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Supernatural 3.13 - Ghostfacers! - I worship at the television altar — LiveJournal
Supernatural 3.13 - Ghostfacers!
I think Ghostfacers! was the perfect way for Supernatural to return after a hiatus of two seemingly endless months. It was like a welcome back party, where we have some laughs, remember the good times we've had in the past, and renew those precious connections that make us a team. Seeing Sam and Dean from someone else's POV made me passionately rise to stand at their side, dismissing these idiots who were bound to get themselves all killed if they didn't shut up and listen to us. And no one calls my boys hicks and dicks and gets away with it! :) Besides being great fun, this episode, more than any angst-filled mytharc story would have, reminded me how much I adore these boys, and how much I've missed them! Oh, how I delighted in Dean's snark and Sam's bitchface, not to mention the unmistakable love betrayed by Dean's rising panic as he bellowed, "Sammy!" up and down the hallways of the Morton House.

Ben Edlund outdid himself with this script, weaving together humor, parody, horror, and tragedy, throwing in a healthy portion of classic Sam and Dean, and just a pinch of mythology. We started out with huge laughs, abruptly injected some true terror, and ended on a note of pathos. It was brilliant. I've only watched Ghost Hunters a handful of times, but the parallels to that show in this episode were obvious even to me. I imagine if I were a fan, I would have found Ghostfacers! even funnier. Although completely different, this episode was very evocative of the X-Cops episode of The X-Files, and I loved it just as much. Well done, show.

It was very cool to see Supernatural try something so different. We had the opportunity to see our beloved boys from an outside POV, a view without any appreciation for the depth and nuance we see every week, and a view decidedly and unexpectedly indifferent to the irresistible Winchesters. Although you could tell by the end that Spruce was already falling under the spell of the Dean ("Wow, you're strong!"). hee! Through the lenses of the Ghostfacers' cameras, I saw two take charge guys with deep, twangy voices, a cute one who was impossibly tall, and a gruff one who was impossibly pretty. They yelled a lot, bickered some, and had a way of swearing that made me weak in the knees.

I imagine the technical challenges were considerable, given the darkness of the set, the extensive use of handheld cameras, and the need to keep an amateurish look while still finding shots that had stunning visual impact, and that advanced the story effectively. Phil Sgriccia did a wonderful job, and I think this episode was a big success. I especially liked the whole show-within-a-show premise, right down to showing the Supernatural opening credits at the end, to preserve that illusion. And once we were firmly back in the familiar world of Sam and Dean, with the color and clarity we love so much, Phil treated us to that glorious parting shot of the Impala, peeling out and roaring off to adventures unknown. Awesome!

Big kudos to the design team as well this week. There was a lot of detail to absorb in the Morton House, and it all conspired to creep me out, big time. No motel room this time, but they more than made up for it with that amazingly authentic garage set. I've been in that garage, I swear! It even had a working door, which we saw to hilarious effect when Ed's dad drove up and hit the garage door opener, sending the white board flying and the Ghostfacers scrambling. "Aw, Dad! Come on!" Too funny.

It was fun to have Ed and Harry back. Hell House is one of my favorite episodes, and no, it's not just because of Sam's towel scene! :) I also liked the rest of the Ghostfacers bunch, each of whom had their own special charm. I loved their earnestness, their naivete, and their slightly deluded confidence. Their bumbling, misguided efforts as hunters served to remind us how skilled our boys truly are, and quite frankly, just made them look hotter! My quick affection for poor, sweet Corbett took me by surprise (I think he won me over with the smitten way he talked about Ed), and his tragic end hit me harder than I ever would have anticipated. Then they really pulled out the big guns with that little video tribute at the end. *sniffles* I should have paid attention to his telltale red shirt at the beginning.

It would be ridiculous to try and list everything I loved about this episode, especially because every time I rewatch I find something new, but I have to mention a few of the highlights for me. First of all, when Sam showed up in the opening credits, I squeed! And when he was immediately followed by Dean, wearing his game face and flipping a pixelated bird, I screamed out loud!! Ed and Harry's fake slo-mo strut was beyond funny, as was the fact that they drove up in a Gremlin. hee! I loved that we heard the Impala before we saw her, and that there was no mistaking either that lovely rumble or the rock music that accompanied it. The swearing. Oh, God, the swearing. Although how hilarious was it that Sam, with an unlimited arsenal of cuss words finally at his disposal, calls Ed and Harry goofballs? *snerk*

I adored every scene of the boys talking to each other, oblivious to onlookers, intent on the job at hand. They're so hot when they're working: finding the clues, reviewing the lore, sifting through the possibilities, and deciding on a plan, all the while throwing around hunter jargon, and exchanging wordless, meaningful looks. Oh, show, I've missed you so! I also loved the way the episode suddenly introduced the scary in with the funny. I wasn't that worried when Corbett was first taken by Daggett, but when Sammy disappeared, I freaked! Then Corbett was killed horribly, Sam was tied up, the baddie was advancing on him, and I was flashing back to the fingernail incident in the Christmas episode! *cries* I couldn't even laugh at Sammy in his adorably askew party hat until the second time I watched. Yikes.

I liked that the Ghostfacers learned from Sam and Dean, and used that knowledge to both save Corbett's death echo from eternal torment, and to save themselves. I thought it was cool that it was Corbett's love for Ed, and Ed's openness to that love, that made their salvation possible. I don't know if that was a shout out to fandom's love of slash, a political statement about tolerance and gay rights, or just a cute plot twist, but it totally worked for me. And on some level, I was gratified that not everyone got out alive. Because even in a funny episode, hunting is still serious business, and no one is ever completely safe.

Didn't I say a few of the highlights? :) Well, even so, I'm not finished yet. In an episode full of quotable quotes and snarky one-liners, here are my five favorites:

Ed: "Two lone wolves need... other wolves."

Sam: "Holy shit!"
Dean: "Fuck me."

Ed: "Listen here, chisel chest, okay?"

Dean: "Hey, Ed? Listen to me! There's some salt in my duffel! Make a circle and get inside."
Ed: [long pause] "Inside your duffel bag?"
Dean: "In the salt! You idiot!"

Harry: "C'mon, guys. Don't be 'facer haters."

Random thoughts: Gamble General Hospital? hee! I liked that the script poked fun at both the writers ("Lazy fat cats.") and the suits ("Yeah, we're not Hell Hounds anymore, okay? Didn't test that well."). Who else squeed when Dean threw Ed up against the wall? For someone with a Stanford education, Sam sure says "ain't" a lot. And I loved Smart!Dean and his killer electromagnet!

All in all, I loved everything about this episode, and I know I'll watch it again and again. I hope everyone had as much fun making it as I did watching it. And after a good laugh this week, I'm ready for some angst, some heartache, and the tortuous cliffhanger I fear they're plotting for us. Bring it on, Kripke!

One little footnote: I thought Corbett bore more than a passing resemblance to Bret Harrison from Reaper. Another demon hunter named Sam, whose show took Supernatural's time slot during the hiatus? Yeah, I could see the show having a little laugh killing off his look-alike. But maybe it's just my imagination. What do you think?

Screen cap courtesy of oxoniensis, with my thanks.

And I leave you with the lyrics to the song I can't get out of my head:

Ghost! Ghostfacers! We face the ghosts when the others will not!
Ghost! Ghostfacers! Stay in the kichen when the kitchen gets hot!
Ghost! Ghostfacers! We face the nightmare, we face the dread!
Ghost! Ghostfacers! We face the faceless, we face the dead!
When you trip and fall, into the supernatural,
We're who you're gonna call, we face them all.
Ghost! Ghostfacers! We face the faceless, we face the dead!
Face ghosts! Ghostfacers!

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49 comments or Leave a comment
raputathebuta From: raputathebuta Date: May 1st, 2008 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I seriously need to gank some icons from this episode. *grin*

I LOVED Ghostfacers! All of it. I can't even pick out most of my fave moments because all you'd "hear" is one long SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!

*runs around shrieking "Red shirt! Red shirt! RUN, Red!Shirt!Dude!"*

One little footnote: I thought Corbett bore more than a passing resemblance to Bret Harrison from Reaper. Another demon hunter named Sam, whose show took Supernatural's time slot during the hiatus? Yeah, I could see the show having a little laugh killing off his look-alike. But maybe it's just my imagination. What do you think?

OMF******G!!!!!! I canNOT believe that I, frickin' Ms. Anti-faux!sam!, didn't make that connection! Good job, Tariel! I think you're right on with that idea!

You know what? That makes this episode even MORE AWESOME!!!! If that's possible.

I loved Ed's dad opening the garage door. Did you see the clips at the CW site? In one part, Ed's sitting at the picnic table, talking, & his dad shows up behind him, on a riding lawnmower! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really great review, Tariel.

OMG...if that theme song is available for download, it is so totally going on the SPN playlist!!!

Also? Menudo left their dance bag. *snortle*

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I had so much fun watching this episode! I was laughing, and clapping my hands, and bouncing on my couch! LOL! The funny part was, all I knew ahead of time was that they used handheld cameras, and when they showed the promo for the episode during Smallville, it looked just like Blair Witch. I was totally freaked out and afraid when it started. My relief made me laugh as much as the funny did at first. :)

I'm glad you see the Reaper connection, too! Very subtle, yet I choose to believe it's deliberate.

OMG, those other clips on the Ghostfacers page are all hilarious! I wonder if those were scripted at all, or all improv. I liked the section called "What we think sucks." They have pictures of 1) Sam & Dean, and 2) Clowns. *giggles*

Thanks, Rap!

Hey, BTW, I can't believe it took me this long to figure out what all the fuss was about Steve Carlson. Thanks to you, I downloaded two of his albums on iTunes, and I can't stop listening to them. I've played Wasted Jamie approximately a thousand times. :) And hey, isn't that pretty much your name? That must be like your favorite song.
bananabehr From: bananabehr Date: May 1st, 2008 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent review! I enjoyed it also, though I'm not as articulate as you are about it. I think Sam kept saying "ain't" to make him seem down to earth or something...

The episode was kind of like a tease of having the boys back, but without being all up in the angst of it all!

I always love "hearing" what you have to say about our Show.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it, too. I was really surprised to find out some people were disappointed in it, but I've always been a fan of the funny episodes on my drama shows.

I was wondering if they let the actors improv a little on this episode (it sounded less scripted than normal) to give it an authentic feel. If so, I think maybe we were hearing Jared's Texas coming out, rather than Sam, when he said ain't. :)

I felt like Kripke was saying, remember these laughs, people, because they'll be the last ones you'll get this season! That's just my gut feeling, though, because I'm trying to stay spoiler-free. *worries*

I appreciate so much your thoughts and comments, truly!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: May 1st, 2008 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I shall be back when I have a little more time to read your review.

But, I think you're right about the actor playing Corbett.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you see it, too!

Hey, guess what? They have Torchwood on iTunes!! Yay!! I downloaded S2 last night. *bounces*
lilbreck From: lilbreck Date: May 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I just had to comment to say that I totally agree with this whole post.

Also, as a fan of Ghost Hunters, I found the mocking of that show so freaking funny.

I squeed through at least half of this episode.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I squeed through at least half of this episode.

Me, too, it was so fun! And even in weird night vision green, Dean is still hot! :)

And yay for someone else who likes both of my shows!! \o/

Thanks so much for your comment, it's so nice to see you here.
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: May 1st, 2008 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Here, here!! I couldn't have said it better myself. Seriously, I couldn't because I'm not half the writer you are. :)

I too liked having a bit of fun before we get down to the serious business of the last few episodes. Also, I think Sam acted according to his character arc this season. By that I mean, his actions were in line with how he would behave after the events of Mystery Spot. He was more Dean-like in this episode having less empathy then usual for the innocent bystander (save for Corbett that is). He was very high strung and high tempered as evidenced by that poor chair that he took his frustrations out on.

All in all, loved it, but I'm ready for the angst.

Oh and I hadn't noticed the similarities between Dustin and Bret until you pointed them out. I can never decide if Reaper is making fun of Supernatural or paying homage to it. There are too many similarities; as you said, lead characters with the Sam name being the most obvious. The people behind Reaper have to know that. Either way though, I do like it and hope it sticks around for a season 2 cuz the Devil just owns me.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, you say the nicest things! *blushes* Thank you!

That's a good point about Sam's demeanor. And turning that chair into kindling was certainly impressive! The thought of the strength behind that took my breath away.

I watched Reaper when it first came on, and I really liked it. As you say, Ray Wise is beyond cool. I missed a few episodes and then lost track of it, but I've been thinking of downloading it on iTunes. Bret just popped into my head as soon as I saw Corbett.

I'm looking forward to whatever this week brings!
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: May 1st, 2008 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, dammit. I'd just gotten rid of that song, and now it's back in my head. Thank you! :P

And I don't watch "Reaper", but I totally see the resemblance. I'm not sure it was intentional, but they do look alike.

Dean: "Hey, Ed? Listen to me! There's some salt in my duffel! Make a circle and get inside."
Ed: [long pause] "Inside your duffel bag?"
Dean: "In the salt! You idiot!"

Hee! Everyone's quoting this exchange! It's the long pause that makes it golden. :D

I also like Spruce and Dean's little exchange about Dean's 2-months-to-live deal. I loved that he almost opened up - oh, Dean and his tendency to open up to random strangers but not to his loved ones - but then stopped himself 'cuz he wasn't going to talk about his (fucking) problems on a reality show. :P Also, I think the phrase "shut up" comes best from the mouth of one Dean Winchester. He just owns it. :D
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, don't be a 'facer theme song hater! LOL! Just kidding, of course.

I'm not sure the Reaper thing was intentional either, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

You're so right, the pause is everything. In comedy, it really is all about the timing.

I liked the way Spruce bonded with the boys, especially Dean. On the CW site they have some extra vids, and in one of them they ask the Ghostfacers what they think of Sam and Dean. Spruce say, "They're both arrogant pricks. But they're arrogant pricks who saved my life." :)

Dean saying "shut up" is actually hot. LOL! I also loved the low, growly way he said, "Ed, where's your partner?" I'd tell him anything he wanted to know! *nods*
trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: May 1st, 2008 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
awesome review! :D

and i love the fact that this aired the day after i posted my S4 wishlist, which was simply an episode ABOUT the boys! heeee.....

and in the comments a few people said Ben Edlund ought to write it.... *hee*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Could you do me a favor and wish for a happy ending, like NOW? :)

*is unspoiled, and scared*
From: koosh2012 Date: May 1st, 2008 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Blah, blah-blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..... *passes out laughing* It's not you, T, it's me. Seriously. I came. I saw. I left muddy paw-prints everywhere because I love you... Yes. Okay. I should come up with better ways of expressing my love. :^O

Edited at 2008-05-01 04:49 am (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Kooshie, you are crazy, and I love you for it! *hugs you*
oceantriana From: oceantriana Date: May 1st, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Although you could tell by the end that Spruce was already falling under the spell of the Dean ("Wow, you're strong!").

Who wouldn't fall under Dean's spell????? :D

Who else squeed when Dean threw Ed up against the wall?

That was delicious...but I had to control my squee as I watched the episode with my hubby and he doesn't always appreciate the squeeing.... :D
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
My husband only occasionally watches the show with me, and he didn't last all the way through this one. I think he was tired of me laughing uproariously at jokes he didn't get. *facepalm*

I'm a little nervous for tonight's episode (I just know Kripke's going to hurt me), but I can't wait!
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

I totally agree about the hotness. :) Even in grainy black and white, or that night vision green, I found myself struck by how gorgeous Dean looked. And when he stepped out into the sun the next morning? Yowza. I loved how he rolled his eyes at the camera as they emerged from the house. hee!

Sam and Dean both looked awfully good in the final scene of the show, as they jumped in the Impala to take off. We don't see those boys in sunshine nearly often enough! That's one of the reasons I like the Pilot so much, the look of the boys in that unmistakable, warm California sun.
sarie_wanderer From: sarie_wanderer Date: May 1st, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
My only real complaint about that episode was making us wait so long to see Sam and Dean after two months of hiatus. I wanted the boys!!! Nownownow! But other than that, I loved the swearing, the yelling of "Sammy!", the party hat, Dean's "shut up". And when they had group shots, man did our boys just loom over all the others. Thanks for the review!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally agree about the looming part, especially Sammy! I noticed that in a couple of shots in particular. Another factor in the both of them looking really hot!

I was anxious for the boys to show up, too. We had the delicious tease in the Ghostfacers credits, and then the drive-by, but it did take a while for them to join the party. They were worth the wait, though! :)
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: May 1st, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, I'm back.

I loved this episode, but I wish it had come in the middle of the season like it was supposed to. I also give profound thanks that Sera Gamble didn't write this episode, because we probably would have lost Ed and Harry.

I was discussing somewhere that Corbett may not have been saved by gay love, but by Ed acknowledging his contribution to the team. The boy was desperate for attention and validation. I prefer that interpretation. And as much as I do love AJ Buckley, I can't figure out what the Ghostfacers see in Ed, other than he blusters the loudest.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yikes, you're right about Sera Gamble. She loves to torment the characters, and Kripke loves to torment us.

I would love to hear Kripke talk about how the season would have played out differently with more episodes. Did everything just get shortened, or is some of the arc being pushed off to S4?

I purposely did not use the term Big Gay Love in my review, although I've seen it called that all over LJ. I personally think that moment was about pure devotion on Corbett's part, and pure acceptance on Ed's part. I had to give the nod to the different ways I knew people would see it, though.

On the other hand, I'll always believe that Harry's unwavering interpretation of Corbett's hero worship as gay love is an intentional joke about the faction of fandom that is convinced that Jensen is gay and madly in love with Jared. The people who make this show are all over the internet, and they're too smart and too funny not to comment on it in the context of the show when the opportunity arises.

You have a point about Ed. :) I think he has big ideas and he's not afraid to chase them, classic qualities needed for geek leadership, but I think the more likely explanation is that he has a rich Daddy (note the abstract sculptures in the garden, very high brow) who is not ostentatious in his lifestyle, but who indulgently finances all the gadgets, vehicles, and travel. Plus he has that bitchen garage. :)
angieb5 From: angieb5 Date: May 1st, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry I just got around to reading your review finally. I couldn't agree with you more about the technical considerations for this episode. And going so far as the acting, I read in an interview with Jared that he said it was hard to stay in camera because the directions are so different with the use of hand held cameras. This episode was a technical feat!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 1st, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would think that with handheld cameras, Jared would be out of frame in every shot! LOL! I have this vision of everyone holding their cameras up over their heads. :) I was surprised at some of the pretty shots they achieved, with really cool interplay between movement, flashlight beams, and murky shadows. I'm sure the whole process was difficult to adjust to.
luke_wolfie From: luke_wolfie Date: November 27th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you know who the actor that played Corbett was?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 27th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
His name is Dustin Milligan. You can see his IMDb page HERE.
49 comments or Leave a comment