After spending a week in Palo Alto looking for the thing that killed Jessica, Sam and Dean head to Blackwater Ridge and the coordinates their father left in his journal. At the Lost Creek Trail Ranger Station, Ranger Wilkinson mistakes the brothers for friends of Haley Collins, the sister of a boy, Tommy Collins, who went missing while on a camping trip. On a hunch, Sam and Dean visit Haley, and she shows them the last video Tommy sent her via cellphone before he disappeared. She also informs them that she and her younger brother, Ben Collins, have hired a guide and are heading into the hills to find Tommy the next morning.
Sam does some research and finds that people go missing in Blackwater at regular intervals -- every 23 years. He also plays Tommy's last video in slow motion, and he and Dean spot an extremely fast moving shadow on a tent wall. They go to visit Shaw, a survivor of an alleged bear attack in 1959, and the old man tells them that it was not a grizzly that attacked his family, but a creature that was smart enough to unlock the cabin door, roared like no man or animal, and moved like lightning. They go back to Blackwater the next morning and arrive just as Haley, Ben, and their guide, Roy, are setting out for Tommy’s campsite. When the group reaches the campsite, they find ripped tents and damaged equipment. Screams for help sound in the distance so they all run to check, but no one is there and when they return to the campsite their packs have been taken.
With the help of their father's journal, Sam and Dean realize that they’re facing a wendigo. They inform the disbelieving group, and Dean draws Anasazi symbols for protection as they make camp for the night. Sam tells Dean he wants to abandon this hunt and search for their father. Dean replies that they have to help others; it is “the family business.” Once again, cries for help can be heard, and Roy ignores Dean’s warnings and runs into the dark with his gun. He doesn't return.
The next day Sam and Dean explain that wendigo means ‘evil that devours.’ They were once human but became something else when forced to eat human flesh to survive. Tommy may still be alive, as wendigo hibernate and like to store live food, so they follow the wendigo's bloody trail. Eventually, Roy’s dead body falls from a tree and the wendigo appears, causing everyone to scatter. Haley and Dean are taken by the wendigo, but Sam and Ben follow a trail of peanut M&M’s that Dean leaves behind. They eventually find Dean, Haley, and Tommy hanging from the ceiling of an abandoned mine, and they cut them loose.
Dean finds two flare guns along with the rest of their stolen supplies, and while Sam leaves with the Collins siblings, Dean tries to draw the wendigo away. The wendigo follows Sam instead, cornering their group; however, Dean appears from behind it and shoots his flare gun into its chest. The wendigo bursts into flame and dies, and they're able to escape and get help. The group fabricates a story to tell the police - they were attacked by a bear. Haley thanks Dean and then leaves with Tommy and Ben in the ambulance. Dean states that he hates camping and informs Sam that they will find their dad. Sam agrees but in the meantime -- he’s driving.
- "Out of My Hands" by Dave Matthews Band
- (played during Sam's nightmare in which he visits Jess' grave)
- "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner
- (plays in the car when Sam wakes from his nightmare)
- "She Ain't Lonesome" by Steve Fister
- (plays in the car when Sam wakes from his nightmare; Netflix version)
- "Down South Jukin'" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- (plays at the bar where the guys discuss the case and watch the video on the laptop)
- (plays at the end when Sam's driving the Impala and they leave the woods)
You wanna drive for a while?
Sam: Dean, your whole life you never once asked me that.
Just thought you might want to. Never mind.
What, are you cruising for a hookup or something?
Dean: What do you mean?
Sam: The coordinates point to Blackwater Ridge, so what are we waiting for? Let's just go find Dad. I mean, why even talk to this girl?
Dean: I don't know, maybe we should know what we're walking into before we actually walk into it.
Dean: Well, since when are you all 'shoot first, ask questions later,' anyway?
Mr. Shaw, what did you see?
Shaw: Nothing. It moved too fast to see. It hid too well. I heard it, though. A roar. Like... no man or animal I ever heard.
Sam: It came at night? Got inside your tent?
Shaw: It got inside our cabin. I was sleeping in front of the fireplace when it came in. It didn't smash a window or break the door. It unlocked it. Do you know of a bear that could do something like that? I didn't even wake up till I heard my parents screaming.
Sam: It killed them?
Dragged them off into the night. Why it left me alive... been asking myself that ever since.
Dean: That's right.
Haley: And you're hiking out in biker boots and jeans?
Well, sweetheart, I don't do shorts.
You didn't pack any provisions. You guys are carrying a duffel bag. You're not rangers. So who the hell are you?
Dean: Sam and I are brothers, and we're looking for our father. He might be here, we don't know. I just figured that you and me, we're in the same boat.
Hailey: Why didn't you just tell me that from the start?
I'm telling you now. 'sides, it's probably the most honest I've ever been with a woman.... ever. So we okay?
Dad's not here. I mean, that much we know for sure, right? He would have left us a message, a sign, right?
Dean: Yeah, you're probably right. Tell you the truth, I don't think Dad's ever been to Lost Creek.
Sam: Then let's get these people back to town and let's hit the road. Go find Dad. I mean, why are we still even here?
This is why. This book. This is Dad's single most valuable possession—everything he knows about every evil thing is in here. And he's passed it on to us. I think he wants us to pick up where he left off. You know, saving people, hunting things. The family business.
Sam: How do you do it? How does Dad do it?
Dean: Well for one, them. I mean, our family's so screwed to hell, maybe we can help some others. Makes things a little bit more bearable. And I'll tell you what else helps. Killing as many evil sons-of-bitches as I possibly can.
'Wendigo' is a Cree Indian word. It means 'evil that devours.'
Dean: They're hundreds of years old. Each one was once a man. Sometimes an Indian, or other times a frontiersman or a miner or hunter.
Hailey: How's a man turn into one of those things?
Well, it's always the same. During some harsh winter a guy finds himself starving, cut off from supplies or help. Becomes a cannibal to survive, eating other members of his tribe or camp.
Dean: (to the Wendigo) Hey, you want some white meat, bitch! I'm right here!
Hailey: So really, I don't know how to thank you. [Dean grins] Must you cheapen the moment?
Trivia & References
The title of the episode, "Wendigo" refers to the creature of Native American myth.
Certain Native American tribes believed that human beings could be turned into or possessed by the spirit of a wendigo if they engaged in cannibalism.
A "Northern Indian Tribe" is referenced not only in the episode but by the writers and Eric Kripke
as one of the sources for the wendigo legend. This tribe is actually the Ojibwe of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and lower Canada. The name comes from the Ojibwe word "wiindigo" (pronounced WEEN-di-GO). Many traditional members of the tribe believe the creature to actually exist in the woods and at times put out offerings of tobacco or food to appease it.
In Sam's nightmare, the visual of the hand coming up out of Jessica
's grave and snatching his wrist calls to mind the end of the movie Carrie
, based on the novel by Stephen King.
The Carrie-esque shot from "Wendigo."
The wendigo legend features prominently in the Stephen King novel Pet Sematary.
When the Winchester brothers first meet Haley Collins
, Dean tells her they are Lost Creek Rangers, from park services. When Haley asks for ID, Dean holds up a convincing fake ID with the name Samuel Cole. This could be a reference to Samuel Colt
, the maker of the Colt
and its original thirteen bullets. Haley, notably, does not call Dean on having an ID with his face that says 'Samuel' when he just introduced his companion, not himself, as being 'Sam.'
Her brother's missing, Sam. She's not just gonna sit this out. No, we go with her, we protect her, and we keep our eyes peeled for our fuzzy 'Predator' friend.
- This could be a reference to Predator, a film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that features a fictional extraterrestrial species characterized by its trophy hunting of other species, including humans, for sport.
Tell me, uh, Bambi or Yogi ever hunt you back?
- Bambi the Deer and Yogi Bear are both famous forest-dwelling cartoon characters.
Like the Donner Party.
- The Donner Party were a group of 19th century settlers who were traveling west when they were caught in the blizzard in the Sierra Nevada, and some whom resorted to cannibalism.
Sam: [finding Dean's trail of peanut M&Ms]
It's better than bread crumbs.
- A reference to the Grimm's fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, in which the children leave a trail of bread crumbs through the forest so they'll find their way home.
"Wendigo" filmed in July 2005 in Vancouver.
who played Finn in the TV show Glee
appears in the teaser. Unfortunately, Monteith passed away on July 13, 2013 of a drug overdose.
The coordinates John left point to Arizona, not too far from Flagstaff. The Lost Creek Wilderness Area, part of Pike National Forest in Colorado, is approx 39.3,-105.5.
On Tommy's last call home, he indicated it was "day 6" of his camping trip, Haley told Dean and Sam that she and Ben hadn't heard from him in 3 days, and Ranger Wilkinson said Tommy wasn't a missing person because his back country permit to Backwater is good until "the 24th."
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts