I finally saw the episode last night after downloading on iTunes.  Awesome.  I'll be pondering my review and recap while in the car for 9 hours on the way home. 

In the meantime, I'm fortunate enough to have gotten Robin V's thoughts on "It's a Terrible Life" also, so here you go!  Thanks so much Robin for sharing!

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How could I not love an ep that starts with one of my favorite Kinks tunes, "A Well-Respected Man"? This AU Dean, however, doesn’t like classic rock, is a corporate drone for Sandover Bridge and Iron, eats SALAD, wears suits with SUSPENDERS and drinks a cleansing concoction to conquer his bloat!

Sam has the boring job of telling people to turn their computers off, then on, over and over, and there is a recurring scene of memos being replicated and pencils being sharpened. There are cubicles galore, with a sea of techs all wearing the same bright yellow shirt.

So, we have Dean SMITH and Sam WESSON, giving us a Smith & Wesson instead of Winchester, LOL.

There’s a shout-out to the Wincest-shippers with Dean thinking Sam is accosting him in the elevator: "Save it for the health club." And Dean, unnerved when Sam asks if he believes in ghosts, opines that he overshares, too! Sam, in clips from previous eps, dreams of killing things by Dean’s side.

Sam and pal Ian have "Dick-Wizard" instead of "Bitch-Jerk." Sam tells him he dreamed of saving a reaper named Tessa from a demon, eliciting a Harry Potter taunt from Ian!

Employees, first Paul, then poor Ian, are called to the dreaded HR, and when they return, they are perfect employees, fearful of making mistakes. Poor Paul loses all the work he had on his computer and microwaves himself to death! Ian, called up to Dean’s office to discuss a tiny mistake, races into the bathroom, muttering about failing the company. There, Dean actually sees a ghost, soap spews from the spouts, and Ian fatally stabs himself in the carotid with a pencil (ironic, since he was stealing company pencils).

At this point, Dean and Sam, who, oddly, both started working at the company three weeks ago, realize there is a serious problem here, and begin working together, taking childish delight in their successes. Sam, who has hacked into their e-mail, explains that both dead employees were called to room 1444—yet HR is on the 7th floor. They’re DYING to check out this room.

Another man, summoned to 1444 enters and finds himself locked in, his breath showing cold as dead computers screens flare to life around him.

Sam and Dean, approaching the room, hear him scream. Dean is very impressed when Sam kicks in the door, and Sam is equally impressed when an electric-fingered ghost appears and Dean dispatches him with an iron wrench.

The boys meet at Dean’s very fancy apartment, where he has no beer, but gives Sam water. Sam feels this is something he SHOULD be doing, it’s in his blood. (heh heh) Dean doesn’t believe in destiny, like Sam does, but what’s in front of them, and he loves doing research—"Sammy." Sam shivers upon being called that and asks Dean to refrain.

They go to the GHOSTFACERS web site and learn that P. T. Sandover, the company’s founder, tends to haunt and urge employees to commit suicide during poor economic times—1444 was the old man’s office. Hilariously, calling the Winchester douchebags and ass-suckers, the Ghostfacers explain that salt, iron, and a gun with salt-filled shells are tools of the trade. They need to dig up and burn the remains of the ghost, and if there has been a cremation, need to find the hair or teeth left behind and burn that, too. Dean and Sam have no idea how they’re going to get hold of a gun!

While searching 1444, Sam is caught by a security guard. As he’s escorting him down in the elevator, it gets stuck between floors.

Knowing the ghost is behind this, Sam refuses to follow the guard out, which turns out to be wise—the elevator abruptly rises and the guard is decapitated, spewing blood all over Sam’s face and shirt. When Dean called him on the walkie talkie, Sam, grossed-out, can only say, "Call you back!"

Sam meets Dean on the 22nd flood, where Sandover’s gloves sit in a glass case. Obviously, there’s some of the old man’s DNA in those, says Dean proudly. Before they can take action, the ghost appears and sends them flying. The fight that ensues is lively, as the boys whack Sandover with iron fireplace pokers, but he corners Dean, about to put the electric-finger-whammy on him. Sam quickly sets fire to the gloves and the ghost burns up with them.

The boys agree that was amazing and fun, but when Sam says he wants to keep doing this, Dean says that quitting their jobs, hitting the road, living on stolen credit cards with no health insurance is a terrible idea. Sam confesses to him that, in his dreams, they’re hunters, working together, friends, maybe even brothers—this isn’t their lives, who they’re supposed to be! My parents are Bob and Ellen, my sister is Jo, insists Dean. I was engaged to Madison, says Sam, but when I call her number, I get an animal hospital. (oh, now that’s just mean!) Are you telling me these are fake memories? Demands Dean. We’re supposed to be something else, says Sam, I know you! You DON’T know me, cries Dean—GO!

Sam, dejected, leaves.

Sam, sitting in his cubicle, taking yet another phone call, stands and demolishes his phone, smashing it to piece. "I quit," he says quietly.

Dean’s boss enters his office and tells him he’s pleased with him. He’ll get a big bonus for CARVING his own way, but it will take seven day weeks and 8-10 years to accomplish it. Dean resigns—I have important work to do, he says—this isn’t who I’m supposed to be. "Dean, Dean, Dean, welcome back," says his boss, and touches his forehead." The bright room suddenly darkened. "I’m STARVING!" declares Dean.

Dean’s boss is actually Zachariah, another angel, Castiel’s superior! He came down into a meat suit after Uriel’s defection and staged this little play to show Dean how good he really has it. You’re a hunter, what you’re destined to be. You’ll save the world, drive a classic car, fornicate with women—there are fates worse than yours. Are you ready to stand up—be who you really are?"

It was so good to see Sam and Dean working together again, wasn’t it?

Even if they were cool toward each other at first, they jumped into hunting eagerly, and that RIGHT! was so funny! Dean eating healthy just didn’t seem right, and driving a Prius? Noooooooo! I guess they wanted to show him a total opposite of himself, so he’d hate the person he might have become. Yet I can’t see Dean, even brought up normally, turning out like this Dean, can you?

Weird how Dean assumed Sam was after him for sex. Twice! That had to be a shout-out to Wincest fans.

Sam would NEVER become a computer techie. It would drive him mad. A lawyer, yes, even a doctor. He needs a lot of stuff to occupy his mind, and help people. He would want to go to college for a lot of years, too.

I find it hard to believe that this angel’s wheedling will pull Dean out of his funk of push him to action. He doesn’t have much faith, fear or love for the angels. Hell, he threatened to stab this angel’s face, didn’t he?

There was a LOT of meta stuff here, so much I’m sure I missed some. I read that someone said you could hear the rumbling of the Impala outside Dean’s apartment? I didn’t catch that one.

I loved the Ghostfacers here because they weren’t in it that much and they were genuinely funny. Their putdowns of the Winchesters were hilarious, especially since Sam and Dean had no idea who they were talking about.

While this was a light-hearted ep, it was also another effort on the angels’ part to convince Dean to get in there and stop the seals from being broken. What if killing Sam is the only way to stop it? What would Dean do then?

 

Comments  

Teller
# Teller 2009-03-29 01:37
PLEASE, Kripke do NOT make Dean have to kill Sam. Even if Dean did it (which I can't imagine him doing) it would destroy him and he would be broken and sad and un-fixable and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHH! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Alice
# Alice 2009-03-31 20:43
You know, I've always hated "A Well Respected Man" but it was perfect here! I couldn't think of a better theme song for "bizarro" Dean.

I also love how you noticed the shout out to Wincest. That Sera Gamble does love poking sticks at the fandom!

When I go back and do the full recap tomorrow or Thursday, I'll check to see if I hear that roar of the Impala. I missed that.

Thank you so much for your dead on summary and review. I'm so glad you were willing to share this. Well done!
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2009-04-01 01:16
You know, since you mentioned the "roar" of the Impala, I went back and you can actually here it twice. GRIN