Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology



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Unfortunately, it went absolutely nowhere, with an ending that would have been great *if* they had actually written a beginning that matched it. But they didn't, and it didn't work. Characters appeared and disappeared--*important* characters, mind. Plot points flashed past. Christian faith seemed important at first, then became just another shell game and red herring. It was a disappointment.

And I have a question. Have you been keeping up with the thread that is discussing Lisa's (Ben's mom) come back in a future episode?


I have, sort of, so I do know what you mean. I don't know what the big flap is about. Considering how many women Dean has slept with, the question raised is not really so much a matter of "if" as of "how many"? As far as Lisa, I think that she fell into the classic single-mom trap of excising the potentially troublesome father from the situation by lying to him. This is all very nice, but it's not the best for her child. He needs to know who his dad is and get to know him, if at all possible. As Judge Judy would put it, "You picked him, Lisa!" I also couldn't help but notice how easily she landed on her feet after getting pregnant, as if she'd actually been scouting about for a sperm donor instead of "accidentally" falling pregnant and was already prepared for it. Being a single parent is no picnic and a lot of those households are really struggling, not set up in a nice house with a nice school situation.


All that said, the reason why I thought it would be intriguing is that since John died, the two brothers' relationship has got very tightly entwined. So, it would be interesting, from a dramatic sense, to see that challenged on Dean's side. Sam gets it challenged all the time. But Dean is a loner who has put the brother that he raised ahead of everything else in his life. Well, what would happen if someone else came into his life in that same position (i.e. a son or daughter)? How would he react? How does he make it work that suddenly, he has other family to the first degree that he must somehow keep safe? Who are more helpless than Sam, an adult who can take care of himself?
It's not even a case of taking the kid out on the road in the Impala (please, Kripke, no). Dean would never do that; the kid's in a good situation already and Dean is actually a good enough parent to know that he should leave the kid where he is. But Dean could arrange to write the kid or call or drop by on occasion. That's not a perfect situation (hey, it's not his fault his parents made like rabbits one night), but it's far better than thinking that Daddy is just some sperm donor out roaming the back roads of American who couldn't care less about you.

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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by gunznammo2 3 days ago (Wed Dec 12 2007 05:51:23)

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I totally agree with your statement in that last paragraph.

You just put it into words what I had trouble explaining but

believed whole - heartedly

Sam: 'What'd you call me a bitch for?'

Devoted SaltGunner 4 Life

Supernatural Disciple
Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by thesnowleopard 3 days ago (Wed Dec 12 2007 06:01:16)

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The demons tried to break Dean, Sam, and also John both by physical and mental force via possession and/or taunting. They succeeded in getting Sam and John to succumb both physically as well as mentally, but was unable to do so with Dean mentally. Dean somehow was immune to the Demon's mental hold. Why do you think that's so? I imagine either Dean has some sort of special ability that neither he or us know of yet, or that he's just too super stubborn. Talking about stubbornness, John's the most stubborn out of all three so I think my last guess would probably be incorrect? :(


I think that Dean is far more stubborn than John. It's just that he was raised to obey and not ask questions (got a military dad, too; I know the drill--so to speak). But that doesn't affect basic personality. When Dean put his foot down, it stopped both John and Sam cold. Dean didn't balk at much with John, but when he did, well, there are mules in this world that you could move more easily.


I think that there is some combination of normal human character traits (stubbornness, love, loyalty, self-sacrifice) and something metaphysical in Dean's resistance to demons. Kripke is probably trying to keep it as subtle and realistic as possible, as opposed to Sam's visions and other powers. I don't know quite how Kripke wants that to progress, but he does seem to be moving it forward, has been since at least "Faith". My personal theory is that Kripke may be trying to say that love and other positive character traits can create a sort of magical resistance to demonic influence if the person's will is strong enough and his/her soul is pure enough.
Also, Kripke often inverts Christian values that have been misused in the past (like chastity), showing that some traits are far more important than others. For example, he seems to say in HOTH that you can believe in God all you want, pray every day, keep your virginity, seek after Heaven, etc. but murder is still murder and mortal sin is still mortal sin. And your punishment may end up being missing out on spotting God while the drunken, lecherous sinner who is just trying to do the right thing on his own watch gets the epiphany instead.
Judge not lest ye be judged. Another one would be: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Notice that when Dean is confronted with that one, he usually drops the rock and walks away--but only if other lives are not threatened, or no longer threatened. Whenever I think of Sam and Dean, I think of the parable of the prodigal son (but which one would be the prodigal?), but I also remember that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and moneylenders. He didn't hang out with people who were already satisfied with life, but instead the ones who really needed him, needed some guidance and peace. Personally, I think Jesus would have liked Dean.

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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by thesnowleopard 3 days ago (Wed Dec 12 2007 06:09:15)

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This would be great if the writers could do it justice, and it would have been a great Dean-centric storyline for this season that I was complaining about wanting up-thread. A season long, high stakes poker game- right up Dean's alley!


Well, there's always season four. Though they could probably do something like this in four or five episodes.

*Are you really absolutely certain you're not Kripke?* [ [[laugh]] ] If you're not, you need to send him this idea right away!

Absolutely, positively, completely certain. Trust me, I'd be much better off financially were I Kripke. Not rich, most likely, but certainly making more off my writing than I am now.


As far as ideas--hey, I got my own stories to write!
Personally, I like the standalones, but I do hope they get a chance to resolve Dean's deal by the end of this season. It's going to be pretty odd if it gets drawn out into season four--that would be more like two years left than a year.


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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by donilou2 3 days ago (Wed Dec 12 2007 11:45:51)

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Unfortunately, it went absolutely nowhere, with an ending that would have been great *if* they had actually written a beginning that matched it.

Re; DeVour. Somewhere there is an interview where Jensen says they got re-writes almost every day so they had no idea where the movie was going. He didn't come right out and say it, but I believe he was very disappointed in it. The one bright spot was his work with his father I *coughownitcoughcough* and these are the scenes I watch over and over. The rest, not so much.


As far as Lisa, I think that she fell into the classic single-mom trap of excising the potentially troublesome father from the situation by lying to him.

I really hope this is not the case, and I doubt this will be the catalyst that will cause Dean to re-think his situation, because I think Lisa only appears in dream sequences anyway. If it is, the soap factor will be enormous. Although I agree with you that it's not a question of "if" but "how many", I don't want Ben to be one of the "many". I believe if Ben is Dean's son, everything would (rightfully) come to a screaming halt so that Dean could spend his last few months being a Dad- Dean would never be an absentee father, he would instantly settle right there forever and his hunting days would be over. However, if Lisa were to be engaged to a terrific guy that Dean felt safe turning his son over to, that would be another matter.


Whenever I think of Sam and Dean, I think of the parable of the prodigal son (but which one would be the prodigal?)

I believe Sam is the prodigal, but not because he went away to school. Dean has always been true to his core beliefs, and has never deviated from his "mission" to look after his family and save others, while Sam tried his best to run away from that. In an ordinary life its not wrong, heck its encouraged, for children to go to school, to exceed their parents'expectations,but in hunting it seems to be a calling rather than a career,and is something the righteous can't deny forever. Jesus and Dean would get along very well.


Personally, I like the standalones, but I do hope they get a chance to resolve Dean's deal by the end of this season. It's going to be pretty odd if it gets drawn out into season four--that would be more like two years left than a year.

I prefer the standalones as well, and I was happy to see you mention up-thread that you're not happy with the demon-king storyline because that one grates me too. I'm willing to give up the stand-alones and Sam's destiny arc if they can at least tie up the "deal" storyline this season, and advance Mary's backstory a little.


Illegitimati non carborundum


Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for DeVour)

by thesnowleopard 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 03:58:47)

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Re; DeVour. Somewhere there is an interview where Jensen says they got re-writes almost every day so they had no idea where the movie was going. He didn't come right out and say it, but I believe he was very disappointed in it.


That could be the one called "Ackles Sour on DeVour". He wasn't quite as openly negative as the title implies, but he did express disappointment very specifically with the writing.


The writing is definitely all over the place and looks patched together, so I'd say Jensen's side of it is probably true. There are some nice ideas here--the sensible kid being the real target of evil; the game as a test of morality; a child of evil being raised in a good home (Nature versus Nurture), but they don't come together into any kind of coherent whole. The movie starts off with this idea of the game leading troubled kids astray. Then, it becomes The Book of Job. Finally, it ends up like Beowulf told from the viewpoint of a Grendel who was raised by humans. Any of these storylines, begun and followed through, could have made a good story. Mashed together, they really did not work.
And what the heck was the deal with William Sadler and this Kilton chick? Were they his real parents or not? There were more loose ends than resolutions.
Especially problematical is that Jake is not evil. He does not succumb to darkness like his two friends (who are, unfortunately, cardboard cutouts, not real characters); he rejects the demonic mother who killed his foster parents. Throughout the movie, he fights to do the right thing, even when he gets so far from reality that he has no clue what's up or down. So, the ending, while quite a good one (and I'm a hard sell on downer endings), belongs to a completely different film from what came before. Is he being tested further? Is he truly being punished by his mother, and if so, why did she force that drink down his throat and *then* abandon him? And where the heck is God in all of this? Any god?

The one bright spot was his work with his father I *coughownitcoughcough* and these are the scenes I watch over and over. The rest, not so much.


LOL! I own it, too. Couldn't find it for rent up here and if you can find a cheap copy, it's probably cheaper to buy it anyway. Not that I mind terribly. It's not a good movie, but I still enjoyed it and some scenes are worth watching more than once. It also gave me some ideas for my own writing. That's worth the price of the sale.


Stephen King, in his book on horror (Danse Macabre), talks about how a true lover of a genre doesn't just watch and read the classics, but the mediocre and the crap, too. He calls movies like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or "Evil Dead" deep veins of gold. But he talks about liking to watch lesser horror films for the occasional nugget, or even just gold dust. This film is not a great film by any stretch, but it does have some good nuggets in it.
I agree with you about the scenes between father and son being interesting, though I liked the ones between Jake and his stepmom and with his uncle somewhat more. My main problem with Jensen's scenes with his dad is that they highlight the film's worst weakness--lack of continuity. In the first scene, things seem pretty good between Jake and his father. Later, we're suddenly confronted with Jake's dad drinking and blaming Jake for his mom's condition and my first reaction was not "Ah-ha", but "Huh? Dad's a recovering alcoholic? Since when?" Not a good response and probably not the intended one. It seemed painfully obvious that both Ackles were not given the necessary information by either the script or the director to establish character continuity between those scenes. That responsibility belonged to the writers and the editors, who both fell down on the job.
I also didn't like how they contrasted a Stepford Christianity of Jake's parents with a perverted and corrupting Neopaganism of his true mother. I don't like movies that present their protags with only a choice between evils. It's cheating. There's always a good choice in there somewhere, even if it's a hard, messy and qualified one.
Oh, the image of the Devil in the film? That's the Baphomet. It was originally just a name for an idol created by some Christian writers in countries far from the Muslim world. Christians who lived alongside Muslims knew perfectly well that Islam is monotheistic. But those far away from the frontiers with Islam believed that Muslims were polytheists who worshipped Muhammad in the shape of an idol--the Baphomet (from "Mahomet" or "Muhammad"). Later in the 19th century, a writer obsessed with the Occult named "Levi-Strauss" came up with the idea of the Baphomet as an actual demon, an androgynous figure with a goat's head and feet and a woman's breasts.
The Baphomet, incidentally, looks quite a bit like Dean's amulet. Levi-Strauss probably got it from descriptions of Satan in witch trials. The image may have originally derived from the Celtic god "Cernunnos", a horned god of the forest. And, of course, horned religious figures are very, very old--over 30 thousand years old.

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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episodes)

by ocean_beach88 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 05:14:39)

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"Significantly, this amulet was given to Dean by his "gifted" brother, after Sam correctly identified Dean as his true protector."


Really? When has this been mentioned, have i missed it completely? I just know that it's been implied that it's an egyptian amulet. It's interesting to see him wearing a different necklace (but still a necklace!)in What is and what should never be....

Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by thesnowleopard 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 05:19:01)

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Uh, sorry, that was a future spoiler. My bad. It will come up, honest.

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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by ocean_beach88 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 05:55:18)

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"I've read the original script and Dean was pretty unlikeable"


Really? Oh, please do tell... where might one get ahold of it? The idea of reading those original (fairly) lines and seeing some bit of Kripkes first sketchings of the plan... would be amazing. Plus, scripts are always amazing to read.

And on the other note, I've been going through all the replies here... it's amazing the amount of research, backstory, planning, and mythology that not only goes into the writing of the show (the writers and Kripke himself state over and over again the importance of using real folklore and googling everything) but also intiruges the fans and has people really getting creative and snapping up tiny little hints and great big metaphors or significances. I mean, it's got to be one of the most demanding shows out there to watch, what with the folklore being researchable and the connection of dots being right there and being based on some sort of logic... does that make sense?


Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by thesnowleopard 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 06:22:29)

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Oh, damn. I forgot to answer the rest of your post.


I really hope this is not the case, and I doubt this will be the catalyst that will cause Dean to re-think his situation, because I think Lisa only appears in dream sequences anyway. If it is, the soap factor will be enormous.

From what I've read, that won't be the catalyst. I think the catalyst will be more subtle than that and something not brought up before, but that will make sense once we see it.


As far as the soap factor, I agree that if they had Dean come and live with Lisa or take the kid with him in the Impala, it would get soapy. That's just not realistic. I would prefer that they keep it real life, which is that Dean is a wanted fugitive on the FBI's hit list and also fighting in a war every bit as deadly as the one in Iraq. And on top of that, he's terminally ill and not a stable individual to begin with. And that's not even bringing his responsibilities to Sam into it.
So, as you often see in real life, you won't get Little House on the Prairie if you're true to the character. You get imperfect people doing the best they can to work around the situations they're in. I would like to see that, though of course, it would have to be referred to and inferred through Dean's dealing with it out on the road. Which would entail little or no Lisa and the kid.
The terrific step-dad is a traditional way to deal with this conundrum, but of course, it's not very real life. Lots of times, the single parent remains single and struggling.
I believe Sam is the prodigal, but not because he went away to school. Dean has always been true to his core beliefs, and has never deviated from his "mission" to look after his family and save others, while Sam tried his best to run away from that. In an ordinary life its not wrong, heck its encouraged, for children to go to school, to exceed their parents'expectations,but in hunting it seems to be a calling rather than a career,and is something the righteous can't deny forever. Jesus and Dean would get along very well.

I agree that in this sense, Sam is definitely the prodigal. But there's another way to look at it. Look at the older brother's resentment of the party thrown for the prodigal in the parable ("Nobody ever threw *me* a party") and look at how Sam reacts whenever Dean has an epiphany. Sam is the one who prays every day, who believes in God and angels, but it's unbeliever Dean who keeps getting periodically smacked upside the head by some elusive higher power. And Sam, with some justice, resents that a bit, I think. So, in that sense, Dean is the prodigal (since the original parable was probably about original converts to Christianity resenting later converts). The older brother's feelings are understandable and very human, but according to the parable, he has to learn to rise above them in order to achieve the Kingdom of Heaven.


I think the writers might be playing it both ways. It balances things out between the brothers more.
I prefer the standalones as well, and I was happy to see you mention up-thread that you're not happy with the demon-king storyline because that one grates me too. I'm willing to give up the stand-alones and Sam's destiny arc if they can at least tie up the "deal" storyline this season, and advance Mary's backstory a little.

No, I'm not happy with that storyline; it's too mechanical (or mechanistic). It reminded me of why I really didn't care much for The Amber Spyglass when I read it. Some nice storytelling and strong characters, but there's a coldness about that universe, a lack of spontaneity, that put me off. But as I said before, the writers probably went back to the demon-king plot because they needed more storyline for Sam after YED bit it.


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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by thesnowleopard 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 06:29:32)

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I mean, it's got to be one of the most demanding shows out there to watch, what with the folklore being researchable and the connection of dots being right there and being based on some sort of logic... does that make sense?


Yup, it does. That's why I started the thread, because I was noticing more and more how the mythology of the show is actually pretty coherent and decently researched. As opposed to the usual magpie level of research you see in other shows.


And yeah, I'd like to get a look at that original script, too, even if Dean doesn't really come alive for me except when Jensen plays him.

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Re: Cain versus Abel and the show's mythology (spoilers for past episode

by ocean_beach88 2 days ago (Thu Dec 13 2007 07:05:42)

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If Jensen honestly didn't like the fans, he never would have made that comment about Wincest.

Huh? Seriously, I keep missing stuff... what's he said?

"LOL! Yeah, Sammy sure does love to push Dean's buttons. I don't agree that Dean is being unreasonable this season. Irrational? Definitely. But with reason. Sam needs to back off and put himself into Dean's head in that shack in AHBL2. I suspect that Sam is so utterly terrified of Dean dying that he can't even contemplate Dean's state of mind just before he made the deal, because it will be very similar to Sam's state of mind if Dean really does go to Hell for him. But backing Dean into a corner is just going to make Dean more irrational. He's enjoying a bit of denial right now. Let him. It will end all too soon and what comes next won't be pretty. "


Definitely, and I'm guessing Sam's going to have a breakdown of his own at some point. Alot of people seem to be expecting him to turn darkside without anything in between, but I want to see some sort of sobbing desperate Sam come into play too. He hasn't fully grown up yet, he's scared, he's in denial, and eventually if it comes down to it he'll do anything, whether it is morally defendable or not, to save his brother. But as in the scenes from Fresh Blood where he tells Dean he's been imitating and looking up to his big brother since he was four... It felt like the beginning of a whole other type of breakwodn/openess on his part. And Dean did respond in a very interesting way. The 'no chick flick' rule was everpresent, but not quite in the way it's been ther ein the past...


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