Sam and Dean are following up on a gruesome murder in Missouri when they discover that Garth is also investigating the case.
Garth, last seen in Party On, Garth, has taken on the late Bobby's role in the hunting fraternity, which initially rankles Dean but eventually Garth wins him round.
Turns out they're all investigating a spectre - a vengeful ghost - who, through a cursed object, is driving people to murderous rages inspired by deeply buried grudges.
This, of course, doesn't bode well for the Winchesters when the object falls into Dean's hands and his resentment towards Sam - for abandoning the hunting life for a year and not trying to rescue him from Purgatory - comes to a head.
Like Blood Brother, Southern Comfort was more a character-driven episode than a major story arc episode, but the fact that the simmering conflict between the Winchesters was allowed to boil over certainly brought a degree of satisfaction to that sub-plot. I'm sure it's not fully resolved yet, but at least it has moved on from episode-after-episode of daggered looks and meaningful flashbacks.
|Hot librarian - Lillie Claire|
The spectre plot was quite old school Supernatural and while the salting and burning of bones didn't have the desired effect, the ghost's backstory was well thought-out and made a lot of sense in the context of the story and the power of the cursed object.
Bonus points also for the hot librarian, played by Lillie Claire, who furnished Dean and Garth with background information on the Civil War soldier haunting the town.
Of course, the main strength of the episode was the return of Garth. A fantastically realised character who, in small doses, makes a great asset to the Supernatural family. His adoption of Bobby's central role in the national network of hunters hopefully means we'll be seeing him again.
You never know, maybe the show's production team are building him up for his own spin-off series once Supernatural reaches its conclusion in a couple of years.
I'd have him teaming up with the red-haired librarian...