Supernatural: Halt & Catch Fire
February 12, 2015 11:33 PM - Season 10, Episode 13 - Subscribe

A series of deaths, connected to various electronic devices, begin to occur in Spencer Iowa. The Winchesters arrive on campus to investigate, and enjoy the food offering of the campus.

Writers Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder create an homage to the slasher movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, but it lacks the satiric punch of their previous efforts.
posted by cfoxhi (9 comments total)
Apparently you can delete some things from the internet.
posted by cfoxhi at 11:35 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

That was kind of old school and almost kinda.good? I haven't watched this show in a while so it was a pleasant surprise.
posted by fshgrl at 9:25 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

That was kind of old school and almost kinda.good?

Yeah, this rose to the level of B-movie action, I think. I liked having at least one sympathetic victim, and thought the subplot with the widow IMing with her dead husband was actually sorta cool.

Also, I'm still laughing about Sigma Theta Delta, and I want a cronut.
posted by mordax at 6:38 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

FYI, the URL for the FoxSisters recap goes to an error page.

I found Dean's 'college is awesome' asides about the great food (like, ok, there's some variety, but, it's still just cafeteria food) and the hot chicks (like, dude, how old are you now?) to be off-putting. Kind of a meh episode for me, probably just that we've had a bunch of good ones this season that made this worse in comparison. Still, better than the doldrums of season 8.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:46 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks, oh yeah!; we think the FoxSisters link is fixed now.
posted by obloquy at 6:07 PM on February 15, 2015, ok, there's some variety, but, it's still just cafeteria food...

I'm a few years younger than Dean (or Ackles anyway) and when I was in college I was presented with some pretty goddamn awful food. Recent visits? Spectacularly better. Teensy, low-rent college too.

But of course Dean never went to college, and because of his line of work he's more used to truck stop cuisine, so modern college cafeteria food might seem better by comparison.
posted by brundlefly at 11:21 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dean: [handing a cup of coffee to Sam] A café au lait for the lady. For me --
Sam: [looks at Dean's loaded tray] A heart attack?
Dean: This is unreal. Look at this. I got Italian. I got Chinese. Serve yourself froyo. College is better than Vegas.

Delilah Marian: Everyone knew Billy. He was the president of Sigma Theta Delta.
Dean: STD?
Delilah Marian: Yeah. It's the biggest frat on campus.

Delilah Marian: I can't believe our art history final's tomorrow.
Julie Miller: I know. This semester, like, totally flew by.
Delilah Marian: Yeah. Time flies when you're drunk.

Delilah Marian: I still have so much to memorize. And I thought looking at pictures of naked guys was gonna be easy.
Julie Miller: I don't really need to study for it. I have a photographic memory. Hashtag blessed.
Delilah Marian: Um, you don't need to study for it because you're screwing the T.A. Hashtag slut.

Billy Bass: Dude, I just retweeted your Tweet.
Kyle: Dude, I just favourited yours.

Janet Novoselic: I was drunk, but I wasn't hallucinating. The truck had a mind of its own.
Sam: How so?
Janet Novoselic: Like, the air went full blast even though it wasn't on and the radio went crazy, and so did Trini.
Dean: And Trini is...?
Sam: You have to excuse my partner. When it comes to technology, he is a little behind. He just learned how to poke on Facebook.

Dean: Oh yeah, sure Sammy, we'll just kill the internet. Wait, can we?
Sam: No, no not really.

Dean: What did Cass say?
Sam: Err, Good news, bad news. Bad news, he discovered riverboat gambling. Good news, he thinks he might be closing in on Cain.

Dean: Alright, so big brother didn't get along with little brother, was pissed off he was driving his baby. I get it.
Sam: What are you saying, if you died and I drove your car, you'd kill me?
Dean: If you stunk her up with taquitos, probably.

Sam: I hit up Julie's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Instachat, Snapchat, A.I.M.. Nothing but posts on Rush and Fifty Shades of Grey -- the movie, not the book.
Dean: Yeah, I didn't get half of that.

Sam: What in the world?
Dean: A croissookie.
Sam: A croissookie?
Dean: Mm-hmm. Yeah, they're the new cronuts.

Dean: I've made more mistakes than I can count. Ones that haunt me day and night.
Delilah Marian: So how do you deal?
Dean: Whiskey. Denial. I do my best to make things right, whatever they may be.

Sam: So, the truck belonged to Joey?
Janet Novoselic: Yeah. It was his pride and joy. Billy got it when he died, and, you know, it's a thing. Yeah. [cellphone rings] Excuse me a sec.
Sam: [turns to Dean] So... what's a thing?
Dean: You know, the truck thing. You honour the deceased by driving their truck.
Sam: ...
Dean: Sam, they wrote a whole country song about it.


In computer engineering, "halt and catch fire", known by the assembly mnemonic HCF, is an idiom referring to a computer machine code instruction that causes the computer's central processing unit (CPU) to cease meaningful operation, typically requiring a restart of the computer.

Dean asks Janet, "So Trini and everything else in the truck just went all Christine?" Christine is a horror novel by Stephen King -- and a movie by the same name directed by John Carpenter -- about a possessed car.

Sam and Dean go by the aliases Agent Cobain and Agent Grohl when they meet the girl named Janet Novoselic. This is a reference to the band Nirvana as frontman Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic.

The country song about honoring a deceased family member by driving their truck is "I Drive Your Truck" by Lee Brice.

When Dean and Sam are trying to find out how to get of rid the ghost. Dean mentions the ghost might be like Shocker. The 1989 movie Shocker stars Mitch Pileggi, who also played their maternal grandfather Samuel Campbell in seasons 4 and 6.

In the flashback to the accident, Julie Miller takes a selfie and then complains that it makes her "look like a hag...25 years old". The episode originally aired on the 26th birthday of the actress who played Julie (Debs Howard), and Howard would have been 25 when the scene was filmed.

When Dean & Sam look for Janet, they find her at "Kasem Unversity". This is a reference to radio DJ Casey Kasem.

"Tau" is the Greek letter equivalent of the English "T." "Theta" is a Greek letter that sounds like the English "th" and its symbol looks like an "O" with a horizontal line through it. The Greek letters for Sigma Theta Delta would be ΣΘΔ, not STD, if it existed. Incidentally, Delta Sigma Theta is an actual sorority that was founded in 1913 and whose members have historically been primarily African American.

Sam said to Dean, "Huh, ghost in the machine." That is an album title and song from the band The Police. The phrase "ghost in the machine" is also famously used in "I, Robot" and indicates an artificial intelligence that has evolved beyond its original purpose, is acting independently, and may have become dangerous, even murderous. Arthur C Clark's novel Odyssey II has a chapter called "Ghost in the Machine". This phrase is also the title of a 1993 episode of The X-Files in which Mulder and Scully investigate a murderous computerized building.

In the opening sequence, when Janet and Billy are in the truck, Billy asks the navigation app on his cell phone to find "Taco Town". Janet says, "I don't think this is the way to Taco Town." Billy responds with, "What do you know? Your phone is 3G." The network speed of her service (or the network limitation of her phone) is unrelated to GPS. Janet's phone would find the same Taco Town; the step-by-step directions might simply be delayed due to slower bandwidth.

At around 11:00, you can see, Delilah Marian pulling out he laptop's power cable so it would shut down in a forced state, but if you rewind to 10:57, and freeze-frame, you can see the laptop's battery charge at the top right is nearly full, which means the laptop wouldn't have turned off because it had plenty of battery life.

According to the episode, the ghost of Andrew can move through wireless signals and haunt anything that is connected to them. The term "WiFi" is used generally throughout the episode. Although this is convenient for the show's rules and lore, it's not accurate. WiFi isn't a signal that floats around anywhere for any device to connect (that's what a cellular network is, and even that isn't open to just any device, and it comes from cell towers which are way more few and far between than the access points shown) as portrayed by the episode. WiFi connects devices that can access the Internet wirelessly to a wired Internet network, that's all. It would have made more sense (according to the show's lore) if, in addition to the power line, a phone or cable TV line hit the car as well. As far as keeping Delilah safe goes, Dean wouldn't have to bring her to the basement, in fact, it's unlikely that she wouldn't get a WiFi signal down there (although cellular network signals would be fuzzy at best). Simply going to the network room and cutting the building's coaxial or Ethernet feed would've cut Internet access for the entire building and kept Andrew out. Additionally, the wireless speakers would be connected to Bluetooth from the stereo or two independent analog channels, not WiFi or cellular. They couldn't even connect to the Internet.

Around the 22 minute mark, the Hozier song "Take Me to Church" is playing. The scene takes place months before the song was released.
posted by orange swan at 2:35 PM on December 6, 2021

I could have done without Dean checking out the college girls. He's 36 and too old to be acting like that -- the first year students would be literally half his age! Thankfully, at least he never put the moves on any of them. It was funny that he thought the college cafeteria food was fine cuisine. The guy has hardly eaten any decent food in his life.

It seems like a stretch to me that none of the other three kids wouldn't be all, "Fuck you, I'm calling 911," when Kyle said not to. He was the one driving and would be the one held responsible and the other three would be legally in the clear as long as they called 911 right away.
posted by orange swan at 2:42 PM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

The loving detail put into every gruesome murder. The absolutely nonsensical understanding of wifi. The painful attempts to sound like teenagers in the mid oughts; good gracious.

I did not have an upbringing where I had to worry about having food on the table, but oh man, the THRILL of discovering an American college cafeteria. as much as you wanted, of so many kinds of food. Ice cream, every day!
posted by jameaterblues at 6:51 PM on December 10, 2021

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