Skin: Another one of my comfort episodes. There are two moments that resonate with me from this episode - aside from the awesome hand to hand combat performed by Jensen and Jared - the first is Dean's advice to Sam that hunting is an insular life and that everything and everyone outside of it must be abandoned. Remember how sad Sam was by this? Fast forward four seasons to Jump the Shark only this time Sam is the one speaking these words "“ Sam how far you've changed.
The second is when shapeshifter Dean taunts Sam, while channeling Dean's thoughts. "He sure has got issues with you. You got to go to school, have friends. You don't think I had dreams of my own?" To this day Dean still represses his dreams, only at the most vulnerable moments do they slip through, such as in Dream a Little Dream of Me which is a more real dream for Dean than anything in What is and What Should Never Be.
Notable tidbit: This episode is the first use of the word freak, shapeshifter Dean mocks Sam by telling him that at least he knows he's a freak, this implies that Sam is a freak but just doesn't know or admit it...oh, how this gets built upon.
Hookman: Wow, not much in this one, there is the shout out to Footloose as they play Quiet Riot while driving into town, not to mention the whole preacher's daughter and issues of the morally bankrupt - or at least heavily into debt. We are introduced to rock salt rounds though.
Bugs: Again, Kim Manners...a moment...
What do I like about this episode"¦well, I would like a can of bug spray that lasts for apparently all night long! Mostly I like the brother moments and the reveals of Sam's insecurities regarding dad and how Dean gently revealed a bit about their father that Sam never knew.
Another notable tidbit: Sam identified with Matthew as being a freak, he knew what it was like; no doubt he did not like it.
Home: Missouri, her tough love with Dean and gentler side with Sam shows she knows how to handle these two very different young men. It's not that Dean is stronger or that Sam is fragile, it's that Missouri is insightful enough to know that Dean was deeply disturbed at returning to Lawrence. She focused him on the job at hand by offering him his best defensive measure, sarcasm. By deliberately provoking him she allowed him to keep his defenses high so he could do the job.
Missouri's kindlier approach to Sam was equally designed. Sam has no memories of Lawrence, so he's more objective. However, the course of his life was forever changed because of what occurred here and his quest for information and understanding leaves him open to Missouri without the emotional trauma Dean has.
Home like Phantom Traveler is significant.
Home marks the landscape of this series known as Supernatural and we find our way from this episode. Home tracks back to Pilot and forward in time (or is it back) to In the Beginning. Home is where Mary found safety and then death. Home is where John found love and then revenge. Dean has memories and Sam has none and both boys are driven from everything that started here.
Home does not mark the first time we learn that Sam has dreams, Bloody Mary did that, but why it's significant here is because we 'see' his dream and see what it does to him. This is the episode that marks the time Sam told Dean about his dreams, something he did not want to do until Dean refused to go unless Sam explained. Sam revealed his 'ability' and then waited for Dean's rejection, it didn't come.
Home is where Mary's spirit has been residing, protecting, perhaps atoning; her apology to Sam has left us hanging for 54 episodes.
Home shows, as Pilot and Dead in the Water did, that Dean is still very broken by what happened 22 years earlier and that Sam is well aware that all he can do is offer comfort while driving forward in a quest to understand what is happening to him, and it all happened here.
Home is a milestone because we see John for the first time since Pilot; we'd heard his generic voice message, now we see him. Home builds off of Pilot and Phantom Traveler and points to Shadow, Dead Man's Blood and more because we realize that John is on a quest to find the "truth" and that as desperate as he is to see his boys, he will not endanger them until he knows"¦knows the truth.
Home shows that, when Dean called Dad and left that pleading near desperate phone call, John came.
Home makes it clear that there is so much more going on here than we imagine.
Asylum: Sam's got the shining and serious issues with Dean. Dean gets shot with rock salt, the first of several bro-downs and Dad calls, in person. [oh, yeah, there was also a shirtless Jensen - uh, Dean *fangirl sigh*]
Scarecrow: There's a lot of pie in this one, pie, pie and more pie"¦poor Dean never gets a slice either. There's William B. Davis, the Cigarette Smoking Man! Meg arrives, Dean's tied up, Sam saves him, there's the first of Dean's apology phone calls *sniff*, dude, you fugly, and did I mention this too makes my significant roster:
I'll probably get some grief for this because I'm aware that some consider this a throwaway episode; I don't.
Scarecrow introduces the first of several times that the brothers fight, really fight. When Dean leaves Sam on the side of the road, it is a huge statement of just how much of an affect John has on Dean...71 episodes later and we are still seeing how much Dean remains influenced by John.