While Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are investigating a UFO sighting, Dean is abducted from a crop circle. However, when he awakens, he discovers he isn’t dealing with aliens, but fairies! Unfortunately, only Dean can see the fairy that keeps attacking him which makes tracing and stopping them difficult. The brothers become even more perplexed when Sam’s investigation leads them to a world full of elves, gnomes and a leprechaun. John Showalter directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.
So, last week’s episode had me shooting double-takes at my dogs…this week’s episode has me re-thinking my daughter’s Tinkerbell bedroom décor. *grins*
Okay, was there an X-files anniversary or something that I missed? Because this week’s Castle also had an aliens-themed episode. I enjoyed that one, too. *laughs* Oh, and you Castle fans out there – did anyone catch the Firefly shout-out? I totally heart Nathan Fillion.
We start off in Elwood, IN, which, incidentally, is about 30 miles west of where I grew up in Muncie, IN (same place the big pagan god showdown took place last season). Two teens are making out in a cornfield, on a blanket, aided by the lights of a pick-up truck. A weird shadow passes by and the guy—Patrick—stops kissing long enough to look up and around with a “did you see that” expression.
He decides to go check it out, much to his girl’s chagrin. As he moves through the cornfield (which is pretty much harvest high, by the way, so I’m not sure what time of year we’re supposed to be at right now, but if any of ya’ll have also grown up on or around a farm, you know what I mean by corn height not exactly being conducive to jackets and long sleeves) and leaves the girl behind. She is less than pleased and calls “Patrick” about 57,000 times, her voice getting more anxious and irritated the longer he doesn’t answer.
Finally ticked off enough, she goes after him, making her way through the corn – and let me just say, ouch. Corn stalks are rough-edged. Especially when green like that. Worst kind of paper cut, man. Patrick breaks free of the cornfield and steps into an opening, looking confused for a moment—but a moment is all he has because he’s immediately hit by a bright light and whoosh…disappears.
The girl steps into the clearing, fear etched on her features and the camera pulls up to reveal a Signs-worthy crop circle. Zoinks!
Enter the best X-files homage opening sequence ever. Gradient-gray with SUPERNATURAL spelled out in the X-files-familiar font, interlaced images from Tall Tales ‘ Lady in Red scene (…again and again and again…and then one more time…), Jared and Jensen’s name with flashes of FBI badges and sunglasses-at-night coolness. Loved it! *laugh* Oh, and Misha Collins’ name was included as well – which I thought was interesting. No one besides the boys have been marked as ‘regular leads’ – Misha, Jim Beaver, and even Mitch Pileggi have all been guest stars. I wonder if that was just for kicks, or what…. I mean, Castiel wasn’t even in this episode. Hmm.
Anyway, the opening scene ends with our Impala and the tag line, “The truth is in there.” Kind of an X-files-meets-Prego vibe. Hilarious! I was enchanted. *grins*
We get a series of obvious interviews of several people—one of whom being guest star Robert Picardo whom I remember most as “The Cowboy” from Innerspace, though he’s been on countless other things including Star Trek: Voyager. He’s Wayne Whittaker, Jr., this time, foremost authority of UFO sightings and certain that Elwood, IN, is now the center of extra-terrestrial activity (and he’s apparently as happy as a pig in…shoes). Among those interviewed are Patrick’s girlfriend, a pretty hippie chic, a cop (who is in full-on denial of any UFO anything) and an old lady who declares that it’s actually faeries.
Sam: Flying saucers not insane enough for you?
Dean shoots him a silence glance, but Sam is focused on the Crazy Chrystal Lady.
Sam: If you want to add glitter to that glue you’re sniffing that’s fine, but don’t dump your wacky doo all over us. We’d rather not step in it.
Dean: We’re done.
As Crazy Chrystal Lady is sputtering through a protest to how Sam talked to her, Dean is trying to steer Sam and his insensitive questioning tactics away, saying that it’s a blood sugar thing that causes him to act that way. As they move away, Sam is wondering why the hell they’re investigating some random UFO sightings. Dean says, yes, ET is made of rubber but there are still four people who went missing under mysterious circumstances.
Now, this first conversation between the brothers is something I expected when you have different writers pulling together to attempt to tell a cohesive story. I mean, I think that by and large the writers of our Show do a fantastic job keeping the boys consistently in character—aided considerably by the boys themselves. But there are times when one writer ends things one way and another writer picks them up and shakes them around a bit forcing us to double-time our dance steps so we stay with the group.
Last episode, Dean called Sam out for not being his brother—demanding that he do them both a favor and quit pretending. He rode that hard line until the episode ended with Sam coming clean and saying Dean was right. He’s not the old him—not even close. He doesn’t care about anyone, including Dean. But he wants to get his soul back so that he can be that guy again—the guy that does care.
Now, as they leave Crazy Chrystal Lady Dean is giving Sam a hard time about not caring—not accusing him of not caring in a how dare you tone, but more of a, “If you’re going to talk to people, you have to at least fake empathy,” tone. Now that the cards are on the table, and they know between the two of them that Sam’s “not a real boy” Dean is having a hard time not wanting to crawl under the proverbial table when Sam speaks to people. He wants Sam to fake it with other people until they get his soul back.
Dean: You want to be a real boy, Pinocchio, you gotta act the part.
Sam: I was faking it. I picked every word. It was exhausting.
Gotta, say, I can’t blame him for both being confused and for not wanting to fake it. I play the part a lot. And it is exhausting. It saps your energy like nothing else. Also, the subtle nuances between being honest with yourself (and your brother), and having to hide the truth when dealing with…anyone else…isn’t easy to naturally pick up on. To Dean it’s obvious that Sam should use his brain and memories and treat people like Crazy Chrystal Lady with a little schmoopy kindness because it will keep her from closing up on them—or worse, calling the cops. But that’s not obvious to Sam. Because it’s not straight forward, black and white.
Although…even as I say that, I pause because Sam does know how to use nuances to coerce and manipulate when he wants something—with Dean for example. He wants his brother’s help and he found the right way to get Dean to work for Crowley. He needs something from these other people, too—like Crazy Chrystal Lady—but he just bull-in-a-china-shop’s his way forward with them.
*ponders* It might just be one of those “go with it Gaelic” moments where I, yet again, can’t really figure Sam out.
Bottom line, though, is that Dean tells his brother that until they get Sam’s soul back, Dean will be his conscience.
Sam: You’ll be my Jiminy Cricket.
They head to Brennan’s Watchworks to interview the owner—who happens to have been Patrick’s father. They say they are reporters with “The Mirror.” Brennan tries to kick them out and Sam pushes in with suspicious questions—accusing him of knowing something. Turns out Sam’s instincts ended up being right, which is noteworthy because last episode they laid the groundwork for Sam not having gut-instinct. He may not have his gut like Dean does, but he’s learning how to read people pretty clearly.
And as I write this, I find it interesting how my feelings and impressions of and for Sam are shifting as the season progresses. I went from WTH, Sam to being irritated and confused back to WTH, SAM to being almost bored and confused to being happy that we were seeing this through Dean’s eyes because otherwise I might not even really care about Sam and all of the sudden I find myself noticing how they’re playing this out and being incredibly intrigued by the path this character is taking and how it’s going to impact my hero.
Brennan grabs Dean’s sympathy by dropping his shoulders dejectedly and saying that after a person’s been missing for 72 hours the odds of them coming back are nil and Patrick has been gone for weeks. Dean gives him a business card and the guys leave. Brennan turns to look at…nothing…and asks, “Was that okay?”
Curiouser and curiouser.
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