If it’s not already obvious from the title, Sam and Dean are going back to Kansas. It’s on, y’all.
There are shenanigans happening in their old childhood home. A pretty young single mom is moving in. As she unpacks, her daughter comes to tell her something’s in her closet. Mom checks and finds nothing. She does the parental reassurance thing and goes back downstairs, where she hears a skittering like rats. We know it ain’t rats. She goes down to the basement, where she finds a box full of old Winchester Family photos.
And, back upstairs, the chair wedged against the closet door slides away, and a burning figure steps out.
Meanwhile, Sam has a dream about the mom standing in the upstairs window of their house and screaming. He turns to art, sketching the tree from their house on hotel stationery while Dean tries to find a case for them. He gets a count for asking Sam if any of these possibilities are blowin’ up his skirt.
Swimming in Sexism: 1
Sam figures out where he’s seen the tree: their old house. Then he has to inform his brother about his prophetic dreams. He finally admits that he dreamt about Jessica’s death prior to it happening, and that this thing at their old house may be the same as the one that killed their mom and Jessica. Which not only freaks Dean out, but prompts a tear:
Dean’s Man Tears: 4 5
And Dean gets one of these for not wanting to believe his brother:
You Bloody Fool: 1
FFS, man. You guys deal with the supernatural every day. If your brother says he’s having dreams that are coming true, believe him.
Dean had actually sworn never to go back to that awful house. Now he has to break that oath because of a psychic dream, and he ain’t happy. But he’ll basically do anything for his little bro, so off they go.
When they get to the house, Dean’s all ready to lie to Jenny, the homeowner, but Sam takes the road of half-honesty being the best policy. Which is good, because if he hadn’t told her they’re Winchesters, they wouldn’t have gotten invited in and given their family photos.
We meet Ritchie, the wee toddler who loves juice, and Sari, the little girl who has flaming people come out of her closet on the regular. There’s a lingering shot of the child-proof latch on the fridge. This may become important later.
We find out Jenny has moved to Lawrence for a fresh start. Sam asks her how she likes it, and she says that while they probably have a lot of happy memories of their childhood home
the place has issues. Flickering lights, sink backs up, rats in the basement… oh, yeah, and then there’s the thing in Sari’s closet.
The boys keep it together until they get outside, then lose their shit. Understandably. They repair to a gas station to try to figure out how they’re going to deal with this and protect Jenny and the kids. Sam asks Dean what he remembers of the night their mom died. This is where he learns Dean was the one who carried him out.
And we’ll do a two-fer here because Dean absolutely will not let himself express the feels that are eating him alive in this scene.
Toxic Masculinity: 1
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 1
Dean runs off, telling Sam he’s going to the bathroom, but actually calling his dad. He leaves a heart-wrenching voicemail letting John known what’s going on, with little hope he’ll actually hear it.
Daddy Issues: 1
Dean’s Man Tears: 5 6
Jensen Ackles is far, far too good at that nearly-crying thing.
Blood and Gore: 1
I’m not easily squicked, but that squicks me right out. My mom had me terrified of losing limbs in disposals, and this just pulls all those triggers.
The boys go to talk to the dude who ran a garage with John together. They learn their dad was a stubborn bastard who doted on them. The dude thought John was nuts for thinking something had killed Mary and going to see a palm reader. The boys take off and find the reader, Missouri Moseley, by looking in the phone book. See, they know it’s her because their dad wrote is his journal that he “went to Missouri” and learned the truth. Subtle.
They go to see Missouri. I’ll discuss how conflicted I am about her in my analysis. I mean, she’s basically the Magical Negro trope sprung to life, but damn, she’s awesome. We meet her cold lying to a guy about his cheating wife, assuring him that his wife is crazy about him. She closes the door behind him and tells Sam and Dean to come back with her. By name, of course. She knows who they are. And, being magical and stuff, she knows Sam’s girlfriend died and their dad’s missing the instant she takes his arm.
Dean, hilariously, doesn’t doubt her for an instant. And gets a tongue-lashing for asking her for miracles.
She sits down with them and gives them her history with John. She met him just after the fire, told him about all the supernatural shit, and tried reading the house, but all she got out of it was evil.
We cut to Jenny, who’s arguing about being held liable for the maintenance dude’s accident. Noises happen upstairs. She leaves Ritchie in his playpen to go have a look.
Missouri says she’s kept an eye on the place, and it’s been quiet. Sam says he feels like something starting.
And something is, because we see the hinge pins pulled out of Ritchie’s playpen, and the child latch on the fridge pulled back, and of course Ritchie climbs into the fridge to get some juice. There is a convenient child-sized gap in the stuff there for him and everything.
Sam, Dean, and Missouri show up just after. Missouri talks their way in, seeing as she can read minds and all. They go up to the room that would have been where Sam’s nursery was, which jangles his nerves pretty good. Missouri gives them shit for using an EMF reader and tells them something different from the thing that took their mom is there. A bunch of spirits have accumulated, actually, due to the evil and stuff. One of them is a rather nasty poltergeist. She can’t quite make out the other one. Dean’s all like, whatevs, let’s get this mofo, and they go to make up magic bags of stuff that they’ll put in the walls and thus defeat the poltergeist. They send Jenny and her kids away so they can do battle without civilian casualties.
The poltergeist is not down with this exorcising it crap. It tries to strangle Sam with a lamp cord, flings knives and furniture and things at Dean and Missouri, and basically causes mayhem. Dean rescues Sam with a hex bag in the wall just in the nick of time. But, since Sam’s basically choked into unconsciousness, he gets one o’ these:
What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?
Sam: 4 5
The house is wrecked, but all is peaceful. We even have a comedic moment with Missouri forcing Dean to mop. But we know it ain’t actually over, cuz there’s ten minutes left.
Jenny awkwardly sees them out and goes to bed. Some time later, her bed starts to shake. Oh, dear. Fortunately, the boys are in the car outside, as Sam had a Bad Feeling. The scene from Sam’s dream repeats as Jenny comes to the window screaming. Dean and Sam leap into action, with Sam going to rescue the kids and Dean going for Jenny.
The firey person comes out of Sari’s closet again, but Sam is brave and gets Sari and Ritchie both out. He gets them the front door, where he unknowingly echoes his dad when he tells her to take her brother outside as fast and she can, and not to look back. Then he gets snatched back into the house. The front door slams shut with Dean trapped outside. So of course he races to the trunk and pulls out all the weapons he can carry. Then he tries to break in through the front door. You know. Generally one of the strongest doors in the house. When there are windows he could break instead.
You Bloody Fool: 2
Inside, Sam’s been stuck up against a wall and is getting his noggin knocked against it, but since the spirit isn’t hitting him hard, he avoids a CTE count. The flaming figure comes for him! Dean breaks in! Dean’s about to shoot the figure! But Sam is suddenly calm and shouts at Dean to stop, because he knows who it is now.
Swimming in Sexism: 2
The next day, Missouri tells Sam that his mom’s spirit canceled the poltergeist out to protect them. Sam has a “what’s happening to me” moment while Dean gets the box of photos from a very grateful Jenny. Sam gets no answers. Poor kiddo.
The boys drive off, Missouri goes back home, and we find out Sam has powerful psychic abilities. But not powerful enough to sense John in town. He’s pretty much been there the whole time.
Daddy Issues: 2
John says he can’t see his kids until he knows the truth, and we end on that dramatic reveal.
Let’s catch up with our cumulative counts, then, shall we? The boys haven’t quite died yet, but the other counts are ticking right on up.
What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?
Dean’s Man Tears: 6