Last week’s promotional material for this episode left me thinking, "How can I get out of this?" Then, they had to go and kinda make it good. Bastards.
Episode #1-05, "Bloody Mary"
Written by Terri Hughes Burton & Ron Milbauer
Directed by Eric Kripke
Guest Stars:Jovanna Huguet (Bloody Mary / Mary Worthington), Marnette Patterson (Charlie), Adrianne Palicki (Jessica), Chelan Simmons (Jill).
Air Date: October 11, 2005
If you can read at a Third Grade level, or just happen to be a Third Grader, then you can probably guess what this episode is about just from the title. However, if you’re an alcoholic your answer might be a little different. Normally, I’d say that the alcoholics answer is the answer to all of your problems. Not this time, though.
People are dying because their skulls are filling up with blood to that point that their eyes explode. That, in and of itself, is an awesome death for a show like this. But add in the fact that they’re all dying because someone summoned Bloody Mary and you’ve got moderately mediocre entertainment. Hey, I said it was good, but it’s not great. It’s a long way from great. About a season and a half, I’d say. The whole point of this episode is to continue the Monster of the Week format, while dipping into the mythology a bit. This is what they should be doing almost every week, if you ask me. Bloody Mary only kills people who have secrets. Not ordinary secrets either, but secrets that have lead to someone’s death. Each victim either caused or failed to prevent someone else’s death. In one case, a young girl named Charlie merely blamed herself for her ex-boyfriend’s suicide. What do you think this is setting up?
Sam has a secret, and it qualifies. In every episode this past month they’ve mentioned or shown Sam having a nightmare. This is to be expected after you see your girlfriend’s corpse pressed up to the ceiling right before it bursts into flames. Hell, it would be expected if you ever dated Rory Gilmore. Jared Padalecki’s got both those bases covered. Anyway, those nightmares didn’t start after Jessica was killed, as this viewer had assumed. They started when she was still alive. Sam dreamt about it for several days before it happened. Having lived the life he’s living, and being what he is, he blames himself for not warning her. He wanted so much to be normal that he willfully ignored the nightmares in the hopes that they’d go away. Ultimately, Jessica paid the price for Sam’s selfishness. Normally, you could make a case for letting got and forgiving yourself blah blah blah. Here, though, it’s delicious and necessary. Sam knew better and he screwed up. There’s a chance that warning her wouldn’t have accomplished anything. Who am I kidding, there was zero chance of changing the girl’s fate. She was cute, supportive, and intelligent. She liked to dress as a nurse on Halloween and baked him cookies. She was so going to die.
And this is such an minor detail. Does it mean that Sam’s precognitive? Does he have prophetic dreams? Or is it that he could sense what was coming? Maybe the creature that’s doing this was toying with him, knowing he’d try to ignore the message. It’s so minor as to almost be inconsequential. This, in my opinion at least, is an example of skilled execution. We get a little something from the show’s mythos, it ties into this week’s plot, and it doesn’t really answer a whole lot of questions. That’s how you should do it. Particularly when dealing with a genre program like this. Good job, Eric Kripke. Kudos. I give "Bloody Mary":
A Raging Hard-On.
Steven Dougherty is hasn’t been able to look in the mirror since this episode aired. Of course, he wasn’t able to bare his own reflection much before it aired, either.