Recap: Supernatural Episode 6.16 – And Then There Were None

Hearing the shot, Dean’s bellow of “SAM!” is audible from a distance. He says it again as the three of them come running up and then he skids to a shocked halt when he sees Samuel’s body. Bobby comes running up next and sees Sam and whispers a truly heartfelt, “Oh, thank God.”

I swear I got a smidge choked up at that—the complete relief in Bobby’s voice that Sam was okay. After going through so much with this kid since that day in Stull cemetery—keeping the painful secret of his return, struggling with him being soulless, nearly being killed by him, and having to work to accept him as Sam once again when he got his soul back—I was worried the connection would never come back.

But it did, and we heard it in those three words.

Then…Bobby and Rufus saw Samuel’s body. Bobby tells Sam to drop his gun; Sam crouches slowly and sets the gun down, saying that it’s really him. Rufus is like, yeah, okay, then you won’t mind if we cuff you until we find out for sure. Dean is still staring at Samuel, swallowing hard. Rufus puts a zip-tie on Sam’s wrists (behind his back). Sam insists that the monster thing is in Samuel. Bobby is like, are you sure? Rufus asks if he saw anything come out of him after he dropped. Sam’s like, um….

Dean is staring at Sam almost like he’s desperate to believe, but has been through so much—seen so many sides of his brother—he’s not really sure. Sam is staring back with an uber-earnest please believe me expression.

And…it was at this moment I knew that Bobby would kill Rufus. I wasn’t sure why, but Dean had taken a life while possessed, and Sam had taken a possessed life—to follow the pattern, and because I felt there was no way they would kill Bobby off at this point, I knew Bobby would kill his friend. Which just made me all that much more tense as I continued to watch.

They take Samuel’s body to…some other room and lay it on a table. They swab his ear—no goo. Sam looks devastated for a moment.

Sam: Are you saying he wasn’t a monster when I ganked him?


Bobby looks apologetically up at Sam.

Rufus: One way to find out. Bobby, you got a cranial saw in your car?

Bobby: ‘course.

HAHAHAHA! Of course. HA! Who doesn’t? I have three! *laughs*

Dean: You’re not going alone.

Rufus: Oh, no. He won’t. We’ll go together, get some tools, get some power on in this place. (Turning to the boys) I want you and you…. (He frowns) I want you and you to watch him and him…. If anything crawls out of anybody, step on it.

Sam: Don’t worry. I’ll watch Samuel. Dean’ll watch me.

Rufus and Bobby leave and Sam starts circling the table, looking down at Samuel. Dean is at the foot of the table, hands in his jeans pockets (YUM), chin down, eyes up on Sam.

Dean: You did the right thing.

Sam: You mean you think I did. If it’s in him and I’m me…this thing’s playing Three Card Monte with us.

Dean: I’m just gonna assume you’re you.

Sam (indicating his bound arms): You wanna take this off then?

Dean: Not until we get that sucker out….

Sam (looking sad and very young): I can barely remember him and what I do remember, it’s not good. But….

Dean: There’s a ‘but’?

Sam (moving closer to Dean—and making me inexplicably nervous): I can’t help but think…what would mom say?

Dean sits with that a moment, then looks at his brother and his face is suddenly ageless. The tiny lines around his eyes seem to deepen while the rest of his face smoothes and his eyes are full and serious.

Dean: She’s say, just ‘cause you’re blood, doesn’t make you family. You gotta earn that.

I swear to you, my heart bounced off my toes at those words. Some of you know I have been going through some family trials with one of my sisters. In an exchange between us months ago—way back in September—that was my argument. You don’t carry around a ‘get out of jail free’ card just because you share DNA. The word ‘family’ isn’t synonymous with automatic atonement and forgiveness.

At least it isn’t for me. Not anymore. I have friends who are more my family than some of my blood relatives are family. Because they’ve earned it.

And to hear that from Dean lit me up inside a bit. Putting it in context with the moment, though, and the way he was looking at Sam, I think he was saying, You have…he didn’t. He was absolving Sam of any familial wrong-doing—no matter what they found inside Samuel’s noggin.

As he’s finished talking, the lights in the room come on and Bobby and Rufus return. Bobby tells the boys to take a breather. Dean’s all we’re good, but Bobby insists—seeing as how they’re about to cut into their grandfather’s grapefruit and all. The boys exchange a look and reluctantly head out of the room.


Gaelicspirit is a storyteller. She is a recent addition to Whedonverse Network, but has been writing and posting recap/reviews of Supernatural on LiveJournal since 2007. She works as a freelance writer and consultant in the real world, and is ever-connected to the six-degrees of Joss Whedon.


Gaelicspirit is a storyteller. She is a recent addition to Whedonverse Network, but has been writing and posting recap/reviews of Supernatural on LiveJournal since 2007. She works as a freelance writer and consultant in the real world, and is ever-connected to the six-degrees of Joss Whedon.


  1. Ugh! All I could say about this episode was… why? A real let down after the sharp one of last week… and seemed like a pretty cheap way to unload past cast members who could have had much more interesting stories to tell. Seriously, that’s all for Grandpappy Samuel?! We hardly knew ya!

    But I was also disappointed by the wimpy take on on “The Thing” meets cliched brain-worm from Star Trek.

  2. I had several people mention “The Thing” in comments on my LJ. Apparently I missed out having never watched it. *laugh* I remember something vaguely about Kurt Russell having a Grissly Adams-type beard, but that’s about it. The brain worm was just…gack.

    I was more going on the title than anything. And in my efforts to see all things positive about Show, it did make me tense not knowing who they were going to kill off and how. But the ‘why,’ as you point out, was definitely murky. Especially for Samuel. I can hand-wave Gwen — she was red-shirted from the jump. And I can mourn and get over Rufus, though he would have made an awesome recurring character. Bobby-worthy almost.

    But it’s Samuel that gets me. Like I said in the ramble, it’s entirely possible it will all become clear in retrospect. And sure, his death could easily be construed as a life gone sideways. But looking at it from a broader picture — from the viewpoint of the over-all story arc — every character introduced should have a reason tied to the plot of the story or why have them there? They just get in the way. UNLESS they’re a purposely place Red Herring. Which, maybe he was. That’s always possible. *considers*

    But so far, the information we’ve been given is that Gramps was pulled out of Heaven the same time Sam was pulled out of Hell (both by Crowley, presumably, though I have my serious doubts about that) and that he spent a year and a half working for Crowley, capturing and torturing Alphas for intel on the location of Purgatory in exchange for the promise of Mary.

    The boys get all tangled up with him, in different ways, and then he tries to kill them. He never finds Purgatory, never gets Mary out (both would have affected the boys and the storyline), and managed to get all of his relatives except Dean and Sam killed. Then he just gets possessed by a worm and gets killed by his grandson??

    Plot-wise (for me) that was a big, huh?? Why introduce him, his allegance with Crowley, his desire to get Mary back, all of that just to kill him off without any of those things realized? The only thing I saw that he brought to the storyline was twisting up the boys’ heads and adding a layer of tension. But that could have been done in so many other ways….

    Which leads me to think that his story can’t be over — there has to be something else we haven’t seen yet coming up in the last several episodes. I just have to believe there’s more to the story because him dying this way seems pointless story-wise.

    Annnddd…I’ve spent way too much time on this. Sorry. *laugh* Thanks for commenting, Simon! :)

    • Sounds like you’re thinking along slightly different lines as SPN fan critic Mo Ryan, who posted her own recap/view on the episode yesterday:

      She seemed to think that Samuel’s story was played out, but regretted the loss of Gwen, and earlier death of Corin Nemec’s character Christian.

      • Hey there — just saw this.

        I haven’t read Mo’s review. I think there is room for plenty of differing thought when it comes to the introduction of the Campbell clan and by extension a lot of other hunters. I could see where some would think the loss of a female character, raised a hunter, is a regret. We get very few good female characters — and by good I mean both solid characterization and “not evil.”

        I would still like to get some back story on Christian. I didn’t like him from the start (as evidenced by these rambles) and I would have liked to know exactly when he was demonized.

        But I have to respectfully disagree with the idea that Samuel’s story was played out. It may have lost steam or the writers may have lost the plot, but they brought a character whose story not only made a significant impact on Dean when he traveled back to 1973, but also was part of what seemed to kick-start the plight of the Winchester brothers: Mary’s deal for John’s life. In a way, she sacrificed her father for that, and Dean saw.

        So, knowing Mary is such a beacon to the brothers not only because she was their mother but also because she was taken from them and sacrificed her spirit to save them, the writers choose to return her father for the nebulous reason of bringing Mary back…have him work with a demon…have him betray his grandsons…. *shakes head*

        I don’t know. In much the same way I feel that Crowley’s death was too quick and wonder if there’s more to the King of Hell than we have yet seen, I feel like Samuel’s story isn’t finished. Or…it shouldn’t be. It may be that the writers are done with him, but I feel it’s a loose end.

        I suppose we’ll all see in time, yeah?

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