I DO NOT like spiders and bugs in general, so this one had my skin crawling more than once. Nope – not going down into that hole. Nope – not gonna pick up the giant tarantula. I get that actors get paid more money for doing stuff like that, but I’d have to let that paycheck go.
I think this episode gets treated unfairly by the fandom and by Kripke. There are SEVERAL episodes worse than this one. This had an interesting story, a history lesson, and some important cautionary tales to boot. Plus, the young kid and his father had a better relationship by the end than they’d had at the beginning. When I saw this one the first time, it made me wonder if they were paralleling Sam and John; like, giving us hope that their relationship would get better. I guess in some ways it did. Anyway, I still consider this one a fun ride, but I’m used to being a statistical anomaly in the fandom.
LOVE seeing Jim Byrnes from “Highlander”! Joe Dawson was one of my favorite characters.
Unpopular opinion alert: Sam didn’t do himself any favors in this episode. We didn’t get to see very much of the earlier interactions between Sam and John. But it seems to me that Sam picked fights with John often enough for him to be partly responsible for their fractured relationship. In the brothers’ conversation at the school, Dean tells Sam that even after Sam had stopped speaking to John (and consequently, Dean), they still came by Stanford to check on Sam and make sure he was safe. As much as Dean was always there for Sam when they were kids, Sam didn’t have a problem cutting Dean out of his life for 2 years. Imagine how long the separation and alienation would have persisted if Dean hadn’t made the first move? I was encouraged that by the end of the episode, Sam said he wanted to find John so he could apologize. That gave me hope. But then Dean said that five minutes later the two of them would be arguing again, which ended up being a pretty accurate prediction.
I thought this episode did a nice job of filling in back story that ended up being important later in the season.