Supernatural In Review- Baby

Baby didn’t feel like an episode of TV; it felt like a personal experience. We are there inside the Impala, watching foam drip over the windows, and, later, blood. Sam and Dean genuinely have fun during Baby, with Seger singalongs and hookups and remniscenses. Finally, this is an episode that fills in the gaps- we find out what goes on between the killing and the world-saving and the big emotional showdowns.

Screenshot (164)

If Fan Fiction was the counterpart to A Very Supernatural Christmas, this was the counterpart to Swan Song, which permeates more than just the flashbacks. We see the army men, the legos, the scratched S.W and D.W- now covered in blood and broken glass. Goddamn symbolism.

Screenshot (179)

Supernatural has an incredibly rich heritage- I guess having two hundred and twenty-something episodes does that- and this both expanded upon that and was completely steeped in it, with callbacks everywhere. The ‘I shot the sheriff’ joke, from way back in Jus In Bello; jerk/bitch, last said between Sam and Dean in Season Two’s Hunted; Dean’s comment about Sam’s virginity from Season Nine’s Rock And A Hard Place… this season they’ve even stopped pretending that Season Seven never happened*.

And what was that I said in my last review about how funny this season is? Because Baby was hilarious. The fight scenes managed to feel real and visceral while being completely silly, my favourite being Cas droning away over the phone while Dean got jumped by the nachzehrer. The whole episode had that gritty Season Elevenness to it- the lack of scoring, the fact that apparently for some scenes the Impala was miles away from the crew, cameras rigged and rolling, J2 acting away. What an incredible amount of trust shown between the team, and rightfully so.

Screenshot (173)

This was completely smooth in its tying together of a MoTW and large-arc episode format, unlike the (nevertheless beloved) Season Ten finale, which attempted a similar thing with far less finesse. (No disparagement to Carver- I mean, the guy wrote friggin’ Mystery Spot.) But Matt Cohen’s surprise appearance seemed, in a dreamlike sort of way, inevitable. He spoke Lucifer’s words in JDM’s smoke-and-whiskey voice, giving the episode an ominous undertone.

Screenshot (150)

But despite that, Winchesters have to have fun while they can- as evinced by Sam’s first hookup since Amelia (his voice coming from somewhere out of sight in the backseat just cracked me up). This seemed, to me, to be about getting the brothers to a place where they’re strong enough as a team to stand against whatever’s coming- which is how we know it’s going to be really bad. But the bro-mo scene, probably the longest of its kind in the show, had a lovely sleepy brotherly closeness to it. No wonder the Js were so psyched.

Screenshot (157)

T.J Wright’s cinematography deserves a post of its own (which, incidentally, should be up on A Blog Devoted as soon as screencapped.net gets its ass in gear). I can’t say I’ve ever seen so small a space utilised so creatively before. In fact, I’m not sure there’s ever been an episode of TV set in a car before- there have been several films, but it’s incredibly rare and so hard to do well, for obvious reasons. Massive Hollywood blockbusters have tried and missed the mark, ending up too far into claustrophobia.

But claustrophobia didn’t even factor into my experience here. Every scene’s filmed distinctively. I mean, the car wash scene? Frickin’ bury me.

Screenshot (144)

Such weird great shots, angles ranging from ridiculous to soft, almost seductive.

Screenshot (158)

Screenshot (147)

Screenshot (167)

Screenshot (146)

Screenshot (169)

What a gorgeous shot of Jared’s eyes.

Screenshot (154)

And y’all know about my ongoing IMDB vendetta. But a little trivia for you here- IMDB has rated this higher than any other episode, out of a pick of two hundred and twenty-two. It’s beat Swan Song. Just thought I’d share that, though I don’t necessarily agree- but this has shunted Clap Your Hands If You Believe off my top #3, that’s for sure.

Screenshot (177)

These two guys.

*Okay, mean, but Season Eight didn’t mention the Hell storyline once.

54 Comments

  1. // I’m not sure there’s ever been an episode of TV set in a car before- //
    There is one I can think of; “The beast in the cage” a 1992 episode from the series One foot in the grave. A very funny episode, no inventive camerawork though (or maybe it was inventive for a UK TV show back in ’92 – not sure).

  2. “What?? Robbie Thompson has a rep for cocking things up? I can’t believe that’s justified. But it was so great! Those silly fights asdfghjkl. And yes, the music- the lack of scoring!”

    Thats IMDB for you! I love Robbie!

  3. I loved it actually strike out the word loved I ADORED it. This is how Robbie Thompson writes a script. Bold, Daring, In your face epic story telling. I was nervous of tuning in, because of Robbie’s rep on IMDb for cocking things up. But he really did us proud, and went that extra mile in putting on something rather spectacular. I gave this a full 10 out of 10 because of the history he put in, and the thought behind it. I also made a comment thread on IMDb about the use of props. How clever Robbie was in using that hair pin, the demon knife and the copper coins to help Dean out in his hour of need. Jensen’s fighting skills are superb, and his interaction with the monsters were EPIC. I laughed so much at the head coming off the alpha and sitting on the windscreen and Dean using the whipper blades knocking him off. He tried to kill it more than once, and still wouldn’t stay dead. So Dean puts the head in the cooler. Man did I laugh at the noises coming from that cooler, that THING was still alive and not giving up hope of being killed off. The music was knock out, and Dean singing along. I could go on and on!!!

    B xxx

  4. “while Dean got jumped by the nachzehrer.”

    Uh, no-the Werepire 🙂

    I have only one complaint about the episode…we don’t see Deans shorts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. It’s also worth noting that Supernatural’s ratings were up 50% compared to last weeks episode. Which says a lot as the DVR ratings haven’t even come in yet. The CW was the only network that had serious gains in ratings despite the world series and the Republican debate. This was a triumph for the show.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Wren Collins On ‘Baby’ (which, by the way, she is completely in love with.) | A Blog devoted to "SUPERNATURAL"