6.03 The Third Man

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Third man.jpeg
Title The Third Man
Episode # Season 6, Episode 3
First aired October 8, 2010
Directed by Bob Singer
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB The Third Man
Outline Sam and Dean call Castiel for help with a case where police officers seem to have been killed by the plagues of Egypt.
Monster Angels
Raphael
Timeline
Location(s) Easter, Pennsylvania
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Contents

Synopsis

Sam has found a new case in Pennsylvania, and Dean drives in the Impala to meet him there. So far, two police officers have died in strange ways: the first was liquefied, his meat, bones, and other tissues changed to blood, and the second was so covered in boils, inside and out, that his airway was blocked and he asphyxiated. Sam and Dean go to question the first police officer's partner, Ed Colfax, and find him behaving strangely. He is in full uniform and calmly scratching the faces off of all the photographs in his home. They question him and learn that the two dead police officers and Ed have something in common: a "kid with no face and a planted gun," named Christopher Birch. Ed believes that they are suffering divine retribution for what they did to Christopher. Before Sam and Dean can learn anything else, Ed collapses, dead. Sam removes Ed's police hat and finds a hole in the top of his head from which locusts emerge.

Sam and Dean believe that the deaths are related to the plagues of Egypt, so Dean prays to Castiel in the hopes that he will be able to answer some questions about the case. Sam is certain that Castiel won't appear, but he does. He reveals that the three police officers' deaths were perpetrated by someone using the Staff of Moses, one of many holy weapons that were stolen from heaven in the confusion following the apocalypse. Castiel asks for Sam and Dean's help in retrieving the staff.

Sam and Dean tell Castiel that Christopher Birch's father, Darrell Birch, is probably using the Staff of Moses to avenge his murdered son. They confront him only to learn that it is Christopher's brother, Aaron Birch, who is responsible for the police officers' deaths. Aaron traded his soul to an angel for the staff. Unfortunately, the staff has been cut into pieces. In order to learn who has the other pieces of the staff, Castiel performs a reading that involves reaching into Aaron's chest. It will tell them who Aaron traded his soul to, but it is extremely painful, and while Dean protests the reading, Sam recognizes the necessity.

Castiel learns from the reading that Balthazar, an angel and a good friend of his who he previously thought died in the war, made the deal with Aaron for his soul. Another angel appears and thanks Castiel for the information before attacking him. He tells Castiel that "Raphael says hello" as they grapple. Eventually, they fall through the window and land on Sam's car, totaling it. The other angel flees and Sam and Dean question Castiel about the fight. He tells them that the other angel was probably a soldier of Raphael, who wants to rule heaven and has started an angelic civil war to achieve that end. Raphael's ultimate goal is to put the Apocalypse "back on the rails."

Castiel performs a ritual to locate Balthazar, and they find him in a large house. Castiel goes inside to confront Balthazar, who admits to stealing the Staff of Moses and other weapons but refuses to return them to Castiel. Balthazar tells Castiel that he is only following his example as a rebel, and that there's no reason to be involved in the angels' civil war because the fighting will never stop. He flees when Raphael appears with other angels outside the house. Sam and Dean banish two angels outside with an angel banishing sigil and Castiel kills one inside with his angel sword, but Castiel is then confronted by Raphael and overpowered. Balthazar reappears and destroys Raphael's vessel with Lot's Salt, which turns him into a pillar of salt. Sam and Dean then trap Balthazar in a ring of Holy Fire and force him to give up Aaron Birch's soul. They want to get more from him, but Castiel releases him because he owes him his life.

Dean and Sam try to find room for Sam's things in the Impala's trunk. Dean asks Sam if he's okay and why he was okay with Castiel torturing Aaron. Sam denies that anything is wrong, but admits that he is different. He claims it's because he's been hunting nonstop for the last year, but Dean thinks there's more to it.

Characters

Definitions

Music

None

Quotes

Lana: (to Sam) Damn, you know how to play that mystery card.
Dean: A case? When? It's been like a day and a half!

Sam: I like to work.
Dean: Apparently.

Sam: Glad we hashed that out.
Dean: Ben, I know you're lying... because I lie professionally, that's how.
Sam: (to Dean) You, molding the minds of tomorrow. Who knew?
Dean: Still driving the plastic piece of crap, huh?

Sam: What's your mileage, again?

Dean: Shut up.
Sam: Were you racing me?

Dean: No, I was kicking your ass.

Sam: Very mature.
Dean: Sweet. Blood, boils, locusts.

Sam: Three of your more popular Egyptian plagues.

Dean: Yeah, but these guys ate their way out of a cop's melon. I don't quite remember that in the King James.
Dean: Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray to Castiel to get his feathery ass down here.

Sam: You're an idiot.
Dean: Stay positive.

Sam: Oh, I am positive.
Sam: Like I said, son of a bitch doesn't answer... he's right behind me, isn't he?
Castiel: Hello.
Sam: So what, you like him better, or something?
Castiel: Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn't going to mention it.
Castiel: The weapon isn't being used at full capacity. I think we can rule Moses out as a suspect.
Castiel: Sam, Dean, my "people skills" are "rusty." Pardon me, but I have spent the last "year" as a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent.
Sam: [After seeing his car totaled] My car.
Dean: OK, silver lining. [smirks]
Castiel: We have to find the weapons and Balthazar before Raphael does. Whoever has the weapons wins the war.

Dean: What happens if Raphael wins? What does he want?
Castiel: What he's always wanted. To end the story the way it was written.
Dean: You mean the Apocalypse? The one we derailed?

Castiel: Yes, that one. Raphael wants to put it back on the rails.
Sam: Hey, there... [shows his angel sword] Yeah, I got one of those, too.

Angel: You think you can knife fight an angel?

Dean: Who's fighting? Peace out, douchewad. [banishes the angels by putting his hand on sigil]
Balthazar: You know the old frog in the throat [frog climbs out of dead angel's mouth].
Castiel: Even I know that's a bad joke.
Balthazar:: The footsteps I'm following, they're yours. What you did, stopping the big plan,the prize fight? You did more than rebel.You tore up the whole script and burned the pages for all of us.It's a new era. No rules, no destiny. Just utter and complete freedom.

Trivia & References

The episode gets its title from the 1949 Orson Welles noir film The Third Man.
In relation to the episode, the "third man" may be a reference to Castiel. It can also be related to Raphael, the third most powerful archangel (after Michael and Lucifer and above Gabriel), and Ed Colfax as the third police officer to be killed.
In his dream about making love to Lisa, Dean didn't appear to still have Castiel's handprint on his shoulder (as first seen in 4.01 Lazarus Rising).
When Sam and Dean enter the morgue, the doctor in the white coat at the desk appears to be the director of this episode, Bob Singer.
Castiel finds Sam and Dean despite the Enochian sigils that Castiel burned into their ribs to stop angels from locating them in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil. This may or may not be because they contacted him.
Dean: Whoa, looking sharp, Kojak.
Kojak was a 1970s series (unsuccessfully revived in 2005) about a bald and dapper New York City Police Department Detective, Lieutenant Theo Kojak played by Telly Savalas. Kojak's Greek heritage, shared by actor Savalas, was prominently featured in the series.
Dean: I don't quite remember that in the King James.
The King James is an English translation of the Christian Holy Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England.
Dean: What is Chuck Heston's disco stick doing down here anyways?
Charlton Heston, or Chuck Heston, played Moses in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments.
The phrase 'disco stick' originally referred to the glow sticks used in nightclubs. More recently it has been used as slang for a penis, as in Lady Gaga's song "LoveGame."
Castiel uses an Enochian ritual with myrrh, holy water, and human (Dean's) blood to locate Balthazar.
Castiel's use of myrrh may refer to the fact that Balthazar is often given as the name of one of the Three Wise Men, whose gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Dean: There's too many angels, Cas! I don't know who's on first, what's on second.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Abbott and Costello had a comedy routine in which the members of a baseball team have peculiar names: Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third, and so forth.
This may also be a reference to the 1994 film Angels in the Outfield, in which the failing California Angels baseball team receives angelic help to reach the division championship.
Dean: I was expecting more Dr. No, less Liberace.
Dr. Julius No is the villain in the James Bond novel and film Dr. No. Liberace was a famous American entertainer and pianist with flamboyant tastes.
Balthazar: Same thing happened to Lot's wife. Iodize the poor sucker, and your kitchen is stocked for life.
Lot was forewarned by angels of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. As he and his family left Sodom, his wife looked back despite the angels telling them not to, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
Sam: Like I said, son of a bitch doesn't answer... he's right behind me, isn't he?
Dean says a variation of the same "there's somebody behind me" line in 5.19 Hammer of the Gods.
Dean: You're saying your nukes are loose?
The phrase "loose nukes" originally referred to poorly secured nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union which might be tempting targets for thieves or terrorists. Today, the phrase more broadly is used to refer to nuclear weapons, materials, and know-how that could fall into the wrong hands.
Aaron, the name of the boy who had the piece of Moses' staff, is also the name of Moses' brother.
Director Bob Singer can be seen sitting at a desk and talking to medical personnel at the Easter, PA police station, as Sam and Dean first walk in.

Minutiae

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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