Supernatural Summary S1 E15: “The Benders”

Our adventure starts in Hibbing, Montana. Ja, you betcha. Note the town: this will become important in later seasons.

There’s an adorable little boy watching scary teevee in his bed. Something catches his attention, and he ends up at his window, which overlooks a seedy parking lot outside of a tavern. There’s a dude taking out the trash, all very calm and normal. At least, until the dude gets yanked under a car by an invisible something.

Death by Monstrosity: 1

The scene changes to Mom standing with the kid, talking to two dudes in state trooper’s uniforms. She’s complaining about her kiddo being questioned again – the more often he tells the story, the more he believes it. The deputies remove their hats, and we discover dundunDUN it’s Sam and Dean. Obvs.

Screenshot shows Sam and Dean's faces clearly revealed. They are wearing brown state trooper uniforms.
The kid tells them he thought he heard a monster whilst watching Godzilla vs. Mothra, which delights Dean and leads to him and the kid having a lively exchange, until Sam gets them back on track. He tells them the monster made a “whining growl” as it left after snatching Mr. Jenkins.

Turns out the boys are in the area because their dad marked it as the possible hunting grounds of a phantom attacker. Otherwise, they would’ve just written this off as normal disappearance stuff. They discuss it a bit while Dean plays darts in the tavern. Then Sam gets attacked by a cat under a car while Dean’s in the bathroom. Psych! But when Dean comes out to the parking lot to join his bro, there’s no bro. Oh, dear. Continue reading “Supernatural Summary S1 E15: “The Benders””

Supernatural Summary S1 E15: “The Benders”

Supernatural Summary S1 E14 – “Nightmare”

Today’s summary comes courtesy of Zeroth, who kindly took over the task for me. I’ve added counts, but if you want all the luscious screenshots, you gotta click the link.

Thank you, Zeroth!

Content note: suicide, interpersonal violence, child physical abuse

This week,  Sam’s nightmares are coming true, people are dying, and Dean gets shot.

The cold open starts with an ordinary oldish car being driven at night through a suburban neighborhood. The middle-aged man driving the car pulls into his garage. As the garage door closes, the doors suddenly get locked and will not let him out.

The engine turns back on and the exhaust starts suffocating the man. He struggles to get out of the car, eventually succumbing to the fumes.

Death by Monstrosity: 1

After a flash of light, Sam wakes up, sweaty, in yet another seedy motel room. He pushes Dean to get up and get to the victim Sam just dreamed about.

In the Impala, Sam pretends to be a Michigan state trooper and calls in the license plate details he saw in his dream. Continue reading “Supernatural Summary S1 E14 – “Nightmare””

Supernatural Summary S1 E14 – “Nightmare”

SPN Analysis – S1E13 – “Route 666” – Representing Supremacy

Zeroth has come through with one of his most powerful analyses of a Supernatural episode to date. See, this is why I don’t mind the bad ones: he makes something good out of them!

Yeah, this is Racist Ghost Truck. Not one of our favorites, although it has its good points (even some great moments!). Zeroth shows us where it really falls down.

Content note for racism and white supremacy. Continue reading “SPN Analysis – S1E13 – “Route 666” – Representing Supremacy”

SPN Analysis – S1E13 – “Route 666” – Representing Supremacy

Supernatural S1 E13 Summary: “Route 666”

Oh, joy, everybody! It’s the Racist Truck episode! Obvious content note is obvious: here be racism.

We begin with a car driving through the darkness on a remote highway. The driver is a black man in a suit. His radio starts to cut in and out, so you know there’s ghostly activity going on. They don’t have issues with the signal getting degraded by terrain or anything, y’know: it’s always ghosts. Headlights suddenly appear behind him. And then there’s a huge monster truck riding his ass.

Screen capture shows a car chase by night. A monster truck with a huge rack of headlights is tailgating and about to ram a tan sedan.

It rams him, and then suddenly it vanishes and the radio’s working properly again, until it appears in front of him. Eek! He turns around, there’s a big chase, and he gets dramatically run off the road.

Revenge from Beyond the Grave: 1

The truck acts like a bull that’s just gored a matador, and then it backs away and vanishes like a mirage.

Cut to the boys, where Dean’s getting off the phone with the victim’s daughter. Sam’s flummoxed that his bro is just willing to drop everything and go help this Cassie chicka over a car accident. We find out that of course she and Dean had a thing. Sam’s shocked and rightly pissed to realize Dean told her they’re hunters. And after all this time he spent lying to Jessica!

Now we’re in a newspaper office with Cassie, the (white) mayor, and an older black editor named Jimmy. The mayor is trying to talk Cassie and Jimmy out of running with the story of TWO black men being killed the same way on the same stretch of road within a few weeks of each other. I’m going to add a special count for this episode for all the ways white supremacy and racist assholery appear. Continue reading “Supernatural S1 E13 Summary: “Route 666””

Supernatural S1 E13 Summary: “Route 666”

SPN Analysis – S1E12 – “Faith” – Long Term Investments

Zeroth has once again hit the ball out of the park and across the interstate. He sees a pattern, and he breaks your heart exploring it. Well, he’ll break it if your heart’s invested in these characters at all.

So I’ll break with tradition a little bit here. I’m going to write assuming you’ve seen to at least the end of season five of Supernatural. If you haven’t, this will likely spoil you on a lot of things.

Yep, spoilers! I will kindly cut them out for those who are watching along for the first time. Here’s your take-away from this episode, courtesy of Zeroth, who sees all. Well, lots.

Continue reading “SPN Analysis – S1E12 – “Faith” – Long Term Investments”

SPN Analysis – S1E12 – “Faith” – Long Term Investments

Supernatural S1 E12 Summary: “Faith”

We open with the Impala pulling up to a spooky, run-down house. The brothers dig into the trunk, and Dean pulls out two Tasers he’s amped to 100,000 volts. We find out the boys are hunting a raw-head. This is an interesting monster we haven’t seen so far, but alas, it’s only a brief set-up for our main conflict.

The boys go inside, find two children stored in a cupboard for later eating, and start to take them to safety. The raw-head grabs Sam’s ankle through the stairs, kids scream, Dean shoots his Taser and misses, and the raw-head takes off. Dean tells Sam to get the kids out, so Sam gives him his Taser and exits while Dean goes hunting. The raw-head ambushes him and punches him in the head, which knocks him onto the waterlogged floor of the basement. He’s not knocked out, but he’s clearly dazed, so I’m giving him one o’ these:

What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Dean: 5

Congratulations, Dean! You’ve caught up to your brother.

The raw-head comes after Dean, who shoots it with the Taser. The good news: it gets fried! The bad news: it’s standing in the same puddle, so Dean gets fried, too. Since Tasers do at least briefly impair cognitive functioning and he got hit with at least twice the normal amount of juice, rendering him unconscious, let’s give him another. Continue reading “Supernatural S1 E12 Summary: “Faith””

Supernatural S1 E12 Summary: “Faith”

Supernatural S1 E11 Summary: “Scarecrow”

We begin in Burkitsville, IN a year ago, and I already hate this episode. I despise Indiana. I was born there, so I know what I’m talking about. It has got tornadoes and unapologetically racist people and endless cornfields and it’s flat and hopeless. I know there are good parts to it, but I only ever saw one part of the state that didn’t make me want to jump off a cliff due to existential despair. Unfortunately, my relatives live in a terrible part of the state with no cliffs or adequately tall buildings, so I’d just spend every visit stewing in anger while feeling bits of my soul dying by the minute.

It’s an unhappy place for me, is what I’m saying. So I can believe any amount of evil about it. And the writers know whereof they speak, because look! There’s a wholesome older couple giving an apple pie to a sweet young tourist couple, and everybody’s way nice, and it’s all phoney as a four dollar bill.

The sweet young tourist couple ends up stranded just out of car with an inexplicably dead cell phone and car. They go through a creepy orchard toward a creepy house and find a creepy scarecrow. All of this is 100% authentic. I have been there and done that. I even know what it smells like. It smells like sickly-sweet rotting apples and moldering leaves and dead souls.

So of course grisly murder courtesy the monster scarecrow finds our two travelers. Continue reading “Supernatural S1 E11 Summary: “Scarecrow””

Supernatural S1 E11 Summary: “Scarecrow”

SPN Analysis – S1E11 – “Scarecrow” aka HOLY HELL WHAT THE HELL

I am seriously badly behind on my Supernatural summaries, not to mention my analyses – an unhappy state o’ affairs which I hope to begin remedying this weekend. But you do not have to go without! For my SPN partner Zeroth has been keeping up, and has this week’s analysis for you. (If you need a summary of Episode 11 before you can read his analysis of this bit, Snark Squad has a good ‘un here.) Continue reading “SPN Analysis – S1E11 – “Scarecrow” aka HOLY HELL WHAT THE HELL”

SPN Analysis – S1E11 – “Scarecrow” aka HOLY HELL WHAT THE HELL

SPN Analysis – S1E10 – “Asylum” – Oral Traditions and Horror Cinema

Okay, everybody, it’s time to head over to Zeroth’s blog and read this most excellent analysis! It’s one of my favorites so far.

There are certain tropes common to horror cinema, ones that have been rightfully criticized.

  • If a character has sex, they’re going to die.
  • The black guy dies first.
  • The survivor will be the white blonde virgin.

These tropes were established back in the heyday of horror movies, and they’re criticized because they communicate specific, poisonous social norms. The killer is often presented as an unstoppable force of nature, killing seemingly indiscriminately, and yet somehow, fitting these tropes much of the time.

There are consequences, delivered by a force of nature, for breaking specific norms, such as “don’t be black” and “don’t have sex”.

Seems fairly arbitrary, eh?

But horror cinema is simply an extension of a much older phenomenon: oral traditions.

Read the rest!

And I promise I’ll catch up on my backlog of SPN analyses soon.

SPN Analysis – S1E10 – “Asylum” – Oral Traditions and Horror Cinema

Supernatural S1 E10 Summary: “Asylum”

We start at a creepy old gothic-looking abandoned asylum at night. You know nothing good can come of this. Someone cuts through some serious chains on the doors. All we see is their shadows stepping through the door. Then there are two cops coming after them. This is for the sake of exposition: Older Cop tells Younger Not-Local Cop the legend of the asylum. It’s your stock haunted-by-spirits-of-patients-who-will-drive-you-insane-if-you-spend-the-night story. The cops go in to fetch the kids out, and unwisely split up. Younger Cop goes through a steel door with a radiation symbol on it.

Screenshot shows a white cop with a hat with a badge on it. He's going through a dirty old metal door with a small rectangular grate near the top. Just beneath the grate is a painted red radiation symbol.
Never do this. Continue reading “Supernatural S1 E10 Summary: “Asylum””

Supernatural S1 E10 Summary: “Asylum”