8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?

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Title What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
Episode # Season 8, Episode 2
First aired October 10, 2012
Directed by John Showalter
Written by Andrew Dabb
Daniel Loflin
On IMDB What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
Outline Kevin convinces Sam and Dean to check on his mother before they retrieve the Word of God tablet, but she's surrounded by demons and the tablet isn't where he left it.
Monster Crowley
Demons
Plutus
Beau
Timeline
Location(s) Neighbor, Michigan
Laramie, Wyoming
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Contents

Synopsis

Dean and Sam need Kevin Tran to lead them to where he hid the demon tablet he stole from Crowley; however, Kevin wants to check on his mother, Linda Tran, first. Dean is convinced that Linda will be fine, but under surveillance by demons and likely a trap. Despite Dean's misgivings, Kevin insists, so they drive out of their way to Neighbor, Michigan, to check on her.

When they arrive, Sam and Dean notice the demons waching the Tran house. They quickly kill them using Ruby's knife, and Kevin rings the doorbell. His mother is ecstatic to see him, but Sam and Dean still splash holy water on her to make sure she isn't possessed. As they hug, Sam smells sulfur and he and Dean rush inside to see a demon smoking out of one of Linda's neighbors. Before it can escape and alert Crowley, Sam recites an exorcism backwards, trapping the demon in its meatsuit, and Dean stabs her with the knife.

After Linda witnessed her neighbor's death, Sam, Dean, and Kevin explain what has been going on for the last year. They tell her that a demon named Crowley kidnapped Kevin, and that he wants Kevin because he is a prophet who can read the Word of God. When she learns about the tablet they're going to get, she insists on going with them. They try to dissuade her by telling her that she and Kevin will need to get anti-possession symbols tattooed on their bodies, but she doesn't flinch, saying it won't be her first tattoo. At the tattoo parlor, she remains stoic while Kevin cries out in pain.

They arrive at Laramie Station in Laramie, Wyoming, and check the locker that Kevin stowed the tablet in, but it's gone. When Sam and Dean question the head of security, they learn that the station lockers were broken into frequently over a period of time by the previous head of security, Clem Smedley, who is now in county lockup. They go to question him about the tablet, and as Sam talks to Clem about the possibility of making a deal for his information, Dean flashes back to his time in Purgatory.

Benny and Dean are questioning a rugaru, and Dean is certain that it knows something about Castiel's whereabouts. He holds Ruby's knife to its neck and gets it to talk: Castiel can be found if they follow a nearby stream. Dean smiles and then kills the creature while Benny silently stands by.

Meanwhile, in the interview room, Dean has choked Clem with his tie and thrown him up against the wall. Sam tries to talk him down, but Dean ignores him, putting Ruby's knife to Clem's neck. Afraid for his life, Clem tells Dean that he sold the tablet to a pawnshop.

At the pawnshop, Dean and Sam get nowhere with the clerk, Lyle. Thankfully, Linda Tran is knowledgeable about cars and tax laws, and she threatens to notify the proper authorities about Lyle's unregistered Ferrari F430 Spider parked in front of the pawnshop, which would cost him $10,000 in fees since she assumes he acquired it in a trade. To avoid an audit, he gives them the pawn slip for the tablet.

The pawn slip has a motel room listed as the address, but nobody answers when they knock on the door. They're about to leave when they're approached by a man who calls out Kevin's name. Beau knows who they are and that Kevin is a prophet, and he gives Kevin an invitation to his auction, where he'll be selling the tablet. Dean tells him that Kevin won't be going alone, and the man assures them that there is a "no casting, no cursing, etc." policy at the auction. His boss, Plutus, has warded the premises. Still, he adds Dean, Sam, and Linda to the invite. After he leaves, they consider what they can bid, and Sam looks at the Impala. Dean shoots him down and then Sam mentions that at most auctions they display the items to the bidders beforehand. If they can get Kevin close enough to the tablet, he can translate it and memorize the spell they need to close the gates of Hell.

They go to the auction, and Dean is forced to give up all of his weapons, including Ruby's knife, before he can enter. Once inside, they find the God tablet, but it is covered so that it can't be read before the auction. Crowley is also in attendance, and he gives Kevin insincere condolences for his girlfriend, Channing. Linda punches him in the face and tells him to stay away from her son, and Crowley threatens her. Before things can escalate further, the start of the auction is announced and everyone proceeds to the bidding area. Dean is held back, however, by an angel named Samandiriel, who tells Dean that he knew Castiel. He's at the auction to bid on the God tablet as well, but he wants to know what happened to Castiel. Dean tells him that they were trapped in Purgatory after killing Dick Roman. When Samandiriel asks him if Castiel escaped, too, Dean just shakes his head. The angel then tells Dean that he always thought Castiel had too much heart.

Dean flashes back to when he and Benny found Castiel in Purgatory. He hugged Castiel, happy to see him, but Castiel seemed worried that Dean had found him. He was no longer insane from Lucifer, and Benny asked him why he abandoned Dean after they arrived in Purgatory. Castiel told him that he'd stayed away from Dean because the Leviathans were after him and it wasn't safe for him to answer Dean's prayers. He told Dean to leave him alone, but Dean insisted that he and Benny had a way out of Purgatory and that he wouldn't leave without him.

Back in the present, the auction is starting. Sam, Dean, Linda, and Kevin gather what money they have and Crowley mocks them, saying the tablet isn't worth their trouble if it will only blast demons back to hell: he'll just make more. Sam answers with "we'll see," and Crowley looks intrigued. When the bidding starts at 3 tons of Dwarven gold for an amulet, however, they realize they may be out of their league: they only have some hacked credit cards, $2,000, and a Costco membership card between the four of them. Dean gets up from his seat and sneaks off to find where the auction items are being held. He pickpockets one of the guards and gets a key to a storage locker, but when he opens the door to it, there are more guards inside. He leaves quickly and goes back to the auction, where he tells Sam that "Plan C" failed.

Dean is just in time to see the tablet go on the auction block. A bidding war between Crowley and Samandiriel ends with Crowley bidding the moon, but Beau states that the reserve price has still not been met. To stimulate the bidding, he captures Kevin and "adds him to the lot." As the only person who can read the tablet, Kevin adds to its value. Linda is horrified and tries to bid for her son, finally offering her soul. Plutus is intrigued, so Crowley makes a counter offer for a million souls from Hell. Plutus is more interested in the sacrifice behind Linda's offer, though, and he accepts hers as the winning bid. After the auction, Samandiriel praises Linda for her sacrifice and then assures her that if Kevin goes with him, the angels will be able to protect him. She declines his offer, saying that she'd rather Kevin take his chances with the Winchesters.

At the moment of the trade, as Plutus gets ready to take Linda's soul, Dean notices that the anti-possession tattoo on Linda's arm has been burned off. He grabs her, but her eyes turn red and she says "hello, boys" in Crowley's voice before tossing both him and Sam to the ground. Plutus asks Crowley how he got around his warding spells, and he reveals that he made a deal with Beau. Beau also burned off Linda's tattoo after she spoke to Samandiriel so that Crowley could possess her. While Plutus is distracted, Beau drives a wooden stake through his back, piercing his heart and killing him. Crowley then uses the same stake to kill one of Plutus' men before grabbing the tablet. He makes to go after Kevin, too, but Dean grabs Ruby's knife from a nearby box of confiscated items, and he and Sam stand in Crowley's way.

Instead of trying to go through them, Crowley flees with the tablet, still in Linda's body. Dean goes after him while Sam and Kevin come under fire by Beau, who tries to shoot Sam and take Kevin hostage for Crowley. Sam grabs Thor's Hammer, an item won by another auction goer, and smashes Beau to death with it. The owner then tries to reclaim the hammer, but Sam remembers that he won it with a bloody bag containing 5/8 of a virgin, and kills him with the hammer, too.

Meanwhile, Kevin runs after Dean and Crowley and is in time to see Dean holding Ruby's knife to Linda's neck. When he shouts, Crowley is able to push Dean away and smoke out of Linda's body. He comes out of the next room, back in his usual vessel, and picks up the tablet. He advises Kevin to run away from the Winchesters because they have a habit of "using people up," and then he leaves with the tablet.

Afterwards, Linda is catatonic. Dean tries to comfort him, but Kevin tells him to shut up. He saw Dean try to kill her, and he just wants to be left alone with his mom for a few minutes. Sam and Dean leave the room, and Sam asks Dean if he really would have killed Linda. Dean says that he wishes he had, because even though he would have hated himself, at least Crowley would be dead. Sam doesn't say anything in response, and then Dean notices that the room Kevin and Linda were in seems a little too quiet.

When they go back in the room, both Kevin and Linda are gone. There's a note from Kevin that says he figures they don't need him anymore now that Crowley has the tablet, and because people that Dean doesn't need anymore end up dead, he doesn't want them to look for him and his mother. Sam tries to assure Dean that it isn't true, but Dean flashes back to a moment in Purgatory, when Castiel was calling out for him, grabbing for him, and he lost his grip.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "The Devil's Chasing Me" by Reverend Horton Heat
(plays when Kevin and Mrs. Tran are getting tattooed)

Quotes

Beau: Oh, if you're worried about the safety of the prophet, rest assured we have a strict "no casting, no cursing, no supernaturally flicking the two of you against the wall just for the fun of it" policy.
Dean: What do we have to bid? What? We can't just show up there empty-handed.

Sam: Dean, all we have to our names is a few hacked gold cards.
Dean: All right. Well, then, we have to get creative.
Sam: Huh. Well... [Looks at the Impala]

Dean: No. Mnh-mnh. Say it, and I will kill you, your children, and your grandchildren.
Dean: How are we supposed to know who's who?
Sam: Pretty simple Dean. They're all monsters.
Crowley: Hello boys.
Dean: That's Plutus? What is he, god of the candy aisle?
Samandiriel: You know that there are some in Heaven that believe despite his mistakes, that Castiel's heart was always in the right place.

Dean: Are you one of them?

Samandiriel: I think too much heart was always Castiel's problem.
Sam: So, how much we got for our Plan B?
Dean: Well we got our hacked credit cards, about two thousand dollars and a... Costco membership.
Beau: Our next item up for bid, the hammer of Thor, Mjölnir.

Mr. Vili: A finger bone from the frost giant Ymir.
[Beau shakes his head]

Mr. Vili: Uh... the bone and, uh… 5/8 of a virgin.
Dean: Plan "C" tanked.
Crowley: Maybe you should try Plan "D" for dumbass.
Crowley: I know we're not mates Kevin, but one word of advice. Run. Run far, and run fast. Because the Winchesters, they have a habit of using people up, and watching them die bloody.
Dean: It was Crowley, Sam. No matter what meat suit he's in, I should have knifed him. I mean, yeah, it would have sucked, and I would have hated myself, but what's one more nightmare, right? It seem a little quiet in there to you?

Trivia & References

The title "What's Up, Tiger Mommy?" is a mash-up of two references. One is to the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, about her experiences growing up between two cultures, and of being a parent. The other reference is to the 1966 Woody Allen comedy What's Up, Tiger Lily? which dubbed original dialogue over the footage of a Japanese spy movie.
This episode marks the very first time that Crowley has shown his demon eyes. They are red like the other crossroads demons, which Crowley was before he became King Of Hell. When he leaves the body of Linda Tran, his incorporeal form - smoke - is red, the first time this has been seen.
Mr. Vili is named after Vili the brother of the Norse god Odin, ruler of Asgard. Odin was the father of Thor who owned Mjölnir, which Mr. Vili bought at the auction using the 5/8ths of a virgin and the bone of the frost giant Ymir, another being from Norse mythology.
Kevin and his mom get anti-possession symbols tattooed on them to prevent demon possession, although Linda is possessed by Crowley after Beau burns hers off.

It was in 3.12 Jus in Bello that Sam and Dean revealed that they have had anti-possession symbols tattooed on their chests as a precaution following Sam's possession by Meg. After the episode Sera Gamble said: "I'll be convinced we're truly a cult hit when a fan gets the same tattoo."

Little did Sera know, that fans had been getting tattoos since early on in the show's run. You can see many of these in the fan tattoos gallery. The anti-possession tattoo is one of the most popular designs.
Dean: Well, thank you, Mr. Peanut! All right. What do we have to bid?
Dean refers to Beau as Mr. Peanut which is a reference to the monocled, top hat wearing mascot of Planters nuts. The name Beau may also be a reference to Beau Brummel a trendsetter of men's fashion in the early 19th century, and the originator of what became known as "dandyism."
Clem Smedley: Should have known they'd plant a LoJack in one of them bags.
The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is a tracking system that allows vehicles to be tracked by police.
Sam: He's right Dean, it's not worth it.

Crowley: Listen to Moose, Squirrel.

Crowley has long used Moose as a nickname for Sam. Here he calls Dean "Squirrel," referring to the cartoon duo of Bullwinkle (the moose) and Rocky (a squirrel).
Samandriel: The Mona Lisa.

Crowley: The real Mona Lisa, where she's topless.

In 2009 a painting in da Vinci's home town was discovered which art experts speculated was by the master and of the same subject of the more famous (clothed) painting.
Crowley: Alaska.

Beau: Palin and a bridge to nowhere? No, thanks.

A reference to Alaskan politician Sarah Palin and also the Gavina Bridge Project known as the "Bridge to Nowhere" and controversially supported by Palin.
Dean: You're bidding the moon?

Crowley: Yeah, I claimed it for Hell. You think a man named Buzz gets to go into space without making a deal?

Crowley is referring to Buzz Aldrin, a member of the Apollo 11 crew and the second man to set foot on the moon.
Sam and Dean pose as FBI agents Neil and Sixx, referencing Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe.
When Sam, Dean, Kevin and Linda are at the pawn shop, you can see in the background, though it's blurry, you can see Super Mario 64, and also a Nintendo 64.

Minutiae

In 7.21 Reading Is Fundamental and 7.22 There Will Be Blood Mrs. Tran was played by Khaira Ledeyo. In season 8 she is played by Lauren Tom.
Tyler Johnston who played Samandiriel previously played Matt Pike, the bug obsessed kid in 1.08 Bugs. Alex Diakun who played Mr. Vili previously played the Reaper in 1.12 Faith.
Dean has Ruby's knife with him in Purgatory.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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