Sam wakes from sleeping in the back seat of the Impala to find Dean researching cases. Sam complains that they haven't stopped hunting for the last month, but Dean insists they investigate a case in Nebraska, where Bill Gibson was found murdered in a room that was locked from the inside.
They arrive in Stratton, Nebraska, to find the Carter family about to move into the house. Following the death of their eldest son a year ago in a car accident, Susan and Brian Carter are looking for a fresh start with their kids Kate and Danny. Susan's brother Ted is helping them move.
Sam and Dean pretend to be building inspectors and tell them the house has asbestos in the walls and a gas leak and that they should stay in a motel, but after they leave, Ted declares the house okay and the family move in.
Sam and Dean visit the housekeeper, who tells them Bill had a wife who died in childbirth and his daughter Rebecca hung herself in the attic. While both women were cremated, the boys assume a ghost must be haunting the house.
That night Danny encounters a girl - she rolls a ball to him and says he is welcome to stay, but the adults are not. Then as Kate lies in bed, she feels something licking her hand. She assumes it's the dog until the dog appears at the bedroom door.
Kate's screams alert Sam and Dean who rush into the house. They try to get the family to leave but find the tires on all the cars slashed and the weapons gone from their car. They take refuge inside a salt circle in the house, but a girl appears and attacks them, crossing the salt line and proving to be human and not a ghost.
The family rushes outside, but when they regroup, Danny is missing. While Susan and Kate hide in a shed, Ted and Dean check inside the house, and Brian and Sam check the grounds. Dean and Ted find a hidden door into the wall space, and Dean finds a space beneath the floor where the remains of half-eaten rats litter the floor. While he is there, the girl sneaks up from behind and kills Ted.
While Dean swears to Brian he will find Danny, Sam reads Rebecca's diary. The diary reveals that Rebecca Gibson was raped by her own father, Bill Gibson, became pregnant, and hung herself. Entering through a hidden dumb waiter in the kitchen, Dean finds their weapons and Danny bound under the floor space. As he tries to free him, he is attacked by a boy - Rebecca's son. Dean shoots him.
Meanwhile the girl attacks Susan and Kate, until Brian arrives and stabs her. After the case, Dean says he feels pity - and empathy - for the children who were turned murderous by a life of torture. Sam remonstrates that Dean is not like them, and Dean retorts that he was worse, because he enjoyed the pain he inflicted on souls in Hell.
- "The Charge at Feather River Theme" by Max Steiner
- (the old movie Bill Gibson is watching until the power goes out)
Sam: No, you're not. You're running on fumes, and you can't run forever.
Dean: And what am I running from?
From what you told me. Or are we pretending that never happened?
Dean: Boy, three bedrooms, two baths, and one homicide. This place is gonna sell like hotcakes.
Kate: Another motel? Awesome, Dad. I hope this one has hooker sheets, like the last one.
Dean: What kind of ghost messes with a man's wheels?!
Listen, man. I've got a gun. You don't get your ass back in that circle, you're gonna have yourself a third hole.
Sam: Dude, you don't have a gun.
And? I'm not letting that bastard or anyone else die tonight.
I thought you said ghosts couldn't cross the circle.
Dean: They can't. She's not a ghost.
Ted: Shoot her! Shoot her!
Yeah, about that... Go, go, go! Move!
Ted: Told you it was some crazy bitch.
Dean: Yes, you did
Dean: So the daddy was the baby daddy too?
Sam: Dude was a monster, Dean.
Thanks for the head start.
Brian: Why doesn't it surprise me you guys don't like the police?
Sam: It's sort of a mutual-appreciation thing, really.
Well, thank you.
You know, I felt for those sons of bitches back there. Lifelong torture turns you into something like that.
Sam: You were in hell, Dean. Look, maybe you did what you did there, but you're not them. They were barely human.
Dean: Yeah, you're right. I wasn't like them. I was worse. They were animals, Sam, defending territory. Me? I did it for the sheer pleasure.
I enjoyed it, Sam. They took me off the rack, and I tortured souls, and I liked it. All those years, all that pain. Finally getting to deal some out yourself. I didn't care who they put in front of me. Because that pain I felt, it just slipped away. No matter how many people I save, I can't change that. I can't fill this hole. Not ever.
Trivia & References
What's it look like I'm doing?
Sam: Like you're looking for a job.
- Yahtzee is a dice made by Milton Bradley. Saying "Yahtzee!" has come to mean something good happens.
No bloodstains, fresh coat of paint... It's a bunch of bupkis.
- Bupkis is a crude Yiddish word meaning roughly, 'absolutely nothing.'
The Licked Hand
is an urban legend where a girl goes to sleep with her dog next to her. During the night she wakes to a noise, but is comforted when the dog licks her hand, In the morning she wakes to find the dog dead and a note saying "humans can lick too."
I just got molested by Casper the pervy ghost! That's what happened!
- Casper the Friendly Ghost is a cartoon character which has been around since the 1950s.
You hunt ghosts?
Dean: That's right.
Danny: Like Scooby-Doo?
- Scooby-Doo is a long running cartoon series about four friends and a dog called Scooby-Doo who hunt down ghosts and the supernatural.
It's a spirit, man.
Ted: No, it's just some backwoods hillbilly bitch and I'm not about sit around here waiting for her to go all Deliverance on my ass.
- Deliverance is a 1972 movie about four city boys who go canoeing in the Georgia wilderness and are brutally attacked by locals. See Deliverance for other episodes which have quotes from this movie.
It's not just a girl. It's psycho Nell. I'm telling you, man—humans.
- Nell was the eponymous character of a 1994 movie, played by Jodie Foster, who is raised in backwoods isolation.
I wish you'd found a howitzer. Listen, we got to get this family safe. I mean, it's just a human, so they can make a run for it. We just got to hold her off.
- A howitzer is a piece of artillery used to propel projectiles at relativity high trajectories.
Dog, it's what's for dinner.
- "Beef It's What's For Dinner" was an ad campaign launched in 1992 that encouraged Americans to incorporate beef into their diets for health.
Jeez, rent Juno and get over it. Wait, why kill herself after the baby?
- Juno is an popular and critically acclaimed movie about a teenage girl and her unplanned pregnancy.
Wow, a story ripped from an Austrian headline. Humans, man. So she's been locked up her whole life?
- A reference to the case of Josef Fritzl who in 2008 was found to have held his daughter captive in a cellar for 24 years and raped her, leading to the birth of seven children.
In an interview with SciFi Magazine
, Kripke said "You know we want to make an episode like the X-Files'
'Home.' Let's make an episode that the network will air once and then people will complain so much they'll never air it again."
The role of the housekeeper in this episode, Mrs. Curry, was played by Karin Konoval
who also played the mother of the incestuous family in that X-Files
episode. Karin Konoval also played Ruth
in 9.07 Bad Boys
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts