It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester is the 7th episode of Season 4. It aired on October 30th, 2008.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
It's a few days before Halloween and Sam and Dean investigate two mysterious deaths in a small town. The brothers find hex bags and deduce a witch is sacrificing people to summon a dangerous demon named Samhain. Castiel (guest star Misha Collins) arrives in town and tells Sam and Dean the freeing of Samhain is one of the Seals that will lead to freeing Lucifer, so Castiel has brought a specialist angel named Uriel (guest star Robert Wisdom) to smite the entire town.
The day before Halloween, Sam and Dean are investigating the death of Luke Wallace, who was found having swallowed four razor blades after eating some store-bought candy. Dean discovers a hex bag behind the fridge, but no one can find a reason for a witch to want him dead. In the hex bag, Sam finds gold thread, an herb supposedly extinct for 200 years, a centuries-old Celtic coin, and the charred finger bone of an infant, all indications of an extremely powerful witch at work.
That evening, a high school student drowns in a tub of boiling water at a Halloween party. Her friend, Tracy Davis, tells Sam and Dean that she doesn't know how it happened, and she doesn't know Luke Wallace. Another hex bag turns up in the couch; with some research, Sam concludes that this isn't a grudge at work but a spell, calling for "three blood sacrifices over three days, the last before midnight on the final day of the final harvest." The witch is summoning the demon Samhain on Halloween, the day on the Celtic calendar where the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest. Once Samhain returns, he can raise other things from Hell, which promises a bloodbath if he can't be stopped.
On Halloween day, Dean discovers that Tracy is in fact the Wallace family's babysitter. Sam learns of a violent altercation with one of her teachers, and that she was suspended from school. He and Dean visit Don Harding, the art teacher, whose masks seem to remind Dean of Hell. Don claims Tracy "nearly clawed his eyes out" after he told her her work was "inappropriate and disturbing," describing pages of cryptic symbols and violent drawings in which she participated in horrific killings. No one can locate Tracy to follow up.
The Winchesters return to their hotel room, where they find two men who Sam quickly points a gun at until Dean reveals one of them is Castiel but does not know the other one. Sam is enthusiastic to finally meet Castiel, while the latter is hesitant to shake his hand but does so and says he's happy Sam stopped drinking demon blood. He introduces the other man who is an angel named Uriel. Castiel asked if they learned the witches' identity which they confirm before he shows them a hex bag was stashed in the wall of the room; the witch is onto the investigation, and they are short on time. Castiel reveals that the raising of Samhain is one of the 66 Seals. He advises Sam and Dean to leave town, because he and Uriel are going to destroy it. Dean refuses to leave short of being killed himself, and Castiel agrees to hold off so the witch can be stopped before she summons the demon. Sam is disappointed by the angels' behavior, but Dean asks him not to lose faith in the cause behind them. "Babe Ruth was a dick," he says, "but baseball's still a beautiful game."
Sam realizes that the infant's bone from the hex bag is too charred to come from a normal fire, and they stop back at the high school art department. The hex bag showed up after confronting the teacher, and they find more children's bones in Don's desk. Meanwhile, Castiel tells Uriel to be patient with the humans: there's a reason they saved Dean from Hell -- he has "potential" and might succeed at this task. Uriel is not convinced, and urges removing Dean and proceeding with the town's destruction. Castiel rebukes him, saying, "You know our true orders."
As trick-or-treaters go about their business, Sam and Dean interrupt Don sacrificing Tracy in his basement. Sam shoots him before he can hurt Tracy -- who reveals herself as a witch, and Don's sister. She incapacitates the boys and completes the spell. Sam smears Don's blood on his and Dean's face; they play dead while Samhain rises, possessing Don's corpse and killing Tracy. They follow the demon to a cemetery, and Dean begs Sam to use Ruby's knife rather than his powers to fight him off.Samhain discovers high schoolers partying in a mausoleum, and locks them inside, where zombies and ghosts attack them. One of the students is killed, while the others are freed by Dean. Sam goes after Samhain who flashes a white light similar to Lilith's but Sam is unaffected. The demon disarms Sam of Ruby's knife, so Sam falls back on his powers, exorcising Samhain at a great physical toll, and in front of his brother.
The next day, as Sam is packing, Uriel appears and warns him not to use his powers again. He threatens Sam with obliteration the moment he stops being useful to the angels. He also suggests the Dean should "get off his high horse," and tells Sam to ask Dean what he remembers from Hell.
Elsewhere, Dean is sitting on a park bench, watching all the children they've saved play. Castiel appears, and reveals the angels' true orders: to do whatever Dean told them to do, as a test of his steadiness under battlefield conditions. Dean, thinking he's failed, asserts that he'd make the same decisions all over again if he had to, because of what he and Sam have saved. Castiel confides that he was praying Dean would choose as he did, and also that he has questions and doubts about the plan from Heaven. He warns that in the coming months, there will be more hard decisions for Dean -- and the angel does not envy him that.
- Misha Collins as Castiel
- Robert Wisdom as Uriel
- Ashley Benson as Tracy Davis
- Don McManus as Don Harding and Samhain
- Kirsten Robek as Mrs. Wallace
- Luisa D'Oliveira as Jenny
- David Ingram as Luke Wallace
- Jean-Luc Bilodeau as Justin
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
- Angels (Castiel and Uriel)
- Archangels (mentioned only)
- Fairies (mentioned only)
- Ghouls (mentioned only)
- Leprechaun (mentioned only)
- Prince of Hell (Azazel, mentioned only)
- Special Demon (Samhain)
- Witches (Tracy Davis and Don Harding)
- Uriel is introduced, as is one of the angels' slurs for humans: "mud-monkey".
- This episode reveals Castiel to be something more than just a "dick with wings". His pure, almost innocent personality and wonder for humans endeared him to audiences and resulted in his originally-planned 10-episode run being extended for another two seasons and his elevation to a main character.
- Sam meets Castiel for the first time in this episode. He hesitated shaking Sam's hand at first, but finally grasped it and expressed his approval that he'd ceased his "extracurricular activities", after referring to him as "The boy with the demon blood."
- This episode foreshadowed the Season 5 sub-plot of Dean refusing Michael permission to use him as a vessel. In both instances, giving the angels permission would result in the deaths of a substantial number of people to save the world; and in both instances, Dean stubbornly refused to sacrifice the few for the many.
- Uriel's open verbal distaste for Dean's own self-righteousness foreshadowed the revelation of Dean's actions in Hell and their lasting consequences.
- Uriel's willful, belligerent behavior in following orders foreshadowed his disobedience. His desire to smite the whole town even when it could be saved also showed he cared nothing for human life.
- In traditional lore, the angel Uriel is known as the Angel of Purification (earning him the title of "the Purifier"), which is probably why Castiel introduced him as "a specialist". Uriel also alludes to this title when he says, "This isn't the first time I've... purified a city."
- Uriel's status as a "grunt" angel is at odds with traditional lore, given that Uriel is one of the only three angels explicitly identified as archangels, the other two being Michael and Raphael. (Interesting sidebar: while angels such as Gabriel, Metatron and even Lucifer are generally accepted as being--or having been--archangels, there is no direct evidence provided in religious texts to support this.)
- When Castiel tells Uriel he's "close to blasphemy", he's referring to God's decree that angels love and marvel humans more than they did him.
- The name of the demon Samhain comes from Irish Gaelige, and is correctly pronounced in English as "Sah-wen."
- Referencing the TV special "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".
- The aliases "Agent Geddy" and "Agent Lee" are a reference to Geddy Lee, who is the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock band Rush.
- The alias Dean gives after the second death scene is "Agent Seger" which is a reference to classic rock icon Bob Seger.
- The art seen as Sam explains the lore surrounding Samhain is reminiscent of Gustave Doré's illustration in Inferno, Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
- "Just As Through With You" by Nine Days (playing at the Halloween house party)
- "Bomb" by Triple 7 (playing at the Halloween crypt party)
- Sam: What about you? Find anything on the victim?
- Dean: This Luke Wallace--he was so vanilla that he made vanilla seem spicy.
- Sam: We'll stop this witch before she summons anyone. Your seal won't be broken and no one has to die.
- Uriel: We're wasting time with these mud monkeys.
- Dean: (while fighting a zombie) Bring it on, stinky!
- Dean: Zombie-ghost orgy, huh? Well, that's it. I'm torching everybody.
- Castiel: The decision's been made.
- Uriel:By a mud monkey.
- Castiel: You shouldn't call them that.
- Uriel: Oh, that's what they are... savages. Just plumbing on two legs.
- Castiel: You're close to blasphemy.
- German: Der große Kürbis, Sam Winchester (The great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester)