"Exile on Main Street"
Why: I have a feeling this one may be controversial! Most people I know didn’t love this opener, but I did. It had a vibe that captured me, an atmosphere to it that still holds me spellbound. It manages to set up a lot for the season. The mystery of Sam coming back and acting somewhat unSam like; the introduction of the ill-fated Campbells; Lisa and Ben and a look at Dean’s year away from hunting; weird monster behaviour. I liked all that stuff.
I loved the opening scene with Dean in bed. Just the look on his face, the hand running back over his hair, you could see that everything was not right in suburbia and even though it had been about a year, you could tell that Dean’s first waking thought was of Sam and what on earth Dean was doing there living that life. He looks lost.
I loved that Dean packed up everything in a metal box and threw a tarp over his baby, to try and hide his old life away, mainly from himself. It’s the last time we saw Dad’s jacket btw, in that metal box (bastards who stole it). Dean didn’t burn anything, he didn’t toss anything away, he tried to hide it, but essentially, it was there for him, for when he needed it, because you could tell that deep down inside, he knew one day he would. He could try and hide his old life away in the garage, but he could never get rid of it completely, because it’s who he really is and inside, he knows it.
(Just a side note on season 8 here – Sam did a similar thing, kept the Impala and kept the trunk fully stocked……….)
I adored the throwbacks to earlier episodes, something “Supernatural” does so well. Referencing the Djinn from “What Is and What Should Never Be” as the father of the Djinn out for revenge. Bringing back the YED in such a wonderful moment, revealing Dean’s fear for his new family is an old fear that has scarred him so deeply it still rears its ugly head. Dean’s moment with the Yorkie! He was scared of a Yorkie in “Yellow Fever” and said he owned a Yorkie in “Devil’s Trap”, this kind of continuity to past seasons always tickles my fancy. It’s a nod for us dedicated fans!
It’s a super sad season opener though and one that’s made even more sad with benefit of hindsight.
Favourite Quote: I think it has to be when Dean is talking to Sid in the bar and discussing his job on the road in ‘pest control’:
“You have no idea what's in some people's walls. It could eat 'em alive.”
I also think, with all that’s going on is season 8, it’s interesting to look at the scene in Bobby’s house, when Dean finds out that not only has Sam been back for about a year, Bobby also knew. It reveals what Dean did about Sam’s absence, but more importantly, what Sam hoped Dean would have done. Very interesting mind set from both boys, in light of the brother’s current predicament.
Dean: …I drank too much. I had nightmares. I looked everywhere. I collected hundreds of books, trying to find anything to bust you out.
Sam: You promised you'd leave it alone.
Dean: Of course I didn't leave it alone! Sue me!
Favourite Scene: The “Beautiful Loser” montage is one of the best “Supernatural” has done. Juxtaposing images from Dean’s old life with his new life. It’s simple and wonderful and you get a good picture of Dean’s year and his struggle with this new existence, but you also get a glimpse of some ordinary, everyday moments of happiness. Right there in those opening minutes, bam, the whole picture. And the song is perfection.
But, I think my favourite scene…actually, it’s not a scene it’s a moment and it’s really, really sad, but it’s one of those moments that reminds us how good these guys are and how one very small movement can rip out our hearts.
It’s the end, when Sam and Dean are saying goodbye. Dean’s decided to stay and look out for Lisa and Ben and Sam is leaving. Sam, of course, being soulless and all, just gets in his car and drives, Dean stands on the driveway watching his brother pull out and there’s this little hand movement as Dean goes to wave, but realises that Sam’s not going to wave, not even going to look back, so he lets his hand drop back down, awkwardly. Seriously, that moment, that one little movement of Dean’s hand and the subsequent look of sadness mixed with conflict destroys me each and every time I see it. It’s what this show does so well, little tiny moments that speak volumes. “Exile on Main Street” is full of them.