Supernatural

Season 6 Episode 18

Frontierland

6
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Apr 22, 2011 on The CW
AIRED:
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
464 votes
19

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

Dean discovers that Samuel Colt may have what they need to defeat Eve. Since Colt lived in the 19th century, the brothers ask Castiel to send them back in time to learn what they need.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Posse magnet lol

    8.0
    Made me actually lol.



    In the interest of plot development -a better way of getting Phoenix ashes could have been conceived but the numerous awesome jokes and seeing Sam Colt was more than worth it; making this one of my favorite episodes.
  • Deans a Cowboy

    8.5
    It was picture perfect, Dean acting like a cowboy was the best part of the entire episode, that and the fact that Dean made them wear western clothing that wasn't actually western clothing. Samuel Colt was an interesting twist, but I felt as if they could have done him some more justice then just a little bit of lines for a character that has been sort of present throughout the show.moreless
  • Sam and Dean start looking for Samuel Colt in 1861.

    7.8
    For a show as ambitious as Supernatural, I really was expecting more out of this episode. I'm a big fan of westerns, whether it's on TV or a movie, so I thought maybe the crew would be able to assemble an interesting episode. However, surprisingly, the episode sticks to simplistic stuff and, despite moving the story forward a bit, is ultimately lackluster.



    There are some good moments though. The show still has that sense of humor it's always had. The line where Dean claims he's a "posse magnet" may be the closest the show comes to straight-up inappropriateness. Also, I thought the actual premise of the episode was pretty cool too. It goes as follows: Sam, Dean and Bobby find a journal by Samuel Colt while looking for info. on how to beat the Mother of All.. and they find in the journal that a phoenix is capable of defeating something called "the mother." Personally, I think it's a bit easy, a little too easy, and I hope that this turns out to be a fluke.. but either way, this gives Sam and Dean the idea to go back in time and find Samuel Colt, find the phoenix, kill it and bring back its ashes. Instead of using a Delorean, the brothers use Castiel to send them back.



    Once the guys get back in time, decked out in the lamest Western attire of all time, the episode splits into two sections: they look for Samuel Colt and the phoenix while Castiel deals with a lieutenant of his who is questioning his methods in the war in Heaven against Raphael. Now, this little subplot with Castiel has been going on all season, in the background for the entire time. And it seems like the writers are trying to indicate its importance. However, unless this comes to have gigantic implications for everything else, it'll feel like a completely random plot that hasn't had a chance to be fleshed out.



    Overall, the episode isn't horrible. But it's completely over-rated here. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's anywhere near the best in Season 6. There's just not enough focus on any actual drama in the past.. the only drama for me came when Castiel had to take some of Bobby's soul-force. Everything in the past felt obvious, and I sort of assumed that certain things would happen. I did like the "Back to the Future 2" callback when the guy shows up in the present with the phoenix ashes.. but for me, it wasn't enough to salvage the episode completely.moreless
  • Back to the past

    7.0
    Another episode, another twist on the typical formula. This time it's a Western riff, and considering the obvious parallels, it works well enough. It takes what is a relatively minor plot element and makes a full episode out of it, without losing the sense of fun that "Winchesters in the West" must inevitably tap.



    Dean's excitement over the prospect of going back into the mythic Old West is so great that it cannot possibly go well. And sure enough, there are plenty of moments where reality doesn't quite match legend, as one would expect. Just the various jokes about wardrobe choices alone were worth it. (Though, to be fair, Dean had some funny notions about Western gear. And I say that as someone with very little patience for Westerns!)



    Of course, one could quibble, because the show left itself wide open for it. Any show that is going to make a joke out of Dean's erroneous notions about the Old West, particularly the details of clothing and everyday life, is going to have to be pretty down and dirty with the authenticity to maintain credibility of premise. Unfortunately, "Supernatural" doesn't have the budget of, say, "Deadwood", so the point was a bit lost. (And wouldn't a Western fan like Dean have taken advantage of hotel HBO to see "Deadwood" over the years?)



    Things get a lot better once the hunt for the phoenix begins in earnest, and Dean gets to play sheriff. The jokes are still there, but the show isn't strained beyond its means to make them work. I love the fact that Dean was able to pull off the "High Noon" moment, but didn't quite come out the hero, having lost the mission. The obvious fix was obvious (think "Back to the Future: Part II"), but considering how many films were referenced over the course of the episode, it was just a matter of time.



    What I liked was the bait-and-switch aspect of the plot. All of the focus was on Dean defeating the phoenix, getting the ashes, and winning the day. Instead, it really all came down to Sam making the right impression on Samuel Colt. It's not an obvious turn of events; Colt's world-weary attitude could have easily led him to ignore Sam entirely.



    Still, if there was one element that made the episode really work, it was the background on Castiel's war with Raphael. As hinted here and there over the course of the season, and especially in the previous episode, Castiel is using methods that the Winchesters probably wouldn't like to fight his war. As hard as they might be to believe, it bears noting that Castiel was technically a fallen angel for a while, and that the angels as a whole have shown a remarkable tendency to cold, calculated tactics.



    Assuming all of these various plot threads ultimately connect in some way, the insinuations are not pretty. Could Castiel have been more involved in the events of the sixth season than he has admitted? Could he have conspired to unleash the Mother of All in the hopes of driving her against Raphael from a staging ground in Purgatory?



    This reminds me that I suspected Castiel earlier in the season, but accepted Crowley as the villain. Could it be that the writers simply pulled some masterful misdirection? It wouldn't be the first time, and considering how good this season has been thus far, such a solution would put a lot of the seeming plot holes in perspective and make for a very interesting finale!moreless
  • Butch Dean and the Sundance Sam

    7.5
    Frontierland-Dean discovers that Samuel Colt may have what they need to defeat Eve. Since Colt lived in the 19th century, the brothers ask Castiel to send them back in time to learn what they need. Predictable Clint Eastwood references aside, "Frontierland" is surprisingly still entertaining. Watching Dean and Sam take trip to the Old West could have been extremely cheesy (and some parts regrettably were) but for the most part, it was a fun ride. The Old West setting seems authentic enough and I loved Dean using every chance he got to use some Old West logo, yet most of the time, no one uderstood what he was saying. Also, watching Sam attempt to ride a horse was priceless. The Phoenix demon was pretty cool and the SFX of him burning people into ash was impressive. The showdown between Dean and the Phoenix (while once again a cheesy cliche) still had some great special effects. My only beef with the story is that we finally get to meet the legendary Smauel Colt, the guy who made the infamous gun in the first place and the character felt underused and underwritten. Sure, he's an old man at this point and is retiring, but considering the writers boosted him so much in the past, the character himself seemed anti-climatic. It just seemed like a weaker part of the story, not to mention a way to keep Sam and Dean seperated to build tension. Also, it doesn't make sense, if Samuel is able to believe Sam is from the future, why wouldn't he trust him to use to Colt and lie to him? He's a hunter and obviously knows a lot (maybe even more than Samuel does) yet he's not willing to give him the Colt when it's important to save lives? Sure he comes through in the end but it all seemed like unnecessary tension. Despite that, I did love the Back To The Future Part II(ish) ending with Samuel sending Sam the ashes 150 years later by leaving him a package in the mail. But I have to admit, Castiel and Bobby get the most interesting aspect of the episode. Castiel killing his lieutent was unexpected, especially consdering Castiel has some kind of secret. It's intriguing but also shocking considering Cas is hiding something from the brothers, which will undoubtablly cause a rift between them. But we also get a hilarious scene where Cas tells Bobby he needs to touch his soul to have enough power to retrieve Dean and Sam from the past. Just Cas' delievery of "I need to touch it" has me bursting out laughing. So now the boys have the ashes and the battle is on to kill Big Momma! "Frontierland" has some cheesy old west cliches, both some exciting new developments and nice special effects make it very entertaining.moreless
Matthew John Armstrong

Matthew John Armstrong

Elias Finch

Guest Star

Scott Hylands

Scott Hylands

Judge Tye Mortimer

Guest Star

Dean Wray

Dean Wray

Sheriff

Guest Star

Jim Beaver

Jim Beaver

Bobby Singer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Bobby: Either of you jokers ever heard anything about a Phoenix?
      Dean: River, Joaquin, or the giant flaming bird?

    • Dean: We'll Star Trek 4 this bitch.
      Bobby: I only watch Deep Space Nine.
      Dean: It's like I don't even know you guys anymore. Star Trek 4. Save the whales. (Bobby and Sam stare blankly)

    • Castiel: You only have 24 hours.
      Sam: What? Why?
      Castiel: Well, the answer to your question can best be expressed as a series of partial differential equations...
      Bobby: Aim lower.

    • Sam: Look, just because you're obsessed with all that Wild West stuff...
      Dean: No I'm not.
      Sam: You have a fetish.
      Dean: Shut up. I like old movies.
      Sam: You can recite every Clint Eastwood movie ever made, line-for-line.
      Bobby: Even the monkey movies?
      Sam: Yeah. Especially the monkey movies.
      Dean: His name is Clyde.

    • Bobby: You goin' to a hoedown?
      Castiel: Now is it, is it customary to wear a blanket?
      Dean: It's a serape. And yes, it's... never mind, let's just go.

    • Dean: Hey, we should try the saloon first. See what we get from the locals.
      Sam: Sure.
      Dean: Think we'll have time to hit on the saloon girls? (Sam glares) Kidding. Come on.

    • Sheriff: So what can I do for your boys?
      Sam: Uh we're looking for a man.
      Judge Mortimer: I'll bet. Nice shirt there.
      Dean: What's wrong with my shirt?
      Judge Mortimer: You're very clean.
      Dean: It's dirtier than it looks.

    • Elkins: What'll you have?
      Dean: Well, okay, great. I'll have your top-shelf whiskey.
      Elkins: Only have the one shelf.

    • Dean: Maybe you got to go find him and make history. I'll stay here, hook up with the posse. Because you know me. I'm the posse magnet. I mean, I love posse. Make that into a t-shirt.
      Sam: You done?

    • Samuel Colt: All right. All right
      Sam: That's.. that's it?
      Samuel Colt: Well, when you've done this job as long as I have, a giant from the future with some magic brick doesn't exactly give you the vapors.

    • Dean: You know what this means?
      Bobby: Yeah, I didn't get a soulenscopy for nothing.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Title:
      This is a reference to an area within Disneyland which opened with the park in 1955 and is themed after the Old West.

    • Dean: C'mon, Cas, I Dream of Jeannie your ass down here pronto.
      Referencing the 1965-1970 CBS sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, featuring Barbara Eden in the title role as Jeannie the Genie, who ended up with astronaut Tony Nelson as her "master."

    • Dean: So we get stuck with Miss Moneypenny.
      Referencing the James Bond films and Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) the secretary to Bond's boss, M. She and Bond maintain a flirtatious relationship throughout much of the movie series, particularly the Sean Connery films.

    • Dean: And look like a spaceman?
      Referencing Back to the Future (1985), when Marty McFly goes back to the 1950s using a DeLorean modified by his friend, scientist Doc Brown. In the third movie in the series, Back to the Future III, Marty and Doc Brown go back to the Wild West. The scene at the end of the episode, with a deliveryman arriving with a letter from 1861 that has been "waiting" for Sam and Dean to reach the appropriate time, parallels a scene at the end of Back to the Future II (1989). Also, like Dean in this episode, Marty chose the alias Clint Eastwood in his trip to the Wild West.

    • Bobby: Even the monkey movies?
      Referencing the only two comedies starring Clint Eastwood, Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and its sequel, Any Which Way You Can. In them, Eastwood plays Philo Beddoe, a trucker and bare-knuckler brawler with a heart of gold, who is accompanied by Clyde, his pet orangutan. Clyde is played by different "stars" in each movie.

    • Dean: Marshal Eastwood. Clint Eastwood.
      Referencing Clint Eastwood, the movie star who played gunfighters in a number of Western movies, predominantly the "spaghetti westerns" of the 1960s. Since then he has moved on to portray vigilante-cop Dirty Harry Callahan, and currently has a distinguished movie career as a director and star. His only regular TV role as a cowboy was as Rowdy Yates on Rawhide.

    • Dean: This here's Walker. He's a Texas Ranger.
      Referencing Walker, Texas Ranger, a popular CBS TV series that ran nine seasons on CBS. Chuck Norris plays Cordell Walker, a high-kicking martial arts expert and modern-day Texas Ranger.

    • Dean: Candygram for Mongo.
      Referencing the 1974 movie Blazing Saddles. Mongo (played by Alex Karras) is a huge cowboy, seemingly undefeatable and unstoppable, who is only defeated when Sheriff Bart poses as a candygram delivery man and gives Mongo an exploding candygram.

    • Bobby: Well, we can't just strand those idjits in Deadwood, can we?
      Referencing Deadwood, an award-winning HBO series set in the morally bankrupt illegal town of Deadwood, South Dakota.

    • Dean: Yippee-ki-ya, mother...
      Referencing the Die Hard franchise starting with the first movie in 1988, starring Bruce Willis as NY police detective John McClane who is usually in the wrong place at the wrong time when criminals cook up some major operation. In the original and three sequels as of this episode's premiere, McClane always says "Yippee-ki-yay" when taking out a bad guy or otherwise triumphing.

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