A quick note by way of introduction may be required here. For quite some time now, certain members of the Richmond WriMos have been trying to persuade me to watch the CW show Supernatural. I have relented and am now embarking on watching Supernatural via the wonders of Netflix. This series of posts will simply be my first impressions, almost stream of consciousness style, presented in the form of the time elapsed in the episode and my thoughts expressed as bullet points. It’s effectively live tweeting the episodes except I don’t have to stick to 140 characters or fewer. So without further ado here’s my take on:
Season 1 Episode 4 – “Phantom Traveler”
- 01:02 – Nice Hawaii fake out with the poster and ukulele.
- 01:58 – Black smoke? Oil? Coming out the bathroom vent. Pretty sure nervous flier guy is the teaser death of the episode.
- 02:11 – Seems I’m wrong. Looks like nervous flier just got possessed. Teaser cut to a plane full of people. I’m saying they all die for the show’s biggest body count yet.
- 03:14 – I hate window seat a-holes who have to get up and stretch their legs, plus it’s only been forty minutes. If I can sit cramped up in a middle seat for eight hours plus, you can suck it up no longer nervous flier guy.
- 04:26 – Plane crashing. I can’t decide whether to go for a Lost, Final Destination, or Airplane! reference. It’s an entirely different kind of dilemma altogether. (Everyone says “It’s an entirely different kind of dilemma.”)
- 06:47 – They’re in PA now. Those Winchester boys must have put one heck of a lot of miles on that Impala.
- 08:23 – Episode death count is a minimum of 94 thus far. Based on the over a hundred people on board being at least 101, Seven survivors inspired me to math it out.
- 09:59 – The “No Survivors” bit and the haunted plane riff is very Final Destination.
- 10:52 – You can check yourself into a mental hospital?
- 14:18 – The boys looking sharp in those new suits.
- 15:32 – Aww, he’s so proud he made it from his Walkman
- 18:15 – Sulfur AKA brimstone. I think we’re getting the show’s first diabolic entity (excluding fiery thing in the pilot.)
- 19:39 – The light plane (Cessna?) crashing into the power lines is decently convincing FX work.
- 20:38 – Not sure any of what you do can be seen as a “normal gig,” Sam.
- 22:12 – I’m pretty sure 40 doesn’t mean death in the Bible…
- 23:25 – The music on this show is freaking awesome.
- 24:04 – Doctor James Hetfield? Metallica inspired alias this episode-ah!
- 25:19 – Smokey the demon is back
- 25:46 – Dean is giving off some serious Mr. T vibes here. He ain’t getting on no plane, foo’
- 26:52 – Sam’s enjoying his big brother’s discomfiture to a hilarious degree.
- 32:38 – Every time they say “Christo” I assume something’s getting wrapped in foil.
- 34:34 – Considering this plane is going to crash in 12 minutes or so, this episode feels oddly free of tension.
- 35:18 – Not sure if Dean slugging the co-pilot in the jaw was supposed to be funny, but I guffawed.
- 36:08 – Taunting Sam about the burning girlfriend. Okay episode, you might redeem yourself from being the show’s first dud. You have about 6 minutes to win me over
- 37:33 – With all the shouty Latin, I keep expecting Sam to bust out with “Expecto Patronum!”
- 39:23 – Pretty sure Dean knows more than he’s telling Sam about why the demon knew about Jessica.
- 40:08 – So the dad is passing cases off to Dean via voicemail. The metaplot thickens.
I’d say this was the show’s first dud of an episode. It wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t actively bad. Instead it was something far worse. It was boring which you would think would be difficult to pull off in an episode with two plane crashes and a very near miss. However there were some elements that worked despite the triteness of the A plot.
Mostly they were elements that (presumably – I’m spoiler free) seem to be building and elaborating on the show’s mythology. The most obvious is the full introduction of demons and possession. Both have been mentioned on the show before but this is really the debut and I have to assume that demonic forces feature heavily considering the show is called Supernatural.
Also the bit with the voicemails makes me think that daddy Winchester doesn’t expect to see his sons again. I’m assuming he’s on some kind of suicide mission having tracked down the entity that killed his wife. Which likely means he’s hell-bound going by traditional Judeo-Christian attitudes towards suicide. Of course this is the kind of show where death isn’t always the end of a character arc.