1.21 Salvation

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Title Salvation
Episode # Season 1, Episode 21
First aired April 27, 2006
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Sera Gamble
Raelle Tucker
On IMDB Salvation
Outline The Winchesters attempt to deal with demons and prevent the murder of another mother the way Mary died.
Monster Demons
Timeline Immediately after 1.20 Dead Man's Blood
Location(s) Blue Earth, Minnesota
Manning, Colorado
Salvation, Iowa
Lincoln, Nebraska
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In Blue Earth, Minnesota, a priest is reading the Bible at his altar when Meg enters, ostensibly seeking solace. The priest encourages her, as “Salvation is there for all who seek it.” When she reveals her black eyes, the priest retreats in horror to an underground office fitted out with the tools of a Hunter, with research and runes spanning the walls. Meg follows him, kicking in the barred doors. He asks, “What do you want?” and she demands the location of John Winchester, who he refuses to betray. She slits his throat.

Back in Manning, Colorado, John is sharing his research of the last 20 years with Sam and Dean. He explains the trail he has followed and the telltale signs. Sam’s guilt at being the cause of the deaths of both Mary and Jess turns into anger and pain. But neither John nor Dean allow him to wallow. John sees the signs starting again in Salvation, Iowa, and is intent on saving another family from the pain and loss suffered by the Winchesters.

On the road, John receives the news that Pastor Jim Murphy, the priest from the opening, has been murdered, probably by demons. John feels the pressure to hurry, to find the next family on the demon's list. In despair, John mourns his friend and states “This ends... now... I’m ending it. I don’t care what it takes.”

Overcome by the size of their task, they split up to cover more territory and research all infants turning 6 months old in the coming week. As Sam leaves the medical center where he has been reviewing birth records, he has a vision of the demon's next target. Following the signs in his vision, he meets the young mother Monica and her daughter, Rosie. Unable to warn her, he returns to Dean and John. John is angry that the boys hadn’t told him before about Sam’s visions. Dean points out John's unresponsiveness and angrily states he would have had better luck winning the lottery than reaching his father on the phone. John grudgingly admits that he's right. Interrupting, Sam’s phone rings and Meg, who they thought dead, demands to speak with John. She informs him that she murdered Jim Murphy and is now with another friend, Caleb. She wants the Colt.

In desperation, John plays dumb and Meg promptly kills Caleb. She says she will keep killing all his friends until he hands over the Colt. Capitulating, John agrees to meet her in Lincoln at midnight for the trade. The boys protest handing the gun over, but John has a plan: they will use a substitute gun since Meg doesn't know what the real one looks like. In an emotional revelation, he admits again that he needs this job to finally be over. When Dean returns with the fake Colt, he pleads with John to not throw his life away, as he’s no good to them dead. John tells them to do the same. He hands over the real Colt and the task of killing the demon to the boys, charging them with finishing the job he started.

John arrives in Lincoln to meet Meg. He cases the territory for escape routes and traps and finds a reservoir to bless. While the boys stand watch over Monica and her family, John confronts Meg. She is joined by a demon named Tom. John hands the gun to Meg and she in turn hands it off to Tom, asking if he thinks it’s the real thing. Without warning, he shoots Meg. She's pissed but she doesn't die. In shock and anger, Meg rounds on John now that it is obvious the gun isn’t the real Colt. He runs and deters them by releasing a valve, spraying them with the Holy Water he prepared earlier. Outside the building, John finds his truck’s tires have been slashed. Running, he finds himself trapped in a dead end.

Meanwhile, seeing the house lights flicker and hearing static on the car radio, the boys recognize the signs that the demon is coming and they break into the house in attempt to save Monica and Rosie. Racing to the nursery, Sam faces the demon over Rosie’s crib. He hesitates for a second before firing off a shot, but the demon vanishes too fast. Grabbing Monica as Dean saves Rosie, they run from the burning house. Dean stops Sam from trying to reenter the burning building to reach the demon.

Back at the hotel room, while Dean is anxiously trying to contact John, Sam is angry that Dean stopped him from going after the Demon. Dean confronts him about his desire for revenge and self-sacrifice, stating that if it means Sam getting himself killed, he hopes they never find it. Sam’s anger boils over and he pushes Dean into an emotional confession. Shocking Sam into the present, his focus shifts back to John. Dean tries his father’s phone again, it is answered by Meg and to their horror she promises they will never see their father again...

To Be Continued...




(plays during "The Road So Far" recap of events)


  • "Calling" by Soberskin
(plays during "The Road So Far" recap of events)


Meg: Well. I've lied. A lot. I've stolen. I've lusted. And the other day I met this man. A nice guy, you know? We had a really good chat, sort of like this... then I slit his throat and ripped his heart out through his chest... Does that make me a bad person?

Pastor Jim: I know what you are. You can't be here. This is hallowed ground.

Meg: Please. Maybe that works in the minor leagues. But not with me.
John: So this is it. This is everything I know. Look, our whole lives we been searching for this demon right? Not a trace, just... nothing. Until about a year ago. For the first time I picked up a trail.

Dean: And that's when you took off.
John: Yeah. That's right. The demon must have come out of hiding, or hibernation.
Dean: All right so what's this trail you found?

John: It starts in Arizona, then New Jersey, California. Houses burned down to the ground. It's going after families, just like it went after us.
Dean: All right so how do we find it... before it hits again.

John: There's signs. It took me a while to see the pattern but it's there in the days before these fires signs crop up in an area. Cattle deaths, temperature fluctuations, electrical storms. And then I went back and checked... and...
Dean: These things happened in Lawrence.

John: A week before your mother died. And in Palo Alto... before Jessica. And these signs, they're starting again.
Sam: Last time I saw you you fell out of a window.

Meg: Yeah, no thanks to you. That really hurt my feelings by the way.

Sam: Just your feelings? That was a seven-story drop.
Meg: You hear that? That's the sound of your friend dying. Now let's try this again. We know you have the gun John, word travels fast. So as far as we're concerned you just declared war. And this is what war looks like. It has casualties.

John: I'm gonna kill you, you know that?

Meg: Oh John please, mind your blood pressure. So this is the thing. We're going to keep doing what we're doing. And your friends, anyone who has ever helped you, gave you shelter, anyone you ever loved. They'll all die unless you give us that gun.
Dean: Promise me something.

John: What's that.
Dean: This thing goes south just... get the hell out. Don't get yourself killed all right, you're no good to us dead.
John: Same goes for you... All right listen to me. They made the bullets special for this Colt. There's only four of them left. Without them this gun is useless. You make every shot count.
Sam: Yes sir.

John: Been waiting a long time for this fight. Now it's here I'm not gonna be in it. It's up to you boys now. It's your fight, you finish this. You finish what I started. Understand?
Sam: Maybe we could tell em it was a gas leak. Might get em out of the house for a few hours.

Dean: Yeah and how many times has that actually worked for us?
Sam: Yeah. We could always tell 'em the truth.

Sam and Dean: Nah!
Meg: You're dead John. Your boys are dead.

John: I've never used the gun. How could I know it wouldn't work?
Meg: I'm so not in the mood for this. I've just been shot
John: Well then I guess you're lucky the gun wasn't real.

Meg: That's funny John. We're going to strip the skin from your bones, but that was funny.
Dean: I mean it. If hunting this demon means getting yourself killed then I hope we never find the damn thing.

Sam: That thing killed Jess. That thing killed mom.
Dean: You said yourself once, that no matter what we do, they're gone, and they're never coming back.
Sam: Don't you say that, not you! Not after all this don't you say that.

Dean: Sam look. The three of us... that's all we have...and it's all I have. Sometimes I feel like I'm barely holding it together man... and without you or Dad....
Meg: You boys really screwed up this time.

Dean: Where is he?

Meg: You're never going to see your father again.

Trivia & References

John stays in the Sleep Easy Motel. This may be considered a reference to The Simpsons' episode "The Cartridge Family." In this episode, Marge and the children stay at the Sleep Eazy Motel, but the neon sign flickers, appearing to read Sle__ _azy Motel.
The sign for Salvation quotes a bible verse: JW 2:27 "Are you ready for Judgement day?" This book and verse do not actually exist and are likely meant for John Winchester.
Radio Announcer: This is your host Jack Killian on KJCM 98.3 FM, and good night, America, wherever you are.
When Sam and Dean are waiting in the car before the Demon attacks baby Rose, this can be heard on the radio. KJCM was a fictional radio station used in the TV Show Midnight Caller, about a radio host called Jack Killian whose sign-off was always "Good Night, America, wherever you are". Supernatural executive producers Bob Singer, Jim Michaels, and Phil Sgriccia worked on the series.
John blesses the water in the tank to make it holy water. According to Catholic doctrine, only an ordained priest can do this.
Meg: There's a warehouse in Lincoln, on the corner of Wabash and Lake. You're gonna meet me there.
Wabash and Lake is the location of the Heart O' The City Hotel at Mega City in The Matrix.


Erin Karpluk, who played Monica Holt, also played Robin in 9.07 Bad Boys.
Serinda Swan, who played Hospital Receptionist, also played Veritas in 6.06 You Can't Handle the Truth.
Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son" reappears in later seasons at the start of the last episode of each season. Here, it's the second to last instead.
Screencap from "Salvation."

In John's motel room, among various maps and notes:

  • Handwritten note:
Screencap from "Salvation."
  • A map of the U.S., with X's marked in Southwest Pennsylvania, northern North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee, circled, arrow pointing northwest.
  • Sleep (^un) Easy Motel notepad
With doodle of figure, dark head and shoulders, halo, holding circular object.
Doodle in a rough gun shape
"Sam," in a box, circled.
Screencap from "Salvation."
  • Small rectangular paper with drawing of window, with fire coming out, and a dark silhouette
  • Newspaper article. headline: USA WEATHER REPO..
in the text of the article, "rapidly into a powerful cyclone," has been marked with a box.
(picture of tropical storm)
  • Books:
Butler - Igloo Killinek
Air Force One Is Haunted
Danielle Steel - Secrets (HAH HAH)
  • Sticky note on typewritten paper : SULPHER TRACE (sic)
  • Road map of the U.S., with map, two hand drawn X's shown: one in California near Palo Alto, one in Arizona.
The sign for Salvation misspells Lotto as "Loto." The jackpot is $1.7 million.
According to John, Salvation has two hospitals and one Health Center. John goes to Salvation Women's & Children's Hospital and Sam goes to Salvation Iowa Medical Center.
At Salvation Hospital when John is rummaging through his false IDs one that appears is for the Oklahoma City, OK, morgue.
When Dean talks to the clerk in the health care facility, there is a poster behind her that reads: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
When Sam slams Dean against the wall, it mirrors the scene in the 1.01 Pilot where Dean slams Sam against the bridge when he questions the family mission.
The location of the warehouse where John is supposed to meet Meg, Wabash and Lake, is used several times in The Matrix trilogy.
Prop Goof: At the hospital, Sam is supposed to be making a list of all babies who will be six months old that week, but the birth certificate in front of him has a date of May 2nd, 1998. Also of note: The birth certificate is signed by "Robert Leader, Res." Robert Leader is one of the set designers in the art department on the show.
Prop Goof: When Dean talks to the clerk in the healthcare facility, the calendar behind her indicates the day is the Monday the 20th. The only months that occurred the 20th fell on a Monday in 2006 were February, March and November. Since we know 1.17 Hell House occurred in early June and 2.01 In My Time of Dying ends on July 19th, none of those months are feasible.
Prop Goof: There is a calendar on the wall in the hotel room John and the boys stay in; the month is unclear but it starts on a Wednesday and ends on a Friday with 31 days. The only month with that occurrence in 2006 was March.

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