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 21 – “All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1”
- 00:05 – The previouslies get the “The Road So Far” title, just like they did back in the penultimate episode of last season. This time we get “Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston as the soundtrack rather than Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son.” As ever, the visuals start with Mommy Winchester going all burn, baby burn, ceiling inferno.
- 00:11 – We also get an Ol’ Yellow Eyes sighting in the montage. Makes sense that he’d be back for the season finale two-parter.
- 00:40 – Other things we get shown in the montage involve the kids like Sam who got a visit from Ol’ Yellow Eyes in their cribs. This includes Andy, Ava and Max from earlier episodes. I can only surmise that this episode is going to involve a plot based around the psychic children and whatever Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ nefarious plans for them are.
- 02:00 – The episode proper starts off with the boys driving up to a little diner shack and Dean demanding that Sam bring him extra onions and some pie. I’m assuming that the onions are on an unrelated food item to the pie or else that’s really kind of gross. Boston’s still playing on the Impala’s radio, which is a nice touch.
- 02:20 – Or it was until it started to go all static-y.
- 02:31 – And now Sam’s upped & disappeared from the diner. Instead there’s a customer face down in a pool of blood.
- 02:54 – Dean reacts by drawing a gun. That seems like overkill until we see the diner staff equally dead and lying on the floor with slit throats.
- 03:31 – Dean finds sulfur on the back door. Demonic activity is pretty much implied at this point. And given teh deatsh, it probably ain’t a friendly demon.
- 03:55 – We cut from an anguished Dean screaming Sam’s name to a terribly-haired psychic Winchester brother waking up on a wooden cellar door.
- 04:42 – Apparently Sam’s woken up in an Old West looking town. I don’t think Supernatural does time travel, but I start scanning fro DeLorean’s anyway.
- 06:03 – Sam runs into Andy, just about avoiding swinging a plank of wood at the latter’s head. They have a brief exposition dump conversation where it’s revealed that Andy also just woke up in this place and has no idea why.
- 07:03 – Now Sam’s found & rescued Ava. It’s like a game of psychic Pokemon in here and Sam’s gotta catch ’em all.
- 07:23 – Interestingly, Ava’s no idea that she has been missing for five months, implying that whatever force brought her here plucked her from outside the time stream. Still no DeLorean, phone booth or police call box visible though.
- 08:15 – Before Sam manages to tell Ava about her fiancé’s fate, they find two new psychic children, Jake and Lily.
- 09:04 – Andy has improved his telepathy abilities to the point that he can project images into people’s heads now, but he doesn’t think it’ll work on Sammy and the Psychics.
- 09:36 – Lily has a pretty gnarly ability: “I touch people, their hearts stop.” Kind of reminds me of Anna Paquin’s take on Rogue in the first X-Men movie.
- 10:18 – Meanwhile, Sam’s consulting with Bobby. The latter shows a suspicious reduction in demonic signs over the last month…
- 11:06 – Apparently Ash down at the Roadhouse has found something “huge,” but in his usual endearingly paranoid/batguano insane (delete as applicable) he won’t share it over the phone.
- 11:49 – Jake reacts to Sam’s perfectly sane and reasonable explanation that they’re all demon soldiers chosen to bring about an apocalypse (possibly The Apocalypse, I guess) by questioning Sam’s sanity and deciding that he (Jake) is better off without the other whack jobs. I can’t say I blame him, after all he doesn’t know that Sam’s in the show credits.
- 12:11 – During Jake’s storming off, he says a girl appear and disappear at the window of one of these Old West style buildings. I’m assuming she’s one of four things in increasing order of unlikeliness: 1. An unknown psychic child, 2. A ghost, 3. A possessed demonic servant, 4. A miniature giant space hamster wearing a human suit.
- 12:59 – The room that disappearing girl was in is a classroom, where someone’s gone full Bart Simpson on the blackboard with “I will not kill.”
- 13:15 – Girl was an achiri demon, Sam proves this by swinging an iron poker at her so that she temporarily dissipates into the familiar black cloud
- 13:54 – After Sam does the poker thing, the psychics are reunited, and it feels so good. Reunited ’cause they understood there’s one perfect fit… Also, Sam thinks that they’re in Cold Oak, South Dakota. “A town so haunted that every single resident fled.” Which seems a natural reaction to
South Dakotahaunted towns.
- 15:39 – Lily’s hanging back a little from the group and getting ominous music stings. After her little outburst of not being part of the collective “we” of the group and the reveal that she accidentally killed her girlfriend with the whole heart touching thing, I get the impression we aren’t supposed to trust her. Given how this show tends to work, I’m assuming that she’s actually not being villainous and will soon end up being the next death.
- 16:00 – The Roadhouse is a burnt out husk. Patrick Swayze’s death impacted us all.
- 16:54 – Ash is one of the bodies gone crispy critter in the Road House. Ellen doesn’t seem to be, and we already know that Jo isn’t there these days.
- 18:46 – Lily’s body is hanging in a noose from the town windmill. We have our first psychic death… and it’s the gay one. Seeing how Jake is the only non-White psychic and this show does like horror tropes, I assume he’ll be next, but I really, really want the show to prove me wrong.
- 19:27 – Ava’s really freaking out about Lily’s death.
- 20:17 – Andy’s going to attempt to use his image projection ability over super long distance to beam the psychic’s location into Dean’s head. That’s actually a fairly brilliant idea. I’m sure it’ll never work.
- 20:37 – Well, I’m wrong. Dean’s getting Cold Oak images and the headaches that generally accompany glorious technicolor Sam-O-Vision.
- 22:02 – Bobby, the Dean Whisperer interprets Dean’s vision to identify that Sam is in Cold Oak.
- 22:34 – Jake’s special ability is apparently super strength.
- 25:29 – Sam finally musters up the courage to tell Ava that her fiancé is no more, he has ceased to be, he has expired and gone to meet his maker, he’s a stiff, bereft of life, he rests in peace, his metabolic processes are now history, he’s off the twig, he’s kicked the bucket, he’s shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. In short, he’s an ex-fiancé. She takes it less-than-well.
- 26:17 – Ol’ Yellow Eyes just popped up behind Jake, scaring the crap out of Sam (and me, in fact).
- 26:24 – This is apparently a dream or vision of Sam’s as no one else reacts to Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ presence.
- 27:15 – Seems this Cold Oak thing is Ol’ Yellow Eyes pulling a Hunger Games on the psychics. He’s backing Sam as the winner, or at least that is the reason he’s claiming for this manifestation.
- 28:53 – Bringing up Dead Jessica isn’t going to endear you to Sammy-boy…
- 29:44 – Ol’ Yellow Eyes just snapped his fingers and now current-day Sam is about to have to watch Mommy Winchester get burned and see what happened to baby Sam way back then.
- 30:23 – We see that Ol’ Yellow Eyes was feeding his demon blood to baby Sam before Mommy interrupted.
- 30:33 – Also, Mommy Winchester recognizes Ol’ Yellow Eyes. Really didn’t see that coming. Was she a Hunter before Daddy came along?
- 30:55 – Back in 2007 Cold Oak, Ava’s gone missing.
- 31:52 – She’s not that missing. Looks like Miss Ava is up to something. She’s breaking the salt barriers they put down…
- 32:11 – …And summoning the achiri demon that apparently killed Lily. She sics it on Andy, who dies. Messily.
- 32:40 – Ava’s “terrified” screams at “discovering” Andy’s body bring Sam running in…
- 33:18 – Sam sees the broken salt line and immediately figures out that Ava’s the homicidal little monster.
- 34:10 – Ava’s apparently been here for five months, merrily killing her way through psychics in batches of three or four at a time. She describes herself as the “undefeated heavyweight champ” of this particular demonic Battle Royale.
- 35:10 – Ava’s no longer undefeated, as her summoning a demon to attack Sam is interrupted by Jake snapping her neck like a twig. I believe that leaves just Sam & Jake as our final two…
- 35:20 – The Impala gets to the edge of the woodland surrounding Cold Oak. Bobby & Dean have to finish the journey on foot.
- 36:02 – Ol’ Yellow Eyes has also been having words with Jake, it seems. He’s aware that only one of the psychics is getting out. I yell “Run Sammy!” at the TV screen.
- 36:45 – Sam does the dumb, but noble thing and drops his weapon on the ground between Jake and himself to prove that he won’t turn on Jake.
- 37:05 – Jake surprises me and drops his weapon also.
- 37:11 – He then promptly ruins the goodwill that accumulates by using his super strength to punch Sam in the face.
- 37:46 – Sam & Jake get into a pretty brutal fight, with bones a-breaking.
- 38:30 – Sam can’t bring himself to deliver the death blow to a temporarily incapacitated Jake. Honorable, but so, so dumb.
- 38:44 – Dean’s found Sam. This distracts Sam..
- 38:52 – …which goes less than well, as despite Dean’s “Sam! Look out!” yell, Jake stabs Sam in the back with a Bowie knife.
- 39:50 – Sam bleeds out and dies in Dan’s arms. To be continued…
Well, that was intense. After two episodes in a row where I’ve complained that the stakes didn’t seem high enough, the show comes roaring back with a vengeance. It helps that this is obviously tied in to the series and the season’s metaplot arcs with Ol’ Yellow Eyes and his chosen children being all over this episode. There were a couple of very nice reveals in this one. The first being that Ol’ Yellow Eyes already has an army (though we don’t yet know of what type) and is looking merely for a leader among the children. The revelation that intrigues me most is also the one that seems the least likely to get followed up in part two, namely, how in the blazes does Mommy Winchester recognize Ol’ Yellow Eyes?
Another reveal that the show handled very deftly was the reveal that Ava was the villain of the piece here and had gone full dark side. I didn’t suspect that at all until the big reveal, so full credit to the writing and to Katharine Isabelle’s acting. Jake’s turn to evil was a lot more jarring and sudden, but I suspect (and strongly hope) that we’ll get a better explanation for that in the next episode.
Also, the decision to keep the brothers split and have this episode mostly focus on Sam worked, though I generally prefer to see the Winchester boys get equal seeming screen time. Of course, now that Sam is apparently freaking dead (I read comic books, so I assume most fictional deaths are temporary for main characters, not super worried) means that the next episode is going to have to be Dean-centric. I also imagine that if Dean discovers that Ol’ Yellow Eyes is present, then a revenge rampage and death seeking attitude are going to be big character notes…
I’m sure I’ll find out later today, as I can’t leave season two hanging for too long.