Supernatural: The Usual Suspects
June 10, 2021 2:15 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean investigate the murders of a lawyer and his wife who claimed to have seen a ghost right before they died. However, after local detectives Ballard and Sheridan uncover the Winchesters' records, they arrest the brothers for a double homicide before they are able to find the ghost. When the ghost begins to visit Ballard, she begins to wonder if the tale Sam and Dean are telling her could be true, and if she might be the next to die.
posted by orange swan (11 comments total)
Dean: So Scully... what do ya think?
Sam: I'm not Scully, you're Scully.
Dean: Nah, I'm Mulder. You're a red-headed woman.

Det. Peter Sheridan: Talk directly to the camera. Start by stating your name for the record.
Dean: My name is Dean Winchester. I'm an Aquarius, I enjoy sunsets, long walks on the beach and frisky women. And I did not kill anyone. But I know who did. Or rather "what" did. Of course, it can't be for sure, because our investigation was interrupted. But our working theory is that we're looking for some kind of vengeful spirit.
Det. Diana Ballard: Excuse me?
Dean: You know, Casper -- the bloodthirsty ghost.

Det. Peter Sheridan: You murdered them in cold blood, just like that girl in St. Louis.
Dean: Oh, yeah. That wasn't me either. That was a shape-shifter type creature that only looked like me.

Jeff Krause: [Giving Sam a message from Dean, who refused to discuss his case with him and called him Matlock] I hope that was meaningful, but I'd like to discuss your case now.
Sam: Sure thing, Matlock.
Jeff Krause: You two really are brothers, aren't you?

Sam: [while digging up Claire's body] You know, this is bothering me.
Det. Diana Ballard: Well, you are digging up a corpse.
Sam: No, not that. That's, uh, that's pretty par for the course, actually.

Dean: You don't wanna do something that you're gonna regret.
Det. Pete Sheridan: [cocks his gun]
Dean: Or maybe you do.

Det. Peter Sheridan: This Dean kid's a friggin' gift. We can pin the whole thing on him, okay? No trial, nothing, just one more dead scumbag.
Dean: Hey!

Dean: Did she look familiar to you?
Sam: No. Why?
Dean: I don't know. Anyway, you hungry?
Sam: No.
Dean: Man, for some reason, I could really go for some pea soup.

Linda Blair, who played the detective in this episode, played Regan in The Exorcist; thus the reference to split pea soup. I thought she was really good as Detective Ballard.

Sam is absolutely the Scully of this show.

Dean tells Detective Ballard to look for Sam at the first motel in the yellow pages under the name Jim Rockford. This is how they find each other again if they get separated. Smart thinking, because if they lose their cell phones, they're screwed when it comes to reconnecting.

That defense lawyer was out of his depth when it came to dealing with Sam and Dean. They see the entire criminal justice system as irrelevant to what they do, and to be fair, it is.
posted by orange swan at 2:30 PM on June 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

John's whereabouts are unknown to law enforcement, so no death certificate was ever filed for him under his legal name or known aliases.

Linda Blair has a ton of cred, and talent too. She's sub-5' tall so it was interesting seeing shots framing her against Padalecki and Ackles. OtherCop is very generously listed at 5'10".

Gillie boxes were definitely employed in some static shots (Sam breaking the brick wall).

look for Sam at the first motel in the yellow pages

For a show that spanned 15 seasons, beginning before iphones, it'll be interesting if/ how they adapt their (spy)craft with advances in tech.

Bit odd that both brothers were arrested, but no mention of (unregistered) firearms on them or in Baby.

Letting both Sam and Dead "escape" - shouldn't that lead to an automatic national APB for them? That would be a ton of heat.
posted by porpoise at 3:51 PM on June 10, 2021

I meant to mention that thing about the authorities not knowing about John's death, which makes no sense to me. He died in hospital -- we see Sam on the floor with him, yelling for someone to come help. We've speculated that Sam and Dean basically stole their father's body so that they could give him a hunter's funeral, but how could there not be a death certificate for him? Wouldn't it be more like, "You father died in hospital, and then you two psychos stole his body"?
posted by orange swan at 4:10 PM on June 10, 2021

John presented medical insurance information that was for someone other than a John Winchester (Elroy McGillicuddy).
posted by porpoise at 4:38 PM on June 10, 2021

Ah, that makes sense.
posted by orange swan at 4:40 PM on June 10, 2021

"You father died in hospital, and then you two psychos stole his body"?

Admittedly, this would have been so much cooler.
posted by porpoise at 5:09 PM on June 10, 2021

I'll admit, I chuckled when I heard the Rockford motel plan.
posted by sardonyx at 6:02 PM on June 10, 2021

Usually I miss Dean's references, sometimes I get them, sometimes they're bizarre non-sequiturs I only realize are references later (pea soup), and then sometimes he says things I DO understand like "you're a redheaded woman" and get even more confused because what does that mean.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:08 PM on June 10, 2021

I miss most of the music ones (like the fake names), so I was so happy to get the pea soup one as well as not just the reference to Rockford but Rockford's reliance on the phone book. Actually, in a lot of ways Sam and Dean pull quite a bit from the Rockford playbook (although Jim usually had to rely on fake business cards not fake police/federal agent IDs).
posted by sardonyx at 7:27 PM on June 10, 2021

That defense lawyer was out of his depth when it came to dealing with Sam and Dean. They see the entire criminal justice system as irrelevant to what they do, and to be fair, it is.
posted by orange swan at 2:30 PM on June 10

Yes, it's irrelevant in terms of the big picture, but the little-picture stuff annoys me to no end. They break and enter without covering their faces, leaving themselves ripe for being spotted by security cameras. They almost never wear gloves, so their fingerprints must over crime scenes in every state. The car is not inconspicuous, and is likely to be noticed by nosy neighbours. They get injured and leave blood at crime scenes, ready for DNA collection. Even with their fake IDs they should have arrest records that are miles long and more warrants out for them than they can count.
posted by sardonyx at 7:33 PM on June 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

Usually I miss Dean's references

I do too, constantly, but enough to figure that Dean's pop culture background is more closely aligned to his dad John's rather than a more age-appropriate one. Haven't paid a lot of attention to Sam's - does he ever go over Dean's head by having a more contemporary (or "educated") reference?

Even with their fake IDs

Strongly agree, the little-picture stuff is infuriating. This isn't the 70's anymore (or even the 80'), that stuff is all on electronic databases. 2005 was five years after I graduated from college in the 'states. Fake (laminated) IDs were already starting to be stale in 1996 in Iowa (it was mostly that no-one cared).

Counterpoint - a lot of stuff still relied on being faxed. 2005 also felt like an inflection point of stuff getting digitized and "put online" - although my experience was mostly with academic publishing. Had just finished one degree and switched fields, so the differences in spinning up my knowledge base compared to 2002/3 was stark.

However, I was more than a little surprised that when I was arrested for possession in '96 in Iowa I had someone else's ID (which was reported stolen in Canada, and was flagged with fraud) at the time and all the cops did was ask which one was real. The one that didn't belong to me (and a legit fake one with my photo) was confiscated, but I was never hassled over it.
posted by porpoise at 8:34 PM on June 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

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