Supernatural: Salvation
June 2, 2021 5:59 AM - Season 1, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean stake out the demon's next target: a family with a six-month-old baby showing signs of special abilities. Meg turns to killing John's friends in order to get the Colt, and John heads off alone to confront her.
posted by orange swan (13 comments total)
The show made its first use of "Carry On Wayward Son" in this episode. I never even liked that song until I first started watching Supernatural in September 2020, and now I love it for all that it evokes about the two Winchester boys and everything that they went through. It is such a perfect unofficial theme song for this show.

We never saw Caleb or Pastor Jim until this episode, although we heard about them, which seems like kind of a shame. A demon-killing minister seems like he would have been a cool character.

Meg's hairstyle really is rather awful -- it looks like a cheap wig.

John's turning the water in the building's reservoir or water tank or whatever that was into holy water was pretty brilliant. The man didn't survive over 20 years of hunting for no reason.
posted by orange swan at 6:05 AM on June 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was aware of the song before, but for sure, after the show it picked up a lot of meta feelings. Great serenade.

Meg's hairstyle

Proto-Karen haircut? It reminds me of an unkempt Romulan. Her leather jacket looks super cheap for some reason.

demon-killing minister


Not sure how faithful to the comics the Keanu Reeves film was, but it has a amazing cast - including Tilda Swinton as Michael and an absolutely incredible performance by Peter Stormare as Satan. Highly recommended, good thematic companion to 'Supernatural.' Haven't seen the series, but there's a Fanfare.

'Supernatural' is in the minority of shows/ movies that tries to consistently depict thrown knives correctly (and occurs frequently enough). Yes, they spin around their balance point. Making them fly straight like a dart requires either magic or a drag line - and if one's thrown without spin, there's very little power to it.

Randomly paused around 5:30, noticed that there's a full-page news article "Farmer's life savings wiped out from MYSTERIOUS CATTLE DEATHS" pinned to a structural post.

Can't make out what the yellow sticky note says. Father P-something?

Ugh. Clowns.

holy water

Is John consecrated (or whatever the word is for making a priest kosher)? Or can just anyone bless water into holy water?
posted by porpoise at 3:10 PM on June 2, 2021

In Supernatural, ecclesiastic rituals are basically wizard spells; anybody can recite (or just read out loud) an exorcism or a blessing and cast out demons or make water holy. Hunters who survive tend to end up shockingly conversant in a particular subset of history, theology, and mythology, like an RPG character with a single point in an academics skill and several high-ranked specializations, and I get the impression they tend to memorize those ritual really quickly, either through deliberate practice or through simple repeated use.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:27 PM on June 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

I never heard Carry On Wayward Son before this episode, a decade and a half of Lord King Badvids later hearing it in the wild cheers me up 100% of the time.

There's a second after consecrating the water tank where John gives Meg this total shit-eating grin (because yeah, that was pretty good) and I feel like there's an entire dimension of his personality in that look that we almost never see again, even when he's younger. Or maybe it's that I don't see Jeffrey Dean Morgan look rakish enough and it suits him. But yeah, it's nice to get a few moments of John Winchester as he spent a lot of his life, being a really good solo hunter.

I actually really like that (with some obvious exceptions) a lot of the magic especially early on is extremely practical and casting a summoning spell or creating a tulpa or whatever isn't that much different from throwing some de-icer on a frozen sidewalk. (maybe a grim reaper should be a LITTLE harder to chump than that.) Talent and expertise still matter--I can throw out de-icer, I know that it works and that it's because of chemistry or physics or something, but that doesn't make me a chemist--but not a lot of inherent specialness or mystique to it. I think it goes along with the overall grimy, creaky, held-together-by-duct-tape vibe they were going for with hunting in general. (There are obvious later examples of Born Special but even then it sucks.)
posted by jameaterblues at 7:18 PM on June 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

The short answer about the Keanu film is "not faithful at all." Also acceptable is "wildly derided and mocked by comic fans." The TV show was better--not perfect but better. Matt Ryan is continuing to play John in the Arrowverse where they still get a lot of details wrong but get his attitude and personality and essential being much closer to the source material.
posted by sardonyx at 9:55 PM on June 2, 2021

Porpoise, with your talk of clowns and knives, I think you must have just watched episode 2.2, "Everybody Loves a Clown", but we're not there yet.
posted by orange swan at 7:16 AM on June 3, 2021

(the mobile, the murderous ghost girl's preferred tool-of-trade)
posted by porpoise at 1:05 PM on June 3, 2021

Pastor Jim being in just one episode always throws me because he is such a secondary character in fanfic - such a waste of a great idea!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:54 PM on June 3, 2021

@dorothyisunderwood, yeah, and I had always semi-assumed that Pastor Jim was an early version of the Bobby character who didn't work out, it's SO interesting to me that it was actually meant to be Missouri.
posted by jameaterblues at 5:42 PM on June 3, 2021

orange swan - huh, I guess someone on the writing staff likes throwing knives (Pastor Jim/ Meg) and clowns (mobile)... and then got to do an entire episode about them in the second season, as you point out.
posted by porpoise at 6:39 PM on June 3, 2021

The big issue with the Constantine film is that that's not John Constantine, but rather a character who's stolen some but not enough of his backstory and personality going through a very abbreviated and mutilated version of the "Dangerous Habits" story. In particular, John Constantine is going to hell because he's an asshole who is casual with other people's safety and gets his friends killed whereas John Constanteen is damned because he killed himself before being resuscitated.

It's not a bad movie on its own (the performances are as good as the cast implies!), it's just a bad Hellblazer movie.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:41 PM on June 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's funny to see the "Constanteen" slight here, but thanks for that Pope Guilty. I was actually going to include it in my reply, but it felt a bit too inside baseball for a post on a non-Hellblazer thread. I can't say whether the movie is good or bad, considering I couldn't even make it halfway through the one time I caught it on TV, but you're absolutely correct that it's a bad Hellblazer movie with a simulacrum John who is made up counterfeit parts that were fabricated based on details taken from stolen but smudged blueprints and then sloppily assembled by a person who had never been exposed to the real deal.
posted by sardonyx at 9:49 PM on June 3, 2021

posted by porpoise at 2:08 PM on June 6, 2021

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