Quintessential Supernatural – Crossroad Blues (Supernatural Rewatch)

Crossroads Blues is one of those quintessential Supernatural episodes that seems to encompass what the show is all about. It’s scary, creepy, horrible – and at the same time, it has a lot of heart. Sera Gamble is one of my favorite writers, and her early seasons episodes are some of my favorites, including this one. Steve Boyum, who directed multiple episodes, takes the helm for this one.

In the THEN, we revisit the tractor trailer smashing the Impala, Sam confronting his father when Dean was dying, and John’s deal with the Yellow Eyed Demon to bring Dean back. Their father’s death is still weighing heavily on both brothers, and both are probably thinking way too much about the suspicious circumstances under which it occurred, as we go into

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Greenwood, Mississippi, 1938. Summer time, blues music playing, a man plays guitar in a smoky dimly lit club. The flashback is filmed in sepia tones, and the whole scene is surreal, haunting.

The man pauses when he hears wolves baying outside, then growling, and we see a woman in the audience growing increasingly worried about him. He resumes playing, startling as we see shadows outside the window, the growling getting closer. The cigarette he’s been smoking falls from his mouth and the man looks terrified as he runs out of the place and down the road in the middle of the night, pursued and surrounded by unseen creatures. The trees shake with their bulk, and we hear their growling and barking. The man drops his guitar and runs, hiding in a deserted barn and locking the doors behind him.

The unseen wolves throw themselves against the door as the terrified man puts a chair in front of it, sobbing. The door breaks finally – and the woman and some other people find the man lying on the floor.

Woman: What happened?

Man: Dogs…black dogs…

Woman: Robert, don’t you die on me!

But it’s too late.

That whole scene is so scary, largely because we never see the black dogs – but we hear them and clearly see how terrifying they are to Robert. Well done, Show, well done.

Back in the present, Sam and Dean are eating at a diner – you can’t get much more quintessential Supernatural than that. I do love the early seasons when the brothers were on the road all the time, living out of their car and cheap motels, sharing diner booths, Sam on his trusty laptop.

Sam finds a mugshot of Dean online and Dean preens, saying he’s like Dillinger or something. Sam warns that it makes their job harder since they have to be more careful, and Dean snarks back that they don’t have anything on Sam.

Dean: No accessory? Nothing?

Sam: Shut up.

Dean: You’re jealous.

(Dean is inordinately pleased about this).

Sam: No, I’m not.

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The Mystery of the ‘Special Children’ Deepens in ‘Simon Said’ – Supernatural Rewatch

The fifth episode of Supernatural’s second season is a Ben Edlund episode, which means it has memorable characters (introducing the adorable Gabriel Tigerman as Andy), dark and disturbing themes, and some laugh out loud moments. Edlund was a perfect fit for Supernatural, because the show combines those kind of things seamlessly – something that not every show can manage.

The recap reminds us of Sam’s visions, and that the Yellow Eyed Demon said he had plans for “me and the children like me”. Sam worrying that he’s some kind of monster is a theme that runs throughout the entire series, and it’s prominent in this episode. Once again, we end with Sam’s question to Dean as they burn their father’s body.

Sam: Did he say anything to you?

Dean: No. Nothin’.

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Close up of that distinctive clock tower that I think is in Delta, because we visited there on one of our Vancouver find-the-location trips. Creepy music plays while a man answers his cell phone, saying “yeah, all right.” He walks along, smiling, and enters a gun shop and asks to look at a gun. The store manager thinks he’s kidding, but shows him one. The guy – ‘Doc’ – proceeds to load it, all the while chuckling and saying not to worry, guns make him nervous.

Manager: No no, you can’t load a gun on the premises, it’s illegal!

Doc: No, it’s okay, it’s okay…

He shoots the man, then turns the gun on himself, still calmly saying “It’s all gonna be okay” as he blows his brains out. Blood splatters, then water’s running.

Sam splashes his face after the vision. Dean walks in on him impatiently, something that doubtless happens all the time.

Dean: C’mon Sam, zip it up.

He stops when he sees the look on Sam’s face.

The Impala zooms through the night as Dean tries to calm Sam down, telling him to chill out and think about this. Sam insists it’s a premonition and could be tied to the demon.

Dean: That’s my point. There will be hunters at the Roadhouse. Announcing you’re some supernatural freak with demonic connections…

Sam: So I’m a freak now?

Dean plays it off as a joke, not wanting to hurt Sam’s feelings or let him see just how worried Dean is after what John said to him.

Dean: You’ve always been a freak.

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A Little Bit of Healing in Walker ‘Mehar’s Jacket’

I’m on vacation with the family for the next few weeks, so this will be a bit less in depth than my usual recap/reviews of Walker (okay, that kinda did not pan out to be true….)  But anyway, that happens to work well for this episode, which comes on the heels of the action-packed thirteenth episode that was originally intended to be the season finale. Everyone is rocked by Hoyt’s sudden death, and that has everyone rethinking their priorities and reevaluating their relationships.

As Bonham puts it, ‘we’re all adrift’. He copes by working on the house. Abeline copes by worrying about everyone and trying to take care of a bunch of adults who probably don’t need as much taking care of as she needs to do. Liam protests that he can take care of himself as he recuperates from the gunshot.

I love the screencap below, Walker contemplating the crime tape and looking at (I think) that hitching post that sort of started them all down this unfortunate path.

And Walker and Geri cope by taking Stella and Augie on a trip.

Walker is mired in guilt over Hoyt’s death and over how impacted his kids have been by all the losses of the last year, blaming himself entirely. Geri also feels guilty; she’s wearing Hoyt’s jacket and has the bar coaster on which he wrote his last will and testament, leaving behind a plot of land. Geri had mentioned to him once that it would be a nice place to settle down, and he apparently took it seriously and bought it.

Geri and Walker decide to take a trip out to see it, taking the kids with them to make a day of it.

Walker: I think Hoyt would’ve liked that.

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Radio Company Vol 2! A Look Back at Steve Carlson and Jensen Ackles’ Musical History

Most of my fandom friends and pretty much my entire twitter timeline have been listening to the new Radio Company album on repeat since it dropped last night — shortly after midnight here on the east coast U.S.  (Yes, I ended up staying up far too late doing that same thing).  I love the new CD so much, and it reminded me of not just how much I love Jensen Ackles’ voice and singing, but how much I also love Steve Carlson and the way the two of them harmonize together – and have for a very long time.

So I thought I’d share some chats I’ve had with Steve over the years about his music and making music with Jensen, as we all enjoy their latest collaboration.

I was introduced to Steve’s music way back in 2007, when my friend and Fangasm co-author Kathy and I fell head over heels in love with Supernatural and Dean Winchester, and impulsively flew to Fort Worth Texas to see Jensen Ackles in a community theater production of A Few Good Men. We met and bonded with other fangirls there, and somehow ended up driving around listening to music in someone’s jeep and singing along – to a song called ‘Wasted Jamie’ by Steve Carlson, with Jensen singing backup vocals. I was hooked on Steve’s music from that memorable day, and also on Jensen’s surprising ability to do yet another thing really well – go figure!

Steve used to come to many of the early Creation Supernatural cons, so we often were treated to a Carlson concert as the precursor of the Saturday Night Special. (Jensen never got onstage to sing with him like he did at Asylum with both Steve and Jason Manns, but oh well). My LA friends often went to hear him play at the Hotel Café, and sometimes we joined them, always a little dismayed we lived on the ‘wrong coast’ so we couldn’t be there more often. One of my favorite Steve concerts was in Vancouver, during one of the very first Creation cons there. Back in the day, we often enjoyed the shows alongside Danneel and Jensen, and pretty much every show was amazing. I am SO hoping Radio Co. starts touring because it’s been too long since I’ve been treated to a live Steve performance!

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Things Get Stormy On Walker’s ‘Fine Is A Four Letter Word’ – In Multiple Ways

Last week’s episode of Walker was the most eventful one ever, with many of the emotional story lines laid out in the first seven episodes getting put to the test as that time honored raise-the-stakes moment of television and film takes over – a tornado! As much as a sudden storm and people being caught in it, allowing us to find heroism in the show’s characters, is a common way to bring suspense and danger, somehow being in the middle of a real life pandemic and the very real effects of climate change make it all seem a bit more serious. That worked in the show’s favor, because the sense of danger was palpable. Kudos also to the show’s writer Katherine Alyse and director Stacey K. Black for keeping the pace slow enough to let that sense of danger build, at first from newscasters warning of the coming storm (a warning mostly missed by the characters caught up in their own emotional challenges) and later from the flurry of phone calls back and forth, which seemed a realistic way of depicting what we all would do in that kind of situation.

This was a complex episode, with serious emotional arcs playing out within the context of a natural disaster – the lingering effects of Abeline’s infidelity, Trevor caught between his feelings for Stella and his loyalty to his father, Micki still trying to avoid the reality of Adriana’s revelation by keeping it from Trey, Cordell making his first awkward and tentative steps toward envisioning a new relationship, and a guilt-stricken Liam wanting to come clean to his brother but trying to protect his fiancé and hurting him in the process. Somehow the writer managed to weave those stories in and out of the storm context deftly enough that they all spooled out realistically.

Watching this week was extra fun because Jared Padalecki and some other cast members live tweeted along with the fandom, adding some behind the scenes insights and some priceless dad jokes. For those of us who watched Supernatural for many years, Walker sometimes feels like a fandom reunion, since many Supernatural fans are now watching and interacting around a new shared TV show.

The episode opens, as it often does, with the core family – Walker and his kids. It’s a brief scene but it shows the progress Cordell has made in keeping to his resolve to be a dad to his children, as he makes pancakes and even flips them deftly.

Gifs let-me-be-your-home

His newfound comfort in that role is contrasted with what Liam is explaining to Micki about how his brother was after Emily’s death.

Liam: You didn’t know him then…constant driving obsession that sucked the life out of every second of his day and consumed him. He was convinced that Carlos didn’t kill Emily. We said that there was no conspiracy. We were wrong.

Liam, as Micki points out, looks like shit. Consumed with guilt and the burden of the secrets he’s been keeping from both his fiancé and his brother – that Carlos isn’t the killer and that the bad guys who probably did kill Emily are now after him and Capt. James. And willing to blow up their car to get to them. He’s avoiding Bret so he can keep up the lie, sleeping in his office, unshaven and hollow eyed. Keegan Allen really made me feel for Liam, his guilt and indecision showing in the way he holds himself, his expression, his physicality as well as his words.

Liam insists he won’t risk putting anyone’s life in danger and is terrified that they could have been followed back to Austin. He does have a confidante in Micki now, though. Her research shows that forensics on the bomb matches Northside Nation’s MO. (I’ll admit that name for the gang makes me want to either roll my eyes or giggle each time someone says it, especially after that weird truck round up of kids playing soccer scene, but it is what it is).

Micki: It was them, Liam. I understand how hard it is, but this isn’t your secret to keep. Walker needs to know. That person is now targeting his brother and his captain.

Liam promises that he’s going to tell Walker the truth, and we can all imagine just how difficult that conversation is going to be – for both of them. And Liam is much too preoccupied with his own stormy relationships to listen to the news warning about the actual storm coming.

The rest of the family misses the warnings too, wrapped up in something much more pleasant – the school dance that Stella and Augie are both going to. Abeline helps Stella get ready, a little scene that touched me with its melancholy (Emily not there) but also its resilience (her grandmother stepping in).

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