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I've been dying to do this retro recap for a very long time. This episode gives a recapper so much to work with! My last two were "Salvation" and "Devil's Trap," so now it's time to look at the first season ending/second season beginning, third part of this gripping trilogy. Let's take a close look at "In My Time of Dying."
Since this is the season two opener, there's a nifty season opening classic rock montage that gives a nice summary of season one to Ted Nugent's "Strangehold." Growing up in the metropolitan Detroit area, Mr. Nugent's hometown as well, I listened to that song almost daily for a long time. I got freaking sick of it. Still, it rocks here. It's a really long jam song and the shortened version in this montage improves it. It goes to prove, too much Ted Nugent is not a good thing.
Alright, so let's see"¦where did we leave off with "Devil's Trap?" Oh, right, NOOOOO!!!!! Not the Impala!!!! Why oh why???? Not the car!!! It's not fair!!!
Ahem. My totally crushed insides try not to focus on the mangled wreck of once beautiful steel and instead throw concern to the three bloodied and unconscious occupants inside. Priorities, priorities...My God, how's the Impala going to recover from this???? Kripke wouldn't kill the car, would he? Right, focus. Evil demon behind the wheel of the semi-truck that plowed into them gets out and goes to the driver side door, then PULLS IT OFF! Nooooo! There I go breaking into horrified sobs again. What did the car do to deserve this? She was so"¦not young.
Deep breaths...okay, back to injured Winchesters. Here's a bonus. "Bad Moon Rising" is still playing, letting us know at least the Impala radio still works. She's got that going for her at least. Yeah, but you can't drive a car radio! (Inconsolable sobbing). Okay, okay. Sam wakes up while the demon comes over and preps the colt for firing. Yikes, Sammy looks even worse now that when his face was turned into hamburger last episode. That is one outstanding makeup job, making pretty like that look so bad.
The door drops to the ground (**whimper**) and Sam is pointing the colt right at the trucker demon, looking pretty mean under all that blood and the fact that he's immobile in the driver's seat. He tells the demon to get back or he'll kill him, "swear to God." Yeah, like the demon is scared. "You won't. You're saving that bullet for someone else," the demons boasts. This is when we learn that Sam is a good bluffer, which comes in handy around season five or so. He cocks the gun and points it with his one working arm. "You want to bet?" Wow, he grew a pair over the summer break. I know, he's mad about the car.
The demon gives up and goes expelling in the thick cloud of black smoke into the sky. Sam enjoys a small bit of relief by uncocking (is that a word?) the gun and relaxing, while the now un-possessed dude sees the carnage. "Did I do this?" He asks. Yes, you destroyed a freaking priceless 1967 Impala!! You weak bastard! Sam gets out and kicks his ass to the curb. Okay, no. We surmise the guy goes for help while Sam checks on John first. Nope, still out. Then he calls out to Dean. He looks dead. Sam gives a wailing "Dean!" before we fade into the next shot.
This is a Kim Manners directed episode, and I personally think it's one of the best ones he did for "Supernatural," possibly his entire career. I'm going to be pointing out in detail his especially great scenes. I really love how this next part opens. The screen fades to white, indicating it's daylight now. There's a giant round light in the middle. As the camera slowly focuses, we see it's a rescue helicopter hovering above. The bright light fades behind the copter and it looks heavenly the way it's lit up hanging in the sky like that. What a cool effect.
The paramedics have strapped a still unconscious Dean to a backboard and are using terms like "unresponsive" as they rush him to a copter first. John is hauled off next with his own neck brace and he's out of it too, but they're not shouting things about him too frantically. Next is Sam on his stretcher and he has a neck brace too for precaution, not to mention the hamburger damage to his face is now covered in gauze, but he's very much awake. "Tell me if they're okay!" He demands. He's told by the paramedic to stay still. You're telling a hysterical 6' 4" ginormo to stay still? Seriously? You're lucky he doesn't hulk out on you guys. Sam shouts now, "Are they even alive?!" We're about to find that out.
There's a long hospital corridor, and we're getting the long view thanks to a low shot (I'm serious about raving over the directing. Kim Manners makes me want to be one!). Next thing Dean pops awake. He's in a hospital bed, but he isn't attached to any sort of wires or nothing. There's also no one around. Eerie. He's in a white t-shirt and blue hospital pants, walking around in bare feet. Ah, the simple pleasures in life. Less layers is always better. Much better.
Dean walks through the corridor not seeing anyone and calls out for Sam and Dad. Now the long view of the corridor is from the top. Love it! There's a view of a staircase from the bottom and this staircase is iconic. It's been in so many Vancouver based shows and was even in season one's "Scarecrow" I believe. The shot is off angle, which is our clue that something is amiss. It closes in slowly on Dean as he moves down the stairs, still off angle from the bottom up. The giant windows behind him light up the scene just perfectly, as if he's in a different realm. So perfect!