–Robin’s Rambles by Robin Vogel
(Sepia tinted) – Sunrise, Wyoming, March 5, 1861 – We see a “hangin’ rope,” a woman peering from a window and an empty western street. Two men approach each other as western music plays in the background, face each other, and toss back their coat tails at the same moment. One, whose face we don’t recognize, flexes his hand over his gun. The other, wearing a sheriff’s star, is Dean Winchester! His eyes flit to a clock hanging on the wall. It’s high noon. They both reach for their guns and fire.
We hear the sound of a whip, then see Wyoming on a map, burning, just like on BONANZA. Mournful music plays; SUPERNATURAL appears in the middle, burning, burning, before it segues into the familiar sound of shattered glass.
48 hours earlier (and 150 years later) – “It’s here somewhere, I know it,” insists Sam Winchester’s voice, “help me with this.” He and Bobby push aside a desk in what was once Samuel Campbell’s compound to reveal a hidden room. Dean shines a flashlight down inside. “Well I’ll be damned,” proclaims Bobby. “Welcome to the Campbell family library,” says Sam. “So Samuel collected all this stuff, huh?” asks Dean, shining the light on photos on the wall. “Apparently,” says Sam. “All right, what are we lookin’ for?” Dean asks. “Anything that’ll put a run in the Octomom’s stockings,” says Bobby, “pick a room.”
The men start grabbing volumes of books. “Bingo!” calls Bobby. When they’re sitting, he asks, “Either of you jokers ever heard anything about a phoenix?” Dean: River, Joaquin, or the giant flaming bird?” “It says here,” says Bobby, “that the ashes of a phoenix can burn the Mother.” “All right, where do we get one?” asks Dean. “Ya got me,” says Bobby, I thought it was a myth.” “All right, great,” says Sam, “let’s see if we can find out something about a phoenix.”
More research. Dean finds something that has him grinning, thrilled. He joins the others. “Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, CHECK this out–March 5th, 1861–‘Sunrise, Wyoming, gun killed a phoenix today, left a pile of smoldering ash’.” “Really,” says Sam, “whose gun?” “Colt’s,” says Dean, “like the Colt. Problem”–he holds up the book, dated 1863, for them to see–“Samuel Colt’s journal.” “WHAT?” exclaims Sam–“that’s his!” “Yup!” says Dean gleefully. “No,” says Sam, reaching for it, “let me see. . .” Dean holds it away, “Get your own.” “What else does he say about the phoenix?” asks Bobby–what does it look like, does it have feathers?” “It just says phoenix,” says Dean. “Did he say where he tracked it?” asks Bobby. “No,” says Dean. “I guess we’ve got to find one of our own,” says Sam, “wherever it is.” “I know where we can find one,” says Dean. The others stare at him, awed. “March 15th, 1861, Sunrise, Wyoming,” says Dean, “we’ll STAR TREK 4 this bitch.” Sam shrugs. “I only watched DEEP SPACE NINE,” confesses Bobby. “It’s like I don’t even know you guys anymore,” whispers Dean, crushed, “STAR TREK 4, save the whales!” (LOL!) The other two indicate they have no clue. “We hop back in time,” says Dean, “we join up with Samuel Colt, we hunt the phoenix, then we haul the ashes home.” Dean is grinning like a loon. “Time travel,” says Bobby, “THAT’S a reasonable plan?” “I’ve got a guy who can swing it,” insists Dean. Dean stands in his seat. “Castiel, the fate of the world is in the balance, so come on down here.” Dean closes one eye and looks around, then tries again. “Come on, Cas, I DREAM OF JEANNIE your ass down here, pronto, please.” Sam and Bobby are looking around for Cas, but a woman appears instead. “Jeannie?” asks Dean. “Rachel,” she corrects, “I understand you need some assistance? How can I help you?” â€œWe kinda need to talk to the Big Kahuna,” says Dean. “I’m here on Castiel’s behalf,” says Rachel. “Where’s he?” asks Sam. “Busy,” she says quickly. “Busy,” says Dean. “Yes,” she says. “Well, we’ve got a line on the Mother of Freaking Everything,” says Dean, so. . .” “I’m sure your issues are very important,” she says, “but Castiel is currently commanding an army, so. . .” “So we get stuck with Miss Moneypenny,” says Dean. “So you need to learn your place,” says Rachel coldly. “Look,” says Dean, “I don’t know who you THINK you are. . .” “I’m his friend,” she says. “And you think we’re not?” asks Sam. “I think you call him when you need something,” she accuses, “we’re fighting a war.” “We get that,” says Sam. “Clearly you don’t, or you wouldn’t call him every time you stub your toe, you petty, entitled little piece of. . .!” she exclaims. Cas appears. “Rachel, that’s enough,” he says. “I told you I’d take care of this,” Rachel reminds him. “All right, you can go,” he says. “You’re staying?” she says. “GO!” he orders. Her mouth sets in a straight, disapproving line. “I’ll come when I can,” he tells her. They stare at each other for a long moment before she flies off. “Wow–friend of yours?” asks Dean. “She’s my lieutenant, committed to the cause,” says Cas, “now, what do you need?”
Editorâ€™s note: Wow, this chick seemed very nasty to Casâ€™ human pals, and I wondered if he REALLY sent her in his place. She was very insulting, and I canâ€™t imagine Cas sending someone with her obvious dislike for humans to help them! I mean, BRRRR!
Sam and Bobby sit at the desk in his house. “Where’s Dean?” says Bobby. “Supply run, he said, I dunno,” answers Sam. “About your plan,” says Cas, “you only have 24 hours.” “What? Why?” demands Sam, standing. “The answer to your question can best be expressed in a series of partial differential equations,” begins Cas. “Yeah, aim lower,” suggests Bobby. “The further back I send you,” says Cas, “the harder it becomes to retrieve you. Twenty-four hours is all I can risk, if I don’t pull you home within that time, you’ll be lost to me.” (How mournful does that sound? YOUâ€™LL BE LOST TO ME.) “Then we’d better get you a watch,” says Dean, entering the room. Noting the bags he’s carrying, Bobby asks, “What the hell’s all that?” “We are going native,” says Dean, handing over a bag labeled WALLY’S WESTERN WORLD. Sam insists he’s fine, he’ll wear what he’s got on. “What, and look like a space man?” asks Dean. “Just because you’re obsessed with all that wild west stuff,” says Sam. Dean tries to protest, but Sam insists, “You have a fetish, Dean!” “Shut up, I like old movies!” the elder Winchester says. “You can recite every Clint Eastwood movie ever made,” says Sam, “line for line.” “Even the monkey movies?” asks Bobby. “ESPECIALLY the monkey movies,” says Sam. “It’s CLYDE,” says Dean reverently. Sam points at his brother, a SEE, IT’S ALL TRUE! gesture. “At least wear the damn shirt,” asks Dean, holding out a bag. Sam comes downstairs wearing jeans and a white shirt with yellow flowers on the shoulders. (Editor’s note: I don’t think a real westerner would be caught dead in it.) “Is it customary to wear a blanket?” asks Cas. “It’s a serape,” says Dean proudly, “and yes, it’s. . . (Sam gives him a look) never mind, let’s just go.” Noting that Bobby has given him a bunch of the gold jewelry they amassed from the dinosaur hunt, Dean asks, “What’s this?” “Where you’re goin’, they don’t take plastic,” Bobby says. “I’ll send you back to March 4th,” says Cas, “that should give you time to find the Colt and this phoenix creature.” Smiling with delight, Dean says, “See you at high noon tomorrow . . .pardner.” He winks.
(Sepia tinted) – The brothers stand in front of the Sunrise, Wyoming town sign – “Oh, now we’re talkin’!” exults Dean, gazing around in awe. He and Sam smile at each other.
At Bobby’s, Cas says, “I have to go.” “What about gettin’ the boys back?” asks Bobby. “Pray for me in 24 hours and I’ll return,” promises Cas. “I’ll pray for all of us,” Bobby assures him, setting up an alarm clock.
Sam sets his own watch. Dean says, “Let’s go find Samuel Colt. We should try the saloon first, see what we get from the locals.” “Sure,” says Sam, “Whatever, Sundance.” “Take a little time to hit on the saloon girls,” says Dean. At Sam’s disapproving look, Dean adds, “Kidding. Come on.” Sam slips on his black hat–and promptly steps into horse manure. “Aw, come on!” protests Sam. “You know what that is?” asks Dean. “Yeah” says Sam, it’s horse. . .” “Authenticity!” interrupts Dean. They head into Sunrise as Sam tries to rub and kick the “authenticity” off his boots. Once in town, they come upon the hanging of one Elias Finch, a man who has been convicted of murdering his own wife. “Talk about authenticity,” mutters Sam. When asked if he has anything to say, Finch promises, “You’re gonna burn for this. Everyone is.” They trip the platform under Elias, but, oddly, we don’t see any death dance. “Good times,” remarks Dean to his brother–“so where do we find Samuel Colt?” “No idea,” says Sam, “I know who to ask, though.” One of the guys who witnessed the hanging passes by and comments to Dean, “Nice blanket.” Dean, pouting, hands over his bag to his brother so he can take off his blankie. They head into the sheriff’s office. “Can I have a word?” asks Dean. “Depends on who’s askin’,” says the sheriff. “Marshall Clint Eastwood,” Dean introduces himself, opening his vest to show off his bling. He introduces Sam as ‘Walker, Texas Ranger.’ “We’re lookin’ for a man,” explains Sam. “I’ll BET,” says the judge, “nice shirt there.” (Editorâ€™s note: Clearly a gay riff! They always seem to throw at least one into every ep, donâ€™t they?) “What’s wrong with my shirt?” asks Dean, insulted. “You’re very clean,” the judge replies. “It’s dirtier than it looks,” Dean says. “We need to find Samuel Colt, do you know him?” asks Sam. “The gun maker?” asks the sheriff. “Yes, he in town?” asks Dean. “Not that I know of,” says the sheriff, “you might try askin’ at Elkins Saloon–been here longer than God.” The brothers tip their hats and leave. The men in the sheriff’s office gaze after them speculatively. (Editor’s note: Must be a relative of Daniel Elkins, famous vampire hunter from our time, huh?)
Dean excitedly enters the saloon. Two ugly hookers await customers, a drunk is asleep on the bar, and it’s quieter than a grave. “This is not awesome,” gripes Dean. Sam smacks him on the back sympathetically. “I’ll have your top shelf whiskey,” orders Dean. “I only have the one shelf,” the bartender says dourly. “That’ll do just fine,” says Dean, who points to Sam, “and he’ll have a sarsaparilla.” Sam gives him a bitch-face for that one, but Dean’s having a great time teasing. “Are you Elkins?” Sam asks the bartender. “One and only,” the man answers. Asked about Colt, he says, “He passed through here about four years ago–rumor is he’s building a railroad stop 20 miles out of town by the postal road–middle of nowhere.” “The Devil’s Gate,” whispers Sam to Dean. “The location fits,” agrees Dean. (Editorâ€™s note: I do love the continuity of this from season 2!) Elkins sets their drinks in front of them. “Howdy, boys,” greets a voice from the stairs. A young woman heads toward them. “Darla, that’s my best girl,” says Elkins proudly. With brown teeth and a nasty sore in the corner of her mouth, she gets in Dean’s face. “Try me,” she offers, “you wanna kiss?” Dean gulps down his gorge, murmuring to Sam, “So much more germ-ridden than I pictured.” She’s about to plant one on Dean when someone calls “DARLA!” “Judge,” she says, not enthused, “nice to see you.” “I thought we had a date,” he says, pointing upstairs. Dean heaves a HUGE sigh of relief as Darla heads upstairs with the judge. “That was a close one,” says Dean. “Guess it’s good to be judge,” says Sam. They sip their drinks. Dean spits his out. “It’s like gasoline,” he gasps. “Sarsaparilla isn’t half bad,” Sam grins, taking another sip.
Upstairs, Darla bounces onto the bed, the judge, down to his underwear, on top of her, kissing her neck. She sees something over his shoulder that starts her screaming. Sam and Dean run upstairs. Finch, the man we saw getting hanged, has his hand on the sheriff and is burning him to death. Darla, terrified, stands by the French doors leading from her bedroom. The judge, dead, crispy and smoldering, lies on her bed. Sam and Dean stare at each other in astonishment.
“You OK, sheriff?” asks Sam. “Of course,” answers the lawman. “It was a ghost!” insists Darla. “It wasn’t a ghost,” says the sheriff,” what ghost leaves footprints. He points them out. “I’m tellin’ ya, Finch was here,” she says, “he did THAT, and walked out that door.” “Rope didn’t kill him,” says the sheriff, “I’ve seen it before.” “Any idea where he could be?” asks Sam. “Could be a thousand places,” says the sheriff. “You got any way to flush him out?” asks Dean. “Of course,” says the sheriff, “we’re gonna form a posse, put a bullet in his head for good measure.” “Sounds like a good plan,” smiles Dean. “You two come along,” says the sheriff, “meet downstairs at dawn.” “We’ll be there,” promises Dean. “Get yourselves some real gear,” suggests the sheriff. “I think we oughta pay our respects to Finch,” says Dean, rubbing his face. “I was thinking the same thing,” says Sam.
Later, holding their lanterns above an empty grave, Sam says, “Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” “Maybe we’re not lookin’ for a flaming bird, maybe the phoenix is walkin’ around in cowboy boots,” suggests Dean. “It makes sense, right?” says Sam–“could be Finch. So, question is, how do we put this thing out?” “We do know one thing that’ll kill freakin’ anything, right?” Dean reminds him. “The Colt,” says Sam. “So,” says Dean, “you go get the gun.” “Isn’t the gun coming here?” asks Sam–“according to Samuel Colt’s journal?” “But people here barely even know who Colt is,” Dean reminds him, “Maybe you gotta go find him and make history. I’ll stay here, hook up with the posse–’cause you know me, I’m a posse magnet–I mean, I love posse–make that into a t-shirt.”
(Editor’s note: How many riffs on pussy are the writers going to get away with her, I wondered, laughing because I’m 12 and found it very funny.)
“You done?” asks Sam sarcastically, adding, “look, the problem is, the Colt’s 20 miles outside of town, how am I supposed to get there and back before noon?” Hearing a horse neighing nearby, Dean says, “Ride ’em, cowboy,” and shortly thereafter, Sam is sitting astride a horse, proclaiming, “Feels all right.” “Take it easy,” Dean warns, “be back by 11 AM, don’t be late.” “I’m OK!” Sam assures him, riding away. “That poor horse!” mourns Dean.
We see Sam and the horse galloping against a gray sky.
Finch lets a horse go that belongs to another member of his posse, and when the man tries to apologize to him even while firing bullets at him, Finch says, “You had your chance. Tell it to the judge.” He grabs him around the throat and swiftly reduces him to ash, too.
Rachel summons Castiel to a warehouse to talk. “I’ve been hearing things, things I don’t want to believe,” she says, stepping closer, “just tell me if it’s true.” “If WHAT’S true?” he asks. “You know,” she says, “your dirty little secret.” He looks away, then straight at her and replies, “I have to defeat Raphael.” “Not this way, Castiel,” she says, “we’ve put our faith in you and look what you’re turning into.” “I don’t have a choice,” he insists, ashamed. “Then neither do I,” she says, attacking him with a knife. She stabs him in the chest, wounding him, but he knocks her away and an angel-killing knife appears in his right hand. They fight with their knives like swords, but he gets the upper hand and thrusts his sword in a mortal wound through her heart. Lying on the ground on her back, we see her beautiful black wings spread out in a posture of death. Gazing down at her, gasping, Castiel says, “I’m sorry,” He examines his own chest wound, which barely missed his head. Light is glowing from it. He presses his hand over it.
Bobby, studying a book, hears the sound of wings. Cas appears, falling in a heap on his floor. “What the hell? CAS?” cries Bobby. The angel, gasping, draws a sigil on the wall in the blood from his chest wounds. “Cas, are we running or fighting?” asks Bobby. Cas collapses into Bobby’s arms. “BALLS!” yells the old hunter.