13.06 Tombstone

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SPN-1306.jpg
Title Tombstone
Episode # Season 13, Episode 6
First aired November 16, 2017
Directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado
Written by Davy Perez
On IMDB Tombstone
Outline Following Castiel's return, Jack finds a case that brings the Winchesters, Cas, and Jack face to face with a famous outlaw from the Old West.
Monster Ghoul
Timeline
Location(s) Dodge City, Kansas
Lebanon, Kansas
[[{{{prevep}}}|« Previous Episode]] | [[{{{nextep}}}|Next Episode »]]

Synopsis

Dean and Sam meet Castiel at a phone booth. They are shocked to see Cas alive and take turns hugging him. Sam asks how he is alive, but Cas has no explanation other than annoying a Cosmic Entity so much that it sent him back from the Empty.

Back at the Bunker, Jack meets Castiel for the first time. He is elated to see him, but denies bringing him back. Excitedly, he shows the three that he can now levitate a pencil. He has also found a case that he thinks involves zombies and grave robbers in Dodge City, Kansas. Deans instantly becomes excited at the prospect of going to Dodge City, and so the four of them head out on the hunt.

At the Stampede Motel, Dean tells everyone that he got the best room they have – the Wild Bill suite. As they walk in, they find it is decorated with a Wild West theme, its walls adorned with kitschy cowboy decor and photos of gunslingers. Dean eagerly begins pointing out all the photos, giving out facts about each of the gunslingers. While Dean continues fanboying over the cowboys, Sam tells Cas and Jack that they will start on the case in the morning.

Later that night, Deputy Carl Phillips pulls over a pickup truck and calls in the plate number. When he sees the passenger door open, he gets out and pulls out his revolver. He approaches the driver's side door but sees no one inside. He hears something behind him and points his flashlight into the adjacent field. The truck door shuts again. He hears something and looks again at the field. While he is distracted he is pulled under the truck and killed.

While Sam and Dean sleep, Jack and Castiel talk about Kelly and what Jack remembers from before his birth. Their talk is interrupted when a call comes over the scanner on the computer, revealing that an officer has been killed. When Jack runs to tell Dean, Cas tries to stop him, but is too late. Upon Jack jostling him awake, Dean's reflexes kick in and he pulls his gun on Jack. Seeing it's just Jack and Castiel, he puts his gun away and asks who is going to make him coffee. With Sam and Dean awake, Jack tells them about the case and the condition of Deputy Phillips' body, which was covered in bite marks which Jack thinks may be due to a zombie. Uncertain of what they are dealing with, the group pairs off. As Dean and Cas go to the crime scene, Sam and Jack go to the graveyard to investigate the reported grave robbings.

As Dean and Castiel pull up to the crime scene, Dean says that they are going to have to blend, believing the Dodge City police won't like a pair of city boys coming in. Posing as Texas Rangers, they meet the officer in charge, Sgt. Joe Phillips. Sgt. Phillips reveals to them that the deceased was his nephew and wants to know why Texas Rangers were interested in this case. Dean responds that they had a similar case in Texas. Sgt. Phillips welcomes them to investigate the site, but says he doesn't know if there will be much left of the thief if he gets him first.

Sam and Jack enter the mortuary. The undertaker, Athena Lopez, is working on a body and is dancing around with headphones on, unaware of Sam and Jack's presence. When they finally get her attention she is startled and asks who they are. Sam introduces himself as agent Elliot of the FBI and Jack as his partner Agent Paxton. Jack walks off and looks around the place, occasionally asking questions about cold spots and strange smells. Athena tells them she was not present when the grave robbery took place and welcomes them to look at the grave site. As Sam and Jack walk through the graveyard, Jack pulls out an EMF meter and starts getting high readings in every direction. Sam tells him to put it away, as they are in a graveyard, which always has spirits. At the site of the grave robbery, Sam examines the coffin. The front of the casket has a large hole in it, which the police believed it to be the work of rats, but Sam tells Jack the hole is too large to be rats. Sam jumps down into the grave and finds a hole containing a partial pelvic bone with bite marks on it. They realize they are dealing with a ghoul.

Back at the motel, the four meet up to talk about what they have found. Examining the pelvic bone, they initially theorize that Athena is the ghoul. This theory is discarded, though – as undertaker she would not need to dig up the bodies to steal from them. Jack pulls up an image on a traffic cam with the driver of the stolen vehicle. Dean looks at him closer and realizes that it is Dave Mather, an old gunslinger who was an outlaw and gang member, who died back in 1886.

Athena, once again working in the basement with her headphones on, suddenly has her behind slapped by her boyfriend Dave, who hands her a letter. Opening it, Athena learns that she has been accepted to a makeup and special effects school in California. She is ecstatic. Dave, however, is less enthused. He tries to convince her it would cost too much money to live there and that they have all they need where they are. Athena, annoyed, tells him she needs to work. As Dave tries to talk to her, she mentions that two FBI agents visited her and that they asked strange questions about smells and cold spots.

Jack realizes that Dave is Athena's boyfriend, remembering a photograph of the two of them at the mortuary. The four of them head there to question Athena, who tells them Dave is at the bank.

At the bank, the security guard, Lenny, lets the final customer out the door as it is closing time. Just then, Dave comes in with his gun and holds up the bank. Leaving, he is confronted by Dean. A shoot-out ensues between Dave, Sam, and Dean. Taking cover, Castiel attempts to protect Jack, but Jack is confident he can help and begins to walk towards Dave. Dave shoots Jack several times in the chest, but the wounds do not affect him, which confuses Dave. Jack smiles and puts his arm out and sends out a celestial shock wave that sends Dave flying back. Unfortunately, at that moment the guard comes out of the bank in pursuit of the robber and he is also hit by the blast wave. The back of Lenny's head hits a column before he drops to the ground. As Dean chases down Dave, Jack asks Castiel to heal the guard. Castiel places his fingers on the the body and attempts to heal him, to no avail – he is dead.

Back at the motel, Sam, Dean, and Cas discuss Jack. They decide that he needs to go back to the Bunker, as he would be recognized if he stayed. Dean says he will stay and take care of the ghoul while Sam takes Jack and Cas back.

At the mortuary, Athena sees Dave coming down the stairs. He has been shot. He tells her he robbed a bank for her, which upsets her. She figures out that Dave is the grave robber, after he lets it slip that he had been pawning jewelry.

Sgt. Phillips is at the graveyard when he sees Dean pull up. He tells Dean that the bank teller recognized the robber as Athena's boyfriend, and evidence at the bank links him to the death of Phillips's nephew. When Dean asks where his badge is, Sgt. Phillips tells him he doesn't need it, as this is family business. Dean tells him that if he finds Dave first, he won't be bringing him alive. Sgt. Phillips replies that neither is he. With both deciding to hunt the ghoul, Dean tells him to aim for the head. As they proceed to the graveyard, they begin hearing noises. While Dean goes to check something out, Sgt. Phillips gets pulled into the ground. Seeing the tunnel below, Dean talks himself into going into the hole and begins crawling through the tunnel system that Dave had built.

Sam, Cas, and Jack are in the Impala on their way back to the Bunker. They both try to console Jack, to no avail.

Dean follows the tunnels until he falls out of a door on a wall. He sees Athena bound and gagged in a chair and realizes he is back in the mortuary. He takes the scarf out of her mouth, and she asks what is going on. Dean tells her that her boyfriend isn't human. Hearing a groan, he turns to sees Sgt. Phillips on the floor, hurt. As Dean checks him over, the sergeant indicates that the ghoul has appeared behind him. Dean turns to see Dave, his gun drawn. He tells Dean to put his hands up. He mocks Dean for not coming armed with a gun, but says it wouldn't have mattered as Dean isn't fast enough. Dean agrees he's not fast enough, but says the sergeant is, and steps aside to reveal Sgt. Phillips with a shotgun. Before Dave can react, Sgt. Phillips fires, blowing his head clean off.

The next morning, Dean and Sgt. Phillips are walking through the graveyard discussing the events. The sergeant asks Dean for the whole story. Dean tells him that a guy named Dave killed his deputy and the security guard at the bank and tried to kill him, and that he shot him dead. Dean says he was never there.

Back at the Bunker, Dean comes down the steps, telling Sam that everything was taken care of including the man Jack killed. Jack angrily confronts Dean about the man, asking if he had a family. Jack wonders aloud if he really is just a monster, Dean attempts to talk him down, telling him they have all made mistakes and have blood on their hands, but that doesn't make them monsters, so neither is Jack. Dean's speech doesn't dissuade Jack, as he feels that when he tries to help people someone always gets hurt. He tells them he can't make the world a better place like this, and that if he stays he will hurt them, and he can't let that happen as they are all he has left. Jack puts up his hand and a blast of energy pushes everyone back. While they are reeling and dazed, Jack says he is sorry and disappears.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Space Cowboy" by Steve Miller Band
(playing as Dean and Cas enter the crime scene)
  • "They Call Me Zombie" by Messer Chups
(playing as Sam and Jack meet with Athena)
  • "Hot Rod Rockin'" by Thaddeus Rose & the Thorns
(playing on Athena's headphones)

Quotes

Dean: Cas, is that really you?

Sam: No. You're – you're dead.
Castiel: Yeah, I was. But then I... annoyed an ancient cosmic being so much that he sent me back.
Sam: I don't even know what to say.

Dean: I do. Welcome home, pal.
Dean: Alright, well... two salty hunters, one half-angel kid, and a dude that just came back from the dead. Again. Team Free Will 2.0. Here we go.
Jack: You can have the couch if you want. I don't sleep much.
Castiel: I don't sleep at all.
Sam: You're in a good mood, huh?

Dean: Yeah, and?
Sam: Nothing. No, I-I-I just, uh... you've been having a rough go, so it's... it's good to see you smile.

Dean: Well, I said I needed a big win. We got Cas back. That's a pretty damn big win.
Dean: Can I just say I'm getting real sick and tired of fighting things that look like other things?
Sam: So what do we tell Athena?

Dean: Well, we keep it simple, tell her the guy she's banging eats dead people, and we're here to kill him. Or we could lie.

Sam: Yeah, we definitely lie.
Dean: Where's your badge?

Sgt. Phillips: I don't need one. This is family business.
Dean: Well, I should tell you I'm not taking him alive.
Sgt. Phillips: Neither am I.

Dean: All right, then. Uh, aim for the head.
Castiel: Jack, I've killed people who didn't deserve it... my friends – I've killed people I loved. I wish I could tell you that it – that it gets easier, that with time, it hurts less, but that would be a lie because it – it never gets easier. And those moments, they never stop hurting. But that doesn't mean that you should stop fighting. It doesn't mean that just because you made a mistake – and that's what this is, Jack. It's a mistake. That doesn't mean that you can't – can't be better, do better. I believe that. I have to believe that.
Dave: It's okay. I'm doing this for us, baby.

Athena: There is no 'us.'

Dean: Ooh. Ouch. Breakups can be a bitch.
Sam: How'd it go?
Dean: Usual. Killed the bad guy, saved the girl.
Sam: Jack, look, this life, what we do, it's... it's not easy. And we've all done things we regret.

Jack: Just don't. You're afraid of me.
Castiel: Jack, no.
Jack: No, maybe you're right. Maybe I'm just another monster.
Dean: No, you're not. I thought you were. I did. But... Like Sam said, we've all done bad. We all have blood on our hands. So, if you're a monster, we're all monsters.

Jack: No, you don't... Every time I try and do something good, people get hurt. I thought I was getting better. I'm not... I don't know what I am, but I know I can't make the world a better place, not like this. I can't even do one good thing. And I know that if I stay, I'm gonna hurt you. All of you. And... I can't. You're all I have.

Trivia & References

"Tombstone" is a reference to the 1993 film of the same name about the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral that took place October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona.
When Sam and Dean meet with the newly resurrected Castiel, they are flanked by two neon signs: one for "Bison Bud's Bar" and the other a cross. In Native American culture, a bison symbolizes good health, strength, and stamina, as well as protection and survival. In Christianity, the cross is a symbol of the atonement.
Dean: Pretty cool, right? Dude! Check it out, check it out, check it out. Clay Allison – gun fighter extraordinaire, right? And, uh, Curly Bill Brocius, which – now, now, now, little fun fact here – was killed by Wyatt Earp himself. Not kidding. Johnny Ringo, Billy the Kid. Oh, look! Hey, big guy, how you doin'? That's... What's going on, Calamity Jane? Doc Holliday! Hey-oh! This is awesome.
Clay Allison, Curly Bill Brocius, Johnny Ringo, Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday were all famous gunfighters in the Old West. Calamity Jane was a famous frontierswoman.
Dean: Look, just act like you're from "Tombstone", okay?

Castiel: The city?
Dean: The movie. With Kurt Russell? I made you watch it.
Castiel: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. The one with the guns and tuberculosis. 'I'm your huckleberry.'

Tombstone told the story of the Earp Vendetta Ride and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881. Kurt Russell portrayed Wyatt Earp. In the film Doc Holliday suffered from tuberculosis. The phrase "I'm your huckleberry" is a way of saying one is the right person for a job and is a reference to this scene from the film.
All four hunters use aliases related to the film Tombstone. Dean is Agent Russell (for Kurt Russell, who played Wyatt Earp), Sam is Agent Elliot (for Sam Elliott, who played Virgil Earp), Castiel is Agent Kilmer (for Val Kilmer, who played Doc Holliday), and Jack is Agent Paxton (for Bill Paxton, who played Morgan Earp).
Athena: I was out. Amanda Palmer concert.
Amanda Palmer, also known as Amanda Fucking Palmer, is an American singer-songwriter.
Dean: Holy crap. That's Dave Mather.
"Mysterious Dave" Mather was an American lawman and gunfighter in the Old West.
Athena: And it's not 'that makeup school.' It's the Ben Carruth Makeup and Special Effects Program. It's the best.
Benjamin Godeau Carruth is a special makeup effects coordinator on Supernatural.
Sgt. Phillips: Y'all looking for someone? 'Cause I am. Bank in town just got robbed. Turned into a real O.K. Corral type of deal. Big ol' shootout.
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a shootout that took place on October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona. It involved Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday vs. Tom and Frank McLaury, Billy and Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne.
Dean: Perfect. Yeah. Sure. Come to Dodge City. We'll have some laughs.
A reference to this famous scene from Die Hard. Dean also said a similar line in 2.18 Hollywood Babylon.

Minutiae

Dean tracking Dave Mather in the cemetery was foreshadowed by Billie in 13.05 Advanced Thanatology, when she tells Dean one of his possible deaths involves being "stabbed by a ghoul in a graveyard."

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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