Season 1 Episode 10


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 22, 2005 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,347 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Sam and Dean investigate a mysterious asylum that has a history with abuse, an evil force inside causes Sam to lose his sanity and turn on his brother.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Sam shot Dean. SAM. SHOT. DEAN?! But, but, he's not even possessed!

    And the angst is upped a notch this week as the boys receive a mysterious text message with coordinates from their still-absentee father. Dean, of course, immediately asks how high John wants them to jump while Sam wants more information first. It is at this point that the picture of the Winchester family dynamic really begins to come together. You've got John - the stern taskmaster and leader. You've got Dean - the loyal soldier. And then you've got Sam - the rebellious questioner who is never quite happy to blindly follow daddy's plans. I don't blame him. Why is it that John can text but can't call? You can track a text message just as easily as a normal phone-call, you know. That just doesn't make any sense.

    At least it gave us the rather hilarious revelation that John Winchester, hardcore hunter, can barely work a toaster. I really want to know the story behind that comment.

    True to the title, this episode is set almost entirely in the old Roosevelt Asylum of Rockford Illinois. It's a dark and gloomy episode with a grey colour palate and some of the best jump-scares and creepy moments that the show has ever produced. If SPN was begun with the intention of bringing horror themes to the small screen and putting them into a suburban atmosphere, this is a place where they succeed. Majorly succeed. There were a few points in this episode where I found myself squirming and looking away. Not because it was particularly gross or anything like that (I think the worst thing we ever see is the old formaldehyde bottles in the doctor's office), but because the atmosphere is so overwhelming. The empty corridors, the ghosts that sometimes even Sam and Dean don't notice, the constant whispers and creaks, the shadows, the way the shots are set up, the whole bloody package is just wonderful.

    I don't know why anyone would ever try to spend the night at a place like that. Even on a dare. As Dean observes - doesn't anyone ever watch horror films? Even if you're not a blond, petite female it's probably wise to avoid any place marked 'Caution' and with a reputation for possible paranormal activity.

    This episode was a bit of a mixed bag. I loved the atmosphere, all of the Jack Nicholson references, and a few of the twists and turns - but at other times the story seemed frightfully generic and predictable. I enjoyed all the bits with Sam and Dean interacting and it was good to see John finally get in touch with them. Ten episodes is long enough to draw out the AWOL father plot-line. They needed to do something new with it. If you're a fan of dark atmosphere, then this episode is definitely a must-see.moreless
  • 110-"Asylum"

    Sam and Dean receive a tip from their father, and travel to Rockford, Illinois, to investigate the haunted Roosevelt Asylum, where criminally insane patients rioted in 1964. One of the riot's victims was the chief psychiatrist (Norman Armour). The spirits there try to communicate rather than attack, leading the brothers to discover that the psychiatrist had been conducting cruel experiments on his patients in order to test his theory that provoking extreme anger would be therapeutic for them. The ghost of the doctor then confronts Sam, causing him to lose his sanity and try to kill his brother. Dean manages to subdue Sam and burn the doctor's corpse, stopping the spirit and returning Sam to normal.

    Written by: Richard Hatem

    Directed by: Guy Bee

    my thoughts: it was good it was actually quite creepy but its still not moving the story along so meh

    Ep. rankings:


    2.)"hook man"




    6.)"bloody mary"

    7.)"Dead in the waater"

    8.)"phantom traveler"


  • Review

    When Sam and Dean investigate a mysterious asylum that has a history with abuse, an evil force inside causes Sam to lose his sanity and turn on his brother.

    The episode flowed really well from beginning to end. I liked the storyline inside of the Asylum. I thought the creppy scientist guy was a good "endgame" to the episode and I thought the two teen characters were portrayed very well for their one episode apperence. The ending scene proivided a shocker - with the Dad calling and Sam answering the call. I also liked the beinning scene - really set the tone for the rest of the episode. The opening scene really sets up the "scare" portion of the episode - and this one did a good job at doing that.moreless
  • After receiving coordinates in a text message from their father, Sam and Dean go to the Roosevelt Asylum in Rockford, Ill., to check out rumors that it's haunted by murderous ghosts. Sam makes an appointment with Dr. James Ellicott. Sam prods him for infomoreless

    Asylum was a good episode. Dr. Ellicott reveals that the hard core patients were in the south wing. They rioted, and some of the bodies were never found..including his father's. That night, the brothers visit the asylum where they find plenty of spirits roaming the halls. While Dean is quick to pull the trigger, none of the spirits attack them. They encounter a girl, Kat, who's has been separated from her boyfriend, Gavin. It turns out the spirits just want to talk-after Sam and Dean find Gavin, a ghost whispers the number 137 to Kat, and Dean goes in search of that room. Inside, he finds that Dr. Sanford Ellicott conducted cruel and gruesome experiments on his patients, so they revolted and killed him. The evil doctor's voice imitates Dean's voice to lure Sam away, and then it gets into Sam's head, turning him against Dean. But of course Dean saves Sam and burns the corpse. Sam: "It doesn't matter what he wants-"

    Dean: "See that attitude right there? That's why I always got the extra cookie."moreless
  • Dean: "You're not gonna try to kill me, are you?" Sam: "No." Dean: "Good, cause that would be awkward."

    It seems as though the writing is getting better and better every episode. It's starting to incorporate not only more creative scripts, but some humour into the dialogue. Although in the past it would make you laugh here and there, they weren't that creative. Here they were. Before the episodes followed a predictable and pretty dull formula; open up with a person dying at the hand of a supernatural being, Dean and Sam ask some questions, another person dies that leads them closer to solving the mystery, final showdown, and end episode. The show is throwing a couple of interesting spices, like in the manner of how Dean and Sam go about investigating. That little act they pulled to get the officer talking about the incident, that was pretty smart. And how they did the same for the therapist, also smart. And in a way it's pretty clever how all of the little events that has happened throughout the episode tie into the same theme; anger and rage.moreless
Nicholas D'Agosto

Nicholas D'Agosto


Guest Star

Tom Pickett

Tom Pickett

Lt. Danny Gunderson

Guest Star

James Purcell

James Purcell

Dr. James Ellicott

Guest Star

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Trivia: This is the first time that iron is established as a spirit deterrent.

    • Dean's lighter went out of order once but some minutes later it was on again.

    • When Dean is shot down by Sam, white daub on his face is appearing and disappearing while switching cameras. Also there is one bigger piece of daub on his right shoulder which appears and disappears the same way.

    • Why are there remains from the apparition of Dr. Sanford Ellicott when his earthly body is burning? In the earlier episode "Hook Man", the apparition disappeared entirely when his silver hook/cross was burned.

    • When Dean is lecturing Kat, he says "You seen a lot of horror movies, yeah?...Do me a favor, next time you see one, pay attention. When someone says a place is haunted, don't go in." Yet only seconds earlier he suggested that they split up to search for Gavin - a sure sign in a horror movie that someone is about to come to harm.

    • When Dean burns the doctor's body with the cigarette lighter, he throws the cigarette lighter towards the doctor's dead body, but the cigarette lighter turns off as soon as Dean let go of the lighter.

    • When Sam gets the call to go to the basement he never mentions that it was Dean, yet Kat says Sam openly said it was Dean on the phone.

    • When Dean is looking at the article in the journal about the asylum the picture of the wendigo is on the left-hand page and the article on the right. Later when they are looking at it, another page has been inserted so the wendigo is on the previous left hand page.

    • Trivia: The coordinates the brothers' father texts to them is 42, -89 (for the asylum in Rockford, Illinois)

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Dean: All right, so either Kelly had some deep-seated crazy waitin' to bust out or something else did it to him.

    • (Sam fake-shoves Dean, who leaves)
      Lt. Gunderson: You didn't have to do that.
      Sam: Yeah of course I did. That guy's a serious jerk.

    • Dean: The log book said he had some sort of hidden procedure room down here somewhere, where he'd work on his patients so I mean, if I was a patient, I'd drag his ass down here and do some work on him myself.

    • Sam: Dean, when are you gonna talk about it?
      Dean: Talk about what?
      Sam: About the fact that Dad's not here.
      Dean: Oh..uh, let's see...never.

    • Dean: So, what are you going to do, huh? You gonna kill me?
      Sam: You know what, I am sick of doing what you tell me to do. We're no closer to finding Dad today, than we were 6 months ago.
      Dean: Well, then here, let me make it easier for you. Come on, take it. Real bullets are gonna work a hell of a lot better than rock salt. Take it! (gun pointed at Dean) You hate me that much? You think you can kill your own brother? Well then, go ahead. Pull the trigger. (waits for Sam to fire gun) Do it!
      (Sam tries to fire the gun, Dean hits him)
      Dean: Man, I'm not going to give you a loaded pistol. (knocks him unconscious) Sorry, Sammy.

    • Dean: (after finding Ellicot's body) Aw, that's just gross.

    • Dean: What are ya gonna do, Sam? The gun is filled with rock salt. It's not gonna kill me.
      (Sam shoots Dean)
      Sam: No, but it'll hurt like hell.

    • Sam: I told you I looked everywhere. I didn't find a hidden room.
      Dean: Well, that's why they call it hidden.

    • Dean: (after being shot at, heads to the basement to look for Sam) Basement, huh? Alright. Watch yourselves. And watch out for me.

    • Kat: Gavin. Gavin.
      Dean: Hey, I gotta question for ya. You seen a lot of horror movies, yeah?
      Kat: Yeah, I guess so.
      Dean: Do me a favor, next time you see one, pay attention. When someone says a place is haunted, don't go in.

    • Dean: Sam, put the gun down.
      Sam: (when he is crazy) Is that an order?
      Dean: No, it's more of a friendly request.

    • Kat: Hey Gavin?
      Gavin: Yeah?
      Kat: If we make it out of here alive, we are so breaking up.

    • Dean: The only thing that makes me more nervous than a pissed-off spirit…is the pissed-off spirit of a psycho-killer.

    • Dean: It's a text message - it's co-ordinates.
      Sam: Do you think Dad was texting us?
      Dean: He's given us co-ordinates before.
      Sam: The man can barely work a toaster, Dean.

    • Sam: Spirits can appear at certain hours of the day.
      Dean: Yeah, the freaks come out at night.

    • Dean: Ghosts are attracted to that whole ESP thing you got goin' on.
      Sam: I told you, it's not ESP, I just have strange vibes sometimes.

    • Katherine: So how do you guys know about all this ghost stuff?
      Sam: It's kind of our job.
      Katherine: Why would anyone want a job like that?
      Sam: I had a crappy guidance counselor.

    • Dean: You shoved me kinda hard in there, buddy boy?
      Sam: I had to sell it, didn't I?

    • Gavin: She kissed me.
      Sam: Erm, but she didn't hurt you physically?
      Gavin: Dude, she kissed me! I'm scarred for life!

    • Sam: It doesn't matter what (John) wants.
      Dean: See, that attitude right there... that is why I always got the extra cookie.

    • (Sam has woken up after Dean has burned Ellicott's bones)
      Dean: You're not gonna try to kill me, are you?
      Sam: No.
      Dean: Good. 'Cause that would be awkward.

  • NOTES (5)


    • Nigel Tufnel
      Dean's alias is the name of the lead singer for Spinal Tap, played by Christopher Guest.

    • Dean: All work and no play makes Dr. Ellicott a very dull boy.
      In The Shining, Jack (played by Jack Nicholson) turns psycho when caretaking at a Hotel over the winter. Jack was writing a novel on his spare time, but instead of a story, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" was repeated over and over.

    • Dean: I love the guy but he writes like friggin' Yoda.
      This is alluding to Yoda in the Star Wars movies who always spoke English in a round about way. It is known as Yoda-Speak, or Yodish.

    • Sam: Maybe it's more like Amityville or the Smurl Haunting.
      Amityville happened on November 13, 1974. Police discovered six members of the DeFeo family--father, mother and four of their five children--shot and killed execution at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. By 1977, the DeFeo home would be the center of a haunted house story that experts labeled a hoax. As for the Smurl Haunting. The Smurl family had lived in a duplex in West Pittston, Pennsylvania since 1973, with John and Mary Smurl living in the right half, and their son Jack, his wife Janet and their two daughters, Dawn and Heather, in the other half. The family was plagued by four demons and suffered sexual and physical abuses. Most people considered the story to be a hoax and said the family was searching for a book deal like the Amityville incident. a book and movie, both titled The Haunted have been released. Sam and Dean appear to be suggesting that the hauntings were in fact caused by tormented spirits.

    • Dean: Let me know if you see any dead people, Haley Joel.
      A reference to the movie The Sixth Sense, which starred child actor Haley Joel Osment. "I see dead people", his line from the movie, has become widely parodied.

    • Dean: Yep, the freaks come out at night.
      Dean could be referring to the song "The Freaks Come Out at Night" by the NRBQ.

    • Dean: Dr. Feelgood was working on some sort of extreme rage therapy.
      Dr. Feelgood is a nickname given to physicians who overprescribe psychoactive (affecting the mind or mental processes) medications. Dr. Feelgood is also the title of a Motley Crue album from 1989.

    • Dean: Hey Sam, who do you think is a hotter psychic? Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt, or you?
      Dean is reffering to two other shows with supernatural inclinations. Patrica Arquette plays medium Allison DuBois on NBC's Medium, and Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a psychic named Melinda Gordon on the CBS drama Ghost Whisperer.

    • Dean: My man Jack...
      Referencing two Jack Nicholson films, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest where Nicholson played an inmate in a mental institution, and The Shining where Nicholson played a man driven insane by a haunted building.