.  We could have had such a moment in Slumber Party with them adapting to home life for the first time, but instead we found small (and big) moments between Dean & Charlie and Sam & Dorthy.  It’s like unless one of the big moments come, Sam & Dean are more like coworkers than brothers.  When was the last time you heard the bitch/jerk exchange?

It was more of the same this episode, with continuity mishaps sprinkled on top.  No they weren’t horrific continuity missteps but… inconsistencies.  Like, I’ll be generous and toss out the angel exorcism hinted at in S4 – why not the mind meld trick or grace sucking done THIS! SEASON! to solve the problem at episode end?  Why?  Because the script said so.  Because we’ve stopped caring about anything being organic this season.  Then there’s… Dean acting like he’s going to kill Sam.  When… so much that has gone on the show until now he wouldn’t?  He watches Lucifer kill Castiel AND Bobby and still won’t raise hand against his brother?  But Kevin?  I could buy it as the proverbial straw if… well if there had been more small moments between Dean & Kevin.  If we had seen (not told, SHOWN) more scenes where Dean treats Kevin like a person, less a tool that can talk back, I might buy it.

Looking back at S3 & 6 (the worst seasons), I noticed that both had a very noticeable uptick in quality after the midseason finale (well… S6 did still suck, but it sucked a little less).  Let’s hope they get to improving soon.

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