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Supernatural: What Is and What Should Never Be

Dean: "Oh, Auntie Em. There's no place like home."

I just loved this episode. Probably because I just love Dean.

The jinn made Dean's "wonderful life" wonderful, but not too wonderful. Mary was alive, but not John. Dean had a regular, but not fabulous, job in a garage. (John worked in a garage, too). Dean had a terrific girlfriend who loved him, but he didn't know who she was. Sam was in law school and still with Jessica, but sadly, Dean and Sam had never gotten close as adults.

The fact that it wasn't perfect made it more real, and Dean's happiness was so touching. One of my favorite scenes was Dean in a state of euphoria because he got to mow a lawn.

But even while he was caught up in a literal dream come true, Dean couldn't handle the thought that all the people he had saved were now dead. Reality may be full of horror and loss, but Dean still needs to do what he does. That young woman kept showing up because Dean's subconscious couldn't let go. And he was strong enough and determined enough to actually drive to Illinois and confront the truth. I think that if I were experiencing a reality where my mother and sister were alive again, I'd find it impossible to leave, no matter what it cost me.

I haven't made it a secret that Dean is the character that I love on this show, and this episode illustrated why. Dean may think he doesn't have depths, but he does. Gold acting stars for Jensen Ackles. He was fabulous.

Bits and pieces:

— It seemed odd that alternate reality John Winchester died of a stroke. Casting issues? Or did they think there was more than enough going on already? Or possibly that having John there would inevitably create John/Sam conflict and make Dean's idealized alternate life not so idealized?

— "Carmen" turned out to be a model in a beer ad. I'm wondering why it wasn't Cassie or Jo? Again, was it casting issues? Or was it on purpose?

— Dean and Sam ditched the Impala's old license plate and their old credit cards. I was wondering when they'd get around to that. There were also different plates on the Impala in the alternate reality.

— I wonder what Sam would have experienced if he had been the jinn's victim? Probably something pretty similar.

— This week: Joliet, Illinois and (in Dean's head), Lawrence, Kansas.

— Note from later: Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna Earp, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) had a non-speaking role as the other victim in the warehouse.


Sam: "Where are we?"
Dean: "Well, we're not in Kansas anymore."

Dean: "I'm dating a nurse. That is so... respectable."
Coincidentally, Jessica was dressed up as a nurse in the pilot episode. So Dean subconsciously wants a respectable girlfriend, huh? Maybe one like Jessica?

Dean: "Bitch."
Sam: "What are you calling me a bitch for?"
Dean: "You're supposed to say 'jerk'."
Sam: "What?"
Dean: "Never mind."

Sam: "This isn't a dream, all right? I'm here with you, now. And you are about to kill yourself, Dean."
Dean: "No, I'm pretty sure. (pause) Like ninety percent sure."

Dean: "You should have seen it, Sam. Our lives. You were such a wussy."

Outstanding episode. Four out of four stars,

Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.


  1. I love this episode, every bit of it. I experience an array of emotions and Jensen nails every single of them with perfection. I am happy for Dean when I see him with his mother, just feeling like a little boy but then I feel sad because the brothers don´t get along and Sam is even embarassed by Dean. My favourite scenes are Dean in the cemetery talking to his dad and the last one where everyone is trying to convince him to stay. He so desperately wants to but he has to go back and save people.
    My heart just breaks for Dean and for this amazing episode!

  2. I love this episode! But there is a huge hole in the plot. If Djinn abduct people and hold them in abandonned buildings while they drain the life out of them how did they get the reputation of granting wishes? I mean, it isn't as if their victims go around telling people that they were granted wishes. The "recipients" of the wishes actually die a slow death in solitude with no contact with real people ever again. I still love this episode though.

  3. Hi, Anon: It seems to me that the djinns probably spread that story themselves. :)

  4. Hi! I'm plowing through all of your reviews as I watch the show, really enjoy reading your thoughts. :) I think they didn't have Dean's girlfriend be Cassie or Jo because he wouldn't have met either one of them if John hadn't been a hunter, right? That's what I thought, anyway.

  5. Audrey on a Mission, that makes sense. You're right.

  6. Hey Billie! Definitely one of my very favourite episodes so far- I'm a sucker for alternate timelines and 'verses. Particularly liked that the scene with Dean breaking in to his mother's house mirrored the beginning of the pilot.

  7. What an episode! JA really pulled out all the stops. Sam is usually the one my heart breaks for, but I wept through most of this episode.

    I agree with Liz in that I thought the mirrored fight scene that brought the two boys together (again) was brilliantly handled.

    Dean is a hero! Like you, Billie, if I could live in a universe where the people I loved were still alive, I don't think I would leave either.

  8. I love the way they twisted genie lore. They only make you think your wish is granted by plopping you into a Matrix-y fake world and living off your blood. Ick.

  9. Hi, I've just recently started watching Supernatural (mostly because of this site) and I think this episode just made me fall in love with it!
    I agree with the rest of the comments, seeing Dean so happy for once was great! I almost wanted him to choose blissful ignorance, but of course, he's too noble for that. And - like in a similar episode of Angel this reminded me of - there had to be an ulterior motive behind it.
    I was also wondering about the absence of John, and could't work it out. Whether Dean wanted his father to die naturally, rather than supernaturally, or whether he is secretly glad to be out from under his shadow. Or maybe, as Billie says, the logistics just wouldn't work with too many characters.
    And as for Carmen being just an advert - I thought that was taken to mean that Dean's ideal girl just doesn't exist. Or he doesn't think she does, or he doesn't think he deserves her. He thinks he's destined to be alone.
    Anyway sorry about the long comment, keep up the good work! :)

  10. I think this is probably my new favourite episode.
    It was so sad and so creepy and so true.

  11. Flight 424 does not crash in our 'verse. In the alternate 'verse, it crashes and 108 people died. The number 108, plane crashes, alternate realities, geez! Shades of Lost. Does this mean Lost's last season ripped off of Supernatural? (Trying not to give spoilers but those who've seen Lost all the way through will know what I mean).


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