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Dead in the Water is the 3rd episode of Season 1. It aired on September 27, 2005.


Dean Purgatory Blade.png.png There was something about being there... It felt pure.

This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.

Sam and Dean investigate a series of mysterious drownings written off as suicides. They discover the spirit is an angry little boy with the power to travel through water who is taking revenge on certain town inhabitants for a dark secret buried long ago. Dean forms a bond with a young boy who seems to have the power of premonition.


Dean and Sam decide to investigate the drowning of eighteen-year-old Sophie Carlton as she is the third drowning victim in the last year whose body hasn't been recovered from Lake Manitoc. They pose as federal wildlife officers and speak to the local sheriff, Jake Devins, who tells them that they have found nothing in the lake despite running a sonar sweep, but that the lake will soon drain away because the local dam is leaking. While they are at the sheriff's office, they also met Jake's daughter, Andrea Barr, and her son, Lucas. When Sam and Dean research the lake further, they learn that not only have six other people disappeared in Lake Manitoc over the last 35 years, but also that Lucas witnessed his father's drowning earlier that year.

Sam and Dean decide to talk to Lucas and they find Andrea and Lucas at the park. Dean tells Lucas he knows what it's like to see something that most people wouldn't believe and draws the boy a picture of his family. Lucas remains silent but draws Dean a picture of a house. Andrea is stunned when Lucas gives Dean the drawing, as Lucas has been withdrawn and has not spoken at all since his father's death.

That same night, Will Carlton drowns in the kitchen sink when something drags his head below the surface of the water. Sam informs Dean of Will's death, and they conclude that whatever is in the lake knows the lake is being drained and that it is running out of time to get its revenge. They also assume that Sophie and Will's father, Bill Carlton, were somehow involved, as the thing in the lake has targeted his children and his godson, Lucas' father. They don't learn anything from Bill when they go to speak with him, but Dean notices that the drawing Lucas gave him earlier was of the Carltons' house.

The brothers visit Lucas again and Dean tells him about his own experience of losing his mother. Lucas provides Dean with a second drawing depicting a house next to a white church and a boy wearing a cap with a red bicycle. Sam and Dean find the church and the neighboring house, and they visit the woman who lives there. They discover that her son, Peter Sweeney, vanished 35 years ago with his red bicycle. Dean spots a photo of Peter with Bill Carlton, and the brothers start to think that Bill may have killed Peter and the thing in the lake was Peter's vengeful spirit. They go back to talk to Bill, but as they arrive they witnessed Bill making his way out to the middle of the lake in his boat. The boat flips over by an unseen force, and Bill vanishes under the water.

After the incident with Bill, the sheriff tries to run Sam and Dean out of town because he discovers that they are not real federal wildlife officers, but they sneak back because Dean suspects that the hunt is not over. They arrive at Andrea Barr's house just as she is dragged under the water in her bathtub. After Sam pulls her out of the water, she tells him that she heard a voice in the water that said 'Come play with me.' Meanwhile, Dean goes through Andrea's photo albums and discovers an old photo of Andrea's dad, Jake, with Peter. Dean assumes that Jake was also involved in Peter's death, and that Peter's spirit is targeting Bill and Jake's loved ones.

Lucas leads them to a spot near the lake where Sam and Dean dig until they discover Peter's bicycle. Jake appears and holds the brothers at gunpoint. He reveals that he and Bill buried the bike there after they accidentally drowned Peter and let his body sink in the lake. Suddenly, Lucas is pulled into the lake by a ghostly hand. Dean and Sam dive in after him but have no result finding him until Jake walks into the lake and calls for Peter to take him instead of his grandson. Peter drags him under the water, and Dean is able to find Lucas.

Sam and Dean prepare to leave, with Andrea and Lucas seeing them off. Lucas has begun to talk again, and Andrea thanks them both for saving Lucas. As a parting gift, Dean teaches Lucas the phrase 'Zeppelin Rules!'


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]


Featured Supernatural Beings[]


  • Dean is shown to be good with children; this is probably because he spent some of his own childhood raising his younger brother.
  • While talking with Lucas, Dean mentions that he used to be fond of army men figurines. In the fifth season finale, Swan Song, it is revealed that Sam inserted an army man figurine into the Impala's ashtray as a child, the sight of which triggered his memories of Dean and gave him the strength to regain control of his body from Lucifer.


  • Antagonist: Peter Sweeney.
  • Sam and Dean's officer names are Ford and Hamill. A possible reference to Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, who played Han Solo and Luke Skywalker respectively, in the classic Star Wars movies.
  • The opening scene in this episode looks exactly like the one in the 1975 movie, Jaws.
  • When discussing beings that could enter the pipes and manipulate the water, Dean mentions "water wraith," although the Wraiths seen in subsequent seasons are monsters that feed on brain fluids. Since Dean hasn't seen a Wraith at this point, he was probably just spitballing.


  • Immediately before Will tries to remove the plug from the drain, the plug is seen lying on the counter beside him.


Featured Music[]

  • Ratt - "Round and Round"
  • Black Toast Music - "What a Way to Go"
  • Billy Squier - "Too Daze Gone"
  • Bad Company - "Movin' On"

Cultural References[]

The early scene of Sophie swimming in the lake is reminiscent of the opening scene of the 1975 film Jaws.

Dean: I'm Agent Ford, this is Agent Hamill. We're with the U.S. Wildlife Service.

Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are the actors who played Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. This is the first of many Star Wars references. On a side note, Kripke said that Dean and Sam are somewhat based upon Han and Luke.

Jake's grandson's name is Lucas, a reference to the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas.

Jake: Here, sit, please. There are no indigenous carnivores in that lake. There's nothing even big enough to pull down a person, unless it was the Loch Ness Monster.

The Loch Ness Monster (aka Nessie) is a cryptid lake monster reported to live in the waters of Loch Ness. It is believed to be a dinosaur that survived one of the Mass Extinction events.

Sam: This whole lake monster theory, it - it just bugs me.

Dean: Why?

Sam: Loch Ness, uh, Lake Champlain, there are literally hundreds of eyewitness accounts, but here, almost nothing. 

Loch Ness and Lake Champlain are both homes to reported lake monsters. Nessie and Champ.

Andrea: Tell your friend this whole Jerry Maguire thing's not gonna work on me.

Reference to the movie Jerry Maguire, in which Tom Cruise plays a man who spends a fair amount of time trying to charm a single mother's child in order to get close to the mother.

Sam: Door number 2 sounds good. 

In the television show Let's Make a Deal, deals are offered to members of the audience by the host. The contestants usually have to weigh the possibility of an offer "behind door number 2" being a more valuable prize than the one that they've already earned.

The name Will Carlton could possibly be a reference to the 90's sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire where Will and Carlton were two of the main characters.


Dean: "You know, Sam, we are allowed to have fun once in a while." (Points to the waitress in short shorts) "That's fun."

Andrea: "It must be hard with your sense of direction, never being able to find your way to a decent pickup line."

Sam: "'Kids are the best'? You don't even like kids."
Dean: "I love kids."
Sam: "Name three children you even know."
(Dean thinks and Sam begins to walk away. Dean scratches his head.)
Dean: "I'm thinking!"

Sam: People don't just disappear, Dean. Other people just stop looking for them.

Dean: I just don't want to leave this town until I know that the kid is okay.

Sam: Who are you? And what have you done with my brother?

International Titles[]

  • Czech: Jezero smrti (Lake of the Death)
  • Brazil: Morte na Água (Death in the Water)
  • Finnish: Kuoleman järvi (The Lake of the Death)
  • French: L'Esprit du lac (The Spirit of the Lake)
  • German: Tod im Wasser (Death in the Water)
  • Hungarian: Fulladás (Drowning)
  • Italian: Morte nell'acqua (Death in the Water)
  • Polish: Trup w wodzie (Corpse in the Water)
  • Romanian: Mort în Apa (Dead in the Water)
  • Spanish: Muerto en el agua (Dead in the Water)

External Links[]