THEN: Mrs. Butters identifies the huge telescope in the bunker as an interdimensional geoscope and says it isn't good when Dean says he can't see anything through it. Dean angrily says he's nothing but a hamster in a wheel and it's all Chuck's fault. Jack says that he's supposed to kill God; Sam tells him he's the only one who can. Jack tells Cas that he WILL kill Chuck and Amara, but he will die too. Cas tells Dean there's something he needs to know.
NOW: The gentle sounds of an old song from the forties, "If I Didn't Care," plays as artificial lights reflect dimly off wet pavement. In the night, a car pulls up outside the Rooster Sunrise Motel, it's facade also advertising "Lounge," and a mid-thirties man exits the car. He is bearded and balding, wearing a white henley under his jacket and some kind of pendant on a necklace. He approaches the desk where a reluctant clerk greets him as Travis Johnson and scolds him for being late to check in. He's been here before and he's getting the same room as before - Room 214 - on doctor's orders. "Welcome back," says the clerk.
Travis walks by two old vending machines and turns down a hallway lined with doors. He hesitates outside Door 214, his hands shaking, and sighs. "You can do this," he says aloud. He slowly turns the key and turns on the light. The room is a little wider than an average hotel room. It has two double bed, both covered with an orange spread. The walls and floor are both covered in differing geometric patterns of various shades of orange and white. As he approaches the bed and puts his duffle bag on it, ominous music begins to play. Sitting at the edge of one bed, he pulls out a bottle of whiskey and drinks. His phone buzzes with a message: "Travis, I'm worried." "Just one night!' Travis says. "Then it's over. It wasn't real." He clutches at his pendant; it appears to be a ring. "It was never real!" Behind him, the closet door opens and a figure approaches him from behind. He spins to see a kid, a teenage boy with brown hair and intense eyes. "Do you remember me?" Travis falls back. The bottles drops and breaks. "I remember you!" he says. The boy steps forward, foot crunching on the glass, and picks up the broken whiskey bottle with its jagged edge. He smiles and leans forward. "Boo." The camera goes black as we hear a scream.
The Impala is driving through the night in the rain. When Dean asks how much longer, Sam says five to seven hours. They both seem tired. Dean says he can't believe they're going back. He was their friend, but it's been 25 years. He killed himself - slit his throat. They've missed funerals for closer friends, even for hunters. So why are they going? "We don't have anything else to do," Sam states. Sam wonders about Cas and asks if he'd said anything to Dean. "Not really," Dean replies. "You didn't get into a fight?" questions Sam. Dean tells him he didn't. When a text comes in, Dean checks it only to get angrily scolded by Sam who warns him of the dangers of looking at his phone while driving. Dean agrees and puts it away.
TITLE - DRAG ME AWAY FROM YOU
Day has dawned when the Winchesters pull up in front of the Rooster's Sunrise Motel. "It looks smaller,' Dean remarks. "We're bigger," reminds Sam. "It's not the top of my bucket list," Dean retorts. They open the door, and we see two pairs of sneakers set down on the pavement - smaller sneakers, getting out of the left side of the car, front and back. It's Sam and Dean - kids - getting dropped off. Dean is tall but with a smooth young face, dark brown hair smoothed to the side, amulet on the chain around his neck. Sam is shorter with a serious face. As the Impala rumbles away, Dean expresses his dissatisfaction to being there; he wants to be hunting with Dad. After all, when he was Sam's age, he was left alone to babysit Sam. The younger brother observes that that was probably illegal. Dean wants to know if Sam wants to practice shooting, but then he notices that Sam is unsuccessfully trying to hide something under his jacket. Dean wrestles it away from him, holding it up with a declaration of "Victory!" before he sees what it is - a large blue paperback book about colleges. "Haunted colleges?" Dean questions. But no; it's just information about higher education. "Didn't your imaginary friend tell you it's bad to steal?" Dean teases without bite. "Why not?" Sam defends himself. "We're barely even IN school!" Dean says. When Sam says normal people go to college, Dean laughs: "Yeah, 'cuz we're normal. THIS is our life." His eyes look a little sad as he looks at his younger brother who looks down at the floor.
The brothers are in the room with the orange bedspreads and orange-patterned walls and floor. Sam sits on the bed looking at the book, then opens his duffle. Inside on top of his clothes rest a large hunting knife and a handgun. He takes them out and lays them carefully on the bed next to the book as if in juxtaposition. "Hello!" Dean says pleasantly to the vending machine. He doesn't put in any money, but whatever he does at the controls causes gears to move and a candy to drop down. He reaches down and pulls it out happily when a sharp female voice says, "Freeze! You're under arrest!" He turns to see a young blonde girl around his own age and a younger boy near her. She introduces them as Kaitlyn and her younger brother Travis. Their mother works there. They're interested in what Dean did to get candy. He tells him the old models are easy. He hits the reset button, then 1 - 2- 3. A candy tumbles down. Kaitlyn says she saw his dad's car. "Who's your dad? Knight Rider?" Dean doesn't take extreme offense, but he definitely doesn't agree. His dad is a badass and he drives an Impala not a - "Pontiac Trans Am," interrupts Kaitlyn.
A woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and haunted eyes sits in a restaurant. When the Winchesters enter, she greets them with a hug. They tell her sorry about her brother and ask how she's holding up. She tells them that after they left, Travis had a rocky life. He got on drugs. He couldn't hold down a job. But he'd been improving: he'd started therapy. But then the doctor started prying, wanted Travis to face his fears in order to heal. So he'd come back to the motel and checked into Room 214. They ask when the funeral will be held, and she tells them it was last week. She just told them that to make sure they'd come. "Why do you want us here?" "I think she's back," Kaitlyn says. "You remember that winter. How it started. She came for Travis first."
Another flashback: young Travis is standing in front of the vending machine. He tries Dean's method but is unsuccessful. He turns away, then turns back when the machine moves on its own and a candy falls down. Eagerly, he reaches in for the treat when suddenly a withered hand grips him, strong, wrinkled fingers with a large ring grabbing him, a frightful face glaring at him through the glass, screaming at him. Travis struggles. The spectre screams, holding on tightly. The candy spills out of the racks. Dean and Kaitlyn come running. Travis is on the floor, eyes huge, mouth open in terror. There is nothing there. No candy has fallen.
Room 214 - the adult Winchesters walk around inside. They've checked the coroner's report. Travis's fingerprints were on the broken glass. His sister insists he wouldn't have killed himself. Flashback to the children - Travis says, "I'm crazy!" "I didn't see anything," another kid tells him. "But I did!" he insists. Dean was on the phone, but hangs it up saying dad is two days out of range. Kaitlyn wants to know why he called his dad. Dean looks at Travis and says, 'I believe you." "You do?" Kaitlyn didn't expect that. Dean and Sam exchange a glance and Sam nods. "Monsters are real. My dad and me - we hunt them. It's the family business," says Dean. "You for real?" questions Kaitlyn. "Yes, he is," Sam tells her. They exchange another glance. Dean wants to know if there have been any other missing kids.
The four kids stand outside a playground looking at a chain-link fence that has been turned into a memorial with teddy bears and flowers. Three Missing posters are hung there for three children who've disappeared over the last several weeks. Dean stares at their names and faces, his own face intent, focused, and determined.
Back in real time, Dean tells Kaitlyn, "That thing - it's not here. It preys on kids, only kids. That other thing - I killed it. I'm sorry."
Flashback - the kids, loaded down with newspapers, enter a basement room, and Dean locks the door behind them. They dump piles of newspapers on a table and start to look for stories of other missing kids. Sam has a map of the town spread out as well. Any time they read of a missing child, Sam puts a piece of chocolate-coated candy on the map, marking the spot where a child disappeared. They find several. Looking closely at the map, they look for a spot where the monster might be taking the children. One central spot is the Wadsworth Cannery. "But it's abandoned!" says Kaitlyn, not realizing that makes it ideal for a monster's lair. Dean prepares to head out, but Sam doesn't agree. "Dad wouldn't like this," he says. They don't even know what the monster is. "Got a gun. Got a knife," Dean says. He's set. Sam says he can come too. "Stay," Dean tells him. "Be normal." When Kaitlyn says she can come with him, Dean tells her, "this ain't the friggin' Goonies. I got this." Kaitlyn looks at Sam as Dean leaves.
Dean stands outside a locked gate at night attempting to pick the lock. "Hey!" says Kaitlyn, startling him. He swings around, gun drawn and pointed at her.until he realizes who she is. She pokes fun as he struggles with the lock but eventually the gate swings open and they can enter. "Just stay behind me," Dean tells her. They enter the old building filled with the detritus of the years, Dean leading with flashlight shining and his gun ready at his side.
Back at the hotel, Sam is playing boggle with Travis. "Don't worry," he says. "My brother will kill it."
"This place is really gross," remarks Kaitlyn as they explore the cannery. "You asked for it," Dean tells her, not meanly but honestly. "Hunting means going to gross places." "Are you sweating?" Kaitlyn asks, beginning to tease him about how tense he is. Is he scared? He says he isn't. In the room ahead, he sees a pile of cloth and canvas half-covering a bike and a baseball. He tells Kaitlyn to wait at the door, then goes closer. He sees a key from the motel, then pulls back the material only to recoil at whatever he sees. He drops the covering and turns back. "She's not here."
Sam is staring at the Boggle cubes. He's written the words, "Kill you now," on his paper. Travis is writing words too. His are dead, death, and kill. Suddenly, the game cube starts shaking. The boys back away from the table. The sixteen letter-covered dice explode upward and the lights go out. A ragged figure appears behind Travis. Dean tries to shoot her, but the bullets are ineffective. He stabs her. She shrieks as her fingers are sliced off. She disappears, and her fingers melt away on the floor, leaving only her ring. Kaitlyn hugs her brother and stares at Dean.
Adult Dean walks down the motel hallway. A figure passes behind him too quickly to be identified. He looks up and sees a figure at the end of the hallway. It's him as a boy, only paler, with hair combed down over his forehead and eyes wild and a disturbing smile. "Hey, Dean. We've been waiting for you. You failed." Dean sinks to his knees in the hallway. A huge knife is in his hands. He slowly positions it so it is poised to plunge into his own body, when Sam comes down the hallway behind him. "Dean? Dean? What are you doing?" Dean blinks and comes back to himself. The knife is gone. The boy is gone. "She's right," he says. "Kaitlyn's right."
Dean tells Kaitlyn, "I'm sorry. I didn't want to believe you." "We all thought Dean killed it," Sam adds. "Well, I didn't, and now Travis is dead," Dean states, but Sam says now they have a second chance. He wonders what she is. "She's scary," says Kaitlyn. "She plays with people. She lured Travis as part of her sick, freaky game." "She can look like other things," Dean tells them. Sam says he'll look into the lore, and Kaitlyn looks confused at that. Dean adds that the monster keeps a nest. He'd seen it when he was younger. His eyes are haunted as he tells them there were a bunch of bodies, the dead kids. "Why didn't you tell me?" asks Sam. "I'd never seen anything like it before," Dean admits. After they'd knifed the creature, he'd called the police to report the children's bodies, then "I shoved it down the old memory hole. But I had nightmares. I'm sorry. I should have told you." "It's OK," Sam says. "We were kids. We used to keep a lot of secrets from each other."
Dean heads off to get food, entering Daisy D's Diner, where a bored waitress tells him there's no rugula or kale, just iceberg lettuce with ranch. Suddenly Billie appears next to Dean on a stool at the counter. "Working a case? Now?" she asks disapprovingly. She tells him that she just watched a planet burn alive, annihilated by Chuck. "What else is new?" asks Dean. "It was the last one," states Billie firmly. "He'll be back, soon. When he comes back, there won't be a minute to waste." Dean tells her that this agent of God's destruction will be ready. She tells him that she's been to see Jack and help him with the last step of his transformation. "Yeah, cosmic TNT," Dean tells her, his disapproval heavy in his tone. "I told him the TRUTH," Billie declares. After all, he wants forgiveness, and the only way he thinks he'll get that is by freeing them from what Dean calls the hamster wheel. "Was I wrong?" Dean looks away.
Back at the motel, Sam is surfing the web. "So this is your life now?" asks Kaitlyn. "Pretty much," says Sam. "I'm sorry," she says. "Didn't you want ot be normal?" Sam tells her that they do help people.
"This is the last time you'll see me until the end, Dean," Billie says. "This is on you, Dean. you need to tell me now - do we have a problem?" Dean isn't happy with her, but answers her roughly "No. I want Chuck dead. I don't have to like every part of the plan." Billie wonders about Sam, and Dean tells her that Sam will get there. Billie doesn't like disorder. She doesn't like the uncertainty of Sam's disagreement. "Clean this up. Get your house in order," she commands.
Sam has discovered the identity of the monster. He shows Kaitlyn the website which shows an old woman clutching a child by the hair. It's Baba Yaga, a witch who feeds on children's fears using hallucinations. Kaitlyn notices the ring on the hand of the witch in the illustration. It looks like Travis's ring. Their mom had found it cleaning. Travis liked it and kept it. It was his lucky charm. He'd only recently gotten it restored. Sam keeps researching looking for ways to destroy the witch, not noticing Kaitlyn walking out of the room. She leaves the motel and goes to her car, opening the trunk where a bag from the coroner's office was stored. Inside the bag are her brother's belongings. She pulls out the chain, but there is no ring hanging from it. A figure approaches - it's Travis, but his eyes are wide and intense. "Hey, Sis! Looking for this?" He has the ring. "No!" Kaitlyn screams.
Dean comes back to the hotel with a bag of food to find Sam on the phone worried about Kaitlyn. He tells Dean that the monster is Baba Yaga, she probably has Kaitlyn, and the ring is the source of her power. They damaged it but did not destroy her. So now they have to "junk her precious," Dean says. They have to find her nest which is probably right here at the motel. All the attacks have happened here. Sam pulls his knife as they decide to separate and search. Sam is outside, Dean walking down an interior hallway. Sam is back inside at the front desk, but then he hears a strange sound from behind a closed door. He approaches with caution, finally throwing it open to reveal the desk clerk inhaling drugs from a large bong. "Dude! What the hell!" she exclaims as he apologizes and backs out.
Dean eyes the candy machine, listens outside a couple doors, then stops outside Room 214. The door opens in front of him. "I've seen this movie before," he says pulling his gun and stepping inside. The door slams behind him. Instead of being in the room, he is back in the deserted cannery. On guard, he walks down the metal stairs and through the cluttered space, his breath turning to vapor in front of him in the cold. He steps through an arched doorway and sees a pile of material. Is this the nest? He pulls it back and sees a face. "Hey, Dean," calls a voice and he turns. It's adult Travis, neck and shoulders covered in blood. "I know what you are now," Dean says and fires. "That won't work," laughs the creature. "Aren't I a little too old for you?" Dean taunts with anger lacing his voice. "I was STARVING!" Baba Yaga exclaims. Swiftly leaping at him, she knocks him backwards to the floor, reaching clawed hands for his throat. Dean tries to aim his weapon but she is blocking him. In the hallway of the motel, Sam hears a noise. Bursting through the door, he sees Kaitlyn on one of the beds, and his brother struggling on the floor with the witch. He stabs her, but she viciously throws him across the room, but when she reaches for Dean again, he grabs her finger and pulls the ring off. With the butt of his handgun, he smashes the ring until it crunches with a green fire, causing Baba Yaga to alight and flame out with an angry screech. The brothers, exhausted but triumphant, flop back to the floor.
Kaitlyn thanks Dean. Her once tortured eyes seem peaceful and calm. "Were you scared?" she wonders. "I always am," Dean tells her. "You've changed. The old you wouldn't admit it. You tell the truth more. You know that lies don't make anything better." She gives him a hug.
In the lobby of the motel, young Kaitlyn is hugging Dean. "Thank you. I'm glad you were here," she says. Dean gives her a card and tells her if she's ever in trouble to call that number. "I hope I never have to," she tells him. He looks a little sad at this. Sam approaches with both their duffle bags over his shoulder. "The other kids? Did you find them?" he asks. "Nah," Dean says. "They're probably gone." The Impala pulls up outside. The horn honks impatiently. "What are you gonna tell Dad?" Sam wonders. "That I handled it," Dean answers, adding, "With a little help!" He smiles at Sam. As if uncomfortable remembering what he'd said earlier, he continues, "About the college thing -- I don't know . . . but we make a good team." Sam smiles. "We do," he agrees. They get into the car, heading off with their dad toward another hunt.
Once again, the Winchesters are driving through the night. Sam is on the phone, trying to check on Cas. "Hang it up,' Dean tells him abruptly, "I got an update." He tells Sam that Billie paid him a visit at the diner, that it's go time and they'll have to act fast. "There's something else," he says roughly. "Jack's gonna die. Jack knows. he's willing to sacrifice himself." For their plan to get Chuck to work, Jack has to die. "Billie told you?" asks Sam. "Cas told me," admits Dean. "You've been sitting on this?" Sam exclaims. "I thought we were psat stuff like this." "I knew you couldn't handle this," Dean defends himself grimly. They can't be messing up Billie's plan with hesitations and questions about ethics. "Yes!" "No!" they yell at each other. "It's the only way we'll ever be free!" Dean insists. "WE don't get a choice." "Oh. 'WE,'" Sam remarks, disgust in his voice. Dean knows his brother is beyond frustrated. "Look, man," he begins. "Stop!" Sam yells. "Please!" Dean tries again to say he's sorry, but Sam shuts him down: "Don't Don't! Just drive. Just DRIVE."
The end is approaching! Anyone want to discuss this episode? Here are some questions to get us started:
- Near the beginning, Travis says, "It wasn't real. It was never real." How does this fit in with how Dean is feeling about Chuck's manipulations?
- What is the significance of the song, "If I Didn't Care" at the beginning of the episode?
- Are there ever times when it's right to keep secrets? When do you lie and when do you tell the truth?
- Is Sam's anger at Dean's failure to tell him about Jack justified?
- The title is called "Drag Me Away from You." What might that be referring to?
- How do you think this is going to end? Will Sam find a way to save Jack?
- What is the significance of the reset button and Sam saying they have a second chance?
- What other episodes did this episode remind you of?
- How often did Dean say he was sorry in this episode?
Read more of Emberlast's amazing episode recaps and speculation questions! Visit her Author Page to get Episode links! Recaps for seasons 9 to 13 can be found on Bookdal's Author Page!