Project SPN Rewatch: The Kids Are Alright
(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 3, Episode 2: The Kids Are Alright
Image and episode summary from Wikipedia:
Dean reads about a death in Cicero, Indiana, where a man was pushed onto a power saw. The town reminds him of Lisa Braeden (Cindy Sampson), a woman he knew eight years prior and whom he wants to see again before he dies. Later arriving in Cicero, Dean drops Sam off at a motel and drives to her house. He arrives during her son Ben’s (Nicholas Elia) eighth birthday party, leading Dean to suspect that he is Ben’s father. Lisa denies this, and tells Dean about the saw accident. Meanwhile, Ruby visits Sam at a diner. She surprises him with her knowledge of his psychic abilities, and informs him that something happened to all of his mother’s friends. She also tells him that there is a supernatural occurrence in town. Moments later, Dean calls Sam and reveals that four other “accidents” occurred in Lisa’s neighborhood. As Dean helps Ben deal with bullies, Sam investigates one of the accidents—a man fell off a ladder—and notices the child is behaving oddly. A mark on the mother’s neck also catches his attention. Later, Sam researches changelings. He suspects that the creatures have replaced the local children, killed the fathers, and are feeding on the mothers. The brothers discover the mother changeling is using a vacant house as her base. Inside, they find a recently-replaced Ben, the other children, and the local realtor in cages. The mother changeling, in the form of the realtor, attacks them. Sam retaliates with a flamethrower, and all the changelings explode in flames upon her death. The real children are returned, and Dean explains everything to Lisa. Dean reluctantly turns down an offer to stay, telling her that it is not his life. Elsewhere, Sam confirms to Ruby that all of his mother’s friends were killed. She reveals herself as a demon, but claims that she wants to help him.
This episode opens in, yet again, suburbia. Cicero, Indiana this time. A woman’s daughter gets out of what I assume is the ex-husband’s car, hugging her mom. Dad says she pitched a fit and wanted to come home to mom. The daughter says she hates it there, and dad is mean and there are monsters there and she doesn’t want to go back.
That night, dad is doing some woodworking in the garage (I actually can’t tell if this is the same dad or a different man altogether). Creepy! His tools turn on by themselves! That’s definitely a scary moment. Of course, he walks over to investigate his saw, getting his face way too close for comfort, and turns it off. As he walks away, it comes on again! He again gets his face way too close, and someone jumps out and pushes him onto the saw, killing him. Yikes! We did not see the perpetrator, though.
Cut to Sam on the phone, talking to someone about a demon dispelling ritual. He’s definitely secretly trying to find a way to get Dean out of his deal. Dean shows up, and tells Sam he thinks he has a case: the guy who fell on his own power saw. Sam is sceptical, but Dean seems to think it could be a case. Dean confesses that a girl named Lisa is also in Cicero. He knew her eight years ago, while Sam was somewhere with their dad. Dean wants to go to Cicero to hook up with Lisa, basically. She’s a yoga teacher – “it was the bendiest weekend of my life”. Haha. Dean pushes, and Sam gives in. They’ll go to Cicero.
Dean drops Sam off at the motel and immediately heads for Lisa’s house in the suburbs. Lisa is surprised to see Dean, but not unhappy. She asks what he’s doing here, and he says he was passing through and couldn’t resist stopping by. She says he came at a bad time – they’re having a party. Dean says he loves parties, but it turns out it’s a child’s birthday party, haha. It’s for Lisa’s son, Ben! He’s wearing a leather jacket, unwrapping an ACDC CD and getting super excited about it. And he’s turning 8 years old. Dean is shaken – clearly this could be a mini-Dean! Lisa leaves to speak to someone – the mom from the beginning of the episode.
The neighborhood moms are gossiping about Dean – they like him! He helps himself to birthday cake, and goes over to say hi to Ben. They’re so cute! The kid looks like a mini Dean and talks like Dean! Adorable.
Dean does some mental math and goes to find Lisa, who is talking to the mom from the start of the episode. She’s not doing well – she says she’s worried about her daughter, Katie, thinking there’s something wrong with her. Something really wrong with her. She’s not sure Katie is Katie. Lisa is not really buying this – mom says she’s not sure Katie’s her daughter. Lisa says everything will be okay, but mom walks away.
Dean comes in, saying he met Ben. He says he’s a cool kid, and dances around the question before Lisa catches on to what he’s after – is Dean the father? Lisa says no (but I kind of think Dean is). They watch mom and Katie leave. Dean asks if something’s wrong – Lisa tells him her ex died in an accident (it is power saw man!). Lisa says there’s been a lot of bad luck in the neighbourhood lately.
Sam is working away in a restaurant when the blonde with the cool knife sits across from him. Sam says she’s been following him. He asks about her knife – it can kill demons. She won’t say where she got it and tells him she’s following him because she’s interested in him. He’s the sole survivor of the yellow eyed demon’s special kids. She says she’s a good hunter, when Sam asks how she knows all of that.
Sam tells her since the demon died, his visions have stopped. Blondie tells him to look into his mom’s friends and then to give her a call. She tells him there’s a job in this town, and walks away.
Dean calls and tells Sam there’s a job too. All the freak accidents in Lisa’s neighbourhood. Dean says something’s up.
Mom wakes up from a nap to find Katie staring at her. This kid is definitely creepy. She asks mom to play, saying she loves her. Mom sees Katie’s reflection in a mirror and it’s definitely not Katie! Yikes!
Sam, suited up as an insurance agent, is talking to one of the moms whose husband had a freak accident. He gets some details on the accident, and leans their daughter was the only other person home at the time. Dakota, the daughter, is watching from inside the house. Sam notices weird bloody marks around the exterior of the house before he leaves. He also notices a weird mark on the back of the mom’s neck. Oooh, creepy kids!
Meanwhile, mom is making lunch for Katie and feels something on the back of her neck. Mom locks herself in the bathroom and checks it out in the mirror – it’s the same weird mark other mom had. Katie is pounding on the door to be let in. Mom is disturbed. Katie stops yelling and pounding on the door when the doorbell rings. One of the neighbours is there with a basket of muffins and kind of intrusively asks questions about whether or not she’s keeping the house or selling. Mom sends her away and creepy Katie shows up again asking for ice cream.
Dean is out in the neighbourhood and sees Ben sitting on a bench, looking sad. He goes over to him and says hi. He notices that some kids seem to have taken Ben’s game. Ben says Ryan borrowed it and won’t give it back. Dean offers to go over, but Ben stops him, saying only bitches send a grownup. Dean is kind of proud. “You’re not wrong”. So Dean gives Ben some advice. Ben walks up to the kids, and calls Ryan’s name. He asks for his game back, and Ryan dares him to take it back. Ben looks around at the group, then starts to walk away, before kneeing Ryan in the groin! Dean looks on proudly while Ben picks up his game and goes back. Of course, Lisa happened to see the whole thing and gets mad at Ben, then gets mad at Dean when she realizes that Dean told him what to do.
Lisa asks Dean what he’s still doing here – they had one weekend together a million years ago. She says he doesn’t know her and has no business with his son. Ben, however, runs over to give Dean a hug and says thanks, before heading off with his mom.
Dean notices other children in the park staring at him creepily. Eek.
Meanwhile mom is buckling creepy Katie into the backseat of the car. Mom gets in the driver’s seat and, in the rearview mirror, sees the creepy face of whatever is ‘Katie’. She tells Katie they’re going for ice cream, but she drives the car to a lake and then gets out of the car, leaving Katie in but sending the car into the lake! She watches the car sink with Katie inside! But when she gets home, she finds that Katie is in the house! That is so creepy!
Back at the motel, Sam is doing research when Dean comes in to tell him something’s wrong with the kids in the town. Sam asks Dean what he knows about changelings. Dean calls them evil monster babies, but Sam says not necessarily babies. Dean says creepy staring kids and Sam says yes – and there’s one in every victim’s house.
Changelings can perfectly mimic children, and according to the lore, they climb in through a window and snatch a kid. Those were the marks Sam saw outside the window of the house he was visiting earlier. Dean wonders why the changeling does this – snatches a kid, assumes its form, and joins the family. While he is pondering this, we see mom and Katie. Mom is asleep in bed and Katie climbs in. Sam tells him changelings feed on the mom. Sam says that the moms had weird marks – bruises – on the backs of their necks. And then we see Katie do exactly that to mom. Ick!
Changelings can drain a mom for a few weeks before the mom dies. And anyone who gets between a changeling and its food source ends up dead. And fire is the only way to destroy them.
Dean jokes about torching the changling kid-lookalikes on the front lawn, then asks where the real kids are. Sam says they are stashed underground somewhere according to lore, and if it’s true, they’d better find them. Dean wants to go get Ben to safety – any kid in the neighbourhood is vulnerable, according to Sam.
Dean tries to convince Lisa to take Ben somewhere, but she is understandably confused (his credit card has a different name on it, haha). While they talk, Ben comes to the door, telling Lisa to make Dean go away. Oh dear – clearly this is not really Ben. Dean is concerned. Lisa tells Dean to leave, and closes the door. Dean watches the house, and sees Ben through a window staring at Lisa. He finds a mark outside one of the windows like Sam described, so we are dealing with a changeling here.
Dean runs back to the car and tells Sam that Ben’s been taken. But he doesn’t think it’s blood outside the windows – and he has an idea where the kids are. They pull up to a new house under construction and see a pile of red dirt – that’s what was on the window. The brothers split up, and search the site.
Dean finds the real children locked in the basement in cages, while Sam is confronted by the real estate woman who approached mom earlier with the muffin basket. In a reflection, Sam sees her ‘true’ changeling face.
She tells Sam she’s calling the police, while Dean tries to open the cages. He also finds the real real estate woman in there.
Sam attacks the older changeling with a blowtorch but somehow misses her.
Meanwhile Lisa is being steadily creeped out by ‘Ben’. At the site, Dean bashes the cage doors open and frees the kids, including the real Ben.
Lisa turns around and, in the glass coffee table’s reflection, sees ‘Ben’s’ real face. Meanwhile, the real Ben is helping Dean free the other kids. They escape through a window, with Ben offering his leather jacket to help the kids climb up and out the window.
Sam shows up, telling Dean there’s a mother changeling. He helps Dean get the kids out the window, and Dean frees the real real estate woman from the cage. Dean surmises that the real kids have been kept alive so that the mother changeling can feed. At this moment, the mother changeling shows up.
Lisa tells ‘Ben’ that he’s not her son. She grabs her keys and runs out of the house, only to find other changeling kids on the front lawn. She goes back inside.
Meanwhile ‘Katie’ is yelling at her mom through the bathroom door, where mom has once again locked herself inside. She is not coping well.
Sam and Dean are trying to take out the mother changeling but she proves to be pretty tough. Dean yells at Ben to get the kids out while he faces off against the mother changeling. Ben and the kids are free! And then Sam torches the mother changeling. Bye!
That sets off a chain reaction in which all the changeling kids are torched – including ‘Ben’, right in front of Lisa’s eyes.
Lisa and Ben are reunited (and I presume the other kids are reunited with their parents). Dean tells Lisa he’ll explain everything if she wants him to but that she probably doesn’t. Lisa thanks Dean, and then Sam decides to leave them alone. Lisa invites Dean inside with her and Ben.
While Ben listens to his Discman, Dean tells her about changelings and his job as a hunter. He asks her if she’s 100% sure that Ben is not his, but Lisa says he’s off the hook. She did a blood test when he was a baby. His dad is some bar back in a biker joint. She had a type she says: leather jacket, a couple of scars, no mailing address. Haha.
Dean is I think a little disappointed that Ben is not his, and Lisa says as much. Dean says that her life, the house, a kid, it’s not his life and never will be. Some stuff happened to him recently and a guy in his situation starts to think, you’ll be gone one day and what are you leaving behind besides a car? Lisa says that Ben might not be his kid but he wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for Dean.
Dean tells her for the record, she has a great kid, and he would have been proud to be his dad. Lisa kisses him goodbye, then says that if he wants to stick around for a while, he’s welcome to stay. Dean thinks about it, and says he can’t. He’s got work to do and this is not his life.
Back at the motel, Sam is making calls, getting information like blondie suggested about his mom’s friends. He tells blondie later that they’re dead – everyone who ever knew her. Family, her doctor, systematically wiped off the map one at a time. Blondie says it was the yellow-eyed demon.
Sam asks what her deal is – she knows all about him and his mom, shows up wherever he is. She tries to claim again that she is a hunter, but Sam doesn’t buy it, asking who she is. And then! Her eyes! She’s a demon! She tells him she’s here to help him, and she can if he trusts her.
She doesn’t know why all those deaths happened, but whatever it is, it’s all about Sam. She wants to help him figure it out but won’t tell him her reasons. She wants to help him from time to time, telling him not all demons are the same and not all want the same thing.
She tells him she can help him save Dean – and that right there is enough for the viewers to know that Sam will work with her.
I love this episode! The introduction of the blonde girl who turns out to be a demon (we will learn her name) is part of a bigger, super-important plot point. And the whole Ben and Lisa and Dean thing is great. And the changeling story is interesting and creepy, for a monster-of-the-week plot.