Yee-HAW!!! For as long as Supernatural has been on the air, fans have been dying for a western episode, especially since both stars hail from Texas! FINALLY we get our wish! This Friday’s episode of Supernatural is destined to be a series classic; it even has its own title card!
Many great previews are out from those who were lucky enough to get to see the episode in advanceâ€¦.and all of them wrote high praise for the episode, so we have a lot to look forward to on Friday.
In “Frontierland”, Dean and Sam traveling back in time to 1861 to find Samuel Colt (guest star Sam Hennings), and a possible way defeat the Mother of All.
Samuel Colt was the man who built the Devil’s Gate and created a demon killing gun. The Winchesters first became aware of the gun in season one and used it last in season five to attempt to kill Lucifer.
“He’s an iconic character for the show, and has been since season one,” explains exec producer Sera Gamble. “We’ll be meeting him later in his life, after many years of fighting demons and tinkering with magical weapons and Devil’s Gates and such. Time hasn’t been too kind to the guy â€” which is pretty par for the course, for a hunter.”
This photo reminds me of Ben Cartwright sitting at his desk on the Ponderosa. And if you saw the video clip of the episode from PaleyFest’s panel, you would have noticed another similarity to “Bonanza” too, the opening title card.
The episode has its own special opening sequence, complete with burning map superimposed with deep red “Supernatural” letters that grow until it bursts into the glass shards of the season six card. So Cool!
As for Samuel Colt, well he has learned more than just how to build magical weapons and devil traps, seems he also found a magical formula for killing a Phoenix…a real Phoenix. In Winchester land they are not mythical creatures, and the ashes of a Phoenix might be able to defeat Eve.
Dean stumbles upon the information in the Campbell’s library where he finds Sam Colt’s journal. Seems Samuel Colt actually killed one in 1861 Wyoming. Unfortunately the only way to get in touch with Colt is to travel back in time, which for Dean is a thrill and a halfâ€¦.but not so much for Sam. Our friendly neighborhood angel provides the transportation and Dean provides the western garb.
Dean is a “veritable kid in a candy store”, shopping for ‘authentic’ cowboy hats, button-down shirts, big belt buckles, and a serape. Unfortunately, once there, Dean is a bit upset at the locals’ reaction to his clothes and switches to real 1861 garb â€¦and SOOOO glad he does! He looks a lot more ‘bad-ass’ in them. Couple that with some somber looks from under the rim of a cowboy hat, a tense shoot-out at high noon, and a sheriff’s badge and we have “the ass-kicking, take-no-prisoners Dean Winchester that we all know and love.”
(Photo from Guy Bee’s Twitter Account)
From Jensen Ackles’ excitement about the episode and comments made by the previewers, Dean is ‘back in full force throughout this episode’. He has a lot of fun in many parts including the fake names Dean offers the town “officials,” and his reaction to the local saloon girl “who is definitely not what he pictured”. (Warts!)
Sam on the other hand is not into the whole time travel ‘Ye Olde West’ concept. He doesn’t like the clothing, ends up stepping in manure (which Dean jokes adds to the ‘authenticity’ of the experience), and has trouble riding a horse, which previewers says gives us some humorous moments. But while he’s not as eager to purchase the western garb as Dean, he does “get to go the name of Walker, Texas Ranger”, which should be awesome to see.
Despite all the frivolity, the boys realize they are there for a very serious purpose and are on a strict time clock. Cass has only given the 24 hr to find Colt, get his formula, find a Phoenix, kill it, collect the ashes, and return to their time.
But a small wrinkle develops in their time table. After arriving in town, they witness a public hanging in the town square. A young man, Elias Finch (played by Matthew John Armstrong), is hung after being convicted of murdering his wife; a crime he didn’t commit.
Before he dies, he vows to kill the men he thinks have wronged him and when the locals start dying, the boys realize they have to deal with a vengeful spirit as well.
So Dean stays in town to deal with the specter (and gets promoted to a Sheriff in the process), while Sam heads off to find Colt and try to explain the concept of “traveling from the future for a very special purpose.”
Sam Hennings does a great job turning in a very memorable appearance as the legendary gun-maker, Samuel Colt. According to previews, “Hennings is more than worthy of filling those iconic boots.”
Though Samuel Colt is described as ‘tough as nails and quick with a pistol’, he has “retired” from hunting (if such is possible for a hunter) is more interested in pouring his next drink than firing his next shot. So he isn’t so eager to help the boys, even after Sam shows him his Blackberry. “When you’ve done this job as long as I have,” Colt says “a giant from the future with some magic brick doesn’t exactly give you the vapors.”
Another memorable performance is turned in by Matthew John Armstrong. “He’s particularly captivating as a monster you can’t help but sympathize with”â€¦and was highly praised for “playing Elias Finch with a constant air of danger.”
Ackles also was very supportive of Armstrong’s powerful performance. “In the [episode] when the sheriff’s there in a jail cell scene, I caught myself just watching Matt,” Ackles says. “He had this long monologue and did a really good job, and I just got caught up in watching him work, and then realized that it was my line.
I enjoy watching these performances; I enjoy seeing the writing come to life. It’s very gratifying for me to be able to be a part of that.”
However the whole episode isn’t set entirely in the west. There is a third part to the episode that deals with the action building around Castiel. The situation in heaven is becoming more desperate for Cass. Those in heaven are not sure if they should be on his side any longer, and it is up to Bobby to step in and offer some help.
We also learned more about Castiel’s plan to gather souls, why the human soul holds such value for the angels (and the dearly departed Crowley), and witness the return of Castiel’s ‘angelic blade.’
We’re also introduced to Castiel’s lieutenant, Rachel (played by Sonya Salomaa), who apparently makes a rather unwelcome appearance. While she is one of Castiel’s allies, she isn’t so fond of the way the Winchesters order Castiel around. “Let’s just say her attitude is more Zachariah than Gabriel when it comes to humanity” wrote one reviewer.
And there are many comments of more brotherly banter from the boys. Seems the great brotherly solidarity we saw in season one continues to return. The wise-cracking Dean and serious Sam give us some awesome moments between the brothers. They are back to cracking jokes and teasing each other. Sam insults Dean’s love of old Western films and Dean orders the good drink for himself and the girly drink for Sam. And some great Sam ‘bitch’ faces follow. (Dare we hope to one day see the ‘Bitch/Jerk’ routine again?)
There’s also an incredible amount of pop culture references and witty quotables, including Phoenix jokes, Star Trek jibs, a Die Hard catch-phrase and plenty of “Back to the Future” comments, including Dean calling himself Eastwood.
Official synopsis: SAM AND DEAN RETURN TO THE WILD, WILD WEST – While searching for a way to defeat Eve, Dean stumbles upon Samuel Colt’s journal in the Campbell library. Realizing Samuel might have the answer to their problems; Sam and Dean ask Castiel to send them back in time so they can meet the man himself. While Sam is a bit reluctant to time travel, Dean is beside himself with excitement to return to the Wild, Wild West.
Guest cast (IMDb) includes: Misha Collins (Castiel), Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer), Sonya Salomaa (Rachel), Sam Hennings (Sam Colt), Matthew John Armstrong (Elias Finch), Scott Hylands (Judge Mortimer) and April Telek (Darla).
Guy Norman Bee directed the episode and continues to awe Supernatural fans with his dynamic style and personality. He has been very active on Twitter with the episode and has tweeted a number of pictures to tease the fans, without giving to much away of course. He, Misha and Jim Beaver even got into a sort of twit pix frenzy on the set one day, causing Cliff to jokingly threaten to throw them all off the set.
All joking aside, Bee went for a very realistic picture of the west using sepia tone coloration and typical spaghetti Western music. Ackles calls it a “gritty, yellow-toothed” vision of the time. Bee describes it as “a time when men were men and demons were nervous.” Not new to Supernatural, Bee also directed “Family Matters” and “Asylum”.
The reviews also gave kudos to Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin for their entertaining and well written script. The episode perfectly balances laughs with high-stakes drama providing humor and action while keeping up the momentum of the mythology. Dabb and Loflin are not new to the series either. The two have also written “Jump the Shark”, “Dark Side of the Moon”, and two of my favorites, “Weekend at Bobby’s” and “Yellow Fever”.
Photos for the episode can be found in our Photo gallery.
The CW promo videos for the episode are below.
Supernatural 6.17, 6.18 and 6.19
So what did Jensen and Jared think of the episode? Wonderful stuff!
Ackles says that shooting it fulfilled a bit of a childhood dream for himself and Padalecki. “The western episode was one of those ‘woo-hoo’ moments,” Ackles laughs. “It’s kind of every little boy’s dream to do a showdown, and we got to do that.”
(Photo from Guy Bee’s Twitter Account)
Ackles was having just as much fun playing cowboy as Dean. “I sent a picture to my father, and he wrote back, ‘You’ve been rehearsing this scene since you were six.'” He continues, “I get to have, like, a high noon shootout, we get to see a hangingâ€¦,” says Ackles. “We packed a lot into a 42-minute episode. It’s really good.”
Padalecki was thrilled with the memorable acting opportunity the episode provided for him. His scene with “Memphis Beat” star Sam Hennings stands out as a favorite. “I was really happy with the scene,” he says. “I hope you guys like it. I was really proud of the work. It’s an awesome episode.”
But not all was pleasant on the set. During the shootout scene, Dean pulls the Winchesters’ famous Colt out of his holster and makes a bit of a show with it. “It’s the Colt, right, and we built that thing, so it’s not like a precise, machined, beautiful thing,” Ackles explains. “It’s rough and rigid and doesn’t always work properly. It was very hard, and I had to slam the hammer back to shoot the thing and I ripped my palm right open. The great part about it is, it’s TV, so we’ve got to go again and again.”
“Now I’m just ripping skin off the palm of my hand,” Ackles continues. “Our Western adviser guy was like, ‘You’ve got to earn gunfighters’ hands, and you have my friend!’ So I’ll wear it with pride.”
But it was not without its rewards too. Ackles notes that Dean’s leather duster was custom-made out of Australian oilcloth. After the episode was over, Ackles kept the duster for himself! Now that is some fancy perks!
There is other fun stuff mentioned in the previews as well. The writers give a wonderful nod to Jim Beavers past work, talk about Samuel Colt’s work on the Devil’s Gate from season 2, and a glimpse of an “ancestor of a hunter we met all the way back in season 1.”
Lots to take in, but it is stacking up to be an episode no one will forget. Saddle up everyone, and rememberâ€¦never step in cow patty on a hot day! Hehehe
Happy episode all! Come back and tell us what you think