Supernatural: Defending Your Life
September 20, 2021 4:45 AM - Season 7, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean investigate several bizarre murders and find that in each case, the dead person carried significant guilt due to their past behaviour and had been trying to atone for it... and that Dean may be the next victim.


Sam: Objection!
Osiris: Grounds?
Sam: Witnesses being called without prior notice.
Dean: Good one!
Sam: I saw it on The Good Wife.

Dean: I gave up AA for Lent.
Sam: We're not catholic.
Dean: Always with the details.

Dean: Sam? You're not a lawyer.
Sam: I was pre-law.
Dean: Yeah, *pre*.

Rabbi: [Catching Sam breaking into the synagogue] I'm guessing you're not here for bar mitzvah lessons.


After the second unexplained death, Dean says, "All right so what, he causes so much misery that some Rottweiler goes Cujo on him from beyond the grave?" He is referring to the 1981 Stephen King novel (and subsequent movie) of the same name about a rabid dog.

The title of this episode is taken from the 1991 film Defending Your Life by Albert Brooks. In that film the recently dead are waiting to be told whether they will go to heaven or be sent back to earth for a new life. The determination is made during a trial-like procedure.

When Dean is talking about one of the victims in the episode, he states that vengeance on the guy "who Michael Vick'd you" makes sense. Michael Vick was a football player in the NFL, who like the victim in the episode also went to jail for running an illegal dogfighting ring.

Dean quips that the ghost has a "license to kill". License to Kill is the 16th James Bond movie, and the license to kill denotes Bond's status as MI6's elite.

Last appearance of Jo Harvelle.

The setting of this episode is Dearborn, MI. When Dean and Sam find out they need a ram's horn to use against Osiris, Sam says, "Where are we going to find a ram's horn in Dearborn?" There is a chain of restaurants called Ram's Horn in and around Dearborn.

When Osiris confronts Dean, Dean says, "I'd rather talk about your Bukowski shtick at the bar." He is referring to Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), poet and novelist whom Time magazine called a "laureate of American lowlife".

Before Dean leaves for the bar to continue the investigation, there is a Canada Post truck in the background behind Sam.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
I would have liked to see Osiris go after people who don't feel guilty and aren't trying to make amends and do the right thing -- that's what Dean missed when he was arguing that maybe the ghosts were on the right side on this one.

It pisses me off that this show never addressed Dean's drunk driving. He spoke scathingly of a guy who had killed a child while driving drunk in this episode -- meanwhile applying himself to a bottle of beer -- and there is as always no mention of the fact that he routinely drives after he's been drinking.
posted by orange swan at 4:48 AM on September 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

So Jo is being used as a male god’s plaything and as a motivating factor for Dean and manipulated into killing him. That is so unfair to her. Why put the burden of killing her friend on her when she is supposed to be at rest? Especially when there is another character right there that Dean absolutely, positively should feel guilty about killing? Is it just so they can keep one more secret active between the boys? I hate that kind of TV show reasoning.

Dean trying to give himself a pep talk for his hook-up was kind of sad.

I guess after all this time, it’s a good thing that Sam feels lighter and happier.
posted by sardonyx at 8:11 AM on September 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Showing me what does and does not make Dean's playlist of Manpain's Greatest Hits does not have the effect on me I think they think it will.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:44 PM on September 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

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