During this episode, Dean and Sam are investigating a forest preserve. There has been a string of disappearances over the years in the woods. As they dig deeper and deeper into the mystery, find a disturbing pattern. Every thirty years a string of people go missing in the forest. Only one man ever survived the encounter with the beast. He barely escaped with his life as a boy with several scars that look as if there made by claws.
This second episode is interesting, and really starts to show how Sam and Dean work together. Sam is the more diplomatic of the two. As the younger brother, he’s able to talk to people and shows his concern for their well-being. Even when he and his brother are pretending to be forest rangers investigating the disappearance of a young woman’s brother, Sam is able to show compassion. Dean is in his natural element pretending to be a forest ranger, but when they go out into the forest he shows how woefully unprepared he is.
One aspect of this episode which fans may enjoy is the bit of lore that comes with this episode. During the episode it’s revealed how Wendigo’s come into existence. They were just like people at one point, but decided to start eating human flesh. As they consumed human flesh they transformed, and soon became a wendigo. What makes this interesting is there are, in fact, rare circumstances in history where people have actually consumed human flesh. The 1846 Donner Party in Sierra Nevada is just one example of “civilized people” resorting to human flesh in an emergency situation.
While during the episode, the guide of the party perishes, despite being the best prepared out of the entire group, and gets taken away by the Wendgio. Sam and Dean think fast and quickly do all they can to protect the remaining sister and younger brother in their care. At one point Dean is taken by the Wendigo leaving Sam and the younger brother to venture into the lair to save him.
Another interesting aspect of this episode is how well it’s presented. From the old man talking about how he was sleeping in front of the fire as a boy, to the shots of large, dark figure coming towards Sam in an abandoned mining tunnel. The creepiness level certainly skyrockets when the trapped brother witnesses the Wendigo devouring one his friends with relish. Sam and Dean, through sheer blind luck it seems, are able to eventually kill the Wendigo. They save the trapped brother and return him home safely to his family.
Towards the end of the Wendigo episode Dean checks his father’s journal again. He mentions to Sam their father may be sending them a message. That they must continue to hunt, protect people, and get rid of things that go bump in the night. This is certainly one of the more memorable episodes of the series, and certainly gives a taste as to what is to come in later episodes.