‘All happy families resemble one another,
but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’
Leo Tolstoi
After dealing with the guilt issues of Sam and Dean in another article, I felt compelled to take a closer look at the relationships of the Winchester men. John’s role remains a crucial one, even though we haven’t seen him for a long time now. Who was John Winchester? How did he influence his sons and why? What kind of father was he?
John Winchester was, as Dean once stated, ‘many things’: a vietnam survivor, a corporal, a mechanic, a loving husband to a lovely woman, a father to exceptional, intelligent and courageous sons, an obsessed hunter of the supernatural. Although John died in episode one of the second season, he remained a part of this show – appearing every once in a while in conversations, in memories, sometimes in fights and heated discussions. He made it out of hell, as far as we know, after decades of agony that didn’t manage to turn him into a torturer. And only Heaven (and Kripke, I suppose) knows what has and will become of him.
Neglect, invalidation and a missing mother
John was probably one of the most ambivalent figures in the young Winchesters’ lives, and his ability – albeit being dead and somewhat gone – to create an impact on his sons hasn’t changed.
John, while providing the skills imperative for survival, comfort to an extent he considered necessary (while at the same time loading his sons, and Dean in particular), and love as much as he could muster after his own traumatic shock of finding his beloved wife pinned to the ceiling… trained his kids to serve his purpose: execute revenge and find the demon responsible. In part he taught them the essential abilities to deal with whatever might lunge at them, in part he moulded them into handy tools to help him hunt down the yellow-eyed demon Azazel.  His actions were fuelled by despair, loneliness and confusion after being violently thrown into a paranormal world he had no idea existed.
Having had such a positive reaction to my retro-look at The Pilot - and a moment of Wendigo - I decided to try my hand at another of Season 1's episodes that stood out from the others. Granted, some of you may say to yourself - she chose that episode? What about Home or Faith or Shadow or Devil's Trap or, or, or...well, all excellent choices BUT (that awful word) this one 'spoke' to me because it's got a vibe that is not as evident anymore in the series. I miss the vibe of this episode. 

Now, before anyone thinks I'm complaining (I'm not) the reason the 'vibe' of this episode isn't seen, felt, heard, or whatever of late is simply because since this particular episode John died, Sam died, Dean died (again, as this is post-Faith, where he almost died, but pre-IMTOD so technically Dean has died again, and again and again and probably two more times (but that's a different bunny trail), Dean's gone to hell, come back damaged, Sam psychologically and emotionally went to hell and also drank demon blood (sure to mess with anybody's funny bone.) Suffice it to say, a whole lot of junk has 'gone down', and the light-hearted funny found in this episode, particularly between the brothers, isn't as evident. So for those reasons and many others, Hell House stands out from Season 1.
Supernatural Bela
We've had some fascinating female characters in this show, but only Ruby and Bela endured for more than one episode. Inspired by elle's latest article, I felt compelled to take a closer look at one of the show's most misunderstood and most hated characters, 'the so-called Bela Talbot'.
I love going back and recapping landmark episodes. You know, the ones that constantly stick with either Sam and Dean forever and traces of it can still be seen today. This one especially is a ground breaking character defining moment. Dean Winchester was never the same after this.

For those that are trying like mad to remember what happened just before "What Is And What Should Never Be," Sam and Dean had to go deep after their encounter in "Folsom Prison Blues." Deep like Yemen. But apparently relocation to a Middle Eastern country isn't necessary. How about a license plate change instead? That'll work better. The Impala doesn't stand out at all. Plus criminals never come from Ohio.
Okay, it's been a couple of days and the responses have considerably slowed, so for those of you dying to know the answers to the Trivia Quiz, I won't keep you hanging.  I'll tell ya, a couple of you came close, but no one got the answers 100% right.  So, I must have done my job right.  One answer no one guessed correctly and a couple only had one or two correct answers. 

The winner BTW, a tie!  It's between elle2 and Kmb316!  They're both an encyclopedia of weirdness just like I am.  Elena M and Supernarttu both came in a close second.  Congratulations to you all!

So, below are my answers and naturally my long-winded explanations for each.  After all, you guys want to know more than the straight answer, right?  RIGHT?  Ah well, if not, skim through.

What's so great about Season 1?
With all of the rumors, gossip, hope or whatever, that there will be a Season 6 the prevailing theme (in the two or three comments I've painstakingly sought out and read) is that Kripke is going to return Supernatural to its roots, you know, the ones of Season 1.
So, with winter hellatus upon us (two weeks down, seven to go) I thought I'd explore what's so great about Season 1 and why there would be anyone out there thrilled that we'd go back there. Also, while I have plans, dreams, inspiration, aspiration and most definitely perspiration, to achieve some sort of literary magnificence during this winter hellatus, I currently have no creativity in that writing arena, so "˜tis fluff, and nothing but fluff I'm doing here in the hopes of jarring loose a modicum of creativity.
With that in mind, here we go"¦
What's so great about Season 1, let me count the episodes:
Pilot, Skin, Home, Scarecrow, Faith, Nightmare, Shadow, Dead Man's Blood, Salvation, Devil's Trap.
Then there's the other episodes:
Bugs, Route 666, The Benders, Hookman -- they're worth watching if for no other reason than to compare to the likes of BUABS, WIAWSNB, AVSC, MS, JIB, Lazarus Rising, OTHOAP, Lucifer Rising, AAH and so very many others.
Have I mentioned the actors/actresses?
Samatha Smith, Adrianne Palicki, Loretta Devine, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Nicki Aycox, Taylor Cole and the introduction of Jim Beaver (to name just the standouts in my mind, and off the cuff, feel free to add others.)
What about the anemic alternative pop music?
Won't find any here! It's all Allman Brothers, AC/DC, Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Squire, Bad Company, Def Leppard, Rolling Stones, Iron Butterfly, Quiet Riot, Boston, CCR, Blue Oyster Colt, Ozzy Osbourne, Kansas and so very much more...ah, memories.
Then there's the monsters, monsters and more monsters:
Wendigos, ghosts, vampires, cannibalistic humans, shrtigas, daevas, shapeshifters, pagan gods"¦hey, maybe we'll finally see a chupacabra! Yeah!!!! (or better yet, zombie alligators "” I'm with you, Suze.)
Bring on the funny!
  • Dean, muddy and stinky from plunging into the river.
  • Bitch/Jerk
  • No chick flick moments
  • Sheriff: "Is there anything real about you?" Dean: "My boots."
  • Sam: "You're afraid to fly?" Dean: "It's never really been an issue before."
  • Sam: "Are you humming Metallica?"
  • Dean: "Oh, honey, I don't do shorts."
  • Everything in Hell House (especially the brotherly pranks)
Yeah, Season 1 has loads of good stuff. Should Mr. Kripke and his posse decide to go back to the roots of the show, I'm in. Of course, I'm a bit of a lemming, I'll admit it, I'll go where they lead"¦as long as there's Carry On, Wayward Son.
Thanks for reading. Elle2
You know, I had it all planned. I was going to use my bitching javascript programming skills to tweak some canned module out there that had a trivia quiz application.  I was going to do this fancy interface using multiple choice and giving correct answers instantly as well as keeping score.  Guess what?  Yeah, still in the planning stages.

However, it's Monday, I'm in the mood for something fun, and these trivia questions are getting stale.  So, I'm doing a trivia quiz in boring old blogger style.  I list, you try to answer.  I'm moving the comments section on the main page to deep on the right hand side so people don't visibly see answers.  So if anyone doesn't want to see answers, DON'T READ COMMENTS.  I'll post the answers oh, when I feel like it.  These questions are in no particular order for they randomly come from my twisted mind.  There are several questions with multiple answers, so get busy!  The person with the most correct answers gets bragging rights, or maybe a banner in the Mystery Spot clock.  I haven't figured it out yet. 

So here we go...round one!

1.   What episode is the first to feature a shirtless Winchester? Bonus, Who is it?
2.   How old were Sam and Dean when Sam gave Dean his cherished amulet?
3.  What was the first episode where the word "Impala" was actually said? Bonus, who said it? 
4.   Sam mentioned in "Something Wicked" that the Shrtiga had struck before in Odgenville, North Haverbrook, and Brockway. What TV series is this a shout out to? Bonus: Name the episode.
5.  Other than South Dakota, what state has been the setting of the most episodes?  After that?
6.  What was the name of Bobby Singer’s dog in his first episode, “Devil’s Trap.” Bonus, who was he named after?  What would you name Bobby's dog now?
7.  What politician has a parking spot in Hell according to Casey the Demon in “Sin City?” 
8.  What was the name of the porno flick Sam was caught watching in “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things?” 
9.  What Supernatural actor folded his software business after he figured out he made more money acting?
I'm really proud to share this one.  Sablegreen has been working on this for a while and has done some most excellent research into pursuing a theory about Supernatural's appeal in today's down economy and whether it might have an impact on ratings.  Since I seem to be an avid follower of TV ratings and the whole system, this certainly sparked my interest.  There are several interesting points here that I've never considered before.  We are both very curious to see what your thoughts are on this one.  It's a topic of discussion this site has never taken on before and I'm thrilled to see it. 


With the current hellatus, it’s time to look back at what’s happened, where we were, and where we are. Ratings have been a big issue the first half of season five. No matter what the season for a series, whether they are up for renewal of season two or season six, ratings are important. The ratings for Supernatural have been slowly declining. Why? In my opinion, for a show this good, it really doesn’t track.   Many aspects affect ratings of any show. Various factors have been but forth for Supernatural ratings, including time slot, the small CW network, the myth arc of the series and the lack of advertising. 

All are factors, but the bottom line is people will watch what entertains them, and what entertains people, in a large part, is affected by economic conditions.    Myth arc or no, if they like the series they will rent the past seasons to catch up. I would, and have, and people are using their TVs now more than ever. As advertisers want to know where to best put their advertising dollars, a lot of information was available on consumer practices. These also give an insight into what people like to watch.

Today's thought bending contribution comes from Randal.  Inspired by Jasminka's "Warriors of Light" he takes his brain twisting knowledge of literature (as well as occupational hazard) and has come up with a rather inspired analysis of texts and their role in Supernatural.  You'll never look at a book the same way again!  I'm still in awe over the creative minds this site attracts.  Enjoy!   


Remember What The Dormouse Said

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

- T. S. Eliot

On that violence thing, Henriksen, Masters and Reznick might beg to differ. But I digress, and probably will often. Like each and every one of us, the Winchester brothers started out as wee hollow rugrats and needed the straw in their collective craw to not simply lie there like lazy bums chowing down bags of Funyuns with a carbonated soda chaser, but actually learn something useful, make something of itself.

Go west, young scarecrow, and watch out for monsters.