Supernatural: It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
July 19, 2021 5:30 AM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

While investigating two mysterious deaths in a small town, Sam and Dean discover that a witch is sacrificing people to summon an ancient, powerful, and extremely dangerous demon.


Dean: So we're talking ghosts?
Sam: Yeah.
Dean: Zombies?
Sam: Mm-hmm.
Dean: Leprechauns?
Sam: Dean.
Dean: Those little dudes are scary. Small hands.

Sam: Interesting look for a centuries-old witch.
Dean: Yeah, well, if you were a 600-year-old hag and you could pick any costume to come back in, wouldn't you go for a hot cheerleader? I would.


The title is a nod to the 1966 "Peanuts" comic strip, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".

Samhain is mispronounced throughout this episode. It is not pronounced "sam hayne", according to English phonetic pronunciation. Rather, it is pronounced "sow-in", as it is a Gaelic word.

The drawings of Samhain that Sam shows to Dean are actually Gustave Dore's illustration of Dante's Inferno from The Divine Comedy and have nothing to do with Samhain.

The concept of Samhain as a character is borrowed from a 1986 episode of The Real Ghostbusters, "When Halloween Was Forever", in which the Sam Hain, the ghost of Halloween, is summoned during a ritual and the creatures of the night "follow him around like the Pied Piper", as Sam says. The inspiration for the RGB Sam Hain came from a God/demon of Halloween in Ray Bradbury's book, The Halloween Tree.

Uriel's status in Christian and Jewish traditions is circumscribed. Up until the Council of Rome in 745, he was accepted by the Catholic Church, however, during the Council of Rome he and other Angels were struck with only three remaining: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. The others were struck in an effort to curb angelic worship. Uriel is not mentioned in any Western accepted Biblical text. Rather, he appears in the apocryphal books not accepted by any western Christian church. Despite this, he was venerated in the Anglican Church as well as in other Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox communities.

When introducing themselves to the art teacher, the brothers introduce themselves as Agent Geddy and Agent Lee. Geddy Lee is a Canadian musician and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush.
posted by orange swan (8 comments total)
It made no sense at all that the angels would have to wipe out an entire town when they could just kill the witch(es). They were testing Sam and Dean, of course, but it doesn't make much sense that neither of the Winchesters would say, "Why don't you just kill the witch once we're certain who it is? We'd be cool with that."

You know someone's had a shitty childhood when they hate both Christmas and Halloween, as Sam does. Dean has a different approach. The guy is basically spending his entire adulthood making up for his terrible childhood, and Dean refusing a kid Halloween candy because he was hoarding it for himself (or had eaten it all already?) was peak Dean.
posted by orange swan at 5:35 AM on July 19, 2021

orange swan, do I remember that this is your first time through?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:21 AM on July 19, 2021

No, this is my second run through the series.
posted by orange swan at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2021

I can agree Sam and Dean should be objecting , but given what we see of the angels it would not at all surprise me if they wiped a whole town like that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:26 PM on July 19, 2021

This show certainly loves some "sexy" Hallowe'en costumes, doesn't it?

Okay, Dean was a jerk for hording his candy, especially since he is normally nice to kids. The kid, on the other hand, was an evil little shit for milkshaking Baby (or whatever he dumped on the car). He deserves whatever punishment can be bestowed upon him by angels, demons, cranky Winchester boys, or a combination of all of the above. (Do I have stories about similar little shits taking similar actions and causing significant--and expensive--amounts of damage? Go ahead, guess.)

Thanks for digging up all the background stuff, orange swan. The fact this this ties back to a Ghostbusters cartoon is hilarious, and not just one of the Ghostbusters cartoons, but the REAL Ghostbusters cartoon. (Yes, it's dated reference time again!)

It was ages and ages ago that I first encountered the concept that there were orders of angels. Personally, I think a show like this could have made better use of that kind of taxonomy, rather that just waving around vague descriptions about some of the angels the boys encounter. (I think "warrior" and "soldier" and "specialist" were all descriptions used by the various angels themselves at one point or another). But then again, as orange swan pointed out above, this show doesn't have too strong a commitment to respecting source material or referencing it correctly.
posted by sardonyx at 2:53 PM on July 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Spacesuit kid was a bit sad - trick or treating all by himself, at a motel, in the middle of the afternoon. He would otherwise be suspicious.

The asymmetric first meeting between Sam and Castiel is less than auspicious.

Not the first time that angels don't conform to the popular idea of angels. Richard Kadry's 'Sandman Slim' series are another case where angels are less than angelic/ can be blindly righteous/ dismissive of mortals.

Robert Wisdom (Uriel) is another super prolific actor, another great casting choice.
posted by porpoise at 3:51 PM on July 19, 2021

I know jack shit about Gaelic religions, which is somehow just enough that every single "Sam Hain" was like nails on a chalkboard.

Don is one of those characters where he comes on screen and immediately you just hope that being a demon is the worst thing you find out about him. But Samhain silently coming down to the mausoleum full of kids, locking everyone inside, and silently walking away was pretty effectively creepy.

The conversation in the car after Sam meets the angels is rather lovely; Sam's disappointment and Dean's encouragement, even above his own skepticism. "Babe Ruth was a dick, but baseball's still a beautiful game."

Castiel has more of a personality early on than I remembered. Or, that's not quite what I mean, but he's more human at this point and I can see why, despite Dean’s frustration with the whole concept of divine mission, he feels like he can talk to the guy.
posted by jameaterblues at 4:06 PM on July 19, 2021

he (Dean) feels like he can talk to the guy (Castiel)

Other than Bobby ("2nd dad"), has Dean been shown as having a friend so far - ever - other than hookups? Ellen and Jo Harvelle don't really count in my mind, although they had potential to become a friend-friend.

Sam used to have (casual) friends from college, but turning hunter severed all of those.

In that light, I can see how/ why Sam develops a relationship with Ruby when Dean left the picture.

With hunters trending towards loners (albeit Bobby has been shown to have cordial and sometimes warm, if not necessarily deep, relationships with other hunters and paranormal initiates) Castiel is both someone of least resistance to become attached to and also a reaction to the Sam-Ruby (a non-mortal) connecting up.

Thinking a bit more about this, there are parallels with TXF where Mulder makes friends with co-wierdos, and while Scully has family, colleagues, ex-s, and hookups (?), the show never really showed her with non-colleague "square"/non-paranormal-initiated friends?

The hunting/ weirdo-FBI lifestyle is certainly isolating. The nomadic hunter lifestyle adding further barriers, also.

Hunting is pretty much (so far) the totality of Dean and Sam's life - no hobbies, no (square) jobs, no fixed address (neighbourhood).
posted by porpoise at 8:54 PM on July 21, 2021

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