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Recap / Supernatural S 02 E 04 Children Shouldnt Play With Dead Things

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 2, Episode 4:

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
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What's dead should stay dead.
"Sam. You and Dad...you're the most important people in my life. And now...I never should have come back, Sam. It wasn't natural. And now look what's come of it. I was dead. And I should have stayed dead. You wanted to know how I was feeling. Well, that's it. So tell me. What could you possibly say to make that all right?"
Dean Winchester
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Written by Raelle Tucker.

Directed by Kim Manners.

Airdate: October 19, 2006.

A college student from Greenville, Illinois is back from the dead and seems to be seeking revenge on those who betrayed her while she was alive.


Sam drags Dean along to Greenville, Illinois to bury their father's dog tags at their mother's grave. While they're there, Dean notices another grave, one surrounded by a perfect circle of dead grass. It belongs to a college student, Angela Maison, who died recently in a car accident. Dean convinces Sam to investigate.

They question her father, who is an Ancient Greek professor, her roommate, Lindsey, and her best friend, Neil. While they investigate, her boyfriend, Matt, is found with a slit throat. When they dig up her grave, it's empty, but there's a Greek divination spell etched into the coffin. At first, they suspect Angela's father of being a Necromancer, but he has living house plants in his home. Suspicion then falls on Neil, who is a teaching assistant in the Ancient Greek course. When they go to his house, no one is there. Dean has been reading Angela's diary, and guesses that Matt might have been having an affair with Lindsey. They arrive at her place just in time to save Lindsey, but their silver bullets have minimal effect on Zombie Angela.

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Dean and Sam realize the only way to kill her is to nail Zombie Angela to her grave bed. They track down Neil at his office. Dean, realizing Zombie Angela is hiding in the closet, tells Neil they plan to perform a ritual over her grave that will return her to death. Dean tries to convince Neil to go with them, but he refuses, and Zombie Angela kills Neil. Zombie Angela arrives at the cemetery to kill Sam and Dean before they can perform the ritual. Sam lures her to the grave, injuring his hand, while Dean impales her in the coffin.

Meanwhile, Sam continues to confront Dean about his refusal to deal with their dad's death as Dean's actions grow more and more angry and erratic. Eventually, Dean tells Sam that he blames himself for their dad's death, and believes the demon was somehow involved.

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Body count:

For this episode = 3 humans and 1 zombie.

For the series so far = At least 152 humans; 11 ghosts; 5 vampires; 1 demon; 1 god; 1 rakshasa; 1 rawhead; 1 shapeshifter; 1 shtriga; 1 wendigo; 1 zombie.


Tropes appearing in this episode:

  • Arc Words: "When someone's gone, they should stay gone."
  • The Bait: Sam acts as this to lure Angela into a trap to kill her again.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Angela after the car accident.
  • Came Back Wrong: Angela is significantly different from what she used to be like when she returns from the dead, and goes psychotic towards the end of the episode.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Dean walks in on Sam watching the Skin channel.
    TV Announcer: Next, on the Skin channel, Casa Erotica Four. A tale of two Latin beauties...
    Sam: [shuts off TV and tosses remote away] Hey. [pause] What?
    Dean: Awkward.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: Zombie Angela kills two guys for this reason:
    • Matt. Dean even quotes "Hell hath no fury".
    • She also kills Neil when she realizes that he plans to leave her out of regret for bringing her back.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Neil.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Neil finds out the hard way that he should neither have resurrected Zombie Angela nor tried to bail on her when she kills him for trying to leave her.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The blood splatter on the television when Zombie Angela kills Matt.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The Ancient Greek used for the divination spell.
  • Happier Home Movie: Matt is seen watching a movie of Angela and himself.
  • Heartbreak and Chocolate:
    Neil: Okay. We've got booze, we've got chocolate, and, wait for it...tortured emo rock. Guaranteed cure for any broken heart.
  • Hurting Hero: Dean.
    Sam: You're on edge, you're erratic—except for when you're hunting, because then you're downright scary. You're tail-spinning, man. And you refuse to talk about it and you won't let me help you.
  • I Love the Dead: Neil.
    Dean: Your girlfriend's past her expiration date, and we're crazy? When someone's gone, they should stay gone.
  • Immune to Bullets: Angela is immune to even silver bullets.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The only way to kill a zombie is to nail them to their grave bed.
  • Intercourse with You: Subverted Trope, with Dean being more descriptive.
    Dean: Well, it takes two to, you know, have hardcore sex.
  • Jerk Jock: Matt cheated on Angela with her roommate. He gets his throat slashed for it by her vengeful body.
  • Mirror Scare: Matt sees Zombie Angela's reflection in the television before she kills him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Angela's death, Matt spends the rest of his days in his room sulking while watching a home movie of himself and Angela.
  • Monster from Beyond the Veil
  • Neck Snap: How Zombie Angela kills Neil and tries to kill Sam.
  • Necromancer: Neil.
  • Not Quite Dead: After Zombie Angela falls on the scissors.
  • Our Zombies Are Different
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Sam has his gun tucked in his waistband.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: One of Angela's goals in unlife is to kill everyone who betrayed (or she thought betrayed) her or tries to stop her.
  • Schmuck Bait: The fake ritual over Angela's grave to lure her to the cemetery.
  • Single Tear: Dean.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Dean introduces himself to Angela's roommate as Alan Stanwyk.
    • When trying to explain to Angela's father why bringing someone back from the dead is wrong, Dean asks, "Haven't you seen Pet Sematary?"
    • Sam accuses Dean of being influenced by the Night of the Living Dead (1968) series.
      Dean: We can't just waste it with a head shot?
      Sam: Dude. You've been watching way too many Romero flicks.
    • Dean compares Neil's unrequited love to Duckie.
    • Dean suggests Zombie Angela went out to rent Beaches.
    • When Zombie Angela confronts her roommate, she says, "Hi, Lindsey, I'm home!"
  • Slashed Throat: How Matt dies.
  • There Are No Therapists: Lampshaded by Sam and Dean while they're pretending to be grief counselors.
    Neil: I didn't realize the college employed grief counselors.
    Dean: Oh, yeah. Yeah, you talk, we listen. Or maybe throw in a little therapeutic collage, whatever jump-starts the healing.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Dean.
    Dean: I hear you. Okay? Yeah, I'm being an ass. I'm sorry. But right now we've got a friggin' zombie running around, and we need to figure out how to kill it. [Sam laughs quietly] Right?
    Sam: Our lives are weird, man.
  • Undeath Always Ends
  • Walking Wasteland: All plants and a goldfish near Zombie Angela die.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sam gives Dean a minor one for stealing Angela's diary.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Matt cheated Angela on her roommate Lindsey. When Angela dies in a car crash and then is brought back to life, she tries to kill both Matt and Lindsey (and succeeds with the former.)

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