Season 1, Episode 8: Bugs
I’m so excited to be asked back for another Supernatural Sunday. I hope I’m not the only one who noticed the posts were missing. Michelle is super busy this summer and asked me to step in her stead to watch over the Winchesters. 😉 Okay, not really in those words but I’m happy to come back and discuss my favorite show in the history of television with you fine people. Thanks for the opportunity, Michelle!
Next up is an episode simply titled BUGS. Yes, we do mean the creepy-crawly variety. When this episode first aired, I was already a part of the (rabid) fandom and remember that many didn’t care for BUGS and bashed it. The show was still finding its legs and audience at the time so a few stinkers could be expected, even with the greatest show ever.
We begin at a housing development in Oasis Plains, Oklahoma. One of the workmen falls into a sinkhole and while down there, he’s swarmed with bugs, which somehow do this to him. Ewwww.
The official explanation is human mad cow disease. The boys think that’s strange, considering the guy’s brain disintegrated within minutes so they investigate. Sam finds hundreds of dead beetles in the sinkhole and he brings out a specimen. Dean doesn’t think it’s related. Guess who’s right?
They decide to stop by a barbecue for the housing development and meet the developer. At the barbecue, everyone assumes they’re a gay couple. Laughs ensue.
The developer’s son has an affinity for bugs and keeps them as pets. If you fear spiders, scroll no further!!
Good times for anyone with a phobia. This episode should come with a warning, especially if you’re afraid of spiders, considering how the next victim bites it (yes, pun intended). I’m so glad it wasn’t snakes!
Sam and Dean decide to hide out in one of the empty houses in the development because Dean wants to use the steam shower. I think it was just so we could have this magical moment.
Of course they just have to break in to the victim’s house so they can find out what’s really going on. They find dead spiders. Since the developer’s kid liked to play with bugs and spiders, they follow him after school, thinking he might be responsible since the realtor lady was killed by spiders. He knows all about the bug infestations and tried to warn his dad, but Dad wouldn’t listen. Sam knows exactly how young Matt feels, which just pisses Dean off as The Loyal Son.
Anyhoo, they find another strange spot in the ground, covered in dead earthworms. Dean pulls this out:
Just makes you feel all warm inside, doesn’t it?
They take a trip to the local university’s anthropology department and discover the bones they’ve found are Native American. They mosey on over to a reservation sixty miles away where they meet this delightful chap.
A Native American elder Joe Whitetree (I think that’s what Sam said) provides the most entertainment in Bugs. Dean begins, “We’re students from the university.”
“No, you’re not,” he interrupts. “You’re lying.”
Dean tries again. “The truth is–”
“You know who starts a sentence with ‘The truth is’? Liars.”
Sam takes over from here, since Elder Joe likes him and not Dean. Joe tells them his people once lived in that valley and the Calvary forced them out. The land was then cursed. As his grandfather put it, “on the night the moon and the sun shared the sky as equals,” the village was pillaged, the women raped. They came every day until on the sixth day when every man, woman and child from the village was dead. The chief cursed the land, that no white man would ever live there again. Nature would rise up (insects, yo) and by the end of the sixth day, “none would survive.” Coolest part of the whole episode, except maybe Dean in the steam shower. 😉 I wish I’d found more gif’s of this scene. Oh well.
The Winchesters get to the developer’s house at midnight and try to stave off the attack. Homedude doesn’t want to believe them until the swarm approaches…
Their only weapon is bug spray. I think this is one of the major reasons the fandom was so up in arms about this episode. The bugs get inside the house in no time and it seems all hope is lost. They escape to the attic but bugs can get in there, too, obviously.
Realistically, they’d be dead in minutes but somehow they make it through the night, which seems to take about ten minutes. The sun rises, light breaks into the attic (there’s a gigantic hole in the roof – I’m not sure how this happened) and the bugs leave. It’s a miracle!
Maybe this is where the Biblical theme should come in because that is what it would’ve taken. Sunrise at 12:30 a.m. Gigantic plot hole, much bigger than the hole in the ceiling the bugs fly out of. The family decides to move and I guess abandon the development they must’ve put millions of dollars into. Okay. I can see now why the fandom had such a problem with this episode. It wasn’t so bad, really, until the end when the impossible happens. Not many Biblical themes, unless you count the aforementioned miracle. But there is the moral dilemma of how the settlers forced the Native Americans off their land. The episode touches on that briefly and I don’t want to launch any kind of political debate. I think we can all agree it was wrong.
What did you enjoy about this episode? Anything? A side note: the actor who plays the kid, Tyler Johnston, will appear again in season eight as an angel – did Sam and Dean not notice the resemblance? Did the angel take over the same kid’s body? Actually, I love when they use actors from previous episodes. I imagine their casting people are like “Think anyone will notice?” With Supernatural’s fandom, yes. We notice.
Please come back next week when we’ll discuss one of the best episodes (in my opinion) of season 1, HOME. EEK! I’m excited. The boys are going home to Lawrence, Kansas. What will they find??