Friday, February 13, 2009

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is the episode that was the beginning of my slide from Dean Girl to Sammy Girl.

Why? Two words:

Denim shirt


Ahem. Well, anyway, that’s at the end of the show. And I apologize in advance for the pictures. I know Dean was in this episode, too. I just didn't see him :)

The show opens with Dean running for his life, the sound of barking dogs behind him. Hellhounds? Dean trips over a homeless guy’s cart and hollers, “Run! It’ll kill you!” The homeless guy looks from Dean to the dog….a fluffy little pup with a bow in her hair.

Cut to the Impala driving into town 43 hours earlier. The boys pose as Feds (agents Tyler and Perry-too easy) in the morgue, wanting an autopsy on a marathon runner who’d dropped dead from an autopsy. While the boys are observing, Dean has to hold the heart and Sam gets squirted with spleen juice, but not before Dean notices the dead man has an indentation from a wedding ring and he’s all scraped up. The mortician is surprised to discover there’s no blockage in the heart, that’s it’s pretty healthy.

They next pay a visit to the local sheriff, who makes them take their shoes off before entering his office, and has a thing for hand sanitizer. The sheriff knew the dead man, Frank. They were on the same softball team, the Gamecocks. Of course, Dean snickers. Sam asks if the victim was acting scared, and yes, he’d been real jumpy, though the sheriff doesn’t know why. Turns out there are two other victims who died the same way, jittery before they died, and all scraped up.

When they’re walking back to the Impala, Dean is wary of teenagers near the car. Dean. Nervous. Sam gives him a look, and follows him the long way around.

They go to the victim’s neighbor’s house, a guy with a houseful of reptiles. All I could think of, how must that smell! Dean is twitchy, though. The neighbor tells them the victim was freaking out, scared of witches, AlQaeda, Pez dispensers with the dead little eyes. The boys learn that Frank, the victim, had been a bully in high school, had pissed a lot of people off. They also learned his wife had died about 20 years ago. Before they leave, a beautiful big snake slides over Dean’s leg, paralyzing him.


Dean researches the dead wife, a suicide. Sam checks out Frank’s house and finds no signs he’s cursed. As they drive back to the motel, Sam notes Dean’s driving the speed limit, and that he won’t turn left into oncoming traffic because he’s not suicidal. Even he recognizes how weird that sounds. A sound from the backseat draws their attention. The EMF detector is going off, and when Sam points it at Dean, Dean trips. “Am I haunted?”

After the break, Sam comes out of the bakery to see Dean playing drums to “Eye of the Tiger” in the Impala. He hands Dean the box of pie, but Dean tosses it in the front seat of the car (sacrilege). Sam has been talking to Bobby, and Bobby thinks it’s ghost sickness, where he gets scared, then more scared, then terrified, then his heart gives out. Sam theorizes that Frank was the first victim, “our very own Outbreak monkey.” Dean got it from his corpse and has 24 hours to go insane, then die. When Dean questions why him and not Sam, Sam theorizes that all the victims had certain personality types, that they were all dicks. Dean’s offended that Sam thinks he’s a dick. Sam goes on to say the dead men all scared people. Dean protests that he doesn’t scare people.

“Dean, all we do is scare people,” Sam points out, so adorably.

“Then you’re a dick, too.”

“Apparently I’m not.” Also so adorably.

To combat it, they need to kill the ghost that infected Frank, and they suspect his wife. Sam asks why Dean is waiting in the car when they’re parked in front of the hotel and Dean sheepishly admits the fourth floor is too high for him.

Later, in the hotel room on the 1st floor, Dean’s researching, when words start jumping out at him, like, “Are you gonna cry?”and You’re dying. Again. Loser.” The clock overhead is ticking like a heartbeat. Moments later, Sam walks in to see the clock smashed and Dean drinking a beer. He reveals that the wife isn’t the ghost because she was cremated, then chides Dean not to pick on the rash erupting on his arm. Dean starts choking and coughs up a wood chip into the sink. Sam declares him their biggest clue.

“I don’t wanna be a clue!” Dean protests.

The boys drive out to an abandoned mill…hey, the Impala is getting a lot of air time. Dean doesn’t want to go in, so he fortifies himself with a drink. Sam offers him a gun, but Dean refuses, afraid it will go off.


“I’ll man the flashlight,” he says.

The EMF goes nuts, but Dean realizes it won’t work with him around. Sam finds a wedding ring on the floor. It belonged to Frank. The boys investigate further, and hear a sound in a locker. Sam opens it…to release a cat, while Dean screams his head off. Sam stares.

“That was scary!” Dean says with a goofy grin.

They continue on to find pictures of Frank’s wife in the mill, photos and sketches. When they rip one, the mill comes to life, and Dean sees a ghost over Sam’s shoulder. Sam turns, aims his gun, and Dean bolts. Sam finds him by the trunk of the Impala. They’ve found their ghost.


After the next break, the boys are back in FBI mode at the sheriff’s office. Dean is drunk and declares the young adorable deputy awesome. Sam wants to know the cause of death of Luther, the man whose ghost they saw. The deputy tells them the sheriff is out, but he’s scrubbing his skin with a Brillo pad. “They know,” he says to himself. “They know what we did.”

The boys walk into a prison, and Dean is freaking out about the fake FBI badges. Sam hushes him as they approach a prisoner, Luther’s brother, Mr. Garland. Mr. Garland tells them everyone was afraid of his brother, but that Luther had been kind, and had a crush on Frank’s wife. Her husband killed Luther, because he thought Luther had something to do with his wife’s disappearance. Frank road-hauled him, but got away with it because Frank was a pillar of the community and Luther was a freak. Garland forgives Frank, because he’d been afraid for his wife, and he spread that fear to Luther, who’s now spreading it to everyone. (Why now? Was that explained? This all happened 20 years ago.)

As they walk out, Dean realizes what his rash is-road rash. He’s ready to burn some bones to get healthy, but Sam knows it’s not going to be that easy. Bits of Luther are all over the road. Dean blows up.

“We’re hunting a ghost-exactly. Who does that? We search out things that want to kill us. You know who wants to do that? Crazy people?” He lets out all his frustrations about diner food and truckstop waitresses with bizarre rashes and Sam’s gassiness. Dean quits, walking away, only to encounter the evil dog with a bow.

Sam returns to the hotel room to find a tense and sweaty Dean waiting. When Dean asks what they’re going to do now, Sam turns and says, “You’re going back.” Dean doesn’t know what to make of it when Sam adds, “And about time.” Then Sam’s eyes glint yellow. Dean demands the demon get out of Sam, who, omigod is sexy when he’s possessed, but Sam tells Dean he’s not possessed. This is what he’ll become. This is what he wants to become. He pins Dean to the wall , his hand on his throat. Dean snaps to and Sam is normal, demanding to know what’s wrong. Dean can only stare, wondering if it was a hallucination or not.


While Dean is in the motel watching Pokey get road-hauled on TV, Bobby comes to help, presenting Sam with a book on the supernatural in Japanese. Bobby can read it and speak it. Sam is impressed. Bobby’s theory is that the ghost can be scared to death, because it’s born of fear. It is fear.


Meanwhile, Dean hears hellhounds at the door of the motel room. The door bursts open and the sheriff comes in, clearly sick. He yells that Frank was his friend and made a mistake and the sheriff didn’t bust him, so what? They fight, and the sheriff has a heart attack on the floor of the room.

Moments later, Lilith appears, her cheerful little voice so at odds with her evilness. She asks Dean if he remembers the fun he had in hell. He asks why he got infected and she tells him he knows why. (Now we do too. I hadn’t made the connection.) She tells him to listen to his heart and starts yelling “Ba-boom, ba-boom!” faster and faster, and his heart keeps pace.

Bobby and Sam drive out to the mill, where Sam lures Luther’s ghost out, wraps an iron chain etched with spellwork around his neck and hauls him behind the Impala until he disintegrates. I hate that they used the Impala like this.

The three of them meet up on the side of the road to drink beer….ahhh, that denim shirt. Guh. Sam asks Dean what he saw, seriously, and Dean sees a flash of yellow in Sam’s eyes. Of course, he doesn’t tell the truth.


phouse1964 said...

Sam looked pretty good in the epiode, yes.

I rewatched this last night and I think they had to do something to make Dean look weak so we could really begin to see a stronger Sam. Not that I am complaining. I think it made both characters more complelling. We got to see what scares Dean and that Sam can actually do some crap on his own. Or, ok, with Bobby but Sam did most of it.

I still love the Eye of the Tiger.

Anonymous said...

This was one of my fave episodes. I nearly peed my pants from laughing so hard at Dean screaming at the cat. And the Eye of the Tiger--Sigh--so sexy and cute.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Mary, Sam's denim shirt in "Playthings" was pretty hot, too. :) And I had a heart flutter when his eyes went yellow at the end. *sigh*

I don't necessarily agree that they were deliberately trying to make Dean look weak. I think it was just symbolic of the changes in their relationship, the shift from Dean being in charge and making all the decisions to Sam having been doing that for four months and trying to assert himself, or being in a position to, and Dean letting him. This was happening at the end of last season, too, except the Dean letting him part.

I had hoped this would be a pendulum swing back toward the middle, where they wind up equal partners, but from what I'm hearing about the finale, that might be impossible to achieve.

MJFredrick said...

Phouse, after I went to bed I thought the same thing....Dean appeared weak, NORMAL, and we're not accustomed to seeing him that way.

Terri, I can't WAIT for the outtakes this season, because apparently Dean screamed for several minutes and they cut it down.

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm new here, and a fairly new Supernatural fan. I recently finished season 3, so I'm a little bit behind. But I just love it. Count me in as another fangirl :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Hi, Stacy! Welcome to the blog!

I kind of envy you, being a little behind. Instead of the interminable wait the rest of us are having, you have so much to look forward to! :)

Anonymous said...

MJ, I heard the same things about the outtakes and I can't wait. :D

phouse1964 said...

MJ, that's what I meant and didn't even know it! They made Dean look NORMAL. Or at least close to it. While Sam stepped it up and took care of business.

I really can't wait for S4 on DVD. I am on S3 again and it's tearing me up! I love watching my show on DVD and I know S4 will be great!

MJFredrick said...

I'm wondering now if part of the shift of Dean Girls to Sam Girls is that Sam is appearing stronger in the past few episodes. Not necessarily stronger than Dean, but stronger than Sam has been in the past. Is it an alpha male thing?

phouse1964 said...

I will always be a Dean girl but I definitely find I like Sam more when he isn't being a pussy about his demon blood. Not to mention he has filled out really well this past couple of years!

MJFredrick said...

LOL, phouse. I may go back to being a Dean Girl when I stop using Sam as a model for my hero, but DANG, yeah, he's filled out.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

For me, it's a combination of things. It started when Jared suddenly started maturing. He got bigger, and more manly, and his face grew into his nose, but he also grew as an actor, and that was a big thing. At the same time, his character was growing up, taking on a less subordinate role, growing in confidence and determination.

And I admit, the tiny thing that put me over was in "After School Special" when Dean was a jerk of a PE teacher. I have too many bad memories to find all of it funny. :)

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