After School Special is the 13th episode of Season 4. It aired on January 29, 2009.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Sam and Dean go undercover to investigate a string of murders at their old high school. The case causes them to flashback to their time there recalling how Sam was picked on by the school bully while Dean was Mr. Popular.
When a student drowns another student, Sam and Dean catch wind when she claims she was possessed at the time. She neither saw the black smoke nor smelled the sulfur that is typical of demonic possession, so Dean is skeptical that there's a job in Fairfax, Indiana. As it happens, the Winchesters were enrolled at Truman High, "Home of the Bombers," for a month in 1997, and Dean is not in a hurry to go back.
In a series of flashbacks, we see young Sam and Dean coming to yet another new high school. Truman is the third school they've attended that academic year, and it's only November. Dean isn't worried about fitting in or impressing teachers, since their father has promised they'll only be there two weeks tops, but Sam is tired of always being the new kid. On his first day of English class, Sam defends Barry Cook from the bullying of Dirk MacGregor, while the teacher, Mr. Wyatt, assigns the class an essay on "their most memorable family experience." Dean, meanwhile, only has eyes for hot blond Amanda Heckerling.
In the present, Sam poses as a janitor, while Dean, in an outfit of gym shorts, tall socks and red headband, lords over a gym class that has never been allowed to play dodgeball before. Sam can't find any sulfur on the school grounds, leading them to wonder if there really is a case here. Not long after, a student in a home economics class jams the hand of a homework-copying jock into a running food processor, and also appears not to have known how it happened.
Sam hurries to the scene, and arrives in time to see ectoplasm leaking from the ear of the attacker. Sam realizes they're dealing with ghost possession, which is rare but not unheard of. The only violent death on the school grounds was a 1998 suicide—that of Barry Cook. Dean postulates that the ghost is possessing nerds and going after bullies. Sam remembers what a hard time the other students gave Barry. In a flashback, Dirk stops them in the middle of a crowded hallway, where he tries to start a fight with Sam, who won't throw punches, before Mr. Wyatt intervenes.
Dutifully, Sam and Dean go to salt and burn Barry's bones. Sam feels guilty that they had to leave Truman before he had a chance to keep Barry from killing himself; Dean tries to point out that there was nothing he could have done. Sam remembers wanting to be normal, as well as a conversation with Mr. Wyatt, the English teacher. Mr. Wyatt questions the "horror story" at the center of Sam's essay about family, which details the Winchesters hunting a werewolf but praises his writing abilities and asks him if he really wants to go into "the family business." It's the first time anyone's asked him that question—and the answer is, "more than anything, no."
When Sam returns to the school to speak with Mr. Wyatt in the present, a student attacks him and calls him by his name. When he fills the student's mouth with salt, the ghost is forced from her body. Dean realizes that all the possessed students--April Dawkins, Aaron Branson and Jennifer Tanaka (whom he refers to as "Martha Dumptruck", "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Hello Kitty," respectively)--ride the same school bus. Sam reminds Dean of the lore in which spirits are bound to the places they're shackled to but can possess people and return to their usual haunt upon leaving. They check the bus, which is spiking high in EMF. Dean opens the glove compartment and finds a driver's license for Dirk McGregor's father, who got his bus driver's license two weeks ago, just before the attacks began. As it turns out, by his freshman year Dirk had just watched his mother die of cancer; he later turned to drugs and alcohol and was dead himself before he graduated. Dirk's father laments that he had a rough time from other kids, and that people called him "Dirk the Jerk"—a nickname Sam came up with after beating him in a fistfight outside the school.
Dirk's remains were cremated, all save for a lock of hair his father keeps in a Bible he has on his bus. That night, Sam and Dean chase down the bus, which is transporting a sports team to an away game and use road spikes to blow the tires. Dirk is possessing the bus driver, as Dean binds him with a saltwater dipped rope and searches the bus for the lock of hair but fails. Sam then tries to reason with Dirk but fails. Dirk then breaks free, forcing Sam to shoot him with rock salt, forcing Dirk to possess a student and proceeds to attack Sam. At his brother's urging, Dean continues to search for the lock before finding it in the driver's left boot; the lock of hair is burned and the ghost destroyed before he can do any serious harm.
After, the boys return to the high school so Sam can finally have his goodbye with Mr. Wyatt. Their first farewell was a mixed experience: the whole school is congratulating Sam for taking down Dirk and his bullying, while Amanda Heckerling, after finding Dean making out with another girl in the broom closet, tells him how sorry she feels for him, that he thinks he has to posture so much and pretend to be so tough. Dean is humiliated, and delighted when the Impala pulls up in front of the school. In the present, Mr. Wyatt remembers Sam fondly, and asks about what he's done with himself. His last question is whether Sam is happy. Sam is unable to answer.
- Brock Kelly as Dean Winchester (young)
- Candice Accola as Amanda Heckerling
- Chad Willett as Mr. Wyatt
- Casey Dubois as Dirk MacGregor, Jr.
- Cainan Wiebe as Barry Cook
- Maggie Ma as Jennifer Tanaka
- Hayley Saulnier as April Dawkins
- Adam Kennedy as Aaron Branson
- Tim Henry as Dirk MacGregor, Sr.
- Marie Avgeropoulos as Taylor
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Demons (mentioned only)
- Primordial Entity (God, mentioned only)
- Vengeful Spirit (Dirk MacGregor, Jr.)
- Werewolves (mentioned only)
- The school is the same one used for Smallville High School in "Smallville"
- This episode is in memory of Christopher F. Lima and Tim Loock.
- This episode had the same name of one episode in season four on the show The Vampire Diaries. Fittingly, the actress who plays Amanda Heckerling in this episode, Candice Accola, is a regular in The Vampire Diaries as Caroline Forbes.
- The gym teacher Dean is substituting for is said to be "in Massachusetts, getting married" by Dean, implying she is marrying another woman since at the time this episode aired, Massachusetts was one of the few states where gay marriage was legal.
- Actress Marie Avgeropoulos, currently starring in CW's series The 100 makes her acting debut in this episode.
- The film "The Dead Poet's Society" starring Robin Williams was referenced in this episode when Dean was telling Sam in the Impala, "Whatever. Go have your Robin William's 'Oh Captain, My Captain' moment, just make it quick."
- The TV show 21 Jump Street was referenced when Dean mentioned the show and implied to the football coach that he was an undercover cop and the bus driver sold pot.
- Jensen Ackles' persona in this episode as a gym coach is similar to his character in Smallville, Jason Teague.
- The line "Check it out -- Look, Martha Dumptruck, Revenge of the Nerds, and Hello Kitty -- they rode the same bus." This is a reference to Heathers, a cult classic movie from 1988. Martha Dunnstock (nicknamed Martha Dumptruck by her bullies) was a minor character who was bullied by the Heathers for being fat.
- The film Dean mentions while making out is the cult classic rape and revenge film I Spit on Your Grave.
- Dean's quote near the end of the episode, "He's giving you the full cowgirl" ties back into the opening scene where the students slut shame Taylor for giving Jamie "..the full cowgirl and everything" during the opening scene at the high school cafeteria.
- John Winchester is mentioned often in the episode, but never shown. In the last flashback scene it even appears Brock Kelly (as 18 y.o. Dean) is driving the vehicle rather than Dad. That last would also be a discontinuity as Dean appears to enter the vehicle "shotgun." However, "Baby," the Impala is featured prominently as usual.
- The car was driven up to the school by an unseen driver, then Dean appears to get in the front passenger side, so it seems impossible that Dean could have driven the car away. I also think it's highly unlikely that John would have moved over so Dean could drive).
- A continuity error occurs when the impala pulls up to the school, the license plate shows the new one the brothers use in modern days, however it should have the original license plate.
- "Long, Long Way from Home" by Foreigner
Behind the Scenes
- Dean: Today you will have the honor of playing one of the greatest games ever invented. A game of skill, agility, cunning. A game with one simple rule. Dodge.
- Dean: The whistle makes me their god.
- Sam: [looking at EMF detector] Definitely ain't clean.
- Dean: Here Ghosty, ghosty, ghosty. bangs his gun on the ceiling of the Bus twice as he switches to the left row of seats Come out, come out, wherever you are!
- Amanda:: You spend so much time trying to convince people that you're cool, but it's just an act. We both know that you're just a sad, lonely little kid. And I feel sorry for you, Dean.
- Dean: You feel sorry me, huh? Don't feel sorry for me. You don't know anything about me. I save lives - I'm a hero. A hero!
- Barry: That's your brother with Amanda Heckerling? He's cool!
- Sam: Yeah, he thinks so.
- Mr. Wyatt: You know this assignment was non-fiction, right?
- Sam: Yes, Mr. Wyatt.
- Mr. Wyatt: So you and your family killed a werewolf last summer, huh?
- Dean: You could have torn him apart, so why didn't you?
- Sam: Because I don't want to be the freak for once, Dean. I want to be normal.
- German: Schulzeit (Schooltime)
- Hungarian: Szorgalmi feladat (Extra Credit Project)
IGN review- View Here