'Supernatural' goes Western: What to expect when Sam and Dean go to 'Frontierland'
In Friday's episode, "Frontierland," we meet the man behind the myth when Sam ( Jared Padalecki) and Dean ( Jensen Ackles) go back in time for the third time. We got the chance to preview the episode, so here's the scoop on what's in store for you on Friday night at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.
Yes, there are plenty of "Back to the Future: Part 3" references, just like we'd hoped -- including Dean calling himself Eastwood. In fact, the episode has a lot of really humorous moments. Most mythology-heavy episodes tend to steer away from the humor, but this episode perfectly balances laughs with high-stakes drama. Dean's sheer delight at the opportunity to explore the Old West is a blast to watch -- especially because we know that Ackles was having just as much fun playing cowboy as his fictional counterpart.
We continue to be thrilled that Sam and Dean's Season 1 camaraderie has returned in full force, and watching the brothers cracking jokes and teasing each other is going a long way toward healing our Season 4 and 5 wounds.
You'll certainly see everything you expect from a Western - from the sepia monochrome to the typical spaghetti Western music. There's even a new title sequence. This isn't sugar-coated, though - it's "gritty and yellow-toothed" as Ackles described it. This isn't the Knott's Berry Farm version of the Old West. Those saloon girls Dean is so excited to, um, hang out with? They have diseases. Visible ones. All over their faces. It's a warts-and-all depiction of the time.
The highlights of this episode are certainly the guest actors. Usually, "Supernatural" guest stars pale considerably in comparison to the more familiar cast members. This episode boasts some of the most talented and dynamic one-shot guest stars we've ever seen on the show. Matthew John Armstrong (of "Heroes") plays Elias Finch, a man who is publicly lynched for murdering his wife, but returns from the grave to seek vengeance. He's particularly captivating as a monster you can't help but sympathize with.
Samuel Colt is played by "Memphis Beat" star Sam Hennings, who lends such an air of authenticity to the role that we're almost convinced they beamed him in directly from the Old West. "What we wanted to do was take the legend and basically debunk it in a way," executive producer Bob Singer tells Zap2it. "When you meet him, he's kind of a crusty old drunk. He still has his chops, but he's not what you expect him to be."
Sam Winchester and Colt only share one scene together, but it's enough to give us a bit of a new appreciation for our Sammy -- and to get in a good laugh. "When you've done this job as long as I have," Colt says when Sam shows him his very futuristic Blackberry, "a giant from the future with some magic brick doesn't exactly give you the vapors."
Back in 2011, we'll see more light shed on Castiel's increasingly desperate situation in Heaven. Last week, we saw our fave angel warrior taking extreme measures to create new human souls, and this week we'll find out why when his lieutenant, Rachel, makes a rather unwelcome appearance. We're a little worried about him right now -- things definitely aren't looking good.
All in all, the episode delivered far more than we expected (and our expectations were pretty lofty to begin with). The ending propels us into the final stretch of episodes as Sam and Dean prepare to take on Eve, the Mother of All.