4.12 Criss Angel Is a Douchebag

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Promo Stil for 4.12 .jpg
Title Criss Angel Is a Douchebag
Episode # Season 4, Episode 12
First aired January 22, 2009
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Julie Siege
On IMDB Criss Angel Is a Douchebag
Outline Magicians are dying and Sam and Dean try to find out if real magic is being used.
Monster Charlie the Magician
Timeline
Location(s) Sioux City, Iowa
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Synopsis

It's Magic Week in Sioux City, Iowa, and Jay, a magician, sits in a bar amusing the waitress with card tricks. A younger magician, Patrick Vance, heckles him, calling him washed up. Later Jay and his friends Charlie and Vernon sit in a theater watching another flashy young magician called Jeb Dexter go through his paces. They bemoan that their day is passed and Jay becomes increasingly depressed. He announces that he intends to undertake the "Table of Death" trick that night; what he doesn't share is that he intends to die during the trick.

That night on stage, as Jay lies bound under a rack of steel spikes about to descend, his death seems certain. The spikes fall but the curtain is parted to reveal Jay alive and well. Meanwhile, as he is leaving a bar, Patrick Vance falls to the ground dead, blood oozing from a dozen puncture wounds.

Sam and Dean arrive to investigate. Sam reveals a knowledge of the world of magicians gained during a phase when he was 13. Speaking to his assistant, they find that Patrick Vance had a tarot card, the Ten of Swords, on him when he died. Dean questions Charlie and Vernon to no avail. They send Dean off to speak to someone called the Chief that they say once crossed Patrick. Arriving at the address, Dean finds he's been had - the Chief is a gay leather dom.

Sam is doing research at the hotel when Ruby arrives. She accuses Sam of wasting time while the 66 Seals are being broken. She tells him that the angels are losing the battle. Thirty-four of the seals have been broken. Sam says that he doesn't know where the seals are or how to stop them from being broken. Ruby counters that he needs to go after the source of the problem - Lilith. Sam refuses and Ruby leaves.

That night Jay attempts another death-defying act: the Executioner, which involves escaping from a straitjacket before being hung by a noose. As Jay struggles to escape, we see a noose of rope "come to life" and hang Jeb Dexter from the ceiling fan in his hotel room. Just as the noose tightens on stage, Jay is freed.

Sam and Dean confer, postulating that Jay is using black magic to regain his old glory. Sam asks Dean if he thinks they will grow old, but Dean says that their life "ends bloody or sad". Sam asks if Dean wouldn't want to do something if they could end the demon war. Dean is suspicious that Sam isn't telling him everything but Sam denies it.

Back at the theater, they find out that Jeb Dexter is dead. He also had a Tarot card on him. They confront Jay but he has them arrested. Jay admits to Charlie that he doesn't know how he is performing the feats and wonders if he should stop, but Charlie urges him on, saying how happy he is to see Jay on top again.

That night, Jay performs the "Table of Death" again. He succeeds again but backstage Charlie is dead, punctured through the chest. Jay has the boys released from jail and asks for their help. They go to Vernon's room to search for clues. They find an old poster of a young Charlie as a magician called The Great Dessertini. On stage Jay confronts Vernon who denies any knowledge of what is happening, but then a young man arrives - it's Charlie and he is young again.

Charlie reveals he once worked with P.T. Barnum, who gave him a powerful grimoire that contained a spell for immortality - the enchanted pack of Tarot cards. He offers eternal life to Vernon and Jay - although it means Sam and Dean will have to die. Jay pickpockets Charlie's deck of cards, leaving one with Charlie, and then stabs himself, killing Charlie.

Afterward, Sam and Dean meet Jay at the bar. He is depressed - his best friend is dead and Vernon has left. Dean tells him he did the right thing but Jay finds no comfort in that and leaves. Dean suggests to Sam that they have a beer, but Sam says he wants to go for a walk. Outside Ruby arrives and Sam gets in the car with her. He says he's in. Ruby asks Sam why he changed his mind and Sam says that he doesn't want to be hunting monsters when he's an old man.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "I Am the Douchebag (Douchebag Theme)" by Christopher Lennertz & Steve Frangadakis
(the song that plays when Jeb Dexter is killed)
  • "She Makes Me Fall Down" by Buva
(plays when Dean and Sam meet Jay in the diner)

Quotes

Dean: I can't believe people actually fall for that crap.

Sam: It's not all crap.
Dean: What part of that was not a steaming pile of BS?

Sam: Okay, that was crap, but that's not all magicians.
Dean: Oh, right, right, I forgot. You were actually into this stuff, weren't you? I mean, you had, you had, like a deck of cards and a wand.
Sam: Dude, I was thirteen. It was a phase.
Dean: Just—it bugs me. You know, playing at demons and, and magic, when the real thing will kill you bloody.
Chief: You are really gonna get it tonight, big boy.

Dean: There's been a misunderstanding. I, uh, think I've been had.

Chief: Oh, you ain't been had till you been had by the Chief... Oh, and before we get started, what's your safeword?
Ruby: It's simple. Lucifer rises, the Apocalypse starts. You think that you have demons on your hands now? People are gonna die, Sam. Oceans of people. So you just let me know when you're ready.
Dean: You got us. Yeah, we—we are actually—aspiring magicians.

Sam: Yeah, we -- we came to the convention 'cause we thought we could learn something.
Dean: Yeah, get some ideas for our new show.
Vernon: Ooh, what kind of show?
Dean: Well, it's -- It's a --
Sam: It's a brother act.

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, you know, with the rings and doves and... rings.
Sam: You think we will?

Dean: What?
Sam: Die before we get old.
Dean: Haven't we both already?
Sam: You know what I mean, Dean. I mean, do you think we'll still be chasing demons when we're 60?
Dean: No, I think we'll be dead... for good. What? You want to end up like -- Like Travis? Huh?Or Gordon, maybe?
Sam: There's Bobby.

Dean: Oh, yeah, there's a poster child for growing old gracefully.
Dean: See, the thing about real magic is it's a whole lot like crack. People do surprising things once they get a taste of it.
Sam: No. Look, I'm just saying... I just wish there was a way we could... go after the source. That's all. Cut the head off the snake.

Dean: Well, the problem with the snake is that it has a thousand heads. Evil bitches just keep piling out of the Volkswagen.

Sam: Yeah. Guess you're right.
Sam: Okay. I'm in.

Ruby: What changed your mind?

Sam: I don't want to be doing this when I'm an old man.

Trivia & References

The name of the episode, "Criss Angel Is a Douchebag," is referring to Criss Angel, a real life illusionist and the basis for the character, Jeb Dexter. Jeb even mentions that "Angel's in Vegas with Cirque du Soleil."
Jay demonstrates a one-handed cut, or Charlier cut, to the bartender.
Vernon and Charlie are named after Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller, both famous and well respected magicians.
Dean uses the alias Agent Ulrich. A reference to Lars Ulrich, the drummer for the heavy metal group Metallica.
The scene where Dean goes to 426 Bleeker St. and meets the Chief, is an homage to a scene from Police Academy where Steve Guttenberg misdirects some cops looking for the cool party and sends them to a gay leather bar called Blue Oyster Bar.
Dean: Man... hope I die before I get old. Whole thing seems brutal, don't it?
Dean is quoting from the Who song "My Generation."
Dean: What kind of Kool-Aid you drinking, man? Sammy, it ends bloody or sad. That's just the life.
Drinking Kool-Aid is a figure of speech used to refer to believing something without critical examination.
Dean: Not so fast! I ain't Guttenberg, and this ain't Cocoon. Immortality. That's a neat trick.
Cocoon was a 1985 film featuring Steve Guttenberg where alien cocoons impart youth to residents of a retirement home.
Young Charlie: Oh, it depends on what you mean by "old." Right now, technically, about 28, but I've been around a lot longer than that.

Jay: How long?
Young Charlie: Long enough to have shilled for Barnum. And he gave me something.

P.T. Barnum is the founder of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He began his career as a showman in 1835 and continued at least until 1888, allowing Charlie to be well over 100 years old.
To shill basically means that Charlie was a promoter for Barnum's entertainment business.
Young Charlie: No buts, Jay. This may be manna from Heaven, I don't know, but whatever it is, you don't throw it away.
"Manna from Heaven" is an idiom used to explain some type of unexpected help. In the Bible, manna is a type of bread which God fed to the Israelites as the wandered the desert for 40 years.
Dean: Well, the problem with the snake is that it has a thousand heads. Evil bitches just keep piling out of the Volkswagen.
This could be a reference to Charles Manson who traveled with a group of murderous women in a Volkswagen van he called The Family.

Minutiae

Michael Weston, who played Young Charlie, is the son of John Rubenstein who played the older Charlie the Magician.
The magicians' convention is at the Hotel Patricia.
The Impala is not seen in this episode.
Sam liked to do magic when he was 13.
The poster for young Charlie when he was the Great Dessertini was based on a real poster for Thurston the Great Magician.
Thurston poster.jpg
TheGreatDessertini.jpg

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion