1×07 “Hook Man”

Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?

Um, no. Urban legend or not, no. When I watch Supernatural, I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I turn every light in the house on. And I tend to make sure at least one of the people who are in the house with me are awake and aware, just in case I like, spaz out or have a heart attack or something.

Although I have to admit, when I first saw this episode, and realized what the premise was? I had a nice, comfortable, glee-inducing throwback to Urban Legend, which stars fellow CW-alumni Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor, Smallville) and Urban Legend: Final Cut. Despite their both being cheesy horror flicks, I seriously enjoyed them, probably for the same reason that I enjoy Supernatural (Lots of pretty, lots of scares, plausible enough to not be Freddy Krueger but absurd enough to be enjoyably distant, etc.).

Being a non-collegiate woman, I have no idea how fraternities work. But I’d imagine it takes more than “Hi, we’re your frat brothers from Ohio looking for a place to stay!” to get you into a frat house. But maybe not.

Since when did the Impala get a side-mount spotlight? As much as I fantasize over that car, you think I’d have noticed that…

Hook Man exhibits some of the pacing problems as Phantom Traveler, but I don’t think that’s the episode’s fault. I think it’s the story itself, because certain things have to happen, to fill in the blanks for Sam and Dean and to leave them the clues. Although in this case, it feels like it’s dragging out, especially where it pertains to the girl, Lori. And I don’t quite know why.

Rock salt makes it’s appearance in Hook Man. We’ve seen it once before, back in the Pilot, but this is the first time it’s actually mentioned by name, and explained. In the Pilot, it’s barely mentioned. “What do you think you were doing, shooting Casper in the face?” // “Saved your life, didn’t it?” And it was left at that. However, we get a fuller explanation here; Sam says that buckshot won’t do much good against a spirit, and Dean points out that it’s not buckshot, it’s rock salt. It won’t stop a spirit, but it will slow them down–as we saw in Pilot, it causes them to dispell and they have to reform. Valuable time for a Hunter to get his kimchee in one sock and find bones to burn!

Jared Padalecki does a lot of lip-puckering in this episode. I realize that’s random, but he’s doing it enough *that I’m noticing it as I watch* and it’s slightly distracting. Just thought I’d toss that in there.

I have a slight quibble with the way Dean finds the Hook Man’s bones; Sam’s article clearly states that he was buried–after execution–in an unmarked grave. I don’t find that unbelievable in the least, especially in the late 1800s or whenever, but you know? Unmarked means unmarked. But the grave that Dean finds? Conveniently marked with the four-cross symbol that is found on the Hook Man’s hook, and on the wall message he leaves when he murder’s Lori’s roommate.

The “romance” between Sam and Lori–and I use the term romance lightly–seems entirely out of place. I mean, there’s no doubt that Sam has interest in the girl, but there’s just… it’s obviously forced. There’s no natural growth of it. It literally jumps, in the span of one conversation to her being suspicious of why he’s out there watching her house to her kissing him and him explaining that he can’t because of Jessica. Dean? I could understand that more because that’s his schtick. But not Sam.

I think that’s the problem, actually. Lori doesn’t feel organic to the story, although her character certainly is. She feels slightly out of place and wedged in, and definitely out of her depth. I’m not sure if it’s a fault of the actress or the script or a combination, but that’s one of the problems with the episode. Possibly the only problem.

The last seven to ten minutes of the show picks up the pace, and once the boys realize that Hook Man’s power comes from the Hook, which has been re-forged, the action switches to the fast pace hunt-and-destroy that we’re used to from this show.

On a purely shallow note, it’s very very fun to watch Jensen Ackles playing with fire. That’s all.

The ending sequence, which has Sam fighting the Hook Man, is one of the better scenes, in that this Hook Man is actually *bigger* than Sam, and you can actually believe that this big guy is throwing Sam around like a rag doll. You lose that believability when it’s one of the smaller villains, as you’ll see in the season’s progression.

All in all, Hook Man isn’t a bad episode at all; it’s very enjoyable once you get into it. Just… remember to turn on the lights.

Notable Music:
Bang Your Head by Quiet Riot

Best Lines
Sam: You and Dad think of this?
Dean: I told you… you don’t have to be a college graduate to be a genius.


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