An episode where Sam doesn’t want to have free wifi? Innnnteresting, Our boys go old ivy-league school when they take on a ghost who goes wirelessly remote and kills college students, all the while charming his lonely widow via chat and sext. Wow. What a multitasker.
1. The Memory Lane So Far
I absolutely love it when the THEN flashbacks go way, way back. It feels like looking through old family photo albums, and the reminiscing is oh so sweet.
Awwww. Remember when Sam was a puppy and gently guided lost spirits to the light, with a pensive, brooding look on his floppy haired face?
Awwwww. Remember how cocky yet adorable Dean was before he died eleventy thousand times and he still thought he and Sammy could kill anything with some salt and a crowbar? The THEN was full of quick snippets of Supernatural joy, from flashes of dads both biological and adopted, to alternate lives as Smith and Wesson, to all kinds of monstery killing goodness where our boys proved over and over again exactly how superheroic they are. Every time the show recaps more than just the last year or two in these montages it feels like a little love note to the fans. And to do that right around Valentine’s Day? I’d say you shouldn’t have, but seeing ThorSam definitely made my heart pound.
2. Road to Nowhere
I wrote a short horror story for a challenge a long while back about the scariest thing I could think of: a haunted GPS that leads you places you definitely do not want to go. So you can imagine how delighted/disgruntled I was to see “Trini” the nav app go bonkers. She tries to lead two teens over a bridge that is clearly out, demanding they proceed ahead. When the dude, Billy, tells Siri…I mean…Trini to go screw herself, Trini says it right back before advising the girl to save herself with a “Janet, get out of the truck.” Janet is, naturally, confused, and hesitates, prompting Trini to repeat, in a demony growl so startling I almost peed my pants, “Janet, get out of the truck NOW!” (Recapper’s note: I love my husband more than I can say. But when a voice like that tells you what to do? You do it.) Poor Billy is trapped and his destination? “Dead ahead.” And the truck dives right into the title card smash and that may be the best, non-Winchestery open in a long, long time. Hats off to the VFX team—that was one hell of a ride.
3. Bunker Fever
Dean spends a lot of time eating and drinking this episode, and it reminds me of the time Sweatpants & Coffee founder Nanea Hoffman and I talked about how awesome it was when SPN did anything that drew attention to Dean’s mouth. The only trouble I had with this episode’s Winchester walk on was trying to decide if I wanted to wrap my lips around Dean Winchester or the croiscookie he was eating. (Thought: first one, then the other.) Sam gives Dean the update on the search for Cain, mentioning adorably that Cas has discovered riverboat gambling (please do NOT make that the spinoff) and Dean is dubious. He says that trying to cure the Mark of Cain is like a dog chasing his tail—there is no end in sight and you just end up dizzy. What he is willing to do? Solve a case. If the distraction from your problems is to chase down monsters that want to kill you? You may want to reconsider your life choices. Thank God for us that these stubborn, destiny-ruled boys never do.
4. Girls Gone Child
This Siri-ous investigative work takes our boys and their fed suits off to campus. Dean sees hot college girls everywhere, and he apologizes to Sam for ever making him leave. (Dean is both hungry and horny? That’s our boy.) They introduce themselves to Janet as agents Grohl and Cobain and the girl doesn’t blink, which makes me wonder—has she never heard of them due to her age? Because if so? That’s truly sad. Turn off the auto-tune, sweetie, and head for Nirvana. Anyway, Janet just wants to go to the library but the boys smile and Sam says, “We’ll make it fast. I promise,” and I wonder, Jared Padalecki, could you turn those dimples down? No, apparently. No you could not.
Janet tells her story. Dean doesn’t know who Trini is and Sam apologizes for his being behind on tech, adding, “He just learned how to poke on Facebook.” (Recapper’s note: if you are at all attracted to men, I know you were thinking “I’ve got something he can poke.” Don’t even try to deny it.) Janet refers to Gen X almost as an insult and she has no idea who Christine the car is and I feel as old as a house on haunted hill. It turns out Billy’s brother Joey died in an IED blast and the only thing he left his brother was the truck. Billy drove it in his honor—it was a thing. Dean, no doubt thinking of Baby, gets it immediately, surprised at Sam’s confusion. “Sammy they write whole country songs about it,” he says, adding with a smirk, “Why don’t you Google it?” And watching their banter and Dean being so very…Deanish…makes me feel like I am watching an episode from years ago. And I mean that as a compliment.
5. Salt and Burn
The boys break into a junkyard (a moment of silence for Singer Salvage, please) to find and torch the haunted truck. And then there is ectoplasm and EMF squeals and, again, it is vintage Winchester and I am swooning. Sam and Dean theorize that the brothers didn’t get along, and Joey was pissed Billy was driving his Baby. “I get it.,” Dean says, clearly sympathetic to the truck’s sorry state. “Are you saying if you died and I drove your car you’d kill me?” Sam asks. “If you stunk her up with taquitos?” Dean asks with a crinkle-eyed grin, “Probably.”
They pull out the handy dandy salt canisters and the faithful gas cans and for some reason it makes me miss the green cooler so hard. They light up what they think is the cursed object and oh, boy, I’d almost forgotten—damn, they look pretty by firelight.
6. Greeks and Geeks
Of course it can’t be that easy, and thus we are in the massive, massive room of two sorority girls, Delilah and Julie, and all I can think is that I wish my college sorority had had a house, because my dorm rooms were so small I had to leave to change my mind. The girls joke back and forth, verbally hashtagging things, and being generally less supernatural and more superficial. Delilah leaves to hit the books while her narcissistic friend takes yet another duckface selfie and chats with someone called “PrincessElsa8” before her computer goes insane and chokes her to death with the cord, all while the screen flashes the number 810 in an ASCII picture.
Sam and Dean, who insists he’s “not gonna make it” if he has to look at more coeds in stretch pants, go to the crime scene. (Recapper’s note: It made me chuckle when entering the crime scene that the cop ducks under the tape, Sam ducks under the tape, and Dean just rips it down and tosses it aside. Classic.) Apparently the ghost isn’t attached to just one object, leaving the boys wondering if there is a “ghost in the machine” and wondering—how is it jumping around? And now I am singing old Police songs and “Jump Around” by House of Pain and it’s like I’m back in college, too. The boys steal Julie’s laptop and question Delilah, who insists no one would want to hurt them. After all, their dead friend Billy was president of Sigma Theta Delta. “STD?” Dean asks, and this girl doesn’t blink either and while Nirvana may not be current I am fairly certain gonorrhea is, so what’s up with that? In any case? Sam and Dean can spot a liar a hundred miles away, so while Delilah may be STD free they know: her pants are certainly on fire.
7. All You Can Eat
We cut to the college dining hall, where Dean brings Sam “a café au lait for the lady” and a tray of, apparently, everything else for himself. He muses that college is even better than Vegas, food wise, and I would argue they are pretty similar because eating anything in my old college caf was certainly a gamble.
Also? Dean eats noodles just like he ate mini steak and cheese sandwiches in Season Three and somehow? He can still make sloppy eating adorable.
Sam manages to stop being horrified at Dean’s pile of multiculturally greasy goodness and goes through Julie’s laptop, coming up dry until he goes through her deleted files. “You can do that?” Dean asks. “Nothing ever really gets deleted from the internet,” Sam says. “You knew that, right?”
I am fairly certain, based on that look, that Dean did not. The thought of that makes both Sammy and me smile. Swoooon.
Sam finally finds Julie’s deleted “Instachat” with the Frozen goddess. “Boy, this Princess Elsa’s a bitch,” Dean says, clearly unfamiliar with the film none of us have been able to avoid for over a year. You don’t know the half of it, Dean. One could even say she’s a cold bitch. (Sorry. It had to be done.) Dean asks about “810,” smells his pizza, rears his head back and eats it anyway, which makes me laugh. It turns out that 810 is not a date or a time or an area code. It’s the number of a street address. Dean? Is gonna have to take his buffet to go.
When it turns out PrincessElsa8 is a third grader in another state, the boys go to an 810 address and follow a woman with a trash bag, heading to clear out some flowers by a utility pole (Recapper’s note: if you’re gonna be stalked by two suspicious looking dudes, you can only hope it is by the Winchesters.) They pull their badges in almost perfect synchronization and the woman, Corey, tells them her husband Andrew was killed instantly in an auto accident when he crashed into that pole, and now some teenaged girl leaves flowers there all the time. She says the girl has long red hair and the boys figure out it is Delilah, and now that syndicated radio host’s song is playing in my head again: “De-liiiiiii-lahhhhhh…”
The boys puzzle it out back at the caf and Dean has a tray piled with Mexican food and look! He is eating taquitos! Makes sense. After all, he is some PA.
Sam, ever the salad shaker, again looks somewhat horrified. “You gonna eat all that?” he asks. “You want some?” Dean asks, innocently, and I am loving these last few weeks of our boys being both themselves and the teasing, loyal, affectionate brothers I adore.
8. I Know What You Did, Dumb and Dumber
The last selfish coed in the quad? A scumbag named Kyle, who, again, lives in the biggest college bedroom I have ever, ever seen. Kyle is also in STD, and he ignores Delilah’s pleas about their dead friends and her need to fix things because he, apparently, has a fatal attraction to sexters who cover their crotches with cherry pie. Which, like the truck, may be something else Dean gets immediately.
(Recapper’s Note: Please, teen girls, listen to me: if someone sends you cheesy porno texts like the one above? Turn off your phone and wash your hands. If you’re going to hook up with someone, go for the sweet, maybe even nerdy guy who is good with his words. You won’t regret it.) Anyway, QTPie calls Kyle, and, after his hello, shouts “WHAT TIME IS IT?!?!?!?” in the demon voice and I am glad I do not have a glass of seltzer in my hand and thus my TV is dry. (Seriously—that voice scares the crap out of me.) You guessed it: it is 8:10, and it is time for Kyle to die death by decibel. He falls to the floor as his speakers go to eleven, bleeding from every orifice, and his eyes look like Kevin Tran’s and I don’t care how long it has been—it is Too. Soon.
The boys talk to Delilah and it is an I Know What You Did Last Summer thing. (Recapper’s note: while the boys listen, they are in shadow. Sam and Dean look so good back lit. And front lit. And all the lit. Swoon.) Flashback: Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” is playing. Guys are tweeting, girls are selfie-ing. They swerve into Andrew’s lane. He hits a pole and demonstrates his worst luck ever as a power line falls on his car. Guess what? Andrew didn’t die on impact, unless you mean the impact of sparks and flames. Billy has a DUI and a suspended license. so he won’t call 911, though Delilah begs him to. After Delilah tells her tale of woe, the boys silently get to work keeping her safe, ‘cause that’s how they do. (Recapper’s note: when was the last time we saw a salt circle? Can it be that it was all so simple then? Memories…like the corners of my mind…)
Sam decides to go to the crime scene while Dean stays with Delilah, being a gentleman and offering her tissues while she cries. Delilah tells Dean she stays up all night to avoid the nightmares. Dean understands. He tells her he has made more mistakes than he can count and deals with them with whiskey and denial. He says he does his best to make it right as she should do by coming clean and asking for forgiveness. “Can’t bury it,” he says. “You gotta deal with it.” And though this is a little anvilicious it is still a touching scene that reminds us that Dean is not just a noodle eating goofball with a pistol and some matches—he is caring and kind, and, in a word? Good. Just…good.
Sam calls and tells Dean: it’s the wifi! The pole that Andrew hit and the wires that turned him extra crispy lead to a cell tower, so Andrew’s electrical impulses are surfing the net, able to kill the device dependent teens. Sam tells Dean to get Deliliah to safety and to turn off the routers. “Oh yeah sure, Sammy. We’ll just kill the internet,” Dean says, “Wait–can we?” And anyone who has ever read any YouTube or Huffington Post comments seriously wants to know the answer to this as well.
Dean promises to deal with “the Lawnmower Man” but it’s too late. Lights flicker, his and Delilah’s breath turns cold. Andrew has arrived and he looks like hammered crap. Dean proceeds to hit everything with a screen with a crowbar, including his own phone, and I am fairly certain that is not covered by AppleCare. Dean and Delilah run for the basement where, for once in anyone’s life, it is a good thing that the reception sucks.
Sam goes back to Corey’s house and she confesses that she knows it is her husband killing people for revenge. She has been talking to him online, and it is like he has come back to her. (Recapper’s note: to see an amazing story about just that, check out Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker, Series 2 Episode 2. It is called “Be Right Back” and it is amazing, as is the whole series.) Corey didn’t call the cops because what could she say? And she also couldn’t bear to lose him again.
Dean and Delilah’s plan is going well, until they discover the ugly basement couch has eaten someone’s phone. Uh oh. Andrew uses the lost tech to try to kill Delilah but Dean iron crowbars him. Dean, anvilly tells Andrew that the more he kills the crazier he will get while texting 911 to Sam from the found phone. He asks Andrew to choose: pain or peace? Sadly for Dean, the pain Andrew chooses is his.
Andrew, who has the whitest teeth ever, it must be said, tries to choke Dean to death. Thankfully, Corey FaceTimes him and talks him down. She tells him to let go—that revenge is “hollow”—that he needs to say goodbye. It is a very meaningful moment but I am distracted because man, that phone can hold a charge, huh? Fortunately Andrew is paying better attention than I am, and poof. He lets go and disappears. If they had just gone to Corey first? This would have been the Easiest. Ghost kill. Ever.
10. Peace in Our Time
The boys bring Delilah to Corey so she can finally achieve forgiveness. Dean, who looks as gorgeous as ever (though his lips are particularly shiny and I wonder if he has been eating noodles again) says that he, like Andrew, wants to choose peace too. His peace is found by helping people. Working cases. That’s all he wants to do.
Dean tells Sam he’s done trying to find a cure for the MoC. He is tired of the ifs and maybes—he says the answer is within him. Sam doesn’t want him to give up, but Dean needs to stop relying on false hope. He says he will fight the mark’s murder rage as long as he can and in the end his peace will be knowing he went down swinging. And we can see the worry in Sam’s far from peaceful face as Baby drives away to wherever the helpless can be found.
You know, I once thought I was not a fan of Monster of the Week episodes, but now that they are back I realize how much I missed them. That said? I am very excited for next week, when Castiel faces off with Cain and Timothy Omundsun graces my screen once more. This time with long hair, an evil grin and a bad attitude. Rrrrraaaoooowwwrrr. See you next time for episode fourteen, “The Executioner’s Song.”