Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #40 – “Hollywood Babylon”

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 2 Episode 18 – “Hollywood Babylon”

  • 00:20 – Another episode that skips the previously on stuff and goes directly to the teaser. Said teaser is very much like a random scene from any number of horror/slasher movies. Given the episode title, I’m assuming that this will be a movie scene done as bait and switch.
  • 01:31 – Yup. Bait and switch. And the actress’ acting scream is pretty terrible. I think that’s deliberate. We might just be having a lighthearted comedy episode, which I need after the rather downer ending of the last episode.
  • 02:06 – The guy playing the director is super familiar to me. I recognize him from the pinnacle of highbrow entertainment that is Dog with a Blog.
  • 03:10 – Rehearsing screaming on a stage that the slightly weird production guy (who has Brent Spiner’s Independence Day hair) has claimed is haunted is probably not the smartest thing to do in the world of Supernatural, Tara.
  • 04:09 – Weird production guy became Inevitable Teaser Death and is now bleeding in front of the actress. She let’s out a mighty bellow of a scream. Cut to director: “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Hee.
  • 04:51 – The brothers are taking one of the studio backlot tours. Apparently if they’re lucky, the might catch one of the stars of Gilmore Girls. Sam ditches the tour at the mention of this for some obscure reason.
  • 05:32 – Deans reasonings for coming to LA aren’t to work but for a vacation with “Swimming pools and movie stars.” I’m fairly sure he’s a closet Beverly Hillbillies aficionado.
  • 06:05 – Dean dissing Sam for being ignorant of his cultural heritage for not knowing the rumors about the movie Poltergeist being cursed.
  • 06:37 – Okay, I like that Dean is a fanboy of the actress from the teaser, who’s a minor league screen queen. In this universe she was in Feardotcom and Ghost Ship. In real life, nobody in Feardotcom was worth remembering. it’s a terrible, terrible movie. (I haven’t seen Ghost Ship.)
  • 06:55 – Hey, it’s Gary Cole! And he’s playing a studio executive type giving the horror movie crew notes. This one is saying that it could be “a little brighter.” Somehow, I suspect Kripke and company have heard that from The CW in regards to Supernatural…
  • 07:06 – The director is names as McG, who executive produces Supernatural, I suspect we’re descending into a self-referential ouroboros of an episode.
  • 07:20 – Exec thinks Dean is a P.A. Nice cover.
  • 07:38 – Dean:”What’s a P.A.?” Sam: “I think they’re kind of like slaves.”
  • 09:30 – Dean’s discoveries include that there’s no sign of ghostly EMF, being a PA sucks and that the food is amazing, including some miniature cheese steak sandwiches that do look fantastic.
  • 10:49 – Curious as to why they would specifically call out Boogeyman as having a terrible script? Turns out it was written by Eric Kripke, the creator and showrunner of Supernatural…
  • 12:04 – Seems no on set actually knew the Inevitable Teaser Death guy.
  • 12:38 – Turns out the Inevitable Teaser Death isn’t actually dead. Nor was he a stage hand. He’s a minor league actor.
  • 13:13 – It was the producer’s idea to have the actor fake his death to create buzz around a haunted fim set. clever way to promote a horror movie on that there internet thingy.
  • 15:31 – I like Gary Cole’s studio character. Here he’s complaining about how hell-bound ghosts could hear the Latin chanting that summons them. Again, I suspect this is something that’s been said to the Supernatural crew before…
  • 16:14 – Gary Cole encountering what I strongly suspect to be the actual spirit of a black & white film era starlet. Of course, he assumes it be a special effect and complains that the neck wounds won’t read on camera.
  • 16:45 – Gary Cole’s following the spirit up to the rafters for some implied coitus type action. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for him.
  • 17:01 – It didn’t pay off. Gary Cole’s dead, and his body just crashed into the film set after being hung from the neck. Now I’ll never know what his character’s name was supposed to be.
  • 18:38 – Actress is complaining about ghosts being afraid of salt. Oh, Supernatural, you so meta. Meanwhile, looks like Dean has taken to the P.A. position like a duck to water judging by the headset and his crippling craft-services addiction.
  • 18:59 – “Maybe shotguns?” “That makes even less sense than salt.”
  • 20:12 – I just noticed that Dean’s wearing a crew t-shirt. He’s going native!
  • 21:38 – The boy’s see a shot of the black & white spirit on the dailies. Dean naturally goes for the Three Men & A Baby comparison. To me the fact that Spock directed it is a weirder fact about that movie than the ghost myth.
  • 23:16 – Sam recognized the ghost lady from his research, so naturally the Winchester brothers are working the literal graveyard shift tonight.
  • 25:23 – The boys do their salt’n’burn thing. Meanwhile, another spirit with a tremendously gnarly face is attacking one of the producers.
  • 26:36 – Death by high powered rotary fan is a hell of a way to go.
  • 27:33 – The episode returns with a trailer for the movie. It is gloriously cheesy.
  • 28:21 – Fairly sure I just saw the actual McG in the background while the fake McG was giving his speech.
  • 29:31 – Sam: “Y’know, maybe the spirits are trying to shut down the movie because they think it sucks.”
  • 30:01 – Apparently the Latin summoning ritual in the movie is an accurate one…
  • 30:24 – The boys are, naturally enough, investigating the writer. Which makes sense, as clearly writers are evil.
  • 31:07 – And apparently he’s not even the original writer, that’s a dude named Walter who’s been hanging around the set like some kind of grumpy P.A.
  • 31:39 – The original script is both better than what’s being filmed and effectively a how to summon ghosts manual. I think we may have discovered the villain of the piece.
  • 33:26 – Walter’s using a ghost to try and drag the credited writer (who is kind of a massive jerk) into a big ol’ electrical fan.
  • 33:33 – Lucky for jerkboy, Dean’s packing the rock salt shotgun and so the ghost is temporarily dismissed before the s*** hits the fan.
  • 35:15 – Walter’s going all out with a multi-summoning. Somehow, I think this isn’t going to end well for him.
  • 37:14 – Walter just smashed his summoning talisman on the basis that “now, no one can have it.” That’s a dumb move because I’m pretty sure that means he’s gonna get eviscerated by the various vengeful spirits he’s summoned.
  • 37:54 – Nailed it!
  • 39:26 – The walking away into a fake sunset was the perfect capper to this episode.

Enjoyed this a lot. I figure the show kind of needed a light hearted episode considering both the way the previous episode ended and the fact that we’re getting closer and closer to the season finale where I’m assuming some serious stuff will go down. I liked the little in-jokes the show managed, and the Hollywood setting let them integrate the comedic elements pretty organically with the more typical ghost story/monster of the week elements of the show without being a disservice to either. It was fun, and that’s the bottom line.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #39 – “Heart”

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 2 Episode 17 – “Heart”

  • 00:19 – Once again, we skip the previouslies and launch right into the teaser, which appears to be a rather professional seeming office party. There’s a focus on a man and a woman. He’s making awkward small talk, and she’s wearing white, which means she’s probably a monster. I’m marking him as the Inevitable Teaser Death.
  • 00:56 – Women in white is crazy prepared to deal with the guy’s clumsy advances.
  • 01:11 – Now she says a kind of ratty looking dude at the end of the bar. He must be important because we get a BWAAAAHM on the soundtrack like it was an ersatz Hans Zimmer.
  • 02:22 – The visual language of this episode seems “off” so far. We’re now getting a bright daylight shot of the San Francisco skyline. Between that and the office partyish intro, I feel like I’m watching David E. Kelley’s Supernatural.
  • 02:50 – Random blood on the wall and carpet of this woman’s expensive looking apartment. I guess the show remembered what genre it belonged to after all.
  • 03:12 – Looks like the guy was the Inevitable Teaser Death after all, and in what most of been a fairly heinous way judging by how torn up the body is. Also, dropping that coffee pot is a party foul, young lady.
  • 03:38 – Sam’s playing detective at the morgue. Trying to figure out what it was that bit the Inevitable Teaser Death guy. He’s also kind of incompetently hitting on the medical examiner.
  • 03:51 – So, it seems like a wolf bite, which seems unlikely in a big city. I’m guessing we’re hitting on another classic horror monster here. I’ll let Warren Zevon elaborate on my feeling.
  • 04:05 – A missing heart seems just slightly too specific to be a lucky guess, Sam. just sayin’
  • 04:41 – Serial killer who seems to be acting in the week of the full moon. Definitely in lycanthropic territory. The missing hearts are an odd detail. I blame Ann & Nancy Wilson.
  • 04:55 – Dean is geeking out big time over the nature of their target. Sam throws some much needed shade in his direction: “Okay Sparky, after we kill it we can go to Disneyland.”
  • 05:18 – The boys are using the aliases “Landis” and “Dante.” I assume Landis is a reference to the director of An American Werewolf In London. I assume Dante is a reference to Joe Dante, but the lycanthropic connection eludes me. To the Googles! Ah. he directed The Howling.
  • 06:09 – Sam shoots Dean a very meaningful glance after Madison, the woman from the teaser, describes the Inevitable Teaser Death guy as someone who hits on anyone once he has a couple Scotches in him.
  • 06:42 – Sounds like the ratty looking dude from 01:11 was Kurt, Madison’s ex-cum-stalker.
  • 09:27 – The brothers Winchester’s investigation of Kurt’s place seemed to come up empty aside from the vicious looking claw markings on the balcony.
  • 09:48 – Cut to policeman being growled at by something. We get the shot from the something’s point of view, but it’s all filtered and distorted. It’s distracting.
  • 09:50 – But the cops gunshot gets the boys attention.
  • 10:41 – Dean seems to have taken an immediate dislike to Madison’s neighbor, Glen. I think it’s due to his horrendous taste in t-shirts.
  • 11:12 – Kurt apparently owns a body shop. I assume it has to be some kind of money laundering front for him to be able to afford the nice apartment he lives in, especially as it’s in downtown San Francisco, an area not exactly renowned for its abundant cheap housing.
  • 11:35 – The boys raise their fists to settle things “the old-fashioned way” with a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Sam wins because Dean apparently always picks scissors. This seems like a suboptimal strategy on Dean’s part. Also, Jared Padalecki has distractingly large hands.
  • 12:15 – Sam seems oblivious to the fact that Madison is trying, albeit ineptly, to flirt with him.
  • 12:21 – In possibly the least subtle move ever, she just dumped out a laundry basket of all her “sexy” underwear on the table in front of Sam.
  • 13:12 – Seriously, those are enormous hands. It looks like he could palm a watermelon.
  • 13:59 – Something about the way Sam says “What a bitch!” talking to Madison about the soap opera they just watched made me laugh until I started coughing.
  • 15:25 – Apparently, a recent mugging meant that it was time for Madison to take control of her life. I sort of get whee that’s coming from but it seems an awfully odd inciting event.
  • 15:58 – Sam’s idea of a compliment to women: “You’re unusual.” He’s clearly smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy.
  • 16:31 – Dean’s tracked Kurt down to a strip club. One that’s playing bad Winger music. Naturally, Dean’s having a tough time obeying Sam’s imprecation not to take his eyes off of Kurt.
  • 18:16 – Well, Kurt’s not the werewolf. Madison is. Also, The Stooges on the soundtrack almost redeems the Winger from earlier. Almost.
  • 18:32 – My odd sense of humor strikes. The closed captioning reads: “[ROCK MUSIC ENDS]” and I laugh uproariously.
  • 18:51 – Dean does have a point. Sam was supposed to be keeping an eye on Madison, and he completely failed to notice her sneaking out. I get that the 1957 version of  3:10 to Yuma is a great film, but you were supposed to be guarding Madison from werewolves. Oh the irony in that.
  • 19:15 – Apparently Madison has no memory of leaving her bedroom and becoming a vicious heart-ripping creature of the night. She’s also now naked, having lost her pajamas at some point during said heart-ripping spree.
  • 19:35 – Sam of the huge hands locks the naked woman, who is also the victim of a stalker, in her apartment with a “I’m not going anywhere. And neither are you.” I can see no possible way this could be misinterpreted as a non-heroic act.
  • 19:58 – Madison: “I’m not a werewolf! There’s no such thing!” You can kind of see her point.
  • 20:54 – Looks like the brothers have some philosophical differences (I know, shocking) about approaches to dealing with Madison. Sam believes that she has no idea that she’s a werewolf and blacks out upon transmogrifying, “Like a really hot incredible hulk,” as Dean puts it. Dean, as usual, is more on the kill happy side of the argument.
  • 21:29 – Sam alluding to the demon-touched part of himself when he talks about Madison having an unknown monster inside of her is a nice little touch.
  • 21:54 – Apparently Daddy Winchester had a theory that you can cure a werewolf by killing whoever spawned them. It’s completely untested though.
  • 22:26 – Madison’s life-repairing mugging included being bitten, so the boys have a scrap of info to go on to discover her werewolf sire.
  • 24:58 – That “I’ll just be a bad memory” speech from Sam was oddly noble and rather poignant.
  • 25:32 – The nails growing transformation effect was pretty cool. The smash cuts to avoid showing more of Madison wolfing out rather less so. I imagine that’s due to budgetary constraints. If only they had had the foresight to cast an actual werewolf for the part.
  • 26:15 – The werewolf’s attack on the prostitute (as Sterling Archer has taught us, they’re only hookers when they’re dead) was really well done, great tension in the camera angles and the soundtrack. Plus Dean looks badass pumping the silver bullets into the werewolf. Judging by the t-shirt, I think it was Madison’s neighbor, Glen but I need to see more.
  • 26:22 – Yeah, it’s Glen.
  • 28:49 – Madison mentions something that had been bugging me a little bit for the past thirty-eight or so episodes. “You know, for a stake out, your car’s a bit conspicuous.” I feel like that Impala is fantastic enough that I can ignore it, though.
  • 31:05 – Looks like the killing Glen cure worked. Though there’s still a good nine minutes left, so it cant be over that easy.
  • 31:28 – Dean’s casual making himself scarce behavior is the most obviously forced thing ever.
  • 31:41 – Sam: “He means well.” Madison: “You mean, he thinks you’re gonna get laid.”
  • 32:31- This is the first time Sam’s gotten some since the whole Dead Jessica thing, right?
  • 33:50 – The cure was nothing of the kind. Madison’s just wolfed out.
  • 34:39 – Looks like all the “not killing Madison” options have been exhausted. I like the mention of calling Bobby and the boys other Hunter contacts to seek options out.
  • 34:50 – Sam calling Dean on his hypocrisy about being willing to kill Madison because a part of her is “evil,” but being unwilling to kill Sam even though he has the same connection to “evil” via his Ol’ Yellow Eyes granted psychic abilities.
  • 36:45 – Madison seems to accept that there’s no cure and be willing to sacrifice herself so that no one else gets killed. Sam is not taking that well.
  • 37:18 – She’s handing Sam the gun and telling him that she wants him to kill her. That’s rough.
  • 38:20 – “Silent Lucidity” is a great musical cue here.
  • 39:08 – Sam’s not going to let Dean take the shot because Madison asked Sam to do it.
  • 39:48 – Off-screen gunshot and cut to the credits. That’s just a brutal ending.

This was a mostly by-the-numbers filler episode up until Sam slept with Madison and she wolfed out again. Then it became something pretty special, and surprisingly emotional with a heck of a gut punch ending. The last parts of the episode from Madson deciding that she needed to die until we see Sam with tears just streaming down his face walk back into her apartment with the gun were just hard to watch. The writing was pretty deft, and it got me invested in Madison as a character pretty early on. I think some of that was that the boys didn’t have a whole lot of screen time together. It was either Dean of on his own or Sam & Madison together. Either way it worked really well.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #38 – “Roadkill”

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 2 Episode 16 – “Roadkill”

  • 00:51 – We open on a car driving around a slick road at night. I sense an Inevitable Teaser Death approaching.
  • 00:56 – Still, at least “House of the Rising Sun” is playing.
  • 01:22 – Hanging a lampshade on how hoary a cliche “men don’t ask for directions” is doesn’t excuse you for using that cliche, show.
  • 02:11 – Looks like this couple’s about to have an accident. She’s a Cylon, so she’ll likely be all right. As for him, look at the episode’s title…
  • 02:56 – A car crash seems rather prosaic and not a particularly Supernatural way to die.
  • 04:51 – This guy’s fade into a corpse/spirit face is a nicely grotesque piece of effects work.
  • 05:29 – Having the woman from the teaser (Molly) run out in the road in front of the Impala is a very efficient way for getting the boys on the scene straight away.
  • 06:06 – Judging by Dean’s question, the boys were already hunting for the spirit Molly stumbled over at 04:51.
  • 07:11 – Ooh, mystery. Molly’s car is no longer there. That seems unlikely, to say the least…
  • 07:53 – While Dean’s offer to take Molly to the police station, doesn’t the tiny little fact that he’s Wanted For Murder kind of preclude that from being an option?
  • 08:43 – If the last thing you said to him was “jerk,” I hope the last thing he said to you was “bitch.” There’s a strict protocol here when it comes to those insults.
  • 08:58 – And we get a reprise of “House of the Rising Sun” from the Impala’s radio out of nowhere.
  • 09:22 – Though the disembodied “she’s mine” is significantly higher on the creep scale.
  • 09:42 – Dean just revved the Impala up and rammed it through the spirit that was standing in the road. Molly is completely freaked out about this. Kind of understandable really.
  • 10:47 – And her reaction to being exposed to the trunk based arsenal is to back away from the brothers, freaking the heck out. They do kind of give off a slightly off-kilter vibe towards strangers.
  • 11:14 – Deans matter-of fact answer of “Ghosts.” When Molly asks what they’re hunting doesn’t improve her opinion of the boys or the sanity level thereof…
  • 11:42 – So the spirit we’ve encountered is a dead farmer named Jonah. Molly’s still not buying the boys’ story.
  • 12:34 – For some reason Jonah’s fixated on Molly. Mostly because he hates toasters.
  • 14:20 – I think that’s the first time someone’s explicitly compared the boys to Ghostbusters. Though, far from the first in show reference.
  • 15:04 – seems to be an ethereal voice on the wind calling for Molly. She thinks it’s her husband. I think it might be angry Jonah.
  • 15:18 – It was angry Jonah. He got the simplest possible reply. A shotgun blast of rock salt to the face.
  • 16:16 – Dean: “Just once I’d like to round the corner and see a nice house.” It’s funny because they have dealt with some pretty dilapidated hovels, shacks etc.
  • 19:40 – Seems like angry Jonah was actually a pretty nice guy when he was alive.
  • 20:00 – Sam has sympathy for the more unfinished business type ghosts or spirits. Somehow, I doubt that’s a quirk that his brother or father share.
  • 20:08 – Dean confirms that and compares Sam to Jennifer Love Hewitt into the bargain.
  • 21:29 – They’ve found the remains of Jonah’s wife, who hung herself. Explains the house’s old lady smell quite well.
  • 22:47 – This discussion raises a good point. What does happen to these spirits and such after they’ve been put to rest?
  • 23:25 – The boys are shooting Molly some very strange glances.
  • 24:14 – The brothers know something about Molly’s husband that they aren’t sharing. That might explain those furtive glances.
  • 25:32 – Awkward moment about the boys keeping secrets from Molly is defused by “House of the Rising Sun” playing on the radio. The unplugged radio…
  • 26:11 – And angry Jonah grabs Molly in what was (for me, at least) a genuine jump-scare moment.
  • 26:32 – The flashlights, fog and woods make these scene feel very reminiscent of early X-Files, back when that show was shot in Vancouver.
  • 27:20 – I think Dean calling Sam “a walking encyclopedia of weirdness” is a compliment, even if not meant as one.
  • 28:04 – The sound effects as Jonah starts slicing into Molly’s neck with his fingernails are really, really gross.
  • 28:44 – That facial fade to rock salt gunshot elimination was a really good effect, especially for seven year old TV CGI.
  • 29:09 – Dig faster, Sam Things aren’t going well for Dean or Molly right now.
  • 30:03 – One salt’n’burn special complete, and angry Jonah is history. Now, I hope we’ll find out what the boys are keeping from Molly.
  • 30:50 – Molly thinks that Jonah killed her husband. Judging by Sam’s body language that wasn’t the secret that the boys were keeping from her.
  • 31:10 – Apparently, Molly’s husband is alive.
  • 32:38 – But she’s not! The accident that killed Jonah fifteen years ago was the one we saw in the teaser. Molly didn’t survive it but her husband did, making my 02:11 comment spectacularly wrong.
  • 33:37 – Nice montage of the boys researching Molly & Jonah’s stories.
  • 35:55 – Molly calling out the boys for using her as bait.
  • 38:07 – Molly’s unfinished business is now finished, and her spirit should be able to move on.

This was a weird one. It was a really good, self-contained story, and I didn’t see the twist coming. It just didn’t really feel like a Supernatural episode to me. Instead it felt much more like a one off episode of an anthology series like The Outer Limits or , especially The Twilight Zone, just one that happened to feature Sam and Dean. Some of that was the presence of Molly throughout helped them get out a lot of exposition about hunting, ghosts, bone burning, salt and other show staples. A lot of it is that the story is completely self-contained and doesn’t really impact anything else within the universe of the show. It almost feels like an audition or spec script. I know that’s not the case as Raelle Tucker’s written a handful of earlier episodes.

Ironically, despite not feeling like an episode of Supernatural to me, I feel like it would be a good episode to introduce new viewers to the show, primarily due to the exposition mentioned above.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #37 – “Tall Tales”

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 2 Episode 15 – “Tall Tales”

  • 00:41 – The previouslies all seem to be made up of the boys slinging insults at each other. I approve.
  • 01:13 – The teaser starts with a professor and a female student who’s wearing white (or at least whitish). Given the show’s usual tropes, I assume he’s the Inevitable Teaser Death and she’s the villain of the piece.
  • 02:24 – This professor is incredibly bad at reading social cues.
  • 03:49 – Judging by the weird transformation that’s happening to the student’s face, my 01:13 prediction is about to come to pass.
  • 04:29 – Professor be dead, yo.
  • 05:24 – Looks like it’s one of the episodes (like the prank war one) where the boys are going to be jerks to each other. I’m already grinning in antici…pation.
  • 06:18 – It’s Bobby! And in my head I hear the Seinfeld audience cheering like Kramer just burst into Jerry’s apartment.
  • 07:08 – So we’re going to be flashbacks as the brothers tell the story so far to Bobby. Simple structural device. I like it. Though I’m surprised Sam’s taking the lead narrator role. That just seems more of a Dean thing to do.
  • 07:38 – Looks like we’re gonna be dealing with urban legends.
  • 08:38 – Dean’s apparently slamming back shots of something called purple nurples. I suddenly suspect we’re going to be getting our Rashomon on with Sam & Dean’s versions of events being a little different from each other, like the old X-Files episode with Luke Wilson.
  • 08:59 – Dean’s floozy, Starla, is a mess.
  • 09:27 – Dean objects to Sam’s portrayal of him so far with a “Whoa, that’s not how it happened.”
  • 09:49 – In Dean’s telling, he’s significantly more sober and ‘Starla’ (who is now unnamed) seems to be considerably classier. They’re still slugging back purple nurples though.
  • 10:19 – Dean’s got quite the ego about what the ladies think of him. Kind of curious about how Sam’s going to come across in Dean’s view.
  • 10:59 – Apparently as shrewish and channeling Alex Lifeson’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction speech.
  • 12:38 – Back to Sam’s version. Apparently the Janitor is Mr. Exposition this time. And Dean is cramming so much food into his mouth that he’s unintelligible. This is fun.
  • 13:01 – Apparently the professor had a problem keeping it in his pants.
  • 13:16 – A big flaw with the campus’ “room 669” urban legend. There is no room 669, nor indeed a 6th floor of any kind.
  • 14:04 – In this version, Dean screwed up Sam’s computer after browsing “bustyasianbeauties.com,” which is not a real website (the research I do for these blogs is harrowing.)
  • 15:37 – The skeptical frat boy who dismissed the urban legend earlier seems to have just gotten abducted by aliens. Knowing this show, there’s going to be a lot of anal probe type jokes coming soon.
  • 15:44 – Bobby doesn’t believe the alien thing.
  • 17:23 – And we just got a whole bunch of probing comments.
  • 17:45 – Frat boy says that wasn’t the worst thing and Dean voices my thought: “How could it get any worse? Some alien made you his bitch!”
  • 18:01 – Cutting to frat boy and little grey alien slow dancing to “Lady in Red” made my laugh so hard I started choking on my Diet Coke. Incidentally, that song seems a lot less sincere since de Burgh cheated on the woman it was about with a 19 year old Irish nanny.
  • 18:44 – There’s actually evidence of the alien abduction.
  • 19:33 – Okay, the way super sensitive Sam’s coming on to the abductees housemate, this has to be Dean’s version of events. It’s weirdly reminiscent of Sybok.
  • 20:36 – Dean finds a connection between the victims so far: “They’re both dicks.”
  • 21:28 – “It’s not food anymore! It’s Darwinism!” is a line I’m going to have to try and use in everyday conversation.
  • 21:53 – Bobby just doesn’t have time for the boys crap, and I can’t see I blame him.
  • 22:26 – A guy staring at a drain immediately leads me to start saying “we all float down here, Georgie.
  • 23:24 – This scene of the boys breaking in is really well shot.
  • 24:38 – Looks like drain staring guy’s cause of death was just your everyday sewer alligator.
  • 25:51 – Someone looks to have been messing with the Impala. Dean’s not happy. He becomes even less happy when he discovers a money clip with “S.W.” engraved on it next to the car. Oh, now he mad.
  • 26:38 – And now the boys frustration has boiled over into a physical fight. A semi-childish wrestle-fight, but a fight nonetheless.
  • 26:58 – Bobby’s figured out what’s going on. Good for Bobby.
  • 27:15 – It’s a Trickster, apparently.
  • 27:51 – And Tricksters are like demigods. Bobby name checks Loki and Anansi.
  • 28:36 – Turns out that the Janitor that’s been flitting around in the background is the Trickster and he’s been using Weekly World News as the inspirations for his pranks. If he had used the British equivalent, The Sunday Sport as inspiration, this episode would have featured a whole lot of female nudity. Good thing we dodged that bullet.
  • 29:13 – The Trickster is indulging his appetites with a huge amount of food and two women in scanty clothing, one blonde, one brunette.
  • 31:24 – That’s our boys. Still fightin’ all over the world.
  • 33:09 – Always nice to hear a bit of Barry White.
  • 33:57 – Two women in their underway and a big round bed does seem like almost the perfect trap for Dean. It’d be teh perfect trap if the bed also had “Magic Fingers” available.
  • 34:20 – It’s not a trap. It’s a bribe to get Dean to leave the Trickster alone.
  • 35:32 – Okay 31:24 was a fake fight to make sure the Trickster let his guard down so that Sam & Bobby could act as reinforcements. Also, the actor playing the Trickster is having a great time doing so. He’s really familiar too, but I cannot place where I’ve seen him.
  • 35:55 – Trickster’s response? Conjure up Leatherface to attack Sam.
  • 36:20 – There’s something innately hilarious about Dean getting beaten up by lingerie clad women.
  • 36:51 – And Dean manages to stake the Trickster after catching a pretty solid stake throw by Sam. The boys are co-operating again!
  • 38:27 – Apparently the “Trickster” that got staked was also an illusion. The real Trickster is still around. I’m guessing this means they might use him again some day.

Hilarious. It’s been a while since the show did a truly comedic episode and even longer since it did a good one. This one comes out in full force and is pretty great. I’m still laughing at the “Lady in Red” visual with the tiny alien. The Rashomon approach for most of the first act is also a technique I’ve greatly enjoyed. Bobby’s turn as the exasperated straight man in the motel room held the whole thing together.

With a comedy episode, there’s not a lot of analysis I can really do. Just ask if it was funny. This was, ergo it was a good episode.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #36 – “Born Under a Bad Sign”

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 2 Episode 14 – “Born Under a Bad Sign”

  • 00:59 – After the previouslies, which featured a lot of recurring characters, the episode starts with Dean looking for Sam, who’s “Just gone.”
  • 01:21 – Sam’s looking confused, and seems to be covered in blood. I think I like where this episode is going already.
  • 02:08 – Sam: “I don’t think it’s my blood.” That’s not really reassuring.
  • 02:16 – And Sam is all amnesiac.
  • 02:40 – Even without Dean’s influence, Sam still uses a guitar player as his hotel alias. In this case, “Richard Sambora” of Bon Jovi fame.
  • 02:41 – Dean, you do not diss the ‘Jovi. (Offer not valid for any material produced after 1996.
  • 03:10 – Sam worried that his lack of memory and being covered in blood might be part of Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ plan for him. To be fair, you can kind of see how he might reach such a conclusion.
  • 04:19 – Sam apparently suffers from that very specific strain of amnesia that doctors commonly acknowledge as being the worst of all “TV plot convenient.” Symptoms include being drawn to places that are somehow familiar despite not remembering how or why they’re familiar, terrible hair, itching, vertigo, dizziness, tingling in extremities, loss of balance or coordination, slurred speech, temporary blindness, profuse sweating, heart palpitations and, of course, anal seepage.
  • 04:58 – Dean: drives a classic Impala. Sam: steals a rusted out old school Volkswagen Beetle – the Hitler car! More proff that Dean’s just better.
  • 05:21 – There’s a big bloody knife on the backseat of the beetle. Here, I’m using “bloody” in its literal meaning, not its Limey slang one.
  • 05:37 – Dean finds the Menthol cigarettes in the car more disturbing than the blood-covered knife. I think that says a lot about the protagonists of this show.
  • 06:32 – Kind of love that Dean can’t wrap his brain around a drunken Sam chugging a 40 and then slinging it at the gas station counter monkey’s head.
  • 07:21 – Judging by the store clerk’s testimony, Sam Winchester goes on semi-epic benders.
  • 07:59 – Dean reckons that something has to have been going on with sam because his antics sound far more like Dean things to do than Sam things to do.
  • 09:32 – The owner of this house is either a Hunter or a complete whackjob, but then I repeat myself.
  • 10:08 – Make that was. the owner is very, very dead. Slashed throat. Sam thinks he might have been the slasher. In my head I get the mental image of Maury Povich saying “Sam Winchester, the DNA results are in and you are the slasher!” Apparently daytime TV in my head is kind of dark.
  • 10:44 – That’s a lot of guns.Dude was definitely a Hunter. Thankfully he wasn’t a Hearst Helmsley.
  • 11:14 – Security camera footage confirms that Sam both has pretty sweet ninja moves and murdered this Hunter.
  • 12:23 – Dean’s sanitizing the crime scene, based on the idea that Hunters protect their own. Sam’s wallowing in guilt. I’m assuming that Sam wouldn’t just kill an innocent man, which means something sinister is at work here. Could it be residual orders from the spiritual awakening he had last episode? Could it have been a shapeshifter? Or worst of all, a mandroid?
  • 14:05 – For the last few weeks, Sam has been overcome by hate and rage. I wonder if he’ll get a bucket of pig’s blood dumped over him at prom?
  • 14:55 – Sam guilt-tripping his brother about the promise that Dean made to Daddy Winchester, and to Sam that Dean would kill Sam if Sam turned to evil.
  • 15:13 – And now Sam’s handing Dean a gun to do the dirty deed with.
  • 16:07 – Dean won’t do it, as he still believes in his little brother. It’s rather sweet, in an incredibly screwed up way. Which kind of describes the brothers relationship in a nutshell.
  • 16:38 – And Sam repays Dean’s little display of compassion by pistol-whipping him into unconsciousness.
  • 17:09 – After we return from the commercial fade to black (at least I assume it was a commercial when aired) with the hotel manager, who looks a bit like a young Stephen King, irate at Dean because he passed his checkout time whilst laying sprawled out on the floor, unconscious. Kids, this is why you should always pay for the extended checkout when you smuggle a bottle or two of tequila in with you.
  • 17:39 – Sam stole the Impala? That’s unconscionable. Far worse than murdering the Hunter guy.
  • 18:01 – Justin Timberlake really is quite the triple threat.And Dean pretending to be a distraught father looking for the diabetic son that snuck out is a pretty ingenious cover story.
  • 18:56 – It’s Jo! And she’s escaped the road house just to assist in a bar in Duluth, Minnesota. Seems like a lateral move.
  • 20:01 – Sam as an odd burn on his arm. He’s saying it’s from a stove, but it looked almost runic to me.
  • 20:36 – Sam arguing with Jo that he’s his own man and not Daddy Winchester. This seems like a very convoluted way for Sam to hook up.
  • 20:58 – Apparently Jo still has a thing for the other Winchester brother.
  • 21:46 – Might want to dial down the intensity there several hundred thousand notches there, Sam.
  • 22:05 – Okay, that clearly can’t be Sam in control of his faculties. There’s no way in hell that this show would portray one of its stars as a would be rapist.
  • 22:57 – How do you make an uncomfortable scene with very obvious rapey implications even more creepy? Play The Doors’ “Crystal Ship” over it. This is actually hard to watch. It’s probably as close to the edge as a network tv show in 2007 coul go.
  • 23:46 – And because the show just can’t get enough of them, now Sam’s bringing up Jo’s set of Daddy Issues. In case you couldn’t tell, Sam’s been a complete and utter dick since 16:38. And Padalecki is playing it to the hilt. No piece of scenery will remain unchewed.
  • 24:58 – Sam’s claiming that Daddy Winchester mercy killed Jo’s dad after a trap for a hell spawn went awry. How could he possibly know that?
  • 25:50 – Dean still can’t shoot Sam, even in a “kill me or I’ll kill her” scenario. Not surprising, but I imagine that Jo is feeling supremely pissed off about that particular character dynamic.
  • 26:04 – Sam’s been possessed by a demon! The episode’s starting to make sense now.
  • 26:09 – Close captioning: “[GROANS DEMONICALLY].” That’s pretty direct.
  • 26:13 – I like Jo, and I’m kind of disappointed by the fact that she’s only in this episode to be a damsel in distress. She has more agency than that if you ask me.
  • 27:13 – Dean’s right, Demon!Sam did have a lot of opportunities to kill Dean, and it took none of them. I’m assuming the possessor is more on the sadistic manipulator side of the demonic spectrum, much like Congress.
  • 27:49 – And the demon’s intent is to kill all the Hunters, starting off with Dean.
  • 28:57 – Sam just shot Dean, who fell off a dock into a body of water. I’ve read enough comic books to know that if there’s no visible body, dude ain’t dead.
  • 30:12 – Jo has tracked down Dean, dragged him out of the water and appears to be doing some first aid-y thing on his gunshot wound. I retract my complete from 26:13 and am duly flagellating my past self.
  • 31:34 – Despite all that, Dean won’t let Jo accompany him. Doesn’t want her getting hurt, which is about 15% noble, 80% condescending and 5% processed cheese product.
  • 32:21 – Sam’s cutting the phone lines at whichever Hunter’s house he’s at. My reaction was “why would a hunter even have a landline? Wouldn’t they use burner phones to avoid being tracked?” But I don’t know how much of that is the subconscious Burn Notice associations I have with Jo’s actress.
  • 32:40 – The targeted hunter is Bobby, who we’ve seen twice before, when the boys were at their lowest points battling with Ol’ Yellow Eyes.
  • 33:35 – Bobby spikes his beer with holy water in case any of his visitors are demon-possessed. That’s freaking awesome! It’s also a level of preparedness that even Batman might find a little over the top. I like Bobby. He also just knocked out Demon!Sam
  • 34:11 – Bobby now has Demon!Sam tied to a chair and within a Devil’s Trap. Dean’s managed to arrive in the interim.
  • 34:51 – Exorcism time.
  • 35:20 – Dean says he’ll kill every single demon before he’ll let one of them get Sam. Demon!Sam just laughs. Or as the closed captioning would have it, he just “[LAUGH DEMONICALLY].”
  • 35:34 – The exorcism ritual isn’t working. Bit of a dap squib, that.
  • 36:07 – That weird semi runic burn on Sam’s arm (mentioned back at 20:01) is some kind of way of locking the demon in Sam’s body. Easy solution to that is to take the Ash Williams approach and lop the arm off, maybe graft a chainsaw in its place.
  • 36:24 – Demon!sam just did some kind of funky spell thing that cracked the ceiling and busted up the devil’s trap. Bobby and Dean should have gone with my amputation plan, and faster.
  • 36:56 – Apparently Hell is kind of a crappy place. Who would have guessed that?
  • 37:07 – And apparently the demon inside of Sam used to be the one that was possessing Meg for much of last season.
  • 37:21 – The demon claims to have seen Daddy Winchester in Hell. It’s not exactly a reliable witness though.
  • 37:59 – Bobby just burned the runic thing off of Sam’s arm with a red hot iron poker. This causes the demon to leave Sam in the usual cloud of black smoke way and escaped via the chimney. At least Sam’s back to himself.
  • 39:32 – Bobby’s warning the boys that the murdered Hunter’s friends are likely to come after them if they find out Sam’s the murderer. That just gives the boys a third group to avoid after police and federal agents.
  • 39:47 – And Bobby has helpfully supplied the brothers with anti-possession charms. I imagine they’ll go missing at plot convenient times.
  • 41:45 – Dean, on Sam’s possession: “Dude, you like, full-on had a girl inside you for like a whole week. That’s pretty naughty.” I chuckled.

Okay, this was pretty freaking great. I’m not surprised they did a “one of the brothers turned evil!” episode. Honestly, I’m surprised it took them this long to go to that well. The premise might be cliche, but the execution was great, and tying it in to the ongoing story line by making the cause be possession by the Meg demon was a great choice. As I mentioned in the notes, Jared Padalecki (and I probably spelled his surname wrong, but it’s 2:30AM and I’m not in the mood to check) is clearly having a ball playing evil, and he does it really well. It was nice to see Bobby & Jo again, and show the resourcefulness of characters who aren’t our lead twosome. The scene with Demon!Sam and a bound Jo were pretty brutal to watch, despite being 90% implication and only 10% explicit nastiness.

This episode also had a surprisingly low death count for a demon episode, with only the poor one poor Hunter buying the farm. This was great, and makes me eager to barrel towards the season finale and see if any of the stuff mentioned pays off, as well as if the demon was lying about Daddy Winchester in general.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #35 – “Houses of the Holy”

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 2 Episode 13 – “Houses of the Holy”

  • 00:16 – I’m immediately disconcerted by the lack of a previously/The Road So Far section. Instead, we’re treated to a woman smoking a cigarette and listening to something offscreen. Since the woman isn’t wearing white, I’ll assume sshe’s the Inevitable Teaser Death rather than a malevolent presence of some kind.
  • 00:39 – Televangelists seem like an easy target. Still 98% of them deserve to be mocked.
  • 01:04 – And this televangelist has the power to override remote controls.
  • 01:43 – Apparently the “glory of the Lord” just manifested as a white light (I’m guessing that it’s not actually glorious or Lordly. It’s pale enough that it might be Lorde.) Also, the woman didn’t die, so this episode is bereft of both previouslies and an Inevitable Teaser Death. It’s left me rather discombobulated.
  • 02:15 – Sam’s pretending to be a psychiatric nurse, and is interviewing the teaser lady about what she saw.
  • 03:03 – Apparently that “glory of the Lord” told teaser lady to go kill someone on God’s behalf, so she did. Seems to be a little bit against the spirit of Exodus 20:13 if you ask me.
  • 03:18 – Teaser lady thinks the white glow cloud presence was an angel. All hail the glow cloud.
  • 04:27 – And from the serious spiritual murder conversation, we cut to Dean on a vibrating bed listening to Nazareth (at least on the Netflix version, his phone claims that it’s “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin but it very clearly isn’t.
  • 04:57 – Dean apparently has a “Magic Fingers” addiction.
  • 05:03 – Sam points out that Dean kinda needs to stay hidden since he was just broadcast robbing a bank on the news.
  • 05:37 – Dean making a crack about how teaser lady was Touched by an Angel, which makes me feel better about my link at 03:18.
  • 06:13 – Apparently teaser lady wasn’t the first person in the neighborhood to kill because an angel who hasn’t read Deuteronomy 5:17 told them to…
  • 06:24 – Dean being skeptical about angels considering all the other stuff they’ve seen seems very arbitrary.
  • 06:36 – Though unicorns riding on silver moonbeams shooting rainbows out of their ass is a memorable mental image.
  • 07:24 – I do buy into Deans “demon or spirit” theory, but I feel it would be a little disappointing if angels didn’t exist in the Supernatural Universe.
  • 08:24 – Teaser lady’s murder victim has an extremely tacky angel decoration on the porch.
  • 09:22 – Ah, semi-creepy subterranean rooms. Where would this show be without them?
  • 10:39 – And murder victim has a literal skeleton buried in his backyard. I suppose the villain of this piece could be DC Comics’ The Spectre.
  • 10:57 – And speaking of comics, this new random dude appears to be perusing one entitled Theses vs. Cannabal.
  • 11:40 – And he’s being visited by the same glow cloud spirit thing as teaser lady. All hail the glow cloud.
  • 12:38 – new random dude is named Zach and he just straight up stabbed someone under the influence of the glow cloud. All hail the glow cloud.
  • 12:46 – And another angel decoration. This one’s a statue.
  • 13:16 – Dean’s first concern when Sam (who’s no longer wearing his cast. Just realized that.) returns to the hotel room? “Did you bring quarters?” for the Magic Fingers, of course.
  • 14:15 – Ah, casually heroic breaking & entering. Investigative tool par excellence.
  • 15:00 – How did Sam get his password that easily? Bugs me so much.
  • 15:21 – Stabbed guy has a thing going with a 13 year old girl.
  • 15:37 – “I guess if you’re gonna stab someone, good timing.”
  • 16:18 – Both murder victims we’ve seen belong to the same church, and because it’s this episode, the church is called “Our Lady of the Angels.”
  • 17:29 – Time for some angel-related exposition from a priest!
  • 18:11 – And our first direct scriptural quote of the episode is Luke 2:9. Good thematic choice.
  • 18:42 – And the prior priest here, Father Gregory died a couple of months ago. I think we have a candidate for the true identity of the glow cloud. All hail the glow cloud.
  • 19:46 – Sam would be an upgrade from Pat Robertson on the 700 Club. Heck, Sam’s hair would be un upgrade from Pat Robertson.
  • 19:55 – Sam prays daily. This does not surprise me. It definitely surprises cynical ol’ Dean though.
  • 20:45 – We have a moving angel statue. Don’t blink!
  • 20:58 – And now the glow cloud has appeared to Sam. All hail the glow cloud.
  • 21:33 – Dean immediately figures out that Sam encountered the “angel.”
  • 22:06 – Dean’s reaction to Sam’s claims is perfect: “Okay ecstasy boy, let’s get you some glow sticks and a nice Dr. Seuss hat, huh?”
  • 22:55 – Throwing Sam’s weird demon heritage destiny thing at him in response to these angel claims is a dick move, Dean. It’s also the right well to go to.
  • 23:42 – Dean’s clearly wrong here. There clearly is a higher power.
  • 24:25 – That wormwood is pretty compelling evidence for Father Gregory being the identity of the glow cloud. All Hail The Glow Cloud.
  • 24:53 – And Dean’s method to prove it’s Father Gregory is to go a-summoning.
  • 25:45 – Sam’s getting another visitation from the glow cloud. All hail the glow cloud. I’m guessing this is to indicate Sam’s potential victim.
  • 26:41 – Dean locking Sam out of that beautiful Impala to do the seance while Dean follows the potentially evil guy highlighted by the glow cloud. All hail the glow cloud.
  • 26:55 – Low speed car chases! Supernatural – taste the excitement.
  • 28:25 – Sam now has to explain why he’s performing a seance ritual in a church to a priest. Shouldn’t be too awkward.
  • 29:00 – Sam’s voice practically dripping with disappointment that there’s no angel, as Father Gregory’s spirit just showed up.
  • 31:19 – Now we have a pretty good dialog between an old priest and a young priest. How very exorcist.
  • 32:27 – Finally someone quotes “Thou shalt not kill.” I thought it might show up somewhat earlier in the episode.
  • 32:46 – And it seems like the person that was marked out to be Sam’s victim might just be a wannabe rapist.
  • 33:23 – Dean just beat the guy up and kinda-sorta rescued the woman.
  • 34:17 – Father Gregory is getting his Last Rites. I’m not Catholic, so I have no idea how accurate the ceremony is, but it’s put his spirit to rest.
  • 36:39 – Richard T. Rapist, Esquire just got impaled through the heart by a pipe falling off a truck as he tried to pull through an intersection. Is that ironic?
  • 40:21 – And we end with Sam’s faith shaken, Dean’s perhaps beginning to be rediscovered and Bob Dylan singing Knocking on Heaven’s Door” on the soundtrack.

I’m not completely sure how I feel about this episode. While I am, in general a complete sucker for religious themes the conflict between Sam’s faith and Dean’s lack thereof seemed very pat and led to a predictable arc for them both. That said, the final scene between the two of them was magnificently acted and a great encapsulation of what belief can mean to both of them. The other really good scene was the brief interaction between the two priests. It seems odd that the quiet scenes were the ones that held my attention whereas the brief spooky scenes or action scenes just didn’t have the same spark. In conclusion, all hail the glow cloud.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #34 – “Nightshifter”

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 2 Episode 12 – “Nightshifter”

  • 00:22 – Lots of references to the previous shapeshifter episode in the previously bits. Given that and the title, I’m guessing this episode will feature a shifter also.
  • 00:37 – And the show interrupts itself with a fake breaking news story, a technique that I imagine worked far better live than it does here on Netflix.
  • 01:15 – Weirdly, it looks like Dean is robbing the bank within this Faux News Channel segment. I assume that either Dean or the man he’s holding the gun on is in fact the shapeshifter. Given that, it seems we’re missing the meat of the episode. A shiny new nickel says we’ll see a “24 hours earlier” caption after the Supernatural title sequence (such as it is.)
  • 01:38 – “One Day Ago” is close enough that I’m keeping my shiny new nickel.
  • 01:43 – Dean’s using his fake FBI cover to hit on this woman…
  • 02:47 – This Exposition Guy seems distinctly uncomfortable talking to the FBI, even the fake Winchester branch of the FBI. He’s definitely guilty of something beyond wearing a bad suit.
  • 03:09 – And now Dean’s interviewee is hitting on him. She’s a woman wearing a white top, so as per the language of the show she’s either going to turn up covered in blood or be a malicious force for evil.
  • 04:46 – This Ronald Resnick character is coming across as the poor man’s poor man’s Patton Oswalt.
  • 05:10 – Resnick makes Fox Mulder and all three Lone Gunmen look like sane, rational well-balanced individuals. Possibly even makes me look normal.
  • 05:49 – And judging by the cover of that Fortean Times he’s holding, Resnick believes these robberies were committed by Cybermen of Doctor Who fame.
  • 08:04 – “Mandroid” is redundant – Android already means a robotic creature in the form of a male humanoid. A female version would be a gynoid. See what I mean at 05:10 about making me look normal?
  • 06:43 – The laser eyes were a compelling point for this android theory.
  • 07:09 – Ronald is so gonna be killed by the shapeshifter, and his last word will be “Mandroid.” Calling it now.
  • 07:59 – Sam does an uncannily good impression of The Man as a fake FBI agent, even if his eternally terrible hair is not Quantico Academy approved.
  • 08:32 – Dean finds Sam’s Fed accuracy as creepy as I do. Good.
  • 09:12 – Dean still a little bit bitter about being framed for murder by the last shapeshifter we sw.
  • 10:28 – Thrill to the tedium of watching security camera footage! Without even popcorn for sustenance.
  • 10:54 – Dean can be such a lech. Zooming in on some poor bank teller’s butt. Can’t even tell if it’s a nice butt considering how formless the uniform is.
  • 11:11 – Shifter spotted, apparently. Seems awful early in the episode for that.
  • 11:23 – Which probably explains why crazy Ronald just showed up to throw a spanner in the works.
  • 11:44 – That’s a pretty damned serious gun for not robbing the bank, Ronald.
  • 11:52 – Ron: “Get down! Everybody on the floor!” Me: “Everybody walk the dinosaur!”
  • 12:45 – Deans aside glance to Sam immediately after Ronald yells about not liking the latter is full of win.
  • 13:09 – Of course Dean has a knife hidden about his person.
  • 14:40 – Dean (to Ronald): “You’re not crazy. there really is something inside this bank.” He’s half right.
  • 15:49 – Random woman trapped in a vault with Sam and the other hostages has a crush on one of the Winchesters. Unfortunately for Sam, it ain’t him.
  • 16:13 – Crazy Ronald just slipped on a weird looking thing that it took me a moment to realize was the shapeshifter’s shodden skin.
  • 16:33 – And now they no longer know who the shifter is. Good, that slight unease and paranoia is a totally necessary component to most of the best shapeshifter stories.
  • 17:28 – An entire SWAT team responding to a bank robbery makes sense when you consider that the “robber (Crazy Ronald) is packing some serious hardware.
  • 19:12 – Ron really wasn’t a Smooth Criminal at all. Dean’s right about that. And if you didn’t guess what that link led to, then shame on you.
  • 19:43 – I think slightly crazed woman with the Dean crush is probably the shifter.Otherwise focusing on her again here doesn’t make sense.
  • 20:48 – Sam pointing out that even if they do take care of the shifter, the boys are going to have a problem sneaking out of the building and past the SWAT team considering how Dean is wanted for being framed as a serial killer.
  • 21:31 – “Ron’s plan was a bit of a bad plan. It was a crazy plan. Right now, crazy’s the only game in town.” Understatement, thy name is Dean Winchester
  • 23:18 – Ronald is singularly inept at dealing with the calling hostage negotiators. Also, old & wheezy security guard is clearly up to something nefarious.
  • 24:34 – I’m pretty sure a dead body in the ceiling tiles is de rigeur in most bank branches. Especially Bank of America ones.
  • 24:49 – Old & wheezy isn’t up to something, but it seems that the guy lobbying for him is a different, shifter, story.
  • 25:51 – Crazy Ronald didn’t stick to the shadows and just got a bullet through the back courtesy of the SWAT guys.
  • 25:55 – I like the silence aftermath. Reminds me of when 24 used to do the silent clock for important character deaths.
  • 27:20 – Now Dean has Ronald’s big-ass gun. Ho ho ho.
  • 27:56 – We’ve arrived at the news report moment (01:15) from the teaser. And I was spectacularly wrong, as neither Dean nor the security guard are the shifter.
  • 28:36 – Shifter shed his/her skin again. I think the last one took a whole lot longer to switch it up.I guess that’s because they want this as more of an action episode and the last shifter episode was more suspense focused. Not sure what the in-universe justification might be though.
  • 29:06 – Now the real FBI have shown up.
  • 29:27 – And of course, the lead FBI agent is a headstrong jerk.
  • 31:03 – Special Agent Jerkwad just won himself some major kudos for describing Sam as “the Bonnie to [Dean’s] Clyde.”
  • 31:18 – FBI guy mentions about Dean’s Baltimore escape as well as the alleged St Louis serial killin’. Also, if Dean does go down for that Sarah Koenig has a much more interesting season for her podcast.
  • 31:34 – Oh goody! Daddy Issues strike! just what the show was lacking…
  • 32:59 – Looks like Dean crush girl really is the shifter, though I can’t figure out when it had time to pull the kill and replace move. Either there’s two shifters or that’s not her corpse they just found.
  • 34:00 – And Dean crush girl just fainted at the sight of her corpse. I can’t blame her. Not sure where the shifter is now, though.
  • 34:54 – Oh, nice twist show. The corpse was the shapeshifter. I had no idea. Though it’s a woman wearing white, so I should have guessed evil intent.
  • 37:08 – For a network show, this is some pretty solid melee fighting. Not too many shows would have their male lead headbutt a woman as a pragmatic fighting move.
  • 37:34 – Shifter’s dead. Now they only have to worry about all the SWAT troopers storming the place at Special Agent Jerkwad’s request.
  • 39:11 – I’ll let the show get away with the cliched “beat up the SWAT team and steal their uniforms to sneak out escape” for two reasons: 1. This was a pretty rollicking episode and 2. Playing the intro to Styx’s “Renegade” over said escape is just remarkably cheeky.

I think I already said everything I needed to about this episode. As you might imagine from the description of it as “rollicking” above, I liked this one a lot. At first I was worried that Crazy Ronald would be as boring and one note as the dorktastic duo from the Hell House episode, but his brand of crazy was more endearing. Also, being killed halfway through the episode means he didn’t outstay his welcome. The claustrophobia of the bank as a location for the majority of the episode also helped up the primal fear factor of the shapeshifter being literally any one of us. There’s a reason that “the call is coming from inside the house!” has become a horror cliche, and that’s because it’s an effective paranoia and suspense generator. This episode played on that, but with considerably more artifice.

Plus, I like returning or repeating villain species as they do help give the world a more lived in, realistic feel. Though I still kind of want to know how this shapeshifter managed to do it thing so much faster than the last one.