Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
God helps those that help themselves.
While showing the impala some tlc, the Winchesters know they still aren't any closer to finding Metatron or the Darkness. Rather than go stir crazy at the bunker, they decide to look into a case in Oregon which may be nothing but it beats sitting around. After the boys arrive in town, Dean takes some time to relax at the local bar while Sam does some research at a diner and he surprisingly has a lot more luck than Dean. The next morning the two of them check out the scene but Dean knows that something isn't right and decides to head back later on for another look. It's then that he sees that the scene was staged to look like an animal attack but was clearly a murder. The local deputy pulls in to see what Dean has found, but then attacks him as soon as Dean lets guard down. After a brief scuffle, Dean gets the better of the deputy and severs his head, but the deputy won't die. After Dean tosses his head in a cooler, he sees that he has a missed call from Sam who was jumped by a bunch of the creatures but managed to barely escape with another victim. After Dean picks up Sam they call Castiel who tells them that the monsters are a Nokzar (I completely just made up that spelling), a hybrid between a ghoul and a vampire. A ghoulpire if you will. Since they are already dead, they need to be reminded of this by filling their victims with copper coins and then chopping off their heads. When they pull into a convenience store so Sam can get some change, the victim in the back wakes up only to be a ghoulpire herself, knock out Dean, and take the car. Dean wakes up in the backseat to see that she has reattached the severed head of her master and he has big plans. He's growing an army to fight the darkness and the next person on his list to be a ghoulpire is none other than Sam.
Without question, Baby is the best episode of Supernatural so far this season. Its style harkened back to the early days of the show when Sam and Dean travelled from town to town solving mysteries but almost entirely from the perspective of the impala. Baby showcased how that car has been with the boys before they were hunters and isn't just their ride but a home with memories, jokes and good times. It's saved their lives more times than we can count and has always been there. Though the episode was strong throughout, it was the first half is where Baby had its stride. Shots were tight but it gave us a new window to see through and this was accompanied by Bob Seger's song, "Night Moves". If Supernatural fans have been waiting for an episode to feel like old times, this was it.
While Baby most of the shots from the impala were very well done, it was the action that was far less creative. Though an action scenes inside vehicles are considerably more involved, requiring choreography and planning, the fight scenes inside the imapala during Baby lacked that certain punch to give them the intensity they need. A prime example of an excellent interior car fight scene would be Gareth Evans' Raid 2: Berendal where every shot can only be described as amazing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting a fight scene on that level of intensity but the fights in the imapala were mostly two shots of car through either the front or rear windshield. Had director Thomas J. Wright had more time, I'm sure that they would have been more creative and focused on some of the individual action shots to show off how tough a brawl with a ghoulpire can be. Besides that, the only faults I found with the episode was the joyride scene with the valet and the opening shot that lead to the "48 Hours Earlier" text. The valet scene because there could have just as easily been spare change in the back seat of the impala, which would reiterate how the car has saved their lives without having girls take the car for a spin. The opening scene largely due to how the tone of the story wasn't based around the mystery of the killings but rather the time that Sam and Dean spend in the impala.
Overall, Baby was a great episode from Supernatural and reminds us that the monster of the week formula hasn't run out of gas just yet. On top of everything, the young John Winchester delivered a message to Sam that only he and his brother can stop the darkness. It was a great nod to the past that sets up well for the rest of the season. We'll see all cylinders are firing in next week's episode, Thin Lizzie.