I did not expect this episode to bring on the waterworks quite so much. Maybe I’m just feeling overly sentimental as this season draws to a close but I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster of emotions during this episode. And I mean that in a good way. And the best part of it is that it ended on a good note with a moment of heartwarming, brotherly encouragement.

This episode felt a bit all over the place. It took me quite a while to figure out what this episode was really about. At first it felt like a bunch of different episodes put together. Dean wakes up looking smokin’ hot as a 1950’s army doctor, Sam is in a weakened state but he wants to hunt, Charlie shows up with a case and a lot of personal stuff going on and then there’s the djinn. I needed a little clarity. I wasn’t sure what the parallel was that was holding all these stories together? Once I realized that this episode was about fear, it all started coming together. If you let it, fear can control you. It can rule your life much like it did in Charlie’s djinn-induced nightmare.

Charlie was living with the fear of losing her mother. She felt guilt for letting her own fear as a child deprive her parents of their lives. And she was letting that guilt drive her. She couldn’t let her mother go even though she knew she was already gone. It is sad to think how long Charlie has been holding on to this guilt. I’m so glad that Dean was able to help her let go. I was also happy to learn a bit about Charlie’s backstory. It makes her character a little less one dimensional. She loves what she loves because it’s something she and her mother bonded over and I think that’s beautiful. So if it’s possible, I like Charlie even more now.

alt

Dean seems to have let a bit of his own fear go as well. We all know Dean’s biggest fear is losing Sam. It’s always been that way. And it seems he has every reason to be worried. Not only is Sam attempting these trials, which are hard enough on their own, but he’s doing it in a weakened state. So yeah, I’d be scared too. But being in Charlie’s nightmare seems to have showed him that he has to let some of that fear go. It’s okay to be worried about his brother, it would be strange if he wasn’t, but he can’t let it control his decisions. The sad truth is that Sam’s not getting any better, at least not until the trials are over. And maybe not even then. And what Sam needs is support. He needs to know that Dean believes in him, that he thinks Sam is strong enough to do this. At the end of the episode it seems that Dean is trying to take that step. He’s been able to let go of some of that fear and now he’s ready to find Kevin. This support couldn’t have come at a better time for Sam. Lately it seems he has been wasting a lot of energy trying to convince Dean and himself that he’s strong enough to get through these tasks. It would be nice to have Dean take some of that weight of Sam’s shoulders by showing Sam that he believes in him. We started to see just that with their epic man hug which I may or may not have watched on repeat. So I’m feeling good about Sam and Dean’s relationship at this point. They have something big ahead of them and they are strongest when are on the same page. Or as Charlie put it: “There is pretty much nothing the Winchesters can’t do if they work together.”

As far as the djinn storyline goes I wasn’t overly interested. We’ve dealt with djinn before in past episodes. My mind goes straight to “What is and What Should Never Be” which is easily the best example. It’s probably not fair to make that comparison though. In that episode, the dreamlike state that the djinn puts Dean into is the entire focus of the episode. In “Pac-Man Fever” the djinn storyline serves as a means to an end. It tells us what this episode is really about; fear. And it gives us the chance to see Dean with his 1950’s hairdo. So really, I can’t complain!

alt

As I mentioned earlier, there were many moments in this episode that had me choked up. Obviously, the aforementioned man hug makes that list. But there were also some very touching moments between Dean and Charlie. Inside her nightmare, Charlie and Dean bonded over the potential loss of a loved one. And in Charlie’s case, that loss turned out to be a very real one. Let’s hope it’s not the same case for Dean! Their goodbye at the end of the episode was also especially touching. When is the last time someone told Dean that they love him? (And me saying it to my TV screen doesn’t count.) That seemed to make him so happy and I was glad to see it. I also choked up as Charlie read The Hobbit to her mother for the last time. That is some heavy stuff! What about you guys? Were you as emotional as me during this episode?

As with most episodes, there were a couple of things that were a little too convenient. I’m able to look past most of them, but the one that kind of bothered me was the African dream root. I’m not usually one to split hairs, and they did rationalize it pretty well, but I still find myself questioning it. Dream root allows you to walk around in someone else’s dream and I guess for all intents and purposes, the djinn does put you in a dreamlike state. It’s not fair to criticize the writer’s choice when I can’t even articulate why it bothered me, but here I am doing it anyway! Did anyone else have an issue with this solution? Was there a better way to handle it? Am I being crazy? Probably.

alt

I think it goes without saying that overall I really enjoyed this episode. There was a lot of really interesting emotional development and I think Sam and Dean are in a good place to take on the third trial. I’m excited to see Kevin and Cass in next week’s episode. I can’t wait to find out what really happened to Kevin. Does Crowley have him or has he finally lost it completely? I am also anxious to see what is happening with Sam! So what did you all think of the episode? Any non-spoilery predictions?

As usual, there are quotes and moments worth mentioning!

Dean: “I’m telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers.” Sam’s hair was looking especially wild for a minute there!

Dean: “That’s why we don’t have nice things, Sam.”

Charlie: “That’s what they get for the sexist name.”

Charlie: “Thanks for saving the world and stuff. Sorry you have zero luck with the ladies.”
I love how disgusted Sam and Dean are about the fact that the Carver Edlund books exist.

Charlie: “Montage...”

Sam: “Dean, you cannot take care of the both of us. Play through the pain, right?”
Dean: “Come on, don’t quote me to me!”

Sam: “I hate that thing. I want one.”

I knew something was fishy about Dean borrowing Charlie’s phone. Smart to turn on her GPS!

I had completely forgotten about the second djinn until Charlie told Dean about it. Thank goodness Sam is still a badass!

Charlie: “You know you’re going to be ok, right? Those books portray you as one tough customer. If anyone can get through the trials, it’s you.”

Charlie: “What about you? You gonna let it go?”
Dean: “Never.”
Charlie: “That’s my boys.”

Charlie: “I love you.”
Dean: “I know.”