Ever since I started my Summer Hellatus project titled "Supernatural Rewatch From the Top," I've been thinking about doing some retro reviews. So I will start with the first episode that I ever saw---but not with my normal meta twist---instead, I'll try to remember those first impressions when I saw the show---tell you how the Adventures of Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy captured my heart without any effort at all.
I woke up on the first day of my "staycation" and stumbled out into the living room. A show was on TV, and I settled in, half asleep to watch. It was Supernatural, and the episode was "Scarecrow" on TNT, but I didn't know that. I saw, through the sunshine glare on the television, two handsome men arguing. I wasn't paying that close attention, so I didn't catch their names as they fought, but I figured out quickly that they were partners of some sort. The one I sleepily dubbed Floppy Haired Boy stopped the car, got out, and walked off. I remember muttering, "Well, that partnership didn't last."
I then followed Pouty Lipped Boy's adventure into the small town, as he searched for a missing couple. I didn't know his name, but I certainly knew it couldn't be "John Bonham." Now that it was brighter and easier to see, I really liked what I saw. I'll admit it, my first reaction was shallow. Pouty Lipped Boy was damn hot, especially in the light of day with that leather jacket. And as he encountered Scotty, I sensed that he had an edge. It just seemed to come out of how he carried himself---right down to that bowlegged walk.
Before I could figure out more about Pouty Lipped Boy, we returned to Floppy Haired Boy as he encountered a small pixie blonde on the side of the road. I mused that perhaps he could have just found his love interest, as they had a witty banter about her not telling him where she was going. There was just something off, though, about how she said, "You could be some kind of freak. I mean, you are hitchhiking."
Her comment earned her a wide dimpled smile, and again I found my shallow streak. Floppy Haired Boy had dimples! Dimples that accentuated his beautiful smile perfectly, no less. Once the van pulled up and the driver only accepted her, I shook my head askance at a missed opportunity. Floppy Haired Boy had it right when he remarked, "You trust shady van guy and not me?" After that smile, I was willing to trust him on anything. I shook my head at the pixie blonde's decision making. It most certainly had to be her loss.
As we flipped to Pouty Lipped Boy, he continued to press the townsfolk on their knowledge about the missing couple. I couldn't figure out at this stage if he knew them or if he was conducting some form of investigation. I just knew Pouty Lipped Boy was persistent and the townsfolk were shadier than the van guy. When the young girl mentioned the tattoo, confirming Pouty Lipped Boy's query, and the man feigned remembering, I knew these people were no good. I suspected, by Pouty Lipped Boy's sour face, that he had reached the same conclusion.
Then, as my sleepy mind started to really awaken, Pouty Lipped Boy did something that really captured my attention. As he drove towards the orchard they pointed out, something went off in the backseat of his car and he pulled over. In the haze, I recalled seeing a similar situation in another show---one that had been a favorite at one time. This moment mirrored that moment almost identically. That moment had been the radio going on the fritz in none other than Fox Mulder's car. Somehow, I knew this show had to be something if it could subtly call out to the X-Files.
Pouty Lipped Boy truly won me over, however, when he went into that sinister looking orchard and walked up to the creepy looking scarecrow. His eyes assessed, and he said with all seriousness, "Dude, you fugly." I started to laugh, and as I sipped on coffee to wake myself up more, I became engrossed in the Adventures of Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy.
We cut back to Floppy Haired Boy stuck at a bus station, frustrated. As he turned around, however, a familiar face sat waiting: pixie cut blonde. She admitted to him that he had been right about the van guy and that he had been "all hands." Soon, they exchanged where they were going. Floppy Haired Boy said that he was going to California, and my sleepy spidey sense tingled when the pixie cut said, "No way! Me too!" It seemed fake, forced, like she was willing to say that about any place Floppy Haired Boy was going. I started to not trust her right then and there, and yet I didn't really quite know why.
She introduced herself as Meg, and finally Floppy Haired Boy had a name, too. Sam. It seemed to suit him, to go with the dimples and the unruly hair and the gangly tall frame.
As we returned to Pouty Lipped Boy, he was still hard at work trying to piece together the story of the missing couple. He sat in Scotty's diner, asking the couple there about their plans. He also asked for some coffee---and most importantly---apple pie, which he never got. I had no idea at the time how important pie was to Pouty Lipped Boy. It seemed to make Scotty frosty, as he told Pouty Lipped Boy to leave them alone. Of course, he didn't listen and continued to ask them questions. I knew that he wanted to protect them from something or someone---especially after he said, "I know it sounds strange, but, uh"”you might be in danger." I knew the towns people were shady, but I wasn't sure if they were going to actively hurt anyone. I also knew, if this show had the astute capacity to reflect the X-files, that the "fugly" scarecrow in the grove had something to do with it.
Unfortunately, Scotty had had enough, and quickly called in the sheriff to drive away Pouty Lipped Boy before he could stop it or find out the truth.
As we returned to Floppy Haired Boy, now known as Sam, he and Meg continued to talk while they waited for the next bus out to California. My suspicions of her continued to grow as she needled him about leaving her family and doing her own thing. I got the feeling that she was saying just what he wanted to hear---to slowly wind him around her finger. I might have been sleepy through that first scene I saw with Sam and Pouty Lipped Boy fighting, but I knew enough to know they had to be important---like family to one another. It was confirmed when Sam said, "Remember that brother I mentioned before, that I was road-tripping with?"
Meg seemed to know more than she let on, so she pushed buttons on Sam. She sold it when she continued, "Here"™s to us. The food might be bad, and the beds might be hard. But at least we"™re living our own lives. And nobody else"™s."
As we cut back to the grove Pouty Lipped Boy had been investigating earlier, the couple from the diner had entered, their car breaking down. It made me quirk an eyebrow, knowing that they had talked about their vehicle being fixed earlier. Somehow, I knew they were in big trouble, and we were about to see "Fugly" get, well, "fugly." As they started to look around, they heard the rustling and turned to run back to the car. I couldn't see much through the sun splashed across the screen, but the music and the sounds indicated to me that they were being chased by it.
But then, lo and behold, Pouty Lipped Boy had arrived to save them! His gun in hand, he commanded the couple to hurry back to their car. He shot at "Fugly" a few times, making his way to the edge of the orchard, too. The man from the couple asked, in a shaky voice, "What was that?" Pouty Lipped Boy's curt response of "Don't ask," spoke volumes. Somehow, I knew right then and there that he had lots of experience with such creatures as "Fugly."
Next a mini, albeit long distanced reunion, between Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy took place, as he calls Sam about "Fugly." Their conversation confirmed my suspicions, and it seemed that these two brothers were in the business of dealing with these types of things---even if I didn't know why or how it connected to their dad. It seemed that their dad was the reason they had split, too. Pouty Lipped Boy talked to Sam about his case, trying to put it all into perspective, and Sam said, "You know, if you"™re hinting you need my help, just ask." Something inside me shouted in joy. It just seemed that these two should be together, facing "Fugly."
But then, Pouty Lipped Boy said, "You"™ve always known what you want. And you go after it. You stand up to Dad. And you always have. Hell, I wish I"”anyway"¦.I admire that about you. I"™m proud of you, Sammy." It evoked such love in a simple statement, and then I really wanted Sam to run to him and put their earlier fight behind them.
Sam assures Pouty Lipped Boy that he will take care of himself, and then said, "Bye, Dean." Now I had both their names! I knew I was cooking with gas then. Somehow, like Sam had fit, Dean certainly fit Pouty Lipped Boy well. It had a sensual and dangerous edge to it to match his leather jacket, his bowlegged walk, and his sensual pout. So they were Sam and Dean. Sam and Dean what I didn't know---but the more I mulled the names "Sam and Dean," the more they seemed natural, like peanut butter and jelly. Can't really have one with out the other.
If this wasn't enough to capture my attention, Pouty Lipped Boy, now known as Dean, went to a community college to consult a professor. Imagine my surprise when none other than the Cigarette Smoking Man himself entered as that professor. They had already subtly shouted out to the X-Files with Dean's EMF reader going off, but casting William B. Davis? This screamed, "We are like the X-Files. Watch us."
The professor and Dean looked over some mythology, and while he's not the villain we know from the X-Files here, I knew enough to be suspicious. He allowed Dean to look over his materials, and as Dean started to make his way out of the office, he opened the door only to have a shotgun butt shoved into his face. Somehow I just knew the professor was in on it.
The shady townsfolk openly discussed what needs to happen---since Dean chased off their intended sacrificial victims. They determined that he must die for doing so, and that they must appease their orchard god. I snorted, thinking that "Fugly" wasn't worth that, no matter how good their crops were. But it stunned me when they shoved the girl Emily into the same cellar with Dean. They were willing to go that far as to sacrifice their family to this thing? Van guy didn't seem shady at all in comparison.
As we returned to Sam, he kept frantically calling, trying to reach Dean. Meg urgently tried to get his attention, telling him that their bus had arrived. He told her as he grabbed his duffel, "You better catch it. I gotta go." Meg really irked me as she stared at him with an incredulous look on her face, and said, "But I don"™t understand. You"™re running back to your brother? The guy you ran away from? Why, because he won"™t pick up his phone? Sam"”come with me to California."
I really wanted Sam not to listen. Dean was in trouble and needed him after all.
As Dean and Emily sat in that cellar, he filled her in on what her family had been doing with the rest of the town to keep it going. Before he could find a way out, the townsfolk come to collect them and lead them to the orchard, preparing them as sacrifice. If the X-Files shoutout hadn't been enough to get my attention, they threw in a Star Trek one, to the Wrath of Khan to be specific. The aunt said, "Sweetheart, that"™s what sacrifice means. Giving up something you love for the greater good. The town needs to be safe. The good of the many outweighs the good of the one."
I had a flash in my mind of the final scene of that movie, with Spock inside the chamber and Kirk standing outside, and I somehow knew I'd need to figure out what this show was and follow it. X-Files? Check. Star Trek? Check. As shallow as it is, hot guys? Check. That can act? Check.
Sam arrived just in time to save Dean, and we see his joy upon Sam's admittance that he had stolen a car to get there. It made me want to know more about these two, and as they managed to put "Fugly" to rest after it killed the aunt and uncle, I wondered if Sam and Dean would stay together or not.
Dean had the same thought, as he asked, "So, can I drop you off somewhere?"
Sam shook his head and said, "I still wanna find Dad. And you"™re still a pain in the ass. But, Jess and Mom"”they"™re both gone. Dad is God knows where. You and me. We"™re all that"™s left. So, if we"™re gonna see this through, we"™re gonna do it together."
I loved Dean's response, as he laughed it off and teased Sam. It didn't seem like a brush off of a sincere statement, more like his own way of expressing the same thing as he said, "Hold me, Sam. That was beautiful."
All the tension from the fight I had seen half asleep seemed to fade completely away.
Before I could let that happy moment settle, my suspicions about Meg were totally confirmed. She ends up with another shady van guy, and this time I thought it might be worse for him than for her. She made a statement about needing to make a call, and withdrew a strange silver bowl. The van guy is taken aback, but has little time to ask any questions because she slit his throat so fast to collect his blood.
She held a conversation with it, talking to her Father, and I had to know more about what she was up to.
It was easy to fall in love with these characters, to see what they'd do, how they'd react to a situation. I wanted to know why their father was missing, about their mother, about just who Sam and Dean were. I wanted to know their last name. The Adventures of Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy captivated me. Luckily, TNT had another episode, and I got to see them deal with another case.
I learned the name of the show: Supernatural. I really wanted to go back and find out more, get caught up. I was stunned to learn that there were six seasons of the show at the time. How could a show like this have gone unnoticed by me this far into it? I had never heard of this show, and it seemed the type of show I would love. And so, I started to watch all the episodes as quickly as I could. The more I watched, the more I wanted.
I think what made it easy for me to fall in love with this show was that there was a resonating chord struck over and over again throughout that very first episode I ever saw: family. Sam may have left Dean, but it was to go find their Dad. Dean may have been angry with Sam, but he was proud of Sam. And when danger threatened Dean, Sam stopped in his tracks, reversed, and ran to help his brother. It didn't escape my sleepy perception that these two characters were willing to do anything for each other---even if that meant letting the other go.
As I've watched the show unfold over time, that thread hasn't changed for me. If anything, that's only deepened.
And really, when it all gets boiled down, and all the monsters and ghoulies are stripped from the show, that's what it's always been about: family.
So, your turn. How did you meet Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy? What were your first impressions?