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Enter the Mayor
Big Bad for Big Bad, they just don't come any funner than Mayor Richard Wilkins. For the rest of the season, his polite brand of villainy will take Sunnydale by storm. The Mayor's a germ-phobic, milk-loving, sociopath who is just so gosh-darn entertaining that you can't help but sort of vote for him. He's a real nice guy, he's just... well... evil. His appearance in "Homecoming" marks the beginning of his reign as season three's antagonist and it's worth watching the episode just to see him. The Mayor will play a bigger and bigger role as the season rolls along, so his introduction in this episode is an important glimpse of things to come.
"Homecoming" revolves around Sunnydale High's homecoming dance. Cordy is running for homecoming queen and, of course, expects to win. Buffy, meanwhile, is feeling invisible. After her new boyfriend dumps her and she misses getting her photo taken for the year book, she's determined to prove that she's a part of Sunnydale High. She tosses her tiara into the Homecoming queen ring, too. This immediately starts problems in the Scoobie ranks, as both Buffy and Cordy think that everyone should be on their side.
Willow and Xander have problems of their own. A formal wear induced fluke has left them sort of attracted to each other. Their post-kissing guilt leads them to over compensate and help Cordy's cause. Then, feeling guilty over THAT, they decide to try and mend fences by leaving Cordy and Buffy alone in the Homecoming limo to work out their differences.
Unfortunately, it's also Slayer Fest '98. Mr. Trick has helped to organize the event, which is basically a hunting expedition for demons and people who want to bag a Slayer. Lyle Gorch, last seen in season two's 'Bad Eggs,' is back with his bride to join in the fun. Thinking that Cordelia and Buffy are really Faith and Buffy, a team of hunters waylays the limo and attacks. Buffy and Cordy have to work together to escape the hunters and make it to the homecoming dance.
There are some good parts to this episode. I love the class photos. Xander's "Hey, there" leer, Cordy's prom queen smile, Willow's puzzled droop... Too funny. And I continue to enjoy Mr. Trick. The guy's a great addition to the cast. And Faith confronting Scott on Buffy's behalf with the snarky "Good news, Honey, the doctor says that the itchy, swollen rash will disappear if we just use the cream" is hilarious. As for Willow and Xander's kiss, I kind of like them together. I think Xander's right. When everything else is long gone, it'll be Xander and Willow side by side in a nursing home somewhere. They are the most important people in each other lives and always will be.
On the downside, couldn't Buffy be a little more interested in and supportive of Angel? I mean... Geez! The poor guy spent hundreds of years rotting in a hell dimension and all Buffy can do is prattle on about how she needs the stability of her new boyfriend, Scott. She leaves Angel all alone in that mansion, like it was HIS fault that he lost his soul and killed all those people last season. You have to laugh when Scott dumps her. Serves Buffy right. Yes, I know, I'm biased, because I love Angel, but still... He looks so sad.
My favorite part of the episode: The "tie" for homecoming queen at the end. For a second, I thought the episode was going to do some kind of cop-out, "you're both winners!" deal. But, it totally surprised me and still remained true to the show. Very fun.
Supernatural: Hunted (2007)
Sam Learns the Truth About John's Final Words
This episode is important for several reasons. 1) It establishes that there is a demon war coming and that the psychic kids will play a part in it. 2)It introduces the character of Ava, who will come up again. 3) It brings Gordon back on the canvas. 4)Sam finally admits that he is Hunting because he thinks its making a real difference in the world. 5)It reveals what John told Dean in "In My Time of Dying": Dean must either save Sam or kill him. This is an important episode and you really can't skip it.
"Hunted" revolved around Sam finally learning about John's dying words back in "In My Time of Dying." Apparently having some idea of Sam's destiny, John told Dean that one day he'd have to either save Dean or kill his brother. Dean is confused by what his father meant by that, and why Sam's immune to the "Croatoan" demon virus and how his visions are connected to the Yellow Eyed Demon. Dean thinks that they should lay low. Sam disagrees. Angry and scared he takes off for the Roadhouse leaving Dean behind. While he's there, he gets Ash to find out more about the psychic kids. It turns out one has been killed recently and Sam heads off to investigate.
Sam soon meets up with a girl named Ava, who says that she has visions of people's death, just like Sam. She's seen Sam being blown-up. She and Sam begin investigating the other psychic guy's death. Dean arrives in town, just in time to stop Gordon from killing Sam. Gordon kidnaps Dean and explains that he's on a new mission. He's heard of a coming war between humans and demons. The psychic kids are suppose to be helping the demon side. Gordon tries to trick Sam into triggering an explosive device, but thanks to Ava's warning, Sam survives. He and Dean escape Gordon and call the police so Gordon is arrested. Dean says that they should lay low, especially when they learn that someone at the Roadhouse tipped off Gordon. But, Sam insists that he's committed to Hunting now and that what the brothers do makes a difference in the world. Meanwhile, Ava vanishes and her fiancé is killed. The boys find traces of sulfur at her apartment and think she might have been taken by demons.
There are some good parts to this episode. I like the scene with Sam & Dean discussing John. Dean is trying to explain things to Sam, but all Sam can hear is that he might go evil. I think Sam knows that Dean will try to shield him and that the only way he'll ever get any real answers is to go out looking for them. Otherwise he could one day just wake up "darkside" and hurt his brother. It's an interesting. And I like Ava. She's such a cute, funny little thing in this episode. She and Sam are actually a good team, as they investigate the case. Her line, "Can't you just leave town before you blow up?" just makes me laugh. And I always like Gordon. He's such a good villain because he BELIEVES what he's doing. When Dean attacks him in a blind rage, punching Gordon and the two of them fight on the rooftop it's really cool. The phone call where Dean tips Sam off with the code word "Funky Town" is perfect. And I like the trip wires going off as Sam breaks into the abandoned house. Dean's panic as he thinks that Sam has been killed is incredible. When Sam comes into untie him, Dean just grabs at his brother, checking him for injuries and immediately heading into kill Gordon. But, Dean leaves the house when Sam asks him to, because he trust his brother's judgment. It's sweet.
One interesting feature of this episode is the question that Gordon poses to Dean. Gordon is convinced that Sam is evil. An unclean Anti-Christ type figure. He's convinced that he's right in his quest to kill Sam. Gordon can sort of understand Dean's hesitance to get on-board with the "lets-kill-Sammy" plan, seeing as Sam's his brother. But he also thinks that, as a professional Hunter, Dean should be able to understand the bigger issues here. He sees Dean as blinded by emotion. So Gordon asks what Dean thinks John would have done. If Sammy went evil, if John could stop him, would he shoot his own son? It's an interesting question. John seems to have told Dean to do just that in "In My Time of Dying." But, realistically, John HAD to know that Dean would NEVER shoot Sam. Not for any reason. No matter what. Before John told Dean that he might have to kill Sam one day, he started crying and telling Dean that Dean was the one who'd kept the family together. ("You took care of me, you took care of Sammy...") And that was also just hours after the events of "Devil's Trap," where John heard Dean begging Sam to not shoot John, stopping Sam from killing the YED once and for all. So in "In My Time of Dying," could John have really BELIEVED that Dean would kill Sam if it came down to the line? Did he really WANT Dean to? Could John have done it himself? I just don't know.
On the down side, we never do get any resolution on how Gordon got the information on Sam from the Roadhouse.
My favorite part of the episode: Ava at the psychiatrist's office, acting as a distraction for Sam. "I just remembered that when I was a kid, I ate like 6 things of Pop-Rocks and then drank a whole can of soda! You don't think that counts as a suicide attempt, do you?"
Supernatural: Croatoan (2006)
A Nice Episode for the Brothers Relationship
I really enjoy this episode. It doesn't offer a lot of answers of give any real resolution, but I'm okay with that. It's just a cool episode with a lot of scary scenes and nice moments between the brothers. "Croatoan" also shows how much pressure Dean is under. His suicidal mind set and questionable decisions are very apparent as the boys try to deal with the demonic virus. Dean also begins to tell Sam the truth about what John whispered to him in "In My Time of Dying" in this episode, but the full reveal will come out in "Hunted." All in all, "Croatoan" isn't vital to the story arc, but you should still give it a chance if you're watching on DVD.
"Craotoan" revolves around Sam getting a vision about Dean shooting someone. He's worried because Dean's been so edgy lately and his visions always have something to do with the Yellow Eyed Demon. He and Dean off to investigate the location of the shooting. It's an isolated Oregon town, where people are acting strangely. The word Croatoan is carved into a telephone pole. Sam points out that the same word was left in a tree after the Roanoke Colony disappeared. (Well, first he had to remind Dean that history class, wasn't the "How Bills Become Laws" segment of "School House Rock.) Then the brothers find the house of the guy that Sam saw Dean shoot in the vision. When they arrive, he's not home and his family is acting crazy. They've attacked the mother, pouring their blood into her wounds. Dean shoots the father, but the other son gets away because Sam can't kill him.
The boys take the woman to the local doctor's office. The entire town is going nuts. Road blocks are set up, keeping people inside the town limits. The phone don't work and the citizens are all attacking each other. They have a demonic virus. The mother is infected, too and Dean shoots her. The only uninfected people left, besides the boys, are a ex-marine Sargent, the doctor, nurse and possibly Dwayne. He shows up after and Dean can't bring himself to shoot him. (After a little guilt tripping from Sam.) Unfortunately, the nurse is infected and she bleeds on Sam. Dean won't let the others hurt his brother, but he tells them to leave in the Impala. But, the infected people have vanished and Sam seems to be immune to the virus. The boys leave town with more questions than answers. Dean begins to tell Sam about John's dying words. Meanwhile, Dwayne turns out to be a demon. He kills the Sarge and communicates with someone, telling them that Sam is immune.
There are some good parts to this episode. I like Dean driving the Impala away from the road block. It looks cool, swerving along the road. And I enjoy the car trip he and the Sarge have to take back to the doctors office, the two of them holding guns on each other. And when the Sarge complains that his neighbor, "Mr. Rogers" tries to kill him, Dean responds, "You got a neighbor named Mr. Rogers?" Sarges reply, "Not anymore," just makes me laugh. And I like the scene where Dwayne arrives at the doctor's office and demands to know where his parents are. Since Dean has killed both his mom and his dad already that day, it's pretty funny when Dean looks at Sam and mutters, "Awkward." I really love brothers talk together after Sam is infected. Dean just sits down across from him and refuses to go. Sam's begging him to leave, but without Sam, Dean doesn't really have anything to live for anyway. He just gives up. Explaining how tired he is and how he doesn't want to go on. He even gives the Impala to the others, which is a huge deal for poor Dean. Then at the end of the episode, he finally breaks down and starts to tell Sam the truth about what John whispered to him in "In My Time of Dying." His speech about how they should just take a break and visit the Grand Canyon is really beautiful. It's a great episode for their relationship.
On the down side, didn't Sam's vision GET someone killed in this episode? If Dean had just shot Dwayne, then the Sarge would still be alive. On the other hand, I'm still not sure if Dean should have killed the infected mother. I understand why he did it, especially since Sam was in the doctors office and Dean's a shoot first and ask questions later kinna guy when it comes to Sammy. But, it seems sort of harsh. It is cute that he looks to Sam for verification that she's one of them before he actually fires, though. Dean trusts Sam's judgment, which is why he doesn't shoot Dwayne. Dean's still spinning out of control, so I just don't know what the right thing to do was. It's complicated. Also, I'm confused about what Sam was being tested for. And was the Yellow Eyed Demon behind it? Doesn't he already know Sam is one of the psychic kids?
My favorite part of the episode: Dean pulling a gun on the Sarge and Dwayne when the threaten to hurt Sam. He's been complaining all episode that Sam needs to be more hard hearted and that the infected people aren't humans but "its." Yet, the second they move towards Sammy, Dean's threatening to kill every one of them. Well, not threatening so much as promising, his, "You make a move on him and you'll be dead before you hit the ground, you understand me?!" seems pretty much like a vow. It's a brilliant scene that shows how willing Dean is to abandon his black/white, good/evil ideas where his little brother is concerned.
Supernatural: Crossroad Blues (2006)
A VERY Important Episode
This is a very important episode that sets up a lot of the story arc this season and beyond. It explains how Cross Road's Deals work and establishes how tempted Dean is to do something crazy to put the world "right again." He doesn't think he should be alive, and he REALLY wants to "fix" things somehow. Dean is on the ragged edge of control and "Cross Road's Blues" illustrates how unstable he can be. All in all, you really need to see this episode if you're watching the season on DVD.
"Cross Roads Blues" revolves around people selling their souls to demons for personal gain. Using the legend of Robert Johnson, the episode lays out a back story where people can make pacts with demons at cross roads. In exchange for their souls, they get to live 10 years and have a wish granted. Well, ten years are up for a lot of people in one town and Hell Hounds have arrived to drag them off. Sam & Dean have to try and stop the contracts from being fulfilled. Dean is annoyed, though, because he feels the people brought it all on themselves. The deal John made to save him is still weighing on Dean.
A famous architect and doctor are killed. A talent painter is next, but he refuses to let they boys assist him, saying he brought it all on himself. The other possible victim is an ordinary husband, named Evan, who sold his soul so his wife would live. Even Dean feels bad for him, but not bad enough to NOT yell at him for his selfishness. While Sam protects the guy from Hell Hounds, Dean goes to summon the Cross Roads Demon. He traps her and makes a deal to let her go free if she lets Evan out of his deal. She agrees but she also offers Dean a deal. She'll bring John back if he gives her his soul. Dean refuses, but he's tempted.
There are some good parts to this episode. The melt-y faces that victims see on other people before the Hell Hounds arrive are really creepy. And I like the invisible Hell Hound attack, with the claw marks in the floor. Very cool. Also, it's pretty funny when Dean grumbles that the artist guy's apartment isn't "next on MTV Cribs" material. Dean's annoyance over the Cross Roads deals is very well done this whole episode. He's angry over the selfish deals that other people make. Even as he's tempted to make one himself to get John back. He's bitter about John making the deal for him. He's been acting crazy for awhile now and the idea of John giving up his soul to save his life just eats at Dean. He doesn't think he deserves it. His feelings play right into "All Hell Breaks Loose" and the decision he makes. I also like Dean trapping the Cross Road's Demon. It's pretty clever.
This episode is all about recognition. People doing things so their "lives will mean something." People focused on being famous or rich or talented. Even Sam is annoyed that he's not wanted by the FBI, and getting his recognition. The doctor wanting recognition as the youngest chief of staff. The architect getting recognition in all those magazines. The artist complaining that he he should have asked for fame rather than talent. Even the Cross Roads Demon saying that she wanted to be the one to take John's soul and torture Dean. Evan is the only one who acted without wanting recognition, but his actions -as Dean points out- were also selfish. He'd rather his wife live without him than have to live without HER. Giving your life for someone else is established as wrong in this episode. Selfish and a way to make your own life worth something, without considering the feelings of the person you'll leave behind. That'll come into play again, so it's cool they establish it all here.
On the down side, did the brothers find a way to save the artist guy, too? I hope so, because I felt bad for him.
My favorite part of the episode: Dean's happy assertion that he's now wanted by the FBI. "Dude, I'm like Dillinger!" That's just the perfect criminal for Dean to identify with, since Dillinger was all about being charming and daring in his "work." Plus, Sam pouting that they he's not in the FBI database, too, is just funny.
Supernatural: The Usual Suspects (2006)
Sam & Dean get Arrested
This episode builds off of the season one episode, "Skin" where a shape shifter frames Dean for murder. This is actually a neat episode, in that it's constructed so a lot of it is in flashback. It opens with Dean in custody, Sam being arrested and the murders already in progress. Then the case has to unfold both forward and backwards. It's cool. Anyway, this isn't vital for the story arc this season, since they'll be another, more important law enforcement episode later ("Nightshifter.") But, "The Usual Suspects" a fun episode and I recommend that you give it a shot.
"The Usual Suspects" revolves around Sam & Dean being arrested for murder. While investigating a case, Dean is caught by the police standing over a dead woman. They think that she's been killed by a vengeful spirit. Just as he husband had days before. Dean & Sam are soon being interrogated by the cops, separated but sticking to their story of being "old family friends" of the victims. They're also trying to investigate their case. The name Dana Shulps keeps appearing on computers and other stuff at the scenes of the deaths. Dean finally figures out that the name is an anagram for Ashland, which happens to be the name of a street. Sam escapes to go investigate the address.
Meanwhile, the police woman investigating the case beings to see the spirit herself. Relucatantly buying into Dean's story that there a vengeful spirit at work. Dean sends her to Sam, and soon the two of them discover that the vengeful spirit is a missing woman who used to deal drugs. They find her body in a warehouse on Ashland street. (The extra letters the first part of the word "supply company.") Anyway, it turns out that the police woman's partner/boyfriend is behind all the killings. The ghost is really a death omen. The cop tries to kill Dean so Dean will take the blame for the murders, but Sam, the police woman and the ghost save the day. They police woman lets Dean & Sam go.
On a side note, I like Sam's continuing assertion that he and Dean are on a "road trip." It fits in with the characters being named for Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarity from "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. A book about journey rather than destination and young men searching for a vision of the future on the back roads of America. It's cool.
There are some fun parts to this episode. I like Sam being questioned by the police. There's a voice over of him lying, while the action shows what's really going on. "She gave us the key!" he insists, while we see Dean picking a lock. And when the police woman questions his about his "road trip" with Dean, Sam declares that they just saw the second largest ball of string in America. "It was awesome." It's just hilarious. And the scene where Dean sits there bored and making clicking sounds with his tongue is just perfect. "Dude, really?" Sam finally snaps. Just a great little moment. It's also funny that both brothers call their Public Defender "Matlock." Yep, they really are brothers. And Dean's confession is hilarious, going something like "My name is Dean Winchester. I an Aquarius. I enjoy long walks on the beach and frisky women." Then he explains that it was a vengeful spirit who killed the women and the murder in St. Louis was committed by "shape shifter who just looked like me." Then he gives this completely smart-ass smile that cracks me up.
On the down side, the brothers are separated for a lot of this episode. I think they're always best in scenes together.
My favorite part of the episode: The brothers walking away at the end. Just something about the way Sam playfully shoves Dean is so cute.
Supernatural: Simon Said (2006)
Sam Learns More About His Powers
Ever since "Nightmare" in season one, Sam's been worried about going evil. The Yellow Eyed Demon told Sam that he had plans for Sam and "all the children like him" back in "Devil's Trap" and in "Simon Said," Sam learns a little bit more about what that means. This is an important episode for the story arc this season. It introduces Andy, who will appear again. It establishes that the YED has a connection to an untold number of children like Sam, all of whom have psychic powers. Some of the kids are also dangerous, as the YED gets to them in their dreams and twists their thoughts. (It's never really said why the YED talks to some kids in their sleep for the entire time after their powers awaken, but waits until AHBL for others. If I had to guess, I'd say that he's been trying to get into all of their heads the whole time, but some of them -like Sam- have been strong enough to keep them out.) Anyway, "Simon Said," also reveals that Dean's scared for Sam. Even if he tries to hide it, he's worried about his brother's powers. All in all, you should see this episode if you're watching the show on DVD.
"Simon Said" revolves around another kid with psychic powers who might possibly be killing people. Sam gets a vision of a man entering a gun store and calmly shooting people for no reason. Sam insist that they go to the Roadhouse to get Ash's help in finding out where the guy is. Dean isn't thrilled, especially when they come up with a suspect whose mother died in a nursery fire 23 years before, just like Mary. The brothers soon track down their suspect, a guy named Andy, who has the power to control people with his voice. He just says something and they do it. Dean keeps insisting that they need to keep an open mind about Andy. But Sam is convinced that Andy's evil and that it's only a matter of time before Sam also turns evil and starts murdering people, too.
It turns out that Andy's innocent, though. He has a twin brother who he's never met and that guy's behind the killings. He's picking off the people who've kept him and Andy apart. His next victim is Andy's girlfriend. He and Andy get into a "mind control" fight. Poor Sam gets knocked out. The evil twin almost gets Dean to shoot himself. But in the end, Andy kills his brother and saves the day. Sam and Dean leave town again, but Sam still isn't reassured about all kids with powers. He's worried about what it means to him and what will happen if the powers are a precursor of evil.
There are some great parts to this episode. I really like Andy. He uses his powers to wander around town in a bathrobe, talking people out of their coffee and dodging debt collector. He just really cute. And I just have to laugh when Andy talks Dean in to giving him the Impala. Sam's expression as he sees Andy driving it down the street is priceless. And Dean's explanation that Andy "Full on Obi Wan-ed me!" cracks me up. The look of concentration on Dean's face as he tries to stop himself from agreeing to Andy's mind control is hilarious. Sam's immune so he gives Dean this mystified, "Dude, what are you DOING?" sort of look and Dean can just helplessly shrug. Dean is usual pretty resistant to supernatural-ly stuff like that so it seemed to freak them both out. And I just have to laugh at Andy's ridiculous van. The Viking queen riding the polar bear just isn't doing it for me, no matter how impressed Dean is with the design. Finally, Dean signing RAO Speedwagon just makes me laugh.
I like Dean dealing with Sam's powers in this episode. He REALLY doesn't want to tell the Roadhouse crew about Sam. He worries about what the other Hunters will do if they learn that Sammy has a connection to the Demon. Even when Sam explains everything to Ellen, Dean just sits there watching Ellen closely as if daring her to say one critical thing to his brother. And Dean himself is starting to fear for Sam. (Thanks in part to John's whispered comments back in "In My Time of Dying," which will come out in "Hunted.") Dean argues again and again that Andy couldn't have been hurting anyone. (Leading to one of my favorite Sam responses ever, "Dude, the doctor was mind-controlled in front of a bus. Andy just happens to have the power of mind-control.") But when Andy uses his mind control on Dean all of Dean's secret thoughts come pouring out. How scared he is that something evil might be growing inside of his brother. Of course, after that Dean calls for a "Do over," but Sam still hears all of Dean's fears and he continues to worry about what's happening to him. But, Dean isn't scared OF Sam. He's scared FOR Sam. Which is a distinction that I think Sam is missing.
On the down side, and this is more of a question, wouldn't there only be nursery fires if the mom interrupted the YED in his late night visit? I don't see why this is so surprising for the boys. Mary only died and there was only a fire, because something went wrong. If everything went right, which it normally would, then there'd be no trace of the YED in the house, at all. It only makes sense, right? Also, I wish Andy's girlfriend had been a little bit more understanding at the end,
My favorite part of the episode: Andy discovering that he has a brother who's been stalking him and killing people. "I have...An evil...Twin..." It just cracks me up.
Supernatural: No Exit (2006)
Not the Best Episodes
I actually wrote my master's thesis on World's Fairs, so the true crime book, "Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson was pretty much required reading. The book is all about the juxtaposition of a rash of urban serial killings in Chicago, with the artificial splendor of the 1893 World's Fair. H. H. Holmes was the serial killer in the book and I actually like the idea of basing an episode around him. He was a human monster, who would make an excellent ghost for the boys to fight. "No Exit" is just not a great episode, though. It just never comes together. If you're interested in Jo's storyline, you might want to give it a shot, since she's in it a lot. And it does set up her anger with the brothers in the better episode to come, "Born Under a Bad Sign." However, if you don't care about Jo, then you could probably skip it and not miss much.
"No Exit" revolves around Jo. She wants to investigate killings in Philadelphia and Ellen is trying to stop her. Ellen gives the case to Dean & Sam instead. It seems that women are mysteriously disappearing from an apartment building. Jo follows the boys to Philly, where they soon discover that the ghost of H. H. Holmes is at work in the building. Holmes was America's first serial killer and soon he's kidnapped Jo. Sam & Dean have to save her from Holmes. Then they trap Holmes in a ring of salt in the sewer and cement him in. Meanwhile, Ellen is furious at Jo and the boys. She tells Jo that Jo's father died because of John. They were both Hunters and John used him as bait on a case they were working. Something went wrong and Jo's dad died. Jo takes her anger out on Dean and tells him to go away.
There are some good parts to this episode. I really like the ectoplasm in the building. Or, more specifically, I enjoy Dean's reaction to it. "Sam, I know what we're dealing with here. It's the StayPuf Marshmallow Man." It cracks me up. And I like Dean's ring tone playing "Smoke on the Water." It's a nice touch. And I enjoy his fearful respect of Ellen. She kinna scares him a little, especially when she calls asking where Jo is and Dean has to deliver the encouraging news that, "Look, we'll get her back, alright?" And the scene of them all driving together in the Impala is just so uncomfortable and perfect. But, at the same time, Dean tries to tell Jo that she should appreciate her mother more. It's a nice way to show how Dean misses his parents and how he never had someone to try and stop him from doing a dangerous job. He even tells Jo that he never really had choice about Hunting and now he can't do anything else. Even if he loves the job, he's trapped in it and doesn't see an exit.
On the down side, it's still hard for me to warm up to Jo. She just seems too try to hard. I really like the show best when it's just the two brothers hunting together. Poor Sam spends a lot of this episode getting coffee and doing stuff on screen. And Jo's reaction to Ellen's story is just ridiculous in my opinion. Why are Sam & Dean to blame for something their father did years before? They never even met Jo's dad. It's just out of line to take it out on them. Also, anyone who's ever watch the History Channel knows that photo of the murder victim shown in this episode is one of the women Jack the Ripper killed, not a H.H. Holmes victim.
My favorite part of the episode: The "Nebraska is for Lovers" t-shirt wearing tourists who wander into the Roadhouse while Sam & Dean are refereeing Jo & Ellen's screaming match. "We'll just try the Arby's down the road."
Sam & Dean Battle a Zombie
This is an episode that builds off of Dean's grief over John's death and sets-up a lot of stuff for the season finale and season three. Dean's emotions come to a head in "Children Shouldn't Play with Death Things." Where he finally admits that he believes that John traded his life and the Colt to the YED in order to bring Dean back. The guilt from that is eating Dean alive. All in all, this is a good episode that uses the monster-of-the-week to tell a deeper story about the characters. You shouldn't skip this episode if you're watching the season on DVD.
"Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things" revolves around a zombie girl named Angel, coming back from the dead and killing people. Sam & Dean come to town to visit Mary's grave. Well, Sam wants to visit it, Dean insists that it's a waste of time since Mary isn't even buried there. It's just a marker. Still, he goes along with Sam and while he's in the cemetery, he notices that the earth around one of the graves is all dry and dead. He's instantly suspicious that something supernatural is going on. Sam thinks Dean's just looking for a way to distract himself from his own grief.
Dean ignores his brother's skepticism and investigates the grave. It turns out that a girl, Angela, died in a car accident and was brought back by her dorky friend. He had a crush on her and didn't realize that bringing her back would mean she'd be evil. Angela kills her old boyfriend who cheated on her and then goes after her roommate who he cheated with. Sam and Dean have to stop her. The only problem is, there's so much zombie lore out there that they're not sure what will work. They try some different stuff, (Luckily not the feeding her heart to wild dogs thing, though.) They finally end up staking her into her casket, which seems to work, but Sam breaks his hand in the fight. (Dean says he's too fragile.) After the leave, Dean finally opens up to Sam about how guilty he feels over John dying and how he know that John gave up his life to save Dean.
There are some good parts to this episode. I really enjoy Dean summing up Neal's feelings for Angela as "unrequited Ducky love." And when he confronts Angela's father because Dean thinks that he's the one who's brought her back he ends up shouting "Haven't you seen 'Pet Semetary?'!" It makes me laugh. And I like the beginning of the episode, where Dean won't even let Sam out of his sight for one night. He'd rather go to visit Mary's grave, which he REALLY doesn't want to do, than be separated from his brother even temporarily. He's so cute when he's over protective. I also like how committed Dean is to investigating this case as an outlet for his pain. Sam keeps trying to talk to him about his emotions, which just makes Dean angrier. Then, at the end of the episode, Dean finally breaks down and tells Sam how horrible he feels. He's blaming himself for John's death. Sam and John are the only people Dean has in the world and having John sacrifice himself like that is tearing Dean apart.
I like Dean's dread of the grave yard, too. He can't get near Mary's grave, his eyes linger on a tombstone dedicated to someone's "loving father," he'd rather focus on anything than the death of his parents. Dean's obsession with Angela is all about himself. He keeps repeating that, "What's dead should stay dead." As the episode moves along, it becomes clear that he isn't talking about the zombie. It's all about how John shouldn't have saved him. Dean feels John's choice was wrong and not something that Dean would ever have wanted his father to do, no matter how selfless John's motives. This also ties in with "All Hell Breaks Loose" later in the season. Where Dean's convictions are shaken to their core and he has to make some impossible decisions of his own.
On the down side, Sam really could have said something at the end to make Dean feel better. How about, "It was dad's choice and he wanted you to live more than anything, Dean." Plus, that might have had some interesting connections down the road, too, especially in season three.
My favorite part of the episode: Dean breaking into Neal's house and calling, "Neal! It's your grief counselors. We're here to hug!" Then he pulls out a gun.
Supernatural: Bloodlust (2006)
This is the episode that introduces Gordon Walker, who will show up again in episodes to come. Gordon is a man dedicated to the extinction of evil and unable to see the shades of gray. There's human & non-humans in Gordon's world and anything that's non-human should just be killed. Or tortured and THEN killed. Gordon's really great character who I just love to hate. "Bloodlust" also continues to show Dean's downward spiral after losing their father. He isn't thinking straight and he's spoiling for a fight. All in all, this is a good episode that's incredibly important for the Gordon storyline, so you really do need to see it.
"Bloodlust" revolves around a nest of vampires. Sam & Dean come to town to investigate cattle mutilations and are surprised to find a nest of vampires at work. They're even more surprised to find another Hunter in the area, Gordon Walker, who specializes in vampires. He and Dean bond over decapitating a vampire and soon they're all having drinks. Sam isn't happy. He thinks that Gordon brings out the worse in Dean and that Dean is just latching onto Gordon because of John's death. Dean disagrees with that by punching Sam in the face.
Also a problem, the vampires aren't evil. They've actually given up drinking human blood and they're kinna upset that Hunters keep trying to kill them The kidnap Sam and try to reason with him. Sam believes them, but Gordon doesn't. He captures the vampire leader, Lenore, and tortures her with dead man's blood. Dean isn't thrilled with torturing anything, even a vampire. And then Gordon makes two even bigger mistakes. 1) He admits that his sister was turned into a vampire and he killed her. 2) He cuts Sam's arm. At that point, Dean pretty much hates Gordon. He's never real fond of people who murder their family members (see season three's "Red Sky at Morning") and the idea of killing a sibling like that hits close to home. (see season two's "Hunted.") And basically nobody hurts Sammy without Dean going ballistic. So Dean punches Gordon, the brothers help the vampires escape and Gordon gets left behind, tied to a chair.
There are some good parts to this episode. I enjoy Sam & Dean pretending to be reporters for the Weekly World News. Or the World Weekly News, Dean can't remember the name. The sheriff just rips right through their cattle mutilation theory and it cracks me up. And I really like Gordon and Dean interacting, swapping depressing stories on how they became Hunters. And I think Gordon's sister dying that way is a nice precursor to the choices Dean will be faced with later in the show. (see "Born Under a Bad Sign.") When Gordon tells Dean that he would have made the same choice in his place because they're alike, it's just a nice setup for what's to come. I also like Dean riding the edge of sanity as he grieves for John. He still doesn't trust the Road House crew, or anyone else, but he's so desperate to have another Hunter to talk to that he just latches on to Gordon. And I like the boys pretending to be doctors. The entire scene is funny as they con their way into the morgue and then have to deal with a severed head. (Complete with a nice "Silence of the Lambs" impression from Dean.) Plus, it's ironic that Dean complains that a lot of strange stuff happens in Florida, considering what will happen to him in season three's "Mystery Spot."
I think this is also an episode that shows Sam's strength. There were moments in season one where I got angry at Sam for shooting down Dean's dreams of the Winchesters' "traveling demon hunting show." Dean's just so needy that I kept wanting Sam to offer him some real reassurance that he needed Dean and that Dean wouldn't be alone. I love Dean. In season one, Sam was pretty focused on holding on to the life he'd created for himself at Stanford and still often reacted to Dean as a stand-in for John. He kept stressing that he didn't want to be called Sammy, the nick-name Dean and his father had given him. His love for Dean was still mixed up with Dean as the authority figure of his youth. By "Bloodlust" he's stopped complaining that Dean called him Sammy and, in fact, tells Gordon that ONLY Dean can call him that. This Sam is different than the Sam who left for college or went along for Dean's road trip after Jessica died. He's no longer a kid running away from his destiny or reacting to Dean like a rebellious teenager. He treated Dean a lot more like a equal. In fact, in this episode, it's Sam trying to take care of Dean.
On the down side, Dean shouldn't have punched Sam. The poor guy gets beat up enough.
My favorite part of the episode: The Impala fixed and cruising down the highway while "Back in Black" blares. Just a perfect scene.
Another Great Episode
I appreciated this episode more the second time I saw it. Possibly because of Stephen King's "It," I find clowns pretty scary. So, the first time through, I was preoccupied with being creeped out. After seeing the rest of the season, though, you can see all the stuff "Everybody Loves a Clown" sets up. First off, this is the episode that introduces Jo, Ellen and the Hunter bar "The Roadhouse." It turns out that there are a lot of Hunters roaming around the countryside and a lot of them have heard of the Winchesters. Secondly, it shows the trauma that Dean has gone through at the loss of his father. He isn't dealing with it well and he's trying to hide his rage and sorrow behind behind his usual tough guy mask. It also sets Sam up in more of a protective role. Last season Dean was the one shielding Sam most of the time. Now, Sam's saying that he doesn't want to go back to Stanford, partly because he thinks John would want him to keep Hunting and partly because Sam sees that Dean is spinning out of control. Sam is worried about Dean and trying to get him to talk about his problems rather than keep than buried under his "I don't give a d*nm" smirk, something that will come up again in season three. All in all, you shouldn't skip this episode.
"Everybody Loves a Clown" revolves around a monster, dressed as a clown, killing people. It works it's way into homes by befriending children and then killing the parents. Sam and Dean are staying at Bobby's after John's death. The two boys burned their father Darth Vader style, but they're still not handling his passing very well. Dean is burying himself in fixing the Impala. While Sam is lobbying for the boys to take on other jobs and devote themselves to carrying out John's legacy. He also wants to find the YED and he'd like Dean to open up with him about his feelings more. Getting a message from an old friend of John's, Ellen, the boys head to the bar. She and her daughter Jo specialize in Hunter clientèle and the have a computer expert named Ash on hand, to help the boys decipher John's notes on the YED.
Since they're in town anyway, the boys begin investigating the clown killings. They get jobs at the carnival where the killings have been traced, too. They save one little girl from being clown food, but they're distracted by their own feelings of guilt and grief. Meanwhile, Ellen's daughter Jo is interested in Dean. He finds he attractive, but he's too depressed to put too much effort into a seduction. The brothers finally figure out what's doing the killings, a monster disguised as a blind knife thrower. They stop him, then Sam finally tell Dean that neither of them are dealing with John's death well and that they'll have to deal with it. Dean response is to beat the Impala with a crowbar.
There are some great parts to this episode. I really like Sam's fear of clowns. It's just so funny and random and gives Dean an opportunity to really tease him. "What's a matter Sammy? Sounds like you just saw a clown." And "You used to cry when Ronald McDonald came on the TV." When Sam fights back reminding Dean of fear of flying, Dean's retorts "Planes Crash!" Sam's response "And apparently clowns kill!" just cracks me up. And the clown in this episode is really terrifying. It's so creepy, standing out on front lawns and waving at kids. **shudder** And I like Ash a lot. His stupid hair cut hides a surprisingly smart guy. And I think it's cute that the boys move in with Bobby as they try to deal with John's death. Bobby is turning into a surrogate father for them. Of course, he gives them that "soccer mom" van to drive around, which Dean doesn't necessarily appreciate. But with the Impala out of commission, he doesn't have much of a choice. And speaking of the Impala, I think last episode Sam was seeing it as representing his brother. Like Dean, it had been damaged and needed to be fixed. In "Everybody Loves a Clown" I think that Dean is seeing the Impala as representing John. He's obsessed with fixing it and won't even talk to Sam about much else for the week after John died. But, at the end, after Sam's speech finally gets through to him a bit, Dean takes a crow bar to the Impala. Giving into his sorrow as he beats the car in an almost blind rage, over John making that deal and leaving him. It's a very powerful scene.
A lot of this episode is about people not quite fitting in and trying to find a place to belong. There's the Road House, which caters to Hunters, who have nowhere else to belong. The carnival workers are living the same, transient lifestyle. The carnival owner even tells the boys that they should go back to their old lives of school and normalcy. But Sam dismisses that, saying it's not what they want. The brothers go to Bobby's, but that's not exactly where they belong, either. Really Sam & Dean are struggling to find somewhere to fit in. Mixed in with this is the image of a clown, something childlike twisted into something evil. Sam & Dean have lost their own father, and with him the last bits of the childhood. They're on their own now, in a world filled with evil things.
On the down side, I really don't like Jo very much.
My favorite part of the episode: Sam and Dean arriving at the carnivals owner's office and seeing two chairs. One ordinary office chair, one horrible looking clown chair. Watching the boys nearly knocking each other over, trying to get to the normal chair first is hilarious.