Supernatural: Sam, Interrupted
August 14, 2021 4:28 AM - Season 5, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Dean and Sam check themselves into a mental hospital in order to investigate a monster that is killing patients.


Dr. Aaron Fuller: You were referred to me by a Dr. Babar in Chicago.
Dean: That's right.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: Isn't there a... children's book about an elephant named Babar?
Dean: I don't know. I don't have any elephant books. Look, Doctor, I -- I think the doc was in over his head on this one 'cause my brother's, uh... [pauses, then spins his finger around his ear and makes the "cuckoo" whistle]
Dr. Aaron Fuller: Okay, fine. Thank you, That -- that's really not necessary. [to Sam] Why don't *you* tell me how you're feeling, Alex.
Sam: I'm fine. I mean, okay, a little depressed, I guess.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: All right. Any idea why?
Sam: Probably because I started the apocalypse.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: "The apocalypse"?
Sam: Yeah, that's right.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: And you started it.
Sam: Well, yeah, I... I killed this demon, Lilith, and I accidentally freed Lucifer from hell, so now he's topside and we're tryin' to stop him.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: W-who is?
Sam: Me. And him. And, uh, this one angel.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: Oh, you mean like a -- like an angel on your shoulder.
Sam: No, no. His name is Castiel. He wears a trench coat.
Dean: See what I mean, doc? I mean, the kid's been beating himself up over this thing for months. The apocalypse wasn't his fault.
Dr. Aaron Fuller: It's not?
Dean: No. There was this other demon, Ruby. She got him addicted to demon blood. I mean, near the end, he was practically chugging the stuff. My brother's not evil. He was just... high. Yeah? So could you fix him up so we can get back to traveling around the country and hunting monsters?
Dr. Aaron Fuller: [holds up a "one moment" finger, picks up his phone's receiver, and presses a button] Erma? Cancel my lunch.

Nurse: All right, you can go ahead and take down your pants.
Sam: Wait, what? What for?
Nurse: [snaps a latex glove on one hand]

Sam: Did the nurse...
Dean: She was very thorough.
Sam: Good. Yeah. Yeah. Good.

Nurse: [upon finding Sam and Dean in the morgue] What are you boys doing in here?
Sam: ...
Dean: [pulls down his pajama pants, throws his arms over his head, wiggles, and beams] PUDDING!!!
Nurse: Alright, come on, you two.
Dean: [pulls his pants back up, heads for the door, turns to face Sam, whispering] Crazy works.

Dean: Hey.
Sam: No. No... I'm not okay. I... I... I am *awesome*.
Dean: They give you something?
Sam: Oh... ohh, yeah. They gave me... *everything*! It's... It's... spectacu... lacular...
Dean: You always were a happy drunk.

Sam: [after Dean has made out with a mental patient] Dude, you *cannot* hit that.
Dean: Oh, so torn!

Dean: Alright look, Nurse Ratchet, let's get one thing straight. I've seen Cuckoo's Nest, so don't try any of that soul crushing, authoritarian crap on me, hmm?


In the first draft of the script, the infamous "Pudding!" line and pants dropping act was to be done by Sam. However, when they went to shoot Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles changed it to Dean on the spot without telling anyone because they felt it fit his character better.

When Sam asks Dean how he is doing, Dean replies, "I just got thraped." "Thraped" is a slang term for when someone has therapy forced upon then against their will.

In a reference to Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, there's a patient dancing in the exact same manner as one of the patients in Cuckoo's Nest.

This is the second time Sam and Dean have used the last name Babar, which is a direct reference to the Chevy Chase movie Fletch. They even use a quote from Fletch, when the doctor asks if there is a children's book about an elephant named Babar and they reply that they don't have any elephant books.

The aliases Sam and Dean use are Eddie and Alex. Eddie and Alex are the two brothers in the band Van Halen (Edward Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, for whom the band is named). Alex is also the name of the protagonist in the futuristic book A Clockwork Orange, in which is Alex is sent to an asylum due to his violence and anger issues.

Second appearance of Lara Gilchrist (Nurse Foreman). Gilchrist also appeared in season one's "Scarecrow", as Holly Parker.

The title of this episode is a reference to the movie Girl, Interrupted which is about a girl in a mental hospital. Misha Collins had a small role in Girl, Interrupted.

As the episode ends, Dean says "let's get the hell out of here" and the boys get into the car and drive off. The car heads out down the road into the dark night and a strain of music plays very reminiscent of the Terminator 2: Judgment Day theme, and which also plays in that movie as a car heads down a road in the dark. Terminator 2 also centres around a character who is placed in a mental institution because no one believes that what they are fighting is real.

When Dean says "quid pro quo Clarice" to his psychiatrist, Dr. Cartwright, he is quoting a line said by Dr. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs. Lecter said this to FBI cadet Clarice Starling when she wanted to interview him. The slurping sound Dean makes was also done by Lecter, in what is probably his most famous line, "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

One of Dean's "real" crazy symptoms when he and Martin are fleeing the halls, is walking slow and stepping sideways to avoid the cracks in the tile, exactly like Jack Nicholson's obsessive compulsive character in As Good as It Gets. This is the second Nicholson movie reference in this episode.

In this episode Dean tells the psychiatrist that "Alex" (Sam) suffers from depression. Jared Padalecki does suffer from clinical depression.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Jensen Ackles' Hannibal Lecter impression was pitch perfect.

The whole "when Sam and Dean are honest and forthcoming about the lives they lead, they sound crazy" thing was funny, but this felt like an especially dark and disturbing episode, with Dean starting to actually go insane. Jensen Ackles really sold the horror of what Dean was going through, seeing everyone as a wraith, unable to trust his own senses, sitting at a table and trembling while Sam, who was hallucinating and violently lashing out against figments of his imagination, was subdued and hustled off to the rubber room.

And of course, Dean hated having to talk about his problems. Repression and sublimation are a way of life for him, while Sam wants to be open about his emotions and make more conscious choices. I do think there is something to be said about just getting on with things the way Dean wants to do, but he takes it too far.

Dr. Cartwright: Okay. When was the last time you were in a long-term relationship?
Dean: Define long-term.
Dr. Cartwright: More than two months.
Dean: Never.

Other than with his brother and his father, Dean has never had a chance to form lasting and significant relationships of any kind. It's no wonder he has such unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of the few people he does get attached to.

Dean didn't like it when Wendy the mental patient decided she preferred Sam because he was "larger". I bet he wasn't too happy about his little brother getting to be bigger than him. Not that it would be a serious issue, but it would nettle him a little. I know when I reached my full height, which was just one inch shorter than my very Dean-like older brother's height, though he never complained about or even mentioned it, when we were 15 and 19 he went through a stag where he'd occasionally pat me on the head, or come up beside me and point out that his forearms were bigger than my upper arms (he was crazy ripped).
posted by orange swan at 5:21 AM on August 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

At one point during these discussions the subject of Dean's drinking came up and we were debating how much he actually consumed. In this episode we get what seems to be a legitimate answer, which, if true, is pretty damning.

Psychiatrist (who is currently playing Nora/Speed Force on The Flash): How many drinks do you have?
Dean: I have to sleep sometimes, so [does math in his head] mid-50s.

That's a startlingly high number given how little he is actually shown drinking.

Speaking of drinking, here, Dean says Sam is a happy drunk, but I thought in a previous episode he had complained about Sam being a maudlin drunk. Still, it's nice to hear Sam actually tell Dean that he loves him, as that kind of open affection isn't exactly common between the two brothers.

Again, going back on a theme we've discussed before, the boys (and especially Dean) and their choices in wardrobe. In this episode, Dean ties his robe neatly and primly. Sam lets it hang loose.
posted by sardonyx at 5:00 PM on August 14, 2021

This episode is super not to my taste and not even in a way that's fun to complain about, but along with Dean apparently drinking himself half to death on a daily basis while rarely drinking and never seeming drunk on screen, I feel like Sam being a bottomless pit of rage, to the extent it's fundamental to who he is as a person, is another thing where they have to keep reminding you because the story won't really commit to showing you on its own.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:30 PM on August 14, 2021

It's down the highway, not across the street. Given that, it looks super like someone else did it to her (while completely immobilizing her for a really long time) since there isn't any splatter pattern between the first cut and the second on the other wrist, nor post-cut. There's also not nearly enough pooled blood for a death by exsanguination. Highly suspicious.

Wendy got similar wounds, if she hadn't yet had her brains sucked out, that's highly survivable and her unconsciousness is unrelated to the slashed wrists. A s*** ton of rehab and lifelong impairment after her flexor tendons are reattached, though.

Oh, right. With slashed flexor tendons in one wrist, they're not going to be holding anything in that hand to slash the other wrist.

How many drinks do you have?

A handle (1.75L, generall 40% abv liquor) is just shy of 60 ounces. The definition of "a drink" varies by jurisdiction and authority. A handle a day? Physically doable. A handle+ a day is about Nic Cage in about the middle part of 'Leaving Las Vegas' - and he is obviously visibly (and olfactorily) drunk all the time and probably unconscious 10-12 hours out of 24.

A handle a week? Psssh. Rank amateur. 7 or 8 drinks a day is nothing (even if the definition is closer to 1.5oz than 1).

Though it is the range where it'd be trivial to slide to 15 to 25 drinks a day especially if he's only able to get 3-4 hours of sleep a night (in order to get more "sleep"/ unconsciousness). If it's daily consumption, increasing tolerance is a slippery slope to increasing intake, also.

Even at 26/ day (750mL bottle of liquor), being a functional/ functioning alcoholic is well within the realm of the possible especially for his weight. But he's obviously not there yet; at that level of chronic consumption, even if he doesn't get withdrawal symptoms, it'd still be unpleasant to go cold turkey dry for the stay at the psych hospital.

The two boasts, "I have to sleep sometime" and thinking that "mid 50s" would be shocking, makes that all a rather pathetic.

"Look, his brain's been sucked dry."

lol. No.
posted by porpoise at 7:02 PM on August 14, 2021

I didn't get the impression he was trying to shock the doc. I got the impression he was pretty much giving her the straight goods, and not thinking that mid-50s sounds like a problem at all, and instead more like a fact of life.

I don't know anything about handles or heavy drinking or where controllable consumption tips into alcoholism (or if there is even a line), but honestly, to me, 50-plus sounds like way, way, way too much. To me seven sounds like a reasonable number. Even 14 sounds okay (working on the assumption of big glass of wine or double shot of something hard). Even if you triple the base number to 21 (assume pouring huge wine glasses or really, strong shots) is one thing, but double that number again and add a bit more to it, and I'd be panicking about whatever relative (or friend) of mine was drinking that much. But that's just me.

As mentioned above, Sam, being a bottomless pit of rage is also disheartening, and probably even harder to face than Dean's alcohol issue.
posted by sardonyx at 7:34 PM on August 14, 2021

The other obvious problem that we aren't addressing is that the boys spend a lot of their lives driving around on public roads and highways, usually withe Dean behind the wheel. If he consumes as much alcohol as he says he does, that would appear to be situation that needs to be addressed.
posted by sardonyx at 8:51 PM on August 14, 2021

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