Let’s all talk about Phantom Traveler (S1 E4)

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    • journalbookbinder
        December 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm #3941

        Time for the reason they drive everywhere!

        Dean’s fear of flying – and he never got over it.

        I don’t remember that much about this one, except it was ghosts on a plane.

        Guess it’s time to rewatch then!

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      • kate38
          December 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm #3983

          This was a fun ride — LOL — pun fully intended ๐Ÿ™‚

          First things first — Ooh-la-la! That opening scene when Dean is sleeping is still one of my favorites in the whole series. Those peach-fuzzy legs and cheekbones to die for! And I don’t really like feet, but Dude has the most perfect toes. Okay, back to reality ๐Ÿ™‚

          Speaking of that opening scene — this is a minor thing, but I LOVE that Dean always (at least in the early seasons) takes the lid off of his coffee before he drinks it. It’s smart to SEE what you’re drinking before you drink it. I thought that was a GREAT idea at the time, and started doing that too, all those years ago. I still do it, by the way, and I’m very proud of that ๐Ÿ™‚

          I love how the same visual effects budget that gave us such uninteresting demon smoke also created a FANTASTIC plane crash when that two-seater went down. I guess they decided to blow budget on the good stuff. And it’s also possible that they hadn’t yet conceived a better graphic for the demon smoke we saw later in this season with Meg, and in season 2 when Sam was possessed.

          It would’ve been nice if they’d kept some consistency between season 1 and the later seasons. Like, demons clearly don’t always leave sulfur trace, but it’s still one of the first things the boys look for when working a case. Dean also used an EMF detector to find a demon on a plane, but we never see that used again to locate demons. In fact, the show rarely even alludes to the fact that demons are a type of spirit. Anyway, it always sticks in my craw when someone raves about how “perfect” the first five seasons were. They were good, but not perfect. They were also full of hiccups (in terms of lore and plot) because it took a while for the writers to get their legs under the story. Anyway, I wish the later seasons (at least 6 – 12) got some of the respect they deserve. There was some tight storytelling there.

          Speaking of production stuff, I remember watching the commentary for this one, when they talk about that long camera shot in the airplane hangar. I think Bob Singer directed this one — kudos to him. Now, whenever I watch a long shot like that, I’m impressed, because they talked how difficult it is to set up correctly, but it saves time and money in the end. They do a lot of that in West Wing, which was probably my favorite show before I fell in love with Supernatural.

          This was a good one ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • journalbookbinder
            December 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm #3986

            Out of the first 4 of S1, this is my least favorite. It just didn’t really DO much for me.

            Yes, that slow pan up Dean’s sleeping body is glorious and has been posted a trillion times on Twitter and everywhere else ever since.

            HA! – PigNaPoke – never noticed the taking the lid off the coffee thing! Is it caution? Or waiting for it to cool down?

            I also didn’t like the use of the EMF detector (????) if they knew they were looking for a demon. That’s only for ghosts!

            I was charmed by Sam always talking Dean down. Again; the brother trust is there from the very start. Dean actually gets on the plane because Sam talks him into it in spite of being terrified of flying. Sam keeps his cool – which seems nuts when they aren’t even sure if the exorcism will work and they KNOW they will die in a plane crash if it doesn’t!

            I did like the shocking moment of the demon possessing the pilot talking directly to Sam about Jessica; knowing that the “things”/creatures KNOW stuff about him is really chilling.

            There were some good things about this one; good shots; challenging. But overall it did not grab me.

            The final scene where they realize that John has put a permanent “forward to Dean” on his voicemail is really touching as neither of them know what it means; if he’s dead, doesn’t want to be found, etc. Sam teared up hearing it.

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            • kate38
                December 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm #3987

                “I also didnโ€™t like the use of the EMF detector (????) if they knew they were looking for a demon. Thatโ€™s only for ghosts!”
                Yeah. I attribute that to the writers needing a little more time to get their legs under themselves. When the brothers were in the hangar looking for the cause of the crash, Dean’s EMF meter went off when he approached the emergency door handle. It was only afterward that he noticed the sulfur.

                I’m annoyed by the inconsistency, but I suspect the writers wanted to make it harder to identify demons later in the series. They got rid of “Christo” pretty fast, and dumped the EMF tool, too.

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            • PigNaPoke
                December 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm #4354

                SOOOO late to the party…sorry.

                This was was a little rocky or “holy” storywise BUT I do like it a lot in retrospect because we get several firsts in this episode.

                First demon….albeit looking more like a swarm of flies, but hey, I appreciate that we got to see the “character development” of demon smoke in later episodes. HA.

                First time the guys were in suits. It always makes me laugh because Dean looks SO uncomfortable and I wonder why they made the choice not to have BOTH of them uncomfortable? I highly doubt that Sam had that much more experience with suits being a STUDENT in Stanford.

                First (and last time) of air travel…..I always appreciated (and still do) the setting of much of this episode on a plane!! As a travel professional and frequent traveler I find the idea of being confined in the air with something uncontrollable SUPER scary!!! And I think choosing a demon and therefore something the guys didn’t deal with before heightened the tension even more.
                I also think setting much of the action on a plane set was super ballsy as it is hard to move around in and makes sweeping fights impossible. So that was ambitious for an episode so early in the run of the show.

                I love the scenes between Sam and Dean on the plane!! It is sweet how Sam suddenly becomes the “big brother” all logical and calm and helping Dean keep his head. This was a nice show of a different dynamic between them.

                First time we hear John’s voice since the pilot. And see what it does to the boys – the very (for early seasons) typical raw, emotional response from Sam and a clamping down from Dean.

                OF COURSE we ALL looooove the sleepy Dean shot!!!! YES, kate38, naked Dean feet! HHHMMM. And…other…lovely parts. It’s great.


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            Let’s all talk about Phantom Traveler (S1 E4)

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