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He starts cutting Dean down and suddenly blue eyes emerge from the shadows. Dean yells out in warning and Sam starts swinging the knife at the Djinn. Remember, this is season two, when Sam's hand to hand combat skills were pretty sucky. Except "Nightshifter." That was really awesome. But as usual Sam is bested and the Djinn pulls out the blue hand of magic on Sam. That's when we get part two of this drama and see what Sam's deepest desire is. Oh wait, no, Dean frees himself and kills the Djinn. I guess that works too.
Dean goes over to the rotting girl and sees she's still alive. Sam cuts her down while Dean takes out her needle. She collapses into Dean's arms and Dean is so gentle with her. Sam even notices. Dean assures her they'll get her out of there but she's still zoning. It closes with him assuring, "I got you." I imagine that's because he knows exactly what she's going through. He looks pretty rattled.
Back to cheap motel room of reality. Dean leafs though a magazine and there it is. A picture of Carmen in a beer ad for El Sol beer. She was a model in an ad. Wow, that's some intense wish granting. Sam is finishing up on the phone. He's wearing his infamous shirt, The Paisley Peril. He was on the phone with the hospital. The girl they saved has been stabilized and there's a good chance she'll pull through. Dean nods and gives monotone "that's good" because it's of little comfort. Sam sees Dean isn't good and asks him if he's alright. Um, no Sam. Of course Dean says that he is. Liar!
Dean at least starts to talk about it though. I'm thrilled Dean never stopped talking to Sam like this. It was Sam that did all the clamming up eventually. "You should have seen it Sam. Our lives. You were such a wussy." Sam finds that amusing. Remember the days when Sam used to smile? "So we didn't get along then, huh?" "No," confirms Dean. "I thought it was supposed to be this perfect fantasy?" Dean says it wasn't. "It was just a wish. I wished for Mom to live. Mom never died, we never went hunting, you and me just never, uh"¦you know." Sadly, Sam gets it. "Well I'm glad we do." Yeah, right. Wait until season four.
Sam's also glad he dug himself out, for most people wouldn't have had the strength. "Yeah, lucky me," Dean says sarcastically. Oh man, he's having big regrets. I don't blame him. He goes on the explain the idyllic life. Sam had Jess, Mom was going to have grandkids. Sam reminds him that none of that was real. "I know, but I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay so bad. I mean ever since dad"¦All I can think about is how much this job's cost us." Again, it's really sad knowing how much worse things get for these guys. "We've lost so much. We've sacrificed so much." Sam takes the John Winchester stance and mentions that people are alive because of him. It's worth it. "It's not fair, and it hurts like hell, but it's worth it." Back to Dean where we get the mother of all Troubled Profiles of Doom. He's not so sure. Fade to credits.
To think how much that still sticks with Dean. I've always speculated that given that chance again, he wouldn't do the same thing. He'll take that happy life. Of course I think his experiences from "In The Beginning" back me up on that. This is why season two is so good. It introduces the dilemmas that haunt the brothers to this day. There are consequences of actions and free will and even though it's not fair, innocent people get hurt in the crossfire even if the decision seems right. I'm still often referring to this episode in the season four and five recaps and reviews. It's really hard to ignore what impact this experience had on Dean.
My grade on this? Duh, an A+. What else would it have been? Also, I'm not the greatest resource when it comes to Supernatural fanfics, but this is one of my all time favorites. If you've got some time, it's a ten chapter story that picks up in the alternate reality where this episode left off. Everyone is really worried about Dean after his attempted suicide and even Sam takes a semester off from Stanford for Mary's sake to help out. This alternate Dean starts having dreams about the other Dean's life and he and Sam end up reconnecting after stumbling on a mystery of a murdering ghost in the area. Plus Dean and Carmen's relationship continues to grow. It's a really great story.