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29 January 2009 @ 09:59 pm
Supernatural #4x13 After School Special (episode review)  
My thoughts after watching this episode for the first time...

So I was feeling pretty crappy for most of the day today, but leave it to the boys to make me feel better.  Although, parts of this episode were pretty sad. :( I'll get to that, though.

First, the shallow/squee-worthy stuff...

Like last week, both boys were so gorgeous tonight!  Janitor!Sam! Coach!Dean!  *squeeee*

Okay, moving on...

We open on a girl getting picked on as she enters the cafeteria.  She ignores the bully kids and sits with another girl, who sympathizes with her.  Picked on girl calls this one a "fat pig" or something like that. OUCH.  That was mean.  Way to pick on someone who was just trying to help.  Of course, this girl (again I am really bad with names...) hasn't forgotten that one bit, and once bitch!girl enters the bathroom, she unleashes deadly swirlies on her.  

The way that gunk (which we later learn is ectoplasm) comes out of her ear or nose or whatever reminded me of Asylum somewhat.  So that was my clue we were dealing with something very similar here.

This girl whose name I've forgotten is interviewed by our own Sammy.  She says she attacked the other girl against her will.

Sam suggests to Dean that they stick around the school a bit.  Dean isn't too keen on it, but goes along with it anyway.  I love Sammy the Janitor :D And Coach!Dean...  I already saw part of that scene in the little "sneak peek" online, but it's priceless!! I love how Dean throws the dodge ball at one of the kids, kid nearly gets knocked down and Dean gives him a half-hearted "sorry!" as he passes.  And the other kid telling him their usual gym teacher doesn't like them playing dodgeball because it's dangerous.

Sam pays a visit and Dean tells him "the whistle makes me their God!" Hee hee!! Oh, Coach!Dean, you are made of win!

The kid getting his hand chopped off by the food processor thingy was gross :P They didn't show much of it but still, the idea... :P

I liked how they interspersed the flashback scenes in between the present.  We got a bit of rock and roll! I've heard that song before but I can't think of the name... it sounded like it was Foreigner, though.  Colin did a great job as Young!Sam, and Brock did a very convincing Dean, even down to the accent (heh... he called his teacher "Sugar" and "Sweetheart"...).

But this makes me wonder... Sam and Dean were in high school together? Isn't there 4 years between them? If Sam is a freshman (grade 9), then Dean should have graduated already.  Here, they're only 3 grades apart.  So this begs the question... did Dean get left back for some reason, or was Sam skipped ahead a grade? I like to think it's the latter.

Anyway...  I liked how they showed the different experiences Sam and Dean have with their first days of school.  Dean is all smooth and bravado, while Sam is quiet and brooding.  Totally works.  I loved how Sam defended Barry when Dirk was picking on him. 

Heh... Dirk called Sammy "midget."  I guess this was before Sam's growth spurt took place, right? *g*  On another shallow note, I love his SamHair (complete with bangs) and his SamPlaid!

We could also see the beginnings of those "I want to be a normal kid" feelings that we saw in Sam in the Pilot.  I liked the conversation between him and his teacher after the teacher gave him an A on his paper.  That he should do his own thing.

Sammy got the upper hand on Dirk! Whoooo! Sammy kicks ass! "Dirk the Jerk." Heh.  I really felt for Sam (and even Barry) in those scenes.  I used to get picked on/teased when I was in school. Mainly elementary school.  Not quite to that extent (although I did get a black eye once... long story).  The kids who did it were basically like little psychos.  Not that I want to judge anyone, and who knows... maybe some of them *did* have issues like Dirk did.  But they were relentless, and sadly hardly anyone in my school wanted to discipline them and stop their behavior.  Luckily I went to a different junior high school after graduation so I was able to escape them.

*cough* Anyway...  

When Sam and Dean went to visit Dirk's father, that scene was quite sad. :(  The way things were for Dirk as a kid, pretty much explaining why he behaved that way thanks to his mother having cancer and the kids actually calling HIM names.  You could tell Sam looked like he was starting to feel some remorse for getting the upper hand on him, especially when the dad mentioned the kids calling him "Dirk the Jerk".

Which reminds me... oh, poor Sam almost blaming himself for Barry committing suicide, saying that if they'd stayed at that school a little longer, he maybe could have helped the kid. *hugs Sam*

I liked how they tried to make us think it was Barry's spirit causing the trouble, when it turned out to be Dirk's.  Nice touch when that girl attacked Sam and said "you got tall, Winchester." I'm glad Dean got to her before the spirit could do anymore harm to Sam! *protects him*

The whole way they were looking for the lock of Dirk's hair so they could burn it and be free of the spirit reminded me of Provenance a little... the way Dean burned the doll that had the little girl's hair so her spirit would stop killing people.

LOL... gotta love it when Dirk's spirit was destroyed and the boy it was possessing just collapsed on top of Sam, almost crushing him.  I can't remember Dean's line, though Sam's reaction was great.  Like "yeah terrific, now get this guy off me before he crushes my lungs." LOL

Liked how Sam went back to visit the teacher at the end.  Aw. :)  The way he thanked him for his advice to do his own thing, told him he did go to college... "but I grew up, things change..."  Oh, have to see the double meaning behind that. :(  And then the way the teacher said "As long as you're happy.  Are you happy, Sam?" and the zoom in on Sam's face.  It's pretty obvious what the answer to that question is.  *shudder* And I don't really want to think much of it.

All in all, it was a pretty cool episode.  Love me some flashback episodes.  And I loved Young!Dean being protective of Young!Sam, saying he was going to go after that bully (Dirk).  And then we see in the present Dean being protective again, saying he was going to go after the spirit that attacked Sam (in the body of that girl).

Next week's ep looks really enticing, too.  *g* Looking forward to it!

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
billysgirl5: CK - KANEbillysgirl5 on January 30th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
I just kinda skimmed your review (and I'll come back to it later), because you always have a pretty thorough breakdown of what happened and I needed to be refreshed, but this caught my eye...

But this makes me wonder... Sam and Dean were in high school together? Isn't there 4 years between them? If Sam is a freshman (grade 9), then Dean should have graduated already. Here, they're only 3 grades apart. So this begs the question... did Dean get left back for some reason, or was Sam skipped ahead a grade? I like to think it's the latter.

Where my nephew attends school in Houston, his high school starts with 8th grade. So, it's possible that Sam was in 8th grade and Dean was a Senior.

Anyway, I'll come back later...
billysgirl5: Jay (black)billysgirl5 on January 30th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
A sad, but necessary episode. I think we're getting to Sam's breaking point.

We had a lot of the same thoughts and comments on the episode, but I'm too tired to type them again. If you want, you can see them at my journal here.

Oh, and I LOVE your header!

Edited at 2009-01-30 04:52 am (UTC)
jessm78jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. Poor Sammy. :( *hugs him*

I don't know how I missed your post, but I went over and took a look... we do have pretty much the same thoughts and comments. I really don't have too much to add.

Thanks! :)
jessm78jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
Hmm, that's definitely something to think about. It could very well be the case here.
deej1957: lost my shoedeej1957 on January 30th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
It was Nov, 1996--there was a sign in the hallway touting the class of '97 (I paid extra attention during the second viewing!). That would make Dean a couple mnths shy of 18, while Sam would be 13-1/2.

Sam's a year ahead of where he should be. I think. I was born in January and Nov of my senior year I was almost 18, so Dean is correct.

I was disappointed. I'm glad you liked it, but I was very disappointed in it. Was VERY glad to get more Sam tonight, though.

Edited at 2009-01-30 05:32 am (UTC)
jessm78jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Ah, okay. That would make sense then. I remember seeing the Class of '97 banner too, and I can't imagine that it'd still be hanging there if it was November '97.

Yeah, I could definitely see Sam being a year ahead. I'm remembering Travis' comment about Sam being a "mathlete" in Metamorphosis. *g*

I read your thoughts about the ep in your LJ and commented. Even though I liked it way more than you did, I had some little issues here and there. It didn't bother me too much though, and I think one reason was my frame of mind while I was watching. I was sad and depressed most of the day, so watching *any* SPN made me happy.

And it's always good to see more Sam. :)
winchesterwomanwinchesterwoman on January 30th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
MAMA MIA°!!!!! I DIE FOR WATCH IT!!!!! IT IS NOT UP YET!!!! DAMN!!!! Why, when the episode is so cook, it is took so much in being upload!!!!!

thank you so much! I really relly like that you tell all the show, so in that manner I feel more anxious to see it and catch some of your thoughts!

thanks thanks thanks, you are an angel, because I hate to wait to know what happened, with you I am a lucky girl! :O)

jessm78jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
Awwwww that is so sweet of you to say! It is my pleasure! :)
Caroline: Bitch Jerkdawnintheforest on January 30th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
Good review. Funnily enough, my ONLY negative critique of Brock's teen!Dean was his accent. I can't quite place the accent... maybe Jersey? New York? New England? Point is, it sounded East-coasty and not at all like grown-up!Dean. Besides that one insignificant little detail, I really liked teen!Dean. ; )
jessm78jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
LOL! I'll grant it did sound a bit east-coasty, but definitely not New York or New England (I'm from NY and have family in New England, so I've heard the accent all my life... hee). I'd say it could be a more mid-Atlantic type of accent, like Delaware/Maryland/Virginia? Which funnily enough could fit in well with the episode, since the school itself was in Fairfax, VA. Or maybe I'm just seeing something that isn't there. ;)
Caroline: Bitch Jerkdawnintheforest on February 1st, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Oh ok, yea I come from Chicago and am not an expert on the east coast accents (or is dialect the correct term?). Now that I think about it, you're right that it wasn't "strong enough" to be what I first guessed.

You think maybe Dean put on the accent to fit in better? That'd be an interesting theory. And considering that he was trying so hard to be cool, that might not be so far off the mark. *hhmmmm...*
winchesterwomanwinchesterwoman on January 30th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
You know...
When I read your review, I just imagined this episode, as a great episode, but, now I already watch it, and I am disappointed. What the heck with their imagination? first, that thing of the hair, as you said, like provenance... what, they don´t have more option to discover another thing to do with how to kill the spirits? And, that thing of the ectoplasm, yes, it is ridiculous, at least, for me. Because, they show you it in a manner, that don´t leave you with a curiosity about what is that thing, because they did a close up to that thing. It would be better if they give you the chance to guess what that thing is. And, how the things are a little predictable, like when the guy put the hand of the other in that blender.

what is going on with the imagination!!! and, I don´t get one thing, why show make a episode, about something that you already know, that sam want to be normal? it just a waste of time! or maybe you can do it, but with action, not just with a reflexion... don´t you think? I am crazy? what do you think?

see you :O)
jessm78jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: You know...
Yes, it does seem like they "borrowed" from other episodes. And when I saw the blender I knew what was going to happen next.

I think what they were doing was showing how Sam's feelings started. We have heard about how he wants to be normal from the Pilot and other old episodes. Maybe they wanted to show when he started feeling this way.

I am just glad that there was more of Sam in this episode, it made the Sam Girl Fan in me happy. *smiles*

I was also very depressed/sad that day, so watching the boys do anything made me feel better. :)
scout5678297: idkscout5678297 on January 31st, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Great review!

But this makes me wonder... Sam and Dean were in high school together? Isn't there 4 years between them? If Sam is a freshman (grade 9), then Dean should have graduated already. Here, they're only 3 grades apart. So this begs the question... did Dean get left back for some reason, or was Sam skipped ahead a grade? I like to think it's the latter."

*shrugs* I didn't really think about it until now... Sam could have started school early, like my younger sister did. (She's 5 years younger than me, but only 4 grades behind.)
It would probably be easier on John to have Sam in school that early; he wouldn't have to leave him with anyone while Dean was at school. Show didn't explain, so I'm gonna stick with that.
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam teh awesome (3x14)jessm78 on February 1st, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)

Hmm, that sounds very possible. And I'm sure Sammy's grades were good enough that it wasn't a problem for him, the little Mathlete. Hee ;D