And we bravely soldier on with our Top 15 episodes!
Here is your WFB Admins' picks for number 12!
"What Is and What Should Never Be"
Why: This is an episode that took me a while to discover and I don't know why, because now I watch it quite a lot. For some reason, the first time I saw it I liked it but I didn't revisit it. I don't know if it's because it ran right before AHBL 1 & 2 and I was so shattered by them that I kind of forgot this one? But I clearly remember rediscovering it and thinking, why am I not watching this more often!? Now I do.
It's such an interesting premise, Dean's alternative life, based soley on the wish that Mary never died and the brothers never went hunting.
In this false world, Mary is indeed alive, Dean has an awesome "respectable" girlfriend who understands his love of burgers and Sam is studying law and is getting married to Jess. But Dean and Sam don't get on and John is still dead. It's not perfect, but it represents something Dean, at this stage of the game, still deeply wants, that family connection, that "normal" life.
Interestingly too, in this world, which is built by the Djinn from Dean's subconscious, Dean is seen as someone who drinks too much, whom his family don't expect much from. It was easier, for example, to say to Sam that yeah, he was stealing his mum's silver, rather than to tell any other kind of truth, because that's what Dean felt would be believed of him. This subconscious world is a representation of how little Dean thinks of himself, something we see time and time again and still continues to have an impact upon him even now.
It's such a neat episode but it's so damn tragic. There are moments of shear joy and moments of terrible pain. It shows so much about Dean, what he selflessly wishes for everyone in his family, not just himself and what he thinks of himself deep down and how he feels others see him.
It could have been a good life, he could have made it right with Sam, you could see they had a foundation to build on and Dean wanted it so bad, but he had the courage to give it all up to ensure that strangers live. Because that's what the Winchesters do. Even though he questions it, he still does it. Dean walks away knowing exactly what that will mean, because even though he so dearly wants to stay, all the people that Dean and Sam and John saved as hunters, would now die if Dean continued to reside in his false, yet almost apple-pie life and there's no way Dean would allow that. There's no way he'd put his desires before the lives of so many"¦because that's not what great big heroes do.
Of course, staying would also mean leaving Sam alone in the real world too and Dean wouldn't do that either. Not that Sam would let him, because Sam would never leave Dean to die at the hands of the Djinn.
Ouch! It's so gooood!
Both Jensen and Jared turn in wonderful performances, but it's a tour-de-force from Mr Ackles; he is mesmerising. You can see right into Dean's soul; Jensen's performance is so honest and raw.
Dean can never have the life of his wish world in "What Is and What Should Never Be". We all know that now, he knows that now. This episode becomes even more poignant knowing that he did indeed try to live some kind of normal family life and found that he couldn't "“ it was the Djinn's fault here and the Djinn's kids fault then. Twice he's been shown a world he can't have.
Gah! It's heartbreaking (and quite possibly should have been higher in my list"¦but man, this 15 business was hard)!
Favourite Quote: It's not really a quote I guess, but I love it when Dean call's fake Sam bitch"¦.
Sam: What are you calling me a bitch for?
Dean: You're supposed to say jerk.
Dean: Never mind.
Favourite Scene: Ugh. Too hard! I love Dean mowing the lawn"¦that look of happiness on his face "“ how he weirds out the neighbour across the road with his chirpy wave! Bless his heart.
But it has to be the scene at John's grave. It's one of the most powerful scenes of the series and raises the question that Sam and Dean must ask themselves often, but never say out loud"¦.why us?
""¦ It's like my old life is coming after me or something. Like it like it doesn't want me to be happy. Course I know what you'd say. Well, not the you that played softball but... So go hunt the Djinn. He put you here, it can put you back. Your happiness for all those people's lives, no contest. Right? But why? Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us, huh? Mom's not supposed to live her life. Sammy's not supposed to get married. Why do we have to sacrifice everything, dad? It's... Yeah..."
(On page 2, Ardeospina's #12 pick)
Anyway, thanks for the post. Love this episode. It's one I save on DVR for always!
"What is and What Should Never Be" is one of my top five and sometimes top one. It tears me up to watch Dean having what he so longed for and then giving it all up for all the people they've saved and not leaving Sammy alone in the real world. Jensen was SO very good in it. And he had such a very understanding and loving girlfriend. He was so happy and then he had to come back to harsh reality and find his girl in a beer ad! Sob!
And "French Mistake"! My God, what a hoot! That one was perfected by Ben Edlund and you've got me excited for "French Mistake 2". Would that be the one where Jensen and Jared find themselves in the Supernatural universe and get mistaken for Sam and Dean? Always wondered how that would go. I would suppose their lives would be cut very short then. Perhaps Cas could protect them? Haha!
Think how nonplussed Crowley would be if he confronted them. Please make it happen Mr. Edlund.
And that acting scene has to be played again and again as it is so hard to hear the dialogue while dying with laughter.
What is and what should never be would be higher on my list. It is a go-to episode for me. I use it to show Jensen's acting skills. Doesn't matter how many times I watch it, I cry at that D#*n graveyard scene every time!! I even love to listen to Kripke's commentary. It is one of the few times he raves about how great Jensen is with this part.
I agree about this season. It is so great this year. And who doesn't love the French Mistake. The look on Jensen's face when watching himself on Days of our Lives. Died laughing
Oh, "The French Mistake". I have to admit that I rolled my eyes a little at that one the first time around. Even though it had a lot of laughs, including the side-splitting acting scene, I thought they did a poor job of tying it into the mythology. However, while I haven't necessarily changed my mind, that doesn't bother me on repeated viewings, because I can sit back and appreciate the episode as a hilarious diversion and not as part of a story I'm waiting to unfold.
The #12 episode on my list is "Point of No Return". Just the fact that the angels brought back their half-brother as a replacement vessel was so unexpected and clever. Adam was completely convincing as a Winchester. Sam is at his best, continuing to have faith in Dean and trusting him even after Dean promised he would let him down. And in the end, that faith turned Dean around and put them all back on track. Team Free Will! And how satisfying was it to see Dean knife that smarmy dick with wings?! Very. Very satisfying.
"You've been a hell of a sport, really. Good stuff. But the thing is, you're not so much the Chosen One as you are a clammy scrap of bait." - Zachariah
I liked Carmen a lot, she would have been good for Dean.
Many of my favourite scenes have already been listed by others; the graveyard scene, and the ones with Dean and Mary, the bitch/jerk (or lack of) one. However one scene that stands out to me is the one right at the end of the episode when Sam is telling Dean that what they do matters. The look Jensen imposes on Deans face breaks my heart everytime. Sob!
This is one of my go to episodes and I love watching it with the commentary as well.
TFM is a masterpiece. "I'm a painted whore!" cracks me up every time. I love that the SPN writers, cast and crew can laugh at themselves as well as include the fans, giving us inside jokes to laugh at as well.
ALSOK is one of my favourites this season, in fact I'm liking season 8 a lot.