Overall ratings in the poll were pretty good - for various reasons, but mainly I guess because we get to see the Winchesters when they were kids. This is the first solid picture we have of their life as hunter's children, although we had some indication of its difficulties from the brothers talking in other episodes.
We know it definitely wasn't what Sam would consider a normal life. We also know that Dean looked up to his father and did not question him, while Sam was... well always questioning him(Bugs). The fact that Dean did whatever Dad told him to do has really bugged Sam from the start. He has been complaining about it from Episode 2. In Scarecrow, he gets tired of it and goes off on his own for a while. They finally find Dad in Shadow, but Dean and Dad persuade Sam that it is best to go their separate ways. Sam is not happy about it. I still have Sam's defiant look in the last scene etched in my mind. In Hell House, Sam again indicates he is not happy with having let Dad go - basically giving in to Dad, when really they wanted to go with him.
Something Wicked is an episode in which Sam finds out why Dean has always done what Dad said to the letter without questioning. We also see again Dean's strong love and protective instincts toward his brother - as something that is seen in any other older brother. It is also the episode where we find out one of the reasons, maybe, why Dean's eyes might have bled in Bloody Mary.
Let's start with the music.
MUSIC LINKS (It should open in a new window this time! ):
"Rock Bottom" by UFO
(While Sam and Dean are on their way to Fitchburg)
"Road to Nowhere" by Ozzy Osbourne
(The end of the episode, when they hit the road again)
"Another Day of Regrets" by Molly
(The end of the episode, when they hit the road again)
We start the episode with a little girl praying that bedtime prayer that so many children have prayed through the centuries. It unfortunately cannot protect her from the monster coming through the window.
"Keep me safe till morning light."
This is the kind of monster I would have been scared of when I was a kid - much more than any Bloody Mary. In a dark room at the back of the house, dark shapes everywhere and branches hitting on my window, desperately straining to see a depiction of Jesus and his sheep on the framed Lords Prayer on the wall... yes. It is a very real fear of many children today - the monster in their closet, the monster under their bed, the monster outside the window.... Come to think of it, this kind of monster was probably also blamed for many childhood deaths and sickness in the old days.
We move to Sam and Dean heading for Fitchburg, Wisconsin because apparently they got coordinates again from Dad. Sam is probably a little pissed they are going on another mission from Dad, and can't find anything newsworthy about the town either. Dean is adamant that there must be something there "because I'm the oldest which means I'm always right" with his best serious face, and then we see a little smile there at the end.
When they get there, they have a hard time finding any leads until Sam finds it strange that there are no kids in the park after school is out. Dean goes to investigate and they find out the kids are getting sick - very sick - and parents are worried it is catching. Sam and Dean go to the hospital to check it out as CDC officials. Here the funny "bikini inspector" scene.
"Dude. Dude I am not using this ID."
Deeeean! are you still playing tricks on Sam?! And yet Dean is pointing out something that is probably true - and which is how they have been able to get by as even NSA agents in the past. Confidence!
As they are walking down the hall, Dean sees a creepy old woman with an inverted cross in one of the bedrooms. They go on and find that all the kids are unconscious and that whatever infection is going around, it is going through one family at a time. They decide to go investigate the house of the little girl we saw in the beginning - as apparently both their children have been hospitalized and the parents are not going to be going home anytime soon. It is very interesting that the parents all blame an open window for their children getting sick. I really don't think that is possible. Much more likely from touching something and putting it in their mouths. Anyways.
Sam finds that indeed it is their kind of problem when he sees the rotten wood hand print on the windowsill (Dad was right). And, Dean remembers something from long ago...
We then see Dean as a little boy - looks like first or second grade at oldest. He is looking at dad's journal with the exact same hand print of rotten wood on the windowsill. On their way to the motel, Dean tells Sam what he remembers from Dad's journal and hunt years ago. It is a Shtriga. Dad hunted it, but it got away.
What! How could a monster that dad hunted get away? Sam can't believe it - showing how high an opinion he has of Dad with regard to hunting anyway. Dean doesn't elaborate. But we as rewatchers know that he is thinking of that time he broke trust with dad, when he and Sam were so young and he used to take care of him while dad was gone...
As Dean goes into the Motel registration desk, there is a cheeky boy Michael (who makes gay assumptions - is that normal in the States?) who is quickly shooed to the back room by his mom to take care of his little brother Asher. Dean sees him pouring milk for his little brother and the memories of him and Sam overlap. Now, this scene that Dean remembers... I think it could have been better. Wee-Sam didn't quite get that look right when asking for the cereal and wee-Dean looked too frustrated with having to give it up... but the idea they are trying to get across is that 1) he was the caretaker of his brother while dad was gone, 2) He would do anything for him as an older brother.
At their room, Sam is looking up Shtrigas on the internet and find that legend has it that the Shtriga tend to disguise themselves as old women. Dean, thinking of where the children lived in relation to the hospital, remembers the scary old woman and they go to investigate. Another hilarious scene where they find out the old woman was no witch - she was just sleeping with her peepers open! and the cross? well...
Why did they go in with guns when they knew the shtriga had to be feeding in order for it to be killed? Wouldn't it have been better to just stake out and see if she left her room and track her or something? But I guess this is just a Supernatural humor moment. Sam and Dean come back to the motel in the morning (!!) laughing about the old lady and find that cheeky big brother hanging his head with grief and guilt in front of the registration building. This is a scene that I love. It is a total big brother bonding moment between Dean and Michael. Michael blames himself for his brother Asher getting sick, because hey, he must have left the window open.
"It's my fault."
Dean knows exactly how this boy feels - not only because he is a big brother too, but because he feels he is responsible for almost getting Sam killed. Dean, before driving the distraut mother to the hospital, vows to Sam that they are going to kill this monster.
"We are going to kill this thing. I want it dead, you hear me?"
While Dean is at the hospital, Sam is researching the Shtriga's activity in the region and he finds out that the Shtriga is Doctor Hydeker. Dean, hearing this, has a hard time containing himself but - "wiser in his old age," gets back home without blasting his gun in the pediatrics ward. There is only one way they can get him, he tells Sam, and that is to use the next victim - the boy. And Sam, who has been seeing Dean acting funny about this case, just has to know what is going on. Why Dean would even think of risking the life of a child to get this particular monster. What Dean has been hiding from the gekko. Why would dad bail on a hunt? Dean opens his heavy mouth.
"It's my fault."
OK, so we know that John get's upset at Dean for leaving the room when he specifically told him to not let Sam out of his sight. Dean says to Sam that Dad looked at him differently after that. Some people might think John was a bad dad to make Dean feel this way. I look at it a little differently. I do not believe John blamed Dean for what happened - really. Although he sure must have been disheartened to find Dean disobedient. He had a real big scare, and unfortunately sometimes parents tend to take it out on their kids as if it was their fault. I know from personal experience on the parent's side. Sam and maybe even Dean could have been killed by this monster. And it was not because Dean left the window open or kept the door unlocked(They were both closed). Dean being there would not have made a difference to the Shtriga's actions, and although Dean was a little more prepared than other children to deal, he was still too young. John realized that he had to get the kids out of there so they would not be in danger. Dean, however, took this lesson very hard - like the little man that he was. In his mind, it was his fault that Sam almost got killed. This is similar to Michael and how he thinks it's his fault for not checking to see the window was latched. It is not really his fault. The window was latched. And even as he saw the Shtriga get his brother, he could not have done anything. But Michael also took it hard because it was his brother and it was his job to take care of him.
Dean convinces Sam to go and talk to Michael to see if he will help them. First, Michael says no, and Sam is not surprised. Not even an adult would say yes easily. But Michael in the end agrees.
"Would you take care of your little brother? Do anything for him?"
As they wait for the Shtriga in the next room, Sam says to Dean, "Hey Dean I'm sorry."... "You know, I've really given you a lot of crap, for always following Dad's orders. But I know why you do it." Dean answers: "Oh God, kill me now!"
As soon as the Shtriga starts to feed, they barge into the room, hitting it with numerous rounds - just like John did - in the chest. Now I don't know if it was the fact they hit it in the chest, or it wasn't feeding enough, but it doesn't work and when they think it's dead and they are safe, it attacks Sam and Dean (all the while Michael is under the bed - good). Getting Dean out of the way, it tries to drain Sam.
This is my favorite line, "You OK little brother?" It's not Sammy, or Sam. It's Little Brother. The person he would do anything for. Sam gets out of the way and Dean makes sure this time the Shtriga is dead.
The next day, they go out to find that Asher has miraculously recovered as have all the other children (this happy ending seems a little forced - but I like happy endings so fine). The only thing is Michael is no longer the innocent, cheeky boy he was. He knows that there are real monsters out there. Sam also feels his loss - maybe he remembers the time that he found out (we see that in another episode aye?) and wishes he and Michael both could have had it otherwise.
"I wish I could have that kinda innocence."
Dean feels Sam's longing and as a brother who would do anything in his power for his little brother, replies,
"If it means anything, sometimes I wish you could too."
That is my second favorite line.(Note:Dean does not wish it for himself - only for Sam.)
I actually have a third favorite so I have to put it here again.
"Road to Nowhere" by Ozzy Osbourne