Oh, so now Sam concludes that Meg is a demon. Took you long enough! John says she's either a demon or it's a possessed person. Your concern to save that innocent girl trapped inside is so heartwarming John. John's plan is to find an old colt at an antique store since only they and a few vampires know what the gun looks like. Dean sees where that is a lousy plan, for if John hands over a bad gun they'll take it out of John's ass. John only wants to buy a few hours. "You mean for Dean and me," Sam cleverly figures out. He makes sure the plan is clear, John wants them to stay there and kill the demon by themselves.
"No Sam, I want to stop losing people we love. I want you to go to school, I want Dean to have a home. I want Mary alive. I just want this to be over." You know, this is really really sad, especially when you see what progresses over the next few seasons. For one, it's never over. Sam ends up fulfilling a dark and brutal destiny that's about the farthest thing from going back to school. And Dean, he gets that home finally, but at a massive cost. Everyone that ever mattered to him is dead. It's pretty freaking tragic when looking at it from this angle. Plus John disappears in a trail of gold fairy dust. That is so wrong!
We see the organized weapons in John's trunk and wow, Dean did not inherit any of those genes. How does Sam tolerate it? Dean pulls up to the same bridge we see in "The End" when he and Sam reconcile. Dean gives John a pretty decent replica and warns his dad its a trap. John knows but claims he can handle it. He has a whole arsenal. Liar! For some demented reason, the song "Be Prepared" that the goat sang in Hoodwinked comes into my head. He was prepared! Sorry, me and my strange flashes.
"Dad, promise me something," Dean says. "If this thing goes south, just get the hell out. Don't get yourself killed, you're no good to us dead." "Same goes for you," John replies. Right, what did you expect John to say to Dean? "Be reckless, get yourself killed. It's what us Winchesters do." No, John instead reminds them they only have four bullets left for the colt. Make every shot count! Then he gives a speech that is the most intense foreshadowing for the rest of the series. "Been waiting a long time for this fight. Now it's here and I'm not gonna be in it. It's up to you boys now. It's your fight, you finish this. You finish what I started. You understand?" How eerie, for that's exactly what ends up happening.
Both brothers nod in agreement, but they don't like it. John hands Dean the colt. "We'll see you soon Dad," Sam says. Aww, remember the days when Sam was an optimist? Season four Sam would have been giving John his final farewell. John says he'll see them later and leaves, Sam and Dean somberly watch. "Later," Dean says.
At this point there's a lot of back and forth. I'd warn you to try and keep up, but it moves at a snail's pace so you should be alright. John arrives at the warehouse and looks around, working out his tactical strategy. It's really cool when I can sum up three minutes in one sentence like that. Next Sam and Dean sit out in front of Monica and Rosie's house waiting for the shit to hit the fan. Sam want to try a gas leak scare, but Dean knows that would never work because it never has. Sam then suggests the truth and they both conclude that's a dumb idea. They're only move is to wait for the demon to show up. They of course wish John was there.
Back to the warehouse, Meg arrives. She looks around and there's no sign of John. That's because he's hiding. She's a demon right? Can't she sense where he is? We'll assume he's got an amulet or something that helps. The pace of this episode is really at a crawl right now otherwise I might not think of such things. I guess they all can't be action thrillers, although this is a very normal pace for season one. John opens up a tank of water, pulls out a rosary, recites some latin and then drops it in. Now that part is cool.
Back to Sam and Dean outside, and Sam is doing the whole "it's finally here and it doesn't seem real" speech. That's because it isn't! Dean is treating this like its a normal part of the job. I like Dean's perspective at this point in the series. He's practically the only rational one. Then Sam goes into the whole thanking Dean speech for having his back, wanting to let him know just in case. Dean, rightfully so, doesn't want to hear any of this crap. "Nobody's dying tonight, not us, not that family, nobody." Except the demon, but we know that doesn't end up being the case. Ah well, at least Dean was partially right.
John comes out from the shadows and Meg compliments him on his looks but thought he'd be taller. Enough of the small talk already! Now a turtle is outpacing this episode. Meg gets to business. John wants to know how he'll get out of this if he hands over the gun and proposes he shoots Meg instead. Meg claims there's more where she came from and sure enough another demon dude comes out of the woodwork. Meg demands the gun by throwing out more threats, John gives it to her, she gives it to demon dude. He tests it by shooting Meg! Hee, I like that!
It doesn't kill her but man she won't stop bitching about it. Since she is bitching though, they know the gun is a fake. John's in trouble now! Meg and other dude converge on John and he claims he didn't know because he never shot the gun before. He points out to Meg she should be glad it wasn't real but that only pisses her off more. Temper temper. She of course promises to do him some big harm so John runs. He takes them through the warehouse and opens the tank of holy water when they get close. That keeps Meg and demon dude back.
Back to the Impala. Dean tries to call John, but we know he's busy. Then the static comes on the radio. The wind rustles, the lights flicker, they know what that means. Back to John who's tires are slashed. Drive away anyway John! Bend the rims, this is your freaking life! Back to Sam and Dean who enter the house. Better be careful boys, they'll think you're a burglar. They're attacked by the Dad with a baseball bat because he thinks they're burglars. Sam and Dean try to assure him that they're trying to help but Dad stupidly warns Monica to get the baby. Sam of course shouts to stay out of the nursery but what mother is going to listen to him? That's her baby in there!
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.