3.02 The Kids Are Alright

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3-02 The Kids Are Alright.jpg
Title The Kids Are Alright
Episode # Season 3, Episode 2
First aired October 11, 2007
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Written by Sera Gamble
On IMDB The Kids Are Alright
Outline Re-visiting an old flame, Dean uncovers a hunt - changelings are slowly killing off families in a suburban neighborhood. Meanwhile, Sam continues to research ways to save Dean's soul.
Monster Changelings
Timeline
Location(s) Cicero, Indiana
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Synopsis

The episode begins in Cicero, Indiana. A woman is there to greet her daughter, who is brought home by her ex-husband. The girl, Katie, claims that she hates it at her dad’s house and there are monsters there. The dad is seen next in his wood shop when the saw mysteriously turns on. He switches it off, and it comes back on and kills him.

Sam is in a diner on the phone to Bobby, trying to crack a translation on the laptop in relation to Dean’s deal. Dean enters and mentions the gruesome power saw death, then reveals he really wants to go to Cicero to hook up with Lisa, an ex-yoga instructor that once gave him “the bendiest weekend of his life” over eight years ago. Dean dumps Sam off at the Cicero Pines motel and drives to cookie-cutter suburbia, arriving at Lisa’s house. She’s shocked to see him, and he’s arriving on the day of her eight-year-old son's birthday party. Dean meets the boy and sees the striking resemblance, especially noticing the joy for his new AC/DC CD, the way he eats his sandwich, and the race-car birthday cake. Two women (one a local Realtor) ogle over Dean, who both heard that Dean gave Lisa “the best night of her life.” Dean goes over to talk to Ben, and finds he has an eye for the ladies. He gives Ben a long stare while he goes off to play with some “chicks,” does the math in his head and rushes off to talk to Lisa.

Lisa talks to Katie's Mom, who claims her daughter Katie isn’t right. Dean shows up after she leaves to ask Lisa in a round about way if Ben is his. She says no, and then talks about the saw accident while they watch Katie and her mother behave strangely in the yard.

Sam is in a diner when the mysterious woman who saved him in the last episode (we find out next episode her name is Ruby) takes a seat across from him. She tells Sam she’s interested in him, knows all about how he’s got the “Antichrist” thing going for him and is the sole survivor of the psychic kids. Sam is surprised to hear that she knows this, and claims that his psychic abilities died with Yellow Eyes. She surprises him again by mentioning that something happened to his mother’s friends. She tells him to look into it and to call her when he’s done, writing her phone number on the palm on his hand. Just before she leaves, she says there’s a job in this town, and then Dean calls to reveal that same fact. There have been four other accidents in that neighborhood that never made the paper.

Katie's Mom wakes up to find her daughter staring eerily at her, and then sees the girl’s mottled and gray skin in the mirror. Sam, in a nice suit playing an insurance agent this time, visits the wife of an accident victim and sees the scene where her husband fell off the ladder. He notices a red spot outside the window, a little girl giving him an eerie glare through the window, and a mark on the back of the woman’s neck. Back to the other house, Katie’s mom goes into the bathroom very rattled by her daughter’s behavior, and freaks out when the girl tries to force her way in through the locked door.

Dean sees Ben at the park looking sad. He reveals a bully has taken his video game, so Dean encourages him to get the thing back by kicking the bigger boy in a place where the sun don’t shine, upsetting Lisa, but getting him a huge hug from Ben in thanks. Dean sees a set of creepy children staring him down as Lisa and Ben leave.

Katie's Mom straps Katie into the car, and sees her distorted face in the mirror. Instead of taking her for ice cream, she drives up to the edge of a lake, gets out and releases the brake, letting her car and daughter sink into the water. She gets home extremely upset, only to find her wet daughter alive and well, asking for ice cream.

Dean meets Sam back at the motel room, where Sam reveals all his research about changeling lore. It seems a changeling has replaced the kids, killed the dads, and is feeding on the moms. They realize any kid is at risk, and Dean insists they go check out Ben. They arrive at Lisa’s house to find that Ben is indeed different. Dean finds the same red spot that Sam did at the other house, but realizes it’s not blood, but red sand.

They pull into a vacant house in the neighborhood with a pile of red sand in the front and go in equipped with makeshift flamethrowers. Dean goes in the basement and finds Ben, the other kids and the local Realtor from the party in cages. The fake Realtor confronts Sam, who misses her with his flamethrower. In the meantime, Ben starts freaking out Lisa. Dean frees the kids and gets them out through the basement window while Sam arrives issuing the warning that there’s a mother changeling. The fake Realtor shows up and tosses Sam and Dean around for a bit while Lisa and Katie’s mom freak out over their scary children. Dean takes down the Realtor and Sam torches her, then Ben and Katie changelings go up in flames in front of their horrified parents.

The Impala pulls into the Lisa’s driveway and Ben gets out to greet a relieved Lisa. Dean goes inside and explains the changelings to her and why he never mentioned his job before. She confirms for Dean, once and for all, that Ben is not his son. Dean is very disappointed, and Lisa tries to help by reminding him Ben wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him, and kisses him after Dean declares he’d be proud to be Ben’s dad. Lisa invites him to stay, but Dean reluctantly leaves, declaring this isn’t his life.

Sam, back at the strange motel room with mirrors on the walls, red patterned wallpaper among dark oak trim, a large and colorful box of fake flowers, strange gold bedspreads, hideous colonial-styled brown headboards and some very worn red carpet, finds out through a series of phone calls that his mother’s friends and everyone who ever knew her have been “systematically wiped off the map one at a time.” He tells the mystery woman this, and demands to know who she is. She reveals she’s a demon, and tells him that she doesn’t know what happened to his mother and her friends, just that it was all about him. She claims she wants to help Sam figure it out, and if he lets her, she can help him save Dean. That grabs Sam’s attention, and the screen fades to a metal teeth chomp.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Goodnight City" by 40,000 Miles
(plays at Ben's birthday party)

Quotes

Sam: So let me get this straight. You want – you want to drive all the way to Cicero just to hook up with some random chick?
Dean: She was a yoga teacher. It was the bendiest weekend of my life. Come on. Have a heart, huh? It's my dying wish.
Annette: Did you hear Lisa call him 'Dean'?

Realtor: Yeah. Why?
Annette: You don't know about Dean? The Dean. Best-night-of-my-life Dean?
Realtor: No! Tell me.

Annette: Oh, my god, so, they had this crazy, semi-illegal –
Dean: It's a cool party.

Ben: Dude, it's so freakin' sweet. And this moon bounce – it's epic.
Dean: Yeah. It's pretty awesome.

Ben: You know who else thinks they're awesome? Chicks. It's like hot-chick city out there... Look out ladies, here comes trouble!
Dean: Yeah... You know, I couldn't help but notice that, uh, he's turning eight. You and me... you know.

Lisa: You're not... trying to ask me if he's yours?

Dean: No. Nah, of course not... He's not, is he?
Sam: That knife you had. You can kill demons with that thing?
Ruby: Sure comes in handy when I have to swoop in and save the damsel in distress.
Lisa: Benjamin. Isaac. Braeden! What's gotten into you?

Ben: He stole my game.
Lisa: So you kick him? Since when is... Did you tell my son to beat up that kid?

Dean: What? Somebody had to teach him how to kick the bully in the nads.
Sam: So, changelings can perfectly mimic children. According to lore, they climb in the window, snatch the kid. Y'know, there were marks on the windowsill at one of the kid's houses. Looked to me like blood.

Dean: The changeling grabs a kid, assumes its form, joins the happy fam just for kicks?
Sam: Not quite. Changelings feed on the mom: synovial fluid. The moms have these odd bruises on the back of their necks. Changelings can drain them for a few weeks before mom finally croaks.
Dean: And then there's dad and the babysitter.

Sam: Yeah. Seems like anyone who gets between the changeling and its food source ends up dead.
Lisa: Oh, my god. What the hell just happened?
Dean: I'll explain everything if you want me to, but, trust me, you probably don't. The important thing is, is that Ben's safe.
Lisa: I... I swear you look disappointed.

Dean: Yeah, I don't know. It's weird, you know your life... I mean, this house and a kid... it's not my life. Never will be. Some stuff happened to me recently, and, uh... Anyway, a guy in my situation – you start to think, you know. I'm gonna be gone one day, and what am I leaving behind besides a car?
Lisa: I don't know. Ben may not be your kid, but... he wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you. That's a lot if you ask me.

Dean: You know, just for the record... you got a great kid. I would've been proud to be his dad.
Sam: Why would you want to help me?

Ruby: I have my reasons. Not all demons are the same, Sam. Not all of us want the same thing. Me? I want to help you from time to time. That's all. And if you let me, there's something in it for you.
Sam: What could you possibly—

Ruby: I could help you save your brother.

Trivia & References

"The Kids Are Alright" is the name of a song by The Who.
The episode also has plot elements similar to the movie Case 39 including the scene of the car being driven into the lake and the mother hiding in the bathroom.
Sam: Yeah, well, how many dying wishes are you gonna get?

Dean: As many as I can squeeze out. Come on. Smile, Sam! God knows I'm gonna be smiling after 24 hours with Gumby girl. Gumby girl. Does that make me Pokey?

Gumby was a stop-motion/claymation kids' show. Being made of plasticine, Gumby was exceedingly flexible. His best friend was a red plasticine horse named "Pokey."
Sam: Where'd you get it?

Ruby: Skymall.

Skymall is a publication/catalogue that is produced specially for airplanes.
Ruby: You know, generation of psychic kids, Yellow-Eyed Demon rounds you up, celebrity death match ensues. You're the sole survivor.
Celebrity Deathmatch was a comedy show on MTV in which claymation celebrities would fight each other to the death, with often grisly results.
Ruby: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right. Ding-dong, the demon's dead. Good job with that. It doesn't change the fact that you're special ... in that Anthony Michael Hall E.S.P. visions kind of way.
"Ding-dong, the demon's dead" is a riff on the line from the musical The Wizard of Oz, where it originally is "Ding Dong, the witch is dead" and refers to the Wicked Witch of the West.
Anthony Michael Hall played Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone, a man who became psychic after being in a coma for six years and uses his new abilities to solve crimes. The show is based on a novel by Stephen King.
Katie's Mom is shown reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, a novel that riffs on the story of Dracula.
Katie's Mom dumping her car in the lake with her daughter locked inside could be a parallel or reference to the Susan Smith case.
Lisa: 'Siegfried Houdini.' Whose card is this?
The name on Dean's credit card is a reference to the magicians Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfried & Roy fame and Harry Houdini.

Minutiae

Kathleen Munroe who played Katie's Mom, also plays Benny's great granddaughter Elizabeth in 8.09 Citizen Fang.
When Sam is checking into Mary's friends at the end of the episode, he asks about:
  • A fire that happened on November 24, 2006 in Lawrence.
  • Robert Campbell who died on the 19th of July 2001. July 19th is Jared Padalecki's birthday.
  • Someone named "Hardecker" (or similar)
  • A woman called Wallison
  • Ed Campbell
Lisa says that a blood test showed that Dean is not Ben's father. This could have more than one meaning. A DNA test requires genetic material (such as fresh hair) from the possible father. Lisa may not have had access to Dean's genetic material, but if she obtained DNA from another man who was in fact Ben's father, she could eliminate Dean. Alternatively, if Lisa knew Dean's blood type and her own, she could compare them to Ben's blood type to determine if Dean was a candidate to be Ben's father. Though it could not conclusively prove paternity, such a test could eliminate someone with a blood type unrelated to Ben's.
Lisa Braeden appears again, in an idyllic picnic setting in Dean's subconscious in 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me. Dean later goes to say goodbye to her before his plan to say yes to Michael in 5.17 99 Problems. Sam catches up with him while writing a farewell letter in a motel room in Cicero, Indiana in 5.18 Point of No Return, saying he figured Lisa Braeden would be one of the stops on Dean's farewell tour. Sam makes Dean promise he will go to Lisa after they beat Lucifer and live a normal life. Dean returns to her at the end of 5.22 Swan Song.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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