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Twi-hard rewatch-a-logue

I liked "Live Free or Twi-Hard" so much that I'm rewatching it this morning. That's...I don't remember when I enjoyed an ep of SPN quite this much for quite these reasons.



They did NOT skimp on interesting looking extras for this ep. The bartender who accepts the hilariously fake ID from not-Bella is awesome without saying a word.

Lots of terrific attention to visual detail in the design--not-Bella's cheesy red wallet and whoa-so-cheesy red rhinestone phone. Oh dear, not-Bella. You poor thing. You won't live to develop better taste.

The guy playing Not-Edward is a great near-match in type for Pattinson, and I love the overwrought performance he gives.

Dean talking to Lisa on the phone: nicely done, Jensen. He's really yearning towards that normal life, poor boy. And I love how we sense that HE senses that he needs to keep it from Sam.

I like the line "You try and be a good parent. Girls are hard," as delivered by the shattered single dad whose daughter has gone missing. It's like the unspoken mission statement of Show. Nice of them to come right out with it.

Also, I've never read Twilight or seen the movies, but do you really have to to get the hilarity of Dean reading excerpts and talking about the stars? I don't think so. Dean has always been acutely tuned in to pop culture.

Ha ha ha! When Sam opens the girl's sparkly red laptop and sees the brooding green eyed picture of Not-Edward and says, "That's just...uncomfortable," I'm all, "Um...no, I have NEVER had a brooding green eyed picture of EITHER Jared OR Jensen as my laptop background, uh-uh, not me..." LOL!

And can I just say that the props department outdid itself here? The fake-Twilight book covers, the posters, the decor, everything: really A+.

How is that not rapey

"Romero? Really?" This is such classic Dean. I love him so much in this episode.

The red and black accents throughout the first 12-13 minutes of the ep look incredibly lurid against the gray-green tinge Show always uses. The scene-shift from not-Bella's emo-red bedroom to the out-of-focus red lights in the blood-delivery alley at about 10:03 is beautiful. Go, Rod Hardy, whoever you are, Mr Director, Sir.

I love the wrought-iron-and-red-barbed-wire parking lot of the Nite Owl Hotel. That right there? That's production design. They went and scouted a location that would be red and black and wrought iron and barbed-wiry for the vampire episode, and I think that's awesome.

NiteOwlParkingLot

Dean and Sam sitting together knee to knee in the goth bar with their long neck bottles of beer = Memory Lane, baby! ♥ And then Dean says so! "When's the last time we had a beer together?"

Sam's failure to respond to that question may be the biggest proof so far that He Ain't Quite Right.

Hey, is the first time on Show that we've ever seen two men kissing? Good acting on the straight-guy reaction there, J2.

Hee! "You go with Efron, I got Bieber." I love it because I actually know what Dean's talking about there, thank you internets.

Oh cool. That one guy has a white eye. They really did not stint on the extras in this ep...

...or on the headless special effects. And whoa, Sam, you badass with the machete.

LOL! The fake vampire with the girl in the alley looks like Bradley James. *bats crossover away*

I LOVE Dean. "And use a condom!" Bwah! He's so grown up and responsible now, he's giving advice to the youngsters. I love his easygoing "I don't play for your team" when the head vamp hits on him. I love his painful struggle to get up again when he's been thrown literally into the trash. And I love how he comes up swinging with the heaviest object he can lay his hands on.

Damn, this is a well-written, well-directed episode.

And heeeere's the moment. The total WHUT? WHUT? moment. Sam! What are you doing??? ARE YOU FUCKING SMILING AT DEAN BEING TURNED INTO A VAMPIRE???

Whee! See, here's the thing: I don't know quite what's going on yet, but a) I know something is because it's been clearly built up in prior episodes, b) whatever it is, it's consistent so I can keep an eye on it, and c) it's interesting, the same way "What does Dean really remember from hell?" was interesting in S4. None of this muddy "which angel's on first and who's at war with whom in heaven and hell crap that weighted S5 down so heavily. Thank you, Show.

When Dean looks up, all blood-smeared and hopeless from his place on the garbage heap and says, "Sammy," that is just CLASSIC SPN. ♥ ♥ ♥

Also? Jensen looks a lot like Ingrid Bergman there. He just does.

Ingrid Bergman

And this?

The Black Rose

For one thing, symbolic. For another, either there's a club in Vancouver called The Black Rose (there doesn't seem to be) or they had a neon sign made and mounted for this ep. Then posed Jared by it just like that. Which impresses the hell out of me.

Poor Dean! So much agony! He yanks the clock out of the wall at 11:11.

I LOVE that Dean can hear Sam's slow, steady heartbeat (which is not at all like a line from fic) and knows that he's not as upset as he's pretending to be.

Boy, Sam is really interested in the vampire state of being, isn't he? Hmm...

Did anyone else think "HULK SMASH!" here?

Hulk Smash

Oh hey, remember when Dean was looking at the Twi-book cover and saying, "He's watching her sleep. How is that not rapey"? And now he's watching Lisa sleep? And he's standing in exactly the same pose as Twi-vamp on the book cover, with exactly the same billowing white curtains? And Lisa lies there looking exactly like Twi-girl?

How is that not rapey 2
See?

How is that not rapey

And Dean's clearly thinking, yeah, this is a little rapey.

Then there's this:

VampDean
Vamp!Dean is hot.

I don't know what to make of Dean shoving Ben like that. I guess it's way less violent than he's wanting to be, and Ben wasn't hurt, and his mom is right there to protect him, and Dean does leave. So I guess it's as good a representation as any of Dean's struggle and his inner strength, but I really hope they're going somewhere with the Ben and Lisa story, because I kind of like both of them.

Sam does seem genuinely relieved when Dean says he didn't drink anyone, then he acts surprised when Pa Campbell says he has a cure, and Pa Campbell is surprised that he's surprised. A real WTF moment.

Hee! "The cure's an old Campbell recipe, kinda like the soup." And here again, props to the props department. Sure, they used a computer font and crap parchment paper to simulate the old journal, but at least they found a GOOD "old handwriting" font, and bothered to put some meaningful text in there:

Campbell Journal

Transcription for your convenience: "The [something] that held them captive was [something] with holy scripture and sacred sybols [sic. Hee! Ye olden typo] and [something] with iron sheets and fastened to studs. [you mean, studs like Sam and Dean?] An interesting note is that Elise was cured and regained her strength after very long and arduous months, but alas [poor?] Constance never recovered from the [trial?]..."

"Dude, you reek. You're like a walking hamburger." Methinks Dean is saying two things there. Sam does reek. Of guilt and wrongness!

I like this set up. Sure, the cure for incurable vampirism is a bit of a deus ex machina, but they cover it over pretty well with Pa Campbell and his old journal and secret knowledge (though I still have no idea how or why Pa Campbell is really back), and they move quickly on.

Sam! Sam, you are such a liar. Liar liar pants on fire. LLPOF. You wanted Dean to be a vampire for a little while. Why, Sam? Why? But apparently you knew there was a cure (or "kyerrr" as Pa Campbell calls it), so what is this? A test? Something Sam has to accomplish at the behest of hell?

We shall see!

Meanwhile...Dean! With the low-tech solution! Attaching a wire to the door so it doesn't close all the way. Sneaky!

Not-Edward must be as tall as Sam. I like him. And he doesn't know what killing people is like? He's a virgin vamp?

As [personal profile] tehomet pointed out, this building the vamps live in is gorgeous!

Oh Dean. Flattering the head vamp by lowballing his age? I love you.

The vampindustrial plan where vamps turn hot young guys, who turn hot young girls, who attract more hot young guys? Reminds me a little of that Angel episode "Disharmony," where Harmony helps them infiltrate the vamp-making pyramid scheme.

Oh wow. That stained-glass ceiling? Wow! Pretty. And who is Boris pointing to up there?

Boris. I'm liking the overt Dean-lust, there. It's creepy, but it is so totally understandable.

And then comes the mystical demonic voice from above: one of those SPN-type things that had damn well better have a followup in near-future eps because it's exactly the kind of thing this show introduces and then hand-waves away. The voice makes vampires swoon away, crying "father!", and apparently has more effect on you the longer you've been a vamp, since Dean drops last.

In Dean's en-vampification visions: I LOVE the image of blood flowing out along roads on a map. I DON'T love YET ANOTHER IMAGE OF HOW LITTLE GIRLS ARE EVIL, which SPN does way too much.

Several images of cellular division, including identical twin girls, and multiplication/growth (the map, the red schoolroom desks in rows) hint at the idea of MAKING MOAR VAMPIRES.

Is that the Uber-vamp? Haven't we met him before?

Is it wrong that I like this picture?

Floored

Whoa, apparently the last to swoon is the last to wake up, 'cause Boris is letting all the hot-girl vamps out of their cages. Looks like Dean's gonna have to come out swinging again. But he's Dean. He will.

And he does! Bam! Dead man's blood into one vamp neck! Bam! Off goes the head of Not-Edward. Guess we should call him Not-Headward now, huh? That was really gross. And strangely funny.

And speaking of strangely funny, Pa Campbell drives a purple van. That hippie.

Go Dean Go! In one of those how-considerate-of-the-massed-enemy-to-approach-our-hero-one-by-one scenes, Dean whacks and thwacks and slices and dices, and heads are everywhere. And whee! Use those vampire powers while you've got 'em Dean! I LOVE the graceful leap off the balcony and down to the floor, wicked machete in hand.

Uh oh. To nobody's surprise, Boris is still not-breathing.

I've seen a few people objecting to Pa Campbell's statement that Dean has some Campbell in him after all, but hey! Mary Campbell kicked ass, and Dean totally takes after her.

I liked this shot a lot. It is always 10:09 in Vampire Central. I loved the focus on that clock.

Always 10-09

And did Dean play a little football with Boris's head?

Boris Football

Wow, Sam is REALLY INTERESTED in what Dean saw inside Vamp Central, isn't he? What is Sam after???

L'chayim to you, too, Dean. To life.

It looks like he's vomiting up every Purple Nurple he ever drank, right there. And even here? Still not ugly.

Still Not Ugly

And then he re-lives everything and sees what Sam did. And what has been the noisiest episode of SPN in a long time goes suddenly silent. And seriously, Jensen Ackles really does have emerald-green eyes.

It's painful to see the look of closed-off mistrust Dean casts at Sam--almost as painful as the fake, hey-man-glad-you're-back pat on the chest Sam gives Dean.

Wow. Sam is really inappropriately interested in what Dean saw inside Vamp Central, isn't he?

Well, it looks like Lisa has realized that Dean is not a good or safe person for her to expose herself or her young son to. I'm kind of glad she's not returning his calls. It shows some spine. Lisa deserves to show some spine.

And, in conclusion, LLPOF:

LLPOF

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