Welcome to TNWU’s roundtable discussion about this week’s Supernatural episode Baby, written by Robbie Thompson and directed by Thomas Wright. Participating in tonight’s discussion are Debbi Bachman, Michelle Villery, Stacy Miller, Tracy Miller and Jackie Bojarski. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Tracy: I was very pleased with how well “Baby” highlighted Sam and Dean’s brother dynamic. The episode was so reminiscent of the early seasons of the show where the boys hunted the monster of the week. Having the Winchesters in the car gave them the perfect environment to talk openly and honestly. Despite some conversations centered on defeating The Darkness, we were still able to enjoy their playful bantering. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are the heart of Supernatural; their screen time together always strikes an emotional chord. We are reminded in these scenes that Sam and Dean are so attuned to each other and listen and respond to the rhythms of each other’s lives.
Michele: I am so happy that “Baby” was highlighted as the 3rd member of this team! It was great to see how Sam and Dean interacted with one another. This is another episode that was reminiscent of the early seasons of the show. The core of this show is Jensen and Jared and that never should be forgotten. Their relationship is like no other. They are truly brothers after all of these years and it shows with this episode. Also, I loved how they were open and honest and are working together to defeat a common enemy. They realize now that in order to defeat The Darkness, they need to do it together.
Stacy: My favorite seasons have always been the early Supernatural in which viewers got to see Sam and Dean’s brotherly bantering while working a job. Adding Baby into the mix was perfect. Even though she’s a car, Baby always felt to me like the third Winchester sibling (sorry, Adam). She’s the silent family member taking it all in but keeping her opinions to herself. I especially enjoyed the eating, singing and joking between Sam and Dean. We haven’t seen them having this much fun in a long time. And we got a Bitch/Jerk too!
Debbi: Ackles and Padalecki are no better than when they are playing Sam and Dean off of each other. As much as I love the myth arc episodes and fighting scenes in any episode, the show is these two boys (men now) who have nothing left but each other. It’s a dynamic that is both liberating and occasionally claustrophobic but it is perfect.
After the last couple of seasons that saw these two fighting against each other, often under the influence of something beyond their control, it was good to see them working to find their equilibrium with each other again. Some of their steps are tentative and others fit like a well-worn glove. This was the perfect place (Baby) and time for Sam to admit he’d been infected. Dean, while still somewhat hurt, handled the information way better than he would have in the past. This shows maturity on both their parts, even if they had to end the conversation with a “Jerk, Bitch” moment (perfect here – thanks Robbie Thompson).
I loved that Sam got the girl and that Dean was both proud and a little bit envious of him. His teasing as they headed down the road was old school Winchester and they both seemed carefree and happy again (at least for a few minutes) – something that’s been missing from their relationship for a long time. These guys will always have each other’s backs and even when they disappoint the other one, they will overcome that and pull together in the end. Both we the viewers and Sam and Dean themselves needed this reminder.
Jackie: I agree with Stacy: my favorite seasons have always been the early seasons, when the banter and playfulness between the brothers stole viewers’ hearts. In many ways, this episode was a throwback to those seasons, showcasing the brotherly bond in so many wonderful ways. Ackles and Padalecki are magic together; their chemistry is palpable and this episode really let it shine. My favorite scene was the boys’ heart-to-heart before falling asleep, in which the exchange of “Bitch” and “Jerk” returned to the series after being absent for such a long time. I was immensely happy to see the brothers being honest and open with each other, especially Sam, who finally shared with Dean that he had been infected. I hope they continue on this trajectory!
I also loved seeing the boys working so effortlessly with each other on a case, trusting one another to have each others’ backs. They really were a solid hunting team in this episode!
Tracy: I enjoyed seeing Matt Cohen in this episode. Matt and Jared’s interaction seemed like the perfect evolution from the previous Sam and Young John conversation in The Song Remains The Same. Further, I feel that this scene advanced the plot of how Sam’s visions are somehow linked to the mission of destroying The Darkness. There is a hint of foreshadowing where I suspect that Sam will be the tragic hero compelled once again to sacrifice his life in the name of preserving humanity.
Michele: How awesome was it seeing Matt Cohen back again as Young John? Or was he John after all?? If everyone goes back and has a chance to look at the episode entitled “The Song Remains the Same” as Tracy pointed out, remember that Michael took young John as a vessel. I think this was either Michael or maybe even Lucifer playing games, trying to warn Sam about The Darkness. Time will tell if this plays out.
Stacy: I think we’ll spend Season 11 learning how being infected affected Sam. Having Matt Cohen appear in “Baby” as Young John was an intriguing writing choice. The Impala was John’s cherished possession that he passed on to Dean. Additionally, it helped Sam and Dean defeat Lucifer, will Baby somehow play a role in defeating The Darkness? Moreover, in “Dark Side of the Moon”, Ash told Sam and Dean that he had been looking all over for John in Heaven to no avail. Could John have been tangling with The Darkness all these years? Will all three Winchester men work together to defeat The Darkness?
Debbi: It is strange that whatever is sending Sam his visions chose John Winchester as the messenger considering the contentious relationship they shared and I think that in and of itself, this is part of the message. What, I couldn’t say, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that the messenger was as much of a clue as the actual message was.
Since Sam admits to Dean that he often dreams of their mom rather than John, it seems that Sam is feeling this is a true vision as opposed to a dream (as Dean suggested). It also seems that Sam is hoping (wanting, wishing) that these visions are heaven-sent. I’m not convinced either way. There is still too little information to make an informed guess as to their origins. The visions themselves could be red herrings.
It is interesting that after an almost token protest, Dean accepts Sam’s visions as just that, visions. Has Dean had visions we haven’t seen yet? I wouldn’t rule this out at this time.
Jackie: I’m so intrigued by where Sam’s visions are coming from! God? Lucifer? For some reason, I’m thinking that both Lucifer and Michael are reaching out to Sam, trying to tell him that he will need both of them to defeat the Darkness. However, the message that Sam got was that only him and Dean can defeat the Darkness, so maybe it was emphasizing the need for Sam and Dean to continue working as a team. They’re stronger together than the are apart, so I truly believe that will be a huge factor in their fight against the Darkness.
Tracy: Dean was marvelous in this episode. He was humorous and very skilled at fighting the monster.
Michele: Dean is just badass! He literally fought two people off by himself and how about that 180?? Jensen teased we’d see that and I’m so happy we did! Jensen was amazing in this episode.
Stacy: Jensen had some cute scenes as Dean. Loved his response upon finding Sam in the backseat with the waitress. But my favorite was his worry over the valet parking. He was like a parent leaving their kid at school for the first time. He would have had a coronary if he knew about the joy ride!
Debbi: I love Dean and his Baby. They might be my OTP. That’s not to say Sam doesn’t have a strong attachment to the car they were raised in, but at the end of the day she is Dean’s and it seems like even she knows it. Love that he washes cars when he’s bored, that just seems to be such a Dean-like thing….um, shorts? Why didn’t we see the shorts? Oh, well, I guess you can’t get everything on your Christmas list at one time….sigh.
As mentioned above, Baby was the perfect place for these two to come clean with each other and reconnect. The seat back between them provides a physical barrier to help the admissions be less intense on both of them while the enclosed car provides a proverbial ‘safe place’ to open up. The car truly does become a third-party in their relationship. If you watch Dean closely in the scene where they are discussing Sam’s vision he comes off much less surprised to hear that Sam’s visions have returned than I would have thought he would have. I need to know what he’s thinking here.
Love, love, love Dean as the proud older brother/father figure as he takes pride in Sam’s conquest in the back seat. Ackles has one of THE most expressive faces and doesn’t hesitate to use this to his advantage. The whole scene with Piper, Sam and Dean plays out just on Ackles’ face and it is good. (Also, not Dean related, but about time Sam got some!) Ackles was also perfect in the scenes with the valet. I was surprised he didn’t walk around the outside of the car looking for dings. Padalecki played Sam’s indulgence with his brother’s idiosyncrasies perfectly.
Jackie: I loved Dean in this episode! He was smart, funny, supportive, protective–basically, everything I love about his character. I’m really happy with how well Robbie let both Sam and Dean shine as both hunters and brothers in this episode. I am still curious about when Dean plans on telling Sam about his bond with Amara. Now that the boys have started sharing secrets, I expect that to happen in the next few episodes!
One thing that I wish would have happened is that they had gotten a license to have “Pride and Joy” playing in this EP as an homage to how Baby is Dean’s pride and joy 🙂 I think it would have been very fitting!
Dean and the werepire (ghoulpire):
Tracy: Despite some precarious moments where it appeared that the werepire/ghoulpire was poised to defeat Dean, we were reminded that Dean is resourceful in difficult situations. As he listened to the monster talk, the older Winchester was plotting his own strategy. I like when we get to see Dean explore all avenues to save himself without reliance on outside assistance.
Michele: It always bugged me when Dean thought of himself as a grunt or not as smart as Sam. In this episode, he proved that he was just as smart and clever as his younger brother. He was resourceful and intelligent when defeating the werepire/ghoulpire. (Nice homage to Se7en with that head in the cooler!) Dean definitely has a knack for figuring things out on his own. As Sam has always told him, “You are smart Dean.”
Stacy: Totally hilarious! Shooting, chopping the head off…the darn thing just wouldn’t stay dead! And the severed head, still alive on the windshield of the Impala? Too funny. All I kept thinking was, Baby gets the best cleaning of her life after spending most of the episode as a bloody mess!
Debbi: Werepire, “Come on, say it!” I love when Dean thinks he’s being clever, he just gets so proud of himself that it’s hard to not grin at his enthusiasm. However, when it counts, Dean is as bad ass as they come. He is always thinking a step or two ahead in a fight and doesn’t hold back. Anything and everything becomes a weapon (car door beheading – wicked!) and he just muscles through any pain he feels until his victim is dead or restrained. The guy is a fighting machine when push comes to shove.
Despite being a man of action, Dean shows us that he is also still a man of faith. He talks to his baby, asking her to give him one more start, one more chance and she answers him. The kiss on the dash was pure magic.
I also loved the homage to Se7en with the green cooler and the ghoulpire head. I love little Easter eggs like that – thanks Robbie!
Jackie: I love when Dean makes portmanteaus for monster names! I thought the scenes where Dean was trying to get Sam and then Cas to say werepire were hysterical. I also loved the fight scenes with Dean and the werepires, and Dean putting the alpha werepire’s head in the cooler. Nice allusion to the movie Se7en!
Tracy: Such an inspired choice to use the character in this fashion. It was unnecessary for Cas to partake in the boys’ road trip by being physically present on their adventure. Yet, the angel was able to offer assistance remotely. This writing choice allowed Cas to be a part of the episode while still keeping the focus on the Winchesters.
Michele: They needed to find out what this hybrid was, so I didn’t mind them using Cas in this manner. He reminded me of Kevin. But I have a minor question, didn’t Metatron give Cas info on popular culture? Why did it seem in certain cases, Cas went a little backwards with pop culture references? It wasn’t a big deal, but I noticed it.
Stacy: I liked how Cas was available to help with the research via cellphone without interfering in the brother’s case bonding time. He was there to provide information but the episode was all about The Winchesters and Baby.
Debbi: The choice to leave Cas behind (due to his injuries) was smart and a really great use of him in this instance. Cas is the perfect choice as a replacement for Kevin and his research. It makes a ton of sense for a couple of people to be on the scene with one back at the bunker with the resources available there. Even if this doesn’t become Cas’ ongoing role, they really should look into recruiting a librarian who can be at their beck and call so that they can research and fight simultaneously. It is a much better use of the hunters’ time. That said I hope Cas gets feeling strong again. I really do love me so ass-kicking angel power and Cas is a really good badass.
Jackie: I thought that the way Robbie Thompson did the phone calls in this ep was brilliant. He managed to incorporate Cas into the ep in such a way as to still keep the episode bro-centric. I also loved how Cas kind of stepped into a Kevin role in regard to helping the boys. I can kind of see him doing the research while Sam and Dean fight together on the frontlines!
Tracy: Sam’s visions will become more intense. These visions will add to the suspenseful nature of the plot as we see Sam wrestle with what sacrifices he will have to make to save his brother and the world. God helps those who help themselves was offered in this episode not as a throwaway line, but as a hint to Sam that a great burden will be placed upon him. Meanwhile, I think that Dean’s connection to Amara will become more evident.
Michele: We’ll see more of Sam’s visions. I’m wondering if instead of visions, they’re actually messages from both Lucifer and Michael? It looks like they’re warning Sam of The Darkness and the potential evil it causes. Also, Dean’s attachment with Amara will only get stronger due to the connection they both share. I fear it’ll be up to Sam to stop her. I don’t think Dean (despite his great intentions) will be able to kill her. I hope I’m wrong though. I want them to defeat her together.
Stacy: Hopefully, more will be explored regarding why Sam is getting visions again, something that hasn’t happened in years since Azazel. Also, will fighting monsters provide Sam and Dean will the tools that they need to fight the greater monster, The Darkness?
Debbi: OK, I think I kind of did this as I went along, but in summary, Dean is having visions but we haven’t seen this on-screen yet and he’s not ready to admit them to Sam.
Sam’s visions will continue, may increase in strength and number and will provide more cryptic clues that will help guide the Winchesters to their end game (whatever that may be – I have no prediction on the actual nature of the Darkness yet).
I think Cas will prove to be vital in tracking down and capturing Metatron again….does he know anything? Probably, but will he share is the bigger question with him.
Rowena and her Book of the Dead will also most likely be necessary to once again contain the darkness.
Crowley will continue to have his hands full with Amara for the time being.
Jackie: Both Sam and Dean will continue having visions, and the origin of Sam’s visions will reveal itself over time. I’m also expecting that we will see the return of more dead characters in these visions, and I’m betting one of these will be Charlie! It was so nice to see Matt Cohen back as young John that now I want to see more of my fav characters return!
Tracy: BRILLIANTLY written episode paying homage to the foundation of Supernatural with the focus on the Winchesters. The dialogue was effective and humorous. Further, Baby has always been an important character for the show and she was allowed to shine. In addition, the directing was flawless. My grade- “A”
Michele: This got a solid “A”. Robbie Thompson hit it out of the park. The camera work set by Thomas Wright and Serge Ladecour was so innovative. It was great showing the car’s point of view. Robbie took us back to what this show is all about. The Winchester Brothers relationship with each other. There was some great dialogue and funny moments in this episode. For me, this line by Sam summed it up, “We are home.” Jared delivered that so eloquently that I teared up. Baby is their home. It’s the one place where the boys can be completely who they are and feel at ease. Brilliant.
Stacy: A great episode encompassing everything fans love about Supernatural: Brother moments, humor, fighting monsters with hunter weapons and especially time spent in Baby. Supernatural “Baby” made the honor roll with a grade of “A”.
Debbi: This is a solid A in my book. Robbie Thompson wrote and unbelievably appropriates homage to Baby and her importance to the Winchesters. The cast and crew knocked it out of the park. It could not have been easy filming every scene in the confines of an Impala – even one as iconic as Baby. The episode gave us awesome BMs, humor and suspenseful action scenes. This is about as good as Supernatural gets. Well done by everyone involved.
Jackie: Overall score: this episode earned a solid A for me. It was touching, engrossing and exciting. I felt like I was watching the Supernatural that I fell in love with 10 years ago. I haven’t been this pleased with an episode in a long time, and sincerely hope that the rest of the season proves to be just as good!