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Okay, since your heart strings were already going for the last scene, time to make them shake about ten times worse! The somber "Sam and Dean's theme" comes on as the score.  There's a close up coma Dean and someone is there with him. The camera pans behind and circles around, showing John's troubled profile.   As with the last scene with them, it shows the blurred figure beyond him. "Come on Dad, you've got to help me. I've got to get better, I got to get back in there." The shot still shows a clear troubled John and a blurred Dean, even though Dean is speaking. Then it focuses on spirit Dean and we see how incredulous he is over what John's silence. 

"I mean you haven't called a soul for help. You haven't even tried.  Aren't you going to do anything? Aren't you even going to say anything? I've done everything you've ever asked me. Everything! I've given everything I've ever had. Are you just going to sit there and you're gonna watch me die? What the Hell kind of father are you?" During this entire speech John just somberly sits there, doing absolutely nothing. This is a very interesting outburst from a fiercely loyal Dean (loyal at the time anyway). It's like he's letting those fears and doubts about John's worthiness surface, the ones he found hard to deny all those years because he buried them. I guess it boils down to the mentality of trying to be a good son, but being a disembodied and near death spirit kind of changes things.  It's also the most brutally honest we've ever seen Dean with John and he can't even hear it.  It's so revealing about their relationship and so sad.  It's almost symbolic, John has never really listened, his head always somewhere else.      
Anyway, tongue lashing over, for Dean hears something. It's like a soft rumble. He goes out into the hall and a white ghostly spirit zooms right past him. He turns back to John, who's still holding vigil over coma Dean. "I take it you didn't see that." Dean goes in pursuit down the hospital hallway, loaded with people that don't see him, and the ghostly figure goes past him from behind. Dean turns around and follows the ghost into a room. In there our unseeing nurse from the reception desk is having an anaphylactic seizure (how cool is it that I know the medical term). It's an extreme allergic reaction. Dean tries to call out for help but yeah, no one hears. He can only stand there and watch this woman die. We know that never sits well with Dean.   
Since we saw Dean's version of brutal honesty, not seen or heard, now it's Sam's version.  He isn't afraid to speak his mind and John doesn't listen to him either.  Just shouts back.  This explosive family fight is the best ever! Like in "Dead Man's Blood" it involves a warring Sam and John while Dean is stuck in the middle. This time he's a ghost though, so that really makes it interesting! 

Sam barges into John's room after having what looks like a shower and a change of clothes.  It doesn't improve his battered face.  He's carrying a duffle bag and he's furious. Sam goes to the window keeping his back to John while spirit Dean pleads with him. He's trying to explain that there's something in the hospital they've got to hunt but Sam doesn't hear him. John knows something is up. "You're quiet," he says almost reservedly, for he knows a fight is coming. Sam whips around still furious and throws the bag on the bed table.
"You think I wouldn't find out?" Sam asks. John tries to play dumb. Um, John, you do know who you're talking to here, right? "That stuff you wanted from Bobby. You don't use it to ward off a demon you use it to summon one." John's guilty look confirms. "You're planning on bringing the demon here, aren't you, having some stupid macho showdown!" Sam throws out his arms when he says this though, doing the now infamous"¦oh what should I call it"¦the Sam Winchester open arms of annoyance (I'll accept any better suggestions). They reach about a mile wide!

John says he has a plan. "THAT'S EXACTLY MY POINT!" Sam shouts. "DEAN IS DYING AND YOU HAVE A PLAN! YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU CARE MORE ABOUT KILLING THIS DEMON THAN SAVING YOUR OWN SON! " Um Sam, public hospital, you might not want to be shouting that loud about demons, especially when you left the door open.  There's rubber rooms in that hospital too. John shouts back, not caring about the door either, telling him he doesn't know how he feels, he's doing this for Dean. "HOW? HOW IS REVENGE GOING TO HELP HIM? YOU'RE NOT THINKING ABOUT ANYONE BUT YOURSELF, IT'S THE SAME SELFISH OBSESSION!" John now doesn't care about rubber rooms either and figures Sam will need some company. "I THOUGHT THIS WAS YOUR OBSESSION TOO. THIS THING KILLED YOUR MOTHER, KILLED YOUR GIRLFRIEND. YOU BEGGED ME TO BE PART OF THIS HUNT. NOW IF YOU HAD KILLED THAT DAMNED THING WHEN YOU HAD A CHANCE, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!" "IT WAS POSSESSING YOU DAD, I WOULD HAVE KILLED YOU TOO!" "YEAH AND YOUR BROTHER WOULD BE AWAKE RIGHT NOW!" A passing by nurse who couldn't prevent listening in the hallway gasps and dials the red phone. Code Red. Security and the psych ward goons come and haul these Sam and John away to a happier place. A place where there are no demons but plenty of lollipops and rainbows. Happy drugs galore!

Nah, no one cares and lets them slug it out.  Dean shouts for both of them to shut up, but Sam gives John a snarling "Go to Hell." Ooh, Sam, you might not want to say that. You're going to really regret that come the end of this episode. John goes back to yelling, saying to Sam that he never should have taken him along in the first place and now it's Dean's turn to get super frustrated. "I SAID SHUT UP!" He swipes at the glass of water on the table and it goes flying, shattering on the floor. Now suddenly John and Sam are really spooked. Dean's impressed. "Dude, I full on Swayzed that mother." Bwah! Best line ever! Dean is so impressed with himself, but doesn't have time to celebrate for he starts feeling really rough. He collapses to his knees and starts phasing in and out. There's a "code" announcement on the speaker and medical people are rushing to the room next door. Uh oh! John signals Sam to go find out. 

Yep, coma Dean is coding. The doctors are working on him, using the electro-shock paddles and everything. Sam is standing outside in the doorway, saying "no" and looking weepy.  With a really hideous face.  Despite the efforts, the line is still flat. Sam watches in horror and now spirit Dean is behind him, faced with the idea this might be it.  That's when he sees the ghostly figure hovering over him. Now he's mad. He shouts at the being to get the hell away from him, but the creature isn't listening. Dean goes over to the bed. "I SAID GET BACK!" Ooh, Sammy hears this! How awesome. He is a ghost whisperer! Dean reaches forward, grabs the ghost and is flung backward. The creatures hisses at him and goes away. 

Suddenly, coma Dean has a heartbeat. Of course spirit Dean has gone chasing after the spirit but loses it. Sam can now breathe again with relief, although his eyes are pretty glassy. Poor Sammy. Really cool director's trick alert!  A dumbfounded and emotionally exhausted Sam watches as they finish up Dean while spirit Dean comes over to talk to him. "Don't worry Sammy. I'm not going anywhere. I'm getting that thing before it gets me. It's some kind of spirit, but I can grab it. And if I can grab it, I can kill it." 

While this entire exchange is going on, the camera starts with the full shot of Sam's bewildered face and Dean behind him, then slowly circles behind him, showing Dean talk to him. It continues to move in a circle as Dean talks, pans across the scene in the hospital room, and slides back to the profile of Sam from the other side, stopping just in time to show Sam sharply looking over to where spirit Dean was but isn't (his POV). Then the camera slides backward, showing a wide shot of Sam standing there alone but sensing something it out there. OMG, that is so gorgeous! It's amazing how the way that was shot captured the full eerie impact of the exchange.  Now I REALLY want to be a TV director when I grow up.  Kim Manners is my hero! They must show this episode in film schools.

Sadly, this is where this really intense episode slows down a bit.  Ah well, it's still all good.  Dean is walking down the hall for reasons unknown and hears a woman yelling.  There's a woman on the infamous stairwell, shouting to people to listen to her.  They aren't noticing her.  She's in a pink top and a pair of scrubs.  Okay, another spirit.  Dean yells if she can see him.  Yep.  Oh good, Dean has a friend.  He asks her name, Tessa.  Wow, Tessa seems so different than when we saw her in the most recent episode.  The hair is shorter, that's for sure.  Dean introduces himself, and she wants to know if she's dead.  Um, well...

They both are now looking at coma Tessa.  "I don't understand, I just came in for an appendectomy," she says.  "I hate to bear bad news, but I think there were some complications."  Leave it up to Dean to always come up with the right thing to say in any situation!  Tessa tries to write this off as a dream, but Dean has a better answer.  It's an out of body experience!  "What are you, some new-agey guy?"  Oh, don't go there with Dean, girlfriend.  "You see me messing with crystals or listening to Yanni?"  No Dean, but I could see your brother doing that!  Dean explains the many names for what's happening.  "Bi-location, crisis apparitions, fetches, I think it's happening to us.  If it is, it means that we're spirits of people close to death."  I guess he knows what's happening to him.  Tessa gets it, they're gonna die.  Dean refuses to accept that.  They've just got to hang on, their bodies will get better and they can "snap right back in there and wake up."  Oh come on Dean, you were sounding so rational before.     


# Bevie 2011-01-31 16:39
What an utterly fantastic review Alice!! I especially loved your utter concern regarding the car !! You have your priorities straight indeed. You made me cry from laughing! Long live the Impala!

Kim Manners directing was phenomenal and heart rending indeed. He really knew how to pull off those emotional moments and could convey the brothers feelings with no dialogue like no other. Wish he was still with us.

This episode was very special indeed. (the no layered look was much appreciated by these eyes in the shallow end of the pool). Sam's love for his big brother really came through and contrasts so much with RoboSam's soulless
attitude which hurts like hell to see.
# Yirabah 2011-01-31 18:17
Alice I always love to read your reviews especially the retro ones. You are right that some things just have a different perspective if you look at it with the knowledge of now 6 and a half seasons.

I extremly enjoy how you describe your feelings while watching it and all those snarky comments. Keep bringing those retro recaps on.
# fanotheboyz 2011-01-31 18:24
Great recap, Alice! This is one of my fave episodes, too. Love the camera work. Love how all three say so much with expressions, even when there are no lines. Come to think of it, these two could pull off an entire episode, I think, with no dialogue at all, but this one did stand out. Makes me want to go watch it again... now.
# dmakdavis 2011-01-31 20:24
My goodness - I really thought I was over crying through this episode but just your review made me bawl like a baby.

I mean, who could get past the wrecked and battered, broken body of the shows main hero?

Hopefully we'll get a retro-review showing how that hot guy got all sweaty putting my heroic baby back together again!

Oh yeah, the rest of that show was pretty heart wrenching too .. I mean someone died right? Not just my car huh?

-RIP Kim Manners -

Thanks for the review though I'm already on Prozac due to the @$@! postponement till NEXT Friday :evil:
# nancyL 2011-01-31 20:54
Once again Alice, you come thru with a great recap of a great episode.

'Not the Impala'. :lol: :lol:
'Kripke wouldn't kill the car, would he?' :lol: Well, since we now know that he has killed Sam and Dean numerous times, then the 'death' of the Impala shouldn't be too much of a stretch. And like her boys, she returns badder than ever. :D

Sam was 'mad about the car', silly me, I thought he was protecting his brother and his father. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the truth. :D

The good old days when Sam and Dean LOVED EACH OTHER. Please Sera and Co, now that Sam has his soul back, can we get some brotherly love?
please please please with sugar on top.

Whatever happened to Sam's abilities?? All he had later on were demon exorcisms with his magic hand and nose bleeds. :lol:

I loved the scene where John and Sam are talking. John lies to Sam about not knowing about the YED plans for Sam and the other 'special children', and Ghost!Dean calls 'bulls**t'.

Then there is the scene where Bobby is talking about the Impala, but Sam is thinking about Dean. Poor Impala, poor Dean, poor Sammy.

Is it just me or was Bobby reacting more as a father to Sam then John? John's priority was more geared towards the YED then it was towards Dean. Okay, he did get Dean's health back, but then he just puts this great amount of stress on Dean with his 'order' to kill Sam. So he does a 'good' thing (so to speak) by trading his life for his son, but then he does a really f**ked up thing, by putting this weight on his son's (very broad) shoulders.

'Sam Winchester open arms of annoyance' :lol: Also seen when he (and us) finally learn what John whispered in Dean's ear. How about calling them the 'Sam Winchester open arms of being pissed off'?

Even as a ghost, Dean has to mediate between his brother and father.

Another one of my favorite scenes, is when Dean saves himself from the reaper while Sam watches. Even though he is near death, Dean still tries to reassure his baby brother that he is not going anyway. Then Sam is like 'Dean is that you'. Sera this is what I am talking about: BROTHERLY LOVE.

Of course, seeing how calm Tessa is with her 'being a spirit', we can tell that she is acting for Dean's benefit. She is trying to get his defenses down, but he realizes that she is too calm. Smart!Ghost!Dea n. :D :D

Alice, I loved the Ouija board scene. :D :D BROTHERLY LOVE.

Just a thought: Whatever happened to John's journal??

When Young!John cuts his palm in 'Song remains the Same', I think it was a callback to John cutting his palm in this episode.

All the foreshadowing that is in this one episode:
Sam telling his father to go to Hell. We come to find out that all the Winchester men will go to Hell.
The doctor telling Dean that he has an angel watching over him. Hello Castiel. Also, what Mary told her oldest son.
What we thought was the first deal with YED, was really the second. Mary f**ked up the natural order by making a deal to bring John back to life. Funny, that the character that didn't live past the pilot (she didn't even make it to the first commercial break), is the reason that we are all here.
If Mary hadn't made that first deal, think of the possiblities. Would she had continued hunting? Maybe joining up with Bobby and/or Rufus? Then again what about the fight between Lucifer and Michael, would that had occured without Sam and Dean Winchester?
You have to love the 'what ifs'.

Anyway, Alice great recap. I loved it so much that now I am going to get my season 2 DVD and relive this wonderful episode. Thank you. :D
# Alice 2011-02-02 20:40
So, I take it you like this episode then? I love it, but for some reason it never makes my top ten. Not that it isn't good, it's just this show is a riches of good! Okay, here's a slight spoiler just for you (and anyone else who bothers to read these comments). John's journal makes an appearance in the next episode, 6.12. A key appearance.
# maggie 2011-01-31 21:27
Great recap!

"Sam pulls out from the backseat his season one Dell laptop with the awesome symbol". Yes, the symbol that is in the background of the an awesome site "the winchester family business" :D

"You know the truth, right? About Sammy and the other children?” John “Yeah, I’ve known for a while.” You bastard! Tell your children! Tell me! Oh right, we figure it out 21 episodes later.".... hehe one of the longest time we have had to wait for an answer is in episode: Home, when Mary said to Sam: "Sorry", and we didn't know why she said that until season 4, 4.03 "In the beginning" .

wow awesome episode and awesome recap
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2011-01-31 21:27
Awesome review Alice! Oh, the woes (tears, angst and non-verbal communication)o f the Winchesters! Oh,the imperilled Impala! Oh, the single layers!!!

This is one of my all-time faves. There is just so much there. It really is a brilliant combination of writing, acting and directing.

I find that I can't help but compare this episode to Appointment in Samarra. They are so tied together (at least in my mind).

There is the continuing chemistry of Dean and Tessa. And really, if she was human, they'd make a great pair! They're very similar. They're both dedicated to their jobs, in part because they believe they are doing work that, although unpleasant at times (okay, many times)needs to be done. They're both feisty, smart and strong, but also full of compassion and empathy. And I think Tessa really likes Dean, for all he keeps messing up the natural order. That's why she alternates between being so gentle with him, and so frustrated by him. He's The One That Gets/Got Away. That's a phrase we often use to describe the romantic loves we should have kept in our lives.

Both episodes also have as part of the storyline, the idea of trying to repair something that is battered and broken. In AIS the battered and broken things are Sam, Sam's soul and Robo!Sam. In IMTOD, it's Dean and Dean's body. Interesting, in both cases the goal is to reunite soul to body. In IMTOD, without his soul, Dean will die. In AIS, restoring Sam's soul could kill him.

Also, both episodes look at the issue of love and sacrifice. In AIS, Dean is willing to wear Death's ring for a day in order to get Sam's soul back. He's not sure what the cost will be to him personally, but he's willing to pay it, whatever it is. In IMTOD, John sacrifices his soul to save Dean, although I don't think that's what he originally had in mind, when he summoned the Yellow-Eyed Demon.

I have also always thought it intriguing that the writers chose to make Dean's line "You haven't called a soul for help". Dean could have said "you haven't called anyone" but it doesn't carry the same weight. He meant something very definite when he talked about calling a soul for help. Perhaps foreshadowing the power of souls?

In fact IMTOD really highlights the soul and how it defines us, and acts our moral compass. It's Dean's soul that is walking around while his body lies in a coma. And Dean's soul is very much HIM. He still wants to protect his family; still acts as a mediator between his Dad and Sam; still continues to hunt and fight in every way he can; and is still heartbreakingly funny and snarky, tragic and vulnerable.

There's also something niggling in my mind about the parallels between Tessa reminding Dean several times in IMTOD that he's living on borrowed time, while in AIS she's teaching him what happens when you screw around with the natural order.

But I don't think it's really Dean's fault that he threw such a wrench in the works. In both Faith, and IMTOD he was saved by the agency of others. In Faith, it was Sam, Roy LeGrange and the spell binding the Reaper. In IMTOD, it was John's deal with the Yellow-Eyed Demon. I think it's significant (although I'm not sure why yet) that in both cases, Dean was willing to die naturally, but that option was taken away from him.

So, I'm musing, as I'm wont to do, could there be another Dean Winchester soul sacrifice coming this season? We know souls are powerful. We know the natural order is out of whack. We know Death has told Dean to take living, and dying more seriously. We know Sam's soul served to stave off the Apocalypse. Perhaps Dean's soul will be necessary to re-set the natural order, and to wipe out his debt of borrowed time.

Probably not, but fun to ponder.
# nancyL 2011-01-31 22:06
I'm back from rewatching this wonderful episode, and I have a crazy thought:

Did the YED and John seal the deal with a kiss?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
# Jasminka 2011-02-01 00:30
awwwwh, Alice, this is one of my all time favourites! I know every scene by now, every word the characters say... I don't know how often I've watched this. And it still manages to make me reach for tissues. Bloody episode!

I couldn't possibly say which scene is my favourite here, but I'll go with John's good-bye speech to Dean... *chokes*.

"watching" it again through your eyes was a huge pleasure. Thanks for this retro-recap!

Love Jas

P.S.: It's a joy to see the comment section back in its pretty. Great job, lady of the site! :D
# Karen 2011-02-01 09:15
Hi Alice
I just love this episode, it’s in with my top 10 favourites.
I remember watching this when it first aired and being literally glued to the TV. I felt so fortunate that this had landed on one of my nights off so I didn’t have to resort to recording it on my then ‘Tape Eating VCR’ player.
# Julie 2011-02-01 09:54
Ahhh Alice,
I have waited for this since a Sunday night ages and ages ago when you made a rare visit to CBOX to talk about an idea you had for writing some retro-recaps and which episodes to chose.
This is a very special for me as it was my first one. I had not seen any Tv for at least a couple of years and had just started to watch again, I bought the Season 2 Part One in a second hand shop, all I knew about the show was a distant memory of a glimpse of a trailer featuring Echo and the Bunnymens` `The Killing Moon`, and remembered thinking , `that looks interesting`, boy was I right!!
By the end of this episode I was totally and utterly hooked and have never looked back or waivered in my passion for the show.
It is one I return to again and again and it`s interesting to try and remember how different that first viewing felt. The biggest difference, I would guess, is that I had no idea just what that truck was hitting, and I do not mean our much loved boys here. Who would ever have thought you can care so much about a car! I do remember finding the episode very moving even having no investment in the story or knowledge of the characters. That also changed, and how, and now it tears me up knowing all the wheels that were set in motion here, and the implications of that whispered sentence in Deans` ear.
I am there with Dmakdavis in that I got all misty just reading your recap, how many TV shows could do that to you ?
Thank you Ju
# Junkerin 2011-02-01 09:55
In German Free TV aired the Epi after one and a half year break (almost two). But I was stucked from the beginning. The road so far helped to remember. It was soooo sad to watch Sam and Dean losing John. And it keept me wondering what John told Dean!
Great Review
# BagginsDVM 2011-02-01 23:11
Such a great episode! Ugh, but that 1st summer Hellatus was horrible, worrying not only about all 3 Winchester men but also the Impala. Honestly, I really was worried most about the car!
The emotional impact of this one was so powerful too. I was in tears just reading your review & remembering all those scenes, especially knowing all that has come since then.
# Mstngsali1 2011-02-01 23:36
Alice, I am new here and have watched this episode recently (try yesterday). "Watching" it through your eyes made it all the more entertaining.

When I first watched this episode, I too went absolutely bezerk when the Impala got smashed. It rbought tears to my eyes thinking about how that could be my baby someday. :sad: I hope I'm not in her when it happens. That sounds dirty... Eeek.

This episode doesn't make my all time faves list either and it's the same reason as yours but I am rethinking that stance after reading your recap.

I also realize how much I miss the Sam and Dean relationship and am happy to hear that it is more than likely coming back.

On a personal note, thank you for providing a place for fangirls to come and hang out with each other. It means a lot.