Have you ever had something made especially for you? Maybe you've designed a t-shirt online, or commissioned a piece of art, or even just eaten a Subway sandwich. If so, then you know it's a great feeling to have something that's so completely perfect, so completely yours, that it doesn't matter if other people get it -- because you do. I gather Supernatural superfans got the same feeling from "The French Mistake."
For those fans who revel in the inside jokes, who go to conventions, who are invested in this fandom, last night's episode was perfection. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit to counting myself among this group...so prepare for a little gushing.) And for managing to write an episode that was both a thank you (to fans) and an eff you (to naysayers), this episode deserves many props.
That's not to say I don't anticipate a fair number of fans who didn't enjoy the episode. When it comes to the mythology of the show, there wasn't too terribly much in this episode. As precious episodes tick by, I can understand the frustration for seemingly spending an episode indulging the fandom. But as they reminded us last night many times, this is the 6th season. And I felt like this one was for us. So thanks, Supernatural.
In fact, this calls for a special super-sized "quoteables" section (which is at the end of the normal recap, as always). So let's get started.
The episode began with Balthazar crashing Dean and Sam's research party while Bobby was trudging through a torrential downpour to get more Hunter's Helper (loved that!). He walked in babbling and going through Bobby's things, obviously cooking up a spell. Watching this, I kind of hoped that Balthazar he would find Bobby's copy of Harry Potter or something. What can I say? I'm just fascinated with Bobby, which is why I was sad we didn't get to meet alt-world Jim Beaver.
So just as an injured Balthazar (who was "down one lung") was finishing up the spell and telling Dean and Sam about how Raphael had put a hit out on them all, Raphael's minion Virgil showed up to steal this key Balthazar was trying to hide. To be honest, it all happened so fast, it actually took a while for me to realize what had happened. Before I was able to process that Balthazar had handed Sam something, Virgil had appeared and started charging after Sam. That's when Balthazar hurled the the boys through the big window in Bobby's living room, suddenly taking them into a (much-anticipated) alternate universe. (By the way, Bobby is going to be soooo pissed off about that window later…)
As they rose from the ground where they had fallen, Dean and Sam found themselves surrounded by clapping crew members and getting congratulatory love pats on their bottom for their fine stunt work. "Should we be killing anybody?" Sam asked, totally perplexed. "I don't think so," Dean replied, mirroring Sam's WTF expression, which they both kept on their face for about 85 percent of the episode. (It's one of my favorite expressions, second only to their respective blue steels.)
To be honest, the next 15 minutes or so, was an endless stream of Supernatural fandom inside jokes. From Jared having the unfortunate duty of doing bad TV interviews, to Jensen hating makeup, to less-than-thrilling ratings. That's not even counting the hilarity that happened when Dean and Sam met "Misha Collins," an ugly sweater-wearing Twitter maniac.
We did learn one thing from the boys' meeting Misha, however: The "key" Balthazar had given them was to a room that held all the weapons he'd stolen from Heaven. Cas needed that key and the weapons inside to give him a chance at winning the holy war. You know, the one we still know virtually nothing about. Boo.
Inside Jensen's trailer -- which didn't seem all that Jensen-y (because I know him so personally, obviously) and I gather that was the point -- Jared did some digging on their alternate personas and came across an old clip from Jensen's Days of Our Lives days. Baby face and all. (Collective 'Awwwwww.') Jared's face was hilarious when he first pulled the video up. In fact, I need a screencap of that reaction ASAP, which also happens to be how fast Dean and Sam wanted out of the alt-universe.
Next: A devastating death.