|Boring Production Crap|
|Original Air Date: 9/20/05|
Writer: Eric Kripke
Director: David Nutter
Wendigo: Roy Campsall
Ben Collins: Alden Ehrenreich
Haley Collins: Gina Holden
Gary: Cory Monteith
Roy: Callum Keith Rennie
Mr. Shaw: Donnelly Rhodes
Tommy Collins: Graham Wardle
Ranger Wilkinson: Timothy Webber
|What Time Is It?|
|Dean mentions that he and Sam stayed in Palo Alto for a week after Jessica's death to search for clues. Jess died on November 2, 2005 so the beginning of the episode is approximately November 9 or 10.|
|Now, Which One Was That?|
|Following coordinates left by John in his journal, Sam and Dean head to Blackwater Ridge in Colorado in search of their father. Once there, they learn from the local park service that a young man, Tommy Collins, has been reported missing by his family.|
Sam and Dean pose as park rangers in order to obtain additional information on Tommy from Haley, his sister. Researching other instances of missing persons in the area, they find that several people have disappeared every twenty-three years, never to be found, all of whom are supposed to have been attacked by grizzly bears. Their investigation leads them to a lone survivor from a previous attack, who tips them off that what they're facing is no bear.
The next day, Sam and Dean meet up with Haley, her younger brother, Ben, and Roy, a hired guide, in search of Tommy (and John). When John is nowhere to be found, Sam struggles with the fact that they're wasting time in Colorado when they could be searching for John and, presumably, clues to Jessica's murder. Dean, however, tries to convince Sam that saving people and killing evil beings is a worthwhile pursuit; revenge is not the only reason to hunt.
Meanwhile, the party finds Tommy's destroyed campsite. Sam discovers that the creature is a Wendigo, a former human turned supernatural hunter by cannibalism. Roy is killed after shooting at and pursuing the Wendigo, and Dean and Haley are captured the next day. Sam and Ben locate Dean and Haley in an abandoned mine, where they also find Tommy, still alive. They attempt to make their escape, but the Wendigo returns before they can leave. Dean separates from the group in order to draw the creature away, eventually killing it with a flare gun.
Sam accepts that their search for John is a long-term pursuit, and the brothers leave Colorado, still seeking John and Jessica's killer.
|All the Niggling Little Details|
- Blackwater Ridge, Colorado, doesn't exist. However, Sam's map of Colorado shows "Black Water Ridge" as located in the "Lost Creek Wilderness Area," which is a real location close to Pike's Peak and Colorado Springs.
- Tommy (the missing brother) is reading Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which Jared refers to at the Paley Festival in 2005.
- In Sam's dream about Jessica's grave, her headstone reveals that her full name is Jessica Lee Moore, that she was born 1/24/84, and that she died 11/2/05, 22 years exactly from the day Mary Winchester died.
- When Sam wakes up, Dean asks if he's had a nightmare, the first canon reference to Sam's guilt-induced (but not yet prophetic) dreams, even though he doesn't confirm to Dean that he had a nightmare.
- Trying to comfort him, Dean asks Sam if he wants to drive, which, according to Sam, is the first time Dean has ever offered that.
- Dean indicates that he and Sam stayed at Stanford for a week trying to find clues related to Jessica's death.
- Dean indicates twice that Sam is acting against type: he asks since when Sam is a "shoot first, ask questions later kind of guy" when Sam wants to bypass meeting Haley and go straight to Blackwater Ridge, and he notes that he (Dean) is supposed to be the "belligerent one" when Sam and Roy (the guide) nearly get in a fight.
- When Dean introduces himself to Haley, he says they're rangers with the park service, but he uses their real first names.
- When Sam and Dean determine that the monster is corporeal, Dean initially suspects a skinwalker or black dog.
- Dean carries John's journal in his jacket, not his bag.
- Dean eats peanut M&Ms.
- In this episode, Dean first presents his theory that John is trying to pass along the family business to them.
- Sam and Dean's motivations for hunting are revealed in this episode: Sam is motivated by revenge, and Dean is motivated to help other families and kill "as many evil sons of bitches" as possible.
- When Sam and Ben discover the mine where Dean and Haley have been taken, signs warn that "toxic material" is present. Mercury, used to extract gold ore, is a common contaminant from abandoned mines and the modern-day legacy of said mines.
- In the mine, Sam goes to Dean first when he and Ben discover Dean and Haley hanging from the ceiling; Sam doesn't actually leave Dean to help Ben cut Haley down.
- Haley kisses Dean in appreciation for his help.
- Sam and Dean both hate camping.
|Where'd That Myth Come From?|
- Wendigo: According to Sam and Dean, the Wendigo is a former human that has been transformed into a supernatural being by cannibalism. Wendigos are said to be extremely fast and strong and are "near-perfect hunters." Sam says the origin of the word comes from the Cree Native Americans and means "evil that devours." They are found mostly in Minnesota, northern Michigan, and Canada. They are also said to have the ability to mimic a human voice, to hibernate for years at a time, and are immune to both gunfire and knives. According the Dean, the only way to kill a Wendigo is to burn it. Actual Wendigo legends vary in their details, although cannibalism and a Native American origin seem to be commonalities between Supernatural's version and actual folklore.
- Skinwalker: A creature of predominantly Navajo origin said to be a shaman with supernatural talents that allow him to turn into a certain creature. Said talents are gained by breaking a cultural taboo, such as killing a close relative. Skinwalkers are said to appear naked except for a coyote skin.
- Black Dog: A creature of British origin that is said to haunt the countryside. American versions of the legend also exist.
- Bambi and Yogi: Dean uses this reference when he asks Roy, a hunter, if "Bambi or Yogi" ever hunt him back. Refers to Disney's Bambi and Hanna-Barbera's The Yogi Bear Show, both anthropomorphic cartoons of a deer and a bear, respectively.
- Donner Party: A group of California-bound settlers that became trapped in the Sierra Nevada during winter and resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
- Anasazi: An ancient Native American people that existed approximately 2,000 years ago in the "Four Corners" region of the U.S. (where Coloradio, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona touch).
- "Better the bread crumbs": An allusion to "Hansel and Gretel." Dean leaves a trail of peanut M&Ms when he's captured by the Wendigo, which stick around longer than the bread crumb trail Hansel and Gretel left when captured by the witch.
|What's in a Name?|
- Dean introduces Sam and himself to Haley as park rangers but uses only [their real] first names.
- Sam/Sammy Battle: "Sam" is the uncontested champion in this episode, being used 5 times (by Dean), and not a "Sammy" in sight.
|What Did You Just Say?|
|Dean: You wanna drive for a while?</i>|
Sam: Dean, your whole life, you never once asked me that.
Dean: Just thought you might want to, never mind.
Roy: You're rangers?
Dean: That's right.
Haley: And you're hiking out in biker boots and jeans?
Dean: Well sweetheart, I don't do shorts.
Dean: I just figured that you and me, we're in the same boat.
Haley: Why didn't you just tell me that from the start?
Dean: I'm telling you now. Besides, this is the most honest I've ever been with a woman...ever.
Sam: We never should have let you come out here in the first place, all right? I'm trying to protect you.
Roy: You? Protect me? I was hunting these woods when your mommy was still kissing you goodnight.
Sam: Yeah? It's a damn near perfect hunter. It's smarter than you. And it's gonna hunt you down and eat you alive unless we get your stupid, sorry ass out of here.
Haley: So really, I don't know how to thank you.
Haley: Must you cheapen the moment?
|Counting the Cost|
|Pain Quotient: |
- Dean is captured and strung up by the Wendigo; the end of the episode shows him with bandages on his neck and cheek, and an unbandaged scrape on his forehead.
- Sam has an unbandaged scrape on his cheek at the end of the episode.
Collateral Damage: Two of Tommy's friends are killed by the Wendigo, and of course Tommy himself is injured when he's captured by the Wendigo. Sam's research indicates that up to eight people disappeared in 1982, presumably victims of the Wendigo. In 1959 and 1936, others disappeared, but the exact number isn't revealed. Mr. Shaw, the only survivor prior to Tommy (from the 1959 attacks), has four claw marks marking his left upper chest and shoulder from the Wendigo.
The Bad, the Ugly, and the Dead: Dean shoots the Wendigo with a flare gun, burning and killing it.
Metallicar Watch: The Impala is OKAY in this episode.
Zippo Count: The Zippo is likewise unharmed.
Sacrificed on the Altar of Whoops!
- Dean says he thinks it's significant that their father disappeared and the demon killed Jessica twenty years after it killed Mary; the attack on Jessica actually occurs twenty-two years later; neither Sam nor Dean mention that it also occured on the anniversary of Mary's death.
- The episode begins in "Blackwater Ridge," according to the on-screen text, but Sam's map of the area refers to it as "Black Water Ridge."
- Sam's map has the coordinates written on it as "36, -111." However, the line is "35, -111," as is the message in John's journal (thanks to deannie for the heads up!). Also thanks to deannie for pointing out in the Pilot bible that "35, -111" is in Arizona, not Colorado, and clex_monkie89 for pointing out that so is "36, -111"!
- Sam tells Ranger Wilkinson he and Dean are environmental studies majors at "UC Boulder." The campus actually refers to itself as "CU - Boulder."
- When Dean introduces himself to Haley, he shows her an ID for a park ranger. The name on the ID is "Samuel Cole," even though he just introduced himself as "Dean."
- Considering the episode is taking place during early November, no one in the episode dresses weather-appropriate. Wolf Creek Pass (a real-life location), which, on Sam's map, is close to Blackwater Ridge, has an average high temperature during November of 48 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Certainly no one is dressed for temperatures in the teens or even twenties, including the experienced campers at the beginning of the episode. As noted by deannie, however, the area is noted for temperature fluctuations, so it's possible they were experiencing unseasonably warm weather, although their gear didn't indicate they were prepared should the temperature drop.
- Maybe not a "whoops," but Dean and Sam accomplish an awful lot in the evening before they set out for Blackwater Ridge. They visit Haley at dinnertime, go to a bar and discuss Sam's research findings after, and then visit Mr. Shaw, all in one night.
- When Sam and Dean enter the clearing close to Tommy's destroyed campsite, Sam calls Dean's attention to the fact that it's dead silent, without so much as crickets chirping, but just before a bird flew past cawing.
- Although everyone's packs are stolen, Sam still has a flashlight when night falls, even though the flashlights would have presumably been in the packs.
- Dean draws Anasazi symbols around the campsite to protect them from the Wendigo. However, Dean said earlier that Wendigos are rarely located so far west; instead, they're generally located in Minnesota, Michigan, and Canada. Since the Anasazi were located in the Four Corners region (where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona meet), it doesn't make sense that the Anasazi would have symbols that would provide protection against a creature not native to their area.
- Sam drives away from Blackwater Ridge when Dean tosses him the keys, but Sam is in the passenger seat in the final scene.
|Driver Picks the Music|
|"Out of My Hands" by Dave Matthews Band (during the previouslies)|
"Hot Blooded" by Foreigner
"Down South Jukin" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Fly By Night" by Rush
|What Did They Just Say?|
|Official Heavy Metas|
Dean -- "Who's In Charge Here?" by dotfic
Sam -- "Sam 'Bitcy McEmopants' Winchester" by clex_monkie89
John -- Wendigo by marinarusalka
Other really cool people talked, too!
Sam meta, by janissa11 (thanks to marinarusalka for the heads up!)