With “Baby,”Supernatural gives us an Impala-centered episode that may be remembered as one of the show’s best. It’s certainly the most interesting episode since “Fan Fiction.” We learned long ago that the Impala is the Winchesters’ true home, but it was great to hear Sam actually say it. “Baby” had everything we love in Supernatural: family, cool monsters, divinity, and a cleverly told story.
The Devil Doesn’t Know or Care What Kind of Car the Boys Drive
In the opening scene, we see all the little things that make the Impala so special—Sam’s childhood toy soldier stuck in an ashtray, Legos shoved into the vents, and the brothers’ initials carved into the interior. We also see some other items that reflect why the Impala is a unique car—blood splattered on the window, a bloody knife lying on the floor, and broken windows. And then there’s Dean, unconscious and handcuffed (and not in the fun way).
Forty-eight hours earlier, we find Dean washing the Impala, in shorts, though we never get to see them. As “Guitar Man” by Bread plays in the background, Sam joins him, and though there are lots of suds, no shirts come off. We learn that Castiel is getting better after being released from Rowena’s spell, but Dean still doesn’t want to be healed. He probably needs to remember what a jerk he was when he had the Mark. Sam has no updates on Metatron and the Darkness, but he does have a possible case. Dean has cabin fever and is more than happy to get on the road, though he’s a little disappointed when he realizes it’s raining after he’s just washed the car. He’ll be wishing for something as gentle as a rain in another day when the Impala is covered in blood and smashed in all the wrong places.
On the road, they head towards Oregon to investigate what the locals claim is an animal attack. There’s a pause, and you expect them to scene to end and to find them arriving in Oregon. Instead Sam pulls out a smoothie and Dean gets annoyed that non-alcoholic beverages are taking up space in the cooler. Cas calls, saving Sam from Dean’s question about where the rest of the beer is. Castiel is researching, but Sam and Dean tell him they don’t need his help and he can just focus on healing. Dean suggests Netflix, which naturally elicits a “What’s a Netflix?”
Dean stops at a roadhouse for some fun, but Sam is tired. Sam tells him, “Even Swayze wouldn’t come to this roadhouse.” Dean doesn’t want to hear any badmouthing of Swayze and reminds Sam that they’ve been there before, working with a hunter named Heather on a Wendigo case. Sam decides to go to a diner to dig into the lore.
As the sun rises, Dean comes out of the closing roadhouse. As he gets into the car, he says to himself, “Mistakes were made. Mm-hmm.” But his thoughts are interrupted by a naked blonde girl in the back seat of the car. Sam actually picked up a waitress. Just how big is this back seat? As she leaves, she notes that she can’t find her hair pin.
After Sam and Dean head back out on the road, Dean puts in a cassette and Bob Seger begins to play.
Sam: “Don’t ‘Night Moves’ me.”
Dean: “Shh. Just let it wash over you.”
Dean: “Just take it in.”
Sam: “This is ridiculous.”
Dean: “One of the greatest rock writers of all time, Samuel.”
Sam: “It’s Sam.”
As the music continues, the Winchester brothers sing!!!!!! OMG. This may be the best episode ever. They eat, laugh, and talk as they head towards Oregon. Dean’s ribbing isn’t over. Later he teases Sam, “Digging into the lore, is that what the kids are calling it these days?” As Dean jokes about one-night stands, Sam gets deep. He asks Dean, “You don’t ever want something more?” Dean doesn’t seem to think they were meant for a domestic life. Dean tells Sam that he’s just tired: “You hop in the back, get some z’s— ‘cause, buddy, you earned ‘em.”
Perfect Landing, Son
Sam wakes up in the passenger seat, and hears “Someday Soon” by Judy Collins playing on the radio. Sam must be having a dream because YOUNG JOHN WINCHESTER IS DRIVING! All those who attend Supernatural Conventions are freaking out! He tells Sam, “You’re mom used to love this song.” Hmmm, maybe Sam’s not dreaming. Maybe it’s a vision, or a message from God, or maybe Lucifer wants back in his noggin.
Sam: “This isn’t real.”
Young John Winchester: “I never could fool you, could I?”
Sam: “I prayed when I was in that church and I saw something. And now here you are, whoever you are, whatever you are. What the hell is this?”
Young John Winchester: “Dream. Vision. Call it what you want. The message is still the same. The Darkness is coming … and only you boys can stop it.”
He has no suggestions how to stop the Darkness and doesn’t offer help, instead telling Sam, “God helps those who help themselves.” When Sam asks who he is, he wakes up in the back of the Impala.
When he sits up in the back seat, Dean hands him a beer. There’s always a beer to be had. Sam asks Dean about seeing the darkness and not being sure if it’s a vision or real. He describes the dream. He’s sure it wasn’t their dad because “he told me everything I wanted to hear.”
Dean makes his annoyed face. Why does Dean always get mad when Sam has visions? Sam wonders if these visions might be coming from God since they started right after he prayed. Dean doesn’t seem happy that Sam prayed. He’s also annoyed when he finds out that Sam was infected and didn’t tell him, but he’s mostly mad about the praying.
Dean dreams about Dad all the time. Now it’s Sam’s turns to be shocked.
“We’re all in the car. I’m sitting in the driver’s seat, dad’s sitting shotgun. But there aren’t any shotguns. There’re no monsters. There’s no hunting. There’s none of that. It’s just … he’s teaching me how to drive. And, uh, and I’m not little like I was when he actually taught me how to drive. I’m 16, and he’s helping me get my learner’s permit. Of course, you’re in the back seat, just begging to take a turn. We pull up to the house—the family house—and I park in the driveway, and he looks over and he says, ‘perfect landing, son.’ I have that dream every couple of months. Kind of comforting, actually.”
Sam also has dreams, but of his mom. Similar to Dean, he has a normal life in the dream. Dean doesn’t believe this dream of their father means anything. Dean thinks Sam is looking for meaning that isn’t there. He doesn’t believe God is answering their prayers and doesn’t expect to get any help to fight the Darkness. Dean adds, “So we’ll have to figure this thing out. Like we always do. But until then, we hunt.” They say goodnight, using their “jerk” and “bitch” terms of endearment. It’s kind of amazing that these giant boys can sleep in the Impala. It must be like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside.
The Case of the Werepire
Sam and Dean arrive in Oregon. Dean checks out the body, and finds its heart missing and body completely drained of blood. Dean wants to call the creature a “Werepire,” but Sam isn’t on board with the name. Sam gets a copy of the report from Deputy Donelly (Teach Grant), who comes over to thank them. Dean tells him they’re going to stay around and the Deputy suggests a hotel and a steakhouse where the “parking is a bitch.”
At the steakhouse, Dean is disgusted to find out it has valet parking. Young valet Jessie (Danyella Angel) takes the Impala for a ride, calling a friend to say, “Spider caught a fly.” At first you think she’s a demon with all that eyeliner, but no, she’s just a normal teenage girl who likes to take selfies while driving a fast car with her BFF. “Bad Girls” by M.I.A. plays as the two girls drive around until Jessie’s boss calls. When Jessie goes to drop off her friend (Catherine Jack), the friend can’t find her purse, but Jessie has to get the Impala back. When Jessie returns the car to Dean he checks it out suspiciously. He tips Jessie, telling her “Strong work, Jessie. Strong work.”
Sam goes to talk to the victim’s wife, Lily Markam, while Dean checks out the crime scene. Castiel calls while Dean is at the woods where the body was found. He’s been researching the lore about what creature would eat a heart and drink human blood. Castiel thinks it’s a Whisper and can be killed with silver or decapitation. Dean tries to get Castiel on board with the Werepire idea too, but Castiel, missing the joke and missing the fact that Dean’s no longer on the line, insists he’s never heard of a creature with that name. We love how Castiel’s in the episode without actually being in the episode.
Dean has been attacked by the Deputy, who turns out to be the monster they’re hunting. Shooting the creature with silver bullets doesn’t seem to do the trick, so Dean decapitates him. The decapitated head is on the hood and not dead. The windshield wipers get the head off of the car and Dean puts the snarling head in the beer cooler. Dean takes a picture of the head (“Smile, asshat”), and emails it to Castiel for further research.
Dean has a text from Sam saying he needs help right away. He calls his brother, and learns Sam has managed to survive being jumped by a couple of members of this creatures’ pack who were going after Lily Markam. As Dean leaves to pick up Sam and Lily, the blood-covered knife slides under the seat.
Sam and Dean have the unconscious Lily in the back of the Impala. Castiel lets the boys know that they’re dealing with a Nachzehrer, a ghoul- and vampire-like creature, or as Dean likes to call it, a “ghoulpire.” Nachzehrer are already dead, they just need to be reminded with a Charon’s obol and then decapitated.
Sam: “Yeah, in ancient Greece, when a person died, some people believed you had to put an obol, or a … a coin, in their mouth so they can use it as currency to be taken across the river to the underworld.”
Castiel: “Right, you place a coin in a Nachzehrer’s mouth, then sever their head, and that will kill them. And according to the lore, if you kill the pack’s alpha, everyone they’ve turned will revert back to human form.”
They need a copper coin for the obol. Sam suggests that they need a penny minted before 1982, back when they were 95% copper. Sam knows everything.
Lily seems confused when she wakes, which only worsens when she opens the cooler and finds the head of Deputy Donelly. But it all turns out to be an act, and when Sam goes into a store to find some old pennies, she attacks Dean. She gets into the driver’s seat and drives away, leaving the rear-view mirror image of Sam running after the Impala behind.
Even Monsters are Afraid of the Darkness
Lilly reattaches the head of Deputy Donelly, who is the Nachzehrer alpha. Dean lies handcuffed in the back seat as Donelly drives the Impala and shares his tale. We typically get the backstory when one of the Winchesters is somehow incapacitated. In the last 100 years he’s turned three people, but in the last month 16. This Nachzehrer needs an army to fight the Darkness: “Oh, it’s coming for all of us. There’s nothing hunters or any humans can do about it.” Donelly has set a trap for Sam. He plans to turn Sam and then feed Dean to him. He tells Dean: “Don’t worry. I’m an ‘every part of the buffalo’ guy.” In the back of the Impala, Dean finds the waitress’s lost hairpin crammed into the seat, and manages to use it to pick his handcuffs. He grabs Donelly and while they fight, they crash the car into a construction site. Poor Baby.
In the floor of the back seat Dean finds the bloodied knife, but discards it in favor of a Hello Kitty purse with pennies inside. Well, that’s fortunate. It’s almost like someone is looking out for the Winchesters. Donelly comes back to the car and they begin fighting again. Eventually both monsters are punching Dean in the back seat of his own car. These fight scenes are pretty funny, like everyone is fighting in molasses. Dean manages to shove a fistful of pennies into the Nachzehrer’s mouth before chopping off his head with the car door. Cars truly are dangerous at any speed. Who needs a bloody knife when you have a car door? Dean tells the Impala, “Oh baby, I’m so sorry.”
Lilly wakes from the spell, curse, or whatever it was, and realizes what she’s done. “My kids, he turned my kids. They’re with the others.” Dean remembers that Sam is there too. The Impala barely starts, but he managers to coax her into starting. He leaves the decapitated sheriff’s body at the scene.
When reunited, Sam tells his brother, “Dean, even the monsters are scared.” Dean says that they are going to end this thing now. Sam weakly asks, “You mind starting tomorrow?” Dean wants to get back to the bunker where Castiel can fix Sam up. How did they ever get by when Castiel lacked grace? This trip must have helped Dean start to recover from everything that happened last season, because he concedes to letting Cas heal his injuries as well. Dean suggests they head home, and Sam pats the dashboard of the Impala and responds, “You know what? We are home.” It’s hard to know who’s in worse shape—the Winchesters or the car. The Impala is smashed up and every window is broken except the one covered in blood, yet “Baby” manages to start and they drive off.
With “Baby” Supernatural gives us one of the most interesting episodes we’ve seen in a long time. It’s an homage to the fans, giving us a glimpse of the Winchesters daily life while giving us a fun Monster of the Week episode.