‘Supernatural’ gave ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fans a special treat. James Marsters (Spike) and Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) guest star in this week’s funny and bloody stand-alone episode.
Sam returns from a run. Dean teases Sam about his new fitness routine. Dean has been drinking, and Sam can feel the tension inside his brother from across the room. Sam asks if anything is bothering him; Dean counters that Sam’s the one that has changed. Dean says Sam sees things differently now while he has remained the same, so they don’t need to talk about anything.
Dean changes the subject. The Winchester Brothers are hunters, and Dean has found cases of strange happenings in Prosperity, Indiana. A man was boiled in a hot tub, and a woman was roasted while under a hair dryer. Sam agrees the cases are worth investigating, and the brothers leave for Indiana.
A Mystery Man stands at the back of a car. We see a dead body in the trunk. He closes the trunk.
Prosperity, Indiana is a small, lovely town. Everyone knows everybody else, and all appears to be pleasant. According to her sister, everyone loved Wendy Goodson. Dean examines the scene of Wendy’s death and discovers a coin behind the chair. After leaving the salon, Dean takes a swig from a flask.
At a construction site, a man goes inside a port-a-potty. The nail gun in the back of a truck turns on. The nail gun floats on its own from the truck to the port-a-potty. The man opens the door and stares right at the nail gun. The nail gun fires. The man dies, and the nail gun falls to the ground.
The brothers arrive at the crime scene. Dean finds another coin. Inside the construction site office, Dean tells Sam about the coins. Sam has information as well. The three deaths are connected. All three victims worked on a shopping center development project that fell through. They learn Don Stark was in charge of the project. Concerned for his safety, they leave to warn Stark.
Before meeting Stark, Dean and Sam notice dead plants around a commemorative bust of Don Stark. The plants around a bench with an advertisement for Wendy’s real estate business were also dead. The brothers realize they are dealing with a formidable foe.
Inside the home of Don Stark, Dean questions Don Stark (James Marsters). Sam uses the bathroom trick to search the place. Sam finds a broken shoe, a pendant, and a box with a sheet full of symbols. Sam returns to Dean, and they learn Don is separated from his wife Maggie. They are having a martial misunderstanding; Don had a brief affair with Wendy, and Maggie left after discovering the truth. Outside the house they see more dead plants. Now they know that Maggie is the angry witch they need to stop.
Dean calls Bobby for help and information. At Maggie’s place, Sam keeps watch by pretending to be a motorist in need while Dean snoops around. Dean finds Maggie’s altar; on the altar are pictures with symbols on them in blood. Maggie (Charisma Carpenter) comes home; cell service is unavailable, so Sam stalls Maggie by asking her questions. She is in a hurry, so brushes him off. Quick-thinking Sam triggers the car alarm; Dean hears the alarm inside and successfully sneaks out the house. Before he left, Dean grabbed a few photos from Maggie’s altar. Jenny, Don’s assistant, is in danger. Inside, Maggie sees pictures from her altar, but she has another one of Jenny. Maggie pokes her finger, draws a symbol on Jenny’s picture, and chants a spell.
We see Jenny with a fresh batch of her cupcakes. She takes a bite. Blood pours from the cupcake and out of her mouth. Inside the cupcake beats a heart. Jenny spits blood and cupcake into her kitchen sink. The brothers burst in. Dean rushes to aid a choking Jenny. Sam finds the coin, shoots it, and breaks the spell. Jenny freaks out, “Beating hearts in my cupcakes!” The brothers tell her she’s been hexed, and, for her own good, she should leave town. Jenny is confused. Who would want to do this to her? They tell her Maggie thinks Jenny is Don’s lover. Jenny denies this; Don is her boss, and Jenny finds the idea of having an affair with Don revolting.
Maggie is organizing an art auction. Her friend Sue is helping her; Sue is the one who told Maggie about Don’s affair with Wendy. Sue is clingy and enjoys meddling in Maggie’s life. Don stops by and tells Maggie to stop what she is doing; Don knows Maggie is a witch and is responsible for killing three people. She blames him because he had the affair, and he claims that she pushed him away and into the arms of another. “It stops as of now,” Don tells Maggie. Outside, Don sees his bust shake and burst. Maggie doesn’t like it when Don tries to tell her what to do.
Dean gets a call from Bobby. Bobby tells them the information about how to stop Maggie.
Back at the auction, Maggie rehearses her speech. Sue and Maggie toast to a good evening; Sue finds an eyeball in place of an olive in her drink. She screams. The paintings start to melt. Maggie’s anger boils. She knows Don is behind the attack. A silver platter flies across the room and decapitates Sue. Both Don and Maggie are gone when the Winchesters arrive. They see Sue’s headless body in a pool of blood and conclude that Maggie would not damage something so precious to her. Dean and Sam are not dealing with one witch—they are dealing with two. They are in the middle of a witch ‘War of the Roses’ style battle, and the entire town is at risk.
We see the Mystery Man again. He’s on the phone with someone.
Dean and Sam stake out a house. They need both witches at the same place. Maggie confronts Don. The brothers enter. Maggie and Don stop fighting. Sam and Dean perform a spell. The spell fails. Maggie smiles; the chicken feet need to be cold. The threat from the brothers unites the couple, and they begin to perform a spell together. Sam yells at Dean, trying to convince Dean to get the couple to talk. Dean rambles about how they haven’t killed each other yet, which means they still must care about each other. Sam chimes in about them being bonded.
The couple stops their attack on Dean and Sam and begins to talk to each other. Instead of pushing each other, Maggie and Don magically push, shove, and slam Dean and Sam as they argue. Once Carpenter and Marsters take over, the scene blossoms into a funny, sharp-barbed tussle. Their past working relationship gives the argument a great pace; the beats are perfectly timed between intense exchanges, thinking they might finally kill each other, to pauses as the argument shifts from bitterness to forgiveness and understanding. We learn that they have been together for 800 years, and they have been going through this same cycle—love, cheat, fight, love—for centuries. The chemistry between Carpenter and Marsters created a believable couple; I never doubted the validity of the history of their relationship. The scene ends with the Starks back together and with flies buzzing around Dean’s head.
Back at the motel, Dean drinks from his flask again. The Mystery Man from before enters. The brothers don’t know him, but the Mystery Man knows them and is there to kill them. Dean shoots him, but the Mystery Man heals, pushing the bullet out of the wound. Before he can kill the Winchesters, the man goes stiff from being shocked; he collapses. Behind him is Don Stark. Don tells them that the spell will only last a couple of days. Before he leaves, Don tells them that they are lucky; Don gets to save their lives twice. Twice? Don goes to their beds and retrieves two coins. The brothers tried to kill Maggie; she was going to return the favor.
The brothers prepare to leave town. The Mystery Man is in chains and in the back of their car. Again, Sam asks Dean if something is eating at him. “Always,” Dean snaps. He feels responsible for everything. Sam calmly reassures Dean that getting things out in the open is best. Dean can’t really look at Sam. Sam asks if they are good; Dean says they are and gets in the car. They drive away.
Dean’s refusal to discuss his emotional state is driving him to drink a lot. Keeping himself shut tight as a clam is a threat to his mental health and to his relationship with his brother. What is eating at Dean? At the beginning of the episode, Dean has a dream about Sam and the girl he killed, Amy. Is keeping his murderous act a secret from Sam weakening his soul? The Winchesters have been through hell—literally—so why Dean feels compelled to keep the truth from his brother might be connected to the Leviathan story arc. The Leviathan plot was not directly addressed during this episode; it was not made clear if the Mystery Man is part of this season’s main narrative. Perhaps next week’s episode will address some of these loose threads and get back to the Leviathan storyline.