Supernatural – Tombstone
By: Stacy Miller
In Dodge City Kansas, Dean (Jensen Ackles) and a man are in a cemetery at night with their guns drawn. “Where’d he go?” the man asks. “He’s messing with us,” Dean answers. “He’s fast,” says the man, whose name is Sergeant Joe Phillips (Eric Schweig) but Dean calls him Sarge. “Not faster than bullets,” Dean says as they continue to pursue their guy. Suddenly, Sarge is pulled down into a grave. “Sarge!” Dean calls training his flashlight into the hole in the ground.
48 hours earlier. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean are shocked to see Castiel (Misha Collins) standing in front of them. Castiel comments that he was dead. “But I annoyed an ancient cosmic so much that he sent me back,” Castiel tells Sam and Dean. They are so happy to see their friend and welcome him back with a hug. Castiel explains that he was in The Empty where it was darkness and nothingness. He adds that he doesn’t know who or what brought him back, but felt a great power. And if it wasn’t God/Chuck (Rob Benedict), it had to be Jack (Alexander Calvert). Sam and Dean tell Castiel about Lucifer’s (Mark Pellegrino) son.
Returning to the bunker, Sam and Dean introduce Jack to Castiel and asks whether Jack brought the angel back. Jack doesn’t know. What Jack does know is that he prayed for Castiel to come back and missed him so much. Jack hugs Castiel. The Nephilim shows Sam and Dean that he can now move a pencil and also found them a hunter’s case. Jack tells Dean that he learned how to use the computer by watching them (Sam and Dean). Jack explains about what he thinks is a zombie case. Three days ago a vintage pocket watch was sold to a pawn show but when the buyer he went to authenticate it, it was discovered the watch had been buried twenty years ago with its deceased owner. And now the grave was empty too. To Jack this means “The dead are rising in Dodge City.” Dean reasons that they checked out possible cases for less. Plus, he thinks Dodge City is awesome. “Alright. Two salty hunters, one half angel kid and an angel dude who just came back from the dead again…Team Free Will 2.0. Here we go,” Dean says.
The Impala pulls up at the Stampede Motel where Dean tells Sam, Jack and Castiel that the Wild Bill Suite is supposed to be the best room in the house. The motel suite is huge and the walls are covered with some of Dean’s Wild West heroes. “He really likes cowboys,” Jack comments. “Yes he does,” Castiel replies dryily. Dean suggests they shower, change, have a steak dinner and check out the cemetery tomorrow. Jack tells Castiel that he can take the bed because Jack doesn’t sleep much. “I don’t sleep at all,” Castiel says.
In their adjoining room, Sam is glad that Dean is happier than he’s been in a while. Dean reminds that he said he needed a win, and Castiel coming back from the dead classifies as one.
Later that night, Officer Carl Phillips (Paul C. Greiner) receives a report on a stolen vehicle. When he goes to investigate the truck abandoned on the road in front of his police car, Carl is pulled underneath it by something supernatural.
At the Stampede Motel while Sam and Dean are sleeping, Jack and Castiel have a chance to talk. Jack asks Castiel about Heaven and then about Kelly. Jack tells Castiel how Kelly told him that he had an angel watching over him. Castiel apologizes for not being there for Jack. He adds that Kelly said that Jack’s birth would change the world for good and he (Castiel) believes her. Jack gets the notice over the wire about Carl’s death. Castiel tries to stop Jack from waking Sam and Dean. When Jack tries to shake him awake, Dean points his gun at him. He asks Jack to make coffee. “I told you he was an angry sleeper like a bear,” Castiel tells Jack as they watch Dean slowly drink his coffee. It is decided that Sam and Jack will check out the grave while Dean and Castiel speak with the authorities.
Dean and Castiel pose as Texas Rangers Russell and Val Kilmer (Castiel’s alias) and learn from Sergeant “Sarge” Joe Phillips that the victim, Officer Carl Phillips was Sarge’s nephew. Dean lies that they (he and Castiel) are tracking a fugitive that likes to rob graves. Sarge promises that if he finds the sicko first, there will be nothing left to bring back to Texas.
Meanwhile, Sam and Jack question undertaker Athena Lopez (Sarah Troyer). Athena finds it unbelievable that Jack could be an FBI Agent. “Did his parents sign a permission slip?” she asks sarcastically. Sam lies that Jack is an FBI trainee who is at the top of his class. Athena has lived by the cemetery her whole life and nothing like the grave robbery has ever happened before. But she does give Sam and Jack permission to check the grave.
Returning back to the Stampede Motel, they tell Dean and Castiel what they found; all evidence points to a ghoul, which Jack calls a shape shifting zombie. They discuss whether Athena could be the ghoul but rule her out as her access to bodies makes it illogical for her to be a grave robber. Video surveillance shows the driver of the truck Officer Carl Phillips. Dean identifies the drive as Dave Mather (Jonathan Cherry), cowboy and outlaw. Mather was one of the Dodge City gang and was one of the greatest gunfighters ever. Dave Mather died in 1886. Dean gets his cowboy geek on and is very excited to see Dave Mather. Or rather a ghoul of Mather.
Ghoul Dave Mather comes to see his girlfriend Athena and gives her a letter to that beauty school. Athena corrects that it was a beauty school but an academy that deals in makeup and special effects and she was accepted. Athena tells Dave that some FBI Agents were there earlier, but he doesn’t think they were FBI Agents.
Jack tells Sam, Dean and Castiel that he saw a photograph at Athena’s place. It was a picture of Athena and Mather. He must boyfriend. So, Sam and Dean go to Athena’s and wonder how they will tell her that her boyfriend is a flesh eating ghoul. Or they can lie. The Winchesters tell Athena that they are there to speak with her boyfriend about the grave robberies.
Meanwhile, Ghoul Dave Mather is robbing a credit union. When Sam, Dean, Jack and Castiel appear, Ghoul Dave Mather laughs and says “Four hunters, it must be my birthday.” Dean suggests they go off somewhere and talk. But Ghoul Dave Mather begins shooting. Castiel worries about protecting Jack. Ghoul Dave Mather continues shooting and his bullets hit Jack but doesn’t injure the Nephilim. The security guard tells the teller to stay inside. Unfortunately, the security guard appears behind Ghoul Dave Mather just as Jack unleashes his power. The force of the Nephilim’s blasts causes the security guard to bang his head against a beam. Dean takes off after Ghoul Dave Mather while Jack begs Castiel to heal the security guard. Sadly, Castiel can’t because the man is already dead.
Back at the Stampede Motel, Jack is upset as this is the first time he ever used his power on someone and they didn’t get up afterwards. Dean urges Sam and Castiel to take Jack out of town and back to the bunker before the cops show up. Dean will go after the ghoul.
Ghoul Dave Mather returns to Athena. She notices that he has been shot. Ghoul Dave Mather tell Athena that he robbed a bank for her so she could go to that fancy school. But they have to leave town.
This brings us back to the beginning of the episode where Dean and Sarge were looking for the ghoul at the graveyard. Sarge told Dean that the fingerprints for the grave robber and the bank robber matched and that he had no intention of bringing this crazy person back alive. Neither did Dean. Then, Sarge was pulled down in the grave and Dean went in after him.
In the Impala, Castiel tells a quiet Jack how he (Castiel) has killed people and it never gets easier even when you didn’t mean to have it happen.
In the grave tunnel, Dean finds Athena and Sarge, who tells him that something brought him down there and tossed him around like a rag doll. Ghoul Dave Mather appears and taunts Dean about the hunter coming down there without a gun. But before Ghoul Dave Mather can shoot Dean, Sarge fires a shot that blows the ghoul’s head off.
The next day, Dean and Sarge walk through the graveyard. “You mind telling me what went on back there?” Sarge asks. Dean tells Sarge that as far as the world will know, Sarge killed the grave robber who was the one who killed the security guard. “And I was never here,” Dean says.
Dean returns back to the bunker and tells Sam, Jack and Castiel that he killed the monster and saved the girl. A still moping Jack asks about the security guard, whether the man had a family. Sam tries to assure Jack that they’ve all done things they regret. But when Sam backs away from the Nephilim, a sad Jack realizes that Sam is afraid of him; maybe he is just a monster. “No you’re not, I thought you were. But like Sam said, we’ve all done bad, we all have blood on our hands. So if you are a monster, we all are,” Dean tells Jack. But Jack decides to leave as he doesn’t want to hurt Sam, Dean or Castiel as they are all he has. Jack blasts them across the room then disappears.