‘Supernatural’ Season 12 Episode 4 Recap: American Nightmare

Supernatural Season 12 episode 4 Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles as Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam in ‘Supernatural’ season 12 episode 4 (Photo by Robert Falconer © 2016 The CW Network)

As we continue our Supernatural journey in the fourth episode of the 12th season, things are back to how they were for so long – with the Winchester brothers on their own, solving a mystery. It begins with a church in Iowa and it seems like a normal day. That is, until a woman walks into the church, crying, bleeding from her hands and feet. The whole scene gets even weirder as she walks toward the front and we hear the sound of a whip, coinciding with lash marks cutting into her back. The woman falls to her feet in front of the priest, speaking in a language that we can’t understand but clearly asking for some sort of help. Blood begins to trickle out of her ears, then her forehead. She collapses to the floor, dead.

At some point later, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) walk into the church in their priest garb and question the priest. The man doesn’t seem too willing to answer until Dean points out how vocal he was to the press about what happened. Apparently everyone thinks the priest was making it up, or is crazy, and he was told by the church not to talk about it anymore. As he becomes more willing to talk, the boys ask about signs of a demon, but the answer is no. Leaving the church, Dean and Sam speculate whether it could be Lucifer or if they’re looking at something else.

Dean calls Castiel (Misha Collins), however we can only hear Dean’s side of the conversation, which is not yet helpful to us viewers. When he hangs up and while Sam is busy, we do see Dean text Mary to check on her. He doesn’t get a response and we see how much it bothers him.

Only when Sam joins Dean by the car do we find out what Cas had to say. Although really all he was able to do was rule out a rogue angel since Heaven is still locked up tight and “Angel Radio” has been quiet, Castiel did share the news with Dean that he’s working with Crowley to find Lucifer, much to the surprise of the boys. They are an unlikely duo, after all. Which means it just might work!

Sam has at least been able to figure out that the language our dead woman was speaking is Aramaic, her words translating to, “Save me. Oh God.” Not much of a clue, but interesting anyway.

Their next stop is to check out the body at the morgue. When Dean is rather testy with the employee there, Sam points out that ever since their mother left he’s been “cranky.” As usual, Dean doesn’t want to talk about it and brings the conversation back to the case. They discover the stigmata, holes in her hands and feet. And in the report, they read the additional detail that her skull is filled with “goopy mush.”

A visit to the woman’s place of employment at Child Protective Services is where they look for clues afterward. Quickly, they run into the dead woman’s assistant, Beth, who has now taken over her job and office. Dean notices a witchy looking item on the desk and Beth admits that she is a Wiccan. Sam asks to review the cases the victim had been working on and they leave the office. On the way back to the car, Dean already has it all figured out. The assistant killed her boss and needs to die. However, Sam wants to wait until they actually have proof to make a drastic move.

That night, we see a boy at a grocery store working in the loading area when he suddenly starts having the same symptoms as our previous victim. Although he doesn’t even have the opportunity to talk to anyone before he falls, dying on the spot.

The following morning, the boys do their investigation and Sam is able to find a connection between the grocery delivery boy and the woman from the beginning. It turns out he delivered to a family that was in one of the case files. A call to Beth reveals that the family is hardcore religious, living off the grid. They are so against modern civilization that their daughter had gotten sick but they refused to let her be treated by a doctor and she died.

On the way to the farm to talk to the family, Sam continues to push Dean about his feelings regarding Mary. He even reminds Dean that they themselves have more than once gone off on their own to figure things out. Yet that point doesn’t help as Dean says they always come back. He’s not so sure their mother will since she hates how they were raised and the life they live. The conversation ends as they arrive at their destination and get to work.

Inside the Peterson family’s house, where the boys are posing as their new social workers, they inform the couple that their previous one had died. During the talk, they state that they liked her…much more than they liked Beth, casting even more suspicion on the assistant. They are interrupted though when the son comes in needing some help. The father, Abraham (William MacDonald), asks if one of the Winchesters would be willing to help as well, so Dean goes outside with him while Sam stays in to talk to the mother.

During this time, we’re shown a mysterious person dressed all in black riding a motorcycle. They stop behind the Impala for just a moment before continuing on their way. It is obviously not a scene we were shown for no reason, right? Well, we’ll have to see what it means later.

Meanwhile, the Petersons are explaining why they live how they do. While fixing a wheel on their wagon, Abraham explains that the world is so full of consumerism and greed. Not a world they wanted their kids to grow up in. Sam gets a bit more detail from the mother inside, finding out that Abraham was always working or deep into a bottle and that she was always popping pills. Then she was hurt badly in a car accident and got addicted to pain pills. In her darkest hour, she states God spoke to her, telling her to leave and live a life of simplicity for the pain to go away. So they did, and she is doing better than she was.

After hearing the story, Sam mentions that the boys from the grocery store also died. This time, the woman has barely any reaction and when Sam calls her on it, states that God has a plan for everyone. Sam surprisingly get rather aggravated and begins to push, bringing up her daughter’s death and saying that God didn’t kill their daughter, she did. During his burst of temper, Abraham and Dean enter the house and the boys are quickly asked to leave.

Supernatural Season 12 episode 4 Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki in ‘Supernatural’ (Photo by Robert Falconer © 2016 The CW Network)

As they leave, Sam wants to track down the daughter’s ghost, sure that she is an angry spirit, whereas Dean sees the family as odd but doesn’t feel they are necessarily bad people and wants to go after Beth again. But Dean only heard his side from the father and Sam insists that the other is disturbed.

We are then taken down to the basement of the house, where it turns out the daughter, Magda, isn’t even dead. She is beaten and bloody, with lash marks all across her back, laying curled up on the floor in front of an altar and singing with a croaky voice. The mother comes down, asking what Magda has done, insisting that she’d had killed those people. She goes on to say that she has tried to keep the devil inside Magda at bay, then demands that the girl confess her sins and pray for forgiveness. Doing as she’s told, Magda starts to whip herself, speaking in the ancient language we heard the victims speak before they died. A glimpse out the window shows us that the brother, Elijah (Gig Morton), is watching with a troubled expression.

That night, Dean and Sam go their separate ways based on their individual suspicions. Gun at the ready, Dean goes to visit Beth. She’s surprised to see him at her office so late to which he asks how she’s liking her new job. He’s thrown off when she responds by saying she hates it, being the boss sucks. He’s completely at a loss when she states that she never wanted the job and says no one ever wants this job. Well, A for effort, Dean.

Sam, in the meantime, is investigating the stables at the farm and has to hide when he is nearly caught by Abraham. From his hiding spot, he hears a conversation between Elijah and his father about the mother being with Magda. Abraham is understanding of his concerns but reminds him that “they” would come for the girl if they knew what she had done. They walk off as Abraham states that Magda is their cross to bear. Continuing on, Sam finds the window that Elijah was watching through earlier and sees the girl being forced to punish herself while the mother reads out loud in Aramaic.

He immediately calls Dean and tells him what he found, although the conversation is cut short when Elijah pulls a shotgun on Sam. Before Sam can reason with the kid, he’s hit over the head by Abraham. Hearing all of it, Dean hops into the Impala and speeds off toward the farm.

Sam awakens in the basement with Magda as she’s singing at the altar again. When he says her name, she turns and claims that she’s not Magda, she is the devil. He gently tells her she is not and her reply is that he’s inside her, letting her hear what people are thinking and letting her do things. This is based on what her mother had told her. Sam asks to see what she can do. After a moment, she moves the cross on the altar with her mind to prove her point. He explains that he has powers too, visions and the ability to move items, and it didn’t make him the devil. We are just going to ignore the fact for a minute that Sam actually was Lucifer for a while back there…ahem. Magda states that he is evil then and so is she, because she hurt people. Magda had tried reaching out to her case worker and delivery boy telepathically for help, but it resulted in their deaths. Sam, always wanting to help those with powers like he had, tries to convince her that she can learn to control them so she won’t hurt anyone again.

At that moment, Abraham and Elijah come downstairs and announce that it is time for supper. The two are taken upstairs where Sam is tied to a chair for the meal. He tries to convince the parents that Magda can be helped, that the dead people were an accident. But then the mother reveals that they weren’t the first. Her car accident was caused by Magda’s powers.

The mother refuses to discuss it further and begins to say Grace, while Sam tries to get loose. Yet as they start to eat, Abraham chokes, foaming at the mouth and falls dead into his bowl. It turns out the meal includes a dose of rat poison. The mother has a plan, saying this is how they will stay together, by going to Heaven together. What?!? She then forcefully insists that they all eat, starting with Elijah. The dutiful son, he struggles with not wanting to and doing what he is told. Before the spoon can reach his mouth, Magda uses her powers to fling the utensil out of his hand and stands to confront her mother. There’s a struggle and mother accidentally stabs Elijah then goes for her daughter with more purpose only to be stopped by the girl. Magda, fed up with this craziness, declares that she’s not the devil, her mother is. Again using her powers, she turns the knife on the woman but doesn’t kill her, letting it drop at the last second instead, much to Sam’s relief.

A bit later, we see the mother being arrested, shouting about Magda being the devil. The daughter is getting treated by EMTs, looking very uncomfortable about her mother’s words. Sam and Dean check on her and are told by Beth that Magda will go to her aunt’s house in California. Dean tells the girl that sometimes to figure things out, a person needs space, repeating Sam’s sentiment from earlier conversations. Beth asks to talk to Dean (yes, she’s giving him her phone number) while Sam gets a moment alone with Magda. He’s very encouraging, telling her she’s going to be all right and that she can control the power, not let it control her. Also, he tells her to call if she needs anything, getting a hug in return.

Making their way back to the Impala, Sam brings up Dean’s comment to the girl. Thankfully, Dean has somewhat come to terms with why Mary had to leave. It still sucks, but he promises to try to be less of a dick about it. As Sam gets in the car, Dean finally gets a return text from Mary and is obviously much happier.

This isn’t over though. Lastly, we are taken to Magda on her way to California where the bus has made a brief stop for a bathroom break. This is where we see the man on the motorcycle again, as he follows the girl into the bathroom and shoots her without a word. His phone rings as he’s heading back to his bike, and Mr. Catch informs the caller that he has cleaned up the Winchesters’ mess, that they couldn’t finish the job as expected. Oh man, it appears things are about to heat up.

Misty Blue