Dean and Sam cremate their father’s remains on a funeral pyre. As they say farewell to him, Sam asks Dean whether John had any final words. After a pause, Dean lies and says no.
While staying with Bobby, Dean is consumed with repairing the Impala, and refuses to discuss John’s death. Sam finds an old message on John’s cell phone and they track it down to an address. The boys borrow a Dodge Caravan from Bobby and go to Harvelle’s Roadhouse. Here they meet Ellen Harvelle and her daughter Jo who, to the boys’ surprise, knew their father and know all about demons. The Roadhouse is a regular haunt of hunters, and Ellen’s deceased husband, Bill was also a hunter. Another regular at the Roadhouse, Ash, offers to help analyze John’s research on the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
While waiting for Ash to complete his work, the boys investigate a series of murders that have occurred while a circus is in town. A clown has been seen in the vicinity of the deaths. The boys get jobs working at the circus, but continue to clash over how they are dealing with their grief.
When their suspicions are aroused after a little girl sees a clown her parents can’t see, they stake out the girl’s house, and manage to save her from a clown, who disappears as they shoot at it.
Sam calls Ellen, who tells the boys the creature is a Rakshasa that must be killed with a brass dagger. Suspecting Mr Cooper, the carnival owner, the boys return to the circus. The real culprit is the blind knife thrower, who attacks the boys and traps them in the funhouse. Sam manages to kill the Rakshasa with a brass pipe from the organ.
The boys return to the Roadhouse where Ash has set up a computer program to alert them to appearances of the Yellow-Eyed Demon. Ellen offers them her spare room, but they return to Bobby’s place.
Back at Bobby’s, Sam admits he is not dealing with John’s death, but charges that Dean isn’t either. As Sam walks away, Dean picks up a tire iron and with rage and grief smashes into the Impala.
- "Time Has Come Today" by The Chambers Brothers
- "Shambala" by Three Dog Night
- "Do That to Me One More Time" by Captain & Tennille
- "Mississippi Mudd" by Tim P. & Stephen R. Phillips
Dean: (to Sam) You know what? You're right. Come here. I'm gonna lay my head gently on your shoulder. Maybe we can cry, hug, and maybe even slow dance
Dean: (on his minivan ride) This is humiliating. I feel like a friggin' soccer mom!
Dean: [referring to Ash] You got to be kidding me. This guy's no genius, he's a Lynyrd Skynyrd roadie!
Ash: (on Dean admiring his haircut) All business up front, party in the back.
Jo: Most hunters come through that door think they can get in my pants with some... pizza, a six pack, and side one of Zeppelin IV.
Dean: Planes crash!
Sam: And apparently clowns kill!
Dean: (to Sam) I just think it's really interesting, this sudden obedience you have to Dad. It's like, oh, what would Dad want me to do? Sam, you spent your entire life slugging it out with that man. I mean, hell, you, you picked a fight with him the last time you ever saw him. And now that he's dead, now you want to make it right? Well, I'm sorry Sam, but you can't, it's too little, too late.
Sam: (to Dean) About me and Dad. I'm sorry that the last time I was with him I tried to pick a fight. I'm sorry that I spent most of my life angry at him. I mean for all I know, he died thinking that I hate him. So you're right - what I'm doing right now, it's too little. It's too late.
I miss him, man. And I feel guilty as hell. And I'm not all right. Not at all. But neither are you. That much I know.
Trivia & References
The writer of this episode John Sihban wrote for the X-Files
Ken Kramer who plays Mr Cooper appeared in three X-Files episodes (as different characters) and Chad Lindberg (Ash) also appeared in one episode. See Weren't You On Another TV Show?
for a detailed list of actors who have appeared in both Supernatural and X-Files.
The name "Ash" may be a reference to the lead character in the "Evil Dead" movies.
The town in which the Rakshasa
first strikes in this episode is Medford, Wisconsin.
The most famous example of a Rakshasa-like creature in modern horror texts is Stephan King's "It", a creature that also hibernates for a stretch of time and appears as a clown.
After the teaser Dean and Sam are at their father's funeral pyre. The way it is shot is a visual reference to the end of Return of the Jedi
when Luke burns the body (or suit) of his father, Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker.
says, "I'm on it like Divine on dog dookie." This is a reference to a John Waters film, Pink Flamingos
, in which infamous transvestite Divine eats dog faeces. Pink Flamingos is widely considered the epitome of Bad Taste films, and arguably it's Ash who makes this reference because he seems to fit the trash demographic Waters portrays and celebrates in his films.
Jo's comment to Dean that "Most hunters come through that door think they can get in my pants with some... pizza, a six pack, and side one of Zeppelin IV," is probably inspired by the 1982 film Fast Times in Ridgemont High
. Mike Damone, a character who claims to be an expert on women, recommends in his five point plan
that, "When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV." Though referred to as Zeppelin IV, Led Zepplin's fourth album is technically untitled.
A lot of the things that should make Sam uneasy was adlibbed. Phil Sgriccia, co-executive producers, relates the story of the clown-chair in Mr. Cooper's trailer: "As the boys came in, I said to Jensen, 'Sam hates clowns, which chair do you sit in?'"S2Com
Sam: And apparently clowns kill!
- This conversation is a reference to Dean's fear of flying, as shown in 1.04 Phantom Traveler.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts