Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #33 – “Playthings”

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 11 – “Playthings”

  • 01:10 – The sign says this is the Pierpont Inn, the lighting and ambience say that it’s really the Overlook Hotel.
  • 01:37 – It even comes with creepy looking twins! This is so the Overlook.
  • 02:01 – Those porcelain dolls have lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a shark’s eye
  • 03:10 – So our Inevitable Teaser Death is a guy who fell down the stairs and had his head turn around, right round, like a record baby, right round. Exactly as happened to one of the dolls in creepy twin alpha’s doll house. I think creepy twin alpha is named Tyler, and this leads me to dislike her slightly as Tyler sounds more of a male name to me. I have issues.
  • 03:47 – Apparently the boys are still looking for Ava Wilson who went missing last episode under nefarious circumstances.
  • 04:05 – Sam’s still got his hand in a cast from his graveyard smash a while ago.
  • 04:46 – I think Dean might be foreshadowing the series: “more angst and droopy music.”
  • 05:58 – Dean’s excited about haunted houses and also Daphne from Scooby-Doo. Man’s got taste, is all I’m saying. I’ll ignore the “sissy British accents” comment. Harrumph.
  • 06:26 – This five-spot apparently means that the faux Overlook Hotel (fauxverlook?) is a victim of that hoodoo that you do so well.
  • 07:14 – Heh, the guys look they’re “antiquing,” so only need one king size bed…
  • 07:41 – Given the Overlook overtones, I would definitely not want room 237.
  • 07:50 – And the other staff member also assumes the brother Winchester are “antiquers…”
  • 09:15 – So both the Inn deaths (including good old Inevitable Teaser Death) are connected to shutting the place down. I imagine that President Madagascar will be next.
  • 09:32 – Sam answers Dean’s most troubling question (“why do these people assume we’re gay?”): “Well, you are kind of butch. Probably think you’re overcompensating.”
  • 10:12 – And I finally realize where I recognize the fauxverlook landlady from. She was Renee on 24!
  • 10:38 – I don’t think Sam’s selling the doll enthusiasm story as well as he could be.
  • 11:11 – Dean speaks for me with his sarcastic “They’re nice. Not super creepy at all.” about the dolls.
  • 12:00 – Apparently the dolls and the replica fauxverlook doll house belonged to the creepy twins’ Grandma Rose. Also, it seems creepy twin beta is named Maggie.
  • 12:19 – Judging by the shot of Grandma Rose as landlady talks about mother, we’re about to go all Psycho up in here. I suppose Sam would get the shower scene due to having the more Janet Leigh hairstyle.
  • 13:10 – Well that apparatchik is a goner.
  • 14:11 – Creepy doll is hanging from the ceiling, as is apparatchik when we cut back to him.
  • 15:34 – Drunken Sam is kind of funny.
  • 16:14 – …and guilt trippy about his destiny, presumably related to Ol’ Yellow Eyes.
  • 17:10 – Making your brother promise to be the one to kill you is approximately 148 types of messed up Sammy-boy.
  • 18:46 – Old staff geezer seems to be having fun playing the slightly creepy font of all exposition. His look reminds me of a cross between Peter Boyle and the preacher from Poltergeist II.
  • 19:55 – Grandma Rose’s childhood nanny is wearing that hoodoo five-spot as a necklace. She’s also the only non-Caucasian face we’ve seen this episode. That could potentially be problematic.
  • 20:49 – Sam living to regret the night before this morning after.
  • 23:04 – They don’t go full on Psycho with Grandma Rose, she’s mostly just an unresponsive old lady.
  • 23:42 – Sam: “What do you want to do, poke her with a stick?” *Dean starts to nod* Sam: “Dude! You’re not gonna poke her with a stick!”
  • 24:15 – The creepy twins are playing jacks, because that’s totally a normal thing 21st century kids do.
  • 24:34 – Didn’t see that coming. Apparently Maggie (creepy twin beta) is not real. She’s allegedly Tyler’s imaginary fiend. Thing is, we’ve seen Maggie interact with her surroundings, but not the people so much. I guess this means Maggie is a Gh-gh-ghost.
  • 26:01 – Creepy ghost twin is doing some freaky hoodoo thing with the fauxverlook’s swing set and roundabout.
  • 27:09 – And now landlady’s car has apparent homicidal intent, which is less The Shining and more Christine.
  • 27:44 – Surprised the boys don’t get that “You’re insane” reaction more often.
  • 28:00 – Apparently Grandma Rose was lucid until a month ago, before the killing began. I guess that means the hoodoo stuff was more benevolent and protective in nature. Which makes it clearer that Tyler’s imaginary friend is Jack Torrance the crazy angry spirit.
  • 28:38 – Now the boys know the truth about Maggie.
  • 29:16 – Creepy “child” in the fauxverloook talking about something that’s “forever and ever and ever.” I’m sensing a note of familiarity.
  • 29:28 – Doll based carnage!
  • 30:00 – Maggie is apparently Grandma Rose’s sister who drowned in the pool as a young child.
  • 30:15 – And now Maggie is trying to make Tyler jump into the same pool so that they can stay together.
  • 31:26 – Maggie just pushed Tyler into the pool. Landlady Mom is understandably freaking the hell out.
  • 32:14 – For all its faults, the fauxverlook has some very sturdy doors. Not quite such a good thing right now as said doors are stopping the boys from being able to rescue a drowning Tyler.
  • 32:21 – Something’s calling Maggie away. I assume it’s some hoodoo thing of Grandma Rose’s.
  • 32:55 – I’m counting sam with the wet hair rescuing Tyler from the pool as the shower scene I predicted at 12:19
  • 33:59 – Looks like Grandma Rose is making a deal with Maggie. I suspect it’s a “take my life for her life” deal similar to what Daddy Winchester did for Dean in the season opener.
  • 34:57 – Called it!
  • 36:48 – Sam remembers and reinforces the promise he got from Dean at 17:10.
  • 38:14 – And in a coda of sorts we see Maggie and reverted-to-childhood-Rose as happy playing ghost sisters. I guess that’s nice if you ignore  that Maggie murdered three people and attempted to murder her grand-niece to get to this point.

This was spooky, and an enjoyable paean to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which I might have referenced a time or two above. The cinematography with all the low tracking shots of hallways really reinforced that, though Charles Beeson isn’t exactly Kubrick as a director. Probably just as well or Supernatural seasons would be of a tiny number of episodes many years apart. Or the Sherlock model, as it’s known. The episode itself was a fun yarn and it did keep me guessing as to what exactly was going on until the reveal that Maggie wasn’t a real girl. That reveal actually shocked me, because it was so unexpected. I’ll probably go through the first half of the episode with a fine-toothed comb on rewatch, just to see how much or how little Maggie interacts with the world apart from Tyler. It almost feels like a Sixth Sense type of reveal in an episode that was borrowing heavily from the iconography and language of film, including the aforementioned The Shining and Psycho.

I’m now officially halfway through Season two of the show, and while Ol’ Yellow Eyes has made his presence and influence felt, we’ve had precious through myth arc & metaplot episodes. I hope that changes, even if I am enjoying these more standalone episodes.

2 thoughts on “Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #33 – “Playthings”

  1. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #36 – “Born Under a Bad Sign” | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

  2. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #42 – “What Is and What Should Never Be” | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

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