Supernatural recap: Jensen Ackles and Something Called a Jared Padalecki
In 'The French Mistake,' Dean and Sam enter the crazy world of 'Supernatural'...and people think they're crazy
Have you ever had something made especially for you? Maybe you’ve designed a t-shirt online, or commissioned a piece of art, or even just eaten a Subway sandwich. If so, then you know it’s a great feeling to have something that’s so completely perfect, so completely yours, that it doesn’t matter if other people get it — because you do. I gather Supernatural superfans got the same feeling from “The French Mistake.”
For those fans who revel in the inside jokes, who go to conventions, who are invested in this fandom, last night’s episode was perfection. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll admit to counting myself among this group…so prepare for a little gushing.) And for managing to write an episode that was both a thank you (to fans) and an eff you (to naysayers), this episode deserves many props.
That’s not to say I don’t anticipate a fair number of fans who didn’t enjoy the episode. When it comes to the mythology of the show, there wasn’t too terribly much in this episode. As precious episodes tick by, I can understand the frustration for seemingly spending an episode indulging the fandom. But as they reminded us last night many times, this is the 6th season. And I felt like this one was for us. So thanks, Supernatural.
In fact, this calls for a special super-sized “quoteables” section (which is at the end of the normal recap, as always). So let’s get started.
The episode began with Balthazar crashing Dean and Sam’s research party while Bobby was trudging through a torrential downpour to get more Hunter’s Helper (loved that!). He walked in babbling and going through Bobby’s things, obviously cooking up a spell. Watching this, I kind of hoped that Balthazar he would find Bobby’s copy of Harry Potter or something. What can I say? I’m just fascinated with Bobby, which is why I was sad we didn’t get to meet alt-world Jim Beaver.
So just as an injured Balthazar (who was “down one lung”) was finishing up the spell and telling Dean and Sam about how Raphael had put a hit out on them all, Raphael’s minion Virgil showed up to steal this key Balthazar was trying to hide. To be honest, it all happened so fast, it actually took a while for me to realize what had happened. Before I was able to process that Balthazar had handed Sam something, Virgil had appeared and started charging after Sam. That’s when Balthazar hurled the the boys through the big window in Bobby’s living room, suddenly taking them into a (much-anticipated) alternate universe. (By the way, Bobby is going to be soooo pissed off about that window later…)
As they rose from the ground where they had fallen, Dean and Sam found themselves surrounded by clapping crew members and getting congratulatory love pats on their bottom for their fine stunt work. “Should we be killing anybody?” Sam asked, totally perplexed. “I don’t think so,” Dean replied, mirroring Sam’s WTF expression, which they both kept on their face for about 85 percent of the episode. (It’s one of my favorite expressions, second only to their respective blue steels.)
To be honest, the next 15 minutes or so, was an endless stream of Supernatural fandom inside jokes. From Jared having the unfortunate duty of doing bad TV interviews, to Jensen hating makeup, to less-than-thrilling ratings. That’s not even counting the hilarity that happened when Dean and Sam met “Misha Collins,” an ugly sweater-wearing Twitter maniac.
We did learn one thing from the boys’ meeting Misha, however: The “key” Balthazar had given them was to a room that held all the weapons he’d stolen from Heaven. Cas needed that key and the weapons inside to give him a chance at winning the holy war. You know, the one we still know virtually nothing about. Boo.
Inside Jensen’s trailer — which didn’t seem all that Jensen-y (because I know him so personally, obviously) and I gather that was the point — Jared did some digging on their alternate personas and came across an old clip from Jensen’s Days of Our Lives days. Baby face and all. (Collective ‘Awwwwww.’) Jared’s face was hilarious when he first pulled the video up. In fact, I need a screencap of that reaction ASAP, which also happens to be how fast Dean and Sam wanted out of the alt-universe.
Next: A devastating death.
Unfortunately for them, their first plan didn’t pan out. (Good for us, bad for them.) When they tried to re-create the spell that had gotten them there, they were frustrated to find out that everything in Bobby’s house (on set) was fake. (I smell a gif of Dean stabbing Sam with the fake knife.) And their plan for an Impala get-away was also foiled, this time by a gangly, panicked production assistant. (It’s worth noting that while all this was going on, the crew watched in shock that they were “talking” because apparently the actors in the alternate universe hated each other.) Plan C was to obtain the real relics and get the heck out of there. Lucky for them, “Jared Padalecki” had plenty of high-limit credit cards.
Not that Jared’s life was all that bad. He had a tanning bed inside his home, which was, according to them, part Jay-Z and part Dracula. He had a lovely wife (played by the real Jared’s actual lovely wife and former Supernatural co-star Genevieve Padalecki), large photos of himself and his wife in their living room, a photo of himself in cowboy attire (was that a preview of the cowboy episode?), and an alpaca. After hours of thinking it over, I still have no idea where the alpaca idea came from or what it was referencing. I’m just going to let it be…
Back on set, everyone had a theory as to why Jared and Jensen were acting strange — drugs, extended acid trips, illegal organ trade. No one was sure. All they knew was that they were suddenly talking, couldn’t act worth a darn any more (one of the best scenes ever), and wanted to beat up a poor, helpless extra, who was actually Virgil who had crossed over in search of the key. And he ended up swiping it from Sam during the scuffle.
As the production team assembled an intervention plan, Dean and Sam had two things to figure out: 1) a way to get back to the real world (their plan to re-create the spell using their very expensive ingredients failed) and 2) how to defeat Virgil.
The stakes rose even more after Virgil committed an act so heinous, so vile, and so completely terrible that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He killed Misha. Okay, so Misha was, as one of my episode-watching companions said, “a big wiener” in the other world. But he was Misha nonetheless. Upsetting!!
Even more upsetting? When he killed Kripke, forever depriving the alternate universe of the opportunity of seeing Octocobra. Then he killed Bob. Then…a lot of other people. Brutal. Just brutal.
The only break Dean and Sam got was in the alley where the attractive crying man was murdered. A homeless man tipped them off about where and when Virgil would be crossing back over to the real world.
While waiting for Virgil to show up on set and attempt to cross back over, Sam and Dean talked about the possibility of not going back to their doomed reality. In the new universe, they had lives and “no hell below us, above us only sky.” But as Sam aptly put it, echoing Dean’s earlier sentiment, “we’re not even brothers here, man.” And as superfans know better than anyone else, to the Winchesters, that’s always what matters most.
In the end, they did get back to their world, obviously. The key turned out to be a decoy to give Balthazar some more time to find the weapons and get them to Castiel. (Basically, Virgil was Tom, and they were Jerry.)
When I had initially heard about this episode, I for a moment thought of that Buffy episode where she was in an asylum and viewers were left questioning the existence of the show’s entire universe. I had been curious to see if Supernatural would attempt a similar twist. They didn’t, and I’m glad. Because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Dean and Sam are exactly where they belong.
What an episode fans. What. An. Episode.
Now, before I get to our supersized quoteables, some (not so) important questions: Will Dean’s praying ever NOT be awkward? How hilarious was Tweepy (twitter + dweeby) Misha? Did you think it was cute to include Jared’s real wedding pics? Who was the better fake bad actor: Jared or Jensen? And did you love the fact that Sam and Dean referred to Bobby’s place as “home.”
And as for the real important questions: Are you ready to learn more about the Holy War? Did you wish there had been a little bit more mythology in this episode? Or was it perfect? Regardless of your opinion (and we should respect eachother’s), at least we’re talking.
NEXT: Most quoteable episode ever?
JUMBO QUOTEABLES (WITH COMMENTARY!)
Guy: “We’d have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings.”
“Robert Singer”: “Ha. Right. You answer the hate mail.”
Lost opportunity for irony: There was no scene where they sat on the Impala and talked about their feelings in this episode — they were standing in Bobby’s house instead. Close enough, I guess.
“Oh crap, I’m a painted whore.” — Dean
As opposed to being unpainted, Dean?
Dean: Why would anyone want to watch our lives?
Sam: According to the interviewer, not that many people do.
Missing footnote: Only the awesome ones.
Sam: I’m just saying we landed in some dimension where you’re Jensen Ackles, and I’m something called a Jared Padalecki.
Dean: So, what? Now you’re Polish?
I love how Sam treated Jensen’s name like a person’s name, and “Jared” like a non-human, otherworldly being. Although…
“Least my baby made it. [Sees duplicates] I feel sick. I’m gonna be sick.” — Dean
The only woman Dean will never leave.
“I feel like this whole place is bad-touching me.” — Dean
[Mind overloaded with inappropriate comments.]
“Misha? Jensen? What’s up with the names around here?” — Dean
If only you saw what we called you online. :D
“Hola, Mishamigos. J2 got me good. Really starting to feel like one of the guys.” — “Misha Collins” tweeting
Admittedly, I was a wee sad there was no shout out to minions. But Mishamigos is a nice alternative. In fact, part of me liked it better than “minions.” This almost deserves a poll…Wait. Let’s do it. Vote now. Which do you prefer? (BTW – He actually tweeted it!)
“Look at these male-modeling sons of bitches. Nice blue steel, Sam.” — Dean
“Dude, we’re not even in America. [Sigh]” — Dean
Sam: What am I, Dracula?
Dean: George Hamilton Dracula.
Color me disappointed. In my mind, I always imagined Jared’s tan was real, 100 percent man. A tan earned from many hours of hard, sweaty labor under the sun. But now, typing it out for the first time, this clearly was a theory developed during one of my lengthy fantasizing periods.
“It’s an Alpaca dumbass!” — Genevieve
I hadn’t realized how much I missed Ruby insulting Dean…
It’s totally, totally awful, yeah…Got us the front page of Variety, though. Did you see that? — “Kripke”
The casting on alt-Kripke was spot on!
Follow me for more Supernatural-related tweeting than normal people can handle: @EWSandraG
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.