Episode five already? Wow, time is flying toward September, er October, er we really don’t know. Just to keep everyone in the loop about the latest controversy, we don’t know exactly what date Supernatural will be back in the fall. Initial reports had it the same week as when all the other CW shows premiere, the first week of September. Then, TV Guide reported last week the date for Smallville and Supernatural was actually TBA. Now Spoilerfix and The Futon Critic have it listed tentatively as October 2nd.
To throw even more accelerant onto the confusion, Jared Padalecki said recently they are going to start filming early, on July 2nd, but speculation is that it’s because of the potential SAG strike and many shows are going back early, and not because of an earlier premiere date. So who knows? My conclusion: it’s an agonizing wait no matter what. Not that I’m taking credit by any means because of my rant against the CW from last week, but did anyone else notice no Gossip Girl promos this week? There was the popup for 90210 early in the episode, and one for Stylista later, and then plenty of commercials for all the teen shows (plus one for Reaper), but nothing sat in my bottom right hand corner of the “CW” logo. I suppose that earns some sort of mention. Uh, thanks CW? This week we get “Bedtime Stories,” and this is the first episode I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing that was written by Cathryn Humphris (I don’t count “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” since that was a collaboration). I recently read in an interview with Cathryn that the idea for fairy tales came from Ben Edlund. A dark and twisted take on fairy tales. Yep, that sounds like Ben Edlund. Cathryn wrote one of my favorite all time episodes, season two’s “Born Under A Bad Sign”, so she’s earned good favor with me. This episode was no exception either, and one of the season’s best in my humble opinion. This episode is Sam focused, so it instantly sparked my interest. As much as I love Dean, I find Sam’s mysterious and dark nature to be more intriguing and elusive, but also more perplexing for analysis. It’s a reviewer’s blessing and curse! Episodes that try to peel back his layers usually result in something a bit more disturbing and intense (see “Mystery Spot” if you’re not sure what I mean). He’s a very dark individual compared to Dean, who may be realistic in his pessimistic view of the world, but refuses to let it ruin his good nature. Sam, he’s the proverbial wet blanket. Cue the music, which has a music box feel with just the right amount of sharp notes to tell you right away that another sacred institution is about to be ruined. There are three big guys, brothers, at a construction scene, a growling creature, and the trademark blood spatter. The third one even snorted like a pig and hid behind cinder blocks for those of you that missed we are dealing with a “Three Little Pigs” scenario. It’s those little details that make this show so twisted and fun. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I loved in these early season episodes all the fights between Sam and Dean in the Impala. This was exactly where they should be airing their grievances, among family. I still wish for more scenes like in “Tall Tales” where they vent their frustrations by wrestling one another, but I digress. Sam was incredibly frustrated and antsy from the word go in this episode. He clearly states the reason why, because even if it means that he might die, he can’t sit back and do nothing or Dean dies. Dean forbids him to consider the idea of confronting the Crossroads Demon with the colt, even pulling the “I’m older” card. Sorry Sam, but I’m the oldest too, and he’s got you there. Nothing trumps the first-born card. Sam’s bitch-faces were classic in this conversation, and we could feel every bit of his intense frustration. After four episodes he finally has something to go on, but Dean orders him to let it go, which is a perfect setup for the theme of this episode, letting loved ones go. Sam gets a few in-your-face reminders that losing someone important is painful but part of life, but true to his nature, he can’t accept it. We get a big reminder of that as early as the next scene, when the brothers talk to the lone survivor of the attack. “He killed my brothers. How would you feel?” “I can’t imagine anything worse.” Oh Sam, you’re already breaking my heart, and we are in the first five minutes. The look Dean gave him in response was telling as well, as if he was saying nothing is worse. Dean has a little experience in this category, so in the look of despair category, he wins. As what usually happens with this show, the pace and tone changes quickly, and it moves to humor. I’ve seen this episode several times, and I still laugh my fool head off at Sam’s drawing of the attacker. I’ll be at work, pounding my head against a desk, and will instantly cheer up with a memory of that picture. I swear it needs to be wallpaper on my computer desktop. “It’s a work in progress.” Ha! Another great thing? They’re detectives Plant and Page. You can’t go wrong with those names because “Zeppelin Rules!” Best aliases of the season.The pacing of this episode is great from the beginning, and we waste no time going to the next story, Hansel and Gretel. I loved watching that sweet little old lady wield a butcher knife and carve that guy to bits with deep utter joy. While I’m sure that looked great in a script, all the credit there goes to the casting. Best homicidal granny ever! The woman survives, and Sam and Dean get to interview yet another horrified victim. I got the impression this was hitting a little to close to home for Sam, judging by his empathetic look. In season one or two I wouldn’t have given that look a second thought, but in season three that Sam has long been absent. Sam takes a pretty big jump with his fairy tale conclusion, but we’ll just chalk it up to him being smart. For the record, I was raised on the Brothers Grimm version of fairy tales because my mother is British and the Brits don’t like to sugarcoat anything. I adored Sam’s observance that these original stories of horror were sanitized into “Disney flicks and bedtime stories.” So true! When I read the watered down versions of these stories later, I was appalled. Granny was eaten in “Red Riding Hood,” okay! So how did Dean get six hours of library duty? Isn’t that usually Sam’s thing? I know that happened in season one’s “Provenance”, but I think that was because Sam got to hit on a hot chick. Here, well, forget it, I’m nitpicking. I’ve forgotten all about it anyway because they come across the frog and Dean gets the funniest quote of the episode, “There’s no way I’m kissing that damn frog.” He knows that story!I did have a hard time though with Sam figuring out the Cinderella scenario so quickly. You see a mouse and a pumpkin on the porch in the fall and quickly go into this strange house with guns pointed? Yikes, I better think twice come Halloween time. I’m with Dean: “Could you be more gay?” That statement raised tons of controversy, but come on, that’s typical Dean. How else would he have berated Sam for his weird knowledge of these tales? It’s not like Sam had a normal childhood and got these stories when Daddy Winchester was tucking him in. They’re right, though, and the stepmother went nuts, beating and handcuffing her stepdaughter. Of course Sam gets some more flak from Dean. “Who knows, maybe you’ll find your fairy godmother.” Anyone care to speculate what Sam’s fairy godmother would look like? I’m thinking the lady at the DMV in Reaper, horns and all. Dean sees the mysterious little girl, who leaves behind an apple. “Fairy tale boy” knows it’s from Snow White, and that they’re dealing with someone in a deep sleep.