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This is a rare case of an episode I use to look forward watching and enjoyed well and which is NOW totally switched to annoy me in many parts.
First off, hate to say it, but I always did (and nowadays even more so) find it hugely unrealistic that Sam and Dean would be stupid enough to risk going to jail on a flimsy case of “dad owed this guy so we need to make good on it” when they know that they had the FBI on their asses?! WHAT?? Nooo way. There are way too many variables that could have gone wrong that would not have gotten them exactly to that jail Deacon was in. And when it DOES go wrong and Hendricksen shows up….even Dean would have been way more tense all the way during their time in jail about what’s about to happen after. They have more self-preservation instinct than that, and if nothing else, Dean wouldn’t want to risk Sam in that way.
So the entire premise of the episode doesn’t really work for me anymore. Plus you already know that I am not a fan of the FBI involvement anyway….this just plays that up even more and I don’t enjoy how it limits the boys in their movements and possible actions. BUT IF you have to bring that into the show, then make it realistic, which this here is not to me. Anyhow – moving on.
Secondly – lots about the stint in jail seems very gimicky to me nowadays. Like how a CW show for a YA audience would imagine jail: bad food, cigarette trading, ability to talk to other inmates in solitary, huge cell mates, shower jokes, yadayadayada….really? Mildly amusing, yes, but also so far from reality that it’s not really compelling to me.
YES, I do enjoy seeing Dean be versatile and fitting in anywhere because he’s smart and a good judge of people! BUT here it’s so expected because its been pushed so hard on us how “Dean’s the tough one” and the borderline criminal etc. I would have found it way more interesting if SAM was the one who would have fit well into jail – playing up his anger about the whole situation and his worry about becoming a monster etc. I thought that’s a missed opportunity here.
Funny side note: Clif said in an interview I listened to recently that Jensen didn’t like the way the prison uniform looked on him and had it taken in some and tailored to him. And everyone teased him about it. HAHAHA.
Thirdly – the ghost story was odd and inconclusive and somehow even unimportant as the focus for me was much more on “how the heck are they going to get out?”. I liked the LOOK of the scary ghost eyes, though. The rest about the case was pretty forgettable to me.
And LASTLY there are the blatant holes in the story like old and rusty cells with still blood-soaked mattresses being reused or Sam’s ability to move around the jail to burn the mattress or that there is no lock down after there is a fire in a cell or that there is no yard or perimeter fence or security outside the building and MOST OF ALL that the IMPALA IS PARKED RIGHT OUTSIDE?! WHAT?! That is just idiotic. Why not at least make them crawl through a sewer and outside and end up in some swamp and THEN find the Impala, which Deacon might have hidden for them….SOMETHING!
All in all I was surprised at myself how this episode lost appeal to me and I would now only give it about 4 out of 10