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On February 25, 2011 Supernatural had one of its most unique episodes, "The French Mistake". This episode had so many reviews on Winchester Family Business that this Hiatus Hunting has to be in two parts!

First we have Alice's Review -
 "The French Mistake" by Alice Jester
Originally published February 28, 2011

How does one honestly critique an episode like "The French Mistake?"  There isn't anything to analyze other than how does it rate on the absurd-o-meter?  High. Then again, when Ben Edlund is your script writer, do you expect anything less?

I have to admit, when I had heard the episode synopsis for this episode, I got pretty leery.  Maybe because I'm still shaking off the hee-bee-gee-bees after reading RPF fan fiction involving Supernatural's three good looking leads.  How was that going to work in an actual episode, even if it was an alternative universe plot?  Luckily, Mr. Edlund drew the straw for this script assignment.  Whew, crisis adverted.  
Now, I wouldn't call "The French Mistake" the most brilliant episode ever, but hey, in a time where we needed something light, our show delivered big.  The inside jokes alone will keep fans entertained for decades!  Not since "Hollywood Babylon" has Edlund had the opportunity to take on one of his favorite targets, the Hollywood starlet mentality.  So what happens when Jared and Jensen are actually prima donnas?  Trailers come with remote control helicopters and large fish tanks and the luxurious mansions prominently feature Warhols of its occupants?  I tell you what happens, Sam and Dean acting like they've won the lottery.  
Somehow, in the midst of this total madness, an actual plot exists, even if it is somewhat obscured.  Let's follow the bouncing ball.  Balthazar arrives with a bunch of awesome Godfather references, which implies everyone is in deep doo doo.  With one swipe of the hand, Sam and Dean go flying into the alternate universe.  How many windows did they crash through in this episode BTW?  TPTB were certainly keeping Jared and Jensen's stunt doubles busy.   
Lucky for Sam and Dean, this universe is vacant is sooo many ways, including spiritual entities.  That puts them on an even playing field with the pursuing angel assassin and they take great joy in for once being able to kick angel butt.  They manage to get pulled back by Raphaella through the one portal that works and...guess what?  It was all a setup so Castiel could get the weapons back from Balthazar.  Who's suddenly loyal again.  Who still has a little vendetta for that frying wings extra crispy thing.  Castiel approved the plan and...still won't say why defeating Raphael is important.  Quite frankly, considering the vast amount of favors Sam and Dean owe Cass, the decoy thing was cruel, but forgivable.  I hope they get the message about what happens when you push your luck with angels.  

In this entire screwball scenario though, there's a chance to get philosophical. It's interesting to see them in a universe where all the evil they face is gone. No demons, no angels, no ghosts, no God either. The only obstacle is the self absorption of the people themselves. With no higher power, reflections and importance turns inward. Sure Sam and Dean don't belong in that world but would their lives ultimately been better with that life? Especially when luck for once turned in their favor? It's my guess it would have gotten old after a while for their sense of purpose would be lost. Still, a few more weeks in that life wouldn't have hurt. If anyone's earned an extended vacation, it's these guys. 

As with all Edlund scripts, the humor goes dark.  Very dark.  I remember laughing all the way through "Bad Day At Black Rock" until Bela shot Sam.  Fun over.  In this episode for me, it was killing Misha.  Aww, poor cutie pie in the goofy sweater.  Couldn't Virgil just have kicked him in the butt and sent him scampering instead?  Kripke I didn't mind though.  He's always wanted to do a Western and you can't go more The Good, The Bad and The Ugly inspired than that brutal end.  

Somehow though, in writing this review, I kept going back to "The Simpsons."  Remember the episode when Bart Simpson in his medicated haze figured out Major League Baseball was spying on Springfield?   Those two of you that do know, Mark McQwire shows up to do damage control.  I know, where am I going with this?  "Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me hit some dingers?"  "Dingers!" everyone yells.  
Here we go.  Instead of an in-depth review, I'm giving you all the dingers.  Batter up!

"You did, twice.  Good for you." 

Sam:  Should we be killing anybody?
Dean:  I don't think so.
Sam:  Running?
Dean:  Where?  

Producer:  We'd have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings.
Bob Singer:  Right, you answer the hate mail. 

"I'm a painted whore."

"Oh, if can you include the question in your answer."

Dean:  Why would anybody want to watch our lives?
Sam:  Well according to the interviewer not very many people do.  

Sam:  I'm just saying we've landed some dimension where your Jensen Ackles and I'm someone called a Jared Padalecki.
Dean:  Oh so what now you're polish?

"Like bizzaro earth.  But instead of getting bizzaro Superman we get this clown factory."

"Misha?  Jensen?  What's up with the names around here?"  

"Ola Mishamigos, J squared got me good.  Really starting to feel like one of the guys."

"That's fake me.  This must be fake mine."  

"Well he's not a hunter, but he plays one on TV."

"We're not even in America"

"Nice modest digs Jay Z."

Sam:  Wow, I must be the star of this thing.
Dean:  Yeah right.

Sam:  What am I, Dracula?
Dean:  George Hamilton Dracula.

Dean:  Dude, you have a camel in the backyard
Gen:  That's an alpaca dumbass.

"You married fake Ruby?"

Dean:  Well, it looks like you did alright.
Sam:  Yeah.  I should figure out her name.

"Money man, there is nothing like it.  Alright, couch, TV star, beauty rest." 

"You have been Sam Winchester way too long."

"Dean Cain was like that on Lois, and that man's a real actor." 

"Don't look at the camera.  Look anywhere but the camera." 

Sam:  Who wrote this?  Nobody says "penultimate."  
Dean:  Gun, mouth, now.
Misha:  IMHO J&J had a late one last night.

Sera:  Spell it out for me please.  What is our terror alert level here?  
Bob Singer:  I don't know Sera, orange maybe.  They started talking to each other.  
Sera:  But that's a good thing.  
Bob Singer:  Right I thought so.  But now Jensen's living at Jared's house plus Clif says they're smuggling in illegal stuff from Mexico.
Producer:  Misha's celebrity tweets says it's a black market organ thing, I'm betting drugs." 

"Maybe we cannot get out of earth #2 right now, but at least we can get the Hell out of the Canadian part of it.  If I hear one more conversation about hockey I'm going to puke." 

Bob Singer:  Well Sera, we really don't understand it ourselves, but it appears that Jared and Jensen were seen beating an extra to death.
Jim:  Listen, Jim here Sera and it wasn't all the way to death, only part way so that's a plus.
Producer:  He could definitely still run.
Bob Singer:  And we'll certainly follow up on that. 

"He sold Octocobra?  Mother of God, they'll buy anything." 

Sam:  You're kidding.  Your character in the show, Bobby Singer- 
Dean:  What kind of a douchebag names a character after himself?
Sam:  Oh that's not right.

"You heard my brother.  That's right my brother.  You know what, we're not actors.  We're hunters.  We're the Winchesters, always have been and always will be.  And where we're from, people don't know who we are.  But you know what, we matter to that world.  In fact we even save a son of a bitch once or twice.  And yeah okay here there's probably some fans who give a crap about this nonsense, but Bob Singer, if that even is your name, tell me this, what does it all mean?"

"The scary man killed the attractive crying man and he started to pray."

"Misha, right?  Totally awful.  Got us the front page of Variety though, did you see that?" 

"Raphael.  Nice meat suit.  Dude looks like a lady." 

Dean:  Real, moldy, termitey, home sweet home.  Chock full of crap that would want to skin ya.  Oh, and we're broke again.
Sam:  But hey, at least we're talking.
Oh but the hits don't lie in just mere words.  There are running gags...because it's Canada, eh?  

Then there are the shots that need no words:

Overall grade for "The French Mistake" as far as comparison to other comedy episodes is an A.  Not much on plot, but that was not part of this design so let's not squabble.  It also gets a bonus for I can't believe Ben Edlund worked an alpaca into this script and made it funny.  


"The French Mistake" 06.15
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Originally Published February 26, 2011

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 Balthazar 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. 

Editor's comments: Here are the things that made me laugh:
Seems like season 6 is a thorn in this director's side, huh? Interesting. The discussion amongst them was really cool about how to handle the scene. "Whatever," decides the director. Is that a common season 6 mantra? 
Dean finding himself a "painted whore" was hilarious. Sam trying to bluff his way through an interview, which we didn't see, must have been a bunch of "No comments," which the reporter took to mean he couldn't reveal spoilers at the cost of his life. 
Dean wonders why anyone would want to watch their lives. He should see himself as we do. He might get a clue. Of course, Sam learned not that many folks do watch. Let me tell ya, Sammy, those of us who do, watch quite rabidly!
Sam is now Polish, a Jared Padalecki--or Padaleski? I'm just rolling with laughter!
The FOUR Impalas, and none of them was poor Dean's real Baby! All those useless props, but they kept playing with them, even sticking each other with the prop knives!
Misha, stone-faced, pretending to be Cas, so well that they believed him--until he dropped out of character with the script changes. Then they took back the key and returned the script, walking away in disgust. Cas HAD to tweet this latest to his minions! LMAO!
Was that really Jensen's trailer? If so, wow, he's so lucky. Very luxurious, all the comforts of home! There's the refs we all know and love from the J's lives to Texas, Blue Steel and DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Dean and Sam are disgusted! 
Throughout the show, there are frequent references made to the fact that Jensen and Jared in this universe don't talk to each other and are not friends. "Since when are you two talking?" seems to be a frequently-asked question when Sam and Dean are seen hanging out so much together. At one point, it was unfortunately a good question for Sam and Dean, too. Luckily, in this episode in particular, that is no longer true. They are tighter than ever, not just talking, but brothers in arms against the darkness like in season one!
The horror when Dean realized they were in CANADA, not AMERICA!
When they enter Jared's home!!!!!!
1. Is that REALLY Jared's place?
2. Do he and Gen REALLY have those narcissistic paintings?
3. Do they REALLY own a tanning bed?
4. Do they REALLY own an alpaca?
Of course, watching Sam and Dean's reactions when it appears Sam has married Ruby in this alternate reality is very funny, too, and she seems to have just as feisty a relationship with Jensen as Ruby had with Dean. She also wonders why they're talking all of a sudden.
Wait," says Dean, "you and Ruby?" Making a face, Gen says, "Do you honestly think that's funny, Jensen?" "Riiight," says Dean--"cause you're not Ruby, I mean how could you be--you, of course, are the lovely actress who plays Ruby, and you are in Jared's house because you two are, uh, (he spots wedding photos) married!" (To Sam) "You married fake Ruby?" They look at each other a moment. "What are you doing?" asks Gen. "Work," says Sam. "Work," echoes Dean, "I thought I'd pop in, say hey--hey--and maybe run some lines." "You've never even been to our house," Gen says scathingly. "Well," says Dean, "now that I know there's an alpaca out back, I'm definitely comin' back!" "Alpacas are the greenest animal," says Gen. "Right. . .right," says Dean, first to Gen, then to Sam, "that is so important." "There's that thing I have to get to," says Gen. "Oh, yeah," says Sam. "The International Otter Adoption Charity Dinner?" she reminds him. "Oh," says Jared as she steps up to plant another big kiss on him. "I'm glad you two are talking, anyway," she says, walking away, and they both watch her tush admiringly. "Looks like you did all right," says Dean. "Yeah!" agrees Sam--"I should figure out her name." 
Sam and Dean go online on Jared's computers to find the items they need. On the wall is an enormous, hilarious poster of Jared on horseback (a western movie)? Dean is all set to drive to Mexico City to steal a hundred thousand dollar item, but instead they use Jared Padalecki's credit card to buy it and have it sent triple rush, no problemo, in Dean's words. When they max out one credit card, they just use another. "Money, man, there is nothin' like it," chortles Dean. When they have finished ordering, Dean flings himself onto a leather sofa. "Couch, TV star, beauty rest," he says. 
Sam greets "Genevieve" when she gets home. "Gen," she reminds him. "Gen, of course, yeah," he says, "how was the otter thing?" "It was good," she replies, "everybody missed you there." "Oh, wow, wow, I bet," he stutters, "so listen, I gotta ask you a question, do you remember year before last, all those disasters? The whole earthquake spike? The 9.2 in Rome? The 8.5 outside Boston? The whole east-west tsunami chain?" "Yes, I remember all of those from last season," she says, "on your show." "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, that's what I mean," he says, taking another slug of beer. "You have been Sam Winchester way too long," opines Gen, taking his hands in hers and kissing him. She leads him upstairs, presumably to their bedroom. 
Sam and Dean pick up a package at the airport. "Why are we pickin' up packages that haven't cleared Customs yet?" Cliff asks Dean. "Just savin' time," the latter answers. Sam climbs into the car with the package. "All right, here we go," says Dean. "We're not doing anything illegal, are we?" asks Cliff. "Would it make you feel any better if we said no?" says Sam. "No," answers Cliff. 
The brothers are on the Bobby set, slitting open the box, thinking they're alone, when the lights suddenly flash on. The director, who has just finished saying, "We finish in 12 hours or he kills us all," and something about the A and B cam, is thrilled to see them: "Here for the first run-through, before anyone else? Dedication!" Dean tells him they are going to need the set cleared for an hour or so--"Me and Jared are going to do some 'actor stuff'." "We're thrilled to see you collaborating so creatively," says the director, "and your enthusiasm is refreshing--you know, Dean Cain was like that on LOIS, and that man's a real actor, and we will clear this set when we shoot the two and three eighths pages we are scheduled to shoot on this set, so if you do your 'actor stuff', we'll do our 'camera stuff', then. . ." Misha sees the box sitting next to Sam and asks what's in it. "Part of a dead person," replies Sam. "Cool," says Misha. Dean reports to Sam, "Bad news--looks like we're going to have to do a little acting." "What?" asks Sam, terrified.
"SUPERNATURAL, scene 36, take one!" Cas: "Balthazar is no hero. But he knows Raphael will never take him back. Dean hits his mark, but has no idea what to say. "CUT!" yells the director. TAKE 8! ACTION! Sam moves his arms in some sort of weird dance as Dean steps forward and says something that makes no sense whatsoever. "CUT!" shouts the director. Someone fixes Cas' hair and he pushes her away. "Action!" calls the director. "It's because we have no other choice," says Sam. "Don't look at the camera," says Dean, "look anywhere but the camera." Sam repeats the line, looking up at the ceiling. "CUT!" shouts the director, annoyed, mystified--"for the love of. . .!" ACTION! Cas faces the brothers and forgets his line. "CUT!" yells the director. "If there's a key, there must also be a lock," says Sam, sounding like a douche. "CUT!" Same scene, Sam tries again, adding "And when we find the weapons, we can get the weapons, and we'll have the lock, I imagine, because the lock, and of course the initial key." Someone is checking the script. "Do we really need all these lines?" demands Dean--"I think we've covered it!" "CUT!" shrieks the director--"WHAT IS HAPPENING?" (repeated thrice) "Atrocity is happening," says the man sitting beside him. "It seems like they should stop," says another guy. "They can't stop," says the director, "nobody stops. We get ANYTHING we can use?" Technically they have them saying everything in bits and pieces. It can be sort of experimental. "Whatever," sighs the director, staring toward heaven, "season 6." 
Sam, looking at the lines, complains, "Who wrote this? No one says penultimate!" "Gun. Mouth. Now," agrees Dean. Misha sits behind them. "Moving on!" calls someone. "Thank God," says Dean as they exit their chairs. Misha Tweets: "J & J had a late one last night. ROFLMAO" 
"We earned this," says Dean, taking the items out of the package.
The director is on the phone with Sera, who wants to know the terror level alert here. "Orange, maybe," he says, "they started talking to each other." She thinks that's a good thing! "I thought so," he says, "but now Jensen's living at Jared's house, plus they're smuggling illegal things in from Mexico." 
Dean draws the symbol on the window in blood. "That's it, Toto," he says. 
Misha's celebrity tweet says it's a black market organ thing, reports Jim. "I'm betting drugs." "I think they've lost any shred of talent they ever had," reports the director to Sera. Behind him, the brothers crash through the window, moaning in pain. "Drugs," repeats Jim. 
In Jensen's trailer, Sam suggests, "Maybe we did it wrong." Dean insists that spell was perfect, it shoulda worked. "What if it can't?" asks Sam.--"I was up all night looking online; there was no sign the apocalypse happened here, ever, and as far as I can tell, monsters, ghosts, demons, they're all pretend. No hunters. Maybe that's why our spell didn't work--maybe here, there's no supernatural, no magic." "No demons, no hell," says Dean, "no heaven, no God?" "Something like," says Sam, "even better, no angels." 
On a hotel set, a sigil appears on a window--and Virgil comes bursting through, his eyes filled with evil! 
Editor's comments: "You married fake Ruby?" LMAO! That one just never stops being funny!
ARE Alpacas the greenest animals? Otter Adoption Charity Dinner? 
Sam kisses Gen big-time, then realizes he should figure out her name. 
Dean enjoys the use of Jared's credit cards, fancy computers and nice leather sofa. 
Sam runs by what he believes were REAL earthly disasters for Gen, but she only knew them from SUPERNATURAL. She put it down to him playing Sam too long and led him to bed. How far did Sam go to make sure Gen wasn't suspicious?
Cliff takes the boys to pick up a mysterious package that surpasses Customs. Wonder if the real-life Cliff would so easily let that one pass? 
Dean tries to get the director to do his will and it doesn't work, but his effort does make one laugh. "Actor's stuff." LMAO!
The brothers' efforts at acting are hilarious! That no one thought there was something seriously wrong with them right away boggles the mind, but that they let it go on for so many takes? Would they really do that? Why didn't Misha beat them up? I would have! Sam and Dean's after-conversation? "No one says penultimate." "Gun. Mouth. Now." GOLD!
Sera and Bob confab: Jensen is living at Jared's house; they're smuggling illegal things in from Mexico or they're doing drugs. They've lost all their talent!
And Misha gleefully Tweets!
The brothers figure out this world is demon, angel, hunter, magic and perhaps even God free, which might make it impossible for them to get home. 

Behind them, two men are practice-fighting in front of the Impala, which sits before a green screen. "Maybe we can't get out of earth number two right now," says Dean, "but at least we can get the hell out of the Canadian part of it. If I hear one more conversation about hockey, I'm gonna puke." They each have different ideas about which way to go, and Dean's leads him straight into Virgil. "NO!" shouts Sam, as Virgil drops his hand to Dean's head. When nothing happens, Dean grins and says, "Sorry, dude, mojo-free zone." He punches him down a tunnel. Sam joins him, saying, "No magic in the house." "Which makes you nothin' but a dick," says Dean, The three begin getting into it, with Virgil punching back. 
A balding man in a Hawaiian shirt is bragging to a pretty young girl how he oversees all the stunts and coordinates all the fights. "That's exciting," she says, and asks if that's one of his. When he sees the two "stars" viciously beating on an extra, he calls on the two fellows practice fighting for help. Not only do they pull Sam and Dean off Virgil, but the latter lifts the key out of Sam's pocket, too. "I'LL BREAK YOUR FREAKIN' NECK!" Dean shouts after the fleeing Virgil as the other men subdue him and Sam. 
The director reports this latest woe to Sera. Jim assures her the boys didn't beat the guy ALL the way to death, only partway, that's a plus--he could definitely still run. The director thinks the boys are on an extended psychedelic acid trip. Sera offers to fly up and talk to them, but Jim isn't sure the boys know who she is, strictly speaking, she's, you know, you. "Right," she says. The director advises Kripke, he created this show, they'll listen to him. "How would that make me look?" Sera protests--"I'm supposed to be running this thing--besides, Eric's off in some cabin somewhere, writing his pilot." "He sold DR. COBRA?" asks the director--"they'll buy anything." 
"Virgil broke through, maybe he's got a way to get back," says Dean. "Or he's got no juice here and he's stuck, like us," says Sam. "Either way, I wanna finish kickin' his ass," says Dean. 
Misha is greeted good night as he leaves his trailer. "Good night, little fella," he says, getting into his car. He Twitters: "Ever get that feeling someone's in the back seat?" :-( Virgil pops up and puts a knife to his throat. "Drive," he orders, as Misha whimpers like a little girl.
Dean and Sam pass by the director's desk. He turns on his light. "Got a minute?" he asks. They're looking for. . .  "That extra you tried to kill?" asks the director. He wants to know if what's happening will go away if he can scare up a raise for them. "More money?" asks Dean--"you already pay us two jokers enough as it is." "Yeah," agrees Jared. He'd like to think that over the years, they've grown closer--that they don't think of him as Director Bob, or Executive Director Bob Singer, but as Uncle Bob." "You're kidding," says Sam, "so the character in the show, Bobby Singer. . ." "What kind of a douchebag names a character after himself?" asks Dean. "Oh, that's not right," says Sam. Bob wants to start over, but the brothers turn their backs on him. Dean feels Virgil wouldn't have shagged out of there without getting his mitts on that key. Sam agrees. Hands on their shoulders, Bob says, "Guys, you can't come to work on poppers, and smuggle kidneys in from Mexico. And make up your own lines as you go. You CANNOT make up your own lines!" (The most important thing!) Good God, what about your careers!" "You know what?" says Sam--"screw our careers!" "You heard my brother," says Dean, "that's right, I said brother--'cause you know what, Bob?--we're not actors, we're hunters. We're the Winchesters, always have been, and always will be--and where we're from, people don't know who we are, but you know what? We matter to that world, in fact, we even save a son of a bitch once or twice, and yeah, here, maybe there's even some FANS who give a crap about this nonsense." "I wouldn't call it nonsense," says Bob. "But, Bob Singer, if that even is your name," says Dean, "tell me this--what does it all mean?" "Okay, this is good!" says Bob--"I mean, we've all had our psychotic breaks, right? I can work with this!" Sam comes back and reports, "I think Virgil has the key." "We quit," says Dean, leaving Bob open-mouthed. 
Virgil, complaining about the lack of magic and power in this world, pulls Misha from his car and shoves the sobbing actor against a building, holding the knife to his throat. "I'm sorry!" wails Misha. Calling him a bag of strings and pulleys, Virgil says, "You should thank me for what I'm about to do." "Why, what are you about to do?" sniffles Misha. "I'm about to make an important call," says Virgil, "I pray to God that it even goes through." He slashes Misha's throat, and we hear the actor choking to death on his own blood. "This is what I've been reduced to," complains Virgil, calling, "Raphael!" Misha sinks to the ground, dead. 
Unknown to Virgil, someone has witnessed what he has done.
Editor's comments: To Sam and Dean's delight, Virgil is brought down to their level in this world, and fisticuffs rule the day. They are pulled out of the fight by do-gooders on the SUPERNATURAL set, who drag who they think are Jensen and Jared off a hapless extra. Lou Bollo got to play himself in this scene. I wonder--does he brag to sweet young things for real?
LOL at: The idea of Jensen and Jared not knowing who Sera is. That the boys didn't beat the extra to death; he could still run. Bob thinks the boys are on an extended acid trip. DR. COBRA? Misha crying like a little girl when kidnapped. Bob offering Jensen and Jared more money and being turned down by Dean and Sam, who feel they get paid enough already. Sam and Dean's disgust over BOBBY SINGER/Bob Singer. "You can't come to work on poppers, and smuggle kidneys in from Mexico. And make up your own lines as you go. You CANNOT make up your own lines!" "I mean, we've all had our psychotic breaks, right? I can work with this!"
"We quit," says Dean.
Misha's death shocked me, I must admit. Even though I couldn't help laughing at how unmanly they made him after Virgil took him, watching him made into a human telephone was still terrible. The slit throat, choking, and death bothered me. It wasn't OUR Misha, but he was a lot like him in his Tweets and playing tricks on the J's. 
I love Dean's speech to Bob Singer about how they are Winchesters, hunters, and always will be, and that they have saved people, and what they do is important. That Bob interprets it all as a psychotic break may blunt Dean's brave words, it doesn't take away from how true they are, or how shallow the SUPERNATURAL set world seems by comparison.
Notice the digs against Kripke, too, including his new pilot.
Back at Jared's house, the brothers discuss putting an APB out on Virgil, if they can find the police dispatch system. Gen comes running to them, crying--"Misha's been stabbed to death!" "Where?" they ask in unison. "WHERE?" she asks in confusion.
They go to the scene, where Misha's bleeding body is covered up, and overhear a witness telling a cop about a man who was calling someone named Raphael, like the Ninja Turtle. The witness says, "The scary man killed the attractive crying man and then he started to pray, and the strange part, after a while, I thought I heard this voice answer him." "What'd it say?" asks Sam. "It didn't make any sense," the witness reports. "Try us," urges Dean. "The voice said for Virgil to return to the place where he crossed over at the time of the crossing and Raphael would reach through the window and take him and the key home," the witness says. Dean hands over some funny-looking cash to the guy and thanks him. "If Virgil gets back with that key," says Sam, "Cas is dead and our world is toast!" "Then we stop him," says Dean, "and how bad can an angel with no ink be?"
Virgil may not have "ink," but he's getting himself plenty of good, old-fashioned fire-power. In a gun store, he looks at a handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun, and when the storekeeper admires his knowledge, Virgil says, "I am the weapons-keeper of heaven." "Excuse me?" says the storekeeper and gets hit with the butt of the shotgun. "It's my job," says Virgil, loading the rifle. When some poor soul enters the store, Virgil shoots him/her. 
"If we drop Virgil, get the key, we might be stuck here," Dean warns Sam. Sam assures him they'll figure out a way back. "Bet you wouldn't be that broken up if we did, though," says Dean. "What?--don't be stupid," says Sam. "I'm just sayin'--no hell below us, above us only sky," (a beautiful line from John Lennon's song Imagine) says Dean. "Our friends are back there," Sam reminds him. "Yeah, but, here you have a pretty good life," says Dean, "back home, the hits have been comin' since you were six months old. You gotta admit, bein' a bazillionaire married to Ruby--the whole package, it's no contest." "You know, you were right," says Sam, "we just don't mean the same thing here--we're not even brothers here, man." "All right, then," says Dean, "let's get our crazy show back home." 
Eric Kripke meets with Bob Singer. "What the hell," says Krip breathlessly. Bob thanks him for coming--"It means a lot that we can still call you." "Misha," says Krip. They both agree how totally awful his death is. "It got us the front page of VARIETY, though, did you see that?" asks Krip, smiling. "Front page, really?" says Bob--"but tragic." "Yeah, tragic," agrees Krip, "that's what I was gonna say." Bob asks how Dr. Cobra is going, and Krip says he's had a breakthrough and will tell him about it over lunch. Krip says he's going to bust in the trailer, guns blazing, and take care of this whole mess. Virgil is heading toward them, so Krip is "going to nip this bud right out of the gate. Hey, extra, over here!" A PA who has been standing throughout this scene says, "He's got a gun." "NO!" cries Bob in slow-mo as shotgun bullets rip through Krip, who doesn't drop until the third direct hit. He just keeps on heading toward the extra until he finally falls, spread-eagle, his white shirt stained with blood. Proud western music plays to underscore his death. Bob Singer is felled by only one bullet from the handgun. 
Someone on-set notes that they don't have gunfire slated for today. That's when Virgil starts shooting everyone he sees--boom, boom, boom! Sam yells "HEY" to draw away the gunman's attention and avoids getting shot.  Dean attacks him, quickly joined by Sam. Inside the same set where Virgil first appeared, the brothers give heaven's weapons-keeper a good pounding, then take the keys away from him. When the sigil on the window begins to glow red, the Winchesters launch themselves, backward, against it. 
Back in their world, Sam and Dean lie in a litter of real glass in a motel parking lot. A black woman glides toward them. "You two," she says, "time the strangest luck." "Raphael?" says Dean--"nice meat-suit--dude looks like a lady." She raises her hand, putting them both in massive pain. "The key," she orders, and finds it on the ground. "And that will open a locker at the Albany bus station," says Balthazar, joining them. "Really?" she says in disbelief. "You see, I needed a modest decoy to make it more convincing," says Balthazar. "Give me the weapons," she commands. "Sorry, darling," he says, "they're gone--you see, they were so well hidden, that I needed time to find them, so I volunteered these two  for a game of fetch with Virgil. You two were such an adequate stick, thank you, boys." "You've made your last mistake," warns Raphael. "I've got a few more up my sleeve, honey," promises Balthazar. She advances, intending the angel harm. Cas appears, ordering, "Step away from him, Raphael, I have the weapons now, their power is with me." He stands proudly, his wings showing huge and black in the lightning, much as they did the first time Dean met him. "Castiel," whispers Raphael. "If you don't want to die tonight, back off," threatens Castiel. She flies away. Smiling, Balthazar says, "Well, Cas, now that you have your sword, try not to die by it." He, too, exits.
Cas rushes over to the brothers, returning them to Bobby's. "Cas, what the hell?" says Sam. "Wait, you were in on this?" demands Sam, "using us, as a diversion?" "It was Balthazar's plan," says Cas, "I would have done the same thing." "That's not comforting, Cas!" says Dean, furious. "When will I be able to make you understand?" asks Cas--"if I lose against Raphael, we ALL lose--everything." "Yeah, Cas," says Dean, "we know the stakes, that's about all you've told us!" Dean glares at him. "I'm sorry about all this," says Cas, "I'll explain when I can." He flies away. "Friggin' angels," complains Dean. Sam hits the wall in Bobby's house, declaring, "Solid. It's real. Nice." "Yeah," says Dean, "real, moldy, termite-eaten home sweet home. Chock fulla crap that wanna skin ya. Oh, and, we're broke again." "Yeah," says Sam, "but hey, at least we're talkin'."
Editor's notes: LOL: The scary man killed the attractive crying man.
When Dean points out that Sam would have a pretty good life even if stranded here, Sam isn't interested. He'd miss his friends, and besides, THEY AREN'T EVEN BROTHERS HERE. Can anyone give me an awwww? 
I found the meeting between Krip and Bob hilarious. Bob is grateful they can still call him! Misha is dead, which they both agree is tragic, but Krip is thrilled it got them the front page of VARIETY! (Vicious, hungry Hollywood!) Krip's gonna straighten out those actors and that extry, too! But the extry's got guns, and he shoots Krip three times in slow mo as mournful western music plays. Bob is dispatched with one bullet from the hand gun. I laughed till I nearly peed. For good measure, Virgil shoots up the SUPERNATURAL set, too.
The Winchesters use this mindless violence as their springboard home. Raphael is now in a woman's meat suit, causing Dean to remark, "Dude looks like a lady." They learn they were sent by Castiel and Balthazar into that world with a useless key as decoys for "a game of fetch" with Virgil so the weapons and their power could be transferred to Cas. Needless to say, the Winchesters are angry with their angel friend, who promises to explain when he can--and flies off. 
The brothers ruefully realize they are broke and back in a solid but moldy house with things that want to kill them. "But at least we're talkin'" quips Sam, ending the ep.
I loved this! I was breathless from laughing! I don't have any clue what was true and what was false in here, but I would sure LOVE to know. I want to interview SOMEONE who can honestly answer all my questions.
Speaking of questions, here are a bunch for YOU!
1.  What was your favorite part of this episode?  Least favorite?
2.  Did you find the episode confusing in any way?  Explain.
3.  How much of what you saw in this episode do you think was true?  How much do you believe was satire or parody?
4.  How did you like JUST the Sam and Dean portion of the show and the way they worked their way home?
5.  What did you think of the alternate universe Misha Collins?
6.  What do you think happened to the REAL Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki from this universe?
7.  What do you think happened between Gen and Sam up in that bedroom?
8.  What was the significance of the whole "But at least we're talkin" business?
9.  Your overall opinion of "The French Mistake?" Yea, nay or abstain?
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?

"The French Mistake" 06.15
Sofia's Review
Originally Published February 27, 2011

(Note from Alice:  Please welcome Sofia, who's sharing her latest Supernatural review on The Winchester Family Business!  She current writes for her own blog, Last Week On...)

This week's episode of Supernatural, "The French Mistake", was an entertaining look into an alternate world where Dean Winchester is Jensen Ackles and Sam is "something called a Jared Padalecki". Supernatural does a great job of creating stories that poke fun at the show and give the actors a chance to showcase their awesome comedic skills. We've seen episodes similar to this before; "Tall Tales", "Monster Movie" and "Changing Channels" to name a few. But these episodes function best when they also serve as a catalyst to the over-arching story of the season. 

In this case, "The French Mistake" brought to the surface the much talked about civil war in heaven. We've heard about it on and off from Cas but so far he's managed to keep the details to a minimum. Maybe we were a little preoccupied with soulless Sam for civil war talk but either way, it's about time we get to hear a little bit about what's going on up there. Except, we didn't really get much information at all. We know Balthazar used Sam and Dean as a decoy so that the weapons could be transferred to Castiel and we know that if Raphael gets his hands on them, something very bad is going to happen. But that's about all we got as far as the over-arching story goes. But for me there was a little more story than meet's the eye.

When I first saw the promo for "The French Mistake" I thought "oh, that looks funny, kind of like Changing Channels" but after watching the episode I see a much different comparison. To me, "The French Mistake" seemed reminiscent of the season two episode "What Is and What Should Never Be" which finds us at the end of season two. Dean has spent the majority of the past year trying to protect Sam from his "destiny" as one of Azazel's chosen children and he's at the end of his rope. He's ready to give up on hunting altogether.

Dean: "Screw the job. Screw it, man. I'm sick of the job anyway. I mean, we don't get paid, we don't get thanked. Only thing we get's bad luck."

Sam spends the year dealing with John's warning to Dean, resisting Azazel and fighting his inner demons.

"The French Mistake" finds the boys in a similar position; Dean has spent the season trying to save Sam from himself and find a way to safely restore his soul. He has lost Lisa and Ben, the only fraction of a normal life he's ever had. He's at the end of his rope once again.

Dean: "All we do is make a mess"
Sam: "That's not true, we do save lives now and again."
Dean: "I guess, I'm just tired of all the bad luck, you know?

Sam has come back from his year of soullessness and is trying to reconcile his broken relationships while fighting to keep his memories at bay and "the great wall of Sam" intact.

At this point in WIAWSNB Dean finds himself in an alternate reality (which he comes to find is not reality at all) where he has everything he wants most. His mother is alive, Sam is happily engaged to Jessica and in law school and his dad died peacefully in his sleep. Dean has a girlfriend and a regular job as a mechanic. Sure, he and Sam don't get along but he can fix things with Sam. He's a civilian and he couldn't be more happy about it. In TFM Sam and Dean are sent to an alternate reality where they are actors in the television show about their lives. Sam is happily married to his former co-star and both boys have all the money they could possibly need. But there is one striking difference between these two episodes, Dean is alone in this alternate reality. There is no Ben or Lisa in this world, there isn't a mention of any family at all. He and Sam aren't even brothers and apparently they don't get along here either.

In reality, Sam and Dean are each others only family and they would do anything for the other. They have both sacrificed their lives to save each other and would do it again if they had to. So, it's odd to think that in both these alternate worlds this relationship doesn't exist. If they were never Winchesters then their mother never died and they never went hunting. Even if they were brothers as they were in WIAWSNB, if Mary doesn't die, their relationship never forms.

In WIAWSNB Dean wants to stay in his djinn-induced coma even when he finds out the truth. Sam is happy and his family is together so he's willing to sacrifice his existing relationship with Sam and work on a new one. In TFM Dean questions whether Sam should go back to the real world.

Sam: "No, we'll find a way back."
Dean: "You wouldn't be that broken up if we didn't."
Sam: "What? Don't be stupid."
Dean: Well, I'm just saying, no hell below us, above us only sky.
Sam: "Dean, our friends are back there."
Dean: Yeah, but here you got a pretty good life. I mean back home the hits have been coming since you were six months old. You gotta admit being a bazillionaire, married to Ruby, the whole package. It's no contest.

It seems like Dean is willing once again to make a sacrifice for Sam's happiness. But Sam isn't interested in staying in this world.

Sam: "You know, you were right. We just don't mean the same thing here. We're not even brothers here, man."

Sam and Dean have come a long way since season two but it seems as though they continue to struggle with a lot of the same issues. Sam struggles with who he is and who he was destined to be. He resists the evil that forces its way into his life and continues to try to right his wrongs and alter his destiny. Dean continues to sacrifice everything for his brother and the family business. He's still willing to settle for second best if it means that Sam gets a shot at a better life. Despite their constant battles one thing remains the same, family is the most important thing they have and they will fight to protect it.

“The French Mistake” was a treat to watch. The episode brought the civil war in heaven back to the forefront and balanced humor and drama the way only Supernatural does. So what did you think of “The French Mistake”? Did you see similarities to any other episodes? There were a couple great moments in "The French Mistake" that I can't go without mentioning.

* Dean had some really great lines.
  "I'm a painted whore"
  "Dude, we're not even in America."
  "Dude looks like a lady."

* The picture of Sam on horseback was priceless. I almost couldn't pay attention to the scene because I was so distracted by it.

* Eric Kripke getting gunned down Godfather-style. 

This ends the first part of the reviews for "The French Mistake". In the next part we will hear from Bardicvoice and Ardeospina.

Do you remember your first impressions of "The French Mistake"? Now it's a classic, but what was your reaction when you first saw it?