We start at a creepy old gothic-looking abandoned asylum at night. You know nothing good can come of this. Someone cuts through some serious chains on the doors. All we see is their shadows stepping through the door. Then there are two cops coming after them. This is for the sake of exposition: Older Cop tells Younger Not-Local Cop the legend of the asylum. It’s your stock haunted-by-spirits-of-patients-who-will-drive-you-insane-if-you-spend-the-night story. The cops go in to fetch the kids out, and unwisely split up. Younger Cop goes through a steel door with a radiation symbol on it.
Older Cop finds the kids, while Younger Cop has his flashlight go out in the creepy radioactive room. The next time we see him, he’s creeping up behind his partner and being creepy. He has a creepy nosebleed as he stares creepily at the camera. Then he goes home and kills his wife and himself.
Revenge from Beyond the Grave: 2
I think we have established Not Good Things happen at the asylum.
We cut to Sam and Dean in a motel room. Sam is talking earnestly on the phone while Dean goes through Dad’s journal. Turns out Daddy’s colleagues haven’t heard from him. Sam wants to sic the Feds on him, but Dean refuses. Sam wants to face the fact that Daddy might be dead, but Dean refuses to entertain the notion.
Daddy Issues: 1
Then Dean gets a text with coordinates from an unknown number. He’s all excited. Sam is skeptical. I think we’ve established Sam is the Scully of this partnership.
Turns out Dad had earmarked the Roosevelt Asylum in his journal. So, despite Sam’s annoyance at the games Daddy’s playing, they head off to Illinois. Dean pretends to be a reporter in order to talk to Older Cop, Daniel Gunderson, about his partner’s murder-suicide. Sam comes in and throws Dean out, demanding he show some respect. He takes the opportunity to indulge in a little unnecessary roughness.
Brotherly Love: 1
You’d think a cop would recognize a bad-cop good-cop routine when he saw it. But he lets Sam buy him a drink and gets all the info. Officer Kelly wasn’t the murder-suicide type of cop. And then there’s all the stuff about the asylum, which we don’t get to hear because suspense.
The boys go to the asylum, remarkably enough in the daytime. It’s still all doom and gloom. They end up in the south wing, which according to a clipping in Dad’s journal is where two kids died in 1972. Dean gives Sam shit about his ESP and tells him ghosts are drawn to that shit. Eventually, they make their way to a creepy lab, where Dean has a good ol’ time referencing Jack Nicholson films and Sam tries to get him to talk about their Dad, which he refuses to do.
Daddy Issues: 2
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 1
Dean’s all about the following orders, while Sam is all about the “Fuck this, we should be looking for him.” Dean wins because he’s the stubborn older brother. He finds a nameplate for the doctor whose lab this apparently is. They need info on the dude, so Sam ends up in his son’s modern-day office, pretending to need a therapist. He tries to winkle info out of Dr. Ellicot, but has to talk about his life, and he stumbles all over himself trying to describe road tripping with his brother.
Brotherly Love: 2
He’s able to briefly turn Dr. Ellicot onto the subject of the “Roosevelt Riot,” but the Dr. starts a quid pro quo arrangement and Sam is deeply uncomfortable. But he gets his info: the south wing housed the criminally insane, they rioted, attacked the staff and each other, some people died, some bodies never recovered (including Dr. Ellicot Sr.), and the hospital was shut down. So now the boys think they know what they’re dealing with, and they return to the hospital – at night – to take care of it. Of course, they’re not alone: a young couple end up there, too. Kat, the girlfriend, was brought here under false pretenses, and is deeply unimpressed by this adventure in lieu of a movie date. Gavin, her beau, ignores her upset.
Swimming in Sexism: 1
I’m sure he’ll be one of those dudes mystified why he can’t get a girlfriend, he’s such a nice guy, etc.
Kat is wisely cautious and wants to leave. Gavin goes gallivanting through the asylum without her. He gets locked into one of the wings when a door shuts behind him. Kat sees creepy shadows. There are whispering voices and his flashlight stops working. It’s all very horror movie. And then Kat shows up to kiss him in the dark – only she’s also shouting “Where are you?!” in the distance, soooo we know the poor fool just got sexually assaulted by a ghost.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are going through the place with an e-meter and a night-vision camera. They get lots of activity. Like orbs. Which absolutely could not possibly be dust in that musty old place. Noper.
Something runs behind them. And there’s a bald dude in a strait jacket with a light-speed headshake under a table. Tres freaky deaky. The boys don’t even notice. Sam gets seriously spooked by a lil ol’ lady with half her face missing.
Blood and Gore: 1
He loses his shit, Dean shoots her with the rock salt, and then Sam calms down to realize she wasn’t trying to hurt him, more like just get his attention. But he doesn’t have time to ponder it long, because they find Kat hiding behind a gurney. She’s brave enough to want to find her boyfriend. Dean is foolish enough to split them all up. He takes off with Kat while Sam goes off on his own, all of them looking for Gavin. Dean takes the opportunity to lecture her on horror movies and the necessity of paying attention to the lessons thereof.
Sam finds Gavin passed out in a room. Sam is flummoxed by the fact the ghost kissed the dude. Turns out she’d tried to whisper something to Gavin, but he was too busy running to find out what it was. Meanwhile, Dean’s flashlight goes out, a ghostie grabs Kat and drags her into a room, and everybody freaks. She gets creeped on by a dude with a messed-up face and loses her shit while Dean tries to break through the metal door with a crowbar. Sam comes running up and tells her to calm down and try to talk to the spirit. He talks her through looking it in the eye-lumps and letting it talk to her. Once it’s passed on its message, she’s free to go. She passes on the message: 137. The boys have a brief consult, then Dean sends Sam to take the kids out while he goes to investigate the room.
Of course, Sam can’t get them out because they’re locked in. Oops.
Dean discovers a secret panel in the walls of 137, where he finds a satchel with a journal in it. It has lots of drawings of nasty medical implements and icky medical procedures. I think most of us can see where this is going.
Sam can’t find a way out. He tells the kids not to panic, but Gavin is a definite fan of panicking. Sam gets a call from Dean asking for help, so he must leave the kids. He asks if they can use a shotgun. Gavin is all nowai and Kat is all, “Ya definitely.” This is why we love Supernatural, kids. It may be full of sexism and toxic masculinity and daddy issues, but it delivers up the occasional kick-ass woman without undue comment, and loves to turn expectations on their heads, and that’s excellent.
Of course, the call wasn’t actually coming from Dean, as I’m sure you guessed. Sam ends up in the radioactive room, the silly bugger. His flashlight goes out, and he’s drawn into a secret chamber, where the spirit of Dr. Ellicot Sr. decides it’s going to make him all better.
Back upstairs, Kat tells Gavin they’re breaking up if they make it out alive. I bloody love this woman, even though she almost shoots Dean in the face. Well, I mean, he shoulda announced himself. It’s not like they were whispering or anything. The kids tell him about the call that lured Sam away. Dean dashes off to his rescue.
Sam has turned all creepy-eyed. But he’s acting all innocent. Dean tells him about finding the journal, and how he’s learned that Ellicot was experimenting on the patients, which is why they rioted. He was using some sort of rage therapy thingy, and Dean thinks his spirit is making people so angry they become homicidal. Dean goes looking for the hidden procedure room, which he locates by a draft. This is where Sam’s nose starts bleeding and he gets all freaky. He lets Dean know how he feels about taking orders. Yeah, it’s ghost-induced rage, but seriously, the issues were already there.
Brotherly Love: 3
He shoots Dean with the shotgun full of rock salt, knowing full well it’s going to hurt like hell. Then he lectures his brother about always following Dad’s orders.
Daddy Issues: 3
Toxic Masculinity: 1
So Dean hands him a gun with real bullets.
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 2
Toxic Masculinity: 2
And he invites Sam to shoot him. Which Sam does. Multiple times.
Brotherly Love: 4
Toxic Masculinity: 3
Of course, Dean was smart enough to empty the gun before he gave it to his brother. Who he now knocks out.
What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?
Sam: 5 6
At least he apologizes afterward.
Dean then goes off in search of the bad doctor’s bones. He eventually finds them in a cabinet. As he’s salting the dude to burn him, his flashlight dies, and he’s attacked with a gurney, then by Ellicot. Fortunately, he manages to reach his lighter and sets the dude’s corpse on fire. Happily, this also sets Sam free of Ellicot’s influence.
They send the kids away. Sam apologizes for saying all the terrible things. Dean refuses to talk about it.
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 3
Toxic Masculinity: 4
We cut to a motel, where both brothers are sleeping when Dean’s cell phone rings. Sam can’t rouse him, so he answers. Guess who?
Daddy Issues: 3