izhilzha (izhilzha) wrote,

Supernatural, "Malleus Maleficarum"

Had no energy last week or over the weekend to get this written up, but wow--we got a lot of new mytharc stuff to chew on in this episode, as well as what I sincerely believe is a hardcore misdirection. *rubs hands gleefully* Where are we headed, Mr. Kripke?

[spoilers abound, needless to say]

Goodness. Let's really up the gross-out factor, shall we? Blood, dead bodies, teeth falling out, maggots in food, coughing up sewing pins...? Yucky.

(Bonus: the shot from above, when the coven is praying to their Book of Shadows, and holding hands in a triangle around it, could totally have been lifted from the main title sequence of Charmed. LOL!)

I got a huge kick out of Dean's reaction to witches in general. They really seem to creep him out ("getting their bodily fluids everywhere, it's disgusting") even if he's not the one to suggest "stopping" the entire coven.

Oh, Sammy. You're trying to turn into Dean? On the one hand, I'm sure that's not what Dean wants to hear, he wants you to be you; on the other hand, he seems to accept (as you have, Sam) that something like that is going to be necessary if Sam is to keep fighting after Dean is gone. Oh, boys.

Also--did anyone else flash back to Ruby's little "fallen angel on your shoulder" comment when she brought up the same idea (training Sam to be a better fighter, a tougher soldier--I know I'm paraphrasing) that Sam himself mentioned? That put my hackles right up. Ruby, you need to quit influencing Sam. Like, right now. I don't care if she saved Dean's life tonight. Pfft.

LOVED Dean facing down Ruby in the road, calling her "black-eyed skank" and so forth. (btw, what is it with Dean not coming up with snappy rejoinders against Bela or Ruby in stressful situations? See "Red Sky at Morning.")

My comments during the last scene: "Omg, Dean, she's totally playing you! Okay, except for the some-demons-were-human-once thing. But are you really buying this poor-little-me speech? And dude, the cheesy melodramatic music we've got going on here...okay, she's got you on a string. Dean! Demons freakin' lie! They LIE!"

This is what I think about Ruby's backstory:

It's about 1/3 true, and 2/3 lies built on that truth.

We can't throw out the stuff that the other demon said to Ruby, or the things that they agreed on, because they were enemies and had no reason to collaborate in falsehood at that point. So it is true that

1) Ruby was once a human being,
2) a witch who served this other demon, and who then
3) went to hell and eventually was transformed into what seems to be a lower-caste demon with (at least initially) built-in devotion to the one who brought her to that point.

As for the rest of it? None of it is confirmed from other sources, so what Ruby tells Dean has to be weighed by its liklihood, and by whether getting him to believe a certain piece of information benefits Ruby herself.

--All demons were once human beings. Well, we can't disprove that with what we know right now. Although Demon!Casey ("Sin City") seemed to have an entirely different point of view on where demons came from, and how they came to be as they are. (Interestingly, Ruby says that she doesn't "believe in the Devil," which puts her on the opposite side from Casey in the sense of "faith.")

--Ruby maintains that she's the only demon who remembers being human, what it was like. That seems...unlikely. Especially given that demons like the one leading the coven are actively recruiting souls for hell the way Ruby was recruited. Also, how did this whole thing get started? Who was the first demon, recruiting human souls to corrupt?

--Dean, having sold his soul, is headed not only for an eternity in hell, but also destined to become a demon. Now this is plausible, given what we know so far; certainly plausible enough to scare Dean.

--Ruby agrees with Dean's challenge that she lied to Sam when she told him that she could help get Dean out of the deal. She says there's no way out. This could be true, or it could be utter BS. Ruby gains a lot from having Dean believe it: she gets him on her side regarding getting Sam ready to keep fighting once Dean is gone; she gets (eventually) Dean gone and Sam left alone, alive, possibly malleable for her purposes; and this is what Dean already half-believes, so it sounds to him like she's telling the truth, and gets her points with him.

(I think it would be awesome if it turned out that Ruby holds the contract, and is playing both Winchesters for some crazy agenda of her own.)

There's one piece of throw-away continuity that this whole demons-were-human-once thing clears right up: the YED referring to Demon!Meg and another demon as his daughter and son. These "family units" could be what happens when demons recruit human souls and then claim them when they've transformed into demons after centuries in hell.

Other than that? This is slightly odd and shaky ground, since up to this point the show has kept to a fairly straightforward Judeo-Christian interpretation of demons. Including the Latin exorcism ritual (invoking the power of God through Christ to expel the demon from the host), holy water, and so on. There have been some added tidbits, but this is the first big break--and it's opposite to what some demons believe themselves, as is clear from Demon!Casey's monologue in "Sin City."

We'll have to see where this gets taken. I could get really theological here, but I'll think I'll save that for another post. *g*

To sum up: that was interesting, in some very good ways. We'll see where they take it.

Meanwhile...is it Thursday yet?!?
Tags: review, supernatural, tv

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