dean bw

Blocking in SPN 11.13: "Love Hurts"

AKA: Art in Motion

It's no secret that one of my favorite scenes from SPN's fabulous season 11 is the first interview in "Love Hurts". On the surface it's an odd choice, I know: Sam and Dean are in strict interrogation mode, the civilians are merely earnest with no real distinguishing features, and the setting is pretty much catalog-boring. So why do I hold it in such high esteem? Why this scene, and not one of the other dozen+ interviews they've done this season?

Simple: Because the blocking is absolutely perfect and serves as a textbook example for why I sometimes want to shove SPN in peoples' faces and say soppy things like "isn't this the best show ever?!" Let's break it down a bit.



The scene opens on the cleaning crew, with the husband standing in the doorway, watching them, his back to his wife and Sam and Dean. He spends most of the scene like this, showing his disconnect from his wife and his longing for the dead babysitter.


The wife, on the other hand, keeps turning to look back toward her husband--trying and failing to bridge the divide between them.


Sam and Dean, on the third hand, stand more or less side-by-side, facing in the same direction and clearly functioning as a team. (Although, tiny detail: Sam's coat is closed while Dean's is open--and Dean is the one with the emotional vulnerability this episode.)


This shot emphasizes the distance between the husband and everyone else in the room.


The only time he comes into the room (barely) is to say about the babysitter, "Anyone who met her fell in love with her." He turns around again after denying knowledge of her love-life.


Throughout, the wife is visually adrift in the room and isolated.


And I don't really have a good screen cap of it, but when Sam and Dean leave, they have to almost awkwardly go around the husband to get through the door--just as he's making their job more difficult by concealing evidence that would help them with the case.

To sum up: Even if you threw out the dialog, you could still get nearly everything that really matters just through the blocking of the scene. And I think that's pretty impressive. (Especially if you imagine the effect if they're just all been sitting on sofas across from each other. Or stationed around a table.)

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