Season 1 Episode 18
The episode opens with a little girl saying her prayers before bed. After her father tucks her in, the little girl is sitting up in bed in the dark while something keeps tapping at her window. She pulls the curtains shut, but it looks like a claw. Then it opens the window. It’s some kind of demon reminiscent of the demon Buffy fought that was killing children in season 2.
Sam notices that there aren’t any kids playing in the park at 4:10 p.m. in the afternoon. Dean asks a woman in the park why it’s so quiet and learns that kids are getting sick. About five or six have gotten sick so far, but parents are worried.
As the brothers are walking to the pediatric ward in the hospital, Dean sees an old woman sitting in a wheelchair in a room with an upside down cross on the wall. The woman has something wrong with her eyes, maybe severe cataracts, which cause them to be almost entirely white.
The brothers talk to the doctor treating the kids, where they learn that the illness is like pneumonia, but goes through families, but only the children get sick. When they interview the father of the most recent admission, he says that his daughters got sick within 24 hours of each other. Their father thinks they got sick from an open window, but he knows he closed it, so he says the daughter must have opened it.
After their conversation, Sam points out it will be a while before that father goes home, so the brothers go to his house to investigate. They find a rotted handprint by the girl’s window. Dean realizes why their father sent them there, telling Sam that John faced the demon before and wants them to finish the job.
When he is checking into the motel, Dean meets a young boy named Michael that reminds him of himself, even more so when he sees the boy making cereal for his little brother, leading to another flashback.
Dean tells Sam that it might be a striga, and Sam does research and finds that may be correct. They suspect the old woman from the hospital and sneak into her room at night. She ends up startling them and is just a cranky old person. She tells them to fix the crucifix because she’s already asked four times. Needless to say, she isn’t the shtriga.
When they get back to the motel, they find out that Asher, the little brother of Michael, is now sick. Michael blames himself because it’s his job to look after his brother. His mother comes out and is giving Michael directions in a way very similar to John giving Dean directions in the flashbacks, drawing a parallel between the situations and really pissing Dean off, much more so than the other sick kids.
Dean takes the mother to the hospital and Sam does more research where he finds that the shtriga shows up in town every 15 to 20 years and it goes on for months. Sam finds mention of the shtriga as far back as the 1890s. He then finds a picture from 1893 with Dr. Hydeker, one of the doctors currently treating the sick kids.
Dean comes up with the idea of using Michael as bait because they know the striga will come for Asher’s sibling. They explain it to Michael, who thinks they’re crazy, but he relents when Dean knows what it looks like, too. They ask Michael for help, but he’s a kid and he’s scared and he doesn’t agree to help.
Later, Michael shows up at their door and wants to know if he helps them kill it, will Asher get better? Dean tells him he doesn’t know. Michael agrees to help. They set up a camera in Michael’s room so they can see when the shtriga comes in. Dean tells him that as soon as the striga comes in to hide under the bed and cover his ears.
The next morning they find out that Asher is going to be fine. The other kids are going to be okay, too.
Dean is really feeling this case. The moments when he observes Michael and Asher and then the anger he feels when he talks to Dr. Hydeker after finding out he is the shtriga are all powerful.
After finding the rotted handprint, Dean has a flashback to being in charge when John went hunting. John tells him not to pick up the phone. If John calls, he will let it ring once, then call back. It’s apparent where Dean’s devotion to their Dad comes from, seeing how much John drilled him on details and told him how important it was. “It only takes one mistake,” he tells Dean. Part of their Dad’s instructions included his most important task, which was watching out for Sammy.
Dean makes Sam cereal for dinner and Sam wants a different kind. Dean tells him there are only enough Lucky Charms left for one bowl and he hasn’t had any yet, but then he gives them to Sam anyway. Before Sam pours the cereal, he takes the toy out of the box and offers the prize to Dean. It’s kind of sweet.
In another flashback, Dean tells Sam why the striga is his fault. It was the third night in the motel room and he wanted air so he went to play video games. When he comes back, the shtriga is about to attack Sam. Dean got a gun and was getting ready to shoot it when John came home and shot it a bunch of times, shooting it through the window. John is angry to hear that Dean disobeyed him and left the room, and clearly Dean has been carrying that guilt ever since, blaming him for the striga getting away and for Sam almost getting hurt. A large part of that is also that he let his father down, and John giving them this case was a way for Dean to make up for his childhood mistake. That’s some heavy responsibility for a little kid.
Impersonation of the Week:
The brothers impersonate doctors from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Dean pays for their hotel room with a MasterCard with the name Kris Warren.
Sam clearly feels a little left out because he doesn’t remember any of what Dean tells him about when their father hunted the striga when they were kids.
While they are waiting for the shtriga to show, Sam tells Dean he’s sorry for giving him so much crap about his loyalty to their father and always following his orders.
The striga comes into the room towards Michael. Sam and Dean come into the room, shooting the shtriga. They stand over it for a minute after shooting it, thinking it’s dead. Just when they start to relax, it attacks them, throwing Dean across the room and attacking Sam, trying to suck out whatever it is that it sucks out of people. It looks like a dementor out of Harry Potter. As it’s sucking, Dean shoots it and this time it’s dead. Dean asks Sam if he’s okay and Sam gives him two thumbs up.
Sam initially refuses to use a fake ID from Dean because it says ‘bikini inspector’ on it.
This is a relatively humorless episode for Supernatural. Sam is laughing about Dean and the old woman after the incident with the crucifix. “Would I be sleeping with my peepers open?” Sam keeps repeating.
When Sam and Dean first arrive in Pitch, they get coffee to go from the diner.
State of the Week:
“Because I’m the oldest, which means I’m always right.” – Dean
“No, it doesn’t!” – Sam
“Yeah, it totally does.” – Dean
“Dude, I am not using this ID!” – Sam
“Why not?” – Dean
“Because it says ‘Bikini Inspector’ on it.” – Sam
“If someone tries to bust in?” – John
“Shoot first, ask questions later.” – Dean
“Not that I blame him. He gave me an order and I didn’t listen and I almost got you killed.” – Dean
“You were just a kid-” – Sam
“Don’t, don’t. Dad knew this was unfinished business for me. He sent me here to finish it.” – Dean
“I’d give anything not to tell you this, but sometimes nightmares are real.” – Dean
“Dean, I’m sorry.” – Sam
“For what?” – Dean
“You know, I’ve really given you a lot of crap for always following Dad’s orders, but I know why you do it.” – Sam
“Oh, God, kill me now.” – Dean
“You okay, little brother?” – Dean
Previous Episode of Supernatural
Supernatural: Season 1