What could possibly break the tension between the Winchester brothers? Possession by an avenging spirit should do the trick.
Southern Comfort breaks in with Dean and Sam arguing heatedly about the encounter with Benny. Once again, Sam is frustrated that they’re working what seems like a sketchy case, and if this isn’t enough tension, they run into Garth, Texas Ranger.
Garth has not only started working the case before them, he’s become a self-styled replica of Bobby. He’s wearing Bobby’s hat. He’s using Bobby’s phrases. He’s giving advice to hunters everywhere through a bank of cell phones he wears in his buckskin jacket. Dean pointedly lets him know that he’s doing it wrong. Garth finds the ectoplasm. Garth finds Bobby’s note that identifies their target as a Spectre, a vengeful spirit.
Sam ruminates some more about Amelia. We don’t see anything of purgatory in this episode, but Sam is dreaming on about Amelia. It’s a little reminiscent of Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin in “Paint Your Wagon” (if you haven’t seen that, you really should). I keep waiting for Sam to break out in song, “I still see Amelia, she keeps on returning…”
This spirit travels on a cursed object – the penny he wore around his neck for luck, which was stolen from his grave by some local miscreants. Corporal Collins is his name, and his anger is amazing. A woman in love and married to a man for 37 years drops a car on him for going to the prom with someone else before they were married. Her son does in a former business partner with a shovel in a local store. A deputy kills the sheriff for asking him to write a report. Another deputy chases down a softball umpire in the hospital for calling him out at second base.
Wow, good thing he didn’t get a hold of someone who was really angry at someone else. Oh wait, enter Dean Winchester.
Dean has spent so much time trying to be Sam’s father figure that he can’t possibly let go of all the angry thoughts he has for his brother. Unless he’s possessed. Dean releases the Kraken on Sam, at gunpoint. He goes all the way back to Ruby and demon blood, Samuel Winchester, the lies, the soullessness, the whole history of everything he’s ‘forgiven’ Sam for. Don’t forget that every time Sam had an issue, or as Dean puts it, makes a choice, Dean gives everything, including 40 years in Hell to get him back.
Dean gets ported to Purgatory, and Sam takes off, finds a girl, and seemingly forgets all about him.
What can possibly save Sam at this point?
At the height of the tension, Garth knocks the penny out of Dean’s hand and picks it up. And…nothing.
When Dean asks him later why it didn’t affect him – after all, everyone has a beef with someone, Garth replies, “Not me, man, I let all that stuff go with the help of my Yogi, my Sega Genesis, and you should too.”
To exit the episode, Garth gets two things right – he calls Dean to “Stop being a idgit”, and says “BALLS!” with anger when his El Camino won’t start.
And we see another milestone in the Winchester journey. Sam tells Dean like it is.
“You’ve been kicking me ever since we got back. But that’s over. So move on, or I will.”
Dean hears him.