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S01.E22: Devil's Trap


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Again, I'm more fond of the one-offs, but this episode is a fine finale for a first season show. They tie up a lot of the stories for the season, but leave a few mysteries out there for the next. And that car crash at the end still manages to surprise me somehow.

 

I love Dean's growing panic over John's capture and Sam's more detached approach are both very nicely played by both Jared and Jensen. I really love the way Jensen plays Dean's growing worry that John might really be dead during the exorcism. This is something that Jensen really excels at, building to a moment. The way he tells Meg he'll march into hell and kill all of them and then looks up at Sam and says, "what are you looking at" is just so pitch perfect--So. Pitch. Perfect.

 

Nice introduction for Bobby. He's basically exposition bunny for the episode, but I think he was always best in this role. And I really like the moment that Meg (the girl, not the demon) tells them thank you for putting her out of her misery--I'd rather be dead than ridden by pure evil too, so it's a great relief to me that they finished it. Did make me wonder what Bobby told the ambulance when it arrived, though.

 

I think the episode drags a bit after they leave Bobby's and especially drags with all the monologuing from Yellow Eyes.  But that's one of the few moments that Jeffery Dean Morgan doesn't lull me into a coma so I think I'm okay with it.

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This might be my favorite episode of the series, followed by In My Time of Dying.  

 

I just love it from beginning to end.  Meg's exorcism scene is awesome, but it's funny to go back and watch it now with their angst over killing the girl since they just stab demons killing the hosts all the time these days.

 

I love everything that happens in the cabin.  I love Sam trusting Dean and going to him when there was a question of John being possessed. I miss Yellow Eyes and JDM was great playing him.

 

And the car crash!  It just comes out of nowhere!  

 

Great, great episode.

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I thought this was one of their best episodes. Each of the actors played their respective roles well. I loved that Sam trusted Dean's judgment about his father being possessed and listened to Dean instead of John begging him to "kill" the demon (and ultimately John himself). That's even reinforced when Sam tells his father that killing the demon doesn't come before everything, and looks at Dean in the back seat as he says it. Great stuff.

 

Loved the kick-ass ending of the crash - absolutely one of the best finales ever. And I give Kripke credit - if the series was renewed and the brothers survived - good triumphs over evil; if the series is not renewed, then evil triumphs over good as it sometimes does in the real world. Win-win!

 

Jensen knocked that exorcism scene out of the park. Actually all of his scenes - at the car and in the cabin with both Sam and demon!John. For those who may not have recognized it before, it really drove home what a talented actor Jensen was - and is even moreso now. :)

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I first saw Supernatural on DVDs- I went into the show blind and that car crash startled the hell out of me. If other shows want to have shocking car crashes they should study how this one was done. It's still jarring.

Azazel - what was his endplan? Kill Dean for sure and possibly John and then disappear with Sam? Keep him captive til he was needed? Azazel was a major idiot for not just knifing Dean when they were alone but in hindsight it is amusing that he thought he'd shock Mr No Self-Esteem with the news that John loved Sam more.

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It's funny about Yellow Eyes and hindsight because when I was watching Yellow Eyes monologue at Dean all I could think of

how Dean tells him that to take a good hard look at him because he's the one that kills him in The Beginning. Of course the show had no clue that Dean was going to tell him that, but it was interesting to think about. The way Yellow Eyes kept going back to taunt Dean and almost ignoring Sam was fascinating in hindsight.

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I first saw Supernatural on DVDs- I went into the show blind and that car crash startled the hell out of me. If other shows want to have shocking car crashes they should study how this one was done. It's still jarring.

Azazel - what was his endplan? Kill Dean for sure and possibly John and then disappear with Sam? Keep him captive til he was needed? Azazel was a major idiot for not just knifing Dean when they were alone but in hindsight it is amusing that he thought he'd shock Mr No Self-Esteem with the news that John loved Sam more.

From the moment they get to the cabin, it has some of the best scenes.  Dean figuring out that John isn't himself because he praises him.  But seriously, how was torturing Dean going to get Sam under his thumb? Also the first time that Dean is able to stop Azazel in his tracks by begging for his father to show that he loved him. 

 

I guess we the audience wasn't suppose to be smart enough to figure out that Dean is Mr. No Self-Esteem and that John loved Sam more?  Guess it's the cat likes to play with his food before he eats his snack.  Had he just killed Dean...well that would have set up a very different ending for season 1.  This way the crash leaves the audience wondering who will die?

 

I think Azazel thought if he hurt Dean enough Sam's powers would get a jump start and then he would finish Dean off anyway.  So much potential for many different arcs, so I do think it was a nice ending to season 1.

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I saw this episode first in real time, not knowing if the show would be renewed or not, so my reaction was pretty much "What!?! No! Wait, it can't end like that!" And then I had to wait all summer for season 2. Well first hoping that there would be a season 2, and then waiting.

 

 Azazel was a major idiot for not just knifing Dean when they were alone but in hindsight it is amusing that he thought he'd shock Mr No Self-Esteem with the news that John loved Sam more.

 

For me it's not as simple as this though, especially in light of what we find out later on. I'm still not convinced that the YED wasn't talking out of his ass, because the more concern for Sam part, that makes sense, but what kind of concern? 

We and Dean learn in the season 2 premier that John knows more than he's telling about Sam, and the question is how long had John known it?

Was the more "attention" he'd been paying to Sam actually concern for Sam? Or concern for what Sam might do or become?

Finding out that John knew something cast an entirely different light on the "showing more concern for Sam" thing.

In my opinion, it was more that John thought Sam was more like him in the revenge department, and as soon as that turned out not to be the case - when Sam didn't shoot him when the YED was in him -

John turned on Sam in a heartbeat and blamed everything, including Dean's impending death - on Sam.

.

 

But even before what we learn in the season 2 premier, the question of the bullet brings this up. Dean thinks that if it were the real John, John would've been angry that Dean "wasted a bullet," but exactly what did Dean "waste a bullet" on? He used it to save Sam. So I'm not sure that the message from that is supposed to be that Dean would've thought all along that his father would care so much more about Sam than him (Dean). It says to me that Dean would think that for John hunting the YED would come before anything - which is what the happenings in the season 2 premier reinforce, in my opinion.

 

I agree with those who say that John wasn't retconned into a crappy father later on - he really was one all along, and this episode just had more evidence. He was reckless - going off after the demon without some sort of protection against demon possession? How stupid. With all of his research, John must've known about some sort of anti-possession charm or mojo. That Dean knew John would've been angry about "wasting a bullet" to save Sam? John's being angry and disappointed with Sam for not shooting him and making it all about Sam's failings (ignoring his own part in getting them into the mess to begin with) rather than being understanding and more concerned at that moment about Dean? Just a crappy father all around.

 

As for not killing Dean outright...

maybe the YED  thought that dangling a dying Dean in front of John rather than a dead one would make him more susceptible to making a deal

and/or more likely to get Sam to snap? Like when Sam had earlier gotten the dresser to move - something it appeared that the YED was aware of when he taunted Sam by saying why didn't he just get the gun to fly into his hand. I think the YED was trying to use Dean as a bargaining chip/ catalyst with Sam, not realizing exactly how much of a stubborn-ass son of a bitch John really was.

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I can't imagine having watched this in first run with that awful final scene, then waiting for months to learn how it turned out.  It was a really great and suspenseful finish to an enjoyable first season, though.  The relationship between the brothers really sells it.

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I can't imagine having watched this in first run with that awful final scene, then waiting for months to learn how it turned out.  It was a really great and suspenseful finish to an enjoyable first season, though.  The relationship between the brothers really sells it.

 

It was torture. Absolute torture.

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This might be my favorite episode of the series, followed by In My Time of Dying.  

 

I love these two as well. Jensen's work is stunning. I particularly love the scene where he admits to Sam that it scares him how far he's willing to go for his family. And then a few minutes later, JDM is soooooo good as the YED.

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On 2/15/2016 at 10:02 AM, sarthaz said:

 

I love these two as well. Jensen's work is stunning. I particularly love the scene where he admits to Sam that it scares him how far he's willing to go for his family. And then a few minutes later, JDM is soooooo good as the YED.

Indeed.  That final act in the cabin is just ETCHED into my brain.  Dean recognizes his father is possessed because he got a COMPLIMENT. And then YED telling Dean that his family doesn't need him like Dean needs his family. And it's true. Sado-masichism writing.  

I do love their friend Bobby in this episode.  He really helps them out and I'm glad Dean was smart enough to go to him.  I also like how Sam was more than willing to let Dean lead on how they handled Meg.  Sam is freaked out but Dean is laser focused.  I think Meg underestimated Dean and I think she came to regret it.  Good.

I felt horrible for the real Meg Masters but was grateful she said "thank you" for being released from the demon and tried to help them with her dying breath.  It would have been nice to know you real Meg Masters.  

Finally, JDM as the YED.  So well done.  He just oozed malevolence.  I would not want a pissed off JDM coming at me.  But even little bits like "what a pain in the ass this has been". It's like you immediately get a sense of the thing.  It makes YED frighteningly relateable versus just cardboard evil.

Finally, that truck crash and the CCR music cue with the black-eyed truck driver.  The first time I watched, I literally screamed.  It still gives me a jump scare no matter HOW many times I see it.  

All in all and OUTSTANDING cliffhanger IMO.   

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Bobby! He looks so young! (There's a sentence I never thought I'd say). That "a storm's coming and you boys, your dad, you are smack in the middle of it" is one of my favorites. And occasionally paraphrased by me in inappropriate situations. I love Meg's entrance, and the first devil's trap. I love Bobby for reminding them that there's an innocent girl being possessed by the demon. I love the moral dilemma of allowing Human Meg to die or keep being possessed. "I will march into hell myself and slaughter each and every one of you evil sons of bitches myself!" I love Dean. I love Dean so much. Great acting by Nicki Aycox in the death scene.

I love Sam's practicality versus Dean's "family is everything" mindset on bringing the Colt. I like Dean pretending to be civilian worried about his nervouse Yorkie. I miss the undercover stuff that didn't involve the FBI. Of course Dean wanted to be a fireman. There's a really lovely quiet Winchester bonding moment with no soundtrack when Sam thanks Dean for saving his life. Somehow that adds something real to it, and I say that as someone who loves the series score. 

"You gotta trust me." *Sam steps behind Dean.* I love it. JDM is my favorite YED. Great speechifying. Part of me want to list it all. "Don't you let it kill me." Great acting by Jensen. And so many parallels to future episodes that I won't spoil here, but am really impressed by. "Not before everything." Great cliffhanger. Great song. Makes me paranoid now every time I hear it.

*Looks through post at the number of "love"s and "great"s.* I need a thesaurus.

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1 hour ago, bettername2come said:

*Looks through post at the number of "love"s and "great"s.* I need a thesaurus.

Hee!

Love: adore, applaud, cherish, enjoy, prize, regard, relish, savor, treasure...nah, "love" works best for me. ;)

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On 2/4/2016 at 12:29 PM, Dobian said:

I can't imagine having watched this in first run with that awful final scene, then waiting for months to learn how it turned out.  It was a really great and suspenseful finish to an enjoyable first season, though.  The relationship between the brothers really sells it.

One of the good things about waiting for 14 seasons to play out, though I did come post before playing the next episode, which I am very excited about given the number of times I have seen it mentioned. 

I knew a crash was coming because of the spoilery description on Netflix and it still scared the hell out of me.

I liked the unspoken interaction between Dean and Sam. Poor Dean, recognizing the demon because his Dad was too nice to him.

I know the demon was too strong for holy water, but why not run past the salt? Do we know if he could have gotten past the salt?

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11 hours ago, The Companion said:

know the demon was too strong for holy water, but why not run past the salt? Do we know if he could have gotten past the salt?

He must have gotten past the salt.  Because the salt was still all around the perimeter and he smoked out of John and out of the building to inform truck driver demon of what to do.  He didn't try to get past the salt before because he didn't want to.  He wanted to stay and get the gun and then torment them. This is what happens when you play with your (still alive) food, kids.

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9 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

I know we've had this conversation before, but I always thought salt was for evil spirits/ghosts, not demons. They don't try salt guns on demons, so why would a salt line/circle help?

Spoiler

Demons are just fancy ghosts.

And 

Spoiler

in I Believe the Children, Julia ate salt to expel the demon. And in Two Minutes to Midnight Bobby did threaten Crowley with a salt gun, and he acted like he didn't particularly want to get shot with it. Obviously it wouldn't kill him, but it doesn't kill ghosts either.  And Jo and Rufus were shoving salt down Sam's mouth when they thought he was possessed.  

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8 minutes ago, Katy M said:
  Reveal spoiler

Demons are just fancy ghosts.

And 

  Reveal spoiler

in I Believe the Children, Julia ate salt to expel the demon. And in Two Minutes to Midnight Bobby did threaten Crowley with a salt gun, and he acted like he didn't particularly want to get shot with it. Obviously it wouldn't kill him, but it doesn't kill ghosts either.  And Jo and Rufus were shoving salt down Sam's mouth when they thought he was possessed.  

Your right about those instances. It makes it make even less sense that they don't use those hula-hoops though. :)  

But I don't know about that first one. I never considered them the same thing.

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