Supernatural: Just My Imagination

"You're a good weird."

There is something delightful about a real "imaginary friend" going to the Winchesters for supernatural help.

Like most of their funny episodes, "Just My Imagination" was a hoot at first, in a dark sort of way. There are so few likable and beneficial supernatural beings on this show... actually, have there been any before now? The Zanna, while they do have a bit of a creep factor, truly care about lost and lonely kids and try to help them.

Which of course brings us back to the Winchesters' horrible no good childhood. We usually see those experiences from Dean's perspective, but this time it was nine-year-old Sam was alone in an ugly motel room for who knows how long while John and Dean were out hunting. This show has been on for so freaking long that we now have a second generation of young actors playing the Winchesters as kids. This time, baby-faced twenty year old Dylan Everett returned for the third time as young Dean, who would have been thirteen at the time, and Dylan Kingwell, who played Victor in the short-lived American version of The Returned, did a reasonably good job as nine-year-old Sam.

There were even more callbacks to the Winchesters with Reese, the killer, who thought that by killing "monsters", she was saving kids like her sister Audrey. Sully, who had been such a good friend to Sam when he was young, made me cry when he offered his own life to Reese with a genuine smile on his face, hoping his death would heal her. Gold acting stars for Nate Torrence, who played Sully. What a lovely performance from beginning to end.

And I also cried when Sam told Sully about God wanting him to go back to the Cage. Sully told Sam he was a hero, which he most certainly is. Yes, this is just a television show, but I have an eleven year relationship with Sam Winchester, and I absolutely do not want him to return to the Cage. Even though it's obvious that it's where the story is going.

As they often do, the Supernatural powers that be managed to pull off the strangest combination of humor and horror. Sparkle the unicorn's blood actually sparkled, and that scene where Maddie's mother had it all over her face made me giggle and cringe at the same time. Who is going to clean up that bedroom if only traumatized little Maddie can see the blood? Nicky the mermaid in the kiddie pool was sitting in an actual bloodbath; I couldn't help laughing at her tail sticking up from her impromptu grave in the yard, as if they were burying a pet goldfish.

And Weems, who had a magical mullet, played real air guitar. I loved him hanging out those sheets. I hope he washed them first.


-- Sully was not the first childhood flashback character to tell Sam to be himself when he grew up, instead of an extension of John and Dean. Even though Sam ended up a hunter, anyway. I always find that sad.

-- Dean was so flip and dismissive of the Zanna right up until he realized how genuinely important Sully had been to young Sam.

-- Sparkle the unicorn was reading The Velveteen Rabbit. If you've never read it and you're looking for a story to yank your heart out, there you go.

-- The Zanna were much more like human beings than usual, which made me think that Reese won't have to pay in any way for the two murders and one stabbing she committed.

-- This episode was directed by Richard Speight, Jr., better known as the Trickster and the archangel Gabriel. Good job.

-- This week: Menomie, Wisconsin, and the MoL bunker. In the flashback, the ugly motel room featured multicolored painted brick walls and a room divider decorated with little barns and cow heads.

-- Sam and Dean were Dr. Strummer and Dr. McGowan, trauma counselors with Child Services, wearing very Mister Rogers-like cardigans. A google search on Strummer and McGowan got me a group called the Pogues, who did a song called "Straight to Hell". No, not at all apropo.


Sully: "Someone killed my friend."
Dean: "You mean your imaginary, imaginary friend?"

Sam: "Dean, when I was nine years old, you know what I wanted more than anything? Marshmallow nachos."
Dean: "Yeah. You were a weird ass kid."

Dean: "Good. The Bert and Ernie pretext. Awesome."

Dean: "So. Sparkle is a unicorn and also a man?"
Mom: "Yeah."
Dean: "So. A manicorn?"

Dean: "Oh, yeah. That kid is going to need all the shrinks."

Sully: "It's on her face! It's on her face! She's got Sparkle on her face!"

Dean: (re: the mermaid) "What do you want to do? Find a giant toilet and flush it?" Classy, Dean. Tactful, too.

Dean: "Hey, slacker. Am I burying Ariel by myself here or what?"

Weems: "It went right through my love handle. My fat saved me. Can you believe that?"
Sully: "Fat is the best!"

Dean: "A manicorn? A freaking mermaid? What am I supposed to do with that? But a chick in a car? That's terra firma. I'm home."

Dean: "I have seen more than my share of monsters. And I mean real monsters. Bad. These guys? These are Sesame Street Mother Theresas. But when I wasn't there for my little brother, Sully was."

Sam: "Dean, we need to seriously discuss me going to the Cage."
Dean: "Okay. Not happening. Good talk."

Surprisingly touching, considering how silly it could have been. Three and a half out of four marshmallow nachos,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


Mallena said...

Loved this one. Sam needs to be told he is a hero after all these years of people calling him the boy with the demon blood and the one who let Lucifer out and started the apocalypse. He's paid so much for those mistakes. I'm scared of what will happen if he goes back to the cage. Didn't really like the new kid Sam. His hair was too dark and looked like Dean cut it with blunt scissors. Not too surprised that Sam wanted to go hunting. He wanted to be with Dean, not be left behind by himself. He had to start hunting sometime, or where would he have learned all his ninja fighting skills? Would really like to have a teenage Sam story, that would be cool. Sully was great, the girl killer was weird, maybe it was her delivery of her lines, but it rang false to me. Overall, well done.

b666d190-4f46-11e4-a937-c3427fd332a5 said...

I didn't love this episode. Didn't hate it, but it really didn't hold my attention. I did giggle (bad me) with the scene with Mom and "sparkle" all over her face. And the bit with Sam saying they needed to discuss him going to the Cage and Dean's so DEAN response was wonderful (How exactly does Sam think he's going to get to the Cage and just what does he think he can do if he manages to get there?)

I have a problem with the idea that John left Sam alone and took Dean with him on a hunt. We know from previous mentions of the past that John was more protective of Sam than he was Dean (Something Wicked, the episode where they were in "Heaven" reliving their childhoods) so that didn't ring true for me. And nine seems a little old for an imaginary friend, although if anyone needed one it would probably be Sam!

audrey L said...

I loved this episode. It brought me back to past seasons when the show knew so well how to mix humor and sadness.
Sully brought some needed fresh air and was very well played.

It didn't bother me that Sam was left alone because it's been canon that it happened :
Pilot: John gave him a pistol at 9 to kill a monster, just in this apisode Sam was training to shoot.
something wicked and a supernatural christmas: Dean left Sam alone for a while (sure not long but still)
I believe the children are our future: Sam tells the kid (forgot his name) that he used to stay alone as kid and cook himself his diner.
Plunky ...: Dean left Sam in plunky thing
Can't remember the episode when it was said that Dean hunted with John while Sam stayed in the car, a supernatural christmas, maybe.
If Dean started hunting young with John, it means Sam was left alone because Dean couldn't be in 2 places on the same time. It doesn't mean Dean didn't do his best to take care of Sam but Sam's childhood was as lonely and shitty as Dean's.
But I agree that 9 is a bit old to have an imaginary friend ...except Sully wasn't so imaginary.

Juliette said...

I was so happy when I saw Dylan Everett's (sp?!) name in the credits, he's a great young Dean and I love flashbacks. It's a shame he and Colin Ford, who was a brilliant young Sam, are the wrong ages to play them together. Unless Everett was done up to look a bit older instead of younger? But then, they've reached the ages J2 were when the show started, so that would just be weird!

I still think God wants Michael (and Lucifer) out of the Cage, not Sam in it, but Sully telling him he was a hero was lovely. If they're gonna keep talking about it they're gonna have to drag Castiel away from Netflix though, given that he was the one who got Sam out in the first place.

Billie Doux said...

Juliette, I've thought about Dylan Everett and Colin Ford doing Dean and Sam together, too. Everett seems to look younger than Ford, even though they're nearly the same age. I wonder if they could get around that, somehow?

Juliette said...

I was trying to remember how old Ford is - he must be nearly 18 by now? But if Everett is 20, maybe he can be made up to look slightly older instead of slightly younger and it could work - the main downside being how close they'd be to the start of the show! It would be lovely to see them together, since they're the best young Sam and Dean so far :)

Billie Doux said...

According to IMdb, Colin Ford was born in September 1996. That makes him 19. He's also three inches taller than Dylan Everett, which is just about right.

Josie Kafka said...

Sparkle the unicorn was reading The Velveteen Rabbit. If you've never read it and you're looking for a story to yank your heart out, there you go.

That's the truth. I had the play inflicted on me at least three times as a child, and it got to the point where I just hated it because it was So. Incredibly. Sad.

Why do people do that to their children?!

Unknown said...

Hi, Billie! Just a quick mention, while Joe strummer was briefly in The Pogues, he's really known for being in The Clash. Shane McGowan is the lead singer for The Pogues. I just needed to make sure people knew that (if anyone cares) because The Clash is one of my all time favorite bands and, really, a seminal punk rock band. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I loved this ep--so many feels! I dread the thought that Sam is considering putting himself in the cage! I can't imagine that's what God wants for a second. I'm glad Dean is on the same page I am. He can't let Sam do anything stupid. Love, Robin

Juliette said...

The Pogues did one of the greatest Christmas songs, with Kirsty McColl - Fairytale in New York. Awesomeness! :)

Anonymous said...

Agreed Juliette - I think it's the only Christmas song I don't get tired of hearing in the shops/on the radio each year!

I wasn't a fan of this episode. Not that I could point to anything particularly wrong with it... it just didn't quite grab me :/

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie, great review as always.
Nothing ngbto add, I laughed I've cried, good times.
Juliette the pougs were my brother favorite band for a while . I love their Christmas song.

Pogues – If I Should Fall From Grace With God Lyrics
If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I'm buried 'neath the sod
But the angels won't receive me

Let me go, boys
Let me go, boys