Oklahoma City, OK - A woman meets her lover and his heart literally beats right out of his chest--and explodes messily all over her.
At a gas station, the brothers learn Kevin and his mother are staying with Garth on his houseboat--and that Cas has tuned out heaven because he wants nothing to do with that place anymore. He now wants to be a hunter--their third wheel, and he's found the OK case for them to work on. Dean won't let him zap around, however, he must ride in the Impala--and not in the front seat!
A pretty detective gives them (FBI) the skinny in the case, along with a folder. She takes Dean's card when he asks her to let him know about any other weird stuff and calls him Scully. Cas smells a recent bladder infection from the dead man, but no EMF or sulphur. Sam and Dean figure out he was having an affair with Olivia, something Cas did NOT smell, and the dude was married--perhaps his wife learned of the affair and is a witch?
Flashback: Awaiting a visit from Amelia's father, Sam finds a photo album that says "Amelia and Don forever." She's nervous that they're moving too fast and her father will agree, Sam reassures her with kisses and love. Dad loves the dog, but not Sam, who tries to please, but fails. You look like a real fixer upper to me, says Dad.
In questioning the man's widow, Cas (aka Stills) says he can break her, and gets right in her face and screams, WHY DID YOU KILL YOUR HUSBAND?! Turns out the wife is friends with Olivia, the mistress, and completely accepted the affair. â€œFrigging suburbs,â€ says Dean, â€œshe's the best wife EVER!â€
A man steps off a building and doesn't fall right away; he stands on air, thinking God wants him to live, before plummeting to his death.
The pretty detective calls in the FBI because of the weird nature of this case, like something straight out of Bugs Bunny. â€œInsect-rabbit hybrid?â€ Cas asks. The brothers try to explain cartoons to Cas, but must show him some to get the point across. He thinks the bird reps God, the coyote, man, endlessly chasing the divine, yet never. . .hilarious. Cas hears that a bank has been robbed; it sounds looney.
Bank - They find a security guard crushed under an anvil. The detective wants to know if they chase the crazy or vice versa. There's a black hole burglar driving them crazy--no fingerprints, no sign of force entry, just a pair of large, painted black holes, like he's signing his work. Sam asks to see the files on the other break ins. Dean asks Cas to lift the anvil. Underneath is a big X. â€œX marks the spot,â€ says Dean, playing by cartoon rules. Dean has no idea why the hole isn't working now.
Hotel room - reading his journal, Cas admires John's beautiful handwriting. Dean asks Cas how he's feeling, citing that it took him time to find his sea legs after returning from Purgatory. â€œI'm fine,â€ Cas asserts. â€œI'm thrilled you're back,â€ says Dean, â€œit's just this mysterious resurrection thing.â€ Even though he hates those flying ass monkeys as much as Cas, Dean wants him to go to heaven, ask the God squad how he got out. Cas refuses, angrily: â€œI SAID NO.â€ â€œTalk to me,â€ urges Dean quietly. â€œI vaporized thousands of my own kind up there,â€ says Cas, â€œand I'm afraid if I see what I did to it, I might kill myself.â€ Sam returns and reveals that the guy who robbed the bank robbed a house at exactly the same time. A lot of crazy little things happened around each robbery, like a kid falling and sprouting a four-inch lump. The power isn't targeted, it's like an area of effect--he's in a bubble of weird, and whatever touches it gets daffy. â€œThis Animaniac can step through walls, toss an anvil?â€ Dean asks. â€œYes, but he's warping reality to do it,â€ answers Sam, â€œif someone nearby is meeting the girl of his dreams. . .â€ â€œ. . .his heart makes a break for it,â€ finishes Dean, â€œSmashing the rental cop was on purpose, but the other stuff was just collateral weird.â€ â€œMaybe,â€ says Sam, â€œand wherever he hit belonged to patients at the Sunset Hills Retirement Home.â€ Dean announces it's wabbit season, and Cas tells him he mispronounced that.
Sunset Hills - Dean gets the heebie-jeebies from all the elderly residents, but Sam is more tolerant. They tell Dr. Mahoney they need to talk to his patients about Grand Larceny. Dean warns his partners against flirting. (lol!) One woman thinks Cas is Charles, her third husband. They have to remind her about her stolen jewels and bearer bonds. Which she hid from Charles, who was quite the bounder. She tells them the cat talks sometimes, so Cas goes to interrogate the feline.
An orderly tells Sam that a lot of these people can't deal with the real world, so they tune out and live in their own worlds.
Flashback: Amelia serves her delighted dad hot dogs and spaghetti for dinner, something he loved from the Army. When Sam tells him John was a Marine, the man says, â€œI always thought they were a little puffed up, myself.â€ (sorry, this guy was a total dick to Sam.) Knowing that Sam never served, he waits until Amelia leaves them alone and says, â€œI find that hard to believe--you got the look--the one a lot of guys get that lets you know they've seen a lot of crap they can't forget--second their feet hit solid ground, they start running, and they don't stop, not until they find something to hold onto.â€ â€œYou think that's what I'm doing here?â€ Sam demands. â€œI think the two of you are holding onto each other, yeah,â€ he accuses, â€œcuz I know she's scared after what happened to Don, I don't blame her for taking off--the question is, what are you running from, Sam?â€
Sam spies a photo on the wall of a man they both knew as kids--Fred Jones. He was psychokinetic and gave each of them their first beer. He lives here. They scoop up Cas, who has nearly "broken" the cat, and who calls him dumbass, aloud, when he leaves.
Fred is intently watching cartoons when Cas and the brothers arrive. To test the "circle of crazy" surrounding Fred, Dean strikes himself with a book. Sure enough, there is a cartoonish sound of birds tweeting when he strikes himself. â€œBingo,â€ says Dean. â€œBut how?â€ Cas asks. He can re-shape reality, they realize. â€œWhere's his off switch?â€ Dean wonders. â€œDo we kill him?â€ Cas asks. Dr. Mahoney enters and points to Cas. â€œDid he just threaten to murder one of my patients?â€ Mahoney asks in consternation. The three FBI agents are tossed from the nursing home.
They agree to go back at night to get Fred out, but send Cas back to watch him.
With Fred sitting by watching a cartoon, an ordinary birthday candle turns into a firecracker that sends a cake exploding all over the TV set and wall. Cas calls Sam and Dean to come to the nursing home in light of this "pastry mishap," but Fred has disappeared. A nurse tells them they're not supposed to be here. Mrs. Tate tells "Charles" the girl is wearing her diamonds, and they ask her where she got that stolen diamond bracelet. â€œMy boyfriend,â€ she replies, sending the threesome to an apartment.
They find one of the bearer bonds of Mrs. Tate's, and a badly injured man, who Cas heals. He explains that Dr. Mahoney has been using Fred, and that Fred is magic--a few weeks ago, he slammed his foot flat in a door and when he shook it, it popped right back up, just like in a cartoon. He and Mahoney have been using Fred for robberies ever since, but once the FBI appeared and the cake blew up, Mahoney said he was going to use Fred for one more bank robbery, then kill him. When this guy objected, Mahoney shot him.
Cas wonders if Fred knows what's happening. â€œI think he's living in a dream world,â€ opines Dean.
Flashback: Amelia's father tells her that she's living in a dream world as Sam overhears in the kitchen. He insists Sam's a mess. â€œSo am I,â€ says Amelia, but Sam makes her happy. Dad comes in and offers to dry. He asks about the Impala, and when Sam reveals it was his father's, the other man comments, â€œGood taste--for a jarhead.â€
Bank - the hole is open! â€œAwesome!â€ Dean enters.
Cas and Sam find Fred in a van watching cartoons on a laptop, but they can't break through to him by talking. Cas gets them directly into his mind, where they are in the middle of the cartoon. He recalls Sam as the scrawny one and doesn't realize 20 years have passed. Sam begs him to focus; Fred suspiciously asks why he's here.
â€œWhat's up, Doc?â€ Dean asks Mahoney, who is emptying valuables from a safety deposit box into a bag.
Fred accuses Sam of lying, even though Cas assures him it's true. Fred can't believe he's some psychic Coppertop--â€plug me in and the whole world goes whacky.â€ Sam points out that he's been spending more time in here than out there. Through angrily gritted teeth, Fred tells them the worst thing about being a guy with a mind like his--losing it.
â€œLet me walk, half of this is yours,â€ Mahoney offers Dean, who refuses to steal from little old ladies. â€œI'm stealing from their children,â€ corrects Mahoney, â€œselfish little bastards who visit their parents twice a year.â€ They fight, Dean fires, a flag saying BANG pops from his gun instead of a bullet. Dr. Mahoney taunts, â€œWelcome to the fun house,â€ and runs.
Fred loved cartoons from when he was a kid--safe, happy, something to hold onto. (like Sam and Amelia?)
Dean (hunterus heroicus) jumps Mahoney (grotesque villanus). Dr. Mahoney pulls out a frying pan and hits Dean with it, leaving a perfect impression of Deanâ€™s face in the pan. Dean is dazed and falls backward. â€œIâ€™ve been dealing with this crazy for months. You idiot, bring a gun to a gag fight.â€ Dean pulls out a marker, proclaiming X marks the spot, but the doc steps off the X so the anvil misses him.
Sam asks Fred to take control. â€œI can't!â€ Fred cries, â€œit's too hard!â€ â€œI know it can be nice living in a dream world,â€ says Sam, â€œbut you can't do it forever, eventually, whatever you're running from, it'll find you, punch you in the gut--you gotta wake up, cuz trying to keep that dream alive will destroy you--destroy everything!â€ Everything turns light. . .
Back in the real world, Mahoney tries to leap through a hole, but it's closed. â€œLooks like someone turned off the boob tube,â€ observes Dean. Mahoney draws his gun. â€œNO!â€ Shouts Fred, pointing his finger--â€you are not going to hurt anyone ever again!â€ He forces Mahoney to turn the gun around and shoot himself dead. â€œThat's all, folks,â€ says Dean.
Sam asks Fred if he's good. â€œNOW I'm good,â€ he replies, â€œin a month, year. . .nobody gets sharper with age--I'm gonna lose control again and someone's gonna get hurt again.â€ Cas knows a way--painful, and there might be very little left of Fred. â€œWell, what are you waiting for?â€ Fred demands.
Next time we see him, Fred is sitting, staring out a window, smiling. He's listening to "Ode to Joy," Cas informs Sam and Dean, â€œHe's happy.â€ Dean offers to let him ride shotgun, but Cas declines--and he's transported to Naomi's desk in heaven. He has to come back to heaven, to make things right, he insists. â€œNo,â€ she says, â€œbottom line, unless I ring my bell, you stay out of heaven.â€ â€œWhat should I do?â€ Cas asks. â€œWhat do you want to do?â€ She counters.
Cas returns and says he must stay with Fred for a few days, then he's not sure. â€œWhen I know I can't run anymore.â€
Flashback: Amelia's father is regaling Sam with a funny story about a play in which she played a sugar plum fairy, waddling onstage dragging two feet of toilet paper behind her. They're all laughing. The phone rings. Amelia answers. Sam tells her father he lost his brother and he ran. â€œI'm sorry about that,â€ the other man says. Stunned, Amelia returns to them and says, "It's Don. He's alive." Sam stares at her, stunned.
Dean slaps Sam's arm. Time to go. "Ode to Joy" swells on the soundtrack as Cas sits beside a smiling Fred, who is closing his eyes, staring out the window together.
1. Was it me, or did all Sam's flashbacks seem to be in dreamy camerawork? Did Sam dream Amelia and their life together? Was he hospitalized all this time?
2. Assuming Amelia was real, and Don came back, was he a ghost, vampire or revenant? Did he kill Amelia?
3. This was a cool episode. I loved what it said about aging and how much it sucks. It even made an interesting comment about children who stick parents in nursing homes, visit rarely and collect an undeserved inheritance.
4. What did you think of Fred's dream world? Would you like to live there?
5. There were many parallels between Sam's world and Fred's, which is what makes me wonder if Sam's is real to begin with. "You're living in a dream world" said Amelia's father. Was this Sam speaking to himself?
6. Yay or nay on this episode, and why?
7. I loved what Cas did for Fred. It made me cry with joy. I think Cas is earning his redemption, one human at a time. Bravo, Cas.