After eleven seasons, something possessed me (see what I did there) to start watching Supernatural from the beginning. If you are a fan of the series, feel free to go back and re-watch it with me. Please do not be a troll and post spoilers for future episodes in the comments section. If you have been wanting to start Supernatural, then I encourage you to watch with me. Spoilers for the series as I go.
It is pretty common for most people to have a fear of flying. In an airplane we are at the compete mercy of two people we never see and a series of mechanics who we hope are good at their jobs. At least when we are in a car, we have the illusion of control. I’ve flown a lot, but I was lucky enough to do it most of my flying thru the military. I knew my crew and the mechanics working on our planes. We were a family and we took care of one another. I knew those damn planes inside and out so any noises or weird movements they made, I knew what it meant. Because I’m so used to being in control, I HATE to fly commercially, even now (though it has been many years since I was a part of an aircrew). Like the creepy kid in the lake, this episode got to me a little.
A demon is possessing those who are afraid of flying and causing airplanes to crash. When one particular flight doesn’t have full fatality, it hounds the survivors in order to finish what it started. Working on referral this time, Dean and Sam are on the case to figure out who the demon is possessing before it crashes the flight they and several others are on. Thinking it could be the flight attendant who survived the initial crash, Dean attempts to get the demon to reveal itself to him when he says the name of God in Latin (which is actually “Christus”, not “Christo” as they state in the show). It isn’t her. Despite surviving a terrible event, she still feels safe on a plane because she knows it wasn’t a mechanical failure the airlines say it was. She saw the possessed man open the door to the plane, causing the crash.
When Dean realizes the demon is possessing a pilot (I swear that has happened to me a time or two with the way some of my pilots flew), the brothers are able to recruit the flight attendant to help isolate the man so they can exercise the demon from him. That is only step one. After they pull the demon from the pilot, they have to send the thing back to hell before can still cause the crash. It is more powerful outside of a human body. As the plane is hurtling to the ground, Sam is able to speak the incantation that will send the demon back and all is saved.
I think it is pretty damn funny that out of all the things he has faced over the years, Dean is terrified of flying. It seems like such an adorably pedestrian thing to fear for a man who has faced demons, poltergeists, and monsters. Speaking of poltergeists, I wonder if John and Dean got many repeat clients or referrals or if we will see more past customers get a hold of Dean and Sam in future episodes. I think they would have to because it is not like a person can go in the phone book and look up supernatural hunters.
The call came from Jerry (Brian Markinson) when he realized something was different about this crash needed John and Dean’s assistance. Jerry once had a problem with a poltergeist and the father and son saved his life. When Jerry called John, the outgoing message said to call Dean. This is news to the brothers because John’s phone had been out of service for the time he has been missing. This is the first sign for the two their father is still alive. It was also a shock for Sam to hear his father bragged about him to others. Dean’s look of “I told you so” was pretty endearing.
We also learn from this episode Sam hasn’t been sleeping and if he does, it is not good sleep. The nightmares of Jessica still plague him and it is making Dean worry. While exercising the demon from the pilot, the demon tells Sam Jessica is burning still and preys on his worst fears. Dean later tries to pacify him by reminding Sam demons can read thoughts and will say anything to save themselves. This may be true, but it this something Dean really believes or is he just saying that to keep Sam from spiraling?
While talking to Jerry about the possibility of demon possession causing the crash, Dean and Sam mention Flight 401. This is in reference to Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 that crashed in the Florida Everglades in December of 1972. The crew was distracted by a problem with the plane and didn’t notice the autopilot had been disengaged (we had actually studied this flight in training to learn from the crew’s mistakes). There was a book published in 1976 by John G. Fuller, The Ghost of Flight 401, that claimed the crash was caused by paranormal events.
Overall this was an interesting episode because instead of traditional haunting, we got something a bit more updated with demons causing more modern catastrophes. It was also nice to see the boys out of the woods or small backwater towns and in suits. I hope to see more of the “fed threads.”
What did you think of “Phantom Traveler”? Do you have a fear of flying? Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes in the comments.