Yee-HAW!!!  For as long as Supernatural has been on the air, fans have been dying for a western episode, especially since both stars hail from Texas!  FINNALLY we get our wish!  This Friday's episode of Supernatural is destined to be a series classic; it even has its own title card! 
 
Many great previews are out from those who were lucky enough to get to see the episode in advance….and all of them wrote high praise for the episode, so we have a lot to look forward to on Friday.
  In “Frontierland”, Dean and Sam traveling back in time to 1861 to find Samuel Colt (guest star Sam Hennings), and a possible way defeat the Mother of All.
 
Samuel Colt was the man who built the Devil’s Gate and created a demon killing gun.  The Winchesters first became aware of the gun in season one and used it last in season five to attempt to kill Lucifer.  
 
“He’s an iconic character for the show, and has been since season one,” explains exec producer Sera Gamble. “We’ll be meeting him later in his life, after many years of fighting demons and tinkering with magical weapons and Devil’s Gates and such. Time hasn’t been too kind to the guy — which is pretty par for the course, for a hunter.”
 
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This photo reminds me of Ben Cartwright sitting at his desk on the Ponderosa.  And if you saw the video clip of the episode from PaleyFest’s panel, you would have noticed another similarity to “Bonanza” too, the opening title card. 
 
The episode has its own special opening sequence, complete with burning map superimposed with deep red “Supernatural” letters that grow until it bursts into the glass shards of the season six card.  So Cool!
 
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As for Samuel Colt, well he has learned more than just how to build magical weapons and devil traps, seems he also found a magical formula for killing a Phoenix….a real Phoenix.  In Winchester land they are not mythical creatures, and the ashes of a Phoenix might be able to defeat Eve.  
 
Dean stumbles upon the information in the Campbell’s library where he finds Sam Colt’s journal.  Seems Samuel Colt actually killed one in 1861 Wyoming.  Unfortunately the only way to get in touch with Colt is to travel back in time, which for Dean is a thrill and a half….but not so much for Sam. Our friendly neighborhood angel provides the transportation and Dean provides the western garb.  
 
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Dean is a “veritable kid in a candy store”, shopping for ‘authentic’ cowboy hats, button-down shirts, big belt buckles, and a serape. Unfortunately, once there, Dean is a bit upset at the locals’ reaction to his clothes and switches to real 1861 garb …and SOOOO glad he does!  He looks a lot more ‘bad-ass’ in them. Couple that with some somber looks from under the rim of a cowboy hat, a tense shoot-out at high noon, and a sheriff’s badge and we have “the ass-kicking, take-no-prisoners Dean Winchester that we all know and love.”
 
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(Photo from Guy Bee’s Twitter Account)
 
From Jensen Ackles’ excitement about the episode and comments made by the previewers, Dean is ‘back in full force throughout this episode’.  He has a lot of fun in many parts including the fake names Dean offers the town “officials,” and his reaction to the local saloon girl “who is definitely not what he pictured”.  (Warts!)
 
Sam on the other hand is not into the whole time travel ‘Ye Olde West’ concept. He doesn't like the clothing, ends up stepping in manure (which Dean jokes adds to the ‘authenticity’ of the experience), and has trouble riding a horse, which previewers says gives us some humorous moments.  But while he's not as eager to purchase the western garb as Dean, he does “get to go the name of Walker, Texas Ranger”, which should be awesome to see.
 
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Despite all the frivolity, the boys realize they are there for a very serious purpose and are on a strict time clock.  Cass has only given the 24 hr to find Colt, get his formula, find a Phoenix, kill it, collect the ashes, and return to their time.  
 
But a small wrinkle develops in their time table.  After arriving in town, they witness a public hanging in the town square. A young man, Elias Finch (played by Matthew John Armstrong), is hung after being convicted of murdering his wife; a crime he didn’t commit. 
 
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Before he dies, he vows to kill the men he thinks have wronged him and when the locals start dying, the boys realize they have to deal with a vengeful spirit as well. 
 
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So Dean stays in town to deal with the specter (and gets promoted to a Sheriff in the process), while Sam heads off to find Colt and try to explain the concept of “traveling from the future for a very special purpose.”
 
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Sam Hennings does a great job turning in a very memorable appearance as the legendary gun-maker, Samuel Colt.  According to previews, “Hennings is more than worthy of filling those iconic boots.” 
 
Though Samuel Colt is described as ‘tough as nails and quick with a pistol’, he has “retired” from hunting (if such is possible for a hunter) is more interested in pouring his next drink than firing his next shot.  So he isn't so eager to help the boys, even after Sam shows him his Blackberry.  "When you've done this job as long as I have," Colt says "a giant from the future with some magic brick doesn't exactly give you the vapors."
 
Another memorable performance is turned in by Matthew John Armstrong.  “He's particularly captivating as a monster you can't help but sympathize with”…and was highly praised for “playing Elias Finch with a constant air of danger.” 
 
 Ackles also was very supportive of Armstrong’s powerful performance.  “In the [episode] when the sheriff’s there in a jail cell scene, I caught myself just watching Matt,” Ackles says. “He had this long monologue and did a really good job, and I just got caught up in watching him work, and then realized that it was my line… I enjoy watching these performances; I enjoy seeing the writing come to life. It’s very gratifying for me to be able to be a part of that.”
 
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However the whole episode isn’t set entirely in the west.  There is a third part to the episode that deals with the action building around Castiel.  The situation in heaven is becoming more desperate for Cass.  Those in heaven are not sure if they should be on his side any longer, and it is up to Bobby to step in and offer some help. 
 
We also learned more about Castiel’s plan to gather souls, why the human soul holds such value for the angels (and the dearly departed Crowley), and witness the return of Castiel's ‘angelic blade.’  
 
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We're also introduced to Castiel's lieutenant, Rachel (played by Sonya Salomaa), who apparently makes a rather unwelcome appearance.  While she is one of Castiel's allies, she isn't so fond of the way the Winchesters order Castiel around. “Let's just say her attitude is more Zachariah than Gabriel when it comes to humanity” wrote one reviewer.

And there are many comments of more brotherly banter from the boys.  Seems the great brotherly solidarity we saw in season one continues to return. The wise-cracking Dean and serious Sam give us some awesome moments between the brothers. They are back to cracking jokes and teasing each other….Sam insults Dean's love of old Western films and Dean orders the good drink for himself and the girly drink for Sam. And some great Sam ‘bitch’ faces follow.  (Dare we hope to one day see the ‘Bitch/Jerk’ routine again?)
 
 
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There's also an incredible amount of pop culture references and witty quotables, including Phoenix jokes, Star Trek jibs, a Die Hard catch-phrase and plenty of "Back to the Future" comments, including Dean calling himself Eastwood.
 
Official synopsis: SAM AND DEAN RETURN TO THE WILD, WILD WEST — While searching for a way to defeat Eve, Dean stumbles upon Samuel Colt’s journal in the Campbell library. Realizing Samuel might have the answer to their problems; Sam and Dean ask Castiel to send them back in time so they can meet the man himself. While Sam is a bit reluctant to time travel, Dean is beside himself with excitement to return to the Wild, Wild West.
 
Guest cast (IMDb) includes: Misha Collins (Castiel), Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer), Sonya Salomaa (Rachel), Sam Hennings (Sam Colt), Matthew John Armstrong (Elias Finch), Scott Hylands (Judge Mortimer) and April Telek (Darla). 
 
Guy Norman Bee directed the episode and continues to awe Supernatural fans with his dynamic style and personality.  He has been very active on Twitter with the episode and has tweeted a number of pictures to tease the fans, without giving to much away of course.  He, Misha and Jim Beaver even got into a sort of twit pix frenzy on the set one day, causing Cliff to jokingly threaten to throw them all off the set.  
 
All joking aside, Bee went for a very realistic picture of the west using sepia tone coloration and typical spaghetti Western music. Ackles calls it a "gritty, yellow-toothed" vision of the time. Bee describes it as "a time when men were men and demons were nervous."  Not new to Supernatural, Bee also directed “Family Matters” and “Asylum”.
 
The reviews also gave kudos to Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin for their entertaining and well written script.  The episode perfectly balances laughs with high-stakes drama providing humor and action while keeping up the momentum of the mythology.  Dabb and Loflin are not new to the series either.  The two have also written “Jump the Shark”, “Dark Side of the Moon”, and two of my favorites, “Weekend at Bobby’s” and “Yellow Fever”.
 
 Photos for the episode can be found in our Photo gallery.
 
The CW promo videos for the episode are below. 
 
Supernatural 6.17, 6.18 and 6.19



 

 

 

 


So what did Jensen and Jared think of the episode? Wonderful stuff!
 
Ackles says that shooting it fulfilled a bit of a childhood dream for himself and Padalecki. “The western episode was one of those ‘woo-hoo’ moments,” Ackles laughs. “It’s kind of every little boy’s dream to do a showdown, and we got to do that.”
 
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(Photo from Guy Bee’s Twitter Account)
 
Ackles was having just as much fun playing cowboy as Dean.  “I sent a picture to my father, and he wrote back, ‘You’ve been rehearsing this scene since you were six.’”  He continues, “I get to have, like, a high noon shootout, we get to see a hanging…,” says Ackles. “We packed a lot into a 42-minute episode. It’s really good.”
 
Padalecki was thrilled with the memorable acting opportunity the episode provided for him. His scene with "Memphis Beat" star Sam Hennings stands out as a favorite. "I was really happy with the scene," he says. "I hope you guys like it. I was really proud of the work. It's an awesome episode."
 
But not all was pleasant on the set.  During the shootout scene, Dean pulls the Winchesters’ famous Colt out of his holster and makes a bit of a show with it. “It’s the Colt, right, and we built that thing, so it’s not like a precise, machined, beautiful thing,” Ackles explains. “It’s rough and rigid and doesn’t always work properly. It was very hard, and I had to slam the hammer back to shoot the thing and I ripped my palm right open. The great part about it is, it’s TV, so we’ve got to go again and again.”
 
“Now I’m just ripping skin off the palm of my hand,” Ackles continues.  “Our Western adviser guy was like, ‘You’ve got to earn gunfighters’ hands, and you have my friend!’ So I’ll wear it with pride.”
 
But it was not without its rewards too. Ackles notes that Dean's leather duster was custom-made out of Australian oilcloth.  After the episode was over, Ackles kept the duster for himself!  Now that is some fancy perks!
 
There is other fun stuff mentioned in the previews as well.  The writers give a wonderful nod to Jim Beavers past work, talk about Samuel Colt's work on the Devil's Gate from season 2, and  a glimpse of an “ancestor of a hunter we met all the way back in season 1.”
 
Lots to take in, but it is stacking up to be an episode no one will forget.  Saddle up everyone, and remember…never step in cow patty on a hot day!  Hehehe
 
Happy episode all!  Come back and tell us what you think
 
 

 

Comments  

rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-04-22 00:21
I am so looking forward to seeing this tomorrow night. I'll be watching the clock all day long.
alysha
# alysha 2011-04-22 09:51
This episdoe is so full of goodies and plot that I don't know how it will happen in just 40 minutes! It's going to move fast. I bet I'll watch it a lot!!!! 11 hours till airing!
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2011-04-22 10:28
I'm counting the clock too. I think I will have to watch it at least 4x to get all the little nuances they packed into it.

For all you twitter fans, remember the hashtag for the episode is #GoWestSPN.
thesilentpoethosea
# thesilentpoethosea 2011-04-22 12:55
What I'm wondering is if Samuel Colt will let the boys in on a few of the formulas he's come up with, besides the Phoenix one. If he does, then wouldn't this come in handy for Sam and Dean in the long run (like, season six and beyond)?
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2011-04-22 22:31
Wonderful fun episode. Loved all the little jibs and references. Dean as Clint Eastwood and Sam as Walker was great. Great job of weaving all those story line together and making it believeable. Lots of old west fun and still moved the myth along.

Loved Bobby's,"Do we run or fight", and the reference to Deadwood. (Really great series BTW) So much to see, need to do a re-watch...at least 10 times.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-04-22 23:00
Great episode! I loved it! So funny! LMAO
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-04-22 23:33
So much to say, really.

I loved it first and foremost. My thoughts are whirling around in my head and I feel that I need to rewatch this one to really grasp what they threw at us, but it was a fantastic episode.

I absolutely adored the brotherly interplay. It was like old times---like season 1 in flavor. It's great to see the boys on the same page that way again and willing to do everything for one another. That mistrust we sensed---beginn ing even in season 2 is gone.

The Return of the Sam Winchester Bitch Face is my secondary title of this episode. I lost count of how many he pulled in this episode, but it was fantastic to see it back. It was classic and I hadn't truly realized just how much I had missed it until he pulled his first true Bitch Face on Dean.

I was perplexed by the introduction and subsequent exit of Rachael. I'm not entirely sure I think we saw the truth here. I think this was a ruse of some sort but I don't have all of the pieces to really say yea or nay on that. We know from Balthazar that it is possible for an Angel to fake their own death. Could this be the case here as well? She seemed to be pretty bitchy first to the boys and then to Cas. She certainly didn't hold back on her thoughts of what he is doing and HOW he is doing it. What exactly was she accusing him of? I think there is so much more going on there yet to be revealed.

Souls are pure energy, which isn't a surprising revelation. The fact that Angels can use that power to add some juice to their own mojo IS. I'm not surprised that Bobby relented and allowed Cas to use his soul to return the boys, but it also takes us back to that very important question about the souls and what they mean in this War in Heaven. Hell's been fighting over souls for a very long time---but has Heaven been doing so before now or is it only a recent development? And it also makes you wonder what a damned soul, say such as Dean's had been in season 3, does for the demon that holds the contract. What power does it give them and how do they use it? Makes you look back and wonder.

The Mother of All. I knew the Colt wouldn't be the weapon to kill her. It would be simply to easy for the boys to pony up, strap on the Colt and gank her. This is the Winchesters we're talking about and we know how their luck typically runs. So we need the ashes of a Phoenix. Why that particular monster? And is it possible for it to rise again after being shot by the Colt?

The big question I have about killing the Mother: if they succeed in killing her, do all the other monsters she's created then die as well or do they have to be eliminated one by one? I think it's something worth considering. Since she's the one that created them, do they draw power from her or are they just simply beings that exist independently after that?

Speaking of the Colt, we now know who the mysterious hunter John referred to all the way back in season 1: none other than Dean himself. What a neat way to tie that little tidbit we all remember from so long ago---wonder if John somehow knew? And wouldn't that be the kicker?

Some of the best scenes in the episode were when they boys were apart ironically. Sam's scenes with Samuel Colt were brilliant. They cast him just right and the way they interacted was fantastic. You got the sense that at the start of their conversation that Samuel Colt thought he was some punk kid bothering him for no reason and then it ended with him respecting Sam as not entirely equal but at least more than a nuisance. He must have to send not only his phone but the much needed ashes. It was just neat to see him after hearing about his famous weapon throughout the series.

I felt bad for Finch. It's a shame that they had to kill him, but I almost wonder if in his grief he would have stopped with that final man. He had assimilated and loved a human and despite his power he couldn't save her. How tragic for him. And his scenes with Dean were great. You could tell that Dean was struggling with killing him but knew it had to be done. Beautifully casted here as well.

All in all, it ranks up there as a great episode and I know I talk too much.
Alice
# Alice 2011-04-22 23:51
What an evening! Everything was against me seeing this, and after I was so good remaining unspoiled! My mother-in-law suddenly arrived at our doorstep at 8:50, obviously forgetting how sacred Friday nights are around here. Once she left we got started late, and of all strange things while we were watching the dog barfed all over my husband. Really weird! i had to pause and clean that up. Then, with 20 minutes to go thunderstorms rolled in and the power went out! Luckily, that was at 10:01 pm which meant that the recording had just finished. Of course we had to wait until the power came back on to finish it.

I finally got to see it though. It was great! I think the Back to The Future Part III references were a bit blatant though. Samuel Colt was certainly interesting. I wonder if Sam and Dean will be that jaded at his age. Of course they will be! The "unawesomeness" of the saloon was hilarious! And the Gunsmoke opener? Inspired!

I know we'll find out Castiel's secret eventually, but that's two weeks in a row where they have teased us about what he's doing but told us nothing. Oh heck, it's been that way all season. This angelic Civil War so far isn't amounting to much.

My favorite line? "That poor horse." Hah! This will be a fun one to review.