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I have to admit, when I had heard the episode synopsis for this episode, I got pretty leery.  Maybe because I'm still shaking off the hee-bee-gee-bees after reading RPF fan fiction involving Supernatural's three good looking leads.  How was that going to work in an actual episode, even if it was an alternative universe plot?  Luckily, Mr. Edlund drew the straw for this script assignment.  Whew, crisis adverted.  
Now, I wouldn't call "The French Mistake" the most brilliant episode ever, but hey, in a time where we needed something light, our show delivered big.  The inside jokes alone will keep fans entertained for decades!  Not since "Hollywood Babylon" has Edlund had the opportunity to take on one of his favorite targets, the Hollywood starlet mentality.  So what happens when Jared and Jensen are actually prima donnas?  Trailers come with remote control helicopters and large fish tanks and the luxurious mansions prominently feature Warhols of its occupants?  I tell you what happens, Sam and Dean acting like they've won the lottery.  
Somehow, in the midst of this total madness, an actual plot exists, even if it is somewhat obscured.  Let's follow the bouncing ball.  Balthazar arrives with a bunch of awesome Godfather references, which implies everyone is in deep doo doo.  With one swipe of the hand, Sam and Dean go flying into the alternate universe.  How many windows did they crash through in this episode BTW?  TPTB were certainly keeping Jared and Jensen's stunt doubles busy.   
Lucky for Sam and Dean, this universe is vacant is sooo many ways, including spiritual entities.  That puts them on an even playing field with the pursuing angel assassin and they take great joy in for once being able to kick angel butt.  They manage to get pulled back by Raphaella through the one portal that works and...guess what?  It was all a setup so Castiel could get the weapons back from Balthazar.  Who's suddenly loyal again.  Who still has a little vendetta for that frying wings extra crispy thing.  Castiel approved the plan and...still won't say why defeating Raphael is important.  Quite frankly, considering the vast amount of favors Sam and Dean owe Cass, the decoy thing was cruel, but forgivable.  I hope they get the message about what happens when you push your luck with angels.  
In this entire screwball scenario though, there's a chance to get philosophical. It's interesting to see them in a universe where all the evil they face is gone. No demons, no angels, no ghosts, no God either. The only obstacle is the self absorption of the people themselves. With no higher power, reflections and importance turns inward. Sure Sam and Dean don't belong in that world but would their lives ultimately been better with that life? Especially when luck for once turned in their favor? It's my guess it would have gotten old after a while for their sense of purpose would be lost. Still, a few more weeks in that life wouldn't have hurt. If anyone's earned an extended vacation, it's these guys. 

As with all Edlund scripts, the humor goes dark.  Very dark.  I remember laughing all the way through "Bad Day At Black Rock" until Bela shot Sam.  Fun over.  In this episode for me, it was killing Misha.  Aww, poor cutie pie in the goofy sweater.  Couldn't Virgil just have kicked him in the butt and sent him scampering instead?  Kripke I didn't mind though.  He's always wanted to do a Western and you can't go more The Good, The Bad and The Ugly inspired than that brutal end.  

Somehow though, in writing this review, I kept going back to "The Simpsons."  Remember the episode when Bart Simpson in his medicated haze figured out Major League Baseball was spying on Springfield?   Those two of you that do know, Mark McQwire shows up to do damage control.  I know, where am I going with this?  "Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me hit some dingers?"  "Dingers!" everyone yells.  
Here we go.  Instead of an in-depth review, I'm giving you all the dingers.  Batter up!

"You did, twice.  Good for you." 

Sam:  Should we be killing anybody?
Dean:  I don't think so.
Sam:  Running?
Dean:  Where?  

Producer:  We'd have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings.
Bob Singer:  Right, you answer the hate mail. 

"I'm a painted whore."

"Oh, if can you include the question in your answer."

Dean:  Why would anybody want to watch our lives?
Sam:  Well according to the interviewer not very many people do.  

Sam:  I'm just saying we've landed some dimension where your Jensen Ackles and I'm someone called a Jared Padalecki.
Dean:  Oh so what now you're polish?

"Like bizzaro earth.  But instead of getting bizzaro Superman we get this clown factory."

"Misha?  Jensen?  What's up with the names around here?"  

"Ola Mishamigos, J squared got me good.  Really starting to feel like one of the guys."

"That's fake me.  This must be fake mine."  

"Well he's not a hunter, but he plays one on TV."

"We're not even in America"

"Nice modest digs Jay Z."

Sam:  Wow, I must be the star of this thing.
Dean:  Yeah right. 



# Yvonne 2011-02-28 20:56
Seriously? I get to comment first? Saweeet!

As to the plot line...whatevs. I keep going back just to watch the funny chunk in the middle. I was verrrry leery of this ep, but decided to watch in the mindset of "I'm eating candy!" And had a blast. And it is all just too re-watchable!! Candy! Yum!!!! :lol: :D :-)

Yay for the dinger review says I! Laughed my way through this. So ya, all of that above. Really only two notes.

If I had to pick a favorite moment, I would have to choose during the acting scene when we saw them through the window from Bob Singers viewpoint. Off goes The Dean, trying to figure things out, and shortly after follows a scared, and completely out of his element Sammy. It was just And I couldn't help but see it as the boys, especially Sam, reverting to childhood ways. I love how the boy's relationship is maturing, but it was just awesome to see how Sammy still looks to his older brother to lead the way. I mean, Dean's side-bar directing to Sam, his 'acting' face compared to Sam's puppy face, and of course, my favorite, off Dean goes and Sam chases after. "Wait up!" Aaaand I'm so totally gushing! sorry.

Second note, it appears to be official. "Research" is a code word. First in 'Changing Channels' and now in 'The French Mistake'. And on this subject, BAD, Baaaaaad Sammy! And poor Jared and Gen!!!

Oh ya, one more thing. Is there anyone else hoping that a camera was running when Jared and Jensen got a first glimpse at "their" house and trailer? Cause it would make my heart happy to see that on the gag reel.
# Jasminka 2011-03-01 03:23
Here's me rooting with you for a hilarious gag reel with lots of moments from this episode!!!
:lol: , Jas
# Sablegreen 2011-02-28 21:05
Good review Alice. This was a fun episode.
# Sam_Maddy 2011-02-28 22:34
Awesome recap, Alice!
# Ra-e 2011-03-01 00:33
Speaking of the second to last pic you posted.. what was up with that guy dodging the bullets matrix style?? LOL! GREAT review I agree completely..
# rmoats8621 2011-03-01 00:53
Great recap! I laughed through it all. Thanks. :lol:
# CitizenKane2 2011-03-01 02:27
I liked the way you tackled this review - very nice touch with so many pictorials. :)

(And I did enjoy this episode generally - there were some parts which I probably understood less well, probably because some of the "inside" jokes / references may have been lost on me).
# Ellie 2011-03-01 02:39
That acting scene was the funniest thing I have seen in ages .
# Jasminka 2011-03-01 03:24
Ben Edlund’s scripts are hilarious, but – also deep. There isn’t only the one layer, and those behind the obvious tend to creep up on you and get you when you don’t expect it…

I loved the episode! The ‘bad’ acting (and it’s hard, when you are a good actor, to pretend to be that bad!), the vanity trailer/house, the pic of the Alpaca next to Jared and Gen’s wedding picture, the cowboy poster behind Jared’s desk. Ha!

And you wonderfully point out those other layers, Alice. This is a perfect example of Generation Me. Perfect. And that’s not funny. Those people born in the late sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties belong to that generation, more or less, they feel more entitled than ever but are also more miserable than ever. And in this episode we find countless examples of that attitude.

The fangirl in me would like to believe that the ‘what you’re Polish’ came from the story I told Jim Beaver (with the request to pass it on to Jared) about that Polish patient I once had who was so proud of Jared and so grateful that he didn’t change his Polish name when entering show business. I remember Jim saying to me : ‘Oh, I know what Jared will say: What, I’m Polish?!’
It’s just a hilarious thought and a little fangirl’s dream… bwah :-x

And I also loved that the vanity Warhol of Jared was my all-time favourite picture of the man. Well chosen, prop guys.

All in all, this was a fabulous comedic episode. At this point I’m not going to delve into the unlayering of layers. I just want to have fun with this one.
Thanks a lot for this fun recap, Alice! Love, Jas
# Junkerin 2011-03-01 05:46
Verry good review. I still have to smile when I think about there "acting"

And the boys didn´t mind staring at Gens rear
# Karen 2011-03-01 07:57
Hi Alice
I Loved this episode, your review and the pictures you chose.
This episode was such a delight!
I can't even choose my favourite funniest moment, there is just too many.
# Julie 2011-03-01 08:01
This was lovely Alice thanks.
How could anyone not enjoy this episode, It`s great that just looking at the screencaps from it can make me laugh like an idiot. It needs so many re watches to get all the nuances and in jokes, something I am sure we are all willing to do ( and have already done).
So hard to pick a fav bit but I guess it has to be the wonderful `acting` I mean really " We have no other choice" :lol:
# Bevie 2011-03-01 14:43
Thanks Alice!

Great funny episode and great funny review!

;-) :lol:
# nancyL 2011-03-01 18:31
What a fun and funny episode.

Alice, this episode was not major plot building, or myth heavy, it was light and fluffy and made everybody :D .

We did learn something about the great war of Heaven, but basically it was how Jensen and Jared are self centered, materialistic divas. :lol: :lol:
And Dean and Sam Winchester, even when they are out of their element, are still the heroes we know and love. :D

But, honestly can we really trust Balthazar? He tried to get the Soulless One to kill Bobby, and he did it to f**k with Dean.

'I remember laughing all the way through "Bad Day At Black Rock" until Bela shot Sam. Fun over.'
You know the saying, it is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Poor Misha. :D

I agree, Sam and Dean would have gotten bored of spending all the money and then of course there is the 'acting' that they would be required to do. They would want to get out and hunt something.

Question: Is it cheating on your husband, if you believe that the man you are sleeping with is your husband??? :D

They shot God, I mean Eric Kripke. :lol:

I am truly enjoying this second half of the season. One more episode, which has Rufus and Bobby against Gramps, until the next hellatus.
# MetamorphicRocks 2011-03-01 21:15
This episode was alot of fun to watch. Like many others posted, my favorite part was also the "acting" scene! Throughout certain episodes, Supernatural has given me many chuckles; but I don't remember an episode ever making me laugh this heartily or more often!
# BagginsDVM 2011-03-01 23:08
This episode was so much fun!
The dingers were great! There were so many it is hard to pick a favorite!
I must admit, however, it was disturbing to see Misha get his throat slit!
# anonymousN 2011-03-02 06:04
Did Sam sleep with Gen(hopefully not)or not....
# Suze 2011-03-02 10:52
I've been off doing stuff far away from computers for a couple of weeks and this came as a total shock ...

Very funny whan I got my head round it but as far as I'm concerned they can stop the worlds-within-w orlds-double-th inky stuff now as my brain's starting to curl up round the edges.

PS. I do so hope that stoopid cowboy picture behind Sam isn't the shape of western episodes to come, they wouldn't be that cruel ... What am I saying? Of course they would ...
# Misteree 2011-03-02 14:52
Did anyone else think there might be some reason, we see Raphael in a girl meat suit right after we meet the big bad of the season who is also a woman?
# Mstngsali1 2011-03-03 21:46
Loved it Alice! I wasn't as thrilled with this episode as I wanted to be but the more I watch it, the more it grows on me.
# kaj 2011-03-07 03:48
I really really love this ep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
love it soooo much i can't stop laughing. Even if this AU is very close to real but it's still a make up universe. J squared here are not even the real ones but did anybody notice that the real Jensen and Jared are there too? ;-)
No? Because i read several reviews of this ep and nobody said anything about it.
okay... if you re-watch the scene where Sam and Dean walk into J. Ackles' trailer for the first time. Didn't you ever think it weird that Jensen let the big screen plasma tv on while he's not there? (Okay, he is a big TV star, he can do whatever he likes) That Plasma TV serves a purpose. It’s already on when the boys came in. The TV plays a movie with Jensen wearing a black suit talking to someone on it.

And watch.... when Dean turned his back from the tv to talk to Sam about the Spell ...Notice that Jensen that's in the TV WINKS at us then it turns out that he is talking to Jared because then Jared turns around and he too WINKS at us. OMG!!!!!!!! :eek:

I noticed it right away the first time i watch the scene. Because somehow i was drawn to that TV since the first time the boys walk in. First, i noticed only Jared because he suddenly turns around. So, just to make sure i rewind it (i did not watch it live) again and again 3 times and i am sure it's there. Jensen Winks first then Jared. The real J2 are there on TV as if they shout out “Gotcha!” at us. Nice prank, guys! ;-)

Oh i almost forget, have any of you find out what picture that Misha took when he sit behind Sam? Is it true that he take picture of Sam's back with his phone just before he tweeted "J and J had a late night"

I love Bob's horror when he phones Sera that Jensen is now sleeping at Jared's house..... a poke at Wincest's fan maybe? (Sorry, i don't mean to offend)

God! I love this ep! I love this show!!
(forgive my English, it's not my mother tongue)
# Alice 2011-03-08 15:50
Jensen DID live with Jared. For a year, at Jared's house during season four. He moved out when both got engaged. Jared ended up selling the house anyway and moved into a condo. It was one of those things where Jensen had to move out of his rental and needed a place to go fast. Jared, coming off a rather devastating break up with his fiancee, offered his basement to Jensen and he took it. I believe at a con later Jensen confessed that he moved in not only because he needed a convenient place fast (plus it was easier on Clif to pick them up every morning), but Jared really needed a friend at the time. Yes, the fan girls in that room melted into a puddle when they heard that story. :-)
# McMaggie 2011-05-07 19:27
I believe at a con later Jensen confessed that he moved in not only because he needed a convenient place fast (plus it was easier on Clif to pick them up every morning), but Jared really needed a friend at the time.

Alice,do you know which convention? I'd love to see a video of this if it is available