2.09 Croatoan

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Promotional image for Croatoan
Title Croatoan
Episode # Season 2, Episode 9
First aired December 7, 2006
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by John Shiban
On IMDB Croatoan
Outline When Sam has a vision of Dean killing a young man who seems to be possessed by a demon, the two brothers head to Oregon to search for answers.
Monster Demon virus
The Yellow-Eyed Demon
Timeline
Location(s) Rivergrove, Oregon
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Synopsis

Sam has a vision of Dean killing a man tied to a chair, leading them to River Grove, Oregon, where Sam recalls the story of the Roanoke Colony when he stumbles across the word "CROATOAN" carved into a street side telephone-power pole.

Sam and Dean seek out the man in Sam's vision, and discover increasingly violent people, who appear to be controlled by some kind of "demonic virus". They discover that all lines of communication - radio, phone, cell signal - has been cut off from the town, and when he attempts to leave via road, Dean discovers a roadblock, made up of 'infected' locals who fire upon him.

Dean and Sam hole up in the local medical center, with the local doctor, a nurse and 'Sarge' (an ex-marine). The doctor studies the blood of an infected person, noting that there appears to be traces of sulfur in the blood, leading Sam to further suspect demonic intervention. The demon virus is transmitted via exchanging blood, but the sulfur does not manifest in the blood until four hours after infection. Sam speculates that it could be related to a theory in John's Journal, that Croatoan is the name of a demon associated with plague and pestilence, and calls what's going on "demonic germ warfare".

Duane Tanner, the man Sam saw in his vision and whose family Sam and Dean first encountered exhibiting signs of infection, turns up at the medical center, claiming to have been out of the town fishing and just returned. The medical center occupants suspect he might be infected, and they restrain him by tying him to a chair.

Recognizing the scene from his vision, Sam tries to convince Dean not to kill Duane, as they don't know yet whether he's infected with the Demon virus or not. Dean locks Sam in a room to stop him from preventing the killing, but Dean is unable to follow through anyway.

Sam and Dean use medical supplies to build explosives, building an arsenal to help them escape the town, as the infected townspeople are milling about outside. The nurse of the medical center attacks Sam, deliberately cutting her hand and his chest to exchange blood and ostensibly infecting him with the demon virus. Dean kills the nurse. Believing Sam to be infected, the remaining people in the medical center decide to leave in the Impala. Dean elects to stay with Sam, and seems to be on the cusp of sharing some innermost thought when the doctor returns with the news that the rest of the townsfolk have disappeared.

Five hours later, the doctor announces that there is no trace of the demon virus in Sam's blood either, therefore he wasn't infected. This leaves both Sam and Dean uneasy. The team in the medical center go their separate ways, Duane riding in Sarge's truck.

Duane asks Sarge to pull over because he "has to make a call", and draws out a goblet and knife. Slitting Sarge's throat, Duane catches the blood in the goblet. When he swirls, it starts whirlpooling, and Duane speaks into it as if he's communicating with someone (though we only hear one side of it), saying, "I don't think any more tests will be necessary... The Winchester boy, definitely immune as expected." Duane's eyes then turn black, indicating that he's probably possessed the entire scene, reminiscent of Meg in 1.11 Scarecrow.

Sam and Dean end up on the shore of a river, drinking beer and talking. Dean is on the cusp of revealing the big secret John told him in 2.01 In My Time of Dying when the episode ends.

Characters

Definitions

Music

None

Quotes

Sam: Roanoke? Lost colony? Ring a bell? Dean, did you pay any attention to history class?

Dean: Yeah. The shot heard 'round the world, how bills become laws...

Sam: That's not school; that's Schoolhouse Rock!
Dean: If you had taken out the other one, there would be one less to worry about.

Sam: Sorry, alright, I hesitated. Dean, it was a kid.

Dean: No, it was an it. Not the best time for bleeding hearts, Sam.
Sarge: My neighbor, Mr. Rogers...

Dean: You got a neighbor named Mr. Rogers?

Sarge: Not anymore.
Duane Tanner: Has anybody seen my mom and dad?
Dean: Awkward.
Sam: This is the dumbest thing you've ever done.
Dean: I don't know about that... Remember that waitress in Tampa?
Dean: I’m tired, Sam. I’m tired of this job, this life, this weight on my shoulders, man. I’m tired of it.
Sam: Hey man, don't look at me. I got no clue.

Dean: I swear I'm going to lose sleep over this one. I mean, why here, why now? Where the hell did everybody go? It's not like they just frickin' melted.
Sam: Why was I immune?

Dean: Yeah. You know what? That's a good question. I'm already starting to feel like this is the one that got away.
Dean: I just think we should take a break from all this. Why do we gotta get stuck with all the responsibility, you know? Why can't we live life a little bit?
Sam: Why are you saying all this? (Dean walks away) No, no, no, no, Dean. You're my brother, all right? So whatever weight you're carrying, let me help a little bit.

Trivia & References

The title of this episode seems to cause some difficulty for a number of folks. On IMDb it's listed as "Croatian," on the Official Site, "Croatan."
Dean introduces them using the aliases Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard. They are the singer/guitarist and drummer of the band ZZ Top. Though later on, they called each other Dean and Sammy, stated that they are brothers and strangely no one, including Sarge, became suspicious.
Sarge's neighbor is called "Mr. Rogers." Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was an American children's television series that was created and hosted by Fred Rogers.
Dean: I feel like Chuck Heston in the Omega Man.
Omega Man is a film about a man (played by Charlton Heston) being the sole survivor of an apocalyptic plague that turns the rest of the world's population into mutant monsters.
Dean: Night of the Living Dead didn't exactly end pretty.
Night of the Living Dead is a zombie film directed by George A. Romero.
Schoolhouse Rock! is a series of 46 educational short films featuring songs about schoolhouse topics, including grammar, science, economics, history, and politics. Originally conceived by Thomas G. Yohe in 1972, the shorts were broadcast on the ABC television network between 1973 and 1986; they were then broadcast infrequently during the 1990s and 2000s.
Dean: That was kind of creepy, right? A little too Stepford?
Referring to the 1975 sci-fi/horror film The Stepford Wives, based on the novel by Ira Levin.
Doctor: It's about forty miles down to Sidewinder.
Sidewinder is a town forty miles down from the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
Dean: For what? For him to Hulk out and infect somebody else?
The Incredible Hulk was originally a comic book character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. A scientist, Bruce Banner, transforms into the strong and almost unstoppable green monster, the Hulk, whenever he becomes angry or panicked.
In 5.03 Free to Be You and Me, Hunters want Sam to drink demon's blood so that he will "Hulk out" and kill the demons they are fighting.
Dean: Yeah, you know, all this driving back and forth cross country, you know, I've never been to the Grand Canyon. We could go to TJ, or Hollywood. See if one of us can bang Lindsay Lohan.
Lindsay Lohan is an actress better known for her rehab visits and partying than her movies. The brothers do make it to Hollywood in 2.18 Hollywood Babylon.
TJ is a nickname for the city of Tijuana, in Baja California, Mexico.
In 8.21 The Great Escapist, Sam remembers a trip to the Grand Canyon with Dean and their dad. It is assumed that either Dean does not recall the trip at the time of this episode, or that the later scene is a retcon.
Sam: Dad always had a theory about Croatoan. He thought it was a demon's name, sometimes known as Deva, sometimes Resheph. A demon of plague and pestilence.
Possibly foreshadowing the introduction of Pestilence and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in season five.
Chilton Crane who played Mrs. Tanner, later returns as another character in 8.06 Southern Comfort (See Weren't you in another episode? and Weren't You On Another TV Show?).

Minutiae

The town of River Grove, Oregon is fictional. There are also no towns near Crater Lake that are large enough to have their own medical clinic (River Grove's proximity to that National Park is implied by the "Visit Crater Lake" poster that helps Sam hone in on the site of his vision).

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion