Sorry for the slight delay in my post--caught the 10 pm showing of Harry Potter last night and this was the soonest I could watch the show and post a recap! We open on a corn field in Indiana where a young couple is making out, until they hear something. An ill-fated Patrick announces, "There's something in the corn" and leaves his date to investigate. (Clearly he's never seen Children of the Corn!) But then he looks up to a bright light and disappears. The camera pans up over his date to show us a version of a crop circle and we go into hilariously X-files-esque credits. (Is it like the twentieth anniversary of X files or something this week? Castle had an homage, too. I know the boys have temporarily parted ways with Grandpa Samuel, but it would have been great to use Mitch Pileggi somehow!)
Cut to interviews of townspeople where everyone except the skeptical local law enforcement is claiming alien abduction--well, and a rosy-cheeked woman claiming the abduction was "Fairies!" Soulless Sam tells her it's fine that she puts glitter in the glue she's sniffing but that they don't want to step in her wackadoo, prompting a lecture from Dean on empathy. Dean tells him that from now on, he'll be Sam's conscience, which Sam says makes him his Jiminy Cricket :-)
From there, they go to interview missing Patrick's father, who insists they can't help. As soon as they leave, the man addresses a question to seemingly no one. The brothers agree to keep the father under observation and split up, with Dean admonishing Sam not to speak to or maim any of the populace. Then we see Dean in the crop circle. Sam calls (love Dean's ring tone) and while they're on the phone, Dean sees lights and yells "UFO! UFO! Close encounters!" (Sam, "What kind? First? Second? Better run man, I think Fourth kind is a butt thing." Dean, "Empathy, Sam! Empathy!") And then Dean is gone, although Sam--getting a beer and ogling the waitress--doesn't seem too distressed.
Dean's cell ringing again--it's Sam calling and trying to use the phone to find his brother. But no dice. Then we see the encampment of trailers and RVs decorated with little green men and playing Close Encounters of 3rd Kind music. Sam engages the guy in charge (who tells him the truth is out there) and asks how they get these ETs. Soulless Sam asks the guy if he's "considered the possibility that you suck at hunting UFOs." But even without empathy, he still manages to pick up a girl who volunteers to help.
When Dean is returned to the corn field, he makes his way to the hotel room and finds Sam and the helpful girl naked in bed. Soulless Sam: "Y-you're upset?" During the ensuing argument, Dean realizes he's been gone a lot longer than the hour he thought. Sam trying to "empathize" with Dean's experience is kind of hilarious.
After Dean showers, they go out for food and Dean's miffed that while "our reality's collapsing around us, you're trying to pick up the waitress?" Sam may have no soul, but he's totally got a libido. Dean tells him that when you're brother's abducted, you don't bang chicks, you "sit in the dark and feel the loss." Sam: "So having a soul equals suffering?" Dean: "Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying."
Dean sees a creepy guy watching them through the diner window, but Sam doesn't. They split up to study UFO lore and Dean's alone in the hotel room (with "Ground Control to Major Tom" playing) when the "aliens" come back. This time, in the form of a small light...that is sort of kicking his butt until he traps it in the microwave and seemingly nukes it. But only Dean sees the blood and "eccck" in the microwave. He describes his assailant as "a little naked lady. A little, glowing...hot naked lady with nipples. And she hit me." Unempathetic Sam, "I'm not supposed to laugh, right?" It's Sam who asks if the tiny naked lady had wings and decides Crazy woman wasn't crazy after all. "Hey, you're the one who pizza-rolled Tinkerbell, I'm just doing the math."
They go see the crazy woman who tells them that Fairy comes in all kinds of mischievous shapes and sizes. Only people who've been abducted into the fairy realm can see the creatures in our world. She gives them lots of advice and shares her personal theory that people are abducted to "service Oberon, king of the fairies." Once they leave, Dean asks, "Is it on me? I feel like I got the crazy ON me." Sam, "No. You did sit in some glitter, though." They see Patrick's father loading up his car trunk with cream (which fairies apparently love.) Dean: "You stick with half and half, I'll check out his store. And no hippie chicks!"
At the watchworks store, Dean is now able to see all manner of short magical people and backs away. Tells Sam on the phone, "It's like the story with the shoe guy and all the elves." Sam approaches the watchmaker and accuses, "I don't know how one man could put out that much product...You have a bunch of elves working for you. How does a father decide to trade a son for a bunch of watches? I'm assuming you have a soul, so what's your excuse?" While Soulless Sammy grills the dad (who summoned magic folk for help when his Parkinson's threatened his ability to provide for his family) we cut to Dean on the street, still being watched--and followed--by the creepy guy. But then Dean mistakenly assaults the wrong guy on the street (the very short county DA) and is arrested for his "hate crime." (Doesn't help that Dean was yelling, "Fight the fairies!")
Sam and Patrick's hapless father, who has wanted to unsummon the fairies since they got here, go to the safe and try to get the spell book. The watchmaker gets killed while trying to send them back and it turns out that the lead UFO enthusiast is an evil leprechaun who realizes Sam is different. "Your soul is far away...but not completely out of reach." The leprecahun offers to get the soul back for a price. Sam: "So you're my blue fairy? You can make me a real boy again?" And then Sam shoots him with iron, which the leprechaun declares "painful but not a deal breaker" and attacks.
Meanwhile, creepy guy who's been following Dean shows up in Dean's cell. Now both bros are getting their butts kicked by Faery Folk. Sam ends up using some of crazy woman's bizarre advice to distract the leprechaun and read from the book, banishing all the creatures back to their own realm. Ends with guys having a beer on the Impala--very old times--but Dean is worried that Sam didn't take the leprechaun's deal because Sam is having second thoughts about being re-ensoulled. Although Sam says this isn't the case, it clearly is.
I want to thank the producers of the show for giving us our third relatively gore free episode in a row (especially one I had to recap) but from the previews of the next new ep (December 3rd, featuring "Hell's Prison") I'd say my vacation from gore is coming to an end. This ep was a realtively light look at the grim reality we've been dealing with all season--Sam's inhumanity. I found it to be pretty entertaining and a welcome light touch, considering how heavy this season has been so far. What did you guys think?