Supernatural: Season 4, Episode 13

After School Special (29 Jan. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Fantasy | Horror
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,557 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Sam and Dean investigate a haunting at one of their old high schools where we will see what school was like for the brothers.

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Title: After School Special (29 Jan 2009)

After School Special (29 Jan 2009) on IMDb 8.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Amanda Heckerling
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Mr. Wyatt
Tim Henry ...
Dirk MacGregor, Sr.
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Dirk MacGregor, Jr.
Adam MacDougall
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Girl
Eileen Barrett ...
Young Dean's Teacher
Hayley Saulnier ...
April Dawkins
Adam Kennedy ...
Aaron Dawkins
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Storyline

Dean and Sam travel to Fairfax, Indiana, to investigate a murder case in the Truman High School where the teenager killer April Dawkins claims to be possessed in the moment she killed her schoolmate Taylor. While the Winchester brothers check the school and follow a wrong lead, they recall through flashbacks of their past in the same high-school. In 1997, Dean flirted with the sexy Amanda Heckerling and Sam befriended the bullied Barry Cook and defended him against the bully Dirk MacGregor. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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29 January 2009 (USA)  »

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Trivia

This episode is dedicated to the memory of 'Christopher F. Lima' and Tim Loock. See more »

Quotes

Sam Winchester: I'm not evil, Dirk, I'm not. And neither were you. Trust me, I've seen real evil... We were scared and miserable, and we took it out on each other, us and everybody else. That's high school. But you duffer through that, and it gets better.
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Connections

References ABC Afterschool Specials (1972) See more »

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Long, Long Way From Home
(uncredited)
Performed by Foreigner
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User Reviews

 
Into the Arms of Righteous Anger
30 July 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

So, an episode where the case of the week takes the Winchesters to one of their old schools? With promises of revelations about their teenage years? A lot of potential there. And the pre-title sequence sets the Monster-of-the-Week as something that seems to be after vengeance against bullies, a subject that many people can relate to. The success of the episode, however, rests on not just how interesting the past and the present story lines are – it depends on how meaningful the connection between them is.

The past gives us rather good insight on why Sam was not in the family business at the start of Season 1 and why Dean is, well, Dean. And the casting of young Sam and young Dean is excellent. Colin Ford and Brock Kelly should not go unemployed as actors. However, the fact that Dean Morgan doesn't appear at all, *even* briefly, whether he was available or not, does really hamper the sequences set in the past.

The present gives us a pretty brutal case and the writers have been creative when coming up with the monster too. Most monsters in Supernatural the viewer cannot relate to, but you may find yourself actually rooting for this monster. Also, the Winchesters' cover roles are funny, and a welcome change to their most common roles as FBI agents with names of rock/hard rock/metal musicians. Finally, there needs to be a reason why the monster has not become active *until* now, and the writers come up with a plausible reason that follows the rules established by the series.

The connection between the past and the present is meaningful in more ways than one. It fleshes out Sam and Dean, but also shows us how one *really* should consider the repercussions of one's actions – they might have a *much* longer and larger effect than one might at first think. The problem is, this is a lesson familiar from so many movies and TV shows that it really does not offer anything new. Also, the pacing of the episode as a whole is not that great and the climax comes too soon. So, this is a good, 7/10, episode but not a great one.


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