Episode Report Card
Demian: A+ | 6 USERS: A+
The Last Temptation Of The Hardy Boys

In any event, this last bit of gruesomeness of course finally elicits an audibly disgusted grunt from Sam, and The Frigging Genie flashes his neon-blue eyes in the direction of the sound before creeping over to investigate. Dean's already dragged Sam elsewhere -- beneath the stairs, as it turns out -- so they remain hidden as The Frigging Genie slowly climbs to the second floor, where he slams a door behind himself. You should probably bear in mind that the slamming door sounds an awful lot like thunder. Just a suggestion. Anyway, Sam starts panting out something placating in Dean's direction regarding his own earlier disbelief, but Dean blows past all of that to arrive at the brilliant realization that because The Woozy Woman In Filthy And Bloodstained White clearly has no idea where she really is, it must mean that The Frigging Genie is just playing around inside her mind. Sam, increasingly frantic, begs Dean to flee the warehouse, but Dean -- caught up in his own increasingly horrifying realization and buffeted by visions of himself suspended from the ceiling with a blood bag hooked up to his neck -- simply gasps, "What if I'm like her? What if all this is in my head?" Before we get the answer to that, however, Sam, Dean, The Woozy Woman In Filthy And Bloodstained White, the decaying skeletons from Dean's closet, and the panicky expression on Dean's face get swallowed whole by the METAL TEETH CHOMP!.

With anxious Sam babbling along behind him, Dean carefully approaches The Woozy Woman In Filthy And Bloodstained White and reasons, "Maybe he gives us some kind of supernatural acid, and then just feeds on us slow." "What if that's why she keeps appearing to me?" he continues. "More and more, I'm catching flashes of reality, like I'm in here somewhere, and I'm catatonic, and I'm taking all this stuff in, but I can't snap out of it?" You know how I suggested you bear in mind that the warehouse's slamming door sounded an awful lot like thunder? It's because Dean is right, and the thunder that kept rumbling above during the earlier scenes was actually The Frigging Genie slamming a door. And I didn't even notice that until I hit the last scene while writing the recap. Well played, Supernatural. In any event, Sam attempts to drag Dean physically from the warehouse, but Dean suddenly and violently resists. He's convinced this Sam is no more than an illusion concocted by The Frigging Genie, and to prove it, he's ready to drive that knife soaked in lamb's blood into his own stomach. "An old wives' tale," Dean calmly explains. "If you're about to die in a dream, you wake up." Sam babbles some more, but Dean's unwavering in his resolve until, of course, this fantasy Sam screams, "Wait!" just as Mary emerges from the shadows, wearing the same beatific smile and White Nightgown Of Doom she had the last time Dean saw her alive. "Why'd you have to keep digging?" Fantasy Sam asks, a bit sorrowfully, as Carmen steps into place behind him. "Why couldn't you have left well enough alone?" Fantasy Sam continues. Jessica, too, joins them, and Fantasy Sam gently argues, "You were happy." Dean counters, of course, that none of it was real, and therefore none of it had any actual meaning, or something, and I'm sorry, but if I start picking this scene apart line by line, it's going to seem approximately sixty-eight thousand times cheesier than it actually was, and as that would be a disservice to all of the performers involved -- especially the two leads, one of whom is positively heartbreaking during this sequence, and it's not Jensen Ackles -- let's cut to the chase. If Dean stops questioning things and pushes from his mind the fact that he'll be dead in a matter of days in the real world, he can have years -- decades, actually -- of happiness in this one. Caressing his cheek again, his mother croons, "Get some rest," echoing the plea The Frigging Genie's placed in every single person's mouth throughout this fantasy tonight, and thereby revealing what Dean's truest wish has been -- if not throughout the series, then at least throughout this season. By the way, and apropos of everything, it was in this scene that I finally realized how closely Carmen resembles The Reaper who came for Dean in the season premiere. Also? It now makes perfect sense for his bastard of a so-called father to be just as dead in this reality as he is in the other. That "well played" I offered for the thunder? You should multiply that by fifteen, at least, for everything they just toyed with and revealed during this one scene, which tied together Dean's entire arc throughout the second season and made this season look far better in retrospect than it initially appeared as it was playing out. Outstanding.

That said, we all know what Dean's going to do, because this sort of wish-fulfillment storyline's has appeared in everything from It's A Wonderful Life to The Last Temptation Of Christ to goddamned Xena, Warrior Princess, as well as everywhere else before, in between, and to come ["But was in fact invented by Joss Whedon, I'm not sure if you knew that." -- Joe R], so long story short, Dean whispers, "I'm sorry" to the assembled apparitions, and plunges the knife into his stomach.

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