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Sam, Dean and the Impala are near a shipyard, thus sending the messages they're likely near the Mississippi, aka, Jefferson City.  Sam has his nose in the book, Dean is checking weapons in the trunk.  "You've been quiet," Sam tells Dean, a bit worried. Dean says he's getting ready so Sam assures him that John will be fine.  Sam finds a protective emblem in the book and happens to have the perfect white marker to draw it on the Impala trunk.  As long as it doesn't damage the paint.  It's a Devil's Trap. Demons can't get inside or out.  It turns the trunk into a lock box.  Smart thinking there Sammy, presuming there's something in there you want to protect from demons.  I'm sure they don't need shotguns.

I'm onto something, for that creates the next disagreement for the brothers.  Sam says it's a place to hide the colt while they go get Dad.  Dean says they're bringing the colt with them.  "Can't Dean.  We've only got three bullets left.  We just can't use them on any demon, we've got to use them on THE demon."  Dean sees it different, they're using it to save Dad.  Sam reminds Dean how pissed John would be if they used all the bullets.  Dean doesn't care what Dad wants.  "Since when do you care what Dad wants?"  Uh, since they both are on the same hellbent suicidal mission for revenge?  You forget about that Dean?

"We want to kill this demon.  You used to want that too.  Hell, I mean, you're the one that came and got me at school.  You're the one that dragged me back into this Dean.  I'm just trying to finish it."  Dean naturally scoffs through this, for he can't understand how Sam's priorities are so out of whack.  Oh Dean, that's going to take a whole series to understand.  "Well, you and Dad are a lot more alike than I thought, you know that?  You both can't wait to sacrifice yourself for this thing.  You know what?  I'm going to be the one to bury you."  Sam gives Dean an "I don't care" stare.  "You're selfish, you know that?"  Dean says.  "Don't care but anything but revenge."  Sam claims that's not true.  Sorry Sam, he's so dead on right with this one.
Sam decides to spin this a different way.  The bad guys are expecting them to bring the Colt.  If they get the gun, they will kill them all.  That gun is their only leverage. "We cannot bring that gun."  Okay, now that's a better way of putting it.  "Fine," Dean says unconvinced.  "We can't Dean!"  "I said Fine Sam!"  He pulls the Colt out of his pocket and puts it in the trunk.  Something tells me by Dean's look it's not staying in that trunk.

Sam and Dean are casually walking along the river, looking all dressed up and nowhere to go.  They aren't exactly speaking to each other either.  You might say, "Awkward."  They turn the corner and Dean spots it.  There's an apartment building in front of them called "Sunrise."  That makes sense now!  It's cool that happened, otherwise it would be 23 more minutes of Sam and Dean walking around in silence hoping to find Dad.  That dodged a bullet.

Well, sort of.  Sam and Dean now have to figure out how to get the demons without harming the women and children out front.  Of course any of them can be evil. That's what possessing people are all about.  So there's an apartment building full of human shields.  Son of a bitch indeed.  I do love how Dean says "That sucks out loud." Kripke used the same words when describing the lengthy writers strike that all but decimated his season three.  That's one very polite way of saying "This fucking blows."
So what do they do now?  Pull the fire alarm.  The city will respond in seven minutes. Sorry, that seems slow to me.  Right, Missouri.  Oh I'm kidding.  In Ohio it would be ten.  Tell me this, in choosing which one to pull the fire alarm, would you pick the freakishly tall dude with the floppy hair that sticks out like a sore thumb?  Sam goes in, is undetected by passers by, and pulls the alarm.  The plan is in motion.  Of course two demons upstairs hear this and stay put.  One goes to check on John who's sprawled out unconscious on the bed.  I guess they have the right place!

The fire trucks arrive, people leave, and Dean plays worried bystander.  He even has a Yorkie upstairs that pees when he's nervous.  Ha, Dean certainly has a small history with Yorkies, doesn't he?  The fire guy pushes him away with the rest of the crowd. This is a distraction so again the freakishly tall dude with the floppy hair who sticks out like a sore thumb can sneak around in broad daylight and steal two fire suits. That involves picking a lock too and its interesting to see his hands shaking while he's doing that.  Sammy's nervous!

Next are two fighters in the hall, one freakishly tall, searching from door to door.  "I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up," Dean says.  "You never told me that," Sam replies.  That's because firefighter doesn't sound as exciting as lawyer Sam (sarcasm!).  Dean sees that the EMF goes off the charts.  I'm sorry, I thought EMF only worked for ghosts, not demons.  They're demon ghosts perhaps?  Dean knocks on the door, both demons answer.  Dean shouts through the door they need to evacuate.  Then she demon opens the door, Sam and Dean burst in with the holy water and spray those demons onto a closet, holding them with a salt line. That's pretty clever, but doesn't that seem to be a bit easy?  Dumb demons I guess.  

So then, Sam and Dean take precious time to remove their fire fighter outfits?  Is John allergic to them or something?  They find John in the bedroom and Dean checks it out.  He's still alive.  Just as Dean goes to cut him loose Sam realizes caution is best.  He splashes John with holy water.  Too bad that stuff doesn't work on a high level demon like Azazel but good thinking Sam.  John wakes up and wonders why Sam is splashing him with water.  Silly John, you should know why.  That's already a sign he ain't right.  Another sign, he asks about the colt before anything else.   No, that actually does sound like John.  Sam assures him its safe, John calls them good boys.  Oh yeah, that is so not John.  He's possessed.

Outside an innocent bystander is taken over by a demon.  Without black smoke. Then he touches a nearby fight fighter and he becomes a demon.  Please tell me this is a magical mystical demon with special powers so I don't have to harp on continuity issues.  It's a magical mystical demon.  Cool I feel better.  They both go inside.  Sam and Dean try to get John out but these two dudes show up.  They run in the bedroom and lock the door.  Oh yeah, that works.  Then Kripke gets his re-creation of The Shining with the axe going through the door before Sam gets the salt line down.  The three men climb down the fire escape, Sam realizing that they might as well use the extra salt they have and leave a line behind him.  That's being resourceful I guess! 
There can't possibly be demons down there waiting for them.  No, there can't be. Remember psycho demon from the previous episode?  He might be there.  Oh, he is. Sam takes the lead and is quickly ambushed by the dude.  He beats the crap out of Sam and Dean tries to stop him by kicking him.  That gets Dean flung into a windshield.  The guy goes on pounding the crap out of Sam and I'm screaming at the top of my lungs, "Not the pretty face!  Not the hair!"  Dean must have though the same thing because he blows punching demon away with the Colt!  Shhh, don't tell John.  He falls but the damage is already done.  Sammy's face looks like hamburger. Nooo!!!!  Why????

Okay, here's my question.  If Sammy was a chosen one or Azazel's favorite, why was that goon allowed to beat on him like that?  Was it a ploy to get Dean to use up all the bullets in the colt?  Not a big deal, just wondering.  Dean picks up an incoherent Sammy off the ground and he pulls both a staggering Sam and carries John away. Man holding the family together is a rough job.


# Julie 2010-12-01 07:32
As you know Alice, I love your recaps, but there is something special about the retro ones, maybe its because we are so familiar with these episodes, it`s like revisiting old friends, rediscovering all the tiny nuances and details therein.
What made this one great was that it`s one of my favourite episodes, it is one I watch a lot,in fact I watched it earlier this week and could probably recite the entire script ( obsessed Moi!! Perish the thought).
It has so many scenes I love and it also gave us the introduction of our beloved Bobby, is that not reason enough to call it special? For me this was one of the key episodes for Dean, here, he grew up and came into his own and, as you say, he was such a bad ass but utterly wonderful too. I think Jensen was fantastic here. About him not being killed like in SFTD and SS that was a great theory! I am still, like you, waiting for the explanation on the whole true servant of heaven stuff and why he could kill the Whore of Babylon. It also gives all the doubters out there a reminder of his character, how sad to think when you watch this of everything he, and Sam, have had to face since then but he may be battered but he is still standing and still fighting
It was also good the see the interaction with John and I think this explained a lot, offering a much deeper insight into both boys characters, the fact that they knew he was not himself because he was actually being nice and supportive speaks volumes, sorry Yvonne but it does, not knocking JW I know he did love his boys really but we have to agree to disagree on his parenting skills.
Cannot wait for your take on IMTOD as this was my `first one` and holds a very special place in my heart, thanks again Ju
# Jasminka 2010-12-01 09:32
Never stop the retro-recaps, Alice! I just love them - and this is one of my ever favourite episodes. There is so much in it, tragedy, humour, love, anger, despair, well, let's say, the best of good tv drama.
And this piece of yours brought all the moments I love back to me (not, as if that was necessary, really, as I know this episode quite well - I hear you, Julie -).

you rock. Jas
# elle2 2010-12-01 11:48
Where oh where is the classic car humanity!!!!

This was excellent, Alice, so glad you're planning to finish this three-part retro-recap.

There was so much goodness in this episode as well as a few bits of not-so goodness with some continuity issues (demon smoke, holy water and salt lines) still, very cool. So I'll just hand wave at some of those things or as you have done, point them out and then go with mystical fairy demons...yeah, that's why.

I also noticed that Dean has three times now been on the receiving end of near death by a demon possessed loved one (well, Lucifer wasn't a demon, fallen angel possessed loved one there) and each time be it John, Bobby or Sam has been able to take control and change the course of the action. I think it has everything to do with love (the power of love! HAH) which is what enabled Bobby, John and Sam to take back control.

Ahhh, what a chick-flick moment that is too.

Great recap. I'll be looking forward to the third and final installment during the upcoming winter hellatus (not that I'm wishing that upon us any early than need be)
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-12-01 12:04
A retrospective historical recap. What could be better on a snowy Wednesday afternoon?

Ok, must check my 'awesome episode' checklist and see how this episode rates.

Angst moments aplenty - check
Meg (the original and best!) - check
Brothers fighting for the common good - check
John - check.
John being shot - check.
John looking sad - check.
John being a dad - check.
John on the floor = check
JOHN TIED TO A FREAKING BED!! – (Needs to lie down for a wee bit...) Um, check
John with chest hair -check (Hey, it’s there, ok)
Latin - check
Awesome Bobby - check
Smartassery to demons - check (God, I love hearing that!)
Sam and Dean dressed as firemen - check (I never realised this was a fantasy of mine until I saw the boys shimmying out of those uniforms...)

Ah lads, this episode was great. A+ times a squagillion.

Alice, keep lashing these out, please and thanks....
# boobula 2010-12-01 12:59
Love retro recaps! Awesome as usual. This episode is near the top of my all time favs list. The Dean and Meg showdown, with Sam and Bobby to boot! Dean at his badassery (spellcheck says it's not a word, but I like it) best. Sam with the Latin and floppy hair. Bobby's first appearance. John. What more can I say, other than I LOVE this show. Like ya'll didn't know that already. And Alice I'm with you. Dead people, fine. Dead animals, not so much. I was relieved in Family Matters when it was dead dudes not dogs. Go figure. I am looking forward to the third installment. :D
# Bevie 2010-12-01 14:25
I loved this retro recap Alice. This is one of my very favourite episodes ever! It had everything! But most of all it had the brothers together. Loved the way Sam moved to side with Dean when John was being a good parent. Also Sam stepping over his father to go to Dean who was bleeding on the floor. That's the way I wish for them to be and have been missing now for more than 2 years.

Yes, my favourite seasons are 1, 2 and 3 and I'm hoping that some day that warm feeling will return during an episode. Please please please! Bring them back together older but wiser and caring about each other like in the first 3 seasons. I don't think Dean ever lost that feeling, but Sammy needs to get that back as soon as possible.

I agree with you Alice in thinking that Dean IS a true servant of God for all your reasons. Something he could never believe himself with all his low self esteem but is true nonetheless.

Looking forward to more of your retro recaps. :-)
# Rose 2010-12-01 15:07
Alice, I know I've said this before but I LOVE your recaps! They are so much fun to read, especially in retrospect. I forgot how good this episode was and oh, that brotherly relationship, how I miss it.

What I do remember vividly was the absolute shock I felt when the truck hit the Impala. I think I just sat there in stunned silence, mouth gaping, while the credits rolled. And I did not have the luxury of having the season 2 DVD beside me. No, I had to wait through an agonizing summer for the show to (hopefully) return come the fall. And thank God it did! :D
# marie-a 2010-12-01 16:17
I became a fan of this show during the summer between the third and the fourth season. I saw all the episodes in two weeks. And I remember this episode very well. It is until now a top in my top list. A thin line to the excellence. And this moment I cherish, although the drama, this moment when Dean said to his father, "Dad, don't you let it kill me" and the "please". I remember this moment as the moment I became a Jensen Ackles' fan forever. Until now, I was in a very special trip with this show. I can say now why and when this show is special for me, every week of my life since then. A very emotional, self-learning(i s it a word ? I don't know) trip. I will be grateful to all of them for that, eternally. I could write for hours about the feelings and the pure entertainment, and the meanings and I stop to write now because I feel like I ramble. But yeah, a very good episode with the mother of all the cliffhangers in it. It's a great idea to review old pieces, it's a good memory !
# Yvonne 2010-12-01 16:39
This episode is a win for me simply because John is in it...even if Yellow Eyes is possessing him for most his screen time. All the other excellence is huge bonus material.

And Julie, have I ever said John's parenting skills were admirable? The guy did the best he could, but that doesn't mean he didn't make some rather huge, constant and awful mistakes.

I'm aching to go into a "this is why I love John" expose, but am (admirably I think) restraining myself.

Oh, and Tim the Enchanter, I am in fervent agreement. John tied to bed causes massive weakness and needamomenttoco mposemyselfness . Papa . I've said it before but it doesn't hurt to reiterate, I love the boys (and am still beginning the lean toward Samgirl), but I'll be a Johnwoman for life.
# nancyL 2010-12-01 20:40
Alice, don't you sleep???? :D

The days of bad-ass Dean, puppy-eyed Sam speaking Latin, Daddy Winchester, the intro of Bobby. :-) :-)

Is 'latinating' a real word? :lol: :lol:

C'mon, Bobby is pretty too. :lol:

The Sam and Dean love was front and center during this episode. I love your first picture on page two, of the two of them together. Remember when they would have whole conversations without saying a word.

I agree, 'Rumsfeld', is a big ass dog that could either rip your face off with one bite, or drown you with one lick of his tongue. You do not name a Chihuahua 'Rumsfeld'. :lol:

With SUPERNATURAL, the real enjoyment in re-watching the earlier episodes is that you now know how all the pieces fit together. I have been watching this wonderful show since the beginning. When the Impala was hit at the end, it was all WTF WTF WTF WTF. I knew that everybody had to live, but it was painful to wait til the end of September to find out how.

I didn't have your wonderful :D :D website to go to spend the summer Hellatus. But now I am grateful to have you and all your wonderful writers. :D :D :D Just want to thank you for all your hard work.

OK, 'chick flick moment' is over, is it Friday yet?
Meg returns. ;-)
# Jasminka 2010-12-01 23:39
I would love to find a Chihuahua once by the name of Rumsfeld. So wonderfully absurd.
:lol:, Jas
# Lauryn 2010-12-02 07:06
I loved this. The Salvation/Devil 's Trap/In My Time of Dying threesome is one of my favorites on the show. It's almost like one really long episode in three parts.

It's always fun to go back and watch old episodes after knowing what happens later. Like it's always been funny to me how little they know about demons in S1, when their lives are pretty much run by demons for the rest of the show.

This cracked me up btw: "Yellow eyes steps backward, closes his eyes, looks up and suddenly Dean is screaming in agony. Sam is yelling "No!' in the background because he's always been under the illusion that it helps."
# Karen 2010-12-03 07:57
Hi Alice
I will always love your recaps especially with your comedic style.
I had missed Salvation and Devil’s Trap when it originally aired due to my work schedule and VCR issues. So I didn’t suffer the summer hiatus that year like the others as I had no idea what had transpired. However I was able to catch In My Time of Dying when it aired and was so overwhelmed by that episode.
I have to admit I do favour seasons 1-3 over Seasons 4 & 5. That’s not to say season 4 & 5 was not spectacular. I just missed the strong brotherly relationship and banter that deteriorated during those seasons.