“Hook Man” is one of the nice and tidy Monster-of-the-Week (MOTW) episodes which were common in the early seasons of Supernatural. It was moody, had some decent scares, and played out like late-1990s, early 2000s horror movies like Urban Legend.
Supernatural MOTW episodes typically featured a character note for one of the two brothers. In “Dead in the Water”, we learned about Dean’s rapport with children. In “Hook Man”, Sam strikes a chord with the witness-of-the-week, Lori. Lori was with her boyfriend when he was killed in a manner consistent with the Hook Man legend. Sam, son of a demon-hunting fanatic, just recently witnessed his girlfriend’s murder by a demon. Lori makes a move on Sam, but he resists, saying it’s too soon after Jess.
Dean teases Sam about his rapport with Lori. It’s partly his way of encouraging Sam to get over Jess, but it’s bigger than that. The difference between the two brothers would not be fully realized until Season 4, when we learn about Mary’s deal with the demon.
Sam sees himself as the victim of a supernatural crime that’s interrupted the new life he made for himself. Dean has long accepted that his life was defined by supernatural interference. He’s devoted his life to helping his father hunt down the demon who killed Mary, and to stop other supernatural interference along the way.
Looking back, a big part of Sam’s seasons-long story arc is about how he comes to grips with the fact that he’s not the victim of the supernatural, but a product of it.
- Episode 1.01 “Pilot”
- Episode 1.06: “Skin”
- Episode 1.03 “Dead in the Water”
- Episode 1.07 “Hook Man”
- Episode 1.04 “Phantom Traveler”
- Episode 1.05 “Bloody Mary”
- Episode 1.02 “Wendigo”