(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 3, Episode 5: Bedtime Stories
Image and episode summary from Wikipedia:
Sam and Dean travel to Maple Springs, New York to investigate a deadly attack against three brothers. Though they believe a werewolf to be the culprit, the lone survivor claims the attacker was a normal man. Over time, the Winchesters realize that fairy tales appear to be occurring within the town—the attack was based on Three Little Pigs—and are being controlled by the spirit of a young girl. Research on any local deaths of a young girl turn up nothing, but the brothers do find a comatose girl named Callie (Ava Rebecca Hughes) at the hospital. Her father, Dr. Garrison (Christopher Cousins), has been reading her fairy tales. Sam and Dean believe that she was poisoned with bleach by her step-mother, and has been bringing fairy tales to life in an attempt to get attention. Meanwhile, an old woman is brought into the hospital. In the style of Little Red Riding Hood, her granddaughter has been kidnapped. As Dean tracks down the girl but is attacked by the kidnapper, Sam explains the situation to Dr. Garrison. He cannot believe that his wife would do such a thing, but Callie's spirit appears and confirms Sam's claims. Callie then peacefully dies, and her spirit moves on. Elsewhere, the kidnapper is freed from Callie's control. Later that night, Sam gives the Crossroads Demon (Sandra McCoy) with whom Dean made the pact an ultimatum—either release Dean from his bargain or die. The demon says that only her boss has the power to break the deal. When she refuses to reveal her boss' name, Sam shoots her dead.
This episode opens on a sign for a housing development in Maple Springs, New York. Three guys are on a lot at night and there are some strange sounds…something is watching them. They’re complaining about the lumber, talking about a strong gust of wind blowing the whole place over…they’re three large guys…hmm…what does that remind me of?
One of them goes off to warm up the truck but gets attacked by something unseen and killed. The other two seem to meet similar fates. It sounds like some kind of dog or wolf is attacking them.
After the opening title screen, we meet up with Sam and Dean, driving down the highway. They’re arguing about something. Sam says they have the Colt and can summon the crossroads demon to try and get Dean out of his deal. Dean says it isn’t going to happen because if they screw with this plan, Sam dies; Sam says that if they do nothing, Dean dies.
Dean doesn’t want to have this conversation again, “because I said so”. Sam says Dean isn’t Dad. That stops them for a moment. But Dean repeats that it isn’t going to happen.
Dean asks Sam to tell him about the killer they’re investigating, presumably the thing that killed the guys at the start of the episode. The brothers seem to think they could be after a werewolf.
ID alert: they are posing as Detectives Plant and Page.
Turns out the last brother didn’t die, and is recovering in the hospital. He thinks Sam and Dean are there to do a police sketch of the attacker. Apparently the attacker stared at the third brother and took off.
The attacker is described as six feet tall with dark hair. Sam and Dean are asking about his teeth and fingernails, trying to get a sense of whether he was a werewolf, haha.
There is a moment where the victim talks about this thing having killed his brothers, and Sam and Dean pause for a moment.
The victim mentions a Wile E. Coyote tattoo on the attacker. Then his doctor comes in and Dean wants to ask him some questions.
LOL Sam’s sketch of the attacker is hilarious.
Outside, Sam asks what the doctor has to say about the two dead brothers. No missing hearts, DOA; they’re out of ideas as to what the attacker could be.
Meanwhile, a couple is in the woods on a hike, lost and out of food. This isn’t good. They find a house in the middle of a clearing. Not suspicious at all…an old woman comes out and says the trail can get twisty out there. There’s a pie cooling on the windowsill and she invites them in to rest. The girl wants to head out but the guy wants to take her up on the offer, telling his girlfriend that she’s a harmless old lady. I have a bad feeling about this…
They have some tea and pie and get sick. The old woman smiles, and takes a knife from the dishrack, and kills the man. Outside, a young girl watches through the window. Creepy!
Sam and Dean are back at the hospital, and see the girlfriend from the woods in a hospital bed, talking to the doctor from the previous victim. Dr. Garrison – he sees Sam and Dean and asks them what the hell is going on.
Sam and Dean enter the room to interview the girl. She tells them how she got away while her boyfriend was being carved up by the old lady. She remembers seeing the little girl out the window, asking Sam and Dean if they found her. Dean asks for a description of the little girl: she had dark hair and really pale skin, around 8 years old.
At the old woman’s house, they find no trace of sulphur but lots of EMF by the window, indicating that the girl was a spirit.
Sam says he has a theory, surrounding fairy tales. The murders seem to parallel the three little pigs, and Hansel and Gretel. Sam tells Dean about the Grimm brothers’ stories, full of sex and violence, which were sanitized over the years. But Dean wants to know how the ghost fits into all of this. Research time!
The research doesn’t turn up anything helpful. Sam tells Dean about a woman who could enter trances and her thoughts and actions were completely controlled by spirits. Dean wonders if this is what the little girl is doing somehow.
They find a toad in their path and Dean says there’s no way he’s kissing it.
Sam notices a house with a pumpkin on the porch. There’s a mouse on the porch. Sam asks Dean if he remembers Cinderella: the pumpkin that turns into a coach, the mice…to which Dean responds, “Dude, could you be more gay?”
I do not really remember this episode, and I definitely don’t remember that line, and I’m disappointed that that’s something that would be said to be a joke or insult on this show (and am reminded that I felt the same way while rewatching Gilmore Girls. Lines like that, clearly intended to be jokes or insults, felt super jarring and just clearly wrong, but it was not that long ago that these episodes were written).
Anyway. They enter the house (looks like they picked the lock) and look around. Hearing a noise, they move to the back of the house, where they find a woman handcuffed to a stove. The woman says her stepmom screamed at her, beat her, and chained her up. Dean sees the little girl in the hall and goes out to find her. He follows her through the house and asks her who she is. She flickers in and out, like a ghost, and leaves a red apple behind.
Dean tells Sam about the apple outside the house, and Sam says it’s Snow White (Dean says he saw the porn version). Sam explains that in Snow White, the wicked stepmother tries to kill Snow White with a poison apple, and is put into a deep sleep – so deep it’s almost like she’s dead.
They check at the hospital and are told that there are no comatose girls – except Callie, who turns out to be Dr. Garrison’s daughter, who has been there for a long time.
We see the doctor reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales to his daughter, and the voice over continues while a man helps an old lady with her bags in the parking lot. Then he shoves her in the van and starts to beat her up – and we see the Wile E. Coyote tattoo on his arm. In the distance, the little girl watches.
Sam and Dean locate Callie’s hospital room, and see the doctor reading to her. Callie is grown up. Dr. Garrison comes over to Sam and Dean, and they find out that Callie has been in a coma since she was 8. She swallowed bleach and was found by Dr. Garrison’s wife. It turns out his wife is Callie’s stepmother, but she passed away last year and now his daughter is all he has left.
Callie does seem to be Snow White in her own story. Dean tells Sam about Misha Barton’s character in The Sixth Sense – Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. They think Callie’s spirit gets angrier and angrier, while hearing these fairy tales. Her body is being kept alive, so how do they stop her spirit?
Meanwhile the old woman who was beaten up by the parking lot is wheeled in and the doctors say she seems to have been attacked by a dog or wolf. Sam and Dean overhear this and recall that when they found Dr. Garrison in Callie’s room, he was reading Little Red Riding Hood to her.
Sam and Dean get the old woman’s next-of-kin address – a granddaughter. Dean says he’s going to go stop the big bad wolf while Sam finds a way to stop Callie.
Little Red Riding Hood gets in her grandma’s van, except it isn’t Grandma driving.
Back at the hospital, Sam speaks to Dr. Garrison about Callie. He tries to explain that what happened to Callie was not an accident but the doctor doesn’t want to hear it. Sam says that Dr. Garrison’s wife poisoned Callie and understandably, the doctor is upset. He goes into Callie’s room and closes the door, but Sam enters. The doctor threatens to call security, but Sam explains what’s happening with Callie’s spirit. The doctor admits that he’s seen her too.
Dean breaks into Grandma’s house, and finds Little Red Riding Hood hiding with a scratch on her face. The bad guy shows up and attacks Dean. Time to fight!
The doctor is telling Sam that he sensed Callie’s presence but he thought he was dreaming. Sam says she’s been trying to talk to her dad. Sam says Callie has, in her own way, told them that the doctor’s wife poisoned Callie. And now she’s angry and desperate because no one will listen to her, and it’s killing people. Sam asks the doctor to listen to his daughter.
As Sam and Dean fight, Callie’s spirit watches in the background. She hears her father talking to her – he asks if it’s true that her stepmother hurt her. He says he’s listening now and asks her to tell him. Callie’s spirit appears in the hospital room and he asks her if it’s true. She nods. Her father tells her she has to stop what she’s doing. She’s hurting people. He knows the truth now and it’s time for her to let go – and for him to let go. He turns back to his daughter in the hospital bed and kisses her forehead. Then she flatlines and at that moment, Dean gains the upper hand in the fight and the man begs him to stop, asking where he is and what’s going on.
Later, Sam and Dean speak with the doctor and tell him it’s really over, thanks to him.
Dean tells Sam the doctor had some good advice, about letting go. Sam asks Dean if that’s what he wants him to do – let him go. Dean walks away without answering. SAD!
Back at the motel that night, while Dean is sleeping, Sam gets up and leaves. He performs the crossroad ritual and meets a crossroad demon. The demon says Dean has been to see her twice, but she’s never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Sam points the Colt at her and says she can beg for her life. The demon tells him that the Colt isn’t the original and asks where he got it. Sam doesn’t answer but she says it had to be Ruby, who will get what’s coming for her.
Sam says he came to make her an offer: let Dean out of the deal right now and everyone lives. Or else he’ll shoot her with the Colt. The demon says this isn’t very convincing. Does he even want to break the deal? Isn’t he tired of cleaning up Dean’s messes and dealing with him? He’s stronger than Dean, better than him. He’s here going through the motions but the truth is, it will be relief when Dean is gone. No more desperate, sloppy, needy Dean and he can finally be free.
Sam tells her to shut up and to let him out of the deal. She says Dean’s an adult and made the deal out of his own free will, fair and square, and it’s iron clad. Sam says every deal can be broken, but she says not this one. Sam threatens to kill her and if she’s gone, so’s the deal, but she tells Sam – to his surprise – that she’s the saleswoman and her boss holds the contract, not her. Her boss wants Dean’s soul. If he shoots her, the deal still holds. Sam asks for her boss – who holds the contract? She says she can’t tell him. And there’s no way out of this deal.
Sam shoots her with the Colt, killing her. He doesn’t seem to feel too bad about it.
This is another episode that I didn’t really remember, other than the final scene between Sam and the crossroad demon. That scene is important in that we learn that a crossroad deal doesn’t end at the demon who initially makes the deal – there is a chain of command, and the demon’s boss is the one who holds the contract with people who sell their souls in these deals, including Dean’s.