Supernatural 11.16 “Safe House”
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Director: Stefan Pleszczynski
Director of Photography C.S.C: Serge Ladouceur
A marvel of juxtaposition. It’s complicated.
WHAT DID I WATCH?
Having two “elderly statesmen” carry on hunting in an entertaining manner underlines
the possibility that Dean and Sam could carry on for many years, too.
A spinoff for Rufus (Steven Williams) and Bobby (Jim Beaver)?
Continuity and parallels with past seasons, and within this season’s arc, were mind
warping because they flashbacked to the past apocalypse and hinted at future
events for this season.
The Soul Eater/Amara story line highlighted the “Who do you love?” and the “You can’t save
everyone” themes. Bobby loves his boys and Dean loves his brother which
comforts Sam who probably wonders how deep Amara’s influence is.
“You can’t save everyone” as in Adam in the past story line, and possibly Cas in
the future one? Dean’s desire to get looking for Amara and save Cas tethered the
season’s arc for continuity. The Soul Eater was all over the “Darkness” and
tried to use it to his advantage.
As confusing as this must have been to write, it was incredibly complex to shoot
and edit in such a way that the viewer was never lost. The time transitions
were easy to follow and beautifully executed.
High angle, time lapse, juxtaposed transition
PERSPECTIVES/ANGLES/UNIQUE POINTS OF VIEW
Down the diner counter
(Working Waitress included)
High Angle motel parking lot.
(Working Chambermaid included)
Squirrel’s view in the hospital
(Working Nurse included)
Other Squirrel’s view Reverse Angle
Over the Top Points of View Dispute
Juxtaposition and transitions between the old and new were done by mirroring the actions and
dialogue of the past and present characters:
Mirroring/Brothers in Sync
Not only did the old and new characters mirror each other; but, Sam and Dean mirrored
actions and dialogue in tandem.
“Oh, Come on!”
“Oh, Come on!”
(Note the Low Angle shot from the coffin perspective)
And this beautiful split screen mirror image:
Baby and Bobby’s car served double duty signaling time transitions and establishing
The staircase was a pivotal point in many scenes. The Low Angle and Lens Flare
signal moments to come:
(Note also, how the window features a symbolic cross.)
Foreshadowing this special moment:
(Set: George Neuman / Props: Chris Cooper)
The bike told us we were at Kat’s house 2016.
The JD and the 216 keys signalled a transition.
Fallen Angels book and illustration of Lucifer falling tied into seasons’ arcs.
Will’s toys / Kat’s stuffies worked hard to establish time and setting.
Flashback prop: the bottle from 7.12!
From a request for water, to a bottle of JD, the DRINKING motif worked hard in the
plot, signalling transitions, mirroring the action, and symbolizing a bond. Thirsty Much?
Light hits of GOLD linked past and present
So far in Season 11, 5 OUT OF 15!!! Only 33% have passed.
Even though Kat is clearly not a “Woman” yet, Robbie Thompson squeaks by the Bechdel
Test with this one. The lowest test to determine gender equity is so easy to
pass but to date this makes 6 out of 16 episode that have passed this test for
Season 11. 37.5 %
Still, I am going to do the happy dance because this episode passed the Bechdel Test
and for one other reason….
At NashCon 2016, Jared Padalecki announced that he and Jensen Ackles were Feminists.
Jared: “We are both feminists because we get that women are freaking powerful.”
When their wives make a decision that’s it. “Yes, Ma’am!”
FROM THE REAR VIEW
RATING: 4 0UT 5