This episode is one of my top-five favorites. So many firsts…Bobby Singer and his fascinating salvage yard, his dog, Rumsfeld, the Key of Solomon, the Devil’s Trap, demon exorcism! Most of this became common-place, of course, but seeing it for the first time, ambrosial!
From the moment the brothers learn their father is in Meg’s clutches, they realize they need help to find him, so they rush over to South Dakota and Bobby, who, we learn, pumped John full of buckshot last time they saw each other. Yet Bobby is more than willing to help Sam and Dean get John back.
Meg comes to them, making a grand entrance (starting, it seems, with killing Rumsfeld, who is never seen again). They capture her, tie her in a chair under a devil’s trap. “Where’s my father, BITCH?” demands Dean. “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” counters Meg. “Oh, I forgot, you can’t!” She insists John is dead, she killed him herself, slowly, painfully, and made him scream and beg for his life. She and Dean exchange a lot of ugly insults and she’s furious when she realizes he’s sending her back to hell even after getting the information he wanted. “I LIED!” he says with great satisfaction. Sam starts to exorcise the demon, even though Bobby warns them there’s a girl in there, and only the demon is keeping her alive.
Sam keeps reading from the bible in sexy Latin (his voice sublime), sending Meg’s smoky essence back to hell. The boys learn where John is and that he is still alive. Sadly, the broken body the demon used/abused for a year dies. Bobby assures them he’s spoken with the cops before and knows what to do. He wants them to go get their father, and he shouldn’t be a stranger in the future.
Once they reach the apartment building where demons are keeping John, Sam wants to keep the Colt in the car, under the protection of Devil’s Traps he’s drawn on the trunk. Dean wants to bring it along with them. With only three bullets left, Sam insists they have to keep the gun safe so they can use it on THE demon. Dean reminds his brother the only important thing is getting Dad back; he’s willing to trade John for the Colt if necessary. Dean considers his brother as obsessed and selfish as John is, but Sam insists he only wants to do what John himself wants. Dean agrees to leave the Colt in the trunk.
Arriving at the Sunset apartments, they decide to pull the fire alarm to empty out the building of potential demons wearing human suits. Dean keeps a fireman occupied by talking about his Yorkie upstairs, who pees when he gets nervous. They steal fireman outfits, enter the building and find the demons with their special meter. They burst into the apartment, use holy water to subdue the demons, lock them in a closet and salt the door, imprisoning them. Even as the demons are finding new meatsuits and coming after them, the brothers free a drugged John, who is tied to a bed, and hustle him out the window. Sam, concerned he might be possessed, first sprinkles holy water on their father, which only succeeds in waking him.
Outside, Sam is jumped by a handsome male demon who sits on him and begins pounding his face with first one first, then another. It looks as if he’s going to quickly beat Sam to death. Dean tries kicking the demon in the face, accomplishing nothing, so he shoots him with the Colt. Like Luther in “Dead Man’s Blood,” he dies a great special effects death. As it turns out, Sam would have died if not for Dean bringing the Colt, and he later thanks him for saving his life. Dean gives a touching and telling speech about how far he’ll go for his family, that killing Meg or killing the humans these demons are inhabint doesn’t phase him if it means saving Sam or John
They take John to a cabin, where he praises Dean for using a bullet to kill the demon who whaled on Sam. Which is why when the lights go wonky and John announces the demon is coming, Dean refuses to hand over the Colt to him. “You’re not my father! You’re possessed!” Indeed, the YED has gotten into John, and he instantly smashes both Sam and Dean against the cabin walls. Chillingly, using John’s voice but the demon’s hideous golden eyes, the demon reveals that Meg and the unnamed demon Dean killed with the Colt were HIS kids–so demons have family, too. He tells Sam Jessica and Mom had to die because they were in the way of “the plans I have for you and all the children like you.” He gets close enough to Dean to kiss him and taunts him that John’s favorite of the brothers is Sam, even when they were fighting.
Dean makes a smart-assed remark about how he killed the YED’s kids; the demon, infuriated, starts him bleeding from the inside out. Dean pleads, “Dad, don’t you let him kill me!” in a heart-rending scene, while Sam tries desperately to make the Colt rise from the table where the demon left it, challenging “psychic boy” to move it. John, hearing Dean plead for his help, is momentarily able to take possession of the body. Sam, freed from the wall, tumbles to the floor, grabs the Colt and shoots John in the leg. Dean, lying on the floor, blood flowing from his mouth because of his injuries, weakly orders Sam not to shoot his father again. John, barely keeping control of the body, yells, “SAMMY! SHOOT ME IN THE HEART! FINISH IT!” Caught between his brother’s pleas not to kill their father and John’s orders to kill the demon, Sam waits too long; the demon escapes John’s body.
Of course, the final scene is one we will never forget: “Bad Moon Rising” blares from the Impala’s speakers. Sam, driving a gravely injured Dean and his father to the nearest hospital, blathers that they still have one bullet left; they’ll find the demon again, and. . .a gigantic semi tractor-trailer, driven by a black-eyed demon, slams into the Impala! We see it happen over and over, from several different directions, destroying the beautiful car.
Finally, we see the Winchesters, John, Sam, Dean, all unconscious, very bloody, possibly dead.
I was NOT on-line at the time, had no idea this was how the season was going to end! I didn’t know if the show was returning or not! I was screaming at my TV set and crying for days afterward!