Let's get a few things out of the way first: Chicago city buses have blue stripes, not red, blues guitar rarely accompanies my walks through spooky West Side alleyways at night, and why in the hell did they wait this long to show us the boys in work coveralls? Loving them this week.
In Chicago, Illinois, Sam and Dean investigate a couple of savage murders that we see have been perpetrated by an elongatedly scary shadow. While on the case, Sam runs back into Meg (a.k.a. "Short Lip") and is, thankfully, immediately suspicious of her reappearance in his life. The brothers think they've landed a big one when Sam overhears Meg talking into her Blood Phone and Dean finds out both of the murdered people were from Lawrence, Kansas. So they put in a desperate call to their dad to get him to Chicago. As they prepare for what they think will be a major battle involving whatever demon killed their mother, the boys have a conversation about what they want for themselves after "this" is all over. Sam wants to go back to his "real" life; "this" already is Dean's real life. The conversation is really touching. But as they arrive at the warehouse to throw down with Meg and her Cup o' Demon, they find that the whole situation was an elaborate trap designed to get Daddy Winchester to the warehouse for slaughtering.
The boys get mauled and tied up, but then manage to turn the Elongated Shadow against Meg, who crashes through a window and falls five or six stories down. The brothers figure she's dead, which is annoying, and return to their room only to find...Daddy! ANOTHER moving conversation and ANOTHER mauling by the Elongated Shadow, which the three just barely manage to squeak out of. On the street, in a rush, the three nearly leave together until Dean realizes that they are actually putting their father in danger by being with him. So they split up again, and we all cry and cry and then we end on a shot of RoboMeg resurrected. Crikey, Kripke!
Bluesy guitar plays as we pan in on the city streets of "Chicago." A young woman walks down some pretty damned deserted streets. Is it just me or does this girl look a lot like a cut-rate Monica Keena (Abby from Dawson's Creek among other things? Aaaand now there's a whole lot of information that needs clearing out of my brain.) She's a tough city gal, in baggy cargos, novelty tee, jean jacket, and dyed black hair. She knocks into a big guy as she tromps down the sidewalk and glares at him. Get it? T-U-F-F. Steam rises behind Tuffy and her NiceTryPod starts wonking out. A wind stirs, and she looks up as she hears a hoarse whispery whooshing. Pan back to see her standing in an alleyway nearly up to her knees in newspaper pages. Chicago sanitation workers at their best. She calls down the alley, "Hello?" and then starts hauling ass. She sees an enormous shadow tracking her and hauls some more ass. She gets to the door to her apartment and does the standard shaking keys business. Nobody said it was impossible to run AND get your keys out of your purse -- oh, I'm sorry, "messenger bag" -- at the same time, honey. Tuffy finally gets inside after a bunch of fumbling. Cut to her busting through the door to her apartment, disarming and then rearming the door quickly, locking it behind her. Relief.
However, relief that is accompanied by plaintive violins is never a good thing. Tuffy gets a beer out of the fridge and listens to her phone messages. Message 1: Kristin wants to know what happened last night. Message 2: Derek wants to set her up with someone. Message from Drunken Bee: LOOK BEHIND YOU! A SHADOW IS FLOWING INTO YOUR HOUSE TO KILL YOU! Message 3: A girlfriend wants her to know that she's got her back even though "that guy ripped your heart out last time." Quick cut to Tuffy's shadow on the wall behind her, approached by a dapper sort of savage beast -- I originally thought he was wearing a fedora and I'm sticking with that image -- that thrusts his long pointy hand through Tuffy's back, and actually does rip her heart out. How (not) cute. Blood spatters on the wall, in a way that defies the laws of physics. Wouldn't be "supernatural" if it didn't. Metal Teeth Chomp.
The credits zap onto the screen. One week later. The Metallicar pulls up across the street from Tuffy's old apartment. Nice location continuity! A red-striped bus rolls by in a very un-Chicago fashion. Not only are our buses blue-striped, but they also run on the decade here, not the hour. Dean gets out of the car, and we get our first glimpse of the pearly gates of heaven because the boys are looking sort of cute. Like kind of especially cute. Sam sits in the car doing his "research." The newspaper declares Tuffy's death to have been perpetrated by the "Stealth Killer." Damn, the "Illinois State Chronicle" needs to get a better Serial Killer Name generator. Sam gets out of the car, Dean comes around the back, and I see the hand of God at work. They are dressed in work coveralls and the choir of angels, it sings, my friends, IT SINGS! The other thing I love is that they've dressed up their work coverall outfits with completely ridiculous brown leather belts. NOT work belts, but just the brown leather belts they probably normally wear with their Banana flat-fronts, just like stupid boys who don't know how to accurately complete a costume. It's a totally cute throwaway detail and I have no idea whether it was purposeful or not, but the choir of angels, IT SINGS LOUDER.I'm really distracted by these damn singing angels during this scene, but I'll try my best to recap it, because, forum? I think this whole damn conversation is one big shout-out to you and your various obsessions: the boys in high school, the boys' money making schemes, the boys' costumes. Dean: "You know, Dad made it just fine without these stupid costumes. I feel like a high school drama dork," and then continues to tease Sam about having been in Our Town. Sam asks if Dean wants to do the job or not, and Dean responds that "These outfits cost hard-earned money...you think credit card fraud's easy?" And this is one wily way to address some nagging practical issues about the show's setup: send Padalecki to a Mystic Tan booth, zip him into that coverall, and get his bangs just the right length while Dean explains why we should accept a variety of ridiculous premises ("premisii"?). Talk about waving shiny things in front of my face....