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Supernatural Fodder

Supernatural: Everybody Loves a Clown

This was a pretty good episode story-wise. The conflict was weak, once again there was never any serious danger to the brothers, and the stakes were low because even if they failed, the monster wouldn't commit mass murder, as some of their previous foes did. However, the monster was unusual, and the brothers faced a tricky problem because the weapon needed to kill it wasn't readily available.


One thing I didn't like was how easily Sam was able to find information on the rakshasa just by calling Ellen. I hope Ellen doesn't become some kind of paranormal On-Star. "Hello, Ellen? I'd like to report levitating objects and bleeding walls. Do I hear any voices saying, 'Get out!'? No, sorry. Okay, you're dispatching an exorcist? Thanks, Ellen!"

ellen small final.jpg

I think the problem here was the limitations of hour long television. Some compromises have to be made to fit in the time allotted. This was a pretty tight episode. I have a hard time imagining what could have been cut to make room for more research into the monsters (and frankly, this is a problem every episode faces). Still, resorting to "Call a friend," in the "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" style, is a plot device, and overuse is a possibility.

I also thought the writing toward the climax fell apart a bit. A lot of events seemed to happen too easily.

They left Sam with a shotgun pointed at him, then suddenly he shows up at Dean's side, minimally explaining how he emerged from a tricky situation. Again, this is probably the result of having to cut to fit the format. Still, a minute or so to show this confrontation would have been stronger, in my opinion.

Then Sam suddenly gets the inspiration to use the pipes from the organ. While it's a nice twist, I would have handled it differently. I would have had the brothers decide to lead the rakshasa into the funhouse, hoping to trap it somehow, maybe with the explanation that the mirror maze would keep it from getting a clear path to attack them with the knives. Then, when it has Dean pinned, and is advancing on Sam, he desperately searches for a weapon, and sees the organ. His eyes widen. Brass! Sharp, pointy brass! To me, it makes the idea more inspiration and less miraculous revelation. Then again, I'm not writing under a deadline, either.

Long-term storyline

One of the things I liked best about this episode was how well it integrated the long-term and immediate storylines. The immediate storyline took precedence, but the long-term story was never neglected, and actually influenced the immediate storyline in natural ways, such as when Sam noticed the folder in the roadhouse, Dean abandoing the minivan (which still cracks me up), and Sam and Dean discussing whether Sam really wanted to leave college behind. I expect this year will have many more episodes that have at least a few minutes devoted to the long-term story. There will still be filler episodes, just because it's too hard to think of new monsters and events on a weekly basis. I expect, though, that there will be far fewer fillers than last year, when the writers were figuring out the direction they wanted to take the show.

This episode moved the long-term storyline well along. The brothers got the help they needed in the form of Ash. They now have a humorous sidekick type character the writers can use when they need to lighten the series up a bit, or when they need some plot device that would require a genius to make it. Sure, they stole the idea from The X-Files (stole is probably too strong, I would consider it "homage"), but they can make it different enough to be interesting.

The brothers also got a "home base". Every hero needs a place to return, to lick their wounds when (temporarily) defeated, to plan strategy, etc. But it also gives the writers another throat to hold a dagger to. Some time down the road this season, I expect the Roadhouse to be threatened or damaged by some adversary of the Winchesters. The lack of danger is a constant problem the writers face, so they have to create the idea that the Winchesters could lose something of value to them. People, and places, close to them are ideal targets to reinforce to viewers that there is a cost to this business.

jo small final.jpg

A "home" is important to the characterization also. The brothers right now have lost the one thing that united and grounded them - John Winchester. They need something else to create a family of sorts, since "family", as dysfunctional as it has been, is one of the themes of the show. I think Ellen will step in to be the mother-figure that was missing last year. This will create some interpersonal conflict if she begins to become protective of the brothers, especially as we find out Ellen's relationship with John.

Finally, as I previously predicted, I still believe the brothers may find a new mentor, someone whose ideas or methods may conflict with the things they were taught by John. We may be seeing this as early as the October 12 episode.

Posted by Miller on October 11, 2006 6:43 AM
Permalink |


-- Posted by: Albert at December 14, 2007 10:29 PM


-- Posted by: Albert at December 14, 2007 10:31 PM

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