Synopsis of 11×04: It’s time to pay homage to Dean’s ’67 Impala. Filmed from entirely within the Winchester’s iconic car, “Baby” watches Sam and Dean take on a brand new monster.
If there is any doubt as to why Supernatural has stayed on the air for 11 seasons, naysayers need look no further than “Baby.”
A tribute to the series’ unsung hero – a ’67 Chevy Impala lovingly referred to as Baby – episode 4 took Sam and Dean back on the road where they belong. Told entirely from within the Metallicar and boasting everything from classic rock to epic fight scenes to heart wrenching brother-bonding moments, the Robbie Thompson episode had everything that pulls in Supernatural fans hook, line, and sinker.
The episode leans heavily on Dean, a casual reminder that the Impala is Dean’s baby. Somebody better salt and burn the hell out of that car when Dean dies (peacefully at age 97, of course) or else its next owner will find themselves in a version of “Riding with Private Andrew Malone” that includes a cantankerous old man who only lets you listen to the greatest hits of mullet rock
With that said, let’s dive in:
Cas is healing up in the wake of his Attack Dog debacle, and the down time is giving Dean a serious case of cabin fever. So much so that he’s ready to jump on any case Sammy throws his way, a level of antsiness that causes the boys to head to Oregon to investigate a suspicious mauling.
Unlike regular episodes, the Winchesters don’t immediately arrive at their destination following Sam’s “Get this” run down. Instead, there are three days of driving ahead and night one puts Dean at the bar and Sam in the backseat with Piper. Sam, you were supposed to be doing research not doing your waitress. But good on you Sammy, you need to cut loose every once in a while.
Sam being Sam, however, tried to give Piper his phone number. She, of course, refused, a decision that dovetails nicely into Brother Bonding Moment Numero Uno. The topic: families. The verdict: we’re hunters, Sam, we can’t have a family. We’ve both tried, but this is where we belong – saving people, hunting things. The family business.
Speaking of family, Sammy’s attempt to get his 40 winks is quickly interrupted by another vision. Welcome back, young John Winchester. It’s been a while.
Someone (or something) is attempting to contact Moose, and it apparently decided the best way to do so is in the form of the hunter’s father. Sam is thrown into the past as he listens to his mother’s favorite song (Judy Collins’ “Someday Soon,” btw) while riding shotgun with dear old dad. But it’s not even the John Winchester Sammy knew – it’s post-Vietnam pre-children John. It’s not long before Sam is calling out this dream hijacker and looking for answers. Unfortunately, the anachronistic Winchester was decidedly unhelpful, telling his “son” that the Darkness is coming and only the Winchester boys can stop her. When Sam asks for help, John says God helps those who help themselves.
Sam wakes up and it’s time for Brother Bonding Moment Numero Dos. The topics are wide and varied – it’s confession time in the Winchester household.
The boy’s are slowly but surely learning that secrets are their kryptonite, and Sam spills on his episode 2 infections and the visions that now seem to come from his time in the chapel. While Sam firmly believes his prognostications are divine, Dean is far from convinced. Not only does he think it’s merely a byproduct of the Black Vein debacle, but Dean reminds Sammy that John’s aphorism comes from Aesop, not the Bible.
Sometimes it easy to forget just how much the boys know not only about hunting, but the world at large. Then there are moments like this where you remember that one of them went to Stanford and the other reads Kurt Vonnegut for fun. With over 60 combined years on the road, the Winchesters are no slouches.
Soon, however, it’s time for the brother’s to focus those big brains on the case at hand. A little trip to the morgue reveals that this Oregon town is battling something akin to a vampire/werewolf hybrid, or as Dean likes to call them, were-pires (still doesn’t beat the Jefferson Starships, not even close).
The brother’s then take turns getting jumped. In retrospect, their decision to split up to investigate the staged crime scene and question the victim’s wife might not have been the best idea. As Cas attempts to uncover the monster’s true identity, Dean goes toe-to-toe with Deputy Dumbass. Later revealed to be the Leader of the were-pire clan, this cop just won’t stop. Filled with silver, decapitated, taken for a ride on the windshield wipers, and stuck in the green cooler, the Deputy is alive and kicking.
Sam meanwhile, had to rescue the victim’s wife from a duo of were-pires. Now that she’s unconscious, the Winchesters set about the business of defeating the creatures Cas has identified as Nachzehrer. A ghoul/vampire mix, these creatures need to be reminded that they are already dead. Stick a penny in their mouth and they’re ready to pay their fair to the underworld. Running low in the change department, Sam runs into a Gas ‘n Sip but, unfortunately, Mrs. Victim wakes up and kidnaps Dean.
Surprise, the innocent wife is a ghoul-pire. She’s also pretty upset her actions got “Maker” decapitated. Once people start bandying about the words “Maker” and “Leader” as if they were given names, you know you’ve stepped into some sort of cult. To make matters worse, Victim sews Maker back together while Hunter lays handcuffed in the car.
According to Maker/Deputy Dumbass, he’s spent the last month creating as many ghoul-pire’s as possible. Why? The Darkness of course. That little soul-swallowing nightmare is coming to destroy everything and everyone, and Maker will be damned if his kith and kin are going to go down without a fight. Sam will become his next minion and Dean will be his brother’s first meal.
Now it’s Serendipity’s turn to interfere. Throughout the episode, the backseat of the Impala has become home to a variety of odds and ends – a girl’s purse, Dean’s machete, Piper’s hairpin. The hairpin pops the lock on the cuffs, the purse furnishes the pennies, and the knife does what knives to best. With Maker out of the picture, all his creations revert back to their human state.
Beat up and tired, the Winchesters head home… and then drive back to the bunker.
Odds, Ends, and Quotes
- For an episode celebrating Impala, that car took a hell of a beating during “Baby.” With no windows and covered in blood, it looks like the Metallicar will need a little extra TLC.
- Dean playing Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” after Sam got it on in the backseat. Sammy changing the lyrics from “back of my ’60 Chevy” to “in the back of my brother’s ’67 Chevy.”
- Dean – “[Bob Seger’s] one of the greatest rock writers of all time, Samuel”
Sam – “It’s Sam”
- Sam – “Goodnight, Jerk”
Dean – “’Night, Bitch”
- Dean – “The Darkness, it’s on us. And no ones going to help us, certainly not god, so well have to figure this thing out, like we always do.”
- Dean, telling Sam about his recurring dream, “I’m in the drivers seat, dad’s sitting shotguns. But there aren’t any shotguns. There are no monsters. There’s no hunting. There’s none of that. He’s just teaching me how to drive. And I’m not little like when he actually taught me how to drive. I’m sixteen and he’s helping me get my learners permit. Of course you’re in the backseat just begging to take a turn. We pull up to the house – the family house – and I park in the driveway, and he looks over and he says, ‘Perfect landing son.’”
- Cas, upon discovering Netflix, “I’m mostly confused. I’m not sure how orange correlates with black in a way that’s new.”
Tune in to The CW this Wednesday to see the Winchesters take on Lizzie Borden in “Thin Lizzie.”