supernutjapan (supernutjapan) wrote,

Rewatching 4-15 Death Takes a Holiday

It's about time to start on my recap/review of Death Takes a Holiday. An excellent ep with so many extra characters and plot lines it's almost as good for me as Lazarus Rising or Heaven and Hell. Finally someone tells those boys - stop dreaming. Stop lying to yourself. Miracles don't happen, Dean. You're not doing this for anyone else but yourself, Sam. AND YOU KNOW IT!

Music Links
"Perfect Situation for a Fool" by George Highfill & Jai Josefs (plays in the beginning as the two men leave the bar)

We start with the "MotW" mystery killing....except this time it's not. A guy who is supposed to die, doesn't.
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The bullet in his heart but no blood and the guy is breathing and walking like nothing happened. I guess they don't take the bullet out for fear that he'd die if they did, but I wonder with these... like Pamela... if they had been able to patch up her wound, would she not have died? No blood loss, right?

OK, I'm getting ahead of myself here... let's get back to the story. Sam and Dean are at a diner and Dean's just gotten his hamburger and bitten into it when Sam tells him there's a case.
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Apparently Bobby has called about these people who should be dying but are not. Sam is sure there must be something fishy going on here. There must be some kind of monster involved right? Dean, on the other hand, is rather unexcited by the prospect and a little blue. Maybe it is a miracle... who cares? Sam just told him a while back that he was holding Sam back *pouts*

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DEAN: Sure you want me going with you?
SAM:Why wouldn't I?
DEAN:I don't want to be holding you back or nothing.
SAM:Dude, I've told you a hundred times, that was the siren talking, not me.

It seems they have had this conversation numerous times before. Dean is obviously not convinced that Sam didn't mean what he said back there while influenced by the siren - plus he knows Sam is still keeping secrets from him. I can imagine Dean making sly remarks about this whenever he has the chance because NOTHING has been resolved - despite that perfect opportunity to talk.

So they visit the guy with the bullet in his heart - Jim. Seems he has a little girl and feels like he's been given a second chance to do things right. Wow... sounds familiar.

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JIM:I had this feeling—like angels were watching over me. I wouldn't expect you guys to understand.

Ug. Jim mentions the exact thing that Mary used to say to Dean when he went to sleep. Before Season 4, Dean would have thought, well my mom thought so too and look what happened to her. Now, Dean's thinking, if angels are watching over him and giving him a second chance, why not this guy too?

Sam and Dean ask a few "rude" questions but they are quickly convinced that the guy is innocent of selling his soul. Back to research.

At the motel, Dean is researching the last death recorded in town, which is the asthma attack of a young boy, Cole, when Sam comes in. Dean says how there are no skeevy faith healers in town and it comes to Sam that the problem is the Reapers are not collecting - it's pretty cool, this reminder of Faith. Sam suggests casually that they go talk to Cole - who is DEAD you understand - and Dean is again awed by how weird their life is that they'd even consider such a thing. I think the little ritual that they do at the grave is actually the same one they did in Red Sky at Morning. But then I'm wondering, why don't they just get a psychic like Pamela to call the boy so they can talk to his spirit? Or even just get a wee-gee board and do it themselves INSIDE instead of doing it at the grave?? I can forgive that flaw though because their conversation at the graveyard is not only very interesting, but it is quite picturesque as well. The boys across from each other, Dean sitting on a grave, Sam crouching down to arrange the candles, their breath coming out in clouds... Dean is wondering if they should be doing anything to stop this, since these people will die if they fix it.
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DEAN:I mean, you and me, we're like the poster boys of the unnatural order. All we do is ditch death.
SAM:Yeah, but the normal rules don't really apply to us, do they?
DEAN:We're no different than anybody else.
SAM:I'm infected with demon blood. You've been to hell. Look, I know you want to think of yourself as Joe the Plumber, Dean, but you're not. Neither am I. The sooner you accept that, the better off you're gonna be.

Dean has always been uncomfortable with the fact that he was chosen to be brought out of hell. Saved. Why him? He wasn't special - like he told Bobby and Sam in Lazarus Rising. And here it comes up again. This time, Sam is sure in his answer. They are different. The normal rules don't apply to them. The interesting thing here is that he is not just talking about Dean. He is including himself. AND, he doesn't say, "you were saved from hell," he says, "you WENT to hell." He's beginning to feel that the power he can get from the blood makes him special, even more so than Dean. Knowing our next episode(On the Head of a Pin), I also know he is thinking, "So what if you've been raised from hell, Dean. You've changed. You are weaker now than before because of what happened to you there. I'm stronger than you. I'm the superhero that will save everyone (including you) with my demon blood." And knowing what is coming up next in THIS episode, we know that the large amount of demon blood in him is making him feel mighty powerful at the moment.
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Because who should appear at the grave yard then Alastair himself. Dean recognizes him right away after preliminaries and there is Dean's vulnerable hell memories look that he has especially for Alastair. Every time I see that face I can believe why Sam thinks Dean is weak and vulnerable. Because I can just feel his dread and pain and fear, just in that look. Dean is flung, hits a grave stone of someone named "Myth" and goes unconscious. I think it is safe to say that even here (with the name of the grave stone) the writers are trying to hit home the above theme. Stop dreaming!
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Sam, on the other hand, is ready to kick ass - probably even kill Alastair. There is his sneer for you.

But once Alastair realizes how strong Sam is, he bales.

Sam returns to the motel to find Dean icing his head. He is feeling quite benevolent, having saved Dean all by himself.
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Dean however, is very curious as to how those demon powers work and has an idea that this probably has something to do with Sam's secret with Ruby. Sam totally lies to Dean, telling him he has no secrets - which is just unbelievable to Dean after that exchange under the siren's spell.
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DEAN:Sam, do me a favor. If you're gonna keep your little secrets, I can't really stop you, but just don't treat me like an idiot, okay?
SAM:What? Dean, I'm not keeping secrets.
DEAN:Mm-hm. Whatever.

I can't figure out why he'd do that. Maybe because he just wants to pretend that every single thing he said under the influence was a lie and to do so he has to deny that he has secrets as well?

Sam changes the subject and let's Dean know that "Bobby" called again, telling Sam that the Reaper looks to have been kidnapped, and that this is again one of the seals. It's very interesting how Castiel a.k.a. Bobby leads the boys along while letting them do the work. So they now know that Demons are involved and this time Dean comes up with the brilliant (haha) idea of becoming ghosts themselves -

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DEAN:Well, if ghosts are the only ones that can see them (Reapers)...
DEAN:Then we become ghosts.
SAM:You do have a concussion.
DEAN:Sounds crazy, I know.
SAM:It is crazy.

And so they call Pamela. Pamela is grumpy - and she should be -
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but is convinced by Dean's "This is the end of the world" speech. WHY oh WHY didn't they salt the room. I mean COME ON! Demons guys! Vulnerable bodies! danger!!!! Roar.
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PAMELA:I'll whisper the incantation in your ear.
PAMELA:You have got a great ass.
DEAN:What'd she—
DEAN:What'd she say?

(I love Sam's face here.)  I have to stop and note that Pamela whispers in Sam's ear two times this episode... first this, then something more serious at the end. That's interesting to me - that she does it twice.

We then have a funny little scene where Dean sticks his arm inside Sam...

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DEAN:Am I making you uncomfortable?
SAM:Get out of me.
DEAN:You're such a prude. Come on.

(Heee! that's so dirty, LOL)

They walk around town looking for demons/the Reapers for a long time but don't find anything. Then they come to a house with a boy looking out a window at them.
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Dean recognizes him from the newspaper clipping and they go inside the house to ask Cole some questions. Cole's mom is just in the middle of being attacked by a flying soccer ball (really? Cole? Already getting a bit vengeful eh?) when they come up the stairs to Cole's room. Sam tells him they want to talk to him and Cole explains how he died of the asthma attack, how the Reaper came and how he was refusing to go with him when the black smoke came and carried the Reaper away. Cole apparently knows where the black smoke is, but before he can tell them, Tessa appears. Dean has forgotten what happened while he was close to death so obviously he doesn't remember Tessa. We have a cute little scene here. I've got to say, Tessa and Dean have this mysterious vibe about them. The way she looks at him and he at her aye?! And it totally makes sense in the story. As we see later, for her, he is the one that got away. For him, she (death) is the thing that was missing inside for the year after he came back to the land of the living in Season 2.

TESSA:You don't remember me?
DEAN:Honestly, if I had a nickel for every time I heard a girl say that... You're gonna have to freshen my memory.

And she does so by kissing him, which is just perfect.

Dean explains to Sam and Tessa's like well nice seeing you and tries to go up the stairs again when they stop her and tell her what's going on. Interesting here that Tessa doesn't care that she might be taken away by demons. She has her job to do and she has to do it. Dean asks her to just hold off until they get the necessary information from Cole to fix things. Tessa agrees but tells Dean that she's going to start reaping right here when everything is back to normal. Interesting that Tessa seems to trust Dean and Sam to really fix things aye?! Sam goes up to get the necessary information from Cole.
Cole is at first very reluctant, because he doesn't want to go with a Reaper. He wants to stay here with his mom, who is sad because he is dead. Sam lies to Cole, telling him that he doesn't ever have to go with Tessa. Well, it's not really a lie. He doesn't HAVE to, but Tessa will confront him later and Cole will think that Sam lied. While that is going on, Dean is having his first of two important talks with Tessa on his own, which kind of parallels the two secret talks between Sam and Pamela.
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DEAN: Can I tell you something between you and me?
TESSA: Who am I gonna tell?
DEAN: After our little, uh, experience...for that whole year, I felt like I had this...hole in my I was missing something. I didn't know what. Do you know what it was?
TESSA: listens.
DEAN: It was you. The pain of losing my father and Sammy. I just...I wish I had gone with you for good. But I guess things are different now.
TESSA: What? The angels on your shoulder?
DEAN: So, you know about that, huh? Well, hey, don't get me wrong. I mean, most the ones I've met are dicks with wings. But still... You know, I've done things. Horrible things. And someone upstairs still decided to give me a second chance. It just makes me feel...I don't know.

And here we also have our parallel between Jim and Dean - the thought that angels are giving them a second chance. We also hear from Dean's mouth again how the "absence of death" or having not gone with Tessa, had created the hole in his gut which he suffered from all through Season 2 and for which he decides to make the deal to save Sam. Tessa is maybe about to say something about the angels on his shoulder but is interrupted by Sam and Cole. Cole tells them that the demons are at the funeral home. While they are talking, Tessa is taken by the black smoke and the three are left on their own.

Then we have some fun scenes of Sam and Dean learning how to move things and fight as ghosts.
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They learn that the key is anger. They have to direct their anger at the person or thing in order to move it. Which is again interesting considering that ghosts become vengeful as time goes on. I wonder if this use of anger gradually consumes them...

When they are ready to take on the demons, Sam and Dean go to the funeral home to rescue the reapers.
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They successfully are able to beat up one of the demons guarding the reapers, but he figures out what they are and brings in the iron chain. Locking them into an area where they can't do anything.
Alastair has some fun shooting Dean and Sam, taunting them - especially Sam and how he can't use his demon blood as a ghost, and hints that some demons have already gone for their bodies. Alastair kills the first reaper without Sam and Dean being able to stop it. But, Sam figures out that if they can drop the iron chandelier they can break the reaper trap and we have Sam and Dean directing their anger at the chandelier.
I love how the camera goes from Tessa's face to Dean's here.
They finally drop the chandelier and as soon as Tessa is free, she frees Sam and Dean and they disappear.

So during this time Pamela feels a presence in the room and knows it is demon. She locks the door but the demon is already inside and locking the door wouldn't have kept him out anyway.
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Pamela has just enough time to wake Sam before she is stabbed. Sam sees what has happened and uses his power to exorcise the demon.
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Pamela knows she has been stabbed fatally but also knows that since the reapers aren't collecting, she can't die. Sam tries to convince her to go to the doctor but she refuses and asks for a drink instead.
Dean and Tessa are outside on the street. Dean tells Tessa to leave while he looks for Sam and when she leaves, out pops Alastair.
ALASTAIR:You can't run.
ALASTAIR:Not from me. I'm inside that angsty little noggin of yours.

That is so scary especially because we have that expression by Dean again... And it's also interesting what he is saying as well. Alastair knows that even when he is not actually there, he is there in Dean's head, torturing him, and giving him the knife to torture others. Doesn't that totally remind us of Lucifer inside Sam's head? I wish the writers had done more with this for Dean too so we could have seen those dreams instead of just that hell scene they always used. Like even just Alastair just tormenting him in his head or something. But even so, the look aye? It speaks volumes.

Just as we are wondering how Dean is going to get out of this one without Sam, Alastair all of a sudden gets zapped away by a lightning bolt - this again is so cool. The contrast between the black smoke taking Tessa away, and the white lightning bolt taking Alastair aye?! And there is Cas.
Dean is pretty bitter that Cas was not there to help them, but Cas explains that he was there from the beginning ... and Dean figures out that it hadn't been Bobby at all. Cas also explains as to an unreasonable child that he couldn't get into the funeral home to help them because there was angel warding. So Dean asks, why didn't you just ask if you needed help?
DEAN:If you want our help, why the hell didn't you just ask?
CASTIEL:Because whatever I ask, you seem to do the exact opposite.

Haha! Although I can't think of a time that Dean purposefully did the opposite of what the Angels asked, he sure has questioned it a lot.  He has never trusted the Angels from the beginning or the reason why they saved him.
DEAN:So, what now, huh? The people in this town, they just gonna start dying again?
DEAN:These are good people. What, you think you can make a few exceptions?
CASTIEL:To everything there is a season.
DEAN:You made an exception for me.
CASTIEL:You're different.

Castiel reinforces what Sam said before. That death is part of the natural order and it is time for these people to die. But Dean is different.

When Cas disappears then Tessa reappears... almost like she just sensed Cas and Alastair and was waiting for them to go before she came back. She asks him for help with Cole.
Dean makes a very good speech here, sort of like Sam made to the woman in RoadKill aye? It reminds me that they have probably made this kind of speech to many a ghost to convince them to let go.
COLE:Why won't anybody tell me what's on the other side?
TESSA:Maybe nobody wants to ruin the surprise.
COLE:That's not an answer.
DEAN:She won't answer you, Cole. Reapers never do. But trust me. Staying here is a whole lot worse than anything over there.
DEAN:Because one day, your family will be gone, and there'll be nothing left here for you. It's okay to be scared.
COLE:I'm not scared.
DEAN:We're all scared. That's the big secret. We're all scared.

And Cole gives in and melts away. The mom feels a burden lift from her heart.
Now it's Tessa's turn to give Dean some advice - maybe to repay him for saving her from the demons, and maybe for his help with Cole and maybe because of that connection they have.
TESSA:I've been around death from the get-go. You know what I see most? Lies. "He's in a better place." "At least they're together now." You all lie to yourselves, Dean, 'cause like you said, deep down, you're all scared. Stop lying to yourself, Dean.
TESSA:The angels have something good in store for you. A second chance. Really? 'Cause I'm pretty sure, deep down, you know something nasty's coming down the road. Trust your instincts, Dean. There's no such thing as miracles.

I would not have minded if the episode had ended here. But we have another bit of advice and a very sad ending. Pamela has said the incantation to bring Dean back, and Dean wakes up to a bleeding Pamela and a quiet Sam.

SAM:You don't deserve this.
PAMELA:Yeah, I don't. I told you I didn't want anything to do with this. Do me a favor? Tell that bastard Bobby Singer—to go to hell for ever introducing me to you two in the first place.
(and we remember that it wasn't Bobby that called them about this case...)

DEAN:Take it easy, Pamela. If it's any consolation, you're going to a better place.
PAMELA:You're lying.
PAMELA:But what the hell, right? Everybody's got to go sometime.
PAMELA:Come here.

PAMELA:I know what you did to that demon, Sam.
PAMELA:I can feel what's inside of you. If you think you have good intentions, think again.

And with that, Pamela dies. The boys are left with heartache until Season 5 when we see that awesome lady again. See you soon Pamela. We as watchers are also left with the heartache of losing Kim Manners, to whom this season is dedicated at the end of the episode.
DEAN:What did she say to you?
Just like in the beginning, Dean is left clueless of what Pamela said to Sam, but he definitely has an idea that it's not as lighthearted as the first time.

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