Home Forums Supernatural Fan Wiki Community Let’s all talk about Playthings (S2 E11)

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    • #9123 Reply

      I always thought this was a gorgeously-shot episode. I really liked this one from the first time I saw it. Those shots from the glassed-in pool house are to die for and I remember being sad when I read that Charles Beeson died recently (only a few months ago in April of 2021) because he directed this one and damn, it’s gorgeous.

      I also loved drunk Sam and how Dean took care of him so can’t wait to see that again.

    • #9146 Reply
      PigNaPoke
      Participant

      REALLY classic horror set up. The beautiful but oppressive old house. The super creepy doll collection – or is that just me? Through in some Hoodoo, fog, faded family portraits and desperate hotel owner….Voila. Something HAS to go wrong there.

      NICE special effect on the twisted head guy!!

      GREAT wallpaper in the motel Dean and Sam are in at the beginning. HA.

      Funny how they are assumed to be “Antiquers” and how that seems to be synonymous with gay? I really never saw any canon homoerotic subtext, just really close brothers, BUT I do find it funny how the writers kept up the outside perspective of them to be “other” (maybe too pretty?) which side characters translated into gay. I am also amused how Dean was pretty uncomfortable with the assumption back then but at the same time has no problem leaning into it when it suits him – like gaining access to the private room with the doll collection. Love the line from Sam about Dean being pretty butch and how he must be overcompensating. HA.

      THAT guest room in the mansion hotel with the taxidermy and wedding dress tacked to the wall….lol….I’ve stayed in places like that before and always found it cringeworthy when antique clothes are hanging around. I mean, that practically invites the ghosts to stay, doesn’t it?

      Lots of great camera work in this episode. The shooting from the top on the guy that fell down the stairs and the guy who hung on the fan. And in other places, too. The camera movements are almost like you’re watching through an observer’s eyes.

      Poor Dean having to deal with drunk Sam and his self-worth issues AND everything else. I totally dig that Dean makes fun of Sam the next morning – teasing him – it’s dumb to get drunk on a job no matter what.
      I know it adds atmosphere, but I find it very unlikely that they would have stuck Grandma Rose into the attic after she had a stroke and is in a wheelchair. How unpractical and kinda cruel.

      I do like the reveal that there is an imaginary friend in the picture a lot because it comes so abruptly and totally out of left field. And the way that everything speeds up after that.
      One of the creepiest moments to me is where Tyler is playing with the doll house and the swing starts to move on its own and how that’s mirrored outside. Maggie really had to have a lot of power to make all of those things AND the car work at the same time!

      That’s some STRONG glass at the pool house! Are we to believe that it’s protected by Maggie as well? GORGEOUS old building and pool, though!

      The story is SO SAD. As mean and murderous as Maggie is she’s also so lonely and tragically stuck there thinking her sister wants nothing to do with her. I love that Grandma is the hero in the end. She saves everyone as much as Sam and Dean saved Tyler. I love how the episode ends with the two ghost sisters playing together.

      Although I do think Sam and Dean could have had the idea to look for a doll likeness of Maggie and get rid of her as they came across that in Provenance already.

      Overall strong episode for me!

    • #9157 Reply

      It was just as beautifully-shot as I remember…the low shots of Sam and Dean walking down the hall…the amazing hotel bar…I thought it was extra-touching that all of the empty tables had salt and pepper shakers on them; like they were HOPING for a room full of guests like they had years ago, but Dean was the only one there…and most of all the AMAZING shots inside the glassed-in pool house. Incredible. Superb job, the late director Charles Beeson.

      This one is one of those “everything great about Supernatural” episodes for me. It’s an interesting mystery with a few misdirects (is it the grandma? The creepy dolls? A ghost? A curse?), it’s sad, it’s funny, it’s beautiful, it’s creepy, it’s touching. It has EVERYTHING.

      I loved that Maggie was not revealed to be not read until pretty far in. The hoodoo element was great here because it was treated like part of the nanny’s religion. Not some witchcraft thing AND, furthermore, it was used for protection; not for something bad.

      So much to talk about in this one.

      Sam getting drunk…I found it a bit out of the blue for Sam, BUT, he was all “gung-ho” after Dean told him what John told Dean on his deathbed…he really didn’t deal with it at all when Dean wanted to go off and lay low and process everything for awhile and figure out what is going on with Sam. Sam basically ignored all that so maybe this was THAT coming out; and Sam trying to deal with it by drinking.

      But, reason aside, I love this scene. Sam begging Dean to kill him if he can’t save him; making him promise. Dean HATING IT but saying “yes” to placate drunk-Sam. Dean’s relief at thinking Sam was too drunk to remember that, then the zinger at the end where Sam tells him he remembers everything and “you promised”.

      The family’s story is sad, but also very sweet. Maggie is lonely…and acting out like a child would. The grandmother is completely self-sacrificing in volunteering to not only die, but keep her soul tied to that place to be with Maggie so her daughter and granddaughter could be free to live their lives. Sweet when she didn’t have much quality of life, and her “soul” child self looked happy at the end jumping rope with Maggie. I hope it was a good choice for her.

      I did chuckle at Dean having no problem with “poking grandma with a stick” to see if she’s responsive. Sam’s, “DUDE! You’re not going to poke her with a stick!”

      The mom is very earnest and I like that the “real” daughter was just very matter-of-fact about it all. She liked Maggie, but she also expressed fear when Maggie was trying to persuade her to drown herself. Kind of a nice spooky ghost touch that Maggie wanted the daughter to die in the same way she had.

      Some of my favorite comments on stereotypical bed and breakfasts here (very much like some I went to years ago) – Dean’s comment on the wedding dress as wall decor is priceless. I was even quite amused by the “gay couple antiquing” part. Now, some may be insulted by that stereotype, but I LOVED Dean’s response. He really wanted to know what about HIM made people think he was gay. But, as PNP said to me later; he was still willing to use it to their advantage to get access to the antique doll room. THAT scene is PRICELESS!!!! I will always love it.

      PNP: yes, good backwards-head effect on the first dead guy. There is also something amazing and slightly weird about miniatures (and I love miniatures); but the idea that the dollhouse could predict events was super creepy! What an incredible dollhouse!

      PNP; yes, grandma in the attic had to be purely for the creep factor because HOW IMPRACTICAL! Like you’d want to carry her down three flights of stairs for a doctor visit or what if the house caught fire???

      PNP: I do think Maggie was “keeping everyone out” of the pool house with her strength because no way that old glass (usually single-pane) was that strong!

      I do like the ending. Sweet but creepy with the two ghost children playing in an empty and soon-to-be-demolished house. Or are we meant to think it will not be demolished because the buyer who wanted to do that hanged himself thanks to Maggie? Does that mean Maggie will never let anything happen to the house?

      Very very good one for me. Like Scarecrow, it had everything that I think makes Supernatural great.

    • #9374 Reply
      kate38
      Keymaster

      I liked this one. I LOVED the creepy hotel, spooky dolls, the clear reference to “The Shining” (one of my favorite Stephen King books), and a good old-fashioned ghost story with a cool reveal near the end. I LOVED how they made us think there were two daughters until the reveal. That was fun.

      I LOVE the music in this one. The blues playing in the motel room, the music when Dean and Sam roll into town – nicely done!

      Sorry, Jared fans, but that scene when Sam was drunk was pretty poorly acted, IMO. When he says “Who knows what I might become?”, I just cringe. So plastic. Jensen’s acting saved that scene as much as he could, but it still sticks out to me as one where Jared missed the mark by quite a bit. By the way, Sam – nice job putting even more pressure on Dean, cause that’s exactly what he needed.

      Great dive into the pool by Jared’s stunt guy! The action in that whole scene captured just the right amount of tension. In fact, the pace of this entire episode was spot on.

      kate

    • #9456 Reply

      I kind of liked drunk Sam. Because people over-act when they are drunk…overly-emotional, etc. For me, it only worked BECAUSE he was so drunk.

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