Supernatural recap: Sam and Dean's first case comes back to haunt them

Samantha Highfill
·6 min read

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Not to focus on lasts, but we just watched our last Supernatural flashback episode. And although the flashback didn't reveal anything major about the boys that we didn't already know, the young actors did a good job, and what can I say? I love any sort of throwback to the days when Sam dreamt of a normal life and Dean wore the amulet around his neck.

The hour starts as someone named Travis checks into room 214 at a motel. He claims he's been there before, and clearly, this guy is nervous. He gets a text from someone named Caitlin asking why he'd return to that place, and you know what? It's an excellent question, because moments later, as Travis holds onto a ring hanging around his neck, a little boy ghost who looks a lot like the kid who played the Antichrist shows up and slashes Travis' throat with a broken bottle of whiskey.

Cut to present day and Sam and Dean are on the road heading to Travis' funeral. Apparently, they knew Travis and his older sister Caitlin 25 years ago, so they're going to pay their respects. (And along the way, despite having seven hours on the road in front of them, Dean is decidedly NOT telling Sam about Jack's upcoming sacrifice.)

Cue the flashback where John (not seen) drops off a young Sam and Dean at the same motel where we just watched adult Travis die. John has found a hunt, so Sam and Dean are supposed to wait here, where Sam intends to continue reading the 1991 American College Guide. Dean's perfect response to seeing the book? "This better be haunted colleges!"

Here is where we get precious baby Sam talking about how college is what normal people do and Dean already embracing that their life is anything but normal. I also loved that Sully got a mention in this scene when Dean brought up Sam's imaginary friend.

Inside the motel, Dean is stealing candy from an old vending machine when a young Caitlin and her younger brother Travis ask for some pointers. The twist? Young Travis is the little boy ghost we just watched kill older Travis. Speaking of that...

When present-day Sam and Dean finally arrive, Caitlin quickly fesses up: She lied. They already missed Travis' funeral. They're really here because she needs their help. She tells them that Travis checked into room 214 before he died. She then tells them, "I think she's back."

Back in the flashback, we meet "her." When Travis returns to the vending machine to try the trick Dean taught him, a woman grabs his hand. She's INSIDE the vending machine!! Dean and Caitlin show up just in time, and Dean is the first to believe Travis' story. As he tells Caitlin, they hunt monsters. "It's kind of the family business." YEAH IT IS! That's when Caitlin shows Sam and Dean the flyers for three missing kids in town. Just like that, Sam and Dean start doing some research on their first-ever case.

When newspaper stories lead them to an abandoned cannery, Dean announces he — along with his trusty gun and his knife — will check it out alone, but Caitlin follows him. However, when Dean discovers ... something ... he stops Caitlin from seeing it. By the time they return to the motel, the woman has returned and is trying to take Travis. Dean cuts off her fingers and stabs her with a knife, which is why they all thought he killed her.

Until now. Back in present day, Dean rounds a corner in the motel and sees ... his younger self? Suddenly, Dean's holding a knife and turning it toward himself. The ghost nearly convinces him to stab himself when Sam shows up. So yeah, that lady is definitely not dead.

Dean and Sam tell Caitlin that she was right, and Dean finally tells them both what he saw that day at the cannery: A pile of dead kids. Whatever they're hunting keeps a lair. Dean apologizes for not telling Sam about what he saw, but they were kids, and as far as Sam's concerned, they no longer keep secrets from each other. (More to come on that.)

Dean goes on a food run while Sam starts looking through lore, but while he's at a diner, Billie shows up. She isn't exactly thrilled that Sam and Dean are off working a case while Chuck just burned his last world alive. The only world left? This one. That means Chuck will be back soon. Billie says she's given Jack his final orders, his last step of transformation, and now, this is the last time he'll see her before the end. According to Chuck's book, she's not in this part of the story.

But before she goes, she has to know that Sam and Dean won't mess up her plan, even though it means losing Jack. Dean understands, he needs to kill Chuck. Sam, however, doesn't know, so Billie tells Dean to get his house in order before things start to go down.

Back at the motel, Sam figures out what they're fighting: A Baba Yaga, which is a witch that feeds on children's fears using hallucinations. Her ring — a.k.a. the ring Travis was wearing around his neck as an adult — is the source of her power. Caitlin runs to her car to see if Travis' ring was in the bag of his belongings, but it's not there. However, the ghost of Travis is!

By the time Dean returns to the motel, Caitlin is missing, and Sam and Dean split up to find the witch's nest. While Sam mistakenly thinks a woman smoking a bong is the witch — I love that he went to college but doesn't know what a bong sounds like? — Dean heads to room 214, where the door opens for him, the telltale sign he's in the right place.

The Baba Yaga then uses one of its hallucinations to make Dean appear to be back at the cannery, where he once again finds the nest, but this time, the dead kid is a young Sam. The witch then attacks him, Sam shows up, and it all ends when Dean destroys the ring, killing this thing once and for all.

The boys say bye to Caitlin in present day as we get one last flashback, to the moment they said goodbye all those years ago. Just as John pulls up in the Impala, Dean says to his younger brother, "We do make a good team, right?" Sam then responds, "Yeah we do." And suddenly I'm crying.

Present-day Sam and Dean are not doing quite so well, though. On the drive home, Dean tells Sam about Billie's visit and that it's go time. Oh, and he tells him Jack's going to die. When Sam finds out that Dean's been sitting on that info, he's livid. "Just drive," he tells his brother. Because right now, that's all they can do.

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