I ALWAYS LOVED this one!!!
So many great parts – from SUUUPER creepy vibe in the catacombs, great set/staging of the scenes in the walls. Really well filmed and directed. You can FEEL the claustrophobia when Jo crawls around in the walls and then is locked in that iron wall coffin.
To me this was an awesome use of specific body parts of the “monster”, like nasty fingers and terrifying eyes, to scare the audience instead of seeing the full figure of the ghost.
Love the use of a historic serial killer and how they built the case around that. It lent itself perfectly, but it’s still not easy to write a compelling mystery around it and make the discovery of the villain believable. And like JBB said, this is were we find out about one of Sam’s passions, which is precious because there aren’t that many compared to Dean.
I agree with JBB on all the points about Jo! I always really enjoyed her character. I find her believable as a young woman having grown up in a TOUGH environment and having been taught from childhood how to protect herself. I don’t think she was ever “coddled”. Ellen is tough, dad was a hunter, they run a road house for a pretty rough and dangerous crowd…..she’s no princess on a pea. I can completely relate to her wanting to prove herself as a hunter. NOT TO anyone, really, but I think she’s trying to prove to HERSELF that she can do the job, even as a woman. And the argument between her and Dean about that is GREAT and very on point. I LOVE that Dean shows he’s totally into gender equality here.
I also love the idea that although Sam and Dean have their doubts Jo is up to the job, due to lack of experience, they are impressed with her research and at least give her a chance! No chauvinistic tendencies here.
I also never minded that there is definite sexual tension between Jo and Dean, but I very much respect and admire that the writers never took it all the way with them. There is a lot of potential, but I love that Dean never pushes too hard and that Jo is in control to keep him at arm’s length. All that makes the ONE kiss they share when she dies SOOOO much more heartbreaking. That “what if” moment always totally gets me. It wouldn’t have been this powerful without the long simmer of “maybe” before.
I appreciate even more that the writers didn’t make it all about superficial sexual tension, but that Dean and Jo are bonding over their shared desire to live up to their dads skill and reputation. That was a good basis for a deeper understanding between them. Funny enough Jo could have also easily bonded with SAM over the urge to rebel against a parent and prove your worth to them, she definitely paralleled aspects of both Winchester brothers in complicated relationships with the parental units. HA.
Ellen being “Cold as Ice” about the whole thing is also great! Their mother daughter dynamic – although complicated and somewhat painful – is very real to me and I love that BOTH are portrayed as competent and self-assured and smart, if pretty incapable to show their love easily.
Ellen is such great character to me as well and a solid counter balance to the “Let’s go and kick it in the ass” attitude of the young hunters. I would have loved to see more Sam and Ellen scenes over the years. They seemed to share a good deal of cautious, researcher approach and I would have loved to see them work a case together at some point.
It’s a great shame that Ellen, Jo and Ash weren’t used a little more prominently between Season 2 and 5!!! There was a lot more potential for all of them.
Ellen could have easily become even more of a mother/older sister figure to them and that could have been interesting. I guess, though, that having Bobby as the “replacement” father figure filled that plot point, so having Ellen on top of that would have been conflicting? And later Jody started to fill in for the older sister/mother vibe a little.
Anyhow, I’m rambling.
I LOVED this episode – always – and for me it’s a solid 8