The episode opens with a man eating candy a few days before Halloween, and then suddenly coughing up razor blades, one of which gets stuck in his throat, killing him. Sam and Dean find a hex bag, which Sam researches, finding a connection to witches.
A teenage girl is bobbing for apples at a Halloween party and gets stuck in the bucket and drowns/gets boiled to death. Sam finds another hex bag at the scene. Sam finds a spell that allows a witch to summon a demon, Samhain, through a blood sacrifice that requires the blood sacrifices of three people. Halloween is the date when he would appear.
Dean is watching the house of the widow of razor blade man when Tracy shows up. She turns out to be the family’s baby-sitter. Sam found that Tracy had been suspended from school for a violent altercation with one of her teachers, so the brothers figure she’s the witch. They interview the teacher, who tells them that the problem was the result of disturbing and inappropriate drawings of symbols, matching the witch symbols. Apparently, she just turned up in town as an emancipated teen, with no family.
Sam and Dean get back to the motel to find Castiel and another man waiting for them. Castiel informs them that the raising of Samhain is one of the 66 seals they need to stop from being broken. Since they haven’t killed the witch, Castiel tells Sam and Dean to leave town immediately. Castiel tells them that the other man, Uriel, is a specialist, which seems to be a euphemism for mass murderer in the name of god, as the reason they need to leave town is he is about to destroy it. Sam and Dean disagree with that plan and there is a tense back and forth between Dean and the angels before Castiel gives them some time to try to stop the witch.
Sam is disappointed in the angels. He then mentions that the charred bone in the hex bag would take an incredible amount of heat to do, more than a normal fire. He points out that the hex bag showed up in their room after they talked to the teacher, not after they talked to Tracy. They break into the school and break open the teachers desk, where they find the bones of children in a drawer.
Castiel and Uriel are having a conversation in the park about Dean. When Uriel suggests they physically drag Dean out of town and then blow it up, Castiel says that Uriel knows their true orders, and asks Uriel if he’s prepared to disobey.
Meanwhile, we see the teacher has tied Tracy up in a warehouse and is about to kill her. Sam and Dean burst in, shooting the teacher and cutting Tracy’s binding. She starts freaking out, but it quickly turns to criticism of the teacher. It turns out that she is the witch, after all. But so is the teacher, who turns out to be her brother.
He has just become the third sacrifice and Tracy disables Sam and Dean with some witch work and then raises Samhain. They reunite and then he kills Tracy.
Sam takes blood from the teacher’s body, before he is possessed by Samhain and uses it to cover his face and tells Dean to do the same, and when Samhain leaves, he walks right past the brothers.
In the car, Sam points out that it might take more than the usual weapons to stop this demon, which leads to them getting into another argument about Sam’s abilities and whether he should use them.
Samhain has locked a bunch of high school students in a room with mortuary vaults. They start to open and one of the students gets pulled in, and by the blood that comes out, killed. Sam and Dean show up and break the kids out, and then Sam goes after Samhain while Dean stays to kill the zombies crawling out of the vaults.
While Dean is fighting and burning the zombies, Sam is fighting with Samhain, and it’s not going well. Ruby’s knife gets knocked out of his hand and he decides to use his psychic exorcism powers instead. Samhain seems more difficult to exorcise than most demons, and he gets close enough that Sam could have kicked him or something, but then Dean shows up behind the demon and sees what Sam’s doing. Dean just watches, and Sam successfully exorcises the demon, sending him back to Hell.
Cut to one day later, November 1, and Sam is packing up when Uriel shows up in the motel room. He points out that the next day is the anniversary of the day that Azazael killed his mother and his girlfriend, Jess, and points out how quick Sam is to use the powers he got from that first night. Sam questions what he was supposed to do, but Uriel ignores him, simply stating that he has now been warned twice not to use those powers. Sam gets a bit self-righteous and Uriel threatens him, then tells Sam that Dean should get off his high horse, and suggests that Sam ask Dean what he remembers from Hell.
Dean is sitting in a park when Castiel shows up and reveals that their true orders were to follow Dean’s orders. Castiel also reveals that he has doubts, and questions what is right or wrong.
Story & Character Analysis:
Dean is still dealing with the ramifications of Hell as we see him have aural flashbacks of that time while looking at creepy Halloween masks. This is further solidified when Uriel tells Sam to ask Dean about his memories of his time in Hell.
However, Dean’s strong feelings against Sam using his demonic powers may extend not only from Castiel warning him against it, but as a direct result of his experience in Hell. Especially considering what he experienced, which we find out more of in later episodes, Dean may still be acting as the protective older brother.
This is the first episode where we start to see a relationship build between Dean and Castiel, a relationship that somewhat excludes Sam. This is partly because it begins with the premise that Sam’s powers are bad, and as we later find out, Dean is the “good warrior” to Sam’s “bad warrior”, which, as an angel, puts Castiel on Dean’s side. When Dean is sitting in the park and Castiel confesses his “humanity” to Dean, it’s the first time he has ever shown any part of himself other than as a straight up messenger of god.
That scene also reinforces the theme of Dean fighting for good and starting season four with a new outlook on their jobs as hunters when he tells Castiel that even knowing they failed to stop the seal, he would do the same thing again, because they were able to save all the people who live in that town.
When Sam meets Castiel, he is slightly over effusive.
Sam and Dean go outside to find bird poop all over the Impala.
Notable Guest Stars:
Uriel, a “specialist” is introduced in this episode.
Pop Culture References:
“He was so vanilla that he made vanilla seem spicy.” – Dean
“So, we’re talking ghosts?” – Dean
“Yeah.” – Sam
“Zombies?” – Dean
“Yeah.” – Sam
“Leprechauns?” – Dean
“Dean!” – Sam
“Those little dudes are scary! Small hands.” – Dean
“This isn’t the first time I’ve…purified a city.” – Uriel
“You can’t do that. You’re angels. You’re supposed to show mercy!” – Sam
“It must be nice, to be so sure of yourselves.” – Dean
“If you’re going to smite this whole town, then you’re going to have to smite us with it because we are not leaving. You went to the trouble of busting me out of Hell. I figure I’m worth something to the man upstairs. You want to waste me? Go ahead. See how he digs that.” – Dean
“You’re going to wipe out a whole town for one little witch? Seems to me like you’re compensating for something.” – Dean
“ASTRONAUT!” – Dean
“I thought they’d be righteous.” – Sam
“They are righteous. That’s kind of the problem.” – Dean
“Babe Ruth was a dick, but baseball’s still a beautiful game.” – Dean
“You gave it a shot?” – Dean
“Zombie ghost orgy, huh? Well, that’s it, I’m torching everybody.” – Dean
“My brother was right about you. You are dicks.” – Sam
“Even though you stopped Sam Hain, the seal was broken and we are one step closer to Hell on Earth for all creation, and that’s not an expression, Dean. It’s literal.” – Castiel
“I have questions. I have doubts. I don’t know what is right or wrong anymore.” – Castiel
For anyone who missed last week’s special presentation after the credits:
I love that you can hear the crew laughing!
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