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Retro Recap: Supernatural, “Bloody Mary”

[pullquote]”Sometimes bad things just happen.”[/pullquote]

Hello, Persephone readers! This episode scares me pantless, so I’ll be injecting more humor than usual in an attempt to hide how scurred I actually am.

In Toledo, Ohio, a group of tweens are playing truth or dare during a slumber party. The hostess, Lily, is sent into the bathroom to call on Bloody Mary. Pretty standard slumber party activity. We did it when I was a youngin’. She’s a witch, or possibly a woman who died in a car crash, or maybe she’s my aunt with the three German Shepherds who lives in San Francisco. Either way, say her name three times in front of a mirror and she’ll claw out your eyes. Lily seems somewhat scared, but knows she has to go through with it. Good call, Lily. Having your eyes scratched out by an evil spirit is nothing compared with vicious girls needlessly gossiping about you. Nothing happens when she calls on Bloody Mary, and the girls return to their slumber party shenanigans. Lily’s dad, Steven Shoemaker, has had just about enough of all the giggling and spirit summoning and tells the girls to shuffle off to bed.

As he heads back upstairs he passes by several mirrors. In each mirror a very creepy, very “Ju-on” looking woman is reflected, but he doesn’t seem to notice. In the bathroom he notices something weird in his left eye. Downstairs, Lily’s older sister has come home and she totally has that “I just made out with my boyfriend in his El Camino” glow about her. She goes upstairs, presumably to write in her journal while listening to The Sundays’ cover of “Wild Horses.” Her post-date bliss is abruptly ended by the discovery of her father’s body on the bathroom floor. There is blood everywhere. [spoiler]At least you won’t get in trouble for staying out past curfew. What? I’m trying to find a silver lining here.[/spoiler]

Sam can’t stop having nightmares about Jessica. Every night, and sometimes while napping in the Impala, he watches her die over and over again. Dean is concerned, but clearly he doesn’t know what to say. They’ve only just reconnected and Dean’s not really the talky huggy sort to begin with. Plus, there’s a job. Steven Shoemaker’s untimely death caught their attention and they head into to local morgue posing as med students. Med students who bribe orderlies. The official cause of death is a massive stroke. A quick check on WebMD confirmed for me that “exploding eyeballs” and “brain melting” are not a symptoms of a stroke. Sam and Dean are also convinced that it’s not just some freak medical thing. Because it’s almost never just some freak medical thing. Time to crash a wake!

Again, with the wardrobe problems. While the sight of Sam and Dean Winchester wearing snug fitting denim trousers would be very comforting to anyone during a time of grief, you do tend to stand out when everyone else is wearing funereal duds. They find the older daughter, Donna, in the back yard being comforted by her girlfriends. After offering condolences, they begin asking completely inappropriate questions. Young Lily blurts out that their father didn’t die of a stroke. He died because she called on Bloody Mary. While her sister is busy saying how ridiculous that is, Sam and Dean exchange worried looks. Dean tells Lily that he’s sure that’s not what happened. Bloody Mary takes the person who calls on her. Since her dad didn’t say it, it’s unlikely that she came for him.

In the bathroom, the floor is still stained with Mr. Shoemaker’s blood.

Sam: All over the country kids play Bloody Mary and as far as we know, nobody dies from it.
Dean: Maybe everywhere else it’s just a story, but here it’s actually happening.
Sam: The place where the legend began.

While the circumstances don’t fit the legend perfectly, it’s still worth checking out. Their investigation is interrupted by Donna’s unusually perceptive and suspicious friend Charlie. After being threatened with, “You tell me what’s going on, or I start screaming,” Sam spills the very vague beans. She seems satisfied by their non-answer and Sam gives her a contact card in case she thinks of anything helpful. [spoiler]What the does his business card say, anyway? Wait, I’ve got it: “Lucifer Meatsuit.” No, wait: “Demon Sexer-Upper.”[/spoiler]

While the Winchesters are trying to track down the root of the Bloody Mary legend, Charlie is on the phone with a very similar-looking girl named Jill who was also at the wake. They’re talking about boys, of course, and our boys in particular. Jill thinks the whole Bloody Mary thing is a big joke and you can see where this going right? I don’t really need to say anything. She calls Bloody Mary three times and punks Charlie by screaming. Of course nothing happens right away, you nit. We need more scary shots of the ghost girl in the mirror. And a few shots of the blonde girl wandering around her room in panties listening to Fall Out Boy. This is relevant to the plot. Once she heads into the bathroom her reflection starts to bleed from the eyes. While Jill is frantic and crying blood her reflection stares calmly back at her. “You did it,” it says. “You killed that boy.”

When the boys are about to give up the search for Bloody Mary, Charlie calls Sam in a panic. Jill is dead. Bathroom floor. No eyes. Said Bloody Mary in front of a mirror. Definitely not a freak medical thing. Charlie helps the Winchesters sneak into Jill’s room to search for clues. In the bathroom, using a black light, they find the outline of a bloody hand print and the name, “Gary Bryman” written on the back of the mirror. Gary Bryman died in hit and run two years ago. And Jill was the one who ran him over. Back at Donna’s house they find the same hand print on the back of the mirror and the name, “Linda Shoemaker.” Linda was Donna’s mom who died a few years ago of an apparent overdose. The Winchesters have a hunch that her father actually killed her mother and made it look like an accidental overdose. Oh, Toledo. You so scandalous.

A nationwide search turns up the case of Mary Worthington in Indiana. She was murdered in front of a mirror. She spent her final moments trying to write out the name of her killer with her own blood, but died before she could get out anything but, “T-R-E.” The police officer involved in the case had always suspected a local surgeon named Trevor. Her eyes had been surgically removed during the attack. Which is just unnecessary. Since she was cremated, the boys have a hunch that she is haunting the mirror she died in front of and they set about trying to find its current location. Sam finds out that the mirror Mary Worthington died in front of was recently sold to an antique store in Toledo. Time to go smash some old expensive mirrors.

Donna and Charlie are in the bathroom of a high school that looks suspiciously like Sunnydale High arguing about recent, um, “events.” Donna cannot believe that Charlie would believe all this vengeful ghost woo-woo and tries to prove how crazy the whole thing is by calling on Bloody Mary in front of a mirror. BRB, face palming so hard right now. Charlie starts to see the image of Mary reflected in everything, including her teacher’s glasses. After lots of screaming as glass breaks, she runs out of the school. Sam and Dean seclude Charlie in their motel room, covering up all the mirrors and glass to protect her. Charlie’s big secret is that she once broke up with a guy who later killed himself. Which is totally not her fault. But she carries a lot guilt and blames herself for what happened. That’s enough to get on Mary’s bad side, apparently.

Sam decides that they need to summon Mary before they smash the mirror, to make sure they get her. Since Sam blames himself for Jessica’s death, he thinks that he should be the one to call on her. Sam’s latest act of self flagellation is too much for Dean, and he decides that it’s time to hash all this nonsense out once and for all. When Dean tries to convince Sam that there was nothing he could have possibly done to protect Jessica, Sam tells Dean that there’s something he doesn’t know. There is a secret and it is his fault. Dean is reluctant, but they don’t really have a choice.

At the antique store they find Mary’s mirror and Sam summons her. Soon after the cops show up, of course. Great job, guys. Where were you when people’s eyeballs were exploding? While Dean is outside trying to stall the cops with his fists, Sam is having a very tense conversation with himself. His reflection reveals the secret he’s been keeping from Dean: He started having nightmares about Jessica dying days before she died. He could have saved her, but he didn’t believe they were real. Once again, Dean saves the day by smashing the mirror at the last minute. If it all feels a little too easy, that’s because it the spirit of Mary Worthington just climbed out of shattered mirror and she’s in the mood by melt some eyeballs. Dean throws a Hail Mary pass, (See what I did there?) by showing Mary her own reflection. Her reflection damns her for having killed so many people and her spirit shatters like glass. Taking no chances, Dean hurls the mirror with her reflection across the floor.

The next morning Charlie heads back home. Sam tells her that she needs to forgive herself for what happened to her boyfriend. That she probably couldn’t have saved him. He’s really talking about himself here, but she needed to hear it as well. Incidentally, Dean shows remarkable strength of character this episode by refraining from creeping on the vulnerable high school girl.

Dean: I want you to tell me what that secret was.
Sam: Look”¦ you’re my brother, and I’d die for you. But there are some things I need to keep to myself.

As they cruise out of Toledo, Sam sees a vision of Jessica dressed in white, watching him from a street corner.

Winchester Victory Jam: Laugh, I Nearly Died by The Rolling Stones

By Brick Frog

I do neat things regularly!

4 replies on “Retro Recap: Supernatural, “Bloody Mary””

Early Supernatural is like early X-Files for me. That’s some creepy shit. But I did watch this one home alone. At breakfast. In the sunny kitchen. (Kept the creepiness down.) Side note, even as a grown-ass woman I still won’t look at mirrors in the dark. Bloody Mary was one horrifying kids game.

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