“Time is on My Side”
–Robin’s Rambles by Robin Vogel
A handsome young plastic surgeon talks shop with a colleague, then heads to his car in a deserted parking lot and rummages in the trunk. Hearing something, he looks over his shoulder, but sees nothing. Seconds later, he is shoved into his trunk and locked in. “Let me out of here!” he shouts, but no one hears him. Later, the doctor stumbles into the ER of a hospital, in horrible pain, clutching bloody hands around his middle. The nurse urges him to let her see what happened–“There’s nothing I haven’t seen.” He doesn’t want her to open his robe, but she does, and we hear something plop to the floor. She screams.
Erie Hotel – Sam and Dean work over a demon, trying to force him to reveal who holds Dean’s contract. They pour holy water in and on him, but the demon says, “Your mother–she showed it to me before I bent her over.” Even after Dean stares into his face, the demon makes it clear that he fears whoever is holding his contract more. As Sam begins the exorcism, the demon urges him on–“I’ll be waiting in hell with a few pals who are really anxious for a meet and greet with Dean Winchester.” As Sam finishes the words, Dean is clearly pissed off and frustrated. (Later) Sam, on the phone, asks, “You ran the prints twice? Sure, chalk it up to lab error.” Dean returns from burying the body of the guy who had hosted the demon. Sam asks if he remembers the article in the paper. “Stripper suffocates guy with thighs?” asks Dean. (LMAO, oh, Dean!) The other one, says Sam–guy walks into an ER, his liver ripped out–he had fingerprints all over his body, and not his own. My man Dave Caruso will be stoked, jokes Dean. The fingerprints match a guy who died in 1981, says Sam. Walking, killing dead? wonders Dean–zombies do like the other, other white meat–why are you suddenly interested in zombies, with us being three weeks out on my deal? It’s a zombie hunt, you wanted to hunt, Sam reminds him. Sam smiles like he knows a secret.
At the morgue, Dean asks the doctor if, where the liver was ripped out, he noticed any teeth marks. The doctor asks to see their badges. Cops and morons, opines the doctor–the liver was surgically removed–now please go away. Punches a hole in our zombie theory, says Sam. Dr. Quinn, medicine zombie, quips Dean. This is organ theft, says Sam. At the hospital, Sam and Dean question a disgruntled survivor, who says, “I just got my kidney stolen–I’m tired.” He was feeding his meter, jumped, strapped to a table, then felt the worst pain he could possibly imagine, except WORSE, he blacked out, then woke up in a no-tell motel in a bathtub full of ice.” But all he remembers is “GETTING MY KIDNEY CUT OUTTA MY BODY!” (This is the real urban legend, right?)
Motel – While Dean gobbles a sandwich, Sam researches on the computer, learning that the patient’s wounds were sewn up with silk, the suture of choice back in the early 19th century. People got massive infections back then, so they used maggots to keep infection from spreading. Their guy was found with his body cavity stuffed with maggots. “Dude, I’m eating!” protests Dean, who recounts what’s going on–ganking, Antiques Roadshow surgery, organ donation–where has he heard all this before? From Dad, Sam reminds him, when we were kids. He hands over John’s journal–Doc Benton, real life doctor, obsessed with alchemy, specifically, how to live forever. He abandons his practice in 1916, he isn’t heard from for 20 years, then people start showing up dead, or missing body parts. His experiment worked, but Doc needed to keep replacing worn-out body parts. “I thought Dad hunted him down and took his heart out,” says Dean. “He must have plugged in a new one,” surmises Sam. “Where’s he doing the deed?” asks Dean. “He’s picky where he sets up his lab,” says Sam, “he likes dense forest, access to a river or stream, where he dumps the intestines, bile and fecal matter. . .lost your appetite yet? ” Dean swallows, looking a bit ill, but says, “Oh, baby, I can’t stay mad at you,” and takes another big bite of his sandwich.
A man jogs, passes a woman jogging with a dog. He sits down, breathing heavily, hears but doesn’t see anything, and checks the pulse meter on his wrist–126. He bends down to tie his shoelace, and when he rises, his mouth is covered with a chloroform soaked rag. He awakens strapped to a table, his pulse 76. It rises rapidly as he struggles and looks around at ancient medical artifacts surrounding him, including a jar of maggots. Doc Benton, wearing a blood spattered face mask, a stitch scar down the middle of his forehead, approaches him, scalpel in hand. The man’s eyes stare down in disbelief and fear. Doc Benton shushes his cries of terror and pain as he slices into his chest, cuts apart his ribs with horrible crunching sounds, then pulls out his still-beating heart. Seconds later, his pulse meter reads 0
At their hotel, Dean and Sam locate potential places on a map where Doc Benton has set up shop. The phone rings. It’s Bobby. An old hunter friend of his, Rufus Turner, from Canaan, VT, has a bead on Bela–she contacted him needing a few things. Bobby advises Dean to bring along a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue when he shows up. Dean wants to leave immediately, but Sam, reminding his brother Bela probably already sold the Colt, wants to stick with Doc Benton. Why? Because this doctor can’t die, and he’s hoping if they can learn his secret, they can apply it to Dean; if Dean can’t die, he can’t go to hell! Dean forces Sam to admit this was his plan all along. Dean reminds Sam that if they welsh on the deal, Sam dies, and his becoming immortal is welshing. Whatever the magic pill is, says Sam, he will take it, too! What is this, Sid and Nancy? rants Dean, no, we kill the demon who holds the contract, this all wipes clean. Sam insists he’s sticking with this case. Dean tries to tell him he’s not, because he refuses to let him wander out into the woods alone to track “some organ-stealing freak.” “How you gonna stop me?” asks Sam. Dean ponders this, realizing he can’t drag his brother where he doesn’t want to go. Bottom line–they have the same goal, but are stubbornly determined to pursue separate ways to accomplish it. “Sammy, be careful,” says Dean. “You, too,” says Sam. (Come ON, guys, separating never works well for you two!)
Canaan, VT – Dean walks upstairs to a house with a camera panning outside, whose occupant demands, “WHAT?” at his knock. Rufus doesn’t want to cooperate with Dean at first, but welcomes him VERY warmly when he sees the Johnny Walker Blue. They break it open at his table. Asked about Bela’s whereabouts, Rufus asks, “Kid, you got three weeks left, why are you wastin’ it chasin’ after that stuck up skinny English girl?” How does Rufus know about his deal? “I know a lotta things about a lotta people,” says Rufus, “I know no peashooter gonna save you–even if you scrape outta this one, there’s gonna be somethin’ else down the road–folks like us, there ain’t no happy ending, we all got it comin’. I’m what you got to look forward to if you survive–but you won’t.” (Anyone else got chills hearing this?)
PA woods – Sam checks out the cabins.
Drinking with Rufus, Dean learns Bela is at the Hotel Canaan, Room 39–“But watch your back,” advises the older hunter. Dean is sure he can handle her, but Rufus warns, “Don’t be so sure about that–there are things you don’t know about her.” “You lift her fingerprints?” asks Dean. “Yup,” says, Rufus, but she filed them off–he’s still further ahead of them–“You do her ear?” “I’ll try anything once,” says Dean, “but that sounds uncomfortable.” (Always thinking dirty, Dean!) “Ears are as unique to humans as fingerprints,” says Rufus, “but that don’t fly in the courts over here–in England, they’re all over it–a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend faxed me 10 pages of files within a day–all I had to do was send them one clean shot off the security camera.” Of her ear! Rufus hands Dean a file on “the so-called Bela Talbot.”
Doc Benton’s cabin – Sam, flashlight in hand, enters and finds the doctor’s notebook, which he immediately pockets. He goes into the basement and finds the dead jogger, takes his pulse. Hearing a sound, he finds a young woman strapped to a table, her forearm covered in maggots. He’s just about to take her pulse when she awakens with a harsh gasp. “I’m gonna help you,” he promises, trying to quiet her. He covers her arm with a cloth, wiping away the maggots. Hearing someone enter, he tries again to urge her silent, covering her mouth. Doc Benton lights an oil lamp and walks downstairs. Without the mask covering his lower face he’s even more hideous, his face a mass of stitches. Doc looks up curiously, searching with his lamp.
Sam races through the woods, the girl in his arms. He places her, whimpering in fear and pain, in the front seat of the rental car, then slides in himself. No sooner does he gently push the girl over to her own side does Doc smash the window and attack him, punching him a few times. Sam floors the accelerator. Doc clings to the car for a few seconds, but speed makes him let go. Doc lies there, blinking in the headlights. Sam, madness in his eyes, runs right over Benton’s head. Sam’s passenger screams as he continues on his way. Doc stands up, adjusting his crooked neck, seemingly fine. Blood drips from his eye.
New Canaan Hotel – Bela enters her room. Dean presses her against the wall, gun in hand, arm at her throat. “The Colt is long gone,” she tells him, “across the world by now.” “You’re lying,” he says. He starts to search her room, but when she makes a move to escape, he blows a hole in her door. He points the gun at her. “Are you going to kill me?” she asks. “Oh, yeah,” he says. “You’re not the cold-blooded type.” says Bela. “You mean like you?” he asks. “True–see, I couldn’t imagine killing my parents–you were what, 14? Police suspected a slashed brake line, but it was all too crispy to tell–cut to little Bela–Abby–inheriting millions.” (A flashback scene in Bela’s memory shows us young Abby about to be sexually abused by her father, and we can guess that her mother probably stood by and did nothing.) “They were lovely people,” says Bela, “and I killed them, and I got rich, and didn’t give a damn–just like I don’t give a damn what happens to you.” Dean slams her against the wall, looks closely at her face, her eyes, and says, “You make me sick.” “Likewise,” she retorts, closing her eyes. He seems about ready to shoot her, then glances up and spots a branch with thorns sticking out of the door molding above her head. “You’re not worth it,” he says, and leaves. She has filched a receipt from the Erie from his pocket, and quickly dials from her phone. “It worked,” she tells someone, “no, Sam wasn’t with him–but I know where they are.”
Dean calls Sam at the hotel from the Impala to report he didn’t get the Colt, nor did he kill Bela–“I’m really screwed,” he laments. “Maybe not,” says Sam, “I found Benton’s lab book, it’s not black magic, just weird science–it could save you!” A chloroformed rag snakes around Sam’s mouth, and all Dean hears is the struggle as Sam’s phone falls to the floor.
Sam is strapped to Doc’s table, his eyes taped wide open, whirling with fear. Benton assures him it’s going to be OK, he can relax, his chances of coming out of this procedure alive are very, very high. You think I’m a monster, says Doc, but this life of mine is very high maintenance, and I’ve never done anything I didn’t have to do. Something goes bad, like my eyes here, you have to replace them. He rubs Sam’s forehead, above his eyes. Like when your father cut my heart out–that was very. . .inconvenient. I’m sure you can understand all the joy I felt when I read about myself in his journal (which he has in his possession). This is like a family reunion. . .time to get this thing started. He holds what looks like a melon baller up to Sam’s gaze and is about to scoop out one of his gorgeous hazel eyes when a bullet plugs Doc. It’s Dean. Shoot all you want, invites Benton, shoving Dean, hard, to the floor. Dean plunges a knife into Benton. “What part of immortality do you not understand?” demands Doc, complaining it was a brand-new heart Dean thrust that into. “Good,” says Dean, showing him a bottle of chloroform, which he dipped that knife into before coming downstairs. Benton falls, unconscious. He awakens strapped to his own table, Dean and Sam standing over him. Doc begs Dean to let him help him. Dean thinks they may have to cut him to pieces; this immortality thing is a bitch. “I can read the formula for you,” offers Doc, “forever young, never die.” Sam, interested, takes Dean aside to discuss it. It would give them more time, at least, points out Sam. “No,” says Dean, “what he is isn’t living–he’s a freakin’ monster–I’d rather go to hell.” Dean chloroforms Doc again. “I’m gonna take care of him,” he tells Sam, “you can help me or not, it’s up to you.”
Doc Benton awakens, struggling and calling for help, inside an ancient freezer, locked with chains, his notebook on top. The freezer has been dropped into a deep hole in the ground. “Enjoy forever in there, Doc,” says Dean. He and a reluctant Sam shovel dirt on top of him.
Bela breaks into the brothers’ hotel room, silenced gun in hand. It’s 11:56 PM. She fires into their sleeping bodies, turns on the lamp between the beds, andchecks her handiwork. Both beds contain blow-up dolls, rapidly losing air. The bedside phone ringsâ€”Dean, calling from the Impala, Sam beside him–who felt her swipe the hotel receipt from his pocket. He’d seen the Devil’s Shoestring, for holding hellhounds at bay, above her hotel room door. He checked her folks’ obit–they died 10 years ago TODAY, which means a demon did her dirty work–she made a deal. (Flashback: 14-year-old Bela is visited by a child demon who offers to kill her parents for her, bill to come due in 10 years.) Bela stole the Colt–their gun for her soul–but they changed the deal, wanted her to kill Sam. Demons, untrustworthy, shocker, quips Dean. “Dean, listen, I need help,” sobs Bela, as the clock flips to 11:58. Dean reminds her that if she had come to them and asked for help weeks sooner, they could have taken the Colt and possibly saved her. “The demon who holds my contract holds yours,” reveals Bela, “her name is Lilith–maybe YOU can kill the bitch.” “I’ll see you in hell,” promises Dean, and hangs up. The clock switches to 12:00. Bela hears the baying of the hellhounds. Unafraid, tearless, she waits.
1. I can’t see Sam and Dean stealing organs from living people in order to survive, can you? They SAVE people, so the questionable morality of what Sam was considering did not work for me on so many levels, and I’m surprised he thought Dean would accept it, either. Desperate, much?
2. I wonder if the powers that be planned on Bela dying this way? Had she made this deal from the start? There was the mention of her having killed family in “Red Sky at Morning” of course. I know they planned on keeping Ruby, but I guess Bela was leaving at the end of the season. I thought it very cool how Lilith tried to manipulate her into killing Sam – but why? I thought Sam was needed alive to bring Lucifer up? Or was Lilith annoyed that she had to die in order to accomplish that? I’ve always wondered, too – did Dean see Bela in hell?
3. Doc Benton and the scooping of Sam’s eyeballâ€”was there ever a grosser scene? Or at least one that made you close your eyes or want to rub your own eyeball? I hate stuff involving eyes, but I guess Doc felt this was an eye for an eye situation!
4. RUFUS! Loved him, loved every second of his scene with Dean! From the pricey Johnny Walker Blue to Bela’s ear to his warning about what happens to old hunters, I was thrilled they brought him back later and hope we see him again.
5. The jogger scene was beautifully done. Running, his pulse was a healthy 126, Doc Benton chose well. It rose in fear and plummeted once he was on the table, and after Doc removed his heart, it did, of course, drop down to zero. Chilling!
6. Did anybody feel sorry for Bela/Abby – or at least less pissed at her – after learning her real story?
I liked this episode, but it’s not a top-tenner for me. Top 50, maybe. Doc Benton was a cool MOTW. He needed those organs, so he felt he was right in taking them. Why couldn’t he use cadaver organs? It wouldn’t have had the moral problems or scare factor, I guess, plus they’re so much better fresh. I love that Sam wanted to save Dean with this crazy idea, but he was thinking outside the box. WAY outside!