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"Devil's Trap" (with links to pics!)
the arch of the eyebrows gives it away
innie_darling
After I watched the finale, I just couldn't even formulate the words. My fourth time through I'd pulled myself together enough to send off three insanely long emails to the long-suffering monkiedude on the finale and begging shamelessly for screencaps (I always say my only talent is making friends who have actual talents). Now you too can read my scene-by-scene wittering!

Okay, this message will be all about the opening of the ep, which as I said really seemed off to me. If reading this will diminish your enjoyment, by all means skip it. I just need to vent.

Oh my God, that extreme closeup on Jensen's eyes - look how dilated his pupils are! He honestly looks terrified. I don't know how he does this.

And the face wipe that you capped! It's over in two seconds. That's all the time he gives himself to push down his panic and get his and Sam's asses in gear. He is SO STRONG.

Could you cap the moment he picks up the Colt? For some reason, I think his hand looks especially lovely there. [note that monkie has not yet learned her lesson, and therefore fulfilled every cap request I made]

Oh! Oh! "Tough guy"! Sam's face here - he looks like he wants to drop-kick Dean. Bad Sam!

"Everything stops until we get him back." Nice foreshadowing to the moment Sam realizes that John's wrong and not "everything" should take a backseat to killing the demon, Kripke!

Could you also cap Dean in the car just before he says, "You're right; we need help"? When the light is flashing on his face and you can see how PERFECT a profile he has?

Okay, I liked Bobby. But here is where I thought the ep really lagged. John could be in mortal danger (which would KILL Dean) and they're passing around whiskey? Nuh uh. Dean's "you cocked the shotgun and everything" also had a bizarrely flirtatious smile accompanying it. Not to mention that the whole exchange reminded me very strongly of a scene from the pilot of Firefly. The best part of this exchange was Dean saying, "Yeah I guess he does," because it falsely foreshadows the showdown at the end of the ep - Dean holds the gun on John precisely because he's not John, the stubborn bastard who seems to fight with everyone except Dean (Sam, Elkins, Bobby). Nicely played, Kripke. Plus, look how good Dean is at making and keeping allies.

The whole "protective circles" discussion was fine, but shouldn't Bobby have pointed up to show the boys the one on the ceiling? My point is, I have no idea how Dean knew it was there when Meg showed up only one moment later. [monkie pointed out that there's a shot of Dean looking up at the ceiling . . . so, never mind]

The dog is named Rumsfeld. That is hilarious.

Dean goes flying, as usual; is this the only ep where that happens but Sam doesn't get strangled?

Jensen does snarly triumph so DAMN well. "Gotcha" he said and I shivered. And his little smile when he says, "Where's our father, bitch?"!!! And the trembly lips! God, he was killing me!

When Bobby tells Dean that Meg is possessed and Dean responds with an exorcism, it just shows the difference between Dean and John. In the last ep, John said Meg was either a demon or possessed by a demon, and it made no difference either way. Dean knows better. He knows he has to try to save her, even if she dies as a result; he will be freeing her from the worst kind of mental torture by plunging her into physical anguish.

I had some problems with the exorcism scene (aside from 1: the awesome, awesome "hit it, Sam," 2: the way Dean looks barely leashed throughout, 3: the fact that I think the "he's not dead - he can't be!" is less wishful thinking and more Dean knowing he'd KNOW if half his entire world had died, and 4: "I lied!"). Sam STOPS FOUR TIMES to look dumsquizzled. WTF, Sam? You were so much more competent in "Phantom Traveler"! But what I really didn't buy was that Dean would choose to kill Meg (even though he knew it was a mercy-killing like he said) by using Sam as his weapon; I was sure he would grab the book and finish the chant himself, rather than give Sam an opportunity for future guilt.

Can you cap Dean's face when he realizes Meg's not dead after the exorcism? It is a thing of beauty.

Meg's dead smile is awesome, and the way Dean swallows and blinks back tears is astonishing.

And there endeth kunju's complaints.

That look Dean gives Bobby as he's leaving is totally the look he wore at the very end of "Nightmare," and there are too many emotions in it to name.

Jensen is a genius, A GENIUS, when it comes to movements that look involuntary. Remember the fist he made after the "why didn't you call me" conversation in "Salvation"? Watch him load the guns here - a muscle in his throat quivers because he's so on edge. How does he DO that?!? Also, I absolutely adore the way he tightens his lips when he's steeling himself to say or do something, like he does right after he says, "Just gettin' ready." He's been doing that all season long.

Okay, Sam's "He's gonna be fine, Dean," is where I started yelling at Sammy again. For serious, the boy's a born politician, saying whatever fits the moment. Earlier it was all Dad's dead so let's fulfill his deathbed wish and now it's all no worries man; that PISSED ME OFF. I'm glad Dean didn't deign to respond.

I adore crankyass Dean! Stick around, crankyass, you're always welcome.

"And since when do you care what Dad wants?" Well said, Dean. And could you cap Dean's incredulous smile when Sam says, "You're the one who came and got me at school!"? Dean looks like he's going to pick up the demons' slack and choke Sam himself. He's certainly clenching his jaw hard enough. (And could Sam say "Dean" any more than he does in that scene? It might even beat the "Route 666" Dean-fest.) (Also, does Dean's charm look totally different - I noticed it when he's making a big show of putting the Colt in the trunk. [monkie's answer was "no"]) The boy's eyelashes are lethal weapons.

I love that Dean rolls when he walks because he's slightly bowlegged. Look at our freckled baby! And "this sucks out loud" is indeed perfection. I loved the two-pronged fire alarm plan; Dean is awfully clever. Sam needs a haircut PRONTO. And the peeing Yorkie - heeeeee! Oh, DEAN!

Jensen must be awfully skinny if he still didn't look bulky in the firefighter gear. Aww, darling, take care of yourself! And OF COURSE Dean wanted to be a firefighter. Okay, his VOICE when he does the "this is the fire department - we need you to evacuate" line is pure aural sex. And the way he tears open the collar of the firefighter jacket is the perfect visual accompaniment. Could you cap that, please?

Okay, yes, we've all squeed over the way Sammy CHOSE Dean, sided with Dean, listened to Dean throughout the crucial showdown between Dean and the demon. But here we get to see Dean doing the same for Sam. He puts aside his own desperation to help his father and lets Sam take a few precious seconds to do his holy water bit. And boy that demon is crafty, huh? Calling right to Sam and ignoring Dean completely. Oh, and Dean's guilty little face when Sam tells John the Colt is safe!

I totally don't get the possession thing. Black eyes is a sign of the demon's kids, right? Are Meg and whatshisname the demon's only kids? Or are the black eyes a sign of possession by ANY demon? And does a demon divide itself in order to possess more than one person at a time or is it a second demon possessing a second person? (Hee! I just noticed that big bald possessed guy's name patch says "Kim" - why hello, Mr. Manners!)

Sam sure is liberal with the salt.

The running kick Dean delivers to demonboy's head is beyond hot. Possibly nuclear. And a cap of Dean's "I killed a person" face as he looks at dead demonboy would not go amiss. And I keep wondering if this murder will lead the cops to our boys, since they don't get to clean up the scene. [who's going to write this fic???]

Is that cabin they're in a regular hideout of theirs? Was it Caleb's or Pastor Jim's?

The makeup people did a fantastic job on Sam's right eye - the fact that he couldn't open it all the way kept shocking and hurting me.

THESE are the caps I want most, please: Dean's smile as he says, "So I guess you're glad I brought the gun, huh?" And then when he says "You're welcome" he goes into the lip-tightening to end all lip-tightenings and those soft dimples come out and he looks so tortured and lovely. And the TONGUE right after he says, "For you and Dad, the things I'm willing to do or kill." And the "you're not mad?" face. Holy God, I want that whole scene to run on repeat for the rest of my life.

"You watch out for this family. You always have." Cruelest moment of the ep, I think, and this one was chock-full of them.

DemonJohn is much more polite than regular John.

I love that Dean says with perfect faith that Sam shot at the demon but it vanished; he doesn't know that Sam hesitated before shooting and that pause might have been all the demon needed. Given that Sam squandered his opportunity, and my supposition that John either died in the crash or will die in the hospital, I think it's up to Dean to kill the demon. Dean was the one John handed the gun to. Dean's the one who won't lose his head.

The fact that Dean knew the demon wasn't John was just like Sam knowing the shapeshifter wasn't Dean; it's knowledge based on love. And it's something John and Sam, left on their own, wouldn't be able to manage. It's interesting, too, that Dean's only previous experience along these lines was with amped!Sam, who really WAS Sam. I love this kind of continuity.

A cap of Dean as he raises the gun on John would be much appreciated. The trembly lip strikes again! I LOVE the point you made about Dean not trying to persuade Sam [let us all take a moment to hail monkie's brilliance]. All he says is, "He's . . . different" (though his agonized face says everything for him); demonJohn, meanwhile, is using every trick in the book to woo Sam. And you can see that it gets to Sam, tempts him, and so when he CHOOSES Dean, it's so powerful - and I *love* the way he doesn't even SAY "no," he just breathes it.

What was that you were saying about capable thighs? Look at Dean when the demon slams him into the wall. Lord.

I've never found John hot (though I DO find Denny hot), but demonJohn was just creepy, slinky sex. "He's going to taste the iron in your blood." "That was my boy." Those two lines especially, demonJohn was working his voice very effectively. And the whole "Sam is clearly John's favorite" speech is STRAIGHT out of fanfic, particularly the part about fighting with Sam showing more love than relying on and ignoring Dean. OUCH.

Dean always emulates John: copies the way he dresses, mimics his behavior quirks, imitates his speech patterns. And the fact that he does the same (in a limited way) with demonJohn is just awesome ("oh right, I forgot").

I was SCREAMING and SHAKING when Dean was pleading/demanding "Dad, don't you let it kill me! Dad, please!" This show is going to drive me to an early grave. Also, I'd love a "Dad, please" cap.

Why could Sammy move the dresser but not get the gun?

Dean slumps and falls from the wall he's been pinned to so, so beautifully. I guess all the swooning and staggering in "Faith" was good practice.

Oh, the sob in Dean's throat when he repeats "go check on him"!! And how absolutely RIGHT is it that Dean's pained whispers mean more to Sam than all of John's histrionic shouting? [Though, once again, I bow to monkie's subtler read of the resolution - Sam isn't just choosing Dean, he's choosing to embrace Dean's way of thinking, his mantra that family comes first.]

And I need a cap of Dean in the rearview mirror to cry over. Wow, look at me being the greediest piglet ever!

Thanks so so much for listening to all of this rambling, monkie! I owe you!

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Hee. Ramble On.

The Exorcism - "Sam STOPS FOUR TIMES to look dumsquizzled. WTF, Sam? You were so much more competent in "Phantom Traveler"! But what I really didn't buy was that Dean would choose to kill Meg (even though he knew it was a mercy-killing like he said) by using Sam as his weapon; I was sure he would grab the book and finish the chant himself, rather than give Sam an opportunity for future guilt. "

I think Sam was concerned about Dean's barely in check rage. Per PT, that kinda of emotional instability opens you to demonic attack. Also - they seem to be using a version (or their universe's version of) the Rituale Romane - which implies Catholic. That means that just chanting the words is not enough. You must have faith in God for the exorcism to work. Dean is a proclaimed agnostic/aethiest. This would be why Sam must be the one to perform the exorcism.

Does that help?

"Jensen must be awfully skinny if he still didn't look bulky in the firefighter gear. Aww, darling, take care of yourself! And OF COURSE Dean wanted to be a firefighter. Okay, his VOICE when he does the "this is the fire department - we need you to evacuate" line is pure aural sex. And the way he tears open the collar of the firefighter jacket is the perfect visual accompaniment. Could you cap that, please? " Oh hell yes. To all of it.

"I totally don't get the possession thing. Black eyes is a sign of the demon's kids, right? Are Meg and whatshisname the demon's only kids? Or are the black eyes a sign of possession by ANY demon? And does a demon divide itself in order to possess more than one person at a time or is it a second demon possessing a second person? (Hee! I just noticed that big bald possessed guy's name patch says "Kim" - why hello, Mr. Manners!) "
Black eyes are signs of otherworldly-ness. Bloody Mary had them, PT had them, etc. There are 2 possessed people in the apartment when they break in and spray them with holy water.

Those two demons become the black fog things and flee outside and possess "Kim" and the other firefighter and come back in.
Meg and Tom are unusual in that they seem to have permenantly attached themselves to those bodies. The one in PT and the 2 in the apartment discard the bodies when they aren't useful anymore. As does CD for that matter.

"I love that Dean says with perfect faith that Sam shot at the demon but it vanished; he doesn't know that Sam hesitated before shooting and that pause might have been all the demon needed. Given that Sam squandered his opportunity, and my supposition that John either died in the crash or will die in the hospital, I think it's up to Dean to kill the demon. Dean was the one John handed the gun to. Dean's the one who won't lose his head.

The fact that Dean knew the demon wasn't John was just like Sam knowing the shapeshifter wasn't Dean; it's knowledge based on love. And it's something John and Sam, left on their own, wouldn't be able to manage. It's interesting, too, that Dean's only previous experience along these lines was with amped!Sam, who really WAS Sam. I love this kind of continuity. "
yepyepyep. There is a definate black/white kill/be killed manner to Dean's hunting that Sam does not share. Dean hones in on a target and only Sam can talk him out of killing something. (Nightmare) I don't know that Sam could ALWAYS do that, but he's the only one who has a chance to do it.

I find the "you are not my brother/father" reactions interesting. I rewatched Asylum and Dean DOES key in that it's not Sam, but because it is Amped!Sam and not Possessed!Sam he shrugs it off as a bitchy moment. Hence his "Man, I knew it!" reaction when Sam has the shotgun on him.

"Why could Sammy move the dresser but not get the gun?"
My fanwank is that Max moved the dresser then "let go". The demon was actively holding the gun and taunting him.

I think Sam was concerned about Dean's barely in check rage. Per PT, that kinda of emotional instability opens you to demonic attack. Also - they seem to be using a version (or their universe's version of) the Rituale Romane - which implies Catholic. That means that just chanting the words is not enough. You must have faith in God for the exorcism to work. Dean is a proclaimed agnostic/aethiest. This would be why Sam must be the one to perform the exorcism. That helps A LOT; thanks, Kat! I will rewatch this scene to see if Sam really does look more concerned for Dean than about Dean.

Yes. You *have* to rewatch. It's not because you're addicted ... really!

I used to rant about Bee's recaps but it's just easier to ignore her.

If you want my opinions of her writing:
http://gigglingkat.livejournal.com/18122.html (Phantom Traveller)
http://gigglingkat.livejournal.com/19860.html (Scarecrow)

>>That's all the time he gives himself to push down his panic and get his and Sam's asses in gear. He is SO STRONG.>>

I KNOW! OMG !ASDFGHJKL:

>>Dean goes flying, as usual; is this the only ep where that happens but Sam doesn't get strangled? >>

This has become such a constant. Dean gets tossed into a wall/closet/windshield, Sam gets strangled. They should at least switch off except that Sam's too big for even the monsters to throw. The only time Sam's been tossed was during 'Home' when the poltergeist was chucking him around the kitchen. Say that 3 times real fast! But he ALSO was strangled by the lamp cord.

>>Sam STOPS FOUR TIMES to look dumsquizzled. WTF, Sam? You were so much more competent in "Phantom Traveler"! >>

That's just plot crap, I swear. It made no sense for him to balk. They were stretching the scene out.

>>I love that Dean rolls when he walks because he's slightly bowlegged. Look at our freckled baby! >>

....guh.

>>The makeup people did a fantastic job on Sam's right eye - the fact that he couldn't open it all the way kept shocking and hurting me.>>

Poor beat up Sam made me feel bad. What confuses me though is that the skinwalker gave him a similar beating, and not a single mark on his face afterward.

>>All he says is, "He's . . . different" (though his agonized face says everything for him); demonJohn, meanwhile, is using every trick in the book to woo Sam. And you can see that it gets to Sam, tempts him, and so when he CHOOSES Dean, it's so powerful - and I *love* the way he doesn't even SAY "no," he just breathes it. >>

And the way Dean said 'different' with the little break in his voice, like 'oh god help me it's not dad oh no'. SO SAD

Hee! I love that we agree on all of this, Barb!

And I rewatched THE SCENE a few days ago and you're totally right about the way Dean says "different" like that's the worst word in the world in that moment. AGONY.

Heh. I so need to go to bed and respond to this post later but I had to say: one of my thoughts that I didn't post was 'what is that, a never ending tin of salt?' so I laughed when you said that Sam was liberal with it. He sure was.

Why couldn't Sam get the gun? Don't get me started on how we should know more about this already.

Lovely observation that Dean emulates the Demon - I didn't twig that. Not just Dean emulating his Dad but a way of shaking your enemy - take what they say and twist it so you're in the position of power.

Yeah, I really liked the way Dean played that, and I even liked that I couldn't tell if he was doing it to rattle the demon or if he's just so used to mimicking John that it happened automatically.

Awesome, awesome scene.

Sam needs to hook up with the Morton's Salt girl. Someone needs to write this fic.

In the spirit of your scene-by-scene wittering, I'm afraid I'm wittering right back *g*.

here is where I thought the ep really lagged

I agree that the pacing of this ep - after the stress and tension that closed 'Salvation' - felt very uneven. Especially watching the two parts back to back there's a definite easing up at the beginning of DT that isn't very effective; it's also quite a jarring transition from the darkness of their motel room to Bobby's place, which is light and bright (although the lighting gets a lot more subdued during the exorcism). Having said that, I don't really know what else they could have done: they need to get that book off Bobby, they need to trap Meg, but as a viewer, it doesn't quite work. (Although it's sort of nice to see the boys get that breather before the relentless gogogo of the rest of the ep, /sentimental *g*.)

Dean goes flying, as usual; is this the only ep where that happens but Sam doesn't get strangled?

And it happens *twice*, with the demon beating Sam up as well. Dean is going to have major back problems by the time he's about thirty.

And does a demon divide itself in order to possess more than one person at a time or is it a second demon possessing a second person?

This annoyed me, and unfortunately I think the mechanics of possession will probably be something they never explain. From Bobby saying that about the few possessions that happen in a normal year it seems like it should be... harder, or something. It reminded me of The Matrix sequel where the agent is turning all the bystanders into versions of himself, and I wasn't impressed by that, either.

The makeup people did a fantastic job on Sam's right eye - the fact that he couldn't open it all the way kept shocking and hurting me.

They do such a fantastic job with the beaten-up makeup; Sam really looked like he'd been through a wringer. Although for a few weeks now I've been noticing a puffiness to Sam's eyes that makes me wonder if Jared Padalecki has untreated hayfever or something.

And you can see that it gets to Sam, tempts him, and so when he CHOOSES Dean, it's so powerful - and I *love* the way he doesn't even SAY "no," he just breathes it.

And the way he moves round behind Dean, slowly, taking it in as he moves, and the look on Dean's face as he and his brother have to stand together against their father... *cries*

And the fact that he does the same (in a limited way) with demonJohn is just awesome ("oh right, I forgot").

The look in Dean's eyes here, defiant but so devastated... Jensen breaks my heart with every moment of this scene (well, and the ep. But especially this scene).

Why could Sammy move the dresser but not get the gun?

I think this means that the demon has control over his/their abilities, if it's not the source of them; Sam said in 'Salvation' that the visions seem to get worse around the demon and then it's so sure about leaving the gun right there, despite obviously knowing that Sam has manifested telekinetic abilities (I'm not sure if it could have got that off John; we only see the boys telling him about the visions). But I'm pretty sure it'll come up again.

So nice to meet a fellow-witterer!

I really do hope Kripke & Co. have at least thought through what you call "the mechanics of possession," even if they haven't clearly illustrated it onscreen. Because it's just sloppy if they haven't, and that would annoy me deeply.

The look in Dean's eyes here, defiant but so devastated... Jensen breaks my heart with every moment of this scene (well, and the ep. But especially this scene). I know! And as I said above to pheebs, I love that I can't tell quite why he said it - it just adds to the tension of the scene.

And nice read of Sam's wavering abilities!

Hi! This is simpatico from TWOP and I found your journal through I link from titania's recs journal about Drunken Bee. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who felt that way about her!

Anyway, I worried that inundating Sars with a bunch of disgruntled emails would only piss them off towards the show. The higher ups are so strict over there, sometimes unnecessarily so, it borders on control freak, so I'm not sure they would be at all open to people complaining about their precious recappers. :p I thought I remembered reading somewhere in the FAQ that it was strictly forbidden to "whine" about a recapper being "mean" to show X, but maybe I just dreamed that or they've taken it down, because I can't find it.

But I ended up writing to Sars anyway, and tried to remain respectful and... well, not neutral, but not just blindly defending the show, which I'm sure she gets a lot of from, say, 7th Heaven fans and such. :) Here's my email:
Hi Sars. I'll try to keep this short and to the point, since god knows how many mind-numbing TWoPper emails you get a day, but I will preclude this by saying I know this site takes a lot of work, probably more than I even realize, and I know all the recappers work hard under enormous pressure and most do a phenomenal job given the circumstances.

But I have to admit, the recapper for my current guilty pleasure, Supernatural, has done a lot to decrease my enjoyment of the show. I consider the posters here at TWoP to be intelligent enough to realize when a show is pure crap and when a show is something you love to hate/hate to love. Most of the recappers, like the posters, deliver cutting snark where it's deserved while giving credit where credit is due. Either way, the recapper is a representative of sorts of the general feelings of the fans towards the show, right? The most successful and beloved shows on TWoP have this dynamic. It seems to me that Drunken Bee sees absolutely no redeeming qualities in Supernatural, and while she's entirely entitled to that opinion, it's fucking depressing to come here and read her mean-spirited and rather uninspired recaps that reveal a huge breach in opinion between her and the fans of this show. Believe me, there is plenty of stuff on this show to mock and snark about, but it deserves way, WAY more credit than she gives it. But even putting that aside, it seems like she puts a minimum amount of effort into the humor and writing in her recaps. The last few of them especially have been 99% unfunny complaints sprinkled with obvious factual errors and a subtext of condescension towards fans that is extremely irritating. On top of this, her moderation of the forums has been nearly non-existent except in odd spurts that unevenly apply the rules. I was also extremely disappointed in her Show FAQ, which displays an utter lack of humor and left out a large number of very good suggestions that were given in the FAQ thread (which she deleted after writing it).

I hate to complain about this, because 99% of the time I'm loving this site, vicious snark and all (when deserved), but when a recapper crosses the line from affectionate mocking to non-stop bile divorced from people's general opinion of the show, it ceases to be enjoyable. I really feel Drunken Bee has crossed this line, and wouldn't everyone be happier, herself included, if she switched shows? I would hate to have to watch a show I truly loathed even if I was paid, so it seems like all parties would be better off if she found a show that better fit her tastes. Speaking of fitting tastes, would Demian be at all willing to recap in her stead? Because I think that might make my year.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I apologize for being long-winded. But I really hope you consider this over the summer. Thanks, Sars.

- simpatico

Sorry to post this comment up here, but I wanted to make sure you saw it. :) I'm sorry you've been driven away from the boards! I remember you posting there and I was wondering what happened to you!

Sorry to jump in here, but I post over at TWoP as Octavia and I just wanted to thank both of you for making the effort to do this. I still vistit the boards over there occasionally but no longer read the recaps because I found them too depressingly vitriolic. I'm an educated and (I like to think) intelligent thirty-something and I got sick of the recaps making my [i]Supernatural[/i] guilty pleasure feel dirty rather than fun.

So kudos to both of you.

Hi Octavia! It's really a shame how badly TWoP has mishandled the show. I do hope the new season brings better things!

Yay simpatico! I always enjoy your posts and I didn't think you were on lj; I was upset about not reading TWoP as much anymore because I didn't want to miss your insights.

That is a great letter. Now that we're officially renewed, I think I'll write again.

Good luck! I didn't recieve any response, but I wasn't really expecting to. :P I also sent an email to Demian asking what his post-Charmed plans were (this was before I realized there were other people who were disgruntled with DB) but he didn't respond either. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Yeah, I'm on LJ, but I'm really bad about keeping up with my journal. I mostly use it for commenting and icons. Speaking of which, I LOVE your annyong hermano icon! Just looking at it makes me so happy. Someone should really write an AD/SN crossover, I think I might explode from the awesomeness. :)

Anyhoo, I hope you come back to the boards some day, right now our "insights" have devolved into giddy discussions of Jensen's bulge, but I'm sure once season 2 rolls around we'll start using our brains again. ;) Fingers crossed for a new recapper! Oh, and please keep writing fic, "Lacuna" was great. Fic's the only thing that'll get me through this hiatus, I'm sure. :)

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