(Note from Alice) As I mentioned in the “Share Your Reactions” article, Robin Vogel is going to begin sharing her episode reviews for Supernatural here on our site. I’m very pleased to have her unique point of view. So enjoy and try to answer the questions raised. There’s no right answer!
Episode 5.11 Sam, Interrupted
Poor Susan! Who wants to be locked in a facility where patients scream and nurses and doctors just ignore it? Especially after there have been several suicides already? I was getting chills at the sub-par care in this place and making a note that I don’t want to be committed there. Those screws untwirling themselves from the grate scared me. I was really afraid for Susan and wished the ghost of her son, who I truly believed had been there, could have helped the poor woman. I guess wraiths trump ghosts.
How ironic is their world that all Dean and Sam had to do to get committed was tell the truth about their lives? We hunt monsters, freed Lucifer, have an angel pal named Castiel who wears a trench coat and Sam was chugging demon Ruby’s blood. If you don’t know what WE do about their lives, it DOES sound nutty, doesn’t it? No wonder the doctor canceled lunch and committed them right away.
Nurse “Ratched”, as Dean dubbed her, certainly had her fun with the brothers, the kind fan-girls only dream about complete physicals, prostate exams included! Full scrub-down showers, raise your hands if you want to participate! Sam and Dean looked awfully uncomfortable after she was through with them, but when was the last time those two even saw a doctor? Probably the last time they were mortally hurt, is my guess! It amused me, too, that this gal said “Okey-dokey,” a term Dean said, in season one, that he favors. Wonder how he’ll feel about it now?
What went through your mind when the doctor told Sam and Dean he feels their relationship is “dangerously co-dependent.” Agree or disagree? Isn’t that what’s probably kept them alive all these years as hunters, dysfunctional though it may be to a shrink?
Who thinks it ironic that a mental patient, Ted, wants to discuss the monster killing people while the supposedly sane doctor insists there are no monsters. Sam and Martin both know the truth, but don’t dare say so in the group. What a tangled, sick situation it is, made worse because it’s a mental hospital and no one will listen to the patients!
What was Wendy’s deal–she just enjoyed kissing handsome patients, the bigger, the better? Would Dean have even considered having sex with her, given her mental state, or was he just kidding with his “so torn” statement? When she came flying by again, Dean was all set to push her away, but it was Sam she wanted! He kept his mouth closed, however, not responding with his brother’s eagerness. Unlike Dean, Sam didn’t take advantage of the fruit that was offered.
I think Sam should have studied medicine, not law. He’s become a regular coroner this season, cutting up corpses. It seemed a bit convenient for the skull cutter to be so available, but I also felt the patients had the run of this asylum, able to come and go as they wished. How expertly Sam cut the skull and removed the brain! I was impressed. Even more impressive was how Dean got them out of trouble when Nurse Ratched showed up dropping his pants to yell “Pudding”? My first thought was, is he wearing any underpants? Then I laughed until I cried.
Dean thinks Doc is the wraith, Sam attacks him and ends up drugged and confined, alone, in a room. When big brother breaks in, little brother is a stoned mess; hilarity ensues. Sam declares himself AWESOME and suggests to Dean that maybe he’s going crazy for real. Dean, annoyed, just says he just made a mistake. Holding Dean’s shoulders, Sam croons, “It’s OK, hey, look at me, it’s OK, ’cause you’re my brother, and I still love ya.” He tweaks Dean’s nose with a “BOOP” sound. The expressions on Padalecki’s face here had me rolling on my living room floor, I was laughing that hard. This scene was priceless!
When Dean is playing checkers, who thinks he’s already gone bonkers and really believes he’s playing with a partner when “Erica” comes over? Is she EVER real? Or just someone he invents to make himself feel guilty? Look at what she “asks” him, poor sleep patterns, alcoholic behavior, lack of a long-term relationship, his FATHER? Later, “she” hits him with his failures–getting Ellen and Jo killed, shooting but not killing Lucifer, not stopping Sam from killing Lilith, and Dean himself breaking the first seal. “Did you really think that you, Dean Winchester, with a GED and a give ’em hell attitude were going to beat the devil? Please! The world is going to burn and there is nothing you can do about it!” These are things Dean is accusing himself of, because an orderly tells him no one is there. How Dean can continue to berate himself for things that are totally out of his hands amazes me.
Dean, via his made-up shrink, asks himself how he gets up in the morning, given the weight of saving six billion people is on his shoulders. His answer? “Good question.”
Later, poor Sam has a similar experience, believing everyone in the common room had ganged up on him and was calling him his usual hated FREAK! He found himself lashing out at absolutely nobody and was confined to a rubber room, where he was leather trussed up food for Nurse Wraith. The scene in which she was telling him how much she loved her job and how delicious insane brains were gave me the creeps. She was such a chirpy, happy little thing, bubbling about the mental hospital being a five star restaurant, but when she was touching Sam’s forehead and lapping up his taste, I was both grossed out and jealous.
The gore score was high in this ep,the huge blood pool under poor Susan, Sam’s little autopsy of Ted’s brain, cutting of real and fake wraiths, insertions and removals of the Wraith’s brain juicer, Dean’s final thrust into the Wraith’s chest.
What pleased me was how both Dean and Martin, despite their fears and self-doubt, managed to overcome everything to do what needed to be done. They dredged up the hunter in their confused minds. Martin slashed the Wraith’s hand and tended to Wendy; Dean killed the wraith and saved Sam.
I had hoped that Dean had learned to open up after 40 years in hell, but I guess repression dies hard. He still can’t discuss or cry over or do anything but blame himself for the deaths of Jo and Ellen, and everything else. When the lovely Dr. Erica came to talk to him, especially about his father, I had hopes for him, because if anyone truly needs tons of therapy, it’s our Dean (and Sam, too, but we’ll get to that bucket of crazy later). When it turned out that she wasn’t real, just Dean’s hallucination who eventually beat him up over all his “failures,” I felt terrible for him. It all comes back to his low self-esteem, something else I thought he’d overcome, at least somewhat, when he told Sam back in season three that he didn’t deserve to die or go to hell. Did going to hell result in undoing whatever emotional/ psychological progress he had made?
Finally, we have the last scene. Dean orders Sam to submerge his anger so they can get on with saving the world. Sam, who has finally admitted that he’s angry all the time and doesn’t know why, or, apparently, what to do about it, agrees. I can’t help but feel this will have unfortunate consequences, perhaps even lead to the terrible meeting in Detroit, where Sam will say yes. Anger repressed leads to depression and a whole host of other, nastier problems. Sam’s interrupted, OK, and Dean’s the one who’s interrupting him!
Preferring to leave you on a lighter note, let me say I loved this episode! Pudding!