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Oh Show

Supernatural has had some beautiful design and direction over the seasons, but I don't know when I've seen a frame I liked quite as well as this one from 5.01.

Sam is very, very low!

owzers and I were dissecting the episode tonight and there's this blip, at the point where Sam and Dean are about to be overwhelmed and probably killed by the breaking of the last seal. Sam looks over his shoulder to where Lucifer is rising:



Blip. (I stared till I was crosseyed but I didn't see any hidden 3D picture.) There's a break in reality.

Then they're on the, um, "soul plane". As in dead? Limbo? Between lives? And the Devil says to [Yosemite] Sam, "I could use a guy like you."

And then the rest of the story unfolds. Well, owzers had a fascinating theory about it, and I think I concur: this whole ep is Sam's guilt-wracked hallucination as he is being taken over by Lucifer.

But more screencaps of symbolism.

Sam goes where he wasn't supposed to go. Witness the Do Not Enter sign:

He descends, past a very Ruby2-looking woman, towards a level twice as low as "Ruby".

In the very sleazy motel, he is lower than Dean. This motif recurs throughout the ep.

When Dean comes down to his level, he gives this very Sam-like gesture, and look! There are two Sams--real and reflected.

And a bit later, when Bobby arrives in the Impala (with new plates), there's this shot:

which has nothing to do with anything except guh.


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2009 06:30 am (UTC)
this whole ep is Sam's guilt-wracked hallucination as he is being taken over by Lucifer.
Huh. That would be an interesting twist.

And I hadn't noticed the motif of Sam being lower all through the episode, though that might be more symbolic of his emotional state than a break in reality.

But still. Interesting.

And I agree about the last picture. Guh.
Sep. 12th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
It was the actual break--the blip--that made me think they were signalling a break in reality. And it was the strange apparent randomness of finding themselves on the airplane, apparently a few moments BEFORE what had just happened with Lucifer, that got us asking the questions.

Everything else sort of fell into place after that. We'll see.
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:03 am (UTC)
Well...there's the man who was taken as a vessel by Lucifer. That seemed to be reality. I kind of thought that the airplane ride meant G was back in the building. Your theory is very pretty, though.
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
The symmetry of Sam/Dean, Lucifer/Michael is very hard to resist. As is that last screencap.
Sep. 12th, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)

I actually did notice that Sam was at a lower level than Dean on several occasions during the episode. Sam's a really tall guy so it doesn't often happen, which is why it registered with me. I think the hotel room they were staying in had a kind of platformy thing near the windows which facilitated that. But I didn't realise that it was a deliberate choice on the director's part.

Did you think that Dean was too hard on Sam or not hard enough?

I am even fonder of Bobby after this episode than I was before, which is saying something.
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
I am a great Bobby fan myself, and couldn't help noting Meg's use of the term "surrogate father" to describe him. One of the underpinnings of my and Owzers's theory about this ep is that the real Bobby would NEVER let himself be possessed. As many other fans have pointed out, he lives in a giant Devil's Trap, he probably has the tats and the amulets and the hex bags--I mean, Bobby Being Possessed is almost by definition a hallucination.

Perhaps I'm giving SHOW too much credit. Wouldn't be the first time.
(no subject) - tehomet - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tehomet - Sep. 13th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 12th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
I like your theory better than the big G saving them... it would be pretty cool if they reverse-Bobby Ewing'ed us all season and the guys are actually already dead or possessed or whatever.
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yes, the Bobby Ewing thing did cross my mind. I don't think they'd keep it up all season, but I can see them keeping it going for an ep or two. I'm thinking of the "third Winchester brother" semi-fake they did at the end of last season. Similar "casting leaks" to the ones accompanying the casting of Nick/Lucifer.

We'll see. But whatever happens, 5.01 set the bar very high for the rest of the season, and we'll see if they can clear it.
Sep. 12th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
oooh interesting. I had noticed some of this, especially the weird way Dean was 'above' Sam so often and the random stairs. I don't know if I buy into the idea it's a hallucination or break in reality, but it could certainly be pushing the idea of Sam's lower status, or especially, Dean's higher one.

Where did you get your caps? I haven't found any of this episode yet and I was looking for ones of the end of the fight between Bobby and Dean.
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
I captured the frames myself. I use Gom Player, a free multi-format video player for Windows that has frame-stepping and capture capabilities.

What were you looking for specifically in the Bobby/Dean fight? I could try to capture something for you.
(no subject) - donutsweeper - Sep. 12th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donutsweeper - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donutsweeper - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donutsweeper - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donutsweeper - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 13th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donutsweeper - Sep. 13th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 12th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, hello subtle!beatingstick
Sep. 12th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
I posted that then realized it might come off snarky... it was snarky, but not aimed at you...
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 12th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 12th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Ghastly wallpaper in ghastly cheap motel rooms is a trope of Supernatural from the first episode of the first season, and so far neither the wallpaper nor the Winchesters have gone, but I love that quote!

The casket-y looking thing in the reflection is the headboard of the ghastly motel room bed. It does look funereal though. I hadn't noticed that.

I don't think Eric Kripke is at Joss's level, but I'll credit him with the following Joss-like qualities: he has been moving in a five-year story arc all along; he's good with continuity and returns to little clues in much later episodes; he's NOT religious (as far as I can tell) and is likely to favor the humanist outcome; and he doesn't mind killing characters. "They Saved The World. A Lot" could easily be on the Winchesters', um, ash-urn.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 13th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 14th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 14th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - emeraldsedai - Sep. 15th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 12th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Sep. 12th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I liked it. I was just thrilled to have so many toys to play with in the sandbox this week. SPN has not often given me a Joss level of symbolism to obsess on mess around with.
Sep. 12th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
well fuck. sammy hallucinating all this would explain the very obvious difference in coloring and even, the overall framing - and of course, seeing himself as less/lower than dean.

that blip thing, i totally did not even notice.

i don't know how i'd feel about it if sammy's really possessed already and basically, everything is a hallucination.

maybe the blip is more the indication of god intervening - a blank spot while he rewinds a little and puts them on the plane a few seconds before lucifer arrives.

also, i just read a spoiler for ep 5 and it sounds very interesting.

on the one screencap, where you say sammy's going somewhere he's not supposed to. the do not enter sign actually makes complete sense there. he's *leaving* the elevated train station, and here in chicago, at least, you cannot enter through the exit and there are many "do not enter" signs at the exits.

Sep. 13th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Ah! So it's not just "do not enter," but "you can't go back again."

I really like to think of these decisions as deliberate, you know? How they frame the shot, where they shoot, the lens that makes that staircase look as flat as a ladder to the sky.

I can't believe you read a spoiler! Eeeeee! *covers ears*
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )



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