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This week’s episode is entitled “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” and was written by new show writer Steve Yockey and directed by veteran director John Badham. The episode begins with a very comprehensive preview that spans all the seasons, especially focusing on the hunting life.

The cold opening follows a child who is running through the woods and is caught by a werewolf. The werewolf is about to kill the child when a younger Mary Winchester shoots the werewolf. She drives the kid to his house and asks his name, which is Fox. Then the episode follows Fox as he grows older and into a hunter. He spends his life hunting and writing postcards to Mary, which he never sends. The montage ends with Asa being hung from a tree.

The first act begins with the brothers going to Jody’s. She serves them dinner and they are watching a romantic comedy. Dean ribs Jody about the genre and Sam reveals Dean’s anime erotica fascination. Jody gets a phone call. She is visibly upset and tells Sam and Dean that a friend of hers died, Asa Fox. They have heard of him and insist on going with her. They go to Canada, where Asa lives.

The episode highlights the life of hunters, as they gather for the wake. They all know who Sam and Dean are; the brothers are somewhat famous in the hunter circle. Sam even meets a groupie hunter. We meet Bucky, Randy, Elvis (the groupie) a brother and sister hunter pair whose mother was a witch, among others. As they are sharing some stories about Randy later in the evening, Mary shows up. The brothers are awkward with her, especially Dean, who has a lot of anger at her leaving. Jody tries to console Dean but he steps outside.

In the kitchen Mary meets Asa’s mother, who blames Mary. She tells Mary that it’s her fault that Asa became a hunter. Mary and Sam talk about Asa and Mary’s guilt. Sam assures her that this is their life and noted that she saved Asa in 1980, a year after Dean was born, when she was supposed to have retired. Hunting is in their blood. Outside, Billie the Reaper shows up and tells Dean that she was picking up a fresh soul inside. He tries to get in while she looks on but he can’t since it’s been warded. Dean tells Billie that since she got in, she can get him in. She says she can but it’s a one-way ticket and a one-time deal.

Inside the house, the hunters find Randy dead and they realize that they are locked inside. Bucky tells them that it’s the demon, Jael, who had a beef with Asa. The hunters try to figure out who among them is possessed. The sequence follows as the demon leaves one hunter and travels through the house. It inhabits Elvis just as Dean gets into the house. Dean and Elvis fight. When Dean begins an exorcism chant, the demon leaves but not before killing Elvis. The hunters gather and try to create a devil’s trap to weed out the demon. Jody says that Mary is possessed but Sam and Dean realize it’s really Jody that’s been possessed. Jody/Jael reveals it can see in everyone’s mind and reveals secrets. The group do a collaborative exorcism but before the demon is defeated, it makes Bucky reveal that he killed Asa.

Bucky explains the Asa death and the hunters say that his punishment will be telling every hunter about this murder. The episode ends with the salt and burn fire of the hunters who died. Jody tells Mary that the brothers are the best men she’s ever met and Mary says the problem is not them. Billie shows up and offers to take Mary back to heaven. Mary says Billie will have to wait. The episode ends with Sam and Dean taking Mary to breakfast.

May I say what a great outing by the new guy! Kudos! 

Specs, Thoughts, Feelings:

1. What did you think of this hunter-focused episode? Favorite parts? Favorite hunters?

2. What do you think will happen with Mary now that she’s accepted being on Earth?

3. So it appears that hell is in chaos, so how do you think the brothers will end getting into that mess?

4. Share other thoughts, etc. below!