Timeline (Season 5)
- 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.
May 14th-~May 18th, 2009 - 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil
Day Count: 3 or 4
Location: Ilchester, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland; Unknown
There is little Sympathy For The Devil as the Winchesters begin to regroup after Lucifer's rising. They spend approx. 3 to 4 days traveling from Ilchester, Maryland, to Baltimore (by plane), to Chuck's house, and, presumably, a city close to Chuck's house.
- The clock on the car radio in the rental says 11:58 (pm, assumed, given that it’s night time). Sam had to kill Lilith at midnight, so the time on the clock could very well be a full 24 hours after Lucifer rose. This would account for the time it would take to get off the airplane and rent a car. Either that, or the clock is simply wrong. Day count includes the 14th.
Between May 27th and May 31th - 5.02 Good God, Y'All
Day Count: 4 or 5
Location: River Pass, Colorado
After a phone call from Rufus, the boys leave their unknown city in the east and drive to River Pass, Colorado, where it's War. Estimated at least a 1 day trip to get to Colorado from where they were, means that they spend around 4 or 5 days in this episode.
- 2 days are spent in River Pass, the conversation at the end could take place on a 3rd day, based solely on Sam changing his shirt, the choice is yours.
- Dean says at the beginning that Bobby hasn't spoken in 3 days, which would put this episode between ~May 20th - 25th. However, we do not know whether he stopped talking immediately after the last episode or not, so unfortunately that tells us nothing. We learn from the citizens of River pass though, that War showed up "last Wednesday". If we assume that Bobby fell silent immediately after the last episode, that would mean that War showed up the day after Rufus put in his distress call...which doesn’t make sense. People don't usually say "last Wednesday" unless it is, or is after, another Wednesday. War couldn’t have shown up BEFORE Lucifer rose, so, it's more likely that there's been a little more time between episodes. Since the boys are still hanging around the hospital though, it probably hasn't been too long, at most a week, I'd say.
- Dean’s X-ray has a date of “...4-09-2009” as it cannot be April or September already, this date has been disregarded.
June to August 25th, 2009 OR First half of June, 2009 - 5.03 Free to Be You and Me
Day Count: 3 or 4 day storyline for each Winchester
Location: Garber, Oklahoma; Greeley, Pennsylvania; Maine
Dean and Sam are Free to be You and Me, when they spend an unspecified time apart. We follow a 3 (or 4) day storyline for each Winchester. Sam's takes place in Garber, Oklahoma. Dean hunts vampires in Greeley, Pennsylvania, and then heads to Maine with Castiel.
There are two ways to interpret the timing of this episode:
- 1. The boys spend a week apart - Dean hunts a vampire and Sam gets a job, before the events of the episode take place.
- 2. The boys have spent nearly 3 months apart: The date spotted on Sam's laptop on the second day of his storyline - 08/23/09, 3:38pm - would mean that the boys have actually spent almost 3 months apart.
Let's look at the supporting evidence for both:
- Lindsey tells Sam that he blew into town "last week" - this would support the one week theory; though, one could also argue that Sam may not have given up the normadic lifestyle, and this might not be his first stop since leaving Dean.
- I find it doubtful that Cas would go almost three months without contacting Dean; however, the two storylines we are seeing may NOT actually be happening simultaneously. It is possible that we are seeing Dean in June and Sam in August.
- The next episode - The End - may also take place in August. Given that Sam calls Dean with the news from Lucifer at the beginning of that episode, it is likely that it follows shortly after this one, as I doubt Sam would keep the information from his brother for long. That being said, The End might not actually take place in August either - see 5.04 The End notes.
3. The Third Option: Both storylines take place in August, after an unseen two months apart
- In Supernatural The Official Companion Season 5, there is a mock up of a tabloid article about the Gas Station fire that Dean and Cas investigate in order to find Raphael. The tabloid is dated August 21st, 2010...now, the problem with this is that it’s not 2010 yet (however, it was 2010 when they were putting together the Official Companion).
~August 25th, 2009 OR Mid-June, 2009 - 5.04 The End
Day Count: 3 days (future), 4 hours (present)
Location: Kansas City, Missouri; Unknown
Dean finds out what happens in The End, when Zachariah transports him 5 years into the future to August 2014. At the beginning of the episode, Dean has just driven "16 hours" to Kansas City. He spends 3 days in the future, but only 4 hours pass in 2009. Dean then meets back up with Sam either that same day or after traveling to the meeting point.
- Dean is transported to August 2014 – the Newspaper Zach shows him says August 4th, the City-sign says August 1st - either he was transported there because that is when the final show down with Lucifer takes place, or he was transported there because it happens to be EXACTLY 5 years in the future. However...
- Dean says that he is from the "tail-end" of 2009 - which would support the August 2009 date more than the June date.
- Another interesting thing to note is that Dean said he drove "16 hours" to get to Kansas City - we last saw him in Maine, which is considerably further than a 16 hour drive. This could support the idea that the storylines we see in Free to Be You and Me are actually not occurring simultaneously...if we believe that Sam would have called Dean immediately after his visit from Lucifer, which I personally do.
Saturday-Wednesday, Mid September OR Early July, 2009 - 5.05 Fallen Idols
Day Count: 5
Location: Canton, Ohio
Dean and Sam encounter many a Fallen Idol as famous people begin to kill their super-fans in Canton, Ohio. We spend 5 days with the Winchesters as they hunt Leshi, the forest god.
- Dean says they've spent 3 weeks looking for the Colt. Therefore this episode takes place 3 weeks after 5.04 The End
- Sam is researching Leschii on the fourth day of the episode, and the website he’s on informs us that it’s a Tuesday.
- On the third day, Sam and Dean go to the Wax Museum at 4:30pm. It is a Monday.
Unknown 2009 - 5.06 I Believe the Children Are Our Future
Day Count: 3 (at least)
Location: Elk Creek, Nebraska
Dean and Sam drive from Alliance to Elk Creek, Nebraska, and then back again, when the Winchesters meet Jesse - the most adorable Anti-Christ ever. They spend at least 3 days in this episode.
- It's 9 hours driving time between Alliance and Elk Creek - I'm assuming that Dean and Sam drive all night to get to Elk Creek on the evening of the second day - meet Jesse's mother in the morning of the third day, and then drive back to Alliance - arriving in the evening of the third day
November 2009 - 5.07 The Curious Case of Dean Winchester
Day Count: 3
Location: Unknown (relatively close to Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
It's The Curious Case of Dean Winchester, after Bobby leads the boys into a dangerous high-stakes poker game in an unknown location (though relatively close to Bobby's house). The Winchester part of the episode takes place over 3 days.
- The missing person, Cliff, gets an hourly rate at a motel every Tuesday. Dean finds an old receipt in a jacket pocket at his house. Dean's thumb covers the date on the receipt, but you can see what looks like "Tues. 11/-" which would make it November. (Americans write their dates MM/DD/YY)
- In my opinion, this supports the hypothesis that the Winchester's were separated for 3 months between Good God Y'all and Free To Be You And Me, instead of one week, and that the two separate storylines of Free To Be You And Me did not occur simultaneously.
Unknown (Friday-Saturday) 2009 - 5.08 Changing Channels
Day Count: 2 (at least)
Location: Wellington, Ohio
We discover that Dean is a closet Dr. Sexy MD fan when Sam catches him not Changing Channels when the show comes on. The brothers then get trapped in TVland for at least 2 days in Wellington, Ohio.
- Dean looks up the article on the victim on a Friday ("Guardian Archives" list days in descending order as "yesterday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, etc...)
- Castiel tells the brothers that they've been missing "for days" when he runs onto the set of the game show. We do not know the last time that Dean contacted Castiel, but we do know that the Sitcom (which came after the Game Show) was only two days after the day they started investigating the Hulk case. So, either Dean forgot to check in with Castiel before they got trapped by the Trickster, or Castiel is exaggerating a little bit.
Unknown 2009 - 5.09 The Real Ghostbusters
Day Count: 2
Location: Unknown (close to Toledo, Ohio)
Sam and Dean drive all night to see Chuck at an unknown location, only to discover they've been duped into attending the first ever Supernatural convention. They spend 2 days finding out who The Real Ghostbusters are.
- The actress at the convention works at a Hooters in Toledo, Ohio. In my opinion, this episode must take place somewhere close to there, as I doubt she’d go very far afield for this type of gig.
Unknown - 5.10 Abandon All Hope
Day Count: ~7
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Carthage, Missouri; Unknown
It might be time to Abandon All Hope, when the Hunters all get together to try to kill Lucifer in Carthage, Missouri.
- The meeting with Crowley and everything that follows all happens within the span of one week, but it is impossible to give an accurate day-count. We know that the events in Cathage occur on a Thursday. We witness approx. 3 days during the episode, but there is no way to tell how much time passes between the events that we see. (ie: between Castiel tracking down Crowley, and Jo’s ruse to get inside the mansion, or between getting the Colt and the party the night before Carthage, or between Carthage and the “funeral” for Ellen and Jo).
- Crowley says that Lucifer will be in Carthage on Thursday. I’ve assumed, for the sake of the timeline, that the “Funeral” for Ellen and Jo is held by Bobby and the boys on the Friday. That being said, Bobby technically needed time to get that picture developed...unless he has a dark room we don’t know about. So some lee-way could be taken with the amount of time between Carthage and the “funeral.”
Unknown - 5.11 Sam, Interrupted
Day Count: 3
Location: Ketchum, Oklahoma
The boys spend 3 days in Glenwood Springs Psychiatric Hospital in Ketchum, Oklahoma, where they promptly go crazy trying to hunt a Wraith.
- There IS a date in this episode of 09/11/09 (on the Winchesters’ psychiatric report), which by American dating standards would be September 9th, 2009. There is a problem with using this date though: 1. It’s the same date that appears on the first victim’s psychiatric report as the date she was admitted – even though we know she has been there far longer than they have. 2. The psychiatric report about Sam and Dean (or “Alex and Edward”) already has the results of the meeting they are in typed out on the report. 3. As much as I have very little to base the other dates so far this season on, I highly doubt they’d only be in September – Supernatural has a tendency to follow the year as we watch. So, in conclusion, I’m ignoring the dates on the report – you can disagree if you want though. If it IS September, that doesn’t support the 3 month separation theory for 5.03.
Unknown 2010 - 5.12 Swap Meat
Day Count: 2
Location: Housatonic, Massachusetts
Dean and Sam spend 2 days in Housatonic, Massachusetts, when an amateur warlock finds a way to Swap Meat-suits with Sam. Gary spends approx. 24 hours in Sam’s body.
- A booklet in Gary’s locker says “Advanced Placement Physics – Notice of Exam – Dec. 11th”; however, this is a kid’s locker, there’s no telling how long that booklet has been in there for.
Unknown 2010 - 5.13 The Song Remains the Same
Day Count: 1 night (past), unknown (present)
Location: Lawrence, Kansas; Unknown
The Winchesters spend one night in 1978’s Lawrence, Kansas, trying to save their parents, but sadly The Song Remains The Same. Their location in the present is unknown. In the present, they change clothes before Cas comes back, so there’s no real way of knowing how much time passes between the Winchester’s return to the present and Castiel’s return.
- Dean informs Mary that they are from 2010.
- We do not know how long Castiel stayed in 1978 before returning.
February 14th-17th, 2010 - 5.14 My Bloody Valentine
Day Count: 4
Location: Unknown; Sioux Falls, South Dakota
It’s one big My Bloody Valentine when Famine rolls into an unnamed town and starts causing people to kill themselves and each other in the throes of hunger. Sam, Dean, and Castiel, spend 4 days on the case, and then head to Bobby’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
- Sam says that it’s Valentine’s Day just after he returns from interviewing the friend of the opening victim.
- According to the container holding the heart of one of the double suicide victims, the autopsy was performed on 02/15/10 at 10:24 – which means that the guy was working on Valentine’s Day! It also means that the restaurant that Dean, Sam, and Castiel go to in order to find Cupid is late taking down its Valentine’s Day decorations.
- The dead Coroner’s toe-tag is dated 02/17. He died that morning, and Dean and Castiel follow his soul to the final showdown with Famine.
- It is unclear whether they are close enough to make it to Bobby’s on the same night, or if the final scene takes place a day or more later – if it is a day later, then the day could would be 5, and the date the episode ended would be the 18th.
February 24th-26th OR March 3rd-5th, 2010 - 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Day Count: 3
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
We discover that Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, when the dead start rising near Bobby’s house in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We spend 3 days with the boys, but the dead began to rise 4 days before the episode began.
- Bobby says that the thunderstorms aren’t that unusual for South Dakota in February.
- Clay came back from the dead 3 days before the Winchesters break into his house (which they do the evening of the first day they are in town).
- Dean says “Another Horseman, great, must be Thursday”, while this line is really a breaking-the-fourth-wall joke, canon-Dean does not know he’s on a TV show that airs on Thursday – so we have to assume that he chose to say Thursday because it actually is Thursday. He says this line on the second day, so therefore the episode actually starts on a Wednesday.
- We know the boys have been away from Bobby’s house before the episode begins, or else Bobby’s wife wouldn’t have come as a surprise. So, your take on when the episode takes place depends on how long you think it took Sam to detox. Personally, I see the episode occurring in the first week of March, with the thunderstorms the boys are referring to having been the week before (in February).
Unknown 2010 - 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon
Day Count: A few hours
Sam and Dean are shot and killed by two Hunters and find themselves in Heaven. They are only dead for a few hours presumably, and they most likely leave shortly after being resurrected.
Possibly Mid-Late March 2010 - 5.17 99 Problems
Day Count: 3
Location: Blue Earth, Minnesota; Cicero, Indiana
Sam and Dean have 99 Problems when they find the Whore of Babylon in Blue Earth, Minnesota. They spend at least 3 days in Blue Earth, and Dean’s final scene is on a 4th day in Cicero, Indiana.
- Dean says that the world is going to end in a month or two – I can only assume he is choosing the foretold event in Detroit as “the end.” If we assume Abandon All Hope took place in November, than that would make Detroit take place in May (which is consistent with how the show usually makes their season finale match up with the date it airs), which would in turn put this episode sometime in March.
- Interesting fact: Blue Earth is also where Pastor Jim lived and was killed back in S1.
Possibly Mid-Late March 2010 - 5.18 Point of No Return
Day Count: 2
Location: Cicero, Indian; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Van Nuys, California
The boys reach the Point of No Return after Sam tracks Dean down in Cicero, Indiana, and gets him back to Bobby’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They spend one day at Bobby’s, and then one day getting Castiel to zap them to Van Nuys, California, in order to rescue Adam.
- After Castiel disappears, they steal a truck to presumably get back to Bobby’s for their car, so no travel time needs to be added for the trip from South Dakota to California, but travel needs to be taken into account between this episode and the next one.
- The stationary Dean writes his goodbye letter on at the beginning of the episode is for the [..]Travel Inn in Cicero Indiana.
Unknown 2010 - 5.19 Hammer of the Gods
Day Count: 12 hours (spanning 2 calendar days)
Location: Unknown (near the I-90)
Dean and Sam find themselves corralled into a swanky roadside hotel, which just so happens to be playing host to a conference of Pagan gods. The episode takes place probably within the span of 12 hours, but covering 2 calendar days.
- The Winchesters were travelling down the I-90 when they were forced to take a detour, this would place them in the northern US, perhaps just traveling away from Bobby’s house, where they would have gone to pick up the Impala after the events of Point of No Return.
- Dean is concerned because Sam hasn’t slept much the past week – whether he hasn’t slept because this is shortly after the events of Point of No Return, no one says. Nor is it mentioned how long Castiel and Adam have been missing.The cuts on Dean’s face have healed, but on Supernatural, that means very little.
Unknown 2010 - 5.20 The Devil You Know
Day Count: 3
Location: West Nevada; Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Crowley introduces Sam to The Devil You Know, when the boys take two days to track down and destroy the Horsemans’ stable boy, in West Nevada. We spend at least 2 days with the Winchesters, and then a third day with Bobby.
- When Crowley is giving Dean directions, he talks about the intersection of 50 and 93 North, this would place them somewhere around Ely, Nevada.
- They’ve already tracked Pestilence through 4 towns. That being said, Brady lifts up the same Weekend Edition of the paper that we saw in the final scene of the previous episode – which suggests that it has perhaps only been a few days.
Unknown Sunday-Thursday 2010 - 5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight
Day Count: 5 (at least)
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Davenport, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Unknown (possibly Nevada)
It’s Two Minutes to Midnight as the apocalypse looms and Sam and Dean are running out of time to prevent the end of life as they know it. The boys travel between Bobby’s place in Souix Falls, South Dakota; Davenport, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; and an unnamed location (possibly Nevada) where the Niveus plant is located. We spend at least 5 days in this episode.
- The Niveus shipment is set to be distributed on Wednesday according to the article that Crowley shows Sam. When Bobby, Sam, and Cas go to prevent the shipment, it is on the day that it is being shipped.
- It’s 9 hours driving time between Sioux Falls and Chicago, but it seems that Dean drives to Chicago the night before, foregoing sleep in order to get there the next day.
Unknown 2010 - 5.22 Swan Song
Day Count: 3 (at least)
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Detroit, Michigan; Lawrence, Kansas; Cicero, Indiana
We watch Sam’s Swan Song, as the boys decide to go through with Sam’s plan of saying yes to Lucifer in order to trap him in the whole. Including estimated driving times, we spend at least 3 days with the boys: One day preparing, one day for the showdown, and one day with Dean dealing with the immediate aftermath. They travel from Sioux Falls, SD, to Detroit, MI, to Lawrence, KS, and then Dean drives back to Sioux Falls before heading on to Cicero, Indiana. The final scene, in which Dean eats dinner with Lisa and Ben, happens on an unspecified date sometime after the events of the episode.
- The season finales are usually set in May. So, if you are in dire need of an approx. date for this episode, May would be your best bet.
A week after Swan Song - Bobby hunts a Rugaru outside of Dayton, Ohio
All information for this Timeline from hells_half_acre's SPN Timeline