The episode opens with a plastic surgeon kidnapped and put in his own trunk. He then shows up at the hospital where something disgusting comes out of his stomach, though we don’t see what it is.
Cut to Sam and Dean torturing a demon, trying to find out who holds Dean’s contract. It isn’t going well. However, it seems that whoever the demon holding the contact is, everyone seems to be crazy intimidated by him/her.
Sam then has the story of the dead plastic surgeon, who was apparently covered in fingerprints of someone who died in 1981. They visit the morgue where the pathologist tells them the liver was removed from the body surgically. That rules out zombies, so Sam comes up with the idea of interviewing survivors. They talk to a man in the hospital who had his kidney stolen. Sam does research and realized the story matches a story in their Dad’s journal. Dr. Benton supposedly figured out a way to use alchemy to live forever.
We then see Dr. Benton perform open heart surgery on a man who is still conscious. He then takes his heart out. Gross.
Bobby calls Dean to tell him he’s heard something about Bela. He has a lead. Before he hangs up, Bobby tells Dean to take a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. Dean is all ready to go when Sam says he wants to finish the case. It turns out he was hoping the case was Dr. Benton all along and he thinks finding him is the solution to saving Dean. If Dean can’t die, he won’t go to hell. Dean says that would be welching on the deal, which means Sam would die. After a disagreement, they decide to part ways as they are pursuing the same goal.
Dean goes to talk to Rufus and he refuses to speak to him. Dean takes out the scotch Bobby told him to bring and suddenly Rufus gets very friendly. He is certainly cheerful, though he does tell Dean where to find Bela. He also tells Dean about all the information he got from a picture of Bela’s ear, as she had burned off her fingerprints. Dean looks at the file and gets a very surprised look on his face – right before the scene goes black.
Meanwhile, Sam finds Dr. Benton’s lair, and there is a woman in there, still alive, with the flesh cut off her arm. Sam gets her out and makes it to the car, where he ends up running Dr. Benton over.
Dean finds Bela. She tells she sold the Colt. He also reveals her backstory – she killed her parents when she was 14, and inherited millions. Also, her name is really Abby. She tells Dean her parents were lovely people, but we see a flashback of her as a kid, and it tells a different story. Dean is trying to work up the nerve to kill Bela when he sees something on the door. He then tells Bela she isn’t worth it and leaves. After he leaves, Bela opens a crumbled receipt that tells her where Sam and Dean are staying. She calls someone and tells them that it worked, and she is giving whoever she’s talking to their location.
Sam tells Dean that he has the formula, and it’s just science, not black magic. While they are talking, Dr. Benton shows up and kidnaps Sam and brings him back to his lair. He plans to take Sam’s eyes to replace his own, which is really gross and uncomfortable to watch. Just in time, Dean shows up and shoots the doctor, though it has no effect on him at all. After getting thrown against the wall, Dean then stabs him. It turns out he dipped the knife in chloroform, which knocks Dr. Benton out. When he wakes up, Sam and Dean have strapped him to his own table. After knocking him out a second time, he wakes up in a coffin, where Sam and Dean are burying him alive, since his immortality makes it so they can’t kill him.
Bela breaks into their hotel room and shoots them both, though it turns out they’re gone, and left blowup dolls. Dean calls the room and tells Bela he felt her take the receipt, and that he saw the devil’s shoestring, used for keeping hellhounds at bay. They have something in common. It turns out that Bela made a deal ten years ago, and didn’t kill her parents herself. She also knows who the demon is that holds both of their contracts – Lilith, the creepy little girl that killed Henriksen (we’re still not over that). And now – Time’s up.
Character & Story Analysis:
In this episode we start to see the desperation from both brothers, as Sam is basically willing to make Dean a zombie-like creature to stop him from going to hell, while Dean just won’t give up on the idea of the Colt. The desperation is particularly evident in the scene when Dean finds out Sam knew it was likely Dr. Benton and purposely didn’t tell him. These actions also show the moral compass of each brother. Sam, while considered the “nice guy” brother, is the one who is actually more morally flexible, something that continues to build as the seasons go on. He is willing to stop at nothing to save Dean. On the other hand, Dean isn’t willing to go as far as Dr. Benton to save himself. He is going to stick with the way that is right, which is to kill the demon. That means getting the Colt and finding Lilith.
The impending death of Dean is also reflected thematically in his conversation with Rufus, who tells him that, as a hunter, you have to expect a horrible death, and that you had it coming. This is not exactly encouraging news, but points to all the smaller, slightly immoral things that the brothers do in the name of being hunters, like lying to people and their financial fraud schemes.
The words of Rufus sort of ring true to an extent when Dean realizes that Bela is in the same predicament. As he thinks of Bela as despicable (she did try to kill the brothers), it’s a bit of a turn around to find out they are in the same boat and that she’s hoping he will save her life. Jumping ahead a little, I like the bond of sorts that forms between Dean and Bela as they both face the end, though I’ll talk more about that with the next episode.
While Dean is eating, Sam tells him about maggots and disgusting bodily functions. Dean is initially annoyed and at one point looks like he might gag or throw up, but when Sam asks if he has lost his appetite, Dean smiles and keeps right on eating.
Dean is eating a burger while Sam tells him about maggots.
This episode is all Dean. He figures out that Bela made a deal because of the devil’s shoestring. He also gets the information he needs from rufus, even when he isn’t cooperative. He also shows up just in time to save Sam, and still decides to do the right thing and not use Dr. Benton’s methods to stay alive and out of hell.
Notable Guest Star:
Lauren Cohen is back as Bela.
Impersonation of the Week:
Sam and Dean pose as cops multiple times.
State of the Week:
“Fine, so you’re cops and morons.” – Pathologist
“So doctors, they had to do whatever they could to keep infections from spreading. One way was maggots.” – Sam
“Dude, I’m eating.” – Dean
“It actually kind of worked because maggots, they eat bad tissue, and they leave good tissue. And get this, when they found our guy, his body cavity was stuffed full of maggots.” – Sam
“Dude, I’m eating!” – Dean
“According to this, Benton’s picky about where he sets up his lab. He likes dense forest with access to a river or stream or some kind of freshwater.” – Sam
“Why?” – Dean
“Because that’s where he likes to dump the bile and intestines and fecal matter. Lost your appetite yet?” – Sam
“Oh, baby, I can’t stay mad at you.” – Dean
“Friend? I haven’t laid eyes on him in 15 years. He’s not the Christmas card type.” – Bobby
“That’s the job, kid. Even if you manage to scrape out of this one, there’s just going to be something else down the road. Folks like us, there ain’t no happy ending. We all got it coming.” – Rufus
“Well ain’t you a bucket of sunshine.” – Dean
“I’m what you’ve got to look forward to if you survive.” – Rufus
“Demons, untrustworthy. Shocker.” – Dean
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