Promotional poster for "Bugs."
Sam finds a case in Oasis Plains, Oklahoma where a gas company employee, Dustin Burwash, died from a sudden brain degeneration. The boys speak to the man’s partner Travis who describes how he was in a sinkhole and suddenly started bleeding from his eyes, ears, and nose. They investigate the hole and find some beetles, but nothing more.
Driving around the neighborhood, which is a new housing estate, they stop at an open house where the real estate developers are holding a barbecue. The boys meet Larry Pike, one of the developers and Lynda Bloome, head of sales. While chatting, Sam catches Matt Pike, Larry’s son, trying to scare her with a tarantula.
Dean finds out that a year ago one of the surveyors died from bee stings, and the boys wonder if someone is controlling insects.
That night, while the boys stay in one of the display homes so Dean can try the steam shower, Lynda Bloome is attacked by a swarm of spiders whilst in her shower, and dies as she crashes through the glass door.
When the boys find out about her death, they break into her house and find dozens of dead spiders.
They speak to Matt, and Sam relates to his tale that his father doesn’t understand him. Matt takes them to a place in the surrounding forest where insects appear to be congregating. Digging around, Dean unearths a skull.
While on their way to the Department of Anthropology at the local university, Dean challenges Sam’s perception of their father’s opinion of him. He reveals, to Sam’s shock, that John was proud of Sam, and that he used to secretly check up on Sam while he was at Stanford.
The professor they visit says the bones are about 170 years old, and directs them to nearby Sapulpa. Here they speak to Joe White Tree, a member of the Euchee Tribe. He tells them that there is a story that the tribe that lived in Oasis Plains was slaughtered by the cavalry over six days, and as the chief of the tribe lay dying on the 6th night, he cursed the land.
Sam and Dean postulate that this is the sixth night of the curse, and that Larry and his family are in danger. They arrive at the Pike’s home, as the sky is blackened with swarms of insects. They take the family to the attic, where termites are already eating through the wood. Just as the bugs eat through the roof, the sun rises and the bugs all leave.
Larry promises that the development will not go ahead. As Sam and Dean leave, Sam says he is looking forward to apologizing to his father.
- "Rock of Ages" by Def Leppard
- (plays at the beginning in the bar scene; also played in 1.05 Bloody Mary)
- "I Got More Bills Than I Got Pay" by Sonny Ellis
- (plays while Dean and Sam attend the open house at Oasis Plains)
- "Poke in tha Butt" by Bernie Marsden (Extreme Music)
- (plays at the open house when Larry pulls Matt aside after he sees him talking to Sam)
- "Medusa" by Bob Reynolds (MasterSource)
- (plays very briefly as Dean & Sam park at the university where they get the bones identified)
- "No One Like You" by The Scorpions
- (plays at the end of the episode, when the guys hit the road)
You know, we could get day jobs once in a while.
Dean: Hunting's our day job. And the pay is crap.
Sam: Yeah, but hustling pool? Credit card scams? It's not the most honest thing in the world, Dean.
Dean: Well, let's see honest. Fun and easy. It's no contest. Besides, we're good at it. It's what we were raised to do.
Sam: Yeah, well, how we were raised was jacked.
Yeah, says you. We got a new gig or what?
Growin' up in a place like this would freak me out.
Dean: Well, manicured lawns, 'How was your day, honey?' I'd blow my brains out.
Sam: There's nothing wrong with 'normal.'
I'd take our family over normal any day.
Larry: Let me just say - we accept homeowners of any race, religion, color, or... sexual orientation.
Remind you of somebody? Dad?
Dean: Dad never treated us like that.
Sam: Well, dad never treated you like that. You were perfect. He was all over my case. You don't remember?
Dean: Well, maybe he had to raise his voice, but sometimes, you were out of line.
Sam: Right. Right, like when I said I'd rather play soccer than learn bowhunting.
Bowhunting's an important skill.
Matt, how old are you?
Sam: Well, don't sweat it, because in two years, something great's gonna happen.
Sam: College. You'll be able to get out of that house and away from your dad.
What kind of advice is that? Kid should stick with his family.
That's two questions. Yeah, so with that kid back there... why'd you tell him to just ditch his family like that?
Sam: Just, uh... I know what the kid's goin' through.
Dean: How 'bout tellin' him to respect his old man, how's that for advice?
Sam: Dean, come on. This isn't about his old man. You think I didn't respect dad. That's what this is about.
Dean: Just forget it, all right? Sorry I brought it up.
Sam: I respected him. But no matter what I did, it was never good enough.
Dean: So what are you sayin'? That Dad was disappointed in you?
Sam: Was? Is. Always has been.
Dean: Why would you think that?
Because I didn't wanna bowhunt or hustle pool - because I wanted to go to school and live my life, which, to our whacked-out family, made me the freak.
I remember that fight. In fact, I seem to recall a few choice phrases comin' out of your mouth.
Sam: You know, truth is, when we finally do find Dad... I don't know if he's even gonna wanna see me.
Dean: Sam, Dad was never disappointed in you. Never. He was scared.
Sam: What are you talkin' about?
Dean: He was afraid of what could've happened to you if he wasn't around. But even when you two weren't talkin'... he used to swing by Stanford whenever he could. Keep an eye on you. Make sure you were safe.
Sam: Why didn't you tell me any of that?
Well, it's a two-way street, dude. You could've picked up the phone. (SAM stares at him sadly.) Come on, we're gonna be late for our appointment.
Sam: Something... something bad is happening in Oasis Plains. We think it might have something to do with some old bones we found down there - Native American bones.
Joe White Tree: I'll tell you what my grandfather told me, what his grandfather told him. Two hundred years ago, a band of my ancestors lived in that valley. One day, the American cavalry came to relocate them. They were resistant, the cavalry impatient. As my grandfather put it, on the night the moon and the sun share the sky as equals, the cavalry first raided our village. They murdered, raped. The next day, the cavalry came again, and the next, and the next. And on the sixth night, the cavalry came one last time. And by the time the sun rose, every man, woman, and child still in the village was dead. They say on the sixth night, as the chief of the village lay dying, he whispered to the heavens that no white man would ever tarnish this land again. Nature would rise up and protect the valley. And it would bring as many days of misery and death to the white man as the cavalry had brought upon his people.
When did the gas company man die?
Dean: Uh, let's see, we got here Tuesday, so, Friday the twentieth.
Sam: March twentieth? That's the spring equinox.
Dean: The night the sun and the moon share the sky as equals.
Sam: So, every year about this time, anybody in Oasis Plains is in danger. Larry built this neighborhood on cursed land.
Dean: And on the sixth night - that's tonight.
Sam: If we don't do something, Larry's family will be dead by sunrise. So how do we break the curse?
You don't break a curse. You get out of its way. We've gotta get those people out now.
I wanna find dad.
Dean: Yeah, me too.
Sam: Yeah, but I just... I want to apologize to him.
Dean: For what?
Sam: All the things I said to him. He was just doin' the best he could.
Dean: Well, don't worry, we'll find him. And then you'll apologize. And then within five minutes, you guys will be at each other's throats.
Sam: Yeah, probably. Let's hit the road.
Trivia & References
Mad cow? Wasn't that on Oprah?
Sam: You watch Oprah?
- Reference to the "Mad Cow" issue: Oprah Winfrey's influence reaches far beyond pop-culture and into unrelated industries where many believe she has the power to cause enormous market swings and radical price changes with a single comment. During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman (aired on April 16, 1996), Winfrey exclaimed, "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for "false defamation of perishable food" and "business disparagement," claiming that Winfrey's remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some USD$12 million. On February 26, after a trial spanning over two months in an Amarillo, Texas court in the thick of cattle country, a jury found Winfrey and Lyman were not liable for damages. (After the trial, she received a postcard from Rosanne Barr reading, "Congratulations, you beat the meat!")
Maybe they're being controlled somehow, you know, by something or someone.
Sam: You mean, like Willard?
Dean: Yeah, bugs instead of rats.
Sam: There are cases of psychic connections between people and animals. Elementals, telepaths...
Dean: Yeah, that whole Timmy-Lassie thing... Larry's kid, bugs for pets.
- Willard was a 1971 horror movie about a social misfit named Willard, who has a strange affinity/link with rats. He controls the rats to attack and kill people who have been cruel to him.
- Lassie, a television series (1954-1974), revolved around a collie named Lassie and her boy owner, Timmy, a farm boy frequently helped out of scrapes by his super-intelligent dog.
Dean: (to Sam)
You were kind of like the blonde chick in The Munsters.
- The Munsters was a 1960's TV show about a family of... monsters - vampires, a "Frankenstein" type monster, and various other ghouls. "The blonde chick," niece Marilyn Munster, is the only member of the family who is completely normal. The family is vaguely ashamed of their relationship to such an "ugly" person, and even Marilyn is aware of her "plain-ness." She bemoans that she keeps scaring off potential boyfriends, having no idea that the youths are in fact frightened away by her family.
While the tribe cited in the show is referred to as "Pucci", the type of graves featured in the episode were typically made by South American natives and a blanket used in the set dressing is of a Pueblo Indian design.
Many of the final scenes in "Bugs" appear to have been inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock 1963 Classic The Birds
- such as the shots of the bugs swarming against the night sky, the bugs penetrating through closed windows and doors, and the ripped back roof through which the Winchesters see the sky the following morning.
The scene where Dean fights the bugs off with an improvised flame thrower made from a combination of a can of some sort of pressurized accelerant and a lighter, is reminiscent of scenes in the 1990 film Arachnophobia
wherein Jeff Daniels' character faces off against the "Queen spider" in his basement with a nail gun and an improvised flame thrower.
Filming Location: Chemistry Building, UBC.
often cites this episode as one of his least favorites in the series. When the prophet Chuck
meets Sam and Dean, he asks them if he they had to live through the "bugs". He laments that they were "forced to live bad writing."
The filming of the climactic scene in this episode spawned Jensen's favourite anecdote - The Bee Story
While the scenes with the bees were filmed with real bees, the insects didn't show up on film, so they had to CGI the bees in at the end. Kim Manners
(who begged Eric Kripke not to do "Bugs"):
"They bring in six hundred bees, or however many bees, and I was like 'Oh my god, I can't wait to see the dailies!` But you watch the dailies and you can't tell there's one bee in that room - they just don't read on camera or they were too sluggish. (...) And you just start laughing because you put your crew in a room with hundreds of bees and then you can't even tell if there are any bees on camera. It's a bizarre job sometimes."S1Com, p. 52-53
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts