Last modified on 25 July 2014, at 20:22

1.04 Phantom Traveler


1-04 Phantom Traveler.jpg
Title Phantom Traveler
Episode # Season 1, Episode 4
First aired October 4, 2005
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Richard Hatem
On IMDB Phantom Traveler
Outline Sam and Dean board a flight doomed to crash to exorcise a disaster-causing demon.
Monster Demon
Timeline December 2nd - 5th, 2005 (according to 1.06 Skin and 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be)
Location(s) Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
Nazareth, Pennsylvania
Allentown, Pennsylvania
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Synopsis

Sam and Dean are called in to investigate when a plane crashes under mysterious circumstances. Their investigation leads them to the conclusion that a demon is possessing people and causing the plane they are on to crash. Things become more urgent when they discover that the demon is going after the 7 survivors of the first crash, including the pilot and a stewardess.

Dean is contacted by Jerry Panowski, who he and John helped a couple of years ago. Jerry is an air traffic controller and a plane, piloted by his friend Chuck Lambert, has crashed for no obvious reason. Jerry has found what sounds like EVP on the cockpit voice recorder saying “no survivors”, although seven people survived the crash.

Sam and Dean speak to one of the survivors, Max Jaffey, who has checked himself into a psychiatric institution. He reports seeing a passenger whose eyes turned black, rip open the plane's emergency exit just before the crash, even though the pressure on that door was over 2 tons. They visit the wife of George Phelps, the passenger Max saw, but she reports nothing out of the ordinary before the flight.

Inspection of the plane wreckage reveals traces of sulfur, and the boys start to suspect some sort of demonic possession is involved.

Jerry then calls to them that Chuck Lambert has been killed in another plane crash. The boys find there is also sulfur on the wreckage and that both planes crashed forty minutes into the flight.

The boys realize that the demon is going to kill all the survivors of the crash, and check to find the only one going to fly in the near future is flight attendant Amanda Walker. They are unable to dissuade her from flying, and so decide they must catch the same flight and exorcise the demon, although Dean is not enthusiastic due to his fear of flying.

On the plane the boys are checking out the passengers, when they see the co-pilot's eyes turn black. They enlist Amanda Walker’s help, and lure him to the back gallery, where they start to exorcise the demon. Just before the ritual is over, the demon speaks, revealing it knows of Jess’ death. Finally it is exorcised and the plane lands safely.

The boys farewell Jerry, who mentions that he got Dean’s cell number from John’s voice mail. The boys are stunned; their father's cell has been out of service since he went missing. They call his number and confirm that the voice mail directs callers to Dean. This is the first sign they have that their father is still alive.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath
(plays on the way to the warehouse)
  • "Riot Time" by Powerman 5000
(plays on the way to the warehouse; Netflix version)
  • "Working Man" by Rush
(plays in the Impala when they try to get Amanda Walker on the phone)
  • "Some Kind of Monster" by Metallica
(hummed by Dean on the plane)
  • "Load Rage" by Blues Sarenco
(playing on a girl's headphones, as Dean is checking for EMF on the plane)

Quotes

Dean: When was the last time you got a good night's sleep?

Sam: I don't know, a little while, I guess. It's not a big deal.
Dean: Yeah, it is.
Sam: Look, I appreciate your concern—

Dean: Oh, I'm not concerned about you. It's your job to keep my ass alive, so I need you sharp.
Jerry: Dean, it's, uh, it's Jerry Panowski. You and your dad helped me out a couple years back.

Dean: Oh, right, yeah. Up in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, the poltergeist thing. It's not back, is it?
Jerry: No. No. Thank god, no. But it's something else, and... uh, I think it could be a lot worse.
Dean: What is it?

Jerry: Can we talk in person?
Dean: So, what are you thinking? A haunted flight?

Sam: There's a long history of spirits and death omens on planes and ships, like phantom travelers.
Dean: Mm-hmm.
Sam: Or remember flight 401?

Dean: Right. The one that crashed, the airline salvaged some of its parts, put it in other planes, then the spirit of the pilot and co-pilot haunted those flights.
Max: There was... this—man. And, uh, he had these... eyes—these, uh... black eyes. And I saw him—or I thought I saw him...

Dean: What?

Max: He opened the emergency exit. But that's...that's impossible, right? I mean, I looked it up. There's something like two tons of pressure on that door.
Dean: A middle-aged dentist with an ulcer is not exactly evil personified. You know what we need to do is get inside that NTSB warehouse, check out the wreckage.
Sam: What is that?

Dean: It's an EMF meter. Reads electromagnetic frequencies.
Sam: Yeah, I know what an EMF meter is, but why does that one look like a busted-up Walkman?

Dean: 'Cause that's what I made it out of. It's homemade.
Sam: So, every religion in every world culture has the concept of demons and demonic possession, right? I mean Christian, Native American, Hindu, you name it.

Dean: Yeah, but none of them describe anything like this.
Sam: Well, that's not exactly true. You see according to Japanese beliefs, certain demons are behind certain disasters, both natural and man-made. One causes earthquakes, another causes disease.

Dean: And this one causes plane crashes?
Dean: I don't know, man. This isn't our normal gig. I mean, demons, they don't want anything, just death and destruction for its own sake. This is big. And I wish dad was here.
Dean: Come on, that can't be normal!

Sam: Hey, hey, it's just a little turbulence.
Dean: Sam, this plane is going to crash, Okay? So quit treating me like I'm friggin' four.
Sam: You need to calm down.
Dean: Well, I'm sorry, I can't.
Sam: Yes, you can.

Dean: Dude, stow the touchy-feely, self-help yoga crap. It's not helping!
Dean: I meant to ask you, how did you get my cellphone number, anyway? I've only had it for like six months.

Jerry: Your dad gave it to me.
Sam: What?
Dean: When did you talk to him?
Jerry: I mean, I didn't exactly talk to him, but I called his number. His voice message said to give you a call. Thanks again, guys.
Sam: This doesn't make any sense, man. I've called dad's number like fifty times. It's been out of service.
[Dean dials John's number]

John: This is John Winchester. I can't be reached. If this is an emergency, call my son, Dean. 785-555-0179. He can help.

Trivia & References

The episode number, 1.04, is a possible allusion to the famed Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, which crashed in the seventies. The ghosts of flight 401 were said to occupy planes that featured parts of the original plane and to help to save those planes on occasion. In this case, the reverse is happening -- a demon is inhabiting his originally intended victims and attempting to cause the planes to crash.
Dean: Did you get any sleep last night?

Sam: Yeah, I grabbed a couple of hours.
Dean: Liar. 'Cause I was up at three, and you were watching the George Foreman infomercial.
Sam: Hey, what can I say? It's riveting TV.

George Foreman: Famous heavyweight boxer who is now best known for late night ads where he flogs his electric grill
Sam: Yeah, he told me. It was a poltergeist?

Man: Poltergeist? Man, I loved that movie!

Poltergeist is a 1982 horror film directed by Tobe Hooper, about a family that moves into a house built on an Indian burial ground. According to DVD commentary by Jared and Jensen, the man's line was added in post-production and was not recorded on-set.
Dean: Even yoked up on PCP or something, no way you can open up an emergency door during a flight.
PCP, also known as angel dust, is a hallucinogen known for being to give the user feeling/illusion of superhuman strength, as the drug causes pain receptors to the brain to be blocked.
Bluesbros.jpg

Dean: Man, I look like one of the Blues Brothers.
Sam: No, you don't. You look more like a...seventh-grader at his first dance.

The Blues Brothers were a comedic R&B duo comprised of John Belushi and Dan Akroyd that originated on the late night sketch show Saturday Night Live and later made two movies. The pair's usual attire were black and white suits, ties, hats and sunglasses.

Dean: This goes way beyond floating over a bed or barfing pea soup. I mean it's one thing to possess a person, but to use them to take down an entire airplane?
References to the films The Exorcist, in which a little girl is possessed by a demon. Among her afflictions are bed-floating and projectile vomiting. Could also be a reference to Ghost Busters in which a woman is possessed and floats above her bed.
Dean: Miss Walker. Hi, this is Dr. James Hetfield from St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
James Hetfield is the lead singer/rhythm guitarist of Metallica.
Sam: I think we can go more subtle. If she's possessed, she'll flinch at the name of God.

Dean: Oh. Nice.
Sam: Hey.
Dean: What?
Sam: Say it in Latin.
Dean: I know.
Sam: Okay. Hey!
Dean: What?!
Sam: Uh, in Latin, it's 'Christo.'
Dean: Dude, I know! I'm not an idiot!

Christo is not Latin for "God" but Greek for "The Anointed One" (as in the title "Christ"). Moreover, it should be "Christus" or "Christe" - "Christo" is in either the dative or ablative case, and therefore means something like "to Christ" or "by Christ".

Minutiae

Filming Locations: Vancouver, Vancouver International Airport, South Terminal, where Jensen and Jared regularly catch their flights to Los Angeles.
Brian Markinson, who plays Jerry Panowski, also played Stan Thompson, father of Sam's partner Amelia Richardson in 8.08 Hunteri Heroici.
This episode features the first time that we see the black smoke, black-eyes, and sulfur residue that indicate demonic possession.
The first flight we see crash was United Britannia Airlines flight 2485, although the official episode description lists the flight as being a TransNational one.
The twin-engine plane had the registration number C-GBBP when it was on the ground. In flight, it was shown as C-GUTV.
One of the driving shots during this episode seems to be the same footage used in 2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign.
Screencaps from 1.04 (left) & 2.14 (right)

We learn in this episode that Dean has a serious fear of flying.
For a brief period after the episode aired, when you called Dean's 866-907-3235 number you'd get the following message: "This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, please leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, page me with your coordinates." 11-2-83 is the date of Mary Winchester's death.
If you watched the version of this episode that aired on December 13, 2005, you heard the number they showed in closed captioning for Dean's cell number. They changed it from the original airing. They also changed the message you will hear if you call the original number that John said. If you call 866-907-3235 now, you will hear "Dad? We really need to hear from you. Leave me a message, text me, check your email. Anything. We have new info."
In the closed captioning the number given was: 785-555-0179. Presumably the original script, from which the caption text was derived, had the 555- number but then they changed it for the actual on-screen dialogue. 785 is the Kansas area code.
When Sam and Dean got to the airport Sam said they had half an hour to get on the plane because the plane left at 8pm. But earlier when they were in the car he said that it was a five-hour drive and they would never make it in time. That would make it 2:30 in the afternoon but when he said that it was dark outside.
Deleted Scene: The deleted scene for this episode is scene 34, according to the on-screen caption before it shows. With much squealing of tires, we see the Impala pull into the car park and Dean gets out. As he starts walking towards the airport, Sam calls him back, reminding him where they are going. Dean walks back to the car, opens the trunk and removes the weapons he had on him. Closing the trunk, Dean claims that he feels naked now.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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