In Review: Supernatural, Episode 209 “Halt & Catch Fire”

Good to see the Winchesters on a case, though the Mark is still ever present.

Supernatural, Episode 209 “Halt & Catch Fire” Broadcast February 20, 2015

Written by Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder

Directed by John F. Showalter

THEN: The boys are shown killing off ghosts, Dean’s history with the Mark of Cain is recalled, Sam refers to angry spirits as “animals…lost and in so much pain they lash out,” and the brother agree to find a solution to the Mark. NOW: Spencer, Iowa. Two teens, Billy and Janet, have a hankering for some food from Taco Town. They use their onboard navigation system Trinie to direct them. The car’s interior becomes cold enough for them to see their breath just as they pull up to a blocked off bridge. Trinie commands Janet–by name–to get out of the truck. Terrified, she exits, but Billy can’t–the doors lock and the vehicle accelerates onto the bridge, plunging off. Cue opening title sequence.

Back in the bunker, Same updates Dean that Castiel thinks he’s closing in on Cain. Before Sam can launch into his we-can-fix-the-Mark speech, Dean shows him the case of an Iowa teen that claims a possessed pick-up killed her boyfriend. The boys arrive at Kasem College to interview Janet. They learn from her that the truck belonged to Billy’s brother who died in Afghanistan. Finding where the recovered pick-up is, the boys salt it and burn it. Meanwhile, at a girls’ sorority house, Julia receives an instant message from an unknown “friend.” The friends sends messages that Julia is a liar, the number 810, and “I know.” This causes her to panic, and she shuts her computer down, but it comes back on with 810 all over its screen. The air grows cold and she can see her breath. She runs to the door, but it slams and locks. The computer power cord rises in the air like a serpent and wraps around the girl’s neck. She tries to scream, but is strangled to silence. Her body falls to the floor. Cue first commercial break.

The story isn’t spectacular by any means because it combines obvious elements from I Know What You Did Last Summer with The Lawnmower Man, with the latter actually being referenced by Dean. Familiar as it is, there’s still elements to enjoy. I liked Dean’s scenes defending the girl in the end, and the ghost was pretty creepy when he made his true face known. Very good makeup on the ghost. There was an unintentionally funny scene with the second boy’s death. That was just a silly way to die, and having the person outside his door making a comment was a desperate attempt to add some humor to a death that was already goofy. The makeup for this boy’s death looked like makeup. The best humor comes from Dean’s comments on the female student body and his eating habits. I also liked the revelation from the wife about whom she was talking to online. Good twist. The conversation between the brothers in the end was nicely written, and I believed Dean actually felt that way; good job by Jensen Ackles on this. Only two more episodes left in this season and the preview for next week shows who’s finally returning.

The good: Dean’s comments, good ghost makeup, and a good monologue for Dean in the conclusion.

Fun lines: “Sorry if I ever made you late,” “It’s a Gen-X thing,” and “Pain or peace?”

The bad: A too familiar film mash-up and the third death and its makeup.

The final line: Good to see the Winchesters on a case, though the Mark is still ever present. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
    One Comment
  • Paula R. Stiles
    11 February 2015 at 9:07 am -

    Actually, the season has ten episodes left and won’t end until May.

    This was an okay MOTW, though some of the canon was shaky.

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