Hunteri Heroici is the 8th episode of Season 8. It aired on November 28, 2012.
|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!
Castiel (guest star Misha Collins) tells Sam and Dean that he's decided to become a hunter like them. Sam and Dean aren't sold on the idea but agree to investigate a case Cas found where a man's heart literally burst through his chest. The guys discover there has been more than one odd murder in the small town and all of them resemble cartoon deaths.
Dean, Sam, and Castiel are refueling the Impala when Sam gets a call from Linda Tran. She tells him that she and Kevin are on Garth's safe-houseboat and that Kevin is having difficulties translating the half of the Demon Tablet they retrieved from Crowley. He tells her to call if they find anything. Dean asks Castiel if there's any angel chatter about the tablet, and Castiel tells him that he's cut himself off from Heaven. Instead, he wants to be a hunter - he's even found a case in Oklahoma City where a man's heart burst out of his chest. Dean says they can work the case as long as Castiel stays with them and doesn't teleport around. Castiel agrees and then asks if he can ride in the front seat of the Impala. Sam and Dean both say "no," so Castiel gets in the back seat. In Oklahoma City, they go see Gary Freleng's body. He has a cookie-cutter heart-shaped hole in his chest, and Detective Glass tells them the consensus is that Gary was on drugs. Castiel tells Dean that there are no drugs in Gary's system, and once the detective leaves, he says that he senses no EMF or sulfur. Gary's only recent health problem was a bladder infection. Sam, who's been reading the case file, asks Castiel if he can tell that Gary was having an affair. His friend Olivia Kopple was with him when he died, and from Olivia's statement it seems like they were meeting in the park every week to have lunch at a nearby diner. Sam suspects that they were spending less time in the diner and more time in the motel attached to it, and that Gary's wife is a witch who wanted revenge on her cheating husband.
As they leave the morgue, Sam remembers the night he met Amelia's father, Stan Thompson. He and Amelia had just moved into a house together, and Stan hadn't approved of him. When he'd learned that Sam was working a maintenance job at a local motel despite going to Stanford, he'd remarked that Sam seemed like a "real fixer-upper." They go to see Gary's wife, Deb Freleng, at her home, and Castiel tries to interrogate her. He comes on too strong, though, and Sam interrupts, asking Deb if her husband may have been hiding something. Then the doorbell rings and Olivia comes inside, crying. She and Deb embrace, and Deb asks them what they think Gary was hiding. The hunters are confused until they learn that Deb knew about Olivia because she and her husband "had an arrangement." Soon after, another weird death happens in town. According to witnesses, a man who stepped off a building floated in midair, only falling after he looked down. Detective Glass tells them it was a suicide, but points out that both deaths seem to be straight out of cartoons. As the brothers compare these phenomena to Bugs Bunny, Castiel literally assumes they're talking about an insect-rabbit hybrid, before the Winchesters describe the nature of cartoons to the angel. Back at their motel room, Castiel watches cartoons to understand them while Dean and Sam try to figure out what's going on. Dean mentions that it might be a Tulpa just as Castiel hears something on the police band frequency: there's been a "loony" bank robbery.
At the bank, a security guard has been killed, crushed by a 1-ton anvil. Detective Glass tells them that the culprit is a thief they've been calling "Black Hole" because of the black holes he paints on the walls. Sam leaves with her to get the "Black Hole" files, and Dean and Castiel stay behind. Dean asks Castiel to move the anvil, and under it they see a black "X" drawn on the floor. Dean remarks that the robber seems to be following "cartoon rules" and that the black holes were likely used as portals into the bank. The portals are inactive now, though. Back in their motel room, Dean searches online while Castiel reads John Winchester's Journal. Dean asks Castiel how he's feeling after Purgatory, and Castiel answers that he's fine. Dean suggests that he return to heaven to investigate who or what resurrected him, but Castiel refuses. He tells Dean that if he sees the devastation he wrought in heaven, he's afraid he'll kill himself. Before Dean can respond, Sam returns with the "Black Hole" files and tells them that all three cartoon-like deaths happened while a robbery was taking place. In fact, people reported strange cartoon-like behavior in a 50-yard radius around each robbery while it was occurring. Because every robbery also involved the property of someone living at Sunset Fields retirement home, they decide to go there next.
They meet Dr Dwight Mahoney, who runs the retirement home, and question the residents. An old woman says that the cat, Bob talks, and Castiel goes to interrogate it. An orderly tells Sam that many of the residents retreat inside their minds because the real world is too much. Sam remembers back to the night he met Amelia's father, Stan, and the man asked him if he had served in the military. When Sam had said no, Stan had said that Sam had the look of someone who'd seen a lot of terrible things. He thought that Sam and Amelia were holding on to each other because they were both scared of something, and he wanted to know what Sam was running from. Dean tells Sam that most of the residents don't even remember being robbed. Then Sam notices a picture on the wall: it's Fred Jones, an old psychokinetic that had been a friend of their dad's. They call Castiel away, who is forced to cease his interrogation of the cat, who says "Dumbass" when he leaves. They go to his room, but he's in a wheelchair and completely unresponsive. His TV is playing cartoons, and Dean confirms that Fred's behind the cartoon antics by hitting himself in the head with a book, which causes a loud clang and the sound of birds chirping. Sam says that Fred was so powerful he could reshape reality, but he doesn't seem to be in control of himself anymore. Castiel asks if they should kill him just as Dr Mahoney walks into the room with an orderly. They are promptly kicked out, but Dean asks Castiel to become invisible and keep an eye on things until he and Sam can return later that night. Later, Dean and Sam find the retirement home in chaos. The candle on a resident's birthday cake exploded in classic cartoon style and, while Castiel was distracted, Fred disappeared. A female orderly confronts them, but one of the residents tells Castiel that the orderly is wearing her stolen diamond bracelet. When they ask the orderly where she got it, she tells them that it was a gift from her boyfriend, another orderly at the retirement home.
They go break into his house and find not only stolen bearer bonds, but also the orderly dying from a gunshot wound in his stomach. Castiel heals him, causing him to freak out, before Dean demands to know where Fred is. The orderly tells them that Dr Mahoney had taken Fred. He explains that he learned of Fred's powers when his foot was crushed flat and popped out good as new and he told Mahoney, who proceeded to conduct experiments to see what he could do. Mahoney in fact has been skimming off the Sunset Fields residents for years. Since he discovered what Fred can do, he and Mahoney have been using the psychic to pull off the "Black Hole" robberies. When the bank's guard was killed, the hunters showed up and the exploding cake incident occurred, though, Mahoney lost it, and he's now heading to the bank with Fred for one last score. He shot the orderly because he disagreed with his plan to kill Fred after everything was over. As they get in the Impala, Castiel asks Dean if he thinks Fred knows what is going on, and Dean says he seems to be living in a dream world. Sam has another flashback to the night he met Amelia's father. He had overheard Stan telling Amelia that she needed to stop living in a dream world and come home with him. When he'd called Sam a mess, Amelia had said that she was a mess, too, and that he needed to give her and Sam a chance. Stan had given in and been nicer to Sam, asking about the Impala. During their conversation, Sam had rubbed the scar on his hand. They arrive at the bank and, while Dean uses an active black hole to get inside, Sam and Castiel search for Fred in the vicinity. Castiel senses his power coming from a parked van, and they find Fred inside, watching cartoons on a computer tablet. Sam can't wake him up, so Castiel touches Fred and transports them both into his mind, which looks like a cartoon landscape. Fred is there, and when Sam tells him who he is, Fred is confused: Sam looks much older than he thinks he should because Fred's been trapped in his own mind for 16 years. Sam tells him what's been happening with Mahoney, and Fred is distraught. He tells Sam that he loved cartoons as a kid and his mind likely focused on cartoons because they made him feel safe. Sam sympathizes and tells Fred that living in a dream world is nice, but eventually whatever he's running from will catch up to him. He needs to wake up and take control. Meanwhile, Dean has found Mahoney in the bank.
He's emptying out the safety deposit boxes belonging to his clients' children, and he offers Dean half of everything if he lets him go. Dean refuses, and Mahoney slams him against the wall and then runs for it. Dean tries to fire his gun after him, but a flag with the word BANG! appears instead of a bullet. Dean chases and tackles him, freezing in midair as cartoon-style captions appear next to him and Mahoney. After they land, Mahoney pulls a frying pan out of his jacket and hits Dean in the face. Dean draws an "X" on the ground and a 1-ton anvil barely misses landing on Mahoney, who then tries to leave the bank through one of his black holes. The hole is inactive, though, cartoon rules no longer in effect. Mahoney pulls his gun and aims it at Dean, but Fred, awake now and with Castiel and Sam at his side, interrupts. He tells the scared Mahoney that he'll never hurt anyone again and then uses his psychic powers to make Mahoney put the gun to his own head and pull the trigger, killing him. Sam asks Fred if he's okay, and Fred says he is now, but that he doesn't want to lose control of his powers again. Castiel offers to do a procedure that will strip him of his powers, and Fred agrees to it despite the risk that his mind will be further damaged. Afterwards, Fred is once again in a catatonic state in his room at Sunset Fields. Dean tells Castiel that he's done a good job and that he can ride in the front seat of the Impala, but Castiel says that he can't come with them. Before he can explain why, he hears a bell and is suddenly in heaven with Naomi. She tells him that she can read his mind and that she won't let him to do what he's planning. Castiel isn't allowed in heaven unless she rings her bell, and he needs to do what he's told. He asks her what he should do, and she asks him instead what he wants to do. In the next instant, Castiel is back in front Sam and Dean, who don't notice that he's been gone. Sam asks him why he can't stay with them, and Castiel says that he'll watch over Fred for a few days to make sure he's okay. Then he's not sure what he's going to do, but he knows he can't run anymore.
After Castiel's words, Sam has a final flashback to the night he met Amelia's father. The two of them were finally getting along and, as Amelia left the dinner table to answer a phone call, Sam had told Stan that he ran away from his life after his brother died. Stan had given him his condolences and then Amelia had come back into the room, phone in hand, to tell them that her husband Don was found alive. Sam is jarred out of the memory by Dean, who claps him on the arm. They leave the retirement home together while Castiel stays with Fred.
- Amanda Tapping as Naomi
- Liane Balaban as Amelia Richardson
- Mike Farrell as Fred Jones
- Greg Webb as Dwight Mahoney
- Brian Markinson as Stan Thompson
- Bryce Hodgson as Orderly
- Lisa Chandler as Orderly's girlfriend
- Lisa Marie DiGiacinto as Deb Freleng
- Sarah Karst as Olivia Kopple
- Andrew Zachar as Gary Freleng
- Robert Singer as BOB (voice only)
- Maxine Miller as Sheila
- Catherine Lough Haggquist as Detective Glass
- Lisa Marie DiGiacinto as Mrs. Freleng
- Faustino Di Bauda as Jumper
- Ode to Joy from Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Kevin Tran was mentioned. He previously appeared in A Little Slice of Kevin.
- Garth Fitzgerald IV was mentioned. He previously appeared in Southern Comfort.
- Psychics were previously featured in The Mentalists.
- Following this episode, Castiel decides to become a hunter.
- This is the first episode wherein Andrew Dabb had a solo credit. He previously wrote 16 episodes with Daniel Loflin.
- The CW's official summary for this episode spells Castiel's nickname as Cas, instead of 'Cass'.
- It is revealed in this episode that the Richard Roman Enterprises "crashed and burned" since the death of Dick Roman.
- Dean's reference of the cases as "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Free Fallin" are references to songs by Elvis Presley and Tom Petty, respectively.