First up: Pure awesomeness.
’till Death do us Part
(no, the original didn’t have the apostraphe but it should have)
This is a flashback episode showing when Sam ran into Jessica Lee Moore. It’s good. An entertaining romp where John & Dean go to Stanford to try and stop a Bloody Mary ghost without alerting Sam… who has figured out the ghost is there anyway.
We also get another sign this is its own continuity as we see Jessica introduce herself to Sam (normally I’d call this unrealistic, but then I hear all the girls want Jared Padalecki) when the show later revealed that it was the demon Brady who had introduced the two love birds.
The highlight is definitely John & Dean both showing that they’re missing Sam. Dean shows that he’s still the scared little boy with abandonment issues who can’t stand to lose any more family. John shows that man we later see in season 5 who hates what he did to his family. We see signs that John is glad to see Sam making a normal life even though he clearly misses his son like every father. I liked this additional layer to a character that has often been portrayed as rather callous in later seasons.
Also? This episode has Bloody Mary coming out of the reflection in Sam’s eye. Bad. Ass. Visual.
Temptation of the Demon
Hey look! It’s the first anime appearance of Bobby! And… he looks like a very traditional anime old person. I sort of miss the trucker hat but the bowler is a nice touch. We also get a full look at Azazel in anime form. His English dub has an awesome voice but I am disappointed that they gave his eyes pupils instead of the traditional full yellow. (Hell, I was hoping we’d get a full on glowing yellow orbs.)
And we see ‘ole yellow eyes make a deal to one Maria… MASTERS, who prays for her daughter’s life (singular). For a minute I thought the anime was going to do something new and have the daughter of the YED be Maria instead of Meg, until mommy ends up dead by the end of the episode (well her body, the demon escapes). Closing shot? Azazel is talking on a hill with her daughter, one MEGAN Masters.
Also a nice touch? This episode takes place in a location other than the forests of Canada that we usually see: a DESERT!
If all the continuity glitches weren’t enough, we also learn that in the anime, someone went with my old idea and Azazel claims that he was once an angel (though he could be lying). All in all, this is one of the few episodes that I really enjoyed.
Looks like we have a new standard-bearer for grading these episodes on.