Old-school tracks were the name of the game more often than not these past few weeks. Whether your definition of “old-school” translates to proper Mad Men-era tunes heard on the AMC hit, Scandal, and Supernatural, or ’80s classics as seen on Happy Endings and One Tree Hill, this week’s Jukebox offers up a retro rave fit for anybody. Of course there were plenty of contemporary jams, too: MCs from London and the Bronx on Breakout Kings, CSI: NY, and 90210, TV darlings Sleigh Bells on The Vampire Diaries, and Portland indie rockers Novosti on Missing, plus “show tunes” from GCB and Gossip Girl. Check out our picks below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
SUPERNATURAL (The CW)
The song: The Yardbirds, “Turn into Earth”
The episode: “The Born-Again Identity” (720)
The hook: The jangling, thumping background of “Turn into Earth” was like a marching song for Castiel (Misha Collins) – the angel who was brought back from the dead in Supernatural’s March 23 ep – as he charged on a mental hospital where Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) was being held. In doing so, Castiel unleashed on a crowd of guard demons, causing dramatic beams of light to shoot from their heads. As the light flooded out, Castiel’s erased memories flooded back in. Unfortunately, Castiel’s complicated history with the Winchester brothers meant that those memories ran the gamut – the good, bad, and murderous. The flashes of light on screen stood in contrast to the 1966 blueser’s moody lyrics “I feel my mind turning away to the darkness,” which was exactly what Castiel was doing as he was reminded of his dark past.
Watch it! Castiel takes a harrowing trip down Memory Lane starting at 34:25 on Supernatural’s Hulu. EW’s own Super-fan Sandra Gonzalez set up the stakes of Castiel’s twisty return a couple weeks ago, and posted her reaction to the ep right after it aired.
The song: Sam Cooke, “Nothing Can Change This Love”
The episode: “Sweet Baby” (101)
The hook: For the better part of Scandal’s series premiere, political fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was tough as nails. Then, to the tune of Cooke’s velvety 1962 piano tinkler, she fell apart. It was beautiful – and necessary. The hyper-romantic song was a smartly textured choice for a scene that saw Olivia’s colleague Finch (Henry Ian Cusick) finally propose to his girlfriend while Olivia broke down a room away. She had just discovered that her ex (and the love of her life) had lied to and betrayed her. Did I mention that he is also now the President of the United States, and his duplicity nearly cost a woman her life? With its winner-take-all stakes and on-point musical choices, Shonda Rhimes’ newest offering proved as strong as Olivia – who, by episode’s end, pulled herself back together and threatened to take POTUS down if he ever lied to her again. Nothing can change this love, but it would seem nothing will stop Olivia Pope either.
Watch it! See the softer side of Olivia at 38:24 on Scandal’s Hulu. Then see what Washington told Mandi Bierly about the premiere’s heartbreaking twist.
MAD MEN (AMC)
The song: Dusty Springfield, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”
The episode: “A Little Kiss, Part 2” (502)
The hook: The long-awaited fifth season of Mad Men swept in on the tides of change as African-Americans picketed for dignity and jobs at the beginning of the second half of March 25’s double-stuffed premiere. By the end of “Part 2,” a slew of African-American applicants had made their way inside the reception area of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce no thanks to a prank ad the boys placed in the New York Times. The joke was on them when turning away dozens of willing-and-able applicants would most certainly incite a picket… or worse. It was no coincidence that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) was suffering his own private tension with his volatile wife Megan (Jessica Paré) in the preceding scene. Playing Men out, the British chanteuse’s sweeping and mournful 1966 ode (“it wasn’t me who changed but you”) tied together the show’s shifting landscape beautifully.
Watch it! A change is gonna come – whether Roger Sterling (John Slattery) wants it or not – at 1:34:30 on AMC’s official Mad Men page. You can catch up on both hours of the season premiere with Jeff Jensen’s recap.
NEXT: U2 sends off One Tree Hill, Madonna provides a Happy ending, and GCB puts the “fun” in fundraising