Supernatural on CW

2006, TV Show

Supernatural Episode: "Death Takes a Holiday"

Season 4, Episode 15
Episode Synopsis: Sam and Dean visit a small town where people are cheating death because the Reapers have vanished. They journey into the spiritual world for answers and learn who is behind the Reapers' disappearance.
Original Air Date: Mar 12, 2009
Guest Cast Christopher Heyerdahl: Alastair
Full Episode
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Season 4, Episode 15
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Length: 42:18
Aired: 3/12/2009
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Supernatural Episode Recap: "Death Takes a Holiday" Season 4, Episode 15

Sam and Dean learned up close and personal what it was like to be a ghost. In order to slow down the coming of the apocalypse, the brothers were subject to the dangers of iron, rock salt and the return of Alistair.

It's been a long five weeks since the last new Supernatural. It was painful, but after watching "Death Takes a Holiday," I've got to say it was well worth it. I have no words for everything that happened in this episode. It was awesome. Four characters returned: We hadn't seen Tessa the Reaper since the beginning of Season Two. Alistair was back. Pamela was back. And thankfully, Castiel was back. We hadn't seen these three since November. When I finally saw Cas, I seriously rejoiced. It's been way too long since we've seen Dean's Angel of the Lord.

The recap was quick and dirty, mainly touching on Pamela, Alistair, the angels, Sam's powers and what went down in "Sex and Violence." I have to say that so many times something big happens between Sam and Dean, or to one of them, and in the next episode it's not even mentioned. So it was awesome when the brothers were still feeling the effects of that nasty siren that laid his mojo on the boys. Did you notice while Sam was coming up with theories on the hunt that "Bobby" just presented to them, Dean was quiet? He wasn't hypothesizing or offering his own theories, he let Sam take the lead. In the back of his mind he was probably thinking about when sirenized-Sam told Dean he was smarter than him. When Sam got up to leave for the hunt, Dean stayed sitting (and eating, of course). When pressed, Dean asked Sam if he was sure he wanted him on the hunt. After all he "doesn't want to hold him back." You knew Dean wasn't going to forget what was said. Sam assured his big bro that it was just the siren talking. Dean still doesn't look like he believes his brother.

The hunt took the Winchesters to Wyoming to a town where people weren't dying. Oh they were getting hurt, but they weren't dying. We had already seen a guy get shot but he didn't bleed out. Sam and Dean's investigation didn't yield much, until they got another call from "Bobby" confirming Sam's theory that reapers weren't around to cross anyone over to the light or wherever they were going in their afterlife. The show hasn't let up on showing us the differences between Sam and Dean. Sam seemed like he was all for doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Dean had more doubts about fixing what was wrong with this town. He felt once they saved the town, everyone who hadn't been dying would die including some very good people. It's an unfortunate situation but the boys knew they had a job to do.

Sam was so matter of fact with everything, just like Dean said. It felt like he was distancing himself from the situation, like he couldn't afford to get too attached or the big picture would be ruined. And in this case the big picture was stopping the seals from being broken, stopping the apocalypse and getting Lilith. He wasn't going to let anything prevent him from achieving these goals. Later we learned just how far he was willing to go.

But first, Sam and Dean had to get to the last person who died in this town. They ventured to the kid's grave where they reunited with Alistair who was sporting a new meat suit. This one was less Godfather than the last one. He disposed of Dean pretty quickly and when he tried to do the same to Sam, he wasn't budging. This means Sam has definitely been honing his powers. This time around, Sam was able to fling Alistair into a tree. It was pretty cool. After all, in "Heaven and Hell," Sam lacked the necessary skills he needed and Alistair was able to treat Sam like a rag doll and just threw him down the staircase. And just as Sam prepared to get rid of the demon in the cemetery, Alistair black smoked his way out of the guy he was possessing.

Later, Dean came up with the brilliant idea of "dying" and becoming ghosts. That was the only way they were going to be able to see the reapers and that was the way they were going to be able to talk to that kid. They felt he had info they needed to help figure out what had been happening to the reapers. Who did they get to help them out with their dying deed? Pamela the blind psychic, of course, who immediately voiced the fact that the boys were stupid, and wanted nothing to do with their angels and demons business. Sam and Dean were much too cute to say no to, so she put them under. Ghost Sam and Ghost Dean witnessed Pamela putting the moves on Sleeping Sam before going to find the kid. So funny.

While the spunky psychic watched over the Winchesters, Sam and Dean found the kid at his mom's house. Cole wasn't willing to give Sam and Dean the info they needed (he knew where the black smokes were hiding out). This was where Sam did something questionable: he told the kid he could arrange for the kid to stay in the house. He told Cole he wouldn't have to cross over. And in the end, after everything was all said and done, Tessa had to do her job. Sam has had to make some difficult decisions. My gut cringed when he lied to the kid. You could tell Sam didn't want to do it, but again, it was all about the big picture.

I loved Tessa the Reaper showing up. We hadn't seen her since "In My Time of Dying." There are so many great things about this show, but one of the top reasons this show rocks is that they do answer questions. Last we saw Tessa, she was trying to get spirit Dean to let go of life. After BDW made the deal with Yellow Eyes, the reaper ended up getting possessed and resurrected Dean. IMTOD was such a great episode, but it left me (and I think lots of fans) with a couple of big questions: Would Dean ever remember what happened to him while he was in a coma? When? And now those answers are yes and during "Death Takes a Holiday." When Dean first saw Tessa he didn't recognize her although she definitely knew him. And with a small kiss (those supernatural entities love to kiss Dean), she gave him his very own recap of what went down between them while he was hooked up to tubes. This moment was so satisfying I think I pretty much screamed for joy. I've always liked the dynamic between Lindsey McKeon (Tessa) and Jensen, so it was good to see them share scenes again.

After the demons swept into the house and kidnapped Tessa, Sam and Dean made their way to the funeral home where the kid had spotted the black smokes. First of all, how great was it when Cole turned into Sam and Dean's own personal Mr. Miyagi and taught them how to work their ghost mojo? I particularly loved the fight club portion of those scenes. Anyway, at the funeral home, Alistair quickly showed up and trapped the boys behind an iron chain. Then he started shooting them with rock salt. Before Alistair could kill Tessa (and end up breaking another seal), Sam and Dean were able to save her, and then she released them.

The end was pretty awesome and heartbreaking. Alistair's confrontation with Dean ended up with the "Picasso with a knife" getting zapped courtesy of Castiel. But not before Alistair told Dean he was inside that "angsty little noggin'" of his. Then Castiel gave Dean the rundown:

"You and Sam just saved a seal. We captured Alistair. Dean this was a victory."

Skeptical Dean of course objected to the fact the angel couldn't help earlier. Cas explained it was because the funeral home was angel proof. And besides, if it weren't for him, Sam and Dean wouldn't have been on the reaper case. He was responsible for recruiting the brothers and giving them their intel. He was actually "Bobby." And then Cas avoided revealing to Dean why the angels wanted him. Boo.

Meanwhile, Sam came out of his Pamela-induced coma only to have to dispose of a demon that had attacked and wounded the psychic. Pamela wasn't happy. Once Dean found his way back to the land of the living, she was pretty much bleeding out. I think Sam had attempted to get her some help, but maybe it was too late. Pamela told the boys she never wanted to get wrapped up in their business in the first place. This guilt is definitely going to eat the boys for a while. They already felt responsible for her blindness. Now she's dead. I wasn't shocked that Pamela died, but I really loved her character so I'm sad she's gone. Who knows, maybe she could help from the other side? Just a thought.

Pamela left Sam with some pretty loaded words. The scene felt like when John whispered quietly to Dean in IMTOD, although this time we got to hear the words. Dean, however, didn't.

"I know what you did to that demon, Sam. I can feel what's inside of you. If you think you have good intentions, think again."

That's what I keep thinking with Sam. He thinks he's doing the right thing with his powers. But they are going to lead him down a dangerous path. He seemed a little cold in this episode. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Don't get me wrong, I love him using his powers, but with those powers, comes consequences.

Other Thoughts

I don't know about you guys but I watched "In My Time of Dying" this week in preparation for this episode since Tessa was returning. Dean's "angsty" conversation with Tessa was awesome. He mentioned the year after his dad died. He felt he had a hole in his heart and that was because he felt that he should have gone with the reaper. It means that he wishes he had died in the hospital instead of having to feel the pain of losing his dad first, then Sammy at Cold Oak. Notice how Dean was opening up again, but this time it wasn't to Sam. I'm actually surprised he opened up, but I think he needed to do it. They also had that
Ghost Whisperer moment where they talked Cole into letting go of this existence and crossing over. They worked really well together.

Dean broke my heart when he asked Sam how in the world Alistair wasn't able to fling him. Sam really didn't give him an answer so Dean had to tell him not to treat him like an idiot. I have to dole out kudos to the show. They are not letting up on the tension between these two. Jared and Jensen are doing a great job portraying this lukewarm sibling relationship.

There were about a million pop culture references in this episode, much like every
Supernatural. The Outsiders one about the Socs and the Greasers was my favorite. Didn't we just have an Outsiders reference in "After School Special?"

Are all the angels softening up to Sam or just Castiel? He recruited both brothers for this reaper job.

Speaking of angels, the guy they were questioning mentioned angels watching over him. And just like Azazel did in "In the Beginning," Tessa also saw angels on Dean's shoulder. Very interesting.

The promo for next week was great. I especially loved that little touch at the very end. Usually they end things as soon as the
Supernatural title page comes up. But this time they slipped in one more shot of what's coming up in next week's episode. Can't. Wait.

I don't work for TV Guide Magazine, but I'd like to hand out a Cheer to Whoopi Goldberg. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was recently on
The View promoting his new movie Watchmen. And while conversation was heavily Grey's Anatomy-and-Watchmen-oriented, Whoopi asked Jeffrey Dean about Supernatural because she loves that show. And I love her for loving it.

I love that the show is dedicating its entire season to Kim Manners. It's a great way to pay tribute to a man that is missed by so many.

What did you think?
Which demon is scarier: Azazel or Alistair?
What do you think about the direction they're taking Sam?
What do you have to say about Pamela's death?
How about Dean and Tessa? She told Dean to look out for himself and trust his instincts. What do you think she was talking about? She seemed skeptical of the angels.
Will Sam tell Dean what Pamela whispered to him?

Favorite Lines
"Last I checked, Huggy Bear ain't available."
"I'm infected with demon blood. You've been to hell. Look, I know you want to think of yourself as Joe the Plumber, Dean, but you're not. Neither am I. The sooner you accept that the better off you're going to be."
"Joe the Plumber is a douche."
"You're stronger, Sam. You been solar flexing with your slut?" "You have no idea."
"Pamela, you're a sight for sore eyes." "That's sweet, Grumpy. What do you say to deaf people?"
"Which one of you came up with astral projection?" "Yo." "Of course. Chachi." (Does that make Sam, Joanie?)
"I'm sick of being hauled back into your angel/demon soc/greaser crap."
"You have got a great ass."
"Are you making a move on me?"
"You're the one that got away, Dean."
"Dude, you are so Amityville."
"Dude, I'm not going to do Fight Club with a 12-year-old."
"This looks like New Jack City."
"What the hell?" "Guess again."

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Sam and Dean learned up close and personal what it was like to be a ghost. In order to slow down the coming of the apocalypse, the brothers were subject to the dangers of iron, rock salt and the return of Alistair. read more

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Premiered: September 21, 2006, on CW
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (10,353 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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