Page 1 of 2Baby. The third main cast member - The Metallicar - The solid rock that has always been there for the Winchesters (except for that silly season seven when she was sidelined). The strong and rugged object that takes her lumps but always comes out on top, all while protecting her boys from all sorts of horrible things. She maybe Dean’s pride and joy, but she looks after Sam as well. So yeah, why did it take 11 seasons to get her a profile episode? Ah well, better late than never.
The concept itself is daring. Shoot an entire episode inside the Impala. Make the scenes semi-real time and create a monster story that can actually be told and enjoyed from Baby’s POV. While the script is brilliant, the true achievement of this episode is what went into the direction. It took a ton of creativity and planning to set this one up and the end result was nothing short of perfection. It’s a no-brainer as to which episode this season would get the full length recap from me for this season. “Baby” all the way. It is one of my favorite episodes of all time for any TV show, not just “Supernatural.”
For those who may not be familiar with the full length recap concept, this is basically me digging into the episode with exhaustive detail and giving my wandering thoughts for every little part of it. This gets pretty long. I used to do these all the time, but they ended up taking way too much time not just for me but anyone reading them! Now I do one or two a season for fun. These are the type of recaps that once made Television Without Pity a great site, and they’re also a concept that mostly went out with that site too. A lot of these recaps can get snarky but my love for this episode holds no bounds. Any nitpicking in this recap will be reflected at the season itself and not this brilliant episode.
On With the Recap
The quick rundown before I get started: The script is penned by “Supernatural” writer extraordinaire Robbie Thompson and directed by director extraordinaire Thomas J. Wright.
I’ll skip through the “THEN” segment, even if we get some of Baby’s greatest hits through the years. My favorite, Chuck’s story about her creation in Janesville, Wisconsin. I still believe it, she’s pretty much the most important object in the history of the universe.
It all starts out with one memorable teaser, obviously one of those “this must be important for later” scenes. It starts from the POV of the drivers seat, the sun shining through the front windshield. Then there’s the army men in the ashtray, a shout out to the continuity from season five’s “Swan Song.” We then see another part from that episode, the carved initials of SW and DW in the back, except now it’s covered in pieces of broken glass and blood. Uh oh. Now there’s a shot from the rear window which is smashed out, a side window that is caked in blood, and then a bloody machete on the floor. What’s happened to you Baby? Then it all comes together, Dean battered and unconscious face down and handcuffed on the back seat. Okay, something has definitely gone wrong. I don’t want to know where Sam is. Too bad he wasn’t found in a similar state on the hood. That would have been cool.
Opening credits and it’s time to transition to the soft porn portion of the program. Car porn is the best! It's 48 hours earlier and to the sliding guitar of Bread’s “Guitar Man,” aka, the best use of this song ever (it’s a pretty lame song otherwise), we are inside of Baby experiencing a positively luscious bath. This is no ordinary car wash. Dean is lathering her up on the left, Sam on the right. So many teases in this scene! Like Dean’s free bunker shorts attire which cannot be seen from baby’s POV. Can’t blame her, I’d get lost in that bubbly soak. Still, did the shorts have to be left to the imagination?
Yes, Sam and Dean are spending this time to give what turns out this season to be the obligatory, “Nothing on Amara, nothing on Metatron, still can’t do anything to hunt ancient evil, blah, blah, blah.” Luckily, I’ve pushed this all to background noise and I’m totally into the wash. Just into it? I’m understating. I can literally feel that warm lather all over me. It’s bliss! Forget the fact there are also two knock ‘em dead gorgeous guys showering me with all that attention. Hmm…attention… Oh yes, right there Dean. Just a few more rubs Sam, little this way, oh oh oh now over there, just a little down from that, oh man now you’re hitting the sweet spot. Now it’s time for the spray. Hose me down Dean, hose me down. Ahh…
Excuse me? What did you say? Recap? Um, yeah, sorry, where was I? There’s a new scene? I had my eyes closed and didn’t notice. The boys and one very clean Baby are on the road, and naturally, it's raining. "Figures," Dean observes. A case is being discussed, a possible werewolf attack. The destination is Quaker Valley, Oregon. Wow, talk about exercising your cabin fever. A look on Google maps shows the drive to be roughly 1600 miles (to Eugene anyway since Quaker Valley isn’t real), and that’s the shortest route. Judging by the roads these guys take, I don’t think they’re always doing the shortest route. It’ll take them with stops about 2 to 3 days. Road trip!
Ah yes, all the implements needed for the epic road trip, starting with the green cooler in the back. It’s stocked, all the beer and smoothies needed for an adventure. Wait, smoothies? Oh Sammy, that is just sick and wrong. Dean’s reaction is a bit more my style. He has his priorities straight.
Dean: What is that?
Sam: It’s a smoothie.
Dean: Where’s the beer?
Sam: Under the smoothies.
Dean: Where’s the rest of the beer?
Phone rings! Guess who? I absolutely love how they managed to work Castiel into this episode. He’s on the phone doing research but we never see him. It makes sense, it’s the POV of Baby. I love Misha’s tweet when this originally aired about him “phoning” it in. Anyway, this is where one of the most dangerous statements of the season was made. Turns out, it is not a great idea to turn an angel onto Netflix. They don’t sleep, they don’t eat, they don’t go to the bathroom, so they from an attention span perspective could do in one viewing the whole ridiculous amount of TV that the catalog offers in one very long sitting. You weren’t thinking of that Sammy when you offered your room? Playing with fire I’ll tell ya. He definitely isn’t going to be okay now.
Night is approaching so Dean stops…at a dumpy Roadhouse? Oh, this is priceless. Welcome back season one Dean Winchester! Oh, look, its season one Sam Winchester too! “Are you serious? Dean, it's late. I'm exhausted and starving. And this place . . . I mean, even Swayze wouldn't come to this roadhouse.” Besides not appreciating that Sam took Swayze’s name in vain (that is rather uncool), Dean hopes that he’ll run into a waitress that he met there before even though he texted her and she never texted back. So yeah, in perfect reckless Dean fashion, he’s back for more. “But in there . . . Good times. And time heals all wounds, Sam, especially good times. What do you say?”
Sam says yes and they go in there together all rowdy, drinking and conquering women. Psyche! What do you think happens? Sam turns his nose up and decides to do research in a diner. Oh yes, this is definitely a return to season one. Dean goes in for his adventure. This is where the POV of Baby pays off big time. We watch from the drivers seat as Dean goes into the grungy bar. It’s dark when he goes in and light when he comes out, the neon signs flickering off. Oh boy, an all-nighter! What waitress did you find this time? At this point there’s no sign of Sam.
Dean throws himself into the front seat looking a little worse for wear. “Mistakes were made. Mm-hmm.” Sounds like a great night! Now the POV switches to behind Dean. Suddenly someone pops up from the back seat. It’s a naked blonde woman! How did she…wait a second, where is Sam? He can’t be…that familiar voice from the back seat confirms it’s true. “Ah, good morning. That’s, uh, my brother Dean.” You scored a waitress Sammy? Whoa, you sly dog! In the backseat of Baby? That is so awesome.
Dean rightfully excuses himself while the waitress puts some clothes on, but not without getting a quick peak in the rear window on the way out! I wonder if Sam noticed that leer while lying naked under the blanket in the back seat. The waitress can’t find her hairpin though. Remember that, it’s important for later! It’s eerie too, like Baby knows they’ll need that hairpin.
Cut to the next scene and Sam is buttoning up his shirt in the passenger seat (crap, we couldn’t see him shirtless?) while Dean takes his place in the driver’s seat. Dean just casually puts in a tape while Sam wants to explain. Oh Sammy, no need to explain, your big brother has something very special in mind. Dean just “no, no’s” it away and waits for the moment to strike. The opening chords come on for a song that I have loved since I was a child, Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.” Oh man, I know where he’s going with this! Apparently, so does Sam.
“Don’t ‘Night Moves’ me.” Ha!! I’m dying already! Dean wants the lyrics to speak for themselves, which is essentially the story of a young couple burning a lot of summer angst by getting it on in all sorts of places, like in the back of his Chevy. Dean just lets it all play, saluting one of the greatest rock writers all time, calling his brother “Samuel” in the process, while Sam finds the whole thing ridiculous. I find it freaking hiliarious! Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy… “Out in the back seat of my brother’s ’67 Chevy…” Sam replaces the original lyrics with is own. Bwah! That’s brilliant!
Sam finishes his zing with “You started this” and now its time for the brothers to sing along!
Workin’ on our night moves….
This is totally awesome! One of the best brotherly bonding scenes ever! The song continues as there’s more shots of them in Baby laughing and eating fast food and Sam nitpicking on Dean’s driving. There’s this amazing shot of the sun rising from the back window in between them. I’m so damn freaking happy right now!
I rewind this montage again, and again, and again and I swear I was singing “Night Moves” to myself for two weeks straight after this aired. Hats off to you Mr. Thompson. You…are…the…man. Of course Robbie grew up in the same area I did, metro Detroit, and Bob Seger was our rock God and native son. No wonder he picked this song. Best use of classic rock since “Renegade” in season two’s “Nightshifter.”