6.21 Let It Bleed

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Title Let It Bleed
Episode # Season 6, Episode 21
First aired May 20, 2011
Directed by John F. Showalter
Written by Sera Gamble
On IMDB Let It Bleed
Outline A demon kidnaps Ben and Lisa to get to Dean. Sam and Dean are forced to join with an unlikely ally to free them.
Monster Crowley
Timeline After the events of 6.20 The Man Who Would Be King
Location(s) Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Directly following Castiel's visit in 6.20 The Man Who Would Be King, Bobby realizes that his copy of Moishe Campbell's journal is missing. Bobby tells Dean and Sam that he thinks Castiel stole the journal so that he could read Moishe's notes about H.P. Lovecraft, an author who was fascinated with the concept of doors to other dimensions. Thankfully, Bobby already made a copy of the journal. As they discuss the possibility that Lovecraft knew something about Purgatory, Dean receives a call from Ben

When Dean answers his phone, Ben tells him that he and Lisa are in danger. Men broke into their house and killed Matt, Lisa's new boyfriend. Dean tells Ben to go out his window, but he's too late, and Ben is apprehended. The next thing Dean hears over the phone is Crowley's voice. Crowley offers an ultimatum: unless Dean and Sam back down and let them open the door to Purgatory, he'll kill Lisa and Ben. Dean refuses to back down, and, because they no longer trust Castiel, he and Sam summon Balthazar to ask for his help. They tell Balthazar that Castiel is working with Crowley, and that Crowley has taken two people that are important to them. Balthazar acts blasé, but they can tell that he's surprised by the news of Castiel's partnership with Crowley. He leaves before making any promises to help them with Lisa and Ben.

Meanwhile, Bobby questions a fanatic H.P. Lovecraft fan named Judah about the last weeks of Lovecraft's life. Apparently, Lovecraft held a dinner party on March 10, 1937, at which he and his guests attempted to open a door to another dimension. Castiel got to Judah before Bobby, however, and the information about the party Judah had is now missing. Bobby calls Sam to let him know about the ritual, and that, while all the invited party guests died or went missing within a year of the party, he's going to question the maid's son, a man named Westborough, who was nine at the time and is now in a mental institution.

Without Balthazar's help, Dean and Sam capture and torture demons in the hopes that one of them will tell them where Lisa and Ben are. Dean takes the lead and, when he refuses to let Sam aid in the interrogations, Sam prays to Castiel for help. Castiel doesn't answer, but he hears what Sam says, and he goes to confront Crowley. He's upset that Crowley went behind his back to kidnap Lisa and Ben, but Crowley refuses to tell him where he's holding them. While they argue, Castiel receives a call from Balthazar and leaves. Balthazar confronts Castiel about his deal with Crowley. He doubts the viability of Castiel's plan to absorb half the souls in Purgatory - if Castiel can't handle the influx, he could explode and "take a substantial chunk of the planet" with him. Still, when Castiel asks him for his loyalty, Balthazar gives it.

When Bobby interviews Westborough, he learns that Castiel was again there before him. But Westborough didn't trust Castiel, and so didn't tell him everything about the night of the dinner party in 1937. Apparently, the dinner guests truly believed that nothing came out of the portal they created to Purgatory. However, Westborough - because he claimed that something invisible came out of Purgatory and possessed his mother - has been in a mental institution ever since. He shows Bobby a picture of his mother, Eleanor, dated 1935, and Bobby exclaims over what he sees.

Meanwhile, Dean gets sloppy interrogating a demon, and he escapes his bonds. He's strangling Dean when Castiel appears and kills the demon with his angelic touch. He tells Dean that he's always been there for him and that all he wants now is his trust, but Dean can't give it to him, and Castiel leaves. Bobby finds Eleanor Visyak in a cabin - one of her 'safe houses' - and tells her he knows who she really is. She confirms that she is a creature from Purgatory, but denies that she killed H.P. Lovecraft. She tells him that he's lucky that she's what came through the portal, because she's happy on Earth and doesn't want it destroyed. She's been trying to keep the door closed for the last 75 years, which is why she gave Dean the Sword of Bruncvik to kill the dragons. Bobby warns her that Castiel is looking for her and that he wants to reopen the door to Purgatory. He asks for the information about how to open a door himself, but she refuses to tell him, and also rejects his offer of protection.

Back at Bobby's house, Balthazar appears and tells Sam and Dean that he's decided to be their double agent because Castiel is out of control. He's also found Lisa and Ben, but can't get close because Crowley has angel-proofed the building they're in. They seem reluctant to trust Balthazar, but he takes them to where Lisa and Ben are being held and then leaves.

Sam and Dean enter the building and split up to search for Lisa and Ben. Sam is quickly jumped by two demons and locked, unconscious, in a room. Dean is able to fight his way through a number of demons to get to Lisa and Ben and free them, but as they move to leave, Lisa grabs the demon-killing knife and holds Ben hostage. She has been possessed by a demon, one that tortures Dean and Ben with what she says are Lisa's thoughts about them. Dean tells Ben to ignore her hateful words and throws holy water on her. Ben is able to get away and Dean disarms her, but when he starts to exorcise her, she grabs a straight razor from nearby and stabs herself in the stomach. Dean finishes the exorcism and she collapses, so Dean moves to help her. He tries to call Sam, but he doesn't answer, so Dean picks her up and gives his shotgun to Ben so that they can shoot their way out of the building. On their way out, they hear Sam banging on the door of the room where he's being held, and Dean shoots the lock to free him. They leave together and Sam hot-wires a car so that they can speed to a hospital with Lisa.

At the hospital, Dean and Ben sit at Lisa's bedside. She's unconscious and when Dean tries to apologize for what happened, Ben leaves. Castiel appears immediately afterwards and, without Dean having to ask, heals Lisa. Dean tells him that it doesn't change anything, but he'd also like Castiel to do something else for him: wipe Lisa and Ben's memories so that they don't remember Dean. Once their memories are wiped, Dean approaches them and apologizes for hitting their car and putting them in the hospital. They accept his apology and he leaves. When he gets outside, Sam is waiting for him, and Sam is angry with Dean for messing with Lisa and Ben's minds. Dean tells him to back off and they drive away. As Eleanor Visyak leaves her cabin, Castiel appears and takes her.




  • "Loudest Alarm" by Scars On 45
(what Ben's listening to on his iPod when Lisa is attacked)
  • "Smiling Faces Sometimes" by The Undisputed Truth
(plays when Cas confronts Crowley about Lisa and Ben)


Bobby: Hi, glad to meet you. Bobby Singer. Paranoid bastard.
Crowley: Your chocolate’s been in my peanut butter for far too long.
Bobby: Lovecraft tried to jimmy a damn dimensional door. Idjit.
Castiel: I thought you said we were like family? Well I think that too. Shouldn't trust run both ways?

Dean: Cas, I just can't...

Castiel: Dean, I do everything that you ask. I always come when you call. And I am your friend. Still, despite your lack of faith in me and now your threats, I just saved you yet again. Has anyone other than your closest kin ever done more for you? All I ask is this one thing.
Eleanor: Bobby. You're just a man. I'm better off protecting myself.
Balthazar: Drinking your feelings Sam? I thought that was your brother's bag?
Sam: Stressful times.
Dean: It's not your mom, Ben. She's lying.
Demon!Lisa: Says the C-minus lay with ten miles of Daddy issues. Whatever gets you through the night, Tiny Tim.
Dean: You ever mention Lisa and Ben to me again and I'll break your nose.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode, Let It Bleed, is also the name of a 1969 Rolling Stones album. This is the fourth episode to be named after a Rolling Stones song or album. The others were 3.15 Time Is on My Side, 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil, and 6.01 Exile on Main St.. The episode was originally titled The Haunter of the Dark(source) which is the name of a story by H.P. Lovecraft, the one that he is finishing in the teaser of the episode.
H.P. Lovecraft was an influential horror writer from Providence, Rhode Island, who died in 1937 at the age of 46. He is best known for his creation of the Cthulhu mythos and the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire.
Dean: Am I supposed to know who that is?

Bobby: Horror writer. At the Mountains of Madness, The Call of Cthulu?
Dean: [shakes his head] No, I was too busy having sex with women.

The Call of Cthulu probably should have rung a bell with Dean, because it was also the title of an instrumental song (albeit spelled "The Call of Ktulu") on the Metallica album Ride the Lightning.
Before demons break into their house, Ben is reading Cthulhu Tales Vol. 2, a series of comics with stories based in the Cthulhu Mythos. The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared fictional universe created in the 1920s by American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Cthulhu is a fictional cosmic entity that Lovecraft created in 1926.
Ben reading Cthulhu Tales.

Crowley: Don't worry, I won't hurt them. Provided you and Jolly Green stand down.
Crowley is referring to Sam as the Jolly Green Giant, a giant who is the mascot for a vegetable company.
Sam's height earned him another nickname from Crowley in 5.20 The Devil You Know -- Moose.
For other nicknames based on Sam's height, see here.
Balthazar: I was drinking '75 Dom out of a soprano's navel when you called. That was important.
He is referring to Dom Pérignon wine.
Judah: You know horror? Low brow. Put us in the ghetto? Fine. But Lovecraft? This guy is literature. He should be be taught in schools. He's up there with Dickens and Dean R. Koontz.
Charles Dickens was the most popular 19th century novelist, whose work is still influential today.
Dean Koontz is one of the most popular horror/suspense writers today, although not often studied in literature courses.
In Judah's office, there is a poster of H.P. Lovecraft that is a parody of the famous Barack Obama "Hope" poster from the 2008 presidential campaign.

A bumper sticker on the wall says "My money and my sanity went to Miskatonic University".

Miskatonic University is a fictional university that appeared in books by the real H.P. Lovecraft.
Judah: [about Castiel] You know, trench coat, looks like Columbo, talks like Rain Main.
He is referring to Lieutenant Columbo from the crime series Columbo and Dustin Hoffman's autistic character in the 1988 movie Rain Man.
When Bobby is leaving Judah's office there is a videogame being played on Judah's television, that game is Cthulhu Saves the World an independent game made by Zeboyd Games.
Crowley: Call on the bat phone?
A bat phone, in business jargon, is a private telephone number that is handled at a higher priority than a public line. The name derives from Commissioner Gordon's secure line to the "bat phone" in the Batman television show of 1966–68.
Castiel: I'll be back.
This is a recurring line said by Arnold Schwarzenegger in several of his movies, most famously in the Terminator series. Watch a montage of him saying it here.
Balthazar: He seems awfully sure of himself for a man who wants to swallow a million nuclear reactors. I mean, these things can get a bit Chernobyl, you know.
A reference to the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
[Dean takes a step towards Demon!Lisa and Ben]

Demon!Lisa: [Steps away] Ah! Another step, free appendectomy.

An appendectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one's appendix.


This episode and 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much aired on the same night. This was due to the airing of the two-hour series finale of Smallville on May 13th.
In this episode, H.P. Lovecraft was killed on March 15, 1937. According to Moishe's journal, his full name was Howard Phillips Lovecraft. The manuscript he had completed moments before his death is titled The Haunter of the Dark.
Ben's room is on the second story of their house.
Ben's shirt has the number 67 on it. This may be a reference to the Impala, which is a '67 model.
Dean had left a shotgun in Lisa's closet.
This is the 6th episode in which Bobby has appeared without a cap.
See Bobby's Hats.
On Judah's wall, he has a sign saying "Cultist on board."
Bobby: [sarcastically] It's not like an invisible guy could just pop in and steal it, right?
That is exactly what Castiel did.
The tiger painting on Judah's wall is the same painting Andy Gallagher had in his van in 2.05 Simon Said.
There is a poster on Judah's wall for the 2010 movie Altitude. Sera Gamble - who wrote this episode - is friends with members of the production team from that film.S6Com
Crowley: I'd rather ask forgiveness than permission.
A popular joke says "When I was a kid I'd pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized God doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked for forgiveness."
The back of the picture of Westborough's mom reads "Eleanor - 1935".
Eleanor Visyak originally told Bobby she was from Milwaukee. She is over 900-years-old.
Sam is locked, unconscious, in a room numbered 28.
The writing on the door to Lisa's hospital ward says "Authorized Medical Personnel Only. Caution."
The name of the hospital is Oakview Memorial.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


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