The episode opens in Sioux City, where a bunch of magicians are discussing feeling washed up compared to a new guy. One of the older magicians does a difficult trick, and just as he finishes, a magician, Vance, that had been rude to him earlier seems to have a heart attack.
Sam and Dean see a magician named Jeb Dexter do a fake demon possession as part of his magic act.
One of the magicians sends Dean to meet ‘The Chief’ and it turns out to be a guy who does S&M. They then go see Jay’s magician act and he does an amazing escape that Sam deems ‘not humanly possible’.
Ruby shows up and yells at Sam for not doing anything as more seals get broken. Apparently, 34 out of the 66 have been broken. When Dean gets back, Sam approaches him about going after the source, “cutting the head off the snake” using Ruby’s words. Dean points out there are “about a thousand heads on the snake”. They then go back to the magician case.
The brothers figure out that Jay is using the tarot cards to transfer what he’s doing to the other magicians. He escapes the noose, one of them hangs, he escapes the swords, the other guy gets ten swords to the chest. They confront Jay, who seems to legitimately not know what they are talking about. They tie Jay up and while they are talking he escapes. Jay then accuses them of breaking into his room in front of the police.
Jay starts questioning what is happening, talking to his manager, Charlie, who thinks what he’s saying is ridiculous. Jay confesses that when he was doing the table of death, he was planning to kill himself, and somehow he got out alive. After Jay does his next trick, Charlie ends up dead. Jay then goes to the brothers for help. Sam asks Jay about his other friend, Vernon, and Charlie says they didn’t get along, but that Vernon couldn’t be the one behind the murders.
Jay gets Vernon to leave his room and Sam and Dean go in to investigate. Jay accuses Vernon of killing Charlie and the other magicians. Suddenly, Charlie walks out and tells Jay that Vernon didn’t do it, but Charlie is young. He tells them that he got a book of magic from Barnum.
Charlie wants to use magic to make Jay and Vernon immortal, too. Sam and Dean come in then, and Charlie attacks them with magic. Jay then stabs himself, as he has the cards, and the other one is in Charlie’s pocket, causing Charlie to die from Jay’s stab wound.
After an extremely angry, depressing conversation with Jay, Sam decides to take Ruby up on her offer.
Story & Character Analysis:
After Dean’s offhand remark about hoping he dies before he gets old, Sam asks if he thinks they will get old. It leads to a conversation where Dean has the point of view that he thinks is realistic, which is that the life of a hunter ends bloody or sad. Sam wants there to be another way.
Notable Guest Stars:
Genevieve Cortese is back as Ruby.
Barry Bostwick guest stars as Jay, a magician.
Pop Culture References:
Magician Criss Angel, The Who, Steve Gutenberg
State of the Week:
“What a douche bag.” – Dean
“Guess we should have seen that one coming.” – Dean
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