Timeline (Season 4)
- Days spent on each case include the day after they solve them, if it is shown in the episode.
- Day counts assume one driving day in cases when the boys hear about the case and must travel to the location, unless otherwise stated.
- Day counts count partial days as full days (meaning if an episode starts late at night, that night counts as a day)
- Priority of information sources: A)Dialogue, B)Logic, C)Art/Props Department, D)Other Official Sources, E)Conjecture.
- 1 Between May and September 2008
- 2 September 18th-20th, 2008 - 4.01 Lazarus Rising
- 3 September 22nd-24th, 2008 - 4.02 Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester
- 4 Late September 2008 - 4.03 In The Beginning
- 5 Late September 2008 - 4.04 Metamorphosis
- 6 October 3rd-6th, 2008 - 4.05 Monster Movie
- 7 October 13th OR October 20th, 2008 - 4.06 Yellow Fever
- 8 October 29th - November 1st, 2008 - 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- 9 ~November 5th, 2008 - 4.08 Wishful Thinking
- 10 ~November 7th-19th, 2008 - 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer and 4.10 Heaven and Hell
- 11 ~December 2nd, 2008 - 4.11 Family Remains
- 12 ~December 5th, 2008 - 4.12 Criss Angel Is a Douchebag
- 13 ~December 10th, 2008 - 4.13 After School Special
- 14 ~December 15, 2008 - 4.14 Sex and Violence
- 15 December 19th-22nd, 2008 - 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday
- 16 End of December 2008 - 4.16 On the Head of a Pin
- 17 ~March 1st - 24th 2009 - 4.17 It's a Terrible Life
- 18 (Optional) Spring 2009 - 7.15 Repo Man
- 19 Unknown 2009 - 4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book
- 20 ~April 17th, 2009 - 4.19 Jump the Shark
- 21 Between April 17th - ~May 3rd, 2009
- 22 ~May 3rd, 2009 - 4.20 The Rapture
- 23 ~May 8th, 2009 - 4.21 When the Levee Breaks
- 24 May 13th-14th, 2009 - 4.22 Lucifer Rising
Between May and September 2008
- Jimmy Novak becomes a vessel. (See 4.20 The Rapture notes below)
- ~Mid-May-June 2008 - Sam develops a severe drinking problem. He attempts to make a deal, but is unsuccessful. Ruby reappears. (See 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer notes below)
- ~July 2008 - Sam attempts a suicide mission to kill Lilith or die trying, Ruby saves him. (4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer)
September 18th-20th, 2008 - 4.01 Lazarus Rising
Day Count: 3
Location: Pontiac, Illinois; Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Dean is our very own Lazarus Rising, when he awakens in a coffin, in Pontiac, Illinois, after four months in hell.
- Dean reads the date on a newspaper, and later Bobby tells us that Dean was buried for 4 months.
- The boys spend 3 days in this episode. The first day, Dean drives from Pontiac to Bobby's house in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (9 hours). On the second day (Sept 19th), Dean and Bobby drive BACK to Pontiac, Illinois, to find Sam. Then on the third day (Sept 20th), Dean finally finds out who raised him from perdition.
September 22nd-24th, 2008 - 4.02 Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester
Day Count: 3
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Unknown other locations.
We join Dean and Sam at Bobby's in Sioux Falls, where Bobby is yet unaware that a Hunter friend of his died two days ago. Dean has got questions, primarily: "Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester," but there is little time for religious contemplation as the Winchesters spend 2 days battling the familiar ghosts after the Rising of the Witnesses. Dean awakens from his conversation with Castiel on the 3rd day of the episode.
- Castiel informs us that "three days ago" Dean didn't believe in angels. We also know that Bobby has been trying to get in touch with Olivia for three days.
Late September 2008 - 4.03 In The Beginning
Day Count: 1 night (present), 3 days (past - April 30th-May 2nd, 1973)
Location: Lawrence, Kansas; Unknown location (present)
Castiel sends Dean back in time to Lawrence, Kansas, in order to see what happened In The Beginning. Although Dean spends 3 days in the past (April 30th - May 2nd, 1973), no time passes in the present.
- This episode takes place on night between September 25th and September 30th
- Dean reads the date on a newspaper. Mary makes her deal 10 years before Sam is born.
- Interesting sidenote: Dean's cellphone tells him that it's 5:12pm, when he wakes up in Lawrence.
Late September 2008 - 4.04 Metamorphosis
Day Count: 3 (including the night shared with the previous episode)
Location: Carthage, Missouri
In the middle of Dean yelling at him about using his powers, Sam gets a call from a fellow Hunter, who tells the boys to go to Carthage, Missouri, and deal with a guy undergoing a Metamorphosis. The boys spend 3 days dealing with a Rugaru.
- Follows directly after In The Beginning - and also takes place sometime between September 25-30th.
October 3rd-6th, 2008 - 4.05 Monster Movie
Day Count: 4
Location: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
The boys find themselves in a makeshift Monster Movie, during Oktoberfest in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. They spend 4 days there.
- It appears most places in Pennsylvania hold Oktoberfest on the first weekend of October.
October 13th OR October 20th, 2008 - 4.06 Yellow Fever
Day Count: 48 hours over 3 days
Location: Rock Ridge, Colorado
Dean gets infected by a ghost sickness, perhaps called Yellow Fever, in Rock Ridge, Colorado, and Sam has 48 hours to find a cure.
- The episode takes place over a 48 period that spans 3 calendar days, beginning on a Monday. Oddly enough, the end scene could possibly take place on a 4th day, as all characters have changed clothes.
- Sam tells us that the autopsy occurred on a Monday morning, given the number of days spent in the episode, it is unlikely to be the 27th.
October 29th - November 1st, 2008 - 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
Day Count: 4
A witch must make 3 blood sacrifices in order to to raise Samhain, while the Winchesters spend 4 days trying to track her down and talking to angels out of unnecessary smiting.
~November 5th, 2008 - 4.08 Wishful Thinking
Day Count: (at least) 3
Location: Concrete, Washington
The Winchesters head to Concrete, Washington, to save some women in showers, but discover that it was all just Wishful Thinking. They spend at least 3 days in the episode.
- Given the conversation at the beginning of the episode, it's a fair to say that it isn't long after the previous episode, as I doubt Sam would wait that long to confront Dean about what Uriel told him - however, that's the only bases I have for the date, so take it with a grain of salt.
- Dean tells Wes that on Thursdays, they're Teddy Bear doctors. By my estimation they were Teddy Bear doctors on the second day of the episode. It was really hard to count the days though.
~November 7th-19th, 2008 - 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer and 4.10 Heaven and Hell
Day Count: 12 (9 in 4.09 and 5 in 4.10-excluding shared night)
Location: Unknown locations; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Kentucky.
The Winchester meet Anna Milton and try to keep her safe from both angels and demons. This two part episode spans 12 days, from the time Anna escapes from the mental institution, to the conversation between Sam and Dean at the side of the road at the end of the second episode, during that time they drive 3 days to find Anna, then to Bobby's house, then Dean drives to Pamela's house twice. Then they drive to Kentucky. (I Know What You Did Last Summer - Heaven & Hell)
- Dean tells Sam that the hospital is a three day drive from where they are when Ruby informs them of Anna's escape. In the second part of the episode, Dean both drives Pamela from and to her home, which is at least 5 hours away from Bobby's, as we know from the fact given in Lazarus Rising that she lives 4 hours outside of Pontiac, Illinois.
- We know it is mid November, because 1)the doctor at the hospital tells us that Anna was perfectly healthy 2 months ago, and we know from Anna that she didn't start hearing voices until Sept. 18th. 2)Anna's psych evaluation states that she was admitted on 09/10/08, which we'll have to assume is day/month/year, since she was still angel-free on Sept. 10th. 3)The flashbacks of Sam say 'Six Months Earlier' which place them in mid-late May, just after Dean's death.
~December 2nd, 2008 - 4.11 Family Remains
Day Count: 3
The Winchesters spend 3 days finding some interesting Family Remains in Nebraska.
- See 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday notes for reasoning behind date.
- Sam says they've been chasing cases for a month since Dean told him about hell, however, in order for Death Takes a Holiday to take place on a solstice, we have to assume that Sam is exaggerating, and it's really only been about two weeks...it just feels like a month.
~December 5th, 2008 - 4.12 Criss Angel Is a Douchebag
Day Count: 5
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
We see 5 days of magic week in Sioux City, Iowa, where everyone agrees that Chriss Angel is a Douchebag.
- Date based on 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday.
- Sidenote: we learn that 34 seals have been broken by this point.
~December 10th, 2008 - 4.13 After School Special
Day Count: 5
Location: Fairfax, Indiana
The Winchesters spend at least 5 days at Truman High in Fairfax, Indiana, investigating an odd series of possessions and reflecting on their own high school experience.
- Date based on 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday
~December 15, 2008 - 4.14 Sex and Violence
Day Count: 4
Location: Bedford, Iowa
The boys head to Bedford, Iowa, where there is plenty of Sex and Violence. They spend at least 4 days hunting a Siren.
- Please note, it is very hard to count days in this episode. Also note that if we want to go for believable, there is no way that the end scene is still in Iowa, no place in Iowa has Vancouver-like bridges or shipyards.
- Date based on 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday
December 19th-22nd, 2008 - 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday
Day Count: 4
Location: Greybull, Wyoming
Sam and Dean get a call and find out that even Death Takes a Holiday sometimes, because no one has died in Greybull, Wyoming, for the last 10 days. They spend at least 4 days trying to figure out why.
- Sam tells Dean, on the estimated second day of the episode, that the reapers have to be killed under the solstice moon, which is 'tomorrow night'.
- This episode is extremely problematic. Solstices are either in December or June, and there is no possible way that this could take place in June, given the weather and the fact that there is snow in the episode after it. Therefore, it HAS to take place in December. That means that all episodes between Family Remains and this one have to occur back-to-back, and the Winchesters can't spend more than a day getting to places, and Sam had to have been exaggerating when he said it had been a month since the roadside confession in Heaven and Hell. It's the only way to get to this episode in time for the solstice.
- That being said, Cole Griffith died “10 days ago” and he "died on January 15 2009" (as seen on Dean’s computer). His gravestone also reads 2009, which would place this episode in late January, well after the solstice. Personally, I’d prefer basing the timeline around the solstice date and not the split-second glimpse of obituaries on a computer screen. However, if we were to base it off the computer screen, then this episode would take place around January 25, 2009. Adjusting the episodes backwards, we could say that Sam WASN’T exaggerating when he indicated that a month had passed between Heaven and Hell and Family Remains).
- Also, going off the solstice date makes much more sense for episodes like After School Special, which could not take place over Christmas. It’s either that, or you could take a combination of the two optional timelines. You could claim that Sam was exaggerating and that Family Remains took place only two weeks after Heaven and Hell, and that After School Special took place December 10th, but then there was a greater gap between After School Special and Sex and Violence, or a greater gap between Sex and Violence and Death Takes a Holiday.
End of December 2008 - 4.16 On the Head of a Pin
Day Count: (at least) 3 (days may not be consecutive - see notes)
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Angels may dance On The Head Of A Pin, but they apparently can't torture demons without Dean Winchester's help. We spend at least 3 days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
- Days may not be consecutive - Dean is only conscious for the first night, the rest of the time he's recovering and Castiel is trying to figure out what went wrong.
- The boys have just come from Pamela's funeral, so we can assume that this episode takes place at most 3 or 4 days after the last episode.
- See 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday notes for details on date.
- Another important thing we learn in this episode is the fact that John Winchester was in hell for "close to a century" (in hell years)...this fits in well with the July 19th Death-date that I have listed for John in S2.
~March 1st - 24th 2009 - 4.17 It's a Terrible Life
~March 1st - Dean Smith and Sam Wesson both start new jobs at Sandover Bridge and Iron Inc.
- Dean and Sam both say that they started working at the company 3 weeks ago. The fact that they both started at the same time, to me, indicates that they actually HAVE been working there the full 3 weeks before meeting up, and the only false memories in their heads are the ones from before their starting date.
~March 24th, 2009
Day Count: 5
Dean and Sam discover It's a Terrible Life in corporate America, when, over the course of 5 days, a ghost starts picking off their co-workers, and they both begin to feel like they were meant for other things.
- Paul Dunbar, the first guy to commit suicide, was set to retire in 2 weeks, on April 14, 2009, according to Dean's computer.
- The date on the phone Sam answers is "22/01/09" (22 January 2009) and the next day it shows "23/01/09" (23 January 2009) which is odd since the USA doesn't use DD/MM/YYYY date format.
(Optional) Spring 2009 - 7.15 Repo Man
Dean and Sam track a serial killer demon in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, and torture it to reveal information on Lilith (Repo Man.)
- This flashback states “four years previously”, but due to a continuity error in Season 6, that could mean that it takes place during either Season 3 or Season 4.
- Both Dean and Sam seem fine with torturing the demon for information, which could either be confirmation that this takes place after Dean’s stint in hell and during Sam’s demon-blood addiction...or it could be evidence that this takes place in Season 3, due to Dean not being sensitive about his torturing past.
- They might have been trying to find Lilith in order to prevent the apocalypse.
Unknown 2009 - 4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book
Day Count: 3
While investigating a haunting, the Winchesters discover a book series about their lives. They spend 3 days tracking down the author, Carver Edlund aka Chuck Shirley, to try to find out who The Monster At The End Of This Book is.
~April 17th, 2009 - 4.19 Jump the Shark
Day Count: 5
Location: Windom, Minnesota
After answering a call on their dad's old cell phone, Dean and Sam drive to Windom, Minnesota, where they discover that they have a half-brother named Adam Milligan.
- There are 3 days between Kate Milligan's death and Dean and Sam's arrival in Windom. Dean and Sam spend at least 2 days getting to know Adam, so in total this episode spans a total of 5 days.
- Date based off information in 4.21 When The Levee Breaks
Between April 17th - ~May 3rd, 2009
- Bobby and Rufus investigate what they think is a ghost haunting a house in Grand Rapids, MI.
- Sam and Dean are in Reno.
(see 11.16 Safe House or Timeline (Season 11))
~May 3rd, 2009 - 4.20 The Rapture
Day Count: 3
Location: Unknown; Pontiac, Illinois; Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sam and Dean find out all about The Rapture of Jimmy Novak, when they go to meet Castiel and discover that he's been dragged out of his vessel and back to heaven. The boys spend 3 days trying to protect Jimmy's family from demons. They travel from their undisclosed first location to Pontiac, Illinois, and then at the end to Bobby's house in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
- NOTE: according to a network treatment of the script (which is unfortunately no longer available online, so you'll have to take my word for it) Jimmy is first contacted by Castiel on Christmas eve 2007, is tested with the boiling water in March 2008, and accepts possession in September 2008.
~May 8th, 2009 - 4.21 When the Levee Breaks
Day Count: ~5
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; James Town, North Dakota; Elk River and Cold Spring, Unknown State
We find out what happens When the Levee Breaks, as Dean tries to force Sam into detox and the gulf between the brothers grows. It's hard to tell how many days Sam spends in the panic room, but by my estimate the episode covers about 5 days. We spend most of the episode at Bobby's in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but once Sam breaks lose he travels to James Town, North Dakota, and then on to Elk River and Cold Spring, Unknown state.
- Sam asks Ruby where she's been for the past 3 weeks - here we will have to assume that it was after the blood-letting in 4.19 Jump the Shark that Sam first failed to get a hold of Ruby for a fresh dose.
May 13th-14th, 2009 - 4.22 Lucifer Rising
Day Count: 2
Location: Unknown; Ilchester, Maryland
The boys fail to prevent Lucifer Rising. We pick up the day after the ending of the previous episode and spend 2 days with the boys. Sam kidnaps a nurse from an undisclosed location the first night and travels to Ilchester, Maryland, to kill Lilith the second night.
- When Sam checks his cellphone and sees that he has a message from Dean, the display states the date. It also says that the time is 7:13pm.
All information for this timeline taken from hells_half_acre's SPN Timeline