After School Special – Supernatural S4E13

A very interesting episode as we get significant insight into the way in which the boy’s grew up when they were shuttled around the country in their Dad’s battles against evil.  Enrolled at Truman High in Fairfax, Indiana for one month in 1997, the boys learn of a killing at the school and realize that they need to investigate the story.   In a series of flashbacks, the brothers definitely show their personalities as they try to fit into the school.  Sam is a bit nerdy and a bookworm, while his big brother Dean is all about cars and babes – specifically the hot blonde, Amanda Heckerling.   On his first day of English class, Sam defends Barry Cook from the bullying of Dirk McGregor, while the teacher, Mr. Wyatt, assigns the class an essay on “their most memorable family experience.”  Mr. Wyatt questions the “horror story” at the center of Sam’s essay about family, but praises his writing abilities and asks him if he really wants to go into “the family business.” It’s the first time anyone’s asked him that question — and the answer is “more than anything,” no.

Investigating the murder, Sam poses as a janitor, while Dean, in an outfit of gym shorts, tall socks and red headband, lords over a gym class that has never been allowed to play dodge ball before. Initially the brothers can’t find any of the common factors that they look for in their cases – sulfur, black smoke or hex bags – and they start to wonder if there is actually anything nefarious at play after all?  Perhaps it was just a girl that snapped after being made fun of, one time too many?  However when a student in home economics jams the hand of a homework-copying jock into a running food processor – they realize that must be something going on!

Sam realizes they’re dealing with ghost possession, which is rare but not unheard of. The only violent death on the school grounds was a 1998 suicide – that of Barry Cook – the boy that Sam defended so many years ago.  Dean guesses that his ghost is now attacking the bullies that tormented him and while Sam regrets the necessity they search out his bones and salt and burn them.  When Sam returns to the school to say good-bye to Mr. Wyatt now and thank him for the advice that he gave a lost boy so long ago he’s confronted by a student in the hallway that attacks him and calls him by his name! When he fills the student’s mouth with salt, the ghost is forced from her body. Dean realizes that all the possessed students ride the same school bus, which is driven by Dirk McGregor’s father. As it turns out, by his freshman year Dirk had just watched his mother die of cancer; he later turned to drugs and alcohol and was dead himself before he graduated. Dirk’s father laments that he had a rough time from other

While Sam remembered the story of defending Barry from Dirk, his inadvertent use of the nickname – Dirk the Jerk – ends up being something that remains and follows Dirk himself.  Dirk later turns to drugs and alcohol and while he does not commit suicide like Barry, he too is dead before graduation.  Dirk’s father however doesn’t remember his son as a bully but rather laments the fact his son had a rough time from other kids and while Dirk’s body was cremated, he’d kept a lock of his hair in his bible that he stores in his bus.

That night, Sam and Dean chase down the bus, which is transporting a sports team to an away game. Dirk possesses two different people and attacks the Winchesters; fortunately the brothers are able to find the lock of hair and destroy it before Dirk’s ghost can do any serious damage.

After, the boys return to the high school so Sam can finally have his goodbye with Mr. Wyatt. Their first farewell was a mixed experience: the whole school is congratulating Sam for taking down Dirk and his bullying, while Amanda Heckerling tells Dean how sorry she feels for him, that he thinks he has to posture so much and pretend to be so tough. Dean is humiliated, and delighted when the Impala pulls up in front of the school. In the present, Mr. Wyatt remembers Sam fondly, and asks about what he’s done with himself. His last question is whether Sam is happy. Sam is unable to answer.

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