The sixth episode of Supernatural’s second season, ‘No Exit’, was aptly named – aptly for me, personally, at least. Because by the time this episode aired, I was head over heels in love with this show and these characters, and for the next fifteen years (which brings us to 2021 as I write this), there would indeed be no exit. I was a Supernatural fan and would stay that way.
‘No Exit’ was directed by Kim Manners, whose brilliance made every single one of his episodes memorable and the ‘look’ of Supernatural so distinctive. This episode is also personally relevant for me because it takes place in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA. I’m a proud Philly resident, and it was extra exciting to see Sam and Dean be in my hometown even if Jared and Jensen were still filming in Vancouver.
The recap reminds us of that amusing moment when Jo asks Dean if he’s really afraid of her mother, and Dean admits with a nervous smile, “I think so.”
As this episode opens (in Philly), a young woman comes home to her apartment, annoyed by the lights flickering. She doesn’t realize she’s on a horror show, so instead of immediately getting the hell out of there, she calls her landlord to complain. Even when black goo starts to drip onto her and pour out of the light sockets, she does not leave, as all of us doing the rewatch start yelling “Time to go, lady!”
Instead she leans in close to the dripping light socket – and sees an eyeball looking back!
Finally she screams, but of course by then it’s too late. All the kudos, Mr. Manners, for making that scene horror movie levels of scary and creepy! There are so many brilliant shots in this episode – Kim had dramatic sweeping crane shots in some of his memorable episodes, but in this episode he uses these ultra close up very boundaried shots to create a terrifying claustrophobic feel, like evil is right up against you and you can’t escape it. Gives me chills in the best horror movie kind of way!
Cut to the Winchesters discussing a girl kidnapped by an evil cult, snarking at each other in between job related talk.
Sam: Girl got a name?
Dean: Katie Holmes.
Sam (laughing) That’s funny… and for you, so bitchy…
Snarky Sam is the best. Jared Padalecki got a few comedic moments in this episode, and he always uses them so effectively. I don’t know if he thinks of himself as talented with comedy, but he really is.
The brothers park outside the Roadhouse, hearing raised voices and the sound of breaking glass from inside, which immediately attracts Dean’s attention.
Dean: On the other hand – catfight!
They find Ellen and Jo in the midst of a mother-daughter argument that rings true for every mother who has had to come to terms with not being able to keep their child safe 100% of the time, and also has something to say about the way Ellen is raising Jo compared to the way John raised Sam and Dean. Jo insists that her mother can’t keep her there; Ellen counters with a ‘don’t bet on that, sweetie.’ The option of tying Jo up in the basement is not entirely shot down, but Ellen does encourage Jo to leave and do something productive, i.e. go back to school.
What a contrast to how John reacted to Sam’s desire to go to college!
Jo protests that she didn’t belong there, feeling like “a freak with a knife collection”, which is something we know Sam experienced too, no matter how much he wanted to fit in and get away from the hunting life.
Ellen: And getting yourself killed on some dusty back road – that’s where you belong?
At that moment, they see Sam and Dean – whose life has just been vividly described.
Ellen: Guys, bad time…