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Here we go with the third episode of the season, fittingly titled "The Third Man," bringing us the return of Cass!  Hooray! The director for this episode was Bob Singer, his first of the season, and the writer, of course, was Ben Edlund.  It was a very Edlundian episode!
 
Let's just get right to it, shall we? And starting things off with a bang...
 
1.

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...it's shirtless Dean!  Long time, no see, unfortunately.  And while this is a glorious sight, I swear I didn't just put it in here for the eye candy.  Notice anything missing in this scene?  Besides his shirt, of course.  That's right, no handprint.  I couldn't tell if the tattoo was there or not based on the angle of the scene, but the handprint is definitely missing.  I think it's missing because he's dreaming, and when he dreams of himself in a normal, apple-pie setting away from supernatural life, he leaves the handprint out of it because what is more supernatural than that thing?  But Dany raised the interesting theory in a chat box conversation that she thinks maybe it got healed when Cass healed Dean in "Swan Song."  What do you guys think? 

2.

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I love these little, pretty establishing shots. Sometimes they make me wonder how many times in their lives has this happened, sleeping in the car on the side of the road like this?  Hundreds and hundreds, I'm guessing.  Plus, I was just so happy to see the Impala back on the road!  This is a car that should be driven, not parked in a garage.

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The framing of this shot is great, with the Impala in the foreground and Dean in the background there.  This little scene cutting between Sam working out and Dean stretching the kinks out was great.

4.

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Welcome to my review, shirtless Sam!  Again, I have actual thinky thoughts about this scene, which is amazing considering the sights.  My theory on why Sam is paying for sex is that in order to find someone to spend the night with normally, you have to make some kind of emotional connection with the person.  It doesn't have to be a deep connection, but lust is an emotion, too, and it still has to be a two-way process.  You have to spend the time to meet someone, flirt with them, etc., etc.  But with a pro, you don't have to do any of that.  You don't have to be emotional in any way, don't have to make a connection at all.  And Sam is so disconnected right now that I think he prefers to let it be a business transaction instead of an emotional transaction. 

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Of course Dean goes to burger heaven.  Where else would he go?  And the angel carrying the burger is a nice callback to Cass eating all those burgers in "My Bloody Valentine," too.
 
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I really like this shot of the cars together because it really shows how awesome the Impala is and how stupid the Charger is.  There, I said it.  I don't like that thing!  The only new muscle car I really like is the Dodge Challenger, and that's because it looks the most like the classic muscle cars.  Anyway, this is also kind of a neat shot because look at the ghost cars!!!  No, it's just the reflection of the police cruisers in the shiny police department building (or is it?!?!) but ghost cars are always awesome on this show, right? 

7.
 
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Is that Robert Singer on the right?  It sure looks like him to me.  Director cameo! 

8.
 
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Here's another shot where I really like the framing.  It could have very easily just been the three of them in a little triangle and talking, but the space between them is nice.  And it's kind of like the shot earlier with Dean stretching: something is in the close foreground on the left and the subject of the scene is in the middle distance on the right.

9.
 
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Excuse me while I cap the hell out of this scene, but I just love it.  It's also a perfect time to talk about film noir and the visual conventions involved with it.  Before the season, Sera Gamble talked about this season being more like film noir, and visually, there are some style conventions associated with film noir.  According to Wikipedia, these style conventions include: low-key lighting, stark contrasts between light and dark, dramatic shadow patterns, often with Venetian blind or staircase bannister patterns falling on people or walls or part of the scenery, characters' faces being partially or wholly obscured by darkness, and there are a lot of low-angle and wide-angle shots.  

So, that's a lot of stuff to take in, but in this shot alone, we have a low-angle shot, high-contrast lighting with the sun coming in the window through a staircase bannister, a shadowed pattern on Sam's face, as well as Sam partially obscured by darkness.

Comments  

Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-10-18 22:05
Well I certainly notice the noir NOW! And thanks much for it. I'm ignorant on such things, which is one of the reasons I enjoy your visual reviews. Get to learn fun stuff. :-)

I notice that you quite cleverly found a way to include both shirtless boys in this intelectual analysis. Triple win. Bi-bro article, shirtless Winchesters, brain food. You're a master

I was wondering both things about the handprint. Guess we'll just have to get a live shot of shirtless Dean to make sure. Oh, and the tattoo was present. You'll have to study the scene to make sure you don't miss it. :D

About the Charger...we need to talk. Now I love the Impala. She is THE car. Gorgeous, bad ass, I drool over her sisters at car shows (and one lucky bugger drives one around locally!) but I would never own one. Nope. Cuz you're right, she's meant to drive. And Sam is right about the gas mileage. The Charger though, oh ya. Glad she's gone in the show, but for me, on the wish list. And remember, muscle goes so much deeper than the skin!!! Her form may not appeal, but it's her guts and heart (ahem, engine) that defines her.

Awesome visual review Arde. Time to scroll back and restudy your analysis on Sam and the hooker. (Which I totally agree with btw)
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2010-10-19 06:22
Thanks Arde for this.

Didn't really know what "noir" exactly was except extremly dark. Thanks for explaining it here. And yes they sure hit it on the spot. I always loved how they use one single light spot somehow to enlight the scene.

About the car, well I am German and that is nearly a must to love a good looking fast car. Would actually love to drive one with a lot more horsepower than mine. But then again a good old classic car there is nothing better than that to look at and it sure is fun to drive those. It kind of feels like you actually have to work together with the car. But they sure do have one problem as Sam stated it - the gas milage. Remember how Dean asked about the apocalypse and put in there "like 5 Dollars a gallon of gas" that joke kind of didn't work in Europe since we are way past that for decades already.
Suze
# Suze 2010-10-19 06:33
This one had everything, Gratuitous nakedness, Cas, frogs, automotive destruction ... :D
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-19 09:24
Thanks Ardeospina for the very nice pictorial recap - and informative and insightful comments :

(a) I like the theory that Cass may have healed Dean's scars on his shoulder in Swan Song.

(b) I missed "Burger Heaven" altogether. Now that you have pointed it out, it is hilarious. :-)

(c) I had missed the great shot at capture no. 14 with the frog. It's quite breathtaking.
maggie
# maggie 2010-10-19 14:49
so that means Dean had a Christmas normal day and bought christmas presents for Ben.?.. ou :D
alysha
# alysha 2010-10-19 17:59
On the left of the wendigo mask is Sam's leather laptop satchel.
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-19 20:17
Ardeospina,

Love your visual reviews.

I keep reading about how everyone LOVES Sam's car, but I didn't. (and I thought I was the only one).

Then I read 'I REALLY LIKE THIS SHOT OF THE CARS TOGETHER BECAUSE IT REALLY SHOWS HOW AWESOME THE IMPALA IS AND HOW STUPID THE CHARGER IS'...'I DON'T LIKE THAT THING' Thank you. That picture does show the difference of the cars. The Impala looks like a solid machine and the Charger is just taking up space.

The Charger was coming down the street and then the Impala comes around the corner, if the Charger was real, it probably would have messed up it's pants.

Then the two angels came out of the window and squashed it like the bug it is. If they had landed on the Impala, they would have bounced off and she would have been fine. That is the difference between plastic and metal.
LOL 'DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD'

In the immortal words of Dean Winchester (regardless of mileage) the Charger is a 'plastic piece of crap'. Eric Kripke said in an interview that his neighbor told him 'you want a car that, when people stop next to it at the light, they lock their doors'. That is the IMPALA. :D :D
No one is going to be scared of plastic. :D

I am done with my rant.
RIP Charger. Long live the IMPALA.

Once again, thank you, I am not alone.
:D
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-10-20 01:44
I love your choice in pictures and zeroing in on how they filmed in the noir style. I also wouldn't have really noticed it without someone pointing it out. Now I need to rewatch the episode looking for that style in the different scenes.

Especially loved the pic of Dean stretching. Nice shot of his back side and the bow legs are definitely evident. So pretty. :mrgreen:

Also loved the Wendigo mask still sitting in Dean's trunk. As stated by someone else, that means Dean was able to experience a normal Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving as well, with loved ones. Although his Sammy was missing, which I'm sure made the holidays difficult, but still, Dean experienced them and I'm sure he bought the store out for Ben at Christmas. Just warms my heart thinking about it.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-10-20 02:35
Just a small comment on the charger vs the Impala.

I'm not an expert of cars, but I have to say that while I didn't mind the charger (in relation to how the charger looks), I definitely preferred the Impala.

Just on aesthetics alone, the Impala has a wonderful "classic" look (with a touch of the "creepy" vibes - you never know what's in the trunk of an Impala :P).

The difference in aesthetics are clearly evident in screenshot no. 6 above. So, the screenshot is a rare "full body side by side" comparison between the charger and the Impala - and it's a lovely shot (regardless of whether one prefers the charger or the Impala). :-)
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-10-20 05:49
Poor Charger, who is so hated. I'm the voice of minorities so I'll defend him. Yes, it looks like a boy to me. Don't know why, but it does. And why is he so disliked, BTW? Because it's Sam's car? Why can't Sam drive a car of his own? Dean has his own FAMILY and Sam's not supposed to have his own CAR? Besides, on a shallow note (because the Charger may be a boy but I'm a girl)Sam looks sexy behind thw wheel. ;-)
elle2
# elle2 2010-10-20 08:07
Great visual review, thank you for this. I love how the scenes you selected and how you 'capped' them. Thank you not only for the noir review but also for you thoughts on Sam's penchant, now, for hookers. Good point. Sam is all business these days and sex is a business.

I believe the handprint is still there (and yes, a more full straight on shirtless Dean won't hurt in the future :mrgreen: to verify that) the realization that it's gone due to a dream makes perfect sense, it's not likely Dean would dream himself with an angel print on his shoulder. Still, I'd like verification....Sera????

Great job Arde, thank you for finding the images and putting the words and the research into joining them all together.
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-10-20 17:58
Poor Charger!!! I return to find she (or he according to fellow ally AndreaW) is being burned in effigy!

While I respect everyone's right to their own automobile taste, and I'm TOTALLY pro-Impala (she kicks Chargers patootie!) perhaps some facts should be faced?

While easily Angel crushed, Charger is lighter weight, has a better engine, gas mileage and pretty comfortable seating, considering parts of the interior were modelled after the Porches. And (don't attack! she's a newer model!) in a straight up race, Charger would leave a '69 anything behind. Of course, it needs to go faster since it would need to run from the heavier and more bad ass Impala. But still, Charger has his (you're right Andrea, it is a he) good points.

Just sayin!!!
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-10-20 19:00
Thanks for commenting, everyone! I think I'll just do a group comment here and touch on a few points that have been raised, if you don't mind!

First, I'm glad, those of you who talked about this, that you're enjoying the noir style! I most certainly am, and I hope it continues throughout the season. It looks lovely, doesn't it?

Love Sam's laptop bag in Dean's trunk! I didn't even see that, or I saw it and it didn't register aside from me thinking it looked familiar.

And I completely didn't think about the fact that Dean got to have some normal holidays. Lovely! I love that idea.

As far as my Charger hating, I have decided that the debate here should be spelled out further in article length, so I am off to write that up now. But very quickly, AndreaW, to touch on your points about Sam and the Charger, I don't hate the car at all just because it's his car. Of course he was entitled to get his own car and drive it around while he was hunting. If Dean had a new Charger, I would hate it just as much. I just don't like Chargers! Not the new ones, anyway. But yeah, I'm going to plug my own article (that I have yet to write) and say check that out when it's posted for my in-depth thoughts on the subject of the Charger.

Thanks to you all!
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-20 19:42
Exactly, it is not SAM'S CAR, that I hate, it is the Charger.
If Sam had gotten a '57 black Chevy Bel Air, I would have been in love, and would have gladly pushed Dean to put the Impala on Ebay. :D :D :D
None of the modern plastic cars can hold a candle to the Impala.
Ardeospina, looking forward to your Charger article.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-10-20 23:30
nancyL, I'm shocked! :shock:
The Impala in the Ebay! Did you forget that she is the most important object in the world? ;-) :-)
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-23 16:36
yes, but a '57 chevy is the s**t.