Asylum

November 22, 2005

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate an abandoned sanitarium and discover that when the hospital was open, the patients held a revolt against the cruel and unusual punishments inflicted by the head doctor. While the brothers search the premises for four lost college students, the tortured spirits cause them to go insane, turning Dean against Sam.… Read More

Home (The Journey Home) Review

November 15, 2005

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!

This episode was billed as the “biggest event of the year” in the promos, which is actually rather amusing. After all, few people beyond the faithful would have any concept of why this episode is important to the series. This is probably one of those rare instances where an arc episode is less effective than a simple stand-alone tale, if only because the stand-alone episodes have less pressure to deliver.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I prefer long-term and seasonal arcs because of the depth of character development that they provide. A more episodic approach does not prevent that kind of exploration, but as seen on a series like “X-Files”, it can lead to inconsistent character portrayals as characters act in accordance with specific episode demands, not long-term consistency.

This series has been better than most at finding a happy medium between the extremes, and this episode has a lot of disturbing moments just from the perspective of a haunting. Tying it to the overall season arc is perhaps a bit extraneous. Like the previous episode, the return home works best in terms of the insight to the characters.

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Home

November 15, 2005

Sam (Jared Padalecki) is haunted by a vision of a woman trapped in his childhood house and convinces a reluctant Dean (Jensen Ackles) that they need to go home. Upon arrival, they meet the woman in Sam’s premonition and she reveals that the house is haunted. Looking into their personal history, the brothers discover their father had visited a psychic (guest star Loretta Devine, “Waiting to Exhale,” “Crash”) after their mother’s death and they turn to the same woman for answers of their own. Together they discover a malevolent poltergeist has inhabited the house and set out to exorcise it, but are blindsided when another unseen spirit steps in.… Read More

Bugs Review

November 8, 2005

By John Keegan

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If there’s one thing that never fails to leave me with that creeped-out feeling, it’s swarming bugs. I seldom have nightmares (scary things rarely scare me), but I’ll admit, swarming bugs would qualify. It’s that sense that there’s nothing you can do but pray for survival, because there’s no way to fight back. So this was an episode that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to, if you know what I mean.

This was more about character than the bug invasion itself, which is the preference, from my point of view. The bugs were actually incidental to the main thrust of the episode, which might explain why the resolution of the bug invasion was somewhat lacking. That had to be the fastest midnight-to-dawn transition ever seen. Also, I find it hard to imagine that the spiritual bug swarm, which had previously run amok during daylight hours, would simply disappear with sunlight. Killing humans on the land seemed more to the point of the actual curse, despite the time limit.

Anyway, that didn’t bother me so much, because I was too busy enjoying the tension between Sam and Dean.

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