I look back at this episode in the context of some of the earlier seasons, Season 1 and Bloody Mary specifically and realize that of the two Winchesters Sam is far more closed off, far more likely to keep his own counsel, afraid what others will think of him. Is that because he resented his life, is that because heâ€™s so like John his stubbornness rules his thoughts and actions, is that because he resented Dean seemingly playing peacemaker between John and Sam which would alternately allow him to have some cover from Johnâ€™s ire while at the same time implying that he needed protectionâ€¦oh, the list could go on. I donâ€™t know but Sam is a study in contrasts, he wants Dean to open up about his inward fears while keeping his own locked tightly away. He wants Dean to trust him and understand his motivations while not being willing to express them openly, rather have them found out through slips of the tongue or because an angel â€˜told on him.â€™ How can Sam expect to be given trust when he doesnâ€™t first offer it?
I feel very badly for Sam, heâ€™s so confused, so hurt and so very lost. And itâ€™s only the fourth episode.
I might just have a thing for shapeshifters since Skin, Nightshifter and now Monster Movie all land on my favorite episode list (granted that list is fairly long butâ€¦). Iâ€™m not a fan of the black and white genre, nor monster movies in general but I adored this episode. I love that the sets looked like sets, at times, that the secondary and tertiary characters were a bit outlandish (the girl with the really large soda and the slurping from the drinking from the beer stein â€“ too much fun.)
Jaime was adorable, fresh, funny, full of life perfect for Dean who was reveling in his second chance and shaking off the darkness of not only his time in hell but his last month or so back on earth learning about angels and Lucifer and Samâ€™s abilities. Itâ€™s a sweet gentle episode in the midst of a dark and ever darkening series of episodes and allows Dean a chance to show his vulnerability as he opens up (somewhat) to Jaime about his near death experience and belief in second chances and allows Sam some breathing room as well as he watches his brother, quite amusedly, take pleasure in a giant pretzel and even finds humor in seeing the latest Raiders movie despite his brother suffering in hell. An unusual juxtaposition of humor and horror that just highlights the fact that these boys do indeed lead strange, very strange lives.
This remains one of my least favorite for the season. While a fearful Dean with a protective Sam is something I love (fangirl I am) and the humor of a yorkie posing as a hell hound, hallucinations of Sam going evil, and Dean finally unlocking the secrets of hell are gems there is a lot that is jarringly out of focus here. I never wondered that Dean was a dick so that argument has no place here and I give Jensen huge kudos for willingly going so far with that scream (Iâ€™ve been led to believe thereâ€™s more to be seen on the gag reel but Iâ€™m not peeking at any clips that have been posted here or there to be found, Iâ€™ll wait until my DVDs arriveâ€¦a little over a week to go as I write this â€“ probably less by the time you actually read it) *another editing note, yep, the scream is longer, kudos again to Jensen for so willingly making himself a fool to sell the scene, and give us some fun*
What leaves me with a sense of â€˜ehâ€™ for this episode is that what awoke the ghost and started all this. Iâ€™ve watched it several times and still donâ€™t get what jumpstarted the whole thing. Did someone go into the mill and start vandalizing it? How is it that after twenty years those papers and pictures were all still intact and not moldered away and/or shredded by rats etc for nest material? Not sure they had to make the back story so far in the past, two years, two months, I donâ€™t know. Also, while Dean had his fears or ghostsickness I find it truly difficult to believe he was afraid of his guns, really? Sam going dark, going back to hell make a lot of sense, the unease of the teenagers and fear of driving above the speed limit make sense in the realm of anxiety but being afraid his gun would go off? Over the top.
The final bit that gets me on this episode is the whole timing aspect. I like the idea of having a ticking clock to add suspense but this one cut a bit too close. Iâ€™ve expanded on that several times in other articles so Iâ€™ll only go to say that each time theyâ€™ve done it (notably I Know What You Did Last Summer, flashbacks, and The Rapture, it only succeeded in confusing the timeline and or deflating the suspense. Of all the episodes the newest writing duo produced this season this was their weakest, they got better I give them great credit and itâ€™s no Bugs but still, Iâ€™ll pass on it more then Iâ€™ll stop on it.
Itâ€™s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester:
I wish this had been a bit tighter. The scenes with Castiel and Uriel and Sam and Dean were excellent, as well as Castiel and Uriel. I liked the cracks in Deanâ€™s faÃ§ade and Urielâ€™s reveal to Sam that Dean knew more about hell then he was letting on. I liked the ending with Dean and Castiel â€“ although I agree with Alice, Deanâ€™s and Castielâ€™s scene should have come first and then Uriel and Samâ€™sâ€¦more ominous, more portent.
The monologue from the witch was too over the top for me and the whole dramatic scene of Sam and Dean getting choked and writhing on the floor was a bit forced and too lengthy. Drop something heavy on them and trap them would have worked a bit better for me. Iâ€™m nitpicking, I know, but that scene always bothers me. However, what really makes up for it is Sam being forced to use his powers, something he avoided in Metamorphosis but could not escape here. His awareness that he was stuck came through at the same time as his determination to live, to defeat the evil that is Samhain. Deanâ€™s stunned, horrified and saddened expression as he watched his â€˜little brotherâ€™ defeat an evil presence was a beautiful bit of foreshadowing for later. Contrast that look to Deanâ€™s shocked expression in The Rapture when he sees Sam drink a demonâ€™s blood and then flinches as he thinks Sam is turning his â€˜powersâ€™ against his own brotherâ€¦sad all the way around, â€˜tis sad.