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Supernatural Fodder

Supernatural: Roadkill

Interesting standalone with a bit of a twist. But is it really a standalone, or is it foreshadowing?

Admin note

I just found out that The CW offers online viewing of episodes. So, to me, it seems a detailed recap is superfluous. Starting today, I think I'm going to try to just hit the highlights with the recaps, with a bit of commentary. If you want a detailed look at the episode, it's well worth watching.

We'll see how this works out. Episode recaps take a boatload of time to do. Not only do I have to watch each episode again, I sometimes have to watch parts over multiple times to make sure I get quotes and order of events correct. An episode with a lot of good parts, or lots of critical dialogue that I want to make sure I capture correctly, can take as long as 3 hours to do (assuming I don't get interrupted, which is another problem).

So, if you, dear reader, don't like the lack of recaps, let me know and I'll go back to doing them, but for now, I'm going to give the highlight version a shot.

A dark, deserted highway

The episode starts out on a cliche, with a solitary car tooling down a dark, deserted highway. Inside the car is, unsurprisingly, a bickering couple who are lost, and late.

And also unsurprisingly, their worlds are shattered when a farmer suddenly appears in the middle of the road, forcing the car to swerve, go over the side, and demolish itself against a tree.

Dazed and confused

The driver, a tall, attractive woman (Tricia Helfer), awakens. The passenger door is open, and her husband has disappeared.

Not knowing if he's hurt, wandering lost in a concussion-related daze, or searching for the police, the woman panics, and begins wandering the moonlit woods looking for him.

Up ahead in the distance, she sees a shimmering light. Wait, sorry, that's the Eagles, and that was a dark, desert highway. Regardless, she does see a ramshackle hunting cabin, which she approaches. She knocks at the door, looking for help. Hearing no answer, she enters, to find a man standing with his back to her. It's the same man who caused her to swerve off the road.

We see that his belly has been ripped open (surprisingly graphic for network TV). The woman, whose name is Molly, begs him for help, and he turns. She recognizes him, and then screams in horror as his face and body degerate into an evil-looking corpse.

Then we get the title break. We also get the first hint this isn't your normal episode.

A bit off the beaten path

Usually, after the title break, we catch up to the Winchesters involved in a hunt, or some friendly banter, or some conflict that presages the current hunt. Not this time. This time, we follow Molly as she runs screaming for help onto the highway.

We get a brief look at Sam and Dean as they see Molly, and Dean slams on the brakes, but doesn't swerve. Metallicar comes a bare foot from hitting Molly. She quickly explains the situation, but Sam and Dean seem subdued, even nervous, like they know something is up. Clearly, they know about the earlier corpse-like apparation, but are afraid of frightening Molly.

Dude, where's my car?

Still, they dutifully follow her to her car, which now is strangely missing. She can't explain it, but she wants to find her husband. The Winchesters tell her that's a bad idea, that they should drive her to town to get help. Dean even offers to drop her off right in front of the police station (which warrants a "look" from Sam. That's a no-go for sure, since they're both wanted men). Reluctantly, she agrees, and gets in the car. As they are driving, the radio suddenly turns itself on and tunes to "House of the Rising Sun".

Dean says, "Did you...?" to Sam, but Sam shakes his head.
"I was afraid of that," Dean replies.

"That song..." Molly begins to say, but the song stops playing, and the radio tunes to a man's voice.

"She's mine," the voice says.

Suddenly the farmer appears in the middle of the road. "Hang on," Dean says, and floors the accelerator.

"What are you doing?" Molly screams.

Dean drives right through the vision, which dissipates. Sam tells Molly, who is in shock, that everything will be okay.

I'm okay, you're okay. Or maybe not

Metallicar starts making knocking noises, and slows to a stop.

"I think you spoke too soon, Sam," Dean says.

They get out. Molly has an emotional outburst. She's worried for her husband, David. Sam and Dean have a brief conversation. Sam says, "Should we tell her about her husband?" Dean doesn't think it's a good idea, since it will cause her to run the opposite way.

Molly overhears, and gets upset, Sam tries to comfort her, and to explain to Molly that the farmer isn't going to let her leave. Molly is confused, and frightened, but really freaks out when she sees the arsenal the brothers have in the false floor of Metallicar's trunk. Sam explains that they are hunters, and that the farmer is a spirit. They need to lay him to rest.

Molly thinks the Winchesters are insane. "You can't deny what you saw," Dean says.

Who ya gonna call?

Molly finally agrees to take them back to the cabin. They look for a grave, while Sam explains to Molly that they need to salt and burn the farmer's bones to set his spirit to rest. No grave. Sam and Molly go into the cabin.

The farmer appears, but Dean, standing in the doorway, shoots the spirit with rock salt. The spirit dissipates.

"This is really what you do," Molly says. "You're like Ghostbusters."

"Except without the jumpsuits," Dean says. Sam explains that the farmer was hit and killed on the highway 15 years ago, and now haunts it every year on that anniversary to take his revenge for his death. The wife claimed the body, so no one knows where it was buried. Dean hurries them up, telling them that they only have a few hours before sunrise.

They start searching outside. Molly is attacked again, but Dean saves her. Molly is quite curious about the rock salt in Dean's shotgun, which Sam explains. They find a path, and follow it to a ruined house.

Inside the old house

"Just once I'd like to come around the corner and see a nice house," Dean says. They go in, and begin looking for clues to the farmer's grave. In an upstairs bedroom strewn with papers, Dean discovers a secret panel, and they break in, to find the body of the farmer's wife. She apparently hung herself when her husband died. Sam cuts her down, with Dean's reluctant help.

"Dean, help me."
"What?"
"We can't just leave her here!"
"Why not?"

But they do cut her down, and bury her in the yard.

Molly is curious about what happens when the spirits are put to rest. Sam explains that they don't know. He likes to believe they go to a better place. The spirits aren't always someone who was evil in life. They're more like wounded animals, lashing out at what hurt them, and tied to the living by someone or something they can't let go of.

He's baaaack

An old jukebox begins playing, and Dean investigates. He sees the electrical cord, cut, and realizes the farmer is near.

Molly is standing by a window (bad idea) and the farmer crashes through, grabs her, and drags her from the house.

Sam and Dean are unable to react quickly enough to help. They start to go back to the bedroom to look for clues again, when Sam notices an old photo album. In it, there is a picture of the farmer and his wife in front of the hunting cabin. Sam notices that there is now a tree in front of the cabin.

"So?" Dean says.
"It's an old country custom, using a tree for a grave marker," Sam says.

"You're a walking encyclopedia of weird," Dean says, and starts off for the cabin.
Sam pauses. "I know," he says, as he follows.

Tortured

They arrive at the cabin, to hear Molly's screams. The farmer is torturing her. Sam tells Dean to help Molly, while he digs up the grave.

Fortunately, the grave is shallow, because Dean is having a rough time. The spirit is powerful, and he disarms Dean easily. He grabs an all too real hunting knife, and attacks Dean. Things are looking bad, when Sam finally is able to salt and start burning the bones. The spirit backs away, in flames, and disappears.

Dead or alive?

They release Molly, and head back to Metallicar. Once there, Molly has a breakdown. She just wants to find her husband. Sam and Dean exchange looks, and Molly freaks out. She wants to know what they know about David, and why they didn't want to tell her earlier.

"He's dead, isn't he? And you didn't want to tell me because you wanted to use me as bait," she says.

No, David is alive, Sam tells her. "We'll take you to him."

They pull up in front of a small, well-kept suburban house. Molly is confused. This can't be right, she says. They walk up to the door, but Molly hesitates. The man inside looks like David, but older. Molly shakes her head. "That's not David," she says. A brunette in a bathrobe walks up to David and kisses him.

"I don't understand," Molly says.

Sam explains. Molly was killed in the crash that killed the farmer 15 years ago. David has moved on, remarried. And for the last 15 years, Molly's spirit has been hunted by the farmer's spirit every year on the anniversary of the crash. His spirit tortures her spirit until sunrise.

We are treated to a short flashback sequence. The brothers find news clippings about highway crash deaths at the same spot every year on the same date. They interview David, and he tells them his wife was cremated. They can't salt and burn her bones to set her at rest, so they have to find another way. That explains why Dean was so anxious to find the farmer's bones before sunrise. They could salt and burn his bones, but Molly would still be tied to earth without something to set her free, and she only appears once a year.

Molly doesn't know what to do. She wants to say goodbye to David, but Sam explains that David has already made his goodbyes. Dean says that Molly could go see David, but she'd "...freak him out. For life."

Molly cries a bit, and doesn't know what to do. Sam gently tells her to just let go of whatever is holding her here.

Molly takes a deep breath, and sees a bright light, which she walks toward. In engulfs her, and she's gone.

Trivia

This episode was written by Raelle Tucker, who also wrote last season's episode "Faith." That episode also had a strong spiritual component.

Tricia Helfer, who guest starred as Molly, appeared in Playboy in February. The producers may no effort to glam her up in this episode though. In fact, if anything, it seemed they tried to downplay her sexiness. Though it probably disappointed her fanbois, it worked. She showed some decent acting skills, and helped make this a strong episode.


Posted by Miller on March 16, 2007 6:53 AM
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