Supernatural: Wishful Thinking
July 20, 2021 4:59 AM - Season 4, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean investigate after a small town's wishing well starts to grant the people's wishes.


Sam: I can see you're very interested.
Dean: Women, showers... We gotta save these people!

Candace Armstrong: So what did you say you are calling your book?
Sam: Oh, um, well, the working title is... Supernatural.

Dean: So, what -- Bigfoot breaks into a liquor store, jonesing for some hooch? Amaretto and Irish cream. He's a girl-drink drunk. [helps himself to a bottle of something on the shelves, and puts it into his jacket pocket]
Sam: Hey. Check this out.
Dean: He took the whole porno rack? Well, I'll say it again. What the hell is going on in this town?

Dean: I got nothing.
Sam: It's gotta be a joke, right? Some big ass mother in a gorilla suit?
Dean: Or it's a bigfoot. You know, he's some kind of a... alco-holo-porno addict. Kinda like a deep woods Duchovny.

Dean: I gotta tell you, I'm pretty disappointed.
Sam: Well, you wanted to save naked women.
Dean: Damn right I wanted to save some naked women!

Audrey: All I ever wanted was a teddy which was big, real, and talked. But now he's sad all the time -- not ouch sad, but ouch in the head sad -- says weird stuff, and smells like the bus.
Dean: Um, little girl...
Audrey: Audrey.
Dean: Audrey, how exactly did your teddy become real?
Audrey: I wished for it.
Sam: You wished for it?
Audrey: At the wishing well.

Teddy Bear: Why am I here?
Audrey: For tea parties!
Teddy Bear: Tea parties! Is that all there is?

Sam: Are we --? Should we --? Uh -- [whispers] Are we gonna kill this teddy bear?
Dean: How, huh? We shoot it, burn it?
Sam: I don't know. Both?
Dean: How do we even know that's gonna work? I mean, I don't want some giant, flaming, pissed-off teddy on our hands.

Wes: Aren't you the guys from the Health Department?
Sam: Yeah. And florists on the side.
Dean: Plus FBI. And on Thursdays, we're teddy bear doctors.

Scene: Audrey's bedroom. A blackboard reads “Life is meaningless. Signed T. Bear.” Teddy Bear is sobbing. He puts a shotgun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. Some of the stuffing blows away through a hole in his head but Teddy Bear finds he is still alive.
Teddy: [raising and clutching his paws, despairingly] WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!

Dean: C'mon. Aren't you a little bit tempted? [tosses Sam a coin]
Sam: No. [gives the coin back] Wouldn't be real. Wouldn't trust it.
Dean: I don't know. That bear seemed pretty real.
Sam: Yeah.
Dean: C'mon. If you could wish yourself back, you know, before it all started. Think about it. You'd be some big yuppie lawyer with a nice car, and a white picket fence.
Sam: Not what I'd wish for.
Dean: Seriously?
Sam: It's too late to go back to our old lives, Dean. I'm not that guy anymore.
Dean: Alright, well what then? Hmmm? What would Sammy wish for?
Sam: Lilith's head on a plate. Bloody.

Dean: [looking at the wishing well with Sam] Think it works?
Sam: Got a better explanation for Teddy back there?
Dean: There's one way to find out. [pulls out a coin]
Sam: Whaddya gonna wish for?
Dean: Shhhh. [tosses the coin in] Not supposed to tell.
Waiter: [Walks in behind them, holding up a sandwich] Somebody order a foot-long Italian with jalapeño?
Dean: That'd be me.

Dean Winchester: [retching in the bathroom] The wishes turn bad, Sam. The wishes turn very bad.

Scene: A women's bathroom. There is a blonde woman wearing only a towel and we see some wet footprints.
Sam: [grabs the shoulder of the invisible pervert guy, and he appears, completely naked]
Woman in towel: Aaaaahhhhh!!!
Visible Pervert Guy: What?
Sam: Don't worry, ma'am. I'm with the health department.
Woman in towel: [leaves room]
Sam: So, you can turn it on and off, huh?
Visible Pervert Guy: How... how did you know that I was...
Sam: You actually walked up to a wishing well, dropped a dime, and wished to be invisible so you could spy on women in the shower?
Visible Pervert Guy: N-No. No. N-No, no, no. That's crazy.
Sam: Put on some pants. And stay visible.

Chinese restaurant owner: [Watching Dean trying to pry up the old coin with a crow bar] Hey, hey, hey, what is this? You're gonna break my fountain!
Sam: Sir, I don't want to slap you with a 44 slash 16, but I will.
Chinese restaurant owner: [scurries away]
Sam: Alright, thanks.

Wes: "Careful what you wish for." You know who says that? Good-looking jerks like you guys, the ones who've got it so easy because you happen to be handsome.
Sam: Easy?
Dean: Easy?
Wes: Yeah. Women -- women look at you, right? They notice you.
Sam: Believe us, we do not have it easy.
Dean: We are miserable. We never get what we want. In fact, we have to fight tooth and nail just to keep whatever it is we got.
Sam: But you know what? Maybe that's the whole point, Wes.
Dean: Yeah, maybe people are people 'cause they're miserable bastards, 'cause they never get what they really want.
Sam: Right, yeah. You get what you want, you get crazy.
Dean: Take a look at Michael Jackson, hmm? Or Hasselhoff.

Todd: [after pushing an SUV onto its side] Kneel before Todd! Kneel before Todd!


Jared Padalecki has said that during the day of the filming of the scenes in the Chinese restaurant he was suffering very badly from food poisoning. Most of what we see on screen was filmed by Jensen alone, with Jared coming in and doing all of his coverage at the end of the day.

When talking to Wes, Dean says that they're also "FBI, and on Thursdays we're teddy bear doctors." This refers to the fact that the show aired on Thursday nights during season 4.

This episode is a mirror of the book Needful Things by Stephen King. In the book, as in the episode, people receive their heart's desire only to have those desires backfire.
posted by orange swan (14 comments total)
The whole bear thing is hilarious. Loved the macabre suicide attempt scene, with the spray of foam. I mean, it was fucked up, but still a riot. Audrey was great, and Todd was funny too. But I hated the scenes with Hope and Wesley. They were having sex, which was rape on Wesley's part because he did not have true consent from Hope. Sam and Dean looked uncomfortable when seeing Hope and Wes interact, and Sam called it dysfunctional, but it was worse than that.

Sam and Dean's expressions when Wesley tells them they get everything they want because they're handsome... sure, it means they get plenty of female attention and it helps them get laid, but otherwise they have shitty lives.

Not mentioned when Sam says it's too late for him to go back to law school is that he can't go back -- he's officially dead, and if the authorities discover he's not, he'll wind up in supermax for the rest of his life.

It's a bit odd that he says that they can't go back to "our" old lives, because Dean's living the same life he always has, and Sam is the only one who been living a life that is now lost to him.

Sam would surely have noticed Dean's drinking and the flashbacks and nightmares before Uriel told him that Dean remembered his time in hell, so it's a bit odd that he only raises the topic with him now.
posted by orange swan at 5:02 AM on July 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

How did the invisible pervert survive getting hit by the car?

Not only was Joxer's (sorry) "girlfriend" unable to give consent she had her memory wiped, which was another (more serious) violation.

This one blended classic Spider-man ("with great power...") and Superman lines ("kneel before Zod") for a comic two-for-one.

I did truly love the look on the boys' faces when they were trying to comprehend T. Bear. It was priceless.

I'll have to say as much I just *can't* with Wes at all, his taste in classic movies is pretty spot on.

I'd say the difference between Dean's old life and his current one is that in the before times--before John went missing--he could still see it as an adventure and enjoy the hunting. Now, it's infinitely more serious, what with the apocalypse approaching and he has experienced truly devastating and damaging consequences and has been tortured in Hell. He has also seen what this life has done to Sam and now he knows his baby brother didn't escape the horrors of living the hunter lifestyle.

As noted by the sheer number of quotes orange swan posted above, this episode is a strongly written one, at least in terms of character interactions and dialogue.
posted by sardonyx at 6:43 AM on July 20, 2021

IMDB attributes the teleplay to Ben Edlund, which tracks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

I get the feeling I'm supposed to know the writer's names and which one has which preference and style, but as this is my first go at these shows, I can't say that I've really been paying attention to who wrote which episode, although I do get the impression the number of writers wasn't large.
posted by sardonyx at 9:45 AM on July 20, 2021

Oh, I'm sorry! Ben Edlund created The Tick, wrote a good chunk of the better parts of Angel, and was part of the creation of (and is the only person other than the core two to get a writer credit on) The Venture Brothers, as well as creating some of the characters for Dr Horrible. He's kind of a go-to for a particular tone of superhero comedy as well as having a strong knack for combining horror and comedy that basically defined the best of Supernatural during the years (seasons 2-8) he was working on it. Generally good at knowing when to lean into scary and when to lean into funny without overly compromising either.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:58 AM on July 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

He also worked on Firefly (Jaynestown, for example) but yeah - generally great at surrealist humor, weird shit, and some amount of metacomedy, not known for sensitivity towards sexual subject matters.

He also wrote bad day at black rock and ghostfacers, if that helps.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

Okay, considering that I've watched pretty much everything cited (except for the Tick, which I can appreciate conceptually, even if I never really got into it), I should probably know his name. Oh well, I've learned it now, so I'm sure I'll pay more attention if I see it pop up in the future.
posted by sardonyx at 1:12 PM on July 20, 2021

If I ever see or honestly even think very long about the teddy bear without laughing, it will be because I have died.

I don't know that this show ever fully pulls the trigger on Dean having a drinking problem, but downing a line of shots while adamantly denying a traumatic experience with no earthly parallel is some look.

Ben Edlund wrote lots of episodes I legit really like, but I'm noticing this time that a lot of them have, I don't know, a bro-ey streak? in a way that stands out even on this show. But yeah, this is up there with XF's Small Potatoes as an episode that has a lot going for it, but also thinks it's a funny relatable story about a sad sack guy, and barely notices the woman (trapped, in this case) in a romantic and sexual relationship with him that she can't possibly consent to. Sam and Dean all but react to Hope's situation like Wes brought a blow-up doll to life to be his girlfriend and it sucks.
posted by jameaterblues at 5:58 PM on July 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

This episode was primarily filmed in Squamish.

The animated teddy bear reminded me of 'Ted' (2012) but this episode preceded the movie by a few years. Very effective bit. I particularly like the denouement showing the teddy bear with the back of his head taped back together.

I have a soft spot for Ted Raimi, but the Wesley Mondale character wasn't written as well as it could have been; I could have bought that he did have real feelings for Hope, but it ended up that his feelings were super shallow and despite a brief bit of compassion for the situation that Hope got stuck in was overwritten by the "woe is me/ stupid monkey's paw/ why-can't-this-be-'real'" stuff.
posted by porpoise at 7:16 PM on July 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Dean's drinking felt really performative (waking up and taking a swig from a mickey - that isn't empty! and not yacking up bile and/or stomach rinse-out liquid (ingested blacked out shortly before waking up/ upon waking up) as the first thing after waking up.

The writers/ directors don't know trauma/ behaviours common to trauma amelioration re: substance use. Nor first hand experience with alcohol use disorder, evidently - or were prevented from showing that in a more realistic light.

What this reads to me isn't that Dean is turning to alcohol as self medication but much rather that Dean is pretending, poorly, to be an alcy to garner sympathy. Very Not Dean.

At this point, I'm unconvinced that Sam even desires the life path that going through law school would offer, anymore. Very much less tolerating going through that 'square' life path now.

I've been, uh, tagged... by cars before and yeah, invisboy got lucky that he's only rubbing his bum. Something like a 67 Impala has a lot of momentum and kinetic energy even if it isn't going "fast" just because it's so heavy. Invisboy should have at least gotten a shattered hip.

The live-action 'The Tick' (2016) with Peter Serafinowicz is sublime.

I heartily recommend giving it at least a 3 episode treatment. It's unfortunate that it ended at 2 seasons because it was improving so much. Introducing the concept is tough, but I thought that they got the formula stable and ready to the point where the writer could really blast off.

I suspect that the MCU stuff might have poisoned the revived 'The Tick' franchise.

The supporting cast for 'The Tick' was really promising. Such a wasted opportunity.

Alan Tudyk was in it as a voice actor (as Murderboat).
posted by porpoise at 1:13 AM on July 21, 2021

My god the teddy bear scene still slays me after all these years...
posted by Kitteh at 1:27 PM on July 22, 2021

My god the teddy bear scene still slays me after all these years...

Maybe if Teddy Bear knew that, he'd feel less despairing about not having succeeded in slaying himself.:D

At this point, I'm unconvinced that Sam even desires the life path that going through law school would offer, anymore. Very much less tolerating going through that 'square' life path now.

Oh, I have no trouble believing that Sam is sincere when he says he no longer wants to go to law school. Three and a half years into living life as a hunter, he's nearly as invested in it as Dean.

The lawlessness, excitement, and sense of deep purpose of hunting must be addictive, because hunters never seem to give up the life, never say, "I'll hunt for three or five or ten years, or until I kill the entity that killed my loved one(s), and if I survive that I'll go do something else." Of course there's the issue of them not being able to go back to a normal life, because they've probably got lengthy criminal records by then, but still, you'd think some of them would figure they've done their share and can retire, maybe under an assumed identity.
posted by orange swan at 5:31 PM on July 22, 2021

In 2020, Ryan Grantham, the now 24-year-old actor who played Todd in this episode, shot his 64-year-old mother in the back of his head as she was playing the piano in the Squamish, B.C. townhouse where they lived. The next day he packed his car with three guns, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails, camping supplies, and a map with directions to Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, and he began driving east with the notion that he would drive 50 hours to Ottawa to kill Justin Trudeau. Before he left, he tested a Molotov cocktail in a remote area. He drove as far as Hope, B.C. (215 km from Squamish) before turning around with thoughts he would instead commit an act of mass violence at Simon Fraser University or other locations. Instead, that night he turned himself in to Vancouver police.

Two psychiatric reports said that Grantham was going through an intense period of clinical depression in the months leading up to the murder while maintaining an outward appearance of being well functioning. He also was experiencing urges to commit violence and kill himself, along with escalating feelings of self-hatred and guilt over his mother potentially learning he had stopped attending classes at Simon Fraser University. Both reports said he had a cannabis use disorder. The reports say Grantham decided to kill his mother to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit.

Grantham pled guilty to second degree murder on June 14, 2022.
posted by orange swan at 10:35 AM on June 18, 2022

otoh, Jensen Ackles is killing it on 'The Boys.'

Good an Ackles, I didn't know he had it in him.

The personal hook for me was Grantham talking about not wanting his being a failure (in his chosen profession) to be known to his mother (who almost certainly understands - better than him, and more sympathetic) as the impetus for [redacted] murdering his mother from concealment.
posted by porpoise at 1:20 AM on June 19, 2022

« Older The Owl House: Hunting Palisme...   |  Critical Role: Exandria Unlimi... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments