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They're leaving the motel and Bobby is left to struggle up a steep drive in his chair. "A little help here?" Sam jumps right in and pushes him along. A handicapped guy, and old guy, and a guy with the clap. There has to be a dirty bar joke there somewhere. Sam wants to play. Dean says he's not good enough. Oh Dean, do you know this from personal experience? I'm really wondering what happened in their lifetime that had him come to that conclusion. Sam isn't happy. "So what, I don't get a say in this anymore?" Don't be unreasonable Sam. You never had a say.

"Sammy, when you get to be our age-" "You're thirty Dean." Hee, Dean must be old, for he's already forgotten. Sam has watched Dean hustle cards plenty of time. He knows the object is to not play the cards but to play the other guy. Bobby gives him a "hooray for you." He's watched this guy and can take him. He wants to play again. You know, there's a ton of Bobby and Dean not listening to anyone in this episode. Are they really that stubborn?

Dean doesn't like the idea for Bobby doesn't have enough years in the bank. Sam mentions he'll die if he loses. "So what if I do? What exactly am I living for, huh? The damned apocalypse? Watching men die bloody while I sit in this chair, can't take a step to help 'em?" Dean tries to jump in an object, but Bobby cuts him off. You see, NOT LISTENING!!! "No, no, it's the facts. I'm old, and I'm broke down, and I (crack in his voice)…I ain't a hunter no more. I'm useless. And if I wasn't such a coward, I'd have stuck a gun in my mouth the day I got home from the hospital."

You mean to tell me none of them have had this talk yet? I assume Sam and Dean have been too pre-occupied with this whole being vessels for the freaking end of the world showdown. Really, they've got it all pretty shitty right now. Older Dean looks positively heartbroken, and that's the exact expression I'd expect Jensen to use! You have to give Chad Everett major kudos for picking up on all these Dean faces and mannerisms so perfectly. Sam gets his say now. "Bobby, you are not playing again. I'm not letting you do that. There's another way out of this, there's got to be. And I'm going to find it."

Dean and Bobby are back at the motel room, so Sam must be out finding that other way out of this. The girlfriend/spouse/companion whatever you want to call her of Patrick (I believe it's Lia) is there. She's offering up a powerful reversal spell, one that will reverse everything Patrick has done. For the people alive anyway. Bobby points out that will reverse everything, including her man. It'll change her too. She knows and says she looks good for her age. Bobby is skeptical. The woman has her reasons, and holds onto a big locket around her neck. That's code for "we'll find out later." They leave town tomorrow, so they don't have much time.

Now back to Patrick is playing an older guy who has a losing hand. But Patrick surprises us by folding and letting the old guy have his 13 years by suggesting they call it a day. Old man doesn't argue. Then Patrick starts talking to someone behind the old man, letting that person know the man is going to live old enough to see his granddaughter's Bar Mitzvah. It's Sam! I've read some theories on whether Patrick was actually showing mercy here or if he was putting a show on for Sam. I think he was being nice. Considering Cliff won earlier, something tells me Patrick has a soft spot for the desperately old. Then again, he could be pure evil. Ambiguous characters are so like that.

Sam looks at Patrick skeptically. He isn't convinced he did that out of the goodness of his heart. He even says so. Patrick claims he's a nice guy, then does the "what can I do you for" line. I've never liked that saying, despite its clever connotations. I'm going to pay careful attention to Sam's expressions during his entire time playing with Patrick, for everything he does from beginning to end is quite calculated. It's quite brilliant too. Sam takes a seat at the table with this whole apprehensive "I don't like this but I have no choice" expression. He's already doing the polar opposite of Dean's overconfidence. "Deal." Patrick smiles, for he has another desperate sucker.

SPN 0867

It's a graveyard! We haven't seen one of those in a while. Bobby and older Dean are there and poor old man Dean is being forced to dig a grave. Does anyone remember that this dude is 80? Most 80 year olds can't get out of bed let alone dig into hard earth. Dean, rightfully so, is griping like mad. He questions if the plan will even work. "We don't know. Now less flapping and more digging." Geez Bobby, wait until you're 80. Dean keeps complaining. His elbows hurt, he's all creeky. "Hurry up you cry baby." "Pound it up your ass Ironsides." Hee, Bobby did have that one coming and I like that nickname. "One little grave," Bobby chastises. Dean challenges him to do it. "Fine, I'll hop right in." "At least your legs are numb," Dean counters. "Shut up and dig grandma." Wow, this is Grumpy Old Men. These two are so damned funny together! I wonder if Chad Everett and Jim Beaver ever worked together before.

Older Dean keeps complaining, now it's his back. Bobby wants to know if he can straighten up. "Yeah, but a little sympathy wouldn't hurt." "Butt cheek tingling?" "Well that's getting personal." Dean, Bobby saw your clawed up guts from the insides out. This guy can take personal. Bobby takes older Dean's snide comment as confirmation. "It's sciatica. You'll live." Oh, you don't have to be old to have that! I had a real bad case of that ten years ago and then got on a plane to England for 8 hours. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Then it bothered me while I walked around London for two days. I'm better now though. Anyway, older Dean says that killing Bobby is officially on his list. Hey, sciatica makes you grouchy. Older Dean is in the right here.

Back to Patrick and Sam, and it's time for Patrick to do that whole psychoanalysis thing. Watch out Patrick, Sam is NOT an easy read. Trust us fans, we've tried! Patrick likes him, figures out he's smart and his heart's clearly in the right place. He can tell a lot about a guy just by looking at him. Sam shows interest, asking Patrick if he's psychic. "No, that would be cheating. I'm talking about good old fashion intuition." Sam brushes that off and just wants to play. Patrick insists that they are, and then wonders if his big brother knows he's there. Sam gets all bothered and ignores the question by betting 5. Ah, the whole avoiding the question thing. Sam is a master at that!


# Karen 2009-11-05 03:49
Hi Alice
Thank-you for the recap. Once again I love your witty take on these recaps.
I really enjoyed this episode, I thought everyone was amazing in there roles. I'm anxious for tonigts, but I'll have to watch it Friday since I'll be at work.
Thanks again.
# Supernarttu 2009-11-05 07:47
Hi, Alice
Great recap, hilarious as usual (I esp. liked the whole son + golf = retirement -plan *smirk*).
I liked this ep too, it was funny and sad. I loved Patrick (the accent, the looks, the ambiguity) and the guy playing him was really good. I'm glad he didn't die and hopehope we see him again.
I thought the Chad-Jared chemistry was a lot like SamnDean. Kudos to Jared for making it feel like it was. And I loved that Sam beat Patrick fair and square and now magic involved... just plain old intuition *snerk* I love even the lying side of Sam. Heck, I love all sides of him, and Dean too 8-)
I LOVED Jensens little happydance, it was just cute and adorable and happy, and did I mention happy lol.
The Cliff guy was such a dick.. I hope the guys did rat his ass to his wife...or maybe she was better off, cheating moron (the guy, not her *g*). The way the olderCliff had been visiting that nice little establishment so regularly, I would have taken his years with pleasure, and then given him the clap on top... just kidding... but maybe not *shifty eyes*
The end scene was really sweet, glad that Bobby got some recognition from Dean, I agree, he is not useless.

I had few nitpicks too...
The whole Bobby miraculously getting to town (when boys were allready there) and finding the game before them and even playing and losing -bit was kinda stupid. They could have made it so that Bobby was allready in town, 'cause it felt a little like a set-up-job at that point.
Also, the dead guy in the beginning... If the buy-in (or what's the official term, I dunno) was 25 (years) and he allready was 25, then why was he playing? An addict or what? He might've be doing it for someone else but I dunno... felt shifty to me.
And Chad don't look like 80, so that was weird... But he was so dead-on Dean that I didn't really mind it that much.
Other than that, I really liked this ep, a lot of good dialogue and snarky comments, and the tragic romance that ended. It was all good.
# Sablegreen 2009-11-05 13:52
Hi Alice,

Great recap…and, of course, I LOVE the screencaps. I also LOVE stand alone episodes, and this is a good one. I love Chad Everett, but I still can’t see him as Dean…Sorry. I know almost everyone did, so I guess I have my eyeballs messed up! That was the only drawback for me.

I like the boys being on the same page again. That’s what makes the brothers so good for me. Just seems they are more like the earlier years, but more experienced. I also like Sam being more practical…he was always too serious. Now, he seems to have decided to just accept what comes along and meet it head on. I always felt, this was what Dean had to do as an older brother. The dinner thing is a fate of little brothers. I can’t remember when Dean brought Sam food either, but if they are taking turns, I guess we are to assume he does.

I have to say, I’m not a fan of Manwitch (LOVE Deans labels this epi). Maybe he’s not malicious, but he doesn’t seem to care about the years he takes and those he kills. And yes, both Dean and Bobby broke their own rules about how to play poker. You don’t go in with emotional baggage! Dean was just so intent on saving Bobby and Bobby getting his legs back.

I really was taken aback at how Dean lectured Bobby. Don’t know why, just seems he lost a little respect for him, but like he said in the end, him and Sam don’t have many people left and he just can’t lose Bobby. That is VERY understandable.

Sam and his poker! The bluff was great. And yes, he kept his wits about him and didn’t lose it emotionally…a t least not until he knew Dean was dying. Can’t help thinking that was NOT all bluff. At that point, Sam reminded me more of demon!Sam.

Anyone play poker? I don’t, but my brother says, the chips Sam cashed it were WAY more than 50 years worth. Course, that all flies out the window with Lucifer and Michael!

Highlights for me…Sam’s one-liners…gl ad he gets some occasionally, and Dean’s happy dance. Really need to find a video of that!
# Bevie 2009-11-05 13:55
Alice, that was a great and hilarious recap. I was giggling and laughing all the way through it. Thanks so much for brightening my day.

Sam is a great pool shark, isn't he? And he did learn it from the best. John. I suppose he was able to use everything he had learned from his dad, while Dean was so very upset with Bobby, that he got way too confident and lost spectacularly. And that gave us the awesome oldDean! Chad Everett was excellent in that role.

Loved the Grumpy Old Men exchanges. Yes, I really enjoyed this episode and am not apologizing for that.
# Randal 2009-11-05 13:55
Woe-is-me-Sam: after all the crap that he(they) have gone through in such a short period of time, I would fully expect a little doom-n-gloom coursing through the veins, mutilating the optimist along the way. 8-)

The over-the-top edit: if used sparingly, why not? I think melodrama and its permutations often gets, er, dealt an undeserved bad hand.

I was glad to get some truly sympathetic villains and Bobby/Dean at all points was spectacular, grumpy old men or growing lady parts.
# Bevie 2009-11-05 13:59
I seem to remember Dean bringing in the food one time when Sam was having a psychic episode. I'll have to watch all the episodes again to make sure I'm not dreaming. What a chore! LOL
# Suze 2009-11-05 14:26
Giggle ... Bad, wicked Alice ... Counting screen minutes, as if!

Actually that made me think ... You could install a Bro-ometer at the top of the page ( like that spiffy Hellatus countdown clock ) and help the excessivly-inve sted amoungst us stoke their grievences as to who's sneaking more screen time ... Or perhaps not, on second thoughts ...

I really liked this one. Sam doing sneaky stuff for the home team was great, even if I was totally convinced he was going to lose the farm ( just colour me stupid ) and the grizzeling old geezers were priceless right up to Dean's bit with Bobby at the end which left me sniffling into my keyboard ( for a change. In fact, that's probably what's been up with the computer lately ... The poor thing's water-logged )

I don't know what to think about the Manwitch, he looks and sounds so tasty one wants him to have a soft side to match but I can't help thinking that the letting the old chaps win thing is just a ruse to lure the young chaps in to be fleeced ...
# Jasminka 2009-11-05 15:43
Hi Alice,

was this episode really that polarizing? If so, I’m at the pole of ‘I like it’. And I love your review, great work, indeed. I find your mix of text and those great screencaps irresistible, you always find them to suit your words dead on. Great fun to read and relish.

You bring up some interesting issues, and, like you indicate, the change in Sam that has become evident throughout the story moves me. I don’t mean to fuss, but I sometimes miss the ever hopeful young man he used to be. He has been through some significant changes in his attitude, but he’s returned to a mind-set that looks for redemption, not revenge, which is in its essence a hopeful stance.

I like to call him an optimist in the sense Peter Ustinov once described as: ‘In order not to be a fool an optimist must know how sad a place the world can be. It is only the pessimist who finds out anew every day.’

Sam knows how hopeless everything can appear, and he faces it. I think he’s trying to do whatever he can to be delivered from his own demons… I’m very curious about what the writers will have in store for him. Okay, I’m done having my I-love-Sam-mome nt. ..
Though he has some great scenes, really. I totally agree with you – giving Sam the clap without the fun of getting laid, was a mean move of endearing bastard Patrick. Come on, when was it the last time the man had sex? And the poker game he puts up was a wonderful study of bluff and serious care.

I don’t think that Sam didn’t panic at all when he heard that Dean would have but a few minutes left (and old Dean’s only word, as he gets that heart attack, is Sam… that really got to me. In his moment of imminent death, Sam is all Dean thinks about).
And Patrick confronts him with issues Sam himself voiced in an episode not so long ago – that he needed Dean to allow him to grow up. That he’s done sitting at the ‘kiddie table’. I think the Irish bloke touched a soft spot, and perhaps he is indeed psychic to some extent…

Jensen moved me to the core in his scenes with Jim Beaver. It’s pretty clear how scared Dean is to perhaps lose this second father, after Bobby gambles away those years. He hasn’t many to spare anymore, as Bobby already is middle aged.
You ask whether they had not had that talk, yet, you know the stick-a-gun-in- my-mouth talk. I don’t think they have. To actually admit that the idea of suicide is whirling around in your head takes a lot of guts and an amount of despair that needs time to build. In the beginning Bobby probably still hoped that some angel or the boys would lay some mojo on him and change his situation. It must have dawned on him by now that he might die in that wheelchair.

I agree that this is not an episode that contributed a whole lot to the myth-arc here, but I liked it nonetheless. Jensen got a few days off (and I hope he enjoyed them), we were given a fine performance by Chad Everett, and some sweet and strange jokes, and – this time – a Gaelic ritual.

I haven’t found an episode in this season so far that I would file under ‘I don’t like it’. To me it seems as if the show is gathering momentum… which is exiting… ‘oh, goodie’

Bye, take care, Jas
# Jasminka 2009-11-05 15:52
hi, I don't think that Dean lost any respect regarding Bobby. Judging from my personal point of view - when someone tells me to consider suicide, I think it calls for a lot of respect, because it shows a huge amount of trust - to reveal such a shadow about oneself...

I think Bobby trusts the boys immensely, else he surely would not have let those words slip from his mouth... Dean is doing the right thing here - take it seriously and thereby entrusting Bobby with his own fear of losing him...

What a moving scene that was...

Love, Jas
# Jasminka 2009-11-05 16:08
oh, sablegreen, grammar-trap got me - I meant of course 'when someone tells me that he would consider suicide' not the other way around...
It's the middle of the night, and my brain is pretty much dead... :-?

Bye, good night, everyone, sweet dreams, Jas
# Sablegreen 2009-11-05 16:10
Jas, I read your reply, and realized my paragraph about Bobby and Dean was confusing. Sorry...I’m at work, and didn’t make sure I had my head on straight.

I didn't mean the lecture at the end of the show. That one was VERY respectable and moving and totally appropriate. I meant when Dean first saw Bobby leaving the game. I really was startled when Dean called Bobby an idiot. Just seemed disrespectful given Bobby's age. …just my old fashioned ways.
# elle2 2009-11-05 19:00

Great recap as always. I do love your wicked, wicked ways with the recap commentary. This was fun and touching and all that is great about SPN...without too much scary either.

Great job at the recap...
# Elle 2009-11-05 19:12
Another wonderful recap, Alice! I always think it would be such fun to watch an episode with you because of your witty commentary.
# Dany 2009-11-06 11:47
Great recap Alice! I'm still giggling about your comments. I would love to be watching an episode and earing your comments on voice off, something tells me it would be fun :-)

Loved Chad Everet as old Dean and is interaction with Jim (definitely Grumpy Old Men) and Jared was great. The old chick in Titanic? Seriously Dean? You actually saw Titanic? I prefer Sam's Emperor Palpatine (yes I'm a Star Wars fan). And after all the laugh I end up in tears with that talk between Dean and Bobby, but it's ok, in fact I think that Bobby needed that.

Loved the screencaps too, Sam as very beautiful smile doesn't he? And Dean too, loved that happy dance and that smile!
# Maria 2009-11-07 13:41
I can confess with every bit of shame I never even realised Sam was faking panic and all that. Ah. I guess I was too into the episode to even look at it thoroughly, but everyone caught on, which makes me feel like an 'idjit'. Then again, I saw it once. But is that really an excuse? :roll::

Patrick is one of the best guest stars. Seductive, I would gave played all my years for him! Handsome, intelligent, and empathizing when need be. What's not to love?