4.04 Metamorphosis

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4-04 Metamorphosis Promo Pic.jpg
Title Metamorphosis
Episode # Season 4, Episode 4
First aired October 9, 2008
Directed by Kim Manners
Written by Cathryn Humphris
On IMDB Metamorphosis
Outline Sam and Dean must hunt a cannibalistic creature who has not yet hurt human beings or done anything wrong.
Monster Rugaru
Timeline Directly after 4.03 In The Beginning
Location(s) Carthage, Missouri
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Sam and Ruby are holding a demon captive. Sam demands information on Lilith's whereabouts, but the demon simply responds by taunting Sam. Sam uses his psychic powers to exorcise the demon and send it to hell. The man who was possessed survives, and Sam is helping him when Dean appears. Following Castiel's directions (given at the end of 4.03 In the Beginning), Dean has seen everything. He is shocked to find out that the woman with Sam is Ruby, and he attacks her with the demon-killing knife, but Sam intervenes and orders Ruby to take the man to hospital.

Back at the hotel room, Dean starts packing to leave. Sam confronts him, and Dean responds by punching him - twice. Dean is angry that Sam is using his powers, but Sam responds that he has been saving people, and that after Dean died, he kept fighting the only way he could. Dean tells him that Castiel warned Dean to stop Sam or he would. They are interrupted when Sam's phone rings, with information on a case from a hunter called Travis.

On the way to meet Travis, Dean tells Sam about his trip back in time and what he learned about their parents. He is shocked to find out Sam has known for over a year that he was fed demon's blood as an infant.

In Carthage, Missouri, the boys observe Jack Montgomery, who seems like a normal guy until he starts ravenously consuming raw meat. Travis, who knew the Winchesters when the boys were young, tells them that he killed Jack's father, who was a rugaru, in 1978, but that he did not know that Jack's mother was pregnant at the time. She later put the baby up for adoption, and Travis lost track of him in the system. Sam does some research and insists that it might be possible for Jack to resist the transformation into a rugaru.

As they travel to talk to Jack, Dean charges Sam with over-identifying with the man. Sam orders Dean to stop the car. He tells Dean how hard it has been, living with the knowledge that he is contaminated with demon blood, and that he is trying to make the best of it.

The boys try to talk to Jack, but he orders them to leave. They trail him, and that night see him about to attack a woman, but he resists his urges and heads home. Travis, without consulting Sam and Dean, has broken into Jack's home, and holds his wife hostage and learns that she is also pregnant. When Jack arrives, Travis overpowers him and ties him up, intent, though regretfully, on burning them both alive. Jack breaks free and attacks Travis, whom he kills by eating from his neck, completing his transformation into a monster. After watching in horror, his wife flees from their home. Travis' body is eaten until there's little left but the bloodstain.

Sam and Dean arrive and a fight ensues that leaves both Winchesters unconscious. Sam wakes locked in a closet, and he encourages Jack to resist his urges as he tries to break out, using a coat hanger rather than his powers. But Jack can't resist and is about to eat Dean when Sam escapes and incinerates him.

In the Impala, Dean apologizes to Sam for being hard on him, but Sam responds by saying he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. He says he has made a choice, not for Dean or the angels, but for himself, to stop using his powers.




  • "Phillip's Theme" by Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers
(plays in the bar when Jack's having a drink)


Sam: I'm pulling demons out of innocent people.

Dean: Use the knife!

Sam: The knife kills the victim! What I do, most of them survive! Look, I've saved more people in the last five months than we save in a year.
Dean: Slippery slope, brother. Just wait and see. Because it's gonna get darker and darker, and God knows where it ends.

Sam: I'm not gonna let it go too far.

Dean: It's already gone too far, Sam. If I didn't know you... I would wanna hunt you. And so would other hunters.
Sam: I can't believe it. Mom, a hunter?

Dean: I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't seen it myself. That woman could kick some ass. I mean, she almost took me down.
Sam: How'd she look? I mean... was she happy?

Dean: Yeah, she was awesome. Funny and smart. So hopeful. Dad, too. Until of course...
Travis: Boys, we got a rugaru on our hands.
Dean: A rugaru? Is that made up? That sounds made up.
Dean: Sam loves research. He does. He keeps it under his mattress right next to his KY. It's a sickness.
Sam: I've got demon blood in me, Dean! This disease pumping through my veins, and I can't ever rip it out or scrub it clean! I'm a whole new level of freak! And I'm just trying to take this - this curse... and make something good out of it. Because I have to.
Sam: You want to know why I've been lying to you, Dean? Because of crap like this.

Dean: Like what?
Sam: The way you talk to me, the way you look at me like I'm a freak!
Dean: I do not.

Sam: You know, or even worse, like I'm an idiot!
Jack: Who the hell are you guys?

Dean: We're people who know a little something about something.

Sam: We're people who can help. Please, just hear us out.
Sam: Listen to me, you've got this dark pit inside you. I know. Believe me, I know. But that doesn't mean you have to fall into it. You don't have to be a monster... It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters what you do. It's your choice.
Sam: Anyway, it doesn't matter. These powers... it's playing with fire. I'm done with them... I'm done with everything.

Dean: Really? Well, that's a relief. Thank you.

Sam: Don't thank me. I'm not doing it for you. Or for the angels or for anybody. This is my choice.

Trivia & References

Travis: You still a... Oh, what was it? A mathlete?
A mathlete is a person who competes in mathematics competitions.
Travis: But most of all, they're hungry.

Dean: Hungry for what?
Travis: At first for everything. But then, the long pig.
Dean: Long pig?
Sam: He means human flesh.
Dean: And that is my word of the day.

Long pig is a term for human flesh, reportedly a translation of a word used in the Pacific Islands, referring to an alleged similarity to pork.
Sam: Not wasting any time, are you?

Travis: None to waste. The guy hulks out, we won't be finding bodies, just remains.

The Hulk is a character created by Marvel Comics. As the alter-ego of scientist Bruce Banner, the Hulk is a huge green-skinned creature with exceptional strength that increases with his anger.
Dean: Sam loves research. He does. He keeps it under his mattress right next to his K-Y.
K-Y Jelly is a popular brand of water-based lube.
Michelle: This doesn't get you off the hook, you know. No, no. Think, think diamonds. Think Kobe-sized.
Kobe Bryant was an NBA basketball star who, after allegations of rape had been brought against him, bought his wife a $4 million pure diamond ring as an apology.
Dean: You're probably feeling your bones move under your skin. And your appetite's reaching, you know, Hungry Hungry Hippo levels. How am I doing so far?
Hungry Hungry Hippos is a children's board game that has four colored Hippos that you control to eat white plastic balls - the winner being the one who gets the most "food".
Dean: Long pig. You know, a little manburger helper, may have crossed your mind already.
Reference to Hamburger Helper.


Filming Locations: This episode includes footage of the Impala driving that was shot on Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA while filming the 1.01 Pilot. Map of known filming locations.
Sam is now able to exorcise demons by using his special abilities. Unlike the Colt and the Demon-Killing Knife, this sends them back to Hell like an exorcism.
This is the first episode where Castiel is referred to as "Cas."
Sam was a "mathlete" at school/college.
The original KAZ 2Y5 license plates are glimpsed on the Impala in a shot clearly recycled from 2.03 Bloodlust. When Dean pulls over, the CNK 80Q3 plates have returned.
Shot of the Impala originally used for a scene in 2.03 Bloodlust.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


Episode Meta