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10 January 2013 @ 05:03 am
Review: Supernatural's Bloody Mary  
bloody mary splash

Supernatural
Season 1, Episode 5

"Bloody Mary"

Teleplay: Ron Milbauer & Terri Hughes Burton, Story: Eric Kripke
Directed by: Peter Ellis

Blurb: "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary." An incantation uttered during a game of truth or dare unleashes a ghoul who "lives" in mirrors... and kills by gouging out the eyes of her prey.

Like all TV episode reviews: Spoilers apply.

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Scene 01: We open in Toledo, Ohio.

We join a slumber party between a group of three pre-pubescents playing the time-honored game of 'Truth or Dare'. One of our girls chooses truth, but is asked about the make-out potential of a boy the three know, so changes her mind to dare.

Our ringleader dares her to say 'Bloody Mary' in the bathroom mirror. One of our young girls ... not entirely believably... has no idea who Bloody Mary is, allowing exposition into our monster of the week. How kind.


Scene 02: Our young chant-girl is sent off to the bathroom with naught but a candle, because things are scarier that way.

Despite her nerves, our young girl chants our ghost's name twice when there is a gust of creepy wind to blow the candle flame aflutter. She screws up her courage and says it the fateful third time and then gazes into the mirror... waiting....

A series of loud bangs causes her to scream her fool head off. But the banging is coming from her cohorts rapping loudly on the door for this purpose.
The girls have a laugh, and the Shoemaker girl's father comes out to ask them to keep it down.


Scene 03: As Mr. Shoemaker heads back to the bedroom, he doesn't notice the ghostly, stringy-dark-haired ghost girl appearing in the mirrors as he passes them.


Commentary: And, already I'm rolling my eyes. Look, I get that this is about (supposedly) American Urban Legends and all, but the dark and stringy haired ghost girl from Japanese Horror had already been done to death by this point (and you're hearing from somebody who loves RINGU, planning to review it).

It really bothers me that in a story that is already going to be somewhat dragged down by an already well-known myth, now we have to also borrow cliches from other horror movies, equally well known by now. It feels like a really obvious and really lazy design choice.

Also, this is a bit repetitive. I think seeing her twice in the hall mirrors were enough. And, what the hell kinda funhouse is this, where mirrors are lined up on the wall every three feet, for heaven's sake?



Scene 04: So, dad goes into the bathroom further on down the hallway near his bedroom. He pops a few capsules. Almost immediately, he notices that his face is getting black-veiny under one eye.


Scene 05: Downstairs, our chant-gal and her friends are greeted by Older Sister who is coming in late for curfew. They share sister-grins and Older Sister leaves pre-teens to go upstairs.


Scene 06: Older Sister is brought up short in the hallway, as she sees what appears to be a LOT of blood coming from under the bathroom door.

Inside is even more blood... way more than "gouging out the eyes of her prey" would cause. We don't get to see what she sees, but we do get wild, hysterical screaming to prove it is horrid.

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Commentary: Ack, Mr. Director... too close on her face, TOO CLOSE!


Scene 07: We join Sam now, obviously in the midst of a nightmare about awfully-murdered Jess.

She's lying against the ceiling, and starts to burn. But this time, she's aware enough to ask him "Why, Sam" a few times.

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Scene 08: Dean startles him awake, where they're in The Impala.

Sam and Dean share a bit about Sam's ongoing nightmares and his refusing to talk about it. They've arrived in Toledo, to investigate the mysterious death of the Shoemaker father.


Scene 09: Their first visit is the area morgue.


Commentary: And, for some reason, the city isn't able to provide lights in the hallway so everything is mood-lighting dark where it has no business being.


In the morgue office, Sam and Dean present themselves to a morgue worker as college students there to view the corpse for a paper. The attendant is less than cooperative and isn't really buying their story that they made an appointment with the coroner for this purpose.

Sam's providing $100 works its money-magic, though, saving the situation. This is to Dean's annoyance.


Scene 10: Dean complains to Sam that he had earned that money, but Sam blows him off as winning it in a poker game. Dean doesn't appreciate a difference.

The corpse is eyeless, as expected and the attendant shares that the orbs were practically liquified [which still doesn't explain the ridiculous amount of blood in that opening scene --- they shouldn't have liquified, they should have been blown out of his head as his blood rushed out of the sockets in a torrent, which would have been so much more awesome that what we'll eventually see Mary do].

Further discussions reveal that the brain was sopping wet with blood and that extreme cerebral pressure may have caused the damage to the eyes, but the exact cause of death is still a mystery to the coroner.

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Sam and Dean want a look at the police report, which means more bribe money down the tubes....


Scene 11: On their way out, Sam suggests the possibility that this case isn't one of theirs, but is just a freak medical thing. Dean shoots this down.


Scene 12: The next stop is to speak to the daughter, and a change of clothes would really help this situation; They hardly look like they belong at a wake.

At least Our Sammy looks uncomfortable and Dean admits they're underdressed.

They're shown to where the daughters are sitting in the backyard.


Scene 13: They present themselves as co-workers of Daddy Shoemaker. Apparently, the police report listed probable stroke as the cause of the bathroom floor and hallway being covered in an inch-thick puddle of blood... ridiculously....

Dean asks after any symptoms that her dad would be at risk, but the answer is a 'no'. This causes Young Daughter to insist it wasn't a stroke.

Young Daughter reveals that she's to blame for saying 'Bloody Mary' three times in the bathroom mirror. Dean assures her that she couldn't have caused anything since her Dad didn't say the magic words.


Commentary: Yeah. This scene is really clumsily written and Sam & Dean don't come across at all like they're 'undercover' as someone who knew the victim. It's just... bad scene.


Scene 14: A bit later, Sam and Dean wander upstairs with our focus on the mirrors. They visit the Death Bathroom and discuss the possibility that a Bloody Mary spirit could be involved. Up to this point, John had never found any evidence that she was real, and Sam points out that kids play this same prank to scare themselves across the country and there's never been any eyeless deaths as a result.

Dean suggests that it is only real in this time and place, for reasons currently unknown. There is another problem with the myth-as-real theory: Lily said the chant, but her father gets the death... that doesn't comport with the way the ghost tale is supposed to function.


Scene 15: They're interrupted and interrogated by Older Daughter's best friend who isn't buying their clumsy story about working with Dead Dad. She also finds their questions in the yard weird and off-putting. She threatens to scream if they don't tell her what they're up to.

Sam comes as close as he's going to to admitting that they're investigating the paranormal. Instead of screaming for help, she takes Sam's cell number to call in case anything weird is encountered by her or her friends.


Scene 16: Sam and Dean next head to the local library to dig into past newspaper stories looking for a horrible and unusual death of a woman who could be acting as the 'Blood Mary' revenant, if in fact that is what happened to Mr. Shoemaker.

Sam shares how hard this could be to pin down, as the Bloody Mary tale is so old and widespread that there are dozens of different versions of her identity.

Their only real clue is that the original woman should be named Mary and she should have died in front of a mirror. Not a lot to go on.


Scene 17: As Sam and Dean prepare to dig into the archives, Older Daughter's Best Friend is in her car on her cell. She's speaking to Blonde Friend about the weirdness that was Sam and Dean. They've gotten to Best Friend and she's wondering if something other than a stroke may have killed Shoemaker.

Blonde Friend jokes that maybe Lily was right about her father's death and 'Bloody Mary' actually did get him. She notes Best Friend's being a bit freaked out, and continues to tease her about being afraid of an urban legend ghost story.

Blonde Friend goes into her bathroom and chants 'Bloody Mary' to her mirror while she's on the phone just to tease Best Friend. A moment later, she screams her head off... but she was only foolin' and hangs up telling Best Friend that she'll talk to her the next day.


Scene 18: Of course, she's not getting off that easily.

Blonde Friend goes to her closet, which also has a mirror hanging. She doesn't notice the ghost-girl in the mirror, but we do.

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Blonde Friend manages to pass two more mirrors on her way back to her bathroom. This time, her mirror reveals her doppleganger that acts independently of her when she turns away for a moment.

As she notices that her mirror image isn't following her own actions, the mirror image's eye begins to bleed, followed by Blonde Friend's eye as well.

Blood Mary twin-image tells her that she "killed that boy". Blonde Friend collapses.


Commentary: And, I really can't help but point out that the music sting as we cut to black is very, very Buffyesque. Very.


Scene 19: We rejoin Our Sammy in the midst of another nightmare with Jess burning on the ceiling... all in blue flame.

He snaps awake after Jess asks him why.

Dean tries to get Sam to talk about his nightmare, but he's blown off. He also reveals that he's been reading while Sammy was out, but can't find a Mary who died in front of a mirror.

Further, Dean reports that until Mr. Shoemaker there hasn't been any mysterious eyeball related death. They appear to be at a dead end. So, it's so convenient that Best Friend chooses that moment to dial up Sam's cellphone.


Scene 20: They meet Best Friend in the park, where she's a wreck. She tells them that they found Blonde Friend on the bathroom floor with her eyes gone.

She thinks she might be insane for thinking that Blonde Friend saying "Bloody Mary" caused her to die. Sam and Dean tell her she isn't crazy. This does not make her feel better.


Commentary: And, what the *f is up with Sammy's closeups?! Why does it look like Sam has a shower stall door right behind him when he's supposed to be standing outside in a park? Wow, is that some clumsy photography, or what? And, for what purpose? Did we absolutely need yet another close up of Our Sam's [patent pending] Concerned Face?

It's so distracting!


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Scene 21: So, Sam and Dean get Best Friend's help in sneaking them into Blonde Friend's bedroom without her parents knowing anything. They start a simple ghost-hunter scan of the room.

[And, not at all talking softly like you'd think somebody would who doesn't want a dead girl's parents to know that they're in her dead girl room.]

Under night vision, Sammy spots something dripped from the bathroom mirror. [Unfortunately, I watch much too much CSI so all I can think about is vaginal or seminal fluid and I'm totally grossed out.]


Scene 22: After retrieving a black light from the trunk of The Impala and sneaking back into the Blonde Friend's room, they do another sweep. On the back of said mirror, they find a name. It isn't Mary.


Scene 23: A short time later, Sam has looked up the name on the back of the mirror. It is the name of a boy killed in a hit-and-run accident, whose driver was never found. The description of the car, however, matches Blonde Friend's car....

With this connection made, they head back over to the Shoemaker's to look at their bathroom mirror.


Scene 24: Under a blacklight, they find the name of Linda Shoemaker written in invisible ink on the back of the mirror.


Scene 25: With this further piece of a puzzle, they talk to Older Shoemaker Daughter and find out that Linda was her mother. She'd committed suicide some time ago with a sleeping pill overdose. Now upset, Older Daughter throws them out of the house.

Best Friend stays, while Sam and Dean go to further investigate what Linda Shoemaker has to do with this whole business. The working theory is that perhaps Mr. Shoemaker "helped" Linda to overdose for reasons unknown.


Scene 26: In their hotel room, Dean is breaking into FBI databases to expand the search into Marys who died in front of mirrors. The new working theory is that Mary is seeing nasty secrets in which somebody died and is now punishing them... whether they were the summoner or not.

Dean finds a Mary who matches their suspect... a woman killed in front of a mirror in Indiana. Though right now, it's hard to see how she could figure into deaths occurring in Toledo.


Scene 27: Which is what causes Sam and Dean to travel to Indiana to speak with the retired detective who handled Mary's unsolved case. She'd been an average girl with dreams of being an actress and getting out of Fort Wayne. Someone broke into her apartment and slashed out her eyes with a knife.

The detective is at first leery of speaking of it to this pair of young "reporters", but Sam tells him what they've already figured out. He relents and like all TV Detectives with a Case That Stuck With Them, he has a box of paperwork tucked away in his home in regards to Mary's murder.

Detective shares that he thinks that Mary was killed by a married man that she was seeing. Theory being that she threatened to tell his wife about their banging and he sliced her up real good, including removing her eyes with precision. She died trying to spell his name in her blood on the mirror she died in front of. But, there hadn't been enough evidence to bring the surgeon in the triangle to trial. Mary had only used a first initial in her diary entries about the affair and she hadn't been able to smear more than a few letters of her killer's name.

Detective states he thinks Mary died trying to expose the surgeon's secret and never could. Her remains were cremated shortly after.

Dean asks after the mirror and Detective reports it was turned back over to the family when the case went cold....


Commentary: It's right about here that I started to think this case is becoming too convoluted for a simple TV-episode about a simple urban legend. And, I'm not completely convinced over the tie-in between Mary's murder in Indiana, a mirror with a partial message in blood and the murders Our Boys are investigating. It seems like a real stretch... and it is only made worse because the Central Mirror isn't even in the victims' home, which makes the connection even more tenuous. It gets even worse when Mary doesn't even need any mirrors to move around... she can pop up in any reflective surface.


Scene 28: Back in Toledo, at the high school, Older Daughter with Dead Parents is complaining at Best Friend for bringing weird Sam & Dean into her home.

She's still upset about the weird questions Sam and Dean were asking about her suicided mom, and right after her dad died with the mysteriously exploding eyeballs, too! The nerve!

Best Friend and Older Daughter argue because Best Friend is buying the Blood Mary tale in the aftermath of Blonde Friend's demise in the same way that Dead Dad was found with no eyes.

Older Daughter spites her by chanting Bloody Mary into the school's bathroom mirror, to Best Friend's growing horror. Nothing immediately happens, as in the cases before. This does nothing to calm Best Friend's panic and Older Daughter turns on her and storms out.


Commentary: The only thing I want to mention here is Older Daughter's turning on her Best Friend. It's not that I don't buy this happening under the circumstances, but I do think it was overplayed. What we really needed, I think, was a scene with both Daughters reacting to Blonde Friend's mysterious death, Younger Daughter's replay of her freak out over her having chanted 'Bloody Mary' in the first place and then have Best Friend confront Older Daughter here in the bathroom. It would have made Older Daughter seem more sympathetic and at her wits end in trying to keep her young sister held together, while also dealing with the aftermath of her being orphaned and not knowing what was going to happen to them and now having her Best Friend starting to sound like she's going off the rails too.

The way it is filmed -- Older Daughter just comes across as a bit of a bitch. She has reasons, for sure... but they're offscreen reasons and I think this scene would have come across better if those reasons had some screen time. It's also odd to have so much focus on Best Friend, while the Younger and Older Sister are virtually absent and they're the ones who should be centrally involved in the story.



Scene 29: And, here's where we start to see Mary outside of any mirrors at all. Best Friend is walking the school hallway when a window looking into the classroom from the hallway reflects Mary's ghost-image... with a musical sting... and a commercial break. She's just that evil.


Scene 30: When we come back, we're in science class with Best Friend. She pulls out her compact, and sees Ghost-Mary in the hand held mirror. She has a screaming freak out.

She then sees Mary again in the window of the room. She picks up her stool and throws it through this window, before science teacher grabs her and tries to calm her down. But, Sci-Teach has a pair of spectacles... which are reflective....

More screams... and a panicked dash from the classroom.


Commentary: Now, at first this was bugging me because I couldn't understand why Mary would be stalking Best Friend. This does get explained and it will involve guilt over "causing a death", in which 'causing' is very liberally applied by Vengeance Ghost Rules.

It does still bother me though, that Mary's abilities to reach her victims have expanded way beyond just mirrors. It would make a sort of sense if she could travel between mirrors, I guess, even in mirrors that are not the one she died in front of, but now her reach is just too convenient. Every single reflective surface could potentially cause her to make people's eyes bleed and it's too much to take seriously.



Scene 31: Back with Our Sammy and Dean [sunlight not highlighting freckles, ergo no 'Adorable' moniker and he hasn't started his 'beautiful crying' either, yet] in The Impala.

Sam is wrapping up a conversation on the phone and then expositions about why all of this is taking place in Toledo, instead of in Indiana. The mirror in question for Mary's Haunting's origin was sold to an antiques shop in Ohio about a week prior to now....

There is some speculation about the legend that mirrors can capture and trap spirits, but it doesn't explain how Mary is moving from mirror to mirror to kill Dad in one place and Blonde Friend in another. Dean further speculates that if they can break the original mirror, the hauntings end. Further thinking on this is interrupted by a call from Best Friend to Sam.


Commentary: Now, I was ready to accept all of this because I thought that we'd find out that the Original Mary Mirror was purchased by the Shoemaker family and was hanging in their bathroom. This was what allowed the plot to kick off... BUT NO. Apparently, direct contact with the Original Mirror wasn't even needed. Just being in the same city, having a dark secret involving a death and feeling guilty are all that is required. It's sort of like The Grudge... except you don't even need to visit the cursed object's location. Which, is stupid. Did the scripters never watch a horror movie? This story is so disorganized.


Scene 32: In their motel room, she's huddled in the dark on a bed waiting to be killed by Mary. Around her, Sam and Dean are covering every reflective surface they can find.

Dean confronts Best Friend about her secret that Mary is after her for. It turns out that Best Friend had a boyfriend who was unstable. When she broke up with him, he threatened to commit suicide. She told him to go ahead and stormed out of his house and he followed through on this threat, leaving her with a load of guilt for not believing him and getting him some help.

Commentary: As you can see, the coincidences are really piling up now: Mary dies in front of a mirror in which she is attempting to write the name of someone, presumably her killer but she can't complete the 'confession' before she dies. The mirror is sold to an antiques place. The Younger  Daughter plays a game of "Bloody Mary" in front of a mirror that is nearby the mirror (well if you say the same city is 'close') that Mary has been trapped in because she couldn't complete her dying task.

Mary, rather than being despondant is enraged. She's become a Vengeance Spirit who happens to look like the RINGU ghost-girl. Fortunately for her, it just so happens that Mrs. Shoemaker committed suicide in the house where Younger Daughter 'summoned her' some time prior and that Mr. Shoemaker feels responsible and guilt-ridden for her taking her own life. She kills him and writes Linda's name on the back of the mirror as the woman she is avenging.

Now, considering that the Original Mirror is in the antiques shop [rather than in the Shoemaker home, where you could at least start to weld this clumsy plot's arc together], this shouldn't have mattered and the Shoemakers should have had no supernatural experiences since they're not in contact with the cursed mirror. But, it just so happens that in addition to borrowing from RINGU to get her Vengeance Look on, Mary has also seen The Grudge, so she doesn't have to stay in her own mirror to kill. In fact, she's gone one better... she doesn't even have to have been visited where her mirror is sitting, or where she was murdered in order to get her Vengeance on. Hell, she doesn't really have any rules.

But, fine. Young Daughter plays "Bloody Mary" in a home where her father feels guilty for her mother's suicide. Mary kills him for whatever reason she'd even be aware of any of this. End of story.

But, no. Instead Sam and Dean come along to investigate the death of Mr. Shoemaker and Younger Daughter blurts out it's her fault for playing "Bloody Mary".

This gives Blonde Friend the idea to play a mean trick on Best Friend later, when she's obviously a bit freaked out, due to Sam and Dean's taking this spirit talk so seriously. She chants 'Bloody Mary'. This shouldn't have had any impact whatsoever... except... Blonde Friend just so happens to have struck and killed a young boy and gotten away with it. She is wracked with guilt over causing this death [with no evidence of this anywhere on screen -- she seems remarkably bubbly for someone who has a dark-death-secret in her past]. Mary kills her and leaves the name of the avenged on the back of her mirror.

This should be the end of the cycle. Except... Best Friend confronts Older Daughter Shoemaker about what she thinks is happening with "Bloody Mary" being real in the school bathroom, where Older Daughter can do the Mary chant in the mirror. Again, this shouldn't cause any impact whatsoever.

BUT, it just so happens that Best Friend has a suicided boyfriend in her past and she feels responsible and guilty for his death so Mary goes after her next. But, how to reach her with no mirrors?

Oh, nevermind. Now she doesn't need mirrors to travel around at all -- any old reflective surface will do. I'd love to know how she was going to ecto-write dead boyfriend's name if Best Friend happened to be staring into a shiny toaster in the kitchen.

So, you see... there is just too many coincidental deaths in this tiny group of people for which someone feels responsible and guilty. And, there isn't the set up to justify it. For instance, this could work if these disparate people weren't connected through high school students, but instead were members of a grief support group... or had all been seeing the same psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of this sort of guilt. But, they needed to focus on the CW-pretty-young-people crowd, and so the intertwining of their various tramuas is ridiculous and soap-operatic rather than sensible. It's causing the story to unravel under the weight of all of these "it just so happens"-es. And, the need for SOMEBODY close to these guilty people to keep repeating the Mary chant in a mirror.

And this all happens without any suggestion that Mary can influence people from her Magic Mirror that fits her needs to avenge herself over and over by actually compelling the situation to play out. It just so happens to happen, as far as the script is concerned.



So Best Friend concludes that she can't dodge reflective surfaces forever and she's going to die, but Sam [so effing earnestly, that Jared's acting is hurting me] assures her that they'll save her.

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Scene 33: Dean and Sam later discuss the case some more in The Impala. Sam is concerned that smashing Mary's original mirror won't be enough since she's been skipping and hopping all over town. He thinks that they'll need to have Mary summoned to her mirror, and then smash it while she's there.

Dean points out they don't know if that will be any more effective, but Sam thinks it's the best plan. He further tells Dean that he'll summon her as she'll come after him.

Dean's had enough of Sammy's beating himself up over Jessica's murder. Dean pulls The Impala over. He tells Sam that he has to stop blaming himself before it kills him. Sam tells Dean that he should have warned her, but Dean rightly points out that he didn't know what was going to happen. In fact, he says, if Sam was going to pin the blame on anyone other than the thing that killed her, he should be blaming Dean for showing up and pulling Sam away from her.

Sam insists he doesn't blame Dean. Dean points out that he can't summon Mary anyway, because Jess' death isn't a secret since Dean already knows all about it. But Sam tells him he's wrong... he doesn't know "ALL" about it, after all.

Dean is stunned, as he can't imagine what Sam would be holding back or when there would've been time to have a secret regarding that night. I'm wondering too.

But that's to the side for the moment, as Dean tells Sammy he isn't summoning Mary. Sam points out that if they don't do this plan, Best Friend will die. Who knows how many others will join her after that.


Commentary: I really like this scene. There are a few moments in Jared and Jensen's dialog at each other where Jared's acting is a bit wobbly, but it is a nice scene and gives Jensen something to do other than be cocky. Plus the glances that Jared gives to Jensen when he's hinting that there is more to Jess' death than he or us knows gave me a chill of anticipation to find out what he's talking about. Good, strong scene.


Scene 34: At the antique shop, Sam picks the locks and the brothers go in. Conveniently, it'll turn out that Mary's Mirror wasn't sold already. They start looking for the mirror-in-question among a roomful of mirrors.

Unfortunately for our Hunters, opening the door set off a silent alarm of which they're unaware.

Sam summons her... with lots of pauses in an attempt to make the moment for stressful... which fails.

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Scene 35: As Sam waits for Mary's arrival with a tire iron in his grip, the storefront is brightly illuminated. It's a patrol car shining a spotlight inside.

Dean goes to deal with the police... somehow... leaving Sammy to deal with Mary.


Scene 36: There is a spooky-chimey-breeze which causes Sammy to look everywhere except in the blasted mirror, where - duh - Mary appears.


Scene 37: Outside, Dean is confronted by drawn pistols. He tries to tell the officers that it's a false alarm and he's the boss' kid. Except, the boss happens to have a very Japanese name and Dean doesn't look very Japanese. Not that that is conclusive or anything... but it does make it less likely that he isn't about to be taken into custody.


Scene 38: Inside, Sam finally looks in The Mirror... but Mary has leaped to one behind him by this point. He spots her and swings, smashing that mirror. But Mary is faster and she's in another nearby looking glass.

Sammy is bracing himself for Mary to jump into the needed mirror. But, as we know, Mary doesn't need to look like Mary. She looks like Sammy holding the tire iron.

Sam sees his reflection's eye bleeding. His follows suit, along with chest pain that causes him to drop the tire iron. Mary-Sam tells him it's his fault and he killed her.


Scene 39: While Mary-Sam is busy killing Sam over causing Jess' death (in vengeance-spirit-logic), Dean is trying to talk his way out of being arrested.

With this going not-so-well, he just punches both of the officers out, knocking them unconscious.


Scene 40: Inside Sam is dying, while Mary-Sam taunts him over his secrets. Mary-Sam tells us that Sam's secret is that he had been dreaming about Jessica burning to death for days before she actually had been killed!

Sam is near the end, as Mary-Sam berates him for being so desperate to be normal that he ignored the warnings he knew he was getting.

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Fortunately for him, Dean comes from off-screen with the tire iron in hand and smashes Mary-Sam's image. He picks up the weakened Sam and they start to stumble out.


Scene 41: But, it's a case of "not so fast there". Bloody Mary, looking even more egregiously like Sadako Yamamura, crawls out of the broken mirror frame behind them.


Commentary: I'm ever so disappointed in this. They could have had her fall out of the mirror, being all bloody and cut up as if punctured by a thousand slivers of glass. Instead, we get a "Sadako leaves the TV screen" scene that is so blatantly copied that she may as well change her name right now. Ergo, she is now 'Bloody Sadako'.


Bloody Sadako crawls across the glass strewn floor after our brothers. She stands up and does the weird, jerky-ghost movement thing that we saw in the pilot. Meanwhile, Sam's bloody eyes start up again. But, interestingly, Dean's eyes start to bleed too. This suggests that there is a secret, some guilt and a death involved in his past that he hasn't shared as well.

In a desperate move, Bloody Eyes Dean grabs another mirror and lifts it in front of him, showing Bloody Sadako her Stringy-Black-Haired-Self.

She's mesmerized by her image (and wondering why she looks like she's missing her fingernails since her back story doesn't involve clawing her way out of a well). Bloody Sadako's mirror image tells her that she killed all of those people. Her eyes are bleeding.

This causes actual Bloody Sadako to turn into a cut-rate Changeling effect. She collapses into glass shards herself.

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Scene 42: Despite the fact that Dean has assaulted two officers, Our Boys stay all night in town so they can take Best Friend back home in the morning.

Sam tells Best Friend to forgive herself for her boyfriend's death as it wasn't her fault. Sometimes bad things just happen... or y'know, sometimes people just do bad things to themselves because they're emotionally unstable and could have used an intervention... but that wouldn't let Dean tell Sam that he's giving good advice and should take it himself.


Scene 43: Our Boys leave... with some godawful back projection work.

Dean asks Sammy to tell him The Secret, but Sammy refuses with a grin seemingly ready to move on from Jess' death... until he sees her standing on the sidewalk as they drive by....


Commentary: And, we get no acknowledgement at all about Bloody Sadako being able to affect Dean with the bloody eyes.


The Good: The bloody eye deaths are fun.

I like Jensen and Jared's scenes together when they're talking about Sammy and Jessica, rather than the case.


The Bad: There is a severe lack of originality that hurts this episode, because it is SO blatant. RINGU and THE GRUDGE is all over this one. In fact the references to RINGU are so blatant, I'm surprised there wasn't a copyright infringement suit somewhere.

The attempts to do something different with the Bloody Mary myth don't work. The plot is too messily constructed with too many holes. She just so happens to leap across town to Younger Daughter's summoning due to her dad feeling guilty for her mom's suicide? Fine. But now, it also just so happens that Blonde Friend is an accidental killer? And, Best Friend happens to have had a suicided boyfriend, too? It's too much "as it happens..." to make sense.


Other Thoughts: I'm a bit disappointed in the direction on this one as well. It's pretty mundane and there are some choices that are supposed to be providing mood, but don't make sense and so doesn't. This goes for things like the ridiculous amount of blood on the floor from Mr. Shoemaker to the dark hallway leading to the morgue to a lot of the cliche musical cues to the way too tight closeups on people's faces.

There are some scenes that stand out as being particularly awkward too: Sam & Dean at Mr. Shoemaker's wake, the confrontation between Best Friend & Older Daughter, Sam's super-duper earnestness & Dean's conflict with the police are some. The rather lax ending doesn't make sense either, since you'd think Dean would be wanting to get out of dodge as fast as The Impala would carry him after knocking out two local policemen.

Also, it was really strange to have the Best Friend be so much focus for the story instead of one of the Shoemaker Daughters.

Oh, and also: Why would Bloody Sadako be killed by her reflection? She's a vengeancey ghost... why would there be the guilt necessary for her to
die?


The Score: Bloody Mary as a myth to explore was a good idea and I like her backstory, but the plot on this one is crap.

2.50 out of 5


--end--

Next Review: The next Buffy episode is "Passion", which I've explained multiple times has scarred me so I'm just not quite ready to tackle it. It'll be soon, though. It has to be. So, the next review will be for The Walking Dead: 'Days Gone Bye'.