Oh, joy, everybody! It’s the Racist Truck episode! Obvious content note is obvious: here be racism.
We begin with a car driving through the darkness on a remote highway. The driver is a black man in a suit. His radio starts to cut in and out, so you know there’s ghostly activity going on. They don’t have issues with the signal getting degraded by terrain or anything, y’know: it’s always ghosts. Headlights suddenly appear behind him. And then there’s a huge monster truck riding his ass.
It rams him, and then suddenly it vanishes and the radio’s working properly again, until it appears in front of him. Eek! He turns around, there’s a big chase, and he gets dramatically run off the road.
Revenge from Beyond the Grave: 1
The truck acts like a bull that’s just gored a matador, and then it backs away and vanishes like a mirage.
Cut to the boys, where Dean’s getting off the phone with the victim’s daughter. Sam’s flummoxed that his bro is just willing to drop everything and go help this Cassie chicka over a car accident. We find out that of course she and Dean had a thing. Sam’s shocked and rightly pissed to realize Dean told her they’re hunters. And after all this time he spent lying to Jessica!
Now we’re in a newspaper office with Cassie, the (white) mayor, and an older black editor named Jimmy. The mayor is trying to talk Cassie and Jimmy out of running with the story of TWO black men being killed the same way on the same stretch of road within a few weeks of each other. I’m going to add a special count for this episode for all the ways white supremacy and racist assholery appear.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 1
Because obvs the only reason anyone would care about two black men dying under the same odd circumstances would be because their friends/relatives are jumping at shadows.
Sam and Dean arrive as they’re arguing. Cassie notices Dean, and there are obviously Unresolved Romantic Issues between them. Aww. They go home with her, where they find out her dad had been “seeing things.” Like, y’know, a disappearing evil truck. And we find out her dad’s car was dented like it had been hit, but there was only one set of tracks – his! And his best friend and business partner had been killed the same way. Hence why Cassie called them, even though when she and Dean parted, she’d called him nuts for believing this supernatural stuff.
Cassie’s mom comes home, and we find out she is white. No one makes an issue of it, but it’s a plot point, so I’m noting it for you. Dean wants to talk to her, but she’s not up to it. He kindly doesn’t press the issue. Could this be character growth? Usually, he’s only this good with kids.
The scene changes to a wrecked car with a dead person at the wheel. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know the Monster Truck is doing its victorious-bull thing nearby.
Revenge from Beyond the Grave: 2
The dead man turns out to be Jimmy the editor. The mayor and Cassie have an argument at the accident scene the next day, where she tries to get him to close the dangerous section of road where all the accidents have happened, and he refuses because it’s the only road in and out of town. He refuses to believe it’s anything more than an accident. Cassie asks him if he’d close the road if the victims were white, and he gets all huffy and pulls the white man are-you-calling-me-racist-I’m-the-last-person-you-should-accuse-of-being-racist! schtick. He tells her to ask her mother why.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 2
I’m not sure the show’s aware you can do good things for people of color and still do jackass racist stuff, often subconsciously.
We join Sam and Dean in their hotel room, where they’re donning suits (nicer suits than earlier in the season) and Sam analyzes Dean and Cassie’s relationship. Dean does not want to discuss it and stomps out.
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 1
They go talk to two older men. The white dude was a friend of Jimmy’s, and they pose as insurance people to try to winkle information out of him, things like whether Jimmy had maybe seen any racist monster trucks following him around. The unnamed black dude tells them he has heard of such a truck, back in the 60s, when several black men disappeared in said truck. He says that nobody ever really tried to solve their disappearances because the town wasn’t always the current picture of interracial harmony that it is now.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 3
Sam and Dean walk away speculating as to what the monster might be, and since whatever’s going on appears to be connected to Cassie’s family, Sam sends Dean off to explore that angle – and also resolve any unfinished business with his ex. Dean finally admits they had a rather more serious relationship than his usual one night stands. Dean’s angry at himself for letting him get close enough to someone outside the family to spill secrets.
Toxic Masculinity: 1
Sam figures out Dean didn’t dump Cassie – twas the other way round. Ha ha ha.
Dean goes to talk to Cassie. Of course, by then it’s night. And while the sexual tension is thick enough to choke a person, they also talk about some plot points. Like how the paper used to be whites-only, and Jimmy was the first black reporter after the Dorians sold it.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 4
Her mom wouldn’t tell her why the mayor doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. Then we drop the plot for relationship issues. Cassie notes Dean always shuts down emotional stuff.
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 2
Toxic Masculinity: 2
They get in a shouting match over the end of their relationship, where it turns out Cassie thought he made up the story about being a Hunter because he wanted out of the relationship. Cassie shouts an apology for not believing him, and Dean actually admits he’s sorry, too. This can obviously only end one way.
We can tell the relationship was serious because the sex scene lasts for more than a few seconds. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed it more without the energetic, sappy song they chose as background music.
The next day, the mayor is confronted by the Racist Monster Truck, which he foolishly tries to outrun. He is, of course, whacked.
Revenge from Beyond the Grave: 3
This time, it just vanishes rather than doing its victory rev, so I’m going to have to give it a point for not treating its white victim the same way it treats its black ones.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 5
Meanwhile, Cassie and Dean are cuddling in bed, and Dean is actually communicating with another human being in a healthy manner. If you’ll excuse me, I need to pop by the hospital to get this heart attack seen to. Cassie explains he scared her with his Hunter shit, but may also have been trying to walk away. Dean admits he might be more scared of working out issues in a relationship than hunting demons. And they might have made some actual progress toward a healthy relationship if Sam hadn’t called with news of the mayor’s death just then.
Turns out the land the mayor was killed on is property he just bought. The boys are stumped as to why the Racist Monster Truck chose to kill a white dude who wasn’t even on the haunted stretch of road. So Dean goes back to the newspaper office to sit down and do some research in the archives with Cassie. There’s not much on the killings of black men in the 60s – Cassie says she’s not surprised, and that the police probably didn’t strain themselves investigating. Cuz, y’know.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 6
Sam calls to say he’s discovered the property the mayor and his wife bought was abandoned, but was previously owned by the Dorian family. Yep, the former paper owners. Turns out they owned a lot of stuff around the town. And a dude named Cyrus Dorian had gone missing in 1963, right around the time of the murders. Sam says the mayor bulldozed the Dorian house on the 3rd of the month, and Dean sees that the first killing was the next day. Gosh. Do you think they’re connected?
So now it’s nighttime, and Cassie’s home alone when the lights begin to flicker and a truck revs outside. Yep, Racist Monster Truck is after her now.
This thing was actually bugging me enough I looked it up. It doesn’t quite look like a 60s truck, but it is: it’s a tricked-out 1963 Dodge D200. They do get their cars right in this show.
The truck threatens to ram the house several times, and it’s all very dramatic. Cassie calls Dean in terror, and the truck vanishes. The boys gather with Cassie and her mom, and Dean browbeats Mom into ‘fessing up as to what her hubby told her before he died. Turns out he recognized the truck. It was Cyrus Dorian’s. Dun-dun-DUN.
Mom knows Cyrus died 40+ years ago. She tells the story of how she once dated him, but was also dating her future hubby Martin on the sly – cuz “interracial couples didn’t go over too well then.”
Swimming in White Supremacy: 7
She broke up with Cyrus, he found out about Martin, and lost his shit.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 8
He started kidnapping and murdering black people in his truck.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 9
Martin and Mrs. were supposed to get married in a little church near town, but decided to elope to avoid drama. But someone *coughCyruscough* sets fire to the church on their planned wedding day anyway. And, because people may not think a dude going around kidnapping and killing black people just because he’s angry his girlfriend dumped him for a black dude isn’t bad enough, they have him torch the church with a children’s choir inside.
Swimming in White Supremacy: 10
That’s for modern viewers, and the fact writers didn’t think they’d drummed up enough sympathy yet.
Then Cyrus kidnaps and beats up Martin, but before he can kill him, Martin gets the club away and returns the favor. Of course, he can’t call the cops because
Swimming in White Supremacy: 11
so he calls his friends (the three recent victims) and they dump the dead dude in the swamp. The mayor had been a deputy back then, and figured out what happened to Cyrus, but didn’t turn the men in because he at least had that much decency. And everybody kept the secret until now.
Sam has A Moment outside where he wishes he was bored in college rather than dealing with conversations that start with “This Racist Truck.” Then the boys get down to figuring out how to defeat said racist truck and the racist ghost haunting it. They know it starts with pulling the body out of the swamp. Cassie arrives ready to help, and shuts Dean down when he tries to pull the wimminz-stay-home-while-the-menz-do-the-ghost-hunting crap.
Toxic Masculinity: 3
Swimming in Sexism: 1
But then Dean kisses her into submission and she stays home. At least he said please this time.
Swimming in Sexism: 2
The boys exhume the truck from the swamp, extract the really gross body, and burn it. Unfortunately, this does not end the ghost truck, which comes to let them know it’s not happy. Dean gets in the Impala to lure it away while leaving Sam to figure out how to burn a waterlogged hunk of 1960s automotive engineering. While the car chase goes on, Sam turns to Dad’s journal for help. Happily, he finds the solution by looking at a bit of map. He calls Cassie for some info, then calls Dean and gives him driving directions to a special place that we have no idea what it is since the show writers want it to be a big surprise. Dean has to go to an exact spot and stop. He does so, and turns the Impala around to wait. The Racist Monster Truck faces him down. It’s all very dramatic as it goes for a head-on collision. Then it vanishes through the Imapala. Dean then notices he’s near a burnt-out wall. Sam tells him he’s where the church was. Hallowed ground! Turns out Sam was gambling on the spirit being destroyed as it crossed hallowed ground, as they sometimes are, and hadn’t thought through what would happen if he was wrong.
Brotherly Love: 1
Those who are holding out hope for Cassie and Dean are in for disappointment, as Cassie is sure he’ll never be back, although Dean swears he will. Spoiler: Ha ha ha nope. Even though Sam likes her, too, it’s not to be. The boys drive away out of her life, and back to hunting, which requires much sacrifice and stuff.