Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #31 – “Croatoan”

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 09 – “Croatoan”

  • 01:03 – First shot of the teaser isn’t an Inevitable Teaser Death, it’s Dean. We’re also getting the TV semi-slow motion that’s universal code from “dream,” so I’m guessing that we’ll be getting the teaser in glorious technicolor Sam-o-Vision.
  • 1:57 – The Inevitable Teaser Death comes with Dean killing a man who’s protesting “It’s not in me.” I assume demonic possession will be involved when we get there.
  • 2:00 – Yep, glorious technicolor Sam-o-Vision confirmed.
  • 04:24 – Dean introduces the brothers as Billy Gibbons & Frank Beard. I only assume that the role of Dusty Hill would have been played by Daddy Winchester.
  • 5:24 – Judging by that slightly shifty look, Sarge is up to something.
  • 05:42 – And we have the episode title drop. “Croatoan” is carved into a tree, just like at the lost Roanoke colony. I guess I know what inspired the writers of this episode. Somehow, I doubt this episode ends with Sam & Dean interbreeding with a Native American tribe.
  • 06:48 – I’m surprised how easily Dean acquiesced to Sam’s suggestion of getting help. I’m even more surprised that I didn’t need to use a spell checker for “acquiesced.”
  • 07:02 – Of course the cell phones are kaput.
  • 07:59 – Jake Tanner has demonic eyebrows. I suspect they’re the twin Big Bads of this episode.
  • 08:39 _ I notice Sam is still wearing his cast from breaking his arm. Of course the fact that I’m noticing that rather than anything plot relevant probably doesn’t speak well to the episode’s pacing. I get that it’s going for mystery and a slow burn, but nothing’s actually happened yet.
  • 9:05 – And as soon as I type that, the show cuts to a woman bound & gagged as her husband and son do something creepy with a big and extremely shiny knife.
  • 09:33 – Did the boys just shoot and kill Mr. Tanner?
  • 10:31 – “No actually, he did the attacking and got himself shot.” Something in Dean’s delivery made that line hilarious.
  • 11:16 – Cutting to the boys on the line “The next, they had the devil in them,” is cliche as all get out, but dam it, it works.
  • 11:59 – Sam’s right, Dean can be downright scary when he’s on the hunt. Arguing for murdering kids is a little harsh, even if the kid in question is the owner of demonic eyebrows.
  • 12:28 – I just screamed the first rule of Dungeons & Dragons at the show: “Don’t split the party!”
  • 12:56 – The mystery car on the edge of the mystery down has a license pate that starts “WTF,” how very meta.
  • 13:20 – Bloody knife and blood-stained rear-facing carseat. A clever way to get around an (assumed by me) network taboo on the death of very young children.
  • 14:29 – An angry virus that sulfurs up the blood? Looks like we got a hate plague going on. That’s bad. On the plus side, hate plagues mean a resurrected Optimus Prime, and that’s clearly awesome.
  • 15:30 – Considering the communications situation, I’m calling BS on the County Sheriff calling.
  • 15:37 – Dean: “Well, you are a handsome devil, but I don’t swing that way, sorry.” At least half of that line is manifestly untrue, and a quick goole search for Supernatural fan fiction would posit a world where it’s all a lie.
  • 16:37 – I guess media tropes have corrupted me. When I hear TV characters discuss a blood borne virus, my brain immediately goes to “AIDS allegory.”
  • 16:48 – Mrs Tanner is one angry little lady. I blame Gordon Shumway.
  • 17:24 – Something weirdly funny about Dean and the Master Sergeant’s “are you one of them?” debate being conducted at gunpoint, as all the best diplomacy so often is.
  • 17:41 – Well, Master Sergeant should know you gotta watch out for Mr. Rogers. He don’t shiv.
  • 18:17 – Nothing improves a road trip quite like the risks of random gunfire. Probably why no one lets me call shotgun anymore.
  • 19:51 -Not really that much like a Biblical plague unless there’s a really, really badass translation of Exodus that I’m unaware of.
  • 21:54 And Dean shoots Mrs. Tanner. I’m starting to think he has a hate-on for that family…
  • 23:05 – Dean voices the “Night of the Living Dead” comparison scant milliseconds before I start to type it.
  • 23:25 – Sam about to go all MacGyver to make some explosives. Remember.
  • 23:56 – Duane’s eyebrows are nowhere near as evil as his kid brother’s are.
  • 24:25 – Duane: “Has anybody seen my Mom & Dad?” Dean (who shot Duane’s parents): “Awkward.”
  • 25:11 – The blood work test idea reminds me of The Thing (the good one) but the three hour incubation period really ramps up the paranoia to levels that Friend Computer would find excessive.
  • 26:00 – I suspect Sam’s right and Dean is infected. Also if they didn’t want Sam’s vision to come true, could they have simply not gone to Oregon? I realize Chip Kelly wouldn’t approve of that sentiment.
  • 26:35 – We have no arrived at what we saw play out in glorious technicolor Sam-o-Vision way earlier.
  • 27:31 – And at the crucial moment, Dean discovers that he does have a conscience other than Sam.
  • 28:18 – Just as well, as Duane is virus free. Clearly he doesn’t run windows.
  • 29:11 – Surprise! Nurse Pam is infected and she’s going to do her darnedest to make sure Sam is too.
  • 29:26 – Dean’s body count for the episode so far: 3. Our heroes, everyone!
  • 30:27 – Duane: “You were gonna shoot me!” Dean: “You don’t shut your pie hole, I still might!” This episode has a lot of fun dialog.
  • 33:29 – We’re into confessional time with the Brothers Winchester.
  • 34:22 – Everybody’s gone. That’s just freaking eerie.
  • 34:35 – Close up on the “Cratoan” tree. What did I say at 10:31 about certain camera shots being too on the nose?
  • 34:56 – Dean is apparently immune to the virus, which has also disappeared from all blood samples.
  • 36:15 – The resolution of this episode so far does bring up many questions.
  • 37:15 – Apparently, the boys should have checked Duane for demonic possession instead of the virus. Looks like he’s using the Master Sergeant to recharge his Goblet of Blood call, just like Meg did last season. She was talking to Ol’ Yellow Eyes. Not sure who Duane wants to reach.
  • 37:47 – Whoever it is, they now know that Sam was immune to the virus. Apparently this demon (could it be Ol’ Yellow Eyes himself?) expected that and the virus was a test.
  • 40:10 Looks like Dean’s going to share Daddy Winchester’s secret deathbed whisper with Sam…
  • 40:28 …except the credits roll first. This show can be such a tease.

This one took a while to get going. If I had been watching it live, I might have switched off before the first commercial break. I’m glad I didn’t though, because after about ten minutes, it took a serious ramp up in quality. I liked it, and the combination of isolation and paranoia tropes made a good melange of body snatcher and zombie films. The lack of resolution was a realistic note and somewhat disquieting one. I’m sure this virus will return, something only emphasized by the final Duane-demon revelation (and he had such innocent eyebrows too.) The “cliffhanger” of what is Dean going to tell Sam seems a little lame, but it’s got me interested enough to hit the next episode in the (I suspect, vain) hope of an answer.

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