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It's retro recap time! In continuation with the three part series I started with "Salvation" before season six started, here is part two, "Devil's Trap." Re-live the magic when the brothers cared for each other!
Devil's Trap. By the time Kripke got around to writing this episode, his evil streak had fully kicked in. Season two wasn't in the bag but hopeful, so why not fuck with the fan's minds? He decides to amp up the slow growing mytharc big time and then leave unsuspecting fans with a cliffhanger that gets them howling since they aren't sure if there will be a season two to resolve this. This is also an episode that has many firsts so I'll be pointing those out along the way. Also, it's a Kim Manners classic too. Always good.
Before we pick up with the drama interrupted by TO BE CONTINUED... there's another opening montage, this time to "Fight The Good Fight" by Triumph. Back in the 80's I saw Triumph in concert at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. To this day that is one of the best freaking concerts I've ever seen! I've seen Rush too and Triumph is not a Rush ripoff band. The only similarities is that they're Canadian rock power trios and that's it. Rush's albums are better, but I think Triumph put on a better show at the time. And that's today's "Classic Rock memories." Join me again next week!
Anyway, we're here for Winchester drama. We get the last few seconds from "Salvation" again in which Meg promises they'll never see John again. Dean freaks, Sam freaks, and now Dean's taking the lead on this one. He won't tell Sam what she said, only saying that they've got John. Dean starts packing up things and Sam wants to know why. Duh, the demon knows they're in Salvation. They've got the colt, the demons got John, they're coming for them next. Sam actually likes this because they still have three bullets left. Dean is being a bit more level headed. They aren't ready. They don't know how many of them are out there. "We're no good to anybody dead." Wanna bet? See season five.
Joe Walsh's "Turn To Stone" comes on, which makes for great Impala driving music. The Impala thunders down the dark road and they're trying to come up with a plan. Dean is willing to trade John for the gun. Season one Sam, who tends to be a bit more grim in his practicality, thinks that if that were true, why didn't Meg mention a trade? John might be...Dean won't let him say it. Sam continues to make his case, kill the demon. He's talking like John is already gone. "I'm trying to do what he would want. He would want us to keep going." "Quit talking about him like he's dead already!" Dean shouts. Ah, there's the "D" word. "Listen to me, everything stops until we get him back. Everything!" Yeah Sam, shut up and listen.
So where do they start? Dean suggests Lincoln, since that's where John was taken. Sam doesn't think the demons will leave a trail. No, they won't. Dean actually agrees with that and decides they need help. Cue one of the two most worthwhile and important character introductions ever on this show.
The Impala drives under a metal sign that says "Singer Auto Salvage." The next shot is of a junked up old farmhouse with one mean looking chained Rottweiler on top of an old Ford pickup. The top windows of the house are all boarded up. Yeah, this screams home of a long time hunter and/or crazy old man. Or the town drunk. Hmm, all of the above!
Now for the first appearance ever of Bobby Singer. He has two flasks in his hand and hands one to Dean. The first is full of holy water. The second is full of whiskey. Guess which one Dean takes? Sam is sitting at the desk reading one good book. Dean thanks Bobby for everything and admits he wasn't sure if they should come. Last time they saw him he threatened them with a loaded shotgun. "Yeah, well what can you say, John has that effect on people." We certainly know he wasn't father of the year! Bobby is pretty centered though and realizes all that matters is they get him back. That's because he's awesome.
Sam is blown away by what he's reading, telling Bobby he's never seen anything like it. You've never read "The Key of Solomon" Sam? Like one of the most important books of the occult ever? We know you don't spend all that drive time reading Danielle Steel novels. Bobby confirms its the real deal, and if a demon gets caught in one of those protective circles they're trapped and powerless. "Just like a Satanic roach motel." Dean boasts how Bobby knows his stuff, just so we get the necessary character exposition. I love how Bobby wasn't supposed to be a recurring character but made that great an impression. Look how important he's become!
Bobby also points out that this is some serious crap they've stepped into. Sam wants specifics. Normally Bobby hears of maybe three demonic possessions a year, maybe four tops. This year he's heard of 27 so far. "More and more demons are walking among us." He doesn't know why, but it's something big. "Storm's coming and you boys, you're daddy, you are smack in the middle of it." Interesting how that remains true today and probably will be, forever. These guys are universally screwed.
Speaking of being screwed, the Rottweiler outside starts barking. "Rumsfeld" Bobby says. Ha! Great name for a big mean old dog. He looks outside to see there's a chain but no dog. No, not the dog! I've said it before, I can handle people getting ganked but the animals, that just gets me hard. Bobby says that something's wrong and a split second later Meg busts through the door. You need to figure these things out a little faster Bobby!
Meg enters and Dean grabs the holy water. "No more crap, okay?" she tells them. Dean can't get the flask opened fast enough and goes flying into a pile of books. Sam shields Bobby and leads them backward into the other room. While they're moving Meg demands the colt. Sam claims they don't have it on them but Meg ain't buying it. "I swear, after everything I've heard about you Winchesters I gotta tell you I'm a little underwhelmed." What, you didn't see all that hotness? The black eyes must be blinding her or something.
"First Johnny tries to pawn off a fake gun, and then he leaves the real gun with you two chuckleheads." I love that, because that's not the only time Sam and Dean are called chuckleheads, but it's the first. Another first! Anyway, Sam keeps backpedaling and Meg follows, going on and on with her monologuing. Then she asks Sam if they really thought she wouldn't find them. Dean now appears behind her. "Actually, we were counting on it." One look up explains it all. She's caught under the Devil's Trap, aka Bobby's most awesome demonic roach motel. Take that bitch!It's just then that we get the title card! That whole thing was the teaser! This is really the first episode that came fully loaded with the action and drama not stopping the whole time. It's funny how this was a treat back then but is sort of the norm now.
What made this one great was that it`s one of my favourite episodes, it is one I watch a lot,in fact I watched it earlier this week and could probably recite the entire script ( obsessed Moi!! Perish the thought).
It has so many scenes I love and it also gave us the introduction of our beloved Bobby, is that not reason enough to call it special? For me this was one of the key episodes for Dean, here, he grew up and came into his own and, as you say, he was such a bad ass but utterly wonderful too. I think Jensen was fantastic here. About him not being killed like in SFTD and SS that was a great theory! I am still, like you, waiting for the explanation on the whole true servant of heaven stuff and why he could kill the Whore of Babylon. It also gives all the doubters out there a reminder of his character, how sad to think when you watch this of everything he, and Sam, have had to face since then but he may be battered but he is still standing and still fighting
It was also good the see the interaction with John and I think this explained a lot, offering a much deeper insight into both boys characters, the fact that they knew he was not himself because he was actually being nice and supportive speaks volumes, sorry Yvonne but it does, not knocking JW I know he did love his boys really but we have to agree to disagree on his parenting skills.
Cannot wait for your take on IMTOD as this was my `first one` and holds a very special place in my heart, thanks again Ju
And this piece of yours brought all the moments I love back to me (not, as if that was necessary, really, as I know this episode quite well - I hear you, Julie -).
you rock. Jas
This was excellent, Alice, so glad you're planning to finish this three-part retro-recap.
There was so much goodness in this episode as well as a few bits of not-so goodness with some continuity issues (demon smoke, holy water and salt lines) still, very cool. So I'll just hand wave at some of those things or as you have done, point them out and then go with mystical fairy demons...yeah, that's why.
I also noticed that Dean has three times now been on the receiving end of near death by a demon possessed loved one (well, Lucifer wasn't a demon, fallen angel possessed loved one there) and each time be it John, Bobby or Sam has been able to take control and change the course of the action. I think it has everything to do with love (the power of love! HAH) which is what enabled Bobby, John and Sam to take back control.
Ahhh, what a chick-flick moment that is too.
Great recap. I'll be looking forward to the third and final installment during the upcoming winter hellatus (not that I'm wishing that upon us any early than need be)
Ok, must check my 'awesome episode' checklist and see how this episode rates.
Angst moments aplenty - check
Meg (the original and best!) - check
Brothers fighting for the common good - check
John - check.
John being shot - check.
John looking sad - check.
John being a dad - check.
John on the floor = check
JOHN TIED TO A FREAKING BED!! â€“ (Needs to lie down for a wee bit...) Um, check
John with chest hair -check (Hey, itâ€™s there, ok)
Latin - check
Awesome Bobby - check
Smartassery to demons - check (God, I love hearing that!)
Sam and Dean dressed as firemen - check (I never realised this was a fantasy of mine until I saw the boys shimmying out of those uniforms...)
Ah lads, this episode was great. A+ times a squagillion.
Alice, keep lashing these out, please and thanks....
Yes, my favourite seasons are 1, 2 and 3 and I'm hoping that some day that warm feeling will return during an episode. Please please please! Bring them back together older but wiser and caring about each other like in the first 3 seasons. I don't think Dean ever lost that feeling, but Sammy needs to get that back as soon as possible.
I agree with you Alice in thinking that Dean IS a true servant of God for all your reasons. Something he could never believe himself with all his low self esteem but is true nonetheless.
Looking forward to more of your retro recaps.
What I do remember vividly was the absolute shock I felt when the truck hit the Impala. I think I just sat there in stunned silence, mouth gaping, while the credits rolled. And I did not have the luxury of having the season 2 DVD beside me. No, I had to wait through an agonizing summer for the show to (hopefully) return come the fall. And thank God it did!
And Julie, have I ever said John's parenting skills were admirable? The guy did the best he could, but that doesn't mean he didn't make some rather huge, constant and awful mistakes.
I'm aching to go into a "this is why I love John" expose, but am (admirably I think) restraining myself.
Oh, and Tim the Enchanter, I am in fervent agreement. John tied to bed causes massive weakness and needamomenttoco mposemyselfness . Papa Winchester...um . I've said it before but it doesn't hurt to reiterate, I love the boys (and am still beginning the lean toward Samgirl), but I'll be a Johnwoman for life.
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS
The days of bad-ass Dean, puppy-eyed Sam speaking Latin, Daddy Winchester, the intro of Bobby.
Is 'latinating' a real word?
C'mon, Bobby is pretty too.
The Sam and Dean love was front and center during this episode. I love your first picture on page two, of the two of them together. Remember when they would have whole conversations without saying a word.
I agree, 'Rumsfeld', is a big ass dog that could either rip your face off with one bite, or drown you with one lick of his tongue. You do not name a Chihuahua 'Rumsfeld'.
With SUPERNATURAL, the real enjoyment in re-watching the earlier episodes is that you now know how all the pieces fit together. I have been watching this wonderful show since the beginning. When the Impala was hit at the end, it was all WTF WTF WTF WTF. I knew that everybody had to live, but it was painful to wait til the end of September to find out how.
I didn't have your wonderful website to go to spend the summer Hellatus. But now I am grateful to have you and all your wonderful writers. Just want to thank you for all your hard work.
OK, 'chick flick moment' is over, is it Friday yet?
It's always fun to go back and watch old episodes after knowing what happens later. Like it's always been funny to me how little they know about demons in S1, when their lives are pretty much run by demons for the rest of the show.
This cracked me up btw: "Yellow eyes steps backward, closes his eyes, looks up and suddenly Dean is screaming in agony. Sam is yelling "No!' in the background because he's always been under the illusion that it helps."
I will always love your recaps especially with your comedic style.
I had missed Salvation and Devilâ€™s Trap when it originally aired due to my work schedule and VCR issues. So I didnâ€™t suffer the summer hiatus that year like the others as I had no idea what had transpired. However I was able to catch In My Time of Dying when it aired and was so overwhelmed by that episode.
I have to admit I do favour seasons 1-3 over Seasons 4 & 5. Thatâ€™s not to say season 4 & 5 was not spectacular. I just missed the strong brotherly relationship and banter that deteriorated during those seasons.