Supernatural – The Big Empty
By: Stacy Miller
In Madison, Wisconsin, a man returns home to find his dead wife waiting for him. “How? You’re dead,” the man Wes Bailey (Matt Hamilton) asks. Dead wife Erica (Kayla Deorksen) replies that it doesn’t matter and how she missed him before stabbing Wes to death! Here’s a tip Wes: If you’re on Supernatural and it’s the teaser where you see dead people, chances are they are coming to kill you!
Sam (Jared Padalecki) finds Dean (Jensen Ackles) reading about their next case. It seems a man in Madison was murdered in his locked house and the police are saying that it was a home invasion. But a neighbor told the police that she saw the dead wife exit the crime scene. Dean is surprised that Sam wants to take the case. “What? You ready to ditch Damian? What do you want to do, leave him in a ring of holy water and some Netflix and some frozen pizza?” Dean asks sarcastically. But Sam suggests they bring Jack (Alexander Calvert) along. Dean refuses to take part in “Adventures in Antichrist Babysitting.” He reasons that as long as Jack is in the bunker, he’s not doing God knows what out there. Sam doesn’t think that keeping Jack cooped up is good for him; Jack’s a good kid.
Sam goes to Jack’s room and tells him about the case and asks him to come along. Jack declines. He reveals that he heard Sam talking with Dean about him (Jack) being an “interdimensional can opener” and knows that Sam is using him. Sam explains that when Jack was born it created a bad world and their mother (his and Dean) is trapped on the other side. Jack realizes that Sam wants to get her out. Sam admits he does and it would be great if it worked. But if it doesn’t, he (Sam) still cares about Jack. Sam tells Jack that the one thing Dean appreciates is effort. “Let’s go be the good guys.” This convinces Jack to join the Winchester brothers on a hunting trip.
In Madison, Sam, Dean and Jack pull up in Baby. Looking over the Winchesters’ fake IDs, Jack comments that he thought lying was wrong. Dean reviews the case again and tells Sam that the wife Erica Bailey died six months ago. They have to check the house for EMF to determine whether they’re dealing with a ghost or a revenant, which is like a zombie. Spotting the witness, Dean orders Jack to stay in the car while they question them. The Baileys’ neighbor (Janet Glassford) tells Sam and Dean that she’s sure what she saw was Erica because she’s lived next door to the Baileys for six years and watered their plants when Wes and Erica went on vacation. Dean notices that the back door of the Impala is opened and says to Sam, “We’ve got a runner.” The find Jack in the house looking at the crime scene. Pulling out the EMF reader, they determine it’s not a ghost but a revenant. So, it’s off to the grave. At the grave of Erica Bailey, Dean orders Jack to dig since he wanted to help. Sam reminds Dean that barking orders like their dad didn’t work with him (Sam) and it won’t work with Jack. Dean says that he refuses to be Jack’s mom; besides the kid can dig. “What is burned stays dead,” Dean says as he burns Erica’s body.
Not quite Dean. For a dead Castiel (Misha Collins) is in a dark place calling out “hello.”
A woman named Gloria (Brenda Matthews) calls roadside assistance when she has problems with her car. She is shocked to see her dead son Scotty (Brenden Sunderland) sitting in the back seat. Then, Scott rips out her heart and kills her! Later, Sam and Dean arrive at the crime scene. So, now they have two murders – the second one happening after burning Erica’s body. Are they dealing with a ghost, and if so, who’s? Sam finds a connection between the two victims. It seems that they were both seeing the same grief counselor, Dr. Mia Vallens (Rukiya Bernard), who assigned them to write their thoughts down in a grief journal. Jack returns with their food as it seems he’s now the Winchesters’ hunting intern.
In order to get information about Dr. Vallens, Sam and Dean pose as brothers who recently loss their mother (not too far of a stretch) and introduce Jack as their little brother. Mia Vallens senses that Dean isn’t opened to the whole idea of therapy. Sam says that Dean is having a little trouble processing his grief. And this is when the fake therapy become real for the Winchesters. “My brother is delusional. He won’t even admit that mom is dead because it’s real. And if it’s real then he has to deal with it and he can’t force himself to do that,” Dean tells Dr. Vallen. An angry Sam says that it’s easier for Dean because he had a relationship with their mom; he was the one that she always called and looked to for answers. “You had something with her that I never had and now I’m supposed to accept that I never will have it!” Sam shouts then walks out the room. While getting water for the cooler in the hallway, Sam notices that the stairway is blocked with a sign indicating “Do Not Disturb.” But because he is a Winchester and his curiosity has been piqued, Sam goes upstairs. He finds blood on the bannister, blood on the shower curtain and dead skin in the tub.
Back downstairs, Mia says that Dean upset one brother (Sam) and his other brother (Jack) is terrified of him and wants his approval. Dean assures Mia that he and Jack are simpatico, which Jack repeats as Dean told him earlier to “say everything I say.” Dr. Vallens comments that Dean is angry and trying to shift that anger onto everyone else. Suddenly, Sam bursts into the room with his gun drawn and shouts, “She’s a shape shifter!” Mia admits that she is what they say she is, but she has never killed anyone. Dr. Vallens explains that she helps her patients deal with their grief by shifting into their loved ones so they can have one last chance to say goodbye. When Dean tells her that Wes Bailey and Gloria Simon were killed by someone who looked like their wife and son, Mia says she has an alibi for the time of Wes’ murder. She volunteers at a woman’s shelter.
Castiel sees a creature that resembles him. It tells him that it is just his “Friendly neighborhood being” that looks like Castiel because he knew that if he showed his true form that Castiel wouldn’t have taken it well. The Castiel entity explains that before Heaven and Hell, angels and demons and God and Amara, there was nothingness and that’s where Castiel is. The Castiel entity also tells Castiel that no one ever wakes up there and asks why Castiel is awake. Castiel reasons that Sam and Dean must have made a deal. The Castiel entity says that he’s the only one who they could have made a deal with and no one came to him.
Mia’s alibi checks out. So, if she didn’t commit the murders who did? Mia thinks she knows who…her ex-boyfriend Buddy, a shifter who was cruel and liked hurting people. Mia had hope to make up for some of the wrong things that Buddy had done by being good to her patients.
The Castiel entity reads Castiel’s mind. It then tells the angel that as long as Castiel is awake, it can’t sleep and it likes to sleep.
Sam looks through Mia’s security footage for flaring eyes. Dean tells Jack that the plan to bring Mary back may not work because Sam’s plans don’t always work. Later, Jack admits to Mia that he’s not really Sam and Dean’s brother. His mother died before he was born and he’d give anything to see her again. Jack shows Mia the video Kelly (Courtney Ford) made for him. Mia asks Jack to close his eyes and then changes into Kelly. Jack finally gets the chance to tell his mother how afraid he is that he’ll turn evil.
Meanwhile, Buddy (Niall Matter) shifted into Dean, knocks Jack out and waits for Sam.
The Castiel entity beats Castiel up and demands that the angel go back to sleep so it can sleep. “I’m awake and I will stay awake. And I will keep you awake until we both go insane,” Castiel vows and demands that the entity release him from the nothingness.
Back at Mia’s, Dean tells Jack to use his (Jack) power to break the handcuffs that Buddy used to restrain them. Jack is weak and his powers aren’t working. Dean reminds Jack that Sam believes in him (Jack) so Dean knows Jack can do it. Buddy angrily says that he wasn’t going to let Mia escape from him after all he did for her. He urges her to embrace her inner monster by telling Mia that he’s not going to kill Dean and Jack, she is courtesy of Dean’s silver bullets. Refusing to be a killer, Mia tells Buddy to shoot her. But Sam’s return gives Buddy a change of plans as he will kill the younger Winchester instead. Mimicking Dean’s voice so Sam will enter the room, Buddy is ready to shoot. Seeing the danger his friend is in gives Jack the strength to use his power and save Sam’s life. Buddy’s bullet hits a door panel, missing Sam’s heart. Then, Sam shoots Buddy and kills him. Looking at Buddy’s body, Mia says that all she ever wanted to do was help people.
Sam, Dean and Jack return to the Men of Letters bunker. Dean apologizes for being a dick lately and admits that Sam could be right about Jack. Sam says that maybe Dean is right about their mother, maybe Mary is dead. “Don’t say that. I need you to keep the faith for both of us,” Dean tells his brother, adding right now he (Dean) doesn’t believe in anything.
Perhaps he would if Dean knew that Castiel is back topside.