And then there's "The Prom", which I feel like I'm truly appreciating for the first time.
I was never able to get into it because at that point the Buffy/Angel breakup has been telegraphed for so long that you're just ready to have them end the damn thing and move on already. But I found myself tearing up at the Class Protector speech, which as far as I'm concerned is one of the highlights of the entire show. (And it's amazing that I can still cry over this show.) Also, I just realized that it does an excellent job of establishing that the entire class knows that 1) weird stuff happens, and 2) Buffy helps stop it somehow, which is necessary for the season finale. They didn't have to waste any time during the finale showing Willow/Xander/etc. convincing the rest of the students that they'd need to fight the mayor during their graduation ceremony - instead, they could just build their little army and go with it. And in some ways, "Graduation Day" is a precursor to the series finale: Buffy sharing her power with others, and having everyone join the fight.
(Also? Buffy and Dean need to get together and have big-eyed babies who cry beautifully and kick demon ass. Also also, I love that both BtVS and SPN have a Great Sibling Beatdown scene, what with the Buffy/Faith fight in "Graduation Day" and the Sam/Dean fight in "When the Levee Breaks".)
Anyway! On to SPN 8.22.
Hmmm. I don't know - I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. It looks like they needed to set the pieces up for the finale.
- I love seeing more of the batcave, so that was pretty awesome. And I was amused at how Dean's culinary skills kind of petered out due to lack of groceries - jerky and candy (and half-drunk beer) served on a little tray instead of burgers and soup.
- Suffering!Sam continues to be hot. His hair during the first scene was so shiny and smooth. It's amazing how he was able to manage a blowout in his poor condition.
- I don't like the boys being dumb, and they were kinda dumb tonight. Hey, instead of a hunting for a random low-level demon, let's resurrect one of the most dangerous to practice on! And then leave her alone to take Crowley's phone call without even drawing a devil's trap around her! And then act surprised when she escapes!
- So I guess they're going to have Cas closing heaven while Sam closes hell? The whole Cas-must-kill-a-nephilim thing didn't make much impact, mostly because that was the first we've heard that nephilim exist. It was hard to muster up any angst over the whole thing, just like it was hard to muster up any angst about Dean being pissy with Cas (and Cas being all mopey about it). I'm just...not getting much emotionally from the show right now, which is a bit depressing. Come on, show! Make me feel something!
- The one moment that did touch me was Sarah - her death scene (with Crowley on the phone) was well done, and the boys looked properly horrified. Poor Sarah - struck down by the Curse of Sam's Penis, and she didn't even get to actually have sex with him! I kinda wish they'd done something like this earlier in the season, or in another season. Make an entire episode (or set of episodes) about someone killing off the people the Winchesters have saved. Crowley's comment about how it's the only high spot in their shitty lives was right on, but it's a shame that it was shoved into an episode that had so much other plot and was trying to put everything into place for the finale. I'd love it if they'd done something like it when they had more time to explore what exactly it meant for Sam and Dean and their motivations, rather than just have it as a way for Sam to contemplate giving up for about five minutes before Dean talked him out of it.
- The flashbacks! Jared and Jensen were SO YOUNG when this show started.
- Abaddon's comment about Dean's pretty green eyes - have the show writers been reading fanfic?
- If this season ends with Sam and/or Dean either apparently dead or separated in some way, I'm going to be pissed off. I know they like to end on a cliffhanger, but how about one where they're together?