So, let's begin...
Is it wrong that as soon as Sam declares he's 26, I want to sleep with him....even more so than usual? I feel like the cougar-lady that's hitting on him, even though I'm only two years older than Sam (one year older than Jared).
The problem with this episode is that the opener is actually pretty strong. Sam is really hilarious...actually, I should say: Jared is really hilarious. This is where the episode sets itself up to fail: Jared is so funny, that for the rest of the episode you are left thinking how much funnier it would all be if Jared was playing the part of Gary!Sam and the kid playing Gary was playing the part of Sam!Gary. It just would have been better. I don't know if that's a directing decision or a writing decision, but it's a decision that really should have been made by someone.
"You are a stunning looking man"
"I know, right!"
-Jared really does this so well. it's just hilarious.
Ok, the thing is though, if I were the cougar lady and I was talking to a 26 year-old dude that sounded like this...well, I would stop hitting on him and start looking around for his primary caregiver, because he is obviously mentally-challenged in some way.
They actually made a mini version of Sam's green panel jacket!! I WANT IT! I bet I'm small enough to squeeze into that kids clothes!! DUDE, where do these wardrobe pieces go when they don't need them anymore? Ugh...WANT.
We meet a former babysitter! Somehow, I don't think is the one who liked dynasty and bedtime.
When she explains to her kid that one time John was gone for 2 weeks, Sam gets this look on his face...and it's so sad...like, these aren't happy memories that they're reminiscing about. "Remember that time your dad took off for so long you started to wonder if maybe he wasn't going to come back?"
Salad shake! Poor Sam...it's hard to eat healthy on the road. I love how used to it Dean is...even though he is being all annoyed.
"Oh, you shake it up, baby"
"Dude, don't tell me you still have the hots for our babysitter"
"What? No! Weird....I'm just saying that she's doing good. The husband, the kid..[...]...do you ever think that you'd want something like that? Wife, rugrats, the whole nine?"
"No, not really my thing anymore."
-Ah, another hint to Dean's secret desires. It makes sense...he's 30...people start involuntarily thinking about procreation and settling down around 30. It doesn't mean it's the RIGHT decision for Dean (so those of you who think Dean shouldn't be domestic at all, don't argue with me)...but if there's a forbidden fruit in Dean's life, that's it.
Ok, so again...not recognizing your own reflection is a sign of insanity or heavy narcotics - it is not a sign of being drunk. Also, it kind of annoys me that we're supposed to believe that everyone sees a kid, when everyone is craning their necks to look up at Jared. I really didn't want this to be negative...but it's just...they could have even kept the script with all the holes in it, and this episode would have been better if they just shot more scenes with the body OTHER people are seeing rather than the body of the SOUL. Sigh.
That being said, IT'S A LITTLE VERSION OF THE GREY STRIPED SHIRT FROM HEART!! I WANT THESE LITTLE SAM CLOTHES!
No Gary, not the phones!!! How will Sam and Dean find out about all their half-brothers?!?!
So, yeah, if Dean didn't realize that Sam wasn't Sam before (and he totally should have), then he REALLY should have clued in when Gary!Sam backed the Impala into the trash bin.
"I think I got asthma, call me back."
-Ok, this comes to one of the more existential problems I had with this episode. I wanted there to be something different about being inside Sam's body. Think about it...in your life, you will only ever be able to inhabit the one body...you ARE that body. You are NEVER able to know what other body's feel like. It's like your parents...you don't start thinking your parents are weird until you are a teenager, because it's usually when you are a teenager that you start noticing OTHER people's parents are not like yours. We can never know whether our own bodies are weird, because we can never experience other people's bodies.
My mum has this story that she likes to tell about one of her daughters - though she can't remember which one anymore. (She thinks it's me, and I think it must be a sister). But apparently one of us came up to her one day and said "You know that shooting pain, that you sometimes get in your back?" and my Mum was like "what?" ...and apparently we had normalized it. We had assumed that EVERYONE got a shooting pain in their back, because we always had.
And that's the thing...I wanted there to be something different about being Sam, that Sam didn't know wasn't normal...whether it was heightened anger, or a heightened 6th sense...or just...something! I wanted Sam to notice it was missing in Gary's body, and I wanted Gary to notice it was there in Sam's body. Basically, I wanted a physical manifestation of the demon blood fed to Sam as a child. I realize that internal things like that are harder to get across in a mainly visual media...but yeah...if I had been writing the episode, that's what I would have put in (among other more obvious changes)
Ok, now that I've said that...the mirror scene is really well done. Good job, dudes.
I also LOVE the way Jared delivers the line "I'm coming!" like a teenager. Man, I never think Jared gets enough credit, because everyone is always going on about wunderkind Jensen...but Jared is so awesome at comedy (which is surprising, given that he's said that he doesn't like doing it).
I think the wheat gluten allergy was just an excuse for them to have Jared bend double so that little girl didn't have to look straight up to have a conversation with him.
Then at the school, they film the conversation between he and Gary's friends, with Sam standing down a few steps from them - again, I'm sure just to make the eye level less obvious - same with the conversation outside - had with a lot of distance between them (they pulled a similar trick in the Lucifer-Michael showdown in Swan Song with shorter Jake Abel.)
Gary is not very good at impersonating someone...I mean, he MET Dean and Sam when Sam was eating a salad. You think he would have realized that Sam's a salad kind of guy, and that ordering a bacon double cheeseburger with a fried egg on it would be suspicious. (Also, how on earth is Dean still alive and not 400 pounds?)
"I got a gun. I'm getting drunk and I look like this!"
-A line that would have been so much more hilarious if Jared's face was the one delivering it.
"You're a good guy, Dean"
'You are drunk"
-Awww...Dean even causes 17 year old straight dudes to fall a little in love with him.
Dean only clues in that Sam isn't Sam when he sees him leave with the cougar? Really?
And now we get Sam's body being raped...well, is it rape if the dude currently in possession of the body gives consent, but Sam doesn't? Is it rape if Sam's soul isn't in the body? These are all interesting consent issues. We'll touch on them again later.
I do like how Sam actually sort of just feels bad for the kids...like, "these poor idiots are accidentally being evil"
I was fine with the idea of there being a bounty on Dean's head...well, I would have been more fine with it if it was a thread that was ever picked up again! Instead, because it's never touched on again...and really, to what end did the demons want him?...it ends up being a flimsy plot-device.
"You are making a terrible mistake. We're talking about a demon deal, killing somebody. You are crossing a line you won't come back from, believe me!"
-I like the way this speech is filmed, with the close-up of Norah realizing that Sam's right.
Dean stepping forward from the shadows and punching Gary is also shot really nicely...it's a very cool shot.
Ok, and we're back to consent issues: Can someone illegally possessing Sam's body give consent for it to be used by Lucifer? Does that fly with heavenly law? It all comes back to rape (for which I believe possession is used as a metaphor)...if the body consents to something the rightful "mind" that belongs to that body does not consent for...is it truly consent? If you rape a dude, and he gets off...it's still rape...even though his body enjoyed it - he was still violated. That being said...if he's not PRESENT in his body...well, in our reality, that's either like raping a brain-dead coma patient or it's necrophilia....both of which are illegal.
Again, a SIMPLE thing that could have made this episode better: Have GARY'S voice on the frickin' voice mail messages!
"All that apple pie family crap, that's stressful, trust me. We didn't miss a damn thing."
"Or we don't know what we're missing."
-So, some people could look at this and think "Ok, are you mad at your dad for the way you grew up or aren't you! Make up your minds!!" but I actually think it's realistic that they go back and forth on it. The truth is that Dean's right, they DON'T know what they're missing...but not in the way that they don't know how good normal people have it, no - they don't know what they are missing, because they just don't KNOW. In the end, you can only life ONE life. You don't know what you are missing because you moved to town A instead of town B, because you cannot undo what has been done and see the alternative.
I think this is a lot about what the beginning of S6 is about...and forgive me for jumping so far ahead. But the truth is, that Dean DIDN'T KNOW whether or not he would enjoy a normal life. And Sam didn't know if Dean would be happy in a normal life either...they both ASSUMED it was what Dean wanted, because it's something Dean was curious about and never had, and WANTED TO TRY (at least on some level of his psyche). I think the beginning part of S6, is Dean TRYING it...and finding that although he liked aspects of it, he also missed aspects of Hunting....whether it's an either/or situation remains to be seen...but yeah, the truth of the matter is, that you can't KNOW what you are missing.
For instance, I desperately want a new job, because I hate mine. I have a particular career that I'm currently looking into...I think I'll like it, but I could be wrong. I could start this new career and end up hating it worse than the one I have now! This is a possibility...but I don't know right now one way or the other.
So, yeah, my point is, that sometimes I hate my job, and sometimes I see the benefit of it over other jobs...it's sort of a "better the devil you know" scenario sometimes. I think Sam's reached a point where he's made peace with the Hunting life. Having normal ripped away from him hurt too much, and he's just decided that as messed up as he is, he should just stick with what he was raised to do. Dean's never had a chance to try out normal - he's still curious about it...so, he's tends to make more statements about how sucky being raised a hunter was...and Sam is going to agree with him there, because Sam remembers how miserable he was as a kid, even if he's less miserable about the same lifestyle now.
Anyway, I'll stop ranting and go to bed...
Thankfully it only gets better from here!