6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much

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Man who knew too much still.jpg
Title The Man Who Knew Too Much
Episode # Season 6, Episode 22
First aired May 20, 2011
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Eric Kripke
On IMDB The Man Who Knew Too Much
Outline The wall comes down in Sam's head and Dean and Bobby don't know how to help. They have to leave Sam to overcome his demons alone while the battle for Heaven comes to a head.
Monster Castiel
Timeline Directly after the events of 6.21 Let It Bleed
Location(s) Jackson, Wyoming (in Sam's mind)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Bootbock, Kansas (fictional location)
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Sam wakes up on a park bench when two policemen try to move him along. He has no memory of who or where he is, but his first instinct is to take the policemen down. Afterwards, he's running from a patrol car when he bursts through the back door of a bar and scares a bartender named Robin, who tells him that the bar is closed. When she learns that he has amnesia, however, she takes pity on him and tries to help.

Robin wants to take Sam to the hospital, but he refuses. He feels like he has to be somewhere - stop something. When he sees a book by H.P. Lovecraft in the bar, snippets of memory assault him. He sees flashes of Dean, Balthazar, and Bobby, who says something about Lovecraft. He doesn't recognize them, but the last thing he sees is the sign for a hotel called the Nite Owl. When he and Robin look online, they learn that the hotel is real and just two towns over. Robin offers to drive him and, when they arrive, Sam instinctively knows that he's staying in the room with the best escape route. Robin is disconcerted, even more so when Sam opens the door to his room with her credit card and she sees the papers and other evidence of Sam's hunting occupation all over the walls. When she finds a pile of fake IDs, she starts to leave, but Sam sees a newspaper clipping about a missing woman named Eleanor Visyak and collapses.

Sam remembers finding Eleanor bleeding from her stomach in an alley with Dean and Bobby. In his memory, he hears Eleanor tell them that Castiel and Crowley kidnapped and tortured her for information about opening a door to Purgatory. She broke when Castiel took over the interrogation and told them everything they wanted to know. Bobby asks Eleanor how close they are to getting in, and she tells him that they just have to wait for the lunar eclipse tomorrow, as they already have or can easily get what they need: the ritual, the blood of a virgin, and the blood of a "Purgatory native." Before she can tell them where Castiel and Crowley are, she dies, and Castiel appears. He tells them to stop interfering, but Dean refuses. Castiel tells him that if he backs down, he'll save Sam when everything's over, and then touches Sam's head.

Sam snaps out of the vision, and Robin asks him what he remembers. He tells her that his name is Sam and that he was with two guys, one a "male model type" and one an older man named Bobby. He finds an address for Bobby in his contact book, takes the car keys on his desk, and goes outside with Robin. He instantly knows that the Impala is his car, and while Robin says her goodbyes, she warns him that he might not like what he finds if he goes to Sioux Falls. As they talk, Sam hears something and tackles Robin to the ground just in time to avoid being shot by someone who looks exactly like Sam.

While Sam and Robin drive to Sioux Falls, it is revealed that Sam is actually comatose and in a dream state as a result of Castiel touching his forehead and breaking the wall that Death created in his head. Dean and Bobby have put his unconscious body in Bobby's Panic Room, but they're running out of time if they want to stop Castiel from opening the door to Purgatory. When Balthazar appears and betrays Castiel by giving up Crowley's hiding place, they decide to leave Sam behind with a note that lets him know where they'll be.

Meanwhile, in Sam's head, Sam has another confrontation with his doppelganger, who reveals that Sam is actually unconscious after Castiel broke the wall in his mind. He learns that the doppelganger in his mind is "soulless" Sam, and that he intends to kill "soulful" Sam in order to take over his body in the real world. The two Sams play a cat and mouse game where "soulful" Sam emerges the victor. As he dies, "soulless" Sam tells him that there is another Sam, one that's worse than him. Sam then absorbs "soulless" Sam and regains his memories of the time he was soulless. He remembers that Robin is actually a victim of a demon attack, one who he mercilessly killed when the demon tried to use her as a hostage. After Sam apologizes for failing to help her, she disappears.

Back in the real world, Castiel meets with Crowley, who has assembled the necessary ingredients for their ritual. Castiel wants to renegotiate their deal. He will not give Crowley the souls, so Crowley can either flee or die. The demon leaves Castiel with the blood for the ritual.

Still trapped inside his head, Sam travels to Bobby's house and meets the third Sam, who is comprised of the memories of his time in Lucifer's Cage. "Tortured" Sam tries to convince Sam not to reabsorb him as he is not strong enough to face those memories, but Sam is adamant that he needs to wake up and help Dean and Bobby. "Tortured" Sam wishes him luck and then allows Sam to kill him. As he reintegrates into Sam's mind, Sam's physical body seizes out of control.

Later, Castiel confronts Balthazar. He says that Dean is coming, and someone among them is a traitor. Balthazar asks him who it is, and Castiel tells him that he doesn't know, but he wants Balthazar to investigate. While the other angel is distracted, Castiel stabs and kills him with an Angel Blade.

Dean and Bobby arrive at Crowley's hideout and scope out the building. It's full of angels, but before they can try to infiltrate it, they are hit by an entire cloud of demons that flips the Impala with them inside it. Castiel is still preparing the ritual when the cloud of demons descends around the building, and Crowley appears. Castiel tries to kill him with his angelic touch, but it fails because Crowley has a new partner: Raphael. Castiel is surprised at the partnership because of their differing goals, but both Crowley and Raphael seem to think they have taken the best course available. They demand the blood; Castiel throws them the jar of blood and leaves. Outside, Sam surveys the flipped and empty Impala - has a flash of memory from Lucifer's Cage, then continues to approach the building.

Crowley conducts the ritual, and though Bobby and Dean try to interrupt, completes it. Nothing happens, and Castiel reappears. Crowley realizes that he switched the blood and conducted his own ritual. Castiel displays his new power briefly in a flash of energy and tells them that they cannot imagine what it is like to be filled with the power of "millions upon millions of souls." Crowley immediately beats a hasty retreat, but Raphael is unable to. A terrified Raphael begs for mercy, asking why Castiel allowed Crowley - a demon - to escape. Castiel answers that he has plans for Crowley, but none for Raphael. Castiel then snaps his fingers, completely obliterating Raphael.

He turns to Dean and Bobby. He was right, he says, and did save them. Dean nervously agrees, then suggests that Castiel should return the souls and disarm himself. Castiel says he has Raphael's followers to deal with. Dean is worried that Castiel's power is affecting his mind and that he could "kill us all." He reminds Castiel that he is family and tells him that he doesn't want to lose him. Castiel says that he has no family anymore; he will not give up the souls. Suddenly Sam stabs him from behind with an angel blade, but nothing happens. Castiel greets him, then says the blade will not work because he is not an angel anymore. He says that he is their new God - a better one - and that they must venerate him or be destroyed. They look at him in horror.




(plays during "The Road So Far" recap of events; also played in 1.21 Salvation, 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two, 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked, 4.22 Lucifer Rising, and 5.22 Swan Song)
  • "Play with Fire" by The Rolling Stones
(plays at Bobby's, and on the car radio when Dream!Sam drives)


Robin: You staying in this dump? Maybe you're a hooker.
Sam: I guess we'll find out.
Sam: I was with two guys. One was like a male model type. And the other was an older guy named - Bobby.
Balthazar: How’s Sleeping Beauty? You didn’t steal any kisses I trust?
Castiel: I'm not handing all that power to the King of Hell. I'm neither stupid nor wicked.
Castiel: Here are your options. You either flee or you die.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is the name of a 1956 Alfred Hitchock movie, a remake of his own earlier 1934 version of the movie. It’s also famous for featuring the song Que sera sera by Doris Day who starred in the movie with James Stewart.
At the beginning of the episode as Sam, trapped in his mind, runs from the police, we see a sign for Castle Storage, which was the location of John Winchester's lock-up. The hotel he's staying at is called the Nite Owl, which was the name of a hotel he and Dean stayed at in 6.05 Live Free or Twihard (they stayed in a motel by the same name in 5.05 Fallen Idols but the building was different). As Sam and Robin enter the hotel, they pass a man who looks like Bobby.
Sam: I woke up on a park bench, cops shoving a flashlight into my face, trying to take me in.

Robin: So you ran?
Sam: No, I knocked them out cold, both of them. I didn't mean to, it's just happened really fast. You know, instinct or something, I guess.

A reference to the movie The Bourne Identity, which like this episode, is about a man with no memory of his past who slowly uncovers his background and abilities with the help of a woman.
The book Sam finds in the bar is The Haunter of the Dark, a horror story in the Cthulhu Mythos genre that H.P. Lovecraft wrote in November 1935. It was also the story H.P. Lovecraft had just finished before being killed in the previous episode.
Robin: Well I love what you've done to the place - it's very Beautiful Mind meets Seven.
Beautiful Mind is a 2001 movie about the schizophrenic maths prodigy John Nash. In the movie, his paranoia leads him to look for hidden codes, and he has material on his walls much the way Sam does here. It is a clue to Robin's identity as well because in the movie John Nash has a number of friends that the viewer later finds out are hallucinations.
Se7en is a 1995 thriller about a serial killer whose murders are based on the seven deadly sins, who leaves clues for the detectives.
The fake IDs Robin finds in the hotel room are for Jimmy Page, Neil Peart, and Angus Young. Page is the guitarist for Led Zeppelin, Peart is the drummer for Rush, and Young is the lead guitarist for AC/DC. All three aliases have been used in previous episodes.
Dean: We can't just sit here, Bobby, I've got to help him... Dreamscape his noggin, something!
Dreamscape was a 1984 horror movie in which two scientists invent a technique by which psychics can enter people's dreams. Dean and Sam previously dreamwalked in Bobby's mind.
Dream!Sam: I'm hallucinating?

Dream!Soulless Sam: Warmer. But see normally you're awake when you're tripping balls.

To be 'tripping balls' is to be really high on a hallucinogen like LSD or magic mushrooms.
Crowley: You seem even more constipated than usual. Maybe get you some Colonblow?
Colonblow was the name of a fictitious product in a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Crowley: Have you forgotten that you’re the bottom in this relationship?
"Bottom" is a term used to refer to the sexually submissive partner in a BDSM relationship. It is also used more generally in gay subculture to refer to someone who prefers to be the receptive partner in anal sex.
Dean: What the hell is that? T-Rex maybe?
Dean sees vibrations causing ripples in a puddle. In the movie Jurassic Park, a similar effect in a glass of water signaled the approach of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Watch the scene here. Also, the way the Impala is flipped over by the demons is similar to how the T-Rex flips the car over in the movie.
Crowley: Exit, stage Crowley.
A reference to Hanna-Barbera cartoon cougar Snagglepuss who always announced his exits "Exit, stage right/left/up/down." Snagglepuss became known for trying to make deals but always ending up back where he started - or worse off.


This episode and 6.21 Let It Bleed aired on the same night. This was due to the airing of the two hour series finale of Smallville on May 13th.
Sam says he woke up on a park bench to a cop trying to take him in.
In 4.03 In the Beginning, when Castiel sent Dean back in time, Dean woke up on a bench to find a cop telling him to move.
The address of the Nite Owl hotel in Sam's mind is:

367 Main Street
Jackson, Wyoming

The address of Castiel and Crowley's hideout, the one that Balthazar gives them on a slip of paper, is 221 Piermont Ave, Bootbock, Kansas. The street and city are fictional locations.
The ritual to open Purgatory involves drawing a series of sigils in a mixture of the blood of a virgin and the blood of a Purgatory native. A spell is then recited on the night of the lunar eclipse:

Ianua Magna Purgatorii Great door of Purgatory
Clausa Est Ob Nos That is closed for us
Lumine Euius Ab Oculis Its light is kept away
Nostris Retento From our eyes

The spell and sigils needed to open a door to Purgatory.

Sed Nunc Stamus Ad Limen Huius But now we're standing on this threshold
Ianuae Magnae Et Demisse Of the Great door, and humbly
Fideliter Perhonorifice Faithfully, respectfully
Paramus Aperire Eam Are preparing for its opening

Creaturae Terrificae Quarum Ungulae Terrible creature, whose claws
Et Dentes Nunquam Tetigerunt And teeth have never touched
Carnem Humanam Aperit Fauces Human flesh, is opening its jaws
Eius Ad Mundum Nostrum Nunc Toward our world now
Ianua Magna Great door
Aperta Tandem! Open at last!

Castiel's disintegration of Raphael was payback for what Raphael did to him in 4.22 Lucifer Rising. Chuck Shurley described it in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil:
"He, like, exploded. Like a water balloon of chunky soup."
Lucifer also killed Castiel the same way in 5.22 Swan Song.

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