|Recap added by journalbookbinder
Written by Robbie Thompson, this might be one of the best episodes of Supernatural's entire 11 seasons (so far). Filmed entirely from the perspective of the Impala (if it happened out of view of the Impala, we don't see it); it's phenomenal. The camera rigging used on the car alone is a thing to behold. I'll have to find a picture to include here. Great storytelling. Creative, funny, compelling, Supernatural at its best.
The episodes starts with Chuck's monologue about the Impala from the season 5 finale, followed by a bunch of gorgeous images of the car.
View from inside the car looking out....panning around the interior; we see the green plastic Army men in the ashtray, the Legos in the vents, Sam and Dean's initials carved into the door panel...but those initials are sprayed with blood and broken glass. The back window is broken out. There is blood everywhere and Dean is passed out, handcuffed, on the back seat.
48 hours earlier...
Baby's getting washed by Dean. We see this from inside and hear Sam enter the room and ask Dean what's with the shorts (which we, unfortunately, never see). Dean tells him it's a "free bunker"; he can wear what he wants. He asks Sam if he found anything; nope; nothing on the Darkness or Metatron. Sam grabs a sponge and starts soaping up the car too. (Love these shots of them washing the car.)
Since they have nothing in their research at the bunker, they head out on a case Sam found.
In the car, on the way, Sam tells Dean that a local sheriff's deputy's body was found mauled in
the woods. Maybe a werewolf. They're going to Oregon. Sam reaches back and pops open the vintage Coleman cooler on the back seat (the green metal one they've had since the beginning) and pulls out some kind of health smoothie. Dean asks what it is. He wants to know where the beer is. Sam says the beer is under the smoothies. Dean wants to know where the rest of the beer is, but he is interrupted by Cas calling.
Cas, needing more time to heal, stayed behind at the bunker.
Cas has been trying to help them with their cases; unsolicited. Sam and Dean tell him just to relax and heal. Read a book & watch some Netflix. Cas asks, "What's a 'Netflix'?" Sam tells him to go to his room, turn on the TV, and he'll figure it out.
As ends the call by telling them to call him if they need anything.
Sam's worried about Cas, but Dean says he'll be okay given a little time...they all need a little time.
Later...they pull up in front of a bar. Sam wants them to stop somewhere better than a Roadhouse. Dean can't believe Sam doesn't remember this place. Or Heather the hunter who Dean apparently liked...Sam asks if Heather is here, at this Roadhouse. Dean says no, she's working another case; no, that's a lie; the truth is she never texted him back when he tried to contact her, but the point is they have a lot of driving ahead of them and an iffy case waiting for them when they get there, but Dean is sure there are guaranteed good times inside this roadhouse. Sam isn't so sure. He tells Dean to go on in and knock himself out, but he (Sam) is going to find a diner and dig into researching the lore on this case instead. Dean's disappointed. He tells Sam he's pathetic and doesn't know how to have fun.
They both get out of the car.
Time passes...the sun comes up. From inside the car we see Dean trudge back out of the bar as they turn the lights off. He sits down heavily in the driver's seat and hears Sam groan in the back seat. Dean talks to Sam; admits that mistakes were made (in the bar the night before). He leans back and closes his eyes to get some sleep.
A woman sits up from the back seat (go Sam!) and asks Dean who he is. To say Dean is shocked to see a woman there is an understatement. Dean apologizes for interrupting. Dean gets ready to get out of the car in order to give them some time to get their clothes back on and looks rather proud of Sam as he gets out.
The woman must have been a waitress from the diner Sam found as she gets dressed in her waitress uniform and wonders where her hairpin went.
(Warning; possibly one of the best moments of Supernatural ever):
A short time later...it's just Sam and Dean in the car and Sam is buttoning his flannel shirt. Dean pops in a cassette tape. Sam attempts to explain why he was taking a roll in the hay in the back seat with a girl, but Dean stops him as "Night Moves" plays from the car radio. Sam tells Dean not to "Night Moves" him, but Dean shushes him and tells him to let the music wash over him. Dean starts singing singing along to Sam as he drives. Sam tries ignore Dean, but eventually, they are both singing along. (And hey, Sam CAN sing!)What follows is a series of amazing camera angles as Sam and Dean drive and drive; a regular thing for them. A shot from foot well console of them eating takeout and Dean swatting Sam's hand away from the wheel as Sam admonishes him for not watching the road. A shot from the running board...just a lot of gorgeous shots. (Kudos to director of photography Serge LaDoucer on this one! Emmy, anyone????)
Later that night, Dean teases Sam about "digging into the lore" (i.e. sleeping with the waitress) and asks if that's what the kids are calling it these days. He teases Sam that at least he's not a virgin anymore. Dean goes on and on about how her respects that Sam wanted to stay true and pure and wait. Sam calls him an idiot.
Dean points out that Sam even put a blanket down on the seat before sleeping with the waitress and everything; classy and thoughtful as always.
Sam looks thoughtful for a minute and tells Dean that he tried to give her his number, but ... (it sounds like she declined). Before he can tell Dean what she actually said, Dean jumps in, teasingly guessing she told Sam, "We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?". Sam smiles and asks if everything is a Bob Seger song to Dean. Dean says, "yes".
Sam looks towards the backseat and says, "Well, it was nice knowing you, Piper."
Dean thinks it's awesome that the woman's name was "Piper".
Dean remembers his one night wonder "Heather". He says they're lucky they still get that at all. Sam's surprised Dean would say that. Sam asks if Dean ever wanted something more. Dean says, "I'm sorry, have you met us? We're batting a whopping zero in domestic life, man."
Sam asks if Dean ever thinks about...something...not necessarily marriage, but something, maybe with another hunter who understands. Dean doesn't seem to want to talk about it and tells Sam that he (Sam) is exhausted and maybe he should hop in the back and get some sleep while he gets some gas because Dean still feels wired. Dean's extremely proud of Sam
and his one night stand.
Dean comments that Piper smelled good.
Later...Sam's asleep in the car and there's an Judy Collins song on the radio "Someday Soon". Sam asks Dean what he's listening to as he groggily comes to. Sam's stunned to hear John Winchester say, "Your mom used to love this song." A young version of Sam's dad is driving. Sam looks at him, in shock. John smiles as he drives. Sam tries to figure out what's going
John turns off the music and says Dean's taken good care of his car. He's taken good care of Sam too. Sam asks if this is a vision. Sam tells John that his father is dead. He doesn't want this hallucination calling him "son".
John says Sam's comment about wanting more; about relationships...he wants Sam to know he never wanted this for his sons. He says THEY raised themselves and if they turned out okay, it's a credit to them, not him as a father. Sam repeats that this conversation with his dad can't bereal. John says he never could fool Sam. Sam says he prayed when he was in the church and he saw something (visions of hell) and now here John is; whatever he is. John tells him it's a dream, or a vision...but the message is the same, "The Darkness is coming." Only "you boys" can stop it. Sam asks how. He says they need help. Not visions of dead people. John says
God helps those that help themselves. Sam asks John again, "Who are you?" and then he wakes up to a car horn.
Sam's in the backseat and Dean's in the front. Dean tells him, "Welcome to the Winchester motel. We don't have cable but we do have room service," Dean reaches into the old green cooler in the front footwell and hands Sam a beer. Dean tells Sam he was singing in his sleep; the song their mom used to love that their dad played for them. Dean thinks he still has the tape somewhere.
Sam says, "Hey, Dean, um...." and asks if Dean remembers how, when he saw The Darkness, Dean wasn't sure if it was real or a vision. Dean cautiously says, "Uh huh..." waiting to see where Sam is going with this. Sam says he thinks he's been having visions lately. Images or feelings. He said he just had one with dad in it, but it wasn't the dad he knew. It was dad at
Sam and Dean's age but really it was just someone pretending to be dad. Dean cuts in with a serious tone asking Sam what makes him say that; that it was just someone pretending to be their dad?
Sam says John told him everything he wanted to hear. Dean confirms that doesn't sound much like their dad. Sam tells Dean the message about the Darkness and that only the two of them can stop it.
Sam tells him about the "God helps those..." line. Sam tells Dean that he thinks maybe these visions are coming FROM God. Dean immediately tells Sam to slow down and back up. Dean is not convinced. Sam tells him that the first visionhappened after he prayed. Dean wants to know when, exactly, did Sam pray? Sam admits it was back in the hospital. Dean wants to know why he felt the need to pray there. Sam takes a deep breath and tells him that he was infected. But he's not sick now and he never went "full rabid."
Dean is annoyed. Pointing out that Sam was infected and never told him. He still wants to know what Sam prayed about. It's obvious he's pretty pissed about this. Sam says he guesses he was just looking for answers.
Dean comments that whatever is "kicking around (in) your head" right now in the way of visions are probably side effects of having been infected, which, he points out again, Sam failed to tell him about. Sam says he doesn't think it's that simple.
Dean says c'mon, the "God helps those who help themselves" quote isn't even from the Bible. it's an old proverb from Aesop. Sam is impressed that Dean knows that.
Dean asks when God has ever answered any of their prayers? What Sam's seeing must just be some fever dream. And as far as their dad goes, Dean dreams about their dad all the time. Sam's surprised by that. Dean says it's usually the same dream. They're all in the car and John's teaching him how to drive. It's all very normal. No guns. Dean, in the dream, is the right age to learn to drive; not way too young like he was when John really taught him to drive. Sam's in the back seat wanting a turn. Dean pulls into the drive of the family house and John tells him, "Perfect landing, son." Dean says he has that dream every couple of months and it's kind of comforting, actually.
Sam says he always dreams about their mom. Same kind of normal life dream.
Sam insists this wasn't just a dream though.
Dean wants to know why some entity would dress up like their father in order to give them a message? They don't have a great history of listening to their dad.
Sam wonders that if the Darkness is sending messages to Dean, maybe the opposite of the Darkness is sending messages to Sam. Sam thinks it might be God. Dean doesn't think so. Dean thinks Sam is trying to find some greater meaning to everything that's going on with the Darkness. Dean says it's on them and no one is going to help them, especially not God. They
have to figure it out like they always do. Sam looks skeptical. Dean says that until they figure it out, they hunt. Even if this case they're driving to is probably nothing.
Sam looks troubled but says "Good night, jerk." Dean responds with, "Goodnight, b i t c h."
They both curls up on the seats as best they can, one in front, one in back.
They get to Oregon. In their fed suits, Sam sits down in the car and they discuss the case. Dean has seen the victim's body with the heart missing AND drained of blood. So Sam wonders if they're looking at some kind of hybrid monster. Dean loves making up new monster names and is happy that this might be a "werepire".
Sam looks at him like he's crazy.
Dean wants him to say "werepire" but Sam says no, he's not going to say it. Dean's disappointed that Sam doesn't think new monster names are as fun as he thinks they are.
Dean tells Sam he called Cas to look into the lore. Sam has a copy of the police report to go over.
One of the sheriffs leans down into the driver's side window and tells them he appreciates them stopping by. He doesn't seem excited that they're staying though. He recommends a steakhouse and Dean can't get there fast enough.
(I love all of the camera shots from the back seat with the cooler, filming them from behind.)
Later, Sam and Dean pull up at the steakhouse. It's valet parking. Dean doesn't like handing the keys over to anyone, but he does. The valet is a teenager named Jessie. Dean tells her "not a scratch". Sam is enjoying how uncomfortable Dean is with the valet parking.
Jessie gets in and speeds off. She calls her friend for a joyride. She and her friend speed around in the Impala, taking selfies and going as fast as they can; doing donuts.
She gets a call. The car has to go back. She drops off her friend and drives off in a hurry to get back to work, even though her friend can't find her purse. Jessie is in a hurry and doesn't want to get fired, so she tells her friend she must have left the purse back in her own car. She takes off.
Dean gets back in and looks around making sure all is order. He doesn't see anything amiss (you'd think he would notice that the mileage was higher than it should have been if the car had just been sitting in a parking lot).
Sam wants to talk to the widow of the victim to see why her husband was out in the woods. Dean wants to go take a look at the spot where they found the body. He thinks something is off about the crime scene photos.
Later, from inside the empty car, the phone is ringing. We see Dean walking around outside through the windshield. He heads back to answer the phone. It's Cas. Dean puts him on speaker. Dean asks if he found anything in the lore about a creature that feeds on hearts and blood. Dean wants Cas to say "werepire" along with him...he waits...Cas doesn't say it. Cas says the lore calls it a "whisper" which Dean proclaims to be "lame". Cas says you can kill it with silver, but you also might want to decapitate it. Just to be sure. Dean tells Cas that the crime scene was staged with the body moved there to try to make it look like an animal attack. Dean says it was a sloppy staging job. Dean asks what else Cas has on "whispers". Suddenly, the deputy's gray pickup pulls up behind the Impala. Dean tells Cas to hang on and sets the phone on the dash, getting out of the car to see what the deputy wants.
Cas doesn't stop talking...these things were thought to be werewolves but they are more like demons...Cas rattles on and on as we see Dean, through the rear Impala window, start talking to the sheriff. Cas continues to talk, on speakerphone, to an empty car (this is pretty funny). He says these creatures are called whispers because of how stealthy their attacks are. Cas reads that whispers only feed during a solar eclipse...so maybe what Dean's hunting isn't a whisper. The eclipse thing doesn't fit.
Out the front of the Impala, we see Dean gesturing around the crime scene with the deputy when suddenly the deputyjumps him from behind. Dean fights him off. He throws the sheriff into the open car door and Cas, still talking to the empty car, asks what that sound is. Dean and the sheriff are both out of the line of sight and there's a gunshot and blood spatters the Impala's passenger window. Dean staggers to his feet. All the while Cas is shouting for Dean since he heard the gunshots.
Dean gets into the car. He tells Cas it turns out he DID shoot the deputy (funny, Dean!). Dean thinks the silver bullets worked. Cas explains it can't be the creature Cas thought it was because of the timing. Just then, a bloody hand smacks against the window. It's not dead. Dean tells Cas to hang on.
Dean retrieves a machete from the trunk and decapitates the deputy. The head falls onto the hood of the car but it's still snarling at him through the windshield...so Dean turns on the windshield wipers and flicks it off.
Dean ends up shooting the body a few more times, then takes all of Sam's smoothies out of the cooler, dumps the ice, and locks the snarling head inside. He opens the lid of the cooler and takes a cell phone photo of the head. He sends the photo to Cas. A picture of its fangs.
Dean sees he has a message from Sam; that he needs help ASAP. Sam's message tells Dean he got jumped; he thinks they are dealing with a pack. There were several attacking the widow when Sam went to interview her. Dean tells Sam the deputy is one of them too; he's in two pieces and still alive. Sam tells Dean that he carried the widow to a house nearby.
Dean goes to get Sam. His bloody machete slides under the seat as he accelerates.
Later, Sam and Dean have the widow in the back seat. She's unconscious. Cas calls.
Cas says the monster they are dealing with is a nachzehrer.A ghoul and vampire. "A ghoulpire!" Dean exclaims. Dean asks how to kill them. Cas says they are really already dead, so they just have to be reminded they're dead. You have to put a coin in their mouth to pay for their trip to the underworld. If you kill the alpha, everyone will revert back who had been turned. Cas says they need to use a copper coin. Sam points out that it has to be a pre-1982 penny that is actually made of copper. Dean calls Sam and nerd and Sam says, "You're welcome."
Dean wonders who carries pennies today anyway. They stop so Sam can go into a convenience store and try to get some change.
In the back seat, the window, Mrs. Markham, wakes up. Dean tells her she was attacked by the people who killed her husband. He tells her they'll take her someplace safe and kill the sons of
b i t c h e s.
Mrs. Markham hears a snarl coming from the cooler. She opens it. Dean slams it shut. She looks panicked. Dean decides to get rid of the head. He puts the cooler in the trunk.
He gets back in the car. Mrs. Markham asks Dean if he'd do anything for his family. He says absolutely, but not if it costs to much (funny, Dean!). She says everything outside of family is meaningless. But she "did it wrong" and now she's ruined everything. She says she put her family at risk. They were right to attack her. But she knows how to make it right She starts to choke Dean. She wants to know where the deputy's body is. She pulls him into the back seat and he proceeds to beat her. She fights back with a lot of strength. Sam is inside the gas station this entire time. Sam looks up just in time to see Mrs. Markham behind the wheel, roaring off with Dean in the back seat. Sam runs after the car and shoots out the back window, but can't catch up.
Dean is thrown, handcuffed, down onto the back seat. He took her to the site where the deputy's body is located. He can see that she is joining the deputy's head back up to his body and can hear him gasp for breath as the deputy comes back to life.
The car is moving. Dean's still in the back seat, handcuffed. He's hauled up by the no-longer-decaptated deputy who tells him he knows he's awake and he knows he's a hunter. Dean says he know what he is too. He's figured out the deputy is the alpha. The deputy blames Mrs. Markham for not keeping a low enough profile. She admits that she killed her husband when he wouldn't join them, so she killed him so he could be food for others in the group.
Dean feels around the crack of the seat and finds Piper's lost hairpin. He starts working at his cuffs.
The monster and Dean have a conversation. The monster says he needs help. He's been turning more people into monsters than he ever did before. He needs the help to fight the Darkness. He says it's coming for all of them; humans and monsters alike; and there's nothing any human can do about it. He doesn't think anything can stop it. He's just trying to buy some time. He's turning as many strong men and women as possible. He plans to add Sam to the ranks. He sent Sam a text message from Dean's phone while Dean was passed out. Sam's heading into a trap. The monster says Dean would have made a good soldier too, but he can't forgive him for cutting off his head. Instead, Dean will beSam's first meal as a monster. Nothing will go to waste.
Dean's gotten free of the cuffs and tries to strangle the deputy from behind. The car crashes into a construction barricade.
There's barely any glass left in the car windows. Dean, face cut, sits up from the back seat. He finds his machete on the floor as well as a Hello Kitty purse from the valet's friends.
Outside, the deputy, who was thrown from he car by the crash, glass embedded in his face, is standing up.
Dean starts trying to find an old penny in the purse when the deputy opens the door and attacks him. Dean tries to fend him off with the machete from inside the car. The deputy pulls him outside, then throws him against the car, breaking one of the last intact windows.
Mrs. Markham is dazed inside the car from the crash but is starting to come around.
The deputy attacks Dean from outside the car and Mrs. Markham attacks him from inside, biting him. Dean ultimately throws Mrs. Markham outside of the car and wrestles the deputy down onto the back seat. Dean then shoves the contents of the coin purse into the deputy's mouth. The deputy struggles, choking. Dean proceeds to decapitate him, again, with the car door by repeatedly slamming it on his neck. The head rolls onto the back floorboard and Dean picks it up and throws it from the car.
He tells Baby he's so sorry at the state she's in.
Mrs. Markham "wakes up" now that the alpha is dead, and the fact that she bit Dean doesn't matter now since anyone who had been turned reverts to normal after the death of the alpha. Dean remembers Sam. He tells Mrs. Markham, fully human now and worried about her kids, to get in.
The car won't turn over. He keeps trying. Nothing. Finally, on the third try, it fires. He kisses his hand and slaps the dash. Dean does a lovely reverse 180 and drives off.
A short time later...
Dean and Mrs. Markham pull up to a house to find her children and Sam. Sam's beat to hell. Dean helps him to the car.
Sam says everyone changed back. Sam heard about the plan the monsters had to build an army to fight the Darkness. He points out that even the monsters are scared. Dean says let 'em be. He and Sam are going to end it now.
Sam asks if maybe they can start tomorrow. They and the car are entirely beat to hell. They
both sigh, exhausted.
Dean says he'll get Cas to fix Sam up. Sam responds only if Cas also fixes Dean. Dean replies, "Okay, mom. Let's go home."
Sam thumps the dash and says, "We are home."
The car won't start. Dean keeps trying. It starts. He puts Night Moves on the radio.
The car drives off missing more parts than it has. All the windows are gone except one still splattered in the deputy's blood.