Second episode of season 11, second Winchester Brothers Report. Let’s talk about “Form and Void”!
Smart!Sam in Zombieland : the vision, the visit and the cure
Sam is still on his solo mission to find a cure to the infection. After too many instances of seeing Sam knocked out, beaten up and helpless, it’s wonderful to see Smart!Sam make a return and take control of the situation. He’s resourceful. He uses sounds to lure the Rabids and lead them like rats through a maze. He uses a do-it-yourself taser to subdue on of them. The scene that shows Sam gathering items from a hardware store to assemble his makeshift taser reminds me of the one in “Abandon All Hope…”, where the brothers assemble a bomb to fight the hellhounds Meg sicced on them.
During his quest to find an answer, Sam researches infectious diseases, receives the visit of a reaper who’s collecting souls in the hospital, prays for a sign in the hospital chapel and right after, has a vision of himself being tortured in what looks like the Cage. The clue to finding the cure resides in the words of the reaper. While she came to threaten him and tell him she was looking forward to collecting him “very soon”, she left him with the words that were going to help to prolong his life. “You’re unclean in the biblical sense.” Sam looks like he’s minutes away from flaming out when he figures the solution is a biblical cleanse. He burns the black veins with holy fire, clearing up the infection.
Dean & The Darkness: “Stay away from her!”
Dean leaves Jenna at her grandmother’s house but he comes back to help after strange manifestations start happening around the baby. The grandmother also called for help. It comes in the form of Father Crowley, who has a deal with the church and is sent to represent them in the cases of demonic possessions. Dean finally sees the mark and realizes that Amara is The Darkness. He says he doesn’t have a choice but to kill her but Crowley doesn’t believe he can. Crowley sees a connection Dean and the baby. Amara likes Dean, and according to Crowley, Dean looks at her like he could never harm her. When Crowley informs Dean of his plan to use Amara and then kill her, Dean attacks Crowley, pins him to the wall with an angel blade and races towards Amara’s crib. Dean looks slightly possessed when he barges into the baby’s room and it definitely looks like his attitude towards Amara goes beyond his natural protective instinct.
The brothers: “Don’t worry.”
“I’m fine, Dean. Don’t worry about me.” “And if you need anything, then call me.”
Sam and Dean keep each other posted through the phone. When Dean asks Sam if he’s okay, Sam doesn’t mention that he’s infected. Sam doesn’t want Dean to worry and he even goes the extra mile, offering his help if Dean needs anything. There’s a nice moment where we get to see Sam smile in the midst of evertything he’s going through, when Dean compares the Darkness wave to a giant, crazy fart.
Overall grade : 8.5/10
I give this one an 8.5.
I liked it better than the premiere. It was full of twist and turns and it moved the story forward, from Sam concluding his 2-episode arc by keeping his promise to find a cure to Dean discovering the identity of the baby, and Crowley taking custody of/kidnapping Amara.
It was difficult to watch Sam all alone in that hospital, haunting the corridors like a lost soul. Last week, I thought Sam’s speech about finding a cure ill-timed in light of the emergency they were facing. It also sounded to me like a clumsily tacked-on response to the criticism that the boys no longer care about saving anyone. I still think it could have been done better but like Debbab said, it was important to see part 2 to get a good understanding of the entire premiere. Sam definitely proved to me that he made the right decision and while I couldn’t see it in part 1, I now understand what he was trying to achieve after seeing the whole thing play out. He did behave like a hero and the look on his face when the woman thanked him for healing her made me feel pride in what he did.
Last week, I also wondered about Sam’s decision to hide his infection from Dean. Again, it made more sense after this episode. In various interviews and in a special feature from the season 10 DVD, Jared and several writers talked about a role reversal for the brothers in season 10. As per Supernatural tradition, Sam is usually the one battling supernatural issues while Dean worries about him, takes care of him, encourages him and finds a cure.
In season 10, worrying constantly, or rather obsessing, comforting Cain!Dean, assuring him that everything was going to be all right and finding of a cure for Dean became Sam’s job, and Sam rose to the occasion rather beautifully. “Form and Voice” takes place one day (or two at the max) after “Brother’s Keeper” and it’s clear that Sam is still in ‘protect Dean’ mode, and he still wants to take care of the problem himself. At no point in the slow agony of the progression of his disease does Sam allows himself to worry Dean or enlist his help by telling him what’s going on. Sam also believes there’s a cure, like he did against all odds for the Mark of Cain, and even as his health declines, he stays focused, determined and finds the way to beat the disease, like he vowed to in “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire”.
“People who are going to suffer because of me.”
When Sam asks God for help, it’s not for himself, as he takes responsibility for the actions that led to the mass infection. It’s for the other people who are hurt. In the season 9 premiere, it was Dean who was in a church, praying for Sam. In “Form and Void”, Sam also prays for Dean. He himself is ready to die, but he wants Dean to have a life.
After the theme of faith, two other recurrent themes of Sam’s are explored in the episode : uncleanliness and purification. I do hope one day Sam will feel whole, clean and at peace in his body and blood.
Sam’s scenes were emotionally heavy and also visually difficult to get through because the veins and the purification process gave me a temporary case of the hives. Dean’s scenes were lighter and provided balance. First he was in the sun, in a nice neighborhood, with a cute baby in his arms. Then in a warm family home, bickering with Crowley. Even in the dark of nighttime, he was cracking jokes about “Ghostbusters” while having a snack in the Impala.
“The Child That Eats souls”
Last week, I loved Amara as the mysterious woman in the cloud and this week I love her as that adorable baby who spells “Feed Me” (Seymore) with alphabet dices and eats her caretaker’s soul. I also want to pinch her cheek as the beautiful little child who’s about to eat a lot of soul candy to become big and strong. Again, her connection to Dean, something else I love was present in this episode.
Aside from Amara, my favorite female character last week was Crowlette. In this episode, the award goes to Billie, the charismatic reaper who informs Sam that the holiday (wink wink) is over. She walks in, singing a familiar song, the one that introduced us to her boss, Big Daddy Reaper as Dean, his assassin, used to call him.
Lisa Berry makes an impressive and haunting entrance, preceded by her voice and the shadows of her fingers touching the hand of the dead. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she spoke, filled with that eerie calm and quiet authority all reapers seem to possess. I do love a female reaper. Tessa was the first, and I’d give a lot to see Billie again.
I also liked the mention of the Horseman Death, who’s been my fourth favorite character since he appeared on the show and stole my heart by dusting the dirt off his shoulder. I loved him as much as I love Julian Richings, and couldn’t believe Carver chose to deprive us of such a majestic character/actor. I’m still sad we may never see him again but I’m glad this episode brought him up and showed us that several reapers are angry enough about his death that they’re ready to break the rules by tossing the Winchesters into the “Empty”, the place you don’t come back from, to avenge the Horseman.
“Well, hello, plot twist…”
I call him the King of the One Liner, among other things, and he was in rare form yesterday. He came in disguised as a priest and reminded us how evil he is with countless perverted references about child predators. From his “Want some candy, little girl?” to the “scrumptious altar boy” line, Crowley wanted to make sure we needed a shower, bleach, and/or a shrink after this episode. Mission accomplished.
“Adorable little Dean.”
You know who they are. I call them Crown. I always love it when my demonic duo get together. Dean is no longer demon adjacent but he still has on his burgundy shirt of demonic doom so we’ll make it work.
Dean makes fun of “Father Crowley” and Crowley strikes back by calling him “Agent Pathetic Has Been Rock Star”. I loved seeing Crown reunited and for all his bluster, Crowley can’t hide that he’s still fond of Dean, a little. He tosses Dean around and threatens him. I don’t believe he would have killed him. I’d like to say Dean would have killed Crowley if Crowley had stayed pinned to the wall but I’m not sure, and for that one episode, we’ll never know. Still, they’re a pleasure to watch together, what with Dean being annoyed at Crowley’s existence and Crowley teasing and flirting. “Come on, darling, don’t play coy.”
A Farewell to Blue House, aka, 3-week on the job Jenna, and Three Beans Surprise, which is my nickname for poor, sweet Hannah, who I really liked.
Favorite Dean moment: “You’re so great with her.”
“What can I say, chicks dig me.”
That was such a Dean thing to say. And yes, my love, we do, or at least this chick does. I’m also one with a Daddy!Dean kink. It’s more than watching this tall, strong, beautiful hunk of a man-warrior handle a tiny infant with such expertise and care. It’s one of the things that makes me love Dean so much. He’s been a father and a mother figure since the age of 4 and has never stopped watching over people, protecting, shielding and mothering. Dean’s ability to connect with children has been established since the third episode of the series, “Dead In the Water”, where Dean helped Lucas Barr, the traumatized boy who’d seen his father drown, find his voice again when the doctors couldn’t. I love when that “maternal” aspect of the character is displayed in an episode, reminding us of all the layers beneath the flirtatious glutton with the frat boy humor exterior.
Favorite Sam moment : “Thank you.”
It’s the look on his face. It was something he needed. To know he could do still do some good and save people, after seeing the evil that was unleashed because of his decision to use the Book of the Damned. My son…
Favorite broment/quote: “Dean deserves a life”
I loved Sam smiling at Dean’s joke about a giant fart on the phone. Sam needed to smile and it warmed my heart. I also loved the boys coming home to the bunker, Dean joking about sexy maids and Sam giving him his trademark, “when will you grow up, I’m judging you” look.
Nothing surpassed Sam’s prayer for Dean. I love it when Dean prays for Sam and I’ve seen it quite often. It was great to see the reverse and be reminded how much Sam cherishes his brother. Feels good, after all the brangst.
Drinking game : “scrumptious altar boy”?
Crowley makes an ambiguous, sexually charged comment about Dean. I took a sip of sweet ginger tea.
The brangst: time for a road trip and a BM
This time, it’s not the bros angsting. It’s me. I need a certain quota of SamnDeanness in my life and I’m going to need them to spend some time together. Soon. I’m spoilered enough to know that I must give up on this dream for episode 3 so I’m waiting for episode 4 with baited breath. They’ll be stuck inside Baby, spend time together and TALK! This episode would have received a higher grade had they gone home, sat down and shared a drink.
Juicy bit: “What does it mean?”
Right after Sam prays for guidance, he’s hit by visions of himself being tortured. It looks like the kinds of things he was remembering from his time in the Cage in “Hello Cruel World”. Like him, I want to know what this means. It’s the second call back to the Cage, and Lucifer. There’s definitely someone trying to send a message from downstairs. Interesting.
Great follow up to the premiere. I liked the resolution for Sam, although some of it was hard to watch. It was great to see him find a cure against all odds, save himself and others. I was glad to see Dean learn the identity of baby Amara. Things can really get started now that he knows she walks the earth. I expected Jenna to die and I made sure not to get attached to her. Looks like I made the right choice. I feel Hanna’s death could have been avoided but what can you do. I liked Billie and wouldn’t mind seeing her again.
I miss grown up Amara and I’m looking forward to Emily Swallow’s return. The Deanmara connection is at its best when they’re both at eye level but I’m loving little Amara’s story so far. I’m looking forward to learning more about Sam’s visions, and next week, my favorite witch returns. Oh Rowena, how I’ve missed you.
How did you like the “Form and Void”? Let’s have a friendly chat about it…