The episode was set in Stillwater, Minnesota, which is just north of the St. Paul area on the St. Croix River, right across from Wisconsin. It's only a couple of hours due south of where Garth is living his new werewolf life. It seems that Sam and Dean went back to Kansas in the meantime though so that's a fair amount of driving in a short amount of time. I already posted pictures of what our Minnesota winter really looks like. It's nice to have an episode set here. They had a couple of people, particularly the sheriff, talk like Minnesotans. I had to wonder if the sheriff was modeled on Marge Gunderson, the sheriff in the movie Fargo, also ironically set in Minnesota. I haven't seen it but I know they worked on making the language sound authentic. In the northeastern portion of Minnesota, there is a region where iron mining has been done for many years that is sometimes referred to as 'The Range'. Many people immigrated to Minnesota from Scandinavian countries, especially Norway and Sweden. Quite a few of them settled in that area and when many people from that region speak, you can still hear traces of the cadences and inflection from the original languages that have carried over to their English. I grew up a couple of states over in a region with copper and iron mining. We have a similar accent but since we have a large group of native Finnish speakers, the lilt sounds a little different. A lot of our phrases tend to make us sound a lot more like Bob and Doug Mackenzie, eh? My accent is always the strongest when I'm yelling at the TV screen watching a hockey game. I don't really know how many hotdog eating contests we hold here in Minnesota but we can't always watch hockey and winters are long. I'm just glad it wasn't a lutefisk eating competition.
The contest was a lovely red, white and blue with a little mustard added for flavor. The Larsens and Olafsons are sponsoring the event. I love the guy in his hotdog jacket as well as the folks wearing the hot dog costume and hat.
Bacon makes everything better.
Sam shows up and I think he's surprised that there's no coffee or breakfast.
Dean's been up all night
Whiskey, cornflakes and cold pizza for breakfast or maybe last night's dinner.
Even with the pizza box, they're keeping the kitchen pretty clean. I wonder if they go get the pizza or have it delivered.
Then the boys are off on their hunt. I like the view of the Stillwater sheriff's department. The poster on the wall says 'Get guns off our streets' and they have a Minnesota state flag near the US one.
I really liked the sheriff. She needs to go for coffee with Jodi Mills.
There is no dignified way to eat a powdered sugar donut but who cares?
It's a religious experience.
Mostly a Stillwater autopsy report but it still lists the state as Kansas.
McNut is survived by his mother Susan and their cats, Oscar and Frank. (Where do the commas even go in that sentence?) He has a sister Tracy listed on the autopsy report.
The episode has quite a few shots taken from this camera angle. I'm sure it has a technical name but I have no idea what. Lettuce, popcorn and beer for lunch.
That's a boombox. Does anyone use them anymore?
The lamp with the minstrels on it by Dean has been used in a couple of motel rooms from the early part of season 7.
The shelves have an interesting array of odds and ends.
The picture behind Sam looks like a nod to Americana or something by Grandma Moses.
Sam goes off to check out the bedroom and there are more odds and ends. The episode is full of purples and pinks as well as blues. I don't think it means anything other than it looks good together on screen. Big poofy dresses were really popular when I was senior prom age and then when I got married. This one out-poofs them all.
Bullfighting art on the wall and it's another camera shot from down low and angled upward. It makes Sam look like he takes up a lot of room here.
The boys head back to their motel to inspect the contents of what they think is a hex bag.
This motel, the Stillwater Inn, has a lot of clashing styles and colors. There's a lot of red outside.
Nice red light on Dean.
Shield and sword art.
Cool shot through a shot glass.
Sam. I'm not sure what that face means.
The walls look sort of like giraffe skin or maybe a dry parched desert. The lamp base was used in season 6 and the bedspreads are a repeat too. There's a lot of nice calm blues and greens in this part of the room.
Lamp base from 6.09.
Later, the camera pulls back and we get a look at the wall with it's pink and red stripes. To me, it's really jarring.
I love the fridge though and of course it has beer in it.
The monster of the week strikes again. There's a lot of red and orange and the victim looks really isolated amongst all the gym equipment.
She's wearing the same purples and pinks that show up a lot in the episode.
A not-quite-so-poofy dress.
I would find being in a gym alone at night in the mostly dark frightening even without the added monster.
The next day when the boys go to the gym to investigate the crime scene, we have another person in pink and purple.
Lovely name for a gym (rollz eyes). The scene at the gym was shot with an interesting lighting choice. It looks like natural late afternoon winter light creating long thin shadows.
There are a couple more shots from that underneath angle.
I like how the guys look in this light.
The same light seems to be used when they are interviewing the sheriff at the spa.
Sam's blue and mustard shirt would be right at home at the hotdog eating contest.
In the last couple of episodes, we're seen a lot of flowers. There are very few in this episode, all of them at the spa. The green tree branch makes an interesting background. I think the photos of the rocks have been used before or at least something very similar.
Here's one in Out With the Old.
The food at the spa is red and yellow which should probably make us suspicious. Lots of the folks eating in the cafeteria are wearing purples and blues again.
Here's fan-service-Sam but nobody really minds. The Victorian in me just swooned because I can see his ankles.
He also needs to smirk at Dean more often.
Of course, Dean gets the kitchen job. In an episode that started with a feat of gluttony, it's interesting to watch Dean with food as the episode goes on. He's done nesting in the bunker. He appears to be eating pretty much what he'd eat on the road. None of it is very good for him and even when he eats the health food at the spa, he gets into trouble with it.
The color should be warning enough.
Aaaand the spoon goes back into the bowl after Dean eats with it. Ewwwwwww.
Is the pudding made out of sweet potatoes or is the color just a coincidence?
They don't make a very good pillow but I don't think Dean cares.
Then Sam gets a phone call. Why'd you only call me when you're high? This is one of the few places where flowers show up.
And off he runs down the hall on shoes with awesome soles.
Stoned Dean is one of my favorite flavors.
Sam can be having a rough time with Dean but nobody else better mess with him.
In the meantime, somebody finally thought to look in the glove box of the Impala after eight seasons. How does the box make it back in the car? There's more of that same purple.
Here's another one of those shots angled upward showing off Sam's shoes.
I feel like this has been my expression contemplating SPN lately.
Sam can smirk all he wants but smirking Dean is scary.
I like this shot.
Here's one more place where there are flowers. They are just before they had the run-in with the MotW in the basement.
Then there are a bunch of shots with the boys and red light.
Dean heads off toward the blazing red exit.
This is a view of the outside of the spa from the end of the episode and I really like the architecture.
The sheriff is back on the job and the bright colors and happy pink are gone.
Here is the last appearance of the flowers and they seem really appropriate color-wise and maybe even danger-wise because we don't know if Dean is going to pull an Amy Pond.
There's a cool shot of the car.
The episode ends with a claustrophobic scene set at a place traditionally used for eating but all that's happening here is Dean drinking.
Sam said some stuff and went to bed.
Dean said some stuff and sort of heard some stuff and probably stayed up drinking.
Fandom said lots of stuff and I just should have gone to bed.
All caps from homeofthenutty