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Supernatural, "Malleus Maleficarum" - Light One Candle

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February 4th, 2008

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01:22 pm - 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?!?

(3 lit candles | Light a candle)


[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
Just saw this on the Act One newsgroup -- I decided to send it on to you just in case you didn't check the newsgroup tonight. What better way to get help on your SPN writing than by talking to the writers themselves? :) Hope you can make it!


Writers of various genres join us each week, making themselves available to discuss story, structure and everything in between to aspiring writers. All you have to do is come out and pick up a sign!

Warning: This Teaching Thursday might scare you to death! First off it's not even on Thursday -- how frightening is that? It's SPOOKY WEDNESDAY! Not sure you're witty enough to write Sam and Dean Winchester's dialogue? The writers from "Supernatural" can help! Want to know how to raise the stakes for a Vampire detective? Writers from "Moonlight" know! Worried that your spouse may be a cyborg? The writers from "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" probably won't be able to help (but they will be on hand for your other brilliant questions!). Yes, writers from these shows (plus a few surprise guests!) will be there to answers these questions and more...

The usual disclaimers:

If you're a writer for a genre drama (or have been one) and want to show up, please know:

No one will solicit you to read their brilliant spec script. No one will ask for your phone number or email address. No one will expect anything of you other than your ability to answer some story/structure/dialogue questions.

If you're an aspiring writer who wants to take advantage of getting some truly great advice from the folks who have lived, eaten, breathed it:

Definitely join us -- all you need to do is pick up a sign! What you should not do: solicit the writers to read your brilliant spec script. Do not ask for phone numbers or email addresses. Do expect brilliance, because that's what you'll get!

SPOOKY THURSDAY: WEDNESDAY February 6th, 9 AM-12 PM, Warner Bros Gate 2.

See you there!

[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
I saw this! And then realized that we were having meetings at work, and so on...really, I talk about caring more about my writing than about my job, but it's been very weird trying to take/make time to go be on the picket lines.

I can't go today. This makes me sad; if some of my friends who do make it meet, say, Sera Gamble? I'm going to be crushed that I wasn't there. But maybe I'll still get a chance to meet her someday. (And Kripke. And Ben Edlund, who was at Mutant Enemy Day. And....)
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I belatedly noticed this was in the middle of the day. That's lame. :( What were they thinking? Not everyone in L.A. is on strike. Oh, well.

Are you going to go to the Paley Center event in March? There'll be (among other things) a Buffy cast reunion. Joss, Amber, James, Eliza, Michelle, Seth, Emma & Sarah are all confirmed.


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