DETAILS

Writer: Ben Edlund  
Director: Philip Sgriccia  
First aired: First Aired: Thursday April 24, 2008

SAM AND DEAN STUMBLE INTO A VIOLENT REALITY SHOW – Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) take a break from their usual gig to star in a gritty reality show called “Ghostfacers” which chronicles the pursuit of the paranormal. Ed Zeddmore (guest star A. J. Buckley) and Harry Spengler (guest star Travis Wester) have created a radically different and sometimes violent show full of profanity that takes them to the Morton Mansion, an abandoned estate which becomes one of the most haunted places in America one night each year. However, as their team begins to get picked off in grisly manners not fit for television, they realize they are in over their heads.

Phil Sgriccia directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.

 

 

RECAP/REVIEW

 

 Harry Spangler and Ed Zeddmore make a demo tape advertising the show that will change the world forever: Ghostfacers.

The Ghostfacers team investigate haunted houses and supernatural phenomena. They meet with their team, including Kenny Spruce, Ed’s adopted sister Maggie, and intern Alan Corbett. Their new target is the Morton House. Every four years it becomes the most haunted place in America. Unfortunately, their initial plans are disrupted when Ed’s father pulls into their garage.

The Ghostfacers go to the Morton House filming as they go with handheld cameras and night vision goggles. The place is locked up and they prepare to break in, but pause briefly as a car drives by: Sam and Dean are inside but keep on going. The Ghostfacers get into the house and set up their equipment, then split up to examine the house.

Ed and Corbett try to contact the restless spirits, while Harry, Spruce, and Maggie do flux scans and momentarily detect something before it disappears. They go into a room but Harry runs away when he spots a dead rat. As he recovers, police officers barge in to arrest Ed and Alan, but it’s only Sam and Dean. Ed recognizes them from West Texas and the Tulpa. Dean is not amused and demands to know where Harry is.

Harry’s team detects temperature drops and scans another room, and spot a ghostly figure through. The figure is gunned down before their horrified eyes.

Dean and Sam show Ed reports about how dozens of people have disappeared in the house over the years. Harry’s team come running in, panicked, and the brothers try to get everyone out. Maggie plays back the camera footage of the ghost but the Winchesters figure it’s just a death loop and figure there’s something more dangerous responsible. The Ghostfacers refuse to leave, particularly once they realize Alan isn’t with them. Upstairs, Alan is trying to communicate with the spirits and switches to night vision, unaware of a ghost behind him.

Alan’s scream rings throughout the house and the Ghostfacers race upstairs as Alan is hauled away. It’s now one minute to midnight and Dean and Sam try to get the Ghostfacers out without success, once they realize that every entrance out of the house is sealed. The cameras start to fritz again and they spot a different ghost-echo. Dean tries to shock it out of the loop without success. A train whistle sounds and they see the ghost get slammed through the wall. Since there’s no train, Dean and Sam try to figure out why death echoes are in the house when they didn’t die there.

They find a certificate confirming the last owner, Daggett, was a janitor at the hospital who died in 1964. They also find Army c-rations and a book on surviving an atomic attack, and evidence Daggett was a taxidermist. They also find toe tags from the hospital morgue that match the death echoes they’ve seen: Sam figures the bodies are somewhere in the house, and Daggett brought them home to “play.” They find Maggie and bring her back as they detect another manifestation, and Sam disappears

The remainder of the team go to look for their missing comrades, but Harry and Maggie take a minute to kiss. Ed catches them at it and demands to know if Harry is banging his sister. A furious Ed goes after Harry and Dean is forced to break them up.

Sam and Alan wake up tied to chairs at a dining chair. Daggett speaks and tells them it will stop hurting, then inserts something into Alan’s head and puts a party hat on Sam’s head. Dean figures Daggett had a bomb shelter but is cut off from the others with Kenny when Daggett closes a door between them. Dean tells them to get inside a circle of salt and then continues to the basement. Ed tells Harry it’s okay if Harry wants to do his sister. Maggie isn’t thrilled.

Alan appears as a death echo to Harry and the others, while Kenny wonders what’s up with the fact Dean only has two months to live. Dean isn’t interested in discussing it and finds the entrance to the bomb shelter. They burst in and Dean disperses Daggett’s ghost with rock salt. They find the corpses of Daggett’s previous victims, assembled for his birthday party. Sam figures that Daggett suffered from loneliness and stole corpses to celebrate his birthday, then killed himself.

Harry and Ed are busy freaking out when they hear Alan whimpering and Ed suggests they pull him out of his death echo loop. He crosses the salt and tries to snap Alan out of his loop. Dean tries to break through to the first floor when Daggett comes for them again and Sam temporarily disperses him.

Harry informs Ed that Alan had feelings for him and he’s the only one with enough of a connection to snap him out of the loop. Ed tells Alan that he meant a lot to the team, and to him. Alan snaps out of it and Ed asks him for his help. In the basement, Daggett attacks the Winchesters but Alan’s ghost arrives to attack Daggett and destroy him.

Later, Ed and Harry wrap up their demo tape and admit they have lost a friend but gained new allies. They thank Alan and grant him full Ghostfacer status, noting how much he taught them. They review a tape of Alan admitting that all of his dreams are going to come true.

Afterward, the Ghostfacers show the tape to Dean and Sam, who are forced to admit it’s good. However, when the Winchesters warn them that revealing the truth tends not to go well, the Ghostfacers figure they’re jealous. Sam and Dean admit they’re right and leave, forgetting their bag. However, when the Ghostfacers check it out, it turns out to be an electromagnet that wipes their tapes and computer hard drives. Dean and Sam just laugh as they drive away.

 

Revew by Gaelic

 

Okay, so one of these days someone is going to point and laugh and say “Gaelic, you can’t love ALL of them…” And I will raise a brow and cross my arms Ruby-style and emphatically disagree. There is something to love about every stinkin’ one of these episodes, and often times several somthings! I told…uh…someone today, I can’t remember who now, that I thought this episode would be a fun way to fold us back into the mix before dragging us down into The Deal and then stomping on our hearts with The Most Evil Of All Cliffhangers.

I think I might be right, but the heart-stomping is going to kick in to high gear next week by the look of the previews. Guh, the way Dean says “Dad…” and the “how could you do it…” But I digress.

OKAY! So I kinda thought this would be like that episode of the X-files where the COPS crew folllowed Mulder and Scully around, and while it was, it was also a lot more like an episode of The Office. Hilarity and mayhem ensued to create a ruckus that our heros had to work around.

I mean, seriously, for a bit there, it felt like they were herding cats…

It’s hard to gush specifically about Dean–or Sam (but I’m not generally a Sam-gushing gal)–as I usually do because of the way this played out, but even with the hap-hazard style of filming, they both looked good. GOOD. I mean, *sighs* I MISSED these boys. I think I grinned through the whole stinkin’ episode, even the “sad” parts.

Ed and Harry’s tuxedo-suited Mystery Science Theatre 3000 opening was hilarious, and I loved that they were able to weave in a snark about the “cripling writers’ strike.” The “Ghostfacers” intro was catchy. Dammit. I think I’m still humming it. I loved that they put Sam and Dean in there. I didn’t even register that we hadn’t seen the actual SHOW credits until they ran at the very end. Clever, that.

The Ghostfacer’s car… HA! Flashbacks to Wayne’s “Merc Mobile”… and the slow-mo walking… *pauses to chuckle* I loved Spruce. What was he… 15/16 Jew and 1/16 Cherokee? Funny as hell. Loved the Grandpa or Uncle or whatever with the peyote (sp?) addiction. The whole attitude and manner of the GF team was hilarious — that’s what reminded me of The Office. How they took their job so seriously but obviously had NO idea what they were talking about.

Dad opening the garage door was also quite funny, and sent me back to the Wayne’s World comparison.

OH! And then when the Impala showed up — “American Band” NICE! Loved that they were able to weave in the music. Even the music for setting up the “eagle’s nest” was rockin’. I tell you, Ed had some great corny one-liners:

“Spin the tires and light the fires” — big movie buff, there, Ed? Oh, and how about “calm the whirlwinds of your mind.” HA! Harry’s rat freak-out had me in tears. That was the biggest girly-scream since… I don’t know when. But I loved that one of the Facer’s had the same squig about rat’s as our boy. Speaking OF!

Can I say that I loved that they had dirty mouths? Is that bad and wrong of me? Sam saying holy Sh*t and Dean’s F*ck me… so friggin’ funny. And real! I mean, Dean was dropping F bombs right and left after Sammy got taken. It just… it felt like what the guys would really be like. Raised by a Marine, no real female influence, in a situation that was not ideal, yeah. That worked really well for me.

Dean slamming Ed against the wall demanding to know where his partner was… Dean just getting all muscley and up in their faces… Dean just… Dean.

Sorry, where was I? Right. Harry and Maggie seeing the death echo gave me slight goose bumps, but his “OMG OMG OMG” freak out had me in tears of laughter once more. I’m way too easy to amuse, apparently.

I loved how they subtly wove in the timeline with Sam’s frustrated reminder that Dean had two months left. And the fanficer in me imagined all kinds of suppressed frustration and rage inside of Sam when he was beating against the sealed door because they couldn’t get out and Dean had wanted to hunt the Morton house on his last Leap Year. Gulp.

Loved Dean’s “Wake up! Be Dead!” and “An optimist!” when he saw the survival guide. Oh! And when they ran the EMF over him, the look he gave them should have reduced them to piles of ash. The reactions of the GF team as our boys continued to discover things just killed me. The “ewww” at the Janitor’s keeping the bodies… oh, and I loved that Dean noticed the chick was missing and herded her back with the group.

Always the vigilant hero. The way neither brother could get why looking at this life through the lense of the camera made the Facers feel safer both made sense and made me feel a little sad for them. When I was young, I thought the covers on my bed were not only bullet-proof, but could repel any sort of monsters in the dark. Watching a scary movie through the slits in my fingers protected me. But our boys…yeah, they never had that innocent, naive sense of protection. So no wonder they looked at the Facers like they were friggin’ nuts.

For the Winchesters, this is not a game. This is not “money in the bank.” This is not thrilling or an adrenalin rush. This is life and death and simply the way things were. There isn’t any going home and putting the equipment away. There isn’t any “eagle’s nest.” There’s just them, and the hope that they can figure it out fast enough to dodge the next proverbial bullet.

Sam’s vanishing was really nicely confusing — I couldn’t tell exactly what happened, and I’m not really sure why Corbett got dragged away and Sam went all Magician Act on us, but it was enough to elicit that bellow of “SAM!” from Dean that just gets me in the gut. Now my internal fanficer is imagining the guilt slamming into Dean because he wanted this hunt and now Sam is gone and people die in this place and he’s gotten his little brother into a situation where he was taken by a homicidal ghost and, dammit, he has to find him because he’s only got two friggin’ months left!

The whole Harry and Maggie kiss with the Blair Witch “I’m so scared” line and the “my best friend and my best sister”… hee. However, I will say that at this point I was almost as irritated with them as Dean because HELLO! Sam was missing!!

My grin faded when poor Corbett was killed — mainly because of Sam’s plea of “Corbett, stay with me, no, no, Corbett, stay with me…” Guh. Poor Sam! His need to save people manifests in different ways than Dean’s, but every time it appears, he breaks my heart.

LOVED Dean figuring things out — when he was searching through the Janitor’s stuff and started saying “He was scared” I was like BOMB SHELTER! Ta-da! I was right! Go me! I know it was a tense moment and death was pending and all, but when the ghost put that party hat on Sam, I giggled. His *****face in that moment was priceless.

Oh, and Dean instructing Ed, Harry, and Maggie to make the circle of salt and get in it and Harry’s all… “in your duffle bag?” LMAO. That was just so well timed.

Spruce’s “Wow, you’re strong” to Dean and Dean’s answering finger — atta boy! I will say that Ed “being gay for the group” and talking Corbett out of his death echo, getting him to save them was awww inducing. Especially with the tear. That was a nice touch. But I echoed Sam’s later sentiments that they basically honored Corbett’s memory by exploiting his death… it was just very… macabre.

The camera work at the end was effective with the boys getting tossed and the freaky Janitor simply appearing — startled me a few times. The end was good — with the boys watching the pilot. Apparently 1/2 awesome = full-on good. Using the magnet to erase the tapes and deny them their “money in the bank” was… well, I suppose necessary, but still. Poor Facers.

All in all, it was simply a pleasure to have the guys back, see them be just guys, remind us what it’s like to live a life facing down evil — real evil, not the GhostHunters kind of evil that you can see on A&E. Next couple of weeks are going to be so full of angst that it may suffocate us, so I appreciated this bit of light-heartedness and “reality” TV.

Shoot — I’m just glad Ed and Harry lived. All the good guest stars (except, thankfully, Bobby) have been killed off! Long live the GhostFacers!!

 

 

GUEST STARS

 

Travis Wester (Harry Spengler)
Dustin Milligan (Alan J. Corbett)
A.J. Buckley (Ed Zeddmore)
John DeSantis (Daggett)
Austin Basis (Kenny Spruce)
Tony Morelli (Train Victim)
Brittany Ishibashi (Maggie Zeddmore)
Dave Hospes (Shooting Victim)

 

 

IMAGE GALLERY

 

 

TRAILER/CLIPS

 

 

MUSIC

American Band, by Grand Funk Railroad

Hocus Pocus, by Focus

It’s My Party, by Lesley Gore

 

 

QUOTES

 

Maggie: Ed has been obsessed with the supernatural since we were kids. Then, he meets Harry at computer camp and love at first geek.

Ed: Now, if you received this tape, you must be some sort of big-wig network executive. Well, today is your lucky day, mister.
Harry: Because the unsolicited pilot you are about to watch is the bold new future of reality TV!
Ed: Hmmm, we know you’ve had it hard during the crippling writers’ strike.
Harry: Lazy fat cats.
Ed: Who needs writers when you’ve got guys like us? Our team faced horrible horrors to bring you the footage that will change your world forever. So strap in for the scariest hour in the history of television.
Harry: In the history of your life.
Ed: Strap in for….
Together: Ghostfacers!

Dean: Seriously, does looking at this nightmare through that camera make you feel better or something? I mean…
Maggie: Um… I… uh… oh, yeah. Yeah, I think so. Uh-huh.

Sam: (reading pamphlet) Huh. Survival Under Atomic Attack. An optimist.

Harry: You know, Corbett, we just, oh gosh, we just like to think that you’re out there watching over us.
Ed: As far as we’re concerned you’re not an intern anymore. You have more than earned full Ghostfacer status. Plus it would be cool to have a ghost on the team.

Dean: Listen, you and Rambo need to get the hell outta here.
Ed: (laughs) Listen here, Chisel Chest, okay, we were here first. We’ve already set up base camp and we beat you.

Maggie: Wait. Didn’t you guys get, like a permit or something?
Ed: A permit?
Harry: That’s a good idea for next time.

Harry: I don’t really like rats. They’re gross. Rats are like the rats of the world.

Spruce: What’s this guy Daggett’s problem, anyway?
Sam: Loneliness.
Dean: What, he’s never heard of a RealDoll?

Harry: Ed, you got to go be gay for that poor dead intern! You got to send him into the light.

Ed: Here we were, thinking we were teaching you, and all this time you were teaching us… about heart, about dedication, and… about how gay love can pierce through the veil of death and save the day.

Sam: I mean, it’s bizarre how y’all able to, to honor Corbett’s memory while grossly exploiting the manner of his death. Well done.

Dean: Hey, Ed, listen to me. There’s some salt in my duffel. Make a circle and get inside.
Ed: Inside your duffel bag?
Dean: In the salt, you idiot!

Sam: Let’s go hunt the Morton House you said, it’s our Grand Canyon.
Dean: Sam, I don’t wanna hear it.
Sam: You got two months left. Instead we’re gonna die tonight.

 

 

TRIVIA

 

  • When Dean busts through the bomb shelter door Sam is wearing the party hat, but when he goes to untie Sam the hat is gone.
  • When the second echo shows up Dean asks the Ghostfacers if it was the same echo they saw before. Sam and Dean watched the video of the first echo so they would have known it was not the same one.
  • When Ed and Harry entered the house, we can see that Ed was wearing night vision goggles while Harry was holding a flashlight pointing from time to time at Ed. The light from the flashlight can destroy the goggles and temporarily blind the one who was wearing them during that time.
  • This is the first episode where we hear (albeit bleeped) and see crude, “four letter” profanity from the Winchester brothers.
  • Injoke: Ed’s line about the “crippling writers’ strike” references the the WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike which delayed the original airing of this episode several weeks.
  • Injoke: This is a spoof of the SciFi series Ghost Hunters, a reality-based series featuring a team of real-life paranormal investigators who work regular jobs during the day and investigate hauntings at night under the cover of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society).
  • This is the first time the cast & crew credits occur at the end of the episode. This was done to preserve the feel of the Ghostfacers show.
  •  

    ALLUSIONS

    • Sam: Daggett was the Norman Bates stuff-your-mother kind of lonely.
      Referencing Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 movie Psycho starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. Perkins plays Norman Bates, a hotel owner suffering from a split personality, who pretends to be his dead mother and kills anyone unfortunate enough to cross “her” path.

     

     

     

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