supernutjapan (supernutjapan) wrote,

Rewatching 5-2 Good God Y'All!

I think this is my favorite horseman episode among the three besides Death himself :P And come to think of it, I guess that is how it should be. I mean, who loves pestilence or plague, right? They are not only awful on the inside, they look awful too. The thing about war is, it is romantic - it looks cool on the outside because of the reasons we put to it. Freedom, prosperity, revenge... It is only the people who experience it first hand that know that whatever side you are on, war is just a living hell. War, in this episode, drives a red mustang and gives people a purpose - killing the evil that hides among them. But in actuality, what they think is evil, is not. It is their family, their friends... just human beings like them.

I've had lots of chances to think about war and terrorism this past week or two, with the stuff in France and the two Japanese civilians being taken hostage by the ISIS so, this episode is making a lot more sense to me than it ever did before. It never changes. It never ends does it. I wish we could go to all those crazed people and shake some sense into them. "It's WAR! The horseman! You are HALLUCINATING!" OK. *deep breath* Sorry. Let's get started.

"Long, Long Way from Home" by Foreigner(plays during the recap of previous events; also played in 4.13 After School Special)
"Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum(plays when Sam and Dean find the town deserted)

We have our first hint that this episode is about WAR from the title, taken from the song War by Edwin Starr (but I didn't
know the song so, totally missed it). I'm including the lyrics as they sort of go with what I said above:

War, huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, oh hoh, oh
War huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it again y'all
War, huh good God
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me

Oh, war, I despise
'Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go off to fight and lose their lives

I said
War, huh good God y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, just say it again
War whoa Lord
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
War, it ain't nothin' but a heartbreak
War, friend only to the undertaker

Oh war, is an enemy to all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest within the younger generation
Induction, then destruction who wants to die

War, good God, y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it, say it, say it
War, uh huh, yeah, huh
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
War, it ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker
War, it's got one friend that's the undertaker

Oh, war has shattered many young man's dreams
Made him disabled bitter and mean
Life is much too short and precious to spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life it can only take it away, ooh

War, huh, good God y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it again
War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
War, it ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker

Peace love and understanding tell me
Is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

War, huh, good God y'all
What is it good for?
You tell 'em, say it, say it, say it, say it
War, good Lord, huh
What is it good for?
Stand up and shout it, nothing
War, it ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker

The episode starts with Sam watching Bobby look out the window depressed about his useless legs.
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He is soon joined by Dean, who had gone to take an X-ray of his ribs to see what Cas had meant by "carved it on your ribs." That is the COOLEST X-ray EVER. The boys are a bit spooked by it. Dean looks at Bobby and suggests that maybe he should give him a back-rub (awww!). But Sam's like, as if that'd do any good (Bobby would probably refuse and throw Dean out of the room -"Don't treat me like an invalid, you IDJIT!":P).

Then Sam gets a phone call from Cas. A phone call?! Since when...? But then Cas walks up and tells them that of course he had to use the phone. They are hidden from him just as they are hidden from the rest of the angels. As they are talking, Bobby gets tired of waiting and asks for healing from Cas:
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BOBBY: Get healing. Now.

But Cas tells Bobby that he is cut off from the main power of heaven and doesn't have all of his powers. Now this is really interesting to consider especially with the problem with the grace in recent episodes. So, each angel's grace is actually connected to the power source in heaven... or is that power source actually the angel tablet?? and they can be cut off from this source by the other angels? or possibly by God? I wonder if Cas was cut off from the time he was brought back from the dead, or after he came and saved Sam and Dean from Zach and killed those two angels he talks about later? Did God want him to not have as much power as before? or is it the Angels? What if God wanted him to experience limitation this time around, you know? So the boys didn't have it too easy... That makes sense doesn't it, especially if you think of God as the writer :P
Wait. If God is the writer, then he could make the other angels cut Cas off from the source... so... it's the same thing. *headdesk* OK, let's get back on track.

Bobby's like, you mean you lost your mojo just in time to leave me in a wheelchair? That is so unfair. But there is nothing they can do, because hey, God wants Bobby in a wheelchair. Cas, however, has figured out a way to win against the other angels and prevent the end of the world. FIND GOD.

CASTIEL:Your plan to kill Lucifer.
DEAN:Yeah. You want to help?
CASTIEL:No. It's foolish. It can't be done.
DEAN:Oh. Thanks for the support.
CASTIEL:But I believe I have the solution. There is someone besides Michael strong enough to take on Lucifer. Strong enough to stop the apocalypse.
SAM:Who's that?
CASTIEL:The one who resurrected me and put you on that airplane. The one who began everything. God.
CASTIEL:I'm gonna find God.


So at this point, I'm like riiiiggggt, Cas, the God who let you lose your mojo and keep Bobby in a wheelchair is just going to zap Lucifer back in the cage for you. You are demented. Dean thinks so too.

DEAN:Listen, Chuckles, even if there is a God, he is either dead—and that's the generous theory—
CASTIEL:He is out there, Dean.
DEAN:—or he's up and kicking and doesn't give a rat's ass about any of us.

But Cas is rather angry with Dean at this point and this scene suddenly reminds me of the scene between John and Sam in In My Time of Dying. You know, where they are arguing about how if Sam had just killed John!YED when he had the chance Dean would not be dying to begin with.
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CASTIEL:I killed two angels this week. My brothers. I'm hunted. I rebelled. And I did it, all of it, for you, and you failed. You and your brother destroyed the world—
(SAM looks down. ) .... and I lost everything, for nothing.

And we saw in our previous episode that Dean feels very bad about this too. He asked Cas to risk his life to stop Sam, and despite Cas holding the archangel off and DYING for him, Dean had been unable to stop Sam. Naturally, Sam feels even worse. Cas then tells them that Dean's amulet will burn hot in the presence of God and he wants to borrow it. Dean very reluctantly gives it to him.


As Cas disappears, Bobby gets a phone call from Rufus, who is fighting "demons" in River Pass, Colorado.
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Sam and Dean go to help. When they get there, they find that the single way into the town, a bridge across the river, has been blown up.
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That reminds me a lot of Croatoan and I guess it is meant to. It sure reminds Sam and Dean, and they go in with the misconception that it is really demons.
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I just LOOOOOVE the scene of them walking down the road in the center of town with that song - Spirit in the Sky- playing from what we find out is a car abandoned in the road. I wished Sam didn't turn it off! But then again, that sudden silence is quite dynamic too. As they look around, they find Ellen - or she finds them. Which is a total surprise. They didn't know she was hunting even, let alone here in River Pass. She takes them to the hide out and then hugs them and slaps Dean, telling him that they should have let her know they were OK. It seems Bobby told Rufus somehow that Sam and Dean were on their way, and Ellen had heard from Rufus on the phone before they arrived.
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ELLEN: You better put me on speed dial, kid.
DEAN:Yes, ma'am.

They enter the hideout and find a ragamuffin group. A pregnant girl, a war vet, a priest, and someone who looks like a businessman (WAR).
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They talk a bit about what Ellen and Jo have been up to, how the whole town is full of demons all of a sudden, how Ellen had been separated from Jo etc. I was thinking about this a bit, and came to the conclusion that it was actually the hunters themselves who perpetrated the "myth" of these demons. No one else would have known black eyes = demon would they? Rufus himself must have "found" the first demon OR, War may have told him about being "attacked by his wife" and how she had black eyes etc. and shown him more demons to prove his point. So the people who should have been saving people, were actually the people who started the "war" in the first place.

ANYWAY... Dean, and then Sam tell Ellen that they will go to the sporting goods store and get more guns so that they can get the civilians out of the town. But Dean is not sure he wants Sam to come with him. He tries to convince Sam to stay with Ellen, and after that speech about not being able to trust him, Sam realizes that Dean, well, doesn't trust him to be OK if they come in contact with a bunch of demons.
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SAM:You don't want me going out there.
DEAN:I didn't say that.
SAM:Around demons.
DEAN:I didn't say that.
(But that is of course exactly what he means...)
SAM:Fine, then let's go.
When they get outside, Sam suggests he will get the salt while Dean gets the guns and Dean's like no, we'll go together. He doesn't want to let Sam out of his sight but it's hard for him to admit it straight out, and again Sam wins. He enters the market alone and as he is getting the salt he hears the door open and sees two young men with demon eyes in the mirror. He kills them both with the demon knife pretty easily (after he tries to exorcise one and can't finish the exorcism.) But then stops to contemplate the knife with the blood dripping from it.
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And then we know that Sam was probably lying in the first episode. He still does have the craving for the blood. At least he has the craving for the power he had back then and how he had been able to send the demons back to hell without killing the body. I wonder if he had tasted the blood he would have known that it wasn't a demon??... Dean comes in soon after and sees Sam frozen behind two dead bodies before Sam comes back to life and they leave the store.

Next we have them back at the hideout, teaching people how to load and fire a gun. Dean has a talk with the vet and I've always thought it was just a simple "hell" joke but I understand now it's more of a satire...
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DEAN:Hm. Where'd you serve?
AUSTIN:Fallujah. Two tours. Got back a little over a year ago. Takes one to know one. Where'd you serve?
AUSTIN:No, seriously.
DEAN:Seriously. Hell.

War IS hell wherever you may experience it.

Dean then notices Sam sitting by himself brooding.
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DEAN:What's wrong?
SAM:It's the store. Those demons were possessing teenagers. I mean, I had to slit some kid's throat.
DEAN:Come on, Sam, you had to.
SAM:I know. I used to be like...I just wish I could save people like I used to.
DEAN:What, you mean when you were all hopped up on demon blood?
SAM:I didn't say that.
But again, that is exactly what he means.

Ellen says that she's going to go out and find Jo and Sam tells her he will go with her. And Dean's like no way. He calls Sam out into the hall and tells him to stay. And Sam is like, you really think after everything I'm just going to go for the throat of the first demon I see?!
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SAM:Oh, that's right, I forgot. You think I'll take one look at a demon and suddenly fall off the wagon, as if, after everything, I haven't learned my lesson.
And he pushes Dean in frustration while Ellen is looking on and Dean has to let him go. As Sam and Ellen are walking, Ellen mentions how Sam and Dean are different toward each other and wonders why. Sam avoids answering by asking her about her and Jo. And it reminds me of their exchange in Hunted... I think... where they each try to avoid talking about their issues :P Suddenly they are attacked by Jo! and another "Demon" and Jo calls Ellen a "black eyed bitch" which seems strange to Ellen. But Sam gets knocked out and taken as he shouts to Ellen to run.
We next see Sam tied up under a devils trap with Rufus and Jo in front of him. They pour holy water on him, and see no reaction. They pour salt in his mouth and try to exorcise him and still just get just protests, telling them that he is not a demon. But his eyes are black. They are puzzled, but so sure that he is a demon that they don't listen to Sam.
(gif included for wet Sam lovers ... that's you)
We then jump to Dean and the others at the hideout. Ellen comes back without Sam and Dean starts to go out to find Sam, but stops, realizing that he is being rash - there are other people, innocent people, at risk here and he can't just go after his brother. They need to figure out a plan.

Back to Sam - as Jo and Rufus continue to try to exorcise him, Sam sees War in the doorway looking in at the proceedings and then turning his ring. Jo and Rufus are confused - wondering why all the stuff is not working - but they don't listen to Sam.

Dean is sitting at a table talking to Ellen. I also love Dean in this scene. Call me shallow - I just like looking at him all serious, leaning over the table with his hands clasped in front of him. Ellen tells him of how the "demon" Jo had referred to her as a black eyed bitch, and mentions how strange it is that holy water and salt have no effect.

ELLEN:What kind of demons are these? Holy water and salt roll right off. My daughter may be an idiot, but she's not stupid. She wears an anti-possession charm. It's all kind of weird, right?
ELLEN:What's your instinct?
DEAN:My instinct? My instinct is to call Bobby and ask for help. Or Sam.
ELLEN:Well, tough. All you got's me, and all I got's you. So let's figure it out.
DEAN:All right.

And he does :) Which is awesome. He asks the people of the town about anything else that had happened before the demons started popping out and he hears about the putrid water and the meteor falling - actually the meteor probably fell first, and made the water putrid - which reminds Dean of a passage in Revelation and he jumps up to get a Bible to check it out. Is this cool or what?!
DEAN:"And there fell a great star from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell upon the river, and the name of the star was Wormwood. And many men died."
PASTOR:Revelation eight ten. Are you saying that this is about the apocalypse?
DEAN:You could say. And these specific omens, they're prelude to what?
PASTOR:The Four Horsemen.
DEAN:And which one rides the red horse?
DEAN:That cherry Mustang parked on Main.
PASTOR:You can't think that a car—
DEAN:It's the way I'd roll. I mean, think about it. It all makes sense. If War is a dude and he's here, maybe he's messing with our heads.
ELLEN:Turning us on each other.
DEAN:You said Jo called you a black-eyed bitch. They think we're demons, we think they're demons. What if there are no demons at all and we're all just killing each other?
PASTOR:Wait, just back up. It's the apocalypse?
DEAN:Sorry, Padré.

I love the Father's reaction!

Back with Sam - he also figures out for himself what is going on, because WAR obviously wants to gloat. He had no reason to tell Sam except for the simple reason of the psyche of a serial killer - the desire to be recognized. But what he says to Sam is very interesting and goes with a theme of the show that has been pointed out by demons and other monsters many times - that human beings are just as much monsters as they are. As Ruby says, "you had it in you all along!"
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WAR:I really haven't had to do too much. Take out a bridge here, lay in a little hallucination there, sit back, pop some corn, watch the show. Frankly, you're really vicious little animals, Sam.
SAM:No. You're doing this.

(Does this remind you of what Sam said to Ruby in Lucifer Rising?)
WAR:Please. Last week, this was Mayberry. Now these people are stabbing each other's children.
SAM:'Cause you made them see demons!
('cause you tricked me and gave me demon blood!)

WAR:You think I'm a monster. I'm jello shots at a party. I just remove inhibitions.

When Sam tells him he's going to kill War himself, War tells him that Sam himself is his "poster boy" - War knows that Sam is still craving the power that he had with the demon blood. What he says, I think, shocks Sam into admitting it to himself (even though he would not when Dean had said the same thing). And this is why he makes the decision he does at the end of the episode.

War does a theatrical performance for Rufus and Jo - pretending that Sam somehow hurt him and the little meeting is over. War also tells Rufus and Jo that Sam told him that the other demons were coming to attack.
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And then, he goes back to the others to convince them to attack. Dean tells everyone again that it is not demons at all, but they do not believe him - especially when War turns his ring and Dean and Ellen turn black-eyed.
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Dean and Ellen have no choice but to leave in a hurry. Austin, the war vet, is changing the rounds in the guns to real ones and War seems pretty happy about it. He suggests he can get some knives from the kitchen as well and grins when Austin agrees.
Dean and Ellen on the other hand, have a plan to try to convince Rufus and Jo that this is not a demon problem. And they are pretty smart in their moves as well. Guessing that Rufus has rigged the windows, they throw something in to get their attention (doesn't that remind you of hunted - again?) and when Jo and Rufus come out, they take one each to have a chance to talk to them.
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DEAN:Listen to me. I'm not a demon. Think, Rufus. All those omens.
RUFUS:You go to hell.
DEAN:Rufus! The polluted water, the shooting star, the red Mustang—it's War. I'm telling you, it's War.
RUFUS:You're damn right it is.
DEAN:The Horseman!
DEAN:Yes. He's turning us against each other. You're hallucinating.
RUFUS:The Horseman. War.
RUFUS: Did you figure this out all by yourself, genius?

(Well, yes! :D)
Pretty risky but thankfully they win and Rufus and Jo are able to listen and figure it out for themselves. Their hallucination stops. They can see for themselves that Dean and Ellen do not have black eyes. Once they figure it out, they are able to work together to try to stop the fighting. Dean gets Sam and they simultaniously tell each other what they found out.
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It's War.
And they realize that they have to get the ring off of War in order to stop him. Rufus goes to stop the others in the house from trying to kill the people coming at them - Ellen goes to help and stop the others outside and just as she is about to be killed with a knife,
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Sam and Dean are able to get a hold of War - I really like this scene as well, War so happy with himself, going to his mustang to get out as people kill eachother off, then suddenly getting assaulted by Sam and Dean - at first he thinks it's pretty funny - "you can't kill war" but Dean holds him while Sam chops off his finger and War disappears, his hallucination effect disappearing from all the people in the town and they all wake up to the horrible things they have been doing to eachother. The shooter at the window shows this best with the horror on his expression. I can imagine him thinking of all his friends and even possibly family he has killed.
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Our last scene opens with Dean fingering War's ring and a nice allusion to The Lord of the Rings -

But Sam has been doing some thinking and although Dean protests - Sam goes on, telling him it's important.
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SAM:I know you don't trust me. Just, now I realize something. I don't trust me either.
From the minute I saw that blood, only thought in my head...and I tell myself it's for the right reasons, my intentions are good, and it, it feels true, you know? But I think, underneath...I just miss the feeling. I know how messed up that sounds, which means I know how messed up I am. Thing is, the problem's not the demon blood, not really. I mean, I, what I did, I can't blame the blood or Ruby or...anything. The problem's me. How far I'll go. There's something in me that...scares the hell out of me, Dean. In the last couple of days, I caught another glimpse...
DEAN:So what are you saying?
SAM:I'm in no shape to be hunting. I need to step back, 'cause I'm dangerous. Maybe it's best we just...go our separate ways.
DEAN:Well, I think you're right.
SAM:I was expecting a fight.
DEAN:The truth is I spend more time worrying about you than about doing the job right. And I just, I can't afford that, you know? Not now.
SAM:I'm sorry, Dean.
DEAN:I know you are, Sam.
DEAN:Hey, do you, uh, wanna take the Impala?
SAM:It's okay.

Sam is a bit hurt that Dean doesn't put up a fight about Sam leaving, but Dean knows that worrying about Sam all the time is not going to help with the junk he felt he had to deal with - with the end of times looming and him being the vessel for Michael. It sort of reminds me of Sam and Dean in Season 8 - giving up Amanda and Benny so that they can do their job properly. Dean does ask Sam whether he'd like to take the impala - which to me indicates that Dean wants to show Sam that he does not have any anger or resentment toward Sam. That he loves him and cares about him. And we have Sam turning around at the end ...
Dean calling him Sammy here is also touching.

It's a sad ending, but on a rewatch it also comes with the knowledge of all the awesomeness that comes after it - the realization that they can survive and keep each other human only if they stick together. It's an episode that makes me look forward to the episodes to come. Can't wait for next week!


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