13.17 The Thing

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SPN-1317.jpeg
Title The Thing
Episode # Season 13, Episode 17
First aired April 5, 2018
Directed by John F. Showalter
Written by Davy Perez
On IMDB The Thing
Outline Sam and Dean travel to Rhode Island in search of the Seal of Solomon. Meanwhile, Ketch comes to blows with Asmodeus, leading him to reconsider his allegiances.
Monster Yokoth
Glythur
Asmodeus
Timeline
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Fall River, Massachusetts
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Synopsis

In an underground chamber lit by candles, secret cult members, dressed in velvet robes and chanting, drag a woman towards a marble altar. They chain her to the altar and begin conjuring a spell using a vial of blood and adding grace to the ingredients in a chalice. She struggles to escape as the robed priest holds the illuminated chalice aloft and adds the final ingredient, the Seal of Solomon. The Seal, a purple crystal, glows and a beam of bright white light shoots to the ceiling and opens a rift. As the rift opens, a huge tentacle descends and the girl on the altar screams.

Sam has fallen asleep on the illuminated map table surrounded by books. Dean, grinning, creeps up behind him and delicately sticks post-it notes on his shirt. Sam suddenly wakes, suspicious of Dean as he sits down innocently opposite Sam at the table. They speak about the Seal of Solomon and decide to go back to the archives to continuing searching for information on its location. Sam reads that there is a Men of Letters chapter house in Rhode Island where the seal was last seen and they leave immediately.

Sam and Dean reach the location of the Rhode Island chapter house in what appears to be the grounds of an abandoned building. They find a manhole cover with a sort of Aquarian star on it which they are able to open with their bunker key. They jump down into the underground space and find themselves in a dimly-lit corridor. They eventually find a door with a modified Aquarian star on it and enter the room. A collection of photos catches Dean's eye, especially one separate from the others. He reads the details on the back: Sandy Porter '23. In the meantime Sam finds a file named Solomon. As they are searching they hear the desperate cries of a woman in the distance and run towards the sound. As they bash down the door together they fall into an underground chamber and see a young woman tied to a black marble altar. Dean recognizes her as the girl in the photo - Sandy Porter.

Meanwhile, in Hell, Ketch has been summoned by Asmodeus, but on his arrival is told to wait by the Demon guarding the Prince of Hell. He reluctantly sits and waits, reading a child’s comic. Whilst the demon is distracted watching cat videos on his phone, Ketch creeps into Asmodeus' chamber. He sees the Prince of Hell extracting Archangel grace with a syringe from a dirty, cowering, bloodstained Gabriel. Asmodeus then injects the grace into himself.

Sam, Dean, and Sandy, still shocked at being alive after almost 100 years, leave the bunker and head off to a diner. As the waitress takes their order the chef recognizes Sandy and calls a woman dressed in robes who is looking, horrified, at the empty altar. Sandy explains that she met a man who said he was a Man of Letters, who invited her to a secret party. She seems extremely traumatized as she remembers the chanting, the beam of light, and the black tentacles. Dean swears to protect her. Sandy, upset by the memories, excuses herself and gets up. In the kitchen, the chef drugs their food and arms himself with a long curved silver dagger.

Ketch is finally allowed to enter Asmodeus's chamber, where he sees Gabriel cowering in his cell. Asmodeus tells Ketch that he owns him and expects him to do exactly as he is told. Ketch is furious. They speak about how Sam and Dean must be stopped from opening the rift but Ketch, livid with Asmodeus, wants to terminate their agreement. A violent and bloody fight ensues and finishes with Ketch lying crumpled, battered, and beaten, face-down on the floor in front of the Prince of Hell. A terrified Gabriel watches from his cell.

In the diner, Sam and Dean are trying to understand how Sandy is still alive after so long and they begin forming a plan as their food arrives. As a boy goes to leave the diner, he sees robed figures in the car park. At the same time, Sam begins to feel the effect of the sedative in his food and passes out on the table. The lights go off as Sandy comes back. Four robed figures enter the diner and begin attacking customers. One fights with Dean but he overcomes his assailant. Then another attacks Dean and they crash into the kitchen area. Dean yells for Sam and as Sam wakes and attempts to get up to save Dean, he is kidnapped. Sandy stabs Dean’s adversary from behind, saving Dean’s life.

Sam is on his knees, hands tied behind his back, in the woods as the two robed figures explain that their great grandfather Diego Avila, a Man of Letters, desperate to cleanse what he saw as a violent and corrupt world, summoned a God from another dimension. We flash back to Sandy on the altar, screaming as black tentacles envelop her body, sucking the life out of her and leaving her with glowing purple eyes. Sam realizes that Sandy is the God. He returns to the diner and realizes that the boy is dead and Dean is missing.

At the diner, one of the waitresses asks the boy to go outside and see if the robed figures have really disappeared. He gingerly opens the door and ventures outside, terrified and armed only with a small knife. Sandy and her tentacle attack him. Hearing his screams, Dean with gun in hand runs outside and is also attacked by Sandy's tentacle

After Asmodeus injects more grace into his veins and then leaves, Ketch frees Gabriel, takes the grace Asmodeus has been collecting, and they escape.

Dean awakes chained to the marble altar. Yokoth explains what type of god she is. There is a lot of banter between them and she says that because she likes Dean she will allow him to be Glythur's host. She begins the spell to open the rift. She renders Dean mute as a bright light shoots to the ceiling above him and a huge black three-toed tentacle tries to grab Dean's face. Sam arrives and shoots Sandy but doesn't hurt her. Dean is able to free himself using a tiny penknife from his pocket. Sandy’s tentacles throw Sam to the ground as he rushes towards Dean. Diego’s great granddaughter, using the seal of Solomon that Dean throws to her, utters a spell and the tentacles lift Sandy high above the altar, disappearing through the rift as it closes. Sam and Dean take the Seal of Solomon and leave.

Back at the bunker they are shocked to find Ketch and Gabriel. Ketch places the vial of grace and the archangel blade on the table, explaining that Asmodeus tortured Gabriel and is hunting him. Dean, desperate to see Mary and Jack and much to Sam’s surprise, agrees to let Ketch stay in the bunker. With all the ingredients now assembled, they perform the spell to open the rift. Sam wants to go with Dean but Dean refuses to let him, saying he wants to keep Sam safe. Dean and Ketch step through the rift together.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Better Luck Next Time" by Jay Ramsey
(playing on the booth jukebox in the diner)

Quotes

Dean: Sandy, I know it's a lot to take in, okay? But... Well, look, this is -- this what a car looks like now. Well, they should.

Sam: This... this is a phone and a camera and... everything else.

Dean: Welcome to the future.
Sandy: I don't... How.. How am I still alive?

Sam: Um... we don't really know yet.
Sandy: And... and how are you so calm about the fact that... I'm still alive?

Dean: This kind of weird. It's sort of our thing.
Asmodeus: The last prophet that checked out of here said they was trying to open up a portal to another, even more epically messed up world. To do that, they need ingredients. We need to stop 'em.

Ketch: Ingredients? Such as?
Asmodeus: Well, if they got the spell from the Demon Tablet, which they did -- some blood, few other things, and a whole mess of archangel grace.
Ketch: Ah. And here you are, pumping it into your veins.

Asmodeus: Everyone needs a little pick me up from time to time.
Sam: Okay, what the hell, man? I mean... we tested her for everything -- holy water, silver, she passed it all, so...

Dean: Yeah, and she's been down in a basement for 90 years. How does she look the way she does? And this doesn't sound like the Men of Letters either. I mean, they're boring. They wear tweed. They smoke from pipes. They -- they... they don't kidnap people.

Sam: Except apparently, they did.
Joanne: Here we go. Lobster roll, no bun, and kale salad for you, String Bean.

Dean: Kale's a garnish.
Sam: It's healthy. I'm watching my cholesterol, like you should be.

Dean: Yeah, I'm watching my cholesterol. Watching it go up.
Ophelia: Diego fought in World War I, and after that, all he could see was blood and violence in this world, so he decided to fix it.

Sam: How?
Marco: Summon a god from another dimension and start over.
Ophelia: 'Upon us we shall call forth new gods, Yokoth and her mate Glythur. And they will cleanse this world of hate and bring a new paradise.'
Marco: They summoned Yokoth, but... didn't exactly bring paradise.
Ophelia: It ate Diego and most everyone else. Then it tried to summon its mate before they bound it.

Marco: Men of Letters disavowed the whole deal. It banned all the survivors, closed down the chapterhouse tight. Our grandparents, our parents, us, we've been watching over it ever since.
Asmodeus: You think you're so high and mighty, better than the rest of us. But you, Mr. Ketch, you are more wicked than any demon I know. I know 'em all.

Ketch: At least I still have a soul.
Asmodeus: What you think that buys you, huh? Souls are messy, all conflict and confusion.
Ketch: Well, I know who I am.

Asmodeus: Do you? Because you say you have this code, this Men of Letters code, handed down for centuries. But wait. Wait a minute. You work for me. You act like you're this cold-blooded killer. But you know what I see when I look in your eyes? Fear. And regret. And pain. I see your chewy middle, boy. You want redemption, but you ain't never gonna get it. Your kind -- our kind -- we can't be redeemed. All we can do is spread our pain around. So no, you don't know who you are. But I do. Which is why no matter where you go, no matter what you do, you're mine.
Dean: Sandy, what the hell?

Yokoth: Sandy's dead. She's been dead for a long time.
Dean: Okay. I'll play. What's your name?
Yokoth: Yokoth. Star of Madness. Ravager of Galaxies. Mother of Faceless Hordes.

Dean: Cool.
Sam: You sure you're all right?
Dean: Considering I was about three seconds away from being an interdimensional booty call, yeah, I'd say I'm all right.
Sam: Fine? So you want Ketch to go and not me?

Dean: I don't care if he dies. Hell, I'm kind of rootin' for it.
Sam: Still, you can't --
Dean: No, I have to. It takes something that's been over there before to open up the right door, so that's either you or me. So I'm gonna go. And if something happens to me, if -- if -- if time runs out, then I need you to come and save me and save Mom and save whoever else, okay?
Sam: It's safer if we go together.

Dean: Oh, there's no such thing as safer over there. You know that.

Trivia & References

"The Thing" is a reference to the 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name, about a shapeshifting tentacled alien intent on taking over the planet.
The Rhode Island setting and robed occultists, along with the the tentacled gods, are references to the Great Old Ones and the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. In 6.21 Let It Bleed it was revealed that in 1937, Lovecraft and his friends opened a portal to an alternate dimension -- Purgatory. A monster came through and possessed a woman, Eleanor Visyak. She spent her life ensuring the portal wouldn't be opened again.
The Men of Letters chapter in Rhode Island uses a variant of the Aquarian Star with an eye at its center. It can be seen throughout the chapterhouse, and as tattoos on Diego Avila and the other Men of Letters and their legacies. The Eye recalls the Eye of Providence which is a symbol of the eye of god. It is strongly associated with Freemasons, and also features on U.S. paper currency.
Sam: Well... um... I finally found something on the Seal of Solomon, but it -- it's really weird.

Dean: Yeah. Hit me!

"Hit me!" along with how Dean said it are a reference to singer James Brown, who would often use the phrase in his songs.
Dean: Okay, so, we've got blood of a holy man, we've got fruit from the Tree of Life, but this piece of Kryptonite, we've been through every book in this place and we got squat.
Kryptonite is a radioactive substance that causes weakness in Superman.
Dean: There it is. Jinkies.

Sam: You're gonna stop saying that eventually, right?
Dean: I don't know. Probably not.

"Jinkies" is a catchphrase of Velma Dinkley from the Scooby Gang, whom Dean, Sam, and Castiel encountered in 13.16 Scoobynatural.
Joanne: Well, people love the Clam Cakes, but if you ask me, gotta try the Stuffies.
Stuffies are a New England dish of minced clam and breadcrumbs baked on a clam half shell.
Dean: So what now? They're opening doors to different worlds and -- and 'Buffalo Billing' chicks?
The phrase "Buffalo Billing chicks" refers to the character Buffalo Bill from the novel (and movie) Silence of the Lambs. He was a serial killer who was murdering and skinning women so he could literally "wear" them.
Ophelia: Our great-grandfather, Diego Avila, was a member. Well until he--

Marco: He went psycho. Jim Jones style.

Jim Jones was a U.S. cult leader who led over 900 followers in a mass suicide and murder in 1978.
The two scenes where the Seal of Solomon opens a rift on the ceiling and a mass of tentacles emerge from the portal are reminiscent of the climactic scene in Hellboy when a gigantic white monolith is activated by Hellboy and shoots a beam of energy towards the moon, undergoing a lunar eclipse, and opens a portal into deep space. This releases the Ogdru Jahad, the seven gods of chaos, who reach towards the earth with their tentacles.
Writer Davy Perez revealed that Yokoth and Glythur's name were a mashup of Shoggoth and Hastur from the Cthulhu mythos, with the names of fellow Supernatural writers Steve Yockey and Meredith Glynn.
Yokoth: When the foolish humans opened the door, they had no idea what was waiting for them on the other side.

Dean: You mean you?
Yokoth: I mean us. It was supposed to be us. Glythur and I, together. But my love... They shut the rift before he could make it through.
Dean: Oh my God. That's tragic. It's like a Hallmark movie. But with tentacles.

Hallmark movies are made-for-television movies that screen on the Hallmark Channel. They are marked by melodrama and sentimentality. David Haydn-Jones, who plays Ketch, has appeared in over a dozen Hallmark movies.
Dean: Okay, look, I don't know what kind of kinky Gatekeeper-Keymaster thing you got going on here, but... I think I'll pass.
"Gatekeeper-Keymaster" refers to the original Ghostbusters movie in which Dana (Sigourney Weaver) is possessed by the demigod Zuul, the "Gatekeeper" and her neighbor Louis (Rick Moranis) by Vinz Clortho who is the "Keymaster". A sexual ritual between them will open a gateway to allow The Destructor entry into that world. In Cthulhu Mythos, the entity Yog-Sothoth is sometimes referred to as "The Key and the Gate." In Lovecraft's short story "The Dunwich Horror", Yog-Sothoth impregnates a mortal woman, Lavinia Whateley.

Minutiae

Ivan Wanis-Ruiz, who played Marco, previously played Jefferson Starship #1 in 6.19 Mommy Dearest.
Raye Adams, who played Joanne, previously played Colonel Scoop's Mother in 9.22 Stairway to Heaven.
While not explained in the episode, writer Davy Perez revealed on Twitter that the Men of Letters acquired the archangel grace needed to open the rift from the Pillars of the Porch.
According to the VFX Coordinator Adam Williams:
"Krispy's Diner" was shot on Stage 1, for the most part. Even the external establishing shot when the boys first arrive with Sandy. VFX added the roof and treeline and removed rigging. Later scenes outside were shot in Central Park."
The chant the Rhode Island Men of Letters use to open the portal is "Insanidox Koth Munto, Yokoth". Yokoth chants "Insanidox Koth Munto, Glythur!" to open the portal and Ophelia chants "Panto Koth Munto!" to close it. Sam chants "Koth Munto Notox" to open a rift to Apocalypse World.
The Post-It notes Dean sticks on Sam say: "Kick Me", "Dum Dum", "Ass Face" and "I'm stupid ask me."
Sam: So, that's why we came. I mean, we -- we -- we need the seal to get our family back.

Dean: If it could take us somewhere other than, uh, tentacle porn land -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

Dean being somewhat intrigued by "tentacle porn land" is a reference to Dean's affinity for hentai porn, which often uses tentacles in sexual situations.
When Ketch brings Gabriel to the Men of Letters Bunker, Sam says that it can't be him because "We saw him die." However, when Lucifer "killed" Gabriel in 5.19 Hammer of the Gods, Sam and Dean had already left the Elysian Fields Hotel with Kali.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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