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Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Dead in the Water” | Aired Sept 27, 2005

“The Story So Far” Rating: Skippable but sweet. Bonus points for Amy Acker.

Welcome to Lake Manitoc, Wisconsin, where the air is fresh and the water wants to kill you.

Somehow, you just know in the first minutes that something’s going to go horribly wrong. Meet the Carltons: Dad Bill, brother Will, and daughter Sophie, who live in a rustic lake cabin. Cue the familial banter before the pretty blonde goes out for a swim.

lakeYep. She bites it. She’s swimming along and then, out of nowhere, something grabs her and under she goes. Bye-bye!

Looks like the boys have a case. Three people have gone into the water like Sophie and haven’t come out. No bodies. Just … gone. Which means that after a small “When are we gonna find Dad?/Dude, we will” brother spat, we’re off Wisconsin.

devinsThe boys introduce themselves as Agent Ford and Agent Hamill (Dean’s Ford, how fitting) of the U.S. Wildlife Service. They take a quick stop at the family’s house before they head out to talk to Sheriff Jake Devins (Daniel Hugh Kelly).

The big takeaway here: Whatever’s going on, it won’t be happening much longer. A crumbling dam is going to be demolished, which will put an end to the lake.

spnThis is also where we introduce the sheriff’s daughter, Andrea Barr (Amy Acker), and her son, Lucas (Nico McEown).

We also get to see Dean try to throw out a pickup line and whiff in a major way as they head for the motel. Incidentally, the motel room is pretty tame, and I’m remembering that the last ones have been as well. I’ll have to keep an eye out for when the motel rooms started to get to be a thing.

Research time!

Whatever has been killing people in this lake has been doing it for roughly 35 years. It’s been sporadic, and there have been very few witnesses, but one recent witness stands out. Lucas Barr. Lucas was out on the lake with his father when his father went missing in the lake. Whatever this thing is, Lucas saw it.

drawing an armyThe problem is that Lucas isn’t talking about it—he hasn’t spoken a word since that day. He just draws and plays with his army men. Which means Sam and Dean need to find a way to get him to open up about it without completely freaking him out.

houseKudos to the writers here. While Sam is known as the sensitive one, it’s Dean who bonds with Lucas because he lost someone the same way Lucas did, and he knows how to connect with him. Lucas doesn’t speak, but he does give Dean a clue in the form of a picture.

Back at the Carlton house, things are really not good. I mean, the dad’s practically catatonic, and now they’re having plumbing problems right when son sinkWill is trying to make dinner. We’re talking serious plumbing problems. “Sink suddenly filling with black water to the brim” kind of problems. Will, being none to bright, sticks his arm in the sink to investigate.

Guess how that works out?

On the plus side, the fact that Will drowned in the kitchen sink leads the boys to figure out that whatever’s killing people isn’t in the water, but it controls the water. Specifically, water from the lake. Because we know the lake will be drained in a few months, the lake is upping the body count. They also realize that the house Lucas drew for Dean was the Carlton house and that he’s somehow connected too.

bikeLike, connected. He know something. He’s drawing more than just random images. Red bicycles are prominent, and a house with a boy and a bike next to it.

peterEureka—we get much-needed intel. That little boy in the picture is Peter Sweeney. He went missing 35 years ago.

He was also friends with Bill (then Billy) Carlton in 1970.

Peter went missing. Bill was friends with him. What if Bill killed Peter? We’d have one heck of a vengeful spirit on our hands, who wanted to take everything from Bill until Bill can’t take any more and, I dunno, sacrifices himself to the lake?

billyFor the record, I tried to get the screenshot of the boat being blown out of the water when Peter kills Bill, but I’m just not that fast. Still, it’s a great shot. ‘Splodey boat—bye, Bill!

Of course, the sheriff isn’t too thrilled with the idea that the boys saw his friend die, aren’t telling him squat, and are faking being public officials (he checked), so he wants them out of town pronto. Which times out well, since the case is solved, right? After all, Bill killed Peter and now Bill is dead.

lucasSo why does Lucas look so petrified when we see him at the sheriff’s station and his mom goes to take him home?

Whatever it is, it’s causing Dean some worry as well. Enough that, instead of leaving town, he heads for Lucas’ house with Sam teasingly asking him, “Who are you and what have you done with my brother?” It’s not like they have anything to worry about, right? Things look calm at Lucas and Andrea’s house. bathHeck, Andrea has even settled in for a bath.

Don’t worry. The Winchesters save her. We can’t let Amy Acker die. She’s too awesome. Plus, we don’t need her to die to make the plot connection here. Bill Carlton wasn’t the only connection to Peter Sweeney. It turns out that Peter knew the sheriff back in the day when he was just 12-year-old Jake. It’s that moment that Lucas walks outside and heads to a very specific patch of ground.

peter's bikeHey, look! Peter’s bike!

Hey, look! The sheriff. With a gun! And Andrea not far behind! And the truth, better late than never!

Billy and Jake were at the lake and, while they always bullied Peter, this time it got rough and they went too far. Peter drowned. But Sam and Dean can’t even salt and burn the body to get rid of the spirit because they let it sink. Into the lake.

pretty waterHas anyone seen Lucas?

Oh, he’s going swimming with Peter. NBD.

peter swimmingSam dives in. Dean dives in. Andrea tries, but they tell her to stay out because Peter wants Carlton blood. But they can’t find Lucas.

 

 

sacrificePeter wants Carlton blood. Jake understands this, and into the water he goes to have a play date with Peter.

 

 

Peter is appeased, and Lucas is saved.

 

 

lucas and dean waterIn the end, it’ll take time to heal, but it’s a happier ending than it would have been had the boys not dropped into town.

kiss

 

 

Dean gets a thank-you.

 

 

And the boys hit the road until next week.

later

 

Until next time, crank up the tunes and drive safe.

Winchester Authority impersonation count: federal marshal, park ranger, U.S. Wildlife Service.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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