It’s the day after the day after as I write this, and I’m still basking in the afterglow of this week’s Supernatural episode. In fact, all of fandom and even some of the entertainment media is basking in the afterglow. It feels, as someone on my twitter timeline said, like the old days. When I’d go online after an episode of Supernatural aired and everyone would be squeeful, unanimous in their gleeful appreciation of the Best. Show. Ever.
It was like that Wednesday night, as post after post after post went on and on about “Baby”. I tweeted that my episode review would be really short this week: Perfection.
I did mean it about my one word review, but of course I can’t limit myself to that, though it’s completely accurate. I don’t have any criticisms (I know, hard to believe) – except that it should have been a million times longer. I have never had an hour go by so quickly, and I immediately wanted to beg TPTB for another episode just like this the second it ended. From the looks of social media, I wasn’t the only one begging for that.
Much of the cast live tweeted the episode, which always adds to the fun and to the sense of family. Knowing that they were all just about as excited as we were for it made it even more fun to listen in on.
Briana Buckmaster (who, as you know from our interviews with her here, we adore) was fangirling along with the rest of us when Jensen suddenly tweeted her a “Looking good, B.”
Briana: DONT TALK TO ME WHEN IM WATCHING YOU AND TALKING ABOUT YOU
Ruth Connell, tweeting along as she watched, also had a reaction to Ackles’ performance.
Ruth: #meandean reversing #baby #jawclenchingbeauty #developingacrush #what?! #SupernaturaI #donttellackles
Our lips are sealed, Ruth. After all, we kinda get it.
Jensen also live tweeted, decked out in full Supernatural gear like any good fan.
Jensen: Hey @rthompson1138 you keep writing scenes like that…we might have to go another 100 episodes. Now cut it out.
To which Robbie replied that if they keep acting the hell out of those sort of episodes, he might have to do just that.
Anyway, since I don’t have any actual criticism, let’s just run through the episode and savor every single glorious minute of it, shall we?
We begin with Rob Benedict’s voice as the narrator, and already I’m grinning. It’s a call back to Swan Song, to many years ago when Eric Kripke was still behind the wheel, the first time we stepped back to appreciate the Impala and all she means to our boys. All she means to us.
The army men in the ashtray. The legos in the vents. Sam and Dean’s initials carved into her side.
The sentimental moment is shattered by those initials scratched and battered and splattered in blood, the Impala’s windows broken, Dean unconscious and handcuffed in her back seat. What the hell? Clearly this episode is not gonna be a walk in the park. But then again, it wouldn’t be Supernatural if it was.
Rewind and we get the scene most of us knew was coming – Dean giving his Baby a loving car wash. We also knew that Jensen Ackles was apparently wearing a pair of very short shorts as he leaned over to sponge her off and then reached up high to scrub…. Okay, getting carried away with the imagination of what that probably looked like. Because that’s all we got as far as the short shorts go – we had to imagine it because we didn’t SEE it! What the hell, Show? Do we have to wait for the gag reel???
Cheated. Totally cheated. *sigh*
Jensen tweet: Hopefully no one ever sees those shorts I was actually wearing.
Me: You are LITERALLY the only one hoping that.
But we got both boys lovingly washing Baby.
And then we’re off and running. Or driving, more accurately.
Entertainment Weekly has been raving about this episode, especially the fact that it took big risks with a completely unique structure and format and perspective. Not many shows would dare to shoot an entire episode from the pov of a car! But of course, Baby is no ordinary car. Eric Kripke referred to her as “the third lead” from the first episodes, and she has always been a main character in the eyes of the fandom.
Not many shows would dare because not many have the kind of crew that Supernatural has – people who can rig cameras to just about anything, and who will move heaven and earth to make a writer’s vision come to life.
Not many shows have Robbie Thompson, who GETS Sam and Dean almost as perfectly as fans do. He can write them in the way that I recognize; they are the Winchesters I fell in love with ten years ago. Not many shows have Jared and Jensen, who can pull off a five page scene of just dialogue taking place in the back and front seats of a car and make you hang on every word and wish it was about 500 pages longer. Or Misha Collins, who can ‘phone it in’ and still make me crack up with his perfect delivery.
Supernatural is not many shows.
When I say that this episode fetishized many of the Show’s iconic objects, I don’t mean it in a negative way – in fact, I mean it in the most positive way possible. The Impala herself, sleek and black and beautiful. Strong and capable and not afraid to get her hands (or wipers or doors or seats or windows) dirty (or bloody). Resilient, as she takes a beating again and again (much like her boys) and yet struggles to get back up and keep going – keep fighting (much like her boys). Everything about her, from her ancient tape deck to the initials in her paint, is iconic.
Other important objects are also appreciated, in this episode and by the fandom. The army man in the ashtray. The Legos in the vents. The Green Cooler, who has made an appearance in many of the important moments the Winchesters have shared. She too is here again, holding their beer (and smoothies) but pitching in to hold the decapitated snarling head of the MotW when needed.
The inanimate objects that surround the Winchesters are a lot like them. Willing to do what it takes, to get dirty and bloody and battered, but keep doing what needs doing.
And then there’s Dean and Sam themselves, in extreme close-ups that made me have to catch my breath, because goddamn, they are just so beautiful! We’re invited to share in that beauty as the camera stays right on top of them, giving us an endless array of gorgeous gifs that we can stare at to our heart’s content.
In one of our interviews for ‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ with Supernatural’s amazing director of photography, Serge Ladouceur, he told us that Jared and Jensen are so good looking, that he can light them as he would light a beautiful woman. That they could take just about any type of lighting and still look good. Many years later, he can apparently still do that. And I’m really grateful he did.
The first third of the episode is just the brothers being brothers. It sounds like such a simple, inconsequential thing, and yet it’s anything but. It’s what we’ve missed – longed for – for years and years, as Sam and Dean were torn apart and turned against each other again and again. Just watching them side by side in the car, rolling down the road and arguing about the lack of beer in the cooler, was so satisfying.
Sam’s caught out face when Dean demands ‘Where’s the rest of the beer?’ was priceless.
They talk the whole way, sometimes unimportant everyday banter, sometimes things that are more important. They tease each other, but it’s not mean spirited, it’s just the opposite. Dean calls his brother “Samuel” and Sam responds with the predictable, “It’s Sam.” But it’s full of affection, a call back to a private joke that’s theirs alone. These are the moments we don’t get to see, the ones that bond Sam and Dean as family.
Fandom responded with a wholehearted “OMG these are the brothers I’ve missed – this is the Show I fell in love with!”
With the sort of humor that illustrates why I love Tumblr, this post went around the interwebz almost immediately in response to the episode.
• Fandom:You should bring back bitch/jerk.
• Writers:All right.
• Fandom:Also maybe have Sam and Dean have a real conversation about Sam getting infected?
• Writers:Okie dokie.
• Fandom:How about throwing in some adorable moments where the Winchesters just laugh and talk and drive?
• Writers:No problem.
• Fandom:There should be a moment where the brothers fall into each other’s arms. We love that.
• Writers:So do we.
• Fandom:Either Sam or Dean should point out that Baby is their real home.
• Writers:On it.
• Fandom:Okay then. Um… what about Matt Cohen? We love him. Don’t suppose you could bring him back?
• Writers:Tell ya what: we’ll throw in a scene where Dean accidentally sees Sam naked. How would that be?
The point is, other than us not seeing any Sam nakedness, this episode gave us things we didn’t even know how much we were needing, until they were right there. Thank you, Robbie Thompson.
“Good times heal all wounds,” Dean says, and I feel like he’s talking to us too. We’ve been through hell right along with the Winchesters, and we’re a fandom dying for a good time. Time to kick back with our favorite characters, laugh along with them, see how much they care about each other. I feel like we’ve been needing that forever.
Dean disappears into the Roadhouse for those good times; Sam insists he’ll stick to research. But when the sun comes up, it’s Sam in the back seat with a waitress minus her uniform, and Dean back to being the big brother he was a million seasons ago when he smirked as Sam kissed Sarah goodbye in Provenance. Sam’s grown up quite a bit, but Dean is still that proud big brother, gleeful at the chance to bust on his little brother but unable to suppress the smile that says so much.
I do have to lodge a protest here though. We’re seeing things through Baby’s eyes, so why the hell didn’t we get to see Sam get naked in the backseat of the Impala??? Did Baby avert her eyes in the interest of propriety? I don’t bloody think so. For godsakes, Show, this was the perfect opportunity for some shirtless Sam! I needed to see that more than I needed to see the (perfectly lovely, but that’s not the point) guest star put her uniform back on. That and the short shorts were the episode’s only fails – but make no mistake, they WERE fails.
I don’t have any real need to see either of the brothers hook up other than the possibility of some Winchester exposed torsos, but it seemed like part of their healing here. Part of getting them back to being the brothers we met in Season 1. Besides, it got us that glorious next scene.
Sam: Don’t Night Moves me!
Oh, but Dean does. And Sam is as helpless to resist his big brother as anyone would be, singing along to Bob Seger.
“In the back seat of my brother’s ’67 Chevy…”
The boys singing and laughing and mock fighting and GRINNING at each other nearly bowled me over. I smiled so wide it hurt, and I absolutely could not stop. How long has it been since we got to see this?? How long since Sam and Dean’s joy in each other was palpable, practically rolling off my tv screen and knocking me to the floor? It seems like forever, and it felt like a drug, instant euphoria. Gimme more, Show, gimme more!
I also love that in the middle of teasing Sam, Dean manages to throw in a genuine compliment.
“Classy and thoughtful as always,” he says, and Sam just smiles.
The Winchesters once again have a little conversation about relationships, Sam wondering if Dean would ever want something, “not marriage…but something…with another hunter…” That’s pretty open ended, but Dean seems reconciled to one night wonders, even if Sam still sometimes questions it.
Dean tells Sam to get some rest, and the next thing we know, Sam’s waking up to another song. This time it’s Judy Collins – and Matt Cohen!
I mean, John Winchester!
Sam is as gobsmacked as I am – yay for not being spoiled!
I texted Matt Cohen immediately to tell him how awesome he is in that scene! Lit as beautifully as the other Winchesters, in gorgeous close-up, every word seeming to carry great importance. He even sounded more like Jeffrey Dean Morgan than Matt Cohen, I swear. That entire scene was perfect.
“Dean has taken good care of her [the car]. Seems like he’s taken good care of you too.”
That made me tear up. The one thing that Dean Winchester would love to hear. He’s done a good job; taken care of Sammy.
The rest of John’s (Lucifer’s? Michael’s?) message was more frightening, about the Darkness.
“Only you boys can stop it.”
What?! Why? I love that we don’t know, love how ominous that was. Sometimes Show just makes me shiver. And that’s a good thing.
And then we get the scene that everyone has been waiting for. Jensen and Jared have told me how much they loved it multiple times. The episode’s illustrious writer, Robbie Thompson, has told me how much he loved writing it. The anticipation has been building for weeks, and sometimes when the thing you’re waiting for actually happens, it can’t stack up to all that ooooh I can’t wait. This time? No way. The reality was even more glorious than the imagination. We actually GOT IT.
We got the brothers living their life, the way they have since we joined them over a decade ago. Sam’s long legs curled onto the Impala’s backseat, Dean’s onto the front. The brothers at opposite sides so they can face each other and chat comfortably, the green cooler providing the refreshment.
“Winchester Motel,” Dean says agreeably. “We do have room service.” [With a little bit of Ackles’ actual Texas twang thrown in, adding to the sense of relaxation and ‘home’]
There’s no sense of deprivation here at all; in fact, it’s the opposite. The brothers are together, safe in the Impala, settling down to sleep where they’ve slept countless times throughout their entire lives. There’s a comfort and familiarity to the scene that makes us feel we’re privy to the most private moments in the Winchesters’ nomadic lives, seeing a scene that has played out again and again and again.
The only difference? Now we’re there too, seeing her boys through Baby’s eyes. She views them with affection, with a protectiveness that mirrors the way we also see them.
Jensen told us about that scene several times in the past few months – that’s how much he loved it. (See our meet and greet reports here for more)
Jensen: (smiling) One of my favorite scenes this season – and I think Jared would say the same thing – is in the ‘Baby’ episode. It is a BM [brothers moment] scene, but not at the end of the episode to wrap up like it usually is. It’s just the two of us in the car, going to sleep. Me lying in the front seat and Jared in the back. And there’s no movement, it’s just two brothers talking about the past. It was like four pages of dialogue, just talking. I always wonder why they don’t do more of that.
Both Jared and Jensen told us how much they were looking forward to this episode, and Jensen talked about it again at the next meet and greet.
Jensen: It’s just the brothers having a chat. For five pages. That one was a crane shot; they used a roofless car. It took three or four hours to film.
Now that I’ve seen it, it’s clear it was one of Supernatural’s striking crane shots; the kind that Kim Manners used to such wonderful effect.
Jensen said that a lot of the episode was filmed with smaller cameras, since their usual larger ones won’t fit in the car. Something like a Canon SLR, but with very high resolution. They can mount it on a sandbag and put it in the wheel well so it can shoot up at the boys.
Sometimes in this episode, Jensen said, it was just him and Jared in the car, they left the crew behind. It was just the two of them, shooting the shit. (Apparently those scenes, if they make it into the gag reel, will require lots and lots of bleeps…).
I can imagine those four hours of shooting, Jensen and Jared stretched out in the Impala, just talking. Or driving into the distance and leaving the crew behind, just them and Baby. It really says something about how those two work together, after all this time, that filming this episode and those scenes was something they both loved.
I could probably go on and on about that scene forever, because it was something we’ve never gotten before. Something I didn’t know how much I was craving until it was there, served up on a silver platter and looking so incredibly gorgeous I could barely breathe. I mean, look at them! Our boys.
Before they go to sleep, the Winchesters do something else they hardly ever do. They TALK. Really talk. Sam tells Dean about the vision he just had, and he knows about the visions of the Darkness that Dean has been having. He finally opens up and admits to Dean that he was infected too. Dean is upset – he brings it up twice afterwards, as though he’s still trying to process it – but he doesn’t over-react.
“You didn’t even tell me,” he says softly, and I can hear the hurt. It’s what most of us would have said; the dialogue rang true. But the Winchesters seem to be done with over-reacting when it comes to each other. They listen, they show genuine emotion – anger, fear, hurt, whatever it is – but they don’t shut down or turn away from each other. I’m waiting for Dean to bring up what the Darkness said about them being “bound”, but I wasn’t expecting everything to come pouring out in one scene.
Instead, Sam and Dean also end up talking about their past, and their family. The bond they share that will never go away, the memories of their shared childhood and the impact it had on both of them. Dean dreams about their dad, of course he does. He’s in the Impala, and Sam’s in the backseat, and Dad is riding shotgun “but there are no shotguns”. It’s a wistful dream of the normal life Dean never got to live, one that he probably vaguely remembers from those four years of childhood. It’s heartbreaking in its simplicity, in the modest things Dean wishes he had that most of us take for granted from our childhoods. Sam listens intently, almost hanging on every word, and then he shares too. Sam has the same dreams – of normalcy. But his are of his mom, the woman he doesn’t remember from his own past but met long after she was already lost to him. Those are the moments he was cheated of, that he wishes for.
My heart simultaneously broke and nearly exploded from affection in those moments. Our poor, broken beautiful boys, who deserved to have what they dream of. And at the same time, our brave, determined resilient boys, helping each other to always keep fighting. And in this episode – finally – letting us see that, as hard as their life is, there’s joy and love in it too. I just….thank you, Robbie. Thank you for that.
Goddamn it, where are those tissues?
As Sam and Dean curl up on the Impala’s welcoming leather seats, Sam pauses and looks at his brother.
Dean takes it in, and we know he hears the message as clearly as every single fan did.
I imagine the sound of all those fans cheering or sobbing or jumping up and down was heard from space at that moment. We’ve waited forever to hear those words again. They became iconic the moment Dean and Sam said them to each other in the pilot, a decade ago. We heard them again in WIAWSNB but they were one sided, Dean caught in his dream world and Sam not returning them.
But now? Now we got to hear it again. From both of them. Reciprocal, equal, together. The Winchester version of ‘I love you’.
Seriously, where are those tissues?
Improbably, there was also a lot of humor in this episode too, and it all worked flawlessly.
Dean correcting their intel and mentioning a proverb from Aesop.
Sam: [incredulous face]
Dean: I read.
Me: Smart!Dean is so damn hot.
The valet parking scene was also funny, especially Dean’s indignant face as Jessie drives away, already going too fast and having a great time. I can’t blame those women for wanting to take the Impala for a spin, though I was also simultaneously just as indignant as Dean at them kicking up so much dust from her tires. That was an odd little scene, but it looked like the actresses had a lot of fun – and of course, we get the purse in the backseat that the plot required (along with the hairpin that Sam’s waitress acquaintance left behind).
The running joke of Dean making up names for the MotW, as he loves to do, also worked perfectly. It was a great opportunity for Ackles and Padalecki to show off their ability to make the funny scenes work as well as the emotional ones. Sam’s adamant refusal to be pulled into saying “werepire” or “ghoulpire” – and later Castiel’s similar lack of appreciation for Dean’s wit – was hilarious.
Misha Collins had joked with Jared and Jensen at a recent convention about how he’d been “phoning it in” lately, so the realization of exactly what they meant added to how funny the Cas-on-the-phone scenes were. It was a brilliant way to bring Cas into an episode that took place entirely in the car, while he was at the bunker. Who knew Misha could be that deadpan funny just on the phone? I imagine voice acting is in a sense even harder, but it so worked. We didn’t need to see Castiel’s face for his delivery to hit just right and make us laugh out loud.
The scene where Dean fights off the deputy while Cas is still talking on the speaker phone inside the car was absolutely hysterical. Jensen with the physical comedy, as Dean takes a slip and fall, and Misha with the spot-on voice acting.
Cas: Dean! Dean, what’s going on? Are you okay?!
Dean: [finally staggering back to the car] Turns out I did kill the deputy.
Me: Supernatural fandom: the most patient fandom in the universe.
[We waited 8 years for Dean to finish that joke. And you know what? I’m guessing every single one of us remembered the reference.]
I laughed my way through the rest of that scene – only on Supernatural can your hero be bloodied and battered and yet you’re still laughing. Dean’s annoyed expression when he sees that the deputy’s head is still snarling at him from where it sits on the Impala’s windshield? Priceless.
What he does next made me spit out my drink, as he casually turns on the windshield wipers. That’s right, Baby is a major player here. She knocks him off her like he was a fly. You go, girl!
The green cooler is a major player too. Dean empties out the rest of the beer and the ice and plop, in goes the severed head. I think I said “Ewww” out loud here, as the poor green cooler was defiled. But like all the iconic objects in the Winchesters’ lives, she’s a hunter too. She’s kept them in food and drink all these years, gave them a place to sit while Dean taught Sam to fix the car or Sam brought Dean a cold beer to hold to his busted face. Now she holds onto the monster’s head, blunting its snarling. Dean gleefully snaps a picture and sends it off to Cas, who in this episode is playing a bit of a Bobby role, doing the research for the boys as he rests up in the bunker. [No, I’m not clear why he needs to rest up when he seems capable of healing Dean, but whatever. It worked.]
Dean: Thanks, Cas. Way to come off the bench.
Cas: What bench?
Another striking difference about this episode – and one that made all the scenes work better, whether they were humor or fighting or emotional – was the lack of background music of any kind. The only music we heard was whatever was played on the Impala’s tape deck. The episode really was, 100%, shot from the Impala’s point of view. And it worked, perfectly. Sometimes Show veers close to slapstick-y with its music cues, which to me always distracts and ends up making the scene LESS funny. Ackles and Padalecki and Collins and this talented crew can bring the humor without any help, and have it come across as thigh-slapping funny.
The fight scenes seemed even more raw and gritty and real without any music too, just the jarring sounds of glass breaking and punches landing and Winchesters trying to get the upper hand. And the emotional scenes carried so much weight with just the boys’ soft voices, the awkwardness as they struggled to communicate with each other highlighted by the lack of any other noise. The fact that they both persevered, determined to bridge any gap between them, added to the emotional impact of those scenes. Boy, did it.
Then we get the ghoulpire woman coming to in the car. What she says about family, and how you do anything for them, articulates the theme of both the episode and the Show. For both the woman and the Winchesters (and, I would argue, the fandom) it eventually becomes all about getting back to family.
But before that happens, we get another improbably funny scene, where the ghoulpire woman is just whaling on Dean while we can see Sam through the Impala’s windshield chatting up the Gas n Sip cashier, oblivious to his brother’s plight. That woman totally had the upper hand with Dean too, literally yanking him into the backseat and pummeling him like crazy. He ends up handcuffed in the backseat, bruised and bloodied and somehow still looking so ridiculously hot that the close-up made me gasp. It’s all kinds of wrong, but there it is.
Dean is yanked up by his collar, and I do not find that hot either. No.
Anyway, they have some conversation of the likes that would only happen on Supernatural, about monsters being afraid of the Darkness and Sam eating his brother… It’s only when the MotW mentions Sam being in danger that Dean loses all semblance of casual conversation. His eyes go flinty with determination, and next thing you know it’s Smart!Dean again as he MacGyver’s himself out of the cuffs with the waittress’ hairpin and crashes the car. The purse in the backseat comes in handy so he can put a penny in the monster’s mouth per Castiel’s instructions. And it’s the Impala, as much a hunter as her boys, who deals the final blow – cutting off the deputy’s head as Dean slams it repeatedly in her door.
It’s horrible and bloody and disgusting, but I’m cheering as he does it – for Baby as much as for Dean.
Jensen also talked at one of the recent meet and greets about the choreography of all those fight scenes – which often took place INSIDE the car! Not sure there are many other crews who could pull something like that off, but every single one of them worked.
Once Dean finally has things under control, he pats the Impala’s back seat and apologizes.
“Oh Baby, I’m so sorry.”
The newly sentient woman climbs back in, horrified, terrified.
“My kids,” she gasps.
“Sam,” Dean whispers.
The Impala, broken and bloodied and battered, tries gamely to start, at first without success. Dean closes his eyes, desperate to get to Sam, and tries again. And again. And then she does it; she turns over and rumbles to life, and Dean gives her a kiss and says to the woman, “Hang on.”
This is the other scene that Jensen told us about a while ago, how he pulled off a “reverse 180” with a guest actor in the car. It was his idea, he said, and as he went to do it, she turned to him with some trepidation and said, “You’ve done this before, right?”
He laughed and said the car stalled on him the second time, but in the end it only took him three times to do it perfectly.
Of course, he did it. He’s Jensen Fucking Ackles.
They race back to find their loved ones, the mom running to her kids, Dean running to Sam. He’s as battered and bloodied as Dean, and falls into his brother’s arms as Dean gets to him, leaning on Dean as they limp to the car.
Dean, protective as always, says they need to get back to the bunker so Cas can fix Sam up.
The brothers, in many ways, are on more equal footing now than they’ve ever been, and that’s evident in what Sam says next.
“Only if you let him fix you up too.” His eyes say he means it, will brook no argument. Sam’s drawing a line in the sand. You take care of me? I take care of you.
Dean sighs, but he doesn’t actually argue. He can hear Sam’s protectiveness now and accept it, and with it, allow himself the beginning of some self-forgiveness.
“Okay, mom,” he allows. “Let’s go home.”
“You know what?” he says, slapping his hand against the Impala’s dash, “We are home.”
That’s it folks. If I didn’t need that entire box of tissues before, I would have needed it then. Hearing those words – especially from Sam – pushed me right over the edge.
Robbie knew to end the episode the way it needed to end. There are things that are iconic in the Supernatural universe, things that all fans know and want and miss desperately when we don’t get them. In the first seasons, Kripke usually ended an episode with the Impala and her boys driving off down the road, the people they just saved watching them go. That’s how Robbie ended this. Baby carries her boys off, battered but not broken like she is, but still fighting, as Bob Seger once again plays on her tape deck.
Please, can I have more?
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28 thoughts on “Bringing Us All Home: Supernatural’s Baby”
Bonus. First episode I saw after, glorious, glorious Chicon (my first con). Both still put a stupid grin on my face. I do still want to know if Sam’s legs had to hang out the back window while he slept.
Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.
I simply can’t even put into words how wonderful this episode was. Made even more special because Jensen talked about it in his Minnesota M/G. I think they had just started filming the episode so he has talked about it pretty much every convention since.
And how much more they both have said about it at conventions and in the media clips. Jensen’s favorite ep this season! The expectations were definitely running high. And it sooooo delivered. And then some. I annoyed the casual viewer I was watching it with because I kept shouting out all the little tidbits as they appeared. Starting in the first few seconds with CHUCK. And on and on. I think I got a :/ look more than once. But I did apologize. Sorry, I’m not a silent viewer. Probably why my kids never liked watching suspense TV or movies with me. HA
I could watch that ‘Night Moves’ scene ad nausem. Can’t stop. I feel very strongly that I’m watching J2 in that scene, not Sam and Dean. I mean how often do we see Sam smile like that. That was Jared’s smile. And the dimple. Sam barely has it, but Jared’s is in full blown glory at every con. And Jensen forgot that Dean doesn’t sing well, in fact horribly. That was TOTALLY Jensen singing!!!! I just LOVED that scene. J2 off on their own in the car for probably hours filming that episode. Sure wish I was a fly on the seat! Those boys are just too special for an accurate description. And definitely more than one word can convey.
The quiet without cue music was beautiful. Everything was PERFECTION. I agree Lynn. So as not to duplicate everything you already wrote I just have to sigh and smile.
But one last time. That was J2 in that scene! And I’m in heaven. 🙂
Haha, I’ve actually been wondering if we were ever going to see Sam laugh again like he used to in S1 after how much hell he’s been through! So I loved this for that reason alone. And same thing with Dean’s singing – it’s been getting worse, with drunken demon kareoke as a particularly low point!
Not that I don’t love watching J2 as much as anything, but I appreciated seeing lighter dimensions to Sam and Dean in this scene, YMMV!
Sorry to interrupt, I have to go bask in this episode some more … The one thing other than short shorts it didn’t deliver on was a sense of claustrophobia. Which is a credit to how well the crew did on this whole episode … I feel like I could happily stay right in Baby forever!
Me: You are LITERALLY the only one hoping that.
YOMANK (You Owe Me A New Keyboard). I did a spit-take on that one.
*sigh* Excellent review. Very satisfying to read in it’s depth and appreciation of Show. You picked up on all the little bits I loved and then some.
So my feedback is a happy *sigh*. I want some more too.
It isn’t always a good idea to give fans what they want. Here, it worked brilliantly. This season’s knocking it out of the park. Lovely appreciative review.
Agreed! But this was that one rare instance when the stars aligned and almost all the fans wanted the same thing and there was a writer who could deliver it in a way that was still consistent with the show. Brilliant writing, brilliant performances, brilliant episode.
Oh yes 🙂 absolutely wonderful. Would you believe that IMDB’s rated it higher than Swan Song?
I’m not even going to attempt to compare the two episodes. I think they are too different for me to do justice to that conversation justice without taking time to really analyze (and rewatch) both episodes with that intent. That said, I’m not that surprised Baby ranks higher because there will be a voting block that ranks a happy ending above an unsettling one. Baby ends on a high a note and was all about getting the boys back to a place that, while complicated, isn’t nearly as tortured (literally and figuratively) as Swan Song.
(Personally, I have another show that I feel that way about. I’d be ticked if they didn’t get the happy ending, no matter how convoluted and unrealistic. It’s escapist and entertainment after all!)
I love both of those episodes but for different reasons. My ranking of Baby and Swan Song might ultimately depend on my mood at th time. Although both are in my top five right now.
Everything you said. Oh my Chuck, when Dean flicks the head off with the wiper I just about died. And when he gave Baby a little kiss, it was sublime. And I swear I woke up this morning with Dean’s line in my head, that he has that normal-life dream every couple of months, and that it’s kind of comforting.
Even though they wind up on equal footing, making each other get “fixed up” by Cas, there’s so much that reinforces not only that they’re brothers, but that Sam’s a little brother, despite his size. The busted! look he has over the beer, and the way he lets Dean patiently explain why his vision couldn’t have come from God just kind of made me feel 30-ish years of older brother/younger brother dynamic.
And Matt Fucking Cohen, holy shit!!! He was perfect times a thousand. How did they keep that secret? I don’t know, but I’m thrilled that they did. Matt had JDM-John’s cadence, mannerisms, freakin’ voice — the whole deal. He was incredible.
Robbie Thompson is my favorite SPN writer. He does write like a fan, like a guy who’s seen every episode more than once. Kudos to him for this amazing script.
Anyway, one little note: the show was like 99.9% shot in the Impala, but the final shot was not, and I think that’s significant. It returns the show to we the viewers and kind of lets us have the final word. Which in my case, I have to admit, was “I hope Baby can make it home all the way from Oregon in that condition!”
Every moment. Perfect. Every line. Spot on.
Your review? Exactly right. 🙂 I cheered, I laughed, I awwwed. And I was reminded again why this Show rocks our world. And Show, like the Impala, may occasionally “stall” but always finds it’s feet again. Well done Robbie Thompson, Tom Wright, Jensen, Jared, and the most amazing crew ever!
Thank you for your great moment by moment recap, I love reliving each special touch this amazing Show put together for us, the fandom. The whole thing felt like a big love letter from Show to us. And we accept!
Planning to re-watch the ep this weekend and get another dose of warm fuzzies!!
I want to respond adequately but it would just be quoting everything right back to you! YES, THIS. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
As I said to a friend immediately after the episode aired: “I can’t even. And I can always even.”
I have nothing to add except that I’m so glad they referenced Sam’s restored virginity from “Rock and a Hard Place.” Although, admittedly, I really wanted there to be an episode where they needed the blood of a virgin (or hair, or something) and then Sam would look at Dean and say, “No problem. I got this.”
Also, RIP Piper. Not sure how long you’ll survive the curse of Sam’s Death Penis, but I will be looking in the background of scenes for your obituary.
But seriously, this was an amazing episode. I’ve seen exactly one complaint about it online, and I don’t know them, so honestly, I don’t care. But this, this was something special that only this show could have pulled off, and they did it without it being gimmicky. Kudos. They still have that lightning in a bottle after all these years.
More tissues please….
As usual you have managed to put on paper what every fan feels about this Show. It has always interested me, as well, that happy tears, sad tears, angry tears and tears of frustration all come from the same well. There is a lesson there, I think, and we have learned it well from the Winchesters.
I loved their conversation about “…having more”…though I was a bit disappointed that Dean does not recall the “more” he DID have, if only for a year (or less, since he spent most of it grieving), with Lisa and Ben. Of course he did warn Sam never to mention their names again. It is all the more bittersweet knowing that he had to walk away from that other life, just as he did from his djinn dream.
There is so much history, so many lines that got “sort of” completed, but leave so much dangling. BUT, as you note, it took 8 years for the “deputy” rim shot to ring out…so there is always hope. The Supernatural tagline.
My sense is that Dean hasn’t forgotten Lisa and Ben, but he feels that he failed them. So, for Dean, the relationship goes into the big “goose egg” category.
Watched the episode four times already & the brothers scenes, aaaaaah those scenes, maybe over 15 times!
We just needed to see a pair of impeccable bow legs & a flawless muscular torso to make it legendary 😛
Reblogged this on Exploring the Magic of Movies and commented:
Taking a brief departure from movies, to share a lovely review of the most recent episode (and one of my new top 5 favorites!) of Supernatural.
In tears from asembly line to “we are home”. Happy tears. Perfection
I also really enjoyed the episode and hope this dynamic continues throughout the season. However, I’m pretty sure the version of “Someday Soon” in the episode was sung by Judy Collins, not Joni Mitchell.
Oops! Thank you 🙂
Thanks for mentioning this Molly. I was just coming to point that out and I am glad Lynn changed her text above to reflect that. The Judy Collins song is quite significant when you hear the lyrics. It is apparent why Mary Winchester loved the song–it parallels her life, her wish to go with John “someday soon,” and her father’s disapproval of the young man, who interestingly enough is just coming out of the service, though that is where the similarity ends.
We barely scratched the surface at the conference in Albuquerque last year in our roundtable discussion, and we are hoping to revisit the topic next year, and this song (and the entire episode) will play a big part in that discussion, I am sure, including the interesting use of Bread’s “Guitar Man” to open and the couldn’t-be-more-perfect use of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” both in song and dialogue.
Here’s the whole Judy Collins’ song..
On another note, Lynn, you did a nice job as always recapping the episode and touching on so many of the reasons the episode resonated so deeply with cast, crew, and fans. It truly encompasses everything that we love about this show and these Winchesters. It has shot to the top of my favorites list.
Yup. Thanks, Lynn for capturing so beautifully what we’re thinking. Gonna be tough to follow this episode. <3 #Baby.
After “Fan Fiction” and “Baby”, Mr. Thompson is truly the king of fan service. All hail his mighty talent! The only thing that would have been a cherry on too much perfection would have been a glimpse of the Samulet 2.0 in the glove box. I was already getting light headed from all of the emotions, though, so it’s just as well.
Could not have summed it up any better. This episode was a balm to my battered soul, in more ways than one. Timely love.
I totally share your stance here. I will just highlight the little things that for some reason mean a lot to me. First of all, Jensen should totally let us see those shorts. I can asure him there’s nothing more dangerous than letting our imagination figure it out LOL. That being said, Sam helping Dean wash the car… ♡ never use Swayze’s name in vain? Oh Dean… I love Dean’s initial disappointment that Sam doesn’t share his idea of good times. We’ve seen before how Dean loves the idea of him and Sam having fun together. Be it hitting a bar, or two, getting some chicks or watching a movie. Today is no exception, except for Sam managing to find his own fun. Besides the fact that we were stolen the shirtless scene, I’d expect we’d seen at least some rocking movement or Baby’s steamed up windows and got a clue what was going on. Of course we were meant to be as surprised as Dean was, but since it was Baby’s pov, I suppose she DID notice 😉 at least a more obvious Sam-getting-dressed scene, maybe?
And Sam trying to explain to Dean what was going on… like Dean needed an explanation. Talking about what you said about Sam being kid-brother-ish. LOL again.
Matt Cohen!? Absolutely perfect in JDM’s demeanor.
Sam: My father is dead.
JW vision: When has that ever stopped a Winchester?
Dean’s taken good care of Baby AND Sammy ♡
This I found criptic:
Sam: This isn’t real.
JW vision: I never could have fooled you, could I?
What was that about?
About Sam getting infected, Dean didnt’t like it that Sam didn’t tell him, he made it clear, but didnt let that get in the way. This time, to keep talking and understanding where Sam was coming from was more important. ♡♡
Jerk/Bitch!? There are just no words. Although it felt a little different. It had been used before like some affectionate snarky reply, but this time it really did sound like the “I love you” we are never going to hear. That scene, at night, inside Baby, really felt so intimate I almost felt like I was prying.
Dean’s face when Sam refuses to say werepire reminded me of the one he made when he had to lose the poncho in Frontierland 😉
Besides visions of the darkness and hell and losing Sam, valet parking must be one of Dean’s worst nightmares. I wonder what other things have happened to Baby while Dean was away that he doesnt know. This cant be the first. She has been towed by Bella, hijacked by ghosts and Obi-Waned out of Dean’s hands by poor late Andy. The ones we know. Oh, and her tires flat by Trickster.
Sam and Dean so naturally falling into each other’s arms? This should be the perfect ending for some episodes, and by some I mean all of them.
Looks like I had something to say after all. Ha. Go figure.
Reblogged this on Saving Myself, Helping Others. and commented:
Love this, perfect review for a perfect episode.
Love & Perfection. Enough said!!
Since I just had the pleasure of watching Baby for the first time last night, your review was delightful to read. I too felt that sense of exhilaration and joy at seeing the brothers so at ease again with each other, and with the new balance you noted. My one comment is that I felt the “Samuel” thing was pretty significant. Dean has never called him that before, I believe? Yes the interplay of “Samuel” and “It’s Sam” was part of the familiar banter, but the moment felt different. The Samuel might be a teasing reference to Rowena using the name, or (as my daughter suggested) a joke about Sam growing up because he just lost his “second” virginity after his purity pledge (Is she right about that? I am not sure!)…but there seemed to be a serious tone to it, like Dean was swinging the other way briefly from “Sammy” and giving Sam the more formal adult name for a second. Sam corrected him, and Dean smiled with a certain look that didn’t seem to be completely teasing. And then Sam looked away and kind of nodded too, like there was a message there, a message that fit with the rest of the episode and their more even footing. Late night ramblings…