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If last week was noir light, they made up for it in spades this week.  There were a ton of awesome images in this episode.  I mean, I could probably write a whole review on the alpha vamp montage alone.  This episode was directed by Rod Hardy, who has an extensive TV directing resume, including stints on "The X-Files" and "Battlestar Galactica."

1.

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We're in the teaser and it's already atmospheric and noir-ish.  This image is pretty much the opening for every hardboiled detective novel ever.  "It was a cool, moonlight night as he made his way down the alley with his moll at his side.  He turned up his collar to keep out the chill, wondering yet again how she had convinced him to walk the city streets at this time of night.  He had a case to solve, and his mind kept slipping back to the particulars, making him poor company at best."  I mean, it just writes itself!
 
2.

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This is a great shot over the Impala.  I will never get tired of looking at the Impala.  It's just so angular and gorgeous, and she just laps up the attention, doesn't she?
 
3.

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Here's a cool through-the-window shot, with the blinds and the blind shadow on Sam's face.  It's super noir.  Seriously, this episode has more shots of characters with shadows on their faces than any this season so far, especially once Dean gets turned.
 
4.

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This shot is awesome because it's almost exactly the same as the cover for "My Summer of Blood"  Look!
 
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That is so ridiculous!  The vampire on this cover is even dressed like Dean and standing like him with his shoulders hunched down.  Oh, man, that's good.  Even when the show is taking itself seriously it can't take itself seriously!
 
5.

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What a gorgeous shot of this journal.  They make some amazing props for this show, and it's nice when they can show them off so spectacularly.
 
6.

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In an episode with so much blue and darkness, this yellow lighting in the blood cooler really pops.  Unless that's not a cooler at all but a warming container so the blood is warm when they drink it, a la True Blood.
 
7.

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That whole yellow lighting in a bluish room thing I mentioned with the previous cap still holds true for this one! Plus, the ceiling of this place is really cool.  It's very cathedral-esque.
 
8.

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And now we come to the most amazing part of the episode, visually, for me.  This alpha montage is insanely cool, so pardon me while I cap the hell out of it.  Is that the alpha?  A messenger?  A Cylon?  And where is that house?  It looks so English, doesn't it?
 
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And more creepy little girls.  Of course.  This is a very creepy tea party for one, and we'll see why it's so creepy in a minute.
 


 
10.

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Just look at this!  Oh, man, is that cool.  And it's also why the tea party is so creepy!  She's serving blood.  Ew!  And as "Playthings" taught us, dolls are horrifying, especially ones bleeding from the nose.
 
11.

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Even the weather vane is creepy!  Everything about this montage is creepy!  Very dramatic sky there, too.  This shot reminds me of the phrase "dark wings, dark omens" from "The Song of Ice and Fire" series where ravens acted as messenger birds.
 
12.

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This is ominous.  What is he pointing at, and why does he want the tween vampire twins to go there?  Plus, he has really long fingernails.  That's pretty gross.  Seriously, those things are longer than mine.  But the angle here is just lovely.
 
13.

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The creepy girls again.  How horrifying would it be if they turned out to be the alphas, that all vampires were descendants of two terrible girls?  It would be like Lilith part 2.  Really, what do you think this montage meant?  Was it just directions to the next place they were recruiting?  Or was it orders to meet somewhere after you had made at least one vampire yourself, cloning yourself, as it were?  Is that the message, that one vampire becomes two?
 
14.

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I like this shot for a couple reasons.  One, it was really great to see Dean kick some ass again.  And not just kick ass.  He destroyed a whole vampire nest by himself.  He was a baby vampire, and he took out an entire nest, including a 600-year-old vampire.  That is beyond badass.  Second, I like the Dean shadow on the wall.  It's very intimidating.
 
15.

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Oh, man, Dean killed the hell out of Boris.  Look at the carnage!  Isn't this just the most macabre shot?  And thinking of the mechanics of this visual for a minute, how did Dean get that blood trail?  Did he kill Boris, realize he was underfed and tired, and decided to sit down but wanted to drag Boris' head with him?  Because that's certainly what it looks like.  Vampire Dean is terrifying!  And hot.  Not gonna lie.
 
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And if the episode wasn't brutal enough, we get this final scene to add to the heartbreak of Sam letting Dean get turned.  Sam is trying to look earnest and honest about having Dean's back, but he's just so disconnected that it's not even convincing.  It's like he's trying to figure out how Sam would normally act or how Dean wants him to act instead of having genuine reactions to the people and events around him.  He's pretending his way through this.
 
17.

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But Dean knows, of course.  And man, look at his face!  Oh, he's just devastated.  I'm sure he thought all of that deception was behind them after the real progress these two made last year.  He's so hurt.  I don't think Dean even knows what to do at this point he's so angry and disappointed.
 
Wow, that was a gorgeous episode, wasn't it?  So pretty.  What did you guys think of the episode?  Did you love the alpha montage as much as I did?  This show really does an amazing job with their montages.  They just put so much thought into them.  Does anyone else think of the movie "Team America: World Police" every time they hear the word montage?
 
 

 

Comments  

triquetral
# triquetral 2010-10-27 23:05
The cathedral ceiling reinforced the concept of "Our Father," which is something that every single monster who has been related to an Alpha storyline has said. We didn't hear much about the djinn Alpha, but so far both the shifter Alpha and the vamp Alpha have been pushing for heavy procreation.

As for the vampire montage - Samuel mentioned how the trail of drained bodies moved from town to town. I think the vampires head into a town, nest enough to set up the recruitment drive. Then when they get the order they move to the next town.

Especially with the imagery in the montage of cell division, it is definitely a create-divide-a nd-conquer type plan.

Sam's been going through the motions since the premiere. It breaks my heart - even if he did something nearly unforgiveable in pursuit of a risky strategy.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-27 23:37
Thank you - I enjoyed reading this. And I agree - the alpha montage was very beautifully done (and intriguing) :-)

I especially liked #5 (journal), #7 (ceiling), #10 (creepy doll with blood), #11 (weather vane), #13 (more creepy twin girls) and #16 (Sam) and #17 (Dean).

I seem to recall a shot of Dean in the vampire's den, with Boris' head at his feet, and Sam/Samuel in the background. That shot (if it exists and I'm not imagining it) - also stands out, for me.
Karen
# Karen 2010-10-28 08:24
Hi Ardeospina
I just love your vision. Thank you so much for this.
You’ve opened a whole new door for me when watching shows and movies.
riverbella
# riverbella 2010-10-28 08:24
I'd love to know where they shot the interiors of the vampire nest. The stained glass ceiling was awesome, and the contrast between the beauty and the brutality gave me the shivers. I loved the vision montage--yay for creepy little girls. I think Supernatural's idea of vampire teeth is way scarier than the standard fangs. But my favorite image was Dean with his foot on Boris's head. That just hit all my buttons. Nice visuals. Thanks for this.
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-10-28 09:09
Was looking forward to your visual review a little more than usual this time. Even to a cinema Philistine such as myself, some of those shots simply demanded admiration. Loved the journal and Dean in Lisa's room. He was scary! And sad. Those were my favorites, but all are captivating.

Oh, I also wondered about that blood trail from the body to where Dean was sitting. CREEPY! Intense enough fight he thought himself back in hell, uh, working? Be at ease Dean, decapitation means death topside.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-10-28 14:02
Ardeospina, last week I commented on how awesome you are (and that still stands, obviously) but this week I'd like to give you my sincere thanks, and that relates to both your visual reviews and your motivational messages.

I don't realise how much I don't see when watching until I come on here and read your reports. They are so full of amazing observations, from the hilarious (Emily Fang) to the poignant (Dean in the final shot) and everything in between.

It really adds to my appreciation of the show to see these (for me) unnoticied gems.

Many thanks.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-30 04:29
As always, dearest Flamey, you leave in awe with your visual review. I love them, and I'd like to thank you in particular for shining a light on the prop department.

Early on I was completely taken aback by their talents, e.g. when they displayed the picture of a real Jack the Ripper victim in No Exit, making the episode more real than it would have been without these real-life connections!

Three cheers to you! Jas
ElsieMaeK
# ElsieMaeK 2010-10-30 19:34
As to the question of where is the creepy house from the Master Vamp's vision - there was a map in that montage - with a circle around Aurora, and nearby towns of Oak Park and Cicero, so I would venture to guess Chicago. Loved your review, the images you selected made me want to see the ep again, so I did!
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-11-03 21:22
I completely neglected to answer your comments, everyone, but thank so much for all your kind words! I'm touched that you are enjoying these. It's pretty fun to go through the caps and see what I missed on first viewing, too!