Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine... yeah, just messing. So, ready to see what the brain trust has come up with today? As usual, we're all of different choices, but we're all in agreement that all these episodes rock. Do they line up with your choices?
When I went through the DVDs the very first time (having found the show in season three), come the moment that I finished with "Hookman" and "Bugs," I was about ready to give up on this show, or at least jump straight to season two. Then I saw "Home" and was sucked right back in, like I was with the Pilot. This is truly the first episode of the series that not only gave the Winchester brothers deeply emotional material, but sold it in a major way. It seemed to be the point where everything finally came together.
The amazing score, done by Chris Lennertz, is one of the best of the series and really brings out all the big emotional beats. The premise is gold, coming home again for the first time since the fire. It wasn't just the house that was wounded, the brothers were as well. Dean was haunted by the memories of losing his mother and his desperate call to his father for help marked the first real sign of deep vulnerability with his character. Sam was haunted by changes inside of him, namely the premonitions and psychic dreams. They scared him. Even though he was having these dreams in "Bloody Mary," he still chose to keep all that secret. This time, he couldn't ignore it and had to come clean with Dean. No, big bro didn't take it well.
Once the boys arrive and realize that Sam's psychic dream is true and something supernatural is in their old house, watching their emotional struggle over what's happening is such a powerful change from the previous episodes when they attacked the case with their usual flair. Here they try, but realize there's a bit more to this. Dean even tells Sam how he carried him out of the house the night of the fire. Wow, that never came up before? It must really hurt Dean that bad for him not to say anything for 22 years.
Eric Kripke did in this script what miserably failed in "Hookman" and "Bugs." He made it scary. This was a real thrilling ghost story and the fact that this time it was personal made it that more compelling. The real genius though was the character Missouri Mosely, a genuine psychic who not only established there were two spirits haunting their old house (one being a very evil poltergeist), but that Sam actually had some very powerful abilities. That's why the ending scene with John was so significant, why were they manifesting now? John wasn't coming out of hiding until he found out. After the major surprise of Mary's ghost appearing a few scenes before, seeing John was the other big "gotcha" that no one saw coming.
Dean: Dad? I know I've left you messages before. I don't even know if you'll get 'em. But I'm with Sam. And we're in Lawrence. And there's somethin' in our old house. I don't know if it's the thing that killed Mom or not, but, I don't know what to do. So, whatever you're doin', if you could get here. Please. I need your help, Dad.
Favorite Scene: This scene happened in season one and I still tense up and get a teary when I think about it. Sam is trapped in the house by the poltergeist and getting tossed around like salad in the kitchen. Dean is out of his mind trying to get in and uses an axe to furiously chop his way through the front door. Dean arrives just in time to defend his baby brother from the burning ghost, but suddenly Sam can tell who it is. The flames clear away and it's Mary Winchester!
She's exactly like she was the night of the fire, wearing the white nightgown, all ghostly and heavenly. Both boys are completely stunned, and the emotional impact is huge! Dean wells up, and Sam cries when he talks to his mother for the first time. She smiles at them both and then her smile fades in front of Sam. "I'm sorry," she tells him. "For what?" he asks? Guess what? We don't flipping find out until the early part of season four!!! Talk about leaving the fans hanging. The only consolation was when the reveal did happen, it wasn't disappointing. Then Mary takes on the poltergeist in defense of her sons and they both burn away. No! Mary!
Actually, there's another scene that kills me just as bad (you knew I wouldn't stop at one). It's the very end. Dean looks at photos of them as children that Jenny found in the house (no one noticed them before?) and a despondent Sam sits on the front steps. "What's happening to me?" he asks Missouri. OMG Sammy! It's amazing in retrospect what's yet to come for him. It makes me cry just thinking about it.
(On Page 2, Ardeospina's #9)
Why: I know what you're thinking; another season 8 choice from Ardeospina? Yes! Yes indeed! I honestly don't care that it was a recent episode. I loved it! It was a fantastic mix of humor and angst, the Sam/Amelia storyline made huge progress, and Castiel was able to clear the air about where his head's at right now. Mix in cartoon physics, and you've got an instant classic!
Honestly, who didn't love Castiel's attempt at being a hunter? He so sincerely wanted to help that Sam and Dean couldn't say no. And even when his methods were on the unusual side, like interrogating a cat, the boys tried to help him along with as much grace as they could muster. Which wasn't often a whole lot, but they tried.
Favorite quote: Castiel had so many good lines in this episode that it's hard to choose just one. But that's my job, so I will go with:
Dean: What the hell happened?
Castiel: There was a pastry mishap.
Dean: Okay, and?
Castiel: And the frosting reached near-supersonic speeds.
(On page 3, sweetondean's #9)
"Jus in Bello"
Why: This episode always feels really claustrophobic to me. Trapped in that cell, in that sheriff's station. Even before the demons come on the scene it makes me super uncomfortable. The thought of the boys getting sent to and locked up in a maximum security prison, never to see each other again, sends shivers down my spine.
I think this is one of Sera Gamble's strongest scripts. It's tight. It's suspenseful. It's snappy, with great one-liners and it's an ensemble piece. It's not often we get a bunch of non-regular characters all interacting in a "Supernatural" episode. But in this one, we not only get Sam and Dean, we get the wonderful Agent Henriksen, whom we first met in "Nightshifter", the ill-fated Sheriff Dodd, Deputy Groves, the virgin Nancy (when I saw her in Dexter I literally went,hey it's the virgin!) and of course, Ruby, and how I love Ruby (both Rubys by the way).
Everyone's thinking on their feet. Everyone gets down to business. Nancy and the deputy organise the salt, the boys paint the devil's traps, Dean briefs Henriksen on what's really out there in the dark "“ even evil clowns that eat people!
I love how Sam scopes out Nancy's rosary and figures a way to get his hands on it so that they can organise some holy water just in case and we get one of the smartest ways of exorcising a bunch of demons we've ever seen,.and it was Dean's idea! I don't mean to sound surprised by that, we all know that deep down he's a smarty pants, he simply likes to hide his light under a bushel. I love their plan and I love that they don't reveal the plan to us, so as the audience, we find out at the same time as the demons what was in the works. All we hear is "Open the doors, let them all in and we fight." Of course,in our heads we then hear "like men in tights!" Damn you gag-reel! When the exorcism plays over the intercom system,.shear brilliance.
"Jus in Bello" is also the first time we get to see the anti-possession tattoos. So somewhere between "Born Under a Bad Sign" and this episode, our boys got some ink! Don't you wish you could see that scene!
Plus, we're introduced to Lilith. We'd heard about her in "Malleus Maleficarum", but we meet her in "Jus in Bello". Not the creepiest Lilith,that has to be "No Rest for the Wicked" Lilith,but I do love how this Lilith describes the brothers: "One's really tall and one's really cute."
Oh and we see the very lovely left-arm-of-Ackles. It is always his left arm,even in the movie My Bloody Valentine,it's his left arm that cops it! I swear, go look!
Favourite Quote: Oh gosh, this is such a witty script; there are so many great lines. I love how Ruby says some guts splattered into her mouth while she was fighting her way in, Dean's ill placed joke about not shooting the deputy "“ followed by Sam's bitchface!
But I think it's Dean's bravado that wins me over:
"It's kind of wild, right? I mean it's like they're coming for us. They've never done that before. It's like we got a contract on us. Think it's because we're so awesome? I think it's 'cause we're so awesome."
"Honestly, I think the world's gonna end bloody. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. We do have choices. I choose to go down swingin'."
Special mention has to go to: "Nobody kill any virgins!"
Favourite Scene: I love the moment when Henriksen casts aspersions on how John raised the brothers and they both lean forward and practically growl at him. The look on their faces.
I also love the moment when Sam absent-mindedly checks out Dean's gunshot wound and then wipes his fingers on the back of Dean's shirt.
But my favourite has to go to the interaction between Dean and Henriksen when they discuss monsters and how Henriksen feels like he's wasted his life, now that he knows what's lurking in the shadows. It's just such a matter of fact guy conversation. They even manage to chat about their personal lives as they sort through their weapons and pack salt rounds into their guns. Love it. Shame Henriksen died in a flash of white light and pain.....
And there you have our choices for number 9! Tomorrow...it's 8...which means it's just over a week until the new episode!