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We Supernatural fans are a very opinionated lot. (Understatement!)  We can argue about whether or not we liked or disliked an episode or story line for days, weeks, and even longer.  But one thing that I think most of us can agree upon is that no matter what happens in the show, it always looks amazing.  The production values on this show are stellar, especially considering their budget is a fraction of some other, lesser-looking shows.  So I'll leave the serious reviewing to those more capable than myself.  What I really want to do is talk about some of my favorite images from the episode, why I liked them, and what they meant or could.  Let's talk about the pretty, people!  In chronological order, here's what I liked from "Exile on Main Street."

1. 
 
     
 
I really liked the angle they used here because it sort of feels like this is Dean's out-of-body experience, like he's floating above the bed looking down on himself.  And really, this new, normal, apple-pie life he has must certainly have felt like that at times.  Also, it kind of looks like he's doing a facepalm there, which is hilarious.
 
2.

     
 
Mostly I like this shot because it is adorable.  Seriously, how cute is it that Dean is teaching Ben about cars?  The answer is extremely cute.  Plus, Dean is smiling.  That's been a rare occurance these past few seasons, so no matter what the cause, it's good to see a smile.  And can we talk about the fact that Dean is wearing a t-shirt with a graphic on it?  Is this a wardrobe first for adult Dean?  I Wuv Hugz aside, have we seen him in anything but plain t-shirts?  I'll take bets on whether Dean bought that for himself or Lisa got it for him. Lastly, I love how this shot is framed with the Impala in the background, awash in sunlight, sort of overseeing the proceedings.  A passing of the torch, as it were.  Let's hope it doesn't last too long.
 
3.

     
 
Here we have the new season 6 title card, of course.  To me, it looks like glass breaking.  I've seen other people describe it as a mirror, but to me, some of these shards look transparent.  But either way, something here is shattering.  What is this representative of?  Are we shattering expectations, illusions, Dean's happy life, trust, all of the above?  It's ambiguous and very appropriate for this season.
 
     
 
And there's the show title, obviously.  I like the callback to the season 1 color scheme, the blue on black.  It's a nod to the reboot and the MOTW format.  Plus, this shade of blue is very cold and icy, which really fits with what we've seen of Sam so far.  More foreshadowing?
 
4.

     
 
I really like this silhouette shot.  It reminds me a lot of the silhouette shot of the boys from the pilot.  You know the one I'm talking about.  But yeah, in general, I just like silhouette shots.  There's something elegant about them.
 
5.

     
 
That is a creepy staircase.  I love the bannister's shadow on the wall and the beam of light from Dean's flashlight.  It's very evocative and really sets the mood.  This show does a great job using shadows to enhance the creepy factor.
 
6.

     
Dean versus the Yorkie, round 2.  I adore that they used for the Yorkie POV here because it's really funny looking up at Dean instead of looking down on the dog.  It's a nice perspective.  Plus, the dog looks really cute like that.  I normally don't really care for Yorkies, but hee, it's all scraggly hair and tiny ears and cocked head!

Comments  

CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-09-30 23:05
That is a fine selection - and coupled with some very eagled eye observations no less. I enjoyed reading - and looking at - your fine article. :-)
Jade
# Jade 2010-09-30 23:55
Thanks for the visual review. Loved it! I also wanted to add how I liked the wings on Dean's printed shirt. Almost looks like angel wings. A couple of other scenes that come to mind was Dean's quick draw McGraw towards the family member trying to dismiss Dean's experience because he had been out of hunting for a bit. The big smile on Grandpa Samuel's face after Dean put him in his place is awesome.

It's pretty much eating at me on what happened to Sam. The mystery of how long he was down there trapped with Lucifer and what he did to him. Sam is playing it off that there's no need to talk about it but Dean can see right through it. Sam is messed up and there is no doubt of it.

Looking forward to Two And A Half Men. Looks like we're going to get some humor back with this one!
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-10-01 00:40
This was great Arde! You definately included some of my favorite shots for the episode. Especially the one of Dean and Lisa on the stairs and the Father/Son scene while fixing the truck. Thanks for pointing out the Impala in the background, hadn't noticed it before.

Would like to add one of my own if I may. It's mostly cause I thought it was a great acting moment on Jensens part. It's the shot right after Dean sends Lisa and Ben off to join the teeming masses. I swear, I can almost hear him thinking "what a great woman" or something similar. http://oi52.tinypic.com/14listh.jpg

Oh! And great catch on Lisa's wardrobe!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-10-01 02:32
Flamey, to do a visual guide was a great idea - I can feel a series come along...? ;-) Meaning: I wouldn't mind getting more of this.

Some of the scenes you picked are my faves, too. The new title card (though I thought of a mirror, in terms of metaphorical importance, the more I look at it, the more I think of ice (probably because of its blue transparent nature, reminds me of Artic ice). Lucifer was cold (literally). The atmosphere of the show has cooled down to a depressive temperature. Sam keeps his (undoubtedly firing) emotions hidden beneath a cool exterior. But that's just me.

The 'normality' of Lisa's and Dean's life somewhat hurts the most, and the departments responsible did a great job with it. Thanks for shedding light on their efforts! They have a picture board - for me it's my fridge that's plastered with all kinds of pics. Another friend has a magnetic thingy. Again, another framed a window with pictures. We all have that in some way. Sentimental lot that we humans are :-)

Thanks so much. Love Jas
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-01 07:39
Arde,

Love the shots you chose. The Impala under the tarp yet quietly in the background is a great shot, one of my faves. Also, like you I really like the quiet privacy of Dean and Lisa on the staircase shot from above. We've been allowed a little bit into their lives but then we draw back and allow the two of them to have some privacy together...very much like a couple would be, outsiders only get to see so much the rest is between the couple themselves. Understated is a perfect description.

Thank you for doing this. Because of everyone's efforts we've had a whole week of wonderful articles and pposters and fun to enjoy between Exile and tonight's episode...cool.

:-)
Karen
# Karen 2010-10-01 09:47
Hi Ardeospina
Loved your pics, especially the one with Dean and Ben working on the truck. I can’t believe how observant you are. I would never have clued into Lisa wearing the same shirt.
Randal
# Randal 2010-10-01 10:14
Great choices and commentary, Pittsburgh, and I really must second you on #10. Look, Hollywood, even moderately well-to-do folks don't own 365 different outfits unless they're made from a stack of burlap they found in the backyard when they moved in and what are the odds of that?
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2010-10-01 10:30
What a wonderful idea of yours to do a recap like that.

I do love all the Dean shots especially the one with Ben. Haden't realize that we get a look on the Baby in the sunlight. Thanks for pointing that out. And Dean's shirt right that is a surprise.

About Lisa's outfight. I thought that picture must have been taken during her first appeareance. Kind of like a backstage pic. But I might be wrong on this.

Thanks Arde. And may your creativity be blessed.
Jeannine
# Jeannine 2010-10-01 13:09
What a wonderful article, Ardeospina! I have to agree with Jas, I would love to see this as a series. It is most definitely a very beautifully filmed show. Personally, I would have a difficult time picking out my favorite scenes.
Rose
# Rose 2010-10-01 15:16
I've seen this ep through new eyes now, thanks to you. Looking forward to more on the shows to come? ;-)
magichappening
# magichappening 2010-10-01 15:23
I third a series. And third (or fourth?) not noticing the Impala until you pointed it out. Think we need to round every Thursday off with a pictorisl recap, to ready us for the next episode on Friday. Ardeospina, any interest?

I love the shot of Dean's face when asking if he is dead...

Shallow moment: If Jensen looks this good after a week of directing with 17-hour stressful days, it's probably safer for everybody concerned that he works as hard as he does. Imagine him being well-rested, on top of hair and makeup and lighting and flattering camera angles...could be dangerously like staring into the sun. Hmmm...now where have I heard that before? ;-)

I know. I'm sorry.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-10-01 22:14
Thanks for commenting, everyone! In response to the request to make this a series, I was going to see how the first was received and then decide, so it looks like yes, I will do my utmost to make this a series and do a visual review of each episode. Luckily, going through screen caps to make posters and getting screen caps for these reviews can be done at the same time!

And just another general statement before I answer you all personally, but one thing I learned this summer from going through screen caps to find poster ideas is that there is so much going on in the background of this show that you often don't even realize. It's pretty amazing, actually. Looking at screen caps of an episode really lets you see it in a whole new way. Which is just what we'll be exploring with this series! Yay.

CitizenKane2, thank you! This show is always very interesting to look at, no matter if the episode is Bugs bad or Changing Channels good.

Jade, you're welcome. I didn't think of angel wings for that t-shirt, but that's pretty fun. They kind of remind me of the Red Wings logo, actually. And since I'm a Blackhawks fan, that's not a good thing to be reminded of. I'm dying to know what's up with Sam, too, and I suspect we will get answers. Just not right away! Got to tease the audience!

Yvonne, thanks! And I like your included shot, too. That is a very nice little smile. I'm torn about whether I agree with your assessment or whether there's something else going on there, too, like, "boy, she's a great woman and I hope I'm wrong about this because I don't want her to get eaten by a monster, but I'm not usually wrong because my hunting instincts are very good." Yeah, all that totally went through his head in the span of like a second.

Liebes, glad you liked! And really, the whole thing was just a selfish idea because when I go through caps for posters, there are a lot of shots I really like that I kind of want to talk about and share, so voila! And whether the new title card is a mirror or glass or even ice, I think cold is the whole point. Cold and dark and broken. I have a fridge covered in things, too, especially a group of lovely postcards a certain someone has sent me!

Elle2, thanks. The Impala in the background was great. And I like your analysis of the stairway shot, too, that we can only see so much of their relationship. This week has been really good for reviews and recaps! A full week of analysis!!!

Karen, aw, shucks, I don't know if I'm too observant. More like because of my job, I have kind of been trained to watch TV in a different way, and maybe I notice things other people might not because of that. I don't know.

Randal, I am glad to know I'm not the only one bothered by that. Seriously, who has that many clothes? And what kind of closet holds all those things?

Yirabah, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. It's possible the picture of Lisa on the bike was from her first time to the set, but the thing that makes me think it was taken for the new season is her hair. It looks like her hair now, in 6.01, with the waves and things and her older hair was straight. I don't know that they would have styled her hair in a completely different way with a different haircut even during her first appearance. Maybe they did, though. Who knows?

Jeannine, thanks! It's a series for sure. And in general, these aren't necessarily my favorite scenes so much as my favorite images. Sometimes the best scenes are just two people talking at each other, and those shots aren't always the most interesting visually. But it is hard to not post like 30 things. Got to keep things to a minimum!

Rose, wow, that's great! I'm glad I could help you watch the show in a whole new way. That's quite a compliment.

Magichappening, I shall answer your call and volunteer my services for pictoral recaps. Huzzah! Mead for everyone! And no need to apologize for being shallow. Ever. Goodness knows I've had my shallow moments, too...

Dany, yes, let's talk about the pretty! It is pretty. The Yorkie, my gosh. I totally wasn't expecting that when the shed opened, but I'm glad it was there!
Nitewoman
# Nitewoman 2010-10-04 02:17
like everyone else this is one of the best reviews because it's so different from the others. This show is awesome on lighting, camera and creating moods. So happy this will be a series. I loved Lisa when she first appeared and think she is the perfect mate for Dean. She's a damned good woman Dean don't loose her AND show DON"T KILL LISA OR BEN. I'll be one pissed off viewer if you do. Not everyone has to die on this show. Your pics had me looking at this episode from a different angle. Loved the yorkie too. The other shot I loved was Dean approaching the shed with the gun drawn...Jensen looked so young and not to mention hot. Can't wait for your next review :D
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-10-11 23:36
Hey Arde - love this series. Look forward to many more.

As to my favorite shots, you have included most of them. Love the Dean/Ben shot. And Dean's t-shirt, you are right, we haven't ever seen him with a printed t-shirt. But what I love more (and is not shown) is the fact that Dean and Ben are wearing black t-shirts, and if you go back a couple of frames, they are wearing the same kind of boots and jeans. So, Ben is completely copying Dean, which I find just absolutely adorable.

I love the photo board, but my favorite pic on that board is cut off - the one with Dean and Lisa. That is such a darling pic of those two. These two are made for each other.

The stair scene is wonderful the way they pan out. I loved what elle 2 said, that the camera draws back to allow them a more private moment together. I LOVE THAT!!!!

The pic of the photo of Lisa and Dean uprighting the frame. What is seen in the next couple of frames, which I absolutely love, is the fact that Dean runs his fingers down the photo. You know, he just lightly brushes over it, caresses it kind of. Kind of a loving gesture to the picture. How many times have we found ourselves running our fingers over a picture of a loved one. It's that intimate connection that Dean displays here in just a touch of his fingers. Brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

And the parting picture of Sam and Dean. So much loss, angst and pain on their faces. It just breaks my heart. I hope these two get on the same page and soon.

Lastly, the pic not included, but the one that Yvonne included a link for, the one of Dean smiling after he kisses Lisa in the garage and he looks at her while she walks away. Man, the smile just melts my heart and is currently the wallpaper on my computer. Love that pic.

Love your visual review and look forward to many more. (maybe something to think about next summer's hellatus and do past seasons???)