This week begins with a car chasing a man through the streets of Dearborn, MI. He gets into his 10th floor apartment … only to find the car in the room waiting for him, slamming him into the wall.
Sam and Dean are happy to be working a more normal case. They briefly wonder if the case could be a Christine-style living car, but that doesn’t explain how it gets onto the 10th floor. The victim is a recovered alcoholic and makes monthly flower deliveries to a cemetery.
Seems the guy may have been a drunk driver who killed a girl a decade earlier. The boys dig up the girl’s body and burn the bones, which should take care of everything … but another guy goes through a similar situation, this time mauled by a dog.
Looks like there’s more going on here than just a ticked off spirit.
Turns out that the guy who got mauled by a dog had been convicted of running a dog fighting operation, but had volunteered the last several years at an animal shelter and seems to have turned his life around. There’s clearly some kind of vengeance thing going on.
Both the victims had red dirt under their fingernails, which turns out probably came from an apple orchard. They investigate the orchard and stumble upon an old guy in the middle of the road. He committed a murder thirty years earlier, just got out of prison, and was kidnapped from a bar to be put on trial for his life, but was sentenced to death for his crime.
Dean is fed up with the idea of helping people who have done these horrible things. He’s resistant to the idea that these people can change … probably because his murder of Amy last episode was largely predicated on the idea that people can’t change. He volunteers to go investigate the bar, which involves consuming a fair amount of scotch and flirting with the attractive bartender.
Unfortunately, Sam finds clues which – with Bobby’s help – lead to the Egyptian god Osiris, who shows up and puts the guilty on trial for their life. Bobby points out that they should get out of town, since homing in on the guilty puts a giant bulls-eye on both Sam & Dean.
Or, specifically, on Dean, who gets snatched by Osiris. Sam shows up at the barn where Osiris holds his trials and convinces the god to let him be Dean’s lawyer.
Dean: Um, Sam, you’re not a lawyer.
Sam: I was pre-law.
Dean: Yeah, pre-!
The first witness was Jo, a fellow hunter who died a couple of seasons back. Osiris tries to bring out that she went into hunting because of her feelings for Dean. Sam counter-examines her, though, and reveals that she went into hunting because she wanted to be like her father, not because of Dean.
Sam himself is the second witness, but he argues that he would have been drawn back into the family business even if Dean hadn’t come to pick him up to look for their dead (way back in the series pilot). The problem is that Osiris isn’t the one who needs convinced. The real issue at question is whether Dean himself feels guilty, deep in his heart.
And therein lies the problem, because Dean totally feels guilty. He tells Osiris not to even bother calling the last witness, because he doesn’t want Sam to know that he murdered Amy.
The verdict is: Dean is guilty and sentenced to death.
Given some time to set his affairs in order, Dean holes up in his hotel in a circle of salt having a chat with Jo – who was sent to kill him – while Sam steals a ram’s horn from a Jewish temple, because stabbing Osiris with a ram’s horn is supposed to put him down for a couple of centuries. During the Dean and Jo heart-to-heart, she points out that he carries around a lot of crap that he should really let go of. Dean points out that he’s about 90% crap. If he gets rid of that, then what’s left?
“Do you really want to die without finding out?” Jo asks. (Now that’s a good line.)
Jo died when she blew up a building, so she turns the gas stove on and plans to kill Dean the same way. (Well, it’s not really her plan. Osiris is making her.) With the sort of good timing that only makes it on television, Sam stabs Osiris right as Jo is about to blow Dean up. Instead, she flickers away… leaving the boys to fight another day. (Apparently, next week he’ll be fighting more Joss Whedon alums – Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters!)
In the denouement of this episode, Dean asks Sam why Osiris didn’t target him. Sam says that he just doesn’t feel guilty anymore, kind of like going to hell and everything has meant that he’s paid his dues. Not that the slate is clear or anything, just that he doesn’t need to torture himself over his mistakes.
It’s a lesson that Dean would do well to learn.