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Project SPN Rewatch: The Usual Suspects

Project SPN Rewatch: The Usual Suspects

(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)

Season Two, Episode Seven: The Usual Suspects

Image episode summary from Wikipedia:

The brothers investigate the mysterious murders of a lawyer and his wife in Baltimore, Maryland, but are soon arrested, with Dean's previous record—having been framed for attempted murder by a shapeshifter—coming back to haunt him. However, Sam manages to escape. One of the detectives, Diana Ballard (Linda Blair), sees an apparition of a murdered woman, and on Dean's insistence, helps Sam discover that the woman is a missing heroin dealer who had been working as a police informant. To put the spirit to rest, they must burn her body, but the woman appears and leads them to it, hidden within a wall. A necklace on the body points to Diana's partner, Det. Pete Sheridan (Jason Gedrick), as being the woman's murderer. Sam realizes that the woman's spirit was actually a death omen warning Diana. Meanwhile, Pete takes Dean from the police station, and drives him into the woods to kill him. Sam and Diana are able to track them down, and Pete admits to killing the woman after convincing her to sell heroin that he had stolen from the property room at the station, and having later killed the lawyer who laundered the money and his wife who knew too much. The spirit returns and distracts him long enough for Diana to kill him, then disappears. Diana lets the brothers go so that they can continue saving people.

Oh no Dean’s in handcuffs!

Ooh grave desecration…we know what that’s about! But how do you explain it to law enforcement? Oh right, and Dean “died” in St. Louis. I love the opening of this episode.

That’s Linda Blair, from The Exorcist!

So the cops are keeping Sam and Dean in separate rooms. Sam knows he’s with the “good cop”.

Oh no they’re holding Dean for murder!

This cop thinks she knows everything about Sam: he’s 23 years old, has no job, no address, his mom died when he was a baby, and his dad’s whereabouts are unknown.

Haha Dean’s demise was “exaggerated”.

Back to what this cop thinks she knows about Sam: his family moved around; he was a straight A student; had a scholarship to Stanford. Then a year ago, his girlfriend Jessica died in a fire and he fell off the grid.

Sam says he needed time off, and has been taking a road trip with his brother.

Dean apparently has possible hits in APHIS (fingerprints).

Haha Sam is being sassy with the cop. I love it. I feel like we don’t see sassy Sam as often as sassy Dean.

The cop tells Sam he’s a good guy. They’re trying to exhume “Dean’s” corpse and figure out how he faked his death. She wants Sam to help them get Dean – she says he’s “as good as gone”.

Sam tells the cop they’ve known Tony Guiles (we don’t know who that is yet) since they were kids – however, as we get a flashback to the case Sam and Dean were working, we see that isn’t true.

HAHA which one (Dean or Sam) is Scully and which is Mulder.

I love the way this episode flashes back and forth between what Sam is telling the cop, and what actually happened on the case. And sometimes what we see (what really happened) is not what Sam tells the cop happened.

This case is definitely about a ghost. Yay!

“danashulps” – I always forget what that means when I rewatch this episode.

Aww precious Sam trying to crack the computer password, and Dean hanging out and annoying him. Siblings!


I would not lock myself in my room if I thought someone was in my house. I’d GTFO!

Cordless phone; printer – I love seeing old technology!

So this is why they think Dean killed this woman – she called 911 and said someone was in the house, then got disconnected; Dean goes over to talk to her but she’s already dead by that point; and the cops show up and think they’ve caught Dean red-handed. Combined with his past/record, it certainly doesn’t look good for him.

Back in the present, the cops say that their stories match; Dean is of course giving wise-ass remarks.

The female cop wants more: motive; murder weapon. The male cop isn’t worried – he says juries have convicted people for less.

Well it turns out that Tony Guiles was this male cop’s friend!

Ooh office romance!

Dean is trying to figure out this “danashulps” thing while he’s in the interview room, and then we see that Sam is too – they’re both working on it separately. Love it.

The public defender shows up for Dean! Dean does not seem at all concerned about his arrest. The lawyer ends up helping Dean with his “danashulps” anagram. Dean then tells the lawyer that if he wants to help, he can give a note to Sam.

Ooh the female cop’s computer starts typing “danashulps” on its own. Spooky!

The lawyer ends up giving Dean’s note to Sam. LOL Sam and Dean both call the lawyer Matlock, separately.

Dean is going on camera to confess! His lawyer advises against it but Dean is determined.

He begins to speak into the camera…and says that he’s an Aquarius. Turns out he isn’t confessing to murder at all. He says his working theory is that they’re looking for a vengeful spirit. He tells the cop about “danashulps” and that female cop looks spooked! Her partner, however, is not impressed.

Ha I think the cop’s even less impressed when Dean says the murderer in St. Louis was actually a shapeshifter.

This has all been a diversion! Sam has escaped! He left the note from Dean – their nicknames are characters from The Great Escape, haha.

In the station’s bathroom, the female cop sees some spooky stuff, and then she sees the ghost!

She goes to speak to Dean. She wants to know more about ghosts. What would a violent spirit be doing? Dean says they’re created by violent deaths and come back for a reason, e.g. revenge. They’re capable of killing people.

Dean knows the cop has seen the spirit and it’s related to the murders. He tells her to go to Sam, and that he’ll help.

Here’s how the brothers apparently find each other when they’re separated: they look for the first motel listed in the Yellow Pages.

Dean tells her to look for Jim Rockford, and that she can arrest him or let him save her life: if she’s seen the spirit, her life is in danger because the other two people who saw the spirit died soon after.

They think the “danashulps” is some sort of anagram for Ashland Street. Sam and the female cop look at pictures of girls who died or have gone missing from Ashland Street, and they find a picture of the spirit. She was arrested twice for dealing heroin.

Sam says he’s going to the building she was last seen entering, to look for her body, and then has to explain to the cop why: “We’ve gotta salt and burn her bones. It’s the only way to put her spirit to rest”.

They go to the building and start looking around, and the ghost appears, reaching towards the cop. They also figure out what “danashulps” is – old lettering on a window that says “Ashland Sup” (the rest is too faded).

Sam uses an EMF reader to figure out where the spirit’s body is: hidden behind a brick wall. Sam breaks the wall down and they find the body.

Sam asks a good question: why would the spirit lead them to her remains No vengeful spirit he’s dealt with has wanted to be wasted (by having their remains salted and burned).

Upon closer examination of the body, they notice that the wrists had been bound. And she was wearing a necklace that matches the cop’s – which she was was custom made and was a gift from her partner, Pete!

Sam realizes they are not dealing with a vengeful spirit after all – it’s a death omen! She isn’t killing anyone. She’s trying to warn them. He explains that sometimes a spirit wants justice, and this one seems to want them to know who her killer is, which is why she’s led them to her body.

The cop explains she and Pete used to work vice, and that heroin went missing from lockup one year ago, and it had to have been a cop. Someone would have needed to fence the product, like a heroin dealer. So clearly Pete was involved in this! He’s a bad cop.

We see Pete driving Dean to St. Louis. Dean knows something is up.

Now Sam and the cop know what’s going on too. Sam says to use lo-jack to find them.

Oh my gosh Pete tries to kill Dean!

The female cop, Diana, shows up just in time and tells Pete she knows about Claire (the spirit). Pete says that Claire was going to turn him in, and Tony helped to launder the money and then got skittish. Pete figured Tony told his wife, Karen, everything, so Pete killed them both!

Pete says that they can now pin everything on Dean – “just one more dead scumbag”.

Fortunately, Diana is not having it! She shoots Pete just as he’s about to shoot Dean! But not before Claire’s spirit reveals herself to Tony.

The boys say that this death omen business should be over, and Claire’s spirit at rest.

Diana tells them that Pete confessed and screwed up Sam and Dean’s cases. She thinks there’s a good chance that she can get their cases dismissed, but the St. Louis murder charges are another story.

She ends up letting them go, and will tell everyone they escaped. She wants Sam and Dean out there doing what they do best, but they’d better watch their backs, since cops will be looking for them now. And she tells them the Impala is in impound.

Haha pea soup Exorcist reference!

Overall Thoughts:

This is a solid MOTW episode. I love the structure of the interrogation scenes, and the way we see Sam and Dean being on the same wavelength.

I also like that the episode reminds us that there are real-world consequences for what Sam and Dean do (being seen by the law as criminals), and that they are still going to be wanted by the police.



-Death omen

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