When the worst possible thing happens, how do you move forward? How does it shape your life? And who do you become because of it?
In many ways, this week’s case is less interesting than the questions it raises when the Winchesters team up with a pair of hunters, one of whom lost his older brother as a child.
Gunnison, Colorado, 1989: Jessy and Matty trek through the woods and dream about moving to California as soon as Matty turns 18 and sells his coin collection — particularly because 12-year-old Jessy’s nursing a crush on another boy in a time and place that wouldn’t be terribly kind about that.
Shortly after Matty lets Jessy take a peek at the rare buffalo nickel he keeps in his wallet, Matty’s dragged away by a creature amid a flurry of noises. He’s never seen again.
And now we cut to the present, where Sam chides Dean for staying up all night.
“Sleeping is the new smoking,” Dean tells him.
“What? No, it’s not. It’s sitting. Sitting is the new smoking,” Sam corrects him.
“That can’t be right,” Dean says. Yep, I’ll take all my health advice from Dean, thanks.
Anyway, he didn’t sleep because he was worried about Castiel. Awww, puppy! Of course he was. Amara’s had Cas for a week, and Dean knows that she won’t hesitate to kill him if it furthers her beef with God and Lucifer.
Because Sam’s a good brother, he distracts Dean with the promise of a new case: A girl in Colorado was carried off by a green-eyed mutant creature, and when the girl’s traveling companion found her, she’d also turned green-eyed. So we’re off to Colorado!
In Gunnison, they meet the sheriff (a.k.a. Lt. Dualla from Battlestar Galactica). She tells them that six people have gone missing in the last 48 hours. Coincidentally, a dozen people vanished 27 years ago, and 27 years before that, eight people disappeared. Sheriff Dualla pins it on people getting fed up and leaving town. Naturally, the Winchesters are skeptical.
In his interview with the friend of the missing girl, Dean learns that they were at the tail-end of their marijuana tasting tour and that her friend’s attacker was naked, pale, hairless, and of indeterminate gender.
“Are you saying it was junkless?” Dean asks.
Yes. Yes, that’s what she’s saying. Then when the guys reconvene, we learn something interesting about the younger Winchester.
“Weed alone doesn’t conjure up that kind of scenario. Isn’t that right, Sam?” Dean asks.
“Dude, I was 19,” Sam says. “It was college. It was probably oregano anyway.”
Okay, can we just take a moment to picture 19-year-old Sam taking a hit of oregano? Also, Sam objects to Dean’s name for the monster of the week: “We’re not actually going to go with ‘junkless’ on this, are we?”
In more important news, the guys get a lead: a woman named Etta, whose husband was one of the dozen people who vanished. Etta tells the Winchesters that her husband was cheating on her, and he probably left town with one of his two girlfriends, who also disappeared that year.
Nevertheless, she’s ditching town for the time being. See, her grandma told her at the time that Pete got the chitters, which happens once a generation during the spring equinox. According to Gran, people have orgies in the woods and then disappear, and it’s lust that makes their eyes shine like emeralds. (At this, she casts her own gaze upon Sam, for she is a smart woman.)
Next thing you know, two kids walking through a skate park come across some kind of green-eyed orgy, complete with chitter noises. Only one makes it out alive, and she tells Sheriff Dualla and the Winchesters that she saw all the missing people there, green-eyed and attacking people.
At this point, the guys split up; Dean takes the woods, and Sam takes the skate park. In the woods, Dean’s jumped by one of the junkless but is quickly rescued by two men who are handy with knives.
They all convene at a local drinking establishment, where we learn that one of the men is Jessy, grown up and now a hunter who’s out to avenge his brother. His partner — in every sense of the word — is Cesar. (Dean wants to know what it’s like to settle down with a hunter. “Smelly. Dirty. Twice the worry about getting ganked,” Cesar says. Aaaand there’s your fanfic prompt, people! Go!) Jessy and Cesar have heard of the Winchesters, although they also heard that Sam and Dean died a couple of years ago. OH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.
NEXT: One set of hunters finds their happily ever after