There’s been a lot of hate piled on “Bugs” over the years, and let me just start by saying this: I get it. “Bugs” isn’t a good episode. The pacing is bad, the writing is worse, and the night lasts for like 8 minutes. (8 minutes! There isn’t even a “look at the evening pass” montage or anything!) There are plenty of reasons to dislike this episode. Hell, Alice can probably spend an hour listing all the reasons she hates it.
BUT! I love “Bugs.” There, I said it. I love this episode. Not in a “this episode is so good, I want to put on some Led Zeppelin and make out with it” kind of way. More in a “this is so bad, it’s good” kind of way. It’s like eating a whole plate of chocolate-chip cookies. I know I shouldn’t, but they’re so damn good I can’t stop myself. And maybe I feel a little sick afterwards, but that doesn’t stop me from eating an entire plate the next time I bake. It’s a guilty pleasure, my “Dr. Sexy.” I’m never going to put it on my Top 10 Episodes list or anything, but when I think of “Bugs,” I don’t cringe in horror like most fans probably do. I giggle and smile because I like watching this episode. So, in no particular order (or maybe more or less chronologically since I’m writing this as I watch the episode) here are some reasons why I love “Bugs.”
- There’s a “previously on” section with words on the screen and everything! I always forget they did that back in season 1.
- The guy getting eaten to death by bugs is really, really awesomely gross. I bet you’ve forgotten just how gross it is! Here’s a handy reminder.
- Sam lounging on the Impala in front of the bar reading the paper is kind of hot.
- They’re both smiling! Dean’s so proud of himself for his pool-hustling winnings, too.
- Dean watches “Oprah”!
- Remember when there was time for dramatic Impala driving scenery shots?
- Sam knows it’s suspicious when you find dead bugs but no bug trails!
- Dean makes this face.
- Dean stopping for the free BBQ is perfectly in character for him. They established earlier in the episode that he’s hustling pool for cash, so it makes absolute sense that he’d want to get free food whenever he can. This is also true of grad students.
- The first time people mistake Sam and Dean for a couple happens in this episode. A lot in this episode. And it is amusing. The best part is how Sam clues in right away and is bemused, but it takes Dean a second to work through what the developer says. And once he does, he can’t say “we’re brothers” fast enough. But the second time it happens, he just plays it up, uses it as a way to embarrass his brother and leave him with the pushy real-estate agent.
- Sam Winchester, bug whisperer.
- Aw, Sam gives an “it gets better” speech. That’s cute. And then heartbreaking when you realize for him it got better when he left for college. Meep.
- Sam drives the Impala!
- Along with getting free food at the BBQ, squatting makes total sense when you’re always low on money. Luckily, this empty house also has a working steam shower and towels to go with it.
- The real-estate agent vs. the spiders scene is hilarious! First off, if a spider that big crawled on my face, I sure as hell wouldn’t just brush it off and go back to watching the news, and I like spiders! That’s a freak-out situation right there. At least she manages to freak out about the (bad) CGI spiders that come out of the showerhead.
- This is a really cool shot of Sam and Dean breaking in to dead lady's house.
- PLASTIC HALLOWEEN SPIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s just great when Dean pulls up the towel after the realtor gets killed and they all fall out. Seriously one of my favorite parts of the episode right there.
- Dean’s "Hamlet" moment.
- I love how Sam’s worried people are going to see the bones in the box he’s carrying, so he covers them with his jacket. But then goes and talks about a “bunch of skeletons in an unmarked grave” right in front of everyone anyway.
- Dean stops to ask for directions when they’re heading to the reservation, which is all kinds of great.
- “You know who starts sentence with ‘truth is’? Liars.” That guy got saddled with all sorts of clunky exposition, but that line was precious.
- The history in this episode is such a hot mess, it makes me laugh. Joe White Tree says that his family was living in the area 200 years ago, which would have been 1806, since the episode takes place in 2006. Then the cavalry comes and makes them leave the land. First of all, the United States didn’t even HAVE a standing cavalry until 1808, when it commissioned a unit of light dragoons. The unit had 8 men in it. Second, the Indian Removal Act wasn’t signed until 1830, under Andrew Jackson. So troops wouldn’t have been removing any Native Americans from their lands until at least that late, and they started in the east and worked their way west. Ha ha, research!
- The bugs chew through the phone lines. And the power lines. Those bugs are clever, I tell you.
- Flaming. Can. Of. Bug. Spray. YES!
- How can you not laugh at the 8-minute night in this episode? It’s amazing!
- I do feel bad for Jared and Jensen, though, having to film with all those bees and getting stung a lot and they ended up needing to CGI them in anyway.
- I love that at the end of the episode when the family is packing up, Dean just helps load boxes while Sam talks to the son, Matt. No use just standing around looking pretty. Load some boxes, Dean!
- They made it a whole episode without using the FBI as aliases! They pose as nephews of Dustin the dead guy, brothers looking for a retirement home for their father, students in Anthro 101, Dean pretends to be Travis Weaver from Oklahoma Power and Gas. But no law enforcement!
- They’re such brothers in this episode: Dean teasing Sam about being scared to go in the sinkhole, Sam and Dean arguing about how they were raised, Sam hits Dean’s stomach when he pulls into the garage of the house they’re squatting in. There’s a lot of discussion about how they were raised, how much Sam resented their father. But Dean also tells Sam about the times when John would go to Stanford just to check up on him. There’s some good bonding going on in this episode.
- But did I mention PLASTIC HALLOWEEN SPIDERS!!!!!!!?? Best ever.
Ah, “Bugs.” That was fun, watching the episode again. It’s so bad it’s good! Hilarious, over-the-top, ridiculous, and a great way to spend 45 minutes. So, who’s with me? Anyone else think “Bugs” is so bad it’s good? What are your favorite parts?
For all the latest Supernatural info and article links, follow The Winchester Family Business on Twitter at @WinFamBusiness