So I was thinking, well, this is a nice little flashback, but what does it have to do with the ongoing story? And then we got to the end, and I started to cry.
This episode reminded me big time why I fell in love with Dean in the first place. He made a major mistake when he was sixteen, probably because he was sixteen and John expected him to act like he was thirty. While John let Dean rot in reform school (why, John? Why), Dean lucked into a good home and a mentor who truly cared about him. Dean could have stayed with Sonny, left hunting behind forever, and lived a normal life. But he left it all and went back to John -- for Sam's sake.
That last scene elevated this episode. Dean, even at sixteen, didn't hesitate to leave his first girlfriend and his chance at a normal life, for Sam. The fact that Sam realized it and appreciated that Dean gave up so much for him, well, that's why I cried. I hope this isn't leading up to Dean losing Sam in mid-season finale, but it probably is.
John Winchester made a bad decision. I sort of see where he was coming from with the tough love, but not with Dean -- he was never a delinquent. At sixteen, he was trying to cope with a difficult situation the only way he knew how. (Come on. Stealing bread and peanut butter? Isn't there a cliche somewhere about stealing bread when you're hungry?) I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan needs to guest star and have John do something resoundingly wonderful again to clear his name. Because I'm not forgetting that John sold his soul to save Dean's life. Geez, was that seven years ago? Eight?
I'm not going to quibble about how differently Dean was portrayed in "After School Special" when he was only a year or two older than he was here as an innocent experiencing his first kiss. Because after I thought about it for awhile, 18-year-old Dean acting like a hound with the ladies might have logically resulted from what happened in this episode. And I have to give them some credit, because after several unsuccessful attempts, they finally cast a young actor that felt more like Dean. I also liked seeing Sam's amulet on Dean again. I miss the Samulet.
And ghosts. What a nice return to what used to be something of a staple for the series. I'm actually feeling nostalgic about ghosts. Maybe because the Winchesters had to deal with the ghost of their own mother, too.
A brief segue about our awesome Twitter feed
Awhile back, I asked our writer sunbunny (who covers Person of Interest and Scandal) to tweet for Doux Reviews. I'm so glad she did. Here's what she live-tweeted during the episode last night. It deserves a section of its own.
-- Well that was a bloody beginning.
-- @jarpad (Jared) is superhumanly handsome. It hurts.
-- Did Dean just refer to his cell as "the batphone?"
-- John Winchester was a TERRIBLE father.
-- "Werewolf." "Okay." What?
-- Little Dean is going to make me flat out cry in a few minutes.
-- A ghost?! How retro! That's awesome.
-- Correction: adult Dean is going to make me cry.
-- How long has it been since our boys dug up a grave? Awww.
-- I just got nostalgic over grave robbing. Help.
-- I legitimately thought that said Cas's Place.
-- He's wearing the Samulet, guys. I was not emotionally prepared for this.
-- Well that was 50 shades of awkward.
-- There's a dog barking. Maybe Dean could question him.
-- Is the rosary a mislead or could this be angelic/demonic?
-- This message has been brought to you by the pillow I hold in front of my face when I sense something bad is about to happen.
-- Oh I'm dying. Supernatural is killing me. Sweet little Dean. omg.
-- But the big question is, will that stove ever be usable again?
-- Jared and Jensen haven't told me not to text and drive all night!
-- Did they hire that actress specifically because she looked like Mary Winchester?
-- "You look pretty rocking to me, Dean Winchester."
-- JOHN WINCHESTER WAS A TERRIBLE FATHER.
Bits and pieces:
-- I guessed pretty early that little Tim was behind the deaths, but I thought maybe it was a poltergeist situation. I'm glad he wasn't evil. He just loved his mom. Whom, as sunbunny pointed out, looked like Mary Winchester. Also a ghost.
-- Dean was being good with kids again. It's a talent of his that sort of comes and goes.
-- How come Dean and Sam burned the body and immediately left town? Boys, wait until you're sure the threat has been alleviated next time.
-- No, not the lawnmower thing! It's worse than the garbage disposal thing. I don't think I'd allow kids to use gardening equipment when a ghost is going nuts in the house, would you?
-- No Zeke. I was thinking he might emerge during that final standoff with Mommy Ghost, but no.
-- This week: Hurleyville, New York, and 1995. "After School Special" took place in November 1997.
-- "D-Dog." I'm going to mention it, and never say the name again.
Three and a half out of four After School Specials,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.
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