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It's time once again to take a look at some of the visuals for "Two and a Half Men."  John Showalter directed this episode, his second for Supernatural. His previous episode was "Dean Men Don't Wear Plaid."  Because this episode wasn't also saddled with setting up the premise for the new season, I think there was a little more room to play around with shots and things like that.  So, in chronological order once again, here are some things I liked about "Two and a Half Men."
 
1.

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It kind of bugged me that Dean and Lisa and Ben moved so quickly, especially when the housing marked in the U.S. is so bad.  But look!  They are renting the house!  That makes a whole lot more sense.  It's much easier to get out of a rented house than a house you bought.
 
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I love how quietly domestic this scene is.  Ben is being a typical pre-teen, i.e. surly, and Dean and Lisa are unpacking the kitchen.  Lovely.  They're all just kind of doing their thing, comfortable in each other's presence.  And Dean is once again wearing a T-shirt with a graphic on it.  It just looks weird!  Nice, but weird.  I also love how the contents of the box are labeled: coffee, dishes, towels.  The coffee is the most important part, of course.  Dean definitely labeled that box.
 
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You may be thinking, "why did she include this cap?  It's just a house."  Which is true.  But I included it because when I was going through the caps, I was sort of struck with a sense of foreboding.  Before, Sam and Dean lived in the Impala and hotel rooms, so when we saw a house like this, we didn't think twice.  It was a victim's house or whatnot.  But now Dean lives in a house like this.  So every time I see something bad happen in a house like this, I'm think I'm going to have a little anxiety about Lisa and Ben.  I don't know it that's intentional or if that's just an interesting side effect of of Dean's domestic situation, but it is unsettling.
 
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This is just a really cool shot of Samuel with the light streaming in through the window.  I really love light streaming through windows.  It looks fantastic and really creates a gorgeous atmosphere in a scene.  I hope this look sticks around for a while.
 
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In the last episode, a lot of the action felt like it happened in close quarters, so we never really had any scenes like this where there's so much space.  Which is a shame because look how pretty!  Also, Sam has to just lean on the Charger because if he tried to sit on it, the car would collapse.  It's not nearly as sturdy as the Impala.

 
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Here's another shot where body language tells the story.  Lisa's very slouchy and doesn't look like she really wants to be going over this yet again, but Dean is so earnest about making sure she can protect herself and Ben that she does it anyway for his sake.  It's all for Dean's peace of mind here.  And yeah, he's still going to worry because he's Dean and that's what he does.  But you know he would never, ever leave if he didn't think Lisa could handle things in his absence.
 
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Is this where anyone thought the Winchesters would be, in a supermarket with a baby?  I'm glad it happened, though, because hilarity ensued.  It's impossible to show in one cap, but when the baby turns its head towards him, Jensen does the most amazing startle reaction.  It made me laugh and laugh.
 
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What a picturesque setting.  I adore old, slightly falling apart buildings like this one.  There's something so beautiful and melancholy about them, like all the sad things that happened in that building are expressed through a rusted roof and warped wood.  Also, holy awesome cars, Batman!  That never hurts!
 
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Dean's magic-finger obsession has returned!  This was a really fun callback.  But the real reason I want to talk about this image is the label on the magic fingers box.  If you look real close (and magnify the image, heh) at the bottom of the label, it says "home units available."  Dean must not look at that thing too closely because if he did, he surely would have one of those things in his house.
 
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Here's a great shot of the Campbell compound.  It looks like it's in the middle of nowhere and is on a farm.  And with the sunset in the background, I'm sure this is the prettiest it's going to get, judging from the way the inside looks.
 
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Forgive me, but this scene in the panic room had a lot of awesome things happening, so the next four images come from that scene.  I really enjoyed it!  Now, overall, this panic room is lame when compared to Bobby's, but the porthole instead of the door slit is pretty cool. So here is the fantastic jump-scare when the alpha shapeshifter pops up in the door porthole as Sam.  My theory on why the alpha decided to shift into people it was fighting against was to show its dominance.  I mean, it knew the hunters would know what it was, so why not take one of their shapes just to mess with their heads?  "I'm going to do some bad things dressed up as you, and there's nothing you can do to stop me."  Psychological warfare at its best.
 


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Here's the alpha as Dean when it has collected its baby.  Now, I know the alpha is a horrible monster, what with all the false impersonations and rape and impregnating women and attempted murder and actual murder. (RIP, Mark Campbell, the only one I thought had some potential.)  I know I should flat-out hate the thing.  But look how relieved it is to have its baby back!  It looks like it loves the thing and was completely distraught over losing it.  I'm slightly conflicted.
 
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I'm also conflicted because the alpha is a total badass.  It's such an awesome monster.  Look at him just walking right out of that room after dispatching the Campbells and Sam and Dean.  That's hardcore, man.  And look at the clever framing here: the door frame is just covering Dean's face so that it can be the stunt double laying on the floor and they don't have to use any CGI to get two Deans in the room.  Cost-saving method!
 
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Just look at the lighting in this scene.  Gorgeous.  Serge Ladouceur is a genius.  He plays a major role in making the show look as fantastic as it does every week, and he never disappoints.
 
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Once again, I love the lighting here with the shroud of light coming off that overhead lamp.  But the real star of this shot is the POV.  Shooting down at them from the treetops, with a little branch in the foreground, of course, makes it seem like something is out there in the woods watching them still.  And for all we know, something still is!  It's a very effective way to add more tension to a scene.
 
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What a way to end the episode.  The return of the Impala was perfrect, just perfect.  My favorite part was this overhead shot of Dean pulling off the dropcloth to reveal the Impala in all her glory.  In fact, if this is how they reveal the Impala every time someone has to get in it and go somewhere, I would be okay with that.
 
So those were some of my favorite images from "Two and a Half Men."  How did you guys like the look of the episode?  Did I miss any of your favorite shots?

Comments  

Karen
# Karen 2010-10-11 01:18
Hi Ardeospina
Love your choice of pictures/visuals.
I would take either house in a second, hell just for the Kitchen alone. I can only dream what it’s like to have one where two people are not a crowd.

Ha! Sam barely leaning against his car, like he’s going to break it, he looks so uncomfortable.

The way Bobby-John looks at Dean and his reaction is one of my favourites aswell. In fact that whole supermarket scene was priceless.

I too love seeing old buildings and equipment, imagining the events/history these places and things have had.

The only issue I have with the Alpha was not only did he know what the two Sam’s looked like but he knew exactly what they were wearing. Now granted he may of seen Sam when he was investigating the murders, but to know what he was wearing? Must have x-ray vision.

Jensen/Dean/Alp ha look so natural with the baby(s). Definitely father material here.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-11 02:21
I enjoyed your article - thanks you. :-) I like how you shed light (pun intended :P) on a sometimes neglected aspect (cinematography ) of Supernatural.
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-11 09:50
Arde,

As usual you do a superb job with choosing little moments.

I like the Dean/Lisa shot also becasue it depicts something about characterizatio ns. Dean has his shirt untucked (a change from Exile) showing he's back in hunter mode but the real star here is Lisa. She's in a bathrobe with bare feet holding a gun. She's very feminine but also quite bada** in how she handles the weapon.

I read someone dissecting why Jo and Bela and Ruby didn't work as much when Meg, Pamela and Ellen did and the idea behind the writer's perspective was that the writers of the show were so busy trying to make these female characters bada** females when they should have simply made them strong characters and allow the actresses to bring the femininity (like Nicki Aycox did and Samantha Ferris and now Cindy Sampson is doing)

I hadn't thought about the spook factor of something spying on the Campbell compound until your article but now...oooh, I see it. Thank you for that.

Yeah, that panic room could use a touch of Bobby but then again, he's a character we're meant to know and trust and the Campbells...not so much.

Great article. I'm so enjoying these visual moments. Thank you for doing them.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-11 15:23
Flamey, just as you, I am a huge fan of the look of this show! I adore the lighting. Master Ladouceur is a genius when it comes to emphasize a scene with the right light, and so often is able to make our guys look incredibly adorable or downright despicable.

Especially with Sam's ambiguity he's done marvellous things. And, for instance, the way he lit Dean in Season One's Water-episode, sigh, in that early diner scene, the man never looked better.

Whenever I watch films or tv shows, I pay a lot of attention to the look and the sound. Here it's wonderfully done in both departments. The way music and sound effect is used, it leaves me repeatedly in awe.

You choices are also some of my favourites of the episode. This is a new approach to a recap or review to an episode of our show. These articles enrich our site even more. I salute you for the great idea!

Love Jas
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2010-10-12 01:58
I love the way you pick the best shots to highlight. I see them when I'm watching but don't have the time to study and really appreciate them so thanks for giving me the time to do that. All pics were perfect but I agree a frame by frame of Dean setting the Impala free would have been heavenly bliss :P
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-12 06:51
Heh ... You were right about the squashability of Sam's ( ex ) car ...

I like tatty old rather than shiney new buildings too, so much more character ( and draughts and mice and leaks but never mind ... )

Best shots for me were Big Daddy Shifter leaving with his sproglet and Dean's smile right at the end when he de-dustcovers the Impala.