"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
We start with running feet and what we recognize as the barking and growling of Hell Hounds. The legs are soon recognized as Dean, running for his life. As he crashes into a garbage bin, he stops to warn the homeless man of the danger behind him.
DEAN:Run! It'll kill you!
When we look where Dean's pointing, we see the cutest little Yorkie with a pink ribbon.
Back in time - less than 48 hours earlier, Sam and Dean are at the coroner's office, questioning him about a fit and healthy heart attack victim who is the first of 3 strange deaths. Pointing out the strangeness of the case, Dean bullies the coroner into doing an autopsy.
DEAN:We just want to see the results of Frank's autopsy.
DEAN:The one you're gonna do.
This, I guess is supposed to be an example of Dean being "a dick" as seen later. Although he's not particularly inspiring fear, he is using his "superior" status to get people to do what he needs. It is part of his job but boy is he good at it. The coroner, of course has his way of "getting back at" these noisy feds. He first makes Dean hold the heart for him, which Dean is of course not unused to but does not particularly enjoy (Sam enjoys Dean's discomfort very much) and then proceeds to squirt splein juice all over Sam (which makes Dean feel much better).
Unfortunately, touching the heart (even with gloves on...) is what infects Dean with the deadly ghost sickness while it does not leave a scratch on Sam because Sam, of course, is the one that uses puppy eyes. If he doesn't get results, then Dean steps in and uses his bullying skills or vice versa. I'm particularly reminded of Long Distance Call when they are talking to the phone company employee :D
In any case, after they find out that there was no evidence of any blocked arteries, plus they notice the scratches on the guy's arm, they go visit the sheriff who scolds his deputy(?) for having made the FBI agents wait (although this was probably on purpose - remember he is also supposed to be a "dick") and then proceeds to tell them to take off their shoes before coming into his room and then piles his hands high with disinfectant after shaking hands with them. On a rewatch, we know this is the result of the sickness. Fear of catching a virus - a very interesting manifestation which we don't see in Dean so obviously it magnifies the fears that each individual has. It is interesting to remember that bullies are bullies because of their fears just as much as they create fear in others. (we are going to see that again in another episode)
SHERIFF BRITTON: So, why the Feds give a crap? You don't really think there's a case here?
DEAN:No, no. It's probably nothing. Just a heart attack.
(later - on the street)
DEAN:No way that was a heart attack.
SAM:Definitely no way. Three victims, all with those same red scratches. All went from jittery to terrified to dead within 48 hours.
As they walk across the street, Dean sees a few teenagers loitering and tells Sam they should go another route.
Here the first sign that Dean has been infected. Sam just looks after him like WTF?! When has Dean ever worried about a couple of teenagers??
Next they visit a neighbor of Frank, the first victim, who was the last to see him alive. This is a small town, obviously, with people being neighbors since they were in school and knowing each other quite well. The neighbor, Mark Hutchins, has known Frank for a long time.
MARK HUTCHINS:Well, in high school he was, he was a dick.
MARK HUTCHINS:Like a bully. I mean, he probably taped half the town's butt cheeks together, ... mine included.
It seemed to have gotten better in later years - more specifically after his wife died. (I guess killing an innocent man and then finding out that his wife had killed herself might do that to you.)
They also find out, however, that Frank was scared about everything right before his death - even the green witch in the Wizard of Oz. Quite a funny moment there when Dean and Sam think it is a real witch Mark is talking about.
In the meantime, Dean, with his ghost sickness, is getting antsy about the snake around Mark's neck. Mark grins as he tells Dean that he should be more worried about Marie because she smells fear. Sure enough, Dean's fear brings little Marie right to him.
Dean face as he tries to control his fear here is quite funny. I wonder though if he would not be just as scared of a snake even if he didn't have the sickness?
That night, Dean is waiting in the car, scratching his arm when Sam comes back from a sweep on Frank's house. He's found no readings on the EMF meter, no sulfur and no hex bags. Dean on the other hand has found that Frank's wife died of suicide and that Frank had an air tight alibi. As they are driving down the street, Sam notices that Dean is actually going at the speed limit - which is totally not normal obviously.
SAM:Yeah. (Sees speed Dean is driving in) Dude, you're going 20.
SAM:That's the speed limit.
DEAN:What? Safety's a crime now?
SAM:Dude, where are you going? That was our hotel.
DEAN:Sam, I'm not gonna make a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic. I'm not suicidal. ... Did I just say that? That was kind of weird.
(weird that he's not going to make a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic? or weird that he's not suicidal?) Next Sam hears the EMF meter going crazy in the bag. Taking it out Sam finds out that the meter is reacting to Dean.
DEAN:Am I haunted? Am I haunted?!
Next scene, Sam is coming out of a shop with a box of donuts(?) and sees Dean, who should be up in their motel room by now, lying down in the front seats of the car, air drumming to Eye of the Tiger. OK, so this is a great scene just because we know that in another take Jared decides that he's not going to go up to the car and stop Jensen and we have that awesome surprise at the end, but there is a bit of meaning to this Eye of the Tiger song. It's not the first time the song has been mentioned in this series. One particular time I remember well because it wasn't that long ago, is in No Rest for the Wicked-
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.
I get the idea that Dean "jamming" Eye of the Tiger here, is an indication of his determination to "go down swinging" or at least to try to get his dwindling courage back so he can go up those stairs to the motel room lol.
Sam knocks on the car to get Dean's attention, Dean comes out of the car and Sam gives him the donuts. Dean again does something unexpected. He doesn't even take a second glance at the donuts but throws them into the car. Sam, quirks an eyebrow. Seriously?
They talk about what Sam found out from Bobby - that this is ghost sickness. Basically Dean has only 24 hours left until he dies of a heart attack.
DEAN:Well, why me? Why not you? I mean, you got hit with the spleen juice.
SAM:Yeah, um, you see Bobby and I have a theory about that too. Turns out all three victims shared a certain, uh, personality type. Frank was a bully. The other two victims, one was a vice principal, the other was a bouncer.
SAM:Basically, they were all dicks.
DEAN:So you're saying I'm a dick?
SAM:No, no, no. It's not just that. All three victims used fear as a weapon, and now this disease is just returning the favor.
DEAN:I don't scare people.
SAM:Dean, all we do is scare people.
(I wish I could have made a gif of Sam's cocky face, but I had all sorts of trouble with my file and I had to use one with a logo and ... ug. you don't want to know about it :P Maybe later. )
So they figure if they can gank the ghost that started it all, they can save Dean. Sam then wonders why Dean is not in their hotel room.
DEAN: Our room's on the fourth floor. It's...it’s high.
SAM: I'll see if I can move us down to the first.
Next scene, Dean is in the room by himself reading about ghost sickness, and we see words like "hallucinations," and "horrible death," and the words start changing and popping up in bold letters:
And we know that the hallucinations have started... Pretty disturbing. His own fears coming back to him and we remember when he faced his fears before in Dream a Little Dream of Me. Words like "Loser," and "baby gonna cry?" even making fun of his fears - he is obviously struggling not only with his fear but the fact that he IS afraid.
He decides to take it out on the darn clock whose ticking has been bothering him for a while. When Sam comes in the door, he finds a broken clock on the floor and Dean feeling a bit better, drinking a cold beer - maybe in triumph of having subdued the clock at least. Sam doesn't comment on the clock. He is obviously worried for Dean and asks him if everything is alright. Dean of course cannot tell Sam that he's going crazy with fear. "Oh yeah. Just peachy." But when Sam asks him again how he's feeling, he finds it appropriate enough to tell Sam how he's feeling about being close to death again.
DEAN:Awesome. It's nice to have my head on the chopping block again. I almost forgot what that feels like.
DEAN:It's freaking delightful.
Sam's assuring Dean that they'll keep looking when Dean starts to cough and gag, running to the sink to throw up a wood chip. Sam starts to grin as he realizes that Dean can be a clue to who the ghost is and why it's haunting them.
SAM:We've been completely ignoring the biggest clue we have, you.
DEAN:I don't want to be a clue.
SAM:The abrasions, this, the disease, it's trying to tell us something.
So they drive to the lumber mill where Frank's wife had been working before her death. I'm not sure if they knew that before they went, but it seems likely aye? We have a funny scene outside where Dean is scared to go inside and Sam persuades him saying he needs backup. It's one thing to have your partner on a deadline, it's another for him to be incapacitated so he can't help you. Unfortunately Sam has not quite grasped how desperate the situation is for Dean. Dean takes a swig of his whiskey and they go to the trunk to get some equipment. Sam hands Dean his gun but Dean shies away. "I'm not carrying that, it might go off." (LOL) Then he picks up a flashlight.
Dean is sooo cute :D And Sam I'm sure just can't believe how bad it's become for Dean. I imagine its like going senile... the person knows what's happening but can't stop it, and the people around them - it would be so hard for them to deal with the changes in the person they know. Dean, who has never shown fear for anything is having a hard time going into a "spooky" mill.
When they go inside to investigate, Dean jumps at everything.
Sam stops to pick up Frank's marriage ring (wondering why it's there) and Dean is jumping back in fear. They hear a sound by the lockers and finding the locker in question, Sam motions to Dean that he's going to open the locker on the count of three. Dean's face is of a child going on his first haunted house tour, I swear. Looking at Sam and the locker and back at Sam. When Sam opens the locker and a cute little kitten jumps out, Dean loses it. One of our favorite scenes aye? (especially remembering the gag reels!)
They go into the office area and find a desk with drawings of Frank's suicidal wife and an ID card for a Luther Garland. Dean mistakenly rips one of the drawings that's on the floor as he picks it up and gets our ghost angry - or at least sad.
The machines begin to move and as they look around the room they see the ghost of Luther standing at the corner of the room with his back to them.
As he turns around and comes at them, Sam shoots him with a cool head (as usual) and turns around to find Dean running out of the mill in terror. When he catches up to him he sees Dean taking another swig from his whiskey.
Next they are at the Sheriff's office again. Dean is in the background, swaying, obviously drunk (he must have drank several bottles of that stuff) and Sam doing all the talking.
DEPUTY LINUS: This is the Garland file. Is he...drunk?
The deputy cannot tell Sam how Luther was killed - It was before his time. When Sam asks for the Sheriff, the Deputy tells him that the Sheriff is out sick. It's interesting that Sam doesn't catch on to that... He must have his head full with trying to deal with Dean. As Sam turns around and leaves, Dean stops to address the Deputy.
The deputy smiles widely (now he KNOWS Dean is drunk.) and tells him "thank you. You too... I guess" as Sam comes back and drags Dean off. We then get an intercom call from the Sheriff who had been in the other room all along. He wants to know what the FBI were looking into and when he finds that it was the case that he covered up all those years ago, his fear peaks. He hears voices whispering "They know what you did."
Sam go to visit Luther's big brother in order to find out what really happened to Luther. We have a cute scene (desperate for the boys) where Sam is trying to calm Dean down in the hall. Dean is sure that everyone is going to know that they are carrying fake badges.
DEAN:This isn't gonna work. Come on, these badges are fake. What if we get busted?
We could go to jail.
SAM:Dean, shh! Calm down. Deep breath, okay? (Dean takes a deep breath.) There. You feel better? (Dean shakes his head no.) Just come on. Don't scratch.
MR. GARLAND:Let me see some I.D.
DEAN:Those are real, obviously. I mean, who would pretend to be an FBI agent, huh? That's just nutty.
I think Sam actually kicks him or something - and he stops babbling.
When they talk to Luther's brother they find out that Luther was actually killed horribly by being chained to Frank's car and dragged all over the mill property. It was all because Luther was different. He was big but simple and people were afraid of him even though he would never have hurt anyone.
(We have a flashback of him caring for a kitten which looks remarkably like the one Dean was screaming about.) And here I think back to our previous episode and Metamorphosis as well aye? Fear making people hurt others who have done nothing yet to deserve it and how that influences those people into becoming a monster. Travis tried to kill Jack out of fear, and Jack had no choice but to turn in order to protect his loved one and himself. Even the shapeshifter in Monster Movie could have turned out differently if his father had not rejected him outright as a monster. And here again, fear makes Frank kill Luther and Luther turns into a monster.
Now they know how Luther was killed. They come out of the home talking about this and once Dean realizes that they can't just burn the bones and be done with, he can't take it anymore.
DEAN:You know what? Screw this.
SAM:Whoa, whoa, whoa. Dean.
DEAN:Come on. No, I mean, come on, Sam. What are we doing?!
SAM:We're hunting a ghost.
DEAN:A ghost, exactly! Who does that?
DEAN:Us? Right. And that Sam, that is exactly why our lives suck. I mean, come on, we hunt monsters! What the hell?! I mean, normal people, they see a monster, and they run. But not us, no, no, no, we -- we search out things that want to kill us. Yeah? Huh? Or eat us! You know who does that? Crazy people! We...are insane! You know, and then there's the bad diner food and then the skeevy motel rooms and then the truck-stop waitress with the bizarre rash. I mean, who wants this life, Sam? Huh? Seriously? Do you actually like being stuck in a car with me eight hours a day, every single day? I don't think so! I mean, I drive too fast. And I listen to the same five albums over and over and over again, a-and I sing along. I'm annoying, I know that. And you --you're gassy! You eat half a burrito, and you get toxic! I mean, you know what? (tosses Sam the keys) You can forget it.
Sam just doesn't know how to respond to the outburst. He's standing there trying to think of something to say or get a word in and he can't. He is just flabbergasted! It's also awesome to get a real look into the worse aspects of their life which we know already but don't actually think about. And Sam and Dean never think about it either usually. It's just life.
SAM:Whoa, Dean. where are you going?
DEAN:Stay away from me Sam, okay? Cause I am done with it. I'm done with the monsters and -- and -- and the hellhounds and the ghost sickness and the damn apocalypse. I'm out. I'm done. Quit.
And even more interesting is thinking about Dean's speech in Monster Movie. And I realize that this is our first indication that Dean is not alright with his hunter's life despite all he said. Something is definitely bothering him.
As he goes off on his own, we get to the scene we saw earlier. But this time we hear the real barks of the Yorkie instead of the Hell Hounds that Dean hears. And he runs. He runs all the way back to the hotel and is waiting for Sam who comes back after a fruitless search for Dean. As Sam sits down to talk with Dean, Dean starts to hallucinate again.
DEAN: I'm gonna die, Sammy.
SAM:Yeah, you are. You're going back.
SAM:Downstairs Dean, hell. It's about damn time, too. Truth is,
You've been a real pain in my ass.
This is a real fear of Dean's. Although it has been magnified by the sickness. That Sam is going to turn darkside, that he wants to turn darkside and is feeling that Dean is in the way of that.
DEAN:No! You get out of my brother, you evil son of a bitch!
YELLOW-EYED SAM:No one's possessing me, Dean. This is what I'm going to become. This is what I want to become.
Do you recognize that second to last line?! That's the same as Dream a Little Dream - what demon Dean says to Dean aye? Except of course Dean didn't want to become a demon and Dean has a real fear (if very very small) that Sam does.
There's nothing you can do about it.
Again, very similar to what demon-Dean said. Which means that that is a real fear as well, aye? That he cannot stop Sam from becoming a monster?
Anyway, I have to stop and say - Sam here is just magnificent. Well I like all of his expressions in this ep from cocky to disbelieving to speechless, but evil demon-Sam is AWESOME. Kudos to Jared.
When Dean finally comes out of his hallucination, Sam is there calling his name and trying to wake him.
Next scene, Sam is leaning against the Impala at the mill as Bobby drives up. Dean is watching TV at home. He's watching Pokey!
(I've never seen this cartoon! That's the one he was talking about in the Kids are alright!) But seems pokey is getting lassoed and dragged through the town, very much like Luther was. Dean can't believe what he's seeing (I wonder if that is an actual show, or a hallucination?)
Sam tells Bobby that Dean is at home, sick. And that really reminds me a lot of Sam being left in that hotel room in Bad Day.
BOBBY:So, have his hallucinations started yet?
SAM:Yeah, a few hours ago.
Stop - Dean hasn't told Sam about the hallucinations with that book aye? The only hallucination Sam knows about was the one he was witness to last scene.
BOBBY:How we doing on time?
SAM:We saw the coroner about 8:00 a.m. Monday morning, so, uh...just under two hours. What about you? You find anything?
BOBBY:This uh, encyclopaedia of spirits dates to the Edo period. (Gives Sam a book with Japanese text)
SAM:You can read Japanese?
BOBBY:(Answers in Japanese: "Kimi nanka umareru mae kara zutto dayo")
SAM:Guess so, show-off.
BOBBY:Anyway, this book lists a kind of ghost that could be our guy. It uh, infects people with fear. It's called a Buru Buru.
Sooooo... it's my turn to show off :P Sometimes it's nice to have an SPN fan that actually understands Japanese. It's also nice for the said person to be able to tell you that Bobby is actually speaking real Japanese - not with perfect pronunciation, which makes it hilarious from my point of view, but still - admirable. OK, the Japanese, which I will add to Super Wiki for another contribution there if I can, means "From long before the likes of you were born" which could translate into Bobby language as, "from long before you were born, boy." If you're up for another translation, Buru Buru actually means, "the shivers." Anyway, just a bit of trivia for you.
It seems the usual way to gank a Buru Buru is to burn the bones. Since they can't do that, Bobby suggests that you should also be able to kill it through fear. They are sitting there going, "How the hell we gonna do that?"
Dean's phone rings and when he picks up, it's Sam.
SAM:Hey! So, uh, just ride out the trip, okay? You're -- you're gonna be fine. We got a plan.
DEAN:What is it?
SAM:Uh, just a good plan, all right? Hang in there.
Sam trying to keep Dean hopeful. Then as soon as he hangs up,
BOBBY:This is a terrible plan.
SAM:Yeah, tell me about it.
(Just like when Sam and Dean came out of the Sheriff's office at the beginning of the ep aye?)
Meanwhile, Dean hears barking and banging at the door reminiscent of Hell Hounds, and then who should come barging in but the Sheriff! Who is scared to death that Sam and Dean have figured it out and are out to get him. Dean on the other hand sees black eyes when he sees the Sheriff. But he also notices that the Sheriff had those scratches on his arms and figures out that the Sheriff has been infected too.
The Sheriff attacks Dean and Dean fights him off, telling him to calm down, until finally the Sheriff has a heart attack and dies.
So basically Sam has decided to drag the ghost through the gravel just like it was done to him while he was alive. He goes into the mill with a shotgun but the ghost gets scared and doesn't come out so, Sam puts the gun down and starts ripping up the drawings to get him angry. Luther comes up behind him.
Dean is on the bed thinking of what demon-Sam said (You're going back. It’s about damn time too. ) and he picks up the Bible by the bed, bringing it to his lips - it looks like he's praying for help from God or Cas or someone. When he opens his eyes, Lilith is beside him!
LITTLE GIRL:Yes! It's me, Lilith. Oh, I missed you so much. It's time to go back now.
DEAN: You – you are not real!
LILITH:What's the matter, Dean? Don't you remember all the fun you had down there? You do remember. 4 months is like 40 years in hell. Like doggy years. And you remember every second.
DEAN: You are not real.
LILITH:It doesn't matter. You're still gonna die. You're still gonna burn.
DEAN:Why me? Why'd I get infected?
LILITH:Silly goose. You know why, Dean. Listen to your heart.
And Lilith is not just being literal here as she starts bobooming to his heart beat. There is a fear inside Dean (we know) that he realy deserves to be in hell - for what he did.
While that's happening, Sam is being flung around by Luther's ghost but finally gets a hold of the chain and Luther's ghost gets lassoed to the chain again and Bobby drags him through the mill yard as he was 20 years ago and he dissapates as he goes.
Dean's hallucination ends abruptly and his scratch marks all disappear as Luther dies his second death.
The rather dusty Impala is parked next to Bobby's car at a scenic spot near a river. You've got to love the scenery - at the mill as well we could also see the mountains which I assume are the Rockies, though I'm not the expert on BC. Dean gets the tale of how Sam and Bobby ganked the ghost and then Sam asks Dean how he's feeling, to which Dean answers, "I'm fine."
BOBBY:You sure, Dean? 'Cause this line of work can get awful scary.
DEAN:I'm fine. You want to go hunting? I'll hunt. I'll kill anything.
BOBBY:Awwww, he's adorable. I got to get out of here. You boys drive safe.
awww yes, he is Bobby. But of course he's not fine. He still has a lot on his mind despite being ready to hunt anything. And we will see that in future eps. But first, Sam asks, so what did you see? (sort of like in Dream a Little Dream) And of course Dean can't tell Sam that he saw Lilith and that he was scared to death that he deserved to and was going back to hell.
(Dean looks at Sam and sees a yellow flash in his eyes.)
DEAN:Howler monkeys. Whole roomful of them. Those things creep the hell out of me.
DEAN:No, just the usual stuff, Sammy. Nothing I can’t handle.