Episode look at – Season 3 ‘Mystery Spot’

Synopsis

Sam wakes up in a motel room to Heat of the Moment by Asia where he finds Dean already up and getting dressed. Dean goes through a long and irritating morning bathroom routine, and they go to the local diner for breakfast. Sam tells him about a man that disappeared at the Broward County Mystery Spot. Dean orders the Tuesday special, “Pig ‘n a Poke with a side of bacon,” and as the waitress delivers their coffee, she accidentally drops a bottle of hot sauce on the floor.

Supernatural season 3 Mystery Spot

Poor Sam, how many times had he seen that clock?

 As Sam and Dean Walk down the city block discussing the Mystery Spot, they run across a barking golden retriever, a blonde woman who Dean bumps into, and movers struggling to get a desk inside a building. When night falls they break in to the tacky tourist trap after hours, but as they’re wandering through the halls, the owner approaches them with a shotgun. The gun goes off by mistake, and the bullet hits Dean square in the chest. Sam frantically rushes over to Dean and tearfully holds him as he dies.

Supernatural season 3 Mystery Spot...

What the hell’s going on Sam ….
You tell me Dean ….

Sam wakes up to Asia again and sees Dean just like he did the day before — teasing him by turning up the song, lip-synching, and bobbing his head to the beat. The same scene in the diner replays, befuddling Sam who catches the hot sauce from falling this time. They run across the dog, the woman, and the movers again while Sam convinces Dean to check out the Mystery Spot now instead of later. Dean agrees, steps out onto the street, and flies through the air in spectacular fashion when a speeding car hits him. Sam rushes to his side and is again traumatized by holding his dead brother in his arms.

Supernatural season 3 Mystery Spot....

How many times does Dean have to die ….

Asia plays again. A rattled Sam watches Dean go through the same morning gargle. He tells Dean in the diner that he’s stuck in a time loop like Groundhog Day and that Dean’s going to die. Back on the sidewalk — dog, woman, movers — and just before Dean steps out in the street, Sam pulls him back, telling him the car hit him yesterday. They go to the Mystery Spot, posing as reporters, only to get an act from the owner while Sam gets very irritated. Dean concludes that as long as he doesn’t die, that will break the time loop. As Sam agrees, Dean steps forward, and the desk from earlier ends up falling on him, crush him Wile E. Coyote style. Sam looks on in horror, and Asia plays again.

Oh my, what's going to happen next .....

Oh my, what’s going to happen next …..

At the diner, Sam is very anxious, again telling Dean about his time loop problem. Dean promises he won’t die and tries to break the cycle by ordering sausage instead of bacon, but proceeds to choke. Asia. Dean takes a shower, and Sam hears Dean yell and a thud. Asia. They’re eating tacos, and Dean asks if they taste funny. Asia. Dean is electrocuted by plugging in his razor. Asia. Sam and Dean go back at the Mystery Spot; duct tape the owner to a chair, and Sam tears apart the place with an axe. Dean tries to get the axe away from Sam, they fight, blood spurts, and Sam cries for Dean. Asia.

It amazes me what these boys actually resort too, in desperate times .....

It amazes me what these boys actually resort too, in desperate times …..

By this time, Sam is extremely agitated. In the diner, Dean orders the Tuesday special again, and Sam tells Doris the waitress to clock some hours in at the archery range because she’s a terrible shot (thus implying Dean died this way). He tells Dean angrily this is the hundredth Tuesday. He proves his point by repeating what Dean says at the exact same time and talks about the other patrons in the diner, not to mention catching the hot sauce again. Again they see the dog, old man looking for his keys (which Sam took earlier), and a woman bumping into them. Dean chases after the woman and finds that she has flyers of the man they’re looking for. He asks Sam why in one hundred Tuesdays he didn’t find out that she’s the man’s daughter. Sam chases after her to ask questions, while Dean goes to pet the dog. Growling and mauling ensue.

Uh oh, not bitten by a mutt ..... And Dean doesn't like DOGS.

Uh oh, not bitten by a mutt ….. And Dean doesn’t like DOGS.

Asia. At the diner, Sam, while on his computer, discovers that their missing man debunks tourist traps. He’s apparently a pompous ass, and Dean points out that it’s “just desserts” that a man out to get Mystery Spots disappears in one. Sam notices the man who has been having pancakes everyday ordered a different kind of syrup, which is the first change to happen. Asia plays and Sam wakes up with a look of both revelation and fury.

What could possibly go wrong today ......

What could possibly go wrong today ……

In the diner, the pancake man leaves, and Sam goes after him. He corners him in the alley and holds a wooden stake to his neck, telling him he finally figured out why he’s repeating Tuesdays and watching Dean die every day. Dean stands off to the side confused by what is happening. Sam says that they’ve killed one of his kind before, and the man turns into the Trickster and tells Sam they didn’t. The Trickster admits it’s been fun killing Dean everyday, but that this time, the joke’s on Sam, so he’ll finally get the point that he can’t save his brother. Sam threatens to kill him, but the Trickster says the joke is off and takes them to Wednesday with a snap of his fingers.

Supernatural season 3 Mystery Spot     ...........

How could Gabe do such a thing ….

Sam wakes to a different song, Back in Time, and is elated to see Dean alive and that it’s Wednesday. They pack up to leave, and Dean goes out to the car first where he’s held up at gunpoint by one of the diner patrons. Sam hears the gunshot and rushes outside to see Dean on the ground, shot in the chest and dead. He holds Dean in his arms and closes his eyes, dismayed when nothing changes, before starting to sob.

 

OMG! Sam this cannot be it, can it.

OMG! Sam this cannot be it, can it.

A very dark montage starts with Sam driving the Impala, a distant look on his face. He’s shown hunting alone across the country, pulling off some big kills, while Bobby leaves him a set of messages asking him to call, mentioning that he hasn’t heard from Sam in three months and is worried. Sam arrives at a motel, and the weapons in the Impala are now all organized in foam casing (ala John Winchester). Without expression, Sam fixes his own gunshot wound inside the room, cutting off his shirt, picking out the bullet and stitching himself up. He eats alone, cleans a gun while examining with a cold stare the set of pictures on the wall tracking the Trickster, and makes the bed in meticulous fashion after waking. He brushes his teeth and stares in the mirror at a reflection that is defeated and emotionally dead inside. Finally, a message from Bobby plays in the background, claiming that he has found the Trickster. Sam goes to Bobby at the Mystery Spot, and Bobby tells him that in order to pull off the summoning ritual they will need a gallon of fresh blood, meaning they will have to bleed someone dry. Sam coldly tells Bobby he’ll go find some, and Bobby is appalled that Sam is willing to kill an innocent person.

Supernatural season 3 Mystery Spot.......................

Sam so regimental, so cold and alone ….

Bobby gets out a knife and tells Sam to kill him instead. Sam agrees, but from behind Bobby pulls out a wooden stake and stabs him through the heart, saying he’s not Bobby. The Trickster emerges and tells Sam he is right. Sam tearfully begs the Trickster to bring back Dean, but the Trickster says that Sam should let him go because Dean will always be his weakness, his enemies know it, and nothing good will come of their sacrifices for each other — only pain. Sam still begs, so the Trickster snaps his fingers.  Sam wakes up in the motel room with Back in Time playing on the radio. Dean is there, and a shaken Sam gets up and gives Dean a huge hug. They leave together, and Sam is somber, deeply affected by his experience. He sees the unmade bed and realizes that life without Dean will still happen.

He sees the unmade bed, and realizes that life without Dean will still happen.

Quotes

Dean: I get all tingly when you take control like that.

Sam and Dean: (In unison) Right, you’re a mind reader. Cut it out, Sam… Sam! You think you’re funny but you’re being really, really childish! – Sam Winchester wears makeup. Sam Winchester cries his way through sex. Sam Winchester keeps a ruler by the bed and every morning when he wakes up….. Okay, enough!

Dean: (on getting hit by the car) Did it look cool, like in the movies?

Sam: You peed yourself.

Dean: Of course I peed myself. Man gets hit by a car, you think he has full control over his bladder? Come on!

Dean: Do these tacos taste funny to you?

Sam: (after the waitress asks what he wants): Hey, uh, Doris? What I’d like is for you to log in some more hours at the archery range … you’re a terrible shot.

Doris: How do you know that?

Sam: Lucky guess.

Dean: Rise and shine, Sammy! (repeated line)

Trivia & References

Dean: Sounds pretty X-Files to me.

The X-Files was a 90s series about aliens and the paranormal. Kim Manner’s who directed this episode was a director and producer on The X-Files. He also directed The X-Files’s time loop episode “Monday”.

Dean: Dingo ate my baby crazy.

In 1980 at Uluru (Ayers Rock), Lindy and Michael Chamberlain claimed a dingo took their baby, Azaria, from her tent. The claim was widely ridiculed and Lindy was later convicted of murder, and Michael as an accessory. Although a body was never found, new evidence

indicating a dingo was probably responsible, led to both sets of charges being overturned in 1988.

Dean: Hey, Tuesday. Pig in a poke.

Sam: Do you even know what that is?

Pig in a poke is a sausage dish usually served for breakfast. It also refers to an expression in which buying a pig in a poke is to buy something sight unseen. The expression refers to an old practice used by devious salesmen, who offered to sell a customer a pig, but instead gave them a cat in a box or bag.

Dean: Like Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day was a 1993 movie starring Bill Murray, where his character relives the same day over and over.

The waitress has the same name as the waitress in Groundhog Day: Doris.

Another reference to Groundhog Day is that Sam wakes to a song every morning, though in Groundhog Day the song is “I got you babe” by Sonny and Cher.

Dean: Okay Kojak, let’s get you outside.

Kojak was a tough cop played by Telly Savalas in the eponymous 70s series.

Trickster: You’re like Travis Bickle in a skirt

Travis Bickle was the obsessed taxi driver played by Robert De-Niro in the Martin Scorsese movie Taxi Driver.

 

Trickster: Whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional had never seen you with a sharp object in your hands. Holy, Full Metal Jacket.

Full Metal Jacket was a 1987 Kubrick movie following the transformation into psychotic killers of the protagonist and his marine comrades through dehumanising training at boot camp and the brutality of the Vietnam War. At the film’s climax the protagonist bayonets a sniper who is a young Vietnamese girl.

The song “Heat of the Moment” was sung by Eric Cartman in the South Park episode “Kenny Dies” (in which Kenny, who dies in each episode, but is back again in the next episode dies for “real”) when Cartman testified before Congress.

The song “Back In Time” was featured prominently in the movie Back to the Future, which dealt with time travel.

Sam hacking away at the wall with the axe is somewhat similar to Jack Nicholson’s famous scene in “The Shining”

Jared Padalecki cited this episode as a possible series finale for the show because it was shot after 3.12 Jus in Bello and was the last to shoot before the writer’s strike.

 Minutiae

Sam wakes up at 7.30 am each Tuesday.

Ways we know Dean dies on Tuesday:

Shot at the Mystery Spot

Run over

Crushed by a falling piano or desk (object disputed)

Chokes on a sausage

Slips in the shower

Poisoned by a taco

Electrocuted by his razor

Accidentally killed with an axe by Sam

Shot with an arrow by Doris the waitress

Mauled by a golden retriever

And on Wednesday:

Shot in hotel parking lot by Cal the mugger

The Deer’s Head appears in this episode – while Sam & Dean are in the Mystery Spot.

Sam and Dean’s hotel room has flamingo wall paper and a flamingo room divider.

Now again I think this is in most fans favourite lists of best all time episodes. It captures everything and is so Supernatural. Poor Sam having to relive Dean dying many times, and witnessing almost each death must have been terrible punishment for anyone to endure but our Sammy took it on the chin, and in the end got his own way, and got his brother back, and yes by the way on a rare occasion Sam did save Dean. So Sam should be proud of himself for this one as he didn’t let his big bro down.  A lesson which we’ve learnt since the finale.

What I found hard to get my head around and asked a question on the forum today. What lesson was the Trickster trying to achieve in making Sam relive Dean’s death over and over like a scratched record. What was the overall chain of events supposed to make Sam sit up and think what is going on here, why am I in a loop, why am I being forced to repeat Tuesday morning for the trillionth time.  Was the idea to stop Sam going down a path that made him open to the manipulation of Ruby and demons? Was the trickster trying to prevent Sam from killing Lilith, and making him see sense? Was the trickster trying to frighten Sam so he wouldn’t be swayed easily by ruby and the demons? So was Gabe doing his job and helping the angels keeping the brothers apart? Or steering him away from Dean to help them do their bidding? Was there a motive in all this to prove a point to Sam that he might be better off without Dean. As the angels wanted the apocalypse to start, so they would do anything to get Sam to carry on with the task in hand. Or was it completely the opposite. What was the real story behind this story in teaching Sam a lesson, what was that lesson that Gabe wanted to Sam to suffer so badly that he could live life without Dean or that he was showing him how alone he’d be and desperate without Dean in his life? Ouch my head hurts….. Was Gabe in other words a bad guy in doing this act to Sam, or a good guy in making him see sense? Did Gabe want the apocalypse to start or not?

So angels, what do you think of this little triumphant episode, did it in fact pull your strings. Did it push those magic buttons for you, and make you so teary you needed another box of tissues at the ready. Was it worth Gabe putting Sam through all that torment and misery, for what exactly? Was the trickster actually doing a dirty on Sam, or being kind and proving a valid point. Was he preventing Sam in starting the Apocalypse or stopping it.? Type away my friends and see what we come up with tomorrow.

 

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8 thoughts on “Episode look at – Season 3 ‘Mystery Spot’

  1. there is no apparent lesson for Dean other than Sam’s experiences on Tuesday. He just wants to look good and heroic going down. Sam Winchester’s lesson is that despite everything they know, Sam cannot save Dean from his deal and that even knowing the future, Dean is going to go to Hell. The lesson for the fans and also Sam on a secondary level is that without Dean, Sam loses much of his humanity and becomes automatic and Obsessive Compulsive-see how he makes his bed? He looks like serial killer Sam. We also learn that Sam without Dean is willing to sacrifice those closest, Bobby, and tarnish his own soul thus proving that Dean is still his weakness. The third point of development is that the Trickster can manipulate Sam into never hunting him again as the trade off for going to Wednesday. While Sam’s knowledge of the future does prevent Dean from being killed on Wednesday, he cannot stop the deal which will take Dean from him. The Trickster, who we later find out is Gabriel, is also trying to prepare Sam for a life without Dean in some ways and wants no side in the Apocalypse and is thus hiding from his brothers, but that is another season. Sam Winchester wears makeup, Sam Winchester cries his way threw sex, Sam Winchester keeps a ruler….. Classic scene and needed to be done in one continuous take, Yep, Jensen kept adding a word so there were many takes, but the end result just classic. And of course, the use of Heat of the Moment, classic rock,-does Dean like Asia or not?
    There is a lovely, lovely connection to this story. And this is what I love about story telling that there is always a message in there somewhere. I think Mystery Spot was very powerful and strong for Sam, and sent him a message of what life would be like without Dean. Yes he was military and like a soldier on a mission, he wouldn’t rest until the job was done. I think both boys are similar in a lot of ways. It just goes to show how ruthless Sam could be when he really need to be. We only have to look at how he killed Jake, Gordon and others on route, and particularly if the murder resulted in himself or his brother he was twice as angry in getting the job done. I also felt the trickster was rather cruel in teaching Sam this vital lesson, in how long the punishment went on, and on. What it must have done to Sam’s state of mind any way! The diner moment will remain a classic way into the future, and really loved how polished this scene was, and amazing it was to watch. Rhythm them is a powerful tool in the art of acting. We have to take our hats of to these guys! And Jeremy!!

    So if Sam goes on automatic without Dean, and he does not want to turn into that, does it explain why when Dean disappears to Purgatory, he just gets into the Impala and drives until an event shocks him back into” normal” and Amelia’s snarkiness is reminiscent of Dean, thus the natural attraction.
    This did get me thinking a while back as its the whole grief thing rearing its head again. Sam is classic for this as you say we’ve seen him in season 8 again, doing the same thing! So Sam is in character, for the most part. So the whole not looking for Dean, is beginning to settle in now as we understand Sam a lot more 🙂 Even though I still find it hard to stomach 😦 But I can see why he got in his car, and drove like a man possessed.

    Thanks for the comments,
    Love Aunty B xxxx

    Like

    1. “So if Sam goes on automatic without Dean, and he does not want to turn into that, does it explain why when Dean disappears to Purgatory, he just gets into the Impala and drives until an event shocks him back into” normal” and Amelia’s snarkiness is reminiscent of Dean, thus the natural attraction.”

      I too wondered if Amelia just “replaced” Dean and that’s why Sam could live with not looking for Dean and giving up hunting.
      Was this also the reason why Amelia says something like finishing off each others sentences, to remind the audience of Dean? I also remember the sad look on Sam’s face with Amelia in that bedroom scene it was a fantasy, that he had built in his own mind? That he was thinking of Dean when he was with her. That’s why his face was so sad 😦 Which I think we did talk about 🙂

      Thanks for the comments,
      Love Aunty B xxxx

      Like

      1. That’s how I choose to see Sam’s reaction. When Dean came back, Sam had to choose. He no longer needed Sam and she no longer needed him now that Don reappeared. Dean needed Sam. Classic transference of codependency and besides it took us threw the season. Sam always takes off, he did as a kid, he did when he was with Ruby, he did to check out Amy, but when he is finally truly alone without Dean, can he truly be human? Look at him when he doesn’t have Dean to keep him from going Obsessive compulsive, Mystery Spot, the year without the soul, So, Amelia’s snarky comments and obvious sexual drive are deanism’s rather than the normalcy Sam thinks about.
        I think we really need to commend our writers much more often than we do, as they really do stay true to the boys. That makes me happy 🙂

        Thanks for the comments,
        Love Aunty B xxxx

        Like

  2. Yes I’m not sure what Tabs was trying to prove either. He did mention destiny and Sam getting used to the idea of Dean being gone. I think it worked somewhat. Sam started preparing himself more for Dean’s loss.
    Yeah, I get this but it seemed so cruel, to the poor sod to put him through all that. There must have been other methods. I think Gabe also enjoyed taking it out on Sam too. He was enjoying seeing Sam upset or else what was the point. What was really in it for him … 😉

    Despite all that Gabriel did to the two of them I still get the impression that he liked them a lot and was never really about hurting them. He just seemed to enjoy messing with them when they got on his nerves a bit.
    True, I got Gabe liked the boys a lot. But the teasing went a bit far for my liking, if you like people do you really prank about that far? I feel there was something about Gabe I couldn’t put my finger on. Balti was very different to Gabe, may be its just me. 😉

    Have to add that this is one of my top ten episodes and one of the best episodes of season three. Nobody brings the horror, humor and tragedy all in one episode like this writer. Carver, I think. This has some of the funniest lines of the whole season and even Dean’s deaths start to get kind of funny after a while. And yes that is quite possibly one of the most annoying morning routines, ever. It’s also the first time I ever noticed Sam initiating a hug. It’s usually Dean who does that.
    I think this was why it was made to look this way as it was so annoying, and when writers write they must think, what would really annoy the hell out of fans, oh yes, gargling repeatedly. Imagine having to write all that script, it must have done his head in. 😦 To be able to write humor, sadness, repeated sadness and humor along with angst and tension is tough on anyone. I do love this Sam centric episode, and would like to understand what Gabe was really up to anyone any thoughts ……

    Thanks for the comments,
    Love Aunty B xxxx

    Like

    1. For some reason my Kindle wants to renamed Gabe as Tabs. WTF?
      Blame it on the heat Ikeke its getting to all of us, and technology must be feeling it too. 😀

      Thanks for the comments,
      Love Aunty B xxxx

      Like

      1. “For some reason my Kindle wants to renamed Gabe as Tabs. WTF?”

        It has a sense of humor just like my tablet and my kindle-LOL

        Like

  3. This episode killed me, to see Dean die so many times. Im not really sure what Gabriel ws trying to prove by this…except that you cant change your destiny.
    True, you cannot change your destiny, and I still cannot work out as you what he was doing. Whether he was a good guy or not? If he was doing it for a good reason it wasn’t coming over as one. It was very cleverly put together script, how many times those boys must of acted those scenes is beyond me. And the unison acting in the diner will always be a priceless moment. This is Carver at this best, IMO

    Thanks for the comments,
    Love Aunty B xxxx

    Like

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