2.08 Crossroad Blues
|Episode #||Season 2, Episode 8|
|First aired||November 16, 2006|
|Directed by||Steve Boyum|
|Written by||Sera Gamble|
|On IMDB||Crossroad Blues|
|Outline||When two professionals die after claiming to be haunted, Sam and Dean investigate a local bar and discover a demon has been making people's dreams come true in exchange for their souls.|
November, 2006 
|Location(s)||Greenwood, Mississippi (Lloyd's Bar)|
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In Rosedale, Mississippi, in 1930, Robert Johnson makes a deal with a demon at the crossroads, asking to be the greatest blues guitarist that ever lived. The deal is sealed with a kiss. In Greenwood, Mississippi, in August 1938, Robert Johnson is playing blues guitar at Lloyd's Bar. There is a sound outside and he leaves, running as he hears dogs chasing him until he takes refuge in a house. Soon after he is found dying, mumbling about the black dogs that are after him.
In the present day, Sam and Dean are researching the case of an architect, Sean Boyden, who jumped to his death from a building he designed. He had previously reported seeing a dog in the building. Thinking this may be a supernatural black dog, the boys decide to investigate and under the guise of writers from Architectural Digest, interview Sean’s partner. They discover he had been working as a bartender at a bar called Lloyd's ten years ago, when suddenly he’d shown great talent and became an overnight success.
Dean and Sam start tracking all the complaints about black dogs in the area recently. At the house of Dr. Silvia Pearlman, who has risen to be Chief of Surgery at a young age, her maid confirms the report, and adds that the doctor left unexpectedly a couple of days before. Dean finds a photo of the doctor at Lloyd's. In a hotel room, Dr. Pearlman screams as she is attacked by an invisible dog.
Sam and Dean go to Lloyd's Bar, which is situated near a crossroads. The intersection is surrounded by yarrow, a plant used in summoning rituals, and at its center they dig up a tin containing a vial of graveyard dirt, black cat bones, and the photo of George Darrow. They realize that the black dogs are actually hellhounds which are collecting souls due in payment for deals with a demon.
The boys visit George Darrow, a painter, who admits to having summoned a demon ten years ago and made a deal for artistic talent. After the deal, however, the demon stayed at Lloyd's Bar for a week and made deals with Sean Boyden, Silvia Growman, and a man named Evan Hudson. George is resigned to dying and the boys leave him to his fate.
At Evan Hudson’s house, he admits to Sam and Dean that he made a deal with the demon to save his wife from dying of cancer. Dean suggests he go and summon the crossroads demon and try and exorcise it, while Sam protects Evan. Sam is wary of the plan -- like Dean he has been wondering if their father made a similar deal with the Yellow-Eyed Demon for Dean’s life, and he is wary of Dean’s motives. But as they hear the howling of the hellhounds, he agrees to go along with the plan.
Dean summons the crossroads demon and tries to lure her into the Impala, which is parked over a devil’s trap. When she realizes the trap she begins to taunt Dean about how much he has suffered since John’s death. She offers to bring John back, in exchange for Dean’s soul to be claimed in ten years' time. Just as it appears Dean may make the deal, the crossroads demon realizes she is under a devil’s trap painted on the water tower she is standing beneath. Meanwhile Sam and Evan stand inside a protective circle as the hellhounds approach.
The demon refuses Dean's offer of her freedom in exchange for Evan Hudson's life, so he begins to exorcise her while Sam and Evan desperately try to avoid the hellhound. Finally, the demon relents and with a kiss to Dean, breaks Evan's deal and calls off her hellhound. While Dean initially considers continuing the exorcism, he instead keeps to his deal and breaks the Devil's Trap. The demon taunts him about John's fate, but before he can do anything to it, it flees its meatsuit, leaving behind a confused young woman.
Back in the Impala, Sam and Dean talk about the deal their father made. Dean feels undeserving and while Sam tries to convince him otherwise, he asks whether Dean considered accepting the crossroad demon’s deal. Dean doesn’t answer.
- "Hellhound on My Trail" by Robert Johnson
- (played by Robert Johnson in the first flashback scene of the episode)
- "Crossroad Blues" by Robert Johnson
- (plays during the flashback scene with Johnson at the Crossroads)
- "Downhearted Blues" by Son House
- (playing in George's apartment, when Sam and Dean question him)
- "Key to the Highway" by Big Bill Broonzy
- (plays on the radio in the Impala as Sam talks to Dean about John)
- "Chaos Surrounds You" by Brian Tichy
- (Dean turns up the radio to end further discussion on whether or not he considered making the deal)
- "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth
- (plays during the "Soon" preview for upcoming episodes)
Dean: That's serious spellwork. I mean, that's Deep South Hoodoo stuff.
Sam: Used to summon a demon.
Dean: Not just summon one. Crossroads are where pacts are made. These people are actually making deals with the damn thing. You know, 'cause that always ends good.
Dean: Yeah, except that wasn't a legend. I mean, you know his music. You don't know Robert Johnson's songs? Sam, there's, there's occult references all over his lyrics, I mean, "Crossroad Blues"? "Me and the Devil Blues"? "Hellhound on My Trail"? The story goes, he died choking on his own blood, he was hallucinating, and muttering about big evil dogs.
George Darrow: Goofer Dust... What, you boys think you know somethin' about somethin' but not Goofer dust?
Dean: It fits, doesn't it? I'm alive, Dad's dead. The yellow-eyed demon was involved. What if he did? What if he struck a deal? My life for his soul?
Dean: Exactly. How am I supposed to live with that? You know, the thought of him... wherever he is right now. I mean, he spent his whole life chasing that... yellow-eyed son of a bitch. He should have gone out fighting. That was supposed to be his legacy. You know? Not bargaining with the damn thing. Not this.
Sam: How many people do you think Dad saved? Total?
Dean: That's not the point, Sam.
Trivia & References
Dean: Dude, I'm like Dillinger or something.
- John Dillinger was an American bank robber who was considered a dangerous criminal. His activities in the 1930's contributed to the further development of the FBI. John Dillinger's exploits and law enforcement's efforts to catch him were the subject of the 2009 movie Public Enemies.
- MySpace is a website that allows people to meet others with similar interests.
- Let's Make A Deal is a TV game show that started in the '60s.
- MTV Cribs is a reality program that offers a look into the homes of celebrities.
- A Star Wars reference. When Princess Leia is captured by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi she is forced to wear a golden bikini marking her as a slave-girl.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts
- 2.08 Crossroad Blues (transcript)
- Casting sides for Crossroads Demon
- Casting sides for George Darrow
- Casting sides for Robert Johnson
- SPN Heavy Meta Season Two Meta Index
- 2.8 Cross Road Blues: What’s Worth Your Soul? by bardicvoice (November 2006); archive link
- Bond, Silvia. 2008. Don't Bet Against The House: "Crossroads Blues" Season 2, Episode 8. Pink Raygun, July 15; archive link
- Supernatural: Then and Now episode with Director Steve Boyum and actor La Monde Byrd.