Recap: Be Careful Near the Vending Machine in ‘Supernatural’ Season 15, Episode 16: “Drag Me Away (From You)”

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It was another Supernatural Thursday evening once again. We are getting dangerously closer to the end of this season, with only four more episodes to go. Well, grab your slice of pie, turn on “Africa” by Toto, and we will get down to business on season 15, episode 16, “Drag Me Away (From You),” written by Meghan Fitzmartin (Red Rhino, The College Tapes) and directed by Amyn Kaderali (Supernatural, The 100).

Spoilers from here on out. You have been warned.

After checking into a motel, Travis (Ryan Alexander McDonald) stands in front of the room he requested to stay in, 214, before shakily opening the door and entering a very retro decorated room. Oh, how I have missed those excellent retro rooms that look like they are from horror movies. Travis sits on the edge of the bed, muttering to himself that it was not real, that it didn’t happen while playing with a ring on a chain. Looking at his phone, there is a message asking why he went back there from someone named Caitlin. All of a sudden, a door behind him opens. There is a little boy that picks up the broken whiskey bottle approaching Travis. Then we hear him scream.

Sam and Dean are driving to go to an old friend’s funeral, which just happens to be Travis. Dean does not seem to be keen to go, but they are just waiting, as Sam points out right now. Chuck is off-world, Jack is waiting to hear what to do next from Billie, and Cas is who knows where. Sam then asks Dean if they fought and if Cas said anything before he left. Dean says nothing. We all know this is not true, so that will end wonderfully when Sam finds out. Dean reaches for his cell phone to a text from Cas. Sam scolds him for checking his phone while driving. It would have been perfect if they showed Jensen’s commercial about not texting and driving during the commercial breaks.

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When the brothers get to the motel, we get a flashback to January 1993 to when young Sam (Christian Michael Cooper) and young Dean (Paxton Singleton) stayed there. Also, Dean was wearing the amulet that Sam gave him! Back then, all Sam wanted to was be normal and go to college, so when Dean saw the college book he was looking at, he called him a dumbass, saying that hunting was their life. You almost forget how much of a soldier Dean was back then, just wanting his dad’s approval and to keep them all together. Since it had been a while, it felt out of character for him, but really, it wasn’t.

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Young Dean meets a young Caitlin (Elle McKinnon) and Travis (Liam Hughes) and shows them a trick on how to get free candy from the vending machine. They talk about cars — she even makes a reference to calling the impala Knight Rider — and flirt a bit. Her brother looks familiar, though. He was the little kid ghost that was haunting adult Travis in room 214.

In the present, Dean and Sam go to meet Caitlin (Kelsey Crane). She tells them that the funeral has already passed and that she thinks that “she” is back. Later, Dean gets upset saying it can’t be and reminds them that it only went after kids. That causes Caitlin to tell Dean that he has changed. He used to believe her and her brother. Oh, Caitlin… if you only knew.

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We flashback to when they are younger at the motel, and Travis tried to use the trick to get free candy from the machine. He walked away when it didn’t work, only to go back when he hears a chocolate bar fall. As Travis grabs for it, a very creepy hand grabs his wrist! We then see a young Dean calling Bobby to ask about his dad, then telling Sam that they will have to deal with it. Fans are then treated to when the brothers had to explain to people what they did. “The family business,” I have missed that. Caitlin and Travis take Dean and Sam to the fence with the images of the missing kids. They get a bunch of newspapers, and the four of them look up other missing kids. It made me think of them as a young Scooby-Doo group.

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Before knowing what they are up against, a young Dean gets ready to go to the abandoned building to look around. Young Sam says that their “dad wouldn’t like this,” but of course, eager to please his father at that age, Dean goes off, alone. What he doesn’t know is that Caitlin followed him to the building. He tells her to stay behind him as they go in and look around. They come to a covered pile. Dean goes to look, and when he looks, you can tell what he sees rattles him. It is not until later on that Dean reveals that they were the bodies of the missing kids.

Back at the motel, young Sam and young Travis are playing Boggle and come up with some very questionable phrases. As the boys back away, the Boggle dice fly into the air. The ghost-looking woman appears behind Travis and tries to attack him. Before she can, Sam knocks Travis out of the way as the older siblings come back from the abandoned building. Dean uses his knife and manages to cut off a few of her fingers and stabbing her. She vanishes.

Adult Dean walks past the vending machine, and something behind him goes by quickly (which is never a good thing). At the end of the hall and then right in front of him is young him, telling older him that he failed. Dean falls to his knees, and suddenly he is holding a knife and pointing it to his stomach. Younger him tells him, “You know what to do.” Older Dean slowly moves the blade in to stab himself, as if he is in a trance-like state. Luckily, Sam comes around the corner and asks him what he is doing. When Dean looks down to where the knife was, it is gone. Dean apologizes to Caitlin for not believing her and not telling Sam what he saw back then. Sam comments on how they used to keep stuff from each other. Yeah, Sam, “used to” — that is why Dean looks so guilty right now as he quickly leaves to get food.

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While waiting for food, and angry Billie appears, upset that the Winchesters are out on a hunt now of all times. She then informs Dean that Chuck destroyed the last world, meaning this is the last one. Death tells Dean this is the last time they will see her until the end. She is not in the next part according to Chuck’s book. When Billie finds out that Dean has not told Sam about what will happen to Jack, she chastises him to “get his house in order.”

When Dean returns, Sam tells him that Caitlin is missing and that they figured out they are going up against a Baba Yaga, a witch that feeds off of kids’ fears. Plus, she is not dead; the ring she wears is her heart, which was damaged back then, but Travis got it fixed before his death. So, of course, they split up. Dean gets to room 214, and the door opens for him. “I’ve seen this movie before,” he quips. When he walks into the room, it is actually the building where he found the missing kids from before. But this time, when he lifts the cover, it is a young Sam—causing Dean to back up quickly to the wall. When Sam walks into room 214, he sees Caitlin passed out on the bed and Dean being strangled by the Baba Yaga. With the witch looking at Sam, Dean takes the opportunity to get the ring and break it with the butt of the gun. As they get ready to leave, Dean admits to Caitlin that he is always scared, showing how he has changed and grown. There is then the flashback from when he was leaving the first time and gave her his number if anything happened again.

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On the drive home back to the Bunker, Sam tries to call Cas again. Dean tells him to hang up the phone. He then tells Sam about Billie’s visit and what will happen to Jack when he kills Chuck and Amara. Sam gets mad, asking how could he not tell him this. Dean loudly answers that Sam couldn’t handle it and that it is the only way for them to be free. Sam tells him to stop speaking and just drive. When Dean goes to say something else, Sam just repeats “stop” and “just drive”.  Is this really a good time to not be speaking to each other?

So, this Supernatural episode really felt like one from the earlier seasons with the scare factor and scenes that make you jump. It was so nice to see the retro motel rooms again; the set designs are always so beautiful and well done. And yay for Sam using an EMF and opening the door to see Bernadette Beck (Riverdale) with a bong, haha. With the series coming to an end soon, it was a nice look back and a reminder of where the show started while still having the moment with Billie addressing what is coming.

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By Sarah
As a Ravenclaw and introverted tattooed cat, Sarah enjoys reading, writing, and watching hockey (Go Leafs Go). You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @WyldeFandom
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