4.01 Lazarus Rising

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4-01 Lazarus Rising.jpg
Title Lazarus Rising
Episode # Season 4, Episode 1
First aired September 18, 2008
Directed by Kim Manners
Written by Eric Kripke
On IMDB Lazarus Rising
Outline Dean returns from Hell. The question is how - and why?
Monster Castiel
Timeline September 18th - 20th, 2008
Location(s) Pontiac, Illinois
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Flashes of light and shadows cover Dean’s face as the screams of the damned can be heard just prior to his coming to consciousness - buried in his own grave. He digs himself out, and emerges in a field. All the trees nearby have been felled, radiating out from his grave. He walks until he finds an empty gas station, where he eagerly drinks some water, and then examines himself to find no sign of the hellhound attack. However, there is a large handprint burnt into the skin of his left deltoid.

Dean grabs some more water, candy, and a copy of Busty Asian Beauties. As he prepares to leave, a TV and radio switch on. Thinking it is a demon, Dean pours salt along the window, but he is soon crippled by a piercing sound that shatters all the glass in the area. As quickly as it started, whatever it was stops. Dean phones Sam but gets no answer, and Bobby hangs up on him, not believing that it is him. He steals a car from the gas station and takes off.

When Bobby finds Dean on his doorstep, he assumes it is a supernatural being and tries to kill him. Dean tries to prove his identity by cutting himself with a silver knife, and they embrace. Bobby then checks whether Dean is possessed by dousing him in holy water. After that, he believes that it is Dean, resurrected from Hell.

Bobby tells Dean that he hasn't seen Sam in months, but Dean tracks Sam using the GPS in his phone and finds him in a town near the place Dean was buried. When Bobby and Dean arrive at Sam's hotel room, the door is answered by a scantily-clad woman. Sam also attacks Dean thinking he must be a monster, but when he realizes it's Dean, there is a tearful hug. The girl asks whether the boys "are together," but Sam says they're brothers. The girl takes her leave of them.

Sam promises Dean he didn't make a deal to get Dean out of Hell, or use his powers. In fact, he is upset that he was unable to save Dean. He tells them he was following some demons who led him here. Bobby suggests they visit a psychic to see if they can find out how Dean got out of Hell. Bobby and the boys travel to meet Pamela Barnes, an old friend of Bobby's. She starts a séance to reveal who saved Dean, and contacts someone called Castiel. But when she sees him in her mind, her eyes are burned out, rendering her blind.

Later at a diner, Dean and Sam discuss what to do, when the waitress reveals herself and the other people in the diner to be the demons Sam is looking for. She threatens Dean but doesn't take any action, and doesn't seem to know anything about his escape from Hell. The boys leave, although Sam wants to exorcise the demons.

Later that night, Sam sneaks out while Dean is asleep and heads back to the diner. When Dean wakes up, he again hears the piercing sound that he heard in the gas station. Bobby returns as it stops, and Dean convinces him that they need to summon Castiel. He calls Sam, who lies about being at the diner, and tells him he and Bobby are getting a beer. Sam goes into the diner and finds one of the people who was possessed dead with eyes burnt out. The possessed waitress, although also blinded, attacks Sam, and warns him that everyone is going to die. Sam lifts a hand and exorcises the demon using only his mind. As he finishes, the woman who was in his hotel room earlier enters. It is Ruby and Sam has been working with her to develop his powers. He tells her he will tell Dean what he has been doing, when the time is right.

Meanwhile, Dean and Bobby perform a summoning ritual and a man appears. He is unharmed when Bobby and Dean shoot him with rock salt and when Dean stabs him with Ruby's knife. The man renders Bobby unconscious, and reveals to Dean that he is Castiel, an angel. He tells Dean that he saved him from Hell on God's command, and that God has work for Dean to do.




  • "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC
(plays during "The Road So Far" recap of events)
  • "In the Shadow of the Valley" by Lost Weekend Western Swing Band
(plays in the gas station that Dean first visits)
  • "Fight Song" by The Republic Tigers
(playing when Dean and Bobby find Sam)
(playing on Sam’s iPod as Dean rips it out of the Impala)
  • "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by Martyn Laight (CPM / Carlin)
(plays when Sam and Dean are eating in the diner full of demons; also played in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One)
  • "I'm So Blue" by Katie Thompson and Martyn Laight (CPM / Carlin)
(plays when Sam goes back to the diner)


Dean: Bobby! It's me!

Bobby: My ass!

Dean: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait! Your name is Robert Steven Singer. You became a hunter after your wife got possessed, and... you're about the closest thing I have to a father. Bobby. It's me.
Ruby/Kathy: So are you two like... together?
Sam: What? No. No. He's my brother.
Dean: So tell me, what'd it cost?

Sam: The girl? I don't pay, Dean.

Dean: That's not funny, Sam. To bring me back. What'd it cost? Was it just your soul, or was it something worse?
Sam: I tried everything. That's the truth. I tried opening the Devil's Gate. Hell, I tried to bargain, Dean, but no demon would deal, all right? You were rotting in Hell for months. For months, and I couldn't stop it. So I'm sorry it wasn't me, all right? Dean, I'm sorry.

Dean: It's okay, Sammy. You don't have to apologize, I believe you.
Bobby: Don't get me wrong, I'm gladdened that Sam's soul remains intact, but it does raise a sticky question.

Dean: If he didn't pull me out, then what did?
Dean: What the hell is that?

Sam: That's an iPod jack.

Dean: You were supposed to take care of her, not douche her up.
Dean: Who's Jesse?

Pamela: Well, it wasn't forever.
Dean: His loss.
Pamela: Might be your gain.
Dean: Dude, I am so in.
Sam: Yeah, she's gonna eat you alive.
Dean: Hey, I just got out of jail. Bring it.
Pamela: You're invited too, grumpy.

Dean: You are not invited.
Demon Waitress: Dean. To Hell and back. Aren't you a lucky duck.

Dean: That's me.
Demon Waitress: So you get to just stroll out of the Pit, huh? Tell me. What makes you so special?

Dean: I like to think it's because of my perky nipples. I don't know. Wasn't my doing, I don't know who pulled me out.
Dean: No. Because if you were you would have done it already. Fact is, you don't know who cut me loose. And you're just as spooked as we are. And you're looking for answers. Well, maybe it was some turbo-charged spirit. Or, uh, Godzilla. Or some big bad boss demon. I'm guessing at your pay grade that they don't tell you squat. Because whoever it was, they want me out. And they're a lot stronger than you. So go ahead. Send me back. But don't come crawling to me when they show up on your front doorstep with some Vaseline and a fire hose.
Castiel: I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.
Dean: Yeah. Thanks for that.
Dean: Right. And why would an angel rescue me from Hell?

Castiel: Good things do happen, Dean.
Dean: Not in my experience.
Castiel: What's the matter? You don't think you deserve to be saved?
Dean: Why'd you do it?

Castiel: Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode, "Lazarus Rising," refers to Lazarus of Bethany who was raised from the dead by Jesus and whose story is recounted in the Gospel of John (John 11:1-44).
When Dean pushes his way out of his grave in the beginning, he breaks through the soil with his hands first - a reference to the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie, and one that has been made on Supernatural already, namely in 1.02 Wendigo, when Sam dreams about visiting Jessica Moore's grave.
The devastation around Dean’s grave - trees flattened outward from a central point - is reminiscent of the Tunguska Event, a massive explosion thought to be caused by a meteorite in Siberia in 1908. It has been widely referenced in literature and TV, including an episode of The X-Files which was directed by Kim Manners, who also directed this episode.
Bobby: Your chest was ribbons, your insides were slop. And you've been buried four months. Even if you could slip out of hell and back into your meat suit...

Dean: I know, I should look like a Thriller video reject.

Dean is referring to the zombie dancers from Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video.
Dean: Yeah, hi, I have a, uh, cell phone account with you guys, and uh, lost my phone. I was wondering if you could turn the GPS on for me... Yeah. Name's Wedge Antilles... Social is 2-4-7-4... Thank you.
Sam’s alias, Wedge Antilles, is the name of a character from Star Wars.
The tank top Pamela wears features a picture of the American punk-rock band The Ramones.
The framed picture in Pamela's house on display when she's preparing for the séance is of Sid Vicious of the English band Sex Pistols taken in 1978 in Tulsa, Oklahoma by musician and celebrity portrait photographer Lynn Goldsmith.
According to "Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels", Castiel is an Angel of Thursday in the occult lore. This may be a reference to the fact that Supernatural aired on a Thursday night on the CW network at the time of this episode's original broadcast. According to the newspaper that Dean looks at in the gas station, he pushed his way out of the grave on a Thursday.
Pamela Barnes going blind is reminiscent of the popular motif of the blind seer, which is frequently used in literature and theater, especially classical. The best-known blind seer is probably Tiresias, a mythic prophet in ancient Greece who makes numerous appearances in literary and musical works throughout the centuries, from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy to the epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton and the song The Cinema Show by British band Genesis. One explanation of how Tiresias lost his vision is also that he saw the goddess Athena naked. Pamela going blind because of sneaking a peek at Castiel's true form might be another allusion to that.
Dean: But I'd like to find out. So, if you wouldn't mind enlightening me, Flo...
A reference to the 1980s sitcom Flo, which follows the life of sassy waitress Florence "Flo" Jean Castleberry as she buys an old shabby roadhouse in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.
Dean: Yeah, I couldn't agree more, but what other choice do we have?

Bobby: We could choose life.

Choose Life was a slogan worn on a t-shirt by '80s glam pop group Wham in the video for "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." However, the phrase has been used in a variety of ways, including a slogan for the pro-life/anti-abortion movement. See here for more information on the different uses of the phrase.
Castiel's line "I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition" is trochaic in structure.


A number of Foilers were released in relation to the casting in this episode. The casting sides for Castiel indicated he was a demon, and Misha Collins has related that he prepared on that basis for the audition (Source). When Genevieve Cortese was cast, Kripke issued a statement saying she would be playing "a small town waitress named Kristy who gets romantically involved with Sam (Jared Padalecki) sometime after Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) death" (Source). Dean was not named in the sides, although a character called Guy appeared, in order to keep the manner of Dean's reappearance a secret. Read a summary of the sides here.
The first five minutes of this episode were screened at Comic-Con 2008
At the start of the episode with Dean in Hell, you can see shadows descend over his face just before he wakes up in his coffin. Suggesting that is the moment that Castiel pulled him out of Hell.
The watch Dean is wearing is an MTM special ops Black Patriot watch with a ballistic Velcro strap.
As Dean is pouring salt on the windowsill of the gas station, the word 'WING' can be seen stencilled on the outside wall (part of the word 'TOWING'). This can be seen as possible foreshadowing as the events in the gas station are eventually revealed to be Castiel trying to communicate with him.
Jensen has described how he has a scar from filming the gas station scene, where real glass (rather than candy glass usually used in stunts) was used at Kim Manners's insistence. In the scene where he lies on the ground after the glass shatters, you can see a bandage on his arm, presumably from an injury in a previous take. He also mentioned that the "dirt" when he is buried was made of crushed Oreos.
Sam buried Dean in Pontiac, Illinois, which is over 200 miles from New Harmony, Indiana, where Dean was killed by hellhounds in 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked.
In the gas station, Dean picks up a copy of Busty Asian Beauties, a porn preference of Dean’s mentioned in 2.15 Tall Tales and 3.14 Long-Distance Call.
The license plate number of the white car (a 1962 Mercury Monterey hard top) Dean steals at the gas station is V6R 1G3. This conforms to the number and letter configuration for Canadian Postal codes and corresponds to the Postal Code applied to residences in the Locarno Beach area of Greater Vancouver where the show films. Whether this is significant of anything is unknown.
The last 4 digits of the Social Security number Sam used for his cell phone account is 2474.
Sam is staying in room 207 in the Astoria Hotel in Pontiac, Illinois.
The painting of the tiger in Sam's hotel room is the same painting that was seen in Andy's van in 2.05 Simon Said.
Sam has been wearing Dean's Amulet while Dean was in Hell, and gives it back to him in this episode.
The diner the demons had taken over was named Johnny Mac's Diner.
Misha Collins, who plays Castiel, reported that "Kripke wanted to base the look of the character on the comic book character 'Constantine'." John Constantine is an occult detective who features in the John Constantine, Hellblazer comic book series, the 2005 film Constantine and the homonymous 2014 television series.
The phrase Castiel says to Dean, "We have work for you," echoes the phrase "We got work to do," spoken by Sam at the end of 1.01 Pilot, and by Dean at the end of 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two. It also calls back to 1.12 Faith, where when Dean asks Roy Le Grange what Le Grange saw in Dean that made him pick him out of the crowd to be healed, Le Grange replied, "A young man with an important purpose, a job to do. And it isn't finished."

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


Episode Meta