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Title: Above & Below
Vidder: [personal profile] counteragent
Fandom: Supernatural
Link: http://counteragent.livejournal.com/55326.html

Commentary By: [personal profile] cee_m

I do better with song lyrics... so much of this is based on how I felt [personal profile] counteragent interpreted the lyrics with imagery. This is obviously IMAGE HEAVY! Like WOAH.

The mirroring she does in this vid with her placement of clips and such is just stunning. The way she starts with each brother getting his testament to pain and then showing how much those stories overlapped in a very real and visceral way.



The beginning really plays on the very creepy nature of the show and kind of scares us into this 'verse. She layers all of these images and it lets you know how NOT okay everything is going to be.



"Sometimes I feel like I wanna leave this place for good."

We enter with Sam, where everything is off kilter and it feels like we can't quite get our footing in this verse. He's slowly trudging through life. A life without Dean.



Under the ground - I'll live down there without a sound
The heartbreak continues with Sam's attempts at bringing Dean back, of saving him somehow. We continually see him trying everything possible to resurrect Dean. Yes, through the Trickster!verse but it's no less effective visually.



And never hear these hissing voices all the same

All of the demons, different parts of the same story. The same person trying to take things away from Sam as well as humanity.



I'll disappear 'cause living makes me feel ashamed

Sam losing Dean and the mirroring of his mother in a way losing him with the changes in his blood and Sam's stone face... all parts of Sam's shame.



Sam attempts to counter that shame by fighting the demons. Though with Ruby's "help" it only leads Sam further and further down. Everything circling around him with this trapped sort of feel to the editing.



I must believe there's more above us and below

Sam, our golden boy up to this point, is the one the angels hate from the beginning. The man who prays, the man who believes in God and angels is the one consorting with demons and using his powers to exorcise them.



I must believe, stranded with this bitch called hope

And even our good angel, Castiel, refuses Sam's hand. The way that must have felt to be denied by the thing you truly believe in and not only believe in but believe to be good and righteous. He's rejected by the very thing he found hope in.



It keeps me here when all I wanna do is go

Dean's death and Sam's faith are what keep him fighting when he really wants to stop and give up. The ghosting of Sam's drunken rage over Dean's smiling face just illustrates this so perfectly.



It keeps me here when all I wanna do is disappear.

Which he does... he takes that grief over losing Dean and disappears to become what Dean feared the most. He abandoned Dean's wish (the coin) and became the monster. (PS. Jared! Why do you have to be such a stinking pretty crier?)



If this is it
All we have and ever will


Sam is trapped. He's forced to follow through with his plans to kill Lilith. We see him both physically trapped as well as by the frame of the shots during this time.



If this is it
Time is running out and standing still


Things are spinning out of control between Sam and Dean. The juxtaposition with the images of grown Sam and young Sam are so purposeful. You get to see some of the parallels between the two of them and when Dean punches grown Sam and young Sam falls... brilliant. Sam falling down and down and down until he's separated from Dean and everything else, both by Dean's death and by his own choices...



I'll leave today, 'cause there's nothing left to keep me here

Sam's made his choice, he's stepped out and away from Dean. He's chosen to fight with Ruby instead of telling Dean the truth. He feels separated from Dean and faces much of this season alone.



I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear

Sam as a child wanted nothing but to be a normal family and this is torn from him as Sam fades from that wish into the monster, the demon killer.



The city moans, it lunges up right from the ground

Dean's exit from hell does not bring us the happy ending we wanted. And it's the better part of the season before we really learn what happened there. He's wearing a mask to everyone saying that he doesn't remember what he can't keep from sitting behind his eyes.



The seething earth, it opens up and spits us out

The tears in Dean's flesh almost mimic the tilling of land, showing how he was worked over. Yes Castiel grabbed him up and out but it created a crash in this universe. Dean's thrown down over and over again for reasons he can't understand.



This vicious child, nature never wanted us

The shot of Mary with Azazel is just... killer here. You feel Dean's ache at all that was lost there... everything that was put into motion by that act. It's like a visual translation of their literal fight to stay alive.



This vicious child, a cancer burning black into its heart

Upon his return no one believes that Dean is really himself which is perfect because he's not. The fighting, the cutting, the everything to prove that he's himself, only further illustrates how much he is not. He believes he should have remained in hell. Because of the torture he brought to other people, because of all of those deaths over and over again... those feelings. Those visions that will never leave the backs of his eyes or the front of his brain.



If this is it - all we have and ever will

And then the song moves forward and it's like the loss continues... that empty feeling where even I was questioning Dean's sale of his soul for Sam to go dark like he did. And then Dean's alone and they're both lying to each other about what was or is going on. Both Winchesters going through all of this alone even though they know they're stronger together.



If this is it - time is running out and standing still

They have so much to do, so many battles to fight but they're fighting within themselves. Dean on the floor covering his ears like he doesn't want to hear any of it...and the masks with Sam's changing face and Ruby's manipulation all factor into the widespread deception. They're wasting so much time with the lies and the hiding that it's like they're doing nothing to actually win the fight... standing still.



I'll leave today, 'cause there's nothing left to keep me here

Dean even knows he's being lied to but he can't make Sam tell him anymore than Sam could have made him talk about what went on in hell. Mentally checking himself out of the situation with Ruby because Sam isn't just doing what he says anymore...



I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear

Just as Sam sinks into the demon to distance himself, Dean does so with drinking. He's literally drowning himself in of of the secrets he's carrying around. Both brothers are mirrored with the same magician at one point and it helps to illustrate how trapped both of them feel.



And if we thought we couldn't lose anymore in this family we find out about their brother, that John was there for him in ways he never gave to Sam or Dean. The shots of him along with the creepy cannibalistic family feels like it further tears the scab off of a wound that was nowhere close to healed.



Sometimes I feel like I wanna leave this place for good

So many people looking into mirrors but failing to actually see what's right in front of them coupled with young Sam becoming Azazel and Dean becoming a demon... it's like their worst fears came to light in these mirrored images.



Under the ground - I'll live down there without a sound

Sam and Dean... still falling. Both of them choosing to fall: one at the request of an angel and the other a demon. Instead of speaking up and speaking out against what they know to be wrong, they both continue to do the things that continue the slide downhill.



And never hear these hissing voices all the same

As we continue with their falling it only serves to kick up the mirror analogy even further in that our angels and demons are behaving in the same controlling manner. Two sides of the same evil just with different reasons for their agenda.



I'll disappear 'cause living makes me feel ashamed

Sam drinking, Dean torturing... the shame there... I may be a crazy fangirl but Dean learning that he started the 99 seals and that he's the only one can end it just KILLS ME. The use of this moment paired with Sam finding out from Pamela that she knows what he's doing... getting this look in his eyes that he knows what he's doing is wrong and the mirroring of everything spinning out of control with the lies and the exploitation of our boys leading up to Sam drugged out on the table in the devil's trap spinning into Dean in hell is just so ... words fail me.



If this is it
All we have and ever will


Fighting and running and dying and being left behind... over and over and over again. What is really worth fighting for when all you have is fighting, running, and dying?



If this is it
Time is running out and standing still


Sam and Dean both locked up, Sam in the devil's trap and Dean in his promise to Castiel. And the fighting in Sex & Violence to the fighting in When The Levee Breaks shows perfectly how difficult it's been for them to be apart... how useless they are without the other... just spinning their wheels until another angel, demon, person, whatever, can take advantage...



I'll leave today, 'cause there's nothing left to keep me here

When Sam asks Dean to trust him and Dean shakes his head, that fist in the face may not be literal but it really felt like it to Sam. When the actual fight happens it's so much less harsh than when Dean denies Sam's plea. It's almost as if the fight happens because Sam abandons his former self "nothing left to keep me here." He doesn't have Dean's trust so there's no reason for him to stop fighting the demon he feels like he's becoming.



I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear
I'll turn my back and disappear


I can't help but do the last whole bit as one section because it flows together so seamlessly for me. Everything keeps being left behind. Sam leaves his old life. Dean leaves Sam. Sam leaves what he knows to be right by putting the nurse with the demon in her into the car in a manner that almost looks like a dance with how it's cut into this section. Dean began the seals and Sam ended them in a way that bookends this video in such a spectacular fashion. We see them both attempting to stop the inevitable in their own way, both fighting, ... but finally on the same path again.

Lyrics

Sometimes I feel like I wanna leave this place for good
Under the ground - I'll live down there without a sound
And never hear these hissing voices all the same
I'll disappear 'cause living makes me feel ashamed

I must believe there's more above us and below
I must believe, stranded with this bitch called hope
It keeps me here when all I wanna do is go
It keeps me here when all I wanna do is disappear

If this is it
All we have and ever will
If this is it
Time is running out and standing still
I'll leave today, 'cause there's nothing left to keep me here
I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear

The city moans, it lunges up right from the ground
The seething earth, it opens up and spits us out
This vicious child, nature never wanted us
This vicious child, a cancer burning black into its heart
If this is it - all we have and ever will
If this is it - time is running out and standing still
I'll leave today, 'cause there's nothing left to keep me here
I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear

Sometimes I feel like I wanna leave this place for good
Under the ground - I'll live down there without a sound
And never hear these hissing voices all the same
I'll disappear 'cause living makes me feel ashamed

If this is it
All we have and ever will
If this is it
Time is running out and standing still
I'll leave today, 'cause there's nothing left to keep me here
I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear
I'll turn my back and disappear

You can also see this how I meant for it to play out on my website at http://www.marymo.net/lj/counteragent/
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