No Exit is the 6th episode of Season 2. It premiered on November 2nd, 2006.
Sam and Dean have a problem: H.H. Holmes, one of the first-known serial killers, is now a ghost and back for more gore. And they have another problem: Jo, who follows them on their hunt despite her mother's objections.
The episode opens in an apartment building. The lights are flickering and scratching is heard in the walls. A girl is on the phone complaining about the flickering lights. She sits down on the couch and notices drops of a black tar-like substance on the coffee table falling from the ceiling. Hearing the scratching becoming louder, she gets up and walks towards the other end of the room. She sees more of the tar substance oozing out of the light switch and flowing like a fountain down the side of the wall. Looking closely into the screw hole of the switch, a man’s eye pops up and she screams at the top of her lungs.
Sam and Dean are outside the roadhouse making a joke about heading for L.A. to investigate the disappearance of Katie Holmes, who’s been kidnapped by an evil cult. However, as they’re getting in the car, they hear screaming and yelling inside the roadhouse and go check out the catfight. Jo and Ellen are arguing over whether Jo should be allowed to go on a hunt by herself. The phone rings and when Ellen goes to answer it, Jo shows Sam and Dean the case on the death of the girl in the Philadelphia apartment three days ago. Over the past 80 years six women have disappeared from the same building, all young blondes. The murders only occurred once every decade or two so the cops never eyeballed the pattern. Dean asks if Ash put this case together and Jo says she did it herself. Ellen tells the boys to take the case and says to Jo, “Joanna Beth, this family has lost enough. I won’t lose you too. I just won’t.”
The boys sneak into the girl’s apartment and scan the room with their EMFs. Sam picks up high signals as he pans the scanner over the light switch. He notices the tar-like substance and recognizes it as ectoplasm. Sam says he’s only seen this stuff once or twice and in order to make it, you have to be one majorly pissed off spirit.
As the boys walk down the hallway, they hear voices and hide behind the corner. However, as the voices get closer they realize that it’s Jo, who’s followed them here, talking with the building manager about renting the apartment. She tells him that Dean is her boyfriend and they need a fresh start and they want to rent the apartment. Dean decides to go along with the charade and says he wants the apartment. Jo opens her purse and hands the manager a roll of bills in exchange for the key.
Sam and Dean are loading up their weapons and Dean asks Jo if her mother knows she’s here. Jo says that she left a note saying she was in Vegas and that she got Ash to lay a credit card trail all the way to the casinos. Dean’s phone rings. It’s Ellen, wanting to know if Jo’s with them. Dean’s about ready to spill the beans, but covers for Jo and says that he hasn’t seen her.
Going over the building's history, Jo informs them that this building was originally built in 1924 as a warehouse and then turned into an apartment complex a few years ago. Before that, there was nothing. There were no violent deaths reported in the past 82 years. Sam thinks it could be a cursed object that brought the spirit along. They decide to scan every area of the building they can get to. Jo says they’ll save time by splitting up, but Dean says there’s no way he’s letting her out of his sight.
Dean and Jo are scanning the first two floors and arguing about this hunt. Jo says that using herself as bait would be the quickest way to catch the spirit. Dean chuckles in his throat saying, “I’m so regretting this.” At that moment, Jo finally confronts Dean about his attitude towards her and that she’s tired of his chauvinist crap, thinking women can’t do the job. Dean says women can do the job, but amateurs can’t and that she has no experience. Sounding like Ellen, Dean tells Jo that she’s got options, that no one in their right mind chooses this job and that she should be grateful to have a mother who cares for her and wants more for her.
They continue walking down the hall. Jo stops at the turn corner, scanning the halls. The camera pans down at the vent and we see grey, gushy fingers extending out. Jo turns around suddenly and the fingers disappear. Dean senses a smell that he recognizes, but he can’t put a name to it. Jo picks up high signals as she scans the vent. Dean unscrews the vent and reaches in hoping to find something and manages to pull out a lock of blonde hair still attached to the scalp.
Teresa walks into the apartment later that evening, reading a letter in the mail. Drops of ectoplasm fall from the ceiling. The lights start flickering and she looks up at the ceiling and sees the walls shredding open. She rushes to the phone only to get static. She tries the front door, but no luck. Then as she turns around towards the wall, she sees the hand coming out of the vent. It grabs her by the leg and pulls her in.
Next morning, Dean is sleeping on the couch and wakes up to the sound of sirens outside. Jo’s been awake for sometime, reviewing all the information so far, still twirling around the small pocket knife in her hand. Dean takes a larger one out of his bag and hands it to her, saying it will work better than that one. She hands him hers and he reads the inscription on the knife: W.A.H. (William Anthony Harvelle), her father. Dean apologizes for the mistake and she asks him what’s the first thing that comes to his mind when he thinks about his dad. Dean recalls a time when he was six and his dad took him targeting for the first time and he bulls-eyed every one. Jo says she remembers her dad coming home from a hunt each night and how happy she and her mom were to have him home because they were a family again. Jo says that she wants to do this job for him.
Sam walks in and reports that another girl, Teresa Ellis, in apartment 2F, disappeared last night. There were cracks all over the walls and ceiling, ectoplasm too. Jo points out in a picture over the area that the building next door was once a prison. She calls up Ash to get information. He digs up that it was the Moyamensing Prison, built in 1835 and torn down in 1963. They executed people by hanging them in the empty field next door. Ash emails Sam a list of everyone executed, a total of 157 names. One of the names on the list is Herman Webster Mudgett (H.H. Holmes). Sam pulls up information on Holmes. He was executed at the prison on May 7th, 1896. The term multi-murder was used to describe him, he was America’s first serial killer before anyone knew what a serial killer was. He confessed to 27 murders, but some put the death toll at over 100. His victim flavor of choice was blonde women and he used chloroform to kill them, which is what Dean smelled in the hallway last night. The cops found human remains and long locks of blonde hair in his home. Jo says that they should find the bones, salt them and burn them. Sam says it’s not going to be that easy. His body was buried in town, but it’s encased in several tons of concrete. The story goes that Holmes didn’t want anyone mutilating his corpse because that’s what he used to do.
Sam also points out that Holmes built an apartment building in Chicago, which came to be known as the Murder Castle. The whole place was a death factory: secret chambers, trap doors, acid vats, and quick lime pits. He built these chambers inside the walls, locking his victims inside, keeping them alive for days. He would suffocate some and let others starve to death.
The three of them break through the dry wall and head inside to search for any sign of Teresa. Dean and Jo come across a path too narrow for Dean to get through. But Jo can fit through, so she continues down the path on her own. She follows the path to the north wall and heads down an air duct to the lower level. Looking at the walls, Jo sees more of the ectoplasm seeping the through the bricks. Still on the phone, Dean hears her screaming and a few seconds later, the call cuts off. Dean rushes down to the next floor, hammers into the dry wall trying to find her. But all he finds is her cell phone.
Sam and Dean have been inside the walls all night searching for Jo and have found no sign of her. Dean’s phone rings. It’s Ellen and she’s boiling mad because he lied to her. She demands to know where Jo is and Dean tells her that they'll get her back. “You promise, that’s not the first time I’ve heard that from a Winchester. I’m on the next flight out.” Sam notices that there’s a sewer system connected to the building, and they lose no time and head out.
Jo wakes up and finds herself trapped in a tight space. She turns on her flashlight and sees fingerprints and dried blood on the ceiling. In the next room, Jo sees Teresa and she tries to reassure her that Sam and Dean will find them. Holmes walks into the chambers and reaches into Jo’s cell and grabs a handful of her hair. It cuts to Sam and Dean finding the hatch to the sewer. Back in the chambers, Holmes whispers how Jo is so beautiful and starts to touch her. Jo manages to grab her knife and stab his hand. He lets out a shout and vanishes. The scene cuts to Dean crawling through the sewers for a moment, before cutting back to the girls. Teresa asks if Holmes is gone. Jo says she doesn't know. Moments later, Holmes reaches into her cell, knocking her knife away and covering her mouth, starting to suffocate her. At that moment, Sam and Dean burst into the chamber and fire several rounds of rock salt into his stomach. Sam and Dean get both Jo and Teresa out of their cells. Sam gets Teresa out of the sewers but Dean says that they have to use Jo as bait because it’s the only thing he can think of at this point. Jo agrees to it and sits in the middle of the open chamber sitting perfectly still. Holmes suddenly appears behind Jo and inches closer and closer to her. As he’s hovering directly above her, Dean fires a buck shot into the ceiling, releasing salt that falls to the ground in a perfect ring surrounding the entire chamber, trapping Holmes inside.
Dean steals a cement truck and fills up the open hole to the sewer to be sure that Holmes remains down there till “all hell freezes over”.
With Ellen in the car, the four of them drive back to the roadhouse. Everyone is dead silent. You can hear a pin drop. Nobody dares to mess with Ellen.
As they arrive back, Dean apologizes to Ellen once again for lying to her and says that Jo did well out there, that her dad would be proud. Ellen says that she needs a minute alone with her daughter. Ellen can’t believe that she trusted her life to these boys. A few minutes later, Jo storms out of the roadhouse and tells Dean to back off and to leave now. It turns out that John was her dad’s partner on his last hunt and that John got her dad killed. That’s why John never mentioned Ellen to the boys, because he couldn’t look her in the eye after what happened. Jo walks off in the distance.
- Antagonist: H.H. Holmes
- This episode gets its name from a Jean-Paul Sartre play "No Exit", in which three people are trapped in a small room together in hell, only to discover that they are meant to act as each other's torturers.
- The loft set from season 2's episode "No Exit" was transformed into artist George Darrow's apartment for the episode "Crossroad Blues".
- One of the supposed pictures of Holmes' victims was actually a picture of one of Jack the Ripper's victims, Elizabeth Stride. Some have theorized that H. H. Holmes and Jack the Ripper were the same person.
- Dean says "Mazel Tov" to Jo, in response to the discovery of a hidden vent. Alona Tal, the actress who plays Jo, is Israeli.
- Dean commandeers a truck to pour cement into the tunnel where he, Sam and Jo trapped Holmes's spirit. The real H. H. Holmes, convicted after the murder trial of one of his youngest victims and sentenced to be hanged in 1896, requested that his body be encased in cement in his coffin and that cement be poured into his 10-ft grave.
- Jared took some time off during this episode to treat his wrist which was broken during the filming of Bloodlust.
- This is the first time four people have been in Dean's car.
- When Sam and Dean are checking the Apartment Dean says"That's ectoplasm. Well, Sam, I think I know what we're dealing with here. It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man."
- Finnish: Ei ulospääsyä (No Exit)
- French: Sans issue (Without Exit)
- German: Mörderburg (The Castle of the Murderer)
- Polish: Bez wyjścia (Without exit)
- Italian: Senza uscita (Without Exit)
- Hungarian: Szőkék előnyben (Blonds preferred)