Sam surmises that could be dozens of kids. How do they know which is the right one? Why your super Sammy psychic powers, that's how! Darn, getting ahead of myself again. John concludes they'll have to check them all. Sam and Dean don't like that, so John wants to know if they have better ideas. Ooh, I know, how about Sammy has a psychic vision? Oh, that's right, John doesn't know about that yet.
They go to leave, but John takes a moment to have a slight meltdown. He's pretty broken up over losing Jim. Too bad you haven't met angels yet, they could fix that problem. John is determined to end this, now. "I'm ending it. I don't care what it takes." Right. Sorry, you're about 83 episodes too early for that.
John pulls up to a hospital and gets out one of his many fake badges. Sam is alone at another place going over birth records. Dean is at another place, but he's flirting with the clerk instead. Now for the fun part! Sam is walking out of the hospital, reading a book strangely, and he gets a flash. Oh no, clowns! Why did it have to be clowns! Crud, there I go jumping ahead again.
A woman is in the nursery with a baby. A train goes by. This is an important clue. Back to Sam who's clutching his head in agony now. He tries to shake it off but more happens. Lights are flickering and the woman looks out the window. Sam is now clutching his aching head with both hands. Lucky for him, he has a handy dandy map of the area and looks to find the train tracks. Check! He walks a bit while reading the map and is hit with another big flash. He walks forward and spots the house in his vision. Then he sees the mom in his vision walking her baby. Wow, good job Sammy! That saves a lot of time and effort.
Sam goes over to help the mom and talks about how gorgeous the baby is. You're so good at faking small talk Sammy. He gives a line about moving in nearby. She's Monica, the baby is Rosie. Sam notices how good the baby is and mom says she never cries. She spends a lot of time staring at people. "It's like she's reading your mind." Hmm, the next generation of psychic kids, huh? Were you like this as a kid Sam? Through small talk he finds out Rosie is six months old today. Sam gets all sad and wants to try and warn her, but realizes that is not wise. He tells her instead to take care of herself. Oh, poor Sam. Some really deep wounds are opening up here, aren't they?
Monica and Rosie walk away and then Sam really gets pelted with stabbing head pain. This time we get the whole vision, which is actually long and drawn out. They must have been hurting to get in enough time on this one. It's the same story. Nursery, baby, demon, mom sliding up wall, flambeed mom on ceiling.
Sam is back at the motel, clutching his aching head, and John is having a real hard time with this one. "A vision." Dean is sitting next to John patiently listening. Sam says his vision shows that woman burning on the ceiling. John wants to know why he thinks this will happen to them. Well duh, because all visions come true like this. Dean takes over the explaining because he's the cool overprotective big brother. "They started out as nightmares, then he started having them when he was awake." Sam, with a voice tinged with pain, explains the closer they get to the demon the stronger his visions get. Aww, poor Sammy, come here, I'll make the headache all better.
Sam and Dean might be all casual about this, but John looks like he's going to blow a gasket. "Alright, when we're you going to tell me about this?" Sam and Dean both look at him with disbelief. Dean says they didn't know what it meant. John chastises Dean now, telling him when something like this happens he needs to pick up the phone and call. Ha! You've got to be kidding. What do you know, Dean feels the same way. "Call you? Are you kidding me? Dad I called you from Lawrence, alright. Sam called you when I was dying. Getting you on the phone I've got a better chance of winning the lottery." To think John, this is coming from your obedient son. Imagine what Sam would be telling you if he wasn't in so much agony right now.
John humbly accepts Dean's words. He apologies, even though he doesn't like Dean's new tone. It's called having balls John. You do have sons, remember? Sam for once breaks up the confrontation because vision or no vision the demon is coming tonight and this family is going to go through the same Hell they did. John assures they won't, which makes for perfect timing as Sam's phone rings. It's about time they had some trouble.
No shocker, it's Meg. Sam mentions how the last time they saw each other she fell out a window. Wow, way to bring up fun memories. She claims that hurt her feelings. Sam is surprised that's all it hurt since it was a seven story drop. Gee Sam, you really didn't know demons couldn't be killed like that? He does learn the hard way, doesn't he? Meg gets over it and wants to talk to John. Sam tries to play dumb, but John standing next to him motioning for the phone changes his mind. Meg tells John she did in Jim Murphy and today she's in Lincoln. She has Caleb. She brings up the colt but John plays ignorant. She responds by slashing Caleb's throat. Remind me never to be a friend of this guy.
Meg goes on with her evil over the phone taunting. Since John has the gun he's basically declared war. The shot of a dead Caleb makes her point that war has casualties. John swears he'll kill her, but we know he doesn't. Anyone want to take bets on whether Castiel did? Nah, she's got to still be alive and more pissed off than ever. Anyway, Meg promises to kill anyone that ever helped John if he doesn't hand over the colt. John agrees. You mean to tell me you have friends and acquaintances left? She wants him in Lincoln by midnight. John claims that to be impossible but Meg doesn't care. He also has to come alone. I don't get it. If the yellow-eyed demon was attacking Rosie that night, wouldn't she want John to bring Sam and Dean? My guess is there are some communication issues in the demon chain of command. See, demonic upper management has the same hangups!
Although we don't know it yet, John HAS met the Angels and one (Anna) of them tried to kill both John and Mary and did kill Sam. Then Michael cons John into being his vessel. Sadly the Angels would have been no help whatsoever. Poor John was just as screwed as Sam and Dean from the word go.
Verily, thou that leaveth Salvation leaveth the Lord!
I get that they wanted Pastor Jim to have a suitably bloody death to push the Winchesters' collective button an extra time, but it always bugged me that someone so well versed in what's going on wouldn't have a devil's trap at the threshold of his bat cave. Not like he'd freak the nuns out any less with the arsenal in the room.
I love how in the Sam-Monica scene it's coming down pretty hard. Not as bad as in What Is And What Should Never Be, but this might be the only time (outside of Sam and Dean of all people) we see one of those.
And of course the baby had to die, it's what demented demon mofos do. What a fine, fine episode.
Personally, I've always found it a little difficult to watch (and rewatch) "Salvation" (and also "Devil's Trap") because they were so intense emotionally.