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Supernatural: Hollywood Babylon

A scene from a movie shoot starts this fun, Hollywood and self-referential tribute to production assistants everywhere.

Scream

A young women walks around a creepy deserted cabin, calling for her friends. She hears a noise, turns, and screams. Unconvincingly.

The director, McG (a nod to Supernatural's producer, McG), calls cut and gives her a pep talk. She's having trouble getting motivated, there are too many distractions. She sits for a moment and talks to a co-star, and they speak to a crew member, who claims the set is haunted, and that he won't work there after wrap. The stars scoff, and the starlet goes off to practice her scream. She looks up, and the crew member is dead, blood dripping from his eyes and mouth, and behind him, a horrible apparition.

She screams, and really nails it this time.

That's Matt Damon!

Sam and Dean are on a backlot tour. When the tour guide mentions "The Gilmore Girls," Sam feels a need to skip the tour. (right at this moment, in the background you can hear the tour guide talking about the filming of the series "Lois and Clark," a small nod to several people on the Supernatural crew, including Philip Sgriccia, the director of this episode. The Gilmore Girls reference is not only a plug for The CW Network, but also a nod to Jared Padelcki, who once had a role on the series. Surprisingly, no mention of Days of Our Lives for Jensen).

Dean thinks he sees Matt Damon, but Sam tells him "Matt Damon" just picked up a broom and started sweeping. Dean thinks he may be researching a role.

Dean wonders why Sam is so uptight, and says that after Madison, he thought they needed a break, some nice weather.

About the weather, Sam says. "God, its like we're in Canada!" (nod to British Columbia, Canada, where Supernatural films).

Sam says he needs to work. They go over the details of this case. Lots of internet rumors of ghosts on the set. A crew guy was found dead by a young starlet who also reported a ghostly apparition near the body. Poltergeist? Dean asks. Sam is puzzled. No, just a ghost. Dean says, no, like "Poltergeist," the movie. It was reported to be haunted, lots of people associated with the movie died, lots of bad luck, etc.

Sam is clueless.

They walk into the studio, where Dean is mistaken for a production assistant by Brad, a studio exec (played by Gary Cole, who you may, or may not, remember from American Gothic - a 1995 Shaun Cassidy produced horror TV show. Oh, and the Brady Bunch movies, and Office Space, and well, lots of stuff.).

So just like that, the brothers become production assistants, known as PAs. What's a PA?

"It's kind of like a slave.," Sam says, hustling Dean off to get the producer a smoothie.

Food, Glorious Food!

Dean discovers the food. Little mini-Philly cheesesteaks! At the same time, he also discovers the starlet, Tara. He remembers her from several different movies, and excusing himself from Sam, he takes a stack of papers from a startled crew member, and walks over to question her.

She's flattered that he's such a big fan, and he asks her about finding the dead man. She tells Dean the story, then mentions that she has a picture of the guy. You take pictures of the crew? Dean asks. She explains that it's just one of those weird things you do when you have a lot of time between shots.

She shows the pictures to Dean, who says, "Son of a bitch."

Working with Richard Moll

Dean recognized the man. He's not a crew member, he's a bit actor, named Jaffe (a nod to Clive Barker, who had a character named Raymond Jaffe in his novel "The Great and Secret Show", and who has a nice blurb about Supernatural on the CWTV Supernatural page. They track him down at his apartment, and talk to him, pretending to be big fans (except Dean may not be pretending).

Yes, that's him. And yes, the movie studio hired him as publicity, knowing that the rumors of a haunted set would build buzz on the film. The brothers thank him for his time, accept his free pepper steak coupons for the dinner theater where he'll be playing in Death of a Salesman, and leave.

Before they leave, Dean has a final question. "What was it like working with Richard Moll in Metalstorm?"

"A true gentleman's gentleman," Jaffe replies.

That's a wrap. Or not.

So that would be it. Except Brad is on set.

The cast is acting out a scene, where the starlet must repel the ghosts with salt.

Why salt? Brad asks. Why would a ghost be afraid of salt?

What would a ghost be afraid of? the director asks.

How about a shotgun? The director looks at the writer. "I'm not married to the salt," the writer says.

And how do the ghosts hear the incantation, if they're in hell? Do they have superhearing?

The director looks at the writer. "You're the writer, explain it to him."

The writer looks up from his script, "I'm the writer, not the explainer."

Brad leaves to take a call, and notices a woman, who appears to be working on the film. She is very pale, and has rope burns around her neck ("Those may not show up on film," Brad says. "They should be red.") The woman just smiles, and takes off her dress, and walks away. Brad smiles at her, and follows.

Moments later, as the cast is acting a scene ("How do the ghosts hear the incantation when they're in hell?" "They must have superhearing!") when Brad's body falls through the ceiling. He's hanged himself, apparently.

Sam and Dean go over the dailies. Sam has done research, and there have been many deaths at this studio, so there are a lot of candidates for a haunting. Is anything showing up on film?

Yep. In the background, a ghost. "Wow, another 'Three Men and a Baby,"" Dean says. Huh? Sam says. Dean explains that there is a scene in that movie where supposedly a ghost can be seen on camera. "We really have to get you caught up on your pop culture," Dean says.

Sam recognizes the picture, an actress who killed herself on set, hanged, just like Brad.

Off they go to burn some bones.

A huge fan

They find the grave, uneventfully, and burn the bones.

Meanwhile, Jay Wiley, the producer is on set. He hears a noise, and sees an apparition. A giant fan starts up, and Jay is knocked to the ground and dragged to the fan, where he is chopped to bits by the fan.

McG calls a cast and crew meeting. Production is being temporarily shut down due to the deaths.

Sam and Dean go over more dailies. A tag team ghost doesn't make sense, they usually work alone ("Road Kill" episode notwithstanding). Sam notices something. The Latin summoning spell used in the movie is authentic.

They go to speak to the head writer, Dave. He didn't write that. Walter, another writer, wrote that part. Walter wrote the original script, which Dave edited down to a small fraction.

Sam and Dean check out Walter's original script. Besides being far better, it also has lots of authentic ghost lore in it (like salt repelling ghosts).

Back on set, Walter is meeting Dave. Walter complains that Dave ruined his script. Walter produces a talisman, and summons the ghost to drag Dave to the fan.

Saving the day

Suddenly, the ghost dissipates into mist. Dean stands above the writer in the classic hero pose (pretty sure that's a nod to "Army of Darkness").

"You're one hell of a PA," Dave says.

"Yeah, I know," Dean replies.

Sam, meanwhile, tries to talk Walter into giving up the talisman. Walter tries to get Sam and Dean to leave Dave to his fate. They refuse, and Walter summons more ghosts, which turn invisible and begin attacking. Sam and Dean grab Dave and run.

Citizen video journalism at its best

They're trapped on the set. The ghosts are invisible, so that makes it a bit hard to shoot them into ectoplasm. Suddenly Sam gets an idea. They show up on film, so why not on his Verizon video phone (nice idea to work in some product placement!). It works! Sam can spot, and Dean can shoot.

Sam sees Walter on the catwalk above them. He hands the phone to Dave, makes sure he knows what to do, and chases Walter.

"There's really an afterlife?" Dave asks Dean.

"Yeah, but it's more like a pain in the ass," Dean says.

Sam corners Walter. He tells him to give him the talisman. Walter refuses, and hurls the talisman to the floor, where it shatters.

"I don't think that was a good idea," Sam says. He explains that the ghosts may be a bit angry at Walter for summoning them from their rest and forcing them to murder, and now they're free. And he's right, as the ghosts get their gruesome revenge on Walter.

Cut to the movie, where Sam watches, amazed, as the stars spot ghosts with their video phone, and shoot them with a shotgun, just like real life.

"You find out there's an afterlife, and this is what you do with it?" Sam asks.

He leaves, and walks by Tara's trailer, which is rocking. Dean emerges, buttoning his shirt, and Tara stands in the doorway in a robe.

"You're one hell of a PA," she says, smiling at Dean.

"Thanks," Dean says.

And they walk off into the sunset, which turns out to be a movie backdrop....

[corrected actor's name from Kendra to Tara]


Posted by Miller on April 20, 2007 6:46 AM
Permalink |






i am dying to know, who was playing the part of Kendra! that chick is ridiculously hot! :P

-- Posted by: 24 at April 20, 2007 2:53 PM

I don't know yet. Neither IMDB nor TV.com have a complete cast list yet.
But I fully agree, smokin'.
I may have her character name wrong, though. TV.com shows Alycia Purrot as Kendra, but IMDB shows Alycia as a blonde, so I think Alycia is the costar, not the starlet Dean hooked up with. I'll correct it when everything gets updated.

-- Posted by: Miller at April 20, 2007 5:24 PM

Actually, the main actress was named Tara, and her character in the movie being filmed was Wendy. Kendra was the blonde with the curly hair.

-- Posted by: Dana at April 21, 2007 4:15 PM

Thanks! Now corrected. Sometimes hard to get the details right without a DVD to doublecheck stuff.

-- Posted by: Miller at April 23, 2007 7:56 AM

TARA - real name : Elizabeth Whitmere

-- Posted by: patrik at April 27, 2007 11:27 AM

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1176867/

-- Posted by: patrik at April 27, 2007 11:29 AM

What kind of nonsense? This is not interesting. There is no such a thing.

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