(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 3, Episode 13: Ghostfacers!
Image and episode summary from Wikipedia:
Sam and Dean investigate the haunted Morton House in Appleton, Wisconsin , and come across supernatural-enthusiasts Harry Spangler (Travis Wester) and Ed Zeddmore (A. J. Buckley). They are shooting the pilot for their reality show Ghostfacers along with Ed's adopted sister Maggie, gay intern Corbett (Dustin Milligan), and cameraman Spruce (Austin Basis). According to legend, the spirit of Freeman Daggett returns every leap year to bring more victims to the house. The group comes across a ghost reliving his death, which the Winchesters call a harmless "death echo". Corbett soon disappears, and the rest are unable to escape before midnight; the spirit locks down the house, trapping its inhabitants. In their search for Corbett, they come across the home office of Daggett, the janitor of the local hospital. He used to bring home corpses from the morgue to "play" with. Sam suddenly vanishes and finds himself with Corbett, both tied to chairs at a birthday-party setup. The spirit appears and kills Corbett, then places a party hat onto Sam's head. As Dean enters the bomb shelter holding Sam, the others place themselves in a circle of salt—a ghost deterrent—and watch a death echo of Corbett. Ed, who Corbett was in love with, talks Corbett out of the death echo. His spirit confronts Daggett, putting him to rest. Before departing the next day, Sam and Dean wipe all of the Ghostfacers footage with an electromagnet.
Wow another episode that I’ve been excited to rewatch! This always stood out as one that I enjoyed, I think because it was pretty creepy at times and because I’ve always enjoyed appearances by the Ghostfacers. So hopefully this episode lives up to my memory of how good it is.
Ed and Harry crack me up. They’re like an alternate, inept, dorky version of Sam and Dean. But they keep hunting and trying to take out supernatural creatures (even if it is as a means to celebrity, money, and women), so they’re kind of brave too. And I’ve always thought the actors playing them had good chemistry. I wonder if we’ll get to see them on the show again one day.
I enjoy this opening. “Unsolicited pilot” hahaha.
Their theme song gets stuck in my head. “Stay in the kitchen when the kitchen gets hot”.
I love so much about the opening: the intro from Ed and Harry, the theme song, their ‘slow motion’ walk, their voice overs and seeing the team discuss the misson. And Ed critiquing Corbett’s set-up of the whiteboard.
“Two lone wolves” lol.
The team includes Spruce, Ed’s sister Maggie, and intern Corbett.
So the Ghostfacers are looking into the Morton house, believed to be haunted: every four years, it becomes the most haunted place in America. The ghost appears at midnight on February 29th, and no one has ever stayed the night.
Corbett is so into the job lol. But Harry worries that Corbett’s crush on Ed could spell trouble for the team.
OMG I cracked up when Ed’s dad tried to park the car in the garage during their meeting!!
So phase I of the Ghostfacers’ mission was ‘homework’. Now we see them move on to phase II: infiltration. They’re going to the Morton house. The place seems fairly well sealed up – fence, chains – and the Ghostfacers are going to have to break in.
But! Then they hear a car. And what do you know, it’s Sam and Dean Winchester! I love that Dean is blasting his music and Sam’s got the flashlight going, like they aren’t really trying to be sneaky or quiet. But then they drive off.
The Ghostfacers make their way into the house. Yeah, that’s a creepy-looking house for sure. They line up and make a plan for setting up their base (the Eagle’s Nest, according to Harry). They get their gear and camera equipment set up around the house, including basement. I would NOT want to go there!
They regroup at the Eagle’s Nest, and the time stamp on the camera feed tells us it’s 10:40 pm. Ed gives them a speech to tell them the plan: standard walkthrough, in two teams. Then they do the Ghostfacers cheer!
And it’s time for phase III: Face time!
Ed and Corbett are in one team, and Ed calls out to any restless spirits in the house. Corbett is wearing a camera around his head and he seems a little spooked. Ed tells him to switch his camera to night vision and tries to help him calm down.
We see Harry, Sprce and Maggie (team 2) working on another floor, checking rooms and looking for EMF. Spruce is getting some weird feedback on his camera.
Ahahaha at Harry trying to kick in the door! “Turn the knob,” Spruce tells him. Harry gets super freaked out by a dead rat.
Back on Ed and Corbett’s team, we see Corbett’s camera in night vision mode. Suddenly there’s someone in the hall! And guess who it is: yes, Sam and Dean! They identify themselves as police officers, but Ed recognizes them. He remembers Sam and Dean from their run in in West Texas with the tulpa (S1, Hell House) and then Sam remembers them, referring to the Hellhounds. Ed says they’re not Hellhounds anymore, and tells Corbett that these two are not cops.
Dean taunts him, asking where his partner is, and tells him that they need to get their team and get out of there. But Ed says they were there first and they’ve already set up camp, so they are not going anywhere.
We see Harry’s team on the second floor and it seems like there might be something going on with the cameras. Suddenly Spruce sees something! It seems like it’s a ghost who gets shot and then disappears. Strange.
Meanwhile Sam and Dean ask Ed what he’s doing and he tells them what they’re working on, for a TV show. When Corbett says that no one’s ever spent the night before, Dean says actually yeah, they have, but Ed says they’ve never heard of it. Dean says that’s because the ones who have haven’t lived to talk about it. Sam shows missing persons reports going back almost a half century. All of them are people who came to stay the night and disappeared; the only body ever found was that of the last owner.
Sam says that at midnight, Ed’s friends are going to die. At that moment, Harry and Spruce and Maggie run in and tell them what they saw, before noticing Sam and Dean (“those assholes from Texas”, as Harry puts it).
Dean tries to get them to leave, but Maggie and Spruce cue up the footage of what they saw upstairs.
Sam and Dean watch over their shoulders, then walk away to talk. The scene is, of course, subtitled, and we see that Sam says that what they just saw was a death echo. Dean wants to know what it’s doing there. Spruce overhears and asks what a death echo is, and Sam tells him that there’s a problem here but it isn’t the ghost they just saw.
Dean tells them that a death echo is trapped in a loop, replaying how they died over and over, and it isn’t dangerous. The brothers try to get the Ghostfacers out of there again, but Ed stops and asks where Corbett is.
We see Corbett upstairs, saying he wishes to communicate with restless spirits. No Corbett why are you up there alone?? He turns his camera back to night vision, but the viewer sees someone behind him! And the team downstairs hears him scream. Sam and Dean try to get the others out, but they run upstairs to help Corbett.
They can’t find him, but we (the viewers) see via Corbett’s head camera that he is being dragged somewhere, calling for help. Sam and Dean come upstairs, hearing Corbett’s screams, and try to get everyone out.
They head back to Eagle’s Nest downstairs. The Ghostfacers are freaked out. Sam and Dean argue by the front door about doing this hunt while Dean only has two months left.
Sam tells the Ghostfacers that every exit out of the house is sealed, some sort of supernatural lockdown, and now they’re all trapped there.
We see Maggie and Harry holding hands while another death echo appears, this one getting hit by a train. Freaky.
So multiple death echoes – not a good sign. Dean goes to yell at him, trying to tell him he’s dead, since you can occasionally shock an echo out of its loop – but you might need some connection to the deceased to do it. When the echo gets hit by a train it disappears.
Dean doesn’t understand the echoes, saying there are no records of anyone being shot or hit by a train here, so why are the echoes here? Dean doesn’t know if the echoes took Corbett. They all move through the house as a group. Sam tells them that echoes are ghosts, and ghosts usually haunt places where they lived or died. Except it doesn’t make sense for these echoes to be here.
They enter a room and Sam sees a certificate from a hospital of a janitor, Freeman Daggett, the house’s last owner. He died of a heart attack in 1964. There’s canned / tinned food –a lifetime’s supply – and Ed says they should be doing more to find Corbett.
Sam finds an old pamphlet for survival under atomic attack. Dean busts an old cabinet open and finds a box inside. When he opens the box, it contains a book on taxidermy and some toe tags, including one for someone killed by gunshot and someone by a train accident, and another for suicide. Sam understands the implications and tells the Ghostfacers that it explains the death echoes: their bodies are here, somewhere in the house. When they still don’t understand, Dean spells it out: Daggett brought the remains home from the morgue.
Maggie has gone off to another room, looking for Corbett. She turns and finds Dean, who tells her to stay close. The team joins back up and Ed’s gear tells him that something big is coming. Dean tells everyone to stay close. The camera flickers and when it clears up, Sam is missing!
Dean starts looking for Sam, calling out, but sees his flashlight on the floor. Not good.
Now they’re all moving through the house, Dean calling for Sam and the others calling for Corbett. We see Maggie and Harry together, with Harry comforting Maggie. Then they start to make out!
Ed sees this and gets angry. “My best friend and my best sister”. Ed hands Spruce his glasses and goes at Harry. Dean breaks up their fight, and goes off to find Sam again.
Ed confirms with Spruce that he won the fight, then goes off after Dean.
We see Sam in a room, at a table with Corbett. They’re tied to chairs, and Sam tries to keep Corbett awake. We see Daggett, the ghost, approach Corbett. Sam tries to tell Corbett to stay with him, but Daggett kills him. Ugh this is sad.
Dean is back looking through the box of papers Daggett had, trying to put it together: the rations, the pamphlet…Dean realizes Corbett was scared, and the others follow him, trying to keep up.
Meanwhile, Daggett approaches Sam, who tells him to stay away. Daggett puts a party hat on Sam. There are other bodies seated around the table.
Making their way through the house, Dean explains that guys like Daggett put in bomb shelters. That’s probably where Sam and Daggett are. Dean goes down into the basement, but the door closes behind him and Spruce (who, with his head camera, is ‘our’ cameraman). Harry, Ed, and Maggie are upstairs. Dean yells through the door at them that Daggett wants to separate them, and that they should grab the salt from his duffel bag, make a circle, and get inside.
I love that Ed and Harry think he’s telling them to get inside the duffel bag.
Dean carries on downstairs with Spruce behind him. The others get in the salt circle upstairs, and Ed and Harry make up. They see another death echo. This time, it’s Corbett.
Spruce asks Dean what they meant about the ‘2 months left’ comment that he overheard. Dean doesn’t want to do a reality-show confessional. He wants to do his job.
We see Daggett talking to Sam, asking if he’s coming to his party. Dean hears music coming from the other side of a wall, and finds the entrance to the bomb shelter.
He gets in just in time to save Sam from Daggett, and unties Sam. Spruce sees Corbett’s body seated at the table with the others.
Upstairs, Ed is shaken from seeing Corbett’s death echo.
Sam tells them what he learned about Daggett, and Dean loads up his gun with rock salt.
Upstairs, the Ghostacers see Corbett’s death echo again. Ed remembers what Sam and Dean told them and says that he’s trapped and in pain. They need to try and pull him out of his loop. He tries to talk to Corbett, leaving the safety of the salt circle, saying he has to.
He tells Corbett that he won’t hurt him, but Corbett won’t hear him. “He won’t stop dying”.
Dean tries to break the basement door down so they can get out, but Spruce’s camera is fritzing again. Daggett shows up but Sam shoots him with rock salt.
Upstairs, Harry has an idea to get through to Corbett. He tells him about Corbett’s feelings for him. Ed seemed not to realize that Corbett had a crush on him. Harry tells Ed that he’s brave, that he makes them brave, and says to go “be gay for that poor dead intern” and send him into the light.
Ed approaches Corbett again, leaving the salt circle. He tells him it’s Ed, and with tears in his eyes, says that Corbett meant a lot to the team and to him. He never backed down, never said a bad word, and Ed remembers that because he loves him. Corbett seems to hear him and turns to look at Ed. He says Ed’s name, and they look at each other. Ed tells him to look at him, and asks him to help them.
Downstairs, Daggett is still attacking Spruce, Sam, and Dean. But suddenly Corbett appears behind him and his ghost jumps at Dagget’s ghost. The ghosts disappear.
Back outside, the sun has come up. We see Ed leave the house with the others behind him.
Ed’s voice over says that while they lost a beloved friend, they gained new allies. And that every day isn’t a given. Harry says they were forced to face something more scary than ghosts: they were forced to face themselves.
Ed says they like to think that Corbett is somewhere out there watching over him. Harry says Corbett is not an intern anymore and has more than earned full Ghostfacer status. Ed says that all this time, they thought they were teaching him, but Corbett was teaching them. He thanks him, and Harry tells him to go well into that starry night.
Then we see old footage of Corbett packing up the van for a mission, and Spruce, who is filming, asks Corbett what he thinks is going to happen tonight.
“I think tonight, I really do, I think all our dreams will come true.” He turns away, then looks back, asking, “Does that sound stupid?” RIP Corbett.
We see Sam and Dean watching the episode that we, the viewers, have just watched, in the Ghostfacers’ garage. I like that now we see the usual Supernatural credits (which were absent at the start of this episode).
The Ghostfacers ask Sam and Dean what they think. Dean is complimentary (“half awesome”). Sam compliments them for honouring Corbett’s memory while grossly exploiting the manner of his death, lol. The brothers get up to leave, and as they go, Ed tells them that it’s the Ghostfacers’ job, in the wake of Corbett’s death in pursuit of the truth, to show the world.
Sam and Dean counter that in their experience, when you show the world the truth, you end up in a straight jacket or with a punch to the face.
Harry tells them not to be Facer haters just because they got the footage of the century. Dean concedes that he’s got them there, and they leave.
“Dicks,” Harry says after the guys are gone.
They start making plans for a bigger office to deal with their success. Ed notices that the brothers left a bag behind by the computer, but when he opens it, it’s full of magnets which then mess up and ruin their computer, destroying their footage.
Outside, Sam and Dean can hear the Ghostfacers realizing what’s happened.
“The world isn’t ready for the Ghostfacers,” Sam says.
Dean: “It’s too bad. I kinda liked the show.”
They drive off, with the Ghostfacers’ theme song playing.
-Ghosts; death echoes
This was a really creepy episode. Sometimes I forget that there were some good and spooky early episodes. And I love the Ghostfacers! I like the parallels between Ed/Harry and Sam/Dean.
It doesn’t move the story along in terms of the overall story for the season and Dean’s deal, but it was a really good MOTW episode.