Jump to content

4-1: "Lazarus Rising" 2008.09.18 (recap)


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

999 replies to this topic

#991

Kuranda

Kuranda

    Couch Potato

Posted May 23, 2009 @ 9:53 PM

Such a great episode and so rewatchable. Something caught my eye this time (apologies if this has been discussed before!). In the very first scene we get Dean's eyes, covered in blood and blackness and illuminated by flashes of white light and high pitched screams.

Is this his rescue?

Something about the white light and the way he seems so frightened (I know....it's Hell, but by this time he was torturing and had seen a lot of what Hell had to offer). I couldn't help but wonder if this was the none too subtle arrival of Castiel and his buddies.

I don't think those flashbacks were really remembering either-at least not in a way that was coherent enough to understand. Sort of like when you only very vaguely remember a few pieces of a dream, but not enough to actually tell anyone what happened in the dream.

I'm OK with repressed memory (this was certainly traumatic enough). There were many plot points that bugged me...(come on down Ms. Anna "Angels don't feel emotions" Huh?)...the confusion and gradually returning memories I could roll with.

#992

TCL40

TCL40

    Couch Potato

Posted May 23, 2009 @ 10:00 PM

Something about the white light and the way he seems so frightened (I know....it's Hell, but by this time he was torturing and had seen a lot of what Hell had to offer). I couldn't help but wonder if this was the none too subtle arrival of Castiel and his buddies.


Makes sense to me.

I would also suspect, that even if he wasn't on a rack and was torturing people, Hell was still a pretty awful place to be. Meg, Ruby and other demons indicated Hell wasn't fun, and it doesn't sound like they were on a rack being tortured. So the fear makes sense-even if he isn't on the rack.

#993

couldhavebee

couldhavebee

    Fanatic

Posted May 22, 2010 @ 9:02 PM

I just rewatched this one for only the second time. (Those reruns on TNT are heavenly---lame pun intended---for those of us too poor to buy all the DVD sets at the moment!) I was seriously shocked by how much I loved Lazarus Rising. For one thing, I strongly dislike the majority of S4, and my foggy memory had sort of erroneously assumed this one fell into that category. For another, I tend to dislike the episodes that strain too hard to be 'very dark and meaningful', though upon rewatch this one actually didn't really qualify. I mean, yeah, it was dark, but the mood felt natural and earned.

This was just such a beautifully acted, poignant and compelling episode. It took longer to watch than expected, as I felt weirdly compelled to rewatch certain scenes and little moments again....and, um, again! And while I generally loathe the brothers' relationship throughout this season, a lump the size of a grapefruit popped into my throat when they embraced. *sniff* It was also a pleasant surprise to see just how much I adored Bobby in this episode, as I've been bored and weary of this character for what feels like quite a while.

I could have done without the line from Castiel about Dean not feeling he "deserves to be saved." Those four little words sum up two recurring themes of the show I hate: the show's tendency to excessively dwell on Dean's 'self-esteem issues' to the point where it makes me want to poke my eyes out (oh, but speaking of which---poor Pamela Barnes!) AND the fact that the "deserve to be saved" dialogue and the line about the problem with Dean being that he "doesn't have faith" sounded like it could have been scripted by the 700 Club, and I've never been comfortable with the IMO heavily religious, find-your-faith, Bible based themes, language and storylines of S4-S5.

But, overall, I'm happily surprised to say that I loved this one. Tremendous acting and writing. A really well-paced, compelling blend---(and IMO this show doesn't always blend different elements too seamlessly)---of suspense, drama, poignancy, horror and even a little humor. I also think this is one of the best episodes of the series visually: the lighting, camera angles, special effects etc. perfectly enhanced the mood and storyline. I particularly love how it's almost unnaturally bright and sunny outside when Dean first emerges from the dark grave; perfect juxtaposition.

I can only hope that most of S4 improves this significantly for me upon rewatch, though I---like Dean at this stage of the series---don't have all that much faith ;) For now, though, I'll just appreciate being able to add at least one more episode to the brief list of S4 episodes I'm eager to repeatedly rewatch. I didn't even feel the need to fast forward through Ruby's scenes, which in and of itself is an SPN viewing miracle for me!

Edited by couldhavebee, May 22, 2010 @ 9:05 PM.


#994

alex3

alex3

    Couch Potato

Posted May 22, 2010 @ 9:34 PM

My favourite part about first rewatch of this fantastic episode is the first few seconds- the first time we assume Dean is being tortured and that the white light is just fading to the next scene. But he's the one torturing, the screams are his victims, and the white light is Castiel.

This is probably my favourite episode. Every part is well done, even the Ruby scenes are pretty good. And I like the 'literary symmetry' (which we know the writers love) with Cas and Ruby. They both have a scene early in the episode where we don't know who they are, and then at the end they're both revealed to the audience while chatting with their respective bro. This sort of continues throughout the season, right up 'til their deaths in the last episode- Ruby being revealed as 'eeeevil' and Cas being (er, becoming?) good.

#995

Meso

Meso

    Fanatic

Posted May 22, 2010 @ 9:37 PM

Lazarus Rising was an outstanding episode when it first aired, and it still remains one of the very best of all SPN episodes even after many, many viewings for me. It just had this huge element of surprise and mystery, and some tremendous acting and direction (Kim Manners with his magic touch, especially in the opening scenes!) Plus Castiel's introduction has to be one of the best TV introductions ever. This episode also stared the mytharc and the widening cracks in the brothers' relationship despite their love for each other, and really set up how awesome Season 4 was going to be. The last 30 second of music is one of my favs. of the entire series. Too bad Season 5 could not keep up. This episode just never gets old. It's possibly my most favorite episode.

Edited by Meso, May 22, 2010 @ 9:39 PM.


#996

couldhavebee

couldhavebee

    Fanatic

Posted May 22, 2010 @ 9:54 PM

And I like the 'literary symmetry' (which we know the writers love) with Cas and Ruby. They both have a scene early in the episode where we don't know who they are, and then at the end they're both revealed to the audience while chatting with their respective bro. This sort of continues throughout the season, right up 'til their deaths in the last episode- Ruby being revealed as 'eeeevil' and Cas being (er, becoming?) good.


Great observation re. the symmetry. It's probably those little touches that make the episode well worth watching even when, as with all no-longer-new episodes of any show, there's no longer that element of surprise. Really beautiful, effective, compelling, works-on-every-level episode. (And, oh, the acting! For me, the acting tends to be stellar or at least well above average on this show even when other aspects of an episode suck, but in this one it leapt out at me as particularly awesome and rewind-worthy). My one and only complaint was mentioned in my above post----which I'll freely admit is less an actual flaw with the episode and more about my deep personal fatigue re Dean's endlessly harped on self-esteem issues and my personal distaste for the blatantly religious, "find your faith, the Lord has missions for you", Bible-based direction of the show. Overall, though, I agree this was a nearly perfect SPN episode. Now onto "Are You God", which I don't recall all that vividly other than to remmeber that a couple of my favorite recurring minor characters pop up in a not-so-alive and pretty damn angry capacity ;)

Edited by couldhavebee, May 22, 2010 @ 9:59 PM.


#997

ster1

ster1

    Fanatic

Posted May 23, 2010 @ 10:44 AM

my deep personal fatigue re Dean's endlessly harped on self-esteem issues and my personal distaste for the blatantly religious, "find your faith, the Lord has missions for you", Bible-based direction of the show


I admit, when I first watched the episode, I was also worried we'd be rehashing the same old, same old. But as with so many of the show's best episodes, when rewatching at a later date, I can find new meaning hidden in little scattered snippets of dialogue. I liked how Dean feeling that he didn't deserve to be saved was unbeknownst to us, foreshadowing to the revelation that he'd become a torturer in Hell. And Castiel's proclaimation of faith ended up being less about Dean (although Dean rediscovering faith in himself and Sam was a major theme in S5) but as a defining characteristic of Castiel himself. We later saw how strongly faith shaped Cas' identity and how devastating the loss of that faith became for him.

"Lazarus" is probably my favorite episode of the series: between the incredible work done by all the actors, the skillful directing, the tight writing, to me it represents the true brilliance which the show is capable of.

#998

Wendeano

Wendeano

    Couch Potato

Posted May 24, 2010 @ 8:50 AM

"Lazarus" is probably my favorite episode of the series: between the incredible work done by all the actors, the skillful directing, the tight writing, to me it represents the true brilliance which the show is capable of.


ITA, ster, and it really set us up for what I still think remains the best season by far, albeit that it is all a big lie according to Swan Song. The bleached out, cinematic quality of the first 20 minutes, with its almost total lack of dialogue, is fantastic... I can remember it ending and I felt so excited for what was to come. I don't honestly think I will invest so much of myself in the show again though after the S5 finale...

#999

ladydeath

ladydeath

    Fanatic

Posted May 24, 2010 @ 9:25 AM

Lazarus Rising was one of the best episodes of the series. I agree Wendeano, it's a shame the idea was dropped. However, it did give us the opening to what I consider the best season of the series as far as acting, creative writing and innovative ideas. I wish Kripke had followed up on it. I feel season 5 would have been much better if season 4 had been expanded into season 5.

#1000

Meso

Meso

    Fanatic

Posted May 24, 2010 @ 2:48 PM

And Castiel's proclaimation of faith ended up being less about Dean (although Dean rediscovering faith in himself and Sam was a major theme in S5) but as a defining characteristic of Castiel himself. We later saw how strongly faith shaped Cas' identity and how devastating the loss of that faith became for him.

ITA. The first ever Castiel scene set up his story too, which is one of the better surprises of S4 and S5, that this new character also had his own journey to go on. By midseason, it's clear that the "you have no faith" line is as much to do with Cas as Dean.

ITA, ster, and it really set us up for what I still think remains the best season by far, albeit that it is all a big lie according to Swan Song.

It's funny, isn't it, that "God commanded" Dean be pulled out of hell because "he had work to do", an act so powerful that demons trembled, only to make sure that at some point in time Dean would drive the Impala to the cemetery and remind Sam(ifer) about brotherly love. "Lazarus Rising" remains an outstanding episode, but what an anticlimactic end point is "Swan Song" to the premise set up in 4x01.