August 11, 2021 at 3:23 pm #9124journalbookbinderKeymaster
Mandroids! Love Sam and Dean interacting with someone well-meaning, but slightly on the fringes. I was sad over what happened to Ronald in the end. This also has one of THE BEST ENDINGS ever. The misdirect…the music…Sam and Dean’s real nerves/fear (one of the first times) over being “hunted” themselves by law enforcement. Can’t wait to watch this one!
August 14, 2021 at 6:43 pm #9147PigNaPokeParticipant
AH, yes….Hendricksen and the FBI. Unpopular opinion but I never liked the involvement of the FBI as a story line. Its too big, too official. Too “real”. To me that’s something that would never really go away. So why go there? The Winchesters have enough on their plate without having to worry about Federal surveillance on them. Also, from a story perspective it didn’t add anything for me that they now had to fly extra carefully under the radar. They are operating on back roads and in the shadows as is.
Was this supposed to give us another “outside perspective” on the Winchesters? That they could be seen as militant redneck survivalists? How is that helpful or interesting when we already know the truth of what they are doing and how they are helping people? It’s just not working for me.
The episode itself is just so so for me. Ronald’s the best thing in it and the whole “who is it” thing drags on a little too long for me. Plus ,we never find out what the shifter is actually there for? So what’s the whole point?
FUNNY flirting by Dean at the beginning. And what’s with Sam’s slimy hair!?
LOVE RONALD! Poor guy. So observant, but X-Files misguided. He’s a great character and the actor superb at bringing him to life. The whole scene with Sam, Dean and Ronald at the beginning is wonderful. Dean is really impressed with Ronald’s “investigation” and I believe he’s fully prepared to tell Ron the truth and then Sam shuts is down HARD. SO FUNNY. Ronald is kinda like Frank Deveraux 1.0 HAHA! And SUCH great wordless acting by Jensen again.
Sad to think, though, that Ronald would most likely still be alive by the end if Sam HAD told him the truth from the start. Maybe he could have been helpful. I get Sam wanted to protect Ron, but in the end NOT telling him the truth forced Ron into ill-advised action and got him killed.
A few positive things:
– AWESOME beer bottle room divider in the crap motel!!
– I say “Okie Dokie”….would Dean like ME, too?
– One of my favorite episode endings ever!!!
September 1, 2021 at 4:15 pm #9503kate38Keymaster
“AH, yes….Hendricksen and the FBI. Unpopular opinion but I never liked the involvement of the FBI as a story line. Its too big, too official. Too “real”. To me that’s something that would never really go away. So why go there? The Winchesters have enough on their plate without having to worry about Federal surveillance on them. Also, from a story perspective it didn’t add anything for me that they now had to fly extra carefully under the radar. They are operating on back roads and in the shadows as is.”
I think the writers did this because it was the elephant in the room. These guys commit SO many crimes that if the cops never came after them, fans would’ve wondered why. It did feel like they’d put the “Dean is a murderer” thing to bed after the shifter died in “Skin”, but then the writers resurrected that with “Usual Suspects”, so they sorta had to see it through.
I kinda like the involvement of law enforcement. I like Victor Henricksen, so there’s that. I also like that the rug keeps getting pulled from under the brothers’ feet, but they still keep moving forward. By season 3, not only are they trying to save Dean from hell and solve cases along the way, but the law is still after them in a big way. I appreciate the tension that story line adds.
August 16, 2021 at 1:33 pm #9158journalbookbinderKeymaster
LOVE THIS ONE!
My spouse, who is watching most of these for the first time along with me, said this was their favorite so far.
This is one of those where it felt like the episode was 90 minutes long instead of 60 but I LIKED IT! There is a lot of tension and creeping around, but at very few points did I think it went on too long.
The whole bank thing was great. My favorite part of this episode is the terrifying/sinking feeling we get – right along with Dean – that has nothing to do with the monster. The monster they can handle. But when Dean sees the TON of police outside (cast of thousands or some good camera work!) and we can see the “oh shit” expression on his face when he releases the heart attack victim. That gets so much worse when Hendricksen tells him everything he knows about him…and John…and Sam…and Jensen’s acting could not be better there; seeing the despair on his face which, of course, we only see (usually) when he’s alone as he puts on a brave face for everyone else.
I love Ronald. So sincere. He only wants to help but doesn’t have a CLUE about how to do it skillfully. I love Sam and Dean trying to “manage” the situation and all the little touches. Like Dean saying Ronald doesn’t like Sam, Ronald then confirming it, then later when Sam and Ronald have to try to work together and Sam, begrudgingly, says, “Hello, Ronald.” Perfect. Sam was only trying to protect him by trying to keep him out of it. Dean was kind of admiring of Ronald and I liked that. He wanted to let him know he was not crazy – wanted to give him credit for the work he did to figure it out – though he didn’t get to say it until after he was dead.
The shell game aspect of the shifter was exciting too. It really is an edge-of-your-seat episode.
I think Hedricksen is very effective. When he walks into that police van and tells the local cop in charge that he can “go get a donut and then go bang your wife for all I care” – Hendricksen is SUCH an ass, but he’s so confident and I think that unnerves Dean – a lot. Some of the same cockiness Dean tries to have. He talks like catching them is a FACT that WILL happen.
Really good final fight scene with Dean and the (female) shifter. Loved that. Loved the “playing dead” fake and Sam reasoning it out (super-fast) that if she was the woman who fainted, that doesn’t help the thing survive…put playing dead DOES help it survive.
And one of the best endings in all of Supernatural history with “Renegade” and some great editing, and finally the reveal of just how the hell they got out of there.
I also loved that they let Ronald be wrong – somewhat right, but wrong conclusion. The “mandroid” thing is the best. It goes on and on for half the episode at least.
PNP: I think Hendricksen, yes, it shows us how it CAN look. Like they are grave robbers and murderers (people always die around them) and crazy people. I DO love knowing that Hendricksen “gets it” spectacularly later on (even though that happens after he realizes the “truth”).
PNP: True; if Sam had told the truth, it probably never would have happened like this. The man who played Ronald did it perfectly. I love how they find such great character actors that hold their own against gorgeous and talented Jared and Jensen…I care about everyone and it makes me focus less on how great Sam and Dean look when I’m involved in the story and all of those single-episode characters are so compelling.
August 26, 2021 at 7:37 pm #9229PigNaPokeParticipant
Funny to me how you LIKE all the things I exactly don’t like about this one.
Yeah, it felt like 90 minutes…to me NOT in a good way. HA
Ok, agree to disagree. And sorry, but I still don’t think it was necessary or compelling to bring the “real crime” aspect into SPN.
September 1, 2021 at 4:04 pm #9502kate38Keymaster
Whenever I rewatch, I always look forward to this episode as a fun ride!
I love Dean schmoozing the flirtatious jewelry store witness in the beginning! LOL! People accuse young Dean of being cocky. I don’t think he’s ever been cocky. He’s confident – and for good reason! I like that he enjoys women and doesn’t have a stick up the chute like Sam does. As much as he’s suffered and sacrificed in his life, I say the guy is entitled to some women and booze 😊
The beer bottle inspired motel room for Milwaukee is adorable.
I like Ronald 😊. He did a nice job of putting the case together (except for the mandroid part) and he had no problem whatsoever believing in shapeshifters. I was genuinely disappointed when he got shot.
I LOVE the scene when Ronald is “not-robbing” the bank and Dean talks him down. Jensen was SO convincing! Well, he always is, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
The case was fun, too. I liked the shell game – “find the freak” .
I enjoyed Victor Henricksen in this one, too! His intro gave us an excellent snapshot of him as a character – smart, resourceful, tenacious, verbally “agile” and creative – so many of the things I admire about Dean. I’ve thought, more than once, that the writers were initially trying to make Victor sort of a parallel to the Winchesters. He had a little smile on his face at the end when he realized they’d escaped – like he respected the brilliance it took to come up with that plan. I think, on some level, Victor did respect the brothers as adversaries. Victor is smart in many of the same ways they are, and they had some challenges trying to stay ahead of him once he was on their trail. Unfortunately, the writers didn’t continue to develop him in that way. In “Jus in Bello” I remember thinking that Victor would make an amazing hunter, which his law enforcement skills and tenacity. As soon as he was aware of demons, he started working the problem “Okay. Tell me how we survive this.” He didn’t need “the talk” to get on board. I know I was supposed to NOT like him, but I couldn’t help liking him anyway. I’ve always respected him as a worthy antagonist to the brothers. And I do wish he’d survived to become a hunter.
LOVE the original music when the SWAT teams and cops are assembling. I have to give another shout out to Jay Gruska and Chris Lennertz for their creativity. Speaking of music, the “Great Escape” at the end is one of my FAVORITE moments from the entire series. BRILLIANT idea! I love it when the writers show us how smart these guys are. And “Renegade” is just the cherry on top 😊
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