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.

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6 thoughts on “Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #34 – “Nightshifter”

  1. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #35 – “Houses of the Holy” | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

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