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Supernatural: The Curious Case of Dean Winchester

Sam: "I hope I get that kind of kick when I'm his age. Like either of us will live that long."

I laughed, and it kept me going until the end; it was even complex and a bit poignant. But something about this episode didn't work for me.

I did like that Sam got to save the day. He kept his head, didn't panic, and managed to out bluff a 900-year-old master-poker-playing he-witch in order to save Dean's life. And I liked that Patrick wasn't completely evil, that he let some of them win; there was a bit of depth in his relationship with his girlfriend, and in the way he let her choose to die the way she did.

But, see, that was really lucky, wasn't it? She'd helped Patrick steal the life from poor, unfortunate saps for, well, years, and suddenly, she was all repentant and had had enough? And I didn't like that Patrick got away in the end. He's just going to keep killing people after all, no matter how amusing he is.

The fact that the Winchester brothers are almost certainly going to die young should have been a bigger part of the plot. (Although we did get a hint that Dean will cut down on cheeseburgers with extra bacon.) Instead, it was more about Bobby regaining his sense of self worth. I've loved Bobby from his very first episode, but I'm not sure this episode worked for his character. It was just a bit much. At least they didn't go the obvious route and have Sam win five years for Bobby and get him out of that chair. Actually, why didn't he? Wouldn't even one year for Bobby have done it? Would it have made a pat ending too pat?

Chad Everett did a fairly good job as "Dean." Much better choice than putting Jensen Ackles in make-up, because even when it's done well, it never looks convincing. (Plus it was Jensen's turn for a break after pulling double Parent Trap duty.) I particularly liked "Dean" interacting with Bobby, especially that scene in the graveyard.

And I liked the Benjamin Buttonesque title, even though I hated that movie. That was three endless hours of my life that I'm never going to get back. (I kept thinking the ending would be worth it. It wasn't.)

Bits and pieces:

— The opener shot of Weekly World News had the headline: "Leading psychics agree: the Apocalypse is here!"

— Maybe I was also mildly disappointed we didn't get a Halloween episode. I guess one could argue that every episode of Supernatural is a Halloween episode.

— The boys were CDC this week. I didn't catch what city they were in, but the motel had the usual bizarre wallpaper.

— I don't usually comment on previews, but next week's episode looks amazing.


Coroner: "First time in history I haven't sat on my ass waiting for you people."
Dean: "New administration. Change you can believe in."

Sam: "Have you seen you? You look like..."
Dean: "The old chick in Titanic. I know. Shut up."
Sam: "I was gonna say Emperor Palpatine."

Bobby: "I see you met John McCain there."
Not one, but two references to the election which was one year ago today. Has it really been a year?

Sam: "It's like Grumpy Old Men."
Dean and Bobby: "Shut up, Sam."

Dean: "Dude. I believe that he-witch gave you the clap."

Sam: "You're crying. For a witch, you're so nice it's actually creepy."

I'd give this episode two out of four stars. Am I completely off base? Did I just take an irrational dislike to this one? Did the lack of Jensen Ackles influence my opinion? Please post a comment and tell me what you thought,

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


  1. I agree Billie completly. It was amusing and well acted as always... but yeah. They tried to make the he-witch look all nice but he was still a bit of an evil sod... he was quite prepared to kill both Sam and Dean purley for fun... and the others as well. I do love Supernatural... but seriously: you can't go as big as raising Lucifer and starting the end of the world and then not bloody show hardly any of it!! I'm hoping there is a reason for the fact that Lucifer seems to have done nothing since he rose. Knowing this show... there probably is.

  2. Hi Billie. Definitely must be the lack of Jensen Ackles. Sure, this was not one of my favourite episodes so far, but it was a good one. Chat Everett did an outstanding characterization of the Ackles’ Dean. And you have to love the interaction between Dean and Bobby. Its just me or it felt pretty obvious that while Dean has a close bond with Bobby and Castiel, Sam doesn’t have anybody but Dean (sure Bobby loves him, but is not the same kind of bond that he has with Dean, and the final scene kind of show that; we can’t say the same about Castiel though). Does this means something or I’m overlooking here? Other than that, I’m glad that you are giving stars again; I’ve been missing that in your reviews. Oh, and Ben I’m with you in waiting to go back to the Apocalypse, Lucifer enjoying earth so far? Love, Cecile.

  3. Actually I only have one major complaint about this episode and that is the total lack of tension: either about the whole apocalypse bit, or the fact that either Dean or Sam are actually going to die or stay dead: Zacharia and Lucifer both made that clear - so no tension there at all for this season thanks to that bit of stupid writing.

    Other than that, I liked it a lot: the 2 'old' guys which Chad did an amazing job and I didn't miss Jensen at all - though really fun to see him at the end so happy! I really wish they'd show some decent scenes with Sam and Bobby alone, since I do believe they have a very strong bond, though maybe not as much 'father' as Bobby is to Dean. Unfortunately they rarely have any and most of the past ones have had Sam possessed, obsessed by the trickster or doing the demon blood bit...no wonder they don't show much closeness. But Bobby has been there for Sam the whole time, so I think he's trying to look past all that.

    I loved that they showed Sam growing past his issues with the 'kiddie' table bit and using that to outsmart the man-witch (I kept thinking 'manwhich' the whole time!!). Sam has been growing the last few episodes and that is great to see. Also: the whole look on his face when he found out what the witch did to him!! So, I say 3 stars, since I didn't have to see any angels for once and I loved the humour.

  4. I felt a huge amount of tension in the poker playing scene between Sam and Patrick after the witch told him that Dean was going to die--and soon. Sam tried to hasten the game's ending so he could rush to his brother's side. Patrick was sure Sam was screwing up the game because he was so upset and scared (hence, method acting). OldDean was lying on the floor, his breaths coming shorter and shorter; Bobby kept trying to reach him on his cell phone--no answer! They used quick shots to build the suspense, and it sure kept me biting my fingernails down to the quick! Sure, we know the brothers can't die, but still, you worry! When Patrick was certain he'd beaten Sam with a full house, only to learn Sam had done even better with four of a kind, I was laughing, dancing, as happy as Dean when he danced out to Bobby, 30 years old again! What a great moment. For me, the downside was that Chad Everett and Jared just couldn't match the chemistry that Jared shares with Jensen. I thought the chemistry between Jared and the guy who played Patrick was mesmerizing, however. I would give this ep three stars. As for the not dealing with the apocalypse, relax! We have 15 eps of season 5 to go, plenty of time to explore the end of the world! Kripke likes to toy with us, or have you forgotten? Love, Robin, Editor, SUPERNATURAL, moogi.com--where episode 5.7 is now posted!

  5. Billie good review. You did a better job saying that this episode missed the mark. Yes I missed Jensen but that's a given. I looked at it as a well deserved rest for Jensen what with his double acting and all. Plus it was great to see Chad Everett who did a fantastic job getting Dean's mannerism etc. Loved the chemistry between Old Dean and Bobby.
    I thought the chemistry between Sam and Old Dean was good. Poor Sam had very little time to think about old Dean, he didn't have any real conversations with him, and how could the chemistry be the same under these circumstances.
    I agree there was tension, in the poker game and Dean lying on the floor.
    I did not like anything about the "he witch" and the "bitch" lousy story line and I agree killing people for 900 years...not right. This should have ended with Dean, Sam and Bobby killing the son of a bitch!
    Yeah it would be nice to see more interaction between Sam and Bobby when no one is possessed, but I've never really felt that Sam doesn't have a good relationship with Bobby. His is just different to Dean's, but that doesn't make it any less real and important to Sam and Bobby. I got that when Bobby told Sam in episode one...I'd never let you go Sam or something to that effect.
    Loved all the humour, and I've enjoyed taking a break from "hell on earth" I just know Eric will be taking us through the ringer very very soon.
    I'd give this episode 1 star. For me it's in the running with "Bugs" as the worst.
    My whole review will be posted by tommorow at my site

  6. See, I actually liked this one. I think part of it was that I generally enjoy it when Supernatural has a villain that comes across as somewhat sympathetic while still remaining a villain. Patrick was occasionally compassionate, tragic towards the end there and, well, gosh darn attractive, but I never forgot that he was also sucking people's lives away. That's hard, and it makes me want to give the writers (not to mention his actor) gold stars.

    The girlfriend angle actually made sense to me after the reveal about her daughter, although I did spend most of the episode thinking it was way too convenient. Towards the end though, her reasoning seemed a bit clearer. I think it was less about repentance, and more about seeing Dean risk himself for Bobby, and Sam risk himself for Dean. I doubt it's happened before -- the two cases we see at the start of the episode show that the family doesn't generally know what happened, win or lose. If family is her weak spot, it makes sense that seeing the kind of familial connection that those characters have would hit her where she lives.

    I also got the impression that she was looking for a chance to die. Her chosen method of death at the end of the episode, to me, says that she wasn't willing to do it herself (I mean, really, who asks their lover not only to watch them die, but to me the method of their death?). Having a bunch of hunters who might have been able to actually pull off killing her must have seemed like a godsend.

    ...and this has turned into a frickin' essay. Whoops. Excellent review, as usual -- even if I did spend the entirety of my comment quibbling over the details!

    (The title of the episode is doubly appropriate, because watching Benjamin Button will drain you of all life and vitality. Gah.)

    (Also, did the "soon" from a couple weeks ago have Cara in it, from "Sex and Violence"? Am I imagining things? Did the writers realize that they had let a woman sleep with Sam, and then left her alive and unscathed?)

  7. It´s one of my least favorites of S5. I can´t quite put my finger but there is something here that doesn´t work completely. It feels just average and a bit of a filler. It´s like they couldn´t decide if they were doing a more serious episode or a comedic one.

  8. The real apocalypse stuff won't start until lucifer has his chosen host, Sam. Lucifer stated that his current host is barely able to contain him so he isnt able to really use his powers yet. So that's why it hasn't been complete armageddon up till this point. Pluss you gotta remember that Patrick gave warning to anyone that wanted to play and he did not cheat in anyway. I didnt see him as a real villain because of that, and I think that's why he was left open ended. I think he was done playing anyway since he said he didn't think he could keep on without the chick

  9. I like this episode. It made me laugh, and I loved the conversation between Bobby and the boys. I think it was an eye opener for them to see him so distressed like that. And, I too was glad that the writers didn't take the easy way out of getting his legs back.

  10. I felt like this episode needed too address the elephant in the room

    Bobbys depressed he hates his life right now he can't hunt he can't fight he's literally taking a seat back for the end of the world

    But Dean snapped him out of his funk even got too feel most of his pain with age (sadly he won't know what it's like in a wheelchair) and he basically gave him the your more then a dad then my dad ever was

    So I dont agree with the rating but I respect your opinion

  11. I think what bothered me the most about this episode (which I did like but not necessarily love) was the lack of real consequences in the end -except maybe for Dean who is limiting his cheeseburger habits. The dealer is still going to keep dealing, the people are still going to remain aging/not aging, and the problem the brothers came to solve stayed the same as if they had never gone to it in the first place. True, the only difference was the wife leaving but is that really going to change much? It's nice that at least that one guy is going to get to see his grand daughter's Bar Mitzvah, I guess.

  12. I enjoyed this episode a lot, but I agree, I would have liked to see Patrick get stopped. I guess we're supposed to feel like he's getting punished by watching his wife/girlfriend/whatever-she-was-to-him dying, but as others have said, he's just going to continue doing what he's been doing, which isn't right. But for the most part, I enjoyed the episode.


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