Sam and Dean are waking up by a lake, "Two hours from anywhere" when they receive a call on one of John's cell phones that Dean has kept. It is a young man named Adam Milligan looking for John, and claiming to be his son.
Sam and Dean travel to Windom, Minnesota. Sam does research and confirms that Adam actually exists. John's Journal confirms John visited there in 1990, but the following pages have been ripped out.
Dean is unimpressed and assumes Adam is possessed or some sort of supernatural creature, but Adam doesn't react to silver or holy water Dean discretely tests him with. He and Sam come to believe that Adam is human and their brother. In January 1990, Adam's mother, Kate Milligan, met John Winchester in Windom, Minnesota when he came into the hospital where she worked as a nurse, when he was injured during a hunt. Adam was born on September 29th, 1990, although he didn't have any contact with John until he was twelve.
Adam's mother has gone missing, which is why Adam was trying to contact John. At Kate Milligan's house, Dean finds scratch marks leading to a vent under her bed, and in the vent finds human remains. Sam checks local papers and finds out that in 1990 John Winchester was in town investigating the 17 grave robberies in the town. In the old news photo, John can be seen in the background. Recently the grave robbing has recommenced along with the disappearance of Kate and a local man - Joe Barton. Dean learns from his widow that Joe was a police officer on the grave robbery case 17 years ago and had helped John killed the thing responsible for the robberies.
Dean is envious of the time John spent with Adam, but when he recognizes that John tried to shield Adam from hunting, he clashes with Sam, who is keen to train Adam as a hunter. Dean goes to investigate the graves while Sam starts to train Adam.
While crawling deep into the crypts, something traps Dean. While trying to escape, he finds the bodies of Joe Barton and Kate and Adam Milligan.
Adam and his mother were killed by ghouls in revenge for the killing of their parent ghoul by John Winchester. They take on the form and memories of the last person they ate, so the Adam ghoul had called John's phone in order to lure him to the town, only to find out that he died. They decided to kill Sam and Dean in John's place.
The ghouls attack Sam and start to drain his blood. Dean returns in the nick of time, blasts the head of ghoul-Kate and beats in the skull of the ghoul that looks like Adam.
Dean insists that the real Adam is given a hunter's send-off off in the form of a funeral pyre similar to that given to John by his sons.
- "Reaching Higher" by Nathan Williams
- (plays when Sam and Dean meet Adam at the diner)
- "A Little Bitty Tear" by Burl Ives
- (plays while Dean is at the bar)
Dean: Why do you think Dad never told us about this kid, Sam? Why do you think he ripped out the pages? ... Because he was protecting him. ... He didn't want Adam to have our lives and we're gonna respect his wishes.
You hunted it down? Got revenge?
Sam: Dean killed it.
Adam: So, it's over?
It's never over.
Sam: Being a hunter isn't a job, Adam. It's life. You're pre-med, you've got a girlfriend, friends? Not anymore, you don't. If you're really gonna do this, you can't have those kinds of connections. Ever. They're weaknesses. You'll just put those people in danger, get them killed. It's the price we pay. You cut 'em out and you don't look back. There's only one thing we can count on. Family.
Y'know, I finally get why you and Dad butted heads so much. You two are practically the same person. I mean, I worshiped the guy, I dressed like him, I acted like him. I listened to the same music. But you are more like him than I will ever be. And I see that now.
Sam: I'll take that as a compliment.
You take it any way you want.
Trivia & References
The title of this episode is a reference to the colloquialism, "jumping the shark," which refers to the point at which a show resorts to dramatic plot changes, novelty casting or similar devices in a desperate attempt to reinvigorate the show, while ironically signaling that the show has probably passed its use-by-date. The term comes from an episode of Happy Days
in which the Fonz actually jumped over a tank of sharks on water skis.
In a TV Guide interview Eric Kripke said of the episode title:
- "When we were breaking the story about the third Winchester brother, we knew the fans would scream that we had jumped the shark. Of course, adding a new sibling or relative to an established series is a classic and cherished shark jump, Cousin Oliver being the patron saint of the practice. Anyway, it became clear that we should beat the fans to the punch and title the episode, "Jump the Shark." Though rejected titles included: "When Leo Joined Growing Pains," or "The Raven Symone Episode."
- "For fans who are worried that we are truly jumping the shark... watch the episode, decide for yourself. Personally, I don't think we're gassing up the motorcycle quite yet, but you tell me. And stay tuned for next season, when the boys take trips to London and Hawaii (haunted Tiki dolls!) and Sam and Ruby get married. And Ted McGinley joins the cast as the thoughtful (but hot!) college professor."
The boys meet Adam Milligan
at a café called Cousin Oliver's. Cousin Oliver was a young kid added to the cast of The Brady Bunch
in its last season.
Adding a young kid to a cast is called doing a Cousin Oliver and is often seen as a sign of the show jumping the shark.
On the wall of Cousin Oliver's café are a number of photos of water skiers, as well as a poster advertising a water skiing stunt show starring a Fonzerelli. This is another more specific jumping the shark reference, name checking Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzerelli, who jumping the shark was named after.
In a tribute to Kim Manners
, Sam and Dean were staying at a hotel called Kelsey Manor. A display card in the room advertises happy hour at the Sonny Buono lounge and features a pic of a mustached Kim Manners
. At the Salute to Supernatural L.A. 2009
, Jensen and Jared mentioned that in honour of Kim the crew had undertaken a mustache growing competition. There were also upside down "KM" carved into the wooden paddle parts of the room divider in the motel room.
Dean uses the alias Agent Nugent, a reference to rocker Ted Nugent
The fact that Adam is a pre-med student may be a reference to the historical pattern of medical students being the primary human body thieves, originating in the days when human dissection was illegal or cadavers were very hard to get by legal means.
An Entertainment Weekly article
said of Jake Abel: "The actor playing the new sibling is a Wincest buff's dream — he looks so much like Padalecki and Ackles he could be their magical gay offspring."
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts