Supernatural: Folsom Prison Blues
June 23, 2021 3:43 AM - Season 2, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean allow themselves to be arrested in order to investigate a series of murders inside a penitentiary. However, things get complicated when FBI Agent Henricksen shows up to take over their case.


Sam: [has mugshot taken; looks appropriately morose]
Dean: [having his mugshot taken] I call this one the "Blue Steel" [puts on a sultry pout for the camera]. 
Police photographer: Yeah, that's great. To the right. 
Dean: [turns to his right; the camera flashes]
Police photographer: Okay, back to the lineup.
Dean: Who looks better... me or Nick Nolte?
Police photographer: Shut up. 

FBI Agent Victor Henricksen: You think you're funny?
Dean: I think I'm adorable.

Sam: [as they walk into the prison] This is, without a doubt, the dumbest, craziest thing we've ever done... And that's in a long, storied career of dumb and crazy.
Dean: Calm down. It's all part of the plan.

[Sam and Dean shuffle past a chain link fence on their way to the prison, while behind the fence the inmates check them out]
Inmate: You're mine, baby!
Dean: Don't worry, Sam. I promise I won't trade you for smokes.

Randall: How did you wind up in here?
Sam: I've got a brother who's an idiot.
Randall: That'll do it.

Sam: Dean, doesn't it bother you how well you seem to fit in here?
Dean: No, not really.

Dean: [takes his meal tray and sits opposite a very large and scary looking inmate] Save room for dessert, Tiny. Hey, I wanted to ask you, 'cause I couldn't help but notice you are two tons of fun... just curious, is that just a thyroid problem? Or is that just some deep-seated self esteem issue? 'Cause y'know, they're, uh, just doughnuts. They're not love.

[Dean and Tiny are in adjacent cells with wire fence walls and a curtain between them]
Dean: Hey, Tiny.
Tiny: Yeah?
Dean: Hey, sorry about the things I was saying earlier. I can't really tell you why, but I had to get you angry. So, uh... Anyway, sorry.
Tiny: It's okay. Truth is, I have low self-esteem issues. My old man treated me and my brother like crap, right up till the day he died.
Dean: How'd he die?
Tiny: My brother shot him.
Dean: Okay.

Dean: Well my roommate doesn't say, how's yours?
Sam: He just keeps staring at me in a way that makes me really uneasy.
Dean: Sounds like you're making new friends.


Clif Kosterman, who plays "Tiny", is the real life longtime bodyguard of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The three men are very close friends.

Jensen Ackles celebrated his birthday (March 1) on location at the prison set during filming for this episode. At the beginning of the day, 50 extras dressed as prisoners sang "Happy Birthday" to him in the yard.

When Dean is in solitary, he tells Lucas, "I said I wish I had a baseball -- like Steve McQueen." This is a reference to the scene where Steve McQueen's character repeatedly bounces a baseball on the walls of his solitary confinement cell from the film classic The Great Escape (1963).
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
Sam's expression when he enters his cell and sees his cellmate is significantly larger than him and is staring at him is pretty funny. Even funnier, because more subtle, is the look on Dean's face when he punches Tiny as hard as he can several times, and sees it has no effect on him whatsoever. Those two are not used to being physically outmatched -- at least not by other humans. 

Also amusing: the inmates' excitement when they see Sam and Dean, who are much prettier than the average prisoner. *Everyone* in the Supernatural universe is always going on about how handsome Sam and Dean are, and I always think, "This is a bit much... but then they *are* that handsome and I do it too."

For someone who is basically a non-actor (he's made some appearances as an extra), Clif Kosterman did a great job of playing Tiny. 

Any genuinely critical look at Sam and Dean's supposed record is going to turn up a LOT of things that don't make any sense, and good on that PD for figuring that out. They're incredibly lucky they didn't draw one too overworked or indifferent to pay any real attention to them or their case. Henricksen, by contrast, is too obsessed with catching them and locking them up forever to take that objective look at their case. Not a good look in an officer of the law, who is supposed to care about getting things right, not about just getting things done. 

Actually going to prison to do a job was really gutsy, even crazy, given their record. Of course, the warden himself was going to spring them in a few days, but what if by chance they'd been sent to another prison? I also think it would have been easier, and far less risky, for the warden to simply get coaching from them on how to investigate and deal with the haunting and then deal with it himself -- or at most, sneak Sam and Dean in as staff or maintenance men or some such. I mean, now the authorities have their fingerprints and mug shots on file. 

Pretty freaky looking ghost. 
posted by orange swan at 3:51 AM on June 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I guess this isn't a show where you poke the logic too hard, but yeah, given their situation going to prison seemed like waaaay too big a "favor" and just sort of an excuse to get a prison episode that does not make a ton of sense coming or going.

I thought it was a little...uncharacteristically harsh that Sam objected to Dean calling the inmate victims "innocent people," like he was perfectly fine if they all got ghost-murdered because they'd done something to end up in prison. I don't know if the writers felt like that had to be raised and shot down, but it's pretty lousy and would seem weird coming from either one of them. They do a lot of crime and it's not all hunting.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:50 PM on June 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sam was pre-law and he still has some of that law and order mindset, but yes, it's hypocritical of him to see the inmates as people who might be less deserving of saving than civilians, given that most of them would have broken fewer laws than he has. Dean, by contrast, showed such compassion and frustration when he had to watch an inmate die and he was helpless to do anything about it because he was locked in a cell. He's a vigilante hunter who relies on his own moral compass rather than on what the law says, and he saves people from monsters even if he might not like or respect them, because monsters are bad and people are worth saving. He did not like dealing with a situation like the one with the Bender family, because he had to kill people and it messed with his value system.
posted by orange swan at 6:05 AM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

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