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Recap / Supernatural S 02 E 01 In My Time Of Dying

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 2, Episode 1:

In My Time of Dying
Time of death, 5:11 p.m.

"How do you think angry spirits are born? They can't let go and they can't move on. And you're about to become one. The same thing you hunt."

Written by Eric Kripke.

Directed by Kim Manners.

Airdate: September 28, 2006.

Dean is in a coma in the Shiloh County Hospital in Missouri after the semi-trailer truck crashed into the Impala. Sam and John search for a way to save Dean.

After the semi-truck crashes into the Impala, the Winchesters are taken to hospital with Dean in a coma, on the verge of death. In that state, he has an out-of-body experience and wanders around the hospital until he meets Tessa, a Reaper. She tells Dean that if he doesn't accept his impending death, he'll become the kind of vengeful ghost that he frequently hunts and kills. Sam and John emerged from the accident relatively unharmed, and Sam gets the Colt from the Impala, which was totaled with a bent frame and ruined engine. Despite the state of the Impala, Sam insists Bobby tow it to his salvage yard, so Dean can fix it when he recovers. Desperate to save Dean, John summons the Yellow-Eyed Demon and makes a deal, offering the Colt in exchange for Dean's life. The Yellow-Eyed Demon is willing to accept, but he wants more: John's soul. John agrees, and finds that Dean has recovered. John tries to make peace with his sons and then asks Sam to get him a cup of coffee. John uses Sam's absence to tell Dean he needs to take care of Sam and whispers an additional comment to Dean, which is not heard by the viewers but visibly surprises Dean. When Sam returns with a cup of coffee, he finds their father dead on the floor and the Colt gone.

Body count:

For this episode = 3 humans, including the second Winchester parent death.

For the series so far = At least 145 humans; 11 ghosts; 3 vampires; 1 demon; 1 god; 1 rawhead; 1 shapeshifter; 1 shtriga; 1 wendigo.



  • Astral Projection/Out-of-Body Experience: Lampshaded by Tessa when Dean becomes Mr. Exposition.
    Spirit Dean: You ever heard of an out-of-body experience?
    Tessa: What are you, some New Age-y guy?
    Spirit Dean: You see me messing with crystals or listening to Yanni? It's actually a very old idea. Got a lot of different names: bilocation, crisis apparition, fetches...I think it's happening to us. And if it is, it means that we're spirits of people close to death.
  • Balancing Death's Books: Played with. John offers the Colt and the last bullet to the Yellow-Eyed Demon for Dean's life. Once the demon confirms that he knows someone who can save Dean's life, the demon says that John needs to "sweeten the deal". The end result is that Dean's life is saved, the Yellow-Eyed Demon gets the Colt and the bullet, and John dies. Therefore, John dies so that Dean will live, which is the core of the trope, but John's death doesn't seem to have been necessary by the laws of the Supernatural universe, since his original offer was just the Colt and bullet.
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  • Big Bad: Azazel, who John makes a deal with to bring Dean back to life in exchange for the Colt. Azazel, however also wants John's life as well, which John gives up.
  • Black Eyes of Evil:
    • The truck driver.
    • The two men in lab coats who accompany the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
  • Blood Magic: John slices his palm and uses his blood as part of the ritual summoning the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Convenient Coma:
    Doctor: Well, we won't know his full condition until he wakes up. If he wakes up.
    Sam: If?
    Spirit Dean: Oh, screw you, Doc, I'm waking up.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Sam to Dean.
    Sam: Dean, are you here?
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Averted Trope, as this was a fairly accurate portrayal of hospital codes. The only odd thing was that Dean's body was being bag-ventilated during the code when he previously was on a ventilator, but it is possible that the ventilator had to be disconnected as it could not deliver adequate tidal volumes during chest compressions.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Tessa.
  • Deal with the Devil: John trades the Colt, the last bullet, and his own soul for Dean's life.
  • Demonic Possession: The Yellow-Eyed Demon briefly takes over Tessa's body, even though she's incorporeal.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Dean and the Impala.
    Sam: Listen to me, Bobby. If there's only one working part, that's enough. We're not just going to give up on...
    Bobby: [quietly] Okay. You got it.
  • Do Not Spoil This Ending: Tessa avoids giving spoilers about the afterlife.
    Tessa: It's time to put the pain behind you.
    Spirit Dean: And go where?
    Tessa: Sorry. I can't give away the big punchline.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: And this isn't the first time we've seen a pretty, dark-haired, pale young woman who tells dying souls not to fear before beckoning them encouragingly towards the afterlife.
  • Dramatic Drop: Sam drops the coffee cup and it falls to the floor in slow motion at the end of the episode when he comes back and finds John dead. The camera doesn't move, but the cup is what's in focus.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Tessa in human form.
  • Ethereal White Dress: In her true form, Tessa is a transparent white phantom-like figure.
  • Expy: Tessa resembles Death from The Sandman.
  • Eye of Newt: John asks Bobby for acacia and Oil of Abramelin to summon the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
  • Five Stages of Grief:
    • 1. Denial:
      Sam: [looking at the wrecked Impala in the junkyard] Oh, man...Dean is gonna be pissed.
    • 2. Anger:
      Spirit Dean: Come on, Dad. You've gotta help me. I've gotta get better, I've gotta get back in there. I mean, you haven't called a soul for help. You haven't even tried. Aren't you going to do anything? Aren't you even going to say anything? I've done everything you've ever asked me. Everything. I have given everything I've ever had. And you're just going to sit there and you're going to watch me die? I mean, what the hell kind of father are you?
    • 3. Bargaining:
      Spirit Dean: Look, I'm sure you've heard this before,'ve gotta make an exception, you've gotta cut me a break.
      Tessa: Stage three: bargaining.
    • 4. Depression:
      Spirit Dean: Yeah, you can't kill death. I'm screwed, Sam.
    • 5. Acceptance:
      Tessa: Don't get me wrong. I was pretty freaked at first. But now, I don't know. Maybe I'm dealing.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With:
    Tessa: You saw my true form and flipped out. Kinda hurts a girl's feelings.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Sam and Dean discuss the presence of a reaper leading Dean to say "You can't kill death." Death would later enter the series as a character and following his controversial exit, fans still argue if this statement is true or not.
    • "You must have some kind of angel watching over you, kid."
  • The Grim Reaper: Well, not the Grim Reaper, but a Reaper.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Elroy McGillicutty, John's alias on his medical insurance card.
  • In-Joke: We hear Dr. Kripke called overhead to Room 237 for a Code Blue, a reference to Supernatural creator and executive producer Eric Kripke.
  • Intangible Man: The Reaper and Dean.
  • Invisible to Normals: Dean and Tessa.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The second "A" on the Title Card has been changed to a pentagram.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Averted Trope, with three 360 J shocks not resulting in a pulse and CPR being resumed for Dean, and they do not use a defibrillator when working on John, who is asystolic (flatlining).
  • Meaningful Name: "Tessa" is a form of "Theresa", which is Greek for "to harvest" or "to reap".
  • Motion Blur: Happens to Spirit Dean when his body goes into cardiac arrest and a code is called.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After the demon leaves his body, the truck driver is shocked at the carnage in front of him, exclaiming, "Did I do this?"
  • Nature Adores a Virgin: Inverted Trope, when it comes to Dean's preference.
    Spirit Dean: I think I'll pass on the seventy-two virgins, thanks. I'm not that into prude chicks anyway.
  • Near-Death Experience: For Dean.
  • One-Liner Echo: Sam manages to do this with Dean, even though he couldn't hear Dean utter the line.
    Spirit Dean: [to Sam] Go find some hoodoo priest to lay some mojo on me.
    Sam: [to John] I don't know, I'll find some hoodoo priest and lay some mojo on him.
  • Ouija Board: How Sam communicates with Spirit Dean.
    Spirit Dean: God, I feel like I'm at a slumber party.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    John: You know, when you were a kid, I'd come home from a hunt, and after what I'd seen, I'd be, I'd be wrecked. And you, you'd come up to me and you, you'd put your hand on my shoulder and you'd look me in the eye and you''d say "It's okay, Dad". [pauses] Dean, I'm sorry.
    Dean: What?
    John: You shouldn't have had to say that to me, I should have been saying that to you. You know, I put—I put too much on your shoulders, I made you grow up too fast. You took care of Sammy, you took care of me. You did that, and you didn't complain, not once. I just want you to know that I am So Proud of You.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death:
    Spirit Dean: Yeah, you can't kill death.
  • Psychopomp: Reapers.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Yellow-Eyed Demon pretending to be a custodian and threatening to take John to security.
    John: Hey. How stupid do you think I am?
    Yellow-Eyed Demon: You really want an honest answer to that?
  • Screw Destiny/You Can't Fight Fate: Dean and Tessa, respectively.
    Tessa: I just think, whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen. It's out of my control, it's fate.
    Spirit Dean: Huh. Well, that's crap. You always have a choice. You can either roll over and die or you can keep fighting, no matter what—
  • Shout-Out:
    • Over the P.A. system, Dr. Kripke is called to Room 237, an important room in The Shining. This is a frequent reference in the series.
    • "Come on, you're the psychic. Give me some ghost whispering or something!"
    • When Spirit Dean manages to cause a glass of water to break while upset because Sam and John are arguing, he makes a reference to Ghost.
      Spirit Dean: Dude, I full-on Swayze'd that mother.
    • When Tessa accuses Dean of being "New Age-y", Dean references Greek keyboardist Yanni.
  • Slow-Motion Drop: Time slows down and Sam drops his cup of coffee when he discovers his father's collapsed body.
  • Summoning Ritual: How John calls the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
  • Super Smoke: When the demon leaves the truck driver and the Yellow-Eyed Demon enters Tessa.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: After seeing the Winchesters' badly damaged Impala, Bobby suggests scrapping the car. Sam goes on an emotional, not-at-all subtle rant that if there is even one salvageable piece of the car, he won't give up on it.
  • Titled After the Song: A gospel song covered by Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Sam at Dean's bedside.
    Sam: Dean, you've got to hold on. You can't go, man, not now. We were just starting to be brothers again. Can you hear me?
  • You Can See Me?: When Spirit Dean first encounters Tessa.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: The demon truck drives says this, knowing the Colt has One Bullet Left which they need to kill the Yellow-Eyed Demon. Fortunately the demon flees when Sam makes it clear he will shoot to protect his family.


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