Barres, beautiful scarves, and some seriously uptight hair open up our return episode of Supernatural. The corps de ballet are quipping quietly about the prima ballerina being beyond fashionably when she Swan Lakes in, ecru infinity scarf perfectly placed. Maybe I’ve been too sucked into Smash, but these girls need to up their cattiness a bit, clearly their sock buns are not taut enough for the real digs to get dug in, they all fall a bit flat.
The chorus line… The ensemble… The other ballerinas, leave the tiny dancer behind as she gleefully ties on her pointe shoes and Coppelias
her way around the studio. On the other side of the door the custodian mimics her movements, just him and his mop. She’s dancing like she’s never danced before, and the distress is becoming evident. She doesn’t scream out, so the only indicator the custodian has that there’s a problem is the sudden splatter of blood against the frosted glass door. He barges in and finds our prima ballerina on the floor in a pool of her own blood. She danced her feet off. That’s the penalty, when life is but a song.
(I’m also refraining from making a “dance your ass off” joke. You’re welcome.)
After the title we cut to Dean on the phone with Frank Devereaux; they play a bizarre version of “Who’s on First, The Geography Version” that ends in Frank having zero info for Dean. It’s painfully forced at first, but it’s 100% redeemed by Frank ending the call with, “Oh, and another thing…” *hits end call*
Sam strolls up, and Dean observes that Sam is IV’ing caffeine into his system by the banana bag. Sam, in an odd Winchester twist, is completely upfront and tells Dean he “can’t sleep, Satan will mock me.” Of course, lack of sleep only creates a greater disconnect from reality, but it’s not like Sam went to college and learned that. Oh wait…
Anyway, Sam shows Dean a news article about the girl with the Dancing Plague of 1518. Dean reveals he’s an expert at dancers. He saw Black Swan twice. Alone. Surprised he didn’t get arrested for pulling a Pee-Wee Herman in the theater.
At the police station, as Sam and Dean are waiting to see the crime scene photos and evidence, an officer tries to work while his daughter tries to keep herself entertained. I didn’t know take your daughter to work extended to evidence rooms—seems less than secure in my opinion, especially given the way Miss Aspiring Sugar Plum Fairy keeps eyeing up the toe shoes. Her father puts a stop to that and, in true kid fashion, she gets antsy and heads for the bathroom. Right there on the tile are the ballet slippers, all pale pink and taunting. Clear on the invitation, the girl starts tying them on and they magically shrink to mold to her feet. By this time Sam and Dean have figured out that they’re dealing with a cursed object situation and flee to the bathroom to save the girl. They grab her before she can pas de bourrée, and Dean wrestles the slippers off her feet, catching some swift kicks to the face in the process. The boys leave the station, accursed footwear in tow.
The slippers had a price sticker on them from an antiques place called Out With The Old, so they head there. As they pull up, Dean spots the slippers in the backseat, but apparently they had put the pair in the truck. Also, the shoes have grown to Dean’s size. And Dean wants to put on those pink shoes and cut loose, footloose. Inside they meet Scott Freeman; his mother recently passed away, so he’s manning the place now. Sam asks Scott about the shoes, while Dean caresses the slippers and thinks about dancing when the stars go blue. Sam sees him and slaps them out of Dean’s hands.
Dean goes on a search and comes up with multiple curse boxes.
Not good. Now to find out why these things are there strictly by invocation.
On the plus side, Scott seems to keep an accurate sales ledger.
Back on the not good side, we’re now in a nice country kitchen. The rhythmic sound of vegetable chopping soothes us. No, it doesn’t, because if you’re like me you were just waiting for the lady to run out of cucumber and start dicing her digits off. But she doesn’t. Instead she lifts a whistling antique teakettle off the burner, holds it over her head, and pours the scalding water directly into her open mouth. The water steams and overflows, blistering her mouth and chin with angry burns. And that’s the state the Winchesters find her dead body in.
Next on the sold-to list: a gramophone to one person and a vintage dirty mag collection to another. Dean, naturally, goes to save the man who has a deadly date with Rosie Palm, and Sam heads off to save the obsolete music lover.
We follow Sam, because I’m pretty sure Dean’s mission could only be television on Cinemax, to the gramophone owner’s home. The gramophone was whispering deadly suggestions into a young boy’s ear, and Sam arrives just in time to stop the boy from slasher movie slaying his mom.
Back at Out With The Old, Scott unloads all of his guilt. About accidently selling off his mom’s old curse stuff. And that he blames himself for his mom’s death, because he was pushing her too hard to sell the place to the real estate agent that’s Park Placing all over the neighborhood.
Dean takes a stroll along the quaint mom ’n’ pop strip mall and notices that nearly every shop has a sold sign on it. Sold to Bicklebee Realty.
Ms. Bicklebee is the real estate agent in question, and in the next scene we find her and her assistant, George, pulling late hours trying to get a local shop owner to sell his store. We met all these people briefly before, and after an all-day-pestering the man still refuses to sell. Ms. Bicklebee is not pleased. She’s also a Leviathan, so she shapeshifts herself into a replica of the shopkeeper, snaps his neck and signs his place away on the dotted line. She also orders George to clean up her mess. George looks unamused.
After the commercial break, George has successfully taken care of the dead body issue and is serving his less than grateful boss a cup of coffee that does not meet her temperature standards. She rattles off an order that even a writer for a When Harry Met Sally remake would find pretentious and sends him on his way.
(Sidenote to the movie industry: that was not an invitation to remake When Harry Met Sally. Don’t you ever DARE do that.)
Meanwhile, we find Sam behind the wheel of a pickup blasting the radio to stay awake. Dean’s at the Lampliter researching Bicklebee Realty, but his Google-fu has failed him and he’s hit a firewall. Dean calls up Frank and lays out his problem. Frank grumbles and snipes his way through the call and tells Dean he’ll look into it.
Hey, didn’t Sam and Dean used to have a grumpy, paranoid man that had an endless fount of info at his disposal? Yeah, I thought so. As quippy and funnily confrontational as Frank is, he’s a poor substitution for Bobby Singer.
Back in the pickup truck, Sam’s caffeine rush is wearing off and he Tokyo drifts right into the path of a semi. The honking wakes him up just in time to swerve out of the way.
George is getting Bicklebee’s cup of fussy coffee, which the “barista” makes incorrectly and refuses to fix. George takes the coffee, and as he walks away—griping about how Bicklebee is going to taste the extra syrup shot and make him eat his own face—he hears Sam Winchester order a quint shot red eye that even made my Americano, double extra espresso shot, no sweetener, splash of half ’n’ half ordering self feel a bit jittery. George just hit the score of a lifetime and calls up Bicklebee. He’s excited because he’s going to make an extremely filling meal out of Sam Winchester, but Bicklebee puts a fork in that. George is aspiring a bit too high for her liking.
Sam, unaware that he’s been made, heads over the Lampliter to meet Dean. Dean fills Sam in on what Frank dug up. Bicklebee Realties, a subsidiary of GeoThrive Inc., is all under the umbrella of Dick Roman Enterprises. The circle of monopoly. Beautiful. They should take care of this, but Dean really wants Sam to get some rest. Sam tells Dean that Lucifer is on a constant roll in his brain; in fact he’s serenading Sam with “Stairway to Heaven” as they speak. Dean approves of Lucifer’s taste; Sam says it’s not so awesome on a loop. Considering I’m the worst kind of Supernatural fan, because there is zero love lost between Zeppelin and me, I agree, Sam. I agree.
At that moment, Sam gets a phone call from Scott Freeman. He’s in a panic. He looked into one of his mom’s antique mirrors and now he wants to claw his mug off his skull. Sam and Dean mobilize.
Turns out though, that Scott was acting under duress. Bicklebee and George are holding him hostage. Bicklebee isn’t too keen on stacking up another body for missing persons to look into, so she tells George that he’s going to have to doppelgang himself to look like Scott and live his life as Scott. George doesn’t look like he really wants to.
The Winchesters burst in and the fight begins. Dean is tossed into a curio cabinet, to no one’s surprise. Sam is going head to head with George when suddenly George gives him the heads up that the bucket near them is full of borax-enriched cleanser, and to use George’s head and the bucket as a corrosive distraction. Sam does and it throws Bicklebee off her game long enough for Sam to sneak up behind her and slice her head off with the sword George pointed out for him.
The boys want to know why George was so helpful and George puts it simply: he hated her and wants to eat her head, please and thank you.
Sam and Dean do not allow this and instead force him to spill Dick’s plan while they hold the blade to his throat. George tells them that they’re still thinking on too small of a scale, it’s not about murdering people. There’s a bigger picture.
Sam and Dean leave town, trailer full of cursed antiques hitched to their current vehicle. They head out to Frank’s as CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising” plays.
Um… I for one remember the last time that song was used on this show and it ended in a crashed Impala, a comatose Dean, and John Winchester selling his soul. Not a good omen.
They walk up to Frank’s doublewide. The song continues, but now it’s coming from inside Frank’s home. The boys find the inside trashed, Frank missing, and blood everywhere.
Now I feel kinda bad about calling him out as a poor substitute for Bobby Singer, but hey man, it is what it is. No one ever claimed that hanging with the Winchester brothers would extend anyone’s life expectancy.