Dean and Sam investigate the apparent suicide of an adulterous professor on a university campus. The local urban legend that seems most likely the culprit turns out to be a bust. Then a frat boy is humiliated when he reports being abducted by an alien. Puzzled, and increasingly antagonistic with each other, Sam and Dean fail to find any answers when again another urban legend appears to come to life - a scientist who used animals in his experiments is killed by an alligator in the sewers.
Unable to make headway, Sam and Dean call Bobby, who comes to the town to help them out. Bobby listens Dean and Sam's stories about the case, and their irritations with each other, and works out that a Trickster is at work. They track down the most likely culprit - a janitor in the campus building where the deaths occur. The Trickster attempts to bargain with Dean in order to escape, but the three hunters manage to trap the Trickster and a fight ensues before Dean stakes the Trickster in the heart. After the three leave the building, the body Dean staked disappears and the real Trickster appears; seemingly, it has used its ability to manifest things out of thin air to deceive the hunters into thinking they were killing it, as opposed to a solid apparition. As they leave town, Sam and Dean reconcile in a touching scene - much to Bobby's disgust.
Dean. Dean, what are you drinking?
Dean: I don't know, man, I think they're called purple nurples?
Sam: Okay, well listen. I think maybe we should go check out the professor's office.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no I can't right now, I've got some feisty little wildcat on the hook, I'm about to - zzzzp - reel her in. I'll introduce you.
Come on, dude, that's not how it happened.
Sam: No? So you never drank a purple nurple?
Dean: Yeah, maybe that, but I don't say things like 'feisty little wildcat.' And her name wasn't Starla.
Sam: Then what was it?
I don't know. But she was a classy chick. She was a grad student, anthropology and folklore. We were talking about local ghost stories.
My god, you are attractive.
Dean: Thanks. But no time for that now. You need to tell me about this urban legend. Please. Lives are at stake.
Sorry, I just... can't even concentrate. It's like staring... into the sun.
Dean! What do you think you're doing?
Dean: Sam, please. If you wouldn't mind, give me five minutes here.
Dean, this is a very serious investigation. We don't have any time for any of your blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah! Blah.
No, come on. You're bickering like an old married couple.
Dean: No, see married couples can get divorced. Me and him, we're like, uh, Siamese twins.
Sam: It's conjoined twins!
See what I mean?
They did tests on me. And, uh... they, uh... They probed me.
Dean: They probed you?
Curtis: Yeah, they probed me. Again and a...again and -- And again.[takes a shot] And again and again and again... And then one more time.
Curtis: And that's not even the worst of it.
Dean: How could it get any worse? Some alien made you his bitch.
They... They made me... slow dance!
You got a trickster on your hands.
Dean: That's what I thought.
What?! No, you didn't.
Dean: So, what is it, what, what, spirit, demon, what?
Bobby: Well, more like demigods, really. There's Loki in Scandinavia. There's Anansi in West Africa. Dozens of them. They're immortal, and they can create things out of thin air. Things as real as you and me. Make them vanish just as quick.
Trickster: Sorry I'm dragging a little ass today, boys. Had quite the night last night. Lots of sex, if you catch my drift.
Dean: Yeah, hard not to. Listen, we won't be long. We just need to check a couple offices up on three.
Come on. Let us give you a massage.
Dean: Wha... You know, I'm a -- I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Really, I am, but... I-I'm gonna have to pass.
Trickster: They're a peace offering. I know what you and your brother do. I've been around a while. Run into your kind before.
Dean: Well, then you know that I... can't let you just keep hurting people.
Come on! Those people got what was coming to them. Hoisted on their own petards. But you and Sam -- I like you. I do. So treat yourself... Long as you want. Just long enough for me to move on to the next town.
The boys relating their mutually contradictory accounts of events shown in flashback to Bobby
, who then determines the truth, is a take on the 1950 movie Rashomon
, in which four people tell mutually contradictory versions of events shown in flashback and the final account is assumed to be the truth. The method was also used in an X-Files
episode, "Bad Blood", on which John Shiban
(the writer of this episode) was a co-producer.
The use of the Trickster
character, in particular the names Loki
, is a reference to the work of Neil Gaiman
, the novelist and graphic novel author of which Eric Kripke
has admitted being a fan. Gaiman frequently uses Tricksters in his fiction, and his recent novel was concerned primarily with Anansi
A purple nurple
is an actual drink containing coconut rum, triple sec, blue curacao and cranberry juice.
Starla! Starla, hey. This is my shuttle co-pilot Major Tom. Major Tom, Starla.
- Dean refers to Sam as "Major Tom." This is a reference to the David Bowie song, "Space Oddity." The song later plays during 6.09 Clap Your Hands If You Believe.... The name "Starla" for the blonde barfly (in Sam's version of events) is a possible reference to The Simpsons, which featured a trashy, bleached-blonde barfly of that name (her most famous line is, "Can I have the keys to the car, lover? I feel like changing wigs.")
You mean between the angry spirit and the sexed-Up E.T.? What could the connection possibly be?
- E.T.: Huge schmaltzy 1982 Spielberg movie featuring a stranded cute alien and an even cuter seven year old Drew Barrymore. The alien had a long finger that glowed.
That's right where the frat boy had his close encounter.
- A close encounter is an event in which a person witnesses a UFO. This could also be a reference Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another Spielberg movie about aliens who come to Earth.
Looks like you lost it, Poindexter.
- First introduced as a character in the Felix the Cat television cartoon series in 1958, the term "Poindexter" is now applied to people who are overly nerdy, geeky, or bookish.
Let's get the hell out of Dodge before someone finds that body.
- Dodge City, Kansas was the temporary home to Wyatt Earp and was known for several famous shoot-outs.
The show was actually advertised in the Weekly World News
, via an interview with Dean
in two issues of the paper. Weekly World News
is a tabloid paper best known for its stories involving alien abductions, strange mutations and Elvis sightings.
The band Junk Food
won a CW competition on MySpace to have their song "Next To You" included in the show. It plays while Sam and Dean are in the bar.
The boys are staying in a hotel called "Kings Lair" in room 12.
While masquerading as electricians, the brothers wear work jackets with patches saying "Ohio Connect DSL".
The cinematography in the scenes depicting the alien abduction of the frat boy are highly reminiscent of The X-Files
. John Shiban, the writer of this episode, also wrote for The X-Files