Recap: Supernatural S 03 E 09 Malleus Maleficarum
Season 3, Episode 9
Sam and Dean investigate a series of deaths that turn out to be caused by a coven of witches. It is revealed that one of the witches is actually the demon to whom they sold their souls. Ruby shows up, and they use her knife to kill the demon.
For this episode = 4 humans (of which 3 were witches) and 1 demon.
For the series so far = At least 222 humans (of which 3 were witches), 17 ghosts, 13 demons, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 2 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, and 1 zombie.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Ruby tells demon hunter Dean that he will eventually turn into a demon in Hell.
- Anyone Can Die
- Body count for this episode = four humans (three of them witches) and one demon.
- Ax-Crazy: Amanda.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Oft-silent Tammi is the one who's actually possessed. She gets chattier after The Reveal.
- Big Damn Heroes: Ruby, twice.
Sam: Dean, if she wants us dead, all she has to do is stop saving our lives.
- Black Eyes of Evil
- Blood from the Mouth: The coven seems to like this trope. Tammi, Dean and Janet cough up blood (and other things) as the result of a spell.
- Boyish Short Hair: Janet and Tammi.
- Bullet Dodges You: Tammi stops a bullet from the Colt.
- Conspicuous CGI: The CGI for the wrist slitting is incredibly fake looking.
- Continuity Nod: When he's arguing with Dean over Ruby, Sam brings up that demon chick in Ohio Dean didn't want dead.
- The Corrupter: The demon possessing Tammi turns a group of innocent women into witches and damns their souls to Hell, just like it did to Ruby in the 1300s.
- Crocodile Tears: The demon possessing Tammi acts genuinely frightened when Sam singles her out, before sighing and dropping the act.
- Deal with the Devil: The witches sold their souls to get powers.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Ruby is obviously embarrassed by having her past as a human tortured into a demon in Hell revealed to the brothers. "Go."
- Fake Defector: Ruby pretends that she's led Sam and Dean to her old teacher as a gift, then tries to stab her to death with her knife. Said teacher didn't buy it.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Half of the coven is murdered by the demon they contracted with.
- Faux Affably Evil: The demon controlling the coven.
- Force Feeding: Ruby saves Dean's life from a curse by making him drink a potion; Dean complains that it tastes like ass.
- Get Out: Ruby glares at the brothers, black eyes and all, and orders them to leave when they learn a secret about her and drag their feet about leaving.
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Even though he thinks Ruby's evil, Dean still seems intrigued when she tries to seduce Tammi.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Referenced, according to Ruby, hell isn't like that.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Apparently, Heather Mosby is into witchcraft now.
- Hidden Villain: Tammi.
- If I Can't Have You: After killing Janet, Amanda targets Paul for ending their affair.
- It's All About Me / Lack of Empathy: Renee on the deaths caused by their "book club".
Renee: Amanda killed herself, yes. And yes, she killed Janet. Awful, awful business of course, but that's all over now. And think about what book club has gotten us, hmm?
- Les Yay: Ruby and Tammi, who is possessed by Ruby's demonic mentor. You know the scene.
- Literary Allusion Title
- Meaningful Name: Amanda Burns: "Amanda" means "love" and "Burns" as in "burn the witch".
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Amanda killing Janet (Paul's wife) in a very disturbing way in the teaser.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
Dean: Ruby, why do you want us to win?
Ruby: (laughs quietly) Isn't it obvious? I'm not like them. I—I don't know why. I wish I was, but I'm not. I remember what it's like.
Dean: What what's like?
Ruby: Being human.
- Neck Snap: Tammi kills Renee when she gets tired of her babbling.
- Not Himself: Dean finally voices his worries that this is the case with Sam, who has become uncharacteristically ruthless about killing humans and sympathetic monsters since he was brought Back from the Dead by a demon in "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2". Sam counters that he is just trying to be more like Dean to prepare for having to fight alone after Dean leaves.
- Really 700 Years Old: Ruby was around "back when the Plague was big".
- Self-Deprecation: "Witches are whores."
- Shout Out: To Abbott and Costello.
- Squick: The woman's teeth falling out in the teaser, the maggots in the burger, the dead rabbit... Dean hangs a Lampshade Hanging on how gross this episode is.
Dean: It's creepy, you know, it's downright unsanitary.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Sam and Dean both have a non-verbal moment towards Ruby at the end of the episode. Dean even seems to soften up a little towards her. (Until the next time she shows up.)
- Take That: The witches seem to be one towards Charmed. In the German dub of the episode, they were even voiced by the same people who did the German dubs for the Halliwell sisters.
- The Tooth Hurts: Janet dies after all of her teeth are cursed to fall out.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Pointedly averted by Sam, much to Dean's surprise. It's another clue that Sam isn't exactly who he used to be.
Sam: They're working black magic too, Dean. They need to be stopped.
Dean: "Stopped" like stopped? They're human, Sam.
Sam: They're murderers.
- Unfortunate Implications: This episode sparked some ire among fans who thought it came off as misogynistic. All the women were either killed in a gratuitous fashion, tricked into selling their souls, and/or evil. There's also the language used to refer to women... "bitch", "whore", "skank", etc.
- Villain Decay: Some fans were not pleased to learn that demons are former humans, feeling that it makes them far less scary.
- Was Once a Man: Turns out, all demons used to be human, and Hell stripped them of their humanity.
- Wicked Witch: Not necessarily. Although one of the coven did kill someone, the rest didn't seem that bad. They only used witchcraft for personal gain and were horrified to realize they had sold their souls to an actual demon. One of them—Elizabeth—even helps distract and kill the demon although it costs her her life.
- With Great Power Comes Great Perks: These witches are definitely not of the opinion that Personal Gain Hurts. Until it's revealed that they've sold their souls for it and will go to Hell.
- Wham Line: "Pretty mortifying, I guess. She was one of mine. I turned her out a long, long time ago. Ruby here was a witch. Of course, that was when you were human."
- Woman Scorned: Amanda is going after the Duttons because married-man Paul didn't want to keep cheating on his wife with her.