January 14, 2021 at 4:21 pm #4307journalbookbinderKeymaster
An infamous episode. I don’t think it’s as bad as those who created the show thought it was. Eric Kripke ranks it as one of his least favorite. They had legendary issues with using swarms of real bees in the final scene that stung the cast and didn’t work well on film, so after all that they still had to CGI them in. I think this was the only one where Sam and Dean got to use umbrellas and Kripke thought it looked so bad (not tough enough for the Winchesters) that they had to stand out in the rain for the next 15 years (I even remember them trying to read an unfolded map in the rain on the hood of the Impala and how nuts THAT looked in a future episode; all thanks to Kripke hating the umbrellas here).
This one has several long-returning cast members. The realtor, Carrie Genzel, came back in Just My Imagination many years later. The kid of the family returned as an angel. Carrie Genzel had to withstand REAL baby tarantulas crawling all over her, wearing only underwear and pasties, in her death scene and some of the bit her on the face.
So this one has lots of blood, sweat, and bug bites that went into it. I’ll be curious to see if I think it’s better than the last time I watched it. I also wish they had done more Native American myth stories and this is one of the few. I remember being glad that when Sam and Dean went to speak to an elder in this one, it actually looked like a real reservation.
January 17, 2021 at 3:36 pm #4367kate38Keymaster
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.
January 17, 2021 at 3:40 pm #4368kate38Keymaster
“An infamous episode. They had legendary issues with using swarms of real bees in the final scene that stung the cast and didn’t work well on film, so after all that they still had to CGI them in…
Carrie Genzel had to withstand REAL baby tarantulas crawling all over her, wearing only underwear and pasties, in her death scene and some of the bit her on the face.”
Yup. and OH HE** NO! I remember Tyler Johnston admitting in a convention panel that he really doesn’t like bugs, either. Brave kid. Like I said in my original post, if this guest star gig required that much bug interaction, I think I’d have had to let this paycheck go. LOL!
January 17, 2021 at 4:57 pm #4371PigNaPokeParticipant
I never minded this one. Actually I quite like it. The environmental message, the Native American mythology, the unsettling “adversary” of everything with too many legs!!!
I didn’t even mind the slightly heavy handed father-son parallels they were trying to draw.
I loved the important talk Sam and Dean have about the infamous college fight when Sam left on the way to the university appointment. First time we get to hear some nice things about John – that he was worried about Sam and swung by Stanford to check in on him. But also the first time I got an inkling that Sam and John might be equally pig-headed and that THAT is part of the problem.
SURE Sam could have also called! I agree with kate38 there. However, I don’t think there is ONE party to blame here. ALL three of them had a part in this blow out. John SHOULD have been proud of Sam for his academic accomplishment of getting a full ride! And instead of throwing him out and telling him never to come back, a more adult conversation about the situation would have been nice. Dean was the mediator all his life and that isn’t fair! But I often wondered why it seemed that he did NOT try and step in and mediate that particular fight? Sam should have been less of a petulant teen and reach out once settled in at Stanford. In the end….GUYS….what can you do.
I also love the talk at the end about Sam wanting to find John to apologize. I actually love it the most for Dean’s realism that he knows that harmony between Sam and John wouldn’t last. HA
I also appreciate that they didn’t try to sugar coat the sad and slightly run down state many Native American communities are existing in!
January 28, 2021 at 9:57 am #4490journalbookbinderKeymaster
I’m super late to comment, but I’m commenting anyway!!!!
Yes; my wife did a lot of “why would you reach in there/go in that hole???”
This was a GOOD one! Definitely not one of the worst! I wonder if Kripke was disappointed with the need for some of the fake-y CG bugs? But the STORY is really good.
Best part as was said already is all we learned about Sam and John and just how in tune Dean is to all of the family dynamics. I TOTALLY agree that John and Sam were at each other’s throats because they were ALIKE. I LOVE this uncomfortable dynamic in the Winchester family and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s super-interesting with the tension and the history and Dean’s role; I love it all.
Carrie Genzel said in a recent Discord book club discussion on There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done (where she has a chapter) that it took an ENTIRE DAY in a shower built on the soundstage for the shower scene! And that that is not her favorite thing to do – quite understandably!
Also very glad they used actual Native American actors for the reservation scene. I still love the elder cutting through the bullshit and identifying Dean as a liar.
I did not mind the heavy-handed son/father parallel here.
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