Supernatural’s Season 2 Episode Croatoan  – The Mystery Deepens

I feel like I say this for every episode in the first couple seasons of Supernatural, but I love this episode SO much. Creepy, a mystery that you can’t easily figure out, more insight into the brothers – and their father. In this episode, you understand just how far Dean will go to save Sam, and just how deep the bond between the brothers runs. Which makes eventually learning about the impossible thing that John asked of Dean all the more heartbreaking. I love the way the first two seasons spooled it out, so slowly, teasingly. I was on the edge of my seat all the time and it was glorious.

Now, doing this rewatch in 2021, this episode also hits a little too close to home, when the words “a demonic virus” don’t sound so far fetched. That just adds to the ominous feel of the episode.

THEN

Saving people, hunting things – John telling the YED “I’ve known for a while” – a reminder of Sam’s visions, the demon having plans for kids like him. We see John whisper to Dean, Sam ask him at the funeral pyre, ‘Did he say anything to you?’ and Dean’s “no”. We know it’s a lie, but we still don’t know what those fateful words were, as we’re reminded that neither Sam nor Dean is handling the loss of their father well.

NOW

In surreal slow motion, the visuals distorted, Dean loads his gun and opens the door to a lab. A young man is tied to a chair, pleading with Dean “no, no, I swear it’s not in me, please don’t” as Dean sets his chin.

Dean: I got no choice.

He twitches, raises the gun, fires.

Sam wakes from a vision, gasping, in a motel room. Dean comes in, holding a six pack, chewing on some beef jerky.

Dean: Sam?

Night, the boys in the Impala, trying to figure out what the vision meant. Sam’s sure it happened in Oregon because he noticed a poster with a picture of Crater Lake before he saw the guy tied to the chair. Dean’s having a hard time making sense of it, but he knows by now to trust that Sam’s visions are to be taken seriously.

Dean: And I ventilated him?

They argue about what might have led to it, Sam saying that Dean thought there was something inside the guy.

Dean: Well, all our weirdo visions are always tied to the YED, so was there black smoke? Did we try to exorcise it?

Sam: No. You just plugged him, that’s it.

Dean’s defensive even about the vision.

Dean: Well I’m sure I had a good reason – I’m not gonna waste an innocent man.

Sam glances toward Dean, saying nothing.

Dean: I wouldn’t!

Sam: I never said you would!

Dean: Fine!

Sam: Fine!

It’s an argument over something that hasn’t even happened, but it gives us some insight into the tension still simmering between Sam and Dean. Dean is worried about Sam’s visions and what might be happening to him (especially in light of what John said to him, though we don’t know that yet) and Sam is worried about Dean, who’s on edge and volatile (partly because of the burden he’s carrying that John put on his shoulders). No wonder they’re sniping at each other.

They eventually give up the brotherly bickering and continue to Oregon, driving past the sign that Sam saw as they pull into a small town.

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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

NOW

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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Linda Blair Allies with the Winchesters in ‘The Usual Suspects’ – Supernatural Rewatch

This episode is written by Kathryn Humphris, who I wish had stuck around longer, and directed by Mike Rohl, who directed quite a few episodes of the show.  It’s an episode that gave Jared and Jensen both some time off (because they weren’t in all the scenes together) and yet managed to be all about how close the brothers have become and how in sync they are at this point working together.

The recap reminds us just how badass Sam and Dean Winchester are, with their many disguises, and of the recent shapeshifter episode when Dean took the blame. Then we’re in Baltimore, Maryland, at the City Centre Motor Hotel as a SWAT team advances.

The motel capture in progress is interspersed with an FBI guy questioning someone – we don’t know who. We hear him say, “credit card fraud, breaking and entering, grave desecration….suspected of torturing and murdering a young woman…you supposedly died there”…

The SWAT team break down the door at the motel as he goes on, saying “you look pretty healthy to me.”

Meanwhile, the SWAT officer confronts Sam Winchester.

Agent Ballard: Goin’ somewhere, Sam?

Back to the interrogation, with Agent Sheridan (Jason Gedrick).

Sheridan: So now we know Karen Giles wasn’t the first person you murdered – but I guarantee you she’s the last.

The camera pulls around so we can see that the prisoner he’s interrogating is, as we suspected, Dean Winchester.

Clearly this episode is the brothers having a terrible horrible no good very bad day. Again.

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There’s “No Exit” from Supernatural (for me!) – Supernatural Rewatch Episode 2.06

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.”

Damn right.

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!

Oh, Dean.

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…

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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’.

NOW

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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