Despite the fact that the spawn of Lucifer is about to be born, the soon-to-be father is working on his escape from Crowley’s control, Castiel is MIA, and the British Men of Letters are gearing up to rid America of all hunters…there are still monsters out there hurting people. This week on Supernatural (season 12 episode 18) it’s time for them to take a break from all of those problems to help a town with a big secret and save some lives.
The town of Tomahawk, Wisconsin is the location of our latest case. A group of young people are partying in the woods around a campfire. It’s mostly couples, except two guys, Jared and Daryn (Antonio Marziale). Jared seems rather uncomfortable being surrounding by the couples making out all around them and decides to leave, alone since his friend is enjoying the show. We follow Jared as he walks through forest and realize he’s being watched from the trees. He does hear a noise and pauses to look back but doesn’t see anything and continues on his way. Yet then he comes across a backpack full of money and can’t resist picking it up. Only it’s a trap, which is sprung at that moment, tying him to a tree. He calls out for help and Daryn eventually hears him. He’s too late though, arriving just in time to see a monster with the body of a man and head of a goat smack his friend over the head with a large mallet.
As usual this season, the first we see of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) is at home in their bunker. Dean is still trying to get in touch with Castiel with no success. Sam offers to help find the angel but Dean has already tried everything so Sam shifts to being optimistic, saying Castiel will be all right. He always is. And Dean has to at least half-heartedly agree with him.
The younger brother has been busy with his own project of researching Dagon. They do have a ton of information at the bunker about demons, just not all that much about Princes and Princesses of Hell that can help them. They are interrupted when an e-mail from Mick comes in, telling them about the incident in Wisconsin. Now, we know that Mick is dead and it’s actually Arthur Ketch sending the e-mail but they don’t. So they do some internet research on disappearances in the town and find that for a long time there was a history of someone going missing once a year. However, it hasn’t happened in 20 years. Why is it starting again now?
Their first stop after arriving in the town is the sheriff’s department to find out what the sheriff knows. It turns out not a whole lot. There was no body, so despite what Daryn thinks, the man feels that Jared blew town. He reveals that the young man had a rough life and wouldn’t blame him if he had left. During the conversation, he seems more interested in his taxidermy hobby than the missing person.
Next, they visit Daryn, as the only witness. He isn’t too interested in talking to Sam and Dean, since they are dressed as feds, and he’s even less of a fan of the sheriff. The two don’t have a good history and he’s disgusted that the man isn’t taking Jared’s disappearance or the attack he saw seriously. After the boys assure him they will listen, he does tell them about the monster he saw, a detail he’d left out when talking to the sheriff. Daryn calls his friend’s attacker Black Bill.
Later, as the hunters are at a diner eating, they look up the story of Black Bill. It’s an old local urban legend of a guy with the head of a goat that people of the town were afraid of. Dean only sort of listens to Sam explaining the story, far more interested in a waitress, leaving his little brother to continue the task while he went to hit on the woman. His only opinion on the case was that he knew how to kill it, the Colt, which he was carrying with him.
Meanwhile, Daryn is working at a meatpacking plant when his boss, Pete, comes over and lectures him for being late. Pete says he knows Jared going missing upset him but he couldn’t use it as an excuse for slacking off. The man also tells him he needs to stop smoking pot at least until tomorrow because it’s a big day. Daryn leaves work, gets in his truck, and in the mirror we see Black Bill. Before even realizing the monster is there, the window is broken and he’s pulled out of the truck, seeing his attacker only seconds before he is hit with the sledgehammer.
The next morning Dean meets Sam at the restaurant again after spending the night with the waitress. Sam spent his evening differently, researching and finding what he thinks they are dealing with, a satyr. The lore states they are creatures of lust, leading people to orgies then feasting on them. Sam tried to go talk to Daryn to see if the picture they had matches what he saw, only his mother told him he never came home the previous night.
Thinking he might be at work, the Winchesters show up at the plant only to find that he didn’t show up at work either. Pete mentions they have a lot going on that day, as the health inspector is there. The problem isn’t that the place isn’t clean, but he is nervous because their equipment is out of date and they can’t afford to update it. Their interest is piqued when they find out that the sheriff, Barry, also owns the plant; it had been in his family for generations. However, the business has been failing since Barry inherited the place.
This turns their suspicions to the unhelpful sheriff and they don’t have to go far to talk to Barry again since he’s at the plant. First, Dean and Sam ask about Daryn but it is news to the man that the kid is even missing. Then they ask about Black Bill and are told that he isn’t real, it’s like the boogeyman, just a story told to kids by their parents to keep them in line. His theory is that people come to town and just get bored so they take off. Barry also isn’t worried about Daryn, saying he probably partied the night before and was somewhere safe recovering.
We quickly see this is definitely not true, although we already knew that, as we find Daryn locked in a freezer there at the plant. He wakes up and immediately begins to bang on the door, yet no one can hear him. Even the hunters walk by without realizing he’s in there. When no one comes to help, Daryn begins looking around the freezer, turning distraught when he finds Jared’s dead body. Black Bill appears from further inside the freezer and Daryn runs to the door again. It is no use and quickly he’s killed.
Eating at the restaurant again, the boys discuss the case. Dean looked into the people that had gone missing previously and found out that every one of them had been employed by the plant. No matter what was going on, it was definitely related to that business. Sam also has information. Barry’s family used to own most of the businesses in town, so at one point or another nearly everyone in town had been employed by the family. However, over the last years, Barry had sold off all of their properties except the plant and a creepy old house.
Of course, the eerie house is what the brothers decide they need to check out now. They find the place mostly empty and looking not lived-in, eventually coming to a door with several locks. Getting the door open anyway, Dean and Sam entered the basement, expecting to find the goat man. Instead, they find what appears to be a “murder room.” At that moment, the sheriff arrives and sees the door to the basement open. Pulling out his gun, he descends the stairs but Dean takes him by surprise with a gun of his own pointed at the man’s head. Shoving him against the wall, Dean tells him to talk.
Barry attempts to explain, admitting his family has a secret. Black Bill isn’t real, at least not how the urban legend is told. His father, grandfather, and so on were the “goat man.” Generations back, the family was visited by Moloch, a god of sacrifice. The monster told them he would make them rich and all they had to do was feed him blood. So the men would dress in the goat-head suit and kill someone, letting their blood flow into a grate in the floor leading to a sub-basement where Moloch stayed.
When Barry’s father died, he stopped feeding Moloch, keeping him locked in the sub-basement and hoping he’d starve to death. It hadn’t worked yet, after 20 years. Our boys have the Colt, so they go to the grate separating the murder room from Moloch’s cell, only to find it empty.
Hearing a noise upstairs, Dean tells Sam to watch the sheriff, feeling secure that he could handle the situation with his gun. He heads up to the second floor, finding the suit hanging in a room down the hall. Dean checks the rooms he passes as he makes his way to the suit, but is taken by surprise when Pete jumps him, knocking him down to the lower floor where he falls unconscious. Sam hears the noise but he and Barry find themselves locked in the basement. The two manage to break out, however, Dean is gone so Sam tracks his cell phone to locate him.
While all of this is going on, Mr. Ketch is at the bunker with a team. They are looking for anything they can find on the brothers, including the names of other hunters and any other allies they may have. The group takes lots of pictures while Arthur goes through Dean and Sam’s rooms. When he comes across a picture of Mary with Dean when he was a little boy, he lingers on the photo for quite some time. When they are done, he is disappointed that they didn’t find the Colt. And, he puts a bug under the table right before leaving the building.
In Wisconsin, Dean wakes to find himself tied up. By now, both brothers should always expect to wake up this way. He greets Pete and finds out that the man had gone to the house looking for Barry, his brother, literally from another mother. Barry’s father was apparently a bit of a womanizer, and Pete is clearly bitter about the fact that he grew up in a trailer while Barry got the big house. When Barry started selling off the family businesses and losing their fortune, he decided to do something drastic. He’d broken into the house to look for items to sell and found Moloch instead. He made the same deal with the monster and began feeding him, continuing the family business. He plans to save the town and get their riches back.
Pete has no remorse, saying the boys he sacrificed were delinquents. Barry was supposed to be the next meal but now it will be Dean, so he locks the hunter in the freezer and leaves him for Moloch. After seeing one of the bodies hauled off by a growling presence, Dean gets himself free and starts to bang on the door for a moment before grabbing a meat hook in preparation of the fight. The monster comes for him, yet every time Dean would move to attack it would be gone. Eventually Moloch attacks and the brawl is on.
Sam arrives at the plant with Barry and the two search for Dean. Hearing a sound in the freezer, they head that direction until Pete attacks them, wearing his suit. There is a struggle and Barry is able to knock Pete down and remove the mask. He’s actually surprised to find out who is in the suit and pleads for him to stop this. He says he had given Pete the plant, only the other man is far too bitter and angry, getting free and grabbing the sheriff’s gun, forcing Sam to kill him before he kills Barry. Sam then hurries into the freezer, shooting Moloch with the Colt to save Dean just in time too.
Dean, exhausted from the fight and relieved to be safe now, seems to decide it is a good time for a nap. Not long afterward, Sam checks on Dean who is feeling pretty rough when the sheriff tells them to go. They are surprised and Sam offers to stay and clean up, but this is his responsibility, his legacy, and he has to take care of it.
The brothers arrive back at the bunker, where Dean tells Sam to remind him of that family if he ever gets down on theirs again. Pensively, he also asks what their legacy will be, if they will be remembered, to which Sam admits that no, they probably won’t be. The people they saved will be their legacy and the fact that they’ve left the world better than they found it.
Lost in thought, Dean then wonders what will happen to the bunker. Will another hunter move in when they’re gone, continue fighting the fight? They both hope so. Pulling out his switchblade, Dean decides to leave his mark by carving his initials into the table, just like they did in the car when they were kids, and Sam does the same.
Deciding they should call Mick and debrief, they are surprised when Ketch answers the phone. Arthur claims Mick flew back to England to answer for his flubs and the boys will now report to him. Dean isn’t happy and the other man says he isn’t either, he’d rather be with their mom. Not the most pleasing comment to the Winchester brothers and Ketch tries to correct himself by making it sound like he’d rather be killing things. When the call ends, Dean and Sam talk about how they don’t trust the man, he creeps them out, not realizing Ketch can hear everything they are saying. The episode ends with Arthur listening to them talk while staring at the picture of Mary he’d stolen.
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