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. Want to speak fluent SPN fangirl? Check out this handy Glossary of Terms.
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: Okay. So, by now we’re all aware that I scare fairly easily, right? Who knows why? Maybe on a
level, it’s because I, like foxy Fox Mulder, WANT TO BELIEVE. Maybe it’s because I read one too many above-my-maturity-level horror stories in grade school. Maybe I’m just drawn that way. Whatever the reason, certain urban legends, especially the ones involving magic and darkness, just freak my shit out worse than anything. And Bloody Mary is the worst of the worst. Whee! Episode 5, I’m terrified already !!
DAWN: So in complete opposition to my darling recap partner, we all know by now that if there’s scary supernatural shit happening, I am likely to run straight for it. This is not new behavior — in fact, middle school slumber parties were where I cut my teeth on this shit, with seances, “trances,” light as a feather stiff as a board, ghost stories, and — yes — tempting bloody terror by chanting in front of a mirror. And well do I remember the nervous chill of fear just before saying it a third time. Here’s hoping this ep brings the shiveries.
Season 1, Episode 5: Bloody Mary
Written by Ron Milbauer and Terry Hughes Burton
Recaplet: Terror and flaaaames! And dad! And portents. And Dead!Jess. And Scary Demonbits! And finding Dead!Jess’ Demon Killer! OOOOOOh!!
Chyron: Toledo, Ohio.
A bunch of girls are playing Truth or Dare by candlelight. They are giggling when the scene opens, which probably means at least one if not all of them are about to be gruesomely dispatched by Bloody Mary (given the episode’s title, anyway).
Deadshirt!Slumber Party Girls function as Basil Exposition, telling us that Mary was killed in a car crash (so NOT Mary Queen of Scots, then) and appears in a mirror before “scratching your eyes out” if you say her name three times. Giggles ensue. One girl asks why anyone would bother saying it. Another points out, “Because it isn’t real.”
SPN Life Lesson #18: It’s ALWAYS real.
Good luck, little Deadshirts. And Crowleyspeed.
Deadshirt!SkepticGirl takes a giant candle into the bathroom, places it in front of the mirror, and says The Words. After the second time, the candle flickers ominously. On the third time, her super-helpful friends bang on the door, scaring her, and us, and annoying her dad, who appears on the landing.
Oh no! Skeptic!Girl ISN’T the Deadshirt! It’s Dad! A faceless girl is seen in the upstairs mirrors as he walks past them, stalking Deadshirt!Dad. But why? Also, why do they have so many mirrors? Dad starts to bleed out of his eyes. Big Sis comes home (past curfew) and jokes with her sister and her sister’s friends before going upstairs to see all the blood ever in existence flooding out of the bathroom door, which is an awful lot of blood for human eyes. She opens the bathroom door to even more blood and screams like this is her Jamie Lee Curtis moment. (To be fair, it is.)
Cut to Nightmare!Sam, asleep-awake on his bed, staring at blue-lit Jess, who is stuck to his ceiling and bleeding again. She says, “Why Sam??” and bursts into flames. Cue Madeline!
Dean wakes Sam up, and it’s kinda like Freaky Friday because Dean says they’re eventually going to need to talk about Sam’s issues and Sam ignores the statement entirely. Anyway, they’re in Toledo. Why? To research the mysterious, bloody death of Deadshirt!Dad, of course!
SARAH: I seriously wonder what Dean will do once newspapers full give way to tablets in about four seasons. Does he digitally circle entries on his iPad? Or is he the sole reason local newspapers are able to stay in business?
Dean and Sam head to the local morgue, where this week’s Alias of the Week is med students from Columbus who cannot convince the morgue attendant to let them near the body. Dean wants to do violence. Sam appeals to the attendant’s greed. $100 bucks, and suddenly access to the body is no problem at all. This displeases Dean because he EARNED THAT MONEY. (By playing poker, but still!)
Deadshirt!Dad has liquified bloody eyes. Cause of death is…”something burst up in there,” resulting in more blood in his brain than the attendant has ever seen. Sam is visibly grossed out. The medical report costs them more money, and they’re off to talk to the traumatized daughter.
They arrive, very underdressed for the funeral that is taking place. New Alias Time! Let’s try Deadshirt!Dad’s coworkers — maybe that won’t cost them as much cash. They talk to Donna and Lily, the sisters from the opener. Lily is convinced it’s ALL HER FAULT because she said Bloody Mary. Dean rather logically points out that it couldn’t have been Mdm Mary because Dad didn’t say it. This seems to make perfect sense to Lily, so good, we guess?
Dean and Sam morph into Basil and Cecil, and though they aren’t stupid enough to say Bloody Mary three times anywhere in the bathroom, they remember that dear old Dad never found evidence that it was a “real thing” — though the circumstances of Deadshirt!Dad’s death seem to be disproving that to some degree. Also, there is still blood on the floor, so somebody better call Sunshine Cleaning.
Enter Protective!Friend (a blonde, of course, which means that one or both of the brothers will be hitting on her before the end of the episode). She wants to know WTF — why the weird questions, why the lying about knowing the father. She demands answers, or she’ll start screaming. Sam’s puppy dog eyes rein her in and he explains that they think something weird happen to Deadshirt!Dad, something they don’t want happen to anyone else. He leaves her with their phone number and an admonition to call if she or her friends “notice anything strange, out of the ordinary.” Other than the two of them, one can’t help but think.
SARAH: She’s skeptical. I like her. She’s like Ohio’s Veronica Mars. Sort of.
DAWN: In that case, given how blondes tend to fare on this show, she might want to consider kickstarting her own funeral fund.
Hunter Homework takes place at the library, where Basil and Cecil briefly discuss the basics of the Bloody Mary legend and also how annoying this research is going to be, what with broken computers and all. College clearly spoiled Sam.
Cut to Protective!Friend, whose name is Charlie. She’s driving while chatting on her cell (not smart) with her pal Deadshirt!Jill. They agree that our boys were cute, which is totally what any girl would be thinking about the weird duo investigating the bathroom at a funeral while lying about knowing the corpse. Also Deadshirt!Jill is kind of an asshole — once she realizes that Charlie is more than a little freaked out by things, she decides the best thing a super helpful friend could do is to say “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror and then scream immediately afterwards. Super funny, Deadshirt!Jill! Think Mary liked the joke?
Apparently not, since as soon as Jerky Jill is off the phone, Bloody Mary appears in all of her mirrors. Ominous music plays, and Deadshirt!Jill’s reflection stops being just a reflection. Instead, it stares Deadshirt!Jill down while Jill gasps for breath. Both girls start bleeding from the eyes. Reflection!Jill says “You did it. You killed that boy.” Then she watches as Deadshirt!Jill gasps, bleeds, and sinks out of sight. Bye, Jill! You kinda deserved that!
Now we’re back in blue light nightmare land with Sam, who is watching flames swallow Dead!Jess but in reverse. He wakes just as she asks “Why, Sam?” Sam still won’t talk to Dean about the content of his nightmares, though he’s pissed that Dean let him snooze. Because no sleep and waking nightmares would be better? And Sam is supposed to be the smart one. Anyway, Hunter Homework isn’t going well. Dean found two suicides in front of a mirror, “and a giant mirror fell on a guy named Dave, but no Mary.” A search for strange deaths has also turned up nothing. Then the phone rings, which always bodes well.
The call was from Charlie, who is distraught that Deadshirt!Jill was found on the bathroom floor sans eyes. She has apparently decided that “cute” trumps “suspicious,” and so she sneaks our boys into Jill’s bedroom. But TPB feel the need to remind us that she is A Good Person by having her state “I hate lying.” Gellert Grindelwald Sam assures her that it’s “for the greater good,” and since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wasn’t out when this episode originally aired, Jill buys it and thinks nothing of turning off all the lights in the bathroom as our boys whip out the night vision camera and fire up the EMF detector.
The brothers can’t figure out how Mary is choosing her victims, but then Sam notices ghostly blood coming from behind one of Jill’s mirrors and pulls it down. When he rips off the backing paper and runs a black light over the back (seriously, is there nothing Baby’s trunk doesn’t hold?), bloody handprints and the name “Gary Bryman” are revealed. Charlie is clueless, because SPN LIfe Lesson #19: Good = Dumb.
Unseen Hunter Homework quickly reveals that Gary was an 8 year old boy who was cut down in a hit-and-run two years earlier. A shocked Charlie realizes that the description of the car matches Jill’s car, and now we all have to rush to Donna’s house to traumatize her by intimating that Deadshirt!Dad might in fact have murdered his wife. That’s sure to go well! Oh, boys.
Deadshirt!Dad’s mirror reveals the name “Linda Shoemaker,” Donna and Lily’s mom, who “accidentally” overdosed on sleeping pills. That’s the story at the Shoemaker house and goddamnit, they are sticking to it, so Donna, quite understandably, chucks the boys out on their denim-clad asses. Charlie sticks around to keep an eye on her distraught friend and promises “not to say it.”
DAWN: I think that Veronica Mars would be really disappointed in Charlie because my Crowley, this chick is as about as smart as a box full of hammers..
To the Research Motel! Our fourth go-round of Hunter Homework includes Dean doing a nationwide search for anyone named Mary who died in front of a mirror. He’s seriously serious now, you guys. Our boys sense a pattern — Mary sees secrets in the mirror and if your secret includes killing someone, she balances the karmic checkbook for you. And now she has a name — Mary Worthington, the victim of an unsolved murder in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
SARAH: Indiana. Man, those midwestern states have some freaky shit happening.
DAWN: I can’t decide if that means they’d be my perfect vacation destination or if I should stay the fuck out.
So we’re off to scenic Fort Wayne and our third Alias of the Week: reporters. Cop-bothering reporters, which according to Dawn’s Dad are all reporters, but this time, it pays off. One of the cops who had been on the now-cold case was always bothered by the lack of resolution for the pretty 19 year old who had her eyes cut out with a knife. Gee, can’t imagine why that would bother him. Mary managed to trace out the letters “T R E” in her own blood before expiring, which said cop believes to mean Trevor Sampson, the man Mary was having an affair with and whose wife she was about to tell all about it, until she was conveniently and violently corpsified. But bad news — the mirror upon which she wrote the letters was “returned to Mary’s family a long time ago.” Wonder where it ended up….
Back in Toledo, Donna and Charlie are fighting in the girls’ bathroom. Donna’s pissed because Charlie let the Winchesters ask some really invasive questions, so she says “Bloody Mary” three times in the mirror and scoffs at her friend. Charlie’s terrified, and with good reason — as she passes by windows on her way to class, it’s clear Mary is keeping watch. And she’s NOT happy. Nor is Charlie, who sees Mary in every reflective surface and screams and screams and screams. And smashes a window and screams. Girl, we feel you.
Hey guess what Sam finds out? The Mary Mirror was sold to an antique store. In Toledo. A week prior to all the events. Could it be that Mary’s spirit is trapped in the Mary!Mirror and that somehow she’s moving from mirror to mirror? YES, YES, WE BELIEVE IT COULD. Cue call from Charlie, who is now completely off her head. They have her meet them at the hotel, where our helpful boys cover every reflective surface as they try to get Charlie to lift her (probably hyperventilating) head from her knees and tell them her secret. Turns out she had a boyfriend she loved, but he scared her. They got in a fight and she broke up with him. He threatened to kill himself. She said “Go ahead” and left. He did, and she blames herself for not believing him. Not murder, but probably good enough for Mary. Also guess who else is harboring guilt about having caused someone’s (flaming) death? Dean knows! And therefore he is not at all pleased when Sam decides to be Mary bait. In fact, Dean is having none of it, because Dean is the walking incarnation of SPN Life Lesson #1.
Protective!Dean is Protective: Now listen to me—It wasn’t your fault. If you wanna blame something, then blame the thing that killed her.
Determined!Sam counters with Determination: That girl back there is going to die unless we do something about it. And you know what? Who knows how many more people are gonna die after that? Now we’re doing this. You’ve got to let me do this.
Time to break into the antique store, which should really be called “Vintage Mirrors R Us.” So distracted are our boys by the plethora of shiny reflective surfaces that they miss having tripped a silent alarm. But it’s ok, because Sam finds the mirror and says the words. What’s not ok is that the cops arrive before Mary does. Sam picks up a crowbar to deal with Mary; Dean heads outside to deal with the cops by trying out the fourth Alias of the Week — Son of Antique Dealer. Japanese antique dealer. Oopsie. Think fast, Dean.
Oh, look, Mary’s arrived. Hey, girl, what’s up? Sam’s guilt, that’s what! Mary immediately starts taking Sam to task for never telling Jess about his premonitions — which is what his dreams actually were — and damn, does she take her time with it, just draaaaagggggging poor Sammy across the coals of his guilt and pain. This makes Dean’s Sammy Sense tingle and now he really doesn’t have time for this shit, so it’s punch one and backhand two and punch three, and now the cops are on the ground. Dean races back into the store to smash Mary’s mirror, thus taking on his natural role as Protector of the Sammy. He makes sure his brother is all right — there is some blood leaking from Sam’s eyes — and begins to lead him carefully out of the store. Whew.
Oh. Except there are still five minutes left in the ep. Shit.
Oh, holy fuck, here comes Dead!Mary, crawling out of the mirror frame a-la The Ring, all jerky and weird and crawling ON the broken glass, which is enough to give even Dawn the screaming heebie-jeebies something fierce. Now, both Sam and Dean are bleeding. Why the fuck are Dean’s eyes bleeding? No matter, because Dean has read his Greek myths and forces Mary to see her own reflection, which screams, “You killed them! All those people! You killed them!” She melts rather terrifically into a puddle of ghost blood and glass, and Dean drops the mirror. It’s done. Finally.
They drop Charlie off at home. Sam tells her to forgive herself for her boyfriend’s death, reasoning that she couldn’t have stopped him. “Sometimes bad things just happen.” Dean thinks Sam should take his own advice.
Time to fire up Baby and ease on down the road. Dean wants to know Sam’s secret, but Sam can’t do it. Possibly because he’s stubborn, but more likely because he has now progressed from precognitive nightmares to ominous hallucinations — Dead!Jess is standing on the fucking corner as they drive by, watching Sam go and not looking at all pleased about it.
Well, holy fuckballs. Four Aliases. Four rounds of Hunter Homework. One Daytime Dead!Jess tooling around the neighborhood. And it’s only episode five.
Next week, it’s Dean’s turn in the barrel, and not in a fun, vaguely pornographic way. But hopefully with less bleeding from the fucking eyeballs. Meantime, please post pictures of puppies and kittens and sea otters in the comments. Nice ones. Cute ones. LIVE, HEALTHY, HAPPY ONES. WITH INTACT EYES.