On instructions from John, Sam and Dean head to Fitchburg, Wisconsin, where children in the town are becoming mysteriously ill. Posing as officials from the Centers for Disease Control, they speak to Dr. Hydeker at the local hospital. He indicates that no treatments are proving effective with the children, who seem to have compromised immune systems.
At the home of the latest victim, the boys find a sign of supernatural involvement: an inhuman hand print on the window ledge outside the child’s bedroom. After checking into a motel run by a woman with two young sons, Michael and Asher, Dean tells Sam he thinks the creature at work is a shtriga, which their father had encountered many years previously. Sam discovers that it often disguises itself as an old woman, so the boys return to the hospital where they had passed the room of an elderly woman who had an inverted cross on her wall. However, she proves to be harmless, and human.
Back at the motel, the youngest child Asher is sick and has been taken to the hospital. While Dean drives the mother to the hospital and interviews the doctor again, Sam researches similar occurrences and tracks the shtriga back to Black River Falls in the 1890s. Sam had thought it would be disguised as a feeble old woman, but this one is disguised as Dr. Hydeker - who is currently working at the hospital in Fitchburg, and is also seen in a photo from the 1890s. Sam cannot find any lore on what kills them, but Dean says John found out they are vulnerable when feeding, and to being shot with consecrated wrought iron buckshot or rounds. Sensing Dean knows more about the shtriga than he has revealed, Sam pushes him.
Sixteen or seventeen years ago, John Winchester was hunting a shtriga in Fort Douglas, Wisconsin. While John was out, Dean left Sam alone briefly and the shtriga attacked. John took the boys to stay with Pastor Jim, but when he returned he couldn't track the shtriga. Dean blames himself for its escape, and for the deaths that have occurred since. Dean suggests using Michael as bait to trap the shtriga. Michael at first refuses, but later decides to do it, even though Dean can't guarantee Asher will get better. Dean and Sam set up a CCTV (closed-circuit television) system to observe Michael in bed, as they need to wait until the shtriga starts feeding before they can attack. The shtriga attacks Michael and the boys storm in, only killing the monster when it tries to feed on Sam. After the shtriga is killed, Asher and the other children recover. Sam laments that Michael has lost his innocence, now that he knows what really lurks in the dark.
Dude. Dude I am not using this ID.
Dean: Why not?
Sam: Cause it says Bikini Inspector on it!
Don't worry she won't look that close all right? Hell, she won't even ask to see it. It's all about confidence Sammy.
All right. If something tries to bust in?
Young Dean: Shoot first, ask questions later.
That's my man.
Dean: I know why Dad sent us here. He's faced this thing before. He wants us to finish the job.
So what the hell is a shtriga?
Dean: It's ... kinda like a witch I think. I don't know much about 'em.
Sam: Well I've never heard of it. And it's not in Dad's journal.
Dean: Dad hunted one in Fort Douglas, Wisconsin, about 16, 17 years ago. You were there. You don't remember?
A king or two queens?
Dean: Two queens.
Michael: Yeah I bet.
Dean: What'd you say?
I want Lucky Charms!
Young Dean: There's no more Lucky Charms.
Young Sam: I saw the box!
Young Dean: Okay, maybe there is but there's only enough for one bowl and I haven't had any yet.
D'you want the prize?
Well, you were right. Heh. It wasn't very easy to find but you were right. Shtriga is a kind of witch. They're Albanian, but legends about them trace back to Ancient Rome. They feed off spiritus vitae.
Vitae. It's Latin, translates to 'breath of life'. Kinda like your life force or essence.
'I was sleeping with my peepers open?' Hahahaha.
Dean: I almost smoked that old girl, I swear. It's not funny!
Sam: Oh man, you shoulda seen your face.
Yeah, laugh it off. Now we're back to square one.
I'm surprised you didn't draw on him right there.
Dean: Yeah well, first of all, I'm not going to open fire in a freakin' pediatrics ward.
Sam: Good call.
Second, wouldn't have done any good, because the bastard's bulletproof unless he's chowing down on something. And third, I wasn't packing, which is probably a really good thing cause I probably would have just burned a clip in him on principle alone.
It's too bad.
Dean: Oh, they'll be fine.
Sam: That's not what I meant. I meant Michael. He'll always know there are things out there in the dark -- he'll never be the same, you know?... Sometimes I wish that....
Sam: I wish I could have that kinda innocence.
If it means anything, sometimes I wish you could too.
The title of the episode is a reference to a line in the play Macbeth
, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." Something Wicked This Way Comes
is also the title of a novel by Ray Bradbury, about a carnival magician who feed on people's souls.
Dude, I ran LexisNexis, local police reports, newspapers, I couldn't find a single red flag. Are you sure you got the coordinates right?
- LexisNexis is a search engine used for finding legal and journalistic documents/articles.
Well I don't know what to tell ya, maybe Dad didn't have his Wheaties that morning.
- Wheaties is a breakfast cereal known for having famous athletes on their boxes. It's taglines were, "The Breakfast of Champions" and "You Better Eat Your Wheaties."
The cartoon that Sam
is seen watching during Dean
's first childhood flashback is ThunderCats
, an '80's cartoon about a group of cat-like warriors from Thundera who battle evil mutants on a foreign planet. The show is also seen briefly when Dean is watching TV in the wish-verse
in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be
. In 14.04 Mint Condition
Sam finds a case that involves a possibly-possessed ThunderCats figure that Dean is excited to investigate.
Same deal. Before that, there was, uh, Ogdenville, before that North Haverbrook, and Brockway. Every 15 to 20 years it hits a new town. Dean, this thing is just getting started in Fitchburg. In all these other places it goes on for months. Dozens of kids before the shtriga finally moves on. The kids just ... languish in comas and then they die.
- Ogdenville, North Haverbrook and Brockway are all fictional towns from the animated sitcom The Simpsons.
The old woman in the hospital is warded in room 237. In the movie The Shining
, room 237 is the mystery-shrouded room, where Jack encounters the ghost of a young woman that turns into an old woman. This is one of Supernatural'
s many references to The Shining
throughout the series. The room number is also used for the rooms the boys stay in during 2.11 Playthings
and Dean are driving, they pass two signs with two different spellings for the name of the town (Fitchberg and Fitchburg).
Sam's Bikini Inspector badge from "Something Wicked" reads:
- "This agent is authorized to operate at any beach, park, or backyard pool party, or warm climate locale in the world. No restrictions or limitations are to be placed on their visual or physical inspections; violators will be subject to tickling and spanking."S1Com
Dean uses a credit card with the name "Kris Warren" to pay for their motel room.
The feeble old woman incorrectly calls the cross hanging in her room a crucifix
, which always depict the crucified body of Jesus (hence the name).
On Supernatural: Then and Now
, Todd Aronauer
described how there was a shot where "Fitchburg" was spelled differently on a street side and the welcome sign to the town, and it had to be fixed in post-production.