Where does the time go? With only one week left before the season 7 premiere, I realize that I still have four! visual reviews to do in order to meet my goal of reviewing all the episodes before the new season. Think it can’t be done? You’re probably right. But I’m going to try, gosh darn it! So here’s the first of those, a visual review of “Mommy Dearest.” This episode was directed by John F. Showalter, his fourth for the show, and he also directed “Let It Bleed,” which is interesting because that’s only two weeks apart! Good turnaround, Mr. Showalter. And this episode was interesting to go through because there was a lot if dialogue and conversing and whatnot and not a whole lot of room to be extremely creative with locations and stuff, so a lot of shots you’re going to see are examples of how to be creative and create visual interest with angles and set dressing.
Very cool angle here on Mommy Dearest’s entrance to the bar. It almost feels like the audience is a security camera on the wall or something, like we’re stuck up in the corner. So that’s a pretty good way to start things off.
Just look at all that stuff! First off, I love it when they show ammo getting made or guns being cleaned or any sort of hunter maintenance because it reminds us that hunters do that crap all the time, and it’s rote and routine for them, but it’s part of their lives, so it’s good to see it. Also, of course Dean is making the shells here becuase he’s just such a hands-on person. I think he’d take ammo-making over research any day. And lastly, there’s just so much to look at on that table, from the measuring utensils to the knife to the bottles to all sorts of ammo detritus.
Oh, hey, Bobby’s house! We haven’t had a cool shot of Bobby’s house in a while. Consider that remedied. This is what I mean by creating visual interest with set dressing because how many times have we seen Bobby’s house? But with the crushed cars and weeds and car parts shoved into the foreground, this feels like a whole new take on the place. Boy, Bobby really does have a lot of crap, doesn’t he? I think Ben Edlund should write a funny episode about all the junked out cars coming alive Transformers-style and going on a rampage. Bobby and the Winchesters would be so screwed.
This was a cool use of editing in this scene. Sam, Dean, and Bobby are all moving around the basement, and they’re sort of whisping here and there in a classic display of time elapsement. But it makes for some cool still shots when you can see a couple instances of Sam and Dean in there all ghostly.
If you go back and look at this scene, you’ll notice that everyone is pretty well-lit except for Cass, who’s over in the shadows. Now, I don’t know if this is on purpose or not, but it seems like the closer the show gets to the end of the season, the more shadowed Cass gets. That will probably all change in the next episode when we find out what he’s been up to, but while his motives and actions were getting shadier and shadier, so was the lighting. Also, I can’t tell you how much I love it when they do that half lighting on Sam, Dean, and especially Cass.
This is a great shot through some shelves and a wall or I don’t even know what that is, but the framing of this is excellent. And hey, Cass is totally in the light, thus negating what I was just talking about! I’m like Willy Wonka: Strike that, reverse it!
Here again we have a great overhead angle, and it’s even more pronounced in this shot. It has to be a crane shot, which are rarely used on this show and therefore even neater when they are. Plus, it’s like the only time on this show that you can actually see the top of Sam’s head.
Here’s another really cool shot of our heroes in the diner with all sorts of fun stuff in the foreground and them sort of just sitting there in the back. If we didn’t know who they were, we’d be forgiven for thinking they were just random patrons. It’s kind of nice, actually, the normalcy of this.