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.

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

  1. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #43 – “All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1″ | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

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