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Supernatural Fodder

Supernatural: Playthings

I can't decide if this episode was a homage to one episode of an obscure TV show, or a bunch of homages. Here's a recap, and next week, you can compare it to my analysis and decide for yourself.

What atmosphere!

The Pierpont Inn. All the amenities. Old. Creepy. Dead delivery guy. Whoops, getting ahead of myself. We tune in to find the Inn closing and the owner, a woman named Susan, packing up. A delivery guy enters to collect some donations. Susan*s little girl, Tyler, is not happy about him taking some of her toys, nor is her sister, Maggie. Tyler retreats to her room to play with her dollhouse, which is an identical replica of the hotel, complete with delivery guy doll, which ends up at the bottom the stairs with its head turned backwards.

Strangely enough, so does the delivery guy.

Sam gets on with his life

Sam doesn't waste much time grieving over Ava. They've investigated for a solid month, and found nothing. He figures the best way to help her is to continue to hunt until some clues surface. And the Pierpont Inn, according to a phone call from Ellen, may be the next stop.


When they arrive, Sam notices a charm engraved on an urn outside the Inn. It's a hoodoo charm that's supposed to protect from evil spirits. After a funny misunderstanding ( again! This joke never gets old!) over their sexual orientation, they settle in and go over the background of the Inn. They decide to talk to Susan, and notice more hoodoo charms inside the Inn. Susan also has a huge ("...not creepy at all!" Dean says.) antique doll collection.

They wrangle their way into Susan's office when Dean claims Sam is a huge antique doll collector (LOL!). Tyler meanders in with her dead delivery guy doll, and mentions finding it that way. Neither she, nor Maggie, did it, she tells Sam, because Grandma Rose would be mad.

Sam and Dean perk up when they hear that, and ask to speak to Grandma Rose. Sorry, Susan tells them in no uncertain terms, she's not feeling well and can't receive visitors. So the brothers leave, trying to puzzle out what it all means.

Bubble? What housing bubble?

Susan meets with the rep from the company buying the Inn. They plan to level it. Susan is a bit shaken. But not as shaken as she will be when the company rep goes to his room later, while Tyler plays with her dollhouse, and hangs himself from the ceiling fan, just like Tyler's company rep doll. (Man, I thought my old GI Joe collection was pretty diverse!)

1 Tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, floor

Sam also takes it hard. He couldn't save the guy, and he feels guilty. He hits the bottle - hard - drowning the guilt. He thinks if he can save enough people, maybe the evil inside will never surface. He extracts a promise from Dean to kill him if he ever ... changes.

Heeere's Johnny!

While Sam sleeps it off, Dean heads to the hotel bar, where he encounters the elderly barkeep/bellhop, in a scene that is clearly a homage to "The Shining". The barkeep tells Dean the history of the hotel, especially about how Rose has never known a home other than the Inn, but clams up when asked about Rose's illness. Dean spots a picture, and finds out that when Rose was young, she had a nanny who was apparently into hoodoo, judging by the hoodoo charm necklace she wore in the picture.

They head off to talk to Rose, but she's incapable of speech. Seems she's had a stroke. And since hoodoo requires physical movement to work the spells, Rose is clearly not responsible for the deaths at the Inn. While they are attempting to communicate with Rose, Susan walks in, and furiously orders them out of the Inn (ha! Pun!). Being wanted by the police tends to make you not argue much when someone threatens to call the cops on you, so they hightail it.

Imaginary Maggie

Susan asks Tyler if she's packed, and Tyler informs her that she's not going. Maggie says she can't leave. Susan erupts in anger. Maggie is imaginary, and Susan is tired of the pretense.

But Maggie is oh so real...

I'm movin' out

Susan is finishing the packing, while Tyler, ominously, is playing with her dollhouse. As Tyler plays, the dollhouse swings and merry-go-round on the playground all begin to move by themselves. And outside, where Susan watches, they do the same. Behind her, Susan doesn't notice the car start by itself. As Susan reaches out to stop the seesaw, the car accelerates. But just in time, Sam tackles her, taking her out of the path of the car.

They try to explain what's going on to Susan. At first, she thinks they're insane, but gradually believes since a car with no driver just tried to make her roadkill. They question her - when did Rose have her stroke? It turns out, it happened just before the deaths started happening. Sam makes the brilliant deduction that Rose was working hoodoo to protect the inhabitants of the hotel. Sam mentions Susan's daughters, but Susan says, "I only have one daughter. Maggie is imaginary."

Suddenly, everything clicks into place.

"Susan, where's Tyler?" Sam asks.

Where's Tyler?

Susan rushes off to find Tyler, the brothers right behind. She's nowhere to be found. They question her - does she know anyone named Maggie? No, but Rose had a sister named Margaret. She drowned in the pool as a child.

They rush to the pool, to find Tyler perched on a balcony, ready to jump into the pool. As they start pounding on the door to get in, Maggie pushes Tyler into the pool, where she's caught in the pool cover. Dean tries the back door, while Sam continues trying to break the door down. Tyler surfaces, but Maggie holds her under the water.

Finally, Sam is able to break through. At that moment, Maggie hears someone call her name, and disappears. Sam jumps into the pool, and pulls the apparently lifeless Tyler from the water. They watch, helpless (c'mon, you hunt demons for a living and you don't know CPR?), and finally, Tyler vomits water and awakens. Tyler doesn't see Maggie anywhere.

Maggie and Rose

Maggie is with Rose. Rose is negotiating for the release of Susan and Tyler. She thought Rose didn't want her in the Inn anymore. But that's not the case.

Susan goes to bring Rose to the car, but screams. Rose is dead. She agreed to stay there with Maggie as a playmate, so that Susan and Tyler could go free.

After making sure Maggie is no longer around, Sam and Dean make their exit. Sam reminds Dean of his promise from the night before. Dean is silent. As they drive away, the camera pans to the spirits of the 2 sisters, playmates again at last.

Posted by Miller on January 19, 2007 5:35 PM
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