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SPN 7.16 - Danse Macabre

I liked this episode.  There was the usual gore and whatnot along with some lovely music and locations.  The flowers were back this week as well as more red and yellow.  I liked the guests, especially the young girl.  It was fun to see the boys in the snow.  

Awesome location.  The dock looks familiar.

Lovely scenery.

These guys need gloves though.  Dean's hand looks really cold.  At least Sam is holding hot coffee.  They're driving my high school dream car, a late 70s Pontiac Firebird.  I wanted a black one with the golden "screaming chicken" painted on the hood.  Anna falls on a firebird painting when she lands in the past in Lawrence, Kansas in The Song Remains the Same.  I know Jensen and Dean miss the Impala.  But it's A FIREBIRD!  Sam's knees are probably so smashed.

He seems to have head room though.

Enough about Firebirds (that's a different ballet) and on to swans.

I like the whole theme of ballet that danced through this episode.  The opening scene with the dancer dancing to death brought to mind several stories about dancing shoes.  The most similar one is the The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen.  A young girl has a pair of red shoes that begin to dance on their own while she is wearing them.  She can't get them off or stop the dancing.  She ends up having the local executioner cut her feet off and the shoes continue to dance with her feet in them.   She manages to survive the ordeal.  The same can't be said for the wicked Queen in the Snow White fairy tale.  After Snow White is revived, some versions of the story have the Queen being forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.  As the daughter of a foundryman who knows what red-hot iron looks like and how much heat it takes to get it there, this is beyond horrifying to me.

There are other stories linking dancing and death.  If you enter a fairy ring, you may be forced to dance until you are dead or have gone mad.  A Canadian story has a young woman that tangles with a couple of brothers and ends up doing the Dance of Death where she ages a year each time she does a turn although she's not aware of it until it's too late. The story focuses on two brothers, one enchanted by the girl and driven crazy and the other performing a dangerous feat to free him. Sounds familiar.  

During the time of the Black Death, common morality plays featuring Death coming for people from all stations in life were known as the Danse Macabre.  Characters in the play are danced to the grave by Death showing that nobody escapes it.  It was a popular subject for early engravings including those done by Hans Holbein the Younger.  Awesome name.

The show throws in lots of references to the movie The Black Swan which I haven't seen.  It appears to center on a performance of the ballet Swan Lake.  The music that the dancer on SPN dances to is from that ballet.  Later in the episode, the music is played again as spooky music while Sam and Dean try to get the shoes from the little girl, then on an organ while the boys are taking the shoes back to the store and while Dean is holding the shoes.  Swan Lake, like many ballets, is a tragedy and (spoiler alert) the white swan dies as does the SPN dancer, the only one of her group in white.  

So many of the women victims on SPN are dressed all in white or bits of pink.  The first dancer gets both.  Pink shoes and towel.  Look at the shoes she actually puts on.  They're the real deal with worn toes and dirt covered soles, unlike the toe shoes used in the rest of the scenes.

Second position relevé.

I liked how they intercut her dance with the motion of the mop being used by the janitor in the hallway.

I'm glad we didn't have to watch Dean put the shoes on.  He and Sam both have done the dance-to-someone-else's-music-until-you're-dead routine more than once.  If Dean dances Swan Lake, I vote for Matthew Bourne's version where all the swan roles are danced by men as is Prince Siegfried.  

Later in the episode, the shoes go after the daughter of a local cop.  Pink pencil, pink shirt.  Good kick boxer.  Poor Dean.  I loved how she yelled "sorry" as she whacked him in the face.

This young lady had some awesome facial expressions as did a couple of other characters.

There were the usual red and yellow danger warnings as well as flowers particularly with the tea kettle and phonograph victims.  The tea kettle scene was really well shot with many sharp objects as possible cursed items and then it turned out to be none of them.



Nope, unless you use the coupons.  Even the tablecloth screams danger.

Nope, but the veggies look dangerous. 

Unlike this pie, which is itself in mortal danger.  

Sorry, where were we?  Oh yes, nasty kitchen items.  Flowered plates in the cupboard and valance over the window and here's another one who should watch this show instead of the Food Network because then she would know that she's wearing the Apron of Doom.

Mr. Yankit's house.

Bad interior decorating choices and she should have made the kid go play outside or do his homework.    

From the lighting, this is evil.  I liked how the cheerful ragtime music played while the kid was stalking his Mom with a knife.  

If you play it backwards, you get Stairway to Heaven.  Lucifer approves.  He only sings it forwards in Sam's head though.  One symptom of sleep deprivation is hallucinations.  What happens if you're already having them?  Sam's hands on the wheel are all lit in dangerous red light.

Eventually we meet the clueless antique dealer.  He's not wearing a flowered shirt but close enough.  His t-shirt has an image on it that looks like there might be feathers.  It's hard to tell.

Later he ends up in real trouble surrounded by red, yellow and flowers.

Just a cool camera point of view.  John Showalter directed this ep and Clap Your Hands If You Believe.  He had a similar shot from inside the microwave in that ep.

And these two.  That scarf.  She's evil.  He's going along for now but the jury's still out on whether he's a bad guy.

Their evil lair with art used in a previous episode.  Joyce reminded me a lot of Zachariah or Dr. Evil.

Another really bad day at the office....

...just gets worse.  The shadows begin to cover George.  He's pretty stuck.  I felt for him even if he is a Leviathan.

But hey, locate Sam Winchester and things get a bit brighter.  Maybe she won't use George as an appetizer before Sam becomes the main course.  Not a very nice backdrop.  Kind of reminiscent of black goo and blood spatter.

Here's an example of how the change in light or color can change the whole atmosphere of the scene.  During the day when the boys visit Out With the Old there's natural daylight.  The walls are yellow and the carpet is red but it doesn't leap out at you.

Same corner, now backlit with red.  Look how vibrant that hat box and green book are.  

George's red coat jumps out too.  At this point, he's helped Sam but you know he's a Leviathan.
When he starts to share info with Sam and Dean and they have him at sword point, he ditches the red coat and he's wearing the blue and plaid more associated with Sam and Dean.  The red backlighting is gone.

So what happened to George?  Is his head in the Stetson box in the trailer heading for Frank's? 

Whatever.  The trailer approves.  Off to Frank's....he of the poor taste in lighting.  Any color but that one, Frank.

Did the Leviathans get him?  Did they eat him?  Did something else get him?  How did they get the drop on somebody that paranoid?  What is the Leviathan end game?  Who drank the beer at Rufus's and found the Greek text on the Amazons?  Did Dean back off the drinking?  How many cups of coffee did Sam drink and did he use the restroom before he got in the car?  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Caps from http://homeofthenutty.com and true_fellings and me.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
This is awesome. The episode was funny in itself, but it just got hilarious. Your review... o dear. *dries her tears*

I didn't even notice that George dropped his jacket! I just saw that he was different, looking more relaxed and friendly, and of course it was the missing red!

The scene that struck out to me most was Sam with his near accident. Supernatural has never ever felt so real to me like at that moment- as if it was another TV show or rather happening in front of my house. He was a real person in real danger, not supernatural but oh so human. I fell for him, and I never did that before, either.

And Dean with his words of wisdom to whatshisname- if he believes in his own words he might have gotten a grip on his drinking, but I don't believe so. Even if Dean wanted to stop drinking he was too excessive in the past not to suffer from serious withdrawal. But the writers obviously have no interest in being consistent on this subject...

I wonder how they got Frank, too (assuming they did). It might account for Bobby's return (which I do not wish for because it would lessen his wonderful death episode), but then I hope that Frank orchestrated his vanishing himself because of his paranoia?!
Mar. 21st, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
Sam's near accident - I know, that was really scary. I've never fallen asleep at the wheel but have come close and also doing other things. It's such a real life experience. Jared probably didn't even have to try to act during that scene with the crazy schedule they shoot. It's all good practice for the next couple of no-sleep months with Gen and the new baby.

I wish we'd get a realistic portrayal of Dean's drinking but I don't think it likely on this show, either. I figure he must be doctoring his coffee otherwise he'd have the shakes. It was interesting to hear Dean give advice to someone else about handling any kind of emotion other than by handing them a bottle. He's certainly heard from just about everybody this season on how he should cope.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
How did I miss this awesome post?!?!

Wow... I adore your observation here! \o/

THE APRON OF DOOM!!! I can't believe I always miss the flowers!! (I was looking at the motel room though. Matching curtains and chairs. *g*)

And all those colour signals. FANTASTIC!!

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Damn good question!!

Great post honey... I'm not even sure how I found it now. I think I clicked on your name and HERE IT IS!!

Mar. 23rd, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks! and for pointing people here. Wasn't that apron awesome? I'm aware of the flower thing enough now that when I see flowered stuff in real life, I'm thinking "that wouldn't be a good idea on SPN". My couch has pillows with red and white roses and I keep thinking I should get them out of the house (or get a shotgun and some rock salt).
Mar. 23rd, 2012 07:03 am (UTC)
Great review:). And that lovely, snowy scenery is familiar because as raloria said in one of her posts, that's Fort Langley used several times in Croatoan, Hunted, only in the summers, or fall...whatever
Mar. 23rd, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
I knew it looked familiar. It looks so nice in the snow with the church across the lake and the mountains. I don't remember them being in so much snow before. We usually have a ton of snow where I am and we had almost none all winter. Maybe that's why it jumped out.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 09:19 am (UTC)
Thanks to ash for pointing this out...it was just wonderful. So many things I didn't notice while watching. I love people who notice the visual...I'm words, words, all the time words, but I tend to miss so much if no one shows me. Thank you!!!
Mar. 23rd, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
I love the look of the show. I never paid attention to anything else this way but it's been fun. I realized on a second watch that I missed half of the dialog so I still can't do 2 things at once. :-)
Mar. 23rd, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for accepting my out-of-the-blue friend request:)
I tend to go about things back-to-front at times.

ash48 pointed me here and I just loved your observations and take on the ep, particularly your infused humour.

I'm familiar with the colour meta, however the inclusion of florals is new to me. Yet it's like a beacon! How did I not see this before?!
Mar. 23rd, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
I've been watching the flowers since 7.05. Eventually I'll have to go back and look at some of the earlier eps. If you want to see the caps from 7.05, there is a discussion about them in the comments at


I've learned some pretty cool things from the folks that comment regularly on that comm. It's fun to see how everybody watches differently. There is a lot of depth to the filming on the show. I just like to have fun with it. It gives me something to mull over while I fold laundry.
Mar. 25th, 2012 09:12 am (UTC)
I navigate fandom with a cautious tread, so I often miss out seeing great sites like that. It's fascinating! Thanks for the heads up:)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 23rd, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
They aren't on each vic but pretty often this season, there have been flowers, usually in red or yellow tones when someone is in peril. Sometimes it's the wallpaper or the furniture and they've been in the art. I'd be surprised if there isn't some thought about it amongst the crew and set folks but everybody sees something different so who knows. It's just been fun to watch.
Mar. 24th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
I love your insight into the show - so interesting. Do you mind if I friend you please as I'd like to keep up with your posts?
Mar. 24th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
Sure, I'm glad you're enjoying them. It's fun to know they're being read. :-)
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:46 am (UTC)
Like Ash I didn't see this post come up, so I'm glad she pointed it out. Thanks for highlighting those safe and microwave shots - fun! The snow-covered dock scene was beautiful.
Mar. 24th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
There is a bit of the scene shot from inside the microwave while the fairy is flying around in it too. The microwave in that ep has stuck with me.  After Dean slams the fairy in it, he hangs onto it while he's waiting for the fairy to blow up.  If I knew something in my microwave was gonna blow up, I'd run like hell or at least hide below the counter.  Dean, Dean, Dean.....
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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