Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) follow the coordinates left in their father’s journal and land in the middle of the woods where they investigate the disappearance of several campers. The two brothers soon learn they are dealing with a Wendigo, a creature made famous in Native America legends. A Wendigo is a former human whose cannibalism has transformed him into a creature with superhuman strength and speed that feasts on human flesh.
Eric Kripke wrote the episode directed by David Nutter.
Two kids are playing video games out in the woods at their campsite while another one sends a video message to his girlfriend. One of the kids goes out to take a nature call and is attacked. The other two hear and go to check it out – another one gets killed as animal noises fill the air. The last one has only a momentary respite before he’s attacked as well.
Palo Alto, California
Sam is visiting his dead girlfriend Jessica’s grave when a hand reaches out of the dirt…but it’s just a nightmare. They’re outside of Grand Junction at Lost Creek, Colorado looking for the thing that killed Jessica, by finding their dad. There’s nothing on the map coordinates and they notice there are grizzly bears in the woods. Claiming to be environmental study majors, a local ranger figures they’re friends of the “Haley girl.” The Haley girl was looking for her missing brother but the ranger isn’t concerned. Dean smooth-talks the Ranger into getting the girl’s location. They talk to Haley claiming to be park rangers and she expresses her concern, and shows them the last video mail he sent. Haley reveals she hired a guide and is heading out to find her brother Tommy.
Sam checks the files and finds there have been a number of disappearances every 23 years, supposedly by grizzly bears. Sam checked the video mail and spots a super-swift shadow-outline in the background. They track down one survivor, Shaw, who reveals he saw nothing but only heard its roar. It broke into their cabin and left Shaw with a huge scar on his chest. Dean concludes it’s some kind of corporeal creature, perhaps a “skinwalker” or “black dog.” The guys catch up to Haley, her younger brother, and her guide Roy, and convince them they’re going along. In a cave, the boys from the campsite are tied up and a horrendous creature approaches to feed off of one of them.
Roy shows off his expertise (and Dean’s lack) by spotting and triggering a bear trap. Dean gives Haley the true story about how they’re looking for they’re father and Haley grudgingly lets them continue with her. Deeper in the woods they spot the devastated campsite and Dean concludes it isn’t any of the creatures he thought. They hear a scream and follow the cry into the woods, but realize they’ve been distracted –when they come back their backpacks are stolen, including Roy’s GPS locator. Sam confronts Dean and checks their dad’s journal – there’s a picture of a Wendigo, a spirit creature that guns are useless against and that can imitate human voices. Sam tries to warn them to get them to leave, but Roy isn’t buying it and Haley refuses to leave without Tommy. With night coming, they decide to settle in at a defensible position.
They make a camp and Dean scribes Anasazi symbols that the Wendigo supposedly can’t step over. Sam has been getting irritable and when Dean confronts him, Sam notes that their dad isn’t here and never was, and he wants to stop wasting time and go find him. Dean suspects their dad wants them to go into the family business and is leading them into it. Dean figures they should try to help other families. They hear a cry for help from the woods before it is cut off, but figure it’s the Wendigo again. Roy apparently shoots it and goes off into the woods, and Dean and Sam follow. Roy is lifted up into the trees.
Come morning, they go over the legend of a Wendigo, and how a man turns cannibal and then becomes such a creature. They note that the Wendigo keeps its victims alive and stores them so it can feed during the winter. The only way to kill it is with fire so they rig up some Molotov cocktails and follow its clawprints before realizing it’s leading them on again. Blood drips on Haley from above as Roy’s corpse drops down on them. They run get separated, and Dean and Haley get grabbed by the Wendigo.
Sam and Haley’s brother Gary continue to look and Gary finds a trail of Dean’s M&Ms. The trail leads to an old mine shaft with a posted warning of toxic materials. Entering, they see the Wendigo leave and then plunge through some rotting wood into a lower level and find a strung-up Haley and Dean. They free them and find Tommy’s corpse…but he’s not quite dead yet. They free him and find some flare guns, then head for the exit when they hear the Wendigo. Sam gets the others out while Dean lures the creature away. Sam gets the others out and then goes back to help Dean but runs into the Wendigo. He gets off a shot that misses then catches up to the others as the Wendigo closes in on them. They get to a dead-end but as the creature closes in Dean nails it with a direct hit, incinerating it. Afterward they pass on the grizzly story as Tommy gets hauled away, and Haley thanks them for their help and wishes them luck finding their father. Dean gives Sam some assurance, and Sam basically acknowledges they’re going to be monster-hunting and people-helping.
as Haley Collins
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as Ben Collins
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Official Episode Stills:
Episode Screen Caps
“Hot Blooded” by Foreigner
“Down South Jukin” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Fly By Night” by Rush
Haley: You didn’t pack any provisions. You guys are carrying a duffle bag. You’re not rangers, so who the hell are you?
Dean: Sam and I are brothers, and we’re looking for our father. He might be here, we don’t know. I just figured that you and me, we’re in the same boat.
Haley: Why didn’t you just tell me that from the start?
Dean: I’m telling you now. Besides, that’s probably the most honest I’ve ever been with a woman. Ever. So we okay?
Haley: Yeah, okay.
Dean: And what do you mean I didn’t pack provisions? (pulls out peanut butter M&Ms and walks away)
(playing a video game)
Brad: Dude, you’re cheating.
Gary: Nope, you just suck.
Sam: We never should have let you come out here in the first place, alright? I’m trying to protect you.
Roy: You protect me? I was hunting these woods when your mommy was still kissing you goodnight.
Sam: Yeah? It’s a damn near perfect hunter. It’s smarter than you, and it’s gonna hunt you down and eat you alive unless we get your stupid sorry ass out of here.
Roy: (laughs) You know you’re crazy, right?
Dean: And what do you mean I didn’t pack provisions? (shows a bag of M&Ms)
Sam: We can not let that Hailey girl go out there.
Dean: Oh, yeah? What are we gonna tell her? She can’t go into the woods because of a big, scary monster?
Dean: Chow time, you freaky *******. Yeah, that’s right, bring it on baby. I taste good.
Dean: You okay?
Sam: Yeah, I’m fine.
Dean: Another nightmare?
(Sam clears throat)
Dean: You wanna drive for a while?
Sam: Dean, your whole life you never once asked me that.
Sam: How do you do it? How does Dad do it?
Dean: Well for one, them. (looks at Haley and her brother) I mean, our family’s so screwed to hell, maybe we can help some others. Makes things a little bit more bearable. (long pause) And I tell you what else helps. Killing as many evil sons-of-bitchies as I possibly can.
Haley: And you’re hiking out in biker boots and jeans?
Dean: Oh, sweetheart, I don’t do shorts.
Dean: Hey, you want some white meat, *****?!? I’m right here!
Haley: I don’t know how to thank you. (Dean gives her “the look”) Must you cheapen the moment?
Dean: (to Sam) I think he wants us to pick up where he left off. You know, saving people, hunting things… The family business.
It mentions that Jessica’s birthday is on January the 24th. Dean’s birthday is also January 24th.
Sam’s girlfriend’s name is Jessica Lee Moore and was 21 when she died according to her headstone. (January 24, 1984 – November 2, 2005)
While driving in the middle of a forest, Dean tells Sam they’re right outside Grand Junction, Colorado. However, Grand Junction and everything near Grand Junction is a desert without much plant life.
The coordinates John gave them in the Pilot episode aren’t in Colorado, they are in Arizona.
When Dean shows his park service badge, it has his picture but says Samuel Cole… Hailey must not have looked too closely since he did say his name was Dean.
The book one of the boys is reading in the beginnng, was reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. In this book Campbell’s unique perspectives examine the world’s complex and interwoven mythology, folklore and religion, providing an understanding of the essence and genesis of humanness.
The date on Jessica’s, Sam’s girlfriend, tombstone said November 2, 2005 as the day she died. That is the same date that Sam’s mother died by the same spirit 20+ years ago.
In Wendigo lore, the Wendigo did not have the ability to imitate human voices. This is something new the writers added.
In the first scene, Sam and Dean say that they’re from UC Boulder. The University of Colorado at Boulder is known as CU Boulder, not UC Boulder.
Visual: a trail of M&M’s
This is reminiscent of the 1982 movie E.T. where Elliot leaves a trail of Reese’s Pieces for the alien E.T. to follow.
The Anasazi are ancestors of the modern Pueblo peoples. The term “Anasazi” is not preferred by their descendants, though there is still some controversy amongst them on a native alternative. The word Anasazi is Navajo for “Ancient Ones” or “Ancient Enemy.”
Sam: Better than bread crumbs.
The trail of M&Ms Dean leaves after being captured by the Wendigo is similar to the legend of Hansel & Gretel, who left a trail of bread crumbs when they traveled into the woods so they could find their way back.
Ben: Like the Donner Party.
The Donner Party mentioned in this episode is a group of settlers from 19th century America who got caught in a blizzard and had to eat each other in order to survive.
INSIDE THE LEGEND