the first twelve minutes of "Bloody Mary" moved well. The musical score was better than previous weeks, more subtle and creepy than before. And the two central performers had a grim seriousness about them that was missing from many previous installments. Even better, the episode made some bow to reality when the boys failed to convince a coroner worker that they were students and had to bibe him to learn more information. I was getting real tired of the Winchesters pretending to be Federal agents.
So when the second death came, I was really hooked, and thought - thank God - I can write positive things about Supernatural on my blog! Because I really hate being negative, and I'd much rather write about a great show than a bad one, or one that fails.
But then, by about 9:21, the episode, "Bloody Mary" started getting really bad, as though the production company was just constitutionally incapable of maintaining a degree of quality. A pat, manufactured "guilt" crisis for Sam made for some truly wretched "acting" moments and some treacly relationship stuff between the brothers. And I thought Dean had promised in "Lady in White" that there would be no chick flick moments! But the kicker, ultimately, was the derivative finale, wherein Bloody Mary - imititating Samara from The Ring in movement, appearance and murderous intention, crawled out of a mirror and into our reality.
Man, I still can't believe I saw that. It's one thing to evoke movies with similar plot lines (like NBC's Surface tries to channel Steven Spielberg every week...), but it's another to rip-off an entire, specific and noteworthy sequence. I mean, I think that moment in The Ring wherein Samara pushes out of the TV set, herky-jerky, creepy-style, is pretty much an iconic moment in modern horror. Whether that moment works or not for you (it does for me; big time) is ultimately immaterial. That's a signature sequence, and whether we want to or not, we all recognize it. To steal it like that - down to staging and even hair design - is lame beyond belief, and a really terrible idea.
Well, I said I was giving Supernatural a five week trial. Five weeks are up. I've watched and reviewed five episodes, from the pilot to "Wendigo" to "Dead in the Water" to "Phantom Traveler" to "Bloody Mary," and - sadly, especially for a series set on the road - this show just ain't going anywhere interesting.
I have the feeling it's one of the shows that will still be on in five years; like Charmed. One that manages to keep getting renewed, but which nobody I know actually watches, let alone likes.
Which is sad. Because we so much need a new X-Files for this decade. If this is it, we're in worse shape than I thought. I'm now going to be banking all my X-files hopes on the new Night Stalker. It has failings, no doubt, but at least it has growns-up appearing in it, and isn't quite as predictable (and therefore, I guess, mass-marketable...) as Supernatural.