As much as this episode was a filler and full of sparkly moments, I think we can extract some thinky... :D
I just need to take a moment to drool over that motel room. Honestly. My squee knows no bounds looking at this room. Re-watching it yesterday we had to pause to take a good look.
A tiki (islander?) themed motel in Kansas. I'm not sure why but that cracks me up.
I adore the lighting. Green on one side, red on the other. Of course all the little touches - like A TIKI THEMED TISSUE BOX COVER - are to die for. Surely that wallpaper is custom made. SO COOL!Other stuff:1. Dean ditched Sam at Plucky Penny's so he could hook up with girls.
We are given some canonical evidence of where and when Sam's fear of clowns began. I'm not sure if this is a deliberate attempt to load some more guilt on Dean or just one of those things. I suspect the former because he apologises to Sam at the end. I also felt that Dean may have been defending himself a little when he was defending Tyler's mother.
I'm sure she was there to represent John more than Dean but it did occur to me at the end that Dean might see himself in her a little bit. (Assuming Dean took on the care taker role as often suggested) He could see somebody who, like himself and John, had other things on their minds. (though I really didn't like her. Making a kid that age take a bus all by themselves.. :(()
Once again we get to see Dean interact with kids. I like this consistency - we see him reach out and help children that seem to have a similar childhood to himself (Kirsty in Adventures in Baby Sitting for example). Though on the flip side we saw him kill Amy in front of her child. I suspect Dean still sees a difference between a "monster" child and a human child.2. Dean was smiling! zebra363
mentioned that she felt Dean was too out of character immediately following 7.13. He seemed to be in a very bad place at the end of that episode, telling Sam he'll "do what he can" to stay alive and here he was much happier. Laughing even. I agree but I wondered if this was Dean making
himself smile, as suggested by Frank in 7.11. Finding the smallest of moments that can bring out that smile. Sam covered in sparkly glitter, a giant slinky and getting Sam to repeat "ball washer" (tehe), all moments that he can enjoy and smile about. He's workin' it.
Either that or it's inconsistent writing. I'd like to think it's not. We can't have episode after episode of Dean being down in the dumps. I mean, we can
but (for me) that would get rather tedious. Same with having every episode where Sam is having to deal with Lu in his head. It's all there, just pushed aside so we can have a "filler" episode where we can sit back and enjoy the ride.
(To clarify - I think Dean's smiles and overall better mood are genuine. I don't think he's "faking it", I just think he's allowing
himself to enjoy the moments when they present themselves rather than keep seeing the glass as half empty. I'd like to think it's because of Frank's advice, that's all.)
I'm not spoiled for the future but I suspect this was a light one before some heavy ones ahead. I like that they mix it up.3. Fear
It's interesting to me that another Dabb and Loflin written episode, Yellow Fever, was based on fear. That one using Dean's fear of hell and this one Sam's fear of clowns.
It mirrored that episode in so many ways (opening chase scene, count down clock etc.) - but, thank god, it wasn't a bad as YF. I hate YF with a passion, mostly because the boys were SO out of character. I felt this one at least had them in character. The plotting was probably a little weak (I really can't get my head around that ending), but it served as a way to bring unicorns and clowns into the story. It wins for that alone.
I think that D&L have a good grasp on the boy's history and I think this episode demonstrated that.
We first heard about Sam's fear of clowns way back in Season 2 (Everybody Loves a Clown) so I love that we got some more on that. It was by no means a deep, psychological look at that fear and but it think it works much better than Yellow Fever. That episode used Dean's fear of hell as a joke. At that time (and probably even now) that fear was no laughing matter whereas Sam's fear of clowns is a little less "serious" and therefore a more appropriate catalyst for an episode like this.
It does amuse me that someone like Sam, who has been through SO MUCH is still afraid of clowns. I suppose it's the leveller. They are, in many ways, super human. But to see a very real fear like this reminds us that they are just humans after all. (though I don't believe that for a second. Anyone as good looking as those two can't be merely human...)4. A shout out to 70's cop shows.
I'm taking a bit of a leap here but Starsky and Hutch springs to mind. (\o/) There were just too many references for it not to be deliberate.
The biggest hint is the 70's feel "action" music when the boys were chasing Cliff. Even the way that scene was shot is reminiscent of S&H. I mean really.... conveniently placed pile of tyres (though empty cardboard boxes would have been better) and the rather obvious stunt actors making the drive and tumble. (It might just have been me but all I could think there was... that's not Jensen!).
There's also the "good cop, bad cop" reference and Sam acting (so very badly) as a "tough" cop when interrogating the staff. I'm sure S&H have tossed aside many a chair when trying to be threatening. I thought maybe he was trying to imitate Horatio from CSI, but the more I think on it I reckon it's meant to be more "cheesy" - 70's style cheesy.
And that hotel room reminded me of the episode Murder on Voodoo Island for some reason.
(Shut up! S&H have to be homaged at some point in this show. It may as well be now! *g*).
I really did enjoy this episode. The multitude of pop culture references alone made it a romp. But to throw in some AWESOME bro moments (SAM GOT DEAN THE SLINKY!!!), some beaten up Sam (shut up! You know me...), a spectacular hotel room and classic one liners you have a very satisfying episode indeed.
ETA: Oh, and did you all notice the clown's wink at the very end?