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(From Alice) Robin was so wonderful to send a review for "Something Wicked," especially since I've fallen behind.  Thanks to her, we're caught up!  So, enjoy a different yet great POV on this season one episode.


"Something Wicked" is Something Wickedly Good
--Robin's Ramblings
Robin Vogel
Just watched "Something Wicked" on TNT, the shtriga episode. I had forgotten how wonderful it was.
When Dean requests two queens as he's checking into the 4200 Hotel, Michael, all of 11 years old if he's a day, snarkily says, "Sure you do."
This is also the first flashback ep, where we see Dean sacrificing the last bowl of Lucky Charms for Sam, who gives him puppy dog eyes because he doesn't want Spaghettios for dinner. Sam adorably offers Dean the prize at the bottom of the box. Does the scene, filmed in sepia tones, still make me tear up? It sure does. 

It hurts to watch John leaving freckle-faced ten-year-old Dean alone in a dreary motel room with six-year-old Sam, nothing to do but watch TV after being given a million orders, the biggest, of course: protect Sam. Dean grows bored and leaves the room after Sam ia safely asleep to play a few video games.  The shtriga attacks Sam just as Dean returns home, but a nervous Dean doesn't dare shoot the shtriga while it's feeding on his brother; what if he misses and kills Sam? John arrives home, shooting wildly at the creature, furious at Dean for not following orders. The look he gives Dean while cradling Sam in his arms after staving off the shtriga stays in Dean's guilty mind and psyche for 17 years, so when the time comes around again, John again tasks him with killing the shtriga, and this time, Dean isn't going to screw up!
Ironic how angry Sam is that Dean wants to use Michael as bait when we know there is going to come a time down the road when SAM will want to do the same with others. 
Michael is a very brave kid, much like Dean, and I like him very much. At first, he doesn't believe Dean when told about the creature that put his brother and several of the other town's kids in the hospital, but after thinking it over, Michael remembers Dean telling him that he, too, is a big brother who would do anything for his little brother. Seeing Michael with his little bro brought back heart-breaking memories for Dean and made the episode so special for me. 

Sam apologizes to Dean for all the crap he's given him for following Dad's orders—he gets it now. "Kill me now," says Dean, which is funny on the surface, but much appreciated by the elder brother who HAS often had to put up with Sam accusing him of being John's puppet. 
As it turns out, the trap Michael, Dean and Sam set up for the shtriga, who turns out to be the doctor heading up all the children's cases, backfires. The shtriga attacks Michael, but Sam and Dean aren't able to shoot him with the consecrated iron rounds while he is feeding from the boy. The shtriga, only momentarily stunned, sends both Sam and Dean flying, temporarily losing their weapons, and immediately leaps on Sam, sucking his life essence from him as if trying to finish what it started 17 years ago. Dean interrupts the creature while feeding and shoots it directly in the forehead, killing it, saving not just the lives of children currently hospitalized, but future victims as well. 
As the brothers are leaving, Sam tells Dean he's sorry Michael now knows about the creatures that lurk the darkness and wishes his innocence could have been preserved. Dean, probably remembering the little boy who offered him the prize from the Lucky Charms box, says he wishes the same about SAM'S innocence, too. It's a poignant moment for me, especially looking ahead, because it's so mild in comparison to what is going to come their way. 
The shtriga was a scary creature, mostly when it was nothing more than a spooky, shadowy hand opening children's bedroom windows. When it was holding Sam's mouth open with a hand made of nothing but bone, I got a chill down my vertebrae, top to bottom.
I felt we learned much about the sad, dreary life the Winchester brothers suffered on the road with John and what unreasonable demands he made on Dean. "Something Wicked" made it appear that he placed way too much on Dean's shoulders at far too early an age, not allowing him to have a childhood at all. Dean gave Sam whatever he wanted, even if he wanted it himself, seemingly without resentment. 

It's obvious that the brother's love for each other has carried over into their adult lives, and that's one of the reasons this show is as popular as it is. "Something Wicked" is one of those episodes that highlights their growing relationship and reveals to us how it came to be, both in spite of, and because of their father.      


# Alice 2010-01-27 22:47
Great review Robin! Here you give well done analysis of the brotherly relationship and the scars from their childhood, while I spent my analysis for the day harping over a skimpy towel! That shows you where my mind is today. :D

There is one thing I do love in this episode that wasn't mentioned. Bikini Inspector! It's funny how Dean got Sam so riled over that. He does know how to push Sammy's buttons.
# elle2 2010-01-28 08:26
Great review, Robin,

This is easily a fave for me from Season 1 (and interestingly enough one I have not watched in a long, long time.) I love the reveals Dean gives and how Sam responds to them (especially the I'm sorry I've given you so much crap bit) The overly sentimental part of me loves the song at the end. It's one of those moments for me when I first watched these on DVD that I realized that one day this will all be done (the series) and we'll be left with special moments like the brothers at the end as a memory and it will be poignant, satisfyingly so but also sorrowfully so as it will all be over... :cry::

Until that time though there are new eppies to the one tonight (only 12.5 hours to go) Whee!
# Jasminka 2010-01-28 10:24
Loved this, Robin, this episode breaks my heart every time - Dean trying to save the boy from the pain he has been through (all those feelings of guilt that poisoned his young soul), and another deeper meaning to his connection with Sam.

No matter what blows Dean suffered, he was always there for Sam. Not even Dad with his reproach polluted that...

Cheers, Jas
# Randal 2010-01-28 13:09
Good stuff, Robin. I loved this episode. The score is easily one of the three or four best they've ever done and wonderfully frames the innocence lost far too early. Think back to your youth, playing with Legos or kicking a ball around where you only chore is to finish your green beans and keep your room clean, and contrast that with what lead was thrown upon Dean's shoulders.

Bikini inspector! Loved how instead of being calm, cool and collected, his nervousness swirled the card through the air as if declaring, yes, I am bullshitting you, Miss Nurse.
# Bevie 2010-01-28 14:56
Such a good review Robin. Agree with all of it.

So sad for little Dean and all that responsibility put upon him by John. And shame on John for letting Dean carry that much guilt for so many years just by the way he looked at him accusingly. So sorry that Dean never got the hugs he deserved from his dad. So heart rending. Wanted to hug little Dean myself!

Michael was a great kid and big brother, just like Dean. Snark and all!

Loved that Sam apologized for his misunderstandin g of why Dean followed dad's orders so faithfully.

Booo, John!
# Karen 2010-01-29 14:40
Hi Robin
I enjoyed the review.
I really liked Michael and how he overcame his fear in order to help save his little brother. A young version of Dean in so many ways.
It is sad that anyone of a young age should loose their innocence, even if it was to save a life. I like to think that after they killed the Shtriga, Michael was young enough to put the experience behind him and continue to go back to his life without any repercussions.
# Evelyn 2010-01-30 17:09
This is one of my favorite all-time episodes. I often turn to this episode when I just want to watch something Supernatural and need a fix.

This episode has everything we want from the boys. I love the way Dean is reluctant to open up to Sam, but eventually does. And finally we see, how the weight of HIS world was put upon his 10-year old shoulders by his father. No kid should have to have that kind of responsibility at that age. You really feel for Dean in this episode and it helps you to more fully understand his blinding obedience to his father and the burdens he has been under basically his entire life. (It is really sad and you just want to go and hug him and take care of him - to help alleviate any of his burdens.) And finally, Sam has a better understanding of why Dean is the way he is.

I loved the similarities brought out between the pairs of brothers - the older one taking care of the younger. It pulls my heart strings every time.

I especially appreciated when after Dean killed the Shtriga he puts another 3 bullets into him to seal the deal. The ultimate pay back to the MOTW.