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TV Recap: Supernatural – “In The Beginning”, Part One

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Noooooo!!! To be continued?? Damn you… oh, forget it. I’ve cursed Kripke’s name so many times it’s lost all meaning now.

Dean was pulled out of Hell to stop Sam! Mary was a hunter! Mary sold Sam’s soul in exchange for John’s life! Dean and Sam’s grandpa rocks! There I go with those damn exclamation points again!

Deep breath everybody … in … out …better? Hold on. Ahhhhhh!!! Okay, better.

I know when I’ve seen a great episode that affects me forever. It’s not the jaw-dropping intensity of the drama, the out-of-this-stratosphere acting that makes you wonder why genre shows like this are never recognized by the Emmy panel, the superior writing that makes me rush to my laptop to tweak yet again my own manuscript, or the fact that when the episode is over I’m so stunned I’m holding the remote and staring at the screen in disbelief for over an hour.

No, an episode for me is deemed great after the sleepless night. When the events of what I just witnessed play in my head over and over again and I can’t shut it off. When I wake up the next morning an emotional and exhausted wreck, so profoundly affected by what I saw that I struggle with basic function… then yes, I’ve watched the episode of a lifetime. It happened to me numerous times during the second season of The West Wing. It happened after “Mystery Spot.” It happened after “No Rest For The Wicked” and “Lazarus Rising.” Now here we are again, only two weeks later with “In The Beginning.” Mr. Kripke, you’re killing me!

Not just Eric Kripke, but everyone. To think, one of the two leads wasn’t even in this one (except for a brief glimpse) and they still pulled off a classic with the best guest casting of the series, or of all television. Mitch Pileggi MUST get some sort of award for this one. Misha Collins continues to blow our minds, again giving us a chilling closing line that we can’t shake. The young Mary (Amy Gumenick) and John (Matthew Cohen) are two unknowns that we may be seeing a lot of in the future in other places after this one. They made a huge impression.

I did miss Sam, even though this story was for his benefit. His absence served its point, so I’ll let it pass. The only thing I won’t let pass is why was Dean driving a 1979 Ford Pinto in 1973. My family drove Pintos while I was growing up so I know. There, nitpicks over. Time for the pages of gushing now.

Who Needs Classic Rock?

This is a packed full episode, so no time for musical montages. There’s a great recap of season one for those of us who don’t remember all those unanswered questions that we’re still over-speculating about. They even showed Mary apologizing to Sam in “Home.” It’s about time that one was cleared up!

The writer this week is the most incredible, awe-inspiring master of storytelling and dialogue known as Jeremy Carver (I’m still openly begging for that interview). The director is Steve Boyum, who I haven’t had the pleasure of praising before. He previously directed “Crossroad Blues” and “Dream A Little Dream of Me” and added a gem here to his list.

Let’s Begin

Dean is asleep on the bed, and obviously he got back from something exhausting since he’s on top of the covers and has his clothes on. Sam has that tough guy “ready to waste some demons” glare, and he does the sneak out on Dean. Take a good look at that gorgeous face for that’s the last you see him until next week. Mitch Pileggi said in an interview that Jared went to Hawaii while this episode was filmed. As a joke, the crew taped postcards from Hawaii on the front of the camera while filming to irk Jensen. That story alone makes Sam’s absence worth it.

It’s the Willow Tree Motel! That’s the exact same sign from “Mystery Spot”, the motel  Sam went to, to dig that bullet out of his ribs. Granted the inside is different, but I guess reusing signs is allowed. They did that with “A Very Supernatural Christmas” too (Cicero Pines), so I wonder if this is a norm for Jeremy Carver episodes. Probably just a coincidence.

Dean dreams of the red and black flashes from Hell again and there’s Castiel. I heard all those squeals of joy! Awesome how he pops in and out like that and when Sam isn’t around. He’s an imaginary friend or something. “You have to stop it.” Before Dean gets an answer, the magic angel fingers go in between the eyes and he’s being wakened from a park bench. No time for a long slow setup.

Dean’s cell phone doesn’t work and the park bench says “Sugar Free Tab.” He ain’t in Kansas anymore more. Oh wait… Dean, didn’t you notice all the classic cars around? You’d think a car guy like him would be in paradise. Also, isn’t this the same town square from Smallville? Yeah, I’m sure I could fill a whole article on shared sets of Vancouver shows.

“Rambling Man” by the Allman Brothers plays on the jukebox as Dean enters the diner, which is another time warp error since that song wasn’t released until August 25 of that year. Yes, I know my classic rock, too. Dean asks the person next to him where he can get reception on his cell phone and I yelled out “Starship Enterprise!” a second before the other guy said it. Who didn’t see that one coming? The kicker though is the devastation of the waiter (I want one of those fuzzy vests) and other man when Dean mentions that Sonny and Cher broke up. He finally figures something is wrong, and the date on the newspaper confirms it. April 30, 1973. Could it be all that nastiness happens on May 2, the day Sam was born? Possible, since Jess and Mary both died on November 2nd.

Now we get the obligatory Back To The Future, reenactment, and luckily this turns out to be the only one. I was afraid we’d have a whole episode of this. Someone shouts, “Hey, Winchester,” and both Dean and other guy look. The man talks to the other guy and calls him John. Dean stares in shock, using the exact same look Michael J. Fox did when he saw George McFly. “Dad?” John gets nervous and leaves behind one very bothered Dean. I’d say that was the right time for the birds of the apocalypse.

Dean rounds the corner and there’s lovely Castiel again. For a guy that never smiles and always has a rumpled appearance, he’s great on the eyes. Dean gives my favorite line of the episode. “So what is it, angels got their hands on some DeLoreans?” I’m still laughing over that, and plan to somehow work that into regular conversation. Castiel says again, “You have to stop it.” How heartbreaking when we find out what “it” is. Of course he disappears again before Dean gets the answer. “Are you allergic to straight answers, you son of a bitch?” I don’t think that’s getting you answers, Dean. How about please? Angels are temperamental if you haven’t figured that out.

John’s car shopping and what a sight for sore eyes. The Metallicar looks exactly the same. It’s even dirty. Dean talks John into buying the Impala instead of the VW bus. So who talked him into it before? Oh yes, the destiny thing. $2204 for the Impala? That still seems to be a lot for a used car. Starting price was $2800 new in 1967, and this is not an Impala packed with features. It’s confirmed, the Impala is a 327 four-barrel, 275 horses. Ha! Someone’s been reading my speculation on the specs for the Impala. Thanks for clarifying that.

“Trust me, this thing is still going to be badass when it’s 40.” Sure, considering she had to be rebuilt, of course she’s in great shape. Dean starts the awkward conversation with his dad by asking about cold spots, sulfur, and cattle mutilations. Sure, that’s exactly what I want to say to my dad when I travel back in time. “Seen any dead cows lately?” Dean goes away, John wisely buys the car.

John pulls up in his new Impala, and Dean pulls up in that time warped '79 Pinto. Angels must be pretty talented, for they can transport vehicles too. Dean finds young Mary is a babe. “I’m going to Hell. Again.” That’s so priceless. Dean spies on John, and Mary comes up behind him and starts kicking his ass! Dean’s shock is the same as ours, she’s a hunter. Um, er, yeah, I guess that explains a lot.

Dean demands to meet her family of hunters, pulling the “I’m a hunter, too” card. Her parents are Deanna and Samuel Campbell. So Dean was named after his grandmother and Sam grandpa? How funny. Why didn’t Dean know this? Didn’t he ever look at a family tree? Dean’s at the dinner table, throwing around the mistrust with the Campbell family. They aren’t the Bradys, that’s for sure. Dean asks about the web, then covers his tracks, and then granddad comments on the weather equipment arrival. “No, we hired a jetliner to fly it here to us overnight.” Ha! How did people survive before the Internet and Federal Express?

Dean’s playing a priest again and that makes me sad, because it just isn’t right without Sam. This is the point in the episode where I realize I’m really missing Sam. Father Cheney? Good one. Jeremy Carver used the Dick Cheney reference before in “Sin City”. I know, I can’t wait until he’s gone, too.  “Did you notice anything unusual?”

“You mean like my husband’s guts fertilizing the back 40?” Ask a stupid question, feel lucky you get a great, smartass answer.

Dean joins Mary talking to the kid, who’s unwittingly made a deal with a demon. Then he drops the bomb on the eye color, yellow! Cut to one very upset Dean, who next scene carelessly pulls out John’s journal in his fit for revenge. “My dad could see the future.” Oh, great cover there. Hunters just love that psychic crap. Dean wants to get the “bedtime story” colt from Daniel Elkins, and I’m trying to figure out how Dean got from Eastern Kansas to the mountains of Colorado and back to Lawrence in a Pinto so quickly. My mother couldn’t get to the other end of town in one of those rust buckets. Climbing hills can’t be considered either, so Dean probably had to get out and push once he got to a mountain. But hey, at least the fuel economy was better.

Coming up in Part 2, the really mind blowing stuff.

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About Alice Jester

  • Erin

    Awesome review! LOL, I was wondering about the year on that Pinto. Kripke underestimated us again …. 😉

    Per the distance Dean drove to fetch the Colt, though, I looked on Mapquest, and if we presume Dan Elkins lived near Boulder, CO, it’s about an 18 hour round trip drive from Lawrence to Boulder and back. Judging by the lighting in the scenes, Dean left at night after their visit to the Whitshire farm, drove all night and was gone all day, and got back in time to deal with Liddy Walsh the following afternoon. So he *did* have time to do it, and I think most of the terrain would have been relatively un-challenging to that Pinto … 😉

    Thanks for the awesome review! :-)

  • http://bardicvoice.livejournal.com Mary

    Hi, Alice!

    I loved this episode, and just got my review up; I’m dying to read the rest of yours, because I was chuckling all the way through so far! I shared your laugh at Dean in the Pinto, because my very first car was a gold 1973 Pinto; I knew the year was off, but not what the year was, so thanks for that!

    I would say, though, that Mary didn’t actually sell Sam’s soul. Me, I think that Sam’s soul is still his own, and keeping it that way is going to be Dean’s ultimate task. Azazel bought the opportunity to taint him, even though Mary didn’t realize that at the time, but I don’t think that taint is irresistible. At any rate, I certainly hope not!

  • Elle

    Hi Alice,
    I’ve already posted over at the Part 2 review – but I had to stop in and tell you, since you mentioned it’s one of your goals now, that I was able to use “got their hands on some Deloreans” in conversation this week! “Angels” wasn’t the pro-noun, but the rest was all there.
    Anyways, just wanted to share.

  • http://jesterz.net/b2ev/ Alice Jester

    Elle – You’re much farther than me then! I suppose telling it to the dog doesn’t count, does it? Thanks for sharing that, and I hope it didn’t result in too many strange looks.

  • Gadfly

    The episode was fantastic. However, I disagree on one major point: Dean was pulled out of Hell to help stop Azazel’s endgame and to help stop Lilith from breaking the 66 seals. Sam, as the last of this generation’s psychic Romper Room, is now part of the endgame (as Ava or Jake would be if they had been the last).

    I think Castiel could smash Sam right now, but I also think he’s giving Dean a chance to save his brother, not so much for Sam’s sake–because Castiel doesn’t seem to care very much if Sam goes good, so long as he doesn’t play his pawn’s role in the endgame; Castiel never talks about Sam joining the side of the angels if Sam doesn’t fall all the way–but because God has work for Dean, and I think Dean would walk away if they took out Sam before it was absolutely necessary.

  • tiffany

    I love watching Supernatural also you and Jared aka Sam are very funny. Also u are really cute Dan aka Jensen Ankles.