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This is one of my all-time favorite episodes. There are so many amazing touches. So psychologically compelling. We all wonder what if life went a different way. What if someone didn’t die. I tend to think about the good “what if”…not thinking that if one thing changed, so would another; like Sam and Dean’s relationship in this imagined alternate life.
Jensen. Oh my God. Every subtle expression…the one that gets me every time is when Mary casually touches his face when she says goodnight and he chases that touch. Gives me shivers. It says everything about much he needed and missed out on when Mary died young.
I love watching Dean figure it out. Or trying to figure out that the fantasy life he is in is not necessarily good. I love the end where he confesses to Sam how badly he wanted to stay. I love that we come in on that conversation he had with Sam at the end; Sam asking about how they didn’t get along in this fantasy world and it was apparent that Dean had already told him everything about it.
I really liked Jared here too. Being a bit of a jerk (but who knows what “fantasy world” Dean had done to “fantasy world” Sam at some point; sounds like he drank too much and wasn’t dependable). Then speaking (with words provided by the Djinn) about how Dean should “stay” and not go back in the end. Jared did a great job with an alternate version of Sam here too. It was painful to watch Sam brush Dean off like that; to watch Sam obviously feel like the superior one and someone who did NOT look up to Dean in this world.
This is one of those “Mystery Spot” episodes that is the quintessential SPN. It has a few (very few) funny parts, it is so tragic, it is also spooky with the dying Djinn victim appearing to Dean in spite of the hallucination.
Kate; I love Dean-centric epsiodes the best too. Jensen can and does carry everything alone when he has to. He’s incredible. And yes, Sam Smith WAS great in this episode when I sometimes think she (or the writing for her) falls short; she did not fall short here. THIS was how I saw Mary too. Obviously it’s how Dean saw his ideal version of her.
That IS interesting that John wasn’t there. It was probably because he was too busy, but I can theorize that the most important thing to Dean was that John died of a heart attack instead of sacrificing himself for his son who always deems himself unworthy of that sacrifice. As Dean said, John’s death in this world was “awesome”.
I love Carmen! I hate that he and Sam are estranged here, but I loved that he still had someone unquestionably in his corner who loves him and wants him to have a good life. I too wish Dean had gotten to live some version of this life with someone to love and a home and hobbies. I hate that the finale robbed him of that too. He deserved it. He sacrificed all the time for everyone else.
I also liked that Pilot call-back when Dean was in Mary’s house to get the silver knife. Jensen was SO GOOD at this scene; realizing how Sam almost hated him for being so sketchy and Dean KNOWING that’s NOT how he really is. He had to play along to get the knife and it was painful to watch.
I agree Kate that Sam is always the “smart one”. Dean figured this out entirely on his own. Dean is just as smart.
Such a great episode!!!! I love it so much. I’m glad the girl lived. Though barely! That makeup and everything was very effective where the Djinn was holding them. She really looked dead. There’s something great about that shot of her toes barely touching the floor too when she’s strung up. What a painful position to be in. It looked like true torture.
It as a LITTLE unbelievable that Dean had the strength to save Sam after he was similarly in a bad way. But I guess I could argue adrenaline.
Loved that moment when Dean realized he was dating a nurse. “How respectable!” Love that. BTW, my spouse who wear scrubs says no one ever holds scrubs up to their body when deciding what to wear as Carmen did.
I loved that even in that almost-perfect world, it mattered to Dean immensely that the people who he had saved were dead in this world since he was not there to save them. It shows that he feels the sacrifice was necessary and he took pride in those saved lives as he should. This was a BRILLIANT way to let us see inside Dean’s head without him talking it out or anything. SUCH a brilliant episode!