Supernatural: Just My Imagination
December 3, 2015 12:43 AM - Season 11, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A bubbly, rainbow suspendered friend from Sam's childhood comes to him for help when a unicorn is murdered.
posted by brundlefly (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It was a pretty fun episode. Nate Torrence played Sully well and it was nice to see the focus on Sam.
posted by cfoxhi at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2015


I liked the episode over all. If nothing else, I prefer when Supernatural goes the MotW route. The ending felt off, though. I understood Sully forgiving Reese and wanting her free. That's just what he does. But she also just brutally murdered two people (?) and attempted to kill two others. I'm having a hard time imagining the Winchesters being okay with letting her go with a hug.

Aside: Did anyone else think Reese was played by Gillian Jacobs at first?
posted by brundlefly at 12:14 PM on December 3, 2015


This one was pretty great. The thing with Sparkles' body and the mom was hilariously awful in a way I thought I would need to wait for more Rick & Morty to experience, right down to the whole 'the family that showers together' bit. I hope Supernatural can keep turning out stuff like this, instead of saving their A-game for the finale like they have been doing lately.

But she also just brutally murdered two people (?) and attempted to kill two others. I'm having a hard time imagining the Winchesters being okay with letting her go with a hug.

I didn't have a problem with it because:
* Dean doesn't care much about non-human casualties. (Depending on the day, he may or may not care about the human kind either.)
* It seemed in character for Sam to accept Sully's decision about Reese - if they had tried to take her down, they would've had to go through him, and it seems clear Sam wouldn't have gone for that.
posted by mordax at 6:16 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am really liking this season. It seems like each episode has been pretty good or kinda great, I'm not remembering any duds. The whole imaginary friend thing was pretty inspired. The last few seasons they've had some wacky concepts that sounded fun but they just couldn't pull off with a TV budget. (I'm thinking of stuff like dragons, and Oz.) But the imaginary friend thing felt like a natural part of their mythology and they didn't need big deal special effects to pull it off. It made me think of a Ben Edlund episode, which made me realize I hadn't seen his name in the credits for a while. (Turns out he left a few seasons back and he's working on Gotham now.)

Caveats:

As delightful as Sully was, some of his advice was problematic at best. It seemed like he was seriously encouraging young Sam to run away from home. It also seemed like he was kind of telling (the adult) Sam that he was enough of a hero to face going into the cage with Lucifer. That's what I took from it anyhow, and I'm with Dean that the whole cage vision thing is probably not God offering a clue for how to fix the Darkness problem.

Also, I don't spend much time with kids so I'm not sure, but weren't these kids all a little old for imaginary friends? I thought that was more of a 5-year-old thing, maybe.

Also, also, how did the killer lady see the imaginary friends, if they didn't want her to see them? (She said she got the knife from a witch, so maybe I missed a line about her doing a spell to see them.) Also, also, also, patching the wound of an imaginary friend with real bandages seemed weird. It raises awkward questions about imaginary people biology and medicine. Maybe they would have been better off if Sully (as an IF higher-up) had magical rainbow boo-boo healing powers or something.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:49 PM on December 3, 2015


As delightful as Sully was, some of his advice was problematic at best. It seemed like he was seriously encouraging young Sam to run away from home. It also seemed like he was kind of telling (the adult) Sam that he was enough of a hero to face going into the cage with Lucifer.

The first one does seem odd to me, given that the other invisible friends were so encouraging about kids doing what they were supposed to - the manicorn telling Maddie to go to dinner, the mermaid encouraging her charge to keep an appointment, etc. I assume it had to do with Sam fleeing a life as a hunter, where his life expectancy was probably pretty bad when compared to 'maybe getting into the system, but with an invisible guardian angel.' (As seen by the number of times he's died, really.)

The second one has to be down to hero worship - at this point, the Winchesters must have a great deal of cachet in the monster world. At least, among the ones not sufficiently In The Know to understand that the whole Darkness thing is entirely because they are dumbasses.

(She said she got the knife from a witch, so maybe I missed a line about her doing a spell to see them.)

Yeah, Reese mentions getting a spell to see them from a witch, then talks about also getting the knife at the same time.

It made me think of a Ben Edlund episode, which made me realize I hadn't seen his name in the credits for a while. (Turns out he left a few seasons back and he's working on Gotham now.)

Wait, what?
*pours out an invisible 40 for Ben Edlund*
posted by mordax at 12:18 AM on December 4, 2015


As delightful as Sully was, some of his advice was problematic at best. It seemed like he was seriously encouraging young Sam to run away from home.
"Home" in this case being a hotel he was staying in alone while his father and brother were out there somewhere potentially getting killed. I can see an imaginary friend telling him "get the fuck out of there!" just as much as I can see him saying that to a mobster or drug dealer's kid.
posted by brundlefly at 2:10 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, it's a fair point. Sam wasn't leading an ordinary childhood by any means, and if it was a choice between letting a kid go off and literally fight monsters or being his invisible friend as you guide him into foster care or something, I can just about see that working as a motivation for Sully. But they REALLY needed to drop a line like, "Come on, we'll go find you a nice new family!" It seemed like they were just talking about wandering the streets or something!

Of course, it's also possible that Sully is childlike enough himself that he would actually think that just taking a hobo rucksack and hitting the streets was a fine plan. But while he seemed like an adorably goofy and rather innocent fellow, I didn't get the impression he was truly as unworldly as a kid would be.

It seems like there have been a lot of weird questions like that, this season. The run of episodes has (I think) been the strongest in a few years, but a little too often you're left going, "But wait, in that one scene..?"

It seemed like Sam got something out of their conversation about the cage, but I'm honestly not sure what Sully was saying. Maybe just, "Whatever it is, you're a hero and you can take it"? But if so, they could've made that clearer.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:38 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quotes

Dean: Mork from Ork here is your dumbass imaginary friend?
Sully: I'm not dumb... or ass!
Dean: I'm gonna get my gun.

Sam: [to Sully] Ever think... maybe you're a hero to me?

Sam: I was kind of a lonely kid, Dean.
Dean: You weren't lonely, you had me!

Sully: [the brothers find a dead imaginary friend mermaid] We can't just leave her here; it's disturbing for the kid.
Dean: All right, well. What do you want to do? Find a giant toilet and flush it?

Sam: So, his blood is glittery?
Sully: Even when he's dead, Sparkle can't stop shining.

Dean: I gotta ask. Hey, uh, acid wash. What’s so special about you?
Weems: Mermaids dig me?
Dean: No, I mean, why do KIDS like you?
Weems: Oh. I play air guitar.
Dean: You play air guitar? Sam plays air guitar. I can play air guitar.
Weems: [Sits up and plays air guitar. The guitar riff from Eddie van Halen's "Eruption" is heard corresponding to his hand movements. After the big finish he grabs his wounded side, groaning.]
Sully: It’s okay, it’s okay. Good solo, good solo.
Weems: Thanks. Ugh.
Dean: Well, he’s no Clapton.

Trivia

This episode was directed by Richard Speight Jr., who commonly plays the Trickster/Gabriel in Supernatural.

In a flashback, Sam tells Sully that he once tried to fly and broke his arm. In an earlier season, Sam and Dean discuss a childhood memory when Sam jumped off the garden shed dressed as Batman, thinking he can fly, and Dean had to take him to hospital on his bike after he broke his arm.

Dean refers to Sully as Drop Dead Fred. This is a reference to the 1991 movie of the same name. In it an adult woman's imaginary friend from her childhood comes back.

In this episode the brothers use the aliases "Strummer" and "MacGowan", referring to Joe Strummer (of The Clash) and Shane MacGowan (of The Pogues).

Dean calls Sully "Totoro". Totoro is a giant lovable wood spirit who befriends two young girls in the 1988 Japanese anime film by Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro.

The title of this episode comes from the 1971 song of the same name by the Temptations. "Just My Imagination" is also a song from the band The Cranberries.

The mermaid tail for this episode was made by Sirenalia.

Opening scene, Mommy Berman refers to an RIE manual. Resources for Infant Educaring (RIE) is a trademarked, franchised parenting system that requires parents to treat all children, even infants, as fully competent and empowered individuals with the full rights of adults. It emphasizes always listening to and accommodating the child's desires. Critics of the system say it absolves parents of their duty to actually be parents by making them mere servants of their kids.

Dean calls Sully Mork from Ork, referencing Robin Williams' iconic breakout character from the TV series Mork and Mindy. Much like Sully, Mork wore colourful and eccentric clothes, including rainbow coloured braces/suspenders.
posted by orange swan at 3:41 PM on December 26, 2021


This one had a fun premise and a good helping of dark humour. Poor Sam, being left alone in a motel room for days at the age of nine, and then having to take the bus by himself to meet up with John and Dean. He really needed Sully.

For all of Dean's loftiness towards Weems, he would definitely have been the Zanna to be assigned to Dean if he'd ever had an imaginary friend.
posted by orange swan at 3:42 PM on December 26, 2021 [1 favorite]


"God has a plan for me and it's to go back to Hell" is, hoo, like I get why Sam thinks that, but I cannot imagine it is fun living in that dude's head sometimes.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:37 PM on January 10


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