Supernatural: Hollywood Babylon
June 22, 2021 4:16 AM - Season 2, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean spend some time on a L.A. movie set, investigating the strange deaths of some of the people involved in making a movie about summoning spirits.


Dean: What's a PA?
Sam: I think it's kinda like a slave.

Sam: Does this look like swimming-pool weather to you, Dean? It's practically Canadian!

Dean: Oh, like Poltergeist?
Sam: It could be a poltergeist.
Dean: No, no, no. Like the movie, Poltergeist.
Sam: [looks confused]
Dean: You know nothing of your cultural heritage, do you?

Dean: [while trekking through a cemetery at night] Man, this map is totally worth the 5 bucks. Hey, we gotta go check out Johnny Ramone's grave when we're done here.
Sam: You wanna dig him up, too?
Dean: Bite your tongue, heathen!

Sam: You know, maybe the spirits are trying to shut down the movie because they think it sucks. 'Cause, I mean, it kinda does.

Dean: [shoots a ghost with rock salt as he is trying to murder Martin]
Martin: You're one hell of a PA.
Dean: Yeah, I know.

Tara: [after Dean has banged her] You're one hell of a PA.
Dean: Thanks.

Dean: Sam, check it out, it's Matt Damon.
Sam: Yeah, pretty sure that's not Matt Damon.
Dean: No, it is.
Sam: Well, Matt Damon just picked up a broom and started sweeping.
Dean: Maybe he's researching a role!

Sam: So what do you think?
Dean: Well, I think being a PA sucks, but the food these people get? Are you kidding me? I mean, look at these things, they're like miniature Philly cheese steak sandwiches, they're delicious!
Sam: Maybe later.

Sam: It doesn't seem like Elise this time either; it's not her m.o.
Dean: Well, we already torched her so what are we dealing with? Another ghost?
Sam: Maybe.
Dean: Yeah, but these things don't usually tag team.


In the beginning of "Hollywood Babylon," the Winchesters are on a tour of Hollywood. The tour guide says that they are passing the place where Gilmore Girls is filmed, and if they're lucky they might get to see one of the stars. Jared Padalecki had a starring role on Gilmore Girls, playing a character named Dean Forester. At this point, Sam looks uncomfortable and quickly leaves the tour bus.

When Dean tells Tara she was great in Boogeyman, she says it was a horrible script. The script to Boogeyman (2005) was written by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.

Some of the ludicrous notes that the studio executive gives the crew are notes that Supernatural actually received from CW.

As Sam and Dean are walking through the set to get to the trailer (20:42), they pass a lady walking a cart of clothing that looks awfully familiar. The clothing is used on the set of Supernatural by both actors. Dean is wearing the same army brown coat that is on the rack. When Sam sees the rack, you can see his reaction to it as he passes by.

The fact that the main actress likes to take Polaroids of the cast to "kill time" is a reflection of Jensen Ackles' pastime on set: taking photos of his fellow cast and crew between takes.

Dean references a common ghost story about Three Men and a Baby (1987). The story states that there is a boy who appears in a scene that shouldn't be there, nor could anyone remember that boy ever being on set. This didn't actually occur, and the boy was actually a cardboard cutout used as a prop later in the movie.

During the fake movie trailer to Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, the "this film not yet rated" box states "also not yet written cast shot edited or scored". Also, the (fake) website link is listed as "ww.hellhazers2.con".
posted by orange swan (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This one was a little too cheesy and cutesy for me. I find sendups of Hollywood types to be tiresome. 

Dean being starstruck was fun. He didn't have a chance to just be a kid growing up, and as an adult who knows he won't live to be old given the dangerous work he does, he seizes every chance he gets to just play and enjoy himself. And he bangs the lead actress from the movie, because of course he does.

Sam, meanwhile, is still really upset about Madison and in no mood to enjoy anything.

That shot of Sam and Dean walking off into "the sunset" was hilarious.
posted by orange swan at 4:19 AM on June 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is not a meta episode in the way that Supernatural would dive into in season 4 and 5, but I think it is their earliest dabbling?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:53 AM on June 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yes, it was corny and cheesy and cutesy and all sorts of other similar things, but it was also a bit of lighthearted fun, and that's exactly what I'm looking for these days, so I have to slot this into the category of "mainly worked for me in this time and under these circumstances."
posted by sardonyx at 11:08 AM on June 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I think this is the first time they wholeheartedly flirted with the 4th wall. I remember generally liking the wall-breaking episodes that I've seen.

This was a huge heavy-handed nudge-wink that, yes, they are in Vancouver. We get it.

My read on Dean having a blast as a PA - deep down he really wants to be part of a team, and have an established position in a hierarchy. No particular ambition to "move up the ladder," just a place with established boundaries and rules that he can understand.

Overall, this was kind of sweet as a reward to the team that might not show up on camera, but makes everything possible.
posted by porpoise at 12:08 PM on June 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

I don't think Dean enjoyed being a PA -- as you can see in one of the quotes above, he explicitly says that being a PA sucks. He enjoyed his time on the set because of the fringe benefits: getting to meet (and have sex with) a leading actress he admired; the food; seeing how a movie was made. And of course there was a case for him to solve. When he was praised for being a PA, it was because he'd done things that were far beyond the scope of a PA's job. I don't think he'd actually like being at everyone's beck and call or running menial errands as a real PA is/does (remember, other than his father, he has no respect for authority), and he wouldn't have much patience with Hollywood types long-term, as he doesn't like people who are pretentious, full of themselves, spoiled, or too touchy feely.
posted by orange swan at 5:53 PM on June 22, 2021

I think it's a bit of both.

In the short term, Dean likes being a PA and is actually good at the job. There's the scene where Sam is trying to talk to him, but Dean keeps cutting him off and ignoring him in favour of answering the headset and responding to calls. We've never seen Dean take an undercover so seriously (or at all seriously) before. He's certainly doing the PA job, unlike Sam who does absolutely nothing to keep the cover up. Yes, there are the perks (good, plentiful food, attractive actresses, etc.) but there's also first real experience at working a normal job as a normal person, being part of a team and just having the kinds of experiences he has never had and will never had. He also seems to have built up respect from others in his position--respect earned for doing the job and doing it well (and that's not just the extra hunter bits of the job, but the actual day-to-day tasks).

I don't think it is a position that would satisfy him in the long run. He certainly wouldn't have the patience or the respect for studio blowhards to keep at it. By the end, he wants to be back doing the only thing he knows how to do, with his brother at his side. But for a short vacation from his normal existence, it's a good break for him and it's enjoyable to see how the rest of the world lives.
posted by sardonyx at 6:21 PM on June 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

I generally dig this show's meta weirdness, and in fairness I enjoyed this more than I remembered, but yeah, like 10% too cute to be top tier for me.

"It's like 'Three Men and a Baby' all over again. Selleck, Danson, and Guttenberg. And... I don't know who played the baby."

I cannot explain much less justify this, but something about the way JA reads that line makes me laugh harder than anything else in this episode.

Agree with sardonyx, I can see both sides of the PA thing. I don't think Dean would tolerate getting bossed around by shallow self-involved people for his real actual job--I think the fact that he knows the whole time he's putting one over on them is a non-zero part of the enjoyment--but I also see where he genuinely gets something out of being part of a team. (The only way Dean really ever pursues this is through families of various kinds, but I think it's still true.) Plus, this is a safe, regular job where his contributions are seen and valued by regular people, which, whatever else hunting does for him, it's never going to do that. He's not going to abandon his life to go be a PA but cosplay for a day or two, sure.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:35 PM on June 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

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