11.19 The Chitters

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SPN-1119.jpg
Title The Chitters
Episode # Season 11, Episode 19
First aired April 27, 2016
Directed by Eduardo Sanchez
Written by Nancy Won
On IMDB The Chitters
Outline Sam and Dean team up with a pair of married hunters looking for bisaans that have been attacking the people of a small town in Colorado every twenty-seven years.
Monster Bisaan
Timeline
Location(s) Gunnison, Colorado
Lebanon, Kansas
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Synopsis

The scene opens in the woods in Gunnison, Colorado, 1989. Two teen boys are walking in the woods, talking. The younger boy, Jesse, tells the older, Matty, that he kissed Jackie. Jesse is excited, but nervous. Matty calms him, warning him to be careful, that people in the town would not accept him kissing another boy. Jesse wishes they were grown already so they could leave. Matty talks about selling off his collection of coins and says when he’s 18, they’ll get out. Jesse asks to see the nickel Matty is so proud of and Matty shows him with a smile. Jesse hands it back and then goes to relieve himself behind a tree while his brother waits. While behind the tree Jesse hears a noise. He calls out for Matty but he doesn’t answer. Then he hears Matty calling for him and runs back. The cooler and fishing gear are there, and Jesse sees Matty being dragged into the trees by something growling. Jesse runs to help, then looks terrified, and the scene fades.

At the bunker, Sam enters the library to find Dean researching. He asks if Dean has been at the table all night, telling him "sitting is the new smoking". Dean seems tired, but focused. Sam, knowing what is bothering Dean, tells him they will find Cas. Dean is upset that Amara has him. He says that her problem is with Lucifer and God; she doesn’t care at all about Cas. Sam tells Dean that with no leads after a week, they should go ahead and work -- they’re due to catch a break, it’s karma. Dean grumbles about karma having been kicking them in the teeth lately, but listens as Sam outlines a possible case he’s found. Sam shows Dean the report of teenager, Libby, in Colorado, who was carried off and now her friend reports she is a green-eyed mutant. Speculating whether it might be demons, the boys head to Colorado.

In Gunnison, Colorado, Sheriff Tyson tells Sam and Dean that there have been six people reported missing in the last 48 hours. Only teenager Libby was a tourist; the others were all locals. The sheriff explains that Libby and her friend were in the area on a cannabis tasting tour, and that the friend's story therefore shouldn’t be given much weight. Sam asks if anything like this has happened before and the sheriff says 27 years ago, a dozen people went missing, and 27 years prior to that, another group of people disappeared. The boys scoff at no one picking up on that pattern, and Dean asks how far back the disappearances go. The sheriff explains the town has only existed since the 50s and this situation now is the third time. She says some local old timers have theories about haunted Indian burial grounds; the sheriff suggests people get bored and maybe they leave town and just never come back. She leaves to go about her own business, but tells the boys they can look at the files and talk to the witness about Libby’s case. Sam tells Dean he thinks whatever it is, this thing has either moved in to the area or keeps coming back for more. Sam goes to begin reviewing the old files and Dean goes to talk to Libby’s friend.

Libby’s friend, Cori, insists what she saw was not from her being high. She and her friend were in the woods when the heard a weird buzzing sound, then something grabbed Libby. Cori says the thing that took Libby was naked and pale, and had green eyes that flashed for a second. She says it was completely hairless and had no visible sex parts. Dean clarifies it as junkless. He asks about anything else Cori might have noticed -- sounds and smells, etc. Cori says that when she finally found Libby, she was just standing still and shivering, hard. We see a flashback of Libby standing in one spot, almost vibrating in place. Cori says Libby looked at her and her eyes flashed green and she growled at her. Cori insists it wasn’t Libby anymore, and says there was a buzzing sound coming from her body.

Dean reports Cori’s story to Sam and agrees that weed isn’t enough to make Cori hallucinate something so vivid. Sam tells Dean he has no real leads from the reports, but that Cochran, the former sheriff from 27 years ago, seemed to be closing in on something but then his notes suddenly stop. Sam tells Dean it looks like Cochran might have retired and moved to Florida. Sam relays that the 1989 and 1962 witnesses are all dead or gone except for Etta Fraser, a woman whose husband went missing back in 1989.

The boys go talk with Etta. She tells them her husband, Pete, was "diddling" other women in public and she figured he ran off with one of them. Two of the women he was seen with also went missing. Sam comments on the incense in the house, asking if it is white sage. Etta confirms it is. Dean makes a comment on Etta’s packed bags, asking if she is leaving town, and she says she’s going to see her sister. Etta explains that her grandma told her that once a generation, people start going nuts and having orgies in the woods then disappear. She called it getting the Chitters. Etta says she never believed it, but now people are going missing again, so maybe grandma was right. Grandma had told her to burn white sage in the house when it was happening, it would protect her. She says grandma said it was called the Chitters because of the sound that came from the woods during the orgies. The boys ask her if grandma said anything about green eyes. She says her gran told her that your eyes would shine like emeralds if you got all revved up from it. The boys head back to the hotel and start researching, trying to find some lore about whatever is happening.

Two teens are walking under a bridge and hear a loud buzzing sound. They come upon a couple, apparently in the act of mating. Both flash weird fangs and green eyes. Another person drops down and attacks the boy. The girl runs off.

When Sam and Dean are called in by the sheriff about the attack, the teen girl tells them the high school coach, Hollister, attacked them. She says he had pointed teeth and ripped into the boy, Cliff, so she ran. Sam asks if she knew the other two, the couple, and she says it was one of the Deavers who are missing, and Mrs. Limoski. They ask if she saw anyone else. She says she thinks there were more people down the alley. Dean asks if it looked like maybe an orgy and the girl says she’s never seen an orgy, at which point the sheriff calls a halt to the questioning.

The boys step out with the sheriff. She tells Sam and Dean that that’s all the missing people and wonders aloud, "So this is, what? Aliens attacking people?" Dean tells her this is a new one for them and she leaves to go contact the families. Dean comments about "orgy-ish behavior" and starts to mutter about Chitters when he gets a call from Cori. He tells Sam that Cori is saying she saw her friend Libby in the woods. Sam heads to the alley to see if he can find anything there and Dean heads off to meet Cori.

Dean pulls up to the area of the woods where Cori tells them she saw Libby, and he hears the Chitter noise. He sees Libby. But when he approaches her she looks awful, and when she looks at him her eyes glow green. Suddenly, someone attacks Dean from the side and tries to bite him, pinning Dean down in the underbrush. A man comes on the scene and decapitates the creature pinning Dean down. He offers Dean a hand to help him up. As Dean gathers himself, he sees another man, vigorously stabbing the corpse of the creature to make sure it's dead. Dean asks who they are, and they tell him he wouldn't believe them.

The three go to the local bar for a beer, where it comes out that the two men are hunters. When they realize that Dean is Dean Winchester, they comment that they’d heard of the Winchesters, but thought they’d died a couple of years ago. Sam arrives then and Dean introduces them as Jesse and Cesar. They tell Dean and Sam they usually work in Mexico, but they’re in Colorado hunting for the creatures that are causing the disappearances. Jesse says they are called bisaan, and they are a type of cicada spirit. The creatures burrow underground, come up every 27 years and take over human hosts to reproduce, then go back in their hole. They show Sam and Dean what the creature looks like when it comes out before it invades a human body to reproduce and tell the boys the buzzing is a mating call. When the boys ask how they know so much about them, Jesse tells them one took his brother 27 years ago and he’s been waiting on them to return. Jesse and Cesar ask Dean and Sam to step back and let them handle this, let Jesse have his revenge.

As they talk, Cesar explains that Jesse hates the town because no one believed him when Matty was taken, among other reasons. Cesar comments that he is upset they’re sticking to just the woods in this hunt. He wants to investigate more into the townspeople and witnesses. Dean comments that they fight like brothers, but Cesar says it's more like an old married couple. After a minute Dean gets it, then asks Cesar what it’s like settling down with a hunter. Sam asks Jesse about Cochran, who was investigating the disappearances 27 years ago. Jesse says the guy didn't move to Florida -- he lives like a hermit two towns over. Sam, with Cesar’s help, convinces Jesse it’s worth a followup to go see the old sheriff, since his notes seemed to be pointing to more information. Dean offers to work with Cesar to look for the burrow while Sam and Jesse go see Cochran.

In the Impala, Cesar explains they have to destroy the burrow that night or they will go underground again for another 27 years. He tells Dean how important it is that they get this hunt, that this will eat Jesse alive if he can't have his revenge. He muses that wounds like this never heal and Dean agrees. Cesar asks how many hunters Dean has seen get their revenge. Dean says he’s known a few but they agree that it doesn’t really fix anything, but that you have to help them try anyway if you can. Dean and Cesar head into the woods looking for the nest.

Meanwhile, Jesse and Sam are in Jesse’s truck, heading over to Cochran’s place. Jesse explains that he searched everywhere for his brother in a panic. He tells how when he found Matty, his brother had the green eyes and wasn’t human anymore. Jesse says that after that, he took off and never looked back. He explains that no one believed him and thought maybe some pervert took Matty and Jesse was lying or hysterical. Jesse tells Sam that Matty was a great older brother who always accepted him for who he was.

Dean and Cesar are walking through the woods. One of the creatures comes up out of the ground behind Cesar. When he turns at the noise, he sees the hole it left. It jumps on him and they struggle. Dean runs over to save him but Cesar is wounded, limping. Dean makes sure he's okay, then runs off after the creature.

Sam and Jesse arrive at Cochran’s place. The old sheriff tells Sam and Jesse he doesn’t remember anything. Sam tells Cochran that more people have gone missing but Cochran says no, it’s over. Dean comes back and tells Cesar he followed the creature and is pretty sure he’s found the burrow and they must be laying eggs. Dean tells Cesar it’s a bit of a hike and he’s tried to call, but can’t reach Sam. Cesar says he can make it and he and Dean head off to find the burrow.

Cochran tells Sam and Jesse to leave and says he’ll call if he thinks of anything. Sam says he doesn’t even own a phone and they know it. Cochran says he never recovered from the last time and wishes them luck. Jesse reminds Cochran he was only 12 when his brother was taken and he never got over it. Sam says they know what it is that took the people and that Jesse was telling the truth back then -– it was something not human. Sam admits he hunts these kinds of things, and Jesse says he saw one of the creatures today. Cochran admits he knew it was something but not what. He says he tracked one back in 1989 and it was sick and dying. He followed it back to its lair, and he saw his daughter there. He thought she had gone back to college; he didn’t know she’d been taken and was one of them. Sam asks why he never reported her missing. Cochran says he knew where she was; all of the missing were dead and it was his daughter and that other thing he’d tracked that killed them. He says his daughter attacked him when he tried to talk to her so he killed her. Jesse curses him and Cochran says no one would have believed him. Jesse rages that he lied and covered up because his daughter was one of them. Sam tries to calm things down and Sam asks Cochran what he did next. Cochran says it was better to just bury all of it. He looks at a photo of his daughter and says he just let the townspeople think their loved ones had ran off. He tells Sam and Jesse that he killed her by Taylor Creek, near the old mine. Sam takes Jesse and they rush out.

At the mine, Dean pulls a board off the blocked entrance and he and Cesar head inside. They split up and start to investigate. Dean spots a body of a woman with a swollen belly. He checks her pulse but then sees her stomach moving and glowing green. One of the creatures lunges at him. Meanwhile, Cesar spots one and they grapple. It kicks him and his blade goes flying. He pulls out a back-up knife and stabs it, then takes its head off. Dean fights his creature and bashes it with a shovel, then takes its head off. Cesar comes limping over and they head further into the mine. They spot more women with swollen bellies and Dean says it’s a maternity ward; the mothers are dead and the males were protecting the eggs. Dean goes out to the Impala for some gasoline to burn the burrow down.

Sam and Jesse show up as Dean is at the car, and ask if they found the burrow. Dean says yeah, they have to take care of the eggs. Cesar says it’s finally over. Dean offers Jesse the gas can to finish them off but he stalks off. Jesse goes looking through some of the piles of bones and finds his brother’s body and the wallet with his buffalo nickel. He remembers back to when he was a kid, missing his brother. Cesar offers to help Jesse give Matty a proper burial. Dean says they’ll take care of all the other bones.

As morning breaks, Jesse and Cesar are making a pyre for Matty. Watching, Sam tells Dean he used to worry about Dean and their dad dying when they were off too long hunting without him. He says he always worried when they were gone a long time. They discuss Jesse and Cesar being a good team and Dean says maybe they can get their help with Amara and Cas. Sam agrees that a set of fresh eyes would be good. Jesse lights the pyre.

As the four guys walk to their cars, Cesar says he and Jesse had a deal that they would hang up their spurs when they got done with this quest; it’s finally over. Jesse asks Sam and Dean if they need help with anything. Dean says thanks, but they’re good. Sam asks what their plans are now that they are retiring. Jesse says they have a farm in Mexico they have been paying on for a while, and they joke about their plans. Cesar says it’s finally time to start living.

As they watch Jesse and Cesar drive away, Sam turns to Dean, "Couldn’t do it, huh?" Dean says. "No, it didn’t feel right." Sam comments that hunters who make it to the finish line is rare and Dean agrees that yeah, that is something you leave alone. The Impala drives off into the distance.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Things Have Changed" by Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets Featuring Sam Myers
(playing in the bar where Sam and Dean meet with Cesar and Jesse)

Quotes

Dean: I've been with Amara. Her beef is with the big guys -- with God, with Lucifer. The small fries, even an angel like Cas, doesn't even register. And if it meant hurting Lucifer, killing Cas would mean nothing to her.
Sam: So we get back out there. We get back to work. We keep moving. We keep working. We'll catch a break on Cas. We have to. It's -- it's karma.
Dean: You know, karma's been kicking us in the teeth lately.
Cori: It was shaped like a man. Or was it a woman?

Dean: Was it a man or a woman?
Cori: It didn't have a...
Dean: A penis?
Cori: It didn't have anything.
Dean: What, you're saying it was junkless?

Cori: Completely.
Dean: Green eyes, buzzing. Weed alone doesn't conjure up that kind of scenario. Isn't that right, Sam?

Sam: Dude, I was 18.
Dean: [smiling] Sinner.
Sam: It was college. It was probably oregano anyways.
Dean: Rebel.

Sam: You're an idiot.
Dean: So we think Junkless turned Libby?

Sam: Hold up. We're not actually gonna go with 'Junkless' on this, are we?
Dean: Eh.

Sam: Dude, that's a new low, even for us.
Etta: Pete was volunteering himself all over the place. Right before he disappeared, people saw Pete diddling two different women in public, separate occasions.

Dean: You mean they actually saw him in the act?

Etta: What does 'diddling' mean to you?
Etta: Well... when Pete went missing, and we found out about the women, my grandma said that he 'got the chitters.' According to her, once a generation around the spring equinox, people in town start going nuts, having orgies, copulating in the woods. And then they disappear, never to be heard from again.

Dean: Well, that's certainly one explanation for Pete.

Etta: I never really, um, believed what she said, but... now people are disappearing again. She always said burn sage to protect yourself.
Dean: The, uh, the couple that -- that was...going at it, would you say this was a... orgy-like situation?

Cliff's Girlfriend: I've... never seen an orgy.

Dean: No?
Jesse: Bisaan can't reproduce on their own, so they take over a human body to do the deed. They enter through the mouth, like a hermit crab climbing into a shell.

Cesar: Only they don't care that the shell's not empty.

Dean: Well, that explains Junkless.
Dean: Ah, you guys fight just like brothers. Almost as bad as us.

Cesar: Well... it's more like an old married couple.
Dean: That's... Oh. So...
Cesar: Yeah.
Dean: Okay. That's... What's it like settling down with a hunter?

Cesar: Smelly, dirty. Twice the worrying about getting ganked.
Cesar: I never had a brother or a sister, but I've seen it over and over when someone loses someone when they're young. It never heals over.

Dean: No, it doesn't.
Cesar: And the insane thing is, how many hunters have you seen over the years get their revenge?
Dean: A few.
Cesar: Yeah. Me, too. And they are never fixed, are they?

Dean: No, I guess not. But you gotta help them get that revenge anyway.
Sam: They couldn't accept that your brother was taken by a monster, huh?
Jesse: They couldn't accept a lot of things. But Matty did. He was a great brother.
Sam: You know... whenever you and Dad used to leave me to go hunting and I -- and I wouldn't hear from y'all for a while, I, um, I was always sure that some vamp or rugaru or take your pick... I always figured one of them finally got ya. I tried to think of what to do, you know, the next step to take. I was just lost.
Dean: We came back, though, every time.
Dean: And look at Jesse. I mean, he turned out all right.

Sam: They're a good team.
Dean: They are. I was thinking, maybe they could give us a hand with Amara, you know, with Cas.
Sam: Fresh eyes. Could use the extra muscle, too.

Dean: Yeah.
Sam: Couldn't do it, huh?

Dean: No, didn't feel right.
Sam: Yeah. I know what you mean. Two hunters who make it to the finish line?

Dean: Yeah, you leave that alone.

Trivia & References

Matty: I can get at least $900 for the Buffalo nickel and another $400 for the double eagle.
The Buffalo nickel and the double eagle are collectible coins.
Sam: Dude, you even move since last night?

Dean: Sleeping is the new smoking.
Sam: What? No, it's not. It's sitting. Sitting is the new smoking.

In 2015, research suggested that prolonged periods of siting had detrimental effects on cardiovascular health, in some cases commensurate with smoking.
Dean: Guess that leaves me Ganja girl.
Ganja is another term for marijuana.
Sheriff Tyson: What is this? Spanish Fly gone bad?
Spanish Fly is a compound secreted by blister beetles, which can be used as an aphrodisiac, and particularly can cause prolonged erections.
Dean uses the alias "Agent Lewis," which may be a reference to original Warrant guitarist Josh Lewis.
The bar where Sam and Dean get to know Jesse and Cesar is called Rustin's Bar, and the beer they drink is Elly's Brew. Shots of the bar's sign and the beer's label were shared on the BlairWitch.net discussion boards a couple of months before this episode aired. Rustin Parr and Elly Kedward are figures in the mythology of The Blair Witch Project. The beer label contains several other references to the movie, which was co-written and co-directed by the director of this episode.

Minutiae

Director Eduardo Sanchez is best known for co-directing and co-writing the iconic 1999 horror movie The Blair Witch Project with Daniel Myrick.
Kuma Blu, a white Samoyed belonging to First Assistant Director Kevin Parks, appears in this episode.
Kandyse McClure, who played Sheriff Tyson, previously worked with Jensen Ackles on two episodes of Dark Angel.
Connor Stanhope, who played Matty, previously played Little Boy #1 in 5.09 The Real Ghostbusters.
April Telek, who played Etta Day, previously played Darla in 6.18 Frontierland.
Lisa Chandler, who played Mrs. Limoski, previously played a Nurse in 8.08 Hunteri Heroici.
In the graffiti-covered alley where the young couple are attacked, a piece of graffiti can be read which says "some ppl take this too seriously." While the author and intended audience are unknown, some took it as a message from the show to fans.
Graffiti with a message?

Dean thinking Cesar and Jesse fight like brothers could be seen as an inverse of the running joke that people would usually think Sam and Dean are a couple. Cesar corrects Dean that they are more like an "old married couple," something which Sam and Dean have been compared to by characters in the past when they fought.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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