When Season 2 ended, the Winchester brothers had just opened the gates of hell and let out a whole slew of demons. In the process, Sam was killed, but Dean made a pact with the crossroads demon to restore his life. In exchange, the demon would come to take Dean in one year.
Season 3 picks up one week later. Though huge demon clouds were spotted over 17 cities, the paranormal world has been unexpectedly quiet. With one year to live, Dean’s making the most of his time left with bacon cheeseburgers for breakfast and wild sexcapades. Sam, on the other hand, bends over backwards to let Dean enjoy himself while he pours over books like Dr. Faustus to perhaps find a way to free Dean from his devil’s pact. When Bobby calls with possible paranormal activity, the boys are relieved to finally be hunting again.
The Winchesters meet Bobby in Lincoln, Nebraska to check out a swarm of cicadas at a residential home. Upon investigation, they find the dead bodies of a family of three. Lab tests reveal the family died from dehydration and starvation though their kitchen was fully stocked and nothing restrained them from moving.
Bobby and the Winchesters aren’t the only hunters on the case. Isaac and Tamara, a black couple married 8 years, also briefly join up with Bobby. Like most hunters in the Supernatural universe, Isaac and Tamara have unresolved issues from their past and prefer to work alone. They also aren’t too keen on working with the guys who opened the gates of hell and brought war down upon them. (Talking bad about the Winchesters? Will these new hunters survive the episode? Doubtful.)
The weirdness continues when a woman brutally attacks and kills another woman over a pair of shoes outside a local store. Bobby cleans himself up nicely to play an attorney for the DA’s office while the Winchesters do their own snooping. There’s no sign of sulfur and Bobby even spilled a glass of holy water on the assailant to no effect. When Dean spots a surveillance camera, they see what happened – a man acted as the catalyst for the event. He touched the assailant, suggesting she “really wanted” the shoes the victim was holding.
After a day of hunting down the mystery John Doe, Bobby and the Winchesters track down “Walter Rosen” to a local bar. Bobby tells the boys to hang tight while they monitor the situation, but Isaac and Tamara are more hands on and head into the bar on their own. (For experienced demon hunters, you’d think they’d be less impulsive…)
Sure enough, Walter Rosen isn’t the only demon patronizing the bar and soon, Isaac and Tamara are surrounded. One of the demons suggests to Isaac that he’d like to drink a full container of Draino and Tamara watches in horror as her husband downs the yellow sludge then drops dead to the floor. Just as the demons turn their attention to her, Bobby drives into the place and the Winchesters throw a few punches and holy water before grabbing Tamara and Walter and getting the heck out of dodge.
Back at base, the hunters evaluate their options. Overcome with grief, Tamara can only think about returning to the bar to check on her husband. Bobby tells her to chill out and play it more strategic since he’s figured out who they’re up against – The Seven Deadly Sins. Dean cracks a Brad Pitt joke from Seven, while Bobby explains that in 1589, Peter Binsfeld wrote about the 7 deadly sins in his book, Classification of Demons. Isaac fell victim to Gluttony while the shopping chic was overcome with Envy.
Since Envy is sitting underneath a devil’s trap (aka a modified Pentagram of Solomon) in the next room, their next step is to interrogate him. Envy admits that he and his brethren are happy to finally be free. He then paraphrases Mark 5:10 with reference to being Legion “for we are many” before lecturing them about how the seven deadly “sins” are natural human instincts that humans repress and deny to distinguish themselves from animals. The hunters don’t let him talk long before Tamara begins the exorcism.
In the next room, Bobby and the boys discuss their options. They’re up against six demons – should they flee or fight? Of course they choose to stay and fight and before long, the demons arrive outside their house.
The hunters have secured the house pretty well, but the demons pull the classic technique of animating a beloved’s corpse to break the protection seal. “Isaac” pleads with Tamara to let him in – doesn’t she remember their vows not to leave one another? Or perhaps she will just let him die, like she did when those things came for their daughter. Tamara can’t contain her emotions and bursts through the door to stab Isaac’s corpse with a wooden stake. (Rookie mistake – she doesn’t act like an experienced hunter.)
With the salt seal broken, the demons enter the house. Gluttony goes after Bobby and walks into a devil’s trap. Dean kisses Lust, leading her to a tub of water with an immersed rosary and dunks her head in the holy water. The other three go after Sam (did I miss one – I thought there were 6?) with Pride in the lead.
Pride gives Sam the classic “Here’s Johnny” line from The Shining before chiding Sam for thinking he would walk into Sam’s devil’s trap. To prove his superiority, Pride cracks the ceiling to break the seal before mocking the “Boy King” and “Prodigy” to whom the demons were supposed to bow down to. Now that the Yellow-Eyed demon is dead, however, Sam is fair game and can be killed like any other human.
As Pride holds Sam in a headlock, the mysterious blonde girl who has been following Sam all episode appears, whips out her demon-killing dagger and makes short work of Sam’s three foes. When the demons are dead, Sam asks who she is – “The girl that just saved his ass.” She then walks out of the room and disappears.
When morning comes, the hunters take care of the dead and reflect on the night’s adventures. Sam asks Bobby if they can win this war. He doesn’t answer.
Sam then confronts Dean about breaking the demon pact. Tamara mentioned a Hoodoo priest in Louisiana who might be able to help. Dean adamantly refuses and Sam looses his cool. Why won’t Dean at least try to break this? Because if he does, Sam will die. Yes, it was selfish to sacrifice himself so Sam could live, but Dean’s made peace with that. He’s tired and now sees a light at the end of the tunnel – even if that light is hellfire. Now, he has one year to live and wants to make the most of it.
Overall, this was a solid episode. I was having Supernatural withdraw and this was a great start to the third season. The introduction of Isaac and Tamara was somewhat trite, but I’m guessing we’ll see more of Tamara in later episodes. Hopefully she’s learned from her mistakes and will take a slower, strategic approach to demon killing next time.
It’s also a shame that they managed to kill off all 7 deadly sins in one episode. They could have had fun with these “demons” – or at least given screen time to wrath, greed, and sloth (though perhaps sloth was responsible for the dehydrated family’s death). Pride got his Lucifer speech in, claiming he’d never bow down before humans.
This season’s questions – Who’s the mystery blonde? What’s the story behind the demon killing knife? Which demons will they fight next (so many possibilities!)? Will Dean break his devil’s pact (or is this the last season)? And, of course, can they win the war?