Supernatural S1 E16 Summary: “Shadow”

We open with a young woman walking alone down dark city streets. You know nothing good can come of this. She ends up in an alley, with her iPod broken and a creepy voice whispering at her. She’s chased all the way home by a big old shadow. And just when we think she’s safe inside her apartment with the alarm set, a shadowy demon substance brutally murders her.

Screenshot shows a gray wall with black shadows projected against it. A woman's shadow has her back arched and her mouth open. There is an indistinct figure behind it, stabbing her in the back. There is a red spray of blood on the wall.
Death by Monstrosity: 1

Blood and Gore: 1

The following week, the boys show up in alarm company uniforms to investigate. See, poor dead Meredith is the second person to die so mysteriously. Dean, of course, whines endlessly about the uniforms. Dad never needed a disguise.

Daddy Issues: 1

They get a lot of shit about the useless alarm from the landlady, who tells them Meredith was torn to pieces inside a locked, bolted, alarmed apartment. Once she leaves, Dean and Sam bust out the special equipment and get investigating. Dean tells Sam he talked to “Amy, a charming, perky officer of the law” and goes on and on about her tequila and tattoo.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 1

Swimming in Sexism: 1

Giving them a sexism count for repeated sexualizing of police officers who happen to be women.

Once Sam gets Dean redirected, he finds out Meredith’s heart was missing. But it couldn’t be a werewolf, because wrong time o’ the moon. The boys decide it was probably a spirit, and then get busy connecting blood spatter with tape.

Screenshot shows a pale beige carpet with round bloodstains. Black tape connects some of the bloodstains in a symbol that looks like the arms of a Z connected in the middle by a circle. It looks a bit like an incomplete tie fighter.
Considering there were dozens of ways for those dots to be connected, I’m calling this one of the most ridiculous moment on the show.

We cut to a bar, where Dean is putting the moves on a sexy bartender.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 2

OMG, we get it, Kripke. Dean’s a manly man wot likes goils. You can stop rubbing our faces in it. (Newsflash: he never will.)

Sam’s as annoyed as we are, which is nice. Dean has learned nothing important about the last night of Meredith’s life from the bartender. Sam hasn’t made any headway on either the symbol or connections between the two known victims. Then Sam spots Meg in the bar, and they have a happy reunion. She gives Dean shit for dragging Sam everywhere. When Dean takes his leave, she encourages Sam to kill him and then says she’ll show Sam a hell of a time. And her last name is Masters. Ah-ha-ha. She’s so very subtle. I’m sure no one remembers that the last time we saw her, she was making calls by slashing people’s throats.

The brothers leave. Sam muses at how odd it is to run into Meg here of all places, while Dean whines about Sam telling Meg that Dean sometimes treats him like crap.

Brotherly Love: 1

Apparently, you’re supposed to endure that sort of thing alone, in silence, in a manly fashion.

Toxic Masculinity: 1

“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 1

And Dean’s extra upset that Meg didn’t dig his pretty self.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 3

He mocks Sam’s suspicions about Meg, hinting that the only reason he’s obsessed is because he wants to get into her pants. Projection, perhaps? Anyway. Sam puts him to work tracing the symbol and trying to find out if Meg Masters is real while he follows Meg. Dean finds Meg in the Andover phone book, and tracks down her yearbook picture, so he thinks she’s fine. He’s also called one of their dad’s friends, who identified the symbol as a Zoroastrian sigil for a daeva. Daeva’s have to be controlled, so that means there’s someone out there directing it. Then, instead of calling his brother back to help hunt down the daeva dude, he encourages Sam to go get his dick wet.

Sam accidentally ends up peeping in Meg’s windows as she changes clothes, and gets called a perv by a passing older woman. The only reason this sequence is in here seems to be to tickle the gonads of the young male audience.

Swimming in Sexism: 2

But Sam is pure and noble and merely waits to follow Meg when she goes out. She leads him to a creepy old graffiti-marked building. He ends up having to climb an elevator shaft. It takes for freaking ever. When he gets to the top, we see that there’s a set of mannequins, one in a sexy pose.

Screenshot shows an abandoned warehouse-type building interior. There's an elevator shaft with a grate over it to the left. Further along the wall with the shaft, there's a stepladder. Beside the ladder is a pair of headless, naked mannequins. One, which has a masculine body type, is posed as if it's taking a step to the side, arm out casually. The feminine mannequin is striking a sexy pose with its hip thrust to the side, knee bent, and one hand placed on its opposite hip.
Swimming in Sexism: 3

This is just gratuitous at this point. There was no reason for that other than the American male’s inability to restrain himself from posing naked mannequins in provocative positions.

Meg has a fancy occult setup and chants some arcane verse over a goblet much like the one she puts creepy dudes’ blood in to make calls. Then she starts speaking in English, and we hear only her side of the conversation as she tells the entity on the other end that she doesn’t think it should come cuz the brothers are in town. I think it’s meant to make us feel all on edge, but it is actually just really, really ridiculous. They should have gone on with the arcane language and used subtitles. But then, Sam wouldn’t have understood.

Meg slowly and sensually blows out the candles, then leaves. Sam drags himself out of the elevator shaft, then goes to look at the table, where he is astonished to find the symbol painted in the middle of all the occult stuff. Really? Really? That shouldn’t have been at all a shock. Good job, writers, making both Sam and Dean look like utter buffoons.

Sam rushes back to Dean, who also has something of great import to tell him. Why neither called the cell phones we know they have because they were just on them, I do not know. Maybe it’s because Dean was busy, ahem, currying favors from Policewoman Amy.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 4

And he also teases Sam about having a thing for the bad girls before he gets down to business. Just because the writers have been laying it on with a trowel, it’s getting one of each of these.

Toxic Masculinity: 2

Swimming in Sexism: 4

Yeah, I’m running out of patience here.

Dean finally gets around to telling Sam that Amy helped him find out that both victims are originally from Lawrence, Kansas. Dean decides they need to trash the altar and interrogate Meg. Sam says they need to do a stakeout. Dean decides they’d better call Dad. So he leaves a voicemail while Sam raids the trunk for everything they might need. Both boys then declare they are not in any way nervous, even though they’re about to possibly face down the thing that killed their mother and they actually have no idea what it is or how to defeat it.

Toxic Masculinity: 3

“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 2

Then Sam gets all excited over the idea that their hunt may end tonight and he can go back to his life. Dean is not happy about any of this, and he confesses that he needs Sam, which leads to a man-tear moment.

Dean’s Man Tears: 9 10

Dean just wants them to be a family again. Sam says they’ll never be the way they were before because he doesn’t want them to be, and when it’s over, Dean will have to let him go. To which Dean just smolders in reply.

Screenshot is a close up of Dean's face. He has his head tilted to the side, and is frowning in a rather pouty way.
“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 3

Well. At least Sam’s getting it out there.

The boys return to the building where Meg’s set up shop and climb up the elevator shaft while she mutters arcane words over the altar. They set up an ambush, but she’s known they were there all along and calls them out. She grins in the face of their shotguns. Then, course, the daeva attacks them both and they end up getting gouged, knocked out, and tied up.

What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Sam: 6 7

Dean: 5 6

We’re only sixteen episodes in, mind you.

When they wake up, Sam figures out it was all a setup, and that the victims were from Lawrence just to bait the trap. But dunDUNDUN it’s not a trap for them! It’s for their dad! They’re the bait! And there’s more than one daeva! Then the boys try to be all cool and unruffled, and Meg commits a little light sexual assault against Sam, while Dean tries ostentatiously to work his way free. She breaks off molesting Sam to take his knife away, which of course has allowed Sam to get free. Of course, headbutting someone when you’ve already been knocked on the noggin is not the smartest way to escape.

Screenshot shows Sam clutching his head with his eyes screwed shut in agony.
What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Sam: 6 7 8

Dean: 5 6

Dean shouts at him to get the altar, and he has enough motor coordination to upend it, thus making Meg lose control of the daevas, who then promptly drag her over to the nearest window and defenestrate her. The boys go to the window to look at her body lying in the street, and exchange quips and ableist slurs, and then go their hotel room, where they find an intruder. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to find out who it is.

Screenshot shows John Winchester, in shadow except for his face. He has dark hair and a short, grizzled beard. His lips are pressed in a smile. There's a tear glistening in his eye.
Manly emotions are emoted.

Dean’s Man Tears: 9 10 11

Dean apologizes for not knowing it was a trap, and many “yes, sirs” are said. This speaks so many volumes about how Dad raised ’em.

Daddy Issues: 3

Turns out Dad arrived just in time to see Meg thrown out the window. And the demon’s been trying to kill him before he can figure out how to kill it, and it’s all dangerous and he’s gonna go it alone so the boys don’t get hurt. He and Sam have a touching sort-of making up about that whole ugly-argument-and-not-speaking-for-years thing, then hug – but no apologies because that wouldn’t be manly. It’s all very sweet and touching and even Dean gets all emotional about it.

Daddy Issues: 4

Toxic Masculinity: 4

Dean’s Man Tears: 9 10 11 12

Screenshot shows Sam hugging John, while Dean looks on with his lips pursed as if he's about to cry. Blood trickling from the corner of his eye makes it look like he's been crying blood.
Then the daevas show up and invisibly throw everybody all over the place, while Meg lurks outside, fingering an amulet. Turns out she’s fine. Who knew?

Meanwhile, John does a lot of getting slashed up and hollering, and Dean’s no good, but Sam was paranoid enough to bring the whole bag of tricks up from the car and is able to get to it. He explains to the battling men that they need to shut their eyes, because these are shadow demons and he’s gonna light ’em up. Then he sets off a white tactical flare of some sort. It lets off a lot of smoke as well as blinding light, so there’s a suspenseful escape with them hacking and wheezing and unable to see what they’re doing, but they get out. Then Dean sends Dad off alone because they almost got him killed and he’s stronger without them. Sam begs him to stay. Dad says they have to let him go. It’s all very emotional. But of course, they have to chin up and pretend they’re all tough and stuff.

Daddy Issues: 5

Toxic Masculinity: 5

“Healthy Processing Of Our Emotions”: 4

Dean’s Man Tears: 9 10 11 12 13

They ride off into the night in their respective gas-guzzling vehicles, while Meg glares after them forbodingly.

Fin

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Supernatural S1 E16 Summary: “Shadow”
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