St. Louis, Missouri. We open with a hooker in a cash transaction with her trick, while someone watches them from afar. The john leaves, and the watcher approaches her.
Turns out the watcher (Guest Star Christian Campbell – not to be confused with Sam and Dean’s d-bag cousin Christian Campbell who was ganked by Dean), is a cop, and it’s a bust. The cop handcuffs the girl… then grabs her throat.
Suddenly, he jerks awake, still remembering the pieces of his nightmare where he has envisions of himself literally tearing into the hooker’s throat with his bare hands.
In the dark bedroom, he looks around for his dog who whines in sympathy with its Master’s pains and climbs onto the bed with him.
The next morning, the cop gets up as usual and goes about preparing his coffee. As he about to chuck the coffee grounds into the trash, he finds he discarded something the night before.
He picks the mystery item, to find it’s his shirt… full of blood.
Portia the Familiar
The Impala parks in front of the Sleepy Lodge Motel with the brothers engaged in yet another random debate.
This time about which one of the The Stooges is the best. Sam says Shemp, Dean says Curly. Since I’m not familiar with The Stooges, I’ll pass. Though it could be the unnecessary poll of the week.
It seems that a James, who’s a cop, texted them with an SOS. Apparently, he saved their lives once a while back and has called in the favour. Dean’s a bit unsure about the whole thing. After all it’s not like the guy… “saved our lives?” Sam retorts, effectively shutting up Dean for the moment.
And a moment it is, because the next moment, Dean is once again going on about how he should have been the one to “kill the hound and bathe in its blood” and all is not lost and there’s still time and they can still call another Devil dog and Dean will complete the tasks and blah blah blah… until Snaps at him to stop worrying and let it be.
Dean goes out on a beer run, leaving Sam alone in the motel room.
A few moments later, Sam hears a scratching sound on the door. It’s the Cop’s dog, who unceremoniously pushes past him and makes her home on Dean’s bed.
Just then Sam spies Dean’s car in the driveway, and goes to pacify Dean with “It’s not my fault. She just showed up at the door, didn’t drag in any mud… just wanted a belly scratch. I figured she’d stay the night and we try to find her home tomorrow?”
As turns it out, Dean doesn’t need any pacifying, because sitting on his bed is not a dog… it’s a very hot chick.
The woman in question, Portia, is NOT a Shapeshifter. She is James’ Familiar, meaning a Witch’s companion. Which, in turn, means that James is a friggin’ witch.
Portia explains that he wasn’t a witch when they first met him. But the case they collaborated on piqued his interest in Dark Arts and Witchcraft, until he became obsessed and converted. Which essentially means that James the Cop became James the Witch because of them. And Dean is not happy about it.
She also explains that James is a still a cop – a homicide detective to be precise – and he has been his new powers to solve crimes.
And as far as the reason they are here is concerned, it’s because James’ is suffering from something, which for all intents and purposes looks like he is having a major breakdown – headaches, phantom noises, nightmares… and Portia wants the brothers to help him.
When Dean denies saying that he doesn’t like witches, she calls him an ignorant bigot, yellin at him to get his head outta his ass for once. And since it’s pretty hot, Dean’s in.
Meanwhile, James is drowning his troubles in whiskey at The Leaky Cauldron. (Sorry, too much Harry Potter fan fiction.)
He meets up with another witch, Spencer, most probably his mentor and confides in him about the nightmares and that Portia left without saying anything. He’s worried that he is pushing her away.
Spencer suggests that he see a therapist, because it seems he is having a mental breakdown. He thinks it’s the stress of the job and what he really needs is a a well deserved holiday. He has no comments on the Portia front.
Back at the Motel, Portia explains that the Witch and the familiar have a Telepathic connection, but James has started to block her out. All she knows is that his nightmares are dark and bloody.
She confesses that she was the one who sent the SOS, because James can’t go to the cops and he doesn’t trust other witches. “You are all he has,” she says.
Cut to… a blind man is walking in the park when he realizes that he is not alone. Suddenly, James pops out of the shadows and grabs his throat.
Another nightmare… another murder. Uh oh.
Scruffy James Frampton
The next morning, the boys visit James.
After an argument with his Familiar, and Dean’s “you screw with that stuff, it’s gonna come bite you in the ass” chastisement, James informs them his dreams are not just dreams. The murders he saw himself commit were actually committed. Then he shows them the carefully preserved bloody shirt, tagged with his initials, for dramatic effect.
Dean suggests that another witch might be controlling him.
James says he’s never heard of something like this happening. Also, he’s had four nightmares so far… which means four murders… and the most recent was the blind man, the night before.
That seems like a good place as any to start. Dean is happy to assist as long as James does his part of deal. Which is to chain himself to the bed at night.
And since the episode is pretty tame so far, this is the point where I make a totally lame ass joke about Dean, chains, bed and Christian Campbell. Oh, well…
Moving on… back at the motel room, Sam does some research and tells Dean that James’ nightmares were a play-by-play of the murders. And a little digging into James’ background revealed that he kinda got promoted overnight. His success rate is hundred percent.
Meanwhile, Dean is busy preparing for Bobby’s spell to gank the witches…
Y’know the one involving chicken legs which failed miserably during the James Marsters – Charisma Carpenter episode last season. I just hope they remember to thaw the legs this time.
He expresses his doubts about the spell because “it’s not a sure thing”, but Sam counters with “is anything we do a sure thing?”
Dean starts something about how it’s always better to know for certain if things are gonna work out blah blah and Sam correctly interprets it as Dean’s hesitation about him taking the trials. And finally he Freuds out with “I always wondered why he doesn’t trust me, and it occurred to me that it’s not that you don’t trust me. You trust only you.”
Dean’s pretty speechless at this point, because Sam once again hit the bulls-eye. Instead, he deflects it by making the witch-ganking thing. Also, he’s pretty sure there is no other controlling witch and James is actually losing his mind and killing people.
His contention is that Benny and Kate the Werewolf were forced to become monsters… someone inflicted the curse on them… but James chose to become a witch. And so he must pay the prize, if it comes to that.
LeChat the Cat
Sam pays a visit to James’ PD and meets the lead on the case, Ed Stoltz, who seems to be hiding
something a lot.
He “forgets” to mention a witness – who claimed to see a man in a suit – in the reports and brushes Sam off rather harshly when he tries talking about the forensic evidence.
Okay, so looks like we have a suspect, folks.
Meanwhile, Dean and Portia visit The Leaky Cauldron where Dean makes some lame joke about Familiars and pets. And Portia goes all “Familiars are not pets. We are soul bonded to our Masters and it’s a very sacred relationship… we would die for each other…”
[Insert some totally out of context lame ass comparison between Cas and the Familiars] Never mind.
They run into what appears to be a very catty man named Philippe LeChat. And Dean who’s allergic to cats, starts sneezing, even though there are no cats around.
Phillippe and Portia talk in cryptic, which more or less translates to The Community is not exactly thrilled with James for his “Witch Cop” thing.
Dean, amidst bouts of sneezing, also interviews Spencer who informs him he has never heard of a spell to control another witch and leaves with his Familiar LeChat, who is in fact A Cat. How subtle.
Just then Sam calls Dean to inform him the blood on James’ shirt matched the Vic. 3, a.k.a The Hooker. And Dean makes a very hard decision.
That night Portia chains James to the bed, almost apologetically because she doesn’t like tying him up. They have heart to heart about how James has to “do the right thing”. It quickly turns from PG to R, when Portia climbs up on him.
Well, someone made right use of the chains, the bed and Christian Campbell.
Which turns out to be a good thing, because with his defences at an all time low, Portia gains access to his memories and sees the nightmares/murders.
Later that night, Sam and Dean sneak into James’ house to Thawed-Chicken-feet him, but Portia stops them at the last minute.
Portia tells them that she and James were “close without the psychological laws” – Dean speak “they had sex” – which is against the rules because Familiars aren’t supposed to be sexually involved with their Witches.
It takes a while before Dean can process past the dog-woman-James sex thing.
She informs them that she saw the murders, but that was all she saw – no preparation, no anticipation, no motive… just the kills without context. Like he was merely planted at the scene of crime. She begs them to dig some more…
And Dean could never say no to a pretty face.
Sam pays a visit to James’ precinct once again. The lead detective brushes him off, but Sam catches the lab tech with a dossier on James.
He tries baiting Stoltz with “James told me he was the youngest detective in the precinct” and it’s possible that the Stoltz is a bit jealous or at least prejudiced or something. Huh.
Sam tries the door of the room Stoltz was last working on “Room C-110”, but it’s locked.
The Golden Snitch
Meanwhile, Portia and Dean pay a visit to the “reliable” source, named Traxo, who sometimes snitched for James.
While they are waiting for the guy to arrive, Dean again brooches the topic of “Dog and the Woman”, and seems forthcoming about the fact that he’s genuinely curious how the dog-woman sex thing works.
Seems to me like he is actually thinking about expanding his horizons…
Moving on, Traxo arrives with absolutely no news about witch-controlling spells. But he does have some “gossip” about James. The Community, it seems, is not pleased with James being in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and if the problem doesn’t blow over soon, he will be given two choices – leave or commit Hara-kiri. And if doesn’t pick one, The Community will make the decision for him. He leaves with the threat hanging.
A while later, Sam finds Dean in the motel room going over Bobby’s data. Apparently, there is a spell to plant images in another person’s brain.
If only he’d found it sooner, we might have given the whole chasing the empty trails a pass.
Anyways, the spell is specifically used for creating false memories in another witch’s mind.
Sam counters this information with his findings from the police station. Also, Sam is very proud of Dean because it’s been almost 15 hours since Portia mentioned her relationship with James, and he hasn’t cracked even one bestiality joke yet.
I think this is the hat-trick in Dean’s sexual maturity after last week’s “rain check” and the “gay thing” before that. I suppose (AE reader) Jon will have more to say about this.
Back at James’, Sam tells him about the lead detective and his super-suspicious behaviour… and Room C-110.
Since they cannot break into the station, James’ suggests Astral Projection. He can project his conscious into the room, iff they realise him.
Dean is sceptical at first, but necessity beats common sense, and he is forced to concede.
James projects himself into the room and finds that the Stoltz has made a very strong case based on circumstantial evidence of him at all the crime scenes… and the Witness Statement which implicates him was given by none other than Philippe the Meow.
He concludes that because Stoltz always wanted a breakthrough case dealing with a renegade cop, and since he has a special grudge against James’ for displacing him all those years ago to make the youngest homicide lieutenant, he is making a false case.
Of course, since everything was pretty much handed to him on the platter by Philippe the Cat, James goes out to confront him. He mojos Sam and Dean unconscious when they try to stop him and even threatens Portia when she tries to talk him out of it.
James confronts Phillippe at the club, who confesses that he had no choice because his Master, Spencer, made him do it, but Spencer snaps his neck halfway through the confession.
James and Spencer face off. James wants to know if Stoltz bribed or blackmailed him, but Spencer laughs it off. It was he who approached the cop.
Well… ultimately it all boils down to the Jealous Ex Syndrome. Spencer wanted Portia, but she chose James. As long as she was a pet, he endured it, but when they started breaking the rules and having sex, he just lost it. He figured this way he would kill two birds in one Stoltz.
And once again, Winchesters spoilt a perfectly made plan.
James’ mojo-attacks Spencer, only to find his power is way lesser than the other man’s. Sam and Dean try to intervene, and Spencer somehow makes them relieve their worst nightmares.
For Sam, it’s falling in the pit and getting tortured by Lucifer.
For Dean, it’s losing his mum and getting tortured in Hell by Alistair. And he remembers screaming for Sam to help him.
Suddenly, Dog-Portia comes in outta nowhere and attacks Spencer. The distraction breaks his hold on the Winchesters who Thawed-Chicken-feet him into oblivion.
With the case over, Dean and Sam bid farewell to James and Portia who are going on a run to escape Stoltz’s clutches. And Dean still can’t wrap his head round the whole dog-woman thing.
In car, on the way out of town, Dean bares his soul. He says when Spencer trapped him in his mind, he saw mom and other crap-that-must-not-be-named. And realised that for all the crap they have been through all their lives, the only way they got through it all was by hanging together.
“I trust you, Sammy,” he says the golden words. “This deal is too important not to. And if you say, you’re good, then that’s it. I’m with you, a hundred percent.”
And Sammy repeats “I’m good,” while discreetly wiping off a trail of blood from the corner of his mouth. Ho—ly crap!
Holy crap! Those last few seconds changed the entire perspective of the “Three Tasks” deal.
Is Sam already suffering from some serious disease which was why he didn’t look for Dean in the Sabbatical year, or are the Tasks slowly eating away at him. Either way, it does not look good… or rather it looks as if Sam will complete the Tasks and end up “sacrificing himself” like always and Dean will have to play Sir Dean the Bow-legged Knight in Leather Jacket once again.
Anyways, this week’s episode was pretty dull, aside from the momentary respite of shirtless Christian Campbell. Dean’s sexual maturity seems to be a concurring theme. I wonder if it’s going to lead to anything. I just hope if they have love interest planned for Dean next season,
it she shouldn’t be a repeat of Lisa or Amelia. And though I really hope for a guy love interest (not necessarily Cas), I’m not going to be holding my breath anytime soon.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Tell us in the comments.