Thank God, then, for Ellen, who now returns behind the bar to start refilling the salt shakers, for she offers Sam a chance to inquire about the file folder tucked away behind the police scanner over by the top-shelf bottles of booze. You know, the file folder that reads in big, red letters, "COUPLE MURDERED CHILD LEFT ALIVE." I realize this is a hunter hangout, but please. Try to hide your research a little better, lady. In any event, Ellen was holding onto it for a friend of hers, but she agreeably passes it over to Sam.
Meanwhile, over in another corner of the bar, Dean tries and fails to flirt with Jo, but that's not important right now, because College Boy over at the bar proper has already identified a pattern in the series of mysterious murders in nearby Medford, Wisconsin, and Dean needs to leave with him on a roadtrip, pronto.
Smash to Van Morrison on the road to Medford, with Dean grumbling, "I can't believe this. Killer clowns?" Yup, Sam confirms, reading aloud from a newspaper article presumably detailing the gruesome deaths of Dumb Nora's parents after the family's visit to "The Cooper Carnival." John Wayne Gacy left Dumb Nora alone, by the way, before vanishing into thin air. The cops attribute this bit of her witness to trauma-induced hallucination. Naturally. Also, all of the carnival employees have rock-solid alibis, as they were all tearing down the fair at the time of the murders. "I know what you're thinking, Sam," Dean snerks. "'Why did it have to be clowns?'" "Gimme a break," Sam grumps, busted. "You didn't think I'd remember, did you?" Dean snickers. "Come on, you still bust out crying every time you see Ronald McDonald on the television." "At least I'm not afraid of flying," retorts Sammy. "Planes crash!" Dean protests. "And, apparently," Sam sniffily replies, "clowns kill." Hee. Other details in Ellen's file reveal there was a similar spate of carnival-connected murders in 1981, leading the boys to surmise that the evil spirit responsible is attached to some object the individual fair companies involved must be unknowingly trading amongst themselves. Because evil spirits are usually attached to a particular place, you see, rather than a cursed object, which is why this case is so bizarre. And I'll be damned if I'm going to search through last season's recaps for show-presented evidence to the contrary, because this entire Monster Of The Week plot is simply pretext for a little character development, post-paternal-death-style. Dean too casually wonders why Sam was so gung-ho on accepting this assignment, and Sam quite seriously replies that it's what their father would have wanted them to do. "What Dad would have wanted?" Dean eyebrows incredulously, the "Since when did you ever give a rat's ass what Dad would have wanted?" implied. Sam, clueless, just guhs, "Yeah. So?" Dean shakes his head all over the place, but remains silent.