Supernatural: Nightshifter
June 16, 2021 3:17 AM - Season 2, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean investigate a series of crimes where robbers with no criminal past commit suicide after the hold-ups.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Ronald: Get on the floor, now!
Dean: Okay, we're doing that. Just don't shoot anybody, especially not us.
Ronald: I knew it, as soon as you two left. You ain't FBI. Who are you? Who are you working for, huh? The Men in Black? You working for the Mandroid?
Sam: We're not working for the Mandroid!
Ronald: You shut up! I ain't talking to you. I don't like you!
Sam: Fair enough.

Dean: Friggin' cops.
Sam: They're just doing their job.
Dean: No, they're doing OUR job, only they don't know it so they suck at it.

Dean: [the guy holding everyone hostage gets a man to search Dean and Sam for weapons, they find a knife on Dean] I'm not just gonna walk in here naked.

FBI Agent Henricksen: [On the phone with Dean] It's my job to bring you in. Alive's a bonus, but not necessary.
Dean: Whoa. Kind of harsh for a federal agent, don't ya think?
FBI Agent Henricksen: Well, you're not the typical suspect, are you, Dean? I want you and Sam out here, unarmed, or we come in. And yes, I know about Sam, too. Bonnie to yo' Clyde.
Dean: Yeah, well, that part's true... but how'd you know we were here?

Frannie: So, what's it like, being an FBI guy?
Dean: Well, it's dangerous, yeah. And the secrets we gotta keep. God, the secrets. But mostly... it's lonely.


Contains many allusions to The X Files episode "Folie à Deux", including the basic plot (i.e., a man holding people hostage in order to protect them from a monster) and Reznick being a character's last name.

Dean always has a moment to enjoy an apt pop culture reference, but there's no surer way to rile him up than to make comments about his dad.

Where did the shapeshifter get the slip it used to pose as dead Sherrill given that the real one was still alive? 

How did the two SWAT team members just happen to be of a size that their clothes would fit Dean and Sam? Dean's a pretty standard-size guy for men in that line of work, but Sam....?

And now Sam and Dean are America's Most Wanted, with an obsessed FBI agent on their tail.
posted by orange swan at 3:30 AM on June 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Absolutely, this felt super 'Folie a Deux.'

Another link to 'The X-Files' - Dean and Sam's FBI IDs are super duper fake (they're shown in-focus when they're initially pressed up against the glass, switching back, they're out of focus); so were the ones used on TXF (for legal reasons).

In retrospect, it was a bit of a shame that TXF didn't do an episode where the apparently bumbling suspects are actually sophisticated sub rosa (who are well intentioned vs. a MoTW/ supernatural practictioner).

Especially infuriating for Dean - the comments about John are completely false and defamatory (white supremacist, sovereign citizen nut, etc.), yet Dean knows he'd be taken even less seriously if he tried to set the record straight.

At least, finally, we know that LEO knows that John has passed. Wouldn't be hard to figure out with hospital security footage (of John and Sam) and Dean being positively IDed.

I do really appreciate that the show is exploring the consequences of being "known to police" and it feels like they thought about it beforehand and actually have a plot sketched out for how those consequences will evolve, and how it might end up resolving.
posted by porpoise at 4:38 PM on June 16, 2021

There are some real logical contortions to make this episode work, but I really do like it, and "mandroid" and "we are so screwed" live in my brain for free.

In my head this is Ben Edlund's first script for SPN, which is wrong, it was actually Simon Says, but this was his second. For sure not every episode he wrote was great but his batting average was pretty damn good. The beginning made to seem like it's cutting in on a broadcast is cute but makes me wonder how someone would do a version of that if they knew they were making it for Netflix.

But I do really love the ending, Renegade is probably in my top five musical cues this show ever did. Law enforcement never felt like thaaaat much of a threat and then very quickly and unexpectedly they are so screwed.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:27 PM on June 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Edlund seems to be a master at blending comedy with strong character work and genre work; Supernatural would've been a noticeably lesser show without him IMO.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:32 PM on June 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I haven't watched this episode in over a decade, but the ending (and that music cue!) are still fresh in my mind.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:57 PM on June 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I remember the ending as really driving home how dangerous Sam and Dean were because they'd managed to fight and out-think a SWAT team headed straight for them. Previously, they'd been fairly careful around law enforcement, treating them like civilians and only been violent to monsters which made the violence hard to gauge because it is inherently imaginative. But here, they were suddenly unleashed on humans and it highlighted that their training had made them into essentially killing machines.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:57 AM on June 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

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