Jerry Wanek, SPN's production designer, directed his first episode with this one. Nice job, Mr. Wanek. It looked good.
I have mixed feelings about this episode but they had more to do with plot, not directing or filming, so here's what I liked. First off, You Shook Me All Night Long! This is my turn-it-up-to-eleven song. Perfect for the whole scene. The cutting back and forth between the murder and the sex was disconcerting to say the least and I think it worked pretty well. The gore in this episode was over the top. I liked the banter between Sam and Dean. It's nice to see the show seems to be going somewhere with Bobby's ghost (or Cas's disembodied self). I really liked the comments about how Bobby's death has changed life for them. I'm glad we got confirmation that they burned Bobby's body. I liked that Dean realized there was something weird about the kid early on and that at the end he recognized the girl as his although Sam said not really. Sam's plea to Dean not to get killed echoed Dean's game plan for going after Chronos in the last episode.
My mixed feelings centered on the Amazons, and the apparent parallel Emma and Amy killings left me with a lot of jumbled thoughts. One thing that struck me is that Dean hasn't killed anything since Amy except for LeviaSam, I don't think. He didn't look like he couldn't defend himself at the end of this episode. He did have a gun. When Sam talked to him at the end about how he almost got himself killed, I wonder if Sam was referring to the hook-up or the fact that Dean didn't shoot Emma straight away. Why was it easier for Sam to kill Emma than Amy. Was it because the threat was to Dean and seemed to be pretty immediate? Emma didn't seem open to the whole fight your nature/destiny thing. How old were we supposed to think she was? I missed that but I guessed about 16 or 17, not a great age for awesome judgement. There was a huge bunch of wank after Dean killed Amy. I haven't run into nearly as much with Sam killing his niece. I'm not trying to dredge up wank, I just think it makes an interesting statement about how fans relate to both of these characters at this point in the season. I have no idea what that statement is. The show continues to explore the nature of monsters and family and what you do when they overlap.
The direction in this ep was pretty good. Jerry stayed with some of the color and art themes that have been around all season and he added some things of his own. There are quite a few uses of the red and yellow for peril and there are more flowers, although they are subtle. I particularly like his use of the art on walls. The victims homes and the motel room had art with trees, rocky coasts, lighthouses, and bridges. They also had some really unique pieces.
Victim 1 won't have his own feet for much longer but he has spares in the wall art that he gets thrown into shortly.
As he's flying through the air, he goes by a yellow neon Saturn with the number 51 in it. There's a lot of neon in this ep. We get a shot of the murder weapon against this and the image is repeated later with the second victim. Lots of red and yellow with the murder scenes.
Victim 2 is also thrown into art. Not Hellenistic enough, no doubt.
I've seen a couple of other comments about the shot below and just have to echo how closed in and trapped it feels. Plus it's full of yellow and black. There are horizontal yellow and grey stripes on the neighbor's shirt but you can't see them very well from here. There were a lot of lines in this episode that shouldn't have been crossed.
In addition to the foot art above, there are quite a few places especially at the morgue with pictures of carved up bodies. Works well with the Slice theme. Here's Detective Scary Slice. How did no one see that brand on her arm? Doogie Howser, CSI, should have been all over that. He knew about the cold cases before Sam and Dean showed up.
There was a nod to art from the Pacific northwest, probably pretty easy to come by in Vancouver. This picture is also behind Sam in this scene.
Dean's just now noticing the art at Lydia's with all the pretty, dead specimens. Too bad he didn't see that yesterday. I guess he was busy.
The piece of art I liked best is from the Century Hotel. Lovely, creepy sheep.
It's on the wall behind Dean for a lot of the time in the motel room but usually the reflection from the window makes it impossible to see what the image is. It isn't until the boys are going through Bobby's research materials that it really becomes visible. Maybe Bobby's the shepherd or maybe it's all the wolves in sheep's clothing in the episode. Maybe it's that Dean was so easily led.
The decor in this room is a cross between every abandoned house they've squatted in and Grandma's attic with furnishings from the contemporary condemned period. The next cap is for ash48. Jerry must have heard the lament about how hard it is to make out motel names. Below that is some more neon.
There were a couple of cool shots taken inside the motel room through beveled glass.
You can barely see them but the wallpaper behind Dean has orangy red flowers. Here's a brighter shot.
The boys should have heeded the advice on the window. The other flowers are pretty subtle. There's the coffee table book at Victim 2's house.
The flowers on young Emma's dress and jacket. She wears pink all the way through the episode except the scene where she eats the... well, whatever it was. Plus her bright pink suitcase.
The flowers in Lydia's living room, not so much with the red and orange here.
Dean should have known Lydia was trouble by the color of her drinks which got progressively redder as the night went on. More neon in the sign. I want the blue table.
Probably Posh Slice but who knows...she must be hiding her brand under that wrap bracelet.
(Oh-oh, here she comes) Watch out boy, she'll chew you up.
There were a couple of other scenes where I thought the filming was good. One was the boys in the lecture hall. When you see them straight on, there is quite a bit of distance between them but when they're shot from the side, they look a lot closer together and are captured in the shot nicely. I like the light from Sam's side.
The other piece was the sex scene which I thought was creepy as hell. I know that probably wasn't the intent, but hey, whatever. Very dark anyhow and not only in terms of lighting. Maybe it was the murder that it was interwoven with. Jerry went out of his way to make it apparent that Dean wasn't running the show. When you see a side by side shot of the actors, Dean's taller. During the action, it's shot so Lydia looks bigger and intimidating. At the end, Dean looked like he didn't get a look at the train that hit him, however much fun he had.
The bit with the hand stuck out at me because I thought he was fending off a hit at first. Then it seemed like the reaching out of somebody wanting to make a connection. It just struck me as sad for Dean who's doing the reaching and reinforces how little connection these two actually had. However, the result of all this was this cute bug. Check out the cheesy grin on the big bear in the crib with her. This must be Baby Slice (Baby Spice was an Emma also). I think there were five Amazons in the latest crop and there were five Spice Girls too, I think.
Now seriously, after the questions about Ben's parentage and the obvious result of this encounter, I'm thinking there must be at least several small Winchesters running around out there. How about that condom advice you gave Goth Kid, Dean? And why is it that Sam's the one who gets the STDs?
I mentioned mixed feelings. I didn't mind a group of women being the monsters of the week here so much as I thought it was a lame depiction of Amazons. They brought out the snarky in me. The Amazons were supposed to be a fierce warrior culture. How'd they end up in war-torn Seattle instead of Afghanistan munching on Navy SEALs? It must have been the coffee as promoted by their neighbors, the Sirens. And their choice for the genetic material for continuing this warrior race was investment bankers? Evidently Darwin was eliminated from their education. Dean probably was the ideal candidate although Lydia didn't know it. And really, I know it's not as phallic as a big-ass knife, but as proved by Sam, firearms make good weapons.
One last bit about the way the birth scene was filmed. In an episode that was overly gory with blood everywhere, the birth scene was nearly bloodless. Soft candlelight, some sweat with makeup and maybe a bit of vocalizing and then "Next!" Maybe that's how it goes for a few lucky women. The whole childbearing process for me has been the closest to being any kind of warrior that I'll ever be. My battlefield sure looked different.
Caps from http://homeofthenutty.com and true_fellings