Written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner.
Directed by Paul Shapiro.
Airdate: January 31, 2006.
An old flame calls Dean for help when a big black truck starts killing black men in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Dean receives a call for help from an old friend, Cassie Robinson, and drags Sam to Cape Girardeau, Missouri to investigate the deaths of two black men who had visions of a black truck before they died in unexplained car accidents. It turns out Cassie is Dean's ex-girlfriend who dumped him after he revealed his lifestyle as a hunter. The second victim was her father and the first was one of her father's closest friends.
They find out that 40 years ago several black men disappeared into a big black truck, but Cassie's mother is reluctant to discuss the past. Before they can find out more the first black reporter at the newspaper where Cassie works also dies in an odd car accident on the same road. Sam investigates the past disappearances while Dean investigates any connections to Cassie's family, which leads to Dean and Cassie in bed together. The mayor dies next, looking as if he had been run over. Later the same black truck attacks Cassie's home while she and her mother are home.
Cassie's mother then reveals that she had previously dated a wealthy white man, Cyrus Dorian, but decided to marry Cassie's father, Martin, a black man, which was controversial as it was an interracial relationship. After she breaks up with Cyrus, his personality changes, and the stories about black men disappearing start. On the day they set for the wedding, the church where they were to be married was burnt down, killing children who had gathered for choir practice. But the attacks, continued with the truck coming for Martin, Cassie's father. Martin was tied up and badly beaten, but managed to get free and kill Cyrus. Martin's friends helped him roll the truck with Cyrus' body in it into the swamp, and the mayor—who was a deputy at the time—covered up their actions because he knew that what Cyrus had done would be ignored.
Dean and Sam retrieve the truck and the body from the swamp and burn the body, but then the ghost truck appears. Dean tries to distract the truck by taking off in the Impala, while Sam gives him directions over the phone. Dean follows the directions blindly and as the truck roars towards him, it disappears. Sam reveals he directed Dean to the location of the burnt-down church and the spirit of the truck was destroyed when it passed over hallowed ground. Later Dean says goodbye to Cassie and mentions wanting to see her again, but Cassie says, "You know what? I'm a realist. I don't see much hope for us, Dean."
Body count:For this episode = 3 humans and 1 ghost.
For the series so far = At least 126 humans; 9 ghosts; 1 god; 1 rawhead; 1 shapeshifter; 1 wendigo.
Tropes appearing in this episode:
- Artistic License – Geography: Cape Girardeau is treated as a tiny, middle-of-nowhere town in the boondocks of Missouri, when in reality it boasts a large college and a population of nearly 38,000 people.
- Additionally, Route 6, a small two-lane highway, is treated as "the only road in and out of town". Interstate 55, one of the largest north-south highways in the country, runs straight through downtown Cape Girardeau.
- Most bizarrely of all, the episode seems to imply that Cape Girardeau is a coastal town, with one key scene taking place against a swampy harbor backdrop with a sign advertising live crabs and two characters eating (presumably fresh) shrimp. Cape Girardeau is on the Mississippi River, true, but it's about 500 miles away from anything resembling this bayou scene.
- Big Bad: Cyrus Dorian, a vengeful spirit possessing a truck.
- Captain Obvious:Sam: By "old friend" you mean...?Dean: A friend that's not new.
- Conveniently Empty Roads: In this infamous episode, Dean takes the Impala on a road chase against the featured ghostly truck at night, with no other vehicles around.
- Crazy Enough to Work/Unspoken Plan GuaranteeSam: So I figured, maybe, that would get rid of it.Dean: Maybe? Maybe! What if you were wrong?Sam: Huh. Honestly, that thought hadn't occurred to me.
- Despite the Plan: This is the second time burning the bones did not work. The first time was in "Hook Man" (S01, E07).
- Did Not Get the Girl: Sam, and the audience, has always assumed that Dean is a hound dog who's not interested in settling down. However, in this episode, we find out that he actually tried to start a serious relationship by being completely honest, but the truth sounded so outlandish Cassie assumed Dean was trying to drive her away and broke up with him. Cassie and Dean hook up in the episode, but decide there is no future for them.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Dean asks the mother how she knows Cyrus died when the paper just said he went missing.
- Ladykiller in Love: This is the first time we've actually seen Dean fall for somebody.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Dean tells Cassie the truth about hunting, but she thought it was an excuse to leave her.
- Mistaken for Racist: The Mayor, whom Cassie accuses of being racist for refusing to close the road after 3 black people mysteriously died. As it turns out, he's quite the decent man who helped out Cassie's parents when Cassie's dad killed Cyrus Dorian in self defense 40 years ago. His reluctance to close the roads and his insistence that the murders were a coincidence most likely had to do with the fact that the killings were supernatural and thus had little to no evidence for them. Plus, he probably had a point when he pointed out that closing the only road in or out of town was probably a very bad idea.
- Mood Whiplash: Although it generally follows the First Law of Tragicomedies.
- Who You Gonna Call?: When Cassie gets in trouble, she calls Dean.