Dean listens to all this, but remains unmoved. "Here's the thing," he says. "Witches? Not real fans." Portia narrows her eyes at him, takes a step closer. She says James has a spotless record and uses magic only for good. "So why don't you lost the ignorant bigotry for two seconds and give him a shot?" Dean takes this all in, and then says out of the side of his mouth to Sam, "That was incredibly hot." Yes, on top of everything, let's patronize the woman instead of taking her seriously. Even Sam admits to being a little turned on.
Let's take a break from the awfulness of this scene, shall we? It's time to drop in on what looks like a squat, nondescript brick building from the outside and the lame-assiest hotel bar and lounge on the inside. But wait! It's not just the lame-assiest hotel bar and lounge, but the lame-assiest hotel bar and lounge for witches. People sit around at little tables lit by candlestick lamps, playing chess using the powers of their minds and wearing velour smoking jackets, all while vaguely jazzy piano music plays in the background. James Frampton -- formerly known as Mr. Campbell -- sits at one of these little tables, downing strong drinks. "You might want to go easy on that," says the Bad Guy. He sits down across from James. He all but has a sign flashing above his head declaring him to be the villain. The only thing that's not immediately apparent is whether he's a witch or, given his faintly reptilian demeanor, someone's iguanid familiar. "God, you look awful," the Bad Guy says. "Not getting any better?" James admits he's getting worse. "These dreams are like torture," he says. He describes them a bit. "Spencer, they scare the hell out of me." Spencer suggests he see somebody for help, but who's he supposed to see? Spencer sounds very concerned, mostly that James's professional life clashes with his supernatural life. James listens to all this, but it's Portia he's really worried about. She's gone and he doesn't know where she is. Perhaps he should look on PetFinder.com?
Back at the Sleepy Lodge, the Winchesters and Portia are still going over James's troubles. "He thinks that he is actually killing people?" Dean asks. "I think so," Portia says. "At least, that's what I picked up before he started blocking me." Sam doesn't understand what that means, so Portia explains: "Familiars and their masters, we can communicate telepathically. I could get into James's head any time I wanted, but he shut me out." The whole, awful connotation of the word "master" could have easily been avoided if Portia had simply said, "Familiars and their witches." It doesn't matter if it was the show's intent to offend. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Keep in mind that these are the scribes behind the "racist truck" episode and, more recently, that execrable "heart-eating stripper" episode. If they couldn't be bothered to do 10 seconds of research to find out that Cacao was not the Mayan corn god, then I can't be bothered to give them the benefit of the doubt. I can't assume that they're going for something smarter and deeper that I'm just somehow not picking up on because my gag reflex was triggered as soon as Portia started talking about belonging to her master.