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My apologies, this is about five or six days too late.  I hope you don't mind re-living an episode from over a week ago!  At least it's better than the one we just saw.

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First episode back from the winter hellatus! Winchesters in a mental hospital is certainly an attention getter. Let’s get right to it. 
Since this is a Monster of the Week episode, naturally the opening is going to start with our first red shirt. But first, an unusually long “Then” segment, which tells us that this week’s story is a little short on script pages. Let’s just blame the budget and move on. 

The location is given right away which is kind of rare. Normally we have to wait for credits or something. It’s the Glenwood Springs Psychiatric Hospital in Ketchum, Oklahoma. A file opens and it has a clipping in it about a tragic fire. The tragic fire survivor crazy person is dressed in hospital blue garb in an office talking with an arrogant bastard. I mean psychiatrist. 
Susan, said crazy person, is not taking her medication. She can’t, it makes her sleep. That’s when the monster will come and get her. The monster killed her roommate. Naturally, the condescending arrogant bastard, I mean doctor doesn’t believe a word she’s saying. She is a schizophrenic so she must be delusional. She makes her point, even admitting she sees her dead son right behind him. What’s really cool is they actually show him there. Nice touch. She knows he isn’t real. But the monster, that’s real. Does she get anywhere? Duh, of course not or we wouldn’t have our bloody ghost story.



Susan’s in her room after lights out and time for the terror portion of the show. She watches, quivering in fright, in her locked room as the screws slowly are undone in the vent above. She screams and no one listens, for the nurse dismisses it as “they’re starting early tonight.” Ah, can’t you just feel the love in these places? Susan goes to the door and pounds on the window, pleading for help, but only another mental patient in a nearby room sees her. Since they’re locked in their rooms, he can only watch. She gets yanked, and is finally found later on the floor with her wrists slit. Judging by the pool of blood, they didn’t get there for a while. Oh, good job guys! You know, that was nice a creepy and all, but that was one really long opening. I should shut up though, for rushing such scenes ruins the purpose of “suspense.” Still, we’re six minutes in including opening credits and no sign of a Winchester. 

Title credits. Boys should be coming next!



File opens, this time it’s for an Edward Van Halen. Paraphrasing the notes, it says that while interviewing Alex Van Halen, the patient’s brother, who’s definitely psychotic, they figured out Edward was crackers himself. Cue the visual of Sam and Dean sitting on the other side of the desk, blankly staring at the doctor. The arrogant bastard, I mean doctor mentions they were referred to him by a Dr. Babar in Chicago. He’s suspicious. â€œIsn’t there a children’s book about an elephant named Babar?” Dean calmly answers, “I don’t know, I don’t have any elephant books.” Ha! That’s almost word for word out of Fletch. It would have been funnier if they used the actual wording. â€œIt don’t know, I don’t have any.” â€œChildren?” â€œElephant books.” Still, it’s great they worked in that reference! Also, the doctor catches Babar, but not Van Halen? 



Dean goes on, letting the doctor know that Dr. Babar was in over his head with this one. His brother is, and he whistles and does the crazy signal with his finger. Oh, such nice touches in selling the story. The doctor doesn’t want to hear from Dean, and starts with Sam, aka Alex. Sam claims he’s fine, just a little depressed. Why? Because he started the apocalypse. Hee, a little depressed? This has been tearing him apart for months! Anyway, the doctor is stunned to hear that. So Sam continues to explain.  He killed this demon, Lilith, and accidently freed Lucifer from Hell. â€œSo now he’s topside and we’re trying to stop him.” That is a pretty hilarious story from an outsiders POV, don’t you think?  Those clever boys. They just have to tell the truth!

Dean rolls his eyes to show to doctor how crazy he thinks this sounds. I love it when both of them dig into their roles. The arrogant bastard, I mean doctor somehow wants to hear more before admitting the boys. â€œWho is?” He asks. Sam answers me and him (points to Dean) and an angel. The doctor thinks he’s talking about an angel on his shoulder. â€œNo, no, his name’s Castiel. He wears a trenchcoat.” Wow, this does sound nuts. Speaking of which, the show goes on a two month hiatus and the first two episodes back have no Castiel? Ugh, I’m going through hot angel withdrawal here. 

Dean jumps in, for he’s had enough of Sam’s crazy story. â€œThe kid’s been beating himself up like this for months. The apocalypse wasn’t his fault.” So now the doctor sees why Dean, aka Edward, might be crazy. Dean goes for the final push. â€œIt was this other demon Ruby. She got him addicted to demon blood. In the end he was practically chugging the stuff.” Sam looks ashamed, the doctor looks really disturbed. â€œMy brother’s not evil. He was just…high.” Oh man, I’m dying here. How these two can tell this story with a straight face is beyond me. â€œSo could you fix him up so we can get back to traveling around the country hunting monsters?” The now rattled doctor calls his assistant and tells her to cancel his lunch. Dean smiles and pats Sam on the arm. Oh yeah, they’re in. 



Sure enough, they both are taken into the hospital by a nurse. The doctor wants to keep them under observation for a couple of days. Dean plays the “both?” card. The nurse, who is pure evil under that perky smile, says “Yes sugar, the doctor thinks that would be best.” Sam and Dean share a small “it worked” glance, with Dean smiling and Sam fighting back one. The nurse check’s Dean’s blood pressure and he tries the whole “Nurse Ratchet” stuff. For those of you that are really young, that’s the evil nurse in One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest. She isn’t buying it. Next she’s checking Sam and tells him to drop his pants. He’s not sure why. She gives up that same malevolent smile while slapping on a rubber glove. I’m not even a man and I’m feeling queasy. Sam’s look of disturbance is priceless. 



Dean waits in full blue patient uniform with bothered look and then Sam comes out with his own uniform and look. Notice how Sam’s robe is never tied in this episode. Could they not find one big enough to get around him? Aww, don’t they look adorable. That blue is a nice change from the olive drab, flannel, and brown colors. â€œHow was your Silkwood shower?” Dean asks. For you young-ins again, there is a scene in the movie Silkwood where the main character, played by Meryl Streep, is basically stripped, held down, and forced into a sterilization shower (since she worked in a nuclear power plant). It involved a lot of harsh scrubbing and probably some violation here and there. Sam says his was okay. â€œGood water pressure.” Oh man, how could he find the positive in that? I guess when you’ve died all sorts of awful ways, a little violation is nothing. Sam asks Dean about the nurse.  â€œShe was very thorough,” Dean answers. Oh, the horrible things these boys go through for the sake of saving people. 

Comments  

Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-01-30 21:31
Great recap as usual, Alice.

The end of this episode made me really nervous, too. I don't know what else Dean really could have said to Sam since all he does is repress and repress, but it's certainly not what Sam needed or wanted to hear. This is definitely going to have some ramifications down the line.

When I rewatched the episode, I noticed a really cool shot they did when Dean is watching the mirror in the hallway to see who the wraith is. The female doctor comes up to talk to him, then the male doctor comes by, says hello to Dean, and when they pan back to show the mirror, only Dean is in it. The female doctor isn't there! But it's really quick, and I didn't notice the first time through, since I wasn't really watching for it. But nice subtlety there, Show!

Lastly, when Sam encounters Dean after his first conversation with his fake doctor, he says he was "thraped," like "therapy raped," I guess. I think I read somewhere that this was a reference from "Girl, Interrupted," but I don't know for sure.

Again, great recap! I, for one, don't care when you post them. I'll still read!
elle
# elle 2010-01-31 00:45
Great recap, as usual, Alice! I love reading them because your comments always make me laugh. The end scene still makes me feel odd, even just reading about it, I'm not sure what to make of it.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-01-31 13:48
That was a fun review Alice. Was laughing all through it. Especially Arrogant Sadistic Bastard Doctor! LOL!

You want a fully frontal? Me, too (in a very very quiet voice down here in my gutter). Though I'm afraid if I did get it I'd immediately pass out and miss the rest of the show. Though it would be worth it as I tape them and could catch up later. Heehee!

About the final scene, just what does Sam want Dean to do about Sam's anger issues? A few episodes ago he was telling Dean he left with Ruby to get away from Dean and he wanted Dean to let him stand on his own two feet. When does he start doing that then? Dean has to support all Sam's insecurities and never get any support for himself? Remember the boohoos from both Sam and Bobby last season? I don't think Dean knows what to do about Sam and is dreadfully afraid he will lose him again, especially now when it is needed for them to be united at all costs.

I really liked when Sam all drugged up told Dean that he loved him and "booped" his nose. So cute! Oh, boys, you really get to me!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-01-31 16:23
Alice, I have no problem reliving an episode a week later – I like watching them a few times, after a day or a week, so what? Thank you for this recap which is great, as always. You’re great at this – but I reckon you know that by now. Doesn’t hurt repeating it, does it?

Y’all must have had a great laugh at the Babar-joke, which unfortunately eluded me, as I was not familiar with that, sigh…
I wonder how many in-jokes I might have missed simply because I’m not American?

I’ve said so much earlier about this episode that I actually don’t really know what to say that wouldn’t be redundant.

There’s one point that did strike me, though, after re-watching it. That diagnosis they gave Dean… Either Dean played his role of being an arrogant a-hole so well or they just don’t know their DSM… The personality disorder is not so clear, and I doubt that the shrink in the beginning thoroughly explored their childhood (which would be necessary to even think of that diagnosis). If he did, the assigned ‘imagined’ shrink wouldn’t have to go there again, asking about Dean’s father (since Dean would know that he already answered those questions). It all sounds more schizotypal (but those are just my ears, sorry, I like to do my job right, as in not giving the wrong diagnosis).

I believe, Alice, what he said when Sam found him in the corridor was ‘I just got raped’, well that’s what I heard (any other word I came up with seemed weird) and – imagining whatever question the ‘doc’ might have asked him (especially perhaps in regard to dad) could have felt like violation to him… I don’t remember those lines from Girl,Interrupte d that Ardeospina mentioned, but ‘thraped’ sounds about logical…

We’re given some great moments in this episode. I’d also love to see more of Sam being happily drunk, yeah, that was a Sam-fan-fest… loved it just as much as I felt moved by the ending… it really hurt to see them drive away in the mindset they were in…

Thanks, by the way, for not including me in the nutty staff, Alice – I’m relieved.

Alice, love your recaps. I do, I do… Best always, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-01-31 16:25
P.S: I can't find this in any dictionary - what exactly is GED?
this might be a stupid question, but that's just one of my most lovable traits- asking such questions...
:lol: 8-) :lol:
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-01-31 16:47
:lol: The silver lining to an episode that stretches plausibility well beyond the breaking point? A really funny recap! Nicely done. Loved how you called Sam out, too--"the king of evasiveness and internalizing." Totally. 'Course, when he does finally try to open up a little he gets shut down, since Dean's barely hanging on as it is... poor guys.

Jas, GED basically stands for General Equivalency Diploma (other words have been assigned to the acronym too, e.g. General Education Development, so don't feel bad about any confusion!). A person who didn't graduate from an actual high school can take an exam to earn a GED, which is the equivalent of a high school diploma. Hope this helps!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-01-31 17:04
wow, thanks ElenaM - that's interesting! That acronym has been used a few times, and now it makes sense to me - does that mean, Dean might have taken some exam along the road? He might ... Thank you, learned something new now. :-) Jas
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-02-01 13:36
Good recap, Alice….You always pick up neat details….like the different ways the boys wore their robes. I saw that too, but I think that was an early effect of their subconscious surfacing. Like Dean said during Sam’s ‘drunken’ scene, he is a happy drunk. He’s not as serious as he lets on, and really should open up more. Certainly would help his relation with Dean. Maybe then we’d get some ‘pudding’ dances from Sam!

As far as Dean setting himself up as a failure, I hope not. We all die if they fail!

I caught the knife angle myself. You leave your ribs wide open if you strike with it straight, and are not in a good angle for a second strike. Someone should teach the boys Martial arts…or maybe not. They seem to do okay already.

We had two signs that Sam never told Dean about Ruby, one was in the initial interview. Dean and Sam were telling the truth, and Dean excused his brother‘s actions because he was ‘high’. I don’t know, maybe I was looking for something that wasn’t there, but the look on Sam’s face when Dean said that look sad to me. Maybe that was what pushed its second time appearance, when Sam hallucinated Dean repeating Ruby’s words. That also shows how afraid Sam is that Dean will find out. …not finding out that Sam still has powers, but that its proof, at least to Sam anyway, that he is a freak (which he isn’t). Ever heard the saying, “Oh what a web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”. Poor Sam…..he should just tell Dean ALL of it. Would help the two of them immensely.

After the Sam fought the imaginary patients, and they dragged him away, did he yell “Dean, help”? I couldn’t tell from the episode but sounded like that on the clip.

As for the final scene, I agree with Bevie. Both Dean and Sam have had piss-poor lives, which they have done nothing to deserve. Dean copes by denying (and it works), Sam by anger (and that doesn’t). Dean faced his subconscious by himself and got them both out, Sam faced his with anger, and he almost got himself killed (and that wasn’t the first time). I just don’t feel Sam’s directing part of his anger to Dean is really fair. And Sam has to realize that on his own. Dean can’t tell him. (And that is speaking from personal experience) What Dean did was give his brother the advice that helped Dean…and that was to bury it…….at least for now. And as for leaving Dean again, I don’t think so. He has left Dean three times now in the series, and none of them worked for Sam. And for the record, I don’t think Sam followed Ruby to get away from Dean…Fallen Idol was way out of character for both boys. He did it for the reason he stated in Heaven and Hell (at least I think it was Heaven and Hell)…...beca use Ruby acted like Dean would have to Sam....like a big brother.

As for completely giving up…I don’t think Sam is that weak. He has a lot of Dad in him… and I don’t think it would sit well with Dean either.

Okay done rambling!
Suze
# Suze 2010-02-02 10:55
Pudding! :lol: Coffee snorting moment number 39852 ...

I thought Dean said " raped " but my speakers are shot and I had the sound turned way down so I could hear any nearby short people throwing up, so really it could have been anything ( secret of a happy life folks ... Have more buckets than family members ;-) )
Maggie
# Maggie 2010-02-03 15:37
Wow Great review!! I really enjoy it!
Did you do 2 reviews cause I read another days before from blogcritics and says: from Alice Jester, too. but they are very different, I like more this one.

I really really like it.