I had a lot of feelings while I watched this episode. So many humorous scenes but all laced with horror and tragic desperation and PAIN. I felt that keenly this time around as I took note of the changes in Sam's expressions within the episode. It is also interesting to think about the lesson the trickster a.k.a. Gabriel wanted Sam to take away from this hellish experience (and why) , as well as catch a glimpse of what Sam will actually become without his brother. Dean's impending doom looms very heavily on this episode.
Let's get started!
"Heat of the Moment" by Asia
(the oft-recurring song that wakes Sam up each Tuesday)
"Back in Time" by Huey Lewis and the News
I've got to say though that one extremely enjoyable aspect of this episode that we have a lot of "bathroom scenes." We had a few face washing scenes in the past two episodes, now we actually get some teeth brushing, gargling and even SPITTING later on! From a fangirl's point of view, there is nothing like seeing the guys doing such mundane tasks. And there's actually a theme to this as well - it's our glimpse into Sam's life with Dean, and later, Sam's life without Dean. We start with Sam waking up to the sound of Asia's Heat of the Moment on the radio. Dean is already up and lacing his boots and calling out cheerfully to Sam.
Sam's remark here about he'd like to kill himself if he heard the song one more time ... both is an indication of how many times he HAS heard the song riding in the car with Dean and the irony of the situation he is about to experience.
Sam is also in a relatively good mood - the kind of good mood you are in when you know your brother might die and go to hell soon and you want to act as amiable as possible for his sake. Although he complains about the song, he just grins and doesn't look at all upset by Dean turning up the volume.
In the bathroom together, Dean is getting in some nice loud gargling while Sam picks up his pink toothbrush and turns the toothpaste around in his hand in amazement - maybe at the way Dean has managed to squish it up so good that Sam can barely get enough toothpaste out of it.
Then it's off to breakfast. But Dean is still searching for his gun. While he does, he comes across a bra in his belongings.
Sam is a bit impatient by this point, but still it is in the confines of a normal day with Dean. The messy toothpaste, the loud gargling, and disorganized luggage - that's all Dean - but that doesn't mean Sam has his bed all made either. When they are together, Dean sets the pace.
At the Diner, Dean notices the special and decides to get a pig-in-a-poke (Sam says, "Do you even know what that is?") while Sam orders coffee and a short-stack. Dean is complaining about looking into this "small fry" case while they could be looking for Bela.
But of course as Sam points out, they have no leads on Bela yet. Why not look into this while they are in the area? Never waste time - the Winchester motto. This mystery spot business could be true. They've experienced stranger things.
Nothing seems out of ordinary in the diner to them, but of course WE notice that homeless guy trying to stay a bit more in the diner by ordering a cup of coffee,
a drunk old man who will most definitely will not "drive carefully," and most importantly that business man in a white suit sitting in front of the boys at the counter eating pancakes with regular syrup. He's there EVERY Tuesday.
People who love this ep would have watched it so many times that they could pick out every single detail and would surely be able to catch that Tabasco before it fell. We've experienced this Tuesday many times already. But it's Sam's first day, so it falls and breaks. The waitress apologizes to the boys and Dean gives her a grin. They go out on the street discussing whether mystery spot has anything to it, or if it is just a scam with tables and chairs nailed to the ceiling.
A dog is barking, a girl bumps into Dean looking distraught (but not giving them a pamphlet) and movers are trying to get a desk that is way too big through the small doorway.
Sam and Dean agree to go to the Mystery spot after closing and look around.
When they get there, they of course see tables and chairs nailed to the ceiling - but nothing strange or mysterious that might make them think that the laws of physics did not apply.
They do find that the owner is a suspicious man who roams his building at night and becomes so nervous that Dean's calm demeanor does not stop him from shooting Dean in the chest. Dean is dead.
This, naturally,is most devastating to Sam. He doesn't know he is in a time loop. He is working on the assumption that Dean has a few months, and that he has time to save him from the deal. To have Dean die of a simple gunshot at the hands of a scared and panicky Mystery Spot owner is inconceivable.
Sam: No..no..no...no... Not like this.
He's not just grieving Dean's death here but the manner in which he dies, without Sam being able to do any thing about it or blame anyone for it.
And Sam wakes up.
The same song and Dean right there tying his boots, telling him to "rise and shine"... Sam's expression is of relief. It was a dream. But everything is so similar that it spooks him out.
Finally Dean notices and asks what is wrong.
When they get to the diner, Sam feels more and more that this is no dream. Asia, Dean lacing his boots, brushing their teeth together, those are all things that could actually be conceivable in a dream. The boys must have many similar mornings... but the very same diner, the very same people and Dean ordering the very same breakfast? There is something going on and it is way too vivid to be a dream in the first place. Surely if HE remembers it Dean would too (conveniently forgetting that Dean died at the end of that memory...).
This time, Sam only orders coffee. He's too distraught to eat. But he's ready for that Tabasco.
They are walking down the street again. Sam notices the exact same dog, girl, movers... and tries to explain.
That doesn't go over too well...
DEAN:Look, I'm just saying that it's crazy, you know, I mean, even for us crazy. Dingo ate my baby crazy. Hey, maybe it was another of your psychic premonitions.
SAM:No, no way, way too vivid. Okay, look, we were at the Mystery Spot, and then—
DEAN:And then what?
SAM:... Then I woke up.
Sam doesn't tell Dean that Dean died in this previous memory. It's almost like he just remembered that fact . He brings the subject back to the Mystery Spot to avoid further questions and suggests they check it out. As before, Dean says they'll go after closing.
SAM:Wait, what? No.
SAM: Uhh – Let's just go now. Right now. Business hours, nice and crowded.
So this time around - the second day - is also unique because Sam still doesn't realize he's in a loop. At least he doesn't want to admit it. He doesn't tell Dean he died because he doesn't want to even think about it or the possibility of it happening again. He's still in denial.
Dean just thinks Sam is acting really weird. He calls Sam a freak - which doesn't bother Sam this time because he's too worried about Dean dying. Despite that, if Sam insists he wants to go during the day, so be it. Dean walks quickly ahead of Sam on to the street (always look both ways before crossing, Dean!!) and BAM! gets hit by a car and dies! I was totally shocked by this collision, for the hundredth time. Dean flying through the air and his bloody face to the ground.
Sam looks shocked too as he looks toward the car that has stopped after the collision. Surprise of surprises, the driver is the old drunk from the diner!
Sam wakes up again to his third Tuesday. This time he KNOWS he's in a loop which always seems to end with Dean dying.
He doesn't even bother to brush his teeth. He just stands staring at Dean - Afraid to see him die again, drinking in the sight of him alive.
At the diner, Sam finally tells Dean everything. But not before ordering Dean's usual - the special, side of bacon and coffee, black. And this time, nothing for himself.
I guess if the last Tuesday cut off with Dean getting hit by the car, that would have been a very short day. And Sam is in no mood to be eating anyway. He is FLIPPING OUT. Dean obviously has a hard time believing him.
DEAN:It's just a little crazy, I mean even for us crazy, you know, like, uh—
SAM:Dingo ate my baby crazy?
DEAN:How'd you know I was going to say that?
SAM:Because you said it before, Dean, that's my whole point.
The Tabasco comes, Sam catches it again, Dean remarks on the reflexes again again, and Sam, who is fed up with it all tells him,
SAM:You're just going to have to go with me on this, Dean, you just have to, you owe me that much!
SAM:Don't tell me to calm down! I can't calm down. I can't. Because—
(After a very big pause)
SAM:Because you die, today, Dean.
SAM:Twice now I've watched you die, and I can't— I won't do it again, okay? You're just going to have to believe me. Please.
Sam's voice wavers and Dean doesn't know what is going on, but at least knows he's got to help his brother get out of the hell he's in. So they walk down the sidewalk again talking about how Sam thinks the Mystery Spot might have something to do with it - and no, they can't go at night because... Dean dies. Dean says again, ok, lets go now. He almost walks onto the street to get hit by the car again but Sam gets to him just in time. From Sam's huffing and puffing Dean guesses what happened to himself the previous Tuesday. Typical Dean, trying to make a joke out of it all, asks if he looked "good" dead, like in the movies. Sam doesn't have the patience for such talk.
SAM:You peed yourself.
DEAN:Of course I peed myself. Man gets hit by a car, you think he has full control over his bladder? Come on!
Dean takes the time to look both ways before crossing this time.
In the next scene they are at the Mystery Spot questioning the owner that killed Dean in the beginning(awkward for Sam!) as reporters writing a magazine article. Sam though is so irate that all his questions are ... well, they should have gone in as Feds or something the way he is interrogating the guy.
DEAN:The guy who went missing, Dexter Hasselback, he take the tour?
SAM:Listen to me. There is something weird going on here. Now do you know anything about it or not?
The owner gets so scared that he tells Sam how he used to sell bail bonds and just recently bought the business. Dean goes along with Sam's interrogation, but has to take Sam out for some air when it gets too bad.
Outside, Dean tells Sam again that the Mystery Spot is just a fake. There is nothing there. And then he suggests that they just hole out in the motel room until midnight, since if he doesn't die, then the loop will stop. Sam agrees to Dean's suggestion. His expression has a little bit of hope in it, like a little child who's mother's just told him not to worry, everything will be ok, mommy will take care of it. But when Dean again leads the way back to the motel, BAM! that desk the movers were trying to get through the door previously, and seem to have decided to take in through the window, falls right on Dean. He dies instantly, I assume, and all we see are his legs.
OK, now this is around the time that Dean's deaths start getting majorly silly. Those legs sticking out can't help but remind me of the witch in Wizard of Oz and I start seeing the crazy hilarity to the situation. Knowing that this is all the work of the Trickster, it all makes perfect sense. Not only is it part of his signature, this sense of gory humor, but the silliness of Dean's deaths is part of the message that the Trickster is trying to send to Sam - his and Dean's insignificance in the grand scheme of things. Faced with their destinies, there is nothing they can do to stop it.
The next time Sam wakes up, he lays back down in helplessness. Another Tuesday. At the diner, he seems very tired and worn out. He gets through to Dean a lot quicker too. Either he's figured out an efficient way to explain it all to Dean, or maybe Sam looks so bad Dean has to take him seriously. Dean changes his order to sausage on the side instead of bacon.
DEAN: See, different day already. See, if you and I decide that I'm not going to die, I'm not going to die.
And the relief on Sam's face... until Dean chokes on his sausage.
The trickster is having so much fun making up different ways to kill Dean.
The next morning, Sam decides they are not even going to the diner for breakfast,
SAM: You'll thank me when it's Wednesday.
DEAN: Whatever that means.
But while Dean is taking his shower he slips, falls and presumably hits his head and dies.
DEAN: Do these tacos taste funny to you? Dean dies of food poisoning.
ZZZZZZZZZZZAP! Dean dies of electric shock from his shaver.
DEAN:Everybody's fine, nobody's gonna get hurt, okay? Sammy?
SAM:NO! I'm gonna take it down to studs.
Sam kills Dean by mistake with his ax as he tries to break down the Mystery Spot. That is the ultimate way to kill Dean. My god. I wonder if that was unexpected even for the Trickster? He must have been laughing his head off.
The next time we see Sam and Dean they are at the diner after 100 Tuesdays. Sam has checked out EVERYBODY and what they are up to all day every day. He's taken the old drunk's keys so he doesn't hit Dean again. He's followed Doris the waitress to the archery range and found out how lousy a shot she is. He's found that the cashier is skimming from the register, Judge Meyers wears a bunny outfit at night, Kal robs Tony the Mechanic on the way home. He's even burned down the Mystery Spot!
SAM:Yeah, I am. You wanna know why? Because this is the hundredth Tuesday in a row I've been through, and it never stops. Ever. So yeah, I'm a little grumpy. Hot sauce.
(He catches the Tabasco)
SAM:I knew it was going to happen, Dean. I know everything that's gonna happen.
Dean is convinced... or at least gives up.
Outside, Sam starts quoting everything that happens before it happens. But, Dean mentions that the girl that bumped into him was kind of cute and (hey, have I ever done this in the 100 Tuesdays?) goes to find out what pamphlet the girl had in her hands.
They find out that she is the daughter of the man who had been missing since being seen at the Mystery Spot - their CASE! which Sam had totally forgotten because of his obsession with groundhog day. When Dean gets back to tell Sam, Sam goes to talk to the girl himself. Unfortunately, Dean gets a little too close to the friendly looking but very deadly dog -
and it's Tuesday all over again.
The next Tuesday morning we see Sam and Dean, Sam has a computer at the diner and is showing Dean what he found out about the guy that went missing, Dexter Hasselback, who is not only a professor, and has written a few books and even has a blog, but is known for his work in debunking mystery spots, and similar tourist attractions. Basically a pompus ass. And Dean catches on to it quick - just like he admired the trickster in the previous Talltales episode.
DEAN:I just, it's just funny, you know, I mean, this guy spends his whole life crapping on Mystery Spots and then he vanishes into one. It's kinda poetic, you know, just desserts.
SAM:You're right, that is just desserts.
And then Sam notices the "dessert" (well, breakfast but...Tricksters are known for their sweet tooth aye?!) left on the plate and the strawberry syrup next to it. In all the hundred Tuesdays, this guy has never had anything other than regular syrup. There is something suspicious about him. (Do you think the Trickster did this purposefully to see if Sam would notice?)
No, Dean, he can't, because nothing ever changes in this Diner for the past 100 Tuesdays. This, along with Dean's talk of just desserts clicks in Sam's head. We don't know how Dean died but the next we see is Sam waking up again. And this time he is filled with wrathful purpose.
At the diner, Dean tries to engage him in conversation about groundhog day, but Sam shuts him up and tells him to eat his breakfast. When the man at the counter leaves, so does Sam, carrying a brown paper bag (Dean: What's in the bag?). As soon as they are in a secluded spot, Sam grabs the Trickster and puts the stake against his neck. At first the trickster denies it, but when Sam keeps pressing him, he finally turns into his "true" form.
SAM:Don't lie to me! I know what you are! We've killed one of your kind before!
TRICKSTER:Actually, bucko, you didn't.
Dean, who had been wondering what had gotten into Sam and what kind of basis he had for such accusations, is amazed by the transformation. The trickster admits to the fact that he had "fun" killing Dean over and over (we can imagine), but he also tells Sam that this joke is not on Dean but on Sam.
The Trickster/Gabriel actually views Sam as being a "pompous ass" for even thinking that he COULD save his brother aye? And knowing what he really is and HIS family situation, Gabriel's inability to stop his brothers is definitely a big reason why he believes it to be true. It is interesting to think that he is actually the first angel to try to get them to give in/accept their destinies. I also had to include Dean's reaction to this statement because oh, he feels it so much. Pain for Sam and for himself. I feel like crying just watching him swallow and looking at those downcast eyes.
Sam threatens to kill the Trickster (of course he will not be able to but he doesn't know that) and the Trickster finally gives in and tells him he will end the loop. Tomorrow will be Wednesday. And if it isn't, Sam will know where to find him - at the diner. Sam tries to kill him anyway, but Trickster snaps his fingers and he's gone (does that remind you of demon!dean at the end of DALDOM?!)
When Sam next wakes up, it is to different music. Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News. That song brings back memories for me! and it totally fits the situation where Sam finds himself on Wednesday - a day after the fated Tuesday but I am also assuming back 100 days that Sam spent in the loop. Dean is not putting on his boots this time. Seems Sam slept in a bit more than usual. He's at the sink brushing his teeth. When Sam remarks on the music,
It seems Dean has no recollection of what happened except for Sam finding the trickster.
Sam is eager to leave right away despite Dean's reluctance to go without breakfast. But, when Dean goes to the car to load their stuff, he senses someone behind him and thinking it's Sam, asks,
DEAN: You sure we should just let the Trickster go?
Instead, we find that Kal has decided to rob Dean and not Tony the mechanic. Not only that but Kal gets trigger happy of course, and shoots Dean. Hearing the gun shot, Sam rushes down the stairs and finds Dean on the road, blood spurting from his chest.
As he holds Dean, he hopes upon hope that he will wake up again. That this is another loop rather than Dean being gone for good. But he knows it is not. The Trickster has played one last joke on Sam.
When we see Sam next, he is in the car by himself 6 months later just as he was in Malleus Maleficarum, on a vendetta for his brother's life. Bobby is calling him, telling him how he's heard how awesome Sam has been on a demon hunt, and various other monster hunts by himself. He urges Sam to come and see him. It's been such a long time since they have seen each other. But Sam does not even answer the calls until Bobby calls with news of the Trickster. In the meantime, here is what Sam's life has become.
His bed is neat and tidy. He makes it everyday like someone in the military. The weapons have been organized into a special container. It totally reminds me of John. Which fits doesn't it. We know Sam and John are alike in the way they think and act. But here he is almost a split image. Losing Dean, all he can think of is to get back at the monster who killed him.
And, of course he is tending to his wounds all by himself. Anyone up for some nice hands, man body(a nipple?) and pain? Yikes!
When he gets to Bobby's meeting spot, he finds Bobby on the floor making up a spell to bring the Trickster to them. Bobby hugs Sam but Sam does not respond at all.
Bobby tells Sam that the only way the spell will work is to get a couple of gallons (enough to kill someone) of blood. Does anyone react to the word blood like I do? Reminding you of the gallons of blood that Sam does end up taking from an innocent girl (with a demon inside her) to fight Lillith? and later on as well? Rather symbolic isn't it. And we find him readily agreeing.
Bobby is aghast and pleads with Sam to not sacrifice an innocent person for his brother. When Sam doesn't listen, he gives Sam quite a touching speech about how he is old and nearing the end of his days anyway, and how much more Sam can do with Dean back. Take my blood instead of taking the blood of some other innocent person.
By this time - or maybe from the start - Sam knows there is something strange about this whole situation. He agrees to Bobby's suggestion but instead of stabbing him with the knife, he takes out his ready stake and plunges it inside of Bobby. Bobby falls dead and Sam waits... and waits, panicking that he might really have killed Bobby when suddenly Bobby shimmers and disappears, the stake falling to the ground. And there is the trickster behind Sam. The stake flies into the Trickster's hand.
TRICKSTER:You're right. I was just screwing with you. Pretty good, though, Sam. Smart. Let me tell you, whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional one has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands. Holy Full Metal Jacket.
A conversation similar to what we had previously ensues, except this time it is about LETTING GO. Dean is dead. Let go and live your life! Sam is desperate.
TRICKSTER:This obsession to save Dean? The way you two keep sacrificing yourselves for each other? Nothing good comes out of it. Just blood and pain. Dean's your weakness. And the bad guys know it, too. It's gonna be the death of you, Sam. Sometimes you just gotta let people go.
He's my brother. I can't. And we have our wonderful painful Sam puppy dog eyes - that actually work on the Trickster.
Fine! It's like talking to a brick wall. I can't get through to you. I give up. And he snaps his fingers.
Sam wakes up... and it's Wednesday again. Back in Time on the Radio.
SAM: It's Wednesday.
And after 100 Tuesdays and 6 months of hunting on his own without Dean... he has his brother back.
DEAN: Dude, how many Tuesdays did you have?
Sam asks Dean again what he remembers.... And suddenly I'm thinking hey, maybe he means hell?! Because that's another question we are left with. Was Dean really in hell, or not? Six months is a long time guys... and could Gabriel bring him out on his own? Maybe... he IS an archangel...But he also could have left Dean in limbo. I think his whole purpose here is to lead them to their destiny as Lucifer and Michael's vessels and get Sam and maybe even Dean to accept their destinies - as he also tries to do in a later episode. I have to note here that the 6 months Sam lived here, is 2 months MORE than he has to endure later, so this hug is even more potent aye? And, when we view that reunion in Season 4, we have to remember that that is actually the second time Sam has gone through this experience. wow...
They pack their things to go, but this time Sam won't let Dean out of his sight - not even the parking lot. Seeing the difference in Sam, Dean asks him if something else happened. But Sam just answers -"I had a really weird dream." Dean asks... "Clowns? or Midgets?"
(Those faces... and those lines.... what a perfect end.)
Sam looks back at the room as he leaves... He may only be seeing the pain he went through in that exact same room for 100 Tuesdays, but I see the messy bed and think, Dean is back.
Whoever said this was a funny episode?