Hook Man was never one of my favorite episodes, but I think I’m appreciating all the episodes more on rewatch just because I know I’m not getting any more – they’re all incredibly valuable to me now. And this one, like so many of the early episodes, was beautifully filmed and had the creepy horror movie vibe down.
It’s a stereotypical sorority house opening and then the even more stereotypical college kids on a date go parking under a creepy bridge in the dark. As they start kissing in the car, we see the silhouette of a man in a flowing coat with a hook for a hand. And honestly, it’s truly scary! The guy keeps trying to pull her shirt down and she keeps saying no, hey, I mean it – and then there’s the ominous sound of scraping metal against metal, although we can’t see anything out there. The guy gets out because that’s what the guy always does in a horror movie and then the girl frantically rolls up the windows and starts screaming.
There’s a wonderful shot of the car as something invisible scratches a deep gash in the side, with a terrible screech – but there’s no one there.
The terrified young woman finally gets out and starts to run away, only to look back and see the guy dead and strung up from a tree.
Cue horror movie worthy scream.
Opening segment at an end, it’s time to find the Winchesters. Sam and Dean are searching for clues on their dad, Sam on a pay phone (it’s 2005!) and Dean on a laptop at a café.
Dean: Your half caf latte is getting cold here, Francis.
Sam: Bite me.
(That little conversation makes more sense if you watch the deleted scene that explains the Francis somehow, but I can’t for the life of me remember what happened in it).
Dean confides to Sam that he doesn’t think Dad wants to be found. Dad would, on the other hand, want them to check out a case he’s found of a mutilated body and an invisible attacker. Sam goes along, which follows the gradual evolution of Sam’s investment in hunting and saving innocent people versus finding the thing that killed Jessica and their missing father. He still wants the latter more than the former, but he’s beginning to see the sense of control and satisfaction that saving other people can bring when your life feels so out of control. It’s what Dean was trying to explain to his brother in Wendigo, as a coping strategy that keeps him going even in the face of repeated trauma and tragedy in their own family.
They end up at a fraternity house, where they claim to be fraternity brothers looking for a place to stay. The funny thing is, Jared and Jensen are so young at this point that it’s entirely plausible.
A frat boy is painting himself purple. As you do. (Fandom is fandom btw, and if it’s perfectly okay to paint yourself purple for every game, don’t quibble with media fans cosplay or any other expression of fannish passion and creativity!)
Frat boy to Dean: Do me a favor, get my back?
Dean: Oh, he’s the artist. The things he can do with a brush.
Sam gives him a bitchface and Dean sits down to watch while Sam paints, thoroughly enjoying the spectacle.
Dean: You missed a spot, lower back…