Once upon a time, before there was an exciting fan convention in Chicago that completely dominated some of our lives, a somewhat epic and mind-boggling Supernatural episode aired. One that people in New York and New Jersey as well as other places (Mississippi?) couldn’t see until Saturday thanks to the NFL.
As I went back to write the review, I vaguely remembered the episode involved drunken Sam angst and hot demon monkey sex, but the rest was a blur. So I had to force myself to sit down and re-watch “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Yeah, that was tough. I’m back up to speed now and now that everyone has had a chance to see the episode, let’s review what we’ve learned.
I'm preparing everyone right now. I loved every bit of this episode. This will be a gush fest, especially over Jared's performance, the writing of Sera Gamble, and the directing of Charles Beeson, who can finally put one in the masterpiece category. It was all top notch and I'm about to tell you why, because that’s my job.
Sam focused episodes are always polarizing and get various factions of fans all in a twist. The problem is that Sam is a morally ambiguous character who often struggles with crossing fine lines. He’s not easily understood. Make him a completely broken and hopeless Sam whose repressed emotions are consuming him and stuff’s going to happen that ain’t right. That doesn’t make the drama any less compelling or fascinating to watch.
So, aside from Sam’s controversial, but sorely welcomed back story, what else made this episode so great? For one, the weaving between past and present events is brilliantly executed. The story is easy to follow and the pacing quick, so by the end I couldn’t believe it was over. Two, the introduction of Anna with her angel hotline and the visit from a demon earning the top executive pay grade upped the stakes of the apocalypse to scary new levels. Third, the story can’t go wrong with couple of vengeful angels thrown in at the end. We’ve got one very nasty situation and a frustrating “To Be Continued.”
There’s an incredible amount of detail in the directing this week which I’ll focus on in my full recap, but it’s noticeable from the opening shot. The long shot on Anna’s far away glare, looking upward, with just the right amount of light is almost angelic. I’m sure that’s the point. The tone set is anything but angelic though. It’s fearful, ominous and brilliantly done, and Julie McNiven deserves much credit.