Let’s all talk about Bad Day at Black Rock (S3 E3)

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    • journalbookbinder
        November 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm #11066

        I recently listened to an interview with SPN Executive Producer and sometimes-director Bob Singer. It was on “The Extras” podcast – part 1 of a 2-part interview. Anyway, when asked what his favorite episode to direct was, he referenced this one. Though he could not remember the name of the episode. I guess after 15 years of episodes I can forgive him. But he liked this one and said it was one of the first times they really tried to find out how much comedy Jared and Jensen could handle. Turns out, a lot!

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      • journalbookbinder
          November 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm #11069

          In this rewatch, I was really looking forward to The Kids are Alright. BUT…I have to say, I might have enjoyed this one more.

          What made it for me was how AMAZING all of the extra characters were! The guys who stole the cursed rabbit foot…they had NAMES, and PERSONALITIES! Then the religious-nut hunter and his partner and a little bit of Gordon…THOSE two were very fully-formed characters for one episode!

          I do love at the end how Gordon is eager to hear how everything went and then you see that moment where HE figures out that this hunter is nuts when he says he’s doing God’s work and Gordon kind of says, “Okaaaay….” and you know that he’s not going to have much more to do with him. Good job by that actor of playing a hunter kind of on the edge of religious rapture; especially at the end when he tells Gordon he was right about everything.

          The death by meat fork might be one of my favorite SPN deaths! Right through the neck! It seems like show had a lot more gore early on and I like it.

          I also liked how all of the characters were funny here. This one was Sera Gamble writing, wasn’t it? The thieves where hilarious. Then the other hunter’s “Don’t touch my Jesus”.

          There was just SO MUCH to this one. And Jensen especially is AMAZING at comedy. I think Jared was decent here, and he got better, but he seemed out of character for Sam sometimes. Kinda whiny, like he didn’t know how to express things in a funny way sometimes. But I still quite enjoyed the way he came off as very weary and put-upon after he lost the foot and was tied up in the hotel room. How the hell did Dean get back there so fast, by the way?

          I love Dean’s attitude here! He was EXCITED when Sam’s luck was going well! Then he grabbed the foot without a second though and really enjoyed being all-powerful. Maybe because he’s a condemned man anyway? “I’m Batman!” The joy on his face as everything went his way was SO great and I just could not take my eyes off Jensen in this one. Loved the casual leaning out of the way of punches or bullets.

          Comedy timing was really good. Loved the camera angle (kudos director Bob Singer) where Dean is in the foreground and Sam just drops out of view in the background when he gets wrapped up in the cord and falls over when they track down the thieves.

          Loved the reveal of more of John’s secrets…and the reveal that Bobby knew all about it. Love that John’s booby trap did injure the thieves.

          Loved the editing. You go from Bobby (I think) saying that he just hopes that whoever has the box doesn’t open it to the thieves saying, “We need to open the box.”

          I love all the human-nature-greed…Bela’s…then the thieves figuring they could sell whatever’s in the box for more than what they were being paid to steal it.

          And Bela. I never understood fan dislike of her. I LOVE HER! I love that she talks down to Dean as you would usually hear a man talk to a woman. Calling him “sweetheart”. She is a great match for him and he knows it (skill and cunning-wise). I always laugh when I see her handling the rabbit’s foot with kitchen tongs! I love that she has confidence. “Not a thief. A GREAT thief.” Love that Dean gets the best of her in the end by throwing the foot to her and she automatically catches it…the SHE gets the best of HIM by stealing their $45,000 worth of lottery winnings! Was that Dean’s first classic “sonofabitch!!” freak out?

          I also like that she shot Sam. Like a man would. I think Dean didn’t expect that from a woman and she just did it. Also love that she kind of waved off his “girly” panic at Sam getting shot…she informs him it’s only in the shoulder because she CAN aim!

          At the start of this one, we see Dean questioning Sam about Ruby. Dean is always right. He doesn’t believe it for a second (even if he wants to).

          There was just SO MUCH in this episode! Biggerson’s! Sam losing his shoe. Batman. Great side characters. Bobby. Bela. It had so many elements yet it was so cohesive for me! Unlike later episodes with a cast of thousands…this was TIGHT even with so many characters. And funny.

          Ultimately, Bela’s end is tragic but here, it’s all 007-style outwit-each-other-fun. I loved it. They really didn’t need the comedy music to tell us when things onscreen were funny. Jensen was masterful at it.

          Loved Dean’s funny side comment to Sam at the diner when Bela steals the foot; if there were EVER a time Sam was going to get lucky with a woman!

          I did appreciate that Sam kind of looked at Dean like he was crazy. Sam was much more aware of the downside and he just couldn’t enjoy the good parts of it.

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          • kate38
              November 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm #11115

              “I also liked how all of the characters were funny here. This one was Sera Gamble writing, wasn’t it? The thieves where hilarious. Then the other hunter’s “Don’t touch my Jesus”.”

              Hiya, JBB 🙂
              Actually, Ben Edlund wrote this one, but I agree with everything else you said here. I really liked the side characters — especially Grossman and his partner. And the “Don’t touch my Jesus” line still gives me a chuckle 🙂


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          • kate38
              November 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm #11114

              I hate Bela Talbot with the heat of 100 suns, but I give the writers credit for her introduction, which was very well done. I also credit the writers and Lauren Cohan for creating a character I had so much fun hating.

              I liked how they reintroduced Gordon as a threat to Sam.

              I love that Dean was forward-thinking enough to keep John’s cell phones charged and in the car. I also love that Dean made his own sawed-off shotgun when he was a kid, and that John kept Sam’s soccer trophy. That scene also demonstrates, again, how different the brothers’’ lives were. Sam was winning soccer tournaments while Dean was making weapons and hunting.

              I like the way Ben Edlund, who wrote this episode, made John a part of the story without bringing John back. The “lead” for this case sort of came from John via his old cell phone. The booby-trapped storage room is vintage John Winchester. And without saying a word aloud, the audience appreciates that John kept mementos from his sons’ childhoods. I think that was artfully done, and one of the many reasons why Ben Edlund is my favorite writer on Supernatural.

              This episode was a lot of fun! The funniest sequence might be when Sam is alone in a motel room, and the air conditioner suddenly starts smoking and erupts into flames. Sam’s “But, I didn’t even do anything!” expression makes me chuckle.

              I hate Bela for stealing the lottery tickets. SHE didn’t need the money, but the brothers clearly did. Did I forget to mention that I hate Bela?


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          Let’s all talk about Bad Day at Black Rock (S3 E3)

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