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Recap / Supernatural S 01 E 08 Bugs

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 1, Episode 8:

This shower is awesome.

Dean: Hunting's our day job. And the pay is crap.
Sam: Yeah, but hustling pool, credit card scams. It's not the most honest thing in the world, Dean.
Dean: Well, let's see. and easy. [thinks about it] It's no contest. Besides, we're good at it, it's what we were raised to do.
Sam: Yeah, well, how we were raised was jacked.

Written by Rachel Nave and Bill Coakley.

Directed by Kim Manners.

Airdate: November 8, 2005.

Sam and Dean investigate a series of bug-related attacks in a housing development in Oasis Plains, Oklahoma.

The Winchester brothers decide to investigate after reading about the mysterious death of a gas company worker which was blamed on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. They pretend to be considering homes to buy for their father and attend an open house, where they learn there was another mysterious death of a surveyor which was blamed on an allergic reaction to bee stings. They also meet the family of Larry Pike the developer, including his son Matt, who collects bugs and tries to scare the realtor, Lynda Bloome, with a pet tarantula. When Lynda Bloome dies from spider bites, Sam and Dean initially suspect Matt. However, Matt shows them that insects and worms seem to be congregating in the area of the housing development. This leads them to the discovery of skeletal remains, which are thought to be Native American. They speak to Joe White Tree on a nearby reservation, who tells a story about a Yuchi tribe village, which was wiped out by American Calvary when they refused to relocate and the curse that was placed on this land by the village leader.


Sam and Dean realize the Pike family will all die if they stay in their home in the housing development and try to convince them to evacuate. When this fails, they all take shelter in the house, but the bugs come down the flue. Dean holds them off by spraying bug spray and lighting it on fire. They manage to make it to the attic, but eventually the termites eat through the roof. As the bugs start to swarm, the sun rises and the bugs leave. The Pike family moves out of the house and the father and son seem to have a better understanding of each other. Sam is also more determined to find his father as he has a new perspective on their past misunderstandings.


Body count:

For this episode = 2 humans.

For the series so far = At least 113 humans; 5 ghosts; 1 shapeshifter; 1 wendigo.

Tropes appearing in this episode:

  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Dean turns the can of bug spray into one.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Dean refers to the first victim as "Uncle Dusty" to establish himself as a relative and get information from Travis.
  • Bee Afraid: The first victim, who is not shown, is indicated to have died to bee stings.
  • Bee Bee Gun: The death of the surveyor and the bees that are summoned to attack on the 6th night.
  • Beetle Mania: Matt enjoys Bug Catching and knows a lot about beetles. After the experience with the bugs at the end of the episode, not anymore.
  • Blatant Lies: "Anybody who starts by saying 'truth is' is lying."
  • Bugs Herald Evil: Played With; the bugs themselves are the evil by way of a death curse, but there is no true villain of the episode.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Sam bonds with Matt over their desire to do this. By the end of the episode, they both reconsider the need to.
  • Chalk Outline: Tape outline of where Lynda Bloome's body was, next to her high heels, towel, blood smears, and broken glass.
  • Creepy Cockroach: The roaches swarming the yard.
  • Cue the Sun: A particularly absurd use of it, as ten minutes of screen-time that seemed to play out more or less in real-time takes us from midnight to sunrise.
  • Curse:
    Sam: If we don't do something, Larry's family will be dead by sunrise. So how do we break the curse?
    Dean: You don't break a curse. You get out of its way. We've gotta get those people out now.
  • Fan Disservice: Lynda Bloome's spider-infested shower.
  • Final Solution: How the American Calvary dealt with the Yuchi tribe.
    Joe White Tree: As my grandfather put it, on the night the moon and the sun share the sky as equals, the cavalry first raided our village. They murdered, raped. The next day, the cavalry came again, and the next, and the next. And on the sixth night, the cavalry came one last time. And by the time the sun rose, every man, woman, and child still in the village was dead.
  • Friend to Bugs: Matt truly seems to like the bugs and treats them as pets until he is nearly killed by the bugs.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: Attempted by Dean to get the Pikes out of the way of the curse. Larry doesn't buy it; he knows Travis and he knows that Dean isn't Travis.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The deaths always start on the Spring Equinox and last for 6 days.
  • Hustling the Mark: Dean wins a handful of cash playing pool at the Loading Dock bar.
  • In Harm's Way: Dean claims to be most comfortable with this type of life, while Sam wants to be normal.
    Dean: Growin' up in a place like this would freak me out.
    Sam: Why?
    Dean: Well, manicured lawns, "How was your day, honey?", I'd blow my brains out.
    Sam: There's nothing wrong with "normal".
    Dean: I'd take our family over normal any day.
  • Indian Burial Ground: The housing project is built on the Yuchi burial grounds, which was cursed after an American Calvary Raped, Pillaged and Burned the tribe, leaving no survivors after six days; those who live on the grounds during the spring equinox will be killed by insects.
  • Improvised Weapon: Flamethrowers made from bug spray and matches.
  • Magical Native American: Joe White Tree seems to have ancient wisdom and the chief of the exterminated village created the curse. And then he disappears back to central casting once he's served his role.
  • Mistaken for Gay: And so starts the Running Gag that the Winchester brothers typically counter with "We're brothers".
    Lynda Bloome: Well, let me just say that we accept home owners of all race, religion, color, or...sexual orientation.
    Dean: Right. Um, I'm going to go talk to Larry. Okay, honey? [smacks Sam on the butt]
  • Nightmare Fetishist
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!:
    Dean: Huh. Looks like there's only room for one. You wanna flip a coin?
    Sam: Dean, we have no idea what's down there.
    Dean: [picks up a nearby coil of rope] All right, I'll go if you're scared. You scared?
    Sam: Flip the damn coin.
    Dean: [chuckles and takes a coin out of his pocket] All right, call it in the air...chicken.
    [Dean flips the coin. Sam grabs it in midair]
    Sam: I'm going.
  • Number of the Beast: The days it took for the Calvary to annihilate the resident tribe was 6 days.
  • Phony Newscast: A You Can Panic Now story runs about spraying insecticide for mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus just before Lynda Bloome gets into the steam shower.
  • "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody: Lynda Bloome's steam shower, complete with Toplessness from the Back and Blood Is Squicker in Water.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: While hundreds of bees were used to film the scenes of the bugs swarming, the bees did not show up well on film and were added with CGI, sometimes rather obviously.
  • Red Herring: Matt, the kid who loves insects and tried to scare Lynda.
  • Schmuck Bait: Dean pulls this on Sam.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spiders Are Scary: Double Subversion. Sam picks up the pet tarantula and returns it to Matt before it can frighten Lynda Bloome, but she is later attacked and killed by spiders in the shower.
  • Termite Trouble: Termites eat through the roof.
  • White Sheep: Sam.
    Sam: I respected Dad. But no matter what I did, it was never good enough.
    Dean: So what are you saying? That Dad was disappointed in you?
    Sam: Was? Is...and always has been.
    Dean: Why would you think that?
    Sam: Because I didn't want to bow hunt...or hustle pool. Because I wanted to go to school and live my life, which, in our whacked-out family, made me the freak.

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