2.19 Folsom Prison Blues

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Promotional image for Folsom Prison Blues.
Title Folsom Prison Blues
Episode # Season 2, Episode 19
First aired April 26, 2007
Directed by Mike Rohl
Written by John Shiban
On IMDB Folsom Prison Blues
Outline Sam and Dean engineer their own arrest in order to hunt in a haunted prison.
Monster Vengeful Spirit
Timeline At least 7 days in late March - early April, 2007
Location(s) Little Rock, Arkansas
Green River County Detention Center
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Contents

Synopsis

An old marine buddy of John Winchester and current prison warden, Deacon, asks Sam and Dean for help. Not long after a disused cell block was re-opened, something supernatural started killing people in the Green River County Detention Center.

The boys get themselves arrested so as to get inside the jail, however their arrest is complicated by the arrival of FBI Special Agent Henriksen, who has continued tracking the boys since the bank heist they were involved in with in Milwaukee. The Public Defender, Mara Daniels, appointed to defend the brothers reviews their case and is immediately suspicious that they have been wrongly accused of many crimes.

Inside the prison, Dean fits right in, drawing on his extensive knowledge of prison life from movies such as The Great Escape. When a fight lands Dean in solitary, he gets to witness the supernatural killer first hand when it attacks another prisoner. Sam discovers that a notorious killer, Mark Moody, was killed in the old cell block and traces of his blood may be tying the spirit to the prison.

After winning cigarettes playing cards, Dean trades them for lighter fluid. Combined with the salt supplied with their meals they have the means to banish the spirit. Dean picks a fight with a con called Tiny, allowing Sam to slip away to the old cell block and torch a blood-soaked mattress.

Recovering from their wounds in the prison infirmary, Dean is attacked by the apparition of a nurse. He manages to ward it off with some salt, but the ghost kills Tiny. Sam and Dean finds out that the ghost belongs to Nurse Glockner, who used to kill prisoners in the infirmary, and who was later killed herself during a riot.

Dean tries to get Mara Daniels to find out where Nurse Glockner is buried, and of his innocence, but she refuses. Dean argues with Sam that they must stay in the prison until they get the information and finish the job, but Sam insists they follow through with their pre-planned escape. They start fighting and one of the guards hauls them away.

The guard turns out to be Deacon. It turns out Mara did the research as Dean requested, and Deacon hands over the information on where she is buried. As arranged, Deacon helps the boys escape to the Impala which is waiting outside the jail.

After the escape, Henricksen interrogates Deacon and finds out that Daniels passed information to the boys, which she reluctantly reveals. Meanwhile the boys are in a cemetery salting and burning Nurse Glockner’s remains. The FBI arrive, only to find they have been sent to the wrong cemetery.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s
(plays at the beginning when Dean and Sam get into prison)
  • "Rooster" by Alice in Chains
(plays at the end of the episode)

Quotes

Henricksen: You think you're funny.
Dean: I think I'm adorable.
Dean: It's like picking low-hanging fruit.

Sam: You don't even smoke.

Dean: Are you kidding me? This is the currency of the realm!
Dean: Don't worry, Sam - I promise I won't trade you for smokes.
Sam: You sure it's him?

Dean: Pretty sure.
Sam: Considering our circumstances, I'm gonna need a little bit better than "pretty sure".

Dean: Really pretty sure.
Dean: [trying to pick a fight with Tiny] I wanted to ask you, because I couldn't help but notice that you are two tons of fun, just curious: Is it like a thyroid problem or is it some deep seated self-esteem issue? 'Cuz you know - they're just donuts. Not love.
Sam: You heard in the yard?

Dean: Yeah.
Sam: Dean, does it bother you at all, how easily you seem to fit in here?

Dean: No, not really.

Trivia & References

Dean: ...and get ourselves a couple of teardrop tattoos...
In prison, teardrop tattoos signify that an individual has murdered someone, or has had someone close to them murdered. It originated with gangs in California. In this episode it could be taken as a reference to an old movie of Johnny Depp's, called Crybaby, where his character received a teardrop tattoo when he was in prison, as a representation of his attitude towards crying - he would only cry one tear when something bothered him and that was it. See also Single Perfect Tear.
When Sam questions Dean's description of the prisoners killed by the ghost as innocent victims, Dean responds, "Are you from Texas all of a sudden?" a reference to the fact that Texas has the highest rate of executions in the United States. Possibly also an allusion to the fact that both Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are from Texas.
"Folsom Prison Blues" is the name of a Johnny Cash song (See The Meaning of Episode Titles).
Obviously anticipating his belongings being confiscated in prison, Dean is not wearing his amulet or rings when arrested.
Three months pass by, after the first kill in prison, before Dean and Sam break into the museum.
When Dean stands up, hands full of cigarettes to trade them for a lighter, he shouts out, "Hey fellas, who's ready to deal?" You can see Jared grinning and mouthing the lines along with Jensen.
Ethical guidelines for attorneys would prevent Mara Daniels from revealing what Dean told her. Attorneys may reveal confidential attorney-client communications if the attorney reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm; note that the attorney may, but is not required to do so, even under those circumstances. The only crime likely to be committed in this episode was grave desecration, which does not qualify.
When the mugshots are taken, Dean's height appears to be 6'3" because he tilts his head back (in profile, he stands just over 6'2" tall), while Sam, who is slouching slightly, stands at 6'5" and the crown of his head reaches 6'6" in the profile shot. Jensen Ackles is actually 6'1" (1.83m), while Jared Padalecki is 6'4" (1.93m).
Dean: [mugging for the police photographer] I call this one my Blue Steel…Who looks better – me or Nick Nolte?
Blue Steel was the name of a modeling pose belonging to the really really ridiculously handsome Derek Zoolander in the movie Zoolander.
When Nick Nolte was arrested for drunk driving in 2002, his mug shot showed him with wild hair and wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
Lucas: You talking to me? You talking to me?

Dean: Okay another guy who’s seen Taxi Driver one too many times.

"You talking to me?" is a much quoted line from Robert De Niro’s character Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver.
Dean: I wish I had a baseball. You know, like Steve McQueen.
In The Great Escape, when sent to solitary Steve McQueen's character Hilts bounces a baseball against the wall.
Dean: That’s the Sammy I know. You’re like Clint Eastwood from Escape from Alcatraz.
Escape from Alcatraz features Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris who escapes from Alcatraz prison.
Dean: It’s a good thing I’m like James Garner from The Great Escape.
In The Great Escape, James Garner’s character Hendley is the scrounger who ingeniously gets all the items needed for the escape.
Randall: She did this Charles Bronson thing with a hypodermic.
A reference to the vigilante role of Charles Bronson in the movie Death Wish.
Sam: Thought we were screwed before?

Dean: Hell yeah, I know. We gotta go deep this time.
Sam: Deep, Dean? We should go to Yemen.
Dean: Not sure I’m ready to go that deep.

In episode 4.15 of Friends "The One With All The Rugby," Chandler pretends his company is transferring him to Yemen in order to avoid a scary ex-girlfriend.
The "Green River County Detention Center" is fictitious and probably represents a Close Security state prison.
The population of the cell block and exercise area where the Winchesters stay is predominantly white, which is odd, considering that racial segregation was banned in most United States prisons in 1968, and the 2000 U.S. Census figures stated 52.9% of the Arkansas state prison population was Caucasian, 44.5% was Black, and 7.2% was Latino.
Deacon and John were in the Marines together and served in Vietnam, although Deacon seems to know all about the world of the Supernatural too, so it stands to reason that they kept in touch. Alice in Chains "Rooster", the song played at the end of the episode, is about soldiers who served in Vietnam.
Garwin Sanford who played Deacon later appeared as another character in 6.15 The French Mistake (See Weren't you in another episode? and Weren't You On Another TV Show?).
Some of the charges laid against Dean are mail fraud, credit card fraud, grave desecration, armed robbery, kidnapping, three counts of first-degree murder, and breaking and entering.

Minutiae

Clif Kosterman who played Tiny also works as a driver/bodyguard for Jared and Jensen.
Randall appears to be reading a pulp magazine titled The Apollo Gate by Kit Marlett in his cell at the beginning of the episode.
Sam and Dean are placed in the newer B Block. Sam's cell number is B309; Dean's is B310.
Dean and Sam break into the Arkansas Museum of Anthropology. Current exhibitions include Mesoamerican Art, Pre Columbian Life, and Colima Unearthed.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion

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