Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #58 – “Long-Distance Call”

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 3 Episode 14 – “Long-Distance Call”

  • 01:10 – Our teaser starts with a slightly haggard looking guy pouring himself a drink, pretty much guaranteeing himself Inevitable Teaser Death status.
  • 02:05 – Inevitable Teaser Death guy seems very uneasy taking a phone call from a woman who’s saying “Come to me.” He mentions a wife in a context that suggests the woman on the phone is a lover or similar.
  • 03:18 – Phone calling woman has an impressive level of persistence, especially when you consider Inevitable Teaser Death Guy has smashed he phone up AND torn its plug out of the wall, yet she’s still calling and the phone is still ringing. I suspect she’s an “unflushable.”
  • 03:56 – Inevitable Teaser Death guy lives up to his name by putting a loaded gun to chis chin and pulling the trigger.
  • 04:55 – Apparently Dean’s been on the phone (and nothing dates these episodes like the cell phones the boys use) with Bobby discussing the case of Inevitable Teaser Death guy. They think there’s a spirit involved. Dean wants to take the case. Sam points out that they’re already on a case, breaking Dean’s demon deal, though nothing much has happened on that front lately. So the brothers hash out that argument again. I’m sure you know the beats by now, so I won’t bother recapping them.
  • 05:21 – Dean reveals to Sam that Ruby told him (Dean) that there was no saving him from Hell.
  • 08:16 – Turns out that persistent phone woman from the teaser was Inevitable Teaser Death Guy’s high school girlfriend who died after being hit by a drunk driver. She was cremated, which I guess means that half of the salt’n’burn routine has been taken care of for the boys. I’d also assume that’s why they did a funeral pyre for dead Hunters. Harder to come back as an angry spirit if your remains are already ash.
  • 09:10 – Speaking of Ash, the id’s that Sam and Dean use as phone company employees are Mr. Campbell & Mr. Raimi. Seems a nice homage to what I imagine was an inspiration for the show, even if it is a divergence from the typical rock music aliases Dean favors.
  • 09:32 – Dean tells the skeevy phone tech that platinum membership to bustyasianbeauties.com is “worth every penny. (Note: I have no idea if that’s a real website, and if it is, I imagine it’s probably Not Safe For Work, or for those of you under 18…)
  • 10:39 – So apparently the century old phone number (SHA33) that persistent teaser phone woman used has called at least ten different houses in the past few weeks. I gather one of the numbers called was 867-5309
  • 12:16 – Young woman from the first house Sam visits calls his bluff about working for the phone company based on his driving a rental (which seems fair) and wearing a cheap suit (personally, I thought it was a pretty nice suit, but I’m not exactly a fashion maven, after all I’m blogging in jeans and a grey t-shirt)
  • 13:38 – Young girl has been getting calls from the dead herself. In this case the deceased is her mother, who passed three years ago.
  • 14:10 – Lot of calls from dead people in town. Dean gets some serious side eye from a passing woman as he mentions how one of the calls “redefined [Dean’s] understanding of the word ‘necrophilia.'”
  • 14:26 – Dean gets his own call from a dead person – Daddy Winchester!
  • 15:21 – Dean looks desperate to hope that it really is Daddy Winchester contacting them from beyond the grave. Sam seems more skeptical.
  • 16:44 – We’re introduced to Edison’s “spirit phone” thanks to Dean reading a tourist leaflet after Sam’s research came up with bupkis. I assume it’s a red herring as there’s too much episode left.
  • 18:27 – Daddy Winchester calls dean back (the terrible-haired one is conveniently sleeping) and berates him over the demon deal, which he’s apparently aware of.
  • 18:46 – Daddy Winchester apparently has a way for Dean to break the demon deal without endangering Sam. I’m suspicious when Daddy refers to the demon that holds Dean’s contract as “he,” as I was under the impression that said demon was Lilith who is not a he.
  • 20:18 – The girl from 13:38 is getting some instant messages from her mother, they seem to be consistent with the mother “haunting” her, including one particular great shot of the mother reflected in a computer monitor and grabbing the girl’s shoulder whilst not being present.
  • 20:35 – The turned off monitor is lighting up with “come to me” messages similar to what Inevitable Teaser Death guy received before living up to his nickname. It’d be spooky and atmospheric if I wasn’t distracted by the poor font choice of Copperplate Gothic.
  • 22:20 – Dean’s hope that this will get him away from the demon deal is heartbreaking to behold. Though he does have a valid point about the alleged demon killing exorcism ritual in that Daddy Winchester is the only one of them that’s been to Hell, so it’s a good source.
  • 23:29 – Sam and Dean are having a raised voice argument on proof vs. blind faith. Whilst I’m a bigger fan of Dean (as you must have noticed reading these), I side with Sam here. The boys need some damned proof.
  • 25:01 – Apparently the weird phone number can even call a kid’s toy phone and be the little boy’s Mommy on the other end of the line. I think the boy is supposed to be the girl’s little brother but I’m not certain.
  • 25:35 – Apparently mom wanted the girl to kill herself to come to the mother. So whoever is on the other end of these calls must have a suicide fetish, which doesn’t bode well for Dean, who already has kind of a death wish…
  • 25:57 – Apparently, Sam’s figured out what is responsible for the calls and he knows it isn’t the mother.
  • 26:57 – Little brother seems to be in a trance crossing a busy street. Whatever is calling has apparently decided he’ll be the next victim.
  • 26:58 – assuming it isn’t Dean who has ignored Sam’s advice to stay put in the motel room.
  • 27:24 – Sam just saved the little kid from getting run down by a big old yellow semi-truck.
  • 27:34 – Per Sam, it isn’t Daddy Winchester, it’s a Crocotta, which is a scavenger that mimics loved ones as apposed to being a delicious sandwich as Dean had hoped.
  • 27:56 – We get a very Exorcist shot of Sam walking through steam in an alleyway as he approaches the phone company where the brothers Winchester suspect the Crocotta to be.
  • 29:02 – Sam brandishes a knife at the skeevy phone tech’s neck, obviously assuming he’s the Crocotta. He’s proven wrong by 1. The tech’s hilarious offer to fix call waiting charges and 2. the tech’s boss smacking Sam upside the head with a baseball bat.
  • 29:36 – You know, it feels like Sam gets tied to chairs a whole lot on this show.
  • 30:37 – Skeevy phone tech is stabbed and has his soul drained by the phone company boss. Proving my hypothesis that the phone company must be Comcast as they appear to only care about soulless monsters.
  • 32:06 – The Crocotta pretends to be a little girl calling her father at what appears to be a police station and telling him that “the man who killed me” is at the house. I’m assuming it’s Dean, and the Crocotta wants to make the two of them kill each other which is an obvious win-win-win situation for it.
  • 32:58 – The point our villain makes about information floating out there just waiting to be “plucked” is even more relevant now with the ubiquity of both smart phones and social media in addition to good old fashioned phone calls, letters and emails.
  • 34:26 – Dean and angry possible cop guy pull an Itchy & Scratchy in that they fight, and fight and fight and fight….
  • 36:12 – Plenty of cross cutting between Dean and cop man fighting (though Dean seems to have figured out his mistake) and Sam and Crocotta fighting. Sam seems to be getting the worst of it…
  • 36:40 – Sam gets luck in driving the Crocotta’s head into a metal spike on the wall, killing it handily and kind of bloodily for the CW.
  • 37:22 – The brothers are reunited and it feels so good. Except it kind of doesn’t as both are nursing their fighting wounds.
  • 38:28 – Dean unburdens himself about his fears about Hell to Sam.
  • 39:07 Dean: “I mean the only person that can get me out of this thing is me.” Sam: “And me.”

A strong episode with a pretty intriguing and propulsive mystery at its core. I figured that it wasn’t going to be Daddy Winchester on the line nor would Dean be getting out of his demon deal fairly early on in the episode, but that’s due to simple logic of how TV works. You wouldn’t blow either of those things until the season finale, which is only a couple of episodes away thanks to the writer’s strike that shortened the season. I’m going to assume that the season follows the pattern of the last two and that the next two episodes will effectively be one two-part season finale, which means there’s a lot to resolve, most notably the deal with Ruby, what Lilith is up to, what Bela is doing with the Colt, that whole escaped demon army thing, oh, and whether Dean is going to hell. Seems like a lot to get through in 80ish mn

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