Yes, JBB, you know me well.
My all time favorite episode. It. Is. Perfect. (to me).
Great brother moments.
What else is there to ask for?
Jensen is amazing at maintaining Dean’s funny and lighthearted side while Jared is amazing at portraying how Sam slowly erodes into a darker and darker mindset. That juxtaposition drives the emotional roller coaster all through the episode. Dean doesn’t know any better and has a pretty good day (Hey, he seemed to have had sex the night before judging by the bra he finds while looking for his gun – GREAT scene) while Sam is so desperate to stop the never-ending nightmare.
Only Supernatural can make it funny to have a main character dying so many times in so many different ways! I mean…REALLY? Tacos, sausage, dog, car, electrocution, axed, shot, PIANO? Just hilarious. And still you feel horrible for Sam every time it happens.
The idea for the case and the similarities to “Groundhog Day” are great fun, of course, but I love how Sam does NOT try to better himself or become “more” like the Bill Murray character in the movie because he may live more than 100 Tuesdays through this hell but his focus never shifts away from trying to figure out how to prevent Dean from dying! Poor guy!
I still remember the first time I watched the episode and getting to the point where Sam figures out that the culprit is the Trickster and I looked at my clock thinking….”NOW WHAT”? Well….oh boy….the shock when Dean dies again and the absolute heartbreak on Sam’s face when he doesn’t just wake up again is still an almost physical memory for me. (However, I do wish they had found a better position for the guys on the ground. Dean so awkwardly on his side and Sam all crouched over is just a bit tortured looking.)
And I absolutely appreciate (can’t say love because it is so cruel) how the episode turns so dark and ominous thereafter. The idea that this is foreshadowing what Sam will become once Dean goes to hell is so upsetting to me. Jared does an excellent job bringing this first version of Robo-Sam to life. Doing nothing but focusing on working and finding the Trickster – either for pay back or with a tiny spark of hope that Dean is still “retrievable” is scary and sad. Especially as it culminates in his apparent sacrifice of Bobby for Dean – or at least a chance to get the Trickster back. All of a sudden you start wondering if Dean was right to worry that Sam is not “all Sam” and you are scared for Sam’s fate.
And the PERFECTION of that completely heartbreaking hug at the end!!!! WOW!!! Both Jared and Jensen are just incredible in that moment. Sam’s relief and Dean’s confusion and worry all so crystal clear on their faces. It gives me chills every time I see it.
But the most heartbreaking is the last look Sam gives the room. A mix of resignation and loathing. So effective.
YES, it has everything for me and I am standing on my choice for my favorite.
ONE question I always had is – WHAT was Gabriel’s real motivation for messing with Sam like this? Of course at the time we all thought….ok….the Trickster was just having some fun and trying to teach Sam a lesson…but as we now know he is Gabriel…what was the point? Did he at that point already know more about Sam and Dean’s possible roles in a possible apocalypse? But Dean hadn’t even BEEN to hell yet and there wasn’t any telling if he would break the first seal. So why else would he have a vested interest to teach Sam to let go?
Anyhow, that question doesn’t deter me from loving the episode.