Episode Review S1:E2 – Wendigo
WENDIGO was a great episode that built upon the western-style premise of the show. As I watched it I couldn’t help but think of the Lone Ranger and Tonto riding into town, solving the problem, kissing the girl, then riding back out. At the end of the Lone Ranger, he and Tonto perched on their horses (usually on a cliff) and discussed some aspect of the episode. At the end of Supernatural, the boys perch on (or in) their horse (their car) and discuss their goal to find their father.
I loved that they started the episode off with the tail end of the last episode – Sammy saying “We’ve got work to do” then slamming the trunk of the car. Sets up the mood of the overall show quite well.
We’re then taken to the tent scene, where a group of campers are terrorized by the monster we never see. Terrific suspense building, and a great way to have us frightened by the monster, but just as much in the dark as Sam and Dean are when they arrive. We don’t know what the monster is, we don’t know what happened to the campers.
When they get on the road, we meet Haley, the cute girl and sister of one of the ‘missing’ campers. Haley’s cuteness gives Dean a chance to reinforce his womanizing character, but the fact that her family member is missing and her drive to find him gives us a character and a motivation that the boys can really connect to. As the boys question her, we see her feeding her younger brother dinner, reinforcing their unity and their bond as siblings without anyone else to watch over them. Of course, the dialogue reinforces this and in that brilliant way the writers have, they bring us right back to Sam and Dean’s big issue with one line:
“I think I know how you feel.”
They follow Haley and her younger brother out to the woods, where the overly macho guide postures, and Sam and Dean show obvious signs of not being who they say they are. Such as not packing supplies. What a great opportunity for Dean to show his fun side, by saying that he did, and showing off his giant bag of candy (M&M’s).
The Winchester boys quickly figure out they are dealing with a Wendigo: A creature of myth, said to be an evolution of human stemming from eating human flesh. It’s got superhuman strength, is pretty close to indestructible, is a bit like the alien from Predator, but the good news is, it usually keeps its victims alive.
So there’s hope for Haley’s bro after all, and they scramble their way through the forest, led on a trail the Wendigo left for them to follow, and Dean and Haley get snatched. That leaves the two baby bros to find them. Fortunately that happens rather easily, and they free Dean, Haley, and the other brother that hadn’t yet become a tasty treat for the monster.
The brothers separate (this happens a LOT – you’d think they would learn to stick together!), the monster goes after Sam and the group and Dean comes up behind and fires a flare gun into its guts. Cool F/X! Ever since Buffy’s vamp dusting F/X I’ve always had a fascination for creature kills in film.
My favorite part about this episode is the parallel between our heroes and the victims. What was yours?