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What the situation also does is afford us an outsider's look at the brothers. Leviathan Sam and Dean may look and sound like the brothers, but they most certainly are not. They know what the brothers know, however, and that makes them dangerous. It's a nice stroke of genius to have them start targeting the hunts Sam and Dean have undertaken since the "Pilot," hitting them in order no less. If committing mass murder wasn't eye-catching enough, they manage to rub salt in the wound by hitting the cities Sam and Dean saved people in.
The Leviathan version of the brothers allowed for Thompson to have some fun and explore them without having to worry about upsetting their characters and history. They were but they weren't Sam and Dean, so it allowed for an entirely different view and exploration---albeit for one episode. The Leviathan version is what Henricksen believed them to be prior to learning the truth in "Jus In Belo," and what the media thought they were: horrible serial killer monsters on a vicious murder spree. It called out to that history---and while they perpetrated these crimes while wearing Sam and Dean's faces, what it did was let us see what that might be like if they really were the bad guys.
It also showed us just how untrue that was, too. As the brothers get stopped by the police in Iowa, the police treat them as the monsters that the Leviathan image has created on TV. Dean's call to Bobby certainly doesn't help matters as he talks about decapitating and burning the monsters, but he never once tries to hurt the police. Neither brother even attempts to pose a threat to the police---instead they try to warn them about what is coming. Sam pleads, "Look, you're making a mistake. The real killers are back at the diner, okay." Dean also knows that they're caught and in a lot of trouble, but he also knows that they have to survive this and try to avoid as many casualties as possible. Dean tells the sheriff, "Let me out of here. Okay, you listen to me, and we'll live. All right, keep your head down, get to the supply closet. Get anything that says Borax on it -- bring it here. Now. Go."
But the real star of this episode is Thompson's dialogue. It is razor sharp, witty, peppered with pop culture, and engaging on many levels. Bobby tells Sam and Dean without any sugarcoating, "Well, if you're gonna be stupid, you might as well be smart about it." Chet tells them how he knew how to track them, "From your trench-coated friend, obviously. When we were all nestled in at Camp Cas, kind of got the full download. That's just how we do." Agent Morris quips about the fast speed Sam and Dean make across the country to be in two places almost at the same time, "That or Batmobile." Frank remarks on Sam and Dean's visit, "Well, I'll be darned. Psycho Butch and Sundance. You're on CNN right now."Frank echoes Bobby well, "Now, I'd lay low, 'cause I love life and its infinite mysteries. But you two want to be dumb, that's fine." Jody gets in on the great lines, remarking fondly to Bobby, "Well, yeah... Seeing as they were fresh out of "thanks for saving me from liver-eating surgeon" cards at the store." Dean declares with great indignation about his referencing Dirty Dancing, "Swayze movie. Swayze always gets a pass!"
But the best dialogue goes to the Leviathan versions of Sam and Dean. They have great conversations surrounding the real Sam and Dean, such as this:
You know, he has one of these...
LEVIATHAN!DEAN indicates the burger he is eating.
...every day. And in his heart, he thinks they're almost as good as sex. This...
LEVIATHAN!DEAN puts the burger down on the plate.
LEVIATHAN!SAM pushes a plate of salad away from him.
Dead plants with creamy goo. It's like eating self-righteousness. I mean, you tell me which is worse.
I mean, honestly, I just... You know what? I can't stand the guy. Talk about a hero complex. And he doesn't have relationships. No, he has applications for sainthood. Oh, and he thinks he's funny. He thinks he's a damn comedian.
Who has two thumbs and full-blown bats in the belfry?
LEVIATHAN!DEAN points at LEVIATHAN!SAM and LEVIATHAN!SAM points at himself with both thumbs.
I'm serious. It's nothing but Satan-vision on the inside. I mean, how he's walking around in a jacket with detachable arms is beyond me. You know, I had a brother with this many issues once.
Know what I did?
I ate him.
Of course you did.
It makes us almost want to agree with them---yet be as indignant as Sam and Dean are about the whole situation itself. This conversation is snappy, tongue in cheek, and direct. It solidifies the Leviathan versions as monster all the while showing their cleverness to understand the brothers---and yet we can tell in this exchange that they've made the critical error most foes do: they underestimate them, simplifying just who Sam and Dean really are, and allow for the brothers to eventually lay the ground work to get the upper-hand. Thompson manages to really put all of that into this one moment of dialogue. He gives us great lines that can be quoted often and sharp writing that sets up what is to come.
He hasn't given us a lesser episode, instead always raising the bar and giving us what we expect from the Winchesters and yet surprising us in delightful ways with more than we ever dreamed of. He is the master!
Thanks for spotlighting his talent. I always get excited when I hear we are being blessed with another one of his scripts! Oh, and I would be remiss to fail to mention one of my fav things about Robbie! Like Ben Edlund before him, he knows how to dress our hero Dean! Yes, LARPing Dean is a fav! But that crown belongs on Robbie's head too!
With Edlund now gone, Robbie is my favorite writer on the staff and I cannot wait to see what he brings for us in Season 9. I agree. Robbie does know how to dress Dean. We've had a couple great uniforms that make Dean real pretty. And one that makes him look silly!
We'll get to "LARP and the Real Girl" in the third part of this Profile. I hope you'll enjoy my take on that, too.
I do appreciate that he took time to watch all the episodes. On this show I don't know how you can write a episode without doing so but I think at least a couple have. It shows in Thompson writing.
Look forward to the next part!
I was really happy to hear he had watched the series in full, too. It makes his scripts all the richer for it!
I've enjoyed most of his work, so I'll forgive him for Bitten.
Looking forward to Part 2!