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?"
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.
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