Wendy Hanscum stops for gas at Manny’s Truck Stop Café outside Oshkosh, Nebraska. The pump is not reading her card so she goes inside to the unsettling stares of the few truck stop patrons and the cashier. After filling her car, she turns to find a vagrant who offers to clean her windshield. Frightened, she refuses and drives away. Finding herself stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire, she tries to flag down a passing trucker but fails. Instead, a large man in a leather hood and welding goggles grabs her and drags her away screaming.
Sam lays pensive and quiet in his bed as we see time pass on the clock. Dean knocks on the door to offer pancakes but he does not reply. Sam gets a call from Sheriff Donna Hanscum which gets him out of bed. Donna has called the boys for help with a case that is not their normal thing -- Donna’s niece Wendy is missing and the Winchesters immediately hit the road to help. Sam and Dean meet up with Donna at an impound lot and she fills them in on what little she knows about her niece’s disappearance. Officer Doug Stover has accompanied Donna and Dean heads inside to check in with Doug but is met by an angry FBI agent, Agent Terrance Clegg. When questioned about which office he is from, Dean admits he is there because the victim was family, much to Doug’s surprise. Agent Clegg, sympathizing with the situation, shows everyone the information he has gathered on the serial abductor he calls “the Butterfly.” Sam seems reluctant to help but Dean says they’re in.
Dean uses an old CB radio that belonged to John to try and gather information from truckers about Wendy’s disappearance. When Sam tells Dean it’s stupid, Dean confronts Sam about his recent surly attitude. Sam argues they need to lay low to stay off the FBI’s radar. Dean reassures Sam that they will find Mary and Jack but points out that now Donna needs their help. A reply comes over the CB radio about information on Wendy and Dean agrees to meet the trucker for coffee. We then see Wendy tied to a chair and the leather-hooded figure coming in and setting up a video camera. While peppy 50’s music plays in the background, Wendy pleads into the camera for someone to come help her.
Agent Clegg presents Donna and Sam with a suspect in Wendy’s disappearance. Officers bring in Pastor Hankey, a road minister who was placed at the truck stop. Clegg and Sam begin to question the suspect but he quickly demands a lawyer. Clegg gets nowhere with the suspect so Donna asks if she can talk with the preacher. Donna works her interrogation magic on Pastor Hankey, getting him to admit that he has done wrong but he never hurt anyone. Donna and Sam are convinced he is telling the truth and that the truck stop is the key.
Dean learns from the trucker that she saw Wendy at the truck stop so heads there. Officer Doug joins him and turns over all the information he could gather on crimes at the truck stop, revealing nothing out of the ordinary. Doug confides in Dean that he is worried about Donna, telling him he believes that she is keeping something from him. Dean reassuringly tells Doug that he is a good guy and he needs to trust Donna. Confronted by the same vagrant as Wendy, Dean and Doug learn the cashier, Marlon, closed early and went after Wendy that night. Using some aggressive questioning, Dean gets the cashier to show them where Wendy is. Now joined by Sam and Donna, Marlon shows them a website that auctions pieces of humans to monsters for food. A bewildered Doug learns from Donna that monsters are real, that Sam and Dean hunt monsters, and so does she, sometimes. Sam is unable to hack the website so calls on Agent Clegg for assistance in getting an address.
At an abandoned factory, the group separates and Doug hangs back to watch Marlon. Dean and Donna search for the source of music only to find a decoy radio at a dead end. Marlon talks to Doug about monsters and reveals that he is a vampire. Flashing his fangs, Marlon easily breaks free from his handcuffs and attacks Doug. After overpowering him, Marlon fills Doug’s mouth with vampire blood and runs off. Sam, joined by Agent Clegg outside, hears the fight between Doug and Marlon. Just as they are ready to burst in to help, Clegg knocks Sam out. Dean and Donna arrive to find Doug lying on the floor. Realizing he's been turned, Doug quickly attacks Donna. As Donna struggles to hold Doug back, Dean hits him with some dead man’s blood, rendering him unconscious. Dean reveals to Donna that they can cure Doug, but they need Marlon's blood. When Marlon returns to finish them off, Donna shoots him in the knee. Threatening Marlon with a slow death, Donna is able to get him to reveal that Clegg is behind the abductions and that he has Sam.
Sam is strapped to a table and the Carver and Clegg are getting set up for a new auction. As he prepares, Clegg informs Sam that there are hundreds of thousands of monsters out there and Sam and Dean can’t stop them. He says most monsters are as normal as your next-door neighbor and they need to eat. En route, Donna administers the cure to Doug and the two leave him in the Impala as she and Dean enter another building. Donna finds Wendy but is quickly attacked by the Carver. She stabs the man after a short fight and frees her bewildered niece. Clegg has auctioned Sam Winchester’s heart for $500K and knowing Dean is in the area, he says he needs to kill Sam quickly. Dean shoots him before he succeeds.
Doug regains consciousness and Dean invites him to join them hunting but Doug says no, telling everyone he isn't meant for this kind of life. Devastated, Doug tells Donna that she is a hero but that’s not him and leaves. When Donna tries to go after him Sam stops her, telling her Doug will be safer without her. On the ride home Dean tells Sam he was kind of hard on Donna, but Sam argues that what he said was the truth and knowing the brothers only gets people killed. Sam believes it only ends one way for them, bloody. It ends bad.
- "Look in My Eyes" by The Chantels
- (playing as a man is being harvested)
- "Too Good to Be True" by Lon Rogers & the Soul Blenders
- (plays as Wendy is recorded screaming for help)
- "Big Flame (Is Gonna Break My Heart in Two)" by Doris Wilson
- (playing as Wendy is being prepared for harvesting)
Donna: I'm sorry for calling you guys, but Jody's got her hands full with the girls.
Dean: Hey, never apologize for calling us.
You got up at 10:00 a.m. this morning. 10:00 a.m. You, Mr. Rise and Freakin' Shine. And then you turned down pancakes.
Sam: I wasn't hungry.
They're pancakes. Y -- Look, I know you're in a dark place right now, okay? I mean, we lost Jack. Mom is... I think about 'em, too. All the time. But you can't let it eat you up. Now look, when I was -- when I was broken up, you were there for me. Well, I'm here for you now. And I'm telling you, the only way out of this is through. Now when everything goes to hell, what do we do? We put out heads down and we do the work. We'll find Jack. We'll save Mom, we will. But right now, Donna needs our help.
Sam: Okay. Look... Obviously, I'm here for Donna, all right? I wanna help.
Dean: I know you do. So let's find this son of a bitch.
Look, I see someone I think nobody's gonna miss, I send a message, I get paid.
Dean: And you feel good about that?
No, but, you know, like you don't got bills?
Marlon: I tell you, you'll kill me.
Oh, I'm killing ya either way. You just gotta decide if you want it fast or slow.
Sam: You... You're the Butterfly.
Clegg: And you're Sam Winchester. You and your brother are famous. Hell, soon as I saw that fancy car, I knew who you were. And I knew you'd be trouble. Tried to give you that preacher, but you saw right through that. So now it's on to Plan B.
How many monsters you think are out there, Sam? You know, if you -- you had to guess.
Sam: Hundreds. Thousands.
Ah. Add a zero. Actually, add two. See, those freaks that you and your brother chase, those are just the ones that can't pass, either because they're too mean or they're too stupid, or both. But most monsters... hell, they could be your next door neighbor. They work a regular job, mow the lawns on a Saturday. And they need to eat, which is where I come in.
Listen, Doug... I know it's been a day. But now you know what's out there. Be nice to have another good guy on our side.
Doug: I... No. Maybe you all can live this life, but I can't. I just wanna go home.
Donna: So we'll go home.
Doug: And what? I'm a cop 'cause I like helping folks, but... Vampires? That's... I'm not...
Donna: Doug. I'm sorry I lied to you... but I can't give this up.
I know. Donna, you kill monsters. You're a damn hero. But that's... It's not me. I'm sorry. I love you. I'm sorry.
Sam: Let him go. Donna, when you choose this life, anyone who gets too close, eventually, they get hurt, or worse. So let him go. He'll be safer that way.
You were a little tough on Donna back there.
Dean: Just sayin'.
Sam: Was I wrong? I mean, when has knowing us ever worked out for anyone?
Dean: I mean, we save people, Sam.
Sam: Yeah, we also get people killed, Dean. Kaia, for instance. She helped us and she died for it.
Dean: Hey, look, I know you're in some sort of a-
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, don't -- don't... You keep saying I'm in a dark place, but I'm not, Dean. Everything I'm saying is the truth. It's our lives. And I tried to pretend it didn't have to be. I tried to pretend we could have Mom back and Cas and -- and help Jack. But we can't. This ends one way for us, Dean. It ends bloody. It ends bad.
Trivia & References
"Breakdown" may be a reference to the 1997 film of the same name
starring Kurt Russell, about a husband whose wife is abducted by truckers.
Breaker, breaker 1-9, this is 67, the Midnight Rider. Looking for the 4-1-1 on my Alice in Wonderland.
- Dean is speaking in the shorthand used by CB radio users. "Breaker, breaker 1-9" indicates Dean is about to broadcast on Channel 19 which is known as the trucker channel. "67, the Midnight Rider" is Dean's handle or name, referencing the year of the Impala -- 1967 -- and the song "Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers Band. "411" means information. “Alice in Wonderland” is someone who is lost.
Later we also hear:
Felix: Breaker, breaker Midnight Rider. Felix the Cat here.
- This is the trucker Felix whose handle is "Felix the Cat". Felix the Cat is an animated cat, the first cartoon superstar who originated in 1919.
I mean, she's barely talkin' to me, and we always talk. About the Vikes, about the Real Housewives, about everything. This is a tough time, I know, but... I think she's hiding something from me. Anyhoo, forget it. It's probably nothing. I'm probably just spinning. It's nothing.
- "Vikes" is a reference to the National Football League team, the Minnesota Vikings.
- Real Housewives is a reality TV franchise that centers on women in rich communities.
You sure? I mean, the Bible doesn't have much good to say about them. 'But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.'
- This quote from Donna to Pastor Don Hankey is from the book of Luke 7:30 in the Christian New Testament.
So you sell them people.
Clegg: I sell them people other people won't miss. And because I do that, I save lives. If my customers didn't have me... then all those hungry, hungry hippos would be out there huntin' and killin'. And you couldn't stop 'em. No one could. You should be thanking me.
- Hungry Hungry Hippos is a table top game where players use plastic hippos to collect or "eat" marbles.
One of the monsters
bidding on Sam Winchester
is named Carcosa69. Carcosa
is a fictional city created by writer Ambrose Bierce for his short story, An Inhabitant of Carcosa
. The city has gone on to be used in various other authors' mythologies, including that of H.P. Lovecraft.
The episode was originally called "The Midnight Train", Andrew Dabb described it as follows:
“We’ve got an episode coming up after our midseason break, which we’re essentially titling ‘Snakes on a Train,‘” Dabb shares. “It’s our version of a train heist with vampires.” The concept had to be scrapped due to filming constraints.
the cast and crew during the broadcast of "Breakdown".
Wendy is wearing a "Love Is Love" lesbian pride t-shirt which is later planted by Clegg in the van of Pastor Don Hankey in order to incriminate him. She has anti-gun and "Think globally; act locally" stickers on her car bumper.
While not named in the episode, writer Davey Perez
revealed that the name used to track the unnamed harvester's actions in the script was "The Carver."
One of the locations given on Clegg's map of the Butterfly's victims is Gunnison, Colorado. This is where 11.19 The Chitters
took place and where the Winchesters fought the Bisaan
. According to the map, the abduction or abductions occurred on September 2, 2009.
This isn't even our kind of case. And you know, with the real Feds here, we should back down.
Dean: You're joking, right?
Sam: We're still fugitives.
Dean: They think we're dead.
Sam: Do you really wanna get on the FBI's radar again?
- Sam and Dean first ended up on the FBI's radar in 2.12 Nightshifter, they would go on to fake their deaths in 3.12 Jus in Bello with the help of Victor Henriksen until 7.06 Slash Fiction when Leviathan doubles began going on killing sprees as the brothers. With the help of Sheriff Osborne and his daughter, the Winchesters would once again fake their deaths.
bidding on Luis Fernando's left arm had the user names Canine123, Yummers316, and V3RON1C4M4RSF4N. Other user names included: xxxBABADUDExxx, LoneWolf638, 2Fangs2Furious, MikeySpyder, Kittysune1, Bladez and Trolli.
The user MikeySpyder recounts that in 2009 in Birmingham he and a vampire named Carver bled a fraternity dry, a reference to Executive Producer Jeremy Carver.
User's Kittysune1 and Yummers316 are shown getting into an argument about Kittysune1, a kitsune
, being "nasty" for getting their food from a morgue. Carcosa69 also questions Yummers316 if ghouls
are nasty as well for eating the dead.
User 2Fangs2Furious has a thing for feet... and not for dietary reasons.
One of the users is named KneelBeforeTodd12, a reference to the quote "Kneel before Todd!" from 4.08 Wishful Thinking
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts