The Werther Project
Written by Robert Berens
Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski
Rowena agrees to help Sam get rid of Dean's Mark of Cain, using the Book. She claims to need a codex in order to translate the spells. Such a codex was made by one of Rowena's fellow witches, but she was killed by the Men of Letters associate Cuthbert Sinclair a.k.a. "Magnus". Sinclair hid the codex in a house in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then it's been guarded by Suzie, a woman who lost her own family as a girl to the magic protecting the item. With Dean's help Sam gets into the house, leaving the two of them vulnerable to Sinclair's spell.
For this episode: 4 humans.
For the series so far = At least 1111 angels, 1105 humans (of which 9 were witches), 179 demons, 68 vampires, 51 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 22 gods, 19 zombies, 12 werewolves, 10 hellhounds, 7 shapeshifters, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 djinn, 5 reapers, 4 dogs, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 Khan Worms, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 Thule, 2 vetalas, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, 1 deer, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 pishtaco, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, 1 wicked witch, and 1 wraith.
Tropes present in this episode:
- The Bus Came Back: Cuthbert Sinclair and Benny return, via flashback and hallucination, respectively.
- Driven to Suicide: The Werther Project works on the psyches of its victims, filling them with guilt and despair until they're ready to kill themselves.
- Foreshadowing: After Rowena supposedly shows up at the house, she and Sam check on Dean. Dean is in the middle of his Purgatory hallucination, talking to Fake!Benny. And just what does Dean say when "Rowena" walks in front of him?Dean: Youre not real.
- It's actually a little more on the nose than that:"Rowena": He can't see me, Sam.
- It's actually a little more on the nose than that:
- Grievous Bottley Harm: While Dean is contemplating suicide in the Purgatory hallucination, he breaks a bottle on the mantel in the real world in order to use it on himself.
- Happy Place: Benny suggests that Purgatory is this for Dean, a place where he doesn't have to go looking for a fight.
- Red Herring: The Rowena that supposedly shows up to save Sam is actually a hallucination that tries to trick him into killing himself.
- I Call It "Vera": Suzie named her gun "Gus".
- Ominous Cube: The Werther Box is an enchanted vault that protects its contents by compelling anyone who attempts to open it without doing the proper ritual to commit suicide.
- Shout-Out: The Werther Project ultimately gets its name from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, a novel that was blamed for a rash of suicides in the 18th and 19th centuries.