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Jared is nailing this whole damsel in distress thing, and his agony is hitting me deep already because it's so believable. This is the first episode where that happened for me with Jared's acting. Also, Jensen's again blowing us away with Dean staying in control on the outside, but every so often showing those glimpses of him barely holding it together inside. Amazing how he pulls that off so well.

Dean figures Sam went somewhere and finds some blood on the window frame. Uh, yep, Sam probably went through that. They go outside and see if anything jogs the ole memory. No, but wait...that garage feels familiar. As luck would have it too, there's a key to it in Sam's pocket. They open the door and there's an old VW bug, which bothers Dean. "Aww, please tell me you didn't steal this." It's kind of interesting how little bits of Sam's actions were done just to dig at Dean. It's so working too.

They inspect the inside of the car and find more blood and a bloody knife. Sam by now is in full blown sad puppy mode, whimpering that he may have used that knife on someone. Dean is still giving him the benefit of the doubt, because in this stage of their relationship, Dean still actually believes in Sam. Boy does that change.

Then Dean finds a pack of menthols (Ha! Something else to bother Dean). Now he's sure it couldn't have been Sam (he's half right). Sam finds a receipt to a gas mart a few towns over.

The Impala in all its shining beauty pulls up into the gas station, and nothing looks familiar to Sam. He's so lost! Poor baby! They go inside and clerk loses it at the sight of Sam. Not in a good way. Sam apparently the day before grabbed a "40" from the fridge (malt liquor), chugged it, and threw it at the guy's head. "This guy?" Dean asks incredulously while Sam has full innocent child "not me" going. "What, am I speaking Urdu?" Ever since I've seen this episode, I say that to my kids all the time when they aren't listening. They still don't get the reference and I love it.

The clerk picks up the phone to call the police. Dean sends a protesting Sam away and calms the clerk down, wanting just to talk. Then Dean tries to get the clerk to help him out by asking him which way Sam went the day before, but the snarky jerk tells him, "Oh, that's what I live for. Look, dude, I get it, your poor occupational choices in life have made you bitter, but try to keep in mind that guys like this can snap your neck like a twig. Your attitude is going to get you ganked one day. Okay? Good.

Dean, being a great read of jerks like this, finds the motivation. After the clerk complains that Sam didn't pay for the drink and the smokes, Dean pulls out money to cover it. The clerk thinks he might remember, and Sam took two packs. Dean gives him more money and he tells Dean north. Dean gets the last word though, taking a few candy bars smugly in retribution.

They're crusing in the Impala at night and Sam's somber gaze out the window is tinged with desperation. Sam's eerie silence is freaking Dean out, but they can't talk for Sam sees a drive and insists they go down there. He doesn't know why, but that's good enough for Dean.

They pull up to a secluded house and the security lights light up the yard like a Christmas tree the second they get out of the car. Whoever lives there needless to say doesn't like casual visitors. They go on the porch and the house is dark. Dean asks if they should knock and Sam gives him a terse, "Yeah, I guess." I'm really loving this teetering on the edge Sam.

With the tension still thick in the air, Dean knocks, and Sam finds a window broken out. They wonder why the cops weren't there. Sam finds out when a box of wires has been tampered with. For a dude that was really cautious, leaving the alarm electrical box for easy access like that to intruders wasn't too smart. I would have fired the security company.

They go inside, everything is dark, and the place is completely trashed. After shining their flashlights, around, Dean finds the body in the office. The neck has been slashed, and he's lying in a pool of blood. Sam loses it. "I did this." Dean doesn't want to believe it and thinks if Sam did do this, he had a reason. Maybe the dude was evil. Sam sees the closet and with agitation (just so we get his poor frame of mind) demands Dean's lock pick. He opens the door and sees all the weapons. Hunter!

Sam thinks he's guilty, but Dean would rather look at the security footage. Fine, find out the hard way. Yep, it's Sam, wearing his before bloody shirt, beating the tar out of this poor guy before slashing his throat. Sam wipes the knife on his now bloody shirt, and Dean and now completely freaked Sam watch in devastation. Yeah, I wouldn't save that treasure for the home movie collection.

Dean's trying to cover their tracks while a near catatonic Sam reads a letter from the dead guy's daughter. No, I'm not going to speculate if waterproof pajamas is an inside joke. Dean tries to get Sam to help him, but Sam's feeling too much remorse over killing the guy. Dean points out that since dead guy is a hunter, other hunters will come looking for him and they have to cover their tracks. Sam still won't come around and says the guy's name is Steve Wandell. Dean isn't in the mood to join the pity party and smashes the computer with the survellance footage. That jolts Sam a little and Dean orders him to wipe his prints. Yeah Sam, wallow in misery in the Impala!


# ATsRock 2009-07-13 04:40
Alice, I see what you mean about the last scene, and the joke Dean made, but I love that scene, and I guess I'll always make allowances for the boys by assuming Dean wanted to lighten the mood between them. And it kinda worked. That joke is one of several scenes in which I always laugh, regardless of how many times I watch it. Another is in Lazarus Rising, when Bobby throws holy water at Dean. And, in Everybody Loves A Clown, when Sam makes the comment about the kid 'fingering the clown'. Dean's reaction is classic. But I digress...

I absolutely loved Jared in this episode. My favourite scene is when demonSam is taunting Jo. Brilliant, Jared. The facial acting and inflections in his voice, not to mention the body language. I wonder how much of that was written, and how much was Jared's addition. And his laugh when he's tied to the chair at Bobby's...that is one of (if not THE) best evil laughs I've ever heard.
# Supernarttu 2009-07-13 06:25
Wow, this was a super review!! I loved it to bits.
And the ep itself is in my top5 too 'cause its' soo... fricking awesome!! I love every bit of it and while I too would have loved a some kind of ramifications on this (allthough I remember Kripke some time saying, this was going to be another reason for Gordons manhunt on Sam but it fell apart 'cause Sterling K. Brown was too much attached on the other show and the whole writers strike in S3 or something like that) but it still doesn't spoil this ep for me.
I loved both Jensen and Jared in this one but EvilJared was just creepy as hell! In the Jo-scenes I would have ran screaming esp. after the whole wrist-gripping scene... Jared hands are huge and I can imagine him grabbing my wrist that way and totally (i have teeny hands *grin*) just smother them... *shudders BIG time* Jared was just SO good, I'm kinda sad he didn't get to show this side sooner 'cause I know the boy can act his ass off. Jensen has been great from the start but I've always felt they both are great and their chemistry is just the best thing ever on TV.
I could watch this ep non-stop for days and never get tired... I usually watch certain scenes with constant rewinding :D like your fave scene and the Jo-scene just because it's so freaking creepy and I just for one sec actually feared that MeginSam might rape Jo... And I'm convinced nothing of that sort happened (I don't care if I'm proved wrong, I'm in Denial Land *laalalaalaalaa * ;-) ) but it still was one of my fave scenes 'cause I don't remember a scene where I've felt so uncomfortable and it was SAM (even though it wasn't). Oh, Jared is a god :P and I bet he was really sweet in shooting this, making sure Alona was ok every step of the way... He's just that kinda guy... But he 'sold' that scene, he should play psychos more :-)
Ok, Jensen was just heartwrenching with his freaking out 'n' suffering Dean. Nobody does those haunting looks better *love* And I too loved those Dean will have to kill Sam -themse that S2 gave us... And I too wll, never tire of those... as long as they don't go through with it :D
I didn't really care for Jo too, I liked her more in this one where they weren't trying to jam the Jo-Dean thing down our throats... She seemed too young to me and No exit was just *yawn* Dean usually seemed more uncomfortable than flirty with her... But that's just me, I don't like the guys hooking up *grin*
Ok, this is becoming longer than your review, so I better stop before I my keyboards explode.

ps. For little bits, I esp. loved the Timberlake-eye roll, the confused-Dean-w ith-the-hotel-m anager-by-the-d oor, and the Bobby-and-Sam-h oly-water-in-th e-beer -thingy and the Jo's "he was possessed?!", (I can't not eyeroll at that and say "No Jo, that's just Sam on Thursday nights" every single time :D ) and the scene in the gas station (I love how Dean says "This guy?!" like a million times, he's facial expressions *heart*) with the "Am I speaking Urdu?" with Sams over the top shocked puppy -look just cracks me up every single time.
Ok, I'll stop now, sorry for the length again :D
# Bethany 2009-07-13 09:08
this episode was just awesome jared hit it out of the park. it was tense and thrilling and takes hold of the viewer, draws them in and doesn't let go. jensen was also brilliant (as always) he manages to keep dean stoic and relentless in his determination not to give up on sam and yet you can see dean crumbling and the fear he can't save his brother wells up inside him.

i also love bobby in this episode and i think you're spot on to say that bobby is a much better dad to them then their dad ever was. just that bit where he doesn't miss a beat as not!sam splutters over his holy water laced beer is just awesome.."don't con a conman" bobby has mad skills!
# Bevie 2009-07-13 15:32
Wow Alice! What a perfectly awesome recap!

The acting was more than excellent, and kept me in twisted up tummy land all the way through.

My heart was aching for Dean, terrified of Sam and so grateful for incredible Bobby the conman.

I was truly worried that not/Sam would rape Jo I could hardly breathe through that scene. I don't think that happened off screen though.

I really liked Jo in this episode, even though she was a little slow in figuring out it was not/Sam, for a potential hunter. She'll have to improve in that area if she wants to survive in her chosen career. I liked her finding and patching up Dean and her resigned "No you won't". (I'd like to see Ellen and Jo again, also hoping Ash somehow didn't die in the fire. They do kill off so many interesting characters).

As I mentioned in another post, I would have liked to see a scene where Sam was really concerned about his brother's well-being and perhaps doing some first aid on the botched up job Jo did on his poor mistreated shoulder.

Love the way Bobby is with the boys, and how he shows his very real concern for their well being. I certainly hope that Bobby survives in this series. I don't think I could take it if they do him in. Let Bobby live I say!

I am babbling on here, so I better go. Agree with the posts above about this outstanding episode. Will always be at or near the top of my most gut-wrenching episodes. :sad:
# elle2 2009-07-13 17:54

Awesome recap. THis is one of my favorite episodes all around. Both Jensen and Jared as well as Jim Beaver nailed it. I love the directing and the cutting back and forth to show how stressed and rattled Dean was -- it was also done quite well in DalDoM.

Jared was superb here, the whole... "My daddy shot your daddy in the head." As well as the look after he shot Dean and after he pistol whipped him -- fabulous.

All around it's a classic, one to come back to again and again and I never get tired of it.

REO's song is a bit upbeat although the lyrics fit what they're doing but it is a bit 'on the nose' as we know that they're back on the road again.

I do like Dean's little joke at the end because it sorta echoed Bobby's comment and Dean's joke back at his house. You are right though, Sam did not have any after effects that we'rea ware of other than his comment in JIB and that is a shame. Still, I like that they closed the loop of the whole hunters after Sam because like the FBI manhunt after Dean it would have just muddied the waters. They've got bigger fish to fry, such as angels and demons after them in Season 5...way cool.

Great recap. Thanks for delivering.
# Suze 2009-07-28 04:14
Great recap, I love this episode ...

I'm rather sorry they lost the Hunters hunting Hunters storyline though, I really fancied that! Not sorry we've seen no more of Jo, she was a bit too much of a standard permenatly imperilled yet spunky girl sidekick stereotype.

I'm glad Sam didn't spend ages having a crisis about being possessed ... We don't need any more angsty moments on the Impala! :lol:
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-08 10:38
Just a short note on "Born Under a Bad Sign", if this hasn't already been said.

According to the Supernatural Season 2 Companion, at the end, when Dean punches the no-longer possessed Sam, that wasn't scripted.

The Companion also points out the irony of that punch - all along Dean resisted attacking demon-Sam for fear of injuring his brother.