Season 2 Episode 4

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 19, 2006 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,048 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dean and Sam investigate the death of a young college student who died in a car accident, but whose grave is now surrounded by a circle of dead plants.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • We dealt with vampires, now zombies!

    Can we expect werewolves, maybe even Frankenstein next? Anyways, an excellently executed episode that was running on all four cylinders throughout the entire episode. From the start we had no idea what the supernatural enemy was going to be, and it wasn't until we actually found out that we discovered what it was--unless you read into the episode title. The only weak part of the episode was the conclusion leading up to the defeating of Angela, but everything else about the episode was definitely solid. Loved how well Dean's sidestory about how hard he's taking his dad's death intertwined with the story. Beautiful acting, in fact his and Sam's acting seems to get better by the episode.moreless
  • Biggest contrast of performances, most unexpected MotW and another one of my all-time SPN guilty pleasures.

    I often find myself going back to specific scenes in this episode: Dean's admission "I'm being an a*s" and the subsequent monologue, Sam's innocent smile at the line "right now we've got a frickin' zombie running around …" and his "our lives are weird man!" … Touché!!

    The other scene I always go back to is the final scene, it was extremely emotional and heartbreaking seeing Dean like that, and Jensen did such a marvelous job … his face, his voice, the tears, it was perfect. Especially that slight fading of his voice when he said "so tell me, what could you possibly say to make that alright?" that line was enough to make me melt!

    On the other hand this episode marks Jared's worst performance to date (except the scene at Mary's grave), don't get me wrong he's an incredible actor, but with the high standards he set throughout this show this was at least mediocre! There were scenes where he was barely saying his lines, he looked out of place and incoherent, for the first time you can tell he's "acting". Other scenes his reactions were just … off, not right somehow! I've said that before in a forum -BIG MISTAKE- and people took it the wrong way, I did some acting back when I had time for it so I know a little about this, and in this episode I didn't … FEEL Sam, does that make any sense?. (The best thing about this show has always been the credibility of its characters regardless of how insane the story is, this time Sam didn't seem so credible, didn't seem real)

    The plot was ok, with everything we've seen on this show I guess the zombie idea is plausible, but still I never thought they'd go there, they did it well enough. And that Neil character had "guilty" written all over his face, turns out he's into necrophilia too *gag*.

    Considering everything it was a good episode, and it gets extra marks for Jensen's brilliance.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show supernatural dean and sam are driven and they come across this case of a college student that crashed and died and the only thing is there seems to be stuff growing around were the crash happend and dean and sam must figure whats happening and what is causing it this was a good ep i thought and it was very intense and interesting and i thought season 2 is really getting good since season 1 and that is why i gave it a 9 for being really interesting and really good it shows that supernatural is keeping its rythemmoreless
  • Yet another solid Season 2 episode

    One thing that I noticed right away from Season 1 to Season 2 was the hunts that Sam and Dean go on. They're no longer simply about finding out about a hunt and then accomplishing it. Usually, the hunt was just something they were doing that really had no relation to what they were doing. They were side plots that filled in the time until Sam and Dean found their father (at least that's how I see them, some people may disagree, but I feel like the overall arc of the story is about the Winchester's and the events that occurred in their life that lead them to where they are now).

    However, with Season 2, the hunts relate more to Sam and Dean. With Bloodlust, Gordon's talk about "black and white" ended up connecting with the moral dilemna that Sam and Dean found themselves in. And in this episode, the hunt for the zombie was very related to Dean's guilt over surviving while his dad died. This makes the hunts more emotional and personal, instead of just seeming like an episode of Buffy or something (not that I've ever thought the show was exactly like Buffy; I think this show covers the stuff better).

    The aftermath of John Winchester's death remains the focus of the episodes up until this point, and I really enjoy seeing how the brothers cope. Dean's way seems to be as rude as possible and get the answers as fast as he can (which leads to some pretty funny lines) while Sam is following his heart and doing what he thinks his dad would want. The interaction between the two brothers is superbly written. There could be a whole episode of them just discussing everything that's happened in the past year and I'd be pleased, just because the connection between the two actors is great.

    So far, Season 2 has yet to disappoint. If anything, the tension and suspense is being kept at a steady boil and I'm just waiting for it all to over flow.moreless
  • The perfect pair with "Bloodlust" (2x03)

    Alongside with her former partner Sera Gamble (the two of them wrote several episodes together, in Season One), Raelle Tucker is one of my favorite writers on the show, because she is just as great as her co-worker in delivering strong, meaningful, deeply emotional character-driven episodes. Jeremy Carver and Cathryn Humphris are wonderful when dealing with myth-arc and plot-driven episodes, like Eric Kripke, and Ben Edlund's unique touch is evident in the most comedic, sarcastic episodes, but probably Gamble's and Tucker's episodes are the ones I can relate the most to. And this one, "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things", is another great example.

    A clever reinterpretation of the classic zombie figure, very far from Romero and Boyle and - at least in my opinion - even from "Pet Sematary", which is even mentioned during the episode (obviously by Dean), the script was particularly brilliant in uncovering Dean's emotional scars and his sense of guilt over his father's death. At the end of the episode, when he finally confesses to Sam his feelings, the tension between them was really painful: we viewers know that, even if he can't be happy for John's demise, Sammy can't be without his brother (as Season Four premiere demonstrated), and yet he can't tell so to Dean, at least not now. But we know this, and Dean also know, since Sam saved him in "Faith" (1x12). This unsaid between them - thanks also to Kim Manner's direction, which gave us a truly stunning shot of an azure valley, beautiful and sad - was more convincing, more endearing and more moving than million words.

    Aside from the in-depth character elaboration, the episode works really well as an horror tale, scaring, effective and suspenseful. Tamara Feldman did a great job as Angela, like Serge Houde as his father. Plus, the cemetery scenes were extremely atmospheric, very creepy and gloomy. In the end, I rated "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things" 9.5 and not a perfect, round 10 (like I did with "Bloodlust") only because I'm more keen on vampires. That's a minor quibble, and both the episodes are perfect.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: This episode features the first mention of the Casa Erotica porn franchise. It is mentioned throughout the series, typically when someone makes a joke about pay-per-view porn.

    • When Dean is checking out the dead tree at Angela's grave, he is wearing both a beaded chain and his usual necklace with the pendant. When Dean returns to Sam after receiving Angela's details, the beaded chain is gone.

    • Trivia: When Sam deposits his father's dog tags at his mother's tombstone it can be read in them:
      Type - AB
      Non Religious"

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Sam: Okay. So what are you thinking?
      Dean: I don't know, unholy ground, maybe.
      Sam: Un…
      Dean: What? If something evil happened there, it could easily poison the ground. Remember the--the farm outside Cedar Rapids?
      Sam: Yeah.
      Dean: Could be the sign of a demonic presence. Or--or the Angela girl's spirit, if it's powerful enough. (Sam nods, rolls his eyes and walks away) Well, don't get too excited, you might pull something.

    • Dean: Why don't we swing by the Roadhouse, instead? I mean, we haven't heard anything on the demon lately. We should be hunting that son of a bitch down.
      Sam: That's a good idea. You should. Just drop me off, I'll hitch a ride, I'll meet you there tomorrow.
      Dean: Right. (scoffs) I'll be stuck with those people, making awkward small talk til you show up. No thanks.

    • Dean: Come on, Sam, I'm begging you. This is stupid.
      Sam: Why?
      Dean: Going to visit Mom's grave? She doesn't even have a grave. There was no body left after the fire.
      Sam: She has a headstone.
      Dean: Yeah, put up by her uncle, a man we've never even met. So you wanna go pay your respects to a slab of granite put up by a stranger? Come on.

    • Dean: I think if it's not her dad, then it might be that guy Neil.
      Sam: Neil?
      Dean: Yep.
      Sam: How'd you come up with that?
      Dean: You got your journal, I've got mine. (reading Angela's diary) "Neil's a real shoulder to cry on, he's so understands what I'm m going through with Matt." There's more here where that came from, it's got unrequited Duckie love written all over it.
      Sam: Yeah, but that doesn't mean he brought her back from the dead.
      Dean: Hmm, did I mention he's Professor Mason's TA? Has access to all the same books?

    • Dean: Sam, you bring Dad's death up one more time, I swear...
      Sam: Please, Dean, it's killing you. Please. We've already lost Dad, we've lost Mom, I've lost Jessica. And now I'm gonna lose you too.
      Dean: We better get out of here before the cops come. I hear you, okay? Yeah, I'm being an ass, and I'm sorry. But right now, we got a freaking zombie running around, we need to figure out how to kill it. Right?
      Sam: Our lives are weird, man.
      Dean: You're telling me. Come on.

    • Dean: We can't just waste it with a head shot?
      Sam: Dude, you've been watching way too many Romero flicks.
      Dean: You're telling me there's no lore on how to smoke 'em?
      Sam: No, Dean, I'm telling you there's too much! I mean there's a hundred different legends on the walking dead but they all have different methods for killing them. Some say setting them on fire, one said... where is it? Right here: feeding their hearts to wild dogs--that's my personal favorite.

    • Sam: So, what do you want to do?
      Dean: Keep digging, talk to more of her friends.
      Sam: You get any names?
      Dean: You kidding me? I have her "bestest friend in the whole wide world." (throws Sam the diary)

    • Dean: I never should have come back, Sam. It wasn't natural and now look what's come of it. I was dead and I should have stayed dead. You wanted to know how I was feeling. Well, that's it. So tell me, what could you possibly say to make that all right?

    • Dean: (repeated line) What's dead should stay dead.

    • (after reburying Angela)
      Sam: Rest in peace.
      Dean: Yeah, for good this time, okay?

    • Sam: But did we have to use me as bait?
      Dean: I figured you were more her type. I mean, she had pretty crappy taste in guys.
      Sam: I think she broke my hand.
      Dean: You're just too fragile. We'll get it looked at later.

    • Dean: I've heard of people doing some pretty desperate things to get laid, but you take the cake.

    • Neil: You're crazy.
      Dean: Your girlfriend's past her expiration date and we're crazy?

    • Dean: Damn, that dead chick can run.

    • Sam: You think Angela's going after somebody?
      Dean: Nah, I think she went out to rent Beaches.
      Sam: Look, smartass, she might kill someone.

    • Sam: Silver bullets?
      Dean: Enough to make her rattle like a change purse.

    • Dean: Neil, it's your grief counselors. We've come to hug.

    • Dean: It takes two to... you know, have hardcore sex.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The dead tree seen in the cemetery was a piece of set borrowed from The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The same tree was also featured in the Season One episode "Scarecrow."

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: December 3, 2006 on TV3
      UK: February 25, 2007 on LIVING
      Portugal: April 2, 2007 on AXN
      France: September 24, 2007 on TF6
      Germany: January 15, 2008 on Premiere Serie
      Italy: July 1, 2008 on Rai2
      The Netherlands: December 28, 2008 on NET5

    • Music: Sad Girl by Supergrass.

    • The same shot of the Impala driving at night was used in the previous episode. The footage was just flipped over for this episode.

    • The zombie's tackle of Sam at the end, and the subsequent banter between the brothers was written in to explain the cast Sam will be wearing in the near future. Jared Padalecki fell during a stunt on set and broke his wrist. He went a couple of weeks without a cast before the writers could work it into the show.

    • This episode was alternately titled "Afterlife."


    • Title
      Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things was the title of a 1972 zombie movie in which a group of actors lead by their director, Alan, performs a black magic ritual on a island graveyard and causes the dead to rise and kill them all.

    • Dean: Naw, she went out to rent Beaches.
      Beaches (1988 movie) staring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, who have a lifelong friendship which is depicted in various stages including their love for the same man.

    • Dean: My name's Alan, Alan Stanwick.
      Referencing the movie Fletch. Dean presents himself to Lindsey as Alan Stanwyck: this is the name of a character in the movie Fletch. In this movie Chevy Chase is an ace reporter who is able to create "instant aliases" as Dean and Sam do.

    • Dean: What you brought back isn't even your daughter anymore. These things are vicious, they're violent, they're so nasty they rot the ground around them. I mean come on, haven't you seen Pet Sematary?
      Referencing the 1989 Stephen King movie Pet Sematary, which was from the 1983 Stephen King book Pet Sematary. In the movie and the book, if something (pet or human) was buried in the Pet Sematary they would come back to life as an evil zombie. Jud Crandall warns the father, Louis Creed early on in the movie and the book that what comes back is not human anymore.

    • Dean: It's got unrequited "Duckie" love written all over it.
      This is a reference to the movie Pretty in Pink (1986). In the movie Jon Cryer plays Duckie, who spends the whole movie pining over his best friend played by Molly Ringwald.

    • Sam: Dude, you've been watching way too many Romero flicks.
      Referencing director/writer George A. Romero, who has directed/written many zombie movies, such as Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, etc.