1×05 “Bloody Mary”

Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.” This episode is the first one that sincerely creeped me out. Not like, increased my phobia, but seriously made me afraid to look over my shoulder. It also made me grin, in a really weird way, because it reminded me vaguely of another television show that I loved to watch, that also dealt with the supernatural, and that show was American Gothic. But, that’s another story unto itself. Just realize I’m biased towards Bloody Mary in all the best ways.

In this episode, we find out that Sam’s nightmares are intensifying, to the point where Dean is willing to throw away his mantra of, “no chick-flick moments, please” to tell Sam, “You know, sooner or later, we’re going to have to talk about this.” It’s done in the most casual and offhand way possible, but the fact that Dean is willing to abandon his no-talking rule is a miracle unto itself. And it’s a testament to how much Dean truly loves and cares for his brother; for Sammy, Dean *has* no rules.

Another amusing sidenote about Dean? Apparently he’s a poker hustler. This amuses me no end. Mr. I Can’t Lie For Beans is a poker champ, which means he must have a hell of a poker face and a really great bluff.

Kudos to the special effects team of this episode; the eye-less Shoemaker corpse seen in the morgue is appropriately… icky, down to the trail of blood running from the corners of the sockets.

It’s a nice juxtaposition to see Dean hounding a silent Sam to talk about his nightmares; usually Dean is the tight-lipped strong man and Sam is the sharing and caring type. Dean raises his voice, he lectures, he incites Sam, and yet, Sam remains silent and strong until Dean offers, “…or hell, take a swing at me, I’m the one who took you away from her in the first place.” That thought seems to cause Sam physical pain, because he flinches, and he tells Dean, “I don’t blame you.”

Dean flat out refuses to let Sam put his life in danger, but Sam refuses to listen. It’s not the first nor the last time, but it’s definitely one of the most touching and intense. Dean and Sam in the front seat of the Impala, in the middle of the night, rain sheeting down, nearly nose to nose. The scene crackles with emotion, from both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, and it’s this scene, more than anything else, that hearkens back to the Pilot and the strong theme of “Dean protecting Sam” and sets the tone for later confrontations about the same thing.

The revelation of Sam’s precognition–the fact he was having dreams about Jessica being murdered by the demon before it happened–is eventually the secret that draws Bloody Mary to him. It fits her pattern; he had a secret that caused someone to die, and she punishes him for it. As his reflection, Mary confronts Sam about his dreams, and speaks his own fears to him; that he killed Jessica by leaving her alone, by pretending to be normal and never telling her the truth, either about who he was or the dreams he had.

It’s Dean who saves Sam from Mary/himself; it’s Dean who smashes Mary’s mirror with a crowbar; it’s Dean who throws Sam’s arm over his shoulder and starts to lead him away from the shattered mirror, and away from danger. This, too, hearkens back to the Pilot “Take your brother outside as fast as you can, Dean! Now!” It’s even Dean who destroys Mary when she escapes the mirror; he turns her own powers back on herself and it destroys her.

The pacing of Bloody Mary never lets you get bored with anything going on. Not that you ever do, but unlike Phantom Traveler, which was draggy and uneven, Bloody Mary keeps a regular, exciting pace. Information is doled out, you learn it as the Winchesters learn it, and you put it together just like they do. It’s not the last time that the series oes that so amazingly well, but this may very well be the first time.

Mirrors play a pivotal role in the episode–any reflective surface does, in fact, but mostly mirrors. Sam even touches on the mirror folklore in the episode, bouncing ideas off Dean as they’re searching for the identity of Bloody Mary. They’re used in a lot of ways in this episode. Not just the physical device of reflecting the actor’s face so a camera shot can film over the shoulder, but in the metaphorical sense as well; anyone who stands in front of the mirror and calls Bloody Mary down sees her reflection as well as their own, though she is not a physical being.

In a way, Bloody Mary herself is a reflection. Not just of the woman who died and created her, but of the dark nature of secrets; those things you hold inside can kill you. Even Sam falls victim to this; the secrets that he keeps from Dean allow him to call Bloody Mary forth for a final showdown, in which his goodness triumphs over the reflection of his secrets.

That’s true of everyone; no one is unbiased when they look at themselves, even in the mirror. Bloody Mary represents not just the Spook of the Show but also the Mary that we carry around in ourselves, that punishes us for our perceived wrongs. Though Bloody Mary appears as a dark figure in torn clothing and almost always faceless, when she acts, she acts *as the person’s reflection.*

Just something to think about next time you look in the mirror.

Best Line:
Dean: Do I look like Paris Hilton?

Dean: Hey, Sam?
Sam: Yeah?
Dean: This has to be, what, six hundred years bad luck?

Bloody Mary menacing Dean and Sam

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3 Responses to “1×05 “Bloody Mary””

  1. i luv supernatural and sam aca jared is the hottest guy eva i wood luv to meet him!!!!and that is an awsome episode!

  2. Thanks for another great review!

  3. Paris Hilton…you adore her otherwise you hate her. I still must carry out my final judgement…lol. Even though I like her dog 🙂

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