Season 2, Episode 9
There were theories — Indian raid, disease, but nobody knows what really happened. They were all just gone. I mean, wiped out overnight.
Dean: I just think we should take a break from all this. Why do we gotta get stuck with all the responsibility, you know? Why can't we live life a little bit?
Sam: Why are you saying all this? No, no, no, no, Dean. You're my brother, all right? So whatever weight you're carrying, let me help a little bit.
Written by John Shiban.
Directed by Robert Singer.
Airdate: December 7, 2006.
Dean and Sam are trapped in Rivergrove, Oregon,
a small town overrun by a demonic virus.
Sam and Dean follow-up on one of Sam's visions of Dean killing a young unarmed man. They discover that a small town, Rivergrove, Oregon, is being torn apart by Croatoan, a demonic virus that turns people into homicidal maniacs
. The brothers attempt to defend themselves and the last of the survivors, but just as it appears that Sam has been infected, all the victims suddenly disappear. A blood test reveals that Sam isn't infected and they leave town. In the tag, one of the survivors is revealed to be a demon: he contacts his master using the Goblet of Blood note
and reports that Sam is immune to the virus. Dean reveals to Sam that he has been burdened by something their father told him just before he died concerning Sam, but does not say anymore about what it is.
For this episode = 4 humans are witnessed to die; the fate of the remaining townspeople is uncertain.
For the series so far = At least 165 humans; 11 ghosts; 5 vampires; 1 demon; 1 god; 1 rakshasa; 1 rawhead; 1 shapeshifter; 1 shtriga; 1 wendigo; and 1 zombie.
Tropes appearing in this episode:
- All Just a Dream: The opening teaser with Dean shooting Duane as he protest that "it isn't in" him is revealed to be a vision of Sam's.
- Artistic License - Medicine:
- There are no lymphocytes in the blood sample Dr. Lee looks at under the microscope, though she reports the percentage is high.
- Anything in the blood at a high enough concentration to be forming such large clumps like the "sulfur" would likely cause blocked blood flow, and result in heart attacks, stroke, and ischemia to other parts of the body.
- Ax-Crazy: Everyone with the disease.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: There is no cell service, and the land lines are out too.
- Continuity Nod: Duane talks to another being about the virus and the Winchesters using a goblet of blood in the pickup, as we saw Meg do in "Scarecrow" (S01, Ep11) and "Shadow" (S01, Ep16).
- Despair Speech
- Evil All Along: Turns out the reason the virus didn't affect Duane Tanner is that he was a demon.
- Hate Plague: The demonic virus.
- Hulking Out:
Dean: For what? For him to Hulk out and infect somebody else?
- I Did What I Had to Do: Dean's rationale for shooting the infected.
- Idiot Plot: Sam and Dean never seem to consider the one surefire way to make sure the vision doesn't come true: just stay the hell away from the town.
- Impostor Exposing Test: Subverted; besides The Virus, they should have been checking for demonic possession too.
- Lockdown: The bridge out of town is blocked by townspeople with guns saying it is part of a quarantine.
- MacGyvering: Sam makes an explosive out of alcohol and other supplies in the medical clinic.
- My Greatest Failure
Dean: I'm already starting to feel like this is the one that got away.
- My Parents Are Dead: Inverted Trope, with everyone else in the room knowing Duane is now an orphan because of Dean's actions, except for Duane.
Duane Tanner: Has anybody seen my mom and dad?
- Noisy Guns: Somewhat more slide-racking than is necessary.
- Plague Zombie: The infected townspeople.
- Shoot the Dog: Dean killing Mrs. Tanner.
Sam: Dean, did you pay any attention in history class?
Mark: My neighbor... Mr. Rogers, he —
Dean: You've got a neighbor named Mr. Rogers?
Mark: Not anymore.
- Slashed Throat: Mark.
- Stepford Smiler: After meeting Mr. Tanner and Jake, Dean invokes this trope.
Dean: That was kind of creepy, right? A little too Stepford?
- Stock Unsolved Mysteries: Sam suggest the inhabitants of the lost colony of Roanoke Island may have been victims of a demonic plague. He says John Winchester had a theory that Croatoan is actually the name of a demon of plague and pestilence, who is also sometimes called Deva or Reesha.
- Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard:
Sam: This is the dumbest thing you've ever done.
Dean: I don't know about that... Remember that waitress in Tampa?
- Technically Living Zombie: They are transformed by the virus, but do not join The Undead.
- Themed Aliases: The brothers introduce themselves as U.S. Marshalls named Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, after the guitarist and drummer of ZZ Top.
- The Unreveal: Dean twice almost tells Sam what their father whispered before he died. Once when he thought Sam was infected, but was interrupted when Dr. Lee returned. And then again at the end of the episode creating a cliffhanger.
Dean: He told me something about you.
Sam: What? Dean, what did he tell you?
END OF EPISODE
- The Unsolved Mystery: The purpose and creator of the virus remain uncertain. It is also unclear how Sam's immunity fits into the plan.
- Unexpectedly Abandoned: Rivergrove, Oregon became a Ghost Town in the space of a few hours with no explanation.
- The Virus: Later to be known as the Croatoan virus in Supernatural.
- Would Hurt a Child: One of the effects of the virus as seen by the blood covering the rear facing car seat in the car Dean finds stopped by the road next to a blood covered knife.
- Zombie Infectee: Mrs. Tanner, Sam, and we thought at the time Duane, all wait worried they will show signs of infection and transform.