9.08 Rock and a Hard Place

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Title Rock and a Hard Place
Episode # Season 9, Episode 8
First aired November 26, 2013
Directed by Johnny MacCarthy
Written by Jenny Klein
On IMDB Rock and a Hard Place
Outline Sheriff Mills calls Sam and Dean about a case involving multiple missing persons and a church chastity group. To figure out what is taking the victims, Sam and Dean go undercover and become born-again virgins.
Monster Vesta
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Hartford, South Dakota
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Honor locks up at her diner job, handing leftover food to Slim, a homeless man. Suspecting danger, she hides under her SUV, taser in hand, when a figure lifts the car. Striking her with a burst of blue flame, Honor's body is then dropped down a manhole.

In the bunker, Sam appears more tired than usual, but insists he's not sick. Dean gets a call from Sheriff Jody Mills who reports four abducted people, a pastor, an engaged couple, and Honor, and an eyewitness who saw the kidnapper lift a car. All the missing people are members of the Good Faith Church. Driving to the diner, the Winchesters interview Slim, who claims a figure covered in blue fire lifted the car and then vanished with Honor.

The Winchesters next visit Good Faith Church, where they feign interest in joining the congregation. Bonnie assures them that, despite the recent disappearances, the church is safe, and admits that she and the missing people all participated in the chastity group Abstinence Purifies Us. Sam and Dean ask to join the group, assuming a dragon must be hunting virgins, and make vows of chastity.

Sam and Dean attend a prayer meeting, led by Suzy Lee, where Sam admits that none of his sexual encounters ended well, and Dean gives a graphic description of the sex he's supposedly signed off of. Afterwards, Dean insists he's seen Suzy from somewhere, and when she volunteers individual counseling, Dean insists on walking her to her apartment. Meanwhile, Sam questions Tammy, another member of the chastity group, about Honor.

At the hotel, Sam informs Jody that Honor had slept with Pastor Fred. Jody in turn reveals that the engaged couple had had pre-marital sex, and were kidnapped two hours later in a flash of blue light. All of the victims broke their chastity vow. Jody points out that Sam looks ill, and that she enjoys church after mourning Bobby Singer and nearly being killed by Crowley.

At Suzy's apartment, Dean ignores Sam's phone calls in order to seduce Suzy, though he stops when she starts crying and asks him to pray with her for her missing friends. Afterwards when Suzy leaves the room, Dean discovers a DVD of Casa Erotica 28 starring Carmelita aka Suzy, and gets nervous around her. She discounts her old porn star life, but Dean praises her, and tells her she doesn't have to be embarrassed. Touched, she begins flirting with Dean, and once he realizes what is happening they embrace and begin kissing.

Down in the sewers, Honor injures her ankle and discovers the other missing church members slowly starving to death. A blue flame lights the room, and Pastor Fred vanishes and is heard screaming in the distance.

Dean kisses Suzy goodbye, but they are engulfed in blue flame and dumped into the sewer with the others. Fortunately, Dean keeps a spare cell phone sewn into his coat, and he manages to call Sam. However the signal underground is weak, and Sam can only make out a few words and the sound of a train in the background. One of the church members considers giving Honor to the monster to buy everyone else time, but Dean quickly quashes that idea.

Sam points out to Jody that Dean hasn't answered his phone in an hour. They arrive too late to Suzy's apartment, where they find everyone gone, the furniture smashed, and the porn DVD on the table, and conclude that Dean and Suzy must have had sex and been subsequently kidnapped. Jody finds an article on the goddess Vesta, who kept virgin servants but buried them alive should they break their chastity vow, and was often seen enveloped in a blue fire that she could use to maim, disorient, or kill.

Jody quickly deduces that Dean must be at an old farmhouse, and they set out to make a weapon. Vesta can be killed with oak dipped in virgin blood, so they visit Tammy. Thinking Sam and Jody are performing Satanic rites, Tammy refuses to give her blood, so Jody breaks her nose and takes the blood. Sam finds the sewer entrance at the farmhouse, but is knocked unconscious by Bonnie, aka Vesta, who then grabs Jody and straps her to a bloody table. Vesta monologues about having to pose as a Christian counselor to attract virgins, and when Jody tries to stab her with the blood-stained oak stake, Vesta snatches it away and slams it into Jody's chest. Sam awakens, wrestling Vesta away, but when she tries to eat him she recoils, saying Sam is so physically damaged he shouldn't even be alive. Jody pulls out the stake and kills Vesta, just as Dean manages to unbolt the sewer lid from the inside and climb out.

At the hotel, Jody leaves with her arm in a sling, and Sam voices his concern about his own physical health. Dean waves it off as after-effects of the trials, but when Sam becomes convinced that he is permanently damaged, Dean attempts to confess about the angel possession. Before he can go far though, Ezekiel surfaces, and warns Dean to say nothing to Sam, lest he eject the angel and die. Sam resurfaces, and Dean assures him that, whatever's wrong with him, they'll fix it.






Sam: Okay, so we have missing church folk and super strength. Maybe angels harvesting vessels, could be a Buddy Boyle-type thing.

Jody: Wha... angels? You're joking!

Dean: Don't get your pants on fire. They suck.
Bonnie: All righty. You can just sign there, and your purification can begin.

Sam: "Purity pledge"?
Bonnie: It's a commitment to your virginity.

Dean: I don't think we can really un-ring that bell. You know what I mean?
Dean: So you just hit the virginity do-over button and all is good with the man upstairs?
Tammy: I wrote a new piece of verse. It's called "Sex Is a Racket, and God's Ball Is in Your Court."
Dean: Uh, hard to say, exactly. Yeah. Sex has always felt -- I don't know -- good, you know? I mean, really, really good. Uh... But, uh... Sometimes, it just makes you feel bad, you know? You're drunk. You shack up. Then, it's the whole morning thing. You know, 'Hey, that was fun.' And then, 'adios,' you know? Always the 'adios.' But, you know, when you get down to it, what's the big deal, right? I mean, sure, there's the touching and the feeling all of each other, my hands everywhere, tracing every inch of her body, the two of us moving together, pressing and pulling... Grinding. Then you hit that sweet spot, and everything just builds and builds and builds until it all just... [Dean makes a exploding noise] Yeah. Uh...But the whole thing was just a little too, uh...sticky. So, uh, I got my "V" card back.
Dean: Guess who's taking the teacher home. Research.

Sam: You really think you're gonna hit that? Dean, she's the chastity counselor.

Dean: Yeah, I know. What about you? Any luck?
Sam: It's taking virgins who break their chastity vow. So dragons are off the list.

Jody: I'm sor-- dragons? Those are a thing?

Sam: Yeah. Too many things are things.
Sam: Wait a second. Did you...get --

Jody: Born again?
Sam: Yeah.
Jody: Oh, Sam. I don't make promises I can't keep. It's just...I enjoy church. I mean, after... after Bobby, Crowley... I needed something that made sense to me -- you know, comfort, I guess.
Sam: I guess we're all looking for that.

Jody: Except those that got it. C'mon - you and Dean, that's something special, don't you think?
Dean: Listen, uh, Suzy, I've seen a lot of awful things, stuff of nightmares, okay? But you -- you're the good dreams.
Suzy: You're not like... the other guys in town, are you? You're kind of a... bad boy.

Dean: I don't know. Why don't you ask me that in Spanish?
Suzy: ¿Eres un chico malo?

Dean: Si.
Suzy: I got to say... I really missed that.
Dean: I miss it already.
Tammy: You are in a House of God. Your psycho rituals aren't gonna fly here.

Sam: Okay, we don't have time for this.
Tammy: I don't have time for devil worshippers! I'm calling the cops.
[Jody punches Tammy]

Jody: I am the cops.
Jody: I'm sort of new to this, but, you know, a Roman deity burying people alive in a barn? Sort of pathetic, don't you think?
Sam: Oh, it's more than that. I mean, Vesta said I was practically dead inside.

Dean: Oh, and she's in the circle of trust now?
Sam: Why would she lie?
Dean: It's probably the trials, okay? Probably some sort of a, you know, aftereffect. It's not like you're bouncing back from the flu here. I mean, you were glowing with freaking trial juice.
Sam: I don't know.

Dean: Well, what else would it be?
Dean: I can't. I can't let you put this on yourself. Listen to me. It's not you, Sam.

Ezekiel: I wouldn't do that, Dean.
Dean: He deserves to know.
Ezekiel: Your brother is not ready. If he ejects me, he will not make it.
Dean: Damn it, Zeke! How much longer we got to keep playing this?

Ezekiel: Not much longer. I promise you that.

Trivia & References

"Rock and a Hard Place" is a song by The Rolling Stones from their 1989 album Steel Wheels.
The concept of the "born-again virgin" arose in branches of American Evangelical Christianity.
Dean: Not now, Cato.
"Not now, Cato" is a reference to Inspector Clouseau and his manservant Cato Fong from the 1976 film The Pink Panther Strikes Again.
Sam: I'm a virgin!

Jody: I think we need the real McCoy here, Sam.

The real McCoy is an idiom used to denote something as real or genuine.
Vesta: It only got pathetic when I started having to do it myself... because of the hippy from Bethlehem. Before him they practically threw virgins at me, and now...
Vesta is referring to Jesus, a Jewish man born in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, whose followers proclaimed him as a manifestation of the Abrahamic deity God on Earth and created the religion of Christianity around him.
Jody Mills: They let your fire go out, they forgot about you. Yeah, I know, sucks to be Lindsay Lohan.
Lindsay Lohan is an actress with lots of problems, who has begun to fade into obscurity.


Dean: Sheriff. Laying off the blind dates, I hope.

Jody: Yeah. You bite your tongue, boy.

A reference to Jody's disastrous near-fatal blind date with Crowley in 8.23 Sacrifice.
Actor Lindy Booth who played Bonnie appeared with Jared in the 2005 horror movie Cry Wolf.
Sam: I guess because every woman I've ever had relations with... it hasn't ended well.
Sam is referring to the phenomenon commonly know as "Sleep with Sam Winchester and Die!" due to the fact that many of his sexual partners end up dead. For more information see Peen of Death.
The motel the boys and Jody stay in is called "MacCarthy's Scottish Motel" and is decorated in tartan. It is a shoutout to Johnny MacCarthy who directed the episode.
Suzy's porn name was Carmelita, and the DVDs Dean finds are from the Casa Erotica series and are called Cabana Nights and Tequila Bun Rise.
The webpage about Vesta that Jody reads from has two pictures. One is erroneously of the Temple of Hercules Victor in Rome, as opposed to a temple of Vesta (however, there was a widely-held belief for a while that this temple was in fact a temple of Vesta). The second is an etching of Vesta tending the hearth with two virgins by Bohemian artist Wenceslaus Hollar dating from the 1600s.
Sam: "Vesta, Roman Goddess of the Hearth"

Jody: In ancient Rome, six virgins were dedicated to this chick every year. Their main duty was to tend Vesta's hearth.
Sam: Wait, so, fire is connected to virginity?
Jody: Yeah, the girls had to be pure because fire is the symbol of purity.
Sam: Huh. Okay, as long as Vesta's fire was kept lit, Rome received a good harvest.
Jody: The virgins had to stay celibate for 30 years. If they broke their vows, they were buried alive.

The 1,000 year-old olive stake procured by Ezra Moore to kill Chronos in 7.12 Time After Time was carved by vestal virgins which were the priestesses of Vesta. In ancient Rome, they cultivated Vesta's fire after taking a 30-year vow of chastity to devote themselves to study state rituals forbidden by male priests. A vestal's virginity was attributed to the burning of Vesta's sacred hearth, which was provided to Rome's citizens for household use by the Temple of Vesta. Any vestal virgins who broke their vows were accused of treason and buried alive within an underground chamber called the "Campus Sceleratus" ("Evil Field") located in Porta Collina with a few days worth of food and water until they die of starvation.
Deleted scene: The deleted scene from this episode included on the Season 9 DVD and Blu-ray is a short clip of Jody meeting Sam in a parking lot, asking if he's ok. Sam confides that he thinks Dean is lying to him again. Jody questions this further, but Ezekiel takes over and pretends to be Sam, telling Jody everything is fine. Read the transcript here.
Live tweets from writer Jenny Klein, Jared, Kim Rhodes, Lindy Booth, and Ryan Curtis during the broadcast of the episode.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


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