After receiving a frantic call from Sam (Jared Padalecki), who has been missing for over a week, Dean (Jensen Ackles) races to his brother’s side. He finds Sam covered in blood, but unable to remember anything that happened.
Upon investigation, the brothers are horrified to discover a tape that shows Sam killing another hunter in cold blood, causing Sam to believe his evil side is finally taking over.
Cathryn Humphris wrote the episode directed by J. Miller Tobin.
Dean is trying to track down Sam on the phone, as his brother has gone missing. He’s interrupted by a call from a panicked Sam and Dean goes to meet him. He finds Sam at a hotel in the town of Twin Lakes, with his hands and clothes covered in blood. Sam says he doesn’t remember anything.
Dean determines that Sam checked in three days ago and no one noticed anything unusual. Sam wonders if it’s what John warned Dean about and Dean insists on going back over what Sam does remember. The trail leads them to a storage building and Sam finds a key for it in his jacket pocket. Inside they find a Volkswagon and a bloody knife. They also find a gas receipt for a neighboring town and the clerk recognizes Sam as a drunk and smoker who wandered in the previous day. Once Dean pays for the damages, the clerk tells Dean which route he left town on. The brothers follow the highway until they come to a road Sam seems to remember. They find a house at the end with a high-tech security system. Someone’s bypassed the security system and they go inside to find a dead man: a hunter, judging by his secret stash of weapons. They check the security cameras and find a tape showing Sam attacking the man and killing him.
While Dean starts to erase the evidence so other hunters can’t find their trail Sam is guilt-stricken. He finds a letter to the hunter from the man’s daughter and, then, they go back to the hotel. Dean still doesn’t believe Sam is responsible. Sam explains that he’s been having feelings of rage and hate that are getting worse. He’s worried that the yellow-eyed demon is involved. He insists Dean keep his promise to deal with him if necessary but Dean insists on figuring it out. Sam gives Dean the gun to shoot him with but Dean can’t bring himself to do it. Sam warns Dean the he will live to regret it, then clubs him unconscious and leaves.
Dean wakes up later when the landlord comes in, and he convinces the landlord to let him use his computer, so he can get a track on Sam’s GPS. He’s in Duluth. In Duluth, Sam arrives at a bar where Jo is working. They talk and she notices a burn on his right arm. He apologizes about John’s involvement in her father’s death and how he’s not like his father. He picks up on how she has feelings for Dean and says Dean doesn’t have romantic feelings toward her. He starts coming on to her and she tells him to leave, and then he grabs her. They struggle and he knocks her unconscious, then ties her up.
Jo quickly realizes it isn’t the real Sam who’s with her, but then answers his question of how John got her father killed. Sam says she got it wrong and that John had to kill her father after he was badly injured. Dean shows up and Sam puts a knife to Jo’s throat, then asks Dean to kill him before he kills her. Dean refuses then throws holy water on Sam, causing the demon to manifest before he leaps out the window. Dean follows him into a nearby warehouse where the demon explains he wanted to test how far he could push Dean into killing Sam. The demon boasts that if Dean doesn’t stop him, he’ll kill more hunters. Dean follows the demon out the back where Sam corners him on the pier, shoots him, and Dean falls into the water.
Jo goes out back and finds Dean where he’s climbed out of the water. She gets the bullet out of his shoulder and he figures the demon will go after the nearest hunter, Bobby Singer. Dean takes off on his own, leaving Jo behind, but the demon has already got there and cuts all the wires. Bobby lets Sam in and they have a drink… but Bobby’s put holy water in the beer as a precaution.
Bobby knocks out Sam and then when Dean gets there, they tie Sam up and put him in a devil’s trap. They pour holy water on him but the demon refuses to talk. Bobby begins an exorcism and Dean demands the demon talk about the plan for Sam, but the demon says it’s not about the plan. He then is unaffected by the exorcism and they realize the demon burned a binding link in Sam’s arm, locking itself in Sam’s body. The building begins to shake and the devil’s trap cracks. It then throws Bobby and Dean aside and bursts its bonds. It torments Dean, who realizes the demon is the same one that was in Meg. The demon taunts Dean, saying John is in hell, but Bobby manages to burn off the binding link and the demon is cast out.
Later Bobby asks them about the dead hunter and Dean denies any knowledge. Bobby clearly knows something is up and warns that his friends are looking for the killer. He gives them charms to guard against possession and they head out. As they’re heading down the road, Sam talks about what he remembers while under the demon’s possession and how Dean wouldn’t shoot him no matter what. In return Dean taunts him about having a female (demon) inside him.
“The Crystal Ship” by The Doors
“Back on the Road Again” by REO Speedwagon
“Ashes to Ashes” by Tarbox Ramblers
“Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple (Dean’s ringtone)
Sam (possessed): All that I had to hold on to, was that I would climb out one day, and that I was gonna torture you… nice and slow, like pulling the wings off an insect. But whatever I do to you, it’s nothing compared to what you do to yourself is it? I can see it in your eyes Dean, you’re worthless. You couldn’t save your Dad, and deep down, you know that you can’t save your brother. They’d been better off without you.
Dean: This guy? (to Sam) You were drinking malt liquor?
Clerk: Not after he whipped the bottle at my friggin’ head!
Dean: This guy?
Clerk: What, am I speaking Urdu?
Dean: You saw [Sam] smoking?
Clerk: Yeah, guy’s a chimney.
Sam: I don’t wanna hurt anyone else. I don’t wanna hurt you.
Dean: You wont’. Whatever this is, you can fight it.
Sam: I can’t. Not forever.
Manager: It’s past checkout and I’ve got a couple here who needs a room.
Dean: (looks at hooker and customer in hall) Yeah, I bet they do.
Bobby: Where’s Dean.
Sam: Holed up somewhere with a girl and a twelve-pack.
Bobby: Yeah? Is she pretty?
Sam: You ask me, he’s in way over his head.
Sam: No matter what I did, you wouldn’t shoot.
Dean: It was the right move, Sam, it wasn’t you.
Sam: Yeah, this time. What about next time?
Dean: Sam, when Dad told me I might have to kill you, it was only if I couldn’t save you. Now if it’s the last thing I do, I’m gonna save you.
Jo: (Looking at Sam’s burn) That looks like it hurts.
Sam: Nah, just had a run in with a hot stove.
Bobby: Don’t try and con a con man.
Bobby: Here, take these.
Sam: What are they?
Bobby: Charms. They’ll fend off possession. That demon’s still out there. This’ll stop it from getting back up in ya.
Dean: That sounds vaguely dirty, but er, thanks.
Sam: You know when people wanna describe the worst possible thing? They say it’s like hell. (punches Dean) Well, there’s a reason for that. Hell is like, ah… (punch) Well, it’s like hell. Even for demons. (punch) It’s a prison made of bone, and flesh and blood and fear. (punch) And you sent me back there.
Sam: No. Not any more. Now I’m Sam. (punch) By the way, saw your Dad there, he says “Howdy.”
(referring to an old, beat-up car)
Dean: Oh please tell me you didn’t steal this.
Dean: Feel like talking now?
Sam: Sam’s still my meat-puppet, I’ll make him bite off his tongue.
(after arriving at a gas station)
Dean: Alright, receipt’s for 10 gallons at pump number 2. (pause) Getting any goosebumps yet? “God this looks familiar déjà vu” vibes?
Sam: (in a sing-song voice) My Daddy shot your Daddy in the head.
Dean: I’ll call you later.
Jo: No, you won’t.
Dean: (talking on the phone) Hi, so sorry to bother you but, my son snuck out of the house last night and went to a Justin Timberlake concert.. What?.. uhhh yeah.. Justin’s quite the triple threat.
Dean: What’s going on with you Sam? hmmm? Smokin… throwin’ bottles at people… sounds more like me than you.
Dean: Okay.. now this is disturbing. (lifts up carton of cigarettes, Sam stares in shock) C’mon, man, this couldn’t have been you, it had to be someone else, someone who.. uhh.. (smells cigarettes) …smokes menthols.
Sam: Dean, back from the dead. Getting to be a regular thing for you, isn’t it? Like a ****roach.
Dean: How bout I smack that smartass right out of your mouth?
Sam: Oh, careful now…wouldn’t want to bruise this fine packaging.
Dean: You never told me this.
Sam: I didn’t want to scare you.
Dean: Well, bang up job on that.
(Dean chuckles to himself)
Sam: Dean, what?
Dean: Dude, you like full-on had a girl inside you for a whole week. Thats pretty naughty.
Dean: The room’s been quiet, nobody’s noticed anything unusual.
Sam: You mean no one saw me walking around covered in blood.
Dean: Mmm-yeah, that’s what I mean.
Dean: (to Sam) You checked in two days ago under the name Richard Sambora. I think the scariest part about this whole thing is that you’re a Bon Jovi fan.
Dean: (holding gun) You know, I’ve tried so hard to keep you safe.
Sam: I know.
Dean: I can’t. I’d rather die. (Puts down gun)
Sam: No. No, Dean, you’ll live. (picks up gun) You’ll live to regret this. (knocks him unconscious)
Born Under A Bad Sign is the title of an album and song by blues artist Albert King. The song was notably covered by the band Cream.
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