Believe it or not it’s already time for the season six episode title origins. Was this not the quickest season ever? As usual, there are plenty of interesting references. Enjoy!
6.1 “Exile on Main St.”
“Exile on Main St.” is the title the 12th American studio album by The Rolling Stones. The album received mixed reviews at the time but has since been hailed as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. The album has a more complex sound than the Rolling Stones were known for and explores many new genres including rock and roll, blues, country, soul and calypso.
It’s interesting that this album was the inspiration for the season opener. I would argue that season six played around with lots of new ideas, themes and the overall season structure. Plus, it has also had some pretty mixed reviews. Coincidence? Maybe.
You’ll remember that this episode picks up a year later where we find Dean living as a civilian with Lisa and Ben when Sam pays him an unexpected visit. As it turns out, he’s been alive and well(ish) almost the whole year.
6.2 “Two and a Half Men”
This episode title is taken from the CBS television show “Two and a Half Men” which follows Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) a self-indulgent jingle writer. When his uptight brother Alan and impressionable nephew Jake move in his bachelor pad is compromised.
In this episode Sam calls Dean for help when he finds a baby at the scene of a crime. They later discover that the baby is a shapeshifter and they must decide what to do with little Bobby John. Watching Sam and Dean try to care for a baby was pretty great too.
Sam: “Dean, make it stop.”
Sam: “Everyone’s staring at us like we’re child abusers. Feed it!”
6.3 “The Third Man”
This title is taken from the 1949 British film noir of the same name. Staring Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard the film follows Holly Martins as he arrives in Vienna to accept a job offered to him by a friend Harry Lime. He quickly realizes that Harry was recently killed in a mysterious car accident.
This season six episode has its fair share of mysterious deaths that the boys quickly find are associated with the Biblical plagues of Egypt. Castiel reveals that there are many weapons of Heaven missing including the staff of Moses. And they set off to find the angel responsible.
The angel responsible. “This morning I had a menage a, what’s French for twelve?”
6.4 “Weekend at Bobby’s”
This episode title seems to come from the 1989 movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” in which two slackers pretend that their dead employer is still alive. Meanwhile, the person who murdered him is out to “finish him off”.
In this episode, directed by Jensen Ackles, we get to see life from Bobby’s point of view; answering phones, researching and hunting on his own all without so much as a “thank you” from the boys. Poor Bobby.
6.5 “Live Free or TwiHard”
This title is a play on the 2007 Bruce Willis movie “Live Free or Die Hard”, the fourth movie in the Die Hard franchise. The movie follows John McClane as a group of cyber terrorists attempt to wage a cyber war on the United States infrastructure. The term “TwiHard” is used to describe a fan of the Twilight franchise. You know, like Misha’s Minions?
This episode finds the boys dealing with an outbreak of vampire attacks. But this is no ordinary vampire activity; instead, they are luring young girls in by acting like the vampires from a best selling Twilight-esque series. When Dean is bitten (while Sam watches) all hell breaks loose.
Vamp Kid: “What the hell are you doing?”
Dean: “Open your mouth! Take those out. Take ’em out! Ohhh, for the love of… what are you, 12? Are you wearing glitter?”
Vamp Kid: “I only do it to get laid, man.”
Dean: “Does it work? (Vamp Kid shrugs) I’ll be damned.”
6.6 “You Can’t Handle the Truth”
This title is taken from a memorable line in the 1992 film “A Few Good Men”. The movie follows a Neo military lawyer as he defends marines accused of murder who claim to have been acting under orders.
The truth is hard to hear sometimes; especially in this episode where the goddess Veritas is forcing people to tell the truth. When Dean becomes a victim, he hears a few things he wishes he didn’t. Mainly whatever Bobby’s first girlfriend turned out to be. But he is also given the opportunity to question Sam who has been acting strange since he showed up on Dean’s doorstep.
Bobby: “I get a pedicure once in a while. This nice Vietnamese joint. This one gal, Nhung Phuong, name means ‘velvet phoenix.’ Tiny thing, but the grip on her. She starts on my toes and I feel like I am gonna…”
6.7 “Family Matters”
This episode title most likely comes from the long running sitcom of the same name. The show follows the middle class Winslow family and their nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel living in Chicago. The show is a spinoff of “Perfect Strangers” (not relevant, but I just found that out and I thought it was interesting!).
There are all kinds of family matters at hand in this episode. Castiel reveals that Sam has no soul and his soul has been left in the cage with Michael and Lucifer. Despite his many concerns, Dean decides to go along with Sam and the Campbells on a hunt to take down a nest of vampires and they discover that Samuel is not killing the alphas as promised; instead he is torturing them for advice on how to find Purgatory.
6.8 “All Dogs Go to Heaven”
This title is taken from the 1989 animated film of the same name. The story follows a dog, Charlie B. Barkin a con-dog of sorts who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd and ends up dead. With the help of a magical “life watch” he is able to return to Earth but only as long as the watch keeps running. Charlie makes friends with a young girl he saves, Anne-Marie, and begins to change his ways.
This episode features its own bond between man and beast, make that woman and beast. The boys encounter a skinwalker who poses as a dog and lives with a family. As it turns out, the skinwalker is one of many who await orders from their Alpha to bite and transform their owners creating a growing army of their own.
6.9 “Clap Your Hands If You Believe…”
This episode title is taken from the book The Adventures of Peter Pan. The line refers to clapping your hands if you believe in fairies. The actual line is “If you believe than clap your hands.” Side note: this is one of my favorite children’s books.
This title could not be more appropriate for this episode. This was our first encounter with fairies or I guess I should say “faery” since we didn’t only encounter tinker bells in this episode. At first the boys don’t know what to think. I didn’t really either! But it turns out that making deals with faery people is not as magical as it may seem.
Glitter Glue: “Personally, I think they’re taken to Avalon to service Oberon, king of the faery”
Sam: “Dean, did you service Oberon king of the faery?”
6.10 “Caged Heat”
This title comes from the 1974 movie of the same name. “Caged Heat” is an exploitation movie about women in prison. The film follows Jacqueline Wilson who is imprisoned for illegal drug use. When in prison, Wilson bands together with a group of female convicts to fight oppressive prison policies.
This episode deals with a prison of sorts as well. Castiel and the boys decide to work with Meg to gain entry into a building where Crowley is holding all kinds of monsters as prisoners while he questions them for information. While there, they are betrayed by Grandpa Samuel and taken prisoner themselves.
Dean: “I’ll tell you who I am. I’m the guy you never want to see again. ‘Cause I’ll make it outta here, trust me. And the next time you see me, I’ll be there to kill you.”
Samuel: “Don’t think there’s gonna be a next time.”
Dean: “Whatever gets you through the night.”
6.11 “Appointment in Samarra”
This title has a bit of a trail to follow. “Appointment in Samarra” is the title of a John O’Hara novel from 1934. But O’Hara’s title is in reference to an old story retold by W. Somerset Maugham that appears as an epigraph to O’Hara’s novel. Confused yet?
Here is Maugham’s retelling:
The speaker is Death
There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.
In this episode Dean makes his own appointment with Death. After a risky procedure Dean is able to contact Death long enough to make a deal. Dean does Death’s job successfully for one day and Death get’s Sam’s soul out of the cage. Meanwhile, Sam makes a little deal of his own.
Tessa: “Just so you know, when people die, they might have questions for you. Well, not you, but Death.”
Dean: “You mean, like “How did Betty White outlast me”?