Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #10 – “Asylum”

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 10 – “Asylum”

  • 00:40 – A spooky looking mental asylum. I assume the Inevitable Teaser Death will go to either The Joker or Shub-Niggurath, The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
  • 01:59 – “Come on, let’s split up.” Oh, African-American Cop Dude, it’s like you don’t even know you’re on a horror-tinged show.
  • 04:08 – White Cop Dude has the nosebleed of impending doom
  • 04:48 – White Cop Dude’s kind of a creepy silent type, much to the consternation of his significant other, whose white-ish night attire is,I’m guessing, going to end up covered in blood or other unpleasant bodily fluids. Also, I’m kind of digging the score so far,it’s actually spooky.
  • 05:01 – Two gunshots. I’m guessing White Cop Dude and Mrs White Cop Dude were the Inevitable Teaser Deaths of the week. Congratulations are in order for African-American Cop Dude who defies convention by not being dead by the end of the teaser despite invoking the Fred from Scooby-Doo “let’s split up, gang!” maneuver.
  • 06:20 – Dean, there’s a big spectrum between “alive” and “okay.” Just sayin’
  • 07:20 – After all the stuff from the last 9 episodes, you call out getting a text message as the weird thing. I think you have a strange concept of normalcy, Sam.
  • 07:55 – “Nigel Tufnel,” clearly this particular alias goes to eleven.
  • 08:18 – Sam’s a little too into man-handling Dean. (not in that way, you pervs, they’re supposed to be brothers…)
  • 10:30 – Whee! A Haley Joel Osment/Sixth Sense reference, just in case y’all forgot it was the early 2000’s
  • 10:50 – “The freaks come out at night.” No wonder this show is so visually dark.
  • 11:32 – That might be the lamest Jack Nicholson impersonation since Christian Slater in Heathers
  • 14:05 – “Uh, things are good, doctor.” Aside from your terrible, terrible hair…
  • 15:20 – No! Don’t cut away before Sam answers the headshrinker’s brother question!
  • 16:00 – Stuffed, hidden bodies? That’s more than just “grim,” Dean.
  • 16:50 – “Let’s go to the creepy abandoned asylum where a bunch of murders happened! For a date!” Must have been an awkward conversation. but then, I’m pretty sure that dude was the cheerleader’s douchetastic stalker/boyfriend from season 2 of Heroes.
  • 18:45 – Who’s that girl? Either a creepy moment or a terrible Madonna movie
  • 19:55 – That dude is so dizzy his head is spinning, like a whirlpool it never ends. (Props to the three people who get that reference)
  • 21:44 – Now this girl seems terrified…
  • 23:11 – Dean Winchester’s words of wisdom: “When someone says a place is haunted, don’t go in.”
  • 25:44 – I’m enjoying the classic horror movie directing style of almost showing the spirits in wide shots before focusing more clearly on them in tighter shots. Works really well to build tension.
  • 27:03 – Room number 137. Why do I think that’s an oblique shout out to room 237 in The Shining?
  • 27:48 – “I had a crappy guidance counselor.” Another dig at daddy from Sam?
  • 32:41 – Okay, the appearance of what I presume to be the spirit of Dr Sanford Ellicott did startle me enough that I may have verbalized a somewhat vulgar imprecation.
  • 35:25 – Sam seems a little “off,” I’m expecting a nosebleed of possession any second now. Also, going by the last expo-dump, it seems Ellicott was inspired by the Stanford Prison Experiment by way of Mengele.
  • 35:55 – There’s the nosebleed I called 30 seconds ago. Didn’t call Sam pointing the rock salt shotgun at Dean though. I think these bros have some issues to work out.
  • 36:25 – Whoa! He actually fired the bloody thing.I did not expect that.
  • 37:38 – Handing over a loaded handgun is a ballsy move there, Dean.
  • 38:12 – Okay, scratch the “loaded” from my last comment. I’m still surprised Sam pulled the trigger. Twice. This show is almost as dark thematically as it is visually.
  • 40:09 – Ellicott working his electro-zombie mojo on Dean now. Also, as vaguely normal phrases turned creepy go “Don’t be afraid, I’m going to make you all better” pales next to “Are you my mummy?” from Doctor Who.
  • 41:42 – I’m not entirely convinced by that “I didn’t mean it,” Sam.
  • 41:43 – And apparently, neither is Dean.
  • 42:28 – Oh, Daddy Winchester finally called his boys! Cue credits.

After the highs of the last episode, this one was inevitably a bit of a let down. It didn’t advance the season metaplot aside from the literal last second. Still, for a relative standalone it was pretty decent. I like how it heightened the tension between the brothers in a way that felt organic to the nature of the haunting in the episode. I was also impressed by the slow burn nature of the episode’s pacing. It did just enough to hold attention for the majority, and the little scares were decent without being the type of cheap jump scare that a lot of horror media use as their stock in trade. Also the set design or location they used for the titular asylum just dripped with creepiness. It certainly looked like the sort of place that would be haunted. A decent little horror rom that you wouldn’t want to watch with the lights off.

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