Supernatural: Skin

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

A shape shifter is impersonating men and killing their partners. Sam’s friend Zak gets arrested for killing his girlfriend and Dean spends most of the episode pointing out why Sam shouldn’t have friends.

Thoughts:

Police enter a house and find a woman tied to a chair and a man escaping who turns out to be Dean covered in blood and holding a knife.

One week earlier Dean and Sam are getting fuel while Sam’s answering emails from college buddies. He’s told them that he’s on a road trip. Dean says that’s lying and he should cut everyone out if his life but Sam denies it.

An email says that his friend Zak has been arrested for his girlfriend’s murder but that he didn’t do it. Dean thinks it’s not their problem but Sam says they’re friends.

They visit Becky, Zak’s sister, who was with him when Emily, the girlfriend, was being murdered but there’s tape from a security camera showing him at the house at the time.

Sam decides they’ll go to the crime scene and tells Becky that Dean is a cop so it’s alright. Dean points out this is lying.

There’s not much to see at Emily’s house but apparently a week before someone broke in and stole Zak’s clothes and the neighbor’s dog has been aggressive since the murder. Animals are more sensitive to supernatural stuff.

They ask if Becky can get the tape from her lawyer but she’s already stolen it. So they watch it and Sam sends Becky for beer and food so he can examine it more closely. Zak’s eyes flash in the video. Photos can catch a glimpse of the soul.

Meanwhile Zak’s sat on a bench watching a couple and his eyes flash so we don’t get confused. Then later the man comes home to find his wife tied to a chair and she asks him not to hurt her anymore. He hears a noise and goes to investigate instead of calling the police. You know someone is in your house they’ve tied your wife up. He finds his double and gets knocked out.

Sam decides to go to Emily’s house early in the morning and Dean’s still not sure this is their kind of problem and isn’t really putting any effort in. I’d be the same at 5:30 in the morning.

Sam’s looking for a trail because if the police thought they’d caught the murderer they wouldn’t look. He finds blood but the trail ends.

They see an ambulance and follow it to the house of the guy who came home and found his wife tied to a chair. Now Dean thinks it’s their kind of problem.

Sam goes round the back of the house and finds a trail but again it ends. Sam wonders about flying but Dean suggests the sewers. This reminds me of the first episode of Buffy where one of them asks if vampires can fly and she says they can drive. It’s always the simplest explanation.

Down in the sewers they find the shifter’s shedded skin and hair from when he transforms. It’s all slimy and gooey.

Back at the car and they’re loading silver bullets into the guns because that always kills shifters no matter the type.

Becky phones Sam and has found out Dean’s not a cop from her lawyer and is rightly angry that they went to the crime scene because it could ruin Zak’s case.

Dean takes this moment to point out it would be easier to not have friends than to lie to them. He’s got a lot of evidence that not having friends is for the best.

Down in the sewers and they’re getting close because there’s another shedding pile right next to Sam’s head on a pipe which makes me wonder if the shifter is using it as decoration because of where it’s placed. It makes sense to be on the floor not up high.

The shifter appears behind Dean but Sam misses when he fires and they split up to chase it through the streets.

They meets back up but it’s not Dean because his eyes flash helpfully for the audience. Sam finds out pretty quickly too when the shifter catches the keys with his injured arm. Sam pulls a gun but because he’s not 100% sure hesitates to shoot and the shifter knocks him out.

Sam wakes up tied to the pipes and asks about Dean. The shifter says he doesn’t want to know which is a bit ominous but Dean’s tied up only a few feet away you just can’t see him because he’s got a blanket over him. I’m assuming this is so they don’t have to spend money on an effects shot.

The shifter’s got Dean’s memories and acts like him but decides to uncharacteristically acknowledge all his emotions and say them out loud. He resents Sam for getting to go to college and have friends. Everyone’s going to leave him. He did everything their Dad said and he still left. And finally Dean would bang Becky so the shifter’s going to go after her.

Shifter tells Becky he’s here to apologise and she lets him in. This is why you should never forgive people. He then tells her about shifters because even monsters need to express themselves.

Becky says it would have to be a genetic freak. He says evolution is about mutation and the shifter was born hideous and hated but learned to become someone else. No wonder the world’s got a creationist problem with all these shows explaining evolution like this. This is a very X-men style of mutation.

Back to Dean and Sam who are trying to escape. They theorise that the shifter has to keep who it turns into alive so it has a psychic connection to download the memories. That explains why Dean is alive but not why Sam is. The shifter never turns into him.

They call the police to warn them about the shifter but that means the police are hunting someone of Dean’s description. It’ll be fine though he didn’t even have to hide when he took out two policemen who got a good look at him.

The shifter gets creepy with Becky and she tries to kick him out but he ties her up and we’ve caught up with the beginning of the episode.

The police enter and the shifter escapes out the window, gets into the sewer and starts to change. It’s gross. Teeth popping out and he pulls his ear off and bones start popping. I wonder if there’s time limit on how long he can stay in one form?

The brothers watch the news reporting on the man hunt for Dean who feels it’s personal because the guy’s walking around with his face. They’ve got no weapons so they go find the car but the police show up.

Sam gets caught so Dean can get away and tells him not to go into the sewers alone. Dean goes anyway because of course he does and finds Becky tied up. She woke up in time to watch the shifter become her so now she believes them.

Sam’s gone to Becky’s house and he doesn’t think it’s strange that she let him in after his brother tied her up and hurt her.

Why isn’t he looking for Dean? He said don’t go into the sewers without me. He should be finding Dean and regrouping.

Anyway the shifter knocks him out and when he comes to he’s tied up again. The shifter should have just killed him when he was unconscious. And the shifter is Dean again so we can watch the brothers try to kill each other. And so Dean can kill himself metaphorically. And so the police can see Dean’s dead body blame everything on him and case closed.

Becky says it must be a lonely life because now she knows what they do and they keep talking about having friends so she gets to rub it in at the end. Zak’s getting released because Dean’s getting the blame.

Dean wishes things could be different for Sam and he’d like to go see his own funeral but considering he has no friends that’d be a bit depressing.

I found this episode convoluted but that made it funny. I like getting to know Dean better and him secretly being jealous of Sam going college and having friends. It’s all good conflict that gets explored more later.

Previous Supernatural: Bloody Mary                                                                          Next Supernatural: Hook Man

Supernatural: Bloody Mary

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Sam’s feeling guilty and having nightmares over Jess, Dean’s had enough and Bloody Mary is killing people who feel it’s their fault someone died. Which turns out to be quite a few people in this town but is ultimately just a way for Sam to get over his guilt.

Thoughts:

Three girls are playing truth or dare and one of them gets dared to go into the bathroom and say Bloody Mary three times in front of the mirror. They also can’t decide on Bloody Mary’s origin story which comes back to be a little plot point later. They do decide that it doesn’t matter who she was though.

Nothing happens to the girl but her dad gets stalked in mirrors and reflective surfaces around their house by a woman and it’s not scary at all. I think it’s because she looks like every other scary ghost ever. The ghosts from the Ring and The Grudge come to mind. Pale skin and black hair.

In the bathroom the father’s eyes explode leaving a massive puddle of blood on the floor for his older daughter to find.

Instead of calling an ambulance or checking he’s actually dead she stands there screaming. Off to a good start.

Sam is having nightmares of Jess blaming him for her death. He says at least he’s getting sleep but Dean’s not happy. Despite that ‘no chick flick moments’ in the first episode Dean’s the one who keeps wanting to talk about Sam’s feelings.

The guy at the morgue won’t let them in to see the father’s body so Sam bribes him with Dean’s poker money. I’m wondering why they didn’t just use fake IDs again and be something official instead of students.

Officially it was a stroke but the morgue guy has never seen so much blood in a skull.

They turn up at the wake under dressed and question the sisters. Donna, the one who discovered the body and Lilly, the one who said Bloody Mary in the mirror. She thinks it’s her fault and it is but Sam and Dean are nice enough to tell her it isn’t.

They go up to the bathroom where the father died. They try to avoid saying Bloody Mary in front of the mirror while trying to figure out what happened and give exposition which makes the scene more entertaining than it would have been.

They’ve never found any evidence that Bloody Mary is a real thing because kids play it all over the country and no one dies. So they theorize this is where the legend started and so it only happens here.

Donna’s friend Charlie catches them in the bathroom and threatens to scream if they don’t tell her what they’re doing. They tell her they’re there to help and she accepts that answer. But she’s also got really bad judgment as she proves later in the episode so I don’t mind her just trusting them. It’s in character.

They go to the library where the computers are out of order so they can’t google stuff. The problem is they don’t even know what the true story is. She could be a mutilated bride or a woman who committed suicide.

Then it’s back to Charlie talking on the phone to her friend Jill who decides to prank Charlie (because apparently she’s that gullible) by saying the name in the mirror and then screaming. Jill dies after they hang up.

Meanwhile Dean’s reaching a whole new level of frustration with the books when Sam wakes up from another Jess nightmare. Charlie calls and tells them what happened to Jill.

She gets them into Jill’s room and they find a name on the back of the mirror of a boy killed in a hit and run. They realise Jill did it and so they find the mother’s name on the back of the mirror where the father died. Apparently she died of an overdose but now they think the father had something to do with it. Although later they find out that you only have to feel guilty about the death for Bloody Mary to kill you. So he may just have felt guilty and not actually have killed her.

Folklore says that mirrors reveal your lies and secrets. They reflect your soul that’s why it’s bad to break them. They can also capture a spirit and so people cover them up when someone dies.

They find a story about a woman called Mary Worthington who was murdered and had her eyes cut out but it was far away so off they go.

The cop they interview shows them a picture of Mary’s dead body in front of a mirror where she was trying to spell her murderer’s name in her own blood on the mirror.

The Cop’s retired and he says he shouldn’t have the file which means he shouldn’t be showing it to them. They say they’re reporters so I don’t know why he trusts them.

Turns out she was cremated but the mirror was sold and is currently in the town where people are dying.

Meanwhile Charlie is demonstrating her bad judgment and trying to convince Donna that it’s Bloody Mary that’s killing people. I don’t think she’s going to say the name into the mirror she’s got enough problems at the moment. You don’t need to convince her.

Donna’s not in the mood for crazy so she says it to the mirror and nothing happens. Until Charlie is sitting in class and gets her little mirror out and sees the spirit behind her. Instead of asking to be excused from class she screams her head off and chucks a chair through the window then runs off. How is that helpful?

The brothers are trying to find the mirror when Charlie calls them. So they take her to the motel and put her in the dark.

Her secret is that her abusive boyfriend threatened to kill himself if she left him and she told him to go ahead. They promise her they won’t let her die and leave her at the motel.

They plan to smash the mirror but Sam thinks Bloody Mary needs to be in it when they do so he plans to summon her. Dean’s had enough of the self pity and tells him he’s got to stop blaming himself. He should blame the thing that killed her or to take a swing at him for dragging Sam away form her.

Sam’s determined to do it and says if they don’t Charlie will die. So at least it becomes more about saving someone than self pity.

They break in to the shop and Sam summons her but the police show up and Dean goes to stall them but ends up taking them out when it doesn’t look like they are going to believe he’s the adopted son of the owners.

Meanwhile Sam’s reflection starts to do things he’s not doing which is a clue that’s she’s in the mirror and he should smash it. He probably can’t move though because he’s got blood running down his face and he doesn’t try to smash it.

Dean smashes it which releases her and she comes crawling out. This really reminds me of when the ghost in the Ring comes out of the TV. I think it’s the way she moves.

They both start dying but Dean grabs a mirror and makes her look at her own reflection. She blames herself for all those murders and kills herself.

They say goodbye to Charlie who if she isn’t suspended from school is really lucky and at best she’s alienated herself from her friends.

Sam’s secret was he had dreams about Jess dying days before she did and he did nothing about it because he wanted to be normal. Dean wants to know his secret but Sam won’t tell. That does make it a little bit your fault especially when you know weird stuff goes on. You could have at least done research.

As they’re driving away Sam sees Jess’s ghost on the street then she disappears. Who knows if he’s going crazy or if she’s actually appearing to him. Who cares?

I want to know why there aren’t a whole lot of cops looking for the guy that broke into the shop and took out two police officers. I would have thought Dean would have to hide considering they saw him really clearly. But they didn’t have to hide from the FBI when the plane went down so I’m guessing they’re just lucky. Although that luck does run out at some point because I can remember a whole sub plot about them being hunted by the police that went on for a while.

I liked this episode and it feels like we’ve got somewhere with Sam dealing with Jess’s death. I know it’s the big problem of the season and I think it continues into season two as well but this might be the last of Sam feeling sorry for himself. It feels like an end to that little subplot but I can’t remember.

Previous Supernatural: Phantom Traveler                                                                        Next Supernatural: Skin

Supernatural: Phantom Traveler

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

A demon brings down an airplane by possessing a man and making his eyes go black but doesn’t do his job very well and some people survive so has to go kill them or the recording he left saying no survivors will be very embarrassing. Meanwhile Sam’s having trouble sleeping and Dean refuses to admit he gets scared so later we can have funny scenes of him afraid of flying.

Thoughts:

It starts with a man nervous at flying meeting a man in the bathroom who’s awful at comforting others. Then black mist descends from an air vent (guess it can’t go through walls).

On the plane the nervous man is a lot more confident and his eyes flash black a couple of times so that when Sam and Dean go to question people later about the crash they’ve got something to say. And so they can convince the flight attendant to help them.

Back on the plane the possessed man releases the emergency exit which should be impossible because of the pressure on it and the plane goes down.

Dean’s asleep when Sam enters their room and he hasn’t been sleeping because the demon hunting job’s been getting to him. Dean reaches for something under his pillow before he knows it’s Sam. Turns out he’s got a knife just as a precaution because Dean’s never afraid. He tells Sam he can’t take the job home.

They get a call from someone their father and Dean saved. He wants help with the plane that crashed because he’s found a spooky recording that says ‘no survivors’ even though seven people survived. So it’s a bit like Final Destination but the survivors can only be killed if they go to fly.

To investigate they have to get near the wreck so Dean creates ID’s for Homeland security which Sam thinks is super illegal even for them. I like that there are levels of illegality.

One of the survivors has checked himself into a psych ward because he saw the man with the black eyes open the emergency door. They go visit him first but he ends up thinking they’re crazy because of the questions they ask.

Then they go visit the possessed man’s wife but turns out the guy was really normal and boring.

Then it’s onto the wreckage where they put on suits and pretend to be Homeland Security. Dean’s made an emf which stands for electromagnetic frequency out of a Walkman. Sam gets to be the one to ask what it is even though he knows. It’s for the audience and for him to be surprised Dean made it.

Then the real Homeland Security turn up, big surprise there, and they go to find the brothers but Sam and Dean are escaping at the same time. How did they know to leave? There are no alarms until they’re sneaking around outsdie about to escape.

The pilot form the crashed plane crashes another plane this time there’s only one other person aboard. He’s been possessed by the same demon who makes the same joke about time flying when it gets to 40 minutes as he did in the first crash.

Turns out 40 is a magical number. It means death in the bible because it rained for 40 days so god could kill everything on the planet.

The brothers do some research and realise it’s a demon. They cause natural disasters and so this one has modernised to bring down airplanes. At least that’s their theory because they’ve never seen anything like this before.

They get news that the pilot is dead so they go to the wreckage and find sulfur again. So anyone who’s going to fly is in danger. The only one from the crash who’s going up again is the flight attendant and she’s 5 hours away so Dean’s got to do some really dangerous driving to get there in time.

They get to the airport on time but can’t convince her not to get on the flight. Then we get some more whispering black demon mist but we don’t know who it’s possessed.

Dean admits he’s scared to fly when Sam wants them to get on the flight. It’s why he drives everywhere and I love their entire conversation. Dean keeps pointing out that Plane is going to crash and Sam tries to be understanding saying he’ll go alone but Dean won’t let that happen.

They both get on the plane and Dean’s fear is hilarious. He’s tense and jumpy and tells Sam to shut up when he tells him to relax and starts humming Metallica to calm down. There’s also turbulence when he gets up to go test the flight attendant for possession.

They think she’s been possessed because apparently demons choose people with a weakness to possess. Like an addiction or emotional distress. I don’t remember that in later episodes so they might have abandoned it after this first time.

Dean wants to throw holy water on her but Sam wants to be more subtle. Demons flinch at the name of god in Latin which is Cristo. Dean gets annoyed at Sam telling him what he already knows and again it’s obviously for the audience but I like that they try to make exposition funny.

She’s not possessed or worried about the flight because she’s not going to let her fear hold her back. Dean says she’s the most well adjusted person ever.

Dean gets really scared and Sam says he’s wide open for demonic possession if he doesn’t calm himself down. This doesn’t go anywhere but Dean does do some Yoga breathing.

Turns out it’s the co-pilot who’s possessed because Dean says Christo at him and he flinches. I wonder if the demon realises he’s flinched because he leaves the cockpit rather easily when they trick him into going to Dean and Sam. He could have easily stayed in the cock pit and there’d be nothing the brothers could do.

Amanda the flight attendant also believes them way too easily even if she did see the guy with the black eyes.

They then perform a really loud exorcism behind a curtain but no one comes to investigate. I’m guessing the Latin makes the demon weaker because otherwise I don’t know how they hold him down with how strong he is.

The demon says he knows what happened to Sam’s girlfriend but this is just to remind of us of the plot thread because it doesn’t go anywhere for quite a while yet.

Then he exits the body to bring down the airplane using magic to crash it which makes me wonder why he didn’t do that in the first place. Why did he need a body?

They do the exorcism in the aisle which involves the obligatory loosing the bible for a minute so we can have some suspense. I guess it would have been boring if they’d stayed behind the curtain and read the bible in there as the airplane went down.

Everyone gets saved and the FBI turn up. But no one must have mentioned the strange men shouting bits from the bible because the FBI doesn’t hold them for questioning or anything.

They ask Jerry how he got Dean’s number because apparently that wasn’t important until now. Turns out their father’s answering message on his phone is directing people to Dean who can help them.

This episode is funnier than the last one and Dean being afraid of flying is the best part.

There are some plot holes like why the demon needs a body or why there can’t be any survivors but Supernatural doesn’t really explain it’s magic system. It’s based more on legends so they can get away with it.

Previous Supernatural: Dead in the Water                                                  Next Supernatural: Bloody Mary

Supernatural: Dead in the Water

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

A woman drowns in a lake so Sam and Dean go to investigate and discover a spirit that’s got a grudge against the family. It’s as about interesting as it sounds.

Thoughts:

The first minutes of this episode are basically a rehash of the last minutes of the previous episode which is redundant because we’ve already had a recap. Sam wants to go find their Dad instead of wasting time and Dean reminds him they are doing that but also killing all the bad things they can of their road to finding their Dad. It makes Sam seem a bit stupid but I guess we needed that scene again?

So they go to the family of the latest victim of the lake where the brother’s convinced his sister was pulled under. Then it’s off to the Sheriff who has done lots of stuff to the lake to confirm there’s nothing in it.

I love them trying to bluff their way through their conversation with the Sheriff. Dean pretending to know exactly what’s going on with the dam because they are meant to be part of wildlife research or something official.

It’s here we meet the Sheriff’s daughter who is Fred from Angel and that’s what I’m going to be calling her because I’m awful with names.

Fred’s got a son who witnessed his father drowning on the lake and now doesn’t speak. Dean tries to connect with him over witnessing a parent’s death and draws the kid a picture of his family. Dean gets a picture of a house in return. The kid put a lot more effort into his picture than Dean did.

This turns out to be a prophetic picture because the dead swimmer’s brother drowns in the sink next and the picture was of his house.

Why would you stick your hand into murky water to pull the plug out when the plug wasn’t even in and the water bubbled up through the plug hole. Go find a plunger. Or a plumber.

That’s one of the things that really creep me out. Sticking my hand into water I can’t see the bottom of.

The brothers get no answers out of the father because he’s just lost both his children so they go back to Fred and her psychic child.

Dean opens up some more about seeing his mum die and gets another picture in return. They end up at an old lady’s house who lost her son 35 years ago where they find a picture of Bill Carlton as a child (he’s the one who just lost both his kids). Before they can talk to him he takes his boat out on the lake and drowns. His boat gets flipped out of the water.

Then it’s back to the Sheriff who tells them to get out of town because their cover’s blown. So they pretend to leave but Dean doesn’t think the job is over even though Sam does. You know Dean is right because as they have the conversation it keeps cutting back to Fred getting ready to have a bath.

Sure enough she almost drowns but Sam manges to pull her up somehow. The spirit managed to flip a boat out of the water but it can’t defeat Sam.

Now they know it’s got something to do with the Sheriff as well so Sam questions Fred while Dean pokes through family photo albums. Then psychic child leads them to Peter’s bike(that’s the kid that died 35 years ago). It’s a bit convenient that he chooses this moment to be helpful but the story needs to keep moving and as long as they aren’t sent somewhere else for another clue I’m fine with it.

The sheriff shows up and pulls a gun on them and the whole truth comes out. The Sheriff and Bill Carlton accidentally drowned Peter in the lake and now the spirit is making them feel the same pain his mother felt before killing them.

I’d forgotten that it was the Sherrif who was the cause of the angry spirit. The other episodes I can vaguely remember who did what but here I was trying to figure it out.

Psychic child seems to be in favor of keeping things moving because he then goes near the lake for some reason and gets pulled under. It’s here I learn his name is Lucas because his mother won’t stop screaming it.

The brothers dive in heroically but can’t find him. I bet that was a fun day of being stuck in the water.

The sheriff decides to sacrifice himself for his grandson and they shoot him being pulled down into the depths of the lake from above and it’s kind of funny. His hand movements make him look like he’s waving.

Everything gets wrapped up after that. Lucas gets saved, Fred sort of forgives her Dad and Lucas is back to talking.

The first traumatising event makes the kid mute then the second traumatising event lets him speak again. That’s not a good message about mental illness. Try to traumatise your child out of their trauma.

The one question that didn’t get answered though was why did the spirit wait so long? The boy was drowned 35 years ago. What took him so long to kill them? Is it what they said about the spirit wanting them to feel the same pain his mother felt? So he waited until they had children. That’s a very forward thinking spirit. But then what triggered it to kill the children now and not years earlier.

This episode had too much back and forth. They go to this place, then that place, then back to this place. I liked the horror of being trapped in the woods better.

And I think Sam agrees because he says to Dean ‘you can’t save everyone’. They didn’t do as well with the body count as last episode. In Wendigo they only let one guy under their care die and they saved three. Here four die and they save two.

But this wasn’t a bad episode. The brothers make it seem better than it was. Their interactions are all that kept this interesting. From Dean has never talked about their mum’s death before and Sam wanting to know why to Sam being bewildered at Dean getting attached to a child.

We don’t get many Dean sexist moments this episode but we do get something else that’s just as annoying. Dean says to Lucas who’s drawing ‘chicks dig artists’. I don’t like generalisations, assuming all girls like the same things, but it’s also assuming everyone is straight which is another of my favourite things people do.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this episode again. It’s not bad it’s just a bit tedious. And it never felt like Sam or Dean are in danger. I didn’t know any of the other characters well enough to care if they died.

Previously Supernatural: Wendigo                                           Next Supernatural: Phantom Traveler

Supernatural: Wendigo

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Hikers go missing in the woods so Dean and Sam have got to go save them from whatever is lurking out there while keeping the search party alive as well.

Thoughts:

Despite the last episode ending with Sam declaring ‘we’ve got work to do’ while looking at all their weapons in the boot of the car and closing it dramatically they never got anywhere with finding what killed Jess.

They gave up after a week and decided to go back to looking for their Dad because they seem to think he knows everything. They have way too much trust in him. It’s like he’s their god and his journal is their bible. There’s definitely a parallel there especially considering the role religion plays later in the series.

He left them co-ordinates for Black water ridge so they go to find him and end up investigating because of the deaths but he’s not there.

It turns out it’s not bears killing people it’s a Wendigo which are very hard to kill. They are the perfect hunter. Smart, fast and able to mimic human voices to lure their victims out. Guns don’t work only setting them on fire does.

So Dean and Sam do a little investigating but most of the episode takes place at Black Water Ridge. This episode has more of the feeling of a horror movie than the previous one.

It’s like when a big cast of characters go to somewhere isolated and get picked off one by one. Except here the only extraneous character is the guide the woman hired so he’s the only one who dies.

The brother and sister have to be kept alive so when they find their brother they get a happy ending and Sam can get over his revenge motivation and be motivated by helping people instead. I think it’s really contrived that out of all the people the Wendigo took its only the missing brother left alive.

Sam’s really angry this episode and when he realises their Dad isn’t at the co-ordinates he wants to leave without stopping the Wendigo. By the end of the episode he gets a nice feeling from helping people and so wants to help other people.

The sister has an active role in the story and arranges everything to go find her brother. She’s not passive and gets stuff done. Which leads her to be criticised as women generally are of being too pushy. (There’s a campaign to Ban Bossy and instead label women as leaders.)

Specifically she’s called a “pistol” by Dean. It’s patronising and it’s similar to when women are called feisty. Pistol should probably be added to this list of words that are only used to describe women.

It’s Dean that describes her as a pistol and the other male in the room agrees. I kind of like that Dean’s got the sexist opinions of an old man.

So other sexist Dean moments this episode are when he tells the woman looking for her brother that this is the most honest he’s ever been with a woman. Implying that the only relationship he has with women are either when he’s hunting and trying to get information or when he’s sleeping with them. So Dean’s lying to get women into bed and has no meaningful relationship with any woman.

The other implied thing is that women have to be deceived so you can sleep with them. No woman just wants sex. They all want relationships. There’s also an uncomfortable issue about consent if you’re actively deceiving someone to sleep with them.

My favourite Dean moments this episode are him being out of his depth in the woods and nature. With his non-hiking clothes and his snacks and almost stepping in a trap. What makes this even better is when his snacks save them because brightly coloured sweets are easier to follow than breadcrumbs. M&Ms save the day.

So once in the woods we get some horror cliches. The guide not believing them about what’s going on and the woods being silent.

I always like when characters point out that the area around them is too quiet. Not even the crickets are making noise.

Why are the crickets scared of the Wendigo? A Wendigo eats human flesh not crickets. Unless the crickets can sense the magic or something. Which in that case is very useful and they should keep lots of crickets in their car or home as an evil detector.

You don’t really get to see the Wendigo until the end and then it’s really brief. Which is good. Because it looks awful but also what you can’t see is more scary than what you can. Your imagination does all the work. They probably didn’t have a lot of money at this early point in the series either.

It also seems to slow down at the end as if it’s giving them a sporting chance to get away.

The best moment though is the old man explaining what happened the night his parents died. That gave me shivers.

The Wendigo is a good choice as the second monster of the week. It’s different to the first episode because there’s less investigating and it gives us new rules with other monsters mentioned.

Black dogs and skin walkers are given as possibilities of what’s happening. Dean carves symbols into the ground to protect them at night (the guide calls it the magic circle) and Sam explains what a Wendigo is to the siblings looking for their brother.

Previously Supernatural: Pilot                                                                  Next Supernatural: Dead in the Water

Supernatural: Pilot

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Dean gets Sam’s help when their Dad goes missing but instead of finding him they end up fighting a ghost who attacks cheating men.

Thoughts:

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Supernatural. I think I stopped watching after season 5 because I thought it was a really good ending to the show. Now they’re on season 10 and I don’t think it’s been canceled yet so I thought I’d watch the whole show from the beginning.

The premise is fairly simple. There are demons, ghosts and other creatures of myth but only a few people called Hunters know about them and they keep everyone safe.

Sam and Dean’s Mother died at the hands of a demon when they were young and so their Dad raised them to be Hunters. Now he’s gone missing and they’re trying to find him while fighting evil.

This back story is a really common one for male characters to have. The woman in their lives is murdered (or kidnapped) so they have motive to go and get revenge.

There are so many shows that have this trope. The mentalist (mother and daughter), Dexter (biological mother dies then adopted mother dies but dead father hangs around in Dexter’s subconscious), Farscape (D’Argo’s wife Lo’laan), Hercules the legendary Journeys (wife and kids) and How I met your mother just gives up and has her be dead the entire time because she’s obviously not important. This can happen to male characters but not as much. TV Tropes calls it the Disposable Woman trope.

Here it’s no different. The father gets to hang around because he’s male but the mother dies so the male characters have motive and angst. This isn’t a trope I like. It’s way too prevalent. In this episode alone it happens twice.

First Sam and Dean’s mother then Sam’s girlfriend so he can get back into the demon hunting business. The mother gets a bit more fleshed out later but the girlfriend only has one trait and that’s hot. Jess is personality less. She’s just there to be pretty and die.

The whole concept of the episode is pretty sexist and the woman in white is a very sexist idea. A woman gets cheated on by her husband and in a fit of madness kills her children and then herself. The whole idea that the most important thing in her life is her relationship with her husband even over that of her children.

It’s also that idea of hysteria that in the past women were considered unstable due to being emotional and delicate. Anything can push them over the edge.

This is a bad attitude to have in the past and even worse to base your mythology around and make it true for this universe.

I can’t remember them subverting this in any other episodes but I hope they do. It’s been too long since I watched it.

I’ve never liked Sam. I don’t know if it’s the writing, the actor or the fact that I’ve got a little brother and he’s annoying.

Really I should like Sam better out of the brothers because Dean is sexist and Sam’s not. I tend to do lots of eye rolling at the things Dean says.

Maybe it’s because of the sexism everywhere else as well that I’ve just got to the stage where I roll my eyes and let it go. Otherwise I’d barely watch or read anything ever again.

It also helps that Sam acts as a counterpoint to Dean and doesn’t like his sexism either. Or at least that’s how I remember it. It makes me think better of the writers that they aren’t being unknowingly sexist (not with Dean anyway) like they’ve got a point to making the brothers opposite in this. To show that sexism is stupid.

I don’t think they recognise other sexism in their writing though. When something is so ingrained in your culture it’s hard to notice. I guess they wouldn’t have had the mother and girlfriend die and have the first episode be about a man hating homicidal woman if they had noticed.

So Dean’s my favourite of the brothers and I guess it’s personal thing of where you draw the line of what you’ll put up with. I can’t say why I put up with his sexism when there are other characters I can’t stand to watch and hate. It’s probably the actor because I liked him in Dark Angel as well.

I just wanted to say I like Dean because I’m going to criticise him a lot. Probably. I love Dean breaking into Sam’s house just to raid the fridge and then later on when he’s been arrested and he frustrates the cops.

I also like this episode despite how the female characters are used and that the antagonist is a scorned woman.

It’s a good first episode and sets everything up well introducing us to the basic rules of this world. Salt to keep Demon’s out, burn the body to get rid of a spirit and there’s no point shooting ghosts.

I remembered more of it than I thought I did. I love the fight in the dark. I don’t know why but that’s something I always think about when I think of the brothers. The exposition Sam gives after that fight though is bad. They do better at showing what the Winchesters are like later with the credit card scams and fake ids.

I may not like Sam but they work well together as brothers. The show has been going ten years so they did the casting right at least.

 

Next Supernatural: Wendigo

Upcoming TV shows of 2014

These are all the science fiction and fantasy shows coming out in 2014. A lot of them don’t have set dates or a website so I’ve only linked ot the ones that at least have IMBD pages. Quite a few of them turned out to be web series.

I’m looking forward to new ideas particuarly the steam-punk series and the vampire virus one.

After hell

A web series about an apocalyptic world where a man and a woman try to survive and find other survivors. I love Post apocalyptic stories so I can’t wait for this.

It’s out sometime in 2014 but there’s not much more information than that. They’ve got a Facebook page or you can follow them on Google plus.

Sense 8 

This is the latest original programming from Netflix. The Wachowskis are looking to change Tv the same way they did for film with the Matrix.

Eight people around the globe suddenly become interlinked telpathically and they have to hide fom people who want to kill them.

 

The strain

A vampire virus infects New York. Along with post apocalyptic stories I also love stories about disease.

 

Spooked

A comedy on Geek and Sundry created by Bryan singer. Paranormal investigators set out to explore the unknown.

 

Hope: The last paladin

A fantasy crime web series about the last demon hunter who is being hunted by the FBI.

 

Helix

It premiered on Jan 10th and is a science fiction thriller about a group of scientists who travel to the arctic to prevent the spread of a disease.

 

Lantern city

This is a steam-punk series that is fan created and inspired. They are also asking for contributions from fans of the sub genre. They want to focus on character driven stories and it’s intended to be a saga.

You can sign up for upcoming information here.

 

Grid smasher

A group of aliens compete to win the greatest prize in the universe.

 

Starship Orion

Orion is the last of a group of sentient ships. All the other ships fell to a virus so the crew of the Orion have to save the world.

 

Tailed

Shape-shifting reptilian aliens invade earth.

 

Starfall

A live action science fiction web series space opera with high production values created primarily for the internet. Humans are second class citizens in a universe full of aliens.