From TVGuide: January 11, 2007: Hunted
The winter hiatus is finally a thing of the past. Now, we can get to the business of finding out Dad’s secret: Big Daddy Winchester wanted Dean to take care of Sammy. To save him. And if he can’t save him, he’s going to have to kill him. That’s cold. I have to admit that at first I was unsure of whether the hiatus was worth waiting for this bit of news. But as the episode wore on, a bigger picture started to unfold: There’s going to be a war starting, a war that’s going to need soldiers. And these psychic humans are the key. The yellow-eyed Demon seems to be preying on these “special” children, telling them to do little things like kill the neighbor’s cat. But, gradually, the orders will deal with bigger and broader targets. Sam’s understandably upset with his brother for sitting on this secret for so long. Instead of lying low like Dean wants, Sam does the exact opposite and leaves Dean at the hotel to figure out what his destiny is and his connection to these other “children.”
It’s January, and it’s the first episode after hiatus, so I guess a few things are required to happen: 1) Sam leaves Dean; 2) Dean gets knocked on the head with a gun and captured; 3) Sam steals a car; and 4) Part of it has to take place in Indiana. Dig out your Season 1 DVDs, insert disc 3, re-watch “Scarecrow” and marvel at the similarities. This isn’t a bad thing. I’m beyond happy that we actually got to see Sam steal the car this time. In fact, we got to see him do a lot of stealing and/or lying and/or breaking and entering. Don’t know why that’s so freakin’ appealing, but it is. We also got to see him use his brains and his muscle! How satisfying was it to see him avoid the dual trip wires Gordon had set up to kill him, receive a pounding “Gordon-style,” then bounce back enough to kick some butt of his own? Where do the brains come in, you ask? Aside from eluding the trap, he was clever enough to drop an anonymous tip that led the police straight to the murderous hunter. Go, Sammy! Plus, he made a great pop culture reference à la Dean. Can anyone say T.J. Hooker? That’s what I’m talking about.
After Sam ditches Dean at the hotel (I still wish Sam had collected on that rain check from “Bloodlust”), he ends up meeting a girl named Ava. She has visions just like Sammy. In fact, she saw the youngest Winchester die in her dreams — he blew up in what was a really cool explosion. I really enjoyed the scenes with Sam and Ava. She was funny and got Sammy to lighten up a little bit, even while they were dealing with such dark issues. I have to say that Sam needs to be surrounded by people that’ll help him remember to smile every once in a while. Dean does that for him, too. Anyway, I loved Ava’s wide-eyed innocence about the whole thing. It was very refreshing, and I know the episode ended with her gone, but I do so hope she turns up again. However, her poor fiancée won’t be showing up again.
I still feel bad for Dean, the boy keeps getting left behind. I loved how Dean defended Sam. How heartbreaking was it to see Dean think that his little brother may have died in one of the explosions? For a split second there, he probably thought that he was all alone in this world. At least we actually got to see Sam save Dean, unlike in “The Benders.” Once the older brother was untied, how great was that moment when he made sure that Sam was OK? I literally shouted: “Awwww!”
The reveal of the secret kinda makes me even angrier with Big Daddy Winchester. He unloaded that heavy burden onto his son just after he acknowledged that he had made Dean grow up too fast, had saddled him with too many responsibilities at such a young age. I know it was important for someone to know since John was going away — but to carry that kind of news is too much for anyone. And what if he ends up having to kill his brother? That’s the last of his family (his immediate one, anyway). How would he be able to do that? What do you guys think of Dean still mentioning that maybe they should just leave the country or lay low, and that he’s sick of the job?
As for Gordon, it was really interesting that he was all about business and not about revenge against Dean. He could have hurt Dean way more than a couple of punches here and there; Dean made a fool out of him in “Bloodlust.” Nope, the hunter found out where Sam’s “destiny” was headed, and he wanted to make sure that that never happened. Again, he’s so about the black and white, he can’t even begin to see the gray. Love how he didn’t underestimate either Winchester. How long do you think it’ll be before he breaks out of prison or escapes from the police and goes back on the hunt for Sam and the other children like Sam? Plus, he raised the issue of him having Roadhouse connections other than Ellen, Jo and Ash. That has to mean we’re going to get more hunters that’ll come after Sam — especially if they know what Gordon knows. Speaking of the Roadhouse, I liked the way it was utilized in “Hunted.” Sam showed up to elicit Ash’s help; Ellen took pity on Dean and let him know where Sam was. Plus, we found out that she hasn’t seen her daughter Jo in weeks. That means Jo’s out there, and there’s the possibility she could run into the boys at any time.
I have to say that I really enjoyed “Hunted.” Jared and Jensen’s chemistry was just so spot-on, especially right after Sam untied Dean, and then again in the car at the end. Plus, the use of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in the beginning was just cool — I love that song. I wonder what else Eric Kripke has in store for this second half of the season? A Sam-vs.-Dean smackdown, possibly? More psychics that break the pattern? I cannot wait to find out.
Favorite Lines from “Hunted”:
—”He said that I might have to kill you, Sammy.”
—”Am I supposed to go dark side or something?”
—”Now, Dean, they say you can’t protect your loves ones forever. Well, I say screw that. What else is family for? He’s in Lafayette, Indiana.”
—”Why can’t you just leave town, please? Before you blow up?”
—”But, instead, I drove out here to save your weirdo ass. But if you just want to stay here and die, fine.”
—”Are you OK?” “I just helped you steal some dead guys confidential files. I’m awesome!”
—”You do that to my brother, I’ll kill you!”
—”Dude, who are you?” “I just watch a lot of T.J. Hooker.”
—”I’m not a killer, Dean. I’m a hunter. And your brother’s fair game.”
—”I want you out of harm’s way, Ava.” “What about you?” “Harm’s way doesn’t really bother me.”
—”You got your Roadhouse connections, I got mine.”
—”Show your brother the killer you really are, Sammy.” “It’s Sam.”
—”I’m surprised at you Dean, getting all emotional.”
—”You’re a fine upstanding citizen, Sam.”
—”You can’t protect me.” “I can try.” “Thanks for that.”
— “Bitch.” “Jerrrrk.”