Previously on Supernatural: Sam's dead! As in not breathing, stiff as a board, Smurf blue dead. Dean wasn't too happy about that.
Kripke goes for ripping our hearts out from the word go. The entire season's summed up by the traditional "Carry On Wayward Son", and Sam's death is more gripping to music. It's strange to hear "don't you cry no more" when Dean is weeping, but I digress because of the way Jensen rocked that scene.
The camera hovers over a very much dead Sam stretched out on a mattress in a dank room, with one completely devastated Dean leaning in the doorway, his wounded eyes fixed on his fallen brother. Judging by the amount of uneaten food lying around and Dean's five o'clock shadow, he's been holding his somber vigil for a while. The impression is made, Dean's a mess.
Okay, all that virtual arm twisting has paid off. Upon request, I pulled out the season two DVDs (okay, I picked them up from their reserved spot next to the TV) and took on two of the most gut-wrenching episodes done on this show. "All Hell Breaks Loose" is right.
These episodes made their significant mark, escalating the mytharc to a whole new level. Part I was all about Sam and his test, Part II put Dean through his. Sam faced his evil destiny, and Dean, oh poor Dean, faced his worst nightmare. In the end, Dean came out as the most broken. Considering Sam's ordeal resulted in death, Dean sank pretty low.
It's no secret that my favorite episode of all time is "Mystery Spot". It was one of the very first reviews I ever wrote for blogcritics, and after going through it for reposting here, I found that review wasn't very good. This episode is so good, so spectacular in its detail, that it deserved its own full recap. This is by far my longest recap ever, and there are tons of pictures in it, so it isn't dialup friendly. Enjoy!
The best episode of the series. There, I said it. Every single element that goes into making an episode clicked into high gear in this one and through an extremely fast paced and very unpredictable story everyone delivered big time. I'll make my argument, even though many have already told me I'm nuts.
Not only was "Mystery Spot" the best episode of the series, but it's one of the best written episodes for any TV show out there. Since my other favorite episode of season three is A Very Supernatural Christmas, Jeremy Carver owns me. In both scripts, this new staff writer offered stories with a dark humor edge, creative and intriguing plots, sharp and humorous dialogue that greatly energized the already incredible chemistry between the main characters, yet also managed to impress with deeply emotional and sentimental moments. That's a really fancy worded way of saying he rocks.
For this episode in particular, combine the flawless script with the brilliant directing of Kim Manners, some of the best set decoration and special effects of the series, and the usual top notch acting and we have an episode to be listed among the best. Jared especially took his performance to outstanding new heights, delivering his best episode to date by nailing Sam's long ordeal with incredible range and versatility. Of course the script demanded it, but he rose to the challenge brilliantly.
Sure, it was a Sam focused episode, but considering Sam's character has lacked deep exploration for two and a half seasons, this was both a welcome but very frightening glimpse into how dark he can become when pushed. Uncorked Dean last season was scary, but Sam in sociopathic killer mode was downright terrifying.Any time a television show goes out of its way to do revealing character studies, I'll be the first to sing its praises.? Without character development, without seeing these people evolve either positively or negatively in the stressful circumstances set upon them, we all end up with TheBrady Bunch every week (yes, I'd love to see Dean Winchester nail Marcia Brady).
It's Sam's turn! As I'm sure many of you have picked up from my previous articles, I'm rather intrigued by the character of Sam Winchester. He's dark and mysterious, and I really need to look hard to even get a small grasp of what's he's all about. Dean's more open and since he's already hit rock bottom, there was nowhere to go but up, thus making his story far more inspiring. Sam is descending downward at a slow, uneasy pace, and it's my hunch the worst for Sam is yet to come in season four. In the meantime, season three gives us a compelling look at a character who's losing his grasp.
One thing that's obvious, the boy has issues. He always has, but in season three Sam wasn't likeable or empathetic like he had been in previous two seasons. He grew distant, especially with Dean, even though his only goal was to get him out of the deal. That obsession practically destroyed him. With each episode his frustration and desperation grew. Unlike Dean in "Dream A Little Dream Of Me", Sam's ordeal with the Trickster in "Mystery Spot" didn't inspire him to turn a corner and go forward. Instead, he turned irrational, and lost what little identity he had left.
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