S1 Episode 4: Phantom Traveler
Strap in for another episode review of Supernatural! In this episode, things get a little more interesting. We also get to see the first signs of demonic possession. So, fun, right?
This episode starts out with Sam and Dean on yet another case. We learn Sam has been having trouble sleeping due to the death of his late girlfriend. He talks about it briefly with Dean before they get a call. It turns out to be a contact of their father’s requesting help. A plane has crashed under mysterious circumstances, so the brothers go to check it out.Upon arrival we finally get a glimpse of some of Sam and Dean’s detective skills. This is also the first episode where viewers learn the signs of a demon. Sulfur is found in the wreckage of the plane. This indicated demonic possession. One person they interview states the man he was looking at had black eyes, yet another sign a demon is in the area. Dean even cracks out a homemade EMF (Electromagnetic Field) in order to detect if anything is amiss. Later in the episode the device plays a big role in finding the demon on the plane they ride.
The episode itself is okay, though obviously not one of the best in the series. There are a few odd moments where the poor work of CGI shows through. It’s so horrible that it’s almost hilarious. There are a few scenes where a black matter or “mist” is seen going into people. This is to show people becoming possessed by the demon in order to crash the plane they’re on. A few instances where the horrible CGI shows through are usually shots of the plane. It almost looks like a plastic toy flying in the air rather than an actual plane.
There are actually a couple of hilarious moments in this episode. We learn that Dean is actually scared of flying. He reveals it’s the number one reason he drives everywhere in his Impala. In one scene when he and Sam are trying to exorcise a demon, the plane starts to go down. Dean is stuck in a corner screaming his head off like an idiot as the lights flash. We get two shots of this, and it’s actually pretty funny to watch.
Towards the end of the episode, only one major thing is revealed. John (the father of the brothers) had actually prepared ahead of time for his own disappearance. On his voicemail to his old cell number, he gives out Dean’s number instead for any of his old contacts who may need help. Dean calls to confirm this for himself, and the boys listen in silence to the message. There’s also a little bonus towards the end of the episode.
In one of the final scenes for a few seconds the camera is focused on the sky. A plane flies by before panning down to focus on Dean and Sam standing by the Impala. If you pause on the scene where the plane is flying by, you’ll notice a Canadian flag symbol on the tail of the pain. Since the show Supernatural is shot in Canada and not in the United States. Some of the scenes shot in this episode were shot directly in the Brittania airport.