Here we go with the third episode of the season, fittingly titled “The Third Man,” bringing us the return of Cass! Hooray! The director for this episode was Bob Singer, his first of the season, and the writer, of course, was Ben Edlund. It was a very Edlundian episode!
Let’s just get right to it, shall we? And starting things off with a bang…
…it’s shirtless Dean! Long time, no see, unfortunately. And while this is a glorious sight, I swear I didn’t just put it in here for the eye candy. Notice anything missing in this scene? Besides his shirt, of course. That’s right, no handprint. I couldn’t tell if the tattoo was there or not based on the angle of the scene, but the handprint is definitely missing. I think it’s missing because he’s dreaming, and when he dreams of himself in a normal, apple-pie setting away from supernatural life, he leaves the handprint out of it because what is more supernatural than that thing? But Dany raised the interesting theory in a chat box conversation that she thinks maybe it got healed when Cass healed Dean in “Swan Song.” What do you guys think?
I love these little, pretty establishing shots. Sometimes they make me wonder how many times in their lives has this happened, sleeping in the car on the side of the road like this? Hundreds and hundreds, I’m guessing. Plus, I was just so happy to see the Impala back on the road! This is a car that should be driven, not parked in a garage.
The framing of this shot is great, with the Impala in the foreground and Dean in the background there. This little scene cutting between Sam working out and Dean stretching the kinks out was great.
Welcome to my review, shirtless Sam! Again, I have actual thinky thoughts about this scene, which is amazing considering the sights. My theory on why Sam is paying for sex is that in order to find someone to spend the night with normally, you have to make some kind of emotional connection with the person. It doesn’t have to be a deep connection, but lust is an emotion, too, and it still has to be a two-way process. You have to spend the time to meet someone, flirt with them, etc., etc. But with a pro, you don’t have to do any of that. You don’t have to be emotional in any way, don’t have to make a connection at all. And Sam is so disconnected right now that I think he prefers to let it be a business transaction instead of an emotional transaction.
Of course Dean goes to burger heaven. Where else would he go? And the angel carrying the burger is a nice callback to Cass eating all those burgers in “My Bloody Valentine,” too.
I really like this shot of the cars together because it really shows how awesome the Impala is and how stupid the Charger is. There, I said it. I don’t like that thing! The only new muscle car I really like is the Dodge Challenger, and that’s because it looks the most like the classic muscle cars. Anyway, this is also kind of a neat shot because look at the ghost cars!!! No, it’s just the reflection of the police cruisers in the shiny police department building (or is it?!?!) but ghost cars are always awesome on this show, right?
Is that Robert Singer on the right? It sure looks like him to me. Director cameo!
Here’s another shot where I really like the framing. It could have very easily just been the three of them in a little triangle and talking, but the space between them is nice. And it’s kind of like the shot earlier with Dean stretching: something is in the close foreground on the left and the subject of the scene is in the middle distance on the right.
Excuse me while I cap the hell out of this scene, but I just love it. It’s also a perfect time to talk about film noir and the visual conventions involved with it. Before the season, Sera Gamble talked about this season being more like film noir, and visually, there are some style conventions associated with film noir. According to Wikipedia, these style conventions include: low-key lighting, stark contrasts between light and dark, dramatic shadow patterns, often with Venetian blind or staircase bannister patterns falling on people or walls or part of the scenery, characters’ faces being partially or wholly obscured by darkness, and there are a lot of low-angle and wide-angle shots.
So, that’s a lot of stuff to take in, but in this shot alone, we have a low-angle shot, high-contrast lighting with the sun coming in the window through a staircase bannister, a shadowed pattern on Sam’s face, as well as Sam partially obscured by darkness.