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.