(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 3, Episode 10: Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Image and episode summary from Wikipedia:
As Sam confronts Dean about the latter's apparent lack of concern over his own fate, he is interrupted by a call from a hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania explaining that Bobby has mysteriously fallen into a coma. Trapped within a nightmare, Bobby is hiding from a mysterious woman (Elizabeth Marleau) in his home. The brothers search Bobby's motel room and find a newspaper article about a doctor who suffered a sleep-related death. Dean tracks down Jeremy, a young man who was part of a secret sleep study conducted by the doctor. Unable to dream after being brutally hit in the head with a baseball bat by his father, Jeremy (G. Michael Gray) reveals that the experiment allowed him to do so by drinking a yellow tea, but the dreams scared him so much that he dropped out of the study. Sam later explains that a plant known as "African Dream Root" allows a person to enter and manipulate others' dreams; he believes someone killed the doctor in this manner and is now targeting Bobby. Acquiring the dream root from Bela, Sam and Dean rescue Bobby from his demonically-possessed wife whom he was forced to kill years earlier. Sam is attacked by Jeremy in the dream, but they all awaken when Bobby takes control. Sam and Dean later use the dream root to confront Jeremy, but become separated. Dean first sees Lisa declaring her love for him, and is then faced by a demonic version of himself that comments on his feelings of worthlessness. The Dream Dean taunts him that he cannot escape his fate, and reminds him that exposure to Hell will transform him into a demon. As Dean begins to fight his doppelganger, Sam finds Jeremy and summons a dream version of Jeremy's father. A terrified Jeremy is distracted, and Sam kills him with a baseball bat. The brothers awaken from their dreams, only to find that Bela has stolen the Colt from them. As the brothers prepare to leave to hunt her down, Dean admits that he does not want to die.
A Bobby episode! I love Bobby!
We see Bobby walking around his house with a flashlight. He’s investigating something. He enters the kitchen, and is attacked! But then we see Bobby in bed. Just a dream!
A maid comes into the motel room, and apologizes when she sees him in bed. But Bobby doesn’t respond. And when she tries to wake him up, nothing happens.
We cut back to Bobby’s dream, where he’s being attacked by a woman. The maid shakes him, trying to wake him, and then calls for help when he doesn’t stir.
After the title card, we see Sam sitting in a bar with a drink. Dean comes in and asks what Sam’s doing.
Sam says he’s having a drink but Dean tells him it’s 2 in the afternoon. What’s the big deal, Sam asks (he seems a little tipsy).
Dean presses the issue, and Sam says he tried. He tried to save Dean.
Dean sits down and orders a drink (whiskey, double, neat). Sam is upset that he can’t stop Dean from going to Hell, maybe even Ruby can’t (we know, and Dean knows, that she can’t). Sam says he’s starting to think that maybe no one can save Dean.
Dean says that’s what he’s been telling Sam.
“No, that’s not what I mean. I mean no one can save you because you don’t want to be saved”. It’s not not true… “How can you care so little about yourself? What’s wrong with you?” OUCH. The truth hurts.
Then Dean’s phone rings – it’s about Bobby! They drive to the hospital. The doctor tells them that Bobby seems perfectly healthy – except for the coma.
Aww Dean (as Mr. Snyderson) is Bobby’s emergency contact. The doctor says there’s nothing they can do because they don’t know what’s causing it. It looks like Bobby went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
Sam and Dean go to Bobby’s motel room and wonder what he’s doing in Pittsburgh. He must be working a job. They explore the room, looking for research, news clippings, something. Sam opens the closet door and finds Bobby’s work on the back wall. They try to figure out what he was after. Sam finds an obituary for a doctor, a university neurologist, who died – after he went to sleep and didn’t wake up! Like Bobby!
So Bobby was hunting something that started hunting him. Dean tells Sam to stay put and see if he can understand Bobby’s research, and Dean goes to talk to the deceased doctor’s lab assistant to see what he can learn.
The doctor studied sleeping disorders and dreams. The lab assistant says she already talked to the other detective – an older man with a beard – and tries to do this later. Dean pushes and she admits that she didn’t know about the doctor’s experiments until she was cleaning out his office. Dean tries to press her for details and she tells him to hand over the doctor’s research.
Dean goes to meet with a student connected to the doctor’s research. This kid was one of the doctor’s test subjects for a sleep study. He passes Dean a beer, and it turns out this kid had a bike accident as a kid and hasn’t had a dream since – until the doctor’s study. The doctor was studying the disorder that this kid has, and gave him some kind of yellow tea, which apparently gave him the most vivid, super intense dream. Like a bad acid trip. After that, he dropped out of the study, telling Dean that he didn’t like it. It kind of scared him.
Back at the hospital, Dean is sitting by Bobby’s bedside when Sam comes in. Dean tells him there’s no change. Sam tells Dean about Bobby’s research. It seems that the doctor was using a plant called African dream root in that tea. Legends say that the plant was used for dream walking, including entering someone else’s dream. With enough practice, you could become Freddy Krueger, controlling anything, turning good dreams bad, bad dreams good, and even kill people in their sleep.
Sam wonders why Bobby’s still alive, if the killer came after him.
Then we enter Bobby’s dream – his nightmare – where Bobby is hiding from whatever is chasing him in his house. He calls for help. Poor Bobby!
Sam and Dean are leaving the hospital, wondering how they’ll find out who is doing this. Sam says in any other case, they would be calling Bobby to ask for help. Dean says he’s right – they should take some dream root and get inside Bobby’s head to ask him about it.
But where will they get some of this dream root?
Enter Bela. Sam clearly is not happy to be coming to her for help. Until she drops her coat and makes a move on him…
Hahaha thankfully it was a dream. Dean makes fun of him but Sam won’t say what he was dreaming about.
Dean says he called Bela and Sam’s reaction is hilarious. Apparently Bela won’t help them. Dean is trying to decipher the doctor’s notes.
There’s a knock on the door and when Dean answers it, it is Bela! And she’s wearing a trench coat! Sam’s reaction is funny.
Despite turning them down, she brought them the African dream for them after all. Dean wants to know why she’s helping them. It turns out that she’s doing this for Bobby, not them. Bobby saved her life once in Flagstaff. She screwed up and he saved her. Bela wants to come on this dreamwalk with them but Dean is not having it. Dean tells her to leave.
It’s 2 am she says – where is she supposed to go? Dean doesn’t care. He tells her to get a room.
Sam makes the dream tea and gives a cup to Dean. Before they drink, Sam adds some of Bobby’s hair. Gross! That’s how you control who’s dream you’re in – you drink some of their body. That’s disgusting.
They drink their tea and it doesn’t take long for weird, dream-like things to start happening. Like rain pouring upside down. Turning around, they see they’re in Bobby’s house. Only it’s a nicer, cleaner version of his house.
They start to move around, looking for Bobby, calling his name. Sam tells Dean he’s going to look outside, even though Dean thinks he should stay close.
Outside the house, it’s bright and sunny, with birds chirping. But the door closes behind Sam and he can’t get back in. Uh oh.
Inside, Dean opens the doors to the kitchen. He hears a noise coming from a closet and finds Bobby! Bobby asks how Dean found him. Dean tells him that they got their hands on some dream root.
Bobby is confused. He doesn’t seem to know they’re in a dream. Dean tries to tell him. When the lights flicker, Bobby gets frightened. Then a woman, bleeding, walks towards them. Bobby says it’s his wife!
Back outside the house, Sam walks around the yard.
Inside, Bobby’s wife asks why. Why did he do this to her? He says he would rather die himself than hurt her, but she tells him that he did hurt her. He killed her.
Dean tries to tell Bobby she isn’t real.
Bobby reveals that his wife was possessed and he didn’t know what he knows now, he didn’t know how to save her. She chases Bobby and Dean.
Outside, Sam is attacked – by the kid from the doctor’s sleep study!
He tells Sam that what he’s doing is self-defence, that Bobby came after him. Sam says maybe that’s because he’s a killer.
He tells Sam that in here, he’s a god and Sam is an insect.
Inside, Dean is trying to tell Bobby that this is all a dream and Bobby can do anything, he can wake up.
Dean yells at him to snap out of it! He tells Bobby that he’s not going to let him die, that Bobby’s like a father to him! Awww!!
Bobby seems to realize what Dean’s saying and Dean tells him to take control of the dream. Suddenly the banging and yelling of Bobby’s wife stops. Dean opens the door and she’s gone.
Dean asks him to wake up. And he does, just in time, sitting up in the hospital bed right before Sam gets his head bashed in!
As Bobby wakes up, so do Sam and Dean.
In Bobby’s hospital room, they’re going over his research. Dean asks Bobby about all that stuff with his wife – did it actually happen? Bobby says that everybody got into this life somehow.
Bobby thanks Dean for saving him.
Sam comes in, and tells them that the kid – named Jeremy – wasn’t in his dorm room. Bobby tells them that he’s a genius. He shows them a picture of Jeremy’s dad, telling the boys that his Dad took a baseball bat to Jeremy’s head. That is the injury that gave him the inability to dream – until the dream root.
Dean asks how Jeremy knew what Bobby’s worst nightmare was, in order to mess with him. And Sam asks how he got in Bobby’s head in the first place – you need some of the person’s hair, DNA or something. Bobby says that he was dumb enough to drink a beer that Jeremy offered him, before Bobby knew Jeremy was the culprit.
Uh oh. Dean is realizing that he also drank a beer that Jeremy offered him. Haha.
Dean says they’ll have to find Jeremy first. Bobby says they’d better find him fast. The one thing they cannot do is fall asleep.
Two days later, Dean is driving, pissed that they haven’t found Jeremy yet. He gets a call from Bobby, who doesn’t have anything either. Bela is there with Bobby, trying to help locate Jeremy, but she isn’t having any luck either.
Bobby asks Bela why she’s helping them. Bela says she’s surprised that Bobby doesn’t remember – Flagstaff. Bobby doesn’t seem to remember…interesting…
Meanwhile, Dean pulls the car over and tells Sam that’s it, he’s done. He’s going to sleep. They can’t find Jeremy, so let Jeremy come to him. Sam won’t let him go after Jeremy alone. He yanks some of Dean’s hair but Dean doesn’t want him coming along, doesn’t want him digging around in his head.
“Too bad,” Sam says.
Later, Sam wakes Dean up. Sam hears a noise. They get out of the car to go investigate. They hear music and Dean turns to see Lisa sitting on a blanket with a picnic basket. She tells him to come sit down. She says they only have an hour before they have to pick Ben up from baseball.
Dean turns to Sam – “I’ve never had this dream before” (which lol – clearly a lie).
Lisa tells Dean that she loves him. But oh no, it flickers away! The look on Dean’s face 🙁 🙁 🙁 After everything that’s happened, part of Dean still wants that “normal” life.
Sam sees Jeremy and they chase after him. Sam and Dean get separated and Dean turns and sees that he’s actually in a hallway.
Sam stops and calls for Dean. But Dean is walking down the hall, and the last door at the end opens. Inside is a motel room. As Dean enters slowly, he sees someone sitting with his back to him.
At first Dean thinks it’s Jeremy. But as he gets closer, the figure turns around. It’s Dean! OtherDean turns around.
OtherDean says “We need to talk.” They start to circle each other.
“Our” Dean: “I get it. I’m my own worst nightmare. Is that it? Like the Superman 3 junkyard scene, a little mano a mano with myself?”
OtherDean: “Joke all you want, smart ass. But you can’t lie to me. I know the truth. I know how dead you are inside. How worthless you feel. I know how you look into a mirror and hate what you see.” UMM HOW COULD ANYONE WHO LOOKS LIKE THAT HATE WHAT THEY SEE IN A MIRROR j/k I know this is really serious but come on.
“Our” Dean: “Sorry pal, it’s not gonna work. You’re not real.”
OtherDean: “Sure I am. I’m you.”
“Our” Dean: “I don’t think so. See, this is my siesta, not yours. All I gotta do is snap my fingers and you go bye-bye.” He snaps his fingers but nothing happens. Uh oh. He snaps again.
OtherDean smirks. “I’m not going anywhere. Neither are you.” The door closes! “Like I said, we need to talk.”
Sam wakes up and sees Dean turned away beside him in the car. He goes to wake him up. Only it isn’t Dean! It’s Jeremy!
Jeremy attacks Sam, who gets out of the car. Jeremy tells Sam he doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone. Jeremy has a baseball bat! Jeremy says the doctor is the one who got him hooked on the dream root, then took it away and wouldn’t let him have it. Jeremy asks Sam if he knows what it’s like, not being able to dream. He tells Sam he just wanted to be left alone.
Sam says sorry – can’t do that. Jeremy pins Sam down and menaces Sam with the baseball bat.
Jeremy tells Sam that he and his brother aren’t waking up.
Back in the ‘motel room’, OtherDean taunts our Dean: “You’re going to Hell and you won’t life a finger to stop it. Talk about low self esteem. Then again, I guess it’s not much of a life worth saving.”
“Our” Dean tells himself to wake up…
OtherDean continues, cruelly: “After all, you’ve got nothing outside of Sam. You are nothing. You’re as mindless and obedient as an attack dog.”
“That’s not true,” “Our” Dean says.
OtherDean taunts him,saying that the things he loves, the things he dreams, are his dad’s: his car, his music, his favourite leather jacket. “Do you even have an original thought?” Ouch. Teasing him that all there is to watch out for Sammy, that he still hears Dad’s voice in his head. But all Dad ever did was train him and boss him around, while he loved Sam and doted upon him. Dad knew Dean was a good soldier and nothing else. Dad didn’t even care whether he lived or died; why should he?
Dean shoves him, yelling that his father was an obsessed bastard. He beats up “Other” Dean and lets loose about their dad, saying that he’s the one who couldn’t protect his family and who let mom die, who wasn’t there for Sam, but Dean always was.
“I don’t deserve what he put on me, and I don’t deserve to go to Hell,” he yells, shooting his Other self. Powerful scene.
Meanwhile, Sam is getting his ass kicked by Jeremy and the baseball bat.
Back in the motel, Dean approaches OtherDean slowly – who then jolts awake, with demon-black eyes. “You can’t escape me Dean. You’re gonna die. And this? This is what you’re gonna become!” Spooky!
Jeremy tells Sam there’s nothing he can’t do in there, because of the dream root.
Sam tells Jeremy that he’s forgetting something – he took the dream root too. And then Jeremy’s worst nightmare comes true: his dad. While Jeremy is distracted, Sam whacks him, and it looks like he dies in real life.
That jolts Sam and Dean awake for real. They look at each other, then look away.
Sam tells Bobby that he used the dream root to do some dream-weaving of his own. Bobby asks if it had anything to do with that “psychic stuff”, referencing Sam’s abilities, but Sam tells him no. He doesn’t think so.
In the room, Dean gets off the phone, telling them that Bela isn’t in her room and isn’t answering her phone. Bobby wonders why she helped them. Dean says that Bela told them that he saved her life in Flagstaff. Bobby says he gave her an amulet for a good deal, that’s all. So the mystery remains – why did she help them? Bobby tells them to check their pockets (not literally) – Dean heads over to the wall safe and wouldn’t you know it, the Colt is gone. Doh!
Bobby is not impressed. Dean tells them they’re going to hunt her down and go after it.
While they’re loading the trunk, Dean asks Sam what he saw while he was in Dean’s head. Sam tells him how Jeremy separated them. He asks what Dean saw, but Dean lies and says nothing, he was looking for Sam the whole time.
They get in the car. Dean tells Sam that he’s been doing some thinking and the thing is, he doesn’t want to die. He doesn’t want to go to Hell. Sam nods, saying alright. They’ll find a way to save them. Dean says good.
Then we get a black and white flashback to his encounter with his demon self, hearing him tell him again that he’s going to become a demon. Oh no!
-African dream root
I love this episode, mostly for that scene between Dean and his ‘other’ self in the dream. It’s so powerful and for the first time we hear Dean let loose about what he really thinks about his father, about not deserving all the weight that was placed on his shoulders, and that not only does he not want to die and go to Hell, but that his biggest fear is that it will happen – and he’ll turn into a demon, now that we know how demons are “born” out of souls that get twisted and tortured in Hell.
(Spoiler for the end of seasons 3 and 9: and the fact that he still ends up going to Hell, and then years later STILL ends up becoming a demon – briefly – makes this extra heartbreaking to rewatch. End of spoiler)
And I love that he finally tells Sam plainly that he doesn’t want to die and doesn’t want to go to Hell and Sam accepts it, saying they’ll find a way. He doesn’t argue, doesn’t say that he knew it all along.
And of course I love a Bobby episode! They boys had to pull together to save Bobby, and Dean tells him that he was like a father to him. So great!