4.06 Yellow Fever

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YF.jpg
Title Yellow Fever
Episode # Season 4, Episode 6
First aired October 23, 2008
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Written by Andrew Dabb
Daniel Loflin
On IMDB Yellow Fever
Outline Sam and Dean have 48 hours to stop a supernatural affliction from killing Dean with fear.
Monster Buruburu
Timeline
Location(s) Rock Ridge, Colorado
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Synopsis

Dean is seen running for his life, he falls to the ground and tells a homeless man to run or "it'll kill you," when it is revealed that the thing chasing him is a Yorkie?

43 Hours Earlier
The boys are examining the body of Frank O'Brien, a healthy 44-year-old marathon runner who died of a heart attack after two days of intense fear and paranoia -- the third such death in town. Sam and Dean insist on an autopsy, but the coroner can find nothing wrong with the body, aside from a number of scratches along Frank's arm.

The eccentric Sheriff Al Britton, a good friend of Frank's, confirms that Frank had been acting strangely, as does Mark Hutchins, Frank's reptile-loving neighbor and the last person to see him alive. Dean seems more than usually unnerved by Mark's menagerie of pets. Mark tells them that Frank had been a bully in high school, but that he "got better," especially after the suicide of his wife Jessie in 1988.

That evening, Dean's strange behavior escalates; he sets off an EMF detector, proving that he's "haunted." A call to Bobby diagnoses ghost sickness, in which a spirit literally infects a person with fear, which intensifies until the victim's heart gives out. Bobby also theorizes that if the ghost that started the infection is destroyed, the sickness should clear up.

In the hotel room, Dean begins to hallucinate, and unexpectedly coughs up a wood chip. Sam realizes that the symptoms are trying to communicate something about the original ghost. They investigate the abandoned Cassity & Sons Lumber Mill, where they find an ID card for Luther Garland, along with a number of drawings of Frank's wife Jessie. When the ghost of a hulking man appears and machinery starts to move on its own, Dean cuts out back to the Impala in terror.

The official police file says that Luther Garland died of "physical trauma." At the Peaceful Pines Assisted Living home, John Garland, Luther's brother, tells a different story. Luther was "the town freak," but Jessie O'Brien was kind to him, and he became infatuated with her. When she vanished, Frank O'Brien came after Luther, chained him to his truck and dragged him up and down the road in front of the mill. No law enforcement mounted an investigation. Sam and Dean realize the victims are experiencing Luther's death in slow motion. The lack of remains -- and the impossibility of a simple salt-and-burn -- set Dean off more, who rants about the insanity of hunting, panics and flees from the Yorkie, which he mistakes for a hellhound.

Back at the hotel room, Dean's hallucinations grow worse. He sees Sam's eyes turn yellow, and he imagines Sam telling him that he wants to give in to the influence of his powers, while Dean goes back to Hell.

Bobby meets Sam at the wood mill with two hours to go before Dean's heart is set to give out. Bobby reveals that he is fluent in Japanese, and identifies Luther as a buruburu which can be killed with fear. Sam lures Luther out of hiding by destroying his drawings of Jessie O'Brien. He then wraps an iron chain inscribed with a spell word around Luther's neck, while Bobby drags him behind the Impala until he dissipates -- a "terrible" plan that both dislike, but which they feel is their only option.

While Sam and Bobby are trying to catch the ghost, Dean is alone in his room and hears hellhounds. Sheriff Britton breaks down the door, and is crazed and convinced that Dean and Sam will turn him in for his complicity in covering up Luther's murder. His heart gives out before Dean can reason with him.

As Dean reaches for a bible he finds on the floor, Lilith appears to him in the guise of the little girl from 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked. She tells him that he does remember his time in Hell -- four months like 40 years. When Dean asks why he was infected, Lilith tells him that he knows, and that he must listen to his heart. When Luther is dispatched, ending the infection, Lilith disappears, as do the scratches on Dean's arms.

Later Sam asks Dean how bad his hallucinations and fears got by the end. Before Dean can tell the truth, he sees Sam's eyes flash yellow. Dean says he saw howler monkeys, thus not revealing the truth.

Characters

Definitions

Music

(the song that Dean air drums to while waiting in the car; also featured in the "Supernatural Surprise" at the end of the episode)

Quotes

Dean: Something scared them to death?

Sam: All right, so what can do that?

Dean: What can't? Ghosts, vampires, chupacabra? It could be a hundred things.
Dean: Sam, I'm not gonna make a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic. I'm not suicidal... Did I just say that? That was kind of weird.

[EMF goes off]
Sam: Do you hear something?

Dean: Am I haunted? Am I haunted?!
Sam: Okay. Some cultures believe that certain spirits can infect the living with a disease, which is why they stopped displaying bodies in houses and started taking them off to funeral homes.
Dean: Well, why me? Why not you? I mean, you got hit with the spleen juice.

Sam: Yeah, um, you see Bobby and I have a theory about that too. Turns out all three victims shared a certain, uh, personality type. Frank was a bully. The other two victims, one was a vice principal, the other was a bouncer.
Dean: Okay.
Sam: Basically, they were all dicks.
Dean: So you're saying I'm a dick?
Sam: No, no, no. It's not just that. All three victims used fear as a weapon, and now this disease is just returning the favor.
Dean: I don't scare people.
Sam: Dean, all we do is scare people.
Dean: Okay, well then, you're a dick too.

Sam: Apparently, I'm not.
Dean: Let's do this. It is a little spooky, isn't it?

[Sam hands Dean a gun]

Dean: Oh, I'm not carrying that. It could go off. I'll man the flashlight.
Dean: Come on. No, I mean, come on, Sam. What are we doing?!

Sam: We're hunting a ghost.
Dean: A ghost, exactly! Who does that?
Sam: Us.

Dean: Us? Right. And that Sam, that is exactly why our lives suck. I mean, come on, we hunt monsters! What the hell?! I mean, normal people, they see a monster, and they run. But not us, no, no, no, we -- we search out things that want to kill us. Yeah? Huh? Or eat us! You know who does that? Crazy people! We...are insane! You know, and then there's the bad diner food and then the skeevy motel rooms and then the truck-stop waitress with the bizarre rash. I mean, who wants this life, Sam? Huh? Seriously? Do you actually like being stuck in a car with me eight hours a day, every single day? I don't think so! I mean, I drive too fast. And I listen to the same five albums over and over and over again, a-and I sing along. I'm annoying, I know that. And you --you're gassy! You eat half a burrito, and you get toxic! I mean, you know what? You can forget it.
Lilith: What's the matter, Dean? Don't you remember all the fun you had down there? You do remember. 4 months is like 40 years in hell. Like doggy years. And you remember every second.

Dean: You are not real.

Lilith: It doesn't matter. You're still gonna die. You're still gonna burn.
Dean: On the upside, I'm still alive, so uh, go team!
Dean: I'm fine. You want to go hunting? I'll hunt. I'll kill anything.
Bobby: Awwww, he's adorable. I got to get out of here. You boys drive safe.
Sam: So uh...so, what did you see? Near the end, I mean.

Dean: Oh, besides a cop beating my ass?
Sam: Seriously.
Dean: Howler monkeys. Whole roomful of them. Those things creep the hell out of me.
Sam: Right.

Dean: No, just the usual stuff, Sammy. Nothing I can’t handle.

Trivia & References

Rock Ridge, Colorado is the fictional setting of the Mel Brooks parody Western Blazing Saddles.
Sam and Dean introduce themselves as FBI agents Tyler and Perry - Steven Tyler is Aerosmith's singer, Joe Perry is their guitarist.
Sheriff Al Britton: Hell's bells, Linus have you seen my...[sees Sam and Dean] Who are they?
"Hells Bells" is the name of a song by the band AC/DC. It's said to be about dragging a soul into Hell, a prominent plot point in seasons 3 and 4 of Supernatural. Hell's Bells is also another name for a hallucinogenic plant called, Datura which can cause the sufferer to become unable to discern fantasy from reality and cause bizarre or possibly violent behavior.
Mark: Don't be scared of Donny. He's a sweetheart. It's Marie you gotta look out for. She smells fear.
Mark's snakes are named for teen idols and famous siblings Donny and Marie Osmond.
Dean's reference to the "Outbreak Monkey" refers to the 1995 film Outbreak where a monkey spreads a deadly infection in a small town in America.
Sam: You can speak Japanese?

Bobby: 君なんか生まれる前から、ずっとだよ。 (Since before you were born)

As explained on his MySpace page, Bobby speaking Japanese was Jim Beaver's idea, as Jim is fluent in Japanese.

Minutiae

For the first time ever, Eric Kripke made a statement after the episode clarifying that Dean wasn't infected because he was a dick, but rather that he was someone who used fear as a weapon - an important clue to the revelation in 4.10 Heaven and Hell about Dean's activities in Hell.
Sam and Dean stay at the Bluebird Hotel, initially on the fourth floor, and then Dean insists they move to the first floor.
Link to maps used during the shooting of the episode
The episode contained a small coda/outtake called "A Supernatural Surprise" after the credits started to roll, in which Jensen lip-synced to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." Originally, Sam interrupts Dean by drumming on the car's roof, but when Jared omitted Jensen's cue, this happened instead.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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