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"Bugs" is quite a monumental episode you know. Even to this day, when we switch off a weak effort like "Fallen Idols" or "Family Remains," our instant reaction is "Ah well, it wasn't Bugs." I've said it before and I say it again. Welcome to not only the worst episode of the entire series, but I think they actually show this episode in film schools now as a warning to students not to stoop to this level. Not if they want to work.  The really sad irony in all this is that poor poor Kim Manners was saddled with having to direct in this young show of his, this next major step in his brilliant career, the most unworkable script on the planet. It was logistically impossible. He begged Eric Kripke not to do it. Jensen and Jared, the unwitting victims, had little choice but to read their bad lines and hop in a tent full of thousands of angry bees.  No wonder their supposed all night stand only lasted three minutes. To this day, I'm working how Jensen didn't walk off the set after being told to provoke these bees with an impromptu flamethrower. 


I've read where a lot of people started rediscovering Supernatural is season four again because it lost them in season one. My guess would be right about here. It's bad enough Sam's character was all over the map. Now he's relating to a kid who has a little tension with his father? Um, Sam's father was a demon hunter who uprooted his children, taught them how to fight monsters, trained them like warriors, and abandoned them most of the time, thus scarring him for life. This kid and his dad just didn't see eye to eye, you know, like MOST fathers and sons. It was a half assed parallel that made Sam look like a whiny brat. It made Dean look pretty stupid too, for fighting off a swarm of bees with a can of Raid and a lighter is not exactly a "cunning" plan. 

You know though, in order to give an episode of any kind an "F", it has to be the kind of episode that happens with a running series that so alienates the viewership that any time they put into the show has been completely invalidated. Considering this was episode 8 of season one, that's not quite the same thing as to what Smallville did to their viewers with that Lana Lang crap in season 8. So, because of that, and one good scene between the brothers while Sam held Indian bones in a box (?), plus Dean's split second win in the steam shower, I bump up that F to a D-.  


I actually did a much longer scathing review of "Bugs" a while back. For more detail as to why it is that bad, here's the link.


# PetraO 2010-01-13 17:14
What can I say... I am a positive soul.
Things to love about bugs:

I watched it again with my mom not too long ago, and I warned her in advance that it was considered to be the worst episode ever. Her reaction? 'If this is the worst ever, then the show must be pretty good.'

Enough said, I think.
I just started season three with my mom, and she is turning into a true fangirl. It's actually a little scary...
# Sablegreen 2010-01-13 18:06
I like this episode too. The attic part was slow, but it was fun!
# Josie 2010-01-13 21:54
Like "Howard the Duck" and "The Star Wars Holiday Special", I once decided to watch "Bugs" thinking, how bad could it really be?

And like those two films, I regretted that decision soon afterward.
# Supernarttu 2010-01-14 04:08
"Bad" is a quite good word for this one, sums it up the best.
I really can't say anything positive about it. Ok, a few brotherly banters were good but the rest? Meh. Sam WAS whiny, (I wanted to smack him) the family AND the rest of the supp. cast was as touching as a door knob and the actual curse was dull, by this time the whole ep had left me quite numb for any sympathy etc. And let's not forget my personal favorite: A can of bug spray. REALLY? And for the love of god, couldn't they have had a freaking commercial break in the attic -scene, just to maybe give a little sign that time had passed, you know more than 2 minutes, before the sunrise?!?! Ridiculous.
But even though it's bad, it's not worse from the tube. I'd like to think that even bad SPN eppies are in some degree watchable which can't be said about a lot of other eppies on TV.

Fave quote
Sam: The question is, why bugs? Why now?
Dean: Well, that's two questions
# Narcissus 2010-01-14 06:21
I brought an extra case of bug spray for this. Anyone want some?
# Suze 2010-01-14 07:57
I'ts not just bad TV, chaps ... It's pure wibble. Bee Keepers daughter, here ... Trust me on this. They should have used undead alligators, much much scarier. ;-)

Thing is though, even if it was dire for SPN, compared to some of the tripe on offer elsewhere it's still not entirely grim ... Er ... Well ... Umm ... Not entirely ...
# elle2 2010-01-14 11:57
Hi, Alice,

Great -- uh, review? well, the points you made were excellent, the episode -- sheesh, if Kim Manners couldn't make it work, no one could. It's a credit they all got their acts together. I'm sure it's one of those things (like the Hookman concept) that look soooooo much better on paper. I wonder if the book is any good? (LOL)

I would love to have the neverending can of Raid that Dean had. That would be cool. There's plenty of times I could have used that (as I ran screaming like the girl I am away from the angry bees I stirred up while spraying them away -- at night, after dark, in the cool air, just like I'm told)

I'm having fun reading this reviews daily (even if I don't comment on each one.)

BTW, you did a great job with Skin, easily one of my favorites from S1 (along with about ten others though) So much good stuff built into that episode and your point about Sam's and Dean's difference of opinion on what constitutes a lie -- inspired!
# Bethany 2010-01-14 12:39
The never ending can of raid made me laugh - and the very very plastic looking spiders that were on the floor of that bathroom. But every show has an off day, they may as well do it with style! 8-)
# Randal 2010-01-14 14:09
The scene between Sam and Dean *is* excellent (Bones in a Box! Oh, marketing people, Existentialist Action Figure Castiel needs an accessory) and the episode overall is quite, quite low in the series' ranking for the reasons Alice outlined, but over the years, I've come to watch and enjoy the bad parts for the same reasons I watch and enjoy, say, Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Plus it shows the tremendous power inherent in a shitty script. You take two exceptional actors, a veteran directing master and come up with this? Looking glass kudos, writers.
# Bevie 2010-01-14 15:06
Haha! Alice, you REALLY hate this one!

I may not care much for the plot (bug curse?) but I do enjoy immensely the brotherly differences that are brought to the fore. A shame the two J's had to get stung for this one, and then had the bees CGIéd in after all.LOL!

Yes, Sam is whiney in this one, but it's only a preview of his season two continuous whiney ways in which Dean would not have been blamed to have expressed a few "boo hoos" his way.

Anyways, I give the brotherly parts in this one a B+ and the plot and dull extra characters a C-. The bugs get an F and Jen and Jared get A's for performance above and beyond the call of duty. ;-)
# Petranda 2010-01-14 17:05
"Dean’s split second win in the steam shower, I bump up that F to a D-"
For once, I have to disagree with you. There is nakedness, and a room full of steam and we get.. Dean's towel covered head behind a door. Fangirls were subjected to inhumane torture. Evil. Pure Evil. It DROPS the episode from a D- to an F!

# elenaM 2010-01-15 01:15
*snicker* Loving reading the comments, folks. Petranda just made me snort my Sleepytime tea.

I agree, this was a steaming (no pun intended) pile of cliches, crummy writing, abysmal plotting--but it avoids my worst-ever spot for 3 reasons:

1) While most, I'm guessing, were bored to tears by the central family and rooting for deaths, I actually kind of liked and engaged with the bug boy. Dunno why, I just did.
2) Swarms of bugs, no matter how poorly CGIed, creep me out. The same could not be said for the Hookman, ghost ship, or monster truck.
3) Steam shower! And like Bethany, the neverending Raid flamethrower gives me much amusement to this day.

I think my worst-ever honors still go to Hookman. Seriously considered Red Sky, but Dean's panic attack edged it out...
# ElenaM 2010-01-15 01:21
Kim Manners. What a great guy. This must've made him wonder why he ever agreed to come out of his semi-retirement ... Did he really beg Kripke not to do it?
# Dany 2010-01-15 07:33
Do you want to know why I hate Bugs? Because I really hate bugs, just the thought of those things crawling in my body and getting stuck in my hair gives me the creeps! I can take everything this show trows at us but insects!? No thanks!
# Farris 2010-01-15 14:40
Ya, but Jim Byrnes made a guest appearance in this episode. That alone should bring it to the D- status.
Rachel Elisabeth
# Rachel Elisabeth 2010-01-27 00:05
See, I say, "I least they weren't, Hookman."

I don't know, there is just something about the brother interaction all through Bugs that gives it a gooey soft spot for me.