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S02.E19: Folsom Prison Blues

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Sam and Dean engineer their own arrest in order to hunt in a haunted prison.

 

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Another little gem of an episode. Some lighthearted fun set to the tune of a ghost story--got to love it! I have to admit that when I first read the description for this episode before watching it, I was pretty sure I was going to hate it. Many shows have tried to pull off a sneak-your-leads-into-a-prison-for-a-case-and-get-them-out-again plot, but I think this might be the one time that it reasonably worked for me. Usually the hard part is getting them in the prison in a reasonable fashion--Supernatural doesn't have any problems, Sam and Dean are already criminals in the eyes of the law. And getting them out makes about as much sense as how they've evaded the law on numerous other occasions. So, way to take an eye-rolling premise and turn it into something I love, show!

 

Anyway, I love that Dean once again fits in everywhere and Sam of course still doesn't quite fit anywhere. It's such a great way to use the characters' different points of view. I love Dean's entire attitude throughout the episode. It doesn't seem to matter if he's in prison or not, he thinks he's free either way. There's a lot of nice brotherly banter (instead of bicker) and I never tire of the whole running gag of "pretty sure" they had going the first few seasons. I also love how they were smart and proactive throughout the entire episode. They found ways to do whatever they needed and I loved that they didn't yammer on about these plans or over-explain them to me, they did just did them and took me along for the ride. See show, your audience isn't as dumb as you like to think they are, they can follow simple plotting without being told it in maudlin detail.

 

This is another episode that has a great guest cast--the prisoners, the public defender woman, Hendrickson and even Deacon--they were all great.  Even though we didn't actually see them dig up a corpse and salt and burn it, I still support the implication that they did it. And, to complete the package, they added a great musical interlude at the end with some very fine shots of Baby to boot!  Really nothing to complain about with this one.

 

 

ETA: Forgot to mention one of my favorite stories, once told around the convention campfires, about all the "prisoners" singing to Jensen on his birthday came from this episode. ;)

Edited by DittyDotDot
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Agreed, @DittyDotDot did a great job.

 

The only things I can add are that, not fitting aside, I was glad that Sam did at least make a sort of friend in the prison - and I love Jeff Kober in almost everything I've seen him in, starting with China Beach - and that Sam's "friend" turned out to be important for solving the case. I, too, liked the subtleties without them having to entirely discuss/expound on everything that was going on, and yet you knew more had happened in the background than what you saw. Like Sam "bringing" Dean to Randall, so you know that Sam had built up at least enough rapport with Randall to do that. So Sam was also busy while Dean was gathering info in solitary and apparently winning cigarettes in poker games (I wonder if he was cheating - heh).

 

And I definitely liked the public defender woman. Heh. She got Hendricksen back and was crucial to Sam and Dean escaping.

Edited by AwesomO4000

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Yeah the Public Defender was a good character.

I also like that they did a good job of concealing who Deacon was until the reveal.

The Sam griping over Dean's plan exchanges are always funny.

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Mara Daniels - the public defender...Looking at her as she gets into the car I wonder if she knows something the boys don't.  Almost as if she was working behind the scenes to make sure the boys get away free, more than just redirecting the Hendricksen to the wrong grave.

 

It's a fun ep and yes it has some issues but Sam demanding that they leave and Dean declaring he will stay on his own shows how each brother knows how to push their own agenda.

 

Yes it is obvious that the boys are trying to be caught, now what does that say about the FBI?  Love the blue steel photo with Dean and it does have some really fun moments.

Edited by 7kstar
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It's a fun ep and yes it has some issues but Sam demanding that they leave and Dean declaring he will stay on his own shows how each brother knows how to push their own agenda.

 

For me it was a little more than that though. Sam was legitimately scared. If they didn't get out before they were extradited, their chances of escaping were going to be close to nil. It was noble of Dean to want to finish the job, but in some ways potentially reckless as well. Sam was paying very close attention to the extradition issue. He was the one who asked how long they could delay. If they got caught, there wasn't going to be any saving anyone in the future.

 

I guess it's a good example of what I called over on TWoP the difference in Sam's and Dean's over all outlooks (in general, because they do sometimes switch). Dean tends to think that saving the one person or people at hand is always worth it no matter what, while Sam is more likely to look at the big picture and cut losses if it means a larger win down the line. Only my theory/opinion of course. *

 

* Over on TwoP there were trees and forests used as an illustration, and it was long and there might have been diagrams or a decoupage, so everyone here is lucky I've forgotten it now ;).

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Another big winning episode for me.  Its so much fun and has some of the greatest brother moments, that I immediately hand wave any complications or not realistic plot points.

Love the blue steel, "I think I'm adorable", "They're doughnuts, not love", tear drop tattoos, Sam's bunk mate making him uneasy, and all the smart dialogue.  I honestly found myself grinning through most of the episode.  The boys were smart and resourceful, and Hendrickson rocked as usual.

Good ghosty, great additional cast, tight plot, and levity, all in one.  Top it off with a salt n burn and great song with "Rooster" and you have one happy fan here.


...of course now I have to move on to the final 3 eps of Season 2 (and yes, I will finish them tonight, I'm on a roll).  
Quite possibly the most depressing and emotionally taxing 3 ep run ever...
I'm gonna need medication after this :(

Edited by GeekGirlnb
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Rewatched this one last night - this is one of my favorite discs although all four eps (Heart, Roadkill, etc.) lean heavily into starring Sam in everything and making Dean look like a jerk.  Nonetheless, I noticed something new last night.  As they are coming in and the prisoners in the yard are making kissy noises (or whatever) at them, Dean assumes that the attention is for Sam and that he will protect his little brother.  "I won't trade you for smokes," I think was the line.  But looking at how beautiful JA and thus Dean is, I thought it was odd that no one in the prison even made a remark or gave Dean a look that suggested he could be considered for that sort of implied rough treatment.  Maybe this is just Dean's bravado and arrogance and badassery, but if I were him, I would have been a bit concerned about myself.

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Oh, I think Dean and Sam new exactly what that meant. I took as him ignoring it with sarcasm to protect himself from those thoughts . Dean' is too street smart to not get that implication. If he were one on one with someone who said that, he would have probably said something like "Sorry, handsome, not he's not your type" and then punched him out. But here he's in a situation that he can't risk either him or Sam. Plus if he let them know they got to him, Sam is even more at risk. 

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My absolute favorite moment of the episode is the look Sam gives Dean upon discovering his cellmate is bigger than him.

"This is the dumbest, craziest thing we've ever done in a long storied career of dumb and crazy."

"We may not be saints, but we're loyal and we pay our debts."

"Whatcha in for?" "Cause I got an idiot for a brother." "That'll do it."

"Poor, giant Tiny."

"I am friggin velvety smooth."

"Deep, Dean? We should go to Yemen."

Henrickson! I would've liked to see more of him. Why isn't he in more stuff? He was great. I also wish we could see more of Deacon, the prison guard who cares about his prisoners and saved John's life in Vietnam. "Make it look real, son."

I'd like to thank the episode for giving us this moment: spn219_619.jpg

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13 hours ago, bettername2come said:

My absolute favorite moment of the episode is the look Sam gives Dean upon discovering his cellmate is bigger than him. 

Yeah, probably doesn't happen that often.

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okay, no-one is going to point out that when sam said "Yeah, innocent" and dean said "You from Texas all of a sudden?" LOL. i swear the writers knew what was up and they slipped that in there.

loved the brotherly moment near the end: "You gonna stop patting yourself on the back and actually open it?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

and when sam said "does it bother you at all, how easily you seem to fit in here?" to dean i was in SO much agreement. like he was WAY too comfortable in jail, it was like he wasn't even there. i would be so scared all the time in jail, lol. 

and the ending song is so good, i searched it up as well :P

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3 hours ago, Iju said:

and the ending song is so good, i searched it up as well :P

Awww...Kripke would be so proud that he's still doing God's work all these years later. ;)

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On 8/7/2014 at 7:01 AM, mertensia said:

Yeah the Public Defender was a good character.

I also like that they did a good job of concealing who Deacon was until the reveal.

The Sam griping over Dean's plan exchanges are always funny.

The Deacon reveal was awesome, as was the back and forth regarding this plan. 

I am not sure I understand why they concluded that they had to be prisoners. They have an inside source who could have investigated for them. Ultimately, sure, they had to observe the ghost, etc., but initially it seems like they would have at least tried to find another way.

RIP Tiny and his self esteem issues. 

Overall this was a fun and funny one. I am not usually a fan of prison episodes, but this worked. The lawyer was a bit unbelievable, particularly in the way she approached someone trying to convict her client, but tv lawyers always are. I liked the character.

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12 minutes ago, The Companion said:

I am not sure I understand why they concluded that they had to be prisoners. They have an inside source who could have investigated for them. Ultimately, sure, they had to observe the ghost, etc., but initially it seems like they would have at least tried to find another way.

They already did some of the research before they went in.  They "knew" it was the ghost of Mark Moody. And they knew that he had been cremated.  So, they thought that there was something inside the prison that needed to be disposed of, not having found anything on the outside that he was attached to.  OK, they didn't mention having looked for anything on the outside, but I assume they did at least a cursory look and found nothing.

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2 hours ago, Katy M said:

They already did some of the research before they went in.  They "knew" it was the ghost of Mark Moody. And they knew that he had been cremated.  So, they thought that there was something inside the prison that needed to be disposed of, not having found anything on the outside that he was attached to.  OK, they didn't mention having looked for anything on the outside, but I assume they did at least a cursory look and found nothing.

I guess I don't understand why they wouldn't have the guard poke around. He would be able to wander around the old cell block looking for stuff. I mean, before risking their freedom indefinitely. 

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15 minutes ago, The Companion said:

I guess I don't understand why they wouldn't have the guard poke around. He would be able to wander around the old cell block looking for stuff. I mean, before risking their freedom indefinitely. 

Well, then there wouldn't have been an episode:)

There also wouldn't have been an episode if they had figured out it was the nurse in the first place, because then they could have just dug up her bones and burned them without ever needing to go to the prison.

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12 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Well, then there wouldn't have been an episode:)

There also wouldn't have been an episode if they had figured out it was the nurse in the first place, because then they could have just dug up her bones and burned them without ever needing to go to the prison.

Fair enough. 😆

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26 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Well, then there wouldn't have been an episode:)

There also wouldn't have been an episode if they had figured out it was the nurse in the first place, because then they could have just dug up her bones and burned them without ever needing to go to the prison.

Throw in bungee cords for the weapons and salt-filled hula hoops and there would only have been about 7 episodes of the show. Heh.

Suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite for this show, otherwise it's (potentially) an awfully long and frustrating 300+ episodes of television.

Edited by gonzosgirrl
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