'Frontierland' - 'Supernatural' Episode 6.18


Supernatural Episode 6.18


Story By: Andrew Dabb, Daniel Loflin, & Jackson Stewart

Teleplay By: Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin

Directed By: Guy Bee

Original Airdate: 22 April 2011

In This Episode..

We head back to the wild west.  In digging through the Campbell family library (a bomb shelter crammed with ephemera), Bobby finds evidence that what they may need to defeat the Mother is ash from a phoenix.  Dean finds Samuel Colt's journal, which details a showdown in which Colt dusts the phoenix.  So, naturally, Dean decides that the easiest way to obtain phoenix ash is for Castiel to send them back in time.  Cas agrees, but the boys have 24 hours.  The farther back in time they go, the harder it is for Cas to bring them back.

The boys show up in the tiny stereotypical western town of Sunshine, Wyoming.  They are just in time to catch the hanging of Elias Finch, sentenced to such a fate for killing his wife.  As a dying declaration, he vows that the men responsible for his sentence will "burn for this."  The boys start asking around about Samuel Colt, but no one has anything to offer.  He came through town previously, but only briefly.  While questioning the saloon's bartender, one of the whores upstairs screams.  She was servicing the judge; now all that was left of him was a pile of ash.  She swears  the culprit was Elias Finch, who burned up the judge with a mere touch.  Sam and Dean split up: Sam heads off on horseback to find Colt, while Dean stays behind to posse up and find Finch.

Sam finds Colt in a Kazinsky-esque shack.  He is grizzled, cynical, and lives away from everyone as a sort of retirement from hunting.  Even still, when a couple demons find him and demand he open the devil's gate.  Instead, Colt shoots him with his magic gun.  When Sam arrives, Colt is nonplussed when he says he is a demon hunter from the future.  Sam offers up his Blackberry, which is proof enough for Colt - something that surprised Sam.  "When you've seen the things I've seen...."  Colt refuses to go with Sam to town, even after Sam shows Colt his own journal.  But he is "kind" enough to send Sam back with the gun.

Meanwhile, Dean is disappointed that he didn't get a posse together.  When it is discovered that the sheriff met the same fate as the judge, Dean is deemed the new sheriff, and he heads off to find his deputy - who Finch's logical next victim.  Dean locks him up in jail to keep him safe and in line of sight.  Finch finds them and demands the deputy's release.  Dean realizes that Finch is the phoenix.  Like most other demons, he is powerless against iron.  Finch finally reveals the truth about his wife's murder.  The two lived outside of town, then came in to go to the bank.  Wifey was alone for a few minutes, and when Finch came out for her, he discovered the deputy had her pinned in an alley.  Panicked, the deputy shot both Finch and his wife, then framed him for the murder.  Dean aligns his sympathies with Finch, but he still has to kill him.  Finch grabs a nearby gun and shoots the deputy through the cell bars before chasing after Dean.

Outside, Dean meets up with Sam, who slips him the Colt.  Dean meets Finch in the town center for a duel.  Naturally, Dean wins.  As the boys scoop up some of Finch's ashes, Cas pulls them out - they got nothing.  Dean is sick over it.  In a full-on Back to the Future move, Sam gets a special delivery that was sitting in the warehouse with a note to be delivered on this specific day.  Inside the package, Sam finds his Blackberry (now broken), and a note from Colt, who got his address from Sam's "thingamajig."  Beneath the note: a bottle of phoenix ashes.  Game on.

Dig It or Bury It?

Big dig.  Tonight's episode was a rare mix of great humor and important plot points that came out to a well-paced episode that really propelled the season arc forward.  The boys didn't go back in time because of some random curse; they went back for a specific purpose.  I love that in Sam and Dean's world, it is easier to just go back in time to collect phoenix ash than it is to find a modern-day phoenix. This episode also gets bonus points for keep the opening titles on-theme, mimicking the Bonanza intro.

Spooky Humor

Dean is obsessed with classic westerns, and it shows.  He makes Sam wear "western wear" so they don't look out of place.  Dean takes it a step too far with a poncho - which Castiel, and later a Sunshine townie mistake for a blanket.  The pseudonyms that he gives himself and his brother are a little on-point: Dean goes by Marshal Clint Eastwood, and he dubs is brother Texas Ranger Walker.  He tells Sam he is going to get a posse together because "I love posse."  When the boys visit the saloon, Dean is disappointed to discover that the saloon girls are nothing at all like Miss Kitty.  When a whore with sore-covered lips and rotting teeth tries to kiss him, he complains that "this is a lot more germy than I pictured."

Some non-western humor:  Bobby asks the boys if they have ever heard of a phoenix.  "River, Joaquin, or flaming bird?"  Then, when Dean realizes they can go back in time to get the phoenix ash, he gets very excited: "We'll Star Trek 4 this bitch!"  Clueless stares.  "Save the whales!"  "I only know Deep Space Nine."  "It's like I don't even know you guys."


Next week's trailer revealed absolutely no plot information at all, but it looked like it will have a lot of monsters, violence, and gore.