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Recap: Supernatural S 02 E 06 No Exit

Recap of Supernatural
Season 2, Episode 6:

No Exit

Ugh. Shoulda cleaned the pipes.
Dean: Jo, you got options. No one in their right mind chooses this life. My dad started me into this when I was so young; I wish I could do something else.
Jo: You love the job.
Dean: Yeah, but I'm a little twisted.
Jo: You don't think I'm a little twisted, too?

Written by Matt Witten.

Directed by Kim Manners.

Airdate: November 2, 2006.

Jo Harvelle joins the Winchester brothers on a hunt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, even though her mother has forbidden her from hunting.

Jo Harvelle tells the Winchesters about disappearances in an apartment building in Philadelphia. The brothers go to investigate, and despite being forbidden to do so by her mother, Jo joins them. They discover the building is being haunted by the spirit of H. H. Holmes, who kidnaps young blonde women and imprisons them in a sewer. Jo is taken by the spirit, but is saved by Sam and Dean. They trap Holmes in a ring of salt and then bury him in concrete. All is not well, though, because Jo's mother has found out what Jo's been doing and is furious. As they fight, she reveals to Jo that her father was working with John Winchester on a hunt when he was killed. Upset, Jo shares this information with Dean and tells him to leave.

Body count

For this episode = only 1 human.

For the series so far = At least 156 humans; 11 ghosts; 5 vampires; 1 demon; 1 god; 1 rakshasa; 1 rawhead; 1 shapeshifter; 1 shtriga; 1 wendigo; 1 zombie.


Tropes appearing in this episode:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Featured an old, large, roomy sewer.
  • Actor Allusion: Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean Winchester, also played CJ on Dawson's Creek, while Katie Holmes played Joey.
    Sam: What's in LA?
    Dean: A young girl, been kidnapped by an evil cult?
    Sam: Girl got a name?
    Dean: Katie Holmes.
    Sam: That's funny! But—for you, so bitchy.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: How Holmes gets into the apartments. One has to wonder how and why these passages were built into the apartment building.
  • All in the Eyes: The eyes of Jo and Teresa through the slats in the compartments highlighted by the flashlight.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Jo experienced this at school.
    Jo: I didn't belong there! I was a freak with a knife collection.
  • And I Must Scream: Dean, Sam, and Jo trap H. H. Holmes' spirit in a ring of salt, in the middle of an iron-barred sewer, because they can't salt and burn his bones since they're encased in a couple tons of concrete. To make sure that his spirit never gets out, they then encase the spirit in tons of concrete.
  • The Bait: Jo.
  • The Beard: Jo pretends Dean is her boyfriend when she rents the apartment.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: Jo and Dean.
  • Cat Fight: Ellen and Jo don't exchange any blows, but that doesn't keep Dean from fantasizing.
  • Chekhov's Gun: We see Jo talking to Dean on her cell phone. Later, Dean finds Jo's cell phone in the passage where she was abducted.
  • Cold Iron: Jo's knife and the bars in the sewer.
    Jo: [stabbing Holmes' hand] How do you like that? Pure iron, you creepy-ass son of a bitch!
  • Covered In Slime: Ectoplasm dripping on the victim.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: Holmes pushes his fingers with their black nails out of the vents and through the slats in the compartments.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The clump of blonde hair with the scalp still attached, which Dean finds behind the vent.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Jo comforts her fellow captive and stays rational despite clearly being terrified, shanks her captor in the hand with an iron knife, and willingly plays bait to the same ghost within minutes of being rescued—surely that qualifies her for this trope.
  • Double Entendre: Dean's comment about cleaning "the pipes" when Jo squeezes past him in the narrow crawlspace.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: The flickering lights in the apartments.
  • Freakier Than Fiction: H. H. Holmes (one of the United States' first recognized serial killers), whose ghost appears in "No Exit", really existed.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Ellen calls Jo "Joanna Beth" when she's upset with her.
  • Fun T-Shirt: The family who enters the Roadhouse while Ellen and Jo are fighting are all wearing T-shirts that say "Nebraska is for Lovers".
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Jo playing with her knife.
  • Hand in the Hole: Dean putting his arm in the space behind the vent.
  • Hustler/Little Miss Con Artist: Jo, who won a sizable amount of cash from playing poker with hunters.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Holmes caresses Jo and refers to her as "pretty" and "beautiful".
  • Impending Doom P.O.V.: The camera shots from behind the vents.
  • Jump Scare: More than usual.
  • Knockout Gas: Holmes uses chloroform to knock out his victims. This is a Justified Trope as in Real Life, Holmes (and many other criminals) was reported to use chloroform this way.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: When searching for Holmes in the walls. Dean and Jo take the two upper floors, while Sam takes the bottom floors, and then there's a narrow spot that Dean can't get through, but Jo can.
  • Like Father, Like Son: One of the reasons Ellen has trouble with Jo hunting with the Winchester brothers is that her husband died on a hunt with their father.
    Ellen: Like father, like sons, that is what I'm talking about.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Holmes left an iron knife and a flashlight on Jo when he placed her in the compartment in the basement.
  • Mama Bear: Dean is afraid of Ellen.
    Jo: [holding out case file] Three weeks ago, a young girl disappears from a Philadelphia apartment. [silence] Take it, it won't bite.
    Dean: No, but your mom might.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Jo's knife belonged to her father and has his initials, "W.A.H.", engraved on the blade.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. H. H. Holmes, who really was a medical doctor.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Ellen turns off the radio playing "Cold As Ice" by Foreigner.
  • My Beloved Smother: Ellen is trying to protect Jo from the life of a hunter.
    Jo: What are you going to do? Are you going to chain me up in the basement?
    Ellen: You know what? You've had worse ideas than that recently. Hey, you don't wanna stay, don't stay, go back to school!
  • The Peeping Tom: The spirit of H. H. Holmes looking through the light switch at the first victim.
  • Plenty of Blondes: There seem to be a lot of single, thin, blonde women in this apartment building.
  • Product Placement: Sam seems to have replaced his laptop, which was destroyed when the Impala crashed, with a PowerBook G4.
  • Pursuing Parental Perils: Jo Harvelle.
    Jo: You wanna know why I want to do the job? For him. It's my way of being close to him. Now tell me what's wrong with that.
  • Screaming Woman: Katie Burns and Teresa Ellis.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In Real Life, Holmes did indeed have his body sealed in cement so no one could mutilate his corpse. In this episode, Holmes' spirit is sealed in cement in a circle of salt and an iron-barred sewer.
  • Similarly Named Works: No Exit, a play by French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shutting Up Now: Dean finally takes the hint during the ride home with an enraged Ellen.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Holmes' type is pretty, petite blondes.
  • Stock Episode Titles: At least sixteen other series have episodes with the same title.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: Teresa Ellis' apartment.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Holmes' use of "pretty" and "beautiful".
  • Traumatic Haircut: Holmes pulls a chunk of hair out of Jo's head.
  • Truth in Television: H. H. Holmes did build a "murder hotel".
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The first thing Dean thinks of when he thinks of his father is the first time John took him shooting, when Dean was six or seven, and he bulls-eyed each target.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Jo's first thought when she thinks about her father is how they felt like a family when he came home from a hunt.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Justified Trope. As in Real Life, Holmes keeps his victims alive to torture and experiment on them.


Supernatural S 02 E 05 Simon SaidRecap/SupernaturalSupernatural S 02 E 07 The Usual Suspects

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