Sunday, March 27, 2011
Supernatural - 2.20 - What Is and What Should Never Be - Review
WARNING - This is a review more than a recap so it is longer and I compare it to future seasons. Do not read if you have not watched through season 5 unless you want to be spoilered. I don't pretend not to know what happens in future episodes here like I usually do when recapping old episodes.
Preface - This review comes because someone asked why What Is and What Should Never Be is my favorite when I shy away from the emotional. Therefore it is more personal and more biased. Hey, I said it was my favorite. To appreciate why it resonated for me, you need to know where it and I were in season two overall. The beginning saw the brothers grieving John's death, the first extended overload of angst in our previously "no chick flick moments" show. It also saw the rise of Super Special Sammy and the other Special Kids, but we didn't know exactly why they were special. Add to that, an FBI manhunt and the Roadhouse, which only became popular after it burned down. Not only was it exhausting for the brothers, but it was also the turning point for Supernatural. We were on the cusp between monster of the week with mytharc thrown in and full on mytharc with some MOTW episodes thrown in. An exhilarating time to be a Supernatural fan but one racked with uncertainty too. As a diehard fan, I felt the same turmoil others did. Where was the show going? I was puzzled by the early angst onslaught, but I had more patience with it at that time. Fast forward a season and a half and I quickly lost my taste for brother angsting and "poor me" whining. Let's just say I was far more open to "emotional" episodes before they became the norm instead of the exception. Season 2 was largely pre-emo and at the pinnacle of it came WIaWSNB. An odd choice before the 2-part finale, but an inspired one at that.
Previously, the Winchesters had a normal childhood before it was all "saving people, hunting things - the family business." Mary and Jessica were flambéed and Dean was tired of hunting and bad luck.
Second, while this one is emotional, it's only emoangsty in 2 places for me. At John's gravesite, it is over quickly and balanced out by all the previous joy. I can stand a few tears, especially when there isn’t a lot of discussion with them. It's why I don’t mind the scene at John's funeral pyre. Then there's the emotional wrap-up that in season 2 was still pretty new. Nowadays, people have a fit if an episode doesn’t have it. In all honesty, I liked this scene more the first time I saw it because it was novel. It was one of my least favorite scenes, but I didn’t eye roll it.
Screencaps by Supernatural Fans Online and Watching America