Supernatural: Death Takes a Holiday
July 27, 2021 5:32 AM - Season 4, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean endeavour to find out why people in a small town are miraculously escaping death by going into the spirit world.


Jim Jenkins: Now, you two said you were bloggers?
Sam: Yes, sir. Floored by the Lord dot com.
Dean: All of God's glory fit to blog.

Sam: Well, Pamela, you're a sight for sore eyes.
Pamela: [showing her fake eyes] Aw, that's sweet, Grumpy. What do you say to deaf people?

Dean: [realizes he's astral projecting] Oh, I'm so feeling up Demi Moore!

Pamela: [to the bodies of the astral projecting Sam and Dean] All right, so, I'm assuming you're somewhere over the rainbow. Remember I have to bring you back. I'll whisper the incantation in your ear. [leans over Sam] You have got a great ass.

Dean: [as a spirit, sticks his hand through spirit Sam] Am I making you uncomfortable?
Sam: Get out of me.
Dean: You're such a prude.

Dean: Oh, man, we've been spooking this town for hours. No demons, no black smoke. I say we hit Victoria's Secret and get our peep on, huh?

Sam: Look, this isn't going to be easy to hear, but you're dead. You're a spirit. Us too.
Cole: Yeah, thanks Haley Joel. I know I'm dead.

Dean: Well, how the hell are we supposed to fight that?
Sam: I don't know. Learn some ghost moves?
Dean: By tonight? Yeah, sure. I'll meet you back at Mr. Miyagi's.
Cole: [not getting the Karate Kid reference] Who's Mr. Miyagi?

Dean: It's okay to be scared.
Cole: I'm not scared.
Dean: We're all scared. That's the big secret... We're all scared.


When Sam tells Pamela she's a sight for sore eyes, she asks him what he says to deaf people. In episode 11.11, "Into the Mystic", Sam attempts to sign "thank you" to a deaf character, but accidentally signs "f*** you" instead.

Sam tells Dean that he's not just an average Joe -- no Joe the Plumber. He is talking about the conservative activist/plumber who engaged Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on the topic of small business taxes during a campaign stop in Ohio in 2008, and who subsequently became a catch phrase.

When Sam suggests that they find and speak to the last person to die, Dean says, "Last I checked, Huggy Bear ain't available." He is referring to the confidential informant character on the 1970's TV crime show Starsky and Hutch.

Pamela refers to Dean as Chachi, Chachi was Arthur Fonzarelli's handsome but vapid cousin on Happy Days.

This is the second episode in the season to reference The Outsiders. Pamela says she does not want to get mixed up in their "Angel/Demon, Soc/Greaser battle". In the episode "After School Special", The Outsiders is written on the chalkboard of young Sam's classroom.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
The actress who plays Pamela Barnes was named Tracy Dinwiddie, but has since changed her name to Thunderbird Dinwiddie. Okay.

Pamela was such a great character and I wished she'd lasted longer. I'm glad Pamela at least got a moment to express how she felt about what had happened to her, to be angry at Sam and Dean and say she wished she'd never met them. It sits much better with me than her taking the loss of her eyes in stride.

I really liked Alistair's southern-accented meat suit. Christopher Heyerdahl does a remarkable job of playing Alistair -- he's both creepy and menacing.
posted by orange swan at 5:35 AM on July 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Sam and Dean dig up so many graves it's preposterous they wouldn't have a cover story if they ever got caught. But also, if you described Sam and Dean to someone who's never seen the show as two people who desecrate graves eight days a week, plan A is go at night with a shovel, and there is no plan B, they're not going to get the wrong idea.

It's not a huge thing, but I like how much Sam haaaaates Alastair, who did not even exist in his universe till very recently. Without getting into a ton of spoilers, it's different in some interesting ways from how Dean will eventually relate to Lucifer, two other people who will also barely know each other but have extreme and personal beef between them nonetheless. I think it's a harsh read on Pamela's part (though in her shoes, an exceedingly understandable one) that Sam's intentions in learning to kill demons aren't good; I think he does want to prevent the end of the world and for the normal reasons, but that's maybe not the WHOLE reason.

This is an interesting moment for Dean to get his memories of the hospital back. Even if he never articulated or even understood it this way at the time, telling Tessa he wishes he'd died when he had the chance squares for me with how screwed up he was after, and in some ways he's in much worse shape now. I can totally see how, in his mind, him dying in a car accident three years ago seems like the better outcome for all concerned. Sam really really does not want to hear that, but Dean can say it to Tessa. 

Killing Pamela was some nonsense. She's certainly not defenseless but I don't think she's a physical fighter, and she's alone protecting two other completely defenseless people. It was extremely dumb (and not in the fun louche graverobber way) not to plan their defenses better than that, and it was some TV nonsense that she refused to go to a hospital for no apparent reason and Sam just went along with it. But I like that she was furious about getting killed over some Winchester bullshit that means nothing to her, as she should be. 

Ooh, I forgot they established this early that angels will sometimes just fake someone’s voice on the phone to get things moving in their direction. Some of the pacing of this season is wonky, but this felt like the right time for somebody to point out that, dicks with wings notwithstanding, Sam and Dean have never really questioned their assumption that the angels are, yknow, on the side of the angels.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:47 AM on July 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Thunderbird Dinwiddie

She claims Syrian and Cherokee ancestry. "Sources" on teh intarwebs suggest that her Cherokee ancestry isn't verified.

Big fan of Heyerdahl. Although he isn't straying far from his wheelhouse, he does do this sort of role really well.

it's preposterous they wouldn't have a cover story

Too true, but I can't even begin to come up with a plausible cover outside of law enforcement with a warrant (and local gravediggers/ local LE involved). Not really practical for digging up graves with the frequency that they are wont.

Dean recalling his experiences while astral in the hospital is lore-friendly given he's astral (on Earth) again for the first time since. Bit of a coincidence that Tessa the Reaper (and not some other Reaper) happens to be around.

Benny's Market is still there, in Strathcona. The neighbourhood borders Chinatown, Japantown, DTES, and contains the historic (and remaining) railyards.

I wonder if the house with the sigils was done with Tide laundry detergent and high powered blacklights?
posted by porpoise at 8:40 PM on July 27, 2021

I realized after posting that “cover story” is probably the wrong way to say it, probably it’s more like a giant wad of go-away money and the strong implication of guns and maybe something to cover their faces and hands, jesus god. Maybe that doesn’t work out either, but being interrupted by an arch-demon and not a groundskeeper saved them a lot of trouble.

Decorating a house in Tide occult symbols cracks me up and probably is not even in the top twenty of weirdest things the set designers on this show have been through, they threw a necrophiliac birthday party like a season ago.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:57 PM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

but being interrupted by an arch-demon and not a groundskeeper saved them a lot of trouble


Offscreen, everytime they're confronted, they probably look at each other with the whites of their eyes showing and simultaneously say to each other, "Cheese it!"
posted by porpoise at 11:17 PM on July 27, 2021

To be fair... Sam and Dean usually do their grave digging at night, when it is very unlikely that there will be anyone around to see them. Cemeteries aren't guarded, and hardly anyone visits them at night. This is the first time they've felt any need of a cover story, and even then a cover story wouldn't have helped them because they were interrupted by a demon, not a human.
posted by orange swan at 5:12 AM on July 28, 2021

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