4.15 Death Takes a Holiday

From Super-wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Alistair with Death's weapon.Jpg
Title Death Takes a Holiday
Episode # Season 4, Episode 15
First aired March 12, 2009
Directed by Steve Boyum
Written by Jeremy Carver
On IMDB Death Takes a Holiday
Outline In a small town in Wyoming, people have stopped dying.
Monster Demons
Timeline December 19th - 22nd, 2008
Location(s) Greybull, Wyoming
« Previous Episode | Next Episode »


A call from Bobby alerts Sam and Dean to the small town of Greybull, where people have stopped dying - a terminally ill man recovers, another is shot at point-blank range and walks away. It appears to involve another of the 66 Seals, which will be broken if two reapers are killed under a solstice moon.

They decide to summon the spirit of the last person to die: Cole Griffith. As they commence the ceremony on his grave, Alastair appears. He flings Dean to the ground with his power, knocking him out, but is unable to affect Sam. Sam manages to hit Alastair with his own power, causing him to leave the body he is possessing and flee. When Dean later questions Sam as to what happened and why he is now immune to Alastair's power, Sam denies that he knows why. Dean is hurt, knowing Sam is both keeping secrets and lying to him.

Dean suggests they contact Cole by projecting onto the astral plane, effectively becoming spirits. They get Pamela Barnes to help them with this and she sits vigil over their bodies while the boys wander the town in spirit form.

They find Cole, who tells them that after he died, a reaper arrived but disappeared after black smoke appeared; however, he refuses to tell them where this happened. The lights flicker, and Tessa arrives. With a kiss, she awakens Dean's memories of her. Sam persuades Cole to reveal where he saw the black smoke, at a funeral home, by lying to him, telling him he will be able to stay with his family. Tessa agrees not to take him until Sam and Dean work out what's happening. Just then the room is flooded with black demon smoke. When it clears, Tessa is gone. Cole gives Sam and Dean some quick lessons on how to transport and move objects.

The funeral home is covered in Enochian sigils, and Sam and Dean enter to find Tessa and the other reaper laid out and surrounded by symbols. A demon traps the boys with a circle of iron chain, and Alastair appears. This time Sam's powers don't work, and Alastair kills one reaper. Sam and Dean manage to use the tricks Cole taught them to bring a chandelier crashing down, breaking the protective circle trapping Tessa, enabling her to escape and free them.

Meanwhile, Pamela is attacked by a demon and desperately tries to bring Sam back to his body. She succeeds, but the demon has already stabbed her. Sam uses his power to exorcise the demon.

Castiel appears to Dean, who is still a ghost, and reveals he needed Sam and Dean because the demons were holed up in a refuge protected by sigils that keep angels out. He said that it wasn't Bobby but him calling the brothers and telling them about this town. The boys have been successful in stopping the seal being broken and in the process Castiel has captured Alastair. Dean questions Castiel why, if death is part of the natural order, he was rescued from Hell. Castiel replies, "You're different." Dean then helps Tessa get Cole Griffith to cross over. She warns Dean to stop lying to himself, that he knows that there are bad things ahead.

Back in his body, Dean finds Pamela starting to die from her wound now that Tessa is once again reaping. With her dying breath, she warns Sam that his powers are not good-intentioned. Dean asks Sam what she said, but Sam is silent, and the episode ends.




  • "Perfect Situation for a Fool" by George Highfill & Jai Josefs
(plays in the beginning as the two men leave the bar)


Sam: Miracles? Dean, our experience, when do miracles just happen?
Dean: Well, there's no deals. There's, uh, no skeevy faith healers. I mean, these souls just ain't getting dragged into the light.
Sam: Well, grim reapers—that's what they do, right? Schlep souls? So, if death ain't in town—
Dean: Then nobody's dying. So what? The local reaper's on strike? Playing the back nine? I don't know, Sam.
Sam: No, dude, the kid.

Dean: The kid? The kid's a doornail.
Sam: Exactly. Look, if he was the last person to die around here, then maybe he's seen something. We should talk to him.

Dean: I love how matter-of-fact you are about that. Strange lives.
Dean: Alastair. I thought you got deep fried, extra-crispy.
Alastair: Nah. Just the pediatrician I was riding. His wife's still looking for him. It's hilarious. Anyway. No time to chat. Got a hot date with death.
Sam: Listen to this. 'And he bloodied death under the newborn sky—sweet to taste, but bitter when once devoured.'

Dean: Swanky. What the hell's that mean?
Sam: Well, it's from a very obscure, very arcane version of Revelations.
Dean: Which means what I think it means?

Sam: Basically, you kill a reaper under the solstice moon—tomorrow night, by the way—you got yourself a broken seal.
Sam: Well, Pamela, you're a sight for sore eyes.
Pamela: Aw, that's sweet, grumpy. What do you say to deaf people?
Dean: Oh, man, we've been spooking this town for hours. No demons, no black smoke. I say we hit Victoria's Secret and get our peep on, huh?
Dean: After our little, uh, experience... for that whole year, I felt like I had this... hole in my gut... like I was missing something. I didn't know what. Do you know what it was? It was you. The pain of losing my father and Sammy. I just... I wish I had gone with you for good. But I guess things are different now.

Tessa: What? The angels on your shoulder?

Dean: So, you know about that, huh? Well, hey, don't get me wrong. I mean, most the ones I've met are dicks with wings. But still... You know, I've done things. Horrible things. And someone upstairs still decided to give me a second chance. It just makes me feel... I don't know.
Tessa: I've been around death from the get-go. You know what I see most? Lies. 'He's in a better place. At least they're together now.' You all lie to yourselves, Dean, 'cause like you said, deep down, you're all scared. Stop lying to yourself, Dean.

Dean: What?

Tessa: The angels have something good in store for you. A second chance. Really? 'Cause I'm pretty sure, deep down, you know something nasty's coming down the road. Trust your instincts, Dean. There's no such thing as miracles.
Pamela: I know what you did to that demon, Sam. I can feel what's inside of you. If you think you have good intentions, think again.

Trivia & References

The episode title comes from a 1934 movie Death Takes a Holiday in which Death takes on human form and falls in love.
Sam: Yes, sir. Floored by the Lord dot com.

Dean: All of God's glory fit to blog.

This is a variation of the famous New York Times motto "All the news that's fit to print."
Dean: Well, last I checked, Huggy Bear ain't available.
Huggy Bear was the colorful informant on Starsky and Hutch.
Sam: Look, I know you want to think of yourself as Joe the Plumber, Dean, but you're not. Neither am I. The sooner you accept that, the better off you're gonna be.

Dean: Ah, Joe the Plumber was a douche.

Joe the Plumber was invoked as a symbol of the "everyman" by John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.
Alastair: You're stronger, Sam. You've been Soloflexing with your little slut?
Soloflex is an exercise machine that builds muscle.
Sam: You want some aspirin?

Dean: No thanks, House. So, demons, huh?

A reference to cranky medico Gregory House of the TV series House.
Sam: What are we gonna do, just swing in and save the friendly neighborhood reaper?
A reference to Marvel superhero Spider-Man who often refers to himself as "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!".
Pamela: Which of you brainiacs came up with the idea of astral projections?

Dean: Yo.
Pamela: Oh surprise, Chachi.

Chachi was Fonzie's cousin, played by Scott Baio in Happy Days and the spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi.
Pamela: You don't know what you're doing.

Dean: No, but you do.
Pamela: Yeah, I do. And guess what? I'm sick of being hauled back into your angel-demon, Soc-Greaser crap.

Socs and Greasers are rival groups, divided by socioeconomic status, in S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders.
Dean: Look, I'd love to be kicking back with a cold one, watching Judge Judy, too.
Judge Judy is a reality court show, presided over by retired Judge Judith Sheindlin.
Dean: We're talking the end of the world here, okay? No more tasseled leather pants, no more Ramones CDs, no more nothing. We need your help.
Dean's referring to the fact that Pamela is a fan of the band The Ramones as shown by her wearing a Ramones shirt almost every time we see her.
Pamela: All right, so, I'm assuming you're somewhere over the rainbow. Remember I have to bring you back.
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a famous song sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.
Dean: Oh I am so feeling up Demi Moore.
A reference to the movie Ghost where the dead Patrick Swayze makes out with his living wife (Demi Moore) via Whoopi Goldberg.
Dean: I say we hit Victoria's Secret and get our peep on, huh?
Victoria's Secret is an American lingerie retailer.
Cole: Yeah, thanks, Haley Joel. I know I'm dead. What do you want?
Haley Joel Osment played a kid who could see dead people in The Sixth Sense. The name of Haley Joel Osment's character in the movie is Cole Sear.
Dean: How the hell are we supposed to fight that?

Sam: I don't know. Learn some ghost moves?
Dean: By tonight? Yeah sure, I'll meet you back at Mr. Miyagi's.
Cole: Who's Mr. Miyagi?

Mr. Miyagi was the mentor in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid.
Dean: Alright, Yoda, let's see what you got.
Yoda is Obi-Wan Kenobi's mentor in the original trilogy of Star Wars films.
Dean: Dude! You are so Amityville!
Amityville was the location of a haunted house made famous in the book and movie The Amityville Horror.
Cole: Hit me as hard as you can.

Sam: Dude, I'm not going to do Fight Club with a 12-year-old.

Fight Club is a movie in which men form social groups to fight and beat up one another.
Dean: This looks like New Jack City. Can nobody can see this?
In the movie New Jack City, an apartment block is fortified and used as the base for gang activities.
Dean: To kill death?

Alastair: No, to kill death twice. It takes two to break a seal. I figured another one would show up, though. They're like lemmings.

Reference to the urban myth that lemmings will blindly follow the group. It gained notoriety with the 1958 Walt Disney film White Wilderness, which purported to show the mass suicide of a group of lemmings jumping off of a cliff into the ocean. It was later revealed that the scenes were faked and the lemmings were actually thrown off the cliff by the filmmakers.
Dean: You're gonna kill a reaper with that? It's little on the nose, don't you think?

Alastair: Is it? An old friend lent it to me. You know, he doesn't really ride a pale horse? But he does have three amigos.

Alastair is referring to Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, from the book Revelation in the Bible, who is supposed to ride a pale or pale green horse. The scythe used to kill the reapers is also a reference to Death who is also known as the Grim Reaper and who carries a scythe as his symbol. This is the first reference to Death in the series. For more information, also see Death's Scythe.
Castiel: To everything there is a season.
Castiel is quoting the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1. Also, the line is used in The Byrds' song "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)".


Sam and Dean pretend to be bloggers from flooredbythelord.com: "all of God's glory that's fit to blog."
In Greybull, the boys stay in room 208 of The Broken Saddle Motel.
Despite the fact that they are in spirit form, Sam and Dean's breath can be seen when they are outdoors.
The episode ended with slides dedicating the season to Kim Manners, director of many episodes from seasons 1 through 4, who died of lung cancer on January 25 2009. The slideshow ended with a slide that said simply "We miss you, Kim."

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


Episode Meta