Moments later, Ellen's passing Dean a towel full of ice for his bruised schnozz as Dean explains why they're there. Ellen replies that she offered their father her help after she'd heard through the hunters' grapevine that John was getting close to ensnaring The Ceiling Demon. Sam and Dean are as shocked as the audience to learn that such a grapevine exists, but exist it does, with the ROADHOUSE here one of the more popular meeting places along it. Just go with it. After all, it's not as difficult to swallow as, say, crack dens for elite Army forces who like having vampires suck on their wrists or karaoke bars run by feyly telepathic monsters from other planes of existence, now is it? "John was like family once," Ellen reveals. "Oh, yeah?" Dean retorts, still suspicious. "How come he's never mentioned you before?" "You'd have to ask him that," Ellen shrugs. "Aaaaawk! Waaaaard!" trills The Big Gay Supernatural Dragon. Dean slides past the awkward to manfully rebuff any offer of assistance from mere women, and Ellen's most awesomely all, "Hey, don't do me any favors. You don't want my help? Don't let the door smack your ass on the way out." "But," she adds, "John wouldn't have sent you if...." The camera pulls slowly in on her face as she realizes there's something wrong. Sadness and denial abound as Sam informs Ellen of the circumstances surrounding John's death at the presumed hands of The Ceiling Demon, and Dean gets snotty with regard to Ellen's proffered sympathy. You're starting to piss me off, Deano. "Look," Sam says, trying to smooth things over even as Dean shoots him a supremely annoyed side-eye, "if you can help, we could use all the help we can get." "Well, we can't," Ellen lightly admits while swiveling her head to exchange a glance with her daughter, and I must compliment the casting director, because unlike, oh, say, all of the main guys on this show, Samantha Ferris and Alona Tal actually look like they're related to each other. "But Ash will," Ellen finishes, and she now rouses the besotted gent who's spent this entire sequence passed out on the pool table. Ash's drunk-rising-from-the-dead schtick here is unbearable, so long story short, Ash is purportedly a "genius" as far as demon hunting is concerned, despite the fact that he looks more like "a Lynyrd Skynyrd roadie," what with a mullet unlike any I've ever seen in my long, long life, despite having grown up square in the middle of the Alabama part of Pennsylvania. Seriously. No one grows the party in the back bit long enough to sit on it. Whatever. It matters not, because Ash here is what you would call "eccentric." Also likely "brain-damaged," if that story about him getting struck by lightning is true. In any event, Our Intrepid Boys test Ash's bona fides by tossing him their father's research on The Ceiling Demon, and Ash makes impressive-sounding noises about "nonparametric statistical overviews" and "cross-spectrum correlations" before asking for exactly 51 hours to determine The Ceiling Demon's current location. Ash then gets an exit line so horribly delivered that I'll not be bothering to transcribe it. I think I hate him.
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.