Supernatural: The Curious Case of Dean Winchester
August 10, 2021 4:19 AM - Season 5, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Dean and Sam learn that a witch is running a poker game where the currency is years of the players' lives instead of money, and when Bobby plays and loses, Dean plays too in an effort to redeem him.


Old Dean: So, you were gonna just shoot some old guy? Is that it?
Sam: I didn't know *what* you were. I mean, have you seen you? You look like...
Old Dean: The old chick in Titanic. I know. Shut up.
Sam: I was gonna say "Emperor Palpatine".
Bobby: I see you met John McCain there.
Sam: Yeah. Either of you wanna tell me what happened?
Old Dean: Bobby's an idiot. That's what happened.
Bobby: Hey, nobody asked you to play.
Old Dean: Right. I should have just let you die.
Bobby: And for damn sure, nobody asked you to *lose*.
Sam: It's like Grumpy Old Men.
Old Dean & Bobby: Shut up, Sam!

Sam: [to Old Dean, who is trying to crack open a safe, and can't see the numbers on the dial due to lack of auto focus] It's like Mission Pathetic, watch out.

Old Dean: [to Sam] Dude, I think that he-witch gave you the clap.


Hal Ozsan, who plays Patrick, is a Cyprus Turk raised in England. The chips that Patrick use have the Cyprus Turkish banner on them.

The language of the magic spell is Irish Gaelic.

The title of this episode is a play on the name of a 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was later adapted into the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, featuring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

As Bobby and Dean are leaving the motel, Dean says, "Let's go, Ironsides." He is referring to the late 1960's TV police drama, Ironside, featuring Raymond Burr as a former cop paralyzed after being shot in the line of duty.

When Sam and Dean follow Cliff Whitlow to the Asian brothel, his favorite room is #44. Four is an unlucky number in many Asian languages because it sounds like the word for "death". This is referenced again later in the episode as well.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
The actor who played old Dean didn't look much like him or have his affect. He was just some random 80-year-old wearing his clothes and saying the kind of things Dean would say and complaining about his sciatica and acid reflex.

I rather liked the sympathetic treatment of the female witch. Humans aren't meant to live indefinitely. The weight of the years, of grief, would be too much for us, even if we could physically stay young.

Why on earth would that 25-year-old guy who died in the cold open have gambled for 50 years? It wouldn't make sense for him to gamble for even five.

I'm surprised Sam and Dean haven't looked at options for healing Bobby's spinal cord. Castiel can't do it at present, but perhaps there are other ways.
posted by orange swan at 4:22 AM on August 10, 2021

"I thought you said you were good at poker?" At least someone's enjoying this.

I can understand not trusting age makeup but yeah, the guy they picked for Old Dean seemed like just some guy.

I mean they said Patrick was a witch, but nobody called him a skank or complained about his gross bodily fluids, so we cannot know for sure. (but. giving someone the clap by clapping at them menacingly is a LITTLE funny)

I wonder if Sam's ever eventually a little glad that he got to see what Dean would've looked like at that age.
posted by jameaterblues at 5:19 AM on August 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Patrick's literal use of the clap reminded me of an anecdote I read about Daisy Fellowes (prominent French socialite, acclaimed beauty, minor novelist and poet, Paris editor of American Harper's Bazaar, fashion icon, and an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune). When one of her lovers gave her an STD, she informed him of the same by telephoning him and clapping into the receiver.
posted by orange swan at 6:04 AM on August 10, 2021

I don't know the ins-and-outs of the make-up and casting in this one, but it felt that the actor they got to play old Dean wasn't old enough, and that they had to layer him underneath extra aging make-up, which added to the artificiality of his presentation (along with his "acting older" schtick). The concept was an interesting one, but I don't think the execution quite worked.
posted by sardonyx at 6:14 AM on August 10, 2021

Yes, Old Dean was supposed to be 80 years old, and Chad Everett, who played him, was only 72 at the time this episode aired. It would have been hard to find an 80-year-old actor who could physically do the part, I suppose, but Everett did not present as 80 at all.
posted by orange swan at 6:37 AM on August 10, 2021

Hollywood's cartoony treatment of aging, especially in sci-fi shows like these is always corny (in the bad way, not the fun way).
posted by sardonyx at 9:20 AM on August 11, 2021

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