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Dean has the same dejected look as he sits on his couch at his apartment. Carmen gives him his favorite beer. "I guess you know me pretty well." She sits next to him and asks if he's alright. "Sammy and I. We don't get along." Carmen guesses they don't spend too much time with each other and don't know each other all that well. Interesting how that's still kind of true. The they don't know each other that well part I mean. Probably because Sam is always keeping secrets. Dean thinks he can fix things with Sam and make it up to him. Carmens wants to know what's gotten into him lately. "This isn't going to make a lick of sense to you, but I kind of feel like I've been given a second chance and I don't want to waste it." She agrees it doesn't make any sense so he kisses her.

"You know I get it. Why you're the one." He kisses her more and things get all hot and heavy. These two have chemistry! It's been impossible to get such sparks between other women Dean have been with. She stops him because she has to go to get ready for work. Crud, I would have loved to have seen a passionate love scene between these two. She has the night shifts on Thursday. Wow, so she never gets to watch the show. Bummer. He goes into the other room and sees her getting scrubs out. "I'm dating a nurse. That is so respectable." Aww, does he honestly think he could never have a respectable woman?

Dean is channel surfing next. A news story comes on about the anniversary of the United Britannia flight crash in Indianapolis. Dean can't believe it because he knows he stopped that crash. Dean finds the newspaper archive on the computer about the crash (Phantom Traveler), then about the nine comatose children from a mysterious illness in Wisconsin (Something Wicked), parents mutilated in their bed (Everybody Loves a Clown), and a girl drowns in a hotel pool (Playthings). Mystery woman shows up again and walks into the bedroom. Dean follows and doesn't see her, but does see two hanging skeletons in the closet. He turns around, see's the mystery woman who's looking bloody and awful, and then she disappears right in front of his eyes. He turns about and the skeletons are gone. Mind fuck!

Pausing, because I definitely need the Kleenexes now. Dean is in a cemetery. I'm just going to transcribe the entire speech he gives to John's grave, because it's just plain brilliant. This is Jensen's finest moment in the series and that's tough to say considering what he brings us each and every week. Plus, Jensen is usually very strong with others in the scene, but this is one of those rare times where he shows how absolutely incredible he is just by himself. "All Hell Breaks Loose Part II" being the other.

"All of "˜em. Everyone you saved, everyone Sammy and I saved. They're all dead. And there's this woman that's haunting me, I don't know why, I don't know what the connection is, not yet anyway, it's like my old life is coming after me or something. Like it doesn't want me to be happy. Of course I know what you'd say. Well not the you that played softball but, it's like go hunt the Djinn. It put you here it can put you back. You're happiness for all those people's lives, no contest, right? But why? Why is it my job to save these people? (voice starts cracking) Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us. Mom's not supposed to live her life, Sammy's not supposed to get married, why do we have to sacrifice everything dad? (Single man tear down cheek, pause, more tears down other cheek). Yeah." (cries more, wipes tears from face, walks away to sad violin score).

You know, it's really hard to see this scene now knowing what happens to the brothers after this. The crap just keeps on coming and it gets worse and worse. They somehow manage to go on and Dean gave all this up for that. I'm still in total awe over this character.

Sam and Jessica are in bed. Sam hears crashing downstairs and goes with a baseball bat to investigate. He goes down to the living room and sees someone going through the cabinet. He swings the bat, misses, and Dean takes him down pretty easy. "That was so easy I'm embarrassed for you," Dean says. Sam wants to know what the hell Dean is doing there. Dean gives the same beer line he did in the pilot but Sam wonders why he's in the china cabinet. He turns on the light and sees Dean has their mother's good silver out. Sam, naturally thinking the worst of Dean, is full of accusations. He wonders what' so important that Dean has to steal from his own mother. Dean gives him the so called truth. He owes a bookie money and has to bring him the cash tonight. Sam is appalled. I love how Dean let's Sam think he's a degenerate to protect him. That's so him.

"Sam, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that we don't get along. And I wish to hell I could stay and fix it. But I got to do this. People's lives depend on it." He reaches down and grabs one silver knife. Sam wants to know what he's talking about. Dean says nothing and then really worries Sam with the "tell Mom I love her," line. Sam tries to stop him but Dean gives a bittersweet "I'll see ya Sammy." He takes one more quick look and leaves. Sam is actually worried.

Dean waits outside in the Impala and suddenly Sam gets in the passenger seat. Dean orders him out of the car but Sam insists he's going with him. Dean claims he'll slow him down but Sam won't budge. "It's dangerous and you could get hurt." "And so could you Dean. Whatever stupid thing you're about to do you're not doing it alone and that's that." Dean doesn't get why he's doing this. "Because you're still my brother." Dean nods in appreciation and then says "bitch." Sam doesn't get it. "You're supposed to say jerk." He says never mind and drives off. I suppose when I first saw this I thought this was an emotional and triumphant moment for the brothers, but then we find out the real reason. That's sad too.

They're driving at night and Sam wants to know what's in the bag. Dean insists nothing. Sam, being defiant checks anyway. It's a jar full of blood. Sam freaks out and wants to know why it's there. "You don't want to know." Sam really, really does want to know. Dean figures out he'll know sooner or later. He needed a silver knife dipped in lamb's blood. Sam has that "you're insane look" going and asks why. Dean says that there's a Djinn and he has to hunt it. Sam tells him to stop the car. "It's true Sam. There are things out there in the dark, there are bad things, there are nightmare things and people have to be saved and if we don't save them nobody will." Sam wants to help but concludes Dean is having a psychotic breakdown. "I wish," Dean says. Sam starts to make a call and Dean throws the phone out the window. Sam, being the girl that he is, has a hissy fit. "I'm not going to a rubber room Sammy and we've got work to do." Sam yells insisting that he's trying to help him out. "What, you protect me? That's hilarious." Why don't you just sit tight and try not to get us both killed." Yep, still season two.


# Jasminka 2009-12-11 04:25
Alice, could you please get out of my head…? This is one of those episodes I love to watch over and over.
I just watched it yesterday night when my mind was spinning with yet another heavy crisis I had to solve at work and I somehow couldn’t get down. So, a dose of Winchester helped me relax, and now I find this recap – woman, how do you do that? Doing this amazing episode justice with your recap and review – and in a manner that makes me believe I’m watching it right now, with some nice, wicked comments on the side…

Yeah, why do smart characters end up as lawyers..? I could picture Sam working for NASA or the UN, putting his diplomatic skills to good use…. (and I wouldn’t mind having him share my office with me: JasPh.D. & SamPh.D., therapists for the impossible… oh, I’m crazy…)

Well, this is an episode in which Dean shines…. Containing some of the sweetest Dean-moments ever… and he breaks my heart every time in those scenes with Mom… how he leans into her, as she bids him good night, eating the ‘best sandwich ever’, having a –relaxed (how long has it been, the man has felt at peace?)- beer, his loving glance at Sam with Jessica, his realization what’s going on between him and alternative-rea lity-Sam, his love for Carmen (and that kiss, … sorry everyone, heavy fan-moment coming on awwwwwwwwwwh, I’m dying…. ), and that graveyard scene… I’m dying again (how many lives does a woman have, exactly?) and getting buried in a Kleenex coffin.

Jensen, you’re way too young to be such an amazing, amazing actor! Everything is here – the tense body language communicating all that pain and the dignity he keeps throughout everything that happened to him (and that will happen), the changes in voice, the struggle for breath, gosh, the tragedy of it all…

You’re absolutely right, Alice. There’s not much to do but to be in awe over this character. Apart from all he does to be the man he is, allowing Sam to think ‘he’s a degenerate to protect him’ is one of the most difficult things ever – letting a loved one believe you’re, well, a disappointment, … I salute you, Dean, dear.

And, yes, the first time I saw those scenes, I too believed that they found a brotherly bond even in that reality, but the heartrending truth soon delivered a blow…

And, well, about that old wives’ tale… where my mother came from, people believed that if you died in a dream, you’d really die. .. Is there anyone out there who can convince me that you have died in a dream and are still around? No kidding, growing up with that superstition I somehow still believe that… like I’m still ten years old…

That decision Dean had to make to come back… My God, my heart breaks for him yet again… I was brought up with the moral standards that integrity and kindness are two of the most important things in life. Spontaneously I’d say, ‘Of course I would have done the exact same thing, returning to the real life, doing what needs to be done’, but truth is, I don’t know if I had the strength to do that.
With every tough decision I had to make in my life I’ve striven to honour my parents by doing what needed to be done… But it gets harder… I’ve been asking myself ever since that episode whether I would be able to muster up the strength necessary if I came into a situation as impossible as that… I only hope I would. But I don’t know for sure…

Alice, thanks a lot for this great recap! You summed it all up so beautifully and inadvertently gave me an idea for an article. Now I’ll have to get to work again.
Any other ‘landmark episodes’ recaps coming up? Terrific! Jas
# DianeUK 2009-12-11 04:52
Just trying to type around the tears!!!
This and ALWAYS will be my favourite episode EVER. It is the one that the DVD goes to automatically when the disk goes in!!!!
Jasminka you said it for me.
I was supposed to be working at home this am .... But HAD to read this when I saw the title (OH! Work is always there!)
The only other point I would make is that it is SOOO wonderful to see Dean smiling and happy. It happens so rarely. I miss his smiles ... but then maybe if there were too many (can there be too many?) we would not cherish them so much.
My son always knows when I have watched this episode because I hug and give him a kiss!(don't always remember other times!). Have to go and phone him now!
Thank you again for this article
Diane x
# Randal 2009-12-11 11:37
Lynda Carter wins, trust me. My first boyhood crush. Yowza.

This episode has had a strange shelf life in my noodle. Usually when deliberating on whether this one is better than that because who doesn't love making lists, it's pretty fluid, but this is one of the few that seems to age like a fine wine, climbing up the charts.

There's so much emotional depth in it and if your heart doesn't break at the end, then you're one cold mofo. I'm a sucker for the heavy mytharc/demonol ogy and comedy ones, but goddamn, I don't pay attention to any of that Emmy bullshit, but how Jensen didn't win one of those stupid trophies for this (do they have single episode ones?) is beyond me. The curse of being on a "horror" show, I guess.
# Bevie 2009-12-11 16:05
If ever anyone in the world deserved to win an acting trophy, it would be Jensen in this episode. I am in complete awe of his talent portrayed here. I'm sure the doofuses who vote for the Emmy winners never even attempt to watch an episode of Supernatural. Boy, they don't know what they are missing out on! I have such respect for this man's extraordinary talent.

As for this episode, it may well be my number 1 episode. It shows off Dean's character so well. His love for his mother and Sam. His deepest wishes for a loving relationship with a good woman and a desire to have a family of his own. Yes, the tears do flow when watching this one! So much empathy for the character of Dean Winchester, who puts himself last in every situation that comes down to his comfort or the well being of others, even strangers. That is the quality that makes me love Dean Winchester unconditionally . We know what makes him tick and what drives him to be the hero he is.

What a wonderfully constructed character! Bless the exceptional writers, producers and creator Kripke for this awesome guy! And the amazing Jensen who brings him to life every episode!
# Hillary 2009-12-12 03:12
This is by far the best episode of supernatural ever, there is a reason it is the only A+ episode on twop. It's just a fantastic character study and highlights how well constructed and acted the character of Dean Winchester really is. This episode highlights why I like Dean. He may have superficial flaws but deep down he has a respect for humanity and desire to protect the innocent from the darkness. This is also the episode I use to explain why I love this show.
# Karen 2009-12-14 09:20
Hi Alice
Once again another great review.
This has always been one of my favourite episodes.
Can’t say anymore than what has already been said.
Thanks again.
# Suze 2009-12-15 06:12
I love Dean in this, and we need more Ramones ( C'mon, they're mostly dead or well addled, they'd be cheap ... ) Best of all I love the Genie, awesome tattoos, glows in the dark, all round top monster ... All sing together now ... You ain't never had a friend like me ... :lol:
# Dany 2009-12-23 12:52
I've been waiting for this recap for a long time Alice, so thanks for this wonderful piece!
This is one of my favorites episodes, lots of klenex every time!
Yes, I too think that Emmy is way overdue, but like Bevie I think that those people that vote for that never saw a Supernatural episode, they don't know what they missing (like amazing acting!).