Southern Comfort is the 6th episode of Season 8. It aired on November 7th, 2012.
Sam and Dean investigate a murder and find that Garth is already on the case. Dean is not happy to learn that Garth has assumed Bobby's duties, but Garth points out that both Sam and Dean have been missing for the last year and someone needed to do it. The three of them discover an “avenging ghost” is responsible for the murders and they need to find the source before the killings starts again.
Dean tells Sam about a case he's found in Kearney, Missouri. Sam is incredulous: Dean hasn't spoken to him since introducing Benny and now he wants to go on a hunt. Sam wants to know why Benny is still alive, and Dean tells Sam that Benny, although a vampire, is his friend. Sam asks why his friend Amy Pond had to die, and Dean admits that he's changed: he agreed to let the pureblood werewolf Kate go, after all. Sam reminds Dean that she hadn't killed anyone, and Dean tells him that Benny isn't drinking live blood - if Benny slips up and another hunter kills him, though, that's fine. Sam still isn't happy, but agrees to check out the case in Missouri.
As they arrive at the scene, Sam remarks that it doesn't seem like their kind of thing. A woman named Mary Lew went crazy and killed her husband, Chester Lew. Dean thinks it's a case--the man was practically decapitated--and when they get out of the Impala they find another hunter already there: Garth. Garth is posing as a Texas ranger and wearing a cowboy hat. He sees Sam and Dean and gives them both a hug, saying that he missed them. Then his cell phone rings, and a row of different cell phones can be seen in the inner pockets of his jacket when he answers it. On the call, Garth gives advice to another hunter on how to kill a revenant. Afterwards, Sam asks Garth if he's the new Bobby, and he says that after Bobby died and Sam and Dean disappeared, he stepped in. Dean is upset, but Garth says they can talk about it later. He introduces the brothers to Scott Lew, Mary and Chester's son, but Scott can only tell them that his parents were high school sweethearts - he doesn't know why Mary snapped.
Sam can't find any EMF or sulfur at the scene. Garth reminds him that EMF can fade and any other evidence could have been contaminated. As they talk, Garth steps in something sticky. Sam thinks it might be green ectoplasm, and Garth, after taking a quick taste, confirms it. He then gets a call from the coroner, who tells him that the word "Alcott" was carved into Chester's chest - apparently by Mary's fingernails. They go to question Mary at the hospital, and she tells them that she was at the store last night and then she lost time. She remembers being full of rage, but not much else. They ask her about "Alcott" and learn she was a woman Chester took to their senior prom after a fight he and Mary had, but that was more than 30 years ago.
Before they question Sara Alcott, they stop for lunch. Garth asks Dean where he's been for the last year, and Dean tells him that he was in Purgatory. He asks him how he got out, but Dean changes the subject. They learn that Garth was a dentist before he became a hunter, and that his first kill was the Tooth Fairy.
Meanwhile, Scott stops to get coffee at a market. He grabs some cash from his mom's purse and heads inside, where he runs into an old friend named Jeff who gives him condolences and offers his help. Scott mentions some money that Jeff owes him and, green ectoplasm leaking from his ear, splashes him with hot coffee and then kills him with a nearby shovel. After the attack, Scott sees himself in a mirror, the visage of an old Civil War soldier flickering over his own reflection.
Sam, Dean, and Garth arrive on the scene, and Garth is now wearing an old baseball hat. When Dean realizes it was Bobby's, he snatches it off Garth's head, saying that he's wearing it wrong. They learn from the sheriff that Scott doesn't remember much except a white-hot rage, and his face is obscured by a strange glitch on the market's security footage. He also wrote the word "Sussex" in Jeff's blood, so they decide to split up: Sam will question Sara Alcott, and Dean and Garth will research Sussex.
Sam learns from Sara that, though she and Chester had sex on prom night, nothing else came of it and he married Mary soon after. Mary never really got over Chester's indiscretion, though. As he's leaving Sara's house, Sam remembers a moment with Amelia. They'd just had sex for the first time, and she told him about her husband, Don. Don died in Afghanistan, and afterwards she hadn't been able to endure everyone's pity, so she'd moved.
Dean and Garth are researching, and Garth asks if Dean wants to talk about whatever is going on between him and Sam. He knows that Bobby used to listen when Dean needed him. Dean gets angry and tells Garth to stop trying to be Bobby. Garth calls him out, saying that Bobby wasn't just there for Sam and Dean- he belonged to all the hunters. They go back to researching, and Dean learns that Sussex was a company Scott and Jeff started together. Jeff ran it into the ground, though, and Scott had held a grudge.
Sam calls and tells them that Mary held a grudge against Sara Alcott. Garth, who's been looking through one of Bobby's books, finds a reference to green ectoplasm and says they're dealing with a specter: a ghost that possesses people and forces them to act on whatever betrayals they're feeling. Since the specter Bobby hunted rose shortly after a grave desecration, they search for recent grave desecration reports in the area. The day before Mary was possessed, the town's Confederate "tomb of the unknown soldier" was vandalized and the casket opened by a group of teenagers, so the hunters go there after dark. Sam finds a broken cord on the ground, but it doesn't seem like anything in the casket has been taken or disturbed, so they salt and burn his bones.
The next day in the police station, Scott is having an asthma attack. Deputy Doug Wallace goes to get Scott's inhaler from his personal effects, but after touching Scott's things he becomes possessed and picks up a shotgun instead. As green ectoplasm leaks from his ear, he goes to the sheriff's desk and tells him to write his own reports before pulling the trigger, killing him. Afterwards at the scene, Dean notices green ectoplasm on the Sheriff's desk, and Sam says that the teenagers must have removed something from the casket that the specter is attaching itself to. They need to find the object and whoever has it now, so they question Deputy Doug. He tells them that after the shooting,Deputy Karl Henry tackled him to the ground, took his gun, and said he was going to the hospital. Dean tells Sam and Garth to find out what they can about the unknown soldier while he goes to the hospital.
At the library, Garth tells Sam that he's available if Sam wants to talk about anything - it seems like he and Dean are talking but not listening to each other. While Garth heads inside, Sam remembers the morning after he and Amelia had sex for the first time. When he woke up, she'd been leaving for work and had asked him to forget what she'd said about her husband because she didn't want him to look at her with pity. He is broken out of the memory by Garth, who calls him inside.
From the librarian, they learn that the unknown soldier may be Vance Collins, a Confederate soldier who was killed by his brother, a Union soldier. According to legend, he swore vengeance with his dying breath. In an old photograph, Sam notices that Vance is wearing a necklace with a pendant. The librarian tells him that some soldiers wore a copper penny around their necks for luck. Sam calls Dean and leaves a message: there was a broken string at the tomb, and they're looking for the penny that was on it. Meanwhile, Dean intercepts Karl before he can kill a man who called him "out" during a baseball game. Dean punches Karl, but Karl quickly gets the better of him. He tells Dean that the specter likes him before putting the penny in his hand.
Sam and Garth get back to their motel room to find Dean sitting calmly on his bed, not answering his ringing cell phone. Sam asks him what's going on, and Dean, green ectoplasm leaking from his ear, aims his gun at Sam and tells him that he should have looked for him while he was in Purgatory. We see the penny's journey from the teenager who took it, to the cashier he gave it to, to Mary who received it as change, to Scott who got it from her purse, to Doug who got it from Scott's personal effects in lockup, to Karl who picked it up from the floor after tackling Doug, and finally to Dean.
Dean, possessed by Vance, tells Sam that all he's done for the last eight years is deceive him. Sam admits that he made mistakes, and Dean says that what Sam has done--drinking demon blood, working with Ruby, staying soulless to hunt with Samuel, and leaving Dean in Purgatory--has been to betray him. Sam punches Dean and they fight. Garth gets between them and tries to talk Dean down, but it doesn't work. Dean tells Sam that Benny has been more of a brother to him than Sam ever has, and tries to push Garth out of the way. Garth punches Dean, surprising him and making him drop the penny.
Afterwards, Garth picks up the penny and melts it down. Dean asks him why the penny didn't effect him, and Garth says he doesn't hold grudges: you can't change the past. Then he tells Dean to stop being an Idjit about Sam because they're all each other has now. Then he gives Dean a hug, and Dean puts Bobby's hat back on Garth's head and tells him to "keep on truckin'." As Garth leaves in his car, he gets a call from another hunter who needs advice about a wendigo.
Before Sam and Dean leave Kearney, Sam remembers when he confronted Amelia after their hook-up. He'd told her that he didn't pity her and said that when his brother died he ran, too. She'd let him into her motel room and poured him whiskey, then asked if he wanted to talk about it. He'd said yes and told her that she could talk to him about Don if she wanted. When Sam gets into the Impala with Dean, he tells him Amelia's name and that the two of them lived together in Kermit, Texas. He then tells Dean that he knows he meant what he said when he was possessed, but he needs to own up to his own mistakes - like not telling him about Benny and letting the vampire live. He says that he might just be the hunter who kills Benny someday, and Dean says they'll cross that bridge when they get to it.
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
- Fairies (mentioned)
- Tooth Fairy (mentioned)
- Wendigo (mentioned)
- Rugaru (mentioned)
- Kitsune (mentioned)
- Garth Fitzgerald IV last appeared in "Party On, Garth".
- While under possession of the specter, Dean references several of Sam's past mistakes, including Sam's relationship to Ruby and demon blood addiction in Season 4, as well as Sam's soulless period during the first half of Season 6.
- When arguing about Benny, Sam and Dean make references to Amy Pond from "The Girl Next Door" and Kate from "Bitten".
- DJ Qualls is billed as "Special Guest Star".
- The glitch that appears on Scott's face on the security footage is the same that appears on Pestilence's during "Two Minutes to Midnight".
- Dean: You're sulking around like a eunuch at a whorehouse.
- Garth: Bobby belonged to all of us Dean, not just you and Sam. I'm just taking what he showed me and trying to do something with it. That's all.
- Amelia: You want to talk about it?
- Sam: About last night?
- Amelia: No, Dean, you pervert.
- Dean: So first the mom goes Natural Born Killer, and now the son? Well, what do we got--a ghost with an Oedipus complex? ... I don't know what that means.
- Sam: Burn a confederate soldier's bones in a town full of rednecks? Suuure...
Featured Music Edit
- Soundgarden - Fell on Black Days (the penny's journey)