The Winchesters season 1 episode 4 recap: Masters of War

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 19: Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly of "The Winchesters" speak onstage during The CW Network's 2022 Upfront Presentation at New York City Center on May 19, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The CW)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 19: Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly of "The Winchesters" speak onstage during The CW Network's 2022 Upfront Presentation at New York City Center on May 19, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The CW) /

"“Fighting the battle between good and evil isn’t easy. Especially when the first monster you have to face, is the one inside yourself.” –Dean Winchester"

In season 1 episode 4 of The Winchesters, the group investigates the murder of war veteran Thomas “Patches” Pasternak’s death. As John and Carlos work on the case, it seems their pasts return to haunt them.

The Winchesters Season 1 Episode 4 recap – Patches

The episode starts off by revealing the brutal death of Patches, who is using a spear to defend himself against some type of armed being. Carols, Lata, John, and Mary have a meeting after John and Mary have a fun, little flirty sparring session.

This session brought back memories to his military days. Carlos mentions that a strange death occurred at a Hannibal Park Hospital.

This leads John to learn that Carlos served too on a task force for the United States Navy. This episode of The Winchesters gives us a more in depth look at John Winchesters’ military experience.

The four of them sneak into the hospital and make their way down by putting Carlos in a body bag to get into the morgue and see Patches body. The wounds on his body clearly came from a blade.

It was presumed to be a suicide, but the group knows that it doesn’t add up. Patches was wearing a cross that John recalls one of his old military buddies wearing right before he stepped on a mine, as we see in his flashback.

He was also a man who suffered from a lot of anger and post-traumatic stress from the war. John is dealing with his own post-traumatic stress of the war throughout the show.

He see’s a vision of the same death that killed Patches earlier in the episode. Immediately following this, Mary and Lata go to question a reporter who was asking Patches’ wife the same types of questions.

Mary sits down with him to get to the bottom of why. She comes to find out from Kyle (a reporter she ran into at the movies previously) that other veterans have been killed in psych units just like Patches.

The Winchesters Season 1 Episode 4 recap – John and Carlos’ Pasts

Carlos and John go undercover in their uniforms and pretend to need help at the veterans hospital. They are hoping to speak to the same doctor that Patches had so they could figure out what happened to him.

During a therapy session we get fabulous insight into who Carlos is. He was an Navy medic who lived out of a van; as free spirit as they come.

When he got arrested the judge gave him two options: jail or service. This is how he wound up in the Navy.

Carlos emotionally excuses himself during the therapy session just before John tells his story. John was a Marine in Vietnam.

His buddy stepped on a landmine in the mountains of the country before his ultimate death. John obviously still has guilt that he lived barely scathed and his friend didn’t.

While that is going on, Carlos sneaks into Patches doctor’s office and searches some files for further insight. John witnesses another murder replica of Patches soon after.

Dr. Z assures him there is no such thing as the man in the mask. This man is all in John’s head.

The man in the mask is hiding somewhere. They search for the burn marks to try and scope him out.

John is clearly going through it by this point. His hands are trembling, and the case starts to seem to be a little too much on his psyche.

Meanwhile, Lata and Mary soon find out that they are up against a god. Far from a monster.

Are they in over their heads? Back at the hospital, lights start to flicker.

Carlos is pulled into a room by what looks like the man in the mask. John walks into one of the psych units and into a maze of a jungle.

He finds Carlos deep inside. They are both living their war nightmares all in one place.

John then steps on the same landmine his buddy stepped on. Mary and Lata have Millie come and help the crew since only family members are allowed to see patients.

They have to get a warning to Carlos and John, so they know exactly what they’re up against. The man in the mask sees something in John and wants to use him.

A hunter and fighter could be sharpened into a very fine tool. He fights the man in the mask with a spear.

If he wins Carlos can go free. So far, no human has been successful against the god.

With the added help of John’s mother Millie, Mary and Lata are able to get into the hospital and find the vase that weakens the man in the mask. This allows John to have the power to kill it.

He does, freeing himself and Carlos.

The Winchesters Season 1 Episode 4 recap – John Winchester

Due to this experience John and Carlos seem to have a newly found respect for each other. They may even have a deeper bond.

Mary is finally able to unlock Maggie’s door and offers to let a shaken-up Carlos in there to stay. It’s a beautiful moment that shows Mary’s growth and ability to move on.

Carlos seems up to the idea of seeing a therapist and talking things out. John on the other hand is reluctant to that.

The episode ends with Carlos continuing his therapy and moving toward a healthier life. When Millie checks on John he’s in a hot shower, sitting in a fetal position with his clothes still on.

He’s obviously going through a hard time. It fades out as his mother embraces him with a hug.

We all know John Winchester as such an abundantly strong man. Getting this type of understanding of the man deep down is enlightening, intriguing, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

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You can watch The Winchesters every Tuesday at 8 PM ET on The CW.