Supernatural 7.09 – How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Bobby (Jim Beaver) become actual hunters, in the true sense of the word, when they set up camp in a New Jersey state park to track a creature that has been attacking people in the woods. The townsfolk claim it is the real Jersey Devil. Meanwhile, Dean is beyond thrilled to find a Biggerson’s restaurant in town, but is devastated when he discovers the restaurant’s special sandwich seems to be making people crazy. Guy Bee directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.

The Ramble

Okay, so that was totally not what I expected after seeing last week’s previews. One of the many things I love about this show is that they can still surprise me, even after going on 7 years of never missing an episode.

And now, my emotions are a bit scattered. And by a bit, I mean they’re pretty much like a handful of beads dropped on a hardwood floor. Let me see if I can pull it together enough to give you a decent Ramble, since I’m already a day late as it is. *sucks in air*

So, with the THENs, we got reminded that the Levi’s can’t be killed and are scary, the demons are going to stay away at Crowley’s say-so (plus he hates the Levi’s), the boys are off the grid (but on the map), and Dean’s definitely not okay.

With the NOW, we can see from the POV of someone—or something—scurrying through the woods, peering at what appears to be a tent. But turns out it’s unlike any tent I’ve ever seen, unless you count the magic tents in Harry Potter. It’s raining outside, but our campers (if you can call them that) are snug and cozy with their generator running (and really, how safe is that to have an open electrical socket in a rainstorm??), a bed (complete with wooden headboard), end tables, lamps, and a remote-controlled TV.

The couple is comfortably burrowed in their cocoon-like sleeping bags and when the husband turns off the lights, he turns on his mini iPod thingy so that he can listen to nature sounds. While sleeping in the middle of the woods. *shakes head* Yeah, they’re roughin’ it boy. The funny thing is, I was in my living room, sitting on a borrowed lawn chair while I watched because we’d donated our couch to the Salvation Army (and don’t get our other one for a few days). Heh.

Next thing we know, the husband is waking up hanging upside down from a tree. That’s one sound sleeper, ya’ll. He was transported out of his cush bed, taken outside, and it’s not until after he’s hanging upside down that he comes to. Someone sneezing two rooms over will wake me up. I might be a little jealous. Anyway, dude wakes up, totally freaks out (understandably) and starts screaming for his wife. He can’t get free from the cocoon-bag and is terrified. He hears some scary noises in the tree above him (at his feet) and screams louder.

And then he’s eaten. While his iPod continues to play nature sounds.

After the opening blast, we see that we’re in Hammonton, NJ, inside a rather run-down, abandoned house. The boys are using jumper cables to, well, basically jump-start the house’s electricity via the fuse box. I didn’t know you could do that, honestly. *makes note for possible use in future stories*

Back upstairs, Bobby’s bringing in the rest of their supplies and Dean’s grumbling that this is cozy. Sam’s like, “Motel 6 ain’t leaving the light on.”

Bobby: When everyone’s out to get you, paranoia is common sense.

I want that on a bumper sticker. Plus, I was glad to see them living like they really were off the grid. With the exception of seeing another layer of Dean’s protective shield peeled away at the thought of not being needed and noting that the demons were being held at bay by Crowley until this whole Leviathan business is done, I’d almost prefer to skip right from the end of The Mentalists to this episode as far as continuity goes.

Dean is visibly disgruntled by their current digs, revealing in his dialog that we’ve missed some time here – they’ve apparently been living homeless and off the grid like this for weeks.

Dean: Been living with cold showers, cold Hot Pockets, cold everything for weeks. This is the bottom we’re living in.

And you know, sitting in my comfy lawn chair, thinking of his job as a hunter, I could almost say he sounded like he was whining a bit. But the moment that thought glanced off my perception, I thought about how soldiers at war have to live in miserable conditions, always too cold, too wet, too hot, soggy food, bug-infested food, sandy food, little sleep, little shelter, little safety – but the thing that they have going for them (the majority of them anyway) is that they have a cause. A reason. A mission to fight for. Someone or something to protect. Something they can help make the misery worth it.

And even before Dean’s confession, I had been wondering if our boys could still say the same after all they’d been through. So, I don’t blame them for being ticked off that they can’t even sleep in a real bed once in awhile because the universe once again dealt them a bad hand in a stacked deck. And I don’t blame Dean for grumbling about it, either. Heck, I had to sleep on our futon for four nights this week because my husband is sick and I almost cried with relief when I got to climb into my bed last night.

Bobby: We don’t know how many of those ‘big mouths’ are out there. Now’s not the time to be laying our bedrolls out on the grid.

Just then, the house sparks and the power dies. Sam turns on a camping light as Dean drags his hand down his face.

Dean: That’s just great. This is stupid. Our quality of life is crap. Purgatory’s least wanted is everywhere. (He moves the cooler from the table over to next to a couch and unrolls his sleeping bag, sitting down.) We’re on our third The World’s Screwed issue in, what? Three years? (Bobby moves to stand over by Sam and watches Dean with careful eyes.) We’ve steered the bus away from the cliff twice already.

Sam: Someone’s got to do it.

Dean: What if the bus wants to go over the cliff.

*heart hitches* And by ‘bus’…I kinda think he meant ‘Dean.’

Sam (long hair giving him a youngish look): You think the world wants to end??

Dean (leaning forward, elbows on knees): I think that if we didn’t take its belt and all its pens away each year, the whole enchilada would have offed itself already.

Bobby’s watching him with worried eyes, his face shutting down by increments as he sees what Dean doesn’t realize he’s showing with his words.

Bobby: Stop trying to wrestle with the big picture, Son. You’re gonna hurt your head.

That or, you’re heading down a mountain road without your headlights on and scaring the crap outta me, so pull over.

Dean digs a beer out of the cooler and lays down as Sam brings Bobby up to speed—with a newspaper and pre-printed web page articles—on the MotW, which appears to be the Jersey Devil. Bobby thought the Jersey Devil was local tall tale crap, but Sam says that the lore goes back about 200 years and that some people describe it as having wings, some with a tail, and some with a horse’s head.

Dean: Sketch looks more like a Chewbacca head. (hee)

Bobby: Sounds kinda mixed up.

Dean (sipping his beer, looking tiiiired): Yeah, like it should be fighting a Japanese robot.

Sam (still focused): Mixed up or not, it might just have a body count.

He talks about the ‘human burrito’ and the missing persons from the area (including the burrito’s wife) and says (with an oh, and get this tone) that local law is blaming a ‘rogue bear.’


Gaelicspirit is a storyteller. She is a recent addition to Whedonverse Network, but has been writing and posting recap/reviews of Supernatural on LiveJournal since 2007. She works as a freelance writer and consultant in the real world, and is ever-connected to the six-degrees of Joss Whedon.


Gaelicspirit is a storyteller. She is a recent addition to Whedonverse Network, but has been writing and posting recap/reviews of Supernatural on LiveJournal since 2007. She works as a freelance writer and consultant in the real world, and is ever-connected to the six-degrees of Joss Whedon.

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