This was a good episode when I first saw it, but not an overly emotional one. That is all changed now, watching it post series finale – because this is the episode where we meet the vampire whose nest will take down Dean Winchester fifteen years later. It’s amazing to me that the show managed to do that – to have the same actress come back to portray a character we never thought of as at all important, all those years later, to do something so pivotal to the show’s eventual ending. It makes this episode hard to watch, knowing what will happen so many years later.
‘Dead Man’s Blood’ stands on its own as a well done episode, though, especially because it has all three Winchesters, something that feels like a treat now because we got precious little of that in other seasons. Its vampires are pretty memorably too, and not just because of what Jenny eventually does.
We open in Colorado. Daniel Elkins having a drink, well known to the bartender, who describes him as “a nice old man, just a nut.” He senses trouble coming as a group of people walk in the door, and Elkins stares. They talk about having “dinner plans” (because they’re vampires, get it?) and when the bartender turns to ask Elkins if he wants another, it’s just his glass still there on the bar.
Elkins gets to his cabin and hurries inside, scared, locking the door behind him – but the vampires are already there. He gets a gun from his safe, muttering ‘come on come on’, and frantically loads it as the vampires are breaking down the door and smashing windows. They knock him down before he can fire, and the female vampire picks up the gun, saying it wouldn’t do him much good.
Vampire lady: Boys, we’re eating in tonight…
Cut to a diner in small town America, Dean reading the newspaper and Sam on the computer, just another night with the Winchester brothers on the road, saving people, hunting things. Dean’s still trying to convince Sam to swing by where Sarah is and see her again.
Dean: Cool chick, man. Smoking. You two seemed pretty friendly.
Sam puts him off. Again.
Sam: We have alot of work to do, Dean, you know that.
He also has found that a Daniel Elkins was found mauled in his home in Colorado, and Dean pauses, saying he knows that name. He pulls out the journal and finds an entry on Elkins, and it’s a Colorado area code. So to Colorado they go.
They find the cabin, looking around by flashlight in the mess they vampires left behind.
Dean: Looks like the maid didn’t come today…
Sam: There’s salt over here.
Dean: Like protection against demons salt or oops I spilled the popcorn salt?
[This scene is included in some of the behind the scenes features on the Season 1 DVD which we watched as part of our rewatch – Jared and Jensen look like babies, but they’re already clearly having so much fun, joking with each other and with the crew, pelting the crew with snowballs and then running away. It seems like so long ago now, but I’m so grateful we have these little glimpses that we can hang onto forever.]