Supernatural – Season 1, Episode 14 – Nightmare
Happy #SupernaturalSunday, friends! This week’s episode delves into Sam’s new-found psychic powers. Since the main character of my own book is psychic, I’m sure this episode inspired me and was in the back of my mind while writing. We start in one of Sam’s visions, although we don’t know at first it’s something that hasn’t happened yet…
A guy returns home with music blasting and parks in his garage. The garage door rolls down on its own, car doors lock and the engine starts back up by itself. He yells for help but is soon overcome by the fumes. Cut to Sam sitting up in bed. He wakes up Dean and they head off to Michigan since Sam got the car’s license number. He finds out the owner of the car is a Jim Miller. They haul ass to Saginaw, MI, but are too late. He’s already dead by the time they get there. It looks like a suicide but Sam knows from his nightmare Miller didn’t do this to himself. Sam is upset and wonders why he had the premonition if he couldn’t stop it from happening. This is something my main character struggles with.
Dean reassures him that they’ll find a way to talk to the family and figure out what really happened. He has one of his more brilliant ideas about how to get the family to trust them.
Yes, they pretend to be priests. Dean lays it on a little thick (“we’re all God’s children”) and helps himself to the grieving family’s snacks.
Sam decides to go talk to Miller’s son while Dean not-so-subtly grills the stepmom to find out if they’ve been experiencing any paranormal activity. No weird experiences. Both the son and stepmom insist everything has been normal. Dean makes an excuse to find the bathroom and sweeps the house with this crazy looking device.
The boys determine there is nothing supernatural about the house. While they’re discussing what it could be, why Sam had this premonition, he has another one. This time it’s not a nightmare; he has the vision while awake. He sees the cranky uncle bite it by getting decapitated by a window that keeps opening by itself. Pleasant.
They try again to get to Roger Miller’s apartment before he’s murdered by an unseen force. Sam is freaking out. Dean claims it doesn’t freak him out. They get to Roger’s apartment as he’s arriving but he won’t listen to them. “What are you guys, missionaries?” he asks. Haha! They try to get to his apartment via the fire escape but as they’re climbing up, the window slams down a couple floors above them. They’re too late again. Dean takes a look inside but no one’s there. He seems to have been killed by a ghost. Whatever it is, they know it’s attached to the family, not their house. They need to know if it’s going to hurt the son, Max. One of my favorite parts is Sam telling Dean he and Max have something in common because both their families are cursed. Dean insists their family isn’t cursed. Sam says their family has its dark spots. Dean says, “You’re … dark.” Cracks me up.
The next day, they get back into their priest outfits and talk to Max, who once again insists everything was normal. “No one’s family is normal,” Dean says. They decide to investigate further and visit the house the Millers used to live in. From a former neighbor, they learn Max’s father beat him and even broke his arm twice. The uncle wasn’t much better, but the neighbor tells them the stepmom was the worst since she never did anything to help. While they’re speaking to him, Sam has another vision.
Max attacks his mom, using telekinesis to stab her in the eye. Ouch! Sam realizes he has a lot in common with Max, which Dean doesn’t like or agree with. The guys burst into the house try to stop Max. They get there in time and Max is heading outside with the Winchesters but then he sees Dean’s gun and loses it. He throws Alice the stepmom into the kitchen island, knocking her out. Sam manages to convince Max to talk to him alone while Dean takes care of Alice.
Max tells Sam his dad still beat him, just in places no one would see. His telekinesis is a new development: it started six months ago, around the same time Sam’s psychic gift started. Then he drops the big bombshell. His father hated him because his mom died in his nursery, pinned to the ceiling in a fire. Holy crap! That sounds familiar.
Sam thinks he has convinced Max not to kill his stepmother but no. Max throws him in a closet with his mind and locks him inside, then goes after Alice. Sam has another premonition. This time, he sees Max go after her with Dean’s gun.
Dean steps in front of her and says if he wants to kill her, he’ll have to go through him first. Max says “Okay” and shoots Dean. Oh hell no!! After the premonition, Sam moves the bookcase Max blocked him in the closet with, using his mind just like Max has done. He races upstairs and stops Max from pulling the trigger. He tells Max killing his stepmom won’t help things. In tears, Max says “You’re right” and turns the gun on himself.
Sam still struggles with this whole thing, especially that Max has killed himself. He says maybe they should’ve gotten there sooner. Dean says it would’ve only helped if they’d gotten there twenty years earlier. Sam is worried something like this could happen again. Dean’s not or so he claims. He’s in Dean-ial, as my sister so eloquently put it. In typical Dean-ial fashion, he says at the end of the episode: “About your visions, I know where we have to go. Vegas.” Sam rolls his eyes and walks out the door. And then, we see the look on Dean’s face. He is worried but he’ll never admit it to Sam. Ah, Winchesters.
This episode sets up a lot of the mythology for the entire series and I love it. I didn’t realize until watching it today how much this episode influenced my novel. Now, I love it even more. What was your favorite part of the episode? I’m open to discussion. Thanks for reading! I think I’m most grateful for all of the priest images. I leave you with this magic.