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.

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