Season 3 continues in our Supernatural Rewatch with the second episode of the season, which introduces the character of Lisa Braeden and her son Ben. She’s part of Dean’s last-year-to-live tour of living it up that he’s insisting Sam support him going on, no matter how painful Sam might find the constant reminder of his brother’s upcoming death, but she turns out to be alot more than that. Lisa is a polarizing character, but I think many fans appreciate how the character is written and admire Cindy Sampson’s portrayal of her. I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy at a Supernatural convention in 2022 and she is absolutely lovely and seems to have a genuine appreciation for the Supernatural fandom.
I’m one of the people who liked her character from the jump, and at the same time did not think that Dean and her could really work – or Dean and anyone for that matter. Especially not in Season 3 with his trip to hell breathing down his neck! But Lisa is a nuanced character and a believable mom thanks to Sera Gamble’s writing and Cindy’s acting – which means the couple of things that didn’t make sense in this episode really bothered me.
Which brings me to…
Full disclosure: This episode is not one of my favorites. I know a lot of people like it, and it has moments that I also enjoy, but it also has things that don’t quite work for me. Also? Damn Kripke and Gamble, it is SCARY. And disturbing. And bloody and creepy and all those other things that Kripke and company love. I had to close my eyes a few times during this rewatch, ngl.
Written by Sera Gamble, who I love, and directed by the venerable Phil Sgriccia, there’s a lot that’s very well done in this episode, but changelings? Ewwwww. I guess that’s a testament to the fact that they came through just as creepy as they were supposed to!
Sam’s death, Dean’s deal, his tearful explanation to Bobby, the terms of the deal, the mysterious woman and her demon-killing knife. And…
In Cicero, Indiana, a truck pulls up, a dad dropping off his daughter from visitation. The child runs to the mom and hugs her, tearful, saying there are monsters at her dad’s house and begging not to have to go back. The mom is confused, saying she usually loves to go to her father’s. Later, we see the dad working in his garage, carving a wooden rocking horse for presumably his daughter. Poor guy, that whole begging not to go back must have been tough.
But his life is about to get much tougher – and shorter.
Suddenly as the guy goes to leave, the table saw starts up all on its own. The man turns back and goes over to investigate, leaning in and getting his face up close and personal.
All of us watching: NOOOOO!!!
He turns it off, walks away and turns out the light. It starts again. He goes BACK to it OMG.
All of us watching: NOOOOO why would you do that??? Run!!!
As he approaches, he stumbles and it snags his shirt and pulls him onto the saw – the blade slices right through him, blood splattering everywhere. Have I mentioned that in early seasons Supernatural truly was a horror show?? How did they get away with such a graphic bloody scene? Again, worthy of The Boys.
And then it was time for Sam and Dean! Yay!
Sam’s in a diner, chatting with Bobby on the phone about a demon dispelling ritual he found, and sounding more than a little desperate trying to find a way to save his brother. Dean walks by the window and waves a newspaper at Sam, as Sam hurriedly hangs up.
Dean: Who was that?
Sam: Uh, I was just ordering pizza.
Dean: Dude, you do realize you’re in a restaurant?
Sam (shrugs): Yeah, I just, I felt like pizza, you know?
Dean: Okay, Weirdy McWeirderton. So anyway, I think I’ve got something.
Who could resist that FACE though? Sam and those puppy dog eyes and those shaggy bangs and that SMILE?
Let’s pause for a second and just appreciate Sam and Dean circa 2007, with their beautiful baby faces and the way they still smile and joke around so much, even with Dean’s deal hanging over their heads. Let’s also appreciate that this was 2007 and they got their cases from the newspaper. One of the things I love the most about Supernatural is that it always seems timeless. Even when I was watching it in real time, it always had a sense of being in the past anyway, with its past-their-heydey motels and little Americana towns. So Sam and Dean reading a newspaper? Fits right in, even now.
When Sam is skeptical about it being a case, Dean admits there’s another reason he wants to go to Cicero – Lisa Braeden.
Sam: You want to drive all the way to Cicero just to hook up with some random chick?