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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
I like how this shot is framed. It's not that often we see Sam sitting down while two other people are standing and talking. But just look at Sam here. He's all chill and relaxed and nonchalant. He doesn't look upset or anything. Which is part of the problem with new Sam: he's so unemotional. And the body language of Samuel and Dean is really subtle here, too. Samuel is leaning in a bit, his head cocked toward Sam because he's been with him for this past year and has spent time with him and trusts him. Dean is leaning back slightly and has his head at a bit of an angle, like he's not entirely certain what to make of Sam at this point. And that's true because Dean doesn't know what to make of Sam at this point. He just learned Sam was out of Hell, and he's grateful and happy and suspicious and angry and all sorts of things. But compare this reunion with the one from "Lazarus Rising" and ouch, show. Ouch.
I just like the fact that Dean and Lisa have a photo board in the kitchen. It's so...normal. I'm really curious to know how many pictures of themselves Sam and Dean actually have. I'm guessing not many. And just look at how adorable the pictures are! So cute! Plus, I am going to call out Dean for putting some sort of dessert on the picture board. Can't forget the dessert!
In what will probably become a major theme, here's another shot where I love the framing. I adore this shot. Dean and Lisa have just had a pretty major conversation, and instead of milking it and being all dramatic and in-your-face with the repercussions, the camera pans away and you just see them sitting together on the stairs, just two people trying to figure out their lives together. It's very understated and lovely.
You might be wondering why this shot is in here. Well, first off, I think Lisa is completely awesome and the best girlfriend ever and if she gets killed or if Ben gets killed, I am going to be a blubbering mess. Fair warning. But why I really love this shot is because that outfit is the same thing she was wearing in "The Kids Are Alright." Her hair is her now hair, kind of wavy, and back then it was straight, so it's not just a photo from that episode. See below for evidence.
See her party outfit? Same as in the picture up top! Why does this make me so happy? Well, really, how many shows do you watch where the characters wear the same clothes? This one, of course, because Sam and Dean don't own many clothes. Now, there are probably a number of shows where characters re-wear their clothes, but it always drives me bonkers when you never see a character wear the same thing twice because who really has that many outfits? So I think it's kind of awesome that they kept this wardrobe around and had Lisa show up in it again. Nice job, wardrobe department.
This shot from the final scene kind of sums up the entire interaction between Sam and Dean in this episode. Neither of them look entirely comfortable. Dean looks worried and a bit scared and unsure of how to handle Sam, where Sam is going to fit into his new life, and whether staying with Lisa and Ben was the right decision. He just doesn't know what to do. Sam looks cool and unruffled and unemotional. Who knows what's going on under the surface? I hope we find out soon because I'm dying to know what is up with Sam and what brought him and Samuel back.
Those are some of my favorite moments from "Exile on Main Street." What were some of your favorites? And a special thanks to the website Supernatural HQ Screencaps for such high-quality images and for getting them posted so quickly after the episode!