When two highly successful professionals die after claiming to be haunted by hellhounds, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate the local dive bar and discover it sits upon a site where a deal-making demon has been making people’s dreams come true in exchange for their souls.
Dean summons the demon to exorcise it but is horrified after it reveals the painful truth about John’s death and tempts Dean by offering him the one thing he wants more than anything – his father.
Sera Gamble wrote the episode directed by Steve Boyum.
Green Wood, Mississippi – August 1938Blues player Robert Johnson is performing in a bar when dogs start barking and their shadows appear outside on the windows. The blues player runs outside and takes refuge in an old cabin. The creatures pound at the doors… and several of the people from the bar come in to find the man in convulsions. Robert chokes on his own blood and dies.
Sam is going over Dean’s public record as a criminal and then talks about how an architect fell off of a high-rise he built, after being chased by a black dog. Black dogs are known supernatural creatures, possible death omens. Dean and Sam pose as magazine reports to talk to the man’s partner, who says the dead man Sean was a genius with a charmed life. He was a former bartender ten years ago at a place called Lloyd’s and then rocketed to success overnight. Then the brothers check out the Animal Protection Agency and see there have been reports of black dogs throughout town.
They get the address of a doctor who reported a black dog and then disappeared several days ago. The doctor was also an overnight success ten years ago and has the address of Lloyd’s bar written down. Elsewhere in a hotel, the doctor is pacing nervously when someone knocks on the door… the hotel owner. When she goes to get money, the man’s face hideously distorts and she slams the door I his face.
Dean and Sam go to Lloyd’s and they see flowers that are used for summoning rituals, and note the place is at a crossroads. They dig at the center of the crossroads and find a box filled with graveyard dirt and a black cat’s bones. They’re a part of a ritual to summon a demon and make a pact with it. The black dogs are hell hounds and they figure the doctor is trying to get away. At the hotel, something pounds on the doctor’s door. It stops for a few minutes… then some creature bursts through the window and rips at her leg, hauling her out.
Rosedale, Mississippi – 1930
Robert Johnson is performing the ritual at a crossroads and summons a demon. He asks to be the best blues man ever and the demon agrees.
Dean and Sam discuss Johnson’s legend and Dean isn’t too sympathetic toward the victims. They go to track down another man who was at Lloyd’s, painter George Darrow, and find a pepper-like substance on his threshold. Darrow denies knowing anything but lets them in and admits he’s using voodoo to try to keep the hellhounds out, and gives them his mojo bag. Darrow admits the demon stuck around after he summoned it at Lloyd’s, making more deals. George identifies one more man, Evan Hudson, who made a pact. All Darrow wants to do is finish his last picture and doesn’t want their help, and tells them to get out.
Hudson is at his office when he hears the hellhounds outside. His wife interrupts and Hudson is trying to get her out of the house to see her sister. As she leaves she distorts briefly in Hudson’s eyes, then returns to normal and leaves.
Dean and Sam show up at Hudson’s place and he tries to lock them out without success. Hudson admits he made a pact to save his dying wife. Dean decides that Sam should watch over Hudson using Darrow’s hoodoo bag while Dean goes to the crossroads to summon the demon and bind it, but Sam wonders if Dean is edgy because he thinks John made a pact. Dean denies it and goes to the crossroads where he performs the ritual. A female demon appears and knows who he is. They get into the Impala to discuss things in private.
Sam spreads the dust around Hudson’s study to seal out the hellhounds then makes a smaller circle for Hudson, while Dean tries to strike a deal to get Hudson out of his pact. He offers himself and the demon is intrigued, and confirms that John made the deal to save Dean. He invites her into the car but she sees the devil’s trap he’s drawn underneath. At Hudson’s apartment, the hellhounds start pounding at the doors.
Dean’s demon relents from killing him, saying that would make it too easy putting him out of his misery. She says she could have brought John back for him and walks off, and Dean calls her back.
At Hudson’s apartment, the hellhounds suddenly stop barking but then burst in invisibly through the vents. At the crossroads, the demon offers John with a long natural life, and gives Dean ten years with him. Dean considers the matter, but lures her under a water tower where he’s drawn another devil’s trap. The demon says it can’t break a contract and Dean prepares to cast a ritual. As the invisible hellhounds close in on Hudson within his circle and start blowing away the powder, Dean starts the ritual to send her back Sam and Hudson flee through the house… and the demon tells Dean to wait. They kiss to seal the deal, and Hudson’s life and his wife are spared. Dean considers whether to let her go or not… and finally releases her. Before she leaves, the demon warns that Dean would have agreed t bring back John if he’d known where he was and how he was suffering. The demon then emerges from the body, leaving its human host with no memory of what happened.
Later on the road, Sam and Dean discuss what happened and wonder f the demon was lying. Dean wonders how he can live with what John did for him. Sam wonders if Dean ever considered making an actual deal… and Dean doesn’t answer.
“Crossroad Blues” by Robert Johnson
“Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth
“Key to the Highway” by Big Bill Broonzy
“Downhearted Blues” by Son House
“Hell Hound on my Trail” by Robert Johnson
Sam: We’re not going to hurt you, alright. We’re here to help you.
Dean: We know all about the genius deal you made.
Sam: Architect Shawn Boyden plummeted to his death from the roof of his home, a condominium he designed.
Dean: Hmm, build a high-rise and then jump off the top of it. That’s classy.
Demon: See, people talk about Hell; they paint a cute picture, but the real thing? Not even close. If you could see your poor daddy… if you could hear him, the sounds he makes cuz he can’t even scream… you’d never have pulled a stunt like this. I could have brought him back for you.
Dean: What do they got on you?
Sam: I’m sure they haven’t posted it yet.
Dean: What no accessory? Nothing?
Sam: Shut up.
Dean: (laughs) You’re jealous.
Sam: No, I’m not!
Dean: C’mon, we’re not demons!
Sam: Any more bright ideas?
Dean: I swear… if this is another freekin’ Pomeranian barking in the neighbor’s yard…
Sam: Hey, Dean?
Sam: When you were trapping that demon, you weren’t… I mean, it was all a trick, right? You never considered actually making that deal, right? (Dean doesn’t answer)
Dean: How could (Dad) do it?
Sam: He did it for you.
Dean: Exactly. How am I supposed to live with that? You know, the thought of him, wherever he is. He spent his whole life chasing that yellow-eyed son-of-a-*****. He should have gone out fighting. That was supposed to be his legacy. You know? Not bargaining with the damn thing. Not this.
Dean: What the hell was that for?
Dean’s Demon: Sealing the deal.
Dean: You know, I usually like to be warned before I’m violated with demon tongue.
Dean: Well, we know a little about a lot of things, just enough to make us dangerous.
Dean: That doctor lady? Wherever she’s running, she ain’t running fast enough.
Dean: I don’t know what this thing is.
Sam: You mean Carly’s Myspace address?
Dean: Yeah, Myspace. What the hell is that? Seriously, is that like, some sort of porn site?
Dean: Secretary’s name is Carly. She’s 23, she kayaks, and they’re real.
Sam: You didn’t happen to ask her if she’s seen any black dogs lately, did you?
Sam: But anyways, whatever they are, they’re big, nasty…
Dean: Yeah, bet they could hump the crap out of your leg. Look at that one, huh?
Dean: What? They could.
Sam: In fact the authorities are a little confused as to how a wild dog could get past the doorman, take the elevator up, and start roaming the halls of the cushiest joint in town.
Sam: So much for a low profile. You’ve got a warrant in St. Louis and now you’re officially in the Feds’ database.
Dean: (laughs) Dude, I’m like Dillinger or something.
Dean: What do you got on the case there, you innocent, harmless young man you?
- Lloyd’s Bar
Referencing the Stanley Kubrick film based on the Steven King novel: The Shining. Jack Nicholson portraying Jack Torrance states that he would sell his sold for a drink and magically a bartender by the name of Lloyd appears with a fully stocked bar. Both in The Shining and Supernatural characters go to Lloyd’s Bar and sell their souls.
- Dean: His house probably isn’t up next on MTV Cribs, is it?
MTV Cribs is a reality television show on MTV. It showcases the homes of various celebrities, actors, musicians, and athletes.
- Dean: Maybe his place is full of babes in Princess Leia bikinis.
Reference to the costume worn by Princess Leia after her capture by Jabba the Hutt, in Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
- Dean: Dude, I am like Dillinger or something.
Reference to John Dillinger an infamous gangster, of the Depression years. bank robber, considered by some as a Robin Hood, others a new breed of criminal. The first movie made about Dillinger and his exploits was in 1945 staring Lawrence Tierney, and a remake again in 1973 staring Warren Oates.
- Dean: Nobody put a gun to their head and forced ‘em to play Let’s Make a Deal.
Let’s Make a Deal is a game-show which premiered on Dec. 30, 1963, in which contestants competed in a variety of games for a chance at cash, cars, vacations and other prizes. Games included picking a wallet with an unspecified amount of cash from a selection, choosing between doors, spinning wheels, and trading with host Monty Hall for a variety of rarely carried items (e.g., a hard-boiled egg). It ended its run in 1977, and has been revived for a number of short-lived re-incarnations a number of times since. Reruns of the original 1970s episodes, as well as episodes from some of the 1980s incarnations are currently being aired on the Game Show Network.
INSIDE THE LEGEND