Written by John Shiban.
Directed by David Jackson.
Airdate: October 25, 2005.
A preacher's daughter in Ankeny, Iowa is stalked by the Hook Man, a vengeful spirit connected with her father's church.
Lori Sorenson, a preacher's daughter attending Eastern Iowa University in her hometown, is in a parked car on 9 Mile Road with her date, Rich. They hear a scraping noise. When Rich gets out of the car to check it out, he ends up dead, his body hanging over the car. Sam and Dean interview Lori and note similarities with the Hook Man legend. Their research reveals that a preacher named Jacob Karns killed 13 prostitutes with his hook hand in 1862. In the meantime, Lori's roommate is killed and the phrase "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?" is carved on the wall in blood.
Dean goes to the Old North Cemetery and salts and burns Karns' remains. Sam goes to find Lori, and she tells him she just found out her father is having an affair with a married woman from their church. Sam hugs her and then they kiss, but Sam pulls away and says he can't do this because people around him get hurt. Even though Dean has disposed of Karns's remains, the Hook Man appears and attacks Reverend Sorenson, but Sam shoots the Hook Man with rock salt and the spirit disappears.
Sam and Dean realize that the hook was not buried with Karns and was inherited by the church. Sam and Dean search the Sorenson home and the church for silver items, but the Hook Man reappears, attacking Sam and Lori. Sam notices Lori is wearing a silver cross necklace. When Dean throws it in the furnace, the Hook Man bursts into flame and disappears.
The Hook Man was attacking those that Lori saw as guilty of sin or immorality and attacked her when she felt guilty at the realization of her responsibility for the attacks. Despite Sam's attraction to Lori, he declines Dean's offer to stay in town a little longer.
Body count:For this episode = 2 humans and 1 ghost.
For the series so far = At least 111 humans; 5 ghosts; 1 shapeshifter; 1 wendigo.
Tropes appearing in this episode:
- Abnormal Ammo: The first appearance of rock salt shells loaded in shotguns.
- Bare Your Midriff: Lori's roommate Taylor in the opening scene. She recommends Lori follow her example for her date.
- Big Bad: Jacob Karns, the Knight Templar ghost killing those he deems immoral.
- Body Paint: Sam helps Murph paint his back purple.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: The Rustproof Blood used to draw a Jerusalem Cross and write "AREN'T YOU GLAD YOU DIDN'T TURN ON THE LIGHT?" on the wall of Lori and Taylor's dorm room.
- Disposable Sex Worker: The 13 prostitutes Jacob Karns killed in his fury at the red light district.
- Doom Magnet: Lori.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal
- Due to the Dead: Ghosts can be put to rest by purifying the body with salt and burning it, but the bodies must first be unearthed.
- Empty Cop Threat: Headed off by Dean, who just nonchalantly agrees to leave town.
- Evil Smells Bad: The smell of ozone at the sorority house causes Sam and Dean to conclude a spirit is behind the murders.
- Expy: Karns is essentially an American Jack the Ripper.
- Eyes Never Lie:Dean: So, you believe her?Sam: I do.Dean: Yeah, I think she's hot, too.Sam: No, man, there's something in her eyes.
- The Fundamentalist: Jacob Karns, who started murdering prostitutes because he was so offended by the red light district.
- Girl of the Week: Lori is a subversion with Sam; he's nowhere near ready to move on from Jessica's death.
- Hook Hand: The titular villain.
- Informed Attractiveness: The audience is informed that Lori is "super hot".
- I Wished You Were Dead: Lori, to her dad.
- Kill It with Fire: Our first body salted and burned on Supernatural, though the ghost is not stopped until the last of the silver from his hook is burnt.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Guy dates married woman, Hook Man goes for the guy.
- Justified. The man was the father of the Doom Magnet, who'd disappointed her and done something she couldn't reconcile with her worldview.
- Moment Killer: Lori's father calling on her cell phone in the teaser.
- No Peripheral Vision
- Out of Order: The episode was first intended to air as the next episode after "Wendigo" (S01, E02).
- Our Angels Are Different: No angels actually in this episode, but we have our first mention of them with the line "I read in the Bible about avenging angels". For something that becomes so important, it's an extremely subtle way to bring them up and hint that Supernatural's angels won't be like Roma Downey or Michael Landon.
- Foreshadowing: Sam responds "Trust me. This guy— He's no angel." This is similar to the title used for Season 9, Episode 3 which focused on the angel, Castiel.
- Porn Stash: Dean learns Murph's name (the purple-painted frat boy) by reading it off the address label on a copy of Backside. Dean then starts leafing through the magazine.
- Preacher's Kid: Lori is just starting to explore Forbidden Fruit at college.
- Product Placement: Sam has a Dell Inspiron laptop, which sports the logo for Cove Bikes.
- Red Herring: Lori's dad being overprotective.
- Sarcastic Confession: "I told him you were hunting ghosts."
- Screaming Woman: Lori.
- Sex Is Evil: Discussed and played with, appropriately enough for the urban legend the episode's based on:
- Lori's date gets a bit too fresh with her, doesn't take no for an answer, and gets sliced up and slung off a bridge by his ankles.
- Lori's roommate Taylor is heavily implied to be sexually promiscuous and encourages Lori to drink and party, to her Moral Guardian father's disapproval. The Hook Man comes after her, too.
- Ironically, Lori's dad, who's a vicar, is having an affair with a married woman. The Hook Man tries to kill him. In a deleted scene, Lori finds a condom in his trousers while doing the laundry.
- Eastern Iowa University was created by Stephen Bury in The Cobweb.
- Lori's roommate invites her to do tequila shots and watch Reality Bites, which seems like something that would have been a lot cooler in the '90s.
- Dean calls Sam "Dr. Venkman".
- Dean calls himself "Matlock" after he talks the Sheriff into only giving them a fine.
- When they sneak into the sorority house, Dean asks Sam if he thinks they will see a naked pillow fight, referencing the scene from Animal House.
- Sinister Minister: Jacob Karns, the Hook Man.
- Sinister Scraping Sound
- Soul Jar: For most ghosts, this is just their bones or remains, but for Jacob Karns, it is also his hook.
- Terror at Make-Out Point
- Urban Legends: Two classics: Hook Man and "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?".
- The Vicar: Lori's father serves this role.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Our first use of salt (and rock salt shotgun shells) to counteract the supernatural.
- Your Cheating Heart: Lori's father is having an affair with a married woman who goes to the church he preaches at.