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just enough to make us dangerous
Supernatural Season 8 Motels Part One. 
11th-Apr-2016 10:06 pm
Geeking Out
Motel update! Huge thanks to galwithglasses for her wonderful help. <3


Season 8's accommodation is significant because it is the season that introduced the Men of Letters bunker (episode 8.13, Everybody Hates Hitler). It grounded the boys and gave the show its second longest permanent set (second to Bobby's house). Thankfully there are still lots of awesome motel sets to enjoy. :)

8.01 We Need to Talk about Kevin
Accommodation: Palm Motel
Location: On the way to Centreville, Michigan

The most wonderful thing about this motel (other than that awesome sign) is the palm tree wall paper. Dean has just emerged from purgatory and I am certain this has been designed to create a similar feel - Dean surrounded by foliage. There's also the leaf bedspread and the vine-like room divider to enhance the effect. Clever!

8.01 Montage

Trivia: The blue lamp base is also seen in 6.09 (Clap Hands if You Believe) and later this season in 8.07 (A Little Slice of Kevin). The boat painting above Dean's bed is seen again in 8.07 was also in 5.12 (Swap Meat) and later in 10.19 (The Werther Project).

8.02 What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?
Accommodation: Unnamed motel (Room 126)
Location: Laramie, Wyoming

The boys don't actually stay in this motel. It's worth noting though because it's a very familiar exterior. I swear, if I ever go to Canada I want to visit this location (The City Centre Motor Hotel in Vancouver).

8.02 Montage

Trivia: The exterior has been used in 2.07 (The Usual Suspects) and 3.03 (Bad Day at Black Rock) and in both episodes they used the real name of the motel. In 4.07 (It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester), it was called "Moonlight Motel".

8.03 Heartache
Accommodation 1: Unnamed motel
Location: Ames, Iowa

*Yikes* that bedspread looks like someone vomited a messed up rainbow! This is a rather simple (and dare I say ugly?!) motel room design. I imagine it's quite typical of motels that would be available across the US.

8.03 b montage

Accommodation 2: Bob's Bighorn Lodge
Location: Boulder, Colorado

I do love the rustic style motels. Awesome room divider (but check out those sheep feet coat hooks! That's 1000 shades of wrong! O_o). There's a bighorned sheep above the fire place - it's also featured on the name card. The "Bob" in Bob's Bighorn Lodge may be a shout out to Bob Singer.

8.03 Bighorn Lodge

8.05 Blood Brother
Accommodation 1: Arroyo Motel (Room 118)
Location: Kermit, Texas

"Amelia's Motel" fascinates me. The plaid wallpaper is a standout - specially with those weirdly patterned curtains. I love how Sam's plaid shirt matches the pattern of the wallpaper. Sure that was deliberate! I created a crack(-ish) meta post about this motel room way back in S8 - A Very Serious Examination of How the Visual Evidence Reveals Sam's State of Mind in S8.

I've been itching to know the name of this motel (other than "Amelia's Motel"). It features in 3 of the episodes in S8. I knew it had to have a name because a motel name card is on the dressing table by the bed. I put out the call on Twitter to see if anyone can make it out and the lovely raloria used her high quality screen caps to zoom in on the name on the key ring. YAY!

8.05 Amelia's room montage


Trivia: Arroyo means: a steep-sided gully formed by the action of fast-flowing water in an arid or semi-arid region, found chiefly in the south-western US. I'd love to know the reason behind the name, as it seems to be quite unusual. It might simply be referring to the kind of location the motel is in (wished I'd worked that out when I did that crack meta - I'm sure I could have fan wanked about it at the time! *g*).

The curtains were used in 7.15 (Repo Man).

Accommodation 2: Paradise Motel
Location: Enid, Oregon

Considering the tension between the boys in this episode, I think the motel is rather aptly named - it was anything but "paradise". The bright colours are intriguing choice also. It was a pretty dark episode, focussing on the lack of trust between the brothers. The cheerfulness of the motel betrayed the underlying darkness.


The interior is not so bright (though green and orange are an interesting design choice).

8.05 Int Montage

Trivia: The motel sign is seen again in episode 10.12 (About a Boy), though the exterior of the motel is different. The orange bulbous lamp base has been seen a couple of times now - eps 4.06 (Yellow Fever), 7.05 (Shut Up, Dr. Phil) and 8.08 (Hunteri Heroici). It's such a stand out - so strange. The painting above Sam's desk was earlier seen in 7.06 (Slash Fiction - in the cafe Levia!Sam and Dean shot up) and is seen later in 8.08. The room divider is seen in 6.08 (All Dogs Go to Heaven). That small teardrop shaped wall "art" is also seen again in 8.08. It's weird to me that quite a few bits of this set were used again so soon (8.08).

8.06 Southern Comfort

Accommodation: Little Dixie Motel
Location: Kearney, Missouri

This is a really interesting room. The colors in the room reflect the division in the north and south US during the Civil War which is a big part of the MotW and the boys' relationship during the episode. There's stars and stripes (red and white - with a blue floor) in one half of the room. The floor is like a NASCAR start and finish flag. It's also reflected in the wonderful motel sign. The big mural behind Dean is of the Daytona 500, a big stock car race. It's a big sport in the south, where the episode is set. Sam and Dean wear the blue and gray for the opposing sides throughout the episode (thanks to galwithglasses for the info on all that!).

Oh and that ceiling? It's called a coffered ceiling (of which I now know because the bar we own has one of those! *g*).

8.06 Moteal collage (new)

8.07 A Little Slice of Kevin
Accommodation: Unnamed motel (Room 21)
Location: Salina, Kansas

This one could be called "the green room". This room has a retro feel - though I get the feeling it's actually "old" rather than the owners trying to be retro. Another clever design. I particularly like the matching bedspread and curtains. And another checked floor.

8.07 Montage 3

Trivia: The bedspread was used in 6.13 (Unforgiven) and the bedspread, curtains and fridge were all used in 3.14 (Long Distance Call) Even the wallpaper was very similar to this flower one we see here. The wall seen outside the window is possibly one of the most re-used pieces of set in motels. The boat painting was seen earlier in 8.01 and 5.12 (Swap Meat), and later in 10.19 (The Werther Project).

For all the other uses see Prop and set re-uses.

11th-Apr-2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
Oh gross! I never noticed the sheep feet before! Yuck! I'm so glad nowhere I stayed on my little trip to the US had anything like this...LOL!

And yup, we'd all have to stay in the Vancouver City so we could run around the car park shouting ASTRONAUT!

Oh I nearly forgot - I wonder if the striped lighting in the civil war one is deliberate too. Not only a cage motif but hinting at the US flag?

Edited at 2016-04-11 03:01 pm (UTC)
12th-Apr-2016 03:38 am (UTC)
Aren't those feet gross?! And I have to give full credit to galwithglasses and spotting those. :)

I wonder if the striped lighting in the civil war one is deliberate too. Not only a cage motif but hinting at the US flag?

I would say absolutely. The whole episode is full of imagery (lighting and set) to the civil war and the US flag. :)
11th-Apr-2016 03:14 pm (UTC)
I love these posts so much, especially all the trivia about set pieces etc - you're so observant!!! *dashes off to part 2*
12th-Apr-2016 03:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! I do get a kick out of seeing stuff used again and looking for the ways they play with the theme of the episode in their sets. :))
11th-Apr-2016 04:21 pm (UTC)
I was happily unaware of the sheep feet before this. O.o

I want to add to the trivia since you've collecting it here. :) The boat painting above Dean's bed in 8x01 and again in 8x07 was also in 5x12 (seen toward the end of the ep, esp. after Sam's back to himself), and both 8x01 boat paintings are in the house in 10x19.
12th-Apr-2016 03:41 am (UTC)
I was happily unaware of the sheep feet before this. O.o

I know! I'm sorry about that...(though I can blame galwithglasses because she spotted them ages ago and mentioned them to me when she beta'd the post. :)

And thanks for the added trivia! I will add some updates. :)

Edited at 2016-04-12 03:41 am (UTC)
11th-Apr-2016 04:50 pm (UTC)
I love your motel posts, always so detailed and informative and fun. I don't think I'd have the patience to compile even one of these.

'Arroyo' sounds Spanish to me, so maybe that's where the word comes from?
13th-Apr-2016 09:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! Hee, I sometimes wonder where I get the patience from too. I do enjoy investigating them and I love the work they put into their sets.

Hmmm, it could be Spanish. It's such an unusual name for one of their motels - I'd love to know why they chose it.
14th-Apr-2016 06:57 am (UTC)
Love these posts and feel bad ive read and absorbed but not commented in past. Sorry.
Sheephoof!coathangers! Now why dont amazon sell them i wonder? So gross yet great to see the attention to detail from the set dressers. Now theres a great job... trawling shops for nicknacks for show. In my dreams.
I totally think you are right about purgatory with the leaves and dim greeness ...dean must have hated that room although then again he kinda felt at peace at last there didn't he.
And the paradise... so bright and colourful. Offstting the dark of the ep.
You do a fab job with these. Thanks so much ash.
Boggie xxx
14th-Apr-2016 10:31 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm so glad you enjoy them. I enjoy putting them together - finding all the geeky things. :))
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