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"The French Mistake" 6/15
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Sam and Dean are spending a very stormy night at Bobby's. Dean pours the last drop of hooch into a glass and tells Sam that, despite the dreadful weather, "hero" Bobby has gone into town on a supply run for "Hunter's Helper." 
Angel Balthazar abruptly joins them, mumbling about THE GODFATHER, Raphael, and the scene where everyone gets blown away. Even though Dean says, "Hey!" twice, Balthazar ignores him, grabs a bowl and begins flinging ingredients like sea brine, lamb's blood and vertebra, praising Bobby for his excellent pantry. "Why are you bringing up THE GODFATHER?" asks Sam. The angel pats Dean on the arm, assuring him he heard him. "Where's Cas?" asks Dean. "Cassie," says Balthazar, "has gone deep deep underground, so good old Raffie put out a hit on every last Samaritan who helped dear Cas, including both of you--and so much more importantly, me. He wants to draw Cas out into the open." "You expect us to just believe you?" asks Sam suspiciously. "Believe me, don't believe me, you'll go where I throw you, either way," says Balthazar, coughing, drawing a sigil on the window. "What's that supposed to mean?" asks Dean. "That's all the time we have, gentlemen," says the angel, hearing the sound of someone else joining them. He opens his coat, revealing a stab wound. "What happened there?" asks Dean. "Oh, garish, I know," says Balthazar, "Uncle Raffie sent one of his nastiest to handle me, I'm flattered, actually, and down at luck, at the moment, that's all right, here's for you." He hands Sam a set of keys. "What am I supposed to do with this?" Sam asks. "Run with it," advises the angel as he's flung away from them. A nasty-looking man in a black coat comes after him. "Virgil," says Balthazar, adding, for the brothers, "I SAID RUN!!!!" 
Sam and Dean explode through Bobby's window. . .
. . .and onto a bunch of thick blue pads. "Cut!" calls a balding man as a bunch of people gathered around applaud. A man slaps Jensen on the butt and praises him: "Real good, solid fall, way to go." "Jared, Jensen, outstanding, that was just great!" shouts the balding man. A man comes behind them with an electronic clapboard and says, "SUPERNATURAL, Scene one, act one, tail site, marker!"   
Editor's comments: I love that Balthazar calls Castiel Cassie. It's very funny. And that Dean considers Bobby a hero for going out into a bad storm for Hunters' Helper--booze.
I adore Balthazar and the way he robs odd items from Bobby's desk and fridge like he's borrowing sugar to bake a cake. Blood and vertebra, anyone? 
Even though I was spoiled for this ep's premise, damn it, I loved the way they literally spilled Sam and Dean onto a SUPERNATURAL set. I wonder--does someone REALLY smack Jensen on the butt and praise him for a great stunt like that? Does Jensen mind? I thought he was kind of private.
The brothers stare around at the set of SUPERNATURAL, nonplussed. "So, no angels," says Sam. "No angels I think," agrees Dean. The balding man is arguing with another over the scene just filmed. "It's not a problem with the stunt," one says, "it's a problem with the signal." Sam and Dean wonder if these guys might be killing anybody. "It gets us right up to the scene where they hit the window," says another guy. "The scene where they hit the window was the good part," notes the director. "We can clean up, reset the window, takes about 95 minutes," says the other guy, "so we'd have to blow off the scene where they'd sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings." "Right," laughs the director as Sam and Dean note the glass is rubber, "you answer the hate mail." "Or, we can have them fly out the window, then. . .freeze frame!" suggests the other man, "then cut to black, act out." "Freeze frame," says the director. "Freeze frame," repeats the guy who suggested it, unsure. "Serviceable," says the guy to the director's left. "Fine--whatever," says the director, "season six, moving on." "Moving on!" says the standing guy into his walkie talkie, "that's a wrap on Jared and Jensen!" "Who the hell are. . .?" Sam starts to ask, then a woman grabs him by the arm, calling him Jared, and drags him away for an interview while another pushes Dean into a chair to cleanse makeup off his face. "I'm not wearing any makeup," he insists, trying to push her away, but he touches his face and sees himself in the mirror. "Aw, crap, I'm a painted whore," he realizes. LMAO!
Sam is being interviewed by Trish Evion, who thinks she's speaking with Jared Padalecki of TV's SUPERNATURAL. "So, Jared, season six," she says, seating him in a chair as a camera is aimed at him. "You beat the devil, lost your soul, and got it back again," she says, "so tell us--what's next for Sam Winchester?" "Look," he says, totally confused, "I really don't. . ." "And if you could include the question in your answer, thanks," she says. Someone comes by with a huge basket of candy, and everyone helps themselves. Dean stares, but doesn't partake. He meets Sam. "They put freakin' makeup on us, those bastards," he says through gritted teeth. Sam says that whatever Twilight Zone Balthzar sent them to, it's apparently a place where their life is a TV show. "Why?" wonders Dean--"seriously, why would anyone want to watch our lives?" "According to the interviewer," says Sam, "not very many people do. I'm not saying it makes sense, we landed in a dimension where you're Jensen Ackles and I'm something called a Jared Padalecki." "Oh so what, now you're Polish?" demands Dean--"is any of this making any sense to you?" They exit sound stage four, where Dean sees the Impala. "At least my Baby made it," he says, delighted. He starts to object when he sees someone throwing mud on it, then notes there are FOUR Impalas, some wrecked. "I feel sick," he says, I'm gonna be sick, I wanna go home, I feel like this whole place is bad-touching me." Sam agrees. They decide to try to reach Cas. "I'll take a shot if he's still alive," says Dean, standing in front of a fake doorway--"Dear Castiel, who may be rotting his ass far away from heaven, we pray that you have your ears on. Breaker, breaker." They see Cas standing there and race toward him. "Thank God," says Dean, "what is all this, huh? What did Balthazar do to us?" "To keep you out of Virgil's reach, he's cast you into an alternate reality," intones Cas, "a universe similar to ours in most respects, yet dramatically different in others." "Like Bizarro earth, right?" asks Dean, "except instead of having Bizarro Superman, we get THIS clown factory." "Uhm, yeah, well," says Cas, "anyway, no time to explain, do you have the key?" Sam gives it to him, asking, "What does this thing do, anyway?" "It opens a room," says Cas, "containing every weapon Balthazar stole from heaven." "He gave it to us?" asks Dean. "To keep it safe until I could reach you," says Cas, "with those weapons, I have a chance to rally my forces." "Oh, okay, good, yeah," says Sam, "so what's the deal with all this TV crap?" "Pardon?" asks Cas. "Yeah, amen, Padaleski," says Dean. "Padalecki, I'm pretty sure," corrects Sam. "Man, they put out new pages?" complains Misha, gazing at paperwork in his hands. "What is this, a cosmic joke?" asks Sam. "If it is, it's stupid and we don't get it," says Dean. Loosening his tie, Misha Collins asks, "Are you guys OK?" "Gimmee that," orders Dean, grabbing the papers from Misha and looking them over. "These are words from a script, he tells Sam, "this isn't Cas." "Look at him!" says Sam. "You guys wanna run lines or?" asks Misha, revealing a blue t-shirt under Cas' suit. "His name's Misha," says Dean, giving the actor an odd look, "MISHA??" "Oh, wow," says Sam, taking back the key, "great." Dean returns the script changes to him and they walk away. "Misha? Jensen? What's up with the names around here?" asks Dean. "You guys! You really punk'd me!" Misha calls after them, tossing the pages at them, threatening, "I'm totally gonna Tweet this one!" Taking out his phone, he writes, "Ola, Mishamigos! J-squared got me good!" 
Dean tells Sam he wants to dig his finger into his brain and scratch till he's back in Kansas. (Dean, don't even give Sam that image!) 
Misha's Tweet: "Really starting to feel like one of the guys."
The brothers find Fake Ackles' trailer sitting on the street. "This must be fake mine," he says. Behind them is a built-in fish tank. "Dude, I have a helicopter!" Dean notes with glee. They see the huge aquarium and decide to find out who this guy Ackles is. Sam sits down at his computer. "He's not a hunter, but he plays one on TV," says Dean. Dean picks up an issue of SUPERNATURAL magazine and stares at the cover. "Nice BLUE STEEL, Sam." "Apparently, it's our job," says Sam. The computer reveals Jensen is from Texas. "And ew, says you were on a soap opera," reveals Sam. "What?" says Dean, disgusted. A brief, embarrassing clip of Jensen playing Eric Brady from DAYS OF OUR LIVES plays on the computer. Dean quickly closes it. "I don't like this universe, Sammy, we've got to get out of this universe!" Sam agrees, but doesn't think their prayers are reaching the real Cas. Dean agrees--they are out of cell phone range, but, if they can reverse Balthazar's spell. . . He picks up a lined yellow pad. (The place even has a fireplace!) "If we just get the ingredients, get back to that same window, there's no place like home," says Dean, holding up a picture of the sigil Balthazar drew on the window. 
Returning to the set, the brothers find every prop made of rubber, useless for their purposes. The director watches them complaining that everything is fake, sees Jensen stabbing Jared with a fake knife, and says, "Well at least they're talking to each other." "What are you supposed to do with this crap?" asks Dean, flapping a long knife back and forth irritably. "Of course everything's fake," says Sam as they head toward the Impala, "we're on a film set." "Now you're talkin'" says Dean as they climb, in unison, into the Impala, intent on rounding up the genuine articles they need for the spell. Alas, that proves to be only a prop, too. "How the hell are we supposed to get out of here?" Dean asks a hapless guy carrying a stop sign, thanking him so much for not taking the car. 
We see the brothers leaving K M Studio with their bodyguard, Cliff (not the real one). He asks Jensen where he wants to go. "I'll just tag along with J-J. . ." "Jared," supplies Sam. "Since when are you guys talkin'?" asks Cliff. Haltingly, not remembering Cliff's name, Jared says they're going back to his place to do some. "Work on our acting," finishes Jensen. For their characters. For the show. "All right," chuckles Cliff. "Where are we, anyway?" asks Dean. They pass a sign that says Vancouver. "Dude, we're not even in America," says Dean. LMAO! 
They enter Jared's palatial mansion. "Nice, modest digs, Jay Z," teases Dean. "Wow, I must be the star of this thing," says Sam, staring around. "Yeah right," says Dean. They see a tanning bed. "What am I, Dracula?" asks Sam. Dean opens it. "George Hamilton Dracula," Dean says. He spots a bar and goes over to get a drink. "Now we're talkin'," he says. Hearing a noise, Dean checks outside. "Dude, you have a camel in your backyard!" says Dean. "It's an alpaca, dumb-ass," corrects Genevieve Padalecki, dressed in a short, hot, black cocktail dress from the balcony above them. "Ruby?" asks an astonished Dean. The brothers stare at each other, horrified, then look at two giant paintings, one of Jared and one of this woman hanging on the walls (narcissist much)? "Ruby, right, 'cause that one never gets old," says Gen. She walks right up to Sam, leans up and kisses him on the mouth. "How was work today, hon?" Dean watches the buss with avid interest. 


# KatieV 2011-02-26 23:37
Loved, loved, loved the show. All the unsubtle references and shout-outs. The overblown trailers and mansions, the images of the characters on you tube, trailer monitors and mnasion walls, the suggestions of rivalry between the fakejared & fakejensen,and especially the slow motion Morricone themed death of Kripke that was worthy of a Leone film. (I wonder who chose that)
There are so many layers of in-jokes here that it will probably be analysed for a long time to come.
Just a correction when the boys are returned to their reality they are dragged back by Raphael not "the Winchesters launch themselves, backward, against it".
# Ginger 2011-02-27 08:57
I liked the episode the first time I saw it. After a re-watch last night, I have to now say that I thought it was a brilliant piece of work. Still not my all-time favorite episode, but brilliant nonetheless (hello Ben Edlund).

Favorite scene: the acting one, but I also liked the street shoot mass killing one. The music alone had me laughing out loud.

Lots of inside jokes, and whether any of it is true or not, I don't really care. I understood what was being poked at and that was enough.

Re: the 'at least we're talking' and Dean's speech: You know, I've given up on the where the brothers are at questions and pay little attention to them now. I don't know where Dean is at and Sam, obviously, is with Dean and has his back. Whether that stays, falls apart, or continues to be built upon is just not something I'm not paying attention to it any longer. For the last 2.5 years, I feel the viewers have been so jerked around on the brothers' bond issue and that the drama the show is built upon is how that bond is going, I'm just kind of immune to it.

There again, with Dean's speech. Last week Dean having to leave Lisa/Ben put him more depressed than I've ever seen him (even more so than in PONR, I thought). This week he's giving s speech on the value and worth of their jobs. Then he offers Sam the option of staying, and I thought that was Dean being okay with quitting if Sam wanted to stay, so I don't know what show is doing with Dean.

I'm not much into the Cas character and I'm not a Mishamigo, but Misha was funny in the episode.

My least favorite part was the end with Cas, Virgil and Raphael. As soon as these powerful beings show up, the boys are in the background because humans are simply too weak to handle the powerful beings. The scene did set up going into Heaven's civil war and finally meeting the big bad, so it was a useful scene.

I haven't answered all the questions, but just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, though it was brilliant, and I'm very happy to be able to say positive things about an episode this season.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-02-27 12:15
1.What was your favorite part of this episode?
Honestly can’t pick a favourite. The entire fake acting scene was A1, the ridiculously over the top mansion, the Terminangel, Castiel’s wings, Dean Grimly (my 2nd alternative username!) but some of the smaller parts were awesome as well, the guy limboing out of the way of the bullet before nonchalantly walking away was hilarious.

Also: ‘Should we be killing anybody?’ and ‘I should figure out her name’ are two of the best lines ever!

Least favourite? I wasn’t too gone on the idea that the boys are back to being kept at an arm’s length and to being used by angels. I mean, they saved the fecking world, it’s not like they can’t be trusted. Surely Castiel has learned at this stage the damage that can be done by keeping secrets. It’s a pity he can’t put this knowledge into practise.

2. Did you find the episode confusing in any way? Explain.
Not really. I didn’t get the alpaca joke (though the picture of it on the mantle was mad!) but apart from that I was pretty good. I’m not going to put too much thought into the whole ‘Jared as Sam as Jared as Sam etc’ bit because trying to write it is a pain in the arse.

However, the very last bit left me a little confused (and concerned). I liked Sam knocking on Bobby’s wall and declaring it solid while Dean commented that it’s chock full of things that want to skin you (or something). I took this as a metaphor for their relationship, it’s now solid (or growing more so) but there are still ‘termites’ out there that may try to weaken it. The bit I’m concerned with is Dean (seemingly) indifferent reaction to Sam’s optimistic grin and his ‘At least we’re talking'. He couldn’t even muster a smile at it. I don’t know what I was expecting there but it just seems a little off to me.

3. How much of what you saw in this episode do you think was true? How much do you believe was satire or parody?
Not very much (true) to be honest, apart from the names, setting, relationships, some pictures, previous jobs, directors, new showrunners and so on and so forth....

I imagine (and hope) the part about the hugely ostentatious house and trailer are pure satire. Also, I doubt that JP has gigantic pictures of himself all over the place cos while he’s good looking and all, that’s a bit much.

4. How did you like JUST the Sam and Dean portion of the show and the way they worked their way home?
Actually this question is confusing as wasn’t it all Sam and Dean...... sorry!

I liked it. I liked the contrast between their fake lives and their real lives and that they choose to go back to their crappy lives because back there, they were brothers. In TVland, they weren’t even talking and they were that way for too long. I felt these scenes really reinforced the boy’s relationship, especially with Sam’s rejection of a mansion, wife, career etc in order to be Dean’s brother.

5. What did you think of the alternate universe Misha Collins?
Soooo dorky! I don’t get this whole tweeting, facebooking, beboing thing going on at the moment so anything to do with that is strange to me. Plus, he has a really squeaky voice! (He looks knackered tired in this episode though.)

I’m assuming it’s a much more exaggerated version of his true self (tweeting, yoga etc). It feels like it focused on Misha Collins the character rather than Misha Collins the person.

6. What do you think happened to the REAL Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki from this universe?
They’re at my place, obviously. Where else would they be??

Only messing (John wouldn’t allow it...) If it’s an alternative reality then I assume it was set up by the angels specifically for them. Therefore there is no real Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (if I didn’t have a headache before, I do now!)

7. What do you think happened between Gen and Sam up in that bedroom?
Not much to be honest. Research, as he said. I don’t think he slept with her. (I wonder what cheating on yourself with your own wife would be like??) I’d say there are too many bad memories and negative connotations associated with Ruby for Sam to be able to sleep with her.

8. What was the significance of the whole “But at least we’re talkin’” business?
Perhaps it’s alluding to the many times Sam and Dean kept things from each other in the past? Might also be a gentle reminder to Dean that as bad as things are, it could be worse (they didn't do much talking when Sam was RoboSam). It’s nice that Sam is the one looking for silver linings these days.

9. Your overall opinion of “The French Mistake?” Yea, nay or abstain?
Most definitely ‘Yea’. There were too many priceless bits in it for me to be negative about it. From the looks of things we’re in for a heavy few weeks (and we’re after a heavy few weeks) so this was a great breath of new air. Plus, it gave the writers and actors a chance to just let loose (and vent!).

10. How did you react to Dean’s speech to Bob Singer about the Winchesters and how they’ve done important things in the world?
Ithought it was a serious step forward in Dean acknowledging his worth. He does mean a hell of a lot to people back in reality land, he has saved the world and he does mean something huge to his brother. It should give him a bit of an ego boost, especially as he was in the doldrums last week (and for most of season 6, really)

Thanks, Robin. You always ask such interesting questions.
# AndreaW 2011-02-28 21:20
Huh, Dean's lukewarm reaction to Sam's 'at least we're talking' sounded really weird to me at first. But on second thoughts, the poor guy is always worried about Sam, especially now with the wall. He was probably not totally convinced that coming back was the best option for Sam. 'Things that want to skin you' reminded me of what Castiel said back in Like a Virgin about Sam's soul feeling like it had been skinned alive. I guess that's what was in Dean's mind.
# CassieW 2011-02-27 17:06
I liked the episode. I thought it was histerical. Cliff(the bodyguard) tweeted some answers to some questions about the episode.

1. jand j's houses are much more low key they don't want that kind of place.

Jared has said in one of the cons, either the SF one or the L.A. one that he lives on a condo while in Vancouver.

2. he has huge pics of me on his wall lol

3. no J and G don't have any exotic animals, but they have me

I was surprised they made no mention of Sadie and Harley.

4. and no fish tanks in trailers either and no helicopter.

Cliff confirmed that Jared and Jensen are the best of friends. You can see that in the recent con vids.
sonia mary
# sonia mary 2011-02-27 17:50
fantastic episode, laugh much.
# anonymousN 2011-02-28 05:33
I could only watch till Gen pulls Sam up the stairs then it flashed unable to download.So I really hope Sam did not sleep with Gen because that is not like Sam...I will comment further after some how hopefully i can download the full ep and watch it..
# gadfly 2011-03-01 23:08
The best parts for me were:

**The "acting" scene. Hilariously funny.

**Virgil gunning down the entire crew (except for the one crew member who seemed to be able to dodge bullets!).

**The return--finally !--of smart, observant and totally badass Dean.

For the sake of Sam's character, I really hope the answer is "nothing," It would be, imo, non-consensual sex because she thinks she's sleeping with her husband. Sam would be intentionally leading her to commit adultery.

So again, I hope not.

I think there has been a lot weighing on Dean (let's not forget that Dean's PTSD has never been dealt with, and Dean remembers Hell in detail; no wall for him) and the events of this season, and having to leave in the lurch a family who gave him validation and a sense of worth, combined to leave him very depressed.

That said, I think that the events of this ep was an eye-opener for him, and brought him at least part of the way back to believing that he is, in fact, a protector of people, that there is value to what he does even if it doesn't always seem that way.

I disagree that Dean was saying he would quit if Sam wanted to stay. I think that Dean--based on his speech to Bob Singer--had already made his decision to return to the "real" Earth, no matter what. What he was doing, imo, was offering Sam the chance to stay if Sam wanted to. He was letting Sam go if that was what Sam chose to do.
# gadfly 2011-03-01 23:09
My apologies: I clearly did something wrong and my post is missing the quotes I was responding to. I have no idea why and I don't seem to be able to edit it.

Technology strikes back!