From the very start, Supernatural has taken the art of the ghost story and elevated it to something more profound. The series may have started as a horror show, but it is the depth they place in their ghost episodes that take it to the next level. Instead of just focusing in on the thrills and chills, Supernatural wisely shows us a personal story encased in that of a vengeful spirit. It’s what makes their brand of ghost story unique. They’re scary, yes, but the ghosts are never the caricature that we often see in the horror trope. They’re more than that—they’re undeniably human in their motivations and pain.
Supernatural also shows us the metaphorical ghost quite often alongside, allowing for the study of either Sam or Dean or both, adding another rich layer to the story. We learn some truth about the brothers, something about their past or their future, and it not only adds something deeper to the story, it makes the story bend around the Winchesters in a way that makes them the center of it. Here, we are studying Dean—and his metaphorical ghost shows us a side of him that is rarely if ever glimpsed.
“Bad Boys” tells both ghost stories extremely well, giving us insights into the human condition and that of Sam and Dean.
Let’s start with the ghost story first.
Sam and Dean are in the Bunker when a phone call comes—Sam answers, telling the caller that there is no “D-Dog” there. Before he can hang up, Dean yanks the phone away and greets someone named Sonny. He tells them they’ll be there soon, and Sam looks confused as to why his brother’s so eager to help this man he’s never even heard of. Dean says of Sonny, “He’s good people.” It turns out that there’s something supernatural harassing a boy’s home owned by him—and it happens to be a place that Dean stayed at for a couple months after being caught stealing food.
The brothers make their way to the farm and there they meet Sonny, who tells them, “I never believed any of this mumbo jumbo stuff you boys are into, but something ain’t right. Well just, things started happening. You know, lights started flickering on and off, strange scratching sounds coming from inside the walls, windows and doors slamming.” It would seem that Sonny’s called them in on a relatively easy hunt—a simple ghost hunt. But Sam and Dean should know better than that. Even though they’ve dug up the suspected spirit and properly salted and burned him, another victim is killed. It would seem there’s much more going on here than they thought.
As they work the case, Dean encounters a little boy named Timmy. He doesn’t seem to have much besides his action figure—a gift from his mother. The boy is there because he kept running from child protective services, and Sonny was the only one who could take him in. He is small and timid—but most of all sad. It makes him a target for bullies, and the other boys staying under Sonny’s roof find him an easy target to tease.
Sam and Dean can’t seem to figure out just who is haunting the farm after their first failed attempt to stop the ghost attacks. As Dean gets closer to Timmy, however, it becomes obvious that the little boy is somehow at the center of things. It doesn’t escape Dean that the bullies big taunt is “weirdo,” and he immediately puts a stop to their behavior—and that in itself is a clue. Timmy was there when the farm hand was run over by the tractor, he declared Ruth to be a warden, and one of the boys is brutally mauled by the lawn mower when he tries to pull out Ruth’s missing rosary.
But the boy seems too innocent to be the culprit. He is sad and a bit lonely, yes, but it just doesn’t seem to be his doing. He doesn’t seem malicious when these events take place. Instead, he is sadder every time one does occur, and as we see a shadowy and disfigured hand grasp his shoulder after the mower incident, we know there’s something with Timmy that’s actually doing these terrible things.
But who could be the spirit haunting this child?
As Sam searches the barn, he comes across some crude childlike drawings of a burning car and a woman trapped inside thrusting a little boy out—one that looks a lot like Timmy. The crayon drawings tell a tragic story—complete with the last drawing of what appears to be a ghostly figure. It’s apparent then that the ghost haunting Sonny’s farm isn’t connected to the farm as Ruth had suspected—it is Timmy’s mother protecting her child as she had done in her final moments alive.
It is here where Supernatural elevates the simple ghost story to something more. Instead of being simply a vengeful or evil creature bent on destruction and gore, the ghost here is a twisted version of a mother’s love, tainted by the confusion her violent death has inflicted upon her. The death she endured was gruesome and painful—but what was unthinkable to her was leaving her son behind.
Timmy tells Sam that, “I cried for my mom and she came.” It is here that we see the human story blossom to its full potential. Both mother and son are simply human souls hurting. It is understandable that a scared little boy would want nothing more than his mother—and it is heartbreaking that even in death that she would come to her son’s aid, only to be tainted and twisted into something angry and violent.
Supernatural makes us feel for both mother and son deeply—and while we know it must end with her spirit being vanquished, we are drawn in by the sadness and human story that surrounds this end. Normally, Sam and Dean will dig up the body and burn it—as they did with their earlier suspected spirit’s body. It’ll put an end to the vengeful spirit. If that doesn’t work, something that is keeping them attached must be destroyed. It’s the only way to truly get them to go.
And so, the action figure that Timmy so proudly displayed to Dean in their first encounter must be burnt. With a cry, the little boy protests, and as the figure melts, we see instead of one vanquished spirit a much angrier one. Timmy’s mother instead turns her wrath on Sam and Dean, seeing them now as the threat to her son. They, much like the others that have hurt her son, must be eliminated at all costs.
If the action figure was not what kept Timmy’s mother anchored here, that means that Timmy is the anchor. More specifically, it is his mother’s love for him that is keeping her tethered to this world. It is as if that final act expressing her unconditional love for her son has become her curse—and in turn has inflicted great pain on her son, too.
Timmy was grieving his mother when he called to her—as so many orphaned children may do. We see the grieving process in him through this episode as he struggles to let her go all the while she is lingering with him. In many ways, his mother is grieving, too—and rather than looking sad or being timid, she has become vicious and lashes out in her grief.
It is this aspect that turns a Supernatural ghost story into something reflective of ourselves and how we deal with loss.
Sam and Dean can’t possibly kill Timmy, anchor that he may be. After all, he’s still a child and an innocent in all of this. He did nothing but cry for his mother—he didn’t ask for her to be a vengeful spirit that takes out any perceived threat. So what can they do about her?
Earlier, as Dean was trying to piece together what had happened on Sonny’s farm, he shakes Timmy’s hand. The little boy is wary and hesitant, his handshake timid. And so Dean takes a moment to teach him the proper way to shake hands, giving the little boy a boost in confidence. It’s a gift Timmy needed most, and it is the very thing they’ll have to rely on here to stop his mother.
Timmy pleads with both Winchesters telling them, “I can’t stop her,” and he is helpless as he watches his mother appear and attack both Sam and Dean for burning her gift to her son. She appears horribly burned and angry, too far gone to be reached. She will not stop until the threat has been removed, and then she will wait to do it again.
In many ways, Timmy’s mother is forced to live the loop of her final moment in agonized pain. She died to save him, and now she is doomed to save him from everything that causes him pain. It is an excruciating existence, and it will only become all the more tragic if she is not released from this painful prison. Supernatural has always given its ghosts a motivation that makes them real and human under the vengeful anger. This is no different and its moving in its climax.
As Timmy stands helplessly watching Sam and Dean be pinned against the wall and choked by his mother, Dean manages to tell him “Kung-fu grip,” the very same term he used with the handshake. It gives the little boy the strength to do what he must, what he could not do after the car crash. He must let his mother go for both of their sanity. He tells her, “Mommy stop it. Stop hurting people!”
At first it seems to only incense his mother as she turns to face him, her marred face twisted into a mask of anger. But as she confronts her son, we see in a flash the burned flesh fleck away into ash, revealing the beautiful woman that was once underneath. Mother and son are reunited in a poignant moment.
She smiles gently at the little boy, her arms outstretched for a hug that Timmy can never return. In that moment, we see the beautiful love that had been previously tarnished by her anger revealed. His mother doesn’t say anything here, and yet we can see her tell her son one last “I love you” before she disappears.
This is what makes a Supernatural ghost story so powerful and moving. It’s what takes them from being simple horror fare into something deep and meaningful. This type of ghost story gives us a chance to examine the grief of the living left behind all the while giving us that supernatural twist. It also makes us question the after life and what it all means. Are we to become like her, or are we destined to move on from this realm after?
At the same time, Sam learns that he and Dean aren’t all that different after all. This case was brought to them by Sonny, a man that Dean knows and trusts—and someone Sam has never heard of before. They are only taking this case out of Dean’s loyalty. From the very first moment that Sam learns that the story he was told about Dean being lost on a hunt was nothing but a lie, he becomes curious. He thirsts to know about this previously unknown period in his brother’s life. What he discovers is equally beautiful and heartbreaking—and it gives him insight into his brother in ways nothing else ever truly has.
This is the metaphorical ghost—and with it we learn about a small sliver of Dean’s past.
Sam is eager to connect with this unknown snapshot in his brother’s life—but Dean is here to reclaim it. After all, he was told to lie to Sam about this period, and he tells Sam nonchalantly, “The story became the story. I was sixteen.” In many ways, Dean had buried this portion of his life under everything else he’s been through and had allowed the made up truth become the real truth. Now that he is going back to Sonny’s, Dean can finally take back this moment in time and recapture what it meant to him.
Sam is, as always, focused on the case, but he can’t help himself as he walks around the small farm house, taking it all in. As his gaze sweeps the rooms, we can almost see him cataloging it in his head, trying to picture it as it would have been when Dean had stayed there all those years ago. And when he finds the bed his brother would have slept on—complete with a protective pentagram etched into its surface, he has to confirm it by ripping the masking tape names away until he gets to his brother’s, written in Sharpie marker.
These may be the physical remnants of Dean’s presence, but as we watch Sam discover them, we can almost see the ghost of a younger Dean carving the symbol into the bedpost, staking his small claim and protecting himself from the evil he knows is lurking just outside the farm’s walls. It is a small window into this secret time in Dean’s life—and it of course leaves Sam and us wanting to learn more about this metaphorical ghost.
Of course Sam has to ask Dean why this place was so terrible that his brother had to hide it from him—and true to Dean’s nature he is brief and not forthcoming in his response. He simply tells him, “Nobody bad touched me, nobody burned me with their smokes or beat me with a metal hanger. I call that a win.”
It leaves Sam little choice but to do a side investigation—a second ghost hunt to discover more.
The farm house is warm and inviting, even with its age showing. It beckons to the boys that take up residence in its walls. As much as Sam is encountering the ghost of a young Dean, Dean is remembering what he had here. Every nook and cranny he encounters dredges up a new memory. The house is like a time capsule for Dean—and he is opening it to reclaim the long forgotten moments he experienced here so long ago. It is with a sense of wonder that we see him recall little things from his stay here. Little by little, Dean is uncovering that truth so long buried under the lie.
In “After School Special,” we saw Sam encounter a teacher that had been his mentor once upon a time. It is fitting that someone in education would do this for the bookish Sam—evidenced by his picking up The Marvelous Land of Oz at the beginning of the episode. For Dean, that mentor would have to be someone more his style, someone he could truly connect with.
Sonny is an ex-con and had served fifteen years in prison for his crimes. And yet, here he is making society a better place by taking in these wayward boys, teaching them discipline and taking them under his wing. He never claims to be better than the boys, never talks down to them, and never seems to berate them for anything they’ve done. Instead, he’s patient and encouraging. Because of his background, this approach not only breaks through a young Dean’s hardened shell, it starts to melt it, showing us the real Dean we all know is there underneath.
Sam is often the one cited for wanting out of the life, to put hunting behind him, and to do what he wants with his life. He left to go to Stanford and had planned on attending law school, after all. He had ambitions beyond getting Azazel or hunting the next creature. It was something he was never shy about, and it has often been a bone of contention between the two brothers.
Just as much, we’ve been shown that Dean was often the one that wanted to be a hunter, would always choose it, and that he actually enjoyed it. He’s the one that has no problem defending their father or their life. He’s the one that follows the orders without arguing. Dean is “the good son” who will do whatever his father tells him, even if it means never looking at doing something else with his life.
But as we learn of Dean’s crime that landed him at Sonny’s, we know the truth. Dean may have lost the money in a card game—or maybe not, we don’t know—but he most certainly was stealing food for a reason. Certainly, Sonny knows that Dean was hungry—but it’s really for Sam that a young Dean risked getting caught making off with a five finger discount. He was desperate, and so he did what he had to do. It’s the first clue to the true Dean underneath the bravado.
As we watch a young Dean slowly open up to Sonny, we also see the hunter become a boy again. Dean has often shunned school, looked away from a future outside of hunting. It was pointless to try since they moved around so much. Certainly by the time we see Dean in “After School Special,” we see that he has given up—and it won’t be long after that when Dean will drop out entirely. By then, Dean had accepted that hunting was all he’d ever do.
But as he starts to put roots down here, we learn that not only was Dean starting to spread his wings a little, he was embracing his intelligence.
Dean often plays stupid or downplays his smarts. On one hand it’s easier to outwit his opponent if they already think he’s stupid—on the other hand, Dean has always believed Sam to be smarter than he is. He’s never had the ambition to apply himself to learning or to school. Often, researching for the cases can make him restless. But make no mistake, Dean Winchester is highly intelligent. We know because we’ve seen him outwit so many adversaries with his clever schemes.
Sam learns this as he walks in the footsteps of the young Dean, encountering a Hall of Fame in the halfway house that proudly displays his brother’s wrestling trophy—and surprisingly a number of academic ribbons. His brother had obviously flourished here in school in a way he never did while hunting with their father.
Dean was exploring, in this brief moment of time, his own potential. He was branching out, allowing himself to see what he could do if he applied himself. It is no surprise to us or to Sam that Dean actually did quite well in school. That’s the not the surprise. The surprise is that Dean would, given what we know about him. What we learn here, as the metaphorical ghost continues to unravel, is that Dean can truly be anything he wants to be—and that like his brother, he may have wanted more than “the life,” even beyond what we saw in his year with Lisa and Ben—one that ended in disaster.
Dean remembers this, too, as we see Sonny treat a young Dean to a nice meal. It is a bittersweet memory for the elder Winchester. He is with a father-like figure, telling him all about the good the young Dean is accomplishing with school and sports—that he’s really turned his life around after that first shaky and cocky encounter. And then Sonny tells the boy that he is proud of him, and we see the slight glimpse of pain flicker across the young Dean’s face. It’s something he so rarely hears from his real father after all—something he didn’t get to truly hear until just before John sold his soul for him.
We also see Dean explore young love with a girl that visited the farm. Her name is Robin, and in their encounters we see Dean start to question his place in life. It’s apparent that no one’s bothered to really ask him what he really wants to do with his life—and as he talks about being a mechanic or a rock star, we can see that Dean has dreams—ones he often ignores to do his job. They’re simple dreams, one lofty and a castle in the air, the other practical and real. But they’re his dreams—and he’s actually taking the moment to acknowledge them.
Throughout the series, Dean has often been portrayed as being nothing short of a player—especially in the early seasons, but here he is earnest and sweet in his courting of Robin. He makes promises that most teenage boys make about it lasting forever and that he won’t leave. Dean seems to want to do this, as he has with his school work: the right way. This isn’t about some quick fling. And while it may not be actual love, it’s apparent that he cares for this girl.
This is most apparent as we see him dress up for the upcoming dance—one he’ll never actually get to attend. Just as he’s ready to go meet his date, Sonny comes to tell him the bad news. John has returned and it is time for Dean to leave this sanctuary behind. It is time for him to go back to the hunt. He looks crushed by this news—but hopeful as Sonny extends the offer to stay.
We watch as Dean hover between his family and Sonny, but the second he glances out the window and sees his little brother—someone he hasn’t seen in two months—we know the decision has been made. Dean will sacrifice everything he’s built here and return to Sam. It’s no contest, not even a question. As much as he was enjoying this brief respite from the endless death and darkness, Dean knows he must go back.
But the choice isn’t as simple or as cut and dried as it appears. Certainly John would have put up a fight to take Dean with—and it’s likely that he would have won. It’s easy to say that Dean does this here out of obligation, because his father has ordered him to protect Sam, that it is his job. That’s the simple answer. That’s the surface answer that we see in the mask Dean wears so well—of the obedient and good son.
In reality, however, Dean chooses to go back of his own accord—not out of obligation to John, but out of love for Sam. Like Dean’s other actions in life, this one too was motivated out of love. The bravado he wears so often hides this—but here we’ve seen a crack expose this truth bare. Dean may defend their father—even as he does to Sam as they drive up to Sonny’s, but he knows that his reason for returning to the family business really wasn’t about their father. Not really. It was about Sam, and no matter what he couldn’t walk away from him.
It’s easy for Sam to understand this, even if Dean doesn’t share this with him. He knows their father well enough to know that Dean was made to leave. And yet he also knows that his brother chose to come back—and why. Once he’s alone with his brother, Sam says what he feels must be said after all these years. He tells Dean, “Dean, thank you—for always being there. For always having my back. I know it hasn’t always been easy.”
It is an honest confession, a simple thank you with only the most necessary of words. Sam learned much about his brother that he’s always suspected and tried to encourage—that of learning and applying himself outside of hunting—but to have it confirmed has only enriched his understanding and love for his brother. It’s shown him another layer to Dean, giving him a brief window hidden by the guarded nature. As close as he and Dean are, Sam is still always finding new things out about his brother.
For Dean, visiting Sonny’s farm was healing. The metaphorical ghost here allowed him to reclaim a piece of his past—one that hasn’t been tarnished by Hell or the Apocalypse. It allowed Dean to remember the good. It gave him back another piece of his true self—one that he won’t have to hide from his brother any longer. Most of all, he learned that it is okay to be himself, Dean Winchester, the man—not just Dean Winchester the Hunter.
Dean, typically shy around emotional confrontations, responds, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” It’s not brushing aside Sam’s thank you by any means. Instead, it is Dean simply telling his brother what he already knows: that he loves him no matter what, and if anything what he said in that church in “Sacrifice” is the truth.
There really is nothing he’d put in front of Sam—ever.
Sarah Desjardins played the sweet and innocent young Robin and connected beautifully with Everett’s version of young Dean. She may be there with her mother to give out guitar lessons, but we can sense that she’s as lost as he is, trying to find her way in the world. It’s all there in her body language, especially when she asks a young Dean what he’d like to do with his life. Desjardins makes Robin seem nervous when she admits that she’d like to be a photographer, as if he may laugh at her and it is this that makes her instantly likeable. She makes Robin question Dean’s experience with girls—and yet we can sense in her portrayal that Robin isn’t as experienced perhaps as she’d like Dean to think. There’s a shyness about her that makes her a girl next door type and it makes her endearing. As we see her question if Dean will stay, we sense that she doesn’t buy Dean’s answer in the firm tone she takes when she says, “Yeah, says you.” We can sense here that Desjardins is conveying Robin’s hopes for something with Dean and the heartbreak that she knows that it will not last. She was a good counterpoint to Everett’s young Dean, giving an earnest performance that made both better.
Erin Karpluk plays the adult version of Robin, Dean’s long lost love interest. In her first encounter with the now adult Dean, we see her brush him aside, acting indifferent and confused about who he exactly was—and yet we can sense that perhaps she’s not as forgetful as she leads on. It’s in how she refuses to look too long at him or the stiff way she stands. Karpluk made Robin sweet and down to earth in her portrayal, making it easy to see why Dean would be attracted to her all those years ago. She also shows us that Robin’s confused about why Dean would be back after all this time, cautious to say much or interact with him after he stood her up all those years ago. When the actual hunt starts to infringe upon the halfway house, we see Robin hesitantly trust Dean in the way Karpluk carries herself, nervous and unsure. We can sense that at any time she will freak out—evidenced by her wide eyes and near hyperventilating. And so, we’re not surprised when she runs from the salt circle. Karpluk also shows us that she’s not just frightened by this ghost, but she’s a little unnerved by who Dean is—until afterward. We see her accept him as she sees Dean hug Timmy, and Karpluk makes it clear by the softening of her facial expression. In the closing scene with Robin and Dean, Karpluk shows that while Robin may not totally understand, she gets that Dean had to go with his father. The way she says the line, “I always thought that I’d hate being in the same little town my whole life, taking over the diner like dad always wanted, but I don’t. I love it,” shows this well. In some ways, it’s Robin giving them both closure for what happened all those years ago.
Sean Michael Kyer plays the timid and frightened little boy Timmy with skill. He is subtle and never over the top in his performance here—and because of that we connect easily with the boy. Kyer makes Timmy unnerving in the beginning as we see him stare out the window or when he comes upon Dean in the barn—but as we see him open up to Dean, we see Kyer show the real Timmy. He’s a frightened and lonely little boy who just needs someone to care about him. When we see the other boys bully Timmy, we feel our hearts break, not just for the situation, but in the way Kyer cowers against the house, almost as if he’s trying to make Timmy as small as possible. He connects well with Ackles, especially in the hand shaking scene. Kyer takes Timmy from being unsure and hesitant to firm—and we see this seed bear fruit when it comes time for Timmy to tell his mother’s spirit to leave. Because he is still a child, there is an innocence about him, and yet we can sense the sadness and tragedy that envelops him in just his facial expressions and body language. What breaks our hearts the most however, is when Timmy throws himself into Dean’s arms after it is over. Kyer gave us a tight performance overall, making us care about Timmy on so many levels.
Blake Gibbons gave us Sonny, a good mentor and friend to Dean when he needed it most. Gibbons played the character with a down to earth nature and warmth that instantly made him connect with a young Dean and the viewer in turn. He put a great deal of patience into the character, shown best in his body language and gentle manner of speaking to all the boys in his care. Gibbons made Sonny seem trustworthy and respectable—despite the ex-con past we’re told about. There’s a great humility in Sonny, too. Gibbons shows Sonny’s trust and faith in Dean, too, when he lets them handle the case, especially in the line “I never believed any of this mumbo jumbo stuff you boys are into, but something ain’t right.” His best scene with Everett’s young Dean was at the diner, telling him how proud he was of the boy, and we could sense that he saw a kindred spirit in Dean then and there, just in how he talked to Dean and how his body language conveyed a sense of openness. Gibbons is wise to never make Sonny overbearing, too. In the end, he is embracing of not only Dean, the boy he once knew, but of the man he’s become and of Sam. Gibbons made Sonny not only likeable, but welcome in his portrayal here.
Dylan Everett gives a brilliant performance as a young Dean Winchester. He captured the body language, facial expressions, and vocal tones of Ackles well, and translated them to the younger version of Dean he portrayed. We could clearly see flashes of the adult we’ve come to know here. He starts out amused and a bit indifferent by the circumstances Dean finds himself in—taunting the cop for instance. While Everett gives young Dean the same cockiness, he also shows us the vulnerability that hides underneath that mask. It’s brought forward little by little, especially when young Dean is talking with Sonny and later Robin. When Sonny tells a young Dean that he is proud of him for his grades and his sporting accomplishments, Everett subtly shows us how happy and sad that made Dean. It’s all in his facial expression here. Little by little, the tough exterior that Dean spent building is falling away—and the real man we know is growing is exposed for us to see. Everett shows that true intelligence and passion in a young Dean best when he talks to Robin about cars. And yet we hear the heartbreak in his voice when he delivers the line, “Cars are freaking cool as hell. Fixing them is like a puzzle, and the best part is when you’re done, they leave, and you’re not responsible for them anymore.” Everett shows us a young Dean’s anguish at having to choose between Sonny’s offer to stay and going back to his father—but he also shows that joy upon seeing a young Sam in the backseat, waiting for him, too. He captured the complexities of Dean extremely well in his portrayal, giving us a depth and richness in his performance full of all the nuances we’ve come to know in the adult version. And yet, Everett also gives us a sense of innocence, something that makes his portrayal all the more heartbreaking. He grasped the character well and told us this moving story with a subtlety that drew us in just with the way he carried himself throughout.
Jensen Ackles showed in this episode why his character Dean is so often paired with children. His chemistry with Kyer’s Timmy was gripping and moving on many levels. Ackles always makes the tough Dean gentle when it comes to children—and yet he never once patronizes Timmy. Instead, he always makes Dean talk on their level, connecting with them. It’s an endearing quality that Ackles brings out in Dean, and we saw it here in spades—from Dean teaching Timmy how to shake hands to his standing up to Timmy’s bullies. Ackles makes Dean seem like a mentor in these moments, knowing that it’s best not to push. In his scenes with Robin, we see Dean act flustered and eager. He is excited to see his old flame, and yet when she claims to not know him we see the flash of hurt in his hurried exit from the diner. Ackles also subtly shows the regret that Robin now knows just what Dean does—all the while doing everything he must in order to save her from the ghost. With Padalecki’s Sam, Ackles shows us how Dean has not only accepted the decision he made here all those years ago, he has embraced it completely. The way he delivers the last line, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” tells us so much—from the way Dean would have it no other way to him subtly saying “I love you” to Sam right there. Ackles gave us a window into the often masked Dean here, and he showed us on so many levels the complex man he really is.
Jared Padaelecki showed us the curious side of Sam this week as he got a glimpse of his older brother’s life—a portion he knew nothing about. It shows in his eager questioning about this period of time, in his confusion about Dean’s abrupt exit from the diner Robin owns—and in his concern as he sees how this place is clearly dredging up memories for his brother. We see this curiosity best in the scene where Sam finds Dean’s old bed, peeling the stickers away to reveal his brother’s name. There’s sadness on Padalecki’s face as Sam questions Sonny about Dean’s wrestling awards and academic ribbons—and without even saying a word we can see it etched on Padalecki’s face that Sam knows just what his brother gave up in order to stay with him and their dad. There’s a flicker of grief, too, shown in his open and soft expression. We can sense that he’s mourning this lost time, this chance that Dean let go—and while Dean may not openly do so, Sam will and we see this in how Padalecki delivers Sam’s lines about Dean’s time at Sonny’s or in how he looks around the farm with awe. When Sam tells Dean thank you, we can hear all the gratitude in Padalecki’s tone. Most of all, we can hear Sam’s love for his brother, too.
Best Lines of the Week:
Sam: Dean, thank you — for always being there. For always having my back. I know it hasn’t always been easy.
Dean: Nobody bad touched me, nobody burned me with their smokes or beat me with a metal hanger. I call that a win.
Dean: I guess we didn’t know everything we thought we did at 16.
Sam: I am everybody.
Next week it looks like the boys will try to “rehymenate” themselves—as if that’s how it works!