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.
Dean: Well, freak's got a type—brunettes. Whoa. This one's got a little bit of a wild side. It's all in the eyes, Sam. See it?
Dean: One of dad's rules -- you never use the same crapper twice.
Sam: Everyone uses the same crapper twice.
Hey, Sam. So, how does it feel to be a fugitive again? Hate to say 'I told you so.'
Sam: You love to say 'I told you so.'
Dean: Actually, you're right -- I do love to say 'I told you so.' So, I found out something on, uh, 'crazy eyes McGee.' Turns out you two knew each other.
Biblically. I just spoke to her roommate. I got to say, man -- you really got around. I mean, soulless or not I'm actually kind of impressed.
Dean: Sam, answer the phone, damn it. I found the connection between the missing chicks. They all banged the same dude -- You. It's you, Sam. The texts, the victims, all of it -- it's a trap for you. Call me back.
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.
I don't know about Arachne, but I do know about spiders. One brown recluse bite can kill you. This thing? Look at these guys -- that poison's eating them alive. They're just dead men walking.
Samuel: So, what are you saying?
I'm saying we put him out of his misery.
You come back around, start hanging out with my wife, and you think this has nothing to do with her? But then... you thought I was out of the way, right? I got to say, you get a hell of a lot wrong, Sam, like that thing you threw me to. You thought it was here to feed.
Sam: She was here to breed.
Yeah. That thing was playing the mating game, and I guess I fit her profile... Me and all those other poor bastards. She bit us to turn us into what she was. By the time you pulled that trigger, I wasn't human. Not anymore. So bullets didn't hurt me much. Oh, and neither did fire. So after you left, well, we ran. Me -- I hid for months, nearly starved. But you know what kept me going? Every night, I dreamed about ripping your throat out. I thought I was sending you a neon sign. The text? Taking all those girls you screwed? I was kicking so much sand in your eye, I couldn't figure out why you weren't getting it! Then Bren tells me you've got brain damage. It's just too good.
Sam: Where are they, Roy... the women?
Roy: Scattered... in the wind. They're like me now. You killed one monster, you made so many more. Congratulations. The only question is, do I kill you... or turn you?
Dean: Sam, y-y-you got to understand that all that crap last year -- all of it -- none of it was you.
Sam: Let's be crystal clear, okay? It was me.
Sam: I don't know, Dean. If I did this here, then who knows how many oth--
Dean: Sammy? Sammy?!
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."
use the aliases "Roark and Wynand." 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.
What are you watching?
Sam: Just trying to catch up. So... Mel Gibson really took a turn this past year, huh?
Dean: Or he's possessed. Seriously, think about it. So, I just got off the blower with Bobby.
- 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.
You got mysterious coordinates from a mysterious Mr. X, leading to a mysterious town? That doesn't throw up red flags to you?
- Mr. X, or simply X was Fox Mulder's inside man on The X-Files. Mr. X was also played by Steven Williams.
Sex rehab. Yeah, you've heard of plushies, right?
- A plushie or plushophile is someone with a sexual fetish related to stuffed toys.
What was that? 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,
Really? You get that every time you scratch that wall, that you are playing Russian roulette?
- Russian roulette is a lethal game of chance which involves loading a revolver with a single bullet. The players place the gun to their temples and pull the trigger, until one player shoots themselves.
All right. Why not? Well, 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.
So Roy's just some redshirt to you? Spider bait?
- The term "redshirt" 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.
Sam. Light's on in the shed. My spidey senses are tingling.
- Spidey-sense refers to ones ability to sense imminent danger.
You were right. We shouldn't have come back here.
Dean: Well, you did kill uh... Spider-Man.
- Spider-Man is a Marvel Comics superhero, who has the abilities of a spider.