Supernatural: A Very Supernatural Christmas

Sam: "So I guess we're dealing with Mister and Missus God. Nice to know."

Evergreen stakes through the heart. It was so twisted. Scary, intense, clever and funny. And it even managed to be sad and touching. How do they do it?

Mr. and Mrs. Claus were perfect as the jovial, homicidal Ozzie and Harriet pagan gods. The bloody red suit, dragging the bodies up the chimney, the body parts in the basement, bleah. So appropriate that Dean and Sam wished each other a Merry Christmas while they were doing their job, and in such horrible danger. This is how they live, after all.

The flashbacks didn't do much for me at first, but they turned out to be very important. Instead of asking if Santa was real, young Sam asked young Dean if the monsters were real. Dean confirmed that the monsters were real, but Santa was not. Sam refused to celebrate Christmas after that. It was the death of innocence, the end of belief in good things. The basic message of Christmas is hope, but there is no hope for the Winchesters. Nothing has changed. Dean is still going to die.

Young Dean did the best he could to make a Christmas for Sam. (Typically, Dean unselfishly tried to make Sam believe that John had made Christmas for them, and referred to John as a superhero.) In the present, Sam returned the favor by making Christmas for Dean. Both Christmases were pathetic as well as touching, emphasizing how empty their lives were, as well as how much they loved each other. Maybe the point of this episode was that Sam realized that the reason to celebrate Christmas wasn't the holiday itself – it was Dean.

I was so creeped out by Mr. Pagan God pulling out Sam's fingernail that I almost missed the most important part of the story: that Sam gave Dean the present he had gotten for John. That was an important moment for the two of them. It was Sam acknowledging that Dean was, essentially, his father. That's why Dean never takes off that necklace, and why he always puts Sam first.

Bits and pieces:

— Special opener and credits, with snow. Loved it.


— The final scene of the two of them having Christmas was set to the original, much sadder version of "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" from Meet me in St. Louis. It is basically about getting through a sad Christmas, in the hope that next year will be better. "Someday soon we all will be together if the fates allow / Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow."

— The little boy who played Sam (Colin Ford) was dead on; the resemblance and mannerisms were uncanny. The little boy who played Dean (Ridge Canipe) was fairly good, but didn't look or act quite as much like Dean. (Note from later: I did an article about the younger versions of Dean and Sam that's here.)


— If Mr. and Mrs. Pagan God were just after a human sacrifice, why did they leave behind a little boy, not once, but twice? They weren't the anti-Santa punishing the wicked, after all. Plotting boo-boo? I could probably assign some symbolism, that the two boys who survived represented Dean and Sam. They've seen horrors constantly for years, and they're still alive.

— I think there was another dropped plot thread, too. What about the guy in the sack? Wasn't their latest victim still alive?

— The red herring Santa was almost as creepy as Mr. and Mrs. Pagan God. He acted almost like a child molester when he had that little boy on his lap. But then they went with the monster bong and the porn, which lightened it up. Dean and Sam pretending to be carolers was a hoot.

— They've done pagan gods a few times before: "Scarecrow" and "Tall Tales," both excellent episodes. Sacrifices to the scarecrow were also for good weather.

— This week: Ypsilanti, Michigan. Plus Broken Bow, Nebraska in 1991. And Seattle, Washington a year ago.

Quotes:

Dean: "So was I right? Is it a serial-killing chimney sweep?"
Sam: "Yeah. It's actually Dick van Dyke."
Dean: "Who?"
Movie aficionado Dean Winchester has never seen Mary Poppins. Not a surprise.

Sam: "If you want to have Christmas, knock yourself out. Just don't involve me."
Dean: "Yeah, that'd be great. Me and myself making cranberry molds. (pause) What's up with Saint Nicotine?"

Dean: "So that's how your son described the attack? Santa dragged Daddy up the chimney?"

Dean: "So what did Bobby say?"
Sam: "That we're morons."

Four out of four stars,

Billie
---
Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really love the ending scene, the improvised Christmas decorations and beverages. The guys love each other very much.

Anonymous said...

I just watched this episode. After reading your review of it several times I was really looking forward to it. It was excellent! I think they left the two boys alive because they were too small as sacrifices. Thanks for the warning about the nail thing. I changed the channel when I realized they were at that point. I hate torture. Do we ever learn where Bobby got the necklace from? SL

McMaggie said...

No, we get no background info on the necklace and it is driving many fans crazy.

Wait and see.

ChrisB said...

Not being a huge fan of all the Christmas hullabaloo (I know, call me the Grinch), I wasn't sure what I was going to feel about this episode. I loved it.

The flashbacks were better than usual and when I saw the necklace, I literally burst into tears. What a lovely scene, followed by the one where Sam can't tell Dean what he's really feeling.

Just lovely.

sunbunny said...

What can you say about an episode that made you laugh so hard and cry so hard?

Dean really was, for all intents and purposes, Sam's parent. The necklace made me cry so hard. I've noticed that when Dean's not wearing it around his neck, he has it on as a bracelet.

This honestly might be my favorite episode so far. :)

Billie Doux said...

I love this episode and have watched it several times. It isn't my favorite episode (there are several exceptional episodes coming soon) but it's definitely near the top.

Meesh said...

What Chris said really resonated. I was not looking forward to a Christmas episode but I should have known to trust Supernatural because it was awesome.

Loved the hokey Leave it to Beaver real life cleavers to the flashbacks it was a great episode.

I found the flashbacks lonely, depressing and sad - which only makes their bond of brotherly love even stronger because due to the bleakness of their childhood they realized what was important/what mattered, each other. Bravo.

Meesh said...

I also have been meaning to note that I can't imagine what watching a show going on it's 9th season must be like if you've been along for the ride since episode 1. I mean I feel attached now, barely half way through season 3. Gah!

I've caught so many shows on the flip side, I think TVD might be the only one I've started with and loved it from episode 1. Hard to imagine most shows lasting 5 years let alone 9! Good job writers and actors, can't wait to get caught up!

sunbunny said...

According to Jensen, the scene with the eggnog didn't go as planned. It was supposed to be *prop* (aka non-alcoholic) but Jared decided it would be really funny to pour in as much rum as he could. Their reactions in that moment are totally their own.

Katherine said...

Billie Doux,

I've been having a wee bit of pain, causing me to mutter above my breath, if you fudging touch me again, I'm going to fudging kill you.

DD: Is mom okay?

DS: Mom is going to make more fudge?

At least he has his priorities straight.

Katherine

Puppet James said...

This, to me, was one of the shows strongest earlier episodes. I personally prefer later seasons, 8 and on, so I love it when the early ones get me invested like this.

I loved the flashback scenes and, you're right, Colin Ford is excellent as young Sam, truly. I also loved the mention of Bobby, the first time we see that he has been in their lives for long enough to be a second father, of sorts.

Fun fact: Jensen hated the necklace, because it always kept bumping him in the chin during fight scenes and such, and it was, after all, a heavy, somewhat large, pendant.

Billie Doux said...

Noooo! Jensen cannot hate the Samulet! :)