Welcome to our newest guest post series! Head Over Feels are finally filling our SuperWhoLock quota with “Salt vs. Sass: Dawn & Sarah take on Sam and Dean,” a Supernatural recap-a-thon! We’ll learn all about the family business through the eyes of veteran fan Dawn and n00b Sarah. They’ll be posting weekly, so now is the perfect moment to queue up your rewatch or pop your SPN cherry. Take it away, ladies! –S
Dawn Ferchak is a long-term Dean girl who occasionally has trouble resisting the King of Hell.
Sarah Bisman is an SPN newbie and professional crafter of one-line bios.
Sarah: I have never quite understood the obsessive Supernatural (SPN) fandom because though it’s been on for a thousand TV years (aka 8 seasons), I have never watched it. I looked at it and thought, quite simply, meh. I didn’t think it would do anything for me and I was watching BSG or whatever.
Okay. That’s not entirely true. I tried once, after I ran out of episodes of Fairly Legal, an oddly-titled gem of a USA show starring Baron Vaughan and the Big Bad of Supernatural’s pilot episode, the marvelous Sarah Shahi. I think I even made it through the entire thing but I had to sleep with the lights on for several days, which erased most memory of anything other than her TERRIFYING EYES and some soaking wet children.
So, utterly terrifying show about siblings who kill terrifying things that look like a murderous Sarah Shahi, because evil and reasons. This is all I’ve got. Oh, that and my fear. I’m wimp city when it comes to scary entertainment and have been since childhood – unless it’s hilarious. Periodically I make terrible mistakes and end up watching Community reruns until it’s safe to close my eyes again (typically around sunrise).
Dawn: I have no idea how I missed out on SPN for as long as I did. It’s a quotable as hell horror show with two hot, angtsy male leads, and eventually it has Jim Beaver, Marc Sheppard, and Felicia Day, which is a trifecta of nerd win. People I trusted recommended the show to me, but somehow I just kept forgetting it existed. Then one random day, I remembered it, hopped on over to Netflix, queued the first ep, there went my free time. I POWERED my way through all eight seasons, then tripped the ‘net fantastic to get all of season nine (so far). So recaps? Hell yeah. Start the Impala and let’s ride.
Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot
Written by Eric Kripke
In Lawrence, Kansas, there lives an adorable family: ruggedly handsome dad John Winchester (helloooo Jeffrey Dean Morgan), pretty blonde mom Mary, and two precious little angels, four-year old Dean and six-month old Sammy.
Sarah: Dad is HOT! And also Denny from Grey’s Anatomy only, you know, healthy and alive.
Dawn: It’s very white picket fence and apple pie. This has no chance at all of lasting.
Baby Sammy fusses in the night; Mom gets up to check on him. But Dad is already there. Wearing a trenchcoat. And ever so slowly turning his head and hissing “Shhhhh…” when spoken to. That seems totally legit. Head on back to bed, Mom! But then the light in the hallway flickers and there is a strange noise coming from downstairs. What could it be? Oh, it’s just John, asleep in front of the TV.
Dawn: That explains everything. Except who was in the nursery.
Sarah: And mom heads back up the stairs. Admirable and terrible idea, Mom.
Cue screaming, which wakes Denny DAD and sends him straight up to the nursery too. Mary is gone, though, when Dad comes up stairs. But it’s a perfect time to enjoy a little quality time with the baby. Suuuuure. Screaming wife who? Blood drops keep falling near Sam’s head, though. And ceilings raining blood are never a good thing. John looks up, because what the hell else would you do, and oh shit, it’s Mary, on the ceiling (Very Exorcist), with her belly slashed open. She looks scared and mournful and also a little confused (me too, Mom!) and then she is SUCKED INTO FLAMES WHICH MIGHT MEAN HELL even though they are on the ceiling, craftily enough, and not on the floor where stereotypical hell-flames belong.
Dawn: HOLY SHIT DAD, GRAB THAT KID AND RUN!
But instead of running out the damn door himself, John hands a screaming infant to a scared four-year old and commands, “Take your brother outside as fast as you can and don’t look back! Now, Dean, go!”
Dawn: Dear Dean: When the therapist (I mean bartender) asks you where it all began, this would be it.
Dean makes it to the lawn, where he tells his brother, “It’s okay, Sammy,” thus allowing the audience to witness the exact moment when an innocent child becomes a troubled man with a mantra. This will be important — and constant — for nine (soon to be ten!) seasons. John joins them. Everyone is sad, neighbors are gathering, emergency vehicles are on the scene. So much for Lawrence, Kansas.
SPN Life Lesson #1: Always protect your family.
And now we transition to present day (2005, at the time). Stanford University.
Dawn: Who grew up to be a smarty-pants? It’s Sammy! With floppy hair! And a girlfriend who believes Halloween is slut night! And is blonde like mom! I bet they start their own adorable family and live happily ever after!
Sarah: The Last Happy Pic Mom and Dad Ever Took is on the dresser in his room. This means badness is likely to be in the offing for someone. My vote is the blond in the nurse’s costume.
Sam doesn’t like Halloween, but blonde nurse costume (Jessica) says he has to go out so everyone can celebrate the fact that he did “scary good” on his LSATs. Blah blah college party, blah blah college friends. Blah blah Sam didn’t tell his family because reasons. Also, IMPORTANT FORESHADOWING:
Sam: [to Jessica] What would I do without you?
Jessica: Crash and burn.
Suddenly the party is over and Sam and Jess are sleeping, but someone is breaking into their house. Sam goes downstairs (like mother, like son) and proceeds to kick some serious ass, until the intruder gets the upperhand. Hey, it’s big brother Dean! Dean is all growed up and hot but also kind of an arrogant dick who wants a beer and enjoys Smurfs nudge nudge wink wink. Sam straightens his posture, likely to better accommodate the stick up his ass, and tries to be all unconcerned and aloof, until Dean speaks the words that birthed the fandom: “Dad’s on a hunting trip. And he hasn’t been home in a few days.”
Sarah: This is my favorite quote of the episode so far. “When I told dad I was afraid of the monster in the closet he gave me a .45.” “So?” “I was nine.”
The brothers chat. Sam is crabby. Dean is stubborn. (Get used to those two moods.) The Winchester upbringing is pretty hard core. Shoot your childhood closet monsters. Learn to handle weapons. Learn to make silver bullets.
Dawn: All my Dad and I have is a detailed plan for surviving the zombie apocalypse. I wanna be a Winchester.
Sarah: Did they grow up in or around Sunnydale? Because they’d have felt right at home and Buffy could have dated someone a little less dead…
Dean basically guilts Sam into joining him on this search because Sam took off in a dramatic confrontation, in which Sam wanted to go to college and Papa Winchester took offense to his kid wanting to use his apparently massive intellect for non-demon-hunting pursuits. Dean has a tape he plays for Sam with some “EVPS” that sound a lot like Sarah Shahi saying ‘I can never go home’ terribly mournfully. Sam reluctantly agrees to help Dean on this hunt and hopefully find their father, even though Sam resents Dad and it seems that Dean resents Jessica is worried, so Sam lies to her, which is probably easier than explaining monsters and barbecued moms and shit.
Dawn: Pro tip, Sammy: you probably should have stopped short of assuring her that everything would be all right.
Sarah: Has Sam never seen an episode of any show ever? You never promise that. Now I’m pretty sure everyone is going to die.
SPN Life Lesson #2: Everything is not all right.
It’s time for our first SPN redshirt. Redshirt is in Jericho, California, driving along and bullshitting on the cell with his girlfriend. But what’s this, Redshirt? It’s a beautiful woman in a torn dress, just hanging out on the side of a back road, in desperate need of help. Redshirt is clearly thinking, “Hey, pornos start this way!” So do urban legends start, genius. Off we go to the derelict house of white dress hot girl, who has mysteriously disappeared. Along with Redshirt’s boner, presumably, because he spooks and runs for his car. But SURPRISE! She’s in the backseat. Cue massive blood spatter. Now he’s Deadshirt.
Sarah: Are all the ghosties in this show corporeal? Can mean shit directly mess with you? What on earth would cause two windows to splatter with blood in those directions?
Dawn: Yes, totally yes, and probably a quick two direction hand strike, with really sharp fingernails. CSI Paranormal!
Act 2! Sam doesn’t like his family’s vaguely criminal money-making methods, or Dean’s collection of tunes, or breakfast, or being called Sammy. Cue Dean’s next iconic line: “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.”
Dawn: Sammy is a pain in the ass. You crank that classic rock, Dean.
Driving along on their merry way, the brothers pass Deadshirt’s Bridge of Death. Dean grabs some fake IDs from a GIANT BOX of fake IDs and proceed to pretend. The psychic paper says they are federal marshals now, which is how they get info from the cops, and then they go to a coffee shop and become Deadshirt’s grieving uncles, which is how they get info from Deadshirt’s girlfriend about the local “white lady” legend.
Sarah: I’m impressed.
Dawn: I think that all means Dean likes to roleplay. Oh, I’m going to need a minute with that…
Off to the library! Libraries and research are big on SPN. In this one, they learn that ghostgirl is Constance, a woman who may have drowned her own children and who definitely drove her car off a bridge. Deadshirt’s bridge! TO THE BRIDGE!
The brothers get to the bridge and start to argue. Jessica doesn’t know anything about their lives. Dean wants sam to be one of us one of us and Sam doesn’t like crusades. Sam makes a nasty comment about dead mom. Dean slams baby bro into a wall.
Sarah: Sam seems way more well-adjusted than Dean.
Dawn: I’m on Dean’s side. That was cold, Sam.
Luckily, Constance appears to diffuse the tension by jumping off the bridge, and then pulling a little Christine action on the Impala. They jump off the bridge. Resourceful Sam hangs onto a truss rod, while Dean gets absolutely buried in mud. Toilet scented mud. The car’s okay though.
Constance the Spirit wants the brothers gone so their natural reaction is to rent a crappy motel room in town. Sarah thinks getting a hotel room is a bad idea when a ghost wants you out of town. Dawn disagrees, because nasty, stinky mud. Also, the hotel is important to what will be a huge part of the Season 1 story arc: The Search for Dad. Turns out he was in the same town recently, staying at the same hotel. So they break into dad’s room (With lockpicking tools! I love this family!) to find an assortment of books, notes, and protective items, including a line of salt on the floor. Dad figured out it was a woman in white, and the brothers share a family moment that ends with Sam calling Dean a jerk and Dean calling Sam a bitch.
Dawn: You know, my baby sister once bought me a birthday cake that said “Happy Birthday, Jerkoff,” so this moment is pure adorableness to me. Sibling love!
SPN Life Lesson #3: “No chick flick moments.”
New plan: Sam will talk to Constance’s widower and Dean will go get food. Or arrested. Let’s go with arrested. Dean says his name is Ted Nugent. Nice. But angry southern cop (in California) is not impressed. Instead, he is determined to pin everything on Dean. And the cop knows Dean’s real name because he has been snooping through his dad’s magic notebook of scary demonbits
Dawn: Scary Demonbits is the name of my next band.
Also, he knows all about the fake IDs and the “satanic mumbo-jumbo.” Problematic.
Sam is having slightly better luck visiting the widower, and on said visit, he is conveniently possessed by Basil Exposition, who tells us all about the woman in white. Unfaithful husband drives wife insane. She kills kids in a fit of insanity and then self. Walks backroads looking for unfaithful men and kills them. Judging by hubby dearest’s angry, sad reaction, that’s about right. Well played, Sam. And now he knows where Constance is buried, which means they can burn the bones..
SPN life lesson #4: Always know where they’re buried.
Sammy gets Dean out of jail by faking a 911 call to clear out the police station; Dean calls Sam from a pay phone (I know, right? But it’s 2005, so I guess maybe.) Dean has Dad’s notebook and a set of coordinates. Sam is confused, enough so that he drives the Impala STRAIGHT THROUGH CONSTANCE.
And now she’s in the car. “Take me home.” Sam won’t take her home, so she locks all the car doors and drives him home Christine-style. She goes through her shpiel about not being able to go home again and starts trying to make out with Sam, who tells her it won’t work and she can’t hurt him because he’s not unfaithful. She whispers, “You will be.” And proceeds to try to tear out his heart. Literally. Good thing Dean shows up and shoots through both car window and ghost, which gives Sam just enough time to grunt “I’m taking you home” and drive the Impala straight into the house.
SPN Life Lesson #5: A near-death experience is no excuse to not have a witty quip at the ready.
Inside the now-busted house, Constance is sad to find a picture of her children, then mad to be interrupted by two troublesome living things,so she tosses down the photo and slams a sideboard into them, pinning them against Baby (that’s the car). Then, flickering lights, flooded staircase, and two truly creepy-ass kids in damp suits. “You’ve come home to us, Mommy,” they say in quiet, bone-chilling stereo. And to Mommy they go, for a delightful reunion. Just kidding! They drag her SCREAMING through the floor, leaving only a puddle in their wake.
Sarah: She was too scared to go home, all this time. Exacting vengeance on unfaithful men while avoiding her own wrongdoing.
The boys look relieved. And not at all sorry for mom. In fact, Dean’s primary concern is the Impala.
SPN Life Lesson #6: Nobody messes with Baby.
And with that, the brothers are off, but where will they go? Dean wants to head out to the coordinates their dad left them. Sam wants to go back to Jess and the interview. Sam wins. The brothers share a brief “maybe we can get together again” moment and they seem altogether ok, which means something VERY VERY BAD is about to happen. In the form of Jess. On the ceiling. Bleeding. And then on fire.
Dawn: Aww. Look, he got a girl just like Mommy!
Dean bursts into the room, because Dean is always, ALWAYS looking out for Sammy. And now it’s 20 years later and we’re on the lawn with firetrucks again and a house is burning in the distance. “We’ve got work to do,” says Sam.
Oh, baby boy. You have no idea.