Project SPN Rewatch: Wishful Thinking
(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 4, Episode 8: Wishful Thinking
This is an episode that I remember better than some of the others this season.
Someone is taking a shower. Let me just say, nothing good ever happens in the shower on this show.
Some creepy little dude is spying on her, of course. Gross. But she doesn’t see him – he went invisible! As she’s wrapping her hair in a towel, we see his footprints approach her. She seems to sense someone is there and calls out. She takes off her towel and goes to throw it on the bench but it lands on the invisible guy’s head and she screams!
Sam and Dean are in a restaurant, with Dean drinking shots. Yikes. Sam is saying it doesn’t make sense – why would Uriel tell him that Dean remembered hell if he didn’t? Dean says because Uriel’s a dick.
Hahaha their waiter is funny.
Dean tells Sam that he doesn’t know why Uriel said what he did, and does another shot. OKKKKKKKKKKK that’s how Dean is going to play it…Sam tells Dean to look him in the eye and tell him he doesn’t want to remember.
LOL this waiter!
Dean asks Sam where they go from here. Sam says it’s been quiet. No signs of demon activity, and he mentions a possible ghost (haunting the women’s showers – that gets Dean’s attention. He says they’ve gotta save these people).
The boys enter a Chinese food restaurant and interview the woman from the beginning of the episode, telling Sam about her experience. LOL Sam tells her he’s working on a book called Supernatural and asks about her encounter.
She says after seeing the spirit, she ran.
Sam notices a very pretty girl and a guy that is kind of not in her league at another table, making out.
The woman tells Sam the ghost chased her and knew her name. It kept yelling Mrs. Armstrong! And she hit the stairs and fell – Sam asks if the ghost pushed her or meant to hurt her, but she says she’s lucky to be alive. She was at the bottom of the stairs and the apparition helped her up and kept asking her not to tell his mom.
Sam definitely thinks that’s weird.
Dean is waiting for Sam, reading the paper. He says there’s no EMF anywhere and Sam says he kind of got the feeling that ‘crazy’ pushed Mrs. Armstrong down the stairs.
Dean says he’s disappointed – he wanted to save some naked women.
They see a little kid being chased by other kids and Dean kind of mocks them. Sam says there’s nothing going on here.
Then they see a man and sheriff arguing, and Dean says something is going on.
This guy is screaming at the sheriff about seeing Big Foot! Sam and Dean approach, flashing their FBI badges, saying they’re here about Big Foot. They ask the man to tell them where this sighting happened.
Sam and Dean wonder what is going on here. Sam says every hunter worth his salt knows Big Foot’s a hoax, but…they see some pretty convincing footprints.
They follow the trail to a liquor store that has had its door ripped off the hinges. They go in and find broken bottles on the floor.
Sam notices that some of the dirty magazines have been taken too. “He took the whole porno rack?” Dean asks.
“What the hell is going on in this town?” Dean asks again.
They go back outside and sit down on a bench, clearly confused.
“I got nothing,” Dean says. Sam says it’s gotta be a joke.
A little girl on a bike rides by and a magazine falls out of her basket. Dean picks it up: Busty Asian Beauties (that is a magazine that Dean is fond of). They follow the little girl.
She drops off a box of magazines and bottles at the liquor store with a note that says ‘Sorry’. Sam and Dean follow her back to her place.
The boys definitely have no idea what’s going on. They knock on the door and the little girl answers. Sam asks if her parents are home but she says no. Dean asks if she’s seen a really furry –
“Is he in trouble?” she asks, before Dean can finish his sentence.
Sam says no, they just want to make sure he’s ok. The girl tells them he’s her teddy bear and she thinks he’s sick. Dean tells her they’re teddy bear doctors, holding out a health inspector badge.
The girl asks them to take a look at her teddy bear. The boys agree and follow her inside. She takes them upstairs, telling them Teddy is pretty grumpy.
She knocks on the door, calling “Teddy, there’s some nice doctors here to see you.” She opens the door to reveal a giant teddy bear chugging from a liquor bottle watching TV.
“Close the fricking door!” the bear yells.
She closes the door and turns back to Sam and Dean. “See what I mean?”
I LOVE THE EXPRESSIONS ON SAM AND DEAN’S FACES. Whatever they were expecting, this clearly wasn’t it!!!
The little girl tells them that all she ever wanted was a teddy which was big, real, and talked, but now he’s sad all the time (“ouch in the head sad”), says weird stuff, and smells like the bus!
Dean asks the girl – Audrey – how her teddy became real. She tells them that she wished for it, at the wishing well.
The boys walk back in and look at the bear, watching the news.
“You believe this crap?” the bear asks.
“Not really,” Dean says.
The bear says it’s a terrible world. “Why am I here,” he cries.
“For tea parties!” Audrey tells him.
“Tea parties,” the bear says. “Is that all there is?” Dean exits the room and Sam tells Audrey to give them a second. Sam and Dean walk away. “Are we…should we…are we gonna kill this teddy bear?” Sam whispers to Dean.
Dean asks how. “Shoot it, burn it?”
“Both,” Sam replies.
Dean asks how they know it’s gonna work. “I don’t want some giant flaming pissed off teddy on our hands.”
Sam says the bear isn’t the core problem here. He asks Audrey where her parents are.
“My mom wished they’re in Bali so I think they’re in Bali.” Sam and Dean’s reactions to everything in this scene are amazing.
Sam tells her that her bear is sick. He’s got lollipop disease. Dean says it’s not uncommon for a bear his size but it’s contagious, and is there a grown up she can stay with?
Audrey says there’s a neighbour down the street. The boys say they’d like her to stay there for a few days, and they ask her where this wishing well is.
We see the little boy who was running from bullies earlier throw a coin in the wishing well in the Chinese food restaurant where Sam first interviewed the woman who claimed she’d seen a ghost.
As the boy walks away, Sam and Dean approach the well. They can’t think of a better explanation for what they’ve seen than a wishing well that works.
Dean says there’s one way to find out, and he takes out some change. Sam asks what he’s going to wish for. Dean says you’re not supposed to tell.
Immediately a delivery guy walks in with a foot-long Italian sub with jalapeno. Of course Dean wished for a sandwich!
So this wishing well works! While Dean eats his sandwich, Dean shows him a front-page story from the newspaper of a man winning the lottery, and Sam nods at the man and woman from earlier.
Dean asks what they’re supposed to do but Sam says when does something like this ever come without a price tag, especially a deadly one?
Dean says fine, they’ll shut down the wishes until they can figure it out. The restaurant owner comes over and says they don’t allow people to eat outside food here, and Dean takes out his health inspector badge, saying they’re not going to allow people to eat the inside food here. He tells the owner they have to shut the place down due to a rat infestation.
We then see Sam and Dean standing by the fountain, now drained of water, with Dean saying it’s a typical fountain. The owner says they keep a clean place here. Sam says they have to ask him to leave during a preliminary investigation.
Dean hands Sam a coin, asking if he isn’t a little bit tempted.
Sam says no. “It wouldn’t be real. I wouldn’t trust it.”
Dean says that bear seemed pretty real. He asks Sam if he could wish himself back, before this all started, and he could be some big yuppie lawyer with a nice car, white picket fence…Sam says that’s not what he’d wish for.
“It’s too late to go back to our old lives, Dean. I’m not that guy anymore.” Damn.
Dean asks what Sammy would wish for then. Sam answers, “Lillith’s head on a plate, bloody.” Well I don’t think that’s the answer Dean was expecting.
Dean looks back at the fountain and notices a strange coin at the bottom. He can’t move it.
We next see them trying to remove this coin with a crowbar and a sledgehammer, neither of which work. That coin does not want to move!
Sam says the coin is magical. Sam makes a drawing of the coin and gives it to Dean, telling him to look into this, and something has occurred to Sam that he is going to investiage.
Back at the ladies’ shower room, Sam accosts the invisible guy and confronts him about wishing to be invisible to spy on women in the shower.
Dean sees the little kid chasing his bullies, yelling that they’d better run.
He sees Dean looking at him. “You got a problem mister?” Yikes!
Dean says no and the kid runs off.
Uh oh, it seems like Dean’s sub is not sitting well. When Sam gets back to the motel, he hears Dean in the bathroom. “The wishes turn bad, Sam. The wishes turn very bad.” Poor Dean.
Dean tells Sam the coin is Babylonian and it’s cursed. He found some fragments of a legend. Look at Dean doing the research!
The serpent on the coin is Tiamat, Babylonian god of primordial chaos. Some black magic was used to make that coin.
The wishes get granted but they get twisted. Dean says it’s turned more than one town upside down over centuries. Sam asks how to stop it. Dean says they have to find the person who dropped the coin in and made the first wish: they are the only person who could remove the coin.
Uh oh. We see Teddy has left a note saying that life is meaningless, and we see him sitting with a shotgun…he’s crying. Oh no Teddy!
We hear the gunshot and see stuffing fly but…Teddy is still alive. “WHY!!” he yells, shaking his Teddy fist.
Oh no. Dean is sleeping, and we see he’s having flashbacks of hell. Sam is yelling at him to wake up. Dean reaches for a bottle of booze and Sam tells him he sees the nightmares and drinking. He knows something’s going on and that Uriel wasn’t lying: Dean remembers hell.
Sam wants the truth. But Dean says they’re on a job and he just wants to work.
Sam runs down the wishes that they know were made, but how do they know who wished first and if anyone else made wishes?
Dean sees an engagement announcement in the newspaper that goes back a month. This might be it!
The couple is the same as the one we saw making out in the restaurant at the beginning of the episode: Wes and Hope. Wes is napping in his chair when Hope comes in with some food she made for him. That’s quite a snack!
He tells her she didn’t have to and she says she wanted to…then says she had to, because she loves him more than anything.
Wes asks her if she’s happy. She answers that she loves him more than anything but that isn’t really what he asked…he tells her he wants her to start doing things that made her happy before. She says she’ll try to be happier.
The doorbell rings and she goes to answer it. Sam and Dean come in and have told Hope that they’re florists, which sends her off to get her binders for wedding planning.
Wes asks aren’t they the guys from the health department? Sam says they’re florists on the side, and Dean says they’re also FBI, and on Thursdays, they’re teddy bear doctors.
The boys tell Wes it doesn’t matter who they are; it matters what they know.
Sam notices Wes is a coin collector. Dean asks if he’s lost a coin lately – dropped into a wishing well perhaps?
Wes says he doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Then Hope comes in with all her binders, remarking that with Wes in between jobs, it means that he has more time for her.
Sam asks how she and Wes met. Hope says they both grew up here but she never knew who he was. And then one day last month, it was like she saw him for the first time. Wes asks Hope to get them some coffee. She leaves.
Sam tells Wes that they know – and to tell them the truth.
Hope overhears Wes telling the brothers about the coin collection, including the wish-granting coin. His grandfather gave him the coin, telling him no one should ever use it. Wes says when his grandfather died, he thought why not give the coin a shot? Sam told him to wish it back. Wes refuses. They tell him something bad will happen if he doesn’t, and Dean takes out his gun. “We really wish you’d come with us.”
We see Sam and Dean in the car with Wes in the backseat, asking so what if his wish came true? Why does that have to be a bad thing? Sam tells him that the wishes go south and his town is going insane.
Wes says he wished Hope would love him more than anything. Sam asks how that’s going – does that seem healthy? Wes says it’s better than when she didn’t know he was alive. Dean says you’re not supposed to get what you want, not like this.
Dean reminds Wes, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Suddenly the car hits something, but they can’t see anything. They drive off.
Then we see the invisible boy crying out in pain. Oops.
Wes says that good-looking jerks like Sam and Dean tell people to be careful what you wish for, saying that they have it so easy because they’re handsome.
Sam and Dean disagree, telling Wes they are miserable and never get what they want.
Wes says that Hope loves him now and it’s awesome. He asks where the insanity is they’re talking about.
The boys pull up to the restaurant just as Todd flips a car with his bullies inside, yelling, “Kneel before Todd!”
Dean says he’ll handle Todd, and tells Sam to get Wes to the restaurant.
Dean asks Todd if he can talk to him. He tells him that the guys are bullies. Todd tells Dean that he doesn’t know what it’s like. He couldn’t stop them, couldn’t do anything. Then Audrey told him the wishing well worked.
Dean said they’re mean little jerks, but they aren’t super human, and with great power comes great –
OH SNAP Todd just hit Dean and launched him!
Wes is getting mad, asking Sam why can’t we just get what we want? Sam says that’s life. AND THEN HE GETS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING WTFFFFFFFFFFFF.
Wes steps over Sam’s body and goes inside to the fountain, where Hope is standing there. He approaches her and she tells him that she had to do it – Sam was going to make Wes wish away their love.
Dean gets up and looks at Todd. He calls him back over and tries to punch him! Todd grabs Dean by the throat.
Wes asks Hope if she wished a man dead. She tells him she loves him more than anything – more than herself, more than life. Wes kisses her and tells her she’ll be okay.
Then he goes over to the fountain and picks up the coin.
Todd lets go of Dean and Sam comes to.
Dean tells Todd to follow his lead and he won’t have a problem. Dean backs away from Todd, acting terrified, telling the bullies not to mess with Todd anymore. The bullies are scared and Todd smiles, walking away.
Wes looks at Hope, who asks Wes if she knows him. She looks a little confused and walks out of the restaurant.
She passes Sam on the sidewalk.
I can’t feel bad for Wes, because he basically used a wish to brainwash a woman into loving him, and that’s gross.
Wes gives Sam the coin and walks away.
We see the next day’s newspaper, with a story that the winning lottery ticket from earlier turned out to be a fake.
Audrey is walking with her sunburned parents holding her teddy, who has a hole with some stuffing coming out of it. She smiles and waves at Dean.
Sam walks over and tells Dean the coin has been melted down. Dean points out Audrey’s parents, saying it looks like all the wishes are gone.
As they walk off, Dean tells Sam to hang on. He tells Sam that he was right, that he shouldn’t have lied to him. He does remember everything that happened to him in the pit.
Sam asks him to tell him about it but Dean says no. He says he won’t lie anymore but he’s not going to talk about it.
Sam says Dean can’t shoulder it along. He has to let Sam help.
Dean asks how. Does Sam really think a hug and some caring and sharing is going to help? That it will heal him somehow? Dean says he isn’t talking about a bad day. The things that he saw…there aren’t words, he says. There’s no forgetting or making it better. It’s in his mind forever, in his memory, and Sam wouldn’t understand and Dean can’t make him understand.
Sam looks sad and Dean looks tormented, then walks away with Sam following him.
This is such an interesting episode for me, in several ways. First of all, that giant talking teddy bear cracks me up. Sam and Dean’s reactions to him are hilarious. I don’t think Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki get enough credit for how funny they are!
The teddy bear thing is just so dark and bizarre and weird, and the kind of thing that I think could only have come from Supernatural. It’s so memorable (to me. My younger sister had no recollection of this episode) and it’s the kind of thing that, the first time I saw it, made me realize what a special show this was, to be able to do something so out there and weird and inventive that somehow totally fits with the show. It reminds me that Supernatural is not afraid to try something strange.
Then there’s the wishing aspect. We know that Sam and Dean have not had perfect lives and if they could, with no consequences, wouldn’t they wish for some things to be different? But hearing Sam tell Dean that he wouldn’t wish to be a lawyer with a fancy car and a white picket fence because he’s “not that guy anymore” kind of takes my breath away. Dean either thinks Sam is that guy or wants for Sam to be that guy. Sometimes, I think Dean wants a normal life for Sam more than Sam wants a normal life for himself.
And that moment of Sam telling Dean that that isn’t who he is anymore is so important, and Dean is, I don’t know, surprised? Disappointed? Let’s remember, when the show started, Sam had told Dean he’d help him look for their father just for the weekend…and he never went back. So maybe Dean had held out some hope somewhere that Sam could have finished school and had a 9-5 job with a wife and kids, or maybe he just thinks that’s what Sam still wants…but by now, Sam is a hunter. This is his life and he doesn’t seem to feel bad about it or want to change it.
And then at the end, where Dean admits to Sam that he remembers his time in hell, but he doesn’t want to talk about it, is really moving. You can see how tormented Dean is over what he experienced, but it makes me so sad that he doesn’t feel like talking to Sam about it will help. And poor Sam, who wants to help Dean and listen to him, but is being shut out again and again, first with Dean lying to him about not remembering and then with Dean telling him that he won’t talk to him about it because he doesn’t think it will help him, makes me sad.
This is one of those good episodes that mixes the funny (the wackiness of the wishes) with the really serious stuff.