Next: Supernatural S 02 E 20 What Is And What Should Never Be
Folsom Prison Blues
- "Don't worry, Sam. I promise I won't trade you for smokes."—Dean
Written by John Shiban.
Directed by Mike Rohl.
Airdate: April 26, 2007.
Dean and Sam end up incarcerated in Green River County Detention Center near Little Rock, Arkansas. Prisoners and a guard die from apparent heart attacks, but the Winchesters suspect the spirit of a notorious killer who died in the prison.
The Teaser starts showing the yard at Green River County Detention Center, where prisoners in orange jump suits are playing basketball, lifting weights, and playing cards for cigarettes behind a barbed wire fence. Inside the prison, four workers are in the hallway of an empty cell block. One of the workers has a blowtorch, which he is using to open the door to a sealed windowless isolation cell. As the door creaks open, the workers' breath becomes visible from a chill, and then a burst of wind rushes out of the cell scattering papers in the hallway.
It is now 10:00 p.m. in the B-block of the jail. The lights flicker and the ticking of the clock on the wall stops. Something passes by the cell of a prisoner named Randall, who starts to yell for the guard. The guard does not believe Randall when he says something is out there. The guard tells him to turn off his light, and starts to leave the cell block. The guard pauses as he passes through the cell block exit, and his breath fogs over. The door slams shut crushing his arm and trapping the guard. The guard looks up and starts screaming, "No". Randall strains to see what is happening, but can not see from his cell.
Three months later, Sam and Dean are breaking into Arkansas Museum of Anthropology with flashlights in gloved hands. A motion detector is triggered as they walk down the hallway and into a room with Native American artifacts. While they are examining a tomahawk and knife, they hear a noise, but before they can leave all of the exits are blocked by police with guns drawn. Sam and Dean kneel down and put their hands on their heads as instructed. They are handcuffed and taken to the station where mugshots are taken. Dean seems unperturbed, while Sam is clearly not enjoying himself.
Dean is taken into an interrogation room, where he is joined by Agent Victor Henriksen and his partner Agent Calvin Reidy who have been chasing Sam and Dean since the hostage situation in the bank in Milwaukee. As Agent Henriksen confronts Dean with security footage, Dean's public defender, Mara Daniels, arrives. She insists on meeting with her clients alone, and informs Sam and Dean that 5 requests have already been made by different states for their extradition. Sam and Dean seem relieved that they will be kept at Green River County Detention Center until sentencing on Tuesday, but Sam gives Dean an annoyed look when their lawyer informs them that they can only stall extradition for a week or less.
Sam and Dean are transported to Green River County Detention Center in shackles on a bus, and they march past the other prisoners in the yard to cat calls. Each are given an orange jump suit, a blanket, a towel, and a roll of toilet paper, and are placed in separate cells with a large scary cellmate. While they are waiting to be frisked before entering the cafeteria, Sam and Dean discuss their plan to escape once they have dealt with the ghost who has already killed 4 people in the prison. Deacon, who saved their father's life when John Winchester and Deacon served as Marines in Vietnam, asked Sam and Dean to take care of the ghost, and Dean agreed as he felt it was their duty. In the cafeteria, Sam sniffs at his tray while Dean tucks into his and eventually Sam's chicken and spaghetti with his plastic fork. Dean explains that he suspects the ghost is the spirit of Mark Moody, a ritual murderer who reportedly died of a heart attack in the recently-opened old cell block.
As they leave the cafeteria, Sam accidentally bumps into another prisoner named Lucas, who has an intense stare and tells Sam to watch where he is going. Sam apologizes, and Dean steps up to defend his brother. After Dean insults Lucas, Lucas walks away, but only to get his very large bald friend named Tiny. All the prisoners in the cafeteria gather round to watch the fight, and Lucas throws a punch at Dean's face. Dean catches hold of Lucas, who breaks away, but Dean grabs him in a hold and slams Lucas against the wall. Lucas stomps on Dean's foot, and Dean steps back. Dean then kicks Lucas in the groin and kicks him again so Lucas is knocked to the ground. The Warden breaks up the fight and sends Dean and Lucas to solitary.
At 8:30 p.m. in solitary, Dean notices the lights start flashing, his breath becomes visible and the clock stops. Dean warns Lucas to be still, but a pair of bloodshot narrowed eyes stares at Lucas through the slot in the cell door. The next moment a gray arm reaches out for Lucas, and dark bulging veins appear on Lucas' face as he screams. Dean is unable to help as Lucas dies in his own solitary cell.
Meanwhile, Agent Henriksen and his partner, Agent Reidy, have taken over an office in the Little Rock Police Department. They have covered the office with stacks of blue FBI folders, notes and reports on the Winchesters, and a large map of the United States. Mara Daniels enters this office and explains her concerns about inconsistencies in the case against Sam and Dean including a cop in Baltimore who swears the Winchesters saved her life and helped her catch a killer and a witness at the bank in Milwaukee who says they saved her life. Agent Henriksen tells Mara that the witness in Milwaukee was nuts, and that Mara should leave him alone to get some real work done.
Back at the Green River County Detention Center, Sam is mopping up a bathroom with Randall, the prisoner from the teaser. Randall did time in the old cell block, and was there the night Mark Moody died. He tells Sam that Moody did not die of a heart attack, but was beaten to death. Randall had to mop the blood out of Moody's cell the next day.
Sam finds Dean playing Texas Hold 'Em in the prison yard. Dean has won quite a pile of cigarettes. Sam tells Dean what Randall told him, and Dean tells Sam about the ghost killing Lucas. Sam says he has a plan to break into the old cell block where they suspect some of Moody's blood remains, but they do not have accelerant to burn his remains. Dean stands up with his hands full of cigarettes and asks if any of the prisoners want to make a deal.
Dean and Sam are waiting in line to get spaghetti noodles, tomato sauce, and a dinner roll. Dean takes his tray over to the table where Tiny is sitting alone. Dean starts making fun of Tiny for being fat, while Sam remains near the doors to the kitchen. Tiny punches Dean, knocking him on to the floor. Dean gets up and punches Tiny three times with little effect. Dean then tries a headbutt, which seems to affect Dean more than Tiny. A guard tries to break up the fight by using his baton to place Tiny in a choke hold, but Tiny grabs the guard and throws him on the table. Tiny then grabs Dean. As the rest of the guards rush forward, Sam goes into the kitchen, puts a shaker of salt in his pocket, and climbs into an air vent. Two guards manage to restrain Tiny while another guard helps Dean off the floor. The warden sends Dean and Tiny to the infirmary after hitting Dean in the stomach with his baton. Sam drops into the old cell block and finds a cell with a blood-stained mattress. He pours salt and lighter fluid on the mattress and lights a match to set the mattress on fire.
Dean and Tiny are in the infirmary sitting on beds in metal cages separated by a curtain. Dean apologizes to Tiny, and Tiny admits he has self-esteem issues. Dean looks up to see a gray figure of a woman with ratted hair and bloodshot eyes in a nurse's uniform, and the clock stops. The ghost flings Dean against the wall and plunges her hand into his chest, squeezing his heart. Dean manages to grab a plastic container of salt from his dinner tray, and tosses the salt on the ghost, who is dispersed. Unfortunately, the ghost reforms in Tiny's cage and attacks Tiny.
The next day in the prison yard, Dean tells Sam the ghost is a nurse and not Moody. Sam tells Dean that he told Deacon they had taken care of the ghost, and their escape is planned for tonight. Dean says they better do some research fast, which leads them to question Randall. After Dean gives Randall two packs of cigarettes, Randall tells them that Nurse Glockner worked at Green River County Detention Center in the 1970s. During that time there was a rash of unexplained heart attacks, and while people said she was behind it, nothing was ever proven.
Sam is insistent that they escape tonight, which leaves them only five hours to research Nurse Glockner. Dean decides to call their lawyer, Mara Daniels, who meets him in the visitor's area, separated by plexiglass. She is baffled when Dean requests that she research Nurse Glockner and find out where her body was buried. However, Dean insists that this is the best way Mara can help him, and uses all of his charm.
Later in the prison yard, Sam and Dean argue about whether they should leave tonight or stay until they are sure the ghost is gone. Sam grabs Dean's shoulder, and Dean shoves Sam. Two guards and the warden grab Sam and Dean before the fight can escalate and leads them into the showers, where the warden asks the guards to leave so he take care of the hard cases alone. Once the guards leave, the Warden gives Sam and Dean a big smile, and Dean refers to him as Deacon. Warden Deacon removes their handcuffs. Sam then explains that the ghost is not Moody, and Dean says they should stay until they know the job is done. This prompts another argument between Sam and Dean, which Deacon finally manages to interrupt. Deacon gives Dean an envelope their lawyer left for them. Inside the envelope is a note that says Nurse Glockner died in an inmate uprising in the old cell block, shortly after Moody died. Her head was bashed in after she was dragged into a solitary cell, and the note also says where she is buried. Deacon removes a panel covering a vent in the wall, and after Deacon hugs and thanks both of the Winchesters, Dean punches Deacon on the cheek to make it look like they jumped him. Sam and Dean exit the prison, walk up some stairs, and find the Impala parked beside the prison. As they get into the Impala and put their jackets on over the orange jumpers, the prison alarms sound.
A furious Agent Henriksen interrogates Warden Deacon, asking how Sam and Dean could get the drop on him. He them asks for a list of their activities today, and after he hears they met with their lawyer, he starts interrogating Mara Daniels. Sam and Dean, now back in jeans, open button-up shirts, and T-shirts, arrive in the cemetery and grab some shovels out of the trunk. Sam tells Dean they should hurry because if Henriksen gets to the lawyer, her conversation with Dean will not be covered by attorney-client privilege. Back at the prison, Mara claims it was a private conversation with her clients, but when pressed about the fact that the escape occurred three hours after her conversation with Dean, she admits that Dean wanted information on where a nurse who died in 1976 was buried. Three police cars and a paddy wagon rush to Mountainside Cemetery. Sam digs up Delores Glockner's grave, while Dean holds the flashlight and serves as lookout. SWAT teams pour out of the vehicles and into the cemetery as Sam's shovel hits the coffin.
Warden Deacon is washing his face in the prison restroom, when the clock stops at 8:32 p.m. The lights flash and Deacon's breath is visible. He turns around and sees the ghost of Nurse Glockner who throws him across the room. As officers with flashlights and guns walk between the graves, Sam and Dean cover the body in salt and lighter fluid. The ghost puts her hand over Deacon's heart and he starts to convulse. Sam drops a match into the grave. Dark veins appear on Deacon's face and he gasps for breath, but just then the ghost bursts into flames. With the ghost gone, its effects on Deacon quickly disappear, and the warden breaths a sigh of relief as a quick look around the room reveals no further trace of the ghost. Henriksen is frustrated as they continue to search Mountainside Cemetery. As Sam and Dean hurry back to the Impala, we see the sign at this cemetery reads "Green Valley Cemetery". Mara Daniels leaves the police station and smiles before getting in her car. Agent Henriksen looks around the cemetery realizing he has lost the Winchesters. As Sam and Dean get into the Impala, they talk about the fact that they have to go deep. They drive off into the night.
Body countFor this episode = 3 humans and 1 ghost.
For the series so far = At least 189 humans, 15 ghosts, 5 vampires, 2 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 demon, 1 god, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, and 1 zombie.
Tropes appearing in this episode:
- Abusive Parents: Tiny's father treated him badly, giving him self-esteem issues.
- Air-Vent Passageway: The prison kitchen has an air vent leading to the old cell block which easily accommodates Sam, and the cover is removed by just pulling.
- All Crimes Are Equal: To the avenging spirit.
- All in the Eyes: Dean and Lucas talk to each other in solitary while looking out of the slots in the cell doors, creating a shot where their eyes are framed in light while the rest is in darkness. Later, when the ghost appears, Lucas sees its eyes through the same slot, while Dean watches through the slot in his door.
- Alone-with-Prisoner Ploy: The Warden asks the guards to leave so he can be alone with Sam and Dean.Warden: [To guard] Take off. I want to handle this alone.
- Apologetic Attacker: Dean apologizes to Tiny for starting the fight.Dean: Hey, sorry about the things I was saying earlier. Can't really tell you why, but I had to get you angry. So, uh... Anyway, sorry.
- Ask a Stupid Question.../Shout-Out: "You talkin' to me?"
- Asshole Victim: The prison guard in the teaser and Lucas.Dean: Lucas wasn't so lucky. I mean, the way he was screaming...guy was a jerk, but he didn't deserve to go like that.
- Audible Sharpness: When Dean removes the knife from its sheath in the museum.
- An Axe to Grind: Sam removes a tomahawk from the museum case.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Dean finds out that talking big is not enough.Dean: [to Sam] See, that's how you got to talk to these guys. [winks] Instant respect.[Lucas approaches Tiny, who gets up, and both large prisoners approach Dean]Sam: You were saying?
- Ax-Crazy: Dean describes Mark Moody, an inmate who died in the old cell block, as a "psycho killer extraordinaire—Satanism, ritual murderer".
- Bad Ass BoastAgent Henriksen: I am the last person on planet Earth that you want to mess with!
- Bald of Awesome: Agent Henriksen and Tiny. Both also sport a Badass Mustache and Badass Beard.
- Barbarian Longhair: Dean's cellmate has greasy hair all the way down his back, while Sam's cellmate has his hair pulled back in a loose ponytail.
- Battleaxe Nurse: Nurse Glockner was reported to kill off convicts when she worked in the prison in the 1970s.Randall: I met her once. Had to get a tetanus shot. She damn near jabbed the needle through my arm. At least I got out of there alive.
- Beard of Evil: The guard in the teaser has a goatee. Both Sam and Dean's cellmates have beards as well as Lucas.
- The Big Board: Agent Henriksen has taken over an office at the Little Rock Police Station and has a map on the wall with labels and attached photos and police reports. There is also a large tablet of paper on a stand with notes and arrows.
- Big Brother Instinct: Dean steps in to defend Sam after Sam bumps into Lucas.
- Big Eater: Dean eats his and Sam's lunch while explaining with his mouth full why he thinks Moody is the ghost. The Running Gag of Dean stuffing his face was previously seen in "Nightmare" (S01, E14), "Provenance" (S01, E19), "Tall Tales" (S02, E15), and "Hollywood Babylon" (S02, E18).
- Big "NO!": After the guard gets his arm caught in the door, he looks up and screams, "No, no...No! No! Nooo! No! No! Nooo! Aah! Nooooo!"
- Black Screen of Death: After the ghost attacks Lucas and Tiny. Also seen after Dean punches Deacon.
- Blood from the Mouth: The guard in the teaser, after he gets his arm caught in the door.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Tiny.
- Bullying a Dragon: Dean makes fun of Tiny the day after Tiny's friend, Lucas, died after being locked in solitary for being in a fight with Dean.
- Can't You Read the Sign?:
- In the teaser, a sign in the yard lists the Code of Contact. The first item is "No fighting or threats will be tolerated."
- A sign on the fence surrounding the prison yard which Sam and Dean pass as they enter the prison says: "Warning. Persons aiding or concealing escape of prisoners are subject to prosecution and imprisonment."
- Yet another sign on the fence Sam and Dean walk by says, "Attention: Inmate fighting will not be tolerated".
- Cardboard Prison: Sam and Dean escape through an air vent in the showers, which is behind a panel that is removed by just pulling on it. They then walk up some steps to where the Impala is parked.
- Justified, since they have an inside accomplice who could have prepared their escape route ahead of time.
- The Casanova: Dean flirts with Mara Daniels, the public defender, despite her wedding ring.
- The Charmer: Dean who talks Mara into giving them the information on Glockner.Dean: Would you look at that. Man, I am freaking velvety smooth.
- Clint Squint: The ghost narrows its eyes while attacking. Mara Daniels also pulls one of these when Dean asks her to look in his eyes and decide if he is guilty.
- Confess in Confidence: Dean thinks everything he tells his lawyer is covered by attorney-client privilege, but Sam points out that if they used information their lawyer gave them in order to commit a new crime, privilege does not apply.
- Conspicuous Gloves: Sam and Dean are wearing gloves in the opening scene, indicating that they are up to no good.
- Continuity Nod:
Mara Daniels: Extradition papers have already been filed from five separate states, Missouri and Wisconsin being the biggest concern—the bank robbery and the murder raps.
- Dean calls Special Agent Henriksen "Milwaukee Agent Henriksen" referring to the phone conversation they had in "Nightshifter" (S02, E12).
- The lawyer, Mara Daniels, references Sam and Dean's previous run-ins with the law.
Mara Daniels: I talked to a cop in Baltimore who swears up and down these boys saved her life and helped her catch a killer. And there's a witness to your bank robbery in Milwaukee. She swears Sam and Dean saved her life.
- In the scene where Mara confronts Agent Henriksen and his partner, Agent Henrksen is looking at folder labeled with an FBI logo and the name "Dean Winchester". The paper Agent Henriksen seems to be studying is a warrant from California. This could refer to "Pilot" (S01, E01), where Dean was taken into custody and was under suspicion for the disappearances of ten men. Dean told the Sheriff his name was Ted Nugent, but given that the Sheriff read John Winchester's journal, he may have worked out Dean's true identity.
- Mara mentions Detective Diana Ballard in "The Usual Suspects" (S02, E07) and Sherry the bank teller in "Nightshifter" (S02, E12).
- When Randall implies he wants another pack of cigarettes to give them information on the nurse, Sam tells Dean to give it to him, and Dean says, "I earned these." This recalls the scene in "Bloody Mary" (S01, E05) when the morgue technician demands more cash and Dean says, "Dude, I earned that money." Sam replies, "You won it in a poker game." To which Dean responds, "Yeah."
- Conveniently Cellmates: Sam and Dean do not share a cell, but they are in the same cell block with cells right across from each other and are allowed to spend time together in the yard and during meals. Sam's cell is B309; Dean's is B310.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Dean is initially snarky and disrespectful in the interrogation room, although he is clearly more sober after he realizes who is questioning him.Dean: Well, it's about time. I'll have a cheeseburger. Extra onions.Agent Henriksen: You think you're funny.Dean: I think I'm adorable.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Dean's plan.Sam: Dean, this is, without a doubt, the dumbest, craziest thing we've ever done. And that's in a long, storied career of dumb and crazy.Dean: Calm down. It's all part of the plan.
- Dad the Veteran: Deacon was in the Marine Corps with John Winchester, Sam and Dean's dad. The song "Rooster" by Alice in Chains, which plays at the end of this episode, is about Jerry Cantrell's father's experiences in Vietnam, and may be meant to reference Deacon and John's service in Vietnam.
- Dark Is Evil: When the ghost attacks Lucas, large black throbbing veins appear on his face.
- Darkness = Death: The ghost attacks the guard after lights-out in B block.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dean can't help it. When waiting to be served prison spaghetti by another inmate:Dean: I'd like mine al dente.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Dean points out that those dying in the prison do not deserve this fate.Dean: I mean, come on, man, this place has all the signs of a haunting. Innocent people are dead. Four so far.
Sam: Yeah, innocent.
Dean: You from Texas all of a sudden? Just because these people are in jail doesn't mean they deserve to die. If we don't stop this, people are going to continue to die. We do this job wherever it takes us.
- Don't Answer That: Averted Trope. Dean and Sam's public defender, Mara Daniels, does her job and asks to meet privately with her clients.Agent Henriksen: Yeah, and were not quite done here.Mara Daniels: Ah, yeah, you are. And if you dont mind, I would like to meet with my clients. Privately.
- Electromagnetic Ghosts: The flashing lights before the ghost appears. In the teaser, we also see static on the security feed from B block before the ghost appears.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: Before the ghost appears.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Nurse Glockner's raspy voice.
- Extreme Omnivore/Picky Eater: Dean wolfs down the greasy chicken and spaghetti in the prison cafeteria, while Sam does not touch his.Dean: You know, this chicken isn't half bad.Sam: Great. [slides his plate towards Dean] Finish mine.
- Eyes Never Lie: Dean's defense with Mara Daniels, the public defender.Dean: If you're as smart a P.D. as I think you are, then you can tell with just one look whether or not your clients are guilty, just like that. So I want you to look at me, really look, and you tell me—am I guilty? We're not the bad guys.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Randall gets this treatment in the teaser.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Sam raises him eyebrow repeatedly during his conversation with Randall in the bathroom.
- Fat Comic Relief: Dean tries this with Tiny, but it is really just a distraction.Dean: Save room for dessert, Tiny. Hey, I wanted to ask you, 'cause I couldn't help but notice that you are two tons of fun. Just curious—is it like a thyroid problem, or is it some deep-seated self-esteem issue? 'Cause, you know, they're, uh, they're just doughnuts. They're not love.
- Fictional Counterpart:
- Arkansas does not have a Green River County or Green River County Detention Center. Wrightsville Unit in Pulaski County may be the closest approximation, but this facility has a more troubling past than the fictional detention center.
- The Arkansas Museum of Anthropology does not exist, but Little Rock, Arkansas does have the Arkansas Arts Center and the Museum of Discovery: Arkansas' Museum of Science & History.
- First-Name Basis: Dean and the public defender.Dean: Mara—it's Mara, right?
- Fixing the Game: When Dean's playing cards in the yard, the guy he's playing against has three aces. Dean has a full house, threes over aces. For those who like to keep track, that's five aces. And Dean has a couple cartons' worth of cigarettes in front of him.
- Forced to Watch: Dean is helpless to save Lucas or Tiny when the ghost attacks.
- Foreshadowing: There was a large window in the cell with the bloodied mattress while the sealed cell opened in the teaser had no window.
- Get into Jail Free: The Winchesters deliberately get caught so they can remove a ghost haunting the prison. The warden was the one who called them in, which helped.
- Ghostly Chill: Whenever the ghost is near, those nearby including the ghost have visible breath.
- Good All Along: The warden.Dean: Deacon, you are beating the holy hell out of me, man.Deacon: Sorry, Dean. I thought I was going easy on you.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Dean and Sam use their fists instead of shotguns for the fight scenes in this episode.
- Grave Robbing: Dean and Sam dig up Nurse Glockner's remains at Green Valley Cemetery and salt and burn her.
- Great Escape: The Winchesters' crazy plan includes a prison break.
- Groin Attack: During the first fight.
- Hand Signals: Tiny draws his finger across his neck while looking at Dean after the fight with Lucas.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: After Dean fends the ghost off with salt, a loud heartbeat is heard, indicating Dean's recovery from the attack.
- Humble Hero: Dean, who is always more aware of his mistakes then his own goodness, identifies with the prisoners and defends them, while Sam does not seem to have the same empathy for the ghost's victims.
- Hustling the Mark: Dean is playing Texas hold 'em in the prison yard. The five community cards are an ace of diamonds, five of clubs, seven of hearts, three of diamonds, and ace of clubs. The prisoner Dean is playing has an ace of spades and a jack of diamonds, and believes he has won the dozen cigarettes in the pot with three aces when Dean calls. But Dean is holding an ace of hearts and three of clubs, and has a full house.Dean: It's like picking low-hanging fruit.
- Iconic Item: Dean is not wearing his ring or amulet in the first scene, as he knew he would be arrested and have these items removed.
- Idiot Ball:
- Subverted Trope. The Winchester's out-of-character clumsy breaking-and-entering which triggered the motion detector was actually a ploy to get them into Green River County Detention Center.
- Played Straight when, after Sam and Dean escape, Agent Henriksen spends time interrogating the prison warden and their lawyer instead of blockading roads leaving the prison and searching the surrounding grounds.
- Info Dump: Sam and Dean's conversation when they are waiting to go through the security check, which continues as they eat (or at least as Dean eats).
- Inspector Javert: Sam and Dean realize they are in trouble after meeting Agent Henriksen in person.Sam: Thought we were screwed before?Dean: Yeah, I know. We got to go deep this time.Sam: "Deep", Dean? We should go to Yemen.Dean: Ooh, I'm—I'm not sure I'm ready to go that deep.
- Instant Emergency Response: The police arrive within 30 seconds after the motion detector is triggered in the museum, and they arrive with enough force to completely surround all the exits.
- Institutional Apparel: The prisoners wear short-sleeved orange jumpsuits with silver snaps and collars and, when outside, have dark blue jackets with "County Jail" in yellow stitching above the left breast pocket. The prisoners wear white socks and navy blue slip-on canvas shoes.
- I Owe You My Life: Dean is willing to risk his freedom and Sam's freedom because he feels an obligation to Deacon who saved their father's life when they served together.
- Ironic Echo:
Sam: You sure it's him?Dean: Pretty sure.Sam: Dean, considering our circumstances, I'm gonna need a little bit better than "pretty sure".Dean: Really pretty sure.
- When Sam and Dean are eating lunch, and Dean is trying to convince Sam that Mark Moody is the ghost:
Dean: You sure about this?Sam: Pretty sure.Dean: Yeah, well, considering our circumstances, I'd like a little better than "pretty sure".Sam: Okay, really pretty sure.
- When waiting on line for food, and Sam convinces Dean to provide a distraction:
- Ironic Nickname: Tiny.
- I Shall Taunt You: Agent Henriksen taunts Dean in the interrogation room in order to get Dean to break. Henriksen tells Dean tripping the motion detector was a "rookie move".Agent Henriksen: I'd say, for you two, "screwed to hell" is a major understatement.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: Nurse Glockner is wearing a soiled, old-fashioned nurse outfit with an apron.
- Jump Scare/Scare Chord: When the gray figure passes by Randall's cell in the teaser.
- Kick the Dog: The prison guard with a goatee in the teaser slams his baton against the bars of Randall's cell to scare him and dismisses Randall's concerns in a sarcastic manner.
- Kill It with Fire: Double Subverted Trope. Salting and burning Moody's blood-stained mattress did not eliminate the ghost, but salting and burning the remains of Nurse Glockner causes the ghost to burst into flames and disappear.
- Knight Templar: Nurse Glockner is killing those she sees as guilty.Dean: In life, she's a vigilante. In death, same thing.
- Kung-Foley: The crashes and loud punches in the fight scenes.
- Large and in Charge: Both Sam and Dean have cellmates who are larger than they are.Dean: I call top bunk![Dean's cellmate smirks and places his things on the top bunk]Dean: Okay.
- Laser Hallway: Sam and Dean trigger a motion sensor at the baseboard level in the museum. Once triggered a red light glows on the sensor.
- Like a Duck Takes to Water: Sam notes that Dean adapted very quickly to being in jail.Dean: I did hear in the yard that that guard wasn't exactly squeaky-clean, so maybe she's going after anybody that breaks a law, like me.Sam: You heard "in the yard"?Dean: Yeah.Sam: Does it bother you at all how easily you seem to fit in here?Dean: No, not really.
- List of Transgressions: Agents Henriksen and Reidy spell out Dean's crimes.Agent Henriksen: Read him the charges.Agent Reidy: Mail fraud, credit card fraud, grave desecration...Agent Henriksen: Skip to the good ones.Agent Reidy: Armed robbery, kidnapping and, oh, three counts of first-degree murder.
- Long Speech Tea Time: While Sam and Dean are arguing about whether they should leave, Deacon keeps trying to interrupt them. When they finally listen to him, they realize the information he has makes their argument moot.Deacon: Oh, hey guys...Guys...Guys!
- Made of Iron: Dean's punches and the headbutt don't even faze Tiny.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Nurse Glockner disguises her murders as heart attacks both before and after she dies.Randall: Guys would go up with a cold. Next thing you know, they're in a body bag. A whole rash of heart attacks—young guys, old guys.
- Make It Look Like a Struggle: Sam and Dean stage a fight with each other in the yard as part of their escape plan, and then later Dean punches Deacon to make it look like they jumped him.Deacon: Um...Make it look real, son.
- Man Hug: Deacon gives one of these to Sam and then Dean.
- Mark of the Supernatural: Dean lampshades the Stopped Clock, Epileptic Flashing Lights, and Ghostly Chill.Dean: The clock stopped, the flickering lights, cold spot...I mean, he did everything but yell "boo".
- Meaningful Look: When a thud is heard after Sam and Dean remove items from the museum cases, Sam and Dean look at each other, and Sam nods his head to the side indicating they should leave. When Sam and Dean have their hands on their heads and are being handcuffed, Sam and Dean look at each other again, and while Dean seems pleased, Sam clearly is not.
- Metallicar Syndrome: They leave the Impala parked right beside the prison, and continue to drive Dean's baby despite claiming they need to "go deep".
- Mind over Matter: Nurse Glockner throws Dean against the wall, and Deacon across the room.
- Miranda Rights: The interrogation room has a sign titled LEGAL WARNING which says, "All information given in this room is recorded. Any information provided can be used against you. You have the right to remain silent and retain the advice of legal council. A lawyer will be provided to you by the state if you cannot afford one."
- Mishmash Museum: Averted Trope. The Winchesters break into the Arkansas Museum of Anthropology. Current exhibits include: Mesoamerican Art (Main), Pre-Columbian Life (Annex), and Colima Unearthed (Second).
- Monochrome Apparition: The ghost has gray skin and clothes.
- Monster Delay: We only see parts of the ghost, a gray blur passing by Randall's cell, Messy Hair, the eyes, an arm. Until The Reveal.
- Not-So-Small Role: Savvy viewers likely realized Jeff Kober, who plays Randall, would not be a Teaser-Only Character. Those who recognized Garwin Sanford, playing the prison warden, may have realized he was someone to keep an eye on.
- Oh, Crap!: Dean's reaction when the ghost appears in the infirmary.
- The Old Convict: Randall, who did time in the old cell block and gives Sam and Dean history on the prison.Sam: How you doing?Randall: I'm 54 years old, mopping the floor of a crapper with bars on the windows. How you think I'm doing?
- Perp Sweating: It is clear that Agent Henriksen and his partner are just gearing up when Dean's lawyer enters the interrogation room with the two-way mirror.
- Photo Montage: The series of mugshots, including black-and-white photos.
- Pillars of Moral Character: Dean does his best to honor obligation, or On (恩), and duty, or Giri (義理), by helping Deacon.Dean: We know he was in the Corps with Dad. He saved Dad's life. We owe him.Sam: But don't you think he's asking a little much?Dean: It doesn't matter. We may not be saints, but we're loyal and we pay our debts. Now, that means something to me, and it ought to you. I'm not thrilled about this either, but Deacon asked us to hunt this thing down, and that's what we're going to do.
- Play-Along Prisoner: Sam and Dean check with their lawyer to make sure they will be held in Green River County Detention Center.Mara Daniels: Yes. And considering the charges youre facing, no judge in his right mind is going to grant you bail.Dean: Yeah, we figured that.
- Police Brutality: Randall tells Sam that the prison guards beat Moody to death.Randall: Sure, his heart stopped, right after the guard stopped using his head for batting practice. The next morning, I was in his cell, mopping up the blood. What a mess.Sam: Wait. So he—he was beaten and—and nobody reported it?Randall: You kept your mouth shut, unless you wanted to die from the same heart attack, you know?
- Power of Trust: Dean relies on this to get Mara's help.Dean: I'm just gonna have to ask you to trust me on this.Mara Daniels: Why should I? Henriksen says you're a monster.Dean: I'm a monster? Im— [laughs] Well, he's wrong, okay? I'm not what they say I am.Mara Daniels: Everybody says that.
- Practical Currency: The prisoners play cards for cigarettes in the yard. After winning a sizable pile, Dean trades them for lighter fluid.
- Previously On: The Road So Far reappears before the Teaser. This had not appeared on the last two episodes.
- Prison Episode: Obviously.
- Prison Rape: Dean seems amused by Sam's discomfort.Dean: My roommate doesn't say much—how's yours?Sam: Just keeps staring at me...in a way that makes me really...uneasy.Dean: It sounds like you're making new friends.
- Prison Riot: One occurred in 1976 that killed the current Monster of the Week.
- Product Placement: Agent Henriksen's silver Dell laptop.
- Prophet Eyes/Red Eyes, Take Warning: The ghost has extremely blood-shot eyes with dilated, enlarged blood vessels, and a gray iris with a clouded lens.
- Psychic Surgery: Nurse Glockner reaches into her victim's chest and squeezes his heart.
- Punched Across the Room: Tiny's punch sends Dean out of his seat and across the floor of the cafeteria.
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Dean punching Tiny.
- Pulp Magazine: In the teaser, Randall is reading a first edition of The Apollo Gate by Kit Marlatt.
- Race Against the Clock: Sam insists they escape as planned, leaving them only five hours to research Nurse Glockner.
- Red Herring: Mark Moody.
- Reverse Mole: The Warden turns out to be Deacon, their father's friend who brought them in on the job.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Mara Daniels asks Dean, "Are you nuts?", Dean looks up and to the side as if considering an answer before Mara continues.
- The Scrounger: Dean trades cigarettes for lighter fluid and compares himself to James Garner in The Great Escape.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The spirit in the cell opened by the workers using a blowtorch and crowbar.
- Separated by the Wall: Dean and Mara Daniels, the public defender, are separated by plexiglass and talk over phones when she visits him in prison.
- Shadow Discretion Shot: When Tiny is attacked by the ghost with the curtain drawn around his bed in the infirmary.
- Shifting the Burden of Proof: When the public defender, Mara Daniels, points out inconsistencies in the evidence against the Winchesters, Agent Henriksen insults Mara and dismisses one of the witnesses as "nuts", but gives no real defense of his position.
- Shipped in Shackles: Sam and Dean have their wrists and ankles shackled with a chain connecting between when they are transported on the bus. Dean has to hold up the extra chain so he does not trip, but Sam has hardly any slack in his chain.
- Shout-OutDean: I call this one the Blue Steel. [sucks in his cheeks, pouts, and raises his eyebrows]
Dean: I said, "I wish I had a baseball." You know, like—like Steve McQueen.Lucas: Yeah? Well, I wish I had a bat so I could bash your frickin head in.Dean: Okay. Well, so much for the bonding-in-solitary moment.
- Dean asks the prison photographer who looks better in their mugshot, Nick Nolte or himself. The photographer responds by saying, "Shut up".
- Dean references the cooler scene in The Great Escape, and then later compares himself to James Garner, who was nicknamed The Scrounger, in the same movie. The Great Escape was previously referenced when Dean sent Sam a message during "The Usual Suspects" (S02, E07).
- When Sam tells Dean he has a plan to get into the old cell block, Dean compares him to Clint Eastwood from Escape from Alcatraz.
- Randall says Nurse Glockner "did this Charles Bronson thing with a hypodermic". This references his Vigilante Man role in Death Wish. Bronson also played Flight Lieutenant Danny Velinski, one of "the tunnel kings" in The Great Escape.
- Simple Staff: The prison guards carry batons.
- Skewed Priorities: The public defender complains about the boys not taking their case seriously, as in the last episode where they were arrested, "The Usual Suspects" (S02, E07).Mara Daniels: Do you have any idea the kind of trouble you're in?Dean: [looks around the room] I have a vague notion.
- Something Blues: This is the second episode of Supernatural which is named after a song following this convention. The first was "Crossroad Blues" (S02, E08).
- Sound-Only Death: After the guard's arm is caught in the door, we hear him screaming, "No, no...No!" The camera pans back towards Randall's cell, who is straining to see what is going on, but neither Randall nor the viewers see the ghost's attack.
- Speak in Unison: While Sam and Dean are arguing, they finally notice Deacon.Sam and Dean: What?!
- Standard Bleeding Spots: After the fight with Tiny, Dean has a cut across his left cheek.
- Standard Snippet: "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.s plays after Sam and Dean get off the bus and walk to their cells.
- Stern Chase: Agent Henriksen describes his search for the Winchesters.Agent Henriksen: The way you cover your tracks and after Milwaukee the way you [whistles and moves his hand to the side, mimicking disappearing] vanished. Near went nuts trying to find you. Ask him.Agent Reidy: He near went nuts.
- Stopped Clock: Before the ghost appears. The clock stops a few seconds after 10:00 PM in the teaser. While Lucas and Dean are in solitary, the clock stops about 25 seconds after 8:30 PM. In the infirmary, the clock stops a couple of seconds after 8:45 PM. In the bathroom, the clock stops at 49 seconds after 8:32 PM.
- Straw Misogynist: Agent Henriksen dismisses the bank teller who says Sam and Dean saved her by saying "She's nuts." He then implies Mara's observations are without merit, and she should let him get back to his work.Agent Henriksen: Okay. Grownups are trying to get some work done here, so...if you don't mind...
- Surveillance Station Slacker: An overweight guard with a goatee is manning the security cameras while eating a sandwich and reading papers on a clipboard.
- Tap on the Head: How Nurse Glockner died.Dean: They dragged her to a solitary cell, gave her a "severe cerebral edema".Sam: Someone bashed her head in.
- Tattooed Crook: Sam's cellmate has a tattoo on his neck. Dean's cellmate has tattoos up both arms. Both Lucas and Tiny are also sporting tattoos. The prisoner with a shaved head that Dean plays poker with has a tattoo on his arm. This is lampshaded by Dean.Dean: Look, all we gotta do is find this ghost, put the sucker down...then grab ourselves a couple of teardrop tattoos.
- Teaser-Only Character: The workers in the old cell block and the guard who gets his arm slammed in the door.
- Tempting Fate: Dean starts bragging about their escape before they have even left the prison grounds.Dean: You know, I almost wish I could see Henriksen's face.Sam: Really? 'Cause I'd be happy if I never saw him again. We're not really out of the woods yet, Dean, you know?[alarm sounds; red lights start flashing]
- Themed Aliases: This is the second episode in a row where this is an Averted Trope, as Sam and Dean are incarcerated under their real names.
- Titled After the Song: Released by Johnny Cash in 1955.
- Tuckerization: The Pulp Magazine Randall is reading in the teaser was written by Kit Marlatt. Kit Marlatt is a second assistant director for Supernatural. The title of the magazine, The Apollo Gate, may also refer to two other shows filming in Vancouver on which he has worked.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The viewers know Sam does not like Dean's plan, but the plan's details are kept sketchy.Sam: I hate this plan, Dean.Dean: Yeah, I got that the first ten times I heard it.
- Visible Invisibility: When the spirit travels through the hallway in the old cell block, it scatters papers.
- Walking Disaster Area: Agent Henriksen's view of the Winchesters.Agent Henriksen: And all I know is wherever these guys go, people die. It's that simple.
- Walking in Rhythm: Dean seems to bop along to "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s after they get off the bus and walk to the cells.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Dean disperses the ghost with salt in a plastic container that was on his dinner tray.
- We Do Not Know Each Other: Warden Deacon and the Winchesters must pretend not to know each other.Deacon: [with baton under Dean's chin] What's your name?Dean: Winchester.Deacon: Well, Winchester...not a good start.
- We Meet Again: For Dean and Agent Henriksen, who only ever spoke over the phone before.Agent Henriksen: It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person, Dean. Im Special Agent Victor Henriksen. This is my partner, Special Agent Reidy.Dean: [losing smile] Henriksen? Not the Milwaukee Agent Henriksen?Agent Henriksen: Live and in person.
- We Need a Distraction: Dean starts a fight, then later apologizes to the guy he started the fight with.
- What Are You in For?: Randall asks Sam.Randall: Why are you inside, kid?Sam: 'Cause I got an idiot for a brother.Randall: That'll do it.
- Whole Plot Reference: This episode has a lot of similarities to Prison Break, including two bothers devoted to each other, purposefully getting incarcerated, and a friendly female lawyer who helps with research. The similarities between the two shows has not gone unnoticed by fans.
- Worthy Opponent: Dean seems impressed by how quickly Agents Henriksen and Reidy arrived, and they are impressed by how difficult it has been to find Sam and Dean.
- You Are Fat: Dean zeroes in on Tiny's weight in order to pick a fight with him. This is one of the things he apologizes for when they get sent to solitary.
- You Have to Believe Me!: In the teaser, Randall calls out for a guard when he sees something, but the guard does not believe him.Randall: You telling me you didn't see that? What, are you blind? Hey!Guard: [slams baton against the bars of Randall's cell] Randall, cool it.Randall: Cool it, my ass, man. There's somebody out there.
- You Talkin' to Me?: Lucas quotes Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver when he attempts to bully Dean. Dean lampshades this.Lucas: You talking to me? Are you talking to me?Dean: Great, another guy who's seen Taxi Driver too many times. Yeah, I'm talking to you.