This episode has nothing to do with the overarching story for the season or even the regular run of the mill demons that the boys normally encounter and have to deal with. That being said, I actually found it to be one of the most disturbing and scary episodes of Supernatural that I’ve seen in a long time as the monsters in this episode are really what any of us could become given the right (or wrong as the case may be) circumstances.
Sam wakes from sleeping in the back seat of the Impala, to find Dean researching cases. Sam complains that they haven’t stopped hunting for the last month & that Dean seems to never want to stop, but Dean insists they investigate a case in Nebraska, where Bill Gibson was found murdered in a room that was locked from the inside. The police are completely baffled by the case.
They arrive in Stratton, Nebraska to find the Carter family about to move into the house. Following the death of their eldest son a year ago in a car accident, Susan and Brian Carter are looking for a fresh start with their kids Kate and Danny. Brian’s brother Ted is helping them move. While the family dynamic is obviously strained, you can still see that this is a family that cares and are willing to make an effort for each other.
Sam and Dean pretend to be building inspectors and tell them the house has asbestos in the walls and a gas leak and that they should stay in a motel. They hope that this will keep the family away allowing them to do their investigation, but after they leave, Ted declares the house okay and the family moves in any way thinking that it was just a local prank gone wrong. Not realizing this, the brothers think they have time to perform their normal research and visit the housekeeper. She tells them that Bill had a wife who died in childbirth and his daughter Rebecca hung herself in the attic. While both women were cremated, the boys assume a ghost must be haunting the house.
That night Danny encounters a girl – she rolls a ball to him and says he is welcome to stay, but the adults are not. This really reminded me of poltergeist or something along those lines where only one person could see/interact with a spirit, but as Kate lies in bed, she feels something licking her hand. She assumes it’s the dog until the dog appears at the bedroom door.
Kate’s screams alert Sam and Dean who rush into the house. They try to get the family to leave but find the tires on all the cars slashed and the weapons gone from their car, which completely baffle them as spirits shouldn’t be able to perform these actions. Realizing they have little choice, they take refuge inside a salt circle in the house, but a girl appears and attacks them, crossing the salt line and proving to be human and not a ghost.
The family rushes outside, but when they regroup, Danny is missing. While Susan and Kate hide in a shed, Ted and Dean check inside the house, while Brian and Sam check the grounds. Dean and Ted find a hidden door into the wall space, and Dean finds a space beneath the floor where the remains of half-eaten rats litter the floor. While he is there, the girl sneaks up from behind and unfortunately in the compressed space, Dean is unable to make it back in time and she ends up killing Ted.
While Dean swears to Brian he will find Danny, Sam reads Rebecca’s diary. The diary reveals that Rebecca Gibson was raped by her own father, Bill Gibson, became pregnant, and hung herself. Entering through a hidden dumb waiter in the kitchen, Dean finds their weapons and Danny bound under the floor space. As he tries to free him, he is attacked by a boy – Rebecca’s son. Dean shoots him and kills him.
Meanwhile the girl attacks Susan and Kate, until Brian arrives and stabs her saving the rest of his family.
After the case, Dean says he feels pity – and empathy – for the children who were turned murderous by a life of torture and neglect. Sam, however, tries to tell Dean that he resisted for 30 years in Hell and he’s nothing like them. Dean, however, replies that he’s worse because at the end … he enjoyed the pain he inflicted.