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Better late than never, right?  I'm almost a week behind my goal of writing up a visual review a week, so I better get going!  Not too much time left before the season starts, which is a fantastic thing to be able to say.  So, up this week is the very fun "Frontierland," directed by the great and fabulous Guy Norman Bee.  Check out Sablegreen's exclusive interview with him, if you haven't already, and follow him on Twitter @guynormanbee if you're on Twitter.  Or just enjoy the episodes that he directs.  I know I do!  All right, enough kissing up to Mr. Bee.  Let's take a look at the pretty from "Frontierland," shall we?  And there was a LOT of pretty in this episode.  Seriously.  I probably could have posted 30 shots from this episode, but because I upload my own articles to the site now, I didn't because I am lazy and wanted to make less work for myself.  What?  Totally valid reason!


Can't go wrong starting off with a classic shot like this!  It's the quintessential Western two-man showdown in the muddy main street of a two-bit town.  It will always be awesome.


I love this guy in the window.  Look at that epic facial hair!  I mean, the moustache alone is incredible.  I just wonder what the maintenance is on that thing.  And I like the contrast between the white-ish window, the light curtains, and this man tentatively peeking out from the shadows because he's curious but still doesn't want to get too involved.


This is a great angle to shoot this panic room from.  It's so much more industrial-feeling than Bobby's panic room.  It's probably the harsh flourescent lighting.  Bobby's at least has the ceiling vent to let in some natural light.  But this one does have more books.  It's a tough choice.


I adore this wall.  Check out all those photos!  It's just such a cool collage.  It's the kind of thing I want to make in my house, actually, but I don't have any pictures of my ancestors from that far back.  There's even one picture toward the bottom left that looks like a man wearing a yarmuluke, which ties in the later joke in "Let It Bleed" about Moishe Campbell.  I have no idea if that was intentional or if that's even a yarmuluke, but let's say it was intentional and marvel at the superb planning of the "Supernatural" crew.


And speaking of books in the panic room, just look at these sumptuous examples.  One of my all-time favorite things on this show are the book props.  Seriously, I can't get enough of them.  I mean, what other show makes fake books that are so gorgeous you can do close-ups of them?  I know books are an important part of this show and are used a lot for the lore and whatnot, but it would be easy to just show someone reading a book and not show what's inside.  But these are all so well done that it's worth looking closer.  Hat's off to the prop department for the books they make.


The real reason this shot is included: PRETTY!  Look at the lighting on Cass' face, and the whole image, actually, how it's a line between light and shadow but not yet darkness.  It's gorgeous.  Also, he looks seriously hot.
The way I'm justifying including this shot: having gone through the entire season and knowing what we know about Cass' actions and state-of-mind at this point, isn't this one shot a perfect allegory for him?  He's sliding into shadow and darkness but desperately trying to cling to the light.  Eagle-eyed WFB regulars may also note that this is the exact shot I used for my WFB profile icon, though I tweaked my icon some.  So, clearly, I like it a lot.


This is so cool.  I love the focus on the charred skeleton with Sam and Dean sort of just there in the background because, really, a charred skeleton is so much cooler!  Sorry, guys, but we see you all the time.  More charred skeletons!  I also love how it's so casually just there on the bed, like it's taking a nap or something.  It's hard work being a charred skeleton.


Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-01 22:01
Guy Bee is a genius, I concur.

I love how you break down some of the visuals that are so beautifully given to us on this show. Sometimes taking the time to look at stills of different scenes can give us insight into what's going on (the lighting in the jail scene you mentioned for instance) that we miss as it flips by so fast on screen.

I have always loved the Angel Death visual, too. It just seems so cool, such an amazing representation of what and who they were despite their "human" appearance. I think who ever was responsible for that, they need a hug.

The props department does need a huge round of applause. Those books they create, I'm so with you. They're gorgeous, look so real, and pull us so much further into the story.

Wonderfully done. Love it. (Oh, and Misha did look hot in that shot).
# Alice 2011-09-01 22:42
Guy Norman Bee talked about filming #9 at the con in Vancouver. He said that was one of those "happy accidents." The lighting was coming through just right and Serge Ladoucer had them film that scene right away. You are right, it was one of those rare days at just the perfect time and they were able to take advantage.
# Holmes 2011-09-02 09:59
Awesome review!
I concur with everyone else, Guy Bee is just fantastic
I have to say that my favorite one is number 8 (Beautiful location), I also really like 12 and 13 (love the lighting in both), oh, and 1, 7, and 11.
I kinda love them all :-)
Stunning episode visual
Thanks Arde!
# Sylvie 2011-09-02 14:46
Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures. This was such a great episode. I've been a lover of westerns since I was a little girl, anything from John Ford to Sergio Leone and everything in between, so I was super excited when I heard SPN was doing a western. These two guys have always reminded me of Butch and Sundance so much.

As for my favourite pictures, I would say 1 and 8 because of the western imagery; 10, because I will never tire of seeing that beautiful wing span, and last but not least 13. For the lighting alone that scene deserves an A+. It is so beautifully shot with Dean in the shadows like that and the bad guy in the light. I love the way you interpreted that shot, it was brilliant. You have the eye of a photographer. And one last mention to the sepia tone when they are in the past, that was a perfect idea.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2011-09-02 21:47
Hi Arde,

This was great. I think I loved every shot in Frontierland, mostly because you just knew cast and crew were having such a good time.

My favourites, from your picks, are 1, 5, 9 and 14 for all the reasons you stated, and because I love Dean's hat hair! Also, because I think I know the "warehouse" where #9 was filmed, and I believe I was actually there this summer. So, so cool!
# Marilyn 2011-09-03 11:26
Terrific review - as always. :lol:

I appreciate your slowing things down and enabling us to see what is really there. When I watch the show, there are only fleeting impressions, so it is fun to see all the different elements that make up the show: lighting, props, locations,costu me. When watching the show, I tend to focus on characters and the storyline.

I also enjoy reading your interpretations of the shots as in #13. Isn't amazing how much light this show uses when we think of it as a "dark" show?

Frontierland was all around great; I bet it was hard to pick which shots to use. (Wasn't it awesome the fog came up just as they were shooting the cemetery scene?)
# Jasminka 2011-09-04 10:13
Better late than never, indeed! This will most likely be one of my all-time favourite episodes of a fabulous show.
Thanks for shedding light -again-on it, in your special way.
Cheers, Jas