Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review - Supernatural Season 6 Episode 21 Let It Bleed / 22 The Man Who Knew Too Much

To be honest, I could care less about the angels at war. There's supposed to be a massive war between the angels, presumably with all sorts of bright light and other fantastical happenings. With the low budget, however, Supernatural can never shows us any of this, and we're left imaging all the cool stuff going on in heaven. But that's not how television is supposed to work. We're supposed to see what's significant. Hints about the war just don't cut it. These angels dropping in for two seconds to kill something and then running off don't matter to me one bit.

Sam and Dean matter to me, though, because we always see the significant events in their lives and there is real, emotional weight to their scenes. "Let It Bleed" focuses on Dean after Lisa and Ben are taken by Crowley because the Winchesters won't stop poking around. Eventually, Dean rescues them, but always smacks Ben in the heat of the moment in order to get him to concentrate. Obviously Dean feels horrible about this afterwards, but his solution is troubling. After Cas saves Lisa, Dean asks for Lisa and Ben's memories to be wiped clean of everything Dean. If all he wanted was for Ben to not hate him, then that's fine. But Lisa and Ben are still at major risk and not remembering Dean when being attacked will be a death sentence.

Even if this was a less than rational plot machination, the significance in Dean's eyes is major, so much so that he tells Sam never to remind him of them. The season began with Dean happily living with Lisa and Ben, and 20 episodes later, at the end of the season, he's at the opposite end. Lisa and Ben don't even remember him anymore and that happily life, as close as it seemed, is now too far away to even fathom.

"The Man Who Knew Too Much" continues from Bobby and Elle's plot in the previous episode and resolves several issues before bringing up a new, possibly bigger, problem. As we learned in the episode before, Elle is from purgatory and her blood is needed to open the portal. This is all solved in the fantastic final scene where Raphael and Crowley conspire to bring down Castiel once and for all. Castiel also plays them, however, having performed the ritual already and absorbed all the souls. Crowley runs off, Raphael is popped (literally), and that's that... or not. Castiel's transformation is complete. No longer is he fighting for heaven or the disenfranchised angels. Castiel has lost sight of everything and now believes he is God. Psst, God, it's time to come back and clean up the mess.

On a smaller scale, Sam's feeling of incompleteness is fixed in a nifty set of scenes in the first three-fourths of the episode. His soul, shattered in pieces, is finally put back together, but only after his main soul kills soulless Sam and the Sam that remembers Hell. With the way the episode begun--Sam without memories running from the cops and trying to figure out who he is--the two pieces of the episode seem somewhat incongruous since the Winchesters and Bobby have zero influence over the ending, though they try. But Sam putting his single soul back together and feeling complete stands in contrast to Castiel who acquires more souls and transcends his being.

Score: 9.0/10
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