A year ago in Bristol, Rhode Island, Samuel and Sam hunted an Arachne—a spider-like monster—that was taking men in their thirties and poisoning them. Samuel and Sam confided their true identity as hunters to Sheriff Roy Dobbs and his wife, Brenna. At Sam's suggestion, he and Samuel use Roy, without his knowledge, as bait. When he is taken by the arachne, they follow her to her lair, where they find the kidnapped men bound in web and poisoned. Sam kills the arachne by decapitating her, then declares the poisoned men beyond help and shoots them all. As they leave, he tells Samuel that they need to burn the building and destroy the bodies. Samuel seems uneasy about Sam's ruthless attitude and is worried about a deep wound on his arm, but Sam puts him off and tells him that they need to get out of town. Unfortunately, Deputy Atkins stops them and asks them where the sheriff is. When he sees the large wound on Sam's arm, he doubts their cover as FBI agents and tries to arrest them. Sam beats the deputy unconscious and they leave. Unknown to them, the poisoned men who had turned into arachne survived and escaped their lair.
In the present day, Sam, who has no memory of the events of a year ago, receives a mysterious text message with the coordinates of Bristol. After some research, he learns about the disappearances of three local women. Dean is reluctant to go on the hunt, but Sam insists. When they arrive in the town, a woman recognizes Sam, and he flashes back to having sex with her. He starts to remember pieces of the original hunt, which worries Dean. He is concerned that if Sam starts remembering the past year, he will also remember his time trapped in Lucifer's Cage, with possibly dire consequences. Sam convinces Dean that they need to stay and finish whatever job Sam and Samuel left unfinished in the town.
Sam goes to the police station to get information on the latest disappearances, but is recognized by Deputy Atkins—now the sheriff—who throws him in jail. Brenna Dobbs visits Sam, demanding to know what happened to her husband. She believes Sam when he says he doesn't remember anything, and releases him so he can work on the case. She shares the case files from the previous disappearances with him, and Sam remembers more, including the identity of the monster.
Meanwhile, Dean is talking to witnesses and deduces that all the women who have disappeared slept with Sam the last time he was in town. He is certain that the entire thing is a trap for Sam, and when Brenna calls and asks Sam to come over, they expect trouble. Sam and Dean cautiously enter the shed behind the Dobbs' house, but are distracted by Brenna and taken prisoner by Sheriff Roy Dobbs. Now an arachne, he binds them with web. Dobbs reveals that, in order to exact revenge for what Sam did to him, he lured him back by sending him the coordinates. He also took women that Sam slept with and has turned them into arachne. While Dobbs talks, Dean uses a piece of broken glass to tear the web around him. He manages to escape and attack the arachne, and Brenna picks up a machete and uses it to help Sam escape. Sam takes the machete from her and uses it to kill Dobbs by decapitating him.
As they prepare to leave town, Sam is feeling guilty about what he did in the time he was without his soul despite Dean's argument that it wasn't really him. Suddenly, Sam falls to the floor and starts convulsing as he remembers burning in Hell.
[looks at the unconscious deputy]
Samuel: You think there are maybe calmer ways we could have done all that?
Do we care? Let's go.
He says it's quiet.
Sam: Quiet like quiet? Or quiet like too quiet?
When is it ever just quiet?
Where's your partner? The big bald guy? Agent Wynand, right?
Sam: Agent Wynand, of course. Well -
Sex rehab. Yeah, you've heard of plushies, right?
Sam, there is a reason that hunters don't hit the same town over again. Because we have a habit of leaving messes behind.
Sam: Right, I agree.
Dean: One of Dad's rules: you never use the same crapper twice.
Sam: Everyone uses the same crapper twice.
Not us... You know what I mean.
And how would you characterize their relationship?
Flatmate: Relationship? No, they weren't having...
Dean: Just the tone or the nature of their conversation?
Well, loud and... athletic.
Sheriff Atkins: (to Sam) Man, you are dumb as a sack of hair—coming back here? After what you did?
Dean: (to Sam) I gotta say, man, you really got around. I mean, soulless or not, I'm actually kind of impressed.
Sam: The arachne's been snacking on mid-30s guys. We need bait that fits the demo. I'm too young. You're too old.
Samuel: 89 and counting.
Really? You get that every time you scratch that wall, that you are playing Russian roulette?
Sam: Dean, I get you're worried, okay? And I know what you think is gonna happen. But you know what? It will or it won't.
Dean: Sam -
Look, I'm starting to think that . . . that I might have done some bad stuff here, Dean. And so I don't care if it's dangerous. I have to set things right, 'cause I got a frigging soul now, and . . . and it won't let me just walk away. I'm staying here. And I need you to back me up.
Can I get you anything?
Sam: What are you now, my waitress?
Dean: I’m just trying to make you feel better. Don’t be a bitch.
Yeah, I'm fine.
Trivia & References
The episode title "Unforgiven" might come from the 1992 Western
of the same name directed by Clint Eastwood. The film centers on the story of an outlaw gunslinger who has retired to live a quiet life, who is drawn back to his old life for one last job. The film is often called a noir Western. It may also reference the Metallica song "The Unforgiven."
Sam and Samuel use the aliases Roark and Wyman. Sam's alias (H. Roark) is a reference to the main character—Howard Roark—in Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead
which embodied the philosophy of objectivism, where individual self-interest was held as the purpose of one's life (and so it is interesting that this is associated with soulless Sam). Samuel's alias Wynand refers to Gail Wynand, another character in the book.
Mel Gibson really took a turn this past year, huh?
Dean: Or he's possessed.
- A reference to Mel Gibson's numerous instances of bad behavior in 2010, which included release of an abusive phone call to his girlfriend, allegations of domestic abuse, and a series of instances of racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements.
Sex rehab. You've heard of plushies, right?
- A plushie or plushophile is someone with a sexual fetish related to stuffed toys.
She just cougar-eyed you.
- "Cougar" is a slang term for an older woman who pursues sexual relationships with younger men.
What is this, Days of Our Lives
? You're telling me you have some sort of amnesia?
- Days of Our Lives is a long-running daytime soap opera airing on the NBC television network, which has aired nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965.
played the fifth Eric Brady
on Days of Our Lives,
So Roy's just some Red Shirt to you? Spider bait?
- The term "red shirt" evolved from the original Star Trek series, where security officers wearing said shirts were often killed on missions. It is more widely used now for any minor character killed in a movie or TV show, purely to provide drama for the main characters.
: Let's Memento this thing, shall we?
- Memento is a movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan about a man who suffers from anterograde amnesia and can't remember anything after the event that caused the amnesia. Sam on the other hand, has retrograde amnesia where he can't remember anything before the event that caused the amnesia [in his case, getting his soul back]. The way the episode unfolds is similar to the movie - with the present in color and the flashbacks in black and white, eventually building to the point where both narratives converge to reveal the final truth about what happened. The movie was also referenced in the previous episode 6.12 Like a Virgin.
The scene where Samuel and Sam are in the arachne's lair and find a cocooned man who reacts after seeming to be dead is similar to a scene from the movie Aliens
, when the marines discover the cocooned colonist who begs them to kill her.
The sign on the way into the town of Bristol has the ironic phrase "Where Memories Are Made."
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts