Never thought I would write a post like this about my all-time favourite show and current obsession. Hopefully it's a 1 time thing and that I'm back to joining in all the fandom-wide love and happy feels from next week
I really, really wanted to love this episode, but I just can't. :'( Doesn't mean I don't like it, because I do but a couple of issues really got in the way of me enjoying it to the fullest. This is the first ep that I can recall where, upon watching for the very first time, I didn't immediately re-watch it. I watched the latest Arrow ep instead and only watched LARP for a second time, quite a few hours later, hoping that my issues/resentments may have faded a bit... (They didn't >:( ) Now that may have been because of Ben Browder being on Arrow, but I'm pretty sure I would have watched something, ANYTHING, other than this SPN ep again...... and that makes me really, really sad. Haven't ever felt this way about ANY SPN ep.
So, to my issues- (don't mean to be such a downer about them, but I just can't ignore them any longer and they are just the breaking point with some longer-term issues that I've been having about the show for quite a while now.)
1/ I was really hyped for this ep way back late last year when Jared revealed at a con they were filming an ep taking place at a Ren Faire and that BOTH of them would be in costume. Hooray, I thought, finally we get to see Sam in something other than his normal hunting clothes or a suit. We've had eps where Dean has gotten to dress up in some really amazing outfits (the Western gear in Frontierland and the 40's outfit in Time After Time are my favourites, complete with long, slow full body pans by a very loving camera) and I've really appreciated them and seeing how great Jensen looks. So, great I thought, finally Sam (& Jared) will get equal share of the spotlight in this regard.
Fast forward to this past week and spoiler clips and pics start showing up online and they are all of Dean in costume (and looking mighty damn fine, BTW) . They have me thinking... WOW, if I'm drooling this much over Dean then I'm going to need buckets when pics of Sam in costume appear. I throw my previous rock-hard spoiler-phobia out the window and click on every single preview/pic or vid link in order to see how magnificent Sam is gonna look in the medieval garb. Finally a preview/promo clip is released that shows Sam in costume, all of about 5 seconds worth, enough for a couple of screencaps to be taken. Showing Sam/Jared in tight leather leggings, shirt & cape with his longish hair in a ponytail. ;D And hey, it's still a lot less than all the pics we got of Dean, but for the most part I'm satisfied and, once again, I'm all hyped up for the ep, only to be majorly disappointed that what was in that last preview clip was pretty much ALL we get to see of Sam in costume. Right at the end of the ep in a couple of shots that probably lasted no longer than about 20 seconds. So after seeing Dean in costume for at least half the ep, all we get of Sam is 1 or 2 almost blink-and-you'll-miss-'em- shots lasting less than a minute.
Now I get that as a result of giving up on being with Amelia and his dream of a normal/safe/happy life, Sam is majorly depressed and was clearly just focussing on the hunt aspect of the case as a way of dealing with things, they still could have had Sam in costume for a lot longer than the tiny little snippet we got at the end.
As a result, I have gone back to my previous anti-spoiler stance as I can't handle getting my hopes up by something I read or hear or see, only to have them smashed when the ep arrives and things don't turn out the way I'd thought/hoped/prayed they would.
2/ My other issue (and this one goes back at least a few seasons) is that, once again, Dean is given a scene where he gets to discuss feelings/emotions/reasons why he did something (in this case, Dean and Charlie talking about the fake text he sent Sam at the end of 809). Sam very rarely gets to interact on such an emotional level with a secondary character like Dean has on multiple occassions (Gordon back in season 2's Bloodlust, all the convos he's had with Bobby, all the 1-on-1 scenes with Cas, heck Dean even has had more interaction with Meg than Sam in the last few seasons. I'm still surprised that Meg possessing Sam back in season 2 -- such a huge character moment/ plot point for Sam-- has never even been mentioned in any Meg ep since-- so it almost seems to me that Meg's initial very strong connection to Sam (and Sam alone) has been totally erased from memory) The last one I can think of is Sam talking to Young John in season 5's Song Remains The Same. Even in Season 6 and the re-introduction of Samuel Campbell as part of the SoulessSam focus, Dean got to have way more in-depth conversations and interactions with Samuel, than Sam did. It seems like Dean has always got someone he can talk to/confide in whereas Sam seems only to have Dean and when the boys are at odds and not speaking, then Sam has no-one. And that I think is what makes me saddest most of all.
I think I'm almost at the point where if something happened and Jared was no longer able to be on the show, I don't think I would continue watching, especially if it became the Dean & Cas show. I love Jensen and Dean, but I know in my heart, that I keep watching because of my absolute love for and obsession with Jared.
I'm really hoping that something happens in the second half of this season that restores my faith that both actors & co-leads and both characters are equally important in the minds of the showrunner, writers etc (because I'm really not feeling that at the moment and haven't for some time) and that we get some really good Sam-focussed eps like the many heavily Dean-centric eps we gotten in the past (What Is (s2), The Beginning (s4) & The End (s5)). Hell, giving Sam a friend that is not shared by Dean would be a good start. Will we ever get one where Dean/Jensen is only in 1 or 2 scene leaving Jared to carry the ep? I doubt it otherwise it would have happened by now. Maybe then I'll be able to come back to this ep with a much more positive attitude and love it like I really want to.
But right now (and having spoiled myself a little for next week) all I can think is that I really, really hope that Dean doesn't get all the interaction, and most of the scenes and dialogue with a new but very important up-coming character that in all respects does have an equal relationship with both brothers. I do know that I'm not going to get my hopes up again and maybe the episode will leave me pleasantly surprised and feeling the love once again.
I do still love SPN, I will always love SPN, I just don't know if I like it all that much, Jared & Sam aside, right now.