supernutjapan (supernutjapan) wrote,

Rewatching 1-17 Hell House

It's Friday and time to write down my thoughts for Hell House. It's funny how each rewatch of these episodes is changing my image of them. To tell the truth, I was not really looking forward to this episode - maybe I was thinking of it as an episode where I had to suffer through the dorky and nerdy antics of the Hell Hounds boys. Watching it for the 5th or 6th time though, I actually saw it as a refreshing break from the dark and sad episode before it. I can think of at least 3 reasons that I was pleasantly surprised by this rewatch: 1) the music; 2) the pranks(also a theme of the episode); and 3) the main theme of monsters created out of simple but powerful group meditation/belief. So here we go - first let me put the music up for you to enjoy:

Music Links (please click with CTRL for new window!)
"Fire of Unknown Origin" by Blue Öyster Cult
(the song on the radio Dean is singing)
"Burnin' for You" by Blue Öyster Cult"Burnin' for You" by Blue Öyster Cult
(When Dean and Sam interview the kids, and also at the end of the episode, when they leave the trailer park)
"Slow Death" by Zach Tempest (Extreme Music)
(When Dean and Sam go to the music store to talk to Craig for the first time)
"Anthem" by Zach Tempest (Extreme Music)
(When Dean and Sam go to the music store to talk to Craig for the second time)
"Point of No Return" by Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys(While talking about the Tulpa in the diner)
"Fast Train Down" by The Waco Brothers
(In the restaurant when Dean gets his hand glued to his beer)

We start with the usual monster opening - some kids on a visit to the local "haunted house" have a scare when they see a girl hanging from the basement rafters. Here is a cute picture of the kids:
it's freaking cold out here

Then we switch to Sam and Dean driving down East Texas. There is nothing interesting to see outside and Sam is sleeping. Dean decides to make his own scenery.

sam with spoon


Sam tells Dean - don't start THAT again, we are not kids anymore and it tends to escalate. This is a scene where I start imagining the kind of road trips Sam and Dean have. Seriously. They are always on the move and they spend so much time in the car. Scenery is bound to be boring quite often. Sam doesn't particularly like this pastime, but Dean suggest that maybe Sam is scared? and Sam decides that he can go along with it for a while. That reminds me of Bugs, and how I was thinking that it was really Dean that was scared to go down in the pit and goaded Sam into going instead. Maybe Sam is not as bothered by Dean goading him as he is attuned with Dean's mood and is humoring him...

I am not an advocate of pranks myself. I hate having them done to me, and I hate doing them, and I don't really enjoy those reality prank shows either, but Sam and Dean just look like they are enjoying themselves so much I couldn't think badly of it in this rewatch. (On a side note, we also know the show crew like to play tricks on each other too - maybe that's where they got the idea? )

Anyway, back to the story. There is one important fact mentioned by Sam here. That Sam still thinks it was a bad idea to let dad go off on his own. We see what that leads to later.

He mentions that they might as well check out this shady ghost lead from a paranormal website. Sam and Dean don't put much store in these websites created mostly out of mom and dad's basement and by kids who have never actually seen anything paranormal. But, I guess just like Dean is bored with the scenery, Sam is bored by the lack of other leads and they decide to check it out.

First they go talk to the kids that "saw" the dead girl and find their accounts inconsistent. I liked the comment by one of the boys that She was "kind of hot- in a dead sort of way." Sam and Dean decide to visit the source of the rumor: Craig at the record store -

so he attacked them
"I don't know what the hell to think man."

and then check out the house itself. We find that Sam is quite knowledgeable of symbols when he recognizes old and new ones painted on the walls. Dean is stumped by one symbol he is sure he has seen before. After looking around a bit, Dean says: "I hate to agree with authority figures of any kind, but I think the cops might be right..." I think this line is just great - Shows Dean's personality to a T. We'll be seeing many more instances of Dean's reluctance to agree with authority figures, aye?! Just then they hear a noise and find the Hell Hound boys. This is a cute scene, Sam and Dean humoring those two as they talk of EMF and actually seeing a vase move... all by itself! I loved those little smirks Sam and Dean give each other. Well, they are pretty sure the whole thing is a hoax and decide to leave the "professionals" to their job.

The thing is - it was a hoax. A prank, to be exact, tying it in with Sam and Dean's little game. But as they find out, one symbol on the wall creates a real monster by concentrating the thoughts of the countless people who read the Hell Hounds website. (Oh wow...I was all of a sudden reminded of I Believe the Children Are Our Future(5-6) where the belief of one little boy makes those prank toys real.)

But, lets go back to Sam and Dean's little game. As Sam and Dean leave the library where they find out there is absolutely no truth to the legend and go back to the car...




Sam gets one back at Dean for his spoon trick.

They probably have those couple of beers that Dean suggested and are all ready to leave in the morning when they hear that there is a real body at that "haunted house" this time.

she was a straight a student
"She was a straight A student."

In order to get into the house they use the Hell Hounds guys as bait - getting them out of the way too.

I really enjoyed this scene in the basement where Sam and Dean open a cupboard and find a rat-
Dean: I hate rats.
Sam: You'd rather it was a ghost?
Dean: Yes
... and the ghost/tulpa attacking them from behind. That is just priceless.
And the way those jars fall with the shelf as Sam and Dean shoot at the tulpa is a fun visual effect.

They find that salt bullets do not work on the tulpa and so they make for the exit and almost bump into Harry and Ed who have somehow got rid of the police and have come back for a look at the house.

Back at the motel they are both wondering why the ghost wasn't acting like it was supposed to. (Dean's remark about Mordecai going after Sam because he's a girl reminds me of several other episodes) Sam checks the web site again and finds that the story has changed. Dean is still trying to remember where he saw that symbol which has been bugging him when he all of a sudden remembers - and they are back to hear the truth from Craig.
are you into BOC
"Are you into BOC or just scaring the hell out of people?"

Who actually watched this episode and recognized that symbol when they first saw it? Two of BOC's songs are used in this episode. Dean is actually singing to one of them, so we know Dean likes the group. I wonder if anyone watching got the hint. By the way - Does Fire of Unknown Origin kind of remind you of Jessica? It might have been a hard song to sing to if Dean had really been thinking of the words... Anyway, back to the story.

While Dean finds out that the story had been a practical joke to begin with, Sam finds out why it had become real and explains about the Tibetan Spirit Sigil while trying to figure out why his, ummm, legs were a tad itchy... Sorry, hard to make a gif out of that one and it wouldn't have been as funny I suppose. So Sam and Dean are off to trick the Hell Hound boys - pretty smart idea Dean:

they're not going to do it
"They're not going to do it."

And while they wait for the boys to put the information on their web site as well as , I guess, for night time so they can sneak in to the house again and do their job...


Sam finds a way to get back at Dean and put more laughter into his life.

This time they use that convenient laughing fisherman toy to lead the cops away when they enter the house... We hear Dean complaining as they go: "Barely have any skin left on my palm..."

Unfortunately, Dean's smart plan didn't quite work - although it sure was a good one. (Do you think the writers thought that would have been too easy?) I found it significant that Sam takes it upon himself to save the Hell Hound boys from the tulpa and buy some time for them to escape while Dean thinks up a new plan... Burn the place down!

We are left with Sam's thoughtful line...

"Of all the things we hunted, how many of them existed because people believed in them?"

(Well, in your world Sam... I'm afraid that would be all of them...)

Oh and a side note: Seems Sam and Dean have played some tricks on Harry and Ed

I'm the one that put the dead fish in their back seat2
"I...uh...I was the one that called them and told them I was a producer."

I'm the one that put the dead fish in their back seat
"Yeah well I'm the one who put the dead fish in their back seat."

And have a truce... at least for the next hundred miles... Sam sighs.

Location - Richardson Texas

To find out more about the clothes Sam and Dean wear, go to Season 1 by hells_half_acre

For a short definition of a Tulpa and the Tibetan Spirit Sigil...

Banner 1
Tags: 1-17, Blue Öyster Cult, anthem, burnin' for you, fast train down, fire of unknown origin, hell house, point of no return, practical joke, prank, rex hobart, richardson, slow death, texas, the waco brothers, tibetan spirit sigil, tulpa, zach tempest
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