While pretty much any episode of Supernatural could be considered perfect for Halloween, it’s especially satisfying when the show pays homage to the holiday with a bonafide Halloween episode. Season 4, Episode 7, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester,” not only takes place on Halloween, but it plays on a lot of fun Halloween themes. We get some expected spooky content with witches, demons, ghosts, zombies, and a possibly apocalyptic outcome, but the show also manages to weave in the recently introduced angels to the storyline.
“Great Pumpkin” is just one of the always fun “monster of the week” episodes that Supernatural fans have loved for years, with the boys facing off against witches who are set on resurrecting a terrible demon. Also, as I rewatched the episode, I had nearly forgotten just how bloody and gory the show could be with its death scenes of unsuspecting victims. When Supernatural chooses to go dark, it’s extremely successful.
The episode starts off with a couple of very Halloween-esque type deaths: a man falling victim to razor blades in candy bars and a girl not only drowning in a terrifying bobbing-for- apples incident, but also boiling her face in the suddenly scalding hot water. As the boys investigate, they realize they’re dealing with a witch, and a very powerful one at that. Sam realizes that this witch is working through a spell meant to resurrect the demon Samhain, who can bring back the dead and basically wreak havoc on an apocalyptic level, so they need to stop this witch quickly.
The guys eventually figure out the witch is a girl named Tracy (who happens to have connections to both victims) and focus on stopping her, but not before they get a visit from the angels Castiel and Uriel. This is where the show manages to tie in the angels with the Winchesters’ usual monster hunting in an interesting way. Turns out, the raising of Samhain is actually one of the 66 seals that, if broken, would bring us one step closer to Lucifer being released from his cage. So, it makes sense that the angels would get involved. This episode is also the one where Sam meets angels for the first time. While Sam is excited to finally meet Castiel, his excitement is short lived when he realizes that angels aren’t exactly what he always imagined.
Regardless, the angels are there to get involved. In fact, they plan to destroy the entire town to prevent the resurrection of Samhain. Sam and Dean won’t let that happen, though, so they insist that the angels allow them to do what they do best and let them fight the current monster. Castiel agrees and the boys get right to work to find the witch.
The guys figure out that the art teacher that they spoke to earlier, Don, is also involved with the deaths happening. When they head to Don’s house on Halloween night, they find him about to sacrifice Tracy, so Sam shoots him. But, it’s never that easy. Tracy reveals that she’s a witch and is Don’s sister. She incapacitates the boys and completes the spell and Samhain rises, possessing Don’s corpse and killing Tracy. As they follow Samhain to a cemetery, Sam brings up the idea of using his powers to stop the demon, but Dean doesn’t like the idea and asks Sam to use Ruby’s knife instead.
Samhain stumbles upon a high school party taking place in a mausoleum, locks the kids inside, and unleashes ghosts and zombies on them. Although the seal has been broken, the Winchesters are now focused on saving as many lives as they can. Sam is the one who ends up facing off against the demon in the end, and he defeats him by using his powers, much to the disappointment of Dean and the angels.
The next day, Uriel warns Sam not to use his powers again. He also tells Sam to ask Dean what he remembers about being in Hell. Elsewhere, Dean is conversing with Castiel, who reveals what the angels’ true orders were in this situation. He says that they were told to do whatever Dean told them. It was all a test to see how Dean would react under battlefield conditions. While Dean thinks he failed, Castiel says he hoped Dean would do exactly what he chose to do. He has doubts about the plan from Heaven and he warns Dean that there will be more hard decisions for him to make.
Overall, this is a true Halloween episode that includes a bunch of different Halloween themes while still managing to tie in the angels. While it’s not necessarily a break from the storyline, as we get more insight on angels and the situation with the 66 seals, it’s still a fun episode in many ways. Whether it’s watching the boys do what they do best by hunting the current monster, or seeing Dean pig out on candy and hassle a trick-or-treater, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” manages to be spooky and filled with Halloween call-outs while still advancing the season’s storyline.
So, grab your favorite Halloween treat (after checking for razor blades, of course) and give this episode a watch. Be sure to keep an eye out for the final installments of Nerds Gets Spooky the rest of this week!