6.11 Appointment in Samarra

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Appointment in Samarrapromo pic.jpg
Title Appointment in Samarra
Episode # Season 6, Episode 11
First aired December 10, 2010
Directed by Mike Rohl
Written by Sera Gamble and Robert Singer
On IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1627708/
Outline Dean goes to Death to make a deal to get Sam's soul back, but Sam has other plans.
Location(s) Sioux Falls, South Dakota
[[{{{prevep}}}|« Previous Episode]] | [[{{{nextep}}}|Next Episode »]]


Dean goes to see an old acquaintance of his father, Dr Robert, who operates without a medical license in an apartment above a Chinese grocer. Dean pays the doctor and his assistant, Eva, to kill him and then bring him back to life. After the doctor claims a 75% success rate for the procedure, Dean gives him a letter addressed to Ben and asks him to mail it in case something goes wrong. Dr Robert takes the letter and then tells Dean he has 3 minutes of death before injecting him with something that kills him. Dean, once his soul has left his body, says a spell that summons the reaper Tessa, who is less than pleased to be pulled away from her job in the Sudan. He tells Tessa to contact her boss, Death, and let him know that Dean wants to talk to him. She refuses, but, to their mutual surprise, Death appears behind them and greets Dean.

Dean tries to make a deal with Death to get Sam and Adam Milligan's souls out of Lucifer's Cage. Dean tells Death that he'll return his ring to him in exchange for their souls, but Death reminds Dean that he was only supposed to be borrowing his ring in the first place, and anyways, he knows where Dean hid it. He doesn't completely reject Dean's request, however; he tells Dean that he has to make a choice between Sam or Adam's soul. Dean chooses Sam, and Death tells him that he can return Sam's soul to him, even putting Sam's time in hell behind a wall in his mind, but only if Dean wins their wager. Dean has to wear Death's ring and be Death for a day. If he takes the ring off, he loses the wager and Sam's soul stays in hell. Before Dean can learn why Death wants him to take his place for a day, Dr Robert revives him. Dean complains, but the doctor tells him that he was gone for 7 minutes instead of the planned on 3 minutes.

Dean tells Sam and Bobby about his wager with Death, but Sam is opposed to the idea. He doesn't want his soul returned to his body, especially because the "wall" Death proposes to put up in his mind isn't necessarily permanent. He tries to get to the ring before Dean, but fails, and Dean asks Bobby to watch Sam before leaving. After Dean puts on the ring, he appears somewhere else entirely and Tessa is there. She tells Dean that for the next 24 hours, he has to touch and kill everyone who's on her list so that she can reap them.

While Dean is with Tessa, Sam slips Bobby and summons Balthazar. He asks Balthazar for a weapon or spell that can keep his soul out of his body, and Balthazar, who wants to screw Dean over and have Sam in his debt, gives Sam the spell "for free." He also tells Sam that he has to make his body, aka Vessel, uninhabitable for his soul by committing patricide. He "needs the blood of his father, but his father needn't be blood," so Sam resolves to kill Bobby.





Death: Don't roll your eyes, Dean. It's impolite.
Death: What do you think the soul is? Some pie you can slice? The soul can be bludgeoned, tortured, but never broken. Not even by me.
Sam: Exactly, Dean! It's my life! It's my life, it's my soul. And it sure as hell ain't your head that's gonna explode when this whole scheme of yours goes sideways!
Tessa: Wow. They'll just let any slack-jawed haircut be Death these days.
Sam: I need some advice.

Balthazar: Advice?
Sam: Angel advice.
Balthazar: Well, then go ask your boyfriend.

Sam: Cas can't help me.
Tessa: Just so you know, when people die, they might have questions for you. Well, you know, not you but Death.

Dean: You mean like, "how did Betty White outlast me?"

Tessa: "What's it all mean?" is popular.
Dean: Enjoy the ride down, pal. Trust me -- sauna gets hot.
Tessa: It's destiny.

Dean: Give me a break. I've spent my whole life fighting that crap. There's no such thing as destiny, just like there was no apocalypse -- just a bunch of stuck-up mooks who didn't want us human slaves asking questions. Well, I say the little girl lives.

Tessa: Do you know what's amazing? You don't actually buy a word you're saying.
Sam: Dean doesn't care about me. He -- he just cares about his little brother, Sammy, burning in hell. He'll kill me to get that other guy back.
Death: Today, you got a hard look behind the curtain. Wrecking the natural order's not quite such fun when you have to mop up the mess, is it? This is hard for you, Dean. You throw away your life because you've come to assume that it'll bounce right back into your lap. But the human soul is not a rubber ball. It's vulnerable,impermanent, but stronger than you know. And more valuable than you can imagine. So - I think you've learned something today.
Death: You and your brother keep coming back. You're an affront to the balance of the universe, and you cause disruption on a global scale.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode refers to a story by Somerset Maughan. Based on an old Middle Eastern story, which as follows:

The speaker is Death.

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.
Dr Robert is played by Robert Englund, most famously known for playing Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street Series
The scene where Dean is put into a medically induced near-death experience is similar to the plot of the movie Flatliners. Michael J. Fox also did the same thing in The Frighteners.
Heart Attack Guy: What does it mean?

Dean: Everything is dust in the wind.
Heart Attack Guy: That's it?

Dean is quoting the Kansas song "Dust in the Wind."
Bobby: Don't say, "here's Johnny."
Bobby is referring to the iconic moment in the Kubrick movie of Stephen King's story The Shining where Jack Nicholson's character chops down a door with an axe, calling out "Here's Johnny!" in imitation of the opening of the talk show The Johnny Carson Show. Watch the scene
Tessa: Dean, what the hell? I was in the Sudan.
Tessa is referring to the ongoing war and genocide in Darfur. The Horseman War tells Sam he was in Darfur when he was called back to do his part to start the Apocalypse in 5.02 Good God Y'All.
The plot of Dean filling Death's shoes for a day is loosely similar to the basic plot of Bruce Almighty, where Jim Carrey is asked to fill in for God and given God's powers and responsibilities.


Dr. Robert tells Dean he has three minutes in near-death experience before he has to bring him back. When Dean is revived, we find out he was dead for seven minutes.
In the opening scene Dean holds an envelope addressed to Benjamin Braeden, 213 Weinbach Ave., Battlecreek, MI 49014. For information on where Ben has lived see the entry on Lisa Braeden.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts