15.04 Atomic Monsters

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Title Atomic Monsters
Episode # Season 15, Episode 4
First aired November 7, 2019
Directed by Jensen Ackles
Written by Davy Perez
On IMDB Atomic Monsters
Outline Sam and Dean hunt a monster that's targeting cheerleaders. Meanwhile, Chuck turns to an old friend for comfort.
Monster Vampire
Timeline November 5-7, 2019
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Beaverdale, Iowa
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The Bunker is flooded in red light as a battle rages out of sight. A man flies into the wall of the corridor, followed by a battered, bruised, and bearded Dean Winchester. Barely risen from the ground, the man is attacked by Dean, who defeats both the man and any other enemies who dare to come close. The flaring light in their eyes as they die reveals the fight to be against an onslaught of demons.

Passing a comrade, Dean quickly gives him silent orders, then continues to make his way through more demons to the Bunker kitchen, which is scattered with bodies. Dean spots a survivor leaning against a counter; he is revealed to be a fatally-injured Benny, wearing fatigues. Benny passes swiftly, and a grief-stricken Dean demands "Where is he?" from a nearby demon who warns that the "He" in question is closer than Dean thinks. After dispatching said demon, Dean heads into the Bunker war room, where he is greeted by a formidable Sam. Sam taunts Dean about how he knew he would hunt him once he found out what Sam had done in Sioux Falls to Bobby and Jody. Despite these vile acts, Dean tries to appeal to Sammy, suggesting it is just the demon blood making him act in such a way, but Sam’s only response is his eyes flooding black before he snaps Dean’s neck using telekinesis.

Sam gasps awake in his bedroom, confused and scared by what he has dreamed.

Dean is devouring bacon when Sam enters the Bunker kitchen. He offers some to Sam, claiming it is the veggie bacon that Sam has been asking for. When Sam refuses, saying he’s good, Dean calls him on his BS and says he gets why he’s not great after everything that happened with Jack and Rowena. He reminds him that Rowena made her choice. Trying to distract Sam from his grief, Dean shows him a case in Beaverdale, Iowa, where a cheerleader was found mauled to death after a string of cattle mutilations. Sam tries to fob Dean off with the idea of Dean working solo or with the assistance of other hunters, but Dean stands firm. He tells Sam they need this before clapping him on the shoulder, causing Sam to wince, unnoticed by Dean who has already walked out of the room. Sam samples the veggie bacon before spitting it out angrily and shouting at Dean that it is real bacon to which Dean replies, "You’re damn right it is!"

In Beaverdale, Iowa, Sam is in his FBI suit interviewing Vice Principal Bailey of Beaverdale High School about the victim, Susie Martin. They are interrupted by Mr. and Mrs. Whitman requesting that the memorial for Susie be relegated to a mid-match prayer so that the Lacrosse game on Friday is not postponed. When Sam presses them about their attitude, they argue that a scout from Yale is coming to see their son Billy play. They state that if their son didn’t get into Yale "it’ll be the end of the world," leaving Sam struggling to control his temper.

Dean is leaning against the Impala snacking, when Sam walks up to ask what he found out at the morgue. Dean tosses a container holding a vampire fang and explains that Susie must have known her killer, as there were no defensive wounds. As Susie was friendly with most of her peers, this doesn’t help the Winchesters to narrow down their suspects.

Later that night, another cheerleader, Tori, is walking to her car when she is attacked by something lurking in the hedges of the school's parking lot. The next day, the Winchesters are searching the area where Susie’s body was discovered and remark on the lack of blood, meaning she must have been killed elsewhere before her remains were abandoned. Dean mentions that the local police are freaked by the brutality of what happened to Susie. This causes Sam to lament about how it's up to him and Dean to deal with the crazy of the supernatural while everyone else gets to live their everyday white picket fence lives in a state of blissful ignorance, where "the end of the world" is just a saying that’s bandied about over mundane problems. Dean listens while swigging from his hip flask. Sam is interrupted by the vice principal, informing him of Tori’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, in the suburbs of another town, Becky Rosen is sending her husband and two sons off for the day when she spots Chuck across the road. Becky tries to ignore him, but he chases after her and appeals for her help by claiming he has no one else to turn to. In Becky’s house, Chuck is fiddling with her maquettes and learns that Becky has the most successful Etsy site for unofficial Supernatural merchandise in the country and possibly the world. Becky confesses that she went to counseling to get through the darker elements of her obsession with Supernatural (and Sam in particular) until she was able to start writing again. This led to making merchandise based on her stories where she chooses to focus on the brotherhood over the monster hunting. Chuck takes exception to this, causing them to debate which story lines Supernatural fans want most. Chuck explains that he has had a falling out with the Winchesters and been rejected by his sister, and has come to Becky in the hope that his number one fan would help boost his ego. Infuriated by Chuck expecting her to "fluff" him, Becky tells him how she has a family and she likes herself for the first time in a long time, so she doesn’t need him anymore. Chuck confesses that he’s happy for her because he kind of hates himself right now and that he feels lost. Becky asks him what makes him happy to which he responds "Writing. Creating," causing Becky to declare that then that is what he should be doing.

Back at the high school, Sam and Dean learn more about Tori’s disappearance. Dean is sitting on a picnic table finishing his conversation with the school mascot when Sam joins him and fills him in on how Tori was due to take over Susie as head cheerleader after her death, so they agree their chief suspect is whoever is third in line for the position.

In the gymnasium, Veronica is sweet-talking Billy when his mother interrupts them, calling him away. Disappointed, Veronica starts practicing her eulogy to Susie when Sam and Dean enter carrying concealed dead man’s blood. Dean sarcastically congratulates Veronica on her milking Susie’s death for attention and the Winchesters invite her to go outside with them. However, when Veronica declines, Sam spots her dental braces and they realize she can’t be the vampire after all. Once outside again, Sam notices the security camera overlooking the car park.

Billy and his mom are arguing in the Whitman kitchen about her tracking him down at school. His dad enters, trailing spots of blood which are shown to be coming from a gagged and bound Tori who is being kept in their basement.

Becky rants at Chuck, telling him that the reason he feels sad and lost is because he is avoiding doing the one thing that he actually enjoys: writing. This backfires however when, emboldened by her speech, Chuck sits at her laptop and begins to write.

Back in Bailey’s office, the Winchesters finally get a lead from the security cameras when a car is shown fleeing the scene shortly after Tori’s abduction. The Whitmans are still arguing when Sam and Dean arrive at their door in their usual hunter’s attire. Mrs. Whitman leaves the room while Billy answers the door. Sensing something’s wrong, Mr. Whitman sends Billy upstairs. Hearing a noise from the basement caused by a struggling Tori, Sam heads off to investigate. As Dean confronts Mr. Whitman, Sam comforts and attempts to rescue Tori -- whose blood is being harvested -- only to be caught by Mrs. Whitman and escorted back upstairs at gunpoint. Sam places Tori on the sofa and tells Dean that she needs a doctor. Meanwhile, Mr. Whitman begs his wife to escape with their son.

Sitting at her laptop, Becky reads Chuck’s story while he paces nervously nearby. Becky loves it but after being pushed for criticisms, she confesses that she feels his story is lacking jeopardy due to a weak villain. The more notes Becky gives, the more the friendly Chuck façade slips to reveal the menacing deity beneath. Commanding her to move, Chuck returns to the laptop and begins to write again.

Billy comes down from his room to see what is happening and his dad tells him that the Winchesters have come for him because he is a vampire. Sam notices the silent exchange between all three Whitmans and realizes that it’s actually Billy who is the vampire, and his parents have been trying to protect him. Billy admits that he was on a date with Susie when he lost control and killed her. Billy tells his parents that they must take Tori to the hospital and say Billy kidnapped her and ran away while he goes with the Winchesters. As Dean is shown preparing to behead Billy in the woods, at the Whitmans', Tori is being carried out on a stretcher and Billy’s parents are giving a statement to the police.

Chuck leans against Becky’s desk, smugly pleased with himself as she sits horrified by the ending that she has just read. She tells him he can’t create such a hopeless, dark ending, as it's unfair to the fans. Becky is interrupted by her husband, Rod, coming home and she asks Chuck to leave but he refuses. As Rod enters the room, Chuck snaps his fingers, causing Rod to disappear before doing the same to her kids. Chuck watches her beg for them to be brought back. He confides to her that He is God, telling Becky He can do anything because He’s a writer before snapping His fingers and sending her away as well.

Driving back in the Impala, Dean prompts Sam into talking and they agree they would have given themselves up for Jack if they could, just as Mr. Whitman intended to for Billy. Dean admits that he felt like giving up after Chuck betrayed them in the graveyard, but that Sam saved him and he believes they must keep fighting in honor of those they’ve lost. Sam admits that he can’t move on, that sometimes the loss makes him feel like he can’t even breathe, but maybe he’ll feel better tomorrow, because he doesn’t know what he’ll do if that isn’t the case.

Typing away on the laptop, Chuck is excited by whatever horrors he is constructing for the Winchesters’ future.




(plays over the montage of Billy Whitman accepting his death)


Sam: I'm good.
Dean: No, you're not. The past few days, you've barely come outta your room. Look, man, I get it, okay? With Jack... and Rowena... Rowena knew what she was getting herself into. She knew what needed to be done.
Dean: Well, local police are freaked. Never seen anything like this. They got no idea how to deal.

Sam: Of course not. That's our job. We keep them from dealing with the truth, with what's out there, and we carry the weight. It's great. Meanwhile, they get to go back to living in their white picket fence bubbles.
Dean: You know, ever since you were a kid, you wanted to live in a town like this. Lame, normal...

Sam: Yeah, we don't get normal. And these towns, everything's the end of the world. You're late for work, your kid doesn't get into the right school -- whatever. They don't... They have no idea what's out there.
Becky: And, sure, I got a little obsessed, and it took me to a dark place. What I did to Sam... So, after some pretty intensive counseling, I realized I wasn't in love with the real Sam Winchester. I loved his character. So instead of reading your stories, I kept writing my own.

Chuck: Your own... "Supernatural"?
Becky: Where the guys didn't have to hunt monsters all the time. They just sit around and do laundry and talk, you know? I mean, that's what people like the most, anyway.
Chuck: Well, I mean, people like monsters.

Becky: Meh.
Becky: Well, sorry, that's not me anymore, Chuck. I am married to an amazing man, I have two great kids, and I like myself, Chuck. For the first time in a long time, I like myself. So I don't need you.
Chuck: I know. You don't need me. No one does. I'm happy for you Becky, that you like yourself. Because... I kind of hate me right now.
Becky: You're a writer, a writer who's not writing. And when a writer's not writing, they feel sad, and they get lost. And the writer asks themselves, "Why do I feel this way? Why am I so sad and lost?" And what does all this navel-gazing and hair-pulling amount to in the end? Procrastination, distraction. Just one of a million ways the writer avoids doing the one thing that is all but guaranteed to make the writer feel better.
Henry: This is not Billy's fault. He was the victim. What were we supposed to do?

Dean: You were gonna let me just cut off your head.

Henry: You don't have children, do you? Because if you did, you would know that to see your child in pain rips your heart out. And you'd know that you'd do anything. You'd die for them.
Becky: No. You can't--

Chuck: I did.
Becky: Y- This is just an ending.
Chuck: Yeah. I don't know how I'm gonna get there, but I know where I'm goin'.
Becky: B-But it's so... dark.
Chuck: But great, right? I can see it now -- "Supernatural: The End". And the cover is just a gravestone that says "Winchester". The fans are gonna love it. Well?
Becky: It's awful! Horrible. It's hopeless. You can't do this to the fans. What you did to Dean? What you did to Sam?

Chuck: There, see? It's making you feel something. That's good, right?
Chuck: Oh, yeah. I'm God.

Becky: What are you-- No. You bring them back. You bring them back! Please... you can't do this.

Chuck: Oh, Becky. I can do anything. I'm a writer.
Dean: Look, man, I get it. I get it. We've lost, way, way too much. And it's hard not to feel like just... cashing out. I felt like that. After Chuck, back at the crypt. But you know what brought me back? You did. By sayin' that what we do still matters. I mean, that's why I wanted to drag us out here, that's why I wanted to work a case, to save lives, you know? Because it is, it's a crap job. We do the ugly things so that people can live happy.

Sam: Yeah. Yeah. Lucky them.

Dean: Yeah, lucky them. But it doesn't change a thing. You know what I mean? We still do the job. But we don't do it for us. We do it for Jack, for Mom, for Rowena. We owe it to anybody that has ever given a damn about us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. No matter what. And, hey, man like you said, now that Chuck's gone, we're finally on our own. We are... finally free to... move on, you know?
Sam: I don't know. I-I don't know if I can move on. You know, I-I-I-I can't forget any of them. Dean, I still think about Jessica. I-I can't just let that go.

Dean: No, man, that's not what I'm talking about.
Sam: I know, I know, I know. I'm sorry. I know. But... But what I'm saying is that I don't feel free. What we've done, what we've lost, right now, that is what I'm feeling, and-- and sometimes it's... Sometimes it's like I-I-I can't even breathe. But maybe tomorrow. You know, maybe I'll-- I'll feel better in the morning.
Dean: And what if you don't?

Sam: I don't know.

Trivia & References

"Atomic Monsters" may be in reference to the concept of the monsters (like Godzilla) being created by a nuclear explosion. Here the monster is created in a nuclear family, with each of the Whitmans being monstrous in their own ways.
The opening gunfight in the Men of Letters Bunker was meant to evoke the action scenes in the John Wick films.
Sam: Yeah. But every time I ask for it, you say, and I'm quoting, "I don't want any of that hippie, Sarah McLachlan grass-eater crap in the Meat Man's kitchen". Which, by the way, for what it's worth, you got to stop calling yourself "The Meat Man". It-- It doesn't mean what you think it means.

Dean: Yeah, it does.

Sarah McLachlan is a Canadian singer-songwriter, however she no longer claims to be a full vegetarian or vegan.
A "Meat Man" is a "man with a big ass dick" or literally a man made out of meat. It is uncertain which definition Dean is aware of.
Sam uses the alias "Agent Plant," referring to Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin.
Chuck: What are these?

Becky: My maquettes.
Chuck: You... make them?
Becky: I run the most successful Etsy site for unofficial "Supernatural" merchandise in the country. Probably the world.

A maquette is a scale model of a sculpture, building, or, in TV and movies, a set.
Etsy is an e-commerce website that specializes in handmade items.
Becky: Anyway, I have the house to myself for the first time in months. This was supposed to be my catch-up day. I have billing to do, orders to fill, three AU Fic deadlines breathing down my neck.
Universe fanfictions, or "AU's," take a number of forms. They include stories that have one or two major points of divergence from canon, for example a world where John was killed by a demon, and Mary raised Sam and Dean as hunters. The other main group of stories takes characters from canon and places them in totally different lives - for example a story set around Sam, Dean, and Cas as college students, or pirates, or burlesque performers on a space freighter.
Becky: So, you want me to... fluff you?
In the adult entertainment industry, a fluffer is someone whose job it is to get the male participant erect before a scene starts.
Dean: So you, what -- chopped up the body? Made it look like some wannabe Bundy?
Ted Bundy was a notorious serial killer who targeted and murdered young women.


Filming Locations: This episode includes footage of the Impala driving that was shot on Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA while filming the 1.01 Pilot. Map of known filming locations
"Atomic Monsters" marks Jensen's sixth and final directing credit for Supernatural. Because Jensen was directing, the episode was the first filmed for the season to allow Jensen the time to prep before filming started. This meant he still had the beard he'd grown over the summer, which is seen in the opening fight sequence.
Alison Araya, who plays Vice Principal Bailey, previously played Jolene in 6.11 Appointment in Samarra.
Burkely Duffield, who plays Billy Whitman, previously played Ray McAnn in 7.18 Party On, Garth.
Ty Olsson's appearance as Benny at the start of the episode was not originally scripted, and was suggested at the behest of Jensen.
Per Variety: In it, Ackles directed himself in hand-to-hand combat and stunts, as well as a couple of key emotional moments, including bringing back “a character who’s one of my favorite characters of all time,” Ackles says. “It wasn’t even on the page. I said, ‘Can we make this character this person?’ And they were like, ‘If you can get this person — I believe they’re working right now.’ I made the call. He was literally working one day, had the next day off, so he flew in, did one scene, flew out and was working on his other project the next day.”
The song "Sounds of Someday" used in the episode was from the album Vol. 1 by Jensen and friend Steve Carlson's band Radio Company. The album was released the day after the episode aired. Jensen spoke about how the track was included:
“To be honest our editor inquired about it. He said, ‘I know you did some music over the break, do you think we could take anything and plug it in?’ I wasn’t angling for that, I wasn’t pushing that, and in fact we didn’t even tell Bob or Andrew or anybody. We just floated it in there and waited to see if anybody said, ‘I don’t really care for that song, I don’t know who that is,'” Ackles says. “And nobody said that.”

In addition to “Sounds of Someday” Ackles says he had a few other music cues in his director’s cut, including a big one at the end.

“Two of the three got taken out; mine was the last one standing,” he says of his new single. “That was a small victory. That was a nice vote of confidence, especially from a show that prides itself on music so much.”
Sam's nightmare is of a world where he embraced the demon blood and went full Dark Side. It's revealed that he had killed Bobby and Jody and is the leader of a demon army, as Azazel intended for him in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One. When he kills Dean with his psychic powers, his eyes go black as they did when he killed Lilith in 4.22 Lucifer Rising. In addition, this nightmare appears to be an extended version of the vision Sam had when Castiel tried to heal his wound from the Equalizer in 15.01 Back and to the Future.
The date on the security camera footage of Tori Taylor's abduction is 11/6/2019, one day before the episode originally aired. This means that most of the episode occurred on the same day that it originally aired.
Detail of Becky's Supernatural merchandise - photo by @arachnobite

Becky's Sam and Dean dolls are Funko Pop! figures, the same type Crowley received for Christmas in Rowena's nightmare in 11.10 The Devil in the Details.

The Supernatural merchandise in Becky's house was a combination of commercial Supernatural merchandise (including Funko and Dorbz figures), items made by fans, and some made by the show. The plaid quilt and other sewn items were made by Stef aka @arachnobite who also made Jensen's Red Hood and Batman costumes. A carved Supernatural themed chess set in the living room was gifted to Jared at the EyeCon in September 2008 by by Sandra Echeverri (@Sanpao19). There are two Crowley and Castiel Christmas Tree Toppers made by Jennifer Anderson.

Becky: And, sure, I got a little obsessed, and it took me to a dark place. What I did to Sam... So, after some pretty intensive counseling, I realized I wasn't in love with the real Sam Winchester. I loved his character. So instead of reading your stories, I kept writing my own.
Becky is referencing the plot of 7.08 Season Seven, Time for a Wedding! in which she drugged Sam with a love potion and married him in Las Vegas.
Becky: Okay. If I had to give one note... The jeopardy, Chuck -- it's feeling a little... thin? Low stakes? It's fun to hear the boys' voices, but a story is only as good as its villain, and these villains are just not feeling very... dangerous? Not to mention, there's no classic rock. No one even mentions Cas. The climax is a little stale. Boys tied up again while we get the villains' monologue, which, frankly, isn't one of your best. A little originality wouldn't... hurt.

Chuck: You want jeopardy? You want danger? Move! I'll give you danger.

Becky's notes about Chuck's new manuscript can be seen as a meta commentary on the episode itself. Many of her notes such as there being no classic rock and neither Sam nor Dean mentioning Castiel and a cornered Sam and Dean listening to the "villain's" monologue happen in the episode. Her claims of low stakes cause Chuck to write a new dark ending, which is mirrored in the episode when he disintegrates Becky and her husband.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts