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American Nightmare Recap

At a church in Mason City, Iowa, Olivia Sanchez comes in crying. She's barefoot and her hands and feet are bleeding. A woman sees her and screams, and Olivia screams as an invisible force whips her back repeatedly. She speaks in a foreign tongue and collapses, creaming, as the priest and parishioners look on as she dies.

Later, Sam and Dean arrive posing as priests and speak with the priest, Valdecantos. Valdecantos had originally told the press that a demon was responsible, but the Church told him not to discuss it any further. The brothers ask if he saw black smoke or smelled sulfur. Valdecantos says that she was speaking in tongues, and as the Winchesters go they wonder if a rogue angel was responsible. Dean notices a boy lighting candles as a woman look on.

Outside, Dean calls Castiel and describes what happened. After he hangs up, he texts Mary to see how she's doing. Sam returns with coffee and Dean tells him that Heaven is still on lockdown and Castiel is working with Crowley to find Lucifer after he jumped into Vince Vicente's body. The younger Winchester has identified the words as Aramaic and translated them as "Save me, oh, God."

At the morgue, Sam and Dean pose as FBI agents and dismiss the coroner Carl. Sam notices that Dean is distracted, and points out that he's been cranky since Mary left. Dean insists that he's fine, and they check the coroner's report. They realize that she has stigmata, and the victim's skull was filled with a goopy mush. Neither of them recognize the MO.

The brothers go to Olivia's office at Child Protective Services, and Beth Roberts, the woman who is now using Olivia's office, admits that she's a Wiccan. She explains that Olivia was her boss, and was getting migraines. Beth says that they get threats all of the times from families that they've had to split up, and she gives the brothers the case files. Outside, Dean figures that Beth used magic to kill Olivia and get her office. Sam points out that they haven't found any hex bags, and says that they need proof. Dean is ready to shoot her, however.

That night at a grocery loading dock, delivery boy Ricky Copeland suddenly moans in pain as an invisible force flays his back. He says the same thing in Aramaic and then collapses, dead.

The next day, Sam and Dean check out the crime scene and confirm that the boy died the same way as Olivia. Sam has compared his route to Olivia's case file and got a match. Dean calls Beth and asks about the family that matched, the Petersons. She says that they're old-school religious and the kids are homeschooled, and their oldest daughter Magda got pneumonia and the family wouldn't let a doctor treat her. As a result, Magda died. Once they hang up, the brothers drive to the Peterson home to investigate.

The brothers, dressed as civilians, have to walk in because of the gate on the driveway. Sam suggests that Mary just needs some space, and Dean wonders if Mary will ever come back. They arrive at the house and the father, Abraham, greets them. They claim that they're with Child Services, and Abraham says that they're not Amish. Inside, they talk to Abraham and his wife Gail, and explain that Olivia passed away. Gail says that they liked Olivia better than Beth, who hated them because of their faith. At least Olivia believed in God, even if she was a Papist. Their son Elijah comes in and whispers to Abraham, who asks Dean to help them with something.

A man on a motorcycle arrives at the gate and sees the Impala. After a moment he drives on.

Abraham leads Dean out to the carriage that they need to replace a wheel on.. He explains that he used to be a computer programmer, but he got tired of the modern world and took his family away.

Inside the house, Gail gets Sam lemonade. He sees a photo of the family, and Gail explains that Abraham was working 80 hours a week while the children were on behavior-enhancing medication. She admits that she was so pilled up she could barely think straight, and then God showed them a better way. Gail explains that she was in a car accident and almost died, and the nerves in her legs were damaged. She became addicted to painkillers, and then one night she heard God tell her to live a life of simplicity and humanity. When she did, her pain would be taken away. Sam tells her that Ricky is dead as well, and Gail says that God has a plan for them all. He asks if what happened to Magda was God's plan, and Gail says that it was. Sam tells her that God didn't kill her daughter: she did. Abraham and the others come in and Abraham, overhearing, tells the Winchesters that they should go.

Back at the Impala, Dean wants to kill Beth. Sam wants to track down Magda's ghost, figuring that she wants revenge for her family letting her die. Dean figures that the Petersons are good family, and they decide to split up and see who is right.

Gail watches Abraham and Elijah with the horses, and then goes back inside and gets something from a closet. In the basement, a girl with a flayed back lies on the floor and sings to herself. Gail comes down and asks the girl, Magda, what she did. She says that she didn't do anything, but Gail says that she killed Olivia and Ricky. Gail says that she tried to keep the Devil confined, but now the Devil is working through Magda. She hands Magda a whip and tells her to prey for forgiveness, and Magda flagellates herself. Elijah comes to the cellar window and watches.

That night, Sam sneaks into the Peterson farm and scans for ghosts. He hears Abraham and Elijah coming and hides in a stable. As father and son work, Elijah says that Gail is hurting Magda. Abraham insists that Gail is helping her, and warns that if anyone found out about Magda then they'd come for her. He insists that Magda is their cross to bear and they leave. Sam tries to call Dean without success.

Dean visits Beth in her new office and asks about her new job. She says that she hates it because all of the responsibility is on her. Beth tells Dean that nobody wanted the job, and Dean puts away the revolver that he was holding behind his back.

Magda continues flagellating herself as Gail paces around her and reads Aramaic from a book. Sam come to the window and sees what's happening, and Gail catches a glimpse of him before he ducks back. Dean calls and says that Beth isn't a witch, and Sam tells him that Magda is alive. Elijah arrives and aims a rifle at Sam. When Sam tries to get through to him, Abraham clubs Sam unconscious from behind.

When Sam doesn't respond, dean drives to the farm.

Sam wakes up in the cellar and finds Magda singing to himself. She says that she's not Magda, she's the Devil. He lets her hear what people are doing and then do things. Sam insists that he's there to help her and asks her to show him what she can do. After a moment, Magda concentrates and a cross on an altar lifts up into the air.

In the kitchen, Abraham and Gail look at Sam's ringing phone. She says that they'll come for their children and they have to leave immediately.

Sam says that Magda is psychic and he used to be able to do the same thing, and she says that he's evil. She tells Sam that she hurts people, and describes how she saw Olivia and tried to make her hear her thoughts. Magda tried to do the same thing with Ricky. Sam tells her that it wasn't her fault and she can learn how to control it, and then she won't hurt anyone ever again.

Abraham and Elijah come down and say that it's time for supper. They take Sam upstairs and tie him to a chair. Sam says that Magda needs help, and Gail tells him that other people have died as well. She makes Magda tell Sam that before they came there, she wanted a new cell phone but Gail wouldn't buy one. They were driving home and Magda used her powers to cause the crash. Gail says that pain purges sin, and then says that it's time. The family joins hands and says grace, while Sam works at his ropes. As they eat, Abraham suddenly gags and then falls over dead.

Gail says that they will enter Heaven as a family and tells her children to eat. Abraham starts to raise the spoon to his mouth but hesitates, and Sam tells him not to do it. Gail insists, and Magda screams and psychically knocks the spoon out of his hands. She sends the plates flying with her mind, and Gail stabs Elijah in the stomach. Magda stops her and says that Gail is the Devil. She then forces Gail to turn the knife on herself. Sam begs her to stop, saying that she's in control, and after a moment Magda stops.

The next morning, the police and EMTs arrive at the farm. The police take Gail away, and she yells that Magda is the Devil and must be cleansed. Sam and Dean check on Magda, who is with Beth. Magda says that she'll be staying with her aunt in California. Dean tells her that sometimes people need space to figure things out. Beth talks to Dean privately, and Sam tells Magda that she'll be all right. He says that she controls the power, it doesn't control her, and Magda agrees. Sam tells her to call him if she needs anything, and he hugs her.

As the brothers leave, Sam tells Dean that Magda deserves a second chance. Dean admits that Beth anted his personal number, and Sam asks if he meant what he said about a person needing space. His brother gets why Mary needs to be on her own, and says that he'll be less of a dick. As they get in the car, Mary texts back to say that she's fine and that she'll always love them.

Later, Magda takes the bus to California. When it stops for a break, she goes to the nearby restroom and the motorcyclist from earlier--Mr. Ketch—follows her in and shoots her dead. As he goes back to his motorcyclist, he gets a call. Ketch reports that he cleaned up the Winchesters' mess when they couldn't finish the job.

Written by Gadfly on Nov 4, 2016

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