Supernatural Newbie Review – Episode 201 “As I Lay Dying”

After eleven seasons, something possessed me (see what I did there) to start watching Supernatural from the beginning. If you are a fan of the series, feel free to go back and re-watch it with me. Please do not be a troll and post spoilers for future episodes in the comments section. If you have been wanting to start Supernatural, then I encourage you to watch with me. Spoilers for the series as I go.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW


As much as I have complained about John Winchester and the treatment of his sons over the last few episodes, I’ll have to admit the ending of the season two premiere got to me.

The season opener begins right where season one left off, the Winchester men trapped in the crumbled Impala after a possessed truck driver runs them over. After Sam scares the demon off, he tries to rouse his father and brother without any success. The two men are still alive, but unresponsive. Things look worse for Dean once they are all at the hospital.

Dean is clinging to life, but his spirit is wondering the hospital trying to communicate with Sam and John. A Reaper appears over Dean as his heart starts to fail, but he scares it off buying himself a bit more time to try and find a way around his own pending death. Dean meets what he thinks is another person clinging to their life, Tessa (Lindsey McKeon), but she is actually a Reaper who has taken the form of a beautiful woman to help Dean into acceptance of his fate. Dean pushes back. His family needs him, there is a war to be fought against evil. “You’re not the first soldier I’ve plucked from the field…The battle goes on without them” Tessa answers him. If he continues to hold on like he is, then he will become what he hunts, a vengeful spirit.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Sam knows Dean must be out there. He repeated a phrase Dean said while begging Sam not to give up (“Go find some hoodoo priest to lay some mojo”), and Sam looked confused, like he knew those were not his words. He brings the “Mystical Talking Board” (that’s one way to not have to pay Hasbro) to Dean’s room in hopes of communicating with his brother. He only manages to learn Dean is being stalked by a reaper. Sam goes to his father to see if John knows anyone who can help Dean. John tells him there is no one, but he gives Sam a list of ingredients he needs and asks for the Colt. He is going to summon the Yellow-Eyed demon (thanks to IMDb I now know is named Azazel). Sam is discussed with his father for wanting to continue his quest for vengeance when his oldest son is fighting to live.

John has other plans for the Colt and Azazel (that is a really difficult name to type by the way) and keeping with his MO, he refuses to give the details of his plans to his son. For very different reasons this time. He summons the demon (played by Fredric Lehne in this go around) and offers the Colt to let his son live. Azazel is happy to have this small victory over his biggest foe, but the demon wants more. John’s life is the one thing it wants more than the weapon that can kill it.

As Tessa nearly has Dean accepting his fate, Azazel possesses her and heals Dean. His doctors are amazed by Dean’s miraculous recovery. Sam tells his brother about the conversation they had as Dean was in his coma, but he remembers nothing in the time between the accident and waking up all healed. John joins his sons and Sam starts to interrogate his father as to his whereabouts the night before. John appeals to his youngest son, “can we not fight? I’ve made some mistakes, but I’ve always done the best I could.” Sam is very weirded out by the sudden confession from his father. Before he can think on it for too long, John asks Sam to get him a cup of coffee, giving him one last goodbye.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Sharing a sweet story about how Dean would comfort him when coming home from a hunt had John apologizing to his oldest for putting so much on the boy’s shoulders. Before he leaves, John whispers something in Dean’s ear that leaves him shaken. John walks into his hospital room, places the Colt on the bed, and tells Azazel he is ready. Sam, with John’s cup of coffee in hand, finds his father lying on the ground. As the hospital staff tries to revive him, Dean and Sam look on in shock. Before the episode ends, John’s time of death is called.

What is it with Hollywood killing off Jeffery Dean Morgan characters? It is almost as bad as the morbid joke constantly being played on Sean Bean.

John knowing how to call upon Azazel only confirms he has known quite a bit about the demon he has been hunting. So far from what we (and by we, I mean the Winchester brothers) have seen of the journal, John has chosen not to share the knowledge there. I am wondering if he wrote it down somewhere else for his sons to find later.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

What I’m guessing will be a big mystery for the season will be what does Azazel want with Sam. John tells his youngest son he knows absolutely nothing about what the demon has planned for Sam and the other children (love when the camera pans over and we see Dean has been listening on the conversation the whole time and knows his father is lying), but later John tells the demon he has known for some time what the yellow-eyed one is up to. Is this what he tells Dean before dying?

As great as an episode as this one was, it felt like the producers wasted an opportunity to continue to have such a great actor in Morgan around. Being a show about supernatural things, I’m sure the character will return in one way or another, but it felt like the character was wasted. There seemed to be more to his story. The good thing is the tone of the second season has been set by his death and the show has become more grounded in a certain mythology surrounding Azazel, pulling away from the monster of the week type episodes driving the majority of the season (I hope). Not that I don’t enjoy those, but the show is at its best when it follows the mythology.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

What did you think of “In My Time of Dying”? Were you sad to see John Winchester (and Jeffery Dean Morgan) go? Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

2 comments on “Supernatural Newbie Review – Episode 201 “As I Lay Dying”

  1. I rewatched it in anticipation of this post. I don’t remember crying at it before, but this time John’s goodbyes just had me in tears pretty much the whole rest of the way through.

    And, cheater. It feels like fandom went a long time calling him Yellow Eyes or YED before learning Azazel’s name. 🙂 And the Mystical Talking Board! It’s absolutely ridiculous. And funny, too, because just a couple months ago I saw a Supernatural-themed Ouija board at a store. So they won’t give Hasbro money, but they sure will take it! 😀 But anyway, I thought this was a really compelling episode that sets the tone for the season nicely.

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