Supernatural: The Usual Suspects
The night started off on a great note with the previously on clips. It was amusing to see all of the assumed identities and occupations cut together like that. And ending with the important bits from "Skin" was a nice touch since that episode aired over a year ago, but figured prominently in tonight's adventure. I really liked the format for this episode. Starting with the split stories of Dean being interviewed by Sheridan while Sam is picked up by Ballard was a good way to open. And telling the story of how they came to be in those positions in flashbacks gave it a cool feel.
We also got a nice big dose of Sam this week. Based on comments here, and other haunts I frequent, reaction to the Jo heavy last episode was somewhat mixed. I'm a Jo fan, but a lot of people didn't like Sam being shuffled to the side. It was good that they showcased not only how good Sam is at what he does, but also Dean's confidence in him. When he told Ballard to go see Sam he was completely sure that Sam could take care of it. That gave some insight into how their relationship has grown over the course of the series. Nice writing.
Claire was spooky. One of my favorite things about Supernatural is that they get how to do creepy. Both the scene in Karen's house, and the one in the bathroom at the police station were hair raising eerie. There were some nice effects to accompany the creepy as well with the hidden message on the glass and the writing on the mirror.
Dean was in fine form tonight. Even with his ass in a sling there were plenty of quips. My favorite example of smart-ass Dean was his confession. "My name is Dean Winchester. I'm an Aquarius. I enjoy sunsets, long walks on the beach, and frisky women." At that point, I was wondering just how they were going to wriggle out of the jam. In the end, it was all very similar to "The Benders" from last season. Once again, saving the life of a cop buys them enough good will to get the cop to look the other way while they make their escape. I'll forgive the somewhat recycled resolution to their troubles because the rest of the episode was so good.
I don't think we have heard the last of the murder charges from St. Louis. Dean dodged another bullet here, but I expect we'll see that come up again. Had there been some word on the exhumation results to clear it I might believe it was being put to rest, but there wasn't any mention of that. That's ok though, it ups the peril. Nothing wrong with that.
The X-Files line where the boys argued over who was Mulder and who was Scully was an obvious nod. "No, I'm Mulder. You're a redheaded woman." But I also couldn't help thinking of our favorite paranormal investigators when Sam and Ballard were poking around the Ashland building with flashlights. It had a very X-Files vibe. This episode was stuffed with pop-culture references though. We had Sam registering at the hotel under the name Jim Rockford. And Dean referred to Sheridan as Ponch. They used Capt. Hilts to tell Sam to escape. The Shining and REDRUM got a mention. And they wrapped the whole thing up with a reference to The Exorcist when Dean has a craving for pea soup. As long as they are integrated into the story smoothly, I find those bits to be fun.
Overall, another strong episode. It was great to see Linda Blair again. Looking great for a woman of 47 years. There wasn't any real progress with the big story, but as monster of the week episodes go, this one delivered. And it looks like we are going to be getting a big ol' dose of bigger story when Dean goes to the crossroads. Looking forward to that.