Previously on Supernatural, ‘Plush’
After Sam wakes up to a kitchen full of goodies that would make a fat kid’s dreams come true (and a life of diabetes), Sam learns that Sully (Nate Torrence), his imaginary friend from when he was nine, has come back.
At first Sam is hesitant to believe what he’s seeing but then realizes he’s real when Sully allows Dean to see him as well. Apparently, imaginary friends exist as benevolent creatures called Zannas that materialize to children with low self-esteem and who need help getting through rough patches, but someone is going around killing the imaginary friends and Sully needs Sam and Dean’s special set of skills as hunters.
After investigating a couple of the murders, the guys get a break when the third murder attempt fails and the Zanna is able to get a look at the killer. The boys track down the culprit and it turns out the woman was another of Sully’s kids, who’s upset because her twin sister was killed in a car accident while playing with Sully. The woman had harbored anger her entire life until she visited a witch who educated her on the lore of Zannas and provided her a spell that allows her to see them. In a twist for Supernatural the boys are able to talk the woman into accepting her grief and forgiving Sully without any bloodshed.
As you can imagine in an episode about imaginary friends (heh heh) they’re going to be a lot of opportunities for jokes and Supernatural didn’t disappoint. From Dean cracking jokes left and right about the fact that imaginary friends exist (and coming up with names like manicorn for a man that was also a unicorn) to Weems the imaginary boyfriend of the imaginary mermaid saying that his fat saved him as the knife went right through his love handle. The funniest was as the tail of the murdered mermaid hangs over a backyard pool Dean asks what do we do with the mermaid flush her down the toilet? I don’t know; I guess I’m just morbid.
The flashbacks do a good job of revealing why a nine-year-old Sam needed an imaginary friend as he spends the majority of his childhood left home alone while his father and Dean are out hunting. This isn’t the first time Supernatural explores a broken childhood for Sam and does a good job of tying in the need for Sully, who acts as a surrogate father/brother. When Sam finally gets the call that he can now come hunting with his family, you can totally believe Sam’s excitement as this is all he’s been waiting for his entire life. Sully tries to talk him out of it (Sam and Sully were planning to run away before the call) because he knows ultimately this is not a life Sam will want, but Sam isn’t hearing any of it and when he wishes Sully away the look on Sully’s face is heartbreaking.
Bro Moment of the week
Tying in to the flashbacks, a grown Sam confesses to Sully his release of the darkness and his need to atone. He tells him that God has been sending him visions of Lucifer’s cage and of his need to go there. Sully suggests that he can always run away, but Sam admits he hasn’t wanted to do that in a long time. It seems Supernatural is telling us that after 11 seasons Sam is finally accepting his fate as a hunter. Later on, Sam broaches the subject of going to the cage with Dean, who again refuses, saying there has to be a better way. When Sam asks what, Dean can’t answer.
You would think an episode about imaginary friends would be silly and stupid, but these are the type of episodes Supernatural tends to excel in and I really enjoyed it. Dean was at his snarky best making fun of all the ridiculousness and the shows funny moments flowed from one scene to the next. But shout out goes to Jared Padalecki who’s been acting his ass off this season. The scenes with Sully stand out as their interactions made you believe that this was someone Sam trusted and could confide in. I hope Sully comes back in future episodes as he adds a charm the show’s been lacking of late. Also, this is my second season reviewing Supernatural and a consistent theme is that the stand alone, one and done episodes are grading higher than the ones involving the main plot. Seems like the writers do a better job when they can write and have fun instead of sticking to the main plot, which trends towards a darker theme.