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Supernatural: Family Remains

Sam: "So it's just a girl?"
Dean: "It's not just a girl. It's psycho Nell. I'm telling ya, man. Humans."

If anything, this episode proved that Supernatural doesn't need supernatural elements to be scary.

But even though it was technically excellent, chilling, and an effective metaphor for Dean's time in Hell (an imprisoned and tormented girl turning into a monster herself), I was oddly disappointed. Maybe Supernatural really does need supernatural elements to work for me. I'm ready for Dean to get over his Hell hangover, too. Part of me wanted to slap him and yell, "Snap out of it!"

The scary house was definitely scary. (Especially the wallpaper.) Even though there were many clues – a ghost doesn't slash tires and walk off with a trunkload of guns and equipment – I didn't guess that the girl was alive until right before she walked through the line of salt. The best bit was Kate's hand being licked by something other than the dog, although it was lifted directly from the classic Haunting of Hill House. I also really liked Dean lowering himself into that creepy hole in the floor chanting, "Please nobody grab my leg, please nobody grab my leg." Although Dean should have known better and not left Uncle Ted alone.

Let's protect Mom and Daughter by putting them in the flimsy, scary shed. And leave them alone with no weapons. Oops. And in the end, nobody seemed all that upset about their dead dog, much less Uncle Ted. And what happens next? Can they get out of that mortgage? Talk about a housing crisis.

Yes, Dean and Sam on the road fighting evil, it's what the show is about. But isn't the breaking of the sixty-six seals and the impending apocalypse kind of important? What's happening with that?

Bits and pieces:

— This was (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) only the second time that the Winchesters fought an evil that was just human. The other was season one's "The Benders."

— Loved the decapitated doll head in the closet.

— Raw rat. Yum.

— The writing on the wall was right out of Haunting of Hill House, too. Wait... I think the movie was just called The Haunting. I'm a lot more familiar with the original book by the brilliant Shirley Jackson.

— A dumbwaiter is supposed to go from one level of a house to another. This one went nowhere. I'm just saying.

— Did Buster the dog really have to die? Uncle Ted was a tool, so I wasn't all that upset about him, but I hate it when the animal dies.

— This week: Stratton, Nebraska. The guys were Stanwyck and Babar, county code inspectors. This appears to be a reference to a bit from the movie Fletch. Either that, or to actress Barbara Stanwyck. Possibly both.


Dean: "Well, that's super disturbing."

Kate: "I just got molested by Casper the pervy ghost."

Danny: "You hunt ghosts?"
Dean: "That's right."
Danny: "Like Scooby Doo?"
Dean: "Better."

Uncle Ted: "You smell that?"
Dean: "Every day."

Dean: "Dog. It's what's for dinner."

Sam: "That's all she talks about. Being pregnant. Being ashamed of being pregnant."
Dean: "Geez. Rent Juno. Get over it."

This one was pure horror movie, and I'll admit it was very well done, even if it was too grim for me,

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


  1. Two out of four stars. I like ones with a bit more humor. And arc. I like arc.

  2. I enjoy these one shot episodes a lot more. The arcs tend to be too complex for their budget and time restrictions.
    This episode was awesome but Dean is getting farther and farther away from the BAMF he was seasons 1 - 2. Kinda sad.

  3. I didn't really care for this episode. I don't know if it was too dark or too stand alone, but something about it just didn't work for me. A little too old school horror perhaps. I know that's part of the DNA of the show, but it feels like we haven't had one of these more straight up horror episodes (with humans as the bad guys, no less) for awhile, and it felt odd to me. I like it better when the connection to the overall story isn't just summed up at the very beginning and very end of the episode.

    I did think Dean's line about renting Juno was pretty funny!

  4. While watching this episode I have to admit I got spooked several times, and was really confused when the girl crossed the salt, but it didn't do as much for me. I think it's because we've been spoiled with the quality we've been having before the stop.

    Still, I liked it as an episode, and just the ending speech made it worth the wait.

    And as for episodes in which there was purely a human evil, I think you can add the season 2 episode "the usual suspects". Even though there was a ghost in it, the ghost was just a "death omen", to warn the victims of a human killer.

  5. I sort of liked/disliked this episode. Liked that it was a good horror-story, disliked that they fell into obvious clich├ęs - killing the dog and uncle.
    Liked the surprise that she had a brother, heavily disliked that they killed them both (but understood the fact).
    What bugged me the most though - why did the girl wait FIVE YEARS before offing the grown-up living in "her" house?

  6. I don´t know why but this one feels average to me. It´s well written and well acted but still, something is missing. That last scene is amazing, though.

  7. Agree with everyone that this was far from their strongest episode. Felt like filler to me and even the final scene didn't really move me. I think I'm over the Hell Hangover as well. I prefer my Dean with a little less self-pity.

  8. plot hole alert! The kids in the walls are incapable of speech and live off of raw rats, but still manage to write "Go" on the wall. Who taught them to read and write, huh? HUH?! Also I think this is the creepiest episode they've ever done.

  9. Just a quick rewatch note: Danny, the little boy in this episode, was played by Dylan Minette from Lost and Awake, who is currently the star of that Netflix series I didn't finish, 13 Reasons Why.

  10. This episode and the other previous cannibal episode from season 1 were detested by fans for the same reasons you apparently enjoy it. Human enemies should never be a part of Supernatural. I found it ok, a typical haunted house story without the haunted part, but that was it. I also thought the plot stretched its credibility thin when the boys couldn't tell a human crazy over a spirit.

  11. Darren, I don't think you actually read my review. I didn't like this episode.

  12. First off, kudos to the actress portraying the trapped human girl. It was really really upsetting.

    Second more nitpicky comment: How was the kid able to see her coming if the place was supposed to be pitched black? (Even the scene has that green hue indicating a completely dark location).

  13. Up to here. Can go no further, at least for now. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO KILL THE DOG!?!?

  14. "— Did Buster the dog really have to die?"
    They should've replaced the Hell Hangover ending scene with Dean being upset about the family getting over the dead dog so quickly, instead. That would've been just as moving as the previous episode ending, I think!


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