Supernatural on CW

2006, TV Show

Supernatural Episode: "Family Remains"

Season 4, Episode 11
Episode Synopsis: Sam and Dean investigate the appearance of a female ghost in an abandoned house. But their efforts are complicated when a family moves in and the son is kidnapped through the walls.
Original Air Date: Jan 15, 2009
Guest Cast Genevieve Cortese Jim Beaver
Full Episode
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Season 4, Episode 11
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Length: 42:44
Aired: 1/15/2009
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Supernatural Episode Recap: "Family Remains" Season 4, Episode 11

The first new episode of 2009 felt real old school to me. Sam slept in the Impala; Dean uttered the word "Yahtzee;" and the brothers even laid down some salt lines. But Dean's confession at the end of the hour still has me sitting here in shock trying to figure it all out.

Yes, "Family Remains" took me back to a time when the show was less about the mythology and more about the boys digging around for a case and then protecting a family or an individual from whatever evil thing-of-the-week. It was nice to see Sam and Dean do whatever they could to protect this family that was already in a lot of pain even before they got to this "haunted house." And I totally thought of "The Benders" when we found out that the ghost wasn't a ghost at all. It was actually humans that were responsible for the recent trouble. The whole awful incestuous story behind the sister  (and in a twist, the brother) responsible for the deaths and the "haunting" was just so sad. To know that these kids had to live like that; you could understand why they turned out how they turned out. They were caged up, forced to eat who-knows-what (and then ultimately had to resort to eating rats); they never got the chance to experience anything in life but pain and isolation. They led a miserable existence. The fact they acted so animalistic and violent towards adults, you just get it. It's obviously not a behavior that is condoned but you get it. How creepy was the part when the teen girl thought their dog Buster was licking her hand, but he wasn't? That was beyond creepy and like I said before, just really, really sad. This was another one of those cases where you want to feel sorry for ones that are being evil, but there's no way the Winchesters could let them continue to wreak havoc on this unsuspecting family.

It has been one month since Dean's confession in "Heaven and Hell." And apparently, all the brothers have been doing is fighting the good fight. Dean has been avoiding emotions and pretending he didn't confess what he confessed to Sam. Even though they just ended a job, Dean was already on the search for another gig. Sam went along with Dean's one-track mind of work, work, work, but you could of course tell he knew that what was going on with Dean wasn't good. Throughout the case, Sam saw Dean getting way caught up in saving the family. It kind of reminded me of Sam in "Playthings," when he was all about saving everyone and every loss was this deep hurt that he couldn't stop. So when Uncle Ted died, I felt so bad that it happened on Dean's watch. Dean's a tough guy, but things like that tend to shred his soul. It seemed like he felt after what he did in hell he needed to save even more people than he ever did before.

I have to admit that after Dean's confession, I was like what? We knew he went to hell. Then we knew while he was in hell he went from being tortured to the torturer after 30 years of pain and anguish. Now Dean reveals that he enjoyed torturing the souls, which in his book made him worse than the barely human siblings from the brothers' recent case.

"They were animals, Sam, defending their territory. Me? I did it for the sheer pleasure."


"I enjoyed it, Sam. They took me off the rack and I tortured souls and I liked it. All those years, all that pain, finally getting to deal some of that yourself...I didn't care who they put in front of me. Because that pain I felt, it just slipped away. No matter how many people I save, I can't change that. I can't fill this whole. Not ever."

I was left stunned after hearing this. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it. I have to think that maybe at first he did it for the sheer pleasure. I mean, who could blame him? He had gone through so much pain and for such a long time. And he was in hell, so the souls he tortured probably weren't the nicest, purest souls, but who really knows? There's no way that feeling could have lasted. Which is why he's feeling so horribly about himself now. I can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts on this particular development. I'm wondering if this is all going to come back and bite Dean in the you-know-what in a future episode. You know, one (or more) of those souls he tortured could escape hell and get their revenge on in a big and bad way.

Other Thoughts

The creepiest part of the episode was when the "ghost" girl ate the rat in front of the kid that moved into the house.

I loved seeing Helen Slater as a guest star on the show. She not only was the big screen Supergirl back in the day, but she also starred in Legend of Billie Jean. She's been on Smallville as Clark Kent's Kryptonian mom as well, so I'm glad she popped into the Supernatural universe.

As much as I liked this case-filled episode, three things were missing for me: 1) I usually jot down at least half a page of great one-liners. Not so much this time around. 2) The music. And 3) I'm in need of some serious Sam emoting. Because of the hiatus it's been a while. And on that note...

I know we just had almost a two-month break from this show, but in "Heaven and Hell" Dean confessed what happened to him when he was in the pit. And it was crushing. And emotional. And awesome. Having another roadside confession in "Family Remains" was great, but it also felt just a little too soon, especially at the end of another episode. I definitely wanted it to happen again, but not this soon. I'm digging Dean's behavior right now because it shows that he's being affected by what happened to him in hell. But we were only told they'd been on the road for the last month saving people and killing things, we never actually saw any of it. So I think that if this reveal happened in three or four standalone-type episodes it would have carried even more weight. Having said that, it was a powerful confession, one I will be processing for a while. I just feel it was too soon to hear this after the bomb that was dropped on us at the end of "Heaven and Hell."

Again, we see Dean turning down food. I love that we know something's wrong with him when he can't eat.

It was cool that the episode was sponsored by Jensen's new movie My Bloody Valentine 3D. It is in theatres now and if anyone sees it, make sure to drop us a line here on the blog and let us know what you thought of it. From what I've been reading, the buzz on this horror flick is good.


What did you guys think?
What did you think about Dean's confession?
Can anyone explain the use of the aliases Stanwyck and Babbar? (That's if I got them right, that is.)

Favorite lines

"That's probably a dumbwaiter. All these old house had 'em." "Knowitall."
"Well, that's super-disturbing."
"Hey Fonzie. Question for you."
"Please don't grab my leg."
"Humans, man..."
"Ok what then? She's been caged up like an animal so she busts out and ganks (word of the season) dear old dad-slash-granddad?"

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The first new episode of 2009 felt real old school to me. Sam slept in the Impala; Dean uttered the word "Yahtzee;" and the brothers even laid down some salt lines. But Dean's confession at the end of the hour still has me sitting here in shock trying to figure it all out. read more

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Premiered: September 21, 2006, on CW
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (10,365 ratings)
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Premise: Two brothers hunt demons, ghosts and other supernatural entities as they investigate crimes caused by paranormal forces.



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