This one was hard to watch (hello Mr. Edlund and accompanying gore fest). Usually when this show gets scary, I find it easier to watch without the sound but there were parts of this I didn't want to see either. On the other hand, there was a lot to speculate on given the dialog. But first things first. Mark Pellegrino is a scene-stealer as Lucifer. So much menace wrapped up in sly humor and smarts. He's this horrible character who is doing awful things to Sam yet I really want to see what his next move is going to be. It's easy to forget he's not just a human bully and then along comes something like the tongue business and you're reminded this is the devil and something altogether other than human. Then you take it a step further and remember this is really Sam's brain torturing himself. We got a clearer look at the nature of Sam's time in hell with some of the comments Lucifer made from "wittier rape" to the fact that he was bored and lonely and wanted Sam's attention. He knew exactly how to get at Sam by talking about Dean getting killed. That's fear number one on Sam's list right now.
There were a couple of other bits that stood out. Part of the episode boiled down to defining a psychopath. As Dean said, "He was a psychopath, Sam. That's what they do all the time, is act. Act like they're normal, act like they're not balls-to-the-wall crazy." That could apply to any number of characters in the episode including Sam. It's amazing with everything they've been through, that any kind of human behavior could surprise Sam.
Dean had two discussions with Jeffrey that stuck out too. One was a back and forth about the mental health system.
So did this happen to friends of Dean's or was he actually speaking from personal experience? Sam, Interrupted, or maybe that's why he didn't get in touch with Sam while he was at Stanford. Maybe something happened in the year he was with Lisa we don't know about. Then later on, Jeffrey tries his own hand at a psych evaluation of Dean. He touched on hopelessness, depression, and suicide and what you could gain from rehab. There was something off about Jeffrey (Dahmer?) from the get go but it was hard to put a finger on what. Then we get his demon. We've seen a lot of demons over the course of the show and this one was Lilith mayhem, destruction evil, not Crowley or Ruby manipulative, calculating evil.
This episode was directed by Thomas J. Wright who was new to SPN but not to directing. He made some interesting choices and it all came off pretty well. He used color and some interesting camera shots to convey a lot about these characters, particularly Sam. Although the wall in Sam's head is down, there was a lot of wall imagery with a focus on bricks and tiles. There was a lot of poisonous or institutional green. When Lucifer started to get at Sam, red light was added.
The colors are introduced a little in the scenes from four years ago. I have a miserable time watching torture on any kind of film. It's especially hard to watch Dean do it because I like to forget he's got that kind of darkness inside. Put this Dean back to back with the Dean that still likes slinkies and it's easy to get whiplash. Four years ago, Dean still had his car, his ring and amulet. He hadn't met Death or Leviathans or lost nearly everyone he cared about. Cas was still an angel and Sam was on a downhill run to Lucifer without really knowing it.
Here's the start of the green with the rotten boards on the wall.
Here's foreshadowing the red that shows up once Lucifer gets his hooks back into Sam. Sam in the glow from red brake lights. Hindsight is always 20/20.
When you take the blue and red from the demon scene and wash it with yellow light, you get the danger colors that show up later with Jeffrey.
When we get to the present, the number on the door pretty much sums it up. The really poisonous green and the brick wall themes start as early as this.
Then we've got Lucifer picking away at whatever barrier Sam's managed to build against him.
The room is a mess of green. There are bricks on the wall and the floor.
We haven't seen Dean sleep under blankets in a long time.
Then there's this really bright green scanner and we're off and running toward danger.
Green and more bricks on the wall behind Sam...
Mark Pellegrino in his awesome awfulness.
Here's Sam's view as he examines the vehicle. Fences, walls, trapped.
We go check on Nora Havelock and she's surrounded by green and more bricks. The walls don't look so green in this picture but I think it's the caps.
The art was also on the motel room wall in 7.04.
Then we go check up on Jeffrey who's in a group session with a floor full of bricks and green outside the room.
Jeffery's going to get a dog who turns out to be cute and so, of course, is doomed. This is an Edlund episode - abandon all hope. The jury is still out on Jeffrey but he's got that green shirt. Later the poor dog gets a drink out of a green bowl at the warehouse.
Then Jeffrey hears something in the yellow and green alley but he doesn't watch this show and doesn't appear to have learned anything from his last round with Sam and Dean. At least that's what we think...
It turns out Sam likes the dog.
Then we go to the brick building where Jeffery lives.
We go to Jeffery's green and brick apartment where Lucifer is hanging out.
Then we get to watch Sam and Dean repeat the mistake of separating. Dean stays with Jeffrey where he apologizes for everything that went down last time and displays his knowledge of the institutionalization process. The only flower I found in the whole ep is on the tray table behind Dean.
Sam goes to the library with the devil. Having worked in many libraries, I can attest to the fact that some people think the devil's already there. Sometimes he works in Administration. He's shelved at 235.47. This library continues the brick and wall theme by making them out of books and shelving. The poster on the wall of the girl hemmed in by book stacks emphasizes this. A library is an environment where Sam should be comfortable but instead he's got the devil messing with his head.
Here's the devil acting like the obnoxious little brother he is. There's the potential innocent victim wearing pink like so many before her and the most stereotypical librarian garb possible without a chain holding her glasses.
Many of the patrons banging their heads in frustration after too much microfilm are wearing green. Shhhhh! Even the catalog is yellow and green.
and watching our potential victim from the golf section, 796.352. There is sex in the stacks, generally at 613.96 or in the Romance section. (Or sometimes in the grad student study carrels on the third floor.)
Sam reads the lab report from the coroner which was received by Emma Campbell. They faked her death and she's hiding under her maternal grandmother's family name in Idaho. The report was written by M. A. Liu, a SPN graphic designer.
And then Sam breaks, giving Lucifer the response most people would make to a bratty sibling. I don't know if Sam even realized what had happened at the time.
The devil just worms his way in there until they are basically working the case together. Meanwhile, Dean is driving a classic Pontiac into more trouble. We'll pretend stealing an extremely identifiable, prized car is something someone on the run might do. I admit I'm jealous. Lucky Jensen, driving all these classic cars.
Dean's way into the demon's nest is full of more bricklike patterns and close tight in walls.
A green and yellow sign Dean should listen to.
Victim near a green tank, sitting in a green chair.
Then Jeffrey gets the jump on Dean. Meanwhile Sam and Lucifer are searching Jeffrey's apartment.
Jeffrey's drawer with a green plastic praying mantis. That has a lot more in common with Emma's mom than Jeffrey.
Then Sam starts to head to Nora's. At this point he's working with the devil, who does have some helpful suggestions and Sam's goose is cooked (with hellfire). This shot of them in the alley is my favorite in this episode. The big green sign telling them the mission is dangerous. The cables and ladders like a lobster trap. The Do Not Enter sign and the one way arrow pointing to another way. The red lights and bricks. Red light is used a lot more as Sam interacts with Lucifer. They've passed the crossroads where a different choice could have been made.
All in all, it's just another brick in the wall...or walking further into Lucifer's web.
Red light on the devil.
Lucifer distracts Sam and Nora gets the jump on him. He's hit in the head AGAIN!?! Red splat of a lit tree outside the window.
Sympathy from the devil.
Then we get a little reminder of hell!Sam.
After that Lucifer starts egging Sam on to rough Nora up. Sam does verbally and he's a whole lot scarier than badcop!Sam from last week. He's got a bit of souless!Sam going on. Below he just looks exhausted.
The red stays around while Lucifer is on the scene for the rest of the episode.
Then they're off to go find Nora's son and Dean. Nora's son is hosting a really disturbing demon. The waltz with Jeffrey being the icing on that cake.
Extra disturbing to me because he reminded me so much of k. d. lang.
He manages to insult Dean with an obscure pop culture reference to Penelope Pitstop.
The resemblance is uncanny. Ben Edlund watches too much TV. Dean gets himself free (I bet Penelope does too). The demon gets trapped and exorcised by Nora. Dean shoots Jeffrey with a gun he had concealed who knows where. Tune in next week to find out if Jeffrey becomes the next Alastair.
Then we head back to the motel for Dean to crash and Sam to realize how completely screwed he is.
Looks like this fire is going to get Dean too.
Lucifer looks pleased as punch there. In addition to the obvious Lucifer problem, these guys aren't at the top of their game. They're distracted and they've had people get the drop on them. I'm worried for what will happen when they catch up to the Leviathans. Dick Roman always seems to be at the top of his game.
Caps from true_fellings and Home of the Nutty