10.19 The Werther Project

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Title The Werther Project
Episode # Season 10, Episode 19
First aired April 22, 2015
Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski
Written by Robert Berens
On IMDB The Werther Project
Outline While enlisting the help of Rowena in decoding the Book of the Damned, Sam learns of a codex that was hidden away in a magical vault by the former Men of Letters, Magnus. Once he is able to locate it, he must contend with the deadly alarm system that has been put in place to protect the Werther Box in order to save himself and Dean from its effects and acquire the codex.
Monster Werther Box
Timeline Immediately after 10.18 Book of the Damned
One month since 10.17 Inside Man
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
St. Louis, Missouri
Tulsa, Oklahoma
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In St. Louis in 1973, a young girl by the name of Suzie is sent to the basement to do the laundry by her mother. Suzie takes a sledgehammer to the wall out of annoyance, and finds the Werther Box hidden away. When Suzie attempts to open it, she is knocked by a force from the box which release a green pillar of smoke that travels past Suzie's unconscious body upstairs. When Suzie awakens, she is disoriented and heads upstairs, looking for her family; she finds her father dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, followed by witnessing her brother hang himself in the entryway of the house. Shocked by what is going on, Suzie eventually finds her mother in the kitchen repeating the line, "Everything is going to be okay" before slicing her own throat open with a butcher knife.

In the present day, Sam meets with Rowena and asks for her help in decoding the Book of the Damned in the hope it will reveal how to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean. Rowena agrees to help, on the condition that Sam kill Crowley for her. She says she needs a special codex that was created by Nadya—a witch of the Grand Coven. Rowena knows that the Men of Letters stole it when they killed Nadya.

Sam catches up with Dean, who has been hunting vampires on his own in order to feed the Mark, which angers Sam. Back at bunker, Sam begins working through the Men of Letters archives. While researching, he finds an audio reel from May 16, 1956 detailing the expulsion of Cuthbert Sinclair from the Men of Letters for creating the Werther Box to protect the codex from the Grand Coven. It mentions that the box was hidden at the Men of Letters Chapter House in St. Louis.

This information eventually leads him to Suzie's home—now known as the "St Louis Suicide House"—which was the Men of Letters chapter house. When Sam tries to enter the home by picking the lock, he is forced away at gun point by Suzie. However, Dean appears, thinking Sam is hunting on his own to teach him a lesson. Sam tells Dean a half-truth—that he is after the Werther Box to protect anyone else from its effects.

Dean's arrival allows Sam the opportunity to sneak into the basement, while Dean distracts Suzie upstairs. When Sam finds the box, he goes about performing the Cabirian invocation to disenchant the box. However, the spell does not work. Instead, Sam ends up releasing the security measure which affects himself, Suzie, and Dean.

Suzie is beset by visions of her deceased family members, blaming her for what happened and urging her to join them. Suzie holds out for as long as she can, before ultimately turning her gun on herself. When Sam gets to her body, he is confronted by a vision of the recently-dead Suzie, who blames him and Dean for getting her killed, and attempts to guilt him into committing suicide. However, Sam is unfazed by her taunts. Suddenly, Rowena appears and gets rid of the Suzie manifestation. The two then head to the Werther Box to break the enchantment. Sam is able to translate the Latin on the vault which reads, "To silence the box... slake its thirst... with... the blood of our own" and realizes it requires the blood of the Men of Letters to shut the enchantment down, and proceeds to bleed himself into a container in front of the box.

While Sam is attempting to shut down Werther, Dean has become immersed in his hallucination. He is transported to Purgatory in his mind, where he is met by Benny who tells Dean the best thing for him to do is to kill himself. However, due to the Mark of Cain wanting Dean to live, Dean is able to break free of the box's hold on him. Once out of his trance-like state, Dean finds Sam at the Werther Box, who is in a weakened state from the blood loss. When he tells Dean that he can't stop, because the box needs legacy blood, Dean cuts his own wrist and bleeds on the box. Having gotten enough legacy blood, the spell is broken, revealing that Rowena had been a figment of the Werther spell, to get Sam to kill himself. With the codex acquired, Dean proceeds to destroy the Werther Box as a precaution.

Once Sam has recovered, he secretly takes the codex to Rowena, but he tricks her and manages to shackle her in iron so she cannot escape while she decodes the Book of the Damned.




  • "I Saw the Light" by Todd Rundgren
(plays during the teaser on the record player in Suzie's home)
  • "Honey Got a Gun" by Gareth Young (De Wolfe Music Library)
(playing in the restaurant where Sam meets with Rowena)


Dean: I'm sorry I don't always like to wait around for ya. Especially with you looking at me like that all the time.

Sam: Like what?

Dean: Like that. Like I'm some sort of a-a diseased killer puppy.
Sam: What are you doing here?
Dean: Well it looks like, I uh, I'm here to save your sac.
Suzie: Boo. Survived forty years in this house, keeping that thing on lock down, and one visit from a putz like you...

Sam: I'm sorry, okay I'm so sorry.
Suzie: A lot of good sorry does me, look at me. Look. At. Me. There she is, the first casualty in your misguided mission, but what's another human life to you? Anything's worth it, as long as you two make it out alive. And how's that search going? Any closer to a cure?

Sam: This isn't real. You're not real.
Dean: Benny, whoever you are, I need to get out of here.

Benny: Need, want. Two different things, ain't they? It's all figment right? You, me, left, right. But no matter which way you turn, you end up here. You gotta wonder, why this figment? Why this place?
Dean: What are you saying?

Benny: Nothing you don't already know. This is where you wanna be, your happy place. And you don't really want to leave.
Benny: Listen. This place, you don't have to go looking for a fight. All you have to is be still for one moment, and that fight will come to you. That's why you're here, Dean. That's the purity you crave -- killing with no consequence.

Dean: No, Benny, I don't wanna fight anymore. I'm tired of fightin'.

Benny: The Mark ain't. So... can't leave. Don't wanna stay. Bit of a bind, ain't it? Good thing there's always a third way out.
Benny: You can't tell me you haven't been thinking about it.

Dean: That ain't gonna happen, ever.
Benny: Come on, Dean. I know you can see it. The purity, the honor.
Dean: There's no honor in that.

Benny: What, you just wanna wait for the Mark to reclaim you? Go out swinging, die topside, then what? Maybe kill a few humans? Kill Cas? Kill your brother? Yeah, that's mighty honorable!
Sam: Get away from me! No, don't! Don't! It's the only way. It needs legacy blood... Enough to take a life.
Dean: Yeah, well. It doesn't have to come from just one legacy, does it? It needs more blood, it can have mine.
Dean: That says something, doesn't it? Werther splits us up in there. Within an hour, we're both on the brink of death. Sorry about yesterday, going rogue on you like that.

Sam: You know what, Dean. Don't apologize, I... I think that makes us even.

Dean: The universe is trying to tell us something we both should already know. We're stronger together than apart.
Rowena: We had an agreement, giant.

Sam: The agreement stands. You will decrypt the Book of the Damned and find me a cure for my brother. And that is all you will get from the book. I'll burn the book, then I'll kill Crowley. But until then...
Rowena: I'm your slave? You can't -- you can't just leave me here.

Sam: You want out? Hurry up. Get to work.

Trivia & References

The title of this episode, "The Werther Project", is a reference to the "Werther effect" or copycat suicide. The term came from reputed suicides that occurred in 18th-century Europe in the style of the suicide of the protagonist Werther in the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. Goethe was previously referenced in 4.05 Monster Movie with a theatre named after him.
The Looney Tunes cartoon that Suzie is watching in the beginning of the episode is titled "Roman Legion Hare." You can watch it here.
Suzie's Mom: I need the laundry started, the workman have finally left for the day and I have my hands full with dinner. And please none of your Betty Friedan stuff.
Betty Friedan was a writer, activist and feminist. She was considered one of the leading figures of the women's movement in the United States.
Dean: You know what, man, I'm sweaty, I'm covered in vamp juice, can we talk about this later? I'd like to get back to the bunker and get my buzz on and pass out watching Speed 2: Cruise Control. We cool?
Speed 2: Cruise Control is the 1997 sequel to the Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves film Speed.
Dean uses the name Dwight Twilley to get into Suzie's home. Dwight Twilley is an American pop/rock singer and songwriter.
Suzie Hallucination: You think Dean's the wildcard, the loose canon. But don't you see; making deals with witches, opening Pandora's box down there? You're the reckless one. You'll do anything to keep clinging to that doomed brother of yours. How many more will die, Sammy? You know it! You have to be stopped, and the only that can stop you is you! Do it, Sammy, end this farce once and for all!
Pandora's box is an object in Greek mythology which contained all the evils of the world.
Rowena: Well then, we'll just have to tie up the bonny lad. Could be fun.
"Bonny lad" is Scottish slang for a "good looking boy."
Benny Hallucination: Out there? You're sleeping. You make the right choice in here, you'll sleep forever, and you won't ever hurt anyone ever again. No one needs to know, Dean. What happens in Purgatory, stays in Purgatory.
"What happens in Purgatory, stays in Purgatory" is a play on the marketing phrase "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
Rowena: Ugh! You big bampot!
A bampot is a Scottish pejorative for an idiot.


The restaurant Sam and Rowena meet in is Betty's Bar and Grill.
The listing Sam finds that leads him to listen to the tape of Cuthbert Sinclair's expulsion reads: G. C. Acquisition. Meeting Minutes 5/16/56 (See Also: Cuthbert Sinclair, Expulsion). G. C. undoubtedly stands for Grand Coven, leading Sam to listen to that particular tape.
Continuity Error: The date given for Magnus's expulsion is May 16, 1956. In 9.16 Blade Runners, it was stated to be in April 1956.
When Sam searches in a journal for the address of the St. Louis chapter, other chapters are noted including Roswell (AREA 382 BUNKER, Roswell, NM), Missoula, (1 North Central Street, Missoula MT), Canton (43211 Chino Street, Canton, MS). The St. Louis chapter house where the Werther Box was hidden was at 2111 De Fay Street, St. Louis, MO.
The car Sam drives to St. Louis is a 2000 Chevrolet Impala.
The abandoned building Sam meets Rowena at is a James Brothers Whiskey distillery.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts