June 1, 2011

Supernatural 1:13-16

Directed by Paul Shapiro. Original Airdate: January 31, 2006.

Watched and Reviewed on May 28, 2011.

Synopsis: The devil's down in Dixie - and he's driving one scary truck. Sam and Dean investigate when something wheeled, metallic and evil forces a series of African-American drivers off the road to their deaths.

Killer Car episode! One of my favorite cinema sub-genres is Carsploitation, and the Killer Car sub-genre obviously ties into that. It's not a sub-genre that gets talked about a lot outside of cult movie circles, so it's nice to see the show paying homage to Killer Car movies like THE CAR, DUEL, etc. This episode features a phantom truck that targets black people and runs them over before vanishing into thin air. Throughout the episode, we get some great shots of the impressive truck either parked or mobile, with the use of lights and smoke to give it an otherworldly appearance. While the truck itself is indeed impressive, the episode is nothing outstanding, but still pretty cool for fans of Killer Cars. If I have a complaint, it's that there wasn't enough exploration of the mythology of the phantom truck, but it's understandable given the running time. Overall, pretty good but not great. Like the previous episode, this is another one that you can stick anywhere in the season and not have it affect the running storyline.

Score: 6.5

Directed by Philip Sgriccia. Original Airdate: February 7, 2006.

Watched and Reviewed on May 28, 2011.

Synopsis: The brothers pose as priests to gather information at a house cisited by sudden death - a death Sam saw in a dream. But precognition may be just the start of preternatural powers Sam suddenly possesses.

Another random episode. What happened to the cliffhanger endings and the sudden developments in the long-term storyline? Anyway, Sam has nightmares in this episode that are soon revealed to be premonitions. This happened earlier in the season, and just like in that episode, his nightmares serve as a guide for the brothers to get to their next hunt. However, the premonitions here are acknowledged as such and don't seem like a random excuse to guide the brothers to their next locale. It would appear to be a reucurring theme from this point on, but, based on the show's track record so far with not following up on certain things, who knows.

NIGHTMARE is probably the most well-acted episode of the season so far, and with a solid plot that may hit close to home for some people since it deals with abusive parents and whatnot. Aside from the telekinetic teen angle a la CARRIE, this one feels more rooted in reality than the typical ghost or supernatural episodes that have been featured more prominently. I prefer the more absurd episodes, personally, but this one worked and resulted in some genuinely intense moments, acting and content wise. Not an episode I'll probably watch ever again, but I found it to be an undeniably good entry into the show. Watch out for the Lucio Fulci homage.

Score: 6

Directed by Peter Ellis. Original Airdate: February 14, 2006.

Watched and Reviewed on May 28, 2011.

Synopsis: A nice decoration for the wall. A backwoods family of hunters likes to stuff and mount their kill as trophies. Only they hunt humans. And they've got Sam.

I certainly didn't expect to see a Backwoods Horror/Hixploitation episode on the show, but here it is. Like many other episodes before it, THE BENDERS isn't great but I still appreciate the effort that's being put in by the producers and writers as far as adding some variety and covering all bases when it comes to sub-genres. I'm curious to see if they stick with it, or if it's just something they did in earlier seasons to kinda lure viewers in and establish a fan base. Also, I know I'm writing about it in present tense despite the show being like six years old, but you know what I mean. Nothing really comes to mind as far as what to mention in this episode's review. If you've seen a Backwoods Horror movie, then that's pretty much what you'll get with this episode, minus the rape and other things not suitable for television, obviously. I still think BUGS is my least favorite, but this episode is the most underwhelming so far, if that makes any sense.

Score: 5.5


Directed by Kim Manners. Original Airdate: February 28, 2006.

Watched and Reviewed on May 29, 2011.

Synopsis: In Chicago, Sam has the luck to run into Meg, the pretty blonde he met weeks earlier at an Indiana bus stop. But it may be bad luck, especially if Meg is connected to a demon wreaking death on the Windy City.

Finally the show is getting back into the main storyline and straying away from the random scenarios. Well, for now at least. The brothers are hunting down some sort of shadow monsters in this episode, and in the process of doing so, they run into a character that was introduced back in the SCARECROW episode. As much as I enjoy Monster of the Week stuff, I think this show works much better when it's following the running storyline. This episode has a nice balance of both. I'm sure the good shit is being saved for when the season draws to a close, but for right now this is easily my favorite episode. The shadow demons are pretty cool, the recurring character who shows up is GREAT, and the brothers get a chance to bust out the boom-sticks, which is always a good thing! Not a whole lot else to say, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and it's a very important episode in the big scheme of things.

Score: 8


  1. Yeah the Shadow episode was a really good one, and probably the first really confident one of the season.

  2. Indeed. It's just a shame that it took 16 episodes to get there!