I’m now convinced at this point in my epic Supernatural from the start rewatch that the entire Season 1 was just freaking amazing, but even before the rewatch, I knew this week’s episode was one of my favorites. The aptly named ‘Home’ told us so much about the Winchesters, and is one of the very few episodes that includes Sam, Dean, John and Mary. Just that alone makes me extremely emotional.
I was at a convention once when Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith were both there, with Jared and Jensen, and I couldn’t help but tear up.
When you care about the Winchesters, it’s a special thing to have them all together – even if they don’t all interact in this episode. Typical heartbreaking Winchester lives, right?
I’m doing the rewatch with a group of friends (via Zoom, as everything is done in the midst of the pandemic we’re a year into…), so we all settled in to watch with anticipation.
The episode begins with a woman unpacking, having just moved into a new house. Her young daughter insists, as kids sometimes do, that there’s something in her bedroom closet. But this is Supernatural, so the mom’s casual “oh honey there’s nothing in here, look I’ll just open it up and then turn my back on it” does not reassure all of us watching. Instead we all start screaming NOOOOOOO because it’s creepy as hell even though I mostly remembered that nothing happens until later.
Little kid agrees to go to bed, mom hears scrabbling and scratching noises in the basement, and unlike me, decides she needs to go down there and investigate right now. When the lights don’t work for some unknown reason she’s undaunted and continues with a freaking flashlight.
Everyone watching: No no no why would you do that?
Upstairs in the little girls’ bedroom, the closet door slowly opens.
Everyone watching: Why are you just sitting there, little girl? RUN LIKE HELL!!!
The woman in the basement finds an old wooden box and stops to open it up.
Me: Does she think the rats are in there? And if they are, what the hell is she going to do armed with a flashlight??
She pulls out some old photos. Written on the back: The Winchesters. John, Mary, Dean and Little Sammy.
Awwww. No time for sentimentality though, because a flaming creature walks out of the closet and the little girl screams and then we see the mom screaming from a second story window.
Sam Winchester wakes up from a nightmare.
Later, he keeps drawing the same tree that he saw in his dream over and over, lost in thought, while Dean is looking for cases.
Dean: Am I boring you with this hunting evil stuff?
Sam says no, but continues to pore over the drawing of the tree, while Dean gets increasingly frustrated with the lack of his little brother’s attention.
Dean: A man shot himself in the head…. Three times…
He theatrically waves his arms around, trying and failing to get Sam’s attention, while all of us watching are laughing. It didn’t take long for Jensen Ackles’ talent for physical comedy to make itself known, and it is a joy to behold. All over the world, in 2005, people were falling in love with Dean Winchester because of it.
And with his shaggy haired, intense younger brother.
Sam: Wait! I’ve seen this.
He pulls out Dad’s journal and finds a photo with the tree. And the Winchesters.
Sam: Dean, I know where we have to go next. Back home. To Kansas.
Dean: Okay, random….
Sam doesn’t want to explain further, but Dean has had it with his brother’s repeated nightmares and reticence to tell him what’s going on.
Sam (reluctantly) I have nightmares.
Dean: I’ve noticed.
Sam: And sometimes… they come true
Dean: Come again.
Sam finally tells Dean what he’s been keeping from him. That he dreamt of Jessica’s death for days before it happened.
Dean is clearly rattled, trying to cling to the belief that it’s a coincidence, and that it’s not something to do with their family. He’s tried so hard to regain a sense of control with hunting, and the last thing he wants is to think their family curse is reasserting itself – and that Sam is somehow in the middle of it.
Dean: First you tell me you’ve got the shining and then that I’ve gotta go back home? Especially when I… I swore to myself I would never go back there.
Dean has on the red plaid shirt of doom, and sad violins play as he looks back over his shoulder at Sam and you can see just how anguished he is. But this is Sam telling him they need to go save people, and there’s no way Dean Winchester is going to say no.