|My eyes! If I had goggles, they'd do nothing!!!|
Oh, wait, I already did this bit. Let's move on.
A man at an airport heads into the bathroom and, while washing his face, nervous about his flight to come. Someone should tell him the secret to surviving air travel is to get where you're going, then take off your socks and shoes and walk around on the rug barefoot making fists with your toes. It's so simple! Unfortunately for the man, his trip is about to get far, far less simple when a bunch of black magnetic sand comes out of a nearby vent and forces its way into his body.
I'm going ahead and spoiling it - yes, this is a demon, and yes, it's completely different from what we'll see of a demon outside of a human host later. My thought is that it's still early days and they hadn't rooted down exactly what they'd wanted demons to be later. That or the demon in this episode is just slightly different than the regular black-eyed types.
And indeed this is one as the demon boards a plan. A flight attendant named Amanda notices the black eyes, but just waves this off before the plane takes off. After forty minutes in the air, the passengers who chose fish for dinner all start experiencing a myriad of symptoms, forcing special guest star Leslie Nielsen to...
...oh, sorry, those are the wrong notes.
After forty minutes in the air, the demon gets up and opens the emergency exit at the rear of the planet, causing a crash.
Meanwhile, back at Rat Trap Motel #403, the fangirls get to delight in Dean's ass (covered by order of the censor) before Sam walks in and gets him up. Dean, in turn, berates Sam for not sleeping, which Sam avoids talking about...until Dean asks him if he's still having nightmares about Jess, which he admits that he is, but it's also hunting in general that's eating away at him.
This goes a long way, even for such a short scene, to help establish further character for Sam. Up until this point, he's been avoiding talking about Jess or anything besides searching for their Dad, but since he's still adjusting to the life of hunting again after his two years away trying to live like a normal person. He asks Dean if he's ever afraid, but Dean refutes it...though he is in turn refuted by Sam pulling a bowie knife out from under Dean's pillow.
|"That's not a knife...that's a knife..."|
They ask to see everything related to the incident, but Jerry can't get them in to see the wreckage. So they decide to go the most logical route and decide to impersonate officials from the Department of Homeland Security.
...oh, like that wouldn't be your first choice for this!
They play back the audio, having filtered and worked out the audio distortions, and hear a voice proclaiming "No survivors!" They theorize that it could be any number of spirits that are known to crop up in lore about traveling. With that, they decide to contact the few survivors of the plane crash from the teaser. They run him through a gamut of the usual suspects for questions, but he says nothing. Dean questions why the man has locked himself in an asylum...and he starts to ramble on about seeing things. With a little coaxing from Sam, the man mentions the man from the teaser...and his black eyes...that he saw open the emergency exit.
They go for George Phelps, the man from the teaser...or, rather, his wife as she explains how much losing her husband has hurt her. Sam and Dean ask if there's anything out of the ordinary, but come up with bupkis.
|"They'll never get caught. They're on a mission from God."|
At another airport, one of the pilots from earlier is freaking out, though his friend comforts him...and then he gets attacked by black swirly sand!
Sam and Dean take the bits of debris back to Jerry who examines it under a microscope and determines that it's covered in sulfur. They discuss, and come to the conclusion that it's indeed demonic possession, which is the only way that an ordinary man could have opened the emergency exit on the airplane.
Elsewhere, the demon causes another crash, taking out some power lines.
Back at another motel room, Sam and Dean discuss the nature of demons across various cultures, almost all of them having some kind of lore about demonic possession and the like. Dean mentions how this isn't really their thing, since demons are usually in on their game for death and destruction for its own sake. He also laments that John isn't there, since he might be able to help, which Sam actually agrees with. Jerry calls them to tell them about the latest crash, however, getting them back on the road.
On the debris, they find more sulfur. Sam also works out that both flights went down after they were forty minutes off the ground, 40 having some biblical significance as a number of death. Hitting the internet, Sam has found other planes over the past few years that went down forty minutes in, however there weren't any survivors until the most recent attacks...and now the demon is pursuing the survivors.
They narrow it down to one, Amanda - the flight attendant from the teaser. Though they've attempted to contact her, they have to gun it and arrive with only thirty minutes to spare. They use the courtesy phone to try and contact her, Dean tries to bluff his way through, but she sees through it and he has to improvise...but is unable to keep her from boarding. With no options left, it seems they will have to board the plane to stop the demon...though Dean laments that he's scared to death of flying on planes. However, Sam ends up coaxing him onboard.
|"What's your favorite scary movie?"|
Finding Amanda in the back, Dean tries it out, but she doesn't react, so she's not the demon. Sam thinks he has an exorcism, but first they have to find it. Dean uses his EMF around the plane, but finds nothing. With only fifteen minutes to go, they think it might just not be on the plane...until the co-pilot sets it off. Dean speaks "Christo" to it, and he reveals demonic eyes. With twelve minutes to go, they have to approach Amanda for help. They explain the situation quickly, but she's reluctant...until they coax her and she mentions seeing the demon on the plane before.
Eventually, they convince her to get the co-pilot and bring him to the back of the plane. She pulls it off, bringing him to the back where Dean decks him good and Sam gives him a holy water bath and duct taping his mouth to prevent the demon's escape. Eventually, however, the gag comes off and the demon taunts Sam about Jessica's fate, though Dean decks it again for good measure and Sam begins to exorcise it.
Out of the co-pilot's body, it snakes into the vents again and the plane begins to go down. Fast. Sam manages to retrieve John's journal and completes the exorcism, saving the day. The plane arrives at its destination, or more likely another airport along the way given the stress of the flight, and the authorities come around to ask their routine questions. Amanda mouths a 'thank you' to Sam and Dean, and they take off, though not before Sam freaks out about the demon. Dean tries to comfort him as best he can, and they take off.
Back at Jerry's hangar, he thanks them for everything. Before they leave, Dean asks Jerry how he knew to contact them, since he's only had his cell phone for six months. Jerry reveals that he called John's number, and his voice message told him to contact Dean. Sam and Dean call him up, hearing a message from John, who gives Dean's number via answering machine in spite of Sam saying that they had only found the number to have been disconnected before. With this, however, they know that their father is alive.
|"Sam, I think I can hear the ocean!"|
There's also the addressing of the first exposure we have to demons. Personally, while I joked about it, I like the swirling metallic sand appearance of them outside of their host better than the generic black smoke that we'll be getting for them later on. It honestly makes them feel more like a malignant evil force and corrupted of humanity. There's also more than a few things that never make any real appearance again - such as a demon being stronger outside of its meat suit, the two part exorcism, or lack of emotional control making someone a more appetizing target for demonic possession - but I just chalk that up to being early days, like a lot of things we'll see in the early days that was either changed or completely forgotten about in later episodes.
Overall, not a bad start for demons and some rather grizzly examples of what they can do. Next time, we'll be keeping our feet a little more on the ground with an urban myth that has caused many generations of children to lock themselves in a darkened bathroom and chant three times in the hopes they might see...
Supernatural belongs to the CW and Warner Bros.
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