Friday, August 28, 2009

Classic Episode Review--Hell House

“Hell House” is another of the episodes on my iPod. Initially I loved the “monster of the week” storyline (and I always love it when ghosts aren’t simply ghosts) but it turned out to launch an arc of its own with the Ghost Facers.

But why is this episode on my iPod so I can watch it over and over?

I love the pranks, of course. I can just imagine young Sam and Dean driving John crazy with such things on the endless road trips of their youth. Can you picture Dean, in particular, sitting still for any extended period of time when he was a kid? Maybe that’s just the teacher in me who can just see that absolutely.

The fumbling paranormal investigators who have never seen a ghost and ask themselves “What would Buffy do?” are hilarious while they’re endearing. I can almost feel the same contempt Dean and Sam feel for their methods, but as someone who has dreams that seem pretty out of this world to normal people, I can relate to their passion for the job. I love how the two amateurs end up instructing Dean and Sam in “It’s a Terrible Life.”

There’s the monster of the week, the tulpa. I loved that it was CREATED by the beliefs of people on the internet. I mean, isn’t that so true? “I saw it on the Internet, it MUST be true!”

And there’s the towel scene.

Is “Hell House” one of your favorite episodes? What do you like best about it?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When Sam was Dean

After four seasons of watching Supernatural, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have become Sam and Dean Winchester. They inhabit the characters so fully that it's always a little like whiplash to see them in other roles. It almost seems like it's Sam or Dean playing a part to lure out some demon or other paranormal baddie.

One of the shows that I didn't watch when it was on and which friends have been urging me to watch for some time is Gilmore Girls. In fact, fellow Supernatural Sister MJ took her urging to the next level and bought me the first season on DVD for my birthday. So recently I started watching. Let's just say I'm already into season two, and I get a little surge of joy when a new Netflix disc arrives.

The first time Jared Padalecki appeared on screen in an episode, I felt like Sam had taken a trip in the way-back machine. It was high school Sam -- only his name was Dean (hee!). But while it's a much younger Jared starring as Rory Gilmore's first boyfriend, I can still see glimpses of the guy who will become Sam Winchester.

Some of the mannerisms and speech patterns are still there, especially when he's upset. He's still tall and lanky, though not as ripped. I'm doubting Rory is going to be swooning at any wet chest towel scenes (my, is it warm in here?). And he's still good looking -- the type of guy I would have totally fallen for during my own nerdy high school years. There's even some of the confidence and cockiness mixed with bouts of being unsure about himself that we see in Sam.

You know what would be funny? If Rory and Lorelai Gilmore showed up on an episode of Supernatural and talked a demon to death. :) Hey, if they can have Paris Hilton...

FYI: If anyone is going to Dragon*Con over the Labor Day weekend, Supernatural Sister Tanya and I will be there spreading the word about the blog and generally getting our geek on. And there's a Supernatural fan discussion on the program for Friday at 10 p.m.

Monday, August 24, 2009

He's Coming!

Our countdown clock takes us to the very start of September 10th, and of course we have that whole day to wait, too...but we are officially well under three weeks until the season premiere! Woo hoo!

I really want to stay spoiler free. It's nearly impossible, because if casting news or a Comic-Con report comes my way, I can't stop myself. But as I've watched the first three seasons over again, I remembered how much different that initial viewing of "Born Under a Bad Sign" would have been had I not seen the promo photos beforehand. You know, the ones with Sam's black eyes?

So I didn't look at these. Pictures from the premiere. I might happen across them between now and then, but I'm going to try really hard not to click any links. :)

(Aside: One thing I'm curious about--many of the promo photos they release before an episode airs seem to have been taken during rehearsals. Jensen wears that weird T-shirt/vest combo when on film he's wearing one of his jackets instead.)

What I'm Looking Forward To With the First Few Episodes: Non-Spoiler Edition

1. Summer in Canada

When the show starts filming, it's warm enough for them to shed a few layers. First episode (ref. seasons 2 and 4, above), we often get T-shirts! (MAN, Sam looks young in that shot!)

2. "Hello, this is Jared Padalecki."

Remember the ABC Sunday Night Movie bumper?

Seeing that (and hearing the music) always brought a sense of excitement and anticipation. Now I get that from hearing Jared or Jensen tell us they're coming up next. I have the entire 42 minutes of show ahead of me, and it could bring anything--laughter, tears, heartbreak, action...and BOBBY!

3. Taking up where we left off.

Some shows jump ahead every season, most frequently, I think, so the time frame matches the real-life time frame. Season 4 did that, though it also, of course, fit the storyline and not just convenience. But like season 2 began immediately after the semi crash, season 5 should begin in the room with Sam and Dean as Lucifer approaches. I get shivers just thinking about it.


The CW has begun promoting the show, and it's looking good!

First, they released this two-and-a-half-minute "Up to Speed" video recapping season 4:

Next came eleven seconds of the premiere, "Sounds Like Hell." This one CAN be considered spoilery, as it is from the actual premiere, so if you're a spoiler purist, don't click play. :)

And finally, we got an actual promo. This is only 20 seconds long. It's kind of propaganda-style, with images NOT from the show interspersed with almost-too-quick-to-figure-out flashes from early episodes. Some of those are very creepy.

I'm adding a SPOILER WARNING to the comments because we might want to dissect some of this stuff in there.

In the meantime, I'm holding my breath until September 10th!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seven Favorites

We got tagged. This is supposed to be a list of 7 favorite blogs and 7 favorite things. Now, because I've had an insane week trying to chair a PTA committee and help my actual sister plan wedding, I did not ask my fellow Supernatural Sisters about their favorite blogs and things (bad Tanya) so hopefully they--and you!--can chime in through comments.

My seven favorite blogs:

1. - there's currently a link to some mild spoilers for Season 5, btw! And seriously, who couldn't spend an entire afternoon gazing at the photo gallery?

2. - All right, yes, Supernatural has not been my only TV obsession ever. I also fell madly in love with several Whedon offerings, most notably Firefly, but alas, it did not have the longevity of the Winchester brothers.

3. - This site, appropos of nothing supernatural-related, is a complilation of professional bakery cakes gone wrong. And it once made me laugh so hard that my cheeks hurt.

4. - conversation about YA books and teen issues

5. - I love romance novels. And this is a compilation of great novels, great authors and soon-to-achieve-greatness authors.

6. - All right, that's not technically a blog. But there are definitely forums where you can share your opinions/comments. I visit TWOP on a near daily basis. I will offer this one personal caveat, however. While TWOP is one of my fave web places and Supernatural is my fave show, TWOP's coverage of SPN is not necessarily one of my favorite things.

7. - I want to be Jane when I grow up...or Sera Gamble! Definitely one of the two. I should note that Jane is not posting so much anymore, however she's pretty active on Twitter, so you can follow her there.

My 7 Favorite things (although I am not trying to imply that any people on this list are objects)

1. My husband and kids (I totally have to say that since my husband may read this)

2. Dean Winchester

3. Sam Winchester

4. Books--if I worked in a bookstore, I would blow every paycheck on the premises before I ever got it home. My idea of an Apocalypse would be a sudden absence of books in the world. If the only birthday/Christmas/anniversary gifts I received for the rest of my life were books, I would be one happy girl.

5. Nathan Fillion -- My idea of fangirl heaven is Nathan doing a guest stint on Supernatural (preferably not as an embodiment of evil). But since ABC had the good sense to renew his show Castle, he's probably too busy. I have, however, appreciated the guest spots of other Whedonverse alum as well as BSG actors.

6. Salt and vinegar potato chips

7. Shoes that are comfortable AND cute (bonus points if they're on sale.) I have to say, I'm not really a "shoe" person. I only own like three pairs. But as long as they look good and don't hurt my feet at the end of the day, why do I need more?

So what about you guys? favorite blogs? favorite things in your life?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to the Future


Okay, so a DeLorean won't replace the Metallicar anytime soon, but Eric Kripke has said we can expect a futuristic peek in Season 5. That's right, somehow, someway, Dean travels five years into the future--2014--to a post-apocalyptic world. And it ain't pretty.

“It’s our version of 28 DAYS LATER,” Kripke says. The world has been ravaged by war and the crotoan virus. If you don't remember, croatoan was introduced to us in Season 2, episode 9 when Sam and Dean discovered a town where the inhabitants were infected with a blood-borne demonic virus that drives its victims to violent extremes.

Hmm, Lucifer AND croatoan let loose. Yikes! Plus, wasn't 28 Day Later considered a zombie movie? I'm scared silly and immensely curious. Me thinks that Dean and Sam are probably not the same Winchesters we love so dearly.

Any predictions for what 5 years down the line looks like?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Colt

I thought I’d write about the Colt, a modified Paterson pistol (named for the city in NJ where it was manufactured) which plays such an integral part to Supernatural. It bothers me that in John’s speech introducing the gun, he said it was made in 1835 the night those men died at the Alamo. Dude, the Battle of the Alamo was 1836. (Jared should have known that, native San Antonian that he is.) There was a battle in 1835 but not nearly as bloody. It lasted for five days, not one night.


Anyway, I started wondering about Samuel Colt, this real person who the Winchesters credit with all this occult knowledge. So I googled.

Yes, I googled. If I’d thought about writing this, you know, before Sunday, I might have hit the library.


He took out his first patent in 1835, when he was only 21.

He had to close his gun plant in 1842 because he couldn’t sell the Army on the necessity of his guns. They did use them for the Seminole Indian wars, though.

In 1846, he got an order for more guns and had to rebuild a factory using an assembly line.

He never fired a gun at another person.

He helped develop underground telegraph lines and underwater explosives that could be detonated by remote control.

He was a mason.

He died at the age of 47, in 1862. So....not absolutely sure of my history here, but I don’t think Wyoming had a lot of railroads by the time he died.

Anyone know why Kripke chose to base the myth on this real person? (Who knows, maybe he went to the library ;) )

Friday, August 14, 2009

Supernatural News

We're going to be starting a new regular feature here on Supernatural Sisters, a compilation of the latest news (with links) about our favorite show, the actors, pretty much anything related to Supernatural. Though Friday isn't going to be our regular day, I thought I'd give you a taste of things to come. And if you all hear any juicy gossip, see any fabulous new images, etc., let one of us know.

Evidently, Paris Hilton is going to be appearing on a Supernatural episode this season. Wait, before you cry in agony, let it be known that it actually sounds like it'll be funny. She's playing a demonic creature that takes the form of...wait for it...Paris Hilton!

Still sad you weren't at Comic-Con this year? Well here's a little taste -- clips from the panel made up of Eric Kripke, Ben Edlund, Sera Gamble, Misha Collins and Jim Beaver. These are some funny talented people, and I was happy to hear Kripke say that this upcoming season will be the most optimistic yet, with the boys coming back together, though slowing and not without angst.

Kripke, Edlund and Gamble talk about Season 5 (and possibly beyond), and we get a glimpse of what's in store for Castiel this season in this article. Have I mentioned I love Castiel? And if you're not following Misha on Twitter, do. He's hysterical.

I looked up the latest IMDB (Internet Movie Database) listings for Jared and Jensen and found some interesting info on Jensen's page:

Jensen's page has two rumored roles -- as Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil: Afterlife and as Steve Rogers/Captain America in The First Avenger: Captain America. Wow, Jensen in tights? :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rural Gas Stations, Convenience Store Food, and Crappy Motel Rooms

ETA: This is just too funny, I had to add it. Tanya posted Monday about the Trickster, and now guess what? Last night Richard Speight Jr. announced on his Facebook (if that doesn't take you right to the update, find his page, then click "updates" on the left side) that the Trickster will be back! I, for one, am very excited!

Now, on to our regularly scheduled post:


I've been rewatching the early seasons again, and three things strike me every time I do this:

1. They never get gas at a commercial gas station--it's always back roads and rusty pumps.

2. I get queasy when they buy or eat convenience store food.

3. I have never in my life seen such motel/hotel rooms.

The latter has become a hallmark of the show, with even behind-the-scenes vids done on the topic.

I'd considered cataloging many of the rooms and listing favorites, with commentary, but a) I'm not that funny, and b) I'm too lazy. I figured someone else had done so, and guess what! :)

Suzanne at SciFi Chicks did one in June, and just yesterday I found Alice Jester at Winchester Family Business did this just last week. Honest, I claimed this topic weeks ago! I stumbled across her posts last night while reading her excellent Comic-Con reports. You should check those out, too.

It's funny how similar their lists are! They break down the details of the rooms, and are much more knowledgeable and observant than I am. You can find Alice's posts here, here, and here.


Now, I always stay in chain hotels, and they all look pretty much the same. Ugly polyester comforters, bland art on bland walls, blocky laminate furniture. When I go to conferences, I get to stay in nicer hotels that still look exactly the same, just with nicer bedclothes and better carpeting. So I figure I just haven't had the right experience to be able to buy in to the imaginations of the set crew.

In the Supernatural world, we have two main kinds of overnight facilities:

The motels (outside access to the rooms) are almost always themed (hunting cabin, disco, beer homage) and always have those weird room dividers with starbursts or fish or silhouettes of women like on truck mudflaps--or beer bottles.

The hotels (inside access) are generally efficiency style, huge rooms that are almost like studio apartments, in old buildings with high ceilings and kitchenettes.

There is an occasional "typical" room that feels a little more on the generic side, but usually we have psychedelic wallpaper at the very least.


The Usual Suspects

Obviously, the set builders and dressers have a blast creating these rooms, finding props for them, etc. But in the context of the show, how do Sam and Dean find such places? Do you think they look for the cheapest location near the hunt and it always winds up like this?

When the boys aren't staying in a hotel they paid for, they stay in one they snuck into:

Fresh Blood

Or they squat in an abandoned house. This didn't happen much until the season 3 premiere, "The Magnificent Seven," when they hooked up with Isaac and Tamara. I'm not sure Isaac and Tamara were squatting, because they had that house pretty well stocked with supplies, but in "Red Sky at Morning" Sam and Dean holed up in an abandoned house. Sam did, too, at least once in his flashbacks in season 4. (The finale of season 2, "All Hell Breaks Loose Part II," takes place in an old house, but I assume that's in the abandoned town, so it doesn't really count.)

So, what's your favorite Supernatural motel?

Thanks to oxoniensis for the screencaps.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meet the Trickster

You know how in every fifth or sixth episode, Sammy explains to Dean for our benefit, "almost every country in the world has a vampire myth" or "stories of shapeshifters date back to..." (Well, except this past season. This season was mostly angels. And demons. And demonic angels. Or something.)

Anyway, the "Trickster" definitely fits Sammy's description of world-wide, since-the-beginning-of-recorded-time lore. It's difficult to pin a trickster with one "fits all" definition, since by their very nature, they are contrary and changeable, but they're often considered demi-gods and examples include coyotes in Native American tales, Eris (goddess of discord in Greek myths) and Loki in Norse Legend, who alternately assisted the gods and screwed them over. They are often associated with birth and renewal, interestingly, since often chaos and even pain must precede creation. (As someone who was in labor for over twenty hours with kiddo number one, I kind of get that theory.) Some Tricksters are portrayed as malicious pranksters while others are held up as a form of almost sacred comedic relief (with some cultures believing that laughing opens you up spirtually and emotionally for more serious matters to follow). So far, we've seen the Trickster in season 2's "Tall Tales" and season 3's "Mystery Spot." (so, SPOILERS for those two eps)

"Tall Tales," I have to admit, cracked me up with the brothers stymied on a case and explaining the "so far" events to Bobby--their individual versions of the stories each embellishing each other's character flaws to near-cartoon proportions. Sam became UberSensitive Sammy and Dean was far more of a pig than he actually he is (and while I do love the boys, I am not above occasionally laughing at my loved ones. Nor do my loved ones hesitate to make fun of my ass when the occasion calls.) Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't "Tall Tales" the first ep where the now-running-joke of Bus. Asian Beauts. were referenced? (And I am so not tagging that label for the post because...yikes.)

Anyway, the "Tall Tales" Trickster was sort of a vigilante with a warped sense of humor. He'd been sending people to creative (tabloid-inspired) demise in various nutty ways (okay, not so much demise in one case as alien probing. Which I will also not be using as a post label.) The Trickster was meting out justice to people who were jerks. He was taking them down a notch. Once Bobby clued in the frustrated brothers to what they were dealing with, they killed the Trickster. Except, of course, that it was a trick, leaving him free to pop up again in one of my favorite season 3 ep's "Mystery Spot."

If you're any kind of Supernatural fan at all, you probably already know that "Mystery Spot" was Show's take on Groundhog Day, with Sam reliving endlessly the worst day of his life (the day Dean dies--via gunshot, car accident, electrocution, taco poisoning. Piano. Dog. Take your pick.) Hundreds of repeated "Tuesdays" into the episode, Sam realizes that he's dealing with a Trickster (who lured the boys to the Spot by sending a self-important jerk through a dimensional wormhole). Trickster's with their godlike power have the ability to completely screw up reality, subjecting Sam to this gruesome (albeit, in some cases, LMAO funny) loop.

Earlier I said that some cultures believed that first you laughed, then you prayed, because you'd be more spirtually open to the seriousness. This ep certainly followed a pattern of comedy, comedy, SOMBER. Because for dozens of Tuesdays, we laughed--but then when the Trickster finally agreed to move on and let it be Wednesday, Dean dies. Again. And Sam doesn't wake up to relive it. Instead, we flip to six months later, to a dark, vengeance-obsessed Sammy (not entirely removed from who we had by the end of season 4). This solo hunter asks Bobby's assistance to track down and kill the Trickster, only in this case, the Trickster is disguised as Bobby. (He does finally relent and set time right, letting Dean live. But, as we and the boys are aware, that's only temporary because Dean's deal is almost up.)

Some of the lore descriptions I read on Tricksters said that they were alternately (and often randomly) cruel and kind. They'll aid you one day and set you up for disaster the next. So, while the Trickster was obviously having fun at poor Sammy's expense, my question is, do you think it was completely cruel or that he had an actually helpful lesson buried within the Asia-laden madness? Because he tells Sam that the brothers are each other's weakness, which we've seen demons exploit over and over.

And it seems like the Winchesters just don't get it. Dean almost died, and his father sold his soul to save him. Then Sam died, and Dean sold his soul. And you just know that if Sam could have got the Crossroads demon to alter the contract, he would have done the same damn thing to get Dean back. A vicious cycle. Won't they ever learn?

Well, no. On the one hand, you applaud the loyalty, the brotherly bond, the "willing to take a bullet for you" heart. But on the other, aren't there some lines that shouldn't be crossed? I doubt one minute passed where Sam was grateful for his brother "saving" him because that's a hell of a burden to put on someone (and, as it turned out, led to Dean inadvertently starting the Apocalypse, which...oops). The boys, with all their legitimate bad-assness, are also arrogant. They have to understand that there are lines you don't cross (see the doctor in "Time is On My Side," where Sam actually tried to talk Dean into freakish immortality at the expsense of someone else's organs every few years.) Later, Sam crossed the line of drinking demon blood and I have to say, by season 4, it wasn't that out of character because they've already made so many dangerous judgment calls. I felt that the Trickster was sincerely exasperated that Sam was not learning an important lesson. Then again, if the boys had mastered that back in season 2, we wouldn't have our show anymore, so I'm inclined to forgive...

Of course, my big question is: do you think we'll see the Trickster again?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Urban Legend Up Close - Crossroad Demon

In Crossroad Blues we first meet the Crossroad Demon, a wicked entity that can be summoned to grant your heart’s desire. The price? Eventually your soul will be claimed and you’ll be dragged kicking and screaming to hell. In this second season episode, Dean considers making a deal with the demon to bring his father back from the dead, but the junior Winchester ends up fighting temptation and instead saves a self-sacrificing, married man from the snapping jaws of hellhounds.

“And the day keeps on remindin' me, there's a hellhound on my trail”

So, does this powerful deal-making demon exist? No one can say for sure, but urban legend has it that legendary musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroad of Highway 8 and Highway 1 in Rosedale, Mississippi in order to be the best blues player there ever was. According to folklore, the young black musician was instructed to take his guitar to that intersection at midnight where he met the devil, who tuned his guitar and handed it back to him with the skill to play like no other.

“Early this mornin', ooh, when you knocked upon my doorAnd I said, ‘Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go. Me and the devil, was walkin' side by side’”

Other stories indicate the origin of the tale actually began with another Delta bluesman, Tommy Johnson. Yet, somehow, the mythology has best stuck to Robert Johnson. Perhaps because he seemed supernaturally gifted, maybe because he sang songs like, “Me and the Devil” and “Hellhound on my Trail,” or it could be because he actually died at a country crossroad near Greenwood, Mississippi. Despite Johnson’s 1938 death, some people believe the devil keeps getting his due anytime an artist sings Crossroad Blues. Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin and Curt Cobain have all sampled or remade Johnson’s devilish tune and met with great tragedy. Whatever the case, before you consider singing the song or heading for the nearest crossroad remember one thing…payback’s a bitch.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Classic Episode Review--Faith

I’ve been watching the first three seasons of SPN again and my favorites are still my favorites. And one I watch again and again is “Faith.”

The episode opens with the boys on a hunt for a monster that can only be killed by electricity. Children are in danger, and the boys find them in the basement of a house. Sam escorts them to safety while Dean stays behind to zap the monster. Unfortunately, he’s standing in a puddle and electrocutes himself, damaging his heart.

In the hospital, the doctor tells a distraught Sam that Dean can’t be helped and he’s going to die. Dean, of course, is cracking wise about daytime TV and fabric softener teddy bears, while Sam is frantic to find a way to save him.

Dean leaves the hospital AMA and shows up at the motel, declaring he’s not dying in a hospital where the nurses aren’t even hot. Sam has found a specialist, he says, and takes Dean to a muddy field in the middle of nowhere where an evangelist has set up a tent for faith healing services. Dean swears that Sam has lost his mind but agrees to appease his little brother. He meets Layla outside the tent, and manages to flirt despite being deathly ill.

Against all odds, Dean is called to be healed. He resists, but Sam convinces him. When the preacher lays his hands on Dean, Dean sees a man in a suit standing nearby. Instantly he feels better, but is disturbed by the miracle, especially when he learns Sam didn’t see the suited dude. Then the doctor who checks Dean out and gives him a clean bill of health happens to mention that a healthy young man died of a heart attack the day before. Dean convinces Sam to check it out and they learn that somehow lives are being swapped for lives. It turns out the preacher’s wife has managed to control a reaper. Worse, she is choosing who lives and dies based on their beliefs.

What I love about this episode, besides Sam’s desperation to save his brother, is Dean’s dilemma. He becomes attached to Layla, who has faith and is suffering from a brain tumor. Once he learns about the reaper, he can’t allow Layla to be healed, no matter how he cares for her. He can’t let the preacher’s wife take another life in exchange for Layla’s. I really love how this choice tears Dean up, especially when her mother asks why he deserves to be healed and Layla doesn’t, playing on Dean’s already low sense of self-worth.

In the end, they can’t save everyone. They destroy the bond to the reaper just as Layla is about to be healed. But she comes to Dean in one of the most poignant scenes in the series. She’s so serene, he can’t help but offer the only thing he has left.

Where is this episode in your list of favorites? What were your favorite bits?

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Opening of Season 5

A few weeks back, I announced a fan fiction contest here. Alas, we got zero entries. :( But I'm still curious how people think Season 5 will open. Part of me thinks it'll start just where Season 4 left off. That we'll see Lucifer actually rising. But how many of us could have predicted how Season 4 opened with Dean clawing his way out of a grave in the middle of nowhere. If we don't start this upcoming season in that same room with Lucifer rising, how do you think the first scene of the first episode will go? Will it be just after the rising? Will Dean be knocked out on the floor and Sam disappeared along with Lucifer? Will it be weeks later and the boys are on the road looking for Lucifer who somehow gave him the slip?

Only 37 days until we know for sure, but for now let's pretend we're Kripke. How would you start the next season? How likely do you think that's how it actually will start? Remember, the name of the episode is "Sympathy for the Devil."

Come on, peeps. Let's have a lot of ideas tossed out today. It'll be interesting to see who is closest to the actual.