I love this episode so much – it’s scary, creepy, touching, and it brings the narrative back to what Season 1 was so much about, Sam and Dean’s search for their mysterious and elusive father, John Winchester and their rediscovery of being brothers. Like most episodes in this season, it’s also beautifully filmed and full of atmosphere, including the opening scene – which takes place in the windy city.
A young woman walks down the street, blues music playing. Her Walkman glitches, which looks very 2005, and the wind starts howling in the alley. She looks around, asking what people always ask in horror movies, as though being polite might get a bad guy to answer you.
“Hello?” she calls, and there’s no answer, but she’s scared as she hurries to her apartment door. Shadows loom behind her n the walls of the alley as she runs, a giant shadow seemingly following her. Breathless, she fumbles for keys and can’t find them, like in the worst of nightmares. Finally she gets in the door and inside, locking the door behind her and setting the alarm.
‘System armed’ it says, and she sighs with relief, checking her vintage (not at at the time) answering machine. Just as she thinks she’s safe, a shadow moves behind her on the walls, it’s giant shadow hand reaching out for her shadow and stabbing her, blood splattering on the wall as she screams and falls.
Quite an opening!
A week later, Sam and Dean drive, rock music playing. When they get out of the car they’re in uniform, which Dean isn’t exactly thrilled about (but frankly these two look good whatever they’re wearing).
Dean: Dad made it just fine without these stupid uniforms.
That brings back a memory, which gives us a rare and cherished glimpse of young Sam and Dean, when Sam was in ‘Our Town’.
Dean (smiling at the memory) Yeah, you were good.
I’m all warm at the thought of Dean going to see Sammy’s school play, though I wonder if that means John didn’t. I’m glad Sam got to do that though. (My daughter did the same school play, so I had an even stronger nostalgic reaction). I’m always so grateful when we get a glimpse of Sam and Dean’s childhood. Dean brings up the memory more like a proud parent here, not a brother who was forced to go sit through a school play.
They’re posing as working for the alarm company, so the landlady lets them in, but she’s not very impressed with their fake company.
Landlady: No offense, but your alarm’s about as useful as boobs on a man.
I like the landlady.
She tells them there’s no sign of a break in, the chain was on the door and the alarm was still on.
Landlady: Everything was in perfect condition. Except Meredith.
What condition was she in, the boys ask?
Landlady: Meredith was all over – in pieces! Like a wild animal did it.
After she’s gone, Sam says he knew this was their kind of gig, and Dean pulls out the EMF and says he agrees.