- Dean: So, guy's old lady comes home while he's working underneath his ride, put the pedal to the metal, and takes half his head off.Sam: And, that's it?Dean: Yeah, in a nutshell. She says she blacked out, doesn't remember a damn thing.Sam: Well, that sounds like insanity.Dean: Maybe.Sam: So, how does that make this our kind of thing.Dean: [sigh] Because, Sam, Kevin's in the wind, okay, you're sulking around like a eunuch in a whorehouse, and I can't help but ask myself, when is decapitation not my thing?
Written by Adam Glass.
Directed by Tim Andrew.
Air Date: November 7, 2012.
Sam and Dean, pretending to be FBI agents, find Garth, posing as a Texas Ranger in Missouri, already investigating the brutal murder of Chester Lew committed by the victim's wife, Mary Lew, despite what appears to be a happy marriage. Garth is happy to see the Winchester brothers, but can tell all is not right between Sam and Dean. The brothers are not receptive to Garth's attempts to get them to talk about their problems, and Dean in particular is upset to find that Garth has assumed a lot of Bobby Singer's duties for the hunter community. In contrast to Dean's irritation with Garth's speeches, when Garth talks to Sam he will stare off and go into a flashback to how Amelia revealed she lost her husband in the war in Afghanistan, and this drew the two of them closer.
They find green, instead of black, ectoplasm at the crime scene, but the only motive they can find for the murder is that the victim took another woman, Sara Alcott, to the prom over 30 years ago. Next, the victim's son, Scott Lew, goes to buy groceries, but instead murders a business partner, Jeff, who betrayed him. While searching Bobby's notebook they find that green ectoplasm belongs to a specter, a vengeful spirit who arises after his grave is desecrated and possesses people, causing them to be overcome with rage and bent on revenge. They find that the grave of the unknown Confederate soldier was vandalized a day before Mary Lew killed her husband, and burn the bones of the soldier.
Despite burning the bones, the murders continue when the deputy shoots the sheriff over paperwork, after the deputy had retrieved Scott Lew's inhaler from the evidence locker. By the time Garth and the Winchesters arrive at the police station, one of the officers has already left for the hospital. Garth and Sam go to the local library and find that the unknown Confederate soldier was probably a brother of a Union soldier who wore an Indian penny around his neck and had sworn to get vengeance on his brother. Dean heads to the hospital and is able to stop the officer, Carl, from killing a hospital worker who made a call in a baseball game Carl did not agree with. Unfortunately, the Indian penny is pressed into Dean's hand and he is possessed by the specter.
When Garth and Sam return to the hotel room, they find Dean possessed and with a gun pointed at Sam. Dean makes it clear that he considers Benny more of a brother then Sam and also was disappointed in Castiel. Sam manages to wrestle the gun away from Dean and Garth picks up the penny. Garth, who is free of the bitterness of most hunters, is able to destroy the penny. Garth tries to give both brothers some advice about forgiveness. While Sam and Dean listen, there is still clear tension between them at the end of the episode.
For this episode = 3 humans and one ghost.
For the series so far = At least 828 humans (of which 6 were witches), 106 demons, 58 angels, 48 ghosts, 42 vampires, 36 Jefferson Starships, 19 zombies, 19 gods, 9 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 5 werewolves, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 djinn, 3 dogs, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 vetalas, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.
- Accidental Pun: The wife of the first victim says she remembers "bits and pieces" of his death, which Garth, but only Garth, finds amusing.
- The American Civil War: Set in Missouri, a border state, where some sided with the Confederacy and others with the Union.
- Anvilicious/Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The anvils whose weight had been felt every episode this season were finally dropped.Garth: [to Dean] Now, there's something I want to say to you: Stop being a idjit! With Bobby dead, you and Sam are all each other has. And that's not so bad, man.
- Big "NO!": The sheriff before he is shot.
- Borrowed Catchphrase:
Garth: Man, that's balls.Dean: That's not how you say "balls".
- Dean is offended when Garth uses Bobby's "Balls".
Garth: [laughing good-naturedly at Dean] You're such an idjit.Dean: Idjit's supposed to be used angrily. Not happy. If you're going to butcher it, don't say it at all.
- Garth is not the first person to borrow Bobby's "idjit", but Dean does not react well to it.
- Brick Joke: Dean tells off Garth for not using Bobby's Catchphrase in an angry manner. In the final conversation, Garth does any angry version of both "Idgit!" and "Balls!"
- Bros Before HoesDean: You left me to die for a girl!
- Cain and Abel: Brother against brother in the Civil War. Mirrored in the Winchesters.
- Call-Back: With Dean refusing to kill Benny, Sam naturally tosses Amy Pond's death in Dean's face, while Dean brings up the werewolf they spared.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Garth.Dean: [stops Garth from grabbing a beer] Easy there, flyweight. Last time you drank a beer, I had to pick you up off the floor.
- Car Fu: Beheading your husband with the car he was working under.
- Carved Mark: "Alcott" was carved into the chest of the first victim.
- Continuity Nod:
- Dean is getting take-out from Mack's BBQ Rib Shack with the smiling pig in a chef hat logo in the opening scene. The Winchester brothers also ate at Mack's in "All Dogs Go to Heaven" (S06, E08) and "The Mentalists" (S07, E07).
- Garth advises Earl on how to deal with a revenant. Bobby had previously accused Dean of being a shapeshifter or revenant when he returned in "Lazarus Rising" (S04, E01).
- A deer's head is seen on the wall of the restaurant where the Winchesters eat with Garth. This deer's head was also seen in "Nightmare" (S01, E14), "The Benders" (S01, E15), "Salvation" (S01, E21), "Everybody Loves A Clown" (S02, E02), "Playthings" (S02, E11), "Born Under A Bad Sign" (S02, E14), "Hollywood Babylon" (S02, E18), "Mystery Spot" (S03, E11), "Ghostfacers" (S03, E13), and "Metamorphosis" (S04, E04).
- Garth is seen wearing Bobby Singer's trucker's hat with a white front and green bill, which Bobby wore in "Devil's Trap" (S01, E22), "In My Time Of Dying" (S02, E01), "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, E21), "Sin City" (S03, E04), "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" (S03, E10), and "Weekend At Bobby's" (S06, E04).
- Garth says Bobby left the hat in his car after they hunted a rugaru together. Bobby went to hunt a rugaru in "Swan Song" (S05, E22). Sam and Dean hunted a rugaru with Travis in "Metamorphosis" (S04, E04).
- Dean comments about how Garth became drunk after chugging one beer in "Party On, Garth" (S07, E18), when Garth reaches for a beer.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: Rustproof Blood used to write "Sussex" in the grocery store.
- Children Are Innocent: The kid who took the coin while desecrating the grave was also unaffected, because he didn't have enough anger.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dean, when they are standing over the casket of the unknown Confederate soldier and Garth suggests that it would be appropriate to say something.Dean: [pause] We won.
- Deep South:Sam: Burn a Confederate soldier's bones in a town full of rednecks? Sure.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Those possessed by the specter seem to dish this out.Possessed Carl: Why am I gonna make mustard from your brainstem? I don't know. Why did you call me out, ump?
- Later: "Why don't you do your own reports, sheriff!"
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!
- Due to the Dead: The specter rises after the tomb of the unknown soldier is desecrated.
- Dying Curse: What started it all.
- Easily Forgiven: Finally averted. Kevin and Dean didn't make a big deal out of it in the season opener, but it turns out Dean's not cool with Sam not looking for him during his year in Purgatory.
- Everybody Owns a Ford: Inverted Trope, Instead of everyone driving late-model cars made by the same manufacturer, we have Garth's 1977 Ford Ranchero Squire and Dean's 1967 Chevrolet Impala.
- Food Slap: The scalding hot coffee tossed at Jeff before the attack with the shovel.
- Ghostly Goals: Avenging spirit.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Blood splatter at the grocery story during the shovel scene.
- Hollywood History: In regards to the Civil War. Yes, there was a lot of division within states during the Civil War. But the border states were thus not because they were magically split down the middle between Union and Confederacy, but because they were slave-states that nonetheless stayed with the Union.
- Hug and Comment: Garth hugs Sam and then Dean, when they are reunited.Sam: Oh, forgot he was a hugger.Dean: We're still—we're still working here.
- Iconic Item: Dean angrily confiscates Bobby's trucker's cap, but places it back on Garth's head at the end of the episode, recognizing him as a worthy successor.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: First Sam and then Garth try this with possessed Dean.
- Invulnerable Knuckles: Garth yelps in pain after socking Dean in the jaw.
- List of Transgressions: During his confrontation with Sam, Dean brings up his drinking demon blood, alliance with Ruby, losing his soul and working with Samuel without telling Dean he was Back from the Dead.
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The confederate soldier's image replaces Scott's image in the grocery store mirror and Carl's in the car's side mirror.
- Monster of the Aesop: Brothers who let their differences make them enemies, and even after death one brother was unable to forgive, becoming a monster.
- Noodle Incident: Garth reveals a little bit about his background and how he got his first case while he was a dentist.Garth: I felt terrible when I ganked that S.O.B.Sam: You killed the Tooth Fairy?Garth: Yeah man. I mean, not my proudest moment, but it happened.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: Amelia tries to pull this on Sam, but he wakes up.
- Off with His Head!: Decapitation of the man under the car.
- One Steve Limit: Mary.
- Outdated Outfit: Garth's fringed leather jacket.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Garth is a Texas Ranger. In Missouri.
- Pretender Diss: Dean attempts this, but Garth puts him in his place.Garth: Whoa, then, okay. None of my business, but this have anything to do with you and Sam?Dean: You had it right. It's none of your business.Garth: Okay. It just seems like you guys are a little tense around each other, and...Dean: We're fine. Can we get back to work?Garth: Yeah. Just letting you know that I'm here for you, for anything. I know sometimes Bobby, he would...Dean: You're not Bobby. Okay. And you're never going to be Bobby. So, stop.Garth: Bobby belonged to all of us, Dean, not just you and Sam. I'm just taking what he showed me and trying to do something with it. And that's all.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Those infected by the spectre bleed ectoplasm from one ear.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:Sam: But what? But you didn't mean it? Oh, please. You and I both know you didn't need that penny to say those things. Own up to your crap, Dean! I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn't look for you. But you, you had secrets. You had Benny! And you got on your high-and-mighty and you've been kicking me ever since you got back! But that's over. So move on, or I will!
- Revenant Zombie: Garth advises Earl to nail the revenant in a casket with silver spikes.
- Romancing the Widow: Sam in the flashback.
Dean: I was in Purgatory.Garth: Like the Purgatory Purgatory?Dean: No, the one in Miami.Dean: So first the mom goes Natural Born Killer, and now his son? I mean, what do we got, a ghost with an Oedipus Complex? I don't know what that means.
- When Dean first sees Garth, he calls him "Chuck Norris", a reference to Walker, Texas Ranger.
- Garth's ringtones are:
- Garth refers to the local police as Barney Fife and his crew.
- Dean references a gay and lesbian bar in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Shovel Strike: Lethal use of an Improvised Weapon in the grocery store.
- Similarly Named Works:
- Sniff Sniff Nom: Garth tastes the sticky green ectoplasm.
- Soul Jar: The penny.
- Taking Up the Mantle: Garth assumed Bobby's role.Sam: Hold up, are you the new Bobby?Dean: Shut your mouth.Garth: Yes.Dean: You shut your mouth.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Garth's strength that allows him to hold the penny without danger.
- Viewers Are Goldfish: The flashback tracing the path of the penny.
- War Reenactors: Garth attends a Civil War reenactment annually.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Sam vs Dean. Garth also calls Dean out big-time, because everybody cared about Bobby. Dean really cools down about Garth stepping into Bobby's role after that.
- You Look Familiar: