It's the Willow Tree motel! That's the similiar sign from “Mystery Spot," the motel Sam went to dig that bullet out of his ribs. Granted the inside is different, but I guess reusing signs is allowed. They did that with A Very Supernatural Christmas too (Cicero Pines), so I wonder if this is a norm for Jeremy Carver episodes. Probably just a coincidence.
Dean dreams of the red and black flashes from Hell again and there's Castiel. I heard all those squeals of joy! Awesome how he pops in and out like that and when Sam isn't around. He's an imaginary friend or something. You have to stop it. Before Dean gets an answer, the magic angel fingers go in between the eyes and he's being woken from a park bench. No time for a long slow setup.
Dean's cell phone doesn't work and the park bench says Sugar Free Tab. He ain't in Kansas anymore more. Oh wait¦ Dean, didn't you notice all the classic cars around? You'd think a car guy like him would be in paradise. Also, isn't this the same town square from Smallville? Yeah, I'm sure I could fill a whole article on shared sets of Vancouver shows.
Rambling Man by the Allman Brothers plays on the juke box as Dean enters the diner, which is another time warp error since that song wasn't released until August 25th of that year. Yes, I know my classic rock too. Dean asks the person next to him where he can get reception on his cell phone and I yelled out Starship Enterprise! a second before the other guy said it. Who didn't see that one coming? The kicker though is the devastation of the waiter (I want one of those fuzzy vests) and other man when Dean mentions that Sonny and Cher broke up. He finally figures something is wrong, and the date on the newspaper confirms it. April 30, 1973. Could it be all that nastiness happens on May 2nd, the day Sam was born? Possible, since Jess and Mary both died on November 2nd.
Dean rounds the corner and there's lovely Castiel again. For a guy that never smiles and always has a rumpled appearance, he's great on the eyes. Dean gives my favorite line of the episode. So what is it, angels got their hands on some DeLoreans? I'm still laughing over that, and plan to somehow work that into regular conversation. Castiel says again, You have to stop it. How heartbreaking when we find out what it is. Of course he disappears again before Dean gets the answer. Are you allergic to straight answers you son of a bitch? I don't think that's getting you answers Dean. How about please? Angels are temperamental if you haven't figured that out.
Trust me, this thing is still going to be badass when it's 40. Sure, considering she had to be rebuilt, of course she's in great shape. Dean starts the awkward conversation with his dad by asking about cold spots, sulfur, and cattle mutilations. Sure, that's exactly what I want to say to my dad when I travel back in time. Seen any dead cows lately? Dean goes away, John wisely buys the car.
John pulls up in his new Impala, and Dean pulls up in that time warped 79 Pinto. Angels must be pretty talented, for they can transport vehicles too. Dean is in shock over seeing the younger version of his mom. Later, while watching the young, star crossed lovers through the window at the diner, a still in awe Dean admits Mary is a babe. â€œIâ€™m going to Hell. Again.â€ Thatâ€™s so priceless. After John and Mary have a sweet conversation discussing the future, Mary excuses herself. Dean spies on John looking at the engagement ring that he obviously plans to give Mary, and then Mary comes up behind Dean and starts kicking his ass! Dean eventually overtakes her and his shock is the same as ours once he sees her bracelet. Sheâ€™s a hunter! Um, er, yeah, I guess that explains a lot.
ohn pulls up in his new Impala, and Dean pulls up in that time warped 79 Pinto. Angels must be pretty talented, for they can transport vehicles too. Dean is in shock over seeing the younger version of his mom. Later, while watching the young, star crossed lovers through the window at the diner, a still in awe Dean admits Mary is a babe. I'm going to Hell. Again. That's so priceless. After John and Mary have a sweet conversation discussing the future, Mary excuses herself. Dean spies on John looking at the engagement ring that he obviously plans to give Mary, and then Mary comes up behind Dean and starts kicking his ass! Dean eventually overtakes her and his shock is the same as ours once he sees her bracelet. She's a hunter! Um, er, yeah, I guess that explains a lot.
John brings Mary home in the new Impala (new to him anyway) and I guess they got to finish their date. Dean appears and insists on meeting her family of hunters, pulling the I'm a hunter too card. He gets introduced to Mary's dad, who basically hates other hunters and doesn't want Dean in his house. Mary's mom does an introduction though, Deanna and Samuel Campbell. So Dean was named after his grandmother and Sam grandpa? How funny. Why didn't Dean know this? Didn't he never look at a family tree?
Dean's at the dinner table, throwing around the mistrust with the Campbell family. They aren't the Bradys, that's for sure. Mary wants to know why Dean was following her and John. He thought something was up with her "boyfriend," but apparently he was wrong. Good cover! Samuel talks about John Winchester with a "sour lemon look." John is a nice "civilian" guy. Oh, just wait and see what happens to him. Mary asks if he'd rather see her with a guy like Dean, and suddenly Dean feels a bit awkward, breaking in with the "no, no" answer. After both Dean and Samuel refuse to talk about what jobs they're on, Mary spills the beans about something suspicious at a nearby farm, a death involving a combine when the crops are all dead. Dean gets it, demonic omens. Dean asks, "Did you find anything on the web?" then covers his tracks, throwing in "of information." Deana says it could be electrical storms, and the weather graphs will be there on Friday. Dean says "That long?" and Samuel quips, No, we hired a jetliner to fly it here to us overnight. Ha! How did people survive before the Internet and Federal Express? Dean insists they work together, but Samuel is an old school hunter. "What part of 'we work alone' did you not understand son?"
Mary sets off the collective sobbing when she says, You know the worst thing I can think of, the very worst thing, is for my children to be raised into this like I was. I won't let it happen. Dean understandably is crushed. It's so tough for him to hear that knowing the outcome. He fights through his distress to tell her on November 2, 1983 not to get out of bed, but can't make it through without breaking into tears. I'm pausing the TiVo now and going to dig out another box of Kleenexes.
I'm scratching my head, trying to figure out how Dean got from Eastern Kansas to the mountains of Colorado and back to Lawrence in a Pinto so quickly. My mother couldn't get to the other end of town in one of those rust buckets. Climbing hills can't be considered either, so Dean probably had to get out and push once he got to a mountain. But hey, at least the fuel economy was better.
Anyway, Dean's on his two state Pinto trek, and poof, there's Castiel. God is my copilot. He has to be in that death trap. Dean asks why Sam couldn't see this (thank you!) and Castiel reveals Dean had to do this alone. Dean worries that Sam is tearing up the future looking for him. "Sam's not looking for you," Castiel says. Nope, he's off yanking black smoke out of possessed humans. Oh, did I give something away? Castiel also warns Dean that if he tries to save his parents, his father, he and Sam will never become hunters, and all those people they saved will die. Dean is aware, but that's not stopping him. He won't let his parents die again. He can't. Castiel disappears before he gets an answer to that.
While this seems like the same dilemma from What Is And What Should Never Be, this time Dean's choice is different. He has the chance to save his family over saving others. When the choice involved his happiness over other lives it was no contest. Throw his family in the mix though and his dedication to saving the world is bound to change. Plus killing Yellow Eyes lets him carry on his most important task, saving Sam. I wonder if this visit in time is not only a glimpse, but a character test as well. Putting family first means he's more likely to effectively deal with Sam. Maybe that's why Castiel told him the truth in the end.
What I don't understand is how Dean convinces Elkins to let him borrow the colt, but whatever, he got it. I'll dismiss for the sake of plot. Samuel tells Mary about Libby Walsh, she insists they save her since she's a friend of hers. Oh, so a total stranger is okay? Swarmy bible salesman talks to a woman about a deal and Grandpa barges in with a shotgun. Have these guys never dealt with demons before? They're hunters, right? Holy water and rock salt didn't exist in 1973 either? Was the early 70's the dark ages or something? Yellow Eyes has no problem overpowering both Samuel and Mary. Dean shows up with the colt, but as we've seen before, Yellow Eyes escapes in a black cloud in no time.
Mary didn't remember that? Come on, she was warned twice. No, I get it, I'm a mom too. If there's an intruder in my baby's room, I'll ignore warnings to ignore it. As for the deal, what choice did she have? If she didn't take the deal, there would be no Dean and Sam, so she loses either way. Still, whose heart isn't crushed right now by the fact that she unknowingly doomed her youngest son?
Back in June, Becky Gilreath came up with an amazing idea. In support of Jared Padalecki and all he does for the fans, she wanted to make him a photobook. The idea was to collect pictures from fans with Jared, and present them in a professionally done book at Eyecon in September.
What started out as a simple idea ballooned into something greater and ended up being one of the greatest acts I've ever seen done by any fandom. Becky not only collected pictures, but fans started sending donations as well for the cost of the book. Pretty soon, she had more than enought to cover the cost and took the proceeds and started a fund. Any excess donations would be contributed in Jared's name to The Animal Rescue Site
Kripke, you magnificent bastard.
The long, painful summer is finally over, and in compensation for our agony our reward is a pure gem. Eric Kripke does love us. Sure, Dean getting out of Hell is a forgone conclusion, but in coming up with a plausible explanation, the opportunity is seized to veer this show in drastic new territory, opening up a world of possibilities. We have a whole new show, and it's awesome.
The script for "Lazarus Rising" is sheer perfection. Every little element transitions seamlessly, a remarkable juggling act considering what's packed into this episode. On top of the flawless construction, the storytelling is vastly superior and the pacing extraordinary from the word go. Couple this with "No Rest For The Wicked", and Eric Kripke the writer has risen to master of his craft. Not that the acting, directing, set decoration, visual and special effects, etc. are shabby. Every single part comes together for full circle brilliance.
I'm going to try a new format this season, one that worked well with my analysis of "A Very Supernatural Christmas"; detailed recaps broken into two part segments. Granted, an episode might come along that won't warrant such scrutiny, but not that's not the case with this one. Kripke and company gave us plenty to ponder.
Yesterday on my doorstep was the best cure to a rotten day at work ever, courtesy of Warner Brothers Television. As my jaw hit the floor once I saw what was inside I knew that somehow, after writing obsessively about Supernatural for months, I've made an impression.
Inside was a black box, sealed with a symbol that will be the target of my Internet searches today. After carefully peeling back the seal (I didn't have the heart to break it), I found a Holy Bible (King James Version), with a custom made Supernatural bookmark wedged at the beginning of The Book of Revelation. The scripture on bookmark was from Revelations 5:2, "Who is worthy to open the book and break its seals". Throw in a DVD sleeve with Sam on the outside with the quote, "I don't know if what I'm doing is right", and Dean on the inside with "We have work for you", all clues point to our boys being smack in the center of the Apocalypse.
Wait a second, a DVD sleeve? That means there must be a DVD. Whoa! The first two episodes of season four. As someone who's only been exposed to light season four episode summaries, watching these episodes as a preview might be considered the ultimate act of giving into spoiler curiosity. So I held it in my hand, contemplating do I watch or wait? Yeah, the debate lasted about five seconds as I threw the DVD into the player. The hubby and I shuffled the kids to bed, poured a drink (which is never advisable for this show unless you like cleaning up messes), and dimmed the lights just before hitting play.
So, after watching "Lazarus Rising", due to air this Thursday at 9pm, I can give my full critical preview. Ahem.
Note, 7/2/09 - Please note, this list is very outdated. I did this during the Season Three Hiatus. I know it needs to be expanded to a top ten and updated with season four episodes. In the meantime, enjoy what I thought back then.
Here we go. I'm placing my head on the proverbial chopping block and waiting with defiance for the guillotine to fall. In other words, I've made my "Best Episodes of Supernatural" list, and I'm ready for the cavalcade of dissent.
In pouring exhaustively through the remaining 54 episodes that didn't make my worst list, I found seven met my lofty standards. My judgment involved looking at scripts that delivered all the perfect elements needed for Jensen and Jared to take their craft to new heights, a story with a blueprint that let the entire crew go beyond their wildest imaginations, and a plot that sucked us in from the beginning, holding on tight until the very last shot, leaving us tattered and screaming for more. Picking the seven was easy. Ranking them was impossible.
While I still sob profusely over Sam dying in Dean's arms, "All Hell Breaks Loose" doesn't make the cut because it's uneven in its entirety. While "Faith" is an outstanding tear jerker, parts of the episode didn't live up, like the terrible villain Sue-Ann Le Grange. The pilot won't be on this list either, because as outstanding as it is, it's meant to introduce a premise. The show has come too far since then.
Now that the ground rules are in place, the list can begin, in order of best to the absolute greatest.
Itâ€™s Christmas in July! What a better way to celebrate than to re-experience for only the second time the twisted, gory, heart-wrenching, fast-paced, cynical, and downright brilliant version of Christmas the Supernatural way. Kripke and Co. are a bunch of sick bastards, and we love them for it.
I tried in an exhaustive number of ways to get this review down to a reasonable length, but this episode contained an overwhelming attention to detail, and itâ€™s impossible to overlook most of these elements that made up one of the most outstanding episodes of the series. It went all out, beyond the usual great writing and acting, giving us several unique camera shots, extreme set decoration, a brilliant cast of supporting characters, loads of eye catching background details, and even a clever cover story as to why Ypsilanti Michigan was looking so lush in December.
The writer of this episode, Jeremy Carver, gives us his first solo script here, and I must wonder how many Andy Williams Christmas specials heâ€™s seen in his lifetime (I assume enough to drive him crazy). As with his other masterpiece, â€œMystery Spotâ€, this script is very diverse, offering snappy and outrageous (in a good way) dialogue, a multitude of jabs at the history of Christmas culture, a progression of scenes going at a wild yet seamless pace that blended laugh out loud moments, powerful emotional ones and very disturbing ones, and a compelling story involving Pagan lore that sucked us in from beginning to end. Plus, it ruined Christmas. What could be better?
Before I get started with this week's recap, I want to send my thanks to all of you who read and sent comments regarding my little copout from last week for "Red Sky At Morning". The feedback was fantastic and it seems many of you agreed with my choices for worst episodes. The best episodes list will be coming in a few weeks, and I'm sure I'll get far more disagreement on that one.
Anyway, "Fresh Blood" holds a special place for me, since it's the very first Supernatural episode I saw live. As I've mentioned before, I spent most of October and November catching up on season one, season two, and the first six episodes of season three. As a matter of fact, the hubby and I watched "Red Sky At Morning" on the TiVo that night before taking on "Fresh Blood", holding up our arms in triumph that we finally reached the pinnacle.
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