Season 1, Episode 19
DIR: Philip Sgriccia
Writer: David Ehrman
Blurb (IMDB): When two sets of owners of the same painting are brutally murdered, Sam and Dean investigate with the help of an auction house owner's daughter, all while Dean shamelessly tries to pair her with his little brother.
Scene 01: We open with a slow close up scan across a family portrait painting.
The only odd thing that is immediately apparent is the father of the portrait has his hand on the daughter's shoulder, and instead of looking at the painter, is scowling down at the daughter. A very odd thing to do to a portrait, and an even odder thing to hang in your house.
The painting is being hung by a young couple, where the wife can't believe they actually bought this dark, dour painting, but they're all laughs about their own eccentricity.
Our couple canoodle and then wife heads upstairs to get undressed for horny hubby, while he locks up the house. Neither notice that the father in the painting ever so slightly shifts his position, animated. The father in the painting continues turning his head, following hubby around his home.
Scene 02: Upstairs, wife has gotten herself dressed in silky gown and has lit the bedroom with a candle.
While hubby is checking the back door and arming the alarm system, POV is heading up the stairs toward wife.
Wife calls down to hubby, that if he doesn't hurry up, she'll have to start without him.
As hubby crosses the living room again, a close up of the painting reveals that an old-tyme straight razor is missing from the table in the painting.
A shadow approaches the threshold of the bedroom, where wife strikes a seductive pose, but the candle at the bedside blows itself out, plunging the room into darkness.
At the same time, hubby is heading up the stairs while undoing his shirt.
Scene 03: He complains about the lights being off as he heads in, but there is no response. He goes to get into the bed in his PJ drawers only, but stops when he feels something warm and wet in the bed.
He flips on the light, sees red on his hand, and questions Ann.. but when he flips on the light, he finds Ann can't answer: Her throat has been slit.
He falls to the floor in shock and horror, as a shadow starts to move over him. Hubby's mouth opens in a yell, that is brutally cut off with the sound of steel ringing through the air....
Commentary: So. It's an alright opening. The usual issues with too much ambient light coming into the scene for hubby to be claiming he can't see a thing, but the painting is a creepy prop, even without a turning head and a missing razor.
I think I'm only mildly disappointed in it, because we just watched 'Something Wicked' not so long ago, and that opening was really well done. This felt more... pedestrian.
Credits flash [I like that SPN escews an official theme song, but will switch up the opening credits from season to season]
Scene 04: We now join Dean, collecting the number of a bar patron for later, because Dean can't stop himself from chasing sex in every situation.
In the meantime, Sam is sitting over an untouched drink and musing over their dad's journal some more, because Sam can't stop himself from being dour in every situation.
He also picked up the local paper [which he holds just conspicuously so, evincing eye roll in me] and looks at the front page now. He reads about the couple tragically murdered in their own home without signs of a break-in. He catches Dean's eye and insists on him coming over, despite Dean trying to set up a seduction of Brandi or Brandy.
He does bring two pints of beer with him, but since Our Sam hasn't touched his first one, it's a mute point.
Scene 05: Our Sam tells Dean he may have something [to investigate], while Dean says that he may also [a bang date] and that he and Sam should take a minute's break for some downtime.
Dean points out that Brandi/y has a friend, but Sam gives him a no, thanks and reminds him he can get his own dates. Dean says he can, but he don't. Now Dean doesn't mind blowing this off as a garden variety double murder despite Sam's telling him of the no evidence of intruder details.
But Sam, having been studying the journal, shows Dean their dad's notes about the same series of murders over the past several decades - years apart - but the same slashed throats in the same area of upstate NY and remain unsolved.
Apparently John was interested enough to do some research for a possible hunt before getting side tracked on his current all-encompassing mission to destroy Mary's killer.
Dean points out that they can't really start investigating until morning, so he can get back to securing tail for him/themselves.
Scene 06: The following morning finds Impala parked outside of a nice home on a quiet block. Dean is slumped in the passenger seat, shades on, looking a bit worse for wear.
Our Sam traumatizes him by laying on the horn suddenly, causing him to jump from his recovery nap.
Dean isn't amused, but Our Sam is in rare glee. Sam gets back into the car and tells Dean that he swept the home with an EMF and got no hits. He also spent the night going over the property and the murdered couple and couldn't find any reason for a ghost attack. Dean suggests that if it isn't the people or the place, it could be an item that was in the home.
Sam reports that the house is currently emptied: No furniture, not nuthin'. So if it was a cursed item, then it's been packed up and moved.
Scene 07: This leads to a fancy-schmancy auction house, whose parking lot is filled with high end luxury cars.
[I'm going to believe that the license plate reading, "The Krip" is an in-joke. I can't respect somebody who gives themselves a royal-The knickname.]
Next to a sparklingly clean high-moneyed sporty coupe is our dumpy, muddy Impala. [Her classicness holds its own.]
In addition to our Impala being out of place [fully due to not having been washed first, I assure you], Dean and Sam are equally out of place in their jeans and jackets, when everyone else is sipping champagne and dressed for a fancy occassion.
Scene 08: Our snobby auction house owner immediately gets his back up at the riffraff having intruded. Dean further insults him by assuming he's the wandering waiter, but Sam assures Mr. Snobby that they're art dealers of some professional standing.
He's dubious and mentions a guest list. Dean tells him they're on it, and to runalong and check it.
Sam's eye is immediately drawn to the evil painting, although not for a reason he could yet name. His appraising eyeing is interrupted by a woman in a gown making mention that the painting is a fine example of blah-blah. Sam recognizes this as a test, and correctly tells her which yadda-yadda the painting actually represents.
Our impressive/impressed woman is Sarah Blake, daughter of the auction house owner, and expert in artwork. Our Sam gets around to asking for the provinances of the painting of interest, after Dean notes the instant chemistry between his brother and Sarah.
Before discussion can occur on this point however, Mr. Blake comes back around to inform the "Connors" that they're not on the guest list and it's time for them to go. Dean says haughtily that they don't need to be told twice, but Mr. Blake returns just as haughtily that apparently they do. [Heh-heh]
Sarah tells her father that he was rude, of which, he doesn't seem particularly bothered.
Commentary: This scene could've been really dull, but I immediately liked Sarah and the actress' interactions with Jared & I always like it when someone will backtalk Dean.
Scene 09: At the motel, Dean questions Sam's talking painting, and he explains he took a course: It was good for meeting girls. Dean says it's like he doesn't even know him.
[The motel is one of the tacky theme-roomed side of the road places that will become a running joke on SPN. This one seems confused between the mid-60's martini culture and the disco era.]
Dean and Sam stand stunned. When they've recovered, and before they're restunned by the awful black and white wallpaper pattern, Dean asks Sam about 'provenance', which allows Sam to exposit that it's the history of the piece, and they could use it to check for anything freaky in any of the item's past.
Dean points out that Mr. Snob isn't going to be handing them anything, but he has a better feeling about Sarah. Sam jokes that maybe he can get her to jot it down on a cocktail napkin, but Dean points out that it was him she was interested in.
Sam tells him he suggests they use her, and Dean agrees that sometimes "you have to take one for the team". He hands Sam the cellphone.
Scene 10: That evening, Sam and Sarah are sitting in a nicer restaurant, but it's starting out as an uncomfortable evening.
Sarah breaks the ice with an offhand, "glad you called", while Sam is looking guilty. When the waiter hands Sam a wine list, there is more awkwardness. Sarah breaks this as well by turning to the waiter and ordering "a beer", relieving Sam of trying to figure out what is appropriate.
[Okay, first of all, do you order wine before you even know what you're ordering from the menu? How can you pair a wine, if nobody knows what they're eating. And second, I like Sarah's anti-snobbishness here. I'm liking the bit of humor that Taylor is bringing to this scene. And finally, notice that once again a restaurant only serves 1 generic type of beer. No name placement necessary to order. I always find that amusing.]
Later, things have thawed a bit and we go into some surface background on Sam and Sarah's respective schooling, which ended up derailed in both their cases.
They also both share a tragic event that caused them to withdraw from the dating scene, but Sam can't bring himself to talk about his.
Commentary: One of the things I really liked about the scripting and character handling was Sam, and his struggling with coming to terms with the fact that Jessica was murdered in such a horrible fashion, and his continued guilt over not saying something to warn her when he was having his nightmares.
He couldn't have known the dreams were prophetic, but still the guilt of it is very humanizing for Jared to play. It's a nice contrast to Dean, who seems to be all surface and no depth usually [But it is a very misleading act, and Jensen brings a lot of hurt to his character in future, which really humanizes Dean beyond the adventuring horndog he usually presents].
I really like how Mary's loss haunts Dean and John, while Jessica's loss haunts Sam throughout this season.
Scene 11: Back in the motel room, Sam and Dean again discuss the provinance and Sam's date, where Sam gets annoyed at Dean's focus on his brother and Sarah, rather than the case. Sarah provided the provenance papers to Sam, and he cuts Dean's suggestion that after the case they stick around for a bit so Sam can see her again by finding something case related in the papers.
The papers show the previous owner's of the painting in question, and this list of owners matches up with John's scribbles when he was planning on investigating this case himself. And Sam points out the obvs that the latest owners bought it at a charity auction, and now are deaded.
Commentary: So, now that we know a bit more, my feelings in regards to Sam taking such an interest in the painting nearly immediately are reinforced: Why? Why was this painting so attention getting to him that we wouldn't focus on any of the other roomful of items?
I want to backfill with fan-wank and call it Sam's precog powers subconsciously recognizing something off but that isn't approached at all in the scripting, so we're left with a really flimsy coincidence to get the boys on the right track.
I do find that more than a bit annoying.
Scene 12: In the dead of night, Sam & Dean make their way back to the auction house for a bit of painting stealing and burning to discorporate the ghost(s) or curse haunting it.
Having learned their lesson from the Bloody Mary episode, Sam now has the ability to disable the armed security padd, allowing a simple lock picking Dean to get them indoors.
A quick knife and the painting is cut out of the frame and on its way to a date with some fire.
Scene 13: Out in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road, our boys set a match to the evil painting.
[However, you may be observant enough to see that we still have 28 minutes of story left...]
Scene 14: However, even as the painting is burning on a dirt tract, in the auction house the painting is reconstituting in its frame.
Flashover to the burning painting sees it go up in flames. While back in the auction house, the entire painting reappears.
Scene 15: The following morning, Dean is in a panic because of his lost wallet. Sam jokes about that not being his problem, but it turns out it probably is... Dean thinks he dropped it at the auction warehouse!
That pisses Sam off a bit, because it's such a rookie move.
Scene 16: But that leaves us back at the auction house [conveniently], where Sam and Dean try to find the latter's wallet laying on the floor. Now, the ID in it is a fake, but Our Boys worry over Dean's very real prints being left at the scene of the painting theft.
This leaves them looking and sounding a bit awkward as Sarah spots them and comes over all smiles. Sam covers by saying that they're leaving town, so they came to say goodbye. But Dean interrupts to tell Sammy that they're staying for another couple of days to his confusion.
Dean then pulls out his wallet to pay Sam "back that $20 I owe you"... proving this all to be a setup to give Sam another chance to take Sarah out. Dean then takes his obvious exit in order to let the two talk.
After an awkward pause, Sarah tells Sam she enjoyed their evening at dinner. She offers they could do it again, and though Sam did enjoy having a date, he apologizes that Dean was just screwing around and they really are leaving that day. She's a bit bummed, but y'know... life goes on.
But then someone walks by with that supposed-to-be-burned painting, and Sam exclaims an "Oh, my God!" which should be even more awkward with Sarah standing there wondering what the what is.
Sam has to cover with being so impressed with the painting, while Sarah tells him it's a monstrosity. He asks, a little too forcefully, what she knows about it and it isn't much. Their auction house did sell it to the opening couple on the same evening they were murdered, so she finds the thing uncomfortable to have around.
Sam asks her - again, a bit too forcefully - if she's just going to sell it again but she replies in the negative. Her father wants to turn it around quickly, but she finds it in poor taste so soon. This relieves Sam, but without a ready lie, the whole thing seems really bizarre to Sarah, especially when Sam turns around and tells her that he'll call her later and he guesses he and his brother aren't leaving today after all, and rushes out and it's all super weird and Sarah is left with more than a bit of what-the-fuckery-was-that.
Scene 17: In the car, Sam has filled in Dean on their not-burned painting, leaving Dean just as gobstruck as Sam but without the public display of weird behavior.
Dean asks Sam for suggestions on what to do now, and Sam points out that in the case of haunted paintings, it's the subject who is the haunter. So Dean suggests the next step is finding out everything they can about the family that was painted.
Scene 18: This leads to old papers filled with dust that haven't been looked at in decades.
The librarian is excited to dig into old papers, especially about a subject so gruesome. He shows the boys a side article from a newspaper feature the Titanic, which tells the story of the barber-father slaughtering his whole family with a straight razor, before doing himself. It turns out that Mr. Merchant was a harsh and brutal head of family, and that there were whispers discovered after the family's death that the Mrs. was thinking of taking their two children and the girl they had adopted and skipping out on him.
[So, uhh... if all of the relevant information was in this newpaper article, why did we hunt down the lost, dusty papers and if he's going to just info-blab the whole thing, that's making it a bit tooooo eeeasssyyy.]
The interesting tidbit is that the bodies were all cremated, which means there shouldn't be a ghost at all.
The librarian also found a picture of the family, and Sam immediately notices that it's the exact same as the painting... except... in the photo-of-painting, the father is looking out at the camera with the rest of the family, while in the actual painting the father is staring harshly down at the adopted daughter.
Sam asks for a copy of the photo.
Commentary: Yeah. I don't like datadumping as a rule, so it annoyed me that researching the issue was so curt and easy. On the other hand, the plot is kinda meh as it is, so I suppose it is a good thing that we're skipping over digging into the mystery to focus on finding a way to disperse whatever if hanging over the painting.
And I'm just going on record here that during the first airing... ever so long ago... Seriously, SPN, I think you've explored all there is to explore with these characters. Pulling every dead person back to life now is... well, let's just say that I've stopped watching in real time. Enough, already. But back to this episode, I just want to say that I wasn't fooled by the Father-as-haunt thing: It was just too heavy-handed and obvious. Plus, he was cremated and that should mean no ghost.
But I did find his staring at adopted girl in the painting and being the one to turn his head in the opening scene to be an interesting tidbit.
Scene 19: In the meantime, the cursed painting is even now being crated up for delivery. Sarah complains to her father that he promised they weren't going to sell it so soon after that awfulness with the Telesca couple. But Dad explains that while he's sympathetic to her squeamishness about the timing of its sale, a woman named Evelyn offered a generous amount of money for it [God, why?! Ugh, no accounting for taste].
Sarah tells her dad that he's shameless, but he returns that for the kind of money Evelyn is paying, he can afford to be.
Scene 20: In the motel room, Sam is insisting that the painting has changed itself from the time the photo was taken of it to now. Dean suggests that if the father's positioning changed, then maybe something else did too that could give a clue.
He tells Sam they need to look at the painting, again the following day. He turns attention back to Sam being able to see Sarah again, and Sam tells him to knock it off. Dean isn't sure why Sam is so sore about it, but Sam is resentful at how hard Dean is trying to set his brother up with a date, when he's not into it.
Dean tells him that he's not just suggesting that Sam "hook up" but that if he really likes Sarah, and she likes him, then what is the problem with two consenting adults enjoying some time together. And tells Sam that he knows that he's still broken up about Jessica, and he's not trying to be disrespectful, but he believes that Jessica wouldn't want him to be lonely 24/7 forever for her.
Sam believes that as well, but he just can't....
Dean tells him that they still need to talk to her again for the case, because they'll need her help to access the painting. Sam does what he needs, but then finds out that the painting was sold, and that sends both boys into panic mode.
Scene 21: We then join Evelyn alone in her sitting room reading by the fireplace, above which she's hung the accursed.
Once again, we see Father's head turn so that he's looking down at the her, instead of his daughter. Evelyn puts down her book to take a sip of tea, laying her glasses down. In the reflection of her eyewear, we see the ghostly image of a floating straight razor.
She hears the sound of footsteps, and turns her head just quick enough to inhale a breath to scream....
Scene 22: Sam and Dean, having gotten the address of Evelyn [Frosch] from Sarah - presumably due to Sam's intensity in telling her that he needed it, like, right now, have gotten to her place.
Sarah is waiting for them, where she asks Sam what is happening, while he tells her that he told her not to come. She points out Sam told her that Evelyn might be in danger, and she wants to know what kind, but he and Dean are completely focused now on getting inside when no one answers the door to their pounding.
She's a bit taken aback by Dean pulling out a set of picklocks, while Sam again tells her she should wait in the car for her own good.
The trio find Evelyn sitting in her chair, still, but she doesn't respond to them talking to her. And when Sarah gently shakes her shoulder, they can see why [although there is a ridiculous lack of blood squirt, and no...Evelyn wearing a black sweater doesn't justify them not noticing blood everywhere].
Above the mantle of the fireplace, Father Merchant is staring out of the painting at them. Sarah notices just as quickly as Sam and Dean, sending her into even more shock after the horror of finding Evelyn's body.
Scene 23: The next day, Sam is wandering around their motel room. Dean is laptopping, when a knock comes at the door.
It's Sarah and she's pissed: Pissed at lying to the cops that she was alone when she found Evelyn, and pissed that she doesn't know what is going on, and pissed that Sam presented himself as something he isn't.
Sam breaks it to Sarah and they're dealing with a haunting, and it's not a who but a what that is killing the painting's owners. It's a bit much to take immediately, but Sarah saw how the painting was changed, which at least makes it so she can't really just deny it out of hand that the boys might not be insane.
Sarah insists on joining them to help in any way she can to stop whatever is happening, feeling responsible for both the Telesca's and Evelyn's deaths. After she storms out of the motel room to return to the crime scene, Dean tells Sam to marry that girl.
Commentary: Y'know, for being a one-off character, I really ended up liking Sarah Blake and her portrayal by Taylor Cole. I really wished that she'd been kept on as an occassional recurring asset for the Winchesters... and maybe an off/on relationship for Our Sam.
The show's structure sort of insists that the Winchesters hunt alone together, but future characters like Ellen and Bobby show what a strength having stable supporting characters can be. I wouldn't have objected at all to Sarah being one of them.
Scene 24: Back at ex-Evelyn's home, Sarah does point out that they're breaking into a crime scene, but Dean points out that she's already lied to the cops, so... in for a penny, in for a pound.
Inside, Sam unhangs the painting of murder. The father is once again staring down at his daughter.
Dean has that photo of the painting from the librarian, and he notices that the razor is closed in the photo, but open in the actual painting. In addition to this change, Sam notices that the painting in the background of the photo of the painting is a landscape, while in the actual painting, it's been changed to a mausoleum. Dean explains to Sarah that spirits can change aspects of a photo or painting as clues to the living.
Dean uses the bottom of a nearby ashtray as a magnifying glass to read the crypt's name: Merchant. [Well, duh.]
Scene 25: This leads our trio to the local cemetary, which has a gaggle of crows to caw stereotypically. They find and break into the Merchant crypt. In the crypt, Sarah notices a doll inside a glass case, which she finds supremely unsettling. Sam explains that it's an old tradition of encasing something that was of especial value to the deceased with them.
Dean notices that there are only 4 urns in the crypt, and that Daddy Merchant is missing....
Scene 26: This leads to the public courthouse, where Dean is looking through death records to try to find out what happened to Isiah Merchant's remains. Sam and Sarah stay outdoors, so they can discuss Sam and Dean's activities when they're not purusing auction houses.
After a cutesy moment, Sarah asks Sam if she's delusional or if there is something there between them. Sam has to explain then, why he doesn't think it's a good idea for them to pursue anything. He's afraid that death is following him around, and she'll get hurt. She tells him he's very sweet, but archaic. To his surprise, she rightly points out that she's a big girl who can make her own decisions about what to get involved in and with whom.
Dean returns to not-interrupt the nothing that is happening. He reports that the Merchant family were ashamed of Isiah, and so refused to have him buried with the family. They left his body to the state, which treated him to a pauper's burial: Meaning, they have bones to burn.
Scene 27: That night, it's a trip to the anonymous burial grounds of the state.
Sarah points out that Our Boys seem to be uncomfortably comfortable with digging up bodies. With Mr. Merchant found, he gets the ol' salt, gasoline and match treatment.
Scene 28: After this, the boys and Sarah return to Evelyn's home. Sam and Sarah go in to retrieve the painting to be safe, rather than sorry later, while Dean stays in the car so Sam "can make his move"... [Geez, Dean].
But Sam and Sarah now note that the painting has changed again, and this time it's nothing to do with burned Mr. Merchant, and everything to do with a missing little girl in the artwork.
Also missing... the razor.
Creepy little girl chuckling echoes through Evelyn's home. In the meantime, the front door slams shut on the watching Dean.
Scene 29: Turns out that Mr. Merchant was a good guy, trying to stop little, evil adopted daughter.
Dean tries to get into the door, but it resists his toolkit. Inside, Sarah and Sam look around worriedly for the little monster, while trying to find something for defense.
Sam tells Sarah to find something pure iron, or salt and hurry. [But don't go to the kitchen, where salt would actually be, because that would be dumb.]
More doors slam, and then there is ghostly wind blowing through Evelyn's sitting room. The wind proceeds the appearance of our ghostly, killer psycho dragging her doll across the floor. She's carrying her favorite killer tool.
Sam bumps into the fireplace tools and grabs a poker. It turns out to be wrought iron and dissipates, temporarily, the killer girl ghost. But that leaves how to banish her for good. Sarah tells Sam about old dolls being made in the image of the little girl who would own them, and part of that was to use a lock of hair in the dolls construction from the receiver.
Sam tells Dean over their cellphones, telling Dean what to do to save them.
Scene 30: In the meantime, Ghost Girl has gotten her shit back together and is making another try to razor herself some victims.
This time though, she uses a old writing desk to plow over Sam, so he can't easily use the fireplace poker trick again.
[And Sarah is too much of a dumbass suddenly to grab one for herself. So much for strong, independent woman.]
Sarah rushes to Sam, trying to unpin him from the heavy desk. But little girl ghost shows up right in her face!
Scene 31: Dean meanwhile has driven to the cemetery to get Little Ghost's doll from its storage place.
He finds the glass resistant to breakage, as you'd expect from something that is supposed to preserve something else for centuries. He starts to rush back to the car for something heavier than the butt of his gun to smash the glass, when he remembers that he's holding a gun....
Commentary: That was amusing. I was just starting to shout that he can shoot the glass, figuring it was going to be one of those stupid scripting things to stretch out the runtime and keep Our Sam in deadly danger. But then Dean looks down at his gun hand, and gives himself a touch of scorn at his own idiocy and so it was all saved. I liked that.
Scene 32: Back at Evelyn's, Sarah is being telekinetically tossed around like a rag doll. We hear Sarah grunt, but cut away before we know if she's being slashed up.
Scene 33: Back at the crypt, Dean retrieves the important doll.
Scene 34: At Evelyn's, Sarah wasn't slashed up, but just tossed around. Now Creepy Ghost Killer decides to stalk [nice and slowly] toward her with the razor of doom. Sarah has decided not to crawl toward the fireplace for a poker of defense.
Sam is still lying helpless under the heavy writing desk, so can't help himself let alone Sarah.
As this is happening, Dean's lighter, of course, hates him and refuses to light [and the skipping back and forth is annoying].
Sarah sits against the wall of Evelyn's sitting room, watching Little Girl Ghost slowly lift the razor in the beginning of a slashing swing.
Dean's lighter stops being a little bitch and lights up doll's hair. In the meantime, seeing Sarah about to be slashed gives Our Sam a boost to push the pinning desk away, so he can make a last second tackle of Sarah out of the way. And thanks to Dean, there won't be a second shot for [unnecessarily slow stalker] razor-wielder, because she goes up in flames.
Little girl's portrait returns to the painting, where presumably, she's just a picture now.
Sam lies atop Sarah, where she smiles up at him.
Scene 35: In the cemetery, Dean gazes down at melted plastic and phones Sam to check that he was in time.
He asks Sam if he's good, and his brother replies that he's not bad. He stares up at the painting, where father is again staring at the painter, the razor is back on it's table, little girl is frozen where she should be and the picture in the background is the landscape that was meant to be there.
Scene 36: The following day in the auction house, Dean pulls out sheets of paper and explains to Sam and Sarah that the county records recorded that the Merchants adopted Millie after her own family was murdered in their beds.
Sarah instructs the assistants to take the Merchant family painting out back and burn it. She wants to know why a little girl would do such things [because she was a soulless psychopath], but Dean doesn't really care about reasoning. He's just glad they stopped her. Sarah offers to Sam that it looks like he's ready to leave, then.
Dean notices the moment developing and tells Sam he'll wait in the car. As he goes he mutters that he only burned the doll and saved her life, but don't thank him or anything...
Sam and Sarah stand awkwardly for a moment. Sarah tells Sam that there's a million things she wants to say, but can't think of one of them. Sam promises to come back and see her again [which is a lie, but I'm sure he doesn't know that, because we'll never see nor hear from her again].
Scene 37: Outside, Dean waits, leaning against Impala. Sam comes out with Sarah closing the door behind him.
Scene 38: We focus on Sarah looking wistful. Suddenly there is a knock on her door. Sam returns briefly. He starts making out with her. Dean is glad. Sam and Sarah are happy.
[It's nice that Sam is moving onward from Jess. Really. But again, we never see Sarah again, so ultimately it's all empty.]
The Good: First, I want to kudo Taylor Cole. I really liked Sarah, and I liked the chemistry between Sarah and Sam due to her performance.
I do really enjoy how long they put off on Sam's moving on from Jessica's brutal death. They spent the appropriate time for Sam to grieve and try to deal with is personal guilt.
I liked the general mystery and red herrings of the painting not being the culprit, the father's bones not being the culprit and the ghost girl's bit of hair being the real target they needed to destroy.
The Bad: Dean's intense interest in pushing Sam to hook up really bothers me. It's too much, even though I agree with him in general that Sam needs to move on with all aspects of his life. The scripting for this little character subplot is ham-fisted.
The skip over the investigating for data dumps and Sam's immediately deciding to investigate a random painting as the culprit was more than a bit clumsy.
It really irritated me that right after Sam's use of a poker, and his explanation that it's iron and so effective against the ghost temporarily, Sarah then DOESN'T grab one herself. After establishing she's smart and brave, they could've easily had her do the smart thing, and then lose it when she's slammed against the wall.
Other Thoughts: I really wish this show would get the lighting balance right to match the script and the scene.
The focus on the dead father as the ghostly killer was just too heavy handed to not come across as a deliberate red herring. Another pass through the script to soften the "It's the ghost father, it's the ghost father, IT's THE GHOST FATHER!!!!!!!11111!!" would've helped.
I liked the establishing of the doll for the resolution, but at the same time, it felt a little convenient that Sarah would insist on tagging along, so that she can recognize the significance of the image-doll the ghost girl is dragging around.
It's always annoying when a killer is shown not to play games with their death dealing, just to then take an inordinate amount of time in killing the protaganists. This was definitely an issue when it came to Sarah's being endangered.
The scene skipping between Dean and Sam/Sarah during the confrontation was a bit annoying, too. But then they pulled that dumb-Dean thing with the gun, and I was amused enough to forgive them. It's the little things.
The Score: I liked the episode, but the IMDB score is ridiculous. This was a nice episode to watch and it benefited from a likeable guest character.
3.25 out of 5 stars.