I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about as much of it as I can along the way. There will be spoilers.
Season 4, episode 5: It’s Halloween time and the Winchesters face-off against a shapeshifter with a penchant for impersonating classic movie monsters like Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Mummy.
This one was a rewatch! I adore Supernatural, and this episode from season 4 with its classic monster movie storyline, shot entirely in black and white stands out in my mind. It’s pretty stereotypical Supernatural fare with Dean hitting on women, Sam complaining about it and a mistaken enemy. I remember liking Ed too, I just didn’t realize that Ed Brewer was Michael Eklund. This is an interesting episode since up until this point I’ve been reviewing shows where he plays strong characters, resolute in their goals, whether that’s getting the girl, achieving motion in pictures or taking control of the local drug game.
Ed Brewer is none of those things, hell he doesn’t even have a goatee! He’s nervous (and overcompensating because of it), twitchy, dorky sounding Ed who drinks huge steins of beer and plays a pipe organ in his underwear… well, it’s a Casio keyboard built into a pipe organ… he plays in his underwear.
He’s having none of that fake bravado nonsense when Sam tries to pull his ear off thinking he’s a shapeshifter and Michael does a great job acting terrified.
Thanks to his display at the Oktoberfest the Winchesters don’t even take him seriously at first because, let’s be honest, would you? Part of the character is the fact that he’s become the town joke and that Sheriff doesn’t take him serious when he says he saw a movie-style Bella Lugosi type Dracula kill a girl.
Sam: Can you describe her assailant?
Ed Brewer: Oh, he was a vampire.
Dean: Okay, right. And by that you mean…
Ed: A vampire.
Dean: So…he looked like–
Ed: He looked like a vampire. You know with the fangs and the slicked back hair and the fancy cape and the little medallion thing on the ribbon.
Dean: You mean like a Dracula?
As I’ll review in a later blog post, this character shares a lot of the same characteristics as a character Eklund played on the very Canadian show Intelligence from 2006 named Rene Desjardins. A guy serving both the government and organized crime by providing information with no real allegiance on other side. Sneaky af.
Looking at common traits, one thing I’ve noticed as a common trait of all of Michael’s characters is his use of his hands. Four projects in and I don’t think it’s just me focusing in on it. He tends to use his hands as part of his characters more than other actors do with exaggerated, but deliberate and almost delicate movements. Nothing shows that more than this little display:
For funsies, try watching the clip below of Ed talking to Sam and Dean without any sound. Who needs sound when you can talk with your hands and your eyes? Ed is a very expressive guy, maybe it’s because he’s had a few giant steins of beer or he’s nervous and doing that helps.
For a role that lasts all of maybe ten minutes, Eklund does a great job of making his mark on the Supernatural world. Unlike a lot of the guest stars on the show, Ed is still alive, so maybe (just maybe) he’ll come back. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in colour either.