July 12, 2021 at 12:38 pm #8795journalbookbinderKeymaster
This is a good one. As I recall. The first look at truly terrifying hellhounds as a concept.
July 16, 2021 at 1:22 pm #8928journalbookbinderKeymaster
Oooo, this one was good!
My favorite part first. Dean’s self-sacrificing, self-destructive tendencies. He is TOTALLY thinking about trading himself for his father (can’t believe he didn’t, actually). The very last scene where Sam flat-out asks him if was going to make a deal and he doesn’t respond is very powerful. At least he couldn’t lie to Sam about it. I was still a bit shocked when the camera cut back to Dean kissing the demon and for a second you’re like, “Hold ON! What did he DO?!” and you find out she’s sealing the deal with Dean to let the doomed man live out a full life; not sealing some kind of demon deal that Dean made. Clever with the devil’s traps – the SECOND one; like she caught the first (and he make that catch-able on purpose so she thought she got around it, only to be trapped under the water tower?) and let down her guard for the second.
And the demon that Dean summons is perfectly awful; going right for the thing she knows will get him – guilt over John and fear for what he’s enduring in hell, as well as confirming what Dean feared; that John went to hell to spare Dean’s life. That was PERFECT for more info. for the viewer on what demons are like. I do like that the demon often shows up in the form of a beautiful woman. Even Robert Johnson’s demon. I liked the flashbacks to Robert Johnson and that era. The music too. Funny moment when Dean’s exasperated at SAM’S lack of knowledge (for once!) of music history!
I also really liked the guy who made the deal who DIDN’T want help; he wanted to take responsibility for his deal and ANY artist can sympathize with that guy! He only wished for talent; not fame or fortune; so he was very talented and also surrounded by his art since no one wanted to buy it (yet – I’m thinking he was one of those guys whose art would sell for millions after his death) and no one recognized his talent in his lifetime. He was great casting and a great side character. Very believable. And he introduced Sam and Dean to goofer dust. More southern/hoodoo/voodoo practices and I really liked that.
Kind of nice that the one deal-making guy who got to live was the one who asked for something for someone other than himself; to save his wife from cancer. Of course Dean accused him of doing THAT for selfish reasons so as to not have to live without her…but when he says that, Dean is still very much in guilt mode over John’s death and in “what is meant to die should die” frame of mind.
I did like that Sam and Dean BOTH hit on the truth about what John did simultaneously and they actually TALKED about it, even though Dean ran off to do something risky anyway and Sam didn’t try all that hard to stop him. Did Sam trust him at that point? He shouldn’t have.
Also a pretty good commentary on be careful what you wish for. The deal ends for everyone in a terrifying way (and the doctor being dragged away by the hellhounds is very close to what will eventually happen to Dean after his deal for Sam’s life later), no matter how good the life was. Better not to mess with things like that!
I have always had a fear of aggressive dogs. So the hellhound has always freaked me out. I like the invisible aspect to someone who is not about to have their contract come due. Now, the gruesome images of the distorted people before dying…where did that come from? I think in a later episode they say that it’s when the veil starts to get thin and you see things like demons…is that the demon torturing the soon-to-be victim by making “regular” people look terrifying? I wonder who on SPN came up with that.
August 27, 2021 at 4:31 pm #9239
“I also really liked the guy who made the deal who DIDN’T want help; he wanted to take responsibility for his deal and ANY artist can sympathize with that guy! He only wished for talent; not fame or fortune; so he was very talented and also surrounded by his art since no one wanted to buy it (yet – I’m thinking he was one of those guys whose art would sell for millions after his death) and no one recognized his talent in his lifetime. He was great casting and a great side character. Very believable. And he introduced Sam and Dean to goofer dust. More southern/hoodoo/voodoo practices and I really liked that.”
I liked him, too!
Side note — it’s interesting that Sera Gamble (who wrote this episode) chose to show us such a variety of different Crossroad demon victims. We saw one guy (the architect) who killed himself rather than being torn apart, one woman who tried to hide in a motel only to get ripped apart anyway, one victim who didn’t want to be saved, and another victim who simply didn’t want his wife to die and didn’t regret the deal he’d made. And then, of course, Robert Johnson, who ran initially, but gave up at the last minute. I liked being shown that variety.
July 18, 2021 at 11:59 am #8946PigNaPokeParticipant
LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!!
I always thought it was a clever AND brave way to introduce such show-important idea of cross roads and demon deals to SPN by going back to one of the oldest U.S. based folkloric cases of it with the Robert Johnson legend!!! It is SO iconic in the South – heck, I’ve BEEN to the cross roads of U.S. 61 and U.S. 49 in Clarksdale, MS where this deal supposed to have happened!! – but at the same time probably not a story a large part of the target audience for the show would be familiar with. So I applaud the showrunners and writers for using it and making the parallels to modern times.
Be careful what you whish for…..yes….but also….imagine the possibilities! HA. Slippery slope for sure and one the guys will take full advantage of later – thinking they can outsmart the deal.
I love the way the story unfolds in this episode and how the first two cases of what was asked for in their respective deals makes us as the audience easily identify with Dean’s assumption for the third case just to find out that guy actually meant to do good with giving up his soul.
I also found the artist’s story especially tragic! They could have easily shown us someone who found joy and fulfillment in art for art’s sake but instead we see a lonely, bitter guy driven until the bitter end to create without reward. So sad!
Lot’s of good cautionary tale aspects in this episode….all of which are ignored by the boys when it’s time for desperate measures.
I also really enjoy Dean’s cleverness in this one doubling up on the devil’s trap and luring the demon into the second one. Not just great acting on Jensen’s part, but masterfully acted by DEAN as well! HA.
I always found it funny that they never came up with a more secure way to protect doors or encircle people than granular or dusty materials like salt or sand that EASILY blow away in the first gust of wind from an open window or snort of a hellhound’s nose! Seriously flawed security system, but fun to watch.
I agree with you, JBB! Sam shouldn’t have trusted Dean there to act in a non self-destructive way. BUT…at least they were talking to each other about their suspicion. It’s a start.
REALLY GREAT episode all around for me. Tense, informative, suspenseful and opening up so many new ways to tell the story going forward. Also glad that this lore stayed the same all the way through the show.
August 27, 2021 at 4:35 pm #9240
“I also really enjoy Dean’s cleverness in this one doubling up on the devil’s trap and luring the demon into the second one. Not just great acting on Jensen’s part, but masterfully acted by DEAN as well! HA.”
Hey, PNP and JBB!
I agree 100% on this point! I love when we get to see how much of a brilliant strategist Dean is! I also loved that Dean knew about the Robert Johnson legend, which further illustrates how diverse his knowledge is.
August 27, 2021 at 3:55 pm #9237
There’s a lot to like about this episode. Crossroad demons become such a critical part of the story going forward. I really like how they established the lore in this episode. I also enjoy the real-life reference to Robert Johnson. I suspect we can thank Kripke for shining some light on his story. Robert Johnson really did die in August of 1938, which is pretty dang creepy. But in this episode, he made the deal in 1930, not 1928. Weird.
It’s interesting that between the teaser and the rest of the episode (and clearly before “No Rest for the Wicked”) the writers decided to show us hell hounds actually tearing the victims apart. Don’t get me wrong – I was FINE not seeing Robert Johnson get torn apart; all we saw was a seizure. But on rewatch I think it’s odd that they chose to change that so abruptly and within the same episode. I wonder if it was a budget thing?
LOL! MySpace 😊. These episodes are SO old 😊
Interesting trivia bit: We actually FOUND the crossroads when we were in Vancouver! It’s in the middle of a large dog park/recreation area, and there’s NOTHING there now. The trees in the distance and the horizon line are the only things that look familiar at all. The exterior of Lloyd’s bar is just a façade that the set design people built. We even looked for some of the yellow Yarrow flowers, or ANY yellow flowers. Those were apparently fake, too. Those set design people are SO talented!
I like George Darrow. That actor was SO convincing!
I like Dean’s development and turnaround in this episode. He went from thinking the people deserved to be damned and not wanting to help them, to understanding that sometimes the deals were selfless, like for Evan Hudson. Although the situation was clearly inserted into the story to show us (again) some of the guilt Dean felt over the deal John made to save him, it was important to show us that Dean still hadn’t recovered from that or finished processing his guilt and anger. To Dean’s credit, he didn’t choose to resurrect John. As much as Dean loved and worshipped John, he never tried to resurrect him at any point in the series. Correct me if I’m wrong, but (with the exception of Jack, which was more of a group decision) the only person Dean ever chose to resurrect was Sam, right? Maybe that’s a compelling and early example of Dean’s character development, too.
It’s fun that the crossroad demons are so cruel and seductive. I like that. That kiss with Dean lasted a pretty long time, but I can’t say I blame her 😊 – LOL!
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