Dead in the Water is just one depressing episode.
This author could just leave the review at that. However, to understand why this episode is so depressing we’re going to have to go into some detail.
The premise of the episode starts out with a string of disappearances. People have begun drowning in the lake of a small town. Sam and Dean start doing research and interviews to figure out what is going on in this small town. While asking around Dean meets a kid named Lucas who seems to know something about what is going on about the disappearances. However, whatever Lucas has seen has traumatized to the point where all he does is play with plastic army men and draw with his crayons.
As the episode progresses Dean begins to notice the drawings Lucas gives him have a connection to the disappearances. As the pieces fall into place a man who lives near the lake loses first his daughter, and then his son. Once the father is the last one alive he to dies in the lake. He is not able to live with the guilt he has hidden for over three decades, and gives himself up without a fight.
As Dean and Sam starts to close in on the answer of what is going on the pieces fall into place. They come to find out 35 years ago a little boy drowned and died in the lake. Lucas somehow has a connection to this little boy, and not until the last minute the brothers find out why. The little boy who had died so long ago had not drowned so much as he was accidentally drowned by three other boys. Those same boys who drowned him grew up to be men, have families of their own, and for a time live their own lives.
Towards the end of the episode the last man to be alive, the sheriff of the small town, ends up sacrificing himself to the spirit. He does this in order to save his daughter and grandson since the spirit has attempted to murder them before. This is the first case where Sam and Dean do not truly “solve” anything, but more along the lines of preventing a few people from dying. Mainly Lucas and his mother are the only ones who survive the entire ordeal.
One of the main aspects of this episode that makes it depressing is how true it is in a sense. Imagine, a group of four boys going out onto a lake. They want to play a joke on the fourth boy in their group by holding his head underwater. They end up holding the fourth boy’s head underwater for to long and drown him. Instead of pulling the body out to try and help him, or even seek the help of an adult, they just let the body sink. Bury the red bike of the boy they drowned, and return home hoping to forget about the incident.
The incident could quite literally happen to anyone in real life. This is what makes the episode of an eerie feeling to it as everything plays out. If a group of boys had just told the truth or sought out help, their families would not have to suffer for a mistake they made. In the end the spirit was only calmed once it had gained revenge for its untimely death.