|Sam & Dean are together and out on the road. Jess is dead and Sam is back in the family business.Blackwater Ridge, Colorado.
Several guys are out camping (including actor Cory Allan Monteith later to become famous as
Finn on Glee). One guy heads out to relieve himself and sees something moving in the bushes, followed by a low growl. There's a scream and then silence which brings guy #2 out of the tent where he is immediately picked off. Guy #3 sees a shadow moving outside with great speed and turns off the light inside the tent in an attempt to hide himself. But he is also attacked as whatever is stalking them enters the tent.
Palo Alto, CA.
Sam brings flowers to Jess' grave. He's crying. He wishes he had protected her and told
her the truth about his family and his history. As he goes to lay the flowers on the ground, a hand reaches up through the earth and grabs him. He snaps awake inside the Impala with Dean. Dean can see he's rattled and offers to let him drive in an attempt to make Sam feel better, which he's apparently never offered to do before.
They need to find their dad in order to get more information on the thing that killed Jessica since she died the same way their mom did. We learn that their dad left them coordinates to Blackwater Ridge, CO even though they don't know why. Dean convinces Sam that they should follow up on these coordinates. Maybe their dad is there if he left them these directions.
They drive to Colorado and pose as environmental studies majors while talking to the park ranger. The ranger says they must be with "that Haley girl" and reveals that she has been asking about her brother who is still out camping. The ranger thinks the camper hasn't been missing long enough and there's nothing to worry about. Sam & Dean get a copy of the brother's camping permit and they go to question Haley about her missing brother Tommy. Sam wants to go straight up to Blackwater Ridge, but Dean wants to question the sister first. Sam's sure Dean's looking for a hookup and Dean wonders why Sam is so gung-ho; since when does Sam want to shoot first and ask questions later? Sam says,"Since now"...since Jess died.
Haley answers the door and compliments Dean on the Impala...he heads inside after her, obviously interested, or flattered, or both. Sam asks why Haley thinks something is wrong. Why is she worried about her brother? She said he hasn't checked in by cell or satellite phone in days. Haley says it's just her and her brothers (no parents) so they keep an eye on eachother. Sam & Dean watch a cell phone video that Tommy sent and Sam notices a fast-moving shadow behind Tommy, outside the tent. Haley tells them she hired a guide and is headed out to look for Tommy in the morning herself.
Later...in a bar, Sam digs up some history that shows that every 23 years, several people disappear in the area. Sam puts Tommy's cell phone video in slow-motion and shows Dean the fast-moving shadow.
Sam finds out there was one survivor of one of the attacks in the 50's. Now an old man, they go to interview him. Though officially chalked up to a "bear attack", they question the survivor who tells Sam and Dean that they wouldn't believe his story. He tells him the thing that attacked him moved too fast to see, but he heard it growl; unlike anything he had ever heard before. He tells them it unlocked the door and got inside the cabin. No way it could have been a bear. It dragged his parents out into the woods, but left him alive for no apparent reason. He shows them the giant scar it left on him made by huge claw marks. He thinks it must have been a demon.
Dean's sure it's not a demon; a demon wouldn't have to unlock a door to get in.
Dean tells Sam they have to go with Haley to make sure she's okay while she goes searching for Tommy. Sam wants to go find their dad instead of "babysiting" Haley. There's a moment of brotherly angst.
Sam & Dean show up to join Haley and her younger brother Ben, along with the guide that Haley hired (named Roy). Sam and Dean try to pass themselves off as rangers, but Haley comments on the fact that Dean isn't really dressed for a hike in biker boots and jeans. He tells her he doesn't "do" shorts.
Dean and Roy the guide start to have a bit of a pissing contest. Roy disables a bear trap right before Dean steps in it, demonstrating that he's the only one who knows what he's doing out there in the woods.
Haley stops Dean and asks who they really are. He tells her they are brothers, looking for their father. She accepts his honest answer. She chides him for not packing any provisions. He pulls out a bag of M & M's and tells her he did.
The group reaches Blackwater Ridge and realizes it's silent; not even any insect noise. They find the abandoned campsite and shredded tents. Dean finds drag marks where the bodies were dragged from the campsite and then seem to just disappear. Haley is in tears holding her brother's smashed cell phone. Dean tries to console her; telling her that Tommy might still be alive. They hear cries of agony from the woods, but when they go to find the source, they find nothing. Sam makes everyone head back to the camp where they realize their packs are gone. Sam thinks whatever it was wanted to draw them out to steal their phones and everything else they brought.
Sam asks Dean to step aside with him. They go off and open their dad's journal.
Sam is sure they are dealing with a Wendigo. Dean says he's never heard of any that far West...they are in Minnesota and Northern Michigan typically.
Sam goes back to camp and tells everyone things have gotten a bit more complicated; they have to leave now. Roy the guide says he's not leaving, he can take on anything. He and Sam nearly get into a shoving match. Haley says she's not leaving while her brother Tommy is still out there.
Since it will be night soon, Dean says they have to settle in and protect themselves since Wendigos are even better hunters at night than they are in the day.
Dean starts scratching out Anasazi symbols in the ground; saying a Wendigo can't cross over them. Roy thinks they are nuts.
Dean and Sam sit off to the side near the fire. Dean asks Sam how he is; that he can tell that Sam is a powder keg about to go off and that's usually Dean's role. Sam realizes their dad isn't here on Blackwater Ridge and he wants to leave this hunt and go find him. He asks Dean why they are still there. Dean holds out their dad's journal and says this is why they are still there.
Dean says their dad wants them to pick up where he left off...saving people, hunting things, the family business.
Sam wonders why their dad hasn't called. Dean doesn't know, but he wants to do this job that their dad has left for them. Sam is more interested in finding their dad and whatever killed Jessica. He's obsessed with it. Dean says it might take awhile and Sam's anger is going to kill him if he lets it eat away at him over the long haul. Sam asks how Dean and their dad have been able to keep up the hunting. How have then been able to do this job? Dean says it's for them (and gestures to Haley and her brother over by the campfire)....the people who need their help. Dean figures their own Winchester family is so screwed up, they ought to help other families. And the other thing that keeps him going, Dean says, is getting to kill as many evil sons of b i t c h e s as he can.
They suddenly hear a cry for help in the dark woods. Dean says it's the creature trying to draw them out, they should stay put. Roy mocks him, points his rifle into the woods, and fires at something incredibly fast-moving. Roy thinks he hit it and heads out after it. Roy is picked up by the neck and lifted up into the tree by something with long, bony fingers.
Next day...Sam sits alone holding their dad's journal. Haley is starting to accept that this could be a monster they are dealing with and wonders how Dean knows about this sort of thing. He says it runs in the family.
Sam has decided he's in; he wants to kill it. He want to see this job through. They tell Haley that a Wendigo was once a man; a Native American or a settler who was forced to become a cannibal out of desperation for food. Over time this turns them into something that's not quite human. Dean tells Haley that a Wedigo stores food to keep them alive when they need it. They cannot be killed with guns or knives. Only fire will kill them. But first they have to find it.
Sam tries to track the Wendigo by following claw marks on the tree trunks, but then realizes it's almost like it's too easy to follow these tracks. Haley feels blood dripping on her from above and Roy's lifeless body falls from the tree. Sam, Dean, Haley, and her younger brother Ben all run as fast as possible. Sam stops to help Ben who has fallen. By the time they catch up, Haley and Dean have disappeared.
Ben finds Dean's M&M's on the ground and they start following the M&M trail until they come to the entrance to an old mine. They go in. They try to be as quiet as possible, but they both fall through the floor into a chamber littered with bones and they see Dean and Haley hanging by their bound hands. Sam cuts Dean down. He and Haley both seem to be in pain. Haley sees her brother Tommy hanging by his hands, barely alive. They cut him down too.
Dean finds some flare guns (how convenient!; they must have come from the camper's packs that the Wendigo stole). Dean tells Sam to get Haley, Ben, and Tommy out while Dean tries to draw the Wendigo to him as a decoy saying, "You want some white meat, b i t c h ???!!!! I'm right here!" Sam is left with Haley's family and they hear growling. Sam tells them to go on ahead while he stays behind. Sam presses himself against the wall of the old mine, barely breathing, trying not to make a sound. Sam slowly turns his head to see a hairless monster that is about a foot from his face and is screaming at him. Sam starts to run towards the family and they run together until they reach a dead end. Sam makes them all stand behind him as the Wendigo closes in.
While the Wendigo's attention is focused on Sam and Haley and her family, Dean sneaks up behind it and shoots it with a flare gun. The Wendigo howls and erupts in flames. "Not bad, huh?" says Dean.
Back at the ranger station, The family is getting into an ambulance. Haley tells Dean she doesn't know how to thank him, then kisses Dean on the cheek. Dean gazes after her as they close the ambulance doors.
Dean says, "man I hate camping". Sam agrees. Dean reassures Sam that they'll find Dad. Sam says, in the meantime, he's driving. Dean tosses him the keys. They hit the road.