Supernatural always does its best when it plays around with the format. After 11 seasons, we all know the drill: Sam and Dean do research on a possible monster attack and go investigate, hunting and killing it. This week we see that same story unfold, but entirely from inside of Dean’s “Baby,” the ’67 Chevy Impala. Fans may love Cas, but the Impala is the real third star of Supernatural.
“Baby” is definitely an ambitious episode. Except for the final 30 seconds, the entire episode is filmed from inside the Impala. However, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic at all and we still get fights, kills, research, jokes, big revelations and tender brotherly moments. It’s a stunning achievement by the director.
Sam finds a potential werewolf attack in Oregon, but instead of cutting right to the case, the first 20 minutes of the episode chronicle Sam and Dean’s drive from the Bunker in Kansas to the Pacific Northwest. Dean stops for a one-night stand at a sketchy roadhouse. He fails to score, but the next morning he finds Sam in the backseat of the Impala with a waitress.
Sam’s sexual encounter leads to plenty of playful brother banter, including a sing-a-long to “Night Moves.” But Sam then starts to talk about possibly wanting something more than a one-night stand, an idea that gets dismissed by Dean since they have a terrible track record when it comes to domestic relationships.
A Vision of John
Sam takes a nap and has a dream (or a vision from God) of young John Winchester. Papa Winchester tells Sam that the Darkness is coming and Sam and Dean are the only ones who can stop it. When he wakes up Sam shares his vision with Dean, who doesn’t think it’s actually a message from God. The conversation segues into a touching moment of both brothers revealing the dreams they have about their parents, Dean about John and Sam about Mary, both featuring normal lives.
After a stop at a steak house (that involves the valet girl taking the Impala for a joy ride), Sam and Dean investigate the mauled sheriff. Dean suspects some weird werewolf/vampire hybrid, a werepire. In the episode’s best scene, Dean explores the crime scene and, while Cas babbles about lore on the phone, Dean, outside of the car, is attacked by a deputy. He shoots him with silver, but that doesn’t work. Then he cuts the deputy’s head off, but the monster is STILL alive. Dean puts the head in the cooler and drives off.
He picks up Sam, who found the victim’s wife. Cas calls with more research, revealing that the monster is actually a ghoul/vampire hybrid (a ghoulpire) and the only way to kill them is to put an old penny in its mouth and cut off the head, but killing the original maker cures the others. Things get rough when the wife attacks Dean, leading to an awkward fight in the backseat, with the wife winning and driving away.
Rise of the Ghoulpires
The original maker is the deputy that Dean decapitated. The wife sews the head back on and he reveals that he’s turning so many humans because he’s amassing an army of ghoulpires to fight the Darkness. I guess everyone and everything is scared of the Darkness.
While driving to capture Sam and turn him, Dean gets the upper hand. Another fight inside the Impala ensures that results in every window being broken and blood splattering all over the interior. In a clever resolution, Dean uses the hairpin left behind by the waitress Sam slept with to escape his handcuffs and finds old pennies in the purse left behind by the valet girl’s friend. Dean kills the maker and everything is fixed.
He picks up Sam and they decide to go back home (though Sam says they already are home inside the Impala) to get fixed up by Cas and take on the Darkness.
Next week on Supernatural: Sam and Dean go to the house of Lizzie Borden. I’ll be very disappointed if Dean doesn’t making a “whacking” joke about masturbation.
(Image courtesy of the CW)