Sam and Dean get a call from Jerry Panowski, a man that Dean and John helped a few years ago with a poltergeist. A plane, Flight 2485, crashed under mysterious circumstances and Jerry wants Sam and Dean to investigate.
On arrival in Pennsylvania, Jerry plays them a recording of the last few minutes of communication from the pilot that has a strange sound at the end. Sam examines the recording and finds that it has the message "No Survivors" hidden in the white noise.
They interview the survivors of the crash, one of whom mentions that, just before the crash, he saw one of the passengers standing by the emergency exit and that he had strange eyes. Following this lead, the brothers Winchester track down the passenger and find that he's a mild-mannered dentist from the suburbs and, given this information, is unlikely to be a physical creature.
They dress up and pose as NSA members in order to infiltrate the evidence hangar where the remnants of the plane is being kept to try and find more information. They find sulphur on the handle of the emergency door and realise they have a demon on their hands.
A second plane crash, in which the pilot of Flight 2485 dies 40 minutes into the flight, leads them to believe that it's going after all the surviving members of the flight.
After making sure that none of the other passengers on Flight 2485 are going to be traveling at any point in the near future, they head to Indianapolis to save Amanda Walker, the flight attendant. She refuses to listen to Dean's attempts at subterfuge and the boys find themselves on a plane due to crash 40 minutes into the flight.
Facts & Figures.
Flight 401: A plane crashed and its parts were used in other planes. The ghosts of the pilot and co-pilot haunted the other planes.
6 Plane crashes over the past 10 years that have gone down exactly 40 minutes into flight. No survivors until flight 2485.
Nazareth, Pennsylvania. (Second plane crash.)
Monster of the Week.
The Phantom Traveller.
Little information is given about the Phantom Traveller as a MotW. It is a demon that manifests as a tendril of black smoke (usually seen hanging around in air vents) and possesses people, causing them to crash planes. As a demon, it is vulnerable to the name of God, Holy Water, Scripture, and various other parts of Christian iconography and belief and can be expelled and banished from the human world via exorcism. It would appear that, unlike in various other television shows, the exorcism need not be specific to the demon. Sam uses a generic latin incantation coupled with holy water which seems to act as a sovereign specific to banish the Phantom Traveller.
Imbues possessed person with super strength. (The ability to open an emergency exit door on a plane while there's upwards of 2 tonnes of pressure on it from the outside.)
Crashes the plane 40 minutes in the air. Biblical numerology. (40 = Death.)
The only indication that it is possessing a person is the black sheen which occasionally covers the eyes. (This happens on point of possession, as a useful plot device for no apparent reason, or when the name of god is said to it.)
Generic spirits/ghosts on flights.
"Death" in Final Destination.
The "Black Oil" in The X-Files.
Sam is still having nightmares about the demon that killed Jessica.
Every religion and every world culture has the concept of demons and demonic possession. Christian, Native American, Hindu, Japanese.
Japanese belief says that there are some demons behind disasters both natural and unnatural. (Earthquakes, Disease.)
Demons don't want anything. Just death and destruction for its own sake.
[Transcribe Latin incantation. >.<]
Horror Movie Clichés.
EVP. Random noises recorded during event. Random panther noise for random supernatural occurrences. ("No survivors.")
Dodgy CG Graphics.
The number 13.
Demons hate holy things.
Exorcism. Latin Incantations. Holy Water.
Pop Culture References.
The Blues Brothers.
Dean: When was the last time you got a good night's sleep?
Sam: I dunno. A little while, I guess. It's not a big deal.
Dean: Yeah, it is.
Sam: Look, I appreciate your concern-
Dean: Oh, I'm not concerned about you. It's your job to keep my ass alive. So, I need you sharp.
Sam: I mean, it goes without saying, it just doesn't make sense.
Dean: Yeah, a middle-aged dentist with an ulcer isn't exactly evil personified.
Dean: Man, I look like one of the Blues Brothers.
Sam: No, you don't. You look like a seventh grader at his first dance.
Sam: Every religion and every world culture has the concept of demons and demonic possession, right? Christian, Native American, Hindu, you name it.
Sam: Are you okay?
Dean: ... No, not really.
Sam: Why? What's wrong?
Dean: Well, I kind of have this problem with ah...
Dean: It's never really been an issue until now.
Sam: Are you joking?
Dean: Do I look like I'm joking?! Why do you think I drive everywhere, Sam?
Sam: Just try to relax.
Dean: Just try to shut up.
Sam: ... You're humming Metallica?
Dean: It calms me down.
Dean's Mix Tape.
14:20 Paranoid - Black Sabbath
23:11 Working Man - Rush
(Thanks to: stimpson.)
Dean's ID Fraud.
Dr. James Hetfield. [Hetfield is the lead singer of Metallica.]
Homeland Security -
(Thanks to: stimpson.)
Sam's Laptop Decorations.
Top: Mirrored tribal pattern and centred skull and crossbones motif.
Interior: Skull & Crossbones.
Type: Dell. An Inspiron 6000 model.
(Thanks to: elenlilta.)
Dean's Phone Number
EMF [Electro Magnetic Frequency] reader. Made from a busted up walkman.
See comments for specifics.
stimpson: One, Two.