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Recap / Supernatural S04E07 "It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 7:

It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

Dean: It's Halloween, man.
Sam: Yeah. For us, every day is Halloween.

Written by Julie Siege.

Directed by Charles Beeson.

Air Date: October 30, 2008.

In a small, idyllic town, a man eats some Halloween candy and his insides are torn apart by razor blades to his wife’s horror. Sam and Dean later question her about the incident, and Dean finds a hex bag. Later at the motel, Dean eats Halloween candy as Sam researches the hex bag, which contains the charred metacarpal of a newborn baby. Sam thinks they are dealing with powerful witchcraft, and Dean declares the victim had no enemies.

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At a teen costume party, the kids complain that it is lame since there is no booze. Two teen girls bob for apples, and the second one gruesomely drowns and the water begins to boil, which scalds her. The first teen, who is pretty, blond and dressed as a sexy cheerleader, catches Dean’s attention. Sam warns Dean she’s jailbait before Dean questions her about the man who died from the razors.

Later, the Winchesters theorize that the deaths weren’t about witch payback but rather a spell to raise Samhain. It’s a heavy-weight spell that can only be performed once every 600 years, and the next chance is that Halloween. Once raised, Samhain can raise every ghost, zombie and monster the Winchesters have ever seen.

Dean eats candy and stakes out the first victim’s house and learns the cheerleader is the family’s baby sitter, establishing a connection between the victims. They assume she’s the witch. Dean and Sam question one of her teachers about her violently attacking him, which she did after he confronted her about her disturbing and witchy artwork.

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At their motel, a kid dressed as an astronaut gets insulted when Sam and Dean don’t have any candy. When they enter their room, they find Castiel and another angel named Uriel. Sam is excited to met them, and Castiel is pleasant while Uriel is not. Castiel asks if they have located the witch and is disturbed to learn they haven’t yet killed her. Castiel shows them a hex bag they found in the room that would have killed either Sam and Dean.

Castiel explains Uriel is a specialist who is going to smite the whole town to prevent the raising of Samhain and the breaking of a seal. Dean and Sam resist the idea of killing everyone in the town, while Castiel counters that if Lucifer rises it will mean hell on earth. Sam is horrified, and Dean is disgusted. Dean declares they aren’t leaving and his presence will mean they’ll have to kill him and upset Heaven. Castiel relents gives them a chance to kill the witch.

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Dean then discovers the astronaut has egged his car, and Sam expresses disappointment in the angels. Sam thought they would be righteous, and Dean says they are but there’s nothing more dangerous than some a-hole who thinks he’s on a holy mission. He also tells Sam not to give up on God. Then, they figure out that it would have taken a kiln - like the one in the art teacher’s room - to burn the body of a baby.

In a park, Castiel tells Uriel that a decision has been made. Uriel thinks they are savages, but Castiel defends Dean. Uriel wants to destroy the town, but Castiel says that would violate their true orders.

At the high school, the teacher has the cheerleader tied up and is performing a ritual. The Winchesters shoot him and cut her down, and she reveals she was working with him and he was her brother. She says that he, instead of her, has become the final blood sacrifice. Samhain rises in her brother’s body and kills her. Sam hides himself and Dean by smearing blood masks on their faces.

Samhain walks to the cemetery where some teens are having a Halloween party in a mausoleum. Sam and Dean drive there, arguing about whether Sam should use his psychic powers. Samhain locks some teens in the mausoleum and raises the dead. Sam and Dean come to the rescue, and Sam kills Samhain with his powers.

At the motel, a contemptuous Uriel and tells Sam not to use his powers anymore. Sam says Dean is right and that angels are dicks. Uriel tells him to ask Dean what he remembers from hell. At a playground, a more conciliatory Castiel tells Dean that their real orders were to do whatever Dean told them to do. It was a test for Dean. Dean argues he’d have made the same call again because the town is still standing. Castiel admits he was praying for Dean to save the town, but the seal was broken. Castiel also confides that he sometimes questions his orders and has doubts. He says he doesn’t envy Dean the weight that is on his shoulders.

Body count

For this episode = 5 humans (of which 2 were witches), 2 zombies and 1 demon.

For the series so far = At least 276 humans (of which 5 were witches), 15 demons, 25 ghosts, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, 3 zombies, 1 rugaru, and 1 dog.

Tropes

  • Broken Pedestal: Sam isn't happy to learn that the angels are a lot more vicious when it comes to getting their mission done than he believed.
  • Brought Down to Badass: When Samhain realizes that Sam is immune to his powers, he fights the Winchester in hand-to-hand combat. He would've won, too, if it weren't for the fact that he was not immune to Sam's abilities...
  • Cain and Abel: The witches pretty much hate each other and try to make each other the sacrifice to raise their master. Of course, both characters are evil here.
  • Catchphrase: Dean's "son of a bitch!" is repeated several times.
  • Characterization Marches On: Castiel's bluff when saying he'll destroy the whole town is very convincing, in contrast with his later characterization as a Bad Liar.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Samhain waited 'til the hunter coming after him was in a narrow hallway before he used his demon ray, so there was no room to escape. Unfortunately for him, that hunter happened to be Sam Winchester.
  • Compensating for Something: What Dean calls Uriel's plan to destroy the town.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Dean shoots Don just as he is about to sacrifice Tracy.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Don when possessed by Samhain.
  • Crisis of Faith: Sam had been hopeful that the presence of the angels would be helpful to the cause of good, only to find them to be cold and fanatical to the point of being willing to destroy the town. Normally The Cynic, Dean tells his brother not to give up hope.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death
    • A man dies from unwittingly swallowing razor blades in Halloween candy and slowly choking to death as he tries to pull them out.
    • A girl bobbing for apples gets telekinetically held underwater and her head boiled as she struggles and the party-goers try desperately to help her.
    • A teenager gets dragged kicking and screaming into a grave by zombies, who then brutally rip him apart, not to mention all the other teens slaughtered at the same time.
  • Death Glare: The astronaut kid gives it his best when Dean says he hasn't got any sweets.
  • The End Justifies The Means: Castiel and Uriel are both willing (the latter more then the former) to smite the entire town off the face of the planet if it will prevent Samhain's raise and the breaking of one of the seals.
  • Evil Teacher: Don.
  • Faking the Dead: How Sam and Dean evade Samhain.
  • Fantastic Racism: Plenty from Uriel towards humans.
  • Fantastic Slur/Son of an Ape: Uriel calls Dean a "mud monkey" and humans "plumbing on two legs".
  • Fish out of Water: When Sam introduces himself to Castiel, it's clear Castiel is unfamiliar with shaking hands but he figures it out, something which differentiates him from Uriel and shows his growing affection for humanity.
  • Friendship Moment: While Uriel dresses down Sam, Castiel is far more conciliatory and kind to Dean, providing emotional support and confiding his doubts to Dean.
  • Halloween Episode: The episode takes place over Halloween, and Sam mentions that every day is Halloween for the brothers.
  • Headbutt of Love: Subverted.
    • Deadly Hug: Samhain draws Tracy in, cups her face tenderly, and then...CRACK.
  • Hidden Depths: After being portrayed as a little bit of a dick so far and being willing to destroy the town Castiel reveals to Dean at the end that he is not just some tin soldier who can't feel anything and that he does question some of the actions his side has taken. He also states that he doesn't want to see humans die as they are his fathers greatest creation showing that he isn't a complete dick the way Uriel is.
  • Hot Witch: Tracy.
  • Humans Are Special: Castiel calls humans "works of art".
  • Hypocrite: Tracy calls Don "a sick son of a bitch" for trying to kill her and seems outraged by it, but then seconds later admits that she wanted to rip his face off for centuries, and gloats over his demise.
  • Two Words: Added Emphasis = Jailbait: Sam's response when Dean insists on being the one to interview Tracy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although Dean won't stop at mocking a chubby kid, he will definitely not let angels kill a thousand people, and will risk his life to prevent that from happening.
  • Knight Templar: The angels. Lampshaded by Dean
    Dean: There's nothing more dangerous than some a-hole who thinks he's on a holy mission.
  • Necromancer: Part of Samhain's power is reanimating the dead.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: By killing Don, Sam and Dean provide the third blood sacrifice necessary to break the seal and raise Samhain.
  • The Nicknamer: Dean calls Castiel "Cass", Uriel "Chuckles", and a zombie "Stinky".
  • No-Sell: Sam to Samhain's powers.
    Sam: Yeah, that demon-ray-gun stuff? It doesn't work on me.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sam and Dean when, after they rescue Tracy from the witch about to sacrifice her, she starts criticizing her brother's spell-work.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Up to Eleven. Not kind or merciful, they plan to smite an entire town to kill one witch. Not even devout, either, as Uriel is quick to blaspheme, and Castiel doubts God himself and the morality of his orders. They're dark, deadly, cryptic, and don't worry too much about human life.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When Samhain is rising, Sam quickly smears blood onto his and Dean's faces to trick the demon into thinking they're dead so he'll leave them alone. It works.
    Dean: What the hell was that?
    Sam: Halloween lore. People used to wear masks to hide from him, so I gave it a shot.
    Dean: You "gave it a shot"?!
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Uriel's "specialty".
  • The Precious, Precious Car: The Metallicar gets egged by the trick-or-treat-er Dean mocked.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Sam gets this while killing Samhain.
  • The Quiet One: Most demons are quite chatty. After saying a few lines when he is first summoned, Samhain doesn't say another word for the rest of the episode.
  • Razor Apples: The first victim died when small razors in the store-bought Halloween candy got stuck in his throat and stomach and slashed him up from inside.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Samhain isn't fooled, though, saying that the Hot Witch who's summoned him has "aged".
  • Rule of Threes: Uriel tells Sam he's been warned twice not to use his powers—the third time he'll be killed.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Samhain is a Celtic holiday that celebrates the harvest, not a partially-blind, undead-raising demon that can only surface every six hundred years. Also, it's pronounced "sa-win", not "sam-hane".
  • Secret Test of Character: And not even Castiel knows if Dean has passed it.
  • Sexy Whatever Outfit: The teen girls dressed in Halloween costumes at the Wild Teen Parties.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Dean shoots a locked door to rescue some teens.
  • Sibling Team: Three of them in one episode, folks! Aside from Sam and Dean there's Castiel and Uriel and the witches.
  • Similarly Named Works: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, from which this episode takes its name.
  • Smug Snake: Uriel is just insufferable in this episode, showing contempt for demons, Lucifer, witches, humans, and even his brother Castiel and serving to make the previously morally ambiguous Castiel look angelic by comparison.
  • Stock Scream: Part of a Wilhelm is heard while Dean is staring at a mask in a Halloween shop and experiencing a flashback to his time in Hell.
  • The Stoner: Justin, both at the Halloween party and at school, where he unsuccessfully tries to fire a giant bong in the art room's kiln.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Castiel shows quite a bit of sympathy for Dean and the tough choices he will have to make in the coming months noting that he doesn't envy him.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Samhain kills the witch who summoned him, and calls her a whore. Not that she didn't deserve it.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Tracy thinks this is her relationship with Samhain. It's not.
  • Vain Sorceress: Dean approves that the 600-plus-year-old Tracy has chosen to walk around looking like a hot cheerleader.
  • Villainous Valour: Lilith scampered when she realized her demon ray didn't work on Sam; Samhain charged him. When he realized Sam had a knife that could hurt him, he simply knocked it out of his hands and continued to pound him. When he realized Sam could exorcise him, he just charged him again.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: The Winchesters refuse to let Uriel raze the town to prevent the summoning of Samhain. At the end, Castiel notes that while Samhain was banished back to hell before he could do much, the fact that he was summoned means another seal was broken. Dean says saving the town (specifically the children) was Worth It.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Samhain has horrible vision, which is why masks can fool him. However, unlike most demons, he is immune to iron.
  • Wham Line: Sam and Dean quickly realize they've been underestimating their opponent when she reveals they've been trying to stop two witches this whole time, not one.
    Tracy: Can you believe how sloppy his incantation was?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Uriel berates Sam for using his demonic powers. Okay, makes sense. Then he threatens to kill him the second he stops being useful. Whoa.
  • Wicked Witch: Two of 'em.
  • Wild Teen Party: One of which takes place inside a crypt. While Samhain's out and about, turning corpses into zombies. Gee, I wonder what'll happen?
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the components of the hex bags are the charred metacarpals of a newborn baby.
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