There was a period of Dean Winchester's life that's never talked about. It's a long kept secret between Dean and John because unspeakable things happened during those lost two months when a 12-year-old Sammy was at Bobby's and John was on the road. "Nobody bad-touched me. Nobody burned me with their smokes or beat me with a metal hanger," Dean promises. It was much worse: Dean Winchester lived regular. He went to school, did his chores, joined the wrestling team and flirted with the local girl at the diner. This week's very special episode of "Supernatural" explores this time while jackhammering your heart to smithereens and probably scaring your pants off.
Grab your rock salt, and let's dive in, shall we?
If you couldn't tell by the man that was gorily run through by the business end of a mysteriously powered up tractor, this episode is a return to "Supernatural's" horror movie-inspired roots.
Sam and D-Dawg head to Hurleyville, New York to investigate the murder at the boys' home Dean resided in for a few months as a teenager. Sam apparently doesn't read fan fiction, and is shocked to learn that his brother had been in trouble with the law. Dean lost the money Dad left him for food and shoplifted bread and peanut butter to make sure Sam stayed fed. Sam doesn’t believe that John wouldn’t have been able to find/rescue Dean from the picturesque farm. "He found me quick but he left me here because I lost our money,” Dean explains.
I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to rant about the late John Winchester until now. Dean is as protective of John’s memory as a junkyard is dog his favorite bone, but I think that John was a crappy father and pathologically obsessed with his revenge mission to the supreme detriment of this children. In the end, he died to save Dean and raised two boys that did end up avenging their mother and saving the world a few times, but his methods were derived in pure madness and meanness. This just reinforces that sentiment.
Dean greets Sonny ("General Hospital's" Blake Gibbons) with a warm hug. Sonny's a gruff ex-con with a rockin' handlebar mustache who loves his farm and the boys that he mentors. The murder was one of the workers at his boys' home. Dean had "given him the number to the batphone" years ago, and Jack's murder seemed like something up his alley. I find it hilarious that Dean drilled into Sammy to never tell their secret to anyone, but as far as I can remember, it's Dean who reveals his secret identity to the people he trusts and wants to protect.
Ms. Ruth, "the bible-thumping hard ass," greets Sam and Dean warily. I see the stone-face, the distrust of the beautiful strangers at her door, and the crucifix around her neck and immediately think she's responsible for the murder. But while Dean teaches Timmy the art of a "manshake" in the barn, Sam discovers that she's trying to rid the house of its ghost through prayer. Years ago, a woman was killed at the home with a meat cleaver because her husband, sauced on corn liquor, thought she was having an affair with the recently murdered Jack. He swore revenge and he'd died a year ago in prison, so it was only natural to think he was haunting the home.
One quick salt and burn later, Sam and Dean add this to the win column and head out of town. Dean decides to complete the trip down memory lane and head over to Cus's Diner on the way out of the town to stage a reunion with an old girlfriend worth of the gushiest of romantic comedies. Not only is this the diner where Dean first met a teenaged Robin, but it's also where Sonny took Dean to celebrate the charges being dropped, and to tell him he was proud he was of Dean. Judging by the look on his face, it's not something he'd ever heard from John.
The girlfriend, Robin, is played by the amazing and adorable "Being Erica's" Erin Karpluk. Robin must have had some head trauma between 1995 and now because she claims not to remember him. Dean is crushed as he actually seems excited and thrilled to see her again (and he also knew exactly where she would be...has he been keeping tabs on her?). Love him or hate him, I don't think anyone would forget meeting Dean Winchester.
Mortified, Dean bails with a befuddled Sam trailing behind him. At least he’s saved from some very awkward questions by the Ruth's horrific bathtub murder!