Supernatural: Tall Tales
June 19, 2021 5:11 AM - Season 2, Episode 15 - Subscribe

When a series of unexplained happenings on a local college campus defies Sam and Dean's efforts to figure out what's happening, they call on Bobby for help.


Sam: [as portrayed in Dean's recap] Dean! This is a very serious investigation. We don't have time for any of your blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah... blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. BLAAAAAAH!
Sam: [interrupting Dean's recap] I don't sound like that, Dean!
Dean: You do to me.

Sam: Dean, did you touch my computer?
Dean: Uh, no.
Sam: Eh, well, then why is it frozen at ""?
Dean: [smiles awkwardly and walks away]
Sam: Just... don't touch my stuff anymore, okay?
Dean: HEY! Why don't you control your OCD?

Sam: Dude, y'know, I put up with a lot from you.
Dean: Whaddya talkin' 'bout, I'm a joy to be around!
Sam: Yeah? Your dirty socks in the sink, your food in the fridge...
Dean: What's wrong with my food?
Sam: It's not food anymore, Dean, it's Darwinism!

Sam: How would you feel if I screwed up your Impala?
Dean: It would be the last thing you ever did. 

Curtis: They, uh, they... probed me.
Dean: They probed you?
Curtis: Yeah! They probed me; again, and again, and again; and one more time.
Dean: Yikes.
Curtis: And that's not even the worst part.
Dean: What could be worse? Some alien made you his bitch?
Curtis: They made me slow dance.
[Cut to shot of Curtis and a small alien slow dancing to "Lady in Red".]

Sam: We should get help. I'll call Bobby, see if he ever ran into anything like this.
Dean: Oh I'm sure he has it's just your standard haunted campus, alien abduction, alligator in a sewer gig.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total)
This episode has a lot in common with the X-Files episode "Jose Chung's From Outer Space", including that it highlights what Sam and Dean find annoying about each other. Dean thinks Sam can be a windbag and overly touchy feely; Sam thinks Dean drinks too much and is too sleazy with women.

It was especially funny that the woman Dean was trying to pick up in the bar was played by two different actresses in their respective versions. In Sam's version, "Starla" is extremely drunk, vapid, and well, trashy. In Dean's version the woman was much more attractive, practically worshipped him, and was dressed as a for a cocktail party in a little black dress and expensive jewelry, which is probably Dean's idea of "classy", but was almost certainly not at all accurate, as that is not how a grad student would act, or dress for a winter evening out in a student pub. The actual woman was probably something in between their two versions -- it would have been hilarious to have a "real" version played by a third actress.
And then there was the whole absurd scene with Sam tackling Dean, and Bobby mediating between the two of them like an exasperated dad.

This is the first appearance of Richard Speight, Jr. in the series. I always enjoy his character so much. As Dean says, he has style. The alien/frat boy slow dance to "Lady in Red" was a riot, as was Dean getting beaten up by the lingerie-clad girls conjured up for him while Sam tries to escape an enormous chainsaw-wielding spectre, and as for his messing with the Impala and Sam's laptop, he knows how to get to the Winchester boys.    

Sam keeps his money in a silver money clip with his initials engraved on it, because of course he does. 

Not a fan of Dean's use of "pansy", even though I know it's how a guy like him would realistically talk.
posted by orange swan at 5:19 AM on June 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

The Trickster is one of those guys who doesn't show often, but when he does it's almost always a standout episode. Speight feels like perfect casting, just this grinning, kind of sleazy asshole following his id as far as it will take him.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:29 AM on June 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

There are a number of things in this episode that are AT BEST in poor taste (comedy sexual assault, pansy, the running "joke" of Dean's Asian fetish) but altogether it's a really fun one, and the Trickster is a mostly great character. (I know I should not laugh at the Lady in Red forced anal penetration UFO prom and I wish I were a person who didn't, but it's SO warped and silly.)

"These punishments, they're poetic. Well, actually it'd be more like a limerick..." Limerick justice lives in my head to this day. Actually, even if God wouldn't bother, the Trickster would probably think it was hilarious to give Dean a stirring religious experience by killing a rapist in a traffic accident right in front of him.

It's sweet and sort of telling that for Dean, either you're married but can always get divorced or you're conjoined twins who are physically bound together from birth until death, there is no option C, and Sam will call him on the proper term for conjoined twins but not on that.

While writing this up I learned that the Hungarian title for this episodes translates to The Thimblerigger, which according to the two minutes of googling I just did is a person running a shell game. I guess more generally it's someone who wins by swindling or deception so it's entirely possible that's just the Trickster's name in Hungarian broadcasts, but I like the extra layer of implication, and his trick with the body doubles makes it pretty apt.
posted by jameaterblues at 12:50 PM on June 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

I forgot that the trickster showed up this early!
posted by dinty_moore at 4:18 PM on June 19, 2021

I love episodes like this - the unreliable narration and conflicting details.

'Bad Blood' is another TXF episode that deals with this. After watching this episode, I have a bit more respect for Luke Wilson's acting chops although good prop makeup can carry a lot of weight.

Bobby: "Aliens? Aliens?!"

Yeah, if they're going to switch actors between perspectives instead of using the same actor with different costume/ makeup, then a lost opportunity to use a third as the neutral perspective.

Maybe its just me, but Richard Speight, Jr. gave off some Brett Kavanaugh entitled jerk vibes.

lol "Blah blahblahblah. Blah."

A 4 story fall is often more injurious than lethal, and therefor at least a little suspicious. You'd have to start from about the 9th story for an acceptable chance of death over a maiming. Of course, one can kill oneself tripping over one's shoelaces, but.
posted by porpoise at 5:33 PM on June 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

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