"Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas
(plays during "The Road So Far" recap of events)
"Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi
(Dean and Sam sing along to Bon Jovi in the car before Dean's deal comes due)
We start with the monster of the week. This time the victim is Dean. He is running through the woods - running from those hell hounds - which so reminds me of Crossroad Blues and Robert Johnson running back to his cabin to escape the dogs (as well as other episodes like the beginning of Fresh Blood and of course Yellow Fever). Dean falls and screams as blood splatters - then he wakes up.
It seems he's been reading about hell hounds and well, it could be just a dream, but it's likely that this is part hallucination.
Sam walks in.
SAM:Dig up anything good?
DEAN:No. Nothing good.
Sam tells Dean excitedly that Bobby has found something. A way to find Lilith. Dean's like, that's great, since we have only 30 more hours. Why don't we just go down to Mexico and party instead? Seeing how down Dean is, Sam sits down and assures Dean that everything is going to be OK.
SAM: Hey, Dean. Look, we're cutting it close, I know. But we're gonna get this done. I don't care what it takes, Dean. You're not gonna go to hell. I'm not gonna let you. I swear. Everything's gonna be okay.
On a rewatch we see the irony of this, but we also see that Sam still has a card left and his "confidence" comes from the assumption that he will be using this card despite previous denials by Dean. Surely, when his life is on the line, Dean will say yes.
Just as Sam tells Dean that everything is going to be OK, Dean sees Sam's face distort grotesquely - another hallucination.
Next we see them they are standing around Bobby's interesting compass/pendulum like device. They are going to do a spell to find Lilith - now that they know it is she that holds Dean's contract, they've decided to find out where she is. This spell will find not only the city but the street she is on.
This is a really cool spell. I wonder why they never use it again. Ruby has her own fiery spell which she uses to find Dean in Season 5 - I think Crowley uses the same spell later? But we never see this cool compass/pendulum again (correct me if I'm wrong).
BOBBY:And we have a winner.
Lilith is in New Harmony, Indiana. Sam says let's go, but Dean says wait, hold on. We don't really know if she holds my deal. Bela could have been lying. Second, they have no way of killing her without the colt. And third, Sam could get killed too if they went. Bobby wonders why Dean is being so negative. (Although I'll explain a bit later - this seems like part of the act between Sam and Dean for Bobby's benefit.)
DEAN : Just 'cause I gotta die doesn't mean you have to, okay. Either we go in smart, or we don't go in at all.
Sam brings up his final card.
SAM:Okay, fine. If that's the case I have the answer.
SAM:Yeah. A sure-fire way to confirm it's Lilith and a way to get us a bona fide demon-killing ginsu.
DEAN:Damn it, Sam, no.
SAM:We're so past arguing. Dean, I am summoning Ruby.
So, this argument has come up before - especially in Long Distance Call and I guess they've been arguing about this a bit more since then. Dean has already told Sam that Ruby told him she can't save him and Sam thinks they need to confirm what she meant and at least get the knife for an advantage. Dean doesn't want to get help from a Demon. And as far as he is concerned, she's been lying to Sam just to get him to listen to her. Bobby tells Dean that Sam is right - they should call Ruby -
DEAN:No! Just no. We are not gonna make the same mistakes all over again.
You guys wanna save me, find something else.
Coming back to my theory on "the righteous man" here - I've underlined the key phrase that we hear again later. Dean is determined that this time no one is going to get sacrificed to save the other and they are not going to work with monsters or become monsters to make it happen. It's either kill Lilith for sure and ON THEIR OWN TERMS, or go to hell. It is also likely from a conversation later on that Dean suspects Ruby will make Sam sacrifice himself in some way in order to save Dean. The only interaction they have had with demons so far is through deals. Dad's deal and Dean's deal. Maybe Dean thinks Ruby is going to suggest Sam make a deal. Of course he may have an inkling that it's more than that - that she intends to use Sam's psychic ability, or his popularity with some demons, maybe to agree to be their leader - in any case, he is not willing to give in to demonic persuasion. That to me, seems to be stressing Dean's "righteousness" just as his refusal to become like Doctor Benton last episode and his disagreement with Sam concerning his powers in the next season as well.
So Bobby goes out to "find something else," and Dean goes back to the books. But here is where I'm thinking, I wonder if this was all an act too... to get Bobby out of the way? First to get him out of the way for their meeting with Ruby? and secondly, and more importantly to sneak off while he is gone? We as rewatchers know that Sam and Dean are about to trick Ruby - Sam will listen to her and reel her in, while Dean will purposefully make her angry and get physical so he can get at the knife. But this talk with Bobby seems unnecessary for this purpose. And it's starting to seem rather likely that they are playing Bobby here. Fortunately, Bobby guesses that the boys might try to go off on their own and he takes his own precautions.
We next see Sam in the basement drawing the spell to summon Ruby. This reminds me so much of John -
And Ruby appears, telling Sam that he could have used a phone. (oh, yeah, she did give him her number...?) Sam looks pretty spooked and asks how she got there so fast. They have a bit of small talk before Sam asks Ruby if she had known who held Dean's contract.
SAM:Did you know?
RUBY:Yes, I did.
SAM:And… what? You didn't think that was important?
RUBY:You weren't ready.
RUBY:If I told you, you two yahoos would have just charged after her half-cocked and Lilith would have peeled the meat from your pretty, pretty faces.
SAM:Well, we're ready now.I want your knife.
Ruby considers Sam and then tells him that yes, he's right that he's ready, and it is the right time too. Lilith is enjoying her "shore leave" and won't sense them coming. But they can't do it with just one knife. She knows how they can save Dean. She never lied to Sam. She just didn't tell Dean the whole truth. The truth is Sam can save Dean himself, with the power given him by Azazel. They need to cover a lot of ground in a short time, but it's still possible.
RUBY:Look. Call me a bitch, hate me all you want, but I have never lied to you, Sam. Not ever. And I'm telling you. You... can save your brother, and I can show you how.
We remember how Ruby - posing as a hunter - expressed interest in Sam's power in The Kids are Alright, and how Sam denied there was anything. Now she tells him clearly that these powers are just dormant. He has the power to kill Lilith without lifting a finger. She can teach him.
Dean's heard enough.
DEAN:So that's you, huh? Our slutty little Yoda.
RUBY:Dean. Charming as ever.
Dean pretends Sam called Ruby without his knowledge so he can lure her into the devil's trap.
Ruby's talk of Sam's psychic powers is sending serious warning bells to Dean. He has always been wary of these powers - remembering what dad had said of Sam before he died, who/what had given Sam these powers and what the powers were supposed to be for. He tells Ruby that she can teach Sam over his dead body, to which Ruby answers "You're right about that." And how true this is going to be. Ruby already knows that without Dean she will have Sam to do with as she will. And as Dean lures her into a fight, Sam sounds like he is hesitant (maybe just an act, but it sounds a lot like last episode when he was hesitant to let Dean kill Doc Benton aye?)
RUBY:I want Lilith dead. That's all.
RUBY:I've told you why!
DEAN:Oh, right, yeah. Because you were human once and you liked kittens and long walks on the beach.
RUBY:You know, I am so sick of proving myself to you. You wanna save yourself, this is how. You dumb, spineless dick.
On a rewatch we know the real reason why Ruby wants Lilith dead. And although Dean seemed a little sympathetic toward Ruby in MM, his attitude has changed back to what it was before in the episodes since then. Why? She abandoned them in Jus in Bello... dropping in at the end there to tell them next time they do it HER way. That didn't particularly trigger anything against Ruby at that point, but by Long-Distance Call he was telling Sam that on no uncertain terms was Sam going to contact Ruby.
As they fight, Sam tries to stop it and is flung to the other side of the room and Dean gets to the knife and positions Ruby inside the devils trap.
DEAN:Like I said...I knew you'd come.
Sam silently goes with Dean when he calls and they leave Ruby "to rot" in the trap. But again we feel his reluctance and wish that he could try Ruby's way if it was going to save Dean.
And Ruby -- just like Doc Benton before her -- is stuck in the trap. Of course she does not beg, but she gets pretty noisy about it in any case:
RUBY:Oh, oh you – so you're just too stupid to live, is that it? Then fine! You deserve hell! I wish I could be there, Dean. I wish I could smell the flesh sizzle off your bones! I WISH I COULD BE THERE TO HEAR YOU SCREAM!!
DEAN:And I wish you'd shut your pie hole, but we don't always get what we want.
As they prepare their weapons for their attack, they have an argument again.Dean tells Sam, hey I got you the knife like you asked. Sam says, we need more. We need to at least get Ruby to tell us more about how I can kill Lilith. Think of what Lilith did before. If there is a sure fire way, we should take it.
DEAN:Sam. We are not gonna make the same mistake all over again.
SAM:You said that but what does it even mean?
DEAN:Don't you see a pattern here? Dad's deal, my deal, now this? I mean every time one of us is – is – is up the creek the other is begging to sell their soul. That's all this is, man. Ruby's just jerking your chain down the road. You know what it's paved with and you know where it's going.
Sounds like Dean is sure that whatever way Ruby has will end up with Sam sacrificing himself in some way.
SAM:Dean. What do you think is gonna happen? This is me, I can handle it. And if it'll save you...
DEAN:Why even risk it?
SAM:Because you're my brother. Because you did the same thing for me.
DEAN:I know... and look how that turned out.
DEAN:All I'm saying..Sammy, all I'm saying is that you're my weak spot. You are. And I'm yours.
SAM:You don't mean that. We're… we're family.
DEAN:I know. And those evil sons of bitches know it too. I mean, what we'll do for each other, you know, how far we'll go? They're using it against us.
SAM:So what? We just stop looking out for each other?
DEAN:No, we stop being martyrs, man. We – we – we stop spreading it for these demons.
This little speech actually sounds a lot like Dad's in Dead Man's Blood aye? How they are each other's weakness? But talking about not being martyrs for each other... Dean just wants to make sure that this sacrificing lives thing stops with dad and him aye? Dean has suffered enough with dad sacrificing his life for him. The reason Dean made the deal for Sam was not only to save Sam but because he felt like he did not deserve to be alive in the first place. If Sam decides to do something similar, then Dean is left alive with two people dying for him. How crazy is that?
DEAN:We take this knife, and we go after Lilith our way. The way Dad taught us to. And if we go down, then, uh... then we go down swinging. What do you think?
SAM:I think you totally should have been jamming "Eye of the Tiger" right there.
DEAN:Oh, bite me. I totally rehearsed that speech, too.
Here we are again with my favorite of Dean's mottos'. I find it interesting that Dean says, "the way dad taught us to" here. He obviously is not talking about Dad and how he gave in to YED in the end to save Dean. Remember that conversation in the car with Sam in Crossroad Blues? This was the thing that made him the most upset. Dad should have gone and fought the demon. Not given him the colt. He should have gone down swing'in. THAT should have been his legacy. And Sam replies, that all the people they've saved since then by doing what dad taught them, THAT's dad's legacy.
Anyway, I never thought of the significance of Sam mentioning "Eye of the Tiger" here :D But if we think of this song as Dean's "let's go down swing'in" song, it holds even more meaning in Yellow Fever, aye?
Now, we jump to that neighborhood infested by demons. The poor old grandpa calls out for help to his friendly neighbor... who turns out also to be possessed by a demon. This Lilith is the scariest little pampered brat in the world. And she is making life living hell for the family around her.
Back to Sam and Dean, who are sneaking to their car so they can go deal with Lilith by themselves. Bobby has taken out the distributor cap (Which I only know because of our SuperWiki.) and the car doesn't start. They're sitting there going... "what??" when Bobby comes up and shows them the distributor cap and tells them what do they think they are doing going by themselves. Dean tells Bobby, it's my problem and Sam's. Not yours...
BOBBY:The hell it isn't! Family don't end with blood, boy. Besides, you need me.
BOBBY:You're playing wounded. Tell me, how many hallucinations have you had so far?
DEAN:How'd you know?
BOBBY:Because that's what happens when you've got hellhounds on your butt. And because I'm smart. I'll follow.
BOBBY:Don't be stopping to pee every ten minutes either.
Oh, Bobby *love* and Dean - you should have expected as much. If you care about him like a father, he sure cares about you too. I do love that last line...
So they are on their way. Sam starts that "If we don't get out of this alive..." speech and Dean's like I don't want to hear it. "if this is my last day on earth, I do not want it to be socially awkward." This is what I want. And he turns on what must be his cassette tape. I mean, that kind of timing on the radio would be spooky. Sam's surprised though because Dean never listens to Bon Jovi.
And a bit of the lyrics for us, because it fits the occasion perfectly, and a bit of Sam's face and Dean's face as they sing because they are so precious...
And this scene just breaks our hearts aye, because first we see Dean singing and Sam is just looking so sad. But Dean hits him on the chest with the back of his hand telling him to join in and at first Sam doesn't want to but he does for Dean's sake with this weak little echo, then gradually it gets stronger and he's just shouting it at the top of his lungs - and Dean gets quieter, listening to Sam sing... and that little smile there at the end before his face turns sad but determined... We feel their love for each other so much.
(And do you love that impala run or what!! yikes!)
As they are driving they pass a police car hidden in the side road looking out for speeders... or not. He pulls them to the side of the road (Dean has a broken tail light) but as Dean looks at the police officer's face, he sees not the human face that we all see, but something terribly ugly behind it. Dean senses that this is a demon and bangs his door into the "officer" for a surprise advantage, quickly gets out of the car and stabs the officer through the neck. We see Sam getting out of the car "Dean! What?!" and around the back of the car to see the demon die. Bobby comes up and "what's happened?"
BOBBY:What the hell happened?
SAM:Dean just killed a demon. How'd you know?
DEAN:I just knew. I could see its face. Its real face under that one.
This is quite a cool scene, and making it possible for Dean to see demons is pretty useful in the scenes to come. They quickly hide the police car with the officer's body inside at the side of the road while Bobby explains that it makes sense for Dean to be able to see demons since it is almost time for him to go to hell (which kind of reminds me of Hollywood Babylon - I can just see that suit going, "Why can Dean see demons?" and the producer going, "add an explanation there." :P )
SAM:Well, actually it could come in pretty handy.
DEAN:Oh, well, I'm glad my doomed soul is good for something.
BOBBY:Damn right it is. Lilith's probably got demons stashed all over town. We can't let them sound the alarm. She knows we're here, we're dead before we're started.
DEAN:Well, this is a terrific plan. I'm excited to be a part of it. Can we go, please?
We've got another scene of Lilith here having her birthday party (everyday!) with her "family" and killing the poor grandpa.
Sam, Dean and Bobby have arrived and are peeking into the house. They see the grandfather with his head twisted to the side and Lilith all smiles at her birthday party. Dean tells them all that the little girl is Lilith and Sam says, well let's go then. Suddenly Dean is quite reluctant. No, wait. Look at the mail man, the neighbor. They are all demons.
SAM:Ok, fine. We – we – we – we, we ninja pass those guys, sneak in.
DEAN:Then what? Give a "Columbian necktie" to a ten year old girl, come on!
SAM:Look, Dean, I know it's awful.
SAM:This isn't just about saving you, Dean. This is about saving everybody.
This is interesting - how Dean is suddenly reluctant here. It makes me think back on all the times he has been reluctant to go with any of Sam's plans to save him. I begin to think... maybe Dean is still reluctant to be saved? Maybe he still thinks he doesn't deserve it? Or is having doubts? Could this be part of being close to his deadline? One of the side effects? But when Sam and Bobby remind him that there are other people that need to be saved, he snaps out of it.
Lilith, at this point, is in bed with "mom" - making mom read a fairy tale over and over again. So does Lilith actually enjoy listening to fairy tales? or probably just the terror and exhaustion in the mom's voice huh.
Bobby goes to the empty house across the street to fix the sprinklers with holy water. Sam and Dean go and take care of the mail man. Just as they are doing that, Ruby all of a sudden appears and flings Dean into a wired fence.
RUBY:I'd like my knife back, please. Or your neck snaps like a chicken bone.
Sam comes up behind her just in time and holds the knife to her throat (but doesn't kill her). They then start a little argument...
RUBY:Sam, give me the knife before you hurt yourself.
SAM:You'll get it when this is over.
RUBY:It's already over. I gave you a way to save Dean, you shot me down. Now it's too late. He's dead. And I'm not gonna let you die too.
Interestingly, Dean just tells them to be quiet because they have a bunch of demons coming toward them - at this point, he is resigned to the fact that Ruby is coming with them whether he likes it or not, and he's not stopping her because he knows she will try her best to keep Sam safe aye?
All three of them rush to the front door and Sam hurries to unlock the door. There is quite a ruckus here and I'm totally thinking Lilith senses something is wrong, at least. Just as the demons start across the lawn, Bobby's system starts up and they scream and writhe in the holy shower (again, hello? Lilith totally knows you're there). Sam gets the door open and they rush inside.
As they go inside, Dean asks Ruby if Lilith would know they were there... uh, duh...? Grandma's body is rotting on the floor in front of the front door and as they look around, the dad comes and finds them. Dean quickly holds his mouth.
DEAN:We're here to help. Ok? I'm gonna move my hand, and we're gonna talk nice and quiet, okay?
Does this remind you of Salvation? This time though, the dad is more ready to accept help. He nods his head. Dean tells him he has to go and wait in the basement. They will bring his wife later.
That doesn't sit well with the dad (Not without my wife!) so Dean knocks him out and takes him down to the basement himself .
Meanwhile, Sam and Ruby are going to the second floor. Ruby points and goes into one of the rooms - on the right. Sam doesn't bother to look inside that room but checks out the room on the left and finds the little girl's room with a canopied bed in the middle. I always wonder if Lilith had been lying in wait in the room that Ruby went into and took her by surprise? Sam opens the curtain and finds the mom wide awake - begging him to kill the girl.
Sam, though, can't do it for some reason. He hesitates. (We can tell Ruby that Sam's definitely not ready for her plans yet, aye?). The little girl wakes up and seeing Sam, screams. Sam lunges, but just then Dean comes in and stops Sam just in time.
DEAN:It's not her!
(Let's stop here to imagine this little girl after everything is finished. The trauma she is going to carry of having killed her little cat, her grandmother and grandfather...and then almost getting killed by a man with a knife? )
Ruby is there now too. They get the girl and mother to go down to the basement. Then Sam turns to Ruby.
SAM:Alright Ruby, where is she?
RUBY:I don't know.
SAM:Could she get past the sprinklers?
RUBY:Her pay grade, she ain't sweating the holy water.
SAM:Ok, you win. What do I have to do?
RUBY:What do you mean?
SAM:To save Dean. What do you need me to do?
DEAN:What the hell do you think you're doing?
SAM:Just shut up for a second. Ruby!
RUBY:You had your chance. You can't just flip a switch. We needed time.
SAM:Well, there's gotta be something. There's gotta be some way, whatever it is, I'll do it. Don't, Dean! I'm not gonna let you go to hell, Dean!
DEAN:Yes, you are!
Sam is ready to do whatever it takes to save Dean even if Dean is not happy with it and he begs Ruby to tell him what to do. Dean sure isn't going to let Sam do anything with Ruby. Ruby... Is it Ruby? tells Sam that it's too late. Dean, in a sense, slaps Sam in the face with the truth. Yes. I'm going to hell. You can't stop it.
And they hear the clock strike midnight...
"Ruby" tells him "I'm sorry Dean. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy." And I have no idea if this is actually coming from Ruby's lips or not. Dean doesn't check Ruby's face here or even acknowledge what she said. He hears the growl of a hell hound right in front of him and as he tells Sam, they all start running. They run into the dining room and Sam and "Ruby" hold the door which is being pounded on from the outside - typical of all our hell hound eps - while Dean covers the cracks with goofer dust.
When he finishes and it goes quiet, "Ruby" tells Sam to give her the knife. Maybe she can fight them off. Sam's like, why now? And Dean looks at Ruby too, which is when he realizes this is NOT Ruby. As soon as Dean says so, Lilith flings them both away. Dean on to the table, Sam to the wall.
DEAN:How long you been in her?
LILITH:But I like it. It's all grown up and pretty.
SAM:And where's Ruby?
LILITH:She was a very bad girl, so I sent her far, far away.
(Interesting that Sam is interested in Ruby's welfare. It could be of course to assess if she can help them still.)
She walks over to Sam and taunts him.
SAM:Right, so you have me. Let my brother go.
LILITH:Silly goose. You wanna bargain, you have to have something that I want. You don't.
She then turns to the dining room doors and lets her hell hounds in...
Lilith here is just awesome! When she is through with Dean, she turns to Sam to try to blow him up with her power. But when her light goes dim, Sam is still there. Cowering, but very much alive and not a scratch on him.
Sam quickly picks up the knife to try to kill her, but Lilith flies out of Ruby's body and out the drain. We are left with the puzzle of why Lilith was unable to hurt Sam and to remember Ruby's words that Sam has a power that Lilith is afraid of. I guess Lilith thought here that Sam would not have any power since he had not been taught it by Ruby. But it was already sufficient that it protected him from her.
With Lilith gone and Ruby lying next to Dean, her hair spayed all around, Sam turns his attention to his brother.