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Bonus! This recap covers the Sam scenes the CW forgot to show! You know, the ones that gave Sam some action and a plot. I even get to reveal the alternate ending!
While "Family Remains" was a decent filler episode, there just wasn't enough to it where deep analysis on my part is required. It's just some good ole slasher fun. Plus, several of these scenes were so dark I couldn't make out what was happening.  So, forgive the fewer and very dark screen caps. 

Okay, opening scene. TV, man (more like derelict), dinner and beer, lights go out, ghostly looking psycho girl comes out, he screams, blood spatters. Does that sum things up pretty well? Good. 
Next, Sam, is sleeping in the back of the Impala. Thud, me. Dean is reading stuff with a flashlight, and an exhausted Sam decides that instead of ignoring his insomniac brother, he should say something. Sam really has a thing for self punishment, doesn't he? This was the only sign of dialogue and actual character display for Sam this entire episode, that is until I saw the forgotten scenes. I hope they make the DVD release.  

The bottom line, Dean wants to hunt, Sam wants to hunt, but Sam wants to sleep first. They just finished a job two hours ago. They've been going non-stop for a month, ever since Dean's weepy confession about the whole becoming a torturer in Hell thing. It seems they haven't talked about it since then. Oh, you gotta love healthy families. 
Dean finds a case in Nebraska, Sam says it's a ghost, Dean says it's a ghost, so they have their next job. Sam of course takes the news by collapsing exhaustively in the back seat of the Impala, shaking the whole car pretty good. I'm trying to figure out how a 6' 4'' man could actually sleep comfortably in the back of any car, let alone a large tank like 1967 Chevy Impala. Anyone dying to see Jared try to fit into a Jetta?
Sam and Dean arrive, check out the vacant house with the "For Sale" sign, but oops, the "Sold" portion of the sign has fallen into the tall grass. Dean notices the walled up area in the kitchen, and Sam mentions that's likely a dumbwaiter. Dean calls him a know-it-all, and Sam actually gets offended. Dean backs off, and if I squint hard enough, I think that was a sign that there's some tension among the brothers. 

Sam and Dean look out the window after finding a chilling doll head in the closet. A moving van and car pulls up and a family gets out. They're Mom (Susan), Dad (Brian), older girl (Kate), younger boy (Danny), and another man that's likely an uncle. My clue is when they call him Uncle Ted. The family ain't happy. I guess this is a new start, and no one is too excited about it. Their frustration increases when fake county inspectors resembling our very good looking Winchester brothers come out and tell them the house has asbestos and a gas leak. The home is uninhabitable. They agree to turn away for one night. Except they don't. Uncle Ted is a builder, and quickly figures out they're lying. 
Of course I skipped a step there. While that last part is going on, Sam and Dean get on the suits and play inspectors. They find the old maid (oops former cleaning lady) who tells the tale of woe about the man whose wife died at childbirth and a daughter that hung herself in the attic twenty years later. Even though the man was private and she didn't know him too well, she has pictures of the girl. How good of her to have those so handy. This is a really interesting shot on the part of Phil Sgriccia, for each perspective is shown through the mesh of the screen door. That adds some authenticity to the conversation. I'm surprised I haven't seen that more. Full screen clarity is overrated. 

Here is a gratuitous shot, just for the fun of it since there aren't many clear cut portraits.  Oh baby, you look so fine!

The family moves in and Danny finds there's someone in the closet to play ball with. Sorry, that would have been my first sign to get the hell out. Mom and Dad are in the kitchen, and it smells like dead raccoon. Remember that for later. Mom doesn't want to be there and we get it, they're having issues. Then Ted points out the word "GO" written in crayon on the wall. Naturally, the boy did it. If it were my household, yeah, I'd accuse my son first. Danny says the girl in the wall did it. She doesn't like adults and only wants him to stay. Oh yeah, did he really think they were going to buy that one? So the punishment is being sent to his room? Isn't the girl in the wall there? 
Sam and Dean spy on them outside, not happy that they were smart enough not to accept their fake story. Kate is in bed, and something is licking her hand. She yells at the dog, only to see the dog come in through the door. She freaks. Seriously? The Licked Hand urban legend? Ah well, Kripke can finally cross that off the list.
Moving right along, Kate and Danny are freaking out in the living room, saying there's a ghost in the house. Sam and Dean knock on the door and come barging inside, saying there's a ghost in the house. Mom, Dad, and Uncle Ted, don't believe any of it. Apparently the dog doesn't believe it either, for he goes outside and well, sorry, but I have a hard time with dead animals. The words "Too Late" are etched in blood on the moving van, and they see the ghost out in the field. I think the possibility is sinking in now.  I won't nitpick over the fact that a feral child somehow knows how to spell words on a van with perfect legibility, but it kind of makes you wonder, huh?

Sam and Dean of course wonder how a ghost can go outside. So, they run inside. Dean draws the salt line, and he's so ridiculed for it. I'm surprised they don't get that more often, and have never been compared to Scooby-Doo before. Dean talks tough with Uncle Ted, who decides he wants to leave, and we get it, Dean is going through a little PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder for those not familiar with the acronym). Sam gives him that "you're going too far" face, and goes off to search the attic when he finds that Dean is somewhat controlling himself. 
Sam steps cautiously up the dark, creaky stairs, pulling out his flashlight to give just enough illumination for us to see his beautiful face yet still keep us in suspense over what's lurking in the dark. He finds the door to the attic and opens slowly, the cobwebs and musty smells smacking him in the face. His lanky frame works its way up, crouching down so not to hit his head on the low ceiling. Suddenly a bat flies out and he jumps, the creature narrowly missing his head by a few inches. 
Sam recovers and pans the flashlight across the dark room, dust and cobwebs everywhere. Eventually he finds an opening in the wall and inspects, catching a glimpse of a book. He pulls out the journal and reads, it belongs to a girl named Rebecca. He places the book in his pocket and rises up, hearing a creak behind him. He whips around and sees nothing. He turns back and suddenly a noose is slung around his neck! It raises him up off the ground and he drops the flashlight and struggles, all while the spooky staccato of the score loudly rings in the background. Suddenly the worn rafter gives way and he falls to the ground. He removes the noose from his neck and struggles to regain his breath. He picks up the flashlight and shines it all around. Nothing is there. 
What, you don't remember that? Oh yeah, deleted scene. Man did you miss a good one. 
Meanwhile, back in the living room, ghost arrives, moves toward Dean and the family. Dean tells them to stay in salt circle because they're safe. Except the girl crosses the line. Not a ghost, so that whole safety thing is blown. The girl lunges at Dean with the knife while everyone runs, and Sam arrives from his fantastic and terrifying attic scene with a flashlight to save the day. The girl hates light.      

They run outside and now I'm really pissed. Impala sabotage? Nooooo!!!!!! That combined with the dog is going way too far. Then Danny goes missing. Now children? What's wrong with you people? Is nothing sacred? The moving van and car have their tires slashed too and all the weapons in the trunk are gone, so the girls have been sent to the shed for safety. Ted and Dean get the house, Sam and Brian get the outside. 
What's that? Oh, that's the scent of this week's red shirt. After all, uncles are expendable. Ted and Dean are in the walls, and I'm wondering what type of home inspector missed this? Aren't checking out the recesses of the foundation a job requirement? Dean finds a hole and goes down alone, begging someone not grab his leg. Hmm, seen too many horror films? Speaking of which, here is Horror Writing 101.  It's not the guy that goes down the hole that gets ganked. It's the guy who stays behind. 
Dean finds a rather disturbing mess of dead animals, and manages to get in a great line. "Dog, it's what's for dinner." Anyone miss the wisecracking Dean we all know and love? At least he got one zinger in this week (maybe another for the Juno remark later). Back to Ted, and suddenly the girl comes out of nowhere and Ted's got a knife through his throat. His head falls into the hole and Dean gets horrified. You should have seen that one coming Deano!
Meanwhile, Sam and Brian check outside. The dad finds something in the brush and calls out to Sam, "I found something!" Sam rushes over, and winces in disgust over what he sees when he kneels to inspect. Doesn't Sam ever get used to these gross moments? "What is it?" Brian asks. Sam sees in the glimmer of the moonlight maggots ingesting remains of rats and other animal carcasses. Then he sees skeleton of a human hand, flesh cleaned off, infested by worms. Before Sam replies, they are both startled by the snap of a twig in the background. Sam jumps up. "Come on," Sam says. "We should get to the shed." 
You don't remember that one either? You didn't miss much. It was really gross. 
At the shed Dean arrives, minus Ted. Or, at least alive Ted. Dead Ted is outside, fresh food for the maggots and worms from that last scene. Dean in heart breaking fashion tells them the news, and that he's sorry, and Dad guesses pretty easy that Ted's dead. Dean offers his condolences and leaves completely broken up.  

A sorrowful Sam pauses for a minute, and then rushes out after Dean. Their bombshell dialogue goes something like this:
Sam: Come on Dean, it's about time you talked out this. 
Dean: About what?
Sam: This guilt trip you're on. 
Dean: (winces, fighting back tears) I shouldn't have left him alone. 
Sam: You can't save everyone. It wasn't your fault. 
Dean: Easy for you to say. You didn't get him killed.
Sam: You didn't either!! Now tell me what this is all about!
Dean: (sighs) I enjoyed it Sam.
Sam: What? 
Dean: The torture. Giving the torture in Hell.
Sam: (continues to stare, horrified)
Dean:  I enjoyed it, Sam. they took me off the rack, and I tortured souls, and I liked it. All those years; all that pain. Finally getting to deal some out yourself...I didn't care who they put in front of me, because that pain I felt, that just slipped away. No matter how many people I save, I can't change that. I can't fill this hole. Not ever.
Dean walks away ashamed and Sam watches him leave, too stunned to say anything. 
Back at the shed, Dad and Mom (Susan) have their little talk, and they're freaked. Susan is convinced Danny is dead, just like their other son Andy. Brian tries to be upbeat, but she's not buying it.  "Why is this always happening to us?" Susan asks. Sam listens, but the diary he has is more captivating than a mystery novel. He or Dean can find out more later.
Brian goes outside, and a sulking Dean comes over to talk to him. Brian tells him about Andy's death, and how much it's torn the family apart. Moving to the country was the prescription for mending. Boy did some quack marriage counselor get that wrong!
Sam wants to talk, for he's finished his rather captivating read. Apparently Rebecca had a child who was hidden away in humiliation, and Dad was the dad. So the girl lurking in the walls is Rebecca's daughter. Dean said it best, "Oh gross." She apparently broke out and offed dear ole dad/granddad. Anyone remember the X-Files episode of "Home?" That went there, and Fox refused to air the episode ever again. I guess times have changed. 
Sam wants to kill her, for despite the fact her life is hell, that's no excuse for murder. Now Dean takes offense, "Like you know what Hell's like." Sam rolls his eyes and tries a half hearted apology, for he is really getting impatient with Dean's testy behavior. Dean lets him off the hook, for something clicks.   

Next is a disturbing scene through the eyes of night vision, and Danny's all tied up in the foundations somewhere. Girl arrives and eats a live rat in front of him. Yeah, Danny's flipping out. 
The dumbwaiter! The bad smells in the kitchen! Of course! They bust out the wall and Dean goes down the shaft.  Sam breaks protocol and stays behind because it's his boyhood dream to become MacGvyer. He's going to fashion a rope out of curtains. Dean goes down in the dark, and I'm only guessing what happens here because I can't see a damned thing. Dean finds all sorts of things and then Danny and unties him.  Danny warns that the girl's brother is there. Next thing you know this brother rushes out of the dark and attacks Dean.
Meanwhile, back at the shed, something attacks Susan and Kate. More on that later.  Back to Dean who fights the boy while Danny turns tail and runs back to the shaft. Sam has his rope together in record time and he should have earned a merit badge for that. He pulls up Danny since Brian is incapable of doing such things on his own. Sam sends Brian and Danny off (to the shed I guess) and then decides Dean might need backup.
Dean, who all this time has been fighting in the basement, finds his flashlight, blinds the brother, and then finds his gun. He shoots the mutant boy and then Sam arrives. Great backup there Sammy! Of course since both of them are in the basement, that leaves the family to fend for themselves in the shed. The girl busts in, but then is dragged out. The sounds of stabbing happen off camera. 
Sam and Dean come out of the house and Brian is standing there, very spooked. To only the sound of the crickets and owls, the dead body of the girl is seen in its creepy glory amongst the tall dark weeds, with just enough moonlight shining down to give an eerie glow to the close up of the girl's blank stare. A classic horror shot, and a very well done one. 

It's morning, Sam is restocking the trunk with the weapons and the family was nice enough not to call the cops. Well that dodged a bullet! Sam and Dean are grateful. Dean asks Susan if she's okay and she answers no, but takes her husband's hand consoling herself on the fact that they're together. Sam watches this simple gesture, Dean nods and again if I get out a magnifying glass, I think that's supposed to show that the Winchesters realize they need to stick together too. Which is why we get that awesome closing scene. 

Its overcast under the overpass in Vancouver, uh I mean Nebraska, and its time to eat takeout outside the Impala. Sam hands Dean a burger but he won't touch it. Sam asks Dean if he's okay. Dean sympathizes for the monsters in the wall. Lifelong torture turned them into something like that. Sam wisely mentions Dean was in Hell and not one of them. Dean thinks he's worse, since they were animals defending territory and he did it for pleasure.
Sam puts his burger down, for he's had enough. He looks at Dean, unable to hold in his frustration anymore. "Look, I know you're hurting, but what you're doing to yourself, to both of us, it isn't healthy. We can't save everyone, and we can't keep driving ourselves into the ground." Dean asks, "What else am I supposed to do Sam? How else am I supposed to drive the memories, the pain, all of this hurt away?" Sam looks at him with deep sorrow. "It gets better Dean. Trust me, I know." 
Dean lowers his head and walks away, climbing into the Impala, leaving Sam outside alone. Sam picks up his burger and finds he's not hungry either. He grabs both sandwiches and gets in the Impala with Dean where they sit together in silence. 
You don't remember that ending either? Boy, you really need to get hold of the episode I did. It was something. Way better than what we got. Coming next week, "Criss Angel Is A Douchebag." Best episode title ever.           


# Elle 2009-01-21 18:28
Thanks for the recap Alice! This episode was uber creepy but as far as advancing the plot, not so much. I can't believe all that stuff was cut out - WTF? Well, I sincerely hope there are not more of this "editing" ahead - key plot moments shouldn't be deleted!!! It's sort of like in the pilot when they deleted the scene with Dean in the car seeing his radio flicker and realizing Sam was in trouble.
Can't wait for this week's episode!
# Alice 2009-01-21 20:04
I should explain. The "missing" scenes are ones that came from my head. :lol:

When I wrote the review for blogcritics, I did a lot of "I wish this scene or that scene" happened. So, when I wrote the recap here, I strangely found myself recapping the scenes in my head. It just sounded better. :twisted:

Anyway, sorry to confuse you, and I hope you liked the "deleted" scenes.
# Elle 2009-01-21 20:58
Well, thanks for the clarification. I was confused about why these would be cut out. Good scenes - maybe you should join the writing team.
# Tigershire 2009-01-21 23:36
First, about inspectors, you have obviously not had a lot of dealings with them. Usually we find if you need a reasonable inspection then they go all uber detailed on you and nothing passes. However if you needed a detailed inspection (like these poor folks obviously needed before purchasing this house) the inspector usually says, roof, 4 walls and a floor, yup this passes.

No disrespect to building inspectors in general, it just seems to work that way for my dad when he's working a construction job.

Now, as for the writing from the basement children, that I immediately let pass but what bugged me was, every time we see Sam or Dean get into the Impala's trunk, it's with a key. How the heck did the "kids" get in there to steal the guns??

Oh and about the "how'd the ghost get outside bit" I am assuming they mean it that way because theoretically this ghost should have been bound to the house? I mean really, after "Road Kill" (Ah, Molly and Greeley) the boys should have know that ghosts can run amok over a pretty good chunk of land if they so desire.

That being said, this was the first episode where I was actually nervous watching. I love the show but it never scares me. I have seen too much horror over the years and I just expect it to come and enjoy the episode in perhaps a more technical way, but this one. It worked the best in terms of scary for me.

And since I already posted on your blog critics post about tired, worn out, end of his rope Sam I won't reitterate it here. GRIN

I really enjoyed your added scenes though and I agree with Elle, maybe you should see if you can join the writing team!!
# Suze 2009-01-22 05:49
Boo! For a minute there I was thinking that those bits were actually out there somewhere! Shame they aren't as they would have improved things no end. You could drive the Impala through the plot holes in this one.

Feral kids who can write, spell, make their own clothes and boost cars ( having used their special freaky mutant-vision to see what was in the boot in the first place ) How did they know the guns were weapons but not try and perforate the cliche-ridden family from stereotype central with some of them? Dumb waiters that take food to the basement ... er, why? Assuming the house wasn't built with an eye to locking away the fruits of your incestuous liasons why the hell have a dining room in the cellar! Also, what kind of child comes face to face with the wardrobe monster, all deathly pale and smelling of carrion, and plays catch with it instead of howling and running for the hills? Shallow end of the gene-pool, obviously.

I thought this episode was a bit of a waste of a good idea. I couldn't make out what was going on half the time and I had to keep pausing it to go and make futile threats to the rioting sleepover sprogs upstairs so I ended up feeling that being bound, gagged and left in the basement to eat rats was actually quite a reasonable way of treating small boys! Also the doomed dog looked just like my sister-in-law's stinky and malevolent terrier-from-Ha des so I couldn't work up much sympathy for that either after spending two hours in A & E last month when it took a chunk out of one of the boys ( sorry Alice! )

Having said all that it's lovely to have them back, tonight's offering looks fun ... what is a douche bag anyhow?
# Suze 2009-01-23 05:34
Thanks! Somehow the news that such a book exists has cheered me up no end ... :lol:
# Bevie 2009-01-23 13:04
I really like your ending and the discussion earlier with Sam and Dean way better than having another Dean confession right at the end of the episode. I love Dean dearly, but more confessionals with no input from Sam at all? No.

Even though I like your revision more, I'm afraid that would have added another hour to the show. Not that that would be a bad thing at all!

After watching last night's show, I'm really disappointed that Sam is again deceiving his brother. Especially after Dean coming clean about his Hellish time. I love the show when the brothers work together to defeat the baddies, the arguments and the banter and the brotherly stuff between them. There's no way I want to see a real rift between them. The writers wouldn't go for a permanent rift, would they? Please no?

Anyway, I love this show more than any I've ever seen before no matter what happens.