It's interesting how I'll easily cite the first half of season one as the weakest part of the series yet find two early episodes in a row I adore. Going for creep factor instead of emotional drama of "Phantom Traveler" serves "Blood Mary" very well.  As I said in a previous article, I think this is the creepiest episode ever done. 

This episode is weaker compared to "Phantom Traveler." There isn't as much funny, the lines aren't as good, and the guest acting is weak. Anytime I wish for characters like Jill, Donna, or even Charlie to die, then the acting hasn't won me over. However, creepy disheveled woman in raggedy dress haunting people in the mirror, awesome! Charlie freaking out over Mary's reflections in chemistry class, awesome! There also isn't a more chilling scene than Sam and Dean in the "hall of mirrors" confronting Mary and their inner demons in the process. It couldn't be good when Dean is distracted and Sam is left to face Mary alone. Mirror Sam, eyes bleeding and all, berating Real Sam about letting Jessica die because he dreamt about her death days before it happened is really freaky. Freaky cool. Then Dean does come back and his eyes bleed. Why? That's something that fans have wondered about forever and at this point may never get the answer.

This Sam focused episode on the surface is meant to show his extreme guilt over Jess' death. His nightmares are worse, he's more frazzled, and Dean is way more concerned. When Sam thinks he can summon Mary because of his "secret", Dean pulls over, unable to take Sam's behavior anymore. I love Dean's talk, yelling at Sam to get over this and stop blaming himself. He doesn't like the plan and doesn't understand Sam's guilt. This is one of the first glimpses we get of Dean being the overprotective big brother. When Sam won't tell Dean the truth, even when it's all over, this is the first glimpse we get of Sam hiding things from Dean. Something that STILL HAPPENS TODAY. 



Once the MOTW story is wrapped up in a neat bow, Sam learns his lesson and stops blaming himself, right? Ah ha! There's the gotcha ending that I love watching over and over again. First, "Laugh I Nearly Died" by the Rolling Stones is an inspired choice of background music. It fits Sam's somber mood perfectly. Second, when Sam sees Jessica's spirit on the sidewalk, that's a hint that Sam can't let his guilt go, especially based on his haunted reaction. Sure, none of us at first viewing see what it really means, which is Sam's psychic abilities are starting to manifest. No, we didn't see it coming because that twist surfaced without warning FOUR EPISODES LATER. I'm not sure if subtlety was the intention, but that was WAY too subtle to keep people interested in Sam's storyline. That's not a complaint about the episode, just the development of the arc.   My overall grade, B+.     

Comments  

Deborah
# Deborah 2010-01-09 01:29
Again, thanks for your review, Alice. I loved this episode also. I took a vacation day today so I was able to watch this ep again on TNT this morning. My favorite scene in this one is the talk between the boys in the car after Dean stops it along the side of the road on the way to the antique shop. I love the intensity of this scene, of Dean's protectiveness and Sam's insistence that he has to do it to save people. I especially love the lighting in this scene, with the rain on the windows and the headlights from passing cars. On a shallower note, the lighting makes the boys look especially beautiful in this scene. And I love Dean's expression when Sam tells him that he doesn't know all about because he hasn't told him everything, and that it wouldn't really be a secret if he told him all about it.

I also love a number of the lines in this episode:
"And how many times in Dad's long and varied career has it actually been some freak medical thing and not some sign of an awful supernatural death."
"I think we're under-dressed."
"Because I'm an awesome brother."
"Did you find anything?" "Besides a whole new level of frustration? No."
". . . and a giant mirror fell on a guy named Dave."
"Look, you're my brother, and I'd die for you, but there are some things I need to keep to myself."

Thanks again for a wonderful mini recap, Alice!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-01-09 02:18
This is one of those episodes that scared me big time! Reminded me a lot of TheRing, as was intended by the creators, I think. This idea of Mary coming up in any mirror-like substance was super-creepy…

I love the tension between the brothers here. Not the kind we find later, of course, but the mutual worries, Dean’s shock at finding Sam would not tell him everything, the, as you aptly put it, over-protective ness of Dean and Sam’s reluctance… Promises of great moments to come.

I fear you’re right, we might never get an answer to what Dean’s secret was that made his eyes bleed. That one in particular has been bugging me ever since…

Deborah, I’d say it’s okay to be shallow once in a while – we do so much analysing here that we sometimes forget to mention that the two leads are simply two of the most gorgeous guys I’ve seen on tv in a long time. Well, the eye needs to feed as well. And, well, it’s also part of the world we call Hollywood. (and, I bet, there are actors/actresse s the guys love to watch and think ‘she’s gorgeous’…)
;-)

Love this episode! Thanks for this review, wonderful to find them on a daily basis… ha… don’t remember who said it in another comment, but it is indeed like watching the show again, time warp level.
Now I’m off to cleaning snow and later I’ll get my hot chocolate, a friend whom I introduced to the show coming over, and I know he’ll want to watch the odd episode… Ha.
Freezing. Jas
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-01-09 08:39
Alice, your such an amazing little trooper for writing these Mini Reviews!! They capture quite perfectly the whole point and mood of the eppie and bring back lotsa good memories.
This eppie is indeed the most creepiest one, hands down. The whole Mary on every mirror and glass surfave is reaaally spooky and I was totally freaked when we saw the dead guy with his eyes gone *shudders*
I agree that there are slower bits which I usually FF but the brotherly moments are golden!! I love every single one of them and the RW button is used more than my machines can handle :D The ending is so touching, it gets me every time. Sad and haunting.

Ps. On a side note yet again, I always thought that Deans eyes bled 'cause Mary was out of her mirror and was stronger...:oop s: :geek:
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-01-09 12:57
I loved this episode because of the brotherly moments. Especially when Sam wakes up from his nightmare in the hotel room. Dean's worry over Sam really start manifesting itself here. Again, I love the brotherly moments. That's the premise of the show that first got me to watch it back in 2005. And Kripke & Co. have not disappointed. Thanks for the mini reviews, Alice. They are great. It's so fun rediscovering the awesomeness of our little show all over again.

Oh, and BTW, I think we should flood Kripke's office with cards telling him that he needs to reveal in a future episode why Dean's eyes bled. He is answering every other question that has been left hanging - why not this one.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-01-09 15:49
alice, thnsk for the review. How much I miss season 1 and 2. it's noth that the later serason aren't aweoms too, but i do miss the botherly interaction back then. I know that the story has to evolve, Sam has to grow up and all but I have a guilty confession to make: I alwasys loved when Dean played the overprotective big brother. It's probably because I had a little brother myself. Even when he got taller than me I often wished I could put him in a safe so nobody or nothing could harm him. So Dean's overprotectiven ess never failed to get my sympathy. And that's why I have trouble with later episodes such as The End when he acts so cold towards Sam, at least in the first half. He barely reacted at being told that Sam had died in Detroit. Lately he seems to care more about Castiel than about Sam.
As for Jessica, that's right, Sam did never get over the guilt. This issue was addressed in changing Channels, when Sam was told that he's afraid to love because of the girl who died on the operating table.
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-01-09 21:33
Really enjoying the daily mini-reviews, thanks! This episode was the first time I'd ever heard "Laugh, I Nearly Died", now one of my favorite songs. I agree, it completely transforms that scene.

As for Dean's bleeding eyes, anyone seen this interview?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxxFxhSrrTQ

Aw, Kripke, don't be cruel! It doesn't even have to be incorporated into the show--just tell us :D

Another reason I'm fond of Bloody Mary: Sam and Dean pose as medical students from Ohio State! It's my favorite Supernatural "Ohio moment", right up there with the Impala's new plates. Kripke must really like this urban legend, as he set it in Toledo :-)
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-01-10 07:19
Gosh, I realize I made loads of typing mistakes! Sorry. I do that that everytime I get enthusiastic about a subject. :oops:
Suze
# Suze 2010-01-12 06:21
:oops: Dirty secret time ... This is one of the few episodes that actually scares me. I hate the idea of things appearing in mirrors. I usually end up watching through my fingers and muttering " Shutupshutupshu tup " at the red shirt Twitgurls and getting funny looks from the cats.

Some top BroMos as well - Perfect.