Now that’s more like the Supernatural that I love. I received lots of tingles of nostalgia and pleasure (the innocent kind, of course) as I watched this tale.
One of my favorite things in a television episode is when music is used to emotional effect, especially in a creepy way. This time, as the episode begins, we’re treated to the velvety tones of The Chantels as they sing “Look in My Eyes.” Hey, I guess I’ll ponder the subject of television music, later, in my musings.
I think that this story, featuring Sheriff Donna Hanscum (I feel your pain, Donna. I had a funny last name, too), is an interesting return of one of the things that I really enjoy about Supernatural – it’s scary. I felt the horror and fear of poor Donna’s niece as she’s abducted by a sinister figure. I see the dingy dungeon and feel the intense desire to be anywhere but there. Then, the serial killer shows himself to Wendy Hanscum in all his freaky glory. I swear, that guy’s almost more frightening than Silence of the Lamb’s Buffalo Bill. “It places the lotion in the basket.” Shudder.
Anyway, this episode gets the award for the creepiest guest-cast, ever. It just edges out “The Benders.” I was freaked by the characters in the truck stop and also by the window-washer guy. He turns out to be a not-so-scary dude, but I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley, anyway. When “Butterfly” makes an appearance, this story reaches complete creepiness.
After the opening sequence, we retire to Sam’s room, where the poor guy’s not sleeping very well. I know right away (I’m just perceptive, like that); a bad moon has a-risen in Sammy’s head. I always do get mucho tingles when we are treated to a melancholy Sammy scene. That usually signals good times ahead, for my viewing pleasure. I have to admit that this time, though, I feel a little bit manipulated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a-tingle, but the cynical and pessimistic voice that lives in my head (way down deep, where it’s better not to linger), pipes up with the thought that says, “Oh sure…sudden and dramatic role reversal, ahead.” I’m not quite buying the organic progression of Sam’s blue-mood, but I’ll go with it, for now.
Do you notice that a Winchester always sleeps with his watch on? Who wears watches, anymore? I used to wear one everyday and had a dozen of them, at least. Now, I just whip out my cellphone when I want to know what time it is. I really appreciate the sight of Sammy in jammies, especially since it reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from “Pac-Man Fever.”
Dean: Man, I'm telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers...
Sam: Shut up.
Sam gets a call from Donna and the chase is on. Dean thoughtfully made pancakes, but we all know that Sam doesn’t eat when he’s upset. (He doesn’t seem to eat much, ever.) It’s a quick trip to Nebraska to meet up with Donna, who needs to find her adorable niece. I have fifteen nephews and nieces, plus too-many-to-count Great nephews and nieces, but as far as I know – only one of them has gone missing for any length of time. Anyway, Donna’s very worried about her vanished niece, and is having an FBI agent help her with the case. I’m not too impressed with Mr. FBI Agent, as he states that he’s been chasing the same serial killer for twelve years. Catch him already, man! I did enjoy the character and since I can be clueless about such things, I don’t see the twist a-coming.
It’s great to see Deputy Doug, again. He’s a real nice fella, who speaks with a very convincing Minnesotan accent. They should put that guy in the next season of Fargo. He’d fit right in. Sam’s not in the mood to appreciate Dean’s communication skills regarding the CB radio and also wants to back off the case because of the proximity of the FBI. That’s another fun callback that we have, here. Ah, Agent Henriksen – you are much missed. However, the sudden turnaround of Sam and Dean’s attitudes is making me dizzy. Dean tells Sam that he shouldn’t let losing Mom and Jack eat him up. Say, what now? A tad hypocritical, isn’t it? Dean’s Mr. Positivity, now, I take it. Still, I do enjoy the return of Dean’s sympathetic big brother role.
I’m impressed with Donna’s interrogation techniques. Brenda Leigh Johnson (The Closer) would be proud. Chief Johnson always got her suspects to talk after they asked for a lawyer. She’d threaten them with things that would happen, after legal counsel arrives – like arrest, family and employer notification, etc. They’d always tell her everything she wanted to know. Then, of course, she’d arrest them, anyway. Donna’s great at breaking down her suspect, but the hunt’s still on.
Poor Doug doesn’t handle the monster talk, very well, no Siree Bob. He’s isn’t thrilled about briefly becoming a vampire, either. For the sake of brevity, Doug gets cured, right quick. Fortunately, I didn’t look too closely at the preview, so I’m surprised when Sam’s whacked on the noggin and taken hostage. It’s fun to see Dean get the message that someone has his brother. He hates that! (I love it!) I love the way that Donna orders Dean around, as they start hunting in the right direction. I also love the onscreen view of Mr. Monster’s website auction. I pause my DVR so that I can write down the information displayed. I appreciate the user names “Kittysune1” and “2fangs2furious” and also notice that Sam’s height is listed at 6’5” and that the great debate of Jared’s true height goes on. I also enjoy the debate (not brought up in this episode) of Sam’s time away at college. Making the elapsed time, between leaving John and Dean visiting Sam at Stanford – a period of two years; that makes more sense than four years. I know, either a mistake was made by Kripke and company, or they did it on purpose so that Sam could be graduating, but still…four years is too long a time, if their brotherly bond was always so epic, don’t you think?
Tangents aside, I’m enjoying the Butterfly serial killer and like his speech on the eating habits of monsters, a lot. He’s only saving a bunch of people from being eaten by the undead (among others) creatures. Your average monster, the ones who aren’t stupid or crazy, just go to work and are very good neighbors. They get hungry after a long afternoon of lawn mowing and they need to eat. In his rationale, cutting up lone drifters is a better idea than having scary critters roaming at will. I just don’t know what jobs these monsters have, though. I guess Dracula could afford a pint of blood, at those prices. I love the way that even Sam looks impressed as the bidding goes up to half a million. WannabrushNbraid.4 would like to put in a bid for the hair. I’ll have to go to the bank first, however.
Deputy “I-was-a-vampire-for-a-few-hours” Doug is going to break Donna’s heart. He’s not okay with monster hunting and doesn’t want anything to do with it, even with a certain Sheriff and hunter. I’d like to think that I’d appreciate learning about supernatural creatures and would be intrigued. I don’t think that I could chase them into spooky abandoned places and stab them with sharp knives, though. I can’t even trim my cat’s nails without jumping at every little "meow."
And now, for the denouement of the episode in the Impala. Sam speaks! He’s mourning all the people who get dead whenever they are around him and his brother. Sam’s in a "Sexy French Depression" (Crazy Ex Girlfriend song). This is an alternate reality, right? The boys have switched emotional outlooks and while it does seem awfully abrupt, I’m still happy that a miracle has occurred. Sam has a pulse and Dean’s noticing that he has a brother who might need his support. Yay.
Musings on Television’s Musical Moments
The X-Files – “Twilight Time” by The Platters is a sweet addition to “Kill Switch.” I can’t imagine that episode without that particular song. It sets a mood that perfectly accompanies this story that is sad, romantic, and amusing.
Mad Men – “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” by The Hillside Singers. The series finale of this iconic show used this song to great effect. Coca-Cola’s 1971 commercial was a part of my childhood. My mother didn’t allow me to drink Coke, but I loved watching the commercial. Mad Men got to use lots of great songs from its era.
Man in the High Castle – An extremely lovely and forlorn version of “Edelweiss” plays at the start of every episode. Usually, I don’t watch a long opening sequence, I just skip ahead. This song and its visuals, though, are so stunning that I rewatch this opener. The opening to Westworld is also melodic and stunning.
Six Feet Under – “Breathe Me” by Sia. The series finale of this amazing show was perfectly set to music. I love this ending sequence where we’re given glimpses into the possible futures of the Fisher family.
AHS: Murder House – The best use of a song here, was “Tonight you belong to me” by Patience and Prudence. I’m not a fan of the following seasons, but the first one was very well done.
Okay, that's not totally creepy.
Bates Motel – One of the best things about this series was the Golden Oldies that heightened the mood of this awesome show. They used all kinds of music, but when a song like “Mr. Sandman,” “Be My Baby,” or “Dream Lover” started playing – I really felt the full effect of the scene. They also featured Patience and Prudence’s creepy song in a great way.
It feels like I’m leaving Dean out too much, in this article, so my favorite song over a heartbreaking scene of Dean’s is from Bob Seger, “The Famous Final Scene.” Dean (and Jensen) make me cry every time I watch this horribly fantastic sequence.
There are many others, and of course, Supernatural has had many, many wonderful moments where the song is perfect for the scene. I’ll let you search those out, if you like. I’m gonna go watch the video “Behind Blue Eyes” for the umpteenth time. Oh, my Sammy, you’re killing me…softly.
This is a fine episode to enjoy some scares, some emotions, great casting, and a return (hopefully) to the adventures of Sam and Dean. Now, if they can just locate little lost Jack and Mary, that’ll be awesome.
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