Ah, the polarizing stand alone episode. You know, going through this one in detail, I did come up with some nitpicks I hadn’t noticed before. I still loved it though. So let’s get started.

First, there’s no “Now” segment, which instantly tells us this episode runs long. I have no objections whatsoever. The past couple episodes have been kind of short. It starts right away with the Monster of the Week teaser, so I'll skim through this since it’s basically a young dude turning old and dying. However, it does open with some amusement. The wife is sitting on the couch reading The Weekly World News. How cool to see that come back to the show, especially since it’s no longer being published for real. She's smiling over what she's reading and the cover says "Leading Psychics Agree: The Apocalypse Is Here! Experts Confirm the End is Upon Us!" There’s also a few citizens there in a small town in Colorado that will back up those experts too. It's great to see the apocalypse get a laugh.

Anyway, husband rushes in, goes into the bathroom, ages quickly and dies from old age. Wife puts down her Weekly World News, finds him and screams. There's our teaser. Enjoy the title card this week, because when you see the one in the next episode, you're gonna die.
Sam and Dean are the CDC this week. The lady doesn't believe they are CDC. Why? Because they're being way too prompt. As she puts it, "It’s just that you’re a day early. First time in history I haven’t sat my ass waiting for you people." Dean has a clever recovery for that. “A new administration. A change you can believe in.” It can't be a Sera Gamble script without one political jab. Good one! The lady doesn't buy it and shows them the body. Out rolls an old man. The kicker, he was born on April 3, 1984. I don't know but I've seen some people born in 84 look worse. She checked the DNA twice. It's him, but he died of old age. She has no theories.

Sam and Dean leave and Dean calls Bobby. It's a job alright. There’s a couple other missing persons, but no other dead bodies. Bobby tells them to check it out. Dean stops to ask how he is doing. “Well, I’m just weeping in my Haagen Dazs idgit.” Then he hangs up. That's code for either Bobby's being his usual cranky old self, or he's so not doing okay. I vote for the latter, but more to come on that.

Sam and Dean talk to an older woman whose husband is missing. He works late on Tuesdays, but he didn't come home this time. Sam looks at the picture of an old man and notices the "USMC" tattoo on his forearm. I noticed the bad photoshop of an old guy on a golf course. I look better on a course, and I’m the world’s worse golfer. My son is good though, so I golf in hopes that he gets better and becomes my retirement plan. Dean excuses himself with the old "facilities" excuse, which we know is code for snoop around. That leaves Sam to talk to the old lady. You ever wonder what one brother does while the other snoops around? I'm just going to recap what Sam is likely doing. The woman talks lovingly about the years with her husband and Sam sympathetically listens. There, wondering over. Oh, during that time Dean finds a receipt to a whorehouse.

Sam and Dean arrive at the “Golden Palace” and Sam says the guy gets the same room every Tuesday at hourly rates. “I hope I get that kind of kick when I’m his age,” says Dean. Sam scoffs. "Yeah, like either of us will live that long.” Dean agrees. Okay, I'm stopping here for a bit of commentary. Sam's comment is not surprising, I know. I still find it sad though. A lot has changed since "Criss Angel Is A Douchebag," but at least there Sam had some hope of living until he was old. Now he's given up on that. It's him being "practical." I like the idea that Sam still clung onto hope like that. The fact he's on the same page with Dean loses a bit of that unique Sam spirit for me. It's minor though so I'm done fussing over it.

Sam asks what Dean thinks is in there. "A wrinkly gooey corpse.” Suddenly, a man is yelling for mercy on the other side of the door. They barge in and there's a young, great looking guy being serviced by two women. "It's gooey," Sam says. Whoa, did that just come from Sam Winchester's mouth? That is such a Dean line. Way to mix it up there Sera!

The girls scamper off and Dean apologizes. They go to leave and then Sam notices the same "USMC" tattoo on the young man's arm. He asks him if he's heard of the missing man and starts searching around. The man pleads ignorance. He's ignorant alright. Sam finds that he has the man's wallet and Dean is brave enough to check under the sheets for a birthmark his wife said he has. All there. “Well, you look great Cliff,” Dean says sarcastically. “Did you get some work done?” The man asks the girls to leave. Dean smiles and winks at the shocked women before going back to scowling at Cliff. I do so love his quick change of expressions. In this case, Jensen is likely happy since he gets most of this episode off.


Cliff pays off the girls and then begs Sam and Dean not to tell his wife. As far as she's concerned, he's dead. Dean wants to know how he can possibly be Cliff Widlow. He can’t tell them. Dean threatens to tell the Mrs. “It was a game.” “Like Xbox?” Sam asks. “What’s Xbox?” Cliff says. Hee! If he’s going to be young, he’s got a ton of catching up to do. No, the game is poker. High stakes. Instead of cash, he plays for years. The guy came up to him in a bar and invited him to play. He gives him 25 weirdo chips, chants some “humbo mumbo” over them. Cliff laughed until he came out up.

Sam wants to know what he was chanting. The dude doesn’t know and doesn’t care for his bad hip is good, he threw away his glasses and one of the girls was there for free. He calls the man a miracle worker. The mystery man is around 35, brown hair, Irish accent, and the name is Patrick. Yes, that’s a good Irish name. He keeps moving and doesn’t say in one bar long. Dean thanks him and then has parting words. “Stay classy.”

Sam and Dean are walking on the street now and Dean is on the phone to Bobby. “It sounds crazy, right?” Um, Dean, how much weird shit have you seen in your life? You’re entire existence sounds crazy. Bobby mentions there’s lore on it that goes back centuries. Traveling card player comes into town and if you win you get your best years back. Of course most folks lose. This guy has a lot of years in the bank. Bobby asks if they’ve found the bar he’s at yet. “There’s a lot of dives in this town,” Dean says. Where are they, Newark? I know, that joke’s been overdone lately. “Then why are you talking to me?” Bobby hangs up, pauses, and then grabs his keys. Ruh-roh!


Dean walks into a bar and is on the phone with Sam. Neither have found what they're looking for. Dean tells Sam it’s his turn to get dinner. Yep, Dean wants extra bacon. You know, this isn't a gripe, but have there been ANY times where Dean has gotten dinner? Don't count when they were kids in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" either. I guess the two disasters that happened when Sam was fetching food in "Born Under A Bad Sign" and "All Hell Breaks Loose Part I" have long passed over. The running gag continues.

Dean pulls the usual "Benjamin Franklin" bit on the bartender and I'm sniggering because I saw that episode of The Office the other day when Jim and Pam tried to convince Dwight that the Ben Franklin impersonator in the conference room was the real Ben Franklin. What’s really funny is how it worked. I guess the bartender knows what the other real Ben Franklin is for he starts talking. The game is around back.

Dean walks there and surprise! Bobby comes out. Dean’s shocked that Bobby found the game first. “Brains trumps legs apparently.” Dean asks about the game and notices pretty quick Bobby isn’t talking. Yep, he played and he lost. Well if he had won this would have been a really short episode. I love how Dean jumps into lecturing mode. Lecturing? He’s pissed. Bobby doesn’t appreciate his tone. Then Dean even calls him an idiot! He is mad. Bobby says they’re his years and he can do what he wants with them. Dean wants to know how many years Bobby lost. 25. Then he starts aging a bit. A livid Dean tells him they’re not done and goes into the game. Oh Dean, careful, going in there half cocked is what got Bobby in trouble.

A very good looking man with an Irish accent is in a bar talking to an older man. He’s with a nice looking younger lady and it’s obvious he’s trying to be taken into playing. Dean interrupts and discretely shows the gun in his belt as motivation. Patrick plays along and excuses himself. They talk at a distant table and Dean apologizes for cutting short Patrick’s conversation with “Mr. and Mrs. Easy Marks” over there. Oh Dean, overconfidence is your weakness! That and Sam, but we won’t go there. Patrick says it wasn’t a total loss and flashes a watch he lifted.

Dean pulls the gun under the table. Patrick tries to guess what this is about. “Look, I don’t know what it is you think I did to your wife, girlfriend, mother or sister, but I just want to let you know my feelings were real.” Gotta love the 900 year old con man. “That ain’t my problem Manwitch.” You’ll notice Dean is handing out pet names left and right this episode. He tells Patrick he owes his friend some years. Patrick is sorry, but he lost, them’s the breaks. You know, he may be a charlatan, but he does have a point. It’s not like he puts guns to these people’s heads. He preys on desperation. Dean cocks the gun and Patrick tells him to go ahead and shoot him if it makes him feel better. He could use a good tickle. So, this guy can’t be killed easily.

I’ll point out now I really like Patrick, and not because he has that oh so hot accent. He’s smart and fun. The gist is, if Dean wants years, he’s going to have to play for them. Bobby says no, so now Dean pulls the “They’re my years and I do what I want,” crap. Man, will these guys stop trying to out stubborn one another? On second thought, wait until older Dean goes away. The scenes they have together are funny! Bobby starts coughing and looking rather old, so Patrick rubs it in my offering a lozenge. “It’s barely linted.” Ooh, I see what he’s doing. Trying to get Dean mad so he’ll play in a tizzy and out of his head space. Dean is eager to do this. Patrick warns him of the terms. Dean accepts without fear.

Out come the chips and they’re in a different place. They must have gone downstairs. Starting bet is 25 years. Dean asks for 50. Patrick does so with pleasure, while one ragged looking old Bobby watches. Patrick does some Gaelic mojo on the chips and they go all funny. Also, Patrick has this annoying toothpick habit. He’d be a trite sexier if he didn’t have that, but I guess a poker player needs a prop. Dean pulls out 25 chips and says they go to Bobby. Bobby doesn’t like it but like Dean’s going to back down. Patrick asks if he’s sure. Duh, do you see the look on his face?

Patrick throws out his hand, does another Gaelic spell, and the chips burst into flames. Everyone watches them burn for a few seconds like it’s an awesome campfire and then Patrick puts it out. The ashes fly away and Bobby is restored. Patrick rubs it in that Dean has just “pissed away” 25 years and that he better win them back. Dean isn’t worried and is all gung ho. Patrick smiles and proclaims this will be fun. For him anyway. He has Dean exactly where he wants him. We’re 15 minutes into the episode, so you know this isn’t going to go well.

Enter Sam, who dutifully has the food. “Hey Dean, did you find anything?” Um, you could say that. Actually, that’s what Dean says. Old man Dean, who’s now Chad Everett! He comes out in a robe, and sorry, but when did younger Dean ever wear a robe? I’m not saying older Dean shouldn’t, I’m saying younger Dean should! Sam freaks out and pulls out a gun. “Who the Hell are you?” “Dude, relax, it’s me.” Sam gets it and now Dean has to explain himself. “Hi,” he sheepishly says. Yeah, that explains a lot.

Also, we’re at 16 minutes. Keep this in mind, for we don’t see Jensen again until 46 minutes into the episode. Why am I telling you to keep that in mind? I’m sure everyone noticed. I’m not complaining, but I’m using that to assist all those that track screen time minutes.

Sam, rightfully so, wants to know what the Hell happened. Isn’t that obvious? He found the game. “I thought you said you were good at poker,” Sam asks. Dean says a lot of things Sam. “I am, shut up.” Older Dean then asks if Sam was just going to shoot an old guy. “I don’t know what you were. I mean have you seen you? You look like,” Older Dean tries to finish the sentence. “The old chick in Titantic, I know, shut up.” “I was going to say Emperor Palpatine.” Hee! Star Wars humor. You really are a dork Sam.


Bobby comes in. “I see you’ve met John McCain there.” Wow, tons of old guy humor. Sam still wants to know what happened. Oh, this gets good. Older Dean starts. “Bobby’s an idiot, that’s what happened.” “Nobody asked you to play,” Bobby says. “Right I should have just let you die,” Older Dean counters. “And for damned sure nobody asked you to lose!” Bobby gripes. Sam gets the most adorable smile on his face. “It’s like Grumpy Old Men.” “Shut up Sam!” Older Dean and Bobby say in unison. How many Sera Gamble scripts have used “shut up Sam”? I’m thinking this is at least the third. Probably more. No matter, it always works.

Dean, now in full-on old guy mode, gripes more. He asks Bobby what the hell he was thinking. The guy was a witch. “He’s been playing poker since guys wore tights.” Bobby doesn’t think older Dean gets it. He does though. “You saw a chance to turn back the clock and get out of that damn chair. Pretty tempting. I can imagine-” Bobby jumps in, tells him he can’t. “You got me, I’ve never been paralyzed. But I’ll tell you something. I’ve been to Hell and there’s an archangel there wanting me to drop the soap.” You know, I’m with him, Hell trumps paralysis.

Dean, being the crotchety old fart he is, won’t stop. “Look at me. My junk’s rustier than yours. You hear me bellyaching, huh?” Sam says he actually is. Older Dean gets an uncomfortable look and groans. He sits in the chair and says he’s having a heart attack. Sam looks worried, Bobby rolls his eyes. “No you’re not.” “What is it?” Older Dean asks. “Acid reflux,” Bobby says. Dean’s learning the hard way, old guys can’t take bacon cheeseburgers very well. He mopes big time.

Bobby gets to the point. He asks older Dean if he wants to keep “emoting” or if they talk about his issue. Bobby theorizes it’s the chips. Dean recalls he slid the chips, Patrick did the magic number and Bobby turned “pretty” in a hurry. So the theory is the chips are magic. Bobby remembers every word he chanted. So they need to steal some chips. Dean wants to “Benjamin Button” himself back to burger shape. More acid reflux. Bobby thinks he should get some clothes on.

I said this in the review, but cool and sexy when done in the exact way by an 80 year old man becomes sad and pathetic. Case in point, older Dean answering the door. It’s the hot looking maid. He gets all flirty. The maid gives a cute little laugh. “You’re just like my grandfather. He hits on anything that moves too.” She calls him adorable. “And dangerous.” “Aww,” she says and laughs. Oh Dean, your ego is in for a bashing, isn’t it? Sam thinks it’s funny. So does Bobby. Dean just wants to go.

It’s a street scene and our three heroes are in a van! As in Bobby’s custom made handicapped van. I’m thrilled he’s adapting and that van is cool, but I already miss the Chevelle. I still want to paint it BTW Kripke! He’s driving, Dean’s in passenger seat, and Sam is in the middle. How much do you want to bet Sam’s on his knees? They watch Patrick, who walks out in the middle of the street in front of one fancy sports car. It hits him. Patrick plays hurt, waits until the guys goes for help, and then gets in the car and drives away. Dean smiles and admits he likes the guy. Also, some cool jazz piece is playing while all this is happening. You know, aside from cinema appreciation in college, I had jazz appreciation. That was my second favorite class. No, that’s not an answer for an interview question either. It’s an improvised piece, but other than that, that’s all I remember from that class to contribute to the analysis.

They follow the car to some high rise apartments, or a hotel, I can’t tell which. It’s called “The Statesborough.” They see Patrick leave. They go inside, the elevator is out. That leaves Bobby out. Yeah, I’m sure this guy has the penthouse suite. Sam runs up the stairs and Dean follows slowly behind. As he works his way up the stairs, Sam points out at the top that they’re only on the second floor. Come on Sammy, have some respect for the elderly. I can’t believe Dean is doing this at all. Eventually Sam emerges on the proper floor a little winded. A few seconds later Dean comes out and he looks like he’s ready to fall over and die. I’m shocked he hasn’t already. Considering the room number is 3701, that’s 37 floors (or 36 if they skipped the 13th floor). How is he still alive? He’s in remarkable shape for 80. I don’t know many people even my age and younger that can make that climb.

Sam picks the lock and they go into the room. The décor is uh, old witch European. Dean finds a safe behind a board in the armoire. He calls it a “dime store model” and goes to open it. Except he can’t see the numbers. Sam pushes him aside. “It’s like Mission Pathetic. Watch out.” What do you have against old people Sam? Nah, Dean would have done the same in reverse. Sam opens the safe easily and they pull out the chips. Suddenly a woman catches them. It’s the woman in the bar. She holds out her hand and starts doing some witchy mojo torture on both the brothers. Patrick all of a sudden shows up and tells her it’s alright, they’re harmless. Um, yeah. Harmless.

Patrick tells them to take the chips. “They’re just chips, Einsteins, it’s showmanship. This may come as a shock but the magic does not lie in a pile of crappy plywood. Or in any phony abracadabra. It’s in the 900 year old witch.” Wow, he doesn’t look a day over 810. He tells them to score their years the old fashioned way, with Texas Hold ‘Em. I thought the old fashioned way was Blackjack. What do I know? Older Dean is ready to take him on again, but Patrick holds up the 8 of hearts. He asks older Dean to tell him what card he’s holding. Right, Dean can’t read it. Patrick points out if his eyesight is that bad, what about his memory? He’s not a murderer. Liar!

He’s interested in Sam though. Dean objects, and Patrick wonders if Sam isn’t much of a player. Apparently he likes to let Dean think so. Patrick sends Dean off, wishing him to enjoy the twilight of his life, but should have taken better care of his ticker. Like he thought he’d live this long! I’m sorry, but if I knew the end was coming, bacon cheeseburgers and beer galore! Patrick tells them they’re free to go, but he isn’t done messing with them. Oh those temperamental Irish. Dean’s situation is punishment enough, but he can’t let Sam leave without a small parting gift. He claps three times. Sam asks what he’s doing, but he’ll find out. Real soon. They’re leaving downstairs and his crotch starts itching. A lot. Like doing a pee pee dance a lot. Yep, he just gave Sam the clap. That’s just mean! Isn’t it more fun to catch that while getting some? He could have at least gotten Sam laid. Older Dean thinks it’s funny. Well yeah, Sam still has gotten the better end of the deal.


They’re leaving the motel and Bobby is left to struggle up a steep drive in his chair. “A little help here?” Sam jumps right in and pushes him along. A handicapped guy, and old guy, and a guy with the clap. There has to be a dirty bar joke there somewhere. Sam wants to play. Dean says he’s not good enough. Oh Dean, do you know this from personal experience? I’m really wondering what happened in their lifetime that had him come to that conclusion. Sam isn’t happy. “So what, I don’t get a say in this anymore?” Don’t be unreasonable Sam. You never had a say.

“Sammy, when you get to be our age-“ “You’re thirty Dean.” Hee, Dean must be old, for he’s already forgotten. Sam has watched Dean hustle cards plenty of time. He knows the object is to not play the cards but to play the other guy. Bobby gives him a “hooray for you.” He’s watched this guy and can take him. He wants to play again. You know, there’s a ton of Bobby and Dean not listening to anyone in this episode. Are they really that stubborn?

Dean doesn’t like the idea for Bobby doesn’t have enough years in the bank. Sam mentions he’ll die if he loses. “So what if I do? What exactly am I living for, huh? The damned apocalypse? Watching men die bloody while I sit in this chair, can’t take a step to help ‘em?” Dean tries to jump in an object, but Bobby cuts him off. You see, NOT LISTENING!!! “No, no, it’s the facts. I’m old, and I’m broke down, and I (crack in his voice)…I ain’t a hunter no more. I’m useless. And if I wasn’t such a coward, I’d have stuck a gun in my mouth the day I got home from the hospital.”

You mean to tell me none of them have had this talk yet? I assume Sam and Dean have been too pre-occupied with this whole being vessels for the freaking end of the world showdown. Really, they’ve got it all pretty shitty right now. Older Dean looks positively heartbroken, and that’s the exact expression I’d expect Jensen to use! You have to give Chad Everett major kudos for picking up on all these Dean faces and mannerisms so perfectly. Sam gets his say now. “Bobby, you are not playing again. I’m not letting you do that. There’s another way out of this, there’s got to be. And I’m going to find it.”

Dean and Bobby are back at the motel room, so Sam must be out finding that other way out of this. The girlfriend/spouse/companion whatever you want to call her of Patrick (I believe it’s Lia) is there. She’s offering up a powerful reversal spell, one that will reverse everything Patrick has done. For the people alive anyway. Bobby points out that will reverse everything, including her man. It’ll change her too. She knows and says she looks good for her age. Bobby is skeptical. The woman has her reasons, and holds onto a big locket around her neck. That’s code for “we’ll find out later.” They leave town tomorrow, so they don’t have much time.

Now back to Patrick is playing an older guy who has a losing hand. But Patrick surprises us by folding and letting the old guy have his 13 years by suggesting they call it a day. Old man doesn’t argue. Then Patrick starts talking to someone behind the old man, letting that person know the man is going to live old enough to see his granddaughter’s Bar Mitzvah. It’s Sam! I’ve read some theories on whether Patrick was actually showing mercy here or if he was putting a show on for Sam. I think he was being nice. Considering Cliff won earlier, something tells me Patrick has a soft spot for the desperately old. Then again, he could be pure evil. Ambiguous characters are so like that.

Sam looks at Patrick skeptically. He isn’t convinced he did that out of the goodness of his heart. He even says so. Patrick claims he’s a nice guy, then does the “what can I do you for” line. I’ve never liked that saying, despite its clever connotations. I’m going to pay careful attention to Sam’s expressions during his entire time playing with Patrick, for everything he does from beginning to end is quite calculated. It’s quite brilliant too. Sam takes a seat at the table with this whole apprehensive “I don’t like this but I have no choice” expression. He’s already doing the polar opposite of Dean’s overconfidence. “Deal.” Patrick smiles, for he has another desperate sucker.

It’s a graveyard! We haven’t seen one of those in a while. Bobby and older Dean are there and poor old man Dean is being forced to dig a grave. Does anyone remember that this dude is 80? Most 80 year olds can’t get out of bed let alone dig into hard earth. Dean, rightfully so, is griping like mad. He questions if the plan will even work. “We don’t know. Now less flapping and more digging.” Geez Bobby, wait until you’re 80. Dean keeps complaining. His elbows hurt, he’s all creeky. “Hurry up you cry baby.” “Pound it up your ass Ironsides.” Hee, Bobby did have that one coming and I like that nickname. “One little grave,” Bobby chastises. Dean challenges him to do it. “Fine, I’ll hop right in.” “At least your legs are numb,” Dean counters. “Shut up and dig grandma.” Wow, this is Grumpy Old Men. These two are so damned funny together! I wonder if Chad Everett and Jim Beaver ever worked together before.

Older Dean keeps complaining, now it’s his back. Bobby wants to know if he can straighten up. “Yeah, but a little sympathy wouldn’t hurt.” “Butt cheek tingling?” “Well that’s getting personal.” Dean, Bobby saw your clawed up guts from the insides out. This guy can take personal. Bobby takes older Dean’s snide comment as confirmation. “It’s sciatica. You’ll live.” Oh, you don’t have to be old to have that! I had a real bad case of that ten years ago and then got on a plane to England for 8 hours. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Then it bothered me while I walked around London for two days. I’m better now though. Anyway, older Dean says that killing Bobby is officially on his list. Hey, sciatica makes you grouchy. Older Dean is in the right here.

Back to Patrick and Sam, and it’s time for Patrick to do that whole psychoanalysis thing. Watch out Patrick, Sam is NOT an easy read. Trust us fans, we’ve tried! Patrick likes him, figures out he’s smart and his heart’s clearly in the right place. He can tell a lot about a guy just by looking at him. Sam shows interest, asking Patrick if he’s psychic. “No, that would be cheating. I’m talking about good old fashion intuition.” Sam brushes that off and just wants to play. Patrick insists that they are, and then wonders if his big brother knows he’s there. Sam gets all bothered and ignores the question by betting 5. Ah, the whole avoiding the question thing. Sam is a master at that!



Patrick raises and goes for the same taunting that just about every single demon on this show has done to Sam. No wonder he’s immune to it by now. He gets it all the freaking time. “Here you are, right. Trying to clean up their mess. They still want to sit you at the kiddie table.” Sam says nothing and does that quiet sulking face he’s always done with Dean while he takes it all in. Interesting how when watching this we think it’s the same old Sam when really he’s using it as part of the game. We think. “You’re not the little brother anymore Sam. Then again, maybe you are.” Sam sulks more. “You’re in over your head here Sam.” No Patrick, that’s just what Sam wants you to believe. “I mean, you can keep making these moves, you know, playing it cautious, playing the percentages, but I’m still going to kick your ass into the nursing home.”

“Does this armchair psychology routine usually work for you?” Sam asks, because he hates monologuing yet gets it all the time anyway. “You tell me, you’re the one who’s losing.” They keep playing. Lia comes in, kisses Patrick, Sam stares at the toothpick and Patrick declares a break. Man, a lot of tiny plot points to cover in this one. Sam goes outside and meets up with Dean, who asks how it’s going in there. “How do you think it’s going?” An upset Sam asks. You see, this is where I’m not sure Sam is still doing his act or if he’s truly bothered. A riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a taco indeed. I think he’s mad that he’s involved in this hare brained plan instead of trying to win the game on his own. Sam hands Dean the toothpick for “he-witch” DNA and tells Dean to hurry up. “Sammy, don’t lose” older Dean says with huge concern, the exact concern I’d expect younger Dean to use. Sam gives him a bitch face and goes back. I want to see and older version of Sam doing that bitch face.

Dean goes back to the van but feels that sharp pain in his left arm. You know, the kind of pain that happens to old guys before they have a heart attack. Sam and Patrick resume the game. Bobby chants the spell in the van and Dean throws the toothpick into the burning caldron. You see, it’s cool that Bobby has a nice big van he can do this in now. There are perks to this new lifestyle thing. They wait a second and Dean smiles. “Well, how to do look?” Old. It didn’t work.

Back to Sam, who’s so busted now. Patrick pulls out a toothpick and asks “Is this what you meant to give your big brother?” Sam turns a little pale. The one he gave Dean never passed Patrick’s lips. This is where Patrick shows his ill tolerance of cheating. How nice, a scheming card player with respect for the rules. He holds out his hand and starts choking Sam Darth Vader style. As we’ve known for a while now, Jared has this choking thing down pat. No one even needs to touch him anymore.

Patrick is about to do Sam in when Lia jumps in and tells him to let Sam go. Patrick justifies it since he tried to kill them, but Lia insists she’s the one that gave Sam the spell. Patrick stops and Sam gasps for air. Patrick is stunned and caresses her with disbelief. “Why?” “You know why,” she says. She holds the locket again. Patrick takes this with some devastation and then goes back to Sam. “Keep playing.” Sam looks scared shitless, and I’m not sure if he really is or not.

Okay, I’m going to be jumping around a lot from here. This is a short attention span script. Bobby and Dean are trying to figure out what went wrong. They realize the faulty item was the toothpick. Now Dean must get the DNA. Dean sarcastically harps “Oh goodie, more stairs.” Back to the cards and Sam looks worried. Back to Dean who’s in the apartment and he can’t find anything. Back to Sam who’s squirmy and a bit jumpy and bets a nice stack of chips. Patrick goes through his analysis over Sam’s hastiness. He must have a great hand, but his eager behavior has robbed him a chance to win big. He folds and guesses Sam had a pair of ladies, which are Queens, right?

Sam takes the pile of chips and shows his cards. A three and five, which is nothing. He was bluffing. Patrick is restrained but somewhat miffed. If Sam had time, he could make quite a card player out of him. “I got time,” Sam says. Get Patrick mad and this is where he must play dirty. “Maybe, but I can’t say the same for Dean. Your brother’s going to be dead soon. And when I say soon (leans forward with ominous pause) I mean minutes.” Seriously, is Sam that easy a read? Pushing the Dean button? Sam goes into full fledged panic mode and gets up, but Patrick uses his hand-o-doom to sit Sam back down. “The game’s not over until I say it is.” They throw in their bets for the next round.

Back to older Dean at Patrick’s penthouse, who spots a mostly empty glass of wine. There’s his DNA. Of course that’s right when Dean’s fatal heart attack kicks in. Figures. Back to the card game, which is moving along at a frantic pace now. Sam is positively out of his mind trying to rush things along. Patrick goes back into psychoanalyst mode and surmises that when it’s about his brother he gets so emotional Sam’s brain flies out the window. You know, that was true a few seasons ago, but now, not so much. Sam tells him to go to Hell. That’s the best you can come up with Sam? Flip to older Dean on the floor, and he’s not good.

Sam pushes all his chips to the center in a hurry. “I’m all in.” This worries Lia to no end and even Patrick’s a little thrown back. “Don’t do that Sam,” he sadly says. Sam goes to his full defiance mode. “I can’t leave until it’s over, then it’s over!” Patrick warns him there’s poker and then there’s suicide. You see, I just don’t get this Patrick guy. He seems legitimately concerned. Maybe because he likes robbing people of years fair and square. But he started the emotional blackmail. Sam tells him to play the hand. Bobby now is trying to talk to Dean on the phone and getting nothing. Dean is on the ground, slipping away. Oh boy this is exciting!

Patrick slides in his chips while Sam goes crazy. Patrick deals the final cards and then back to Bobby trying to talk to Dean on the phone. Dean gasps, Sam watches the cards with worry, Patrick watches Sam, Sam watches Patrick. Patrick watches Sam. Sam, oh come on, end this. Now it goes to Lia. Cards, Sam for a close up, Patrick for a close up, dying Dean for a close up, Bobby closer, Sam closer, Patrick closer, Sam’s eyes, Patrick’s eyes and who the hell approved this edit? It’s way too over the top!


It ends when Patrick puts down his two cards. Two aces. Considering there’s an Ace and two fours on the table, that gives him a full house. Patrick is all apologetic. Sam looks rejected, Dean looks dead. Now, normally I’d declare him dead and make a fuss about this being another Winchester death, but Patrick can’t bring him back if he’s really dead, right? Or does he get to wait until the body is cold?

Anyway, Sam lets out a deep breath of horror. Patrick is solemn, girlfriend is crying, and Sam is looking pretty strange. I’ve only seen that look on him one other time, and that was when Lucifer was wearing him to the prom in “The End.” He’s acting sympathetic to Lia. “For a witch you’re so nice it’s actually kind of creepy.” There’s a glistening in his eyes. “It’s okay, it was a great hand.” Patrick reaches for the chips. “Just not as great as,” Sam overturns two fours. That gives him four fours. He wins! You know, the bluff is brilliant but he really carries on the act at the end here. Good drama for us but kind of superfluous. Again, I’m not complaining.

Patrick is actually impressed. “Well played. You know, that whole going out of your head bit, very method.” Sam actually cracks a small smile! “There’s more to you than meets the eye,” Patrick says while toasting him with his whisky. Yeah Patrick, we’ve known that for a while now. Still, we had no idea Sam was this good at fooling people. Sam tells him to cash in the chips for Dean. “With pleasure,” Patrick says.

Bobby is at the van still shouting for Dean in the phone. Suddenly someone emerges from the building. It’s young Dean! Welcome back Jensen, I hope you enjoyed your time off. He’s elated and hilarious in his jubilation, and we laugh with them. His eyes are wide with excitement, his whole face is lit up, and he does a little happy dance. Then does clicks his heels in the air! Bwwwwaaahhh, I’m dying here! Bobby is still too grouchy, for he calls him an idgit. Come on Bobby, you’re the one that started this mess. Laugh a little.

Next, some unfinished business with our two witches. Patrick is so heartbroken! He can’t do this. He begs her not to make him. She says he can and then reveals what’s in the locket - her daughter, who she buried after her death of old age. What’s happening isn’t natural. Patrick reminds her that when she decided to come along with him, this is what she wanted. She’s still beautiful and she has him. She misses her family, she loves him and she thought she was cut out for this, but she isn’t. He doesn’t think he can do this without her but she reminds him he did fine long before he met her. Yeah lady, but then we wasn’t in lurrrvve. She throws in all her chips, Patrick heartbreakingly slides in his, he plays his good cards, she plays her losing cards, and she gets old, thanking Patrick in the process. This is a really nice, bittersweet scene. I’m sure there are those that are irritated that it’s taking time away from the boys, but hey, even the MOTW needs closure at times. Plus, these are two really decent guest actors. It’s so nice this show can draw people of this caliber.

Bobby is still in disbelief that Sam actually beat Patrick. Sam shrugs. Bobby still presses and Sam claims he’s just lucky. Liar!! Don’t worry Sam, your secret is safe with us. Judging by Bobby’s look though, he doesn’t believe Sam. Sam grabs his coat and says goodbye to Bobby and an entering Dean who’s munching on his beloved cheeseburger. Dean asks where he’s going. Sam sheepishly says nowhere. Now they really don’t believe him. A booster shot. Bobby and Dean say nothing even though Sam is waiting for the smart comment, maybe because ickiness in man parts is no laughing matter. Sam leaves in a hurry.

Bobby is ready to get the van loaded. Dean uses this moment to get something off his mind. “I shouldn’t have called you an idiot.” “Which time?” Bobby asks, rubbing it in. Dean apologizes again and says he gets it. “Getting old ain’t a bachelor party.” He tries to relate to what Bobby is going through, but Bobby doesn’t want a pity party. Dean says if he was in Bobby’s shoes, “You’d never stop complaining,” Bobby said finishing his sentence. “Fair enough,” Dean replies. Of course, the real point isn’t coming out, so Dean tries something else. “You’re not useless Bobby.” Bobby tries to brush it off, so Dean sits down and gets serious.

“You’re not useless Bobby.” “You don’t stop being a soldier cause you got wounded in battle. No matter what shape you’re in bottom line is you’re family. I don’t know if you noticed but me and Sam we don’t have much left. I can’t do this without you, I can’t. So don’t you dare think about checking out. I don’t want to hear that again.” Oh man, Jensen’s voice is cracking the whole time and Bobby is listening to him all serious like, and no, I’m not crying. I have something in my eye. Yeah that’s it. Of course you all know me better than that, right?

Bobby’s smart mouth is gone and he says “Okay.” Dean says okay, good, so the point is clear. Of course the moment ends when Bobby’s smart mouth comes back. “Thanks. Now we done feeling our feelings, cause I’d like to get out of this room before we start growing lady parts.” Dean agrees they’re done. He gets up, looks at his cheeseburger and puts it down. Something tells me that won’t last long. He picks up his bag. “Let’s go Ironsides.” “Well that one’s sticking huh?” Dean smiles and leaves. Bobby starts to go and then stops, for he’s having his mini-meltdown. Aww Bobby, you are loved. Don’t forget it.

Wow, so many details in that episode. Just wait until the next one. Maybe I’ll break the recap length record. Until next week.